Global Policy Forum

Charles Taylor

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Charles Taylor seized power in Liberia in a ruthless civil war that left an estimated 250,000 Liberians dead and thousands more serioudly wounded. Once in power Taylor has plundered the country's diamonds and timber resources, to the extent that the UN has imposed a total embargo on Liberian diamonds and timber. Taylor is also infamous for providing aid to RUF leader Foday Sankoh in Sierra Leone, for which the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone indicted him. His trial before the Court started on June 4, 2007.  




Security Council Resolution 1638 (November 11, 2005)

Security Council Resolution 1638 gives the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) a mandate to "apprehend and detain" former Liberian President Charles Taylor to facilitate his transfer to the Sierra Leone Special Court for prosecution.

A Time for Justice (June 2005)

This Global Witness document provides an account of former Liberian President Charles Taylor's continued contact and influence with his associates in West Africa. The NGO makes clear that surrendering Taylor to the Special Court for Sierra Leone will improve security in the region and calls on the government of Nigeria and the UN Security Council to increase efforts to bring him to justice.

List of Individuals and Entities Subject to the Measures Contained in Paragraph 1 of Security Council Resolution 1532 (2004) Concerning Liberia (June 14, 2004)

In compliance with Security Council resolution 1521 (2003) the Council approved the "assets freeze list." The list freezes funds, other financial assets and economic resources from individuals including former Liberian President Charles Taylor and international arms dealer Victor Bout.

Security Council Resolution 1532 (March 12, 2004)

Security Council Resolution 1532 calls on member states to freeze the funds and assets of former Liberian President Charles Taylor and his associates. The measures aim at preventing these individuals, from using their economic resources to undermine peace and stability in Liberia.


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Charles Taylor Trial Highlights ICC Concerns (April 27, 2012)

The Special Court for Sierra Leone found former Liberian president Charles Taylor guilty of aiding and abetting war crimes. The court’s conclusion is a milestone for international justice and for the victims affected by Taylor’s actions. But this conclusion also raises questions about the pursuit of international justice and how it is carried out in the world today. The Special Court for Sierra Leone was mostly funded by Western nations, and it conveniently helped the US and UK achieve their political goals in West Africa. This al Jazeera article argues that international courts, including the ICC, should not be used as a backdoor for Western powers to target their political enemies. (al Jazeera)

Victor’s Justice: What’s Wrong with Warlord Charles Taylor’s Conviction (April 30, 2012)

Since 2000, the US has financed a rebel insurgency (that itself committed war crimes) against Charles Taylor, imposed sanctions to weaken Taylor’s regime, financed internal political opposition against Taylor, and finally helped create a war crimes court that indicted Taylor for “aiding and abetting war crimes.” But other international figures that have “aided and abetted war crimes” are disregarded by international courts, like Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni, a US ally who helped the ICC pursue the LRA. This article from the Atlantic argues that the current international justice system is developing in a way that reflects global power, not global justice. (The Atlantic)


Sierra Leone: Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, War Criminal? (September 27, 2011)

Within the next months the judgment in the trial of the former Liberian President Charles Taylor is expected. Charles Taylor was one of Africas most feared warlords and he is the first former head of state to be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity. In this interview, Brenda Hollis the prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone talks about the difficulties in presenting evidence in a case against a former head of state, such as witnesses who are afraid of testifying or resistance from regional, state or international actors that for political reasons do not want to give access to evidence. (Radio Netherlands Worldwide)

Charles Taylor lawyer storms out of war crimes trial (February 8, 2011)

Charles Taylor's lawyer Courtenay Griffiths stormed out of the courtroom to protest the court's decision not to accept a written summary of the defense's case. Griffiths accuses the court of flouting Taylor's right to defend himself, but the court argues that the summary was submitted 20 days past the January 4 deadline. Taylor, Liberia's former president, is on trial at the Special Court for Sierra Leone for supporting rebel groups responsible for atrocities during Sierra Leone's civil war. The court is expected to hear closing statements soon and render a verdict later this year. (Telegraph)


The Supermodel, the Dictator and the Blood Diamond at Midnight (May 21, 2010)

The prosecutors at the Special Court for Sierra Leone have asked the UN-backed court to order British supermodel, Naomi Campbell, to testify before the court in the case against Charles Taylor. The prosecutors claim that there is evidence that Ms Campbell was given rough diamonds by the former Liberian President in September 1997 at a charity dinner hosted by then South-African President, Nelson Mandela. Such proof would rebut Taylor's testimony that he was never in the possession of blood diamonds. Ms Campbell has so far refused to appear before the court. (The Independent)

