AMSTERDAM -- The Special Court for Sierra Leone said Tuesday former Liberian President Charles Taylor will appeal his war crimes conviction.

Taylor was convicted for arming and supporting murderous rebels in Sierra Leone in return for "blood diamonds," and was sentenced last month to 50 years in prison.

His lawyers said then they were considering an appeal and Tuesday the court said in a brief statement they have now filed a formal notice of their intention to do so.

While the Sierra Leone court is based in that country's capital, Freetown, Taylor's trial is being staged in Leidschendam, a suburb of The Hague, Netherlands, for fear that holding it in West Africa could destabilize the region.

Taylor's lawyer Morris Anyah said the defense is seeking extra time – until July 19 – to file the appeal, due to the "extraordinary length" of the sentencing judgment, which runs more than 2,000 pages.

Prosecutors have argued the deadline should be no later than July 5, and the court has yet to set a date.

Anyah said it would not be in Taylor's interest to disclose the likely grounds for his appeal.

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  • Former Liberian President Charles Taylor takes notes at the start of the judgement hearing of his trial on charge of arming Sierra Leone's rebels who paid him in 'blood diamonds,' on April 26, 2012 at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, based in Leidschendam outside The Hague. (PETER DEJONG/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Former Liberian President Charles Taylor (2nd L), and judges (in red) wait for the start of the judgement hearing of Taylor's trial on charge of arming Sierra Leone's rebels who paid him in 'blood diamonds,' on April 26, 2012 at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, based in Leidschendam outside The Hague. (PETER DEJONG/AFP/GettyImages)

  • (From L) Prosecutors Brenda J. Hollis, Nicholas Koumjian and Mohammed Bangura, wait for the start of the judgement hearing of former Liberian President Charles Taylor's trial on charge of arming Sierra Leone's rebels who paid him in 'blood diamonds,' on April 26, 2012 at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, based in Leidschendam outside The Hague. (PETER DEJONG/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Chief Prosecutor Brenda J. Hollis waits for the start of a press conference after the court delivered its verdict against former Liberian President Charles Taylor at the Special Court for Sierra Leone in Leidschendam, near The Hague, on April 26, 2012. Judges found Taylor guilty on all eleven counts of aiding and abetting atrocities in neighboring Sierra Leone. (PETER DEJONG/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Journalists in the press room take notes and record as former Liberian President Charles Taylor (on screen) speaks on April 26, 2012 at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, based in Leidschendam, outside The Hague. (PETER DEJONG/AFP/GettyImages)

  • A Sierra Leone soldier walks past the Special Court in Freetown on April 25, 2012 a day before the verdict in Liberia's former president Charles Taylor's trial in the Hague. (ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)



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