Former Sierra Leonean rebel commander Sam Bockarie did not take orders from Charles Taylor during the country’s 11-year conflict, Mr. Taylor told judges of the Special Court for Sierra Leone today.
Prosecutors claim that Revolutionary United Front (RUF) commander Sam Bockarie (known as “Mosquito”) used to take orders directly from Mr. Taylor and that the former Liberian president promoted Mr. Bockarie to the rank of Brigadier General in the RUF.
Mr. Taylor dismissed the allegations as “total nonsense.” He said that the RUF were “dealing with me as a president of Liberia and a member of the Committee of Five” – the group set up by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to try to bring peace to Sierra Leone.
“Bockarie did not seek orders from me. I did not seek to give him orders,” Mr. Taylor told the judges in The Hague.
The link between the two men and Bockarie’s RUF rebel group goes to the heart of the case against Charles Taylor in the Special Court: that is, whether Mr. Taylor was in control of the RUF’s actions in Sierra Leone during the war, including the crimes that were committed by the RUF, during the country’s conflict after 1996 — and whether Mr. Taylor had the power to stop those crimes or punish those who committed them.
The Prosecution has alleged that Mr. Taylor did give orders to Mr. Bockarie, and thus had effective control over the RUF forces at critical times during the Sierra Leonean conflict. Between 1997-1999, former RUF leader Foday Sankoh was jailed in Nigeria and during his absence, Sam Bockarie served as interim leader of the RUF. Several prosecution witnesses have testified that during Sankoh’s absence, Sam Bockarie used to take to take orders directly from Mr. Taylor and based on his advice, the RUF launched strategic operations such as the attacks on the diamond-rich town of Koidu in 1998 and Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown in 1999. Witnesses also testified that during this period, Sam Bockarie made several visits to Liberia based on Mr. Taylor’s invitation. During these visits, witnesses said that Mr. Bockarie travelled back to Sierra Leone with loads of arms and ammunition which the RUF used to cause mayhem against the people of Sierra Leone. Mr. Taylor has denied all these allegations.
Mr Taylor has sought to explain the nature of his relationship to Mr. Bockarie during Mr. Taylor’s testimony in his own defense. On Monday July 3, 2009, Mr. Taylor told the Special Court that in September 1998, he invited Sam Bockarie to Liberia for the sole purpose of convincing him to end the war in Sierra Leone. He also admitted giving Bockarie an amount of money as a gift for him and his rebels.
In his testimony today, Mr. Taylor again admitted that in October and November 1998, Sam Bockarie also went to Liberia. During his visit in October 1998, Mr. Taylor said that Bockarie met with him, together with other security officers of Mr. Taylor’s Liberian government, as well as with ECOWAS leaders. Mr. Taylor said that on this visit also, he assigned a guest house to the RUF where they stayed whenever they were in Liberia for the purpose of discussing the peace process in Sierra Leone. He said all members of the ECOWAS Committee of Five also had access to the RUF leaders at the guest house.
In November 1998, Mr. Taylor said Bockarie also visited Liberia en route to Burkina Faso. Asked about his knowlege of the purpose of the visit, Mr. Taylor said he was informed that Sam Bockarie was travelling with a delegation of RUF commanders to seek advice from Burkina Faso president Blaise Campaore on the peace process in Sierra Leone.
Mr. Taylor told the judges that he had nothing to do with Mr. Bockarie’s trip to Burkina Faso. “I did not provide any assistance for the trip to Burkina Faso,” he said. According to Mr. Taylor, “every member of the Committee of Five knew about this trip. Even Tejan Kabbah [the Sierra Leonean president] was informed later.” Asked whether the RUF returned from Burkina Faso with arms and ammunition, Mr. Taylor said he did not know whether that happened.
The question of Mr. Taylor’s seniority over Bockarie in both age and stature – and whether that translated to control over him and his troops — has also been at the nub of some of the exchanges between Mr. Taylor and his lawyer, Courtenay Griffiths. Asked by his defense counsel today whether Bockarie took him to be a God Father, Mr. Taylor said that “I dont think Bockarie needed a God Father. You will be surprised at Bockarie’s intelligence and the people he dealt with. That will just be terrible if anyone tried to take advantage of a young man.”
Mr. Taylor also told the judges that Sam Bockarie was a very young man with whom he could not have sat to eat dinner. Asked by his defence counsel whether any such dinner took place, Mr. Taylor said “lets be serious now. No. He is a little boy, the same age with my Director of Security Benjamin Yeaten. Sam Bockarie could not be invited by a president to have dinner. He could not get to that level.”
Mr. Taylor also told the court that he did not plan the invasion of Freetown in January 1999 with the RUF. “Even this court has found out that RUF was not involved in the Freetown invasion,” he said.
