Charles Taylor's lawyer storms out of court

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 8, 2011 12:09




LEIDSCHENDAM, Netherlands — Calling the trial "a farce," Charles Taylor's lawyer stormed out of court Tuesday after judges refused to accept a written summary of the former Liberian president's defense at the end of his landmark war crimes case.

British attorney Courtenay Griffiths ignored judges at the Special Tribunal for Sierra Leone who ordered him to stay in court after unprecedented angry exchanges erupted before closing arguments in the three-year case.

Taylor, the first former African head of state to be tried by an international court, has pleaded innocent to 11 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder, torture and using child soldiers.

Prosecutors allege he armed and supported brutal rebels responsible for many of the worst atrocities of Sierra Leone's civil war, which left tens of thousands of people dead and many more mutilated after enemy fighters hacked off their limbs, noses or lips.


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