International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Charles Taylor Monthly Trial Report: October-November 2010

Dear readers – please find below a summary of the Taylor trial for the months of October and November 2010 written by Jennifer Easterday and Eline Houwen at the UC Berkeley War Crimes Studies Center.  The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Open Society Justice Initiative.

1.       Overview

The Taylor Defense team formally rested its case on November 12, 2010. The Trial Chamber will not sit again until closing arguments commence in February 2011. During this reporting period, the last Defense witness was called and the Chamber ruled on several Defense motions. The Chamber denied a Defense motion requesting an investigation of the Office of the Prosecutor on allegations of contempt of court, but granted the Defense leave to appeal. Also, after ordering the Prosecution to disclose exculpatory evidence concerning the alleged death of AFRC leader Johnny Paul Koroma, the Court denied a Defense motion to introduce that evidence into the record. Leave to appeal this decision was also granted. These and other legal issues are discussed below, along with a discussion of the testimony from the final witness to testify in the case against Charles Taylor.

The sole witness who testified during this reporting period was:

  1. Samuel Flomo Kolleh (DCT-102)

This report summarizes witness testimony heard during November 2010 and identifies important issues that have arisen at trial. As with previous WCSC monitoring reports, it is available online at http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~warcrime/SL_Monitoring_Reports.htm. This is the final periodic trial report for the Taylor trial and for the Special Court for Sierra Leone Trial Monitoring Program. Following this report, the WCSC expects to publish one more thematic report on the Taylor trial and one final retrospective analysis of the Special Court’s work from beginning to end.

2.       Defense Themes and Strategies

This month, the Defense called its final witness and raised a few remaining legal issues with the Court. Witness DCT-102 testified about training with the RUF in Liberia prior to the RUF’s first incursion into Sierra Leone. The Witness also testified about trading diamonds for weapons, but denied that Taylor was involved. Mr. Kolleh further told the Court that he was intimidated and bribed by the Prosecution during interviews in 2003. This testimony supported Defense contentions that the Prosecution should be investigated for contempt of court for improperly treating witnesses and potential witnesses. Although the Defense has formally rested its case, two outstanding appeals will be decided by the Appeals Chamber in early 2011. It is unclear how Appeals Chamber decisions on these motions may affect the Defense’s final trial brief, which will be finalized in January 2011, or its closing oral arguments, to be heard in February 2011.

3.       Prosecution Themes and Strategies

The Prosecution sought to impeach DCT-102’s testimony by cross-examining him on prior inconsistent statements and inconsistencies between his testimony and the testimony of other Defense and Prosecution witnesses. The Prosecution frequently suggested that the Witness was a liar, and focused on the Witness’ admission that he had lied about his name and address to the SCSL Prosecution and the Sierra Leonean Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Kolleh claimed that he had lied because he was afraid of being arrested by the SCSL. When asked about specific crimes committed by the RUF, Kolleh denied having witnessed such crimes, often saying that he either was in another location or otherwise had no knowledge of such crimes. For example, he admitted being in the area where the RUF’s “Operation Stop Elections” was at its fiercest, and testified that he was a senior officer of the RUF at the time, but denied knowing about the amputation of limbs for which the operation was famous. Like the Defense, the Prosecution must also submit its final trial brief in January 2011, and will deliver oral arguments in February 2011.

4.       Legal and Procedural Issues

This section addresses the legal issues that arose as the trial phase concluded for this case. The Trial Chamber ruled upon motions concerning an investigation into allegations of contempt of Court levied against the Prosecution; exculpatory information related to Defense witness DCT-032; evidence about Johnny Paul Koroma’s death; and objections to entering documentary evidence into the record based on a lack of foundation.

Due to various personal circumstances, the Court often sat with three, instead of the usual four judges throughout the testimony of the final Defense witness, DCT-102. DCT-102 commenced his testimony on November 1, 2010 in the absence of Justice Lussick. On November 2, the Court called a recess because two of the Judges would be absent due to “unavoidable personal circumstances.”[1] Justice Doherty was absent during the following three days of trial (November 3 – 5, 2010) and from November 8 – 9, 2010, Justice Lussick was presiding in the absence of Justice Sebutinde.

     a.  Defense Motion Requesting Investigation into Contempt of Court by the OTP and its Investigators

In September, the Defense requested an independent investigation into the Office of the Prosecutor and its investigators. The Defense alleged that the OTP had committed an abuse of process in its investigations, and had brought the administration of justice into disrepute. The Defense requested that the OTP be investigated for contempt of court under Rule 77 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.[2] The Defense argued that the alleged misconduct raised doubts about all of the Prosecution’s evidence and impinged on Taylor’s rights to a fair trial. The Prosecution objected to the motion, arguing that the motion was untimely, failed to establish that there was reason to believe the Prosecution or members of the OTP had committed any of the alleged offences and was an attempt to delay the proceedings. It also suggested that the allegations were based on statements from individuals and witnesses who lack credibility.

     i.         Trial Chamber Decision

On October 22, 2010, the Trial Chamber issued an oral decision dismissing the motion in its entirety.[3]  The Court subsequently published a written reasoned judgment on November 11, 2010. The written decision acknowledged that the standard of proof for determining whether to order an independent investigation is not that of a prima facie case, but a lower standard of a “reason to believe” an offense may have been committed.[4] However, the Court concluded that, in order to provide a “reason to believe” an offense had been committed, the allegation of contempt must be credible.[5] Furthermore, the Court noted that any alleged misconduct should be brought to the attention of the Court without undue delay.[6]

In spite of the Court’s recitation of the standards for determining motions of contempt, the motion was denied on technical grounds. The Trial Chamber denied the motion on  two grounds: first, that it was untimely, and second, that it did not fall within the ambit of Rule 77 of the RPE. The Trial Chamber noted that its finding on those two issues was sufficient to dispose of the motion. However,  given the seriousness of the allegations, the Court considered that it was in the interests of justice to review the individual allegations of misconduct in the Defense motion on the merits.

Regarding the timeliness of the motion, the Chamber noted SCSL jurisprudence requiring parties to raise allegations of misconduct “without undue delay.”[7] The Court noted that some Defense allegations involved incidents that occurred between two and eight years ago. The Defense had argued that although these incidents occurred several years ago, the injury to Taylor’s fair trial rights resulted from the cumulative effect of ongoing OTP misconduct. The Trial Chamber found these arguments “erroneous and fundamentally flawed.”[8] The Court reasoned that contempt of court is a criminal offense and thus an incident must constitute an offense at the time it is committed—not later, after other incidents have occurred. According to this rationale, the Defense should have brought each separate incident of misconduct to the attention of the Court within a reasonable time after it was committed. Because the incidents happened so long ago, the Court found that the Defense had failed to act with due diligence in bringing the allegations to the attention of the Court in a timely manner. The Court stated that it could have denied the motion for this reason alone.[9]

The Court went on to evaluate the motion in light of Rule 77, focusing on the broad nature of the motion. The Defense had requested an investigation into the conduct of former Prosecutors, and all employees of the OTP since the Court’s inception, in relation to all witnesses, potential witnesses and sources for the Taylor trial. Moreover, the Defense wanted an investigation into the mandate of the OTP’s Witness Management Unit (WMU) and payments made to witnesses and sources.[10] The Court reasoned that Rule 77 is only concerned with the alleged actions of individuals, not departments, and therefore the motion was insufficiently targeted and specific to warrant an investigation.[11]

After disposing of the motion on these two issues, the Court nevertheless turned to a discussion of the merits, given the serious nature of the allegations levied against the OTP. The Chamber evaluated the allegations in the Defense motion under Rule 77 of the RPE and the “reason to believe” standard. The Court found that allegations of misconduct were not based on credible sources, and therefore did not meet the relatively low “reason to believe” standard. The Trial Chamber found the following specific allegations insufficiently credible to warrant an investigation into contempt of court:

  • DCT-192, a potential Defense witness, was slapped during an interview with OTP investigator Gilbert Morissette during interviews in 2002 in order to secure his cooperation and confession.[12]
  • OTP, INTERPOL and the Sierra Leonean police would “sweep” the Kailahun district in 2003, arresting those would refused to cooperate with the OTP.[13]
  • David Crane threatened DCT-102 with imprisonment and intimidated him during interviews with Crane and the OTP in 2003;[14]
  • The Prosecution provided false intelligence to the Liberian police so that DCT-133 would be arrested and then forced to cooperate with the OTP;[15]
  • The Prosecution lied to DCT-133, telling him his life was in danger by Taylor’s associates and offering to protect him if he cooperated;[16]
  • OTP investigators ransacked Taylor’s Monrovia residence in 2004 and threatened DCT-086;[17]
  • The Prosecution intimidated DCT-130 at a meeting in the German Embassy in Monrovia in 2006;[18]
  • The Prosecution made unwarranted offers of relocation to witnesses as an “egregious” inducement to testify for the Prosecution;[19]
  • The Prosecution offered improper inducements to DCT-130, including an offer to send him to America even though he had not requested relocation from Liberia or suggested that he was afraid to testify;[20]
  • The Prosecution offered or provided money to witnesses, potential witnesses, or sources to obtain their testimony and assistance of amounts up to $250,000;[21]
  • Payments made to prospective witnesses by WMU were irregular and went beyond the stated rationale or explanation provided for payments, such as the payments amounting to over $40,000 made to DCT-097 and many other payments made to various witnesses;[22]
  • The Prosecution attempted to attract potential witnesses by alluding to benefits or inducements provided to others;[23]
  • A Prosecution witness, TF1-139, called Defense witness DCT-086 from the United States and tried to get him to cooperate with the Prosecution by offering employment in Liberia;[24]
  • The Prosecution released two of its witnesses, Foday Lansana and Isaac Mongor, from prison in exchange for their cooperation and testimony;[25] and
  • The Prosecution offered improper inducements to DCT-261 to secure his cooperation.[26]

The Court also found that allegations of the impropriety of payments made to witnesses in the Taylor trial and the contention that the Prosecution had “poisoned” the well of potential witnesses did not fall under Rule 77. Instead, the Trial Chamber considered that it fell under Rule 39(ii) as an issue of discretionary payments, which the Judges will consider during final deliberations based on evidence adduced at trial.[27] The Court noted that the Prosecution had disclosed records of payments to the Defense. It further noted that the Defense had the opportunity to, and did, cross-examine witnesses about these payments. The Court stated that it would make a determination on whether these payments had influenced witnesses when it assessed their credibility and the veracity of their testimony during final deliberations.[28]

     ii.       Defense Motion for Reconsideration

The Defense moved for reconsideration of its motion by the Trial Chamber as well as permission to appeal. In the motion to reconsider, the Defense alleged that the decision was “fundamentally hostile to the fair trial rights of the Accused.”[29] The Defense argued that the Court erred in reasoning, in particular by failing to “appreciate the inherent responsibility of the Court as the arbiter of justice to safeguard the Accused’s rights” and by applying disparate and unfair legal standards.[30]

The Defense cited jurisprudence from the SCSL Appeals Chamber and the ICTY and ICTR confirming that the Trial Chamber would have discretion to reconsider a prior decision if “a clear error of reasoning has been demonstrated or if it is necessary to prevent an injustice.”[31] The Defense also noted that in reconsidering one of its decisions in the Taylor trial, Trial Chamber II noted that reconsideration was appropriate where “new material circumstances have arisen since the decision was issued.”[32]

The motion complained that the Trial Chamber had focused too much on legal technicalities and not enough on issues of fundamental fairness to Taylor. In particular, the Defense took issue with the Chamber’s finding of undue delay. The Defense argued that a delay of several years in raising these issues was understandable, given the identity of the victims of the alleged misconduct and the political and geographical context of Sierra Leone and Liberia, an issue the Court failed to consider.[33] Noting that the SCSL has jurisdiction over crimes committed over fourteen years ago, the Defense considered that the Court applied flawed rationale regarding the fact that the alleged acts took place years ago. It considered that the emphasis of the Court should have been on when the Defense learned of the Prosecution’s conduct, not when the conduct took place. The motion also clarified the Defense’s position that while each act it alleged could individually sustain a charge of contempt, it had focused on the modus operandi of the OTP as an organization and the totality of the circumstances, which together demonstrated a systemic and widespread corruption of the judicial process.[34]

The Defense also took issue with the Court’s narrow reading of its own contempt powers, citing an ICTY Appeals Chamber decision confirming that in addition to the specific contempt power in the RPE, the Court had a general inherent power over allegations of contempt of court that was not restricted by specific Rules.[35] The Defense argued for a reading of Rule 77 that included organizations and other entities, not just individuals.[36]  The Prosecution contested the motion to reconsider, arguing that the Defense had failed to establish a clear error of reasoning in the Trial Chamber’s decision or that it was necessary to prevent injustice.[37]

The Trial Chamber has discretionary power to reconsider a prior decision when the decision is based on a clear error of reasoning, or where new material circumstances arise that make reconsideration necessary in order to prevent injustice.[38] The Chamber found that the Defense had not met the test for reconsideration and therefore dismissed the motion.[39]

     iii.       Defense Motion for Leave to Appeal

In order to be granted leave to appeal a decision of the Trial Chamber, a party must meet the conjunctive test of “exceptional circumstances” and “irreparable prejudice” necessary under Rule 73(B).[40] In its motion for leave to appeal the decision on an investigation into contempt, the Defense raised essentially the same arguments as in its motion to reconsider, described above. It argued that in evaluating the credibility of the Defense allegations and affidavits, the Chamber had applied a standard stricter than the “reason to believe” threshold for Rule 77.[41] In particular, the Defense suggested that when assessing a witness’ credibility or prejudice to the Defense, the Trial Chamber had added an additional requirement that there must be a link between the alleged act of contempt and a witness’ unwillingness to testify.[42] Suggesting that the decision comprised a “summary trial” inappropriately evaluating the truthfulness of the allegations, the Defense took issue with the Chamber’s reliance on evidence that was not put forth by either party. It argued that this was a double standard and demonstrated bias towards the Prosecution.[43] The motion to appeal also argued that the Chamber erred in treating Rules 39(ii) and 77 as mutually exclusive, arguing that an abuse of discretion under Rule 39 could constitute contempt of court under Rule 77.

