-- The United States reportedly is circulating a resolution that calls on UN peacekeepers in Liberia to arrest former president Charles Taylor should he return home. Mr. Taylor has been living in exile in Nigeria since august 2003 but has been indicted on war crimes charges by the UN-backed special court in Sierra Leone.
The Associated Press reports the resolution calls on the peacekeepers to then turn Mr. Taylor over to the special court.
Peter Anderson is a spokesman for the special court. From Sierra Leone, he spoke with English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about the UN resolution.
He says, “Well, I read the same press reports that you did and I can tell you what our position is on Charles Taylor…Mr. Taylor was indicted by this court in March of 2003. So our position is that there’s a valid warrant of arrest. There’s a case for him to answer approved by judges of this international tribunal and that no matter where he is and under any circumstances he should be turned over to the court for trial.”
Nigeria has said it might consider a request from a democratically elected government in Liberia to turn Mr. Taylor over. So does the special court have any particular interest in Liberia’s October 11th elections?
Mr. Anderson says, “We don’t have any specific interest in the outcome of the Liberian elections. Of course, we’re a court. We’re not involved in politics. We just look for whomever to respond to the indictment and to turn Charles Taylor over to the court.” If the former Liberian leader were to he handed over today, would the court be ready to prosecute? Mr. Anderson says, “That’s what the prosecutor has told us and he’s said that he’s trial ready.”