Press Releases

    29 July 2002

    Appointments to Sierra Leone Special Court

    NEW YORK, 26 July (UN Headquarters) -- The Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Government of Sierra Leone, in implementation of the relevant provisions of the Agreement on the Establishment of a Special Court for Sierra Leone, signed in Freetown, Sierra Leone on 16 January, have today announced the appointments of eight judges who will serve on the Trial Chamber and the Appeals Chamber of the Special Court which has its seat in Freetown.

    -- Trial Chamber: Pierra Boutet (Canada), Benjamin Mutanga Itoe (Cameroon) appointed by the Secretary-General; and Bankole Thompson (Sierra Leone) appointed by the Government of Sierra Leone.

    -- Appeals Chamber: Emmanuel O. Ayoola (Nigeria), Alhaji Hassan B. Jallow (The Gambia) and Renate Winter (Austria) appointed by the Secretary-General; and Gelga King (Sierra Leone) and Geoffrey Robertson (United Kingdom) appointed by the Government of Sierra Leone.

    In addition, the Secretary-General and the Government of Sierra Leone have agreed that should the Special Court decide to avail itself of the provisions of the Agreement relating to alternate judges, the following two alternate judges should be appointed: Issac Aboagye (Ghana) and Elizabeth Muyovwe (Zambia).

    The Registrar and the Prosecutor, who were appointed earlier, are expected to assume their functions in Freetown in the second half of July.

    Short Biographies of Judges for Special Court for Sierra Leone

    A. Trial Chamber

    Pierre Boutet (Canada)

    Brigadier-General Boutet is presently a liaison officer in the Department of National Defence of Canada. He was most recently Judge Advocate General of the Canadian Forces (1993-1998) and prior to that a Chief Military Trial Judge of the Canadian Forces (1987-1993).

    Benjamin Mutanga Itoe (Cameroon)

    Mr. Itoe is presently a Justice of the Supreme Court of Cameroon, Deputy Chief Justice and President of the Administrative Branch of the Court. He was previously the Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals (1985-1989) of Cameroon, and since 1998 a Justice of the Supreme Court.

    Bankole Thompson (Sierra Leone)

    Mr. Bankole Thompson was formerly a Justice of the High Court of Sierra Leone (1981-1987) and principal State Attorney in the Attorney-General's Office (1971-1977). He is presently the Dean of the Graduate School, Eastern Kentucky University, United States, and a Professor at the Department of Criminal Justice and Police Studies, Eastern Kentucky University.

    B. Appeals Chamber

    Emmanuel O. Ayoola (Nigeria)

    Mr. Ayoola presently serves as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria (since 1998) and is a former Justice of the High Court and Court of Appeal. Justice Ayoola was also the Chief Justice of The Gambia (1983) and President of the Seychelles Court of Appeal (1999).

    Alhaji Hassan B. Jallow (The Gambia)

    Mr. Jallow is presently a Justice of the Supreme Court (since 1998) and a former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice of The Gambia (1984-1994). Justice Jallow has also been elected judge ad litem for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

    Gelaga King (Sierra Leone)

    Mr. King is a former President of The Gambia Court of Appeal and a former Justice of the Sierra Leone Supreme Court and President of the Court of Appeal of Sierra Leone. His service in the diplomatic service of Sierra Leone included being the Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the United Nations.

    Geoffrey Robertson Q.C. (United Kingdom)

    Mr. Robertson is currently the Head of the Doughty Street Chambers in London. He has been leading counsel in criminal, constitutional and administrative law cases before the House of Lords, the Court of Appeal of the United Kingdom and the European Court of Human Rights. Mr. Robertson has been a visiting professor in a number of universities and since 1999, an appointed Recorder (part-time judge).

    Renate Winter (Austria)

    Ms. Winter is presently an international judge in the Supreme Court in Kosovo where she has served since November 2000. Previously, she was a judge in the Vienna Youth Court and in her missions for the United Nations in Africa and has worked on projects relating to juveniles and child soldiers.

    C. Alternate Judges

    Issac Aboagye (Ghana)

    Mr. Aboagye is presently a Justice of the High Court of Botswana where he has served since 1988. Between 1980 and 1987 he was a Judge in the Supreme Court of The Gambia. He has also served as a High Court Judge in Ghana.

    Elizabeth Muyovwe (Zambia)

    Ms. Muyovwe is presently a Judge in the High Court of Zambia and formerly vice-chairperson of the Lands Tribunal. Justice Muyovwe has also served as a counsel in the Office of the Attorney-General, Director of Public Prosecutions and Legal Aid.

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