Ex-President Charles Taylor has been hospitalized in a London hospital where he was scheduled to undergo operations for abdominal hernia on his right side on Friday June 12, 2015.
His aides told this paper Monday that so far the operation had been successful but was due for further screening on Monday Morning.
The operation was said to have lasted for about 45 minutes to 1hours. Family members here have expressed concerned about his health and hope he gets well soon. A family spokesperson Mr. Arthur Saye said this was Taylor’s first major operation in his life and hence the fear for his safety.
Taylor 67, was convicted on 26 April 2012 on 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity, including serious violations of international humanitarian law by the Trial Chambers II of the UN back Special Court for Sierra Leone, which sat in The Hague.
He was sentenced on 30 May 2012 to a term of 50 years in prison, and on 26 September 2013, the Appeals Chamber upheld both his conviction and his sentence, clearing the way for his transfer to a UK prison.
Arrested on 26 March 2006, Taylor is said to have served 8 years in detention during his trial-meaning he is expected to serve 42 years in the UK, a number out of which he has already served 2 years in UK, leaving him 40 more years to serve.
His repeated appeals to serve his remaining prison terms outside of the UK, preferably on an African soil suffered a setback recently when the President of the Residual Court for Sierra Leone, Justice Philip N. Waki upheld decisions by judges of the court’s Trial Chambers to dismiss his appeals.
Taylor had filed an appeals requesting for transfer to Rwanda from Britain and a motion to terminate the enforcement of his sentence in UK.
Earlier 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”.
An application by Taylor to appeal these decisions, was also denied by Justice Waki.
Taylor filed another application on February 6, 2015 to appeal that earlier decision denying him a request for Termination of Enforcement of Sentence in the United Kingdom and the Transfer to Rwanda.
On March 25, 2015, Taylor’s application for transfer was again denied.
Taylor had asked to serve the rest of his war crimes sentence in Rwanda, claiming that he has been subjected to inhumane treatment and deny the right to his family while being detained in the UK.
Taylor’s lawyer and aides have repeatedly claimed that his wife and children have been unable to visit him in his UK prison situated in Durham County due to the bureaucracies surrounding the issuance of British visas.
He also claims that he fears for his dear life because fellow inmates some of whom are from Sierra Leone, a country where the crimes for which he has been sentenced may harm him. By Othello B. Garblah