Taylor Says Prosecution Case is Full of Misinformation and Rumors

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor today dismissed prosecution case against him as full of “disinformation, misinformation, lies and rumors” when he took the stand at the Special Court for Sierra Leone as the first witness in his defense.

When asked by his defense counsel, Courtenay Griffiths, what he thought about the charges against him,  Taylor responded that they are “quite incredible, very unfortunate.”  Taylor said he has fought all his life to pursue justice and that the prosecution’s characterization of him was “completely false.”

Taylor also dismissed ideas that he formented war in Sierra Leone and highlighted his role as a peacemaker.  He would have to be a “superman” to run his country as president, control insurgency in his own country, while planning and ordering the commission of crimes in neighboring Sierra Leone, he said.

Instead, he invested his energy into fixing his war-torn country and helping other Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) leaders to attain peace in Sierra Leone.  Taylor said that for all times that he was in contact with RUF leaders in Sierra Leone, he did so with the consent of ECOWAS leaders.  Taylor denied allegations of any association with former RUF leader Foday Sankoh and emphasized that he had no knowledge of earlier RUF plans to attack Sierra Leone in 1991. He was “outraged” when he heard the RUF invaded Freetown on January 6, 1999 after all his work  to secure peace.

Taylor also  “could not understand” why he was handed over to the Special Court after his ECOWAS peers told him they would work to quash his indictment.

Taylor’s admitted to earlier associations with the RUF.  Between August 1991 to May 1992, there was cooperation between the RUF and NPFL because the two groups were fighting against a common enemy, the United Liberation Movement for Democracy (ULIMO), a group Taylor claims was supported by the then government of Sierra Leone under the leadership of Joseph S. Momoh. Mr. Taylor denied ever receiving diamonds from RUF rebels or providing them with arms and ammunition.

Mr. Taylor explained that he led a rebellion as leader of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) because the then president of the country, Samuel K Doe was leading a “violent campaign against the country.” He said that elections were stolen by Samuel Doe and it therefore became necessary to restore order and democracy in Liberia.

Mr. Taylor admitted that during the conflict in Liberia, his NPFL rebels committed some atrocities but that perpetrators were tried under military law and those found guilty were executed.

Much of today’s testimony, however, described Taylor’s early years, from childhood through to his role as a student leader during the coup d’etat in Liberia in April 1980.


  1. I am glad Charles Taylor finally has gotten his chance to provide his side of the story. He was concise and eloquent as usual. If this court is indeed a court of equity and not politics Charles Taylor will be acquitted.

    1. Due process provides all relevant parties to a conflict or a common issue of interest the opportunity to tell their stories before a court of competent jurisdiction.

      Eloquence is not a strategic advantage for acquittal. However, the presentation of credible evidence subject to further scrutiny by judicial authorities is a basis for conviction or acquittal.

      Supporters of Charles are emotionalizing his trial to curry favor from the international court authorities. A major strategy of Charles Taylor is enshrined in a statement made by U.S. representative Keith Allison that “democracy belongs to those who show up.” Taylor’s henchmen have employed the use of the Internet to discredit and condemn the The Hague.

      Their belief is that the more condemnations they make via the Internet the more they will gain the support of the court authorities. This strategy is a baloney! No amount of orchestrated support for Charles Taylor and deliberate condemnations against the The Hague trial will intimidate the trial process. I am a scholar of all Taylor’s strategies. And I know them for real! One of those strategies is that his supporters are masking themselves with fictitious names to make contributions.

      1. Harry,

        You are the one that is being emotional. I want you to answer one question do you really believe that the Prosecution put on a strong case ? If you are honest there can be only one answer “No”.

    2. This is an international court of justice.
      As such, Charles Taylor will get the justice he deserves.
      Especially the kind of justice he preached and executed during his campaign of terror.

      Funny how myopic many Taylor supporters are.

      ”Taylor will be acquitted ”

      Yes indeed.

      Dream on . It’s easier for a refugee hiding in the U.S. thanks to Taylor’s reign of terror .

  2. Mr. Charles taylors’first day of testimony is full of lies intended to fool the word once again. but he has very little room to sell this, at the conclusion his defence, the word will see this blood thirsty devil for who he is. may his souls rots in hell for the lives he destroyed in the Mano river union.