Mr. Taylor’s testimony continues tomorrow.
Let Mr. Taylor be given fair trial there in the Heague.
If there is no evidence against him about all of those allegations, then let the court release him, instead of bothering him all of the times.
I hope Mr. Taylor receives a fair and transparent hearing! Best wishes to Mr. Taylor!
Someone help me is there any where on the internet i can get the audio clips or videos of the trials? Desperate! I know of the live links provided.
Thanks in advance
Dear Nii DArku,
You can either go to the button on the right hand side of this website’s homepage that will take you to the live feed, or go directly to the Special Court’s website – http://www.sc-sl.org – and the links to the webcast are on the right hand side of the page. Hope this helps.
Another big nonsense, that Mr. Taylor controlled and ordered Sam Bockarie and the RUF yet we see a very big different between NPFL and RUF as it relates to the treatment of civilians in their respective areas of control. Greater Liberia was a place to live during the war in Liberia as the rule of law was in place and working. We never saw people in Gbarnga with cut lims but healthy and beautiful people. The RUF is Sierra Leone own making so let them be held responsible for their actions and leave Mr. Taylor out of this mess.
It will take a lot of courage who are being paid for by the UN to set free a man the UN and US have invested so much to bring to trial. I really can’t see them having the guts to take the side of the Defence no matter how they defent CT. Does anyone think they have the integrity to judge based on the merit of this trial case, what is their history do they judge for the media or the merits of the case. I am neutral, however I do hope Africa can get the legal system they deserve not what is imposed upon them. On the flip side there is a lot to learn on the way trails should be held what ever the outcome….
Africa unite… the world will be better for it…..
I am in agreement with you on this. I hope Africa can form a judicial system that is strong and free of external influence, be it from western countries or people with financial means.
About the case, the US and many western governments want to see CT fall. To some degree, they are upset that him, reasons best known to themselves and CT. In regards to a fail trail, NEVER! He was guilty in the eyes of many even before the trail. What CT is accused of is something that has been practiced from the inception of the human race. Am I saying it was right, No! I think if the card is dealt to one, it should be dealt to many others…This should serve as a lesson for all leaders, be careful you who get in bed with…there are rumors that Doe was on CIA payroll, look what happened to him, Manuel Antonio Noreiga, another on payroll since he was 16 years old–see where he is now? The Russians and British are the same too….Warning: future leaders of Africa, be careful who you allow into your bedroom.
I am interested in a few questions to Mr. Taylor and I don’t know whether his Lead Lawyer Griffits will be interested to know from his Client the following questions: How Sam Bockarie was killed on Liberian soil, why was he killed, why did Bockarie carried arms in Liberia, etc. etc? I pause to hear from Mr. Taylor.
Just continue listening Charles Taylor will definitely explain all of the above concerning Sam Bockarie.
Musa, I will expect you to at least learn after seeing this trial if at all you are watching it the facts. But unfortunately, the question you have posted suggests that you are still operating on rumors and hearsay. How do you know that Sam Bockarie was killed on Liberian soil? Didn’t President Taylor tell the court that his bodyguards(Bockarie) were allowed to carried small arms like pistol? Are you listening? I don’t think so.
Mr. Taylor will get to that but according to the prosecutor own witness, Mr. Moses Blah, former President of the Republic of Liberia, Sam was killed in a fire fight. He was now working for Liberia against the rebel group, MODEL.
The seat of Liberia presidency is no joke, we have protocol in Liberia, our presidents are not common criminal, so let this be known to the outside world that the office of the president of Liberia is just not a place of less busy people and place of people without value. This is a office of value and work. so there is no way possible that our president would be occupied with criminals
May GOD blessing be upon you Mr. Taylor
If this ICC thinks she is serious, why she did not raise issues of human right violations where taylor brought special forces comandos to take down Samuel Does stupid goverment he had in Liberia? Is this court or whosoever that is associated with this false trial, trying to bring war between the people of Liberia and Sierraleone so that she can be able to extract some blood gold and diamond.
