Prosecutors Question Charles Taylor On His Decision To Grant Liberian Citizenship To Sierra Leonean Rebels

Prosecutors today questioned former Liberian president Charles 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 hinderance 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).

During his cross-examination today, prosecution counsel Mr. Nicholas Koumjian asked Mr. Taylor under what authority he had granted Liberian citizenship to Mr. Bockarie.

“Under the constitution of Liberia and long standing practice,” Mr. Taylor responded.

When the Liberian constitution was presented to Mr. Taylor, the former president referred the court to Chapter 4, Article 27, sub-sections (b) and (c) and explained that “the constitution does not spell out exactly but statutes are enacted.” The former president read sub-sections (b) and (c) of the above Article of the Constitution which provide that:

b) In order to preserve, foster and maintain the positive Liberian culture, values and character, only persons who are Negroes or of Negro descent shall qualify by birth or by naturalization to be citizens of Liberia.

c) The Legislature shall, adhering to the above standard, prescribe such other qualification criteria for and the procedures by which naturalization may be obtained.

Mr. Taylor told the court that “based on those provisions and the legal advise that i received and based on long standing practice from President Tubman, I had the right to grant citizenship.”

Mr. Koumjian refered Mr. Taylor to a document titled An Act to Establish Citizenship and Naturalization Law of 1973 and amended in 1974.

Mr. Taylor immediately raised concerns about the document, saying “I don’t know when this document was published. Laws are amended but at the time i was president and the legal advise that was given to me was this particular practice and so i’ll want to look at the Title 3 of the Liberian Code of Laws of 1956.

Justice Julia Sebutinde intervened to say that the 1973 Act (as amended in 1974) makes clear that Title 3 had been repealed and was replaced by Title 4.

Reading from Article 21 of the 1973 Act (as amended in 1974), Mr. Koumjian explained that sub-sections (a) and (b) make clear that a person becomes qualified for naturalization as a Liberian citizen if he has maintained continued lawful residence in the country for at least two years, and that the person has resided in the country from the day of filing the petition to the day the citizenship is granted.

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

Mr. Taylor further explained that exceptional circumstances gave the president the power to grant citenzenship to certain persons and that “it was within the context of peace in Sierra Leone that these exceptional circumstances arose.”

Mr. Koumjian also read provisions of Liberian laws that for a person to be lawfully admitted into the country, he must have “been and still is of good moral character in accordance with the constitution of Liberia.”

“Do you consider Mr. Bockarie to be of good moral character?” Mr. Koumjian asked Mr. Taylor.

“I cannot pass that judgment. Under normal circumstances, I’ll say no but under exceptional circumstances, I am not in a position to make that judgment,” Mr. Taylor responded.

When asked by the presiding judge Justice Richard Lussick to give a more direct answer to the question, Mr. Taylor said “I’ll say he was a person of good moral background.”

The former president,however, added that “I did not look at that. I did not evaluate him on that background but the circumstances on which he entered Liberia.”

Mr. Koumjian further read that thepresident can waive the two years residency requirement for naturalization but the person for whom the provision is waived will still be required to “make and file a petition with his own handwriting” and sign a declaration that he does not favour anarchy and wishes to become a citizen of Liberia.

“Did Mr. Bockarie sign a declaration?” Mr. Koumjian asked Mr. Taylor.

“I don’t know. I had an advise from the Ministry of Justice that I had the authority to do this. I had to assume that they filed a declaration of intention,” the former president responded.

Asked further whether Mr. Bockarie took an “oath of allegiance” as required by law, Mr. Taylor said that “I’ll assume that he did so with the appropriate agencies of government.”

In proving their case that Mr. Taylor occupied a position of superior authority over RUF rebels, prosecutors have led evidence on the relationship that existed between the former Liberian president and RUF commander Mr. Bockarie. Prosecution witnesses have testified that Mr. Bockarie consulted Mr. Taylor before undertaking any major operation in Sierra Leone and that based on the former president’s advice, Mr. Bockarie sent rebel forces to attack the diamond mines in Sierra Leone as well as the country’s capital Freetown in 1998 and 1999 respectively. Witnesses have further testified that when Mr. Bockarie fell out with the RUF leadership in December 1999, Mr. Taylor invited him to Liberia because he had better use for him. According to witness’ testimonies, Mr. Taylor sent Mr. Bockarie to attack Ivory Coast and when the rebel commander attempted to return to Liberia after his assignment in Ivory Coast, he was executed by Liberian forces on Mr. Taylor’s orders. Mr. Taylor has dismissed these claims as “lies.”

Also in cross-examination today, prosecutors sought to present several documents to impeach Mr. Taylor’s credibility as a witness. This action was taken pursuant to the Trial Chamber’s decision issued yesterday which granted the prosecution’s request to submit “new documents”  but only to impeach Mr. Taylor’s credibility. The judges added that every document will be dealt with on a “case-by-case” basis. The judgment further ordered that any “new document” that goes to point at the guilt of the accused must be disclosed to the defense before it can be used. When the prosecutoin attempted to use certain documents today in order to impeach Mr. Taylor’s credibility, the former president’s defense counsel raised objections after objections, arguing that the said documents pointed to the guilt of Mr. Taylor and must therefore be disclosed to the defense before they can be used. On almost all of the objections, the judges ruled in favor of the defense, stopping the prosecution from using said documents. The documents included records from the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) suggesting that Mr. Taylor had money stored in the bank, newspaper report on Mr. Taylor’s 1997 wedding with names of his close associates who served as his Best Men and Grooms Men, as well as new literature which pointed to the use of child soldiers by Mr. Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL). These documents, the judges agreed with the defense, were “probative to the guilt of the accused.” The documents were eventually withdrawn by the prosecution.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Taylor’s defense counsel raised concerns that the prosecution were conducting Mr. Taylor’s cross-examination like a “relay” wherein lead prosecutor Ms. Brenda Hollis will conduct the cross-examination on particular days while Mr. Koumjian will step in on other days. Mr. Koumjian explained that Ms. Hollis had stayed in the office to put together the documents that were to be disclosed to the defense.

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 testimony continues tomorrow.


  1. Today shows another grave abuse of power by taylor to say the least! How will a president of state sell one of the highest distinct honors so lowly and now does not remember if Sam Boakarie and thugs took oat nor did they sign declarations of alligence to Liberia or not! This is not only clear indication of this man’s greed for power, but low cheap ignorant citizen who has no clues of what granting a citizenship means in the first place! And for taylor to say he thought sam Boakerie was “of moral standing” again demonstrates his ignorance and non-interest in his country and probably felt he was above the supreme laws of the nation! Taylor just because you operated the Bank Of Liberia in your White Flower Residence did not give you authority to grant citizenships in the first place! You are a total disgrace to our beloved country, Liberia! You will pay for this in trials to come even if in absential! Jfallhmenjor

    1. I wonder if the President of the United States will readcitizens oath and papers are signed and make certain the correct procedures are followed by United States Justice Department after he instructs them to grant citizenship status to an individual? The leader of a nations grants dispensation or pardon based on what he considers is best. The President of the United States pardon former president Nixon. Obama decided not to prosecute certain individuals in the CIA for actions which were criminal.


