Charles Taylor Refuses To Go To Court In Protest Against Treatment By Dutch Security Personnel

Charles Taylor today refused to attend his trial in protest of security measures by Dutch security personnel responsible for taking him from his detention facility to the courtroom in The Hague.

When the Special Court for Sierra Leone resumed this morning, Mr. Taylor was conspiciously absent. The former Liberian president’s defense counsel, Morris Anyah, explained to the judges that Dutch security personel had handcuffed Mr. Taylor and kept him waiting in a vehicle for 15 minutes. This irritated Mr. Taylor and he refused to go to court today. Mr. Anyah called this action by the Dutch security personnel unnecessary and disrespectful.

Explaining to the judges what transpired between Mr. Taylor and the Dutch security personnel, Mr. Anyah said that “he was handcuffed, he was placed in a vehicle, and this is where the problem arose. He was left in that vehicle, for in his estimation, 10 to 15 minutes while the detention center personnel went to transport or bring another detainee from upstairs to another waiting vehicle to be transported to the same court house.”

“What we submit, objectively speaking, is unnecessary and is disrepectful, is to have the accused sit in a van waiting for several minutes while he is handcuffed,” Mr. Anyah added.

When the court adjourned and resumed in the afternoon, the judges informed the parties that they had done some investigation into what transpired between Mr. Taylor and the Dutch security personnel.

Presiding judge, Justice Julia Sebutinde, said that the actions of the Dutch security personnel were not disrepectful to Mr. Taylor as he was represented by his defense counsel. The learned judge said that Mr. Taylor had only been made to wait for those minutes because the Dutch security personnel wanted to transport him to the court alongside the other detainees.

“Now in our view, unanimously, we do not think that what happened this morning — whereby the authorities requested Mr. Taylor to wait for some 15  minutes, and I don’t know whether he actually waited for 15 minutes or less — that that was necessarily an unreasonable request, given the circumstance that there was that one team ready to bring a number of accused persons, ” Justice Sebutinde said.

“Secondly, it is common knowledge that Mr. Taylor is not the only accused person standing trial in the past few months. And that these various accused persons have been transported in similar manner from the same detention center together, perhaps in convoy in the same way. Of course I — we — would expect Mr. Taylor to respect the conditions of the detention center and the transportation regimes,” the presiding judge added.

As the judges ordered that the trial would continue in Mr. Taylor’s absence, the ninth defense witness, Liberian national and former Brigade Commander for Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebel group, Martin Flomo George, concluded his testimony. He reiterated that Mr. Taylor did not provide support for RUF rebels in Sierra Leone as alleged by prosecutors.

Befoore court adjourned today, Mr. Taylor’s tenth defense witness, a Liberian national and former member of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) during Mr. Taylor’s presidency, Karnah Mineh, took the witness’s stand.

Mr. Mineh’s direct-examination will continue tomorrow.


  1. Folks,

    Am I getting the impression that CT wants to be treated as a royalty in his current condition?
    How different is he from other accused persons at that facility?

    Wish him well in his quest for exceptional treatment while an accused prisoner.


  2. With all due respect, i think taylor is taking disadvantage of this great opportunity given him by Special Court of Sierra Leone when this very irresponsible excuse that he would not attend trial because he was handcuffed while he waited for 15 minutes for other detainees by Dutch Security Forces. Who is he? A prisoner,I believe and besides, did he give any humane rights to suspects held by his ATUF nor Canibalistic commander, Yeaten? Give me a break, this is the most rediculous excuse I have heard from gankay in a long time. Does taylor really believe the Dutch Security Forces will leave him uncuffed for 15 minutes without regard to him being a high security prisoner? This is another arrogance shown by taylor, who still believes that he is a head of state! He doen’t seem to get it!

    1. J Fallah,

      I’m sorry that you don’t know how the Criminal Justice system and Due Process of law work especially civil rights of the accused and rules that govern the use of any kind of physical force. In law enforcement the use of force is directly proportional to the pervading force at hand. In this case, there was no opposing force, so it was wrong to handcuffed Mr. Taylor. Fallah please know that we are no longer in a natural state, but a state of law and order.

      Harris K Johnson

      1. Hi Harris and Fallah,

        The interesting issue for us to look at here might be the practice of the security personnel. They may handcuff all prisoners during transport as a matter of practice — I just don’t know what their regulations and rules are. Perhaps this is something I could ask the court to answer for us — would that be helpful?


