Taylor's Sierra Leone war crimes trial ends
The war crimes trial of the former Liberian president, Charles Taylor, ended yesterday with judges expected to take months to reach a verdict on whether he can be linked to murders and amputations during Sierra Leone's civil war.
In their final remarks, prosecutors cautioned the judges against being taken in by Mr Taylor, "an intelligent and charismatic man" who portrayed himself during the three-year trial as a statesman and peacemaker rather than a warlord who used a surrogate army to pillage a nation.
The defence concluded by denying prosecution claims that Mr Taylor was part of a criminal conspiracy with rebel leaders seizing power in neighbouring Sierra Leone, providing them with weapons and support in exchange for diamonds illegally mined by slave labour. A verdict was expected in four or five months, Mr Taylor's attorney said. Mr Taylor, the first African head of state to be tried by an international court, faces a maximum life sentence if convicted.
The three judges of the Special Court for Sierra Leone must consider tens of thousands of pages of evidence, more than 1,000 documents and exhibits, and the testimony from more than 120 victims, former rebels and from Mr Taylor himself, who was on the stand for seven months. Mr Taylor has pleaded innocent to 11 counts of murder, rape, pillaging and deploying child soldiers.
Mr Taylor was indicted in March 2003 while he was still president of Liberia. His trial began in June 2007, but Mr Taylor initially boycotted the proceedings and fired his first lawyer, claiming he did not have enough time or money to prepare his defence.
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 4 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
- 5 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
The City of the Monkey God: Archaeologists claim to have found city lost for 1,000 years in remote Honduran jungle
Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
Bubonic plague-carrying fleas found on New York City rats
London property boom built on dirty money
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm are focussed on assis...
£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a General Processor ...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...
£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...