Ex-wife of former Liberian president charged with torture

Charles Taylor's ex wife has been charged with torture offences relating to when he was president of Liberia Credit: AP Photo/Koen van Weel

The ex-wife of a former Liberian president has been accused of committing acts of torture in the African country.

Agnes Reeves Taylor, 51, who was formerly married to exiled leader Charles Taylor, was arrested by the Metropolitan Police's war crimes unit on Thursday and later charged over four alleged torture offences committed during the 1989-1991 Liberian civil war.

One of the charges against Ms Reeves Taylor accuses her of agreeing "with others unknown" to a course of action which if pursued "would necessarily amount to or involve the commission of the offence of torture."

The other three allege that "as a public official or person acting in an official capacity" she, along with others, together with others "intentionally inflicted severe pain or suffering on an individual in the performance or purported performance of her official duties" while in the city of Gbarnga.

Gbarnga was the headquarters of her former husband Charles Taylor's National Patriotic Front during the conflict.

Ms Reeves Taylor, of Kitchener Road, Dagenham, is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Saturday.