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Sierra Leone war criminal re-arrested for violating early release

[JURIST] A Sierra Leone security official said Friday that Moinina Fofana, a former militia leader convicted of war crimes, was re-arrested for violating the terms of his early release. Fofana was convicted [JURIST report] in 2007 on charges of murder, cruel treatment, pillage and collective punishment for his role in Sierra Leone's civil war and sentenced to a 15-year term. Fofana was granted a provisional release last year and was to complete his sentence from his home community. The terms of his release included "strict conditions and stringent monitoring." The release was conditioned on refraining from committing crimes and interfering with witnesses, and the issuing of a public apology. The specific term of Fofana's release that was violated is unknown [AP report], but some speculate it is linked to prohibited political activity.

Sierra Leone's civil war [BBC backgrounder] in the 1990s resulted in the deaths of more than 50,000 people and the conviction of many leaders of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council. Leaders were convicted of war crimes charges and subsequently for contempt stemming from witness tampering [JURIST reports]. In 2012 after a long legal battle, former Liberian president Charles Taylor was convicted and sentenced [JURIST report] on 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including terrorism, murder, rape and the use of child soldiers in Sierra Leone. He was also found guilty of supplying weapons to the Revolutionary United Front in exchange for blood diamonds. The UK Parliament's International Tribunals (Sierra Leone) Act [materials] allowed Taylor to serve his sentence in the UK at the cost of the British government. A 2013 appeal by Taylor was rejected by the UN backed special court, which found that his guilt had been proven beyond doubt.

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