UK & World News
Charles Taylor Gets 50 Years For War Crimes
Former Liberian president Charles Taylor, the first African leader to be convicted of war crimes, has been jailed for 50 years.
The 64-year-old is likely to serve his term in the UK as Britain is the only country to say it is willing to take him in.
Taylor was found guilty last month of aiding and arming rebels who killed and mutilated thousands in neighbouring Sierra Leone during a brutal civil war which went on for more than a decade.
In the UN-backed war crimes court near The Hague, judge Richard Lussick said there was no legal precedent by which to determine a sentence, but the term was intended to reflect Taylor's position of authority.
"He was found responsible for aiding and abetting some of the most heinous and brutal crimes in recorded history," he said, reading out the sentencing.
"Leadership must be carried out by example by the prosecution of crimes not the commission of crimes."
He said the sentence is intended to "underscore the gravity it attached to the betrayal of public trust."
The prosecution demanded an 80-year sentence in one of Britain's maximum security jails, but Taylor appealed for a shorter sentence.
Both sides are expected to appeal.
Taylor is the first head of state to be convicted by an international tribunal since the Nazi trials at Nuremberg, after he became notorious for feeding the illicit trade in blood or conflict diamonds.
Taylor was convicted of 11 counts of murder, rape, conscripting child soldiers and sexual slavery during the civil war in Sierra Leone.
More than 120,000 people were killed.
Reacting from Sierra Leone, deputy minister of information Sheka Tarawalie said: "Today the people of Sierra Leone, the victims, and ordinary observers inside and outside the country would believe that some kind of justice has been done."
Geraldine Mattioli-Zeltner of Human Rights Watch said: "It is really significant that Taylor's status as a former head of state was taken as an aggravating factor as far as his sentence was concerned."
The trial, which saw model Naomi Campbell testify she had received diamonds from Taylor at a dinner hosted by Nelson Mandela, finished in March 2011.
what do you think?
He was given 80 years, and appealed, so they gave him 50. Excellent. We need that judge in this country. He could do a master class on how to sentence properly. The old idiots in our courts haven't got a scooby doo. Rapist given 7 years, wins the lottery in prison !!! ends up doing 4 years. Some people get that for fraud.
Rapist given 7 years, wins the lottery in prison !!! ends up doing 4 years. AND THE MEEK SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH!
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Why is the UK taking him? Liberia was created an American colony (remember, those guys who said colonies were BAAAAD) so why can't the yanks take him?
Why our prison? let his country pay for his encarsaration
Encarsaration (Sic) ??!! Incarceration (Good grief, learn to spell)
Ok vic....mr perfect! So are you going to make a worthwhile comment.....or just extract the urine out of people!
So this man doesn't want to spend his jail time in a British jail as he is a family man and it would be difficult for his family to visit him. WHO CARES. He should never be aloud to see anyone of his family. Keep him in solitary confinement.
More likely to be his family will get assisted prison visits, airfare, hotels etc all on the British taxpayer.
Blood boiling time, why is the UK the only country 'willing' to take him in. Why clutter our prisons with more monsters from other countries, who's paying. Great Britain the worlds Biggest dumping ground, so wave ur jubilee flags with pride, cause we r laughing stock.
Well blow me - another slap in the face for the Great British public eh?! Is it ok that I pay my contribution to this mans meal tickets, bed and board for the next fifty years while I'm standing in line to pay my fine for putting the bins out an hour early. I presume it's ok to pay at the post office while I pay my ridiculous road tax for driving over a few dozen pot-holes on the way home.
So true hope he gets whot he deserves in prison
more like the uk is the only country to take him in beceause of our track record of letting asylum seekers in at the tax payers expense, keep it up britain!
That's right, dump all the dross on our doorstep. We'll take 'em in. How does he like his eggs in the morning and does he want a morning call?
He'll be out in 6 months for good behaviour and straight into a council house on benefits
Scale of government's ability to look after it's own people. 10 = good 0 = dire Conservatives 0 Labour 0 LibDems 0 Green Party 0 Independance Party 0 Raving Looney Party 0 Oh sorry the last one's already in.
I would be very supprised if he was put into a normal run of the mill prison He would want a POSH PRISON.. as he does have rights .... you know How much would this cost the British Tax Payer.. ( per month )
Cameron, May, get your heads out of the sand, we don't want this monster or his family anywhere near our shores.
this goverment need to put uk first not helping all these others out and as for taking this mass murderer its the most stupid thing i heard why why then we have to fit the bill its time this goverment quit and let the ppl of uk do a better job cameron if know one else wants him ask urself why HES A MASS MURDERER stop this from happening
It's funny how super powers never get stitched up for war crimes. China, Brazil and Russia are the super powers of the future, going to be interesting to see what strategy they implement for Europe.
I wonder how many years Blair and Bush are going to get?
Why are we taking him in - us taxpayers footing the bill yet again totally sucks If the iu n tried him the u n can jail him.
So & I quote, "it is likely that he will serve his term in the UK as only Britain will take him". That's just typical. All costs of keeping this murderer will fall to the British tax payer. Why are we ALWAYS the patsies? This government needs to wake up!
50 years? 80 years? And fighting over it? Why not just say life and be done with it! And as usual Britain has to take care of another foreign criminal. Who you and I will pay to keep. What a joke!
Death sentence for comes against humanity nothing less