Nobody Ever Told Me That My Husband Was Beaten Before His Death, Former Liberian Vice President Enoch Dogolea’s Wife Testifies

The widow of Charles Taylor’s former Vice President today testified that she was never told that her husband died from torture administered by Liberian security forces on Mr. Taylor’s orders. Her husband’s serious illness, the witness said, was instead the cause of his death.

Enoch Dogolea was Mr. Taylor’s Vice President when he (Taylor) became President of Liberia in 1997. In 2000, Mr. Dogolea died in neighboring Ivory Coast while there for medical treatment. After his death, reports emerged that his sickness was as a result of being beaten by Mr. Taylor’s security forces based on the orders of the former Liberian President. In March 2008, Joseph “Zig Zag” Marzah, a former member of Mr. Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) who testified against Mr. Taylor in The Hague told the Special Court for Sierra Leone that Mr. Dogolea had been beaten to the point of death.

“He was beaten up almost to the point of death…he died as a result of the beatings. I also took part in those beatings,” Mr. Marzah had said.

Today, Mr. Dogolea’s surviving wife, Regina Mehn Dogolea, took the witness stand as Mr. Taylor’s 17th witness, telling the court that as far as she knew, her husband had died because he was seriously ill. She said that neither her husband, nor any other person, had ever told her that Mr. Dogolea had been beaten on Mr. Taylor’s orders.

“Myself I am surprised to hear this because since my husband died ten years ago, nobody has come out to tell me this. Within Monrovia, my husband never slept out for a day or two and later to come and tell me that someone had beaten him up,” Mrs. Dogolea told the court.

“I was bathing him and I never saw anything wrong with him, no marks. I did not see any marks on his body,” she added.

Mrs. Dogolea explained to the court that when her husband became ill, he had called his brothers who took him to a nearby bush and had offered traditional medicines to him. She said that as a woman, they did not allow her to be present where the traditional treatment was offered to her husband.

“They said it was a traditional thing, a woman cannot be there so they took him to the bush,” she said.

After three hours, Mrs. Dogolea said they sent to call her. When she got there, her husband was vomiting and she asked that he be taken to the house. At this point, Mr. Taylor sent a helicopter to take Mr. Dogolea to the hospital, the witness said.

While at the hospital in the Ivorian capital Abidjan, Mrs. Dogolea said the doctor informed her that her husband’s liver had been damaged.

“Then he died now,” she told the court.

Asked by Justice Julia Sebutinde whether she ever asked the hospital authorities to give her a report of what her husband died of, the witness said “no.”

As defense lawyers concluded her direct-examination, prosecutors questioned the witness about a press release she issued in Liberia relating to evidence at the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Special Court for Sierra Leone relating to the circumstances surrounding her husband’s death.

In the press release, Mrs. Dogolea questioned witnesses’ accounts at both the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Special Court for Sierra Leone sitting in The Hague about the circumstances surrounding her husband’s death, saying that as far as she knew, her husband was sick and that was the cause of his death. Prosecutors in cross-examining the witness questioned her whether she had received any assistance in writing the press release or whether she had written it only after meeting with defense lawyers. The witness insisted that she had issued the release only with the help of her 21 year old step-daughter, who at that tine was in the twelfth grade.

“Are you saying that your 21 year old step-daughter who was in the twelfth grade drafted this statement?” Justice Sebutinde asked, wanting to be more certain.

In response, the witness said “yes.”

Prosecution counsel, Katherine Howarth, read from a January 2008 Liberian newspaper which quoted an account given at the TRC regarding Mr. Dogolea’s death.

“Bodyguards of Charles Taylor laid the former Vice President into mattresses and tortured him on the orders of Charles Taylor. He [Taylor] said the strategy of laying somebody in mattresses was to cover up any evidence of torture and not to see any body marks,” the January 2008 newspaper stated.

Ms. Howarth also read from a June 2000 article in a Sierra Leonean newspaper titled “Liberia’s VP killed for Sa Lone.” The article indicated that Mr. Dogolea had been killed because he had policy disagreements with Mr. Taylor about the Liberian government’s support for Sierra Leonean rebels.

Asked whether it was true that her husband was opposed to Mr. Taylor’s support for rebel forces in Sierra Leone, Mrs. Dogolea said: “I told you I do not know anything about it.

