Issa Sesay Denies That The RUF Was Created And Supported By Charles Taylor

As the cross-examination of Charles Taylor’s 19th defense witness moves into a second week, prosecutors today put to Issa Hassan Sesay that Sierra Leone’s main rebel group was created and supported by Mr. Taylor, an assertion that the witness disputed.

Prosecutors have maintained that the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) was created with substantial support from Mr. Taylor.  In addition, prosecutors allege the former president, while he served as leader of his own rebel group, the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), helped train RUF fighters in Sierra Leone and equipped them to invade Sierra Leone in March 1991. Prosecutors further accuse Mr. Taylor of meeting RUF leader Foday Sankoh in Libya, and the two men planned the invasion of Liberia and Sierra Leone respectively. Mr. Taylor has denied these allegations.

“You know that the RUF was created with the acquiescence and support of Charles Taylor,” prosecution counsel Nicholas Koumjian stated to Mr. Sesay today.

“Well, I cannot explain because I was not there when Mr. Sankoh and Mr. Taylor discussed,” Mr. Sesay responded.

“Most of the RUF fighters I knew at the base [camp where RUF fighters were trained], it was Pa Kallon [Senior adviser to Mr. Sankoh] who took them to the base,” he added.

Mr. Koumjian today read several testimonies from previous witnesses before the Special Court for Sierra Leone in Freetown that explained how the RUF recruited fighters in Liberia. According to Mr. Koumjian, RUF fighters were recruited from among people who had been arrested by NPFL rebels in Liberia. One of the testimonies read in court today was that of Morris Kallon, a former RUF commander who, like Mr. Sesay, has been convicted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone judges in Freetown for his role in the Sierra Leonean conflict and is presently serving a 40 year jail sentence in Rwanda. Mr. Kallon explained in his testimony that RUF leaders removed him from the custody of NPFL fighters and took him to the training base at Camp Naama in Liberia. Prosecutors say that such a recruitment drive and training by the RUF inside NPFL territory could not have happened without Mr. Taylor’s knowledge.

Mr. Taylor has denied knowledge of any such activities. When asked about these allegations, Mr. Sesay also told the court that he had no idea that the RUF had recruited fighters from NPFL controlled areas and that Mr. Taylor did not provide any support to the RUF while they underwent training at Camp Naama.

“It was obvious to you that the RUF was created and supported by Charles Taylor, but you just don’t want to say that because you are here to protect Charles Taylor,” Mr. Koumjian told Mr. Sesay.

“No. That is not true. It was Mr. Sankoh who created the RUF. It was Mr. Sankoh who trained the RUF, and he used to tell us that he was supported by his brother Pa Kallon and Pa Kallon told us the same thing at Pendembu,” Mr. Sesay said.

“Mr. Sesay, you are clever, it’s clear to you that none of this could have  been done without the consent of Charles Taylor,” Mr. Koumjian put to Mr. Sesay again.

In response, Mr. Sesay said, “Well, if you assess it that way, but I have to believe what Mr. Sankoh told me…but Mr. Sankoh did not tell me that he had links with Mr. Taylor…according to him, he was Mr. Taylor’s friend and he was responsible for his own revolution.”

Mr. Sesay’s account of how and where Mr. Taylor and Mr. Sankoh met, however, contradicted what Mr. Taylor told the court in his testimony in 2009. According to Mr. Taylor, he never met Mr. Sankohin Libya. Mr. Taylor explained in his testimony that when United Liberation Movement for Democracy in Liberia (ULIMO) rebels started attacking the NPFL withsupport from the government of Sierra Leone, he asked to meet the leader of the RUF because he realized the need to collaborate with the RUF to curtail attacks from ULIMO and the Sierra Leone government. Mr. Taylor said that was the first time he met Mr. Sankoh. Mr. Sesay today gave a different story.

When asked to tell the court what Mr. Sankoh told him about how he met Mr. Taylor, Mr. Sesay said, “According to Mr. Sankoh, he said he met Mr. Taylor in Libya and later in Liberia because Mr. Sankoh and his men were also training in Libya.”

Mr. Sesay, however, added, “Mr. Sankoh told us that he was not the leader in Libya, it was Allie Kabbah who was the leader.”

Before the RUF invasion of Sierra Leone in 1991, Mr. Sankoh made a satellite phone call to the BBC where he announced that the RUF will invade Sierra Leone in 90 days if the country’s then leader, Joseph Saidu Momoh, did not step down as president. While Mr. Sesay admitted that Mr. Sankohdid not have a satellite phone at this time, he said he could not tell whether the RUF leader had used the satellite phone that Mr. Taylor was using at that time to communicate with the international media.

When asked whether “Foday Sankoh’s threat, the 90 day ultimatum, was made on Charles Taylor’s satellite phone,” Mr. Sesay said, “I don’t know that.”

Mr. Sesay agreed that the RUF invasion in Sierra Leone was moved to an earlier date in March 1991 because of border clashes that took place between NPFL fighters and Sierra Leone Army (SLA) forces in Bomaru, eastern Sierra Leone. When these clashes between the NPFL and the SLA occurred, the RUF used that opportunity to immediately invade Sierra Leone, Mr. Sesay said. He explained that Mr. Sankoh and other NPFL commanders, including Anthony Menkunagbe and Oliver Varney, brought four trucks that were used to transport RUF fighters from Camp Naama to the Sierra Leone-Liberian border where they entered Bomaru.

Mr. Koumjian also tried to impeach Mr. Sesay’s credibility by pointing out that he lied to the court when he testified that the RUF did not use children under 15 years of age for combat purposes or that the RUF did not force civilians to work in diamond mines.

Mr. Sesay’s cross-examination continues on Tuesday.


  1. I would like to congratulate Ms Campbell for speaking the truth. The alleged five hundred thousands dollars apparently back fired. Ms Campbell told the prosecution to take their money and shove it.

    Ms Campbell, White and Farrow testimonies have no significant barring on this trial what so ever. As a matter of fact, the testimonies of those three witnesses were in favor of the defense rather than the prosecution. The prosecution summons her own witness (Ms Campbell) and then tried to impeach her testimony. Ms Campbell was the source of the evidence. How can the prosecution separate the head of the snake from the body? Furthermore, Campbell, White and Farrow had their own version of the story. Farrows testified it was a huge diamond, (maybe Farrow got her huge diamond from watching the movie Blood Diamond, suggested by Justice Lussick) White testified it was between five and six stones and Campbell testified three or four stones. Consequently, there were inconsistencies amongst the prosecution three witnesses. “Total Nonsense”

    CNN, last week has been reporting on the trial, but what really blew my mind was the manner in which the reporting was done. In all of CNN reporting there were two or more so-called analysts representing the prosecution, nobody directly represented the defense. As a matter of fact, yesterday August 15, CNN had a gang of four pro prosecution analysts; one of them referred to Ms Campbell as liar and a damn shame for her (Ms Campbell) to lie under oath. At the end of the segment the moderator stated that the entire trial is confusing. The only thing that is confusing about this trial is the prosecution had failed to prove her case, and there was no reason in the first place for this case to have come forward.

