Charles G. Taylor, Ex-President of Liberia, Convicted of War Crimes
The ruling, announced by Presiding Judge Richard Lussick of Samoa, said Mr. Taylor was guilty of involvement in crimes against humanity and war crimes including murder, rape, slavery and the use of child soldiers. The court, however, said the prosecution failed to prove that Mr. Taylor had direct command responsibility for the atrocities in the indictment.
Mr. Taylor, who has maintained his innocence, will be sentenced in the coming weeks. There is no death penalty in international criminal law and any jail term would be served in a British prison.
The conflict in Sierra Leone became notorious because of its gruesome tactics, including the calculated mutilation of thousands of civilians, the widespread use of drugged child soldiers and the mining of diamonds to pay for guns and ammunition. A new, sinister rebel vocabulary pointed to the horrors: applying “a smile” meant cutting off the upper and lower lips of a victim, giving “long sleeves” meant hacking off the hands and giving “short sleeves” meant cutting the arm above the elbow