A witness defending Charles Taylor today said he never heard of the former Liberian president giving orders to his own rebel forces to kill, rape, loot or burn people’s houses, as alleged by prosecutors.
A protected witness, testifying under the pseudonym DCT 125 and with face and voice distortion, said if any crimes were committed under Mr. Taylor’s rule, they were isolated incidents which could have taken place without Mr. Taylor’s knowledge. The witness maintained this position in a direct question and answer session with Mr. Taylor’s defense counsel, Courtenay Griffiths, at the Special Court for Sierra Leone today.
“Were you ever aware of Charles Taylor giving an order to kill?” Mr. Griffiths asked the witness.
“Never,” the witness responded.
“To burn people’s houses?” Mr. Griffiths went on.
“Never,” the witness responded again.
“To rape?” Mr. Griffiths went further.
“Never,” again, the witness responded.
“To loot?” Mr. Griffiths asked again.
“Never,” the witness said for the fourth time.
The witness added that “maybe if that had happened, it would be an isolated incident without Charles Taylor’s knowledge.”
The witness explained that he had been a pan-African revolutionary colleague of Mr. Taylor, adding that he personally did not have any specific interest in helping to start a conflict in Liberia. He said that he did not help Mr. Taylor in his invasion of Liberia in 1989, but that together with some other colleagues who were not named in court today, he moved to Liberia to help provide security for the former Liberian president whose NPFL rebel group was split into two when one of Mr. Taylor’s former rebel colleagues, Prince Johnson, led his break-away faction from the NPFL at the initial stages of the Liberian conflict.
Asked by Mr. Griffiths why he and his colleagues had decided to join Mr. Taylor in Liberia, the witness explained that “we don’t have any interest in Liberia. With notice that his life is threatened and there is a split within his movement, we decided that we should provide him with security to safeguard his life.”
DCT 125 has been on the witness stand since last week and a huge part of his testimony has been heard in private or closed session. He has been rebutting prosecution evidence against Mr. Taylor, including allegations that the former president gave orders to his National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) rebels to commit crimes such as rape, murder of civilians, looting of civilian property and burning of houses and public buildings. Similar crimes were committed by Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels in Sierra Leone, a rebel group which Mr. Taylor is on trial for allegedly supporting during the West African country’s 11-years civil conflict. Mr. Taylor has denied providing support to the RUF.
DCT 125’s testimony continues tomorrow.
Is this witness saying no crimes were committed during charles taylor’s rule in Liberia with taylor’s knowledge? Again, let me reiterate; “maybe if that had happened, it would be an isolated incident without Charles Taylor’s knowledge.”Wow, there is no surprises here because how is this coward going to admit taylor’s wrong doings when he was a participant as bodyguard? No wonder why he is testifying behind mask! Shameless lies. Take your mask off and let the Devil be ashamed if you dear to talk the truth! It wasn’t crime to wipe Sam Dokie’s entire family by directives to Yeaten from taylor, or the murder of Sam Boakarie with taylor’s hand behind it? You seem to have Dark Heart just like your appearance, DCT-125!
J fallah Menjor,
You have mentioned that this DCT-125 witness is a coward several times because he is a protective witness. My question to you is how come in not one of your posting during the prosecution’s case did you not raise concern about their witnesses being cowards who were protective?
Are you a champion now for notorious rebel/rebel now? You have no case on this man in Sierra Leone. 11 counts, but you can’t prove one.
What’s up with you taking your appeal to Kabina J’ana Supreme Court of Liberia when President Taylor is acquitted?
Prove your case boss. All the noise will not help.
This is a rejoinder to statement you made in an earlier thread as pasted below:
On March 6, 2010 at 3:33 pm, Jose Rodriguez said:
I agree with you 100%. Trust me. I am watching Noko7/Davenport, just like the way I started watching Bnker and than I decided to counter every statement until he unmasked himself. Noko4, believe me, I am watching Noko7/Davenport. We will get his trick. However, his trick will not work. It is just a matter of time.”
To begin the name is Davenport.Noko7, not Noko7/Davenport.
Now, are you really serious about policing my comments?
What is the rationale and motivation for this troubling modus operandi?
Should we not be engaged in conversation here instead of policing one another?
I am not certain if anyone has asked you to unmask yourself knowing that your Latino- Latina pseudonymity. Well, commentators on this site are not interested in the role you have assumed but if it is where you passion lies, then you are most welcome to aggressively pursue your passion – go for it! However, what we know is this: the only monitors on this site are Tracey, Alpha, and team.
Unmasking or masking bloggers on this site is not the passion for many as we want to dialogue with issues arising from the proceedings at The Hague.
I let you in on my passion: to dispassionately dialogue with commentators on this site when necessary asking critical questions, highlighting excerpts from the daily transcripts for intellectual conversation, and forestalling the predisposition to harass anybody who does not agree with my views. Dialectic tension in this trial is inevitable and while I lack the passion for its making, I undoubtedly have the tenacity to engage in it when it occurs and when the issue generates interest.
i am even more surprised Tracey Gurd has not told you thank you yet for this piece. However, I intentionally called you Noko7 just like the way I intentionally called $$Bnker Bnker. When you as Noko7 started posting first, you called yourself noko7. for what apparent reason, I don’t know. Now that all of the evidence given thus far is in favor of Liberia beloved president, His Execellency Dr. charles G. Taylor, you and Bnker have had a name change. I am still of the impression that you are the same person who used to say or suggest that president Taylor is guilty as charged. One more thing before I leave. Since you have change your name, I have noticed that you continue to throw little jabs here and there and I hide behind your rhetoric in the form of questions. That’s fine, but I see you. Look Noko7, this is not all about appearance in terms of names, but the quality of where you stand on issues as it arises especially looking at the available evidence.
