Former Liberian leader Charles Taylor jailed for 50 years

  • Former Liberian president Charles Taylor has been jailed for 50 years for helping Sierra Leonean rebels commit what has been described by an international court as some of the worst war crimes in history.

    Taylor, 64, is the first head of state to be convicted by the court in The Hague since the Nazi trials following World War Two.

    Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front rebels murdered and raped thousands across Liberia's West African neighbour during an 11-year war that ended in 2002. 

    Taylor assisted them as he profited from trade in so-called blood diamonds.

    His sentence is seen as a precedent for an emerging system of international justice aimed at deterring future war crimes.

    The court will soon start the trial of Ivory Coast's ex-president, Laurent Gbagbo.