Judges Caution Prosecution On The Introduction Of “New Evidence” In The Cross-Examination of Charles Taylor

As Charles Taylor faced his second day of cross-examination, his defense counsel objected to prosecution attempts to introduce “fresh evidence” after its case was closed, calling it a trial by “ambush.”  Meanwhile, Mr. Taylor tried to distance himself from the types of acts committed during Sierra Leone’s brutal conflict – such as fighters forcing a mother to laugh while they buried her child — saying that he prevented such acts during Liberia’s civil strife.    

In a move that led to the proceedings being adjourned early today, lead prosecution counsel, Ms. Brenda Hollis, sought to ask the accused former president questions about certain provisions in the Lome Peace Accord – a peace agreement signed between the Sierra Leonean government and the country’s main rebel group, the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in the Togolese capital, Lome, in 1999. In an attempt to present a copy of the Lome agreement to Mr. Taylor to discuss specific provisions that benefitted the RUF, Ms Hollis today aimed to establish Mr. Taylor’s influence during the peace process.  However, Mr. Taylor’s defense counsel, Courtenay Griffiths, objected.  He argued it was “new evidence” which was not submitted to the court during the prosecution’s own case, not used during Mr. Taylor’s direct examination. The defense called it a trial by “ambush” for the prosecution to present “fresh evidence” after it had already closed its case.

Presiding judge, Justice Richard Lussick, said that the interests of justice require consideration of all evidence against the accused, but it was necessary to “balance such need for justice with the fair trial rights of the accused.” The judges ruled that Ms. Hollis could not introduce new evidence in the form of documents which had not been presented as part of the prosecution’s case and were not used by the defense in direct-examination of the accused. Instead, the Prosecution was urged to make a formal written application to allow the defense opportunity to respond about the inclusion of the Lome Accord. After that, the judges could rule on whether new documents could be introduced as part of the prosecution’s cross-examination of the accused.

The judges also rejected Ms. Hollis’s request to ask “good faith basis questions” which “will be premised on the documents” but without using the documents themselves. Mr. Griffiths called it “unacceptable.”

“It is a back door way of getting into the tribunal,” he said.

“You cannot make use of any of these documents until a formal motion is submitted,” Justice Lussick ordered.

Ms. Hollis at this stage asked the court to give the prosecution more time to “consider organizing our presentation” while work is being done on the formal motion for the presentation of the documents. The judges ordered that the court will adjourn for the day to give time to the prosecution to re-organize their presentation and continue the cross-examination of the accused tomorrow.

Earlier in the morning, Ms. Hollis sought to cover a few areas relating to Mr. Taylor’s direct-examination. Ms. Hollis referenced Mr. Taylor’s July 20, 2009 definition of “acts of terrorism” when he said that “for me, if you went to an innocent family and held them up at gun point and there are women and children there, that is an act of terrorism.”

Ms. Hollis asked Mr. Taylor whether he agrees that certain acts like sexual violence, rape, murder, attacking civilians in a village and burning their houses, or forcing a mother to laugh while her child is being buried, will constitute acts of terrorism. Mr. Taylor responded that while some of these acts will amount to acts of terrorism, many of them could be looked at as individual crimes. The accused former Liberian president did concede that if “fighters forced a mother to laugh while they buried her child,” that will lead to “fear and anguish.”

When Ms. Hollis pushed Mr. Taylor that these acts will individually cause fear in victims, Mr. Taylor explained that he cannot determine how people will respond under certain circumstances.

“You are asking me to hypothetically tell how someone will respond under circumstances? People respond differently. I can say anguish but I can’t say fear. I am not a psychiatrist. People respond differently under certain circumstances,” Mr. Taylor said.

Mr. Taylor rejected suggestions from Ms. Hollis that he was playing games in his response to questions.

“I am not before this court playing games with my life. I reject the notion of playing games,” he said.

“That is why in my civil war, we did not have operations like that. Let me make it clear, I did not condone them and that is why I prevented them in Liberia,” Mr. Taylor asserted.

Mr. Taylor admitted providing support to RUF rebels in 1991-1992 but rejected notions that such support continued after 1992. The former president also agreed that RUF commander Sam Bockarie visited Liberia in September and October 1998, during which he gave the RUF commander a satellite phone. He agreed that Mr. Bockarie was on a United Nations travel ban list at this time.

Mr. Taylor is responding to charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and other serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of Sierra Leone from November 30, 1996. The prosecution alleges that Mr. Taylor was involved in a joint criminal enterprise with RUF rebels who fought an 11-year war in Sierra Leone. Mr. Taylor has denied the allegations against him.

Mr. Taylor’s cross-examination continues tomorrow.


    1. King Gray — I thought it was a good read too. I just posted a link to the CSM site where this article is also housed in a response to Aki too.
      Thanks for also sharing it.

      1. King,

        The article exposed some of the shortcomings of Ellen. Her administration is trial as an individual affair rather than a national affair. For the legal, social, political, educational, informational interest of liberians, the case should be carried on state media. This is a part of our history and we should be a part of it. But Ellen being who she is, suppresses any foe.

    2. King Gray,
      This is what Ellen and the David Cranes are afraid of……
      “If even there’s an election in Liberia today, Charles Taylor will win. People love him,” says Maria Bappu, who was born in Sierra Leone but grew up in Liberia. She’s not convinced of his guilt.”

  1. Day 2
    cross examination Miss Holli is repeating the same questions.
    Mr. Taylor made her to understand he’s no pushed over.
    I need help. For almost a year Mr Taylor being on the witness stand, the prosecutor still needing time to organized their presentation.
    For real, the prosecution have nothing to produce or say in this court?


    1. Eyes,
      This is what happened when HEARSAY is the foundation of your case. How does she prove HEARSAY??? At the beginging it was enjoyable to them to feel us with DRACULAR TALES….but that BLACKULAR on the stand can fly also like a bat.

