|‘I was never involved. It’s a lie,’ Taylor told the United Nations-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone.|
AMSTERDAM - Former Liberian president Charles Taylor yesterday challenged anyone to find a bank account of his holding illicit funds or blood diamonds from the civil war in Sierra Leone.
In his second week of testimony at his war crimes trial, Taylor denied any role in forming the guerrilla force that invaded Sierra Leone in 1991, that he helped plan the rebel incursion, that he trained the rebel forces, or that he commanded their operations.
“I was never involved. It’s a lie,’’ he told the United Nations-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone sitting in The Hague. He is the first African head of state to be brought before an international court for war crimes.
Frequently agitated and thumping his desk, Taylor dismissed accusations that he accepted diamonds in exchange for arms from Sierra Leone rebel leader Foday Sankoh.