As Judges Order Prosecution To Disclose To Defense All New Documents They Intend To Use In The Cross-Examination Of Charles Taylor, Prosecutors Say Taylor Did Not Share Hardships With His Soldiers

After debates over the use of “fresh evidence” threw the cross-examination of former Liberian President, Charles Taylor, into disarray in recent weeks, Special Court for Sierra Leone judges told prosecutors last Monday that they were in fact allowed to use new documents to test Mr. Taylor’s credibility.  Any documents used to try to show Mr. Taylor’s guilt, however, would need to be handed over to Mr. Taylor’s defense team in advance. After problems during the week with the distinction between the two types of documents, prosecutors agreed on Thursday to disclose all documents they intend to use throughout Mr. Taylor’s cross-examination to avoid further “misunderstandings”.

Monday’s ruling allowed the cross-examination to continue with greater predictability while still leaving room for an “acceptable” element of “surprise” – while Thursday’s disclosure orders narrowed down the prosecutors’ discretion in disclosure, demonstrating that the judges were keen to stave off potential problems for the defense going forward.

In cross-examining Mr. Taylor, prosecutors have sought to use new evidence to impeach the former president’s credibility as a witness in his own defense – a move that his defense team has called a “trial by ambush.” The dispute arose when prosecutors tried to use a document to which Mr. Taylor’s defense team objected on the basis that it was not submitted as part of the prosecution’s case and was not used in Mr. Taylor’s direct-examination. On Monday, the judges ordered that documents which are meant to impeach the credibility of Mr. Taylor could be used by the prosecution without the need to disclose the documents to the defense. The judges further ordered that all documents which have probative value to the guilt of the accused must be disclosed to the defense before they could be used by the prosecution in cross-examining Mr. Taylor.

After the decision was handed down on Monday, however, Mr. Taylor’s defense counsel objected to the use of several documents which the prosecution sought to use to impeach Mr. Taylor’s credibility. These documents included records of bank transactions which prosecutors allege provide evidence of Mr. Taylor’s financial undertakings and a newspaper report of Mr. Taylor’s 1997 wedding to his former wife, Liberian Senator Jewel Taylor. The judges agreed with the defense that the documents were probative to the guilt of Mr. Taylor.

On Thursday, presiding judge Justice Richard Lussick said that the prosecution’s “piecemeal disclosure of individual documents” was unacceptable.

“This cannot be allowed to continue and the Chamber needs to set out a disclosure regime,” Justice Lussick said.

On Thursday, lead prosecutor Brenda Hollis agreed that to avoid further misunderstanding of the judges’ order as issued on Monday, all documents — whether intended for use to impeach Mr. Taylor’s credibility or to point at Mr. Taylor’s guilt — will be disclosed to the defense.

Addressing all the parties on Thursday, Justice Lussick made the following orders:

“1. All such documents should be disclosed to the defense by close of business day on Tuesday, and

2. Prosecution should give 24 hours notice to the defense of documents it intends to use for cross-examination on a particular day.”

Prosecutors also on Thursday told Mr. Taylor that he did not share the risks and hardships of his soldiers, that he never went to the front lines, and that he was never under fire. Mr. Taylor agreed that he never went to the front lines.

Comparing Mr. Taylor to the late General Quiwonkpa who was assassinated by former Liberian president Samuel Doe after a failed coup attempt, prosecution counsel Nicholas Koumjian told Mr. Taylor that the late General was popular among his troops because he was a fighter, unlike Mr. Taylor.

“Thomas Quiwonkpa was admired, and in fact, you could even say, would you agree, loved by many of the soldiers under him? And this is because soldiers admire and respect those leaders who share the hardships and risks of combat with them, correct?” Mr. Koumjian asked Mr. Taylor.

In his response, Mr. Taylor said “Yes, I would agree.”

When Mr. Koumjian put to Mr. Taylor that “you don’t share the hardships of your soldiers,” the former president responded that “No, but you were talking about soldiers. In the first place, I’m not a soldier, never taken military training. You spoke about soldiers caring for their men, I agree. Now you’ve put me–I have not, have never been– have never taken military training, so I’m not a soldier.”

