Former Liberian leader gets 50 years for war crimes
MOSCOW, May 30 - RAPSI. The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) has sentenced former Liberian president Charles Taylor to 50 years in prison for war crimes and crimes against humanity during the 1991-2002 military conflict in the region, the BBC reported on Wednesday.
SCSL found Taylor, who fought as a warlord in the Liberian civil war in the early 1990s before becoming president, guilty on 11 counts, including mass murder, rape, mutilation, and recruiting child soldiers.
Taylor, 64, pleaded not guilty to all charges and will most likely appeal against the sentence.
The former African leader, who was deposed in 2003 under a peace deal ending the conflict, is also implicated in the killing of up to 200,000 civilians in Sierra Leone, notably through his support for a campaign of terror unleashed by a brutal local guerilla group, the Revolutionary United Front.
Taylor fled to Nigeria after being ousted, but was arrested on an international warrant and deported to Sierra Leone in March 2006. He has been held at a detention center in The Hague since June 2006.
His trial began in 2007 and was completed in March 2011. The prosecution called a total of 115 witnesses during the trial.
Taylor will most likely serve the term in the UK, as the Dutch government only agreed to host the trial if Taylor would serve his sentence in another country.