    Responding to the gang of four white male on CNN, what actually is a damn shame is for four older white supremacists discrediting a black woman’s testimony. Many people tend to believed what they hear on the news. For those Jim Crow, racists to openly insult a black woman on international television goes to show how some white still believed that Blacks are still inferior to White and whatever comes out of the mouth of a white person is the truth and whatever comes out of the mouth of black person is a lie. Why isn’t it possible that White and Farrow could be or are actually the ones who are lying?

    Henceforth, if CNN can not have a fair and balance reporting on the trial, (someone who is willing, ready and able to equally represent the defense on CNN) it will be best if CNN resist from reporting on the trial.

    1. It never ceases to amaze me the extent to which some people will continue to play the race card as long as it suites their interests. To complain about the media’s coverage of the Taylor trial is one thing, but to call such coverage racist oversimplifies the complexities of the trial and discourages critical reflection of the issues. Because I am able to think for myself, I don’t pay much attention to analysts.

      1. Pavivy,

        I am very proud of you that you don’t “pay much attention” to the crap those analysts be saying. But, please don’t under estimate the power of the media. Many people, if not most tend to believe what they read in the papers and what they hear and see on television.

        If everybody were like you, this would have been a perfect world.

      2. @ Paivy

        I agree that focusing on the skin color of the witness does leave critical reflection wanting. However, people are overwhelmingly influenced by the media.
        By the by, what do you think, if at all, the media could or should do differently regarding covering this trial?

        1. Cen,
          They should report the TRUTH and they should be OBJECTIVE. Just imagine the type of coverage the Naomi Campbell testimony generated and the type of twisted facts that were reported about the case. One would even be led to believe that Naomi Campbell was a defence witness instead of a prosecution witness simply because the told the world the truth about the source of the diamonds she received.

  2. Koumjian is having a hard time cracking Issa Sesay. He seems to only be putting propositions to Mr. Sesay without any hard facts.

      1. King Gray, you are yet to put up a Ytube video on cannibalism amongt child soldiers of Liberia, you are very awared, exist! Why being selective in your efforts to exhonarate taylor in dishonest manners? Go on ytube and fine what I am talking about.Nothing I see will undo the damaged you all and Issa have caused taylor’s chances of freedom to return and rule NPFL, because there is no possibility of ruling Liberia, except jfallamenjor is not in existence!

  3. According to Mr. Issa Sesay, he was originally an involuntary participant in the war in Sierra Leone (the prosecution assumably agreed); who after indoctrination, surrendered, excelled to the top leadership, and was responsible for disarmament of the RUF. See testimony of August 16, 2010.

    Mr. Issa Sesay is just as much a victim as any child soldier that was forced to fight in the conflict of Sierra Leone; whether such force came from the RUF or Sierra Leone government. The murder or rape by children soldiers is in no way less severe than the acts of an adult forced to participate in the war.

    I believe it would be an honorable action if Mr. Taylor’s Lead Counsel Courtenay Griffiths would provide Pro Bono services for Mr. Issa Sesay; since he obviously did not receive effective assistance of counsel.

    As difficult as it is to forgive the wrongs committed upon us, it is less complicated to forgive someone that was forced to act.

    1. Sekou

      From our previous encounter, I can admit you are a talented individual when it come to making your point. It is sad that Mr. Sesay had to choose to kill or be killed but the most devastating part, is he chose to kill and in the process he lost a part of his soul. He became the same individual whom gave him the “solider or victim” option (is that sad or ironic?). You might see him as a victim. I see your victim as, an individual whom “played with the cards he was dealt” and realized/assumed he had found his calling.

      1. Dear Al-Solo Nyonteh,

        I will say that it is sad, as well, ironic, that Issa Sesay is in this predicament; which makes him no different than those he forced to commit acts of war. I read his first statement to the prosecution, and he cried when asked about him children. But when you are forced to do anything, it was done without your own volition, and as long as those fears remain with you, you are controlled by external forces. His initial captures in my opinion are responsible for his actions up and until he disarmed the RUF.

        Yes, it is sad.

        Take care

  4. Excellenct job,Mr. Koumjian! These contradictions by Charles Taylor and his own witnesses, are creating an avalanche, that will eventually bury this accused Charles Taylor.My question to the general readership is : What is the strategic gains by having an accused to testified in has own behalf as the first witness, and did someone dropped the ball here?

    1. Ziggy Silas,
      According to the rules of the Special Court. If an accused is going to testify on his own behalf. He must be the first person from the defense side to give evidence. This I believe follows the United Kingdom version of procedures.

  5. This is a very interesting piece and I want to share: “When these clashes between the NPFL and the SLA occurred, the RUF used that opportunity to immediately invade Sierra Leone, Mr. Sesay said. He explained that Mr. Sankoh and other NPFL commanders, including Anthony Menkunagbe and Oliver Varney, brought four trucks that were used to transport RUF fighters from Camp Naama to the Sierra Leone-Liberian border where they entered Bomaru.” Is this not clear indication that, in fact, at the on set of the conflict of Sierra Leone, Liberia was involved and directely linked to RUF? What other proof do we need here? Come on and stop all these shameless denials and blantant lies thart have become part of a culture of these dispecable set of individuals who destroyed their own people and now finger pointing! RUF trained in Naama,taylor’s backyard, without his knowledge. Invasion of Sierra Leone, according to RUF and NPFL spokes person, Issa, started in Liberia’s RUF training Base To the Border, and yet taylor had no knowledge. Who this low class rebel is trying to fool ? Thank God we are rounding them up one by one. These guys do not deserve to live among free men! Now, my question is; Who the heck provided Sanko with 4 trucks that tranported these miserable rag-tags stoned on drugs to start the murders of the people of Sierra Leone? Come on associates, I need your immediate response and not all that “show me the proof,” nonsense I hear daily!

    1. J. fallah menjor,
      Anthony Menkunagbe and Oliver Varney were tried, convicted and executed for treason by their own organization the NPFL. Do you really known their reasons for helping the RUF in their invasion of SL. Who was the commander of Camp Naama when Sankoh was training his men? Anthony Menkunagbe and Oliver Varney were friends with Sankoh from the time they met in Libya where they was training as combat solider. Who really knows what plans the three made concerning their agendas?

