Your Questions Wanted During The Recess

Dear Readers,

We just found out today that the Charles Taylor trial is now in recess until October 26 — but just because the courtroom action has stopped, it does not mean that we have to end our conversations here on this site for three weeks.

Alpha and I thought this would be a great opportunity to invite readers to ask questions about issues arising from the trial to date — legal issues, procedural issues, anything you want, really, in relation to the trial — Alpha and I will do our best to get answers to you.

We already have a couple of questions which we are working on – Noko4 has asked about the Liberian travel bans and John Thompson has asked about the relationship between prosecutors, witnesses and the truth.

If there are others which are new or which we have overlooked previously, please let us know.  We will aim to answer and keep posting throughout this recess period as much as we can.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Alpha and Tracey


  1. Tracey,
    We will continue to post. What would be most interesting during this break if you could get some expert commentary such as Michael Scharf. As you may remember David Crane the first prosecutor of the Special Court said he indicted Mr. Taylor a sitting head of state based on an opinion written by Professor Scharf and a group of his students. In addition if you could get Scharf to answer some questions from this forum.

    1. Thanks Aki – good idea. We will approach Professor Scharf as you request and see if he would be willing to answer questions or write some commentary.

  2. Hey guys, while the court is in recess I would recommend web page. Select Liberia from the region drop down window. We need some Nationalist comments until the trial comes out of recess.

  3. Tracey ,
    when are we going to get fresh video update on the Charles Taylor`s trial ?
    Secondly , where can i find the video testimony of our great Zigzag Marzah ?
    thanks .

  4. Great!!! Will like to know what is the penalty if the prosecutors had DOCUMENTS pointing the other way and decided NOT to bring such in court like the Salute Report and the Manifesto plus what Mr. Taylor said in court yesterday statement amongst papers given to him by the prosecutors that some CLEAR the HEARSAYs.

  5. Is it possible or costly to have a repeat of the daily trial for those who are working people and don’t have time to watch during regular trial hours? What will is cost? Maybe, some major company could assist, ie court TV et al.

    1. Abe Lincoln – that is an excellent idea. Unfortunately there is no archive of the live streaming. When we have asked the court about this previously, there was no scope to be able to house all this archive on their own site. If there was a TV or even internet provider that could help out, an archive of the video would be a valuable addition. Do you know of any companies or organizations that might be able to assist that could be suggested to the court?

      1. Maybe, the President Of Libyan could assist being he’s generous when it comes to Africa. Some of his oil money could make it possible for the world to have playback of the trial. I wish I had his number… try calling Libyan Embassy requesting immediate help.

  6. Tracey,
    If taylor wins this case, will it be legal for taylor to sue his accusers( The prosecution) for damages,pain and suffering ..etc..anything?

    1. Noko5,

      Abe made a very good suggestion above concerning the airing of the ct trial. I believe this will be valuable to the liberia and african community here in the states. what do you think? Tracey was wonder of possible organizations that could assist. I believe you are knowledgeable about these organizations that carry these documetaries on the liberians situation. if you could research and suggest a few that woudl be great. I know national public radio and tv, discovery tv among others.

      The main issue will be the funding. who would underwrite the cost? if the court has such a budget line that would be great. Otherwise the other alternative is for Tracey to check with the soros charity and see if they could identify funding sources so that the the majority of the african community here in the states would have an insight of the trial and appease their conscience.

      From random observation it would be about 5% or less, the number of Liberians in the states who are following this case. I believe it would be the same or far lower for our brothers from sierra leone. For the majority of these groups the guilt of taylor is a foregone conclusion, not because they assume he is guilty but they believe the west would tamper with the outcome or the final verdict so as to keep taylor away from west africa.

      Against that background, airing the trial would help vindicate the west and improve their image and perception in minds of most ordinary people.

      Good day.

