As Charles Taylor Concludes Several Months Of Testimony, He Says Prosecutors Have Not Proven Any Case Against Him

As former Liberian president Charles Taylor wrapped up his testimony today, he had one message for the judges: prosecutors have not proven their case against me.

Prosecutors say Mr. Taylor is responsible for heinous crimes committed by rebel forces in the neighboring West African nation of Sierra Leone — including murder, rape, amputations and using child soldiers to fight — during the country’s brutal 11-year war.  The former president has been testifying in his own defense since July 14, 2009.  He has denied all charges against him in his trial at the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

“In order to make their case that they have not been able, in my opinion, to prove, they can call me any name, it does not make it right. And the facts before this court, the judges in their decision will determine as to whether this is true –‘He’s got billions of dollars’,” Mr. Taylor said, repeating the allegations made against him by prosecutors, who say he enriched himself with profits from selling diamonds he got from rebels in exchange for weapons.

“We’ve been in this court now, I’ve been sitting in this chair here for almost seven months, where are the billions?” he said.  “I disagree with them, but I think it’s a part of their job to say these kinds of things or to try to make me look bad, this is not true, so I disagree with them.”

Prosecutors have also tried to demonstrate that while Mr. Taylor was president of Liberia between 1997 to 2003, he abused the trust of the Liberian people, which in turn caused the international community to back away from supporting his government. Mr. Taylor, right through his testimony, has asserted that he diligently served his country as president, and that he is now in the Special Court thanks to a conspiracy among western countries to make him a scapegoat for crimes in Sierra Leone.

“Everything that I did as president, is being done [now] exactly as I did it, these very same people, Maryland Wood is operating in Liberia right now, the same procedure… is being used right now by Ellen Johnson, everything, there is nothing unlawful, nothing illegal, the same procedure of designating and permitting an oligopoly for rice — because rice is a matter of life and death in Liberia — is going on the same way right now. There’s nothing but just allegations and just mere allegations. That’s it,” the former president said.

Mr. Taylor also dismissed as lies prosecution allegations that he persecuted journalists and human rights activists who became critical of his government. Mr. Taylor told the judges that persons who have been named by prosecutors as journalists and human rights activists were opposition activists who were bent on spreading misinformation about him and his government.

“There is a political context here in dealing with certain people that have been raised here…but these were people that were involved in a process of spreading information, disinformation, misinformation, doing everything to bring my government down,” he said.

As Mr. Taylor concluded his testimony today, he reaffirmed his position that he did not in any way support armed groups in Sierra Leone, including the RUF and Armed Forces Revolutionary Council(AFRC) – a group of disaffected Sierra Leonean soldiers who overthrew the elected government of Sierra Leonee in May 1997.

“Did you, Charles Taylor, between November 1996 and January 2002 provide assistance, support or any kind of help with war-like materials to either the AFRC or the RUF?” Mr. Taylor’s defense counsel, Courtenay Griffiths, asked him as a final question in his re-examination.

“No. Never,” Mr. Taylor responded.

Other defense witnesses will start testifying in Mr. Taylor’s defense on Monday.


  1. I am surprised that taylor, who normally answers with such phrases like “nonsense” “foolishness”, was civil enough to answer his defense lead Griffiths in his final question:Did you, Charles Taylor, between November 1996 and January 2002 provide assistance, support or any kind of help with war-like materials to either the AFRC or the RUF?” Mr. Taylor’s defense counsel, Courtenay Griffiths, asked him as a final question in his re-examination.

    “No. Never,” Mr. Taylor responded.
    What a dramma! This guy will never be forgiven! Lies upon lies with no bit of remorse for all he did to others! I hope the sentence never takes into consideration of any mercy on this man!

    1. Hi Aki – I got a post from you at 9:18pm that I personally found very interesting. However I did want to alert you that I cannot post it. The information contained in your post might help to disclose the identity of a protected witness (I think the next witness is testifying under a pseudonym) and so we cannot publish it in case it has security implications. I thank you in advance for your understanding on this one.

      But we will of course be interested in your continued comments as the next witnesses come to the stand.


        1. No problem Aki. Will be interesting to see what the upcoming witnesses will be saying in any case.

      1. Tracey,
        Do you mean a defense witness is going to be testifying under a pseudonym? If this is going to happen, it is not good.

  2. I think Taylor had a pretty strong last day.I think this day went to Taylor (in my opinion).

    Next witness, step up please!

  3. Wel, well, well people! Mr Taylor has concluded his testimony!!!! and if the prosecution and their supporters still have the slightest hope of securing a conviction, then I think a psychiatric examination will not be a bad idea. the prosecution bungled their case from day 1 and they carried on their sheer incompetence throughout their case and even during cross exam when they had an opportunity to confront Mr Taylor with FACTS about their case, they craftily avoided doing so but rather focused on discrediting Mr Taylor’s credibility which at best they did an average job with. The fact remains that they have picked up a case that has proved to be more than an handful for them. Lets wait for the rest of the defence witnesses to see how Mr Taylor’s case will compare with that of the prosecution.

