Charles Taylor guilty of war crimes

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Former Liberian President Charles Taylor was found guilty Thursday of aiding and abetting grave human rights abuses and war crimes in a historic verdict by the Special Court for Sierra Leone.  While Taylor was not found guilty of masterminding the atrocities, he became the first former African head of state to be convicted in an international court.  In Taylor's native Liberia and in Sierra Leone, where the crimes were committed, interest in the verdict was very high. 

Liberians gathered around radios and televisions or watched online, using slow connections at internet cafes, as former President Charles Taylor was convicted of involvement in war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sierra Leone.

From the site of the trial in The Hague, the Special Court for Sierra Leone said Taylor was not guilty of committing the crimes himself.  However, he was guilty of aiding and abetting rebels as they terrorized civilians, carved their initials into the bodies of child soldiers and carried out murder, abductions and rape....

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