Arusha, September 27, 2013 (FH) – The Appeals Chamber of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) on Thursday confirmed the 50-year prison sentence of former Liberian president Charles Taylor. Meanwhile, lawyers for a pastor transferred to Kigali by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) are demanding that his case be withdrawn in Rwanda.

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ICC/KENYAThe Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) declared Tuesday that the September 21 Nairobi shopping mall attack that left some 60 people dead could constitute a crime within the jurisdiction of the ICC. Fatou Bensouda said she is “ready to work with the international community and the Government of Kenya to ensure that those responsible for these crimes are brought to justice.” In the wake of the attack the ICC on Monday adjourned the trial of Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto.

FRANCE/RWANDAThe Paris appeals court on Wednesday heard arguments from the parties on two Rwandan extradition requests. Claude Muhayimana is accused by Kigali of participating in the massacre of Tutsis in Kibuye (western Rwanda), while Innocent Musabyimana is wanted in connection with massacres in Gisenyi province (northwest Rwanda). The judges will hand down their decision on November 13.

RWANDA/ICTRLawyers for the first accused person transferred to Rwanda by the ICTR are requesting that his case be withdrawn in Rwanda. They claim Kigali is not honouring its commitments. Pentecostal pastor Jean Uwinkindi was handed over to Rwandan authorities in April 2012.

SCSL/TAYLORCharles Taylor’s conviction was confirmed on Thursday. The Appeals Chamber of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) confirmed the 50-year prison sentence imposed  by the lower court on the former Liberian head of state.  He was convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity for aiding and abetting Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels during the civil war in Sierra Leone. According to the judgment, Taylor knew that RUF fighters would use his military, logistical and financial support to commit crimes against civilians, including murder, rape, sexual slavery and use of child soldiers. 

NEXT WEEKThe trial of former Congolese vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba resumes on Monday before the ICC, while that of Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto is set to resume on Wednesday.