Prosecutors Seek 80 Year Sentence For Charles Taylor


Prosecutors have demanded an 80-year jail term for former Liberian president Charles Taylor, who last week was convicted of aiding and abetting crimes against humanity, before a sentencing decision that is expected to set a precedent.
Taylor's sentencing, on May 30, will be closely watched for its impact on other heads of state involved in cases at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, where Laurent Gbagbo, the former president of Ivory Coast, is due to face charges of crimes against humanity.

In a brief filed to judges at a special court in The Hague on Thursday, the prosecution said Taylor's position as a head of state, and the "length of time during which the crimes continued", were aggravating circumstances that necessitated a lengthy term.
Last week judges ruled that Taylor, 64, had helped the militias which, during the 11-year civil war in Sierra Leone, had perpetrated acts of terror against the civilian population, disembowelling and mutilating their victims, and recruiting child soldiers.
Until now, the longest sentence imposed by the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) was one of 52 years, handed down to Issa Sesay, a commander in the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) militia that was responsible for some of the war's worst brutality.
The prosecution had sought to have Taylor convicted of direct criminal responsibility for human rights violations committed during the course of the conflict, but judges found that Taylor had not been in a position of direct command.
"The SCSL has given huge sentences, but that would be difficult for Taylor, given the way judges characterised his role," said William Schabas, professor of law at Middlesex University.

1 comment

  1. our leaders in Africa should learn from this. Everyday for the thief, one day for the owner!

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