As Prosecutors Commence The Cross-Examination Of DCT-008, Defense Lawyers Indicate That He Could Be The Final Witness For Charles Taylor

As prosecutors commenced the cross-examination of Charles Taylor’s 20th defense witness in The Hague today, defense lawyers for the former Liberian president indicated that the witness could be the final defense witness to give oral testimony in court.

The decision that DCT-008 could be the final witness to testify for Mr. Taylor was communicated in an email sent yesterday to all parties, including the judges, by lead defense counsel for Mr. Taylor, Courtenay Griffiths. The email was made public today in court by the presiding judge of the Trial Chamber, Justice Julia Sebutinde.

Justice Sebutinde asked the defense to indicate whether this email also meant that the defense was disposing of a pending motion that is before the judges relating to allegations of payments made by prosecutors in an amount of over 30,000 USD to a potential defense witness, DCT-097. In the motion, defense lawyers allege, with documentary evidence, that prosecutors had paid huge sums of money to DCT-097, a former member of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebel group who, according to many witnesses, was the main person who transported blood diamonds from Sierra Leone to Mr. Taylor in Liberia. Prosecutors had contacted the former RUF fighter to testify against Mr. Taylor and, in the process, had allegedly sent him huge sums of money for his cooperation. The motion alleges prosecutors only stopped the payments to the RUF fighter when he could not tell them what they wanted to hear.  

Now a potential defense witness who was scheduled to testify for Mr. Taylor, the RUF fighter identified by Pseudonym DCT-097, has given defense lawyers moneygram receipts of payments he received from prosecutors. Defense lawyers have, through the motion, asked the judges to order prosecutors to make a full disclosure of all payments to the witness, as well as disclosure of all exculpatory evidence that would point at Mr. Taylor’s innocence based on statements that were made by the witness. Defense lawyers did not say why they have decided against having DCT-097 to testify as a defense witness.

After conferring with other members of the defense team, defense counsel Morris Anyah told the judges that the defense still wants a decision on the motion because defense lawyers intend to establish that prosecutors have been paying witnesses to testify against Mr. Taylor.

“Yes, we would like to have a decision on that motion and related pleadings,” Mr. Anyah told the court.

Mr. Anyah informed that court that at the end of DCT-008’s evidence, Mr. Griffiths would address the court on the next steps of the defense case.

He concluded, “Except as otherwise instructed, this will be the last live witness for the defense.”

As the cross-examination of DCT-008 commenced, Chief Prosecutor Brenda Hollis raised several questions relating to the role of the Special Security Services (SSS) in Liberia, the various places where communication radio sets were installed in the country, and communications that took place between the witness and Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels in Sierra Leone. Ms. Hollis also questioned the witness about the personal relationship he had with Mr. Taylor.

The Chief Prosecutor noted that he had a close relationship with Mr. Taylor, and that on occasions, they both discussed security issues. The witness said that was never the case.

“I was never close to Charles Taylor…I never sat with Mr. Taylor for any discussions on security matters…I told you…that the only time I spoke with him was in 2003 when some of our men went missing in the Lofa forest,” the witness said.

“I met with the president because I put in place a mechanism how to locate the men and Benjamin Yeaten wanted me to train the commanders on how to use the Thuraya satellite phone. That was the opportunity I met the president,” he added.

An area of disagreement during the cross-examination today was the location of radio communication sets inside the Executive Mansion of Liberia when Mr. Taylor was the president of the country. In the witness’s testimony, he has stated that the SSS radio communications department was based on the 4th floor of the Executive Mansion from where SSS radio operator Sun Light worked. This account, prosecutors say, goes contrary to what Mr. Taylor and Yanks Smythe, another defense witness who also worked as radio operator, told the court in their testimonies. These two men stated that the radio communication sets were installed on the 5th floor of the Executive Mansion. As Ms. Hollis suggested that Sun Light used communication equipment on the 5th floor of the Executive Mansion to communicate with the RUF in Sierra Leone, DCT-008 insisted that Sun Light did not work on the 5th floor but on the 4th floor of the Executive Mansion.

“It is also correct that in 1997, Sun Light worked on the 5th floor and communicated with the RUF component of the junta in Sierra Leone, is that not correct?” Ms. Hollis asked the witness.

“It is not true that Sun Light worked on the 5th floor of the Executive Mansion,” the witness responded.

Many prosecution witnesses mentioned Sun Light’s name as a the main radio operator who communicated with RUF rebels on behalf of Mr. Taylor and his security officials in Liberia. This witness has dismissed those testimonies as lies, telling the court that Sun Light only communicated with the RUF on behalf of SSS Director Mr. Yeaten and that such contacts were not to the knowledge of Mr. Taylor.

DCT-008’s cross-examination continues on Monday.


  1. This sounds like a ‘wise’ decision by Defense for Taylor to conclude calling their synthetic witnesses that are not only saying the same thing, time and again, but making no sense of their recollection of events and no concepts of time-frame! I predicted that Issa was the dumbest thing defense did in their whole efforts to clear taylor. Even though pros thought he was their best witness as ‘insider’, I think he did more damage than any other witness to the Defense Team! So long Griffiths, get ready to defend some others, we are going to drag before World Court of Liberia, next! taylor is done! You did well giving him high hopes at least! Now the world knows we gave him a fair trial even though he did not deserve such as he never pacticed any on countless number of people who met their end at his mercy!