  7. I would like to know if either the defense or the prosecuting team has considered using Viktor Bout or some of the other arms dealers (listed in this article and many, many other places: as witnesses to either prove or disprove the allegations that Taylor bought weapons from Bout and others and sent them to Salone. I guess you’d have to ask the teams themselves this questions, which I don’t know if you are able to at this point?


    1. Jakob,
      The prosecutors were NOT silly and foolish to bring Mr. Blout out of jail to come in this court to testify!!!! I believe his dealing was when he was President of Liberia which Mr. Taylor has already told this court where he was getting his arms from to fight and defend Liberia against LURD and MODEL.

      Mr. Blout on the stand for the prosecutors would have brought in Iraq and the dealings of the West……and the West didn’t want her DIRTY WAYS been known. The prosecutors are getting CLUES and CUES from various intelligent agency to nail Mr. Taylor but so far, ZERO is her score.

    2. Jakob,

      The link on the war and peace generates a search engine. Can you check and repost it?

      Tracey, I have a resource on cannibalism in the amazon. It is graphic and horrifying. I viewed it once several years ago, but it has been in my archives. I do not want to offend anyone by posting it. But if readers are interested you can send me an email at or Alternatively, if it is okay with majority I can post the link here and can be accessed at discretion.

      The drive here is to affirm that Jakob appreciates that cannibalism has existed, continues to exist and it spans cultures, Europe, Asia, middle East, Africa. However despicable, those who engage in it have reasons: rituals, passion, spirit emboldenment or dominance, sexual urge etc. Although clearly not supporting the practice, it is existing.

      One thing is sure as far as this trial is concerned, our president was not, is not and will never be a flesh-eating president. That story is a lie.

      I will find this Zigzag Marzah while I am in Liberia, and we will hear the outcome.

      1. Andrew Jlay: This is another article that alleges a link between Taylor and Bout:

        Alsop, I’d be very intereste din hearing a summary if you actually do meet with zigzag!

        Noko4: that’s an interesting point. I think you could be right. But are you thereby saying that i HAD the prosecutors chosen to bring Bout as a witness, he would have confirmed the suspected link? Having read your previous posts I wouldn’t think so but it sort of sounds like it from your comment?

        Also, I haven’t seen Taylor talk about where he got his arms from. Do you have a link to that? Thank you!

  8. Is the cout allow to look into witness tempering, especially the personal execution of key witness such as Sam Bocharie, by taylor’s own right hand man Benjamin Yeatent, in deciding Mr. Taylor’ fate in the end?

    1. Ziggy,
      Do you put up these ballons just to see or get reactions???? Was Sam Bockerie a WITNESS in this case or was he like Mr. Taylor, a WANTED MAN??? If the prosecutors wanted WITNESS of substance, she could have gotten some of those that are in court of the RUF……senior leaders.

      But my sense tells me they couldn’t find any one of them to tell them what they wanted to hear….FACTUAL FACTS as to Mr. Taylor’s role. Instead, we got HEARSAYS in the worst formations.

    2. Ziggy Sali,
      you stressed a very good point about witnesses tempering. However, you fall way too short of looking at the other side of the aisle or reality is just closing on you. If you are so much concerned about witnesses tempering as you oppose to self fulfilling prophecy of the incarceration of President Taylor, you would have advocated on behalf of your fellow country men, Liberians that are victims of the U.N Assets Freeze list and Travel Ban that want to testify on behalf of President Taylor but can’t as the result of this unjust and cruel punishment. Bear in mind, there were no arraignments of these innocent and innocuous people on the U.N list. However, thousands of Liberians and other foreign nationales want to come foward and testify on behalf of Taylor, but their property will be seized and they will never travel again in their life time. As the result, these potential witnesses are afraid to come foward. Why are you not talking about witnesses tempering when it comes to President Taylor? Don’t you think this is witnesses tempering also? Even people who knew President Taylor prior to his prominence are being punished because they knew him. On the hand, prosecution witnesses are being protected by both the court and the U.N. For example: they hide these prosecution witnesses identity and sometimes intentionally distort their voices, and give them TF Numbers; but they can not to the same for the other side or at least, lift the travel ban and abolish the asset freeze list in order for everyone to have an equalled and levelled playing field. Again Ziggy Sali, you have shown poor impulse control here. Ziggy, likes of you are rooted deeply in the cleavages of our nation Liberia just to get this one man but, I can assure you, he will be acquitted and Liberia will survive. God bless Liberia and President Taylor.

