Liberian Witness Says Sierra Leonean Rebel Forces Were Trained in Liberia

A 300-strong force of Liberians and Sierra Leoneans were based in Liberia and trained under a top Sierra Leonean rebel leader before attacking Sierra Leone in 1991, a protected Liberian witness told the Special Court for Sierra Leone today.  Former Liberian president, Charles Taylor, however, denies knowledge of Sierra Leonean rebels training in his country.     

Testifying in open session but whose name and personal information were not shared with the public, the witness told the judges that he was part of the rebel force that trained under Revolutionary United Front (RUF) leader, Foday Sankoh, at Camp Nama in Liberia in the early 1990s.  The witness also recalled the names of other rebel commanders with whom he underwent training at the camp, some of whom have been prosecuted and convicted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone for their role in the crimes committed during the Sierra Leonean conflict.

“I can remember Sam Bockarie who is Mosquito, I knew Sam Quelleh, I knew Issa Sesay, I knew Morris Kallon, I knew Augustine Gbao, I knew Jonathan Kposowa, they were many, I can’t recall all of their names now,” the witness said.

The witness explained that on March 20, 1991, RUF leader Mr. Sankoh took about 150 trainees from Camp Nama to the Liberian-Guinean border in Lofa County. He said that on the orders of Mr. Sankoh, 100 men attacked the town of Koindu in Sierra Leone’s Kailahun District. The 100 men who launched the first attack succeeded in capturing several boxes of ammunition and military radios from the police station in Koindu.

Prosecutors have alleged that with Mr. Taylor’s help, RUF rebels, among whom were Sierra Leoneans and Liberians, were trained at Camp Nama in Liberia before the 1991 attack on Sierra Leone. Prosecutors say that RUF commanders such as Sam Bockarie, Issa Sesay and Morris Kallon were all trained at Camp Nama. Mr. Taylor has denied the prosecution allegations, saying that he did not provide any support in training RUF rebels and that he had no knowledge of RUF rebels undergoing training at Camp Nama.

This is the fourth witness to testify in defense of Mr. Taylor who is on trial for allegedly providing support to RUF rebels in Sierra Leone during the West African country’s 11-years civil war. Mr. Taylor has denied all prosecution allegations against him.

Meanwhile, a Sierra Leonean witness told the Special Court earlier today how Sierra Leonean government forces executed suspected rebel collaborators without trial during the country’s brutal civil conflict – and chose which suspects to kill based on the way they looked. 

The Sierra Leonean witness, DCT 068, said he feared for his life and fled Freetown after his government’s forces started summarily executing about 20 suspected Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels a day after the country’s war broke out in 1991.

“For fear of my life, I fled Freetown and joined the RUF in the Sierra Leonean town of Zogoda in 1992,” the witness said.

Zogoda, also known as Camp Zogoda served as the headquarter base of the RUF until it was attacked and destroyed by forces loyal to the Government of Sierra Leone in 1996.

Describing how government forces carried out summary executions of suspected rebels and collaborators, the witness explained that “anybody they see, they just say one, two, three, four, five — you come out. Then they take them to the cemetery and give them summary execution without going through any judiciary process and I witnessed that in Kenema.”

The witness added that the manner of one’s appearance was a determining factor in deciding whether to associate one with rebel forces.

“If you are not well dressed, you know that is how they use to associate you with rebels. If you are in coat and tie, you will not be executed,” he said.

The testimony of the protected Liberian witness continues on Tuesday as the court room will be used for other International Criminal Court trials on Monday.


  1. Tracey, Alpha, and team:

    Help me out here…as this is becoming a real melodrama.

    Is this a defense witness?

    If so, why is he testifying to the contrary especially when CT “denie[d] knowledge of Sierra Leonean rebels training in his country.?” ( Cf. daily summary heading March 12. 2010 “Liberian Witness Says Sierra Leonean Rebel Forces Were Trained in Liberia”).

    What is going on? Was he under cross-examination or direct examination?


    1. Davenport-Noko7 — my understanding is that this was a defense witness testifying under direct exmination, but let me double check with Alpha.

        1. Hi Ken — two witnesses took the stand. The Liberian witness will continue his direct testimony on Tuesday when court resumes.

      1. Tracey – this is a defense witness. This is someone that was part of the NPFL war from the very start in December 1990. There is a cleaver reason why he started the way he did. This would be the most stupid thing for the defense to do by parading witnesses that will testify against Mr. Taylor. Please wait you and others will soon know why he started this way. I can assure you that I know the witness very well.


        Harris K Johnson.

        1. Harris — thanks for your note. I am intrigued to see how this testimony develops.

      2. Alpha,

        Just for the record, could you or Tracey state the time frame President Taylor is indicted for? I know for fact, that he is being indicted for the period of 1996-2003. And not 1991-2003.So Alpha, at least, your next summary should include the time frame.

        1. Tracey Gurd,

          That’s what I am talking about. Good job. Let the facts be stated and we should never compromise to uphold what is right. This witness is talking about events “BEFORE” November of 1996. So it doen’t count. it has no bearing on this case. Besides, this witness is corroborating what President Taylor said. Liberians were involved in the Sierra Leonean crisis; but, he did not send them there. This false hype and excitement by the prosecution supporters is a reminiscent of this LBDI Bank Account that has long been depleted of funds with a minimal balance of ZERO. Just because it bore the name Taylor, the prosecutors’ supporters started celebrating and shouting saying, we find his money. It took some of us about two/three days to explain to them that there is no money. In fact, this is a local national bank account and not the foreign bank account of 5 billion dollars as we were told. Moreso, the money deposited was from Taiwan, Libya, and OTC. More importantly, the money is not 5,000,000,000.00. On top of that, there was nothing that says Sierra Leone diamonds or money. However, this is the same thing happening hear folks.

          But anyways, thanks a whole lot to Tracey Gurd for this one: she did not only maKe it clear that “the Special Court has the mandate to look at crimes committed AFTER November 30, 1996” , but also, provided website for research purposes. I am proud of you on this one MA’AM. Again, OUTSTANDING TRACEY.

