International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Taylor Defense To Make Closing Arguments On Wednesday

Charles Taylor’s defense team will finally have the chance to make their closing argument on Wednesday this week, bringing an end to an almost one month impasse that plagued the former Liberian president’s trial at the Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague.

The schedule for the defense to make their closing argument was made this afternoon at a status conference convened by the Trial Chamber.  Last week, Appeals Chamber judges of the Special Court for Sierra Leone ordered that the defense be allowed to submit a final trial brief and an expeditious date be set for the defense to make their closing argument.

The Trial Chamber had earlier rejected the defense final brief on the grounds that it had been submitted 20 days late. Defense lawyers therefore decided not to take part in the closing arguments, which were scheduled to commence on February 8, 2011. After an Appeals Chamber decision that the defense final brief be accepted and they be allowed to make their closing argument, Trial Chamber judges convened a status conference to agree on a final schedule that will see the closure of the trial that has already lasted for over three years.

The defense closing argument has now been set for Wednesday, March 9, 2011 commencing at 11:30am. The defense closing argument will continue into Thursday from 9:00 to 11:00am.

Prior to the defense closing argument on Wednesday, the Prosecution will make an oral response to the defense final brief. The prosecution oral submission will take place between 9:00am and 11:00am on Wednesday. The prosecution choose the option to respond orally to the defense final brief. The defense, who chose to submit a written response to the Prosecution’s final brief will do so by 4:00pm on Thursday, March 10, 2011.

Rebuttal arguments to each party’s closing argument will take place on Friday, March 11, 2011.

The parties have also agreed to file public versions of their respective final briefs one month after today. Therefore, by April 7, 2011, the public will have access to the final trial briefs of both the prosecution and the defense.

53 Comments
  1. Simple, simple, Drama King and Drama Queen please no more drama. Let the trial flow smoothly. Listen to the advice of the True Justice.

  2. What I would like to know is: when did and have the trial judges accepted the defence written final brief?
    I suppose this must be the first step before scheduling an oral closing argument. Details such as the composition of the bench would also be informative. Thank you.

  3. At last Parry Mason (Griffoth) will do his thing. Many lawyers around the world including African Head Of States are watching. I just can’t wait.

  4. This is the best LINE I have read in three years;”The defense closing argument has now been set for Wednesday, March 9, 2011 commencing at 11:30am. The defense closing argument will continue into Thursday from 9:00 to 11:00am.” Now Judge Sebutinde can have her time to tell the World why she thinks taylor was not given fair treatment for his Defense Team being reprimanded for behavior unbecoming in the Court of Law! We already suspect which way she is going to vote, but the truth remains, her vote will not change taylor’s fate as he well deserved! There are 11 counts to consider in this case, and even if Judge Sebutinde disagree with how the Defense Team was treated by the Chamber of Court for their own neggligence, the other charges, including rapes, childsoldiers, blood diamonds, murders of potential witnesses, Defacto Ruler of RUF, and many others, as alleged, still hang in the balance! Therefore, all the trigger happy taylor fans should listen carefully on Wednesday, March 9th,2011, for their final chance to portray taylor as the Greatest Humanist in the 21st Century! Let’s hear the reduculous portrayal of this Benevolent Peace Maker of SubSahara, and Children Crusader of West Africa! Boy, I can’t wait to throw back this silliness at the Defense Team on Wednesday!

  5. Yes ! Griffith, You got em. All hats off to you. You are an african hero… good job.

  6. fallah,

    We will be tuned in, and you better make damn sure you are tuned in. If you have never seem Perry Mason in action, he will be at his best on Wednesday.

    Stop counting your chicks before they hatched. Forget about those false 11 million and 1 counts against Liberia’s darling President. Perry Mason will methodically disintegrate those 11 and 1 million counts one by one. The part of the world I live in, one is innocent until proven guilty.

