Adrian Hamilton on the Charles Taylor's trial by The Special Court for Sierra Leone and its verdict:
Taylor's trial still has the smack of white man's justice to it – and not a little hypocrisy.
Taylor has been condemned for stoking up a rebellion in another country with appalling consequences for its civilian population. But what else was the West doing when it armed the Taliban to fight the Russians in Afghanistan, and how else would you describe the calls to send arms to the insurgents in Syria, however noble their cause?
Taylor's defence was right on one point. He wouldn't be there if his machinations had suited our purposes.
I don't agree with Hamilton's phrasing, but it is pretty clear that the trial of Charles Taylor was problematic for reasons that have nothing to do with white man's justice. The case against him was weak and its prosecution inadequate. It doesn't mean that Taylor wasn't responsible, it means that the process to determine his guilt was flawed. However, the essential question remains about the adequateness of the tools to achieve international justice and about how fair and equitable does the process have for its verdict to be just instead of just being about retribution.