    1. Sam,
      if the prosecution did not prove their case with Mr. Taylor then they can just for got about prove their case with any defense witnesses.

  4. Ms Hollis got kicked in the GUT by judge Sebutinde on the final day of
    President Taylor on the witness stand.

    Defense counselor AKA Perry Mason and his client President Taylor put up a spectacular show on his final day of reexamination. Perry Mason didn’t hesitate to ask the blunt and straightforward questions showing no delicacy or consideration for his client. Questions posted to President Taylor from his defense counselor were questions that would have being asked in cross examination. President Taylor had more than enough time to answered those questions from his defense counselor, which he did extremely well.

    Perry Mason, asked President Taylor on a document that was introduced into evidence by the prosecution bearing the name of Gus, the then president of OTC.

    Defense counselor, Perry Mason asked President Taylor to tell the court who Gus is. President Taylor told the court that Gus is a Dutch National, and was the president of OTC logging company in Liberia. President Taylor continues, Gus was charged with war crime here in The Hague, but he was acquitted by a Dutch court. Gus was accused of transporting arms into the port of Buchanan on my behalf, and those arms were later transferred to RUF as alleged.

    Ms. Hollis raised an objection for using the Gus’ case in redirect examination on the ground; the acquittal verdict in the Gus case could have an effect on the judges’ decision. Ms Hollis told the court that the Gus case was heard in another court, and it is improper for the defense to use the ruling of another court to apply it to this case. Secondly, the document placed into evidence by the prosecution was a picture document that had people on it to be identified by a witness, and Gus happened to be on the picture. Ms Hollis concluded that the document was not a narrative form of document. Its intended propose was for identification only. Therefore, she (Ms Hollis) moves that said document shouldn’t be use by the defense in reexamination.

    The judges conferred, and overruled Ms Hollis’ objection. The reason for the overruled according to judge Sebutinde, the acquittal of Gus will have no barring on there decisions. Furthermore, even though, the Gus case was held in another court, but it’s a fact. Lastly, it was the prosecution that introduced the document with Gus’ picture. As a matter of fact, Gus name was mentioned during the identification. Consequently, based on the entire above Ms Hollis’ objection was overruled.

    Perry Mason told the judges that the defense has rested, and if the learned judges didn’t have any questions for the witness he had nothing further. Judge Doherty had couple of questions for clarifications. At the end of Judge Doherty’s questions, Judge Sebutinde asked Perry Mason if he had anything further. Perry Mason responded in the negative.

    Momentarily, Ms Hollis got on her feet, and was recognized my Judge Sebutinde. Ms Hollis told the judges that I know this is unusual and may not be the procedure but, she (Ms Hollis) would like to re-cross examine the witness, because what the witness said under redirect needs redressed.

    Judge Sebutinde and Ms Hollis got into and exchange. Judge Sebutinde was explaining to Ms Hollis why there can’t be a re-cross examination. Apparently, when Judge Sebutinde realized that Ms Hollis was not getting it, she literally told Ms Hollis to sit down. Judge Sebutinde told Ms Hollis to “wait” and at the same time waving her hand down. Judge Sebutinde conferred with her colleagues.

    After conferring, Jude Sebutinde told Ms Hollis the court procedures are as follows:

    First you have Exam in chief, second cross examination and third reexamination. There is no such thing as re-cross, because if you re-cross, the defense will have to reexamine. Therefore, your request for re-cross is denied.

    The first witness on President Taylor’s behalf takes the stand next Monday.

    1. Hi Big B — thanks for telling us more about yesterday’s events! You help us to feel like we are in the courtroom too with your description of events as you saw them.

      1. Tracey,

        What next after the defense have paraded their witnesses?

        How long will this take?

        Sorry, unlike cousin4 who keeps the scoreboard, I am the ‘de facto’ time watcher…wanting things to speed up.


        1. Hi there Noko7 — good questions indeed. So the defense has said they will bring 98 witnesses to the stand – though some speculate that the actual number may end up being lower – but let’s see. On current estimations, it is possible the defense case may last until the end of this year, but again, it might end sooner.

          After the defense finishes presenting its case, then – according to the special court’s rules — there are two more possible phases. The first is for the prosecution to bring rebuttal evidence to rebut the defense case – however, they can only do so with the permission of the judges and there are some legal hurdles the prosecution must jump before the judges will allow them to bring any extra witnesses or evidence on rebuttal. Then, it is open to the judges to ask for additional evidence they think is necessary to help them better understand or decide the issues before them in the case. We do not know whether these parts of the trial — the prosecution rebuttal or judges’ calling of evidence — will in fact take place, but they are possibilities.

          It is likely that between the end of the presentation of evidence, and when the judges hand down their judgment on whether Mr Taylor is guilty or not guilty — based on the timing of other trials — we would be looking at another few months. Then, depending what the judges say in their judgment, either the prosecutor or the defense may appeal (this is very usual in these trials). Then we would expect hearings and other legal submissions to take place, before the Appeals Chamber decided on the appeal. So my own guess – and please keep in mind it is only a guess — is that we may be looking at sometime next year or even 2012 before this full legal process is finished.

