Fmr. African ruler accused of cannibalism
Liberia's ex-leader, Charles Taylor, who stands trial for genocide at the Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague, denies charges of eating human flesh at a secret society, Press TV reported.
Taylor, who has been charged for war crimes and enticing violence in his neighboring country, Sierra Leon, during his tenure in the closing years of the 20th century, rejected allegations of cannibalism as 'total nonsense'.
"It is sickening. You must be sick to believe it," the 61-year-old ex-president retorted to questioning prosecutors at the criminal court in The Hague on Monday.
Taylor's remarks came after a witness gave evidence during the special court proceedings that Taylor ate human flesh as a ritual in the course of a secret society congregation.
A number of other witnesses also stated under oath that Taylor's National Patriotic Front of Liberia soldier's engaged in cannibalism in order to instigate horror amongst people.
Taylor has blasted the allegations but admitted to the existence of the practice in his nation.
The former warlord has also been indicted for a spate of accusations brought against him including charges of murder, rape, recruiting child soldiers, slavery and various other atrocities.
Moreover, the detained former politician has been blamed for warmongering in Sierra Leone where the country's Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels carried out massacres, slaughtering and maiming around 500,000 civilians in their fight against the government.
Commenting on charges that associate him with aiding and encouraging RUF rebels, Taylor said, "It is beyond imagination that one could believe that the president of Liberia would go into Sierra Leone because he wants to terrorize the population and go for its wealth."
Taylor's party members have been accused of trading Sierra Leone's 'blood diamonds' with weapons in bid to maintain RUF's full-fledged decade-long warfare against Sierra Leoneans.
Taylor's trial is expected to last for weeks before any court ruling decides the fate of the first African politician in the international criminal court.