International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Judges Order That Prosecutors Cannot Use New Documents Alleging That Charles Taylor Gave Sierra Leone’s Blood Diamonds To Supermodel Naomi Campbell

Prosecutors cannot use new evidence alleging that former Liberian president Charles Taylor gave supermodel Naomi Campbell a diamond received from Sierra Leone’s junta government in 1997.

Today, prosecutors tried to introduce a document from actress, Mia Farrow, alleging that supermodel Naomi Campbell had informed her that Mr. Taylor had sent his men to give her a rough-cut diamond after they had all attended a dinner that was hosted by former South African President, Nelson Mandela. Defense lawyers for Mr. Taylor objected to the use of the document, arguing that while the document was a declaration made by Ms. Farrow to Special Court for Sierra Leone prosecutor, Nicholas Koumjian, there is nothing indicating that the declaration was made under oath or whether it was a sworn affidavit. Mr. Taylor’s lead defense counsel, Courtenay Griffiths, further stated that Ms. Farrow’s declaration that certain guests at the dinner, including Mrs. Mandela, raised concern about the presence of Mr. Taylor at the dinner, meant that the document was prejudicial, and that the best person to have made any statement about the transfer of the the diamond would have been Ms. Campbell herself, not a third party. Mr. Griffiths called the document “third-hand hearsay.”

“This document is complete nonsense. It is ridiculous. It should not be allowed in a court of law. It has no probative value and it is highly prejudicial, and in that situation, any tribunal of fact has the discretion to exclude it on that basis, and I so invite you to do,” Mr. Griffiths told the judges.

Despite prosecution arguments that “this document impeaches that categorical denial by this witness that he ever had any diamonds during the time he was in the NPFL [National Patriotic Front of Liberia] or president of Liberia except that maybe he had a couple of watches that had diamonds,” the judges ruled in favor of the defense, stating that the document cannot be used in the cross-examination of Mr. Taylor.

Reading the order of the chamber, presiding judge Richard Lussick said that “The document allegedly is a statement by a person as to what she was told by a second person who was relating what she was told by a third person or persons. The accused, of course, has had no chance to challenge any of the allegations in this document or cross-examine the alleged makers of the various statements that embodied the document now before the court.We find that the document is highly prejudicial and we hold that the the criteria that are required to be met for the use of the document have not been met. In other words, there is nothing put before us that would allow us to say that its use in cross-examination is in the interest of justice or that it does not violate the fair trial rights of the accused. We therefore uphold the defense objection and will not allow the document to be used in cross-examination.”

The objection to the use of the document came out of lead prosecution counsel Ms. Brenda Hollis’s question to Mr. Taylor about his September 1997 visit to South Africa during which he attended a dinner hosted by former South African president Mr. Mandela. At the said dinner, several celebrities were present “including well known music person Quincy Jones…Supermodel Naomi Campbell…And the actress Mia Farrow.”

Ms. Hollis put to Mr. Taylor today that while in South Africa, he had his men take a diamond to Ms. Cambell, an incident which Ms. Campbell reported to Ms. Farrow the following morning.

“From among the diamonds you took to South Africa, after this dinner that you attended, you sent your men to Ms. Campbell’s room to provide her with a large rough-cut diamond.”

Mr. Taylor dismissed the assertion as “totally incorrect.”

Ms. Hollis further pointed out that the diamond allegedly given by Mr. Taylor to Ms. Campbell was received from the junta regime that ruled Sierra Leone from May 1997 to February 1998.

“Mr. Taylor, that diamond that you sent to Naomi Cammpell was one of the diamonds that you had been given by the junta in Sierra Leone. Isn’t that correct?” Ms. Hollis asked Mr. Taylor.

“Total nonsense,” the former president responded.

In May 1997, soldiers of the Sierra Leone army overthrew the elected government of Sierra Leone and formed the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC). The AFRC soldiers invited the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels to join their government and together, they ruled Sierra Leone until they were forcefully removed by West African peacekeepers in February 1998. The RUF on their part, had waged a war on the country from March 1991, a war that lasted for more than a decade. Prosecutors have alleged that Mr. Taylor was involved in a joint criminal enterprise (JCE) with the AFRC/RUF merger. During the existence of this JCE, prosecutors allege that Mr. Taylor received diamonds from the AFRC/RUF merger and in return supplied the rebels with arms and ammunition. On his visit to South Africa in 1997, prosecutors say that Mr. Taylor received diamonds from the Sierra Leonean rebels with a promise of obtaining weapons for them. Mr. Taylor has denied these allegations.

As proceedings drew to a close today, Justice Lussick informed all parties in court that his one year term as presiding judge of the Trial Chamber has come to an end and when proceedings resume on Monday, Ugandan born Justice Julia Sebutinde will occupy the role of presiding judge of the chamber for another year.

Mr. Taylor’s cross-examination continues on Monday.

