Former Liberian Vice President’s Wife Ends Testimony

The wife of Liberia’s former vice president today maintained her testimony that her husband’s death was from illness, not from torture at the hands of Charles Taylor’s security forces as prosecutors have alleged.  She told the Special Court for Sierra Leone today that her husband’s illness got worse after he was treated with traditional medicines by relatives before he died. 

On Friday, Regina Dogolea, wife of Charles Taylor’s former vice president Enoch Dogolea, responded to suggestions that her husband had died in 2000 after being severely beaten on the orders of Mr. Taylor. Prosecution witness, Joseph “Zig Zag” Maazah told the court in 2008 that Mr. Taylor had ordered that Mr. Dogolea be beaten – an action which he said had caused Mr. Dogolea’s death. Mrs. Dogolea on Friday denied such claims, telling the court that her husband died because he was seriously ill.

In her testimony today, Mrs. Dogolea explained that after falling ill, Mr. Dogolea had called his relatives who took him to a nearby bush in Gbarngha and offered him traditional medications. This, she said, was done in her absence and had the effect of making her husband’s condition worse. Today, this account drew questions from Special Court for Sierra Leone judges.

Presiding judge, Justice Julia Sebutinde, sought to know the relationship that existed between Mr. Dogolea and the men who took him to the bush for traditional treatment.

“Now, were any of these three people your husband’s security?” Justice Sebutinde asked the witness.

“No, they were his own people,” Mrs. Dogolea said.

Asked what she meant by “they were his own people,” Mrs. Dogolea said that “they were his relatives, he sent for them to do the treatment.”

“So when they were administering the treatment, none of your bodyguards or his bodyguards was present, were they?” Justice Sebutinde asked further.

“I was not in the bush,” Mrs. Dodolea responded, prompting Justice Sebutinde to seek a more direct answer from the witness.

“Were any of his bodyguards or your bodyguards, did they escort him to the bush, to the best of your knowledge?” Justice Sebutinde asked again.

“No,” the witness said.

“It was his own relatives who took him to the bush, that’s what I saw,” she added.

Another judge of the Trial Chamber, Justice Richard Lussick, asked the witness to explain more details about how her husband returned from the bush after he got sick.

“You told us on Friday that when you wanted your husband to return, you sent your security to get him, you remember saying that?” Justice Lussick asked Mrs. Dogolean.

The witness agreed that she did say so.

“But I think you told Mr. Munyard (Mr. Taylor’s defense lawyer) when he was asking you questions on Friday that only the people who took your husband into the bush came out of the bush with him. You remember saying that?…now you are saying that apart from the people who took him into the bush, you security also came back with him?” Justice Lussick asked again.

“Yes, but I told you that the only thing they said that women were not allowed to go to the place but men could go there, so at last, he did say that he sent for me for someone to collect me but because I could not go there as a woman, I sent my security to go there and bring him,” Mrs. Dogolean said.

As the former Liberian second lady ended her testimony, defense lawyers explained that they would only be ready to present their next witness on Wednesday.

The court adjourned and will resume on Wednesday morning.


  1. Anti-Taylor people are making a lot of noise as to whether Mrs Dogolea asked for a report on the death of her husband. Well it was the Presiding Judge that inquired about that point. the answer Mrs Dogolea gave was most reasonable and what she did was what almost all (if not all) reasonable people will do. A little perpective will help at this point. The illness that eventually killed Mr Dogolea was not a new ailment, it was one that he had been battling with for some time. She said on numerous occassions during her testimony that prior to her husband been taken to Ivory coast for treatment where he eventually died, he had been treated in Liberia and had been diagnosed with having a bad liver. she even described the symptom of her husband’s ailment to the court. So knowing that her husband has been diagnosed in Liberia with having a bad liver, and even receiving treatment beofre eventually been rushed to Ivory Coast, what sens will it make then on her husband’s death for her to demand for a medical report on his death as if she was not aware of what was wront with him or as if he just slumped and died in mysterious circumstances.

  2. What more to be said….Judge Sebutinde should know better that in Africa…traditional medicine is what MOST go by….but glad Mrs. Dogolea answered the questions FULLY WELL.

    1. Noko4 , your statement that Judge Sebutinde should know that in Africa … traditional medicine is what most people go by… is frustrating. This was a well-off man we are talking about here and moreover, a former vice president of a nation. Besides, this court operates not on assumptions and presusmptions but on logically convincing situations.

      1. What do you considered “WELL OFF” Vem?? The man sought the WHITE MAN’s medication and it was not working as he wanted it to….so he been a MAN OF THE SOIL, decided to try some BUSH HERBS according to his wifey.

        Now you and I are from Africa I will want to believe. Have you seen or known of someone who boiled GRASS and drank the juice while it was HOT to clean their stomach?? I have; why didn’t they go buy DOSALT to do the same work Vem??.

  3. Sam & Noko4,
    this witness has contradicted herself, in another desperate attempt to do damage control, and I will quote justice Lussick direcrly “But I think you told mr. Munyard when he was asking you questions on friday that only the people who took your husband into the bush came out of the bush with remember? Now you are saying your security also came back with him? look guys these judges has seen enought of these lies and how easily these defense witnesses has contradicted their testimonies, and usually exchanges such as these are clear signs of coverups associated with quilt & GUILTY it is…..

    1. Ziggy,
      Where is the CONTRADICTION?? Maybe it was NOT explained FULLY and she added more DETAILS….and you call that contradiction?? Really???.

      Women were NOT allowed and therefore, when she was requested to show up, she send her security.

