Judges have rejected the Liberian ex-president and convicted war criminal, Charles Taylor’s bid to be moved from a British jail, in which he claimed he risks dying from coronavirus.
Taylor serving a 50-year sentence at Frankland prison near Durham in northeastern England after being convicted in 2012 by a court in The Hague of fuelling civil conflict in Sierra Leone argued that due to a “massive outbreak of Covid-19 in the UK” his life was at risk from continued detention in Britain and that he wanted to be moved to a “safe third country”.
But the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone on late Monday that “Taylor had failed to comply with court directions that he specify which countries he considered safe.”
The duty judge, Teresa Doherty, dealing with Taylor’s application, said “noted that the World Health Organization has not declared any place in the world safe from COVID-19”.
Taylor’s claims that his prison was overcrowded and offered bad conditions were also “at variance with facts”, the judge found. Taylor had lost a bid to be allowed to serve the remainder of his term in an African jail in 2015.
Charles Taylor was the first former head of state to be jailed by an international court since the Nazi trials at Nuremberg in Germany after World War II.
He was convicted in 2012 on 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity over acts committed by Sierra Leone rebels he aided and abetted during the war.