          1. Hi Jose – you are right that Mr. Taylor cannot be tried for crimes committed before November 30, 1996 or for ones that did not take place in Sierra Leone. However, that does not mean that information about events which took place before that time has no bearing on this case. Issues that occurred before November 30, 1996 may have a bearing on how the judges might understand events leading up to and impacting on the time period after November 30, 1996 and the crimes that were committed thereafter. For example, Mr. Griffiths read out a document emerging from a conference of groups aligned with the Mathaba from the 1980s, if I am remembering correctly, during the examination of witness DCT-125 because he argued it was relevant to the allegation that a joint criminal enterprise between Mr. Taylor and the RUF was said to have started in Libya while the NPFL and Sierra Leonean revolutionary forces were training there in 1980s. Mr. Griffiths wanted to use information from this time period to cast doubt over that allegation.


          2. Tracey Gurd,

            Please explain this to me, because I am not a lawyer and you are. Hypothetically speaking, I am charge with XYZ crimes. However, prior to this law being passed, I was allegedly viewed as violating this future law. When the law was passed at a specific time, I was arrested by force for crimes that I allegedly committed within this new and old time frame and the new laws. What bearing my allegedly former/past behavior has on the case when in fact, there is no evidence to show that I did what I am accused of when the law was passed in the future laws? Besides Tracey, at what time frame a law takes effect? Is it before or after the law is being passed or made, or immediately the exact time frame the law was made? Nontheless Tracey, if there were no laws on the book and finally we decided to make a law that will hold people accountable for their alleged action, will we hold people for what they did in the past prior to the law being passed or after the law is past?

            Folks, I know that I am not a lawyer.I am only trying to use common sense here. Therfore, stay out of this. Let it be between Tracey and I. I am willing to do extra reseach in law, depending on how she answer my question. Tracey Gurd, please answer these questions.

          3. Hi Jose and Helen — I would like to answer you together on your questions on JCE and the application of laws from an earlier timeframe that when the SCSL statute existed, but I cannot do so today. Your questions are good ones though and valuable to explain and discuss and I hope to get back to them shortly — it may take some tiem, though as this week is quite hectic for me.


    2. Folks,

      The prolific Nigerian author, Chinua Achebe, once wrote “Things fall apart – and the center can not hold.” Is this what the parading of defense witness is coming to ? If not, CT’s defense team must critically re-examine individuals they select for direct examination or their defense foundation will be eroded…well, unless they got the tramp card.

      But when you take a closer look at this witness’ testimony, I can only conjecture that one’s experience and knowledge of events are permanently etched in one’s memory and will pose absolutely no difficulty when it comes time to reference them…what you see and know is what you explain…in the Liberian slogan of the 90’s, one can say “explain it oh” witness.


    3. davenport-noko7

      Unfortunately, I was unable to view the witness testimony. I was thinking the same thing as you “Is this a defense witness?” . But one thing Aphla pointed out was the witness was a Liberian who decided to join the RUF. This contradicts the prosecution allegation that Mr. Taylor supplied Liberian fighter to the RUF. In addition this witness is pointing out behavioral patterns of the SL government which is similar to the RUF. It seems like the defense team is trying to uncharacterized the RUF as an evil group that terrorized SL. I’m curious on were the defense team is trying to take this trail.

      1. Al Solo Nyonteh,

        Good observation. Many think, once you are a Liberian and fought in Sierra Leone, it is automatic, that Taylor sent you. What the defense is trying to do here is to disprove that concept. However, I have not had the time to look at the original transcript as I always do in order to prepare myself for the debate. Nontheless, when I do, I will comment in depth as always. Again, many thanks Solo fr this your observation.

        Trace Gurd, this is for you. Can you please tell us what the defense is trying to do here since in fact, you were in the habit of personally interpreting to us what the prosecution was trying to do during their cross examination?

        1. Hi Jose — I am happy to do so once I see where the testimony of this witness is going. I will come back to you on this next week when the trial resumes.

        2. Jose,
          This guy is carring on PR for the prosecution under the banner of this site. Plain and simple.Most of his reportings are and will be against in some way some how. One thing he is failing to realise is that Taylor has never denied the possibility or the probability of rebels , be it RUF , or GUF being trained on Liberian soil. I think, if you read his post that has to do with the views of people from Sierraleone, you will notice that, he only posted majority of what were against Taylor . Also, he did not get views of anyone from Liberia. That which ,in my opinion, would have given his survey a morally professional picture. But anyway, who cares, nomatter what, Sierraleoneans killed their own people. So help me God, CT will never be convicted . The dark clouds that are over him now will go away in the name of the lord almighty….

          1. Hi Noko5 – please do let us know if there are any specific instances of bias in our reporting on this site. Our aim here is always to present a fair and balanced report. I think Alpha has done a very professional job at presenting both sides of the story on this site over a period of two years, and if there are any problems with his reporting, then we would value the opportunity to answer specific concerns, rather than general ones which are more difficult to respond to.

            On the Sierra Leone story, Alpha reported the views of the people he spoke with. He did not go to Liberia on that trip, and so could not include views from there — however he did include the view of a Liberian woman living in Sierra Leone. We will be going to both Sierra Leone and Liberia later this year for a separate project, and hope to also file a report on outreach and people’s thoughts on the trial from both cases upon return.


      2. Al-Solo Nyonteh,

        I too am curious and hope they have a tramp card to pull this one off.


        1. Al-Solo Nyonteh,

          But again, I really don’t think so!

          Hold tight and wait for the cross examination.


    4. The fact is that Sierra Leonean rebels did train in Liberian but the question is that, was it at the knowledge of Mr. Taylor? Mr. Taylor said he did not the training of RUF rebels in Liberia. He also said that it wasn’t to his knowledge but it might have happened but for he Taylor to order the training of those men to be train as RUF member, he said it didn’t happen! let’s see if this witness can prove that Mr. Taylor had knowledge of the training the RUF at Camp nama.

