International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Morris Anyah is Now Lead Defense Counsel for Charles Taylor’s Appeal

The Special Court for Sierra Leone has today announced a change in the composition of Charles Taylor’s defense team as Morris Anyah, formerly a co-defense counsel, has been appointed as the lead defense counsel to handle the former Liberian president’s appeal. It is understood that this change in his defense team  has been announced with the consent of Mr. Taylor, in line with his right to be represented by counsel of his choosing.

On April 26, judges in The Hague convicted Mr. Taylor of aiding and abetting 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in Sierra Leone from November 30, 1996 to January 18, 2002. The former Liberian president is entitled to appeal the decision of the Trial Chamber judges.

For the purposes of his appeal, Mr. Taylor will now be represented by Mr. Anyah, who has served as co-defense counsel throughout the trial phase of the case. Courtenay Griffiths, QC, will continue to serve as Mr. Taylor’s lead defense counsel only through the sentencing phase of the proceedings, which will be concluded on May 30.

 

70 Comments
  1. Well done QC, and congratulations to Mr. Anyah. Your team has fight a good fight, history will be kind to you forever.

  2. Alpha,
    Will tax payers continue to pay for Taylor’s laywers during the appeal process or is Taylor on his own from here on?

    • Dear Ziggy Salis,

      Taylor remains indigent (not able to finance his defense) and a beneficiary of the Special Court’s legal aid system. This means the Court will continue to pay for his defense.

      Best,

      Taegin

      • Taegin,
        Are you at liberty to disclose the compensation for the defense? Is that public information? Just curious.
        Peace.

        • Dear davenport,

          The only information public on the defense budget can be found in the Special Court’s annual report -http://www.sc-sl.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=kK8RBeHGowQ%3d&tabid=176. The approved budget for the Office of the Defense is on page 37. The budget does not get into specifics of compensation though.

          Best,
          Taegin

      • In addition, Taegin, is there any available public information on why Courtenay Griffiths is no longer CT’s lead counsel?
        Peace.

        • Hi davenport,

          That is an excellent question, but I have not seen any public disclosure yet of why Mr. Griffiths is no longer Taylor’s lead defense counsel. I will try to find more information on this.

          Thanks.

        • davenport
          if i were a lawyer, i would refuse to be counsel for someone like taylor.

  3. Yes, Courtney Griffiths did a great job delaying justice but in the end He probably now understands that no manipulations can hide truth from light!Bravo and may God guide you for helping an African Brother, and making his crimes seem as nothing in all your presentations! We understand, anyway, that you were paid to defend taylor and you did no wrong as far as the law goes..I am only looking at the “moral” side!

  4. http://www.frontpageafricaonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3087%3Afree-taylor-campaign-fifteen-civil-society-organizations-unite-to-campaign-for-convicted-former-presidents-freedom&catid=42%3Apolitics&Itemid=109

    No shall insult the Liberian nation and it respectful people’s intelligence and walk free. This is not over yet. Since justice cannot speak for herslf, wherever and whenever she is violated, freedom fighter shall rise and demand fairness on her behalf.

    Fallah ans Swizz, you are not Liberians. I learned last night that two of you are just part of the few paid infiltrators on the web. Your job is to make noise and pretend to be whom you want us believe you are. But you’re desperates characters. Shame on you!

    • Tomas,
      I am a Liberian and i agree with the verdict. Having a view that is different from yours does not erase someone’s Liberian citizenship. I think the 80 years the prosecution is asking for is too high and they are not going to get that. They might get 40 and that should be enough. If he survives, an almost 100 year old man is no threat to Liberia or the subregion.

      This trial was about putting an end to rebel activities in Africa and discouraging would-be warlords from starting conflicts in their countries and putting the people through untold sufferings and carnage.

      It is a shame Taylor used his immense talent and charisma for evil.

    • Tomas
      who are these civil society groups? nobody knows them.
      what a poor idea.