When Mr. Koumjian pushed Mr. Taylor further to answer whether he shared the risks and hardships with his soldiers, the former president eventually said “oh, I do. Oh, I do.”

Mr. Koumjian told Mr. Taylor that “You stay behind the lines in your executive mansions while you send young men and women to fight.” Mr. Taylor dismissed the prosecutor’s assertion as “totally incorrect.”

Mr. Taylor agreed with Mr. Koumjian that he has never been to the front line.

“I have not been on the front line but I was under fire because I was on the ground,” Mr. Taylor said.

“As the leader, my protection was–my protection was very important. I must admit, I was very well protected and would have been stupid if I didn’t,” he added.

On Wednesday, prosecutors questioned Mr. Taylor on his decision to grant Liberian citizenship to Sierra Leonean rebel forces who relocated to Liberia in December 1999 after falling out with the Sierra Leonean rebel group’s hierarchy.

Mr.  Taylor has long stated in his direct-examination that when Sierra Leone’s notorious rebel commander Sam Bockarie became a hindrance to the peace process in the country and eventually fell out with Revolutionary United Front (RUF) leader Foday Sankoh, West African leaders took a decision to get Mr. Bockarie out of Sierra Leone and have him relocated to Liberia. As Mr. Bockarie departed Sierra Leone for Liberia, hundreds of his loyal rebel fighters followed him to Liberia. Prosecution witnesses have testified that Mr. Bockarie relocated to Liberia on the invitation of Mr. Taylor. The former Liberian leader has denied these assertions. Mr. Taylor has stated that upon arrival in Liberia, Mr. Bockarie and his rebel followers were all granted Liberian citizenship before Mr. Bockarie’s followers were recruited into Liberia’s Anti-Terrorist Unit (ATU). In cross-examining Mr. Taylor, Mr. Koumjian read from various portions of Liberian legislation dealing with Liberian citizenship and pointed out that Mr. Taylor flouted the legal procedures to grant citizenship to the Sierra Leonean rebels. Mr. Taylor responded that he acted on the advice of his lawyers.

“I am not a lawyer. I was president. I was given legal advice by my lawyers. So it’s unfair for me to answer questions on these legal documents when I am not a lawyer,” Mr. Taylor said.

On Monday, Mr. Taylor told the court that he received money from both Taiwan and Libya as contributions to his campaign to become president of Liberia in 1997.

“In 1996-1997, I received money from Taiwan and Libya,” Mr. Taylor told the court.

Mr. Taylor explained that during his campaign in the Liberian presidential elections in 1997, the Taiwanese government gave him 1,000,000 United States Dollars to support his candidacy. The money, Mr. Taylor said was delivered through the Taiwanese embassy in Ivory Coast and was received by his Chief of Protocol, Musa Sesay. Although the check was addressed in his name, Mr. Taylor said that it was cashed by Mr. Sesay in Abidjan, based on his (Taylor) authorization. Asked by lead prosecutor Ms. Brenda Hollis why the Taiwanese government had given him such amount of money, Mr. Taylor explained that the Taiwanese government probably did so for Public Relations (PR) reasons.

“They developed an interest in me,” Mr. Taylor said. “At that particular time, it was clear that elections were coming up. There was this concern that after the elections, they were concerned that China will block their interest in Liberia. It was like a form of PR for them because they were concerned that diplomatic support will continue after I became president. It was part of a policy to try to court foreign countries or prospective leaders.”

Mr. Taylor is responding to charges that he provided support to RUF rebels in Sierra Leone. Prosecutors allege that Mr. Taylor received Sierra Leone’s diamonds from RUF rebels and in return supplied them with arms and ammunition, which were used to commit atrocities in Sierra Leone. It is further alleged that Mr. Taylor occupied a position of superior authority to RUF rebels and that he knew or had reason to know that the rebels were committing atrocities in Sierra Leone but failed to prevent the commission of those crimes or that he did not punish perpetrators when he knew that such atrocities had been committed. He is now charged of bearing the greatest responsibility for the crimes committed by rebel forces in Sierra Leone. Mr. Taylor has denied all the allegations against him. He has testified in direct-examination as a witness in his own defense and he is presently being cross-examined by the prosecution.

