Trial of Charles Taylor opens in The Hague
Wasn't aware one could boycott ones own war crimes trial?
Former Liberian President Charles Taylor has boycotted the start of his war crimes trial at a United Nations-backed court in The Hague. Taylor said in a letter read out to the court by his lawyer that he did not believe he would receive a fair hearing. Taylor then dismissed his court-appointed lawyer, who in turn stormed out of the courtroom. Proceedings were to continue in Taylor's absence. Prosecutors say Taylor supported rebels in Sierra Leone, who maimed and killed thousands of civilians, as he tried to gain control of the country's diamond resources. Taylor has pleaded not guilty to 11 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The trial is being conducted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone, but the proceedings are taking place in The Hague for security reasons.