16 January 2013

Liberia: Taylor Demands Benefits From GOL

Photo: Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera television news records the moment Charles Taylor was sentenced.

Former Liberian President Charles Ghankay Taylor is demanding from the current Government of Liberia (GoL) what he calls all benefits as 21st President of Liberia. The former Liberian leader's demand is contained in a communication addressed to the GoL through the House of Senate. On Tuesday, 15 January 2013, the Senate, in its first session of its second sitting, placed on its agenda, the former Liberian leader's communication.

In former president Taylor's communication of demand for presidential benefits, he is requesting the GoL to annually release unto him as a former head of state of Liberia, US$25,000, since according to him, he honorably turned over office on 11 August 2003. Former President Taylor, who used legal reliance as the basis of his demand in his communication, quoted Session 1.4 of the New Executive Law, Session 2.4 of the New Legislative Law and Session 13.4 of the New Judiciary Law respectively.

The former Liberian president's communication, which was read on the floor of the Plenary of the Senate, instructed his wife, Mrs. Victoria Taylor to make herself available to the Liberian government relative to further discussions regarding his presidential benefits. "As former President of Liberia, I resigned honorably, and I must get my just benefit as a former of Liberia," said Mr. Taylor in his communication to the Senate.

"In as much I resigned honorably as a President, I must get my benefit as mandated by the laws of our country, "he amongst other things added in his communication. Following the reading of the communication, the plenary of the Liberian Senate voted unanimously to hold hearing on Mr. Taylor's communication tomorrow, Thursday, January 17, 2013.

The plenary is the highest decision making body of the Liberian Senate.

Meanwhile, the communication has been forwarded to the Senate Committee on Executive pending the hearing tomorrow. Mr. Taylor stepped down as president of Liberia in a ceremony in Monrovia on Monday 11 August 2003, stating that "God willing, I will be back." The former Liberian leader's resignation was in response to pressure from the United States, and advancing rebels troops then targeting the ousting of the former president.

He sought refuge in Nigeria, from where he was later arrested and flown to The Hague to face the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) on 11-count charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. On 26 April 2012, the Special Court for Sierra Leone sitting In The Hague convicted the Liberian president Taylor of aiding and abetting rebels who committed war crimes during Sierra Leone's bloody civil war in the 1990s, and subsequently sentenced him for 50 years, a ruling Taylor's lawyers have since filed an appeal against.

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