From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Special Court for Sierra Leone backs Taylor trial in The Hague
By Sayoh Kamara
Jun 19, 2006, 21:48

The Registrar of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, Mr. Lovemore Munlo has welcomed the Chapter Seven decision reached by the United Nations Security Council, which clears the way for Charles Taylor to be tried in The Hague.

Charles Taylor: On his way out

In a Press Release from the court last Friday, 16th June 2006, Mr. Munlo maintained, "Resolution 1688 provides the legal basis for the Government of the Netherlands to conclude a Headquarters Agreement with the Special Court for Sierra Leone. This was a necessary step before the Special Court could make a determination on whether Charles Taylor should be tried in The Hague."

The Special Court for Sierra Leone Registrar went on to emphasize that although the trial will take place in a courtroom of the International Criminal Court (ICC), it will be conducted in accordance with the Statute and Rules of the Court by Judges of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. "The Resolution stresses that the Special Court will retain exclusive jurisdiction over Mr. Taylor during his presence in the Netherlands," Mr. Munlo stated.

The Security Council Resolution 1688 calls on the Dutch Government to facilitate the trial by allowing, among other things, the transport to and detention of Mr. Taylor in the Netherlands, and enabling the appearance of witnesses, experts and other persons required by the court under the same conditions as are provided for by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

The Security Council calls the presence of Mr. Taylor in the West African sub region as "an impediment to stability and a threat to the peace". It went on to ask the Secretary General "as a matter of priority" to assist in making the legal and practical arrangements for the transfer of Mr. Taylor to the Netherlands, and for the provision of all necessary facilities for the conduct of his trial.

Meanwhile, the Special Courts states that its headquarters will remain in Freetown, Sierra Leone where three other trials are already underway. It states that two of these trials have already entered the Defence phase, while the Prosecution is expected to conclude its case in the third trial later this year.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.