Liberia's Charles Taylor, now facing trial, was no stranger to Washington (February 15, 2010)

International prosecutors claim that Charles Taylor, the former Liberian president currently on trial before the Special Court for Sierra Leone, had ties with top United States policymakers during the 1990's. In order to polish his image abroad Taylor spent millions in recruiting both Democrat and Republican lobbyists to grant him access to powerful American politicians, including presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Several of these lobbyists claim that their support for Taylor was motivated primarily by humanitarian or religious concerns instead of money. (Washington Post)


Charles Taylor War Crime Trial gets Mixed reviews in Liberia (November 11, 2009)

As the trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor continues this week, Liberians remain divided in their opinions of the ICC's accusations. Whilst some will be content with any guilty verdict, others are discontent with the ICC's sole focus on Sierra Leone (they claim this ignores the suffering caused by Taylor during the 10 year war in Liberia). Further, some Liberians still remain unconvinced of Taylor's guilt and claim the court's accusations are merely an example international bias against African leaders. (Christian Science Monitor)


Bodyguard Testifies against Taylor at War Crimes Trial (January 10, 2008)

After a 6-month postponement, Charles Taylor's trial reopened at the ICC in The Hague. This Independent article reports on the testimony by Charles Taylor's former bodyguard, who informed the ICC of the direct connection between the former president of Liberia and the rebels on the front line during Sierra Leone's bloody civil war. Charles Taylor stands accused of fuelling the conflict by backing Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front rebels in order to plunder the country's diamond wealth.



Liberia to Press Ahead with Bid to Seize Taylor's Assets (September 25, 2007)

The Liberian parliament has rejected a bill aimed at seizing the assets of former Liberian President Charles Taylor. Independent legal experts in Liberia claim the bill is unconstitutional as it attempts to remove Taylor's assets while he is still being tried before the International Criminal Court. As well as numerous accusations of war crimes, Taylor is accused of receiving of diamonds from Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front in order to fund the war that claimed over 120,000 lives. (Agence France Presse)

Can Africa's Most Notorious Warlord Get a Fair Trial? (September 15, 2007)

The Special Court for Sierra Leone will resume proceedings against Charles Taylor on January 7, 2008. The trial against the former president of Liberia has been postponed and adjourned numerous times after Taylor argued that he had no money for his defense and that he had unequal legal representation. To ensure that Taylor is held accountable for his crimes, the Special Court is keen to ensure that he receives a fair trial. (Nation - Nairobi)

Taylor Trial Delayed Until 2008 (August 20, 2007)

The defense team of former Liberian President Charles Taylor asked to postpone the trial until January 2008. Taylor's new lawyer, Courtenay Griffiths, discovered "an archive of the former president's papers packed into 20 boxes." The new evidence includes personal letters including one from former US President Jimmy Carter and other material that "could be vital." Griffiths explains that a four-month period is quite reasonable considering the fact that the prosecution had many years to build its case against Taylor. (BBC)

Even Former Warlords Deserve a Fair Trial (June 14, 2007)

This Pambazuka article identifies problems with the trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor. It argues that the absence of Taylor from the court should be no surprise considering the unfairness towards Taylor displayed through the court's infringement on Taylor's privacy during his meetings with his lawyer. The author speculates that "Taylor is a scapegoat for the international criminal (in) justice system" and questions the decision to hold the trial in The Hague instead of Sierra Leone.

Ugandan Rebels Fear Fate of Liberia's Taylor (June 11, 2007)

Reuters discusses the impact of the trial of Charles Taylor on leaders from the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). The ICC has issued arrest warrants against four of the top LRA commanders for the crimes they have committed against civilians during the two-decade civil war. To enter peace talks with the Ugandan government, LRA leaders want assurance against further ICC involvement. Ugandan civil society is divided: while some advocate forgiveness following traditional "Mato Oput" reconciliation ritual, the ICC and some human rights groups insist that a credible judicial process must take place.

Will Mugabe Face the Same Fate as Taylor? (June 8, 2007)

With the opening of the trial of Charles Taylor in The Hague, many wonder how long it will take to bring Robert Mugabe to justice. Mugabe masterminded the massacre of 20,000 Zimbabwe civilians in Matabeleland in the 1980s. Despite the bureaucracy associated with an international tribunal, human rights groups hope that such a trial will bring justice to the victims and prevent future mass killings. (Zimbabwe Independent)

Q&A: Charles Taylor and Conflict in West Africa (June 4, 2007)

This Guardian article provides a brief sketch of former Liberian President Charles Taylor by answering questions about the charges against him, his involvement with Foday Sankoh, and the role of the UN Special Court for Sierra Leone in bringing justice to the people of Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Ex-Liberia Leader Boycotts Trial (June 4, 2007)