      1. Noko4,
        you asked me a while ago who is Tim Spicer,Tim Spicer is an ex-British officer who is a director of a British mercenary group called Sandline,with the blessing of the British government sandline supplies weapon,ammunition and fighters to the kabba government and kamarjors fighters during the conflict in Sierra Leone eventhough there was a UN Arms embargo on Sierra leone.The thing is Noko4,Mr Taylor was the only west Africa leader who is capable of doing a Hugo Chavez on the west,that means scrutinising their oil activities in the area,we must bear in mind that during all this fightings in sierra leone and liberia there were british and american oil company drilling for oil in the liberia/sierra leone offshores(alas we all know now there is plenty of oil in these water)from the west asssessment Mr Taylor is the only one in that area in all rational assessment who would have build up an alliance with other African countries for a better deal…As you may know they’ve been stealing Nigeria’s oil for donkeys of years in complicit with Nigerian obviously!!!So this guys have done the classic West Africa move….get one of them to sell him to us Obasnjo was most oblidge….West African men are the archiles to Africa development…we’ve sold out from the start,we are known to have even sold our mothers,brothers and sisters to the west…I also notices Kabba was sent by the Brits to Zimbabwe to mediate!!!!!!??????,but the southern african countries have got first hand experience in been suppressed by the west and are very educated to know what their west african brother is there for.

  2. Fallah, John Thompson and the rest, I didn’t watch the trial today but I understand it for myself now. This is what you guys reduce to now to bring in different proof after you close your case months ago. I am saying this without fear Taylor will play with that Hollis with words and you will really know who he is. After a year plus the persecutors have not come out with nothing yet. This is a bib big Shame. You guys are slipping too fast. I really can’t believe this with all the talk about billion in the bank, Diamond, Gun Running with no proof Fallah, and you are talking about street Justice.Fallah you guys founded ULIMO K and J, LPC, MODEL, LURD, AFL; and did not give this street justice you talked about to Taylor up to the time he was in Liberia, so why think about it. Do you think Taylor is stupid like that of your late president who walked into his own death trap? Fallah give me reasons why you hate this man.

  3. The prosecution has so far been too weak. I really expect to see them bombarding Mr Taylor with questions. I remember well that they spoke of grilling him. If what they are doing now is their defination of grill, I’m sorry for the prosecution. Taylor is someone that is noted for answering questions no matter how difficult they may seem.

    1. Ochie,

      I support your above assertion. Can you imagine a question requiring taylor impression as to whether he or the prosecution witness had greater reason to lie.

      I wish taylor had told her that if she is convinced that her witnesses had reasons to like then, she should admit and dismiss the case. But as far as he taylor is concerned, he has told the truth to the best of his recollection.

  4. Would Charles Taylor also benefit from this proposition by David Crane?In responding to questions from bloggers of this site during this summer, Crane excuse former president Tejan Kaba because he noted: “We are not prosecuting people because they fought a war on one side or the other. It is not an international crime for rebels to try to take over a country, and certainly it is not one for a deposed legitimate government to try to restore itself to power. ”

    So if “It is not an international crime for rebels to try to take over a country” then why is the court prosecuting Mr. Taylor for what they term his support of RUF to take over Sierra Leone. According to Crane , it is not a crime so why prosecute somebody who did not commit a crime?

    1. King Gray,
      That’s the SILVER BULLET that has been missing and I believe under RE DIRECT, it will be brought up……I am afraid Ms. Hollis may just sink the case but bringing it in also.

      And was part of what the prosecutors sat on…..I wonder why?? Remember we asking Mr Rapp about why Pres. Kabah was not on the stand…..his response falls right in line with Mr. Crane’s word.

    2. Hi King Gray — just a slight clarification: it was Stephen Rapp who did the interview with us over the summer (now US Ambassador at Large for War Crimes), and not David Crane, who was one of his predecessors in the role of chief prosecutor at the SCSL. And my understanding Mr. Rapp was saying that it is not a crime in and of itself to try to take over a country – however, the ways in which such an attempted take-over is carried out (that is, the crimes committed along the way) are the issue. The SCSL prosecutors are trying him to work out whether he was in a position to prevent or punish the crimes committed by rebel forces during the war, and whether he was part of a joint plan to install a friendly government and benefit from Sierra Leone’s resources, as a part of which international crimes were committed. Does that answer your question?

      1. Tracey,
        Mr Rapp was been CUTE….it’s okay to take over a country….which country lately has been doing such??? The US!!! To not be caught up in a web…..he added the HOW part.

      2. Yes, you are correct , it was Stephen Rapp and not David Crane. I guess David Crane in my head due to my earlier postings regarding his testimony at congress. But yes, I remember that it was Rapp. Thanks for making the correction, I appreaciate.

        1. King Gray — I understand completely. Yes, I think Mr. Crane is in all of our heads because he has come up so much in testimony in the last few days. The question you asked, however, remains a good one.

      3. Tracey,

        thanks for the correction about Mr. Crane and Rapp. But let it be the responsibilty of Fallah and others to their research and elaborate on Mr. Rapp’s comments and not you. However, I will not respond to you this time the way I will come at Fallah. Please, please, Tracey, stay out of this thing. Leave it with us and the prosecutors.

        Finally, do not take my post to mean anything different. I still respect you and Alpha, and appreciate the good work you guys are doing.

  5. Oh My God,

    I am very shame of what is going on. Is this all that the prosecutors can put forward as a challenge to prove the defence guilty before this court or Ms. Hollis is not up to the job?

    To my understanding, the presiding Judge’s decision to adjourn the proceedings to allow the prosecutors to “rearrange” their dosiers is a slap in the face against the prosecutors.
    In some other words, the case is already shaking on the side of the prosecutors.

    The people of Sierra Leone are getting confused.

    A little question to the panallists on this forum:


    Somebody help me find an answer.


