Welcome Back for Taylor’s Defense

This Monday, Charles Taylor’s defense team is set to lay out their case before the Special Court for Sierra Leone.  We’ll be following the trial from the courtroom in The Hague and bringing you daily updates.  Our monitor, Sierra Leonean lawyer Alpha Sesay, will continue reporting on the trial.

Taylor’s defense is a critical part of the trial.  The Prosecution spent 13 months presenting their case: it’s now Taylor’s turn.  It’s the job of his defense team to cast doubt on the case that we have heard in court since the prosecution started in earnest in January 2008. Taylor has pleaded not guilty to the 11 charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious violations of internaional humanitarian law.

On this site you will find an overview of the prosecution’s case, as well as comments about why Taylor’s side of the story matters.  We also have a host of information about the background to the trial as well as the daily coverage of the prosecution’s case.

To make it easier for our readers, we are shifting to a different style of reporting. Starting Monday, we will be doing one daily post that captures the key drama and events in the courtroom that day.  We will also be creating weekly overviews for those who want to get up to speed quickly with the trial and don’t have the time to follow the posts every day.  We will continue with our monthly summaries which also look at the broad trends and developments.

We hope that readers will continue to post their views and comments, and continue their conversations with us and with each other on the site as this next phase of the Taylor trial starts up.


  1. It amazes me that there are no more comments on this – This is a major, huge trial. Like the leader of Darfur, and its military, Taylor is charged with committing unspeakable atrocities, that need to be spoken of. I personally will follow it closely.

    1. Karen,
      Your point is well taken. I do not know if you followed this most informative site from the beginning of the trial. There was a special blog section called “join the conversation “which most people submitted entries too. This site for some reason has been left out on this new web layout. I believe it is important that this section be put back on.

  2. This is indeed a most informative and necessary site.

    Thank you for it as we await the justice and punishment that Charles Taylor deserves.
    Like thousands, I too lost a loved one and whilst I wanted to visit the Hague to see Taylor personally account for his crimes, I am satisfied to follow proceedings from your site.

    Kindest regards
    Humphrey Cole
    London, United Kingdom

    1. H.S. Cole,

      Your statements show that you have already judged Charles Taylor guilty before the trial is even over. The people of Sierra Leone have to start accepting the blame themselves for what happened in the country. As I always say just look in the mirror.

  3. My Dear President,
    As you are about tell the World the truth, I pray to God to give you the strength and courage to withstand all the trials and tribulations. You trial is more political then judicial. You have being judged guilty long before the trial even began. All you are to do now is to tell your side of the story and expose the international conspiracy against bureaucrats who thinks you are too smart to be around. From all indications, the Liberian war was very different from the Sierra Leonean war. You rebel soldiers did not cut or miam the legs and hands of Liberian citizenry doing, the Sierra Leoneans did in their country. One would think that that such pratice would have started in Liberia and carry over in Salon, but this is not the case. All crimes committed in Sierra Leone were committed by Sierra Leones themselves and not Liberians.

  4. At lost last all is now set for the world to get the full history of the war in Sierra Leone. Mr. Taylor in high spirt to present his side of the coin. Let’s listen carefully to Mr. Taylor’s story to blance our judgements.

  5. That’s not an excuse and let stop been ignorance of the activities Taylor was conducting in Liberia and Sierra Leone. For those of you who never learn from your mistake, you should start thinking of other means of survival because your dictator, mass murderer, autocrat, authoritarian and totalitarian so-leader will not get the support he yeaning for. For those of you who related or fellow compatriots, the great opportunity you had is over. You and your so-called leader did not make use of the opportunity. You cannot eat your cake and have it. We are not stupid and for those who hold guns especially those kids that Taylor lie to. For Taylor to provide quality and affordable education for these kids instead he trained them to fight and kill innocent Liberian. The kids are not roaming about the street of Monrovia involving in arm robbery. What an idiot. Look I am not saying they say, I lived in Liberia and refused to hold gun for any uneducated fool like Charles Taylor. I saw innocent citizens pulled from line and killed in my present. These innocent citizens were sometimes accused falsely as been Krahn or Mandingo or someone who look healthy were consider to be government official of the Samuel Doe administration. You supporters should be ashamed of yourselves and try to put the Liberian people first and not Charles Taylor who days are number. God willing, Taylor will be dead soon. It’s shameful to see a former president in jail; it’s all because of his inability as a narrow-minded president. The crimes labeled against Taylor are all true. I was in Lofa County, when Fodah Sankoh branched toward Sierra Leone with heavy machine guns and the Taylor Special Forces. We saw looted materials from Sierra Leone headed toward Taylor strong hold Gbarnga. It’s stupid to say Taylor was busy in Liberia and was not involved with Sierra Leone.

  6. Liberians can well understand. All those writing from other West African Countries praising Charles Taylor and requesting his release are the one who helped to destroyed our sweet country. Those from Liberia are the one who got their living today from destroying our private properties.
    We as Liberians, all know who is Charles Taylor. He is a borned liar and a criminal. Danying involvement in Sierra Leone is a joke from Charles Taylor. Charles Taylor knows very well that Foday Sankor was the Commander at ELWA Junction in Monrovia, later in Bong Mines Then to Sierra Leone. Late Sam Bockarie was a Hair Cutter on Benson Street and joint Foday Sankor with other Sierra Leoners.
    Attacking Sierra Leone first was to get Kono and get enough diamonds. Guinea was second because of the rich diamonds in Bandakolor. When Foday Sankor attacked Koindu and saw the destruction of Koindu, did he not burst into tears, saying I don’t think this is the aim I came with.
    When Foday Sankor called you up, what did you tell him. Were you not the one that told Foday that, that is how the war can go?. Koindu on the border of Liberia and Guinea, was that not the Town your.Fighters were calling Kuwait.
    We are not surprised of you contineous denial because that how you will borned. Those who praising Charles Taylor today be aware of your endings because put to death so many innocents humany.
    My Al-Mighty God be with Charles Taylor to go to jail for life-time.

Comments are closed.