Former Liberian President Charles Taylor appeared Friday for the first time in the Hague courtroom where he is to stand trial for war crimes.

CountryWatch: Liberia

Taylor attended a hearing aimed at paving the way for his trial on charges he was responsible or the killing, rape or mutilation of hundreds of thousands in West Africa.

The former warlord faces 11 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for allegedly overseeing the murder, rape and mutilation of thousands of people during Sierra Leone's bloody 10-year civil war. He has pleaded not guilty but faces a life sentence if convicted.