Witness Never Saw Charles Taylor Or NPFL Commanders While RUF Trained At Camp Nama In Liberia

Neither Charles Taylor, nor any member of his Liberian rebel group, ever visited the base where Sierra Leonean rebel forces underwent training in Liberia, a defense witness for Mr. Taylor told Special Court for Sierra Leone judges today in The Hague. 

Former Liberian president, Charles Taylor, is on trial for allegedly supporting Sierra Leonean rebels during the country’s brutal 11-year war as they raped, mutilated and killed civilians while benefitting from the country’s diamond wealth.  Prosecutors say that Mr. Taylor gave the rebel group weapons in exchange for blood diamonds, and either controlled, or jointly planned, the rebels’ atrocities in his neighboring country. Mr. Taylor has denied all 11 charges against him of war crimes, crimes against humanity and other serious violations of international law.  His defense case started in July 2009 with Mr. Taylor on the stand, and since February 2010, witnesses have come forward in his defense.

Martin Flomo George, a Liberian national, today told the court about how the Sierra Leonean rebel group – the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) — underwent training at Camp Nama in Liberia before they invaded Sierra Leone in 1991. Mr. George – who said he was a member of the RUF throughout Sierra Leone’s war between 1991-2002 – said he was approached by RUF leader, Foday Sankoh, to join the rebel group in 1991.   Based in the Liberian town of Gbarngha at the time, Mr. George said he willingly joined the group once Mr. Sankoh told him that a liberation struggle in Sierra Leone needed the witness’ help.  (Gbarngha served as the headquarter town for Mr. Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) and Camp Nama was within NPFL controlled territory within this time in the early 1990s).

Mr. George said he was taken to the RUF training base at Camp Nama, where he met other Liberians and Sierra Leoneans also undergoing revolutionary training.  This did not mean that Mr. Taylor and his NPFL rebels supported the RUF rebels during their training at Camp Nama, however, Mr. George said. Instead, the portion of Camp Nama where RUF rebels were trained — called “Crab Hole” —  was cut off from other groups there.  Mr. George said he never saw Mr. Taylor at Camp Nama, corroborating a previous defense witness’ testimony about “Crab Hole”.

As Mr. Taylor’s defense counsel, Morris Anyah, asked him whether he ever saw or heard of Mr. Taylor being at Camp Nama, the witness said that “I never saw him there, not a day did I see him on that base.”

“When I was training at Camp Nama under the RUF, I never heard about Charles Taylor in Camp Nama,” the witness added.

Prosecutors have alleged – backed up by prosecution witnesses – that Mr. Taylor provided support for the RUF during their training at Camp Nama and that RUF leader, Foday Sankoh, held meetings with Mr. Taylor and other NPFL commanders at the camp during this period. Mr. Taylor has dismissed this assertion as false. In his testimony today, the Mr. George sided with Mr. Taylor’s account.

Asked by Mr. Anyah whether he ever saw or heard of Mr. Sankoh meeting with any NPFL commanders while at Camp Nama, Mr. George said no.

“I never heard about that and I never saw it,” the witness said.

In his testimony yesterday, however, Mr. George said that while the RUF underwent training at a particular section of Camp Nama — which he said was a big military barracks — an NPFL artillery unit was also undergoing training at another section of the camp. He did not say that the two groups interacted with each other.

Also in his testimony today, Mr. George said that when RUF rebels completed their training at Camp Nama in 1991, they did not have any weapons to attack Sierra Leone. He said that as they advanced to enter Sierra Leone, they came across a bundle of arms and ammunition at the Liberian border with Sierra Leone. These weapons, the witness said, were used to attack Sierra Leone. He said they did not know who put the weapons there.

The witness drew a harsh response from the presiding judge of the Chamber, Justice Sebutinde, for the manner in which he responded to her question asking him to clarify his statement about the weapons found by the RUF.

“What should I say? Should I say they were wasting there?” the witness responded in a harsh tone.

