War criminal Charles Taylor to serve 50 year sentence in BRITISH prison

The dictator is set to serve his sentence in the UK

CHARLES Taylor, the brutal former dictator of Liberia, is to be transported to a British prison to serve his 50-year sentence for crimes against humanity.

Ex-president Taylor, 65, became the first former head of state to be convicted by an international war crimes court since the Second World War when he was found guilty last year.

It has now been announced he will be transferred to a prison in the UK to serve his sentence.

Rwanda and Sweden had also offered to take him following the rejection of his appeal last month by a UN-backed special court in The Hague

It is expected he will be sent initially to Belmarsh prison in south-east London, which has a designated high-security unit for terrorists.

In a written statement to Parliament, Justice Minister Jeremy Wright said that following a request from the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), former president Taylor will now be transferred to a prison in the UK to serve his sentence.

Mr Wright said: “International justice is central to foreign policy.

“It is essential for securing the rights of individuals and states, and for securing peace and reconciliation.

“The conviction of Charles Taylor is a landmark moment for international justice.

“It clearly demonstrates that those who commit atrocities will be held to account and that no matter their position they will not enjoy impunity.”

The average annual cost of keeping a prisoner in Britain is estimated to be more than £40,000 a year, meaning if 65-year-old Taylor was to spend the next 20 years behind bars it could cost the British taxpayer almost £1million.

The dictator was convicted of 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including terrorism, murder, rape and using child soldiers.