UK clears way for Taylor trial in The Hague
15 June 2006, AMSTERDAM — The main pre-condition set by the Netherlands to host the trial of Charles Taylor was met on Thursday when the UK announced it would jail the former Liberian president if he is convicted of war crimes.
15 June 2006
AMSTERDAM — The main pre-condition set by the Netherlands to host the trial of Charles Taylor was met on Thursday when the UK announced it would jail the former Liberian president if he is convicted of war crimes.
"I was delighted to be able to respond positively to the request of the United Nations secretary-general that, should he be convicted, Charles Taylor serve his sentence in the UK," British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said.
The UN-backed Special Tribunal for Sierra Leone requested in March that the trial be moved to The Hague shortly after Taylor was captured while trying to flee Nigeria. It was feared holding the trial in Sierra Leone would lead to further unrest.
Taylor faces charges of crimes against humanity, war crimes and violations of international human rights. They accuse him of sponsoring and aiding rebel groups who perpetrated murder, sexual slavery, mutilation and conscription of child soldiers in Sierra Leone's civil war, in exchange for a share in the diamond trade.
The Dutch authorities set three conditions for the trial to be moved to The Hague. A spokesperson said the UN Security Council would have to pass a resolution backing the change of venue and Taylor would have to leave the Netherlands once the court delivered its verdict.
In addition, the Dutch said the International Criminal Court in The Hague had to make arrangements for the provision of a court room and a cell to hold Taylor during his stay in the Netherlands.
"With the British offer to take Taylor to serve a possible sentence there, all conditions set by the Dutch government have been met. The next step is a UN Security Council resolution which I expect to be drawn up in the next few days," a spokesperson for the Dutch foreign ministry said.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news, Charles Taylor