Charles Taylor, the convicted former President of Liberia, will serve the remainder of his 50-year prison sentence in the United Kingdom after RSCSL President Justice Philip N. Waki denied his application to appeal. On 30 January 2015, a special Trial Chamber convened by Justice Waki dismissed Taylor’s motion asking that he be transferred to Rwanda where other SCSL convicts have been imprisoned.
In his decision, Justice Waki upheld the Trial Chamber’s decision on Taylor’s “Motion for Termination of Enforcement of Sentence in the United Kingdom and for Transfer to Rwanda”. At the same time, he denied Taylor’s “Application to Appeal Decision on Motion for Termination of Enforcement of Sentence in the United Kingdom and the Transfer to Rwanda” filed on 6 February 2015.
The Defence had argued that the wording of Rule 73(B) on interlocutory appeals implied it was applicable to special Trial Chambers empaneled by the President. They argued further that they had met the conjunctive tests of “exceptional circumstances” and “irreparable prejudice” prescribed by the Rule. The Prosecution argued that Rule 73(B) applied only to motions arising in the course of judicial proceedings, and not “in the post administrative designation of place of confinement.”
Justice Waki, citing SCSL jurisprudence, ruled that Rule 73(B) was inapplicable. “Even if was permissible to seek leave to appeal against the decision of the special Trial Chamber in this case, which it is not, I am not satisfied that the Defence has demonstrated the existence of ‘exceptional circumstances’ or ‘irreparable prejudice’ which are the standards upon which the application for leave would be considered,” Justice Waki wrote.
“I have carefully examined the record compiled by the Honorable Judges who sat in the special ‘Trial Chamber’ which I set up on the Motion for Transfer, and I am satisfied that they dispassionately gathered and evaluated the information placed before them,” Justice Waki said. “I have further considered the reasoning of the Honorable Judges on the material placed before them and I concur with, and adopt, the final decision made by the Trial Chamber.”
This is the final decision on the two motions filed by Charles Taylor.
Charles Ghankay Taylor was found guilty in April 2012 of eleven counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious violations of international humanitarian law. The Court found that he had planned, and aided and abetted, crimes committed by RUF and AFRC rebel forces during Sierra Leone’s civil war. In May 2012 he was sentenced to 50 years in prison, with credit given for time served in detention since March 2006. His conviction and sentence were upheld by the Appeals Chamber in September 2013, and he was transferred to Frankland Prison the following month.