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Vol 48 No 5

Published 2nd March 2007

Sierra Leone

Hinga's death hits home

The loss of its main defendant further weakens the slow and costly Special Court

The death of Chief Sam Hinga Norman, former Defence Minister and leader of the Civil Defence Forces (CDF), is a hammer blow to the Special Court of Sierra Leone, set up to try those who 'bear the greatest responsibility' in the 1991-2002 civil war, when an estimated 50,000 people were killed and half a million displaced. About US$90 million was spent between 2003 and 2006 in the search for international justice. The Court has little to show for its efforts. Of the 13 men originally indicted, three of the four most senior are dead and a fifth is missing.

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