As Charles Taylor Turns Up Late In Court, Prosecutors Question Him About Transfer Of Money Into Foreign Bank Accounts

Former Liberian president Charles Taylor was grilled by prosecutors about bank transfers which they say allowed Mr. Taylor to secretly buy weapons while his country was under a United Nations arms embargo.  Mr. Taylor said he could not remember specifically what the money was used for.

The questioning followed a surprising start to the day with Mr. Taylor failing to appear in court.  Defense counsel for the former president said Mr. Taylor had reported a security breach in his jail cell and refused to appear at the Special Court for Sierra Leone in time for the trial to start.  His counsel, Morris Anyah, told the court that security officers at the detention center had tampered with Mr. Taylor’s confidential documents during their routine inspection of his cell. As the documents were in excess of a million pages, Mr. Taylor thought he needed about a week to cross-check all his materials. The judges refused and ordered Mr. Taylor to appear.

When Mr. Taylor arrived, prosecutor Nicholas Koumjian sought to expose how Mr. Taylor’s Liberian government purchased arms and ammunition in violation of a United Nations arms embargo on Liberia.  Mr. Koumjian went through portions of a United Nations Expert report which accused Mr. Taylor and his government of busting UN sanctions, as well as involvement in Sierra Leone’s conflict.

Mr. Koumjian, reading from the UN report told Mr. Taylor that in October 2000, the Bureau of Maritime Affairs transferred 150,000 USD into a bank in Dubai and the said money was used for “sanction busting.”

“Did you know about this?” Mr. Koumjian asked Mr. Taylor.

“Not specifically,” Mr. Taylor responded.

Mr. Koumjian also told Mr. Taylor that during his administration as president of Liberia, a letter originating from the Liberian Ministry of Finance instructed Mr. John Teng, the General Manager of Oriental Timber Company (OTC) in Liberia, to transfer 500,000 USD into a bank in Switzerland. The money, Mr. Koumjian said, was OTC’s tax payment to the Liberian government.

“Were you familiar with this instruction to transfer this tax amount not to the Central Bank of Liberia or the Ministry of Finance but to a Swiss Bank?” Mr. Koumjian asked Mr. Taylor.

In his response, the former president said that “I wouldn’t say specifically but generally, yes.”

Asked what he meant by that response, Mr. Taylor explained that “a letter from the Ministry of Finance to Mr. Teng would have gone through some clearing from the presidency.”

When asked what the money was meant for, Mr. Taylor said that “I do not know. I cannot recollect specifically. All I can say is that an amount like that will need some presidential clearance.”

According to the UN report, Mr. Taylor’s government provided money to Mr. Sanjivan Ruprah, the former Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Maritime Affairs in Liberia. As Mr. Koumjian pointed out today, Mr. Ruprah was described by the UN  Sanctions Committee on Liberia as “Businessman, Arms dealer in contravention of UNSC  resolution 1343. Supported former president Taylor’s regime in effort to destabilize Sierra Leone and gain illicit access to diamonds.”

Mr. Taylor admitted knowing Mr. Ruprah, saying that Mr. Ruprah was an “ambassador at large for Liberia and worked for the Maritime Bureau.” He said that he approved Mr. Ruprah’s diplomatic status.

Mr. Taylor, however, added that he does not know every detail of Mr. Ruprah’s life. Asked if he has been honest about his knowledge of Mr. Ruprah, the former president said that “yes, what I have said is what I know. I do not know every detail of Mr. Ruprah’s life.”

Mr. Koumjian pointed out that according to the January 7 2008 testimony of the prosecution’s expert witness Ian Smilie who was also a member of the UN Panel of Experts, when Mr. Taylor was asked by the UN Panel whether he knew Mr. Ruprah, the former president had said that he does not know him.

“You know that Smilie and I disagree. I disagree with Smilie’s account. I would know of him but I would not know him personally,” Mr. Taylor responded.

“I don’t know Mr. Ruprah, I don’t know him personally. If you bring him now as big as this building, I would not know him,” he added.