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


  1. Mr Koumjian, Mr Koumjian,
    Did Mr. Bush go to the front line when he went after Mr. Hassan??? How many CIVILIAN LEADERS he knows leading a front goes to the front??? Mr. Koumjian, Gen. Quiwonkpa was a SOLDIER, please note the difference…..

    Bring the EVIDENCE to impeach his CREDIBILITY and the one showing GUILT please……these CHILDISH SILLY GAMES do not belong in this court especially with such a trial.

    Again Mr Koumjian, what you read into evidence is the PROCESS anyone seeking will have to go thru but it was NOT in this case…..that was a SPECIAL SITUATION just like it’s done in the US, your country; Congressman or Congresswoman write on behave of certain personels to the immigration and BINGO, the PROCESS is sped up. Presidents of Liberia have GRANTED such waiver…..

    I hope on Monday, we’ll see the begining of the CROSS EXAMINATION and not another SHOW of time wasting.

  2. Al-Solo Nyonteh,

    The issue credibility of convicted persons testifying might not be primary under the present circumstances. The convicted person have not been accused of receiving arms from Mr. Taylor in exchanged for diamonds, but it is the other way around, it is Mr. Taylor who has been accused of delivering arms to the convicted person in exchange for diamonds. So it is a matter of debunking the prosecution testimony. Witnesses have testified that Mr. Taylor appointed Issa as interim head of ruf and issa sold diamonds to taylor for arms and ammunition.

    I do not understand how the credibility of Issa will be a hindrance here.

    1. andrew jlay

      The main problem is the prosecution will not rest at an answer about Mr. Taylor’s relationship with the witness. After the prosecution display thus far; I think the prosecution has alot of tricks up its sleeves. Mr. Taylor is aware of it and refuse to break or be lead in the attended direction. Most individual will let the prosecution break them or let the prosecution lead them into its misleading trap. The creditability of the witness will be scrutinize and questioned by the judges and I think the witness posses a potential threat. My main concern is the track record in there own case.

      1. andrew jlay

        Personally, I think the best witness to confirm Mr.Taylor testimony and debunk the prosecution witness testimony will be West African leaders; not a convicted convict. Mr. Taylor needs to alienate himself from these reckless & unpredictable individuals (RUF members). It’s obvious they (RUF members) were not convincing in there own case. The person or persons that can help Mr. Taylor; under pressure and the direction of the prosecution also can hurt him.

        1. Al-Solo Nyonteh,
          I agree with your argument that convicted person such as Mr. Sesay and the others would not be a convincing witness to actually convince the Judges that Mr. Taylor was not in control of and traded blood diamonds with the RUF for arms and ammunitions. I also think that West African leaders, especially those that was on the Committee of Five who was assigned the task by ECWAS to bring peace to Sierra Leone is a far better choice to debunk the Prosecution charges during the timeframe. These Leaders can verify if Mr. Taylor was choosing by them as the point person to deal with the rebels and the things he done during the process was with their knowledge and approval.

  3. Alpha Sesay,

    I wouldn’t make this piece long enough than what it has to be. However, Alpha, President Taylor emphatically said that his decision to grant citizenship to Bockarie and his followers was based on two fronts. 1: the constitution of Liberia and 2: legal advice from his legal team as he is not a lawyer. In your report, you only mentioned the legel advice from his legal counsel and leaving out the constitution. I just want to make this point clear to the world that the president’s decision was done on two fronts. !: CONSTITUTION 2: LEGAL ADVICE FROM HIS LEGAL COUNSEL.

  4. Gentlest people,

    is Taylor wedding, a direct link to Sierra Leoneans killing each other? Comparing General Quiwonkpa and Civilian Taylor, is it also a direct link? What if President Taylor did notexperience hardship like his fighters, does it proves that Taylor benefited from Sierra Leone diamonds? What if President Taylor wore tuxedo during his wedding, does it speak volume about his involvement in sierra Leone mess? What if President Taylor ate cake and sat in a lazyboy furniture chair, does it prove his guilt? UNBELIEVABLE. Is this the fresh new evidence by the prosecutors? Good Lord Almightty which way should we turn? Are these prosecution lawyers drunk? I think they have to be drunk with new wine in order for them to consider this as a direct link.

