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ICC - The Special Court for Sierra Leone to use ICC Facilities for Trial of Charles Taylor

Press Release

The Special Court for Sierra Leone to use ICC Facilities for Trial of Charles Taylor


On 20 June 2006, the Special Court for Sierra Leone (Special Court) transferred Mr. Charles Taylor to the detention centre of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague for the purpose of using the facilities of the ICC during his trial, in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) concluded by the ICC and the Special Court on 13 April 2006.

The trial will be conducted by a Trial Chamber of the Special Court sitting in The Hague.  The ICC will not conduct the trial of Mr Taylor.  Under the terms of the MOU, the ICC will provide courtroom services and facilities, detention services and facilities and related assistance.  All costs will be paid in advance by the Special Court, through a Trust Fund established by the ICC Registrar.  This arrangement will not affect the functioning of the ICC. 

On 29 March, the then President of the Special Court, Justice A. Raja N. Fernando, sent a letter to the President of the ICC, Judge Philippe Kirsch, requesting the use of the ICC facilities in order to conduct the trial.  In his letter, Justice Fernando, having consulted within the Special Court and with external parties, referred to concerns about the stability in the region should Mr Taylor be tried in Freetown. 

The ICC sought the views of States Parties on this matter. The Assembly of States Parties subsequently conveyed to the ICC its acceptance of the request of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Thereafter, the MOU was signed by Judge Kirsch on behalf of the ICC and by Mr Lovemore Munlo,  SC, Registrar of the Special Court.

The ICC and the Special Court are independent institutions.  The ICC was established by an international treaty, the Rome Statute, to which 100 States are party.  The Special Court is an independent tribunal established jointly by the United Nations and the Government of Sierra Leone.

For further information, please contact the ICC Spokesperson Ernest Sagaga on Tel. +31 (0)70 515 8762 / Mob. +31 (0)6 4644 8710