The Defense argued that these purported errors of law and fact constituted exceptional circumstances and caused the Defense irreparable prejudice. The motion argued that challenges to the integrity of the OTP “undermine the integrity and lawfulness of the entire judicial process.”[44] Noting that this issue raised novel and fundamental questions of law and fact, the Defense posited that an independent investigation was the only way to dispose fully of the question of the Prosecution’s alleged misconduct. Not only would the issue be impossible to remedy on final appeal or through re-trial, the Defense argued, but the full impact and implications of the conduct could not be adequately dealt with during final deliberations.[45] Acknowledging that some potential witnesses had exploited or taken advantage of the benefits from the Prosecution to give false evidence, the Defense noted that this was what laid at the root of its argument:  that the Prosecution’s investigative strategy, including purported threats, bribes, intimidation and inducements, had “ultimately deprived the Defense of untainted witnesses.”[46] An investigation, it contended, was the only way to evaluate the full extent of the prejudice this had caused.[47]

In a response, the Prosecution argued that the Defense had failed to establish exceptional circumstances.[48] The Prosecution averred that in the context of a decision on contempt, the purported errors of law and fact did not constitute exceptional circumstances.[49] Moreover, the Prosecution contended, the Defense had disingenuously argued that there were novel and fundamental questions of law at issue.[50] The Defense arguments had extended the scope of the issue to concern an investigation of the entire OTP, not individual members of the OTP, which the Prosecution maintained was at issue in the original motion.[51] The Prosecution also argued that the Defense had not established irreparable prejudice. According to the Prosecution, the suggestion that the Defense had been deprived of untainted witnesses was misleading, since the witnesses themselves had changed their stories and the Defense could have called those witnesses to testify.[52] Indeed, the Prosecution suggested, the Defense motion was merely a ploy to bring superfluous information before the Trial Chamber and evade cross-examination and judicial questioning of that information.[53] Additionally, the response argued, the Defense had not addressed why the issue was not remediable in an appeal of the final judgment.[54]

The Trial Chamber granted the motion for leave to appeal. The Chamber considered that the motion raised issues of fundamental legal importance relating to the interpretation of Rule 77. In particular, the Chamber found, the motion raised important issues about whether the Rule extends to “general complaints regarding the operation of the Office of the Prosecutor and its staff, including payments or benefits made to witnesses, potential witnesses and sources.”[55] The Trial Chamber also considered that the Defense allegations of contempt have serious implications on the OTP that could potentially violate the fair trial rights of the Accused.[56]

     b.  Motion for Exculpatory Information Related to DCT-032

The Defense also requested the Court to order the Prosecution to disclose exculpatory information related to DCT-032 under Rule 68(B).[57] The Prosecution has alleged that Taylor systematically murdered persons from his inner circle who knew about the crimes he committed so that they could not testify against him in his trial. This, the Prosecution has maintained, demonstrates Taylor’s awareness that he is responsible for the crimes in the indictment.[58] The Prosecution claims that Johnny Paul Koroma was one of those murdered by Taylor, and has led evidence from a number of witnesses that DCT-032, a supposed associate of Taylor, killed Koroma in 2003.[59]

According to the Defense motion, the Prosecution interviewed DCT-032 in 2008 and attempted to exhume the body of Koroma in two locations where DCT-032 said Koroma could be buried.[60] The Defense suggested that at least one of the DNA tests conducted by the Prosecution was negative.[61] Indeed, the Defense argued that according to DCT-032, Koroma may not be dead. The Defense also argued that the Prosecution made payments of up to $1500 to DCT-032 and indemnified him from prosecution so that he would provide false evidence against Taylor. As a result, the Defense argued that the results of the DNA test and the Prosecution’s payments to DCT-032 should be disclosed because they go against the allegation that Taylor was involved in Koroma’s death.[62] The Defense also requested the Court to require the Prosecution to provide an explanation as to why this information was not disclosed previously and to draw adverse inferences against the Prosecution for its lack of disclosure.[63]

The Prosecution opposed the motion, arguing that the information was not exculpatory and that it had met its disclosure obligations. Moreover, the Prosecution contended that it is not required to operate an “open files policy.”[64] The Prosecution maintained that the Defense had not made a prima facie showing of the exculpatory nature of the information, a requirement for such requests.[65] In particular, the Prosecution argued that it had not led evidence on where Koroma was buried, and therefore the fact that he was not buried where DCT-032 indicated did not contradict Prosecution evidence.[66] Regarding the indemnification and payments, the Prosecution maintained that because DCT-032 was merely a source—not a witness or potential witness—it had no obligation to release this information about him.[67]

The Court granted the motion in part. It found that DCT-032 qualified as a potential witness rather than a mere source because several Prosecution witnesses had implicated DCT-032 in Koroma’s death, and DCT-032 had provided the Prosecution with substantial information relating to his role in the conflict and other aspects relating to the role of Taylor’s subordinates in Koroma’s death. The Chamber further considered that payments to DCT-032 were not made to pay him as a source but were given to him as a potential witness “for his own benefit.”[68] It based this conclusion on the fact that the Prosecution had not contested Defense allegations that the payments were for DCT-032’s cooperation and because payments were promised for after the Prosecution could confirm that the body was Koroma’s. The Court also considered that the indemnification letter supported the inference that the Prosecution wanted to ensure his cooperation and possible testimony.[69] The Court ordered the Prosecution to disclose the information sought by the Defense, as it may affect the credibility of the Prosecution’s evidence and was potentially exculpatory in nature.[70] However, the Court denied the Defense request for an explanation from the Prosecution as to why it had not previously disclosed the information. The Court found that the Prosecution had explained the issue through the declaration that the Prosecution considered DCT-032 a source. The Court also found it premature to consider drawing adverse conclusions from the Prosecution’s non-disclosure.[71]

     c.  Motion for Introduction of Evidence related to Johnny Paul Koroma’s Death and Appeal

Pursuing the issue of Koroma’s death, the Defense sought to enter certain disclosed materials related to Koroma’s alleged murder into evidence under Rule 92bis. This included:

  • An affidavit from witness DCT-032
  • Results of the Prosecution investigation into the alleged death of Johnny Paul Koroma
  • Records of the disbursements made to witness DCT-032
  • A copy of an indemnity letter from the OTP to DCT-032

The Defense further requested that the Chamber draw an adverse inference against Prosecution allegations that Taylor was responsible for Koroma’s death, because the Prosecution had failed to disclose the information under Rule 68.[72] The motion argued that, although material that tends to prove the acts and conduct of the accused is normally prohibited from being introduced under Rule 92bis in order to protect the fair trial rights of the accused, this prohibition should not apply when the Accused is the one submitting the material. The Defense distinguished the instant case from other Rule 92bis submissions on the grounds that Taylor was tendering exculpatory evidence that did not tend to prove any of his acts or conduct relied on by the Prosecution on to establish his guilt.[73] Therefore, the Defense contended, the evidence should be allowed.[74] The motion further suggested that the Defense request for an adverse inference relating to the Prosecution evidence and the credibility of the Prosecution witnesses was a proper remedy for the Prosecution’s violation of disclosure rules, given that the Defense would not be able to cross-examine the witnesses at this late stage of the trial.[75]

The Prosecution opposed the motion, arguing that the Defense had not satisfied the test for admission of documents under Rule 92bis[76] and that the remedy requested for the disclosure was unwarranted.[77] The Prosecution argued that the evidence was irrelevant, and that its reliability could not be confirmed.[78] The Prosecution maintained that there was no basis for the Defense’s distinction of the treatment of evidence going to the acts and conduct of the Accused under Rule 92bis. The Prosecution further argued that the rule and related jurisprudence extends to both incriminatory and exculpatory evidence.[79] Opposing the proposed adverse inference, the Prosecution maintained that the Defense had not suffered any prejudice and that drawing such inferences is a severe remedy that should be apply only in exceptional circumstances.[80]

In a 2-1 Decision, with Justice Sebutinde dissenting, the Trial Chamber dismissed the motion in its entirety. The Chamber held that there was no basis for the Defense position that exculpatory evidence introduced by the Accused should be treated differently under Rule 92bis.[81] The Chamber found that the documents in question variously included a) evidence that tended to prove the acts and conduct of Taylor, b) opinion evidence, or c) evidence that was not relevant.[82] Thus, the Chamber concluded, the documents were not allowed under Rule 92bis.[83] The Chamber declined to draw an adverse inference against Prosecution allegations and evidence that Taylor was responsible for Koroma’s death. The Chamber found that the Defense had not demonstrated material prejudice from the late disclosure, that the Prosecution’s failure was not one of bad faith and that the materials relied upon by the Defense did not establish that the Prosecution’s evidence about Koroma’s death could not be believed.[84]

     i.         Motion for Leave to appeal

In a motion seeking leave to appeal the Trial Chamber’s decision[85], the Defense sought permission to appeal alleged errors of law and fact in the Chamber’s refusal to admit the affidavit from DCT-032.[86] The Defense averred that the Trial Chamber majority erred in reasoning when it found that the exculpatory evidence proffered by the Defense was inadmissible under Rule 92bis, because it includes evidence of the acts and conduct of Taylor.[87] According to the Defense, this erroneous reasoning meets the conjunctive test of “exceptional circumstances” and “irreparable prejudice” necessary under Rule 73(B) for leave to appeal.[88] The Defense submitted that exceptional circumstances existed because, due to the Prosecution’s tangibly late disclosure of the material, the Trial Chamber erroneously excluded the material from evidence, which may interfere with the interests of justice.[89] In addition, the Defense contended that the question of what constitutes “acts and conduct” of the Accused and how an “omission” should be interpreted under Rule 92bis, especially in relation to exculpatory evidence, raised an issue of fundamental legal importance requiring further deliberation.[90] Regarding irreparable prejudice, the Defense maintained that the exclusion of the exculpatory material precluded the Defense from relying on the material in its final brief, and denied the Judges the ability to consider it in its Judgment, consequences not easily remedied on final appeal.[91] Moreover, the Defense complained, it barred the Judges from considering any Defense request for adverse inference for the late disclosure.[92]

In response,[93] the Prosecution submitted that the Defense’s motion failed to prove either of the cumulative conditions required under Rule 73(B).[94] Regarding the exceptional circumstances, the Prosecution argued that the allegedly exculpatory evidence could not in itself constitute “exceptional circumstances,” as all Defense evidence is presumably exculpatory.[95] In addition, the Prosecution contended, the impugned decision did not address issues of applicability of Rule 92bis on omissions to act, thereby excluding grounds for such an argument.[96] According to the plain language of the rule and related case law, Rule 92bis applies equally to submissions by all parties to a case that relate to the acts and conduct of the Accused. The Prosecution explained that the Trial Chamber had previously held that the prohibition applies to submissions of both parties to prove or disapprove the Accused’s acts or conduct.[97] The Prosecution further submitted that the possibility of remedy upon final appeal precluded causing irreparable prejudice to the Defense’s case.[98] 

The Trial Chamber granted the motion, thereby allowing the Defense to appeal the impugned decision. The Bench considered that the motion raised the issue of interpretation of Rule 92bis, in particular whether exculpatory evidence tendered by the Defense going to proof of the acts and conduct of the Accused is inadmissible under Rule 92bis. The Court considered this an issue of fundamental legal importance warranting further deliberation by the Appeals Chamber.[99] Furthermore, the Court considered that the Accused could suffer irreparable prejudice from an incorrect interpretation of Rule 92bis, as it considered this not to be easily remediable on final appeal.[100]

     d.  Foundation for Documentary Evidence

The most important legal issue that arose during this reporting period dealt with the issue of laying foundation for documentary evidence presented through a witness. At the SCSL, simple relevance is the test for admitting evidence at trial.[101]According to the SCSL Appeals Chamber, in order to submit documents into evidence through a witness, the tendering party must first establish the witness’ competence to give evidence about the document.[102] Personal knowledge establishes the necessary link or connection to the document and lays the foundation to submit it into evidence.[103] Without this connection, the Appeals Chamber ruled, one can only give opinion-based evidence.[104] Thus, it is imperative that the tendering party lay sufficient foundation to enable the Trial Chamber to conclude that the documentary evidence is prima facie relevant.

     i.    Objection to MFI-7G(1)

The issue arose when the Defense objected to the introduction of a photograph downloaded from a website, washingtonpost.com, supposedly showing Sam Bockarie (alias “Mosquito”) in a tailor-made suit and a boy standing next to him wearing a camouflage uniform. Above the picture was the caption “Dressed in a double-breasted suit, Mosquito admits he is a ‘big showman.’”[105] During cross-examination, the Prosecution had first put the photograph to the Witness without the caption. When asked whether he recognized anyone in the photo, the Witness stated he only knew the boy in camouflage to be Johnny, Sam Bockarie’s bodyguard, but could not identify the man in the suit. When the Prosecution suggested this was Sam Bockarie, the Witness said he could not tell. The Prosecution then showed the Witness the same photograph only this time with the caption. The Witness still denied recognizing Bockarie in the picture. Basing its arguments on the above-mentioned Appeals Chamber decision, the Defense objected to introduction of the second photograph (with the caption). The Defense argued that the Prosecution was seeking to introduce a caption stating that the person in the photo was, in fact, Mosquito, when the Witness had denied that he had a basis to judge whether or not it was Mosquito.

The Prosecution argued that the question central to admitting documents into evidence is whether the witness is capable of giving relevant evidence. According to the Prosecution, as the credibility of this particular witness was very much at issue, it was relevant that the Witness claimed he could not identify his close associate Sam Bockarie, but that he was able to recognize Bockarie’s bodyguard. The Prosecution further stated that although the caption was hearsay, hearsay is allowed under Rule 89 to go to the weight the Judges afford to the evidence.

The Judges overruled the objection. According to the Bench, as the Witness was able to recognize Sam Bockarie’s bodyguard Johnny, the Prosecution successfully established the Witness could give evidence on the photo. The Judges agreed with the Prosecution that the caption was pure hearsay and that it was up to the Court to give weight to it, if any.

     ii.       Objection to MFI-12A, B, and C

The Defense also objected to a satellite image of open terrain, supposedly portraying Rokel creek. Using the same line of argument as in the previous objection, the Defense stated there was no foundation because the Witness was not able to identify any element of the image put to him. Furthermore, the Defense argued that the image, apparently of some sort of creek, dated from 2010 and had no indication that it was related to how the terrain in this region was during the war. It was impossible, the Defense argued, to tell anything about topography of the area from the image.

In response, the Prosecution first pointed out that it is common practice to investigate terrain, even long after battles, to understand what happened during war. According to the Prosecution, there was sufficient foundation to the document, as the Witness agreed with the Prosecution’s proposition that the RUF would not choose open terrain to store weapons. Because ECOMOG had the advantage of air jets, open terrain would have left RUF artillery vulnerable to easy destruction. The Prosecution argued that any potential changes in the terrain since the war would be an issue going to the weight of the evidence, but should not preclude its admission.

The Judges sustained the Defense objection, ruling that the satellite image was impermissible because the Witness was unable to identify the terrain in the photographs and could not give any relevant evidence to the document.

     iii.       Objection to MFI-13

The Defense sought to exclude from evidence a two-page document authored by the Association for the legal Defense of Charles G. Taylor. The Defense argued that the Prosecution had not laid sufficient foundation for the document, because the Witness was unaware of the document, as well as the association, and ignorant of the document’s contents. The Prosecution responded that the document was relevant to the Prosecution’s case. According to the Prosecution, one of the Association’s roles was to recruit Defense witnesses, such as John Vincent. DCT-102 denied allegations of the connection, but Prosecutors maintained that the DCT-102 had referred Vincent to the Defense through the Association. 

The Judges granted the Defense’s motion to exclude the document on the same grounds as they had for MFI-12A, B and C. As the Court had stated before, the Witness’ lack of knowledge about the document or the Association rendered him incompetent to give evidence about the document.

     iv.     Objection to MFI-17

The Defense objected to an article about a man named Don Ray’s experience as a civilian police officer for the United Nations in Kailahun. According to the Defense, the Witness had only spoken about Don Ray in relation to Ray’s visiting card, which was handed to the Witness by David Crane. The Defense argued that the document should be excluded, as the article said nothing about Ray’s visiting cards or about who handed them out.

The Prosecution argued that the document was relevant to the Prosecution’s allegation, contrary to the Witness’ claims, that in fact no one from the Office of the Prosecutor gave the Witness this card. The Prosecution argued that the article helped illustrate how easily the Witness could have obtained this visiting card. The article states Don Ray was a civilian police officer in Kailahun, which is where the Witness claimed he was living up to 2005. 

As with previous similar motions, the Judges sustained the Defense objection on grounds that the Witness was not able to identify any person in the article or anything in the article.

5.       Witness Testimony

Witness DCT-102, Sam Flomo Kolleh, alias Sam Mustafa Koroma, is a Liberian. He was born on September 9, 1972 in Monrovia. The Witness studied at the University of Liberia until the beginning of the Liberian war.

     a.  Introduction into the RUF

The Defense began direct examination by asking Kolleh about how he became part of the RUF. The Witness testified that he was captured by an NPFL fighter named Arthur in late 1990. Kolleh claimed that after spending about two months with him, Arthur sent the Witness to a section of Camp Naama called Crab Hole. Kolleh trained at Crab Hole with the RUF for six months. Kolleh acknowledged that there was interaction between Liberians and Sierra Leoneans present at the camp, but stated they were all there for training. Kolleh told the Court about the physical exercise, ideological training and lectures the fighters received at Camp Naama. According to the Witness, the ideological training included classes on the rules governing warfare. Kolleh denied that the ideology of the RUF involved terrorizing the civilian population.

The Witness testified that the recruits were forced to leave Camp Naama after NPFL generals heard about Sankoh training his fighters at the site. According to the Witness, they entered Sierra Leone on April 3, 1991. The Witness stated that his group comprised 183 men, both Sierra Leoneans and Liberians. However, he testified that after some problems within the group, the Liberians were forced to leave. Defense Counsel pointed out that the Witness is Liberian, and asked him to clarify why he was not sent away. The Witness then explained that the only Liberians allowed to stay within the RUF were those, like himself, who were directly trained by Sankoh.