“You know the man was going for peace talks and conferences and I was not behind him whereever he went and he did not tell me,” she said.

“You yourself know that in Africa, women do not really control their husbands, so any where they go you do not go with them, if they do not tell you their thing, you will not know about it,” she added.

The witness insisted that she could not tell whether her husband was beaten because the former Vice President had never told her so.

Defense lawyers indicated their readiness to re-examine the witness after she concluded her cross-examination but as the court was ready to adjourn for the day, the re-examination of the witness is set for Monday.


  1. this woman and her family kill this poor man for properties.what the hell u have to send he in the bush for treatment?u killed he and can’t give the children chance to live,I WANT TO TELL U THAT GOD WILL PAY YOU FOR THAT.U MAKE THE CHILDREN FATHERLESS.YOU WILL GET YOUR PAY.

    1. Gensee,
      What is the basis of these discautious comments you are making about Mrs Dogolea? Now since the death of her husband that you alleged she “killed” has she married anyone else? what properties are you talking about that she killed him to inherit? you see people like you are the problem of our country. you blame other people for your problems and make them take responsibility for it instead of confronting the problem head-on and trying to find a workable sollution to it.

      Her husband was sick what in heaven’s name do you want her to do about it order than try to find a cure to the ailment if possible? this is exactly what she tried to do unfortunately he died of his ailments and it is unfortunate that you anti-Taylor people and this prosecution are taking advantage of this woman’s husband’s death to lie about Mr Taylor’s involvement in her husband’s death. Any responsible woman who loves her husband and wants to protect his memory will not allow anyone to destroy the good name of her husband by lieing about his death. she has a duty to put the records straight, and that is exactly what she is doing.

      Now back to trial. Anti-Taylor people: at this point what do you think about ZIgzag Marzah’s testimony? Is he still the “credible” witness you want the world to believe he is? Remember he said he ate the heart of Dokie which was cooked by Anie Yenieh along with Mr Taylor – that has been found to be a lie. He also said he was among those that beat Enoch Dogolea almost up to the point of death before he was taken to hospital where he later died – well that too has been found to be a lie. Mrs Dogolea would not have come to this court to testify in defence of Mr Taylor if indeed Mr Dogolea was beaten almost up to the point of death on Mr Taylor’s orders as Zigzag Marzag claimed. There is no one who can in his right senses claim that Enoch Dogolea’s wife would not have known if her husband was beaten at anytime. She said in her testimony that she was the one bathing him and there was no way she would not have seen any mark on his body to show that he was beaten.

      So people, the defence are soing a very good job in poking holes in the prosecution case. I have always said and I continue to say” it is the responsibility of the prosecution to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt and not for the defence to prove its innocence”. At the moment there are too many holes in the prosecution case.

    2. Geness,

      If you’re accusing someone, try to be at least factual. Why will this lady kill her husband especially if she’s the second lady in the country? Why will one choose to be a widow and negate her kids from ever seeing their dad? Myman, this makes NO Damn sense even to the mentally impaired . I really don’t get it ….

  2. Mrs. Dogolea’s account of her late husband’s death makes me baffle: Your husband, then the second man in Liberia, died and you never obtained record of any causes of his death; your statements made at the special court quite contradicts those you were quoted of saying to the print media before; you said your husband went on peace talks and to conferences but he did not tell you wherever he went and that the statement you had prepared was written by your twenty-one-year old daughter. I can deduce that your husband could not have told you he was beaten since there was a problem of communication between you and him and more interestingly since it was a sense of unmanliness(in african sense) to tell your wife that you, a higher up, have been beaten by men within your domain. You even sound covering up something by asserting that statements you made to the news media before were written by your daughter; this could mean that your daughter might have added or subtracted your expressions but ,frankly ,not to the point of distorting the purpose of your thoughts.
    Whatever the truth is, Mr. Dogolea, the resting soul of your late husband (former vice president) will let out next week .

    1. Vem,

      If you think that Mrs. Dogolea has lied, it is your business to provide us proof that the late husband was killed by Mr. Taylor security instead of making noise all over the place. The prosecution would have safe us all these confusions were they to go at the hospital in Abidjan to obtain a medical report on how Mr. Dogolea died. Let me also remind you that Mrs. Dogolea and the defense need not present proof of Dogolea death, but it is you and the prosecution responsibility.

