Ex-Liberia President Arrested
Ex-Liberia President Arrested Website
A former Liberian president has been arrested on charges of embezzling $1.4 million during his term in office. "This is a very, very, dark day for Liberia. This is the reward we get for restoring peace and democracy to our country," Gyude Bryant said as police escorted him on Friday to a maximum security prison in the capital, Monrovia. Bryant, a former businessman, was charged in February with embezzlement after an audit by ECOWAS, a West African regional bloc, uncovered evidence of widespread graft during his 2003-2005 period in office. He was the transitional president after the country's civil war ended in 2003. On Friday, two court officials and a dozen police officers arrested Bryant from his residence before he was taken to the prison compound. He told reporters that he did not know how long he would be in detention. Zero tolerance Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Liberia's current president, has vowed zero tolerance for corruption as she tries to return the country to its former prosperity. The Bryant administration, which grouped all the factions from the civil war, was tasked with guiding Liberia to elections after Charles Taylor, an ex-dictator, now on trial in The Hague for war crimes, went into exile. Bryant has denied the findings of the ECOWAS report and has warned that any prosecutions could prompt a constitutional crisis in the mineral-rich state .