Liberian members of Charles Taylor’s rebel group who assisted Sierra Leonean rebels during the West African country’s civil conflict were not sent by the former Liberian president, but did so voluntarily, a defense witness for Mr. Taylor told Special Court for Sierra Leone judges in The Hague today.
The defense witness is testifying with partial protective measures and is therefore only identified by Pseudonym Number DCT-292. The witness, who lived in Liberia before Mr. Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) rebels invaded the country in 1989, said he later joined Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels in Sierra Leone, a rebel group that Mr. Taylor is on trial for allegedly providing support for through supply of arms and ammunition in return for supply of diamonds. Mr. Taylor has denied the allegations against him.
Prosecutors say that when the conflict started in Sierra Leone in 1991, Mr. Taylor provided NPFL personnel who helped RUF rebels to attack Sierra Leonean towns and villages.
Under cross-examination today, DCT-292 told the court that the NPFL fighters who went to Sierra Leone did so voluntarily and allegations that they were sent by Mr. Taylor were wrong. The witness mentioned that NPFL commanders Anthony Menkunagbe, Dupoe Menkazohn, Francis Menwon, and Nixon Gaye, among many others, volunteered to help the RUF in Sierra Leone. These Liberian fighters, prosecution witnesses have said, committed atrocities in Sierra Leone and were later forced to leave the country. The witness said that he cautioned RUF leader Foday Sankoh to seek advice from Mr. Taylor even though the men had indicated that they were in Sierra Leone to help the RUF voluntarily. Prosecution counsel Nicholas Koumjian had his doubts.
“Sir, when you said that he [Foday Sankoh] should go talk to Charles Taylor, that was because you knew that these Liberian soldiers who were creating the problems were under the command of Charles Taylor, correct?” Mr. Koumjian asked the witness.
In his response, the witness said that “when they came they said they were not under the supervision, so I came to conclude that it was not Charles Taylor that sent these people.”
“I told Foday Sankoh to go back and tell Charles Taylor about it,” he added.
“Becauase you understood Charles Taylor was able to command those men, correct?” Mr. Koumjian asked again.
“He was their leader, yes, he can command them,” the witness responded.
On prosecution suggestion as to why he did not ask Mr. Sankoh to inform Amos Sawyer, who was the interim Liberian president at that time, the witness agreed with Mr. Koumjian that it was Mr. Taylor who had control over the Liberian fighters.
The witness also told the court that the relationship between the NPFL fighters in Sierra Leone and their RUF counterparts broke up when RUF members tried to initiate the NPFL rebels into a secret society. When the NPFL rebels heard about the plan to initiate them into the secret society, they went on the rampage, killing an RUF senior fighter and maltreating some other members of the Sierra Leone rebel group, the witness explained. He said that after consulting Mr. Taylor, RUF leader Mr. Sankoh expelled the NPFL fighters from Sierra Leone.
“He [Sankoh] left and when he came back, he came and told the people, you have come but what you are doing is not in the interest of the revolution, therefore, I have given you 48 hours to move from Sierra Leone,” he said.
Asked whether Mr. Sankoh told them he had agreed to something with Mr. Taylor, the witness said that “he didn’t discuss that with me at all sir.”
The cross-examination of the witness continues tomorrow.
Defense witness DCT 292 did agreed with mr. Koumjain today that it was Charles Taylor who had conrtol over the NPFL fighters who fought alongside the RUF in Sierra Leone, which affirms prosecutions’ charges that Taylor not only armed the RUF,but sent his death squard under the leadership of namely,Anthony Menkunagbe, Dupo Menkazohn, Francis Memwon,& Nixon Gaye.enought is enought the case against taylor has been proven and there is nowhere to hide these facts any more. QUILTY it is….
What DCT 292 is confessing is very chilling to know that even though these liberian “soldiers of Fortune” slipped into Sierra leone, unknown to taylor, joined the Ruf, break up because RUF wants to initiate them into a “secret Society”and later sanko is advised by DCT292 to contact taylor on the behavior demonstration of these Liberia fortune rebels, and blah blah… Why would DCT292 not contact Interim President instead? Maybe, reason was that, in fact, taylor was awared and therefore he was the rightful man to contact on the behaviors of his mercenaries, or “bush soldiers of fortune” for this operation “pay yourself!” I stand corrected here Helen, come on! I don’t need to be a rocket scientist here nor lived in gangster NPFL to know taylor’s hand was all over the rebels operations in Sierra Leone! These very soldiers brought back to Liberia stolen diamonds and looted goods! Wasn’t this the time NPFL rebels gave name to Koindu..KUWAIT? We have information to share here Helen and others who think anyone who questions taylor is a Hater..If that is your definition, then I hate taylor and very much so!
