NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson is coming to the defense of Liberian President Charles Taylor, saying the "duly elected" leader is no war criminal and the United States has no right to force him from power.
"We're undermining a Christian, Baptist president to bring in Muslim rebels to take over the country," Robertson said Monday on "The 700 Club," broadcast from his Christian Broadcasting Network in Virginia Beach.
Robertson made no mention during the broadcast of his financial interests in Liberia.
In an interview published Thursday in The Washington Post, Robertson acknowledged an $8 million investment in a gold mining venture that he made four years ago under an agreement with Taylor's government.
Taylor waged war for seven years as a rebel leader before being elected president in 1997 with threats of plunging Liberia back into bloodshed.
On June 4, a U.N.-backed war-crimes court announced Taylor's war crimes indictment over the rebel campaign in neighboring Sierra Leone.