Spindelegger: No more impunity for criminal dictators
Austria’s Foreign Minister welcomes the verdict against the former president of Liberia Charles Taylor
Vienna, 27 April 2012 - "The conviction of former president Charles Taylor is a warning for all criminal dictators in the world that the times of impunity are over“, Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said in his first response to yesterday’s verdict of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. The ex-president of Liberia, Charles Taylor, was found guilty on all eleven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity during the civil war in Sierra Leone from 1991 to 2002.
Spindelegger stressed that it was the first time since the Nuremberg trials that a former head of state has been sentenced by an international tribunal. “The verdict is yet another step towards a breakthrough for the rule of law worldwide. Austria consistently advocates that the rule of law must be strengthened and stands up against impunity for genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes.”
The Special Court for Sierra Leone made history already in 2007 when it ruled that the recruitment and use of child soldiers were war crimes. Austria has been providing financial support to the Special Court for many years. Austrian judge and expert in children’s right Renate Winter, Austria’s nominee for the elections of the UN Children’s Right Committee in 2012, serves as a judge in the Appeals Chamber and was Acting President of the Special Court from 2008 to 2010.
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