It’s JUDGEMENT DAY for Charles Taylor

Posted by News Express | 8 February 2013 | 4,364 times

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Former Liberian President Charles Taylor is to be sentenced today, thus drawing the curtain on his trial by the Special Court for Sierra Leone sitting at The Hague, Netherlands.

“Sentencing Judgement in the contempt trial of Prince Taylor trial will be delivered Friday, 8 February 2013 at 1:00 p.m.,” the court said yesterday via a media alert routed the African Press Organization.

Lawyers for the Prosecution and Defence made their final arguments before the Appeals Chamber late last month. The five Judges and one Alternate Judge heard Appeal Submissions from the parties on January 22, and their Responses and Replies the next day.

News Express recalls that the Trial Chamber had on April 26 last year found Taylor guilty on all 11 counts of the indictment, finding that he had participated in the planning of crimes, and of aiding and abetting crimes, committed by rebel forces in Sierra Leone. On May 30, 2012, the Trial Chamber sentenced him to a prison term of 50 years.

The Defence presented 42 grounds of appeal, arguing that the Trial Chamber made systematic errors in the evaluation of evidence and in the application of law sufficiently serious to “reverse all findings of guilt entered against him” and to vacate the judgement. The Defence brief also questioned the fairness of the trial and the judicial process itself, and challenged the 50 year sentence imposed by the Chamber as being “manifestly unreasonable.”

The Prosecution however appealed the judgement on four grounds, arguing that Taylor, who ruled Liberia from August of 1997 until August of 2003, should have been found guilty of other modes of liability, and that he should have received a significantly longer sentence.

•Photo: Taylor.

Source: News Express

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