The former president also denied Mr. Koumjian’s assertion that in 1999-2000, he authorized the disbursement of 1 million USD to Mr. Ruprah for the purchase of arms and ammunition.

“I did not authorize money to him to buy arms. I would have authorized money to him but the details of it, I do not know. I do not recall the details of why these amounts were paid. All I can say is that I authorized them,” Mr. Taylor said.

“Are you saying you do not know how a million dollars of your country’s money was spent?” Mr. Koumjian enquired further.

The formed president maintained that he could not recall what the money was meant for.

Prosecutors have been seeking to discredit Mr. Taylor’s credibility as a witness, trying to convince the judges that his testimony cannot be relied upon because the former president has not been truthful in his accounts. From July to November 2009, Mr. Taylor testified as a witness in his own defense during which he denied providing support for Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels in Sierra Leone. Mr. Taylor denied providing arms and ammunition to RUF rebels, arguing that his government did not have money to purchase arms for his country and so could not have provided any to RUF rebels. The former president also denied sending monies to various banks in foreign countries. Prosecutors now seek to prove that the former president has not been telling the truth.

Also referenced in the UN report today was an interview with former Ivorian leader, the late General Robert Guei, who himself took power by a military coup in Ivory Coast. According to the report, Gen. Guei told that Panel that shortly after the 1999 coup which brought him to power in Ivory Coast, he had requested and received arms and ammunition from Mr. Taylor in Liberia. Mr. Taylor admitted that he had indeed sent arms and ammunition to Gen. Guei in Ivory Coast.

“We sent some of the Ivorians in Liberia and they carried the light arms and ammunition to Ivory Coast,” Mr. Taylor said.

Prosecutors have alleged that as president of Liberia, Mr. Taylor sent arms and ammunition to RUF rebels in Sierra Leone which were used to commit heinous crimes against the people of Sierra Leone. Mr. Taylor has maintained that while he was president, he did not have arms for his own country and so could not have provided any to foreign forces. Prosecutors now seek to prove that he provided said arms to forces outside Liberia, such as those given to Ivorian forces.

Mr. Taylor’s cross-examination continues tomorrow.


  1. Keep charging Mr. Koumjian, Charles Tatlor is seeing the end game, and is very nervously depressed as evidance by his latest dumb moved to abstained himself from today hearing, and it did not work. this man is at a breaking point. keep charging.

    1. Ziggy,
      You should be sorry for Mr. Koumjian and his team. As far as we are concern, no evidence strong enough has yet come out in this court to connect Mr. Taylor to crimes committed in Sierra Leone. Human errors like inconsistencies, in Mr. Taylor statement are not strong to bring him down guilty.

      Harris K Johnson

  2. Folks,

    What this report did not tell you, or want you to know, is that President Taylor told the court that he was authorized by the Liberian Congress to do anything necessary in other to protect and defend the the constitution and territorial boundaries of Liberia in the context of buying arms to protect Liberians and their country from the advancing rebels. More importantly, what this sloppy and one sided report did not make mention of, was that Liberia was being attacked from two different fronts. One from the Ivorian side and that was MODEL REBELS: and the other from the Guinean side and that was LURD REBELS. What has happened to the UN resolutions on self defence? Especially, when a barbaric and inhumane groups like LURD and MODEL attcks? I guess it is not applicable to President Taylor.

    Nontheless, President Taylor has always maintain that be found way to buy arms and sometimes calling countries name like Serbia where he bought those arms from to defend his country that was being constantly attacked by the sponsored rebels. Why are they making it seems like this is news? Why the UN people can not ask the rebels where and how they got their arms from, since Liberia was under an arm embargo? Look how evil minded these people are. Taylor, who is/was the legitimate and constitutional authority of Liberia is being seen as violator of the UN arm embargo, though under attacks. But the rebels who are not legitimate authorities are not even being questioned of the violation. You guys will continue to expose yourself more. You can manufacture all your lies and write all you want to. But there is no evidence enough to convict this innocent man. However, because Mr. Taylor defended his country from your dogs, that’s why you are mad and weaving and maneuvering, and hustlig so bad to find connection, to at least, put up some false impression of fight? It’s too late now. Almost every one can easily through your gimmick and tricks. Too bad.

