Taylor sought as defense witness in Dutch arms-trafficking case Angela Onikepe at 5:47 AM ET
[JURIST Europe] Former president of Liberia Charles Taylor [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] is being requested to testify at the trial of a Dutch timber trader indicted for facilitating the import of weapons to Liberia in exchange for timber, a violation of a UN arms embargo. Dutch prosecutors assert that while heading timber companies in Liberia, Guus Van Kouwenhoven [Trial Watch backgrounder] established a close relationship with Taylor that led to dealings in 'blood timber'. Lawyers for the Dutch timber trader believe Taylor will be a crucial witness in his defense. Timber became the chief source of financing for the civil war in Liberia and Sierra Leone due to UN sanctions on 'blood diamonds'.
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