Former Liberian President, Charles Taylor, today denied knowledge of threats by a Sierra Leonean rebel commander to kill fellow citizens if the group’s leader was not released from jail during the country’s brutal civil conflict. Prosecutors dismissed his denial as impossible: Mr. Taylor had to have known about the threats, not only because he was anointed the point-person for peace by fellow African leaders, but because Mr. Taylor was also helping to plan the rebel attacks, prosecutors alleged. Mr. Taylor has denied all allegations against him.
In a day full of heated exchanges between Charles Taylor and prosecutors, Mr. Taylor’s denial emerged as prosecutors questioned him about his stated role as a peacemaker during the Sierra Leonean war – a role which has formed a central tenet of the former president’s defense during his trial at the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
Mr. Taylor has long maintained that when he became Liberian president in 1997, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) made him the “point-person” for peace in Sierra Leone. After telling the court today that in his capacity as “point-person” for peace in Sierra Leone he was regularly briefed by his National Security Adviser on issues relating to Sierra Leone, Mr. Taylor was questioned by lead prosecutor, Brenda Hollis, about news reports which quoted Revolutionary United Front (RUF) commander Sam Bockarie threatening that he was ready to kill all living things in Sierra Leone if the government did not release RUF leader Foday Sankoh from jail.
“I was not aware of such statements,” Mr. Taylor told the court today.
When asked whether Mr. Bockarie made such statements with his consent or whether it was possible for him to have known of such pronouncements in his capacity as “point-person” for Sierra Leone, Mr. Taylor responded that if he had known of such pronouncements he “would have told Bockarie that such statement was unacceptable.”
Reading from a November 1998 news report on Sierra Leone, Ms. Hollis quoted Mr. Bockarie as saying that “I am a ruthless commander. I am ready to damage but I am waiting for something to happen to our leader.”
When asked whether Mr. Bockarie was in Monrovia when he made such pronouncement, Mr. Taylor said that “we have not even established whether he made this statement. How am I supposed to know that he made such statements? If he made such statements, he was definitely not in Monrovia.”
Mr. Taylor further said that Mr. Bockarie was in Monrovia only in late November to early December 1998, en-route to Burkina Faso. “This news report is on the 19th of November, it does not say when he made the statement,” he added.
Mr. Taylor also said that he was not aware of Mr. Bockarie’s December 1998 threat to attack Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown by the new year if RUF leader Mr. Sankoh was not released.
“I was not aware of that,” Mr. Taylor said.
The threat to attack Freetown was eventually put into effect when in January 1999, rebel forces attacked the country’s capital, an attack that was characterized by the commission of widespread atrocities such us murder, rape, burning of houses and the amputations of the arms and limbs of civilians. Prosecutors have accused Mr. Taylor of being involved in planning the 1999 attack on Freetown. Mr. Taylor has denied the allegations.
Disputing Mr. Taylor’s assertion that he was not aware of plans to attack Freetown in 1999, Ms. Hollis told Mr. Taylor that “it is not true because you took part in planning this operation.”
“Total nonsense,” Mr. Taylor responded.
Ms. Hollis told Mr. Taylor that as “point-person for peace,” he would have known about Mr. Bockarie’s December 1998 public pronouncement that the rebels “will enter the country’s capital on new year’s day except their [RUF] demands were met.”
“All these denials is because your awareness of these pronouncements will undermine your position as point person for peace,” Ms. Hollis told Mr. Taylor.
“No Ms. Hollis, I was not aware of that,” the former president responded.
Ms. Hollis argued that if Mr. Taylor served as “point-person” for peace in Sierra Leone, he obviously would have been briefed on all news reports relating to the actions of the rebel forces in Sierra Leone. Mr. Taylor maintained that he was neither aware of any pronouncements by Mr. Bockarie to destabilize Sierra Leone, nor about rebel plans to attack Freetown in 1999.
Prosecutors have argued throughout the trial that while Mr. Taylor was never present in Sierra Leone when RUF rebels committed atrocities in the country, he was still aware of their actions and gave them his support to commit such atrocities. Prosecutors have argued that Mr. Taylor occupied a superior position to the RUF rebel leaders and that all actions taken by the rebels were done with his acquiescence. In his position of authority over the rebels, prosecutors say, Mr. Taylor knew or had reason to know that rebel forces were committing atrocities in Sierra Leone but failed to prevent the commission of those crimes nor punished the rebels when he knew that such crimes had been committed. It is in this vein that prosecutors today read news reports relating to RUF atrocities in Sierra Leone, which, they say Mr. Taylor was aware of. Mr. Taylor has denied these allegations, insisting that his role in Sierra Leone was purely for peaceful purposes in the West African country.
Mr. Taylor’s cross-examination continues tomorrow.
Thumbs up for this report. Thank you.. one thing I am not sure of is ,if the prosecution try to or did introduce any new evidence today and what was the courts decition in that regard? Sorry I did not see the trial from the beginning…can you help please…
Mr. Taylor said in court today that if he had known of such pronouncements he “would have told Bockarie that such statement was unacceptable.” It’s funny you know, can a goat stop another goat from eating cassava leaf? how come he didn’t stop himself from making similar statements when he order his boys to beat students who were planning to carry on peaceful demonstration against him by saying “Let me see my ma getting on the street to demonstrate.” Or how he didn’t stop himself when he said in his speech during the third war in 2003 that “we’re going to fight from house to house, doors to doors and street to street” forgetting to know that he was directing his soldiers to attack innocent civilian on these streets, behind these doors and in these houses.
Does Liberia have a LAW governing demostration??? If the answer is YES and the students decided they didn’t care about the law…what was the gov’t to do??? Even today, the current gov’t refuses the citizens to express their vote via demostration…
Noko4 i think you might want to reconsider the statement “the current gov’t refuses the citizens to express their vote via demostration”. Citizens of Liberia do express their concerns through demonstrations with the current regime . Yes there have been incidence where demonstrators and LNP clash, but overall there have been inprovements. And even during Taylor regime, I remember we demonstrated on Cuttington University Campus in Gbarnga and Mr. Taylor sent a delegation to hear our plea.
FrankG — I haven’t seen you comment on this site before. As the moderator here, I wanted to extend a warm welcome and I hope you will continue to join in the conversation in the coming months.
Has this current gov’t granted ALL request or just a handful?? If so, why is Morlu always been locked up??
To some in here, Mr. Taylor was a DEVIL…never ever gave ears and concerns to anyone but himself……THANKS for letting them know he was.
