Defense Lawyers Tell Judges To Deny Prosecution Requests To Reopen Case Against Charles Taylor and To Subpoena Supermodel Naomi Campbell

Prosecutors should not be allowed to reopen their case against Charles Taylor and the court should not issue a subpoena order for supermodel Naomi Campbell, defense lawyers for the former Liberian president said today in a written motion to Special Court for Sierra Leone judges in The Hague.

Mr. Taylor’s lawyers are responding to a request made by prosecutors that the judges issue an order for the reopening of the prosecution’s case or to bring evidence in rebuttal against Mr. Taylor. After closing their case against Mr. Taylor in February 2009, prosecutors have asked that they be allowed to present three new witnesses, who will testify about a diamond gift allegedly given by Mr. Taylor to supermodel Naomi Campbell while they were both on a visit to South Africa in 1997. The three persons whose evidence prosecutors seek to submit as new evidence are Ms. Campbell herself, Mia Farrow, and Ms. Campbell’s former agent Carole White. Prosecutors say that Ms. Farrow will testify about being told by Ms. Campbell that Mr. Taylor had sent men to her hotel room after a 1997 dinner with former South African president Nelson Mandela and that the men had given her a diamond gift allegedly from Mr. Taylor. Ms. White, prosecutors say, will testify that she was present when Mr. Taylor said he was going to give the diamond gift to Ms. Campbell and that she was present when the men arrived and delivered the said diamonds to Ms. Campbell. As Ms. Campbell has been reluctant to testify about the incident, prosecutors have asked that the judges issue a subpoena to oblige the supermodel to testify about the incident before judges in The Hague. In their response today, defense lawyers for Mr. Taylor have called both motions unnecessary and have urged the judges to deny both requests.

In the “Defense Response To Prosecution Motion To Call Three Additional Witnesses,” which was signed by Mr. Taylor’s lead defense counsel Courtenay Griffiths, defense lawyers stated that “The Defense strongly opposes this motion on the basis that no reasonable Court could find that the anticipated evidence is relevant to the charges against Mr. Taylor.”

“Furthermore, the prosecution should not be allowed to trivialize the seriousness of the proceedings and charges against the Accused by adducing tangential and highly speculative testimony into evidence,” the defense response states.

The response further states that “The issue of Mr. Taylor’s interaction with the AFRC/RUF [Armed Forces Revolutionary Council/Revolutionary United Front] junta, the issue of diamonds and the issue of his credibility has been thoroughly explored and and addressed as part of the Prosecution case-on-chief. Consequently, additional witnesses are not needed to elaborate on these same issues.”

“Simply put, there must be finality to the proceedings. For the Prosecution to present such an inferential evidence, as part of an obvious publicity stunt, would bring the administration of justice into serious disrepute,” defense lawyers say.

Defense lawyers make detailed arguments in their response that prosecutors have no legal basis upon which to reopen their case, that they did not exercise due diligence in their investigations of Mr. Taylor’s alleged possession of diamonds, that the evidence has no probative value, and that its admission would affect Mr. Taylor’s fair trial rights as an accused.

“Thus the Prosecution Motion must be denied,” the defense response concludes.

On the request by prosecutors for a subpoena to be issued for supermodel Ms. Campbell to testify on the same issue, the defense response  states that “The Trial Chamber should refrain from exercising its discretion and issuing a subpoena for several reasons:”

These reasons, defense lawyers say include “Naomi Campbell’s evidence is of low probative value  and is tangential to the real issues in the case.”

“Secondly, the evidence that Naomi Campbell could put before the court is obtainable elsewhere. Thirdly, the Prosecution must be aware that Naomi Campbell will likely be a hostile witness and should not be allowed to subpoena her as such. Finally, the Trial Chamber should be cautious about issuing an order that might not be enforceable.”

“The Defense contends that Naomi Campbell’s only utility would be to bring unwarranted media attention to the proceedings, it cannot be said that her testimony is necessary to try the case fairly,” defense lawyers say.

The response concludes that the prosecution request should be denied by the judges.

Inside the courtroom today, Mr. Taylor’s 12th defense witness, Joseph Menson Dehmie, concluded his evidence, telling the court that witnesses lied when they testified before the court that Mr. Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) rebel group in Liberia recruited children for combat purposes under a unit called the Small Boys Unit (SBU) or that the NPFL displayed human skulls at checkpoints to instill fear in civilians. When Mr. Dehmie stepped down as a witness, Mr. Taylor’s 13th witness, a Sierra Leonean witness only identified by his pseudonym DCT-292 commenced his testimony.

Mr. Taylor is on trial for allegedly providing support to RUF rebels in Sierra Leone through the supply of arms and ammunition in return for diamonds. Mr. Taylor has denied all the allegations against him.

DCT-292’s testimony continues tomorrow.