This case is NOT about Liberia……call the UN for Liberia’s Special Court
Bill Clinton just went to N. Korea to free two American journalists. The N. Koreans accepted the mediation of Mr. Clinton. Does this mean that Mr. Clinton is working in collusion with the N. Korean against American interest? It was the Gov’t of USA that sanctioned the mediation of Mr. Clinton. Therefore, Taylor’s intervention into S.L. as a mediator was at the behest of the ECOWAS sub region and the UN. However, key players in the West decided to set Mr. Taylor up and lured him into the “mediatory entrapment role”. They did not want him as president of Liberia in the first place and his mediation in Sierra Leone was a launching pad to pull him down. The entire continent of Africa is watching to see the outcome. This is how disunited African leaders are. They allowed their compatriot to be caught like a common criminal after an agreement was reached for him to step down for the sake of peace. They entered a pact to make the indictment null and void should Mr. Taylor step down from power only for them to sell him to ‘post-colonial slave masters’. BEWARE LEADERS OF AFRICA; TOWN TRAP IS NOT FOR RAT ALONE. It is my prayer that justice will prevail in this trial and I do hope that this is not another “Animal Farm’ case in which the end was decided before the case commenced. Why is it that ‘war crime’ charges are not slammed on Mr. George Bush Jr. for what American did to Iraq? What right did they have to invade a nation under the pretext of searching for weapons of mass destruction? Did they find the weapons? Why is the world not talking about this but when African leaders do things they are paraded as villains and criminals. This is unfair for we all came from one God and God is no respecter of persons.
Nice, very nice….lets give the Bush initial reason for going to war in Iraq. It was not for WDM or to remove a dictator; it was to settle a vendetta, if anyone can recall, he first said this man is wicked he tried to kill my father. So I guess, within legal pretext war are allowed to settle scores. Politics has sure evolved.
I am very surprise for you to base your analysis on the trip former president Bill Clinton made to Korea. The scenario shows no semblance of collaboration. I will ask you to please visit a dictionary and properly defined collaboration or support. If I give a person sanctuary to carry out atrocities into another person home I am in full support. Lets turn it around, if you bought a stolen goods, by law you are also a criminal. You and I know Sam Bockarie walk this soil. So let us not protect those demons that cause serious carnage on these shores. It is also my wish that Charles Taylor get a fair trial. But we are observers should not get sentimental because we were beneficiary of the spoils.
Nicholas, Tee says it all in the piece above. However, I think you are on your own program. A point of correction. President Taylor did not provide sanctuary within the context that you are speaking to Bockarie being hosted. President Taylor was serving within the capacity as a chairman within the Committee of five and was following precedence from the Ivory Coast who provided housing facility to Sam Bockarie for the same reason of bringing peace to Sierra Leone. So, Nicholas, if you will hold President Taylor responsible for hosting Bockarie, why are you not holding Ivory Coast liable? How about the Committee of five who empower President Taylor and endorsed by Ecowas and U.N? Brother, at least be fair here.
I am not defending Mr. Taylor. If he did commit atrocities, the rule of law should take its course. However, we all must be able to read between the lines and know that Africans must come to the realization that the international community was fully cognizant of Mr. Taylor’s mediatory role in S.L. However, they were looking for a means of connecting him to the RUF. This issue is not about Taylor alone but about free and fair trial and equal rights to all. One in which the verdict is not announce before the actual case begins. Were there not atrocities committed in Iraq by the occupation forces? The EU is now trying to award Mr. Tony Blair with the European Presidency. Is it because he caused havoc in another nation making its citizens to now live penury lives? The British Gov’t has recently established a Commission of Inquiry into Britain’s involvement into Iraq. This Commission is clothed with the responsibility of finding out what led Britain to become embroiled in the Iraqi conflict. However, this Commission is a toothless bulldog because it lacks the mandate to mete punitive measures against those who will be held responsible for Britain’s involvement. Why have they decided to only investigate Britain’s entry into Iraq’s war and expose those who were at fault for the senseless war in Iraq? This is because the nations of the West have high regards for their leaders even when they are at fault. They will do all to protect their nations and its leadership (past and present). However, when it comes to developing nations, our leaders are treated at secondary citizens.
It is up to us all to reflect on these things and not just send emails around for the sake of expressing ourselves. The present U.S. Gov’t is now about to investigate the slaughtering of over 1000 Taliban fighters who were arrested and imprisoned in 2003. They were slaughtered in cold blood by U.S. marines and anti-Taliban fighters. Why is it that the rights of those POWs were not considered? Thanks to Pres. Obama, some semblance of ‘equality and respect of law for all’ is been championed by his administration because he truly understands what it means to be called a ‘second-class citizen’ and to not have a voice in a nation that is supposed to stand as vanguard for democracy and equal rights for all globally.
I guess we are yet to see the evidence that will seal the deal. I am so disappointed at the international criminal court system. I just wonder if the Iraqis decide to have war crime charges against Bush and Blair will the ICC be willing to facilitate the process. There is striking parallels between the allegation against Taylor on one hand the Bush and Blair actual acts on the other. Lets see, they invaded a sovereign nation, millions lost the their lives, women are raped and some killed after being raped, they paid groups to fight and people are tortured….ummm. Do we see something here that might warrant inquiries?