  2. Now I am not surprised at all taylor why there were so many Liberian Passports sold to thousands of people during your reign of terror in Liberia! I would suggest the American State Department do a research on all those holding such documents purchased during your reign! Now we will see who be who in America! You probably sold most of the land too..didn’t you the Labanese Nationals who ran most of your businesses?

  3. Fallah, Teage, Big Joe, etc.

    We all saw the ruling on fresh evidence being applied today. The case by case review of the fresh evidence led to the rejection of some of the document that the prosecution intended to use. And as the prosecution lawyer said the ruling hampered his cross-examination task today. So the ruling works in favor of the defense, because every fresh evidence will have to be evaluated and ruled upon before being used. This is a predicament in my opinion, it is a high-jack. Maybe the prosecution is contended but it is against them. The prosecution cannot be sure as to which document will be admitted or rejected, so she has to have multiple fronts to prepare for one day’s work, just in case. This is a hurdle.

    Sorry, Teage, Fallah, but this is what you cheered for.

  4. Mr. Taylor was very right in saying he is not a lawyer, based on those provisions and the legal advise that he received and based on long standing practice from President Tubman, he had the right to grant citizenship.

    Mr. Koumjian is wrong, the Act to Establish Citizenship and Naturalization Law of 1973 and amended in 1974 do not rescind or replace any Articles of the Constitution. Mr. Koumjian fails to look at CHAPTER I, Article 2 of the Liberia’s Constitution.

    The Prosecution today got a real good reality check about submitting their fresh evidence to the court. The last two days has been a big wasted of time.

    1. Andrew,

      I would have loved to have hear the evidence, but Oh well, but did you miss the part where Taylor was caught in a lie….LOL…
      You mentioned nothing about that section of the blog……Oh well, This posting made my day Andrew, catching Ole boy Taylor in a lie it’s great!!!

    2. Ken,
      Come on, Your argument makes no sense Ken!!!
      Mr Koumjian is wrong? Seriously, The natrualization law does not replace the constitution neither did Mr. Koumjian say it did. The Natrualization laws works in conjunction with the constitution. The American constitution states the right to bear arms, the gun laws of each American STATE states specifically what that means what the processes are for owning a gun who can own a gun etc… It’s the same thing in this case…..Clearly a Law CANNOT replace the constitution but that does not make the law less valid or less correct or less “lawful”. The constitution states is very general the natrualization Law is clearly outlines who can become a Liberian citizen and what the processes are, clearly all of this cannot fit within the constitution or else we will have an endless constitution. Taylor so call “legal counsel” should have gone to this LAW first, in conjunction with the constitution. But I’ll tell you why Taylor didn’t because he didn’t care about the law.
      Come one Ken, try again, your argument makes no sense at all.

      1. MsTeage,
        The Constitution Chapter 4, Article 27B of Liberia clearly states that Negroes or of Negro descent shall qualify by birth or by naturalization to be citizens of Liberia. MsTeage, it does not say Negroes or of Negro descent shall qualify by the Act to Establish Citizenship and Naturalization Law of 1973 and amended in 1974 to be citizens of Liberia. The President of the country is the enforcer of the Constitution. Therefore, the President can naturalize a person to be a citizen in accordance to the Constitution. According to the Constitution of Liberia being Negroes or of Negro descent you are qualified to become a citizen of Liberia. Ms. Teage, Mr. Taylor was President of Liberia you nor Mr. Koumjian was not. Mr. Taylor stated very clearly he is not a lawyer, based on those provisions and the legal advice that he received he had the right to grant citizenship. I can assure you that if this matter taken to the Supreme Court of Liberia their decision would be for Mr. Taylor. Come one MsTeage, try again, your argument is totally, totally, totally nonsense.

  5. Gotcha Taylor BOY, you’ve been caught in a lie.

    Of course Taylor had superior authority in over RUF, his and his “legal counsel” disregarded the Laws of the Republic of Liberia and handed out free citizenship to murders who did NOT meet the criteria for naturalization!!!

    ……”Reading from Article 21 of the 1973 Act (as amended in 1974), Mr. Koumjian explained that sub-sections (a) and (b) make clear that a person becomes qualified for naturalization as a Liberian citizen if he has maintained continued lawful residence in the country for at least two years, and that the person has resided in the country from the day of filing the petition to the day the citizenship is granted……”

    ……..”a person to be lawfully admitted into the country, he must have “been and still is of good moral character in accordance with the constitution of Liberia.”……..

    ……..”Mr. Koumjian also read provisions of Liberian laws that for a person to be lawfully admitted into the country, he must have “been and still is of good moral character in accordance with the constitution of Liberia.”……..

    ………thepresident can waive the two years residency requirement for naturalization but the person for whom the provision is waived will still be required to “make and file a petition with his own handwriting” and sign a declaration that he does not favour anarchy and wishes to become a citizen of Liberia.

    “Did Mr. Bockarie sign a declaration?” Mr. Koumjian asked Mr. Taylor.

    “I don’t know. I had an advise from the Ministry of Justice that I had the authority to do this. I had to assume that they filed a declaration of intention,” the former president responded……

    ………..Asked further whether Mr. Bockarie took an “oath of allegiance” as required by law, Mr. Taylor said that “I’ll assume that he did so with the appropriate agencies of government.”…….

    Is Taylor really, even, possibly, suggesting (now that he’s in a tight spot) that Lawyers and Justices of Liberia did not know the law, or that they intentionally broke the law to allow harden criminals who had no benefits to Liberian society, (which was already unstable) in the country; Oh and all in the name of “promotion of peace” when there isn’t even peace in your own country? Is he suggesting that he, Taylor is innocent and just took the advise of his “legal counsel? “I’m not a lawyer”…..ridiculous Taylor. Taylor had no regard for the LIberian Law, judicial system, or the constitution, he thought Liberia was his backyard and he could do whatever he wanted that is why he allowed dangerous, harden wicked criminals to freely enter Liberia and automatically become naturalized citizens without meeting none of the requirements. He points to the constitution that says negroes can become citizens so clearly by his own admittance his legal counsel along with himself did look at the constitution to make sure that these war rebels meet the “criteria” to become citizens of Liberia. So to suggest that his legal counsel looked at the Constitution but skipped over the ” Act to Establish Citizenship and Naturalization Law of 1973 and amended in 1974″ is ridiculous!!!
    I would think that such a law will be the first thing looked at along with the constitution that states NEGROES can become citizen. The Naturalization Law states which “NEGRO” can become citizen and Taylor is saying “he” didn’t know when it was published, and once he’s asked some more question the “he turns into his legal counsel and he states “he’s not a lawyer” he only took advise from his legal counsel”.
    HAHA caught in a lie. It’s ludicrous to even state that your legal counsel did not follow the proper laws of the land to naturalize criminals from another country, what if the citizens of Liberia protested to this act? Taylor wasn’t concern with this I don’t even believe that he “consulted his Legal Counsel”. He did what he felt like doing and now it’s going to come back to haunt him. Your legal counsel,

    It is because of the exceptional situation and moral standing of these individuals that Taylor and his so call “legal counsel” should have sought out all legal documents insuring that these RUF rebels were eligible to become legal citizens of the Republic of Liberia, but clearly this carelessness shows that neither Taylor or his “legal counsel” were the least bit concerned about the repercussions of their actions. Taylor and his “Legal Counsel” pretty much did whatever the heck they wanted because their guns and fear tactics were the justice system that “disgruntle” Liberian citizens would face if they complained about what Taylor’s government.

