The UK government has confirmed that former Liberian president Charles Taylor will serve his 50-year sentence for sponsoring atrocities in Sierra Leone at a British prison.
Justice Minister Jeremy Wright said in a written statement to Parliament that former president Taylor will now be transferred to a prison in the UK to serve his sentence upon a request from the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL).
“International justice is central to foreign policy. It is essential for securing the rights of individuals and states, and for securing peace and reconciliation”, said Wright.
“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”, he added.
The 65-year-old Taylor is the first former head of state convicted by an international war crimes tribunal since World War II.
The Special Court for Sierra Leone found him guilty in April 2012 of 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity including terrorism, murder, rape and using child soldiers.
He failed in his appeal against war crimes conviction and sentence last month, with a UN-backed special court in The Hague ruling that his convictions had been proved beyond doubt.
The former president was convicted of supplying weapons to the Revolutionary United Front rebels in exchange for so-called blood diamonds.
At the trial the judge said Mr Taylor was responsible for “some of the most heinous crimes in human history”.
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