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Charles Taylor

 June 2003

 by Michael Montgomery and

Deborah George

STATUS: Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia, resigned August 11, 2003 and handed power over to his Vice President Moses Blah. Taylor has since entered Nigeria in exile. For the most recent news on the situation in Liberia, go to a daily news site like the New York Times or the BBC

Charles Taylor
Brima "Bazzy" Kamara
Sam Bockarie
Johnny Paul Koroma
Foday Sankoh
Issa Sesay
Morris Kallon
Augustine Gbao
Alex Tamba Brima
Sam Hinga Norman

Stats and Facts
Printable Transcript

With this Ring: Following the International Diamond Trail



This week, the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone indicted Charles Taylor, the president of Liberia, for crimes allegedly committed during the civil war in neighboring Sierra Leone. It was only the second time a head of state has been indicted for international war crimes while in office. Prosecutors allege Taylor was a central figure in a global criminal network that controlled rebels in Sierra Leone who committed murder, enslavement, rape and forced children into combat.

The Special Court was established last year in a treaty between the United Nations and the Sierra Leone government. It is a new kind of war crimes tribunal that uses a mix of national and international law and is based in the country where the crimes occurred. Human rights groups say the new court is quicker and cheaper than the United Nations tribunals for former Yugoslavia and Rwanda and could be a model for justice in Iraq and other countries emerging from war and dictatorship. War crimes investigations are extremely secretive, but American RadioWorks journalists Deborah George and Michael Montgomery were allowed to follow the work of investigators and prosecutors in Sierra Leone.


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Producers: Deborah George
and Michael Montgomery
Editor: Didrik Schanche
Coordinating Producer: Sasha Aslanian
Managing Editor: Stephen Smith


Executive Producer: Bill Buzenberg
Web Manager: John Pearson
Web Production Manager: Michael Wells
Project Coordinator: Misha Quill

Major funding for American RadioWorks comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Additional funding for Investigating Sierra Leone was provided by the Open Society Institute and the Ploughshares Fund.

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