Issa Sesay Did Not Know Charles Taylor Wanted To Kill Him And He Is Not Relying On Taylor To Free Him From Jail, He Says In Conclusion Of His Cross-Examination

As prosecutors concluded his cross-examination today, Issa Hassan Sesay, the convicted former interim leader of Sierra Leone’s main rebel group told Special Court for Sierra Leone judges in The Hague that he did not know and does not believe that Charles Taylor sent men to kill him while he was trying to disarm rebel forces in Sierra Leone. Mr. Sesay also dismissed suggestions that he is testifying for Mr. Taylor because he hopes that the former Liberian president, if acquitted, will help free him from his 52 years jail sentence in Rwanda.

Prosecution counsel Nicholas Koumjian in concluding Mr. Sesay’s cross-examination today put to the witness that it was Mr. Taylor’s practice to execute people with whom he had disagreements and so when Mr. Sesay decided to disarm the RUF in Sierra Leone much to Mr. Taylor’s disagreement, the former Liberian president sent men to kill him inside Sierra Leone. Mr. Sesay dismissed this suggestion as false.

“Charles Taylor was unhappy with your decision to cooperate with the United Nations and at some point he sent men to kill you, did you know that?” Mr. Koumjian asked Mr. Sesay.

“No,” Mr. Sesay said. “I did not know that, i did not hear that and i don’t believe that Charles Taylor wanted to hill me because Charles Taylor was one of those encouraging me to disarm.”

Mr. Koumjian read from a March 12 2008 evidence of former fighter of Mr. Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) rebel group Joseph Zig Zag Marzah who told the court that Mr. Taylor had ordered him to executed Mr. Sesay.

“…I crossed over to Pendembu in the Kailahun District to wait for Issa [Sesay] to execute him under the directive of my leader Charles Taylor. Later he [Taylor] called me and said he had already sent for Issa to go and receive ammos in Buedu and for him to come and pass through me to Buedu and then I will follow him to get him, but Issa never returned. I spent almost two weeks in Kailahun and later he told me that, “The man has gone. He will no longer receive supplies from me.”” Mr. Marzah told the court in March 2008.

“This man is telling lies,” Mr. Sesay responded when confronted with Mr. Marzah’s statement.

Mr. Koumjian put to Mr. Sesay that since Mr. Taylor did not want the RUF to disarm, that was why he suggested that Sam Bockarie, the former RUF commander who had left Sierra Leone for Liberia be made to rejoin the RUF. When Mr. Sesay realised Mr. Taylor’s plot, he never returned to see the former Liberian president again, Mr. Koumjian said.

“If he [Bockarie] would have returned, you would have been killed…you told Charles Taylor you wanted to go and consult your colleagues and never returned to see Charles Taylor again,” Mr. Koumjian put to Mr. Sesay.

In response, Mr. Sesay said that “I told him that the problem was between Sam Bockarie and Mr. Sankoh, that i’ll have to go and consult my colleagues. Since then, he did not call me again and i did not return to see him.”

Mr. Koumjian also pointed to Mr. Sesay that the reason for his testimony on Mr. Taylor’s behalf is because he hopes that an acquitted Mr. Taylor will use political power to get him out of jail, having already started a 52 year jail term after being convicted for his role in the Sierra Leonean conflict. Mr. Sesay denied this suggestion, telling the court that his only hope for getting out of jail rests on God and the people of Sierra Leone.

“You have the hope that if Charles Taylor is released, he’ll help you get political release from prison. If Charles Taylor is released, he’ll help you get out of jail, correct?” Mr. Koumjian asked Mr. Sesay.

“No my Lord. Mr. Taylor is not a Sierra Leonean and so he has no influence in Sierra Leone. It is the people of Sierra Leone who will appeal to the Government of Sierra Leone for my release or the international community who know what i did for peace in Sierra Leone,” Mr. Sesay responded.