The answer to your question is that, interim government of Liberia didn’t have control over her self for to have control over Soldiers at that time. The interim government did not have command over the AFL that’s how AFL was classified as warring faction.Moreso, 95% of the country was under NPFL Controlled and only Monrovia was under the interim government. So the witness was right to tell Sankor to ask Mr. Taylor concerning the status of the fighters who claim to have gone to Sierra Leone on thier own since Mr. Taylor did send fighters in Sierra Leone to help the RUF fight the SLA and ULIMO! On the issue of the name Kuwait,
only Liberians can give the name Kuwait?
Were you there to know it was Liberians who gave Koindu the name Kuwait? Fallah, your hate for Liberia and Liberians will do you no good by the way! You Should thank God that through Liberia and Liberians you got the opportunity to be who you are today! Your hate for Liberians had to do with your thinking and believed that Sierra Leoneans did not Killed Liberians in cool blood!!!!!!! Even the November 12,1985 incident in Liberia that cause the lives of hundreds if not thousands of Liberians was planned and excuted from Sierra Leone! Does that make Sierra Leone a peace loving country to her sister Liberia? Let’s face it now!
I wonder what the prosecution seeks to achieve by this fruitless extended cross examination of this witness. the prosecution has been cross examining him for one and a half days now even though his direct examination took less than a day. All attempts by the prosecutors to have him comfirm their allegations have failed infact all suggestions made by Mr Koumjian to the witness have been denied. The prosecution have found this witness hard to cross examine no wonder it has taken them this long to cross examine him. Infact the more the prosecutors probe him with questions the more he absolves Mr Taylor of all the allegations against him. He is by far the best witness the defence has paraded apart from Charles Taylor and John Vincent. Ms Hollis and Mr Koumjian will be rueing the mess they are in at the moment.
There is no evidence in this case!
I lost track of the score. What is the score now? Say it Loud…
Mr Taylor 30 – Ms Hollis/ Mr Koumjian 1! The prosecution are having their case cut into shreds before their very eyes!
Saying Taylor did not send his NPFL fighters to Sierra Leone is like saying Doe did not send his AFL soldiers to the Lutheran compound in 1990 where over 600 displaced Nimbians and Liberians who were seeking refuge were murdered.
NOW LET ME HEAR THE PEOPLE OF NIMBA COUNTY ABSORB THAT. THAT IS HOW MOST PEOPLE IN LIBERIA AND THE WEST AFRICAN SUBREGION FEELS WHEN YOU TAYLOR SUPPORTERS DENIES HIS ATROCITIES BECAUSE THERE HAS NOT BEEN A DOCUMENT ORDERING THESE ATROCITIES. IF I MAY; CAN YOU PRODUCE THE WRITTEN ORDER THAT DOE GAVE TO HIS AFL SOLDIERS TO ORCHESTRATE THE MASSACRE AT THE LUTHERAN COMPUND?
I do not know when you started following this case but if you are an ardent follower of this case like some of us lovers of justice are, you will find out that mr Taylor agreed as part of his case that he Charles Ghankay Taylor did send solders into SL in order to fight SLA and Ulimo in SL so that he would not have to fight them in Liberia. so you claiming here that Charles Taylor denied sending solders to SL is totaly misleading and indeed false. what his case is, is that it was not all Liberians that whent to SL to fight that were sent there by him. He has paraded many Liberian witnesses who have said they went to SL of their own volition to fight for RUF. It was Mr Taylor that sent them there.
Now with regard to the testimony of DCT292 what is the time frame for his testimony with regard to Liberians namely Anthony Mekunagbe, Dopoe Menkarzon and other NPFL forces going to SL to fight? ANSWER: 1991 – 1992. When did Mr Taylor say he sent forces into SL to fight alongside the RUF? ANSWER: 1991 – 1992. So Nosirrah, where is the contradiction?
Mr Taylor also testified that he punished some NPFL Special Forces for conniving with the RUF in order to invade SL and also in order to have RUF support in order to overthrow his leadership. so it is not surprising that Anthony Mekunagbe was seen by this witness in SL since he was one of those that was executed by the NPFL for coniving with the RUF. The witness said he saw Dopoe Menkarzon in SL twice. The first time he stayed a week and the second time he came to withdraw the NPFL fighters and arrest RUF leaders. Now what was Taylor’s testimony? He said he sent Dopoe into SL to withdraw the NPFL forces fighting there since they were in confilict with the RUF they were supposed to be collaborating with in order to combat ULIMO in SL.
these are just a few instances in which the prosecution effort to get testimony favourable to it from this witness backfired and he actually corroborated Mr Taylor’s testimony and made his case stronger.