Anyway back to the current trail, SCSL SHOW US THE EVIDENCE! I want this guy prosecuted for crimes he committed in Liberia, not SL; there are no evidence for SL. Most of the witnesses evidential statements were, “I was there, I saw it, I was told, I heard” and our favor line for arguing “I am telling you” are we to put people in jail because of what a person says…Hello folks, People lie and they do that all the time.
I guess all of you folks speaking in defense of Ghankay are either simply sychophants or blind loyalits who enjoyed off the innocent blood of the victims. We who saw, know and engaged him will leave him to God to judge. But for this purpose he’s GUILTY. Sam Bokarie lived in Congotown with his family and operated thr RUF from there. CT ordered his execution to destroy evidence. Wgere was he kilkled? Grand Gedeh County in Liberia.
It is frusting to not the some of you sit abroad or home and talk nonsense knowing that he ordered his men to flog, rape and kill. People like Yeaten, Zigzig Massah, Mekahzon (whom actually led Liberia forces in Sierra Leone and was general coordinator between CT and RUF). He is still here and regrets taking those orders. I hate your junk talk. So because you benefited from his terror means he was good and is innocent? You are equally guilty.
Wangalo, I knew some sily ediot like you would come up with some shity anaology like you just did. It is the court that comes with up with guilty or not guilty when due process of law has been applied. FOOL!!!
This is a lively and spirited site. The issues discussed are emotional and important. We love this discussion — but please, dear readers, let’s focus our energies on the issues while remembering to be respectful of each other, and our variety of opinions and perspectives.
Noko5, you should be more civil in your language. You and your idol, Charles Taylor, should know that usage of abusive and uncouth language does not add a modicum of weight to your hopeless cause. You are abusing the privilege this site provides you.
Gyakabo, you are only regurgitating what Tracey had all ready said. By the way, your comments is belated. I don’t know if you thought some of us wouldn’t have come back to this date for revision therefore, you decided to post. Gyakabo, what President Taylor has to do with someone usage of the English Language?
Why didn’t you present this info to the Prosecution? Wow! “Sam Bockarie was killed in Grand Gedeh” that is a new one. Forget about the dead Bockarie. You should ask yourself how come none of the live RUF leaders who were also on trial stated that Taylor was their leader ?
We are in a court where EVIDENCES are the fruits of the crimes. We who ask WHERE ARE THE EVIDENCES ARE NOT BEEN PAID OR SUPPORTING MR. TAYLOR but rather will like to see the REASONS why he’s on trial.
I don’t know how much you have followed this case apart from what you read in the papers…..I am talking about actually seeing or reading the transcripts but if you have, you would have noticed that the prosecutor presented to the world NOTHING that was warranted this case going beyond her presentation if you ask me. I mean NOTHING meaningful to convict a dog catcher. But the judges wanted to give us MORE and I am glad and happy they did….Mr. Taylor has shown and told the world;
1. He is NOT a walkover
2. Wrongly accused
3. And has left us asking WHERE IS TRUE JUSTICE
So to you I ask…..in your HONEST view if you did follow the trial, who is presenting MORE INFOS for the world to judge??? I will make it easy……Mr. Taylor without a doubt. More of what he is showing us, the prosecutors had them within their hands, why didn’t they tell us that he was ASKED by ECOWAS to be her point man?? Instead we heard LIES. How can a case of this importance be tried on HEARSAYS Johnnie???
The man said his relationship ended in ’92 and up til now, that fact has yet to be DISPROVED……that’s telling if you ask me. !!!!. Again, Mr. Taylor ain’t no angel but he ‘s NOT the devil we heard about either.
Do you know what the LAST WITNESS for the prosecutors told this court?? His limbs and arms were chopped off by SL gov’t soldiers so I ask you why isn’t former Pres. Kabbeh not on trial????
Truly, if this case was been held in London or Washington, DC, it was NOT even going to see DAYLIGHT just based on the collection of the evidences. This goes to show TRUE JUSTICE is not what been sought.
It’s sad that you think that some of those who are crying for either a mistrial or poor prosecutorial practices are supporters of Taylor. It’s even more regrettable that you have placed people in categories that I personally think speaks volumes and lack of sensitivity.
Maybe, I should enlighten you a bit on the course of the debate because interjecting without fully understanding the discussion render your argument “paralyze” as you have seen from responses already. We and I speak for most (I think), are not saying that Taylor didn’t send troops into SL. We are simply saying that the prosecutors have not been able to establish that these acts truly happened and other statements were made in a vacuum. Case in point, Rupp said Taylor had $5 billion stashed up in the US (he and no one has proven it). There are other instances where the inadequate preparation is glaring. I certainly hope that you continue to contribute as all views are appreciated (Sorry Tracey and Sesay, I am not trying to take your job).
