[JURIST] Former Liberian president Charles Taylor [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] was transferred [press release] on Tuesday from The Hague to a British prison, where he will serve his 50-year sentence for war crimes. Taylor has been convicted of aiding rebels who committed atrocities, including terrorism, rape and murder, during the civil war in Sierra Leone. The Hague had agreed to have the trial on the condition that Taylor’s sentence be served elsewhere. Taylor originally requested that he serve his time in Rwanda, but the Special Court for Sierra Leone [official website] request that he serve his sentence in the UK was granted in October [JURIST report]. An Act of Parliament [text], passed in the UK in 2007, allows Taylor to serve his term in the UK at the cost of the government. Taylor has been in detention since March 2006, which will count towards his sentence as time served.
In September the SCSL rejected an appeal [JURIST report] by Taylor. According to a press release [text] from the court, Taylor’s lawyers appealed his convictions on 42 grounds, arguing that the Trial Chamber erred in evaluating evidence and that the 50-year sentence was “manifestly unreasonable.” The court ruled that his guilt had been proved beyond doubt and upheld Taylor’s 50-year sentence. The sentence came after Trial Chamber II convicted Taylor of planning as well as aiding and abetting crimes committed by rebel forces in exchange for diamonds during the civil war, including acts of terrorism, murder, rape, sexual slavery, conscripting or enlisting children into armed forces, enslavement and pillage.