      1. Fallah, Teage, Musa etc,

        i believe you guys need to fly over to the hague to help the prosecution lawyers so they can retain their jobs. according to amara sesay post above, sierra leoneans are getting confused. so some doubts have started in sierra leone about the capabality of the prosecution and how they are handling the case.

    1. Amar Sesay,
      good posting brother. I agree with you whole heartedly that the people of Sierra Leone are getting confused by the prosecutors not being prepared.

      Amara, the second part of your post question, I can not really help, because I don’t know the answer. I hope someone can help all of us in that direction.

    2. amara

      The only person who can replace the prosecution team at this junction is j fallah manjor. I think he will be more effective than Ms Hollis.

      Good question, I am grateful.

    3. Amara,
      Brother, I will definitely jump in. She is qualify, very,very seasoned and verse in this job. I tell you Brenda Holis has been there bfore and done that. Unfortunately, this time around there is just no case. It’s a bunch of calculated lies. I am sorry she put her career credibility on the line . It is easy to lie, but dificult to defend.

  6. Leoroy Dennis,
    I’m sorry that you are relying on Noko4, Noko5 and their like for report on the trial you didn’t watch. To expect an unbiased report from Noko4 and Noko5 is like looking for virgin among professional prostitutes.
    If you follow the case closely you will quickly realize that the Prosecutors are trying to first prove Taylor as chronic liar by using his own words against him.
    Taylor’s performance today is completely contrary to your statement “I am saying this without fear Taylor will play with that Hollis with words and you will really know who he is.” On more than three occasions in today trial Taylor denied his own statements but he was compelled to agree when he was referred to the very statements. For instance, Whenever Sankor wanted to see him it was only a matter of few calls, he was asked by other Western African leaders to be chief mediator with the RUF because of the relationship between he and his FRIEND AND BROTHER Sankor, etc.
    Leoroy, the prosecutor has started this cross-examination brilliantly. If she continues on that path, the full truth will come out.

    1. Big Joe,

      You are telling a black lie about how the proceeding went. hollis contention was if taylor involvement was as friend and brother to sankoh, and taylor said no, it was not only that but also in the context as a member of the committee of five. so do not mislead anybody here.

      hollis should impeach taylor credibility on major issue, not trivial things like friend and brother. let her show taylor huge bank account from the sale of diamond and challenge him on lying about it.

    2. Big Joe,
      Look at the CONTEXT in which he’s answering…..Ms. Hollis is trying her best to build a trap….he knows and he will not fall in it.

      The prime example was the Peace Accrod….what if he hadn’t ask to see the ENTIRE PEACE ACCORD??? It would have been brought in thru the back door. OEN YOUR EYES please.

  7. King Gray
    You asked why prosecute somebody who did not commit a crime?
    Taylor is not be prosecuted. He is on trial. The Prosecution team claims that Taylor committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. It is the duty of Taylor and his defend team to prove the prosecutor wrong. Also, the Prosecutor are convinced that Kabba didn’t commit war crimes but if anyone else feel otherwise they are entitled to take Kabba to court.

    1. Big Joe,

      WOW! Wait a moment here Big Joe. CT accused Moses Blah of misleading the Court, “Perry Mason” accused Ms Hollis for misleading the Court and I am accusing you of misleading the readers on this site. The only Court that I am aware of the burden of proof rest on the defendant is a KANGAROO Court. Don’t be fool; this Court is NOT a KANGAROO Court. Can’t you smell what this Court is cooking? WE DO. CT has nothing to prove, all he has to do is to raise reasonable doubt that any reasonable prudent person would agree.

    2. Big Joe, I am sorry but I must provide this simple understanding for you. The term “prosecute” refers to an ongoing legal action against a person. We are witnessing a legal action against Mr. Taylor. Prosecution does not equit to being guity. When one is being prosecuted , it does not mean that one was already judge guilty of a crime, it simply says that a legal is on going as in a civil or criminal trial. I hope you got the point Big Joe?

    3. Joe,
      King is right. The fact of the matter that taylor is not at his mansion or home and being given the respect he deserved , that is a form of prosecution.

    4. Big Joe,

      You have it all mxied up. In a court of law It is the prosecution who has to prove the case not the defense.

    5. Big Joe, is this your understanding of how the criminal justice operates? I beg to disagree. it is the duty of the prosecution to prove BEYOND ALL REASONABLE DOUBT” that Taylor is guilty all Taylor has to do is deny the allegations and back up his denial with FACTS.

    6. On reading the Rule 98 pleadings in the Prosecutor v Charles Taylor, one can see that Tejan Kabba should be the one to face such a trial. Tejan Kabba’s Defence Minister was arraigned for crimes that were commandeered by his boss Tejan Kabba. I continue to be baffled by the way these ‘prosecutors’ build their selective prosecutions. Why bring a subordinate to trial and leave the superior to continue his covert treachery? If Taylor could be brought to Trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity, the same could be used to bring Tejan Kabba to trial. If Taylor, as the prosecution belives, can be convicted on a single mode of liability – i.e. Joint Crminal Enterprise (JCE) – Tejan kabba should equally be brought to trial under this contested mode of liability as there is sufficient evidence, under a JCE theory of liability, to support the conviction of Tejan kabba on similar counts of Taylor’s indictment.

      The whole affair is not making sense at all. Watch this video:


      and tell me if this, in its entirety, is not enough to put Tejan Kabba and even western leaders on trial for fanning war and crimes against humanity. I am a Sierra Leonean and gravely felt the sufferings of our people but this charrade is lacking the main culprits – the Tejan Kabba, the Sandline, the Saxinas, the Buckingham, the Spicers, and so many others. Money spent to try these selective people should be best dispensed in areas that will help the victims and their environment – such justice is better than this selective just that is been waged on those they do not like but leave out the real perpetrators of the most heinous crimes – the original bandits. Tejan Kabba’s grudge to punish the people of Sierra Leone started way before the likes of Taylor started their fickle minded revolution.

