As Cross-Examination Of Charles Taylor Starts, Prosecution Tells Taylor He Has A Reason To Lie

Prosecutors told Charles Taylor that he had “reason to lie” during his four months of testimony which he had spent rebutting charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his alleged role in crimes during Sierra Leone’s brutal conflict — and that he needed to prepare to be “honest” in cross-examination, which started today in The Hague.

Lead prosecution counsel, Ms. Brenda Hollis, who is conducting Mr. Taylor’s cross-examination told the former president he has not been “honest” in direct-examination and that she is ready to prove that Mr. Taylor has been telling lies. Ms. Hollis, briefly taking Mr. Taylor through a few documents that he had discussed in direct-examination, pointed out the absence of certain key words used by the accused former president. In a letter written by Mr. Taylor to former United States president George Bush, Ms. Hollis asked Mr. Taylor to point out in the letter where he had said to Mr. Bush that he would step down as Liberian president, as claimed by the former president in his direct examination.

In his response, Mr. Taylor said that the portion of the letter which read that “I have considered recusing myself from the political process” indicated his intention to step down as Liberian president.

“That is my understanding counsel, that is how I understand it,” Mr. Taylor said.

Ms. Hollis, referencing Mr. Taylor’s May 2000 meeting with United States Special Envoy for Africa, Rev. Jesse Jackson, accused Mr. Taylor of not giving Rev. Jackson an honest answer when he did not admit that former Revolutionary United Front (RUF) commander Sam Bockarie and his fighters were being trained as mercenaries by Mr. Taylor in Liberia. Mr. Taylor “misled” the US envoy, as Ms. Hollis put it to the accused. Mr. Taylor denied the allegation, insisting that he gave an honest answer to the US Special Envoy.

“I object to the fact of mercinerization. I did give an honest answer to Special Envoy Jackson. Your suggestion that I was dishonest is not true and you should not allude to that,” Mr. Taylor said.

“I was not being misleading and if Special Envoy Jackson had asked me whether I was training those men and I said no, then I would have been misleading,” he added.

Mr. Taylor insisted that if he had been training Sierra Leonean rebel fighters and supplying arms and ammunition to RUF rebels, he would have said so. He also denied ever receiving diamonds from RUF rebels in Sierra Leone.

“If I had been training or supplying arms to the RUF, there is no reason why I would have denied it. If I had done so, I would have said so,” the former president said.

As he denied allegations of his alleged support to RUF rebels and receiving diamonds mined in Sierra Leone, Mr. Taylor accused the prosecution of building its case on “lies.”

“To suggest that I will deny something like that, remember, this whole case is a lie–my activities as president, that I sent arms to Sierra Leone, that I received diamonds from Sierra Leone, there is no evidence and your failure accept it, it’s all lies,” he said.

Ms. Hollis put it to Mr. Taylor that he has more reason to lie about his actions compared to the numerous witnesses who have testified against him. Mr. Taylor responded that “I have told this court the truth, unless you bring evidence that I am lying.”

“We will prove that,” Ms. Hollis responded.

Earlier in the day, as Mr. Taylor concluded his direct-examination, he discredited newspaper articles and intelligence reports on his alleged involvement in the conflict in Sierra Leone. The former Liberian president also challenged the honesty of the UN’s actions in authorizing the freezing of his assets as well as UN Security Council Resolution 1688 of 2006 authorizing his trial in The Hague.

“This whole issue and how it has been handled has been strange but that is the nature of this case,” he said.

Meanwhile, in a message to the press, the acting Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, Mr. Joseph Kamara, also outlined how the prosecution intends to cross-examine Mr. Taylor.

“We will directly challenge Mr. Taylor in three ways–on the accuracy, the truthfulness and the completeness of his testimony,” Mr. Kamara said.

Mr. Taylor has been charged with 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and serious violations of international humanitarian law committed by rebel forces in Sierra Leone.  He has denied all charges.

Mr. Taylor’s cross-examination continues tomorrow.


    1. Ha ha ha……Mr. Taylor ONE, Ms Hollis ZERO!!!
      She tried to get under his skin but she got a PRELUDE……at times, she was DISORGANIZED!!!!!!.

      Look at the Bush’s letter…..she wanted the word STEP DOWN??? Like Mr. Taylor said….don’t accuse me of lieing without the PROOFS to back up your words. This is where the HEARSAYS we complained about come in to turn upside down this case. While on the other hand, she is trying to DISPROVE documents, some of which came from her team. CREDIBLE!!!!!

    2. Ms Hollis first day of cross examination was not impressive at all. She got to be a rookie in the business. First impression counts and Ms Hollis failed to hit a home run. She tried to throw some curve balls but curve balls alone will not win the game.

      Ms Hollis needs to know that she is the persecution and the burden of proof rest on the persecution. Her line of questions to the witness showed that the persecution presented a weak case from the get go, and it continues to show during the cross examination. For example, “you have reason to lie” and he needed to prepare to be “honest”. Where is the fact, Ms Hollis you will have to state the fact rather than asking for the fact.

      Ms Hollis seems as though she was not prepared for the cross examination. She was spaced out as a result, she concluded her cross examination 1 hour and 45 minutes before the regular time of adjournment. CT was just beginning to warm up, when Ms Hollis pulled the plug. I was expecting some fire works on the first day of cross but it didn’t happened.