    1. Hi Jose — I notice you seem to be upset by this post. I’m sorry to hear that. May I just explain what we are trying to do with these posts from our perspective? In short, we are reporting on what happens in the courtroom each day. To the extent that we can relate it to the charges and indictment at hand, we try to do this. In doing these reports, we always try to be fair in ensuring that we report both the allegations made by the prosecution and the responses given by Mr. Taylor. Can we give comprehensive contextual history of the war in Liberia or Sierra Leone for each issue that arises in court each day? No — and indeed, that is not what we are trying to do, nor should we do as a court monitoring organization. Instead we are simply trying to explain what happened in court each day and try to make it as transparent and clear for those of us that wish to follow the day’s events as we can. I did not think that this report was any different to any other report we have posted since we switched to this more journalistic style of reporting the days events last July. However, if you think we are posting stories which give only one side of the story as it occured in court, I would encourage you to raise it with us with specific examples. Our aim is to be balanced and fair in our reporting and we try very hard to deliver that each day.

    2. Jose Rodriguez,
      Do not let your emotions get the better of you. Others are watching the trial or reading the transcripts to know exactly what took place in court. The way the cross-examination of Mr. Taylor is going, it is bring out details that Mr. Taylor did not use the country moneys to enrich him, which is good for Mr. Taylor. The timeframe looks to be 1999-2003, which was the height of the Liberia’s war against LURD and MODEL. This bring out details that Mr. Taylor and the Liberian government had no money, manpower and arms and ammunitions to give to the RUF it was all used for self-defense of Liberia, which is also good for Mr. Taylor. The U.N. knew that the Liberian government was going to break the arm embargo that they were under, Mr. Taylor told the U.N. I am sure the re-examination of Mr. Taylor by his defense team will diffuse all the allegation the prosecution has put fore during cross-examination.

      1. Ken,

        I understand. But I am very passionate about this case. Can you imagine our country can not reconcile simply because of this one stupid case and other factors?Bear in mind now, the rest of the world is moving ahead while we are still talking about this one Charles Taylor. When will we put this Charles Taylor business actually behind us and move on?

        1. Sorry you are upset bro….so how do we put this Taylor business behind us? What’s your recommendation. Are you sincerely concerned about Liberia divided? Do you sometimes read or re-read some of your threads and see how divisive they can be? You’ve seen threats, sided and even made some of your own. Don’t you think this could further foster anger and division? Whatever, our views are, regardless how extreme, Liberia’s overall interest should be primary. You are right, we don’t need screaming and anger because it does nothing to move us forward.

          I challenge everyone to personally come up with a project that will help move us forward, irrespective of our political belief or affiliation. I’ve donated books to universities, transferred knowledge, done several research, the last on Liberia asset management risk at GSA, currently,completing another on business development and I am just beginning. Come on people join me lets list them and stick to it.

    3. Really? I know this forum has rules but I hope we are not to pander to one set of people. If what is reported here is “incorrect” you can go ahead and clarify all you want. I think they report what happened in court and are not responsible to do further research to provide information not disclosed by the prosecution.


  3. I remember giving this and that amount, but don’t recall the purpose of the money. Please. You seem to remember everything else.

