“I Had Nothing To Do With The War In Ivory Coast,” Taylor Tells Special Court for Sierra Leone

Charles Taylor today denied allegations that he sent rebel forces to attack Ivory Coast as part of any grand plan to destabilize the West African sub-region.

“I had nothing to do with the war in Ivory Coast,” Mr. Taylor told the Special Court for Sierra Leone judges today.

Mr. Taylor was refuting the testimony of a prosecution witness Jabaty Jaward, a former member of Sierra Leone’s rebel group Revolutionary United Front (RUF) who was later recruited into Mr. Taylor’s Anti Terrorist Unit (ATU) in Liberia. In 2008, Mr. Jaward testified that he was part of a team that launched rebel attacks in Ivory Coast under the command of RUF commander Sam Bockarie, with orders from Mr. Taylor. The witness said that the forces were based in the Ivorian town of Seguela, from where they launched attacks against Ivorian forces. He said that prior to his arrival at Seguela, other forces loyal to Mr. Taylor had been in the town fighting under Mr. Bockarie’s command. Mr. Taylor today dismissed the witness’ account as “lies”.

“I don’t know who they are because I did not send anyone from my government to a town called Seguela,” he told the judges.

Mr. Taylor denied ever wanting to attack the Ivorian government of President Laurent Gbagbo, whom he described as a “close friend”.

“In so many ways, I ensured that Laurent Gbagbo became president and I was the first African leader that went there after his election,” he said.

Much of the prosecution’s allegations about the relationship between Mr. Taylor and the RUF have been tied to his closeness with the RUF’s commander, Mr. Bockarie. Witnesses have testified that Mr. Bockarie took orders from Mr. Taylor as rebel commander in Sierra Leone, and that after Mr. Bockarie left Sierra Leone for Liberia in December 1999, Mr. Taylor sent him on military missions in other countries including Ivory Coast. Mr. Taylor has insisted that after Mr. Bockarie left Liberia in 2001, he did not have any further contact with him.

“I had absolutely no contact with Sam Bockarie after he left Liberia in 2001. Once Bockarie left Liberia, I Charles Taylor and my government had nothing to do with him,” he said today in his testimony.

“My God, how does Charles Taylor, in 2000, expel Bockarie?” Mr. Taylor asked. “He is involved in the war in Ivory Coast that starts in early 2000, he is thrown out in late 2000, he goes and he lives in Burkina Faso and I have control over Sam Bockarie in Burkina Faso, I arm him in Burkina Faso, so I am running Burkina Faso, I am running Ivory Coast and I am running Sierra Leone?”

“I mean, how can people be so silly to believe all this nonsense just to make a case?” Mr. Taylor said. “Sam Bockarie has nothing to do with Charles Taylor.”

Mr. Taylor further told the court that it would be “very silly” for anybody to believe that he could be running wars in three countries at the same time.

Mr. Taylor also refuted the testimony of former Liberian commander in the RUF, Isaac Mongor, who in 2008 testified about Mr. Taylor’s alleged relationship with the RUF. Mr. Taylor denied Mr. Mongor’s assertion that during Sierra Leone’s 1996 presidential elections, Mr. Taylor endorsed RUF leader Foday Sankoh’s plans to cut off the arms of civilians so as to prevent them from voting in the elections. Mr. Taylor reiterated an earlier position he has told the court: that after 1992, he had no relationship with Mr. Sankoh and therefore he would not have had such communication with Mr. Sankoh in 1996.

“I had no relationship with Sankoh beyond 1992,” he said.

Mr. Taylor also dismissed as “lies” Mr. Mongor’s claim that he (Taylor) gave RUF commander Mr. Bockarie a plan on how to invade Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown. 

“This is a lie out of — I don’t know what to say. This is all blatantly, blatantly a lie,” he said.

Mr. Taylor further denied allegations that when his government came under attack from a rebel leader called Mosquito Spray in 1998/99, he had to call RUF fighters to quell the rebellion. He also denied providing arms shipment for RUF rebels in Sierra Leone and denied ever promoting Mr. Bockarie to the position of General in the RUF, as alleged by the prosecution.