For the benefit of discussion, let me answer this question; yes, there are laws in Liberia governing demonstration. Now your question, are there legal provisions for people who go against the laws or the president is empowered to say,
“Let me see my ma getting on the street to demonstrate…”???
Even in this great United States where ALL can express how they feel, they are still govern by LAWS….in order to demostrate, one needs A PERMIT….and if you are not granted such, and go out and demostrate, are you breaking the LAW??? YES!!!
Now he saying it was more to let whoever know that there will be a penalty…was that a CRIME Dillion??
If I may ask, are you a Liberia? if so then you might want to go over your constitution on the bill of right known in there as the FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS. I think article 17 should make it clear for you to know that peaceful demonstration is the people’s fundamental right. The government only interfere when it turns unlawful which is clear that stopping the demonstration before the students begin was depriving then of their fundamental rights. And don’t try to lie here. The current Liberia government do not stop anyone from having peaceful demonstrations except it turns into an offense. That’s why the Sirleaf Administration is credited for restoring freedom of speech and of the press to Liberia by the International community. Just two or three days ago, over 500 widows of ex-AFL soldiers carried out a peaceful demonstration at the capital building in Monrovia.
Harris K Johnson
I don’t know what you’re talking about because according to the news report, it wasn’t a peaceful demonstration and those who were arrested are those who tried to fight the police. In every part of the world, when demonstrators start to attack the police, it’s not consider peaceful. So don’t compare your Taylor Administration that shutdown radio station, talk shows and hunting of Journalist to other good governments. And if any of the once you listed were similar, you should know that they didn’t take credit for it.
Charles Taylor statement did not stop MODEL and LURD from gaining power because they were already powerful by gaining access to key places in the country. His statement only cause innocent people their lives that’s all. While MODEL and LURD were in Vai Town and free port, his soldiers were braking into people houses on Johnson Street, Camp Johnson Road, Mamba point etc. And perhaps it was the same speech that landed the bombs and straight bullets into Gray stone that killed lot of innocent people.
I challenge you to link us to any news that says students staged violent demonstration in Monrovia on Saturday, January 16, 2010? I will wait for your respond before debunking your story.
Harris K Johnson
All have RIGHTS to protest and shout but do ALL have the right to break the LAW??? NO!!! That is NOT taking away your CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT…we are govern by LAWS…sometime in the early 80s, the PRC gov’t passed a decree against UNLAWFUL demostration…and all Mr. Taylor was going was enforcing it like it has been done before him and still been carryout by the current gov’t.
It’s AMAZING when it comes to Mr. Taylor how ALL bets are off.
Harris K Johnson
Please read the entire story posted on the daily liberian observer website at http://liberianobserver.com/node/4063. This is what the story said “The arrest of the student leaders was in connection with their alleged attack on, and subsequent damage of a police sub-station and a depot in Paynesville on Saturday, January 16, Dakina said.”
A peaceful demonstration is not breaking the law and the PRC alleged stopping people from peacefully demonstrating was a violation of the law. We all know that the PRC administration was another human right abuser so I’m not backing them here. I’m only attacking Taylor statement by saying that he would have stop Buckarie from using such statement while he (Taylor) used similar statements several times. Samuel Doe if alive wouldn’t say that he could speak against Idi Amin military actions while he was doing the similar. I won’t as well agree to that. Our people don’t know their fundamental rights that’s why they continue to suffer under government officials and others. In the same way, they don’t know their fundamental rights that’s while they go on breaking the laws. I can’t try to stage up my peaceful demonstration and than someone try to stop me that would be against my right likewise I shouldn’t turn it into unlawful demonstration by attacking the police and destroying properties. That would be against the law.
Your comments have helped the world to understand the real trigger happy warmongers in Liberia. Your artificial praise of LURD and MODEL being powerful, and justifying their attacks on innocent Liberians, is a reminicent of this fake trial.
Lotson, what was the percentage point of total votes cast for LURD Deminte Conneh in the 05 election? About less than ONE PERCENT (1%). That says a lot.
You must have been in Taylor’s pocket.
The prosecution is disorganized and in a confused state of being. Lead prosecutor Brenda Hollis is a lawyer in the 21st century but she is still practicing law from the 19th century. Back then, it was thought in law school (as a prosecutor) to throw anything at the defense if you have reason(s) to believe he/she committed the act. Even though, the prosecutor may not have a grain of evidence to prove that the accused actually committed the crime. The reason for this out of date tactic was to tell the judge that even though the prosecution don’t have proof for a conviction, but the defendant in fact committed the crime.
For example, questions to the defendant under cross examination in the 19th century went something like this.
Isn’t it true that you murder Mr. X?
Were you not aware of the gun being loaded?
After you shot Mr. X isn’t it true you took his wallet?
Isn’t it true you walked Mr. X home on the night of the murder?
Were you not aware of Mr. X leaving his door opened?
In the 19th century judges for the most part accepted these hypothetical lines of questioning and found the accused guilty without proof.
Ms Hollis needs to get with the program. This is the 21st century; the legal system has changed tremendously. Today convictions are executed based on facts, such as, DNA, forensic, eyes witnesses and documentations.
As president of Liberia do you think it is right or wrong for him to fight house to house or street to street to save the republic ? Secondly don’t you think that by him fighting the LURD and MODEL rebels stoped them from gaining the power they wanted. Because of his decisions that is why there is the second democratically elected government in place right now. Don’t forget Charles Taylor was the first elected government.
Concerning your second point about student demonstrations. for historical purposes read about the Kent State University riots in the United States and give me some feedback.
Be informed that students are not above the law. Beside, Mr. Taylor is not the only president that has ordered students that go against the law beating in Liberia. Former President William R. Tolbert, Samuel K.Doe did it and just yesterday, Saturday 16, January 2010, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf did it. Seventeen students sustained injuries at different levels from the hands of the police and placed behind bars in Monrovia. So you see beating on students that take the law in their hands is not new in our setting.
Harris K Johnson
I am really trying to figure out how someone saying “we are going to fight from house to house, doors to doors and street to street until they get rid of an insurgency is interpreted into directing his soldiers to attack innocent civilian? Another thing I am trying to figure out is that, If someone is aware that someone else has committed a crime or is going to commit a crime is guilty for that crime then won’t the whole world be guilty of the crimes Bush committed against the iraqi people?
