US jails Liberia ex-leader's son
Charles "Chuckie" Taylor jailed for 97 years for torture and killings.
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2009 22:23 GMT
"Chuckie" Taylor's father is on trial at The Hague
on war crimes charges [EPA]

The son of Charles Taylor, the former Liberian president, has been sentenced to 97 years in prison by a US court for torture and killings carried out in the African country.

Charles McArthur Emmanuel Taylor, a US citizen also known as "Chuckie", was found guilty in October by a US court of crimes committed while he was the head of Liberia's "anti-terrorist" services during his father's 1997 to 2003 rule.

"Chuckie" Taylor's trial was the first under a 1994 law allowing the prosecution of US citizens charged with torture outside the country.

The 31-year-old was taken into custody in March 2006 while trying to enter the US from Trinidad.

Beheading claim

"Sorry to my brothers for what happened during the 14 years of war in Liberia ... I will meet my obligation no matter what it would be"

Charles "Chuckie" Taylor

The charges said "Chuckie" Taylor allegedly ordered and in some cases carried out acts of violence between April 1999 and July 2003.

One victim was allegedly placed naked in a pit as stinging fire ants were shovelled over his body.

He was also alleged to have tortured his victims with melted plastic, electric shocks, scalding water and beatings with "sharp metal rods".

"Chuckie" Taylor also personally shot several men to death at a bridge checkpoint and ordered one man beheaded with a large knife, witnesses said.

His father is currently facing trial for war crimes by the United Nations-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague, Netherlands.

Appearing in the Miami, Florida court shackled and dressed in a brown prison jumpsuit, also sporting a long beard and mustache, Taylor asked forgiveness from his victims.

"Sorry to my brothers for what happened during the 14 years of war in Liberia ... I will meet my obligation no matter what it would be," he said before hearing his sentence.

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