3rd Jul, 2022

Coventry University lecturer has torture charges dropped

John Carlon 9th Dec, 2019

TORTURE charges against a former Coventry University lecturer have been dropped.

A judge at the Old Bailey dismissed charges, including the torture of children, against Agnes Reeves-Taylor at a hearing on Friday (December 6).

Ms Reeves Taylor, 54, is the ex-wife of former Liberian president Charles Taylor.

She was due to face charges of torture and conspiracy to commit torture during the early years of Liberia’s 14-year civil war period at the Old Bailey.

Lord Justice Spencer found there was no evidence the Taylor regime controlled the areas where the crimes are alleged to have taken place during the war.

He ordered the case to be dropped.

A former lecturer at Coventry University’s London campus, Ms Reeves-Taylor has been in custody since her arrest in 2017. She pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Born in Liberia, Ms Reeves-Taylor joined the university in 2012 to teach international business. She was arrested at her home in Dagenham in 2017.

Rights group Civitas Maxima, who gathered evidence for the case, said: “The Criminal Court’s dismissal decision is a significant disappointment for the victims, including those who were poised to testify against Ms Taylor at trial.”

Emmanuelle Marchand, the group’s lawyer, said: “This decision is heartbreaking for the victims who have waited more than twenty years for their stories to be heard by a court, and for justice to be done. Civitas Maxima will continue working hard to find ways to bring justice to the survivors”.

Charles Taylor is serving a 50 year sentence at a prison in County Durham for war crimes, after a UN-backed tribunal in 2012.

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