  3. I fully concur with you. This is going to be quite revealing. It has so far started on an interesting note. Let’s see how it develops.

  4. okay my people,I think the so-called International commounity should leave Mr Taylor alone.
    No body is perfect.every body are human we do make mistakes,is only God who can judge him,I don’t blame the International commounity,but our stupid and foolish Africans leaders who think they are perect and always want to be contorl by white people.may God bless and release Mr Taylor.

    1. Demonic faith or Dananic faith,

      sad indeed, my dear sister, the issue of Mr. Taylor has nothing to do with African leaders stupidity! It has something to do with Justice and Truth!
      And, if you can not find reason to believe that, in Mr.Taylor case there are hard evidence been brought against him; not by the leaders in Africa, but by the people of Sierra Leone and some of those real actors in the rebellious campaign of the R.U.F splinter group that was formed and trained by the N:P.F.L commanders.

      Are you saying the cutting of the hands and legs of your fellow human is mistake indeed? Are you saying the human destruction or catastrophic campaign that was melted on the people of Sierra Leone is an human error? Better say nothing at all…

      I thank You!

  5. It is true that nobody is perfect ,it’s also true that people especially leaders give acount of brutal,
    babaric forms of attacks against harmless, defencelss women and children under their regime.
    Mr Taylor rehetricks is not a yardstick to measrue justics in court . We have been listening to you
    for far too long and time is running out it is time for you to answer some of the actoins of your regime. People need closure about their love once .

  6. Look people Mr. Taylor did not do anything in that country, so this court need to leave this man alone,
    if he should be charge it should be for something done in liberia.
    no somewhere that no one ever saw him in Sierra Lone at anytime.

  7. I am watching this. I don’t understand this. I think that there is much on behalf of Mr Taylor’s defence that cannot be brought to public light. There is a possibility that Western society is indebted to the Taylor family. Let us pray.

    1. The west is doing Africa a huge favour. Providing all the funds to try a power deluded psychopath who calls himself president of Liberia.

      Charles Taylor is either in denial about his fate or he clearly hasn’t yet been haunted by the ghosts of the thousands he killed mercilessly for power and diamonds.

      Don’t blame the west for judging Taylor ,let us blame the west for not sending him to die in the same delapidated ,cocroach infested prison or hospital in which his comrade Sankoh died.
      Taylor deserves no sympathy from any sane person unless from his cronies or child soldiers, who ate fellow liberians and raped their own sisters .

  8. Before the special court was set up, there had already being a prejudicial conviction. We should not be deceived, that court does not have competent jurisdiction. It is designed to fool the world that there is a trial going on there. That case has already being decided by the same people who do not want to Dick Chinney, George Bush orAmerican soldiers that commited atrocities in Irag to stand trial. Why do we pretend and shy away from the obvious.

    1. Emmanuel,

      I understand your frustration and prejudice that the court has already convicted Charles Taylor, and that the ongoing trial is just a pretext! But your argument about the United States’ involvement with the Iraq war doesn’t equate to Charles Taylor’s single-handedly sponsoring a war in Sierra Leone for blood diamonds in order to have imperial control over both Liberia and Sierra Leone.

      The Iraq war is multi-national, and the Sierra Leonean war was Taylor-sponsored.

      Also, Taylor did sponsor rebel attacks on both Guinea and Cote d’Ivoire to increase his imperialism, but those attacks were successfully repelled by their respective governments.

      Taylor’s destabilization tactics were clear to all that he wanted to have a foothold in Sierra Leone in order to increase his wealth to destabilize the West African region.

      The The Hague trial of Charles Taylor is not preposterous; it’s real and lacking of prejudice.

  9. Wow! I was impressed by Mr. Taylor’s boldness to confront the realities that continues to keep Africa backwards. This case is not about justice and it does not represents the aspirations of justice nor the people of Sierra Leone. This is pure political lynching of one of African finest minds like what happened to Nkrumah, Steve Beko and all the other African greats.

    Atleast Mr. Taylor is not acting like a coward because he is fully aware that he was already convicted before the court was established. What a mockery of justice? Shame on these people!!!

