Court Adjourned For One Day As Charles Taylor Is Absent In Court

The trial of Charles Taylor sitting in The Hague was adjourned on Monday morning and will resume on Tuesday as the former Liberian president was absent in court today.

When court resumed this morning, Mr. Taylor was conspicuously absent for reasons that were not discussed in public. Mr. Taylor’s defense counsel, Courtenay Griffiths, asked that the court be put into closed session where the reasons for Mr. Taylor’s absence were discussed. When court returned into open session, the judges announced that based on a request by defense lawyers – a request which was granted by the judges – the could will adjourn for the day and resume on Tuesday.

The judges also today asked defense lawyers to give an indication of when the defense case will be concluded. In his response, Mr. Taylor’s lead defense counsel Mr. Griffiths informed the judges that an optimistic position would be that the defense case will be concluded at the end of August or early September this year when all defense witnesses would have testified. Presiding judge of the chamber, Justice Julia Sebutinde, cautioned Mr. Griffiths that the bench reserves the right or authority to order the defense to reduce their witness list as according to her, the burden of proof in this case lies on the prosecution, and not the defense.

Mr. Taylor’s trial will continue tomorrow with the continuation of the testimony of the 11th defense witness, Mr. Timan Edward Zammy.


  1. Well People,
    What do you all make of Justice Julia Sebutinde statement today ? She said that, the bench reserves the right or authority to order the defense to reduce their witness list as according to the Justice, the burden of proof in this case lies on the prosecution and not on the defense.

    I think the Judges shouldn’t stop the defense from bringing all their witnesses to take the stand and testify. Allowing the witnesses to testify will show to some extend the fairness of the trial but anything less than that will send the wrong signal to others who will want to see prosecuted fairly like in the case of the president of Sudan.

    1. Jacone,

      If the Judges do make that ruling that the Defense reduces it list to bring the trial to an end. That would be a a very good sign that the Bench feels the prosecution has not proved their case.

    2. Jocone,

      I share your view on the Judge’s statement. Yes, the prosecution has the burden of proof, but, the accused has the equal right to confront his accuser with a preponderance of evidence. Reducing the accused’s witnesses will certainly affect the net result of the trial unfavorably against the accused. I don’t agree with the Judge on this.

  2. Nosirrah,

    If the prosecution wanted to prosecuted President Taylor for crime committed in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Iraq, or anywhere else that’s fine. I do not have a problem prosecuting anybody for crime committed against humanity.

    However, the 11 counts indictment is all about S.L. What maybe morally right, might be legally wrong. If the prosecution wanted to indict President Taylor for crime he allegedly committed in Liberia, than so be, but the indictment should have clearly state that.

    In the United State is the 4th amendment: Unreasonable Search and Seizure. For example, if a search warrant states a particular address, 123 Broad Street and the police go to 124 Broad Street and find contraband, the evidence will be inadmissible. Merely, the search warrant clearly states 123 Broad Street, not 124 Broad Street.

    Do you follow my logic, yes? Therefore, hence, the 11 counts indictment states S.L. and the prosecution is prosecuting President Taylor for crime in Liberia, is inadmissible in the court of law.

    1. Alpha,

      The link is


      I find this to be very interesting. While the Liberian government is trying her utmost best to kill the TRC report, the prosecution is using it as one of her strongest evidence.

      A WHOLE LOT OF BULL: Controversial TRC Member Now Vetting Rights Commission
      05/06/2010 – FPA STAFF REPORT
      Monrovia –

      In what appears to be a case of conflict of interest, Cllr. Pearl Brown-Bull, the controversial former Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), is now the chairing the “Independent” Panel of Experts responsible for vetting individuals to serve as Commissioners of the Independent National Human Rights Commission (INHRC).

      Madame Bull has not concealed her disdain of the TRC, in fact she has been on a campaign against the TRC, how than can she fairly and independently work to ensure that credible and independent people are vetting for the Human Rights Commission? An observed asked. Another critic disqualifies Madame Pear Bull’s presence on the vetting panel due to her strong partisanship and staunch membership as an executive member of the ruling Unity Party. Cllr. Bull has made it an open secret her close relationship with the President Madame Sirleaf. The Question then becomes, what kinds of persons will Pearl Bull qualify for the Human Rights Commission?

      The Civil Society Technical Committee of the Independent National Human Rights Commission in a press release on March 19, 2010, expressed concern that that a new committee (the Independent Expert of Panel) had been constituted by the Chief Justice responding to a request from the President to do so without the involvement of relevant civil society presence

      Also raising grave concern about Cllr Pearl Brown-Bull’s presence on the vetting committee is the Human Rights Campaign based in the USA.

      The group described Bull’s appointment as to head the vetting panel as an “unacceptable conflict”.