84 Comments
  1. Ladies and gentlemen the party is over, turn off the lights. Ms Hollis was Crushed, I mean Crushed with a capital “C” in today’s court room drama. She had three strikes, in the game of baseball, three strikes you’re out. The first two strikes were the book evidences Ms Hollis attempted to introduce into evidences, but the defense objected to both, the judges sustained. The third strike was the cross examination of CT on the cross examination of one of the prosecution witnesses by the defense. Ms Hollis was questioning CT from the testimony of one of the prosecution witnesses under cross examination. I thought for a moment that I was the only person having difficulty understanding the direction Ms Hollis was heading. I was not alone; the judges also had difficulties understanding the objective of Ms Hollis’ line of questioning. “Total ludicrous” borrowing a new phase from CT.

    But the funny part hasn’t reached yet. Ms Hollis will be flat on her back for the eight counts beginning from next Monday, when Justice Subetinde takes over from Justice Lussick. Justice Subetinde is a no nonsense Judge, she will have no problem telling Ms Hollis to put up or shut up. It is now Woman to Woman.

    Whatever benefit Ms Hollis didn’t get while Justice Lussick was presiding, you can forget it. From now forward Ms Hollis life is going to be a living HELL! You heard it hear first.

  2. This line of questioning by Ms Hollis is totally immatured. I am shocked at the prosecution trying to sneak a document that has no legal credibility into evidence. Thank God the defence were alert enough to object and the judges were just enough reject it.

    How preposterous?

  3. This guy (Taylor) is a real tipification of a rebel. Some of us have lived with rebels. Taylor shouls be openly executed. Oh by the way is his son(Chucky) out of jail yet? May the wrath of God almighty fall on Taylor and Chucky.

    • Hi Kugbay — I don’t think I have seen you post with us before. Thanks for joining us on the site.
      Best,
      Tracey

    • Hi Maximus Arelus – welcome back. We haven’t heard from you in quite a while. Glad you rejoined the discussion here.

      Alas, the comment you posted today at 7:34pm doesn’t meet our one rule here on the site: that is, to focus on the issues in the trial and not on other readers. If you would be able to reformulate your comment to fit with that policy, I would be happy to post it.

      Best,
      Tracey

    • Kugbay,
      Fortunately justice does not work in the way you want it to. I am sure you wanted Charles Taylor to stand trial. Now that he is on trial and the case is weak you feel he should be executed. Sorry my friend ! Concerning Chuckie yes he is still in prison but from what I understand he is appealing his unjustice sentence. Remember the same people who testified against Chuckie are the same liars who now live comfortable in exile in Europe and the United States because of their lies. If the people who testified against Chuckie were really telling the truth there would have been no case against him because they all would be dead.

    • Kugbay,

      Thanks for saying nothing in your posting ” Taylor should be openly executed” It will be very helpful, if you could provide some evidences to the prosecution, then your wish will be granted. Sorry, we’re in NO kangaroo court.

    • Kugbay,

      it sounds like you have given up to me. You are saying in this public forum, that the former president of the Republic of Liberia should be executed openly.

      Kugbay, be advised, that you are on notice/record. Guys, sometimes, something just does not require any further explanation.

  4. The prosecution is just tossing out nonsense and hoping something will stick. After a month off to sort through their fresh evidences, 1000s of pages and this is what they came back with. This leads me to believe that done of their fresh evidence is going to be allowed. It is not fresh evidence and it is totally, totally nonsense.

    I did not see the trial today is this all that happen.

  5. Tracey, do you know why Monday transcript has not been posted?

    • Hi there Ken — I am not sure why the transcript has not been posted yet. I know that the Special Court experienced problems with their systems this week – hopefully the transcripts should be posted by next week. I can check in with Mr. Moriba and see if he has any more news.
      Best,
      Tracey

  6. Ok, so now there’s an allegation that Mr. Taylor had a diamond delivered to supermodel Naomi Campbell during a trip to South Africa. My question to the prosecution is simple: why are they relying on a comment from a third or fourth party? I mean, why not just ask Naomi Campbell if she ever received the diamond? I doubt that she would physically have to go to the court and she could settle this issue in a matter of minutes with a simple “yes” or “no” under oath. Initially, I was rooting for the prosecution in this trial but now I’m starting to worry that the prosecution’s mistakes are jeopardizing any attempt at gaining the truth and that if they are not careful, Mr. Taylor will be freed on a technicality and then we’ll never know what really happened during the war.

    • I agree. The prosecution is starting to really make a mockery of the special court and justice in general. This is poor lawyering they really could have just gone to Naiomi and asked…if she refused they could have subpeonaed her and forced an answer. I really hope justice is served here. Unfortunetly, the way things are going CT will go free even if he is guilty.

      • Nika1913 — I haven’t seen a comment from you before I don’t think. Welcome to the site and glad you could join the discussion here. Hope you continue to contribute to the conversation.
        Best,
        Tracey

        • Hi, actually I have posted before, it’s just been awhile.

          • Hi Nika1913 — apologies for misremembering. In that case, a warm welcome back! Good to have you with us again.
            Best,
            Tracey

    • Paivy,

      Well, if you were rooting for the prosecution first and you are increasingly becoming jittery or worry about the prosecution mistakes, it is just natural, especially, when the case is lacking supportive and concrete evidence. For some of us, we already knew, that there was no case and evidence to convict this innocent man. However, with the issue of Super Model Naomi Campbell, it is just an unrelenting effort by the prosecutors to manufacture another false and unsubstantiated document again. Thank God Almighty, the judges were able to see through the fake document easily, thereby, upholding the defense objection.