I think, the long awaited dialogue, that expected between the both of us has started. And folks, stay out of this please. Just how the facts massively decimated and anniliated Bnker until we have not seen his post for about two weeks now, it’s probably going to happen to Noko7.
Dear Andrew Jlay and Ziggy Salis — I received comments from you tonight where you both guess the identity of the current witness. May I refer you to an earlier note I wrote to Andrew about this on Sunday explaining why I could not post his comment in its current form? That is, in short: this witness is testifying with protective measures precisely because the judges believe that he could face harm if his identity was known. I don’t know who this person is who is testifying, but I do think that we have to respect the judges’ wishes to ensure the safety and confidentiality of the witness’ identity and not speculate publicly about who it might be, in case we unwittingly put that person (or others) in danger through our guesses. Would you mind reading my earlier explanation to Andrew? Happy to discuss more but I hope in the meantime, you will understand my concern about us trying to put a name to the person on the stand.
Very best, with appreciation for your understanding in advance,
Those of us who live in greater-Liberia(the nomenclature for Taylor controlled territory) know whom this witness is. We are just sharing our instincts. But mind you the judges themselves have overly exposed the identity of the witness by their numerous over-protective measures. For instance in prior testimonies, certain names have been used in open court, but when it comes to this witness, such names are redacted.
Besides, Tracey, hunches are just what they are hunches. I hardly follow the logic legal or otherwise whereby a mere speculation would compromise the security of the witness. By virtue of the protective measure, speculation exist naturally. So whether hunches are implied or explicit, print, oral or whatever media, the speculation exist inherently.
This is just an academic argument because you call the shots or you have already called the shots.
But we are thankful to Griffiths for parading witnesses of stature as compared to the flim-flam witnesses from the prosecution as though trial of this nature is a mockery. People who confess to eating human flesh in open court and others who claim that there are diamond as large as the human skull, mere disgrace to africa.
I need to stop.
Jose and Davenport,
Flash your email addresses to me and I will fill you in on the identity of this witness. Tracey REDACTED, if you may, my post on the identity of this witness. So there you have it. If you are interested, send your email. Mine is firstname.lastname@example.org. So long.
Thanks for your note and I do absolutely understand what you are saying: speculation abounds anyway. I do agree with you on that. However, I would not like our website to be the cause for someone’s identity to be revealed, albeit unwittingly and without any intended malice, and therefore contibute to putting them at risk. Or even if it weren’t revealed, to potentially put somebody else at risk if we guessed incorrectly. I know it would make for an interesting discussion here, but I do worry about witness’ safety and I do respect the judges’ decision that the person was already in some degree of danger to warrant protective measures to be put in place in the first place. I just don’t think this is the right place for us to be guessing names if that person themselves was worried about their names being revealed in public, as it could have unintended and serious consequences. I’m sure none of us would like to see that from our discussion.
I do appreciate you raising this, and I know you were making a fascinating point — I am just anxious about people’s safety and security. I know my decision is disappointing in terms of the conversation you would like to have with people here, but I hope there are still plenty of other issues we can take up and discuss as actively as you and others here always do.
I think I know the witness now. My enduring feeling inside of me is telling one name that continues to pop up. And I think my first instict is correct. This identical witness is not a hearsay or they say witness. Folks, Liberia beloved President is winninng this thing openly. And there is no other way to put it.
Please let J. Fallah Menjor know the reason why the court gives protection to witnesses. He is of the belief that only the defense witnesses who are protective are cowards but not the prosecution witnesses.
The issue of witness protection is indeed one which applies to both prosecution and defense witnesses, you are right. And it is not necessarily cowardice on the part of people who are coming to testify at the court that cause them to testify under protective measures. Indeed, the judges have to make the decision about whether the safety fears of the witness, or of the defense or prosecution lawyers who want to bring them to the stand, warrant protective measures to be put in place. In case any readers are interested, two of the key provisions setting out ability to allow for witness protection measures to be put in place can be found here at Rules 69 and 75 in the court’s rules of procedures and evidence: http://www.sc-sl.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=zXPrwoukovM%3d&tabid=176.
Do you notice she did not say the prosecution was the first to produce protective witness or the prosecution did it before giving your view that I though was fair and balanced? If people only read the comments and don’t go in depth, the argument will still be lingering around as to who was the first to produce this kind of witness. We are not saying she should speculate. This is a fact that the prosecution did it first. Say it Tracey Gurd. How hard is that for you?
Hi Jose — yes, of course. I agree. The prosecution brought protected witnesses to the stand first. This is a structural issue — the prosecution presented its case and its witnesses first! The real issue we should think about here, to me, is that the judges decided that people should have protective measures put in place to ensure their safety, no matter whether they are testifying for hte defense or the prosecution.
Just want to know while my postings are never published or do you have a list of individuals that you allowed to post responses; if so, just state it and some of us will just be the ones being the reader of thos postings.
