Prosecution Witness’s Testimony Was Untrue, Charles Taylor Did Not Help Plan The Invasion Of Sierra Leone in 1991, Defense Witness Says

A defense witness for Charles Taylor has told Special Court for Sierra Leone judges in The Hague that a prosecution witness lied in his 2008 evidence when he testified that the former Liberian president helped Sierra Leonean rebels to invade Sierra Leone in 1991, a war that lasted in the West African country for 11 years.

John Vincent, a former Training Commandant for the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), a rebel group that Mr. Taylor is on trial for allegedly providing support for, testified that former RUF commander and prosecution witness Isaac Mongor’s testimony against Mr. Taylor that the former Liberian president helped RUF leader Foday Sankoh to invade Sierra Leone in March 1991, is untrue. Mr. Mongor, in his 2008 testimony told the judges that shortly before the invasion of Sierra Leone in March 1991,  Mr. Taylor and Mr. Sankoh met in the Liberian town of Voinjama, near the country’s border with Sierra Leone. In his testimony yesterday, Mr. Vincent told the judges that he was part of the RUF fighters trained in Liberia, who invaded Sierra Leone in 1991. As he continued his testimony today, in his response to questions from defense counsel for Mr. Taylor, Morris Anyah, Mr. Vincent said that the former Liberian president did not play any role in the invasion of Sierra Leone.

“In the period when you were making your way to Sierra Leone in particular the days between the 22nd and 23rd of March, did you ever hear anyone say that Charles Taylor was in the vicinity of Voinjama?” Mr. Anyah asked the witness.

“Not at all. Had Mr. Taylor being in Voinjama and when Mr. Sankoh went for us, the last group, he would have told us. And when we got there, if at all he was there, I was going to see him too, but that did not happen,” the witness responded.

Mr. Vincent also disputed Mr. Mongor’s 2008 testimony that Special Forces from Mr. Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) rebel group moved from the NPFL base in Gbarnga, Bong County in Liberia to assist the RUF in invading Sierra Leone. According to Mr. Mongor, the NPFL fighters took with them a truck load of arms and ammunition for the invasion of Sierra Leone. Today, Mr. Anyah sought to verify these accounts and to ascertain Mr. Mongor’s position as a training instructor for the RUF as stated in his (Mongor) testimony.

“Did you see any NPFL Special Forces that were there to provide support to the RUF?” Mr. Anyah asked the witness.

In his response, the witness said “no, not to my knowledge.”

“Did you see any trucks containing arms and ammunition that was supplied by the NPFL to facilitate the RUF invasion of Sierra Leone?”

The witness responded with a resounding “NO.”

 “Whether at Crab Hole or at Camp Nama,  to your knowledge, did Isaac Mongor train any men when your were there?” Mr. Anyah asked the witness again.

“Isaac Mongor did not train anybody. I continue to say that Isaac Mongor was a demonstrator,” the witness said.

In leading their witnesses, Mr. Taylor’s defense lawyers are making frantic efforts to discredit the evidence of prosecution witnesses. That is what Mr. Anyah and Mr. Vincent sought to do today with Mr. Mongor’s testimony for the prosecution. Mr. Vincent is the seventh witness that has testified for Mr. Taylor.

Mr. Vincent’s testimony continues on Tuesday. The courtroom will be used for other trials on Monday and therefore, Mr. Taylor’s trial will only resume on Tuesday.


  1. What a case…..even the judges have come to the realization that this is TOTALLY a waste of resources.

    1. George Bush wasn’t near the vicinity of Iraq in March 2003, but I think we all know that he signed the executive order to invade. Just because you’re not in the vicinity of the battle doesn’t mean your hands are clean.

      1. Timothy,

        Are you aware that George Bush went to Iraq? He made an unannounced visit to the troops in Iraq Timothy. Even, just during the weekend, President Obama went to Afghanistan. What are you talking about? In contrast, did you hear from both the prosecution and defense witnesses that President Taylor ever put his foot on Sierra Leone soil? A RESOUNDING NO. Bro, find something different to compare President Bush and Taylor to, but not this one.


      2. If you don’t know Timothy, the day Bush took officer, he order an Air raid on Iraq from sanimeneyan in Northern Iraq. Moreso, I came on CNN to telllSaddan to step down and leave Iraq in 72 hours. I’m serving in the Arms Forces of the United States as we speak. So, you can’t compare this Sierra Leonean Situation with that of Iraq.

