Charles Taylor Reveals Lawyers for Prison Transfer Appeal

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Former Liberian President Charles Ghankay Taylor has finally disclosed the names of the three hired lawyers for his next month appeal case against his ‘scary stay’ in prison in the United Kingdom.

The ex-Liberian leader via mobile phone Wednesday, his birthday, according to Cllr. Saymas Cyrenius Cephas, named Britain resourceful lawyer, John Johns; and a US-practiced lawyer, Chris Gosnell.

Cllr. Cephas also disclosed that Taylor has also hired his legal services, as a Liberian legal practitioner, making him the third counsel.

Cllr. Cephas made the disclosure yesterday at programs marking the celebration of the 67th birth anniversary of Dahkpannah Dr. Charles Ghankay Taylor. The program was held at his ‘White Flower’ residence in Congo Town, Monrovia, in his absence while he observed it locked behind bars in the UK.

According to reports, Mr. Taylor has sued the British Government for denying him the right to a family life.

The former Liberian leader is said to have written to the court in the Netherlands claiming that serving his sentence on his home continent would be “substantially more humane not only on my account, but also on account of my family.”

He claims that because of the risk of attack from other inmates he is likely to be “seriously injured or killed.”

The former Liberian leader’s imprisonment might cost the British tax payers up to £80,000 a year, according to an unconfirmed source. He faces a 50-year jail sentence for crimes against humanity,.

He says his family should not have to travel from Africa to see him, the Daily Mail reported, and he fears other prisoners in HMP Frankland in Co Durham will inflict their “own brand of justice” on him because of his reputation.

Charles Taylor led a rebellion in Liberia, which toppled the Samuel K. Doe regime in the 1990s.

Mr. Taylor was Liberia’s 21st President. He was born on January 28, 1948 in Arthington, Montserrrado County.

Meanwhile, delivering the birthday address yesterday, Cllr. Cephas said the National Patriotic Party (NPP) must wake up and rise to the challenge of a true and responsible party.

He said that NPP should engage the government as a former ruling party and speak with one voice on issues of national concerning and not as individual members.

Cllr. Cephas indicated that NPP must assure the Sirleaf-led administration that it is a partner in the national reconciliation, by engaging the government in a more constructive way befitting a responsible political party.

“First the NPP must officially write the Government to assist the party to  visit its former leader in prison to ascertain his condition and identify with him as a Liberian citizen and former President of Liberia,” Cllr. Cephas said. “And lastly, the NPP should engage the Government to ensure that the legitimate retirement benefits of President Taylor are paid for the upkeep of his family.”

Some of the guests included his former wife, Bong County Senator Jewel Howard Taylor, former Vice President John Gray and Senator H. Dan Morias, the Presiding Officer of the Liberian Senate.

Others included Bomi County Senator Sando Johnson, NPP Secretary General Andrew Peters.

The ‘Ghankay 67th Birthday Anniversary’ was chaired by Atty. Edwin M. Martin.

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