Trial of Liberian President Resumes

January 15, 2008 09:46 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
After a six-month delay, the trial of the former President of Liberia Charles Taylor resumes in The Hague, Netherlands. Taylor stands accused of trading diamonds for arms with Sierra Leonean rebels.

30-Second Summary

Charles Taylor is being charged with 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

These charges stem from allegations that he traded weapons for diamonds with Revolutionary United Front rebels from Sierra Leone.

As The Economist reports, Taylor’s trial originally began in May 2007, but was delayed after he fired his lawyer and boycotted the trial.

The trial resumed with a new British defense lawyer, Courteney Griffiths. The court is paying for the defense as the defendant claims he cannot pay his own legal costs.

Human Rights Watch, a non-governmental organization, explains that Taylor is being charged with planning and ordering the crimes as well as aiding and abetting the Sierra Leonean rebels by funding them while president of Liberia.

The war began in 1991 when the Revolutionary United Front rebels took up arms against former Sierra Leone President Joseph Momoh.

The RUF rebels committed human rights abuses, which included mass rape, unlawful killings, mutilations and the use of child soldiers.

Approximately 50,000 civilians were killed during the war and thousands were mutilated or raped.

Headline Link: ‘Shocking Footage at Taylor Trial’

Background: Trial delay and Taylor’s indictment

Historical Context: Sierra Leone Civil War

Related Topics: The Special Court of Sierra Leone, Trial of Charles Taylor blog and Liberians uninterested in the trial


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