Prosecutors Ask For Investigation; Say Defense Investigator Attempted To Bribe Prosecution Witnesses To Change Their Evidence

Prosecutors in the trial of former Liberian president Charles Taylor have asked judges in The Hague to institute an “investigation into contempt” based on allegations that a defense investigator and other persons have attempted to bribe prosecution witnesses in order to have them recant their evidence before the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

In a motion filed on February 3, 2011, prosecutors allege that one Eric Koi Senessie, a former member of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) – the rebel group in Sierra Leone that Mr. Taylor is on trial for allegedly supporting, and Prince Taylor, an investigator for the Taylor defense team, made contacts with three prosecution witnesses. The three witnesses, Mohamed B. Kabbah (TFI-568), Aruna Gbonda (TFI-330), and a protected witness TFI-585), who testified against Mr. Taylor in The Hague, have made statements to the prosecution about the contacts made with them by Messers Senessie and Taylor. A fourth protected witness was also contact by the these two individuals, prosecutors say.

According to prosecutors, Mr. Senessie told each of the witnesses that he had been sent by Mr. Taylor’s defense team to persuade them to recant their previous testimonies against Mr. Taylor and testify before the judges again that their testimonies were false and were only given because of promises of money and relocation by the prosecution.

“In exchange for recantation and/or further testimony, Senessie told Kabba and TFI-585 that the Defense would give a ‘good cash reward’ or ‘huge financial benefit’ to cooperating witnesses…Senessie explained to Kabbah that these efforts were aimed at securing Taylor’s acquittal or a minimal sentence,” prosecutors stated in their motion.


  1. Wow! It seems the prosecution is doing tit for tat here. After all the complaints about bribery and malfeasance by the defense against the prosecution, Register and Trial Chamber. The prosecution in the 12th hour now finds witnesses who say the defense contacted them about changing their story.

  2. Further to my post above. In a way it is good that the prosecution filed this motion. It puts Judge Dohetery and Lussick against the wall. If they accept the motion it will even be clear to J. Fallah Menjor that they are biased against the defense after denying the Defense team the same type of investigations.

  3. Page 49182 from Line 16 (Transcript of 8th February, 2011)

    BRENDA HOLLIS: Charles Taylor said on BBC radio that Sierra Leoneans will taste the bitterness of war.

    JUSTICE SOW: Do you have any… recording of that declaration as exhibits?

    BRENDA HOLLIS: Thank you, your Honour. As to a recording of the bitterness of war, we did not ntroduce a recording of the bitterness of war, and we must say that despite our diligent efforts we were unable to find such a recording.

    **** But the prosecution where able to find a recording of a declaration by a certain col Sesay of the AFRC that his forces and those of the RUF have entered Freetown – more than ten years after that recording was made).

    1. Sam,
      Thanks for pointing out this part of the transcript. I hope it finally puts the ” bitterness of war ” that all Sierra Leoneans including witnesses for the defense said they heard. This is a simple case of if a group of people keep on saying something over and over again people assume it must be true and all of a sudden they believe they heard it also.

      1. Aki,
        It also could be they heard someone said those words, but not Mr. Taylor. News reporters are always saying things that someone did not say. This I believe is what have happen. The reason the prosecution did not find that “tape” because there is no “tape’ of Mr. Taylor saying that most likely the “tape” is of the reporter saying that.

  4. Ok…..let’s investigate. But what happened to the defense motion to investigate BENCH and the Prosecutor office???

  5. It’s Justice Lussick and Doherty that have us in this mess in the first place. Metaphorically, Judges are like referees. Judges are supposed to keep order in the court room, the same way referrers are to keep order during a sporting event. If the referrer keeps on calling foul contrary to the rule of sport on the same team over and over, while on the other hand calling fewer fouls or no foul on the other team most likely the game will not end as it should. A stampede may emerge, not only from the players but also from spectators.

