Court rejects Taylor lawyer's request to change verdict date
Judges of the UN backed Sierra Leone war crimes in The Hague have dismissed a request by lawyers of former Liberian President Charles Taylor to postpone the April 26 dates set to hand down the verdict.
In an earlier motion, Taylor's lead defense lawyer Courteney Griffiths requested that the court changed the judgement date from April 26,2012 to May 1, 2012 "or any suitable date thereafter."
Griffiths cited "prior professional engagement on the judgement date" and "that the delivery of the judgement date on the eve of Sierra Leone's 51st Independence Day celebrations appears to be ill-timed and poses potential security risks..."
But dismissing the request, the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) said the request was "without merit" and described as "entirely speculative" the defense argument relating to Sierra Leone's independence day.
Taylor has for the last five years been standing trial on 11 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for allegedly fueling the now ended civil war in neighbouring Sierra Leone through support for the disbanded RUF rebels.Tweet