International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Déjà Vu at the Charles Taylor Trial

In an unexpected moment of symmetry last week, on Tuesday, February 8, the defense lawyer for former Liberian president Charles Taylor walked out of court. At a break, Taylor himself left the courtroom and did not return.

The gesture of dramatic defiance from the defense, the prosecution left to speak before an empty defendant’s box—you would be forgiven for feeling you’d seen this before.

Almost four years ago, in June 2007, just as the trial was getting underway, Taylor’s then lawyer, Karim Khan, disregarded a judges’ order and walked out of the court, telling the judges he had Taylor’s instructions to do so. He left then chief prosecutor, Stephen Rapp, to deliver his opening statement in the absence of Taylor and his defense team. An indefinite adjournment followed. It took another six months to get the case on track.

Similarly, the walk-out this time threatens to do more than offer a matching bookend to the highest profile case at the Special Court for Sierra Leone. The theatrics cast a pall of doubt over the proceedings against Taylor, who is on trial for his alleged responsibility for mass crimes during the bloody 11-year war in Sierra Leone, and raises crucial new questions about the future of the case.

The drama began with a decision by the judges on Monday, February 7, to reject the defense final trial brief. The reason given: the brief was filed 20 days after the January 14 due date. This was unfair, Taylor’s team argued, because they were unable to finish their brief until the judges themselves had dealt with outstanding motions about different aspects of the trial—decisions that could impact their closing arguments. The judges were unmoved.

On Tuesday, when closing arguments were due to start—in front of a public gallery filled with international media—Taylor’s defense lawyer, Courtenay Griffiths said to the judges, “Our very presence in court is incompatible with representing Mr. Taylor’s interest…and it is our intention at this point, both Mr. Taylor and I, to withdraw from the court at this point.”

Despite being cautioned by the Special Court judges, Griffiths maintained, “I have made a decision, so has my client that we intend to leave.”

Griffiths eventually left the court room. Taylor, who was prevented from leaving with Griffiths by two security guards, disappeared after a morning recess.

In the interim since the last time the defense boycotted proceedings in 2007, the trial has run smoothly, with 115 witnesses—94 for the prosecution and 21 for the defense—testifying in court. During the trial, prosecutors have presented evidence that Taylor allegedly controlled and supported rebel forces in Sierra Leone, as they marauded through the country, hacking off the limbs of civilians, committing rape and murder, and laying waste to civilian property.

Taylor has denied the charges against him. During his initial appearance in April 2006, he told the court, “I did not and could not have committed these acts against the sister Republic of Sierra Leone…so most definitely I’m not guilty.”

But the question of Taylor’s guilt will have to wait. Last Friday, February 11, the day which had been set to hear rebuttal arguments from prosecution and defense lawyers, Taylor’s lawyer, Griffiths, was instead ordered to turn up in court and apologize for his walk-out three days earlier.

Griffiths did appear, but he sat quietly and did not speak. He left the podium to his co-counsel, Terry Munyard, who argued that instead of being asked to apologize, Griffiths should be granted a special disciplinary hearing, where he would be represented by an “experienced counsel.” This hearing was set for February 25. Griffiths will sit as a defendant rather than as defense counsel.

The defense also sought leave to appeal the decision to reject their final brief. The judges granted the defense request by majority, with Justice Richard Lussick dissenting. This paves the way for defense lawyers to file an appeal before a different panel of five Appeals Chamber judges.

The decision of the Appeals Chamber judges will be important in shaping the future steps in the case. If the Appeals Chamber judges uphold the decision of the Trial Chamber to reject the defense final brief, then it means proceedings will continue with the closure of the case and judgment delivered without the involvement of the defense.

As Griffiths put it in a press conference after Friday’s hearings, “I see no role for us to play in the process after that.”

Such a path risks criticisms of the trial as a whole, with questions raised about whether it is within Taylor’s fair trial rights not to have been allowed to take part in the closing of his case. Indeed, this possibility was foreshadowed by one of the trial judges, Justice Julia Sebutinde, who, in her dissenting opinion on the rejection of the defense final brief, noted: “To ultimately strike out on a procedural basis his [Taylor’s] Final Trial Brief that essentially contains his Defense to the charges in the Indictment is to deny him his fundamental right to defend himself.”

If, on the other hand, the Appeals Chamber overturns the Trial Chamber’s decision and orders that the defense final brief be accepted, then it becomes a matter of whether a new date will be scheduled for defense lawyers to make their own closing arguments.

Whatever the decision from the Appeals Chamber, it means that the drama that overshadowed proceedings last week has prolonged the process.

Such a delay probably would have been avoided if last week’s events had not been allowed in the first place. While it is very important for all parties to respect deadlines ordered by the judges, it must be noted that other options were open to the court to resolve this issue. Justice Sebutinde, for example, said in her dissenting opinion that a degree of discretion could be exercised by the judges in admitting briefs submitted late, and that such a practice was consistent with how judges have handled other trials at the Special Court and other international criminal tribunals.

It is certainly hoped that this trial is not faced with a situation where Taylor’s defense team cannot submit a final brief and present their closing arguments to the court. To date, the defense rights have been priority for the Court. Taylor’s team has been given a higher level of payment than defense teams in other international tribunals, it has received the necessary resources as confirmed by Taylor’s defense counsel, and has been given additional time when needed to prepare its case.

The trial has also run smoothly, by and large. It would be a shame if the positive story the court could tell about its respect for Taylor’s rights was overshadowed at this late stage.

