News

    World Awaits Landmark African War Crimes Verdict

    Former Liberian President Charles Taylor takes notes as he waits for the start of a hearing to deliver verdict in the court room of the Special Court for Sierra Leone in Leidschendam, near The Hague, Netherlands, April 26, 2012.
    Former Liberian President Charles Taylor takes notes as he waits for the start of a hearing to deliver verdict in the court room of the Special Court for Sierra Leone in Leidschendam, near The Hague, Netherlands, April 26, 2012.

    A special tribunal in The Hague is delivering its verdict in the trial of former Liberian president Charles Taylor, accused of masterminding some of the worst human rights abuses in recent memory.  

    The Special Court for Sierra Leone is meeting Thursday, almost five years after the trial opened.

    Taylor faces 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity for the deaths of an estimated half-million people during an 11-year-long civil war in neighboring Sierra Leone.  The list of charges against the former Liberian leader includes murder, rape, terrorism, recruitment of child soldiers and enslavement.

    Prosecutors say Taylor masterminded Sierra Leone's civil war from Liberia, arming and assisting Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front rebels in exchange for "blood diamonds," mined in eastern Sierra Leone.

    Taylor denies all wrong-doing and pleaded not guilty to all charges.

    If he is found guilty Thursday, his defense team is expected to appeal within two weeks.  If he is acquitted, the prosecution is likely to do the same.

    Taylor was arrested and handed over to the court in 2006, three years after his indictment and subsequent resignation as president.  The trial, which opened in 2007, was transferred from Freetown to The Hague amid regional security concerns.

    During the trial, the court heard testimony from 94 prosecution witnesses and 21 defense witnesses, including Taylor.

    The tribunal was established to try the most serious cases of war crimes rising from the Sierra Leone conflict.  The Taylor case is expected to be the court's last major trial.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: lawrence
    April 26, 2012 10:10 AM
    ,Taylor is guilty according to this court.But how Taylor Escapes? and where did he pass? because the USA we know have one of the best Security in the World......and Taylor leave without their concern is a Big Lie I believe that the USA UN and UK are playing a big game and only useing Taylor to cover thereself, they are guilty with in themself and this funing looking so-call Judge Richard Lussick just read

    by: Molang Daniel
    April 26, 2012 4:32 AM
    Charles Taylor,there is time to garther stones and time to trow away stone

    by: Thomas Tengbeh
    April 26, 2012 3:36 AM
    We are happy that the long awaited verdict is now going on about our country former president.But our eye are open and looking forward to seeing what will come out.

    by: william sullivan
    April 26, 2012 3:18 AM
    It is so good to see Africa come to terms with it's own. If only this can spread farther those who gain power will be more careful with it.

    by: Dr. Roger V. Powell
    April 26, 2012 2:56 AM
    If you live by the sword you should die by the sword. On second thoughts a thirty year jail sentence might be better. It would give the man time to reflect on his evil and what his maker will do to him eventually.

    by: Dr. Roger V. Powell
    April 26, 2012 2:54 AM
    If you live by the sword you should die by the sword. On second thoughts a thirty year jail sentence might be better. It would give the man time to reflect on his evil and what his maker will do to him eventually.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora