Defense Witness Contradicts Charles Taylor’s Testimony

Charles Taylor’s first witness who is presently testifying in his defense has contradicted the former president’s testimony about disciplinary actions taken against the former director of Mr. Taylor’s Special Security Services (SSS).

Mr. Yanks Smythe, who has been testifying for Mr. Taylor over the past three days today told Special Court for Sierra Leone judges that Mr. Taylor took disciplinary actions against the director of the SSS Benjamin Yeaten for the arrest and subsequent execution of Mr. Samuel Dokie and his family.

During his February 2009 cross-examination by prosecutors, Mr. Taylor told the judges that the arrest and execution of Mr. Dokie and his family was not ordered by Mr. Yeaten as alleged by prosecutors. The former president said that those responsible for the arrest and execution of the Dokie family did so without the orders of Mr. Yeaten and that those responsible were indeed punished, but no action was taken against Mr. Yeaten because he did not bear any responsibility for such actions. In his testimony today, Mr. Taylor’s own witness, Mr. Smythe contradicted the former president’s account. According to Mr. Smythe, Mr. Yeaten was indeed suspended by Mr. Taylor for ordering the arrest of Mr. Dokie and his family, which subsequently led to their execution.

“Benjamin was suspended by the president, president Taylor,” the witness said.

Asked by Mr. Taylor’s defense counsel whether he knew why Mr. Yeaten was suspended by Mr. Taylor, the witness said that “he was suspended because he ordered the arrest of Dokie, and that was not an instruction from Mr. Taylor.”

The witness said that Mr. Yeaten was suspended by the former president for his actions. In response to whether he knew how long the suspension lasted, the witness said that “no, I don’t know how long but it took some time, when the investigation was on.”

Prosecutors have alleged that Mr. Taylor was responsible for the arrests and executions of several of his opponents including Mr. Dokie and his family. Mr. Taylor has denied these allegations. Prosecutors have further alleged that when Mr. Taylor knew that certain unlawful actions were taken by forces subbordinate to him, he did not take any action to punish those responsible. It is in this light that Mr. Taylor denied ordering the arrest and execution of the Dokies, explaining that those responsible were punished accordingly. When prosecutors pointed out that Mr. Yeaten was not punished, Mr. Taylor denied any responsibility by his SSS director. Prosecutors pointed out evidence of this nature in order to convince the judges that just like he ignored unlawful actions taken by his forces in Liberia, Mr. Taylor also gave a blind eye to the crimes committed by Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels in Sierra Leone. Mr. Taylor is alleged to have had control over the actions of RUF rebels whose 11-years rebel war in Sierra Leone saw the commission of  heineous crimes including rape, use of child soldiers, and murder. Mr. Taylor has dismissed the allegations against him as false.

Also in his testimony today, Mr. Smythe told the judges that former prosecution witness Joseph Zig Zag Marzah was not a member of the SSS but a mere bodygaurd to the SSS director Mr. Yeaten. The witness said that Mr. Marzah did not have any access to Mr. Taylor. The witness’s account corroborates Mr. Taylor’s testimony that Mr. Marzah was an ordinary orderly to Mr. Yeaten with whom he could not have interacted. In his 2008 testimony for the prosecution, Mr. Marzah told the judges that he was an SSS officer who had unhindered access to Mr. Taylor and that on numerous occassions he acted on direct instructions from the former president to take arms and ammunitions to RUF rebels in Sierra Leone. Mr. Marzah also said that he sat in the company of Mr. Taylor and together, they feasted on human intestines. Mr. Taylor in his testimony dismissed the witness’s accounts as lies. Mr. Smythe said the same thing today.

“No he was not a member of the SSS…I only knew him to be bodyguard to Mr. Yeaten, that’s all,” Mr. Smythe said.

The witness added that Mr. Marzah was not part of any structure within the SSS or the Liberian government. He said that Mr. Marzah was employed privately by Mr. Yeaten.

“He is employed privately by Benjamin Yeaten.”

Mr. Smythe’s testimony continues tomorrow.


  1. Big B,

    I am kindly asking you to do history here a favor. A favor you have been called to serve humanity. Given what I have just read, especially with Alpha and Tracey sensitionalizing and reporting what they see as contradiction, needs the ferocious urgency for counter at the moment. You have the skills and talents to also report what actually transpired in the court room. YOu have done it before and you can do it again. That way, if in the future, someone decides to read Alpha and Tracey’s one sided report, they may also have the opportunity to know what actually occurred in the courtroom from other people/viewer like you, who watched and monitored the trial.

    Tracey and Alpha, are you guys in the business of finding contradictions now for the prosecution, public, and everybody? However, for your information, the witness did not contradict President Taylor. So stop your false and sensitional news. Why couldn’t you also report that your fake news of contradiction has nothing to do with Sierra Leone, or diamond, or 5 billion dollars, or smuggled arms to S.L? Why couldn’t you also report how this witness testomonies have corroborated president Taylor testimonies? PLEASE STOP YOUR FALSE SENSITIONAL NEWS, BIASED OPINIONS, LIES, AND REPORT WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED IN COURT AND NOT MAKING YOUR OWN NEWS.

    1. Hi Jose — thanks for your feedback. We do try to be as accurate as possible in what we post here, but we always appreciate feedback on how to improve. Thanks for yours.

    2. Jose,
      You’re RIGHT and CORRECT….look at the HEADER and you wonder what did the witness said that CONTRADICTED Mr. Taylor’s. Moreso, within his reporting, he wrote about another part of the testimony where he CORROBARATED….why wasn’t that part of the HEADER??

      We appreciate the service provided but if we cannot get it FAIRLY….then post the transcripts…We had the transcripts daily so I don’t see the issue as to why we cannot get them now.

    3. Jose,

      I do agree with you sometimes Alpha’s reporting seems a bit bias. Even though, his reporting is the actual happening in the court room, but he has the tendency of sectionalizing the prosecution side of the trial more than the defense side. The same way I sectionalize the defense side more than the prosecution. For example, my last posting, Ms Hollis got kicked in the GUT by judge Sebutinde.

      In order, for the summaries to be fair and balance the appropriate thing to do is to have a prosecution reporter and a defense reporter. Because no matter what, to a certain extend there are biases in everybody.

      This is a very emotional trial. It touches the core in all of us, no matter which side you are on. Therefore, it will be justifiable to have a Liberian reporter sectionalizing the defense side of the trial same as the prosecution.

      Again, as I stated before, I am President Taylor’s counselor out of court just as Griffiths, Munyard and Anyah are his counselors in court. My reason for standing up for this “guy” is because the West has the wrong person. They rushed to judgment. They were arrest happy.

      Jose, you can rest assured, I am fulfilling my duty. You will be hearing from me during cross examination, when the fire works begins.

  2. Such minor events as such getting a big head line? Why couldn’t it be the other way around on the Marzah issue? Sometimes I really wonder as to the neutrality of this site. It’s better to read the entire transcripts of the proceedings than to rely on these summaries. Your postings are completely different from the actual realities of the days events.

    1. Hi Daniel — thanks for your feedback. We always welcome constructive comments on our reporting — as you know, we provide a summary of the major events of each day as they relate to the charges/indictment against Mr. Taylor and we cannot hope to fully capture everything. We encourage people to read the transcripts if they have time — but for those that don’t, we hope to give them an accurate overview of the key events in court each day. If you could help us by pointing out where we are inaccurate, or whether you think something else was more important that we missed, we’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

    2. Daniel
      The sad part about this gross and intentional bias by Alpha towrds Mr. Taylor is clear. When the prosecution was presenting their case or cross examining Mr. Taylor. Some of us argued against the favorable press that Alpha was giving the prosecution. Both Tracey and Alpha defended the reporting at the time, claiming that they had to report the prosecution side because it was the prosecution that was either presenting their case or cross examing Mr. Taylor. They argued that during the defense presentation , they would treat the defense equally by reporting what the defense would say.

      But we continue to see the opposite in the reporting by Alpha, eventhough most people have complained. Since this defense witness began his testimonies, he has rejected all of the key prosecution allegations, but Alpha has completely ignore and refused to reported these things. The defense witness corroborated Moses Blah testimony that Foday Sankoh was nobody in Liyba, the defense witness rejected the false command struture chart that was presented by a prosecution witness, the defense witness indicated clearly that Mr. Taylor never spoke on the radio communications and could not have done so without him knowing, since he (defense witness) was directly in charge of Mr. Taylor radio.

      The defense witness testified that “butterfly” was not a radio code name but it was his personal code name , which he continue to bear up to the last day of the Taylor presidency. The witness rejected most of the prosecution false charges but instead we are reading from Alpha summary a repetition of what the prosecution said and not what the defense witness is saying.

      I thougt Alpha was an objective legal professional but he has disappointed me, I am now more convince by Alpha reporting, especially since he returned from Sierra Leone, his home country recently that he might have been given some bad instructions against the interests of JUSTICE. When will we African stand up for the RIGHT THING, when will we stop allowing ourselves to be use and abuse by greedy exploiters and profiteers. TOTAL TOAL NONSENSE!!!

      1. Hi again King Gray — thanks also for this comment. Just in addition to my previous note, I just want to highlight that in each report we do, we want to ensure that we report both the prosecution’s allegations and Mr. Taylor’s response to those. I think in every daily report since Mr. Taylor took the stand, we have highlighted somewhere in the report that Mr. Taylor has denied all the allegations against him. We cannot cover all the testimony and all the specifics of what witnesses say and what Mr. Taylor says in response every day, but we do try to highlight the key ones.

        On defending our reporting, it is true that we tried to explain what the prosecution was trying to do during its case and also in its cross-examination of Mr. Taylor to contextualize the specific lines of argument and relate them back to the allegations to Mr. Taylor, so as to try to make the process more transparent and accessible for readers. We will be trying to do the same thing throughout the defense case — that is, relating back lines of testimony and information to either Mr. Taylor’s denial of the charges, or the specific lines of argument in the defense case he is building for himself. Either way, we see that as part of our job, not as a way of being biased towards one party or the other. However, we do appreciate readers’ feedback and raising issues with our reporting or explanations when they occur — and we remain happy to correct any factual inaccuracy that you might find on this site. It is very important to us that we are balanced, fair and accurate in our reporting.

        I do hope Alpha and I are able to present our work in the context of the larger trial — there are some days when we will focus on the lines of argument or issues with the defense, some with the prosecution. The key concern for us is that the trial, the procedure and the arguments are making sense to people who are following it regardless of whether they have a legal background or not — and indeed, and Alpha and I hope to use our legal training to try to put the issues and procedures in context for readers, which is again why we take our role as neutral monitors who want to present the information in a fair and balanced way is so important to us.

        Very best,

        1. Tracey,
          You’re trying hard to explained but you guys are totally wrong about the Headline. I m pretty sure I don’t have a hearing or understanding problem(s) but it seems so obvious about you and Alpha being EXTREMELY AND INTENTIONALLY BIAS. For God’s Sake, see the outrage from one side. I don’t believed we’re all wrong or less educated enough not to understand this one sided reporting. It’s only fair we express our feeling to you guys with-out you trying to justify, because (we) I m NOT buying a thing!!!!!!!

          1. Hi Grebo — I do understand and am listening to your concerns. We do take readers’ concerns seriously, especially when we receive so many on a particular issue and I can assure you that Alpha and I do discuss the concerns and take them on board as we continue our reporting.
            Best, and thanks for raising them with us,

        2. Tracey Gurd,


          1. Hi Jose — thanks for sharing your thoughts. Just a reminder: I did not post your comments to which you refer because they contained personal attacks, which his not allowed on the site.

            In this case too, I am listening to your concerns and Alpha and I will continue discussing them and keeping them in mind in future posts.


  3. Theres no contradiction, the alleged suspension of Mr. Yeatan suggests that being the head of a unit involved with the death of a prominent citizen, he had be interrogated. and that is not punishment sufficient for such a crime. I think those who were responsible paid a more expensive prize for their actions. The testimony is in support of the former president’s earlier testimony on his own behalf.

    That’s my candid opinion.

  4. Alpha,

    I am not sure I fully agree with the headlines used for today’s testimony. The way it is stated it appears that there was a major contradiction between the testimony of Mr smythe and Mr Taylor regarding the arrest of those responsible for the death of the Dokies. I see it as sensationalist and not totally reflecting what the witnes actually said.

    Mr Taylor stated that Benjamin Yaten was not responsible for ordering the killing of the Dokies so he did not ned to take action and that those who were responsible were punished. Mr Smythe also said similar but stated that Yaten was suspended initially pending investigation into the matter where it was determined that he was not responsible and that those responsible were punished.

    I believe there was a clear distinction between the above and your headlines which makes it appear that there was some major discrepency. This is my understanding of the situation and believe that the above does not fully capture this and rather gives a very sensationally different meaning.

    I do appreciate that you have usually captured the essence of the events in the court room however i fail to agree with you in this instance. please could you clarify.

    1. Well said Helen. I was going to write the same thing. I think a far bigger story of the day was the decrediting of the Prosecution’s “insider” witness Zigzag Marzah.

      Like you, at first glance that headline led me to believe there was a major contradition between the witnesses’s testimony and Mr. Taylor’s. Upon reading the article I was dissappointed because I don’t see any contraction at all.

      At this point this case is a he said, he said on both sides and my guess is the outcome will be based on the consistency of the prosecution witnesses versus the consistency of the defence witnesses. Let’s stay tuned!

