Witnesses are difficult or impossible to find, some having moved to remote African villages accessible only by muddy roads rarely patrolled by police. Many survivors of Liberia’s bloody civil war who witnessed acts of torture are reluctant to talk to anyone about what happened, let alone a defense lawyer for the notorious son of former Liberian President Charles Taylor.

Then there are the language and cultural barriers. These and other problems have forced a delay until spring in the trial in Miami federal court of Taylor’s son Charles McArthur Emmanuel, or Chuckie Taylor, the first person to be prosecuted under a law making it a crime for a U.S. citizen to commit torture or war crimes overseas.