      1. Ken,
        That’s a joke, those men were tried by whom, in what judicial jurisdiction, who handed down the sentence. Are we now comparing a defunct lawless raping murdering cannabalistic practicing rebel faction to some military group? News flash NPFL was a rebel group, not a military faction of Liberia, they had no judicial authority, to put anyone on ‘trail’ convict or execute them!!! Prince Johnson shot and killed some of his people for killing civilians, and killed others for looting, and stealing are you going to tell me that Johnson was a humane individual concerned with the violations of human rights taking place with INPFL! Johnson was a wicked man he committed some of the most heinous crimes in Liberia, he killed many civilians HIMSELF, yet he was playing, ‘Judge, Jury & Executioner. Murdering young boys for crimes the committed while they were high off of the drugs and booze, he, Johnson, had provided them. There was code of conduct when it came to the war in Liberia, Taylor had to guidelines, he did whatever his wicked heart desired. When confronted with video of his very same NPFL boys many younger then 18 cutting the heart of a LURD soldier out of his chest, Taylor said that war is was not ‘humane’ and that horrible things usually happens during war. He, Taylor did not denounce it as a disgusting despicable act that NPFL did not support, but instead casually made excuse for the actions of his boys.
        This Ken is the leader the SCSL is speaking of. Not some man who is concerned with justice and peace and humanity! I can’t believe that you are actually trying to paint Taylor as someone concerned with Justice in Liberia, and could have never supported RUF or any NPFL general who did. Luckily we were all in Liberia well most of us bloggers and even if we were really young we still remember the real Taylor.
        Yeaton stole a boat load of weapons and sold it to RUF when NPFL barely had any weapons, no execution there huh…. I see, I guess all the trouble in NPFL were the fault of the dead guys who are not here.

        1. @ Ms. Teague

          Interesting, I can almost hear your pain. By the by, what historical account can you provide or opinion regarding Samuel Doe’s reign over Liberia?
          In fact, isn’t it true that both Johnson and Taylor initially started out to rid Liberia of Samuel Doe? If you know or care to illuminate this issue?

        2. Ms. Teage,
          You can paint the NPFL anyway you want but the fact remain that Anthony Menkunagbe and Oliver Varney were tried, convicted and executed for treason by their own organization the NPFL.

        3. @Ms Teage
          You continue to be a welcomed breath of coherent, rational and lucid comments.
          As Always Wadi ‘The Zima’

        4. Ms. Teage,
          Just to help a little,cuz I was there, Liberia had two recognized goverments at the time; DE NPRAG and IGNU….The constitution of Liberia was in place on both sides…

      2. Okay, Ken, according to you,” Anthony Menkunagbe and Oliver Varney were friends with Sankoh from the time they met in Libya where they was training as combat solider. Who really knows what plans the three made concerning their agendas?” Doesn’t that, in fact support the Prosecution’s theory; that this friendship amongst these comrades; taylor,sankoh, anthony menkunagbe, and oliver varney, must have further being cemented in their plans to distablize, intimidate, and rule both nations, where they support each other whenever necessary, as seen in their behavior here, and your own buying, unconciously, into it? You all must have either participated, and now pretend to have not, or you miss this lawlessness and extreme wickedness that visited upon the peace loving peoples of Sierra Leone and Liberia that you personally benefited from! I won’t ever trust any of you near my daughters and sons! You will never repent just like taylor!

        1. J. fallah menjor,
          Anthony Menkunagbe and Oliver Varney were friends with Sankoh from the time they met in Libya where they was training as combat solider. Who really knows what plans the three made concerning their agendas?

  6. We are yet to see the smoking gun! Mr Koumjian Can you get to the point quickly? we want you to show us that Issa Sesay lied when he said that he did not give diamonds to Charles Taylor. We want to see delivery notes or reciepts of the transaction. we want to see linkage evidence.

    1. Sam, maybe you did not read my posting to one of your August 15, 2010 at 3:14 am, J. fallah menjor said: General Jacone, you are back again with your “show me proof arguements” and no substance. I think Alpha Amadou Jalloh puts it simple and clear for lay men on this forum who find it difficult to put one and one together in analysing taylor’s crimes in the entire West African Region. most of you who claim and are hiding behind citizeships of Liberia seem to be the biggest liars on this site. you wouldn’t possibly be Liberians if you did not experienced any of those atrocities carried against the people of these regions except if you were close associates and part of these crimes and lived in areas particularly secured for the few Generals such as Jacone, or Jose Rodriguez,AKA General Fix It! How dear you call Amadou Jaloh a Malian? Because of his name? That is why i feel you guys who seem to have earned your Liberian Citizenships from else where are not only naive, but very insecured about proof of citizeship whenever you have nothing to offer to the debate. Are you guys worried that we wil disrobe you too after taylor falls! I believe this is the fear amongst you guys! Keep writing Amadou and Fallah stands by your great thoughtful presentation without fear of these “bullies.”

    2. sam

      Mr. Sesay is the smoking gun but fortunate for Mr. Taylor the rules and procedures of the SCSL is helping him dodge the fetal bullets Mr. Sesay have already shot in the course of his own trail. The prosecution should have subpoenaed Mr. Sesay as a prosecution witness to help proved their version of Mr. Taylor’s motive. The poof you are talking about exist. Mr. Sesay admitted on record/under oath, he gave Mr. Taylor diamonds 12 times (refer to Mr. Sesay testimony per page 46256 line 29 and page 46257 line 1) but due to the fact that the prosecution have already closed its case, the new evidence can not be heard (direct your attention to August 13, 2010 read page 46255 line 22 through lines 29 and page 46256 lines 1 & 2.). Proof is not a good augment because it came out the mouth of an individual whom gave Mr. Taylor the diamonds. Please stick to the “Mr. Sesay was misinterpreted card” because it’s more logical. The only problem Mr. Taylor is facing is, this is not a jury trail and the judges are privileged to the evidence the a jury would not see nor hear, due to an ruling. This gives the prosecution a hidden advantage because the defense only gets to argue about the submittal of the evidence and do not get a chance to punch wholes in the evidence or state their version of the flawlessness of the evidence. I understand the judge have a professional obligation, but I think certain interactionencounter with reliable information can and will slightly manipulate their decision process.

      1. Dear Al-Solo Nyonteh,

        Your assessment of the trial court’s opinion is off point. Even if Mr. Taylor was being tried by a jury (though he is being tried by a panel of three judges) inadmissible evidence is prohibited.

        I think this point is set out rather clearly by Judge Lussick at Page 46255 Line 10 to Page 46256 Line 1

        JUDGE LUSSICK: Mr Koumjian, this is a unanimous decision. Now, we would have no objection to the pages of the document that you’ve indicated being put to the witness if the material put to him simply went to the fact that it’s a prior inconsistent statement, inconsistent, that is, with his prior testimony – with his current testimony. But the material very clearly goes to proof of guilt of the accused.

        Now, we’re aware of the way in which it was obtained and I think the application you referred to earlier sets out the details of how it was obtained involuntarily from the witness and adjudicated by Trial Chamber I to have been so involuntarily obtained.

