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Charles Taylor to Appeal Sentence

  • VOA News

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor listens to the judge at the opening of the sentencing judgement hearing at the court in Leidschendam, near The Hague, May 30, 2012.

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor listens to the judge at the opening of the sentencing judgement hearing at the court in Leidschendam, near The Hague, May 30, 2012.

Former Liberian president Charles Taylor plans to appeal his conviction for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The Special Court for Sierra Leone released a short statement Tuesday saying Taylor's defense lawyers have filed notice of intention to appeal.

The court sentenced Taylor to 50 years in prison last month for aiding rebels in Sierra Leone who committed atrocities during that country's civil war.

Judges found him guilty on all 11 counts of an indictment that included charges of murder, rape, sexual slavery, and recruitment of child soldiers.

The court said Taylor did not have command and control of the rebels but was aware of their activities and provided them with weapons and other supplies.

Taylor received so-called "blood diamonds" mined from eastern Sierra Leone in exchange for his support.

The former Liberian leader told judges at a sentencing hearing last month that he has "deepest sympathies" for those who suffered during the civil war. But he stopped short of admitting any wrongdoing or apologizing for the abuses by the rebels.

Taylor was the first head of state to be convicted by an international court since the Nuremberg trial in 1946 of Karl Doenitz, who briefly ruled Nazi Germany after the death of Adolf Hitler.

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