11.03.11 - WEEKLY SUMMARY - TAYLOR'S TRIAL COMES TO THE END BEFORE SCSL

Arusha, March 11, 2011 (FH) - While the case of former Liberian president Charles Taylor came to the end before the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) this week, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is set to deliver judgement in the case of four former senior Rwandan military officers, including two generals on May 17, 2011.
1 min 38Approximate reading time

Taylor's lawyers, on March 8 and 9, 2011 presented their closing arguments before the SCSL in The Hague, claiming the trial was politically motivated in order for London and Washington to take control of Liberia's oil resources and that the prosecution's case was mainly based on hearsay and circumstantial evidence.

Taylor was indicted in 2003 with eleven charges including crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Sierra Leone between 1996 and 2002. He allegedly backed up the rebellion of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in order to take control of Sierra Leone's diamond mines.

Before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, on March 7, 2011 judges confirmed war crimes against two Darfur rebels Abdallah Banda and Saleh Jerbo and committed them for trial.

The two Sudanese rebel commanders in September 2007 allegedly played role in attack of Haskanita, a military compound of African Union Mission in Sudan, where 12 peace keepers were killed.

The same court,  on March 8, 2011, summoned six high profile Kenyans, who allegedly orchestrated campaign to displace, torture, persecute and kill civilians during Kenya's election crisis in 2007 and early 2008. It is alleged that over 1,100 people were killed and 300,000 displaced.

They are Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister; General Hussein Ali, former police chief and Francis Muthaura, Head of Civil Servants. Others are suspended Education Minister William Ruto, Minister for Industrialization Henry Kosgey, and local radio executive Joshua Sang.

They are expected to appear before the court on April 7, 2011 for their first hearing and might later be indicted for crimes against humanity.

The ICTR Tuesday announced that the highly awaited judgment in the case of four ex-Rwandan military officers, including two Chiefs of Staff of the Army and Nationale Gendarmerie, General Augustin Bizimungu and Augustin Ndindiliyimana, respectively, will be delivered on May 17, 2011.

The other defendants in the case are ex-Commander of the Reconnaissance Battalion, Major Francois-Xavier Nzuwonemeye and Captain Innocent Sagahutu, who was a member of the unit. The defendants are charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The same Tribunal Wednesday adjourned the defence case of former Rwandan Minister of Youth, Callixte Nzabonimana, to March 21, 2011. The defence has so far called 34 witnesses. Two or three others are expected to testify during the next session, which will take four days up to March 25.

FK/ER/GF

© Hirondelle News Agency