Charles Taylor

President of Liberia Charles Taylor

Charles McArthur Ghankay Taylor is a Liberian politician who was the 22nd President of Liberia, serving from 2 August 1997 until his resignation on 11 August 2003. Born in Arthington, Montserrado County, Liberia, Taylor earned a degree at Bentley College in the United States before returning to Liberia to work in the government of Samuel Doe. After being removed for embezzlement, he eventually arrived in Libya, where he was trained as a guerilla fighter.
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  • 2015
    Age 67
    Taylor's attorneys filed a motion to have him transferred to a prison in Rwanda, but in March 2015 the motion was denied and he was ordered to continue serving his sentence in the U.K.
  • 2014
    Age 66
    In 2014, Victoria was denied a visa to visit her husband while he serves his sentence in the United Kingdom. Taylor also has another son, a U.S. citizen named Charles McArther Emmanuel, born to his college girlfriend. Emmanuel was arrested in 2006 after entering the United States and was charged with three counts, including participation in torture while serving in the Anti-Terrorist Unit in Liberia during his father's presidency.
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  • 2013
    Age 65
    On 15 October 2013 he was transferred to British custody, and began serving his sentence at HM Prison Frankland in County Durham, England.
    Taylor appealed against the verdict, but on 26 September 2013 Appeals Chamber of the Special Court confirmed his guilt and the penalty of 50 years in prison.
  • 2012
    Age 64
    He was found guilty in April 2012 of all eleven charges levied by the Special Court, including terror, murder and rape.
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  • 2011
    Age 63
    Phillip Taylor, Taylor's son with Jewel, remained in Liberia following his father's extradition to the SCSL. He was arrested by Liberian police officials on 5 March 2011 and charged with attempted murder in connection with an assault on the son of an immigration officer who had assisted in Charles Taylor's extradition; the mother of the victim claimed that Phillip Taylor had sworn vengeance against the immigration officer.
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    On 8 February 2011, the trial court ruled in a 2–1 decision that it would not accept Taylor's trial summary, as the summary had not been submitted by the January 14 deadline.
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  • 2009
    Age 61
    Taylor testified in his own defence from July through November 2009.
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    On 4 May 2009, a defence motion for a judgment on acquittal was dismissed, and arguments for Taylor's defence began in July 2009.
    In January 2009, the prosecution finished presenting its evidence against Taylor and closed its case on 27 February 2009.
  • 2007
    Age 59
    On 20 August 2007, Taylor's defence now led by Courtenay Griffiths obtained a postponement of the trial until 7 January 2008.
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    When Taylor's trial opened 4 June 2007, Taylor boycotted the proceeding and was not present.
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  • 2006
    Age 58
    The Association for the Legal Defence of Charles G. Taylor was established in June 2006 to assist in his legal defence.
    On 16 June 2006, the United Nations Security Council agreed unanimously to allow Taylor to be sent to Leidschendam for trial; on 20 June 2006, Taylor was extradited and flown to Rotterdam Airport in the Netherlands.
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    On 15 June 2006, the British government agreed to jail Taylor in the United Kingdom in the event that he is convicted by the SCSL.
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    In early June 2006, the decision on whether to hold Taylor's trial in Freetown or in Leidschendam had not yet been made by the new SCSL president, George Gelaga King.
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    At Taylor's initial appearance before the court on 3 April 2006, he entered a plea of not guilty.
    On 16 March 2006, a SCSL judge gave leave to amend the indictment against Taylor.
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    On 17 March 2006, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the newly elected President of Liberia, submitted an official request to Nigeria for Taylor's extradition.
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    That year, he resigned, as a result of growing international pressure, and went into exile in Nigeria. In 2006, the newly elected President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, formally requested his extradition.
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  • 2003
    Age 55
    In November 2003, the United States Congress passed a bill that included a reward offer of two million dollars for Taylor's capture.
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    In July 2003, LURD initiated a siege of Monrovia, and several bloody battles were fought as Taylor's forces halted rebel attempts to capture the city.
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    In June 2003, the Prosecutor to the Special Court unsealed the indictment and announced publicly that Taylor was charged with war crimes.
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    The SCSL prosecutor originally indicted Taylor on 3 March 2003 on a 17-counts for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the conflict in Sierra Leone.
    On 7 March 2003, the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) issued a sealed indictment for Taylor.
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  • 1999
    Age 51
    In 1999, a rebellion against Taylor began in northern Liberia, led by a group calling itself Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD).
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  • 1997
    Age 49
    In 1997 Taylor married Jewel Taylor, with whom he has one son. She filed for divorce in 2005, citing her husband's exile in Nigeria and the difficulty of visiting him due to a UN travel ban on her. The divorce was granted in 2006.
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    Following a peace deal that ended the war, Taylor coerced the population into electing him president in the 1997 general election by threatening to resume the war otherwise.
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  • 1996
    Age 48
    After the official end of the civil war in 1996, Taylor ran for president in the 1997 general election.
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  • 1994
    Age 46
    According to two Operation Blessing pilots who reported this incident in 1994 to the Commonwealth of Virginia for investigation, Robertson used his Operation Blessing planes to haul diamond-mining equipment to his new mines in Liberia.
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  • 1990
    Age 42
    In September 1990, Johnson captured Monrovia, depriving Taylor of outright victory.
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    By 1990, his forces soon controlled most of the country.
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  • 1989
    Age 41
    In December 1989, Taylor launched a Gaddafi-funded armed uprising from the Ivory Coast into Liberia to overthrow the Doe regime, leading to the First Liberian Civil War.
  • 1985
    Age 37
    On 15 September 1985, Taylor and four other inmates escaped from the jail.
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  • 1984
    Age 36
    Taylor fled to the United States but was arrested on 21 May 1984 by two US Deputy Marshals in Somerville, Massachusetts, on a warrant for extradition to face charges of embezzling $1 million of government funds while the GSA boss.
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  • 1983
    Age 35
    He was sacked in May 1983 for embezzling an estimated $1,000,000 and sending the funds to an American bank account.
  • 1980
    Age 32
    Taylor supported the 12 April 1980 coup led by Samuel Doe, which resulted in the murder of President William R. Tolbert, Jr. and seizure of power by Doe.
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  • 1948
    Age 0
    Taylor was born in Arthington, a town near the capital of Monrovia, Liberia, on 28 January 1948, to Nelson and Bernice Taylor.
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