  7. The point of my previous post is that whether Mr. Taylor is guilty or not, the trial must be a legitimate trial based on the facts. (I’m sorry if my previous post appears twice.)

  8. Congratulations Mr. Griffiths, you are not only smary, but a hero of our time. In my view Ms. Hollis has lost her mind totally. She is out of order. What a shame?

    Regards

    Harris K Johnson

    • Harry,
      I think the US and Britain believe this was going to be a CAKEWALK…maybe they heard of Mr. Taylor but not seeing him as SMART as they come. Those two nations helped in setting up this court….brought in their TOP GUNS, choose the settings, plus told the world what we’re going to see and know about Mr. Taylor.

      Strangely, what we’re seeing and knowing about Mr. Taylor is, he’s NOT a fool. He hand picked him team and if I should ever get into trouble, this is the kind of men I will want defending me!!!!!

      To see Ms Hollis fumbled time and time again is a AMAZING and DISGRACEFUL…how can team with ALL the TOP INTEL AGENCIES at their fingter tips do so poorly was what my co worker, a Sierra Leonean, asked me the other day…I simply told her….HE DID NOT DO WHAT THEY SAID HE DID AND IT’S WORK TO PROVE IT….

      Before this trial, she STOPPED speaking to me because of my side in the game….but she’s now seeing ALL that I told her….Oh, she bought me lunch for PEACESAKE.

  9. Charles Taylor said it correctly “Total Non-Sense”. So this prosecution team really doesn’t have any tangible evidence against Taylor? How can Taylor carry Diamond to South Africa? It’s like taking sand on the beach. This time around I say TOTAL NON-SENSE myself!

  10. Thanks for your ingenuity mr. Griffith,
    Those are some of the conspiracies that
    you just discovered and succeeded in preventing
    its use in a court of such political nature.
    Mr. Taylor will surely be free.

  11. Charles Taylor, whom I deem a coward, and his defense team have copped a common strategy – deny, deny and deny any and everything that the prosecution sends their way!

    • Hi Eric Peabody — I think this is the first time we have received a comment from you here. Welcome to the site and I hope you will continue to join the conversation in this room.
      Best,
      Tracey

    • Eric Peabody,
      If you deem Charles Taylor a coward. Why is it that you didn’t start a revolution to remove the dictator Samuel Doe who started all the killings in Liberia?

    • Eric Peabody,

      Your self made description of this innocent man is admittedly a clumsy comment that has no legs to stand on in this court. You can call him all the despicable names all you want. But it wouldn’t have any bearings on this case.

      Eric, the defense strategy is to debunk the prosecution fake evidence.
      The defense strategy is to separate the facts from fictions.
      The defense strategy is to expose the prosecution lies.
      The defense strategy is to enlighten the world of the real Taylor as a peacemaker and not your self made strategy for the defense.

    • Eric Peabody ,

      You said CT and his defense has a common strategy deny, deny and deny but me and other says,the prosecution should PROVE IT! PROVE IT AND PROVE IT! — I know even Tracey will agree with me on this LOL!! Welcome my friend, but we’re ALL about proof/evidences over here. I know someday if you’re in court, you’ll be on my side on this, PROOF/EVIDENCES

    • Eric,
      you need to remember a simple fact about justice viz: “the burden of proof lies with the prosecution.” All the defence needs to do is deny.

    • Eric,
      Have you seen any CREDITABLE EVIDENCE in this case??? If so, can you point it out to me please. Ms Hollis brings in NONSENSE and Mr. Taylor should play DEAD and agree, is that what you are saying??

      He has AGREED to the FACTUAL ONES in case you haven’t been following carefully.

  12. I’m not a lawer or a law student, can the court listen to transfer information or account from third party? somebody help me with ananswer.

    • Hi Chappy,
      The court can listen to accounts from third parties but only under certain conditions. The judges found that this document from Mia Farrow did not meet those conditions. Please keep watching this site as we have a law professor who is doing a post for us about the use of “hearsay” or third-party evidence in the Taylor trial which we hope to post later this month or early next.
      Best,
      Tracey

      • Heresay is generally not allowed in western courts because heresay lacks what’s called probative value…that evidence which goes to the heart of the matter and tends to prove or disprove an allegation. These rules are in place in the west because often times defendants are tried in jury trials and their fate is decided by their peers and not the judge. Jurors may tend to give heresay evidence more credibility than it should be given so it’s excluded altogether, with certain exceptions.
        In the special court the judges will decide CT’s fate and as lawyers and judges they have the ability to properly weigh all the evidence according to law and not allow emotion or other factors effect their decisions like a juror who is not a lawyer may tend to do. Hope that helps.

  13. Amazing…….Ms Hollis knows very well if she was on the other side, she would have done what Mr. Griffith did, so WHY, yes WHY tried to pull a HOODWINK??? Again, another HEARSAY was to be an evidence….thank GOD, this time around, the judges were hipped to the game.

