As Prosecutors Say That Charles Taylor Was Not Honest With United Nations Panel of Experts, Taylor Admits That Liberian Rebels and Government Shared Information With The CIA

As the cross-examination of former Liberian president Charles Taylor continued into a second week, Prosecutors this week told Special Court for Sierra Leone  that the former Liberian president was “not honest” with the United Nations Panel of Experts set up to investigate his alleged dealings with Sierra Leonean rebels. Mr. Taylor also this week admitted to prosecutors that he shared information with the spy agency of the same country he has accused of plotting his downfall: the United States.

The UN Panel of Experts report released in 2000 accused Mr. Taylor of fuelling the conflict in Sierra Leone through diamonds and arms trade with Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels, a group that fought an 11-year conflict in Sierra Leone. In cross-examining Mr. Taylor on Thursday, lead prosecution counsel Ms. Brenda Hollis pointed out that when the UN Panel of Experts met with Mr. Taylor in 2000, the former president lied to them about the whereabouts of notorious Sierra Leonean rebel commander Sam Bockarie. In 1999, Mr. Bockarie, having fallen out with the leadership of the RUF, relocated to Liberia where Sierra Leonean rebels loyal to him were recruited into Mr. Taylor’s Anti-Terrorist Unit (ATU). According to some prosecution witnesses, Mr. Bockarie relocated to Liberia on Mr. Taylor’s invitation. Mr. Taylor on the other hand has said that Mr. Bockarie’s relocation to Liberia was based on a decision by West African leaders. In 2000, reports indicate that Mr. Bockarie left Liberia for Ivory Coast, where he was involved in the conflict there, allegedly on Mr. Taylor’s orders. Mr. Taylor has refuted such assertions. In his cross-examination today, the former president denied prosecution claims that when asked by the UN Panel of Experts about the whereabouts of Mr. Bockarie, he told them he “did not know where Bockarie was.”

“Well, I could not tell where he was,” Mr. Taylor said.

When told by Ms. Hollis that Mr. Bockarie “was carrying out your duties undermining other governments,” Mr. Taylor responded that such an assertion was “a blatant hallucination.”

“Charles Taylor had no money, so why is he undermining other governments?” Mr. Taylor asked.

Mr. Taylor insisted that he was honest in his response to the UN Panel of Experts, asserting that he was not asked directly where Mr. Bockarie was.

“I was never asked precisely where he was. I was being honest with the UN because as president of Liberia, I needed to be sure of where he was. I told them the official position of my government that he was escorted to the Ivorian border,” he said.

Mr. Taylor explained that when Mr. Bockarie indicated that he wanted to relocate to Burkina Faso, he asked to be escorted through Ivory Coast and therefore the Liberian government had to escort him to the Liberian border with Ivory Coast.

Asked by Ms. Hollis whether he informed the Ivorian government that Mr. Bockarie, though on a UN travel ban, was being escorted to their border and was passing through their territory, Mr. Taylor said that he did not see the need to share such information with the Ivorian government.

“I did not feel the obligation to tell them. It is not the function of the government to tell other governments that somebody is on a travel ban and was on his way to their country,” he said.

Ms. Hollis further pointed out that Mr. Bockarie travelled on a Liberian passport with the name Solomon Johnson.

“This could have been a travel document given to him in 1998 because we gave him a passport in 1998. I don’t know what name he travelled on,” Mr. Taylor responded.

Mr. Taylor agreed that when Mr. Bockarie was given a Liberian passport in 1998, he was not a Liberian citizen. He said the RUF commander and his followers were given Liberian citizenship only when they left Sierra Leone for Liberia in December 1999.

Ms. Hollis also pointed out that in Mr. Taylor’s direct-examination, he had said that the UN Panel of Experts had not asked him about diamonds from Sierra Leone during their interview with him in Liberia. Ms. Hollis read portions of notes prepared by a member of the Panel of Experts, Ian Smillie, on his October 6, 2000 meeting with Mr. Taylor. The notes indicate that the UN Panel of Experts asked Mr. Taylor about comments made by the then United States Under-Secretary of State, Thomas Pickering, to Mr. Taylor that he had evidence of Mr. Taylor’s dealings in diamond with RUF rebels. Mr. Taylor insisted that those notes were prepared by Mr. Smillie and could well not reflect what was discussed in the meeting.

Mr. Taylor’s association with RUF commander Mr. Bockarie has occupied a huge portion of the case against him. Witnesses have testified that Mr. Bockarie used to take orders from Mr. Taylor and that when the RUF commander left Sierra Leone in 1999 and relocated to Liberia, the former Liberian president sent him to launch attacks in Ivory Coast, with an aim of destabilizing that country. These allegations add to charges against Mr. Taylor that he was involved in a joint criminal enterprise with RUF rebels in Sierra Leone. It is alleged that while the RUF rebels took orders from him, he also received diamonds from the rebels in return for supplies of arms and ammunition. The prosecution argues that Mr. Taylor bears responsibility for crimes such as rape, murder, terrorizing the civilian population and recruitment of child soldiers by the RUF in Sierra Leone.

On Monday, Mr. Taylor denied suggestions that he was an agent of the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). He admitted, however, that his rebel group, the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), exchanged information with the CIA – a collaboration and exchange that continued into his presidency.

“The organization [NPFL] provided information to the CIA. The NPFL at the time did provide information to the CIA and there was information from the CIA to us too. There was exchange of information, mostly from between 1991-92,” Mr. Taylor said.