        Now, because it does go to the – the material does go to the proof of guilt of the accused, we’re of the view, as we have expressed in our decision of 30 November 2009, that such material would not be in the interests of justice to be used against the accused by cross-examining this witness on that material. It also, in our view, would violate the fair trial rights of the accused.

        And, so, Mr Koumjian, we rule in the document, or the parts of the document you’ve indicated, cannot be used in cross-examination of this witness.

        The zest of this ruling by Judge Lussick, is the information; “was obtained involuntarily from the witness and adjudicated by Trial Chamber I to have been so involuntarily obtained.” In other words, it is [Res judicata]. See link:

        Issa Sesay was forced to incriminate himself in his trial; that should have been a reversible error.

        1. Sekou thanks for giving that well informed reply to Al-Solo. There is no need for me to reply now. However I wish to state that the prosecuition has submitted a motion seeking leave of the trial chamber to appeal the decision and we are waiting for the reply from the defence to the prosecution motion and the eventual ruling of the chamber on the application. However, if the prosecution insists on using the interview notes, they must be ready for a voir dire (Trial-within-a-trial) to determine the circumstances under which those statements were taken because the defence will vehemently resist the unmitigated use of the documents without challenging the illegality exhibited by the prosecution when the statements were obtained.

        2. Sekou

          You are talking about two separate occasion. One was the interview of March 10, 2003 of Mr. Sesay with investigators from the SC prosecution offices. This is the application the judges are indicating that the information was involuntary obtained. That does not hide the fact that on May, 10 2007 Mr. Sesay testified (to my understanding) that Sam Bockarie sent him to Monrovia with a package of diamonds to purchase ammunition from Mr. Taylor for the RUF (which was never received and Mr. Sesay got sent to the front line). Mr. Sesay judges deemed it factual and legal findings. Since the prosecution did not use this information in the presentation of their case, they can’t use it in cross examination because it points to the guilt of Mr. Taylor (this is my understanding of the ruling). I think Mr. Sesay was selling out every body in an attempt to reserve his freedom but down the line, he had a change of heart and when he saw how well Mr. Taylor case was going, freedom bell started ringing in his head. Mr. Sesay failed to realize that the legal system is a game best played by masters and not flunkies.

  7. Tracey & Alpha,

    Giving the evidence we’ve heard to date in this trial’ is’nt it right to say the Special Court For Sierra Leone and its sponsors should also be looking to indict some other african leaders from the following countries who were in power at the time of the war in sierra leone…THE LIBYAN LEADER,THE LEADER OF IVORY COAST,THE PRESIDENT OF BURKINA FASO?

    According to most of the RUF members witnesses testimonies, the assistant they had received in this joint enterprise came from the leaders of the countries mentioned above.Or are they all just lying to protect Charles Taylor

    Please help me on this guys?

    1. I agree with you fully, Cee. And after the leaders you’ve mentioned above face justice for their roles in the Sierra Leone conflict, they should then face justice for their roles in the Liberian conflict. As long as West African leaders continue to believe that they are above the law and beyond prosecution, justice will always be illusive.

    2. Cee,
      The indictment of persons to be prosecuted before the Special Court for Sierra Leone is solely the discretion of the Chief Prosecutor. He determines where the evidence leads him and decides who falls within the ambit of “bearing the greatest responsibility.” One cannot say for sure whether anymore indictments will be handed out given that the court is already working on its completion strategy. To issue anymore indictments therefore, it will be left with the Chief Prosecutor to say whether there is anough evidence to warrant additional cases and for the Management Committe of the Court to determine how this will impact the Court’s completion strategy.

      Hope this explanation helps.

      1. Many thanks Alpha!

        This case has opened a cann of worms for this prosecutors!!

        Alpha it is becoming apparent that this trial is not about seeking justice for the people in Sierra Leone,because if it were we should be going after the real sponsors of that war,the evidence is pointing straight at the aforementioned countries (Libya,Ivory Coast & Burkina Faso) using liberia as a transit,but the western politician and media seems hell bent on seeking a conviction on Charles Taylor.This is a very worrying precedent we are about to help the west set over africa.

        Alpha i hope the Sierra Leone government is pursuing these revelation made by the RUF in the AU.It is wrong for a member of the AU to undermine the national security of another member country!

        1. It seems a good precedence, CEE, because these barbaric acts by brothers against brothers must be stopped by the WhitePower since we have failed mesirably to govern ourselves! Look at how you and I see things so differently!

      2. Alpha,

        thanks for saying nothing. However, you are telling us things we already know. Good luck Alpha. Nice try though. Keep on doing what you know best.

        1. Cen,
          I’m not sure what pain you hear, that was indeed very comical to read. You should leave the pschological analsys to someone who actually know my story or me. what u hear is the awe of how absurd I think your comments were.
          Because you all are so emotional you start to sound irrational and your comments are more illogical than logical.
          First thing, I don’t need to paint any picture of NPFL the youtube video recorded during the war of NPFL boys eating a human hear did just that.
          Secondly I don’t believe you could have read my comment and had understood it but yet responded the way you did.
          What in the world does Johnson’s previous relationship with Taylor have to do with the fact that Johnson was a brutal manipilative two face idiot who punished his boys for the same crimes he committed. I clearly know that Johnson was once connected with Taylor, hence the ‘I’NPFL name which I clearly stated when refering to Johson’s boys. So I don’t know where u were going bringing up the two pass relationship. Their relationship is 100% irrelevant to the point I was making.
          Also what does Doe’s regime have to do with the comment I made, NOTHING. Are you some how suggesting by talking about NPFL brutality that I am some how siding with Doe? If so than I believe I cannot possibly have a productive debate with you. But since you’re curious about my thoughts on Doe’s regime I’l share a bit with you.
          Doe was thought to be the hero of the native people! His regime was marked with the buffonory of college professors going to the exc mansion to educate him as he had no substantial education; our only local plane was called EL SKD our only main stadium was named SKD… the largest market at the time was named Nancy Doe. His regime was marked by new trading opportunities, and endless contradictions, doing the exact things he had promised to end. His regime was marked with rediculous and very overt corruption, the murders of many innocent Mano and gio people; endless attempted murder on his life. More than any president had had.

        2. @teague
          no really.. for the first time i could hear your pain in what you wrote. I was not implying that you have sympathy for the doe administration. I was merely interested in your perspective on the historical link between the coupe, doe reign, taylor & johnson etc.
          peace & blessings

    3. Cee,
      You left a name out…former Pres Kebah…some of his deputies are in jail; the last prosecutors witness before they opened and reopened their case told this court that the people that chopped off his limbs was SIERRA LEONEAN ARMY headed by then Pres. Kebah with the title COMMANDER IN CHIEF.

