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Taylor selects UK lawyer as provisional counsel in war crimes trial

[JURIST] Former Liberian President Charles Taylor [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] has selected British lawyer Karim Asad Ahmad Khan to serve as his provisional counsel in proceedings at the Special Court for Sierra Leone [official website]. Special Court Principal Defender Vincent Nmehielle [official website] on Wednesday issued a decision [PDF text] to appoint Khan, a specialist in international criminal law and human rights law, to defend Taylor against charges [amended indictment, PDF; summary] of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Sierra Leone during the 1991-2002 civil war.

Taylor has said that he doesn't have the resources to hire lawyers, but that he would like to choose his own lawyers if he can raise the funds. Taylor's aides say he wants to be represented by Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz [academic profile], who was part of O.J. Simpson's winning defense team and famously represented Claus von Bülow in another high-profile murder case. Reuters has more.

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