Liberia's Charles Taylor 'wants presidential pension'

BY: Sebastian Syme

Liberia's jailed ex-President and war criminal Charles Taylor appears to have written to MPs demanding an annual state pension of $25,000 (£15,600).

Liberian Senate Secretary Nanborloh Singbeh said the letter would be discussed by MPs next week.

The letter purportedly from Taylor says the withholding of his presidential pension is a "mammoth injustice".

Last May, a UN-backed court sentenced him to 50 years in prison on 11 counts of war crimes.

He became the first former head of state to be convicted on such charges by an international court since the Nuremberg trials of Nazis after World War II.

Taylor, who is in jail at The Hague, is appealing against the judgement by the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone.

It ruled that as Liberia's president, he aided and abetted Sierra Leone's rebels during the 1991-2002 civil war.

Family's needs

The BBC's Jonathan Paye-Layleh reports from the capital, Monrovia, that the signature on the letter very much looks like that of Taylor.

However, the letter contains some simple spelling errors, such as "principal" for principle, "cease" for seize and "giving" for given, he says.