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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 April 2006, 16:57 GMT 17:57 UK
Denmark refuses to host Taylor
Charles Taylor (l) makes his first court appearance in Freetown, Sierra Leone
Charles Taylor (l) pleaded not guilty to charges of war crimes
Denmark says it will turn down a UN request to imprison ex-Liberian President Charles Taylor if he is convicted of war crimes.

Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller said Denmark would tell the United Nations to look elsewhere.

Sweden and Austria have also said they will not play host to Mr Taylor, who is facing war crimes charges in a UN-backed court in Sierra Leone.

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

The Special Court for Sierra Leone has requested that the trial be transferred to The Hague for security reasons.

Legal doubts

But the Dutch government said it would only accept this if any ensuing jail term was served in another country and the transfer was endorsed by the UN Security Council.

Denmark and Austria say there would be no legal basis for Mr Taylor to serve any jail term in their countries.

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

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

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

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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