  5. A few words about the prosecution!
    We the Creoles of Freetown have an old song we call; gimme de ammunition! In America they call it; praise the lord and pass the ammunition! The prosecution it seems did just that. I was therefore not surprised to see the large amount of blanks been fired at CT, in the form of evidential materials that were presented in court.
    Ms. Hollis, determined to get a conviction at all cost,-and she will get it- that at the closing stages of her cross examination kicked dignity out of the door, and brought In over-zealous prosecutorial approach through window. Clippings from the SL web that were presented were astonishing not because of their contents, but rather that of the founder Peter Anderson. During the civil war in SL the neutrality of Peter Anderson was under very serious scrutiny and in fact, I and a lot of people were convinced that he was too much on the government side. Compounding that suspicion was the fact that, after the SLCC was set up, Peter Anderson was promptly employed by the court! On the other hand, there was another web site called “The Ninjas” that, was the opposite of the SL web; the members were anonymous and gave very sound reporting on the war. I would advice Ms. Hollis to contact the Ninjas to get the real facts and not from a man who was too pleasing of Tejan Kabbah.
    Another part of Ms. Hollis`s presentation were the books written by Nigerians of all people and documents compiled by the same. We all know that Nigerians are always very economical with the truth even when times are good; so what do we expect of them when times are bad. It was the generals of ECOMOG and Tejan Kabbah that started blaming CT for all the military woes of the ECOMOG forces. The Nigerians were losing men on a large scale and had to save their faces so, CT became the scapegoat. Generals in time of war are compelled, in the national interest, to such continuous acts of duplicity that even their natural hairs must grow to resemble a wig. Anyone can “Rat”, but the Nigerians together with Tejan Kabbah displayed an extraordinary amount of ingenuity to “Re-Rat” CT
    One of the most telling parts of Ms. Hollis`s cross examination was when she said to CT; “Mr. Taylor Sani Abacha was so concerned about your actions, that he suggested you be arrested and tried for war crimes”. After that, she displayed some grace and dignity by getting red in the face. As a Sierra Leonean I take this statement personally and I make no apology. I do not intend to get into any kind of a squabble that is semantically based, but I do hold that such a statement has a deeper and broader implication and must be stretched to the limit of its elasticity and that is what I intend to do! Tracey, don’t get mad at me, just hold tight because, I do not suffer from any desire to be relieved of my capability to honestly approach facts as they exist.
    The first implication of this statement is that, Ms. Hollis elevated Sani Abacha to a higher moral ground above CT. In other words, what she meant was that SA was so concerned about the stability of the sub-region and the wellbeing of its people that he saw it fit to get rid of CT by arresting him. But SA was brutal dictator only in the league of Idi Amin Dada, with little or no regard for human life. This is an attempt to strip CT of his last remaining dignity because if SA is morally above CT, then he –CT-is nothing but the skunk of the earth. This man –CT-is down why beat upon him? If there was anybody more responsible for destabilizing the sub-region, that person was Tejan Kabbah; because the war he started in SL turned the whole sub-region upside down and led to senseless loss of life.
    The second implication of this statement is that were as SA was doing everything in his power to bring peace and stability to the region and to protect its people, CT was in fact the bringer of terror, wanton death and destruction. I disagree and intend to be disagreeable!! Furthermore, Ms. Hollis should have demonstrated some sense of sensitivity, by sparing the victims of both SA and TJ such humiliation. Thousands of Sierra Leoneans were killed and maimed by these two men. Throughout July, august and September of 1997 Nigerian planes bombard the city of Freetown and the hinterland killing thousands of people. (Watch the videos on The question now becomes: how many did CT killed through his orders?
    Taylor is a drowning man and we Africans are sinking with him. It would have been a different matter if he is been tried amongst his own people. But, by trying him in Europe a dangerous precedent has been set and, its reverberations will slowly but surely be felt across the African content. As CT goes so go all the sacrifices that were made for our freedom and independence; and from this point on, the sovereignty of each African state will be tested. One of the greatest intellectual failures of African leaders is their penchant to sacrifice. Whenever called upon to come to the, they bring their and brightest as the sacrificial lamb.

    1. Hi T-Bone — thanks for your comment and I am not mad with you!

      I just have one request to raise which I would just ask you and other readers to consider, although I recognize that nobody will technically break the rules of this site if they choose to ignore my request: on this site, we do try to ensure that everybody is seen as their own individual person, no matter what their name is, where they come from or who they say they are related to, and are engaged with on the substance of what they bring to the conversation. My hope is that here, we can create a space where we do not feel that we are judged, or considered to have certain traits which may be seen as negative, because of our nationality or political views. I wonder if we can avoid making generalizations about nationalities or particular groups in our posts? I think that will help us keep focused on the trial and not get distracted. Sound okay?

  6. Alpha,
    It would and could be FAIR also if you tell us in the HEADER he also CORRORATED Mr. Taylor’s testimoy instead of burying within the story.

  7. Tracey Gurd,

    Check this out. It is about the Liberian TRC and the U.N. Secretary General take on it. Folks, reality is closing on these people every day. We the people are not afraid to running the risks of offending the U.N. and Big Countries as long as we are in the right. However, we will keep on speaking the truth and not to cave in to any false pressure from anyone. Like I always say, they will be a victim of their own trap and it is happening right before our eyes.

    U.N. help us implement the TRC right now while your pick Ellen is still president and Taylor is still in your custody.

    1. Jose — this is an interesting report. I’m curious what you and other readers here think that the path ahead for the implementation of the TRC report recommendations might be, particularly as they relate to the hybrid court and justice issues in light of statements like this one by Ban Ki-Moon.


    2. Jose,

      I have some serious reservations with this Report. To start, a ACT/LAW was passed forgiving ALL….also the ACCORDS that ended the various wars stipulated that also. But let’s stay on the ACT/LAW, never repealed, so how can we take whatever this Commission says?? Secondly, this Report recommends that certain citizens be ban. How I ask??? Won’t it be a gross violation of their Constitutional Rights of DUE PROCESS?? Thirdly, we see within the Report, the PICK and CHOOSE of those that part take in the wars….example, Gen. Butt Naked told us he killed over 20 thousand people but he is left out of those to be punish or brought to court. But Sundaygar Dearboy is on the list for been ACCUSED….yes ACCUSED.

      I rest my case.

      1. Noko4,

        I agree with you 100%. The point that I am trying to make is to challenge these big countries and their corporate interests to help us implement the TRC Report. I know they will not do it because of their investment. Note: I always say while Ellen is still president and Taylor is still in their custody, the TRC Report should be implemented. They will not do it. I understand your legal and constitutional take on the document. I agree with you. But let beat these guys at their own tricks and games. Let show these guys that we are not dumb as some may think. However, I hear Tracey Gurd asking me personally and others of how can we implement the report. I ignore your question every time she asks on purpose. She needs to be asking her employer, the U.N. and the Big Countries who also made it possible for this innocent man to be in theri custody today. Can you imagine, the U.N. Security General take on the TRC Report giving warning that Liberia defines the road towards reconciliation. This is to tell you that these guys have no intention to implement the report as long as Ellen is protecting their interests.

        So Noko4, we are on the same side. The only difference between the both of us right now is that the points you are making now, I will make that same point in the future when the time comes. However, I am only focusing on their thought process now and in the future I will advance those points you are making now.

        Pekin, don’t use all your ammo now. Keep some. Hide some. Protect some. Do you think “all” who are saying it should be implemented right now really want this thing implemented. Even though they publically say they want it implemented. Some don’t want to provide protected shields for Ellen and your international partners by saying what you are saying. That’s why they are very vocal publically. They know Ellen and your partners can never implement it. Once that thing is implemented, Ellen will leave power. And once she leaves power, prosecution follows next. They know it. Pekin, let me stop, before I say plenty thing here now.

        1. Jose,
          I will HIDE some but Liberia is one country where we enact LAWS and just throw them under the rug. WHY???

    3. Bnker,

      Brother, have you read the article on Ki-moon report to the security council? In my mind he just issued a referendum on Ellen and her administration, i.e. get out, no confidence. After nearly 5 years in office, her government is still struggling with crackdown on corruption? corruption affects the public perception of her appointees and it undermines the credibility of her government – yes after 5 years. Secondly, there is little or no evidence of follow through in the form of reprimand, even where audit report suggests impropriety.

      A must read brother.

      1. Andrew,
        I read it. I think there are two major things to take from that report. First, the fight or lack thereof against corruption and then there is a subtle warning (he was diplomatic on how it was worded). He recommended strengthening the security force, especially the national police. Now, maybe I am reading into this too deeply, but he is saying (I think), if you don’t fight and prosecution corruption, you might have another problem on your (Liberians) hand because the populace is unhappy. That’s what I saw!

        Andrew, our country has a long history corruption and rooting it out will take a strong leader and a uncompromising judiciary system. I think Ellen set herself up, she set her expectation higher than she could deliver (just like the Obama campaign). As the result, Liberian’s were expecting the so-called “zero tolerance” approach. Unfortunately for all of us, her administration has been slow to react.

        Securing another term may be her biggest challenge yet. Sad, but true, but the opposition is toothless and inexperience. Their bark is greater than their bite. Don’t get me wrong, I like Ellen (I think she has done a good job in some quarters) but following blindly is doing injustice to my conscience and nation–I think! Some will be shock that I am critical of her as well, but it’s be fair, our past leaders were given thorns of praises and they thought they were be tossed roses. Let’s say the truth, she failed in this aspect–as we say, Big Time!

