International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Charles Taylor Concludes His Testimony: Prosecutors Have Not Proven Their Case, He Says

Charles Taylor this week finished his seven-month long testimony with two key messages to the judges: he did not provide support to Sierra Leonean rebel forces as they committed crimes throughout his neighboring country, and that prosecutors have not proven the case against him.

“In order to make their case that they have not been able, in my opinion, to prove, they can call me any name, it does not make it right. And the facts before this court, the judges in their decision will determine as to whether this is true –‘He’s got billions of dollars’,” Mr. Taylor said, repeating the allegations made against him by prosecutors, who say he enriched himself with profits from selling diamonds he got from rebels in exchange for weapons.

“We’ve been in this court now, I’ve been sitting in this chair here for almost seven months, where are the billions?” he said.  “I disagree with them, but I think it’s a part of their job to say these kinds of things or to try to make me look bad, this is not true, so I disagree with them.”

Prosecutors say Mr. Taylor is responsible for heinous crimes committed by Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebel forces in the neighboring West African nation of Sierra Leone — including murder, rape, amputations and using child soldiers to fight — during the country’s brutal 11-year war.  The former president has been testifying in his own defense since July 14, 2009.  He has denied all charges against him in his trial at the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

In order to prove their case against Mr. Taylor, prosecutors have sought to lead evidence that the former president imported weapons from foreign countries into Liberia which were transferred to RUF rebels in Sierra Leone. These weapons were then used to commit atrocities against the civilian population in his neighboring country, prosecutors say. Prosecutors have also led evidence that in return for weapons, RUF rebels supplied Mr. Taylor with diamonds. According to prosecutors, proceeds of the diamonds, as well as resources from Liberia’s timber industry, were deposited by Mr. Taylor into various fake accounts, in and outside of Liberia. Mr. Taylor has denied all these allegations, challenging prosecutors to produce evidence of the money he is alleged to have hidden.

On Monday, Mr. Taylor responded to questions in re-examination about his earlier testimony that an account opened in his name at the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) was a covert bank account that belonged to the government of Liberia while he was president. Mr. Taylor explained that the opening of the account was done with the authorization of the Liberian legislature which instructed him to use “any and all means” necessary to defeat Liberians United for Reconciliation and Development (LURD) rebels who were threatening to unseat his government.

“This account is a covert account opened by the government of Liberia at this time. It had to be opened in my name,” Mr. Taylor.

Explaining how monies deposited into this account were used, Mr. Taylor said that “the largest disbursement from this account went to arms and ammunition. Out of this account, we paid salaries for special units, the ATU [Anti-Terrorist Unit] was paid, the SSS [Special Security Services] was paid, and various presidential projects in dealing with goodwill within that period were paid out of this account. These are the four categories that we paid out of this account,” the former president explained.

On Tuesday, Mr. Taylor told the court that he did not work for the United States’ top spy agency, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) while he was a rebel leader in Liberia, but he did receive sophisticated communication equipment from the agency in the hope that his forces could help protect American citizens and property during Liberia’s brutal civil conflict.

Prosecutors have previously accused Mr. Taylor of working for the CIA while at the same time collaborating with the Libyan government which provided support to his National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) rebel group. In his re-examination on Tuesday, the former president denied working for the CIA.

“I have never, ever, and will not ever work for the CIA or any other intelligence agency, never, no,” the former president said.

Mr. Taylor has previously noted that his NPFL and the CIA did exchange information but that did not amount to him working as an agent of the CIA.

In other developments on Tuesday, Mr. Taylor denied prosecution allegations that he used his telephone services in his detention facility to manipulate witnesses set to testify for the prosecution. Prosecutors have previously alleged that Mr. Taylor worked with associates in Liberia to intimidate and discourage people from testifying against him.

Mr. Taylor dismissed the allegations, telling judges that the court’s registrar, who oversees his detention in The Hague, has never accused him of misusing the telephone services provided to him. He said that all his telephone calls are fully supervised and are arranged after intensive investigations on who he wants to call.

“First, I have to submit a number of an individual that I would like to call at some time, the process takes two weeks for the Sierra Leonean court and the facilities to do their security checks on the number and the individual,” Mr. Taylor said. “After about two weeks, that number is approved for calling. I cannot just automatically get up and say, please call this number, no, it has to be vetted and approved by the Sierra Leonean court.”

Mr. Taylor also on Tuesday rebuffed the contents of a January 5, 1999 letter written by former Sierra Leonean president, Ahmed Tejan Kabbah, to the United Nations Secretary General, in which the former Liberian president was accused of providing support to RUF rebels in Sierra Leone.

“I have a mountain of evidence that rebel offensive has been supported and sustained by the Taylor government,” President Kabbah’s letter noted.