Throughout direct examination, the Defense asked Kolleh about his positions within the RUF. The Witness denied that he was a top commander of the RUF. According to Kolleh, because he was an RUF vanguard, he was automatically given a nominal position as senior officer, which was his highest position within the RUF.[106] Kolleh claimed he was Sam Bockarie’s senior bodyguard.

     b.  Diamonds within the RUF

According to Kolleh, Sankoh sent him to Issa Sesay with diamonds on three occasions between 1994 and 1995. The Witness explained that, on these occasions, he and Sesay would meet three RUF external delegates for the Ivory Coast at the Liberian/Guinean border, who had come to Sierra Leone to trade diamonds. The Witness fiercely denied transporting diamonds to Liberia, and claimed he was not aware of any exchange of diamonds between the RUF and Taylor.

     c.  The RUF disarmament 

Kolleh testified that, during the disarmament process, he was in charge of transporting weapons to the peacekeepers. The Witness strongly denied carrying arms into Liberia during the disarmament, explaining that he had no reason to do so, because they received money in return for weapons, and because he would have been reported if other RUF found out about him taking arms to Liberia.

     d.  The RUF trading diamonds for weapons and ammunition in 1996

The Defense asked Kolleh how the RUF obtained ammunition in late 1996. The Witness responded that Sankoh had ordered Sam Bockarie to travel to Liberia to obtain weapons and ammunition from the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy (ULIMO). Bockarie’s visit resulted in an agreement with ULIMO, after which a large quantity of weapons and ammunition of various types was brought into Sierra Leone late at night, Kolleh said. According to Kolleh, he was in charge of the transport during this operation. Kolleh claimed Sam Bockarie purchased the weapons with dollars, diamonds and jewelry, but stated he never actually saw the transaction. The Witness testified that after this operation, some individual ULIMO fighters brought their own weapons to sell.

     e.  Freetown attack May 1997

The Witness claimed he was in Yemen when he heard over the radio about the AFRC’s 1997 Freetown attack. According to the Witness, Sankoh, who was imprisoned in Nigeria, had ordered Bockarie to go to Freetown. Kolleh acknowledged that the RUF joined the AFRC after the coup, but stated that besides Bockarie, who was assigned deputy chairman of the AFRC until Sankoh’s return, no RUF officer was given a special position within the Junta government. When asked about his own position at that time, the Witness stated that he was an RUF officer.

     f.  Mining activities in Sierra Leone

The Defense questioned the Witness about mining activities in Sierra Leone at the time the Junta came to power in May 1997. The Witness testified that the RUF was engaged in mining in Kono, Kenema and Tongo at that time. When asked whether the RUF also mined in those places before the AFRC coup, the Witness answered in the negative. The Witness also stated that the Junta stopped mining at the end of 1997, but that other groups, such as civilians from the area, continued mining.

     g.  Freetown attack in 1999

When asked about the Freetown attack of January 1999, Kolleh stated that no RUF forces entered Freetown the day of the attack. The Witness claimed that the RUF only reached Benguema, Waterloo, because Bockarie ordered his forces to stop their approach to Freetown. Kolleh testified that RUF signalers King Perry and Alfred Brown reported from Freetown over the RUF radio to Rambo, Sesay and Bockarie. According to Kolleh, the two men were in Freetown already because Rambo had previously ordered them to move ahead. Kolleh said it was from that radio report that he heard that SAJ Musa, who died later that day, had attacked Freetown with his large group of SLA fighters, and had declared the RUF his enemy. King Perry also reported that twenty to twenty-five RUF fighters had accompanied SAJ Musa’s group, but were forced to flee when Musa declared the RUF his enemy. According to Kolleh, King Perry reported that he was severely beaten by SLA soldiers for giving updates to the RUF about SAJ Musa’s movement. Kolleh testified that he also heard an interview between Robin White and Gullit over the BBC radio, reporting that the SLA had captured Freetown and that they were not fighting under Bockarie, but under a separate command. When asked why Sam Bockarie had told the BBC that the RUF had taken full control over Freetown, the Witness responded that he did not know why, but that it was a “coincidence”, which might have had to do with Bockarie’s “flamboyant” personality. [107]

     h.  Bockarie leaving the RUF

The Witness also testified about Sam Bockarie leaving the RUF on December 16, 1999 and going to live in Liberia. Kolleh said that the UN had negotiated Bockarie’s move to Liberia in order to protect the peace process. When asked how he knew about this, Kolleh stated that UN personnel visiting Buedu told him.

     i.  RUF attack on Guinea in 2000

The Defense asked the Witness whether he could remember any RUF activities at the Guinean border with Sierra Leone. The Witness responded that he had seen Matthew Barbue, a senior RUF officer, and Superman heading for the border as the RUF suspected an invasion from Guinea early 2000. The Witness claimed he was later ordered to move with Barbue to the border, but denied ever crossing into Guinea.

     j.  Interviews with the SCSL and the TRC

Kolleh gave evidence about the two interviews he granted the Special Court’s Prosecution Office. According to the Witness, Chris Bomford, a national investigator of the Special Court, visited him at his house in Kailahun in 2003. Although Kolleh denied any wrongdoing, he acknowledged giving a false name—Sam Mustafa Koroma—to the investigator at that time, as well as offering false statements about his participation in the war, because he feared arrest by the Special Court. According to the Witness, the Special Court had already arrested many RUF Vanguards. Kolleh stressed that besides that meeting, the rest of his testimony was truthful. According to Kolleh, the OTP investigator knew about this false identity. Kolleh testified that Bomford told him at that time that he was only interested in conducting an interview about diamond trades to Liberia.

According to the Witness, the following day he was taken to Freetown and interviewed in the Special Court’s premises. Kolleh claimed he became emotionally disturbed as he overheard walky-talky communication in which a voice ordered, “Bring the perpetrator in.” Kolleh testified that he was escorted to a room with six people, including David Crane. According to the Witness, Crane introduced himself and then handed him a card with the name “Don Ray” on it, showing a police officer holding a prison cell door. On the back side of the card there was a message for children: “If you choose not to listen to your parents, you will have no choice but to listen to me.” Kolleh said he understood that to mean that he had to cooperate or otherwise he would be imprisoned. The Witness testified under direct examination that he also lied to David Crane about his personal details, and about how he joined the RUF. The Witness confirmed that he was asked about many things during that interview, but stressed that the Prosecution investigators mainly focused on diamonds. Kolleh claimed, however, that he never told them about taking diamonds to Taylor. Confirming statements from a transcript of the interview, Kolleh said he was asked about Sam Bockarie approaching ULIMO for arms and ammunition and about the RUF transporting weapons to Freetown following the AFRC’s request for the RUF to join the government in 1997. According to Kolleh, he discussed SAJ Musa’s invasion of Freetown, and about how Bockarie never reached Freetown on January 6, 1999. Kolleh confirmed that he had told the Prosecution interviewer that he knew Bockarie never reached Freetown, because he, like everyone else, was listening to the radio that day.

Kolleh testified that after this second interview investigator Bomford attempted to bribe him by offering $90,000 if he would testify that he brought diamonds to Charles Taylor. The Defense then asked the Witness about his interview with the TRC of Sierra Leone. Kolleh acknowledged he also gave them a same false name, Sam Mustafa Koroma, and false testimony about his role in the Sierra Leonean civil war. He again explained the lies by noting that he had feared arrest.

     k.  Discrediting Prosecution Witnesses

Consistent with the Defense strategy throughout the trial, the Defense tried to discredit a number of Prosecution witnesses during Kolleh’s testimony. The Defense first read TF1-516’s testimony to the Witness. TF1-516 had claimed that Kolleh went into Guinea when he was on an operation with Matthew Barbue. Kolleh flatly denied this allegation, insisting that he never crossed the border into Guinea. Kolleh also disputed TF1-516’s testimony, claiming that Kolleh had transported weapons from the RUF into Liberia during the disarmament process.

According to another witness, TF1-571, Sam Kolleh once attended a meeting late at night with various high-ranking RUF members, such as Bockarie and Sesay. The Witness denied this. However, Kolleh acknowledged he once attended a mass meeting of RUF frontline commanders and senior officers during the day. This meeting was held near Waterworks in July or August 1998, following Bockarie’s return from Burkina Faso for peace talks. According to the Witness, Kono was attacked after the meeting. The Defense showed the Witness a picture supposedly taken at an RUF meeting held in Buedu Town in 1999, during the ceasefire. Kolleh identified Foday Sankoh, who had just been released from the Nigerian prison, Sam Bockarie and two Nigerian Peacekeepers in the picture. Kolleh acknowledged being present at this meeting, and standing somewhere in the crowd. However, Kolleh disputed TF1-367’s testimony identifying one of the Nigerian peacekeepers in the photo as him. Kolleh strongly denied that he appeared in the photograph, and denied ever having dressed up as a Nigerian peacekeeper.

Finally, the Defense questioned the Witness about TF1-337’s testimony placing “Siem Kolleh” and another RUF Vanguard at a muster parade in Magburaka Town with a truck full of weapons. According to the Prosecution witness, Kolleh had said that Bockarie got the weapons from Charles Taylor. The Witness denied these accusations, but said that Mosquito (a.k.a. Bockarie) once ordered him, in early 1999, to transport heavy weaponry from Bunumbu to Issa Sesay. Sesay then ordered him to escort the artillery to Morris Kallon in Magburaka Town. According to the Witness, after the retreat from Freetown, the RUF had taken the weapons to Bunumbu, on the Kono side of the Moa River. Kolleh said the weapons were stored them there because the malfunctioning ferry kept them from shipping the weapons across the river to Kailahun. 

     l.  Cross-examination

Throughout cross-examination, the Prosecution utilized a straightforward strategy of seeking to impeach Sam Kolleh’s credibility. In an effort to make the Witness’ testimony sound incredible, Counsel for the Prosecution repeatedly inquired about Kolleh’s recollection of his positions within the RUF, and what he remembered about events that had occurred during his time in the RUF. For instance, when asked about the diamond trade, Kolleh had referred to it as top military secret, which was only to the knowledge of top commanders.[108] Prosecutors highlighted the fact that, although Kolleh denied being a top commander, he had detailed knowledge about the diamond trade, and was trusted with transporting diamonds on a number of occasions. These inconsistencies might affect the witness’ credibility and how much weight the Trial Chamber assigns his testimony.

Under cross-examination, Kolleh again acknowledged lying to the TRC and the Prosecution investigators about his identity and telling them he was captured and trained by the RUF in Sierra Leone, when in fact an NPFL artillery officer named Arthur captured him in Liberia. Upon further questioning, the Witness testified that he was with Arthur at an artillery base at Camp Naama for a couple of months doing household chores. Kolleh claimed that Arthur sent him for training at Camp Naama so that Kolleh could work with Arthur on artillery weapons. Kolleh denied that Camp Naama was an NPFL training base, testifying instead that it served more as a reserve camp for the NPFL. He admitted that there was training at an area called Crab Hole, where he was sent by Arthur. Kolleh acknowledged that he initially thought he was training for the NPFL, but discovered from the lecture classes that he was training with the RUF. Based on this, the Prosecution suggested that the RUF was a sub-unit of the NPFL. The Witness denied these accusations. Justice Sebutinde asked Kolleh why he did not return to Arthur after he found out that the training had nothing to do with the NPFL. The Witness responded that Arthur and his group had moved positions and was no longer at Camp Naama, so the Witnessed stayed at the base and continued his training. He also testified he could not escape or leave, because he needed a pass to travel, and he was afraid of punishment if caught and returned to the RUF.

The Prosecution asked what Kolleh had to gain from fighting for over a decade in another country, and why he would bring war to Sierra Leone. The Witness responded that he had nothing to gain. When the Prosecution suggested that his motive might have simply been that he was forced, Kolleh stated he was not forced. Kolleh also testified under cross-examination about the killings of Rashid Mansaray and others. The Witness stated that Issa Sesay had ordered him to bring Rashid to Foday Sankoh, but that Bockarie intervened and apparently executed Rashid. Kolleh stated that he was assigned to investigate the murders. Sesay reportedly told Kolleh that he did not kill Rashid, and Kolleh testified that he was not in the position to question the truth this statement. Kolleh disputed the Prosecution’s suggestion that Rashid’s body was torn apart, and that his head was put on a stick.

The Prosecution asked the Witness about John Vincent. Kolleh testified that he talked to Vincent in Monrovia after the interviews with Prosecution investigators in 2003. When the Prosecution pointed out that Kolleh had previously told the Court he did not leave Sierra Leone until 2005, the Witness explained that he never said he went to Monrovia in 2003. Rather, he was interviewed in 2003 and left for Liberia in 2005 to return to school. The Witness denied Prosecution allegations that John Vincent was an SSS at the time Kolleh met with him. He further denied that Vincent had spoken to him about his interviews because they both worked for Taylor.

     i.         “Operation Stop Elections”

The Prosecution asked Kolleh about “Operation Stop Elections.” The Prosecution claims that during the elections in Sierra Leone, rebels launched an extremely violent operation, which, amongst other crimes, involved the amputation of limbs as a symbolic fear technique to prevent the civilian population from casting their votes. Although the Witness acknowledged he was in the area when the operation was at its fiercest, and confirmed he was a senior officer at the time, Kolleh stated that he had no knowledge of amputations, or of any other atrocities committed during the operation. The Witness stated he first heard about these crimes during the interview with the TRC.

     ii.       Child soldiers

When the Witness was questioned about the use of child soldiers within the RUF, he acknowledged the RUF had a Small Boys Unit (SBU), but said he personally could not distinguish the boys’ individual ages based on appearance, and he never asked any of them how old they were. Kolleh said children would be selected on height, so that children who appeared 15 years of age or older could be trained and were given arms. Those supposedly under the age of 15 were, according to Kolleh, only provided domestic assistance to commanders. The Witness denied that the RUF gave arms to boys in the SBU. This is inconsistent with testimony from Defense witness Musa Fayia, a former-senior member of the RUF, who said that the RUF did arm children from ten years of age up. It is also incompatible with Defense witness Charles Megebe’s testimony that the whole world knows about the atrocities committed by the RUF in which children under the age of 15 were recruited into the rebel force. Kolleh was then asked about Musa, whom the Prosecution claimed was Kolleh’s companion from the SBU. Kolleh denied that Musa was a child when he, along with another youth named “Saar” or “Sahr,” accompanied Kolleh. Justice Sebutinde questioned the Witness further about Musa’s and Saar’s tasks when they were with Kolleh. However, Kolleh seemed to avoid answering these inquiries directly, at first. Kolleh eventually acknowledged that Saar carried a gun, but maintained that Musa was his unarmed bodyguard. Kolleh disputed suggestions that the boys were SBUs.

When asked about Small Girls Units within the RUF, the Witness said his troop had two girls who stayed on the base with Memunatu Sesay, but that they only did domestic tasks.

     iii.      Kailahun massacre of 1998

When the Witness was questioned about his knowledge of the 1998 Kailahun massacre, Kolleh said he was in Pendembu at the time. According to the Witness, Sankoh was in Kailahun during the massacre. When Counsel for the Prosecution asked Kolleh whether he ever killed anyone, the Witness responded that he could not recall. The Witness denied knowing about whether Bockarie was disappointed after all of the RUF’s setbacks in that period. He further denied knowing whether Bockarie ordered the killing of detainees in Kailahun.

