Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Trial of Liberia's Taylor delayed again

AMSTERDAM, Aug 13 (Reuters) - The war crimes trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor has been postponed again after his new defence team asked for a delay until January 2008 to prepare fully, a court spokesman said on Monday.
The trial was due to resume on August 20, but the court will now meet then to decide how to proceed and judges are expected to set a new date for the case to continue, the spokesman added in a statement.
Taylor, accused of instigating murder, rape and mutilation in a quest for diamonds during the West African country's civil war, boycotted the opening of his trial in June in a dispute over the resources allocated his defence.
Lengthy legal wrangling ensued and more funds were eventually made available to Taylor. A new defence team was appointed last month.
The Special Court for Sierra Leone was set up with United Nations backing to try some of those deemed most culpable for crimes against humanity in the country's 1991-2002 war.
Drugged up rebels and militia fighters, often only children themselves, killed, raped and maimed men, women and children.
Taylor's trial is being held in The Hague because of fears it could spur instability if held in Freetown, Sierra Leone. On Saturday, the country held its first elections since the departure of U.N. peacekeepers two years ago.

Trial of Liberia's Taylor delayed again | Reuters