        1. Hey Tracey,
          Even though The Manuel Noriegas’ case may be different from Charles Taylors,could you please comment on why he was not being cuffed like Taylor while he was being taken to France to face another trial? Besides do you know any other countrys’ president that has gotten in trouble with the UN or the international community who has been brought to the kind of disgrace that President Taylor is going through??? Thanks

        2. Tracey,

          I’m from a criminal justice background with over fifteen year of experience dealing with prisoners in a detention/correctional center. There is nothing about practice in the criminal justice process. I think what you should be asking them (Dutch Security) is about their own procedures involved with the transporting of accused person who is standing trial. Like that, I’m sure we will get to understand why. Please leave fallah out of this; he does not know how the Criminal Justice system works. You can tell that from his many posts on this site.

          Harris K Johnson

  3. In this case, and in my view, as a Law Enforcement Officer, the use of physical restrain was unnecessary. We all know that Mr. Taylor has always cooperated with the court and security officers. He should have been allowed to sit in that vehicle without being handcuff. By reminding him that another accused person was awaited would have save the day, but the instead security officers chose to disrespect his civil right as an accused standing trial. Well, such a time, such a situation.


    Harris K Johnson

    1. Harris K Johnson,
      No, Taylor is going to be handcuff while in transit to anywhere. That is not only the security detail, but Mr. Taylor is a flight risk as was demonstrated in the United States and Nigeria. An accused prisoner doesn’t have all his civil rights or else his freedom of movement won’t be taken away.

    2. Hi Guys,

      Taylor did not give fair trial to any one he suspected not to be on his side. Whether restrain or physical restrain he’s a prisoner. You been a law enforcement officer, what is the meaning of prisoner ?? What diffrent treatment he wants that others did not received under him as a president? Atleast for him is just handcuff but for others, he shot them or beaten to death. Let him face any consequences until he prove himself in the court of law not guilty.

  4. Why should Taylor be accorded such privileges from other Prisoners? When you are a prisoner, you are a prisoner, and you should succumb to prison regulations.

    1. Justice Libe,
      If you don’t know, prisoners have rights. You can’t mistreat a prisoner just because he or she is a presoner! Like I we do in the US Military, you can’t mistreat anyone even if you saw them killed your buddy on the battlefield and they drop their weapons. You are required to arrested them and investigate them not mistreat them in any way than yourself!

      1. Hi buddy

        Which military camp you are? In the U.S? I hope not in the U.S because we already know how prisoner been treated to confess including “waterbowling”.So when your friend get shot at you offer candy,hamburger and a handshake to the POW? Good guy we need 10000 of you in Africa.
        Excuse me! Taylor is a political and Regional prisoner his treatment is diffrent according to the mass killing he’s accused of. Being without handcuff for five minutes is dangerous to the society I must admit.

        1. By the way Morris,
          You and who make we? I do serve in the U.S Military and I am proud to do so! I have been in combat zone 4 times since 2004. Those who were mistreated prisoners are being prosecuted and many of them facing Jail time as well. Remember that a man not guilty until his or her prosecuter can proved that they are which we haven’t seeing in this case so far!

    2. Lib Justice,

      President Taylor was on time and was at the appointed place. In fact, he was already in the car waiting to be transported to court as usual. Why couldn’t they handcuff the late comers or the one that was late? Why handcuff the one who was on time and was cooperating with the authority, and don’t handcuff the one/ones that were late and caused the problem in the first place? UNBELIEVABLE.

      1. Jose,
        Your angel Taylor is a flight risk. Remember Liberia ( in the 80’s from Doe), United States and Nigeria? Your guy is Houdini.

  5. Folks,

    First of all, what is the basis of handcuffing this man when in fact, he is not resisting arrest or displaying any belligerent behavior while waiting in the car? These authorities just want to inflict upon him the utter cruel denial of his humanity in order to break the quality of his resolve, thereby breaking his tenacity and fighting spirit. However, they could have settled all of these commotions by simply making all accused to be at a particular place and appointed time so they could all go to go court together, if that was the intent of taking all of them together. Notwithstanding folks, we can not continue to conveniently ignore the critical question of why the authorities could not have handcuffed the “LATE” DETAINEES, but instead, handcuffed the man that was on time. UNBELIEVABLE.

  6. Once again, Alpha Sesay cannot restrain himself from reporting impartially, while using statements like “The learned judge said that Mr. Taylor “.

    Learned is another word used to qualify the status,infabillity- which is not to be questioned because everyone else is not as “learned” as she is. Secondly, Mr Sesay, there are others on the other side who would say the you should address him as “President” Taylor and not “Mr” Taylor.

    Dialectics Mr Sesay betrays our perspective. As a professional, we would hope you report the new, and the news only. But then I guess we are all humans.