          Does this help?

      1. Cousin7, I strongly believe a DEAL will be worked out before the close of day. The proseuctors knew what they are working on and with. Their goal was to see if Mr. Taylor was going to BREAKDOWN or CRY on the stand but that didn’t happened.

        Somehow, both teams will be call in the chambers and the judges telling both sides to SAVE FACE…they too know the WHOLE OF AFRICA is looking and to convict Mr. Taylor on those HEARSAYS will go a long way given that the WHITE MEN does the same thangs and ZERO happens to them.

        Some may NOT want to see the RACIAL underline of this case but it’s there to see in broadlight….look at the teams, on the prosecutor side…ALL WHITE and ONE BLACK….on the defense side….ALL BLACK and ONE WHITE.

        I rest my case.

    2. Big B,
      I agree with Tracey thanks for telling us more about yesterday’s event and it did feel like being in the courtroom from your description of events as you saw them.

    3. The same NONSENSE they puttled in bringing in SO CALLED FRESH EVIDENCES….and ZERO we got.

      I can bet my neck bone…some kind of deal is in the works….drop the charges and Mr. Taylor stays away from West Africa for x amount of years.

      1. Noko4,
        if the charges are drop against Mr. Taylor, why would he need to stay away from West Africa for x amount of years?

    4. Bravo, Big B for a piece well written. When the movie comes out, I’ll play the part of Mr. Taylor and you Mr. Griffith.

    5. Big B is this you? Your comments today were unussually free from biase and very neutral. thats good bro, keep it up.

  5. I have followed this trial right here for a very longtime; thanks to one of my work mate (a S.Leonian) who brought it to my attention more than a year ago. Since that time i have registered and have been receiving post regularly.

    I am angry and disturbed that the prosecution has not done anything to prove their case. It’s also sad that law abiding people who trusted this team of prosecution are being let down in such a way. I am not a law student therefore i do not have the knowledge in how proceedings are finalized, but for what i have read so far, i am not impressed and can not see what will enthuse me to punish my dog if such allegation was brought against it by my neighbor and the evidence was this dreadful.

    Secondly, I am a Liberian and when I say a Liberian, I am not talking about a Liberian who had the opportunity to escape Liberia during the civil war. I was born just nine years before the war began in 1989. Since that time my family and I kept running; leaving one part of Liberia to another in fear for our lives. As I look back on those days of walking at night to escape the fighting I get scared. I think that period is going to be back soon. I am sure because the prosecution has failed us Liberian too not only the people of Sierra Leone.

    1. Hi George — thanks for joining us here and sharing your experience. I am sorry to hear about how difficult it has been for your family since the war began.

      And even though you feel disappointed now, please do remember: the trial is not over yet — the judges still have to decide on the evidence they have heard already and will hear during Mr. Taylor’s defense so we don’t yet know how they will rule on Mr. Taylor’s guilt or innocence. We don’t yet know what they are thinking about what they have heard and read.


    1. Thank you Big B — It is nice to be back.

      You sound disappointed in the prosecution — I think they have been doing their job, as they should, in trying to test Mr. Taylor’s credibility as a witness during the cross-examination phase. You don’t agree?


      1. Hi Tracey,

        Yes you are right; I am disappointed in the prosecution. The reason for my disappointment is the manner in which the prosecution is trying by all means necessary to win this case.

        Take for example, the trial by “ambush”. After the prosecution had rested her case, later petitioned the court to allowed fresh evidence. Even though, the learned judges agreed to allow the fresh evidence, but to the contrary most of those fresh evidences if not all were not admissible.

        Another example, President Taylor last day on the witness stand, Ms Hollis asked the court for her to re-cross examine the witness. Ms Hollis wants to reinvent the wheel. Tracey where is the kangaroo?

        Tracey, as a law school graduate, please help me. In your opinion why was the reason(s) for Ms Hollis to have asked the court for a re-cross?

        Was her appeal due to arrogance, egotism, insensitivity or ignorance of the law? Ms Hollis’ behavior is a violation of the legal code of ethics. As a “trained lawyer”, it was against moral standards for Ms Hollis to have asked the court for a re-cross. In some jurisdictions she would have being held in contempt.

        A case of this magnitude can’t be won on witness’ credibility alone. It has to be a combination of mostly facts and some credibility. After all, we all have credibility problem at one time or the other, but that doesn’t make us criminals. “He who has not sin, let him cast the first stone.”

        1. Hi Big B,

          Ms Hollis asked for a re-cross-examination because, as she saw it, “there were several areas the Prosecution believes that the questions put to the witness, the materials put to the witness, and the witness’s answers, went beyond cross-examination, and the Prosecution would ask leave to ask a very few questions in re-cross-examination.”