  4. This is a sad moment in the History of Liberia, where a Vice president seeks traditional Herbalist, with wife’s consent, treatment instead of hospital! Is it because Dogolea did not trust all the modern hospitals built by taylor’s NPFL government, or was it mare stupidity? Beatings, on the other hand, will cause liver rapture too. But, as i said earlier, i care less of who is talking truth here, because this is just one more evidence and pattern of deceit common in taylor’s defense witnesses. And for NoKo4 to think that African traditinal medecine is what MOST go BY, is not only denial of reality, but living in either a total ignorance, or cheap excuse in support of taylor’s allege cruelty to his vice president! when are we going to face reality as Human beings? Remember, the world is watching how we think and say in this trial!

    1. Menjor,
      You got NO SHAME…is this practice uncommon?? What hospital did Mr. Taylor build Menjor??? As we write PRESENTLY, the healthcare in Liberia is at it LOWEST POINT and how long has Pres. Johnson-Sirleaf been in power??

      How many in today’s Liberia and Sierra Leone visit a hospital?? How many hospitals are there Menjor?? In the INTERIOR of Liberia, some places DO NOT even have a clinic….how are they been treated Menjor?? All the females giving birth, doing so in a hospital Menjor.

      Now who is been UNREAL?? Me or you??

  5. Fallah, I think you are detached from the culture or norms of our people. It is not uncommon for people, especially those with traditional background, to go and see herbalists. Even today in Liberia, it is still very common. So for you make such a comment only tells me your level of understand and your mentality.
    Fallah, if Zig Zag is your standard of the truth, you are just as disturd as him.

  6. J. Fallah Menjor cracks me up lol… Isn’t this the same guy that has been living in the USA for all these years? How would u know if MOST africans use traditional medicines on not? Look if the VP was beaten bad almost to def? How in the world would they cover it up.. I mean REALLY???? I am sick and tired of listening to nonsense… I want hard FACTS and evidence… Do you know wat it means by BEATEN to NEAR DEATH??? I don’t know abt u guys but when u were beaten by security forces in Liberia, people would noticed cause those boys do not play…

    Is it safe to say that this trail is the prelude to the special court of Liberia?? WOW… How can those educated judges stand to listen to such BS from the prodecution in this trial here… I bet they are laug out loud in da break room when the trial is not in session…

    I’m sorry ppl if you have been living out of liberia after 1997, please don’t say anything about what happened in liberia because you DON’t know…

    They need to hurry up and end this trial so these ppl can stop wasting money… Ppl in SA are suffering and they spending all this money for one Man??? Come on now…

  7. Dear Sam,
    I received a comment from you at 5:41pm on June 17 which alas I cannot publish in its current form as it does nto fit with our policy of focussing on the trial and not on other readers. Can you reforumate the first paragraph to focus on the issues related to the trial and remove/change the references focussed on another reader to fit with our policy, which you can find here If you need me to send you through your comment so you can reformulate and resubmit it, I’m happy to do so.
    Thanks for your understanding in advance, Sam.

    1. Well Sorry Tracy, I am not going to reformulate it. I did not abuse anybody I was only replying Fallah and i did not use any abusive language neither did I claim anything false. I have gone through that policy you quote several times and I am at a lose as to which part of it i am in contravention of. Does it mean that when Anti-Taylor people write in direct response to other reader’s comments you approve it and it fits your policy but when pro Taylor people write in direct reponse to other’s comments you claim it does not fit with your policy.

      In this preset case, I was not reacting to a general comment, I was responding to that particular individual that wrote the comment. In my first paragraph you said does not fit your policy as far as I understand that policy I have not contravened any part of it. My comments were not insulting neither were they abusive I was espressing my own opinion about why the reader could make such comments owing to the fact that he claimed to be Liberian he should have known better. And I also quoted the particular statement from him that i was refering to. So even now I am at a lose as to why my comment will be denied.

      If you have decided not to post the comment no problem. this is just a forum where we express our views about the trial. And I do not believe that our views will in anyway affect the outcome of the trial. This will however not stop me from making comments to express my views nor will it stop me from challenging false asserions or assertions based on ignorance. Some pro Taylor commetator have either stoped commenting or drastically reduced their comments. Although I initially stop commenting, this time I will not stop even if you do not post my comments because you do not like them.

      1. Hi Sam — I do hope you will continue to post. We do not have a discriminatory policy which is intended to favor one side or the other, and we value the diversity of views expressed here. I hope you will have found that I’ve posted all your comments that meet our policy, and for any that do not, I have written to explain that to you and offer the opportunity to resubmit. I do the same with people no matter what perspective they come from — our rules here are our rules, and I try to aply them in as standard way as possible.

        What we are trying to avoid in general is people focussing personally on others and instead trying to encourage people to focus on the issues in the trial. Apart from anything else, it just keeps us focssed on the trial and decreases the chances that we will get sidetracked on issues unrelated to the trial, such as the personal circumstances of any particular reader.

        I’m glad you raised this with me, though, and I hope to continue seeing more posts from you.


        1. It seems there is a slight or discrimination here. I posted a comment about a clear violation of your rules by you and you have not responded or posted my post.

          1. Sorry Cen — it was my delay in posting comments. Your comment and my response is up — thanks for pointing it out. I will check into it.

      1. My apologies Noko4 – I didn’t realize there were still some under moderation from you. Both posts should now be up. Apologies again.

  8. I’m sorry I cannot post your comment of 11:22am of June 17 as it is focussed on another reader and does not fit with our policy for comments which you can find here: Would you mind reforumating to focus on the issues in teh trial? If so, I’d be happy to publish.
    Best, and thanks for your understanding in advance,

    Dear Korma — I’m sorry I cannot post your comment of 4:53pm of June 17 as it is focussed on another reader and does not fit with our policy for comments which you can find here: Would you mind reformulating and resubmitting? If so, I’d be happy to publish.
    Best, and thanks for your understanding in advance,

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