04 October 2004 by our correspondent

After the 1994 Rwandan genocide, few people would have believed that two officers with such contrasting profiles would find themselves in a joint billing at the Arusha court. Yet since September 20, and accompanied by two other high-level officers from the ex-Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR), Generals Augustin Ndindiliyimana and Augustin Bizimungu have appeared side by side before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). 

16 February 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

His pen and notepad were already neatly packed, ready to leave the courtroom. But the judges ordered him to sit down, and two guards saw to it that the once-feared Charles Taylor witnessed the final stages of his trial for war crimes. But after the morning coffee break, the former Liberian president didn’t show up and decided to stay away for the rest of the week.

28 September 2011 by Geraldine Coughlan

The judgement in the high-profile trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor is expected within months. Taylor is the first African former head of state to stand trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges. Charles Taylor was one of Africa’s most feared warlords. He fled Liberia in 2003 and is on trial before the Special Court for Sierra Leone, sitting in Leidschendam. He is accused of supporting Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels during the civil war in neighbouring Sierra Leone during the 1990s. 

28 October 2009 by -

The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) Appeals Chamber upheld sentences for three former Revolutionary United Front (RUF) leaders Monday in the last ever judgement to be handed down in Freetown.

By Thijs Bouwknegt

The five-judge panel confirmed the sentences of 52 years for Issa Hassan Sesay, 40 years for Morris Kallon and 25 years for Augustine Gbao. In total, the court dismissed 96 defence grounds for appeal.

The men were convicted in February for overseeing a spree of killings, mutilations and rapes during the country’s civil war.

11 November 2009 by Karl Dowling

The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) Appeals Chamber upheld sentences for three former RUF leaders on October 26th. Wayne Jordash was lead defence counsel for Issa Hassan Sesay who received a sentence of 52 years. He spoke to IJT’s Karl Dowling.

24 May 2004 by -

A start date for the trial of three former leaders of the Civil Defence force (CDF) - Sam Hinga Norman, Moinina Fofana and Allieu Kondewa - has been set for 3 June by the Special Court for Sierra Leone. The decision was announced by the trial chamber on 12 May. The CDF was the main armed group fighting for the civilian government of Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, president-elect of Sierra Leone since 1996. The trial has been one of the most eagerly awaited by Sierra Leoneans, many of whom see Hinga Norman, who was Minister of the Interior at the time of his arrest a year ago, as a national hero.

30 September 2009 by Thijs Bouwknegt

For the last two months, former Liberian president Charles Taylor has been testifying in his own defence before the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL). But despite an initial flurry of coverage, the public gallery and pressroom have been virtually empty for most of that time. As the court heads for a three-week recess starting October 5th, the IJT takes a look at the defence strategy thus far.

07 June 2004 by Thierry Cruvellier and Kelvin Lewis

Freetown, 3 June 2004. All the signs pointed to a smooth opening day in the trial of Sam Hinga Norman, national coordinator of the Civil Defence Forces (CDF), his number two, Moinina Fofana, and Allieu Kondewa, responsible for initiation ceremonies for the pro-government militia.

21 May 2007 by KELVIN LEWIS

A ten-minute preliminary statement by key defendant Sam Hinga Norman, national coordinator of the Civil Defence Forces (CDF) from 1997 to 2002, kicked off the trial proper of the former CDF leaders in Freetown.

09 May 2005 by KELVIN LEWIS

In April, the trial of three ex-members of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) - the ousted military junta that ruled Sierra Leone in 1997- 1998 and returned to invade Freetown in 1999 - opened at the new chamber of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. The three recently arrived judges were faced with a number of new challenges in court, including the decision by all three defence counsel to stop defending their clients in protest at the suspension of one of their investigators (see inset).