The Prosecution then read testimony from DIS-149, a protected Defense witness in the RUF trial, which stated that “Sam Kolleh” was in Kailahun between 1997 and 1999. The Prosecution also read the testimony of DAG-048, another protected witness, from the RUF trial, which stated that Bockarie, when on his way from Kailahun to Pendembu in March 1998, ordered his bodyguards, including Sam Kolleh, to kill people. The Witness repeatedly stated he was in Pendembu at the time of the massacre, and disputed Prosecution allegations that he only claimed not to know anything about the massacre because he was trying to hide his own conduct in the bloodbath.

     iv.     Transporting arms between Liberia and Sierra Leone

The Prosecution suggested that the RUF stripped weapons off heavy armored vehicles and transported the weapons across a river. Kolleh stated this was impossible, as he only knew about canoes being used for transport over the river. Obviously, heavy weapons cannot fit into a canoe, Kolleh testified. In response, the Prosecution noted that his statement was inconsistent with DCT-008’s testimony that ammunition was transported in vehicles from Liberia to the RUF in Sierra Leone. According to the Prosecution, it also conflicted with Issa Sesay’s testimony that trucks loaded with weapons arrived from Liberia. The Witness repeated that it was impossible, as the only method of transportation over the river was by canoe. When asked whether there were bridges at borderline, Kolleh first denied but later acknowledged that he had previously stated there was a bridge at Pujahun were you could cross over to Liberia.

     v.       The combined forces of the AFL and RUF in the attack on Guinea

The Prosecution read to Kolleh parts of his witness summary in which the Defense had stated that he would talk about, amongst other topics, the combined forces of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) and the RUF in the attack on Guinea. In Court, however, the Witness strongly denied that the RUF joined forces with the AFL and Taylor’s Anti-Terrorist Unit (ATU) to attack Guinea. The Witness also denied that the RUF was under direct command of Charles Taylor, and refuted suggestions that the RUF assisted Liberia in their attack on Guinea and Lofa County. According to Kolleh, the RUF and the Liberian forces fought the same enemy, but did not join forces. In order to discredit Kolleh’s testimony, the Prosecution referred to various testimonies contradicting Kolleh’s statement. For example, Defense witness John Vincent testified that the ATU, AFL and RUF joined forces to attack Guinea. Moreover, other witnesses claimed Issa Sesay sent men to Lofa County, Bockarie sent fighters into Liberia after the 1999 Freetown attack, and Taylor ordered Issa Sesay (once Sesay became the RUF interim leader) to attack Guinea. The Witness claimed to have no knowledge of any of this.

Kolleh also refuted the suggestion that the RUF attacked Guinea because Taylor wanted to punish Guinea for assisting the LURD’s attacks in Liberia. The RUF attacked Guinea, Kolleh testified, to cast fear, because the Kamajors (a militia force loyal to the Sierra Leonean government, which was fighting against the RUF) kept attacking the RUF from Guinea.

     vi.     January 6, 1999 Freetown invasion

According to the Witness, he was in Manowa listening to both RUF and BBC radio when Freetown was attacked in January 1999. According to Kolleh, he heard over the RUF radio that Bockarie ordered Sesay to tell Rambo to stop his move into Freetown, on account of a problem between SAJ Musa and the RUF. Kolleh also testified that he heard Sam Bockarie telling Robin White, in an interview on the BBC radio, that his forces had reached Freetown. However, Kolleh said, Robin White later interviewed Gullit who said that the RUF and the SLA were fighting under separate commands. Accordingly, Kolleh testified, Sam Bockarie’s statement that his forces were in Freetown was a lie.

The Prosecution played a recording of an interview between the BBC radio and Sesay, which had been broadcast on the day of the invasion. In that interview, Sesay stated he was calling from the executive mansion and claimed that the combined AFRC and RUF forces had taken over Freetown. According to Sesay’s statements in the radio interview, Gullit was the top commander who had led the troops during the attack. Sesay’s statements to the BBC substantially contradict Kolleh’s testimony that the RUF never entered Freetown on 6 January 1999, that the RUF and the AFRC were not fighting under the same command and that SAJ Musa, and that Gullit did not accept the RUF in Freetown. The Prosecution suggested that the Witness was trying to hide the RUF’s involvement in the Freetown invasion after SAJ Musa’s death, when Gullit called Sam Bockarie for reinforcement. Kolleh responded that he had never before heard the Sesay interview broadcast. Kolleh explained why the radio statements were not plausible, contending, for instance, that Gullit would not have asked Bockarie for reinforcements, because SAJ Musa and Bockarie were not friends. When the Prosecution said that Issa Sesay and other witnesses had testified to the Court that Gullit called Bockarie for reinforcements after SAJ Musa died, the Witness responded that this was not consistent with his own recollection.

The Prosecution asked whether the Witness knew about the RUF attack on Port Loco after Gullit contacted Bockarie. Kolleh stated that he had no knowledge of that, but confirmed Prosecution suggestions that the RUF attacked Waterloo after the Freetown invasion on January 6, 1999. However, Kolleh denied being present during the attack, testifying that he was wounded in the hospital at that time.

     vii.    Sam Bockarie’s death

The Prosecution asked the Witness about his knowledge of the death of Sam Bockarie and his family. Kolleh said he heard about the killings on the radio in 2005, and that Pa Moriba, a former Vanguard, told him in 2006 that Benjamin Yeaten killed them. Reminding the Witness about his prior testimony in which he stated he did not know Benjamin Yeaten, Justice Sebutinde asked why he did not ask Pa Moriba about the man who killed one of his close associates and his family. The Witness responded this was not of his interest. Justice Sebutinde further suggested that it was strange that Kolleh had never heard about Benjamin Yeaten during the years he had lived in Liberia, since Yeaten was chief of security to Charles Taylor. The Witness restated that he had never heard about Yeaten before his conversation with Pa Moriba. When asked whether he knew who had murdered Superman, the Witness stated that Pa Moriba told him it was also Benjamin Yeaten.

     viii.  Interviews with the Special Court and the TRC

Prosecutors confronted Kolleh about the fact that his summary of evidence up to 12 May 2010 contained no mention of being interviewed in Freetown or interacting with former Chief Prosecutor, David Crane. The Prosecution further noted that the “Don Ray card,” which Kolleh claimed was handed to him by Crane, was not listed as evidence by the Defense. Kolleh responded that he did not know why it was not included in his testimonial summary, since he had told the Defense team about his experience OTP interview in Freetown, and about receiving the card from David Crane. Kolleh strongly denied Prosecution allegations that he made the story up. The Prosecution then showed the Witness a letter from Don Ray in which Ray stated that he was assigned to work in Sierra Leone under UNAMSIL, but that he never talked to Crane about the Special Court. Ray’s letter further stated that he never gave Crane the disputed card, and that he never met the Witness. However, Don Ray did acknowledge that he had distributed hundreds of these cards to civilians when he was in Kailahun. The Witness again denied receiving the card directly from Don Ray in Kailahun. 

To undermine Kolleh’s claims that OTP investigators repeatedly asked him about Taylor and diamonds, the Prosecution confronted Kolleh with the fact that the 173-page interview transcript contained no record of questions about Taylor or about diamonds. The transcript only appeared to cover questions about detained members of the RUF. According to the Prosecution, it was Kolleh himself who had initiated discussion about diamonds. The Witness denied this allegation, and suggested the Prosecution investigators did not record those parts of his testimony because his answers did not support their case.

During his entire testimony, Kolleh denied any wrongdoing and said it was fear of arrest that prompted him to give false testimony about his identity and on his recruitment into the RUF. In an attempt to discredit this testimony, the Prosecution pointed out that the Special Court had only arrested four people by the time Kolleh was interviewed. The Witness stated in response that he heard about many former-RUF members and Vanguards being arrested by the Court.

      ix.     Witness’ involvement in Charles Taylor Defense team

Throughout his testimony in Court, the Witness claimed he had spoken to the Defense team only once since arriving in The Hague—the day after his arrival. Kolleh denied the Prosecution’s suggestion that he also spoke to Taylor’s Defense team over the weekend, prior to his testimony. The Prosecution attempted to discredit this testimony by showing the Witness an email the Prosecution had received from the Defense indicating that they would talk to Kolleh over the weekend to take further testimony. The Witness seemed confused about the date, and about what the Prosecution meant by weekend, but finally admitted that he talked to the Defense twice, first after his arrival and second over the weekend before his testimony in Court. The Prosecution then asked whether Kolleh had done any work for the Defense, such as recruiting witnesses or referring witnesses to speak to the Defense. The Witness denied this. Kolleh also denied referring Vincent to the Defense, contradicting Vincent’s testimony that he was referred to the Defense by Sam Kolleh. These inconsistencies may raise credibility issues regarding Kolleh and/or other Defense witnesses.

___________________________________ 

[1] Communication by the SCSL Press Office.

[2] Rules, Rule 77(A)(iv) and Rule 77(C)(iii).

[3] Taylor, Trial Transcript, 22 October 2010, pg. 3 (lines 11 – 12).

[4] Taylor, SCSL-03-01-1118, Decision on Public with Confidential Annexes A-J and Public Annexes K-O Defense Motion Requesting an Investigation into Contempt of Court by the Office of the Prosecutor and its Investigators, 11 November 2010 [hereinafter “Decision on Contempt”], para 19, citing Taylor, SCSL-03-01-600, Confidential Decision on Prosecution Motions for Investigations into Contempt of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL-03-01-451; SCSL-03-01-452; SCSL-03-01-457; SCSL-03-01-513), 19 September 2008 [hereinafter “Appeals Chamber Contempt Decision”], paras 14 – 15.

[5] Taylor, SCSL-03-01-1118, Decision on Public with Confidential Annexes A-J and Public Annexes K-O Defense Motion Requesting an Investigation into Contempt of Court by the Office of the Prosecutor and its Investigators, 11 November 2010, para 20.

[6] Taylor, SCSL-03-01-600, Confidential Decision on Prosecution Motions for Investigation into Contempt of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL-03-01-451; SCSL-03-01-457; SCSL-03-01-513) 19 September 2008, paras 14 – 15.

[7] Decision on Contempt, para 24, citing Appeals Chamber Contempt Decision paras 14 – 15.

[8] Decision on Contempt, para 25.

[9] Id. at para 26.

[10] Id. at para 27.

[11] Id. at paras 27 – 31.

[12] Id. at para 45.

[13] Id. at para 50.

[14] Id. at para 56.

[15] Id. at para 72.

[16] Id. at para 78.

[17] Id. at para 89.

[18] Id. at para 98.

[19] Id. at paras 57, 60, 127.

[20] Id. at para 104.

[21] Id. at para 83, 117, 134.

[22] Id. at para 110 – 112, 146.

[23] Id. at para 64, 121.

[24] Id. at para 92.

[25] Id. at para 141.

[26] Id. at para 145.

[27] Id. at para 40.

[28] Id. at para 148.

[29] Taylor, SCSL-03-01-1123, Defense Motion for Reconsideration of Decision on Defense Motion Requesting an Investigation into Contempt of Court by the Office of the Prosecutor and its Investigators, 15 November 2010 [hereinafter Motion for Reconsideration], para 2.

[30] Id. at paras 3, 24 – 25.

[31] Id. at para 8, citing Prosecutor v. Ntagerura et al.,  ICTR-99-46-A, Appeals Judgment, 7 July 2006; Brima et al., SCSL-04-16-A, Appeals Judgment, 22 February 2008, para 63; Prosecutor v. Galic, IT-98-29-A, ICTY Appeals Chamber, Decision on Defense’s Request for Reconsideration, 16 July 2004, pg. 2; Prosecutor v. Mucic et al., IT-96-21Abis, ICTY Appeals Chamber, Judgment on Sentence Appeal, 8 April 2003, para 49.

[32] Motion to Reconsider, para 9, citing Taylor, SCSL-03-01-595, Decision on Public with Confidential Annexes B and E Urgent Prosecution Application for Reconsideration of Oral Decision Regarding Protective Measures for Witness TFI-215 or in the Alternative Application for Leave to Appeal Oral Decision Regarding Protective Measures for Witness TFI-2l5, dated 15 September 2008, pg. 4.

[33] Motion to Reconsider, para 14.

[34] Id. at para 16.

[35] Id. at para 19, citing Prosecutor v. Blaskic,  IT-95-14, Judgment on the Request of the Republic of Croatia for Review of the Decision of Trial Chamber II of 18 July 1997, Appeals Chamber, 29 October 1997, para  59.

[36] Motion to Reconsider, para 22.

[37] Taylor,  SCSL-03-01-1125, Prosecution Response to Public with Annex A Defense Motion for Reconsideration of Decision on Defense Motion Requesting an Investigation into Contempt of Court by the Office of the Prosecutor and its Investigators, 19 November 2010, paras 1, 12.

[38] Taylor,  SCSL-03-01-1132, Decision on Public with Annex A Defense Motion for Reconsideration of Decision on Defense Motion Requesting an Investigation into Contempt of Court by the Office of the Prosecutor and its Investigators, 3.

[39]  Id. at 4.

[40] Rules, Rule 73(B).

[41] Taylor,  SCSL-02-01-1121, Defense Motion Seeking Leave to Appeal the Decision on the Defense Motion Requesting an Investigation into Contempt of Court by the Office of the Prosecution and its Investigators, 15 November 2010, para 9(a).

[42] Id. at para 9(b).

[43] Id. at para 9(d).

[44] Id. at para 12.

[45] Id. at paras 15, 17.

[46] Id. at para 17.

[47] Id.

[48] Taylor,  SCSL-03-01-1126, Public with Confidential Annexes 2 & 3 Prosecution Response to Public Defense Motion Seeking Leave to Appeal Decision on the Defense Motion Requesting an Investigation into Contempt of Court by the Office of the Prosecutor and its Investigators, 23 November 2010 [hereinafter “Prosecution Response to Motion to Appeal”], paras 4 – 6.

[49] Id. at paras 4 – 6.

[50] Id. at paras 4 – 6.

[51] Id. at paras 4 – 6.

[52] Id. at para 12.

[53] Id. at para 10.

[54] Id. at para 15.

[55] Taylor,  SCSL-03-01-1130, Decision on Defense Motion Seeking Leave to Appeal the Decision on the Defense Motion Requesting an Investigation into Contempt of Court by the Office of the Prosecutor and its Investigators, 3 December 2010, pg. 5.

[56]  Id. at pg. 5.

[57] Taylor,  SCSL-03-01-1088, Public with Confidential Annexes A-D Defense Motion for Disclosure of Exculpatory Information Relating to DCT-032, 24 September 2010 [hereinafter “Defense Motion on DCT-032”).

[58] Taylor, Trial Transcript, 4 June 2007, pg. 276 – 280 (opening statement of the Prosecutor).

[59] Decision on Defense Motion on DCT-032, para 1.

[60] Decision on Defense Motion on DCT-032, para 6, citing Defense Motion on DCT-032, Confidential Annexes A and C.

[61] Id.

[62] Defense Motion on DCT-032, paras 8 – 12.

[63] Id. at paras 2, 23 – 26.

[64] Taylor, SCSL-03-01-1096, Prosecution Response to ‘Public with Confidential Annexes A-D Defense Motion for Disclosure of Exculpatory Information Relating to DCT-032, 1 October 2010, [hereinafter “Prosecution Response on DCT-032”], paras 3, 14.

[65] Decision on Defense Motion on DCT-032, para 20.

[66] Prosecution Response on DCT-032, paras 4 – 5.

[67] Id. at paras 6 – 12.

[68] Decision on Defense Motion on DCT-032, para 26.

[69] Id.

[70] Id. at para 28 – 32.

[71] Id. at para 33.

[72] Taylor,  SCSL-03-01-1108, Public with Confidential Annexes A-D Defense Motion for Admission of Documents and Drawing of an Adverse Inference Relating to the Alleged Death of Johnny Paul Koroma, 27 October 2010 [hereinafter “Defense Motion on Death of Koroma”], paras 5, 28.

[73] Id. at paras 9 – 11.

[74] Id. at para 23.

[75] Id. at paras 26 – 27.

[76] Taylor,  SCSL-03-01-1112, Confidential Prosecution Response to Public with Confidential Annexes A-D Defense Motion for Admission of Documents and Drawing of an Adverse Inference Relating to the Alleged Death of Johnny Paul Koroma, 2 November 20 10 [hereinafter “Prosecution Response on Death of Koroma”]; para 4.

[77] Id. at paras 14, 20 – 22.

[78] Id. at paras 5 – 8.

[79] Id. at paras 9 – 10; citing Taylor, SCSL-03-01-1099, Decision on Public with Annex A Defense Motion for Admission of Documents Pursuant to Rule 92bis – Newspaper Articles, 5 October 2010, p. 4, Prosecutor v. Sesay, Kallon and Gbao, SCSL-04-16-1125, Decision on Sesay Defense Motion and Three Sesay Defense Applications to Admit 23 Statements under Rule 92bis, 15 May 2008; Prosecutor v. Nsabimana et al., ICTR-97-29-T, Decision on Nsabimana’s Motion to Admit the Written Statement of Witness Jami in lieu of Oral Testimony Pursuant to Rule 92bis, 15 September 2006.

[80] Prosecution Response on Death of Koroma, paras 20 – 22.

