Agnes Reeves Taylor, the ex- wife of former Liberian President Taylor who is in custody in the UK has made a brief appearance in court via video link. from her prison cell.
The rather brief appearance was for an administrative hearing. Ms. Reeves Taylor who was arrested by Metropolitan Police in June this year was refused bail at the hearing. She is accused of inflicting severe pain or suffering “in the performance of her official duties” as First Lady between 1989 – 1991 in the small West African nation.
The ex-wife of Taylor had been living in the UK and was a lecturer at Coventry University since 2012..
Ms. Reeves Taylor is facing very serious charges of conspiracy to commit torture under UK Criminal Law Act of 1977 and additional charges of torture.
Charles Taylor himself is in jail in the UK serving a 50 year sentence following conviction by the Special Court for Sierra Leone for arming and supporting Sierra Leone rebels who killed thousands of people in that neighboring country.
Charles Taylor’s Timeline:
Jan. 28, 1948: Charles Taylor is born in Arthington, Liberia to an Americo-Liberian family.
1970s: Taylor resides in Boston, Massachussetts US and graduates with an economics degree from Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts.
1983: Taylor flees Liberia after he is accused by the Samuel Doe Administration for stealing about US$1 million. The US government detains Taylor on an arrest warrant from the Liberia government and jailed.
1985: Taylor mysteriously escapes jail in Boston and surfaces at a rebel training camp in Libya.
– On December 24, 1989: Taylor launches an armed rebellion by hise National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL). His rebel war claims over 250,000 and 300,000 lives in Liberia and neighboring countries..
– In August, 1990, ECOWAS countries forcefully insert a peacekeeping force which secures Monrovia in October.
– March 23, 1991: The Foday Sankoh and his Revolutionary United Front, rebel allies of Taylor, cross into Sierra Leone from Liberia.
The civil war lasts until January 2002 and over 120,000 are killed dead and thousands of civilians mutilated.
– July 19, 1997: Following a Peace Accord signed by all Liberian warring factions at a Peace Conference in Ghana, Taylor contests and emerges as the winner of Presidential elections in Liberia and takes office as President on August 2, marking the culmination of a peace accord.
– August-September, 1999: Fierce fighting breaks out in Liberia between Taylor’s government forces and rebels in northern Liberia.
– January 25, 2001: The United Nations issues accusations that Taylor of responsible for supporting and arming rebels in neighboring Sierra Leone from which he is also profiting from the sale of “blood diamonds” from rebel controlled areas. Sanctions are placed on Taylor’s government.
In June, 2003, The Special Court for Sierra Leone backed by the UN unseals an indictment against Taylor for committing war crimes in neighboring to Sierra Leone’s civil war.
– August 11, 2003: Taylor is heavily pressured by the world community, resigns from office and goes into exile in Nigeria.
– March-July, 2004: In pursuit of Taylor, the UN and the United States freeze Taylor’s assets.
– March 29, 2006: Taylor is arrested in Nigeria and sent back to Liberia and promptly taken into custody in Sierra Leone by the Special Court to await prosecution.
On June 20, Taylor is flown by the Special Court for Sierra Lone to the Netherlands for prosecution.
– June 4, 2007: Taylor’s war crimes trial gets under way and later ends in March, 2011.
– April 26, 2012: Taylor is convicted of war crimes and on May 30, 2012 sentenced to 50 years in jail.
On January 9, 2009 Taylor’s son, Emmanuel “Chucky” Taylor, was convicted of torture by a US Court and sentenced to 97 years in prison.
Taylor’s ex-wife Agnes is scheduled to go on trial in the UK in October, 2018.
By Emmanuel Abalo
West African Journal Magazine