When told that he only “disarmed [the RUF] as a matter of survival,” Mr. Sesay said that “that is not true because the people who i worked with for peace in Sierra Leone did not say that.”

“They know that i did not surrender, they know that i worked with them willingly for peace in Sierra Leone.”

As Mr. Koumjian concluded his cross-examination, defense counsel for Mr. Taylor Silas Chikera immediatly commenced the re-examination of Mr. Sesay. In re-examination, Mr. Chikera sought to clarify certain issues that have been covered by prosecutors in Mr. Sesay’s cross-examination.

Mr. Sesa’s re-examination continues tomorrow.


  1. Mr. Koumjian is in the habit of making unnecessary objections all the times whenever the defense is posting questions to the witness. I am perplexed as to whether Mr. Koumjian purposely interrupts because he (Koumjian) wants the defense counsel to lose his trend of thought or he (Koumjian) just doesn’t know his stuff? You be the judge. Almost, all of Mr. Koumjian’s nonsense objections are overruled, but still this guy will not give up. He keeps coming, coming and coming like the Every Ready Battery Bunny Rabbit commercial. Rarely, will the defense interrupted while the prosecution is cross/direct examination a witness but, if the defense does interrupt, it will not be a nonsense interruption.

    Mr. Koumjian is California lawyer he’s a master of deceits as a result, will do everything, anything to win. Prosecution witnesses were paid awesome amount of money, evidence were planted, trial by ambushed” to name a few. This guy knows how to wheel and deal. A California boy.

    Take for example, this morning under direct examination defense counsel Chekera attempted to post a question to the witness Mr. Sesay, the question was never asked to the witness Mr. Koumjian objected to the question before it was asked. WOW!

    Justice Sebutinde ruled in favor of the defense.

    P/S Mr. Koumjian, nice watch is that a Tag, what happened to the Timex?
    You surely get pay.

  2. What is your main concern?
    “My main concern is that these judges are under considerable pressure to convict. A lot of money has been invested in these proceedings by the United States, the United Kingdom and other western countries. And the bottom line is: they haven’t invested that money for nothing. Look at it this way: if Mr Taylor is acquitted, as a Liberian citizen, he could return to Liberia. If he returned and stood in an election against Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, he would win. Do you honestly think either the Americans or the British would allow that to happen? The reality of the situation is that if Taylor is convicted, chances of having a fair hearing in front of the appeal committee are nil. I have more concern about the composition of the Appeals Chamber than I do of these judges because some of the decisions they’ve made lacked any legal merit whatsoever. Everyone put on trial before that Special Court for Sierra Leone has either died or been convicted.”

    1. Zima,

      This is another mess put together by evil minded people who wants to see Mr. Taylor dead. Why didn’t they bring Mr. Reeves in court as a witness in the first place? Someone is looking for food on the white man’s table posting as in-law to Mr. Taylor….this is really crazy.

      Harris K Johnson

      1. To you, harris, this is crazy, since it further exposes your lies and continual denials and insults to victims and their families because you lost no one! Shame is all I can say! This is one of the best links so far Harris K. Johnson..don’t get disappointed!.Have a great weekend!

      1. Fallah,
        Every account is chilling to! why are you so easily moved… I know if I told you today, Jesus Christ had seven toes because the rest of the three were cut by Charles Taylor , it would be a chilling and exciting story..right?

        1. Thanks Noko5 for the ‘comedy relief’ on that! You got me laughing hard today about Jesus’having 5 toes like in Noko5, and taylor cutting them off! Haa, haa….

    2. Wadi,


      Interesting reading but this Cindor Reeves is nothing but a con artist. He was never a brother-in-law to President Taylor. Cindy Reeves is an individual who is skilled and experience at devising and executing scams and other fraudulent schemes.

      It was this same so-called Cindor Reeves who said that he was a chuffer when Taylor was President. Where in the World will a President brother-in-law be a chuffer?

