British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett announced on Thursday that Britain would allow the former President of Liberia Charles Taylor to serve his sentence in Britain if he was convicted of war crimes.
"I was delighted to be able to respond positively to the request of the United Nations Secretary General that, should he be convicted, Charles Taylor (could) serve his sentence in the UK," Beckett said in a statement.
She said the decision was driven by two compelling arguments.
"Firstly, that Taylor's presence in Sierra Leone remains a threat to peace in that region. Secondly, that we are demonstrating through concrete action the UK's commitment to international justice," she said.
"If we want to live in a just world, we must take responsibility for creating and fostering it," Beckett said.
"In taking this decision we are demonstrating clearly two of our foreign policy priorities: to ensure that those accused of serious crimes of international concern face justice; and to prevent and resolve conflict through a strong international system. The UK is determined to do what is necessary to defend international justice." she added.
Taylor, the 58-year-old ex-warlord, who is currently being held in custody in Sierra Leone on suspicion of war crimes, is accused by the Special Court for Sierra Leone of arming Sierra Leone's rebels, notorious for recruiting child soldiers and amputating the limbs of innocent women and children, in return for "blood diamonds".