Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Charles Taylor Was Arrested in a Liberian Embassy Car

According to The Daily Trust Newspapers Charles Taylor the embattled former Liberian President who was formerly a Guest of the Nigerian government was caught on the Nigerian border in a Liberian embassy car. The news raises questions about who aided in his escape from his Calabar home to the north of Borno state.

Eyewitnesses of Taylor's arrest last month said the diplomatic plate number of the jeep was 81 CD 85, as reported by Agence France Presse (AFP) and the Liberian newspaper The Analyst.

The Daily Trust can today confirm that this is a Liberian diplomatic number plate.

Embassies are designated specific numbers for their car registrations by the consular department of the Foreign Affairs ministry in Abuja. Number plates beginning with 81 are exclusively for the use of the Liberian government, an embassy staff member confirmed.

But the Charge d' Affairs of the Liberian embassy, Manfred Peters, said yesterday the car was not officially given to Mr Taylor by the embassy for his use.

He said: "There was no official contact with Mr Taylor before his arrest. Mr Taylor has been the guest of the Nigerian government. I am waiting for the Federal government's investigation."

The government's spokeswoman, Remi Oyo, said: "This is a matter for the Liberian government to answer".

The Range Rover jeep is still being held by Customs officials in the village of Ngala, Borno state, police said. Friends What do you make of this? A conspiracy or mere coincidence? Well only Taylor can say.

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