    The score reads…..Ms Hollis & Mr. Koumjain 1 vs Mr. Taylor 13.

    Why are we wasting our time on this trial. What happened to the CHARGES and the proving of GUILT??? I think the prosecutors are LOST and just don’t know how to say WE DON’T HAVE THE FRUITS to convict. Sadly, we have some in here thinking this is about Liberia.

  14. Aye Papay!! we are behind you.. don’t worry, do your best..stand up. speak for your God giving rights to protect and defend the nation he made you president… That wrongful incasuration will be over soon and we will join you in celebrations of that victory…. May the all mighty lord richly bless you now and forever….

  15. My gentlest people,

    UNBELIEVABLE. Folks, this is just incredibly brutal to the prosecution.

    The microcosm of what is taking place in this court is just completely unbelievable. These people who have sown the seeds of their own demise have been hit with the curtail circuit rimming down their throats of “Adam’s Apple.” I can imagine how hard it was for them to hear the honorable judges saying that the document is allegedly a statement of a person who told the second person, and the second person told the third person. As the result, the defense objection is upheld. I think personally the document in itself is a fraud. How did such a document like that slip through the cracks.? How did it get that far? The document is not a sworn affidavit. It was not written under any oath. We don’t know the authenticity of the document.

    Folks, the vision of our future is right before our own eyes. However, it wouldn’t take too long before someone calls it a day. GO HOME. THERE IS NO CASE AGAINST THIS MAN.

    • Jose,

      Are you a poetic now? ” These people who have sown the seeds of their own demise have been hit with the curtail circuit rimming down their throats of “Adam’s Apple. ” that ‘s very deep to say the least, I love it. It’s so glaring that the prosecution has No evidences and all their scripted-templates questionair of lies has finished since the first week of CT being on the stand.

      They’re coming-up with all trivia stuff, too- bad because the Eagles eyes are all on them. Wow! i enjoyed so-called internationally known brilliant lawyers being confuse, sorry but that’s my satisfaction!!!! God, I m enjoying this trial — the true perpetrators are out there go get-em, and leave Charles Taylor alone

  16. I am glad that the judges have realized there is a limit to allowing hearsay. How could Mia farrow be allowed to give evidence on what Naomi Campbell supposedly told her? Why not get this from Naomi Campbell herself or better still put her on the witness stand where she could have been cross examined.
    Tracey I am glad you let us who were not able to watch the trial know that this evidence was not allowed. The news media have not reported this, saying only that Charles Taylor gave Naomi a blood diamond. This is another indication of the Western bias against Mr. Taylor.

    The anti-Taylor people must be very frustrated. If I were them I would actually be starting to believe that the prosecutors are intentionally trying to scuttle their case. How can any prosecutor at this level try and bring in written evidence that is not a sworn affidavit?

    • Aki,

      I know at least one of the international news media who caption reads: “LIBERIA’S TAYLOR’ GAVE NAOMI CAMPBELL A BLOOD DIAMOND.” Can you and anyone take a wild guess which news agency headline was this? IT WAS ABC. THE AMERICAN BROAD CASTING CORPORATION.

      Hadn’t been for this website, the case is over in favor of the prosecutors. And I continue to believe this to my grave.

      • Jose,
        This site is/was the BLESSING in this case….really!! Plus the showing of the trial where we all can see and make a call….imagine CNN, BBC and the rest giving us SUMMARIES….nothing POSITIVE would have said about Mr. Taylor…and the prime example is this BLOOD DIAMOND….judges ruled in favor of the defense….ZERO on any of the news outlets….I bet if it was the other way around….I rest my case.

        • Noko4,

          My brother, it is one of the primary reasons why they took the trial over there in the Hague. It was intentional. It was not because of the bogus reason (Security Reason) they gave the world. It was because, they didn’t want us to know the truth. It was because, they wanted us to rely on them for the news and not watch the news or trial for ourselves, and make independent judgements. It was because, they wanted to make the news as oppose to reporting the news. It was because, they wanted to control and manipulate the news. But thank God for this site that has provided the opportunity for us to know exactly what is happening in the courtroom.

  17. Hey Helen

    You guy cannot say it better. I have limited my comments these day cause the is no substance in the prosecutor at all. Like i always say the prosecutor had nothing but lies and allegation.

    Ms Hollis cross are all base on speculation how can you in front of the world presume things without facts I say let the oldman go free Liberian need him.

    To all you Taylor Hater shame again no way fellows

    Bye

    Zobon

  18. I think this demonstrate again, the professionalism of the judges and administrator of this court. People can say what they want but these hard working judges are helping us(Liberians and Sierra Leonean) bring what justice should look like to our people. Taylor is the accuse but he still has his rights and they are been protected. How I wish Taylor could have done the same to others while he head of the NPFL and NPP.

    Justice must prevail, well done Judges.