      The U.S. –based group described the recent appointment by the Chief Justice of Liberia, Johnny Lewis of Pearl Brown Bull to head the vetting process for the selection of members of the Liberian Human Rights Commission as an unacceptable act that threatens the full implementation of the TRC report

      Madam Bull, and Sheikh Kafumba Konneh, were the two members of the commission who refused to sign on the final report of the TRC. In a public statement issued by Madam Bull, which was reported in the Liberian news media, she described those members of TRC who sign the final report, including its Chairman, Cllr. Jerome Verdier, as anti-peace. This is why it is very difficult to follow the logic of Chief Justice Lewis in appointing Madam Bull to lead a selection process of individuals who will implement the work of those she publicly condemned…

    2. Big B,
      I followed your logic on the search warrant and you are right, but this analogy is a little unsimilar. The evidence on Liberia is to show the court of past bad acts committed by Taylor which might served as precedent as to how he might have behaved in Sierra Leone. Allowing past or track record in the proceeding is solely the judges discretion. By the mere fact that the defense on direct examination is bringing up these events that occured in Liberia shows its significance to the hearings. If it were not so, the judges might have shot it down or the defense team might have objected to every mention of Liberia. Liberia and Sierra Leone are tied at the hip for Taylor in this trial. It is expedient for the defense to demonstrate that RUF hacked of limbs in Sierra Leone and the NPFL did not in Liberia, thereby excluding Taylor and the NPFL from the crimes committed in Sierra Leone. Including Liberia will help and hurt both sides in this trial, but for you guys (Taylor supporters) to want the exclusion of Liberia when the the evidence is detrimental to the defense won’t be fair. Comparing search warrant to introduction of past bad acts is like comparing apples and oranges.

      1. Nosirrah,
        You attempt to blame the defence for bringing up events in Liberia into the case but you fail to mention that it was the prosecution who started it they were the ones who brought Liberia into the case when they were presenting their case in chief so the defence has every right- and infact a duty to confront all aspects of the prosecution case in order to raise enough doubt and try to secure an acquital.

        The prosecution in trying to demonstrate that Mr Taylor was a leader of a notorious rebel group NPFL attempted to portray the NPFL as a lawless and brutal organisation that was terrorising the Liberian population this the prosecution hoped will convince the judges that since Mr Taylor did it in Liberia, he was capable of doing the same thing in SL. But you see Nosirrah, you do not use past acts to prove an allegation you simply use it to backup your case. past acts and circumstancial evidence cannot form the core of your case as the proseuction has done they first need to prove that their allegation is correct before using past acts and circumstancial evidence to backup their case.

  3. Jokone,
    You are right brother, but maybe the judges think the defence have debunked the prosecution evidences to the point where, there is no more need for the ICC to spend the amount of money thats been used to pay both defence and prosecution lawyers when there is no case for them to waste their time on. I believe the Judges are about to trash this garbage into the dumpster…..

      1. The judges want to render a verdict than sit through what is amounting to an affront to the memories of the dead and those scared by the war…

        1. Davenport,
          how many witnesses as yet have testified for the defence that will create boredom for the judges? If I may remind you, the prosecution called over 90 witnesses who came and gave their evidence beofore the court. Then the judges were not bored even though they listen to some sickening testimony like that of the self acclaimed cannibal Zigzag Marzah and the impostor Vermuyan Sherrif who the prosecution claimed was an “insider” or Moses Blah who came to court to testify as a prosecution witness but was actually he was the first defence witness because most of his testimony were in support of mr Taylor and the aspects of his testimony were he lied, were exposed by Mr Taylor during his testimony which the prosecution did not challenge. So man, the judges are not in the least tired infact they are happy now after listening to evidence from credible people who were actually senior members of the NPFL or the RUF.

        2. Sam,

          I think a straw that could have broken the Carmel’s back was the typically unusual question from one of the judges to a witness on killing a “prisoner of war.” The act of killing a prisoner of war shows the ruthlessness of the NPFL and the NPFL’S disregard for established convention on war. Those folks have heard enough to render a decision…

  4. I said long time ago….TOTAL WASTE OF TIME. I see where the Judge is leaning…..NO MORE OF THE SAME THINGS….WE GOT YOUR POINT. I think the defense should narrow her list down to those that are NEEDED and not WANTED.

    1. Big Joe,

      Thanks for the link but the brother needs to hang on until verdict is pronounced. We need him to be alive to face justice for his actions or exonerate himself.

  5. August or September
    Things are getting even more stranger by the minute………well months.


    Here is an interesting theory that most of you might not agree with. But based on all the testimonies that have been presented in this case, and based on other information regarding the Liberian war, I am going on a limb here to suggest that Prince Johnson and Dr. Boimah Fahnbulleh were the main organizers of the RUF. There are many reasons that can lead to such a wide conclusion, and I shall just offer a few without going into details here:

    1. Prince Johnson forces was the first to reached to Camp Niama (Remember, Gen. Samuel Varney was Prince Johnson immediate deputy, and at the onset of the NPFL war, Varney was responsible to attacked and capture Camp Niama since he used to be a commander at that camp.)

