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Special Court Monitoring Program Update #88a

Trial Chamber I – CDF Trial

29 September 2006

Proceedings in the CDF trial resumed this week on Wednesday, following an adjournment due to the ill health of the second accused, Moinina Fofana. Fofana attended proceedings for the first time this trial session and his Counsel informed the court that his client had fully recovered from the chickenpox. The Defence case of the second accused accordingly commenced. Six witnesses testified this week in the defence of the second accused, with the defence case now in abeyance until the arrival of their expert witness, who is scheduled to testify on 9 October 2006. While the RUF trial is currently adjourned during the CDF trial session, the three RUF defence teams submitted outlines of their arguments for the upcoming hearing on motions to acquit under Rule 98, filed by the defence teams following the close of the Prosecution’s case in August 2006. The skeleton arguments outline what the defence teams will submit during the Rule 98 oral arguments currently scheduled for 16 October 2006.

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Special Court Monitoring Program Update #87a

Trial Chamber I – CDF Trial

22 September 2006

The CDF trial has been subject to ongoing delays the past two weeks due to the ill health of the second accused, who is scheduled to commence his defence case as soon as possible. The detention facility doctor, Dr. Harding, addressed the Trial Chamber during Friday’s Status Conference and indicated that Mr. Fofana, although still suffering from the chickenpox, was no longer infectious and would be ready to commence trial on 27 September 2006. Fofana’s counsel can also now freely meet with him in order to discuss the preparation of his defence case.

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Special Court Monitoring Program Update #86a

Trial Chamber I – CDF Trial

15 September 2006

The CDF trial resumed on Tuesday, following the adjournment of the case since June 2006. The defence case for the first accused was closed this week, after the Appeals Chamber issued its decision echoing the Trial Chamber’s dismissal of the defence motion requesting a subpoena against President Kabbah. The evidence of the remaining witness for the first accused, Chief Norman, was submitted in document form as the witness was unable to travel to Freetown. The opening of the defence case of the second accused, Moinina Fofana, was delayed as Fofana is currently suffering from a case of the chickenpox. During the Status Conference on Tuesday, Counsel for the second accused asked that proceedings be delayed until his client makes a full recovery. When the Chamber reconvened on Friday, counsel reported that there was limited improvement in the accused’s condition and that he had been unable to meet with Fofana due to his ongoing quarantine. Proceedings were adjourned until Monday, 18 September 2006.

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Special Court Monitoring Program Update #79a

Trial Chamber I – CDF Trial

Week Ending 16 June 2006

This final week of the CDF trial session saw proceedings reconvene on June 15th , due to difficulty in locating the few remaining witnesses in the Norman defence case. Upon recommencement of the trial, the Trial Chamber issued its long awaited decision on the Fofana and Norman joint Defence motion to issue a subpoena to President Kabbah. Kabbah is currently listed as the first witness in the Norman defence case. In the majority decision (Thompson J dissenting) the Trial Chamber dismissed the Defence’s motion, representing a major setback for the defence of the first and second accused. It is rumoured that Chief Norman, the first accused, maintained President Kabbah’s supreme importance as a witness by saying that if he testified there would be no need to call any other witnesses in his defence case.

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Special Court Monitoring Program Update #76a

Trial Chamber I – CDF Trial

Week Ending 26 May 2006

During this fourth week of the current CDF trial session, testimony predominantly centered around two alleged attacks by the CDF: that on the town of Kenema and that on the nearby location known as SS camp. The Prosecution has alleged that in February of 1998 Kamajors attacked and gained control of these two locations, which involved the identification of suspected collaborators’ and the unlawful killing and infliction of physical suffering on civilians and captured enemy combatants. The testimony of this week’s defence witnesses, all Kamajors, thus addressed these allegations and narrated events around these attacks, indicating the actors involved in the context of the command structure of the CDF.