Hi Flomo J,
If I can just address your last question in the context of the Taylor trial: One of the forms of criminal responsibility that Mr. Taylor has been charged with is “command responsibility”. This means he is alleged to have been in a superior position to Sierra Leonean rebel forces, where he was exercising command and control over Sierra Leone’s rebels, and in that position he knew or should have known that the rebels he’s alleged to have been in charge of were committing crimes (or were about to) and he did not prevent or punish those crimes. As a result, for his own omissions as a commander, he can be held responsible for the acts of his subordinates (ie the rebels in Sierra Leone). The key issue here is individual responsibility — that is, that criminal responsibility that can be attached to an individual in a position to control subordinates (and hence be in a position to control their actions) — specifically to be able to prevent or punish any crimes they might commit.
That’s why is it hard to compare the case of Mr. Taylor’s alleged responsibility for Sierra Leonean rebel crimes, and the example you bring up (though it is an interesting one): that of the world in relation to Mr. Bush and Iraq and any alleged crimes committed there. There’s not a command structure, or specifically an individual, who is said to have a command relationship with Mr. Bush, so there is not quite the same analogy at least in a strictly legal sense in the context of these international criminal courts. Does that make sense?
Tracey, what was his position in this command and control structure of the RUF? However, the RUF/AFRC did not say anything of such. The Salute Report certainly did not mention anything that came even close to President Taylor being in their chain of command structure directly or indirectly. So where are they getting their news from? the entire thing does not even make any sense. How will Taylor punish them when in fact, he is not their commander? How should Taylor know what they were about to do evil?
Tracey, what was his position in this command and control structure of the RUF? However, the RUF/AFRC did not say anything of such. The Salute Report certainly did not mention anything that came even close to President Taylor being in their chain of command structure, directly or indirectly. So where are they getting their news from? the entire thing does not even make any sense. How will Taylor punish them when in fact, he is not their commander? How should Taylor know that they were about to do evil? Is Taylor a “SUN GOD” NOW? Is Liberia a super power now to stop evil around the world including SL? He did his best in brokering peace for the SL people. He helped release the 500 UN personnels held hostage. Tracey, there is no proof. And we can say this with absolute ontological certitude to convict this innocent man. Nontheless, the prosecution charges are lot more about tone than substantive accomplishment. These people have failed to execute with perfect synchronization in providing facts and concrete evidence. As the result, they have returned to their roots of accusing this man again with the following: Taylor should have known or punish or stop wrongs in the war. HOW, WHEN HE IS NOT OR NEVER WAS THEIR LEADER ?
Hi Jose — yes, you are absolutely right to point out that these issues are certainly points of contention in the trial. Mr. Taylor rejects the suggestion that he was in a position of control of the rebels; the prosecution are arguing that he was. In the end, it will be up to the judges to weigh which argument is the most compelling.
Isn’t it rather interesting that even while the defense has just their 1st witness(i.e Taylor) in the box, the prosecution’s case is already looking extremely doubtful. It looks like by the time the defense closes its case, it would have proved ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ that all these charges a sham! Remember the defense Am still waiting to see hoe this prosecution can ‘miraculous’ meet the standard of proof in this case.
Apologies for the typos!
Hi Sylvanus — I had been wondering where you were — we haven’t heard from you in a little while. welcome back and glad you’ve rejoined us here.
Indeed, we are all waiting to see what the judges make of all the evidence presented by both prosecution and defense in this case!
Hi Jose — you make an important point. This issue of his command responsibility is one of the key issues of contention in this trial. While prosecutors allege that Mr. Taylor had control over Sierra Leone’s rebel groups, the defense say this is wrong and that instead any contact Mr. Taylor had with the rebel leadership structure was for peaceful purposes only, not because he had command and control of the rebel forces. One of the arguments that Ms. Hollis was making yesterday is that Mr. Taylor would have to have known about the actions of the rebel groups, even in his position as point-person for peace, as it was reported in the news that people had access to at that time. Mr. Taylor is arguing that he did not know about those news reports, nor that he was getting news from Sierra Leonean rebels directly except for the purposes of making peace. Whether Mr. Taylor can in fact be found to be responsible for the rebels’ actions is an issue that the judges will need to decide after hearing all the evidence.
Dear Jose Rodriguez,
Thanks for all your efforts in pointing out important issues in this trail as they come. Your cleaver thinking is remarkable. However, let me assure you that the few mind set people on site that want Mr. Taylor behind bars will never see things the way you me and the other lovers of justice see it. They believe that Mr. Taylor was the head of the RUF and must bear responsibility outside of the rule of law despite the Salute Report has it otherwise. But what they fail to know is that the burden of prove squally lies with the prosecution not Mr. Taylor. The old man has always challenge them to present in this court a documentary or any other legal evidence establishing that Mr. Taylor was in command of the RUF. Until that is done, the entire effort of the prosecution remains a JOKE. Keep on Brother God will surely bless you and your children’s children.
Harris K Johnson
Thanks for that information….you answered a question that I’ve plundered over for a while, the Iraq situation. Since there was no “command structure” crimes committed in Iraq cannot be linked to the former president, but rather the individual and/or commanders that oversaw that unit, am I correct? If this is true, the president in this case is the Commander-in-chief of the military and as such is the overall commander, isn’t this a “command structure” or is this line fussy?
Hi Banker — you always ask great questions, and it actually gives me an opportunity to explain more clearly about this issue than I did last night in relation to the issue of Mr. Bush – I realized I was not clear on what an analogous situation would be.
In fact, a closer (albeit currently hypothetical) analogy to Mr. Taylor’s case would be if there was an effort to try to hold Mr. Bush responsible, in his position of commander-in-chief of the US armed forces, for failing to prevent or punish any alleged crimes committed by US forces in Iraq. Such an effort would need to demonstrate that he was in a position of control over the troops, and that he knew or should have known that crimes were about to be, or were committed, and that he failed to prevent and punish them. For such a form of responsibility to hold, prosecutors don’t need to demonstrate that he actually ordered any alleged crimes, but just that he was in a position of control, knew that crimes were being, or were about to be, committed, and he didn’t stop them or punish the people who actually ordered/committed them. That said, in practice it may be easier in a courtroom to connect the lines of responsibility to commanders further down the chain in such a situation. The difference with Mr. Taylor’s case is that the prosecution is trying to show that he was in effective control of a rebel force in another country, where the lines of command would perhaps be more difficult to demonstrate that in the case of a president and his or her own armed forces.
The question I understood Flomo J to be asking, in contrast, was whether the world could be held responsible for failing to act when they knew there were alleged crimes being committed in Iraq. My point was simply that there was no individual in a superior position to Mr. Bush if one was looking at this from the perspective of international criminal law. However, I don’t think I explained that part very well! Thanks for the opportunity to clarify.
