Former Liberian President, Charles Taylor was on Wednesday sentenced to 50 years imprisonment by an International Criminal Court at the Hague. The sentence came on the heels of the guilty verdict pronounced on the former warlord in April. He had been found guilty of eleven counts of aiding and abetting war crimes during the long civil war in Sierra Leone which killed about 100,000 people.
Taylor was alleged to have supported the rebels with arms and ammunition in exchange for diamonds.
While addressing the court, Taylor denied encouraging human rights abuses during the Sierra Leonean conflict, rather he said he tried to stabilise the West African region. Taylor said “what I did to bring peace to Sierra Leone was done with honour. I was convinced that unless there was peace in Sierra Leone, Liberia would not be able to move forward. I pushed the peace process hard, contrary to how I have been portrayed in this court.”
Judge Richard Lussick who delivered the sentence described Taylor’s crimes as being of “utmost gravity in terms of scale and brutality”
The sentence will be served in the United Kingdom.