      1. Court was adjurned much earlier today 11/11/09 for the persecution to reassess her questions of cross-examination. I did a course in a community college call Criminal Law, with my little knowledge I can do a much better job than what Ms Hollis is doing.

        As I mentioned in my earlier posting, Ms Hollis will have to state the facts XYZ previously on the record and tie it in with the witness testimony and point out the contradictions in said statement. Unfortunately, the persecution case is lack of incoherence; that’s why Ms Hollis is alluding to such line of questionings

    3. Fallah,

      Bravo for what, Ms Hollis failure to understand simple English? Wait and see how Mr. Taylor will play with her intelligent. She couldn’t even complete three hours allotted to her for the first start. How can she carry on for the next four months? Yes, the fun just began oldman fallah. Please don’t rush it yah…?


      Harris K Johnson

    4. GOOD GOOD, To all the Charles Taylors Haters, you do not have to like him but if you think that this organized bunches of lies that the Stephen Rapp and David Crane setup up against this innocent brilliant son of Africa will work, than heart attack will get rid of most of you soon. Let me remind you that Mr. Taylor sat in the CLASS ROOM he never got his degrees on the internet, bombard GHANKAY LET THEN KNOW THAT THEY ARE THE BIG FAT LIARS. When Mr. Taylor accused the British of supplying arms to Sierra Leone and braking the UN sanctions on Sierra Leone, he name the vessel and the name, Ms Hollis just got to know that CT is not the liar but her own team just got is wrong. WHAT HAVE THE PROSCUTIONS HAVE TO SHOW US ZIGZAG MAZAN and Varmuyah sheriff witness statements? Stephen Rapp saying, Mr Taylor has several Billion of dollars in international banks.

    5. Fallah,
      Are we following the same trial??? Look the TRICK Ms. Hollis tried to pull today….wanting to introduce NEW EVIDENCE. Pure AMBUSH!!! But again I say, she has a battle on her hand….and so far, she is loosing.

      1. cousin noko4,
        Are you serious ??? new evidence?? The rain did not fill the bucket..and they now looking for dew to fill it.. whatever!!! BRAVO GHANKAY

    6. Fallah,

      If recusing from political process does not imply taking yourself out of politics and in taylor’s case, leaving office then you need to go to the hague and give ms hollis an english 001 lesson.

    7. Fallah,

      I do understand the desired impact you want council Hollis to make in the incarceration of this innocent man. But she has done nothing yet, especially the first day of the cross examination. However, the second day, she ran away!!!! where is Hollis, the prior service member of the US Armed Forces? Do you think President Taylor “that joke.?”

    8. What a shame falla. you called that strong opening? Why did the trial adjourn early?
      Will someone help falla with this answer?

  1. I can not believe the Principal Trial Attorney Brenda Hollis opened her cross-examination by asking Mr. Taylor, it’s true isn’t it that of all the people who have come before these judges, you are the one who has the most reason to lie,” Has Ms. Hollis forgotten already who their linkage witnesses were?

    1. Ken,
      She must be thinking she is one of the courts in the US……She and her crew put LIARS on the stand with HEARSAYS…

      1. Noko4,
        I think it has more to do with Mr. Taylor taking the stand in his own defense, being the principle witness and been the first witness. The prosecution did not prepare for that can of strategy. The prosecution strategy of cross –examine Mr. Taylor by directly challenge him on the accuracy, the truthfulness and the completeness of his testimony, has gotten off to a rocky start. Ms. Hollis wanted to question Mr. Taylor on this so-called “fresh evidence” and not his testimony.

        1. Ken,
          That’s the RULE of this court that the ACCUSE be the FIRST WITNESS….I am sure Mr. Taylor have like to come LAST like it’s done in ALL court. But this is a Special Court.

          The difficulty I found is, Mr. Taylor presented DOCUMENTS to back up his words… CLEAR CUT; that was the reason Ms. Hollis wanted to use the Accord to show that Mr. Taylor did have RUF/ARFC at heart on the negotiating table.

          I strongly believe she was about to ZERO in on the PARDON CLAUSE…..take a look…focus on #2.



          Having met in Lome, Togo, from the 25 May 1999, to 7 July 1999 under the auspices of the Current Chairman of ECOWAS, President Gnassingbe Eyadema;

          Recalling earlier initiatives undertaken by the countries of the sub-region and the International Community, aimed at bringing about a negotiated settlement of the conflict in Sierra Leone, and culminating in the Abidjan Peace Agreement of 30 November, 1996 and the ECOWAS Peace Plan of 23 October, 1997;

          ARTICLE IX


          1. In order to bring lasting peace to Sierra Leone, the Government of Sierra Leone shall take appropriate legal steps to grant Corporal Foday Sankoh absolute and free pardon.

          2. After the signing of the present Agreement, the Government of Sierra Leone shall also grant absolute and free pardon and reprieve to all combatants and collaborators in respect of anything done by them in pursuit of their objectives, up to the time of the signing of the present Agreement.