        Then the question that I have for us is, who do we have if it is not Ellen? We have not learned to groom leaders or make plans for successorship. As the old folks say, “knock on wood”, if something happens to Ellen, say she has a heart-attack (oh, God forbid), what happens to Liberia? Do we have a leader to take her place. One would say the VP, he is not a strong person. The thought is scary! Andrew, we need you and others who are intellectuals, who are willing to see beyond our diverse tribal and sectional barriers to go home and let’s make a difference.

        A good starting point is establishing an “independent” movement. Partisans everywhere will vote for their parties, but the war for independents is what we need. The independent movement is not attached to any one party, but policies. In the US the Democrats don’t fight for their base, neither does the Republic Party, they both fight for the valuable gemstone, the independents. I told someone that I will remain independent, he tells me, but you don’t stand for anything, I replied, I stand for everything and won’t like most blindly follow or be influenced by party members like those attached to a political party.

        Anyhow, I read that document and what I may call an “subtle” warning.

  8. If Mr. Yeatean was suspended does that in any way proof that he (Yeatean) or Mr. Taylor order the execution of the Dokies? I’m sure positive thinkers will say no for an answer.


    Harris K Johnson

  9. Folks,

    First, it was U.S. Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton endorsing President Ellen Sirleaf’s candidacy for the 2011 presidential election in Liberia. However, barely less than two(2) months later, former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair is to serve as an advisor and mentor to Ellen. Do you think, if Ellen is announced winner by these two big countries and their allies, will it be credible? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

    1. Jose Rodriguez

      The support of the international community and foreign investor is a critical part of the recovery of Liberia (and recovery is what we pray for). When US and Britain gives the “thumbs ups” foreign investor aren’t far behind. Honestly, US and Britain did not jump on the band wagon until they saw the strong support from China, yes China has more intrest in liberia then US & Britain. In addition President Ellen has support from India and the list goes on. Who wants a “black sheep” for a president of a developing country???

        1. folks,

          I am troubled by this statement by the witness: “He is employed privately by Benjamin Yeaten.” Was the govt of Liberia unable to pay for Yeaten’s personal protection while he served as a senior ranking secutity chief? Why wasn’t this guy on the govt of Liberia payroll? Was this the norm during the administration of CT that important folks like the security chief hired their own protection? How much did Yeaten earned to hire and maintain personal body guards?

          Tracey and Alpha, if my questions have legal implications to the trial, please delete.


      1. Al Solo Nyonteh,

        I agree with you about 85% this time. I think it is a relatively good passing grade. However, my differences with you on this post is just little. So it doesn’t matter if I even expressed it. Your post is Relatively fair and outstanding post.

        Good job.

      2. Al-Solo Nyonteh,

        Some folks find the words “black sheep” offensive, racist, and stereotypical. Blackness is associated with something negative, bad, or even evil. I take it that you are black. Could you use another word to express your opinion? Many thanks.


        1. Davenport.noko7

          It’s almost a laughing matter how people waste time complaining about the complexity of the english language. I truly fell sorry for the individual’s whom fells offended by the use of the word “black”. I guess when a person is brain washed to believe a word represents their identity, they have to fight to protect what appears to be the misuse of it. My friend our true identity are African or African-descendants, the word black was derive from the attempt to be socially accepted in the American society and the struggle to gain a piece of the American pie. The answer to you question is “I’m a African man whom is black”. The word black is a label it’s not your identity. I know I have a country that identifies me and it’s senseless to be offended from a label used in the english dictionary.

    2. Jose,
      Interesting point!

      So looking at the field of candidates, who do you find qualified to lead Liberia?

      1. Bnker,

        i wouldn’t answer your question. Not that it is a bad/hard question. But because of political expediency and strategic precalculas, I will not answer. Let me just give you a little gist of why I wouldn’t answer. The majority of opinions on this site is seeing this trial like me. And were are saying this is a fake case that has no merit and President Taylor is the wrong guy being accused of the things he didn’t do in Sierra Leone. And we are winning. I am having the enduring feelings that not everyone, who shares similar view with me on this false trial sees Ellen like the way I see her. Therefore, I don’t want to make this coalition fragile by going too hard on Ellen. I need Grebo and other people on my side. However to Grebo and others, who don’t see Ellen like the way I see her and are on my side in this fake trial, I will forget about Ellen “Temporarily” and focus on the trial like a laser beam.

        1. Jose,

          Fair! But I am disappointed, don’t you think disagreements are healthy even within a group. Disagreements encourage or give birth to new and constructive ideas. We already know your position on Ellen, you have not hid it and I respect your views. Oh heck, I respect all your view, I don’t agree with them (most of the time) but I give you that respect—Yea, you better enjoy this moment, bc you are not getting me to say this again in your life time–lol!

          I will be satisfied with a one word answer….looking at the current field, I don’t see it. Don’t say Brumskine, I will get vex with you, even though I am related to him.

        2. Bnker,

          How many people you alone related to? First it was Charles Taylor, Kromah, and now it’s Brumskin. I know you said you are from the Americo-Liberian back ground.

          I stand corrected.

          Bnker, I agree with you if you agree that disagreements are healthy within the context that we are speaking. I also agree with you that disagreement encourages new and constructive ideas. But I just told to you that because of political expediency and strategic precalculas, I will not tell you who I find to be qualified to lead Liberia in the 2011 presidential election. Perhaps, others can weigh in.

    3. Hey Jose,

      Many of us here believed Taylor is innocent so let us stick to it. many of us here are on your side and also repect our Pres. Sirleaf, but you seems to stir up arguments in the same camp. What Hiliry Clinton and Tony Blair visitation and indorsement has to do with winning a fair election? You’re already crying foul when the election haven’t even taking place yet. My half Brother JOSE, let us stay on massage please! for the sake of Justice to OUR FORMER PRES TAYLOR. My half brother, keep on firing but just leave Ellen out for now except refering to the TRC which I agreed with you

      1. Grebo,


  10. I think Mr. Smythe’s statement about the arrest of Mr. Dokie and his family will help Mr. Taylor more than it will hurt him, if the prosecution attempts to capitalize on it. Mr. Smythe has verified some crucial parts of Mr. Taylor’s testimony and the only way the prosecution team can dismiss Mr. Smythe’s testimony is to discredit him by challenging his credibility. If the prosecution challenge Mr. Smythe credibility, his statements can’t be used in their favor. If they try to capitalize on his statement they are deeming Mr. Smythe as a credible witness and his statements that contradicts their allegations has a level of validity. This slip up of the defense witness seems to be a well calculated “bait & trap” maneuver. I wonder how the Prosecution team will treat this witness.

    1. Al Solo Nyonteh,

      Pekin, what’s going on bro? I may agree with you about 75% this time again. keep it up and don’t venture to shatter in trouble waters.

  11. Mr. Gambian how long did you stay with Mr. Taylor as a mercenary bodyguard? When were you recruited? Contradicting statements given by witnesses against their boss with whom they have stayed throughout his reign as a war lord and as a president signifies that you have been with him since the beginning of his incursion.
    My doubt in your evidence on behalf of your god father is that you two are now given different testimony on the action and reaction of your god father against the SSS boss, Mr. Yeaten. Now you are saying all testimonies given by Mr. Marzah against Charles Taylor are false. I really want you to convince the court and the general public that your own testimonies are credible?
    You have stain of blood in you eyes and hand because I have been following your testimony from day one.
    My brothers and sisters, whether you are for or against Charles Taylor let us sit and wait for the judges to preside on the matter. From my own observations since I have been on this matter, it is only the judges that can pick the sense out of the nonsense on this trial against the modern African number one criminal and war lord.
    Judges you have been appointed by God and you are acting on behalf of him on earth. May his powers and guidance give you the Wisdom and understanding so that you can be able to judge this matter on behalf of the souls lost in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
    As for those who feel Charles Taylor is innocent and he will go court free, I say sorry to you. For instance where is his son? Why didn’t Charles Taylor stop his son from doing bad to his people if actually he was a peace loving man? Now his son is in US prison.
    Mr. Smythe, I hope you meet again with your god father CT to teach you what to say and when to say it in court, otherwise you may be implicating him by given different testimony with him in court as his own witness.If it is the devil that is confusing you, please observe prayers for one week and I hope all supporters of CT will do alike.
    With regards,

    1. Tracey,
      I will not hesitate to fire insults back at Fuard the next time he addresses Mr. Taylor as criminal. You will agree that Mr. Taylor stands innocent of all charges against him until proven otherwise in a court of law. He that has ears let him hear. Be ware and keep your eyes open.


