Charles Taylor denies responsibility for war crimes

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Former Liberian President Charles Taylor

Former Liberia leader Charles Taylor says he cannot be held responsible for the war crimes committed during Sierra Leone’s 10 year civil war.

In a statement before the Special court for Sierra Leone at The Hague, the former president said his contribution to peace in Sierra Leone was not taken into account during his trial for war crimes.

He claimed money had played a corrupting, influential, significant and dominant role in his trial, with witnesses paid, coerced and in many instances threatened with prosecution if they did not give statements.

Mr. Taylor was found guilty of aiding and abetting war crimes in Sierra Leone.

The prosecution wants the former president jailed for 80 years; a sentence the defense says is excessive and would amount to life imprisonment.

"I Charles Taylor did not could not have ever and would never have knowingly and with responsibility and or authority to prevent, stop or punish someone from carrying out acts of atrocities fail to do so. Money in this case cumulatively prejudiced my rights and interests in an irreparable way. I am 64 years old and not young any more. I am of no threat to society. I say with respect, reconciliation and healing not retribution should be the guiding principals in your honors' task."

Duration 40"

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December 2017
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