Technical Problems with Live Feed, Live Streaming to Liberia

Dear Readers,

A  number of people experienced frustration with the live feed of the Taylor trial this week.  I checked with the Special Court as you had requested.  Kindly, Mr. Solomon Moriba helped us with some of your questions related to the live feed problems and also the question a reader asked about streaming the trial to Liberia.  Here is what he told us:

“Yes indeed, there is a problem with the streaming but the IT staff are working to fix it today. I hope it will be OK on Monday. Sorry for the inconvenience.

With regards to streaming to Liberia, we explored so many ways to have it in place even during the prosecution’s phase, but the IT
infrastructure on the ground there could not adequately support the programme. After various attempts, we found out that it wouldn’t work
effectively so we decided instead to be sending raw footage and audio-visual summaries to our outreach officers in Monrovia which they
screen in different communities across the country.  We also pay for radio and TV slots in Liberia to air the summaries. In addition, we supply raw video footage of the Taylor proceedings to the Defence team at the end of every week as they also have their teams in Liberia who assist them with the screening to various audiences.”

A big thanks to Mr. Moriba for helping us out with those questions.

Hopefully we can look forward to smooth viewing with the live feed on Monday when Mr. Taylor returns to the stand.


  1. i wish to encourage mr. taylor to please revail all the things that happened in the darkness during the sierra leone war so that the world will know all those that were envolved in the war.

    1. togba v. sumo,

      Could you please explain what you mean by “happened in the darkness” maybe only then we could be clear on your comment. If things happened in the darkness that you are aware about, pinpoint them and we could discuss them.

  2. Tracey,

    Best felicitations. thanks addressing live feed concers so promptly as you always do. At least answers are received, concerns are addressed, frustrations appeased, thank you.

    My question today is about postings of comments are slow now. Before postings used to be almost immediate. I surmise that due to the nature of comments posted recently, you might have to clear comments for postings. But is it possible to expedite the process.

    1. Hi Andrew,

      Please do accept my apologies for the delay in the posting of comments this week. I have been away at a training since last Tuesday with limited access to internet, which has meant I have been only able to approve comments early in the morning and late at night. Next week I will have more regular access to the internet and so the posting of comments should return back to normal without the long delays.


      1. Thanks for asking tracy, andrew. Myself had been a little confuse about this, I taught my postings were offensive, so tracy decided to go slow on me. Tracy , thanks for the clarification. Hope it regards my delayed postings too.

        1. Hi Noko5,

          Sorry for my slowness last week. I was away from the internet during the day on my training course. I know the delay can be frustrating as the sooner comments are posted, the more debate that can be generated. Hopefully this week it will be better now that I am fully back on board.

          That said, I did not post some comments of readers last week because they did not comply with the terms and conditions – either because they attacked other readers, or else they caused legal problems due to copyright concerns (in fact, I wrote you a little note yesterday, Noko5, asking if there was a way you could reframe your great post on Issa Sesay for Andrew, to ensure that it was attributing the source of the information or simply linking to the site where it already exists in order to avoid a copyright problem. If not, no problem — I can find the source and post a link on your behalf — but it was helpful as a pointer towards information about Issa Sesay).


        1. Hi Rajiv — welcome. I don’t think you have commented before. Alas for your question, I do not know the answer to that, I am sorry. I know the live streaming at least from our site (and from the Special Court) works with Wondows Media Player. Sorry I can’t be of more help.

  3. Thanks, Tracey,

    Can Mr. Moriba give us the names of radio and television stations to which he sent raw footage and audio-visual summaries for secrening in Liberia? I live at VP Road in Monrovia, but have never hear of this over any of our radio and TV stations not to talk about news papers. This information is news to many of us. One last question, how can one obtain a copy of the raw footage and audio-visual summaries for home use? Tracy, please make a follow up on this.



  4. Tracey,

    Since there is no court session today, I was thinking if I could ask you a question that has been lingering on my mind. I read in some court documents that according to procedure, Charles Taylor had to be the first to testify in his own defense? So the situation of Charles Taylor being the first to testify is not by choice of the defense team but by design of the court’s protocol.

    Could you just throw some light on this if you do know.

    1. Andrew,

      I read that the Special Court follows the UK rule of defense presentation. That rule stipulates that if the Defendant is going to testify on his own behalf. He has to be the first witness.

  5. Tracey,

    I have some questions on, legal jargons, so to speak, that I would be grateful if you could help clarify.

    1. According to the Rome Statue, the ICC has jursidiction only over matters that occurred after the Rome State came into effect on 1 July 2002.

    2. Yet we are seeing a trial of Charles Taylor that is being held under the auspices of the ICC that predates the period mentioned above.

    3. If one were to organize a special court, should it jurisdiction over matter not cover the same timeframe as that of its mother body?

