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

Yes, 25 September 2002. The Amnesty International and the international community had mounted pressure on the government that they thought that I was dead and/or severely tortured. The government in its attempts to dispel such rumours allowed United States embassy officials and persons of deputy - then deputy chief of missions, Thomas White and a visas councillor - I don't know his first name, his last name is Mr Wheeler - went to visit me, were allowed, you know, were allowed to see me and to convince me. They told me that, "Okay, we have talked to the government of President Charles Taylor and our sense is he has agreed to release you but on one condition; that you leave Liberia; you leave West Africa immediately. So I asked them, "So where am I going?" They said, "Well, we the United States, will offer - have offered to take you to the United States." So I specifically told Ambassador White and his visa councillor that I believed that the United States was the bacon of modern democracy and as such I thought that the United States should only prevail on the Liberian government to take me to court to defend myself since the government believed that it had evidence against me, and they told me that that was not going to happen because the government didn't have evidence against me. So I said, "Well, Mr Ambassador, thanks, but no thanks. I will not take the offer to leave Liberia. No, I am not going to do it." So he said, "Well, there is nothing else we could - we can do and that is about all we can do." I said, "Well, there is something you can do. Keep pressuring, along with the international community, the government of President Taylor to take me to court. They have evidence. Let them put their evidence to scrutiny in a court of law."

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