I’m one of the persons that is always dreaming about this fact.
It is right under the ICC’s nose and before the eyes of the UN and these guys are happily living while innocent people die every hour. Why are we like this in Africa?
I fail to see the analogous connection made between the hypothetical case of Bush in Iraq and Taylor in the Sierra Leonean conflict. First of all Bush was president of the US which had launched an invasion in Iraq with forces of the US governmnet fighting in that country. It would automatically follow that he Bush as President and Commander in Chief of the armed forces of the US could possibly be held responsible under the so-called joint criminal enterprise charge or for failing to punish those who perpetrated crimes against humaninity in that conflict.
However in the case of Taylor and Sierra Leone, there were no Liberian aremed forces fighting in Sierra Leone whatsoever. The crimes committed were committed by a SIERRA LEONEAN REBEL GROUP with in the territory of SIERRA LEONE on SIERRA LEONEANS. This is a distinctively different situation. I therefore do not think that the comparison is in anyway “closer” as you stated.
Bush, an American President and Commander in Chief of the US army would be amenable to charges as his forces were in that country whereas the prosecution is trying to say that by Taylor knowing the rebels, meant that he had command responsibility. How is that similar? There is no evidence of Liberian army personel under the command of the Commander in chief of Liberian Armed forces ever being involved in the war durin the period of the indictment. So I do not see the connection whatsoever.
I once again reiterate that there is a lot of stretching of the imagination here for anyone to think that the fact that you know an individual that you are aware of the crimes he is likely to committ and even further are in a position to stop them. It is even further to believe that the individual is even capable of stopping that person from perpetrating the crimes.
As I have stated earlier that these were rebels who do what comes natural to them- “rebel” and yet they expect a President in another political jurisdiction should be able to control or stop them from carrying out atrocities when he is not their leader or in their command structure. How is this supposed to happen, I do not see.
within the very RUF there was a break down in control and yet it is expected that someone from another country is supposed to have some supernatural control over them? I think this is way too far out and demand a lot of contstuction and imagination.
This is supposed to be a court of law and have logic as a means of making statements. I fail to see the logic being applied here by the prosecution.
Hi Helen — just a quick note: the concept of “command responsibility” is not based on nationality. It is based on concepts of control — that is whether someone was in legal control, or effective control, of fighting forces that did or were about to commit crimes, and had knowledge of those crimes or intentions to commit them.
You are absolutely right to point out that the analogy between Mr. Bush and US forces in Iraq, and Mr. Taylor and the RUF is not a direct analogy – I completely agree with you and I hoped I had made that distinction clear in my previous posts. However, the applicable legal concept remains the same. The relevant issue in Mr. Taylor’s case is whether he can be demonstrated as being in a position of control over the rebel forces, that he knew they were committing or about to commit crimes, and therefore that he was capable of being able to prevent or punish their crimes. That is of course a contested issue in this case — the Prosecution are saying he was in effective control of the rebels, the defense is saying he was not.
Helen – I am not making a case for or against Mr. Taylor here (or Mr. Bush for that matter), but simply to discuss the legal concepts underpinning the trial so we can all have a clearer sense of what is happening in the courtroom each day.
Hope that helps?
Is there a way that You can assist me in finding the postings of January 5 , 2010 to January 10, 2010? I have tried the archives, daily, weekly, and monthly summary, and still no success. What do I have to do?
Hi Jose — you are looking in all the right places — we just did not have any postings between the 4th when we welcomed everybody back and the 10th, when we posted the day before Mr. Taylor’s trial restarted. You are not missing anything, but I am delighted at how keen you are to peruse the site!
That’s very interesting I must admit. So Tracey what do you thing from what you’ve gathered in these proceedings about the alleged command responsibility?
Hi Flomo J — good question. It’s been quite fascinating to hear all the evidence so far as both side are presenting a possible picture of events — the prosecution saying that he was in control of the rebels and on notice (at the very least through the media) that they were committing, or about to commit crimes and could have stopped or punished them; and the defense arguing that he was not in charge of the rebels but instead only in contact with them for peace and without knowledge of the rebels actions as represented in the media.
In terms of my own thoughts, alas I am not in a position to say. We haven’t heard all the evidence yet — either through Ms. Hollis’ cross-examination of Mr. Taylor, or the rest of the defense case. In any case, it will ultimately be up to the judges to decide who presents the most compelling evidence about this. I think we will all be interested to hear what they decide.
Wow, this headline seems more then fair to me unlike the sensational ones on ABC and other news organizations!!
What I found amazing was the BACK DOOR usage by Ms. Hollis to bring in FRESH EVIDENCES without the proper channel. I saw frustrations on her face….and why those questions that meant ZERO to this trial???
The score reads Ms. Hollis & Mr. Koumjain 1 vs Mr. Taylor 14.
An interesting day. It certainly seems impossible that the ‘point person’ could not have known about public statements relating to the situation within the very country within his remit. Surely the ‘point person’ has people working on this project who trawl through all open-source media to remain abreast of any issues pertaining to the peace (or lack thereof) in Sierra Leone.
Hi Richard B and welcome — I don’t think we have seen a comment from you before. I’m glad you’ve joined us in our conversation here.
Yes, this is exactly the argument that Ms. Hollis was trying to make yesterday in her cross-examination – that there was no way that Mr. Taylor could have been briefed every day by his staff on the situation in Sierra Leone and not hear about these media reports to put him on notice of the rebels’ crimes or intention to commit the crimes. Mr. Taylor’s argument in response was that he did not hear about it and so was not on notice — in his position as point-person for peace — to be able to tell Sam Bockarie that his statements were inappropriate. He denies that he was in a position of control over the rebels to be able to influence their behavior and therefore prevent or punish the crimes committed (or about to be committed) by the Sierra Leonean rebel forces.
Given the defence argument that he was engaged with the RUF for peace purposes can he be held responsible for their actions even if he has knowledge of it through the media but has no command responsibility over the RUF as argued by the defence? would the prosecution not need to first prove the command role of Mr Taylor in the RUF before trying to demonstrate his culpability by not preventing and punishing those crimes?
what are the applicable laws in this regard?
Hi Sam — you are absolutely correct. Part of proving “command responsibility” includes demonstrating that the person was either by law or in practice in effective control of a group. If he or she was not in a position to control their actions — and hence not in a position to prevent or punish the crimes — that person cannot be held accountable under the “command responsibility” form of liability.
