Monday, December 17, 2007

Defenders go to Liberia

Curt Anderson has this interesting story about the difficulties in investigating the Chuckie Taylor case -- the witnesses are scattered throughout Africa. Such problems raise the question about whether this sort of offense ought to be prosecuted in the United States. Here's the lead:

Witnesses are difficult or impossible to find, some moving to remote African villages accessible only by muddy roads rarely patrolled by police. Many who survived Liberia's bloody civil war and may have seen acts of torture are reluctant to talk to anyone about what happened, let alone a defense lawyer for the notorious son of former Liberian President Charles Taylor.
Then there are the language and cultural barriers. These and other problems have forced a delay until spring in the trial in Miami federal court of Taylor's son Charles McArthur Emmanuel or Chuckie Taylor, the first person to be prosecuted under a law making it a crime for a U.S. citizen to commit torture or war crimes overseas.

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