          So in short, she thought there were issues that were brought up by Mr. Taylor during his re-examination that went beyond what was discussed in cross-examination and she wanted the opportunity to test Mr. Taylor on that evidence. I personally don’t think it was a breach of legal ethics or ignorance of the law for her to ask the judges for permission to do so — in my opinion, I think she was trying to do what she thought was best for the case, and wanted to check with the judges whether re-cross-examination was within the realm of possibilities. When the judges said that it was not, Ms. Hollis let the issue drop.

          I agree with you, however, it is interesting to discuss these procedural issues as they arise.


        2. Big B,
          Her behavior is one of the reasons we are where we are in this case…PURE ARROGANT!!!. I believe she and some members on the team believe, we are AMERICANS and we can do whatever we want.

          If she was on the other side, how will she feel in the COLLECTIONS OF EVIDENCES to start with?? What would have been her reaction to the introduction of FRESH EVIDENCES???

          I am glad she is been taught how to behave.

        3. Hi Tracey,

          I am not going to beat a dead horse, but I am more confused now than before. if Ms Hollis “thought there were issues that were brought up by Mr. Taylor during his re-examination that went beyond what was discussed in cross-examination and she wanted the opportunity to test Mr. Taylor on that evidence.” Why didn’t she raised an objection at the time when President Taylor was on the witness stand testifying “beyond what was discussed in his cross examination? It was after the fact.

          As a matter of fact, Ms Hollis did object on many occasions that President Taylor’s testimony under reexamination “went beyond what was discussed in cross-examination.” Her objections were overruled. For example, the Gus picture identification and acquittal saga.

          I think it was another one of those trials by “ambush” Ms Hollis tried to pull. Unfortunately, it didn’t work for her this time.

  6. Mr. Griffiths is not only an excellent lawyer, he has the qualities of a Baptist pastor, psychologist, professor, surgeon, philosophy and actor. He has the ability to switch from one character to the other with ease.

    When the movie comes out, (Prosecution vs. Charles Taylor) I would like to see Mr. Griffiths and President Taylor playing their own role. Beyond the shadow of a doubt, President Taylor will be acquitted.

    1. Hi Big B — I agree with you that Mr. Griffiths is a great defense lawyer. I think we should also recognize the role Ms. Hollis and Mr. Koumjian have both played particularly in the last few months — they are both experienced and impressive prosecutors as well. All of them have contributed in different ways to making this trial one which is on the whole fair and expeditious.

        1. Oh Noko4! Yes you can! If I remember rightly, you had also thought at some point that Ms. Hollis and Mr. Koumjian had some high moments, no? I think you had given them a score of at least 2 points at some stage on your running scoreboard, right?

        2. Cousin4,

          Sorry, bro, Tracey got you on this one. Guess you have been busy keeping the scoreboard…and so this one slipped by.


        3. Tracey,
          I gave them 2 on the score card NOT because of IMPRESSIVENESS but rather, Mr. Taylor fumbled on the answers. His initial responses were WISHY WASHY.

          Nothing she and her team did to lead many to believe this was/is case and Mr. Taylor should spend the rest of days on planet Earth in hell. With over 70 million dollars spend….we wanted a CONVICTION…one that will leave NO DOUBT in our minds….but the way it look currently, even if he is convicted, Most including me will believe and believe…..POLITICAL PRESSURE on the judges!!!!!!!!!

          1. Noko4 — you are quite the tough audience for the prosecution!

            I just wanted to pick up on your point on political pressure — here is my question. From my perspective, I have thought the judges have seemed to have acted very independently so far. In terms of Mr. Taylor, I think they have been very fair in listening to, and often granting, his objections and requests — the use of documents during cross-examination is one example. As a monitor, I am hard-pressed to find any evidence that the judges have been politically pressured or influenced during this trial. Apart from that, there does not seem to be much incentive for them to be politically influenced. Firstly, it is prohibited under Article 13 of the Special Court’s statute, which says “They shall be independent in the performance of their functions, and shall not accept or seek instructions from any Government or any other source.” So for a start, the judges would be breaking the law if they were politically influenced, and secondly, their reputations are on the line in this high profile trial. If there was any credible evidence that the judges were politically influenced in coming to their decision, it would ruin their credibility as judges, and I cannot see how this would benefit them.

            I’m curious, Noko4, whether you have a similar assessment of the judges to mine, or whether you have had concerns about the judges so far? And also (while I’m asking questions!) do you think there has been any credible evidence of political influence to date that might give us reason for concern when the judges deliberate and eventually make their decision?


      1. Tracey Gurd,

        I agree with you 100% that Griffith and the defense team are great defense lawyers. And we should also recognize Ms. Hollis and Mr. Koumjian are experienced and impressive prosecutors as well. I personally think the prosecution did extremely well. And I am not kidding. I really believe they did their best. I also honestly believe, if the sides were switched around, Griffiths propably could have had the same problems like the prosecution. Tracey, it is very difficult and extremely hard to prosecute, especially knowing this man called Taylor and the available evidence at hand/disposal. Tracey, trust me. They did their best. But the case is just too hard, as the result of politics and lack of evidence. Look at the TRC Report. The Liberian government is yet to implement and confer legitimacy on it. Yet, the prosecution hustled hard to bring it in court. Tracey, I will always respect Ms. Hollis and Mr. Koumjian for their tireless effort in doing their job deligently, even if they lose this fake case, which of course, I can say with absolute ontological certitude, that they will lose, but I will still respect them.

