Charles Taylor Convicted in War Crimes Case

A U.N.-backed court has found the former Liberian president guilty.

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Charles Taylor (CNN)

In a historic ruling in what is being called a "watershed" war crimes case, a United Nations-backed court has convicted ex-Liberian President Charles Taylor of war crimes he committed during a conflict that left 50,000 people dead.

MSNBC reports:

Taylor, 64, was charged with murder, rape, conscripting child soldiers and sexual slavery during intertwined wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone. However, the court found him guilty of only some of the charges.

Taylor is the first head of state convicted by an international court since the post-World War II Nuremberg military tribunal.

The tribunal found Taylor guilty of aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity by supporting notoriously brutal rebels in return for "blood diamonds."

Presiding Judge Richard Lussick said the warlord-turned-president provided arms, ammunition, communications equipment and planning to rebels responsible for countless atrocities in the 1991-2002 Sierra Leone civil war. Lussick called the support "sustained and significant."

Read more at MSNBC.

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