Charles Taylor convicted of war crimes

The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) on April 26 convicted Liberia‘s former president Charles Taylor on all 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during Sierra Leone‘s decade-long civil war. Trial Chamber II found unanimously that Taylor aided and abetted Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) forces. Taylor is the first head of state to be tried and convicted by an international tribunal. The verdict was welcomed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 16, and sentencing will take place May 30. The court may not impose the death penalty or a life sentence. Both the prosecution and the defense will have the opportunity to appeal within 14 days of the sentence.

From Jurist, April 26. Used with permission.

See our last post on the struggle in West Africa.

  1. Pat Robertson: dictators’ kiss of death?
    Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion takes the occasion of Charles Taylor’s conviction to recall some charming quotes from Pat Robertson gushing over his pal, e.g.:

    So we’re undermining a Christian, Baptist president to bring in Muslim rebels to take over the country. And how dare the president of the United States say to the duly elected president of another country, “You’ve got to step down.”

    But in the infamous confusion of doing good and doing well, it seems Robertson had more worldly reasons to be rooting for the despot—namely, his gold investments in Liberia.

    Bartholomew takes comfort that “Support from CBN [Christian Broadcasting Network] and Pat Robertson is perhaps something of a bad omen.” Taylor was convicted; Pat’s other deposed West African despot pal, Laurent Gbagbo, faces charges at The Hague. Also currently facing trial is Robertson’s old friend Rios Montt.