Charles Taylor to appeal sentence

By IndepthAfrica
In Liberia
Jun 19th, 2012
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Former Liberian President Charles Taylor waits for the start of the sentencing hearing in Leidschendam, near The Hague, Netherlands. Picture: Evert-Jan Daniels Source: AP

The Hague – Lawyers for Liberia’s former president Charles Taylor plan to appeal a 50-year prison sentence handed down to him by a special UN-backed court last month, a document before the court said on Tuesday.

“The defence provides notice of its intention to file notice of appeal,” said the document, submitted to Special Court for Sierra Leone on Monday.

Taylor, 64, was sentenced on 30 May for arming Sierra Leone’s rebels in return for “blood diamonds” during the country’s brutal civil war which claimed 120 000 lives.

The court found that Taylor was paid in diamonds mined in areas under control of Sierra Leone’s Revolutionary United Front rebels, who murdered, raped and mutilated their victims while forcing children to fight and keeping sex slaves.

If his appeal fails, Taylor will serve his sentence in a British jail under a 2007 deal which resulted in his trial before the tribunal, based in Leidschendam just outside The Hague.

The former president was transferred to The Hague in mid-2006 amid fears that trying him in Freetown would pose a security threat.

- AFP

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