International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

As Newly Elected Presiding Judge, Justice Richard Lussick Could Deliver Final Judgment in Taylor Trial

On January 18, Justice Richard Lussick from the Republic of Samoa was elected as the Presiding Judge of Trial Chamber II, which is the chamber of judges that has heard evidence in the case of former Liberian President Charles Taylor. Mr. Taylor has been on trial for his alleged involvement in the bloody conflict in Sierra Leone that lasted from 1991 to 2002. As Presiding Judge for a period of one year (starting January 2012), it means that the final judgment in the Taylor trial could be delivered by Justice Lussick.

Trial Chamber judges have spent the past several months reviewing the evidence submitted by both prosecutors and defense lawyers for Mr. Taylor. When the evidence phase of the case was concluded in early 2011, it was anticipated that the final judgment would be delivered in September 2011. However, this was not the case. It was later reported that the judgment will be delivered in early 2012. Reports indicate that the judges have been hard at work to complete their findings and deliver judgment, including by not taking any vacation over the December holidays.

In 2011, Justice Teresa Doherty served as Presiding Judge of the Trial Chamber. Rule 27 of the Special Court’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence provides that a Presiding Judge of the Chamber shall be elected for a renewable term of one year, but the judges themselves have made it their practice of rotating the position of Presiding Judge on a yearly basis. All three judges have served as Presiding Judge during the conduct of the Taylor trial, which started in 2007 in The Hague. At the start of proceedings in 2007, Ugandan Judge Julia Sebutinde served as Presiding Judge of the Chamber. In late 2011, Judge Sebutinde was elected by the United Nations as a judge of  the International Court of Justice (ICJ), replacing Sierra Leonean judge Abdul G. Koroma. Justice Sebutinde will commence work in her new position as Judge of the ICJ before the final judgment in the Taylor trial is delivered.

 

39 Comments
  1. This is a welcome news! Let this case be over so we can stop wasting tax payers money on this hopeless man! I really don’t care if Big B thinks others age matters in their way of thinking, or just pure ignorance, he has demonstrated, over and over. with his rebel mentality. Taylor will never return even though Big B and deciples, think otherwise. Taylor will be president of Libya to replace his benefactor! I believe this will make Big B happy! Taylor, it is rumored, will be freed Big B, Sekou, Noko5, and rebel sergents of taylor! I have nothing else to say ..go ahead and show your ignorance and lock of simple logics! I won’t get that low with you guys because all my dreams have been fulfilled..Ellen is in the Seat, Tubman and Weah looking for employment in America, the West they so much hate! Siily Gunks!

    • “When I was a child I spoke as a child”, now I am a 72 years old man I should do away with childish things.

  2. I wonder why the judges are wasting all these times to render final judgment in this trial, when some individuals on the other side of the coin say the evidence is more than sufficient for Mr. Taylor to remain behind bars. I don’t care who render final judgment, justices is all that we care.
    May God bless President as he celebrates another birthday soon. Happy pre-birthday Sir.

    Harris K Johnson

  3. Happy New Year……

    As we wait……Where is everyone?? Hey I am on this internet Radiolib weekly @ 2AM(est) bringing you the LASTEST news and happenings from Liberia on the New Dawn Show. Plus, every Sunday @ 2PM(est) doing the Time Tunnel Show……a show that brings you music from the ’40’s, ’50’s, ’60’s and early ’70’s which also simucast into Liberia via Farbric101.1 FM

    http://radiolib.net/

    Join me

    • Noko4 you are a great man. I am always tunned to your program. Keep up the good work lets build Liberia together.

      Harris

    • Got you, Noko.
      Peace.

    • Good job and welcome back brother,
      Thank God I was able to replace my phone with the Apple 4S, after the latter got stolen by Fallah Menjor and the boys. I will jam that station live…..

