CDF sentences doubled on appeal 28 May 2008
The Special Court for Sierra Leone has entered new convictions against former CDF leaders Moinina Fofana and Allieu Kondewa and increased their sentences substantially.

Moinina Fofana (left) was sentenced to 15 years in prison by the Appeals Chamber. Allieu Kondewa (right) received a 20 year sentence. The case against a third accused CDF leader, Sam Hinga Norman, ended following his death in February 2007.In its Appeals Judgement of 28 May 2008, the Appeals Chamber of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) entered two new convictions against Moinina Fofana and Allieu Kondewa, leaders of the pro-government Civil Defence Forces (CDF) during Sierra Leone’s civil war.

The Appeals Chamber, which sits in Freetown, Sierra Leone, more than doubled the prison terms of Fofana and Kondewa. The two were sentenced to 15 and 20 years’ imprisonment, respectively, with the Appeals Chamber determining that the original sentences of six- and eight-years’ imprisonment were “manifestly inadequate”.

On 2 August 2007, the Trial Chamber had found Moinina Fofana guilty on four of the eight counts in the indictment, including convictions for murder, cruel treatment, pillage and collective punishments. Allieu Kondewa was found guilty on the same four counts plus on one additional count for ‘conscripting or enlisting children under the age of 15 years’ into the armed forces or using them to participate actively in hostilities.

In its Appeals Judgement, the Chamber considered nine grounds of appeal by the Prosecution, and six grounds of appeal by Kondewa. Fofana did not appeal his conviction or sentence, but was a respondent to the appeals by the Prosecution.

In a majority decision, the Appeals Chamber reversed the Trial Chamber’s acquittal of Fofana and Kondewa for murder and inhumane acts as crimes against humanity and granted the Prosecution’s appeal asserting that the CDF had directed attacks against the civilian population, and not solely against military targets.

The majority of the Appeals Chamber also reversed both of the accused’s convictions for collective punishments as a war crime, concluding that the Trial Chamber had erred in its definition of the crime.

The majority further reversed Kondewa’s conviction for the enlistment of children under the age of 15 as combatants.

In handing down the substantially increased sentences, the majority of the bench held that the Trial Chamber had erred in considering political motives or fighting for a “just cause” as a mitigating factor in sentencing. In delivering its Sentencing Judgement of 9 October 2007, the Trial Chamber had acknowledged the CDF’s efforts to restore Sierra Leone’s democratically-elected government as one of the circumstances which warranted a lenient sentence. The Trial Chamber further noted that the CDF had “contributed immensely to re-establishing the rule of law in [Sierra Leone] where criminality, anarchy and lawlessness...had become the order of the day”.

Press release

Page Tools
Share |
Related Links

Research files /
Documents de recherche

The CDF Accused

Accusés des CDF

Moinina Fofana

Allieu Kondewa

Samuel Hinga Norman

Related news items /
Dépêches antérieures

SCSL sentences former CDF leaders

Le TSSL condamne d’anciens dirigeants des CDF

9 October 2007

Court documents /
Documents juridiques

Appeal Judgement

28 May 2008


L'arrêt dans l'affaire AFRC du Tribunal pénal spécial pour la Sierra Leone

par Roland Adjovi

External links

Special Court for Sierra Leone

Key ruling by Sierra Leone Tribunal

27 May 2008