    Once again I say GOTCHA Taylor!!!!

    1. Msteage,
      Did you watch the last athletics championships in Germany a few months ago. I did and guess what several of the runners from Scandanavian countries were not blond haired and blue eyes. They were black Africans who were granted citizenship for one reason only. They could maybe bring a gold medal for their adopted country. Many of my relatives have become American citizens. Would it be fair to ask George Bush or Barack Obaman if he is sure they took an oath of allegiance. Bush’s and Obama’s reply could only be the same as Mr. Taylor. ” I assume they did”
      Msteage what you should be asking is what importance does Bockarie’s naturalization have to do with this case. Infact this could be to Taylor’s advantage. Why would Taylor make someone a citizen who you Msteage are saying did clandestine work for him. What advantage could this be?

      Msteage your prosecution team is lame.

      1. Aki,
        These prosecutors believe Mr. Taylor EVERYWHERE and EVERYTHING. Really, does a President knows ALL??? Amazing this case has come down to NONSENSE.

      2. Aki,
        Your analogy is absurd, This has nothing to do with just Mr. Bockarie becoming citizen it’s the circumstances surrounding the happening of that event. Clearly Bockarie received a free entrance into Liberia, thanks to Taylor, and I’ll tell you what that has to do with case, and by the way it’s not only Bockarie it’s the rebels that came with him and you ask what does the Natrualization have to do with RUF rebels….The prosecution is trying to show that Taylor had superior authority over RUF, you don’t thing that Taylor acting ignorant of all the Natrualization laws of the Republic when it comes to these rebels make things suspicious….Taylor admitting that he checked the constitution to make sure it was “ok” but not the natrualization law points to some “shadiness” of course you don’t. Any way it’s not that serious if you think Taylor was caught in a lie what’s important is that he was. The prosecution is anything but lame, very strategic brilliant, awesome…I can go on.

        Once again i say GOTCHA TAYLOR BOY, they caught you…he’s getting backed into a corner he’s put himself in. Everyone talks about how Lame, and ignorant snd stupid etc… the prosecution is no one is examining the tactics and skills….you don’t see it yet Taylorist, keep watching, you’ll see!!

        1. Msteage,

          You keep on grabbing for straws. Millions and millions of dollars spent and they come up with Sam Bockarie being a Liberian? Then if Bockarie was doing all of Charles Taylor’s bidding. Why do you say Charles Taylor killed him? Your answer is because he knew too much. My reply is did Bockarie know more than the RUF and AFRC leaders who were convicted by the Special Court. Remember none of the RUF and AFRC leaders connected Charles Taylor to your outlandish schemes

      3. what you just wrote makes no sense. I am an American citizen, and everyone who becomes a citizen of this land, goes through the legal process of obtaining a citizenship. Ask your family members how they became one. They did not just enter the country and automatically became U.S. citizens. Taylor was a thug, so were those in his legal counsel, who disregarded the law to grant citizenship to murderers, claiming it was for the sake of peace. There are people living in the U.S. with green cards and have almost as much opportunity as those with one a citizenship, so Bockarie did not have to maintain one to stay in Liberia for sake of peace in Sierra Leone. But he was given one, along with about 500 of his fellow uneducated rebels, without the proper process of obtaining one. Taylor’s legal counsel were not lawyers, they were fellow thugs, because an educated high ranking lawyer would know the importance of the constitution. Maybe he was his own legal counsel. You people make me sick.

        1. Madman,

          We make you sick because you did not want peace in Sierra Leone. Get this thru you head it was the removal of Sam Bockarie that helped bring peace to Sierra leone. I guess if Charles Taylor hadn’t offer Bockarie citizenship to remove him. You all would be asking if Charles Taylor wanted peace why didn’t offer Bockarie the opportunity to live in Liberia?

    2. Ms. Teage,
      Have you heard of EXECUTIVE ORDER??? A provision under the Constitution granted to the President…….

      What Mr. Koumjain read into evidence were the LAWS if ONE was seeking citizenship on their own as compare to the gov’t granted certain personels citizenship.

      Please NOTE the difference I beg.

      1. Noko4,

        I don’t think you believe what you’re even saying try again. Taylor disregarded the laws of the and he has continously shown no respect for Liberian laws, or humanitarian law…the dude was caught in a lie get over it!!!

        1. Teage,

          this thing is not about who broke Liberia’s laws; instead, it is about President Taylor being responsible for Sierra Leoneans killing each other. As far as Liberia is concerned, Taylor did not break any law of Liberia. Besides, how many times should you be reminded that this trial is not about Liberia?

          Teage admit, there is no evidence.

    3. President William VS Tubman granted citizenship to the family of the late former president of Togo Sylvanus Épiphanio Olympio when he was overtrown in military coup.

    1. Hi Helen — just a quick note to let you know I have left a comment of yours in moderation as it requires a slight modification to align with our policy. Can you please take out the parts which focus on another reader? I will post your revised comment, which is otherwise focused on the issues arising at trial, asap.

    2. These are facts it has nothing to do with pro Taylor, if i told you that Mr Hinger Norman lived in Liberia during the 80s Hinger Norman was the head of the kamajors fighters during the Sierra Leone civil crisis, and was granted Liberian citizenship by the late President Samuel Doe. i have been around atleast since 1947. and have worked with Tubman, Tolbert, and Doe.

      1. was hinger norman the head of the kamajors at the time he was granted citizenship? you people will find a way to make even the devil seem Godly.

  6. During the cross-examination Mr. Koumjian and Justice Lussick had some interesting exchanges over the fresh evidence ruling. Mr. Koumjian wanted to introduce into evidence documents that he Koumjian believed had to do with credibility. Perry Mason objects on the ground that the documents prove guilt. The objection was sustained. Mr. Koumjian exacerbated the problem by continually arguing with the Justice.

    This a part of Justice Lussick words to Mr Koumjian.
    “Mr Koumjian you are confusing the issues.”
    “Mr. Koumjiam you are confusing things here.”
    “The prosecution is stocked with our order.”

    I got a kick out of this.

  7. Go defense go, kill them before they grow. Too bad that none of the so called new documents could sail through, what next people? Please show us the proof Hollis we are waiting. I would appreciate were Helen, andrew jlay, noko4 and 5, Joe, Zobon, Jensen, and the many other patriotic Liberians on this forum to disengage from responding to fallah’s post. fallah has failed to address the issues at hand, but rather throws insults at Mr. Taylor. I think by responding to those crazy allegations and insults will give ground to fallah to keep coming back with more none sense all of the time. Complete block off will silence him on this site and make him think better.