  9. The Liyban enbassay is right in Washington DC and been doing business with the US government . But this shows the deception of these powerful countries that while they are doing business with most of these countries they project a public posture as if they has no dealings with a nation like Libya.

    such high deception. And Liberians have long held the view that allowing a Liyban embassy in Liberia is a bad thing that would be against America’s foriegn policy but yet the very Americans have allowed the Liyban to have their embassy in Washington. wow!

    1. King Gray,
      That’s the TRICK and TREAT been played and play…..on one hand, they shout EVIL but behind close doors….they preach LOVE…

      What is the difference between China and Cuba?? Aren’t both communism?? But one get to pass, the one with the WORST record…WHY??? Money talks, bulshate walks!!!

    2. It is called control. Did you not observe Tony Blair, George Bush, Jr. and Kadhafi sleeping under the same tent? These so-called first world countries are responsible for most of the world’s problems. .. nothing new. In Africa, it’s called Old Wine In New Bottle. Same old, same old. As I stated on this site before, I saw arms captured from rebel group on Monday 13, 2002 in Gbarnga. These were arms provided by the British Government of Tony Blair with yellow markings. I was there, not what I was told This was mentioned in this trial. Is Blair on trial? It was LURD that killed my family, not NPLF. So why are key players not on trial? This reminds me of the justice system in America. If you’re poor, you receive poor justice. If you’re rich, you get rich justice.

  10. Tracy,
    Please find out from Alpha Sesay why in his September 30th update of the trial he did not write about Charles Taylor’s statement that he never said ” Sierra Leone would taste the bitterness of war” This is most revealing since several prosecution witnesses have said that they heard Mr. Taylor say this on the BBC. Infact one prosecution witness said that upon hearing Mr. Taylor’s pronouncement that is why he joined the Sierra Leone army.

    1. Hi Aki,

      Fair point. My sense is that he necessarily has to choose among competing pieces of testimony for each day’s summary and so cannot, unfortunately, include everything. Other issues may have been more relevant to the charges that day and so he decided to include them instead as a matter of competing priorities. But will check with him to make sure this was the case. We will revert to you soon, Aki.


  11. Hey Guys

    Any one recognized the guy in this you tube video link that Jakob posted. I do he is prosecutor star witness Vamunyan Sheriff yes he is, as soon as i saw him i recognized him even the reporter call his name in this video.

    And another thing at this time he was with Ulimo K and not N.P.F.L because this video was recorded April 6, 1996, This is Ulimo because these act was unique to them.

    Where the reported got it mixed up was the N.P.F.L fighter dominated the fighting forces but that particular group was ulimo. This is the link

    Vamunyan Sheriff was running away from his shadow a real demon i wounder he told the prosecutor of his behavior?



    1. Zobon — thank you for sharing that observation! (I would’ve never known)

      What are your thoughts on the implications of Sheriff being on such a video for the Taylor trial?

    2. Zobon
      You are correct that these flesh eaters are ULIMO but this is the kind of international deception and lies that are offer to the world as NPFL or Taylor acts. I have seen this video several times and most Liberians know very well that these killers are ULIMO with all of those small children they have as soldiers. But no one is holding them accountable for using child soldiers in the war but that Taylor they holding. International deception that is all it is.