      Really, the US and Britain thought we’re going to be so silly and go along with their colonization tricks…but it has back fire. Mr. Taylor maybe found GUILTY but how will those judges explain their reason is what I will be interested in.

    4. @cee
      United we stand, divided we fall.

      Indicting multiple leaders of African countries would trigger a united defense against any charges designed to marginalize African leadership. Indicting one at a time allows others to be, become, or remain divided.

  8. why is former President Charles Taylor case in the Hague so British connected? a British lawyer (Queen’s Courthouse), a British model Ms. Naomi Campbell, a British jail, if found guilty by verdict, and a British colony Sierra Leone? I think I’m British myself

    1. Chappy,
      You left out South Africa…but the simple link….Britishs are in love with diamond. Wasn’t the largest diamond ever found on Earth given to the Queen as a birthday present from Sierra Leone??

    2. @ Chappy

      A little British history:
      The British started colonizing the western parts of Africa first, as they were more easily accessible by ships. As time wore on, it’s interesting to note that the British had an almost straight line from South Africa to it’s holdings in the Middle East so that goods could be transferred by land back the Great Britain almost with out ever having to leave the Empire.

      Starting from the relative top of Africa to the bottom, the countries that were under British control at one time or another are;

      Togo land
      Sierra Leone
      Gold Coast
      Northern Rhodesia
      Nyasa Land
      South West Africa
      South Africa

      and I think Ghana was as well.

      Does that help?

      1. @Cen
        A little African History

        You are factually in accurate or misinformed.

        1) Ghana is what was formerly known as ‘The Gold Coast’.

        2) Most of the countries you refer to are a product of the ‘1884 Berlin conference’ when the European powers simply opened the map of Africa and carved up Africa in a manner that suited their strategic interests. They drew lines on the map that bore no relationship to the existing cultural, commercial, ethnic and geo-political realities on the ground. Thus, overnight, families, ethnic groups, even nations found themselves torn asunder and brought under the control of one or other of the Imperial powers, creating a crazy patch work of almost Frankenstein like monstrosities.
        Guinea, S/L, Liberia and Ivory Coast are a classic example of the destructive impact of the disease that was colonialism; we were fractured along linguistic, administrative, educational, cultural and political lines.
        Our continent, the victim of, French, English, German, Spanish, Italian and Dutch Imperialism is still in recovery mode, and the current configuration of 53+ nation states are an eloquent testament to the fracture and balkanization of our continent, and indeed our borders are no less than the scars of our colonial nightmare.
        The OAU and now The AU are our quest to heal and repair the damage of histories folly.

        3) The vast majority of cheap raw materials and people ‘exported’ to the west were done by sea not over land. The cape to Cairo railroad was never built.
        As always Wadi’The Zima’

        1. @ WADI

          I’m not sure what your point is except to say you posted in error. I agree that AFrica was and continues to be exploited.

          Yes, I am aware that Ghana was formerly known as the Gold Coast.

          In 1957 Ghana (formerly Gold Coast) became the first black country in Africa to regain its independence from Britain.

          In 1957 Ghana (formerly Gold Coast) became the first black country in Africa to regain its independence from Britain.

          In 1957 Ghana (formerly Gold Coast) became the first black country in Africa to regain its independence from Britain.

          Should I repeat it again?


          It is important to note that the advent of British colonization of Africa coincided with the era of scientific racism as represented by social Darwinism (survival of the fittest). The British believed that because they had superior weaponry and were therefore more technologically advanced than the Africans, that they had a right to colonize and exploit the resources of the Africans in the name of promoting civilization. But it is inherently contradictory for an invading force to usher in “civilization.”

          Britain had many colonies in Africa: in British West Africa there was Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Southern Cameroon, and Sierra Leone; in British East Africa there was Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania (formerly Tanganyika and Zanzibar); and in British South Africa

          here was South Africa, Northern Rhodesia (Zambia), Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Nyasaland (Malawi), Lesotho, Botswana, and Swaziland. Britain had a strange and unique colonial history with Egypt. The Sudan, formerly known as the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, was jointly ruled by Egypt and Britain, because they had jointly colonized the area. The joint colonial administration of the Sudan by Egypt and Britain was known as the condominium government. The British system of government affected the type of racial or ethnic problems that all of Britain’s African colonies had during the colonial period, the immediate postcolonial period, and from the 1980s into the twenty-first century.

          Ethnic rivalries were not serious in precolonial Africa. The majority of ethnic nations lived in their independent small polities. There were, however, some large conquering empires: the Bugandan Empire in Uganda; the Zulus in South Africa; the Mwene Mutapa Empire of the Shona people in Zambia, or Great Zimbabwe; the Benin Empire; the kingdoms of the Yoruba (Ife, Oyo, and Ibadan); the Ashanti in Ghana; the Fulani Empire in northern Nigeria, which even tried to extend into regions of Sierra Leone; the Kanem-Bornu Empire around the Lake Chad area of northern Nigeria; and the Igbo of southeastern Nigeria, who lived in small democratic states with the few exceptions of some representative monarchies. But things changed with the British Empire’s entrance into Africa.


          The Sudan gained its independence in 1956. In 1957 Ghana (formerly Gold Coast) became the first black country in Africa to regain its independence from Britain. Ghana was followed by Nigeria and Somalia in 1960. In 1961 Tanganyika gained its independence from Britain. This was followed by Kenya in 1963 and by Zambia and Malawi in 1964. Gambia secured its independence in 1965. It took the countries…

          The British employed various systems of governance in their African colonies. These were through the agency of (1) trading companies, (2) indirect rule, (3) the settler rule, and then the unique joint rule of the Sudan with the Egyptians known as the (4) condominium government. Trading Companies . In the early years of colonialism, Britain granted private companies large territories to administer …

          Read more: Africa: British Colonies – HISTORY OF BRITISH COLONIAL RULE IN AFRICA, PRECOLONIAL RACIAL AND ETHNIC RELATIONS IN BRITISH COLONIAL AFRICA – Empire, Nigeria, Sudan, Britain, Africans, and Preferred
          peace & blessings

        2. @ Wadi,
          Please educate those who same to rant on on and on because of emotions! I enjoyed reading your post I learned a few new things.

  9. There is just too many contradictions between Issa’s testimony in 2007 during his own trial versus his direct examinations by mr.Griffith. A key accounts of how the RUF obtain weapons, before the Kono invasion should not be ignore. Issa said in 2007 that weapons used for the Kono invasion came from Bokina fasu via RIA in Liberia and airlifted to them in Sierra Leone.Today Issa Sesay is caught in lies and was again exposed when confronted with his recent testimony for Charles Taylor when he said, the weapon used for the Kono invasion came from the ULIMO rebels from Voinjama Liberia. This is not good for Charles Taylor, are we apporaching the end game?

