Judges Order Prosecutors To Disclose To The Defense All New Documents They Intend To Use In Cross-Examination of Charles Taylor

Special Court for Sierra Leone judges today ordered prosecutors to disclose to the defense all new documents that they intend to use in the cross-examination of former Liberian president Charles Taylor who is responding to charges that he was involved in a joint criminal enterprise with rebel forces who waged an 11-years rebel war in Sierra Leone.

In delivering the Chamber’s ruling, 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.

Today’s order came in the wake of Monday’s decision by the judges in response to prosecution’s request to use “new evidence” in the form of documents to impeach Mr. Taylor’s credibility as a witness in his own defense. In the decision, the judges ordered that documents which are meant to impeach the credibility of Mr. Taylor can be used by the prosecution without the need to disclose the documents to the defense. These documents will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, the judges ordered. 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.

When cross-examination resumed this morning, Mr. Taylor’s defense counsel objected to the use of a bundle of bank documents which prosecutors sought to cross-examine Mr. Taylor on in order to establish that Mr. Taylor was not truthful in his direct-examination about various bank accounts which he is alleged to have had before his detention by the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Mr. Taylor’s defense counsel said the team had not been given sufficient time to study the bank documents. Mr. Taylor’s defense asked to be given until Monday to study the documents. The judges granted the defense application.

Lead prosecutor Ms. Brenda Hollis, addressing the judges, agreed that to avoid further misunderstanding of the judges’ order, 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, 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.”

Mr. Taylor is on trial for his alleged role in supporting RUF rebels who waged an 11-years rebel war in Sierra Leone. Crimes committed by the rebels ranged from amputation of civilian limbs, to rape, recruitment of child soldiers and murder. Mr. Taylor is accused of involvement in a joint criminal enterprise with the RUF rebels. He has denied all the allegations against him.

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


  1. BREAKING NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    THE SPECIAL COURT HAS A STANDING PROCEDURE FOR Special Court Convicted Persons to Appear as a Witness.

    This means ISSA SESAY and others can appear as witnesses in Taylor’s Defense.


    1. andrew jlay

      How reliable is a convicted criminal. I haven’t seen nor researched the trial of those individual. But a person who pleads not guilty and is convicted for crimes they claim they did not commit; just don’t sit right on my stomach, as a reliable witness. A mediocre lawyer will easy dismis there testimony as lies, while a good lawyer will use the “language of the law” to make an innocent defendant look suspicious. Mr. Taylor needs individual with the same caliber as himself to testify in his defense, not an person who’s “track record” proves they are incapable of “getting there story right”

      1. Al,
        The issue is about LINK and if Mr. Taylor can get Issay to tell this court he and Mr. Taylor NEVER EVER signed a PACT in any form wouldn’t that be USEFUL to this court???

        Remember now, NO WAY during the trials in Sierra Leone did anyone mentioned Mr. Taylor been thier BOSS, GODFATHER, DIAMOND DEALER or whatever…….

    2. welcome Tracy, hope you had a nice time…

      I just got to know that the documents are two truck loads to nail Mr Taylor good for the prosecution, but unfortunatly those documents were pick up at the paynesville red light market. simple worth nothing, because those documents were pick up from red light market in paynesville, and not Siaka steven street in freetown, so all we will hear from the prosecution will be about Liberia, Mr Taylor’s farm, living room and so on. you bet me ms teage and john thompson if any better will come out of this.

      1. Hi Varney Johnson – thanks for your welcome note.

        Let’s see what emerges with these documents — it will no doubt be interesting to see how it all unfolds, don’t you think?


  2. What do you have to say about this ruling Fallah and Msteage ? As we say here in Liberia ” God doen’t sleep “

    1. LOL AKI,
      God sure doesn’t sleep!!! I say bring all the documents and put it on the table, if it is appropriate to be presented in court great!! If it’s not discard it, either way they got a good case against Taylor. I love justice done the right way, and if the defense says that all the documents including a newspaper clipping of Taylor’s own wedding is evidence to “point to his guilt” than discard it. Either way the prosecution got Taylor in a corner with his finger in the cookie jar.
      -Cheers!! 🙂

  3. Hi Tracey,

    Welcome back. Did you bring a kangaroo for Ms Hollis? Apparently, she is in desperate need of one. She is trying by all means necessary to turn this court into a kangaroo court. Ms Hollis will be very disappointed if you didn’t bring a kangaroo from Australia.

    Hope you had a wonderful stay with family and friends.

    1. Hi Big B,

      Thanks for your note and your welcome. It sounds like you have been disappointed with the trial while I was away. I am curious why.


      1. Tracy,
        Infact you would be pleased to know that you did not miss anything worth a dime when you were away. the prosecution were just confused and didnt know what to do. infact lack of headway on the part of the prosecution in the Cross exam resulted in the illness of Ms Holis who was replaced briefly by Mr Kumjian who himself continued the dismal job. Anyway now that you are back maybe the prosecution will finally find their feet and concentrate on proving LINKAGE between Mr Taylor and the RUF in Sierra leone that is what this case is about and not Liberia as the prosecutors are making the cross exam seem.

        1. Hi Sam,

          Thanks for catching me up on your thoughts about the trial while I was away. Sounds like you were not impressed. I’m actually very interested to read the decision the judges handed down earlier this week on the use of documents and to watch how the cross-examination goes from here too.