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor boycotts his trial at the Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague complaining that having only one defense lawyer is unfair. Charged with countless acts of mass murder, sexual violence and enslavement, Taylor defies the Special Court, calling it a "charade that does injustice to the people of Liberia and the people of Sierra Leone." (BBC)

During Taylor's Brutal Rule, US Watched, Waited (June 3, 2007)

This Boston Globe article exposes the murky relationship between Washington and Charles Taylor. Diplomatic cable correspondence reveals that while knowing all along that Taylor was using profits from timber and diamonds sales to fuel the civil war in Sierra Leone and support his own murderous regime, the US provided military training to the Liberian government and supported Taylor until shortly before the UN Special Court for Sierra Leone issued an indictment against him.

In Land of War Criminals, Liberia Divided on Taylor Trial (June 3, 2007)

As former Liberian President Charles Taylor faces trial in The Hague for committing war crimes in Sierra Leone, Liberians express diverse opinions about the accusations against him. Although many are relieved to see Taylor face justice, others want to erase the memories from their minds. Taylor's supporters, on the other hand, argue that he was not alone. Paul Tolbert, an ex-child soldier from Taylor's army, claims that numerous other Liberians who were behind the mass killings should be convicted too. (CNN)

Rights Group Joins Prosecutor to Urge More Funding for Charles Taylor Trial (May 31, 2007)

Human Rights Watch says that the Special Court for Sierra Leone faces serious financial shortcomings in its trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor. Unlike the Special Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, this tribunal is funded by voluntary donations instead of UN assessed contributions. The trial will take 18 months to complete and requires US$89 million, but the court only has enough funds to last through November 2007. If the court is unable to meet its financial requirements, it will have no option but to set Taylor free. (China Post)

Africans Look for Justice in Taylor Trial (May 31, 2007)

With the trial of Charles Taylor set to begin on June 4, 2007, victims of his crimes in Sierra Leone and Liberia cry out for his conviction. Taylor's supporters doubt that he will receive a fair trial in The Hague, claiming that sending him to a European court is already considering him guilty. However, the Tribunal authorities reason that having a trial in Taylor's own country Liberia would result in civil unrest. Meanwhile, the people of Sierra Leone and Liberia, suffering from extreme poverty, hope that a fraction of the millions of dollars spent on the Special Tribunal will be spent in reconstructing the countries' economies after years of war.(IOL)

Britain Will Pay High Price for Jailing Former Liberia Dictator, Ministers Warned (April 14, 2007)

The UK agreed in June 2006 to imprison Charles Taylor, contingent upon his conviction for war crimes by the Special Court for Sierra Leone. As the government needs to formally pass a legislation allowing the detention, a leaked memo reveals that domestic concerns about both the cost and the security risk of jailing Taylor could lead some British parliamentarians to vote against it. However, the document concludes that such a high-profile detention would constitute "a major contribution to the cause of international justice." (Telegraph)

New Date For Taylor Trial (February 2, 2007)

A judge at the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone has postponed the beginning of Charles Taylor's trial from April 2 to June 4, 2007. The ruling comes in response to the defense team's request for more time to prepare for the trial, in which the former Liberian leader faces charges for his role in Sierra Leone's decade-long civil war. (Institute for War and Peace Reporting)



Where Is Charles Taylor's Defense? (August 25, 2006)

With more radio and television broadcasts of high profile war crimes trials, victims have greater access to proceedings and seeing the alleged perpetrators face justice. However, some critics fear that biased coverage can jeopardize "statutory presumption of innocence till proven guilty." This International Herald Tribune piece draws attention to the possibility of prejudice and unfairness in the trial of Charles Taylor. The former Liberian leader's defense lawyers have remained silent in the face of one-sided media coverage and damaging comments from the prosecution.

Mixed Feelings over Charles Taylor's Transfer to The Hague (June 20, 2006)

The Security Council's relocation of Charles Taylor's trial to the Netherlands has elicited conflicting responses from Sierra Leoneans. Supporters of the decision contend that the transfer, "a welcome relief," will help to prevent the hard-won regional peace from collapsing. But critics complain that conducting the trial in The Hague will rob war victims of the opportunity to see their "number one tormentor" brought to justice. (Inter Press Service)

UN Council Authorizes Trial of Former Liberian President in the Netherlands (June 17, 2006)

The UN Security Council has unanimously accepted a UK-drafted resolution to allow the transfer of Charles Taylor's trial to the Netherlands. The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) will use the premises of The Hague-based International Criminal Court for the trial proceedings. International observers and officials of the SCSL feared that putting the former Liberian leader on trial in West Africa could shatter the fragile regional peace. (News Wire)