        1. Jose,
          If Perry Mason was on the other side….a better presentation to say the least was going to be given. He was going to check the INs and OUTs of the evidences before bringing them upfront to be embarrassed.

          They are EXPERIENCE but IMPRESSIVE, I believe I could have done better without any CLASS OF LAW…..seriously!!!!

    2. Griffiths is a good lawyer….far superior in intellect and experience than the prosecution….let’s give the man his flowers while he is alive!

    3. Big B,

      Excellent observation!

      Mr. Griffiths being described by you as a “Baptist pastor” stroke a cord with me. Are you saying something positive or negative about Baptist pastors? Explicate this ‘pastor’ thing a little more, if you can.

      1. Noko7

        Praise the Lord for the phase Baptist paster stroked a cord within you. To answer your question 100% positive.

        Thanks for your comment, I remain humble and grateful.

  7. Folks,

    Where is Super Model Naomi Campbell that her friend Mai Farrow say, Super Model say, some mysterious man say, the diamond you allegedly received last night, Taylor say, it came from him? UNBELIEVABLE. Is this the proof? And you expect guilty verdict from this? Folks, lets just start making fun and fool out of the prosecution and their supporters, because they’ve reduced themselves to the level of total mockery and fun box. Folks, legally and logically, President Taylor has defeated the prosecution massively in a horribly terrifying way. Therefore, they are not looking at logic and the law any more now. As Noko4 always says,”HAIL MARY PASS.” Well, I THINK THIS OTHER HAIL MARY PASS WILL BE AND HAS BEEN INTERCEPTED. AS THE MATTER OF FACTS, IT HAS ALREADY BEEN INTERCEPTED BY TAYLOR, WHO IS ALREADY IN THE END ZONE FOR THE TOUCH DOWN, AND IT IS A TOUCH DOWN. WILL HE GO FOR THE ONE POINT KICK OR EXTRA TWO POINTS CONVERSION BY BRINGING WITNESSES? IT LOOKS LIKE HE’S GOING FOR THE TWO POINTS CONVERSION. WHETHER HE MAKES THE POINTS OR NOT, WE HAVE 30 SECONDS LEFT IN THIS GAME, WITH THE PROSECUTION DOWN BY 49 POINTS. HIS 49 POINTS IS FOR THE SEVEN YEARS THEY FAIL TO PROVE THEIR CASE. 7 POINTS FOR EACH YEAR. 7×7= 49.

    1. Jose Rodriquez,

      Don’t blame Mia Farrow. She is still suffering from the psycological effects of her husband actor Woody Allen divorcing her and marrying her daughter.

  8. But why did he kill Sam Bockarie and associates?Where it not because he(Taylor) wanted to conceal evidence?Can he tell us that all of what his former vice president,Moses Blah siad about the killing of Mosquito and others are not true?What about statements from Zigzag Massah and others,are these not anything to get Taylor incriminated?

    I think just denying all else said against Taylor is not as well sufficient to set him free.
    But the judges know where to begin in making a final decision on this whole scenario.

    1. Vaa,

      Please exercise patience; a verdict of guilt or innocence will ultimately close this trial.

      This trial like most war crime trials take a while to conclude as all parties are given opportunities to submit evidences, argue, counter argue, examine, cross-examine, re-examine, produces witnesses, and make closing arguments.

      what matters to me is what the judges think and what decision they will make…and when that happens, we will live with that decision whether we agree or disagree with it.

      So far, I have been impressed by Ms. Hollis and her team especially prosecutor Nick Koumjian ( no offense to Ms. Hollis as I am only showing personal bias on this one ) and I have also been impressed by Taylor’s response to some of the questions. This is really a tough case, in my estimation, for both the prosecution and the defense but a verdict will be made.


    2. Vaa Alie mansaray,

      i wouldn’t come down too hard on you this time. I will try to work with you. You however said, why did he kill Sam Bockarie and associates? Notwithstanding, you think President Taylor wanted to conceal evidence. That’s fine. good logic. Nontheless, Vaa, he is not charged because according to you, he wants to conceal information. You made mentioned of V.P. Moses Blah’s statement. He did not say, Taylor killed Sam Bockarie. He said, in a Security Council meeting in Liberia, it was agreed upon that when ever Bockarie put his foot on Liberia soil, he should be arrested. Vaa, I Jose Rodriguez, who is on the side of the defense, if I switch side, I can not even help the prosecution.

  9. Folks,

    There are two things happening here with this false prosecution.