This response did not go down well with Justice Sebutinde.

“Mr. Witness, I don’t like your attitude when you are answering questions,” Justice Sebutinde said.

“Nobody in this court was there. You are here to give evidence and to help us understand what went on for the purposes of a very serious trial. Now kindly cooperate with your lawyer in answering and making yourself understood. If you use words that we can’t understand, we ask for your clarification. I don’t know with whom you are losing your temper,” Justice Sebutine told the witness.

“Check your attitude and be courteous to everybody, as we are trying to be courteous to you,” she added.

The witness apologized and thanked the Justice Sebutinde for her caution.

Mr. George’s testimony continues tomorrow.


    1. Aki, we are talking here about the new witness testimony today in which he had thrown temper tantrum, and to whic Judge verbally reprimanded him to be courteous and respectful to the court in responding to questions asked for clarification by the court! We are not concerned here about Naomi Campbell nor that story that has no bearings on the present testimony. Please don’t attempt to distract us from the real issues here. Taylor never handled a piece of diamond in his life..this is your belief..live with it..we are not fools to believe taylor’s tales!

      1. Fallah,
        If Ms. Campbell talk talk was the opposite, will your words be the same?? Ms. Campabell story is HUGE!!!! Remember the prosecutors wanted to it in as evidence???

        But I do join you and clap on the judge’s action…those REBEL witnesses regardless of which side need to understand their days of putting fear in others are over.

    2. Well Aki we have to disregard the allegation by the prosecution that Charles Taylor gave a diamond to Naomi Campbell since the court rejected the prosecution attempt to introduce documentary evidence in that regard. Also we need to note that the prosecution did not get anywhere with that allegation when they cross examined Mr Taylor about it. so even if she has publicly denied it now, her denial has no bearing on the case as things stand now.

      1. Sam
        The reason why the judges threw it out was because Ms. Campbell was not willing to be part of the mess…but now that she has spoken, I think it’s important for the fact is, Mr Taylor didn’t give Ms. Campbell anything including diamond.

    3. There you go again, the west is trying by all means necessary to win. Apparently, the pressure on the judges seems not to be working; now they are changing tactics by attempting to put pressure on Ms Campbell.

      What blows my mind is when the prosecution ambushed the trial; such important news didn’t make headlines in the US. Also, when the prosecution witnesses were paid to lie, that too didn’t make headlines. Hypocrisy at its best, the west only report news that are benefiting to them, whether the news is true or false.

      But, if the evidence is not there you MUST acquit!

      1. Ms. Campbell is right, She does not have to answer to anyone, nor did she commit any crime by refusing to answer any question/s concerning a diamond allerged given to her by Mr. Taylor’s representative. Right on Ms. campbell. Lies, Lies, and more lies from the media.
        I once heard Representative Donald payne, from Newark, New Jersey say on a Sunday morning USA show that Liberia does not have diamonds. This chuckle me a lot. I was stunned Donald Payne knew little or nothing about Liberia’s history.
        Having a dislike for Taylor is one thing, but to distort the truth concerning Liberia’s wealth is another story. Lies, lies, and more lies.

        1. Abe Lincoln,

          I really wanted to talk about this Donald Payne guy, but, I can’t as the result of my current position. Remember now, he is a US Representative. However, I know his website. I tried calling his office to talk about Liberia business when he started promoting Ellen and demeaning Oppong during an immigration rally in Washington D.C. But I stop. Please watch New Jersey Representative Donald Payne if you are from Liberia.

  1. Besides reading this link, i also saw the news on ABC World News which was aired at 6:30PM. The manner in which Naomi Campbell dismissed the question about receiving diamond from Mr. Taylor is very suspicious. I expected her to clarify the issue but to dismiss it like that, it smells of something.

    I took note of the manner in which a very credible Mia Farrow, a renowned champion of human rights and close friend of Naomi Campbell, insisted that the supermodel did indeed tell her about the diamond. She said that is not something that she will forget. See the ABC link below.


