The former Liberian President Charles Taylor has taken the stand at his war crimes trial in The Hague.
His defence? He is totally innocent of all the charges against him, which are based on lies, he says. Instead he described himself as a family man with 14 children and grandchildren. His testimony is expected to last several weeks. He said: “It is quite incredible that such descriptions of me would come about, very very unfortunate that the prosecution, because of disinformation, misinformation, lies, rumours, would associate me with such titles or descriptions.” Taylor is the first of 249 witnesses the defence intends to call, compared to the prosecution’s 91. The trial is already two years old.