Dismissing the letter as nonsense, Mr. Taylor explained how he would have reacted if he had received a copy of the said letter.

“I would have taken a different disposition during that particular period that Kabbah — who was calling me and talking to me and visiting Liberia — could write a letter making such an accusation. It would have probably changed me significantly,” Mr. Taylor said.

The former Liberian president added that if he had received the said letter, he would have removed himself from the Committee of Five, a committee established by West African leaders to facilitate a peaceful end to the conflict in Sierra Leone.

On Wednesday, Mr. Taylor denied claims that he secretly smuggled arms and ammunitions into Liberia in 1997 without informing the West African peacekeepers.

During cross-examination, prosecutors had raised allegations of Mr. Taylor’s involvement in arms smuggling in Liberia, pointing to a book written by Nigerian General Victor Malu — the head of West African peacekeeping forces in Liberia during Mr. Taylor’s presidency. In his book, General Malu reportedly claimed that in 1997, Mr. Taylor secretly smuggled arms and ammunition from South Africa through the Free Port of Monrovia without informing Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) peacekeepers.  The former ECOMOG commander said that before his forces were alerted, Mr. Taylor had removed the arms and ammunition from the Free Port. As Mr. Taylor continued his re-examination, he dismissed the allegations as nonsense.

“Since ECOMOG arrived in Liberia in 1990, they maintained full control of the Free Port of Monrovia. So to say at this particular time that arms are being brought into the Free Port, the Navy of ECOMOG is based there,” Mr. Taylor told the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

“Even through my presidency, ECOMOG was deployed fully in Monrovia and its environs by this time. So this is total nonsense that someone could have brought a shipload of arms into the Free Port, the Navy of Nigeria is running this port, it’s totally, totally crazy here, it’s not possible.”

Prosecutors have alleged that these war materials that were imported into Liberia were transferred to RUF rebels in Sierra Leone. Mr. Taylor has maintained that his country did not have arms and ammunition to supply RUF rebels. He has, however, told the court that while he served as president of Liberia, as his country was under a United Nations arms embargo, he secretly bought arms from foreign countries and transported them into Liberia but they were purely for the purpose of fighting against LURD rebel forces in his country.

On Thursday, as Mr. Taylor concluded his testimony, he reaffirmed his position that he did not in any way support armed groups in Sierra Leone, including the RUF and Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) – a group of disaffected Sierra Leonean soldiers who overthrew the elected government of Sierra Leone in May 1997.

“Did you, Charles Taylor, between November 1996 and January 2002 provide assistance, support or any kind of help with war-like materials to either the AFRC or the RUF?” Mr. Taylor’s defense counsel, Courtenay Griffiths, asked him as a final question in his re-examination on Thursday.

“No. Never,” Mr. Taylor responded.

Mr. Taylor is charged with 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and other serious violations of international humanitarian law in relation to his alleged role in supporting and controlling Sierra Leonean rebels who committed mass crimes during the brutal civil conflict in his neighboring country.

Other defense witnesses will start testifying in Mr. Taylor’s defense on Monday.

54 Comments
  1. Folks,

    I can’t wait to see this phase of the drama unfold…

  2. MY GOOD PEOPLE OF AFRICA PLEASE TRY AND LEAVE MY DEAR FORMER PRESIDENT CHARLES TAYLOR TO COME BACK HOME AND HAVE REST.WE ALL NEED REST,MY GOOD LIBERIAN.

  3. Fair enough Mr Taylor. I reserve my right to disagree with you.
    MY RIGHT.

  4. In order to prove their case against Mr. Taylor, prosecutors have sought to lead evidence that
    the former president imported weapons from foreign countries into Liberia which were
    transferred to RUF rebels in Sierra Leone.

    HAYES, MIDDLESEX : I saw boxes of machine-guns clearly labelled as delivered FROM ENGLAND .

    Statistics show England spends more money on Prison Detainees than on Care for the Elderly.

    Where we should all be telling the same Tale… correct me if I am wrong , may I say,

    The Last Elected UK Prime Minister promised, in London England, to foot the Bill for H.M. Prisons

    to hold this Political Convict named as Mr Charles Taylor.

    Utrecht is the Home of my own Church. We do hold to a current belief as to the status of the

    the former elected UK Prime Minister. I am alive to-day through the grace of God and the Staff

    at The Amsterdam University Center for Tropical Diseases, in particular P.J. de Vries, to tell the

    Truth.

    I am a White Man, known as such in my beloved Liberia, son of a white mother.

    The Man you see on Trial might as well be The Wizard of Oz.

    We, The People of Liberia should be prosecuting for your interference with the Course of Justice.