      Harris K Johnson

      1. Hello again Harris!

        I do indeed agree with you that it is Mr. Taylor’s right to be presumed innocent unless determined otherwise by the judges. In terms of Fuad’s comments — statements of opinion are allowed on this site, and Fuad was expressing his opinion as opposed to stating a fact. Here is a link to our comments policy which sets out our thinking:

        Also, I do understand that you are disappointed when other readers may express negative opinions about Mr. Taylor on this site, but may I encourage you to focus on the substance of the issues other readers make when responding to their comments, even when you feel like firing insults at them? That way, you can address the issue at hand, and we can be sure to publish your post as it will be in line with our policy of focusing on the trial and not other readers.

        Very best,

    2. Fuad,

      Mr. Liberian, Zigzag Marzar said he was the third in command to Taylor. Did he provide any evidence? NO. Marzar said Taylor ate human beings. Did he provide eveidence? No. Marzar said he was close to the president. Did he provide evidence? NO. In contrast, Mr. Smythe said, he was appointed embassador to Libya, he showed you pictures of being in Liyba and shaking the Libyan president hands during one of President Taylor visits. He also show you picture of taking the oath of office of which he was appointed at the foreign ministry. He said, he provided security for the president. He publically displayed pictures of him walking alongside with the president in Nigeria providing security for the president. Your lying and discredited prosecution witnesses help to destroy the chances of guilty verdict.
      Fuad, too bad bro. Taylor is winning this thing.

  12. this should have been the headline 2 days ago when this guy started destroying Taylor chances of getting out of jail. Oops there goes Taylor get out of Jail free card

    1. John Thompson,

      What should have been the headline two day ago? You didn’t tell us. Do you just want your name to be heard when the roll is being called? We didn’t hear anything.

  13. As this trial progresses I continue to stand by my assertions that this court cannot in fairness render any decisions contrary to what the facts are shaping up to be. If the prosecution believes it will be able to have a verdict of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt then I believe they are highly mistaken.

    It has been a patch-work by the prosecuting team. Hap hazardly put together under international pressure with very questionable witnesses and unreliable informants or information. The foundation on which this trial stands is laughable and I must be careful to say that this does not mean that Charles Taylor and his cronies might not have been responsible to some extent but in a criminal court of law this must be proven not by a preponderance of the evidence but beyond reasonable doubt and so far the prosecution has not done so.

    I must say this is looking very good for Charles Taylor. I hope that the Judges of this so-called international criminal court will be independent and judicially responsible in their decision and verdict.

  14. The title seems a bit misleading to me. my understanding of this part of Smyth testimony was that Yeaten was suspended while the investigation was going on. Maybe i missed something. Did council touch base with the witness about the final outcome of the investigation?

  15. Noko5 and all

    I was reading your (Noko5) thread posted on the 23rd responding to Ziggy. In that post you referred to Yanks as a descent man. I am curious though what are your and other standards for a descent person.

    The comments below was sent through several days ago, but was not posted, so I thought I should bring it forward. It has nothing to do with the testimony I am under, just your criteria for such a definition.

    Noko5 and all,

    While I have nothing to say thus far about the witness and his testimony, I want us to gauge our moral compass. Noko5 just referred to Yanks as “decent and credible special force commando”, my question is this, what are the characteristics that make a person or Yanks “descent”? In my opinion, we have to be careful with our choice of words, because at times wrong word selection brings questions about our moral compass as individuals or a nation, like referring to individual warlords as “honorable”; this is sycophancy.

    I could validly argue that Yanks has a questionable past and may have been involved in killings (operative word, may). Others would argue what makes him any more credible than other admitted killers and cannibals like Marzah? I personally won’t refer to anyone who contributed to mass murder as “descent” or “honorable” (but then again, it’s me). If Yanks is so-called descent, so are all others who were directly or indirectly involved in the mayhem in Liberia, am I correct for making this assumption? People help me out here!

    So the question is, what measurement is being used to qualify as “descent”?

    I hope this strikes a good conversation.

    1. $$Ker-Bnker — I think we crossed posts. I am posting this for you anyway and your earlier one is now also up.

    2. Noko5,

      Don’t worry. Sit back and relax. Jose is here to take care of Bnker. Bnker, what is your definition of morality, and who are those people do you consider to be of moral standing within the context of this case and the political arena of Liberia ?

      Noko5, please don’t get involve. I know it was directly posted to you and all.

      1. Ok jose,
        Eventhough I believe, I commented somewhere to Bnker, but I believe you will take better care of him. Well Bnker, I leave you with the great soldier.My electrical engineer,
        Jose Rodriguez. AKA “GENERAL FIXIT”.

      2. Jose,
        You are funny! The hero for the weak–William VS Tubman

        First, the only person that I frankly can call moral and ethical is my father. I’ll tell you why, when my father was offered 3 times to work for the NPFL he refused. Just in case you want to know if he was duly qualify, he as a PhD. But back to the topic, I asked him why he refused, he said, son, I lived my life and don’t want you all to walk the streets and someone say, see that guy, his dad was with this group that killed this person or that person. Now, this is a definition of an ethical and moral man. Further, I have never heard my dad curse, neither drink. I still have friends and relatives today to tell me, $$Ker your dad is an example of a good man. He spent time with his family. He attended most of my extra curricular activities (games). Here is another story when I was much younger, my neighbor came into our fence to play and in the process he mistakenly burst my soccer ball. I was upset and told him to pay for it. My dad heard that and was not having any of it. He disciplined me. He said I bought this ball and you don’t have any right telling someone to pay for it. My dad is a moral and ethical man. I can challenge anyone to say or prove anything immoral about my dad….no I am not as close to my dad as I am to my mom (just in case you are wondering)

        On the political spectrum or in this case, I have not considered anyone moralty. Because morality has a lot to do with one’s personal life, thus reflected through their ethical behavior. So you question about this case is “trivial”.

        If you ask me who do I think is “descent” or ethical in Liberian politics, I will tell you none. I’ve said that Liberia is in trouble, when our best politician is tainted.

        So, Mr. Electrical Engineer to be, I only know of one person who is of moral fortitude, and it’s my father. My parents have been married for many, many, many, years, I have never seen my parent get into a verbal spat. Don’t get me wrong, they have their disagreements, but never around their kids–Ethical and even respectful of their children. Not many Liberia fathers are like this. Generally, Liberian fathers, provide food, and shelter–that’s their means of showing love. My parents didn’t only showered us with it, but openly expressed and still do!

        Ok, today is not father’s day, but I hope I gave you an idea of my definition (someone upright, who respects human life and dignity, who respects even the smallest of them). I cannot make a judgment call the morality or ethics of anyone of the judges or lawyers in court, but I can tell you, the word descent does not apply to the accused, mercenaries, or anyone who contributed to our war.


        1. Bnker,

          You have skillfully and masterfully answered my question all along. Your word games got you out of this trouble from Jose. Nontheless, you were very collective in saying everyone who contributed to our war, such word like decency is not applicable to them. However, you talked about your parents, that’s fine. Concerning this case, you have not found any to be of good moral standing.

