International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Resource Documents in Advance of Taylor Judgment

Dear readers,

The judgment in the trial of former Liberian president Charles Taylor will be announced on April 26 – one week from today – at the Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague, the Netherlands.  We have monitored the trial for the past four years and have put together some resource documents, which can be accessed below. In addition, our Legal Officer, Alpha Sesay, will be using Twitter to send out live updates from the courtroom on the day of the judgment. You can follow him at @sesayalpha.

Taylor is charged with 11 counts of  war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious violations of international humanitarian law, allegedly committed from November 30, 1996 to January 18, 2002 during the course of Sierra Leone’s civil war. A review of the main legal issues and events of the case is available in this briefing paper.

To learn about our efforts beyond this website to communicate the judgment throughout Sierra Leone and Liberia, please see our fact sheet on bringing the Charles Taylor judgment home.

We encourage you to submit your reactions to the judgment as you have been throughout the trial. Indeed, it has been your voices that has turned a simple trial monitoring website into a vibrant forum for discussion about the issues facing Sierra Leone and Liberia.

58 Comments
  1. Great News! Many thanks to you, Alpha, and your crew for the wonderful job you have done for Africa and the rest of civilized world.THIS TRIAL WOULDN’T HAVE GOTTEN THE COVERAGE IT HAD WITHOUT YOU. Although many taylor support group attacked you and others at the beginning, but they soon realized that no one was buying into their whinings because the facts were coming out with each witness testimony. I commend you for your professional stand through out, Mr. Alpha and Crew and wish you well in your fight for ‘Justice and Human Rights.”

    • fallah again with his three millions allege Taylor supporters. We love Mr. Taylor, We love justice and there is nothing you can do about this mr.

      • Harris, Fallah does not doubt your love for taylor..Fallah had said, all along , that you are all ‘bedfellows’ just like you guys always go to the negative side of any arguements like in the Liberian elections recently! Why are you guys so negative? Who cares if you laid in the same bed with taylor or Weah, nor Wiston Tubman? That is the type of group you guys belong to, anyway. Who does not know the “great Society” you all seem to be part of? Therefore, Harris can prepare to go to jail with taylor if he chooses to do so! That’s the bottom line. Justice will come in 5 days so shut up all these rubbish and be civil to those who read from our postings!

      • fallah- Please shout up and go do something else.

        I knew Taylor in the 60s from whence he was my english teacher that rapped my classmate at LMC public school in Bomi Hills.
        He deserved to go to jail for life fallah

  2. Injustice from the day of arrest to the day of prosecution. KANGROO COURT.
    June
    30
    2010
    Breaking News: Prosecution can re-open its case against Charles Taylor – and try to get supermodel and actress to testify

    by Alpha Sesay.

    • The Defense has right to appeal, Big b. This is the difference between civilized court system and the taylor type kangaroo court you refer to.This is no blame game at this point Big B. We really have no time for grievances and whinnings..please let justice takes its course!

      • fallah,

        The Rev. Al Sharpton, and I quote, Demonstrations doesn’t solves problems, it exposes problems. Ends quote. I am not blaming anybody, nor am I whining, because I can whine and complain peevishly all I want, it’s not going to make a difference. What I am doing though, is to bring attention to an unjust and unfair trial. Period! This trial will set a precedent as to whether an African leader or any leader allegedly charged with crime against humanity to give up the fright and face the ICC, knowing he/she will be granted a fair trial or refused to leave his country and duke it out to the last man resulting into more death and autocracies. It happened in Libya, Ivory Coast and it’s happening right now in Syria…

        God bless Africa!

        • big b
          for once you mentioned something interesting.
          if a bad leader does’t want to be judged by the icc, he sticks to power as long as he can. but he can only with the support of the people. once again: get out on the streets and stand up against corrupt leaders who misunderstand leadership as a way to get rich.

      • Rampage,
        So too is the prosecution. It has the right to appeal….Jang’t this a double jeopardy? Where in the legal system the persecution is given the right to appeal against a defendant in a criminal trial. You know the framers of the indictments wouldn’t even allow such system to work in their own justice system…..what a shame?

        • Peking
          it’s allowed almost everywhere in the world to appeal also for the prosecution.

  3. Keeping Mr. Taylor in jail and asking him to proof his innocense, that alone is a violation of the law and his rights. This seems to be coming from Europeans 16c practices of witch hunt for those who failed to conform to the control of states leaders and self-righteous religious elites. The trial is an act of punishment and a violation of Charles Taylor civil liberties. The Last Witch of Langenburg, Anna, reminds me of Taylor’s story. Why does Taylor have to serve jail term without being convicted of any crime(s) in the first place? Yet, a police officer shot and killed a seventeen years old boy T. Martin without being put behind bars because he’s not yet convicted. I have no particular love for Taylor, let’s be clear. But, with all due respect to his enemies and the special court for Siera Leone, this case is not about justice at all. I’d be very, very surprised if he walks out free. And with all these abuses of the law itself and justice, I am yet to hear any “HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS” say something against a former head of state being put behind bars while there’s no evidence of the crimes he has been accused of to proof his guilt. Shame on those who come on this web saying they want justice out of this naked injustice! Africans watched, and even some of the leaders helped this happening to their own with an act of silence? We’re indeed toothless lions before world ignorant powers! Goodluck to the truth seekers on here!!!