84 Comments
  1. Alpha Sesay,
    You can give it any name you want, we care less. When ever it is not going right, especially for the accused, we will put up our hands and call the referees to order… Thats how it will be. If they decide not to listen, we’ill walk away. MAN CAN ONLY DIE ONCE… Every nonesence brought to de table will be treated with acute opposite rigidity..

  2. For those who were not around for the FIRST BOYCOTT, Mr. Taylor told the court he wanted EQUALITY just as the prosecutors plus he wanted to pick his own defense team…..in my judgement, he was RIGHT and CORRECT.

    At the beginging Mr. Taylor has five personels including his head lawyer to do investigations and represent him while the prosecutors has over 100 persons including the US and British gov’ts investigating. Again it was Judge Sebutinde who instructed the court to make the case an even playing field…..provide to the defense all she needed and suspended the case until things were put into place.

    Today it’s Judge Sebutinde telling her peers that TRUE JUSTICE comes with COMMON SENSE of REASONING.

  3. Both Noko4 & 5,

    Right on, right on, right on. tell it like the way it is. Stay motivated. HOORAY!!!

  4. Alpha,

    Today you are telling the world in details why Mr. Taylor and his defense were not present in court.
    However, you fell way too short in telling the world why Mr. Taylor did not show up the first time when the case first commenced. Alpha, you know the reason why he complained about his representation that clearly gave the prosecution an unfair advantage when the case first started. Anyways, thanks to both Noko 4 &5 for their insightfulness.

  5. We do not have to join issues with those who want to portray the defense as trying to delay proceedings by boycotting it. The facts on the ground speaks for itself. The defense has not at anytime submitted any frivolous motion with the intent of delaying the proceedings. if the trial chamber has excercised their discretion properly they would have beign able to better manage the trial. I hope the judges will learn from this. The defendant also has rights that MUST

  6. The prosecution is buying time to continue to make money out of this case forgetting about Mr. Taylor civil rights to live as a free man. But let me remind them that Mr. Taylor is no nonsense man, and he will never take one from these half justice seekers.

  7. Charles Taylor is facing very serious charges. It is true that an accused is expected to comply with the court’s orders in relation to time limits. However, it is not uncommon in International Criminal Law practice for a court to admit and consider a brief filed out of time. The phrase commonly used or reason commonly given when briefs are admitted out of time is that this is done “in the interest of justice”. In every trial, rendering justice must be the primary concern of the court. Procedural difficulties or glitches should NEVER prevail over JUSTICE. NB. The Accused and other parties should however not use this principle to deliberately disrupt the trial. I think the Appeals Chamber will grant Taylor’s Appeal.

  8. Mr. Commentator could you please provide us the reason(s) for the first walk out by the defence?

    • I asked the commentator or moderator for reasons as to why the Charle Taylor defence team walked out on proceedings in 2007. Am I to assume that no response is forthcoming? I have come to notice that this is becoming common of Sesay.
      N.B: Is Tracey ever coming back before the trial finally rounds up? She bears criticisms honourably and responds to questions posed as early as she can.

      • Rgk007,
        Your concerns are well noted. However, i wanted to make clear that i do not deliberately ignore questions that come from you the readers. Tracey was in a position to respond to questions when she was moderating the comments on the website. Similarly, when i was moderating, i always endaevoured to provide swift answers to questions from you all, even those that were attacks directed at me or critical of the work i do. It happens now that Taegin is moderating and i am hardly in a position to respond to questions immediately because i am almost always away attending to other work related issues. On occassions when i have had to step in for Taegin, i try to provide swift responses to questions when they are asked. When i am away, sometimes Taegin has to consciously draw my attention to questions so that i can provide responses. Kindly note that there are several other things that take my attention, which, though not more important that the questions that come from you, prevent me from knowing that there are questions that are directed to me. I’ll try to be making more regular follow-ups.
        Alpha

        • I am grateful for your response Mr Sesay. I understand your circumstances. I must say, I thought you were deliberately ignoring your favourite critics (joke). Thanks again and keep making the forum lively. Cheers.

    • For those who were not around for the FIRST BOYCOTT, Mr. Taylor told the court he wanted EQUALITY just as the prosecutors plus he wanted to pick his own defense team…..in my judgement, he was RIGHT and CORRECT.

      At the beginging Mr. Taylor has five personels including his head lawyer to do investigations and represent him while the prosecutors has over 100 persons including the US and British gov’ts investigating. Again it was Judge Sebutinde who instructed the court to make the case an even playing field…..provide to the defense all she needed and suspended the case until things were put into place.

      Today it’s Judge Sebutinde telling her peers that TRUE JUSTICE comes with COMMON SENSE of REASONING.

    • Rgk007,
      The first walk-out of court by Mr. Taylor’s lawyer in 2007 occured because of concerns from Mr. Taylor that his defense team had not been properly constituted. Mr. Taylor had complaints that his team was under-staffed and under-resourced when compared to the prosecution. His lawyer then, Karim Khan explained these things to the court and said that he had Mr. Taylor’s instructions not to take part in the opening of the trial. Taylor himself was absent in court. Mr. Khan eventually walked out of the court despite being ordered by the judges not to do so.

      The then duty counsel for Mr. Taylor, Charles Jalloh later appeared in court and expressed these concerns to the judges in greater detail and the judges issued an order that the various concerns be addressed. Although the prosecution went ahead with the opening statement in the absence of both Taylor and his defense lawyer, there was an adjournment for about six months before the trial started in earnest in January 2008. At that time, his defense team was now properly constituted with Griffiths as his new lead counsel.

      Hope this helps.
      Alpha

  9. Thanks Noko5. You have logically deciphered the code of the “bias” in this case. Keep up the excellent work.

    Hori.

