Taylor and
The Special Court for Sierra Leone

Charles Taylor
1st African Head of State
on War Crimes Tribunal

The Taylor trial proceedings are streamed over the internet, and can be seen at The Special Court for Sierra Leone, Hague Link 1 and Hague Link 2

 Also see Trial of Charles Taylor Blog



May 2, 2008
Taylor 'had billions' in US bank
Liberia's ex-President Charles Taylor had about $5bn in two US bank accounts during his presidency, his chief prosecutor has told the BBC.

March 14, 2008
Prosecution witness “Zigzag” Marzah finishes testimony, says Taylor ate human hearts
Prosecution witness Joseph D. “Zigzag” Marzah concluded his testimony in dramatic fashion today, ahead of a two-week break in the trial. Angered by defense counsel suggestions that he was never close to Charles Taylor, Marzah alleged that he, Taylor and Benjamin Yeaten were all in the same poro society (a traditional West African secret religious society) and that Taylor himself had eaten human hearts with him on multiple occasions. Marzah appeared shaken and crossed himself, explaining that he had broken the laws of his poro society and exposed its secrets.

Taylor Ordered Me Bury A Pregnant Woman.
The ongoing Taylor trail in The Hague continues to unearth surprises with some of the key operatives of the former president and rebel leader not only denouncing him but also serving as witnesses for the prosecution that is seeking his eternal placement behind bars for alleged war crimes and crimes committed against Sierra Leoneans.

March 13, 2008
Top aide testifies Taylor ordered soldiers to eat victims.
Grim tales of cannibalism highlighting the brutality of West Africa's civil wars emerged in testimony Thursday at the war crimes trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor.

January  18, 2008
A former general of the defunct National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) has disclosed that former President Charles Taylor ordered the killing of Samuel Dokie for what he called, "sharp mouth."

January  11, 2008
BBC World Affairs Correspondent Mark Doyle, who covered the wars in West Africa in the 1990s, reports from The Hague on the first days of the trial for war crimes of former Liberian President Charles Taylor.

January  8, 2008
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (CNN) -- Former Liberian President Charles Taylor appeared in court Monday at the resumption of his war crimes trial, six months after boycotting the opening session and calling the trial a "charade."

January  7, 2008
The Special Court trial of Charles Taylor resumed in The Hague on Monday, 7 January 2008. For information on how to access the trial in person or through the internet, and other information regarding the trial, click here

June 4, 2007
Diamond wars dictator faces Hague trial
The trial of Charles Taylor - the former president of Liberia and the first former African leader to face an international court - opens in The Hague today where he is accused of war crimes during the diamond-fuelled conflict in neighbouring Sierra Leone.

Guardian unlimited

22 June 2006
Taylor trial may start next year

(...) The trial of Liberian ex-President Charles Taylor could start in The Hague in January 2007, an official says.


20 June 2006
Taylor to the Hague

(...) Former Liberian president Charles Taylor was flown out of Freetown on Tuesday ahead of a trial for war crimes at The Hague for his alleged backing of rebel fighters in Sierra Leone in exchange for diamonds.


June 16, 2006 
Taylor may go to The Hague within weeks

(...) Former Liberian leader Charles Taylor could be transferred to The Hague within weeks to stand trial for war crimes, the Sierra Leonean tribunal where he is being held said on Friday.


June 15, 2006
Britain agrees to jail Taylor if convicted

(...) The British government has said former Liberian President Charles Taylor, who is in Sierra Leone awaiting trial on charges of war crimes, could serve his prison sentence in the United Kingdom if he is convicted. (...)
The British gesture paves the way for Taylor to be tried in The Hague. The Dutch government agreed to host Taylor’s trial if another country volunteered to imprison him if he was convicted. (...)

On the same subject:

June 9, 2006
Taylor's living conditions in prison - better than most people enjoy in Sierra Leone

(...) Charles Taylor will be able to watch the football World Cup from the comfort of his prison cell, where the former Liberian president is awaiting trial for his part in the civil war that devastated Sierra Leone.

Staff at the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone have equipped his cell, which is about 6m by 4m, with a television, a radio and a DVD player. Coffee and tea are also available, as are books and films.

He enjoys better living conditions than most people in Sierra Leone, even though he is in jail. (...)


June 1, 2006
Sweden passes law that could authorize custody of Charles Taylor after war crimes trial

(...) The Swedish Riksdag has approved a law that could allow the country to incarcerate former Liberian President Charles Taylor if he is convicted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), government officials said Thursday. The parliament gave unanimous approval Wednesday to an agreement with the SCSL, which will take effect July 1, that paves the way for Taylor to serve his possible sentence in Sweden. (...)

