Arusha, May 4, 2012 (FH) – In its sentencing brief filed this week before the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the prosecution requested a 80-year sentence for former Liberian President Charles Taylor, while the Libyan government challenged rights of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to try Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and former military intelligence chief, Abdullah al-Senussi, for war crimes.

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Prosecutor seeks 80 years jail term for Taylor: The 64-year old convict was on April 26, found guilty of 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including rape and murder, for supporting rebels during the Sierra Leone civil war between 1991 and 2002. In its sentencing briefs, the prosecution told the Special Court for Sierra Leone that the "extreme magnitude" of crimes Taylor committed warranted such long-term sentence. A hearing session has been set for May 16, 2012 and pronouncement of the punishment will be on May 30th.


Libya challenges ICC rights to try its people: The Libyan government on Tuesday filed a request, challenging the court’s right to try Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam and former military intelligence chief, Abdullah al-Senussi. It stated that to deny the Libyan people such historic opportunity to eradicate the long-standing culture of impunity would be manifestly inconsistent with the object and purpose of the Rome Statute, which accords primacy to national judicial systems.

Bemba’s trial resumes: On May 1, Jean-Pierre Bemba's trial entered a crucial stage when it resumed with testimony of one of the victims. During the hearing, the victim drew accounts on how she was twice gang-raped by a group of rebels belonging to Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), backed by Bemba. She also described pillaging and murders carried out by Bemba’s fighters in her locality in the Central African Republic (CAR). Bemba is charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in CAR in 2002 and 2003.