    If my analogy makes any sense at all, this is exactly what is happening in this trial. Justice Lussick and Dorothy have totally lost control of the trial by giving the prosecution so many breaks and doing the precise opposite to the defense. Nobody is perfect, that’s why in basketball and some other sports when the referee makes a bad call on a team within the same quarter or the same half a good referee makes up for the bad call, by calling a soft foul on the opposing team. Unfortunately, it’s not like this in this trial.

    You see, the presiding judges is mishandling this trial. She and her other white cohort Justice Lusick have finally succeeded in halting the trial instead of simply accepting the late filling and swallowing their bloated egos in order for the trial to continue undelayed. As Mr Griffiths has repeatedly said, the defense is not interested in running the trial they are only intrested in getting justice and allowing reason to prevail.

    1. Sam,
      Thanks for the info. I am glad the appeal process will be done on the Defense’s Final Trial Brief. However I would like to kindly ask all of us to leave skin color out of the debate.

      1. I disagree with Aki. Skin color is obviously a factor in this trial. Charles taylor is black, and thus a cheap target. Georges bush and his croonies commited the worst crimes against humanity of modern times, and the consequences for Iraki christians are desatrous. He is now enjoying a peaceful life in Texas at the american tax payer’s expenses.

        Worst of all, the thinly veiled racist attitude of Justice Lussick, his arrogance towards and his bias against Taylor has been obvious every day of the trial.

      2. I wish I could but it’s PLAIN to see…..and those two WHITE judges are the reason…we all saw this case at the begining and at the end based on MERIT but to allow the prosecutor on MULTIPLE TIMES to close and open…plus, allowing the prosecutors to DEMAND that the court render decision before she can move beyond but the defense cannot be awarded the same?? Really???

        So the court is waiting on accepting Mr. Taylor’s brief,WHY?? Two WHITE judges couldn’t apply COMMON SENSE of REASONING

  7. Fallah and others have been saying it and I have said it but yet the ojanahs cannot digest it. All the crying and catigations by the defense team and loyalist have been very sturborn in acknowledging that they are fighting a losing battle and in such they boycut court proceedings and castigate great Britain, the US and others not knowing that they are involved in clandestine moves.
    I am appealing to this August body of juridiction to investigate the issue brought up by the prosecution chamber and if it is found to be true, the defense team should be brought to justice for perverting justice through bribery.
    I am now sure that, all the cry and refusal of the lead defense layer to present himself to court with hios client has been on this motive and the truth shall always prevail. For those who call Sierra Leoneans affected by the war folks, it is better you start to park your arms and be ready to go to the Hague to rescue your war lord and godfather. The day of reckonining is fast approaching, the earlier the better for you to act now than to be sitted and backing like wild animals without bitting.
    May God have mercy on the defense team and sympathizers.

  8. Guys ! guys! guys!,
    Eventhough the “devils advocate, Bnker” got yet to answere to my post from yesterday, I am taking this time again to draw him closer with another one..Bnker, whats your catch on the prosecutions request;”lol” Judges should grant or not. either way, why or why not….

    1. Noko5,

      Let’s examine this thoroughly, the defense has accused the prosecution of bribing and vise versa. Maybe the defense claims of witness tempering (they’ve made throughout the trial) should be explored. Still, if this be the case, then the prosecution may have the right to have it’s request granted. Conversely, if the court refuses or finds no legitimacy in these (defense) claims, then the prosecution appeal should be denied. This sea-saw claims, counter-claims and request for investigation could go on forever, if the court doesn’t exerts it’s authority over the proceedings.

