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Charles Taylor to Serve Prison Sentence in Britain

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor, left, waits for the start of his appeal judgement at the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) in Leidschendam, near The Hague, Netherlands, Sept. 26, 2013.
Former Liberian president Charles Taylor will serve his 50-year prison sentence for war crimes in a British prison.

The British government made the announcement Thursday, two weeks after a U.N.-backed court dismissed an appeal of Taylor's conviction.

Justice Minister Jeremy Wright said in a statement that "the conviction of Charles Taylor is a landmark moment for international justice."

The Special Court for Sierra Leone found Taylor guilty on 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity for aiding rebels during Sierra Leone's civil war.

Taylor received so-called "blood diamonds" in exchange for arming the rebels, who were notorious for raping, killing and mutilating civilians.

The 65-year-old Taylor is the first head of state to be convicted by an international court since Nazi leaders were sentenced after World War Two.

Britain had offered to house Taylor in a British prison if he was convicted.