Jan. 28, 1948: Charles Taylor born in Arthington, Liberia, into a family descended from freed American slaves.
1970s: Lives in Boston area of the United States, earning an economics degree from Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts.
1983: Flees Liberia after being accused of embezzling nearly US$1 million. He is later detained in the United States on a Liberian arrest warrant.
1985: Escapes from a Massachusetts jail.
December 1989: Taylor's National Patriotic Front of Liberia rebel group launches armed uprising in Liberia, sparking a conflict that leaves 200,000 dead.
1991-2002: Sierra Leone civil war.
Aug. 2, 1997: Taylor elected Liberia's president following years of civil war.
March 3, 2003: Special Court for Sierra Leone indicts Taylor on charges including murder, rape, sexual slavery, conscripting child soldiers and terrorizing civilians for his support of rebels during Sierra Leone civil war. Indictment is unsealed on June 4, 2003, during Taylor's first overseas trip since his indictment.
Aug. 11, 2003: Taylor resigns and flies into exile in Nigeria.
May 31, 2004: Appeals judges reject Taylor's claim that he was immune from prosecution because he was a serving head of state when indicted.
Late March 2006: Taylor disappears after Nigeria agrees, amid international pressure, that he should stand trial.
March 29, 2006: Taylor taken into custody as he tries to cross border from Nigeria to Cameroon. Is transferred to the special court in Sierra Leone. Then-prosecutor Desmond De Silva says Taylor's arrest "sends out the clear message that no matter how rich, powerful or feared people may be _ the law is above them."
June 20, 2006: Taylor transferred to U.N. detention block in The Hague to await trial.
June 4, 2007: Trial starts with prosecution's opening statement. Taylor fires his lawyer and boycotts the proceedings.
Jan. 7, 2008: Trial resumes with new defense lawyer after a 6-month delay.
June 13, 2009: Taylor begins his defense.
Nov. 12, 2010: Taylor wraps up defense.
March 11, 2011: Judges begin considering verdicts.
April 26, 2012: Judges due to deliver verdicts.