By Faith Karimi and Moni Basu, CNN
(CNN) — In a landmark ruling, an international tribunal found former Liberian President Charles Taylor guilty Thursday of aiding and abetting war crimes in neighboring Sierra Leone’s notoriously brutal civil war.
It was the first war crimes conviction of a former head of state by an international court since the Nuremberg trials of Nazi leaders after World War II.
Prosecutors, however, failed to prove that Taylor had direct command over the rebels who committed the atrocities, said Justice Richard Lussick of the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
A three-judge panel issued a unanimous decision that Taylor was guilty on all 11 counts of the indictment against him. The judges found him guilty of aiding and abetting rebel forces in a campaign of terror that involved murder, rape, sexual slavery, conscripting children under the age of 15 and mining diamonds to pay for guns.