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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 July 2007, 17:14 GMT 18:14 UK
Liberia 'to seize Taylor assets'
Charles Taylor (archive)
Charles Taylor has denied the war crimes charges
Liberia's government has started moves to seize the assets of former President Charles Taylor - on trial on war crimes charges in The Hague.

The bill, which also covers the property of Mr Taylor's relatives and associates, has been passed to Liberia's parliament for discussion.

A BBC correspondent says the bill is extremely controversial.

Mr Taylor is accused of backing rebels in neighbouring Sierra Leone while in power from 1997-2003.

By submitting the bill, the Liberian govenment wants legislative power "to seek the assistance of other nations in tracking, freezing and confiscating the funds, properties and assets" of the ex-president and others concerned.

His assets held abroad were seized by a UN order in 2004, following accusations that he was fuelling wars in the region.

MP Blamo Nelson said the bill was unfair as Mr Taylor had not been convicted of any crimes in Liberia.

Serial rebel

Mr Taylor has been indicted on 11 charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and violations of international humanitarian law over his alleged role in the brutal civil war in Sierra Leone.

Mr Taylor pleaded not guilty to all the charges when he appeared in court in Freetown, Sierra Leone, in March 2006.

The RUF became notorious for hacking off the hands and legs of civilians during their decade-long war.

Mr Taylor started a rebellion in 1989 before being elected president in 1997.

He lost power in 2003 after rival militias rose up and forced him into exile in Nigeria.

He was deported by Nigeria last year in controversial circumstances and flown to The Hague to await his trial.

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