Former Liberian President Charles Taylor was transferred Tuesday to the United Kingdom to serve a 50-year sentence for aiding war crimes in neighboring Sierra Leone, reports CNN, citing the U.K. Ministry of Justice.
The transfer comes two weeks after the United Nations-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone ruled to uphold the sentence, rejecting an appeal, notes the news source.
In June 2012, after a nearly four-year trial, Taylor was convicted on all 11 counts against him of aiding and abetting the RUF rebels in Sierra Leone during that country's extended civil war, which lasted from 1991 to 2002, and which saw the murder and/or mutilation of 50,000 people. He was also convicted of using Sierra Leone's diamond deposits to help fuel its civil war with arms and guns while enriching himself.
Taylor became president of Liberia in 1997 and was forced out of office under international pressure in 2003. He fled to Nigeria, where border guards arrested him three years later as he was attempting to cross into Chad, according to CNN.
The United Nations and the Sierra Leone government jointly set up the special tribunal to try those who played the biggest role in the atrocities. The court was moved to the Netherlands from Sierra Leone, where emotions about the civil war still run high.
The United Kingdom offered to enforce the sentence against Taylor because the special tribunal doesn't have a prison facility, notes the news source.