In April 2012, Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia, was found guilty of providing arms, financial and moral support to the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council rebel forces. The Appeals Chamber upheld the Trial Chamber indictment and sentence to 50 years in prison. The Chamber of the SCSL confirmed that Charles Taylor assisted and planned numerous crimes committed during the Sierra Leone’s civil war by the RUF and the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council rebel forces.
1. Assistance, encouragement or moral support that has “a substantial effect on the crimes, not the particular manner in which such assistance is provided” (¶ 368)
2. Knowledge “that his acts would assist the commission of the crime by the perpetrator or that he was aware of the substantial likelihood that his acts would assist the commission of a crime by the perpetrator” (¶ 533)
ACTUS REUS: “A thorough review of the caselaw, which is now examined, demonstrates that applying customary international law to the specific facts of individual cases, this Court and other international tribunals have consistently required, when considering a variety of fact patterns, that an accused‘s acts and conduct had a substantial effect on the commission of the crimes for which he is to be held individually criminally liable” (¶ 371). “As the Appeals Chamber, as well as the ICTY and ICTR Appeals Chambers, have consistently emphasised, whether an accused‘s acts and conduct had a substantial effect on the commission of the crime ―is to be assessed on a case-by-case basis in light of the evidence as a whole” (¶ 475).
MENS REA: “The Appeals Chamber‘s review of the post-Second World War jurisprudence demonstrates that under customary international law, an accused‘s knowledge of the consequence of his acts or conduct – that is, an accused‘s “knowing participation” in the crimes – is a culpable mens rea standard for individual criminal liability. Similarly, the post-Second World War jurisprudence was found in early ICTY Judgments other than Furundžija to establish that under customary international law, “awareness of the act of participation coupled with a conscious decision to participate” in the commission of a crime entails individual criminal responsibility. The 1996 ILC Draft Code supports this conclusion, and Article 25(3)(c) of the Rome Statute is not evidence of state practice to the contrary” (¶ 436).