So my brother, we all highly appreciate you contribution, however, categorizing people and stigmatizing them does not help the debate. This forum is meant for healthy discussion and views. I certain hope that you would join the bandwagon and contribute to enhance the conversation, and not insult and receive unwelcoming remarks….in the spirit of the conversation, please continue to post
Don’t be sorry — We appreciate you helping us with our job of promoting a lively and engaging conversation on the site in a way which is respectful of all of our commenters and the differing perspectives and opinions each of us brings. The more readers who help us with this, the better!
You nailed it……bring him to Liberia where he has NO escape routes!!!!!. But it won’t happen…..the West darling, Pres. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, will be just as guilty.
Poor John Wangolo, What is your problem? Calm down a little bit. Don’t just conclude that President Taylor is guilty. Also, don’t say people with different view point from you benefited from President Taylor alleged terror and therefore, they are as guilty as he is. You see Wangolo, justice doesn’t work that way. There are processes and procedures to follow. First, indictment. Second, trial. Third, judgement. We are now on the trial stage. So poor John Wangolo, calm down.
Wanagalo though we might all different views, we all want to same outcome, “transparancy”. Let it be known that the precedence set in this trial will carve and change the landscape of international criminal law forever. So lets respect our many views. Diveristy is a good think and so lets enjoy and respect
Today testimony by CGT furthur exposes the hidden racism and utter disregard to the humanity of not just African people but poor people around the world. That the international community would ignore the sufferings of both SL and Lib to sponsor wars in these two countires. The most interesting part in today’s testimony was the admission of the Washington Post’s article comfriming CGT statements that white merenaries were fighting inside SL.
So why are those socalled human right advocates not protesting the unfariness of this case? Why are the socalled human right groups not insisting that real evidence should be use in this case instead of the HEAR SAY that the prosecution has presented? What kind of justice is this in which a man must defend himself simply based on the HEAR SAY of another person?
But more interesting in this case is the fact that all the prosecution witnesses were former enemy combatants to CGT. Why would the prosection bring people who have fought against CGT to testified in this case? What do you expect these liars to say against CGT? This whole case is a travesty of Justice and if CGT is found guilty , the west will lose a critical moment to make themselves more relevant. Anyway, they do not care, they would rather see Africans divided and killing themselves so that they can exploit those diamond , gold, oil, and other valuable natural resources. SHAME ON THOSE HUMAN RIGHT ORGANIZATIONS!
The mercenary good is called “The Executive Outcome”. They are know for causing ahvoc during the apatheid regime in Southern Africa Region. These guys even had helicopter gunships. They are now banned. In fact they were used during the Taylor Administration to combat, illegal fishing off the cost of Liberia. It was on the History Channel last week.
I Think lest wait and see the cross examination of the prosecution also, they might bring the evidence at this stage.
Ujay, some of us knew that the prosecution was going to sink, but the rate at which they are sinking is much faster than we thought. However, I will give them the benefit of the doubt and the second chance to bring what ever supplementary evidece they have. No more hearsay, they say, third party, and dead witnesses. As for now, no evidence.
WELCOME…….glad you are reading what I have been telling you about this case. The prosecutors CANNOT go beyond what the defense is putting up as evidences. They had these very documents and failed, I mean failed to bring them up….WHY???
I too await the CROSS, but his lawyer is covering all points in case you are waiting to see a SURPRISE.
Noko4 and Ujay,
Yeah, the cross examination will be interesting. Lawyers are known for taking a line, phrase or a word and use that as their foundation for their argument. Taylor has said a lot already, some of which might be contradictory and will be challenged. Noko4, I doubt additional evidence will not be brought in. If the attempt is made, the opposing team will have to agree or the judge will have to overrule any objection to new evidence. But new evidence, I think it unlikely. Good observation Noko4.
I think Ujay might be on something here. The testimony is usually rehearsed, led and corrected (putting back on course) if the message is off. Under cross examination, though possible questions are rehearsed, the purpose of the opposing counsel is to make sure that the witness is discredited either through past history or contradiction from the original testimony (we say the defense team do that to all the witness, even insinuating that Zig Zag was mentally deranged at some point). What I know for sure that CT might get himself tangle in a web, he tend to be long-winded. He sometimes reveals more information than requested. He has to be mindful of that.
I guess we shall continue to watch the soap opera, “as the world turns so are the days of ours lives”, right? I guess it should be rephrased to, as the world turns so are the days of his life.
Lets all of us continue to post our observations, fact, opinions and not insult. Because no one is using his or her real name. Let argue rationally, responsibly, and maturely…thanks folks
Bnker – thank you. I greatly appreciate you, and our other readers, helping out in setting the tone for this site which is focussed on the issues. It is very welcome and valued.
