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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 May, 2005, 23:28 GMT 00:28 UK
UN pressed over Liberia's Taylor
By Susannah Price
BBC News, New York

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor
The Sierra Leone court says Mr Taylor is a threat to peace
The special court in Sierra Leone has called on the United Nations Security Council to help bring former Liberian President Charles Taylor to justice.

Mr Taylor has been indicted on 17 charges of crimes against humanity for his role in Sierra Leone's conflict.

He has been living in exile in Nigeria since 2003.

The Security Council said in a statement that all those accused of serious crimes by Sierra Leone's special court should face trial there.

Terror allegations

Prosecutors and human rights groups are pushing hard for Liberia's former leader to be handed over to the UN-backed court.

Mr Taylor was granted asylum in Nigeria in return for giving up power as part of a deal to end Liberia's civil war.

However, the court's prosecutors say this was never intended to be permanent and the Security Council should pass a resolution calling for Mr Taylor to be sent to Sierra Leone.

The chief of investigation for the court said Mr Taylor remained a threat to peace and security in West Africa and there was credible evidence that earlier this year, he was involved in an assassination attempt on the president of Guinea.

The court's chief prosecutor, David Crane, added that Charles Taylor had harboured members of al-Qaeda and more recently, helped al-Qaeda send money to a presidential candidate in Liberia's upcoming elections.

The president of the special court, Emmanuel Ayoola, told the Security Council the importance of trying Mr Taylor could not be over-emphasised because of the strong impact it would have on public perception of the court and its contribution towards combating impunity.


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