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Liberian president wanted in Mass.

BOSTON, Aug. 14 -- Charles Taylor, the newly elected president of the African nation of Liberia, had better stay away from Massachusetts when he makes his first official visit to the United States next month. He faces up to five years incarceration for escaping from jail in 1985.

The Boston Globe reports today there is still an active outstanding arrest warrant charging Taylor with breaking out of the Plymouth County Jail in 1985. Taylor committed no crime in the United States. He was being held awaiting extradition at the request of the then president of Liberia, Samuel Doe. Doe had accused Taylor of embezzlement, a crime Taylor denies. Taylor subsequently wound up back in Liberia and led an armed rebellion against Doe. The embezzlement charges against him in Liberia disappeared after he was elected president of the African nation founded by American slaves 150 years ago. The Liberian Embassy in Washington told the Globe that the fact Taylor returned to Liberia and was elected by the people 'puts the issue to rest for us.' The U.S. government also dropped its charges against Taylor, who is planning to visit the United Nations in New York for the opening of the General Assembly next month. He also plans to visit Washington. Massachusetts officials apparently don't plan to go after him, but he is liable for arrest if he does come to the state. As Roy Lyons, spokesman for the county sheriff's department, says: 'It's not an insignificant thing to escape from a correctional institution.' ---

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Copyright 1997 by United Press International. All rights reserved. ---

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