          Good job. I thought you were going to delve into norminative theories of morality and using the academic approach by choosing one of the philosophers moral and ethical theories. Since in fact, the side that you are on always looks at the side that I am on as being uneducated, illiterate, human flesh eaters and all those other despicable names. Man old man. Bnker, you were going to see Jose all over you again. But you narrowly escaped my acrostic trap. It is not yet over. I will still catch you Bnker. Maybe another time. But this one, you have slipped through the cracks.

          Bnker, I am “not” an Electrical Engineer to be as you are saying it. However, I am already an Engineer. I graduated from Temple University on 1800 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania U.S.A. in the year 2005 with my Engineering Degree.

  16. Jose, I m sure everyone read all the African news at work like you do so stop sending us all these links, your comments is simply your opinion. I think Tracey and Alpha did an EXCELLENT job with the headline. This should have been the headline the last two days. This witness has no credibility.

    1. John Thompson,

      Your assertion that everyone reads the African News it utterly not true. You can’t prove. In fact, our moderator on this site appreciates some of those sites that I post and she gives her feedback on the news provided. John, find something substantive to engage me on and not trivial things.

      1. John Thompson,

        Your assertion that everyone reads the African News is utterly not true. You can’t prove it. In fact, our moderator on this site appreciates some of those sites that I post and she gives her feedback on the news provided. John, find something substantive to engage me on and not trivial things.

      2. Jose,
        You fussy oh…let some things slide, wow! The ones that you should comment on you don’t sometimes.

        Like you John is entitled to his opinions. He or you are right or wrong—if you fight everyone you suffer preventable battle injuries.

  17. This is what Alpha wrote:

    “Asked by Mr. Taylor’s defense counsel whether he knew why Mr. Yeaten was suspended by Mr. Taylor, the witness said that “he was suspended because he ordered the arrest of Dokie, and that was not an instruction from Mr. Taylor.”” Now if one reads very carefully, you will see the actual quote from the defense witness which reads, “he was suspended because he ordered the arrest of Dokie, and that was not an instruction from Mr. Taylor.” Note the part, “that was not an instruction from Mr. Taylor.”

    The witness quoted statement is in two parts, in this instant, although elsewhere he stated clearly that President Taylor ordered the suspension of Yeaten. But in this instant, the witness admits that Yeaten was suspended but not on the orders of President Taylor. Not withstanding , if we accepts Alpha bias reporting, this goes to show a contradiction in the prosecution false charges that Mr. Taylor failed to take any disciplinary actions against any of his men, especially Benjamin Yeaten.

    I thought both Tracey and Alpha had argued in the past that when a team is presenting their case, it is the views from that team that should be reported. Taylor admitted that Yeaten had ordered the arrest of Dokie but Yeaten had said that he did not ordered the killings of the Dokies. According to Taylor, the matter was under investigation when he left Liberia. Alpha has simply exposed his true bais towards Mr. Taylor that he would decide to influence negative public sentiments against the defendant. Alpha behavior undermines the good credibility of this website, which most of us have relied on as an objective place. The defense witness rebutted the false testimonies of prosecution witness Zigzag Mirzay, the defense witness rebutted the false NPFL command structure chart that was presented by a prosecution witness, and many other rebutals. But all Alpha could report is this socalled contradiction of Mr. Taylor by his own witness. Where are the testimonies of the defense witness in Alpha’s summary ? For all one can read are the repetition of the false allegations from the prosecution, and not the testimonies of the defense.

    I am sorry but I just have to say that this one from Alpha has reach the zenith of bais.

    1. Hi King Gray — thanks for your comment and for raising this issue with us.

      Perhaps in terms of your comments on Alpha’s reporting, it might be best if I first explain how we see our role as monitors. First, we do not take sides and we try to report the events each day in as fair, balanced and unbiased way as possible. We actually see this as critical to our credibility and role. Secondly, we also see it as part of our role to explain what is happening in the courtroom and contextualize events so as to help frame why these events are important in the trial. You might notice that we tend to always refer back to the allegations against Mr. Taylor, for example, to contextualize why the current testimony is relevant, or to include references back to previous testimony when we want to include quotes from the witness on the stand (for example, when Mr. Taylor was on the stand, we would include an overview of the testimony to which Mr. Taylor was referring before we would include a quote from him, so the reader knows what he is referring to. It was with the aim of explaining how this witness’ testimony fitted with Mr. Taylor’s testimony that Alpha made this reference in the article. I spoke with Alpha — there was no intention on his part to mislead or be biased, but to help contextualize what we are hearing. Similarly, he has pointed out where witness testimony has backed up what we have heard from previous witnesses, including Mr. Taylor.

      I can also say that Alpha is a professional trained lawyer and he takes his role as a monitor very seriously. He also was a monitor of Sierra Leonean courts as well in one of his previous roles before he joined us. Part of this role is being as balanced as possible in relation to the events taking place in the courtroom. I do hope you also think, as I do, that he has been consistently providing daily reports where he fairly presents both the prosecution and defense sides of the stories as they emerge in court for more than a year and a half now. We also think we benefit enormously from Alpha’s expertise and knowledge of Sierra Leone which can better help contextualize the events being discussed in the courtroom each day.

      I know we are not going to always please everyone with either Alpha’s reporting or my commentary and explanations as the trial progresses. But I do want you and other readers to know that we do try to approach our roles professionally and keeping in mind the principles of balance, fairness and accuracy to inform our work. we welcome you and other readers raising concerns along the way and remain happy to have a dialogue about those concerns — and correcting anything that is inaccurate along the way in our own reporting or commentary.

      Best, as always,

      1. Tracey,

        You promised us to come back and tell us whose payroll those British investigators that you say are in search of Mr. Taylor 5 billion dollars. We have not heard from you yet.
        Please don’t make a promise that you can not keep. We are still waiting on you ma’am. By the way, are they still searching and where are they searching? Have they found the money?

        1. I did indeed Jose — I have not forgotten and have tried to collect some more information. Thanks for bearing with me.

      2. Tracey and Alpha,
        Thank you so very much for your information. This site has been not only informative, but also a good deliberating and debating ground. We appreciate your efforts. We know it’s hard to satisfy our ever increasing thirst for knowledge and appease all sides. You all have been very balance in your reporting.

        Now to the rest of the readers,
        For some who think this forum is for attacking and criticizing the moderator or reporter, this needs to stop. If this site was not around we won’t have this conversation and free flow of information. I think it’s unfair to them for whom we owe great gratitude for providing us this medium to communicate with one another; albeit, pro, anti or indifferent Taylor. Through this site, I have been fortunate to communicate with intelligent people, like Andrew,and the rest. Though our views differ, we have respect for one another. Well, I have respect for them.

        I’ve noticed that Alpha seem to get at times unnecessary “heat” because he didn’t report something as we would want him to have. Remember, Alpha is not you, and you are not Alpha. The level of education, intellect, and writing styles differ; so let’s respect that. Further, maybe no one want to be upfront, but I personally think that some believe that since Alpha is a Sierra Leonean, he has a “biased” and “sympathize” with his people. Well, it’s natural he would, however, his writings have been objective. I’ve seen someone ask Alpha, whether he was Sierra Leonean; so what? It’s obvious the organization found him qualify and sufficiently qualify to report on the case using his legal knowledge and experience. I find it heart wrenching and darn right disrespectful to this man–it’s almost discriminatory..yea, I said it, DISCRIMINATORY! Remember, Tracey, Alpha and team are doing us a favor–thanks to the Soro’s Foundation.

        We need to cut the man some slack, if we feel he has not written as we would have written it, go and read the transcripts, they are online. Rather than attack him, provide excerpt for all of us to read and broaden our understanding. This needs to stop. Yes Alpha is a Sierra Leonean, yes he is also a lawyer, yes he might not write as we may, and though he was affected by the war (like all Liberians were), his post are fair and balanced. We need to stop displacing our frustrations on this gentleman.