    The 6:30 presenter indicated that the program will be aired again at 11:30PM Eastern Time.

    I am back to peeperdom.

    1. Kaibau,
      On what ground was Ms Farrow more believable?? Because she acted like an actress?? Follow t he script?? Could it be that Ms. Campbell was tired dealing with this nonsense of diamond and not having anymore of it???

      The fact is, she said NO he didn’t…Ms. Farrow didn’t see it except MAYBE telling what she believed Ms. Campbell told her……

    2. Tracey,
      Why hasn’t this comment been posted ? If you think it is offensive kindly delete the first sentence.

      1. Hi Aki — thanks for your note. Yes, I had been deliberating on that first sentence — unfortunately I cannot delete sentences in readers’ comments as I’ve been informed that it would make me the joint owner of the comment, which I am not allowed to do as a moderator. Also, I think it important readers can rest assured that I will not distort or change their words, with or without their knowledge. Would you mind deleting that first sentence and resubmitting? I can happily post it then.
        Thanks again for checking in on this,

  2. Tracey,
    Did you happen to see the ABC news Niteline program last night concerning the trial and Naomi Campbell’s blood diamond accusation ? If so can you give me an overview of what was discussed?

    1. Hi AKi — yes I did. I will do a little post on this and some other stories around the same topic that have come out in the past few days — some of them have posted to this site, actually! I will also put the link to the nightline story, because those with a decent internet connection can watch it online too.

  3. Aki,
    Thanks for the link. Naomi Campbell has the right to act the way she did. I would have done more than that if I were in her shoe. Let the so-called proscutors proof their million lies against Mr. Taylor and friends.


    Harris K Johnson

  4. I can see the prosecution having a field day with Taylor’s latest witness.
    That this guy ignorance is so glaring leaves one wondering how can any sound minded person even has the audacity to try convincing us that an organization with such ignoramus as high level officer was a serious institution.

    1. Morris,
      We all say that until the prosecutors are the ones needing GRACE to save them from looking like zoobies.

  5. I don’t know why anyone will be surprise at these murderers masqurading as defend witnesses lying under oath. After all, to a murderer lying is children’s play.

    1. Morris Kanneh,

      Do you remember Zig Zag Mansah, Abu Keita, Vamuya Sherif, Monger, and others that testified on behalf of the prosecution? How do you consider them? Murderers also? Remember now, these names mentioned are all confessed rebels and mentally challenged people who testified on behalf of the prosecution. Morris, President Taylor is winning this thing openly in court and there is no other way to put it.

    2. Morris Kanneh,
      What is your defination of a murderer? You sat at your computer and watch ZIZA MAZA tell the world that he ate most of our fellow Liberians and Sierraleoneans who are missing today, and said nothing about it. Now you are calling credible world class witnesses murderers. My brother, you ‘ve got nerves…..thank you..

  6. Kaibua

    You are right, I saw the interview on CNN, how come she didn’t clarified the situation by completely anwering the question. Instead she threw a anger fit. Looks like someone has something to hide.

    After yesterday screw up by the witness I guest the defense counsel is trying to bridge the gap by the witness saying he never saw Taylor at the RUF camp. Bad move.

    1. Mr. Thompson,
      Ms. Campbell did clarified the situation and completely answer the questions. Ms. Campbell stated she did not get a diamond and she has dinner with Nelson Mandela.

      1. Hi Ken and other readers,

        The Naomi Campbell incident is an interesting one. One question we may want to ask ourselves: how much stock can the judges place in Ms. Campbell’s statements? One of the benefits of testifying in court means that both the defense and the prosecution can have the opportunity to question a witness on their statements, which are made under oath. Both sides do not have the same opportunity outside the courtroom, and nobody is under oath, so there are different rules applying. I’m not at all making a comment on the content of what Ms. Campbell said — I just want to highlight the fact that what she said was done outside the courtroom under a different set of rules. That means that the judges are not able to take her comments into account as part of the evidence they assess when making a decision on the case.