    Harris K Johnson

    1. You are making mistake Harris k. Johnson! I do not care if you respond or not..I am expressing my views on this lowly taylor who reduced our country to a Den of criminals and cannibals to say the least! Look at how most of you think and express yourselves in embracing lawlessness and grorifying the atrocities committed against your own brothers and sisters only because they live across the borders that were created by the Europen colonizations! Why do you guys think you are not related to Africans from Sierra Leone? Is it because taylor thought so? Or are some of you Liberian fellow brothers and sisters still with Tubman’s elusions of Liberia being the best West African State?
      If you comprehend what I am driving at you will undertand what your quote Bob Marley! “And you will know where you coming from.”

        1. 100% correct my opinion, and the opinion I believe of those in the court room the day of this hearing that is the most important harris, not mine or yours!!

      1. TEAGE,



  8. Can any body tell to where are we heading in this trial? All I thought was that the prosecuting team headed by Ms Hollis was using the Liberian situation to lay the foundation for their cross examination. However, in weeks upon weeks we are still seeing Mt Taylor being cross examined using direct situation on the Liberian civil war. Few weeks ago, we wrere witnessing MR Taylor being asked about his residence, gifts that he receive from people on his birthday, ect ect. When are we going to hear about Mr Taylor involvement into the Sierra Leonian war? WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THIS TRAIL IS A TOTAL DISSERVICE TO THE PEOPLE OF SIERRA LEONE AND THE PEOPLE OF LIBERIA INCLUDING ALL THOSE THAT ARE SO BITTERLY AGAINST MR TAYLOR. My anger regarding the way in which things are going on in the court room will allow me now to watch the trial but not to make comments like before on this site. Up to now the prosecuting team house is in complete shambles. I think they need more time, that an early holiday break will be necessary.

    1. amax2010,

      I like your objectivity concerning the prosecution team. Unlike Msteage and Fallah you recognize the failing and nobody can say that your post suggest you are in favor of Charles Taylor.

      1. Aki,

        Maybe you weren’t following me from the beginning, objectivity is one thing I am lacking on….when someone says something infavor of what you want to hear it’s objective when it’s not it’s not objective…..Intereating

    2. amax2010,
      If the prosecution keeps their confusing going and not adhering by the court ruling, this trial is proceeding toward a mistrial. Mr. Hollis stated understanding of the Judges ruling for admitting fresh evidence to the court, this morning was pure nonsense. Even Judge Lussick agreed with the Defense motion almost word for word. The prosecution team is not only trying to out maneuver the Defense team but also out maneuver the Judges.

    3. Amax,
      The strategy is called OPERATION DIRTY HIM UP……expose all about Liberia. Total NONSENSE but that’s their strategy. Four weeks and counting and ZERO as to WHY the man is on trial…..

      1. Or….operation dirty myself up and try to sit and act innocent. THe prosecution is onl y providing evidence of what Taylor has already done. Taylor needed no help dirtying himself up…..even though it seems he needs a lot clean ing himself up though!! CHEERS!!

        1. i’m really surprise when following the case of formal president charles taylor. i only listen to te prosecutors asking mr. taylor about my country liberia and how he deposited a certain money in our local banks. why cann’t these people who are ur friends ask him more on sierra leone issue, and allow us the liberian to judge him later the sl case? or they just got no claim or clue?

    4. I’ll tell you were they’re going, AMAX,
      The prosecution is trying to show that Taylor had superior authority over RUF, and they just showed that he did so much that he broke the law him and his judicial system ( I don’t by that I’m not a lawyer act…trying again Ghankay) to host harden war Lords after they fell out with Foday Sankoh, establishing a close relationship with RUF rebels and Taylor…why would Taylor want to “host” harden RUF rebels, to foster peace? LOL, Foster peace in Sierra Leone when Liberia is in disarray by bringing harden criminals in to Liberia and illegally giving them citizenship…..LOL……the picture is becoming clearer, keep watching you’ll see it soon………LOL,
      Go PROS GO!!!!!

      1. Hi Jose — I have not posted a comment that you submitted yesterday at 11:58am because it does not meet our policy. If you can please remove the line that refers to another reader’s mentality and resubmit, I can post it.

      2. Teage,

        President Taylor did not break any Liberian laws. Stop misrepresenting the facts. Besides, who are those foreign prosecutors interpreting our laws for us, Ms. Hollis and Mr. Koumjian? You are joking. However, please Teage, the approach that you continue to espouse about some foreigners telling us that he broke liberia’s law, should be left with you and youself and do not bring it to our beloved country Liberia.

        Talking about Taylor broke the laws of Liberia, because some foreign whiteman who is not a citizen of Liberia says so. Why the three branches of our government did not say it? Beacause they know he did not break any laws.

  9. Amazing……….Why the TRICKY moves by these prosecutors…..why??? Purely AN AMBUSH to say the least. “FRESH EVIDENCE”???? Didn’t Mr. Rapp mentioned in our Q & A session about LUBI BANK??? Didn’t the begining of the CROSS, questions were asked about FRIEND OF CHARLES TAYLOR FUND DRIVE???

    Again after 7 years of preparations……we are down to STOP and GO…..

    The score reads…….Mr. Taylor 12 vs Ms. Hollis & Mr. Koumjain 0

    1. Noko4,

      “but wait now noko4, wer tan de prosecution wil scor a go? de wil na scor us side go sel?”

  10. King Gray,
    If anybody has ever sought out the character calling himself King Gray then you statements ” It appears that Mr. Koumjiou is clueless about this case, because he spend all of his time today discussing Liberia and petty stuffs just like Ms. Hollis did yesterday” have just exposed you.
    How can anyone in his sound mind refer to issues discussing the President of a country making criminals and murderers citizens of his country completely contrarily to the laws of the land and this same self-style ruler giving the order to execute most of the educated and influential members of his rebel organizations as petty stuffs?
    Your example ” after Taylor said faltly NO that he did not want to see a newspaper report regarding the date of his wedding. Yet Mr. Koumjiou proceeded to distribute the newspaper and was aksing Taylor questions when Justice Lussicck reminded Koumjiou that Mr. Taylor indicated clearly that he did not want to see the newspaper” give credence to the sayings “even in mirror people only see what they want to see” and “the wish is the mother to the thought.” If you have just a modicum of objectivity, you would be more concern about your godfather telling the court that he doesn’t remember his own recent wedding date and refusing help in recalling it. What impression do you think your godfather is giving those judges? We know that your wishes for Taylor’s release has translated into your belief that he is winning the case despite the contrary. Very soon the rudest awaking will dawn on you that your godfather will never again see freedom.
    Griffens is only doing his job. Don’t mislead yourself. Griffens is not on a holy crusade to rescue an innocent man. There is nothing that show that he is convinced that Taylor is not guilt. Griffens’ body language yesterday and today shows that he is becoming more uncomfortable as more and more evidences about Taylor’s lies are being exposed.
    I almost forgot. Did you forget that Taylor said that Nigeria was spending millions to support the Special court. Oh! Africa’s most popular country, West Africa superpower and Taylor adopted home supporting the special court! I thought we were told this was an American and a British plot to get rid of Taylor.
    King Gray, is there an explanation for why Nigeria will be spending millions to support the Special Court when there are millions of Nigerians living on less than two dollars a day?