“The NPFL and the CIA exchanged information on certain operations. They were mostly internal to the Liberia operation,” he added.

Mr. Taylor explained that the collaboration with the CIA continued when he became president in 1997.

“The government of Liberia associated in so many ways in exchange of information with the CIA. Throughout my presidency, an agency of my government collaborated with the CIA,” the former president said.

Despite this previous collaboration with an agency of the United States, the accused former president has consistently accused the United States of plotting his downfall through support to rebel forces who fought to unseat him in Liberia, and his subsequent trial at the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

Also in his cross-examination on Monday, the prosecution accused Mr. Taylor of misusing his phone services in his Hague cell to influence prospective defense witnesses to tell lies in his favor. Mr. Taylor denied Ms. Hollis’ suggestion that he has been calling prospective defense witnesses in Sierra Leone and Liberia, telling them to “testify in a certain way” or promising to give them money if they travelled to The Hague and told lies in his favor. Mr. Taylor has been “misusing the privileged access lines,” Ms. Hollis suggested. Mr. Taylor denied these claims.

“I have never misused the privileged access lines. To the best of my knowledge, I have never been advised that I cannot use the privileged access lines to talk to prospective witnesses,” he said.

Mr. Taylor also on  Monday dismissed as “nonsense” Ms. Hollis’ suggestions that when he (Taylor) resigned as president of Liberia and sought asylum in Nigeria, West African leaders had to accompany him to Nigeria because they wanted to make sure that he got to where he was supposed to go.

“Maybe that is your assessment. Your assertion that I would have escaped to another country is totally nonsense,” he said.

Ms. Hollis spent much of Tuesday’s cross-examination of Mr. Taylor reading out statements by other West African leaders condemning Mr. Taylor’s NPFL for crimes committed against Liberians and members of international humanitarian agencies, including American Catholic nuns and peacekeepers during his country’s civil war.

In a 1992 statement read by Ms. Hollis, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) leaders condemned Mr. Taylor’s rebel group (the NPFL) for their actions against West African peacekeepers serving in Liberia under the banner ECOWAS Monitoring Group (ECOMOG). The ECOWAS leaders had “warned all warring factions against the commission of war crimes” in Liberia. The statement alluded to the killing of civilians, peacekeepers and American Catholic nuns during “Operation Octopus,” an operation launched by Mr. Taylor’s NPFL on the Liberian capital Monrovia in October 1992.

Mr. Taylor, in his response explained the circumstances surrounding the death of the nuns.

“That issue remains contested. They were killed in the area controlled by Senegalese forces. It remains contested. The United States raised that issue, we investigated it and it was determined that they were not killed deliberately by the NPFL but they were killed by crossfire,” Mr. Taylor explained.

“If you have a document showing that they were deliberately killed by NPFL, then you can bring it here,” the former Liberian president challenged the prosecution counsel.

“We will bring it later,” prosecutor counsel Ms. Hollis responded.

On Wednesday, Mr. Taylor told the court that he did not support plans to attack Sierra Leone while he was in Libya in the late 1980s.  Mr. Taylor was responding to questions under cross-examination on his associations in Libya where rebel forces where being trained to eventually invade Liberia and Sierra Leone in 1989 and 1991 respectively. Mr. Taylor has on numerous occasions insisted that he never knew about the formation of the RUF and that he never met the group’s leader, Foday Sankoh, in Libya.  The former president has said that he instead met the leader of Sierra Leone Pan-Africanist Movement, Ali Kabbah, who was a former University of Sierra Leone student leader.

As Mr. Taylor was being cross-examined on Wednesday, he challenged prosecution claims that Mr. Kabbah and Mr. Sankoh had a schism in Libya because they both had disagreements as to what measures were needed to bring about change in Sierra Leone. Mr. Kabbah, the prosecution claimed, met with Mr. Taylor and told him he wanted to embark on ideological education in Sierra Leone as a means of bringing about change in the country, while Mr. Sankoh preferred a military revolution. The prosecution put it to Mr. Taylor that he supported Mr. Sankoh over Mr. Kabbah because he (Taylor) was also in favour of a military revolution in Sierra Leone, just like the one he was planning for Liberia. Mr. Taylor denied the prosecution’s claim, insisting that he never knew Mr. Sankoh in Libya.

“You favoured Foday Sankoh over Ali Kabbah because Sankoh was in favour of a military option right?” Ms. Hollis asked Mr. Taylor on Wednesday.

“I could have only favoured one over the other if I knew the other but I did not know Sankoh,” the former president responded.

“I do not know what happened behind the scenes but that is not what Ali Kabbah told me and other people,” Mr. Taylor added.

Mr. Taylor challenged prosecution claims that Mr. Kabbah had told him (Taylor) that he did not want a military solution to Sierra Leone’s problems but rather an “ideological training as a means of taking power” in the country.

“That is not my information,” Mr. Taylor said. “The Ali Kabbah I met did tell Charles Taylor that he had contacts within the government and the military in Sierra Leone and that he only needed a spark for a military takeover in the country,” he added.

Mr. Taylor is responding to charges that he was involved in a joint criminal enterprise with RUF rebels in Sierra Leone. Mr. Taylor has denied allegations that he supplied arms and ammunition to the rebels in return for Sierra Leone’s blood diamonds and that he helped them plan certain operations during which atrocities such as rape, murder and amputation of civilian arms were committed. From July 14 to November 10, 2009, Mr. Taylor testified in direct-examination as a witness in his own defense. He is currently being cross-examined by the prosecution.

