The Secretary-General welcomes today’s delivery by the Special Court for Sierra Leone of the trial judgment in the case against Mr. Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia. This is a historic and momentous day for the people of Sierra Leone, for the region and beyond. The Secretary-General’s thoughts today are with the victims of the crimes for which Charles Taylor has been found guilty. The judgment is a significant milestone for international criminal justice, as it concerns the first ever conviction of a former Head of State by an international criminal tribunal for planning, aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity. It sends a strong signal to all leaders that they are and will be held accountable for their actions.
The Secretary-General deeply appreciates the commitment of the Special Court to ensuring accountability for the very serious crimes committed against the people of Sierra Leone and United Nations and associated personnel during the conflict in Sierra Leone.
The Special Court for Sierra Leone is an excellent model of a cooperative partnership with the United Nations to bring those responsible for serious international crimes to justice in accordance with international standards of justice, fairness and due process of law. It has helped the process of national reconciliation and the restoration and maintenance of peace in Sierra Leone.
As the Special Court for Sierra Leone nears the completion of its mandate, the Secretary-General calls on the international community to preserve and promote its legacy by supporting the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone, which will commence functioning upon the closure of the Special Court.