Charles Taylor To Serve His 50 Yr Jail Term In UK
The Special Court for Sierra Leone has on Thursday affirmed that Ex-Liberian President Charles Taylor is to serve his 50 year war crimes sentence in the United Kingdom.
The former Liberian President will serve his sentence in a UK jail.
The conviction made him the first former head of state to be found guilty of war crimes since Nuremberg in 1946.
Taylor was sentenced to 50 years behind bars by the special court in May 2012 for aiding rebels in Sierra Leone’s civil war.
He was found guilty of 11 crimes including terrorism, murder, rape and the use of child soldiers by groups fighting in the 1991-2002 conflict.
Judge Richard Lussick said Taylor was responsible for “some of the most heinous crimes in human history”.
Taylor however maintains that he is innocent and only made contact with the rebels to urge them to stop fighting.
Today’s judgement affirms that with leadership comes not just power and authority, but also responsibility and accountability.
“No sentence less than 50 years would be enough to achieve retribution and deterrence, the primary goals of sentencing for international crimes.” The Prosecutor Brenda J. Hollis said.
Hollis commended the witnesses who showed braveness and also who came forward to testify.
She also commended the people of Sierra Leone for their commitment to justice, as well as their resilience and courage.
The Special Court will close its doors before the end of 2013, and will be immediately replaced by the Residual Special Court.
A primary function of the Residual Special Court will be the continued protection and support of Special Court witnesses and individuals at risk on account of their testimony.
By Beth Nyaga