The founding mother of the National Patriotic Party (NPP), the ex-wife of jailed former President Charles Taylor, Madam Agnes Reeves-Taylor has returned home following several years of exile. Madam Taylor who returned home on the night of Wednesday July 15, 2020 was said to have been picked up by Bell Dunbar and whisked away to Careysburg on the Bell Dunbar’s Farm.
She returned home seven months after charges of terrorism were dropped against her in the United Kingdom where she had resided for several years and taught at a UK University before her arrest and torture charges were levied and subsequently dropped against her.
Mrs. Taylor was charged in 2017 on eight counts which included conspiracy to commit torture by allegedly facilitating the rape of captive women by soldiers in the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), the allegation oftorture relating to inflicting “severe pain or suffering”, including assaults on a 13-year-old boy, and a torture of a “pastor’s wife” who had resisted being raped by one of Charles Taylor’s commanders.
According to reports, these offences were allegedly committed during the war here in 1990 but the case had delayed in the UK following several years of legal argument before it could reach the UK’s Supreme Court.
Mrs. Tayor 54, at the time in 2017 was then working as a senior lecturer at the Coventry University before she was charged. Even though she denied all the allegations but was held in Bronzefield women’s prison awaiting trial. The trail had been scheduled to begin the following year, January 2018. The case collapsed in December 2019 after prosecutors failed to pin Madam Taylor to the allegations levied against her.
In handling down his ruling at the time, the UK Judge said Madam Taylor could not be charged with torture as a crime against humanity or a war crime because the alleged offences took place in 1990 – before the relevant sections of the International Criminal Court Act were introduced in 1991. Mrs. Taylor left Liberia in 1992 and divorced Charles Taylor in 1996, before the end of the civil war. She had not left the UK since 2001, the court previously heard.
Prosecutors argued that she was acting in a de facto official capacity on behalf of armed group the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), said to have been formed by Charles Taylor and responsible for attacks on President Samuel Doe during the civil war.
In her defense case statement following her arrest in 2017, Ms Taylor said that at no time did she act in an official capacity for the NPFL and disputed that the NPFL was the de facto governmental authority in the relevant areas at the relevant times.
Ms Taylor is said to have had no contact with Charles Taylor since his conviction for aiding and abetting the commission of war crimes, for which he was sentenced to 50 years in jail. But sources told this paper over the weekend, that Madam Taylor who is very popular among partisans of the NPP will be gladly welcome to restructure the party of her ex-husband.
She comes at a time the internal bickering within the NPP has reached a crashing point with Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor, another ex-wife of Mr. Taylor on one hand, while former Representative James Binney the embattled Chairman is heading another group. Our source said the James Binney group appears to be closer to Madam Agnes Taylor and in seconds welcome her to take over and revamp the NPP.