  10. Alpha,
    Very good analysis !

  11. All propaganda war Alpha is fighting for this fake case in this identical post. We can see straight through you Alpha. Nice try though.

    On another front, is anyone following the civil unrest in the Middle East with respect to the dramatic “spreed” of demonstration from one country to another? That’s what would have happened to the West African Sub-region, if these African leaders, especially Ellen, had allowed the West to influence war in the Ivory Coast. An attack on ivory Coast by the U.N. and these western sponsored African troops, would have caused serious problems for our people. But these Western sponsored puppet regimes don’t care and won’t mind following orders from those that are keeping them in power. As for Ellen, it was one of the smartest things she ever did for herself and her corrupt regime to flip flop on her initial support to use force in removing Laurent Gbarbo. Good job for changing your mind on the use of force. But no one for a moment should think that the flipflop was because of love for human lives of Ivorians. No not at all. It was because the war would have potentially come back to Liberia, starting from Grand Gedeh County, Nimba County, and Maryland County, Liberia. And once the war hits those 3 counties in Liberia, it is over for the Ellen Regime. At least, you saw that one coming Ellen; good job on your flipflop.

    • The generation making decision in Africa at the moment are the last wave of people that think the western european is their god as they have been conditioned to think that way…because of colonialism and western fascism….some of these guys even have pictures of a WHITE JESUS in their houses..(Bytheway i am christian too minus the White Jesus crap)

      These generation seems prone to follow any suggestion presented to them by the white european…and in my less than 30yrs on this planet and my research on our historic relation with european its like they do one con trick after the other on our forebears…they sad thing is they are still trying it on.

  12. Whatever taylor’s counsel says, to me, makes no sense at all. First of all, counsel has itself to blame for giving bad counsel to defendant,taylor, who already knows the odds against him! Secondly, the repeat of walking away from court similar to previous one in 2007 demonstrates a pattern of behavior that the Court rightly needs to address, whether through sactions or as it sees fit. Taylor is not going to have it both way as he is accustomed! he is the biggest looser whether he uses delay tactics or otherwise, because in the end he sits in prison, and remains in cutody! Period!

    • Fallah,

      President Taylor will never compormise to uphold what is right. He will stand in defense of equal pprotection under the law and what is right. If you were thinking that the prosecution will dominate by having an unfair advantage in this fake trial, think again. Not with this innocent man. You know him.

  13. Fallah Fallah..
    Maan, give me a brake! whats in this world that would ever make sence to you? Even the air you breath every day has never made a nano logic to you so how would you make anything of a lawyers actions.. why should anyone think someones idea or whatever that makes sence to sensible people would make sence to you…Not to say the least, does the word FALLAH makes sence to you?? “LOL”

  14. Do you all remember taylor’s last infamouse saying..”God willing I will be back..?” Yes , God was willing because taylor returned to Liberia for few hours in chains and handcuffs! That is how the Law of Karma works! Now he resides in the Hague!

  15. Dear JTF,

    Can you please remove the phrase at the end of your second sentence beginning with “during the time…”? This does not comply with out policy for comments. If you remove this prase, we will then post your comment.

    Thank you.

    • Alpha et al,

      I would like to congratulate you guys not because of your reporting, because at times your reporting is out of wrack. However, I would like to congratulate you guys for the level of professionalism you all have demonstrated and continue to demonstrate. At times our comments to you guys are less than desirable, to say the less. Notwithstanding, your kind, cool and collective respond to our comments are overwhelming.

      There are biases in everybody, but overall I think you guys are doing a great job.

      • Nonesense, to say the least! You are flip flopping again Big B.. be like Jose..keep holding your guns to the last..we are approaching fast dude!

        • fallah,

          Big B “flap flopping” you got to be joking. I told you before that I am a lover of justice and a realist. I call it, as I see it. I give praise where praise is due, and criticize when necessary. I do not see wrong and call it right, vice versa. falllah, is bend on hate and will go to his final resting place with hate imbedded in his fossils. To say the least!

  16. Speaking of deja vu, I think I have a couple of witness mimicks ( or rhymes ). 1: “My head is not a computer” ; 2: “Sierra leone will taste the bitterness of war” ; 3: ” He must not live to tell the story ( with reference to SAJ Musa ); 4: “The mistake came from the person who wrote this; etc. Funny how a bunch of adults mimick one another and expect to be seen as credible.
    Next, I would love some assistance from a Sierra Leonean on this: Is it common practice for the nation state of Sierra Leone to charge and convict “innocent” people with grave crimes such as murder and attempted murder? As this is the case of Messrs Isaac Mongor and Foday Lansanna who were both arrested (seperately) on the 7th of May 2000 and charged with crimes apportioned to other RUF members arrested (surprisingly) on the 8th of May 2000. I would like to know if this is really Sierra Leonean state practice. Also, was Foday Sankoh arrested on the 8th of May 2000? I ask this because Mr Mongor testifies that he was joined at pademba road prison by Mr Sankoh amongst others the day after he got there i.e the 8th of May 2000 .

  17. Breakinng New The Anglo-American mining companies in africa made huge profits this year ….with their concessional mining deals from daft leaders,

    All i will say is the days for such type of deals are numbered…….where a minister of mines and the president in an african country are given a payment of 1million dollars a year for the right to exploit and extract billions of dollars worth of natural resources.

  18. Long Live Ghankay, Long Live Liberia. My people, above all, Liberia must matter. Let us hold together as brothers and sisters. In union strong, success is sure. We demand that our ex-prez (Ghankay) be free, now!!!!