      1. King, nobody is saying these crimes were not committed by others beside taylor. Taylor’s reasons for being locked up is for his involvement in the Sierra Leone war and supplying of arms to secure and exploit the Diamond fields, among others. Also he was a wanted man for war crimes and acts against Humanity. You guys have difficulties in getting these concepts together! Others will be tried but let’s focus for now on taylor who bears the greatest weight!

  12. Tracey,
    my question of october 3rd, was intended for you or Alpha knowing that you have some assess to these procedings, and if I may, will reinstate here: is the special court allow to look into possible witness tempering regarding the executions of some key people, who could have been possible witnesses such as Sam Bocharie who life was taking in Liberia by Taylor’s security chief Ben Yeatent, after Mr. Taylor was served this indictment?

  13. Ziggy,
    Did Mr Taylor also kill Foday Sankoh? if the prosecution needs KEY witnesses dont they have Issah Sessay and Moris Kallon and Augustine Gbao?

    Comeon, the prosecution discovered that they had no evidence to nail this man they just paid some poor people money to come and lie against Mr Taylor.

  14. Ziggy

    My brother you need to go and do your own research. there is no witness tempering here Sam was killed before Charles Taylor was indicted and not after as you claim.

    If you want to know go and research ok

    Jakob there is no real implication here sheriff wanted Amnesty from his crime he committed that is why he went as a prosecutor witness simple.

    At the time sheriff was committing that crime he was ulimo soldier.



  15. Noko5 has asked:

    Hi Tracey,
    What does the Geneva convention say about people who come up in the open and confess that they actually killed or masacre peaceful civilians, even though it was during war time? Does the world just standby and let them walk without asking them anything?

  16. Noko5 asked:
    How does the ICC replace used funds after a case.Do they just sit and wait for another indictment? Also, how would this case affect sierraleone, or maybe liberia ecomomicly. Be it positive or negative.Is there any money to loose or gain?

  17. Tracy, I am curious, and want to know how taylor likes the taste of the food he is being fed at the Hague since that was the first thing he complaint about during the earlier days of his incaseration ?
    Also, I want to know about his new religion that he converted to and how different that is compared to the religous practices he and some of his generals were member of in liberia.

  18. Tracy, don’t you think it’s wise for Defense Team for Taylor to use Isa and the other guilty Junta members of the RUF as witnesses since they want living proof of taylor’s innocence because loyalists insist on living proof and not ‘hearsay’?
    I think these guys could plea bargain for reduced sentences by getting on the witness stand and expose the whole truth that taylor is finding difficult to express!

  19. Come on guys; help me here, maybe you can answer for your chief! Are you guys not in touch with the chief? I need to know how the chief likes the menu at the Hague and also his new religious views especially about “doing unto others as you would wish being done unto you!”It’s 3 days since I posted my quetions and yet some are coming on here to ask irrelevant questions such as on my nationality, or how many degrees they got!
    We should be concerned with the trial and keep our degrees out of the arguements as I only responded to my degrees when supporters insisted over and over just as now when you attempt to quetion my nationality! Whoe cares if you got Cum laudi in engineering or degree in mathematics? We are counting here on not only degrees, but experience and maturity as well. I mut be sincere that most of you lack these basics from your rationalization and views expressed on this site! Believe it or not. I will not make further comments on what I have just said and will ignore you if you come back with this topic and make you look small. Let’s get back to why charles is being locked up until proven guilty!

  20. All:
    Do not be deceived , If a man lives by deprieving the lives of others, he does not deserve an enjoyment of his own. Taylor is firmly in the grip of justice and his own evil will fall upon himself as surely as the Sun rise and set by Devine law.
    Thank you.

    1. Emmanuel H. Johnson,

      what kind of justice are you talking about here? I thought we all believe that justice should be done to all men. So, if you believe in the statement that justice should be done to all men regardless, don’t you think President Taylor deserves equal justice also? But, if you don’t believe in that statement, and think justice should be done to some men, than, I know where you’re comiing from on your definition of justice as applicable to some and not all.

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