    1. Ziggy Silas,
      Yes you are right. However since the cross examination has begun this has been his only significant contradiction after four days with Mr. Koumjian. He explained it by saying upon reflection and now having several years to read his testimony that it was a mistake. The judges will have to decide.

    2. @ Ziggy
      Most witness’ are inconsistent in their testimony from one account to the next. this issue is further complicated by the form and style of the attorney on direct and/ or cross. Even if you throw out or believe Sesay testimony, it still does not save the day for the prosecution.

  10. I heard somebody saying that, Issa Sesay was recruited forcifully as a child soldier I quote: “According to Mr. Issa Sesay, he was originally an involuntary participant in the war in Sierra Leone (the prosecution assumably agreed); who after indoctrination, surrendered, excelled to the top leadership, and was responsible for disarmament of the RUF. See testimony of August 16, 2010” To the writer, say what you know and understand than to assume.
    Issa Sesay was a hard core crimal who defrauded millions of Leones from a Lebanese marchant with aduterated gold and he was been haunted by the police, this made him to escape with his Liberian friends who were in Sierra Leone hunting Monkeys.
    Issa Sesay was attending one of the best boys secondary shool in the country, Magburaka boys Shool. He was by then a fourth former preparing for his promotional exams when he came in contact with this Lebanese marchant who was interested in gold business. Issa Sesay abandone going to school and entered into gold buying for this marchant, He was involved in a deceitful behavior, where by he was mixing pure gold with copper to get the required weight while he goes away with huge amount of money, moving from pub to pub with different girls. When the marchant discovered the fraud, he alarted the police, who in turn started haunting the rogue. Upon hearing the rumor, he escaped to Liberia where he willing joined the RUF as a way of protecting himself. Indeed a lot of the Sierra Police lost their lives in cold blood in the hand of these rag-tags that call themselves liberators and freedom fighters.
    The issue of child soldiers is indispecable, therefore to see a war lord, like Issa Sesay, denying the fact, is a suicide against justice to those they drugged with cocaine and canabis sativa, thereby depriving them their future in society. Come to Sierra Leone and see them crazy on the street begging for their daily living and confessing about their wrong doings.
    On the issue of diamonds, I would like the writer to ready geology and pedology of the countries he claim to have diamonds and their variance in terms of quality and value. It is only Sierra Leone that has Kinberlite. The world buying agent in Belgium knows that, the diamonds coming from Sierra Leone differ from all diamonds in the sub-region. I will respond when necessary. For now, a school of thoufht.
    However, please take note, when you say something about somebody you don’t KNOW.

    1. Dear Fuad,

      You are absolutely correct, I should only speak to that which I am aware of; and that I have spoken according to the exchange between Issa Sesay and the prosecution; I am informed.

      I admit, the only factual account I can adduce relating to Issa Sesay is the transcript of this trial. I was not presence when Issa Sesay was inducted into the RUF and neither were you. We can only rely upon the evidence we hear at trial and such prosecution evidence is Issa Sesay was not originally a voluntary participant in the war in Sierra Leone. Your contention is he enlisted into the RUF for protection in relation to his involvement with the Lebanese merchant. Even if he defrauded the Lebanese merchant by devaluing gold with only adding copper, copper is one of three parts that establish the gold standard. This in itself should not have been the precedence that compels his involuntary induction into the RUF. What it amounts to is an entrapment that forced him to risk his life to fight a cause he did not initiate.

      My friend, Kimberlite is a type of potassic volcanic rock best known for sometimes containing diamonds. It is named after the town of Kimberley in South Africa; It is not found only found in Sierra Leone. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth’s crust in vertical structures known as Kimberlite pipes. Kimberlite pipes are the most important source of mined diamonds today.

      See link

      I will acknowledge that I am neither Sierra Leonean nor Liberian; I am African and Native American who have friends from each country. I do not condone the killing of noncombatants’. I supported Charles Taylor and Prince Johnson in the removal of samuel doe; to me they are heroes for that action. I have sit and discussed Liberia with a current high level politician who expressed their discontent with the amount of corruption in the country. But that does not necessarily make matters better for the Liberian people.

      It is very important for me to be as close to the truth as possible. Have a good day

    2. Faud, you are telling a false story here. Issa Sessay was in Ivory Coast selling when he was recruited by Foday Sankoh.

  11. This whole case is about they say ,I say u say,I can not see no evidence,I see fallah and the rest making argument and forgetting the case at some point,you say sassey gave diamonds,sassey he never,show us evidence that sassey gave Taylor diamonds.

  12. Both SierraLonne and Liberian fight in each other war,cause we share tribes and language,but Taylor never send them they choose to fight there to loot.

  13. Let me say something about recruitment and how it was done in Liberia, I’ve lived all my days in Liberia during the war and never went or took a step out. Let me be frank, no one was ever force to join the NPFL or any other faction ranks to fight, let that be clear. Accordingly the persecutors are saying people were arrested and taken to camps and trained to fight for RUF. I lived all my days in NPFL held area during the war days thus not a pro NPFL sympathizer but stayed there to the end of all the wars. One thing I’m sure of is that no conscription was done (forceful recruitment) among all the war parties in Liberia.
    The mean things that lead people to take up arms for me I will count all to illiteracy. People and children took up arms unconsciously. Most of the kids went into it not knowing the effects war; I was there with most of my friends in Buchanan and living freely, walking about and playing sports all day, went home anytime of the day without been pick up to fight for anybody, so I do not like the saying that people were pick up in Liberia and made to train to fight a proxy war.
    Kids and grown up men left home to join, some may put it as because of the prevailing conditions of the time but others withstood everything undergoing bigger things but never took up arms

    1. Chappy, I disagree with you on this piece! Thanks. You lived in Buchannan, never put a foot outside, while other youths were going about doing their daily activities, according to you, and therefore, there were no force recruitments of teens into any of the waring factions! Does this make any sense to the readers on your accounts? What you need to know is that one account of what really happened can be seen from the foottage of videos of shots of Monrovia during the time, on Youtube, by Humanitarian Organizations and all these youths running around with human intestines, hearts of victims, just to say the least of the dispecable behaviors that you know, very well, occured. Please leave your plead on this subject as we have already covered that. What we are concerned here about now is whether Issa lied on the stand to further cover-up for taylor, as you are attempting to do here, Chappy. Have a nice day. Hope you do not reply this because I will ignore you as if you mean nothing to me!

  14. Dear Chappy,

    I will not challenge you on the bases of your perception as to what was the state of mind those people were in when they took up arms and committed acts of war. What I will say is, in order for anyone to know what your reasons are for doing a thing, they must accept your version or they must walk in your shoes. If you were not apprehended and taken to camps and trained to fight for the RUF, there is no way you can prove they fought voluntarily.

    In some countries, there is a legal defense to duress; the arrest of Issa Sesay and the knowledge that he would likely be placed in prison was part of the duress that compelled him to accept the inscription into the RUF. I know people that went to Vietnam and died because of the duress of going to prison if he refused to fight in the war.

