Taylor Did Not Have Any Pact With RUF Leader Foday Sankoh for Mutual Assistance, He Says

Charles Taylor and Sierra Leone’s rebel leader Foday Sankoh did not have any pact to render mutual assistance to each other for their respective wars in Sierra Leone and Liberia, the accused former Liberian president told Special Court for Sierra Leone judges today at his trial in The Hague.

“I had no pact with RUF leader Foday Sankoh for mutual assistance. That could not have been necessary,” Mr. Taylor said.

Mr. Taylor asserted that if such mutual pact ever existed between himself and Revolutionary United Front (RUF) leader Foday Sankoh, the prosecution would have led evidence to show the assistance that Mr. Sankoh rendered to Mr. Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL).

“There has been no evidence in this court about Sankoh being involved in the conflict in Liberia or commanding an NPFL post. There was no such thing because I did not know him at this time,” he said.

Mr. Taylor was responding to questions from his defense counsel Courtenay Griffiths –back in court today after falling ill last week —  about allegations that while in Libya in the late 1980s, Mr. Taylor entered into an agreement with Mr. Sankoh for the RUF rebels to assist the NPFL during its initial war efforts in Liberia in exchange for Mr. Taylor’s assistance to the RUF in attacking Sierra Leone. Mr. Taylor denied that this was ever the case. The accused former president reiterated his earlier position that while he was in Libya, he did not know about the existence of the RUF and that he did not meet with Mr. Sankoh.

“I did not know about the creation of the RUF in 1989. I did not know Foday Sankoh. I only knew Alie Kabbah and the Sierra Leone Pan African Movement,” he said.

Mr. Griffiths also read in court today an RUF official document called “Footpath to Democracy,” explaining the ideology of the RUF as well as its reasons for fighting a rebel war in Sierra Leone. The document presents the RUF as a decent organization with a clear agenda to liberate the people of Sierra Leone from years of misrule and corruption. The document was admitted into evidence as a defense exhibit. Mr. Taylor agreed with the contents of the document that the first set of RUF fighters were Sierra Leoneans who were recruited in Liberia. He insisted that he did not provide those personnel for the RUF.

“A lot of these people that were in Liberia are, some of them will have maybe a mother Sierra Leonean or father Sierra Leonean or both. We’ve had evidence led in this court, for example, Isaac Mongo, Nyaa, Lansana, a lot of them had these connections with Sierra Leonean parents,” he said.

Mr. Taylor also had praise for Libyan leader Muammar Ghadaffi who provided initial support for both the RUF and the NPFL. According to Mr. Taylor, Mr. Ghadaffi’s actions were necessary to destroy Western influence in Africa and give Africa back to the Africans.

“On the African continent, Ghadaffi was and, for me, is still considered an African hero,”Mr. Taylor said. “Because getting rid of the colonial and neo-colonial rule on Africa took the strength and the will of a Ghadaffi to assist in liberating Africa and giving Africa back to the Africans.”

In the words of the accused former Liberian president, “Ghadaffi is not a terrorist.”

Mr. Taylor also reiterated his earlier position in court that he had no reason to exploit Sierra Leone’s natural resources as Liberia already had so much that he could benefit from.

“We have resources in Liberia. We were trying to plan out what was good for our country. What benefit will it bring to another country when you don’t have stability in your own country? It will be nonsensical for anybody to suggest that,” he said.

Mr. Taylor was responding to allegations that he provided support to RUF rebels in Sierra Leone through planning of attacks against the people of Sierra Leone, and supplied arms and ammunition in return for diamonds. Mr. Taylor has denied the allegations against him.

Mr. Taylor’s testimony continues tomorrow.


  1. The allegation by the prosecution that Mr Taylor supported the RUF rebellion in order to control sierra leonean resources beats my imagination. Why will Mr Taylor covet resources in Sierra leone when there are resources in Liberia that he controls? If his testimony is anything to go by, I think he said Liberia has oil and gas reserves. he could easily have made a lot of money from that rather than focusing on diamonds from sierra leone.

    Also the NPFL is a far larger rebel force than the RUF I wonder what the agreement the prosecution is alleging is for. is it for the NPFL to protect the RUF or for the RUF to protect NPFL?

    People, can you make any sense of this prosecution case? well, maybe during cross examination one will be able to better make sense of what the prosecution is saying.

    1. Sam ,
      I am not sure your argument/reasoning holds.
      Firstly, because a nation has resources does not mean it will not covet another nations resources, in fact, history is littered with examples….It wasn’t the lack of resourses that propelled germany and the Germans to embark on an orgy of conquest, the UK was not bereft of resourses when she embarked on a quest to carve out an empire, certainly the USA is not suffering from a dearth of resourses as it fights to retain its empire and I am certain that Iraq did not invade Q8 because they (Iraq) lacked resourses.
      Secondly, the question of the relative size of the RUF and Taylor’s NPFL is not the central issue, indeed, it verges on the irrelevant, after all, a small organization/nation can control a much larger entity’. Once again, history speaks directly to this point, the UK’s colonization of, India, huge tracts of Africa, is a clear example of this, and lest we forget, she went on to conquer/colonize 1/4 of the world.
      The question of Taylors ‘Guilt or Innocence will be determined to a significant degree by the sucess or faliure to establish ‘Linkage’
      As Always ‘Wadi’The Zima’

  2. Let us face the facts that war is inevitable. The war in Liberia was long predicted by prophets and prophetess. War is not a birthday party, but destruction of lives and properties. War does not have a referee(s). The untold suffering brought on us as a people in Liberia and Sierra Leone was master minded by big powers or hands. Those big hands are equally responsible as the implementers. If a dangerous dog is tie and was advice that nobody untie it, and someone did untied the dangerous dog who started the bite people within the community and its environment. Who is heard responsible?