So indeed, this issue of Mr. Taylor’s control of the RUF is a key element that the prosecution has to prove. This issue is in dispute in this case, as Mr. Taylor says he had no control over the RUF’s actions but simply liaised with them for the purposes of peace.
He was NOT a desk officer…he depended on his national security team…she filtered what got to him as BRIEFINGS.
Interesting! How did we all hear about the crimes committed against the SL people by the RUF? Mostly through the media. I think at some point in his testimony, Taylor suggested that he heard about the crimes via nets networks (if my reflection serves me well). While I am still confused about the “point man” and the direct command things, I am sure CT knew about the crimes whether from is National Security Team or as he suggest news media. He knew, maybe he didn’t have control to stop it (which is another debate all in and off itself) but he knew.
With all the media we have in the US, does the President hear of or knows about ALL on the NEWS??? Ms Hollils was reading a news outlet out of Sierra Leone….now tell him how was he suppose to know what EVERY PAPER in Sierra Leone was reporting.
He said he got INTEL from ECOMOG….some related to some of what was been printed in SL…even some of the tales that were been reported were disputed by ECOMOG….so what is your point???
You cannot use the President of the US scope of responsibility to those of the president of Liberia. As president of any nation, if there was trouble brewing in a neighboring country, one will make all effort to keep crisis as top priority because of its spill over propensity. The president of the US does not know of every little event that happens around and no president does. However major events like those crimes committed in SL was not a minor story. Besides, Taylor mentioned that he heard about these things through the new media (maybe not SL media). While I will agree that he might not be privy to the newspaper clippings in SL., major news agencies reported on the crimes being committed. Taylor is a very smart man or maybe we are giving him more credit for his intelligence than he deserves, but if he is as smart as we call credit him to be, he would have heard about those crimes since trouble was next door…if such problems exist, why should one be nonchalant? If he didn’t know about the crimes, then I withdraw all statement suggesting that he is “intelligent” or “smart and well informed”
This trial is a farce; the prosecution, went into the net and came up with clippings of the utterances of Sam Bockarie, and tried to hang it on CT that he (CT) knew about it or at least, he was told.
Nobody can be held resposible for the words and thought(s) of an other person and moreover, news paper reports are not legal documents but, in this case everything goes.
Taylor would not have been in the position in which he is in today, had it not been for the falsehoods that were spread by Tejan Kabbah and his nigerian bedfellows, who did all they could to hid the nigerian defeat by pointing the finger blame on CT.
I am a Sierra Leonean and we all knew what happened.
Hi T-bone — we’ve not heard from you in a few months now, I think. Welcome back and happy new year. Glad you have joined us again.
T-Bone — just in response to your statement that “nobody can be held responsible for the words and thought(s) of another person”: just thought you might be interested in this background: in international criminal law, it is actually possible (not just in the Special Court for Sierra Leone, but other courts too, such as the Rwandan tribunal and the Yugoslav tribunal) if those words indicate that a crime is about to happen, or has happened. Just to explain, under the form of responsibility called “command responsibility” — a person can be held responsible for the actions of others, if it can be shown that he was effectively in charge (or control) of a fighting force, and someone within that force makes a statement that did, or should have, put that person in control on notice that a crime was about to be committed. Under the law, that person in control is then obliged to try to prevent the crime happening, or punish the crime if he or she found out about it later. If that person in control works to prevent or punish the crimes, then that person cannot be held responsible for those crimes.
In this case, Mr. Taylor is not challenging whether that concept of “command responsibility” is legitimate – what he is saying instead is that he couldn’t have been held responsible for the rebels’ actions, not only because he was a peacemaker during the Sierra Leonean conflict, in which he was only in contact with the rebels for peaceful purposes and had no control over their actions, but also because he did not see or hear about the press reports that would have let him know that the rebels were intending to commit the crime of killing civilians not involved in the conflict even in his role as peacemaker.
Pres. Bush had controlled over the US Forces in Iraq, why wasn’t he EVER blamed for the mess some of the US Forces did there?? Let’s look at this case, so far, NO FACTUAL FACTS as to Mr. Taylor been THE SUPREME LEADER…someone speaks and because he was appointed to HELP in bringing PEACE means he is responsible for that person’s words and actions??
Your example of Rwanda and Yugoslavia is off the mark…those that were tried were citizens of said areas and LEADERS of the military or group….where is it in this case?
Hi Noko4 — thanks for your comment. Just to briefly explain what I was hoping to do: I was simply trying to describe part of the relevant legal framework in this trial – I was not making a case for or against Mr. Taylor, nor for or against Mr. Bush for that matter. I was describing command responsibility as a form of responsibility that is also used in other international criminal tribunals – it is not one which is new or unique to the Special Court. In fact, an example of where this form of “command responsibility” was also alleged against a former president was at the the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslvia (ICTY — an international court which was set up to address crimes committed during the Balkans war in the 1990s) — “command responsibility” formed part of the indictment against Slobodan Milosevic, the former President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, in his trial before he died in 2006.
But you are absolutely right to note, as others have on this website, that Mr. Taylor’s leadership or control over the RUF is in dispute in this trial.
How well do you regard what comes out of News papers in west African countries? I’m sure you are aware of the problems with fabricated stories, there was one about GOL supporting uprisings in neighboring Guinea. Lets not consider such evidence, let the prosecution bring this case up right. I can’t wait to see the facts out for Taylor.
Hi Ujay — I understand what you are saying about the credibility of news reports (an issue which is problematic world wide as in many places on every continent there are news houses which are not independent or overtly attached to one political party). Let me check into how other courts and/or the Special Court have treated this issue of notice provided through media reports and revert.
Hi Tracey-belated new year wishes.
thanks for the councling and i appriciate it; stil, news clippings, books and opions of people are not legal tender.CT will never be free and the truth shall never be known.
In response to your posts, i do not see how Mr Taylor as President of another country had any command responsibility of a rebel group in another country. There is no evidence to indicate any command structure in which he was the head whatsoever. I see the whole effort of the Prosecution and some in the international community in an effort to try to manufacture some command structure as very senseless and stretching the imagination.
The fact that a rebel group has respect for an African President does not make them amenable ao answerable to that President. By their very nature, rebels are a law unto themselves so why is one person being held responsible when they(rebels) do what comes natural to them- rebel?
All of the so-called alleged evidence presented by the prosecution is all contrived and or circumstantial. These forms of evidence would not see the light of day in a normal court of law in the US or any Western country for that matter. So why are they applying different rules here?
