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Prosecutor Preps Taylor Case Amid Venue Doubts

Desmond de Silva points to a map showing areas of rebel activities in Sierra Leone during the 1990s.
Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, NPR
Desmond de Silva points to a map showing areas of rebel activities in Sierra Leone during the 1990s.

Charles Taylor's chief prosecutor will make his a case against the man he describes as "a regional warlord at the epicenter of the whole region." That region is West Africa. And Desmond de Silva has misgivings about the wisdom of putting Taylor, the former Liberian president, on trial in neighboring Sierra Leone.

Taylor is being carefully guarded, awaiting a Monday court appearance at a U.N.-backed special tribunal in Freetown to face 11 counts of war crimes. But officials want the trial be moved to Europe -- though still under the auspices of the special court -- to avoid stirring unrest in Liberia that could spill across the border.

The Dutch government says a resolution by the U.N. Security Council would provide a solid legal basis for changing the venue of the trial to The Hague. Britain has already begun circulating a draft resolution.

Desmond de Silva lends John Ydstie his insights about the direction the trial will take.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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