The press and outreach office of the Special Court has just announced that former Liberian Vice President Moses Blah is now scheduled to take the witness stand next Tuesday, depending on how long the previous witness takes. Blah served as Charles Taylor’s vice president and was Taylor’s immediate successor as Liberian president when Taylor left Liberia for exile in Nigeria in August 2003.
Blah will be led in evidence by Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court, Stephen Rapp. It will be the first time that Rapp has led a witness in the Taylor trial.
The court distributed the following summary of topics about which Blah may testify:
The witness may provide evidence in relation to the following:
Personal background information.
Training received by the Accused and Foday Sankoh in Libya in the late 1980’s, the Accused authority at that time.
Creation of the NPFL, the composition and command structure of the NPFL from the late 1980’s onward, the Accused’s control over the NPFL.
Creation of SBUs in the NPFL and the RUF, reasons for using children in the NPFL and RUF.
NPFL headquarters and base camps in Liberia from the late 1980’s onward.
Relationship between the Accused and the leader of Libya and the President of
Burkina Faso from the late 1980’s onward.
Libyan assistance to the Accused and to Foday Sankoh from the late 1980’s onward, including providing money to the Accused and providing weapons and ammunition or facilitating the Accused’s ability to obtain arms and ammunition.
Assistance of the President of Burkina Faso to the Accused from the late 1980’s onward, including but not limited to providing arms and ammunition to the Accused, procedure by which such assistance provided.
Storage of arms and ammunition in Liberia.
Relationship between the Accused and leaders of the AFRC/RUF, including but not limited to Foday Sankoh, Sam Bockarie and Issa Sesay, and Johnny Paul Koroma, leader of the AFRC/RUF Junta.
Assistance provided by the Accused to the RUF, including but not limited to arms and ammunition, training in Liberia, providing Liberian personnel subordinate to the Accused to fight with the RUF in Sierra Leone, providing guest houses and Liberian escorts in Liberia.
Command structure of the fighters in Sierra Leone in the early to mid 1990’s, including the command structure of subordinates of the Accused facilitating the movement of fighters into Sierra Leone.
Crimes against Sierra Leonean civilians committed by Liberian subordinates of the
Accused in the early to mid 1990’s, including but not limited to killing civilians and looting, the Accused reaction to these crimes.
Travel of AFRC/RUF leaders, including but not limited to Foday Sankoh, Sam
Bockarie, Issa Sesay, Johnny Paul Koroma, to Liberia to meet with the Accused and/or his subordinates.
Communications within the NPFL in Liberia regarding activities of the NPFL and RUF, and regarding crimes being committed in Sierra Leone.
The Accused’s control over the Liberian armed forces, police, special units after he became President in 1997, command structure among those forces.
The involvement of the AFRC/RUF in supporting the Accused against the LURD and ULIMO.
Circumstance surrounding the killing of Sam Bockarie in Liberia by personnel subordinate to the Accused, including but not limited to the reason for the killing.
Circumstances surrounding the killing of Johnny Paul Koroma, the leader of the
AFRC/RUF Junta government, in Liberia by personnel subordinate to the Accused.