Sierra Leone war crimes court postpones Taylor trial again

[JURIST] The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) [official website; JURIST news archive] announced the further postponement of court proceedings in the trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor [BBC profile; SCSL case materials] Monday, granting a request by Taylor's new defense team [JURIST report] for additional time to prepare their case. Taylor's trial, which had been scheduled to resume on August 20, was first postponed [JURIST report] in early July. The trial court will return from judicial recess on August 20 and will instead hold a hearing to decide when the trial will start. Defense lawyers have requested the trial be delayed until January 7, 2008.

Taylor faces charges [indictment, PDF] of murder, rape, and the recruitment and use of child soldiers during a bloody civil war in Sierra Leone [JURIST news archive]. He has previously complained that his single court-appointed defense lawyer was unfairly outnumbered [JURIST report] by the prosecution team. The criticism prompted the SCSL to add four people to Taylor's defense team and increase funding available to Taylor [JURIST report] to approximately $100,000 per month, despite a UN report that concluded Taylor may control millions of dollars [JURIST report] held in bank accounts worldwide. AFP has more.

 

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