FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE (BNO NEWS) -- Former Liberian President Charles Ghankay Taylor was convicted on Thursday on war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sierra Leone, prosecutors said.
The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) announced that Taylor was convicted on all counts of an 11-count indictment which alleged that he was responsible for crimes committed by rebel forces during Sierra Leone's ten-year-long civil war.
The Court's Trial Chamber II unanimously found that Taylor aided and abetted Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) rebels in the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sierra Leone. The Chamber found that he had aided and abetted the rebels by providing them with arms and ammunition, military personnel, operational support and moral support, making him individually responsible for their crimes.
According to the court, Taylor participated from Liberia in the commission of crimes by AFRC and RUF rebels and was individually responsible for them, although he did not commit these in person. Specifically, Taylor was convicted on acts of terrorism, murder, rape, sexual slavery, outrages upon personal dignity, cruel treatment, inhumane acts, including mutilations and amputations, recruitment, enlistment and use of child soldiers, enslavement, and for pillage.
With the conviction, Charles Taylor is the first head of state to be indicted, tried and convicted by an international tribunal.
The sentencing judgement is scheduled to be delivered on Wednesday, May 30. However, under the Special Court Rules, a life sentence or the death penalty may not be imposed. Sentences must be given in a specified term of years. In addition, Taylor was ordered remanded in custody until May 16, which is the scheduled sentencing hearing.
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