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UN Considers Moving Taylor's Trial to The Hague


The U.N. Security Council is considering a draft resolution to transfer the war crimes trial of former Liberian president Charles Taylor to The Hague.

China's U.N. ambassador, Wang Guangya, says council members agree the trial should be moved out of West Africa and hope the resolution can be passed this week.

Wang, who is council president this month, said Monday a few technical issues are slowing the process, including who would bear the additional cost of moving the trial to the Hague.

A U.N.-backed court in Sierra Leone has charged Taylor with 11 counts of war crimes, to which Taylor has pleaded not guilty.

The Sierra Leone court asked for the trial to be moved due to fears it could provoke political unrest.

Taylor's lawyers say the transfer would hurt his chances for a fair hearing.

The Sierra Leone court has been facing financial difficulties. The Netherlands notified the Security Council last month that it would not pay the additional expenses, which could run to several millions of dollars.

U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan recently wrote to all member states asking for more than $14 million to help cover this year's court costs.

A spokesman, Benjamin Chang, for the United States mission to the U.N. said Monday Washington fully supports the change of venue to The Hague. He said the U.S. remains one of the largest financial supporters of the Sierra Leone court, and is considering the secretary general's request for additional funding.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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