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Liberia's Charles Taylor loses appeal against war crimes conviction

Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 01:30

Sept. 26 - Former Liberian President Charles Taylor loses his appeal against a war-crimes conviction for encouraging rebels in neighboring Sierra Leone during its civil war. Mana Rabiee reports.

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"Mr. Taylor, will you please rise." And with that, former Liberian President Charles Taylor stood in the International Criminal Court to hear the judge's ruling. He's appealed his conviction for war crimes. SOUNDBITE: PRESIDING JUDGE, GEORGE GELAGA KING, SAYING: "Charles (inaudible) Taylor remains in the custody of the special court for Sierra Leone pending the finalization of arraignments to serve his sentence." Appeal denied. The 65-year old will serve his 50-year sentence, handed down to him last year for encouraging rebels in neighboring Sierra Leone to murder, mutilate and rape during a decade-long civil war. The conflict killed more 50,000 people and left tens of thousands more with their limbs hacked off in the brutal violence. Prosecutors accused Taylor of running a "blood diamond" trade to help finance his activities, allegations he denied. SOUNDBITE: DEFENDANT, FORMER LIBERIAN PRESIDENT CHARLES TAYLOR, SAYING: "It's a lie, it's a diabolical lie. Never." His conviction in 2012, broadcast live on TV, made Taylor the first head of state to be found guilty by an international tribunal since the Nazi trials in Nuremberg. Thursday's ruling reaffirms that conviction. SOUNDBITE: PRESIDING JUDGE, GEORGE GELAGA KING, SAYING: "…dismisses the remaining grounds of appeal, affirms the sentence of 50 years imprisonment imposed by the chamber." In Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, victims were said to be jubilant over the ruling. But in Liberia, Taylor's supporters denounced the court, saying it unfairly targets Africans.

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Liberia's Charles Taylor loses appeal against war crimes conviction

Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 01:30