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Home News Afro Briefs Originally published October 10, 2013

Ex-Liberian Pres. Charles Taylor to Serve Prison Sentence in Britain

by MikeCorder
AssociatedPressWriter

  •   Click on the photo to view additional Photos.
    Former Liberian President Charles Taylor, waits for the start of his appeal judgement at the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) in Leidschendam, near The Hague, Netherlands, Thursday Sept. 26, 2013. Judges at a U.N.-backed tribunual are delivering their judgment in Taylor’s appeal against his convictions and 50-year sentence for planning and aiding atrocities by rebels in Sierra Leone’s bloody civil war. Taylor, 65, became the first former head of state convicted by an international war crimes court since World War II when the SCSL found him guilty on April 26, 2012, of 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity including terrorism, murder, rape and using child soldiers. Photo/Koen van Weel, Pool (AP Photo)

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands— Former Liberian president Charles Taylor, who was convicted for sponsoring atrocities in Sierra Leone, will serve his 50-year sentence in a British prison, Justice Minister Jeremy Wright announced Oct. 10 in a letter to Parliament.

Taylor, 65, is the first former head of state convicted by an international war crimes court since World War II.

The Special Court for Sierra Leone found him guilty in April 2012 of 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity including terrorism, murder, rape and using child soldiers. His conviction and sentence were upheld at appeal last month.

In his letter to Parliament, Wright called Taylor's conviction, "a landmark moment for international justice." He did not identify the prison where Taylor would be confined.

In the Liberian capital, Monrovia, Taylor's brother-in-law Arthur Saye said Taylor should serve his sentence in Rwanda like other rebels convicted by the Sierra Leone court.

"Mr. Taylor is an African; he's someone who believes in eating his African foods and what have you," Saye said. "And what happened took place in Africa; yes, they tried him in another country, but why must he be subjected to serve his term in a white man's country?"

Saye expressed fears for the former warlord-turned-president's safety if he is imprisoned in Britain.

The court's president, Judge George Gelaga King, said in a written order dated Oct. 4 and released Oct. 10 that in choosing a British prison he took account of Taylor's family situation and the ability of other possible states to ensure his physical safety.
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Associated Press writer Jonathan Paye-Layleh contributed to this report from Monrovia, Liberia.



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