I find this whole process very repugnant. The rules of the internal criminal courts need to be more in harmony with acceptable legal practice as seen in national jusrisprudence. This idea of adopting a new set of rules and proceedure when dealing with so-called international law is is a travesty of justice and should be modified.
Hi Helen — you raise important points. This goes to the core of this form of responsibility and how it is being played out in the courtroom — can the prosecutors demonstrate that Mr. Taylor was effectively in control of the RUF, and therefore in a position to prevent or punish their crimes? It is an issue that will ultimately be up to the judges to determine, and I’m sure we will still have much more evidence coming through the trial on this point as Ms. Hollis completes her cross-examination of Mr. Taylor and Mr. Taylor’s defense team brings its witnesses who (I am guessing) are likely to try to help him demonstrate his side of the story — that he was a man of peace and only in contact with the RUF rebel commanders to try to promote peace in Sierra Leone.
I thought you might find this interesting too: On the issue of international law and rules — some countries actually incorporate these forms of mass crimes like war crimes and crimes against humanity — as well as these forms of responsibility (such as command responsibility) — into their national laws so they are in a position to be able to prosecute these crimes in their national courts should the need ever arise. This legal process is gaining more speed now with the existence of the international criminal court, and the notion that it can only take up cases where a national system is unwilling and unable to do so. Part of the assessment of whether a national court system is able to do so is whether it has the right laws in place to capture international crimes.
Do you think the evidence the prosecution are having mark as ID will stand the test for it to be accept as fresh evidence to the court. I remember Judge Lussick reminding Mr. Griffin on one of his objection to apiece of evidence that it was not time for that objection because the prosecution was only ID the document and not rending it to the court.
Hi Ken — can I ask you to wait for my proper answer tomorrow? In fact the prosecution just filed a request for an appeal on the decisions about the use of “fresh evidence” which I plan to do a little post on tomorrow which might highlight some of the continuing challenges on this issue in the courtroom. Would you mind waiting until my proper response/post tomorrow as the piece may better address the question you are asking?
I truly understand your frustration. But the fact that Mr. Taylor admitted he (correct me if I wrong) worked with the RUF before the SL conflict/became president, Bring a old saying into my mind “you stretch my back, I’ll stretch yours”. Maybe he didn’t mastermind the conflict in SL and the prosecution has the wrong motive. I just can’t understand how Mr. Taylor NPFL soldiers ended up fighting on the same side of a group that Mr. Taylor “owes a favor”.
Al-Solo Nyonteh, which favor does or did Taylor owes to the RUF? Except I watched a different trial but to the best of my recollection , it was the RUF that needed Taylor helped in the early 90’s. Taylor provided that help on a quid pro quo basic and it ended with a military confrontation between the two groups. If you were in Liberia at the time during the war you would have been well aware about the Sankoh’s joke relating to the breakup of the NPFL and RUF.
It was romour that duriing that period of cooperation between the NPFL and RUF, when fighting broke up between the two groups (NPFL and RUF), the NPFL fighters were badly defeating the RUF fighters and Sankoh was crying like a baby on the phone to Taylor something to the effect of ” oh Charles Taylor ! your boys have finish me up! they are destroying everything for me, please get them out of SL!” This led to the break up between the NPFL and RUF. And since that time, the two groups did not cooperate because RUF would later joined forces with Alhaji Kromah’s ULIMO forces for the same reason they joined with the NPFL.
RUF was now an enemy to the NPFL and decided to join ranks with the NPFL’s enemy, which was ULIMO at the time. So from the looks for things here, it is the RUF that owes Taylor and not the other way around as you have put it. Look, this case would be simple to prove if Mr. Taylor was indeed in command and control position of the RUF. This fact would have come up during the RUF trials in Freetown. O r is Ms. Brenda Hollis, the ever knowing prosecutor and the whole prosecution team know more about the leadership command and control structure of the RUF better than the actual RUF leaders who were tried in Freetown? Again, as Mr. Taylor would say, this case is “TOTAL NONSENSE!”
I want to enlighten you that “rumors” are a form of 2nd, 3rd, ect… person “hearsay”. From your experiences with rumors that were spread in Liberia in the 90’s, I assume you are well aware on how to distinguish the facts from the fiction and the creditability/linkage of the person telling the rumors. The judges follow a similar process (with more strict guidelines) in which you used, to make a decision about the validity of a rumor. You truly understand how important hearsay evidences can be. In 1991 the ULIMO was a threat to Mr. Taylor and the RUF participated in stopping their advancement into Liberia. My main concern is their participation was in line with Mr. Taylor’s agenda. In my view the RUF was helping Mr. Taylor’s with his agenda. Please inform me; how can a believer of rumors call this case “TOTAL NONSENSE!”?
I am not sure I follow when you say “I can understand how Mr Taylor soldiers ended up fighting on the same side of a group that Mr Taylor owes a favor”? When did they end up fighting on the same side as the RUF? Please elaborate! I am not aware of the RUF fighting on the same side during the period of the alleged crimes.
I know the ULIMO fighters who were coming out of both Sierra Leone and Liberia was both attacking the RUF and assisting them by selling arms to them. So are you sure you have it right?
In response to your question “When did they end up fighting on the same side as the RUF? Please elaborate!”. I’m talking about the NPFL solider that were allegedly recruited by the RUF to fight in the SL conflict as mercenaries. Basically, I’m saying I can’t understand how the RUF helped (or like King Gray states get rescued by) Mr. Taylor in 1991, then years later the RUF is calling on NPFL solider for rescue (or return a favor).
Al Solo Nyonteh,
Oh really, Did the RUF asked Taylor for help years later? When and where? Why can’t you help assist Ms. Hollis with this other lie? She is hustling so bad. She needs every help she can get. Talking about years later. What year “boss”?
Thanks for the enlightening legalese.
Now can you for this audience explain that this court is not to determine guilt or innocence but rather a demonstration of how moral and ethical parameters are determiined by the powerful. How the powerful countries decide who is guilty or not.
Also explain to the people of Sierra Leone, the travesty that is Ms Hollis. The poor legal representationis to the memory of all the war dead is abominable. She should throw herself off this case. And for Gods sake couldn’t the prosecution get someone with more passion and moral authority, A Sierra Leonean, to represent the dead, maimed. Maybe the case would be more believfable
Before you end, explain the support to Mobutu who massacred so many of his country men with the approval of the west.
