Special Court for Sierra Leone, CDF Trial, Update 14
Special Court for Sierra Leone
In its penultimate week of trial this session, the Prosecution continued calling witnesses testifying to events which occurred in Sierra Leone’s southern province during 1997-8 . The week began in closed session with the continued cross-examination of Witness TF2-017, followed on Tuesday by the continued cross-examination in open session of Witness TF2-008, who had previously fallen ill and hence been excused from testifying during last week’s proceedings. Witness TF2- 119, Witness TF2-030, Witness TF2-156 and TF2-088 each then testified in continued open sessions, bringing the total number of witnesses called thus far in the CDF trial to 33.
A large proportion of the witness testimony provided this week implicated the first accused, Samuel Hinga Norman, as having had knowledge of and authority over the actions of the Kamajors in Bo at this time. In particular, witnesses TF2-119 and TF2-088 gave detailed testimony implying that Hinga Norman was instrumental in either (i) the planning of the attacks or (ii) the reprimanding of junior officers for their actions against civilians, during this time.
The testimony given by witnesses this week precipitated particularly heightened displays of emotion, with each of Witness TF2-030 and Witness TF2-088 openly sobbing at various points when recounting the alleged atrocities committed by the Kamajors against members of their families. The bench responded sensitively, Judge Itoe adjourning the proceedings at various junctures to ensure that the witnesses were able to have adequate time to compose themselves before continuing to testify.