          3. To consolidate the peace and promote the cause of national reconciliation, the Government of Sierra Leone shall ensure that no official or judicial action is taken against any member of the RUF/SL, ex-AFRC, ex-SLA or CDF in respect of anything done by them in pursuit of their objectives as members of those organisations, since March 1991, up to the time of the signing of the present Agreement. In addition, legislative and other measures necessary to guarantee immunity to former combatants, exiles and other persons, currently outside the country for reasons related to the armed conflict shall be adopted ensuring the full exercise of their civil and political rights, with a view to their reintegration within a framework of full legality.


        2. Ken,
          These kind of cases that demand evidential facts become dificult when the prosecution does not have what the court actually needs against the defence. That what’s going on..

  2. Tracey,

    I am now back in Liberia and not able to acces the trial live. Although I know you and Alpha are doing your best please try and post the daily trial updates a little sooner for us who live in the GMT time zone. Today was the opeining of cross and I am up at 3:00 am before I see the coverage for the day.

    1. Hi Aki,

      Thanks for letting us know. I’m glad you are following our postings each day. For a variety of reasons, sometimes our postings will inevitably be posted later in the day, but as a general rule, we try to get them up as soon as we humanly can. Thanks for the feedback.

      How is the trial being received in Liberia, by the way? Are many people following it through the papers or the radio?


      1. Tracey,

        I believe both Star radio and the UNMIL station carry parts of the trial on certain days. The newpaper do also but do not go into indepth analysis. As far as people in Liberia are concerned there is not much middle ground when it come to Mr. Taylor. People either love or hate him.

        1. Hi Aki,

          Thanks — that’s interesting. Actually there were some news stories that came out today in the Christian Science Monitor which makes the same point. It says that there is not much news getting into Liberia, that people have a spectrum of opinions about the trial, but for many, the sheer hardships of life mean that for many, the trial is not a big concern for them.

          If you are interested, you can read it here: I’d be interested to hear your opinion — and those of others who are currently living in Liberia — on whether this accurately represents the sentiments felt in Monrovia and beyond.

          Just for good measure, here is another story which came out today from VOA news — ttp:// — titled “UN Prosecutors Seek to Limit Taylor’s Contact With Lawyers During Cross Examination” outlining the arguments about the level of contact Mr. Taylor should have with his lawyers during cross-exaimination, in case it is also of interest.

          Best, and thanks for letting me know, Aki. I appreciate it.


    1. Hi Sandra — thank for your question. We actually decided it was easier for many more people to follow if we wrote a summary like we are doing now, as the transcripts from which people can follow the blow-by-blow action is usually available within a day. Glad you found the way we used to do it useful though too.

      I agree with you though that Mr. Taylor’s testimony is fascinating to follow.


  4. Bravo to what? The prosecutor seems so weak that they could only cross Taylor for 30 to 35 minutes out of three hours. Great start by Taylor.

  5. I am having a field day!!!! Ghankay has given a prelude to the Prosecution today. Ms Hollis said they will “prove” their case agianst Mr Taylor in cross? common the prosecution had over a year to present their case is it just now that they intend to prove a negetive? they better improve fast and learn to prosecute well or else, they will meet with one of the greatest embarrassment in history!!!! Ghankay for LIFE!!!!

  6. Ms Brenda Hollis was a disappointment in her opening cross. I expected to see a very profession prosecutor but she was asking childish questions like who is in jail now and who is suppose to be sentence to life imprisonment, and who need to lie more any all the witnesses. What kind of state of mind was Ms. Hollies attempting to show us? Being in jail does not mean guilt, and this is Ms. Hollis way of thinking then the prosecution needs another person to conduct the cross because such tactics clearly show that the intent of the prosecution is not to produce fact or convict on facts but on emotions and sentiments.

    Come on Ms Hollis, stop making this case personal and let us enojy our time worth. We need facts and proofs not emotional appeal.

  7. Dear Tracy, Now that the cross examination has started, I’m kindly appealing that you post your daily summaries on time so that we too that are not opportuned to watch the trial live can follow up on the debate. Thanks so far for all your publications. At least, I’ve an archive of my own from your publications.

    1. Dear Daniel — we certainly try our hardest to get the summaries up as soon as possible. I hope you will bear with us when we have to post them later in the days sometimes. But we appreciate your feedback and will try to get them up as soon as we can.


  8. Noko4,
    I don’t know how you go about awarding grades but to claim “Mr. Taylor ONE, Ms Hollis Zero!!!” is far from the truth to say the least. In her very brief cross-examination, Taylor confessed to training some of Sam Bockarie’s men (who he claimed where made Citizens of Liberia) and a rather poor excuse that they were not mercenaries. This is serious. Was Taylor in such dire need of fighting forces that he will go about training Bockaries’s men, especially when these guys are notorious for heinous crimes? Furthermore, it that the proper ways of making others Liberians? Taylor has to do much better than his performance yesterday otherwise he will spend the rest of his life in jail.

    1. Big Joe,

      As far as cross-examination is concerned with impeachment of testimony, the issue involving training of bockarie’s men was disclosed by taylor, so there is nothing to impeach or complete there, i regard that as confirmation.