      • Thanks but I have been reading comments wihtout bothering to engage.
        In essence, I have been passive not proactive…as I await the final ruling from The Hague.
        It was good though to put a face to the name Noko.
        Blessings in your work as a DJ.
        Peace.

  4. Dear Big B,

    This is in response to your post dated on January 25, 2012 at 2:59 pm of the May 27, 2011 Daily Summary:

    Dear Sekou,

    This is another attempted by the western media to portray President Taylor as a villain amongst his peers in Africa. In my opinion the prosecution failed to prove her case. As a result, President Taylor may most likely walk. If the Boston Globe can’t substantiate her claim against President Taylor, it means the story was published with malice aforethought to poison the well among President Taylor’s colleagues that if he (Taylor) worked for the CIA against his alleged friend Kaddafi, nobody would want to touch him (Taylor) even with a six inch pole. I believe this is a conspiracy to marginalized President Taylor when he is free at last from the dungeon of the west. Without a doubt, Perry Mason will get to the bottom of this…

    There are 135 pages to this document and I will direct your attention to pages 24511 – 24517. It is fair to suggest that Mr. Taylor believed that the Central Intelligence Agency sponsored his release from jail. But Mr. Taylor faces the same dilemma as the Boston Globe; where is the evidence that the Central Intelligence Agency was involved.

    See link: http://www.sc-sl.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=DVOQb6wTtro=&tabid=160

    If the Boston Globe cannot produce documents from the Central Intelligence Agency identifying Mr. Taylor as their source, there obviously is no verity in their claim. This effort by the Boston Globe tends to distract; in pursuit to sell papers.

    Take care,

    Sekou

    • Dear Sekou,

      Thanks for the reference pages during direct examination. I extremely read carefully through those pages plus more. There is no smoking gun. I don’t think “Taylor faces the same dilemma as the Boston Globe” Page 24513 line 8; Mr. Nyuan visited Taylor at the Massachusetts Correctional House in Plymouth, MA. The conversation between Mr. Nyuan and Mr. Taylor were mainly about Quiowonkpa and his affiliation with the CIA. Mr. Griffith’s questions to Taylor under direct were to set the stage that Taylor didn’t break jail as alleged. It was established during the trial and in fact Taylor admitted during work for the CIA but in his official capacity as President. That is the norm, all past President corroborated with the CIA, including this current President. There is nothing on the record that Taylor worked for the CIA as a spy on Kaddafi as reported by the Boston Globe.

      Taylor and his Lawyers are saying the story by the Boston Globe is new discovery. The Boston Globe didn’t allege that Taylor was a spy on Kaddafi. The Globe vehemently stated as fact Taylor was working for the CIA as a spy on Kaddafi. According to the Boston Globe the information were obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. Mr. Griffiths is requesting to turn over all communications between the Globe, Pentagon and any other Agencies of the United States Government including the 48 plus secret reports that are in the possession of Boston Globe. Let’s keep in mind Taylor and the CIA has no beef. If the Boston Globe wanted to publish news to sell papers, the New England Patriots are going to the Super Bowl, the former governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney is getting his rear end kicked by Newt Ginrich. These are news worthy. Nobody in America really give a crap about Taylor to go out and buy papers because Taylor name appears in a story.

      To the contrary, if the Boston Globe is in the character assassination business like the New Democrat, reporter Bryan Bender is not Tom Kamara. I believe it’s more then just the sale of papers.

      • Big B is smart enough to play safe when it comes to accusing any American Newspaper, especially the Boston Globe! You see, had you been rational and objective all along as you just did in this piece, jfallahmenjor would have not trashed your points as he had done in the past. I am glad you are educating some of your die-hard taylor support group that talk trash and without the simplest realization of such garbage makes the outside world look at Black Africans as idiots.
        Thanks Mr. Big B…you deserve the honor from me this once! I clearly understand your point here and will keep it for ‘reference’ in future..good job!

