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Sierra Leone war crimes court delays Taylor trial until January 2008

[JURIST] The Special Court for Sierra Leone [official website] on Monday delayed the trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor [BBC profile; SCSL case materials] until January 7, 2008 in order to provide Taylor's new defense team [JURIST report] more time to prepare. The trial [JURIST news archive] had been scheduled to resume Monday, but the court said last week that it would allow a postponement and instead held a hearing Monday to determine when proceedings would resume.

Taylor faces charges [indictment, PDF] of murder, rape, and the recruitment and use of child soldiers during a bloody civil war in Sierra Leone. He has previously complained that his single court-appointed defense lawyer was unfairly outnumbered [JURIST report] by the prosecution team. The criticism prompted the SCSL to add four people to Taylor's defense team and increase funding available to Taylor [JURIST report] to approximately $100,000 per month, despite a UN report that concluded Taylor may control millions of dollars [JURIST report] held in bank accounts worldwide. AFP has more.

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