Charles Taylor fails in bid to be moved from UK prison


Judges have rejected a bid by Liberian ex-president and convicted war criminal, Charles Taylor, to be temporarily relocated from the British prison where he is serving a 50-year sentence.

The 72-year-old warlord, in his latest application, requested to be transferred from Frankland prison near Durham in northeastern England, but his application was dismissed.

He had 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”.

On Monday, the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone said in a statement that “Taylor had failed to comply with court directions that he specify which countries he considered safe.”

The court said Teresa Doherty, the duty judge dealing with Taylor’s application, “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 is serving a 50-year sentence after being convicted in 2012 on 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity by a court in The Hague over fuelling civil conflict in Sierra Leone.

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