(Image Source: Telegraph)

 

BY EMOKE BEBIAK

ANCHOR CHRISTIAN BRYANT

 

An international court found former Liberian president Charles Taylor guilty of aiding and abetting war crimes in Sierra Leone. Taylor helped the rebel army in exchange for “blood diamonds.” The International Business Times recounts the charges he’s now been convicted of.

 

“He was accused of supporting and directing rebels, who raped, pillaged and murdered 50,000 people during the Sierra Leone civil war between 1991 and 2002.”

 

The court based in The Hague made the decision after five years of hearings. Some say the verdict is a milestone in convicting high-profile war criminals. A press release from the International Crisis Group, a non-profit committed to conflict resolution, applauded the decision.

 

“The verdict is a fresh lesson to all those in power that they do not enjoy impunity and a sign of hope in Sierra Leone that those most responsible for the heinous crimes of the eleven-year civil war … are being brought to book.”

 

But not everyone is satisfied with the verdict. Victims of the violence were hoping Taylor would be convicted of directly giving orders to the Revolutionary United Front — or RUF— the rebel army in Sierra Leone. Radio Netherlands Worldwide reports.

 

“Taylor was found not guilty of being ultimately responsible for directing the murderous RUF militia. Judges said the prosecution had not proved beyond reasonable doubt that the former president had command and control over the group.”

 

The lack of direct involvement was reportedly one of the cornerstones of Taylor’s defense strategy. According to the Washington Post, chief defense lawyer Courtenay Griffiths said Taylor as a president merely aided rebels in a neighboring country and was therefore not responsible for the crimes they committed. The paper explains...

 

“If that were the standard, he suggested, U.S. leaders should be tried for abuses committed when they assisted rebels in Nicaragua and Afghanistan and financed a brutal military in El Salvador in the 1980s.”

 

Reporting from the ground in Liberia, the Canadian Globe And Mail writes the involvement of an international court upset many people saying...

 

“Because the court was held abroad, many Liberians saw it as a global conspiracy against them. The verdict may have even increased the sympathy for Mr. Taylor in his homeland.”

 

An opinion writer for CNN agrees — arguing international courts are costly and take too long to prosecute cases. He advises...

 

“[It] is of greater benefit to victims and better value for donors to invest in rebuilding domestic judicial institutions in conflict-affected countries rather than whisking atrocity suspects off to The Hague.”

 

Taylor is the first head-of-state convicted in an international court since the Nuremberg trials. He will be sentenced May 30.

Taylor Convicted of Human Rights Abuse

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Apr 26, 2012

Taylor Convicted of Human Rights Abuse

(Image Source: Telegraph)

 

BY EMOKE BEBIAK

ANCHOR CHRISTIAN BRYANT

 

An international court found former Liberian president Charles Taylor guilty of aiding and abetting war crimes in Sierra Leone. Taylor helped the rebel army in exchange for “blood diamonds.” The International Business Times recounts the charges he’s now been convicted of.

 

“He was accused of supporting and directing rebels, who raped, pillaged and murdered 50,000 people during the Sierra Leone civil war between 1991 and 2002.”

 

The court based in The Hague made the decision after five years of hearings. Some say the verdict is a milestone in convicting high-profile war criminals. A press release from the International Crisis Group, a non-profit committed to conflict resolution, applauded the decision.

 

“The verdict is a fresh lesson to all those in power that they do not enjoy impunity and a sign of hope in Sierra Leone that those most responsible for the heinous crimes of the eleven-year civil war … are being brought to book.”

 

But not everyone is satisfied with the verdict. Victims of the violence were hoping Taylor would be convicted of directly giving orders to the Revolutionary United Front — or RUF— the rebel army in Sierra Leone. Radio Netherlands Worldwide reports.

 

“Taylor was found not guilty of being ultimately responsible for directing the murderous RUF militia. Judges said the prosecution had not proved beyond reasonable doubt that the former president had command and control over the group.”

 

The lack of direct involvement was reportedly one of the cornerstones of Taylor’s defense strategy. According to the Washington Post, chief defense lawyer Courtenay Griffiths said Taylor as a president merely aided rebels in a neighboring country and was therefore not responsible for the crimes they committed. The paper explains...

 

“If that were the standard, he suggested, U.S. leaders should be tried for abuses committed when they assisted rebels in Nicaragua and Afghanistan and financed a brutal military in El Salvador in the 1980s.”

 

Reporting from the ground in Liberia, the Canadian Globe And Mail writes the involvement of an international court upset many people saying...

 

“Because the court was held abroad, many Liberians saw it as a global conspiracy against them. The verdict may have even increased the sympathy for Mr. Taylor in his homeland.”

 

An opinion writer for CNN agrees — arguing international courts are costly and take too long to prosecute cases. He advises...

 

“[It] is of greater benefit to victims and better value for donors to invest in rebuilding domestic judicial institutions in conflict-affected countries rather than whisking atrocity suspects off to The Hague.”

 

Taylor is the first head-of-state convicted in an international court since the Nuremberg trials. He will be sentenced May 30.

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