    1. Dear Jose,
      I hear Mr. Taylor testify that he is not a military man, if so, why can we find many images of Mr. Taylor in battle fatigues and holding an assault rifle? For him to deny that he was a military man at one point is denial. Taylor received military training, he waged a civil war in Liberia; a lepoard very rarely changes its spots, even after elected to the Presidency.

  5. What does Mr. Taylor staying away from the frontline or his failure to share hardship with his NPFL or government soldiers in Liberia has to do with crimes committed against the people of Sierra Leone? How many times did George Bush fight along side with American soldiers in Ira? Ms. Hollis needs to redirect her style of questioning or simply back off from this case. NO CASE SO FAR my people.


    Harris K Johnson

  6. As far as the cross examination by the Prosecution team is concerned, it seemed to me that the elevent (11) counts case against MR Taylor is still far from winning one against him. This is why I am asking Ms Hollis and team to request for a quick holiday break so that they can regroup their ideas and then come back with the force that can knock Mr Taylor and his defence team out, or else this case seem to be very hard for the prosecution to handle. I have never ever heard that a President of the a Country who is also the commander-in-chief have been physically fighting at war front. If Tony Blair and George w. Bush did not go to the war front to fight, why should Mr Taylor to be the one to go at war front in order to show that he is giving his soldiers support? Is it because he is from diferrent planet, Ms Hollis??? If as a rebel leader, no one can tell me that it was Mr Taylor duty to have been on war front everyday. I guess Mr Taylor had support for his fighting men, that is why so many were joining in his quest. PLEASE FUNDER OF ICC, SEE REASON TODAY AND STOP FUNDING THE ICC AND REDIRECT YOUR MONEY TO CHARITIES THAT ARE STRIGGLING TO HELP THE PEOPLE OF SIERRA LEONE AND LIBERIA. THESE PEOPLE NEED MORE THAT SPENDING ALL THIS AMOUNT ON THIS CASE AND AT LAST SENDING MR TAYLOR TO JAIL.

    1. Hi Amax,

      Thanks for your comment. I just wanted to make one point of clarification as this issue often comes up. Mr. Taylor is being prosecuted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone – the trial is only being held in the International Criminal Court’s courtrooms, but is not one of the ICC’s own cases. The Special Court actually has to rent the space from the ICC to hold the trial.


      1. Thanks Tracey for that info:

        Then, there we go again. Paying rent to the ICC. What a waste of resources. All of this money could have been redirected to humanitarian cause in Sierra Leone and Liberia. As I write this piece of contribution, a lady has just died while giving birth, a child has died only because the nearest clinic or hospital aroung is 4 hours drive from the village, still there is no running water in the city of monrovia or freetown, another child is loosing a battle against malaria becasue the family cannot aford pay for the treatment. What a shame, waht a shame to all those people who are contributing hugely to the up keep of the so-called the Charles Taylor trial. When are we going to think for the better? I think personally that this case is even causing more death in Liberia and Sierra Leone only beacuse the money being use for this trial could have done a lot better.

        1. Dear Amax, you are right to paint a tenuous humanitarian situation in Sierra Leone and Liberia, and there are many people to blame for such a lack of development. Let’s start with the leaders who operated with impunity, operated above their country’s laws, exploited their country’s natural resources, and all to the detriment of their own people. The money that could be saved by disbanding the SCSL is a paltry sum compared to the money that was stolen by Doe, Taylor or the NTGL and the years of neglect in developing their country. I sometimes wonder, is Charles Taylor on trial or is the culture of impunity that has contributed mightily to the sad state situation you so aptly describe.

  7. Hello Alpha, I just want to remind you of my request made the last time concerning changing the profile picture of Mr Charles Ghankay Taylor. We will love to see himin that White African Gown.