[81] Taylor, SCSL-03-01-119, Decision on Public with Confidential Annexes A-D Defense Motion for Admission of Documents and Drawing of an Adverse Inference Relating to the Alleged Death of Johnny Paul Koroma, 11 November 2010, para 21.

[82] Id. at paras 25, 30, 31.

[83] Id. at paras 25, 30, 31.

[84] Id. at para 35.

[85] Taylor, SCSL-03-1-T-1122, Defense motion seeking leave to appeal the decision on the Defense motion for admission of documents and drawing of an adverse inference relating to the alleged death of Johnny Paul Koroma, 15 November 2010.

[86] Id. at para 3.

[87] Id. at paras 3,8, 9.

[88] Id. at paras 3, 9.

[89] Id. at paras 11.

[90] Id. at para 12.

[91] Id. at para 14.

[92] Id.

[93] Taylor, SCSL-03-1-1124, Prosecution Response to ‘Public with [ sic] Defense motion seeking leave to appeal the decision on the Defense motion for admission of documents and drawing of an adverse inference relating to the alleged death of Johnny Paul Koroma, 19 November 2010.

[94] Id. at paras 2, 17.

[95] Id. at para 5.

[96] Id. at para 6.

[97] Id. at para 7-8.

[98] Id. at para 11-16.

[99] Taylor, SCSL-03-01-1131, Decision on Defense motion seeking leave to appeal the decision on the Defense motion for admission of documents and drawing of an adverse inference relating to the alleged death of Johnny Paul Koroma, 3 December 2010, pg. 6.

[100] Id.

[101]  Rules, Rule 89(c); see also Prosecutor v. Norman et al.,  SCSL-04-14-AR65, Fofana – Appeal Against Decision Refusing Bail, 11 March 2005 (Appeals Chamber), paras 24, 26.

[102] Prosecutor against Charles Ghankay Taylor, Appeals Chamber II, Decision on “Prosecution notice of appeal and submissions concerning the decision regarding the tender of documents,” 6 February 2009, paras 40-41.

[103] Id. at para 41.

[104] Id.

[105] Taylor, Trial Transcript, 8 November 2010, pg. 4 (lines 4-5).

[106] Taylor, SCSL-03-01-998, Trial transcript, November 3, 2010, pg. 48655 (lines 7-8)

[107] Taylor, Trial transcript, November 1, 2010, pg. 6 (lines 1, 14-15).

[108] Taylor, Trial transcript, November 3, 2010, pg. 127-8 (lines 28-3).

101 Comments
  1. Happy New Year all,

    It looks like the old fools in africa have been hoodwinked again by their bastard masters.!!!!!!!

    We all need to remember that elections are conducted in accordance with the domestic laws of a country and in this regard we must stick to the domestic laws of a sovereign and independent country, Ivory Coast whose final court, the Constitutional Court has adjudicated on the disputed election. If the international community now come and say that this is not accepted and that the Opposition leader is the new president based on the result of the election by the Independent Electoral Commission in Cote d’ Ivoire,, it will mean that henceforth a new precedent has been set in the history of West African elections and hence forth after every election in Africa, an aggrieved person cannot have access to the constitutionally adjudicatory body of highest authority that may be charged with the responsibility of receiving and hearing and adjudicating any electoral grievances, complaints and petitions in his country. The international community has usurped this role in Africa and a new legal principle or norm has been foisted on Africa which can be veritably stated as follows …- that -… “once the Electoral Commission of any country in Africa announces the result in or of any election, to all intents and purposes and for all practical effects, – that decision or result becomes final, conclusive and irreversible’. This is the precedent that is being set here by the international community in Africa?

    I question the wisdom of the current ruling classes in africa…..i keep hoping and praying this is a generation game.

  2. I strongly believe this fools and their masters are sowing the seeds for a future big and proper war between those who wish to submit africa as a protectorate of western europe and north america vs those who believe africa has a right to self determination .

  3. I hope that these people are aware that what is happening in ivory Coast is not an international norm….it is just another special arrangement for africa by western europe and north america….won’t waste my time on Mr Moon.

  4. Wikileaks!

    WOW, WHAT A DOG GUNNA SHAME! Can’t believe Linda, Ellen and Rapp were in cohorts to get President Taylor at all cost. Again, that goes to show how vindictive Ellen and her protégés are. I have known Linda dated back to the 70s when she (Linda) serviced as a Peace Crops Volunteer to Liberia. The last time I met Linda was in 2008 at a former State Department employee residence in Lorton, Virginia a dinner was held honoring her for her newly appointment as Ambassador to Liberia by Bush.

    I always admired and respected Linda for her good judgment and level headed. I am disappointed in Linda for showing total disrespect for the rule of law; something her Country adored and respect. If it wasn’t for the rule of law the position she (Linda) enjoys today would have been far fletched. It is because of the same rule of law America can boast of the first African American President. Linda, who was raised, groomed and experienced first hand injustice, conspiracy, innocent people going to jail, and the brutality of innocent people to have written such a report without merit is beyond my comprehension.

    Furthermore, to add insult to injury, justice Sebutinde was accused of a hidden agenda and slowing down the process. Why would a diplomat write such unfounded, preposterous report while the trial is still on going? (Total Racist). Its Linda’s responsibility to report to Washington what is happening in Liberia. To the contrary, reporting to Washington disinformation and misleading the State department is troublesome.

    In my opinion, Linda wrote this false report to ascertain a victory for Bush, Ellen and Rapp at any cost. Linda, Ellen and Rapp are strong supporters of Bush and to the Republican Party. These thirsty unjust individuals are yawning to see justice overturned. “This is the biggest conspiracy of the 21st century”

    Ellen, apologizing to the Liberian people on behalf of Linda is TOTAL NONSENSE. The Obama administration needs to recall Linda and lunch a full investigation into this Linda, Ellen and Rapp Gate.

    • Mr. Taylor will be found guilty or not guilty base on the evidences that was put forward in court.

      • Ken,
        We just hope so. You can even see how the case is going now and how the western colonisers are demonising Justice Sebutinde who has been doing a very good job, just because they fear she will eventually do the right thing.

    • Big B!

      While many will be surprise at the behavior of foreign service officials, I am not! Many of these people are to report on the activities, politics and policies instituted within any nation. They want to ensure that their national interest is not compromised. So, I am not shocked. Some people believe that Taylor is a continuous threat to the region and its economic prosperity. The world we live in is very political. When someone becomes your friend, he or she does it because there is something to be achieved from it. Same is true about diplomacy, if a country establish tides with a nation, there is something to be gained from it. That relation is based either on economic and/or national security. In the case with Liberia and the region, it’s both. The logic is her communication is US (why the US you may ask, simple, it’s her country and she is loyal to that nation) longterm economic agenda will be altered by a freed Taylor. What are the economic interest? Let’s start with Liberia and then the region. Liberia discovered oil, right? Which company was first to that, a US company Chevron (Liberia’s oil discovery was some time back). In additional Americans have invested millions into Liberia (for example, Robert Johnson, Business Development Service Center).

      On Liberia’s importance to the US national security, Liberia is the most favorable country in West Africa for the US. Remember the so-called Omega Navigational Tower (there is a long story about its true function–research it) and Liberia’s offer to host Africom (US African Command), it reinforced to the US that Liberia was an important player to its national security.

      On the regional level, because of the porous nature of the border, problems in one country affects regional economics as well as Western nations. Economically, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Ghana has oil. In fact, Ghana started drilling last year. Why do you think Obama first visit to the Continent was to Ghana (oil). A destabilized region affects global oil prices. More especially, it affects the US oil market. Since 911, the US has shifted considerably to this region for their oil purchase. Why, our region is more predictable. Also on the economic front, crisis in the sub-region affects the price of many commodities including Chocolate, rubber, diamond, and soon, Uranium and Aluminum (Guinea).

      Where is I going with this? I am saying that don’t be surprise at these cables that have come out from wikileak. The Ambassador is seeking her country’s interest. We need to find a way that our diplomats understands the nuisances and work the ropes too.

      I think the cable has done considerable and in some case irreversible damage to US foreign policy because in some cases the cables spoke about the personal lives of the various countries’ leader–for example, Ghaddifi, the cable called him (and I paraphrase), erratic, eccentric and spoke of an affair with his nurse…and the Afghan leader as paranoid and takes anti-anxiety meds (which he does not take regularly). There is something there about everyone….I think Assange will be prosecuted though!

      • Bnker,

        Sir, I must admit, you have always maintained and in fact, execute with perfect synchronization that the evidence against this innocent man is just not there in other to convict him; and I respect that. However, there is a caveat that goes with your lack of strong evidence statement that you continue to advance in order to accomplish your hidden agenda of why this innocent man can not be a freed man. For example, you were one of the firsts on this website to advance the point that President Taylor absent from the sub-region has brought stability. As the result, he should be kept in the “slammer.” Again you are telling us, though there is no solid case on this man, but you think the U.S Ambassador to Liberia Linda Thomas Greenfield’s statement in the Wikileak “WICKED LEAK” could mean a “longterm economic agenda will be altered by a freed Taylor.” Sir, are you on notice for saying this? Depending on your answer, I will respond. Bnker, we at it again. Before I close. It will be preferable if the powers of this world just go ahead and “KILL” President Taylor because we will not accept all their bogus lies and deceit including this brand new one that you are advancing.

        • Bnker,

          President Taylor is not anti America. He loves America and wants America to succeed. He went to school in America. His grandfather is directly from America. When the September 11 incidence occurred, he was one of the first presidents in the world to send condolence to the people and government of America. In fact, he asked what he could do to help America against these radical extremists. he condemned the violent attacks on peaceful citizen. Notwithstanding, some of us who see this fake case differently also love America. Some of us love America so much that we put our lives on the line for this good and great country. The issue that you have raised about the “long term economic agenda could be altered by a freed Taylor” is just utterly flat wrong. There is no evidence to support such a bizarre claim. I understand your disagreement with this innocent man. And you have every right to disagree with him. But to inflict upon him the utter cruel denial of his humanity of mankind and disparaging his good character with these assertions and unfounded propositions, I find it dumbfounded and completely wrong. Lets match our rhetoric with reality. Let Ellen and other politicians fight their own war and don’t use America to fight their war against this innocent man.

        • Wow! where do I start! I have said that Taylor poses an economic risk to the region. I have not changed by stance on that. Ms. Linda’s assessment may have some merits and information at her disposal, I bet you and I are not privy to them. I and they see Taylor as a threat to regional stability. If our assertions could be right, a destabilized region could tip global economics. US interest in Liberia is purely business and national security. Jose, you really think the US interest in Liberia is because of the historic tide with the USA? You know it’s baloney. Some years ago, when the war was raging, some US senators, said the “special relationship” that the US and Liberia had no longer existed. So what’s that special relationship, you may wonder? Security. Today, the global war on terror has made our region attractive again, oil and national security. Remember, Liberia was the first and only country in Africa to offer her “territory” for the Africa Command? Jose, you lived here a sufficient amount of time to know, the US friendship is Liberia is based on strategic interest. If not, why do you think they pressured this administration to ensure Taylor is in custody? Why are they pressing for asset freezing…the reduce that they considered a perceived threat by Taylor and his henchmen.

          You are right, I have said Taylor belong behind bars–and I have also said he doesn’t belong in jail for the crimes for which he is accused in SL, because the evidences do not point in that direction. I don’t support any innocent person being placed behind bars that’s why I am on record as supporting a war crimes court for Liberia to discourage all those who perpetrated evil against the Liberian people to be held responsible… and I mean everyone. No one should be above reprove.

          Further, I am also documented in these posts as saying that Taylor will be found guilty because the trial is political. It’s apparent that the Western nations have limited their interference on the outcome of the trial. I guess they understand that the prosecution performance was subpar. Any other outcome based on the Ms Hollis’ team may be lead the world to question the judicial tolerance of these nations. That’s why the US is allegedly trying other means to stick something on him.

          Since we are on the US, I have not said that Taylor is against the US. Even if he was, his physical infliction on the US may be minimal but his economic influence could be hugh.

          Btw, I am impressed about your knowledge and history of the Taylor family–it all seem correct. (Oh, on you serving the US, thank you because you’ve contributed to national security).

          I hope I answered all your concerns

  5. 2010 IN REVIEW.

    Reply On October 8, 2010 at 10:05 pm, Big B said: Thanks Taegin for the clarification.

    My fellow Comrades,

    Based on this so-called majority decision by the Trial Chamber to dismissed the “MOTION FOR ADMISSION OF DOCUMENT PURSUANT TO RULE 92BIAS-NEWSPAPER ARTICLE” judge Sebutinde’s descending reminds me of the Biblical story in the New Testament.

    Judge Sebutinde is playing the role of Pontius Pilate. In Matthew, Pilate washes his hands of Jesus and reluctantly sends Jesus to his death. Mark, Pilate depicting Jesus as innocent of plotting against Rome, portrays Pilate as extremely reluctant to execute Jesus, blaming the Jewish priestly hierarchy for his death.

    The verdict will be the same as the dissent in the “MOTION FOR ADMISSION OF DOCUMENT PURSUANT TO RULE 92BIAS NEWSPAPER ARTICLE” The justice from the Samoa (Lussick) and the justice from the Ireland Doherty, will find President Taylor guilty, while justice Sebutinde will find President Taylor not guilty, but reluctantly sentence President Taylor based on this so-called majority rule.

    Judge Luissick and Doherty just don’t get it. They are not Africans, and have no knowledge of past and present injustice the white man has inflicted upon Africans. In my opinion with caution, I wouldn’t hesitate to categorized Justice Lussick and Doherty as part of the oppressor.

    • Big B,
      How do you know that Judge Lussick and Doherty will find Mr. Taylor guilty? Those two judges have heard the same evidences as Judges Sebutinde. On the other hand, or you saying that because Lussick and Doherty are white they will vote guilty and because Sebutinde is black, she will vote not guilty. The motions of the defense that was denied, do not affect the evidences that were presented before the defense filed those motions. From what I read from these leaks is the feeling is that Mr. Taylor will be set free for lack of evidences not because of white vs. black or African vs. Europeans.

      • Ken,

        Your comment is true in the nature but in reality all things are not equal. The same way there are dual justice system, one for the rich, and one for the poor, is the same way RACE has its place in this trial. That’s the reality. I agreed that all trials should be based on the merit. Unfortunately, this trial is not.

        Ken, if you revisit the “MOTION FOR ADMISSION OF DOCUMENT PURSUANT TO RULE 92BIAS Justice Sebutinde wrote a separate thoughtful descending agreeing with the defense allowing said motion admissible. However, because of the majority rule of the court Justice Sebutinde’s descending was inadmissible. In my opinion, the “MOTION FOR ADMISSION… had more weight than the Naomi Campbell’s fiasco but said motion was admissible. Why? Because it was the prosecution motion and they (white folks) thought by bringing in Naomi was going to be a slam dunk!

        Conversely, if this trial wasn’t about race why was it that Justice Sebutinde was singled out as the only Judge with a hidden agenda and slowing down the process in the Wikileaks. After all, as Justice Sebutinde rightfully said, decision by the court is sustained by a majority. Will it make it any different if Justice Sebutinde fined President Taylor NOT GUILTY? Those white folks rushed to judgment in making an arrest and prosecuting this trial, now they also want to rush for a quick guilty verdict.

        The only thing Justice Sebutinde is doing that is pissing them off is she (Sebutinde) is calling it right down the middle, exposing their bully behaviors. Rev. Al Sharpton stated “demonstrations doesn’t solve the problem, it exposes the problem. Ken “wake up and smell the coffee”.

    • Bnker,

      Lets assume that these unfounded propositions and idealistic statements such as “I have said that Taylor poses an economic risk to the region. I have not changed by stance on that.” Lets also assume that statement such as “Ms. Linda’s assessment may have some merits and information at her disposal” is true, is it morally right to falsely accused this innocent man of things he did not do and to put him behind bars because of what you and the American Ambassador think of him? Will it be fair if that same standard of measurement is applicable to you? Will you support that your life be ended because I think you are an economic risk? Unbelievable. Do unto others as you would expect them to do unto you. Remember the “golden rule.” However, will you and the ambassador apologize to the people of both Liberia and Sierra Leone about your fake justice in their name? UNBELIEVABLE

      • Jose,
        Sorry, I am just getting to this….I am not justifying Taylor going to jail for crimes in SL. I like the “golden rule” point, let’s see….did Taylor give many the chance to exonerate themselves? NO! Why were there no court appearance but summon execution for Jackson Doe, Steven Yekeson, Sam Dokie and many others? Now, so what would you say about the Golden Rule? UNBELIEVABLE!

