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Taylor to pay for crimes, stands trial at Hague
Will be tried by a specifically-created extension of the Sierra Leone Special Court
By: Diamond World News Service
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Jun 22 2006 12:00AM
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Reference: 444  

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Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia and the man that sent West Africa into years of war using children and diamonds to execute his terror, has arrived in the Netherlands to stand trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity. According to the charges, during his reign Taylor led a rebel force, killing tens of thousands of civilians, often using brain washed and drugged children. One of the atrocities he became known for was the hacking off of limbs, noses, and women’s breasts with machetes. Taylor will be tried by a specifically-created extension of the Sierra Leone Special Court in The Hague, at Sierra Leone’s request.

Taylors use of trading diamonds and lumber for weapons and other supplies to sustain his wars gave rise to the diamond industry’s decision to form the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) to end the flow of what has become known as Blood or Conflict Diamonds. In an attempt to avoid facing a war crimes tribunal in Sierra Leone, Taylor made a dash for freedom in March. The short lived flight ended when he was caught on the Cameroon border in north-eastern Nigeria.

The industry is about to face additional ramifications stemming from Conflict Diamonds trade. The industry fears that with the impending release of a movie set against the backdrop of the events in Sierra Leone in the 90s, movie goers might believe that the wars and trade in Conflict Diamonds is continuing, and therefore consumers will put off buying diamond jewelry. The movie is due out in November, during the important holiday season.

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