Witness Never Saw Or Heard Of Charles Taylor’s Support To The RUF, She Says

A witness for Charles Taylor said today that she neither saw nor heard any evidence that the former Liberian president provided support to Sierra Leonean rebels during the country’s 11-year civil conflict. The witness also dismissed the evidence of key prosecution witnesses who testified about Mr. Taylor’s links to the rebel forces in Sierra Leone as “lies”.

Isatu Kallon, a Sierra Leonean business woman who said she gave support to Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels in Sierra Leone, has spent days telling the Special Court for Sierra Leone about the role she played in helping RUF leader Foday Sankoh to recruit fighters in Liberia, and the rebel group’s battle for the control of Sierra Leone from 1991 to 2002.  She has continuously denied any knowledge of Charles Taylor’s involvement with the rebel forces.

“During the entire time that you interacted with Foday Sankoh, did the name Charles Taylor come up, did he ever mention the name Charles Taylor?” Mr. Anyah asked the witness today in a direct question and answer session.

“Never,” Mrs. Kallon said.

“While you were in Liberia, did you ever see he and Charles Taylor together?” Mr. Anyah asked the witness.

“Never,” the witness said.

“You mentioned efforts made by yourself to purchase arms and ammunition for the RUF…did you hear of any instance when Charles Taylor is said to have given RUF arms?” Mr. Anyah pressed further.

“I never saw that happen. I did not hear about it,” answered Mrs. Kallon.

When asked again whether she ever heard anyone say that he was sent to fight in Sierra Leone by Mr. Taylor, the witness said “no.”

Prosecutors have alleged that Mr. Taylor bears individual criminal responsibility for the crimes committed by RUF rebels in Sierra Leone because he allegedly instigated and helped to plan the operations of the RUF in their battle for territory of Sierra Leone including the country’s diamond fields. Prosecutors say that Mr. Taylor served as the main source of support for the Sierra Leonean rebels before and after the invasion of Sierra Leone in 1991. Mr. Taylor’s defense team has been trying to cast doubt on these allegations through the testimony of witnesses such as Mrs. Kallon.  

Today Mrs. Kallon also responded directly to the testimonies of prosecution witnesses who testified in 2008 about Mr. Taylor’s alleged involvement with the RUF.

In February 2008, a former RUF radio operator Perry Kamara, commonly known as King Perry, testified that Mr. Sankoh sought advice from Mr. Taylor on a regular basis and that any time Mr. Taylor gave such advice, the RUF would launch a major operation.

“Mr. Sankoh was always advised by Mr. Taylor. At anytime Mr. Sankoh received advice from Mr. Taylor, we would undertake a serious attack,” King Perry said in February 2008.

He said that such operations based on Mr. Taylor’s advice included the RUF attacks on the mining fields in Kono in the Eastern Province, and Sierra Rutile Mines in the Southern Province of Sierra Leone.

“Are you aware of this particular mission that Perry Kamara was talking about?” Mr. Anyah today asked Mrs. Kallon.

“I don’t know about this one,” the witness said.

The witness also refuted claims by another prosecution witness, Isaac Mongor, who in March 2008 testified that it was Mr. Taylor who sent him to train RUF fighters at Camp Naama in Liberia.

When asked whether Mr. Mongor had ever mentioned to her that he had been sent by Mr. Taylor to conduct the said training at Camp Naama, the witness said “no.”

She added, however, that Mr. Mongo told her “that he went to Camp Naama to help Mohamed [another RUF commander] and others to train the boys [RUF fighters].”

According to Mrs. Kallon, Mr. Mongor lied when he testified that he was close to Mr. Sankoh, even before the invasion of Sierra Leone.

“Isaac was just a mere bodyguard to John Kargbo [a rebel commander in Liberia],” Mrs. Kallon said.

Mrs. Kallon’s testimony continues on Wednesday.


  1. Isatu Kallon is a very interesting character! Poor fellow, I wait to see the cross examination. We shall see how litrate or illitrate her answers come. That’s all I can say for now!