  19. Noko4, Noko5,Jose Rodriguez, Cee, Aki and all those who live and breath by this forum or seem to find it difficult finding something else to occupy their precious time,

    Taylor’s lawyers are being use by the UK and US to delay the verdict of this court and deny Taylor the opportunity of participating in the coming elections. The refusal of Taylor’s lawyers to submit their final brief on schedule is a grand ploy hatched by the UK and US and executed by Taylor’s lawyer since they have realized that there are insufficient evidences for conviction and any judgement now will lead to Taylor returning home and winning the election hands down. I can’t really see the logic in Taylor placing his chance of ever eating cassava leaf in Monrovia or drinking palm wine in Gbatala in the hands of a British, citizen of a country which he claims will do anything to disgrace and convict him. He is seriously mistaken to think that a Briton (especially the one who prefers Britain over the West Indies) would choose the interest of an African from a God forsaken place over the national interest of his beloved Britain. It’s a great irony that the “greatest pan-africanist of all time”, Charles Macarthur Ghankay Taylor, wouldn’t take an African lawyer as his lead counsel. Definitely, he can’t tell us that African lawyers are not the best. We don’t need to look far to see that African lawyers are the best, for Judge Julia Sebutinde epitomizes how good African lawyers are.

    The aforementioned statements are simply a figment of my imagination intended to simply show what can happen when one allows his imagination to run wild. Relying entirely on common sense, simple logic and isolated examples to explain complex matters, one can come with anything to masquerade his wishes and expectations as facts.
    An example of how some of us have been giving simplistic explanations to explain away our inabilities to understand complex matters and forced our wishes and hope to become facts is recent posts on the the convoluted issues of Intelligent gatherings and intricacies involved in classified documents, the recent wikileaks diplomatic cables. I’m puzzle that proponents of the claim that this Court is controlled by the US and the UK would come here using those leak cables to buttress their claim. The US ambassador to Liberia suggestion to her government and her criticism of the court is anything but buttress that this Court is controlled by the US. If anything her concerns show that either the court has resisted external influence or there has been absolutely no attempt at influencing the Court. Only people ignorant of the power and influence of the US and the ways the US deals with her adversaries would, after reading those leaked diplomatic cables, not be convinced that the US has absolutely no interest in influencing the decisions of the court.
    On a serious note, Taylor belongs to our past. We should focus on our future and the future of our posterity and try to redeem the days the locusts (the wars and their architects) have eaten and let the dead (those who sponsor Taylor and all warlords) buried their own dead (Taylor and all warlords).What is our business or why should we have problem with the devil being undress by the same people that dress it?
    It is undebatable that Taylor alone shouldn’t be in the Hague while other perpetrators of heinous crimes against humanity are comfortably enjoying their loots and even boasting about their deeds but there is something called Karma. Taylor is being given the dose of his own medicine and we can do is look, listen and learn from it.
    As Abraham Lincoln rightly put it “Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it.”

    Reply

    • Morris,
      Do know the THEORY OF FINGER POINTING?? I guess not. But let me tell you that when you point a finger at someone, it’s just one finger but guess what, THREE are pointed back you…..go ahead and try it. Now do you know WHY?? No need to waste time….it means do not be THE JUDGE, THE PROSECUTOR and THE JURY for the finger that points into the sky is the REAL DECIDER. I hope you learn something today.

      No Morris, I got better and more important things to do… oh by the way you can catch er on radiolib.com every midnite Eastern Standard Time(US). Call me and send a shout out to your relatives and friends plus love ones.

    • Well put, Master Morris Kanneh! You have said it all in one stroke to all support group of taylor and their ignorance of undermining reality and what happened to the victims. You are very right and you got them dancing, I bet, from your openning paragraphs,and only to pepper them in the middle part of your process of teaching a simple lesson to them;”Thou shall reap what you sow.” I pity the facts that these guys seem to live by no principles, and that is the scarest part about taylor support group! Seriously!

      • So Fallah,

        Do you agree with Morris Kanneh Statement that says the following? “The U.S. and U.K. have realized that there are insufficient evidences for conviction and any judgement now will lead to Taylor returning home and winning the election hands down.”

        As I said before, President Taylor has defeated the whole world through this fake case.

        Fallah, Morris Kanneh seems to be looking at this thing differently from you; though, both of you started supporting this fake case together in the name of justice. It appears like he’s leaving you in the cold. Did you see this statement in his post that you were praising? And if you did, do you agree? And if not, will you take back you praise for his post?

        Look, peace lover of the world, join us and do the right thing in advocating for the release of this innocent man in the Hague.

      • Fallah,
        Why is Mr. Taylor in court?? No don’t waste my time….because of the VICTIMS!!!!. Our point is, the charges and the evidences DO NOT add up. Who will look at those victims and cheer Fallah…..those that were responsible based on the MANDATE of this court are in jail.

        Again, if he is convicted, it won’t be based on the TRUE JUSTICE….from the get go, it was all about WE WILL TEACH HIM A LESSON.

    • Morris Kannehh,

      Very good commentary, but the fact remains, IF the EVIDENCE IS THERE the JUDGES MUST CONVICT, BUT IF the EVIDENCE IS NOT THERE, THE JUDGES MUST ACQUIT.

