The transcripts of the trial of Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia. More…

"Reverend Jackson began his remarks by thanking Taylor for the meeting. The Sierra Leone crisis with 10 years in the making and the RUF capture of UN hostages has riveted world attention. Some hostages have been freed and all must work to free those remaining. ECOWAS had charged Taylor to secure the hostages' release and owes a special debt to Taylor for accepting that charge. Seeking helicopters is important and we hope that UN efforts and UN helicopters will be given the access they need. The hostages must be released soon to ensure the injured or ill do not die in the hands of the RUF. We're glad Taylor sees no link between release of hostages and Sankoh's fate. The RUF has broken the Lome Accord. Jackson noted Taylor's statement of support for restoring democracy in Sierra Leone and for an ECOWAS force with a peacekeeping mandate in which Liberia would be willing to take part. We support Taylor's efforts to help release the hostages and bring peace, noting that if the RUF succeeds in Sierra Leone, their banditry and torture would eventually spill over into Liberia."

On UN diamond smuggling and gun-running, an international effort to stop these activities is critical. Diamond brokers in consumer countries must be partners to the effort. There are no so many poor people over so much rich soil in the region's diamond producing areas, lamented Jackson.

The RUF activities are barbaric. We hope they will agree to disarm and demobilise and finish the remaining work to build peace and democracy in Sierra Leone."

Then we come to the confidential meeting:

"Referring to his meeting the previous day with Nigerian President Obasanjo, Jackson said Obasanjo had commended Taylor for accepting ECOWAS's charge to seek the hostages' release."

Was it ECOWAS who asked you to get involved, Mr Taylor?

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