UK drops torture charges against ex-wife of Liberia's Taylor

A British judge has thrown out torture charges against the ex-wife of former Liberian President Charles Taylor

LONDON -- A British judge on Friday dismissed torture charges against the ex-wife of former Liberian President Charles Taylor.

Agnes Reeves Taylor was arrested in 2017 by the war crimes unit of London's Metropolitan Police and charged with participating in torture in 1990, during Liberia's civil war.

She denied the charges and had been due to stand trial next month. But Judge Nigel Sweeney dismissed the charges Friday, saying there was insufficient evidence to prove the alleged crimes were committed in areas controlled by Taylor’s government.

Reeves Taylor watched by video link from prison, where she has been held for more than two years awaiting trial. She will now be freed, though she has not been formally acquitted.

Reeves Taylor, 54, is a former university lecturer and was previously married to Charles Taylor, the onetime warlord who was Liberia's president between 1997 and 2003.

He was convicted in The Hague in 2012 of war crimes including murder, rape and using child soldiers. He is serving his 50-year prison sentence in Britain.