    Liberia is largely in the hands of Foreign Investors …. Money ? Ask Mr. Laskshmi Mittal ….

    Family Life really matters most in Liberia. Not Lawyers soaking the Coffers.

    Sierra Leone and Liberia share the same Family Blood….

    If Charles Taylor loves Liberia then We Liberia, bring Charles back home to face the Family.

    Charles you are a Bad Boy and you know it, Son. Some day the Truth about how, that is what

    really matters and those white man crooked-dealers corrupting your own good intentions,Boy.

    I know it because I am bad.

    You read what I am saying Charles, just as your Mother loves you.

    Your Childhood was truly blessed and you know it ,Son.

    You have to come home. I know you can read and write. Believe in God.

    I ask for African Human Rights to be accepted by White Man.

    Think Positive and know you need to come home away from White Man.

    Write as much as you can because you do not want to go to stay in England.

    Praise Jesus Christ as only you know how. Lord Jesus be with you now,

    Amen, Peace be upon us now, from the Heart, Saye Peter Bradshaw

    • Dear Rev Bradshaw – thanks for your note and for sharing your perspective. I just wanted to pick up on one small thing that you mentioned — you referred to Mr. Taylor as a political convict. Just to note that in the eyes of the law, he is not regarded as a convict, but instead one of his rights as an accused person is to be presumed innocent unless decided otherwise by the judges. You are correct, however, that the United Kingdom has said it will house Mr. Taylor in one of its prisons if he is convicted at the end of the trial.
      Best,
      Tracey

    • Rev.Saye Peter Bradshaw, you probably also need to pray for the many fatherless children that are direct result of taylor’s quest for power and many more immotionally injured people, both in Liberia and Sierra Leone, than to worry about who houses charles taylor when convicted! I would like to see a person of your calibre make unbais and rational opinion. Besides, I question your nationality and even if you are a reverend this is not your place to preach racism; whiteman vs blackman, and you being a child of a white and black father! Who cares? You are a person, and that’s all that should matter here, Rev! Be happy you are what you are and your personal opinions are simply your opinions! God Bless!

    • Rev.

      You know a house divided can never stand, right? It’s funny that you are trying to almost pray Taylor out of jail while other religious leaders are praying for the opposite. Anyhow, thanks for your contribution and look forward to more.

      Maybe rather than signing off, I should express my position, while I personally and many others believe that CT was involved in SL, my and other speculations do not suffice or is sufficient to render a guilty verdict. I personally want to see Taylor and all other warlords locked up, but the case in SL is weak. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the debate and deliberations; I think the lawyers are fantastic (Cocatastic too), but the case still has not been proven, though I think the strategy of the prosecution is pretty good. I feel that SL step beyond its political and legal jurisdiction and encroached on our sovereignty. For argument and discussion, I argue both sides of the debate. I at times side with the prosecution and other times, with the defense.

      Well, it was good reading your thread!

      • Bnker,

        Who are the many others that believe this innocent man Taylor was involved in the S.L. mess that you responded about to the Rev. For me and the majority even on this identical page (comments) on this website don’t think Taylor was involved in Sierra Leone trouble. What many of us think as evidence on this website and this page is that Sierra Leoneans are responsible and were involved in their destruction of their own country and not Our beloved president. For me, many in this context means majority and few means minority. So where are you getting your many from? Does your many means majority or minority, or whatever? This case is “total nonsense.”

        • Jose,

          Oh ye of little understanding! So you really think that the world is in this forum? Stop limiting yourself, there is another world out there that is beautiful, get outside your mental box. I said that “personally and many others believe that CT was involved in SL…”.Poor guy, I am getting tired of teaching you oh! I didn’t limit my statement to this forum–Please read and then when you digest and really see something to talk about, then we can debate….but when you misinterpret about 12 words, then I wonder if you even understand the whole thread.

          Pekin, you making me shame oh!

  5. My Gentlest people,

    Just Thursday Febraury 18, 2010, The president of Niger has been ousted and captured by the military and is currently in one of the military barracks in Niger.

    Where is Taylor Bnker, Vaa Alie Mansaray, and the rests who are finding every reason to rim this innocent man for things he did not do in Sierra Leone. What is your excuse this time for the instability in the sub-region in the absence of Taylor. Is he being part of this again? However, these military coup plotters called themselves the Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy.

