See also:
» 22.04.2010 - President Ellen in Liberia poll headache
» 22.12.2009 - First female wins Liberia's youth leadership award
» 18.12.2009 - Liberia exempted from arms embargo
» 17.12.2009 - Media rights group condemns arrest of media players
» 07.09.2009 - New UN trained special police graduate in Liberia
» 18.08.2009 - Liberian security and peace gains still fragile, Ban
» 13.07.2009 - Liberia dismiss accusations of plot against Cornakry
» 04.05.2009 - Taylor's acquittal plea thrown out

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Liberia | Sierra Leone
Society | Human rights

Sierra Leone judge takes over Taylor case

afrol News, 2 November - Jon Kamanda, a Sierra Leonean judge, has taken over as the new President of the UN-backed war crimes court that also presides over the case against Liberian ex-Dictator Charles Taylor. Mr Kamenda is the first local to lead the special court.

For the first time, a Sierra Leonean is to be in charge of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), the United Nations-backed tribunal looking into war crimes during the brutal Sierra Leonean civil war. The war was supposedly co-financed and fuelled by Liberia under Mr Taylor's rule.

Justice Jon Kamanda was elected to a one-year term as the Presiding Judge of the appeals chamber, a post which automatically makes him the SCSL's President as well, according to a press release issued today by the court from Freetown, the capital.

Justice Emmanuel Ayoola of Nigeria was elected as Vice-President, the press release added.

Mr Kamanda succeeds Justice Renate Winter of Austria, who had served as President since May last year.

The new Court President has had an extensive legal career, having worked as a barrister, prosecutor and judge during the past 34 years. He has also served as a government minister in Sierra Leone.

The SCSL also announced today that Claire Carlton-Hanciles, a Sierra Leonean lawyer, has been named as the court's Principal Defender.

The Special Court is also running the case against Mr Taylor, who is charged with aiding and training Sierra Leone's former RUF rebels, a group held responsible for the most brutal war crimes. Due to security and insistence from the current Liberian government, the case against Mr Taylor however is physically held in The Hague, Netherlands.

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