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Liberia truth commission holds first public hearings on civil war

[JURIST] The Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) [official website; JURIST news archive], assembled to investigate possible war crimes that occurred during the Liberian civil war that ended in 2003, held its first public session on Tuesday. While the commission does not have authority to try cases, it intends to take testimony from approximately 5,000 victims and suspects in order to understand what happened during the Liberian conflict ended in 2003. The commission began its work in October of last year, but it stalled [JURIST reports] in June for lack of funding.

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] is currently on trial in the The Hague before the Special Court for Sierra Leone [official website] for crimes against humanity. Taylor is accused of masterminding and funding intertwined civil wars in Liberia and neighboring Sierra Leone through the sale of so-called "blood diamonds." BBC News has more.

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