Home Economy Taylor Slammed!…As ECOWAS Court Rejects Pension Benefits Quest

Taylor Slammed!…As ECOWAS Court Rejects Pension Benefits Quest

by News Manager

By: Varney Dukuly

MONROVIA: A precedent has been set by the Economic Community of West States (ECOWAS) by rejecting an Appeal from former President Charles Ghankay Taylor over his quest for pension benefits from the Liberian Government.

The ECOWAS High Court on Friday ruled against former President Taylor in relation to his pension benefits quest, which is now a precedent for other retired Liberian officials in the future..

The government of Liberia has won a landmark case at the ECOWAS Court against former President Charles Taylor who was seeking pension and other benefits since his controversial resignation in 2003.

The former President, among other things, claimed that the action of the Liberian government violated his right to equal protection as guaranteed in some international human rights protocols.

However, Mr. Taylor, a warlord who later became President of Liberia was unsuccessful in his legal suit at the ECOWAS Court.

Speaking in an interview with OK FM late Friday evening, one of the government lawyers, Cllr. Lafyette Gould, said the former President had no legal backing to demand benefits in pensions for him and his family.

He said the Liberian former President who is currently in British prison was dishonourably retired, as such; he does not have the right to ask for something he does not deserve.

This latest judgment from ECOWAS court against the former President marks another legal defeat in his bid for relief and release from British prison.

Some back ground:
In 2013, according to the Financial Times, the international appeals court upheld the conviction of former Liberian president Charles Taylor for savage war crimes committed by forces he controlled in Sierra Leone’s civil war from 1998-2002, sending him to prison for 50 years.

The judgment affirms the first conviction ever of a former head of state for crimes against humanity. A trial chamber of the Special Court for Sierra Leone ruled in 2012 that Mr. Taylor had armed and directed the militias that rampaged across Sierra Leone beginning in the late 1990s, giving those weapons and intelligence in exchange for access to the country’s rich diamond mines.

George Gelaga King, the Sierra Leonean judge who heads the UN-backed court’s appeals chamber, said the trial chamber had been correct to find Mr. Taylor guilty of crimes that were “horrific and shocked the conscience of mankind”.

Under an agreement between the court and the British government, he was transferred to a prison in Britain to serve out his sentence. Mr. Taylor was found guilty of 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder, enslavement, rape and pillage.

The militia groups he backed, the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), carried out a deliberate strategy of terror against civilians in order to depopulate and control territory, killing, raping, enslaving child soldiers and hacking off the hands of villagers.

The defence argued that the evidence was insufficient and that the law defining “aiding and abetting” was impermissibly broad, since war crimes often occur in conflict situations.

The prosecution, meanwhile, appealed arguing that Mr Taylor should have been convicted on the stronger standard of having directed the crimes. The appeals court upheld the initial judgment on grounds of aiding and abetting.

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