10:15 27 September 2013
UN Special Court has found Charles Taylor, a warlord who later on became Liberia president, guilty of 11 war crimes, which include enslavement of child soldiers, torture, rape, and murder. These offences were committed against the people of neighbouring Sierra Leone by a guerrilla army called Revolutionary United Front. Taylor provided these guerrillas with training and guns in exchange of diamonds. Taylor is sentenced to 50 years in prison.
The judge said: "The sentence is fair in the light of the totality of the crimes committed. The defence failed to demonstrate any discernable errors in the trial chamber's sentencing."
Brenda Hollis, the UN prosecutor, said that this sentencing shows that nobody is above the law. She explained: "Charles Taylor is the first former head of state to be convicted of war crimes by an international criminal tribunal since Nuremburg in 1946.”
"This sentence makes it clear that those responsible for criminal conduct will be severely punished. No sentence less than 50 years would have been enough to achieve retribution and deterrence."
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