Mr. Taylor’s cross-examination continues on Monday.


  1. Charles Taylor has never been honest and he still is not. He sat in the court last week and told the prosecutor that he knows Talal only in the capacity as a businessman and a man with connection to flour mill. That clearly is a lie. Taylor signed over the port of buchanan to Talal between 1991 and 1992.

    Talal ran the company ADC which controlled the port of Buchanan until Octopus. I hope liberia will have a court of our own so we can expose this liar for who he is. We are watching.

    1. If he do not know someone you cannot make him to remember.There are lot of people who believe that this man is innocent to all charges.It is the only way the western world know how to justice.It same like you work for Talal .

    2. If he do not know someone you cannot make him to remember.There are lot of people who believe that this man is innocent to all charges.It is the only way the western world know how to practice justice.It same like you work for Talal .

      1. Wilk,
        could you please make some clarifications… I did not understand your post??Did you mean the ICC and Talal work for Taylor??? hahahaha!!

    3. Eagle -eye,

      If Talal is not a businessman as Mr. Taylor has said, what then is he? I agree with Mr.Taylor that Talal is a liberian businessman like his father Raffee who born him in the port city of Buchanan. Talal took over his father’s super market and the flour mail as General Manager. He also managed the largest warehouse in the port of Buchanan between 1991-1992 because his father had a standing contract with the Tolbert and Doe government. I challenge you to provide prove that Talal is not a businessman. lies and hit will not help you her brother.


      Harris K Johnson

        1. Noko5,

          You are always welcome my brother. I’m waiting for eagle eye or his likes to challenge me that Talal is not a business man before kicking them out of this site as we did to papay fallah. Talal is my childhood friend and a former school mate. As for Mr. Taylor, if no one knows him, I know him better. Remember the devil is not black as it is being painted by the American Bible Society. We will never rest debunking these guys until justice runs down like a mighty water free from all human errors and influence. God bless Liberia and Sierra Leone, long live the African Union.


          Harris K Johnson

    4. Eagle eye,

      Why do you extort the testimony. Do not go about misleading people on the testimony. At least we all have access to that. The question that Ms. Hollis posed was if Talal was Mr. Taylors Advisor?

      So since you know much provide proof as to whether he was taylor’s advisor so a to help hollis up.

      1. Andrew,
        One thing I am very puzzled about on this site is that, most of our brothers and sisters on the otherside who say Taylor is lieing never come of with what the truth is or anything close. All they are claiming here is Taylor is a lier.. and I am kindof getting tired with this one repeatitive statement of theirs… GENTLEMEN, STATE SOME FACTS!!!! I would like to see some factual challenges..

    5. In any case related with this Charles Taylor, I noticed an article in the Sierra Leone news paper from dates during the was in which, Mr.Gibril Massaquoi, special assistance to RUF Foday, rejected a suggestion that Taylor was working in the interest of the RUF rebel group. Now what?

    6. Eye,
      How did he lied??? He knew the man as a “BUSINESS MAN”. Do you have anything to contradict that statement?? If so, what is it???

  2. Mr. Alpha Sesay,

    I will like to take this time and opportunity to thank you and your team for the great work that you have been doing. I have followed last week hearing and from what I gather, the President said that his rebel group the NPFL share information with the CIA and that relationship continued between his government and the CIA after his election as president. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    1. Hello DarkFace,
      You are right. This is exactly what Mr. Taylor said, that the NPFL and the CIA shared information during the Liberian conflict and that when he became president of Liberia, an agency of his government shared information with the CIA.

  3. Eagle Eye,

    At least there is one area where Taylor has been honest. That is when he testified that executive outcome and sandline broke the un embargo, imported 2,500 pieces of AK47 and 35 tons of arms and ammunition into sierra leone. Kabbah agreed to give them the diamond field for restoring hime to power. At least we all agree on that. it was the same arms that his kamajor used to mutilate civilians yet he is not being tried.

    At least all the prosecution witnesses are honest about Sankoh giving diamond to Taylor when Sankoh is in jail. You guys should be ashamed of yourself for parading such testimony from the international standpoint.

    1. Eagle eye,

      I understand none of you guys would admit, but as the land, mines and energy minister put it, Kabbah mortgage sierra leone diamond field for power.

      go hollis, go…………….

  4. Alpha,

    I have valued your summaries especially the section that continually highlights the charges and accusations against Taylor. What I would like to suggest is that following those comments you should equally give a summary of Taylor’s responses to these charges. I am sure that is not asking too much.

    For instance on the charge that taylor rececived diamond, we have heard taylor denial and even disputed one claim that Sankoh gave him diamond on a day that sankoh was reportedly in jail in Nigeria. Also, on the issue of these diamonds, taylor has challenged the prosecution to produce evidence of bank accounts that they claim he has by accruing money from the sale of the diamond.

    These are just a few of my suggestions. In my view this kind of summary will balance the reporting.

    1. Andrew Jlay,
      Thanks so much for your suggestions and they are well noted. Let me, however, explain that the reason why i normally highlight the charges against Mr. Taylor at the end of every daily summary is to give new readers an idea of what the case is all about. I know that Mr. Taylor has given response to those charges on numerous occassions but those were dealt with in the reports that were posted for those specific days. I try to focus on important issues that come up in court on specific days, with the summary of the charges in one or two paragraphs just so as to give a better understanding of the case to all especially to those reading them for the first time. You will note that at the end of the summary of charges, i always add that “Mr. Taylor has denied all the allegations.” That, i think should suffice. If it serves a better purpose, i will definitely try to add some flesh to Mr. Taylor’s response. This, however, will not mean giving specific responses to every charge that is mentioned in the summary.