      1. Jocone,

        On top of that, what year are we talking about here? I am hearing march 20, 1991. If it is true, it is irrelevant. Because the prosecution told us their indictment is from 1996-2003 and not 1991-2003. Besides, Taylor himself said, he had some dealings with the RUF between 1991- probably to 1992. So what is so strange here. More importantly folks, we are in a circle here. These guys, I mean, the prosecutors were so emotionally charged and were so much bent on delegitimizing the presidency of President Taylor so bad, that they were only focused on the time frame he became president. I always said it: they will be a victime of their own trap, and it is catching up with them. NO CASE. PHARAOH, LET MY PAPAY GO.

      2. Jocone and Harris
        It is hard for people to understand the opposite some times when there is a negitative mind set … thanks for given them light to see.. I hope they will pay for thye lesson..

    5. devenport-noko7
      This is not a stupid play, but a legal court proceeding. In my mind the defense is trying to point out something here. Remember the indictment does not cover 1991, but 1997 up to 2003. Also keep it at the back of your mind that the witness did not say Mr. Taylor had knowledge of men being trained in Nama or assisted the rebel group to attacked Sierra Leone. Don’t forget the key words, WE WERE LED AND COMMANDER BY SANKOR TO ATTACK KOINDU. Do not jump the gun brother; let us follow the witness to the end. I’m sure we will clearly understand why the witness started like a prosecution witness. Lastly, do not count your checks until they are hatched. Keep your hears open yah?


      Harris K Johnson

    6. Noko7,

      What you are saying that President taylor denied knowledge of Sierra Leaneans training “in Liberia” is not true. For example: he said Liberians were trained at the Ricks Institute right outside Monrovia to go to Sierra Leone and fight. You are misinforming the general public in your rhetorical question.

      I told you before bro, your rhetorical question will be examined by Jose Rodriguez from now on boss.

      Noko4, Noko5, Jocone, Helen, Grebo, and ect, let us not allow this guy to get away with his rhetorical questions of lies.

      1. Trust us brother, they are not going to get away with disinformation, misinformation and hearsay in the face of true Justice. We will make sure of having them in right state of mind.

  2. Let’s wait and see. Perhaps this witness decided to talk the “truth” since he is protected and nolonger has to say what he was coached to say on taylor’s behalf! However,what he has already testified, so far, is very damaging to the Defense case!

  3. What is this sour jublilation about a defense witness testifying for Mr. Taylor? Do you guys believe that the defense did not interviewed this witness to understand his testimony before putting him on the stand? The witness testimony supports Taylor’s claimed that some elements within the NPFL had pior relationship with Foday Sankoh while on the training based in Libya. Do you all remember Taylor testifying about “black kaddafa” which led to the execution of some NPFL special forces because they were involved in some operations with SLeons to overthrow the leadership of the NPFL? Do you all remember Taylor testifying that Foday Sankoeh had said that he gain some intitial assistance from Oliver Varney and some other NPFL speical forces that was in the western areas of Liberia?

    This witness is only supporting the claim of Taylor and also dismissing the false testimonies of some prosecution witnesses that Taylor spoke at RUF training based in Liberia during 1990. As a matter of fact, this witness discredited a key prosecution witness Isaac Monger who claimed that it was Taylor who had ordered him to trained RUF fighters to attack SL. According to this witness, Isaac Mongor was never a training officer of the RUF. The witness clearly stated that he knows Isaac Monger, and that he and Monger were trainees on the based at the same time.

    So there is nothing here on Charles Taylor. The prosecution case is just weak and lack facts. TOTAL TOTAL NONSENSE!!!

    1. King Gray,

      Old and New King Gray from the Great Bassa Tribe of West Africa, you too good brother. Well said. Pekin, Taylor and his defense team are destroying every fabric of bone in the prosecution fake case. They are not leaving any stone unturned. Almost every comment, witness, document, lie, and ect, will be countered disproportionally.

  4. Noko this is what some of us saw a long time ago when this trial started that Charles Taylor was lying and has continue to through out under oath.having human blood on his hands makes it twice as hard for he and his witnesses to get their story straight and they will never! Quilty it is.

    1. Ziggy salis,
      I do understand your emotion but you proof of Mr. Taylor lying through out this trial. Let me ask you this question: Was Mr. Taylor lying when he said that during the fall of Gbanga in 1994, ULIMO controlled western Liberia all the way to Guinea; therefore, he couldn’t have order RUF fighters to help NPFL to recapture Gbarnga?

      In your opinion, was it possible for RUF fighters to traveled from Sierra Leone through ULIMO controlled Areas with reinforcement for Gbarnga? Do you also know that ULIMO was one of the factions fighting in Gbarnga at that time?

      Now the prosecution came out to say that Mr. Taylor order RUF fighters to come and recapture Gbarnga and that they ( the RUF fighters) came and recaptured in 1994.l So, tell me who is lying here, is it Mr. Taylor or the prosecution?
      The prosecution also said that Mr. Taylor supported the RUF weapons and man power through out the 1990s by using footpath through the bushes to enter Sierra Leone with these materials. But you know what General Vamuyan Shireff who happened to be a prosecution witness siad?
      I will help you with the answer here: he told the court that they the ULIMO people controlled every where accross the ST. Paul River on the Sierra Leonean side of the border up to Guinea. That means, any where on the Western side of the ST. Paul River, that is from Monrovia all the way to the Guinean Border were all ULIMO fighters in those places and no NPFL fighters where there.

      Infact ULIMO did control part of Bong county from early 1993 to the time of the election in 1997. Do you want to know where in Bong County? Sanouyeah which is located behind Totota. So, pretty tell me who is lying here, is it Mr. Taylor or the prosecution? We also heard from the prosecution that Mr. Sankor have gone to meet Mr. Taylor in Liberia to get arms for the RUF when infact Foday Sankor was in Jail in Nigeria at time the prosecution said Sankor went to Liberia.
      Again, in your honest opinion, who is really lying here, is it Mr. Taylor or the Sierra Leone people? I know someone will want to know why I said the Sierra Leonean but to save you the time, I will tell you why I said the Sierra Leonean people. I said the Sierra Leonean people because they are the people prosecuting Mr. Taylor false charges!

