Blood diamonds president Charles Taylor to be jailed in Britain

Liberia’s ex-president and warlord Charles Taylor is to serve his 50-year prison sentence for war crimes in Britain (Picture: AFP / Getty)

A former Liberian president who sold blood diamonds to fund attacks of appalling barbarity in Sierra Leone is to serve his 50-year prison term in Britain.

Charles Taylor – who has lost an appeal against his conviction for terrorism, murder, rape and using child soldiers – will be transferred from Holland.

Sierra Leone, which sent the 65-year-old to the international court at The Hague in case a domestic trial prompted a new uprising, has requested that he be imprisoned here.Justice minister Jeremy Wright said the government was happy to help because Taylor’s conviction was a ‘landmark moment for international justice’.

He told parliament: ‘It demonstrates that those who commit atrocities will be held to account and that no matter their position they will not enjoy impunity.’

Campaigners said Britain should be proud of helping to stop Taylor, who aided rebels notorious for cutting off limbs during the 1991-2002 civil war.

‘He used funds from diamonds and timber to brutalise the citizens of Sierra Leone and Liberia,’ said Global Witness’s Natalie Ashworth. ‘Both countries still struggle with that legacy.’

Adapted from The Metro