    2. Hi Koko4
      This case is not a waste of resources as you claimed. We that are interested want to know everything. If some of you are not interested, that’s your right. For us, we will continue to monitor the case until the last day of the trial. Even though some of us are not sending in posting as you do, we are stilling interested. We thank you guys for all the comments.

      1. Thanks Sunshine — good to hear from you and glad you are interested. Thanks for joining the debate.

      2. Sunshine,
        When I say WASTE OF TIME…it means there nothing MORE to gather!!! The prosecutors are the ones who should have given us a REASON to keep this case going but from what I see….they are just fishing in the desert to find a whale. Are they believe the defense will SLP and tell us what they would tell us thru their witnesses???

        Remember when on of the defense witnesses said they trained in train in Liberia as RUF and we got excited along with the prosecutors only to find out NOT UNDER MR. TAYLOR’s WATCH….that was the CLOSEST LINK……

        The only gains I see if the defense telling us the RUSH TO JUDGEMENT by the WHOLE WIDE WORLD was DEAD WRONG.

  2. I am taking a survey

    Taylor supporters if Taylor is found guilty would you say the trial was fair or politcally motivated. And if found innocent would you say it was a fair trial or politically motivated or both.

    Please give me you response.

    1. JohnThompson,

      Whether found guilty or not, the fact remains the trial is a politically motivated trial. However, do you remember couple of weeks ago, when you said if President Taylor is acquitted, he can not even go back to his homeland Liberia. Why don’t you want this innocent man going back home when he is acquitted?

  3. Okay Noko4, you should go to the Robert International Airport, Harbel, Liberia to await Taylor. “The judges have come to the realization that this is TOTALLY a waste of resources” and have decided to set Taylor free on March 26, 2010. Taylor will arrive at Robertfield on the early morning of March 28, 2010 and will immediately swore in as President of Liberia.
    You see, one can imagine anything, even the absurd, if you confuse your wishes with reality.

    1. Morris Kannah,

      President being sworn in as president of the republic of Liberia will be determined by the democratic process if he is allowed to participate by America and Britain. And I can say this with absolute ontological certitude that if he participates HE WILL WIN LANDSLIDE WITH NO SECOND ROUND.

      Morris, how come LURD’s Deminte Conneh did very poorly in the 2005 election? Apparently Anthony Kesselly, Francis Duwana,Kabana J’ana, Morris Dukely and other trigger happy warmongers didn’t provide good advise. Don’t you think?

    2. Morris,
      If these judges set him FREE which should be the case, Mr. Taylor will WIN in the next general election in Liberia with over70 percent…..take that to the bank~~~

  4. In cross and direct examination, witnesses respond affirmatively (yes) to controlling or leading questions to support a theory or a claim. Unlike previous defense witnesses, this witness is a perfect example of that, nothing less – regurgitation, if you will. He is acutely sensitive and responsorial to the operative phraseology of his coaching – “to your knowledge do you…” – “no, not to my knowledge.”

    In this case, like every case, the task of the prosecution is to send the defendant to jail and the task of the defendant is to prevent his/her client from going to jail….and this melodrama is a perfect paradigm of both polar.

    We’ll wait and see as there is nothing new this witness had said – wait for the cross.


  5. These witnesses cannot get their story straight. If Taylor gave food meds and amo to the rebels in 1991 isn’t that consider helping. Correct me if I’m wrong isn’t it true that many believe Ellen Johnson helped NPFL because of the monetary donation.
    I know yall are about to start talking out of both sides of your mouth……
    But if its help when Madame Sirleaf did if for NPFL it is help when Taylor did it for RUF….
    How is it that the defense cannot prep his witnesses atleast that is what it seems like all their stories a different and ALL over the place!! Even Taylor stated that he gave SL amo and assistance who to believe?

    1. Teage,

      What is in this thing you just don’t understand? The accused himself said he had dealings with the RUF from 1991-1992. He also said he cut out all dealings with them since 1992 as the result of the intra conflict. So what is your problem? Is there anything you just don’t understand? Even an idiot proof understands this one.

      Teage, if you have any evidence against him as charged, now is the moment of truth to come forward or forever hold your peace. However ma’am, one point in time you said you were going to wear your “BEST SUIT” to go to court and testify against this innocent man. I think, now is the time, especially when the prosecution has massively failed to prove the guilt of this man by providing concrete and solid evidence. Don’t you think Teage, now is the time to wear your “BEST SUIT”?

