Document 3 22 At Tab 3 is Part IV of the Human Rights Watch Report Getting Away

Document 3 22 at tab 3 is part iv of the human rights

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Document 3 22. At Tab 3 is Part IV of the Human Rights Watch Report: Getting Away with Murder, Mutilation, Rape (July 1999). Part IV: Human Rights Abuses Committed by RUF Rebels, goes into significantly more detail about the organisation of the Freetown attack and the attackers. The Defence objects to the admission of this material as going to the acts and conduct of the Accused and to a critical element of the Prosecution case, as well as not being susceptible of confirmation. While the Trial Chamber finds that the information is relevant, it also considers that that much of the information goes to pivotal issues regarding the 1999 Freetown invasion. For example, the document is based on the premise that the atrocities in Freetown were the responsibility of the RUF (as opposed to the AFRC); it asserts that the human rights abuses in Freetown were “authorized at a high level within the RUF’s command structures” 44 and refers to the invasion as “the January RUF offensive”. 45 The Trial Chamber therefore agrees with the Defence submission that such evidence cannot be admitted without giving the Defence a genuine opportunity for cross- examination of the evidence. The Trial Chamber further observes that a representative of Human Rights Watch testified before the Trial Chamber and 44 p. 1 (23012). 45 p. 27 (23038). Case No. SCSL-03-1-T 11 26 March 2020
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that the Prosecution opted not to tender these documents through that witness. 46 The Trial Chamber thus denies admission into evidence of the document at Tab 3. Document 4 23. At Tab 4 is a Human Rights Watch Report entitled “Sierra Leone - Sowing Terror: Atrocities Against Civilians in Sierra Leone” (July 1008). The Prosecution seeks to admit various excerpts of the Report commencing with a passage on page 11 entitled “”Human Rights Abuses Committed by Members of the AFRC/RUF”. The RUF is described as entering Sierra Leone from Liberia and being originally a “mix of members of Charles Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), NPFL – trained Sierra Leoneans and others.” 47 The Trial Chamber agrees with the Defence submission that reference in the document to gross violations of human rights by the AFRC/RUF are indirect references to the NPFL and consequently to the acts and conduct of the Accused. Moreover, the section of the report entitled “A War of Terror against Civilians (pp. 23079- 23081)(pp. 11-13) includes information sufficiently pivotal to the Prosecution case that it would be unfair to admit it without giving the Defence an opportunity to cross-examine on the evidence. The Trial Chamber also agrees with the Defence submission that the first paragraph at p. 23100 referring to interaction between the AFRC/ RUF and the Liberian military, includes information too proximate to the Accused to be admitted without giving the Defence an opportunity for cross-examination. Since there are references to the RUF throughout the material sought to be tendered, and bearing in mind the definition of “RUF” given in the Report, the Trial Chamber considers that it would be unfairly prejudicial to the Accused to admit the material into evidence without the Defence having had an opportunity to cross-examine on it. The Trial
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  • Summer '16
  • Ramon Wawire
  • The Land, Evidence law, Liberia, Sierra Leone, The Trial Chamber

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