PRESS RELEASE from The RESIDUAL COURT, The Hague, 5 June 2018 …. Residual Special Court Remembers Former Prosecutor Sir Desmond de Silva, QC
The Residual Special Court has learned with sadness of the death of former Special Court Prosecutor Sir Desmond de Silva, QC, who passed away on Saturday in the UK. Desmond was the first Deputy Prosecutor at the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
He succeeded David M. Crane as Prosecutor in 2005, but resigned in June 2006 on the orders of his doctor, and to spend more time with his family. Following his departure, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2007.
Prosecutor Brenda Hollis voiced the feelings of current and former Court staff, saying “This is a sad day for all of us.” Registrar Binta Mansaray recalled that it was Desmond who succeeded in negotiating the transfer of Charles Taylor to the Special Court, and that he played a key part in arranging for his trial in the Hague. “Much of the Special Court’s subsequent success was made possible by Desmond de Silva,” Ms. Mansaray said. “More than that, he remained a close friend and supporter of the Special Court and later of the Residual Special Court. He was passionate about achieving justice for the people of Sierra Leone. We will miss him greatly.” # End
TWO: Sir Desmond de Silva, QC, obituary: Extravagant and flamboyant barrister known as football’s best defender
In 2002 Desmond de Silva attended the opening by the Queen of the Memorial Gates on Constitution Hill. As he was being presented to her afterwards, the Queen interrupted their introduction, saying: “I know exactly who this is.” Looking at him with a smile, she asked: “And what interesting case are you doing at the moment?” “War crimes, Ma’am,” replied the lawyer known in legal circles as the Scarlet Pimpernel for his knack of defending impossible clients. Like the fictional hero, de Silva was tall, a dandy and patrician in his ways, with a rollicking and mischievous sense of humour.
Whether prosecuting Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia, defending footballers in high-profile cases, leading a review into state collusion in the death of the…