      Thanks for your suggestions on how we can always improve.

      1. Alpha/

        I have a full picture of you task and I do not mean to subject you to undue burden. summarizing the daily testimonies to a single page is a huge undertaking that involve tremendous effort. It would be difficult to provide a balance of the nature that I have suggested during he daily summary, but maybe some consideration of some flesh as you have put, can be carried in the weekly summaries.

        Thank you for responding.

  5. Bnker,

    What is this exchange about Taylor pictures posted on these sites? Personally, engaging in those kinds of discourse puts into doubt the balance that you give us to understand that you are going to maintain during this trial. Being the kind of serious minded person that i presume you are, correct me, I don’t believe you were jestering about shackles and pictures.

    If the sites decide it was appropriate to post demeaning and demoralising pictures of someone who is presumed innocent, they should be free to do so. In this present age, for the United Nations to place shackles on someone feet kind of speak volumes of their mindset, their outlook of the period of slavery, the treatment of blacks globally and thier view of africa and africans. I can imagine why during the period of arpatheid, they could not advocate the institution of an international war crimes and humanity court.

    I understand taylor should be handcuffed, the shackles, especially from the united nations, with its human rights record, that beats me to date.

  6. What are you talking about Eagle eye? did you listen to the question asked by the prosecutor? she obviously did not ask anything about the signing over of the Buchanan port. how is it then that Mr Taylor lied? look you anti Taylor people are just grabing for straws here just like the confused prosecution. and should I just remind you that this trial is not about Liberia but about Sierra Leone?

  7. Thank you very much,Eagle Eye.You deserve that name and may the Lord bless and guide you in whatever your deliberations.

    Taylor and his followers are skilled liars and processed killers.But their days are now numbered.The worst mistakes Taylor ever did during his reign are that of killing Sam Bockarie and leaving the Liberian constitution for sanctuary in Nigeria-article 61 of which constitution could have saved him.With Bockarie,no doubt he was the strongests pillar under Taylor in resisting the might of the LURD rebels.But afraid that the international community would lure Bockarie into unveiling all else he(Bockarie) knew about Taylor,Yeateng and others finally counseled Taylor to kill Bockarie.LURD then invaded Monrovia with much ease because there was no man again to mobilise children to risk their lives for Taylor.

    1. Jose,
      Your post has not been approved because it is not directed at the issues but rather a direct attack at another person. I has to do with use of words like “total hopelessness.” Kindly rephrase and resend and i”ll be happy to get it posted. Let us all please focus on the issues and not attack other people. I know that this trial is extremely personal to some of us but let us use some good judgment in choosing our words.

    2. Vaa Alie Mansaray,

      your statement sounds like frustrated talk to me buddy.

      Wow Vaa, where did that come from? “Yeateng and others finally counseled Taylor to kill Bockarie?


  8. Eagle Eye, (Returns)

    It looks as if you have given up on the case against Mr. Taylor concerning Sierra Leone. You are adapting the same strategy as the prosecution. Since we don’t have evidence on him in Sierra Leone let’s try him by proxy on Liberia. Don’t you think this is a waste of money, Concerning a trial in Liberia, don’t forget Charles Taylor is still the most popular politician in Liberia. So the vast majority of Liberian will not support a trial against him. Infact he has already been tried in Liberia and he was found not guilty by recieving more than 75% of the electorate vote.

    Dear all,
    I still want to stress that we could make this forum more fruitful. In my mind, the designers of this medium had intended that it would afford the readers the opportunity to contribute to the analysis of the fate of this trial. It is therefore my opinion that readers should make analysis of what transpires in the court based on the facts and law and not belief or hearsay. I have read some readers posting messages accusing each others (Sierra Leoneans vs Liberians, pro-Taylor vs those against him, Blacks vs white). I do not think that this antagonism should be permitted by the moderators and if the moderators’ policy accepts it to continue, some of us will start losing interest and confidence in the website.
    I consider that the elements/ingredients of the offences for which Taylor is accused are as follows:
     Crimes were committed.
     The commission of the crimes was intended.
     The commission was based on accused’s plan, instigation, order, aiding or abetting.
     The planning, instigating, ordering, aiding and abetting eventually led to the actual commission of the intended crimes.
     Alternatively:
     Subordinates under accused’s effective control committed the crimes for which he had knowledge or reason to know;
     Accused failed to prevent or punish the conduct of these subordinates.

    The prosecution has to provide proof for the above elements as the accused rebuts them. Proof/evidence is what helps the court to make decision and if the evidence is not brought before the court, the court will not hunt for them nor consider them. I trust that all of us readers are interested in seeing that ”Justice must not only be done; it must also be seen to be done”. I have already discussed the issue of “justice” elsewhere but I still want to emphasize here that it is agreeable that justice is an intertwined human rights-trinity-concept. It essentially means respecting the rights of a suspect or defendant, protecting the legal interest of the victim, and ensuring the wellbeing of the society. Whereas there are these three core aspects of justice, no single aspect can by itself constitute justice properly so called. Rather, it is the amalgamation of ALL THE THREE core aspects that make up true justice. This is a view that I encourage people to understand and apply if possible. In many communities, people consider only one or two aspects of justice and leave out the rest. From the above, it can be deduced that justice is not simply what is right, fair or deserved, but observing the inherent rights of a suspect or defendant including that of Taylor, providing the victims with the available legal remedies where the victims have proven the injury/suffering, and at the same time ensuring the safety of the society.
    From the above, as a person who is not from West Africa, my neutral and impartial recommendation is that we should observe the human rights of Taylor; Protect the interest of victims; and ensure the well-being of the people of Sierra Leone, Liberia and the world without fear, favour and prejudice.
    Thank you all.