I’m sorry to hear you feel like we never publish your views. To the best of my knowledge, we have posted your comments, unless there is a reason why we cannot (ie because it doesn’t meet the legal or policy requirements for this site). Usually I try to explain to people why I have not published their comments, and if you feel I have failed to do that with any of your postings, please do tell me. What is also true is that it may take some hours before your posts are moderated, not out of malice but just out of time constraints here — so I do have to ask for your patience with me when I can’t moderate your comments straight away.
But our general policy here is that everybody is welcome and encouraged to comment on this site, and we will post those comments as long as they are in alignment with this policy, which you can read here: http://www.charlestaylortrial.org/2010/02/02/an-update-what-is-our-policy-for-comments/
I do look forward to hearing more from you again soon, Hishighnessjake,
Please accept my thanks for posting my comment and even my concern and also my applauds. You and your staff have done a great job on this site and I do hope that my concern did not reflect anything contrary.
You are most welcome, and I appreciate your note. We look forward to your continued contribubtions to our discussion here.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with us trying to guess the identity of a protective witness. As long as it is not stated as a fact I think guesses should be allowed.
Hi AKi — I understand your persepctive, and I know it would be interesting for our discussion here, but I just really don’t think we can allow that here. I am just too worried that we may unwittingly put someone in danger if we guess right, or even if we guess wrong, and put someone else in danger. Sorry I can’t be more flexible on this issue.
ALL LIES I SAY, LIES, This man says that Taylor intention was to empower Liberians so that we may develop our country when he clearly have seen where Liberia is today. Liberia went from being in the guiness book of world record in 78 from being the richess country on the sub-sahara part of Africa, with a GDP close to Japan to being on of the poorest countries. Yes many LIberians (native Liberians) were not benefiting from this wealth but the effort to change this was consistent, and progressive, but we are now one of the poorest countries, and one of the most underdeveloped country in the entire world we’re a third world nation for goodness sake. This witness has no credibility in my book and may well be a personal friend of Taylor that will do anything to keep this guy out of jail. The only way I can personally decipher whether a person is telling the truth is not necessarily whether or not they’re just testifying for Taylor, but looking at the credibility of what has been testified, and the first testimony lost me on the credibility of this witness.
“Isolated incidences without Taylor’s knowledge” I’ve heard this a million times, I mean it’s amazing, the international community, knew about so many isolated incidences perpertrated by NPFL rebels but Taylor who was right in Liberia knew nothing about it!!! Seriously?
Ms. Teage – I did not know that Liberia had that level of wealth and such a high GDP in the 1970s. That is quite a shocking change over time.
What Ms teage fails to point out is that Liberia’s deterioration did not start with Charles Taylor. THe downfall of Liberia started with the CIA sponsered coup that brought Doe to power. The perilious 10 years rule of Doe culminated in a sharpe decline in the Liberian economy and the status of the country as a whole. 5 of those years Liberia was under military rule and martial law. That is where the downfall of the country came from.
It is sad when I see people deliberately trying to shut their eyes to the reality of the situation as a result of the 1980 coup. Those of us who were priviledge to see the transition know exactly where the problems started. All of a sudden they are blaming Mr Taylor for all of Liberia’s woes.
The economy of Liberia was already plundered by the time Taylor came to power. It had been looted and pillaged long before this. The war did not help granted but it was not all Taylor’s fault. The war could have been a short one with minimum damage had the big powers not constantly meddled in the affairs of Liberia with the sole intention of making sure that the NPFL did not win a victory. In so doing they created and sponsered many different ebel groups which led to the increased destruction of the country.
So Ms Teage,
while you are right in pointing that Liberia’s economy was booming in the 1970’s, it is essential to point out that other factors led to the demise of that ecomnomy including the oil crisis, the coup, 10 years of military and autarky rule even before the war.
Let’s put things here in perspective and stop closing your eyes to what really transpired in Liberia up to this point.
Yes this why we as a nation will go any where because we become emotional when things doesn’t go our way as it is in this trial. Now the who case is about Sierra Leone instead of Liberia but it is all about Liberia now and that Charles Taylor is the center of it! So what happened to the case involving Sierra Leone?
Questions are not asked about what happened in Sierra Leone at this point in time of the Trial….Where are we heading now in this trial? I won’t be shock if it should come out that the US and Great Britain actually supported some or even majority of these groups that were training at the Mathaba and still do today! In think these’s more to this Mathaba issue that we are going to hear!
Mr. Taylor told the liberian people long time ago that he wrong them and asked them to forgive him but that doesn’t mean that he order the Sierra Leone people to killed and cut the hands of thir own people! Where in Liberia in did we see that happened for God sake?
Maybe some other people saw that happened in liberia when I wasn’t born yet because I was in Liberia from the day I was born on September 24, 1972 to July 19, 1997 before Leaving for the United States. I did live in the both NPFL and AFL controled areas and travel most often in ULIMO controled areas as well, so I didn’t see what happened in Sierra Leone done in NPFL controled areas.
I know for a fact that ULIMO did burn down villages whose citizens they felt were in support of the NPFL. They did not take into consideration the fact that Citizens of those Villages had no choice because they couldn’t go against people with guns!
