Prosecutors Question Charles About Crimes Committed By His NPFL Rebels in Liberia

Prosecutors today questioned former Liberian president Charles Taylor about crimes committed by his rebel forces during his country’s civil conflict. This formed part of a broader effort by prosecutors to show consistent crime patterns with those of neighboring rebels in Sierra Leone, whom Mr. Taylor is accused of supporting during the West African country’s bloody 11-year civil war. The aim is to show rebels in both countries had the same command structure, with Mr. Taylor at the top. Mr. Taylor has denied the allegations.

As she questioned Mr. Taylor today about crimes committed by his National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) rebels, lead prosecutor Brenda Hollis reminded Mr. Taylor of his November 19, 2009 statement under cross-examination that certain types of crimes committed by Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebel forces in Sierra Leone (such as amputations) were of a surprise because they did not occur in Liberia.  In doing so, she sought to demonstrate that while the specific types of crimes committed in each country may have differed, the approach used by both sets of rebels were the same in that they involved widespread and systematic attacks against civilians.  Mr. Taylor has consistently denied he was in control of the RUF rebels, and sought to show in his direct testimony that in Liberia, he held his own rebels to account for any crimes, and that those crimes were not, he argues, widespread in nature.

“Crimes committed by all factions in Liberia including your NPFL were widespread and systematic in nature,” Ms. Hollis told Mr. Taylor today at the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

“I’ll say it’s incorrect,” Mr. Taylor responded.

Ms. Hollis also pointed that “the NPFL did not put in place the minimum standards to mitigate against these widespread abuses” in the NPFL.

In his response, the former president said that “the NPFL had military tribunals to mitigate abuses.”

Mr. Taylor also dismissed as “totally not correct” prosecution claims that his “NPFL targeted women as victims of crimes such as rape, sexual slavery and other forms of violence.

In response to Ms. Hollis’s assertion that the “NPFL were responsible for burning of entire villages,” Mr. Taylor said that “that is not to my knowledge.”

Demonstrating that crimes are committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against civilians is important in this case because it is one of the elements needed to prove that crimes committed by rebels in Sierra Leone, such as murder, torture or rape, rose to the level of crimes against humanity.  Mr. Taylor is charged with five counts of crimes against humanity for crimes committed in Sierra Leone.  One of the ways he can be held responsible for these crimes is by evidence indicating that he was in effective control of Sierra Leonean rebels and was in a position to prevent or punish their crimes. Showing that crimes against humanity were committed in both countries is a way of demonstrating a pattern between the two conflicts, prosecutors are also trying to show a consistency in command structure.  Mr. Taylor has denied the allegations, asserting that his involvement in Sierra Leone was purely for peaceful purposes in the West African country.

Meanwhile, as prosecutors tried to submit new evidence today in the form of documents or reports which point at crimes committed by Mr. Taylor’s NPFL, the judges rejected the use of most of the documents on grounds that they were prejudicial to the guilt of the accused and that the prosecution had not established that it was in the interest of justice to use them and that they would not affect the fair trial rights of the accused. While she was not allowed to use the documents, that did not stop Ms. Hollis from pointing out to Mr. Taylor the crimes committed by his NPFL rebels. The former president continued to dismiss Ms. Hollis’s assertions as incorrect.

Referencing the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report, Ms. Hollis told Mr. Taylor that “it is correct that your NPFL recruited and used child soldiers during the conflict and you continued to use child soldiers during your presidency.”

“Incorrect,” the former president said. “The factual nature of the TRC report is a subject of challenges in the courts of Liberia right now,” he added.

As Ms. Hollis attempted to read the relevant portion of the TRC report, Mr. Taylor’s defense counsel Courtenay Griffiths objected to the use of the report on grounds that it was prejudicial to Mr. Taylor’s guilt and since the requirements of it being in the interest of justice and the fair trial rights of the accused were not met, it should not be allowed. The judges upheld the defense objection and Ms. Hollis was not allowed to read the relevant text.

Ms. Hollis asked Mr. Taylor about the Liberian TRC’s account that the NPFL committed the largest percentage of abuses during Liberia’s conflict. She also pointed at reports which alleged that the NPFL massacred civilians in various villages, some on the basis that they belonged to the Krahn and Mandingo ethnic groups, that the NPFL killed foreign nationals of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) countries because of the actions of ECOWAS Monitoring Group (ECOMOG)– a sub-regional peacekeeping force that was put together by West African countries to stop the conflict in Liberia.  Also discussed in court today was the killing of five American nuns, allegedly by NPFL rebels in Liberia. Mr. Taylor dismissed Ms. Hollis’s accounts as untrue.

Responding to the issue of the alleged killing of the nuns, Mr. Taylor denied that his NPFL rebels had deliberately killed the nuns. He called the situation a “tragic situation” which had taken place by accident.

Mr. Taylor’s cross-examination continues tomorrow.


  1. I am new to this site and will mark it as one of my favourites as I follow the trial of Mr. Taylor. While I do not agree with the high courts for prosecuting Mr. Taylor on this case as a priority over those committed in Liberia, I hope that when this case is completed, there will also be a trial for those who committed crimes during the Liberian Civil war. I mean every one of those that were in authority. That, for me, would be the ultimate justice for crimes against humanity in the wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone .

