- The UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone today adjourned the trial of the ex-Liberian President, Charles Taylor, to 7 January next year.
Since 4 June, Mr Taylor - the first African leader to be tried to be arraigned before an international war crimes court - has been charged for his roles in supporting the rebels during Sierra Leone’s decade-long brutal civil war.
The delay of the trial was a response to a motion filed by Taylor’s defence lawyers last week, applying for the postponement of the trial until 7 January to allow “adequate time and facilities for the preparation of [Taylor's] defence, as required by Article 17 of the Statute of the Special Court of Sierra Leone.”
The defence team believed a long delay would give them more time to evaluate new evidence against its client so that it can better prepare itself for the case.
Courtenay Griffiths, Mr Taylor’s lawyer said an vital archives containing vital documents and letters [including one from the former US President, Jimmy Carter] belonging to his client had been discovered. He said the archieves could contain some documents that are vital to the case.
The prosecution did not file an objection to the motion and therefore left the matter to the court’s discretion.
Taylor, who faces 11 counts of war crimes, pleaded his innocence.
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