  4. ose Rodriguez,
    The Majority is not always right and History is replete with myriad of cases where the vast majority of people made uninformed decisions. Also, we can go about to debate the democratic nature of the Special Election of 1997 that were held outside of our constitution and electoral laws and in a very unleveled environment created by vicious warlords and their thugs.
    For once I must agree with you that the reelection of Bush and the election of Taylor has something in common. FEAR, FEAR, FEAR. The impression that America was more secure from Terrorists with the Republicans in power was to Bush reelection as the fear of Taylor replaying April 6 havoc if not elected was to Taylor election. The common logic was that the April 6 war was a dress rehearsal for what would happen were the Liberian people to not vote Taylor in power and it was deliberately done in Monrovia, Liberia’s only safe haven and in the presence of ECOMOG to erase any doubt of Taylor’s notoriety and heinousness and to create enough and sufficient doubt in the minds of Liberians about ECOMOG ability to protect them against Taylor’s brutalities. From common sense, the best way to end the war and stop all the sufferings is simply give Taylor the presidency- that he craves so much and for which he was willing to do anything to get. Now, this is where literacy would have helped Liberians to see flaw in that line of reasoning. Educated people would have quickly peek history books to see that appeasement never quench the thirst of blood thirsty individuals. It only delays the evil days. The Europeans appeasement of Hitler in order to avoid World War II would quickly be referenced. Be illiterate doesn’t make one a fool but it seriously limit one to complete reliance upon common sense, giving simplistic solutions to sophisticated problems and taking actions for the immediate with no regard for future and long term consequences.
    I’m greatly disappointed that you are celebrating the unacceptable high degree of illiteracy and ignorance among our people.
    Taylor and Bush have very little in common. The man Taylor share lots with is Adolph Hitler. You should compare Taylor’s persuasiveness with those of Adolph Hitler then maybe you will realize that Popularity, eloquent or charisma without a heart is a cataclysmic disaster.

    1. Big Joe,
      Taylor becoming president did not end the war and stop all the sufferings. It is a facts that the people who restarted the war was the ones who lost the election to Mr. Taylor. So who’s common sense was it, that the best way to end the war and stop all the sufferings is simply give Taylor the presidency.

    2. Big Joe,

      I wouldn’t go too far in detailing historical events. But this is what I will tell you. If President Taylor was elected out of “fear” as you have put it, or to avoid the country from going back to war, which of course it’s not true: than Liberia could not have gone back to war. We all know, that after he was elected in 1997, the following year Liberia was being attacked by rebels, and you know who those rebels are. Don’t you?

      Nice try though.

    3. Big Joe
      Ken has answered but I also wanted to add up. If Taylor was the warlord, then why did we have LURD and MODEL fighting wars in Liberia after Taylor election? Why did Roosevelt Johnson ULIMO-J attack Taylor in 1998? If making Taylor president would have stop the war in Liberia, then why did the war not stop? Big Joe, the real warlords were those who lost the election and lied to their socalled international friends that the Liberian people voted in Taylor because of FEAR. If for any FEAR, then I think it was the FEAR of all those other warlords. Maybe the Liberian people did not trust those other warlords and FEAR that their lives would be wrost off if any of them would be president including the famous lady Ellen..

      But , I don’t care how Taylor haters twist this fact, the LURD and MODEL wars proved that Taylor was not the problem in Liberia. The problem in Liberia has always been those greedy and corrupt polticians. See how corrupt this current Ellen government is , yet we have heard no complaints from the socalled international people. Not one condemnation from them.

      Ellen on this Monday frozed the function of the Independent Human Rights Court. If Taylor had done such a thing , the whole socalled international human rights system would be condemning Taylor and calling him a dictator. Why is this double standard? “TOTAL NONSENSE!”

  5. As a “Project of the Open Society Justice Initiative, I find the use of dialetic to influence readers subversive to your stated intentions. For example in the above you state: “When Mr. Taylor arrived, prosecutor Nicholas Koumjian sought to expose “. Use of the word “expose” already implies that Mr Taylor has something to hide. There is no Evidence presented just a statement by the prosecutor.

    Next you qualify a report without once again presenting Evidence eg., “Mr. Koumjian went through portions of a United Nations Expert ” The use of the word “expert” in this case is use to lend credibility and infallibility to mere mortals, only because you say they are “experts”. What Evidence do we have to support the statements. YOu do remenber Colin Powell UN presentation that, that led to a war, that led to the deaths of thousand of Iraqis and Americans.

    We would expect the “Open” Society institute would do due diligence and not allow bias in their reporting.

    1. Hi Michael A,

      Fist, please allow me to apologies for my delay in posting your comment and my response. I take any concerns about bias on this site very seriously, and I wanted to take the time to look at the actual transcript from the day you are referring to in order to give a proper answer to your concerns.