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Special Court Monitoring Program Update #76

Trial Chamber I – CDF Trial

Week Ending 19 May 2006

A total of five witnesses for the Norman Defence testified during this third week of the current CDF trial session. Witness testimony was exclusively from the perspective of kamajor fighters, particularly battalion commanders, and centered around CDF attacks on rebel controlled towns such as Tongo, Kenema and Bo. Questions posed addressed the planning of these attacks as well as the receipt of arms and ammunition by the kamajors. The testimony of these witnesses represented an attempt to counter the Prosecution’s allegations, as contained in the Indictment, which specifically relate to Kamajor attacks on these towns and the unlawful killing of civilians accused of being rebel sympathizers, the burning and looting of property and the terrorization of the civilian population. Counsel for Norman is now moving through the dwindling list of witnesses quickly and the cross-examinations by counsel for the second and third accused as well as by the Prosecution have generally been succinct. Concerns remain however about the quality of the defence mounted by the first accused, as is evident form the seeming disorganization of the defence team. Counsel for the first accused raised the issue of Norman’s health and the bench noted that it was apparent that Norman was having difficulty even standing up in court. Norman did not appear in court during the latter half of the week.

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Special Court Monitoring Program Update #70

Trial Chamber I – CDF Trial

Week Ending 24 February 2006

The sixth session of the CDF trial came to a close this week following the testimony of several Kamajor fighters as well as that of Lieutenant-General Richards, a British army officer who periodically worked with Norman during the conflict. This first session of the Norman defence case saw counsel lead in evidence a total of seven witnesses,including Norman himself, as well as several high profile colleagues. There is still no decision by Trial Chamber I on the defence motion for the issuance of a subpoena to President Kabbah; a decision that will dramatically affect the number of witnesses to be called in subsequent sessions of Norman’s defence case. The next CDF trial session is scheduled to begin on 2 May, 2006.

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Special Court Monitoring Program Update #69

Trial Chamber I – CDF Trial

Week Ending 17 February 2006

Oral arguments on the Norman and Fofana Motions for an Issuance of a Subpoena Ad Testificandum to President Kabbah were heard by Trial Chamber I on Tuesday. The Attorney General, representing the President, argued, in rebuttal of the defence’s submissions, that Kabbah was not subject to the authority of the Special Court. Furthermore, if a subpoena was indeed issued the Attorney General noted that the President would not necessarily obey it. The prosecution focused its arguments against the motion in question on the alleged relevance of a decision in the Milosevic case,which set out standards required for the issuance of a subpoena by a court. Witnesses led in evidence by the Norman defence team this week included former Vice President Dr. Demby, who continued his testimony from the previous week. M.T. Collier, an elder of Talia, and Osman Vandy, a Kamajor fighter, also testified.

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Special Court Monitoring Program Update #68

Trial Chamber I – CDF Trial

Week Ending 10 February 2006

The CDF trial continued with the Prosecution’s cross-examination of the first accused,Chief Sam Hinga Norman. The cross focused on Norman’s own alleged command and control of the CDF as well as the roles of his co-accused, Fofana and Kondewa, in the conflict. Peter Penfold, the former British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, also took the stand this week as the second witness to be called in the CDF defence case. His testimony ended in controversy as he described the Indictment as a grave injustice. The Prosecution’s cross-examination focused on Penfold’s personal friendship with Norman as well as his own explicitly critical opinions of the Special Court. Former Vice President Dr. Albert Joe Demby subsequently testified on 9 and 10 February. Procedural issues relating to the application of the joint criminal enterprise doctrine also arose this week,when counsel for the third accused attempted to intervene while witnesses called by other defence teams were being cross-examined by the Prosecution. The Trial Chamber decided to proceed cautiously and allow such interventions on a case by case basis.

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Special Court Monitoring Program Update #67

Trial Chamber I – CDF Trial

Week Ending 3 February 2006

This week marks the second week of Norman’s testimony in the CDF trial. The examination-in-chief moved from general topics to more specific issues as Norman responded to particular allegations made by the Prosecution. In particular, the use of child soldiers was extensively addressed as were events surrounding CDF attacks in several towns included as crime bases in the Indictment, such as Koribundu, Tongo Field and Bonthe. Defence counsel for the third accused led a controversial cross-examination of Norman, which focused not only on the role of his client, Allieu Kondewa,within the CDF, but also on the relationship between Norman and Kabbah and the internal politics of the ruling SLPP party. The Trial Chamber issued a decision clarifying their previous judgment regarding the Defence motion to acquit, specifically with reference to Operation Black December. The Chamber ruled that, as the effect of their previous decision was to strike the paragraph related to the incident of Black December from the Indictment, the accused were acquitted of any crimes relating to this particular crime base. As a result, Norman did not need to testify about the incident.

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