    1. Geoffrey Oman,
      This is brilliant post and you raise very important points here. It’ll be good to know what other members of this forum think about the points you have raised. Looking at the trinity as you have explained, ie, the rights of the accused, the interests of the victims and ensuring the safety or society, can you all look at how these have applied to the Taylor trial? Are there specific concerns that we have about the rights of the accused? How does this trial benefit the interests of the victims of the conflict in Sierra Leone and Liberia? And what effect has the trial had on the safety of the society, specifically the Manor River Basin–Sierra Leone Liberia, Guinea and Ivory Coast? Has Mr. Taylor’s trial made us safer? If we focus our discussions like Geoffrey has adviced, i am sure we’ll all benefit greatly from this process.
      Over to you guys.

      1. Alpha Seasy,

        I stand ready to reject the tied die basis of your question. Your question was, ” has Mr. Taylor trial made the manor River Basin safer”? Alpha, question with this kind of premise without further expansion or explaination, will compel some of us to think otherwise.

        In the first place, Mr. Taylor presence didn’t make the basin unsafe. The region already had problems long before Taylor ever came to prominence. For example: Liberia had a civil unrest in 1979, April 14. This unrest in Liberia claimed the death of about hundreds of people. This civil unrest is being widely known as the “Rice Riot.” However, April 12, 1980, 17 enlisted military personnel of the Armed Forces of Lberia, carried out a coup d’e’ tat and seized power. In 1983, there was an alleged coup attempt on the PRC government, were scores of people were killed, mainly Gios and manons. However, that incident is known as the Nima Raid in Liberia. Notwithstanding, prior to that, the Vice Chairman of the PRC government of Samual Doe, in person of Thomas Wesan was indicted, tried, and convicted by a military tribunal on charges of treason and other crimes against the state. He was executed by firing squad on the beach at the Barclay Training Center. Alpha, thereby bringing a “big” split between the Sarpo and the Krahn Tribe. However, there were so many coup attempts on the government that creating a condition for chaos. I’m pretty show you may be aware of the NPFLThomas Quiwonkpa invasion of 1985. Perhaps, you must have also heard of President Johnson Sirleaf been indicted, tried, and found guilty on treason charges. However, she broke jail during the 80s in Liberia and fled the country.

        Bear in mind now, President Taylor was not around when all these things were happening, or at least, not making trouble in the Manor River Basin.

        Guinea, However, had two coup d’e’tat after the death of the former president Sekou Toure. First it was Lansana Beavokie in 1984. In the same year, the late President Lansana Conteh overthrow Lansana Beavokie. Later on, there several assasination and coup d’e’tat attempt in Guinea. As the matter of fact, one of the coup attempts was successful for at least almost a day in Guinea; later on we heard, President Conteh had regained power. We also heard an announcement from Conteh, that he was still the commander in chief in charge, he is now the president, vice president, and also the defense minister at the same time. As the matter of fact he dissolved the government.

        Ivory Coast, however, After the death of president Bounghey, there was always trouble in the Ivory Coast.

        All these things that are happening, where is Mr. Taylor trial?

        So brother Alpha Sesay, I don’t know the basis of your question. If you could deliberate or expand on your question, I will appreciate.

        1. Jose,
          Thanks for your comments. Thanks too for enlightening me and many people here on issues that have obtained in these countries over the years. I, however, think that you have misunderstood the basis of my question. Asking whether the Mano River Basin has been safe with Mr. Taylor’s absence does not in any way suggest that Mr. Taylor was responsible for the region being unsafe. We all agree that for very many years, there have been conflicts and instability in the countries in question. For those conflicts in the region from the late 1980s to the early 2000, many people have alleged that Mr. Taylor was responsible for those conflicts. I have not said so but that has been said by many people and it is on that basis that Mr. Taylor was asked to relinquish power in Liberia. I have not said that i subscribe to those views. So in view of all those allegations and Mr. Taylor having left the region, my question is that, has his absence made any difference in the region? It is now left with those who believe or think that he was responsibility for instability in the region to tell us whether his absence has made any difference. It is another way of asking whether the trial has been of any benefit to the region. I honestly do not see how this translates to me saying he was responsible for the region being unsafe. I respect your views on these issues and i will always be obliged to clarify issues so that i am not misunderstood. I hope my explanation has helped in that direction. If not, kindly let me know if you have further questions.

    2. Geoffrey,
      I take a very serious acception at your recommendation. Why are you asking the moderators to restrict the views of readers?? Do you know that you are suggesting the restriction of the freedom of taught expressions of sound minded people??? I personally feel that anyone who got problem with thye level of carried out deliberation should not log on.. PLAIN AND SIMPLE!!!!!!gush!!!! Oh my god….Don’t you think it’s a good thing for people to be given the opportunity to talk their HEARTS!!!????? MAN>>>>

      1. Alpha,

        thanks for clarifying and expanding on your statement, and making yourself readily available, if some of us have questions and concerns.