Britain Offers to Jail Taylor, Paving Way for War Crimes Trial (June 15, 2006)

Britain's Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett announced London's decision to imprison former Liberian leader Charles Taylor if the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) convicts him for war crimes and violations of international human rights. As a condition for the SCSL to use the International Criminal Court's (ICC) facilities for the trial, The Hague required another country to jail Taylor. (Agence France Presse)

Sweden OKs Law to Accept Liberia's Taylor (June 1, 2006)

The International Criminal Court (ICC) agreed to host the trial of Charles Taylor in The Hague on behalf of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) only if a third country offered to jail the former Liberian leader, if convicted. Sweden, which, along with Austria, Denmark and Norway, had previously rejected such requests citing the lack of a legal agreement with the SCSL, has now approved a law that would make it possible to detain Taylor. (Associated Press)

Denmark Refuses to Host Taylor (April 25, 2006)

Denmark, Austria and Sweden have all refused UN requests to imprison former Liberian leader Charles Taylor, currently indicted for war crimes. The Special Court for Sierra Leone wants to transfer Taylor's trial to The Hague, but the Dutch government will only allow the transfer if any jail term was served in another country. (BBC)

Taylor's Trial Dilemma: Freetown or The Hague? (March 31, 2006)

The Special Court for Sierra Leone may transfer the trial of former Liberian leader Charles Taylor to The Hague. The court, and African leaders, believe holding Taylor's trial in Africa will cause unrest and the Hague offers "a more conducive atmosphere." Prosecutors stress that although the trial would be held in the Hague, the Special Court for Sierra Leone will be sitting. (Liberian Times)

Liberia's Taylor Arrested, Awaiting Handover (March 29, 2006)

Former Liberian leader Charles Taylor was arrested in Nigeria by Nigerian immigration officers near the Cameroon border. Taylor had escaped from a Nigerian compound where he lived in exile, following Nigeria's agreement to allow extradition to Liberia. Nigerian President Olesegun Obasanjo has ordered Taylor's immediate repatriation to Liberia. (China View)

Taylor Missing from Nigerian Home (March 28, 2006)

Nigeria has announced that former Liberian leader Charles Taylor has disappeared from his Nigerian home. All guards have been arrested and Nigeria has established a panel to investigate whether Taylor escaped or was abducted. Human Rights Watch blames Nigeria for Taylor's disappearance, claiming it demonstates a "serious indictment [of] their commitment to peace and security in Liberia." (BBC)

Taylor Arrest Could Herald Change for West Africa (March 27, 2006)

Although Nigeria has promised to extradite former Liberian leader Charles Taylor, West Africans fear the revenge Taylor and his supporters will exact. Taylor has a history of scare-mongering to prevent being brought to justice, and has many supporters in Liberia's parliament. Many West Africans prefer to "let sleeping dogs lie" but Liberia's new President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf remains determined to implement the rule of law, which includes holding Taylor accountable. (Institute for War and Peace Reporting)

Nigeria: Agreement to Hand Over Taylor (March 26, 2006)

Human Rights Watch (HRW) welcomes the fact that Nigeria has agreed to allow Liberia transfer Charles Taylor to the Special Court for Sierra Leone. However, HRW fears that, with little or no security around his compound in Nigeria , Taylor will escape before the transfer occurs. HRW recommends that UN peacekeeping forces in Liberia and Sierra Leone play a role.

Liberia Seeks Extradition of Indicted Leader (March 18, 2006)

Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has asked Nigeria to extradite former Liberian leader Charles Taylor to the Special Court of Sierra Leone. Nigerian President Olesegun Obasanjo argues that the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States must be consulted as the groups assisted in organizing Taylor's exile. But human rights groups and Liberia fear that the process will become stalled and want Obasanjo to move ahead swiftly. (Los Angeles Times)

Taylor "Not Priority" for Liberia (January 27, 2006)

Despite over 300 NGOs writing to Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf requesting that she assist in bringing former Liberian ruler Charles Taylor to trial in the Special Court for Sierra Leone, Johnson Sirleaf has stated this is "secondary to her agenda." Johnson-Sirleaf has spoken with Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, where Taylor lives in exile, who has stated previously that he would hand Taylor over to an elected Liberian government. (BBC)

Liberia: New President Must Act Now On Taylor (January 27, 2006)

The Campaign Against Impunity has sent newly-elected Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf an open letter stating she should take action and request Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo surrender former Liberian ruler Charles Taylor for trial. Johnson-Sirleaf has affirmed that she would be asking for Taylor's surrender. It is imperative that Johnson-Sirleaf demonstrates leadership on this matter, in order that victims receive justice before the time of the Special Court of Sierra Leone runs out. (Amnesty International)