      • swizz

        I agree with you, Their bark is not loud enough. We need to focus on the future of Liberia and stop “crying over spilled milk”.

  5. Welcome Mr. Anyah….and if you my HELP…just say SHOW UP!!!

  6. I as a Liberian express great joy that the matter is taking this course. Congrats to Mr.Anyah ,I believe in you and surely you guys are reasons for Courtenay Griffiths success though the prosecutors choose the path they took. Take charge well of the Appeal while Griffiths who Liberians and the world admire so much take care of the sentencing which is obvious. Your legal work has proven to the world especially us African that Justice in the dictionary of the International Community is all about hunting one who does not dance to the sounds of their selfish drums

    I wish you guys the best

    • Abraham,
      Maybe Taylor should not have danced for the international community (west) in the first place. He should have had the guts to refuse their urging to wage war. Once he agree to dance for the west, he should have continue and not get rude, disrespectful and bite the hand that fed him.

    • wheon
      all the world is against poor liberia.
      what an misled conception of international justice and politics you guys have.
      and all to free a convicted man-slaughterer.
      shame on you! think of all the victims taylor left in two nations.

      • Swizz,
        If the Sierra leoneans really want to know who is responsible for all their death and destruction all they have to do is look in the mirror.

        • aki
          yeah, and then take a look at who is holding the mirror. in this case it was taylor.

  7. Dear swizz,

    Would you translate the meaning of “and don’t forget mis hermanos.” Are you saying // and don’t forget my brother?

    This references your earlier post:

    On May 5, 2012 at 9:16 am, swizz said:

    johnson and sekou
    somebody who considers himself neutral, but then takes side (for a murderer) – this is a liar. for sure you don’t understand that, since a convicted murderer and terrorist for you is an innocent man. For you everyone is mislead, also an international court with the most reknown experts who do their job for a long time.

    somebody who considers himself as a pacifist and then tries to seize down a court which stands for peace – this is a liar. even a notorious one.

    and don’t forget mis hermanos:
    liars nobody takes serious.

    It will work better if you use English for me.

    Take care,

    Sekou

    • To aid and abet means to assist another person in the commission of a crime by words or conduct actively, knowingly, and intentionally. In a criminal offense, a person who aids and abets in a crime, participates in the commission of the crime by performing some overt act or by giving advice or encouragement. The person should be sharing the criminal intent of the person who actually commits the crime.

      It appears most logical under criminal law, an aider and abettor party to a crime will be criminally liable as a principal, an accessory before the fact, or an accessory after the fact.

      It is at this point only presumptive that the Trial Chamber has evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Taylor is a principal, an accessory before the fact, or an accessory after the fact.

      Hopefully the evidence supporting their findings will be published on May 30, 2012. Nevertheless, Mr. Anyah will address these defects in the appeal.

      Take care,

      Sekou

      • Sekou

        Thanks for providing this 101 Criminal Justice course for jfallah and his follower swizz who do not understand the Criminal Justice System.

      • sekou
        the court decided about all reasonable doubts, that taylor is guilty in aiding and abetting.
        is there something you do not understand?

    • I really don’t see the contradictions nor English Sekou is contesting here about what Swizz meant! None of us are English born on this site except if some feel more closer to the Whites than others, even though, time and again, some feel they are more knowledgeable than others! It’s okay to feel you are more versed than others but only if you can prove this rationally as I sometimes attempt to do especially when a lesser individuals tries to challenge me! If Sekou finds it difficult comprehending what others write, then it may be possible that others find his “scholary” writings boring and more ‘secular’ in tune than he thinks! I can prove this if you come back here, by taking one of sekou’s posting and disecting it grammatically! So don’t come back and your focus should be the “appeal!”

    • Sekou,
      I think this “SWIZZ THING” is one of those uneducated Nanys sitting his butts somewhere posting trash all day long. It will be a prudent decition to institute disengagement.

