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Sierra Leone war crimes court postpones Taylor trial again

[JURIST] The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) [official website; JURIST news archive] announced the further postponement of court proceedings in the trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor [BBC profile; SCSL case materials] Monday, granting a request by Taylor's new defense team [JURIST report] for additional time to prepare their case. Taylor's trial, which had been scheduled to resume on August 20, was first postponed [JURIST report] in early July. The trial court will return from judicial recess on August 20 and will instead hold a hearing to decide when the trial will start. Defense lawyers have requested the trial be delayed until January 7, 2008.

Taylor faces charges [indictment, PDF] of murder, rape, and the recruitment and use of child soldiers during a bloody civil war in Sierra Leone [JURIST news archive]. He has previously complained that his single court-appointed defense lawyer was unfairly outnumbered [JURIST report] by the prosecution team. The criticism prompted the SCSL to add four people to Taylor's defense team and increase funding available to Taylor [JURIST report] to approximately $100,000 per month, despite a UN report that concluded Taylor may control millions of dollars [JURIST report] held in bank accounts worldwide. AFP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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