An historic sentence has just been announced by Judges in The Hague that Charles Taylor the former President and war lord of Sierra Leone will serve 50 years in prison. He was found guilty of aiding and abetting rebels who murdered, raped and mutilated tens of thousands of people in an 11-year war that ended in 2002. He is the first head of state convicted by an international court since the Nazi war trials at Nuremberg in the Second World War.
Outside the court protesters and victims waved banners saying no hiding for war criminals.
The Presiding Judge Richard Lussick then passed the sentence. To which Charles Taylor listened intently.
Human rights groups were praising the sentence which has come from a 4 year trial. Ibrahim Sorie a Sierra Leone MP said justice has now been done.
The Special Court for Sierra Leone ruled last month that Taylor aided and abetted Revolutionary United Front rebels during an 11-year war which left 50,000 dead in Liberia's West African neighbour by 2002. The rebels raped and murdered civilians, hacked off the limbs of thousands of people in a campaign of terror while Taylor profited from trading in so-called blood diamonds that helped finance the conflict.
Written and Presented by Ann salter