      We are all hostages to a grand plan by the new wave of globalised laws to continue to wallow in imperialism – why is Bush still not been tried for the atrocities committed in Iraq? Where there weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? Was regime change not the cause of all the deaths in Iraq? Why is the Afghan war still going on? Is it not because the Taliban refused to give information about Osama Bin laden to the US that led to the invasion of Afghan?

      The world is becoming a scary place but this gives me hope:


      1. Hi Chez Winakabs — I think this is the first time you have contributed to this site. Welcome — it is wonderful to have you with us.

        I wanted to thank you for your comments, and for your links. You make valid and important points: the fact that international justice can only deal with a limited number of people in any situation of mass crimes is a challenge. Without taking a position on any of the people or organizations you have named in your post, I do agree that ideally we would live in a world where all people who have a case to answer for their alleged roles in massive crimes could be called to account in their national justice systems. It is still a long way off before we will get comprehensive justice processes for situations of mass atrocities, but courts such as the Special Court for Sierra Leone are undoubtedly an important start in efforts to try to build that system.

        My own view is that civil society and people such as yourselves have a role to play in demanding more of our own national justice systems, and from the international community at large. Governments need to know that their citizens expect more of their justice systems and will be judged at the ballot box on the extent to which they are capable of creating national justice systems which their citizens consider fair, trustworthy and accessible. In part, that is what this website hopes to facilitate: a discussion about the rule of law and the expectations people have and want to build around justice efforts. I do not think you are alone, Chez, in wanting the world to address the imbalances that currently exist within the accountability system. The question is how best to make that happen, right?

        Thanks also for the links. The link to the Desiderata was an unexpected treat. Thank you. You have prompted me to print it out and pin it to my office wall. It was a nice gift to share with us, along with your thoughts about the trial.


        1. Tracey,
          Thank you ever so much for the kind of approach, interest, respond, and professionalism you have demonstrated in response to Chez Winakabs. I say thank you again. Good job Tracey.

      2. Chez Winakabs,

        thank you very much for your insightful information. I find it very fascinating and with peculiar interest just like our moderator Tracey. I say, thank you very much. However, welcome with an open arms from me and I thank, many others on this website. I will look forward to see more posts from you.

  8. An interesting news coming from Liberia regarding the death of Sam Bokarie. Whether this news is true or not but it complicates the testimony of Moses Blah.

    Yesterday was a bi-election in Liberia, specifically in Montserrado county for a vacant senate SEAT. All reports from Monrovia, Liberia’s capital indicates that the election was characterized by massive voter fraud perpretrated by President Ellen Johnson’s former special assistant now serving as the national election chairman- Mr. James Fromoyah, and Ellen’s Unity Party. Up to this point the election commission has failed to announce the results in keeping with the rules and its promise to do so by 10 am Liberian time.

    News reports say that the opposition, particularly the main opposition leader George Weah and his supporters have been expressing serious fears that similar behavior in 2005, in which majority of Liberian believes that Ellen won fraudulently is about to occur. Vioces has been heard on radio stations warning that If such behavior was repeated, to give the election to the Unity Party. could pose serious danger to civil order.

    The new Democrat newspaper reported this:

    Liberia is once more at a cross road and I hope the international community that has made Ellen Johnson our president will ensure that no violence occur in our nation again.

    1. King Gray,
      Blah said he knew NOTHING……the document from Stryker Funeral says otherwise….Lens, who was then Chief of Staff to Blah, took the body and signed the document.

      I asked Lens when Mr. Griffith tackled Blah on the stand about the affadavit from the funeral home and Blah lied…..

      This case will be an eye opener when the dust settles.

  9. King Gray, any incitement to violence, no matter what reason should be frown on seriously. CDC has no right to threaten anyone if at all this is happened.

    There are no laws, which states, that the UP or CDC should win and certainly any disagreement should go through the courts. According to inform the turn out was low so any recount should be quick and easy, after which the wishes of the people must be respected.

  10. Ms Teage and Fallah,

    Please call on Ellen to release the election results. This elections were held only for vacant seats in montserrado county and the results have not been announce by now, whereas by statute, the declaration should have been 10am today 11/11/09.

  11. Does anyone know where I can get the daily transcripts of the courtroom hearings? Mr. Sesay’s summary is good but I would like to read the exact words spoken. Is there a link or web address?
    Thank you.

  12. Tracey, tell Ms. Hollis to call me and i’ll give her some questions to ask Mr Taylor.What a shame. I dont believe the prosecutor are asking for more time to prepare.Are they not fit for the match on hand? The problem here is, 98 percent of their case is base on lies in frequency.

  13. Dear King Grey,

    Please note, refering to the web page you posted lately, the New Democrat News Paper is a bias daily. I went thru their headlines and saw that they are found of jerbs and target the oppositions in almost all of their postings on their website, King Grey.

    This is the problem about the African Medias we depend on for vital informations to serve the public. They are mostly of key interest group instead of being independent in giving infomations.
    Why would such a daily be giving the license required to run as a daily in the country of Liberia, the first place? They are not up to the task of fueling a balance information to the public as a news paper is supposed to.

    The New Democrat should get of the streets, King Grey.


    1. the New Democrat belongs to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. what do you expect? it definately would be biased. if you read their headlines, they always have something negative to say about Mr Taylor. However, they have remained mute about the way the prosecution has fumbled with their cross examination so far.

  14. A trail by ”ambush” indeed. She thought she was smart, but Mr. Griffiths is smarter. Now she has swallowed a bone that she can not push out easily like a lazy dog suffering from stomach pain after swallowing an over size bone. Congratulations Mr. Taylor and team. Go on disgracing them publicly.


    Harris K Johnson

  15. Tracey,

    Defense lawyer Morris Anyah seems to be one of silent strategist for the Defense team. When he did cross examine witnesses during the prosecution’s case he did a pretty effective job. Could you kindly give us more details about him such as nationality, which county does he practice in etc.