    We will see differing views and opinions on this trial, people who believe Mr. Taylor is innocent and those who think he is guilty and so there should not even be a trial. However, if we lower ourselves to the level of metting out jungle justice, we are no better than those who perpertuated those crimes. As civilized people who believe in the rule of law, we will let the courts decide this case and trust that they have the evidence they need to convict the accused.

    1. Salida — welcome to this site and I’m pleased you have joined us. You are absolutely right — on this site we have people who express the range of opinions about Mr. Taylor’s guilt or innocence, and the integrity of the legal process itself. I agree with you that it is so crucially important that the process be fair and have integrity and that the judges are the ones, according to the rule of law, who will decide this case.

      Looking forward to your continued contributions to our discussion here.


    2. Salida,

      Even if Taylor is not convicted in this trial, the national security of the West African region and Liberia demands that he remains incarcerated for his lifetime.

      If Taylor were to be tried for his crimes in Liberia, it would unearth too many secrets of our foreign “allies” who brought Taylor to power and sustained him.

      But who can Liberians blame? When Tolbert was there, Liberians cried, “help! help! help!” Doe got there, Liberians still cried “help! Help! Help!” So there were only a few Liberians, including Taylor, brave enough to challenge Doe. In it all, I take my hat off to the Late Elmer Johnson, who was a true patriot and son of Liberia. Then when Taylor got there, and after sing the loyalty songs to Taylor, Liberians started to cry “help! Help! help!” again.

      So, getting rid of Taylor was also in our foreign “allies'” best interests for “peace and quietness” in Liberia and the region. Also, he and his boyz were stealing too much, ignoring the plight of the masses of Liberian people, and becoming an international problem. Moreover, Taylor was incapable of maintaining the “peaceful and quiet” Liberia our foreign “allies” wanted and needed, so he had to go! And our own GW Bush was not taking any nonsense about it. Taylor sensed that and went flying out of Liberia.

      Now, knowing quite well that Taylor is incapable of staying silent or quiet, out of sight, and/or our of politics in Liberia; and knowing that Taylor’s intervention, involvement, and/or participation in the political affairs in Liberia and/or the region will result in more of the same problems and the possible destabilization of the region and Liberia again, it is in the best interests of the international community, America, ECOWAS, Liberia and the region to have Taylor remain in jail for his lifetime; not primarily for Liberia’s or Sierra Leone’s sake but for the sake of keeping “peace and quiet” in the region so as not to cause our foreign “allies” any more headaches.

      I may be wrong, but let’s watch and see!

      ALUTA CONTINUA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. 7 to 8 days minus 1 remaining for cross exam still no evidence? well maybe the prosecution is reserving the best till the last day of cross. so far I have not seen how these weeks spent on cross examining Mr Taylor has helped the prosecution to establish its case.

    1. Sam,

      Maybe koumjian might be the one to provide the evidence. You never know. But as for Ms. Hollis, she doesn’t count.

  3. The prosecution had a major setback in court today. Almost all of the so-called evidence to impeach and to established guilt presented by the prosecution were declared inadmissible by the judges.

    Ms Hollis just didn’t get it. After going through this exercise of submitting evidences approximately 27 times and the evidences were not inadmissible by the judges, Perry Mason had to literally step in and said enough is enough. Perry Mason raised an objection based on the premise, that after 27 times Ms Hollis attempt to use evidence to impeach and to determine guilt have been rule inadmissible by the judges, therefore, it was irreverent for Ms Hollis to continue using the same document to introduce any more new evidence. The judges upheld.

    Ms Hollis’ strategy was to keep pushing through her evidences of impeachment and guilt, hoping that the judges would have bend. It never happened. The judges stood their ground.

    What Ms Hollis is now doing, she is setting up a case for an appeal, base on this so-called impeachment and guilt evidence. Her appeal will be base on the judges denying the prosecution a fair trial, by not allowing the prosecution to introduce this so-called evidence. Reality is now sitting in, Ms Hollis knows very well that under no circumstances the prosecution can possibly win the case.

    Maybe, the only two countries that will sponsored an appeal will mostly likely be the US and GB. President Taylor is not yet guilty, but GB has a cell already in waiting. TOTAL, TOTAL NONSENSE.

  4. No way!!!!!!!!Taylor is a saint.He is as innocent as the snail-at least so says his tongue.But he won’t survive this ordeal.

  5. I see that the prosecution has no more case against My Taylor,
    instead of focusing on the nature of the case which is Sierra Leone,
    she is focusing on irrelevant issues that do not have any serious
    bearing on the case.
    Let her understand that the So-called TRC report is not a trust worthy document
    in Liberia.
    She should not base her proof on such a trash(TRC report)

    Therefore, i suggest that they rest their case and render an acquital
    judgement for Mr. Taylor.

  6. Why wouldn’t Ms. Hollis believe that there was a strong military tribunal set up by the NPFl t o try violators of the rules of engagement?
    If she doesn’t let her find out what kill Sam Larto and others.
    Indeed there was a tribunal for the NPFL that tried violators within the NPFL.
    She does not have knowledge of what took place in Liberia.
    Therefore, she should concerntrate on the Sierra Leone charges and not Liberia.