      On the use of the phrase “sought to expose”: Here is the portion of our report to which you are referring: “When Mr. Taylor arrived, prosecutor Nicholas Koumjian sought to expose how Mr. Taylor’s Liberian government purchased arms and ammunition in violation of a United Nations arms embargo on Liberia.” To us, the prosecution has already made the allegations that Mr. Taylor’s government bought arms and ammunition in violation of an arms embargo and provided them to RUF rebels. The prosecution have stated that they think there is something to expose — and Mr. Taylor has denied the allegations, which we also included in the report: “Mr. Taylor denied providing arms and ammunition to RUF rebels, arguing that his government did not have money to purchase arms for his country and so could not have provided any to RUF rebels.” As moderators and monitors, we don’t know whether there is something to expose or not, and we are not claiming to know. Instead, we were hoping to describe what the prosecution was trying to do. But I understand your concern and am glad you have raised it.

      On the use of the word “expert” to describe a UN report: I went back to check the reference to this report in the transcript on January 27, and then wanted to cross-reference it with the actual report to see the title of this report to try to determine whether we were misusing the word “expert” when we described the report as such. In the transcript, Mr. Koumjian described the report on page 34219 of the transcript of January 27, 2009 as a being “This is a United Nations report S/2001/1015. It’s the panel of expert reports on Liberia”. He went on to state that it was a report dated 26 October 2001. I looked up this report. The report’s title is this: “Report of the Panel of Experts Pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1343 (2001), pragraph 19, Concerning Liberia.” The report itself is labelled an expert report in its title, and so I don’t think it was improper for Alpha to refer to it as a UN expert report, nor do I think we were applying any specific value judgments to the report by referring to it by a shorthand name of a UN Expert Report. You can find the actual report here if you would like to check it for yourself:

      I hope this addresses your concerns? I look forward to our continued discussions about the trial, Michael A, and again, please accept my sincere apologies for my delay in responding to your issue.


  6. Taylor’s chicken have come home to roast. Someone rightly said the lifetime of lies are only matter of time. Taylor is now being cornered by his own evidence. His own words have become his greatest enemy.
    Now the prosecution strategies are finally being reveled. Very soon the rude awakening that the gentility of a Tiger is not the sign of cowardice and the barking of a toothless bulldog is not the sign of bravery will dawn on Taylor’s supporters. The Prosecution being civilized and seemingly timid were only a facade to give the Taylor the freedom to dig his own grave.

    1. Big Joe,

      What civilization are you talking about the prosecution having. This prosecution has not done anything minimal to make any sense of conviction. In fact, what they have done is to make it much easier for truth and justice to rip off the veil of the false immaculation of their faces. For example: they said, super model Naomi Campbell’s friend, Mai Farrow said, Ms. Campbell said, some mysterious man came to her hotel door the next morning after the Nelson Mandela’s dinner and said, the diamonds that you received last night came from Taylor. The entire thing just doesn’t even adds up and make any sense. It this what you call civilize? Ohmmmmm. Good luck to your civilization.

  7. I remember today is January 28 and it’s former president Taylor’s birthday. I really just want to wish him a happy birthday as he goes thru the most difficult times of his life.

    1. Oh, we’re we are at it, let us wish happy birthday to victims, those who could not make it see today – if their birthday was Jan 28 because they are buried somewhere in Liberia due to the war led by Taylor.

      Really? what are you people thinking?

      1. Long before Taylor or any of us were around, wars have been on earth and peoples have always been the victims. I see no reason why I should wish Taylor a happy birthday and you’re suggesting that I wish that to the dead instead. The dead are gone, care for the living my dear.

        1. You are correct, there has been war, there is war, and there always will be. Because of people who Taylor who you are wishing a happy birthday. I’m sure you will find many more you can send best wishes to.

  8. Here we go again taylor! You seem to remember nothing that is obvious and incriminating,do you? Oh, maybe not specifically! You never remembered how the Catholics Nuns were killed by your NPFL soldiers,nor how much money you authorized from the tax payers of liberia to be deposited into accounts.“Were you familiar with this instruction to transfer this tax amount not to the Central Bank of Liberia or the Ministry of Finance but to a Swiss Bank?” Mr. Koumjian asked Mr. Taylor.