    There’s one or two choices going on here. We have a willing, purposeful sabotage of the prosecution knowingly or unknowingly of their own case, or the biggest bunch of bumbling, naive idiots we’ve ever seen. And I don’t think it’s the latter. Nobody is this dumb, nobody is this bumbling, and nobody is this naive. However, if they really wanted to win as their supporters want them to win this fake case, they could have seen the destruction their lawyering have done and do a 180 U_turn for the sole purpose of getting the judges convinced by providing concrete evidence and not Naimi Campbell they say story, U.N. helicopter story, RUF Salute Report, and contradictory witnesses testimonies.. They’re more intent on destroying what has led you being able to earn confidence in them. This must be disappointing to you and even me, who knew they were going to lose. Anyways, they have one more last hope on Taylor. The implementation of the Liberian TRC. Oops!! According to them, the Liberian people will decide and it is up to them to make the decision. We hear you international community. Nontheless, President Johnson Sirleaf, your pick, has already decided, by telling you, she will seek re-election and to hell with the TRC Report. The Liberian Congress also don’t care about you. I told you before. Liberia is not Sierra Leone. How can Ellen prosecute herself? How can Prince Johnson and others in the Congress sign unto their own demise? I told you guys before. You will be a victim of your own trap. However, just wait until President Taylor is finally acquitted. We, the Liberian people will overwhelmingly vote for him to end his term that you forcefully disrupted.

    You will learn, International Community.

  10. Surprised Charles Taylors defense attorney did not ask for his release from detention given the lack of evidence by the prosecution. A missed opportunity even if you feel it is going to be denied. On the other hand, he might not have done so due to subconscious suspicion of his clients guilt, no legaly.

    This case is less about guilt or innocence, and more about morals and ethics. On that score, any warlord will be found guilty-morally. We can credit the end of the cold war for the shifting paradigm . The West can now pretend to be keepers of the Moral Code. On that score CT will be given time served plus a few years.

    Welcome back from the briefing. How can you come to a discussion about African dictators and big men without knowledge of Mobutu? I… don’t…KnooOW.

    1. Hi Michael A — you might be interested in this: the defense team did actually ask for the case to be discussed after the prosecution had finished their case in chief. However, the judges denied this motion and said the case should continue. Here’s an overview of that decision done by the UC Berkeley monitors:


  11. Do anyone have Mr. Courtenay Griffiths number. If I ever get in trouble, I’m going to need him to get me off. I’m amazed with his damage control ability. Mr. Taylor is a marksmen when it comes to speeches. If this was a jury trail, I think his speeches would have won them over. This case is far from over because I think the prosecution will argue that Mr. Taylor manipulated the testimony of his defense witness (or find a way to discredit them). In addition I think they will uncover small details that suggest Mr. Taylor guilt. I think the prosecution failed to capitalize on Mr. Taylor pass experience with hiding and embezzling money in President Doe administration. His character should have been under attack not a promise to uncover his alleged lies. Instead they gave him the opportunity to refute allegation about billions of dollars. If I didn’t no any better I would say someone inside the prosecution team tried to sabotage their own case. But I know the prosecution team under estimated Mr. Taylor and jumped the gun.

    1. Al-Solo Nyonteh,
      The prosecution will get their chance to discredit the defense witnesses but will they come with proof or more allegations. The prosecution may argue that Mr. Taylor manipulated the testimony of his defense witness, but will they have any proof of it. The misuse of the telephone was a total failure the prosecution try to use.

  12. At last Mr. Taylor has concluded on his testimony. We are now wating on his withness side of this case.
    However, let me attempt to give a bit of information to thous who refare to the formal president as a person who was responsible for all of the problems in the mano river bassin. First Sierra Leone it is a know fact that rebbles of RUF lunched their war from Liberia through formal Pres. Taylor’s NPFL territory. For what ever motive i can tell but to this Mr. Taylor admited.
    Ivory Coast, it is a fact that after the death of president Houphouet Boigny this country decended in engthnic problems most especially people from Burkina Faso. Alassane Ouattara wanting to contest elections hard a problem because of what they called ivority. Because of this and many more, this country degenerated in to ethnic conflict by rebels soldirs taken over Bouake in the north close to Burkina Faso. So it was not the idea of Mr. Taylor for Ivory Coast to be in war as it is been perceived by many. Any one intresting in Ivory Coast conflict go to the wekipedia type Ivory coast civel war.
    Guinea during the 1990s when ULIMO got involve in the Liberian conflict and hard it’s headquaters in Lofa Voinjama there exiested a cross border attack by NPFL forces in that region. There never exiested any direct war problem between the two countries.
    However, after the elections of formal president Taylor, a new variable was introduced. A group of Liberians that were not satisfied mostly after the september war that took Rosservert Johnson from the country arganized themself and lunched a war on Liberia by way of Guinea. There first attacked was in Voinjama, then the second, then the third it was at this point that Liberian forces lunched a counter and enter into Guinea. In this war, it was not the intention of Mr. Taylor to fight a war in Guinea while Liberia was not stable. Up to date Guinea in in some way facing political problems, thank God Mr. Taylor is in jail other wise people would have accused him of been the master minder of that conflict.
    Hence, as we closely get to the end of this trial, I would hope people will look at this case logicaly as opose to emotion especially people from Liberia snce infact he is not on trial for that country.