  7. What will be the next question for Mr Taylor this time? I can guess, How many vehicles were there in his convoy during his rebel days and time as President? All these question will help link him to CRIMES he committed in SL.

    Lets be Frank, if Mr. taylor need to be kept somewhere to make the world a save place you people should just say it to him and close this book or chapte. The world need funds for better things that will change the direction of people thinking in the world.

    The issue on hand is less important to our time, ” If we do not move to step two in life we can never solve the problem we created at step one” that is to say, if we cannot change the people thinking of things we know that brought about trouble in the world by moving ahead we stand right to go back to where we came from.
    Taylor may have cause problems for us, we agreed, but let graduate from there and stop making Taylor a King around here. If you failed to stop what created the problem which is illtracy we all know and that is water clear, our kids will ask us tomorrow, “You people made someone king for things you could have solved” “our future will go before it’s created”

  8. Folks,

    This case is nothing short of revolutionary. By the way, did most of you watch the 25 January, 2010 trial? if you did, you will be able to see clearly the imminent and massive defeat of the prosecution on the horizon. Man old man, it was a monumental failure of Ms. Brenda Hollis again to produce evidence to the court against the accused. As the result, she returned to her roots of distraction and previous inhuman characteristics. However, Ms. Hollis, with biased remorse, engagaed in an attempt to use the most controversial document of our times, the Liberian TRC report, to go towards impeachment and guilt of the accused. At times, seem confusedly overwhelmed with her own disorganized and disarranged folder/binder, pointed to the wrong pages and paragraphs, and sentences to the honorable judges, while she is on another page. For example: she referred the judges to page 214, whereas, there was no marking on the supposedly page 214 of the judges pages. She however, apologized and took responsibility. she kept on asking the judges to to allow certain portion of the TRC report and a letter written by Dr. Sawyer accusing President Taylor of using terror tactics in the Liberian civil war to go towards impeachment and guilt. According to her, her reasons for asking rely on her previous argument. Notwithstanding, the judges response to her was they (Judges) also rely on their previous reason to disallow the material. And Ms Hollis kept on trying with the same results. No changes. Nontheless, being disallowed to use the material by the judges, Ms. Hollis depicted the most vivid image I have ever seen in this trial. Red-faced prosecutor: Ms. Hollis veins popping up on her neck as she vibrates with nauseating disgust of why these documents should be admitted towards guilt and impeachment. Folks, it is even more clearer that the judges are ripping the veil of the false immaculation of the prosecution. However, the more I hear people react to the brutal failures of the prosecution, and the more I read about their so-call strategy of the prosecution, the more I understand just what a huge win for freedom and liberty.

  9. Alpha and Tracey,

    Please help me understand some phenomenon of th prosecution’s current strategy. Of late the court has repeatedly sustained numerous objections from the defense on grounds that the prosecution’s evidence or documents do not meet the two prong test of violating the fair trial rights of the accused or they potentially bear material that point to the guilt of the accused and could have been used during the evidence in chief.

    If they court continues to uphold the defense’s objection, my concern is why is the prosecution continuing with this line of questioning leading repeated rejection of evidence or sustaining of objections. Is there any underlying legal motive that could achieve that is not apparent to the ordinary person. In my view continuing with the cross examination in this fashion is either a waste of time, or they are experimenting or applying trial and error practice.

    Please guys give us some legal analysis.

    1. Hi Andrew — an interesting question indeed. In the coming days I will post an overview of the prosecution and defense arguments they are making over just this issue as the prosecution seeks leave to appeal the decisions on the judges’ approach to the use of documents. That, I hope, will provide an underpinning for our conversation on this issue.

      1. Tracey,
        on what grounds is the prosecution seeking to appeal the decisions on the judges’ approach to the use of “fresh evidences despite the fact that they are documents.

  10. Well, Today January 26, 2010, I could not have completed the trial as the result of the continual break in transmission of the trial and audio glitch. I however, left the trial on the part that Ms. Hollis again attempts to present passages that have already been disallowed yesterday January 25, 2010, for the purpose of impeachment and guilt. Yesterday her requests were denied because it fails the “Two Prone Test.” However, if someone was able to complete the trial, could that person please tell me how the honorable judges rule this time around on the same document and premise of Ms. Hollis request?

  11. Gentlemen, I almost got up to dance in front of my computer after the communication between Grifith and Judge Sebutinde just before the brake. She emphaticly said to Courtney that the BURDEN LIES ON THE PROSECUTION TO pROOOOOOF their case. So, Ms. HOLIS can ask any amount of questions she wants……. OH !! MY GOD>>>>


    1. Hi V-Man — one of the prosecutions arguments yesterday was the notion that while the exact crimes were not the same in both countries, the patterns of widespread and systematic abuses were – and that rebels in both countries had the same command structure, leading to Mr. Taylor. I’m curious what you think of this argument that looks at the wars from a regional “big picture” level and away from the specific crimes committed in each country?