      1. Andrew Jlay,
        Information on fundings and donations to the Special Court for Sierra Leone can been accessed from the courts Annual Reports. If you go to this link, that takes you to the Documents section of the site, and if you scroll down a little, you’ll see Special Court Annual Reports. Looking at each yearly report, the the Annex should provide you with information on fundings and donations to the court.

        Hope this helps,

    1. Big Joe,

      I had intended to research the status of contributions from member states to the special court. However, the special court’s annual reports do not carry finance intakes in their reports, which appeared weird. Everyone knows that summary financial statements carry revenue or cash intake versus expenditure and a net is determined whether a deficit over-expenditure or a surplus, under-expenditure. However, we will check to see if we can get a list of donors to the court. We have to verify Taylor’s statement as to whether Nigeria is donating to the court where in monetary or in kind.

      If Alpha and Tracey are aware of such resource(list of donor) it will be helpful. I think this should be public record.

      1. Andrew Jlay,
        If you check the link that i posted earlier on, which is the document section of the Special Court’s website, look at the annual reports and in the annexes to those reports, you’ll see the list of countries which have contributed to the court on a yearly basis. The link again is

        Hope this helps,

    2. Big Joe,

      How did you expose king Gray? To me, it is King Gray who is exposing the gimmick of the prosecution.

      Try again bro. You are yet to do just that.

    1. Brave,

      this case is not about Liberia. Besides, President Taylor is still the most popular politician in and out of Liberia. However, you are not more Liberian than millions, who have different views from you. As far as we are concerned, President Taylor is a God sent and amazing grace to Liberia.

      1. Hi Madman

        I have a comment from you under moderation — I wanted to alert you that unfortuantely I cannot approve it because it violates our policy for the site: that is, for comments to focus on the issues raised by the trial and not on other readers.

        I do, however, look forward to future comments from you and will post them asap as long as they are in line with our policy for the site.


  11. Alpha,

    Reference, this issue of Sam Bockarie’s relocation I believe that Mr. Taylor’s testimony that was supported by the news article from the BBC anchor indicated that West African Leaders decided to extract Bockarie and give him an offer to relocate in Liberia or a third country of his choice. I do not believe that the transcript of Mr. Taylor’s testimony restricted Bockarie option of relocation to Liberia. I believe that Taylor’s testimony was that He, Kona Baare, Obassanjo met with Bockarie at Robert’s International Airport in Monrovia, and gave him the ultimatum of relocation from Sierra but with the option of a choice of Liberia or another country.

    I just believe that this annotation is necessary for the daily record of 12/02/09, and I stand corrected. Reading from the summary, I am under the impression that Taylor’s testimony is that the West African leaders restricted Bockarie options of relocation to Liberia.

  12. This is how you build a case against such a bright, clever and savvy individual like Liberian ex-President Taylor. You challenge him document-by-document until the stories he’s presented, come crumbling down. Why would any president in West Africa, bring in a bunch of rebels, ex-combants who have stage a coup in another country, grant them citizenship and incorporate them in that nation’s para-military group? That’s exactly what President Taylor did: he brought in Sam Bockarie and former RUF fighters, granted them all Liberian Citizens, and incorporated them into the ATU.

    What I’d like to ask the legal minds in here, how else can the Prosecutors impeach Mr. Taylor if they aren’t allowed to used documents that can establish the ex-President wasn’t being truthful? Mr. Taylor has challenged the Prosecutors to present documents showing he had money…but when the Prosecutors want to do so, the judges prevent them. Can anyone share some legal lights on this?

    1. Noko6,
      Sorry, but I don’t know where you are coming from with this and you are going to land? Are you asking this question irrespective of all the ingredients of mediaton and collective negotions that were taking place?? Remember, these are black people who, according to our liberian constitution, can become citizens in our country. Next, I wonder if you are aware that Sam Bokarie could choose and live in any of the mediating countries that wanted to take him in and logicly basing, Taylor had the right to accept him in his country with all legalities in place?? Now, NOKO6 pray tell us here. Which part of our constitution forbids exrebels of other black african from becoming citizens????? WAITING!!!!!

    2. Cousin 6,
      Ha ha ha ha.,.,,,,are you serious??? Judges preventing WHO???? There is a PROCESS and if they follow it…..BINGO. What I see is AMBUSH but Perry Mason and his crew have already sense and it won’t happened.

      What account?? LUBI BANK??? There is nothing NEW on that front broo…….

    3. Noko6,
      Yes I can shed some light on why the bank documents were not allowed. Although people on this forum often refer to Courtenay Griffiths as the Perry Mason of this trial. Actually the days when we used to watch the Perry Mason show he often did use ambush tactics. That is to surprise the witnesses with evidence that wasn’t disclosed to the other side. This on a whole is not allowed anymore. You must disclose what information you have on the Defendant to his lawyers.In the case of the bank documents the Judges are simply saying you can’t cross examine Taylor on them until they are disclosed to his lawyers. His lawyers in turn can challenge the evidence in rebuttal.

  13. I really do not see how this prosecution tactics so far in the cross examination has proved LINKAGE between Mr Taylor and the RUF. I may be wrong (and I stand corrected) but I do not recall any evidence led by either the prosecution or the defence to the effect that after Sam Bockarie and his men left Siera Leone the went back there to fight. So I do not see how this suppofrts their theory.

    1. Sam, you don’t need to see the linkage between taylor and the RUF because it wouldn’t matter anyway.There has being no linkage btween taylor and the RUF according to your cousins noko4,5, andrewjlay,jose, helen, and the rest!
      The only linkage here that taylor admitted to, is the citizenship offers he confied upon them cheaply! This news is in simple English Buddy Sam!

  14. The conduct of Liberian politics gives the President a freehand to conduct foreign policy and exercise executive prerogatives on matters of granting citizenship. The constitution of liberia states that only people of negroe descent may be acitizen. It was the intention of the framers of the constitution to relax the acquisition of citizenship for Africans. When it comes o Sierra Leoneans gaining Liberian citzenship, Liberians are not usually bothered or officious. After all Sierra Leoneans are seen as brothers and sisters of Liberians. Try asking President Sirleaf whether Prof. Al hassan Conteh took an oath before he gained Liberian citizenship not to mention before he was appointed Liberia”s Ambassador to the Federal republic of Nigeria. There are many Sierra leoneans in high places in Liberia today who simply integrated into the Liberian society riding on tribal linkages and became Liberians. Sme of them are holding dual citizenship. Liberian do not mind. More importantly, The case at bar is not about how Taylor ruled Liberia. I dont see why the prosecution raised the issue of granting citizenship to Sam Bockarie to undesrcore that Taylor violated the Liberian law by the gesture..Under the circumstance that ECOWAS had asked Taylor to persuade Bockarie and others to leave Sierra Leone so that the peace process in that country would succeed, it was wise for Taylor to do everything to persuade Bockarie and indeed make him comfortable in Liberia -especially if he did not return to Sierra Leone, where he was seen as atrouble maker.
    The prosecution must establish that President Taylor was the superior repondeant to RUF. The prosecution should prove that even though Isa Sesay was the leader of RUF, actual power resided in Bockarie while he was in Liberia. The prosecution should prove that the RUF did not have a command structure excluding President Taylor, and indeed the RUF commanders did not have a sense of direction, they were mere bufoon who needed Taylor to direct them in the revolutionary course.
    If other leaders of the world are juidged by the same reason that because Taylor allegedly supported the RUF he bears the gretest responsibility for their crimes, many other leaders including Museveni for supporting Rwandan rebels, Kabbah for supporting LURD in Liberia, Guinea’s conte for supporting ULIMO in the war against Taylor, Goerge Bush for supporting LURD against Taylor, Campoare for supporting the force nuevelle in Cote d”Ivoire, Kharma of Botswana for supporting the MDC in Zimbabwe against Mugabe, etc will be in the dock today.