    1. well Fallah in retrospect what is your conclusion on her performance after cross examination? I really want to know.

  2. I found this witness credible. She mentioned instances in her testimony that many Sierra Leonean and Liberians Refugees living in Guinea and who are now watching her speak can say she is credible. Well let me be specific i mean the refugees who lived in a town called Nongoa, in the Gueckedou prefecture of Guinea. This town is at the border of sierra Leone and is situated at the crossing with Yanga to Koindu.

    Another towns are Ouende Kenema, Fangermandou, Owet Djiba, all shared border with Sierra leone. I live in Nongoa as a Sierra Leonean Refugee for 13 years and i came in Guinea when i was 14. what i saw was that there were certain business transactions between the RUF on the other side of the Moa River with Sierra Leone and the Guinea soldiers. In those days no civilian dare near the Moa river except you where an approved business man or woman. The Ruf was never allowed to entered Nongoa but their representatives who were civilians particularly women will come with goods in exchange to certain items as food, mangi. salt, cloths, medicines etc. If you lived in Nongoa, there was a small market at the Yanga border on the hill in Sierra Leone which was visible to us living in Nongoa Guinea. those who have been there can agree.

    Maybe this witness today was one of those RUF representatives. that was the crossing point that takes then to Gueckedou the town she mentioned carrying rough diamonds to transact with the Guinea soldiers. Guinean soldiers were involved in the business with the RUF that is indisputable. They even settled in Yanga where RUF fighters always came to meet with them. they were Guinea soldiers in Uniform who settled there down to this day.

    I guess there are many more women like who could come out and tell the truth but maybe there are afraid of the consequences to themselves and there families after the testimony because many of them still live in the same vicinity with this perpetrators. They might revenge so they can not come out.

    This witness is relax and confident, how could make up all of this details?

    I find this witness credible.

    1. Sasco,
      Thanks for this first hand account of yours. You are a person who was there and knows the facts. This witness Ms. Kallon can in no way be considered a friend or an ally of Mr. Taylor. She has come to speak the truth and the truth may set Mr. Charles Taylor free.

    2. Sasco,
      Thanks for telling other readers on this site who don’t care to know the truth. Just to add on to what you have said. In 2008, the Sierra Leonean Government was complaining that Guinea has taken Yangar as part of Guinea and she ( the Sierra Leonean government) was asking the international ommunity to revisit the dordering of Sierra Leone when she was first established. Because of that, the president of Liberia tried talking to the government of Guinea to see how best they could resolve the border issue.
      I did say this in December of 2009 when was I posted a comment about Guinea taking part of Liberia and J. FALLAH MENJOR, stated I was trying to put fear in the mind of the Liberia people, there by calling me a General for Mr. Taylor! At least thank God that some of you who saw these things happened can say something about it instead of those who left Liberia and Sierra Leone five or years ago before the war in both Countries because all they can say is hear say! Again this case should have been over by if Mr. Taylor was facing trial for what he did in Liberia or if he was going to be charge for his involvement in the Sierra Leonean war in late 1991 to April or May of 1992.

  3. Not only is the prosecution weak and has lost it case, but the entire career of Hollis, Crane, Rapp and their like have been damaged beyond repair. A single man (Taylor) standing up against all … A very big shame and disgrace. Please FREE TAYLOR, for true justice will be your portion

