Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Taylor war crimes sentence could set precedent

30 May 2012, 10:53

Amsterdam - Former Liberian President Charles Taylor could be jailed for the rest of his life on Wednesday when he is sentenced by an international court for backing Sierra Leonean rebels in their war of murder, rape and mutilation.

Prosecutors seek an 80-year sentence for Taylor, 64 - the first head of state convicted by an international court since World War Two - and the decision could set a precedent for other war crimes courts.

The Special Court for Sierra Leone ruled last month that Taylor aided and abetted Revolutionary United Front rebels during an 11-year war which left 50,000 dead in Liberia's West African neighbour by 2002.

The rebels raped and murdered civilians. They hacked off the limbs of thousands of people in a campaign of terror while Taylor profited from trading in so-called blood diamonds that helped finance the conflict.

The court's judges said Taylor knew about the brutality and had nonetheless helped equip and fund the rebels, giving them satellite phones and money.

"Charles Taylor's sentence should reflect the gravity of his heinous crimes," said Elise Keppler of Human Rights Watch.

"Sentencing is a crucial step in bringing redress to Sierra Leonean victims and reinforcing the principle that no one is above the law - not even a head of state."

Not since the Nazi trials at Nuremberg has a head of state been found guilty by an international tribunal, and Taylor's sentencing could also set a precedent. 


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
4 ways to handle your cheating ma...

He is cheating. How do you handle him?

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Why do men choose second wives?

Why do men choose to have second wives?

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
Wizkid set for twin Kenyan shows

Wizkid is back in Kenya. For two shows.

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
Udada women's festival begins in ...

The Udada women's festival has arrived in Nairobi.

Submitted by
Uhuru pardons 2747 death row conv...

President Uhuru Kenyatta has pardoned a number of death row convicts, sending them to life sentences instead. Read more...

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
WATCH: Kaka Sungura arrested in t...

Was Kaka Sungura arrested in town?