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Last Updated: Friday, 16 June 2006, 00:22 GMT 01:22 UK
UN moves to transfer Taylor trial
Charles Taylor
Charles Taylor has pleaded not guilty to charges of war crimes
Moves to transfer former Liberian leader Charles Taylor to the Dutch city of The Hague are under way.

The British ambassador to the UN said a draft resolution which would allow the transfer to go ahead is ready to go before the Security Council.

A UN-backed tribunal in Sierra Leone, where Mr Taylor is on trial, wants the case moved for security reasons.

Mr Taylor faces war crimes charges in relation to Sierra Leone's civil war.

He is accused of backing rebels in the decade-long war in which up to 50,000 people died.

On Thursday, the British government said Mr Taylor could serve a prison sentence in the UK if he was convicted of war crimes.


The Dutch government said this meant all conditions had been met for his trial to be moved to The Hague, after other European countries had refused to host him.

It had agreed to host Mr Taylor's trial, still conducted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone, as long as he was imprisoned in another country if he was convicted.

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

British Foreign Minister Margaret Beckett said the UK's decision showed Britain's "commitment to international justice".

Both Sierra Leone and Liberia are recovering from years of conflict, in which Mr Taylor played a central role.

Liberia's President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who took office in January, said she feared that putting Mr Taylor on trial in West Africa could lead to renewed instability.

Britain, the former colonial power in Sierra Leone, sent troops to help oust rebels from the capital, Freetown in 2000.

Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front rebels were notorious for mutilating civilians, by hacking off their arms or legs with machetes.

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