Fallen Tyrants, a lesson for others!

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor was convicted Thursday of aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity for supporting brutal rebels in neighboring Sierra Leone in return for “blood diamonds.” Taylor is the first head of state convicted by an international court since the post-World War II Nuremberg military tribunal.

 

He is part of a long parade of modern leaders accused of war crimes. Here is what happened to some others: LAURENT GBAGBO The former Ivory Coast president is also jailed in The Hague awaiting trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The crimes were allegedly committed as he attempted to cling to power last year after losing a presidential election.

 

OMAR AL-BASHIR The ICC accused the Sudanese president of orchestrating genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur and issued an arrest warrant for him. However, he remains free in Sudan, which is locked into hostilities with South Sudan. The U.N. estimates that 300,000 people died and 2.7 million were displaced in the Darfur conflict.

MOAMMAR GADHAFI Libya’s leader became the first ruler killed in the Arab Spring uprisings that swept the region in 2011. He ruled for nearly 42 years with an eccentric brutality, turning Libya into an isolated pariah, then an oil power courted by the West, then back again. The rebels who toppled him were backed by a NATO bombing campaign.

SADDAM HUSSEIN The former Iraqi dictator was hanged at age 69 in 2006 after an Iraqi trial. His brutality kept him in power through war with Iran, defeat in Kuwait, rebellions by northern Kurds and southern Shiite Muslims and international sanctions. A U.S.-led invasion drove him from power in 2003.

GEN. AUGUSTO PINOCHET The former Chilean president died in 2006 at age 91 in a military hospital, ending a decade of intensifying efforts to bring him to trial for human rights abuses blamed on his regime. He had terrorized his opponents for 17 years after taking power in a bloody coup in 1973.

 

SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC The former Serb leader was found dead in 2006 in his prison cell in The Hague, Netherlands. That abruptly ended his four-year U.N. war crimes trial for orchestrating a decade of conflict in the Balkans which left 250,000 dead and the Yugoslav federation torn asunder. He was 64.

IDI AMIN Uganda’s deposed dictator lived in exile in Saudi Arabia until his death around the age of 80 in 2003. His regime was notorious for torturing and killing suspected opponents in the 1970s. His cruel, extravagant ways led to social disintegration and economic decline in his landlocked African nation.

POL POT The toppled Khmer Rouge leader died in the Cambodian jungle at age 73 in 1998, cheating pursuers who believed they were days away from capturing him for prosecution in the deaths of as many as 2 million countrymen. He ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, seeking to create a Marxist agrarian regime but leaving one person in five dead of starvation, illness or execution.

ADOLF HITLER The Nazi dictator, who committed suicide in his Berlin bunker in 1945, was responsible for the Holocaust and the deaths of millions during World War II. KARL DOENITZ The only other head of state convicted by an international court. The Nazi naval commander briefly led Germany after Adolf Hitler’s suicide and was convicted by a military tribunal at Nuremberg after World War II.

RADOVAN KARADZIC Prosecutors at the U.N.’s Yugoslav war crimes tribunal are close to wrapping up their case against the former Bosnian Serb leader. He is charged with genocide and other war crimes stemming from Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war.

 

 

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