Trial Monitoring

Special Court for Sierra Leone, RUF Trial, Update 9

October 22, 2004
Michelle Staggs
Sara Kendall
Special Court for Sierra Leone, RUF Trial, Update 9
Case or Series

RUF Trial

Case or Series

Special Court for Sierra Leone


Sierra Leone



The examination in chief of insider witness TF1-167 resumed on Monday, followed by over two days of cross-examination by the defense. Testimony centered on the chain of command within the RUF and AFRC as well as on details of the 6 January 1999 attack on Freetown and the Western Area. The witness described command and control relationships, planning meetings among commanders, and orders that were given in violation of the laws of war. The issue of joint criminal enterprise was both implicitly and explicitly addressed throughout the examination in chief and cross examination of the witness.

The prosecution subsequently called three additional witnesses this week, bringing the total number of witnesses heard from thus far in the RUF trial to seventeen. These three “crime base” witnesses testified regarding events that took place following the fall of the junta government in 1998, when rebel troops withdrew to the provinces after ECOMOG forces pushed them out of Freetown. Addressing a number of counts from the indictment, these witnesses described unlawful killings, physical and sexual violence, and forced marriages that transpired in the Kono district in February through April of 1998.