The Informer (Monrovia)

16 January 2013

Liberia: Taylor Cries On Govt for Benefits

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

Former Liberian President Charles G. Taylor has written the Liberian Senate to prevail on the Executive through Ministry of Finance to pay his annuities as a former President of Liberia.

In his three-page communication to the Senate, the former Liberian leader (2007-2003) pointed out that since his resignation from the presidency in 2003 he has not received his annuities from the Liberian Government.

He added that as a citizen of Liberia, he is entitled to having access to the Consul and Diplomatic Missions in Europe, where he is currently imprisoned for War Crimes and Crime against humanity.

Taylor, 64, was found guilty by the UN backed Court of Sierra Leone on May 30, 2012 of 11 counts of aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity, when supporting rebels between 1996 and 2002 in return for blood diamonds.

He has been sentenced to 50 years in jail but his lawyers have since taken appeal against the court's ruling.

The former Liberian leader further that, "Sadly, I am without notice as to why Finance Ministers of the Republic of Liberia have failed and/or refused to comply with the law of the land as regards my annuities."

He said "the fact is that I have not received my entitlement as set out under the law as a former President of Liberia since I resigned the office on 11 August 2003. A reasonable observer, properly informed, would reasonably apprehend bias because there is evidence that some individuals that are covered by this Act are receiving their annuities."

Taylor is also seeking other privileges customarily giving to former members of first families such as Diplomatic Passports for his wife and children, adding that "it is a tradition reserved and respected over the years and hope that it can be honored without prejudice."

According to Taylor, "I posit that there is the scared and overriding principle that, justice must not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done. Ultimately, the action taken so far by Government, whether an oversight or contrived, I suggest, reflect on the integrity and standing as regards the appreciation for the rule of law and the fair conduct of government. This practice of selective application of the law of the Republic is in itself a violation of the law."

He therefore request the intervention of the Liberian Senate to bring an immediate end to what he referred to as a "mammoth injustice," and cause his lawful annuities to be made available and same be done for personalities who may be a victim of such act.

The former leader also mentioned in his communication that it was enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 51st Legislature of the Republic of Liberia that: "An Act to amend an act providing for retirement pension of the President and Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, the Speaker and Deputy Speaker, the Pro Tempore.., the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court". Section 1.4 of the New Executive Law, Section 2.4 of the New Legislative Law and Sub Section 3, of Section 13.4 of the New Judiciary Law to read as follows: "A former President of the Republic of Liberia who has honorably retired to private life and who is not in any way gainfully employed by government shall receive from Government a pension equal to fifty (50%) percent of the salary of the incumbent President. In addition, a former President shall be provided a personal staff and facilities for the remainder of his/her life. The amount allowed for this shall not be less than twenty-five thousand (US$25,000.00) United States Dollars per annum."

Following the reading of the communication, a motion was raised by Sinoe County Senator Mobutu V. Nyepan for the communication to be sent to the committees on Judiciary, Ways, Means and Finance and copies circulated to each senator and discussion be held on next Tuesday.

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