Former rebel chief denies getting arms from Charles Taylor

A former rebel chief in Sierra Leone told a special court on Monday that he never received weapons from the former president of neighbouring Liberia, Charles Taylor, who is on trial for war crimes.

“No,” answered Issa Hassan Sesay to a question from Taylor’s lawyer, Courtenay Griffiths, about whether the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) had ever accepted weapons or ammunition from the Liberian former leader and warlord.

The 40-year-old Sesay, himself a convicted war criminal, was called as a defence witness for Taylor, who has been accused of covertly supplying weapons to the RUF in exchange for rough diamonds during Sierra Leone’s brutal 1991 to 2001 civil war.

Taylor is on trial at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, which was to moved to The Hague from Freetown for security reasons.

Asked by the lawyer if he had ever given diamonds to Taylor, Sesay replied: “No, I don’t remember giving diamonds to Mister Charles Taylor.”

Sesay was convicted by the same court — which was set up to try suspected war criminals from Sierra Leone’s conflict, war crimes and crimes against humanity — and sentenced to 52 years in prison in October 2009.

He also claimed the first time he ever met Taylor was in May 2000.

Taylor (62) has pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity stemming from Sierra Leone’s civil war, including charges of murder, rape, conscripting child soldiers, enslavement and pillaging.

The RUF is blamed for the mutilation of thousands of civilians who had their hands and arms severed in one of the most brutal wars in modern history, which claimed about 120 000 lives.

The court last week ordered supermodel Naomi Campbell to testify on July 29 about a “blood diamond” she was allegedly given by Taylor in 1997. — AFP

Staff Reporter
Guest Author
Advertisting

Mabuza’s ‘distant relative’ scored big

Eskom’s woes are often because of boiler problems at its power plants. R50-billion has been set aside to fix them, but some of the contracts are going to questionable entities

ANC faction gunning for Gordhan

The ambush will take place at an NEC meeting about Eskom. But the real target is Cyril Ramaphosa

What the law could clarify this year

Lawfare: Major developments are on the cards where law and politics meet, including the first amendment to South Africa’s Bill of Rights

The secret ‘Warmonger’ at the SSA

A listening device acquired by the agency is at the centre of an alleged R600-million fraud operation
Advertising

Press Releases

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Is your tertiary institution is accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Is your tertiary institution accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

VUT chancellor, Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi, dies

The university conferred the degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa on Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi for his outstanding leadership contributions to maths and science education development.

Innovate4AMR now in second year

SA's Team pill-Alert aims to tackle antimicrobial resistance by implementing their strategic intervention that ensures patients comply with treatment.

Medical students present solution in Geneva

Kapil Narain and Mohamed Hoosen Suleman were selected to present their strategic intervention to tackle antimicrobial resistance to an international panel of experts.