Charles Taylor verdict expected by April

March 2, 2012 at 9:52 AM

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, March 5 (UPI) -- A judgment in the war crimes trial for former Liberian President Charles Taylor is expected by the end of April, a U.N.-backed special court announced.

Taylor is facing 11 war crimes charges at the Special Court for Sierra Leone for allegedly funding conflict in Sierra Leone with so-called blood diamonds and for the alleged conscription of child soldiers.

Special Court Registrar Binta Mansaray said the Taylor verdict would be a "critical milestone" as the last trial related to civil war in Sierra Leone.

She added there were more than 50,000 pages of witness testimony and more than 1,500 exhibits presented as evidence in a case that opened in 2007.

Taylor is the first African leader to appear before the international war crimes tribunal. He's pleaded not guilty to the war crimes charges.

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