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Former Special Court Investigator Accused of Contempt

Former Special Court Investigator Accused of Contempt

Prince Taylor, a  local investigator formerly attached to the Charles Taylor defence team, was arrested early this morning on nine counts of contempt of the Special Court. The Order in Lieu of an Indictment alleges that he interfered with four prosecution witnesses who testified in the Charles Taylor trial, and that he also interfered with a fifth person who was about to give evidence in contempt proceedings.

Prince Taylor, who is a Sierra Leonean and not related to Charles Taylor whose case is on appeal before the Special Court, was charged on evidence given by Eric Koi Senessie at his sentencing hearing, and from subsequent further investigations. Mr. Senessie was convicted in June 2012 on eight counts of contempt of court.

On Thursday, 4 October 2012, Justice Teresa Doherty found that evidence presented by the Independent Counsel was sufficient to support a prima facie case against Prince Taylor pursuant to Rule 77 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, and issued an Order in Lieu of an Indictment charging him with nine counts of contempt. Four counts (1, 3, 5 and 6) allege that Prince Taylor offered a bribe to a witness to recant testimony given before the Court, and four counts (2, 4, 7 and 8) allege that he otherwise interfered with a witness to recant testimony.

Count 9 alleges that Prince Taylor interfered with a witness about to give evidence in proceedings before a Chamber by “instructing and otherwise persuading Eric Senessie to give false information to the Independent Counsel appointed by the Registrar on the order of Trial Chamber II.”

Prince Taylor was arrested in Bo by the Sierra Leone Police acting on a warrant issued by the court as provided under the Special Court Agreement (2002). He will appear before the Court for his initial appearance later today. For his initial appearance, he will be represented by Defence Counsel from the Office of the Principal Defender. The Principal Defender will then work with him to secure defence counsel.

ENDS

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