Charles Taylor appeals Sierra Leone war crimes convictions

Former Liberian president Charles Taylor has appealed his war crimes and crimes against humanity convictions and his 50-year sentence, calling them a miscarriage of justice.

Prosecutors want his 50-year sentence increased to 80 years

Former Liberian president Charles Taylor waits for the start of his sentencing judgment in the courtroom of the Special Court for Sierra Leone in Leidschendam, near The Hague, Netherlands, on May 30. The SCSL found Taylor guilty on 11 charges of aiding and abetting rebels who went on a bloody rampage during the decade-long war that ended in 2002 with more than 50,000 dead. Taylor is now appealing his convictions. (Toussaint Kluiters/Pool/Associated Press)

Former Liberian president Charles Taylor has appealed his war crimes and crimes against humanity convictions and his 50-year sentence, calling them a miscarriage of justice.

Prosecutors on Thursday also appealed the Special Court for Sierra Leone's decision to acquit Taylor on more serious charges and urged judges to increase his sentence to 80 years.

Taylor, 64, became the first former head of state since the Second World War to be convicted by an international war crimes court when he was found guilty in April of aiding and abetting murderous rebels during Sierra Leone's bloody civil war.

He was cleared of directly ordering atrocities such as massacres and mutilations carried out by the rebels.