Taylor: Taiwan, Libya backed campaign

Dec. 2, 2009 at 4:28 PM
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THE HAGUE, Netherlands, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- Former Liberian President Charles Taylor, facing a Sierra Leone war crimes tribunal, says Taiwan and Libya contributed to his 1997 presidential campaign.

"In 1996-1997, I received money from Taiwan and Libya," Taylor reportedly told the court Tuesday, asserting the Taiwanese government gave him $1 million, allegedly delivered through the country's embassy in the Ivory Coast.

In testimony published on his Web site, Taylor also reportedly told prosecutors for the U.N. Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague that Taiwan gave him the money for "public relations reasons.

"They developed an interest in me," the Web site quoted Taylor as saying. "They were concerned that China will block their interest in Liberia. It was like a form of PR for them because they were concerned that diplomatic support will continue after I became president."

Taylor also asserted he received $500,000 from Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Prosecutors have charged Taylor with 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and other violations committed during the civil war in Sierra Leone from 1996 to 2002, and have presented scores of witnesses who linked Taylor to atrocities.

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