A panel of judges has upheld the former Liberian president’s 50-year sentence for his role in arming rebels during Sierra Leone’s civil war. The U.N. backed trial in the Netherlands handed down its final verdict Thursday to the West African strongman after weeks of appeals testimony.
Last year, Taylor was convicted of 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity by the Special Court for Sierra Leone and sentenced to 50 years in prison. On Thursday, judges affirmed the “fair and reasonable” sentence, also rejecting the prosecution’s desire to extend his jail time to 80 years. At 65, Taylor will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.
During his tenure as president of Liberia, Taylor was found to have supported rebel militias in Sierra Leone, which fueled atrocities during the country’s 11-year civil war that resulted in more 120,00 deaths. According to Human Rights Watch, Taylor is the only head of state since the Nuremburg trials to be convicted of war crimes.