ICC issues Qaddafi warrant: Key prosecutions of world leaders

As the International Criminal Court issues only its second international arrest warrant for a sitting head of state, a look at prosecution of current and past world leaders.

By , Staff writer

Charles Taylor, Liberia

In 2000, the UN and Sierra Leone established the Special Court for Sierra Leone, a hybrid court able to prosecute both international and domestic crimes in the country. More than a dozen people have been investigated for violations of international humanitarian law during Sierra Leone's decade-long civil war, but one case stands out among all the others – that of Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia, Sierra Leone’s neighbor. He was accused of providing support for the rebel movement that stoked the 1991-2002 civil war, receiving diamonds in exchange.

Mr. Taylor was indicted in 2003 on 11 counts, including crimes against humanity, war crimes, sexual violence, and use of child soldiers. In February, he boycotted the final days of proceedings. It was only the latest twist in a bizarre and drawn-out trial that has included Shakespearean monologues from Mr. Taylor along with testimonies from British supermodel Naomi Campbell and American actor-activist Mia Farrow.

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