International judges have found former Liberian leader Charles Taylor guilty of aiding and abetting war crimes during the Sierra Leone civil war.
Taylor, 64, has been on trial in The Hague at a UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone for almost five years.
He was accused of backing rebels who killed tens of thousands during Sierra Leone's 1991-2002 civil war.
Taylor was convicted of 11 counts including terror, murder and rape - but cleared of ordering the crimes.
He is the first former head of state convicted by an international court since the Nuremburg military tribunal of Nazis after World War II.
Human rights groups described the judgement as historic.
"This is an incredibly significant decision," Elise Keppler from the campaign group Human Rights Watch told the BBC.
Rights group Amnesty International said the verdict sent an important message to all high-ranking state officials.
"While today's conviction brings some measure of justice to the people of Sierra Leone, Taylor and the others sentenced by the Special Court are just the tip of the iceberg," the group's Brima Abdulai Sheriff said in a statement.
The US State Department said the ruling sent "a strong message to all perpetrators of atrocities, including those in the highest positions of power, that they will be held accountable".
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