      2. Hi Tracey,

        I was disappointed on two fronts in your absent. Firstly, you sizzlers, and your shoe is a big one to have someone else’s walk in. Secondly, Ms Hollis made Justice Sebutinde’s and I sick. She got on our last nerve.

        1. Hi Tracey’

          For some unexplainable reasons the same posting of mine has been shown up twice. I don’t record hitting the submit button twice. Um, technology is queer, it helps you on the one hand and destroys you on the other. Please disregard one of the double posting.

          1. Thanks for letting me know Big B. I will look for it and try to ensure only one appears.

        2. Hi Big B — sorry to hear you were ill.

          I am glad to be back and joining this conversation — I am sure you will agree Alpha did an excellent job, as always, in my absence.

          Very best,

    2. Big B

      Actually, I think Ms. Hollis homed in and seize a great opportunity to reintroduced her case with solid evidences. Although the defense did a good job; they opened “Pandora box” when they put Mr. Taylor on the stand. No matter if a defendant is innocent or guilty; the prosecution job is to use the gather evidence against the accused to convict them. In my view, when a defendant takes the stand; the prosecution have a second change to reinforce there case and/or reintroduced there case with revision due to the defendant’s testimony. Ms. Hollis can’t be blamed for her action, if the defense “opened the door”. My question is how bad will the “new evidence” hurt Mr. Taylor.

      1. Al-Solo Nyonteh,

        Why should Ms. Hollis be given credit for homing in to borrow your phrase. This case is supposed to be a slam-dunk, so there should be no homing in credits. We expect to see bombardments but we are still waiting. I like many other were impressed that they had a solid case and rested. To be in search of evidence again is bothersome.

        1. andrew jlay

          I agree, it is bothersome that the “key high lights” of the prosecution case is to attempt to expose the defendant as a “liar”. But, Mr. Taylor’s testimony opened the doors. I’m giving her credit for the way she if trying to manipulate the legal process to the prosecution advantage. Mr. Taylor testimony added a lot of reasonable doubt to the prosecution’s case in my view. Her best chance is to discredit him and hope that there in no reliable witnesses to confirm his testimony. I guess, I should wait to commend her, until I see the actually damage this snaky but brilliant strategy does.

      2. Al-Solo Nyonteh,

        I agree the fresh evidence ruling gives Ms Hollis a great opportunity to reintroduce her case. However, Ms Hollis must be capable of legally maneuvering this “great opportunity” in order for it to work in her favor. I am not sure if she is capable of doing that.

        Furthermore, if the prosecution is depending only on inconsistency in Taylor’s statement during direct examination and what he is saying under cross-examination to get a guilty verdict in a case of this magnitude is almost impossible. For example, if Taylor said under direct examination that he had two bank accounts and the prosecution has proof that Taylor had four bank accounts, even though there is inconsistency but said contradiction is not sufficient under the circumstances to convict. In the final analysis, the judges will look at the totality of the evidence.

        The prosecution will have to prove her case, the 11 counts indictment against CT. At the moment the prosecution is playing the role of the defense risen reasonable doubt. The prosecution should be producing some hardcore evidences at this junction linking CT directly to the atrocities in Sierra Leone. Anything less, is TOTAL NONSENSE!

      3. Al-Solo Nyonteh,

        I agree the fresh evidence ruling gives Ms Hollis a great opportunity to reintroduce her case. However, Ms Hollis must be capable of legally maneuvering this “great opportunity” in order for it to work in her favor. I am not sure if she is capable of doing that.

        Furthermore, if the prosecution is depending only on inconsistency in Taylor’s statement during direct examination and what he is saying under cross-examination to get a guilty verdict in a case of this magnitude is almost impossible. For example, if Taylor said under direct examination that he had two bank accounts and the prosecution has proof that Taylor had four bank accounts, even though there is inconsistency but said contradiction is not sufficient under the circumstances to convict. In the final analysis, the judges will look at the totality of the evidence.

        The prosecution will have to prove her case, the 11 counts indictment against CT. At the moment the prosecution is playing the role of the defense risen reasonable doubt. The prosecution should be producing some hardcore evidences at this junction linking CT directly to the atrocities in Sierra Leone. Anything less, is TOTAL NONSENSE!

      4. Al,
        Did you the RULES of this court???? It states the DEFENDANT SHALL BE THE FIRST WITNESS IN HIS CASE……so it was NOT a “Pandora box”.

        Why you think the prosecutors were AGAINST having those comvicted testify as witness in this case???

        1. Noko

          I want to thank you for educating me, on the rules of the courts. I was unaware of the mandate that a defendant had to take the stand. I think it’s a disadvantage to the defense and believe it’s like opening Pandora’s box. Because every president has dirty little secrets; the majority of the time they can be linked to the interest of the country or personal gains. In my opinion, these secret can have a negative affect on the character of the defendant. A good lawyer can use the past history and character of a witness as a “smoke screen” to there advantage.

          1. Hi Al-Solo Nyonteh,

            Just a quick note in response to your posting:

            Under the rules of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, Mr. Taylor may choose to testify in his own defense, but he has no obligation to do so. Here is the text of Rule 85(C):

            “The accused may, if he so desires, appear as a witness in his own defence. If he chooses to do so, he shall give his evidence under oath or affirmation and, as the case may be, thereafter call his witnesses.”