    • Morris Kanneh,

      No Mr. Morris Kanneh. President Taylor’s lawyers are not being used by the U.S. and Great Britain as you may want us to believe. To me, your statement is a gross grotesque in impugning the splendid and unmatched performance of the defense team against this fake prosecution. I know you want the defense to tire, falter, and fail, but the way in which you want it to happen is just not true. By the way, you have every right to disagree with the defense team. But you don’t have the right to inflict upon them the utter cruel denial of their humanities by asserting these unfounded propositions and ideas. To me, it’s just dumbfounded and immensely naive. Morris, what’s up with this “karma” word you guys keep on talking about in recent time? Speaking about the “wikileak” and the American Ambassador to Liberia, Linda Thomas Greenfield statement of putting this innocent man away for a long time reinforces the fact that this inherently flawed court is being used as a means to put this peacemaker behind bars. Also be advised, this fake case is being sponsored heavily by America and Great Britain. They crafted the rules and procedures of this hybrid court.

  20. Mr. Griffiths, from the begenning of this case to now, you have got no case. Stop direspecting these Judges. They are proffenals in their careers and bear in mind that it is not only Westerners you should resprct. If the Judges were Westerners (White) you were not going to be behaving as you are doing. There are also well learned Africans such as those judges you are misbehaving to because they are black.
    Stop respecting money more than human being as your client Charles Taylor did in the Sub-region. We all know that he is presently a milti-bilionaire from destroying lives and properties in the Sub-region and therefore, you keep on walking out of court just to delay the ruling so you and your team can make more money from him even though, you very well know that you have no case

  21. Jose, you are actually confused because your God-father will pretty soon go to rest as the son is resting in the US. You are now talking about the Middle-east, Ivory Coast, Ellen of Liberia who is now World Nobel Peace Price Winner, diamonds in Sierra Leone, and whole lot of nonsense Bear in mind that your so called God-father was not taken to the Hague for the diamonds in Sierra Leone but, is simply charged with 11 counts of human Right abuses. Hit the nail on the top and forget about the present revolution that going on in the Arab World for human freedom. If you are altogther lack of words to back your God-father, it is time that you close up and leave others alone because you are not going to hold no more gun.

    • Morris Kanneh,
      Have your lost words /concentration/your mind/focus on this trial or just got notthing to say because you’ve conceeded. Are you a fortune teller or suitsayer. my brother jujuman tactics will not work in this trial..I just don’t understand why you decided to play mind game here? IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU OR SOMEWHERE….One thing I admired about this post of yours, is that you tried to open the eyes of people like Fallah Menjor and his friends, by letting them know that, there is no evidence to convict president Taylor and infact he can win elections again in Liberia.. GOOD JOB BOY!!

      • Noko5,

        It is about time for Morris Kanneh to come clean and say the truth. All along, he (Morris) was sounding just like Fallah menjor who continues to live in total denial. Today folks, Morris Kanneh of all person, is telling the world that “since they have realized that there are insufficient evidences for conviction and any judgement now will lead to Taylor returning home and winning the election hands down”; as the result, both the U.S. and U.K. ployed this plan. Morris, could you explain this paragraph to your Fallah who shares similar view with you when it comes to this fake case? Besides, why did it take you too long to write this paragraph? I am not sure if I can agree with you in its entirety. Anyways, if you say so, I hear you.

    • JTF,

      Seriously, you are clueless. You have no idea of what you are talking about, as the result, I am not going to elevate you to a status that you are not. But before I leave, are you sure that Ellen “is now World Nobel Peace Price Winner”? What year did she win the World “Nobel Peace Prize”? Boss, please answer this simple question. I know for a fact, that the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize was given to a Chinese dissident, Liu Xiaabo, and this year Nobel Peace Prize will be given around October of 2011. So JTF, please for heaven sake for crying out loud, point to the year that this rebel granny got that Prize? Good Lord Almighty, which way should we turn?

      • At least Ellen is rumoured to be a prospective reciepian of a Nobel Peace Prize whereas, charles gankay taylor never smelled such honour in his short measirable and pathectic life! Anything else smart about Ellen? Wake up Jose, you are not taylor’s son or relative to get heart attack on this site! You probably never got 5 cents out of all the alleged stolen loots! Chill man, we are talking about sense here and not all this jumble..mumble street talks and thoughts!

        • Fallah,

          You are a funny guy. I can’t imagine you guys keep changing your false assertion. I vividly remembered you and your team emphatically saying to us who see this fake case differently from you, that we are “beneficiaries of Mr. Taylor looted wealth” that is nowhere to be found. Now you are say that I “Jose probably never got 5 cents out of all the alleged stolen loots!” Well, let me say this to you. I don’t know Mr. Taylor personally. I have never eaten a dime from him. As the matter of fact, I was about 15 years old in 1990 when the revolution Taylor launched overwhelmed the country. I saw him once in 1991 on the Fare Ground in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, Liberia. Fallah, it will behoove of you to ask questions if you don’t know about something as oppose to just keep on guessing. Lastly, I don’t take orders from man like you Fallah. Therefore, never tell me to ever chill again. Do you understand the words that coming out of my mouth?

        • fallah,

          Rumors are nothing strange associated with ellen. Her life story is base on rumor nothing factual, fake. From being a rebel, to the turning over of President Taylor and winning the Nobel Peace Prize, are rumors from you and ellen’s prospective. Ha-ha. Ellen and the prosecution have one major thing in common. ellen life is base on rumor, same as the prosecution case.

          “Birds of the same feather flock together.”

        • Fallah,
          Oh! why are you being prsonal with jose, why are you trying to investigate his finacial accounts..WOW ! you guys have failed on Taylor and are now trying to find out how much money other people got in savings? CLASSIC ! You know what, Jose don’t have to say anything to you about money. THANK YOU..

      • Okay, Jose wants us to believe that he is now 36 since he was 15 in 1990 when taylor entered Nimba with his notorious rebels turned cannibals, as alleged! This is in preparation of trial to follow in Liberia, because Jose will then argue that he was not underage when he probably took arms for taylor! Wow, these guys are like old clocks, they never tell the correct time of the day!

