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Sierra Leone war crimes indictee dies weeks before verdict

[JURIST] Former Sierra Leone Defense Minister Sam Hinga Norman [SCSL materials] died of heart failure Thursday, several weeks before a verdict was due in his war crimes trial before the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) [official website], the Court announced [press release, PDF] Thursday. Norman, who passed away in a military hospital in Dakar, Senegal after being transferred there for medical care, was charged [PDF indictment; case summary] with eight counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder, inhumane acts, acts of terrorism, pillage, and collective punishments, all related to his tenure as leader of the pro-government Civil Defense Forces during the 1991-2002 civil war [AFROL materials]. Reuters has more.

The SCSL has delayed until June [JURIST report] the trial of its most prominent suspect, former Liberian President Charles Taylor [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], who is charged with war crimes also related to the Sierra Leone civil war.

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