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26 April 2012 - Media release

INTERPOL welcomes landmark conviction of Charles Taylor for aiding and abetting war crimes

LYON, France – The conviction of former Liberian President Charles Taylor for offences including aiding and abetting war crimes, crimes against humanity, rape and murder by the Special Court for Sierra Leone has been praised as a ‘landmark’ decision by INTERPOL.

The world police body, which had issued a Red Notice, or international wanted persons alert, for Taylor at the request of the UN-backed war crimes tribunal welcomed the historic ruling, marking the end of the trial which began in 2007, as a milestone for justice.

“Charles Taylor’s conviction clearly demonstrates the commitment and resolve of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and INTERPOL will continue to work closely with all international tribunals to identify, locate and bring to justice those individuals accused of war crimes,” said Stefano Carvelli, head of INTERPOL’s Fugitive Investigative Support (FIS) unit.

Since the issue of the Red Notice in December 2003, INTERPOL’s FIS unit has been liaising with the Special Court for Sierra Leone, particularly in 2006 after Taylor’s escape from custody in Nigeria just days before he was due to be handed over to the court.

Officers from FIS have also worked closely with the National Central Bureaus in Sierra Leone, Liberia and other involved member countries and in 2009, a Red Notice was issued for Benjamin Yeaten, the former Director of the Special Security Service under Charles Taylor, who is wanted by Liberian authorities for murder.