    Check this website up for more details on the situation in NIGER, WITH THE LARGEST URINIUM DEPOSIT IN AFRICA. Please don’t forget to click on every available video on this site.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8526072.stm

    • Jose,

      Maybe you are missing something here….My argument is logic dictates that our neighbors were all destabilized and the only common denominator is Liberia. While I learned in physical geography and geology that the continents were merged into two super continent and through the Theory of Continental drift (tectonic plates), they broke apart. Now, let’s get to political geography. I have been out of Liberia long time, but unless something changed, Liberia is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean in the south, Sierra Leone, West; Guinea and Ivory Coast, and Ivory Coast in the East. Jose, this still true, right? If this is unchanged, now, pray tell me, Niger is above Burkina Faso and Benin, is it sensible for me to insinuate or implicate any Liberians in that coup d’etat? If you say yes, then I am officially “shame for you”

      Come on Jose, you are a military man, one of your training involves reading maps. Just in case you have forgotten how the map of Africa looks and distance from Liberia to Niger, I want to be a good friend and provide you a link (below). Speaking off links, I find it interesting that when you actually say the “truth” you provide links and when competing with JK Rowlings (Author of the mystical, fantasy world of Harry Porter) making stories, you say, “trust me”. Where are my links bro. If you still cannot provide any, I officially will say that Jose lied to us.

      In the interim, learn a bit more about countries positions geographically. Again, I reiterate, it seems fishy that all our bordering states, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast were thrown into war during Taylor’s regime and they all have a common denominator, Liberia. I didn’t say Liberia’s neighbors SL, Guinea, IC and Niger– did I?

      http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/rserra/2007_AED/africabib_map_files/africatrans.gif&imgrefurl=http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/rserra/2007_AED/africabib_map.html&usg=___CC4tbCmHSZnQmeVSTsUqj3x_8w=&h=447&w=546&sz=70&hl=en&start=6&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=JWirfhZloeA4kM:&tbnh=109&tbnw=133&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dmap%2Bof%2Bafrica%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26tbs%3Disch:1

      • Bnker,

        The more I hear people like you react to this fake case like what you are doing, and the more I read, the more I understand just what a huge win for freedom and liberty.
        Bnker, if you don’t know, now you know. Niger is in the sub-region of West African States of Africa. There was a Coup D’e’Tat just Thursday Febraury 18, 2010 and that instability could spread across the sub-region. President Taylor is not around. So why are we still having instability in the sub-region? However, let me limit or reduce myself to your thought process with respect to the Mano River Union Basin Countries, which include: Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. Just December 4, 2009, there was a Coup D’e’ Tat in Guinea that claimed the lives of about 150 demonstrators. Later on, there was an assasination attempt on the Guinean military leader, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, while the Burkinabe President was visiting Guinea at the time. Captain Camara was shot, injured, and flown abroad for medical treatment. Nontheless, Ellen’s government has been accused of sending arms to that country to destabalize that already troubled neighbor. Why are we still having instability in the sub-region of the Manor River countries, when in fact, accoding to Bnker and Vaa Alie Mansaray logic, Taylor absence has made the region stable. Where is Taylor? Just about two years ago, Ellen’s government arrested, humiliated, tortured, and charged General Charles Julu, Col. Dorbor, and others for subversive activity and other serious crimes including treason. Where was this innocent man Taylor when it was alleged of a Coup D’e’Tat in Liberia?

        Here comes the “BIG ONE.” Just about two/three days ago, in fact to be precise, February 23, 2010. The U.N. Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon said, “the Mano River Union Region continues to be fragile. He warned that instability could spread across borders to destabilize the fragile sub-region.” Where is Taylor Bnker? Why is he not being involved in all of the instability or being mentioned as a factor for what the Security General considered as fragile and instability?

        Folks, what Bnker can not explain to us is why we are still having all these instabilities in the absence of this Innocent man called Taylor? Bnker, yourself description of Liberia being the common denominator of the trouble in the region is also not true. For example: Sierra Leone aided, unabated, and supported instability during the 1985 General Thomas Quiwonkpa invasion in Liberia. On December 24, 1989, Ivory Coast aided, unabated, and supported Charles Taylor incursion in Liberia. In 1998, Guinea aided, unabated, and supported LURD rebel war on Liberia. Bnker, think(I stand corrected) you know the stories of ULIMO, BLACK BERET, MODEL, AND ALL THE OTHER TROUBLE MAKERS. Folks, the common denominator for the trouble in the Mano River Basin is cross-border attacks on their neighbor. One country supporting trouble on the other. So Bnker, stop selling us your snake oil.

        • Jose,
          So I gathered that since Nov 12 originated from SL, and CT came through IC, we are right for possibly starting wars in their countries, interesting thought process? Then we are forever in trouble. Jose, you need to study the nature of the strategy used in the various countries. Coup are generally an internal conflict and are usually brewed within and then move outward. Invasion or incursion as the ones experience in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Ivory Coast have their inception and sponsorship from external parties–usually a country. So while coups have occurred and will continue to happen. A stable Liberia, SL, or IC and Guinea means a smaller chance of invasion or incursion. While we both know that the coup in Guinea occur, where did it start; in Conakry. Where did the war in Guinea, IV, and SL start, near the Liberian border. Got it?