Sorry Tracey, big brother noko4 wasn’t around to take care of Wangolo, that’s why I LUNCH him like that. Next time I will wate until he gets home. JOHN!!!, don’t try me again.
HA HA HA HA HA HA…….you got me on that one cousin…..I cannot stop laughing. Is this why you called noko5????
I rest my case.
Oh my brothers say it oh. We as Africans are really in a deep fix. These western people know how to distroy a person if they do not like you. This case is a complete travesty of justice. The West should call an end to this case as it is showing them to be total hypocrates and two faced.
How can they concoct the kind of lies that they have and carry on as if things are normal. It is a form of imperialism in a modern context.
I hope the judges will do the right thing and not be swayed by those powerful nations. Please judges maintain your intergrity. You look like you have some fairness, Please do the right thing for Africa because this case has significance for not just Taylor and Liberia but for all of Africa and the Third world. Let us know that justice is not just for the rich and powerful but can be attained by all nations both big and small.
Helen, thanks for such beautiful and thaughtful contribution .We pray that these guys will not render any false conviction, but uphold truthfulness in whatever judgement in the final, not forgeting their own intergrital standards. CUZ we are watching them with EAGLE EYES.
look this kill a lot of people. can you rebuild the country of liberia and serri lone if not you need to shut the f up my dear friend. I was a child soldier for the npfl at the age of ten ,can you give me back the value of life i lost. please have a sense of human.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.” Clearly, President Taylor was and still a peacemaker. This innocent man did everything humanly possible to bring peace in Sierra Leone, but was thwarted by these trigger happy war mongers that are now trying him. for example, after being accused of deploying about five thousand men to the border with Sierra Leone, he asked the U.N to authenticate the veracity of the truth. There was a joint patrol by U.N, Ecowas, and the Liberian Government, and it was determined that it was a lie. There was no such thing. Another lie that was discovered was when they accused him again of training about three thousand AFRC/RUF men at Camp Nama in Liberia. They went there and saw nothing at Camp Nama. He even suggested to them that a plain clothes intelligent personnel be positioned among the local people at the border to report directly to them if he observes anything out of the ordinary. This intelligent personnel preferbly knows how to speak one of the local dialects. They refused. It is important to know, that these trigger happy war mongers were not interested in peace, they were more interested in war. The main reason behind all these verifications was to know the military strength of President Taylor. When they knew that he was not strong militarily, they sent LURD and MODEL, two REBEL groups to wage war on Liberia. Shame on the International Community. History will be fair to him and we will always remember him as peacemaker.
News abounded in Monrovia that Bockarie was killed in a shoot out between Government of Liberia forces and him. Relate this news to the testimony of former Vice President Moses Blah. The second man in Taylor’s Administration (Regime).
Musa, the death of Sam Bockarie is totally irrelevant. Needless to know where, how, and when he died within my opinion. However, the prosecutor has every available resource to her disposal to bring as many evidence as possible. As of date, the evidence produced so far is weak, insufficient, and not credible enough to convict anybody in that position of President Taylor.Musa, if you believe Vice President Moses Blah statement that Bockarie was killed in a shoot out between Government forces and him, how can Taylor kill his own man? I will like to know why and how Bockarie end up being in that position?
So I guess you all are starting a family of “nokos” huh.
You refer to Ellen as the darling of the West. She does have a good relationship with the West. We should also be cognizant that she is the first woman to enter the almost club of “all men presidents” in Africa. Furthermore, she is well accomplished and knows the ropes and workings of the international community. If my recollection serves me well, you mentioned that CT didn’t get the assistance that Ellen is getting, and I responded, true; but there were two reasons for that, 1. Taylor was not trustworthy and 2. He didn’t know or have the team that understood international diplomancy. Both of these this administration enjoyed until recently. The international community support for Ellen is firstly deserving and secondly strategic. Let’s give the lady her props while she is there. As anyone recently been to Liberia, I have, in fact several times. Has anyone seen the developments?
Just trying to be objective on this one (operative word, trying). I should admit that I am a fan of hers, but not a blind loyal. There are tons of faults that within her administration that she needs to tackle like yesterday. If she fails to do so, she could create problems for other ladies and girls aspiring to be leaders tomorrow. Just in case the question is on your mind about my gender tolerance; I am pro gender equality! Africa and the world cannot move forward without women involvement at strategic levels. Women tend to provide a balance in decision making that men sometimes lack, they also provide personal prospective to debates that we (men) will never understand. Ooops, did I open a can of worms. In the word of the last US president, GW “bring em on”. I should be ashamed to use his quotes, right?
ha..ha.ha ..banker; don’t kill me with laughters
I see you don’t agree with me…Liberia is greater than any individual. If Ellen fails so does Liberia. Whether we like, dislike or even hate her…Liberia’s interest is greater than Ellen. Our collective importance and endeavors is equal to Liberia’s future….simple math.
