Monrovia – Cllr. Jerome Verdier, the former head of Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission says the search for justice will prevail following the confirmation Friday that the Metropolitan Police Service in the United Kingdom had finally charged Agnes Taylor, the wife of former Liberian President Charles Taylor with torture for her alleged involvement with atrocities committed by her former husband’s rebel group, the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), during the first Liberian Civil War.
In a reaction to the arrest and charge, Cllr. Verdier, in a statement to FrontPageAfrica said:
“The mysterious and elusive Agnes Reeves Taylor, ex-bush wife of former President Charles Taylor, is charged with war crimes and may appear in court tomorrow under the jurisdiction of a U.K. Court for her criminal role in the torture of her Liberian victims during the bloody war in Liberia.”
The former TRC boss averred that the arrest is the latest amongst several other arrests planned for the future to bring justice to the Country and thousands of war victims.
In order to bring closure and healing and reconciliation to our battered country, Cllr. Verdier said, the pursuit of justice will continue until the ghost of Liberia’s heinous past is exorcized and buried.
He added: “Amidst war crimes prosecution several other leads are been followed by investigators to conclude Harry Greave’s brutal murder investigations, as with Keith Judah’s and Cllr Michael Allison, amongst others who died in police custody.”
Cllr. Verdier is meanwhile calling on all peace-loving justice advocates to join him in commending the international justice systems and confidential witnesses and many persons of interests for efforts to bring perpetrators of war crimes and economic crimes committed against the peace-loving people of Liberia, during and before the war years and during the kleptomaniac years of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
“Justice will be pursued without fear or favor, and justice will prevail, so help us god!”
Cllr. Verdier’s TRC made several recommendations which are yet to be implemented.
In recent years, several former figures of the civil war era who sought refuge in foreign countries have been arrested, charged and jail while some have been deported.
Among them are George Boley, the former leader of the Liberia Peace Council who was arrested, charged, tried, found guilty and deported to Liberia.
A U.S. Judge found sufficient evidence that that the former LPC leader had been involved in killings and recruited children to fight in the bloody civil war.
Martina Johnson, a commander of The National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) rebel group during Liberia’s first civil war, which took place from 1986 to 1996 was arrested last year in Belgium.
As a member of the NPFL, Johnson is suspected of having participated in and/or have been involved in many different crimes, including being suspected of participating in, or even having organised, “Operation Octopus”.
Octopus was the name given to the attack on the capital city of Monrovia carried out during October 1992 with the aim of getting Charles Taylor into power.
Five American nuns were killed during Operation Octopus.
These nuns were members of the “Adorers of the Blood of Christ” order – a Catholic order based in St Louis in the USA – who were acting as missionaries in Liberia but were also carrying out humanitarian work.
Johnson is suspected of being involved in their deaths.
Also last year, the United States Attorney in Philadelphia unsealed an indictment against 49-year-old East Lansdowne resident Mohammed Jabbateh, claiming that he was a Liberian war criminal known as “Jungle Jabbah.”
He faces fraud and perjury charges stemming from his immigration to the United States in the late 1990s.
Charles McArther Emmanuel, also known as Chuckie Taylor is the son of former President Taylor.
During his father’s presidency, Emmanuel became the commander of the infamously violent Anti-Terrorist Unit(ATU), commonly known in Liberia as the “Demon Forces”.
He is currently serving a 97-year sentence back in Florida for his role in human rights violation.
Last January, authorities in Canada denied Cindor Reeves, brother of Agnes Reeves Taylor eventhough he was instrumental in providing testimony that led to the indictment of former President Taylor.
He entered Taylor’s household as a teenager after Taylor married Reeves’s sister, Agnes.
He also helped Taylor smuggle guns and diamonds between Liberia and Sierra Leone. But Reeves secretly turned against Taylor and began co-operating with the Special Court for Sierra Leone, helping the international tribunal build its case against him.