          You will probably go back to Nov 12, well, it started from SL. Technically they harbored a rebel, true, but the shooting or fighting didn’t start near the border of SL, but Monrovia,

          By the way, I am aware that Niger is a part of West Africa.

        • Bnker,

          Look!! Your argument is so weak until I don’t even want to respond. However, you clearly said Taylor and Liberia are responsible for the instability in the region. Therefore, Taylor absence means stable region. As the result, Taylor should remain in the “slammer.” I methodically and skillfully decimated, demolished, debunked, and wipe out your false argument and reason why this innocent man “must” be in jail for things he did not do. However, just look at your own rebuttal and compare it to the post you rebutted. Not even close.

          Now you are telling me that you have “gathered that since Nov 12 originated from SL, and CT came through IC, we are right for possibly starting wars in their countries, interesting thought process?” Bnker, is that what I told you? Your game of saying what you said and pretend to be hiding behind your statement in the form of question will not work with Jose. You have lied again to the world for saying Taylor absence in the subregion means stability. I proved you WROOOOOOOOOGGGGGGGGG. The region is still having problems.

  6. Almost all African countries have no Former Leaders to consult with in time of difficulty or
    internal and external problems.While in school we save certain text for reference in the future,just so we have a sure source . How many former African reservoir of knowledge and experience on the continent? It must not alway be about payback. Walk through
    South African History,a very good example for the rest of Africa to follow.

    • jaimane T,

      For good measure or fairness, we can add Nigeria, Ghana, and a few African countries that can boast of having former presidents alive…and these former presidents are not just alive but are residing in the counties they once governed…they are not living in exile.

      However, until we have attained the level of good governance, democracy, freedom, socio-economic mobility, job creation, good wages, educational advancement ( I am here speaking of university level education), etc that ‘Western democracies’ enjoy…which essentially reduces or eliminates greed, corruption, malfeasance, abuse of power, election ragging, life tenure for presidents, mediocrity, poverty, and socio-political oppression and injustices ( conditions that create anger, hate, anxiety, rebellion, and coups), we might likely not be blessed with having former presidents.

      Also, until our presidents can be credible and trusted with promises and statements they make, things might look gloomy. The South African Patriarch, Nelson Mandela, promised to serve his country one term and he honored his promise…well, I hesitate to say, but although she has the constitutional mandate to a second term, I wish the brilliant Liberian Matriarch, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, could have kept her electoral promise to serve one term…but again this is African politics. ‘Power is sweet’ I am told; when you taste it you become …

      Peace.

  7. Jose posted a this link
    http://www.syracuse.com/newsflash/index.ssf?/base/international-25/1266254410114680.xml&storylist=international

    Here is an interesting quote from a letter written to Charles Taylor by the then Asst Secretary of State Susan Rice:
    “Protecting the business interests of foreign investors will go a long way to improve Liberia’s image abroad,” Rice wrote.

    I am convince why Taylor is in jail.

    • So, Via-Gbana,
      What are you trying to tell us here? Was Taylor force to listen and do what Susan Rice wanted? Look, Liberia is a sovereing Nation ok, our leaders are capable of making every decition neccessary to govern in every aspect of leadership. Taylor didn’t need to do what Susan Rice wanted. That was not part of his job description as mandated by the people of Liberia. This Lady actually needed to mind her business instead of trying to detate the function of another countries president..thank you

  8. Tracey Gurd,

    This is to inform you that I will name my next boy child after you, TRACEY GURD. However, I am from the Great Bassa Tribe of Liberia and we name our boys with the suffix name of “GAR” at the end of a name. There will be a name given to a boy, but at the end of that name, “GAR” is attached. For example, SUNDAY, GAR will be added to the end. And so it becomes SUNDAYGAR. “GAR” means man. Since your name is TRACEY GURD, I am going to change it to “TRACEYGAR”. I am going to combine TRACEY TO GAR. TRACEY + GAR = TRACEYGAR.

    Do you mind Tracey Gurd, if I name my son Traceygar?

    • Jose – I would be honored.
      Best,
      Tracey

    • Ooooh you bassolians and ‘dumb boy’ cuisine and names.

      What a lovely name Tracey – boy or Tracey-gar.

      I too, am a bassalonian…

      Blessings to your dearest Tracey.

      • Why, thank you so much, Davenport.Noko7!

        Now I must ask — are you the same person as our other Noko7 on this site, or do you simply have a similar screen name to them? A warm welcome to you, in any case — I don’t think we have seen a Davenport here before if I am not mistaken.

        Best,
        Tracey

        • Oh, Tracey! You know how it works, dearest sister.