Michael A — welcome back and a happy new year to you. I’m glad you’ve rejoined us here as the conversation is becoming quite lively.
I do understand the argument you are making and I know you are not alone in your thinking: that is, the concern that these courts are created and controlled by powerful countries and are directed against those from weaker countries; the disappointment you feel that a Sierra Leonean is not the lead prosecutor in this case; and the seeming selectivity of justice on which high level individuals in the world that such courts target.
What I can say is this: the Special Court is set up so that the judges are independent of political influence — in fact, that is one of the criteria for their selection. In this case for Mr. Taylor, none of the judges belong to the most powerful western countries like the US or the UK. Instead, we have Justice Lussick from Samoa, Justice Sebutinde (now the presiding judge) from Uganda, Justice Doherty from Northern Ireland, and the alternate judge, Justice Sow, from Senegal. I think most people on the site who have been following the trial would agree that they have acted to ensure that the fair trial rights of Mr. Taylor are respected, and to date have given us no reason to think they are being influenced by political powers.
In terms of the prosecution team, you may have seen that part of the opening statement in the Taylor trial was done by Sierra Leonean lawyer Mohamed Bangura. Now, the acting prosecutor for the whole of the Special Court for Sierra Leone is also a Sierra Leonean lawyer, Joseph Kamara.
I do not know enough of the details about the Mobutu example that you bring up to be able to comment in this forum – sorry. But what I can say more generally is that the international system has a lot to do before there are enough forums to ensure that all military or political leaders who are alleged to have committed mass crimes are given a day in a court which is fair and independent, are represented by a good legal team so their fair trial rights are respected, and can be given the opportunity to explain what role and responsibility they have, if any, in the commission of the alleged crimes they are charged with.
Tracey, I am prone to comment on your analysis regarding the choice of judges for this court. Let me make it very clear as you have correctly indicated, for me, I have got no reason at this time to view the judges in any negative manner. The judges continue to demonstrate independence. But their selection to this bench when seriously analyze speaks more to the political nature of this court.
Somoa is a part of the United States and is directly controlled and influence by the United States, Ireland is a brother or sister of the British and both the Britishs and Americans have strong roots in that country, Senegal cannot be a neutral country given the issue of Senegalese soldiers in Liberia during ECOMOG operations. Moreso, Senegal is a “puppet” of the United States, it is well documented what role the Senegalees played during the first gulf war under the command of the United States. As for Kenya, it is very clear that most of the top officials of Kenya are personal close associates of current Liberia’s president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. So one can question the rationalization of selecting these judges from countries that already has vested interests in the outcome of this trial.
But more importantly, if one looks at the prosecution, which has always been led by an American, it becomes clear regarding the political nature of this trial. How can one be the cheif financier, and chief prosecutor at the same time? Does it not make sense that the one who financially sponsored the court and at the same time serving as the prosecutor of the accused has a direct interest in what kind of justice the prosecution is seeking? How can one be the judge , jury and prosecutor all at the same time?
We do not need an Albert Eisteen to tell us that the United States and Great Britian specifically, financially sponsored this court to simply prosecute Mr. Taylor. That is the fact, as is known on two levels. UNITED STATES PROVIDES THE PROSECUTORS AND BRITIAN HAS PROVIDED THE PRISON. How is it not clear regaridng the international conspriracy against Mr. Taylor and the political nature of this trial? It is very clear, especially so that all of the charges against Mr. Taylor orginates from false information coming from mostly American and British newspapers. This trial is a pure political trial and loses any credibility as a form of international justice were Mr. Taylor to be convicted by the political rules of this court. “TOTAL NONSENSE!”
I am sure you want to say that you question the Senegalese neutrality since Taylor and his men slaughtered 6 of them in Lofa, remember that? So would a Ghanian judge be questioned since Ghana was part of Ecomog? From my experience and contacts with Senegalese in all levels including some in government and the military, they harbor no grudge against Liberians or Taylor….they are however disappointed that such a talent (Taylor) was wasted. The Liberian community is Dakar enjoys peace without harassment and they are rewarded scholarships. I personally know couple of Liberians who benefited from scholarships for college or universities from that country (because they were refugees). Other countries in the region didn’t provide such that didn’t come throw the UN, I think.
Hi King Gray,
You and I differ on the David Crane’s questions and answers fiasco, which is perfectly alright. But I want to take this time to commend you for your respond to Tracey “regarding the choice of judges for this court”. It was right on the money. I agree with you 125% soldier.
Sayin anything else will not be doing JUSTICE to your words….so I rest my case. On POINT with FACTUAL FACTS.
The prosecution has without a doubt established (with the help of Mr. Taylor) that Mr. Taylor had the “means” to supply the RUF. Mr. Taylor hand delivered a connection between the RUF and himself. Although his explanation eliminates him as a conspirator to the crimes that took place in SL; I’m a strong believer that “ if you play with dirt you are dirty”. It’s obvious that Mr. Taylor is hiding something. A well educated man like Mr. Taylor acting as a liaison, is totally unaware of the demands. I thought the demand were the most critical part in reaching an agreement. If Mr. Taylor don’t get off the stand soon he is going to deliver a “motive”.
Al-Solo Nyonteh, this view by you: “If Mr. Taylor don’t get off the stand soon he is going to deliver a “motive”.” This shows that atleast from your own vintage point, the prosecution has not established the critical ingredient in a criminal trial “mens rea-” a “motive.” You are correct that the prosecution has failed this test. Good thinking on your part.
The Prosecution Team has proved beyond all reasonable doubts not only taylor’s immence influence over these thugs( Sam Boakarie, Foday Sankoh, and ..) but his close association with them and criminal activities both in the diamond fields, and on battle fronts day in and day out during the unrests in West Africa! What else are these supporters talking about proofs? Are they not keeping pace of what taylor has unknowingly admitted indirectly all along? Taylor was affectionately called ‘papey’ by Sam B,given citizenships without fingerprints, allowed to wage unrest in neighboring Ivory Coast from Liberian border, and appararantly unkwown to taylor, and now “not to my knowledge,” tayloring is saying about verbal threats made by Sam Boakeris on national radio station! Please watch taylors greatest excuses: ” I am not aware” not to my knowledge” had I known” or ” was all for peace when I…”
You see taylor, you and your supporters seem to be the only one who believe your Marco polo adventure stories at this point and don’t get carried away because Judges throw one or two evidents in this case! They probably already have enough to convict you Con Man!
