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British firm evacuates workers after Ebola outbreak

A British mining company has evacuated a number of "non-essential" workers from Sierra Leone following an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in the west African country.

Colourised transmission electron micrograph of Ebola virus.
Colourised transmission electron micrograph reveals some of the morphology displayed by an Ebola virus. Credit: Press Association Images/Frederick Murphy

London Mining said it imposed travel restrictions in the region around its Marampa mine and was closely monitoring the situation with health chiefs and international agencies.

"London Mining notes recent reports suggesting that an increased number of incidents of Ebola Fever have been found. Following consultation with relevant authorities, the company has imposed restrictions on travel [and] a number of non-essential personnel have left the country," the company said.

The iron ore mining company said production at its mine was not affected.

Officials in the country say there have been two deaths from Ebola and a dozen other cases of the deadly and highly contagious disease, following an outbreak in neighbouring Guinea that also led to cases in Liberia earlier this year.

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Taylor sentence to reflect his 'position of authority'

Charles Taylor listens to his sentencing Credit: REUTERS/United Photos

Presiding judge Richard Lussick said that Charles Taylor's sentence of 50 years was supposed to reflect his position of authority.

The prosecution had recommended a sentence of 80 years, but the judge ruled this would be excessive as Taylor had not directly committed the crimes himself.

Judge Lussick said: "Leadership must be carried out by example by the prosecution of crimes not the commission of crimes.

"The sentence is intended to "underscore the gravity it attached to the betrayal of public trust."

'Innocent lives destroyed' as a result of Taylor's actions

A young man has the initials of the Revolutionary United Front marked in his chest and his ear cut off Credit: Reuters

Charles Taylor has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for his role in Sierra Leone's brutal civil war.

The presiding judge Richard Lussick said: "The lives of many more innocent civilians in Sierra Leone were lost or destroyed as a direct result of his actions."

Last month, Taylor was convicted of 11 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity which included murder, rape, sexual slavery and recruiting child soldiers.

Child soldiers from the RUF Credit: Reuters

Although the court could not prove that Taylor directly ordered these crimes, is found that he provided"sustained and significant" support to the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels which committed many of the atrocities against civilians.

In particular, Taylor was found to have channeled weapons and ammunition to the rebels in exchange for "blood diamonds" mined using slave labor.

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Judge sentences Charles Taylor for 50 years in prison

by - Africa Correspondent

A judge in The Hague has sentenced Charles Taylor to 50 years in prison for his role in the 1991-2002 civil war in Sierra Leone.

Before announcing the sentence, the judge said that the fact that Taylor has no criminal record is not a factor, asking "who would prosecute him?"

Charles Taylor's defence counsel argued that his age (64) and health should be taken into account.

Outlining Taylor's conviction, the judge said he was responsible for planning "some of the most heinous crimes recorded in human history".

Charles Taylor prosecutor recommends prison term of 'no less than 80 years'

Brenda Hollis, the lead prosecutor in the Charles Taylor trial at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, has recommended a prison sentence of at least 80 years. At an interim hearing she said of the 64-year-old war criminal:

Considering the extreme magnitude and seriousness of the crimes that were committed against the people of Sierra Leone for which Taylor has been found responsible … the prosecution recommends that Charles Taylor be sentenced to a prison term of no less than 80 years. No significant mitigating circumstances exist in this case.

Charles Taylor 'likely to receive prison sentence'

The former Liberian president and convicted war criminal Charles Taylor is likely to receive a prison sentence, according to Human Rights Watch.

The statute of the Special Court for Sierra Leone provides that sentences should be 'imprisonment for a specified number of years'. Sentences may also include forfeiture of any 'property, proceeds and any assets acquired unlawfully or by criminal conduct'.

– Human rights watch website
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