          Anyway, thanks for the welcome.

          Noko7 was about to go on a sabbatical but chose instead to have an intellectual, thematic, and literary amalgamation with Davenport who posted earlier on today. Accordingly, the nom de plume – Davenport.Noko7 – is the product of this merger. But this nom de plume is only transitory as the pen name Davenport will eventually replace Devenport.Noko7. Thus, henceforth, there will no longer be a Noko7 on this blog.

          Peace.

    • Jose,
      Congrat….While I think Traceygar is perfect, and Tracey is sure “honored”, I honestly thought you would have opt for “Ghankaygar”…still Traceygar is a better choice, but then again, who the heck is $$Ker to have an opinion on your son’s name!

  9. Let Taylor leave that aspect to the Judges to decide if the Prosecution did not prove their case against him or not.

    Wonder what he was thinking when he did admit that he provided arms and ammunitions to the RUF, provided petty cash, housing and admitted into the ATU renegades of the RUF contrary to the Liberian constitution.

    During cross examination lots of dens were placed in his own testimonies.

    May God bless him.

    • Justice LIB,

      I have always said the decision of the judges matters in this case. They have the final say, I suppose, and that final say ( verdict) will come.

    • Justice Lib,

      My question to you is did what Mr. Taylor say as you claim allude to guilt? When did he say he provided arms to the RUF? Place that statement in context. Are we both following the same trial?
      When Mr Taylor menetioned earlier in his testimony that small arms and armunition was given to the RUF what did he explain the purpose being for and when was this done? Was it not between 1991 and 1992 when the NPFL was under attack from ULIMO? You need to understand when the period of the indictmen covers before making the statement above.

      As to providing petty cash to the RUF leader s during their visit to Monrovia while the brokering of peace was occuring, it was no unusual ocurrance in Africa. When other leaders met with the RUF a similar gesture was accorded. Why is it so different when Taylor does it? It is African tradition to present gifts to strangers in your home and if youy are a true African you should know that. This is not tantemount to support in any form of fashion.

      We are Africans and have different customs and traditions. We o things differently from the west. Do not start using western standards to judge the way Africans behave, because they are different.

      The issue you should be looking at is whether the prosecution has been able to prove that Mr Taylor is linked to the alleged crimes. They have not shown linkage directly or indirectly. What if Liberia’s laws were probably violated in some way by Mr Taylor? Does that show that he provided weapons to the RUF and Support which enable them to carry out their crimes? Definitely not.

      This case is so filled with speculations. The fact that they have to resort to speculations and machinations is proof that they have no evidence on the man. Let’s get real here. Where is all the definitive and irrefutable evidence that Mr David Crane and later Mr Rapp told us they had on this man. Nil! They have to resort to some nefarious attempt at prevaricating the truth.

      This is an umbage and turpitude of international justice. If this process is to obtain any approbation from the developing countries, there would have to be some vindication of this man because there has been nothing here thus far to convict him.

  10. Almost every one of us, if not every one of us have followed CT cross examination by the prosecution, and as such have formed some sort of opinion as to his guilt or innocence given the evidence or lack thereof by the prosecution. Even Tracey and Alpha can share their views on this matter in their capacity as observers. Or maybe I should ask the question, did the prosecution proved their case against CT?

    To be more precise: did they show a link between GOL and RUF; did they show or reveal accounts that Taylor had billions of dollars in?; did they show to whom Taylor sold diamonds for arms; did they show that CT had a direct involvement in the maiming of SLeoneans? In a nutshell did they make a case against Taylor that warrants his conviction? In my view I guess not.

    Now if any of you think they did, please elucidate. It would be helpful if we were to do away with our personal biases and look at the evidence(s) presented.

    • Hi Political Guru,

      That is an excellent question. As a monitor, what I can say now is that we don’t know what the defense is going to bring forward, so we don’t yet know whether the prosecution has met the test laid down for the judges to consider during their deliberations as set out in Rule 87: That is “A finding of guilty may be reached only when a majority of the Trial Chamber is satisfied that guilt has been proved beyond reasonable doubt.”

      I am sure a lot of readers here have opinions about the strength of the evidence laid out already which I hope people will continue to discuss here — but as monitors, we have to wait to see how the judges determine the issue.

      Best,
      Tracey

      • Tracey,
        If the judges don’t rule inrespect to your legal expectation, will you critisize and codeemn their ruling? now, do you think they ‘ve done a good job thus far??

        • Hi Noko5 — we will certainly plan to analyze their rulings to see if they have produced a fair and reasoned decision.

