64-year old Former Liberian President Charles Taylor, has been the first head-of-state to be convicted by an international court for war crimes and crimes against humanity since the post World War 2 Nuremberg Military Tribunal. He is being charged for providing arms, ammunition, communication equipment that led to many atrocities in the 1991-2002 Sierra Leone Civil War. 50,00 perished in the Sierra Leone Civil War. He was found guilty on 11 charges including sexual slavery, rape, terror, and murder. The only other head-of-state to be convicted was Nazi Naval Commander, Karl Doenitz who led Germany after Adolf Hitler’s suicide.
His sentencing hearing will be on May 16, and his actual sentence would be announced two weeks after his hearing. Taylor will serve his sentence in Britain.
“Taylor’s conviction sends a powerful message that even those in the highest level positions can be held to account for grave crimes,” said Elise Keppler of Human Rights Watch. “Not since Nuremberg has an international or hybrid war crimes court issued a judgment against a current or former head of state. This is a victory for Sierra Leonean victims, and all those seeking justice when the worst abuses are committed.”