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Liberia's Charles Taylor Transferred to Britain

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor appears in court at the Special Court for Sierra Leone for his appeal judgment at The Hague in the Netherlands, Sep. 26, 2013.
Former Liberian President Charles Taylor has been transferred to a prison in Britain where he will serve a 50-year sentence for war crimes.

The U.N. -backed Special Court for Sierra Leone says Taylor was transferred from The Hague, in the Netherlands, to the United Kingdom on Tuesday. He was handed over to British prison officials.

Last year, the special court found Taylor guilty on 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity for aiding rebels during Sierra Leone's 11-year civil war that ended in 2002.

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

Taylor is the first former head of state to be convicted by an international court since Nazi leaders were sentenced after World War Two. he 65-year-old former leader has always maintained he was innocent.

Britain had offered to house Taylor if he was convicted.

Taylor had asked to serve his prison sentence in Rwanda instead of Britain so that he would be closer to his family.