A former child soldier testified today at the Charles Taylor Trial today, providing detailed accounts of his experiences after being captured by rebels and then forced to fight in the war in Sierra Leone.
First, there was deliberation on the protections the former child soldier was entitled to for testifying (see entry on CharlesTaylorTrial.org:
Judge Sebutinde: All these measures were on the grounds that he was underage. Now he is overage. Do you still think he needs to testify behind a screen and with facial distortion even though he is no longer a child?
Pros: The witness still has concerns about his security and safety consistent those he had before.
It was confirmed that the child (now 22 years old) was still entitled to some (limited) protections for testifying at the trial, including (see entry on CharlesTaylorTrial.org):
use of a psudonym at all times, and the use of a screening device from the public.
The curtains in the court room were ordered to come down so the public couldn’t see the witness but his testimony could be heard.