International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Special Court Announces Date of Taylor Appeal Judgment

The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) issued a press release stating that the appeal judgment in the Charles Taylor case will be announced on September 26, 2013. In April 2012, SCSL judges convicted Mr. Taylor on 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and serious violations of international humanitarian law that occurred from November 1996 to January 2002 during the course of Sierra Leone’s civil war. The judges also convicted the former Liberian president of planning, with former RUF leader Sam Bockarie, attacks on Kono, Makeni, and Freetown, which took place in late 1998 and early 1999. He was sentenced to 50 years in prison in May 2012.

On July 19, 2012, both the prosecution and defense teams filed notices of appeal against the findings of the Trial Chamber on Mr. Taylor’s conviction and his sentence.   The prosecution appealed the Trial Chamber conviction on four grounds, including the Chamber’s failure to find Mr. Taylor liable for ordering and instigating the commission of crimes, the failure to find him liable for crimes committed in certain location in five districts on the ground that they fell outside the scope of the indictment, as well as the decision to sentence him to a single term of 50 years. The prosecution originally asked that Mr. Taylor serve an 80 year jail term.

The defense has raised 42 grounds of appeal. The defense disagrees with the findings of the Trial Chamber that Taylor was involved in planning attacks on Kono, Makeni, and Freetown in 1998 and 1999 and that he assisted the commission of crimes by providing medical assistance to rebel forces in Sierra Leone. The defense also argues that the 50 year jail sentence is “manifestly unreasonable,” and that the judges “erred” in their failure to consider Taylor’s expression of sympathy as grounds of mitigation. Concerns were also raised over irregularities in the proceedings based on the statement made by the Alternate Judge El-Hadj Malick Sow that there had been no deliberations among the judges and that Justice Julia Sebutinde’s participation in the proceedings after she had already become a judge of the International Court of Justice was improper.

The Appeals Chamber will announce its judgment at 11:00am on Thursday, September 26, from The Hague. The appeal judgment will mark the conclusion of the trial, which began in June 2007 and saw 94 witnesses testify for the prosecution and 21 for the defense, including Charles Taylor himself, over its duration.

More information on the case, including the Trial Chamber judgment and appeal submissions, is available here.

15 Comments
  1. This is welcome news! It’s about time we come to an end of this trial so taylor can begin serving his prison term, and victims rest in peace. Defense, then, can choose to accept judgement or demonstrate @ the Hague. It was great that the world showed the beast in taylor and compassion he had never afforded others. The world court will be remembered for giving africans the true meaning of justice. And for most of us who visited or posted on this site, we will forever remember the risks of standing against a tyrant such as taylor. We also know our contributions were not in vain. Above all, the victims will rest in perfect peace knowing there are some who care! Bravo!!!

  2. If world justice was truly fair, George Bush, Barack Obama, Tony Blair, David Cameron, Nicholas Sarcozy and others would all be in prison for aiding and abetting rebels who carried out atrocities.

  3. Look!!! we already know the outcome of this fake case even before the trial begun. So there is nothing strange here folks. That’s what makes this court a kangaroo court and a laughing stock. However, thanks to all you true justice seekers. You fought a good fight by not compromising to uphold what is right. King Gray, Akin, Grebo, Big B, Sekou, Noko4, my own man Noko5, and a whole host of you guys that I can’t remember your name on the top of my head right now. I say, Bravo Zulu and more power to you.

  4. I will be nice to hear the verdict of the appeals court judges. The credibility of international justice is on the line here. the reason for the decision will make for interesting reading.

  5. Well said Aki. I wish the rest of African countries will follow the stands that Kenya has taken through their Parliament who voted to upt out of the the so-called international court established for African and African leaders. The very so-called special court for Sierra Leone was especially created exclusively for the X-Liberian President, Charles Taylor but not even for the very Sierra Leonian who brought war and madness onto their own people. Is sad that many people especially here that I have come across since the beginning of this case are yet to understand the true nature of these establishments. But I hope as this case comes to an end, many of you will rethink, see reason and ask yourself if these establishments in fact are fairly been established. It was great being part of the forum here throughout the trials and I must admit that all of us here are taking something with us. Comes 26th September 2013 I will be as usual be sitting and watching it live.

