Charles Taylor Convicted of Eleven Counts of War Crimes

By John Bellinger
Thursday, April 26, 2012, 10:41 AM

The Special Court for Sierra Leone has convicted former Liberian President Charles Taylor of eleven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.  He is the first former head of state to be tried and convicted by an international tribunal. 

The summary of the judgment is here and a short fact sheet is here.  [Correction:  The full judgment -- expected to be several hundred pages -- has not been released.  The 44-page summary is available.]

Taylor was convicted on the following counts:  Count 1 for acts of terrorism (a war crime), on Count 2 for murder (a crime against humanity), on Count 3 for murder (a war crime), on Count 4 for rape (a crime against humanity), on Count 5 for sexual slavery (a crime against humanity), on Count 6 for outrages upon personal dignity (a war crime), on Count 7 for cruel treatment (a war crime), on Count 8 for inhumane acts, including mutilations and amputations, (a crime against humanity), on Count 9 for the recruitment, enlistment and use of child soldiers, on Count 10 for enslavement (a crime against humanity), and on Count 11 for pillage (a war crime).

The trial was held by the SCSL in the facilities of the International Criminal Court in the Hague.  Taylor was turned over to the SCSL in March 2006 after the Bush Administration pressed Nigerian President Obasanjo to expel Taylor from Nigeria, where he had sought refuge after the civil war in Liberia.  The Bush Administration notified the ICC that the US did not object to use of ICC facilities by the SCSL for the Taylor trial, even though the US was not a party to the Rome Statute.

Taylor is to be sentenced on May 30.