LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – Judges presiding over the war crimes trial of ex-Liberian leader Charles Taylor have postponed the trial until January 7 to give new defense lawyers time to prepare their case.
Taylor dismissed his previous lawyer because he said he could not receive a fair hearing. Human rights lobbyists and victim associations are impatient for the trial to began, but agree more time is needed for a fair trial. Phuong Tran brings us this report from VOA’s West African Bureau in Dakar.
Taylor’s new defense lawyer, Courtney Griffiths, had urged the court to postpone the trial saying a focus on a speedy outcome could hurt Taylor’s chances for a fair trial.
Geraldine Mattioli with the lobby group Human Rights Watch says it is fair to give the new defense team more time. She says the prosecution has had years to gather evidence and prepare its case.