THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Charles Taylor claims he was indicted for war crimes as part of a U.S. "regime change" plan to gain control of West African oil reserves.
The former Liberian president has made the allegation in a typically defiant final day of direct testimony in his own defense at the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
The international tribunal is trying Taylor on allegations he controlled and supported rebels who murdered and mutilated thousands of civilians during Sierra Leone's 1992-2002 civil war.
Taylor said Tuesday that Americans believed he was a destabilizing factor in West Africa, a region Washington saw as a possible future source of oil.
He said the reason he was on trial had nothing to do with what he called the terrible things that happened in Sierra Leone.