        1. Tracey,
          The judges are not going to take any stock in Ms. Campbell statement because the issue of her getting a diamond from Mr. Taylor is not an issue in this trial. If the prosecution wanted, Ms. Campbell to testify to what Ms. Farrow told the prosecution they the prosecution should have subpoena her to tell her side. Ms. Campbell has made a statement that she did not receive a diamond so it do not matter what Ms. Farrow or the prosecution are saying. Anyway, Tracey, where are Ms. Farrow and the prosecution proof of Ms. Campbell receiving a diamond from Mr. Taylor? Some are so sure that Ms. Campbell is lying, but Ms Farrow could be lying too she also has a history of lying. I f I was Ms. Campbell I would file some kind of harassment charge against the prosecution.

    2. John Thompson,

      For me, I am not joking on this website and I will not give you guys leeway. However, what kind of interview did Naomi Campbell had on CNN that you saw? Let me help you here John. The interview was conducted by ABC on the Haiti natural disaster relief program. There is a possibility that CNN could have shown an excerpt through the courtesy of ABC and it has to be mentioned. Anyways John, Naomi Campbell did clarify in the interview, if you actually saw the interview. She said, she did not receive any diamonds and she was not there for such. However, these are the same kinds of lies and distortions from the side you are on that brought this innocent man to this fake court. You have been caught right handed again.

  7. Some of witness, Martin Flomo George, testimonies seem particularly silly. If you know anything about the way Taylor ruled in areas under his control, you will be aware that the following could never happen without his knowledge and/or approval; That the RUF trained at a military camp, in an area controlled by Taylor, where part of the facility was shared with but separated from NPLF fighters.

    How could a military unit be training to wage war and not have any weapons and instead by pure chance happen upon a cache of weapons on the Liberian/Sierra Leonean border while advancing to Sierra Leone to invade.? This might jus be the luckiest group of invaders in history of military invaders or a bunch of psychics. Or is it psychos?

    1. Wojo,
      Mr. Taylor has already stated that he did not know that Mr. Sankoh was training his organization in Liberia. The prosecution has not produced creditable evidence that would dispute Mr. Taylor claim.

      After reading and listen to members of the RUF under Mr. Sankoh leadership, especially the saying his members said Mr. Sankoh would say all the time “the right hand should not know what the left hand is doing,” it is very probable that Mr. Taylor did not know that Mr. Sankoh was training his organization in the NPFL control area.

      The witness, Martin Flomo George is just telling what he knows and saw this is a fact base witness. The witness said the fighters have no weapons when they went to invaded SL. However when they got to the border of SL there was weapons there for them to use. The witness said he did not know how the weapon came to be there or who put them there.

      However, any one could have put those weapons there for Mr. Sankoh and his men to use. The weapons did not have to come from Mr. Taylor as the prosecution alleged.

    2. WOJO,
      It did happen in Liberia on December 24, 1989 when NPFL enter Liberia from the Ivory Coast. They didn’t have the needed weapons to start the war in Liberia instead, they used women in Nimba so they could get a way to get weapons from AFL, which they did. Don’t forget that. So how more about Sierra Leonean Soldiers? Sierra Leonean Soldiers used to leave thier weapons and run away when NPFL was fighting ECOMOG in October 1992. You remember, when they the Sierra Leonean Soldiers were deployed from the bridge around freeport into Barnesville estate and beyong( if you were Liberia at that time)?
      They Sierra Leonean Soldiers left their weapons and what have you and ran away from those areas in October of 1992. Later on, the Senegalesse Soldiers were sent there but they couldn’t stop the NPFL from advancing from those areas. So they kept part of the Senegalese Soldiers to protect 72nd area in Paynesvivlle. By then, I was attending ST. Francis High School in Jacob’s Town while living in Stephen Tolbert Estate at house # AC. 16, infront of the Estate clinic.

Comments are closed.