Screening: Diamonds and Justice – A Dictator in the Dock

Screening Sunday 2nd March, 2008

The charge sheet in the trial of one of the world’s most notorious warlords reads like a manual of terror: amputations, rape, the use of child soldiers, pillage. Diamonds and Justice asks the question: ‘what could possibly be ex-Liberian leader and warlord, Charles Taylor’s defence?’

Taylor was arrested in 2006 attempting to cross Nigeria-Cameroon border in a diplomatic car with sacks full of cash and is now on trial for alleged involvement funding rebels during the atrocities in Sierra Leone. A typically high profile detainment for one of Africa’s least shy rulers.

Is this trial the neo-colonial conspiracy that Taylor’s defence claims? Why do people on the streets of Liberia, scene for so long of a civil war started by Taylor, still love him? Does his wife really believe he’s innocent – a loveable man being victimised by the west?

Is this justice, or politics?

Length: 30 mins
Reporter: Olenka Frenkiel
Producer: Olly Bootle
Executive Producer: Louise Norman

Produced for BBC’s This World