      1. Thanks Tracey for this link about Mr. Morris Anyan. Wow! I am very impress with Mr. Anyan sensibilities regarding this case and he prospect for fair justice. Mr. Anyan is truly as asset to this case.

      2. Tracey,
        Thanks I did go to the website above with the interview with Morris Anyah. It gave a good background of this man. I think readers on this site will find it interesting.




  17. Alpha & Tracy
    I just want to find out from you guys if you have knowledge as to wheather members of the ICC do visit this site? I really wish they are also following our discussions here.

    1. Hi Amax,

      I understand people from the SCSL prosecution and defense teams have at times visited our site. I do not know who reads it form the court or how often, unfortunately. But I agree: it would be great if they were aware of the content of the daily discussions here.


  18. Big Joe this is not that I am relying on them for words, this is what Taylor going to do with her. I didn’t watch the trial yesterday but for you to say Taylor denied his own statement three times yesterday I won’t believe you on that account. This got to do something with his life so he won’t just say things out of the way.

    1. Hi Politico,

      Unfortunately there is no archive of Mr. Taylor’s testimony. There is only the live streaming. Hopefully the SCSL may compile a video summary of his testimony that they will put up on their website, like they did with “Zig Zag” Marzah and others, which you can find here: http://www.sc-sl.org/PRESSROOM/VideoSummaries/CharlesTaylor/tabid/126/Default.aspx. But at the moment, there does not seem to be any available. I can try to check with the court and see if they have plans to compile one.


  19. Oh my God, I thought after Taylor’s testimony the procecutors were ready to have him guity,but instead he silent every one. are they looking for new case…… let them try guinea to link him…..hahahahhahahhahhhahhh…. what a fun!

    1. Hi Noko5,

      I understand that the trial was adjourned early again today in order to give the prosecution more time to reorganize their cross-exaimination. We will be posting an update shortly.


  20. The Bible says, when Daniel was thrown into the lions den, the Lord sent down angel to shot the lions’ mouths. Now the Lord has sent the breeze to confuse Mr. Taylor enemies in this court. As long as the Lord is Lord, Ms Hollis will do nothing better more then what she has started on day 1. Fear no one Mr. Taylor for the battle is not yours, but the Lord.

    Best wishes

    Harris K Johnson

  21. King and Andrew,

    I have not contributed for a while; I am back to reading up.

    King, Thanks for the article (link). It shows the reality of life in Liberia as well as this forum. Some people like CT while others are not too “hot” about him. Yet, there are those like the young lady who feel that CT exposed Liberia to good things, others would differ. There are some who are interested in hearing or reading about the trail, still others don’t give a squat what happens to CT. Still, there are the conspiracy theorists that govt is keeping the trial away from people…In this information age, this is nearly impossible. The other problem that most Liberians (back home) face, we don’t like to read. Information about the trial is in print media, but we won’t read it. We would prefer someone putting a spin on it. Frankly, the conversations about CT are not intensed any longer. Taylor is that dark forgotten chapter in Liberian history. Just at Samuel Doe is no longer mentioned. I am talking from my experiences; I’ve visited Liberia (2x times) this year.

    Our ability to “let things slide” is amazing, remember the TRC report; that arguement was short-lived and is probably considered a well written document with no enforcement powers. For example, Alhaji Kromah is running for public office and he was mentioned in the report and even recommended for prosecution. We have the spirit of the dove sometimes.

      1. Indeed, Bnker — welcome back. We have missed your contributions here. Nice to have you with us again.

    1. bnker,

      I seriously differ with you that Mr. Taylor is the dark forgotten chapter in Liberian history. With all due respect, you are far form the truth. I can assure you that Mr. Taylor remains the most popular politician of our time. Mr. Taylor could beat Ellen in 2011 pull were he allow to come back home and part take in Liberian politics. Can you imagine that Ellen Unity Party has failed to secure a first start win in Montserrado County By-Election? This proves that she is unpopular and lacks the ability to lead. I live in Liberia and follow daily events unlike you that just come and go in few days. Please open your eyes to the facts.

      Harris K Johnson
      Monrovia today

      1. Harris K Johnson,

        I agree with you brother. They wish he was a forgotten chapter in Liberia. If President Taylor is freed and allowed to run in 2011, there will be NO SECOND ROUND. HE WILL WIN HENCE DOWN AND NO QUESTION ABOUT IT.

        Harris K Johnson, if he is a forgotten chapter, why are we still discussing him? Why are some local news papers carrying the story? Why can’t they send this forgotten chapter back to his homeland? Why are they still insisting because of security reason, we will keep him? Nice try bnker.

        Harris, one more thing buddy, what place did ULIMO CHIEF, ALIHAJI KROMAH took in the Senatorial by election. Again, why the Liberian people did not vote for him? I unstandstand he had less than 300 votes.

        1. It’s scary how people see the same things and come out with two very opposing views. I don’t see any development that CT brought to Liberia. I guess many enjoy the luxury of not dealing with the stresses of “education” while the world is moving ahead. Lack of personal security, tampered judiciary system, and the threat that war looming over is “comfort”, right? Let’s face it CT is like cancer, the best way to treat cancer is to either burn it or cut if off. Frankly, a lot of those who actually want CT back are the younger generation some of who fought and acquired illegal gains or those who believe that Liberia can stand as an island—some of those are hoping that those days come again. Note: I am not insinuating that you or Harris were fighter nor am saying that you all are young misguided people, but most of CT supporters fit in these demography. On a personal level, I am biological linked to Taylor too, but you know what, Liberia’s interest is worth more.

          While I oppose his rule in Liberia, I am not in favor of the trial. I guess some find it difficult to reconcile; well, its possible. I think he and others need to face justice in Liberia. The prosecution is throwing everything and hoping something sticks. As the cross examination continues, we shall see what happens.

