Charles Taylor to Hear Verdict April 26

Posted March 1st, 2012 at 7:50 am (UTC-5)
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The court trying former Liberian president Charles Taylor for war crimes says it will hand down its verdicts next month.

The U.N.-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone said Thursday it will announce April 26 whether Taylor is guilty on 11 counts of murder, rape, recruiting child soldiers and other charges.

Taylor is accused of arming rebels during Sierra Leone's civil war in exchange for looted diamonds. The rebels are accused of killing and mutilating thousands of civilians during the 11-year war.

Taylor has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The trial, which ended a year ago, took more than three years and involved testimony from more than 110 witnesses,

Both Taylor and prosecutors have the right to appeal the court's verdicts.

Taylor's trial took place at the Hague, in the Netherlands, because of fears that his presence in Sierra Leone could spark regional unrest.

Taylor was president of Liberia from 1997 to 2003, during the end of Liberia's own internal conflict.