    1. I dare that this writer will compared Mr. Chales Taylor[a flesh eating, blood thirst defacto detator] to Nkrumah and Biko who were one of Africa’s true leaders. Mr. Taylor can only be compared to Idi Amin Dauda. and it will all be proven at the conclusion of this trial.he did not give justice to Jackson F. Doe, Saye Dokie, and the people of the Mano River union,why should he be given one? may he be found guilty and rots in jail.

  10. Thank God 4 d court but they should b mindful bcuz d Love of Taylor still lives amongst Liberians. We want Peace n a Clear, clean Trial. LET OUR PAPAY COME BACK HOME.

  11. All right Mr. Taylor, i know that you are yarning for a freet trial, that’s your right, but on the other hand,can you ever remember giving anyone freedom since your days as rebel leader or your ascendancy as an Expresident of Liberia? Taylor do not be a charlatan, you sufferered others so why are you afriad of the aftermath of your evil deeds? Remember the saying “What goes up must come down”. Wish you a free and fair trial.

  12. Emmanuel ,
    Please stop embarassing Liberia. .

    No one is pretending or shying away from the obvious fact that Charles Taylor killed many people in Liberia and that he had a lot to do with the atrocities in Sierra Leone. He is guilty as charged unyil proven innocent.
    Did he mention the name Joseph Saidu Momoh ? Did he also mention collaborating with the RUF and Foday Sankoh ? This information revealed by Taylor himself is but the prologue of how Taylor’s life will come to rut behind bars.
    If your I.Q allows it , you do the math.

    Oh , by the way,

    The name is Iraq . You are perfecly right to start a petition against Bush and his administration if you want them brought to justice for Iraq.

  13. Mr. Editor,
    Thank you for allowing me to make a coment about Charles Taylor’s issue. To the supporters of Mr. Taylor who think he did not do anything in Sierra Leone to stand tiral. It is clear that Charles Taylor and the RUF leader both were closed friends during their training in Libya to come and destroy their countries. It is also true that Mr. Taylor masterminded the smuggle of blood diamonds from Sierra Leone inorder for him to buy more arms to fight government of the then dictator Samuel K. Doe in Liberia. How can we say he did not do anything to the poor suffering people of that peaceful country by smuggling arms to the RUF that were responsible for amputations of children, rapes, etc.? Taylor doesn’t have to personally take arms or amputate those babies himself as long as he had the power to instruct his people to do the smuggling of arms to Sierra Leona.

    Even if Mr. Taylor was to be set free for such barbaric actions that went on in that country, he is still to be chareged and prosecuted by the people of Liberia for the killing of thousands of his own people, as he claimed to be doing justice for. Mr. Taylor used to have a shooting game where hungry and people allow themselves to put bottle or an object on their head while Taylor and his generals including his son shot the object and if you survive, you receive USD100. How dirty and wicked can one be to do such? Finally, I hope the people of Lilberia will never forget the actions of Mr. Taylor and well are awaiting for his prosecution.

    1. George Slue,

      Stop wasting your talent for fiction. Go to Hollywood and write another Lord of War type of movie.

  14. Wow! its amazing how quickly we forget. I remember when we chanted in the streets when Doe over-threw Tolbert; We did the same thing when Charlie & PYJ came to town. I also remember a lot of people praying intensely for ECOMOG & US Government to intervene. My question is “What do we want?” We as a people put ourselves in this situation, because we allowed others to make decisions for us.
    Guilty or not, there is a bigger message here for Charlie and the Charlie-want-to-be in the world. You can not and will not use weapons to force your will on people. As a leader, Charlie needs to be the better man and do this for the greater good for Liberia, AFrica and the world. Send a powerful message,Charlie!

  15. Taylor’s case of crimes against humanity is because it was too open as it involved direct killings and amputations. He should face the music. But what about other African Heads of States (dictators) who don’t have militia groups like Taylor did but have done worse. Stealling money, Currpution, election fraud, changing constitutions to remain in power, fanning tribalism, nepotism, abuse of human rights, abitrary arrest, etc. Can they Hague try them too? The masses in Cameroon for instance are suffering for various reasons listed above.

