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Taylor war crimes trial delayed until June

[JURIST] The UN Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) [official website] has delayed the trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] until June 4, giving Taylor’s lawyers more time to prepare their defense. While the defense had asked the court to push the start of the trial to September, and the prosecution had noted that they would not be opposed to postponing the trial until July, the court's order [text, PDF] issued earlier this week cited the extensive amount of time that Taylor has currently been in pre-trial confinement in establishing the new start date.

Taylor was originally indicted [amended indictment text, PDF; SCSL materials] in 2003 on charges of 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. After being captured last year trying to flee Nigeria, where he had been in exile, he was taken to The Hague [JURIST report] in June. Britain has promised to incarcerate him if he is convicted [JURIST report]. SCSL officials predicted then that Taylor could be tried as early as January 2007 [JURIST report]. Reuters has more.

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