You may express your disagreement in more detail.
Banker, I will differ with you on this one. There are two fundamental reasons why President Ellen Johnson is enjoying what you think she’s enjoying. 1. the trouble makers are now in power in Liberia and they know who they are. 2. the presence of the 15,000.00 U.N Troops in Liberia. The US, U.N, International Community, and other industrial nations befriend people you and I may consider dictator according to the standard and defination of dictator. So Banker, there is nothing strange here. It is all about interest not for Ellen, but the other way around.
The first two parts of your discussion could lead to a long lengthy conversation. So do you think a stable subregion is in the interest of the international community? Guinea has untapped natural resources, Ghana will start drilling oil in 2010. A stable West Africa is in everyone’s interest, including you and me.
So Jose, when was your last visit to Liberia, things have truly improved, substantially too.
OK. Jose. Lets discuss this. So you think that all those who caused the trouble in Liberia are now in authority. If this is your argument, Samuel Doe’s first few years should have been easy. All the so-called progressive were in position of authority. While it is true that most of those who either financed (Ellen included) were part of the chaos are holding position of authority, I think our relative peace cannot be solely attributed to these two factors.
It is a fact that UNMIL presence provides some relative stability for Liberia and the region. However, Liberia is taking some responsibility of her own security. Further, have been some strides made economically. Keep in mind that Liberia’s financial, security and judicial system was in shambles in 2005 and still needs tons of work. When this administration took over, Liberia’s unemployment rate was 85%, the 2nd highest in the world (CIA World Fact Book and Index Mundi) and 80% of the population living below the poverty level, this translates to 2.7 million people (index mundi). Liberia economy was stagnant; in 2008 Liberia’s GDP grew to 1.5 billion. Since 2006, there has been over 2.9 billion invested (business coming) in Liberia which will provide some 60,000 jobs. Liberia’s growth rate for 2008 far exceeded all expectations from the IMF, EIU, UNDP, and World Bank; 9%, while Africa’s and West Africa’s were 5.0% and 5.2%, respectively. Additionally, interest rates for lending fell from 18% during the CT administration to 14% (Economic Intelligence Unit and CBL). Banks reserve jumped 181% from 2006-2008. The budget grew several folds in 3 years. These are all positive signs. The numbers are out there. I can go on. The great aspect is that all this in time will improve the standard of living of Liberians and reduce the threat of war. Did you know the largest portion of the Africa’s conflicts occurred in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and Nigeria with the past 10 years? Did you know that the poorer a country the greater the chances of war? And did you also know that those who are severely poor tend to suffer more during conflicts and afterwards? I am sure you know.
So is UN a factor in providing progress; oh yea, but what happens when the UN goes. The government most ensure that the environment exist where children would find solutions through the ballet and elevate themselves from poverty through education and hard work. The problem in Liberia and Sierra Leone, was not caused by Doe, CT or RUF, but by the failure of previous administrations to established a more equitable society. That where our mutual challenge lies.
I guess since we deviated so much from the discussion, let’s get back to the trail. If you have questions and need additional sources for the information provided let me know and I will direct you, OK.
Note: I support some of Ellen’s policies (economic). I am still not surprise of her involvement with the NPFL (this I have a serious problem with). I try to be objective (operative word, “try”). Maybe at times I might seem as though I am pro or against a person or theory. When one reads my thread, he/she might surmise that I am a supporter of CT, I am certainly not. However, because I strongly disagree with his policies, it does not make him my enemy. Yet, I want to see him treated fairly during this trail and others that might follow. I don’t think he is being treated fairly, I really don’t. If the prosecution cannot establish “facts” but argue on circumstantial evidence to convict him, I vehemently oppose this. The purpose of the court to look at facts. Judges advice juror to review facts only. Testimonies that are not coherent are not reliable evidence, especially when everyone is trying to save his/her behind.
Thanks bro for the opposition. Sorry for the book
bnker, it is all about interest, not necessarily for the government, but the other way around. plain and simple. Cut and dry. How many common Liberians can read and understand what I have just read from you. The people in Liberia are not feeling it. Let’s resume to the trial bnker.
Someone indicated that if this case was held in London or Washington it would have gained the rude awakening of ordinary Americans and Britishs to the inhumane and dubious behavior of certian elements within the international community. I want to extend this line of arguments to all people of European descent. This is the fundamental difference between ordinary people of caucasian origins and those of African orgins. The white man, as we like to call them, has a different approach to justice that completely ignore relationships and status in society.
