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Taylor flown to The Hague for Sierra Leone war crimes trial

[JURIST] Former Liberian President Charles Taylor [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] was transported out of Sierra Leone to the Netherlands Tuesday to await trial by the Special Court for Sierra Leone [official website], according to Sierra Leone Vice-President Solomon Berewa [Wikipedia profile]. Taylor's transport comes just one day after the SCSL authorized the transfer [AP report]. The UN Security Council [official website] on Friday unanimously agreed to a resolution [summary and text] authorizing the pending war crimes trial to be shifted from the facilities of the SCSL in Freetown, Sierra Leone, to the facilities of the International Criminal Court [official website] in the Netherlands. The SCSL will control the trial and use SCSL prosecutors and judges. A trial date has not been set yet.

In March the SCSL said it wanted to move Taylor's trial to The Hague [JURIST report] for security reasons, but the Netherlands said that it would only agree to host the trial on its territory if the tribunal found a country willing to imprison Taylor if he is found guilty [JURIST report] and a country that will grant him asylum if he is acquitted. Britain offered to take custody [JURIST report] of Taylor last week, after several other countries refused [JURIST report]. Taylor has been indicted [PDF text] for crimes against humanity and violations of international humanitarian law, including murder, rape and the recruitment and use of child soldiers during the war in Sierra Leone. AFP has more.

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