    2. Big Joe,
      My SCORING SYSTEM is based on PERFORMANCE…..did she do a good job the last two days…..NO!!! So therefore, I gave the points to Mr. Taylor. At the end, I will tally and who’s in the lead wins. Two days and she gets ZERO. Therefore Taylor 2, Ms. Hollis 0. I strongly believe she lacks EXPOSURE on this stage and looking at her team they need someone like Mr. Griffith.

      Mr. Taylor told his court he granted those RUF men Liberian citizenship and as Liberians, they could do whatever so long it was LEGAL. She tried to make them look like their HIRE FOR MONEY which of course, the meaning of MERCENARIES. You see the TRICKY game of wordings???

  9. Taylor is free.He is coming back to Liberia this afternoon to kill more mothers and fathers and be re-elected president of Liberia

    1. Vaa-

      Thats sounds like words of frustration to me. Don’t blame it on CT, blame it on the alcohol. Oh, sorry I meant on the Ms Hollis.

    2. Mansaray, I suggest that you just watch the debate, cuz you have nothing to offer. It would be better for for you to call for Mr Taylor release for this useless case against him in Sierra Leone so that you can take him to court in Liberia. Anyway, I know from where you are speaking from as your name is Mansaray.

      1. Hi everyone — just a reminder that everyone is entitled to express their opinion in this forum except if it runs afoul of our one rule: to focus on the issues and not on each other.

    3. It will never happen. Taylor is a smart man. I will admit that but he is not smart enought to get away with murders when there are so much evidence against him. Taylor and his Jr. boy certainly will never have the freedom to take another life, whether in Sierra Leone or Liberia. A coward like Taylor belongs in jail. And I admire Ms. Hollis, her hard work and I look forward to her hard work and efforts paying off.

      1. Teage, show us the evidence. Did I hear you say, Taylor is a smart man? Hummmmmm. Interesting. Do you really know this man that you are calling coward? This man is challenging the entire world and you still think he’s a coward? Teage, you falsely claimed that you know this man, but you really don’t know him.

  10. Again like yesterday, we have a left hook from Ms Hollis and a Ali jab from Mr. Taylor. She still hasn’t gotten it…..he will NOT just say YEs or NO if he smells a trap. The show Mr. Sankoh and Mr. Taylor NEVER EVER share the same house but Ms. Hollis was to the hoodwink.

    Eventhough Halloween is long gone, Ms. Hollis was asking Mr. Taylor to pick…a TRICK or TREAT. But Mr. Taylor told her, in Africa, we don’t don’t TRICK or TREAT…we do SANTA CLAUS …..SHOW ME THE PEACE ACCORD. Even the judge had to ask if she was introducing NEW EVIDENCE given the prosecutors have rested…….

    Again, she is NOT impressive at all!!!!

  11. What is going on Tracey? Is it that the persecutors have not put their questions in place yet for the cross to take place? We want this thing going actually to see which side is saying the true in this case? Yesterday the persecutors leader just asked three questions and the day was over and today it is almost the same. What is going on please help me here, or someone help me here.

    1. Leoroy — let me check in with Alpha about what happened in court today before we answer. Will revert.

  12. my learned friend fallah,

    I believe you heard the president judge reminding hollis of her statutory obligation that she seemed to brush aside. the judge said they had to maintain a balance of the interest of justice and the right of the accused. parading all those liars like marzah, was not in the interest of justice, because lies compromise justice.

  13. ok fallah,

    your great starters seemed not to have been fully prepared as indicative of their application for time to formulate a strategy.

    After you close your case you want introduce fresh evidence. why did they not present the lome accord in their presentation. they were busy focusing on diamonds and guns and did not consider as important the matter of putting the lome accord into evidence. well they need it now, and they wanted to circumvent by as perry mason put it going through the back door.

  14. The only surprise from this entire trial is that Taylor has not yet denied that his name is Charles Taylor. I expect that to happen sometime before the sentencing phase-for this guy is guilty. This fool maimed and destroyed our people. Unlike the millions he murdered during his quest for power, at least he has been afforded the opportunity of legal jurisprudence. MAY HIS SOUL ROST IN HELL ETERNALLY!

    1. Chris,
      “UNLIKE THE MILLIONS HE MURDERED DURING HIS QUEST FOR POWER”??? Where did you get such figure from??? Are you attending Mr. Rapp’s school of AIR BALL or HOT BALLON???

      1. Thank you Noko4 ask him!!! Look Chris you better get prepared for what is comming – exornoration of Charles Taylor or else heart attack awaits you.

    2. Chris,

      I think you really need prayer. As far as we are concern Mr. Taylor has been very truthful from the start. He has been the one exposing all of the lies that the prosecution presented in this court. The burden of prove is all ought to you and the prosecution. Let me ask you, what if your grand father was the one being accused of crimes that he did not commit, will he say yes I’m responsible for those crimes? well, then I gust your grand father will rost and die in hell fire for being so stupid in human history.


      Harris K Johnson

    3. Chris,
      It looks you are grabbing for straws here. I said before the cross examination started that ” Ms. Hollis has never come across a witness like Charles Ghankay Taylor before.” He will decimate her on cross examination.

