Liberian senator and former warlord Prince Johnson has said he wants the US to produce the evidence on which it based a decision to impose sanctions on him.
Mr Johnson was on a list of global figures to have so-called Magnitsky sanctions slapped on them, which are directed against people accused of human rights abuses or corruption.
“As a senator, Mr Johnson has been involved in pay-for-play funding with government ministries and organisations for personal enrichment,” a US Treasury statement said.
“As part of the scheme, upon receiving funding from the Government of Liberia, the involved government ministries and organisations launder a portion of the funding for return to the involved participants. The pay-for-play funding scheme involves millions of US dollars.”
In response, Mr Johnson said he was waiting for a more detailed explanation from the US government and challenged Washington to explain during which specific administrations in Liberia he had been involved in receiving money for favours.
“What we want is the fact,” he told the BBC.
“You can accuse people, but the evidence is what is important; and coming from Uncle Sam’s website – obviously the most powerful nation on earth whose footprint we follow democratically – so you don’t just destroy peoples’ names by accusing them without facts.”
Mr Johnson was responsible for the slaying in 1990 of President Samuel Doe, who had been captured by his forces during the country’s 14-year civil war.
He is now a very trusted political ally and supporter of President George Weah.
As we reported earlier, the US has also imposed visa restrictions on Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of Angola’s former president. BBC News