  3. ” I took part in the beaten of the VP, says Zig Zag” but “no body ever told me that my husband was beaten” says Mrs. Dogolea. I guess she is just learning the cause of her husband’s death or was Zig Zag being boldly obnoxious and arrogant?

    If beaten occured, did she expect to be informed? By whom? For what?

    Hmmmmm…..another sad day for the Dogolea family.

    1. Davenport,
      Why don’t the prosecutors give us PROOF that he did NOT die from his illness?? They can get the report or dig out the body…..they got enough money and all the resources to tell us how. But really, what does this has to do with the charges??
      The ONLY reason I see is, Marzag claimed he was there when the beating occured…TOTALLY waste of the court time.

    2. davenport,

      Don’t you know by now that Zig Zag is Psycho? That guy is a disgrace to the prosecution and the human race.
      In Liberians English Zig Zag means twisted, bend not straight. This guy is the exact definition of his name. He’s mentally twisted, bend and his (head is not straight). Crazy.

    3. Davenport,
      Great anaology; but actaully Taylor as the leader and the kind of man that some of us knew, would have never order the beating of Dogolea. There was no reason for Taylor to have ever ever order such brutality against the man. Trust me; Zigzag is a complete ediot who was paid talk most of the trash he has said in this case. Taylor got his odds like any other human, but was not stupid to make such mistake…

  4. the TRC reports & the january 2008 Sierra Leonia newspaper accounts Quote “Bodyguards of Charles Taylor laid the former vice president into mattresses and tortured him on the orders of Charles Taylor.He Taylor said the strategy of laying somebody in mattresses was to cover up evidance of torture and not to see any body marks”.this is a corroborated accounts of two seperate entities that had supportive mains to investigate the players surrending Dogolea’s death, defense witness mrs.Reginal Mehn Dogolea, who came onbehalf of Taylor to refutes Zig Zag Marzah’s testimony on her husban death fell flat, not knowing that Marzah’s accounts was already corroborated by the SL newspaper & the TRC respectively which prompted justice Julia Sebutidine and Quote”asked by justice Sebutidine whether she ever asked the hospital authorities to give her report of what her husban died of, the witness said no.” why woundn’t she just asked the hospital for a simple cause of death of her husband? Jackson F Doe, Kekula Kpoto, Dogolea Dr. Steven Yekeson,Sam Bockarie, Sam Dokie & family all met identical fate in the hands of Charles Taylor and his death squad, the outcome will be GUILTY!….

    1. Salis,
      Did the SL Newspaper or TRC provide us with any PROOFS or were they going on WORDS by someone who SAID?? And where are you getting your FACTS from or are THEY SAYS about the death of the others listed. Seriously, that’s our problem….we run on RUMORS!!!

    2. Ziggy Silas,
      Are you asking us to believe Sierra Leone newspaper accounts on how Dogolea died ? You must be kidding. As for your man Zigzag we all now know that he is just a pathological lying cannibal.

      You never in your wildest nightmares expected Dogolea’s wife to come and testify on behalf of Charles Taylor. My advice don’t let your pressure go up there is more shocks to come.

  5. Let be. If Mrs. Dogolea believes her husband died of natural causes, then so be it. However in the court of Law, if there is probable reason to doubt this claim by the widow that, regardless of all these allegations by some about how taylor’s vice president died are not true, will be left to Judges to decide according to law. It seems like some people fear taylor to death and may not say anything against him until when he dies! Boy, I do not regret living in the West, because I would have died trying or making attempts to rid taylor of terrorist acts against the people.

    1. Fallah,
      Is Mr. Dogolea’s death part of the charges? NO!!!! So where does it play in the case except for Marzag telling us TALES that don’t add up. The widow said he died from ILLNESS if the prosecutors feel she is not telling the truth, let them provide us with the evidences that he died from something else.

  6. Taylor support and campaign group might need to see this breaking news:Naomi Campbell To Testify In The Taylor Trial

    June 12, 2010 : Supermodel Naomi Campbell has been summoned to a war crimes tribunal of Liberia’s former President Charles Taylor. She was allegedly given a rough blood diamond by Taylor, while on a trip to South Africa.

    Hope this bring to closure the arguement about whether Naomi should testify or not! Now she has no choice, neither does anyone!

    1. Fallah were did you get this news from? it will do us all a lot of good if you can provide a reference for it. Because I have not found any ruling of the court on the application by the prosecution to compel Naomi Campbel to testify in this trial.