            So in this case, Mr. Taylor actually chose to take the stand in his own defense — he was not forced to do so.


          2. Tracey Gurd

            The idea that the court had a rule which required a defendant to testify in his own defense, sounded correct. I guess being so gullible and unaware that “the fiction of a person imagination, could be transferred into text” was the main contribution to my misguide understanding. Thank you for your ongoing dedication towards keeping this site respectful, honest (with emphasis) and peaceful. In addition, I would like to thank Alpha Sesay for his critical role in maintaining this website. Your hard work and dedication is greatly appreciated.

          3. Thank you Al-Solo Nyonteh – glad you asked the question. The Special Court has 124 rules so there’s a lot of detail there for all of us to get familiar with throughout the trial. It’s good for asking the questions and giving us the space to discuss and debate these rules and processes, as I know a lot of us wonder the same things. Alpha and I constantly need to go back to the rules to double check our own understandings and assumptions too. This trial is a learning process for all of us.

            Thanks also for your kind comments about the site.

            Best, and hope to continue our conversations on the site,

    3. Letting a bunch of criminals/ your personal buddies into a country and given them citizen ship just because you could is not kangaroo activity huh….LOL!

  4. The Prosecution is going to disclose to the defense all fresh evidences that they intend to use in the cross-examination to impeach Mr. Taylor testimony, a large part of these document and point to his guilt, which Ms. Hollis said, was a very small part of these documents. On Monday we will hear and see what they have that is fresh and learn why they did not presented or knew of these 100 or so documents before and during their presentation of evidences.

    Mr. Hollis stated understanding of the Judges ruling for using fresh evidence during cross-examination, this morning was pure nonsense. The judge’s decision hand down on Monday and the Prosecution and Defense knew on Tuesday stated clear that the Prosecution without disclosing the documents to the Defense can use documents, which are to impeach the credibility of Mr. Taylor.

    The Prosecution come to court this morning and present the Defense a large set of documents, minutes before the start of trial session. Claiming these document was to be use to impeach Mr. Taylor testimony. If the bank records was to be used to impeach Mr. Taylor testimony, why the Prosecution felt the need to disclose them minutes before the start of the session. The prosecution is not only trying to out maneuver the Defense but also out maneuver the Judges. This kind of tactics, causing confusing, disruptive and not adhering to the court rulings, can lead to a mistrial.

    Mr. Koumjian questioning of Mr. Taylor before adjournment was a totally waste of time. The Prosecution could have used that time to get ready for Monday. The only thing Mr. Koumjian accomplishes was to try to make the Judges fill sorry for them for all the inaccuracies and blunders they have made. Telling the judges how hard they had work and how late the Prosecution team stays up at night to prepare for the cross- exanimation of Mr. Taylor. I do not think it work with Judge Lussick because he told Mr. Koumjian to go on with the cross-examination. LOL!

  5. Tricks is the game but they know they won’t get away with it…….And what NEW DOCUMENTS???? Has anyone seen any yet for I haven’t.

    Again, theses prosecutors need to understand that Mr. Taylor knows more about what happened then they been depending on someone’s narrative……most times, not in the first person. I pray that we get to see this trial be like the one we’re told it would be…….FACTS to discredit and the LINKAGE.

  6. Dears,

    If an entire document which contains thousands of pages can not help this prosecution impeach Mr. Taylor credibility, would a piecemeal version do anything better? I must salute Mr. Taylor defense team for the brilliant work they have continue to do in the name of true justice. A new day has come, CHANGE or remains on the wrong side of history. Helen, andrew jlay, Noko4 & 5, Joe, Zobon, what’s up with you?


    Harris K Johnson

    1. Harris,

      I am here. You saw my post concerning the court’s decision that convicted persons can testify as witnesses. So we should not be surprised if Issa shows up on the defense side.

  7. Again, where is President Taylor in all this civil unrest in the Manor River Basin? Just today November 4, 2009, an assassination attempt was carried out on the military junta leader, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, who was wounded in Conarkry, Guinea. As the result of the assassination attempt, the country has heightened the security threat level. Just imagine, this attempt was carried out when another president in person of President Blaise campaore of Burkina Faso was visiting Captain Camara. In fact, it was during the ceremony at the air port when the Catain was shot while be saluted. Again, two head of states lives have been threatened and put in imminent danger. If the attempt was successful, can you imagine the chaos and anarchy that could have possibly led to death and destruction in both Guinea and Burkina Faso? However, President Taylor was never and still not the problem to that region. Certainly, he will not be a problem to the region. In fact, he is an addition of peace to the region. Nontheless, the fundamental problems to that region include, but not limited to bad governance, high illiteracy rate, poverty, lack of transparency, rampant corruption, equal distribution of the wealth, and etc.

  8. Well Colleagues, lets wait and see the documents. I feel that this was a wilfil trick by the prosecution. They had as a precedent in the judgement of the RUF rebels in Freetown when the judges admitted as evidence new documents which they (i mean the prosecution) had and failed to present when they had their case to present.

    Ya it works for the RUF and so it should work for Taylor. This is what one of them had in mind when he said that they will confront the credibility of the Taylor’s Testimony. Wow, it is good to follow. iam getting impatient. it is coming time when the voiceless will speak out with all the vigillance in their power.

