Taylor prefers Rwandan jail to UK

Ex-Liberian President Charles Taylor has asked to serve his 50- year sentence for war crimes in Rwanda, rather than the UK. In a letter sent to the court that convicted him, he says it would be easier – and less expensive – for his family to visit him in Africa.
He also said he feared being attacked in a British prison. Taylor was convicted of aiding rebels who committed atrocities in Sierra Leone during its civil war. Last week, a UK minister confirmed that Taylor would be transferred to a British prison.
He was convicted by the UN backed Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), but his trial was held in The Hague in case it sparked renewed unrest in West Africa. The Netherlands only agreed to host the trial if he was imprisoned elsewhere.
“My position is that serving my sentence in Rwanda, in my home continent of Africa, would be substantially more humane not only on my own account, but also on account of the impact on my family.”
He noted that the court’s statutes said access for prisoners’ relatives should be taken into account when deciding where they should serve their sentence. He said that it would be cheaper and easier to travel to Rwanda – and that Liberian nationals could obtain visas at the airport, unlike in the UK.
Taylor, 65, was convicted on 11 crimes including terrorism, rape, murder and the use of child soldiers by rebel groups in neighbouring Sierra Leone during the 1991-2002 conflict, in which some 50,000 people died.

National Mirror
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