      1. Hello Ms Gurd,

        Thanks for welcoming me to the forum the other day. It is very nice of you although I must point out that while I have not contributed to the debate for quite a while, I am not new on this site as several postings have been made by me on certain occassions e.g. I commented on the disgraceful and dishonest nature of Mr Hassan Bility and the implication on African journalists. I also wrote about the biased stance of ms Corinne Dufka and the judgement of the trial chamber dismissing her supposedly expert testimony as tainted and prejudiced.
        Well, that said, I shall like to point out a few things ( maybe one thing ) pertaining to your response to V-man’s posting and that is that whilst it is true that the pattern of behaviour of rebels in Liberia and Sierra Leone might be similar, the same holds true with conflict patterns in the DRC, Angola, Mozambique, Namibia e.t.c. . Some of these wars may have ended but we did notice wide-spread looting, rape, child soldiers, and the like. Now, my question is this : are we to say that these practices are exported from country to country? or Is/are the same perpetrators the ones in the background in all these conflicts? ( I have my answer but will await yours ). African civil wars in my submission are just uniquely barbaric .
        Also, in as much as I might not want to question Berkely University’s leaning in this trial, I would like to suggest you ( the site board ) seek alternative legal opinion from other institutions as well . We have some of the best – impartial – legal academics over here in the U.K . I say this because i know that Ms Hollis is close to this University. Once again thanks for the hands on and warm approach.

        1. Dear Rgk007 — well, my apologies indeed that I failed to recognize you from earlier posts — in that case, a warm welcome back!

          Rgk007 — I do take your point about criminal practices being widespread or systematic in other countries too, far removed from Sierra Leone and Liberia. You are absolutely right that such widespread and systematic practices happened elsewhere in wars unconnected to Sierra Leone’s (or for that matter, Liberia), and the same practices are not exported wholesale from country to country in Africa (or elsewhere for that matter), nor are the same commanders behind all of them. You have no argument from me there.

          In this case, however, I think what the prosecution is trying to say is that these wars in Sierra Leone and Liberia were in fact closely connected, both in timeframe and overall patterns of crimes, which in turn is part of what leads them to believe that Mr. Taylor was intimately involved in a command position in both. The key for them, however, is to show that the similar widespread or systematic patterns weren’t just a random disconnected occurance in each country, but that the similarities are enough, when added with other evidence they are presenting in their case, to demonstrate that the same man was in command and control of rebel behaviour in each country.

          And yes, we are heeding your advice and trying to get legal opinions to share on this site from legal academics. If you have any suggestions of who we might approach and what topics they might best write about, we’d be happy to contact them.


        2. Rgkoo7,
          I saw in your note to Tracey, the specific refrence you made to african civil wars as “babaric”. Ok, I am in total agreement. But before you leave, could you please tell which civil war was or is not babaric????

        3. Ms Gurd ( not trying to be too formal ), thanks for the response. Indeed I do understand what you are talking about now. However, these chain of command still needs to be proven with concrete evidence as opposed to conjecture and propaganda. I know a couple of grays inn lawyers but have not been in-touch with either of them in a long while. However I shall try to solicit some assistance from other contacts and would gladly refer them to you .
          Noko5 asked me a question on what civil war isn’t barbaric. My answer is non. I was just focusing on the subject matter continent in particular. Cheers.

          1. Rgk007 — thanks for your note and your offer to contact lawyers for contributions to the site – but please don’t go to any trouble. And you are welcome to call me Tracey, by the way!

      2. Tracey,
        this prosecution argument will not go will because Mr. Hollis will need to provided documentations or sound evidences that no other civil war or unrest past and present in the world, Africa , this region or in Sierra Leone did not have a patterns of widespread and systematic abuses, until Mr. Taylor became the NPFL leader and President of Liberia. I really do not think Ms. Hollis will be able to provide such. The key issue here is “civil war”. This was not a war between two countries or a group of countries against another group of countries; it was between organized groups within a single country form from their own citizens.

      3. Tracey Gurd,

        What is this same command and control structure of both Liberia and Sierra Leone? Why they can not show us his rank and position and how he was in control of both countries through documents? Tracey, let them bring their proof forward. How hard is that?

        1. Jose — yes, I’m sure that is what they are trying to do. It is certainly a contested point in this trial which we will hear more of during the defense case, I’m sure.

        2. Again Tracey,

          Why does it have to be the defense case that we will hear more about his allegedly adsurd rank and position of the RUF/AFRC? Why not the prosecution, who claims this innocent man did what they say he did? What if the defense decides not to talk more about it? How will we the public get to know the bottom of the charge? Look Tracey, this thing is much more harder than you made think on the prosecution. Because the entire thing is a LIE; AND THERE IS NO OTHER WAY TO PUT IT. I tell you this, if the evidences were available, you and I will not be discussing what we are talking about right now. That is to say, bending over backwards, outside down, side ways, inside outside, upside, upper and lower deck, Upstairs and downstairs, up and down and grabbing our ankles to find every reason why this innocent man should be found guilty.