  22. Is this site only for Liberian to publish comments on the CT? What do I have to do to get my views publish?

    • Dear pebock,

      Welcome, and thank you for your comment. No, this site is not only for Liberians to publish comments. We encourage any person with an interest in the trial of Charles Taylor to submit comments or respond to reports from our monitor. We only ask that the comments are directed towards issues relating to the trial. We look forward to your contribution.

      Kind regards,

      Taegin

  23. Taegin and Alpha,

    Quick question for Alpha, Taegin, and co. I took a look at your ‘who we are’ page and noticed my brother Alpha’s photo is posted along with his profile. I saw no photo of Taegin, Tracey, and others. I wonder why? Would you mind offering an explanation? Just curious!!!

    Peace.

    • Dear Davenport,

      We have a picture of Alpha on the website because he is the primary monitor of the Taylor Trial and thought it would be appropriate to include a picture of him next to his profile. Alpha is the “face” of the website. There was no deliberate reason why photos of Tracey or myself have not been included next to our profiles. Is this something readers would find useful or add to their experience on the website? It would be nice to know your thoughts.

      Kind regards,

      Taegin

      • Taegin
        It would be good to personalize the profiles by adding photos. It humanizes the profile.

        • Hi Jose,

          We will talk to our website developers here and see what can be done. Thank you for your feedback.

          Best,

          Taegin

      • Friends,

        I think including your photo to your profile will:

        1. Deconstruct the notion that you are projecting Alpha’s picture for a hidden reason
        2. Reduce suspicion – that you have absolutely nothing to hide
        3. Reinvigorate or enliven the discussion
        4. Give your audience the chance to put picture to name/comments

        If you did, you will greatly boost our experience on this site.

        I love this maxim “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

        Peace.

  24. My message to individuals who analyse and discuss with reason is to ignore derogatory and provocative commentaries posted by shallow people. This way, their voices will just be akin to shooting in the ocean – water can not be murdered. Responding to trash steers us away from the issue at hand i.e. the Sierra Leonean (not Liberian) war trials.

  25. More US cables released thru the Freedom of Information Act on America’s role in undermining the Charles Taylor lead government of Liberia.

    http://shelbygrossman.com/

    • Aki, while I respect your views and opinions just as everyone else is entitled to one. I strongly detest – for want of a weaker word – the advertisement of the grossman blog site as an avenue for enlightened information. You must agree with me that the blog site already has its own disillusioned opinion of Charles Taylor as an individual and like the other agents have a personal crusade ( I wonder why ) against him. You can decipher that johnny dwyer himself is just an opportunist tout who forms fantasy stories about Africa and Liberia in particular.
      I also read your comments on that site and wondered why you wasted your time trying to pass on common and objective reasoning to those people. You and I know that if the cables do not show America’s vendetta against Charles Taylor I wonder what it then portrays. The court should have investigated its own self if there really is no external influence bearing down on it.
      Anyway, I salute you for still being a voice of sensibility and reasoning as these stray Americans with blogs and pens really do not care about Liberia and its people talkless of Sierra Leone.
      P.S: Don’t you find it strange that people who term themselves as “educated” think in such a one track manner. Also, all the much talked about evidence has not surfaced in this court.

        • Thanks Mas, I actually read it yesterday hence my commentary regarding the shallow fella called johnny bravo dwyer. Apart from the fact that he retrieved the documents via the freedom of info. act, he is a downright self-serving and biased ignorant individual – he thinks most of Liberia is “bush” – who I believe only went through the trouble (if any) of getting the cables for his twisted book. The cables show you that Africa is riddled with US spies/agents who view our people as secondary to their own material interest(s). It however categorizes rumours and conjectures as “evidence”.

      • Yes indeed,there are many selfless eurocentricly educated Africans,that are incapable of thinking rationally for the benefit of Africa,they merely repeat the the thinking of their masters which has proven time and time again to be bad for africa and flawed, leaving them looking like people that lacks intelligent and foresight…..hence the term,we have lots of educated fools in Africa(especially west africa),The Europeans are very much aware of this,so they aid them to power and maintain the conn trick.

    • Where can these cables be found quickly?

  26. they have dressed the devil and want to leave the devil in the street. taylor will be freed

  27. Aki,

    Thanks for a fascinating read. If nothing else, it shows how delicate and geo-politic this trial is. The exact link to the article is below. I encourage all to read and form you own conclusions.

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/02/21/a_warlords_last_chance?page=0,0

  28. T.S., et al,

    Do you guys know the time court will be in session on 2/25/11?

    Thanks, I am grateful.

    • Dear Big B,

      The hearing is scheduled for 9:30am, The Hague.

      Kind regards,

      Taegin

      • Will details of the main trial resumption be posted here? And of course the appeal details?
        J

        • Dear jennifer,

          Yes, we will continue to monitor the details of the main trial and report on the Appeals Chamber decision when it is handed down.

          Kind regards,

          Taegin

  29. Camp Tajura ( Libya ) has fallen to Libyan protesters, a site that have been over mentioned in this trail, a place Charles Taylor admitted to training his special forces, before lunching his brutal attacks against the peace loving people of the Mano river union. He ( Charles Taylor ) is bound to fall. Quilty it is…..

