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UN-Backed Court Hands Over Prison To Sierra Leone

Edging Closer To End Of Mandate, UN-Backed Court Hands Over Prison To Sierra Leone

New York, Nov 16 2009 2:10PM The United Nations-backed tribunal trying the worst acts committed during the decade-long brutal civil war in Sierra Leone today transferred its detention centre to the national prison service.

The handover of the facility, which is slated to house female prisoners, is the latest step in the completion of the mandate of the Freetown-based Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), which delivered its last judgment inside the country in October.

Last month, the eight prisoners convicted and held by the SCSL were transferred to Rwanda to serve their sentences. The remaining trial, involving former Liberian president Charles Taylor, is continuing at The Hague, where it was moved for security reasons.

The Special Court is an independent tribunal established jointly by the Sierra Leonean Government and the UN in 2002. It is mandated to try those who bear the greatest responsibility for atrocities committed in Sierra Leone after 30 November 1996.

ENDS

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