  1. Alpha good reporting,

    Q.C. Griffiths AKA Perry Mason said it all. All else has failed for the prosecution now, they want to turn this trial in a media frenzy.

    This trial was supposed to have been about Sierra Leone, but the prosecution has successfully turned this trial into a Liberia trial. As a result, the trial means more to the Liberians than the Sierraleons.

    Sorry Madame Prosecution, you can not remove the goal pole during the 4th quarter in the game. Even though, “a win is a win, but sometimes when you think you win, you lose”. This goes to say, you may win by fraudulent means, but what good will the win means to you, if the whole world know that you fraudulently won. I guess most people have conscience, but some don’t.

    To the prosecution, I have news for you. These professional judges will not put their careers, repetitions, values, dignities and the rule of law on the line to please nobody!


    1. Big B,
      The decision to allow the subpoena Naomi Campbell will be made by the judges soon, however, why is the defense worried about what Miss Campbell might or might not testify about? It is as simple as saying Taylor either give her a diamond or did not give her a diamond.

      This evidence will be crucial to the trial contrary to the defense. If i may and i stand corrected; one of the charges in the indictment was the exchanged of weapons from Taylor and the RUF in return gave him diamonds. That will certify the smuggling of arms for diamond. In the event that is contested that Liberia also has diamonds which is not in dispute, then Taylor has to produce reciept of purchase. In the absence of the production of a legal transactional reciept, it can then be concluded that he got it from the RUF, or looted it from the resources of Liberia which will in turn also confirm Taylor’s plundering of Liberia’s resources and emptying the nations coffers for his personal philandering use.

      Griffiths’ argument that whatever information miss Campbell might reveal is”obtainable elsewhere” is a rookie argument because he would then shoot it down as hearsay. Anybody without any jurisprudence can unearth his ploy. Again, since the defense team said the information would have no “probative value”, then allow it. It is not their time and money to waste. They are getting paid eitherway.

      1. Nosirrah,

        I couldn’t agree with you more, the decision to subpoena Ms. Campbell are in the hands of the judges. I believe the request to subpoena Ms. Campbell will be denied.

        Ms Campbell evidence may be crucial, but the time for said evidence has long past. So, it is irreverent if Ms Campbell’s testimony is crucial. What is relevant is the principal. For God’s sake, how can you move to rest your case, and later want to reopen it? I don’t think that the judges would want to set such bad precedent. The reason the judges will not want to set such bad precedent is this. If the judges allow the defense request to subpoena Ms Campbell and if she (Ms Campbell) failed to meet the defense’s expectation, the next move the prosecution will request is to subpoena Nosirrah as a crucial witness. The judges will have to grant the prosecution the right to subpoena Nosirrah, because the precedent has previously being set. If the judges denied the request to subpoena Nosirrah, the prosecution will argue, why is the court denying us our rights to subpoena Nosirrah, and under the same circumstances the court allowed it in Ms Campbell’s case?

        Therefore, is a no no.

        So, it means that the prosecution will continue to use this loophole to delay the trial. This trial has to come to and end. If the judges allowed for the prosecution to reopen her case, they will have to the same thing for the defense if so requested. When will this case ends, if we continue to have reopened upon reopened from both parties?

        1. Nosirrah,

          That’s my point you have simplified better than myself. The prosecution is delaying and denying justice. But the fact of the matter is, “justice delay is justice denied”.


      2. Say mr. Taylor give Ms Campbell a diamond, how does this prove that that diamond came from Sierra Leone, and how does it show he is guilty of the crimes for which is being tried?

        I would give their (prosecution) request some credence were Miss Campbell involved in say gun running, laundering money or some dubious crime. What is the significance of this subpoena in determinig Mr Taylor’s guilt, or is it as the defense puts it a media frenzy?

        1. Political-guru,
          Mr. Taylor has been accused of running guns for diamond and that could be the linkage to the charge.

  2. Folks on this site a diamond was quite recently found in Liberia, this is a clear indication that not only in Sierra Leonne diamond is found. There are valuable diamond in Liberia.

    Where are we now???????????

  3. Hi Brother Kroma,

    You are doing excellent job writing from the heart. As long as your piece clears Alpha and Tracey’s vagarious moderation, that’s all that matter.

    Keep those postings coming.


    1. GreBo,

      Thanks for the link and it served as vindication as to why the stolen money have not been located.

      I think the reporting was balanced and i did not read the serious flaw statements as you claimed.

      Could you please enumerate the flaw statements for me?

    2. Grebo the articule is a convolution of prosecution hearsay and suspicion about Mr Taylor which they tried to bring into the trial but which backfired. everything said in that articule is not new, we have heard it countless times from the prosecuition. But you know what? Accusations are ACCUSATIONS nothing more than that. no matter how offten those accussations are repeated, it does not make them amount to FACTS until they are proved beyond reasonable doubt by the prosecution which keeps making this accusations.