      So Ziggy salis,it will be in your own interest to back and read more on the trial so as to empower you with the knowledge and facts needed for this trial to support your post and opinions, you tracking?

      1. Hi Jocone,

        Just a quick note for contemplation in response to your argument here: “Again, in your honest opinion, who is really lying here, is it Mr. Taylor or the Sierra Leone people? I know someone will want to know why I said the Sierra Leonean but to save you the time, I will tell you why I said the Sierra Leonean people. I said the Sierra Leonean people because they are the people prosecuting Mr. Taylor false charges!”

        The Special Court is actually a hybrid court made up of the international community through the United Nations, and Sierra Leonean judges, lawyers and staff, created by an agreement between the UN and the government of Sierra Leone. The reason why the court was set up was because the government of Sierra Leone and the international community together decided that there had to be some accountability for the crimes suffered by the Sierra Leonean people. So in effect, it is an international effort to both prosecute those alleged to be “most responsible” for the crimes, and for the accused people to have a fair trial by an independent and impartial set of judges. The Sierra Leonean people are involved in this trial, and the trial is happening on their behalf, but I do think the effort to create and run this court and this trial is much broader, and extends more generally to the international community (which is why, also, Mr. Taylor has an excellent international defense team).

        But Jocone, perhaps I am understanding your comment differently to how you intended it?


        1. Well, Tracey I could be wrong but we have come to this before where it was stated that the court prosecuting Mr. Taylor wasn’t the ICC instead it was the special Court for Sierra Leone. So, how do you explain that? Infact this trial should have taken place in Sierra Leone but due to Security reasons, the trial were moved from West Africa. I could be wrong but I will really appreciate it if you would share more lights on the on why it’s called the special court for Sierra Leone instead of the ICC!


          1. Hi Jocone – yes, I see what you are saying Jocone. The difference is really in the structure — the Special Court for Sierra Leone is a hybrid of Sierra Leoneans and international staff, judges and laws and based in Sierra Leone (except for the Taylor trial for security reasons), while the International Criminal Court is a truly international court that is located in The Hague and operates remotely from all the places it has started cases in so far. The hybrid courts, like the one that has been set up for Sierra Leone — and indeed, the one proposed for Liberia — are often seen as complementary to the ICC because they deal with situations and cases that the ICC may not be able to cover (the ICC, for instance, can only investigate crimes which happen after July 2002). Am I answering your question properly, or is it a different issue you wanted to raise?


  5. Well,it’s just to remember what Nasio Fontaine says in his music titled”Truth Will Reveal”

    The faces of the defense witnesses are seen but never so with their intentions.And so only time is now revealing the true story

  6. Davenport-Noko7,
    Yes this is a defense witness. A witness who is testifying that it was Foday Sankoh who trained them and not Charles Taylor. Remember the witness has never said he was a part of the N.P.F.L. only that he was Liberian. There is no denying the fact that the RUF entered Sierra Leone from Liberia. Just like there is no denying the fact that the N.P.F.L. entered Liberia from the Ivory Coast. Charles Taylor said he was not aware of them being trained in Liberia. In Liberia there was the Black Ghaddafa which was clandestinely opposed to Taylor and working with the RUF. Their commander was also head of Camp Nama I believe. Now if this witness subsequently says Taylor was aware of them then your concern on whether this is really a defense or prosecution witness would be more valid.

    1. Aki,

      For such strength of trainees (300 +), will it be impossible for CT not to know what was happening in that area? Where did this training take place by the way-I do not the exact place? Do you know, Aki?


      1. Davenport Noko7,

        The training according to this witness took place in Camp Nama which is in Todee I think.

        1. Aki,

          And CT will not know of such training at Todee, an area under his control?


        2. Aki,
          Let me help devenport.Noko7 on this. Camp Nama is in Bong County just next to the border of Guinea. Yes, it is possible to train over 300 people in a country like Liberia which has dense forest and high mountains without the knowledge of state security forces, not even to talk about the leader. In 1990, there were over 3000 commandos training in Nimba County without the knowledge of President Doe and his security forces. The Doe government did not know a thing about the NPFL until the first bullet was fired on December 24, 1990. It may also interest you to know that there were terrorists being trained inside America for years before 9 11 without the knowledge of President Bush. Please stop all these noise and keep focus on as the witnesses speak.


          Harris K Johnson

        3. Harris K Johnson,


          How did you come by this information that: “In 1990, there were over 3000 commandos training in Nimba County without the knowledge of President Doe and his security forces” (cf March 16, 2010 at 7:47 am, Harris K Johnson)?

          Anyway, your comments leaves me scratching my head for more answers as it beats my imagination that CT with all his security tentacles spread over his territorial confide and with a elaborate and committed surveillance network will have no inkling of such large scale training going on in his own territory. Hum!!!


  7. Disbelieve….so where was he?? Is he mistaken those that were already Liberian citizens to still be citizens of Sierra Leone??

    1. ,Davenport noko 7
      Whether you believe it or not. This witness has corroborated Taylor’s testimony that the RUF trained in Liberia under Foday Sankoh not Taylor. They got their initial arms and amunition from a police station inside of Sierra Leone not from Taylor. Issac Mongor was a trainee like him and not an instructor at Camp Nama has the prosecution portryed him. These are the facts you should be looking at. On one hand you want to say Taylor had complete control of his entire area when it suits you. When it doesn’t you say he didn’t have control over his area and men.

  8. Davenport-noko7
    If I fully understood Taylor’s evidence he denied knowledge of RUF training in Liberia. He never claimed that RUF was never trained in Liberia, he in fact acknowledged the creation of Black Gadifi which he claimed was linked with the RUF and some of his commanders who wanted to overthrow him. This witness is testifying to what appears as a voluntary training and not something organized by NPFL.

