We are currently trialling our new-look independent.co.uk website - please send any feedback to beta@independent.co.uk

Home News

Liberian war criminal Charles Taylor will serve sentence in UK prison

Mr Taylor was responsible for 'some of the most heinous crimes in human history'

Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia who was convicted of war crimes, is to serve out his 50-year sentence in a UK prison, Justice Minister Jeremy Wright confirmed today.

Mr Taylor, who was convicted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), failed in his appeal against war crimes convictions last month.

A UN-backed special court in The Hague ruled that his convictions had been proved beyond doubt.

Mr Taylor, 65, had argued that there were legal errors during his trial.

The former president was convicted of supplying weapons to the Revolutionary United Front rebels in exchange for so-called blood diamonds.

He was also found guilty at his trial of 11 further crimes including rape, murder, terrorism and the use of child soldiers during the horrific civil war in Sierra Leone between 1991-2002.

At the trial the judge said Mr Taylor was responsible for "some of the most heinous crimes in human history".

In a written statement to Parliament, Justice Minister Jeremy Wright said that following a request from the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), former president Taylor will now be transferred to a prison in the UK to serve his sentence. Mr Wright said: "International justice is central to foreign policy.

"It is essential for securing the rights of individuals and states, and for securing peace and reconciliation.

"The conviction of Charles Taylor is a landmark moment for international justice. It clearly demonstrates that those who commit atrocities will be held to account and that no matter their position they will not enjoy impunity."