Wanted: Good home for vicious animal. Any takers?
Posted by Exile on April 20, 2006
Anyone who keeps themselves more or less informed of what is going on around the world will know that former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor is due to face charges of crimes against humanity. The trial is currently scheduled to be heard in the SCSL (Special Court of Sierra Leone) but talks are on to get it moved to the Hague for security reasons.
The Hague will take the trial but doesn’t want Taylor hanging around afterwards. The problem is, what do you do with Taylor if he is found guilty?
Obviously he is destined for incarceration somewhere, but where? Nobody wants him. The US is leading the search for his future accomodation and has tried Sweden and Austria. They refused. The pressure is now on for Denmark to take him.
Not a good idea.
Danish prisons are no more than hotels with a fence. The only reason for not escaping is that life is pleasant and comfortable inside. Security is a joke. The idea being, that if prisons are uncomfortable and escape-proof, then the inmates will turn on the guards. Can’t have that sort of thing going on in Denmark, now can we?
The record isn’t good either.
The last man to be under ‘high security house arrest’ was an Iraqi general.
Former Iraqi Chief of Staff Nizar al-Khazraji, suspected of leading a massacre on Kurds in northern Iraq in the 1980’s. He was placed under house arrest in Denmark pending an official investigation of his role in the attack. Despite being under police surveillance, he abruptly disappeared shortly before the US-led invasion of Iraq. He managed to leave not just his house but left the country. Last seen in Syria.
Putting a monster of Taylor’s calibre in a danish prison would be like putting Zacarias Moussaoui in the local Hilton and asking the doorman to keep an eye out for him if he tries to leave.
The danish parliament is split on this. Jyllands Posten commented:
..government ally, the Danish People’s Party (DF), called the request ‘expensive and dangerous’. They said the country should be wary of accepting Taylor, given its bad track record housing other war crimes suspects.
‘There’s no doubt that a man like Taylor poses a major security risk,’ said MP Kim Christensen. ‘Denmark isn’t a country that can house a criminal of Taylor’s calibre.’
Representatives from opposition parties said the country should accept Taylor if it was requested to do so.
I had a thought. If Turkey wants to gain a bit of goodwill and curry favour with the EU, they might be interested in having him. I’ve heard their jails are pretty tough!