    3. Omon,

      Good post. I believe it was you who suggested labelling of the post so as to facilitate ease of reference. I support that suggestion also. But coming back to the issues that you mentioned, the moderators have encouraged a focus on the issues arising from the trial but they equally do not want to be seen as stifling discussion. So they have maintained a low treshhold, which is understandable. for it is difficult to separate sentiments from the issues although it should. That is where the moderators come in, and they have maintained their standards.

      On the merits of the issues arising from the trial, we believe that the prosecution has not been forthcoming with evidence to substantiate claims that they have made.
      For instance, the huge propaganda campaign was waged about Taylor foreign bank accounts and their freezings. To our utmost surprise, the prosecution closed her case without submitting any such evidence. Yet they have maintained in this court that Taylor has received from Sierra Leoneans a piece of diamond as large as a human skull. In all fairness to the victims, the prosecution has made mockery of this case.

      Another issue is the Thomas Pickering claim that the prosecution keeps referencing. I would think it would benefit everyone if the prosecution can produce those pieces of evidence, for I am sure they can contact Pickering or the American Ambassador whom they have quoted.

      I believe you have also read elsewhere in this trial where the prosecution claimed Sankoh and Taylor were meeting over arms and diamond trade at a timeframe that Sankoh was in jail in Nigeria.

      There goes the Bockarie death situation where the prosecution has provided at least three different accounts of the death of Bockarie.

      The prosecution even provided evidence that the UN helicopter that transported freed UN hostages from the RUF also transported arms and ammunition for Taylor during the ferrying of those hostages.

      And Omon, the list of conflicting testimonies and lack of evidence continues. Is this case a mockery or what exactly is it.

      If Taylor had the clout to punish perpetrators then he should have military police, court marshall and prisons for RUF. They have not provided one evidence of this nature where Mr. Taylor punished one set of RUF fighters but did not punish another set, thereby demonstrating that he had the authority to punish perpetrators or discourage occcurences.

      I could consume an entire page, but I rest as we all await the judges.

    4. Omon,
      Well said. As a non-objective blogger to this site I have to be honest and say that It is hard for me to remain objective and non-bias in posting on this website because of personal experiences with Taylor. I’ve wanted very much to see Taylor behind bars and so when i came to this website i already had (and still do have) in my mind that Taylor is GUILTY. I can say that I never did and never could approach this case objectively because too much personal feelings and experiences go along with the name “Charles Taylor”. And separating those feelings and remaining objective seems to be a difficult task and maybe impossible task. Previous events are hard to be separated from the trail at hand.

      I am aware of my biases and stated them openly on this site. But with that said, from the beginning of this post I have stated that although I would love to see Taylor behind bars for what I believe he did to the people of Sierra Leone, I also believe in the judicial system I believe in justice taking it’s course and I want to see nothing less. If anything less it would be the same problems of lawlessness and injustice that plagues many African nations. I believe that there are sufficient evidence to put Taylor behind bars; And I believe that Taylor himself is entitled to a just trail which I whole heartedly believe he’s getting now. I believe this trail is protecting the interest of victims in Sierra Leone, and somewhat in Liberia. Many Liberians are following this trail because they believe that this trail ensures justice for them (Liberians who were wronged by Taylor). I believe this trail will change many African societies; I believe it may sends a message to other leaders and people thinking of committing atrocities, that there could be consequence in the future for acts committed; which could do a lot for the securities of citizens of different African nations. If potential rebel leaders or coup leaders watching this trail or are hearing about it, maybe it may cause them to think twice, or even deter them from “starting up trouble” that will lead to the loss of innocent civilians (like in Sierra Leone) this may assure safety for many civilians who would other wise be affected by civil conflicts actions taken within their countries or from outside of their countries (S.L). ……….or maybe this is wishful thinking.

      Although most, if not all, the evidence are circumstantial, despite my personal feelings i believe the different evidences if looked at together paints a very vivid and undeniable picture of Taylor’s guilt.

      Thanks for reminding us of the importance of these three aspects of Justice. For me it doesn’t change my opinion but it makes me see that if I demand justice, than justice must take it’s course the “correct” way and if it does not take its the “correct”way than it is not Justice. I believe this trail is justice done the “correct way”.

      1. Ms. Teage,

        Why pacify your bias with blanket assertions? If you claim that there are sufficient evidence to put Taylor behind bars, I feel you should pinpoint a few. Do not make open baseless statements like Ms. Hollis.

      2. Ms Teage,
        The prosecution have not provieded the evidence to prove that Mr. Taylor anything to the people of Sierra Leone! We’re still waiting for the prosecution to provide those evidence linking Mr. Taylor to the crimes committed with in the time period for which he is charge!

        All we are hearing here is what happened in Liberia and for which he’s not on trial. I think it could have better for the ICC to charge Mr. Taylor for crimes committed in Liberia. It could have been a done deal by now; Mr. Taylor could have been found guilty by now.

        But the prosecution is prosecuting Mr. Taylor for crimes committed in Sierra Leone and using evidence from Liberia instead of Sierra Leone where the crimes were committed! I think it would be fair for you to take a non biase position because biases in the court of law can’t deliver Justice! If you’re a Liberian and crimes were committed against you by Mr. Taylor and others, don’t worry, you will get your wish through the process of true Justice not Justcie by hate, OK sista!

