Arusha, October 15, 2012 (FH) -The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) has sentenced three senior members of the country’s former Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) to jail terms ranging from 18 months to two years for contempt of court.

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The trio was last month found guilty of court contempt for tampering with a former prosecution witness. Two of them are currently serving long prison terms for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the civil wars in that West African country since 1996.

In its judgment on Thursday, October 11, according to UN News Centre, the Court ordered Santigie Borbor Kanu and Ibrahim Bazzy Kamara to remain behind bars for two years each for two counts of interfering with the administration of justice.

They were found responsible of offering bribe to a witness and for, otherwise, attempting to induce a witness to recant testimony he gave before the Court. The jail terms are to be served concurrently.

The Court sentenced the third convict, Hassan Papa Bangura, to two prison terms of 18-month, to run concurrently, after being convicted on similar charges. Kamara and Kanu are serving 45 and 50-year terms, respectively, for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

A fourth accused, Samuel Kargbo, pleaded guilty to the same charges at his initial appearance in July 2011, and subsequently testified for the prosecution. He received two 18-month suspended sentences, meaning that he will serve no jail term.

During the four-month trial, the court held proceedings at the SCSL's premises in Sierra Leone's capital Freetown and at a courtroom in the Rwandan capital Kigali. The two courts were connected by video link.

While Bangura and Kargbo attended the court proceedings held in Freetown, Kamara and Kanu attended the hearings in Kigali.

Based in Freetown, the SCSL was jointly set up by the government of Sierra Leone and the United Nations in 2002 to try those most responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in Sierra Leone since November 1996.