    • These young people in north africa are having a revolution to be free from dictators who oppress them,politically and economically and pretending all along they were a pan-africanist when infact they works for the west interest….young people are wise enough to see through these old fools…The revolution in west africa was put down,by pro-colonialist and their masters….think of kabba’s $20million loan from the west during the conflict in sierra leone…in return he gives the western companies exclusive right to a fifth of all sierra leone mining.The west no doubt makes billions of $ a year….our wise old men of africa!!! gaddafi was acting like a wise pan-africa rebel but he was selling Libya’s oil the same way cheap,cheap,cheap……and making deals similar like daft old kabba….these older rulers do not know the value of anything!!!!

    • Ziggy Salis,

      Tell that one to Ellen and Fahnbullah.

  30. Noko4,
    I can’t believe you have a problem with fingers pointing. To the best of my knowledge, you have been all over the places blaming everybody else, save Taylor, for Taylor current predicaments.
    As for your statements ” you can catch er on radiolib.com every midnite Eastern Standard Time(US)”, how about you are preparing to go to the moon?
    If you think I’m gullible to believe statements simply because they are made by Noko4 then you must be a joker.

  31. Jose Rodriguez ,
    Considering your frequent bragging of great intellectualism and academic abilities, I’m utterly shocked that you do not know the meaning of the phrase ‘figment of imagination’. I’m puzzled that a man who boost of high analytical abilities can’t read between few lines. I pity you that you can’t recognise sarcasm when you see one and yet you expect to be taken seriously on this forum.
    Next time, please closely and carefully read others’ posts before responding to them.
    Jose, nothing can be farther from the truth than your statements ” Fallah, Morris Kanneh seems to be looking at this thing differently from you; though, both of you started supporting this fake case together in the name of justice.” I know fully well that Taylor is guilty for all the charges levied against him and more and I know it first hand. We are only having this debate because of the White man systematised and civilised ways of determining the guilt of an individual which leave loopholes that are being exploited by Taylor and his lawyers. You know that if Taylor was being tried by our ways- Sassywood or the NPFL jungle justice dubbed Uniform codes of Military justice by Taylor and Cohorts, the Papay Ghankay would have become lunch long time ago.

  32. Jose Rodriguez,
    For you this trial is all about who is making splendid performances, who is the most eloquence and who is making the finest arguments . For you, this is just another soap opera to be enjoyed. You seem more interested in the theatricals and not seeking facts. You seem to have more pleasure in urban legends and conspiracy theories rather then truth finding from eye witnesses, victims and actors in the blood-letting and unspeakable horrors that inundated that region for almost two decades.
    For some of us, unlike you, this case is about bringing justice to the innocent ones who lives were taken away in cold blood. For some of us, it is about someone taking responsibility for taking away the childhood of hundred of thousands of kids and destroying their future, aspirations and ambitions. More importantly, it is about establishing a deterrence for would-be ‘saviours and freedom fighters’ and bring closure to the hurts and bleeding hearts of the people of that subregion.
    I sense that you will only be convinced about Taylor’s guilt if you see hard evidence because, I assume you were never there to witness Taylor spread headed atrocities first hand or you truly do not know Taylor at all. Considering your circumstances, your arguments are understandable but I hope you will also walk into our shoes and try to see the points from which we make our arguments.
    For me, no amount of rhetoric, fine speeches, intellectual and academic displays would take away Taylor’s role in the destruction of Sierra Leone. No amount of clever arguments, semantics, legalistic procedures or ceremonies would change the facts and history of the uncivilised wars spear-headed by Taylor in that region. The facts of Taylor’s heinous activities in that region speak for themselves and only those ignorance of Taylor’s madness, those in denials or cohorts of Taylor need a court to convince them of the evils of Taylor. I don’t need a Courtenay Griffiths to tell me that the RUF was not controlled by Taylor when I know its first hand that the RUF and NPFL were one and the same. I don’t need any lawyer to me that Small Boy units were not an integral part of the NPFL when many of my friends and play mates below the age of 15 were forcefully conscripted by notorious NPFL generals and forced to fight and die for the NPFL. Only persons either ignorance of the NPFL viciousness or out for deceptions will ask me to give physical proofs that as a 12 years ago I was forcefully taken for military training at a NPFL training base and narrowly escape or proofs of the death of my play mates while fighting the NPFL’s wars. Anyone waiting to see recruitment certificates or death certificates with Taylor’s signature for 11, 12 and 13 years who died while fighting for the NPFL must be truly ignorance of our uncivilised war. Definitely, I would never give you physical proofs that an NPFL rebel became a RUF when he/her enters Sierra Leone and vice verse. If only you knew that keeping physical proofs against the NPFL were tantamount to writing your own death warrant then you would have shown some sympathy to victims of Taylor’s madness and stop insulting the memorials of those whose lives were putted on the slaughter slab in order to satisfy Taylor’s bloodthirsty for wealth and power.
    Jose, probably, you have never been to our part of the world or you have lived too long in the US or the developed to fully understand the difficulties of recording and safeguarding physical evidences in our part of the world. Make no mistake, Taylor is no fool. Taylor is an evil genius and he knew fully well the consequences of his actions and did all possible to eliminate all evidences. So, it is foolhardy to think Taylor would be indicted on the basis of physical proofs.
    Indeed, Courtenay Griffiths may be a very brilliant man and know lots more than I know but not on the Liberian uncivilised war. While he may need to read and gather information on the our uncivil war, I experienced it. In other words, while his knowledge on our uncivilised war are second, third and even third hands, mine is first hand. So, it is irony of the highest order to expect me to be educated about our uncivilised wars and Taylor’s role in them by Courtenay Griffiths or any court. Courtenay Griffiths calling is to do all possible to vindicate his client from all charges while mine is to do my little to prevent a criminal from going free.
    Yes, we speak of karma because we know of the imperfection of human institutions and the probability of a criminal to going free, not because of his/her innocent, due the brilliancy of his/her lawyers or simply on the basis of legal technicalities. But we take hope and have faith in Karma.
    As the GOOD BOOK put it “”Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Gal. 6:7-8).
    No matter what happen in the months to come, no matter whatever verdict is given, we can take faith in the fact that a person can succeed in deceiving some people but he/she can never deceive God and justice will be serve whether in this life or the life to come.

