Taylor’s Lawyer Considers Delay in War Crimes Trial

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RAPAPORT… Courtenay Griffiths accepted an offer to defend former Liberia President Charles Taylor on 11 counts of war crimes at The Hague this week. One of Griffiths’ first orders of business was to understand the time required to familiarize himself with the case. The Hague, which is host to the Special Court for Sierra Leone, planned to begin Taylor’s war crimes proceedings August 20, 2007.

In an exclusive interview with Agence France-Presse from London, Griffiths told the news agency that he needs many weeks to read through documentation.  Griffiths said it was more than likely he’d seek a delay since August 20th did not seem to be a realistic day to begin.

Taylor faces 11 counts of crimes against humanity stemming from the brutal civil war in Sierra Leone in which diamonds were used to fund arms. He is charged with arming, training, and controlling the Revolutionary United Front — a group responsible for mutilations, rape, and murder. Taylor boycotted the first two sessions of the court fearing that he didn’t stand a chance of a fair hearing.

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