  7. Yeah…real “hero”…..I guess justice for the Sierra Leoneans who died, were raped or mained as a result of this Accused direction and support of the RUF doesnt matter as much? This case is such a lock for conviction and as Taylor is convicted may the ghost of Sam Bockarie role over in his grave….for finally his crimes through his father Charles Taylor are addressed. It amazes me how little regard there is for the victims of the conflicts in Sierra Leone and Liberia. It is almost like their interests are always subordinated to some fake pan-African nonsense that both Taylor employed and his counsel often does in the media. Such a joke. Are my Sierra Leonean brothers and sisters not African as well?

    • I wholeheartedly emphathize with your pain Bundu. As a victim of civil war my self, no one can understand the pain one feels when you see the perpetrators still alive and carrying on with their lives while your loved ones dont have that opportunity.

      Like you, it is my hope that the true perpetrators of the mass murder in S.L., Liberia and the world over get justice both in this life and the life after. As for me, I dont know who is responsible for the war in Sierra Leone but from this case, it to me has been proven who is not. Perhaps Mr. Taylor is guilty but the facts as demonstrated by the prosecution in this case do not prove such in my objective opinion.

      We are all victims and just as you feel Mr. Taylor is responsible, so there are those who feel he is not. All we have to rely on is the facts of the case irregardless of the verdict. It does none of us any good by bringing emotion into this case one way or the other. As much as I want justice, I for the victims, I do not want that justice at the expense of putting an innocent person away just to soothe my emotions that will never be soothed in this life.

    • Bundu,
      Why are we in this court??? TO SEEK JUSTICE!!!!! Let’s seek JUSTICE is all we ask……so the DEATHS, RAPES and whatever else that were done but we DO NOT want window dressing JUSTICE just because THEY want to set an example or prove a point.

      Now we hear Gydaffi should be charge for WAR CRIMES because he is defending his gov’t from REBELS…isn’t it TREASON??

      • Noko4,
        We live in a mad world…The peaceful mass protesters in Egypt,Tunisia,Bahrain and Yemen were met with violence by the western backed puppet regime…In this instance, the west asked for caution and restraint and urged the protesters not to resort to violent.Where as in the case of Libya were the protesters were a small minority armed and poses a real threat to life, the west support them and sanctioned the state for defending itself against armed uprising and promise to intervene to help the rebel who by the way are islamic fundamentalist who they the western christian fundamentalist are fighting against at the moment.Whiles at the same time supervising the occupation by Israel of Lebanon,Palestine and Syria…here the resistant are called terrorist and the same goes for the resistant in Iraq and Afghanistan wo are currently occupied by the west.

        WEST AFRICANS, i must stress’ are the group of people in africa from my observation who adhere to every dictum of these earthly morons.. our standard of rights and wrongs is based on these bad men of the world…is it because we are bad too?,we’ve done some really evil stuff with these people over 600years we never benefited from ,we are the stupid but capable of been really evil too partner.

        IN THE SO CALLED WEST-WEST PARTNERSHIP…….see how those buffoon in west africa where ushered to a near bloodbath in ivory coast by their western adviser(UN)…thank god for our wiser brothers in the east,south and africa atlarge,they’ve stalled it, hopefully they will help solve the impasse in the ivory coast and deprive those morons in europe and north america from another west african horror show.

        • Cee,
          Pure DOUBLE STANDARD…..what will the US, Britain and the rest do if a group of citizens took up ARMS to overthrow them…..sit by?? Really, if Gadaffi wanted them ALL death who will say STOP him???

          Look at the other demostrations, which one took up arms compare to what we’re seeing in Libya?? In Yemen, the citizens want change of the regime/gov’t also but when last we heard such on the daily news in the US or Britain?? That demostration, unless it’s Arab stations, has been suppressed in term of reporting.

          I will want to be believe contact has been made with this rebel group and some in the West feel they are controllable and now it’s time to put into place NONSENSE like NO FLY ZONE and arm them in the dark..

    • Bendu calm down,

      My heart goes out to the victims, but the prosecution must prove her case. Don’t you know that there are people serving long term and life imprisonment for crimes they didn’t commit? Imaging your child, father, mother, brother or sister were sentenced to life in prison for a crime he/she didn’t commit? Your love one is serving life in the slammer because the court knowingly was biased in its sentencing? How would you feel?

