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Special Court for Sierra Leone, RUF Trial, Update 10

Justice Sow and counsel
Friday, October 29, 2004
Country: 

Executive Summary:

The examination in chief of Witness TF-078 resumed on Monday, followed by nearly two days of cross-examination by the Defense. This “crime base” witness continued to testify to the use of civilians as forced labour, a charge brought under Count 13 of the Indictment as a Crime Against Humanity, punishable under Article 2(c) of the Statute.

Despite an unprecedented hiatus in proceedings on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, during which the court was intermittently closed due to power shortages, the Prosecution subsequently called Liberian-born journalist Mr. Hassan Bility this week, bringing the total number of witnesses called for the RUF trial to eighteen. Bility’s testimony centered around certain events which he had witnessed and certain conversations to which he had been privy during his residence at the V.P. Road Compound, a two-storey apartment block housing members of the ATU and the RUF, located approximately five miles from Charles Taylor’s residence in Monrovia.

In particular, the witness described two arms shipments which arrived at the V.P. Road Compound after August 1998 and on 16 January 1999, respectively. He further described seeing a number of RUF officials as well as Sar Gborlie (a security officer working for Taylor in the national police in Liberia) and Francis Dwana aka “Jack the Rebel” (another of Taylor’s security officers formerly of the NPFL) meeting at the 7-11 Petrol Station in June 1999. The Prosecution affirmed during the proceedings that the witness had been called to give evidence as to the joint criminal enterprise that existed between the RUF and the AFRC.

The Trial Chamber also released its Order on Trial Monitoring during Closed Sessions this week, with a positive outcome for both the national and international trial monitors.