      4. Tracey,
        You stroke a cord here…sometime last week I posted a tread that commented on the similarities and dissimilarities of the crimes committed in Liberia and SL. It’s true that most of the crimes committed in Liberia mirror those of SL, these crimes are not regionally based or concentration. The use of child soldiers, rape and indiscriminate killing is not a new phenomena of African conflicts. While these are wrong and I strongly protest them, this pattern is systematic. Crimes of similar nature happened in DRC, Sudan, Uganda, Somalia and the list goes on. Because of the fluidity of the border, and the barbaric nature of mankind in a lawless society, its no surprise that the crimes (in Liberia and SL) are very similar in nature. I don’t think the prosecution executed the case properly. It’s obvious they are really off their game. I doubt the current strategy was the “initial” plan of attack against the accused. It seem as though they are improvising or reinventing the wheel as each day. But, the pattern that the team is trying to show, in my opinion is not strong, the behavior is common where the law is absent.

        In regards to the crimes and use of child soldier that CT is denying. It is ridiculous that he would contest and lie so boldly or should I say it’s a “big black lie”. He had a unit called the SBU (small boy unit) kids ranged from 5-15 years old and he used them sometimes for his own protection. If he can refute this, his credibility is highly being questioned by many…even those who are avowed supporters of CT know that he is not being truthful in regards to the child soldiers.

      5. Tracey, this line of reasoning by the prosecution is weak. Because , if this is a correct reasoning then it is SL that should be held responsible for causing war in the region. It was SL who first suppport a war upon Liberia in 1985, so they introduced the whole concept of warfare to Liberians.

  13. This trial is very interesting. You mean after years of building up this case, there’s nothing concrete to show as evidence? The prosecutors are now trying to convince the judges that inconsistencies should be the basis to convict Taylor. However, I’m eagerly awaiting the conclusion of the cross examination. Probably by then we’ll see the evidence we’ve been made to believe years now.

  14. Hi Tracey,

    Can you tell me what you make of Ms. Hollis and Courtenay Griffiths individual performances in this trial?



    1. Hi Golf,

      In short, I think they are both great lawyers and they have both been vigorous in putting their arguments forward. We’ll probably be doing a more thorough analysis after both sides have presented their case — can you wait until then for our more comprehensive thoughts?

      Perhaps more interestingly — what do you make of Ms. Hollis and Mr. Griffiths’ individual performances so far?


  15. Sam, stop this flip flop. one moment you are judge and another moment a defense consel! Taylor is free to go since there is no evidence so far, according to you and others. The NPFL committed no atrocities in Liberia and your country is enjoying prosperity since the acendency of gankay to power. There is educational bom and economic prosperity to say the least. What more should the court waste time trying this innocent man? you see, this is why for some who say they are ashame to be Liberians are right. Liberians seem to be the most complacent individuals in Africa. They are not only quick to forget, but easy to fall for indoctrination of any kind! If somebody rise up some day and avenges both the culprits of today along with the innocents, Liberians mght say Hail chief, you are the Masiah we were waiting for, Hail son of god, you are our saviour! We, Liberian seem to live with no principles, but rather dwell on emotions. To us, it seems, we are okay as long we are not direct victims of any given situation! Forget rationality as this is only good if it applies to our immediate whims! Therefore, we should not be surprised of the great exodus of Us into exile for the next 100 years in foreign lands while our mentality slowly evolves to rationality and thinking like human beings again! I lament the way we live, think, and act especially in this trial of charles taylor!

    1. J Fallah Menjor,
      So I guess what you are saying from your rantings above is that you now agree there is no case against Mr. Taylor.

      1. Aki,

        Fallah has given up long time. Remember, when he said they will take their appeal case to LURD rebel leader Kabana J’ana’s Supreme court of Liberia? Right now, he is only fronting. However, most of them are saying, though, there is no evidence to convict, but they should keep Taylor away from the region. Why?

      2. Yes Aki, you win. Taylor has won the charges against him because there is more evidence to prove his innocence according to you. this trial should never had taken place because taylor built roads and schools for your country, Aki. I live in the United states and really don’t need benefit from the prosperity of liberia, therfore I care less if Taylor is set free or not. Most who will regret are those who live in liberia! Now you understand how liberian man thinks? That is exactly what I hear on this site from most of you guys. Sorry liberians have yet to utilize the gifts of higher learning they received under taylor’s golden days as king for us. Nothing further Aki.

      3. Thank you Aki. It is has finally dawned on Fallah that he had all along fallen for the propaganda of the western prosecutors and their instigated case against Mr Taylor. After almost two thirds of the cross examination and considering that they have closed their case, Ms Holis is still fighting to use evidence that at best is irrelevant and at worst distracting.

        Africans are no longer in the 1960s we the new generation can think for our selves and we know what is good for us and how to run our countries we need the west to stop INTERFERING in our affairs and leave us alone!

        1. Sam…
          What are you all missing in Fallah tread….he is being cynical…he is basically saying that he is concerned about the masses. He said well, I could be done with Liberia, I have in the States and have another place to live and call home but not everyone in Liberia has that. If something goes wrong today, he might not be impacted, but many others would be especially those who live in Liberia. I don’t see him throwing in the towel though. Maybe, I am wrong, I hope fallah could correct me here….

          So Fallah, are you throwing in the towel or are you expressing your concern about Liberia and our lack of care and concern for each other? If I am wrong in my post, please correct me.