  15. Taylor makes me sick, what a liar, I was looking at some videos from his early days with his NPLF thugs on youtube and everything he said back then was a lie and now he continues to lie. Why is this trial taking so long, just hang the man and put him in his fine box. Even Saddam trial didn’t take this long and he was worst.

    All Taylor did was distroy the country for his own greed, look how many other thug groups, ULIMO-L, ULIMO-J, whats the one from Lofa County, can’t even remember their names, its so many of them. Everyone from the bush wants to come to Monrovia, well there’s nothing in Monrovia no more, just a whole lot of hungry people and kids with nothing, no hope, no school, nothing to do, just a bunch of NO’s NO’s

    But I bet you those kids will be quick to pick up those guns again because thats the only way they know how to get something. For you folks in Liberia and you Taylor supporters, look around and see, Liberians don’t have nothing in Liberia, just the Chinese, Labonese, and other foreigners. While we were stuck with stupid others were getting rich. A nd I see some of you are still stuck with stupid.

    1. John Thompson,

      help me out here. What President Taylor trial has to do with “ULIMO- L, ULIMO- J, whats the one from Lofa County, can’t even remember their names, its so many of them”? By the way, where are you coming from with this “ULIMO-L”? Is it a new group? This is my first time hearing of “ULIMO L”. Gentlemen, can anyone confirm this “ULIMO-L” group?

      John, what is going on? Nevertheless, I think you have foreseen massive loses on the horizon for the prosecution. Therefore, you have reverted into creating an impression of concern for Liberia plagues. First of all, before I even delve into that conversation with you about Liberia current problems, you will have to at least, admit that there is no case on this innocent man.

        1. Jacone,

          These leaps of logics are quite interesting….please show me the evidence that the prosecution are pa ying witnesses…you guys must audition for Ace Ventura new show “Conspiracy theory because I’m hearing it all from you all!

    2. Hello Noko5 – I have withheld a comment of yours from moderation because it focused only on another reader and not on the trial. Just a friendly reminder: everyone on this site is entitled to their opinion and should be encouraged to express it, even though you may not agree with it.

      Looking forward to our continued debate.


    3. John Thompson, Since the open door policy Liberian have had nothing, but foreigners. excluding George Weah. who in liberia that is rich and never begin a government official? you will call the undeveloped lands surrounding monrovia riches?
      mr John L. Thompson. did i hear you say ULIMO L ?

  16. Alpha & Tracey,

    Below is post of J Fallah Menjor where in the second to last line he mentioned grilling someone as a human intestine is grilled. This type of comment is offensive in my opinion. We have registered complaints time and again about Fallah’s offensive posstings that manage to get through the radar.

    I understand the difficulty in applying criteria to our comments and in determining what meets and does not meet your minimum. But I am raising this so that we are mindful and that Fallah is put on notice again so as to help regulate his selection of words in contributing to the discussions.

    “On December 2, 2009 at 12:49 am, J. fallah menjor said:

    Noko6, we are done with Sam Bokarie, and now on new thing about your man! Now that the Prosecution request has been granted to bring new evidence in the cross-examination, you are done done and roasted as human intestine! you can say all you want but gankay is in hot seat,boy!”

    1. Andrew Jlay,
      In my response to Harris, I have given a special caution to Fallah to choose his words wisely. I agree that we have to be more vigilant to ensure that insulting comments do not slip through.


      1. Alpha,

        Good that you are very much caution on the use of offensive languages on this site, but on those coming from people perceived as Mr. Taylor supporters. Too bad brother, below is part of a post from john thompson on December 3, 2009 at 5:49pm refering to other as being STUPID, but managed to slip your good eyes.

        But I bet you those kids will be quick to pick up those guns again because thats the only way they know how to get something. For you folks in Liberia and you Taylor supporters, look around and see, Liberians don’t have nothing in Liberia, just the Chinese, Labonese, and other foreigners. While we were stuck with stupid others were getting rich. A nd I see some of you are still stuck with stupid.

  17. Even if Mr. Taylor had the right as President to grant citizenship to foreigners, this didn’t include rebels, who were known worldwide for their atrocities against women, children and defenseless civilians. This alone speaks volumes about Mr. Taylors deeds and dealings with Bokarie and the RUF.
    Did the leaders of ECOWAS leaders ask him to give Liberian citizenship to the RUF fighters?
    Supporters of Mr. Taylor, how can you continue to support a leader who gives our citizenship to RUF fighters, known for their crimes against humanity? Even those who drafted our laws knew that our citizenship was for only those of some degree of moral standing. Are you people Liberians or are you the “kill my ma, kill my pa people?”

    1. Sansee,

      under certain prevailing circumstances like the one concerning Bockarie citizenship, it is doable. Buddy, Taylor is not on trial for breaking any Liberian laws.

      Good try though.

      1. It’s doable……I like how you guys skip though the who legal part. Because the president has certain legal rights to “override” some processes does not mean one must be lawless and carless about how things are done. The prosecution never stated that it wasn’t doable but stated that there were certain legal processes that should have been taken and WAS NOT TAKEN…..Mr. Taylor and his legal counsel did not know the laws of Immigration and natrualization according to Taylor’s own account. Yes it’s doable but Taylor did not follow protocol and that is the issue here….his lack of respect for the judicial processes clearly points that Taylor did not care about these processes. you don’t just let a bunch of rebels into a country having their own issues because it’s “doable” no matter who you are their are protocols to follow…..not unless your name is Charles Taylor and you have an ulterior motive rather than “JUST THE SAKE OF PEACE” for letting these hoodlums into the country and totally disregarding the judicial system.
        Governors and Presidents and I’m not sure who else can pardon a criminal, or someone in jail but that doesn’t mean that they walk up to the prison and say open the doors and let him out….without anyone else knowing about it….that’s just done right sneaky shady and disregarding the law. Although the have the legal power to pardon someone there is a proper protocol to do it. And if the governor and his advisors are not aware of that protocol than that creates another problem!!!

        1. Teage,

          this recent post of yours clearly says, Teage versus Teage. What you have written has been countered by you, in the very piece. So Teage, I will not comment further in respond to your post.