    • Eagle-Eye (Returns) – you make a very good point and an important one. I agree that the judges indeed are watching out for Mr. Taylor’s fair trial rights and that is so critical for the credibility of any trial, and particularly one of such a high profile person being prosecuted for such serious crimes.
      Best,
      Tracey

    • Eagle Eye,

      We are not discussing the judges’ professionalism here. We are certainly not discussing the administrators of this court. However, what we are discussing here, is the monumental failure of Ms. Hollis and the entire prosecution team. It was brutally bad, folks, this gone Thursday, that this struggling prosecution, dreadful act of survival was arrested and handcuffed by truth and justice. Their bunch of lies that begin with legendary falsehood status, was openly revealed to the entire world in a publically viewable fashion. Eagle eye, by you returning to your same old roots of distraction, will not make us to surrounder to discuss other issues that you have raised. Nontheless, we will remain focus. We will focus like a laser beam on the evidence presented. We will not allow you to distract us about the massive blunder of the prosecution.

    • Eagle,

      I like you thread….you are right, though CT is the accused, he still has rights and the judges are ensuring that they are protected….unfortunately, many under his rule didn’t have that luxury….he is lucky that he has such. Yea, this is truely an educational process for us all….

      thanks

      • Bnkr,
        Please name some of the people who under Charles Taylor didn’t have rights ?

        • I will name one….Jackson Doe, Sam Dokie, and the thousands that were accused or murdered because they were either Mandingo, Krahn or owned a house….as long as you deprive someone life, you deny them their rights…..there are basic human rights..

      • bnker,

        Take him to court.

        • Bnkr,
          You see this is the flaw with your argument. When your name Jackson Doe or Sam Dokie. Let us leave Sam Dokie out because he was a traitor to the people in Greater Liberia. He was with the NPFL and then connived with ULIMO and LPC to take over Gbarnga when Charles Taylor went to Ghana for peace talks. After this rebellion failed leaving hundreds dead he had the audacity to try and travel by road less thant two years later thru the same areas in which he had caused so much hard ship and death. It is unfortunate that his wife died along but do you really think Charles Taylor ordered this killing ? The answer is no Dokie was no threat to Charles Taylor politically. Taylor was already president. The people of that area took revenge for what they saw as tresaon by a native son of the soil.

          Concerning Jackson Doe unfortunately in civil war people are killed. It is know different from what happened during George Washington,
          Mao Tse Tung or any other revolution. I refuse to believe that Charles Taylor ordered the execution of any of these people. If you are to believe he wanted opposition dead. Then why didn’t he kill Ellen Sirleaf, Earnest Eastman and the many other opposition and Doe allies who passed thru his territory? It was a popular uprising that stalled when the United States stop backing the NPFL when they got to the gates of Monrovia. Would you have agreed to not be president after you risked starting a revolution having mosquitoes bite you at night, watching out for snakes and having to fight a war and reach to the Capital City to be told that Amos Sawyer who was your underling should become Interim President ? Lets be realistic.

        • Jose,
          Correction, not him, but them. We have to make these people accountable for crimes committed against Liberia and their own conscience. I know we differ on a lot of things and this is probably another one, but unless we put a “cork” on these behaviors, Liberia will not improve. Developers and investors will always be reluctant because the threat looms. Further, what tools are there to discourage someone from creating havoc in the future? At this point, nothing!

    • Eyes,
      Could you please name for us some of those Mr. Taylor didn’t give JUSTICE to….I don’t want HEARSAY eventhough is an evidence in this court….FACTUAL FACTS please.

    • bnker
      We all live in liberia during Taylors’ presidency; It is just so so false to say justice was luxury. My pfriend, say the true .nobody will spank you for it. During Taylors regin there were private news agencies, there were human right organizations functioning; both international and national. Also there were different kinds of intrest groups functioning. What are you talking about here? Are these the kinds of medeocratic double sided lies people are goingto flow with? Come on, say facts . Like Jose just said , lets concentrate on the socall new evidences poeple were making noise all over the place about.

      • Noko5,
        I am convinced, that you are obviously lost in your thoughts and have not read or don’t understand what I am writing about….therefore, I cannot further comment. When you read or re-read my threats, you might get back on track…if you so please, do that!

        • Hi Jose — I received a post from you today at 1:19pm which unfortunately does not fit with our policy of focusing on the trial and not other readers. If you can revise and resubmit so it fits with our policy, I would be happy to post it. Let me know if you need me to send it to you – I’m happy to do so.
          Very best,
          Tracey

        • Hi there Noko5 — just a quick note to let you know that I can’t post you comment of 1:28pm today as it doesn’t fit with our policy. Would you mind reframing it to focus on issues arising from the trial and I’ll be happy to publish it. I’m also happy to send it through to you if you need a copy of it.
          Best, and thanks, as always, for your understanding,
          Tracey

        • correction, not “threats” but rather “treads”….thanks

  19. BRAVO, BRAVO, BRAVO AND BRAVO TO CGT. WE WILL PRAY THAT YOU BE FREE!!

    GO HOME ms hollis, you have no case againat CGT.

  20. Hi Tracey, I just want to express my thanks to you and the able staffs of this website. I’ve never watched this trial live because we’ve no access to broad band internet in Liberia. This site is widely read and respected here. I really felt bad when you couldn’t post for two days because of technical difficulties and I’m happy now you’re back on. This phase of the trial is too important to even miss a line of the summary. Welcome back again and wish all contributors a happy and prosperous new year. It’s my hope that this trial reach a climax this year.

