Advisor claims Taylor was arrested by same Nigerians who helped him flee

[JURIST] A spiritual advisor for former Liberian President Charles Taylor [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] has said that Nigerian security forces led Taylor to the border of Cameroon to facilitate his escape, but then returned to arrest [JURIST report] him at gunpoint. Nigerian officials have denied such allegations. Taylor has been charged [amended indictment, PDF] with 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity and is scheduled to appear [JURIST report] Monday before the Special Court for Sierra Leone [official website]. His family members have accused the court of denying Taylor access to Liberian lawyers who he requested to represent him, giving him court-appointed counsel instead.

Francis Garlawulo, who has represented Taylor in the past, has voiced concern about whether Taylor will receive a fair trial due to the intense publicity of the case, and the Special Court has requested that the trial be moved to The Hague [JURIST report] after Taylor's initial appearance in Sierra Leone. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf [BBC profile] has also expressed worries that Taylor's supporters may protest if the trial is held near her country. AP has more.



 

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