Judges Order Taylor’s Defense Lawyer To Appear In Court on Friday

The Special Court for Sierra Leone judges in The Hague yesterday issued an order for Charles Taylor’s defense lawyer to appear before them on Friday, February 11, 2011.

Mr. Taylor’s trial in The Hague has been a center of drama this week as the former Liberian president’s defense lawyer, Courtnay Griffiths, walked out of the courtroom on Tuesday, telling judges that it was not in his client’s best interest for him to take part in the closing arguments. On Monday, the judges had rejected the defense final trial brief because it had been filed 20 days late. The defense said they were waiting for the judges to deliver decisions on outstanding motions before they would conclude and file their final brief.

On Wednesday, defense lawyers failed to appear in court, with Mr. Griffiths telling the media outside the courtroom that his team will not take part in the proceedings as long as their final brief was not accepted by the judges.

The court had scheduled Friday, February 11, as the day for both prosecution and defense lawyers to make rebuttals to each other’s closing arguments. Mr. Griffiths has insisted that he will not be present in court on Friday.

On Wednesday evening, after Mr. Griffiths failed to appear in court in the morning, the judges by majority (Justice Julia Sebutinde dissenting) issued an order directing that Mr. Griffiths to appear in court on Friday and that unless he apologizes for his action of walking out of the courtroom on Tuesday, a sanction will be imposed on him.

The order, which was issued by a majority of the judges, “Directs Lead Counsel for the Accused, Courtenay Griffiths to attend court on Friday 11 February 2011 at 11:30 and warns Lead Counsel that unless he apologises for his behaviour on 8 February 2011 the Trial Chamber may impose sanctions pursuant to Rule 46 of the Rules and Proceedure  and Evidence.”

It is yet unclear whether Mr. Griffiths will yield to this order from the judges.

Court resumes on Friday, February 11, 2011 at 11:30a.m.


  1. The entire process and reasons of the court is all about humiliating an African President and all the other African sitting Leaders can do is to sit and watch in cowardness!
    Today is Charles Taylor………, tomorrow the list will continue.
    We are watching.
    It’s my opinion.

  2. Cllr. Griffiths, if the defense brief is not ACCEPTED, DO NOT even bother to waste your time…..STAY AWAY. Gross silliness for those judges to act like MASTERS given all the lead way we have seen in this court, mainly favoring the prosecutors.

    What is a BRIEF??? For those who want Mr. Taylor lock up, it the FINAL WORDS!!!. How can one close up when they have unsettled issues?? COMMON SENSE tells one to clear out those issues.

    Who will BLINK first?? Those WHITE JUDGES will. What Mr. Taylor has to loose when the verdict is already known???

  3. The defense layer should not behave as if he owns the court nor does he have the perogative powers to direct the court on what to do. He is a black man and black people do behave arrogantly as been manifested by this ignorant popet that call himself a seasoned lawyer. The court now need to take its juridiction as no one is above the law.
    This fool should be expelled from the court for his recalcitrant behaviour.
    People who lose battle always cry foul and this is what the defense team are doing. They are buying more time for their own selfish gains on the tax payers monies of Great Britain, US and other donor organisatons supporting the court proceedings in the Hague as the saying goes, ‘Go into the world and live by the fools’. This is exactly what the lead defense layer is now doing. He is buying more time to make more money for him and his family.

  4. Fuad Tee,
    Your Masters are in charge of the Court room even if it means in-Justic to the accused! Do you really such a nonsense can stand in the trial of any white man? Where there are outstanding motions, given this kind of high profile case and you as a human being thinks that the defense Team should sit back and allow themselves to be pull like dogs just because a black man is on trial? On the issue of the tax payer monies, those who are using the tax payer monies for this trial are those you should show your anger against instead of the defense Team who are making sure true Justic is done in this case!
    This trial is not the right reason for which my tax money is being used. There are people who are hungry, there are people who are dying at the hands of your white Master weapons they’re selling in Africa to kill Africans. Why can your White Master prosecute those who are selling these weapons to rebels all around the world? Take the Ivory Coast for an example, what have your masters done to stop the killing of the Ivorian people? There is nothing call Justice as I look at this trial go the way it is going! The only Justice is God himself to punish those who killed both Liberians and Sierra Leoneans in cold blood!

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