So man, the prosecutionm are being roped in everyday and they can clearly see their case crumbling. They have no evidence to prove the charges in this case therefore the case must FAIL in its entirety. the burden of proof lies squarely on the shoulders of the prosecution not the defence.
You are right there is no document ordering Doe’s soldiers to kill people. However Doe is not on trial. In a trial you have to produce evidence beyond a resonable doubt. These professional judges are not going to send someone to jail for the rest of their lives based on weak hearsay evidence. Let’s look at it this way if this was the only scenario.The prosecution brought forth witnesses to say Charles Taylor supported the RUF. The defense brought forth witnesses to say Charles Taylor didn’t support the RUF. Who do the judges believe? Based on this alone there is reasonable doubt . For this reason the judges must acquit if the trial is to be considered fair.
For the sake of record and history; can we say that the reason the NPFL launched her rebellion was under false pretext since records cannot directly blamed Doe for the murder of the people of Nimba county?
It is the opinion of Taylor supporters that the defense have created enough reasonable doubt and supporters of the prosecution believed the prosecution has done enough to find Taylor guilty, however, these two schools of thought do not matter because the judges will make that determination. Whatever both sides opined here on this blog is not going to have an ounce of iota on the judges decision.
This trial is way bigger than Taylor. He is the poster boy. This trial is about deterring would be/wannabe warlords that they will not go unpunish if they destabalize a nation or a subregion. With this in mind i see no way how Taylor walks. SORRY!!!
The wars in Sierra Leone and Liberia are evidence enough and everyone knows Taylor was at the head and helm of them. That is all the evidence the prosecution needs.
The truth will continue to be coaxed out of these mean defense witnesses; When months ago i gave cronological , geograhpical and personal explanations of Mr. Taylor and his NPFL’s help to the RUF and it’s (NPFL) brutal killings of my friend and successful Fula business men in Pujehun , the south of sierra Leone , the Taylor supporters on this site refered to it all as vague. Well, your mere denials are not enough to give your papay the vardict he needs . continue to blow your trumpets of falsehood as there is no sound minded person to dance to them.
J. fallah menjor,
Can you please rephrase the words in the fifth line of your comment of 2010/06/03 at 6:18pm? The statement appears as a fact when it is a mere allegation. Rephrasing it or maybe adding something that can back it up as evidence might help. It will be posted as soon as these concerns are addressed.
Hate taylor or not, what good will it do for you Mr fallah? We all know taylor was the head. And so there were many heads so you are saying your people were clean?
The Sierra leone kill our people too. Mr taylor will not die from all what you people are saying. Did you see these diamond or got some from the boys?
Thank God, at least, taylor remains behind bars, eats jail food, no woman, no ATM card, no fresh meat to eat, and no priviledge to INTERNET! Yeah, I love it! Now he is fighting for his life and each day those selected to save him through lies continue to get exposed…what more can I ask for?It seems that this man has no class as he always never had because if he did, he would have surrounded himself with such people as Sawyer, Tepoteh, Funbulleh, Bacus, or Dr. Stephen Yekeson,whom, it is alledged, he murdered in cold blood with the only charge being that Dr. Yekeson confered a Degree on Samuel Doe while President of the University of Liberia, and not with low class cannibals like Yeaten, or DCT 000 the informer, in the first place! I rest my rant!
he eat food and good food too also call his family. That is what u don’t know. Do u know class? People names u are calling with I,are they more class than Taylor? They are all betayes and lyres. All these, did their own. They were in Freetown tring to get the war going too. Who stay in that country to make more money? SAWYER. A TM card he do not need it.these ur. Heros are not at all.it. take one to know.you will pay that rent for a along time. As he is there., Your heart will brunting
J Fallah Menjor,
I am sorry to disappoint you. However Charles Taylor and his wife gave birth to a child born in February of this year. You see Fallah, he is allowed to have conjugal visits at the detention center. You left Dokie out of your rants about who all you claim Charles Taylor killed. I guess after the testimony of Mrs. Yeney you yourself are convinced that he had nothing to do with the murders.
j . fallah Menjor,
Your post above has finally exposed you . You talk about Baccus Matthews, Tipoteh, Fahnbulleh as being the persons that Charles Taylor should have alingned himself with. Have you forgotten that all the names mentioned by you were socialist when they were trying to indoctrinate the Liberian youth. It was their rhetoric which brought Doe into power and thus the genesis of the Liberian blood shed.
Jose Rodreguez( AKA GENERAL FIX IT)
I think its about time you come on board; We need your input brother; WE NEED YOU TO FIX SOME MATTERS…… ha,ha, Major Taylor Our Leader…we will die for you Oldman…
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