    • Daniel — thanks so much for your message and I am so pleased to hear that the trial is useful for you and others in Liberia who are able to access it. I agree this part of the trial is so important and I too am glad that all the technical hitches seem to have been fixed now.
      Best,
      Tracey

      • Tracey Gurd,
        Can you please send me the link to watch this trial live?

        • Hi there Ujay — yes, of course! There are two ways to watch it. One is to go through this website – if you go to the front page of http://www.charlestaylortrial.org, you will see a button on the right hand side of the page which says “watch live” – click on 1 or 2, and as long as you have windows media player, you should be able to follow the trial. The other way is through the Special Court’s own website — if you go to http://www.sc-sl.org, you will see a box in the top right hand side of the page with the heading “watch the trial” and a photo of Charles Taylor below it. Clink on either link 1 or link 2, and again as long as you have windows media player, it should allow you to watch it directly.

          The only thing is: the trial can only be watched live – there is no archive of previous days available so you have to view it when the court is actually in session.

          I hope that helps, Ujay.

          Best,
          Tracey

  21. Listen to this people: whether the Judges tossed out this new evidence or not, about Naomi receiving diamond sent to her by charles taylor, the fact of the matter is “doubt about taylor’s credibility is tanished already” since there is now reasonable doubts about his deceptive and srew behavior as evident at that dinner with Mendela!
    Such new evidence would be greatly effective in a trial by jury since this would be a very crucial point for deliberation since jury would ask for clearance on the diamond to Naomi, even if this new evidence had been thrown out previously! I assume here that the Judges will use their own discretions later although they have tossed out this new evidence as seen fair in the eye of justice! This is justice! But to equate this as Hollis being “done with” is not only premature, but silly of taylors supporters seemingly narrow mindedness to bring case to close, as if this concludes the trial!

    • Hi there Noko5 — I have a comment from you submitted at 7:09pm today. I wondered if you would mind removing the part of the comment starting “You guys” through to “such a good man” and resubmitting so that it can fit with our policy? I am happy to post the rest.
      Sorry for the inconvenience.
      Best,
      Tracey

    • BREAKING NEWS!!!!!!
      A NEW APPOINTMENT TO THE PROSECUTION TEAM.

      j fallah menjor is the new spin doctor for the prosecution. Ms Hollis appointment fallah to do damage control after she disgracefully made a mockery out of the prosecution team on Thursday.

      Good luck fallah, wishing you the best in your endeavors.

      • Fallah,

        Who determines the credibility about reasonable doubts of President Taylor? Is it you?

        Fallah, don’t you think that the judges have already used their discretion in throwing out the fake evidence away into the dumpster, or returning it back to where Ms. Hollis and Mr. Kounjian took it from?

        What doubt about Mr. Taylor credibility has been tarnished already at the dinner with Mr. Mandela?

        Fallah, are you advocating for trial by jury now in this case and not the 3 judges?

  22. OK….I think the case as taken a drastic turn. I think Monday the prosecution did a pretty good job of discrediting CT credibility. I suggested that the first exchange will determine the trend for a season, but I didn’t think the season was going to be this short. While, I so very much want to see CT, go to jail for crimes he committed in Liberia. The prosecution is increasingly making it obvious that they are playing “Russian Rulette”. I enjoy these debates as the mannerism, tone of voice and other bodily language gives a visible narration of the comfort or otherwise level a person. Monday’s cross examination showed CT showing signs of being cornered and challenged. Comments, body language, at time obvious agitated, and his constant shifting in seating position was somewhat clear signs of discomfort or nervousness…and for obvious reasons, as he states, “this is my life”. I find it ironical that someone who was responsible so much destruction of others is fearing for his “life”.

    Fast forward, yesterday cross exams was another major BLOW to the Ms. Hollis et al. Not only was the evidence rejected, but I see that attempt as a “hail Mary” attempt to land something. It seem as though the defense, Courtnay is more of a scholar and the rest are pupils. He is brilliant, his body language and intelligence shows a highly confident individual. Besides, he’s had lots of high profile cases where he has to sometimes, “call the bluff”. That said, I think the prosecution is making this case a lot more difficult on themselves with these weak evidences. This is the second big misstep in my opinion (the Charles and not the Campbell issues). It’s like a drowning man, he “will hold on to anything”, this is what Brenda is doing at the moment.

    In this case, there can be only one winner, really. CT was the underdog (and perceived guilty) and therefore has everything to lose, if he comes out victorious (which I doubt) then he is the winner. If the prosecution prove “a case”, they would have done the expected–prosecute this mad man. But to do so, the team needs to exhibit more legal maturity and prudent judgement. I am of the opinion that they under estimated the Defense team. Either, Hollis et team evidence they had (have) is deemed impeachable or they don’t see how anyone can prove CT innocence. Whichever is the case, the prosecution needs to “execute” this case more responsibly.

