The Special Court of Sierra Leone will today hand down its first judgment on the three Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) indictees after three years on trial.
The three accused persons Alex Tamba Brima aka Gullit, Ibrahim Bazzy Kamara, and Santigie Borbor Kanu, aka 55 were facing 14 count charges for crimes against humanity, violations of Article 3 Common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II, and other serious violations of international humanitarian law.
After presenting 59 witnesses to prove their case the Prosecution concluded its case on 21 November 2005 and on the 27 October 2006 the defence also concluded their case after calling 87 witnesses to prove the innocence of the accused.
Gullit who is alleged to have been a former official of the AFRC was indicted on 7 March 2003 and was arrested and taken into Court custody, making his initial appearance on 10 March at the temporary courthouse in Bonthe where he pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The second accused Ibrahim Bazzy Kamara is also alleged to have been a senior member of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council.
Bazzy made his first appearance on June 4, 2003 before Judge Pierre Boutet also on Bonthe Island where he pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Santigie Borbor Kanu, the third accused is also alleged to have been a senior member of the AFRC and on September 16, 2003 he was transferred from the custody of the Sierra Leonean authorities, where he was awaiting trial on allegations of his involvement in a January 2003 attack on a military supply warehouse in Freetown. On 23 September he made his initial appearance before Judge Pierre Boutet at the Special Court’s temporary courthouse in Freetown, where he pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him.
The 14 count indictment includes terrorizing the civilian population and collective punishments, unlawful killings, extermination, murder, violence to life, health and physical or mental well-being of persons, sexual violence, the use of child soldiers and conscripting or enlisting children under the age of 15 years into armed forces or groups, or using them to participate actively in hostilities.