Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The Trial and Conviction of Charles Taylor.....50 years, is justice served?

Charles Taylor..tailoring his way to 50 years in Prison.

Judge Richard Lussick read out the sentence in court, and the long awaited Trial finally saw the setting of the sun. Charles Taylor Liberia's ex-President  has been sentenced to 50 years in jail by a UN-backed war crimes court. Taylor was found guilty of aiding and abetting rebels in Sierra Leone during the 1991-2002 civil war.Taylor, 64, insists he is innocent and his lawyer has said he will appeal against the sentence. The 50-year sentence pronounced today effectively is a life sentence for someone that age -as the rules of the court prohibit expressly the imposition of a life sentence. Mr Taylor, showed no emotion during the hearing. "The accused has been found responsible for aiding and abetting some of the most heinous crimes in human history," Judge Richard Lussick said. For a man who never set foot on the soil of sierra Leone, but yet has a heavy imprint in the history of the West African nation. The crimes - which took place over five years - included cutting off the limbs of their victims and cutting open pregnant women to settle bets over the sex of their unborn children, sheer wickedness!

The fact that he had not expressed remorse or apologised for his part in the conflict also affected the sentence. Taylor's time-line runs thus>

    1989: Launches rebellion in Liberia
    1991: RUF rebellion starts in Sierra Leone
    1997: Elected president after a 1995 peace deal
    1999: Liberia's Lurd rebels start an insurrection to oust Mr Taylor
    June 2003: Arrest warrant issued; two months later he steps down and goes into exile to Nigeria
    March 2006: Arrested after a failed escape bid and sent to Sierra Leone
    June 2007: His trial opens - hosted in The Hague for security reasons
    April 2012: Convicted of aiding and abetting the commission of war crimes

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