    2. Msteage,

      1991 is outside of the indictment period. Even if he did give these items that in itself is not a war crime. Now concerning Mrs. Sirleaf I agree that if we tried to convict everyone who helped the N.P.F.L. overthrow Doe. I think 90% of us would be convicted. The reason is that the great mojority of Liberians supported the removal of Doe and if they could have given financial help they would have.

    3. Hi Jose — I cannot publish your comment of 29 March at 11:33pm becuase it does not meet our policy for comments. If you can reforumate to focus on the issues you are raising, and not on another reader, I will publish it.

    4. Ms. Teage,
      Don’t forget, the indictment got beginning period and ending periode. It doesn’t cover the time you are refrencing……

    5. Ms. Teage,
      So THAT FOOD and AMO was keep til after Nov ’96 to be eated and used right?? You need to go and read the MANDATE of the court and the charges once more.

  6. Noko4,

    I am in total agreement with you, this is a case is a waste of time and resources.

    Many readers on this site made have not watched the O.J. Simpson trial, but for those who did followed the trial, I believe the prosecution evidences in the O.J Simpson trial were much stronger than the prosecution evidences in the Charles Taylor trial. A guilty verdict in the O.J. Sampson’s trial was more certain than that of President Taylor. Instead, a judgment of not guilty was rendered.

    O.J. was acquitted because his trial was heard by a jury in the United Stated, the place were democracy is practice the most on the face of the planet, while President Taylor’s life rest in the hands of three judges in a court system that is known for injustice.

    Al-Qaeda leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four accused conspirators are to go on trial in the U.S. However, due to the fact that these barbarians will be trial in US courts, their trial will be free and fair than President Taylor.

  7. The RUF was trained in Camp Nama , a major army Barrack in Bong County within the proximity Gbarnga which was then head quaters of Mr. Taylor’s MPFL, yet, the defence withness says Taylor was unawear of the RUF’s Present; This Camp was so important to Mr Taylor in recuiting more fighters for his battle then , yet , he was not awear of another fighters that could have his enemies being trained in this very camp. This was Taylor’s stratigic military base ,yet, he had know knowledge of the RUF training there; He made Sierra Leonean Fugitives top commanders of his campaigns,yet, he had know link with those fugitives actions in that country ; The world is not asleep any more ; the 80’s and 90’s are no more , we are in a new era NOKo4 , Harris and others.

    1. Edward Massaquoi,
      When the RUF was being trained at Camp Nama near Gbarnga in 1991 Charles Taylor himself had not yet even been to Gbarnga. From Nimba they went on to Buchannan, Grand Bassa County. It was not until late 1991 or early 1992 before the Headquaters of the N.P.F.L. was relocated to Gbarnga, Bong County.

    2. Edward Massaquoi for some one to be train in Nama not to the knowledge of Mr Taylor is not impossible. If you were in Liberia at the time of the war you will agree with me because the way things were done. Do not forget traning bases were all over the place. Buchanan, Kakata, Konola, Nama etc, etc. I believe Mr taylor was more focus on his war than what you think. Beside he thought all of thouse that were traning in all of the traning camps were his fighters. I wii be grateful were you to give the names of Sierra Leonean that were at the head of fighting in the NPFL.

    3. Eddie,
      Maybe you have followed this trial from the beginging to get a hold of the TIME LINES…but Mr. Taylor was NOT…repeat was NOT in Gharnga, Bong County at that time frame.

  8. Noko4,

    I fully agree with you. I have no idea why this case is continuing anyway. It is truly a waste of resources. Have you seen this new trick by the prosecution to say they need more time before they can cross examine the witnesses? Thus is a ploy to enable them to compare witness statements which is an advantage to them. this is a very cheap trick and a disgrace.

  9. one thing that is starting to jump out at me is that the defense team is trying to show that some of the crimes commited during the war that were associated the RUF, were actually commited by the AFRC like the amputation of limbs, or were committed by RUF members in certain areas and not a wide spreading ideology for the whole RUF.

    Not that it makes things any better because regardless of who did what, they were horrific.

  10. I think it’s about time to close this case and start to dig out the actual motive of those who establish it for a possible court action…

  11. John Thompson,

    First and foremost this is a political trial and you know it. There is also no question that the defense has shown that there is reasonable doubt in the prosecution’s case. If this was not a political trial and court why is Tejan Kabbah not on trial ?

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