Why Charles Taylor turned down the Commonwealth of Massachusetts clemency in 1998


Why Charles G. Taylor Turned Down the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Clemency in 1998?

President Taylor absconded Liberia in 1983, apparently, while being probed for the IEE Company 1m( USD) scandal that indicted him and the Indian Dilion Brothers Company at the GSA, once deemed SCOGO.

Probably Taylor felt the confidence in trust of the investigation, hence, came to batten down the hatches to appear before the panel of investigators under administrative preliminary probing of the “GSAgate”.


He was tipped on the subconscious witch-hunting propensity of the probe, wherefore, the future rebel leader cum president reverted to a cladestine escape thru the litoral County of Maryland to land in Côte d’Ivoire before seeking asylum in the US.

The actual narrative is that when Clarence Momolu , Taylor successor at GSA after the latter’s appointment at the Commerce Ministry by Doe, discovered an alleged scandal involving Taylor at the GSA the issue was not detected as a source of linking his personage to a crack down as a reprisal for his association with Gen. Quiwonkpa who was the Uncle of Taylor’s wife.
A leak from the mansion informed Tupee Taylor to warn Charles Taylor that the undercurrent of the probe was all about paying for Quiwonkpa’s ruckus with Doe.

Taylor was under international red notice after he left Ivory Coast which caused his first detention in France and subsequently in London, all of which proved futile at the GOL’s rendition of the Liberian declared fugitive.

In his reeling of escapes, Charles Taylor managed to tread thru all the red – notice hedges to land finally in the US.
There, matters on his arrest went from the frying pan to the fire as the government pursued his extradition in fulfilment of a bilateral Treaty of Extradition Liberia had signed with the US.

The dipsomaniac and notorious Minister of Justice, Jekins Scott, under Doe efforts in a Boston Court appeared feeble to build a strong case for Taylor’s rendition as remarkably, Taylor would succeed in contracting the services of a US luminary legal geek, Ramsey Clarke, who fought to teeth to the disappoinment of the GOL.

As of the Taylor’s formal apprehension at Plymouth Correction facility in Boston and denial by the federal government to extradite him on unexpressed suspicion that Doe did not possess the holy ground to receive Taylor, the future war monger turned a high profile criminal prisoner of the US until his escape and subsequent declaration of being wanted by the US.

Taylor’s escape from US jail has always been a polemical issue on the national and international fore, and the pro and con discussants have always gone at one another throat with belief or rejections.
Some have argued the high impossibility of Taylor escaping jail in the US while others argue Taylor’s escape was tacitly facilitated by the US for an undisclosed reason.

Apparently, Taylor being hard-pressed , as rebel leader, thru a crafty journalistic grill on a BCC interview sometime, revealed that his escape was spurred by the US, adding that under no situational circumstances a prisoner in a closed cubicle would refuse to run for freedom if one morning he woke up to realizing a partial or whole open gate.

There is also an occupational thought by Liberians that Taylor is a CIA spook which interrogation needs not much of a rocket scientist.

Taylor’s occupation that followed his declared escape from US jail was predominated by galvanizing Liberian dissidents as of 1985 to take up guerrilla training in Libya for an attack on the despotic government of Doe.

That would not only succed without the bloody war of NPFL that decimated a large portion of Liberian population and coerce most in exile, and annihilate civil infrastructures in droves.

The wish of Taylor to become president that alternated with no choice, thru heinous war, materialized in 1997, but yet at that the US still blacklisted him a wanted culprit.
Every frantic effort by the US to restrain Taylor’s March on the Mansion by democratic or mobocratic mean ended in smoke.
Liberian overwhelmingly voted him under the populist tide : ” Taylor killed my; Taylor killed my pa I will vote for him.”

Taylor’s inaugural speech promised not to have him as wicked leader nor avenge on opponents, however, that would become a matter of words and not deeds in his subsequent rule.

Interestingly, when Taylor despoticism as president came on matching with every atrocity as rebel leader, indeed, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the state in the US Taylor was held as a prisoner before his escape, under Governor Argeo Paul Celluci granted Taylor clemency which would come as rude awakening on the part of many Liberians who thought that the growing tyrannism of Taylor as President would have met a strong opposition by the US state to reinforce the call of Taylor’s arrest as an escapee.

The gesture by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, was not evaluated, for practical purpose, as sincere by Taylor, but a form of bait or bobby trap, which was never tested to have Taylor visit the US when it appeared the federal government had endorsed the dropping of escape charges.

Well, the matter of Taylor’s escape remains one of the great wonders of Liberia and would probably pull the second dragnet when Taylor completes his SCSL sentence.

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