  6. All,

    Please review the link below. It talks about the flow of Liberian Mercenaries across the border to Ivory Coast to fight. It was very revealing for me and if nothing else it shows the world how disenfranchised and unemployed young men will find their way across any border and they dont have to be sent by Charles Taylor or Ellen Sirleaf.

    Unfortunately the west tries to boil very complex problems down to sound bites and scape goats. The situation in Ivory Coast has exposed the fragility of the entire region and we can no longer pretend it’s the fault of one individual.

    http://runningafrica.com/news_03012011_liberian_mercenaries.html

    • Mas,

      Thanks a lot for posting this website. I find it fascinating and with peculiar interest. The question is, who’s sending these Liberian former fighters there? Is it this innocent man who is sitting in the white man’s jail cell in the Hague? Who is destabilizing the sub-region? Is it President Taylor who is in the custody of the powers of this world? FAKE CASE.

  7. Big B,
    Maybe Ellen has given Linda some pieces of diamonds. Its now turning her head…..

    • Noko 5,

      Happy New year!

      You never know, I am not ruling nothing in or nothinh out. “Ellen is a snake in the grass”. She knows how to camouflage herself with her surroundings.

      • Big B

        President Ellen is making moves for the best interest of Liberia. A president’s sworn duty is to protect the country from all foreign and domestic threats. There is no doubt that Mr. Taylor is a threat to the peace and stability of Liberia. When up holding your sworn duty and protecting your county, I’m sure you are aware of the “acceptable necessary gray area”. It may not be widely accepted by the general pubic but like a child, they don’t understand the bigger picture of parenting, which is why we need governance. War and conflicts are the result of a government’s inability to predict and resolve potential threats peacefully. You are entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts, so the idea of “Ellen is a snake in the grass” is an emotional outburst disguise as an opinion. If moves made to protect the country you were sworn to protect or predicting and creating potential peacefully resolution are your definition of “snake in the grass”, how do you define “governance”?

        • Al Solo-Nyonteh,

          Please explain to the world how is President Taylor a threat to the peace and stability to Liberia and not Ellen his boss and others? Also explain how is Ellen protecting the country from foreign and domestic threats when the entire country security is not in her hands, but instead, in the hands of about 15,000.00 U.N. troops on the grounds in Liberia. Did President Taylor take the same oath that you talked about Ellen taking in order to protect and defend the country from both foreign and domestic enemies? Boss, you can try to defend Ellen, but it is difficult to separate her from the trouble in Liberia. Look Solo, I have been saying this for the past 5 years and I will say it again. There are two fundamental reasons why Liberia has not yet re-emerged into another civil war. 1: the trouble makers are now in power and they know who they are. 2: the presence of the approximately 15,000.00 U.N. troops on the grounds. Make no mistake about this. If you truly believe that it is Ellen that is protecting and defending Liberia, than advocate for the departure of the U.N. troops on the ground and let Black Beret Rebel Leader Brownie Samuka take charge and carryout the plan of the day entirely.

        • Al-Solo,

          “Ellen is a snake in the grass” may sound as an “emotional outburst” but it’s not. Let me give you my definition of snake in the grass and give you some examples of the behaviors of a snake in the grass and pray tell me if the definition and examples doesn’t categorically fit Ellen’s characteristics.

          Snake in the grass: – a deceitful or treacherous person. A person who does harm to others. Someone who betrays you even though you have trusted them.

          For example, Ellen lied through her teeth that she (Ellen) did not asked President Obasanjo for President Taylor to be turned over to the “Devils”. That’s was a lie. Al, you be the judge, does this fit the definition of a “snake in the grass”?

          Ellen, supported President Taylor in his 1980 revolution. As the matter of fact, Ellen was the Chief Financial Officer of the NPLF. At the end see what she did to President Taylor. Al, you be the judge, does this fit the definition of a “snake in the grass”?

          Ellen, jailed G. Bryant for economy crime, while her government is the most corrupt government probably in the World. Liberia tops Nigeria. Al, you be the judge does this fit the definition of a “snake in the grass”?

          It was Ellen’s recommendation to Linda Greenfield that may her (Linda) to write that falsified report to Washington. Wilkileaks. At Ellen’s last 2010 Press meeting she had the audacity to apology to the Liberian people on behalf of Linda. Sometimes, I wonder if this woman (Ellen) thinks all Liberians are fools. Al, you be the judge, does this fit the definition of a “snake in the grass”?

          Al, please don’t get me started. If anyone is dangerous for Liberia and the region is Ellen. She aided and abetted the execution of Tolbert, Kounkpah-sp, Doe, the fall of Taylor, Bryant and Blah.

          Al, give me a break!

        • Big B

          I heard your definition of snake in the grass. I have to admit that you are knowledgeable on the definition but your compare and contrast of President Ellen’s characteristic to a snake in the grass were off and reflected more towards your typical politician’s characteristic. I don’t know were you received your information on the corruption in Liberia, may be you can relay your source. My source (TI Corruption Perceptions Index the link is listed below) also shows that corruption in Liberia is high but it also shows a consecutive drop in corruption over the past 4 years, in addition Nigeria ranked higher than Liberia on the corruption scale alone with Zambia, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Guinea and Egypt to name a few. A couple of months ago the Liberian government played a major role in bringing down an international drug smuggling ring (which I thought was another landmark for President Ellen anti-corruption campaign). Every coin have two sides so we can’t attack a persons character if we are using the “toss the coin method”, this method only yields one result every time. In order to get a clear picture on a persons character, we must evaluate both sides of the coin in order to see what both side are made of. Your “toss the coin method” approach of attacking President Ellen sound like your typical politician’s rhetoric. Big B are you launching a campaign to run against President Ellen in the upcoming election.

          http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi

        • Jose Rodriguez

          Besides the fact of a slow recovery of the Liberian economy, high rate of unemployment and the delayed process of redevelopment in Liberia, I’m convinced that the masses are satisfied with the current status of how the government is operating because President Ellen is not ruling by the sword. A true democracy will always have its domestic issues, which opens the door for a new administration to seek office. The rebel boys respect the UN forces only if they mind their own business and stay out of their way. The question I have for you is, why did the UN only commit to helping Liberia if President Taylor stepped down?

          If you didn’t know by now most women have a special ability to keep men and children satisfied enough, in order to establish a home. Like it or hate but you have to give President Ellen partial credit for reestablishing and holding Liberia together. We will never agree about the moves President Ellen takes to protect Liberia from threats such as rebel activity, drugs, poverty and corruption. So why should I try explaining my point of view.

          Charles Taylor took the same oath but the blood never dried off the sword he used to restore democracy, then he used the same sword to protect his administration from all threats.

  8. Big B,
    You got it bro. Wish you many happy returns too….

    • Al-Solo Nyonteh,

      Before I rip the false veil of the immaculate “Ellen Regime”, I will like to make it known to members of the coalition against this innocent man and this fake case on this website that this is not a promise broken.

      Grebo and other supporters of true justice who probably support Ellen and yet denounce this fake case, I am constraint to respond to this disjointed post of Al Slo Nyonteh. Please don’t see it as a break of promise against Ellen.

      Al-Solo Nyonteh,

      The facts that you have masterfully enumerated the inherently flaw of incompetence of this regime, you have not only undercut your false praise for Ellen, but also reinforce what we have all along being saying about this happy trigger warmonger and rebel grandma, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. One another note, you intentionally refused to answer those brilliant questions that were asked. That’s fine. But you can not continue to conveniently ignore the critical question and policies of this regime and at the same defending it. However, I will answer your question. This was your question. “The question I have for you is, why did the UN only commit to helping Liberia if President Taylor stepped down?” To begin with, your question is based on false premise and reality belies that false premise. It was under the dynamic and illustrious leadership of President Taylor, the U.N. was deployed in Liberia. If you will consider the U.N. coming to Liberia as a help to the country, than Mr. Taylor again as a man of peace, deserves all credits. Besides, there were auxiliaries of the U.N. such as UNDP, UNICEF, WFP, and ect operating in Liberia during President Taylor administration. More importantly, has the U.N. given this corrupt Ellen regime funds? And if so, under what condition? Do they have GEMAP in Liberia monitoring and having oversight responsibility of funds and reporting back to their bosses? Solo, where did that come from, when you talked about “most women have a special ability to keep men and children satisfied enough, in order to establish a home”? Where is the connection to what we are talking about? How do you join this statement to what we are talking about? Boss, we are talking about the ability to lead a nation and its people. Why are you invoking gender femininity? Who cares if a good or bad leader is a female/male? We are more concerned about good leadership quality and not interested in female/male gender. FAKE CASE!!

      • Al-Solo Nyonteh,

        One of the reasons, in fact the main reason the U.N. is supporting this trigger happy warmonger, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is because she is their puppet and is usable. Besides, they want to steal our resources and with Ellen being their prote’g’e, the chance is just big for them.

        • Well said Rodriguez,The UN is the tool used these days to promote the west foreing policy,and this policy is to bring countries with weak minded people under the protection of North America and Western Europe(Unless we all have a very bad memory;we must all know who is gonna benefit)/This lady Johnson and few more leaders in west africa with their lack of foresight seemed to have signed up to help the west re-colonialised Liberia and the rest of west Africa……an English man ones said to me the way we are going to re-colonialise africa again is through west africa as in the past……..The west Africans are the ones who are much prone to sell their sisters and brothers.

          Look at the history.

    • Al-Solo,

      Are you the new spin doctor for Ellen? I have been away from Liberia less than a month, it’s not true “the masses are satisfied with the current status of how the government is operating” I disagree. It’s is just not true. However, it’s your opinion. According to your comment “the fact of a slow recovery of the Liberian economy, high rate of unemployment and the delay process of redevelopment in Liberia” … How in the World will the masses be satisfied under these circumstances? For God’s sake, please don’t scared me like that.

      As a matter of fact, I spoke with few Liberians while in Liberia to compare and contrast the Taylor government vs. the Ellen, the overwhelming response people preferred the Taylor government better then the Johnson government. People believed they had money to meet their basic needs despite the unjust war sponsored by the west.

      It can be argue crime rate is it its highest peak. The (7) Index crime, Murder, Rape, Robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and theft are higher now then any prior administration. I am not referring to murder on the battle front.

      In short, this Ellen lead government has failed the Liberian people. Come election, if the west makes any attempted to rig the election in favor Ellen, what you see happening in The Ivory Coast will be nothing compared to what will happen in Liberia. That’s my prediction for 2011

      • Big B,

        In addition, the election commissioner, James Fromoyan has to be removed because he is not as independent like the way this trigger happy warmonger and rebel grandma, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf wants us to believe. He is her long time supporter and stooge. He can not remain as election commissioner in Liberia. We don’t want to be like the Ivory Coast having two newly elected presidents. This year, Ellen will be fired for good. Goodbye rebel grandma 2011!!!

        • Al-Solo Nyonteh,

          what is your take on the inability of the Ellen regime in providing basic social services to our people, such as current and pipe borne water? Why is unemployment is as high as about 90%? Why is the crime rate so high in Liberia? Why salary payment is not regular and ect? Remember there is no war, her corrupt regime is being recognized by the International Community. She and her corrupt officials travel when ever they want with no travel ban; yet, she asking for more unnecessary time.

          Solo, leave this Ellen business on this site. Promote and advocate this fake case, if that what you want.

          • Jose Rodriguez

            Rome was not build in one day. The world almost suffered a major collapse of its financial sector. The well-established major power of the world (US) is currently suffering from an all times high unemployment rate. I’m giving President Ellen praise for her progress, visions and strategies. I’m amazed with her visions for Liberia like the Poverty Reduction Strategy and Liberia RISING 2030 while you are infatuated with her shady history. So I would have to agree with you on leaving President Ellen alone and focus on Mr. Taylor trial.

            Link to Poverty Reduction Strategy
            http://www.emansion.gov.lr/doc/Final%20PRS.pdf

          • Al-Solo Nyonteh,

            Is the Poverty Reduction Strategy a U.N. plan, or an Ellen plan? Is Liberia the first country that ever had a poverty reduction strategy mandated by the U.N.? Solo, as brother Jose suggested, stay on this fake trial if you want to get tjhis inocent man the back door way at all cost because of his popularity and forget about Ellen promotion. I believe Jose Rodriguez and what the Liberia people have been saying that Ellen is a trigger happy warmonger and rebel grandma.

          • King Gray

            I don’t know how you jumped on the “attack band wagon” but you need to coordinate with the guys on the wagon. They decided it would be best to focus on the “fake trial” and leave that President Ellen business alone. I agreed, so please do not try to brake our little treaty with your “she has a shady past” rhetoric.

          • King,

            The Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) is not a UN project. It’s rather a part parcel of the World Bank, IMF and International debt holders (Liberia’s owes these countries) requirement for the “Completion Point” (ie the debt elimination). They (partners) require that framework be in place (and they grade the performance). Upon meeting the threshold, our debts were waived. These programs are given to countries that are considered weak and just cannot meet its debt obligations. Liberia’s GDP is not sufficiently stimulative to pay back those debts. The PRS just suitably worked hand-in-hand with the Millennium Challenge Goal (MCG)–reducing poverty, and sickness, and improving educational standard by 50% by 2015. Because of our political owes, Liberia as well as many other nations in sub-Saharan Africa will not meet this!

            This is just FYI

          • 1-13-2011
            Since when is mediocracy an acceptable framework for poverty reduction? The PRS starts out conceding that most of the goals are not likely to be achieved. Why not have a realistic and viable PRS for Liberia?
            KISS-PRS:
            1. Literacy rates comparable to developed countries
            2. The ability to transition from one administration to the next with our civil conflict
            3. The reintegration of Liberians in the disapora
            4. Refrain from selling natural resources cheaply
            5. Zero internal!!! tolerance for corruption
            6. The full implementation of the TRC reccomendations
            All are achievable!!
            p&b

          • Al-Solo Nyonteh,

            I heard this phrase before. “Rome was not built in one day’s time.” That is no excuse for Ellen not providing basic social services for our people in Liberia, especially after being in office for about six(6) years. However, the same standard of measurement you guys including the Ellen regime held President Taylor to, is the same standard of measurement that others are holding Ellen to and with higher standard of accountability. Remember now, President Taylor was faced with two wars from both LURD and MODEL rebel at the same time, sanction was imposed on his government and our people, travel ban of government officials, embargo on the entire country, and etc. But yet, Taylor feet was held to the fire for not providing these basic social services such as running water, electricity, regular salary payment, and etc by the likes of Ellen. Now Ellen does not not have any of these constrains and yet she can not perform up to standard. It is troubling. More importantly, her government is being recognized by the entire world. She is not fighting two wars. No sanction or embargo. In fact, she travels to the U.S. whenever she feels like; and at times, being the United States President guess. She still can not perform. I will be fair to her and I will have some seizure of conscience. It is difficult to lead, than to oppose. It is difficult to build than to destroy. It may take Liberia up to undisrupted 50 years of genuine peace to get back to a prewar status. That’s why it is essentially important to reconcile this country.
            Anyways Solo, that excuse of Rome was not built in one day’s time may or may not work depending on the extenuating circumstances. FAKE CASE!!!!!!!!!!

        • Jose,
          Thanks for a mature ending in your thread!

      • Big B!

        You made so much sense until the end…then you spewed “crap”! What do you mean if the West does something with the Liberian elections, things will be worse than the Ivory Coast. Man, people have to talk or write responsibly. You laid your argument well, but frankly the end was disheartening and erased any gains or rationale in your discussion….you were impressive until the end…..
        “Come election, if the west makes any attempted to rig the election in favor Ellen, what you see happening in The Ivory Coast will be nothing compared to what will happen in Liberia. That’s my prediction for 2011″

        Sad, bro sad!

        • bnker,

          Why your Ellen folks find it difficult to quote WE the PEOPLE! Let me copy and paste what I said about Liberia election. Please read it critically.