    In his response, the former president said that “I wouldn’t say specifically but generally, yes.”

    Asked what he meant by that response, Mr. Taylor explained that “a letter from the Ministry of Finance to Mr. Teng would have gone through some clearing from the presidency.”

    unts overseas, much more how much you deposited using fake names and etc…the list goes on!

  9. Hi guys, thanks for opportunity to share our views on this website. I’ve been following this trial for a very long time now but this my first to post a comment. I’m a Liberian who lived in my country since birth until at the age of 36 when I left a year ago. I lived in Congotown where mr.Taylor lived sinse 1996 to August 11,2003. Not only that, but I also in the neighbourhood with most of mr. Taylor’s former generalsn, ATU and SSS guys. The point that I’m trying to make is,I’m awared of most of the issues concerning the war in Sierra Leone and in my own country. Taylor dealt mostly with those guys who are not shool to the letter, and therefore can’t make sound judgement, Example, Benjamin Yeaten, his own son, Sam Burkare,ect. Now, Taylor is telling the Judges that he couldn’t used someone who doesn’t know left from his right to carry out his mission, when infact used these guys to killed their own people. Tell me what will they do with those from other counries? Today again I watched mr. Taylor lying to the Judges, I think we know that Taylor will never admit to any of those charges but the documents will prove him wrong, because the people Sierra Leone need justice.

    1. Chukpo Gar — a very warm welcome to the site. I’m delighted you joined us here and have decided to participate in the conversation here. I hope we continue to hear from you.

    2. Hi Noko5 — I received a comment from you at 12:25am today but I am afriad it does not fit with our policy of focussing on the issues arising inthe trial and not on other readers and I can’t post it. Sorry. If you can refocus on the issues raised by that reader, I would be happy to post it.
      Best, with thanks for your understanding,

  10. Yesterday, Pres. Johnson-Sirleaf told Liberia that she is running for her second term….the TRC report that is now the HAIL MARY pass in the Hague recommended that she be BAN from politics without DUE PROCESS….

    My question is, what does that say about TRC report?? This report has yet to be ACCEPTED by Liberians as a DOCUMENT but Ms. Hollis is squeezing blood out of it.

  11. Yea, delay tactice is one of Mr. Taylor’s many tricks to relieve an applied stress; he could not show up on time and even wanted to avoid this day’s cross examination . He used similer tricks during the war to weaken ECOMOG’S resolve to crush him. The prosecution will continue it’s quest to get the truth out of him.

    1. Edward Massaquoi,

      How many days do they have left. The” rain never did it, dew will not do it”. Besides, EOMOGs’ military Generals were a bunch of poor, slow and dull Generals who were after looting Monrovia and the entire Liberia atlarge. You and I know how much loot they transfer to their various contries, we also know how they perpetuated the war by selling arms and amors to all the warring factions..They will forever remember the military sound minds of the STRIKE FORCE MARRINES..haha..

  12. Hi Tracy, thanks for the hard work and happy new.

    Q.. One of the prosecution witness said that Mr. Taylor buried a preginate woman at the back of his white flower compound, if i’m right i stand corrected, kindly let me know if forensics experts will be going to the white flower compound to extablish the fact, or the prosecutions not bother since they think their witness might have lied.


    1. Hi Varney Johnson – nice to hear from you. I’m sorry I do not know the definitive answer to your question. But my sense is that forensic investigators won’t be sent to the Executive Mansion by the Special Court to look into this alleged incident — Mr. Taylor is not being prosecuted for any alleged crimes committed in Liberia, and any forensic investigations into this alleged crime may be more likely to be done by Liberian authorities if charges around this incident ever came before Liberia’s own war crimes court (if one is set up) or by national courts. The prosecution does not need to prove that specific incidents like this one actually happened, because its main focus has to be on trying to prove Mr. Taylor’s alleged responsibility for crimes committed by Sierra Leonean rebels, and it has tended to focus more on larger patterns of crimes in both countries than trying to forensicly prove specific incidents like this one.
      Best, and sorry again I can’t be more definitive