Mr. Taylor has been accused by the prosecution of collaborating jointly with others to  take over political and physical control of Sierra Leone in order to exploit its abundant natural resources and to establish a friendly or subordinate government there to facilitate this exploitation. This was, the prosecution has argued, part of a larger strategy that included helping others militarily in their respective revolutions to take over their respective countries.  In effecting these strategies, the prosecution has alleged that Mr. Taylor assisted, directed and controlled the RUF as it committed crimes in Sierra Leone in pursuit of these larger aims. Mr. Taylor has denied all the charges against him.

Mr. Taylor’s testimnony continues tomorrow.


  1. Look guys this whole trial is enough to make anyone with sound mind sick. This is a witness that said Taylor used to be in contact with Sankor on a daily basic ok. One of Taylor points today was why at least one of his communications was not even mention in the RUF law book that was read in the court, if he is in contact on a daily as Mongor said. You can see the lies as addressing each of the witnesses calim. Which kind of Justice for this man? People like Fallah and his crew are saying Taylor killed Mosquito because of Bokarie knew more of ´his dees with the RUF. That is another lie, what about Issa Sesay and the higher that are in jail in Freetown, they know nothing about the RUF and Taylor as well? Only Bokarie knew from Zizag, and Fallah point of views. As for Abu Kamara he confuse and it was right for Noko to asked him about the Kola market in Loala. He knows nothing about what is going on for what I read from his post.

    1. Thank you mr. Dennis, the evil the west plays with Africa will live after them. The people who coordinated Samuel Doe killing of innocence 13 Liberian, includung Clearance Parker, are the guys making up lies to put Taylor behind bars-God is looking at them, the make up witnesses, too. Let the light shine for all of us and not just the prosecutors.

  2. Did the prosecutors PROOF READ these various testimonies??? Some of them just don’t make any SENSE….

  3. I’m sure John Thomson is sitting pretty with all the lies that the prosecution witnesses are bringing forward against Mr Taylor. The question is how can one presendent control three country? the next question is is it POSSIBLE for Mr Charles Taylor to destabilize west Africa? I’m not a Militarily expect, but maybe i’ll guess inorder to destabileze Senegal, Ghana, and Nigeria, you have to be living on the moon. Oh my God a population of 3.5million can fight those three military giants in west Africa? if the answer is yes than the Gambia can firght the Peoples Republic of China.

  4. Boy I can’t believe the nonsence taylor is talking about and at the same thinks people are talking silly and making no sence for testifying against him! Is this all your defense Taylor? You are better off presenting evidence that are convincing about the seriousness of the charges against you than this pattern you have developed in saying ” I taylor will never..ever..do such and such..” thinking that that will convince the Judges about your credibility? You are accused of collaborating with the rebels of Sierra Leone, and the witnesses testifying against you are the same rebels that were once commanded by you, but all of a sudden you either don’t seem to know them, nor remembered ever assigning them to carry out any orders from you, and etc..! Who do you think you are talking to? Rebels? Come on taylor..you are the one who is talking nonsense here!

    1. Fallah,

      I just don’t know why you always stopped thinking when you tend to talk; between taylor and the prosecution,who has the obligation of proving something??? All taylor needs to do is deny those nonesence charges.. and that is what he is doing . If you think you got beef bring it on the table.. simple bro..

  5. This case against Taylor appear to boil down to what they call in the West: ” Throw all the S*** at Him, Taylor – Something will Stick. Even if that fails, he will come out Stinking of S***. If he Stinks he is guilty”
    Stink = Guilty

    Classic CIA Psychological Shift on the Lever of Amplification.. Guilt or Innocence

  6. Taylor had everything to do with the wars in Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ivory Coast, and Liberia. Why should he lied. He was always after the resources of those countries. He wanted wealth, now that he is rich, let him enjoy.