UN Mandates Taylor's Arrest in Liberia (November 13, 2005)

The UN Security Council issued a resolution giving the mandate to the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) to "apprehend and detain" former Liberian President Charles Taylor upon his return to Liberia. The resolution sends a strong message to Taylor that his days of immunity in Nigeria are numbered. The move demonstrates that the UN has not given up on bringing Taylor to justice in the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and indicates to Nigeria that Taylor's immunity will not be permanent. (Guardian)

Bringing an End to Impunity: Things Falling Apart for Charles Taylor (November 11, 2005)

When Nigeria granted former Liberian President Charles Taylor immunity, bringing him to justice in the Sierra Leone Special Court that had indicted him became more difficult. This author however argues that chances have improved following the trend of former dictators such as Augusto Pinochet in Chile and Fujimori in Peru being brought to justice after long periods of immunity. The Security Council has given a mandate to the United Nations Mission in Liberia to try Taylor in Sierra Leone and pressure is upon Liberia from the European Union, which has threatened to limit aid. (Awareness Times)

The Butcher and the Ballot (October 6, 2005)

Though living in exile in Nigeria, former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor continues to meddle extensively in Liberian affairs. His involvement in the run-up to the October 2005 Liberian elections is especially blatant. He maintains private military forces, and funds at least nine of the twenty-two Liberian presidential candidates. As a result, Taylor's ongoing freedom adversely affects the chances for true Liberian democracy, argues this International Herald Tribune op-ed.

A Free Charles Taylor Threatens West Africa (August 17, 2005)

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor should be extradited from Nigeria not only to stand trial for war crimes and human rights abuses, but also because his presence compromises national civil liberties and stability. Nigerian security services issued warrants for and arrested individuals who are part of the multinational movement to extradite Charles Taylor. Inexplicably, security forces arrested two printers commissioned to print "Wanted" posters for an NGO campaign to end Taylor's Nigerian asylum protection (Vanguard).

Nigeria Faces Renewed Calls for Taylor Extradition (July 31, 2005)

In a joint statement, the leaders of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea have called on Nigeria to review the asylum terms of former Liberian president Charles Taylor. Despite increasing international pressure, Nigeria refuses to hand over Taylor until there is "explicit evidence" that the former leader is meddling in Liberian politics, or until the soon-to-be elected Liberian government requests his extradition – a government that many observers fear will reflect Taylor's continued influence in the region and fail to call for his handover to the Special Court for Sierra Leone. (

ECOWAS Opposes Surrendering Taylor to S/Leone Court - Says Abubakar (July 18, 2005)

The Economic Community of West African States has announced that it does not support the extradition of former Liberian President Charles Taylor to the Special Court for Sierra Leone. The regional body holds that the Taylor issue is not of "paramount concern" in the region, and that human rights groups should stop wasting time on "rumors" of Taylor's meddling in Liberian politics and focus on more substantial problems causing regional instability. (Analyst)

UN Rights Chief Favors Taylor Handover to Sierra Leone War Crimes Court (July 13, 2005)

While visiting Liberia, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour pushed for Charles Taylor's transferal to Sierra Leone's Special Court, denouncing the former leader's involvement in Liberian political affairs. Arbour addressed all African leaders, arguing that it would be unfair to place the political burden of Taylor's extradition solely on the prospective Liberian government or on Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo. (Liberian Observer)

Liberia: Government Calls for a Review of Taylor's Exile Deal (July 7, 2005)

Monrovia is growing increasingly impatient with Charles Taylor's meddling in Liberian politics and his destabilization of the West African region. Accusing the former president of repeatedly breaking his exile conditions, the Liberian government has called on Nigeria to review Taylor's asylum agreement, possibly constituting the first step towards his extradition. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

200 African Civil Society Groups Insist on Taylor's Trial (June 29, 2005)

A coalition of African NGOs has drafted a declaration urging the African Union to affirm its commitment to human rights by demanding Charles Taylor's extradition to Sierra Leone's Special Court. The groups warn that Taylor's exile has not increased West Africa's stability, and that failure to arrest him could create a bad precedent for the future. (Vanguard)

The Shadow of Charles Taylor over Liberia (May 25, 2005)

Charles Taylor's economic and political influence in West Africa makes it unlikely that any candidate in the upcoming Liberian elections will call for the former President's surrender to the Sierra Leone tribunal. (Perspective)

Liberian Leader Linked to al-Qaeda (May 25, 2005)

Prosecutors from the Special Court for Sierra Leone confirmed that Charles Taylor harbors and receives funds from al-Qaeda members. Will the "al-Qaeda tag" trigger pressures to countermand his Nigerian-granted impunity in the name of the "war on terror"? (Associated Press)

UN Security Council: Ensure Justice in West Africa (May 24, 2005)

Human Rights Watch (HRW) urges the UN Security Council to "work towards the prompt surrender of former Liberian President Charles Taylor" to the Special Court of Sierra Leone, which has indicted him for war crimes and crimes against humanity. HRW argues that Taylor continues to meddle "in the internal political affairs of Liberia," and thus "poses a risk to stability in West Africa." According to HRW, Taylor's surrender to the Court is essential for promoting security in the region.

