AFRC Leader Johnny Paul Koroma Did Not Have Any Communications With Chares Taylor, Issa Sesay Testifies

The leader of the military junta that ruled Sierra Leone from May 1997 to February 1998 did not have any communications with Charles Taylor, former interim rebel leader Issa Hassan Sesay told Special Court for Sierra Leone judges in The Hague today.

Prosecutors have alleged that when members of the Sierra Leone army overthrew the democratic government of Sierra Leone and teamed up with Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels to form the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) regime in 1997, the regime’s leader, Johnny Paul Koroma had communications with Mr. Taylor, during which time Mr. Taylor gave advise to Mr. Koroma and assured the AFRC junta regime of his assistance. Today, Mr. Sesay, who was a senior RUF commander and member of the AFRC’s highest decision maknig body, the Supreme Council denied these claims, telling the judges that there was no contact between the two men.

“Did Johnny Paul Koroma ever indicate to you or the Council [AFRC Supreme Council] that he was in telephone contact with Charles Taylor,” lead counsel for Mr. Taylor, Courtenay Griffiths asked Mr. Taylor today.

“No. Johnny Paul never indicated to the Council that he was in contact with Charles Taylor,” Mr. Sesay responded.

Mr. Sesay denied claims that Mr. Koroma sought advise from Mr. Taylor after allegations surfaced that AFRC and RUF fighters, including Mr. Sesay himself had looted the Iranina embassy in Freetown. A previous prosecution witness testified in 2008 that after the said incident, Mr. Koroma had informed Mr. Taylor and that the former Liberian president advised Mr. Koroma to set up a board of inquiry to investigate the incident and punish all those responsible. Today, Mr. Sesay said that while it is true that a board of inquiry was set up to look into the incident, such advise did not come from Mr. Taylor.

“Now Mr. Sesay, as far as you are aware, did Johnny Paul contact Mr. Taylor about this incident?” Mr. Griffiths asked Mr. Sesay.

In response, Mr. Sesay said that “No. Not at all. He did not contact Mr. Taylor concerning this incident.”

Mr. Sesay explained that while the board of inquiry was set indeed up, he was not subjected to any investigations after he had been originally asked about the incident by AFRC leader Mr. Koroma. He said that he was, however, suspended from the Supreme Council and he did not attend council meetings anymore.

According to Mr. Sesay, claims that AFRC leader Mr. Koroma sent a delegation led by former Chairman of the RUF War Council SYB Rogers to meet with Mr. Taylor in Liberia are false. He said that such an issue was never discussed in Liberia and that Mr. Rogers never travelled to Liberia during the AFRC’s reign in Sierra Leone from 1997 to 1998.

“I never heard of such a discussion in a council meeting and throughout the AFRC, Pa Rogers never went to Monrovia. I knew of Pa Rogers taking a delegation to Abidjan but he never went to Monrovia,”Mr. Sesay told the court.

Mr. Sesay further refutted claims that AFRC leader Mr. Koroma sent a delegation to Liberia, led by RUF commander Mike Lamin to obtain arms and ammunition. A previous prosecution witness testified that since the AFRC did not have money, they had given diamonds to Mr. Lamin to deliver to Mr. Taylor in exchange for the arms and ammunition.

“During the AFRC, Mike Lamin did not go to Monrovia. Johnny Paul did not send Mike Lamin to Monrovia,” Mr. Sesay said.

When asked whether he recalled “any occassion when Mike Lamin took diamonds to Monrovia,” Mr. Sesay said “No.”

“That did not happen,” he said.

When asked again whether the Supreme Council ever put a delegation together to obtain arms and ammunition from Liberia, Mr. Sesay said “No, i never heard that in a council meeting.”

“I did not know of a delegation sent to Liberia by Johnny Paul, i did not know, i did not hear about it and infact it did not happen.” Mr. Sesay added.

According to a previous prosecution witness, when the AFRC regime was forced out of power by West African peacekeepers in 1998, Mr. Koroma informed those present that he had spoken to Mr. Taylor who was going to send a helicopter to trasport him from Sierra Leone. Mr. Sesay said today that this did not happen.

“Johnny Paul did not tell me that,” Mr. Sesay said.

“What Johnny Paul told us was that he had spoken to Sam Bockarie and that he had told Sam Bockarie that he would go to Kailahun,” He added.

Mr. Sesay also denied other prosecution cliams including that Mr. Taylor sent men to Sierra Leone to repair a heavy artillary weapon that was captured by RUF rebels from West African peacekeepers, and that Mr. Taylor had been in radio communication with RUF commanders in Sierra Leone. According to Mr. Sesay, he never saw Mr. Taylor’s name in the log books in which radio communications were recorded by the RUF.