    2. According to both prosecution and defense witnesses, Foday Sankoh recruited people from the Bong Mines areas in early 1990. (At that time, Prince Johnson forces was already in that areas. Remember at that early stages Liberian did not know the differences between Prince Johnson Forces and Charles Taylor forces.)

    3. One of the collaborators of the Black Kaddafa (RUF forces) was General Oliver Varney who was also a brother of General Samuel Varney (let not forget that Oliver Varney was the NPFL Special Forces commando in charge of the Western side of Liberia)

    4. The special forces of the NPFL knew the special forces of the SL rebels in Libya because they were all trained on the same military based. Prince Johnson would have known Foday Sankoh.

    5. Dr. Boimah Fahnbulleh has a close tie to the political leaders that supported the RUF including Tejani Kabbah and former ECOWAS Secretary General Abbas Bundu.

    6. Both Prince Johnson and Dr. Boimah Fahnbulleh was involved in the Quiowonkpa failed 1985 Invasion from SL. These men have always had contacts with SL dissidents. (Remember that Taylor was arrested and imprisoned in SL but ULIMO Forces was successful in SL.)

    7. ULIMO Forces and Prince Johnson Forces collaborated with ECOMOG against Taylor Forces. Dr. Boimah Fahnbulleh was one of the key supporter of ULIMO.

    This is why we need a war crimes court in Liberia. This thing is more than the eyes can see.

    1. Well King gray, what you have itemised above are interesting theories but proving them in a criminal court is not as easy as it sounds.

  7. Dear all,
    I think this will interest you for discussion on this forum. George Weah has inform the Liberian people through a telephone conversation on a local radio talk show that some members of the international community have asked him (George), if he becomes president of Liberia, what will be his stand on Mr. Taylor return to Liberia if he (Mr. Taylor) is not find guilty. This leaves me with two questions on mind. 1. Has the international community realized that George Weah is the next president of Liberia? 2. Is the international community convinced at this point that Mr. Taylor is not responsible for what when wrong in Sierra Leone? I’m sure many of you will like to say something to this new development.


    1. Noko5,
      Your comment of 2012/05/11 at 4:02pm has not been approved because of the language or choice of words used. Can you please rephrase and get rid of some of the words you have used? Once that is done, the comment will be approved immediately.

      1. Look Alpha,
        People on this site call Mr. Taylor all the worse names you can immagine and nothing is done about it. Why have you guys decided to silence us? Its about time that we realize some fair play ok.

    2. Harris K. Johnson,
      Don’t read too much into it. It was just a hypothetical question from what i am reading from you.

  8. Taylor did not come to court on Monday because he was denied medical treatment by the prison doctor. He had complained of an irregular heart beat and requested to see a medical specialist, according to reports coming from inside Liberia.

  9. Harris
    Recently George Weah had an interview with a Dutch journalist on this same Taylor question. Mr. Weah clearly stated that if Charles Taylor is not found guilty then he should be allow to return to his homeland. Weah made the assertion on the facts that there are other warlords freely moving around Liberia, and if Liberia had no war crime charge/s against Mr. Taylor then he sees no reason why Mr. Taylor cannot live peacefully like other warlords in his homeland.

    But Weah did not stop there. On the question of implementing the TRC Report, Weah stated that he supports the implementation of the TRC Report because Liberians need justice. Weah hinted that he would support the establishment of a War Crimes Court in Liberia and that were Taylor to be set free, he does not have any objection of Taylor facing a Liberian War Crimes Court to answer questions of his war deeds. All those who committed human rights violations against the Liberian people must answer before a court, Weah stated .

    So the cat is out of the bag, those in the international community who seriously support justice now have a friend in Mr. George Weah to ensure that the Liberia’s TRC Report is implemented.

  10. Why only Taylor if the America Former USA George Bush did lost of Killing in irque that the world saw what happen.nonthing came out of it.

    Former Pre- Taylor of liberia Need to be free since the court can not see any points agaist him let be free.
    Because Liberia and free town are one country, Un is not during what they said in their war law policy If a man do bad and that is not yet being proffing Why should he be put in to prison that is not right.
    I personal say for peace let Taylor be free he isw the right leader for liberia.

  11. Judges of Hague,I says to you that Mr.Taylor has proven all reasonable doubt that he is not guilty.
    Please allow him to bring all his witnesses.The special court in Sierra Leon has proven not against Mr.Taylor,but rather basing on Liberia war.Liberia did not sent him.

  12. As noko5 said, people on this site call mr.taylor all kind of bad names.yes.there are lots warlords in liberia having fun out there, is it fair where is this justlce? Do.u not think mr,taylor don,t have family friends that love him too? Town trap is not for rat alone where are all the things that liberians were to have when they trun taylor?all the promises. Are the liberians eating well ,having fun,allkids in school papa home with everything? So let us all look into our hearts and for give one another. Mr.taylor,hang in there the lord see every thing and know all.just trust him.

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