  18. After months of denials and attacks, I am glad to finally see some genuine debate coming out of the trial. Mr. Fallah has already said most of what I would have said, so I won’t repeat his words. It is sad that Mr. Taylor was so personally ignorant of such important legislation and that he chose to rely on assumptions and advice from others rather than conducting his own investigation of Mr. Bakari.
    In regard to the submission of documents, I think that legislation from Liberia should be admitted as evidence without question because Mr. Taylor, as the president of Liberia, should have known about the basic laws of his country, especially given that he was subject to them.

      1. Tracey,

        Please don’t print the above statement please publish this one instead


        No It’s not its about the prosecution showing the judge that Taylor had superior authority over ***SIERRA LEONEAN BORN*** RUF hoodlums… to the point where he allowed a bunch of hoodlums wanted by Sankoh to WALTZ right into Liberia, without any consideration of doing it legally….because Taylor clearly showed that he was l ying… can your legal counsel “not know the laws of teh land, and not follow proper protocol” that is what this about, not Liberian immigration but i think you all know exactly what this is about…..let’s stop pretending that we didn’t just see the prosecution catch Taylor hand in the cookie jar!!

    1. Paivy,

      bear in mind that Liberia is a sovereign country and it is not owned by the prosecution neither Liberia is a dumping and practicing grounds for the prosecution nor try and error place. If you do not have some respect for our sovereignty, than do not recognize liberia as a country. who is Mr. koumjian and Ms. Hollis to interpret our constitution. However, we have our national legislature, judiciary, and excutive. Who are these people to tell us how our president should have run our country? Paivy, if you had a legitimate complaints and strongly felt that the constitution was abridged, why didn’t you petition your congressman to bring it on the House floor for discussion? Paivy, your political retribution against President Taylor will not work, it did not work in the past, it is not working this time and it will certainly not going to work in the future.

    2. Paivy,

      It’s not that he was ignorant; Every LIberian knows that Taylor did whatever he pleased with Liberia. Including letting a bunch or rebels into Liberia without Them meeting the requirements and without his “legal counsel” following proper protocol to becoming Liberian citizens. That’s the real issue.

      1. Teage,
        President Taylor did not break any laws of Liberia. Find something else to say. THIS CASE IS NOT ABOUT WHO BROKE LIBERIA LAWS.

  19. J fallah hmenjor,
    No, Taylor didn’t do what he is saying. He has to say those lies with the hope of saving his neck. Bockerie was never made citizen of Liberia. Period.

    1. Big joe,

      Bockarie was made citizen of a sovereign country Liberia which had a legitimate government and president. However, Liberia is not own by Mr.Koumjian and Ms. Hoolis.

      Boy, you have a very long way to go. Show us the proof that Taylor controlled the RUF and took Sierra Leone diamonds.

      1. jose Rodriguez,

        Come one of course the prosecution does now own Liberia. I’m pretty sure they’re showing the proof but you just don’t want to see it’s all good though… long as the Judge sees it i think that is the most important thing!

        1. Teage,
          Vast majority of people on this site have not seen any proof and link as alleged.
          Where is the proof? President Taylor giving bockarie citizenship of Liberia is no proof. he was made the pointed man in the committee of five, six, and nine, to help bring peace to the people of Sierra Leone. He succeeded. Sierra Leone has peace now as the result of this peacemaker, President Taylor.

          Teage, show us DNA evidence. Show us video recording like the one we showed you on how arms were actually sent to Sierra Leone. Show us voice recording. Show us documents. Show us that Taylor was captured and seen as an illegal enemy combatant in Sierra Leone. Show us the weapon manufacturing company of Liberia that was manufacturing these weapons, that were later sent to Sierra Leone. Show us receit of Taylor purchasing weapons from foreign countries for the RUF. Show us the gun manufacturing company that Taylor was buying these weapons for RUF/AFRC. Show us the pact or agreement between Taylor and RUF. Show us the SALUTE REPORT of the RUF. Show us hard evidence. Show us the 5 billion dollars. show us the company Taylor sold Sierra Leone’s diamons to. show us the receit for the transaction. Show us that RUF/AFRC leader was Taylor. Show us that Taylor was the leader of the rebels and not Foday sankor or Issac sessay or Johnny Paul Kromah. Show us that Taylor was in the chain of command as leader or subordinate. Show us that Johnny Paul Kromah was taking orders from Taylor. Show us that RUF/AFRC was taking orders from Taylor.

  20. andrew jlay,
    You don’t trust the Papay? The Papay said that Nigeria was giving Millions (Yes, Millions ) of dollars to the Court.

  21. I have to say that Ms Hollis and her entire prosecution staff are doing an amazing job!!! I knew I will enjoy this cross examination stuff. I’m not upset that new documents wouldn’t be allowed. I want a fair trail I said it from the beginning…..But catching Taylor in a LIE, this reading was beautiful for me!! This trail gets better every day!! They will get Taylor with or without the those docs….and how is a news paper posting about his Wedding date contributes to proving Taylors guilt again? I’ll tell you I doesn’t Taylor LIED and said he didn’t remember the date of his wedding and the prosecution was only try ing to freshen his memories….Lies after lies after lies, it gets difficult to keep up huh Ghankay!!
    Nice Job PROS!!!!

  22. Dear Tracey,

    Welcome and compliment of the season. I guess Helen’s and Noko5 post maybe pointing at fallah for some comment he may have posted. My guess may not be as good as yours, but it would be good were you to investigate why everyone is responding to fallah the way they do. In so doing, you will be able to place some check mark on fallah comments and make this site a peaceful place to be. Have a lovely working day.


    Harris K Johnson

    1. Hi Harris — thanks for your note and the welcome. I assure you I will apply the site’s policy equally to all readers.
      Very best,

      1. I am glad others are observing your deception and favoritism in your monitoring of this site. There is an urgent need for you to show much better professionalism especially when you have allowed a few individuals/devotees to personally attack others and use vulgarity without even bothering to discuss comments arising from the trial. The way you conducted yourself left many with the impression that you are a contemptible protégée of Charles Taylor whose intentionality is to scrutinize or silence neutral or anti-Taylor comments. We hope you are refreshed after your vacation and will wake up and bring a new perspective and greater professionalism to your monitoring of this site. Hiding behind the words “gray areas” to allow some individuals to post whatever comments they choose is deplorable. We also hope that the way in which you post transcripts of the trial will be critically reconsidered as it shows personal predisposition as well.

        1. Hi Tracie,

          I am sorry to hear you are so disappointed with our monitoring on this site. Alpha and I are doing our best, and are trying to correct problems or acknowledge and address issues as they are raised by readers. Going forward, if you consider there to be signs of bias in our approach, please do raise it with us and we will be happy to discuss your concerns. However, we do our best to be objective and unbiased, and we moderate comments according to that philosophy.