      3. Teage,

        what is the correct way for justice to take its course to you? will you consider the acquittal of this innocent man the “correct” course of justice or not?

  10. Eagle-eye

    Did Taylor say he did not know Talal no. I think if he had denied this then he is a lier but he did not.
    He said he knew Talal as a business and that is all. Talal had buchanan port under lease it is also not a crime Mr.

    What make it a crime if they used it for subbressive purposes and that did not happen cause if that had happen this flour mill will not be working in liberia up to this very day brother.

    Be real and just in your post



  11. UN Panel of Experts on Diamond Meets Taylor

    I just wanted to make a comment on the above issue as it relates to this case. I believe that it would have been prudent for this panel of expert to have brought with them all pieces of evidence that the United Nations and its allies had in their possession during their visit to Liberia to investigate the issue of illicit diamond trade. Because this issue was so important, the panel was assembled, convened and they traveled to Liberia in order to conduct this investigation. I just think it would have been more appropriate had they brought evidence and confronted Taylor and his government with them. But to simply speak about the existence of evidence and not confront the government was negligent and fell short of their duties.

    We can recall in this case, Ms. Hollis has referenced the panel asking Taylor if one Thomas Pickering had discussed with him(Taylor) evidence that he(pickering) had seen on Taylor involvement with illicit diamond dealings. Concluding from the testimonies, neither Pickering nor the panel brought the physical evidence and confronted Taylor with it. But Pickering was quoted as mentioning to Taylor evidence that he(pickering) had seen. The panel also have no record on file confronting Taylor with the pickering evidence, but referenced the discussion about the evidence.

    Now would it not have been direct, short and to the point, had both Pickering and the Panel taken this evidence to the government and said here is what we are talking about?

    Look no one is a fool. No evidence existed but it was just a leg pulling game. If the UN was not vigilant and serious about the task given to them, then they mislead the world about their capability and credibility.

    1. Andrew,

      that’s what the UN Panel is known for. They can be most incompetent. Even up to today they stil have individuals on a travel ban and asset freeze based on this total lack of evidence. It has been nearly 9 years and they still say that the Taylor associates pose a threat to peace and security in West Africa. This is totally rediculous; but unfortunately that is what the poor nations of this world have to deal with.

      How can the UN be the one to prosecute individuals without proof and without first presenting the evidence and then giving the individuals a chang to defend themselves before a competent jurisdiction? This unfortunately is the sad truth of the UN and its injustice.


      Could you all advise as to the legality of the UN Travel Bans and Asset Freeze on individuals who have not been presented with any evidence and who have not been given an opportunity to answer to or defend themselves in court? I am really curoius because I find this a total travesty of justice.

  12. Alpha,

    Do you think Ms. Hollis will be available to take questions from audience on this site? At least before the trial is over? Maybe, just before the Christmas break. Because I feel that she is doing injustice to the people of the world that she represents. If she works for the United Nations, why can she not solicit this pickering evidence and submit it to the court so that Mr. Taylor can be confronted with it. At least it would clear doubts. I certainly want to ask her why can she not just provide the evidence why she is cross examining the accused?

    1. Andrew Jlay,
      I cannot make a definite promise that we’ll get Ms. Hollis to answer questions from this audience, especially before the Christmas break. I’ll however discuss it with Tracey and together, we’ll try to see how much time she has to grant us an interview with questions from you our readers. And just to let you all know, we still have to get questions for Mr. Taylor’s defense counsel Courtenay Griffiths, who has indicated that he will be available for an interview after Mr. Taylor’s testimony, just like we did for the former Chief Prosecutor Stephen Rapp. So stay tuned.

      1. This is amazing!! Alpha, I look forward to the opportunity.
        To ask questions of both parties. Thank you and Tracey so much for your hard work. My best wishes to Tracey.

  13. OK Guys

    So arson was committed news media offices. Right, the most recent is the office of Front Page Africa in Congo Town. We have seen these tactics before from government in order to silence opposition and media outlets.

    Go Helen, go.

    1. Brave….I suppose you are either an enemy of Charles Taylor in Liberia or somewhere in America or Britain…I’m a neutral from Sierra Leone that believes the people who were guilty for the atrocity in my country are either in prison or dead,i did not follow the going on in the Liberia civil war as we were having our civil war just around the same period,but i suppose an enemy has been choosen for us in Charles Taylor by your highness,as he was definitely not a potential satelite for the west and could have possibly developed into a Hugo Chavez character in the neighbourhood,So he must be stopped in the mind set of some quarters.He is however definitely not lying about his involvement in the Sierra Leone civil war(Peace Process)….but you know, in Africa we have lots of what we called interllectual parasite,that still think that following a western point of views on Africa which has always been detrimental to us is the way forwarded,won’t be supprise if this same characters start burning the chinese flag soon!!!!!

    2. Brave,

      you called it lies, I called it truths. what balances it out? EVIDENCE OR HARD CORE FACTS. Show us the evidence and don’t be like Ms. Hollis, I will bring it later, you will see statement. bring it and bring it right now.

  14. Eagle eyes,
    I do not think you need to wait for an ICC Liberia court. The opportunity for you to prove or disprove whatsoever that’s now said in this court does exist. Why wait??? Be smart, be proactive and show your juice… Put your finger up and you will get chosen…

  15. I really don’t think that we as Liberians shoul call for another trial of Mr Taylor. I am saying this because the trial that is now been held is all about the war that took place in Liberia nad not about Sirra Leone as the ICC was asked to investigate. Eagle-eye, are you you really following the trial of Mr Taylor or you are been told? It is a shame that the President of the Court is still allowing Ms Hollis to be asking Mr Taylor about the war in Liberia and NOT Sierra Leone.

