Tributes for Sir Desmond de Silva

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…

Want to read more? …. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/sir-desmond-de-silva-qc-obituary-klrmjxflp
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THREE: Human rights lawyer Desmond de Silva QC dies aged 78

RESPECTED human rights lawyer Sir Desmond de Silva QC, whose report into the killing of Pat Finucane exposed “shocking levels of state collusion”, has died aged 78. A former Special Court Prosecutor at the Hague, Sir Desmond died on Saturday from complications following open heart surgery several weeks ago.

The first Deputy Prosecutor at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, he was dubbed the Scarlet Pimpernel of the Bar for his efforts saving defendants from the death penalty in murder and treason trials in British Commonwealth countries.

In Ireland, he will is best remembered for his eponymous report on the murder of Mr Finucane, a north Belfast solicitor gunned down in front of his wife and children as they ate Sunday dinner. It revealed 85 per cent of intelligence used by the UDA to target murder victims originated from army and police sources and agents within MI5, RUC Special Branch and Military Intelligence participated in criminality.

However, it was rejected by the Finucane family as a “sham” and a “whitewash”.His widow Geraldine Finucane claimed the British government “engineered a suppression of the truth behind the murder… at every turn it is clear that this report has done exactly what was required – to give the benefit of the doubt to the state, its cabinet and ministers, to the army, to the intelligence services and to itself”.

She said dead witnesses and defunct agencies were blamed, while “serving personnel and active state departments appear to have been excused”.

1 Comment

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One response to “Tributes for Sir Desmond de Silva

  1. Eddie Wijesuriya

    An outstanding son of Sri lanka (Ceylon) Sir Desmond de Silva. We have to be very proud of his achievements.

    I had the good fortune of knowing him in London.

    On Mon, Jun 11, 2018 at 10:43 PM, Thuppahi’s Blog wrote:

    > thuppahi posted: ” 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 ” >

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