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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 April 2006, 08:53 GMT 09:53 UK
Sweden considers Taylor detention
Charles Taylor (l) makes his first court appearance in Freetown, Sierra Leone
Charles Taylor (l) pleaded not guilty to charges of war crimes
Sweden says it is considering a UN request to accept former Liberian President Charles Taylor as a prisoner if he is convicted of war crimes.

He faces the charges in the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone, which requested his trial be transferred to The Hague for security reasons.

But the Dutch government said it would only accept this if any ensuing jail term was served in another country.

Mr Taylor is accused of backing rebels in Sierra Leone's 1991-2002 civil war.

They committed widespread atrocities, such as chopping off people's limbs, as they fought to topple the government.

Legal basis

Sweden was one of several countries being approached by the United Nations, said Swedish foreign ministry official Hans Dahlgren.

Austria has already said it lacks the legal basis for Mr Taylor to serve a possible sentence there.

1989: Launches rebellion
1991: RUF rebellion starts in Sierra Leone
1995: Peace deal signed
1997: Elected president
1999: Lurd starts rebellion to oust Taylor
June 2003: Arrest warrant issued
August 2003: Steps down, goes into exile in Nigeria
March 2006: Arrested, sent to Sierra Leone

Two former Bosnian Serb leaders, Biljana Plavsic and Miroslav Deronjic, are currently serving prison sentences in Sweden after being convicted by the UN tribunal for the former Yugoslavia based in The Hague.

Mr Taylor was transferred to Sierra Leone last week after being arrested in Nigeria.

Nigeria had given him asylum under an agreement to end Liberia's own civil war in 2003.

Earlier this week he pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and said he did not recognise the jurisdiction of the UN court.

The Special Court was set up to try to bring to justice those responsible for crimes during the country's decade-long civil war which officially ended in 2002.

The tribunal operates under both Sierra Leone domestic law and international humanitarian law.

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