    1. Amax,
      One thing I believe is that even if they decided to unneccessarily disturb Taylor by creating some fake trial in Liberia, Taylor will FLOGG Them. Cuz we all know , liberia is a theatre wiht its’ own actors and scenerios… POWERFULL GHANKAY ALL THE WAY

  16. Who is in charge of the Port Of Buchana and is collecting fees from all ships? Is it not Mittal Steel? What agreement did Ellen’s government sign? Taylor did say he knew Total as businessman.Where is the revenue from the Port Of Buchana? Mittal Steel is in Liberia to mine iron ore. What happens to the diamonds? Have you heard of anyone speaking about the diamonds Mettal Steel is collecting? Who in the Liberian government benefit from the diamonds after ore is remove.

    1. Abe,
      Wow… does this relate to the trail again? I think we should all honestly read and really consider ‘Omon’s’ posting…….and stay on the issues at hand.

      1. Teage,

        if you think you guys can talk about Liberia with no response from the majority on this site, rethink. In fact, thinking that way and not expecting respond is a fleeting illusion to be pursuit, because it is not going to happen. We will respond proportionally to what lies and deceits you guys bring up.

        There is no hideout and there is no cover for you and the prosecution.

  17. Brave,
    To a murderer, especially a mass murderer like Taylor, lying is a child’s play. So Taylor lying all over the place should come as no surprise at all.

    1. Big Joe,

      you have not said anything new here. just the same old same old. Show us proof. That’s all we ask. How hard is it?

  18. Brave and Eagle eye,

    Pray tell me where is the lie? The man said he knew Talal as a businessman. Even if as you say Talal leased the Port of Buchanah does that not make him(Talal) still a BUSINESSMAN? How do you understand a person being a businessman? A businessman is one who does business isn;t it?

    Thae question I should ask you both is “Was Talal a businessman or an official of government as Ms Hollis implied? Obviously he was a businessman. So let’s let this rest because frankly it does not fly.

  19. my papay fallah on leave or his computer giving him problem? please help him brave, he is a(was) middle player. oh, the trial has come to a peak where one could score a penaty goal. wakeup , pap.

    1. V-man,

      the cane juice is still using Papay Fallah. Remeber now. That was the strongest one he drank. “ZUBA.”

  20. Eagle Eyes Please stop saying things you don’t know. I was born and grew up right in Buchanan. Talah late father was a big business in Buchanan at that time. In fact Talah father bought had the biggest supermarket in Buchanan, later on he bought another supermarket in the Loop, before leasing the one of the bigest warehouse on the port in Buchanan. To tell you that I know a bit about this family the warehouse at the port is even outside the port. It is right at the logs field before entering the port. After his father died he took over the Business. It was never Taylor that signed that contract with him. My question to you and Big Joe (know all) is who is Talah? Was he working in Talah government as an advisor? I can challenged you guys on this come up with your proof and I will tell you guys a bit more about that family.

  21. Well, Iam glad with all the responce, so I will start with the Sierra Leone issue. I still maintain my position that taylor has questions to answer on sierra leone and he is not an innoccent by-stander. That still stand. I also maintain that Sierra Leone has far quality diamonds than liberia.

    Regards proof, as Ms Hollis said it will come, so be patient please the fun has just started.

    Concerning Talal, I knew Talal way before his father die and I know Buchanan like the back of my hand. Not to dwell on that, I was in buchanan and know what happened. Talal was not just given the port or lease as you guys are saying. He made a deal with taylor. In return he supported the NPFL war effort. I am not saying that was wrong but the question is why is he denying not having this guy worked as close adviser. I think Taylor know why he is denying. His denial is do with sierra leone and taylor knows what happened. I happened to know that Taylor approached someone on sierra leone before moving with Talal. The prosecution will lay their case out, this more about liberia. So wait till that time comes.

    1. Eagle eye,

      show us proof. and not that old statement, I believe. However, we are in court. NO BELIEVES.

  22. 4 ur eyes only,
    I have held on to one of your posts. Kindly rephrase and avoid saying another person is “talking rubbish.” I don’t think anyone is talking rubbish here. We are all making our individual contributions and let the views of others be respected. Can you please rephrase and resend so that your comments will be posted immediately?

  23. “Charles Taylor had no money, so why is he undermining other governments?” Mr. Taylor asked.

    It seems to me that Taylor is digging a huge hole for himself here. The above question, rhetorically asked by Taylor, begs the obvious answer: ‘To obtain money.’ Not that hard really, eh Mr Taylor?

    1. I fought in Sierra Leone,
      I’m sorry your answer to that question is sad buddy! The question Mr. Taylor is asking there had to do with the fact that, he couldn’t have supply weapons to the RUF at the same time fighting 2 rebel groups!

      If Taylor had the money and the weapons to fight back, I can tell you he could have been president today, plain and simple! If election was held in Liberia today with Mr. Taylor name on the bolet, he will win while he’s in Jail! Let the NPP name Taylor as running for President and the Liberian Government allow it, you will see what will happened.

    2. I Fought in Sierra Leone,

      what is your point? What “hole” are you talking about? How bigger can this yourself describe hole gets?

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