RUF Leader Charged With Murder

150 150 Rapaport News

(Rapaport…March 4, 2002) Revolutionary United Front (RUF) leader Foday Sankoh was charged with murder on March 4 in a Sierra Leone court. He is accused of murdering 19 people during demonstrations outside his home in Freetown in 2000. He was arrested in May of that year, and he is currently being held without bail in Freetown’s central prison. His next appearance in court is scheduled for March 11. Justice Minister and Attorney-General Solomon Berewa said that Sankoh could face the death penalty.

Sierra Leone law requires that charges must be brought against any detainees and they must be brought before a court within 72 hours or released. It is believed that Sankoh will eventually be tried before the Special Court of Sierra Leone, which will handle prosecuting those accused of committing the greatest war crimes, but the court is not yet operational and a prosecutor has not been selected. Berewa said the proceedings related to the March 4 court appearance will not interfere with Sankoh’s possible appearance before the Special Court at a later date.

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