I think Mr. Taylor should face trial for what happened in Liberia instead of Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leonean problems shouldn’t be used to protect others in Liberia who Jointly committed crimes against the Liberian people and not to also used Mr. Taylor to protect Sierra Leonean who committed crimes against their own people!
Please help some of us here. Are you saying that Liberia had a GDP of 78% when Taylor and the NPFL invaded or in the 70s Liberia s GDP was as Japans. And if the latter, what that has to do with the era Taylor and the NPFL invaded… kindly answere this . Don’t be scare…
Ms. Teage ,
You are stating lies about Liberia’s guiness book of world record. If you are not going to research the truth then don’t come in public telling lies. Ms Teage you are not a person that should be judging any one credibility.
The international community knew of human right abuses taking place in Liberia by all rebel group and the government. Mr. Taylor stated those isolated incidences that was brought to his attention was dealt with. Isolated incidences that was not brought to his attention were without his knowledge, plain and simple.
I think, Ken, if you think Ms Teage’s posting is inaccurate it would be better for you to do a scholary reseach and disprove her instead of being rude about it to a lady that she is “lying”…this’s one other reason Westerners have stereotype about african treating females as second class citizens. This Lady is probably more scholary than most that cannot compose to meet standard communication on this site! The bottom line is that taylor’s life as a free man was long over, but now is even more apparant he will never walk out free! It hurts especially for those who see no wrong doings of this man to anybody, anywhere!
Sorry sister, but is a very shameful thing when a lady that reads and writes comes in the public and shamelessly LIE…..
You can scream like a bunch of pigs in a tight or narrow space all you want; show us your proof. How hard is it.
I believe if anyone has screamed loudest on this site about taylor’ innocence, it would be you Buddy, just like a little “pig” when caught by the tail with a butcher knife in the other hand, said to the farmer; “this is the end of me!”
Fallah, can a pig talk to human with the notion that the pig will understand the human and the human will respond? By the way, don’t take my lines brother. Develop your own. My line is Ghankay line.
Good to hear that you are now getting down to reality. Good to hear that you are aware that our GDP was close to that of Japan at some point in time. Now there is vast difference between Liberia and Japan. Why is that so? The answer lies in what Taylor is trying to do unravel Liberia from the tyranny of America.
Yes, the President that took Liberia so high that our GDP was acclaimed was disliked by America until they assassinated him. Yes they killed Tolbert because he wanted to be independent and non-align.
So it is good that you are coming home to the revolutionaries. Welcome.
Ladies & gentlemen
I hope you guys are all doing ok. I have been quiet, but also been able to monitor this site regularly. The debate has began quite interesting. Thank to you Tracy and Alpha for the hard work, and ensuring that the rules governing this web site stands despite the emotions from people supporting both sides of the trial.
As for my own views, I think this trial is still a waste of time and the prosecutor is fighting a losing battle. Unless there are other motives outside the legal guildelines governing this trial, it is, so far, a victory for the defense. It might sound otherwise to Fallah, but that’s the fact!
Tracy, I have a question for you! Who can appeal? I know in criminal law it’s the defense that has the right to appeal. And if the prosecution is allow to appeal, then that’s a double jeopardy. Does the prosecution has the right to appeal in its case VS Taylor? If so, why is this? That’s the way it works in the international criminal court systems? I am kind of confused.
Lastly, to Nokos, Jose and all, you guys have been great! I like the way your have been focused, and kept to the point. Keep letting them know that this trial is about SL and not Liberia. So far I have not seen anything that has directly link Mr. Taylor to these indictments. Jose, are we still going to be in the convoy from RIA to White Flower, after the verdicts are read NOT QUILTY on all counts? Hope you have saved enough Yen! Noko 4 & 5, don’t feel bad that others are trying to imitiate or borrow your names.Jjust look at them as “so so” loosers. Don’t be afraid, as Nkrumah said “there is no force, however, formidable that united people can’t overcome, there is no turning back now, the struggle should continue. Victory is for sure, and it’s near. Peace!
Hi there Crown Hill Peking,
Thanks for your kind words and also for the question about appeals.
In short, both the prosecution and the defense team can appeal the trial judgment – and in fact, it would be very unusual for there NOT to be an appeal for major international trials of this kind. However, an appeal is not considered to be double jeopardy – or being tried twice for the same crime — because the issues about which appeals can be made are really quite limited and it is not like a new trial about the same crimes after a final decision on Mr. Taylor’s guilt or innocence has been made. Instead it is considered a normal part of a trial in these courts to have the possibility of appeal. In short, either the defense or the prosecution can appeal if they think there was a procedural error, an error on a question of law that would make the Trial Chamber decision invalid, or an error of fact which would create a “miscarriage of justice” if it were not corrected. You can find this set out in the Statute that governs the court at Article 20 – here’s a link to the document if you are interested: http://www.sc-sl.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=uClnd1MJeEw%3d&tabid=176. Does that help, or have I just thrown more legal jargon at you? If I have, let me know, and I’ll try to describe it differently.
Crown Hill Pekin,
Most definitely. As the matter of facts, I have sent two cars already to be in the convoy while taking President Taylor from the Roberts International Airport to his place prepared for him. I have not yet sent my personal car that I will be riding in to meet the President. I want to be on the ground to free the car from the port myself. Crown Hill Pekin, it will be a great triumphant re-entry of President Taylor into Monrovia.
