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Jun 04,2007
War crimes trial starts for Charles Taylor
by UPI

THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- Former Liberian President Charles Taylor refused to attend the opening of his war crimes trial Monday in The Hague.

Taylor faced several charges, including murder, terrorism and crimes against humanity, and was accused of backing rebels in Sierra Leone in his 11-year campaign to become president.

He refused to attend the Monday's legal proceedings because he said they wouldn't be fair with only one defense lawyer, the BBC reported. After a judge said the trial would proceed, Taylor's lawyer also left.

"He has not thumbed his nose at the court," lawyer Karim Khan before presenting a letter in which Taylor said he felt he would "not receive a fair trial at the Special Court at this time," the BBC reported.

The court, he said, was not "fit for purpose," saying that he would not appear until "adequate time and facilities are provided."

"I cannot take part in this charade that does injustice to the people of Liberia and the people of Sierra Leone," he said.

Holland agreed to let Taylor be tried in The Hague if he would be imprisoned elsewhere if convicted. England has said he can be imprisoned there, the BBC reported.

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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Liberia's Taylor back on war crime trial by UPI posted on Jan 07,2008

Taylor appears at war crimes trial by UPI posted on Jul 04,2007

Charles Taylor war crimes trial postponed by UPI posted on Aug 21,2007

U.N. tries to find alleged Taylor riches by UPI posted on Jun 14,2007

Dutch businessman's conviction overturned by UPI posted on Mar 11,2008

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