Witness tampering found in Sierra Leone

Oct. 12, 2012 at 11:23 AM

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Former members of Sierra Leone's Armed Forces Revolutionary Council were given prison terms for witness tampering, a tribunal announced.

The U.N.-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone announced Santigie Borbor Kanu and Ibrahim Bazzy Kamara were each sentenced to two years in prison on charges of offering to bribe or otherwise influence witnesses before testifying before the court.

The court is investigating atrocities committed during the civil war in Sierra Leone in the 1990s. An estimated 50,000 people were killed during the conflict. Former Liberian President Charles Taylor was sentenced in May to 50 years in prison for aiding and abetting crimes against humanity committed by rebel forces in Sierra Leone.

Kanu and Kamara are already serving sentences of more than 45 years for their role in the conflict. An accused suspect, Samuel Kargbo, testified for the prosecution in exchange for a suspended sentence.

Sierra Leone has presidential, parliamentary and local elections Nov. 17. Major political parties in May signed a declaration committing to free and peaceful elections.

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