Former Liberian President Charles Taylor appears in court in the Hague on Wedneday.
He’s here for a sentencing hearing, after he was found guilty last month of aiding and abetting crimes against humanity during Sierra Leone’s 11-year civil war.
Taylor was expected to tell the judges that he bears no responsibility for the crimes, rejecting the prosecution’s demand for an 80-year sentence in a maximum security British prison.
Speaking at the hearing, Chief Prosecutor Brenda Hollis called for the brutality of the crimes committed to be taken into account when sentencing.
[Brenda Hollis, Chief Prosecutor]:
“In relation to an assesment of the gravity of the crimes of which Mr. Taylor has been convicted, we agree with the defence that such assesment should include the, in our view, massive scale and, in our view, extreme brutatility of these crimes, the vulnerability of the victims and, of course, the impact on the victims and their relatives, both then and now.”
Charles Taylor is the first head of state found guilty by an international tribunal since the Nazi trials at Nuremberg.
He and his defence lawyers have described the case as a racist sham and a Western conspiracy against black Africans – led by the United Kingdom and the United States.