Monday, May 5, 2008

Charles Taylor is innocent until proven guilty, and he was very, very rich

Liberia’s Information Minister appealed to Liberian and Sierra Leonean journalists to treat former leader Charles Taylor innocent into proven guilty. Taylor of Liberia is presently on trial in The Hague for 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity during fighting in neighboring Sierra Leone. He denies the charges.

"The stories you write, the interviews and questions you ask, and the analyses you provide, indeed, have serious implications in our both countries," Dr. Lawrence K. Bropleh said, according to The News in Monrovia.

He’d like to see an independent commission to monitor and evaluate the media coverage from both post-conflict countries.

Nonetheless, here is something they may have to chew on. The chief prosecutor in the case against Taylor claims the former leader had at one time nearly $5 billion in U.S. bank accounts. Taylor has long denied that he bought weapons to fuel the war machine through illicit sales of Liberian diamonds and timber. (The diamond sales are documented here.)

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