Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Defence Case Closes, Final Arguments, in Bangura, et. al.

Freetown, Sierra Leone, 6 September 2012

Defence Case Closes, Final Arguments, in Bangura, et. al. Contempt Trial

Following the formal closure today of the Defence case, Prosecution and Defence delivered their closing statements in the contempt trial of three former AFRC leaders accused of tampering with a Prosecution witness.

Convicted AFRC leaders Ibrahim Bazzy Kamara and Santigie Borbor Kanu (aka “Five-Five”), and former AFRC member Alhassan Papa Bangura (aka “Bomblast”) are accused of offering a bribe to a witness to recant testimony he gave before the Special Court, and of otherwise attempting to induce a witness to recant his testimony. Kamara is also accused of knowingly revealing the name of a protected witness.

A fourth co-accused, Samuel Kargbo (aka “Sammy Ragga”) pleaded guilty at his initial appearance in July 2011 and was convicted. Kargbo subsequently testified for the Prosecution. He remains free on bail pending his sentencing hearing.

The hearings are taking place before a single judge, Justice Teresa Doherty, who as a member of Trial Chamber II also sat on the AFRC trial in Freetown and the trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor in The Hague.

The Independent Prosecutor called five witnesses during the prosecution case. In the defence case, Bangura and Kanu testified on their own behalf but called no other witnesses; Kamara also testified on his own behalf and called one additional witness. Two of the trial sessions were held in Rwanda where Kamara and Kanu are serving sentences of 45 and 50 years, respectively, on their convictions for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against Sierra Leonean civilians. The courtrooms in Sierra Leone and Kigali were linked by a video stream.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

Justice Doherty has retired to consider her judgement. Delivery of the judgement is expected in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, in the contempt case of The Independent Prosecutor v. Eric Koi Senessie, the Defence waived its right to appeal, but asked the Appeals Chamber to review the judgement in light of new facts which had been discovered. The Appeals Chamber dismissed the application this week on the grounds that the facts were not new and were known to Senessie during his trial.

Senessie was convicted on 21 June 2012 on eight counts of offering bribes to prosecution witnesses who had testified in the Taylor trial, and of otherwise attempting to interfere with prosecution witnesses, to induce them to recant their testimony. He is currently serving a two-year sentence in the Special Court’s detention facility.


© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
World Headlines

UN News: Aid Access Is Key Priority

Among the key issues facing diplomats is securing the release of a reported 199 Israeli hostages, seized during the Hamas raid. “History is watching,” says Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths. “This war was started by taking those hostages. Of course, there's a history between Palestinian people and the Israeli people, and I'm not denying any of that. But that act alone lit a fire, which can only be put out with the release of those hostages.” More

Save The Children: Four Earthquakes In a Week Leave Thousands Homeless

Families in western Afghanistan are reeling after a fourth earthquake hit Herat Province, crumbling buildings and forcing people to flee once again, with thousands now living in tents exposed to fierce winds and dust storms. The latest 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit 30 km outside of Herat on Sunday, shattering communities still reeling from strong and shallow aftershocks. More

UN News: Nowhere To Go In Gaza

UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said some 1.1M people would be expected to leave northern Gaza and that such a movement would be “impossible” without devastating humanitarian consequences and appeals for the order to be rescinded. The WHO joined the call for Israel to rescind the relocation order, which amounted to a “death sentence” for many. More

Access Now: Telecom Blackout In Gaza An Attack On Human Rights

By October 10, reports indicated that fixed-line internet, mobile data, SMS, telephone, and TV networks are all seriously compromised. With significant and increasing damage to the electrical grid, orders by the Israeli Ministry of Energy to stop supplying electricity and the last remaining power station now out of fuel, many are no longer able to charge devices that are essential to communicate and access information. More


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.