Justice for Charles Taylor (May 5, 2005)

This Washington Post editorial speculates that US President George Bush will try to persuade Nigerian President Olusegan Obasanjo to hand over Charles Taylor to the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), when the two leaders meet. Nigeria granted refuge to Taylor in 2003, but the former president of Liberia has been violating his asylum conditions by threatening to destabilize the region. The author hopes Bush will support a UN Security Council resolution calling for Obasanjo to cooperate with the SCSL, before the Court's mandate expires at the end of 2005.

West Africa: The Next Afghanistan? (April 29, 2005)

International investigators from the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) say they have evidence to link Charles Taylor to al-Qaida, and hope this will compel the US and Nigeria to take action against Taylor's impunity. The US commission investigating the September 11 attacks did not find any link between al-Qaida and Taylor, but SCSL's Chief Investigator disputes the commission's findings. He warns that "the clock is ticking in a part of the world where al-Qaida is becoming increasingly active." (NBC)

Trial Sought for Ex-Leader of Liberia (April 10, 2005)

Following an EU resolution urging Nigeria to hand over former Liberian President Charles Taylor, US Congress wants the Bush administration to do more to bring "one of the world's most notorious dictators" to justice. However, Nigeria is a major oil producer and has become "an increasingly important strategic ally for the United States." And it was the US that pressed Nigeria to accept Taylor in 2003, because no country wanted to go into Liberia and remove him. (Associated Press)

EU: Press Nigeria to Hand Over Charles Taylor (February 24, 2005)

Human Rights Watch commends the European Parliament for passing a resolution urging European Union countries to pressure Nigeria into handing over former Liberian president Charles Taylor. The human rights organization warns that Taylor's presence in Nigeria continues to pose a threat to West Africa, and calls for the former president's immediate removal to the Sierra Leone Special Court for war crimes prosecution.



War Court Zeros in on Taylor (September 23, 2004)

Nigeria granted asylum to Former President Charles Taylor when he left Liberia, even though he faced indictments by the Special Court for Sierra Leone. This Analyst article reveals that Nigeria may give in to international pressure and hand Taylor over to the court.

Liberia's Taylor Still a Cloud Over Rebuilding Efforts (September 16, 2004)

Though former leader Charles Taylor now lives in exile after his 2003 war crimes tribunal indictment, he still has considerable influence on the Liberian government. UN Envoy to Liberia Jacques Klein says that the international community will only be able to help rebuild if the government brings Taylor to justice in his own country. (Associated Press)

Former Liberian Leader Allegedly Aided Al Qaeda (August 4, 2004)

According to a report by the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the US backed former Liberian President Charles Taylor's Revolutionary United Front and used him as a CIA informant. It also revealed that Taylor harbored Al Qaeda leaders who joined him in the West African "blood diamond" trade. The report raises questions about why the US waited so long to remove Taylor from power, and why it refuses to use its influence to bring him to trial. (Boston Globe)

Nigerian High Court Agrees to Review Charles Taylor Asylum (June 3, 2004)

Nigeria's Federal High Court agreed to review a petition claiming that President Obasanjo unlawfully granted asylum to former Liberian President Charles Taylor. The petition was brought to the court on behalf of two Nigerians who were tortured in Sierra Leone by Taylor-backed rebel groups. (Justice Initiative)

Taylor Loses War Crimes Appeal (May 31, 2004)

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor lost his appeal against war crime prosecution at the Special Court for Sierra Leone. The Court ruled against Taylor's claim of immunity and declared its right to try Taylor for his alleged role in Sierra Leone's civil war. (BBC)

War Victims Haunt Taylor (May 28, 2004)

Two victims of the Sierra Leonean civil war brought their case to a Nigerian high court in an effort to compel the government to turn over former Liberian President Charles Taylor to the Special Court for Sierra Leone. The Nigerian government faces additional pressure from international and local NGOs to extradite Taylor. (allAfrica)

New Call for Taylor to Face Trial (May 5, 2004)

