Salone News

Charles Taylor Transferred to The Hague

By  | 20 June 2006 at 21:46 | 572 views

War crimes indictee and former Liberian president Charles Taylor has been flown out to the The Hague today to face war crimes charges there. Taylor was accompanied on the flight by Mr. Lovemore Munlo of the Special Court and the court’s medical officer Dr. Prince Harding.Taylor’s lawyers had earlier requested that he be tried in Sierra Leone citing accessibility to his witnesses and family as two of the reasons for the request. The court on the other hand cited security as the main reason for his transfer. We publish below the press release on Taylor from the Special Court:

Special Court for Sierra Leone
Press and Public Affairs Office

Freetown, Sierra Leone, 20 June 2006

Charles Taylor Transferred to The Hague

Charles Taylor, the former President of Liberia, was today transferred to The Hague in accordance with an order on Monday by Special Court President Justice George Gelaga-King.

Mr Taylor was taken by UN helicopter from the Special Court compound shortly after 9:00 a.m. this morning and flown to Lungi International Airport, where he was transferred under heavy UN security to a chartered commercial jet. He departed from Sierra Leone at 9:40 a.m. local time.

Also on the flight were the Special Court’s Registrar, Mr Lovemore Munlo SC, the Chief of Security, and the Court’s Medical Officer.

While the Taylor trial will take place in a courtroom of the International Criminal Court, it will be a trial of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, as permitted under the Special Court’s Rules. The headquarters of the Special Court remains in Freetown, where three other trials are continuing.

Photo: Taylor, in the plane that was taking him to the Hague.
Photo credit: SCSL, Freetown