Court to deliver judgment in Charles Taylor trial next month

Former President Charles Taylor...Photo: AP

The UN-backed court set up to try suspects indicted for war crimes in Sierra Leone said on Thursday that the judgment in the trial of the former Liberian President, Charles Taylor, would be delivered on April 26.

Mr. Taylor is on trial before the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) on 11 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including pillage, slavery for forced marriage purposes, collective punishment and the recruitment and use of child soldiers.
The charges relate to his alleged support for two rebel groups in Sierra Leone, the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council and the Revolutionary United Front.
Closing arguments in the Taylor trial, which opened in June 2007 in The Hague, took place in February and March 2011.
During the course of the trial, the court heard from over 100 witnesses, including Taylor, who testified in his defence.
In a statement at the UN Headquarters, the Court Special Registrar,  Binta Mansaray, said with the judgment, the court was set to reach another “critical milestone”.
It said that the judgment was the last trial stemming from Sierra Leone’s decade-long civil war and that it would be the last major trial to be held at the court.
The SCSL was set up jointly by the Sierra Leonean Government and the UN in 2002.
It is mandated to try those who bear the greatest responsibility for serious violations of international humanitarian law and national law committed on Sierra Leonean territory since the end of November 1996.


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