Ex-Liberian leader's son sentenced to 97-years for torture

[TamilNet, Saturday, 10 January 2009, 03:39 GMT]
Florida federal court Judge, Cecilia M. Altonaga, sentenced son of former Liberian President Charles Taylor Sr. Friday to 97 years in prison for charges including torture and conspiracy, said Matthew Friedrich, acting assistant attorney general of the criminal division. The case was the first brought under a 1994 U.S. law saying those accused of committing torturous acts overseas can be tried in a U.S. federal court.

Altonaga cited Taylor's "sadistic, cruel and atrocious past," saying it "constituted unacceptable, universally condemned torture," The Miami Herald reported.

"The lengthy prison term handed down today justly reflects the horror and torture that Taylor Jr. visited upon his victims," said Matthew Friedrich, according to a CNN report.

Taylor was born in Boston, Massachusetts, but he moved to Liberia when his father was named president.

Prosecutors said Taylor became the leader of the Anti-Terrorist Unit and the Liberian National Police while his father was president. The two groups are accused of abducting, torturing and killing people.

The superseding September 2007 indictment -- which incorporated the initial charges -- included five counts of torture, one count of conspiracy to torture, one count of using a firearm during the commission of a violent crime and one count of conspiracy to use a firearm during the commission of a violent crime, CNN reported.

Also Friday, the World Organization for Human Rights USA filed a civil class action suit against Taylor on behalf of a group of people who are said to have been subjected to torture and other human rights abuses by Taylor or his subordinates, according to the organization.


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External Links:
ICTY: Karadzic, Mladic indictment
TamilNation: Black July 1983: the Charge is Genocide
GW: Genocide Watch
TAG: Tamils Against Genocide
ICTY: International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia
US: Genocide Intervention Network
USIP: Genocide Prevention Task Force
WT: FEIN: A genocide inquiry?


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