International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

A Day In Photos at the Charles Taylor Trial

Dear Readers,

One of our regular commenters, $$ker-Bnker, asked to see some photos of the International Criminal Court and the Charles Taylor trial while I was in The Hague this week. Davenpost.Noko7 wanted to see some also.  Well, here are a few from today’s proceedings taken from my phone while I was there – not high quality pics but they should give you a sense of what things look like.

In terms of what it is like in the courtroom:  Mr. Taylor actively takes lots of notes throughout the testimony of defense witness Yanks Smythe, and reviews the documents as the witness is being asked about them.  There are times when Mr. Taylor looks up and closely watches the witness answer the question – this morning he stopped his note-taking when prosecutor Nick Koumjian started asking the witness, Mr. Smythe, about rent paid for by Mr. Taylor for a place which Mr. Koumjian said was used as a prison to torture people (Mr. Smythe denied it was a prison where torture took place).  Mr. Taylor watched the exchange intently, before going back to writing his notes. He sits at the back of the  courtroom now he is no longer on the stand — off to the left side when viewed from the public gallery, dressed impeccably in a dark suit and cuff-links, with security guards sitting each side of him throughout the proceedings.

I also have to say that Mr. Koumjian is a very impressive and skilled prosecutor — well prepared, very good at cross examining witnesses and finding inconsistencies with their earlier testimony, or that of Mr. Taylor.   Defense lawyer, Morris Anyah (who was in court this morning — Mr. Taylor’s lead lawyer, Courtenay Griffiths, was not in court today) is also impressive — he showed today that he has a keen eye for detail and clarity of questioning of the witnesses.

I won’t give you the details of today’s events –Alpha’s summary will come soon — but in the meantime, here are the photos. Happy to answer any questions about them.

The front entrance of the ICC

Charles Taylor listening to the testimony

Prosecutor Nick Koumjian asking the witness questions

Defense witness Yanks Smythe testifying today

Presiding Judge - Justice Julia Sebutinde

Justice Sebutinde with her colleagues, Justice Richard Lussick and Justice Teresa Doherty

And capturing the day's events, BBC World Trust journalist, Amara Bangura from Sierra Leone.....

and his BBC World Trust colleague, Joseph Cheeseman from Liberia

the witness comparing Benjamin Yeaten's signatures (he did not know if the one on the right was a fake)

19 Comments
  1. Yankubah Samateh AKA Yank Smythe has lied about his accounts of the execution of Sam Dokie and his family by one of Taylor’s well known notorious tugs Benjamin Yeaten. His boss Charles Taylor’s testimony during cross examinations of feburary 2009 clearly contradicts his accounts. one of these men are lying, and Taylor bears the most responsibilities. both men has human blood on their hands, and the souls of Mr. Dokie and all those who lives were taken wrongfully by Yeaten, are now squarely looking them in their faces and they will never get their story straight.from Yankubah Samateh AKA Yank Smythe’s angers on the stand, and refusing to answer Mr. Koumajian’s questions, which drew warnings from justice Sebutinde shows his frustrations for lying on the stand. in a case where the defendent and his witness are caught in a lie QUILTY it is.

  2. good pixs, we need regular of this, thanks,

    • Via-Gbana — I will try to get more pix when ever I am here. Glad you like them.
      Best,
      Tracey

  3. Dear Tracey,
    Thanks very much for the photos. I’m very happy to once again see a fresh picture of my president Mr. Taylor. He has aways being what he is, no matter what? you really make my day. I would appreciate were you to send more of his photos to my email. God bless you.

    Regards

    Harris K Johnson

    • Hi Harris — of course! No problem! I did not post all the photos I took — just the clearest ones. I will send you all the photos I have and you can decide which ones you like and want to keep. Let me know if you don’t receive receive them and I will resend.
      best,
      Tracey

      • Tracey,
        Thanks for the photos. I’m going to check my yahoo mail right now. Will let you know if I have any problem.

        Thanks
        Harris K Johnson

        • Hi Harris — yes, I sent them last night so if you did not receive them and need me to resend, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
          Best,
          Tracey

  4. Thanks Tracey:

    As it is often said, pictures are more than a thousand words.

  5. Thanks Tracie for these photos; I would have love to see photos of how taylor looks in his VIP quarters! That what I want to see!

    • Hi J falah Menjor — unfortuantely that is something I cannot help you with as I don’t have access to the detention facilities. I’m glad you liked the photos I was able to get though.
      Best,
      Tracey

    • Fallah,

      No amount of humiliation can shake the solid foundation of true and real love for President Taylor by the Liberian people. We love him.

  6. Many thanks, Tracey.

    Peace.

  7. Tracey,
    Thanks for the photos. They are the one that you posted here. Please send me all that you have even the ugly or unclear ones. I love everything about Mr. Taylor my president and eye opener.

    Regards

    Harris K Johnson

    • Harris — of course. I’d be most happy to. I’ll just need to download them — would you mind reminding me on the weekend? I am flying home tomorrow from The Hague and can send them to you once I get back. Does that sound okay?

      • Thanks, Tracey,
        I wish you well on your trip. Please send me those photos when you have rested. Have a nice weekend.

        Regards

        Harris K Jonhson

        • Thank you so much, Harris. I will be in touch with you on the weekend when I get home and will send you the remaining photos. beware: they are not very clear but I am happy to share them with you, of course.
          Best
          Tracey

  8. I’m waiting for the trying of Museveni, the now president of Uganda. I know it will happen someday.