  3. Tracey,

    Welcome back.

    I was thinking we know there have been several witnesses testifying for the prosecution and now Taylor as the first witness for the defense. We understand that there are strong consequences for perjury, are they any actions that the courts can take against anyone who might lie on the stand? We all understand that perjury dissuade these attitudes.

    1. Thanks Bnker, and good question on perjury. I’ll do a post about this issue in the coming days.

      1. I was thinking about Rapp responses. There have been lots of accusations that witnesses were willfully misleading the court. In Rapp response to the “hear say” witnesses, he tried to justify that someone could become a witness by the virtue that he/she overheard something. I thought this could lead to falsehood and tales. One thing that was not addressed amidst all the accusation of stories is perjury. Are they penalties for anyone who might purposefully mislead the court for any reason, albeit, reward, malice or whatsoever.

        1. OK Bnker,

          Got your point. It was good that you brought this point up. And we should be thankful to Tracey for offering to research it. This point has been lingering on my mind as well. Just to refresh our minds, in one of my posts, I noted that the defense debunked the testimony of prosecution witnessTF1-567. This witness testified that He and Sankoh visited Taylor in July of 2002. The witness awaited Sankoh while he(Sankoh met with Taylor). The witness therefore was not or did not attend the meeting between Taylor and Sankoh. However, the witness testified that following the meeting, Sankoh revealed to the Witness that he had just given Taylor a 45 carat diamond and that Taylor was happy.

          Hey guys read between the lines of this testimony. It is complete fabrication. But here is the interesting part. Taylor testified that he did not meet Sankoh in July of 2002. The defense then showed that in July 2002, Sankoh was in jail in Freetown.

          So this is testimony of 45 carat diamond is an outright lie.

        2. Bnker,

          I dfinitely lean with you on this one. I believe there should be, and it should start from the head, STEPHEN RAAP, the chief LIER of this thing they are calling a case. I wish Tracy could answere this question for us. Also Tracey, can the people of liberia and sierraleone sue RAPP eitherway? Cuz he lied to the people of sierraleone and at the same time lie on a nations president (LIBERIA). Tracey, could this fellow be going to jail soon?

  4. Again President Taylor, you have today shown your heroic initiative and great personal valor in the face of the wold’s most powerful in protecting the African resources that was wrongfully taken by Big Countries. I say thank for putting your life and presidency on the line for the sake of your people and the motherland. However, the evidence produced in court today clearly exonerates you and dismisses the false charge of RUF took orders from you because you were in control. The document” Footpath to Democracy” is another BIG BLOW to Mr. Rapp fake case. Today we also learned that Foday Sankor was long in Libya training during the 1980s before President Taylor ever went to Libya. Speaking about Libya, British Interior Secretary Jack Straw, finally admitted two days ago that the Lockerbie bomber released was purely on oil trade deals with BP a British oil company and Libya: contrary to the fake reason that Abdel Baset al-Megrahi terminal illness with prostate cancer.. some of us already knew that these people did not release this man on “compassionate grounds” as they want us to believe. Just yesterday, the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown gave a 360 degrees youturn on on victims of the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing conpensation. Today, the former British embassador to Libya Oliver Miles say Libya was not the only country that was sending arms and armunation to the IRA, but also an American Company.. Look, growing evidence has suggested that these people can do anything for wealth and power. If it causes them to destroy entire generation and race, they have no problems in doing it. Taylor trial is a classic example. They want us to believe this fake case is on behalf of the Sierra Leonean victims. There is no case on this man. Let him go.

  5. The judges in this case should do the most honorable thing to preserve human dignity and the rule of law. It may appear that prosecuting Taylor will make African people more subservient to the interests of globalize corporations but if one does a good sampling of views from people on the continent of Africa. One will gather very quickly that even those who hate Charles Taylor with a great deal of passion does not have any faith in the very international system that is prosecuting Mr. Taylor.

    For the Taylor’s haters, they simply wanted to get Taylor off their backs to allow them the opportunity to gain political power. But they themselves are not happy with how these multi-national corporations continue to exploit the African continent without any benefit to the people of Africa. The best thing the international justice can do is to release Mr. Taylor.

    Grant Mr. Taylor his full freedom and the international justice system will gain the kind of respect that they deserve not just from the African people but from people all over the world. The release of Mr. Taylor will show to the world that Europeans are fair minded and just and it will strengthen the hand of international justice to prosecute those who should actually face justice. One could further suggest that this court could even use a guy like Charles Taylor to help them track down war criminals and prosecute them.

    Freeing Mr. Taylor will give a good image to the court and the African people will trust the fairness and justice of the court. Otherwise, the work of this court will be more and more difficult as has already been demonstrated by the African Union refusing to send Sudan Omar Bashir for trial.

  6. Hey guys I would like to congratulate all of you for the puissant comments. Reality is beginning to hit Rapp and his persecution team head on. They bit off too much than they could possible chew, now they are choking.

  7. Very well. My boy King Gray. Don’t stop until the continent is redemptive. Good job Old and New King Gray from the Bassa Tribe of West Africa.

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