      Infact going by the tone and indeed the conclusion of the articule it is clear that there is doubt even in the minds of the investigators and the Liberian government and even the journalist who wrote the articule, that they will ever find any such alleged money Mr Taylor corruptly acquired. the reason they will never find it is simple – THERE IS NO SUCH MONEY. you cannot find what does not exist.

  4. Nosirrah,

    I m very glad you’ve asked me about enumerating on my flaw comment. I’ll began by having you read the below quote

    ” They have pressed in Liberian courts for information about the entwined companies PLC Investments and Lonestar Communications, suspecting they could be a continuing source of income for Mr. Taylor. Lonestar, the nation’s leading cellphone company, was essentially a monopoly for four years, controlled by two Taylor financial advisers through PLC, a holding company, a U.N. report says. They sold 60 percent of Lonestar to a Lebanese group, Investcom, which in turn was acquired by a South African cellphone company, MTN Group, in 2006. ”

    Now, amongst the many other flaws and lies in that article, I picked the above because of the following reason(s):

    A company can’t automatically becomes a monopoly because they were the first to introduce their business/service in a country, city county etc. When No one was thinking of introducing cell phone to Liberia in fear of the huge investment risk(s) with potential lost of investor’s capital, lonestar took the risk. No one stealth-arm any other company from joining the market; neither was Lonestar actually controlling Bandwidths, or transmission frequency. This was a new and open market so any other company (ies) could’ve seize those opportunity.

    Remember now, There are three other cellphone companies that follow in few years without any problem. My problem here is, the word MONOPOLY as it was/is used is Negative.

    These lonestar cell guys give us the opportunity to communicate with our relatives in the jungle without spending countless days to travel to Monrovia just to place call(s).

    If anyone disagrees with my opinion, please counter that with this explanation: why BRE renewable energy can’t be term as monopoly. They’re the only company doing whatever they do, and I m sure they’re profiting millions….. to prove that theory, a year or so ago they increase their investment in Liberia by almost 100 million.

    I really can’t understand ……. Why there are always this they-say stuff without any substantial proof? CGT Stole Millions, Oh! billions, CGT owns LoneStar , CT has millions in hidden account but NO trace of where it came from, to/or where it did ended-up, CGT carry sand on the beach i.e took diamond(s) from Liberia to SA and attempted giving it to Naomi. Why haven’t all those they-say folks including the prosecution show us CGT hands in the cookies JAR without this guessing crisp in the international media

    LoneStar Cell

  5. Let us wake up.I know that lots of us hate Taylor,there are many that master minded this drama today.Thanks MR.B. some of us just like to look at the other end of. The side.Now let us wake up here a little bite .Money talks B .S those that have the power and money will do. They have mrTaylor for given theR U F ARms for diamonds, what I saw and heard on the history channel few days ago,the mean players of this matter are setting by lookinat one black man been used and brought down to dust.where are the BRITISH , the nigerian ,all the other that did send troops to SerriaLeone to have stop the war? The DE Beer CO that is one of the lagerest. Diamond Co, and all other that were in the war zone was it for nothing? Where did Taylor alone got the arms to give to R u F?ALL THESE PEOPLE THAT WERE PLAYING BIG BROTHER ,SENDIN FIGHTER WHAT THEY WERW GETTING FROM IT? We the people in this world are not fair. So they are saying Taylor that the only one fighting his and R uf war and took all the diamonds out off SIERRA LeoNe given to people left and right. The white man always like for the black man to look silly and think they have all the brains they others that took Billions where are? So now , some of us are saying the what man helping us now? Where were they. When we were calling asking for help ? They it was our business they did not to get into it .BECOUSE. TAYLOR DID NOt GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANTED, ±SIERRALEONE DID. Well ,let us see what ms CAMBELL. Have point is ,TAYLOR MUST NOT BE THE ONLY ONE TO TAKE THIS FALL .many of then are still inLIBERIA . So I don,t thank it will be fair if those that fought L,P,C LURD, THE K.THE,M. All of them must go to trial.