The Presidents of Guinea and Ivory Coast call for the prosecution of former Liberian President Charles Taylor, saying that his impunity jeopardizes the end of conflicts in the region. (BBC)

Taylor's Lawyers File Petition against Special Court (March 16, 2004)

Lawyers representing former Liberian President Charles Taylor have filed a petition with the Liberian Supreme Court against the Ministry of Justice and the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL). The petition questions the legality of a Ministry of Justice decision to allow the SCSL to search homes of Taylor and his associates. ( Integrated Regional Information Network)

UN Council Freezes Ex-Liberian Leader's Wealth (March 12, 2004)

The UN Security Council passed a resolution to freeze assets of former Liberian President Charles Taylor, his family and associates. A UN report states Taylor continued to divert government revenues from exile. (Reuters)

UN Wants to Try Ex-Liberia President Taylor for War Crimes (March 7, 2004)

Mounting international pressure to bring former Liberian President Charles Taylor before a war crimes court resulted in the search of Taylor's homes in Liberia by prosecutors from the UN-backed war crimes court for Sierra Leone. In addition, the Security Council is expected to debate a proposed US draft resolution to freeze the assets of Charles Taylor, his family and associates. (VOA News)



Firm Seeks Charles Taylor Bounty (December 11, 2003)

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor lives in luxurious asylum in Nigeria although a UN-backed court has indicted for him for war crimes. According to the BBC, a private military firm has offered to kidnap Taylor and turn him over to the court. The US Congress allegedly earmarked $2 million for Taylor's capture.

Charles Taylor Wanted by Interpol (December 4, 2003)

Interpol issued a global notice for the arrest of former Liberian President Charles Taylor. The arrest notice is also posted on Interpol's website along with a warning that Taylor "may be dangerous."(BBC)

Nigeria Slams 'US Taylor Bounty' (November 8, 2003)

US President George W Bush signed a bill into law providing a reward of $2 million for the capture of ‘an indictee of the Sierra Leone war crimes tribunal.' Jacques Klein, the UN's chief representative in Liberia views the reward as a symbolic act, while Nigeria views it as ‘state-sponsored terrorism.' (BBC)

Liberia's Taylor Accused of Looting Funds in Exile (November 6, 2003)

A UN report documents foreign governments and firms continuous involvement in Liberia's illegal activities. The activities range from violation of the arms embargo to logging to the diamond trade. Although in exile, former Liberian President Charles Taylor continues to divert revenues and assets from the Liberian government. (Reuters)

Why I Still Interfere, By Taylor (October 14, 2003)

In a statement Charles Taylor denies allegations that he still tries to control Liberia from exile and regrets "twisted perceptions." Taylor also feels that time has come to stop "pouring blame on him" and he asks the world for forgiveness. (This Day)

Charles Taylor: Exiled, But Still Pulling Strings (October 12, 2003)

UN envoy to Liberia Jacques Klein accused the former Liberian president of exercising influence on the interim government in the shattered country. According to Klein, Taylor has frequent phone contact with the government. He also meets with high-ranking officials in Nigeria, where he has political asylum. (Agence France Presse)

Nigeria Will Hand Over Charles Taylor, Predicts War Crimes Prosecutor (September 25, 2003)

This interview with Chief Prosecutor David Crane of the Special Court for Sierra Leone shows the scope of the court as an international war crimes tribunal and gives hope for an imminent prosecution of Charles Taylor. (allAfrica)

How Charles Taylor diverted $100m (September 19, 2003)

AllAfrica reports that former Liberian President Charles Taylor managed to extract huge amounts of money from the Liberian maritime registry, set up by the United States in 1948 to evade domestic shipping wage and labor laws. Taylor also diverted money coming in from foreign governments in an effort to "pay for the disarming of his militias in his final days in office."

In Exile, Taylor Exerts Control (September 17, 2003)

This Washington Post article highlights the veracity of Charles Taylor's statement "I will be back." In many respects it seems like he never left. While the world waits for his trial, he continues to rule Liberia from his villa in exile.