    1. Fallah,
      As you started this case against every truth that came out in Mr. Taylor defense even known that facts were right before your eyes but you still turn against it. Even Maz zazah testified that member of the poro society deos eat human heart in the process and of which you’re a member of the poro Society. You did agree that Zazah was saying the truth and I did ask you in return if indee you ate human heart as part of becoming a member of the poro Society?

      Your answer was that you join the Kissi Poro Society which is not different from that of the, Kpelle, Loma, Gola, Gbandi, Mandi, Belle, Mano but you couldn’t answer my question due to the fact that you were wrong. I Joined the poro Society in January of 1975 and at no point that I had seen people eating human heart as part of the process of becoming member of the Poro Society! Again I am not against Mr. Taylor facing Justice but he should face Justice for the righ reasons which we don’t see in this case against Mr. Taylor. Everything prosecution witness testimony in this case had pointed to what happened in Sierra Leone instead, their est testimony had to do with what happened in Liberia!

      Therefore, it does come to what many of us have been saying all along that Mr. Taylor should face Justice for what happened in Liberia and have the sons Sierra Leonean to face Justice for cutting off the hands of their people which the NPFL didn’t do in Liberia! If a case was against Mr. Taylor for what happened in Liberia, you will hear or see on the news that a US service member is testifying against Mr. Taylor for what he did in Liberia and I tell you what, this case would have been over by now!

      1. The chance of a war crime court for what happened in Liberia is not likely to come to pass for a plethora of reasons. Moreover, if it does come to pass, there will be no US service perons giving testimony.

  2. Ladies and gentlemen we are in the 11th hour to finally decide the faith of President Taylor which lies in the hands of three judges.

    Supporters of President Taylor have vigorously argued in his defence, while the anti Taylor has argued to the contrary. Despite which side you may be on, but for the moment may the supporters put aside their love and the anti Taylor put aside their hate and come to a consensus that if the evidence is there to convict the judges MUST find him (Taylor) GUILTY. However,if the evidence is not there, the judges MUST acquit. I think that’s the only prudent think we all should hoped for, and want to see happened. Do we all agree?

    The main reason for this trial is for justice to prevail, to find out the truth. Anything short of true justice means two things. Firstly, Taylor should have been beheaded when he was arrested in Nigeria without a trial. Secondly, there shouldn’t have been an arrest and a trial in the first place. It’s wrong for President Taylor to be set free if the evidence is overwhelmed to ascertain a conviction. Nobody, is bigger then the LAW. If the prosecution has proven her case beyond “reasonable doubt” that President Taylor committed the crime, he (Taylor) should do the time.

    Consequently, President Taylor is someone’s father, brother, sister, uncle, niece, cousin and friend. It’s wrong to find him (Taylor) guilty knowingly the evidence is not there for a guilty verdict. Knowingly, taking a person away from his family and love ones without any justifiable reason is within itself wrong and
    should never happened.

    May God give these judges the Wisdom of Solomon and the courage to render justice without fear or favor.

    1. In agreement to BIG B let also add my view. my view is to ask all to start reviewing prosecution’s witnesses and the defense witnesses in an analytical manner. I think this will be a fair way for us to discuss this trial conclusion. Please respect my view.

    2. These international judges must prove they are upholding international rule of law…..and definitely not a western international rule of law…!

      In my view if they uphold the western rule of law it will be the end of this court so far as african cooperation goes!!!

      If they uphold the international rule of law ‘it might be difficult to convict but it will prolong the life of the court and the prestige and respectability of the judges in the world atlarge not just in the west!!!

    3. @ Big B

      I agree with you in part. First, the behaeading, vengence belongs to God not man.
      Last, the glaring problem is that one man can’t act alone nor should he bare the consequences alone. With that said, a conviction would be wanting b/c of the unchecked actions of others in SL. I personally find it incredible that a leader of one country can be responsible for the death and destruction of another country whilst there was a sitting leader in that destroyed country. yet, that doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

      On a different note, I don’t believe that this trial is about reconciliation and closure for SL. Reconciliation starts with the complete truth made public for all to see, hear and read. How else do we learn from our mistakes and head off conflict.
      Moreover, the exploitation of Africa and other third world countries must stop. Avenues to eductaion, infrastructure building and access to technology to tranform natural resurces into market products must increase in Africa. If SL and other situated countries negotiate a real seat at the power table they can access the threes (education, infrastructure building and tranformational technology) Until then, we cannot have real closure to the exploitation of Africa that has led to civil conflicts in those countries.

  3. Well Fallah I think Taylor show more evidence that he never support the war,then the prosecutor accusing him,the prosecutor never show any good or strong evidence in this case,well issay said Taylor never support his war,and the prosecutor never proof he was lying.I see the prosecutor only depending on Taylor action in the war in Liberia and his bad image,and also try to get a man guilty by saying u never say the radio room was on 4 floor or 5 floor.the is no evidence for us to see,we need to start opening a court for the Liberia war now,that the only way now.

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