War criminal Taylor demands his pension

2013-01-19 21:01
Charles Taylor. Picture: AFP

Charles Taylor. Picture: AFP

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Monrovia - Charles Taylor may be locked up while appealing his 50-year prison sentence for war crimes, but the former Liberian president still wants his impoverished country to pay his pension.

The 64-year-old, who was once one of West Africa's most powerful figures, has written Liberia's senate seeking at least $25 000 per year in retirement pay he insists he's owed under the constitution.

"Sadly, I am without notice as to why finance ministers of the republic have failed and/or refused to comply with the laws of the land as regards my annuities," Taylor wrote.

The former strongman, whom even prosecutors have called smart and charismatic, ran Liberia from 1997 to 2003. As his government fought a two-front rebellion that year, he stepped down and fled to Nigeria under international pressure.

Three years later, Taylor was finally arrested and sent to The Netherlands.

Last year, Taylor was convicted at The Hague for war crimes and crimes against humanity and sentenced to 50 years behind bars for arming and supporting murderous rebels in neighboring Sierra Leone's civil war, which ended in 2002.

He has appealed the conviction; oral arguments in the appeal are to take place on Tuesday and Wednesday.

In his three-page letter to the senate, which at the time smacked of legalese, Taylor chastised Liberia's government for "mammoth injustice" for allegedly failing to uphold its responsibilities and "a blatant disregard for the laws of our land" by not paying his pension.

He also wrote that he had been denied access to Liberian diplomatic and consular services, and sought diplomatic housing and passports for his wife, Victoria, and two daughters.

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Read more on:    liberia  |  west africa  |  war crimes

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