  9. As I said before, your first impression go a long way. From the day the persecutors started their we knew they have nothing new to offer in this case. That first day even killed the spirits of many people who were waiting for this cross examinations. We can’t just put the blame on Miss Hollis or her assistiance. These people are season lawyers and they are trying to get something out of nothing. David Cran or Stephen Rapp didn’t do a good job, they put their trust in lot of they say, hearsay, instead of going to the root to get real proof against Taylor, or to know the truth between Taylor and the RUf. He just bought stories from anyone in the street. This is what giving the persecutors hard times. All they are doing now is to delay and I am very scare that nothing new they will get that is linking this man. They know is is not easy, they did their best and they can’t do more than more, that is just their best. I bet anyone if they have proof in their possesion they have shown it from the very first day of their cross examinations. God Bless Taylor and I hope he get a fair trial.


    Why is this trial taking so long, just hang the criminal. They should take his name off the list of liberian presidents, what a disgrace to our nation. Taylor is so corrupt he couldn’t even provide his Army with full military uniforms after he became president. Couldn’t even tell the rebels from the government forces, at least Doe provided his Army with uniforms.

    I would like to conduct a poll on the literacy of Taylor’s supporters and their knowledge of the economics of running a government and what’s their idea of a good leader.

    1. Check Big joe maybe you’re dreaming but the special court donors also include nigeria, forget about people living on $0.50 a day, but there are nigerian with two to three private jets and fleets of falsy cars. let me tell you big joe western newsphobic, the Charles Taylor trial is a personal problem not in the interest of Sierra Leone nor Liberia. when last you sat and thought about the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? the same music about Iran, North Korea, those countries have been label EVIL and DEMONIC, but Pakistan and India with Nuclular weapons are the good saviour, but do not be surprise to live and see that india and pakistan will one day become the evil and deomic ones because they fail to favour the west.

      Have you ever wonder why the late President Samuel Doe left the forty fil executive mansion? Because the american came and told former President Doe that all was set to leave for nigeria, i’m telling you this because i was in the mansion and work with President Doe. not hearsay or theysay, Do you know that President Doe tried to talk to mr Taylor and the american told Doe that it was not neccessary because Taylor was a rebel and do not talk to him? because the american knew that if Doe and Taylor met or talk fighting would have stop and it would have been easy to find a solution to the situation in Liberia at that time.

      the american had falling out with Doe at the time they were giving intelegence imformation about Doe to Taylor than felled out with Taylor so they turned to Doe again and became the good saviour. because they could not trust President Doe anymore dispict the pretending friendship, and Mr Taylor being so smart, so they handed President over the idiot.
      the western powers can use all the tools to turn any good leader into a dictator by the ppowerful media that they control. Today President Johnson is the best leader in africa if not the world, but lets pray to live and see every movies have a climax.

    2. John Thompson,

      who are those people that should take the name of President Taylor off the list of Liberia President? Do you mean the prosecution should take his name from the presidential list?

      John, you are hurt.You are drowning. You are desperate. You are sored, but you will get over it. Great worrior exudes toughness, Mr. Taylor, is a great worrior

    3. what a way to go.You Mr. Thompson, you sound just like the present socall president of Liberia.That lady you know who.But keep in mind that Taylor had nothing to do with SL.One day you and all those that hate GHANKAY will live to love him.ABOVE ALL ELSE THE PEOPLE…….

  11. Noko4 said: Tricks is the game but they know they won’t get away with it…….And what NEW DOCUMENTS???? Has anyone seen any yet for I haven’t. Again, theses prosecutors need to understand that Mr. Taylor knows more about what happened then they been depending on someone’s narrative……most times, not in the first person. I pray that we get to see this trial be like the one we’re told it would be…….FACTS to discredit and the LINKAGE

    MY RESPONSE: Both defense and prosecutors have tricks up their sleeves, Mr. Noko4. It is apparent Mr. Taylor is not an individual to push over…he’s educated, he understands world history, he’s been in and out of jail many times, he launched a successful incursion that earned a presidency before heading to Hague….so you are right, he knows what happens. That’s why he is on the stand, to tell us all what really happen. In my humble opinion as someone said above, I thought putting Taylor on the stand was a big mistake because Taylor does not have exclusive ownership to the facts. He may present his views, but he doesn’t have a monopoly on all the facts of this case.

    A prosecutor does not have to provide every single document during their presentation. They can introduce new documents if a defense takes the stand and say something that need to be refuted. Although the evidence may be old, it is considered ”new evidence” because it was not disclose during presentation of the case.

    Charles Taylor challenged the court to provide information on his finance…the Prosecutor are doing that via his bank statements. Charles Taylor said he was not in control of RUF during direct examination…the Prosecutors are trying to prove otherwise: That actually, Charles Taylor had direct access to RUF fighters…300 to 400 of then were relocated to Liberia (not Ghana, not Ivory Coast, not Guinea)…but to Liberia, and nation ravaged by years of war. Not only that, but they were given Liberian citizens and incorporated into Liberia’s notorious ATU, headed by Taylor’s son. It was the ATU (mixture of Liberian and RUF fighters) that Taylor claimed he sent to Guinea on the so-called ”Hot Persuit Mission”.