        Sorry for the long speech, but I’ve seen several threads that I thought was unfair, Alpha are you a Sierra Leonean, Alpha didn’t say this, Alpha your reporting is misleading, Alpha why didn’t you mention this, Alpha you should have mentioned the the judges denied this, or the judges overruled that….This is enough already, gosh! None of us knows Alpha, but come one, we can be at least respectful of him and his difficult task.

        Thanks for your cooperation! Sorry for my ranting and raving!

        1. Dear $$ker — thank you so much for your post and for your kind words about the site and about Alpha.

          If I may take this opportunity as someone who has known Alpha for a number of years, and has worked with him daily for the past two years: I have nothing but a deep and consistently growing respect for his talent, intelligence, abilities and professionalism. We are so incredibly lucky to have him working for us on this site. Not only does he bring knowledge of the places, events and people that are discussed in this trial precisely because he comes from Sierra Leone – but he is a truly talented lawyer and a delightful human being. He is someone about whom I feel incredibly fortunate to have the honor of working with daily as a colleague. I know he works so hard to provide balanced and fair reporting, and he has also not responded to any attacks on his reporting — and that speaks to the type of high level professional that he is.

          I too please ask readers that while we welcome you raising any concerns about bias or about our headlines — and we will take those concerns on board and think about them for our future postings — I ask you please not to take your frustrations out on Alpha. He does not deserve personal attacks. Instead, can I ask you to please help us and do as $$ker suggested: add to what Alpha has written so we can all enhance our understanding of the day’s events, rather than focusing on what Alpha was not able to put in. He is constrained by the structure we have chosen to use, which is what allows his articles to be picked up by newspapers and online news agencies, like, and hence for more people to be able ot know about this trial each day beyond this website. He has to choose what is important each day, which is not an easy task, and which means he cannot include everything.

          Thanks again $$ker — we appreciate your support and kind words enormously — and your defense of Alpha is, at least to me, spot on.


  18. Is Jose blind to the fact or what? Tracy and Alpha, must i remind you that there is what i call naive and/or nagative critism and that of constructive critism.In Alpha’s report, ” The witness’s account corroborates Mr. Taylor’s testimony that Mr. Marzah was an ordinary orderly to Mr. Yeaten with whom he could not have interacted.” explicitely states the withnes corroboration with “Blood sucker” Taylor’s fible explanations to the world. Befor that he (Alpha again highlighted the contradition with regards to the Dokie issue. So Jose, wher is the one sidedness or biasness in this report. I know these two people (Tracy and Alpha) are highly trained proffesionals.

    1. Hi Jose — alas I cannot publish your comment of February 26 as it focuses solely on another reader and not on issues arising from the trial.

    2. Kugbay,

      I knew it won’t take you too long before you return to your roots of name callings. This is just typical of you, “Taylor is a blood sucker.” Bro, we have already heard that before. It is getting too old. Find something new. Do you even understand what is going on here?

      1. Hi Jose — I got a comment from you on February 27 at 2:13am but alas I cannot publish it because it focuses on another reader. If you reformulate it to focus on the issue you wanted to raise and resubmit, I will publish it.

  19. OOO….OOOOO!!!!! Tracey, please, can you please also post the link for the entire transcripts of the proceedings on a daily basis?

      1. Tracey Gurd,

        Thank you for posting this website for the audience to directly have access to the original transcript or testimonies of witnesses, defense and prosecution questions and answers period, and the honorable judges ruling/statement.

        Again, thanks.

    1. Ujay,

      Sometimes it is good to stay with this summation because the last time I read the full transcripts it was over a 100 pages long and ‘boring.’ But go for it, if you have time.


  20. I am frustrated with Alpha’s article especially the title ? “DEFENSE WITNESS CONTRADICTS TAYLOR’S TESTIMONY. If my memory serves me right Taylor said that Yeaten was told to effect the arrest of Sam Dokie, which he did via his surbordinates; and that it was his surbordinates who contrary to their order, killed Dokie and then fled to La cote d’Ivoire. This was sometime in November of ’98. Moerover, i don’t know what of threat did Dokie posed to Taylor?

    While there maybe some slippage here and there, I don’t see how this help the prosecution case, and/or suggest that Taylor is guilty for the crimes for which he was brought to the Hague. As much as I want to believe that Alpha is impartial to this trial, it is article with such title that lends suspicion as to his personal biases.

    1. Hi Political-Guru — we are listening to you and other readers in your concerns. We also know headlines are important and Alpha and I will continue to discuss this issue going forward.
      Thanks for raising it.

    2. Political-Guru,
      If you don’t like it go and read the transcript, stop disrespecting the poor guy. If you are the so-called political guru, there is something call “diplomacy” and being “tactful”; it’s obvious these are missing from vocabulary or mannerism. Maybe you should consider having your own forum. You may go to and built a forum, maybe then logic will tell you that dealing with people is difficult.

      Why do we all bash this guy as though we are paying for this service….if someone told you, you have to pay a monthly subscription, then bro, you just got duped. This site is free, let’s be respectful of the moderators.

      1. Again, thank you so much $$ker. We appreciate your support for the site and your appreciation of the difficult job that Alpha is doing.

      2. $$ker,
        All that you have said is mere tautology and I would not dignify it by arguing with you. How could you tell my mannerism from what I write? Besides Alpha title of his article did not do his impartiality any justice. And moreover my view is shared by many on this forum. Even Alpha and Tracey understand that, so get a grip and develop some intellectual fortitude and respect my rights to sharing my opinion even if you disagree.

        1. Political-guru

          Most men don’t like repeating themselves, over and over again. This topic came up before and Aphla explained himself. Basically, he said alot of information comes up during the day and he try’s to summarize without bias using the english language but sometime english words can be misleading. I have to agree with Aphla on how he used the word “contrictdicts” because Mr. Taylor and Mr. Smythe’s statement were not consistent with each other. In my opinion since the prosecution closed their case, at least 75% of Alpha’s postings were in favor of the defense team. This is consistent with what the defense team has attempted to clarify thus far. To my understanding you believe that the investigation into Mr. Taylor involvement in the SL conflict was conducted poorly. Therefore you should understand the importance of doing a thorough investigation before make accusation about a person. Please my friend do your home work before you make accusations/assumptions about Aphla’s “personal biases”.

  21. Hi Tracy:
    I am some how confused, for the sake of intellectual purpose can you please tell us as to what you and Alpha refare to as key, major events and accurate overview in this trial? Because in a high internationally charged creminal trial or in fact in all creminal trials every information is very important not overlook.
    I believe your caption for today leave some doubt in my mind. Please let us do what we can while you guide us along the way. As for the withness on stand I have nothing to say for now untill his cross examination starts.

    1. Hi Sylcor,

      You are absolutely right to note that every bit of information in these trials are important, especially when people are following them so closely, as is the case with many readers on this site. I agree with you.

      When you ask what are the key major events in the trial, we usually try to take the indictment/charges as a guide and report things most relevant to those, or else the major themes in either the defense or prosecution arguments in the trial, or else major procedural developments.

      On the caption, I am listening to you and other readers. Alpha and I will discuss your concerns as we think through our headlines for future posts.


