Charles Taylor, AP, 1999
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Charles Taylor: 'Diamonds can't be controlled'

During the Liberia war, the then little-known rebel leader Charles Taylor gave several interviews to the BBC's African Service.

He usually spoke to the editor at the time of our Focus on Africa programme, Robin White.

They finally met in 2000 in the Executive Mansion in Monrovia when Mr Taylor was the country's president.

In an interview recorded during that meeting, Mr Taylor denied masterminding the RUF rebellion in Sierra Leone and rejected US claims that he was dealing in "blood diamonds".

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  • 25 Apr 2012