Next week you need to know about . . . the trial of Charles Taylor

Sat, Apr 21, 2012, 01:00

SEVEN DAYS:While Uganda’s Joseph Kony is generating all the African-warlord headlines these days, the protracted trial of the former president of Liberia Charles Taylor (pictured) for war crimes is due to close with a judgment to be announced next Thursday.

The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) was set up under the auspices of the UN in 2002 to prosecute those most responsible for the brutal violence suffered in the west African country during its bloody conflict. Taylor was indicted in 2003, when he was still president, for crimes including murder, rape, sexual slavery and recruiting child soldiers, and he was captured in Nigeria in 2006. The trial wasn’t related to crimes he committed while leading the rebel group that unseated his predecessor.

The three-year trial has been held at The Hague in the Netherlands, and generated most publicity back in August 2010 when Naomi Campbell testified about receiving uncut diamonds from Taylor at a party in Nelson Mandela’s house in 1997. At the time of the party, Taylor was accredited by the UN as a peacemaker; the prosecution alleges he used this position to influence the conflict for his own ends.

It has been 13 months since the final testimony and speeches, and if Taylor is convicted he faces a lengthy prison sentence, most likely in the UK.

Davin O’Dwyer

We now know

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in the huge Karakoram mountain range in the Himalayas have grown slightly in the past decade.

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Rapper reborn

The holographic resurrection of the rapper Tupac Shakur, who died in 1996, at a festival in California last weekend transfixed music fans, but it wasn’t quite Star Wars technology at work. In fact it used a 19th-century illusion known as Pepper’s ghost, a projection reflected on to a foil screen, giving the impression that Tupac was performing with Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre and co. The real expense was the CGI footage, by Digital Domain: the cost was estimated at $100,000-$400,000.

The numbers

€650mCost of North Korea’s failed rocket launch, enough to buy 2.5 million tons of corn and 1.4 million tons of rice.

11Number of US Secret Service agents who were put on leave for allegedly bringing prostitutes back to their hotel rooms in Colombia, where they were preparing for a visit by President Obama.

$15mFee that Britney Spears is reported to be getting for becoming a judge on the next season of The X Factor USA.

500Number of jobs to be created in Dublin and Galway by the pharmaceutical company Mylan over the next five years.

€200mNama’s profit in 2011, after impairments of €810 million are taken into account.

€124,000Price paid at auction in Dublin on Wednesday for an original copy of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic, one of only 50 or so copies believed to survive.

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