    3. Wadi,
      Did you ask yourself why wasn’t Cindo put on the stand for the prosecutors??? The answer lies within….He was a STAR WITNESS in two other cases….so why the prosecutors ran away from him??

    4. Wadi Williams,
      Cindor Reeves was so totally discredited in the Guus Kouwenhoven trial that the prosecution knew better than to call him in the Charles Taylor trial. For example Cindor said that arms were shipped from the Burkinabe seaport. On cross examination he was asked if he didn’t know that Burkina Faso was a land locked country?

    5. CindorReeves is very old news. The FBI checked all those frabrication out and found them to be lies.

    6. Wadi,
      This Cindor guy is a big liar….There was no one called this fake name around the first Family at the time…Look Wadi, we know these little tricks. This invention is a prosecution strategy since they have failed on the Naomi Cambell one. If he knows so much, why can’t he show up as a witness???

    1. Helen,
      We all know the game been played… I said, a DEAL is in the making….even the prosecutors have come to the THE END….how does he get CONVICTED on what we have presented?? NO WAY, but like Perry Mason said…the pressure is on the judges to CONVICT.

      Again if it comes down to the judge,… will be 2 to 1 in favor of Mr. Taylor but a DEAL will be broker….Mr. Taylor WALKS and STAYS away from West Africa….Mr. Taylor PROMISED the citizens of Liberia…”BY GOD’S WILLING, I’LL BE BACK”….there is where the fight is.

  3. Alpha,
    Does Mr. Koumjian believe now that Mr. Taylor will be acquitted? Mr. Koumjian was asking Sesay questions as to Mr. Taylor been acquitted or release. Do Koumjian believe that Mr. Taylor was so well like in Sierra Leone by the people and government that he can free Sesay from a 52-year jail term after been convicted for his role in the Sierra Leonean conflict? Not only has the prosecution lost all hope of a conviction but also Mr. Koumjian has lost his mind.

    1. Ken,
      You have raised important questions but unfortunately, i cannot speak for Mr. Koumjian.

    2. Ken, you have a deceiving perception of Mr Koumjian’s puzzling questions today. Faded hope is what you are envisioning

      1. Why Koumjian would even let the words “if Mr. Taylor is acquitted or release” come out of his mouth. If he was not shown uncertainty about his evidence then what was he trying to alleged. As I said to Alpha, ” Do Koumjian believe that Mr. Taylor was so well like in Sierra Leone by the people and government that he can free Sesay from a 52-year jail term after been convicted for his role in the Sierra Leonean conflict?”

        If Mr. Taylor had that kind of power over Sierra Leone today, he could get Sesay release even if Mr. Taylor was convicted from his prison.

  4. Issa Sessay didn’t know that Jungle was an SSS member, Issa did not know that Taylor had a letter addressed from him, Issa to Taylor, Issa Sessay didn’t know that the ‘little boys’ he saw along the way were NPFL rebels, even though they were with NPFL boys, Issa Sessay just didn’t know! Understandable. He also didn’t know that he’s convicted of the most henious crimes against humanity and that his testimonies are cheaper than ‘pleather’. Issa Sessay does not know how to testify without contradicting his previous statements given at his own trail in 07, or how to not contradict other witnesses or taylor’s testimonies.
    This witness really helped the cases for the prosecution. Expecting the truth from a convicted murderer rapist killer is expecting the U.N to actually do what they were created for! IMPOSSIBLE!

    1. @Ms Teage
      As Usual you are spot on. It is extraordinarily refreshing to read such a cogent, coherent and – dare I say it – ‘Eloquent’ comment. I salute the almost scalpel like quality of your comments.

      As always Wadi ‘The Zima’

    2. Ms Teage,
      After those years, anyone will be on the blind to some issue….but you must admit, he was a good witness for both sides….the sad part, the defense scored MORE points from him.

  5. @ Alpha
    Your recap of this portion of today’s testimony is okay. However, it is a clip not a summary of the testimony.