    1. Sumoh,
      He acknowledged his role in Sierra Leone…..early ’90s. What most of you(Sumoh and friends) are NOT inclucing in the equation is the MANDATE of this Special Court….And there where case is suppose to START and END; bringing in witnesses in the hundres til has YET to prove that he ORDERED the crimes committed. Even the senior members of RUF in their trials didn’t POINT A FINGER at him as to HE TOLD US AND WE CARRIED OUT HIS INSTRUCTIONS. Instead we’re learning and hearing of witnesses used that later VANISHED…..incredible.

      Since Monday, all witnesses testimonies are the PRINICPLES in this case; their WORDS were the BIBLE the prosecutors ran on without doing a FACT check; sad to say. If he is found guilty, it won’t be based on the MERIT of the evidences but rather the ARM TWISTING of the US and Great Britain.

      Ha ha ha ………..Sumoh, I earn GOOD WAGE; going to work within Liberia has NEVER EVER cross my mind and I don’t see it around the curve. No I don’t hate the US but DISLIKE some of her policies and tactics…..let’s know the difference I beg.

      1. I believe the legal process requires parading of persecution witnesses followed by defense witnesses. In the court of law it is sometimes difficult to determine who is lying or telling the true especially during the persecution and defense testimonies phase. I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE CROSS EXAMINATION phase to start, as this is where sometimes the strongest evidentiary argument and the best legal mind become triumphal. This is where wobbly testimonies fly through the window.

        However, there is no question justice will be render in this case in one of two ways:

        • Justice will take place and Taylor will be acquitted and might have the leisure of spending his retirement years in the comfort and love of close family and relatives. He will have the opportunity to write a memoir reflecting on his journey and sharing his experience with the world.
        • Justice will take place and Taylor will get a life sentence for these charges and spend his retirement years in the solitude and unfriendliness of a cubicle designed for criminals. He will have the opportunity to reflect more on how events in his personal life narrative unfolded and perhaps how he could have better navigated dangerous bends to advert future war crime charges.

        It seems unquestionable that either way justice will take place but, given the nature of this case, I seriously doubt the former will occur.

        1. Tracie,
          I have told friends….this case rest on CROSS EXAMINATION. But looking at what is happening to the various testimonies for which the prosecutors will have to rely on, the defense is playing both sides…..

          I wish him the BEST and hope and pray he WALKS!!!!!!

        2. Tracie,

          Whatever the outcome of this case will be, for or against Mr. Taylor, there is no life time sentence in this case for Mr. Taylor if reading from this court document is correct. I stand corrected on this. Have a nice stay.


          Harris K Johnson

        3. Exellent Tracie,you r summary presentation above desirves high marks! You are a great example of rationality and fair and balance observation. It is people like you we need on this site to help some of us understand that this trial is not about rallying of supporters of taylor vs prosecution, but about reality of the charges vs events in this case! Again, thank you Tracie.

        4. Tracie,

          Your name has some harmony with that of our chief moderator for the open society. But that aside, I believe I should welcome you to this site, where I stand corrected. But certainly your analysis seem realistic. I would encourage you to continue to engage in the exchange. We have had few female and having your contribution will be meaning for a comprehensive dialogue.

    2. Firstly to correct you Sunshine Guinea was or is not at war. Maybe you are not following the developments, but let me tell you every African country that had those long standing former rulers had their own internal political problems. Look at Sierra Leone with the late Siaka Stevens the two political parties APC and SLPP had been in riots from time to time even today the 21st century, Ivory Coast had theirs because of long standing rule, Togo the late Eyadema, DRC Congo under the late Mabutu just to name a few. for Guinea, the problems from the late Serkou Toure and if you monitor situations rightly, you’ll know that the late Lassana Contect made it worse, now you see Guinea is a boiling pot on the fire that is waiting to spill over and Charles Taylor is nowhere around. Maybe another prosecution witness might come out to say that Charles send him to carry on the recent military massacre of peaceful citizens of Guinea in the football stadium during the political rally. Let me draw your mind a little to Liberia, William V. S.Tubman kept Liberia for 27yrs and underdeveloped with very high rate of illiterates, and nobody dare ask, you will end up like David Coleman, or H. Boimah Farbulleh Sr. And this is the craziest part of it that Charles Taylor was going after the wealth of Guinea, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone, sometimes I wonder why will anyone think that those three countries are any richer than Liberia, Charles Taylor was in control of Liberia (excluding tiny Monrovia) from 1990 to 1997 elections and he had the Iron ore, Timber, Gold and Diamond at his disposal, and to say he will leave that than run to Guinea for Bauxite, Sierra Leone for diamond and Ivory Coast for Coco seed is absolute crazy. So to say that Mr Taylor is responsible for war in Guinea which does not exist is nonsense.

