Sierra Leonean born Justice Jon Kamanda was yesterday sworn in as the new Appeals Court judge replacing Justice Geoffrey Robertson who resigned recently from the UN backed Special Court for Sierra Leone.
At the ceremony, which took place at the Trial Chamber II, the president of the Court George Gelaga-King in welcoming the new judge said, “such appointment is made on the qualification, hard work and wealth of experience of the Judge. And such appointment should be taken seriously.”
He noted that the appointment of Justice Kamanda was crucial at this time.
The appointment of Judge Jon Kamanda, Justice Gelaga-King went on, was done by president Ernest Bai Koroma but that it was done in consultation with the United Nations Secretary General in accordance with the mandate of the court.
Mr Gelaga- King said, “the Special Court is an international criminal tribunal and not part of the Sierra Leone judiciary. Although they have concurrent jurisdiction the Special Court has primacy over the local court here as this is stated in the Statue and Agreement of the court”.
Justice Gelaga-King said the President acted promptly in appointing Justice Jon Kamanda to replace Justice Geoffrey Robertson “who because of personal and family reasons could not reside in here”.
Justice Jon Kamanda before this appointment was the Judge of the Appeals Court in Sierra Leone judiciary and presiding judge of criminal appeals.
In continuing his service to the country justice, Kamanda has served as Minister of Health, Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources and Member of Parliament representing the Kono central constituency.
In the presence of three Trial Chamber four Appeals Chamber judges, the Chief Justice and other judges of the Sierra Leone Court, the new judge took the solemn declaration after which it was signed by the new judge while, the Special Representative Secretary General in Sierra Leone Victor Angelo and the Attorney General and Minister of Justice Abdul Serry- Kamal witnessed the event.