An application by ex-President Charles Taylor to appeal earlier decisions denying his request for transfer to Rwanda from a British jail and a motion to terminate the enforcement of his sentence in UK has been denied.
This is the second denial the convicted war crime criminal has suffered in less than two months-meaning Taylor will serve the remainder of his 50 years in Frankland Prison, UK.
The President of the Residual Court for Sierra Leone Justice Philip N. Waki was quoted in a release Thursday as dismissing both appeals thereby upholding earlier decisions by the court’s Trail Chambers.
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 an application on February 6, 2015 to appeal an 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 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.
In the case of his application to appeal, the Defence had argued that the wording of Rule 73(B) on interlocutory appeals implied it was applicable to special Trial Chambers empanelled by the President.
They argued further that they had met the conjunctive tests of “exceptional circumstances” and “irreparable prejudice” prescribed by the Rule. The Prosecution argued that Rule 73(B) applied only to motions arising in the course of judicial proceedings, and not “in the post administrative designation of place of confinement.”
But Justice Waki, citing SCSL jurisprudence, ruled that Rule 73(B) was inapplicable. “Even if it was permissible to seek leave to appeal against the decision of the special Trial Chamber in this case, which it is not, I am not satisfied that the Defence has demonstrated the existence of ‘exceptional circumstances’ or ‘irreparable prejudice’ which are the standards upon which the application for leave would be considered,” Justice Waki wrote.
“I have carefully examined the record compiled by the Honorable Judges who sat in the special ‘Trial Chamber’ which I set up on the Motion for Transfer, and I am satisfied that they dispassionately gathered and evaluated the information placed before them,” Justice Waki said. “I have further considered the reasoning of the Honorable Judges on the material placed before them and I concur with, and adopt, the final decision made by the Trial
This is the final decision on the two motions filed by Charles Taylor.
Charles Ghankay Taylor was found guilty in April 2012 of eleven counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious violations of international humanitarian law.
The Court found that he had planned, and aided and abetted, crimes committed by RUF and AFRC rebel forces during Sierra Leone’s civil war.
In May 2012 he was sentenced to 50 years in prison, with credit given for time served in detention since March 2006. His conviction and sentence were upheld by the Appeals Chamber in September 2013, and he was transferred to Frankland Prison the following month.