Son of ex-Liberian leader charged


Dec 7, 2006

The son of former Liberian President Charles Taylor has been charged in the US with committing torture.

The indictment against Charles McArthur Emmanuel, known as Charles "Chuckie" Taylor is the first time a 12-year-old federal anti-torture law has been used.

The US was able to charge him because he was born there. He is alleged to have committed the offence in Liberia while his father was in power.

Charles Taylor is in The Hague awaiting trial for war crimes in Sierra Leone.

He has been accused of backing rebels in the decade-long civil war in Liberia's neighbour.

The former president went into exile in 2003 in a deal ending Liberia's civil war.


Chuckie Taylor had been arrested in late March in Miami and has pleaded guilty to passport fraud.

He was in charge of presidential security when his father was in power in Liberia, and is accused of taking part in the torture of a victim in July 2002.

"The allegations in this case include acts of torture, such as burning flesh with a hot iron, burning flesh with scalding water, and applying electric shocks," a US attorney said in the statement.

The assistant secretary for immigration and customs enforcement said it was a "clear message the US would not be a safe haven for human rights violators".