  7. Hi folks, I am just watching a documentary (on TV) on Herman Goering, the highest ranking Nazi put on trial in Nuremberg.
    What similarity to this case! Goering knew nothing, he denied any knowledge of concentration camps – he denied being racist! He had no remorse, just like CGT. After all, his head was on the line, pity that this is where the similarities end. (Oh, I can already hear the howlings from the Nokos and companions)
    CGT’s biggest mistake is his constant claim of not knowing what was going on. Once in a while this may be probable – but this phoney claims he knew nothing on anything, he claims he was not in control of anything. This will surely be summarized as circumstantial evidence of CGT’s guilt.
    Nokofo, he is a goner, say good bye to your field marshal (or fuhrer?) – you are not going to get a job in a new Taylor government, you will have to stay in the country you hate so much forever.

  8. If no Liberian fears Charles Taylor based on these denials, then the person cannot fear anything in life until death. Charles Taylor ordered the execution of Sam Bockarie to be done be Benjamin Yeaten who is residing in Togo in the Town of Buehlay. Even though present in the town can vividly recall Bockarie crying and begging along with his wife. Yet falling on death ears, the armless Bockarie at the time was killed in cold and all his diamonds were taken to Taylor. To me I feel that Taylor has criminally denied enough and must faced the full weight of his sins now.

    1. Emangulf,

      You are letting your imagination run wild. “Bockarie’s diamonds were all taken to Taylor”. This is a new twist in the never ending story of how Sam Bockarie was killed

    2. Emangulf,
      “Oldman”, we have actually been trying to get in touch with yeaten so we can get his side of this whole thing we are talking about. Can you go and get him for us please, since you ‘ve got his location sir!..ha..ha.. I am really, really begging you..

  9. Hi there papay fallah,
    listen, we mean sierra leone not ivory coast. Mr. Taylor was not arrested for Ivory coast issues, are you going along.your so-called icc is confusing you,not us pro Taylor. We are winning.from sierra leone to ivory coast and who knows the icc will acuse Taylor for the present
    Guinean crisis.oh my GREAT GOD are they confused?
    pap fallah, please if you can do me a favor, go and tell your so-called icc to stop being confused let them hit the nail on the head.
    pap fallah, your pension money will transport you to the hague.
    May My Great God settle the minds of the chamber judges and stop being confused.

  10. Ladies and gentlemen it is too early to say Mr. Taylor is guilty or not guilty. Mr. Charles Taylor is the first defense witness. Let’s wait and see what others are going to say. Wait for the defense final argument and request for acquittal. Wait for the prosecutor’s rebuttal; wait to see if any of the convicted RUFs or members of ATU will be subpoena by the Judges. I can see someone saying that Mr. Charles scored a point there and here or his is inconsistent but to say he his guilty or not guilty is wrong. Mr. Taylor will be defending on his own behalf till may be January/February 2010. Why the rush to judgment?

    1. IveIE, there is no such thing that it is too early to say President Taylor is innocent. In the court of law, the accused is innocent until proven guilty. IveIE, the bottom line here there is no case.

  11. Emangulf,
    I think you need time to read more on this trial before coming to talk jumk here. The killing of Bockarie wasn’t order by Taylor, unless you can provide living witness to disprove what I know so far. I must make this clear…. I wasn’t there when Bockarie was killed but with the level of friendship and family members I have in liberia and the connections some of them have with Mr. Taylor. Just to let you know, the newly appointed Major of Careysburg city is also a family member to me and he can tell me alot of things that he may not tell others!