      This case is tricky and somewhat difficult. As a result lots of biases and emotions then to be tied to the discussions. But, for some weird reson, you may have in the back of your mind that I think the trial is merited. Maybe it had some merits, but that was discredited by the defense team. I have said the trial is political and economical (for those who don’t believe it, why is Taylor on trial, if the alleged crimes are manufactured?). Even though, we all may agree that there may be an element of international conspiracy, that should make it more important that the Defense remains level headed. Throughout the trial, the Defense team has exhabited superior intellect and mastery of the law. But, the situation with Courtney Griffiths was disappointing considering the level or professionalism and judicial tempermnent he’s exhibited throughout these proceedings. Storming out and subsequently using the media was counter intuitive. For me the issue is not the late brief filing, but the attempt to hijack the process after he was denied. Let’s be fair here, when the prosecution messed up and I radicule them. Oh then, you were quiet because you are enjoying it (ummm ok)….Again, I understand the trial is personal for some, but I think it’s good to critize when necessary and praise when warranted. I’ve said that the prosecution fumbled and is making mockery of the system. In fact, I used the analogy of the circus, where the big tent was the court room and the clowns were the prosecution. I’ve given the defense their flowers for masterfully crafting a solid wall around the accused. But, when they “mess up”, I will say, and the lead Defense showed utter disregard for the system, which he vows to protect and defend…simply, “he messed up”

      That said, you asked what could he have done other than walkout, let’s see…what he is doing now, “send an appeal”. Logic and reasoning will tell you that these systems are set up to work and many times do smoothly. Yesterday, Mas outlined what we are seeing today and maybe days again. Responding to one of my treads, Mas said that he doesn’t condone the attitude of Griffiths, and he believes that it may hurt him. He further suggested that the lead Defense will have to apologize, face some disciplinary actions and then, the court might accept this closing statements. As we say, “low and behold”, a portion of it has happened-he sent his appeal and there will have to apologize.

      So, Noko5, I hope I’ve answered your questions.

      1. Bnker,
        Hope you remember that he sort leave to appeal but his leave to appeal was denied by the majority.

  9. Gentlemen!
    Just watch the game; Brenda Holis and her group are geared toward making these jJudges look like real real fools.. lets see what gonna happen now..NONESENCE JOHNS PALM OIL WASTE ON JOHNS RICE; To the book people, you guys need Master degrees to figure this out again..LOL

    1. You are on the point NOKO5, that one does not need a Masters Degree to figure out that Holis Brenda is not after any judge but the truth of the matter! Why do you guys always feel at edge and that someone is after you? This, to me, is delusional and a paranoi mentality, that makes one to question the very mental state of mind of some critics on this site! Make your points as direct as possible, without injecting your ‘would be’s, could be’s, and ‘to me’s adjectives in this simple matter of truth vs untruths! Crimes were committed, taylor stands accused, the matter is before the judges, and taylor has defense team, what more do you need here? Give me a break! This is the last forum where taylor is going to mandate, be it through Griffiths or not!

  10. Idiotic, to allow idiots to question others opinions when what they are, actually saying is simply based upon their personal opinions! Judgement Day is near! Prepare to riot, challenge, disrespect, cry racism, and Neocolonialism! In any case, charles taylor will never rest in peace, neither will his sorry soul, it appears! Taylor, it seems, knows within his own heart what happened to all the countless victims, some in cold blood and others, while they begged for mercy. Taylor can not fool anyone that he is innocent in all the charges, except fanatics who personally benefited from his ill-rule of West Africa. But one thing Jfallahmenjor believes in is; the Law fo Karma; that whatever good or bad you do wil return in kind..within matter of time. Even the fact that taylor is called President by fanatics up to present, but the facts remain that He has been disgraced, chained, handcuffed, degraded, accused, on trial for months, fighting for justice he never gave others, lonely, incarserated, broke, very few friends, no fame, and the list goes on..! I am satisfied with what taylor has already gone through! Humiliated, to say the least! Bravo Gankay, you will have more to come on judgement Day!

  11. Is this not a charade ? After filing their final brief and presenting all of their evidences, the political prosecution wants to re-open their case for how many times? TOTAL , TOTAL , NONSENSE!!!

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