The Appeal cases of members of the Civil Defence Forces (CDF) commenced yesterday with the prosecution giving their oral submission on their nine grounds of appeals.
Submitting on behalf of the prosecution, the deputy prosecutor Christopher Starker said their first ground of appeal dealt with the acquittal of the two accused, Moinina Fofanah and Alieu Kondewa, from the act of murder and other inhuman act as crimes against humanity as the Trial Chamber failed to enter conviction for these crimes.
He added that failure to enter conviction for these crimes was fruitless and that failure to enter conviction was an err on the Trial Chamber that had to be corrected by the Appeals Chamber.
Although, according to Christopher Starker, the accused fought to restore democracy, he said this should not stand as an armed forces seeking to restore democracy was the same as an armed force fighting against democracy.
The prosecution further appealed on grounds three when the Trial Chamber failed to find superior responsibility and responsibility for planning, ordering, instigating aiding and abetting and preparation or execution of certain acts in Kenema District. The prosecution, Christopher Starker went on, had enough evidence that the CDF was an organized armed group that was engaged in widespread atrocities.
On the issue of Moinina Fofanah, Mr Starker disclosed that the accused was one of the three holy trinity of the CDF and was aware of the recruitment of child soldier and was present during the registration of children under the CDF, as it was the fifth ground of appeal which acquitted the accused for the enlisting of children into armed forces or groups or their active use in hostilities.
Fofanah, he went on, was present at the passing out ceremony where Chief Norman said the adult did pretty well as the children.
Mr Starker said Fofanah provided tactical assistance at Base Zero, and that he also provided the commander with logistics for the fight in Tongo and Bo.
About the third accused, Alieu Kondewa, the prosecution submitted that he aided and abetted the use of child soldiers as he performed the initiation.
He stressed that during the January 1998 passing out parade, Kondewa addressed the initiates and that he was the one who gave his blessings to the fighters as no one would have gone to fight without Kondewa’s blessing.
The act of terrorism, the prosecution said, was a war crime and not crimes against humanity and there should not be proof of widespread atrocities.
Senior Attorney Joseph Kamara, in his submission for the prosecution on the third, fourth and seventh grounds of appeals stated that the Trial Chamber failure to find the two responsible for planning, aiding and abetting and the Chamber failed to systematical analyse the evidence placed by the prosecution and that they failed to take the case as a whole.
The evidence, he went on, for Koribondo was the same for Kenema and Tongo. The defence for the two appellants will be submitting their own grounds of appeal today.
By Betty Milton