Mr. Taylor’s testimony continues on Monday.


  1. Hi All
    Few concerns: How and when did Mr. Johnny Paul Koroma come in contect with Former President Taylor?
    Did Taylor plan the take over by JPK in Sierra Leone?

  2. “Mr. Sesay explained that while the board of inquiry was set indeed up, he was not subjected to any investigations after he had been originally asked about the incident by AFRC leader Mr. Koroma. He said that he was, however, suspended from the Supreme Council and he did not attend council meetings anymore”
    From the above statement by the notorious killer and now a prisoner serving 52 years jail sentense shows how inconsistence his evidences are. He continue to deny communication taking place between Johny Paul Koroma and Charles Taylor and he is also refuting allegations about the travel of AFRC/RUF delegates to Monrovia. Now can Issa Sesay tell the court and the world at large about incidents that took place at supreme council meeting when he was finally suspend from that highest decission making body until when ECOMOG took them off?
    Judges please take note of incidents that took place from the time this killer was suspended until they were kicked out of power.
    The denial of Issa Sesay to the attack of Frretown on January 6th. 1999 been a whole decission by rebel soldiers alone without RUF involvement is another assasination of truth and justice. The attack on Free town was a coallition of AFRC/RUF plan. Isatu kallon alias Isatu CUT HAND was among the attackers of the city and this Isatu Kallon was a high profile RUF member. Issa Sesay is a condemed man in the world and the here after for even the supreme of all creation will never forgive him. He is a total losser of his body and soul and nothing can save him whether he speaks the truth or not. Therefore he will continue to deny to his body and soul as he has done formerly on his own defense.
    Upon their planned attack on the city, their first target was Pademba road maximum prison to free their leader but unfortunately for them the then army chief of staff, Maxwel Khobe, Nigerian born had an intelligent report of this plan who wasted no time but to remove Foday sankoh to another unidentified location. How can rebel soldiers target the freedom of a rebel leader by breaking through pademba road prison only to free hard-core criminals to their dismay that, foday sankoh was not in?
    Issa Sesay, can you please comment on the statement made by Charles Taylor in 2000/01, that goverment should only consolidate the areas under their control and leave RUF under their control ares of which 75% of the land was under RUF control? This resulted to the arrest of 500 UN peace keeper that you RUF took to LIBERIA. IT was not in Sierra Leone territory that these UN peace keepers were release but the territory of Liberia.
    These are some clear manifestations to see the double standard role CT was playing in Sierra Leone as that of the double standard role of the USA in world politics. While CT was fooling people as an innocent man,he was doing his dubious acts just as Amerca support Israel militerily to destablise Palestine, yet they hypocrectly at times condem Israel for over excesses. If you don’t want them to go beyond bound then why support them with military technology and hardware?
    This is what CT did in Sierra Leone, therefore he should be ready to pay the price for it.

    1. Fuad,
      I believe you need to go and RE READ his testimony on that subject before throwing stones.

    1. Ken Good question for Alpha/Tracey.

      quote from Last paragraph from above: “Mr. Taylor’s testimony continues on Monday.”

    2. Ken,
      No he is not but I will want to believe that option will be there after Ms. Campbell testify and given what her response will be.

  3. this charles taylor trial has gone on for awhile now. some times i wonder whether the prosecutor has all its evident to put the man behind bars. something tells me that there are no sufficient evident to put him behind bars. while all this is going on, millions of dollars have been pump into the case. i suggest that the international community take the necessary path for an aquittal.

    1. Koiwood,
      Not that the prosecutors don’t have SUFFICIENT EVIDENCES…..they DO NOT a SINGLE PIECE OF EVIDENCE based on the MANDATE of this court to even move this case beyond today. Their goal is to just prolong this case hopeing A MIRACLE will happen.

    1. Bas,
      When was that letter send is the UNDERLINE issue….before or after?? According to you, “AFTER”. What was Mr. Taylor response??? Nope, what was his response??

      No one is saying there wasn’t a contact but when??? Do you know because Mr. Taylor response, Mr. Koroma USED the Liberian Embassy in Guinea to contact Mr. Sherriff aka THE INSIDER for arms?? You know why he was asked for arm?? He, Mr. Sherriff, as a GENERAL in Ulimo K, controlled the border between Sierra Leone and Liberia…

      Please RE READ the evidences placed before the judges pertaining to this matter I beg.

