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US grand jury indicts son of former Liberian president Taylor

[JURIST] Charles McArthur Emmanuel, also known as Roy Belfast Jr. and Charles Taylor Jr., son of former Liberia [JURIST news archive] president Charles Taylor, was indicted [text, PDF; US DOJ press release] Wednesday by a federal grand jury in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida [official website] on charges of committing torture in the first prosecution brought under a federal anti-torture statute [18 USC 2340A text] passed in 1994. The charges stem from Emmanuel's activities as head of the Liberian Anti-Terrorist Unit [Global Security backgrounder] and allege that he was involved in murder, torture, and recruitment of child soldiers. Specifically, the indictment ties Emmanuel to a 2002 incident in which he allegedly took a man from his home and tortured him with a hot iron, scalding water, and electric shocks.

In September, Emmanuel pleaded guilty [US DOJ press release] to using a US passport obtained through false statements. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials had arrested Emmanuel when he arrived in Miami on a flight from Trinidad. Emmanuel's father Charles Taylor [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] is currently awaiting trial [JURIST report] at The Hague before judges of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) [official website] on charges of crimes against humanity. Liberia's Truth and Reconciliation Commission heard testimony [JURIST report] from witnesses in October that linked Taylor to the execution of some 250 Sierra Leoneans. AP has more.

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