  4. Just because she didn’t hear Sankoh mention Taylor clearly does NOT mean that they didn’t have a relationship. I think its been established that Taylor had a relationship with Sankoh, but according to the defense not during the period of his presidency. A witness for the defense testified earlier that Taylor assisted RUF with mostly food and medecine, and a few weapons, RUF members trained on an NPFL base and some NPFL left Liberia and went to fight for RUF, is it because they just felt in their heart that a rebel group all the way in another country whom their leader had ‘no contact’ with needed assistance? Come on that makes no sense. To claim that Taylor had absolutely no contact or association with Sankoh is almost laughable.
    They had a relationship Ms. Witness you just didn’t know about. All this claims that this relationship needs to be proven is a pityful attempt to try to ignore the obvious….Taylor was very involved with the RUf he had a close relationship that is why his boys could leave and join them, that’s why he provided assistance that is why they were able to train on his camp in Gbarnga, that is why he was able to successfully get the RUF to release the the 500 peacekeepers. Taylor in his onw words said he took Bockarie who was once a comander in Sankoh’s RUF as ‘like a son’….was Bokrie like a son before or after he fell out with Sankoh…i suggest before because it takes time to develop such a close relationship with a person. This witness testiony way pointless, filled with lies and contradicted many previous defense testimonies…
    Are we supose to believe that because she didn’t hear of Taylor fro Sankoh that they didn’t have a relationship. I don’t even buy the ‘i never heard him mention Taylor act’. But even if I did. Taylor and I believe Sankoh didn’t publicize their affairs to anyone. If she was responsible for recruiting little boys for RUF that was her duty. Why would she need to be told or made aware of Sankoh relationship with another rebel leader in another country?

    1. Ms Teage,
      There have been TWO real INSIDERS….one on the prosecutors side, Pres. Moses Blah and on the defense side, Ms. Isatu Kallon aka Mammie Iyle. Both witnesses testified in the POSITIVE for Mr. Taylor. What more is there?? Bring Ms. Campbell?? Yourself is SHOCKED to the quality of witnesses Mr. Taylor has produced in this court and if he keeps bringing such like Ms. Kallon, only GOD can find him guilty.

      Stop grasping for air Ms. Holli; Ms. Hollis tried to label FOOD as assistance as in ARM is beyond HELP!!!. The prosecutors need to ask the ONLY African on their team about the CULTURE OF AFRICA. Ms. Hollis asked why didn’t Ms. Kallon go to the authority to report about NPFL eating her food and not paying?? I almost fainted!!! Who was the authority was she to go to??

      1. Cousin4
        I want to say “the hail mary” for you, but aye! I ‘m not a Catholic, so I may not say it well… but all I will say is , God Bless you for this post… BRENDA HOLLIS IS really making the prosecution team shame. Its like she did not go to law school.. Or maybe it may be some kind of piassa law school she went to…..

    2. No one has problem about C.Taylor Having relationship with Sankoh, Not even Taylor himself.
      It would be unreasonable to imagin that a president of Sierra Leone, would not know about the learders of Liberia, (leaders of all level, both democratic, revolutionists etc) a sister country not to mention Guinea. Taylor like other leaders in Liberia and Guinea, would have known and must have known that Sierra Leone was going to go to civil War due to the political and social injustice that preceeded the event. Was the War in Liberia a supprise War for Leaders? It wasn,t even for civilian not to talk about leaders.

      The point is, Taylor and Sankoh may have had a relationship but was it sufficient to have make him responsible for the crimes committed by the RUF soldiers? to what extend has C. Taylor’s relationship with the RUF leader influenced the crimes for which he is alleged to have bore the greatest responsibility? is it reasonbable enough for anyone with intellectual honesty to imagin or rather claim that C. Taylor had a command power over the RUF and her allies? Is there any legal reason to believ that C. Taylor unjustly benefited from the relationship with RUF? was it his MOTIVE and INTENTION to have benefited if he has at anytime? was his involvment due to his command/ job responsibility?

      This is a hard case for the Crown. The defendant is clearly standing but the plaintiff……?

    3. Well Ms Teage this is a court of law, the cross examination of the witness has begun so lets just see how the prosecution will do in cross examination. you can also do the prosecution a favour by detailing areas of her testimony that you think is not credible and you think should be challenged during cross exam. for now the witness is doing well in her testimony and her credibility is not in doubt untill the prosecution can show why her testimony should not be relied upon, it remains CREDIBLE.

    4. Ms. Teage,
      If you do believe that this lady is saying the truth that she was involved with the RUF to the extend she’s saying she was, while wouldn’t Sankor trust her to go and get weapons from Mr. Taylor or say to her, hey my friend Taylor in Liberia can get us more arms, go to him and get us some weapons?

