The Special Court for Sierra Leone has today announced a change in the composition of Charles Taylor’s defense team as Morris Anyah, formerly a co-defense counsel, has been appointed as the lead defense counsel to handle the former Liberian president’s appeal. It is understood that this change in his defense team has been announced with the consent of Mr. Taylor, in line with his right to be represented by counsel of his choosing.
On April 26, judges in The Hague convicted Mr. Taylor of aiding and abetting 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in Sierra Leone from November 30, 1996 to January 18, 2002. The former Liberian president is entitled to appeal the decision of the Trial Chamber judges.
For the purposes of his appeal, Mr. Taylor will now be represented by Mr. Anyah, who has served as co-defense counsel throughout the trial phase of the case. Courtenay Griffiths, QC, will continue to serve as Mr. Taylor’s lead defense counsel only through the sentencing phase of the proceedings, which will be concluded on May 30.