    4. Chris,
      One thing we all know is that Taylor is not a hipocrate. he wiil never ,never deny his identity. He tells it as is… take it or leave it

  15. You Taylor supporters have gone way beyond professional criticism of Prosecutor,Ms Hoolis in questioning her credentials instead of coming out with substance in this trial! But, again, it is not a surprise to me since most African Brothers usuall despise any highly literate individual since some have no such academic credentials, in the first place! If you think this trial is about who crows the loudest, think again! You guys will be the most disappointed individuals on earth when this trial comes to a close, mark my words! Taylor is not only a professional manipulator, but a ‘SWEET TALKER” who talked some of you into turning against each other for 14 years, to say the least. I am not surprised about how you guys find it difficult to understand that this very taylor left you in rot and ruins, not to mention how your academic capability fell behind all other West African States as manifested in the WAEC Performance of youths of Liberia! These are things you should be crying about if you truly patriots of your country, but instead you are criticizing Hollis, who has better credential than any of you supporters on this site that cannot even express yourselves grammatically!

    1. Fallah,

      quit bragging about education because taylor just put you hollis on notice that africans are not fools. recusing from political means stepping down. she thought some educated westerner wrote the letter for taylor. but i like how he dealt with that point. since then she has been humble.

      thanks to bentley college at massachusettes.

    2. j fallah menjor , This trial is not about Liberia you need to rember that. If you want for Taylor to be trial for the Liberian crimes committed, we need to work together collectively to establish such court in Liberia. He can only be trial if he will not be guilty on the ongoing trial. I understand your frustration, you are the only one. we many with such feeling about taylor but it is not Liberia for now.

      1. Vazoe,
        To buttress your staement, how about if we liberians try to begain to look at the Liberian civil crisis from a broader spectrum. I think some got their mind set too much on TAYLOR, TAYLOR TAYLOR. Why don’t we sit, think and ask ourselves, how did we arrive at all the mess we went through. Because my brother, I be honest with you. Liberia trouble started gradually from different stages. People never pay heed until it got out of hand.
        Now I tell you the crazy part of the whole thing right now. For me, I believe in being very,very practical. Eventhough, 250,000 plus die, people have totally forgotten why and how so much death,and are still repeating those same acts that brought trouble today. check the Ellen goverment…. lets stop bothering Taylor and put our house in order… Thanks

    3. Fallah do you drink Sugarcane Juice before posting your comments? or is it just frustration? common what are you talking about here tell me what the prosecution has achieved in the last two days of the cross exam? she succeeded to refute any testimony of charles Taylor? Taylor revealed during his examiniation in chief that he granted Liberian citizenship to Sierra leoneans that came with Bocharie and placed them in the ATU is the prosecution equating the ATU with the Armed forces of Liberia? For God’s sake the ATU is not the Army they should not try to mislead the court. With all the accademic qualification you and the “HIGHLY” educated prosecution has PLEASE provide credible evidence to disprove any of mr Taylor’s testimony instead of ranting and playing on emotions.

      1. Yes Sam, Don’t you remembered the sugarcane juice your grandpa sent to fallah menjor last week? I mean the cannabis that child soldiers were fed with during Gankay’ rule!I don’t think you want to use direct insults since you seem out of vocabulary!

    4. Mr. educated fallah,

      Please excuse us a little, we are really sick and tired hearing about the million degrees that you have achieved to your credit. You have always portrayed yourself as the most educated man ever since you came to this site. But like we say in Liberia, enough is enough. So fallah, please let us focus on the facts presented before this court. We all know that true justice comes only through fact not HEARSAYS as being told by prosecution witnesses. You will agree that Mr. Taylor has his right to agree and disagree with the prosecution whenever he chooses. It is left with the prosecution to prove Mr. Taylor wrong. Lastly, I wish to remind you that this case is not about the number of degrees one has, but justice and fair play for all. It would be good were you to come back home and take up a teaching job at UL for the good of our nation Liberia.


      Harris K Johnson

  16. Well, we are now at it. The long awaited time has come, so I urge fallah and cos’ to listen carefully. I was very astonished to hear from the Principal Trial Attorney Brenda Hollis telling our former President, former President of the republic of Liberia that he, Mr Taylor has the reason to lie. Such statement is regarded as insult as Ms Hollis an educated individual like her will associate a Nation former Leader with liying. I as you Ms Hollis to apologise to Mr Taylor for that insult. The opening by the prosecuting team has not only been weak, but lacks basics. For anyone to depend on ‘THEY SAY’ and say that you have a case, you are making a mistake. But my people, GOD is not sleeping, all of you that are against my Taylor will pay the price.

  17. Gentlemen,
    I feel so bad, I missed the show today. Stay too long in the field. uh, oh my god… but I am confident, he did good.. no matter what.

  18. Taylor is unmasking the myth of the prosecution deception and the political nature if this trial is being expose for the basic facts that the lead prosecutor wants to use a back door means to ambush Mr. Taylor with the very evidence that the prosecution should have presented in court to exonorate him.

    Even if Mr. Taylor accpets the Lome Accord in court, would the prosecution not accept that Taylor’s action under the Lome accord was for the sake of peace and not to facilitate RUF war? Ms. Hollis wants to pick and choose which evident will support the prosecution deception without accepting the facts of Mr. Taylor engagement with the RUF as an ECOWAS peace broker.