  13. First of all I would like to welcome you back Ms Gurd. Secondly, I would like to ask that if indeed such drama as explained by Big B regarding the proposed re-cross examination happened, why was it not part of your ( or Alpha’s) summary? Do you not think it is significant enough to know? Lastly, I remember I have a question concerning the trial chamber’s decision on Mr Smillie’s documents pending. Still waiting . Cheers .

    1. Thanks for your welcome rgk007 — and thanks for the reminder about your question. On your question about why Big B’s description was not part of Alpha’s summary: I’m sure you can appreciate that the very structure of Alpha’s reporting means we can only give a summary of hte key points that happen each day. The transcripts give the full run-down. That said, we always welcome readers’ own accounts of how they experienced the events in the courtroom, as Big B did. We are not commenting on their accuracy or whether we agree with them, as that is not our role — but we do value hearing from readers what they found interesting or newsworthy as they watched the trial also. You (and other readers) would also be most welcome to share your thoughts on the courtroom events if you ever wanted to do so!

    2. RGK007,

      The trial has entered into unchartered waters. We now know that a prosectutor can ask to re cross examine a witness. Wow!

      1. Aki – I do not think this is any issue of uncharted waters but purely a gong ho attitude on the part of the prosecution . The argument is that re-examination exceeded its territorial limits but that should have been left to the judges to decide. I have watched Ms Hollis and she has actually projected the “goon” image Mr Taylor characterized them as earlier in the case. The judges seem to be irritated by her as well. My advise to her would be to shed the American arrogance and pursue her case in a more professional and less vindictive manner.
        A question for whoever might be able to help. Why is the prosecuting team American led and not Sierra Leone(an) ? A response of the new man that replaced Mr Rapp would not assist. He’s no more than a figure head. My opinion: this does not speak well of the courts image .

        1. Hi Rgk007,

          You raise an interesting point about the heads of the different arms of the court. In fact, just today, the Special Court announced that Brenda Hollis who has been the lead lawyers here on the Taylor case, has just been named the Chief Prosecutor to formally replace Stephen Rapp. Her deputy is Joseph Kamara, a Sierra Leonean prosecutor who has been acting chief prosecutor since Mr. Rapp left the post. Also announced today was that Binta Mansaray will take up the position of Registrar — she has been Acting Registrar since June last year.

          I’m not sure if everyone on this site knows of Ms. Mansaray but she is from Sierra Leone with a background in civil society, and she headed up the Special Court’s initial outreach program. She is widely applauded for introducing innovative outreach efforts in Sierra Leone — including town hall meetings, video screenings, bringing high level people in the court to talk about the trials with Sierra Leoneans around the country; starting listening clubs to radio programs about the Special Court’s work; even preparing outreach materials in braille for the visually impaired; as well as many other initiatives. She has been influential on other international courts in the way they think about outreach.

          So what we are seeing is two Sierra Leoneans taking some of the top spots in the Special Court. I’m interested it hear what readers think about these appointments.


        2. Hello Ms Gurd,

          Just like I stated earlier, the new man I was talking about is Mr J. Kamara. He was made the acting chief prosecutor but not good enough to be the chief prosecutor. I do not know the registrar lady you mentioned and I know you’re only passing on information but the background feeling would always be that these folks are merely decorations to justify the African nature of the court. In Nigeria, the lead prosecutor would never be a foreigner if the case is in actual fact particular to their (Nigeria) country. Whilst I am not knocking the Sierra Leoneans for not being in the fore-front of their case, I do think they have allowed a determined caucus/cabal with an hidden agenda to hijack it. I do not wholly criticize the Americans but they really do have a myopic view of the world.

          1. Hi rgk007 — you raise some interesting points here.

            The first on Mr. Kamara: I don’t think the fact that he was not selected as acting prosecutor was any reflection on his skills or ability — I understand he was a serious contender for the position and he acted in the job very capably for a number of months.

            Secondly, the point you raise about Nigeria: yes, I agree that most countries would definitely have their own nationals in the lead of any domestic prosecution. However, the Special Court is in a slightly different position: it is a “hybrid” court, meaning it is a mixture of national and international staff, laws and judges. That structure, then, provides a bit more flexibility in the international system to have a range of people from different nationalities taking up a variety of roles within the court. In Cambodia, where another hybrid court exists to try the Khmer Rouge leaders, they have dealt with this precise issue by creating “co-prosecutors” — where there are two lead prosecutors: one Cambodian, and one international. However, that comes with its own challenges as well, such as in cases where the two lead prosecutors can’t agree on a particular case or issue. So you are right: these are difficult issues to try to sort out, for sure.


  14. Thank God almighty for President Taylor. He took the stand as a man, and left the stand as a man. Bravo Papay, we salute your courage as an African Leadrer who fears no fore, but to do wrong.