    1. compulsion by use of force or threat; constraint; coercion (often in the phrase under duress)
    2. (Law) Law the illegal exercise of coercion
    3. confinement; imprisonment

    See link

    Again, I was not there with him, I do not understand the pressure he was under, and by your own admission you were not with him either.

    If people were forced to kill, dismember and rape family because of fear, it is understandable how they could do it to a non-kinsman.

    It seems that Issa Sesay gets no credit for his willingness to disarm the RUF.

    1. @Sekou

      I’m even more impressed with your posts. It seems you are channeling my thoughts and posting them. Specifically, when ever I hear about CT or others forcing people to fight(not giving an opinion about whether it happened or not) I think of the US draft during the vietnam war and selective service.

      The Selective Service System is a means by which the United States maintains information on those potentially subject to military conscription. …

      Federal law requires all men to register with the Selective Service System within 30 days of reaching 18 years of age.

      For all those who cringe at the possibility that an African country would force a citizen to fight in a war….brush up on the hx of the Vietnam war and how old some of the soldiers were, how much training did they got, and their life expectancy once they were dropped in the middle of the Vietnam jungle.

      For my fellow bloggers… I DO NO SUPPORT OR ADVOCATE the recruitment of child soldiers in Africa or any where else.

      1. Dear cen,

        Thank God on March 29, 1975, President Ford signed Proclamation 4360, Terminating Registration Procedures Under Military Selective Service Act, eliminating the registration requirement for all 18–25 year old male citizens.

        In 1969, the Vietnamese wanted to know why I would risk my life for a country that refused me equal citizenship. My response was I did not want to go to jail. At the time I believed the affect slavery had on my people, forced me to sit on the back seat of the bus, not attend the school of my choice, nor obtain housing in an area I could afford to own; It was not until I realized that freedom is only a state of mind, is when I began to understand that I should be in charge of my own life.

        Opportunities do not always present itself when we think we need it most, but opportunities are essentially chances we take to improve our lives. Taking that chance shows your level of freedom.

        You may have viewed this link already, but it’s on the Selective Service System in the U.S.A.

        Take care

        1. Dear cen,

          We cannot publish your comment due to copyright policies. If you can provide the link to the article you copied, we will happily publish that link with your comment.

          Thank you.

          1. The informationn is contained at the following link and published by wikipedia.


  15. Dear Fuad and Chappy,

    The prevailing excerpts from the transcript is set out below. It supports my assertion that Issa Sesay was an involuntary participant in the war in Sierra Leone. You may access the transcript from this link:

    16 AUGUST 2010, Page 46304, Line 21
    Q. Now, Mr Witness, going back a moment to when we were talking about the RUF killing recruits who escaped, we were talking about the killing of Isiaka, Foday Sankoh telling you about that, correct?
    a. Well, that was what Foday Sankoh said but in 1996 when I went to Abidjan, Isiaka escaped in Danane but that was some kind of fear that Foday Sankoh put in us, those of us who were at the base, but it was Danane that they went on the Ivory Coast to buy some things when Isiaka escaped. He said when he came back he said they killed Isiaka but in 1996 we saw Isiaka in Abidjan and Isiaka explained to me that he escaped.
    Q. Didn’t Isiaka escape from Cuttington, the NPFL camp, the Cuttington university near Gbarnga and not from Danane?
    A. No. He left us who were in Cuttington, nine of us, when Mr Sankoh took Isiaka and they went to Danane, that was where Isiaka escaped, it was not in Cuttington.
    Continued on Page 46389 Line 29 to Page 46392
    Q. Mr Sesay, I’m moving on to a different topic. I don’t know if there is any questions from the Bench and what I want to do now is go back chronologically through some of your evidence to the beginning of your involvement with the RUF. You told the Court that back in 1990, you were selling cigarettes with Keifa Wai in the Ivory Coast; is that right?
    A. Yes.
    Q. And there, you were tricked by someone who called himself Pa Morlai into believing that you were going to get a job in Burkina Faso. Isn’t that right?
    A. Yes.
    Q. So he told you that he deceived you and he took you to Liberia. Isn’t that correct?
    A. Yes.
    Q. On your way, before you got to Liberia, you stopped in Danane. Isn’t that right?
    A. Yes.
    Q. Was that at the house of Musa Cisse?
    A. No. That was my first time of going to Danane, so I didn’t know who owned the house. But the person was Ivorian, not Liberian.
    Q. It was a fenced compound. Is that right?
    A. Yes, it was a fenced compound.
    Q. And did you later learn that in the Ivory Coast, the RUF – excuse me, the NPFL had launched its invasion of Liberia from the Ivory Coast? Did you learn that?
    A. Yes. I knew about that.
    Q. And Musa Cisse recruited fighters for Charles Taylor and he lived in Danane. Isn’t that correct?
    A. No. At that time, I did not know about Musa Cisse.
    Q. Did you later learn that Musa Cisse lived in Danane, had a house there?
    A. Well, I knew that in ’95 when I went to Abidjan, to Ivory Coast, where I met Fayia Musa and others.
    Q. So you did not join the RUF; you were tricked and threatened into training at Camp Naama. Isn’t that true?
    A. Well, Mr Sankoh tricked me, yes.
    Q. And he threatened you and the others by giving the example of Isiaka, that if anyone tried to escape, whoever they would be, they would be killed. Isn’t that true?
    A. Yes.
    Q. Morris Kallon is a friend of yours, correct?
    A. Yes.
    Q. And he was your co-accused in your trial in Freetown, correct?
    A. Yes.
    Q. Morris Kallon was also an involuntary vanguard, wouldn’t you say? Isn’t that true?
    A. Well, I can’t tell because it was Mike Lamin who brought Morris Kallon to the base.
    MR KOUMJIAN: Could we have the transcript from the RUF trial of 30 May, page 15, please.
    Q. If we go down the page, please, on line 26 you were asked by the counsel for Mr Kallon: “Q. Second accused Kallon, like you, was involuntary vanguard. In other words, he too was forcibly conscripted or drafted for training at Camp Naama.
    A. Yes, because it was Mike Lamin who took him to Camp Naama.”
    Page 46392
    So, Mr Sesay, now do you recall that Morris Kallon was an involuntary vanguard?
    A. Well, I said yes, it was Mike Lamin who brought him along.
    Q. In fact, what happened to Morris Kallon to cause him to come to Camp Naama is an unforgettable story, much more dramatic than your own. Isn’t that true?
    A. No, well, I don’t know.
    Q. Did you later learn that Musa Cisse lived in Danane, had a house there?
    A. Well, I knew that in ’95 when I went to Abidjan, to Ivory Coast, where I met Fayia Musa and others.
    Q. So you did not join the RUF; you were tricked and threatened into training at Camp Naama. Isn’t that true?
    A. Well, Mr Sankoh tricked me, yes.
    Q. And he threatened you and the others by giving the example of Isiaka, that if anyone tried to escape, whoever they would be, they would be killed. Isn’t that true?
    A. Yes.
    Q. Morris Kallon is a friend of yours, correct?
    A. Yes.
    Q. And he was your co-accused in your trial in Freetown, correct?
    A. Yes.
    Q. Morris Kallon was also an involuntary vanguard, wouldn’t you say? Isn’t that true?
    A. Well, I can’t tell because it was Mike Lamin who brought Morris Kallon to the base.
    MR KOUMJIAN: Could we have the transcript from the RUF trial of 30 May, page 15, please.
    Q. If we go down the page, please, on line 26 you were asked by the counsel for Mr Kallon: “Q. Second accused Kallon, like you, was involuntary vanguard. In other words, he too was forcibly conscripted or drafted for training at Camp Naama.
    A. Yes, because it was Mike Lamin who took him to Camp Naama.