    I am not surprise at this prosecution deception , afterall like Mr. Taylor continue to insist, this trial is nothing but lies and deception for a political cause-the explotation of Liberia’s natural resources. This trial was never about justice and is not about justice, only fools would believe that this case is about justice. Look at what is happening right now in Liberia, as soon as Ellen became president we see the lifting of sanctions on the sale of diamonds, gold, and other resources. Oil contracts have been signed, Mittal Steel have open offices in Liberia ect ect.

    Like some of us have stated clearly from teh onset of this trial , the JUDGES have truly been FIAR in this trial but I am DOUBTFUL that the verdict will be fair because of the political nature in which the rules of the court was structure.

  19. I have been reading about people giving scores and all that. But I think many of you guys are missing the point. While it is true that Taylor and his team are “Grand Standing”, the prosecution has built a solid case and are proceeding well. It is a bit early to rejoice and taylor need to be smart. He can either do his normal “show man” thing, but this time he will fail or deal with the case more carefully.

    Lets take this statement for example concerning taylor not saying the truth. The question asked by Ms Hollis was “to Mr. Bush that he would step down as Liberian president, as claimed by the former president in his direct examination” and Taylor’s reply(per the letter) was “I have considered recusing myself from the political process”. Many on this forum has taken this a blow to MS Hollis understanding of the english language but if you look at the statement technically, Taylor did not tell the truth.

    Ms Hollis point is that Taylor did not say he was “considering his position” but rather he had said in direct examination that the decision was made. This is what she challenged and from the sentence in the letter, it is clear that at the time of the letter, Taylor had not DECIDED, he was steping down, instead he was “CONSIDERING” stepping down.

    These cases are built on technicalities. They know that Taylor was not in sierra leone at the time of these alledge crimes but they have built their case on series of technicalities and I find difficult for Taylor to escape a lengthy prison sentence. Most taylor defence were based on denial and counter accusation of Britain, US etc. But Taylor must realise that they(US,Britain) are not trial and he should concentrate on his case a bit more.

    1. Eagle Eye,

      The fact of the matter recuse means removing ones self. Did he not honor his obigation by stepping down ?

    2. Eagle eye,

      not too fast. Everyone knows that it is President Taylor that is on trial and not the “(US,Britian).” However, thanks for saying nothing. if you think by stating the obvious, means you have said something new or good, than, think again. We all know that the Brits and the US can do anything to anybody in this world. They can end this case right now and sentence President Taylor to what ever prison sentence they may desire. But this is not the case. They want to do it in a way that may seems that they are administering justice within the court of law.However, there where the public comes in. And vast majority of the people on this website have expressed their disappointment about the lack of evidence on the part of the prosecution, to even try this man, least to mention guilty verdict.

      Eagle, when you talked about President Taylor denying. I agree with you. However, you fall way too short of telling us how he had provided enough documentary evidences to back up his denial. Notwithstanding, I have to rephrase my last statement about agreeing with you that President Taylor is denying. My reason is simple. I know you know the context of which I said that I agree with your statement that President Taylor is denying. But based on your self described technicality, I have to choose another word to suit your test, Mr. (RECUSE) and Mr. (STEPPING DOWN, RESIGNING, QUITTING, LEAVING OFFICE, STANDING DOWN).

  20. Eagle-eye(Returns) , I can understand your appreaciation of the prosecution but FACTS is what should determine any legal matter. I am not an English person but even your prosecutor agreed with Taylor. Ms. Hollis wanted to know what words or language did Taylor used to convey that he was STEPPING DOWN. The term RECUSE was sufficient for any sane person to understand.

    Yes, I agree with you that his case is built on technicality and not FACTS, and this is the problem with not just this tempering with Taylor’s life. But it is this arrogance, self-indulgence, and supremacy mindset that led David Crane to confessed at the United States Congress’ Foreign Relations Committee that his intent was to use the power of his pen to humilate Taylor before his fellow African peers. It is such technically that have never valued the lives of poor people around the world because such technically seek to simply exploits the wealth of Africa.

    But some of us continue to argue that those with such technically mindset can gain more if they FREE MR TAYLOR, and use his services to assist in fighting against tyranny. The socalled international community would gain more from making Taylor to work for them instead of trying to persecute him.

  21. Hello Senior Associates of Taylor,
    Do you really think the focus will be on Taylor’s letter to Bush?If Taylor ever wrote to Bush,the content of said letter was only limited to Liberian politics and not the matter for which Taylor is being held on trial in The Netherlands.

    Remember,Taylor has already succumbed that “he was duped”by Obasanjo to abandone article 61 of the Liberian consititution-a provision which Taylor misconceived hence abused quite entirely while in power.Those empty praises are never even mistakenly likely to take Taylor anywhere.Some of us began hearing such praises being heaped on Taylor when we were mere kids.Same praises were again heard when Taylor abandoned the June 4 2003 peace talks in Ghana.Infact,who else among you associates of Taylor ever imagined Taylor could be arrested?

    So,let’s really wait and see.Truly,the end often tells the means.

    1. Vaa Alieu,
      your question should de redirected to Council Breda Hollis and not the other way around. She was the one that brought it up. So you need to ask her. You are still doubtful of President Taylor letter to President Bush inspite of the letter been display ed in court. Keep on trying.