Pekin, I don’t even want to talk about any longer, before I lose the spontaneity and become breathless over joy.
In short, it will be a natural holiday in Liberia. The government will not declare it. But it will be natural and Monrovia and the entire country will stand still probably for weeks.
Witness DCT-125 what a lies? is the defendce witness ready telling the judges and the rest of the world that Charles Taylor never give order to his NPFL rebel soldier Kill and to Loot? if so when witness DCT-125 was in Liberia in 1990 how did he got car he was using? yes right! I hope he remember all what he is saying now!!
Following my post maybe two-three days ago, I have read a few commentaries on this site and must say not really pleased with the way name callings and overt/covert insults to whatever party have been let to pass. I believe you must either make clear to this folks that they face eviction from the site ( which I agree might be difficult), or not having their opinions heard. Allowing postings which malign other people’s mental capacity should have no place on this forum. Lastly, while I appreciate your busy status, I still await your promise of reverting to Alpha on my questions – The sites’ inference of evidence or otherwise must not be entirely devoid of personal opinion(s). Have a good day.
Pardon the NOT. I meant must be devoid of personal opinion. Thanks.
To be honest, rgk007, I share your concern about name calling and insults. It is not technically disallowed under the laws and policies which govern this site if it is not directed as specific individuals — but nonetheless, my own concern is that it may contribute to an atmosphere which distracts from the real discussion we are hoping to have here: about the issues arising from Charles Taylor’s trial, and in turn may push people away who may otherwise want to join the conversation here.
I completely understand that this trial is one which provokes very strong emotional responses in people, and for so many readers here, takes them back to memories of a terrible time of war and hardship. I know it evokes a lot of difficult feelings for many of the people who are the most interested in this trial. I cannot ban people from participating in the site who are sticking to the laws and the rules/policy here, and I understand the reasons why people may express their views in a way that may include name calling.
What I can do, and will continue to do, is to encourage everyone who takes part here simply to respect one another here in this forum, to respect our differences in views and opinions, and for that respect to be reflected in the way we address each other.
I do believe the vast majority of people here are increasingly framing their comments respectfully and I remain grateful for people’s efforts to do so, especially when so many emotional issues arise in the trial. We are all doing our best here, and I appreciate that while there may be lapses on all our parts from time to time, I do think that people generally come and comment here with good intentions and do so with respect for the issues and for other participants in this forum.
Best, and thanks for raising your concerns,
Thank you very much bro.
I probably know who you are talking about. As the matter of fact, this same usual suspect on this same page said, one lady who does not share similar view with me on this site “is probably more scholary than most that cannot compose to meet standard communication on this site!” However, I almost responded, but I decided not to after I read your post.
Again, thank you brother and I hope we all learn a valuable lesson from you.
this trial is going ideological and i think that the prosecutor is not at all a happy man because,
his country-America- is been battered. I hope the showdown is bigger than OK CORAL!
Can you provide prove that indeed Mr. Taylor oder the killing of Mr. Sam Dokie and his family? Again Tracey, Fallah Continue to call people names such as coward and what have you. I don’t think it’s right for Fallah to continue using such words against people… even if the person is a witness because someone could used that against he Fallah for the way he write his comments and then you will some what view that as a personal attack against him. We are here to have a formal conversation not to be rude to others.
Back to the point, if the witness is ask in a setting way, he’ll have to answer base on how the question was asked. For example, the witness was asked if he ever heard Mr. Taylor gave order by saying go and killed the people of liberia., burn their houses, rape the women and loot their properties? I am a Soldier myself, I have never seen any operations order in which the leader will give orders as such as the prosecution put it.
Fallah, are you telling me that rape and other crimes that were commited by some US troops in Iraq and other places for example, were order by the President of the United States specifically saying Killed the Iraqi, rape their women and distroyed their properties?
I don’t think so but these happens when there’s war because everybody don’t have the same mind set so to speak. They will do things own when they are in places where they feels on being in control without the over all leader known about it.
This is what we have seen in the case of these US troops who committed crimes in the war zone; they was not order to do what they but they did anyway!
As wick as Mr. Taylor may seem to many people, all of them will not believe that he will give such a orders to his soldiers!
Mr. Taylor didn’t give such a order before or on October 15, 1992 when he attack Monrovia. Let’s not forget that Monrovia at that time had the worst enemies of Mr. Taylor and the NPFL but it was the Nigerian Airforce fighter plane bombing and distroying the homes of the Liberian people.
I am not saying these crimes did not happened in Liberia but people did them on their own without been order to do so…..as some US troops have done in Iraq and other places.
So, uncle Fallah, stop allowing your emotions to control you; I think and believe that you are a better person than that and can be even better than that……Okay?
Hi Jocone — I understand your concern. I am not singling out any readers here, and I am not talking about any specific readers or commenters in my posts. I did make clear my general view in a post to rgk007 today in this same thread. My main concern is that we have — and we each take responsibility for promoting — a respectful conversation here that is focussed on the issues arising from the trial. We can do that by ensuring that each of our own posts is respectful. I know everybody here is trying to do that, and I know there will be occasional lapses where emotions are provoked or flared. But let’s each of us take responsibility for the type of forum we want to create here — to me, that should be a respectful one which continues to be interesting and engaging in terms of the views and opinions expressed here.