  6. Why was Mr Sesay crying? I think he thought about the arrangement between him and former president Kabba through his family, to disarm the RUF and he will do for him whatever he want. With all the diamonds in his possession, Sesay now feels he is the survival and the poor men and women he and his RUF persuaded to join them in the early and latter days in their fake LIBERATION should now return back to their families without benefits from the so – called Sankoh, Bockarie and Sesay (SANBOCKSESAY) DIAMOND COMPANY. I think after serving his jail sentence in Rwanda, Sesay will never listen to those family members who are now enjoying his ill-gotten wealths in save heavens, why he continued to pay for his lack of judgement and foresight.

  7. Wow the prosecutor fail to prove sassey is lying,infact they make his account more true on the last day,by asking him if he know Taylor wanted to kill,Ye said no,Taylor never plan to kill him and it a lie,wow that was a blow in the face,nobody will testifies for the person that wanted to kill them,so now I conclude that Taylor was not part of SierraLonne war and the case against him is they say,I say and no evidence.

  8. Ms. Teage, do you at what time Jungle became an SSS officer? Did Taylor not openly say in court that some former RUF members were granted Liberian citizenship, and some were put into the Liberian security? Did you expect Issa Sesay to know this when he was not in Liberia?

    The prosecution has proven to be clearly incompetent. On the one hand they are condemning Mr. Taylor and alledging that he appointed Issa Sesay, then on the other they acknowledges that it was Issa Sesay who brought PEACE to SL by disarming. So are they rejecting to give Mr. Taylor the credit for bringing PEACE to SL if we accept the proposition that he was conrolling Issa Sesay? Wouldnt’n it make sense that since Issa Sesay was acting on the alledge instructions of Charles Taylor , then it should be that Charles Taylor instructed Issa Sesay to disarmed. The prosecution cannot have it both ways.

  9. King Gray, has it occur to you maybe, just maybe Taylor could be found guilty on the merit of the evidence provided so far. We have seen and heard many witnesses but at the same time there have been many testimonies in close session to which we do not have any access.

    Taylor is been charged in a joint criminal enterprise case. He doesn’t have to have handled or used the diamonds to be charge/found gulity.

    Regarding Taylor’s election in Liberia, I think you underestimate the Liberian people’s ability to pass judgement on Taylor.

  10. Eagle-eye(Returns),
    the prosecution alleged “joint criminal enterprise case” have fall apart.

  11. Eagle-eye(Returns)
    I am a Liberian and I participated in that 1997 election that elected Charles Taylor. So you cannaot speak for me. Moreover, some of the critical testimonies from close sessions have been revealed in open court without calling the name of the witness.So far, we have all the facts in this case and we can make an inform judgment about this case.

    The facts are not just there. This is a criminal trial and the evidence must be beyond reasonable doubt. The joint criminal enterprise charges have already been debuke by previous verdict by this court.

    1. @Gray
      you say that “….We have all the facts in this case and we can make an inform judgement on the case”.
      This is such an astonishing comment that it almost took my breath away, not even the ‘Defence’ considers ‘all the facts in’. If judgement was delivered now, Taylor would be heading for a prison cell .His team needs to do a great deal more work in their effort to turn the tide.I am far from optimistic.
      He faces a veritable mountain of circumstantial evidence, a damming body of corroborating evidence supplied by amongst others his own Vice-President Moses Blah and of course the credibility of his narrative is daily been eroded……Taylor is in trouble!!!
      As Always Wadi’The Zima’

  12. Wadi Williams,

    What did his Vice President Moses Blah say that makes him guilty of the fasle 11 counts against him? Please answer Ma’am. Wadi, the bringing in of Moses Blah was just a PR stun by this incompetent prosecution. They wanted the world to say, just like you, even his own VP testified against him. However, Moses Blah was more of a help just like Naomi Campbell to the defense, than this lying prosecutors.

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