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New York - Sierra Leone appealed on Tuesday for extra funding to wind down the UN-backed Special Court that convicted former Liberian president Charles Taylor of committing war crimes in the country.
“The court continues to face crucial funding gaps very critical to the completion of its judicial mandate and its residual mechanism,” Sierra Leone's deputy foreign minister Ebun Jusu told the United Nations.
Successful completion of its work would “send a powerful message that the international community strongly supports institutions established to hold accountable those responsible for war crimes”, she said.
The court's prosecutor, Brenda Hollis, said the court's residual functions after September 2013 included the protection of witnesses said.
“It is imperative that the residual Special Court be sufficiently resourced to meet these critical responsibilities,” she said.
“If we are to ensure that those who have risked their well-being to give meaning to justice continue to be protected by the court that they served.”
In a statement adopted at the end of a Security Council debate, the body's 15 members reiterated “strong support” for the court and called on UN members to contribute generously to it and to the follow-on residual court.
Taylor was sentenced on May 30 to 50 years in prison after pleading guilty to supporting rebels in exchange for diamonds during the Sierra Leone civil war, but both sides have appealed.
Three former leaders of the junta in power at the time in Sierra Leone also have been accused of tampering with witnesses. - Sapa-AFP