  5. Msteage,
    Your post above would make good “fiction”. In law there is a saying that ” one who looks but does not see is negligent” This sums up your whole attitude towards the trial.

  6. Well Ms Teage,

    Your statement needs to apply in all cases I suppose. You said “If she was responsible for recruiting little boys for RUF that was her duty. Why would she need to be told or made aware of Sankoh relationship with another rebel leader in another country?” So you see when those Prosecution liars who were farmers and yard boys to bodyguards came here and claim to be eating human flesh with a man who was President, how could you dare think it was true? You claim that this woman would not know about the relationship between the two leaders, eventhough she was obviously very close to Sankoh; but yet these insignificant persons would have a total scoop on Mr Taylor’s activiites and even his thoughts right? Doesn’t this strike you as odd? Oh I forgot, whenever it has to do with Mr Taylor it must be bad in your books!

    Why is it that you criticize every defence witness without reason despite the fact that all of their testimonies are similar and all supported by facts as presented by the defence; but yet ready to believe the incredulous lies and outrageous fantasies as postulated by the prosecution so-called witnesses? I guess it is called BIAS. I understand you just cannot accept the fact that the prosecution case just does not hold any water.

    You will just have to accept the inevitable. These things just did not happen.

  7. I enjoyed all the post with Ms. Teage at the beginning but my opinion stays the same.
    Firstly I do not need to provide evidence for anything….im not sure if you all understand that this is a blogg where people express their opinions, not defende…ill leave the defending of opinions to the defense and the prosecution….or once you all start providing ‘evidence’ to prove your opinion maybe I’ll consider doing the same. But since we all know that’s not going to happen STOP ‘beating a dead horse’. I’m not here to agree with the popular opinion or join Taylorist as there are ALWAYS two sides to a coin. I DO not share the same opinions of Taylor as you all do. Not based solely on my ‘feelings’ but on the evidence and testimonies provided both by the defense and prosecution.
    Speaking of the defense. This witness does not appear to be a credible witness she is in the company of NPFL way too often is ‘indirectly’ feeding/’assisting’ NPFL rebels fleeing with them and she doesn’t hear anything about Taylor. I believe she’s lying that she knew and still knows that Taylor and Sankoh were budies and is purposely omitting this fact out of her testimony. This is reflected even more in the cross examination by the prosecution. She seems to be another ‘let Taylor off at all cost’. Somebody wanted to know why the prosecution didn’t cross examine her for long it period because there was no need to. If this witness was rock solid and appeared and the prosecution though the judge saw that, and the prosecution didn’t agree with her testiony they would have examined her longer to dive deeper into testiony and discredit it. But there wasn’t much substance just Blatant lies so why waste time.
    Come on are we still trying to change Ms.Teages mind? LOL interesting.

  8. The other side of the coin here Ms Teage is that the prosecution could not examine this lady very much because she was very credible and it would have hurt them more to have examine her. This woman is featured very prominantle in the SL TRC report and in all records of the peace conferences in SL. She is not some push over. She has a lot of solid foundation.

    So to answer your last statement about people trying to change your mind, I do not thingk that is the object here at all. Like you we are expressing our views and opinions which is in sharp contrast to yours. However unlike you we are not inflexible and blinded to the reality regardless of how pellucid it is. You see trying to change your mind would be a waste of time. For some people, when they have more information about the other side of things they do change their minds. We would be ambitious in thinking you are one of those. You were clear that you did not like the man from the onset, so it doesn’t matter even if Christ himself testified here in Taylor’s favour, you would say he was lying and that he was not a credible witness. Very funny indeed1

    Remember though it is “the wise man who changes his mind”!

  9. Ms.Teage and Helen,
    This deliberation is great; keep up the good job girls….. I actually enjoyed both sides of the argument eventhough I think Helen won..

  10. Ofcourse you do…. Noko5……no suprise….LMBO.. Your comment actually gave me the giggles you’ll b glad to know….
    -cheers 🙂

Comments are closed.