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Liberia's Taylor to appeal guilty verdict

Jan. 22, 2013 at 9:51 AM

THE HAGUE, Netherlands, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Lawyers for former Liberian President Charles Taylor said they launched an appeal of his 50-year prison sentence handed down by an international court.

Taylor's defense team, in prison at The Hague, said a verdict last year on his role in the civil war in Sierra Leone was a "miscarriage of justice," the BBC reports.

Taylor, 64, wrote a letter to Liberian leaders demanding a $25,000 pension. He complained he was denied the right to consular access and diplomatic services, the BBC adds.

At least 50,000 people were killed during the 11-year civil war in Sierra Leone that ended in 2001. Taylor was sentenced by a U.N. special court in May to 50 years in prison for aiding and abetting crimes against humanity committed by rebel forces in the country during the conflict.

The U.N.-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone last year announced Santigie Borbor Kanu and Ibrahim Bazzy Kamara were each sentenced to two years in prison on charges of offering to bribe or otherwise influence witnesses before testifying before the court. Both men are serving sentences of more than 45 years for their roles in the conflict.

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