Former Liberian president's war-crimes trial reopens in The Hague

The international war crimes trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor reopened at The Hague on Monday, six months after it was adjourned when he boycotted the opening session and fired his attorney. Taylor, 59, is accused of terrorizing the people of Sierra Leone by orchestrating atrocities committed by militias known for hacking off their victims' limbs during the country's 10-year civil war that ended in 2003. The 11 charges against him include murder, rape, enslavement and conscripting child soldiers. Taylor, the first former African head of state to appear before an international tribunal, has pleaded innocent to all charges. Prosecutors say Taylor's desire to get his hands on diamonds from Sierra Leone was one of the root causes of his alleged involvement in that country's civil war.