        • Wow! I am not sure if this is a compliment from jfallahmenjor or a sarcastic statement. I’ll accept it as a compliment. Thanks.
          “It’s not the size of the man in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the man.” I am a realist, I call it as I see it.

        • Dear Big B,

          I have tried to locate the article which states Mr. Taylor conspired against Gaddafi as a recruit for the Central Intelligence Agency. The Boston Globe articles cited here has not purported with any clarity that Mr. Taylor had been part of any conspiracy against Gaddafi.

          In their correction made on January 17, 2012, they stated:

          “This story drew unsupported conclusions and significantly overstepped available evidence when it described former Liberian President Charles Taylor as having worked with US spy agencies as a “sought-after source.’’ The story, based on a response by the US Defense Intelligence Agency to a long-pending records request from the Globe, described the agency’s response as having “confirmed its agents and CIA agents worked with Taylor beginning in the early 1980s.’’ But the agency offered no such confirmation; rather, it said only that it possessed 48 documents running to 153 pages that fall in the category of what the Globe asked for — records relating to Taylor and to his relationship, if any, with American intelligence going back to 1982. The agency, however, refused to release the documents and gave no indication of what was in them. One of the grounds for that refusal was suggestive, citing the need to protect “intelligence sources and methods,” but that, by itself, fell well short of a sufficient basis for the published account. There has long been speculation that Taylor had such a role, speculation fueled in part by Taylor’s own suggestion in trial testimony that his 1985 escape from prison in Plymouth, Mass., may have been facilitated by CIA operatives. But Taylor, now standing trial before a UN special court on charges of rape, murder and other offenses, denies he was ever a source for US intelligence. The Globe had no adequate basis for asserting otherwise and the story should not have run in this form.”

          See link: http://articles.boston.com/2012-01-17/metro/30632769_1_courtenay-griffiths-charles-taylor-war-crimes

          This supports my summation that Mr. Taylor faces the same dilemma as the Boston Globe; where is the evidence that the Central Intelligence Agency was involved? The protection of intelligence sources and methods will govern the release of any information that Agency indexes. Consensus would lead one to believe that Mr. Taylor’s release from prison was not unlawful after all; where are the charges? The innuendo by the Boston Globe can be envisioned by some as an attempt to fill in the lines. Nevertheless, this article only attempts to draw attention to the Boston Globe.

          When I say this effort by the Boston Globe tends to distract; in pursuit to sell papers; I was referring to the print media’s attempt to turn a profit; not from its literal dependency on subscription circulation. The publisher would probably plummet depending only on its subscription circulation alone.

          This brings me to the question of competent leadership. The only meaningful leadership as an individual would be drawn from my tour of duty as a member of the United States Marine Corps. There the standard for competence was based upon the results of the mission. If we lead our troops into slaughter and defeat; the honorable thing to do was to resign from that leadership position. That carries over into civilian life as well. I refuse to be an Unfocused Jack of All Trades.

          When you are lagged by a whipsaw that results from an infinite loop; one is considered to suffer from paralysis by analysis. Who is the expert on Mr. Taylor?

          I believe you have stated that you are a United States Army Veteran? Did you serve in Vietnam or were you in the Special Forces? If so, thank you for your service.

          I hope that my position is clear; I am only here to review the public trial of Mr. Taylor. I have never met the man but I have set and talked with Ms Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf concerning her views of Liberia; those views have changed from what I remember.

          What is the status on the trial?

          Take care,

          Sekou

        • Dear Sekou,

          I am sticking to my story, President Taylor dosen’t face “the same dilemma as the Boston Globe.” The Boston Globe has admitted overstepping its boundary. Case closed. There was no correlation between the reference pages you directed me to indicating President Taylor is in “the same dilemma as the Boston Globe”. Do you research, and come up with facts…As far as I am concerned this case is closed.

        • 1/31/2012

          @ Sekou

          Long time and I hope the New Year is going well for you and your family.
          I understand your point that neither CT or the Globe are/have been able to obtain documents from the CIA to corroborate their conclusions. Am I missing your point?