    The judges will have to make up their mind who to believe…whether Charles Taylor merely granted automatic citizenship to 400 ex-fighters and used them as ATU fighters because of ”Peace’s sake”, or whether it was merely a plow to relocate RUF combatants to Liberia for the sole purpose of attacking Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Ivory Coast.

    I wouldn’t even be surprised if the testimony of Mr. Mohammed Sheriff at Liberia’s TRC hearing, can be used in this case to share light on how Sam Bockarie (RUF Commander) was actually killed. And yes, Mr. Noko4…that information is very important to impeach Charles Taylor who have claimed he knows nothing of Mr. Bockarie’s death. TRC witness Mohammed Sheriff said that Bockarie was murdered on Taylor’s order and that VP Moses Blah knew about it. This witness have no ax to grind, he is not under prosecution…he volunteer to testify at the Truth Commission. Again, this goes to the heart of the case, Mr. Noko4. Below is the link, Sir.


    1. Noko6,

      This is a very good information on this link concerning Bockarie’s death. It seems to suggest that Moses Blah lied in court.

      As to whether Taylor authorized the death of Bockarie is disputable because the witness did not hear or see Taylor give the others. He said that orders came. So those orders could allegedly be from Taylor.

      According to the witness, he was tied at some place and Bockarie was taken to another place, yet he narrated how bockarie was killed. Was he transported to the scene while tied or did someone else narrate the account to him?

      In short, the prosecution have to do a very good background check in order to introduce this evidence because it stands impecable.

    2. Noko6.

      If Mohammed Sherif is telling the truth that means Moses Blah lied. So you agree that Moses Blah’s testimony should be discredited?

    3. Noko6,
      Moses Blah was a witness for the prosecution. Do you really believe the prosecution is going to impeach the testimony of their own star witness? Mohammed Sheriff testimony at the Liberia TRC sounds like a lot of hearsay and he left out his own role in all of this.

      The fresh evidences the prosecution is presenting cannot be old evidences that they already had. It must be evidence they have just discover and the prosecution will need a very good reason why it was not decover early and presented before they rested their case. Mohammed Sheriff testimony at the Liberia TRC does not prove that Mr. Taylor lie but Mr. Blah lie, which would not be good for the prosecution.

    4. Cousin 6,
      I see you are LACKING some facts on the RULES that govern this court……
      Rule 85…..PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE sec. (C) states…”THE ACCUSE MAY, IF SO DESIRES, APPEAR AS A WITNESS IN HIS OWN DEFENCE. IF HE CHOOSES TO DO SO, HE SHALL GIVE EVIDENCE UNDER OATH OR AFFIRMATION AND, AS THE CASE MAY BE, THEREFTER CALL HIS WITNESS”……..simply put, it was NOT the wishes of his team but the RULE of game and NOT A MISTAKE. And NO and HELL NO, the FACTS are not solely his but I have yet to see one from the prosecutors.

      Cousin 6, if she is ALLOW to introduce FRESH or NEW DOCUMENTS as to say it’s a normal thang, then there shouldn’t have been a SPECIAL RULING from the bench….NO and
      HELL NO…..once she rested her case, she can only do her cross within the perimeter of the DIRECT EXAMINATION……what happened in DIRECT was, the defense produced DOCUMENTS and she was left in the dust…..so a SPECIAL WAIVER was granted.

      Yes he challenged anyone to produce bank statements of the 5 BILLION DOLLARS and up til now…..we have not see a single deposit slip. What we are been told about BANK STATEMENT was told to us by Mr. Rapp when we had him on the hot seat…..some transactions with OTC and Mr. Taylor….depositing I believe a million dollar in the early ’90. Now transport that into the charge…..PROFIT FROM DIAMOND SALES…..where is the relationship????

      What CONTROL??? Of course when they became Liberia citizens, they were govern by the LAW of Liberia…..is that the CONTROL we are talking about here??? Is there a ENGLISH speaking nation that borders Sierra Leone apart from Liberia??? NO!!!. Was Ghana President asked to be the POINT PERSON on behalf of ECOWAS??? NO!!! Do you know see the reason why they ended up in Liberia???

      Was there a CRIME to grant those REFUGEES citizenship of Liberia??? NO!!!. Did Mr. Taylor break any LAWS of Liberia by doing so, NO!!!. I strongly believe it was done for PEACE SAKE…..So what is this fuss about??? And I cannot remember Mr. Taylor saying he sent anyone into Guinea but rather GOL forces didn’t need GREEN LIGHT to chase anyone who was retrieving into Guinea aka HOT PURSUIT. Regardless who headed GOL FORCES, any nation on this planet will do the same, plus he said ATU was mainly for PROTECTION OF DIPLOMATS…..so where are you getting your info from about they been used?? Again, I don’t see the HALLA HALLA about this.

      Cousin 6, if the prosecutors do bring in Mr. Sherriff;s testimony from Liberia then they are the STUPIDIEST LAWYERS I have ever seen. During her show time, she brought I believe 5 witnesses who gave different tales to the death of Mr. Bockarie including one of her INSIDER, Mr. Blah. Plus will Mr. Sherriff be brought for CROSS by the defense?? No, you cannot use his statement and don’t provide him for CROSS….If we believe Mr. Sheriff, what happens to the rest of the testimonies from the other witnesses…..for the prosecutors cannot just WITHDRAW the part on Mr. Bockarie’s death…..you see the HOLE BEEN DUG???