  16. My point to the anti-Taylor Camp is that Taylor did not commit the crimes he is accused of in Sierra Leone. The NPFL fighters as bad and wicked as they were, did not cut off the legs and limbs of their fellow citizens that they terrorized for over 13 years. The RUF and Kamajor fighters in Sierra Leone were wicked to their own people. We all heard the case of the prosecution, now it’s the defense term.

    At the end of the day, their will be either a guilty or non guilty verdict. All should be prepared to accept whatever outcome. So call Pro Taylor or anti Taylor sentiments will in no way influnce or determine the outcome of Taylor’s trial. I am in total support of a Taylor trial for crimes he may have allegedly commited in Liberia.

    The Sierra Leones and most of the former British colonies take Liberians to be fools. We welcome them as brothers and sisters in Liberia, allowing them to even fill jobs that Liberians are qualified for. But when a Liberian travelled to any of these countries, they are overlooked and considered unqualified for jobs. The trend continues – Sierra Leonean leaders first supported Quiwonkpa and later ULIMO, which led to the death of many Liberians. Liberian never advocated for a war crimes court to tried Joseph Momo and Tejan Kaba. Whats wrong with us Liberians. Hold Taylor accountable for crimes in Liberia not Sierra Leone. I rest my case.

  17. Taylor will be held responsible for the crimes he has committed and may the world one day see what a evil man he, his supporters, and his son as done to the honor and respect of africa. I can only cry when I see what his goverment has done to my brothers and sisters of liberia. May GOD show no mercy on his soul.

  18. The entire case is very interesting , I am very anxious to see how the International Justice system works. As for Charles Taylor guilt or not, we have to look at the evidence in its totality, Let us not be emotional, even as we feel that it is very close to our hearts ,let us look at the facts in this matter and I am sure justice will pervail.

  19. The trial of Charles Taylor may be a temporary triumph for some amongst us in Africa today, no doubt we will look back and ask how and why we allow this jungle justice and double justice. Mistakes were made, yeh, and a Truth and Reconciliation Commission is ably qualified to heal a nation from the scares. Taylor’s was an era in Liberia and people transform. Obasanjo, Eyadema and even liberation heroes as Sekou Toure were no saints. We dont need someone who agreed to a negotiated settlement and stepped down to go through this charade. Mugabe obviously has learnt for those who feel he should go. There are other ways of punishing misdeeds, not through the double justice of western leaders who now rush to Libya even when they had condemned the Great Leader as a State sponsor of terror, just because of economics, or the continued friendship with the Egyptian “monarch”! Taylor in jail is no justice, it is robbery of our collective autonomy.

  20. trying charles taylor is a misadventure .who is trying obasanjo eyadema and family,mommar ghadafi,omar bongo odinmba,sassou nguesso,ngema,etc
    ecowas and a ecomog should be called to question in the alleged atrocities too because they contributed and compelled charles to intervene in the first place in sierra leon.
    now the big question is,what happens to the iron woman in the presidential mansion that sponsored taylor.

  21. Very disappointed that someone dare venture to call Charles Taylor one of the finest minds of the continent, and furthermore compare him to the likes of Kwame Nkrumah, and Steven Biko. Is this a joke? Kwame Nkrumah dreamt of Pan-Africanism and brought his country to independence from a strong colonial power. Steven Biko dreamt of a world without apartheid. Please let me know one major contribution Charles Taylor brought to Africa besides destabilizing the West African region for 15 plus years. Then express disappointment in his fellow African leaders for not cushioning him in his time of need? Is he kidding? Yes there, are other corrupt African leaders, however Charles Taylor did more than steal money from the people, the thousands of Liberian and Sierra Leonean youth currently addicted to drugs and/or gunpowder and other elements, how do we reconcile for them? Will they come up on the witness stand?

    Can we also address the fact the man escaped from prison!? CIA backed or whatever! Criminals go to prison for crimes they committed. He was in prison under instruction from the Liberian government b/c of alleged embezzlement. Are we going to lie and say his trial then was not fair?

    Essentially we have a criminal who never served his time. May God see past the lies.

