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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Taylor Goes to Hague to Face Trial

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone -- Former Liberian President Charles Taylor left Sierra Leone on a chartered jet Tuesday to face war-crimes charges in the Netherlands, the special court organizing his trial said.

Taylor faces 11 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for backing Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front rebels, who sent drugged child soldiers into battle and killed, mutilated and raped civilians in the West African country's 1990s civil war.

Taylor was flown early Tuesday in a UN helicopter to the country's main airport at Lungi from the compound of the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone, which has charged him with war crimes and will conduct his trial in The Hague.

"He's in a plane headed for the Netherlands. He left Lungi International Airport at 9:40 this morning," said court spokesman Peter Andersen. "I talked to Mr. Taylor briefly. We didn't discuss his case, we joked around a little bit and I wished him a safe journey," he said.

Asked about Taylor's mood, he said: "It's difficult to tell -- he looked very serious."

Britain promised last week to hold Taylor in jail, and drafted a UN Security Council resolution authorizing his transfer to the Netherlands for trial.