      Why are spending so much time on Liberia when the CHARGES are about Sierra Leone, we’re told this got ZERO to do with Liberia Cousin 6??? The MANDATE OF THIS COURT IS …….beyond Nov. 1996 and here we are on a roller coaster ride.

    5. Noko6,
      every attempt that you are making in a more clever and strategic manner, than some, who may share similar view with you about President Taylor being responsible for Sierra Leoneans killing each other, is a failed attempt and a fleeting illusion to be pursuit. I can understand the grim of minimalist defense of strategy by you and the prosecution of suggesting that since Bokarie and others were extracted from Sierra Leone and relocated to Liberia and not other countries, raises suspicion of Mr. Taylor being in control of the RUF as alleged.

      You and the prosecution need to understand the prevailing circumstances under which President Taylor operated. He was a pointed man within the Committee of five, six, and nine, to help restore peace to Sierra Leone. Nontheless, he did not arbitrarily provided sanctuary for Bockarie and others. Instead, it was agreed upon by the Head of various Head of States, that Bockarie be relocated to Liberia. However, you and I may agree that certainly that move was an indelible events in the truimp of Sierra Leone National history as the result of President Taylor role he played as a peacemaker. Noko6, there are no evidences to suggest that since Bockarie left Sierra Leone, he went back there causing trouble. So, how can you blame Mr. Taylor for Bockarie staying in Liberia as a link to his involvement? I think the appropiate thing you and others should engage in is to be very thankful to this once in our lifetime leader, President Charles Ghankay Taylor for bringing lasting peace to Sierra Leone. You should have the bachbone and spine to withstand international pressure and biased media blitz in rejecting the public demonization of this innocent man.

  12. Hello Tracey,
    A while ago I remember both the prosecution and defense said they would answer questions from the public. Mr Rapp did that. Will Mr Griffiths? If so, could I respectfully ask the following questions for Mr. Griffiths:

    1. I understand that the Court is paying Mr Taylor’s legal bills because he is ‘partially indigent’. http://www.un.org/News/briefings/docs/2009/090717_Rapp.doc.htm

    Can you please explain:
    a) What is Mr Taylor’s current financial situation? Does he continue to receive any income from any investments, businesses or otherwise?
    b) How much of Mr Taylor’s bills are being covered by the Court?
    c) What does it mean to be ‘partially indigent’?
    d) Why is it that the Court is paying any of his bills when the most recent report of the UN Panel of Experts disclosed that:
    a. Mr Taylor owns property in his name in Monrovia worth hundreds of thousand of US $; and that,
    b. Since 2003, the company PLC has received millions in US$ from Lonestar cellphone company in Monrovia (note that Page 343 of the Vol 2 of the TRC Final Report: says that “PLC Limited, a corporation owned jointly by Charles Taylor and Benoni Urey and Emmanuel Shaw II, two of Taylor’s financial advisors.”)

    2. Has the defense or the Court paid any of the expenses or given any other benefits to any of the witnesses that the defense will call? Why did Mr. Taylor talk to potential defense witnesses on a secure/unmonitored telephone line?

    3. While he was on the stand, you asked Mr Taylor to explain the Liberian shipping registry. His explanation was factually incorrect. What was the purpose of asking him to explain the registry? Did Mr Taylor ever benefit personally from the Shipping and/or Corporate registries?

    4. During Mr Taylor’s cross you seem to be portraying two Liberia’s after his 1997 election: 1) a Liberia that was broke after decades of theft and war; and 2) a Liberia rich in natural resources. It appeared that the purpose of the second depiction is to suggest that Mr. Taylor had no interest in SL’s riches because Liberia is rich enough.
    a. But doesn’t the first depiction of a broke-Liberia undermine this defense by contradicting the argument?
    b. Regardless, when does someone have ‘enough’ that they won’t go after other – especially easier – money?

    5. I understand from the media that Mr. Taylor does not have any Sierra Leoneans or Liberians on his legal team. If this is correct, why doesn’t he? If this is not correct, what positions do they hold?

    5. How do you think that the conviction of Mr. Taylor’s son on torture charges in the US will affect Mr. Taylor’s case? Is it possible that Mr. Taylor’s son might give evidence against Mr. Taylor in order to reduce his sentence?

    1. Hi Questions:

      Mr. Griffiths has agreed to answer questions from readers after Mr. Taylor finishes on the witness stand.

      You have asked interesting questions which demonstrates a keen familiarity with the case — we will definitely throw them into the mix. As soon as we get confirmation of a date for an interview with Mr. Griffiths, we will create a post where people can specifically submit their questions (we already have a few on file for Mr. Griffiths from when we opened the floor for questions for Mr. Rapp — I will add yours).


      1. Questions,

        Be advised that this trial is not about Liberia. However, if you think Liberian government officials can come here and post questions directly relating to Liberia and how President Taylor conducted the affairs of the state will go unchalleged and unnoticed, I say think again.

        For me, I have all along said this is a political trial. If you have problem with certain ways in which Mr. Taylor steered his government, bring him to court in Liberia and don’t hide in disguise of SCSL.

        By their fruit, we shall know them.

