News24

Charles Taylor wants to re-open defence

2012-02-01 19:42

Amsterdam - Lawyers for former Liberian president Charles Taylor have asked a UN-backed war crimes court for permission to re-open their defence case, saying a recently published Security Council report could help clear him of charges he sent fighters to commit atrocities in Sierra Leone's civil war.

In the request released on Wednesday by the Special Court for Sierra Leone, Taylor's lawyers seek to introduce into evidence about 20 pages of a UN panel of experts report on Liberia that discusses the activities of mercenaries.

Taylor's lawyers say the report supports their claim that Liberian fighters were able to cross into neighbouring countries to fight for personal gain "rather than in furtherance of a sweeping joint criminal enterprise" led by Taylor.