[JURIST] Former Liberian President Charles Taylor [SCSL case materials; JURIST news archive] controlled about five billion dollars held at two US banks during his presidency, Special Court for Sierra Leone [official website] head prosecutor Stephen Rapp told the BBC Friday. It is unclear what funds Taylor still holds, but a June 2007 UN report concluded that Taylor may control millions of dollars [JURIST report] held in bank accounts worldwide. Rapp said he was now attempting to trace the funds, which may be subject to a UN freeze if recovered.
Taylor faces charges [indictment, PDF] of murder, rape, and the recruitment and use of child soldiers during a bloody civil war in Sierra Leone. The trial has been moved to The Hague [JURIST report] for security reasons. BBC News has more.