    1. Micheal,
      Trust me , the only professional person in that staff is Tracey. That brothers job is to click or delete our comments inrespect to feelings and not a journalist. HE IS NOT A JOURNALIST…PERIODE

      1. Dear Noko5 — I thank you for your kind words about me. But I also must say that it is me who moderates the comments – Alpha’s job is to write the summaries each day. I also edit his summaries. So I am afraid I must take the blame for any concerns you have on the deletion of comments and I welcome the opportunity to discuss the choices I make with readers — I do try to be transparent and explain why I cannot post comments and provide everyone the opportunity to resubmit in accordance with our policy, but I welcome discussing any calls I make that are considered unfair.

        For Alpha, he has a very difficult job — probably made more difficult by my edits sometimes, like when I misunderstand a sentence and edit it incorrectly, like I did yesterday with the issue between Mr. Sankoh and Mr. Taylor. I do think Alpha does deserve credit for doing his job professionally on a daily basis, and I know he too welcomes any specific concerns about his summaries to be raised. He, like me, wants to ensure that our work is accurate and reflects key issues that happen in the trial each day.

        Very best,

        1. Davenport, it is said that ” you can take a man from the bush, but you can not take the bush out of him!” We have to let people be what they are: hateful, fingerpointing, jealous at better jobs others do that they are not qualified to do, or simple bigotry! It is sad that people would so quickly judge others as if they ar perfect! What a character we are!

  7. why are we hearing another lang translator,on the
    english chanel only for the judges and posss chanel 1 ENGLISH chanel2 the translators today everytime the judge or pos. speaks we hear some gaga lang please look into this we would be greatful thanks………………………………………………………………

  8. from what i read the handcuff of mr. taylor was an order from were, hence, i will agree that mr. Taylor was disrespected by the Douch security personel, perhaps by himself or an order as i steded earlier. this should have a preson, i believed.
    I have never hear that mr. Taylor refuse to get to court.
    Let justic be done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. I think taylor support group needs to mobilize and go to the Hague for a Mass Demonstration why their leader, taylor was handcuffed! This would not only get the Dutch Security Forces to desist in future, but put fear into them for not knowing who they are playing with! This taylor man is all some born in the rarly 80s in Liberia know and hold as role model. They have nothing like some of us that were and are same generation as taylor and have known peace under Tubman and Tolbert. Violence being the last result for some, is the opposite to others. We may need to coin a term for this new generation as “Generation Y” meaning child soldiers, foot soldiers, loot soldiers,and so on.. This generation seriously believe taylor did nothing wrong because they got whatever the desired as long they had a supplier of ammunition and immunity to law! These were days on “the bandits” just as piracy is pravelent in today Somalia.

  9. One question for the defense counsel of Mr. Taylor. What respect was shown to the thousands of Victims of Mr. Talyor both in Sierra Leone and Liberia? When we were forced out of our homes so the rebels could take whatever they wanted

    1. Gconmah,
      Don’t worry about what respect Mr. Taylor showed you. Look at the bigger picture and see the respect we gave Mr. Taylor by giving more than 80% of our vote.

  10. Dear Noko5 — alas I cannot post your comment of today at 6:05pm in its current form. If you take out your reference to a specific reader on this site and resubmit, we will be happy to post. Let me know if you need your comment sent to you by email.

    1. Yes Mr. Taylor is a king and we Liberian will always love him. President Taylor we love you and miss you.

  11. As someone who deals with prisoners and transporting, you are only handcuff when you are about to be transported. You are not handcuffed and allow to wait for ten or more minutes. In the event, you are untractable or disorderly by means of being violent, you can be handcuff and allow to wait until all other aspect of the transport have being met. It is not the norm and those security personels should be aware.

    1. Simeon

      What do you do to a man who was once prisoner and escape from jail only to declear war on countries in Africa? He been treated from his past record. Taylor should be in an iron bar cage during trail.

  12. It is amazing that Taylor is complaining about this trivial stuff. Atleast he is afforded the decency of a fair trial that he denied tens of thousands by the atrocities committed by he and his rag-tag NPFL rebels. Atleast he was handcuffed and not (TIE BAY) tie the wrists at the front of your abdomen, wrists touching each other and tied at the elbows in the back also touching each other. This inhumane act crippled lots of people by crushing their ribs and dislocating their hands from the shoulders. He should be grateful that he has the oppurtunity to be proven guilty( which i think he is) or innocent. He should be grateful that if found guilty, won’t be given the death penalty. I personally is against capital punishment and rather life in prison so he can live every single day regreting his actions, if he has a conscience.