Honestly, sometimes I find it very difficult following the point you are trying to make. Unfortunately, your line of discussion is always so predictable that many times it is not worth commenting on. The anger and hatred is always not far away. Ha haa…
Too bad for you the Prosecution is doing so dismal a job. Maybe you should go and lend a hand. You seem to have an athoritative stand right? Very funny!
Helen, let me say this to you; I hate taylor very much and the reason being that he was responsible for countless number of deaths and destructions in West Africa1 It is the same way Jews Hate Adolf Hitler for the holicost! You get it?
Who cares if you hate President Taylor? That’s your worry and choice. As far as we are concerned, vast majority of the Liberian people love their former president including myself.
A quick reminder if you don’t mind. Before we all left for the Christmas brake, if I’m correct, you told us that Alpha was going to Freetown for Christmas and would try to sort public views on the Taylor trial, but still now we have not heard from him on how people back in Freetown view the trial especially when Mr. Taylor is on the witness stand. Would you please check with him and let us know soon?
Thanks for your usual understanding.
Harris K Johnson
Hi there Harris — you have a great memory! Yes that is correct — Alpha was in Freetown over the break. Let me check in with him on the updates and I will revert. Glad you are interested to hear about it.
Tracey , please help me with these issues since I certain you must have watched the whole trial, including the prosection presentation in chief. Has any core fact been established that it was Mr. Taylor who sent the RUF into training in Libya? Did SLeons have any right to rebel against their government? Was it Mr. Taylor who influenced SLeons to rebelled against their government?
Moreover, I am interested to know whether the RUF was engaged in any form of military activities prior to Mr. Taylor becoming a member of the committee of five and serving as “point president for peace”? So who was the RUF control and and command leadership? Was Taylor in charge at that time? Interestingly also, should a peace mediator know about every dealings of a military group? And should a peace mediator be held responsible for the actions and misbehavior of a military group?
Notwithstanding, was it not Mr. Taylor, by extension of ECOWAS, that removed Sam Bokaria from SL because they believed that he was obstructing the peace process? So what credit should Mr. Taylor get for the removal of Bokaria from the war? There are many many questions that came to my mind when I continue to hear repeated lies and deception on the part of the prosecution to demonize Mr. Taylor for crimes in SL. Even in western societies, the president does not know everything that goes on dialy and one expect for Mr. Taylor to know every little detials about events unfolding in a different country.
If Taylor was all this powerful and knowledgeable as the prosecutor is presenting issues regarding SL, then why was it not possible for him to use that power to prevent ULIMO and LURD from wagging war against him from SL and Guinea? Why he did not know all of the details and operations of ULIMO and LURD before they attacked Liberia? I am just thinking out loud!!
Hi King Gray — would you mind if I reverted to you properly tomorrow? Alas I have run out of time this evening to give your comment a proper consideration and response. WIll look forward to our continued conversation tomorrow, however.
The issue of Sam Bakari just won’t go away will it? It’s funny how Mr. Bakari continues to haunt Taylor, even in death. Indeed, I am sure that even after all of the other evidence has been heard, the crucial issue which will make or break this case in the eyes of the judges as they deliberate, the one haunting question which will never go away, will be that of Mr. Bakari. What relationship did he have with Mr. Taylor, and how/why was he killed?
I find the events described here especially interesting because the prosecution was finally able to corner Mr. Taylor: either he knew about Bakari’s pronouncements through direct contact with Bakari, or he had to have known about them from the daily briefings he received as one of the chief peacemakers in the Sierra Leone conflict. Here’s what I don’t get: if Mr. Taylor heard about these reports, why not just admit hearing about them and describe what he did in response? Such an admission would ahve actually bolstered his argument that he was a peacemaker. So why continue the denials? By continuing to deny, he is undermining his own defense! I agree with one of the earlier readers who said that if we leave Mr. Taylor on the stand long enough, he will eventually derail his own case.
Paivy, like our man Al Solo, you have aslo correctly analyzed that the prosecution has so far failed to establish a solid case against Mr. Taylor . Thus , you reasoned , “if we leave Mr. Taylor on the stand long enough, he will eventually derail his own case.” Atleast , for now, you have objectively realize that Taylor still have a strong case. Good thinking on your part!
I meant to continue by saying: remember the defense is under no obligation to prove the innoncense of the accused. I wonder what the public impressions will be by the time the defense closes its case. For now, Taylors testimony alone appears to have done suffient justice to the prosecutions case against him. Even at the stage of cross examination we are still awaiting the ‘smoking gun’. A bad case is a bad case! Lets call a spade its name.
Tracey, I will await your response. Do not be in a hurry because I can understand the huge task you have to handle. However, I also wanted to address the issue of this whole command and control thing. The prosecution on the one hand is alleging that Taylor was in command and control of the RUF before he became a point president for peace. Yet , at the same time the prosecution further alleges that while serving , as a point president for peace, Taylor gave the RUF communication facilities in Liberia and radio communication for use in SL, as a means to command and control the RUF.
So the question that burdens the prosecution is simpe: before giving these communication facilities to RUF, how was Taylor in command and control of the RUF? The prosecution has failed to demonstrate any fact regarding Taylor prior allege “command and control” of the RUF. Thus, Mr. Taylor version is correct that he gave the RUF communication devices to enable him and other West African leaders , to gain direct contacts with the RUF for peace purposes. As a matter of fact, Taylor was copying after the Ivorian government. So why has this court not charge IV president for having “command and control” over the RUF? The RUF also had an office in Ghana , according to evidence in this trial, so why has the Ghanian president not been charged with “command and control” of the RUF? This trial is a pure international conspriracy against Mr. Taylor by greedy profiteers and exploiters.
If this allegation of the prosecution is accepted, that Taylor gave the RUF communication facilities in Liberia and radio communication for use in SL, as a means to command and control the RUF.
Does the suggestion not indicate that before the provision of those communication avenues, that Taylor was not in direct command and control of the RUF? I make this inquiry because it is difficult to rationalize how someone who is already in a “command and control” position of an organization would need to provide communcation facilities before they can gain “command and control” of an already functioning organization that he should have already have such “command and control?”
The prosecution proposition is preposterous and a naked white lie. If the good people of western societies do not wake up to these criminal behavior by greedy powerful international forces, the whole world could explode into unneccessary crisis. Poor and good people around the world need to band against greedy corporate agents who continue to destroy world peace. The prosecution arguments can only come from a sick mind. “TOTAL NONSENSE!”
Hi King Gray — I do indeed still owe you a response, and I promise I have not forgotten!
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