          @ Big B
          I understand your position to be that the Globe nefariously made their conclusions about CT being a CIA spy. While CT’s conclusion that the CIA was/may have been involved in his release, while not corroborated by CIA documents, is beyond a resonable doubt plausible. Am I misunderstanding your position?

          Further, can either of you gentlemen expand on whether the prosecution crossed on CT’s release from the US prison and/or his subsequent ability to travel and sit as President of Liberia while having “escaped from a US prison?” Was the cross subjective and/or were they able to produce objective evidence to dispute?

          Stay blessed!

          ps: I would take any documents released from the CIA or any entitiy of that sort with a ton of salt.

        • Dear cen,

          Thank you for responding to my distress signal. I am doing fine and my family is well also. How has the New Year been for you and your family? I hope all is well.

          Yes cen, you understand my point that claims connecting someone to the Central Intelligence Agency as well as any other Agency operating to gather intelligence must be proved with documentation. It was foolish for the Globe to even make such a request in the first place.

          Cen, I have not researched the record to determine whether Mr. Taylor was crossed examined on the release from jail. What I am able to find is that Mr. Taylor requested that the United States Government release him from jail:

          Q. How did you get out of jail, Mr. Taylor, without a monopoly type get-out-of-jail card? How did you manage it?

          A. Well, I must say that I will be able to explain to a great extent how I got out. There are some of the details I don’t know, but I will explain to the judges. While in prison this whole episode is being developed – by episode, I mean the planning and training are going on in Sierra Leone. Harry Nyuan comes to me and he informs me of the details. I then ask him to state to General Quiwonkpa to ask the United States government to release me.

          See page 24517 beginning at line 9.

          See link: http://www.sc-sl.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=DVOQb6wTtro=&tabid=160

          It is probable that he was not crossed for this reason. The result would have only pointed to the fact that Mr. Taylor was indebted to the United States for not extraditing him to Liberia and face doe; that since the United States had not formerly requested his arrest through Interpol; they did not intend to press charges; he was in good standing with them. This would have been favorable for Mr. Taylor.

          What I say is not intended to suggest that he is guilty of the charges he now face; but only to say that the Globe’s restatement of his connection with the United States tends to uncover new light for those that were not insiders.

          I was surprised and somewhat alarmed to see that Judge Julia Sebutinde is leaving the Trial Chamber for the International Court of Justice (ICJ). I believed she would have been fair in her ruling.

          Hope to hear from you soon.

          Take care,

          Sekou

        • 2/1/2012

          Dear Sekou,

          You are most welcome! The year is going well for me and my family and thank you for your well wishes.

          In all honesty, I have a soft spot for you and Big B. It just seemed you two were talking apples and oranges.

          As for CT release from prison, I suspected the cross was lacking b/c of its exculpatory nature.

          Yes, it seems Judge Sebutinde would have been more than fair.

          Sekou, are you following the ICC’s confirmation of charges for the 2007-2008 post election violence in Kenya?

          Stay blessed!

        • 2/2/2012

          @ Sekou

          The following will link you to the ICC web site discussing the charges in the post election violence in Kenya.

          http://www.icc-cpi.int/NR/exeres/7036023F-C83C-484E-9FDD-0DD37E568E84.htm

          Stay Blessed!

  5. Folks,

    I guess the boston globe descided to walk the alleged Taylor spy Story back. This leaves more questions than answers.

    Attached is the latest article.

    http://www.frontpageafricaonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2335:spy-game-backfires-newspaper-admits-overstepped-evidence-in-taylor-report&catid=42:politics&Itemid=109

  6. The so called western media war against Mr. Taylor still continues, and Globe is doing its final fight thou the story lack creditability. These people are doing everything to keep Taylor behind bars, but thank God for QC.