    2. Question,
      Mr. Taylor has NO SOURCE of income presently and his team is been FULLY paid by this court…..a RIGHT TO FAIR TRIAL. “Partially indigent” means Mr. Taylor is responsible for part of his legal bill but he told this court, he DOES NOT have money……so the court is going ahead with the payment searching for his RICHES; if convicted, then his properties become part fo the judgement.

      I believe Mr. Taylor told this court he was NEVER EVER a owner of Lonestar….until FACTS can show otherwise….that’s that. How do you know that his explaination on the shipping was INCORRECT??? No and no…..he said Liberia was RICH ENOUGH and if he wanted diamond, he would have dug for him in Liberia and not Sierra Leone.

      On his legal team is Cllr. Supuwood, a Liberian. The US tried to do just that….use the son against the father but it failed. What is wrong with Mr Taylor speaking to or with potential witnesses???

    3. Questions,

      even if he has an investment that he is receiving income/money, is it Sierra Leone diamonds? Is it Sierra Leone money?

      Besides,what President Taylor’s son has to do with this trial? I thought Mr. Steven Rapp, David Crane, and the entire prosecution were boasting about how they have overwhelming evidences in their possession to convict this innocent man? Why are you bending over backward, sideways, upside down, inside outside, and grabbing your angles, just to find direct link? So Questions, all along there were no evidences and Mr. Steven Rapp and the rests were lying. However, all they had was “BIG MOUTH” and nothing behind it.

      Talking about Taylor son can implicate his father in a deal that will give Chucky less sentence. Do you think Chucky is that dumb like all of you and the prosecution paid witnesses? Questions, I tell you this. You have just reinforced what we’ve been saying all along that there is no evidence. That is why prosecutions are hustling very hard all over the place making deals and talking about reintroducing “NEW EVIDENCE”.

    4. Questions,

      Here is an answer to your question number 5. Counsellor Supuwood is Liberian and he is on Mr Taylor’s Legal team.

    5. question
      I pause to deal with this one regardless of my busy schedule; answer to to yo..ur second no.5. that would be the 11th wonder of the world; Son testify against his father, yah right!!. you wish!!!! …ain’t …. happening..ok!!


    Liberia just concluded and published an official final Truth And Reconciliation Report. In that report, Mr. Mohammed Sheriff, a commander for Charles Taylor’s ATU directly implicated Taylor in the murder of Sam Bockarie. Can the TRC Report be used as new evidence in this case?

    1. Excellent and thoughtful questions NOKO6..Pardon me if I have mixed you up with other Nokos in the past! You ask a very stimulating point that has given me juice for my next week’s posting. I am taking the weekend to enjoy the Florida Sun with my Sweetheart. Get back on monday with you…jfallahmenjor

    2. Noko6,

      you can not be serious with your question about using the TRC report. Who is Mr. Mohammed Sheriff in the first place? Buddy, it is rough on you guys. You are finding every possible surviving straw to hang on. Noway Noko6.

      However, the very TRC report you are infusing, the current government is rejecting and refusing to implement such document. In fact, President Johnson Sirleaf is saying that the Liberia people will decide. Nontheless, at what time have we decided upon this document as ordered by the president? At what time did our National Legislature conferred legitimacy upon this document? I told you guys before, you guys will always be a victim of your own trap. And it is becoming a reality. Now you are trying so hard to cherry pick the document just to prove Taylor guilt in the Hague.

      Noko6, the TRC is also recommending that President Taylor be prosecuted. So why don’t you just use the entire document to prosecute him, instead of cherry picking?

      Noko6, I am chilling while writing and laughing at you.
      Nice try though.

    3. Noko6,
      Yes but in doing so, she undermines her other witnesses……Plus Mr. Sherriff said DOES NOT equal to FACTUAL FACT. Mr. Blah is on record also in Liberia as to saying nothing of such happened; Mr. Blah is also on record in the Hague as to saying NOTHING of such happened.

      Your quest to help the prosecutors is not HELPING…ha ha ha

    4. Noko6

      The TRC testimony by Mohammed Sheriff isn’t any big deal. Who do you think those learned judges are going to believed? Are they going to believed Blah’s testimony under oath in their presence or will they believed Mohammed Sheriff testimony outside of court? The TRC report is merely a public publication. It is not a binding report enacting upon by the Liberian government. The TRC report has been labeled null and void by Ellen and her government. Consequently, if the TRC report is not implemented in its entirety, extracting a part from it to be used against Taylor is another example of a trial by ambush.


      The TRC testimony by Mohammed Sheriff isn’t any big deal. Who do you think those learned judges are going to believed? Are they going to believed Blah’s testimony under oath in their presence or will they believed Mohammed Sheriff testimony outside of court? The TRC report is merely a public publication. It is not a binding report enacting upon by the Liberian government. The TRC report has been labeled null and void by Ellen and her government. Consequently, if the TRC report is not implemented in its entirety, extracting a part from it to be used against Taylor is another example of a trial by ambush.

      To answered your question, I will not put anything pass this prosecution. It could possibly be one of their tricks up their sleeves. But if the prosecution introduced Mohammed Sheriff testimony into evidence it will not be admissible on the ground, said testimony establishes guilt.

    5. Noko6,

      Please know that Mohammed Sheriff was never a member of Mr. Taylor’s ATU, and as such can never be a commander. We have the list of ATU commanders of which Sheriff is not a part. Sheriff has always told lies about his association with Mr. Taylor. His story at the TRC can not be taken seriously we all know.