Can’t you see people are complaining about yout take on others? For me, my side is winning. Whether you select amongst the posters or not, I will abide with the rules and I will hold you with higher standards of accountability in accordance to moderator tradition, and that is to be neutral regardless. However, my side is winning this thing openly. Therefore, I can understand why others behave the way they behave.
LIES? is there a true? is there is then why are you are not potential witnesses for the Persecution? Where anyone of you present when Charles Taylor alledgely gave orders, instructions, or directives for people to rape, killed, home burn, loot, etc.? Or this all based on assuming that because he was the leader of the NPFL so he had to know? How many of us know all of what goes on even in our various homes when we are at work, school, or out and about? Or Taylor just happens to be the person for traumatized individuals to detraumatize?
For the sake of national healing, Sierra Leoneans need to take responsibility for the brutal actions against their people. It was Sierra Leoneans on Sierra Leoneans killings and Liberia and Liberians had nothing to do with it. If fact how can one distinguish between a Liberian and a Sierra Leoneans, especially if we considered those living closed to the borders; Kissi, Mande, Mandigoes tribes; in the absence of actual and physical documentations. I know i can’t.
Simply put: Sierra Leoneans attempted to be like Liberia without considering the ramifications of thier actions.
We would all do well to pause a moment and gather our thoughts. At issue here are the vexed questions of ‘Command Responsibility’.
It is almost a truisim to say that those who wield power are held responsible for the ‘Actions’ and the consequence of ‘Actions’ taken by those whom they lead….. Thus, Hitler is held responsible for the genocide (perpetrated against the Slav’s, Jews, Gypsies,etc etc) not because he personally gassed and shot the victims , but because, he was commander in Chief and therefore responsible for the actions of his subordinates, likewise the drive to indict Bush & Blair Cheney & Rumsfeld, the blood thiristy ‘Zionist Cabal’, Bashir of Sudan etc is not based on these individuals personally droping the bombs of ‘Shock & Awe’, or, going on a personal killing spree, but on their been in command of forces which indeed did commit ‘War Crimes’ and ‘Crimes against Humanity’
What seems to be coming through in the course of this Trial, is that while Taylor was happy to accept the trappings and mantle of Power/Command he lacks the ‘Moral Intergrity and courage to accept the concomitant of Power/Command, -‘Responsibility’
All manner of horrors were committed by the organisation he leads, by Individuals reporting directly to him(eg Yeaten), by others influenced and directed by him(eg Bokerie) yet he claims not to have known or not to be responsible……..One can’t fail, but to conclude that, he is either a paragon of incompetence or a Coward and a Liar!
As Always Wadi’The Zima’
Why didn’t the international community try to arrest George W. Bush when he traveling around the world? The fact of the matter is that those rules only applied to small and weak Countries. Can they the inational community arrest leaders of Israel whom Soldiers committed crimes against the people of the West Bank and Gaza? Of course not because Israel is a small but Powerful Country, that’s it!!
Bravo, Brother Wadi! The Doctrine of Ultimate Responsibility couldn’t be stated any better!! Thanks a million.
What is your point Wadi? you just babbled over 22 lines of words without saying noting. Mr Tyalor has consistently said he was not associated in anyway with the RUF and so could not have been in command/control of the group but I do not recall a single case where Mr Taylor said he was not in command and control of the NPFL at any point in time of its existence. You said quote:”All manner of horrors were committed by the organisation he leads, by Individuals reporting directly to him(eg Yeaten), by others influenced and directed by him(eg Bokerie) yet he claims not to have known or not to be responsible”. for your information- and i think reading the transcript will help- Mr Taylor never said he was not aware that “attrocities were committed” in Liberia. infact he has given evidence corroborated by Moses Blah that tribunals were set up to try perpetrators of crimes during the war and those found guilty were punished and some even executed. so in the NPFL there was a mechanism to guide against impunity by the solders. Now how u relate that to the RUF i do not understand.
You also said Bockarie was “influenced and directed” by Mr Taylor where is the evidence? the prosecutors have lead their case and still we have not seen the CONNECTION between Mr Taylor and the RUF. now its the turn of the defence to present its case which they are doing with devastating effect. you do not need a soothsayer to know that the prosecution in this case have been caged and they are in irreparable dilema.
WOW, WOW, WOW you said it no better, there is no other way to explain where Liberia was before the war. CT just came and destroy the country, yes like any other country there was corruption but these things take time to eliminate, even the great U.S. has corruption in its government. And for Charles Taylor to destroy the country like he did, its a shame and he’s a coward for that.
Its sad to see these people support Taylor and say “my president”, they fail to realize most Liberians voted for Taylor because they wanted an end to the conflict.
As for this witness I can’t even speak on him, the moment he said CT came to liberate Liberians I almost turnover in my chair. It makes me sick, nothing but LIES, LIES, LIES.
According to your logic, people voted for Taylor because they wanted to end the war. So John, why we still had war? Why there rebel groups like Model and LURD fighting the constitutional and first democratically elected government of Liberia right after Liberia beloved president election victory?
Okay Tracey, & Alpha,
your points are well taken, my concerns had the best of my judgement at the time and innocently stept across the thin gray line set to keep this guy identity sealed.and will abide. the question for you is this is it possible for you to know ahead of time and warn us as to which witness will be testifying with protective measures so that viewers will not waste prescious time waiting to be turn off and on in the middle of a live broadcast? one can only look with frustrations to what happen in court today.gain points well taken.