      • Dear noko5,

        Roger that; it appears that he is using Spanish; I do not speak Spanish. lol

        Take care,

        Sekou

        • Garbage, Sekou, your writing sounds like you are French too. I believe you were raised in some French colony or you came from Canadian resettlement for Liberian refugees of taylor war to the US and now in some slum area of Philadelphia! Why do you guys always pick on others and feel you are better or somewhat more sophisticated? You pretend to be religious but your arguements here tell me different, Sekou. Remember when I called you ‘Rabbi’ in one of my previous postings? I should have calle you a “pharisee” one who prays in public to earn his wages in sins! Boy, don’t come back because I got news for you Sekou Taylor Ndorbor, your birth name ..we have researched!

        • yeah sekou
          i could write in spanish and french also, if you like.
          i taught it’s the order of the day to greet in french. tomas started that. maybe he did so to show. how well educated a man he is.
          hasta luego, au revoir compadres.

      • Sekou,

        I am in total agreement with noko5. Let’s disengage.

      • noko1to10
        nobody takes you serious since…
        read my earlier postings
        someone who laughs at victims… it tells us all.

  8. I have been quiet since the expected verdict of guilty was announced. My reason for been quiet was to digest the verdict and come up with a logical explanation, but to no avail. Judge, Sebutinde, Lussick and Doherty without deliberation according to Judge Sow came up with a guilty verdict. If Judge Sow’s statement is correct, which I have no reason to doubt, the defense could use Judge Sow’s statement during the appeal process to trash the verdict. It’s beyond my imagination how could those supposedly honorable judges took almost a year to render a judgment without deliberation.

    The trial court finds the prosecution failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt President Taylor was part of a Joint Criminal Enterprise. (JCE) while on the other hand he was charged with aiding and abetting, count 1-11. How possible can it be for President Taylor to be found not guilty on (JCE) and guilty on aiding and abetting? After all, without (JEC) there shouldn’t be Aiding and abetting.
    In the court of law, to charge a person with aiding and abetting the prosecution must first prove intent. Any way, this is not a court of law, rather a kangaroo court. President Taylor was appointed by the committee of five to head the situation in Sierra Leone; with the knowledge of the committee he (Taylor) accommodated leaders of the RUF, such as, lodging and money… is that aiding and abetting? The prosecution failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the intent of any wrong doing by President Taylor, and for the court to find him (Taylor) guilty of aiding and abetting is ground for the appeal court to throw the verdict out of the window.

    These are legitimate reasons for the verdict to be overturned in a proper court of law. However, under the circumstances it’s not going to happened, even though, the appeal court is composed of mostly Africans and they may see things as judge Sow, but changes are very slim…

  9. what make me to feel so disappointed about this whole case is the issue that have to do with changing of the lead defense lawyer

    • Obantus, don’t feel disappointed Mr. Anyah is an able counselor. QC Griffiths is an excellent trial counselor but Mr. Anyah’s specialty is appeal. Mr. Munyard is also not on the appeal team. As you are already aware, there wouldn’t be a full trial during the appeal hearing, mostly argument by both parties.

      Another reason why you shouldn’t fell disappointed, it was Mr. Anyah who argued the Joint Criminal Enterprise (JCP) during closing, a very difficult arguement which President Taylor were found not guilty. Lastly, Mr. Anyah connects better with the judges than QC Griffith. QC Griffith is a revolutionary and a nationalist; he comes across as being too forceful.

      QC Griffiths is the best and he may continue to work for the defense as pro bono, but legally and psychologically the switch was necessary in my opinion. Again, don’t expect the appeal court to be any difference from the trial court with/without QC Griffiths as the lead counsel.

  10. Thanks, Taegin.
    Peace.

  11. By the way, Noko4, 5 and Sekou, where is brother Jose. His views at this time will be much welcomed. Jose was very blunt, emotional, and gallant during the trial but seems to silently fade into the past before the verdict. Anyway, I faded away myself to return for the verdict. Therefore, if he is doing the same, then it’s cool. Sometimes we need a breather from this perennial CT saga to attend to important things of life. However, I want to hear his views.