      2. Harrris,

        Greeting and thanks for commenting. I am not questioning Taylor ‘s popularity in some quarters and within some demography, still it does not warrant an outright assumption that CT wins Ms. Sirleaf in 2011 (if allowed to contest). There is absolutely no fact to render such conclusion. I still think the chatter about CT is not as loud as it was two years ago or even a year ago….slowly the name Charles McArther “Ghankay” Taylor is coming a whisper. So you think Taylor is not a dark chapter in Liberian history? Let see, a combined death toll of 250,000 people, hundred of thousands of people lingering in refugee camps (many of which made little or no advancement academically), understanding the future value of economic toll unprecedented.

        How can anyone say that Ellen lacks the ability to lead (it sounds like Brunskin—the candidate who compromised the future of Liberia by not endorsing anyone)….Gosh, I am baffled. Let’s see, Ellen’s administration was able to waive approximately 2.3 billion with a “B” off our debts, some of which CT accrued. She got Liberia somewhat on track on the MCC goals. Her administration developed our PRS. This administration has brought in over 2.3 billion of foreign direct investment. Further, lending rates at commercial banks declined from 18% (during CT administration) to 12.4%. Liberia prior to the global meltdown experienced a growth rate of 9%, while West Africa ‘s was 5% (if you need references, I can provide you). Oh yea, I guess you find lights in may quarters too (did you observe that there are street lights as well)? I am not in no way insinuating that this administration does not have shortcoming—they do many of them too.

        Ok, lets look at the development CT brought over his years…gosh, I find it difficult to recount…maybe you can help me here (provide proof also please). Well, Liberia can now boast of being a nest for mercenaries (Liberians, not withstanding the expat that were with the NDPL). Furthermore, a generation of young uneducated and ill-prepared people to compete in a global environment…do you understand these children (including you) are the future of tomorrow?

        So the argument should never be who is a better speaker or who “open our eyes”….the question should rather be, would the success of any administration past, present and future provide political stability, economic growth and future prosperity for you and your children. We need to consider the greater good rather then allow our individualistic tendencies to overcome our national pride and progress.

        In regards, to the bi-elections, UP not securing outright 50% majority does not necessarily mean it’s a referendum on Ellen presidency. Remember it was not Ellen, it was Urey running. These are two individuals with two different characteristics. So would you say that because CDC failed to secure an outright in 2005 means that Weah was disliked? You and I know that would be foolish assumption. Case in point, about a month ago, three states (in the USA ) held bi-elections and the Dems lost some key races. Some in the Republic Party said it was proof that Obama was losing favor, but survey and exit polling suggested that there were underlying factors and not the Obama factor as some suggested. So, I think it’s rather premature to suggest that Urey inability to get an outright means Ellen failed…Ellen is not running and there is no statistical data or polling showing such. Now if there is, please let me know where I may find it. And, I would rather not hear, our famous line in arguing, “my man, I telling you”, that does not cut the cake in debates.

        I hope I helped out a bit there. On my visits to Liberia ; I think it rather rash to assume as you put it, “unlike you that just come and go in few days”. The nature, frequency, and length of my trips were not disclosed, so rather than conclude, I recommend that you ask questions. During each trip, I gather facts do surveys, gather data and study them. At the moment, I am working on a 50-75 page document on Liberia . Let keep in touch, before I come to Liberia in May I will give you my local # and invite you to one of my speaking engagements, OK.

        Thanks for the post….Be blessed by brother!

        1. bnker,
          i don’t understand your standing of measurement in comparing President Taylor administration to that of President Johnson Sirleaf in terms of development. However, giving the prevailing circumstances such as two wars at the same, sanctions, embargo, total isolation, and ect that plagued President Taylor government, he could not have done the job the Liberian people overwhelmingly elected him for. Even, the greatest country ever to exist on the face of this earth, the United States of America is finding it very difficult to deal with two wars at the same time. Just imagin there is no imposition of sanction and isolation on the US and yet, they are still struggling . In fact, growing evidence has suggested that the US treasure has be depleted, monetary value declined, and the economy is in a free fall, with unemployment being as high as 10% as the result of the two wars as being the major contributor. However, the US did some things in order to rescue and resuscitate the economy: such as, Print and circulate Billions of Dollars in new money. What more of some tiny country called Liberia which is not part of this economic comparative advantage or industrial nations?. So, it is absolutely inconceivable and very disingenuous for anyone including you bnker, to say President Taylor didn’t develop Liberia under those conditions. Notwithstanding, I can guarantee you that if Ellen is faced with those unbearable conditions, you will not be able to extrapolate from anything in expressing the greatness of this western supported government. bnker, your innumeration of all those goodies about President Sirleaf, we are yet to see or benefit from it directly.

          Bnker, I remembered in one of your recent posts, you told us that President Taylor is a forgotten chapter in Liberia history. You didn’t only stop there, but you went to say people are not talking or concerned about Taylor’s trial. On the other hand, you are telling us that President Taylor has supporters, especially among the youth in certain quarters in Liberia. I don’t know where you are getting your information from. But, one thing I know however, it is not based on facts. Besides, which one of your daily posts you want us to believe. bnker, you suggested about “CT” being a “dark chapter” because about 250,000.00 death, people lingering in refugee’s camp, and etc. Bnker, his NPFL was not the only one that allegedly killed, may people to linger in refugee’s camp, ect. We knew all of that and we still voted for him. Nevertheless, knowing what we know now, we will still vote for him. So you have not said anything new. On top of that, President Sirleaf participated in the same election President won in a knockout blow. She had about 12% of the total vote cast. Whereas, President Taylor had over 75% , while G. Henry Andrews, the election commissioner, said, they were still counting votes upon votes all in favor of Taylor and he decided to cut it off. I personally worked at voter registral in Little Bassa, Grand Bassa county in 1997. We registerd about 532 eligible voters in that center. Out of the 532, Taylor had 526 votes, the late Baccus Mathews had 1 vote, Ellen and the rest had no votes. We disqualified 5 votes based on voters over zealousness in voting for Mr. Taylor. They took their indelible finger prints and painting Mr. Taylor face instead of gently putting their thumb in the space provided for the candidates.

