Cablegate: Cables admitted in Charles Taylor trial.
by Associated Press via Google
The court trying Liberian ex-president Charles Taylor for war crimes admitted into evidence Thursday two leaked US government cables he claims prove that his trial is political.
The Special Court for Sierra Leone granted the warlord’s application for permission to reopen his case to admit the documents obtained by Wikileaks and published in the Guardian newspaper in December.
The 62-year-old has pleaded not guilty to all charges stemming from the 1991-2001 civil war in Sierra Leone which claimed some 120,000 lives. Taylor, who insists that the case against him is based on “lies”, claimed in a written application that the US cables “raise grave doubts about the independence and impartiality” of his trial.
The first cable quotes the US ambassador to Liberia, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, as saying that “all legal options should be studied to ensure that Taylor cannot return to destabilise Liberia”.
The second allegedly reveals that sensitive information about the trial was leaked to the US embassy in The Hague by “unnamed contacts” in the court and the office of the prosecutor.
Taylor stands accused of fuelling war in Sierra Leone by arming the RUF in exchange for so-called “blood diamonds”. The RUF is blamed for the mutilation of thousands of civilians who had their hands and arms severed in one of the most brutal wars in modern history. Closing arguments in the trial are expected on February 8, 9 and 11.
Wikileaks is slowly changing from villain to hero in the eye of the public. If more corrupted regimes topple, Mr. Assange may be the next Nobel Laureate candidate.