    1. F A Howard,

      No problem.

      Let’s hope you are right as I am right on this one.

      Let’s wait for the cross examination of this witness.


      1. Noko7,

        What is this no problem for? F A Howard is telling you that “Charles Taylor never claimed that RUF was never trained in Liberia, he in fact acknowledged the creation of Black Gadifi which he claimed was linked with the RUF and some of his commanders who wanted to overthrow him” Noko7, we can see straight through bro. This is not Jose, but Howard. NO WAY BOSS.

    2. Jose – I could not post your comment of March 14 at 11:45am because it did not meet our policy of focussing on issues arising from the trial and not on other readers.

  9. Can someone put me in touch with the defence team for CT? I will like to go out there free of charge and tell this court how brutal the S/L gov’t and the people of S/L were against suspected RUF members and all the summary executions I witness against scores of innocent people. People who were just rounded up by civilians simply because they had different accents or looks.

    1. Peto,
      I guess you could contact the Special Court or google Garden Chambers Law Offices in the UK. That is where Courtenay Griffiths is a partner.

    2. Tracey Gurd,

      Can you point in the right direction of how Peto can get in touch with the defense team?

      Peto, welcome. And glad to have you with us.

      1. Hi Jose — I think one of our other readers has already made a good suggestion for Peto.

    3. Peto,
      Thanks for the favor, but we already have many witnesses from Sierra Leone. You can remain here and help discuss the trial. In that way, you can also be a great help.


      Harris K Johnson

  10. Peto, probably the RUF deserves what it got! Remember, this was the same Rebel Group, supported by NPFL group of charles taylor of Liberia, that went on the ranpage in the country side, raping, cutting off hands and legs of suspected opponents, and feeding on drugs, also probably supplied by NPFL ruthless soldiers in quest of terrorizing the general population to leave the diamond fields so taylor could take complete control! These guys were really not too far from acting like animals, except that a puppy will never attempt mounting it’s mom, much more to attempt raping its sibling! Also animals kill only when hungry and not for fun as did these despecable low class soldiers the World has ever come to know, and shamelessly calling themselves “liberators!”

  11. Some Taylor’s supporters on this forum tend to come up with puerile and strange arguments. Let assume for mere argument sake that the latest defend witness is not contradicting Taylor’s testimonies but what is the sense in having a defend witness contradicting previous Defend witnesses.
    The truth of the matter is that lifetime of Taylor’s lies are numbered.

    1. Morris Kanneh,

      You will hold unto antthing just for survival. Did you hear the time frame the witness talk about? do you know the time frame taylor is indicted for? Two different time boss. Besides, the witness is corroborating President taylor evidence by saying not every Liberian that went to Sierra Leone was sent by mr. Taylor. So what is the beef all about brother? To me, 1991-1996 is different from 1996-2001 or 2003.

      no way boss. Show us your proof.

    2. Morris Kanneh,
      Since your comments have begun showing up recently I suspect you r new to this trial. one advice for you: read the transcripts of the proceedings or watch the live streaming of the trial before making claims on this forum. this advce becomes necessary since you have made this claim which i quote “what is the sense in having a defend witness contradicting previous Defend witnesses.” well I challenge you to point to which other defence witness called so far that has testified to the contrary that RUF were trained with the assistance/ knowledge of Mr Taylor?
      there have only been 4 defence witnesses called appart from Mr Taylor namely: Yanks Smith, DCT125, the SLeonean witness and this current witness who is Liberian. None of them has testified either during direct exam or cross exam about RUF training in Liberia with Mr Taylor’s knowledge.

      1. Hi Sam — thanks for your note. Just a quick note in reply: everyone is welcome to comment on this site, whether they are new to the trial or not. I agree with you that it is great to get a better understanding of the trial through reading the transcripts, but it is not necessary for people to be able to share their opinions here. Would you not agree?

        1. Tracey,
          I respectfully disagree with you on this one. to put forward a balanced and quality argument it is essential that one familiarises himself with the proceedings either by watching the trial or reading the transcripts. Reading Alfa’s daily sumarries may also help at least to get an overview of the proceedings before reading the transcripts. if one puts forward an unsubstantiated claim bordering on ignorance of the facts in the proceedings, it does not in anyaway contirbute to the quality of discussions on this site. that is what makes this site different from other sites purpoting to be reporting on this trial which actualy they are just one of the propaganda machines of this prosecution and its western sponsors.

          1. Hi Sam — I respect your perspective and opinion. I’m glad you raised it. I do agree with you that it is ideal if we can all read the transcripts — however, I do not want people to feel precluded from discussing the trial if they do not read the transcripts. If there is incorrect information on the site, I’m sure one of us — readers, moderators, reporters — will pick it up and try to correct with with reference to the transcripts if necessary.

            Do you feel that would be a good middle ground that would allow for everyone to express an opinion, but if there are misleading facts, then we can take it upon ourselves to correct them with reference to the transcripts?


          2. Tracy,
            I fully agree with you on the fact that people should be able to freely express their opinions on this site. infact that is what makes this site unique! my point was that if one is expressing an opinion that point should be made clear that it is an opinion. it should not be presented as if it is a fact as is the case with the reader I responded to.

            Keep up the good work Tracy, Alfa and all members of your team we appreciate your efforts. PEACE!

    3. Morris Kanneh,
      Don’t just conclde that this witness is contraditing other defence witnesses because he had not completed his testimony yet as far as we are concerned. He might be on the witness stand on Wednesday since the cross examniantion of DCT 125 was to start on Tuesday, I could be wrong of the witness taking the stand on Wednesday. No one can know everything.
      For eample, there are people living in liberia who don’t know what is going on at all while there are others who know somethings that are going on but not all of it. So, if you get all of these people to give you informations, they all will not give you the same informations. So that’s how some of these witnesses are!