Hi Ziggy Salis,
I do appreciate your understanding. And your question is a good one. If we get notice that a witness will be testifying with protective measures, we will try to alert readers — however, we do not know whether that means they will be testifying in closed session, or in open session with face and voice distortion, for example. So we usually do not know either when the court will not be open to the public, so we miss out also, which I know is frustrating for Alpha too.
Mr. Taylor created a lot of enemies for himself and wanted protection, he was afraid of his life but whats about the thousands and thousands of armless civilians who were going about their businesses in their communities, towns, villages and farms whom his rebels went after killed, looted their properties, rape their wives, daughters and mother. All happened because Mr. Taylor created the condition. And the witness says “maybe if it happened” he did not know it really happen, I am getting upset even thinking about what he says
I can not agree with you more that the identity of the witness is know by individuals living under the NPRAG control area as a lot of information have been given in open court both answers given and questions asked which indicated to me who the witness is, however it is understandable why this forum should not be the place to name the witness.
F A Howard,
THanks for your understanding too.
I think most of us who have been following the Trial are aware of who the witness was
The evidence of witnesses being called by Courtenay Griffiths and the Papay continues to read stranger than fiction. So far, the faceless DCT-125 is even worse than his fellow mercenary, Yanky Smythe. Firstly, they both say that although CJT did not take them into his confidence about his plans to wage his unholy war in Liberia, once they heard about it via BBC, they decided, unsolicited, to provide the reluctant CJT with their warmongering expertise for free, as security. Who told them them that just because Prince Johnson had broken camp with CJT meant that he (CJT) was exposed and required security from foreigners? After all, were they not aware that most of the Liberian Special Forces they trained with in Libya were still with CJT even after Prince Johnson had left? What kind of revolutionary was CJT if he could not trust and rely on his own people for personal security but required Gambian mercenaries to provide same? They go on further to say that although they were bodyguards, cooks and radio operators of the warlord, Taylor, and accompanied him wherever he went throughout his campaign, they did not actually fight in either the Liberia or Sierra Leone wars. What nonsense! They will want it believed that auxiliary forces play no part in the theater of war and it is only those who press the trigger or hurl bombs who are the villains. Again, if they are to believed, than Charles Taylor has never waged any war in his life because, according to him, he has never pressed the trigger of a gun in anger in his entire life. No wonder they ascribe no meaning and nothing untoward to pictures of Charles Taylor dressed in war fatigues and brandishing the most fearsome of arms of war.
Secondly, DCT-125 says he was never aware of Charles Taylor giving orders to kill people. This is taking “hear no evil, see no evil” too far! Of course, nobody expects him to hear the orders and instructions given to commanders and fighters by the person he describes as “a very secretive petty capitalist bourgeois” but on whose orders did the NPFL kill and maim thousands of people, assuming that the burning of people’s houses, rape, looting and the reign of terror that followed in the wake of wherever they passed through was caused by some mysterious brigands from another planet? Of course, nobody is surprised that it is only these Gambian mercenaries who did not see the implementation of the self-confessed philosophy of their demigod, the Papay, that to instill the fear of God in the people on whom they visited mayhem, they should decorate roadblocks with decapitated heads and other parts of human anatomy. By the way, according to DCT-125, he was never recompensed or remunerated for his services for CJT, how, then, did he survive or make means other that through the fruits of looting and rape?
Lastly, and most important, thanks to DCT-125, we now have evidence of the doctrine that took Charles Taylor to extend his warmongering to Sierra Leone. Reading from his bible, “The World Mathaba”, he said one of the doctrines held by Mathaba adherents was, “The creation of international front which will include the people, the small nations, revolutionary movements and the progressive movements, the popular revolutions in the world with the aim of fighting international hegemony.” Put simply, these Mathaba trained terrorists were to be each others’ keepers. It sure explains why and how when he and his Gambian misguided cohorts rushed uninvited to fight alongside CJT; it explains the participation of Foday Saybana Sankor and his RUF in Taylor’s war in Liberia and more pertinent for the trial presently ongoing in the Hague, it explains why and how Charles Taylor joined the RUF war in Sierra Leone. The only difference in the scenario is that Charles Taylor, the street-smart capitalist bourgeois, found in Foday Sankor, Sam Bockarie, Issa Sesay and the RUF in general, people he could easily manipulate and control to satisfy his unbridled greed and aggrandizement.
What has this to do with the charges? the fact remains that DCT-125 has successfully rubished claims by the prosecution that Charles Taylor “Hatched a plan in Libya” with Foday Sankoh to destabilise west africa ans especially SL in order to pillage the resources of the country. you have craftily avoided these crucial fact and others but focused on trivialities as far as this case is concerned. Addresss the issuess please Bro.
Wow I’ve been called a liar Doe Sympathizer, and the list go on. Maybe you should do your research about Liberia because clearly I did. I will try to find the articles that I got the above information from, but I wrote a research paper my first year of college and I found out much about Liberia that I didn’t know so to those calling me a liar, I say to you go and read a bit more about your country.
Tracy, I wanted to clarify somethings after I read your post via my phone this morning…LoL
I don’t want to show an unrealistic happy and absolutely ‘OK’ Liberia.
