July 17, 2007
Prosecutors Want Long Prison Terms for War Criminals
Frm NYTimes.com: Prosecutors in the war crimes court for Sierra Leone called Monday for long prison terms for three rebel leaders convicted of crimes against humanity during the country’s civil war.
“All three should be sentenced to extreme lengthy terms of imprisonment,” the deputy prosecutor, Christopher Staker, told the United Nations-backed court.
He asked for 60-year terms for Alex Tamba Brima, 35, and Brima Bazzy Kamara, 39, and a 50-year term for Santigie Borbor Kanu, 42.
In June, the court found all three guilty of 11 of the 14 charges against them, which included murder, rape and enlisting child soldiers. Sentencing is scheduled for Thursday.
The defense lawyer, Kojo Graham, urged the court to “consider the need for reconciliation as an important issue in relationship to sentencing.”
The three rebel commanders, who all pleaded not guilty, were believed to have had the support of Charles Taylor then the president of Liberia, in exchange for Sierra Leone diamonds. Mr. Taylor is on trial in The Hague on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in connection to the Sierra Leone civil war.
By the time the decade-long civil war ended in 2001, 120,000 people had died. Thousands of others had been mutilated, with their arms, legs, ears or noses chopped off. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]
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