Liberia's Charles Taylor guilty of aiding war crimes

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Liberia's Charles Taylor guilty of aiding war crimes

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Former Liberian president Charles Taylor has been found guilty of war crimes by an international court in the Hague.

The court ruled that Taylor had aided and abetted rebels during an 11-year civil war in neighbouring Sierra Leone.

The case, which lasted nearly 5 years, has centred on whether Taylor had assisted the insurgents as they carried out a murderous campaign, killing as many as 50,000 people.

Prosecutors accused him of arming the rebels in return for blood diamonds, alleging that he enriched himself from the profits.

The presiding Judge ruled that Taylor’s support to the insurgents was “sustained and significant.”

Taylor was indicted in 2003 on charges connected to the war atrocities that included murder, rape, sexual slavery and the use of child soldiers,
during a conflict which lasted from 1991 to 2002.

But today he was cleared of specifically ordering those crimes.

Taylor is the first former head of state to be convicted by an international court in more than 55 years. Sentencing could take several months.