  16. Chappy your assertion that no one was forced to join the NPFL or any other faction ranks in Liberia to fight during the war is not only ambiguous and false but also laughable :

    You said you never took a step out side but later said you went about playing sports freely with friends; this an inconsistency.

    You said you lived in Buchanan how then can you give account of what happened in other parts of Liberia and other factions ? Omnipresence ?

    Well, while i arguably accept your account of what you saw in Buchanan then, i must tell you it was not the case in Grand Cape Mount County, specifically in Gawula and Taywor Districts. I personally was caught by NPFL rebels at the River(Mafa) and forced to carry a load of cartages, twice heavier than my weight then. I had gone to fetch water for my aunt but was made in to ammunition carrier , worse of all, when i arrived with them in Tieny i was commanded to obtain training as a small soldier for the NPFL in their war against ULIMO. With God’s help and that of my cousin who was a fighter i was whisked out of the triangle of death .
    Moreover , in similar pattern, many boys were forced away from their tiring parent to face the unknown. Cappy, know that in war atleast one thing is never constant : and that is’ Quantity’. As such , a desperate conquerer and conquest always require a feeder source . In this case is The then NPFL and Mr. Taylor.
    I will no be surprise to see this experience refuted by you.

  17. Dear Al-Solo Nyonteh & sam:

    Al-Solo Nyonteh,

    I searched the preceding pages to your citation and was unable to locate your inference. The SCSL has blocked review of the May 10, 2007, transcript; and for now your reference cannot be sustained.

    I understand what Mr. Issa Sesay has testified to regarding his trip to Monrovia while carrying diamond; they were drop in the streets. The prosecution witness has alleged there was a radio announcement of diamond being found that corroborate Mr. Sesay’s account of what transpired.

    I believe that if the prosecution does not seek to waste the courts time, they would have confronted Mr. Sesay with this portion [you cite] of his transcript to validate the issue.


    I believe the doctrine of Res judicata is the best approach the defense can take at this time. It appears that the prosecution is not challenging this court’s decision, but the decision of Trial Chamber I. They are essentially stating that Trial Chamber I, erred when it determined the statement was involuntarily obtained. This challenge to a standing precedence, IN MY OPINION, must prove that material evidence was not made known to Trial Chamber I, and such evidence prove that the statement was indeed obtained voluntarily. If this be the case, Trial Chamber I, would need to rule in this case.

    To have your voir dire, this will give you time to argue Res judicata.

    Hope this will help.

    I thank the two of you for your commits.

    1. Sekou,
      That exactly is my point. Remember that the prosecution did not appeal the said decision of Trial Chamber 1 in the RUF case. Neither did they appeal the decision of Trail Chamber 2 in the present case when the chamber set out the procedure to adopt (based on an application the the prosecution) when using new evidence in cross examination.

      My understanding of the two reasons giving by the prosecution for appealing the oral decision giving by Justice Lussick is that:
      click on Case Note SCSL-01-1050

      1.) The trial chamber erred in simply adopting the decision of Trial chamber 1 (in manifestly distinct issues) instead of deciding on the matter based on evidence before it. In my view this ground of appeal is untenable since the decision of the trial chamber in disallowing the use of the documents (in my understanding of the judgement) is not based on the decision of Trial chamber 1 but instead on the decison of this trial chamber based on the ruling of the application filed by the prosecution on the legal standards to be adopted on the use of fresh evidence, wherein the chamber set out a two pronged test that must be fulfilled before the document can be used, one of which is that the evidence must be new in that it must not have been in the possesion of or in the knowledge of the prosecution before or during the currency of the prosecution case. clearly the prosecution cannot pass this test since they were in possession of these documents before the commencement of the Taylor trial. So their application must fail in that regard.

      2.) The prosecution contended that the trial chamber was wrong to conclude that it is not in the interest of justice to use the said statements in cross examination as it will breach the fair trial rights of the accused. In my view, in determining wether the fair trial rights of an accussed will be breached by allowing the prosecution to use the said statements, there is noting stoping the judges to take judicial notice of the circumstances under which those statements were obtained as found by Trial chamber 1 in the voire dire it conducted. hence I think the trial chamber was right in concluding that since the statements were obtained under undesirable sircumstances, it will not be in the interests of justice to use them in cross examination.

    2. Sekou

      The prosecution can’t mention Mr. Sesay testimony because it points to the guilt of Mr. Taylor, hence violating his fair trial rights. I feel like Mr. Taylor have dodged another fetal bullet and Mr. Sesay could have been the smoking gun for the prosecution. I think the prosecution is trying every possible legal maneuver to get their new evidence heard, while creating a contingency plan to introduce their new evidence in an appeal if a not guilty decision is render.

      I was impressed on your piece about using the Geneva convection to relinquish command responsibility from Mr. Sesay. It sound a little far fetch but I haven’t done any research, so I will not comment. Either way I was impressed.

      1. Dear Al-Solo Nyonteh,

        My understanding of this situation is the evidence is tainted; Issa Sesay was misinformed by the prosecution that his information would not be used against himself. The court’s decision states there was “fear of prejudice and the hope of advantage especially that the First Accused would be a witness and not an accused person.”

        In other words, it is fair to suggest that the court was of the opinion that Issa Sesay could lie to gain an advantage. This would have been in line with what Issa Sesay accused others of doing. It would not be fair to Mr. Taylor if Issa Sesay’s statement was inadmissible in his trial but would be accepted in Mr. Taylor’s.

        If the statement is admissible in this trial, Issa Sesay would almost certainly say he lied concerning Mr. Taylor; protecting himself from lying under oath. After all he gave his statement in fear of prejudice and the hope of advantage especially that the he would be a witness and not an accused person. Under these circumstances, his evidence would not be creditable.

Comments are closed.