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Taylor’s verdict has closed a painful chapter in Sierra Leone’s history

Taylor’s verdict has closed a painful chapter in Sierra Leone’s history

The marathon trial of former Liberian President, Charles Taylor (in photo) has finally come to an end, after he was found guilty of aiding and abetting crimes committed during the 11-year civil war in Sierra Leone. Taylor, who has been on trial since April 3 2006, was charged with 11 counts including, rape, murder, enslavement and other crimes against humanity.

Reacting shortly after the judgment, Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to Germany, HE Jongopie S. Stevens described the trial as “…a process in helping Sierra Leoneans to deal with the legacy of the civil conflict. I therefore, welcome the decision of the trial chamber of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, in ensuring that perpetrators of the civil war in the country are brought to justice.”

The Special Court for Sierra Leone has, prior to Taylor’s verdict, indicted thirteen people from various factions that took part in the Sierra Leone civil conflict. While key figures from these factions died during the course of their indictments, others who were prosecuted and found guilty are now serving jail sentences in Rwanda. Charles Taylor is expected to serve his jail term in Britain after sentences have been passed in May 30 2012.

Umaru S Jah, IA, Sierra Leone Embassy, Berlin

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