    I hope that CT and all others responsible for crimes against the Liberian people are held responsible and pay for their crimes. There is absolutely no way that people who behave lower than animals should have the luxury to live in a society where civilized people live. Why do we continue to have a society, especially in Liberia where killers are considered heros. We have crazy nuts job Prince Johnson and Aldolfus Dolo as elected officials. Again, I don’t like CT, but if he is to sit in jail so should the rest of them including George Boley. Less than 20 people (from Doe to all the rebel groups) have kept a nation hostage and under developed for nearly 30 “freaking years” and some of them have been fortunate to die peacefully–Charles Julu. I think I better stop, because I am beginning to get upset that the “things” that bear human names with controlled “cult” they called “Freedom Fighters” and any other name to they perceive as “redeemptive” for our people. I WANT THEM ALL IN JAIL—-HECK, I WANT THEM TO DIE AND DECAY THERE, I WANT THEM TO UNDERSTAND THE RAPID DECLINE AND DEPRECIATION OF THE HUMAN BODY. These people cannot and should not live amongst us. For those who differ, its OK, we will not see things all the same. WE NEED WAR CRIMES COURT IN LIBERIA NOW!!!! WHEN I AM BACK THERE IN MAY….I AM GOING TO PUSH FOR IT AGAIN! I don’t care who’s feels are hurt. We have to be a nation of laws….the days over the “testestrone” rage is over. Those days when rebel leaders thought “I have the biggest gun and biggest male organs” we will fight to the end…it was the same reason that led to Doe’s demise…. Reason has to prevail. LIBERIA DESERVES MORE AND BETTER PEOPLE! For those who want to forever see us on a “treadmill” of progress, advocate for these beasts. I used the analogy of a tread mill because when one uses the thread mill, they run and are not moving forward, but if they stop while the machine is in motion, they go backwards.

    This is officially my longest, I think….sorry for boring you all.

    • Fascinating post, Bnker.

      It will indeed be interesting to see what happens with the TRC recommendation on a war crimes court in Liberia. Even just anecdotally on this blog, there seems to be significant interest in the creation of one. We’ll do a post shortly about what the TRC recommended as well as the draft statute of the proposed war crimes court annexed to the report.

      Best,
      Tracey

      • Tracey,

        For me, I want the War Crimes Court to come. But not when after President Taylor is acquitted. Nontheless, we have been advocating for this thing a long time, even when Secretary General, Kofi Annan was heading the UN. They refused. We continue our advocacy up to now, with the US Government and UN along with this same prosecution telling us that it is left with the Liberia people to decide. However, I even remember during one of Secretary General Kofi Annan visits to Liberia in 2006, a demonstration was held by the Forum for the Establishment of War Crimes Court in Liberia. This group presented a petition to Mr. Annan asking for war crimes court in Liberia. Mr. Annan response at the time was for them to go through their government. On the other hand, President Johnson is saying the people will decide.

        Tracey, oh really? These people have realized that there is no case in Sierra Leone to nail this innocent man. As the result, now they want court in Liberia suddenly.

        Tracey, politics is just too much. This entire thing is surrounding this one man, Taylor. How do they get him? In short, let them hurry and do it now. And not when Taylor is acquitted or President Johnson Sirleaf imminent defeat in 2011.

        • Hi Jose — thanks for your thoughts. Just to note in response as an aside: the TRC Report recommends a number of people for prosecution apart from Mr. Taylor. If I remember rightly, the list numbers over 100 people. But even then, if the tribunal was set up, the decision on who to prosecute rightly sits with an independent prosecutor, based on evidence and investigation – he or she would/should not be bound by the list suggested by the TRC Report, but would need to investigate and decide themselves.
          Best,
          Tracey

    • Bnkr,
      Based on your comments I think you should want Charles Taylor found not guilty for crimes in Sierra Leone. You agree the case is weak and it may be stronger in Liberia. REMEMBER “IT IS BETTER THAT TEN GUILTY MEN GO FREE INSTEAD OF ONE INNOCENT MAN BEING WRONGLY INCARSERATED” The United States law is based on this principle. So to convict Taylor on mere hearsay and testimony of individuals who were paid is unacceptable.

      • Aki,
        From the get go, I said that the evidence in SL is not sufficient to convict CT (in my opinion..I still could be wrong, as more evidence come we shall see), I have also referred to his court as a “circus” where the court room is the “big tent”, the prosecution team is the “clown”. Again, the evidence does not support a guilty verdict. Yet, I believe the trail is political in nature. Do I still think there will be a guilty verdict; yes. I try to see things objectively, but many including you question it. I recalled that you asked me at one time to provide evidence that the co-called “covert” account funds went to the RUF. I don’t side with CT in this case; I really don’t, I want a fair trial. If evidence provided is sufficient to convict and get a sentence, well so be it. But I don’t want a rendered verdict based on behind the scenes, “wheeling and dealing”. I find it interesting that when I bash the prosecution (both sides are quiet) but when I mention problems with testimony of McArthur one side get the “high” and somewhat get aroused…its almost an “orgasmic high”. I am not pro-Taylor, I am more anti-rebel of all color, creed, religious affiliation, ethnicity, they are all barbaric and sub-human–CT included, but I think he deserves a fair trial.