  22. Supporter of true justice…..I am so thankful to you guys for taking upon your time to keep defending objectively in the cause of justice. I wish you guys can just ignore Fallah and the rest of his supporters. All they do is just make funs. I made analysis months ago about where this trial is heading…..Like I said, the prosecution has failed long time ago, even before the defense took the stand.

    Poor Ms. Hollis, I feel so much for her! Crane and Rapp sense all these; that’s why they couldnt keep the job…..she is the just a secrificial lamp. It’s not going to be better for her……..I understand from a highly place source that she has made up her mind not not continue the job. At such, the framers of the trial are highly considering an African law professor from Texas Sourthen University’s T. Marshall school of law as her replaement. WOW! What a shame!

    I know what all these lead to: since they know that the prosecution cannot and will not win……they just want to put African in the fore front, so at the end of the day it can look like the the African-led prosecution team failed to win the case against “Africa’s worst Dracular”…..That’s why they got the Sierra Leonian in charge recently replacing the white dude. Nokos, Andrew, Leoroy, Aki, King gray and all my learned friends start saving some money….as it’s important for we all to be there and eyes-witnessed Ghankay walking from jail as a free man……..like in the words of Dr. MLK, “an unearned suffering is redemptive”………That will be the greatest victory for Africa, which will make Dr. Nkrumah and all of Africa’s fallen victims of the western hegemony be dancing in their graves

    1. Peking,

      Bnker is back. But wow, you are throwing a bombshell. If Hollis should quit, that would be devastating. We know that De Silva left, so did Crane and Rapp, now Hollis, although Kamara is above her.

      Some time ago we posted some comments about Chinua Achibe’s “no longer at ease.” The precepts was that Africa’s sons and daughters would not be at ease because as they acquire western education and civilization, and embark upon the task of transforming their land and people, the west would not like that and the west would do everything to eliminate them. The west wants free access to our lands, people and resources so that they continue the squamble and scramble.

    2. Crown Hill Pekin,
      your post is phenomenally awsome brother. As always, good highlights and enlightenments.

      I’m saving money right now while in Tokyo Japan to be a part of the “TRIUMPHANT ENTRY” of President Taylor back to Liberia. I want to be a part of that History making. This will be once in our life time and a hallmark event of our country.

    3. God bless you my brother. You wouldn’t have said it better than this. Have a nice day, we wish you all the best.


      Harris K Johnson

  23. Bnker,

    Glad that you are back brother. My thoughts were that you were engaged in some demanding activities that might have included travels. But I hope experiences gained would help enrich discussions here and redirect our mental focus.

    The update on this trial is our bewilderment over the prosecution requiring extra time to prepare a motion in order to cross examine taylor. My opinion is they have wide field to begin their cross examination from many axes. Yet they are hammering in on this lome agreement as though it is the only starting point or the crux of their questioning. It is amazing and interesting.

    concerning your post above, I want to differ a little. Given the illiteracy rate of our country, I was thinking that the government would provide information on the trial in various ethnic languages. Moreover, the government could ensure that there is regular media coverage, radio, tv, etc. But as you rightly put it, we easily dismiss our leaders once out of the spotlight.

    The government should not treat taylor trial as a back burner. investing in media coverage would enhance and increase liberian access to the trial, and that would facilitate a balance in public opinion of the proceedings.

    I would like to know what your take is.

  24. Andrew, you guys should understand that the very iinternational community that have sponsored this prosecution of Charles Taylor is the same internatonal community that is sponsoring the Ellen Johnson government. Thus the two bodies, Ellen government and the international community has mutual interest not to ensure the full access of ordinary Liberian to this trial for a simple reason-FEAR OF CHARLES TAYLOR POPULARITY.

    Everyone knows the popularity of Charles Taylor in Liberia and Ellen do not want to encourage it. Creating broad access of this trial to the Liberian people will serious expose both Ellen and the international community and generate the kinds of passions that we see exhibited on this site. And like this site, the passion in favor of Taylor will dominate those in support of this false and deceptive justice. Those people do not want to give Taylor free and unfetter public relations.

    1. Old and New King Gray from the Great Bassa Tribe of West Africa, very well said.

      Just imagin, in March of 2006, during the arrest of President Taylor, President johnson Sirleaf said she didn’t want him to stay at least FIVE MINUTES in Liberia. WHY? However, he spent at least TWO MUNITES in Liberia. Even when they were successful in doing that, the news was grafted in the way that may it seemed that President Taylor was transferred directly from Nigeria to the Court in Sierra Leone, and Liberia had nothing to do with it. They never made mention that this man was arrested, handcuffed, and transported from the Roberts International Airport, Margibi county, Liberia.
      So King, you are right. These people continue to suppress the news. But like I always said, These people will be a victim of their own trap one fine day.

  25. Thanks to all the contributors about the New Democrat Newspaper. I noticed that that the paper is being paid by the prosecutors against Taylor. This paper has never ever written any article favorable to Taylor. At the start of this trial, and even before the trial, they always printed negative articles about Charles Taylor. Interestingly, they have remained mute on the news of the prosecutors crumbling case. They have not written any article about prosecutors begging for more time. They are still printing the article about the prosecutors saying they will grill Taylor and also Ms Hollis telling Taylor he has reasons to lie. Because of such biased reporting, I’ve stopped buying the New Democrat Newspaper and all the ones that I bought before, I’ve given them to the doughnuts and pepper sellers in the market close to my house. Thanks to this site, no more will I buy newspaper about this trial. It’s also good you’ve a mobile version because it’s my only source for now.