      1. Dear Noko4,

        Paper does not lie, people to do that. Compulsive lying, making yourself ‘look’ better then you really are. I would lie if I were in Taylor shoes, who wants to go to jail and have the key thrown away.

        Of course Taylor has still plenty of supporters, people who benefited more when he was still President. Look at Liberia now, look at its development, do you want to go back in time?

        But didn’t Taylor have his own plan for Liberia, called plan 2024, because then he would be longer President as Tubman. That was his aim, looks to me more like a dictatorship then free and fair elections.

        You can beg what you want, you can have your opinion, but I have mine as well.

        1. Bas,
          Again, when was the letter written?? According to you, it was written “AFTER”…so we move forward, what was Mr. Taylor’s response?? The answer HE DID NOT RESPONSE!!!! That’s the evidence put in this court.

          Please DO NOT mix up the Sierra Leone with Liberia….he is on trial for what the prosecutors said were his involvements in Sierra Leone…this case got ZERO according to the prosecutors with Liberia, so I ask that we finish up Sierra Leone then we can deal with Liberia…..a deal??

          And for your information, we, who advocate for TRUE JUSTICE, are NOT supporters of Mr. Taylor but simply looking at the evidences put forth, and so far, THIHGS ARE NOT ADDING YOU….we have yet to see a SINGLE PIECE OF CREDITBLE EVIDENCE….something that is SIGNED, SEALED and BANNED!!!

        2. @ Bas
          (LIBERIAN HISS!!!!!!!!!!!!) Let me hear my ear. Even children learn at an early age that you can NOT believe everything you read.
          The link you are referring to seems to be more fiction than fact. It is lacking in several key areas. First, it omits the role of the western countries. More importantly, it is NOT believable.
          Earlier, someone made a point about, if CT had arms, millions upon billions of dollars, why was he unable to defeat his challengers?
          Moreover, are we going to allow the world to place conflict in front of all African resources to justify keeping our countries in their place? Conflict diamond, now timber, what is next? conflict coffee? I beg you,get your head out of the sand box!
          The Tubamn era was a great time for Liberia, even you can’t deny that fact.

    2. Bas,

      Great research on your part but it’s all calculated lies that has already been put forth in this present court and can’t even stand. I was eager to find the letter you refer to, after reading the letter, it was the funniest evidence I’ve seen so far. Without going into details, I wonder why will Koroma write such an appeal when he was already getting help according to the indictment. Why will Koroma write such a letter to Taylor when according to the prosecution case, it was Taylor who send them. Why will someone send a person on a mission, and the same person will write such an introductory piece of appealing letter? Bro, please come back with a better research, we’ve seen it all!!!!!

      1. Dear GreBo
        i did not do that research, i have read this document back in 2004 when it was just released. A lot of intellectual people have done that over the years and presented based on documents and witnesses a report of their few of likely scenarios. Yes, details might be incorrect, but you know those things are calculated as well when judgements are made, decisions are taken. The big line is at stake here, someone who had a helicopter view over the whole situation during those years and yes that was Taylor.

        I am positive about the outcome of this trial as it can and will only be one possible decision available to the judges of the court. These judges are capable enough to make a sound and well based decision based on the evidence of the prosecution and what the defence brought to the tables.

        I must admit I am really looking forward as to what Ms Campbell and friends will add to this case. It will probably be confirmation of what we all know already 😉

    3. Whenever one read a comment about africa politics prepared by a western organisation,regardless whether it got UN backing or not.Before absorbing these imformation as a statement of fact it best to think of the mischieve the document intends to cause!!!!

  4. Bas
    Please tell us the real evidence that your letter produced? Where is it? We want to see it? Are those lies about Taylor involvement with arms deal you referring to? If Taylor was that powerful and had all the means of getting arms, do you think the LURD and MODEL rebels would have reached Monrovia? Do you think in the early 90s that ULIMOS, LPC, Black Berets and all the other anti-Taylor forces would have captured territories from Taylor?

    Taylor only problem was the lack of war materials but not the human resources and human will to fight on. If Taylor had war materials, he would still be sitting in Liberia as president because his soldiers were loyal and committed to their leader. We were victims of the Liberian bloodbath and we know what when down. All these Global Witness reports are deception to front for criminal multi national companies. They are paid to lie on Charles Taylor. Never again will some of us take these international socalled human rights groups serious. Because , they were never interested in human rights but exploitation of Liberia.

    Sierra Leone sponsored war against Liberia but no one is talking about it, Guinea sponsored war against Liberia and no one is talking about it. What kind of human rights is that ?

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