–Who Don’t Want Him Return
Former Liberian president has blasted some of his allies who have turned against him. A report by African Confidential published by the BBC quotes Mr. Taylor as taking issues against some of his former allies who turned against him.
The report did not identify the individuals Taylor blasted, but in recent time, the former Liberian leader has reportedly taken issues against some of his former confidants and aides.
Mr. Taylor assures his supporters that he has never abandoned them.
Ex-Liberian President is reported to have made the statement when he had a phone conversation with some of his political allies from inside a UK maximum security prison.
A recording of the alleged call, in which he reportedly advises his party members on tactics, was obtained by Africa Confidential magazine.
He is serving a 50-year sentence for supporting rebels who committed atrocities in Sierra Leone.
The Ministry of Justice said it does not comment on individual cases.
Alain Werner, director of Civitas Maxima, an NGO which builds legal cases against alleged Liberian war criminals, said the allegation was “extremely worrying”.
The call, which has been heard by the BBC, is thought to have been made from a landline inside HMP Frankland, near Durham, on 28 January, Taylor’s 69th birthday.
In the phone call:
Taylor’s supporters put him on their phone’s loudspeaker and applause and cheers can be heard as he speaks
He rails against former allies who turned against him and assures supporters that he has never abandoned them
He advises them to avoid people who would betray his party, saying: “Go back to the base and everything will be fine”
He adds: “I’m in a cell but I’m not in prison because my mind cannot be in prison,” and describes himself as a “sacrificial lamb”
Africa Confidential also reported that Taylor had been threatening politicians he opposes in other phone calls.
The Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone, the United Nations body which held Taylor’s trial, said it was urgently following up with the British government.
Mr. Werner, of NGO Civitas Maxima, said: “That he may interfere from his cell in a British jail on the political life in Liberia is extremely worrying, especially considering that there will be presidential elections later this year.”
In Liberia’s election in October, Taylor’s National Patriotic Party (NPP) is in a coalition with the Congress for Democratic Change, which is seeking to elect former football star George Weah, with Taylor’s ex-wife Jewel standing as vice-president.
Taylor was convicted in 2012 of 11 counts of war crimes, slavery, rape, recruiting child soldiers and aiding and abetting the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels in Sierra Leone during the 1991-2002 civil war, in which some 50,000 people died.
The former Liberian leader was found to have supplied weapons to the RUF in exchange for so-called blood diamonds.
The rebels were notorious for hacking off the limbs of civilians to terrorise the population.
The UN, which convened a Special Court on Sierra Leone, issued an appeal for a country to host him after his conviction and the UK volunteered.
An act of parliament was passed to allow for Taylor to serve his sentence in the UK, at the cost of the British government.
His trial was held in the Netherlands in case it sparked renewed unrest in West Africa.
Prison guidelines state prisoners should not communicate any material which would create a threat or risk of violence or physical harm to any person, or endanger public safety.
Meanwhile, the wife of the detained former Liberian leader, Mrs. Victoria Taylor, has asserted that Mr. Taylor is aware that some of his associates and trusted aides are not in good relationship with him
Giving details, Mrs. Victoria Allison-Taylor claimed that some individuals, including some of his former associates for selfish reasons, don’t want to see her husband return to Liberia.
Although, she declined to reveal the identities of some of those individuals, who don’t want Mr. Taylor return to Liberia; however, Mrs. Taylor said some of those individuals recently aired/published a telephone conversation her husband had recently with them at the NPP’s headquarters to celebrate his birthday.
The former president’s birthday party attracted hundreds of supporters and associates, Mrs. Taylor disclosed.
She asserted that some of the individuals recorded the telephone conversation and intentionally aired and published it the local paper to make it appear that the former Liberian leader is interfering in the politics of Liberia.