  13. Willie
    Let us call a spead aspead , when u are in prison do u have r to vote or we are distractin and digressing from the main topic. Look people under mr CT where detain and tch and kill for common
    and their voices were silence forever. With all due respect is the prison conditions in the N/Lands
    conmesuret to that of Lib -S/L ;Mr CT bless not to be under the jungle justic his so call ben yen gave
    to other people.Mr CT and ur Rebel supporters , let me come down to ur level so that u can understand
    People are paid to mornitor u even using the birth, sleep ,eat , who to talk to , re alocate u in another
    cell at their well, so i don’t know the fraction of freedom u have . MR CT your days are numbered if u
    don’t know . Goodluck with ur bunch royal Rebles that shows the amount of control u hah over them
    ,but to everyman there is grave awaiting u

    1. Willie,
      No one is saying here that Mr. Taylor didn’t order the killing of Liberians but to say that he should face trial for what happened is stupid! It doesn’t make sense at all. So if you want to prosecute Mr. Taylor for the death of Sierra Leonean at hands of their Sierra Leonean brothers and sisters when Mr. Taylor never went to Sierra Leone, then how about the many Lberians who died at the hands of the NPFL with Mr. Taylor as the leader?

      The only thing that mind is that, Mr. Taylor is not facing trial for what happened in because the international community supported the killing in Liberia; therefore, the international community cannot prosecute him because she is protecting herself and others she supported!

  14. Ghankay should be realistic that with his previous record of jail breaking, there is no other way the Dutch authorities will handle him. They are even too lenient in his circumstances.

    1. Gyakabo,

      You and William Morris raised interesting points which never crossed my mind and I want to tap into your comments.

      I guess it will be a major embarrassment for the dutch government, if CT contemplates, organizes, and attempts another jailbreak stunt and succeed.

      Well, i know CT is too old and dejected these days for that kind of imprudent trick but who knows – precautions is the word!

      Expanding the conversation i think CT is lucky that he is alive and on trial. Tolbert never had the chance to defend himself against his illiterate accusers and similarly Doe did not get that chance either. This is why i like this process…CT gets his days in court to defend himself; this is civilization and respect of law.

      But on his constant complains, I suggest he keeps quite because he is receiving one of the best treatments any prison can offer. Come to think of it, some folks he, CT, jailed in Liberia never enjoyed the kind of life he’s enjoying in prison.

      Quiet, quiet, quiet CT and focus on futilely making your case. If you succeed in making your case, please write us a memoirs on how not to destabilize a country and a region for vindictive reasons, greed, corruption, and self-empowerment.We will love to read your memoirs but until then enjoy prison life.


  15. William Morris,

    I think you are missing the point here. Even if you escape from prison before and wage war through out Africa, policy does not state that you are handcuff and place to wait for a long period of time. If you have a medical condition, be it diarrhea or some other problem that allow you to use the restroom frequently are some of the reasons you can not keep one handcuff and waiting. If during transport the need arises, the transport crew are not liable. No matter what your crime or alleged crime is, you still have the duty to treat everyone with due respect.

    1. Hi Simeon,

      Just to get back to a point you and others have raised: the practices of the Dutch security personnel who transport Mr. Taylor. We are trying to find out what their regular practices are with the people they transport to and from the courthouse and the detention facility. We will revert when we are able to find out more.


  16. hey every one, it still baffles me to hear that some irresponsible liberians back monster like taylor. i share tears when i read some of the comments on this site. knowledge is indeed power, many liberians lack knowledge and are gradually leading to self destruction. i pray for mother liberia. i think the government of liberia need to make education her top priority and composory too. before you back taylor, please travel to other african countries like ghana, south africa, guinea and so forth and do some comparison to see how far people like charles have taken back. we are 2000 yrears behind modernisation due to the selfish, inhuman and callous desire of irresponsible politician like charles taylor. may god have mercy on some of you for you lack of knowledge and wisdom.

  17. One is innocent until proven guilty.
    And to be proven guilty without any doubts.
    So have we all passed a Judgment before the court does.

    Lets treat OUR AFRICAN Leaders with respect.
    If they don’t respect our Leaders what will happen to us

    I stand corrected.

    1. @Msitu
      Your comment is well appreciated. RESPECT for our African leaders. Innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
      @derick g. paye. A simple reading of Liberian history would help you a great deal. Liberia was a great country second to Japan in development when President Tolbert was assasinated. Clearly, you have those behind that atrocity to thank for the demise of Liberia. However, Liberia is strong and will come back when a morally competent president is elected.

Comments are closed.