Nearly three years after his original conviction by the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), litigation continues in the Charles Taylor case. On January 30, 2015, the Residual Court for Sierra Leone (RSCSL) denied a motion by Taylor to terminate the enforcement of his sentence in the United Kingdom (UK) and for his transfer to Rwanda. That decision was not made public until March 25. Taylor, the former president of Liberia, will continue to serve the remainder of his 50-year sentence in the UK.
On April 26, 2012, SCSL judges unanimously found Taylor guilty of 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and serious violations of international humanitarian law committed from November 1996 to January 2002 during the course of … Continue Reading
It is with mixed emotions that we write to inform you that our blog monitoring the trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor will be put into archive mode as of January 6, 2014. This means that we will no longer be posting updates or receiving comments from readers. However, the website will continue to exist as a resource on the trial and the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
The Open Society Justice Initiative started monitoring proceedings in the Taylor case in June 2007. After a bumpy start that included Taylor sacking his defense counsel on the first day of trial, the case commenced in earnest on January 7, 2008, with testimony from the first witness for the prosecution. The … Continue Reading
It was an exchange of thanks as Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) Prosecutor Brenda Hollis traveled the length and breadth of Sierra Leone, explaining the Court’s Appeals Chamber judgment to people in various communities that were affected by Sierra Leone’s 11 year conflict. In many of these communities, the scars of the conflict still remain. Civilians whose limbs were amputated by rebels still roam the streets. Many still bear the loss of family members while some deal with the stigma of having being raped by rebels. For these crimes, Taylor has been convicted and sentenced to a 50 year jail term. For what they did to make this historic judgment possible, Prosecutor Hollis visited these communities to thank the … Continue Reading
Appeals Chamber judges of the Special Court for Sierra Leone today upheld Charles Taylor’s conviction that was handed down by the Trial Chamber in April 2012 as well as his 50 year prison sentence. This brings an end to several years of judicial proceedings during which the former Liberian president called himself a peacekeeper who made efforts to end the conflict in Sierra Leone. Taylor also called his trial a conspiracy by western countries, led by the United States and Liberia, to keep him out of Liberia. Today, Appeals Chamber judges said Taylor’s categorization of himself and his trial was wrong.
In a jam-packed public gallery full of diplomats, court officials, civil society, journalists, and victims of the conflict in Sierra … Continue Reading
Today, the five-judge panel of the Appeals Chamber at the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) upheld the conviction and sentencing of former Liberian president Charles Taylor. In April 2012, Taylor was convicted on 11 charges of aiding and abetting the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels, including rape, murder, and pillage. The Trial Chamber also convicted the former president of planning, with former RUF commander Sam Bockarie, the attacks on Kono, Makeni, and Freetown, which took place in late 1998 and early 1999. He was later sentenced to a 50 year jail term.
Taylor will serve his jail term in a British prison, as provided for in a previous agreement between the United Kingdom and the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
As the final appeal judgment in the trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor is announced in The Hague, we would like to draw your attention to a six-page briefing paper written by Open Society Justice Initiative. The paper includes a detailed timeline, describes Taylor’s conviction and sentencing, and the prosecution and defense arguments on appeal. The appeal judgment will mark the conclusion of the historic trial in which Taylor became the first former head of state convicted after his trial was concluded by an international criminal tribunal since Nuremburg. Taylor is also the first former head of state to be convicted of various crimes of sexual violence by an international court.
The appeal judgment will be announced on Thursday, April … Continue Reading
The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) issued a press release stating that the appeal judgment in the Charles Taylor case will be announced on September 26, 2013. In April 2012, SCSL judges convicted Mr. Taylor on 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and serious violations of international humanitarian law that occurred from November 1996 to January 2002 during the course of Sierra Leone’s civil war. The judges also convicted the former Liberian president of planning, with former RUF leader Sam Bockarie, attacks on Kono, Makeni, and Freetown, which took place in late 1998 and early 1999. He was sentenced to 50 years in prison in May 2012.
On July 19, 2012, both the prosecution and defense teams filed … Continue Reading
A judge of the Special Court for Sierra Leone has sentenced Prince Taylor, an investigator for former Liberian President Charles Taylor, to two and the half years in jail after convicting him on five counts of contempt of court.
Prince Taylor was convicted by Justice Teresa Doherty on January 25, 2013, and his sentence was announced on February 8.
Prince Taylor was charged and convicted for interfering with witnesses who testified against Charles Taylor by attempting to induce them to recant their testimony against the former Liberian President. Prince Taylor, according to the court, attempted to do this through Eric Koi Senessie, a former member of Sierra Leone’s Revolutionary United Front (RUF), the rebel group which Charles Taylor himself was convicted for … Continue Reading
Oral hearings in the Charles Taylor appeals case continued into a second day on Wednesday, January 23, as both prosecution and defense lawyers responded to each other’s submissions made one day earlier.
On the previous Tuesday, January 22, prosecution and defense lawyers made submissions to a panel of five Appeals Chamber judges, making emphasis mainly on the limits of criminal liability for aiding and abetting a crime based on the findings of Trial Chamber judges. Nearly one year ago, Trial Chamber judges found the former Liberian president guilty of aiding and abetting the commission of serious crimes by Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels in neighboring Sierra Leone. The crimes that Taylor was found guilty of aiding and abetting include murder, rape … Continue Reading
On April 26, 2012, Trial Chamber II of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) convicted Taylor of aiding and abetting the commission of serious crimes including rape, murder, and destruction of civilian property committed by the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) forces in Sierra Leone from November 30, 1996 to January 18, 2002. The judges further found that Taylor planned an attack on Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. On May 30, 2012, the judges sentenced Taylor to a jail term of 50 years for these crimes.
Today, the parties made oral submissions to the Appeals Chamber. Most of the submissions were about the limits of criminal liability for aiding and abetting a crime. In … Continue Reading