Sierra Leone war crimes court rejects Taylor challenge to venue change James M Yoch Jr at 8:15 PM ET
[JURIST] Justice George Gelaga King, newly-elected president of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) [JURIST news archive], has dismissed [decision, PDF] a defense challenge [JURIST report] to a prosecutors motion to move the trial of former Liberian president Charles Taylor [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] from Freetown, Sierra Leone, to the International Criminal Court (ICC) [JURIST news archive] at The Hague in the Netherlands. Taylor, who is being tried on 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity under an revised amended indictment [PDF] argued that the venue change would affect the availability of scheduled witnesses and insisted there was no evidence that a Freetown trial would be unfair. King dismissed the challenge because such motions for venue shift are part of the administrative functions of the president of the SCSL and are not matters for the appeals chamber of the court to resolve.
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