    1. Hi Daniel,

      I’m just curious about your statement that prosecutors are paying the New Democrat newspaper. The Special Court for Sierra Leone relies on voluntary contributions of money from States to pay its employees, including the prosecutors, and for all its operations. The court has often had to look for more money just to keep its investigations and trials going. I’m not sure where the prosecutors would get money to pay a newspaper given their funding crunch. Is there more information you can share with us about your statement? Might there be some other reason that the newspaper is not writing articles considered to be favorable to Taylor?


      1. Ms. Teage,

        concernig the new democrat, you and I know that it an anti Taylor media. So there should be no pretense about that. Media outlets tend to have political alliance or lineage. For instance, FOX News for instance tend to carry pro-Republican news here in America. We know that Tom Kamara the chief editor of the new democrat is aligned with camps that oppose Taylor, be it Amos Sawyer of prior administration or Ellen, the current one.

        I would be surprised if the new democrat carried a balanced report on this Taylor case. At least we have seen now that Britain, Canada and America supported the importation, through executive outcomes and sandline, of 35 tons of arms and ammunition, that incuded 2,500 pieces of AK47, into Sierra Leone admist a UN arms embargo on the country. Yet Taylor is being tried for the same activity that they engaged in.

        Yes, Tejah Kabba mortgaged Sierra Leone diamond for arms and mercernary to reinstate him into power, admist a UN Arms embargo. Kabbah complicity is clear, yet he is not charged but Taylor is.

        Well it is good that this trial came about. At least we know now so that if Taylor is

      2. Tracey,

        Proof of the claim that the prosecutor is paying the new democrat is immaterial. These people are bent on destroying Taylor at all cost. They failed to acknowledge evidence that support Taylor which is unprofessional because the prosecution seeks that truth and the fact, regardless of the party that the information favors. Bringing evidence against the prosecutor will be of no use, so it is meaningless making the effort.

      3. Tracey,
        It is an open secret in Liberia that the New Democrat newspapers gets it funding by Human rights orgainzations abroad. In fact the finger is pointed at some oraganization in the Netherlands. The fact that the New Democrat was allowed to operate under the Taylor administration undermines those who said there was not freedom of speech under Taylor’s presidency.

    2. Daniel,
      Kindly share with me where you got your evidence from to make such a suggestions. Newspapers are suppose to be objective, I understand that. But could it be that they are simply publishing what is going on and you are not in favor of it because you are a Charles Taylor supporter. Could it be that the publishers or whoever is actually being biased, and there is a reason why? To suggest that The prosecution is “paying” the newspaper is a strong allegation……I’m not exactly sure where you got these information but I look forward to you sharing where you got your information.

      1. Teage,

        news paper should be reporting the news and not making the news, like in the case of the New Democrat news paper that is making the news, instead of reporting the news. This has nothing to being Taylor’s supporter.

        1. Rodriguez,

          I it sounds to me that they are reporting the news. It’s just not favorable as people would want it to be. I still say where is the proof that the prosecutor is paying of the newspaper. I simply asked for proof I’ve seen none. Until I can see that, anything said after this is not relevant.

  26. Jose,
    Nice posting….very articulate.

    You mentioned the sactions, and no nation even western nations can survive or improve under such condition, good point. However, I would refer to to Cuba. They have been under sanctions for years, yet they were able to use their resources including human capital and improve. Cuba has one of the highest literacy rates in the world at almost 100% and one of the world best medical facilities anywhere, better than the US…and this is a “island nations” that was under sanctions and still is somewhat. Besides their primary natural resource is “sugar cane”. So it’s possible that nations can survive unders these conditions.

    Second, you mentioned the global crisis and the two wars as you put it,”US treasure has be depleted, monetary value declined, and the economy is in a free fall, with unemployment being as high as 10% as the result of the two wars as being the major contributor..” The US unemployment is not because of the war, its because of risky and irresponsible investment in mortgage back securities and financial instruments call derivatives. While the US dollar is sliding, the war was not the culprit, it is the mortgage meltdown again. It is true that monetary policies such as printing money and lowering interest rates were instituted to combat rising unemployment by stimulating lending which will lead to economic expansion, the US has not hit inflation (though the possibility exist in the not too distant future). But the economic decline is not because of US war….if this was so then China, Japan, German, Britian, emerging markets and less developed countries would not be hurting as well but they are….simply because of globalization….

    I hope I provided some light…..

    Btw, thanks for the brief history lesson on the 1997 election and your avowed support for CT. I don’t have a problem with your support at all. I think it is health for the process as long our (Liberians) individual difference are resolved through the ballot then we are fine. IF CT comes and you choose to vote for him fine….as I mentioned in an earlier thread the argument is not, who speaks or can rally, but who can deliver—numbers are out there to show and CT didn’t. Again, if you want to argue the sanctions, I suggest that you study Cuba and learn how they sustained themselves with sactions and even as the world price for sugar dropped and is still low–what policies were implemented to keep themselves still strong. NOTE: I AM NOT A COMMUNIST!

    1. Addition:

      You suggested that the US treasury is depleted, I beg to differ, my brother. To understand the funding of the war, you will have to understand debt financing. I will try to put it in a nutshell for you. Most western nations (including the US) raise money to carry out projects like the “two wars” and the $787 stimulus package. No country with sound economic policy will run through its cash reserve, but a smarter and wiser option is debt financing. That is, issuing (as in the case of the US) Treasure Bills, Bonds, and/or notes. The instructments are used to finance debt. The treasury debts are sold to nations with an agreement of future payment. The countries (issuer) sells the debt in exchange for USD. In Feb 2009, the US passed a $787 billion stimulus through debt financing; if this debt is for 30 years it would be worth about 3.4 trillion dollars at 5% interest rate. This include compound interest, and principal payment at the end of the term. If you have questions let me know OK, I hope I can explain this further…..

      When I come to Liberia, I will be speaking on this as well, along with financial instruments including the complicated derivatives (the culprit of the recession not the war my friend)…..Again, you are invited if interested…OK.


Comments are closed.