April 19, 2014
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President Koroma at the closing of the Special Court

President Koroma at the closing of the Special Court

The activities of the Special Criminal Court in Sierra Leone have been formerly closed down by His Excellency President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma.

The court which started operations in 2002, indicted and sentenced those who carried out the greatest responsibilities in the eleven years civil in Sierra Leone, including the former Liberian president, Charles Taylor.

At the special ceremony at State House, attended by the United Nations, ministers, diplomats, parliamentarians, national and international legal experts, the Head of State stated that the country was making history in international Humanitarian Law and celebrating the contribution of the Special Court to the rule of law throughout the world.

As a trail blazer and pace setter in international justice, he observed, the Special Court succeeded in establishing peace and security in the sub-region and beyond.

Describing the partnership with the United Nations as achieving peace, justice and prosperity, he paid glowing tributes to the UN system, the Judges, Registrar, Lawyers, staff, as well as the Sierra Leone judiciary.

Meanwhile, a Residual court has been established to sustain the legacies and other activities of the closed Special Court.

At the same time, President Koroma also received the symbolic golden key for the closing of the Special Court for Sierra Leone and warmly congratulated and received the sixteen standby judges of the residual court, for Sierra Leone and Hague, in the Netherlands.

A Sierra Leonean judge and current president of the Special Court, Justice Gelaga King, narrated the history, nature, challenges and successes of the Special Court, which have all made positive contributions to International Humanitarian Law.

The State House ceremony chaired by the Minister of Information and Communications, Hon. Alhaji Alpha Khanu was also addressed by the traditional ruler and parliamentarian from the Moyamba district, Paramount Chief Kavura.

The ceremony was also preceded by a special parade a contingent of the Sierra Leone Police and security personnel of the Special Court.

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