| USWorld

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Court affirms ex-Liberian president's role in fostering war crimes in Sierra Leone

Email Newsletters

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, 7:09 p.m.

LEIDSCHENDAM, Netherlands — More than a decade after fueling a murderous campaign of terror in Sierra Leone by supplying rebels with arms, Charles Taylor was definitively convicted and imprisoned on Thursday for 50 years, in a ruling that finally delivered justice for victims.

The appeals chamber of the Special Court for Sierra Leone upheld the former Liberian president's conviction on 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including terrorism, murder, rape and using child soldiers.

Taylor, 65, is the first former head of state convicted by an international war crimes court since World War II and Thursday's confirmation was welcomed as underscoring a new era of accountability for heads of state.

“This is a historic and momentous day for the people of Sierra Leone and the region,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement.

“The judgment is a significant milestone in international criminal justice, as it confirms the conviction of a former head of state for aiding, abetting and planning war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

Stephen Rapp, the ambassador for war crimes issues at the Department of State and former prosecutor at the Sierra Leone court, said the ruling “sends a clear message to all the world, that when you commit crimes like this, it may not happen overnight, but there will be a day of reckoning.”

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Russia scoffs at alliance with West on Syria
  2. France hails 130 victims of Paris terrorist attacks
  3. Watchdog counts $1 billion wasted in Afghanistan
  4. Mexico seizes El Chapo’s planes, cars, houses
  5. Civilian officers slain by gunmen in southern Mexico
  6. Suicide bomber targets crowd of Shiites in Nigeria
  7. Stability marks Merkel’s decade as German chancellor
  8. Colombia frees 30 jailed FARC rebels as peace talk gesture
  9. Belgian raids nab 16 in hunt for terrorism suspects
  10. Liberia has 1st Ebola death since being deemed free of disease in September
  11. Tunisia put under state of emergency