27 April, 2012

Special Tribunal for Sierra Leone: Charles Taylor convicted

Addendum 30th May:  Charles Taylor was sentenced to 50 years imprisonment for war crimes of the "utmost gravity in scale and brutality."  The Guardian 30th May.  See also the court's Press release.

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On 26th April, Charles Ghankay Taylor, the former President of Liberia, was convicted on all counts of an 11-count indictment which alleged that he was responsible for crimes committed by rebel forces during Sierra Leone’s decade-long civil war. The Special Court for Sierra Leone’s Trial Chamber II found unanimously that Mr. Taylor aided and abetted Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) rebels in the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sierra Leone.  See Court's Judgment and the Press release.

Charles Ghankay Taylor
Taylor is the first Head of State to be indicted, tried and convicted by an international tribunal.  The Chamber has scheduled a sentencing hearing for Wednesday, 16 May 2012, and the sentencing judgement will be delivered on Wednesday, 30 May 2012. Under the Special Court Rules, sentences must be given in a specified term of years. The Special Court may not impose a life sentence or the death penalty.

Taylor was remanded
in custody until the 16 May hearing.

At the Special Court, both Prosecution and Defence may appeal. A notice of appeal must be filed within 14 days of the full judgment and sentence.

The full list of offences:

The Trial Chamber unanimously found Taylor guilty of aiding and abetting the commission of the following crimes pursuant to Article 6.1 of the Statute during the
Indictment period, and planning the commission of the following crimes in the attacks on Kono and Makeni in December 1998, and in the invasion of and retreat from Freetown between December 1998 and February 1999:

Count 1: Acts of terrorism, a violation of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II pursuant to Article 3(d) of the Statute.
Count 2: Murder, a crime against humanity pursuant to Article 2(a) of the Statute.
Count 3: Violence to life, health and physical or mental well-being of persons, in particular murder, a violation of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and of
Additional Protocol II pursuant to Article 3(a) of the Statute.
Count 4: Rape, a crime against humanity, punishable under Article 2(g) of the Statute.
Count 5: Sexual slavery, a crime against humanity, punishable under Article 2(g) of the Statute.
Count 6: Outrages upon personal dignity, a violation of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II pursuant to Article 3(e) of the Statute.
Count 7: Violence to life, health and physical or mental well-being of persons, in particular cruel treatment, a violation of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions
and of Additional Protocol II pursuant to Article 3(a) of the Statute
Count 8: Other inhumane acts, a crime against humanity pursuant to Article 2(i) of the Statute.
Count 9: Conscripting or enlisting children under the age of 15 years into armed forces or groups, or using them to participate actively in hostilities, another serious violation of
international humanitarian law pursuant to Article 4(c) of the Statute.
Count 10: Enslavement, a crime against humanity pursuant to Article 2 (c) of the Statute.
Count 11: Pillage, a violation of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II pursuant to Article 3(f) of the Statute.



Blogs:

The IntLawGrrls blog has some interesting posts about aspects of the Taylor case

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