U.S. Indicts Son of Former Liberian Leader Charles Taylor for Torture

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Thursday, February 1, 2007
Bruce Zagaris
On December 6, 2006, a federal grand jury in Miami indicted Charles “Chuckie” Taylor, as known as Roy M. Belfast, in connection with criminal torture charges. Chuckie Taylor, the son of former Liberian warlord and president Charles Taylor, is accused of torture in connection with his actions in Liberia between 1997 and 2003. Born in the U.S., Chuckie Taylor lived in Massachusetts and Florida as a child before moving to Liberia in the mid-1990s to join his father’s forces in the country’s ongoing civil war. He was the head commander of the infamous Anti-Terrorist Unit (ATU), also known as the Demon Forces, during Charles Taylor’s presidency in 1997-2003. The ATU, which became Charles Taylor’s primary military force and included many former child soldiers from the infamous Small Boys Unit, was linked to the large-scale rape, torture, and murder of civilians. Chuckie Taylor alleged personally tortured prisoners and killed military trainees. In 2003, Chuckie Taylor fled Liberia with his father. When he tried to reenter the U.S. in March 2006, federal authorities arrested him on passport fraud charges for lying about the identity of his father ... [more]