  8. These people did their best and I think they can’t do more then their best. Why are they trying so hard something from nothing. With all of these things about bank account with LBDI is the fresh evidence they have been talking about. The persecutors really make this case less interesting. For me this is what I was expecting for them. A bit disappointed with the whole team. Where did they get documents from with no orginal? Just a piece of paper with lot of numbers. JESUS CHRIST HELP THE POOR. They are still struggling up till now.

    1. Maybe Leroy we need to to say JESUS CHRIST HELP THE RICH because taylor is filty rich and therefore is not capable of lying or any deceptions! In fact taylor is being wrongly accused of fueling atrocities in Sierra Leone and this innocent guy had no knowledge of Liberia’s constitution because it wasn’t his fault to answer to any questions on immigration because he is not a lawyer and therefore let this innocent man go!
      This, to me, sounds like the taylorist have not only lost rational judgement but fail to realize that their logical analysis, out of emotional outburts againt everyone, except Defense Counsels for taylor on this site, is doing them any good. What is all this about? I’ve reiterated many times on this site that all this shouting and blame game is nothing but like a “tale being told by an idiot, full of horrors, signifying nothing” whether you accuse Hollis, Koumjian or fallah has nothing to do with the decision that is the ultimate end result of this trial! Please get this simple fact and digest it so we won’t have to keep repeating this over and over to the taylorits. It is not all this filibusters that will sentence taylor or aquit him of all charges! Stop all this “bring proof” show balanced sheet of his accounts and etc! this is not going to intimidate justice gentlemen!

      1. Fallah,

        Pray tell us what will then, because the prosecution sure has not produced any significant evidence that could convict. This trial has turned into a Liberian Truth and Reconciliation hearing. It seems like because Mr Taylor could not appear before the TRC, they are trying to conduct the affairs here at this Court.

        However as this does not show guilt on the part of Mr Taylor as it does not go to prove he committed any of the alleged crimes, He stands a very good change of getting an acquittal. This whole shamble is bordering on the comical. It has lost its steam. The Prosecution is rambling and very disorganized. They in most cases do not even know how to ask their questions and even when they do the questions are so elementary that some of them do not even beacon an answer.

        It seems like they think an African President should be a micro-manager. How on earth would a President be involved in all of the day-to-day affairs of every aspect of government. That is why there are Ministers, Deputies, assistants and Directors. Government is run by delegating your staff. Only someone with a very myopic view would expect a leader to have all the details and or dates of every transaction and or activity of government.

        For someone people here who obviously have never had any experience in any form of leadership, I can understand why they keep saying that Taylor does not know anything about Liberia. I would like to ask them if Taylor is expected to know everything about the country in order to be its leader? The answer is a resounding NO.

        I have served in many leadership roles and have never been required to understand alk of the inner workings of all of the processes. What is required is that I am a good administrator, that I am able to delegate to the right people, listen to advice and recommendations from my juniors and make decisions. I have to have a strategic view.

        Therefore for people like you Fallah, remember a President is a trategic thinker and an administrator not an errant boy or a micro-manager.

        1. Helen, what has begun to expose taylor is the lies being uncovered about his puting the the National Budget account into his personal account and cleverly aurguing that this was for “covert Operation” Just as the saying goes for most Liberian old days politicians who always responded to wrong doings as for ‘Security Reasons.”Do you see what I am talking about?
          First, taylor denied ever stashing money into personal accounts and that if prosecution proved this then he’s a liar, and now when exposed redhanded, is having another “excuse” as this account being for covert operation! What operation in gankay’s NPFL government was not covert? His excuses are either for “peace” or “covert operation” and this is not standing good for the former head of state and who is accused of not only fueling the atrocities of Sierra Leone, but for rapes, and murders he personally participated in , during the Sierra Leone War.
          Now Helen do you see why I have no regards for this man? He is a Liar from day one! Taylor should never be trusted by any peace loving individual, in the first place!