The Jurist (University of Pittsburg)

April 3, 2006
Chief Prosecutor Welcomes the Successfull Initial Appearance of Charles Taylor

(...) Today marks the first phase of the trial of Charles Taylor. (...) The people of Sierra Leone have been waiting patiently for three years to see the Accused finally face the Trial Chamber here at the Special Court. Today this has happened. Many voices have come together to uphold the Rule of Law and Justice. (...) Today also marks an important step in the administration of the international criminal justice. Those who commit atrocities and violate international humanitarian law will be held accountable. (...) Now that the Defendant has pleaded not guilty to all counts, its is up to the Prosecution to prove its case.

Press Release

April 3, 2006: Prosecutors vs Taylor

Charles Taylor was indicted on 7 March 2003 on 17 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious violations of international humanitarian law. The indictment was amended on 16 March 2006 to 11 counts.
He was taken into custody by the Special Court on 29 March 2006. His initial appearance took place on 3 April 2006 before Justice Richard Lussick


March 30, 2006: Special Court requests Taylor be
     tried in the Hague

The President of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, Justice A. Raja N. Fernando, yesterday made a request to the Government of The Netherlands and the President of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to facilitate the conduct of the trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor by the Special Court in The Hague. (...) The trial would thus be held by a Trial Chamber of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, sitting in the Hague.

Press Release

November 11, 2005: Resolution 1638

The UN Security Council passed resolution 1638 which gave the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) the powers to detain Charles Taylor should he ever be returned to Liberia, and apprehend and transfer him to the Special Court. This resolution clearly displays the views of the UN Security Council that Taylor should be brought to justice at the Special Court.

June 30, 2005: Declaration to African Union

A coalition of up to 300 African and international civil society groups sent a declaration to the African Union demanding that Nigeria surrender Charles Taylor to the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Press conferences were held in 14 countries throughout Africa announcing the declaration.

May 24, 2005: Bringing an end to impunity

Members of the United Nations Security Council underlined the importance of ensuring that all those who have been indicted by the Court appear before it, thereby strenghtening the stability of Sierra Leone and the sub-region and bringing and end to impunity.

Amnesty International on impunity in Africa

May 18, 2006: An attempt to free Taylor?

An American and two Sierra Leoneans who were cleared of conspiracy charges for taking pictures of Sierra Leone's war crimes court were re-arrested on new charges after just one day of freedom. Prosecutors had said the men gave the impression they were hatching an escape plan for a suspect held in the court complex - former Liberian President Charles Taylor.

May 11, 2005: US Senate call for Nigeria to
     transfer Taylor

The U.S. Senate passed the 4 May House Resolution by unanimous consent, joinging the call for Nigeria to transfer Charles Taylor to the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

May 4, 2005: US House of Representatives call for
     Nigeria to  transfer Taylor

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a Resolution, 421-1, calling for Nigeria to transfer Charles Taylor to the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

February 24, 2005: European Parliament call for
     Nigeria to transfer Taylor

The European Parliament unanimously passed a resolution calling for Nigeria to transfer Charles Taylor to the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

May 31, 2004:  Motion Taylor's Lawyer dismissed

The Appeals Chamber decided the Special Court was an international court and that a head of state does nog enjoy immunity from prosecution before an international court. The motion was consequently dismissed.

October 31 / November 1, 2003
     Motion Taylor enjoyed head of state immunity

Taylor's lawyer, the late Terrence Terry, introduced a preliminary motion before the Special Court's Appeals Chamber unsuccessfully challenging the Court's jurisdiction to try him. The motion argued that as President of Liberia, Taylor enjoyed head of state immunity. He also argued that the Court was not an international tribunal and thus had no jurisdiction outside of Sierra Leone.

August 4, 2003 Exile Calabar

Taylor went into exile in Calabar, Nigeria.

March 3, 2003: 17-count indictment

The Special Court Prosecutor signed a 17-count indictment alleging war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious violations of international humanitaria law. The indicment was confirmed by the Trial Chamber on March 7, 2003 but ordered kept under seal.

Charles Ghankay Taylor, the former President of Liberia, was indicted on 7 March 2003 on a 17-count indictment for crimes against humanity, violations of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II (commonly known as war crimes), and other serious violations of international humanitarian law.

On 16 March 2006 a Judge of the Special Court approved an amended indictment reducing the number of counts to 11.

See the summary of the charges.


International Criminal Court

Bringing Justice: the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Accomplishments, Shortcomings, and Needed Support

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia on
Charles Taylor
























































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