Charles Taylor Awaits War Crimes Trial at The Hague

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(Rapaport…June 20, 2006) Liberia’s former president, Charles Taylor, was flown from Sierra Leone to the Netherlands this day to await his trial on war crimes at The Hague. Taylor is accused of crimes against humanity, rape, murder, and mutilation of hundreds of thousands across western Africa.

A handcuffed Taylor was led from Rotterdam airport to a maximum-security prison outside The Hague. Taylor’s trial is expected to open several months from now.

David Crane, the prosecutor who drafted Taylor’s indictment, told the Associated Press that the trial is “for and about the people of West Africa. For them to see Charles Taylor, who was so feared, humbled before the law, it is special because justice is being done.”

Taylor pleaded innocent to 11 counts of war crimes on April 3, 2006. Crane suggested the trial might not begin until January 2007 and take about one year to complete.

Taylor was taken into custody while on the run in March 2006.

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