[11/02/2022] Day 17: The verdict
The floor was given to Kunti Kamara. He stated that he had nothing more to add. He reaffirmed his innocence and indicated that he was only a simple soldier at the time of the events.
The President explained that it was up to the Court to deliberate on the 19 questions that had been communicated to the parties. These questions concern the characterization of simple and aggravated acts of torture and barbarism committed against DN, KT, JTC, SFC, and LSM, the characterization of complicity in acts of torture constituting crimes against humanity committed against RSK and EFNS, and the characterization of complicity in acts of torture and barbarism committed against RSK and EFNS. The President stated that the Court would also have to consider the possibility of combining these two qualifications.
Before the Court retired to deliberate, the President read out the instruction contained in article 353 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which reads as follows “Subject to the requirement of motivation of the decision, the law does not require each of the judges and jurors composing the court of assizes to give an account of the means by which they have convinced themselves, it does not prescribe to them rules on which they must make the fullness and sufficiency of a proof depend; it prescribes to them to question themselves in silence and recollection, and to seek, in the sincerity of their conscience, what impression has made, on their reason, the evidence brought against the accused, and the means of his defense. The law only asks them this one question, which contains the full measure of their duties: “Do you have an intimate conviction?
The Court retired to deliberate.
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After more than several hours of deliberation, the President opened the hearing and notified the decision made by the Court.
To questions 1 to 4 concerning the alleged crimes against humanity committed against RSK and EFNS, the Court and the Jury answered yes by a majority of 7 votes.
To questions 5 to 10 concerning simple and aggravated acts of torture and barbarism committed against DN, KT, JTC, SFC and LSM, the Court and the Jury answered yes by a majority of 7 votes.
With regard to questions 11 to 19 concerning the acts of torture committed against RSK and EFNS, the President stated that the Court and the Jury considered that these questions had become irrelevant on the basis of the rule of non-cumulation of sentences.
The President thus found Kunti Kamara guilty of the offenses listed above. The President then announced that the Court and the Jury had decided to sentence Kunti Kamara to life imprisonment.
The President indicated to the accused that he had 10 days to appeal this decision.
The criminal hearing was adjourned.
* * *
The civil hearing was opened.
The President gave the floor to the lawyer of the civil parties. The latter asked for the sum of one symbolic euro for each civil party for their moral prejudice.
The defense and the Public Prosecutor’s Office did not have any observations.
The Court withdrew to deliberate.
The President then announced that the Court, ruling publicly and contradictorily at first instance, had acknowledged and declared admissible and well-founded the claim of the civil parties, and that it therefore condemned Kunti Kamara to pay each of the civil parties the sum of one euro in compensation for their moral prejudice.
The civil hearing was closed.