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Current and Former Chief Prosecutors of Special Court React to Charles Taylor's Disappearance

The Special Court in Sierra Leone, which has indicted Charles Taylor on war crimes charges, has released a statement on his disappearance.

Chief Prosecutor Desmond de Silva says, “Today marks a step back on the road to accountability and justice. Charles Taylor is now an international fugitive.”

De Silva calls Taylor “A threat to the peace and security of West Africa.” He adds, “His disappearance now from under the eye of a regional superpower only heightens that threat and puts the whole region on the highest alert. It is now up to the government of Nigeria, the regional leaders of West Africa and the international community to respond immediately and to take all necessary steps to ensure that Mr. Taylor is located, detained and transferred to the special court for Sierra Leone forthwith.”

Also reacting to Taylor's disappearance is David Crane, former chief prosecutor for the Special Court in Sierra Leone, who signed the indictment against Taylor. In Washington, Crane gave his reaction to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua. “

I am disappointed for the victims, the 1.2 million victims of the horror which Charles Taylor perpetrated. But I’m also determined to show that President Obasanjo clearly is responsible for this. He had a legal and a practical and a moral obligation to hold this indicted war criminal as a head of state of a signatory to the Geneva Conventions for another signatory to the Geneva Conventions, Liberia. The fact that he (Obasanjo) looked the other way as Charles Taylor slipped apparently quietly into the night is an outrage to the people of West Africa, Nigeria and mankind. He is accountable for this and he should be pilloried for this.”