          In terms of the judges’ job so far — so far and on the whole, yes. I do think they have had Mr. Taylor’s fair trial rights squarely in their minds as they have presided over the trial to date, which is fundamentally important for these high level trials (and, indeed, any trial). They have also seemed independent in the exercise of their functions which is also fundamental for the credibility of these trials.

          How about you — do you think the judges have done a good job so far?

          Best,
          Tracey

        • Thanks Tracey,
          I can honestly say yes so far, they have been fair in every aspect of the trial..hope they keep up the good job. I believe if they end this case fairly, I don’t see why the United States and other super powers who are not part of this court would not join. I am actually looking forward to seeing some bigger boys come to this court and answere some questions just as CT is doing..

          • Hi Noko5 – you raise a good point about the US here — I know what you meant, but just to explain it for other readers: actually it is the International Criminal Court (where the Taylor trial is being held — but not the court which is conducting Mr. Taylor’s trial – that is the Special Court for Sierra Leone, which is normally based in Freetown) which the US has not yet signed up to join. But you are absolutely right — a lot of people want to see the US sign up to the ICC and become a member state.

            Best,
            Tracey

          • Thanks Tracey

      • Thanks Tracey, and well said.

  11. Well! you have it all Taylor has rested. It is evident that the Prosecution had no case, at least as of now. We anticipate hearing the testimonies for defense witnesses now. Mr. Taylor said it all in his own defense for about 7 months. Ii is up to the Judges to use their sound judgement in rendering a verdict at the end of this international conspired drama.

    Taylor will walk out free, in my opinion and those critics of him should start thinking of another means of getting at him. I eagerly await the outcome!!!!!

  12. This to Tracey and Alpha, has there been any acquittal in such cases at the Hague? Personally, I have prepared my self mentally for the conviction of CT despite the quasi job by the prosecution. As a Liberian, and in my individual capacity, I believe that CT’s arrest and indictment was politically motivated and hence would be his conviction.

    However, I would say that for those who champion justice and fairplay under the guise innocence until proven guilty, would see CT as a hero no matter the outcome of this trial. And if he were to be convicted solely on the evidence presented, by the prosecution; then one would have to ponder- what is just about justice?

    Once again Tracey and Alpha many thanks for the good job!

    • Thank you for your kinds words, political-guru.

      You ask an interesting question — do people ever get acquitted in these courts? The answer is yes — in fact, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has a page on its website noting the people who have been acquitted and explaining that “Most of the acquittals at the Tribunal have come about in cases in which the evidence presented by the Prosecution was either insufficient to establish that specific crimes occurred, or insufficient to demonstrate that the accused bore criminal responsibility for the commission of the crime.” You can read more about it here: http://www.icty.org/sid/9984. Similarly, eight people have been acquitted at the Rwandan tribunal, dealing with the Rwandan genocide of 1994 — you can see the list here: http://www.ictr.org/ENGLISH/factsheets/detainee.htm.

      In the Special Court for Sierra Leone, there have not been any full acquittals so far, but people have been found not guilty of specific charges — the Civil Defense Forces case is one example.

      These acquittals and instances where convictions have not been confirmed are important when we are thinking about these war crimes courts — they demonstrate that the judges will not simply convict people if there is not enough evidence to support the charges against them beyond a reasonable doubt. It shows that the judges really take their job seriously in weighing the evidence that comes before them, and that they do have to be conviced beyond a reasonable doubt before coming down with “guilty” verdict.

      Best,
      Tracey

      • Once again Tracey you have pacified one of my anxieties, in that you confirmed that there have been acquittals in said cases. Thanks also for the link.

        • No problem, political guru.
          Best,
          Tracey

        • Political-guru
          I think you have misunderstood the acquital issue. This court is NOT an ICC court, it is a special court established purposefully for SL. Like Tracey indicated, there have only been non-guiltly decision on behalf of Tejan Kabbah’s gangsters but no other military groups. That simply should inform you about the political nature of this court, that they would excused the crimes of the social Cvil Defense Forces and keep other SLeons military leaders in jail.

          So , like you, I have since mentality accepted the fact that this political trial will not render true justice, not because the judges are not fair but because the rules of the court does not permit the judges to render a fair decision. Take for example the hearsay rule that have been diluted to suit the prosecution false charges. I have asked this question of Tracey and Alpha without any response but let me try again. When was this hearsay rule introduced in these court proceedings , especially as it relates to the Charles Taylor trial?

          • Hi King Gray — just two quick answers in response.

            The first on the issue of overtunred convictions on charges — I was using the CDF as an example — however, I will need to check the other cases.