    That brings me to the brother who goes by the name jfallahmenjor. You held the fort throughout the storm. You are bold and daring.

    I admire all of you anti-CT and pro-CT folks. Irrespective of which side of the divide you stood, you all held on. You were forceful, resolute, and passionate. You refused to abandon your entrenched position but held on. Occasionally, Tracey Gurd would take a hit from your firing. Taegin came and often dodged in time to hear the whizzing sound of a flying bullet. LOL! Oh poor, Alpha! His analyses and commentaries were like a discovery of a new ammo depot where fresh supplies were obtained. The brother, Alpha, is a great legal writer. He did his job professionally, I believe, without bias.

    Coming home now…You folks amazed me by keeping the rhetoric charged all these years. Well done, folks. Unfortunately, justice will be served, and we all might not go home contented. So let us pray for CT, Liberia, Sierra Leone, victims and their families, and all who suffer violence.

    Peace.

    • Dear davenport,

      I myself have wondered what happened to Jose. It appeared to me that he may have known some who have posted here. I do hope that me is well.

      I join you in prayer for those affected by the events doing the conflict period.

      Take care,

      Sekou

  12. Swizz,
    It’s a shame because I do have some Sierra Leonean blood in me. However I can’t understand how you Sierra Leoneans treated each other and want to blame someone who was only purchasing diamonds either in cash or with weapons. Didn’t Tony Blair back the kamajors when the British army came into the country to help.So given the logic of aiding and abetting shouldn’t he be in the dock? Didn’t Executive Outcome demand to be paid in diamonds when they came in to help? So shouldn’t Tejan Kabbah be in the dock also.

    The biasness is clear because the CDF (Kamajors) were fighting and murdering to save your butts. You and even some of the Sierra Leonean judges on the Special Court wanted to find them not guilty.

    So I want you and Fallah Menjor to explain why the double standards ?

    • aki
      the trial of CT was for CT and for noone else (take a close look at this site’s title). it’s a lighthouse against the darkness of impunity. i told you before, there are a lot of criminals around, not just in africa, but also in the EU and US. they should also get charged. and don’t forget: i don’t think they have a good sleep these days. i don’t think they travel a lot these days.
      but let’s be happy that one of the biggest threads for western africa is behind bars.
      buy diamonds for weapons is not a crime – not yet! but aid murderers is one. And morally it’s anyway wrong.
      the most responsible in SL got charged too (RUF and the other fractions). of course there should have been convictions. but only for taylor money is no problem, the SCSL instead had serious funding problems. to charge more people costs more. if taylor pleaded guilty in the beginning, the money could have been used to prosecute more “lower” criminals in SL.

      • Swizz,
        Charles Taylor is not guilty of nothing. He was tried in a court which let’s face it was setup to convict all indictees.

  13. Wake up Taylorbans, take you arms and ammunition and go to the Hague to free your warlord because he has taught you how to kill, rape and eat human flesh. It is better some of you to keep quite because this battle you are fighting is already a lost battle. No matter what you taylobans say, Taylor is a barbaric and an international war criminal. Be ready to collect his carcass from Britain.
    It is now better for you to start going to churches or Mosques and pray for your warlord than to start or continue castigating people because they are opposed to your claims. Get up stand up Taylorbans and fight for justice and this could only be achieved by going to the Hague than to be in your hiding places and shouting foul. Fear is foul and foul is fear. Come on guys, go now and rescue Taylor then the whole world will see you as brave men and not cowards.

    • Excellent post, Fuad..I love it! That’s all we need here..straight talk because these guys need it to wake up!

