Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

Apple denies security breach in celebrity photo leak

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Apparent beheading of Steven Sotloff sees more calls for #IsisMediaBlackout

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Lesotho Coup: Exiled Prime Minister vows to return home after fleeing

Read more

DEBATE

Child Migrants In America: What to do about the wave of unaccompanied minors? (Part Two)

Read more

DEBATE

Child Migrants In America: What to do about the wave of unaccompanied minors?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Abbas Araghchi, Iranian deputy foreign minister

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

FOCUS

When water becomes a weapon of war

Read more

ENCORE!

Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

Read more

  • IS video purports to show beheading of second US journalist

    Read more

  • Obama orders 350 more US troops to Baghdad

    Read more

  • France’s former first lady lifts lid on 'cold' Hollande

    Read more

  • French mum reunited with daughter 'kidnapped by jihadist father'

    Read more

  • Video: Bodies ‘left behind’ as Ukraine forces flee rebel assault

    Read more

  • Trust and 'bio-disaster units' needed to fight Ebola

    Read more

  • France vows crackdown on unemployment benefit ‘abusers’

    Read more

  • Could France sell the Mona Lisa to pay off its debts?

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces advance on IS as protesters storm parliament

    Read more

  • Germany blocks popular car pick-up service Uber

    Read more

  • Several UN peacekeepers killed in Mali explosion

    Read more

  • French clubs left behind as others spend big

    Read more

  • Arab media strike back at IS Islamists – with cartoons

    Read more

  • NATO plans new 'spearhead' force to counter Russia

    Read more

  • When water becomes a weapon of war

    Read more

  • US military targets Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group

    Read more

  • Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

    Read more

Africa

Judge grants former Liberian president Charles Taylor right to appeal

Latest update : 2011-02-11

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor is allowed to appeal over key documentation in his war crimes trial. The former African president walked out of his war crimes trial in The Hague, saying the case against him is politically motivated.

REUTERS - Former Liberian president Charles Taylor, who boycotted his war crimes trial for a third day on Friday, was granted the right to appeal over key documentation for a case that has drawn international interest.

Taylor, the first African leader to stand trial for war crimes, has denied 11 charges of

Charles Taylor trial

instigating murder, rape, mutilation, sexual slavery and conscription of child soldiers during the civil war in Sierra Leone in the 1990s.

Prosecutors accuse Taylor of directing Revolutionary United Front rebels who raped, killed and hacked the limbs off women, men and children in a campaign of terror, and say he sought control of Sierra Leone's diamond mines, using so-called "blood diamonds" from the conflict zone for profit or to buy weapons.

The case is being followed closely in West Africa, Europe and the United States because of the political and security implications, and a final ruling is expected later this year.

A U.S. diplomat has warned that if Taylor is acquitted or gets a light sentence, his return to Liberia could "tip the balance in a fragile peace".

Taylor and his defence lawyer Courtenay Griffiths boycotted most of the hearings this week after the Special Court for Sierra Leone refused to accept the defence's almost 600-page final case summary because they filed it 20 days late.

But on Friday, the judges agreed to allow Griffiths to appeal that decision and postponed hearings for two weeks.

Griffiths welcomed the court's decision.

"I think that reason is finally beginning to prevail and that by granting or allowing us permission to appeal the decision to refuse our final brief, we are on track now hopefully to bring this trial to an appropriate ending," Griffiths told reporters outside the court.

"I am hopeful that we can file by Tuesday or Wednesday next week and then the members of the appeal chamber will deliberate on our application and hopefully thereafter we might get a result by the following week because I am sure everyone is anxious to bring these proceedings to a close, including us on the defence side."

Griffiths had requested an extension of the filing time limit before the January deadline.

He said he had been waiting for the judges to rule on eight legal matters and therefore had not been ready to file his summary.

Taylor's lawyer has questioned the Sierra Leone court's impartiality, citing leaked U.S. diplomatic cables which he says suggest Taylor's prosecution was politically motivated.

More than three years of testimony was due to end this week, but proceedings were briefly thrown into disarray on Tuesday when Griffiths stormed out of the court.

Justice Richard Lussick sharply rebuked Taylor and the defence, telling them: "You're not running the court you know."
 

Date created : 2011-02-11

  • THE HAGUE

    Charles Taylor walks out of war crimes trial

    Read more

  • SIERRA LEONE

    Charles Taylor’s lawyer storms out of court after angry exchange

    Read more

  • INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE

    Naomi Campbell tells Taylor war crimes trial of 'dirty stones' gift

    Read more

COMMENT(S)