First S Leone war crimes verdicts

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Three men have been convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity during Sierra Leone's decade-long war. These were the first verdicts of Sierra Leone's UN-backed war crimes tribunal.

Alex Tamba Brima, Brima Kamara and Santigie Borbor Kanu were senior members of an armed faction that toppled the government in 1997.

They were found guilty of 11 of the 14 charges, but acquitted of alleged sexual slavery and other inhuman acts. The men will be sentenced on 16 July.

The judges read out their verdicts before a packed courtroom. The three men face lengthy prison terms.

During the conflict tens of thousands were killed as the rebel forces raped and mutilated defenceless innocent civilians.

The US-based Human Rights Watch hailed the verdict as "the first time that an international court has issued a verdict on child recruitment"...

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