  6. Big B,
    Did you actually write “To the prosecution, I have news for you. These professional judges will not put their careers, repetitions, values, dignities and the rule of law on the line to please nobody?”
    You Taylor’s supporters seem to be double talkers. When the Judges rendered decisions unfavorable to Taylor then the court is false and the Judges are being influenced by external forces. When their decisions go favorable to Taylor then the Judges are professional. Either the judges are professional or unprofessional, you can’t have it both ways. Anyway, you are caught between the scissors. On the one hand if you say the judges are professional and at the end of the day a guilt verdict is declared you will have no excuses. On the other hand if you say the judges are unprofessional and decisions (including the request to subpoena Ms. Campbell and the final verdict) go in favor of Taylor you would have undermined such critical decisions.
    Interestingly, you unwittingly debunked your own claim that the rest of the world (UN, EU, US, UK , Amnesty International, Human Right Watch, BBC, VOA, etc) were out to get Taylor. How will these judges not be putting their careers, reputations, values, and dignities on the line by declaring innocent a man whom these powerful countries, and organizations want to be declare guilt? That can only happen if these organizations, institutions, and countries are really not after Taylor and are not influencing these judges.
    I 101% agree with you that these Judges are highly professional and will only make decision on the basis of the evidence available. If the highly unexpected (Taylor declare not guilt) were to happen it will only be on the basis of technicality and the failure of the prosecution to do a good job not because Taylor is innocent. All keen followers and victims of events in both Liberia and Sierra Leone know very well that Taylor is guilty of the 11 counts and much more.

    1. Morris Kanneh,

      To answer your question, I didn’t actually write to the prosecution. I wrote to the general public, but addressed the prosecution in my comment.

      I don’t know how I am “caught between the scissors” I never mentioned or implied in my comment about the judges are unprofessional. I will never say that. I have high regards for those judges, to even dream of questioning their professionalism, not to mentioned writing about it.

      However, it has been stated that the judges are being pressure to turn this court into a kangaroo court. QC Griffiths confirmed to the pressure from our earthly gods, and he (Griffiths) hopes that the judges stand firmed and not to bend to the tremendous pressure from the gods, in his answered to our questions.

      Morris, if you have being following my blog, my argument is based on the rule of law. We all know a fair trial vs. a non fail trial. “Even a blind man can tell when he’s walking in the sun”.

      If the prosecution is presenting a bad case and can’t prove her case, that just too bad. Neither, the judges or the earthly gods shouldn’t get involve to assist the prosecution to win a case that she the (prosecution) can’t prove.

  7. The defense rationalization that the introduction of fresh witnesses is “tangential and highly speculative” is a defeatist mind-set. If Naomi and co could provide fresh material and substantialistic evidence to the case, all the defense can do is cross these new witnesses than wallow in redundant legal bickering.

    Also, the conclusion that said introduction of new witness will generate media frenzy is pointless as this case is has already generated an appreciable amount of media attention over the years.

    1. davenport,

      Trust me on this on, it will be in the defense interest to relax without putting up a fight and agreed with the prosecution to allow the subpoena of Ms Campbell. Perry Mason is experienced and has the ability to cross Ms. Campbell in a way that she (Ms Campbell) will testify in favor of the defense.

      davenport, the issue here is the unethical maneuver by this prosecution. Why should the defense sit on the sideline and watch the prosecution stonewalling them? If the defense should sit on the sideline without putting up a fight and watch the prosecution do whatsoever she wants, I’ll be the first to scream, President Taylor is inadequately represented. His legal team needs to be fired!

      In the court system there are stages from the time of arrest to conviction. For example, ARREST; the accused is advice of his rights, BOOKING; the accused is advised of the charge(s) he/she faces. PREHEARING; the accused pleas guilty or not guilty to the charge(s) he/she faces.

      Then you have the TRIAL, the prosecution is the first to present her case, bring forth witnesses, and the witnesses are questioned (direct examination) by the prosecution. After, the prosecution gets through with her direct examinations; the defense will ask the prosecution witness questions. (Cross examination).

      Once the prosecution announced to the court “The Prosecution Rest” It means that the prosecution has no other witness. The prosecution case is closed! It is the defense time to bring forth her witnesses. The process of direct/cross examinations starts over the same way when the prosecution was presenting her case. The defense will direct and the prosecution will cross. This is the phase we are in right now, in this trial. The defense is presenting her case.

      The final stage is the VERDICT; the judge(s) or jury finds the defendant guilty or not guilty.

      Now, while the defense is presenting her case, the prosecution interrupted the trial to call in fresh witness. Where in the world has this happened? To answered my own question nowhere. Not in any court of prudent justice. Can you imaging after the defense had rested her case, and the judges are deliberating, the defense asked the court to subpoena fresh witnesses? davenport, you will be the first person to scream out of your shoes. (This is the exact thing the prosecution is doing)

      The accused has the right to a fair and free trial.

  8. Big B,

    Thanks for your rejoinder.

    Allow me make one point on the issue of unethical maneuverability: on the subject of unethical behaviorism as you claim by the persecution, my views are not aligned with nor dovetail with yours because it is only the judges acting on established jurisprudence convention that will set the perimeters for what actions, statements, approaches, tactics, maneuvers, and attitude are unethical and contemptuous. Besides, given the status quo, what the persecution is seeking is not unethical nor does it border on unethical maneuverability…as this is a LEGAL process. Rested!

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