    4. Fallah, Morris, Davenport, and co,

      I do not know why there is al this commotion and jubilation going on about what you think appears to be a contradiction between Mr Taylor’s testimony and this witness. There is actually no contrdiction whatsoever.

      If you recall during Mr Taylor’s testimony, he alliterated that there was some alliance between some of his key commanders, who were Special Forces and Foday Sankoh from the training base. They at that time used their connection to assist Mr Sankoh and formed a group called Black Gadaffa which would have ultimately led to the overthrow of he Taylor. This is nothing new as they trained different groups of NPFL fighters all the time.

      Do not forget this revolution was not one that was made up of all military personel for an organised armed forces. It consisted of more than 50,000 people who hailed from all walks of life who had to be trained at different times and who were trained by the very Special Forces.

      Now for those who think that the amount of 300 men being trained was a lot and therefore Mr Taylor had to know, need to reflect back to the situation during that period. First of all if some Special Forces had some sinister plan to ultimately depose Mr Taylor do you think they would have the purpose of the training brought to the attention of Mr Taylor at the time? Obviously not.

      It was very easy for them to carry out an obscured training under the guise that these were normal NPFL fighters being trained. After this they were able to launch their plan which was a quid pro quo arrangement with Mr Sankoh; i.e. they help him and he helped them later.

      This was clearly elucidated by Mr Taylor in his testimony when he explained about the Black Gadaffah and the Degbon, Oliver Varney, and Anthony Menquinogbay plot which was later discovered in 1992 which led to their being tried and executed. Why do you all see this now as a contradiction?

      I am not sure if you all were fully following the different nuances of the unfolding events as Mr Taylor narrated them or perhaps you did not understand the relevance of some of the details he was giving. The man said that he did not train the RUF but there was a possibility that they were trained in Liberia and in fact he got to know later that some of his senior commanders did proide assistance to them. he also went on to explain that that and many other things subsequently led to their execution. Do you all recall this now?

      This witness has verified several aspects of Mr Taylor’s testimony and has in no way contrdicted other witnesses statements. The training of these RUF and Liberians to fight in SL was a very secret mission that all Special Forces and indeed Mr Taylor were unaware of at the time. This is clear. So if another witness says he was unaware of RUF training going on in Namah, it is very very true and quite consistent with truth. If the person was not privy to that information why should they come and lie to say they were. That would have then been a fallacy.

      It was those Special Forces who were training at Nama who organised the group to assist Mr Sankoh with the hope that he would assist them later, not Mr Taylor. There were several different training bases at the time and several fronts as well during that time. It would have been utterly impossible for Mr Taylor to have had ubiquitous knowledge of all and every minute detail of what was going on at all time during that period or any period at that time. That was why he had the Special Forces who were supposed to be his eyes and ears and who were involved on a daily basis with issues on the ground while he Mr Taylor dealt with the big issues on a strategic level. Why is this so hard for you all to see or understand?

      I find this witness statement very revealing and very supportive of both Mr Taylor’s and other witnesses. It also goes a long way to explaining why the conflict even eventually developed between the NPFL and the RUF in 1992 and the uncovering of the plot of Black Gadaffah and their allies in the RUF to destabilize thing in the NPFL. It disproves prosecution allegation that Mr Taylor kill those Special Forces for nothing only because he was perhaps wicked man and hungry for power.

      This statement also disproves Prosecution allegation that Mr Taylor forced Liberians to fight in SL. The witness said he willinigly joined and was trained under a secret mission. This is CLEARLY and PERPICIOUSLY EXPRESSED.

      So for those who are confused I hope this elucidates the mater for you. Keep watching but be sure to reflect back to the testimony of Mr Taylor and do not rush to rash judgements and conclusions. This defence team is dealing with the issues in a very thorough manner and will eviscerate all the lies put forward by the prosecution. You wait and see.

      The lies will be dehisced and the truth will be revealed indeed. We will truly be able to see the machinations of the Prosecution vitiated.

  12. What I am thinking here is that, there were commanders training people all over the NPFL Control area back in 1990 with Mr. Taylor known that they were NPFL Soldiers being trained. For example, in Totota Bong County, there’s a town called letleh about 5 miles from Totota. There was one Maj Sansee, who forcesively recruited the people children of that town…. I mean all the men in that town were recruited and trainedright in Letleh there without Mr. Taylor known about it.
    I could be wrong on the nama issue but I think Foday Sankor might have gone there as a trainee and later make it known to the trianing Commanders at nama that he did serve in the Sierra Leonean Military; as the result, he was trusted by these commanders at nama to help train the NPFL members.
    During that process, he might have decided to trained his own people as if they were NPFL Soldiers. Let’s us not forget that there were prosecution witnesses who testfied that Sankor recruited Sierra Leonean nationals in NPFL controlled areas to fight in Sierra Leone but what they didn’t do is to say that Sankor told them that Mr. Taylor wanted recruited to fight in Sierra Leone. In that light, I think what the defence wants to establish through this witness is that, Mr. Sankor may have recruited people from liberia fight in Sierra Leone but Mr. Taylor wasn’t awared of it. Like I said, I could be wrong.

    With that been said, there were many NPFL soldiers who used to run away from Liberia and go to Sierra Leone while they are being look for in Liberia for committing crimes. If anyone on this block remember the list of names the late Samuel Doe gave after that November 12, 1985 incident, there were a guy on that list by the of name John Sharp, he was one of those ran away from liberia after crimes for which he should have been killed.
    Instead, he ran away from Liberia and went to fight in Sierra Leone. So when Mr. Taylor order all NPFL Soldiers to leave Sierra Leone in 1992, he couldn’t come back to liberia because of what he did before going to Sierra Leone; as the result, he got killed in Sierra Leone by RUF forces. I am curious to know where this witness is going with this testimony!

