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Court indicts five for contempt, alleges interference with witnesses

Court indicts five for contempt, alleges interference with witnesses

Five persons have been served with “orders in lieu of an indictment” charging them with contempt of court under Rule 77(A) of the Rules. They are alleged to have interfered with Prosecution witnesses who testified in two separate trials before the Special Court.

Two convicted former leaders of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council, Ibrahim Bazzy Kamara and Santigie Borbor Kanu (AKA: “Five-Five”), were given the indictment at Rwanda’s Mpanga Prison, where they are serving lengthy sentences for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Charged with Kamara and Kanu are Hassan Papa Bangura (AKA: “Bomblast”) and Samuel Kargbo (AKA “Sammy Ragga”), resident in Sierra Leone. All four are charged with two counts of attempting to bribe a witness to recant his previous testimony.

Kamara faces an additional count of disclosing the name of a protected witness, “in knowing violation of an order of a Chamber.”

In a separate order, the Trial Chamber charged Eric Senessie on nine counts of attempting to induce Prosecution witnesses in the Taylor trial to recant testimony they gave before the Court.

No arrest warrants have been issued. All of the accused have sought guidance from the Special Court’s Defence Office on obtaining counsel.

The “orders in lieu of an indictment” followed separate independent investigations ordered in March 2011 by the Trial Chamber to determine whether allegations raised by the Prosecution provided sufficient grounds to instigate contempt proceedings.

The orders direct that the Accused be prosecuted by independent counsel. Both cases will be heard by Trial Chamber II Presiding Judge Teresa Doherty.

If convicted, the Accused could face prison sentences of up to seven years, fines of up to two million Leones (approximately $500), or both.

The date and venue for the hearings has not yet been announced.

Outreach and Public Affairs Office, Special Court for Sierra Leone.

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