      On the other hand, if your love one is giving a fair shake down, even though it hurts to deal with the life sentencing but at least you (Bendu) will know the trial was fair, and your child, mother, father, brother or sister deserves the book to be thrown it. “Lock him up and throw away the key.”

      Therefore, I challenge you (Bendu) fallah, et al, for all of us to come to a consensus and make a commitment Right Here, Right Now. If the evidence is there the judges must convict, if the evidence is not there the judges must acquit.

      • Big B, my guess is that Griffiths now got the chance to paint your benefactor and spiritual guidiance as saintly as his professional career allows him, even though, Griffiths knows within his soul it is all but “window dressing” to make taylor believe and continue to have hope in the justice system he never practiced! Yes, Griffiths is going to start by attempting to distance taylor from the RUF as far as possible even though taylor was “bedfellow” to the dirty generals, calling some “son” and they in turn refering to him as “papay”. Griffiths is going to reiterate taylors’ efforts in “peacemaking” when, in fact taylor interests had only been “to personally gain!” Griffiths will attempt to blame the atrocities of Sierra Leone on the “renegade rebels” from NPFL, unknown to taylor, even though taylor control the security of the state at the time , including state Bank that was operated from his “bunker” the Whiteflower where it is, alleged, opponents and potential witnesses fate was decided by the aid of Notorious Yeaten and His son, Chuckie taylor! And Griffiths might shamlessly attempt to portray taylor as Pan Africanist whose legacy lives on in Liberia and Sierra Leone as attest by AKI, who just arrived in the US, from visiting those region as “damage controller!” Boy, Boy, it will be fun to trash griffiths after his presentation! Signed, jfallahmenjor.

        • fallah,

          You are 100% right, that’s the exact thing Perry Mason will do, to undo what the prosecution have done. That’s the job of the defense to get his client off the hook. The prosecution has painted this innocent man as a monster, rather, failed to paint this innocent man as a monster. Perry Mason is going to tell the world that President Taylor is not the person the prosecution portrayed him to be.

          So your analogy about Perry Mason’s strategy may be right but in a positive way.

          If the evidence is there the judges must convict, if the evidence is not there the judges must acquit. That’s my challange to you guys.

    • Bundu,
      I don’t know why you will think that people who think that this case against Mr. Taylor as fake have little regards for the victims of the conplicts in Sierra Leone. Many of us who view this case as nonsense comes from how this case was put together in the first place.
      Now, let me Just say this.. Mr. Taylor, while on the witness stand in his own defense said that he supported the RUF in 1991 to about April or May of 1992. Why didn’t the Court charge him for what in Sierra Leone from 1991? The time frame of 1996 to 2003 which is the center of this case, was Mr. Taylor president of Liberia in 1996? If not, then who was in controlled of the border of Sierra Leone and Liberia?
      Now, you should remember that the election that brough Mr. Taylor to the persidency was held on July 19,1997 and he took over as president of Liberia in August of 1997.
      Reading between the lines, one will need to think as how possible could it have been for Mr. Taylor to supplied weapons to the RUF through the bushes from Liberia to Sierra Leone while another armed faction controlled the whole western region of Liberia including the borders of Sierra Leone as well as the border of Guinea with Liberia from 1992 to the end of 1997.
      Let’s look at the SALUTE report that Bockarie wrote his boss Sankor, did he say anything in there about Mr. Taylor supplying the RUF with weapons? You don’t believe in that report, do you? If you don’t, well it’s ok but if it was to say anything about Mr. Taylor supplying them.

      • Jacone,
        Your analysis is good but we must all remember that supporting a rebel group in itself is not an crime according to the ICC. So even if the indictiment was from 1991 they would still have to prove Mr.Taylor committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.

  8. The world awaits!!!!! Finally, we hear INCH by INCH the stories told by one man….Perry Mason. Will have to record this for the history books.

  9. I am glad I just arrived back to the States from Liberia and will be able to watch Courtenay in action on Wednesday.

  10. It’s a long time coming. And long due for this Kangaroo’s court to wrap up their nonsense and come up with a verdict. BUT those of you who have always took the time to list and follow this trial…I believe you have seen what a MESS the prosecution was. Now it’s sad that the verdict almost everyone was expecting seem a far fetch dream. So for the sake of law….Free Taylor Fools:). And for the sake of payback as some would deem necessary find Mr. Taylor guilty and put an end to this nonsense.