Liberian Ex-Leader Stole $3 Million as He Left, UN Aide Says (September 5, 2003)

The top UN envoy to Liberia accuses former President Charles Taylor of stealing funds for the disarmament and demobilization of thousands of armed combatants. Jacques Klein also seeks a Security Council mandate to increase the peacekeeping force from 3,000 to 15,000. (New York Times)

Keep the Heat on Taylor (August 22, 2003)

A human rights expert calls on the US to pressure Nigeria to extradite former Liberian President Charles Taylor, who bears ultimate responsibility for crimes against humanity including slavery, genocide, and systematic mutilation and rape. (Christian Science Monitor)

FG Gets 14-Day Ultimatum to Extradite Taylor (August 21, 2003)

The Nigerian Coalition on the International Criminal Court gives its government 14 days to extradite Charles Taylor before mounting an international campaign to bring Nigeria into compliance with international law. (This Day)

Pressure Mounts for Taylor to Face Trial (August 12, 2003)

As former Liberian President and indicted war criminal Charles Taylor settles into a luxury villa in Nigeria, human rights groups and victims continue to call for his arrest. (UN Integrated Regional Information Networks)

Charles Taylor: International Support for Sierra Leone Special Court Critical (August 7, 2003)

The Lawyers Committee for Human Rights calls upon all states to honor their obligations under international law and turn Charles Taylor over to the Special Court for Sierra Leone should he enter their jurisdiction.

President Taylor Joins Dubious Club (July 14, 2003)

Liberian President Charles Taylor will soon join the ranks of brutal dictators driven into exile by their own people. However, his indictment by an international court may mean that he will spend the rest of his life in a Sierra Leone jail rather than a luxury villa. (Business Day)

Besieged Liberian (July 11, 2003)

Liberian President Charles Taylor says he will step down if a UN-backed court drops its indictment against him. While Taylor's departure is necessary for peace in Liberia, human rights groups warn that amnesty for the former warlord would undermine the rule of law and give carte blanche to other war criminals. (New York Times)

Liberian President Threatens Special Court (June 23, 2003)

Reneging on his promise to step down, Liberian President and indicted war criminal Charles Taylor instead lashed out at the UN-backed court seeking to hold him accountable. (All Africa)

A Warlord's Date with Justice (June 20, 2003)

An African jurist argues that while the indictment of Charles Taylor may have increased confusion in Liberia in the short term, it nonetheless promises to end the impunity that has plagued Africa for decades. (All Africa)

Sierra Leone Court Indicts Liberia Leader (June 4, 2003)

The UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone has indicted Liberian President Charles Taylor for ordering attacks against civilians and UN Peacekeepers in Sierra Leone. The announcement occurs just as Taylor joins other African leaders in Ghana for peace talks. (Guardian)

Liberian Head under Pressure as UN Court Official Makes Murder Allegations (May 16, 2003)

The family of former militant Sam Bockarie was murdered shortly after Liberian President Charles Taylor claimed Bockarie had been shot. The Special Court for Sierra Leone's chief investigator accused Taylor of ordering the murders to prevent DNA sampling being performed on Bockarie's body. (Agence France Press)

Fugitives "Not in Liberia" (May 2, 2003)

Liberian President Charles Taylor has denied allegations that he is harboring two of Sierra Leone's most wanted war criminals. Alan White, chief investigator of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, insisted that Taylor would be indicted if he failed to hand over the two men. (BBC Online)



Liberia's Search for Peace is Again Starting on the Wrong Note (July 4, 2002)

History seems to repeat itself with chief Liberian warlord, Charles G. Taylor "determined to outfox the beleaguered Liberian political opposition." The climate of insecurity and intimidation created by Taylor's regime jeopardizes any national effort of reconciliation. (The Perspective)

Liberian Leader Again Finds Means to Hang On (June 4, 2002)

Following international efforts to cut off the flow of diamonds into Liberia, President Taylor has turned to timber to fund his regime. "Direct links between Liberia's timber industry and the network of illegal arms transfers, private militias and human rights abuses threaten international peace and security in Western Africa."(Washington Post)

War Crimes Tribunal in Sierra Leone: The Walls are Closing in on Taylor (January 7, 2002)

The trial in Sierra Leone will have ramifications on the political process in Liberia. If Foday Sankoh is indicted and convicted, Charles Taylor will also be, since the war crimes tribunal in Sierra Leone is also about crimes against humanity in Liberia. (The Perspective)


When Crime Pays: West African Leaders' Brutality Reaps Rewards (February 1 2001, 2001)

This article provides a good introduction into Charles Taylor's rise to power through his gaining control of the diamond-rich countryside, his extensive connections with arms dealers, and his brutal terrorizing of the civilian population of Liberia.

Media Group Calls On UN to Indict Charles Taylor for War Crimes (May 14 2001, 2001)

"The Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas (ALJA) welcomes the imposition of sanctions on Liberia by the United Nations Security Council for President Charles Taylor's reported involvement in gun-running and diamond smuggling with Sierra Leonean rebels." (Perspective)

In Ruined Liberia, Its Despoiler Sits Pretty (December 7, 2000)

Liberia's civilian population spirals deeper and deeper into poverty as Liberian President Charles Taylor lives in opulence. (New York Times)

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