Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Liberia's Taylor rejects Hague trial

Former Liberian president Charles Taylor has refused to appear before the UN-backed court trying him for war crimes in The Hague.
Facing trial on charges for an array of crimes including rape, terrorism, mass murder and rape during the Sierra Leone civil war, Mr Taylor said he believed the court was not giving him a fair trial.
In a statement issued as the trial got underway through his lawyer, Karim Khan, he pointed to a lack of legal resources for his defence.
"I am driven to conclude that I will not receive a fair trial before the special court at this time and I must decline to attend hearings," the statement said.
"I cannot take part in this charade that does injustice to the people of Liberia and the people of Sierra Leone."
Mr Taylor has denied all the charges relating to his participation in the 1991-2002 Sierra Leone civil war laid against him.
He was ousted from power in 2003 after having himself led a rebellion in the country in 1989. After being arrested in Nigeria last year he was deported to face trial in the Netherlands

Link to Liberia's Taylor rejects Hague trial