Taylor appears in Court 03 Jul 2007
Charles Taylor has made his initial appearance before the SCSL in The Hague with the trial now postponed until 20 August.

On July 3 2007, Charles Taylor made his initial appearance before the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) in The Hague with the Trial Chamber announcing that the trial would be postponed until Monday, 20 August. It was Taylor's first appearance before the Court after having refused to attend the opening of his trial on 4 June stating in a letter addressed to the Court that he would not receive a fair trial. Taylor arrived late to the hearing on Tuesday, allegedly due to delays in travelling from his detention facilities after the route had to be adjusted for security reasons. Judge Sebutinde stated that the reason for Taylor's delay is noted but it is not satisfactory.

The Court provided several reasons for its postponement of the trial, noting in particular that compelling counsel to represent Taylor at trial for the week of 3 July - as per its 25 June order - would be a violation of Taylor's fair trial rights as the Defence would be unable to conduct effective cross examination or challenge the Prosecution's evidence.

Charles Taylor, President of Liberia from 1997 to 2003, is charged with five counts of crimes against humanity, including murder, sexual slavery and violence, and enslavement; five counts of war crimes, including acts of terrorism and torture; and one count of other serious violations of international humanitarian law.

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