u can’t make this up

wow.  pat robertson, head of the ‘end of the world is nigh‘ faction of wacko xians, got himself a gold mining concession in africa.  how’s that for conflict of interest?  why does he need tax free gold if the end times are here?

Televangelist denies ‘quid pro quo’ with ex-Liberian president

By Colum Lynch
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 4, 2010; 7:49 PM

The revelations came in the midst of Taylor’s U.N.-backed trial on 11 counts of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity during Sierra Leone’s 1990s civil war. Taylor is accused of directing a Sierra Leonean rebel group, the United Revolutionary Front, in a campaign aimed at securing access to the country’s diamond mines. The rebel movement stands accused of committing mass atrocities in the West African country in the late 1990s, including the mutilation of thousands of civilians.

Prosecutors at the Special Court for Sierra Leone contend that Taylor offered concessions to Westerners in exchange for lobbying work aimed at enhancing his image in the United States. They maintain that he also spent an additional $2.6 million paying lobbying and public relations firms to influence in his favor the policies of former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Under cross-examination, Taylor said that Robertson had volunteered to argue Liberia’s case before U.S. officials and that he had had spoken directly to Bush about Taylor. He also confirmed that Robertson’s company, Freedom Gold, signed an agreement to exploit gold in southeastern Liberia, but that it never generated any profit.

“Mr. Taylor, indeed at one point you said that you can count on Pat Robertson to get Washington on your side,” the lead prosecution counsel, Col. Brenda Hollis, a former U.S. Air Force officer, said to him.

Taylor replied, “I don’t recall the exact words, but something to that effect.”

A spokesman for Robertson, Chris Roslan, confirmed that Robertson was awarded a gold exploration concession by the Liberian government during the 1990s. But he said that there was “no quid pro quo” to provide the government with anything in return. Roslan said that Freedom Gold is no longer in operation and has never found any gold.

“This concession was granted by the Liberian government to promote economic activity and alleviate the suffering of the people of Liberia following a terrible civil war,” Roslan said, adding that Robertson never met Taylor or paid him any money. “Freedom Gold accomplished this by employing some 200 Liberians in addition to providing humanitarian efforts, including free medical care and installation of clean water wells for area residents.”

and a snippet from another washington post article:

Pat Robertson’s Gold

By Colbert I. King
Saturday, September 22, 2001; Page A29

in May 1999, Robertson, through Freedom Gold Limited, an offshore company registered in the Cayman Islands but based at CBN headquarters in Virginia Beach, signed an agreement with Taylor and key cabinet members allowing the for-profit Freedom Gold to explore and receive mining rights in southeastern Liberia, where gold is believed to be in the ground.

It’s a great deal for Liberia, which is now an economic basket case thanks to the long civil war and Taylor’s corruption. It’s also good for Freedom Gold, which was formed by Robertson in 1998. Liberia — and for all practical purposes we’re talking Taylor — gains 10 percent ownership of Freedom Gold.

[snip]

Freedom Gold is committed to spend $15 million during the exploration phase, but he said it has yet to spend anything close to that amount. The deal with Liberia gives Freedom Gold exploration rights for five years, and an additional “20 years to mine it,” Mathews said.

and that’s not all.  gold is one thing, but diamonds are forever, and saintly, vow-of-poverty pat robertson has his hand in diamond mines as well.

Diamonds are Robertson’s best friend

By Ju-lan Kim

[snip]

Although the financial success of CBN is well-known, one of Robertson’s lesser known organizations is his African Development Company (ADC). ADC is a private venture that invests in various land-based operations in Africa, such as mining and agriculture, with the stated goal of redirecting profits toward humanitarian projects. In Zaire, the ADC operates a diamond-mining project in the center of Zaire’s prime diamond mines and forestry concessions.

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