    • Fuad
      very well said. congratulations

  14. Swizz,
    The only places I show what I have is during a football match, and when I’m giving motivational speech or lectures to people who find inspirations in the little things I do for humanitarian reasons. To make your “maybe” a certain, I learned french in San Pedro before changing studies to Anglphone system. By fate, I have had my share of education, lad. But I am NOT the type that shows up intellectual skills because I don’t even think about it when I’m writing or talk. I enjoy french, make no mistake or else I would not have stay with it throughout high school and colleges as a foreign language. That being said, people who know me will tell you that I’m on the humble side. Hope we stay on the topic of justice though! )

    • tomas
      you name it. we rather discuss the case of taylor and not how uneducated one is or how much he earns or where ever he’s employed, noko1to10, johnson and tomas. and anyway noko1to10: i can’t help to say it for ever: nobody takes you serious, since you laug at victims.

  15. Sekou
    i’m still waiting for your answer on the RPE 88 setting (April30 2012 Charles Taylor Judgment: From the Public Gallery). You claimed, that RPE 88 doesn’t apply to aiding and abetting, but delivered no reasoning for that. also you gave no answer to SCSL-Statute 12: i claimed: Judge Sow was the fourth judge. he does not have the right to vote, i would say. therefore he does not have the right to speak.
    What you say, Sekou?
    this is a field where we can battle on right’s ground.

    • Dear swizz,

      What you fail to understand is the basic formulation of a court’s decision to convict someone must be found to conform to the criminal rules of evidence. It apparently is less obvious to you that an appeal will be taken; just because the Trial Chamber has past judgment does not necessarily end the case.

      It is irrelevant that Judge Sow has no vote; his statement cast doubt as to whether Mr. Taylor received a fair trial; it affects public opinion. Have you ever considered the possibility that this case may be reserved on appeal? From what I have seen of the evidence is the prosecution contends that there were Liberian fighters that participated in the conflict. This information came from individuals who were compensated for their testimony. The defense will undoubtedly raise this defect in their defense to the aid and abet judgment.

      It is obvious as well that you have accepted the charge as true even thought you do not have firsthand knowledge as to what transpired. Maybe the charge is true; but would you want to face a charge by someone who has been paid to testify against you? This would not mean that you received a fair trial in my view.

      To answer your question; the rule you raise does not define aid and abet; for this reason I find this rule has no relevance to the legitimacy of the conviction.

      I am not party to the feud on this site; I am trying to understand the trail process.

      Take care,

      Sekou

      • Sekou
        what you find and what not is not really important.
        important is, what the judges in charge find, because they represent the Rule of Law.
        the judges in charge are only three. so judge Sow can find whatever he wants – it is not decisive, since he has no vote. read RPE 88. RPE 88 has so far nothing to do with defining aiding and abetting. RPE 88 is about who is called to serve an indictment. and that is the majority of three judges. Judge Sow is not one of the three.
        of course there will be an appeal and does us cost a lot, just because CT and all taylobans can’t accept a reasonig by an international tribunal.
        where do you know from that ALL the witnesses were paid, sekou? were you there when they got paid? did you stand beside them when money changed hands? i reckon not.
        One could be of the opinion that the witnesses in favour of CT were paid too, out of the same reason, that the prosecution witnesses were paid. or maybe the defense witnesses just lied because they didn’t want to be part of a terrorist union, who eat flesh of men.
        the defense already raised the question of payment to witnesses, but the international tribunal didn’t find it important enough.
        how should witnesses get caught to testify in Den Haag, if they are not paid the travel costs? or the travel costs to travel to freetown?

  16. WOW! Tomas
    I actually enjoy the expression of the distinct quality of eloquance being conveyed to him. I hope he and his bossman whos’ name I don’t remember right now, (think he calls himself “fallah menjor, or some ***”,… “not important anyway”, will see your kind gesture as an opportunity the learn some decency in dealling with good people.

    • Wow, NOKO5 wants to hear from Jfallahmenjor? Great, just keep on interrupting and you will hear from me..However, right now I have people like SWIZZ who is giving you tough times and cannot answer his questions! Tell your Boss, Sekou to answer Swizz’s questions..Please! Just as Swizz said; NOKO1 to 10 is joker N# 1…nice day dude.