    And for the several families out there, namely Liberians’ elite families’ who helped to support Taylor through the years monetarily from the states and beyond. Yes you too, should be ashamed of what you helped your own people to endure. All that blood money that was passing through networks like places in Staten Island, NY and beyond to help Taylor. You should be ashamed. I wonder if any of you are stepping up to the plate and repenting with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Liberia.

  22. Just to elaborate on the previous last paragraph, the problem is not so much that Charles Taylor is/was corrupt though it is a problem too too many African leaders have repeatedly fallen into. The worst problem is how quickly a man like him was able to gain followers, and then keep those followers even after he orchestrated cross-border atrocities…

    This situation unfortunately reminds me very much of Hitler, everybody loved him at first b/c they thought he was bringing freedom and a new Germany, “they didn’t know” he was killing millions and millions of Jews everyday…they followed him blindly. So too have the unfortunate few amongst the masses who claim to love their dear dear Mr. President. The problem is not so much the man but the people that followed him. His crime if ever brought before a Liberian court should be taking advantage of the uninformed/terrorized masses. If somebody kept kicking you in the stomach for 14 years, and then finally said okay, let me be your master and I will not kick you anymore…what would you do? Will you too follow blindly??

    Charles Taylor, you can joke and talk about not having your mayonnaise jars full of diamonds, or any jar for that matter. Yet attempting to sweep years of war, killings, and corrupted child soldiers under the rug is too much. The international community was able to stop you before it got too far. How do you attempt to fulfill a dream of a new Liberia, when you corrupt the youth and the future of Liberia? How are you the peacemaker of Africa when you willingly donate your soldiers to a neighboring conflict? Or maybe you were sending the child soldiers to school @ night, while they fought in the day? Thanks for screwing our country and Sierra Leone up!

    Your time is up. You were NEVER the 21st president of Liberia Mr. CGT, it was a figment of your imagination. Presidents take care of all their people, and protect the interests of their youth especially. Presidents DONT try to hide all the money they embezzled overseas….but you know what? you did it before…in the 1980s so I dont know why Liberian people are surprised you’ve once again tried to hoodwink them…hopefully this prosecution will work hard enough against your mastermind of evil. Charles Hitler Taylor!

  23. After reading July 14 transcript on the trial, Mr. Taylor gave information about the Liberia 1980 coup that was varying interesting and shin some more light on what happen. I also think he is doing a great job at distinguishing the different between what is a warlord and a revolutionary.

  24. Dear readers,

    The debates on this site are lively and passionate, which is just what we want to see.

    Just a reminder to all that while comments are both welcome and encouraged, as moderators of the site, we would also request that comments be both constructive and civil. We also reserve the right not to post comments which do not fall within the terms and conditions of the site (see the link at the bottom of the page to read them).


    1. Hi Stephen,

      Good question. After Charles Taylor was arrested in Nigeria on March 29, 2006, he was transferred back to Liberia and then on to the Special Court for Sierra Leone in Freetown. Yet there were concerns about whether Mr. Taylor should be tried in Sierra Leone. Citing fears over instability in Liberia if Taylor were to be tried in Freetown, both the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the Liberian President, Ellen Sirleaf-Johnson, backed a bid to have Taylor’s trial moved to The Hague. The Dutch Government asked for a Security Council resolution to authorize the transfer, and said it would host Taylor’s trial on the condition that another country agreed in advance to take Taylor after his trial finished, should he be convicted. The then United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, made a request for states to consider hosting Mr. Taylor if he was found guilty. The United Kingdom agreed. Meanwhile, the International Criminal Court expressed willingness for the Special Court for Sierra Leone to use its premises in The Hague for the trial. The Security Council resolution was drafted by the United Kingdom. Security Council Resolution 1688 was passed unanimously on June 16, 2006, paving the way for Taylor to be tried by the Special Court on the premises of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. And now, here we are today with the trial in full swing.

      We had written a few commentaries related to this issue that you might be interested in. You can find them here: http://www.charlestaylortrial.org/2009/08/15/does-the-uk-offer-to-imprison-mr-taylor-if-convicted-mean-the-outcome-of-the-trial-is-predetermined/
      and here:

Comments are closed.