        For some reason, some people are not getting me, I want to see this “monster” and all others of such character prosecuted to the full letter of the law for crimes in Liberia. You said, that the case “may be stronger in Liberia”, when you use the word, “may” you are leaving room for the possibility over otherwise, meaning a weaker or stronger. The case in Liberia without a doubt is stronger and easier to prosecute and render a verdict. Unlike SL, everyone may report of the atrocities of Duport Rd (where CT men occupied), villages and towns wipe out in Lofa my ULIMO-K, the forceful rape and murder of people (both men and women, yeah, men were raped in Liberia too) in Gbanga when it fell, the UN Compound and the Luther Church massacre by the AFL, the public execution and mutilation of Doe (by Prince Johnson-I will never refer to this beast as “honorable”–to name a few. There are documents, pictures, and direct link to these cowards who hind behind the gun, their names are Kromah, Boley, Taylor, Conneh, Johnson, Dweh, and the list goes on–they are about 100 in all that need to be on trial and subsequent locked up. I am sure my belief is shared by those victims in SL too. We have sufficient evidence in Liberia to have them sent to the correction palace in Grand Gedeh where they should spend the rest of their lives. Remember, these guys didn’t give some people that liberty. Some people were killed while praying to God, others where pulled at “God Bless you Gate” and murdered like animals (again, remember the skulls that piled up to about a two story building–this was Charles Taylor’s men doing). Are we going to lose our humanity or compromise our existence for people like CT, Kroham, Conneh, Dweh, Johnson, Boley etc…? You know what, my humanity and those victims is not on the table for negotiation….So to give you a short answer, I want Taylor in jail for life, but not for crimes in SL….Liberia? ABSOLUTELY!

        Aki, I hope one day we all can celebrate for the 250,000 (10% of our population then)who many were murdered in cold blood.

        • Banker, this trial is about Sierra Leone, and not about Liberia for now. Whether you believe taylor should only be tried for crimes committed in Liberia, is matter of personal oopinion of yours. I, agree with you that all others are equally guilty as taylor. Their time will arrive, but for now our focus is taylor because he bears the greatest responsibilty in the criminal activities of the West African Region! Don’t you agree with this, Brnker?

        • Bnkr,

          You may be right that some people need to be punished. However the will is not in Liberia for it. A war crimes court won’t happen because the international community will not give the funding needed. Forget about the setting up of a local tribunal. With the amount of corruption in the judiciary all the rebels leaders will go scot free.

        • bnker,

          Until that happens, let’s focus on Sierra Leone. At first, the issue of Liberia was left to the Liberian people to decide; says UN, US, Int’l Community, and etc, at the time they thought, they had gotten Taylor for good, especially in this court. Now the complexion of President Taylor’s trial in the Hague is giving 3 dimensions and has changed, thereby, making it almost virtually impossible to render a guilty verdict, based on the evidence before those honorable judges, we are now hearing through gossips, war crimes court for Liberia. Well for me, I don’t have a problem. it should come right now and not when Taylor is acquitted and Ellen imminent defeat in 2011.

  23. Hi Tracey,
    Nika1913 had an interesting point:

    “could have just gone to Naiomi and asked…if she refused they could have subpeonaed her and forced an answer.”

    Can the prosecution do that? ie, could they subpoena Campbell? (or at least subpoena a written response?)

    Thanks

    • Digressions — you always ask great questions. This is indeed an interesting point — I’ll aim to do a separate post on this as soon as I can pull together some examples.
      Best,
      Tracey

      • Tracey,

        The question that you responded to, does not originate from Digression. And Digression himself said it. However, the question came from Nika1913.

        Digression only re-eched Nika1913 idea and question.

        • Jose — you are absolutely right and I’m glad you alerted me. Nika1913 did ask the question indeed and kudos goes to him/her — it is a great question. I was glad that Digressions also picked it up and made me focus on it more specifically.
          Best,
          Tracey

  24. Tracey ,
    Thank you , I try to rephrase that post. But just to comment on the issue brougt up by my brothers concerning the court ordering Naomi Cambell; I like to know what legal logic would it make to the court even if Naomi said yes, when this alleged diamond was not delivered by Charles Taylor himself but some guys from somewhere mascurading to be delivering something from Charles? would this diamond still be avalaible for some form of forensic investigation. What could be the least possible means of proving that kind of complication?? Can the prosecution bring the deliverer of said diamond???

    • Noko5 – excellent questions. Perhaps you have missed your calling as a defense lawyer! I don’t know the answers to your questions, but they are presumably ones which would probably need to be explored in relation to Ms. Campbell’s alleged version of events. We’ll be doing a separate posting on the issue of Naomi Campbell in response to Nika1913’s question soon.
      Best,
      Tracey

  25. Hi

    I wonder how long we can continue to witness Western Taxpayers money being wasted on this SCSL. The only reason why this trial is still going on is money making. Wasting money on Lawyers and judges. CT should have been sent home long ago, but they don’t want this. They want to make as much money as they could. As a Sierra Leonean I known how many people got rich in Freetown from this court

  26. This summary is supposed to be of the 14th of Jan testimony not the 15th.