    Please help me with the legal thought process and document that came into play here.

  6. Taylor should also be bold to tell the world that between 2000 and 2001 his defense minister,Daniel Cheah and the late Sam Bockarie,allias Mosquito used to visit the VOA-1 refugee camp and surrounding IDP sttlements in Brewerville,apparently to lure young boys into fighting at two fronts,namely the Ivory Coast and Guinea.It’s only then we would see much fairness in his presentations here at The Hague

    1. Vaa Alie Mansaray,

      Thank you for your comments. I just want to point out to you that the manner in which the Liberian government carried out recruitment in order to buttress its forces in defense of the nation and its borders is the Liberian Government and liberian people prerogative. Moreover, the matter that you commented on is not in dispute, so it is immaterial to this case.

  7. Future of the International Criminal Court
    In the wake of African Union challenge

    Quite recently the African Union (AU) declared that member states should not cooperate with the ICC on the arrest warrant that the court issued for Sudanese President, Al Bashir. The AU believed that the court is targeting African leaders. The Libyan leader kaddafi, especially regarded the court affairs as a “new world terrorism.”

    There has been widespread concern raised on the position of the African Union, with a predominant view that the organization is attempting to shield impunity. I choose to differ. I believe that the African leaders main concerns are about trust and fairness. A case in point is the ongoing trial of the former Liberian Leader, Charles Taylor who was indicted for crimes while sitting in office. There are two main issues with the Charles Taylor situation. Firstly, the original indictment has been change three times since it was first issued six years ago. Secondly, the prosecution has not provided substantive evidence to link Charles Taylor to the alleged crimes.

    In the first instance adopting various version of the indictment leaves room for questions that only the prosecution can answer. But a broader perspective of this scenario would be whether the court expects to repeat such practice and how often? Why would the court, given the high profile nature of the Taylor case (trial of a sitting president) be so indecisive on the charges to be levied as evidence by the numerous version of the indictment? In a related development, the prosecution released the original indictment to the US Government three months before it was officially unsealed. Is this a common practice of the court? Who authorized the disclosure of the original indictment to the US Government? To what extent does this practice speak to the independence of the court as its statute stipulates? Is it legitimate to inquire if similar scenarios are expected in the Al Bashir situation?

    In the second instance, it is a common observation amongst legal experts and analysts that the prosecution did not present strong evidence to link Mr. Taylor to the allegations levied against him. Instead, the prosecution paraded more crime-based witnesses in order to, according to analysts, obscure the main deficiency in its case.

    Hence the AU could have grounds to raise suspicion on issues of trust, sincerity, fairness and independence of the court. By releasing the Taylor indictment to the US Government prior to its official unsealing, the court made itself vulnerable and opened room for concerns that the AU is raising. Would it be legitimate to conclude that the court was seeking approval from the US on the contents of the original Charles Taylor indictment?

    While it is legitimate for civil societies to advocate justice for crime victims, I believe it is equally fair for these organizations to advocate fair and impartial trial of the accused. The AU, in my view, is not shielding impunity but serving to protect the rights of the accused and ensure that the court remains independent. I believe that the AU concerns are genuine and the court should arrest these irregularities or inconsistencies soon, else we do not know the extent to which impact of African Leaders actions will have on the future of the Court.

    1. Andrew — thanks for your comments. I will be writing a post addressing your previous email on the ICC and your questions in this one. I think you raise points which a lot of readers might have questions or are confused about. The post will be coming soon.

    2. Am glad that someone is seeing beyond the present. That is: what would the impact of this trial be on future relations with the UN, international courts and indeed conflict resolution? To add to the above fears expressed by Andrew, the conduct of the prosecution has been questionable.

      Justice has never been a one-way traffic! The accused deserves justice, the victims deserves justice and even the society whose laws where violated deserve justice! Given the role that the accused appeared to have played in bringing about peace to Siereleone, with the knowledge and consent of AU, ECOWAS and the UN, it seems to me most strange that he now is facing trial for that same role.

      Consequently, if the accused is convicted, I forsee a scenerio where relations would be strained between the UN on one hand, and the AU and ECOWAS on the other. Besides, if I am a president of a small country and a neighbouring country is engulfed in war, I would not waste my time attempting to broker peace on behalf of the international community. The case of Charles Taylor will be my precedent! This is the lesson from this trial!! In times of war, do not bother yourself being a peace maker or keeper, just stay AWAY!!!

  8. I read yesterday, August 24, the site was up as of 2:45 pm. Well, today is August 25, and it’s not up. I’ve been up since 4:00 am and nothing is hapening. I’ve tried all links with no success. Is the court making every effort to solve this problem or is this game playing? What happened to technicians working for the court? Man, I’m not surprise this is taking place! The ICC cannot solve this problem?

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