U.N. links Liberian Taylor to Guinea coup

May 3, 2005 at 10:39 AM
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FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, May 3 (UPI) -- A United Nations official has implicated ousted and exiled Liberian leader Chares Taylor in January's coup attempt against the government of Guinea.

Chief prosecutor of Sierra Leone's war crimes tribunal, David Crane, said Tuesday he had information from several sources indicating Taylor, now living a luxurious life of exile in Nigeria, had ordered the assassination of Guinea President Lansana Conte.

Crane said the order was an act of revenge because Conte backed the rebels who toppled Taylor from power in August 2003, the BBC said Tuesday.

"After the failed attempt to kill Conte on Jan. 19, these same sources have reported that the effort will soon be repeated," Crane said in Freetown. "From exile, Charles Taylor remains in contact with his political network in Liberia on a day-to-day basis.

"He has also mobilized his network of warlords and cronies to keep West Africa in turmoil."

Crane, a former U.S. Defense Department lawyer, is due to step down as chief prosecutor for the U.N.-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone in July.

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