      2. Hello falla,
        I hate to reply directly when people make comments, but when such comment is one sided, then it will intuse me to do same. As a Liberian myself, it was not a good thing for Taylor to have resolve the Doe issue with waging war on his own people. But we have to ask questions and from these questions we can then make comments that we think are well balanced. Mr Taylor was in prison in what I understand was one of the most secure jail in America. My first question would be, how did Mr Taylor manage to have escape from that prison. Why did the then American during the start of the war who name I cannot remember now told the Liberian people that the war that was on its way could last for a long time if allowed? While it is true that Liberia is a special friend to America, it is true that America is not interested in Liberia at all. This is why the late Doe saw and decided to build friendship with countries that Liberia could benefit from including Russia, Libya among others. This is what cause Doe to die today to my own understanding. I hope Taylor will spill out the beans. I remembered when Taylor was taking the outh of office after the election, he did mention about Firestone. Taylor said that it was time for company like the Firestone to build a factory in Liberia and begin to produce things that would clasified as made in Liberia. Taylor even said that it was time to revisit the Firestone Company Agreement. Little did Taylor know that he was inviting war on himself. My whole point Fallah, is that we should try to open our eyes and ears so that when we make coment, people should say that it is balanced. No matter how much people hate Taylor today, putting finding him guilty before appearing in court will never bring back all those that lost their lives. What makes me angry more about this trial Fallah is the amount of time being spent on the cross examination by the prosecution on things like Charles Taylor house in Liberia, his relationship, ie having wives, birthday’s presents from leaders of other nations and businessmen, the constitution of Liberia, bank accounts etc, etc. Tell me for God sake Fallah, is this is why Mr Taylor being trial for? If all these questions were aske in the first week or so, to lay the bases, and by now dealing with the war in Sierra Leone, then I would have agree with Ms Hollis and team, but the cross examination is on the activities of Taylor in Liberia. When are we going to hear questions regarding Taylors involvement in the Sierra Leonian war??? Please Fallah don’t get me wrong, I just want you to some times balance your contribution as you are one of those guys that I always look for to read your thought new topic is out for discussion.
        To me personally, wether Taylor is guilty today and sentence for life, the amount of money being spent on this case could have been use to help the poeple of Sierra Leone and Liberia. I recently visited Koindu and Kendema in Sierra Leone, what I saw there is unbelievable. I also visited Ghanta, Nimba County, and the port of Buchanna, Grand Bassa Count and what I saw there is undescribable. This why I’m saying that if I had my own will, this trial could stop now and redirect the funding to charities that are helping in Libeia and Sierra Leone.

        1. Hi Amax,

          On your question about Charles Taylor’s break from jail in the US — he discussed it earlier in his testimony. Our report on it is here: Mr. Taylor’s story, however, was denied by the CIA shortly afterwards – you can read about it here:

          On the use of the funds for the Special Court for Sierra Leone, this is an issue that is regularly raised about international trials. We have had discussions on this site previously too. The thing is, the money that has been dedicated to the Special Court has not come from development projects, nor would have gone to development projects in Sierra Leone — it comes from entirely different pots of money from different governments that would otherwise have been redirected to another country for justice efforts if it was not given to Sierra Leone for the Special Court’s work. But I do understand and agree with your point that more money generally should go towards reconstructing Sierra Leone and Liberia after their respective wars.


        2. Stop right there my brother! This trial is not like that of the “summary trials ” during Doe’s military government” when people were executed without due process! This trial may take long but the fact that taylor will be given the benefit of doubt until proven guilty makes it unique! Taylor, we know is guilty but we need to let him know that this is the civilize will of justice!
          He has Lawyers who are giving him legal advice, He lives in a furnished cell and , according to supporters , boasting on this site, rights to sleep with his # 4,5,or 6th wife, beside visits! How many of this type of justice this man gave to others? Why do we see this double standards now? Is it that you guys are so afraid of this man that you cannot accept that the “Cat” Has a bell tied around his neck and will never catch another rat? Come out and speak out so he can realize and repents before the fate that awaits him in Hell comes! Taylor is History!

  9. Well guys
    Sorry I may have very limited postings due the fact that, I am in training at one of my electrmotive manufacturing facilities in Delaware. Wish you all well.

