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Annan Sierra Leone appoint experienced judges for countrys special war crimes court

Mr. Annan appointed Pierre Boutet, a liaison officer in Canada’s Defence Department, and Benjamin Mutanga Itoe, a Supreme Court Justice from Cameroon, to the Trial Chamber of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, while Bankole Thompson, a former High Court Justice from Sierra Leone, was named by the Government. As for the Court’s Appeals Chamber, Emmanuel Ayoola, a Supreme Court Justice from Nigeria, Alhaji Hassan B. Jallow, a Supreme Court Justice from the Gambia, and Renate Winter, an Austrian national serving as an international judge on Kosovo’s Supreme Court, were appointed by the Secretary-General. The Sierra Leonean Government named Gelaga King, a former Supreme Court Justice from Sierra Leone, and Geoffrey Robertson, Head of the Doughty Street Chambers of the United Kingdom. The Secretary-General and the Government both agreed to two alternate judges for the Special Court: Isaac Aboagye, a Ghanaian national serving as a High Court Justice in Botswana, and Elizabeth Muyovwe, a High Court Judge from Zambia. The Registrar of the Freetown-based Court, Robin Vincent of the United Kingdom, and its Prosecutor, David Crane of the United States, both appointed earlier this year, are expected to start work later this month. The mixed composition of the Court is unique to the UN, which has created international criminal tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia employing only foreign – not national – judges. The Sierra Leone Special Court is mandated to try persons deemed most responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and other violations of international humanitarian law during the country’s decade-long civil conflict.

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