A federal jury in Miami has convicted Charles McArthur Emmanuel Taylor Jr. (aka ‘Chuckie’), the son of former Liberian President Charles Taylor, of torture in the first trial based upon legislation adopted in 1994 that gives United States courts jurisdiction over torture committed abroad.
Taylor is subject to life imprisonment. Sentencing proceedings are due to begin in January.
Evidence was produced showing that Taylor, who is 31, led an elite ‘antiterrorist unit’ known as the ‘Demon Forces’ in the government headed by his father. Witnesses reported that Tyalor had been involved in killings and torture using electric shocks, lit cigarettes, molten plastic, hot irons, stabbings with bayonets and biting ants shoveled onto people's bodies.
Taylor did not testify in his own defense. His lawyers suggested that witneses had lied in order to obtain asylum in the United States or to settle scores with Taylor’s father.
Charles Taylor père has been on trial in The Hague before a Trial Chamber of the Special Court for Sierra Leone since January 2008.