Ex-wife of former Liberian president charged with torture offences


The ex-wife of former Liberian president Charles Taylor is to appear in court accused of committing torture in the African country, Scotland Yard said.

Agnes Reeves Taylor, 51, was arrested by the Metropolitan Police's war crimes unit on Thursday over alleged crimes committed during the Liberian civil war between 1989 and 1991.

Reeves Taylor, of Kitchener Road, Dagenham in east London, was charged on Friday with four torture offences and will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Saturday, a Scotland Yard spokesman said.

The charges against Reeves Taylor all stem from a period between December 23 1989 and January 1 1991.

One charge accused her of agreeing "with others unknown that a course of conduct would be pursued which, if the agreement was carried out in accordance with those intentions would necessarily amount to or involve the commission of the offence of torture."

The other three allege that "as a public official or person acting in an official capacity together with others unknown at Gbarnga, Liberia, intentionally inflicted severe pain or suffering on an individual in the performance or purported performance of her official duties".

Gbarnga served as the headquarters of Charles Taylor's National Patriotic Front during the conflict.

A final peace agreement led to the election of Taylor as President of Liberia in 1997.

A second civil war broke out in 1999 and Taylor was forced into exile in 2003.