Liberia’s ex-President Charles Taylor has been sentenced to 50 years in jail by a UN-backed war crimes court.
Last month Taylor was found guilty of aiding and abetting rebels in Sierra Leone during the 1991-2002 civil war.
Special Court for Sierra Leone judges said the sentence reflected his status as head of state at the time and his betrayal of public trust.
Taylor, 64, insists he is innocent and his lawyer has told the BBC he will appeal against the sentence.
“The 50-year sentence pronounced today effectively is a life sentence for someone that age – the rules of the court prohibit expressly the imposition of a life sentence,” defence counsel Morris Anyah told the BBC’s Newshour programme.
The appeal process could last up to six months, the BBC’s Anna Holligan in The Hague reports. Read more.