  11. Read the damn prosecution intro to their brief (and it is just the intro contra to what some have said)….and say again there is no evidence. 13 witnesses first hand took ammunition from Taylor to Bockarie. 6 or 7 radio operators. If there was a video of Taylor ordering Freetown burned you guys would say it was made up. You dont want to see the actual evidence. You cant have that much corroboration and still have reasonable doubt. It is evidence 101. Look at the mindset here…someone just said doesnt Gaddaffi have right to “defend against rebels”…..well what he doesnt have the damn right to do is kill peaceful demonstrators and bomb civilians. Being a head of state does NOT give you license to commit crimes. There is a double standard though out there. Gbagbo is killing Ivorians and there is no talk of ICC referrel. Yet there should be. And all of you would presubambly defend poor poor african president Gbagbo afainst the evil international ICC? Isnt the real racial double standrad here that ICC looking at Libya and not Gbagbo. The whole point is….your blind defence of Taylor and saying this is “political” trial is in itself so fraught with double standards…..so obvious if you would just step outseide of yourselves and look at the larger context.

    • I am really interested in this area of bombing civillians. Can you refer me to the “pictures” and not the news. The location of the bombing will also be useful. Please note that I distinguish armed rebels from “civillians” and I have seen videos of planes attacking rebel fighters and not civillians so I would be most obliged if you can refer me to the “visual” evidence
      Also, is the prosecution intro. a “damn” one? If it is I bet it must be a damn good read.
      P.S: If a picture or video evidence of the civillian bombings (and the casualty numbers) can’t be proferred, I decline any inadequate response.

    • Bundu explain it!

    • 3-9-2011
      @ Bundu

      you said:
      ”…..well what he doesnt have the damn right to do is kill peaceful demonstrators and bomb civilians
      HOW sure are you that he has?

    • Bundu,
      In as much as I don’t support Mr. Gaddaffi, nothing is called peaceful demonstration when demonstrators are carrying weapons and firing weapons with in the group! How would you have reacted if you were president of Libya today? I do believe that you could have done more than what Gaddaffi is doing right now! It’s wrong to Kill peaceful demonstrators but demonstrators shouldn’t start violance.

  12. Wow!

  13. Just read al jazeera (not exactly a western propeganda sheet) from Feb 20 until now….even pilots who defected to Malta insteed of following orders to bomb protesters….the Libya movement started out peaceful like the others until your “hero” started slaughtering and going after anti-regime activists….I mean you really think Gaddaffi is just lawfully defending his regime?! Are you serious? And Mubarak as well when he sent in those guys on horeses and camels into Tahir square? You cant use force against peaceful assembly….(I am guessing you are all also big fans of Ahmadinijad and the basij in Iran against its youth?) Really impressive….hating the US so much has really put you on the side of some devils….

    • Read your own post and imagine how farcical it is. You were asked for visual evidence and you launch into some raving tirade which clearly confirms lack of intelligence. Thanks for the non-info. .
      Ask about Libya talk about Iran. Isn’t that dumb?

      • rgk007,

        Amazing!! What is even dumber is that you expect to see these monsters walking around video taping themselves commiting henious crimes. You maybe too intelligent to live on this earth. Are you a martian?

        • I guess this must be mars for us all to be communicating here or unless you’re an astronaut.Whatever news one relies on must always be backed up by facts and whatever question is posed at one must always be addressed “specifically”. E.g I ask about A and you speak about B when they clearly are distinct. Note: If civillians are or have been bombed, the district bombed must be and can be identified. If protesters and not a fight scene (of armed rebels) has been bombed, the casualties will be huge. Thus, the talk at hand is bombed civillians and not shot civillians which I have not at all disputed. Well I guess one minute is enough time dedicated for your response as I cannot aford more than that. Lastly, it is rude and dumb to crash into a discussion without even knowing the specifics . Cheers.