        2. Bnker,

          Again, are you now reducing yourself to be an interpreter for Fallah like what you did to Vaa Alie Mansaray? I think Fallah is capable of saying what he wants to say. I can differ with you on the the basis of what I read directly from Fallah. However, Fallah should be held accountable for his statements and actions, and not you telling us what he meant. Please keep your side comments and interpretation to yourself. We don’t need interpreter for Fallah and I don’t know if Fallah needs an interpreter for Fallah.

      4. Aki,
        You so miss Fallah’s point….he is saying there needs to be justice. He is saying that we are a nation of no laws and principle. He is not saying there is no case…come on man. Don’t cherry pick here. I read it clearly and I’m sure you did too.

        This is probably the most insightful tread thus far. He is not dwelling on the trial, he is mainly focusing on “us”; why are we at this juncture and if we are not careful we will find ourselves here again. He suggested the selfish nature of our people, because we were not affected personally or directly, we are not concerned about others. If you try to see things objectively, read these treads, civilian casualty and loss of lives are taken no nonchalantly. These are people. Noko5 continue to insist that oh its war, and you can expect that. While he might not have been affected personally or otherwise, others were severely. Oh then I called coward because I called Taylor a “bastard” on the internet. That is not a cowardly statement, this is what is cowardly, waging war against an unarmed civilian population–that is the ultimate or apex of being a chicken. How can anyone say to that lady who was present when her husband was slaughter because he was a “supermarket” security, oh your husband death was a result of war. If I had been killed as the rebels planned, how could have anyone explained to my mother that was son was “slaughtered” because I claimed to look Krahn (I am Congo, and I don’t know how Krahns, Gios, Bassa, and others look), but old lady that’s war. Absolutely, ridiculous, insane and so darn right inhumane to diminish the lives of those who died and suffered the scorching sun, and nightly storms to flee to safety. Some died in quicksand, others were bitten by snakes, some ran for their lives and left their babies to starve (think people, please. This is not war and it’s so disheartening to hear our best resources, the human capital plight ignored.)

        So, until we start to think and see things from a broader horizon, we are bound to repeat. Unless something is done to deter future “power hungry, blood thirty, diabolic and insane” people, we are headed back to 1989. We should not only discourage these potential events, but study, educate and correct the past mistakes. There should be a lesson from rise of Hitler in Germany and 6 millions lives later. This monster thought the world that when signs of dictatorship and self overzealous people start to peak their heads from beneath the ground, you play “whack the mole”, in other words, knock them back down. Oh, I am about to raise tempers again, the rebel leaders including Samuel K. Doe have/had some of the characteristics of Hitler. They all lead a movement that whose policy was hatred and extermination of a group even though it was not an announced policy, secretly it was…based on their actions. They were all believed to be the redeemer of their people, they posses some charisma, they were all involved in weird religious practices (Hitler the third rite, the others voodoo, witchcraft and animism). For those who are religious, the bible says, “by their fruit ye shall know them”. Finally, they are all cowards, chicken, the lowest of human kind, barbaric by nature and they all need to face justice. Hitler was fortunate not to have seen justice, even though there is still no proof that he committed suicide. (It’s believed that he was flown to Argentina. The Russians claim to have the skull of Hitler, but further DNA revealed the skull was that of a female.)

    2. Fallah,

      Are you indicting the entire Liberia nation now for others seeing this fake trial for what it is? Good Lord, Almighty, which way should we turn?

      1. No, Rodriguez. Bnker is not interpreting anything for me. Rather, he is breaking it down for all to understand what I was driving at, I guess, because some of taylor’s loyalists seem to onlty comprehend what is in their favor and do not what is not! Bnker is one of those who I highly respect and recognize as true son of not only Africa, but the World.Bnker has not only demonstrated the ability to communicate his thoughts and opinions on this site, but shows rationality and intellectual ability in debate. Bnker, I salute you for your great ability to communicate and fairness!

        1. Fallah,

          Well, you can bestow what ever nobility or royalty for whom ever you choose. That’s your problem. We can care less. However, we, that see this trial from a different perspective are viewed by you as uneducated, irrational and all sorts of names, and those that see it your way are the good qualities. So what you have said, is not surprising, but famaliar. For me, I think you can do a better job of articulating your views as oppose to some one interpreting it for you. But if you think interpretation will serve your purpose, than who am I to say the least?

    3. jfallah,

      This sound more likes an acceptance speech. Have you surrounded? Have you thrown the towel into the ring indicating to the referees (Judges) to stop the fight? Taylor is beating up on Ms Hollis while she’s on the mat?

      Ms Hollis needs to get up off the mat; brush the dust off, this is the heavy weight fight 10 down 5 to go. Taylor will not accept a TKO, he’s want a unanimous decision.

    4. Fallah,
      Very insightful. You didn’t dwell on the trial much but more on our future and corrective actions. This is the best tread thus far…..

      Thanks, for looking forward…..

  16. So what the prosecutors told us at the beginging of this trial and the many press releases were LIES…..This is about Liberia!!!!!. We went CREDITABLITY to PATTERN but we have yet to see the evidences as it relate to the charges.

    Maybe Ms. Hollis needs to be reminded on the MANDATE of this court……SERIOUS VOILATION IN SIERRA LEONE SINCE NOV ’96. When was the last showing of NPFL as a fighting force???