          In short, this Ellen lead government has failed the Liberian people. Come election, if the west makes any attempted to rig the election in favor Ellen, what you see happening in The Ivory Coast will be nothing compared to what will happen in Liberia. That’s my prediction for 2011.

          Am I not entitled to make a prediction? Prediction is not fact; it’s like playing Russian roulette. If you are for a free and fair election why should it offend you? Alright, to make you happy I withdraw my prediction.

          My new prediction for 2011 is: If the Liberian people don’t elect Ellen the west will ignore the will of the PEOPLE and make Ellen their president. Liberians will dance in the streets congratulating the west. KUMBAYA!

          • Big B!

            I have no problem that you stating your “opinion”…I don’t hide it, I support many of the President’s policies, but if she wins, she wins….and if the Liberian people say that’s it’s time to throw in the towel and retire, so be it. I would expect her to exit honorably. And if she doesn’t, I will be one of those who will be “hollaring” loud and clear that she needs to respect the will of the people. From your statement you are almost saying that if Ellen wins then there was western influence and it was unfair. Why do we continue to give the West this superior footing over us? Don’t you think Liberians are capable of making rationale decisions about our Presidential candidates? Again, I will say, Liberia is greater than Ellen and all the politicians in Liberia combined, because Liberia is the 3.4 million people, not one or a few people. What you fail to see or maybe you are near sighted, chaos in Liberia is disastrous for many. I am not sure where you reside, or if you are in the US like me and your immediate family is out or can get out easily, then good for you and me! But, there are many who won’t have that opportunity.

            We could go back and forth about your opinions, but I know my people (Liberians). We would prefer to be right about our predictions even if it means a complete elimination of Liberian off the face of the earth….Liberia will not end up like Ivory Coast! Sorry if I burst your bubble or bruised your psychic ego, but you are ABSOLUTELY WRONG BRO!

            All we need is to have a peaceful elections and that international monitors. This will show that Liberians are mature and have the propensity to conduct ourselves civilly; rather than the heart eating cannibals that are depicted on youtube and other international news organization! Predict all you wish, but Liberia and the spirit of my people is greater than any soothsaying or childish, irresponsible and immature prediction. Big B, think wisely, I know you are capable, I have seen your threads, you have written some sensible mature and rational posting. I have always respected your writings for it thoughtfulness and thorough evaluation, but this assessment and parallels with the IC and Liberia is sad! I would say sickening…I am disappointed in your post, really, I am…

            Anyhow, I would prefer being wrong about a negative thing for Liberia and pray that I am right about positive predictions…but then again, that’s just me!

          • My fellow Comrades,

            Please let us stay focus on the OBJECTIVE. Charlestaylortrial.org is not a social Web Site. Lets leave the friendships and acquaintances to Face Book. We may respectfully disagree with these “HATERS“, but to go to bed with them is another thing. About six month ago these HATERS were playing hardball. Now “HATERS” have come to realize this trial is fake, they are trying to be nice. Many of them have quit.

            We shouldn’t be fool. These guys are “snakes in the grass”

            BE WARE!

          • Big B,

            As one who is on the same side as you when it comes to this trial, I have to respectfully disagree with this post of yours.

            At the end of day we all may have different opinions, but we are Liberians first. Personally, i’m happy that a (in your words) “Hater” can see reason to change their minds as a result of the flimsy evidence presented. It speaks alot to their character and they should be commended.

            No matter the outcome of this, neither you nor i or any of the anonymous bloggers on this site may ever meet in person and behind each screen name is a human who has emotions and was in some way affected by the carnage in our region. I hope that we can all use our coming together on this blog as a forum now to move beyond our differences and advance solutions to our sub-region’s progress now that this charade of a trial is drawing to it’s conclusion.

          • Mas,

            I think you and I are saying the something. We should respectfully disagree but we shouldn’t forget our objective. We should continue to have the same momentum we had in the beginning to the end.

            I think we are beginning to deviate from the objective.

            We can be friendly, but firm.

            Sorry, if I came across differently.

          • Greetings from jfallahmenjor to all the rubbish-speakers and admirerers. I took leave of absence to go on vacation with my wife. Taylor’s trial is not at all important to me than my leisure time. Whether taylor lives or dies makes no difference to jfallahmenjor! I did not want to spoil my vacation over a con artist, nor coordinators. Talk all you want for now as I make plans for academic battle with words when both sides present their arguements to the court! that is how fallah gets even!

          • Wow! Amen!

          • Big B

            “Hater” is a term widely used amongst the younger generation. It sound stranger coming from one of my elders. It can be visually compared to an old man wearing his pants below his waist. I understand people want to feel “cool” but for the sake of the younger generation, you must sat the example. I’m petty sure there are medication that will make you feel “cool”. You don’t have to manipulate the life style of the younger generation. Just ask your doctor “what will it take to feel young and cool again”.

            I would have felt offended by the way you suggest that individual are “snake in the grass” but from our past interactions, I have come to realize that you have a special ability to make an apple look like an orange, to prove your point.

          • Big B

            Unlike you I did not come into this trial with my mind made up. Never been a follower so it’s hard for me to hear one side of the story. To be honest I found it very disrespectful to arrest a former president without any strong physical evidence. On the other hand the ample prosecution witness that testified about Liberians soldiers in the SL war, seeing or interacting with Mr. Taylor and receiving ammunition sent via Liberia can not be ignored. I also believe that the defense presented a good case. I even believed that Mr. Taylor effort/relationship with the RUF were for peaceful purposes. On the record I believe Mr. Taylor defense stands a good chance. But off the record Sesay admitted that he was demoted and sent to the front line after losing diamond Sam Bockarie’s gave him to deliver to Mr. Taylor. That with other discrepancy convinced me that Mr. Taylor hands were not as clean as he said they were and maybe the prosecution case holds water.

          • Al-Solo,

            I think your assessment is fair as to whether President Taylor will be guilty/not guilty. However, you are right though I did come into this trial with a preconceived mind. My mind was made up from the get go that the charges against President Taylor were fraudulent.

            The alleged charges were no way in the interest of the Sierra Leone people; rather, it was a lesson to teach a little “black boy” who the hell he thinks he is. It backfired.

          • Al-Solo Nyonteh,

            Just a second. Did I really hear you saying, what I thought I heard you saying, “Sesay admitted that he was demoted and sent to the front line after losing diamond Sam Bockarie’s gave him to deliver to Mr. Taylor? JE-SUS CH-RIST. GOD LORD, ALMIGHTY, WHICH WAY SHOULD WE TURN? Where and when in the transcript Issa Sesay ever said what you just said? Maybe I must have missed that part. Before I leave Solo, what do you mean, when you say “off the record Sesay admitted that he was demoted and sent to the front line after losing diamond Sam Bockarie’s gave him to deliver to Mr. Taylor”?

          • Jose, General Fix it,

            Thanks for pointing out another fortune story in the psyche’s cookie. I see why Ellen is doing so poorly. She must be taking advice from Al-Solo her psyche.

            This guy is far off base, it’s not funny.

          • Jose Rodriguez and Sam

            Jose your ears are not deceiving you. See (link below) RUF Trial Chamber Judgment page 266 line 828 and foot note 1620. Although you can’t access Mr. Sesay testimony on May, 10 2007 the judges found it “factual fact” that Bockarie sent Sesay to Taylor in Monrovia with diamonds to purchase ammunition for the RUF. Maybe your “Liberian CNN” source overlooked this information. So I’m advising you to coordinate with the group and revise the “fake trial slogan”.

            http://www.sc-sl.org/CASES/ProsecutorvsSesayKallonandGbaoRUFCase/TrialChamberJudgment/tabid/215/Default.aspx

            Click on:
            Trial Chamber Judgment
            Searchable Version

          • Al-Solo, jfallahmenjor salutes you for standing tough and tall to these taylor bullies! They fail to admit the obvious and continue to be deceived by taylor’s ghost shadow even to this day! Wow, maybe these guys will find similar employment in the Ivory Coast as rumours has it that some ex-fighters, who managed to dupe the amesty-international, into granting them Refugee status to have a second chance to live, apparantly, could not function well in society of rules and laws, and therefore, are planning to go fight in the Ivory Coast for”quick money!” I shall go in details Al-Solo, if they attempt to come at me..! Besides, The State Department needs to watch those Refugees, living in the United States, for their movements as the crisis in the Ivory Coast unfolds! “A hint to a wise, is sufficient.”

          • jfallahmenjor

            When you disagree with these guys they come hard and strong. Fortunately, I do not scare nor wound from verbal abuse and I refuse to let some one fabricate the truth to their favor. It’s one truth and it can’t be fabricated or manipulated. Mr. Taylor is on trial for one simple reason, the Special Courts of SL is attempting to find the truth about his involvement in SL (Maybe or maybe not contributor/supporter are contributing/supporting for other purposes but that is beyond the stated fact). Some time the truth hurts, so I don’t blame these guys for the emotional outburst due to the pain of digesting the truth. You got to love their “slogans” (Not Guilty, Free this innocent man, Fake Trial), they would make great signs to protest outside the Hague.

            Thank you for reveal the tactical strategy of the “attack band wagon” and it’s “recruits”, they are bullies. Your recognition is great appreciated.

          • Jose and Big B

            Informed is not a form of embarrassment. There is no way you read the judgement because if you did, you would have read in footnote 1620 that Mr. Sesay’s May 10 2007 testimony were in closed session. That is why I based it on the judge’s findings. Let me inform you on the exact judgement/findings on Mr. Sesay’s trial.

            The judges found that:
            “828. In May 1998, Bockarie promoted Sesay to Colonel and appointed him BFC. At about this time, Bockarie sent Sesay to Taylor in Monrovia with a package of diamonds to purchase ammunition for the RUF.(Footnote 1620) However, upon Sesay’s return to Buedu, he reported that he had mislaid the package and lost all the diamonds.(Footnote 1621) Bockarie stripped him of his assignment as BFC and sent him to Pendembu to coordinate the front line operations there.(Footnote 1622)” Big B this is a quote from page 266 lines 828 from the link I provided.

            The footnote (1620, 1621, 1622) explains how the information was obtained. Therefore the first sentence footnote (1620) states the information came from:

            “Sesay testified that the diamonds included one 15 carat diamond and a number of smaller diamonds of one carat or less: Transcript of 10 May 2007, Issa Sesay, pp. 42-44 (CS). See also Exhibit 277, Situation Report of Blackguard Commander to Leader, date unknown, p. 9676.” Big B this is a quote is from page 266 line 828 footnote 1620 from the link I provided.

            Witness TFI-045 confirmed that Mr. Sesay’s demotion were due to him losing diamonds in Liberia (see RUF trial transcript of 24 November 2005 page 61 lines 17-28). Jose, my original post said the off the record findings “convinced me that Mr. Taylor hands were not as clean as he said they were and maybe the prosecution case holds water.” I never mentioned anything about it’s relevancy to the decision making process in Mr. Taylor trial. I stated it played a role in my personal decision making process.

            RUF trial transcript:
            http://www.sc-sl.org/CASES/ProsecutorvsSesayKallonandGbaoRUFCase/RUFTranscripts/tabid/156/Default.aspx

          • Al-Solo Nyonteh,

            I knew it wouldn’t take too long before you return to your roots of they say, she say, he say, third party say. You said “Issa Sesay admitted that he was demoted and sent to the front line after losing diamond Sam Bockarie’s gave him to deliver to Mr. Taylor”. When squeezed to show proof of Mr. Sesay’s statement, you said you can’t access Mr. Sesay testimony, it was a closed section, is off the record, and etc. Do you have any idea when someone says he admitted? Admit means, he accepted. He acknowledged something being true. He said it himself.

            Solo, the bottom line is he didn’t admit to what you think he must have admitted to. It was the same they witness or third party witness who may have said this and probably accepted by the judges. However, in the Taylor trial where it matter most, Sesay testified in open session and he didn’t say what you say he said. Lastly, you can believe all you want to believe in your “decision making process.” That’s your personal problem. We can care less. We are dealing with solid concrete facts here and not believe or disbelieve. Believe all you want brother. Solo, did you factor in the 5 billion dollars or the Naomi Campbell relationship too? FAKE CASE.

          • Al-Solo,

            There you go again with your psyche analogy. Who thought you that “Hater” is a term “used amongst the younger generation”? I don’t like to stereotype, but would I be wrong to said that you as a youngster don’t listen, disrespectful and on drugs? I am not sure what you are smoking but need to listen more and write less.

          • Yea Big B,
            many of them have quit people like Honorable J Fallah Menjor and Ms Teage and co.

          • And I say this, Big B; come 2011 elections in Liberia, anyone who attempts to disrail Democracy, will bear the full weight of the Law! Ellen needs to handle Liberia in the way Liberians understand best. I agree with you Big B, there is a saying in Liberia that”a tender mercy to a heathen is cruelty.” Why have we not learned that disagreeing with one another does not mean everthing else must be destroyed? Your prediction seems like a threat that once things don’t go the way of opposition, hell will break loose! Ellen is going to have to result in holding these type of thinking and the thinkers with comtempt! I hope Big B and his likes stay out of politics in Liberia because those of us living outside of Liberia, need not start troubles again, because we are opportunists, it seems to me. Go and live in Liberia and start your loose talks, Big B. I challenge you ten times!

      • Big B

        Alot of Liberians voted for President Taylor because they wanted to keep the peace. Peace is the main thing that keeps Liberians satisfied. Unhappy with the rate of progress an administration is taking on domestic issues is a totally different ball game, so you must have totally misunderstood me. Satisfied with the government/democracy and unhappy with domestic issues are “greens of a different brand”. Please don’t make them look as if the are the same.

        I have to agree with you crime rates are high. But this is a direct result of people being unhappy with the slow recovery of the economy and high rates of unemployment. Corruption is down but crime is up, once again these are “greens of a different brand”.

        Your comment about US rigging the election in favor Ellen, is insane (and I thought your confessing stocking Fallah Menjor was insane). China have way more to lose than the US and it’s unlikely China would stoop that low to rig an election. The main interest of the US to Liberia is diplomacy and the US can get that from almost all the presidential candidates. Stick with the “group’s slogan” and please do not deviate off course. If you would have said one of the reason why the US don’t want Mr. Taylor freed, is because they knows that diplomacy is unachievable through a Taylor administration. I would commended you on a logical statement.

        • Al-Solo,

          By now you should know Big B, I write from the heart. If you are going to quote me, do so. But taking my thought out of context is unacceptable. I never said that the US rigging the election in favor Ellen. I used the word the west. I have no FEAR, if I wanted to use the word US, I would have.

          Furthermore, I never said that I was stocking fallah. Why would I waste thousand of dollars to stock anybody? That’s the reason I didn’t response to your TOTAL NONSENSE question. “Big B Are you serious? Are you really stocking jfallahmenjor? What kind of man looks his friend in the eyes and not introduces himself? I respect you Big B but that behavior you are publicly talking about is deeply troubling”.

          Let us be responsible in our comments!

          • Big B

            NONSENSE is the absents of a logical explanation and you said, “The good thing is I know who you are. I passed by you many days on Broad Street”. I don’t believe in coincidences and you said, “I passed by you many days” (maybe if you said one day I would have given you the benefit of doubt). The fact you know how jfallahmenjor looks (and fallah never saw you or now who you are) indicates you did some research on his identity. Researching a person’s identity and initiating a “many days” surveillance on that person are textbook behaviors of a stocker. It’s good to speak with you heart but the heart is where hate is formulated that is why “I say it like I see it”.

            Ok, so you never said the US, you said the west. I guess you were talking about the Atlantic Ocean then because US and Britain are one in the same when it comes to international problems.

          • Al-Solo,

            It’s difficult to engage someone who writes as a psyche. You have the tendency of twisting other thoughts and trying to get in the mind of others. Maybe, you are in the wrong profession.

            fallah, is not the issue here. Let’s stay focus on the trial. As long as you don’t threaten anyone on this site I am cool.

          • 1-11-11
            @ Al & Big B

            I was not, as Al accused me of, trying to instigate anything between the two of you when Al made the first dig insinuating that you were stalking Fallah. I was merely curious about why and/or how Big B would respond to the dig.

            There is an old saying, “let sleeping dogs lie”. Well, I decided not to respond to Al because I suspected he would take the very next oppurtunity to dig again on behalf of his friend Fallah. Maybe Al is really another mask for Fallah?