        1. Your Exellency, Davenport, thanks for providing the link to our doubtful brothers and sisters who want living proof of everything some one else says, except it comes from taylor support group! I delibrately intended to hear and get attacks that i received to test all these hasty conclusions from these guys.They should research before jumping to conclusions. Taylor’s days are coming to closure as more and more revelations come to light. The Defense witnesses will eventually seal his fate! And also, taylor’s support group is accelerating the doom’s days for taylor everyday! Happy Day to you, Honourable Davenport.

        2. So Davenport,
          Does the link tell us what Fallah is stating??”Meanwhile, Naomi has refused to speak, stating that she is concerned about her safety and is not willing to involve herself in the case” So where did he get his BREAKING NEWS from??

          This is the same kind of LIES we have in the Hague; Fallah must be reading the HANDBOOK of the Prosecutors….just throw it out there and see if it will stick…..what a DISGRACEFUL DISGRACE.

        3. Davenport is this the new website of the Special Court for Sierra Leone? I thought the real link to the authoritative website of the court is where one can obtain up-to-date and accurate information on the trial. As at the last time I checked the link on the judgements in this trial, there was no such thing about Naomi Campbel been subpoenaed to come and testify. The only thing there was a suplementary information added by the prosecution to their motion requesting the court to subpoena Naomi Campbel to the effect that if the court decides to subpoena her, her lawyer has indicated that he is the one that should be served the papers and you know what that means dont you?

          So Fallah, Davenport this is a serious discussion about the fate of an innocent man.A far as the law is concerned, he has not been convicted of any crime yet and as things stand now it is not even likely that he will be convicted of any of the counts in the charges. There simply is no PROOF.

    2. Fallah,
      If it is true that she coming to court, I think you should be sad. Because this may be the end of this fake trashy case….

  7. Fallah,

    What Breaking News you are referring to? To the best of my knowledge the judges have not yet ruled on the subpoena of Ms Campbell. Was it an out of court ruling, under the covers of darkness? Boy, don’t tell me that this court is a kangaroo court.

    I am flabbergasted why would Tracey and Alpha allowed such posting without a link, proof, or anything of fact to substantiate fallah’s posting as true or valid. Apparently, it’s obvious that President Taylor supporters are defending him (Taylor) at three fronts. The first front is with President Taylor’s haters, second front is with the prosecution and the third front is with Alpha and Tracey.

    I do strongly believe if one of President Taylor’s supporters had written such posting, it wouldn’t have passed Alpha and Tracey so-called “moderation” on the ground, the writer is writing from his/her opinion as though it’s a fact. Case in point, when President Taylor was sick with chest pain and couldn’t make it to court, I commented on the dangerous drug prescribed to President Taylor, Alpha failed to publish my comment on the ground; it was my opinion not fact. However, I reminded Alpha, that 99.9% of all posting on this site are opinionated.


    1. It’s called DOUBLE STANDARD.

      Again, I believe Alpha came into the game with his mind SET…GUILTY but he is now shaking his head and cannot believe what he is seeing….

      We are just GLAD that this site was put up for us to see….the sad part, the prosecutors have LOST this case. I cannot see HOW Mr. Taylor gets convicted without ANY REASONABLE DOUBT plus based on the MERITS of the evidences and MANDATE of this court.

    2. Big B,
      The rules here apply to the so-called Taylor supporters. I don’t care how many times we raise the red flag, no one will listen. I wonder how good the law is when it focuses in one direction. Justice is supposed to be blind. You will agree that the spirit of the law is more important than the written and that is what we are experiencing here.


      1. Harris, stop this unnecessary whinning about fairness for God’s sake! Alpha is one of the best Journalist Africa has yet to produce. Be Happy wouldn’t have done what this Brother is doing, inspite of the constant negative attacks from your camp.Peace!

        1. Please don’ t make me pass out…Alpha is what now?? The BEST journalist Africa to produce?? Is he a journalist or someone with a LAW DEGREE working on this site to bring us the trial in SIMPLE ENGLISH??

          1. Hi guys,

            Perhaps at this point we should put the focus back on the trial so we can keep our conversation focused on the issues emerging from the courtroom?


          2. Tracey,

            Sorry but I have to come in here again.