  13. Hi Jose:
    I think you try to make some important point. hoiwever, may i remind you that excellent debating should be our focus. Please stop using words that will present you the other way, burry you emotions and debate the issues not people. Words such as ” dogs ” should not be use.
    Having said that, i believe Mr.Coumjian cross examination with formal President Taylor went well today the only problem is that he try to establish that Mr. Taylor outsmart UN arm sanctions.
    Please present a written documents tomorrow in court of His support to RUF as you did with the late Gen. Guei of Ivory Coast

    1. Slycor,

      This is not emotion. This passion. However, my reference to “dogs” was not directed at anybody on this site. I was referring to the sponsored rebels (LURD and MODEL). However, during the war, that’s how they were being referred to in connection to the ‘big powers”. It was well known that people ask the big powers to “call their dogs”. Notwithstsnding, I did mean it within the context that you are talking about. I even remember one time President Taylor telling the international community to “call their dogs back” , because he was leaving.

  14. Tracey:
    Thank you for welcoming me to this site. May i inform you that your posting of today’s events in court is excellent. I hope you continue your neutrality bravo.

    1. Thank you Sylcor — but the credit really must go to my colleague, Alpha Sesay, who does the reporting each day. He works really hard to present as balanced and fair account as possible on the day’s events. I’m sure he will appreciate your kind words, which I will relay to him.

  15. Hi Nyema — I just received a comment from you at 6:56pm today but alas I can’t post it in its current form as it doesn’t accord with our terms of use for the site. You can find them here: Basically, if you can remove or rephrase the last three words, and resubmit, I will happily post your comment.

  16. Hi Abu Kamara — thanks for your comment, which I received at 3:33am this morning. Alas I cannot post it in its current form due to our terms of use. If the final sentence were rephrased or removed, and you resubmitted the comment, I will happily post it. Just let me know if you need me to send you the text as I am happy to do so.
    Best, and thanks in advance for your understanding,

  17. Is this trial abt LIBERIA or seirra leone?? Really not sure… All that the procecution is questioning charles about, I want to see how it is linked to sierra Leone… Can they prove dat he was buying arms for sierra leone or the war in Liberia…. If charles taylor bought arms illegaly to fight rebels in liberia then gud job because dat saved a lot of lives in Liberia and I dare anyone to say. Wat he did was wrong… LURD and MODEL had to be stopped and CT did the best he could to protect liberia…..

  18. Thanks for this space for the expression of opinions on the trial of former President Charles Taylor.

    for some of us who are students of the the Liberian civil crisis, this trial is not only for Sierra Leone but also Liberia – though unofficially.

    Not many of us would have thought that such a day would arrive. There were several opportunities to end the liberian civil war in the early 1990s. Peace summit after peace summit ended in deadlock as mr. Taylor was bent on assuming power by hook or crook.

    Then came the 1997 elections which many believe Mr. Taylor won decisively and overwhelmingly.

    then again was an opportunity for the total restoration of peace not only in Liberia but Sierra Leone.

    Many Liberians are aware that there was indeed meddling by President Taylor in Sierra Leone.

    The problem is proving it- proving that taylor actaully aided the RUF.

    For many of us, either way, Justice is being served- That Charles Ghankay Taylor can answer to some questions about his deeds- and not only voluntarily but compulsorily, is a victory for Justice and a very strong precedent and message to would be rebel leaders.

    I always watch with amazement as Taylor twists and turns under cross examination and is compelled to answers to actions- this is the true beauty of the trial.

    1. Hi Janga A Kowo — I don’t think I have seen a comment from you before and I wish to extend to you a warm welcome into this discussion. Thanks for sharing your opinion. I agree that this trial is an important one for both Sierra Leone and Liberia. And you are right to point out one of the major challenges for the prosecution in this trial: linking responsibility of the RUF crimes to Mr. Taylor. Mr. Taylor, meanwhile, has denied all the charges against him.

      I do look forward to hearing more from you as the trial continues, Janga A Kowo.


Comments are closed.