            Well Big B the only way to let the “sleeping dog lie” in this situation is maybe to ignore Al. Most of his comments are elementary in nature, baseless and antagonistic.

            p&b

          • Cen

            When a child does not get their way on the play ground, they result to name calling. That is what I call childish behavior. I don’t like repeating myself but I think you have earned the opportunity. “NONSENSE is the absents of a logical explanation”, you made a comment about “Most of his comments are elementary in nature, baseless and antagonistic.”. Without a logical explanation your comment is “NONSENSE” and childish to attack my character. I assume you believe if a word fells good flowing off your tongue, they are good enough to be used. I’m searching for logical comments that I can agree with. Please make me a believer, explain how my argument are “elementary in nature, baseless and antagonistic.”.

            I’m glad to be the scapegoat used to boast your confidence in making childish opinionate comments. What ever helps you sleep at night, I’m here to help my friends.

          • 1-11-11
            @ Al

            I am sorry I offended your sensibilities. However, we all have opinions about the trial, Liberia and each other’s comments. I will leave you where you are because I don’t wish to offend you any further. But if you insist I will.
            p&b

    • May I add Big B it should be Ellen is a GREEN SNAKE IN GREEN GRASS

      • Abe
        Honest Abe!!!!

        As we say in Liberia, my people dis thing is easy oh…”let the vote speak for you”. We respect all the pro and opposing Ellen views…if we want to change or continue with Ellen, “VOTE”

  9. Hello Fallah Menjor,
    Are you there, or has finally retired for real; ok brother, if thas the case, we shall meet at heavens gate when you and Ellen would be facing justice in front of the heavenly father (GOD). LOL””

    • Fallah has disappeared and has probably taken a new pseudo name to post his comments on this site! The wikkileaks documents may have finally done the trick for him and convinced him beyond all reasonable doubt that this trial is a fiasco.

  10. I am now surprise that too much politics in this trail than justice. we now know that,this is not about Liberia n S.L. I now think president Taylor is being trail for problems he had with America n western country. may God brings justice to the poor n powerless people n country…….

  11. Al-Solo Nyonteh
    What are you saying ” he used the same sword to protect his administration from all threats?” Is it the sword that he used you are against? Are you saying that it was wrong for him , ” to protect his administration from all threats?”

    • King Gray,

      Al-Solo Nyonteh is trying too hard to defend the indefensible. Instead of him focusing on this fake trial in order to get at this innocent man the back door way as desired, he wants to promote and talk about this self confessed warmonger Ellen, who is increasingly unpopular in Liberia.

    • King Gray
      I’m not against the sword he used to protect his administration from all threats but when those threats are the media it’s called “suppression of the media” and those threats are innocent civilians it’s called “suppression of freedom of speech”, which is a form of dictatorship not democracy.

      Jose Rodriguez
      I will not attempt to reply to your last post. To be honest, I’m still in a daze from the way you keep going around in circles. OK we get it man, President Ellen has a shady past.

      To clarify my statement about “women have a special ability to keep men and children satisfied enough, in order to establish a home”. A home can be compared to a country; Men can be compared to the government body (congress, senators, etc..); Children can compared to the civilians. I was insinuating that a women have a natural ability to manage a country and build/rebuild it. I understand some people find it hard to understand this idea, because they were raised by two fathers. I’m sorry if I offended you.

      Sincerely your friend,

      Al-Solo Nyonteh

  12. Happy New Year to All!

    We’ve entered the beginning of another decade, yet we bicker and fuss about who started the war and the reasons for peace in Liberia. It is clearly documented and all agree that Liberia’s war was started far before Ellen and Taylor came into the seen as major players. Still, we point our fingers to them (they contributed to its escalation though), I’ve said this before and again, Liberia is much bigger than these individuals. Whether Liberia is kept together because “Rebel Grandma” is in power or the presence of 15,000 peacekeepers have boots on the ground, we have some form of peace. I certainly hope that the assertion listed is inaccurate. Because if this is true, then we are heading for another round of war when the UNMIL leaves. For the scholars, soothsayers, and sand-cutters out there, we hope that your assumptions or predictions are all wrong. Liberia cannot afford another round of war. There is too much at stake. It’s time what we stop hoping to be correct about future conflicts, rather lets focus on those things that will prevent war from reoccurring.

    Also, I noticed that we touched on the lads that are getting involved in the Ivorian crisis. There have always been Liberian fighting for both sides of the Ivorian crisis. It’s believe that Outtarra received support from the Nimba while Gbargo got help from Grand Gedeh. I don’t know who to accuse for this, however, what happens when these boys are all done with their adventure? Where do they end up? I guess Liberia. Our problem is multifaceted, we have a lost generation whose only form of income is to steal,kill and destroy. These young men are our problem. I think the blame game should be over….it’s time for solutions!

    Finally, Wikileak. It only revealed what we all have thought (I am not changing my stance). I’ve said from the get-go that the case against Taylor was flimsy. The only sold evidence they had linking Taylor to diamonds was the Ms. Campbell incident and still, that proved to be a dead end. I think the trial was a waste of resource when those could have been used to establish our own war crimes court. Evidence is sufficient to land many behind bars. I believe prosecution will help prevent future crisis. I am a fan of Liberia and no one is above the law, not one. Those who have followed my thread understand that I am not a fan of Taylor, but have insisted that the case was at best “weak”. The prosecution fumbled and crumpled before the defense. The prosecution looked like novice and amateurs, while the defense paraded themselves as skillful and masterful scholars. The wikileak document shows that there might be something in the works just in case the verdict comes out to be otherwise than hoped. For those who may be curious, if I am correct, there is a extradition treaty between the Netherland and the USA. So don’t be surprise if Taylor is sought for other charges, as listed in the wikileak communication and sent to the US. So, if this happens (which could), how many people who have said “western bastards”, “slave masters” etc, are willing to protest the possible extradition? My prediction, none! why, because a freed or incarcerated Taylor adds nothing or takes nothing from us personally and no one in this chat will compromise his/her freedom for Taylor….correct me if I am wrong.

    We need to look at the next step…..let’s think about ways to galvanize our resources and build a united and strong Liberia. We all have been hurt deeply, but is our individual pains greater than the overarching good of nation building?

    Thanks and Happy New Year….God Bless Liberia

    • Bnkr,

      Welcome back to the forum. I’m encouraged that at least we all can agree that Liberia is greater than any one individual. With that being said I’d like to address an isssue you raised concerning the “lost generation”.

      What are your ideas for how we can ingraft these young people into society?

      The solution to this problem is the panacea for finding lasting peace in Liberia. I make that point for a few reasons. Having visited Liberia twice in 2010 and being a student of economics, what I saw is upwards of 50-60% of the private sector engaged in informal business, 10% of the 15% of Liberians that are employed work for the government sector. This in my opinion is a recipe for disaster down the line.

      So the question is how do we go about equipping this lost generation so that they are assets to Liberia and not liabilities? My fear is that if Liberia’s biggest exports is “soldiers of fortune”, whose to stop the west from accusing President Sirleaf of sending people to Ivory Coast down the line.

      • Mas,

        Thanks and continue on your course of study. Economics is actually one of my favorite courses. Unfortunately, I didn’t go in that route. I decided to follow finance and an MBA (international business).

        You bring up a very important point. I have done extensive research on stimulating the Liberian private sector–meaning getting more Liberians involved. I think you will agree that most countries in Africa that experience civil strife have three things in common: high illiteracy rates, a weak and/or unfunded private sectors and a high unemployment/ unsustainable poverty rates. Liberia, unfortunately fits into these categories. What I’ve advocated for and spoken at universities in Liberia are programs geared toward encouraging, stimulating innovation and private sector development. For example, I believe banks and government should be actively involved–public-private sector agreement. Since Liberia’s (meaning more Liberian involvement) private sector is at best embryonic, the GOL and the Liberian Business Association need to create programs meant toward training people in basic management. I also believe that a position (say a portfolio manager) must be made to ensure that businesses that receive monies from banking institution work along with this individual see that proper managerial decisions are made and that bank repayment programs are in place to reduces lending institution risk–or reduce default. When they do occur, there needs to be a default fund that the business community contribute to–or an indemnification program. With leadership by the the portfolio manager (or whichever title it’s named), entrepreneurs will be properly nurtured, business growth and expansion could be for the long-term, thus reducing economic shocks for failing businesses. Further, it will give rise to a middle class in Liberia. I am sure you will agree that in Liberia for many years, there was the fortunate and then the rest… In addition, Liberian businesses need subsidies to compete against foreign goods, but when the subsidies should come standardization of products. Mas, my list goes on forever what we can do. I don’t believe in finding problems only, but formulating solutions.

        On the unemployment front and our soldiers of fortune, the private sector will provide the job opportunities, but some of them need to be placed into trade schools. Even though, I support the Ellen administration policies (in general), I think one of her biggest disappointments (other than her government’s ability to win a darn corruption case), is it’s inability to seek vocational training for some of these people. While building institutions of higher learning nationwide to curb urban migration is impressive and long-term national development, the idles minds are an issue of the present and yes, the future. These people need tools for long-term living. If they are not given opportunities to provide for themselves through dignify work, they will continue to seek “quick cash” through fighting around Africa. As Isuggested in my report, Liberia’s foreign direct investment approach is good, but a two-pronged (private sector investment programs) strategy will faster rid or diminish poverty.

        Mas, you hit on a very good tone in my opinion, in my paper, I have over 30 recommendations that will give birth, and sustain a private sector dominated by Liberia. I foresee unemployment rate dropping, literacy rate climbing and standard of living showing an upward trajectory.

        I would like to hear your thoughts, please, what do you think needs to be done?

      • Sending Troops to the Ivory Coast:

        I doubt the West will accuse Ellen of sending troops (other than Liberian army if she elects to) to the Ivory Coast. Mas, you understand the dynamic of global economics. The world we live in today is more global then every. I think the economic crisis showed us the world is one small village. I cannot phantom and logically think what any leader will benefit from destabilizing a neighbor. The borders between the nations (Guinea, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast with Liberia) are very porous. The global dynamics 10 years ago is different, even for the sub-region. Are some of those fighting in Ivory Coast sent my individuals? Maybe, are they going on their own accord? Possible. But, I don’t seen how one will accuse the President of such. Liberia’s biggest threat comes from the region where Gbagbo is getting support (Eastern Liberia). I personally will be baffled that whatever nation will come and say, this administration is supporting rebels in IC. Remember, the chickens always come home to roost.

        An IC in chaos means a Liberia on pins and needles…there is a domino effect–sluggish economic growth and sustained high unemployment and poverty. It’s time that our region tap into our resources (human, intellectual and natural) and make them work for us. The international stakeholders also have vested interest in a stable region, economic, and national security. We need to understand that our region is one of the most favorable areas for western investors–we are not plagued with radical terrorist elements, we have vast rainforest, rich diamond and gold fields, uranium deposits, and abundance oil reserve. Why are we sitting on this and ruining ourselves, beats me!

        • Bnkr,
          Thanks for the thoughtful analysis. This has been my position all along. What would any leader benefit by destabilizing their neighbor? Unfortunately you and others felt Charles Taylor wanted to benifit from destabilizing Sierra Leone. This also was the essential flaw in the prosecution’s case that he ochestrated all this mayhem simply because he wanted diamonds.

  13. BREAKING NEW! BREAKING NEWS..
    confirm sources say Fallah Menjor is in coma….He passed out.

  14. Bnker,

    I plea the 5th, we are not getting anywhere on this issue. No need to beat a “dead horse”
    CASE CLOSED.

    The prosecution fake case against our beloved President is the issue. Lets remain focus on the issue.

    • I think we can agree that the case against Taylor was weak….though I am not a fan of CT, I think objectively, the case had no merits and the evidences were flimsy.

      • Bnker,

        So do you think President Taylor will be found not guilty?

        • yes! I said that from the get-go. I said because the trial is political and not based on evidence, he will be found guilty and also suggested that he might even be given at 20 years.

          If foreign nations don’t influence the outcome, it’s obvious from the cables that the US is preparing for a plan B. The arrest of the so-called Merchant of Death has changed the dichotomy of any future trial in the USA. Victor Bout may be an important witness in any future trial against Taylor in the US, if there is any…this is my opinion.

        • Big B!

          I read your question wrongly…..based on the evidence NO! If it’s because politics is involved…YES!

    • Big B…

      I may be in Liberia in the next few months, let’s get together and have lunch…you Aki and Fallah

      • Bnkr,
        Thats a good idea. Infact Bnkr I have a feeling we might know each other already.. Did we both fly from Monrovia to Ghana in April 2010 and at that time did you sympzthize with me due to the death of my father?

        • No Aki,
          My last time in Liberia was 2009. I generally come to LIB in April though. Last year, my travels were not to Liberia.

          Still, I want to sympathize with your for your father’s passing! I will forward you a # that I can be reached at before I depart, ok?

  15. Aki,

    I think we all can agree that during the early stages of the war in Sierra Leone, Taylor sent men and he admitted to it. He later said that his support for the RUF was discontinued….So, what was your question about Taylor’s involvement in SL again?

  16. AL-Solo Nyonteh,

    I have have quoted from the 8th line of your post above:

    “But off the record Sesay admitted that he was demoted and sent to the front line after losing diamond Sam Bockarie’s gave him to deliver to Mr. Taylor.”

    Please Al-Solo when did Issah Sesay admit this? why was it “off the record” when did you hear it? Look Al-Solo I av read all the public transcripts of Issa Sesay’s testimony and I personally listened to most of his testimony live. Never once did he make that assertion you attributed to him. He never said he he lost diamonds given to him to “deliver to Taylor”. He said he was on his way to Bukina Faso to hand over those diamonds to Gen. Djendiere in exchange for arms, when those diamonds were lost. they were never meant to be delivered to Taylor.

    Man I will not fault you much because even you yourself conceeded that the evidence was “off the record”, because it is only evidence that is on the record that can be used for closing arguments and that will be considered during judgement.

  17. Al -Solo Nyonteh,

    This thing is getting terribly bad folks.Al- Solo, you are a victim of your own trap and concession at your own peril as evidence of your weaselly defense in providing your proof that Issa Sesay said what you think he must have said. Who do you think you are dealing with here on this website? Do you think we are a bunch of zombies, or this is a zombie land? Look at your own post in defending yourself negating and inextricable statement that “Sesay admitted that he was demoted and sent to the front line after losing diamond Sam Bockarie’s gave him to deliver to Mr. Taylor. ” First of all, you said his so-call admittance is “off the record”, so it is totally irrelevant. Secondly, after you were pressed to provide evidence, you said “you can’t access Mr. Sesay testimony.” Thirdly, the website that you have providing with the Judgment page 266 line 828 and foot note 1620 did not say anything like what you inadvertently said that Mr. said what you think he must have said. Fourthly, testimonies from the Sierra Leone case is not permissible in this case against Liberia beloved president, President Taylor. Solo stop embarrassing yourself. Ways to go boss.
    ..

  18. Al-Solo,

    Not to preempt Jose and Sam’s response to your direct comment, would you please give the page and line numbers “Bockarie sent Sesay to Taylor in Monrovia with diamonds to purchase ammunition for the RUF” in your reference “Trial Chamber Judgment, Searchable Version”

    Interestingly, I read the Trial Chamber Judgment Summary, the prosecution in the Taylor trial is using the same blueprint the prosecution used in the Sesay, Kallon and Gbae trial. Because Sesay et al were easily found guilty, the prosecution in the Taylor trial was overconfidence, sloppy and cakey the same thing would happen in the Taylor trial. The prosecution was in for a rude awakening.

    Sesay et al were under represented. The equal arms legal representation, the prosecution outweighs the defense. The defense had two counselors on her team, while the prosecution had eight.

    Undoubtedly, Taylor is no Sesay et al and Griffith et al, is no Wayne Jordas and Sareta Ashraph.

  19. Someone here said many of them have quit. LOL! Charles Taylor is in Jail what else is there to say. The difference between myself and you is that the world and International Community knows who Charles Taylor is, and so I don’t have to convince anybody about anything. I posted on this site to share my opinions and thats it. At the end of the day Taylor is behind bars. Justice is not complete there are many others who need to be behind bars………..only time will tell. And yes I understand that this trail was about Sierra Leone not Liberia!