            Just as you find time to compose a line or two to criticisms or praise from us, I think is will be judicial for Alpha to take a minute to speak to concerns or praise about his analysis and work. His persistent silence breeds unwarranted provocation and some might misconstrue his resolved silence as a disrepute. The work of a legal journalist is taxing especially when you confront emotional tirades daily but character, calm, sensitivity, and composure must always guide our interactions with our audience.

          3. Hi Davenport,

            I do appreciate your desire to hear from Alpha. However, we have chosen to try to divide up the tasks on this site whenever I am not travelling and it is impossible to do otherwise. Apart from the fact that it is a lot of work for him to respond to comments when he is also following and writing on the trial, we do try to work as a team and I hope I can answer some of the questions or concerns by readers about the site and any of its content. Sound okay?

  8. Noko4,
    I met someone who knows Alpha and I was told he no longer is physically in the Hague to report from the trial. As you know it is very hard for any of us watching the trial over the internet to watch the entire days proceedings without getting distracted at times. For this reason I am asking you and others to be a little more patient with Alpha. Both he and Tracy are doing a good job and without them we would not be able to keep up with the trial at all. Imagine for us here in Liberia. If it was not for this site my only information would have to come from the New Democrat newspaper which is essentially just a mouth piece for the prosecution.

    on another topic, I notice a negative change in attitude toward the defense by Judge Subintude. I hope she is not starting to be influenced by outside forces. Any thougts !

    1. Aki,
      I do not think so. I think the judges needs to go on recess as soon as possible because the stress of the trial is catching up with everyone including the judges and the prosecution and the defence. The prosiding judge is doing her job well to the best of her abilities. the judges decisions till date have been fair.

  9. I still do not understand the delibrate act of ignorace shown at the court. Was the late vice president tortured and kill? With the resources at the disposal of the court, his body can be exhume and an examination conducted, especially in an age of modern science and technology. The court/persecution does not need the testimony of his wife to confirm or deny what happened to him.

    I will continue to maintain that this court is a waste of donation monies that would have gone to eradicating poverty, curable illness, and puting into place social and economy programs that would help ex-combatants who are not physically scarred by their civil conflict.

    By the way, can someone with knowledge pls provide me with the budget of the ICSL and its expediture so far?

    Let me briefly touch on the Campbell and diamond factor, if we can agreed for the sake of this argument that Mr. Taylor did indeed give her “a diamond” than can i say that the entire case is resting on one diamond? Persecution havn’t proven beyond reasonable doubts that Taylor supported the RUF, took diamonds as payment, and instructed them to be salvages, the only thing that can be proven here is that Sierra Leoneans turned on their own brothers and sisters in the most salvage manner and it is they who should bear this burdan and make amends.

    Now i see why countries like the United States, England, Germany, among other do not ascribed to such mockery of justice as projected by the International Courts in the Hague.

  10. @ Moderator
    I’m confused, there have been many redacted and unpublished opinions in the name of the rules. As I read the following rule :

    What is not allowed: comments which accuse specific individuals — including Mr. Taylor — of committing, or being responsible for, specific crimes made as a statement of fact if that individual has not been convicted of the crime by a court of law. An example: “Mr. X is a murderer.” This should not prevent objective discussion of available evidence about criminal responsibility, just broad unsubstantiated statements. Also not allowed are defamatory comments about an identifiable individual or group.
    The following post is a violation, yet it was publshed. I raised my eyebrows at the caustic nature of the so called opinion in this post. Why was it allowed?

    On June 12, 2010 at 4:00 am, Gensee said: this woman and her family kill this poor man for properties.what the hell u have to send he in the bush

    1. Cen — you make a good point. Let me check into this and if the post violates the policy, I wil remove it. Thank you for pointing it out.

  11. well i am sorry to say well i strongly beleive that charles taylor and mrs dodgolea has the hands in mr. dogolea death beacuse what women that would tesified for man after a person claim that he was their and he was part of the beating of the vp president and she still believe that he was not murder. why are we still keeping charles taylor alive you guys all the prove of all those annicent people he had kill. please let justice reveal its self. we still won answer to the death of enoch dogolea. I wont his son who is my boyfriend and his grandkids to know what happen to there grandfather. i wont justice for his kids. some needs to something and nobody hear the cries of his kids for mercy. i will help when i get my law degree. please help me to bring joy into my boyfriend life beacuse his father death brings him pain

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