I stated in my post that even though Liberia was doing well the natives of Liberia were not benefiting much from this wealth. A lot of Liberia’s wealth was made from trading. But Liberia was said to be a nation that was growing but not developing because the masses of indigenous Liberians were not benefiting from the wealth. Although Tubman had gotten rid of the 40 mile restriction that restricted many native Liberians from to a certain part of Liberia, although schools and hospitals and roads were finally built in the 50s in areas originally restricted to “indigenous” Liberians, 78% of Liberians were still said to be living in poverty while 5-6% of Liberians controlled the wealth of the country. With that said, I think that Tolbert with all his issues was working diligently to bridge the social, economic, & educational gap that exsisted between indigenous Liberians and Americo-Liberians. And the civil wars that waged in Liberia took us back way too many years!!!! I believe that where we were in 70s was a better foundation to build on then where we are today. So it was quite absurd to hear this witness say that Charles Taylors intention was to empower Liberians ( and I take it he probably meant native Liberians) to develope the country, especially when we look at Liberia today….I SAY PURE FOOLISHNESS!. Sorry about going off topic I just felt like I had to to make my point……
Ms Teage — thank you for clarifying. Your point, as I understand it, is that while Liberia was very wealthy in the 1970s, that wealth wasn’t shared evenly throughout the country, with the vast majority of people living in poverty. However, Liberia was in a better position back then to be able to start better redistributing the country’s wealth, than it is now after the wars which casued so much destruction in Liberia. Have I understood you correctly?
Ms. Teage ,
Total rubbish, total nonesence; It is so bad to claim to know when you definitey don’t know..big,big mistake. Your Tolberts’ time datas got nothing to do with the era of Charles Taylor. Have you forgotten those heavy coins made by Samuel Doe that he was calling money, while at the same time beheading other citizens? Where were you when it was taking most civil servants four to five months to get a months’ salary? So what kind of good economy or high GDP you are refrencing when civil servants were not getting paid? Stop fooling the public ok…
Rubbish according to your standards and other Tayorist standard…..You clearly did not get the point I was trying to make about Liberia before and after so ofcourse you will try to make it seem as if I was saying Taylor and Taylor alone cause the trouble which is not what I was saying.
0but here’s a tip if you want to responde to a post read critically and analytically and read the entire and try to get the entire gist of the article and then responde.
I never claimed Taylor was the only actor in the civil war. I never claimed that the GDP was high as in the 70s when Doe was president. I did speak about Doe being a murder so if you would have read my previous post u would have seen that. I never spoke about Doe’s part in the downfall of the ecomomy, neither did I claim that Taylor was the only actor in destroying the ecomomy, I solely spoke about Taylors supposed attempts to empower Liberians to develop Liberia. Doe did much to distroy the economy and so did Taylor and that is what I spoke of. I’m not here to promote or participate in the dissimination of false information neither am I here to fool anyone.
If you feel as if I have incorrectly spoken and challenge what I’ve said with evidence in an intellectual manner I will most definitely stand corrected.
But I will say one thing though despite our opposing views of many issues pertaining to this trail and other events, it is ok to read my comments with out presumtions, and its ok to respond to what I actually said and not what you thought I said, as I said before if you try reading analytically that will foster a better understanding of what bloggers are saying;despite whether you agree or disagree with their overall position in this trail.
With that said I will stop my rant here.
Pasted below was my question to you when you made your assumed of Liberias previous economic status, and it goes;On March 10, 2010 at 3:40 pm, noko5 said:
Please help some of us here. Are you saying that Liberia had a GDP of 78% when Taylor and the NPFL invaded or in the 70s Liberia s GDP was as Japans. And if the latter, what that has to do with the era Taylor and the NPFL invaded… kindly answere this . Don’t be scare…
Did you answere me? NO!! Which was no problem, cause I knew where you were coming from. Now, in regards to your suggestion of critically and analitically reading your post before commenting, I personally feel that most of your posts don’t need any form of critical or analitical analisys. I say so because , you never state factual facts. I don’t know your level of education, but I definitely think you should stop being an impressionist. You don’t have the authority to fool anyone on this site ok.. Liberia has never had any form of economic status that you can compare a world finicial hub like Japan… please..
You stated, “Liberia went from being in the guiness book of world record in 78 from being the richess country on the sub-sahara part of Africa, with a GDP close to Japan to being on of the poorest countries.” Ms. Teage, where in the “Guinness book” of world record I can find that information? I am sure you did research the Guinness book before you made such a claim.
Why must we be concerned about the identity of a witness? Will that alter or buttress our perspective? I think it should suffice that a protective witness is a protective witness…and for good reason. As a matter of fact, no one is compelling us to on this site to disclose our true identity or disclose our role in the carnage that visited our “sweet land of liberty” so why worry about those witnesses who are being paraded at The Hague.
Let us move on folks…let us move on…and clam down on the conjecturing which is dangerous.
Hi Davenport.Noko7 — thanks for your thoughts on this. I agree.
Seems to be missing the reason why this witness is continuously referred to as a coward by me and others. Here is a man calling himself a Pan-africanist who is out to fight neo-colonialism and imperialism yet he is afraid of his identity to be exposed. I thought Freedom fighters and Pan-africanist are persons who are willing to sacrifice their lives and freedom for the liberation of their people.
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