            On the hearsay issue — we have an expert commmentary coming from a law professor. I’ll check where that is.

            best,
            Tracey

          • Tracey,

            After doing your research to King Gray questions, please inform us as soon as possible. Tracey, you maybe operating from good consciense and intents. But the case in itself is not, including the rules and other factors. I don’t think this case can hold water in any develop countries including your own country, Australia. Tracey, please don’t damage your good reputation. Stick on principle and never to compromise to uphold what is right. Look at the evidence presented ma’am and say the truth.

        • Guru,
          You asked a great question…..thanks

        • Guru,
          Great questions

          thanks

  13. Hi Fuad,

    I received a comment from you on February 23 at 9:03pm which unfortunately I cannot publish as it does not fit with our policy for comments on the site, which you can find here: http://www.charlestaylortrial.org/2010/02/02/an-update-what-is-our-policy-for-comments/

    The third sentence just needs to be reformulated or removed. Let me know if you need me to send you a copy of your comment for you to revise and resubmit.

    Best,
    Tracey

  14. Jose,

    Back to the stability argument:
    You either need to be truth to your conscience or just say nothing at all. You are minting words and pieces together to come up with a theory about my “opinions” on the nature of the trial. You have a way of making stories, for example Israel’s involvement in linking Taylor to “the base”. You still have not provided any reading or links to that effect even though I have made several request. In fact, you can’t because you lied! Anyhow, I have said, I want CT in jail for crimes in Liberia. I have not alluded that he should be punished for crimes in SL. I remain steadfast that I think SL encroached on our sovereignty. You asked me why I thought the case was political and I explained, regional instability that led to drastic decline in economic activities in the region and the allegedly link the Bin Liden through Bah. Simple, it was my opinion. I am not changing that position either. Now, it would be narrow minded for me to think or anyone to believe that all the problems in the subregion will seize to exist because Taylor is in the “slammer”. Only a fool will believe or even perpetrate such story in his/her debate. However, will the chances of external invasion reduce, yes. Will it be completely removed, no. So as smart as you might want to sound, frankly your reasoning is frankly foolish and disappointing. Jose, let me break something to you, there will always be coups and counter coups in Africa. However, rebel invasion supported by neighboring countries in our region (ie WA) is fairly new. Will there be another leader who will want to spread this cancer, I pray not; but the possibility of such person existing is real. I sure hope that they are chopped at the knees before they become a regional threat. So, it’s fool-hearted to think that the region less Taylor equals zero political problems in countries. The subregion less Taylor surely reduces the possibilities of incursions. Nations and regions are quicker bounce back from a coup then from war. The statistics are out there. Coup are you know are generally short-term and wars are longer term and basically place a halt to overall economic activities.

    You see Jose, I think the problem is this, your love for CT is beyond national interest, its probably beyond your personal interest as well. I on the other hand, sees the wrong and call it out. If there are things in his favor, I speak off it. It’s against your nature to see wrong apparently. In this case, I frankly empathize for you!

    • Bnker,

      Real quick because I have to leave. After I squeezed you by debunking your lies about “Taylor absence means stability” in the sub-region, you tried wiggling your way out of that embarrassment by saying Taylor and Liberia are the “common denominator” of the instability in the region. After I pressed you further, you are now saying Taylor absence has “reduced” instability in the region. Which one of these accounts of yours do you want the world to believe? It clearly tells you that you have been lying all along.

      Secondly, I provided websites about the Politics of the Three. These websites told you how those three countries were advancing their own political agenda by exploiting the 911 attacks on innocent Americans and others. Infact, just this gone March, a Statement Department official who had a congressional hearing debunked your self made Al-Aqaeda link, by rejecting Mr. Farah’s book and claim. Moreso, you yourself provided a link that talked about these three countries behavior. Even though you say, you don’t remeber what you wrote 5 months ago. And that is quite understandable. However, you and people on your side want Taylor to remember everything that happened 5,10,15,20,25,30,and 35 years ago.UNBELIEVABLE.

      Thank God for this website. And thank God that the international community is not inferrring with our debates by taking one side. That’s what I am talking about. No way for you banker. We will debate these issues and the world will see clearly what actually happened. But I get to rush to work bro.

      • Bnker,

        It is true that you said you want President Taylor in jail but for Liberia.

        It is also true that you said the case is weak.

        You furthered by saying Taylor is the most consistant witness so far in as much as he is asked tricked questions.

        You continued by saying, though you don’t support the prosecution of this man, because according to you, S.L is encroaching on Liberia’s sovereignty, you still want him in the “slammer.” Your reason for wanting in the “slammer” is because his absence has made the region stable. It was when I decided to counter your false claim by providing all the instabilities around the sub-region couple with U.N Boss, Ban Ki Moon comments. I am not making up any stories. You are on notice for saying these things. You and Vaa Alie Mansaray continue to use that line of Taylor absence in the sub-region means stability bro. Apparently, you forgot to include it in your post above or I did see it.