THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- The U.N.-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone at The Hague on Monday resumed the war crimes trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor.
Taylor pleaded innocent to 11 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity but his trial was suspended last June when he fired his lawyer, the BBC reported. He now has a court-appointed British lawyer.
Prosecutors said they had 144 witnesses, many of whom have protected status and won't be publicly identified for their own safety.
Among the charges are allegations Taylor traded weapons and natural resources for diamonds in the 1991-2001 civil war in neighboring Sierra Leone. Prosecutors claim those weapons were used by Revolutionary United Front rebels, known for massacres by machete and the use of child soldiers.
The trial is expected to last 18 months, the report said.
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