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RUF ex-rebel faces trial in Freetown for "witness tampering"

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor in court in The HagueFormer Liberian President Charles Taylor in court in The Hague
June 9, 2012

The Sierra Leone Special courtroom in Freetown will on Monday, June 11 be the venue of a contempt trial former RUF rebel member accused of attempting to tamper with prosecution witnesses, who testified against convicted former Liberian President Charles Taylor.

Taylor has now been sentenced to 50 years in prison for war crimes and crimes against humanity for aiding and abetting the RUF. And he had himself repeatedly claimed that the prosecution bribed witnesses to lie on him.

A press release from the UN backed war crimes court said the contempt trial in the Sierra Leonean capital will be opened to the press.

The former RUF man, Eric Koi Senessie is charged with nine counts of trying to convince five prosecution witness who testified against Taylor to recent their testimony.

According to the court, interfering with witnesses constitutes interference with the administration of justice and it’s a crime of contempt. It is punishable by a maximum sentence of 7 years in prison, a fine of two million leones both.

But Senessie has since pleaded not guilty to the charges.

At the same time, a second trial of four persons accused of interfering with witness who testified in the trial of Sierra Leone’s former AFRC junta will begin on June 18.


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