  22. Walter,
    Your prejudices toward this trial and your deep support for Charles Taylor are glaring from your statements ” Hap hazardly put together under international pressure with very questionable witnesses and unreliable informants or information.” Any sense of your neutrality as its relates to this trial your are deceptively laboring to create were quickly destroy by your wishes ” hope that the Judges of this so-called international criminal court will be independent and judicially responsible in their decision and verdict.”
    All I can surmise from your very weak analysis and poor observation is that this court is only genuinely an International Criminal court if it were trying enemies of Taylor and its judgment will only be considered Independent and judicially responsible if its decisions are in favor of Taylor.
    Moreover, you demonstrated that logical analysis are not your forte and that self-contradiction is your stock-in-trade by your claim “the foundation on which this trial stands is laughable and I must be careful to say that this does not mean that Charles Taylor and his cronies might not have been responsible to some extent but in a criminal court of law this must be proven not by a preponderance of the evidence but beyond reasonable doubt and so far the prosecution has not done so.”
    If anyone has ever sought the mark of desperation that person needs to look no farther, for your statements and claims are just it.

    1. Morris,

      While Mr. Taylor might be guilty, and while you might think it is a contradiction to say he might be guilty but the prosecution has yet to prove that, it is on this very supposition that the foundation of any criminal trial lies. In this case as in most legal criminal cases, that the prosecution prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

      So what you call contradiction is itself a bedrock of criminal law as we know it. If the prosecution fails to do that, even if the defense is guilty, he or she goes free. And i will say it over and over, the prosecution rushed this case and the evidence thus far is weak for a case of this magnitude. If you think this makes we a friend or supporter of Taylor, then is only shows you really do not grasp what the law is all about. I think you need a good review of criminal law 101. Have a nice day and bask in your ignorance.

      1. Hi readers — just a friendly reminder — let’s not make personal attacks on other readers or other individuals mentioned by other readers. there’s much to talk about with the issues emerging from the trial.

  23. Hi every one,
    I’m not really surprised at some of Alpha headlines on this site. I knew it from the very start of his post that he is not natural in his reportage which is expected on his part as common human behavior. Alpha is in a very difficult position right now to present the truth as it unfolds. All he and some people from Sierra Lone care is the guilt of Mr. Taylor. I suggest that we follow the proceedings and allow Alpha to satisfy his country men. My grand father once told me that one can not squeeze water out of rock. So let Alpha be all that he can be. All we care is that true justice should be served in this court for God sake.


    Harris K Johnson

    1. Hi Harris — we are listening to you and other readers about your worries on headlines and it is an issue that Alpha and I will continue to discuss. What I can say is that Alpha is a professional and trained lawyer and he takes his role as a fair and balanced monitor seriously.

  24. Tracey,
    Please disregard my last post of Feb. 25, 2010 at 5:59pm and post the one of today.

    Thanks always

    Harris K Johnson

  25. Al-Solo Nyonteh,
    I have been a great admirer of your analytical prowess but I must confess that I am greatly disappointed with your latest analysis.
    You wrote ” Mr. Smythe has verified some crucial parts of Mr. Taylor’s testimony and the only way the prosecution team can dismiss Mr. Smythe’s testimony is to discredit him by challenging his credibility. If the prosecution challenge Mr. Smythe credibility, his statements can’t be used in their favor. If they try to capitalize on his statement they are deeming Mr. Smythe as a credible witness and his statements that contradicts their allegations has a level of validity. This slip up of the defense witness seems to be a well calculated “bait & trap” maneuver.”
    I can’t never accept that the Great Al-Solo Nyonteh want to us to believe that we should consider a person credible simply because he/she tells us that the Sun rises in the East and sets in the West. No and absolutely no, I can’t subscribe to the illogy that a liar saying a single truth in the midst of saying million lies among to the liar being credible. Going by such logic then Taylor was a highly credible witness for he gave many indisputable facts including his name, his former positions, marriages, education, etc. Extending this line of logic to the absurdity, we can conclude that there is no need to cross-examine Mr. Smythe, for it is crystal clear that he spoke the truth when he said he was from Gambia, trained in Libya, fought along with the NPFL and worked in the SSS and since acknowledging that a witness said some truth among to declaring him/her credible then Mr. Smythe is more than credible.
    The fact you seem to be missing is that a witness takes an oath to say only the truth (all the truth and not some of the truth). Saying some truth doesn’t make a witness credible but saying a lie (YES, A SINGLE LIE) creates credibility issues. The prosecution is not seeking validity from Defend witnesses. All the prosecution needs do is show that Mr. Smythe was coached to lie and in the process forgot and said few truths.
    Contrary to your claim, the best and easiest way to discredit a witness is to show that he has been cherry- picking his testimony to dovetail with what he was coach to say. Showing that he said few truth but mostly lies will go a long way in demonstrating that he was answering from a prepared script and the few truth he spoke were impromptu.
    Mr. Symthe contradicting Taylor was no ““bait & trap maneuver.” Either he was not coach on that aspect of the testimony or he forgot what he was coach to say. This contradiction is not an isolated case. Mr. Symthe has been contradicting Taylor from one day. In fact, he did more damage on the first day then any other day by saying that NPFL men were fighting along with the RUF on Sierra Leonean Soil and why they were withdrawn, the operation of Camp Nama, Communications equipment from the Americans, Taylor’s frequent travels, etc.

    1. Morris Kanneh,

      Did I just read what I thought I read that you say this? Is this what you want Solo Nyonteh to agree with you on? UNBELIEVABLE. Anyways, I will leave it with you and Al Solo Nyonteh. This was what you wrote.

      “All the prosecution needs do is show that Mr. Smythe was coached to lie and in the process forgot and said few truths.”

      Can you yourself show where Mr. Smythe was allegedly coached? Can you even prove that he was coached? When was he coached Mr. Kanneh? Morris, do you know what you have just done to yourself? You have just sown the seeds of your own demise and have been hit with the curtail circuit rimming down your throat of Adam’s Apple with reality. However, this is not a website that you can just come on swinging with your false claims that have no substance or truth to it. Look, it doesn’t require or take a smart person to understand your hoax.

      Kanneh, the prosecution has a lot more problems on their plate to worry about. Please don’t compound their problems by saying this poorly impulse control statement.
      “All the prosecution needs do is show that Mr. Smythe was coached to lie and in the process forgot and said few truths.”

  26. Hey

    These guys are grabbing scrawls. What Mr Smyth said dose not in anyway contradict Mr.Taylor testimonies. The word Arrest, Suspend dose not mean Punish. Everybody Including you Alpha Knows very well the the action the Prosecutor was referring to doesn’t mean suspension.

    The prosecution was referring to punishment because so Mr.Taylor had all right to say no



  27. I have sent several posts that have not been posted,especially when I disagree with Alpha,.I wrotw onw yesterday, wherein I thought that the headline was a disservice to news reporting.

    1. Hi Political-Gueu — yes, sorry for the delay. I have been in meetings the last two days and away from my computer except for a few hours in the evening — this will continue next week as well, so I will have to ask you to bear with me for the week. I will be getting to the comments whenever I can and the delay is not the result of whether you agree or disagree with what Alpha writes, but of a more mundane, logistical nature.

  28. Jose,
    I am related not related to Kromah, he is married to my nieces cousin’s or my brother-in-law cousin. His wife is a Maximore. Taylor, children through Agnes (she is my cousin) on my father side, and Brumskine on my grandmother side. Also, his brother is married to my sister’s best friend. So there you go…that’s why I don’t play with tribal politics. You want to laugh too, Yancy Peter Flah (a Krahn) is married to my cousin who is a Herron. So, you have my family tree. Now, you see how we all are related.

    OK, I won’t be surprise if I learn you are in Ellen camp! LOL

  29. Jose,
    Sorry bringing you down a notch, Mr Electrical Engineer. Are you in the Philly area too, or as some would call it “Phillip”? I don’t understand how in the world you all can understand this engineering stuff. I had a client who was a civil engineer. I asked him about building of underwater tunnels and subways. He broke it down to me in layman’s terms. As you may know, my background is in Accounting and Finance (both corporate and personal).

    So, I narrowly escape another trap? You are hilarious! Since I escape yours, you seem to be stuck in mine oh….remember the references that I’ve asked for, like since Genesis?

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