    • Morris kanneh,

      You said these words. “The U.S. and U.K. have realized that there are insufficient evidences for conviction and any judgement now will lead to Taylor returning home and winning the election hands down.” However, I didn’t force you to say it. So where is the beef of sarcasm here? Uncle Morris, no amount of words can change those spoken words of yours.

  33. Jose Rodriguez ,
    Considering your frequent bragging of great intellectualism and academic abilities, I’m utterly shocked that you do not know the meaning of the phrase ‘figment of imagination’. I’m puzzled that a man who boast of high analytical abilities can’t read between few lines. I pity you that you can’t recognise sarcasm when you see one and yet you expect to be taken seriously on this forum.
    Next time, please closely and carefully read others’ posts before responding to them.
    Jose, nothing can be farther from the truth than your statements ” Fallah, Morris Kanneh seems to be looking at this thing differently from you; though, both of you started supporting this fake case together in the name of justice.” I know fully well that Taylor is guilty for all the charges levied against him and more and I know it first hand. There is absolutely nothing fake about this case.
    We are only having debate about Taylor’s guilt because of the White man systematised and civilised ways of determining the guilt of an individual which leave loopholes that are being exploited by Taylor and his lawyers. You know that if Taylor was being tried by our ways- Sassywood or the NPFL jungle justice dubbed Uniform codes of Military justice by Taylor and Cohorts, the Papay Ghankay would have become lunch long time ago.

    • Morris Kanneh,
      Sassywood, jungle justice is acts of uncivilized people. Africans, especially Sierra Leonean should be beyond that phase in history.

  34. Big B makes a valid point. As much as readers and bloggers have been very rough and critical of Alpha and others, they have always respected and demonstrated the highest level of professionalism.

    On the count, Alpha and his team gets an A plus.

  35. T0 ALL,

    If anyone is interested to get a glimpse of Charles Taylor’s masterplan of destabalizing Africa, i refer them to go to YOU TUBE and type: The peacekeepers war. In that piece from about two minutes in the recording, Taylor stated that “they would seek to destroy all these military DICTATORSHIPS around Africa.”

    As is evident above, Taylor’s plan was to destibalize Africa; starting with Liberia, Sierra Leone and so forth. His so-called liberation drive was not only intended for Liberia, so for him to now dissociate himself from Sierra Leone when it is obvious that Liberia was not the only battleground, tells you that he speaks with two sides of his mouth.

    Taylor issued this continental threat and boom Sierra Leone with a military dictator Joseph Momo is attacked from within Liberia with Taylor’s forces and logistics and with training from Taylor’s military base (camp Nama). Taylor was the mastermind for the Sierra Leonean war and executed it to its very end. Sankor was Taylor’s puppet.

    I am awaiting the disclaimer from Taylor loyalists or fanatics on this comment and its execution.

    Karma is really such a bitch; isn’t it ? Rebels Grandfather Gadhafi is on the ropes from his own civilian populace. He trained and financed Taylor and other warlords in Africa to kill their own people, now that fate is about to befall him. This man vows to crush the demonstrations by killing his people, using the military and he was a role model for Taylor.

    I am waiting; pro-Taylor Folks.

    • When was that footage shot? Anyone who knows anything about Liberia knows that that footage was shot in late 92- early 93′ as evidenced by Taylor’s forces being in the monrovia surroundings during the infamous Octopus.

      So that footage was shot way after the events in Sierra Leone had begun. Second, while I believe Taylor should be tried for crimes in Liberia the comment he made was in the context of a group of African Dictators(Ecowas) using Ecomog to attack in Liberia.

      Lastly since in your words Taylor created the RUF can you and the prosecution explain how Sankoh and his thugs made it to Libya for Training?

      • Mas,
        Amazing, you guys ask for evidence all the time on this site and you are given one that states Taylor’s plan of fighting in other places than liberia and you have the audacity to spin it like this. This footage was during Öperation Octopus”and whether it was after the start of the war in Sierra Leone also proves that he was living up to his plans. That is why i always refer to you guys that support, Taylor fanatics. No amount of evidence will convince you of Taylor’s crimes.
        We await the verdict.

        • Well you can call me whatever name you want. Its funny how people resort to name calling when they’re getting destroyed rhetorically.

          The same video you watched is the same one i watched, the difference btw me and you is my mind and sight isn’t partly clouded and juandiced.

          A wise man once said, if you cant stand the heat, get out the kitchen. So respond to the merits of my argument and save the personal attacks oh boy!!

    • Nosirrah,

      Seriously, find something else to talk about as oppose to your “they would seek to destroy all these military DICTATORSHIPS around Africa” as evidence. No connection. UNBELIEVABLE.

      • Jose,
        I don’t know what you read that did not make connection to the comment. The very first sentence of my third paragraph made the connection. You don’t cease to amaze me. While you think this quality of fanaticism is loyalty, it is the onset of insanity. UNBELIEVABLE.

        This is one video evidence you guys always request, so i don’t understand why you want to downplay it now.

        Stalwarts of human rights will keep searching and find vivid evidence of Taylor’s atrocities in Liberia and Sierra Leone and finally, the loot (stolen money) deposited in close associates and relatives names will also be discovered and recovered.