      • rg007,

        Sorry, but I did not find any invitation from Bundu to you when you responded to his post and called him dumb. What a hypocrite!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        My advice to you is to refrain from ‘name calling’ and show some respect for others and their views, however different they maybe from yours, and you will be accorded the same.

        • Might I ask what positive view or otherwise you contributed? Zero. I suggest you find those with your level of reasoning to play with. And just to enlighten you, I have engaged Bundu in debate prior to this with your rude interuption with nothing positive to contribute. Take this as the final post to you as I might be termed to be on the same wavelength with you.

    • whatever Madam…are you a westerner with a moral dilema or an african trying to sound western?when an african try to mimick the thoughts of westerner,especially when they are at their most mischievous, it kills this world …the south american countries,china,russia,think it is an armed uprising which is wholly different from that in egypt and tunisia,but i suppose people that have different views from the west are immoral,undemocratic,uncivilised and backward .

      BUT AS YOU SAID IT WAS A PEACEFUL DEMO,WHICH GHADAFFI TRIED TO PUT DOWN WITH AFRICAN MERCENARIES…….EVENTHOUGH LIBYA HAS MANY SUB SAHARAN AFRICAN TRIBES.

      p-s divide and rule ….suppose they are trying to get an ignorant middle eastern person to hate africans,perhaps more than they already have.

    • 3-9-2011
      @ Bundu
      I hope you are not in the US…LMAO! In the US, force is permissable against peaceful protestors who fail to obey a police directive…EVEN when they passively fail to obey. The amount of force is dictated by the circumstances. The head of state of any country has the right to use as much force as necessary to maintain control when faced with rebel puppets. Interestingly, there seems to be a lot of outside influence and pressure in bringing Gaddafi down. Also, you made a good point about the dichotomy between Libya and the Ivory Coast.
      History shows that a democracy can never be legitamate or start with violence.
      p/b

  14. Here you go…..there is so much footage it is almost comical……if it werent so tragic…really you are not aware of how the demonstrators were cracked down upon…really? under what rock do you reside?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EI8B5f-ALOQ

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u98uee4u-_M&feature=related

    • Are you trying to manipulate our emotions….youtube also have many more videos of really innocent civilians killed in Afghnistan,iraq and gaza!!!!

    • Those are quite impressive videos of “bombed” civillians. Mr we know the situation on the ground but the story of bombed civillians is simply dillusional. I am afraid we can’t converse on structural debates. Don’t spew out misinformation and just my piece of advice, watch RT news(Russian TV).

    • Hey Bendu,

      Although I read comments here daily, I refused to contribute of late until today. What are those links about? I don’t know where you reside, but if you do reside n the USA like me, holding-up a bread knife against any law inforcement officers, will put you in the same state, A DEADMAN!!!!!!

      Did you say demonstrators or bandit ? Demonstrators are those in Wisconsin, arm bandits are those in LIBYA, say all you want but the TV i m watching, I see bandits holding arm against their own Goverment and nothing else!!!

    • 3-9-2011
      @Bundu

      Like war, protesting is ugly and has casualties. The videos you posted are not persuasive and do not support your point(s).
      p/b

  15. As a victim of the Liberian blood bath I am serious disappointed in the outcome of this case. The verdict is already decided by the action of the court and the rules governing this trial. But the international community has vanish its huge moral authority to subdue Africa further by this kind of process.

    • Momo,

      Come to think of it. I agree.

    • 3-9-2011
      @ Momo
      We have to cpntinue to reflect on the goal of the international community in managing our expectations.
      p/b

  16. hey, watch up u pro western, who do u referred to as peaceful demonstrators in libya, that are been bomb by the libyan gov. are does rebles with ANTI AIRCRAFT, RPG GMG, AK47, and other heavy weapon that are been use in the ongoing fighting, have a second thought u anti African. can u see that the west is only after the oil of libya that is while they are trying to support the rebles to prolong the conflict so they can go there as peacekeeper to steal the resources of our belove African brother, watch up libyan do not rebel against ur Gov, it is treason. as for that false case in the hague it is all over president charles taylor ll be a free man. let my people go from prince of egypt, this is the word of the lord

    • The Big needs to focus on Taylor trial, for God’s sake! We know the ties most of you had with Gaddafy via taylor, the WarLord and puppet of Gaddafy, before he found himself in the Hague today. However BBQ time has come and He will soon be a deadman or taken to the Hague in Chains like taylor. Isn’t this what the Law of Karma states? What goes around comes around! And for you who participated in carrying out these alleged crimes with taylor, you shall suffer one by one before you meet with your Maker! I guarantee!

