Outcry over Taylor’s prison chats
Publish date: 13 February 2017
Issue Number: 714
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Former Liberian President Charles Taylor has phoned political allies from inside his UK maximum security prison. A recording of the alleged call, during which he reportedly advised his party members on political strategies, was obtained by Africa Confidential magazine. It said the call appeared to have been made on a landline inside Frankland prison, near Durham, and took place on 28 January, Taylor's 69th birthday. It also reported that Taylor threatened opposition politicians he opposes in other phone calls. As previously reported in Legalbrief Today, Taylor is serving a 50-year sentence for supporting rebels who committed atrocities in Sierra Leone. BBC News reports that Alain Werner, director of Civitas Maxima, an NGO which builds legal cases against alleged Liberian war criminals, said the allegation was ‘extremely worrying’. The Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone, the UN body that held Taylor's trial, said it was urgently following up with the UK Government.