On 9 July, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo offered Taylor exile in his country on the condition that Taylor stay out of Liberian politics. Taylor’s sentence, which was handed down on May 30, 2012, was for 50 years in prison—effectively a life sentence for the then 64-year-old. [42][43], On 15 June 2006, the British government agreed to jail Taylor in the United Kingdom in the event that he was convicted by the SCSL. During his presidency, Taylor was alleged to have been involved directly in the Sierra Leone Civil War. Former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor had US spy agency ties Officials confirm Charles Taylor was valued source of information in early 1980s By Bryan Bender Globe Staff, January 17, 2012, 2:01 a.m. This was during his trial by the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague. Charles McArthur Emmanuel, also known as Charles "Chuckie" Taylor Jr., was convicted of torture, firearms and conspiracy charges on the second day of jury deliberations. Charles Taylor is also said to have been the husband or partner to Agnes Reeves Taylor[81][circular reference][82] Agnes and Charles met when Taylor was head of the General Services Agency in the mid 1980s during the regime of former President Samuel Kanyon Doe. Charles’s full name is Charles McArthur Ghankay Taylor and he was the 22nd president of Liberia. [47] The Association for the Legal Defence of Charles G. Taylor was established in June 2006 to assist in his legal defence. [27] He was reported to have said that "Jesus Christ was accused of being a murderer in his time."[27]. Taylor was appointed to the position of Director General of the General Services Agency (GSA), a position that left him in charge of purchasing for the Liberian government. [83] According to Trial international, Charles Taylor and Agnes Reeves Taylor married in Ghana in 1986. Reading the sentencing statement, Presiding Judge Richard Lussick said: "The accused has been found responsible for aiding and abetting as well as planning some of the most heinous and brutal crimes in recorded human history. [33] With the backing of South African president Thabo Mbeki and against the urging of Sierra Leone president Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, Ghana consequently declined to detain Taylor, who returned to Monrovia. [37] On 6 August, a 32-member U.S. military assessment team were deployed as a liaison with the ECOWAS troops,[38] landing from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, commanded by Colonel A.P. On 4 December, Interpol issued a red notice regarding Taylor, suggesting that countries had a duty to arrest him. [5] He was found guilty in April 2012 of all eleven charges levied by the Special Court, including terror, murder and rape. [31], In June 2003, Alan White, the Prosecutor to the Special Court unsealed the indictment and announced publicly that Taylor was charged with war crimes. Taylor was the son of a judge, a member of the elite in Liberia descended from the freed American slaves who colonized the region in the early 19th century. Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo was scheduled to meet with President Bush less than 48 hours after Taylor was reported missing. Phillip Taylor, Taylor's son with Jewel, remained in Liberia following his father's extradition to the SCSL. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. [49] During the trial, the chief prosecutor alleged that a key insider witness who testified against Taylor went into hiding after being threatened for giving evidence against Taylor. This event was one of the factors that led to the outbreak of the Second Liberian Civil War. While the peace agreement had guaranteed Taylor safe exile in Nigeria, it also required that he refrain from influencing Liberian politics. They drove a getaway car to Staten Island in New York, where Taylor disappeared. That same year, Prince Johnson, a senior commander of Taylor's NPFL, broke away and formed the Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL). Although the election was widely reckoned as free and fair by international observers, Taylor had a huge advantage going into it. On 16 March 2006, a SCSL judge gave leave to amend the indictment against Taylor. View In 1984, Charles Taylor was arrested in Massachusetts on a warrant for extradition to Liberia for allegedly embezzling nearly a million dollars from the Liberian government. Under the amended indictment, Taylor was charged with 11 counts. Omissions? She filed for divorce in 2005, citing her husband's exile in Nigeria and the difficulty of visiting him due to a UN travel ban on her. [64][65] He was about 64 at the time. According to most reports, his father was an Americo-Liberian who worked as a teacher, sharecropper, lawyer and judge. He attended college in the United States, where in 1977 he received a degree in economics from Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts. He encouraged his followers to use rape as a weapon and cut of the hands of people who opposed him. The toll on the civilian population and the economy was devastating. Amos Sawyer alleges that Taylor's aims extended beyond Liberia—that he wanted to re-establish the country as a regional power player. Some have claimed that Taylor ordered Bockarie killed in order to prevent the leader from testifying against him at the SCSL. The U.S. brought Joint Task Force Liberia's Amphibious Ready Group of three warships with 2,300 Marines into view of the coast. Governments around the world accused Taylor of supporting rebels in Sierra Leone, and in 2000 the United Nations Security Council imposed sanctions on Liberia. However, Reeves Taylor was not found innocent. Doe was killed in the fighting, and for the next seven years the armed factions fought a brutal civil war in which more than 150,000 people were killed and more than half of the population became refugees. [62] Sentencing hearings commenced on 3 May[63] and were announced on 30 May. Nigeria stated it would not submit to Interpol's demands, agreeing to deliver Taylor to Liberia only in the event that the President of Liberia requested