    1. Hi 4 ur eyes only — the law professor who is kindly writing it for us said she would send it in by the end of this month or early next. Don’t worry — I will post it as soon as I get it. I’m sure it will be an interesting one!

      1. Hey Tracey,

        When will we be hearing from you about the research that you promised us about the British investigators searching for Mr. Taylor alleged 5 billion dollars?

        1. Hi Jose — thanks for the reminder. I am trying to get the info. WIll revert if/when I find out more.


  17. Humanity will not sit by and see Mr. Taylor get away with the horrific crimes he comitted against it, only bcause of the decieving notion that there is no ” hard evidence” . I believe that the evidences brought fort by the procecution are circumstantially cohisive enough to put Mr Taylor behind bars.
    Mr. Taylor created a dreadful world in the subregion in which one could only obtain grafical and detailed informations on his machinations by supernatural means; think of a society without freedom of speech (possessing antitaylor digital and photogaphic devises was a death warrant), a society without rule of law ( one’s chance to live was determined by bandits called rebels and their leaders), and society without effective and legal international trade( Liberian rebels, NPFL, saw neighboring countries as the fitile cresent to feed their hungry stomachs and greedy leaders).
    Even the jurges should know that during Mr. Taylor’s conquest of the subregion, finding an evidence was as hard as spending a night on panet Mass, nevertheless in the mist of hostile climate, weather and other natural forces, man has brought fort a picture of what mass is like and so the prosecution has been weaving evidences to put Taylor behind bars. A wise man knows why it’s easy to find evidence in the United States but very hard to find in the Turaburra or in SUMALIA.
    In this, Justice must not be looking for how hard the evidence is until we experience another hell at the hands of Mr. Taylor in the subregion. If Justice is not farsighted enough to give Sierra Loeneans Justice it must be steadfast enough to save the living and the unborn in the subregion.

    1. VEM,
      I will have to remind you that we are in a court of law here and Mr Taylor did not bring himself before the court. it was the prosecutors that arrested him and brought him to be tried before the court hence the burden lies on them to prove beyond all reasonable doubt before neutral judges that Mr Taylor actually did what they accuse him of. Now as things stand, they have failed woefully to do so. what “circumstantial” evidence are you talking about? remeber the prosecution said he planned, instigated, commanded and controled the RUF to commit attrocities in SL in order to have access to the diamonds of that country. well they have to prove that allegation. they also said he has billions of dollars in foreign accounts all they presented in court was an account that contained a maximum of 14 million dollars operated over 2 or 3 years and has ceased existing since 2003. now is that circumstantial to you? they said he took RUF to Libya and concluded a pact with Foday Sankoh in Libya to wage war on the people of SL. their own witness they brought to testify to that allegation (Moses Blah) said Mr Taylor did not know Sankoh in Libya and that the S/Lnians were there before the NPFL got to Libya. now VEM how is that “circumstantial” evidence to you?

      the list goes on and on. the best the Taylor haters should have done is to just arrest him and lock him up for life. then we all will know that we are in the era of jungle justice but since they have see fit to legitimise his arrest by prosecuting him in this special court, they have to play by the rules of the court which is: PROVE BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT.

    2. Hi Jose — I received a comment from you at 1:30a, today which I cannot post as it doesn’t accord with our policy of focussing on the trial and not other readers. Can you reforumate it to fit with our policy? If I am happy to post it. Also happy to send you the text if you need it.


        1. Hi Jose — sure – sorry, the way the moderation is set up, it is not clear which text you are referring to. Would you mind reminding me of the date and time of your comment and I’ll send it.

  18. Hey Guys,

    The prosecution seems to be heavily relying on the contents of the TRC Report on Liberia. I was just wondering what would the prosecution have done had this report not been published by this time? Clearly, the alleged contents of the report that relates to Taylor and the NPFL upon which the prosecution is relying has not been contested by Taylor nor those accused in the report. Hence the accounts in those reports cannot withstand the test of legal admissibility as evidence in a court of law.

    I am actually baffled over the performance and approach of the prosecution. I am awaiting more fireworks as their cross examination approaches its twilight.

    1. Andrew,
      Ok, before I make my comment, I guess you prefer me stating my position, I am not a CT fan as you and others in the forum—I wanted to clarify my position before I am categorized as being biased and as an “academician” (which I am not), my writings should be more centered around objectivity. Smile!

      Here we go….

      I wrote in a tread (to Tracey, under Jan 26) that I don’t think the current strategy was the initial plan of attack, I think the prosecution was thrown off their game by their witnesses and further dismantling by the defense cross examination. It seem as though they are “improvising and reinventing” the wheel as the days go by. I think the trial was poorly executed from the offset. The prosecution evidence or lack thereof is at best flimsy. I am not sure if there is any evidence that can genuinely convict Taylor. If there is conviction, then it’s based on the “pattern” that they are trying to establish. The pattern of crimes though mirror SL is not common to only these countries. While Taylor’s credibility has been substantially impeached for accounts in Liberia, Ms. Hollis, I think failed her team and the people of SL who expected a link….They all looked for fireworks (with the booms) in her performance, rather they got, “fire cracker” (pops at best and other times only sparks).

