Taylor trial delayed until June 2007 23 Jan 2007
On 23 January, the Trial Chamber of the SCSL postponed the starting date of the Charles Taylor trial to 4 June 2007.

Former Liberian President Charles TaylorOn 23 January 2007, the Trial Chamber of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) moved the starting date of the Charles Taylor trial from 2 April 2007 to 4 June 2007. The Defence had asked that the opening of the trial be postponed until September 2007. It quoted a number of factors including the alleged complexity of the case, the volume of material disclosed by the Office of the Prosecutor and the fact that Taylor did not have a complete legal and investigative team in place prior to September 2006. The Trial Chamber balanced the right of Taylor to have adequate time for the preparation of his case and his right to be tried without undue delay. The Court recognised that the Defence requires additional time to prepare its case but found that a postponement until September would lead to an undue delay of the trial.

In addition to the request for more preparation time, Taylor's Defence team asked the Trial Chamber to direct the Registrar to provide facilities or financial support for the Defence team with respect to offices in The Hague and Monrovia (Liberia). The Trial Chamber acknowledged that the availability of offices in The Hague at the earliest opportunity is of great importance and is satisfied that the Registry is making every effort to secure the swift establishment of those facilities. It is expected that these offices will be ready for occupation in February 2007. The Trial Chamber is of the opinion that it is not necessary for the Defence to establish an office in Monrovia to conduct investigations. It is of the view that the Office of the Principal Defender (OPD) is adequately addressing this situation by its undertaking “to facilitate the defence team to undertake investigations in Liberia as necessary”.

Charles Taylor has been indicted on 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious violations of international humanitarian law, including sexual slavery and mutilations allegedly committed during Sierra Leone's civil war. Following security concerns over holding the trial in Sierra Leone, Taylor's trial will be conducted by the SCSL at the ICC's premises in The Hague.

Joint Decision on Defence Motions on Adequate Facilities and Adequate Time for the Preparation of Mr. Taylor's Defence

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