    • Hey AMAX,

      nice to hear from you again. However, what the Kenyan Parliament did to overwhelmingly vote in opting out of the ICC can be considered as self- absorbed and narcissistic. When did they get to know that the ICC was not”fair and balance”? Is it because their very own is about to be consumed by the world’s powers? Why it can not be a collective call by all African countries to ask for reform and or modification? If all African countries decide to go on their own, I tell you this; they will be a victim of their own trap and concession at their own peril.
      Do you remember President Taylor parable just before he left Liberia about the three cows? He talked about the brown, black, and white cow. He said Mr. Leopard went to the black cow first and said you know, the brown cow doesn’t like you, but if you join me to get rid of him, you will just be fine. The black cow joined him and they got rid of the brown cow. It took a little while, Mr. Leopard again went back to the black cow and said, if the white cow is not around anymore, than you become the king automatically. However, the news was very enticing and luring to the black cow and so he joined Mr. Leopard again and they both got rid of the white cow. Well, the end of the story is, Carnivore Leopard got hungry one day and said to the black cow that he had no other meal on his menu to eat other than the black cow. Black cow cried and begged for mercy and reminded leopard of their long standing relationships and ties. Leopard didn’t care. He tore up black cow with is vicious and terrifying paws. He devour black cow and ate him.
      For example, Ivory Coast Laurent Gbagbor is one of the cows. He is now in jail.

      • Jose Rodreguez, your story reflects taylor’s manipulative skils he used in getting the Mano and Gio tribes of Liberia in joining him to fight the head of Khrans tribe;Samuel Doe; and later getting rid of Jackson F Doe, a Mano Prominent leader. Your story goes on to reveal How taylor used Kerkula kpoto to hold foot in Lofa, then killed Dr. Stephen Yekeson, a prominent Lofa Leader. You see, “the chickens are coming home to roost” quoting Malcom X! What goes around usually comes around. Thanks for sharing this, it sounds like ‘true’ confession to me! The black,white, and brown cows are reflections of taylor’s demonic plans that backfired and putting behind bars for life! Praise to Allah, God Almighty!

  6. The move. Made by Kenya is just the beginning of what the ICC will experience. Same will happen to the United Nations and other human right organizations for allowing thems selves to be used by a special group against others. We did not want their end time, but no matter what you did or said in their own long term interest, they never listen. Until all men are treated equally, those mistreated will eventually leave the party to those it benefits. Sounds like simple logic…

  7. six days to doom’s day for rebel taylor to face utmost justice for rapes,and coniving with RUF to kill and maime so many innocent sierra leoneans. After this, Liberians will consider bringging charges agaist taylor for crimes committed against liberians, as suggested, several times by support group on this site. We will continue after this rebel leader down to his grave and in death for wrongs done to our people! Support group need to get ready for second round of their leader while in secured place in Britain prison cell!

    • Fallah,

      Join us in advocating for the implementation of the Liberian TRC Report. Using the backdoor means to get even with this innocent man will not cut it.

  8. just to refresh everybody’s mind about ICC in brief from general understanding I gathered from following this court and its objectives, plus recent decision by ivorians court to hand Mrs Gbabo to the hague:”ICC in brief
    Set up in 2002
    Based in The Hague, the Netherlands
    Deals with genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression
    Court has been ratified by 121 countries, including 34 in Africa
    Chief Prosecutor is Fatou Bensouda, from The Gambia
    Democratic Republic of Congo militia leader Thomas Lubanga is the only person convicted so far
    Investigating cases in Uganda, DR Congo, the Central African Republic, Sudan, Kenya, Libya and Ivory Coast.”
    Source: ICC factsheet

    Q&A: International Criminal Court

  9. J Fallah Menjor,

    Actually the Ivorian Government has said it is not going to hand Mrs. Gbagbo over to the ICC.

    • I agree, Aki, that the Ivorian Govt is not willing to turn Simmione Gbagbo over to ICC. However, that Govt is suggesting that she be tried in the courts of Ivory Coast. This is reasoable request, since conditions in the Ivory Coast are unlike in Liberia, after taylor got arrested. You should be asking yourself why Jewel taylor is not being tried the same way as this Lady! Maybe because she was divorced from taylor just before exile began, and final arrest when taylor jumped bill, and headed for the borders! In all, The ICC is a good thing for all rogue leaders that have no humanistic intentions order than power and greed. Opinions will not abolish this court, my brother..you need to change your attitudes and join the ‘world order’! Two days to your leader’s final story before prison term begins in Britain. Sorry my brother those who live by the sword ,die by the sword!

      • fallah,

        President Taylor is not being given a fair trial here my brother. From day one, the deck was stacked up against him. For example, the rules of the court was very much unfavorable to him. But anyways, that’s behind us now. Having said that, let me shift just a little bit. You talked about Gborbor being tried in ivory Coast by the request of the Ivorian Government. This will be in contravention to Liberia. Whether you like it or not, President Taylor is still the most popular Liberian politician. If he was to be a freed man today, and election was held today, he will massively annihilate both Weah and Ellen combined. This is not a news to the power of this world. Because they already know according to their own sample study and opinion polls. So, there is no way Taylor will be tried in Liberia or will be allowed to go back home.

  10. Falah menjor,
    You said it just right: Ellen and her gay children will be prosecuted later on by the ICC. Especially, for sending rebels to fight in cote d voire. Do you work for her now??? Lol.. Useless people!