Charles Taylor found guilty of aiding Sierra Leone rebels

An international court has convicted former Liberian President Charles Taylor of aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity for supporting notoriously brutal Sierra Leone rebels in return for blood diamonds.

Presiding Judge Richard Lussick said Thursday the 64-year-old warlord-turned-president provided arms, ammunition, communications equipment and planning to rebels responsible for countless atrocities in the 1991-2002 Sierra Leone civil war. Lussick called the support “sustained and significant.”

Taylor stood and showed no emotion as Lussick delivered 11 guilty verdicts.

Taylor had pleaded not guilty to 11 counts, including murder, rape, terror and conscripting child soldiers.

“The sentence will be pronounced on May 30th at 11:00 a.m. (local time),” presiding judge Richard Lussick told the Special Court for Sierra Leone shortly after delivering the guilty verdict.

The international court opened Thursday its judgment hearing for Taylor, accused of arming Sierra Leone’s rebels who paid him in “blood diamonds.”

 

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