his return. [5][23] In its place, Taylor installed the Anti-Terrorist Unit, the Special Operations Division of the Liberian National Police (LNP), which he used as his own private army. Taylor’s forces advanced on the capital of Monrovia in 1990, but his bid for power was checked by rival groups. Charles Taylor (1997-2003) Before Taylor - Samuel Doe was elected president - A Civil War - No peace Before Taylor Samuel Doe Member of the Krahn Tribe Favored the Krahn Tribe How did Taylor become president Presidency Plan: Become president Civil War Samuel Doe Things that went It was not until July 2009 that Taylor took the stand in his own defense. He was taken into custody and held in the detention centre of the International Criminal Court, located in the Scheveningen section of The Hague. [1] On 11 August, Taylor resigned, with Blah serving as president until a transitional government was established on 14 October. When Taylor's trial opened on 4 June 2007, Taylor boycotted the proceeding and was not present. He then became the director of Liberia’s General Services Administration under Pres. He was arrested at Buchanan in Grand Bassa County,[74] allegedly while attempting to cross the border into the Ivory Coast. [24] Taylor was charged with aiding and abetting RUF atrocities against civilians, which left many thousands dead or mutilated, with unknown numbers of people abducted and tortured. The group disbanded as part of the peace agreement at the end of the second civil war. Taylor’s Uprising, Human Rights violations & War Crimes (1990–1997); 7.2. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. On 15 October 2013 he was transferred to British custody, and began serving his sentence at HM Prison Frankland in County Durham, England. [58], The verdict was announced in Leidschendam on 26 April 2012. Charles G. Taylor, the former president of Liberia, had appealed a sentence imposed last year in a case seen as a watershed for modern human rights law. The pressure on Taylor increased as U.S. President George W. Bush twice that month stated that Taylor "must leave Liberia". [85] She is reported to have left Liberia in 1992 before the end of the civil war and settled in the United Kingdom where she was a lecturer at Coventry University. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. By 2003, Taylor had lost control of much of the countryside and was formally indicted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone. In December 1989, Taylor launched a Gaddafi-funded armed uprising from the Ivory Coast into Liberia to overthrow the Doe regime, leading to the First Liberian Civil War. The war dragged on for seven years as new factions arose and neighbouring countries became enmeshed in the strife. The proceedings at The Hague unfolded slowly. [60], Taylor appealed against the verdict, but on 26 September 2013 Appeals Chamber of the Special Court confirmed his guilt and the penalty of 50 years in prison. Taylor was placed on Interpol's Most Wanted list, declaring him wanted for crimes against humanity and breaches of the 1949 Geneva Convention, and noting that he should be considered dangerous. He was sacked in May 1983 for embezzling an estimated $1,000,000 and sending the funds to another bank account. Additionally, there was widespread fear in the country that Taylor would resume the war if he lost. During Taylor's absence for the peace talks in Ghana, the U.S. government was alleged to have urged Vice President Moses Blah to seize power. [27] Upon being charged by the UN of being a gunrunner and diamond smuggler during his presidency, Taylor appeared in all-white robes and begged God for forgiveness, while denying the charges. [54] The defence rested its case on 12 November 2010, with closing arguments set for early February 2011. Assistant United States Attorney Richard G. Stearns argued that Liberia wished to charge Taylor with theft in office, rather than with political crimes. Trial proceedings are available directly from: This page was last edited on 11 April 2021, at 16:17. [11] Shortly thereafter, Taylor and two other escapees were met at nearby Jordan Hospital by Taylor's wife, Enid, and Taylor's sister-in-law, Lucia Holmes Toweh. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. [12] Taylor was detained in the Plymouth County Correctional Facility. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. [3] Following a peace deal that ended the war, Taylor was elected president in the 1997 general election. [84] However, according to allafrica.com, the two were never legally married. [11] Taylor fought extradition with the help of a legal team led by former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark. [87] However, after rendering its judgment, the UK Supreme Court sent the case back to the Central Criminal Court to consider further evidence from the prosecution's expert and apply the legal standard confirmed by the Supreme Court to the facts of the case. He will be sentenced on 30 May. Taylor subsequently attempted to flee Nigeria but was quickly captured. [18], According to a 2 June 1999 article in The Virginian-Pilot,[19] Taylor had extensive business dealings with American televangelist Pat Robertson during the civil war. In order for a member of a non-State armed group to be prosecuted for torture, the group must have been exercising “governmental functions”. Meanwhile, the dictator’s biological son (Teodorin Obiang) is living luxuriously in riches. King's predecessor had pushed for the trial to be held abroad because of fear that a local trial would be politically destabilizing in an area where Taylor still had influence. [45] While awaiting his extradition to the Netherlands, Taylor was held in a UN jail in Freetown.[46]. Irish UNMIL soldiers escorted Taylor aboard a UN helicopter to Freetown, Sierra Leone, where he was delivered to the SCSL. [77][78], Taylor also has another son, a U.S. citizen named Charles McArther Emmanuel, born to his college girlfriend. [70] In January 2017 it was found that he had been making phone calls from the prison to provide guidance to the National Patriotic Party and threaten some of his enemies.[71].