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Sierra Leone Tribunal Turns Over Courthouse to Government

The U.N.-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone has handed over its courthouse to the government, one of the final steps before the tribunal shuts down.

Court Registrar Bina Mansaray gave the court's keys to Sierra Leone's minister of justice and attorney general at a ceremony Monday.

She said the court is the first international tribunal in more than 50 years to complete its mandate successfully and to close.

The Special Court tried leaders of militia and rebel groups for atrocities committed during the country's 11-year civil war, which ended in 2002. It also tried and convicted former Liberian president Charles Taylor for supporting the rebels in exchange for diamonds.

The courthouse and surrounding court complex will now house the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone.
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