Hague court set for Taylor defence

Former Liberian president to defend himself against war crimes charges.

    Taylor faces 11 charges relating to his role in
    Sierra Leone's civil war  [GALLO/GETTY]

    'Arming rebels'

    But according to prosecutors, who closed their case in February, Taylor armed and supported the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), a rebel movement that sought to destabilise the government, and attempted to gain control of Sierra Leone's diamond mines.

    In depth
    Profile: Charles Taylor

    "We were very pleased by the testimony that was presented and the breadth and strength of it," Stephen Rapp, a prosecutor at the UN-backed court for Sierra Leone, said.

    Taylor has been on trial at The Hague since June 2007 at facilities provided by the International Criminal Court.

    The court is headquartered in Freetown, the Sierra Leone capital, but the trial is taking place in the Netherlands due to concerns it may trigger violence in Sierra Leone.

    In May, judges at the Special Court for Sierra Leone ruled against a defence request to acquit Taylor of war crimes charges, saying the prosecution had produced enough evidence supporting a conviction.

    However, Judge Richard Lussick has stressed that the ruling does not mean Taylor would be convicted.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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