Ex-Liberia head Taylor gets 50-year term

THE HAGUE, Netherlands, May 30 (UPI) -- Former Liberian President Charles Taylor, convicted of aiding war crimes, was sentenced to 50 years by the Special Court for Sierra Leone at The Hague.

The sentence likely would be served in a British jail because Britain was the only country indicating it was willing to house Taylor, the Financial Times reported Wednesday.


Prosecutors at the Special Court for Sierra Leone at The Hague, Netherlands, had asked for a prison sentence of at least 80 years.

Taylor's attorney, British lawyer Courtenay Griffiths, asked the court not to jail his client in Britain because he would be "culturally isolated."

Judges convicted the 64-year-old Taylor in April of aiding and abetting in the commission of 11 war crimes or crimes against humanity during overlapping wars in Liberia and neighboring Sierra Leone. The list of offenses included acts of terrorism, murder, violence to life, rape, sexual slavery, outrage of personal dignity, cruel treatment, inhumane acts, use of child soldiers, enslavement and pillaging.

He is the first sitting or former head of state judged by a U.N.-backed war crimes court for conduct considered so treacherous as to be illegal.


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