  22. HI Tracey,

    I suggest that you and your fellow moderators refrain from posting comments of individuals who write mostly to insult others for their right to support or oppose and in expressing their openiums as required on this forum.
    Let there be strait guidlines to follow.
    I say this to point out the comments of J. Fallah Menjlor describing fellow panallists (Liberians) as uneducated and low standards.
    I also noticed similar insults from other panallists and were still published by you and your fellow hard working team.

    I want to commend you and your entire team for the time you put in in keeping this forum alive.
    Thank you, Tracey.

    My regards to your entire team.

    1. Dear Amara Sesay,

      Thank you — I really do value your feedback as it helps us to further refine what is acceptable to post and what is not. Our general approach has been to take a fairly liberal approach to free speech on the site (which we understand may still be offensive to some readers – but we did not want to stifle expressions of opinion as part of a free, open and democratic debate about the rule of law as expressed through this trial), but to refrain from posting comments which attacked specific individuals as a matter of policy.

      The line between what is acceptable and not is hard to draw sometimes — so when you and other readers think we have crossed a line in what we have allowed through, please bring it up. It is good to discuss the basis on which we have made these decisions, and for me to be called to account if you think I have made the wrong decision.

      I’m glad you raised it and happy to continue the discussion at any time.


  23. king Gray, Aki and Jose, I don’t think you guys understand my psoting. The word you should be looking for is not recuse but DECIDED and CONSIDERING. These are the two words ms Hollis would have been looking for and indeed Taylor did use the words “considered recuse” and not “DECIDED TO RECUSE”, which is what Ms Hollis accuse taylor of providing as an answer under direct examination.

    So indeed Taylor said in examination that he told Bush he will step down but in the letter he sent it is stated that he will “consider”. These are two different things.

  24. Noko4,
    I do not know if this court has a rule that the accuse who will testify in their own defense take the stand first. Mr. Taylor lawyer stated that Mr. Taylor will take the stand first because he did not want the prosecution to say that Mr. Taylor was stating what every one else had said. I think it was good defense strategy to open their case. The prosecution did refer to the Accord as and example of how they would directly challenge Mr. Taylor on the accuracy, truthfulness and the completeness of his testimony. The example was if Mr. Taylor was ask about a certain article and if he said he was not aware of it then the facts would be shown too him. ARTICLE IX PARDON AND AMNESTY, I am sure Mr. Taylor and every one who had a role in composing the Accord knew of the article. PARDON AND AMNESTY articles are very common in peace agreement when there is not a clear winner and peace is preferred in a civil conflict. The article not only call for pardon and amnesty for the RUF, but for all the frighten groups. Foday Sankoh specifically been named in the peace agreement as one who the Government of Sierra Leone take legal steps to absolute and free pardon, do not have any thing to do with Mr. Taylor. This agreement was between the RUF, Foday Sankoh was the leader and the Government of Sierra Leone, Tejan Kaba was the leader whom both parties approved and signed this peace agreement. I do not see at this time how the prosecution can use any articles in this peace accord to challenge Mr. Taylor on the accuracy, the truthfulness and the completeness of his testimony.

    1. Hi Ken and Noko4 — actually as it happens, there is a rule that the accused can testify first in their own defense. I had never paid much attention to it before now. It is rule 85 in the Special Court’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence, and this is what it says: “The accused may, if he so desires, appear as a witness in his own defence. If he chooses to do so, he shall give his evidence under oath or affirmation and, as the case may be, thereafter call his witnesses.” Alpha tells me that this rule has been explained by the Trial Chamber to other accused in the Special Court’s CDF and RUF cases as meaning that if an accused, such as Mr. Taylor, wants to testify in his own defense, he should do so first and then his witnesses will follow.

      Ken — sorry for the delay in posting your comment — I was trying to find out more about the rule. I apologize as I know you since wrote and asked me where your comment was.


      1. Tracey,
        in any court the accuse can testify in his own defense but the court do not say or influence when or if they take the stand. That is up to the accuse and their lawyer. Rule 85a as you posted do not say the accuse must take the stand first, as noko4 refered to. Thank you for your input.

        1. Tracey,
          Please disregard my post and I apologize you are right. I did find information that said, “Mr. Taylor is expected to take the stand in his own defense. Under the Special Court’s Rules, he will be the first witness to testify in the Defense case.”

  25. Thank you guys; I, fallah menjor, have arranged to confir an honorary Doctrate degree on all those that seem to hate anyone with degree and is non supporter of taylor! Also I want to officially let you guys know that gankay is free to return to Liberia as soon as possible since there seems to be no case against him! Yes this should close the case! Have a nice evening and greetings from here!

    1. Fallah,

      Mr. Taylor does not wish a blessing from you. You are a disappointed African of our time. That is all that I can conclude from your many posts on this public and educative site.


      Harris K Johnson

      1. Harris, I know facts hurt! You cannot stop me from blessing taylor for all the developments and education you benefited from and have our Liberian Brothers and Sisters reaping today! I also agree that this site is supposed to be for intellectuals!

