Ex Liberian Prez Defends Skull Displays

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jul 17, 2009 5:30 AM CDT
Former Liberian President Charles Taylor, is the first African leader to be tried at the Hague.   (AP Photo/ICC)
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(Newser) – Former Liberian President Charles Taylor defended displaying human skulls along roadways in his country to scare people into obeying soldiers' orders, reports the Times of London. “Skulls were used as symbols of death,” he told the judges at his trial at the Hague. “Enemy soldiers had been killed and their skulls were used. We did not think that symbol was anything wrong."

Taylor faces charges of murder, rape, conscripting child soldiers, enslavement and pillaging in a brutal 11-year civil war in neighboring Sierra Leone. He's the first African leader in history to go on trial at the Hague. Taylor has dismissed accusations against him as “lies, lies and more lies.”