    1. Noko5 — enjoy. We will look forward to your return to the conversation when you get back.


    1. Hi Concern Liberian in Liberia,

      I understand the Special Court went into recess today until January 11 at 9:30am — but I am sure Alpha will have more to report in the coming hours.


  10. Hi Tracy & Alpha,
    Noko 4 & 5- 6 J Fallah M, Leoroy D. Helen, Jose, Big joe, Big B, Eyes Return and all,
    I’ll like to wish you all a MARRY X MAS & A HAPPY NEW YEAR.

    1. 4 ur eyes only — thank you for the thoughtful season’s greetings! Alpha and I would like to return the compliments to you and all our readers.
      Very best,

      1. 4 ur eyes only
        Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all your comrades.

        God willing next year Christmas we will sing through the streets of Monrovia, Africa and the World chanting Free at Last, Free at Last, Thank God Almighty, He’s Free at Last.

    2. 4 ur eyes only and All,

      Thanks and I wish you all also a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous New Year. I thank you all for all the comments good and bad. It has been an interesting year.

      Tracey and Alpha,

      Thanks for all the support and hard work during the year. Hope your holidays will be well spent and you will return refreshed and re-invigorated.

      All the best to all.

      1. Helen,

        Thanks for your kind words and holiday wishes. It has indeed been an interesting year.


  11. Wow! Wow!! Wow!!! So Mr. Taylor is no more on trial for digging SL diamonds and profiting from the SL people blood? What is all this NONSENSE about LBDI bank account? And for heaven sake, if we even accept the prosecution false calculation that about $14, 000,000.00 was transacted through that account. For heaven sake, was Mr. Taylor not prosecuting a war?

    Wow! Then the prosecution accusing Taylor of breaking Liberian laws, and transfering money directly into a private account. Common! Which government in this world does not conduct covert operations? A small poor country like Liberia lacks all of the sophiscated financial system of western societies.Therefore, in a war situation, the president himself must have direct control over the limited funds that was avialable. How else does this prosecution expect Mr. Taylor to operate and function in wartime when the UN had imposed sanction on Liberia. Should the Liberian president just sit there and allow the sponsored war of LURD and MODEL to kill everybody. Mr. Taylor had every and all right to purchase arms and support the security to defend the Liberian people.

    Wrost of the prosecution case, is the fact that Mr. Koumjiou is now accusing Taylor of recieving monies from Taiwan. I thought Taylor was supposed to have been selling SL diamonds? So how is it that he was begging for monies from Taiwan? But is Taylor now on trial for recieving monies from Taiwan and breaking Liberian laws? This case is “TOTAL NONSENSE”!


  12. I wish you all merry Christmas and a very happy New Year. May 2010 sees the end of impunity and bad governance in Africa.

  13. Hi Tracey, thanks for your information concerning my question regarding funding for the ICC. You did mention that these monies are coming from different government who want to see justice prevail around the globe. Does that include the people of Iraq???

    1. Hi Amax,

      I’m not sure of your question — is it whether Iraq funds the ICC or whether other countries want to see justice in Iraq? I’ll try to answer both.

      Iraq does not contribute money to the ICC because it is not a State Party (that is, it hasn’t signed up to the ICC Statute which allows the court to have jurisdiction over crimes committed on its territory or by its nationals). Although the Court’s expenses are funded primarily by States Parties, it also receives voluntary contributions from governments, international organizations, individuals, corporations and other entities. To the best of my knowledge, Iraq is not a non-State Party funder of the ICC, and Iraq is also not a funder of the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

      There was a Special Tribunal set up in Iraq in 2003 designed to address grave human rights violations committed in Iraq between 1968 and 2003. It was made up of Iraqi judges, lawyers and staff, and assisted by international judges, lawyers and staff as well. This was the court that tried Saddam Hussein and eventually put him to death by hanging. You can find out some overview information about the tribunal here: However, this court was criticized by human rights organizations which were concerned that it was not meeting international human rights and fair trial standards — for a Human Rights Watch report on the trial of Saddam Hussein, see

      Hope this answers your question?


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