  13. AKI,FA Howard,petro,& Noko4, sorry guys this last witness who is surposed to testified for your man Charles Taylor has just admitted to one of the prosecution’s chief charges against him that he provided training base to the RUF before their first attacks against Sierra Leone in 1991, prosecutions witness’ had testified to similar accounts earlier and all your man CT has done is contradict himself on this camp Mataba and camp Tajura in Libya gets transferred to camp Nama in Bong county! just few kilometers down the road from Charles Taylor’s farm, and his controlled over 75% of Liberia including camp Nama.This revelations linked the joint criminal interprise charges because all of these guys named by this witness: Sam Bockarie, Sam Quelleh,Issa Sesay, Morris Kallon Augustine Gbo, & Jonathan Kposowa were later in complect control of Kono district in Sierra Leone the diamond deposit, at the expense of Innocent lives and properities, and that alone is enought to hold Taylor guilty for providing training camp which include the planning of attacks on a neighbouring country. QUILTY it is!

    1. Ziggy Salis,

      You wish guilty verdict against this innocent man is rendered. But you can not show one proof for which he should be found guilty. Let me help you here just a little bit. Lets assume that what you are saying or thinking about the witness testimony is correct. It is still not amountable to guilty verdict. The witness said, 1990 or 1991. Conversely, the prosecution charged him from November of 1996 – probably 2003. So my brother, How can he be founf guilty? However, I am not a lawyer, but I think in law they have some they called expo-facto law. I have to run as the result of my lunch break being over. I have to go.

    2. Ziggy Salis,


    3. Ziggy Salis

      By “Your man Charles Taylor” not definitely sure what you mean by that, but if the suggestion is being a supporter. I don’t believed I have expressed any view as to the guilt or innocence of Mr. Taylor on this forum. My previous posting had to do with what I recalled to the best of my ability Taylor’s testimony of knowledge of RUF training and this witness evidence so far as it relates to his training and decision to follow a friend he met at a bus stop and his joining of the RUF. So, I hope forum is where a poster ‘s view is allow to speak for itself and individual do not inject their own misunderstanding or misrepresentation of the view of others.

  14. After reading the many comments, I strongly belived many folks on this blog are not following this trial like i thought they were, GUESSING. This witness testimony is 100% aligned with Taylor testimony that Oliver verney did trained both Liberians and SL in liberia without his knowledge to help his old-pal Sankor. Can anyone tell me WHY OLIVER VERNEY was executed IN THE SAME TIME PERIOD? With the right answer, you’ll get to understand this witness

    1. Grebo,

      I couldn’t agree with you more. These guys on the opposite of me think, once you are a Liberian and fought along side the RUF, it is automatic that you were sent by Mr. Taylor. However, this witness is trying to show to the world that even though he was a Liberian that fought along side the RuF, he was not sent by President Taylor.

  15. I do remember during Taylor’s hail days he once boosted that “if anyone, even in your dreams at night, attempt any form of destabilizing his government you are going to be caught.”

    If Taylor had such a mystical prowess how come he didn’t know 300 plus men were training in his own back yard with all his numerous security forces with the likes of ATU, SOD, SBU, SSS, just to name a few failed to provide intelligence. It is very much unbelievable to trained such numbers of men without government concern especially with a war torn country like Liberia, where people hears are very sensitive to the sound of guns and grenades, and the men themselves knows how risky such military training operations will be.

    Instead of Taylor working up strategies along with his defense team and providing creditable witness, he is busy having babies. What else do you want the witness to do? Say the dam truth.
    I am just sorry for the little child he just fathered. Little girl always say the truth and don’t be like your daddy.

    1. Justice LIB,

      How very childish indeed. What has this man’s fathering a child to do with this case? Let’s be adults here and focus on the case please.

      Now first of all there is a vast difference between the time Mr Taylor was a rebel and when he was President and had the resources of the stat at his disposal. Do you seriously think during the NPFL days it was possible for anyone to monitor all and every activity occuring at all times? if so then perhaps you need to tell me if this person has GOlike powers. Come on here it was hardly possible to know things going on right within the town people lived in let alone all over the NPFL control area especially so when there were over 100 Special Forces who sometimes acted as laws unto themselves.

      If you were anywhere near Liberia you would know that it was very easy for commanders to take matters into their own hand and in many cases did without the knowledge of the leadership of the NPFL. In all wars things happen without the expressed knowledge and or complicity of the leader or commanders. So why is it any different in Liberia?

      Be real here please. We are discussing issues not gossip and slander.

    2. Justice LIB,
      may I remind you of the time which this witness is testifying about thus far? it is August 1990-March 1991. Now was Mr Taylor President of Liberia during this time? NO. was “his numerous security forces with the likes of ATU, SOD, SBU, SSS” in existence then? NO. so how was he to know when the was in Liberia was relatively new at that time? Come on man think of something else. At the time this man concludes his testimony, he will have successfully rubushed the prosecution claim that it was Mr Taylor that put the RUF force together in order to attack SL initially.

      1. Sam,
        I was getting ready to reply to Justice-Lib but then read your reply to him. This is the problem with some of the people on this site they just spew out disinformation.

        Justice-Lib you seem jealous that Mr. Taylor recently fathered a child. I am curious what do you have to do with Taylor’s marital relationship ?

        1. Hi there Aki — you are a regular and thoughtful contributor to this site and have been with us right from the start of the trial — and in light of that, can I ask for your help in getting us as a community of readers to focus on the issues arising from the trial? You always have interesting things to say about the substance of the trial, and my hope is that we can all refocus on those issues and away from the other issues that are not so relevant to the ones emerging from the courtroom and the trial’s bigger implications.

      1. Tracey,
        Well said we must focus on the issues and not on personalities. As I said to MsTeage when she first started posting. ” How boring this blog would be if we all agreed with each other concerning the trial “

        1. Aki,

          Well said…allow me to add a few words.

          Disagreeing is one thing but disagreeing with respect for others, cordiality, and decency is another. we all can not sing the same song or dance to the same beat but we can learn to either listen to or respect the song of another without unnecessarily charging at them just as they listen to and respect ours.

          well said…


  16. Tracey,

    We understand the use of information before the indictment period for the purpose of establishing joint criminal enterprise. However it must be pointed out that this whole issue of JCE is not even an established and or tested phase of international law. It is usually employed in cases where evidence is scanty and or nonexistent.