    I can tell you for sure that Taylor didn’t order the death of Bockarie instead, he order the arrest of Bockarie if he should enter with arms in Liberia from the Ivory Coast. A cousin of my who was fighting for Mr. Taylor NPFL was one of those who was in charge of the units that was order by Mr. Taylor to arrest Bockarie at the border of Ivory Coast and Liberia. Now I am not saying they say, as the earsay your are following from those so-called witnesses testifying against Mr. Taylor.

    I was in liberia in April of this year and I saw pictures of the body of Sam Bockarie with COL Morden War ( Sundayboy Davis ), a cousin of my and all that he told ne long before Mr. Taylor could about death, is what Mr. Taylor said in his testimony, word by word. So, how can you say now that he ( Mr. Taylor ) order the killing of Sam Bockarie?

    Until you can tell us that you were standing there when Bockarie and you can provide photos with you and Bockarie body on it, I don’t think you’re saying anything factaul. One important point, I am not against the prosecution of Mr. Taylor but it shouldn’t be for what happened in Sierra Leone because the stories we have heard so far, the prosecutiion have not provided the witnesses to prove their case Mr. Taylor whatsoever! All we have heard so far are lies and it’s complete nonsense and a total disgrace!

  12. IvelE,
    We are calling it IN REAL TIME….plus given what the prosecutors presented…..so we are down to TRICK or TREAT…..

    Can the prosecutors bring in a witness??? I doubt it since she was rested but I stand corrected. I think Mr. Taylor holds the CARDS and if he plays his hands well and right….I say smooth sailing BUT….

  13. Sermom, Sunshine and J. Fallah Major, your comments are fine but unfortunately the premise of your argument is not grounded in facts. The evidences of “black mail are there, the marks of neo-colonialism are vivid”. However, one must be prolific, open-minded, and thinking critically of the struggle of Africa vis-à-vis Liberia. Liberia experienced a land slide under Tolbert that killed a family of mine. No restitution was made and the mining company got away with murder. The fresh water in Nimbi mining areas are polluted and is now an environmental hazard. The air in the Fire Stone area has been polluted for the past 133 years with no just companion for the chemical in the water way from a latex store in the creek. Indeed, It is difficult to describe an elephant if you are blind. One Liberian commencement speaker at UL program said: “what is wrong with Liberia is Liberian. A western author said: “ the people of Africa are as black as the continent”. Thinking pluralistically is a virtue. One own orientation is critical to perceptions.

    Gentlemen, when you see destruction and death in most part of Africa but the Royal army is sitting in a small very under develop country,

    How does that make you feel? Do you feel that the citizens of that country will have a better quality of life now than when they were a colony?

    Britain, make it happen!

    To understand Charles Taylor’s case it is good to contextualize the problem. Next, highlight observed patterns in interactions: (a) national strengths of each country, (b) positive intentions of each western members, and (c ) individual and collective suffering in the country.

    What value, values and beliefs have been passed on to African about: (a) How disputes and conflicts should be handled? (b) what should be the role of the British and American in Africa’s plight?

  14. Traice,
    I wonder what is the maximum sentence can this court imposed on Mr. Taylor if he was found guilty for any reason?

    Secondly, did any of those convicted RUF commanders who were put on trial in Sierra Leone ever testified that Mr. Taylor supply them with weapons while they fighting in Sierra Leone?


  15. This is a great question Jacone. I have been wondering about this RUF trial and whether those convicted told the court who was their boss. Tracey , could you please help us here?

    1. Hi Janice,

      I will check with people who were following the RUF trial closely and revert.


  16. Hi Tracey,

    I note that my comments have not been posted. Is there a reason or something wrong with the site?
    Please revert.

    1. Hi Helen — I have posted all the posts I have received from you. Please let me know if there are others, or please resubmit them if you can as I did not receive any that I haven’t posted already.

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