    Harris K Johnson

    1. Hi Siddiq Konneh,
      Thanks for your comments posted at 2:04am and 1:27am yesterday and sorry not to get to them sooner – moderation is slower on the weekend. I am afraid I cannot post either of them as they do not accord with the policy for our site. You can find the outline of our policy here:

      I’m not sure if we have heard from you before, but just to let you know, I am happy to send a copy of your comments to you by email — if you don’t mind rephrasing them to fit with our policy and resubmitting them, I will be happy to publish them.

      Looking forward to hearing from you, Siddiq Konneh,

  15. There are two sides to the page, but some only see the good Taylor side, please, give me a break. These are the same people who said the Americo-Liberians were treating the indiginous people bad, then SKD came and took over and they were “oh oh happy”.

    Now they’re in support of CT an Americo-Liberian who use the same indiginious people to carry on his affairs. I’m a little confuse, what do Liberians want, oh I get it, they’re confuse just has I am.

    They prefer men such as Charles Taylor, oh and don’t forget his son Chukey Taylor who wasn’t even born in Liberia, but was able to inflict suffering on the people.

    It seems these day all Liberians do is criticized the West for our problems, if we were so smart and dislike the West why did we allow someone like CT and his son who was born in the West to inflict such sufferings.

    Oh and they never stop waiting on aid from the West. With all the farm land in Liberia we should be selling food to the West not begging for food and Aid. So until we can get our priority straight we need to be quite cause there is nothing we can do, whole generation wasted on war and then some say war is the answer. Make LOVE NOT WAR.

    1. John Thomson,

      Taylor mother (ZOE) is an indiginous and his father could be an Americo-Liberian. But we as “Natives”, see him as one of us. We voted for him and we will still vote for him.

      Concerning the west, I love the west and what they espouse. I am even fighting for the west with my life right now. I am only telling you that I disagree with them on this trial. John, let’s discuss this trial. What has happened to your evidence agsinst President Taylor?

    2. Hi there Harris — I received a comment from you at 11:34am today which alas I cannot post in its current form. If you could take the focus off another reader and refocus it on the issue you want to discuss and resubmit, I will happily post it. Let me know if you need me to email it to you.

      Thanks in advance for your understanding, Harris,

      1. Thanks Tracey,
        I’m sorry for that, but sometimes emotion over comes positive thinkers. Please put it in the trash. Have a nice day.



        1. Harris — please do not worry. This is a trial that provokes a lot of emotions in all of us. I look forward to your continued comments here, as always.
          Enjoy your day, Harris,

  16. Taylor has finally rested his case. It’s now time for his witnesses to testify on his behalf and give the judges the time to deliver their verdict.

  17. Tracey, why did Alpha failed to provide the public with a very vital information in his summary about the prosecution attempt to re-cross Mr. Taylor. That is a very valuable information for readers. I think Alpha should inculde this information in his next summary because some of us do not always read all of the blog from other readers except our reliance on Aphla summary. I am seriously disappointed in the prosecution. They let us down with this case, and even if the judges find Taylor guilty, Taylor supporters will still have much to say because the prosecution did not provide any convincing proof about the charges against Taylor.

    1. Hi Via-Gbana – thanks for your question. The structure for our updates means that Alpha cannot put everything in his summaries that happened in court — he tends to try to choose to report on the issues that are most closely connected to the indictment against Mr. Taylor to try to help highlight what is most relevant to the case. Occasionally we will highlight procedural issues when they impact on the trial — in this case, Ms. Hollis asked if she could re-cross examine and that was rejected by the judges.
      Thanks for raising it — it was indeed an interesting issue as it is unusual in a trial. I’ve repasted the relevant part of the transcript here so everyone who is interested in this issue and how the judges dealt with it can read it:

      MS HOLLIS: Madam President, if I may be heard. I know that it does not specifically say in the Rules that there is a right of re-cross-examination, however, there were several areas
      the Prosecution believes that the questions put to the witness, the materials put to the witness, and the witness’s answers, went beyond cross-examination, and the Prosecution would ask leave to ask a very few questions in re-cross-examination.
      PRESIDING JUDGE: Are you referring to the Judge’s questions?
      MS HOLLIS: No, Madam President, I’m not. I didn’t want to interrupt when you were talking about Judges’ questions.
      PRESIDING JUDGE: Ms Hollis, please wait. I have to consult on this.
      MS HOLLIS: Certainly.
      [Trial Chamber conferred]
      PRESIDING JUDGE: Ms Hollis, we’re of the view that an end has to come somewhere along the line. The rules are that the witness is examined in chief, which is followed by cross-examination, literally about what he had for breakfast. Anything you could have cross-examined. Thereafter the accused is re-examined, and that is followed usually by the questions from the Bench, if any, and basically that’s it. If we open up the questioning again, the Defence will ask to re-examine again, and so I will decline this request. Mr Taylor, it remains for me to thank you for your evidence and to say that you may stand down.

      Hope this helps!

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