    It is so ambiguous that it leaves so much room for the prosecution to playaround with. However despite this loosely and rather sloppily concocted case, I find the JCE aspects even dificult to adduce.

  17. Tracey,
    Arguing to DEBUNK the notion of a PACK is not the same as CRIMES committed before Nov. 30 ’96. His reason was to tell the judges since the prosecutors told us there was a pack and that pack was still ALIVED that that pack was NEVER EVER birth.

    1. Hi Noko4 – yes, you are correct, that is what the defense were trying to do, as I understand it. The point I was simply making is that these historical issues may be relevant to the allegations/crimes that do fall within the timeframe of the Special Court, so I think perhaps we are saying the same thing, yes?

  18. Sam,
    For your information, I religiously follow this trial.
    You are the one who seems not to be carefully following the trial. Maybe, your ears are only wired to pick up statements favorable to Taylor’s testimonies.
    Yank in his testimony said there were no Sierra Leonean training at Camp Nama.
    Honestly, I’ve vowed not to argue with anyone who writes on the site that recruiting Children for war was not an official policy of the NPFL, the Special Operation Division (SOD) of the Police didn’t exist during Taylor’s reign, murdering of civilians, looting and raping were not rampant in NPFL controlled areas, among other glaring facts. For arguing with such person is like administering medicine to the dead.
    So, sorry I would be of no use to you.

  19. Hi Tracey,

    Is there a reason all my posts for yesterday have not been posted? They are all awaiting moderation since yesterday afternoon.


    1. Hi Helen — I am getting to them now. Apologies for the delay at my end.

  20. Hi Jose
    As i have read most of the posts on this site, i get reluctant to respond to some arguments especially advocates of Taylor’s innocence. You have continually proclaimed Taylor innocent of these charges, however, your new argument is the timeframe. You are conceeding that if these charges were for infractions committed between 1991-1996, then Taylor is responsible. correct me if i am wrong.
    If camp Nama was in Taylor’s controlled territory, then he was aware of the training of these invaders. Taylor is too much of a control freak to allow such detail to go unnoticed. Whether these crimes were committed before the indicted period or after, it just confirms the perpertrations of these atrocities by Taylor and his henchmen regardless of timeline. Defending a lie is the most difficult thing to do. A lie does not have memory because it did not occur. Now that your president has gotten exposed, your new tactic is to say: He did the crime but it was “ëxpo facto.” When he committed the crime, it wasn’t a crime then. Murder has no statue of limitation.

    1. Nosirrah,

      At no time did I say or think President Taylor did what they are accusing of. If you read my respond to Ziggy Salis on this same page, you will soon realize that I said “lets assume that what you are saying or thinking about the witness testimony is correct. It is still not amountable to guilty verdict. The witness said, 1990 or 1991. Conversely, the prosecution charged him from November of 1996 – probably 2003. So my brother, How can he be founf guilty? However, I am not a lawyer, but I think in law they have something called expo-facto law.”

      I however, did not stop there. I asked Tracey of the time frame of Mr. Taylor indictment and she answered truthfully. I also asked her to explain about what time frame a law takes effect. Is it before or after the law is being passed? She acknowledeged the question to be a good question, but she will revert.

      Now Nosirrah, I am taking this thing from all dimensions. I am not only looking at comments on this site. But I am also looking at it from the lens and prospective of the prosecution who was bent on delegitimizing the presidency of Taylor. As the result, they were primarily concerned about the time he became president to the time he left. However, my second point was to cut into the false hype of the prosecutors’ supporters who are hanging on this statement from the witness just like how they hung on the LBDI Bank Account. More importantly, Taylor himself has said he had some dealing with the RUF between 1991-1992. So boss, where is this exposure coming from? Look Nosirrah, for me, I am a very analytical and critical thinker. As the result, I am not leaving any stone unturned for you guys to hope on.

      1. My half Bro. Jose,

        You couldn’t have said any better or Articulate your view any profoundly then you did. the mare fact the anti taylor folks where all rejoicing on the statement futher state my claim that the hype to guilty judgement completely contradicted the veracity in the court . You guys keep dreaming Because it’s only in your slumber Taylor will be found guilty base on the prosecutor’s witness bribing testimonies while true witnesses are parading the stand in Taylor defense

    2. Nosirrah,

      Where did I say Taylor did the crime? Stop lying on me bro. In fact, how could you make up such a story? What, do you think we live in an alternative universe here? How did it even occur on your mind that Jose Rodriguez will say such a big thing like that?Nosirrah, show me where did I say Taylor committed the crimes as charged.
      “A lie does not have memory because it did not occur”, these are your exact words. However, do you have a memory of me saying this? What post/posts did I say it in?

      According to you, you have been reading most of the posts on this site, especially argument from Taylor supporters, but have been relunctant to respond. I don’t know why you have been reluntant. But I think, it will better serve you to be reluntant not to respond than to respond with a lie.

    3. Nosirah,
      Taylor never said the invasion of Sierra Leone did not come from Liberia. Repeat he never said that. What he did say he was not aware of the training of the RUF in Liberia. If you have followed the trial it has been mentioned that members of Black Ghaddifa who were clandestinely opposed to Taylor had connived with the RUF and trained with them. Charles Taylor has even admitted helping the RUF for a time up to 1991 so why are you bent on distorting what has already been presented in court ?

    4. Nosirrah,
      Do you want to be GUILTY of a charge that WAS NOT listed amongst the charges?? All the charges are from ’96 thru ’00. Plus, we have to even convict him from ’91 thru ’95.

      Ecomog trained Liberians to go fight in Sierra Leone but Ruth Perry told us sometimes back she and her gov’t were not awared…I REST MY CASE.

  21. Tracy,
    can you show me the link to the daily transcripts from the court room?I do read the summaries but i want see the actual transcript.

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