Ordinary white people would not approve of their governments using their name to abuse other humans whether they do not like those people or not. We saw this with the invasion of Iraq how ordinary white people protested the behavior of their own governments. It did not matter whether Saddam was a bad man or not but those people were looking at the critical art of justice. This kind of mindset is seriously lacking among African people and this is why we are easily abuse and illtreated by all kinds of criminal elements whether those elements were Westerners or Africans.
This case should not be about whether you like CGT or not but it should strictly be about justice and the rule of law. Because if you support bad justice today then how will you be able to oppose that same bad justice if it affects you tommorrow. Justice must be consitent and disrespecting of individual status in society but the prosection case has not demonstrated that sacred attribute.
What we have heard in this case from the prosecution is HEAR SAY, HE SAY, SHE SAY, THEY SAY, AND I HEARD. Where are the factual evidence? Why did the prosecution ignore all of the activities of ECOWAS committee of five in which Taylor was an active member? Is the prosecution telling us that ECOWAS authority does not matter because they are not from European governments? I want to hold a view that the prosecution is operating on false sterotypes of Africans and view African presidents as inferiors and without any rational to make good decisions this is why the prosecution disregarded all of the ECOWAS states activities relative to peace in SL.
From a layman understanding of social movements , i view any conviction of Mr. Taylor base on the prosecution evidence as very dangerous to the whole project of transatlantic cooperation. We have see this manifest in the reaction of African leaders to the arrest of Sudan Omar Basir. Many scholars have come to the conclusion that resentment to justice is fuel by perception of offenders that the justice process is unfair. if those big corporations that control these international justice processes really want to gain the kind of international respect desire, I give them this recommendation:
Convict Mr. Taylor on a lessor charge just for the fact that he associated with warfare in SL but do not hold him in detention. Just like they could treat traditional criminal by making them to do community service. Put Taylor on community service in which he will work for peace to stop wars in Africa. He will be compare to speak publicly and condemn all actions of warfare. Taylor should not be allow to participate in political party processes and he should not be allow to run for political offices. Atleast , at the end of the day, we would want some form of accountable against Mr. Taylor but not conviction on the prosection evident.
King Gray, King Gray, and King Gray. No convictions. whether lesser or more. It is not deserving. He was and still a peacemaker.
I can appreaciate your sentiments but my recommendation comes from an understanding that Mr. Taylor has already been judge guilty by those powerful elements that are financing this court. You will recall that this court is not a UN Court or part of the International Criminal Court. This court was specifically set up to achieve this objective and this is why it is sponsor by 17 nations.
Moreover, the evident of Taylor preconviction is very clear that before this case even came to trial , the British had already built a prison to keep Mr. Taylor. What kind of justice system where a special prison will be build for a single individual before the verdict of the judges? So you see Rodriguez, this case is about MIGHT MAKES RIGHT, and not about justice.
So my recommendation takes into consideration that even if all of the facts show that Charles Taylor is not guilty , those who are financing this court will not want to be proven as liars. See for example the issue of the socalled billions of dollars that Mr. Taylor is suppose to have somewhere, they have not provided proof but yet repeapt this false charge. The court sponsors will not want to be seen as disgrace justice and so they would use their power and influence to still punish Mr. Taylor for dare speaking out against their unfair practices. So that is why I am suggesting ways for them to save their faces since I am aware they would never let Mr. Taylor to be a free man despite the facts showing that Taylor was not guilty.
King Gray, I do understand your intent and desire to at least minimize the punishment of President Taylor whether in a way just or unjust. This perceived unusual and cruel punishment should be rejected by all and no compromise. However, things are not the same way it used to be in the past. Thank God for the technological advances that we are enjoying. Trust me, they are embarrassed. Technology has made it possible for you and I to share and communicate to each other. There are the silent majority who have not yet weighed in on this trial and just watching. If they do convict him based on HEARSAY and the present evidence produced by the prosecution thus far, History is going to judge them, and they will not like the outcome. They are going to lose credibility and no one will ever respect them again. Remember, not all of these Western countries population agree with their government. For example the vast majority of the population opposed and rejected the invasion of Iraq. History is not on the side of those trigger happy war mongers that are in control of their government. That’s why for example, the Republican Party of George W. Bush lost both houses of Congress and the Presidency.
Tracey and Alpha,
Hey, what am I hearing about this JCE situation with the commanders of Kono who resided in Freetown. I learned that the court (in SL) threw out those charges because they were not physically present in Kono when the crimes were committed? If so, this could be a seismic shift in this case? Please help me out here. If this is true, the defense has a window.
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