    2. LOL… friend…Don’t bow out just yet…it’s frustrating and it’s annoying but a murderer like Taylor is not going to walk that easily……so keep following along and let’s just watch and see Taylor pay for what he did in Sierra Leone.
      To Chris,
      It’s good to have a Sierra Leonean on the blog, a lot of my SL friends will not like the site because CT die-hard fans wants everybody to be intimidated to share their non-Taylor sentiments, so it’s good to have you on.

      1. Teage, people bowing out is because of NO PROOF. Is that plain and simple. Speaking about intimidation, it is the side you are supporting that continues to intimidate and not the other way around. For example: people are on UN travel ban and asset freeze list for knowing this innocent man. Thereby scarying and intimidating potential witnesses of President Taylor, who may want to testify on his behalf. To me, is a form of intimidation. Besides, you guys call us all sorts of names such as, rebel, killers, Taylor supporters, beneficiary of loots, cannibals, uneducated, unpatriotic, unintelligent, uncivilized, indiciplined, murderer, looters, lacking common sense, human flesh eater and etc. However, you don’t find these name calling intimidatory, but when we ask a simple question such as, where is the evidence or show us the evidence, you consider it as intimidation?

        Teage, we had had some Sierra Leonean posting comments before. So if Chris is a Sierra Leonean, it is not the first of it’s kind. The only think is his views is in the minority.
        Finally Teage, do you want us to believe that most of your Sierra Leonean friends will not like this site because of “CT die-hard fans.” Well, these are your friends, so you know them better. But, I can tell them that this is not a “CT” website. This website is provided for the general public use. Therefore, they are strongly encourage to come and view or express their opinion here without fear of intimidation.

  26. Rodriguez,

    Why do you contiunously follow my comment and reply about things that re not even relevant. So what if I made a comment to Chris you have to pay that. And you talk about All my Sierra Leonean friends, as if there are like 20 of them….how many of them do you know, how many of them do you know have visited this site and felt comfortable leaving their comments…exactly what I thought.

    People bowing out that is fine. I’m not here to yield or bow out. I’m here to express my opinion. And majority of the people on this site or Charles Taylor supporters, and you guys constantly try to antagonize people if they don’t share the same sentiments of Taylor. You all constantly tell me to “stick to the subject”…yet you constantly stray away from the Topic when i say something that is not in line with support for Taylor. You all looked at the evidence and arrived at a conclusion when others look at the exact same evidence, and arrive at a different conclusion you all focus your energy and attention trying to “change their minds” or make them feel not welcome. This is not a site in favor of Taylor, this is a site for people, (whether they agree or not with Taylor) to be updated with the trail, and to express their opinions. So when you all direct your attention on telling someone how their opinions are not “valid”, because YOU think Taylor is not guilty, people tend to feel uncomfortable and they leave the site. It is only people who could care less what yall think about Taylor innocence that stick around. So you see Rodriguez, it’s not that people don’t find enough evidence but it’s just you guys go out of your way to make a person feel welcome. I saw a new post who supported Taylor. And Noko4 or Noko5 said, you are welcome to this site.
    and you say “this website is for the general public use”….LOL. When Sam asked me a question about why I’m not around I answered him and Tracey said “congrats on your job” you said you could care less about my job. I was simply answering Sams question, and that was not the first time you wrote “I could care less”. If you could care less and this is for the general public to express themselves, than why do you keep following my comments and making remarks that are irrelevant to this trail. Why not follow Noko5, or Noko4 or Andrew. I’ll tell you why because they share the same sentiments about Taylor and their comments you agree with you like you enjoy reading.
    There are few comments directed towards me that has not been allowed because it was not quite appropriate. How many of my comments have not been appropriate?
    As you tell me Rodriguez and as I am telling you now. “I can care-less” about whether or not you think the evidence don’t support the charges. That is your opinion that is fine.

    My opinion is I have followed the trail since Taylor defense was given the chance to prepare, ever since when Taylor was not in the court room at the beginning, I’ve read the evidence and I say GUILTY. So as you said Rodriguez and I hope we are not back at this again. This is a public site where people are free to express their opinions. My opinion is that CT is GUILTY, yes it’s different from yours yes YOU, not ME think he is NOT GUILTY. So if you believe what you wrote that this is a public site and people are free to express their opinions, agree to disagree, respect my opinion as i do yours, quit writing what you “care-less” about after I’ve posted and let’s show people that this is indeed a public site and people are free to express themselves without others telling them that their opinions are not valid because it is not the same as (others). Different people are following this trail some are confused, so say Guilty some say innocent, either way. Every person has a right to their opinion.
    Either way whether my opinions are respected or not. I’m here to the end, and I will keep expressing my opinions.
    With that said. I rest my case.

    1. Teage,
      where and when have I told you that your opinions are not “valid”? Please give me my exact quotes. Besides, Teage, you are the one following me, because I stated writing before you on this site in my real name, Jose Rodriguez. I know you claimed to be one of the first two posters to write on this site, but in different name. Well, prove it. Anybody can claim to be those names of the first two poster. Anyways, I have to watch the trial now and I don’t want to dwell on triviality.

      1. Rodriguez,
        I’m not even going to go there with you. This is childish and our back and forth conversation is irrelevant to this website. I know for a fact that I was on this site way before you and many people, reading mostly and posting a couple of times. I need to prove NOTHING to you

        It ends here.

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