    • noko
      noko is talking about eloquence and opportunity to learn some decency with good people. know it’s on me to laugh. you’re no good noko 1to10. you’re a homophobe. you laugh at victims and nobody takes you serious. you demonstrate that with every posting.

  17. Sekou,
    Kindly try and post the link to the Defense’s reply to the prosecution request of an 80 year sentence.

    Thanks,

    • Dear Aki,

      I will post the Defense rely to the prosecution request as soon as it is made public. Perhaps that may be next week.

      Take care,

      Sekou

    • sekou and aki
      better answer questions instead of posting things nobody ever reads.
      aki, you want to post things? just do it. a grown up man doesn’t need someone to do the own job.

  18. use this version please!

    Mr so called fallah the kissi liberian man,Ohh forgot! American citizen now. Infact in 2001, the international community recognized the slave trade as a crime against humanity. What are u and your country men doing to pay reparation to our beloved liberia. Because i think if we compare the crimes committed during the civil war and that of the slave trade, you know the meaning of slavery borbor!
    You and your new country commited the worst crime ever. But who dare demand justice? You might be asking for sanction or hardship.. Nonsense! Here is a nice one here for u fallah and ur comrades. http://www.thepatrioticvanguard.com/spip.php?article6500

    • lib pekin
      that article is TOTAL Nonsense. the author doesn’t understand wheter us-justice nor international justice. the article only serves taylobans. definitively not worth reading. to comment that nonsense would fill a book.

  19. Taylor’s defence: 80-yr jailing request “vindictive

    http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCABRE84A0IO20120511

    • Lib. Pecking incase you did not read my last post to :

      On May 9, 2012 at 3:14 pm, jfallahmenjor said: Okay Lib. Peking, your narratives may have happened in Sierra Leone, but none like cannibalism that took place in Liberia. Taylor rebel forces killed and ate half of the 250,000 victims! What do you have to say about that Lib. Picken?
      Then also tell the world why taylor rebels engaged in mass rapes and public degradations of female victims during taylor rebellions?
      Tell the world the justification of hanging human intestines at taylor held areas at checkpoints?
      These were all civilized deeds, eh? you see, this is wyh you guys sound so barbaric that we need to put end to some of these acts, although taylor is gone, by setting up prosecution courts in Liberia and bringing advocates, who were equally guilty, to justice!

    • Lib pekin,

      Thanks for the link. It comes from well informed mind that does not care to speak the truth regardless of where he sits and writes. I wonder how many of those opportunists naturalized Americans will ever speak publicly like this author without fear of being deported to Africa. How long will we stand and see them kill our leaders, while we sing praises to the white killers?

  20. Swizz,
    You don’t read the post because you are not capable of being objective in this case. You have ears but refuse to hear. You look but you refuse to see. In law one who looks but does not see is negligent. In this case you are negligent to the facts before you

    • aki
      what are the facts i should look at? that taylor fueled the war and therefore is criminal responsible? that is the rule of law, what you’re not willing to look at.
      what post i do not read?

    • Aki,

      Wow! this is deep, dude. Lol.

  21. Let’s assume Court decides to reduce taylor’s proposed sentence to 40; Taylor will be 104 years old when he gets out of British Prison, Unknown, disfigured, helpless, poor, and unwanted by his own family, and the list goes on…! Let the taylobans live on such fantasy that sentence will be reduced, so they can sleep even though they donot realize what awaits their convicted criminal, taylor! I would never imagine these brothers seem to care more about this monster, than people affected by his criminal enterprises! Pathetic low class thinkers! But again, one needs to sympatize with these low class uneducated, due to 14 years of war by the very one they miss and want back! They are pathetic, irrational brothers full of arrogance and seem to care very little about self esteem, or who they are, nor love for their culture, and finally,country! These are the lost generation of Liberia! Poor fellows!

  22. Does it really make sense to convict 6O old AND PLUS YEARS TO 5O YEAR SENTENCE.JUST BE BRAVE AND TELL THE WORLD THAT ITS a LIFE SENTENCE.i wish i was part of his defense team