Charles Taylor verdict: As it happened

Key points

  • Former Liberian President Charles Taylor has been found guilty of aiding and abetting crimes against humanity, murder, rape and terrorism
  • He becomes the first former head of state convicted of war crimes by an international court since the Nuremburg trials after World War II
  • He was convicted of backing rebels who killed tens of thousands during Sierra Leone's 1991-2002 civil war, but was cleared of giving the orders
  • The court found there was a continuous supply of diamonds from the rebels to Taylor, often in exchange for arms and ammunition
  • He was tried by the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone, sitting in The Hague, in case the trial led to fresh instability in the region
  • All times are BST (GMT+1)

Live text

Reporting:

  • Yaroslav Lukov 
  • Lucy Fleming 
  • Joseph Winter 

Last updated 26 April 2012

STANDARD 0930

Welcome to the BBC's live coverage of the verdict in the war crimes trial of former Liberian leader Charles Taylor, who is accused of backing rebels in Sierra Leone. He denies the charges, but if found guilty, he would become the first former head of state convicted of war crimes by an international court since the Nuremburg trials after World War II.

STANDARD 0940

So stay with us for the latest updates - the 11 charges he faces will be read out starting at 10:00, which could take up to two hours. We will have reaction from correspondents, analysis, and reaction from Sierra Leone, Liberia and around the world. You can contact us via email, text or twitter. We'll publish what we can.

STANDARD 0943

Charles Taylor first came to international prominence after an interview on New Year's Day 1989 on the BBC's Focus on Africa programme with its then editor Robin White, who reflects on their verbal sparring.

Charles Taylor (L) and Robin White (R) in 2000

STANDARD 1001

The hearing at the court sitting in The Hague has now opened.

STANDARD 1005

Mr Taylor looks sombre, wearing a dark suit, as he listens to the opening statement of lead justice Judge Richard Lussick.

STANDARD

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor takes notes as he waits for the start of a hearing to deliver verdict in the court room of the Special Court for Sierra Leone in Leidschendam

Charles Taylor making notes in the court room of the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

TWEET 1103

The judge starts to get a croaky throat after reading aloud for more than hour.

STANDARD 1025

The judge says that the prosecution has proved on various counts that the RUF rebels were responsible for killings, rapes and mutilations committed during the conflict in Sierra Leone, but is yet to say whether the court accepts that Charles Taylor can be linked to these crimes.

TWEET

Carter J. Draper, @draperc

All ears glued to radios in #LIBERIA as we wait to hear the final verdict of our former Pres. verdict #bbctaylor

STANDARD 1040

The judge says before the indictment period, the RUF leader Foday Sankoh and Charles Taylor had met when they trained in Libya, but said the two worked independently of each other.