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In Monrovia, Charles Taylor's wife awaits his verdict

Charles Taylor, the former Liberian leader accused of 11 counts of war crimes, will learn his fate tomorrow in what is seen as a milestone moment for international justice.

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In this 2006 file photo former Liberian President Charles Taylor makes his first appearance at the Special Court in Freetown.

George Osodi/AP/File

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For the last five years, Victoria Taylor has been waiting for her husband Charles to come home. 

At the couple's dusty mansion on the edge of Monrovia, everything is as he left it. Her husband's collection of Picasso prints lines the walls of the drawing room. A wide veranda looks out over an empty tennis court and the unkempt garden beyond. 

"A house without a husband is not a home," Victoria says, leaning back in a faded upholstered chair.

But White Flower, the Taylor family residence, is no ordinary home. And Charles Taylor, the man Victoria married in 2002, is no ordinary husband.

Taylor, the former Liberian leader accused of 11 counts of war crimes and human rights abuses during Sierra Leone's war, will learn his fate Thursday in what is being deemed a milestone moment for international justice irrespective of the verdict. Taylor is the first African former head of state to go on trial in a UN-backed, international court.

West Africa analyst Abdou Aine, who heads a Senegal-based think tank, said "international justice is on trial" as well as Taylor. "Thursday's verdict will set the tone for future trials of African leaders," he says, "including the trial of former Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo, scheduled to open in the ICC in June."

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