  17. So if I understand things correctly….many of the pro-Taylor people on this forum also dont see anything wrong with Gaddaffi….(despite edefctions by almost every Libyan diplomat and many in army?)….wow. So here’s another question. I think the most recent display of racism by the international community is referring Libya to ICC and not Ivory Coast. Why dont the Ivorian victims of Gbagbo’s meglomania also deserve a justice mechanism….since it isnt happening in Ivory Coast. Would all of you so-called African defenders agree…or does your defence stop with its dictators and leaders? Dont Ivorian victims deserve some level of justice?

    • As a matter of fact the Ivorians deserve the same level of attention but they have no oil for the Europeans to consider their plight equal. The ICC should have acted since this cropped up before the Libyan scenario . I’m yet to hear Obama mention Ivory Coast. To clarify, your assertion that anyone supports attacks on unarmed civillians is wrong. Attacking and killing innocent civillians is condemned but also one must not be gullible when it comes to media reports. The media outlets over here in the U.K have clearly taken sides with the opposition rebels which throws out every objectivity hence my dispute with you over reports of BOMBED civillians. I fully agree undue force has been directed at civillians but this must not be sensationalized by claims of planes bombing protests. Anyway, enough on Libya. Did you follow today’s proceedings?

    • 3-9-2011
      @ Bundu
      Please don’t frame this as taylor people vs. non taylor OR Gaddafi people vs. non Gaddafi. The larger picture is about the power grab for control over the world’s crude oil.
      China & Russia et al vs. US & Britain et al
      Whatever the problems were or are with Gaddafi have existed for decades. What is the urgency now? What was the urgency for the power shift in Egypt? How is Irag fairing since “democracy” has arrived in that country?
      p/b

  18. look mr, u should not be referring this question to pro African , u should be asking the so call international community if there ivorian does not deserve justice as other country do. this is a clear understanding that the west do not go after people that do wrong. dont u get it.

  19. What a day in court……all sides were put on trial….Mr. Taylor, the Bench & the Prosecutors…..Perry Mason off the bat hit a HOME RUN prompting the Madame President to ask…”are you saying we are bought”??

    • 3-10-11
      @noko4
      prosecution witness 12K, prosecutor 200k, …..
      Madame President asking …”are you saying we are bought”??—-PRICELESS!

      The real problem there was that CG is on another level intellectually than the judges are.

      p/b

  20. What a closing argument today was, as always Griffith opening statement was an eye opener and a wowooo!!! @ bundu, forget about statement like Anti or Pro ……. Just an American by choice who sees it different, that’s all

  21. Griffiths opening:
    “Now, Charles Taylor is the first-ever African leader to be put on trial. His trial has been trumpeted by the Prosecution as demonstrating an end to impunity. We agree. Indeed, his trial is of importance to Africa and this evolving concept of international justice, to which we are, as a Defence, unswervingly committed. Yet we note that currently, everyone being tried or awaiting trial at the International Criminal Court are from, guess where, Africa.”

    ” We are disturbed by this. We are disturbed by that fact but nonetheless maintain our commitment to this concept of international justice, because we are anxious to play our part in establishing such a system, which maintains, which should be its starting point, that whether you are princess or prostitute, whether you are the President of the United States or the President of Liberia, the law is above you.”

  22. “We submit that it’s to the shame of this Prosecution that it has besmirched the lofty ideals of international criminal law by turning this case into a 21st century form of neocolonialism, and I’m not apologising for saying that.”

  23. thank GOD this thing will soon be over so the soul of those innocent people can rest in peace, becuz this thing is ttoo painful for dirty rebels to kill good peole and think their chief will go free.99 days for dirty murderer and one day for icc ha ha ha fire will burn u mr man.