    Harris K Johnson

  7. Hi,
    Taylor has said,God willing,i will be back;
    If he is free it will prove to the world that justice can not be compromise and America and westerm powers will not be judge over Africa like in the case of Libya.
    When will western and European leaders be critised and call to court by African? We are not black slaves like in the past…..
    We have won our fredom and let Africa began to call for the arrest of Tony Blah and George W. Bush as there are enough evidence to prosecute them…..
    Be warmed Africa will never be the same always and we will be rulder of our selves.
    Thank you as Taylor will be free soon,mark my word…….

    • 1/31/2012
      @ Alexander T. Shelton

      ” I freed a thousand slaves. I would’ve freed a thousand more, if they only knew they were slaves.” Harriet Tubman

      “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he ,” Proverbs 23:7

      Stay blessed!

  8. It is astonishing that this evil man whos followers are responsible for the mutilation and deaths of thousands of innocent people can find supporters for his evil deeds.
    No punishment imposed can repay the victims of this mans crimes,

    • You are absolutely right, Nabil! These guys add ‘insults’ to injuries as they present this ‘good for nothing’ man as a ‘saint’, who, it is alleged, raped, enslaved, sold majority into refugee camps, left many Liberian children to fend for themselves on Monrovia streets and alleys, and tortured some to death,and finally left their economy and infrastructure in ruins when he departed! Now same ignorant supporters are wishing, not only for his release, but welcoming him home! Isn’t that something? What do you think that says about most taylor fans? Idiots! These are evil patriots of Liberia. They are the ones we need to fear most and keep a ‘wakeful’ eye on! They are the ones you saw creating problems after the elections of Liberia. But they shall see who born dog! We are mobilizing for the final battle with them, Nabil!

    • nabil,

      I fully understand your frustration; however, accusations and speculations can’t win a case in the court of law. For example, I may know that nabil murdered fallah, I will have to prove it in the court of law beyond a reasonable doubt that nabil indeed murdered fallah. I strongly believe O.J. Simpson murdered Nicole and Ron, but the prosecution failed to prove her case. As a result, O.J. walked. The Casey Anthony trial is another example. I believe Casey Anthony aided and abetted in the murdered of her child, again the prosecution failed to prove her case, Casey walked. I am not implying in any form or ship that President Taylor is guilty, and will walk because the persecution can’t prove its case. President Taylor is innocent from the get go. nabil if the case against President Taylor were for atrocities committed in Liberia, I would have been the first one to shout crucify him (Taylor) not only Taylor but all those who were responsible for the wonton killings of our people. This case against President Taylor is political, nothing less or more.

      • Big B, I definitely accept your anology and logic presented, but you guys further, also state, over an over, about taylor been set up by the West, and all the garbage about his total innocence, and etc…when 97% of charges point to this man, plus the physical destructions seen in Liberia, Sierra Leone, not to mention deformed appearance of victims, and finally, the testimonies of witnesses who participated directly, or indirectly! This is where I strongly disagree with you, that taylor is innocent. If taylor is freed from these charges, I will agitate you guys to a point of stiking so we get chance to use full force aginst all of you, and stand trial just like taylor! It’s simple as that, Big B, we know the law that you are innocent until proven guilty. I will get lawyers too after pleading innocent! This is the cheap type of logic, most of you guys employ, do you know that?

        • IF THE EVIDENCE IS THERE THE JUDGES MUST CONVICT, IF THE EVIDENCE IS NOT THERE THE JUDGES MUST ACQUIT.

  9. Hey Everybody.

    Thanks to Big B, Harris Johnson, Sekou, and the rests of the true justice seekers. President Taylor is winning this thing openly and there is no other way to put it. Can you imagine a world class news agency like the Boston Globe is retracting their fake and false story about this innocent man? God is Great. First it was Naomi Campbell, than RUF rebel leader, Issa Sassay, than the South Africa Arm Manufacturing company, than the wikileak, than the American Ambassador, Linda Thomas Greenfield saying America should come up with a plan B to have him extradited to the states when he is acquitted because there is no strong case against him in S.L. President Taylor will be a free man and he will be returning back home.

