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Son of former Liberia president Taylor pleads not guilty to US torture charges

[JURIST] Charles McArthur Emmanuel, also known as Roy Belfast Jr. and Charles Taylor Jr., son of former Liberia [JURIST news archive] president Charles Taylor, pleaded not guilty in a US district court in Florida Thursday to charges [indictment] of committing torture in the first prosecution brought under a federal anti-torture statute [18 USC 2340A text]. Emmanuel commanded a paramilitary unit in Liberia during his father's regime and is said to have committed the torture in 2002 when he allegedly took a man from his home and abused him with a hot iron, scalding water, and electric shocks.

Hours earlier Thursday, Emmanuel was sentenced to 11 months in prison for passport fraud. In September, Emmanuel,a US citizen born in Boston, pleaded guilty [US DOJ press release] to using a US passport obtained through false statements after Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials arrested Emmanuel when he arrived in Miami on a flight from Trinidad. AP has more.

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