The Special Court for Sierra Leone has sentenced former Liberian president Charles Taylor to 50 years behind bars for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The sentence was handed down on Wednesday in The Hague. The judge said that Taylor, also a former warlord, used his position to aid and abet rebels rather than to promote peace. The prosecution had asked the court to sentence Taylor to 80 years in prison but the judge found that excessive. The sentence means that Taylor, who is 64, will almost certainly spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Last month, Charles Taylor was convicted on 11 counts including murder, rape, sexual slavery, recruitment of child soldiers and enslavement. Though the court ruled that Taylor did not have command of the rebels who terrorised Sierra Leone, it also ruled that he provided them with weapons and other supplies.
Taylor denies his guilt and says he is the victim of a US effort to sweep him out of power.