    Welcome back home President Taylor. Welcome.

    • Jose Rodriquez is absolutely right! There is no case against taylor. Besides, taylor will get billions for unjustily being detained, and not just that , but stress and insults supporters have suffered all these years. Not only that, but He will return to Liberia, unseat present Government of Ellen, and proceed to coronation! Taylor was framed by America, and therefore, President Obama must apologize to Him for lies made against Him by Bush, and Bank Ki Moon of the United Nations! Yes, all idiots who thought taylor was the doer are doomed to long prison sentences, and as for jfallahmenjor; his US citizenahip is now suspended and shall never be able to return to the United States. All persons related to Him are placed on travel band effective immediately! Free at last, thank God Almighty, taylor is free at last…Gunts!

      • jfallhmenjor,
        Is this you?
        Are these your thoughts?
        Any shift?
        Just checking…
        Peace.

        • Or is your language shrouded or better yet masked in sarcasm?
          Pray you are doing well.
          You are firm in your conviction.
          Peace, jfallhmenjor, peace.

        • Well, Davenport, these are thoughts the taylors wants to hear! They are that ignorant! You will see one of them come out to ‘congratulate’ me without understanding the sarcasm in that piece!jfallahmenjor will never retreat! The battle has just begun, now that I am on the ground!

  10. General Fix It, (Jose Rodriquez)

    Welcome. I had you listed down as MIA and was about to change your status from MIA to POW. I thought you crossed over in enemy territory and was captured by fallah. Lol

    Akwaaba!

  11. Ladies and Gentlemen,
    Brothers and sisters of peace love and happiness. I am glad to welcome all of you back on board.

  12. interesting views from one internationalist that the west sponsor rebels in SL against Taylor.

  13. Hello,
    Thanks for the opportunity to express agan my opion, there are many people who proclaimed themselves as righteous and blameness.
    The issue of charles Taylor trial is politically motivated to achieve westerm selfish aim in the west African nation and not to help either Sierra Leone neither Liberia.
    Why should one man be held accountable for the crime of which thoundsands comitted and why should people be pay to testify against Taylor from Liberia?
    The issue of the conflict in the region has several indicators and every individual contributed to it,so why should Taylor be held for a collective,alledged act comitted when he as president of Liberia was face with internal conflict and where as there are key actors in the sierra leone conflict that remain to be prosecuted.
    What are the merit of the trial when there are prision set for Mr.Taylor w hile undergoing trial amids speculation that there are key political interest in the verdict of the case. When will the sons of Africa continue to be slaves for other,beggars and gudge over their destiny?
    Who is the the man in Africa to call for a western Leader to go on trial s amaind annesty internation reports of human rights violation by some big hands?
    Stop selling yourself and let reconcile to unit Africa.

    • Alex, I used to think just like you, once upon a time. I thought General Idi Amin was tough and an African nationalist! I thought Robert Mugabe was an African nationalist. I prayed for these guys.A true nationalist…Nelson Mendela.. of South Africa. I am trying to teach that it isn’t difficult to spot a true Nationalist of Africa!
      Anyone that believes Taylor is a nationalist is not only stretching the truth, but sounds ignorant and lacking basic principles in History,and the beastility in Man! You have Siaka Zulu who fought for a ’cause’ and Seku Toure of Guinea Republic and Nkruma of Ghana, against colonialism..these are heroes..but for one to place charles taylor amongt these heroes, is not only silly but living in total darkness! Taylor is no role model for any african.. he should be considered Ali Baba of West Africa….History will and should course this man and his generation to come, if the alleged crimes are as the witnesses testified! Gunks!

  14. Will the re-openning of the case make any change?if yes,then we are hoping to see that change.lets put this to an end finally this year.this case has dragged for so long.