      Again, I am not sure that pattern will render a guilty verdict, but the preponderance of evidence in my opinion does not win a guilty verdict. But then again, I am no legal expert…we shall see what happens at the end of this trial.

      1. Bnker,

        I am leaning towards agreeing with you on this spectacular post. However, I may reserve what some may call my cynicism of this post for now. But again, good points.

        1. Jose,
          I will tell you bring humor to this forum for me….you have tons of time to comment on everything…..just read and sheeeee a bit…LOL

      2. bnker,
        I think the prosecution was thrown off their game when Courtney Griffin agreed to take Mr. Taylor case.

      1. Bnker,



  19. j fallah menjor,
    You need not be surprise at all. The illiteracy rate in Liberia is over 85% and if we go by the saying that illiteracy is a disease then over 85% of Liberians are sick.
    Can you see that Taylor getting about 83% of the votes in 1997 is a true reflection of the degree of illiteracy and ignorance in that country? It is only in such pitiful places murderers, rapists and looters are celebrated as Heros.

      1. We are selfish and we need to stop thinking about only ourselves. Like Big Joe, I could elect to care less about what happens in Liberia if I so choose…you live in Liberia right? If something breaks out, do you think everyone will have the opportunity to leave Liberia. My parents will get out, but because they are out or can get out, should I not care about yours? I am not saying we are ignorant, our selfish nature and violence portrays us are ignorant and animals. Simple!

    1. Big Joe,

      NO, NO, AND NO.

      We are not sick. And no interpretation will make us sick as a people if we voted for who we think is the best person to run our country. That’s what democracy is all about; allowing the people to choose. And the people did choose. You may not be satisfied with the popular choice of the people. But you are entitled to your views and one and single vote. Perhaps other candidates did not use the power of persuasion to convince the people to get on thier side. But President Taylor did as evident of the 83% of the total votes cast for him. Lets see if we can ask why the American people re-elected President Bush for the second time. Even though, there was no weapons of mass destruction and Sadam was not an imminent threat to the US, as we were made to believe, and the country allegedly went to war under false pretense, but yet, Bush was re-elected.

  20. Tracey:
    I am a newcomer to this debate. However, I am holding your argument as granted.
    Hence let look at other conflicts that took place in Africa and elsewhere. Say for example Angola, Rowanda, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) etc etc. You will agree with me that crimes that were committed in these conflicts are not different from the ones that were committed in both Sierra Leone and Liberia in almost the same or similsr pattern. Based on these, can we say or assume that Mr. Taylor gave the orders because there are similarities in crimes as they were committed. While it is true that we all believe in justice and want to see a fair trial but the way in which this case is going on I am afraid. Again please stop interpreting the intent or openion of prosecution cross examination questions to us. Let us figure them out and make commits thereafter you can add up with bits of legal informations. I don’t if i make sence but that is how i feel.

    1. Hi Sylcor and welcome to the conversation. Glad you could join us, and thanks for sharing your views.

    2. Sylcor,

      I am happily welcoming you and glad to have you joining us in this debate. You’ve raised several good points, amongst which you put Tracey on notice. We all see this. Sometimes, her take and response of the prosecution and its supporters comments, and strategy, is not surprising but famaliar. However, glad to have you.

      1. Jose – I am not clear what you mean. Do you think that I appear biased in my comments in this forum?

      2. Jose Rodriguez,
        When you states, “We all see this.” Just who is “we” and what are you talking about that Tracey “take and response of the prosecution and its supporters comments, and strategy, is not surprising but familiar.”

    Humanity, sat back and saw Ellen and others do and said everything and anything to gain political power in Liberia at all cost.
    Humanity, sat back and watched children in Nimba pushed in wells to die
    Humanity, sat back and Liberian got kill from the 80’s to 2008.
    Where was HUMANITY when President William Talbert was kill?
    Why didn’t HUMANITY stop the late Samuel Doe from entering the FREE PORT?

    I do believe that HUMANITY LEFT Liberia a long time ago.

    Mr. Taylor have nothing to do with what role Mr HUMANITY want to play in Liberia.

  22. Jose,
    You know what…you are one funny kid. When I commented on Noko5 tread…you almost had a heart attack and even threatened me….so I guess you are not in the best position to get at anyone for trying to interpret. But, then again, maybe you decided to deprive yourself of broader knowledge and understanding….maybe you need to look at my last paragraph? What do you see? Eureka, you found something new, right? I am requesting for clarification if I am wrong. Stop misbehaving kid.

    1. Bnker,

      Kindly pinpoint the threat that you were threatened with with respect to your respond to Noko5 in conjunction to my respond to you. However, I put you on notice of comment like “some people sound so premature, immature, and shows lack of mental development and intellect.” Bnker, how could you possibly considered this as a threat? I don’t know what it is. But you are way off. Nontheless, I am putting you on notice again for saying “stop misbehaving kid and Jose is a funny kid.”

  23. Jose 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 Republican in power was to Bush reelection as the fear of Taylor replaying April 6 havoc if not elected. 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,

      What other way can we know or determine who the people will rather want to be their leader? What other way that vast majority of the people can fully partipate and be right? What system do you consider flawless? What is your alternative?

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