          More generally: I would also request that readers, when they do post comments referring to either Alpha or I, that the same courtesy is extended to both of us that we try to extend to readers through our policy on this site: that is to focus on the issues raised by the trial or by the moderation of the site, and not resort to personal attacks. Indeed, in future, I will ask readers to resubmit comments which do not adhere to this policy, including for us as moderators. We are all trying to maintain a respectful conversation here. We also understand that this trial and the way the site is handled can provoke strong emotions, absolutely — and of course, Alpha and I are always happy to engage in debate about our site and ways to improve it — but it does not mean we have to accept personal attacks while we, as moderators, maintain this site. I hope readers will understand and accept this part of our policy going forward.

          Tracie, I look forward to continuing the conversation with you about the trial as it goes forward — your comments on the issues raised by the trial, as well as your concerns and constructive suggestions about how to improve the site are always welcome.


        2. Tracie

          As someone who disagrees with majority of the posters here!! I can say that Tracey and Alpha have been quite unbiased when it comes to monitoring this site. I know we all have our opinions but I think it’s safe to say that we can all agree to disagree without getting our emotions all wrapped up into things.
          At times I disagree with some of the comments let through, but I feel that it is important to allow people to express themselves as much as possible.

          Noko5 stated on one of his postings to me…..which had nothing to do with the trail “That my beliefs needs to be “whipped” out of me….i was personally offended but i think as long as the comment is not disrespectful, than it’s fine, when people make irresponsible comments and it does not necessarily violate the policies of this website as childish as it may be I say let it through.
          I think it’s important that he site is monitored but also that people express themselves as freely as possible without personally attacking others.
          With such a daunting task of reading hundreds of entries sometimes inappropriate comments might slip through, both Tracey and Alpah have been quite diplomatic about dealing with these issues once it is brought to their attention.

          1. Ms Teage – thanks for your comment. I am indeed sorry that another reader’s comment offended you and I am glad you raised it with us and that you remain willing to keep engaging with the issues raised in the trial through this forum. We are trying to be as vigilant as possible, but acknowledge that we sometimes make mistakes — hopefully fewer over time as we learn from our previous ones.

            I appreciate you bringing up the issue of the need to ensure free speech while also trying to ensure that people do not violate our policy for posting comments. We do indeed want to promote free speech, as well as a debate which is undertaken respectfully amongst us all.

            We do hope you and other readers will continue to let us know if you have concerns or questions.


          2. Rodriguez

            The prosecution’s evidence was not about Liberian law, it was about them establishing that Taylor had Superior authority over the RUF. And they did that very well by showing that Taylor allowed a bunch of hoodlums to freely enter Liberia without obtaining citizenships the proper way. ALthough Taylor had some legal rights as the head of state to override the immigration laws; there were still certain protocols that were needed to be followed that Taylor and his legal counsel failed to follow. Taylor’s way of defending the prosecutions case is using the constitution to show that they did act legally but when cornered he professes that he is not a lawyer; interesting, either you and your legal counsel consulted the constitution and laws or you didn’t at all. Taylor is trying to pick and choose what is favorable for him, but when he realizes that his story about checking the constitution had a loop hole in it (The Immigration law) he obviously blames it on someone else, his legal counsel.

            To even state that this is not about Liberian law is absurd, I think you and every other Taylor supporter know that the prosecution was not debating Liberian law, but instead showing that Taylor was closely connected to RUF, Bockarie to extend he offered them shelter in Liberia; and this was not a “peace” act; as Taylor and his “legal” council did not take any legal steps to ensuring that the RUF rebels received proper status in Liberia. Taylor admitted himself that he was advised incorrectly by his own legal advisors. The president of Liberia and his legal counsel not know the laws of Liberia? To me that points to something more sinister and deceitful than just them not “knowing the law”. And the prosecution thought the same. The fact of the matter the Prosecution showed that RUF rebels were allowed to walk into LIberia and illegally obtain citizenship….”WHY” they are alluding to the fact that Taylor had a close relationship with RUF that is why he disregarded laws pertinent to legally obtaining citizenship in Liberia.

            But i guess you all are going to pretend that this is just about the Prosecution being bored and discussing mindless Liberian laws that makes no sense.

            Just incase you missed this part in the exert, here it is
            ………In proving their case that Mr. Taylor occupied a position of superior authority over RUF rebels, prosecutors have led evidence on the relationship that existed between the former Liberian president and RUF commander Mr. Bockarie. ……

            i.e Rodriguez, the reason above is why they speak of “Liberian laws”.

          3. Teage,

            You probably don’t know the power of the presidency. President Taylor did not break any Liberian laws and did not grant citizenship as the result of his involvement in Sierra Leone. if so, take him to court in Liberia. However, Taylor did not shift blame on his legal council. Instead, he said he was following the constitution and the advice of his legal council. President Taylor had to do what ever it takes to bring peace to Sierra Leone. Do you have a problem with that? At least, Sierra Leone has peace today, as the result of his peace keep role.

    1. Ms Teage – I agree – Alpha is indeed awesome! Thanks for your welcome back — it is great to rejoin the conversation here.

  23. I agreed with Taylor, it is unfair for him to answer questions pertaining to Bockarie becoming a Liberian citizen. At the time Bockarie became a Liberian citizen Taylor wasn’t a lawyer but a president. Lawyers and immigration officers decide on who is eligible to be naturalized. Taylor is right to say he believed Bockarie took the oath. Why? Because in order to become a citizen you have to take the oath. So assuming that Bockarie took the oath does not disprove Taylor credibility. If the lawyers and immigration officers of Liberia failed to follow the right protocols in granting Mr. Bockarie Liberian citizenship, Taylor could not be blamed. It is not the duty of the president to interpret the law. Like many democratic states, Liberia government is divided into three branches: Executive (President), Judiciary (responsible for interpreting the law), and Legislative (responsible for making laws). In a good democratic state (U.S. being the best example of such), these branches have check and balances. Check and Balance does not work in Africa. Africa is very corrupt. In so-called democratic African governments (Liberia included), these branches do not check with each other. So it is possible that Taylor had no knowledge of the activities of the judiciary branch.

    People, let stop wasting time and money on this trial. It would be really hard if not impossible to convict Taylor of the massacre the took place on Sierra Leon. The prosecution does not have enough indisputable evidence to convict Mr. Taylor.

    I hope African leaders won’t be the only ones trial by this court.

  24. Absolutely Tracey…i will continue to engage in the conversations on this website becasue you all are doing and awesome job with the site…just the fact that it exist is commendable of the Open society Justice initiative Alpha, you and the entire team working with the OSJI, thanks. And i will be sure to inform you if I feel that I’ve been disrespected or offended.

  25. Tracey or Alpha,

    I have written many comments on this blog, but you failed to to publish. I am one of the originals on here when this trial begin and took a break due to school. Are my writings intoreable or you guys are being selective.

    1. Hi Kpakoja,

      Thanks for your question. It is true I did not approve a couple of your recent postings as they did not meet our policy for the site (basically, to focus on the issues raised by the trial and not on other readers). But of course I am always happy to approve your posts as long as they meet this one criteria — we are not being selective among readers on what we allow through, only on whether the content meets this one rule for the conversation here. If you are able to revise your comments and report so they meet this criteria, I will be more than happy to let them through. Hope this answers your concerns.


Comments are closed.