      Harris K Johnson

  14. Its good the debate is still going on hot as ever. I have miss few days of the trial this week. So hear the prosecution has be asked to give in advance evidence they want to use against Taylor. I think this fair and the judges did right.

    Hopefully next week the trial can resume.

    1. Tracey,

      I don’t see why you did not consider this post. bnker is calling us “gang” and I am trying to put him on notice. This is the same man who accused me of having high stress lever, comparing me with tyranical African leader behavior in shutting people down, and saying demeaning things about me and others. What is wrong with this post? let’s put the man on record.

      1. Hi Jose — I appreciate your concern in trying to keep this website a respectful place, but I actually did not see a problem with that word in the context in which Bnker was using it.

        Just to make sure — this is the comment to which I think you are responding, which was posted on December 5, 2009 from Bnker: “Hey Gang, I will join you all tomorrow. I am currently in Dakar…hope to catch up!”

        If so, I understood him to be using it affectionately with the group, rather than in a derogatory way (eg calling a group of specific readers a “criminal gang” for instance). I have no problem in letting it through as a result.

        Thanks for calling it to my attention, though.


  15. Noko6
    Mohamed Sheriffs’ story is his story. What could be the quality of credibility of that story. We saw people who we know murdered people in cold blood, go to the so-called TRC and never had the guts or any kind of remorse to even apologise. But instead, made big mouth, furthered chalenge the public and walk away cool. Pray tell me, what difference would a TRC document make when it comes to facts that are yet to be brought if and only if there’s any. My brother, the fact is that, sierraleonean decided to destroy themselves and they should be blamed… NOT TAYLOR

  16. varney johnson,
    I wouldn’t be surprised that the information about Nigeria giving millions to the Special Court is false. For Taylor is a chronic liar. So, his claim may just be another of his many lies.

    1. Tracey/ Alpha

      Big Joe

      please Tracey and Alpha, do not post the incomplete post that I was writing when I mistakely hit a bottom on my laptop computer. However, the point that I was trying to make is that Mr. Steven Rapp told us that the court is being financed by volunteery contribution from various counties including African countries. Big Joe, can you tell us which African counry Mr. Rapp was referring to, if it is not Nigeria?

  17. Follow Posters:

    I’m sure you all are aware of using circumstantial evidence to build a case. The TRC report in Liberia shouldn’t be written off, nor should Mohammed Sheriff’s account. He gave some specifics. He could be called on to testify as should Benjamin Yeaten. If you combine Taylor’s testimony, VP Blah’s testimony along with Benjamin Yeaten and Mohammed Sheriff, you could get a clearer picture of what transpired around the death of Bockarie.

    You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that Moses Blah and Charles Taylor both have reasons to remain very, very careful and thus pragmatic about what they really know of Bockarie’s death. Yes, the Defense might be able to shred Witness Mohammed Sheriff to pieces, but Mr. Sheriff could inflict some serious battle wounds on the Defense. You don’t have to be a ”commander” to testify of what you saw or heard. If Mr. Sheriff was actually at the border fighting for ATU and was ordered tied down, perhaps VP Blah could be re-called to the Witness stand.

    For once, Taylor called VP Blah a liar…I think the Prosecutor can, and should re-called VP Blah to address what the Defense said of him…that he, Blah was a liar. Pin Taylor against his own VP, watch the spikes flies, and you’ll see some truth coming out. For now, both men have reasons not to be forth-coming with all the facts surrounding Bockarie’s death.

    1. Noko6,

      Are you serious? do you not know that the prosecution has closed their case after 6 years? Are you suggesting that they should reopen their case on the basis of this evidence? How weighty or strong is it to twist the tide in favor of the prosecution inspite of all other evidences that they presented?

      Please rethink your arguments.

  18. hi Tracey, welcome back to the forum. I think we can now gain some energy in this discussion. Our man Alpha did his best but you know everybody got their area of speciality . Concerning your inquiries regarding our views about the case so far. I think the prosecution has gone from bad to wrost, they are truly losing their mind here!

    It appears that this case is no more about blood diamonds and Mr. Taylor support of RUF but rather the prosecution attempting to prove that Mr. Taylor is a liar and by extension he lied regarding this actions in SL. Even IF the prosecution can prove that Mr. Taylor is a liar, it does not represent facts that Mr. Taylor engaged in the looting and selling of blood diamonds and that he had commanding control of the RUF. The prosecution whole strategy of attempting to impeach Mr. Taylor’s testimony by pointing out inconsistences misses the essence of this trial. The burden of prove in this case is for the prosecution to show serious evidence that CHARLES TAYLOR was responsible for all of the war crimes that was committed in SL. The prosecution has a burden to prove that RUF did not have any other commanding authority except Mr. Taylor. This is the issue at bar, not Mr. Taylor’s credibility.

    Furthermore, if pointing out inconsistency is the standard in this trial to determine GUILT and the untruthfulness of witnesses in this court, then the prosecution has no case. Because nearly all of the prosecution witnesses contradicted themselves , and further contradicted one another. So how can the inconsistencies of prosecution witnesses be admitted as factual evidence but Mr. Taylor, if he eveer made inconsistencies, cannot be accepted as factual?

    Again, I repeat , this case is “PURE NONSENSE!”

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