    • tomas
      you don’t seem to understand nothing. he’s kept in costody, because he would simply hide himself somewhere in the world with his big money. it’s the same reason why one keeps an alleged criminal in custody – once his guilt is proven, one doesn’t need to look after him in the whole wide world. if there is no reason to believe that he would flee, than the alleged criminal gets out on bail. that taylor would flee is out of possibility, it’s a fact. he was caught fleeing some years ago at the border from nigeria in a 4-wheel drive with a diplomatic passport.
      your poor taylor wasn’t asked to proof his innocence! that is the job of the prosecutor. maybe you think your arguments over one time.

      • Swizz, get real, boy. Taylor is too big to hide under the sky. That which is coming from you should be said by an alien to the mordern world. It’s a small world in which even u could not hide from the power that be for a second. Where could Taylor go in hiding if they wanted?

        • in a house of his supporters for example. there are so many, as you can see by reading this site. there are a lot of people who take money, even if it belongs to the people and not to taylor.

    • Did you mean “Prove” his innocense?!?!?!

      • In dubio pro reo. the prosecutor has to prove his guilt. Taylor is not asked to prove his innocence.

    • tomas
      don’t forget that taylor gets free meals three times a day and free shelter. a luxus, lots of africans can only dream of.

  4. The testimony of zig zag marzah is the strongest evidence.
    He burdens himself with cannibalism. who would do that, if he wouldn’t feel sorry, for what he’s done? nobody would testify a thing like that for money, don’t you think big b, johnson, noko1to5, tomas, sekou.
    read the briefing, see page 6 at the end.

    • Swizz,
      Zig Zag Marzeh was recently fighting in Ivory Coast during their civil war. about a year after he testified against Mr. Taylor. This is a fact confirmed in a UN report. This proves Zig zag follows his own orders and is just a mercenary for hire.

  5. If a dog bites a man is no news, but if a man bites a dog, because this is unusual. Be aware of more headlines from Alpha as indicated above by BIG B.

    • There you go again; forever on the attack instead of substance! I thought you have abandoned attacks on Alpha, yet it seems your hatred has returned..simply because Alpha is not Liberian and reports fair and balanced. I advise that you consentrate on the trial and leave these nice people alone. you make Liberians look bad though it is only handfull of individuals like you that have this ‘xenophobic’ attitude, unfortunately. Let me break down what it means, harris K. Johnson: ‘ it is an unreasonable fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers or of that which is foreign or strange.’
      I say this because you guys earlier attacked this able professional journalist not because of any substance order that He was a Sierra Leonean, and further extended it to jfallahmenjor, to this day, that I am a Sierra leonean and etc..! Why are you afraid of, Big B, Harris, Aki, Noko 123456789? We are all humans and you not being better than any of us and all your sick thoughts! This is perhaps why Liberians are despised by other Africans..you are full of arrogance and least education, to say the least! You talk lots of garbage with little substance to offer to the rest of Africa! This is my final say to all you taylor support group, because I may not be able to express my mind to you come April 26th..when you shall go into hiding after the verdit! Bravo! Forever, jfallahmenjor, a native Liberian, having no slave name!

      • “No slave name”, to the contrary, you are supporting someone with a slave name, ellen johnson sirleaf.. Get real, fallah.

      • What a guinea pig you are fallah, are you a spoke man for site? hell with your brake down.

  6. What goes around, comes around; If African leaders set and watch an innocent former leader go to prison for an allege crime they claimed he committed in his absent, they too will one day end up with the same situation if they refuse to give in to their selfish demand. One thing I know Charles Taylor did a great deal for Liberia and he will always be remembered for.

    • Oh Yea, Joseph Tarpeh, taylor did well for Liberia..? Built the Robertsfield Runway? Had JFK Hospital modernized? Had teachers and Civil Servants getting paid on time? Protected youths of Liberia against violence and Rapes? Brookered peace between RUF and ATF? And finally deciplined his son’chuckie taylor’ for alleged raping young girls and boys, and pouring gasoline on taxi driver and setting him on fire because of minor traffic altercation with him Chuckie? You sound sick and sick you seem joseph! Taylor dd nothing for Liberia otherwise name few and not just making a crazy remark here..name one..I challenge your silly claims!

      • J Fallah Menjor,
        Charles Taylor did not accomplish all that he would have like to have because of people like you who were lobbying for the cancelation of aid to Liberia. Could Ellen do what she is doing without foreign aid ?

      • fallah,
        count what you have done for Liberia, and stop your many lies.

        • Johnson
          you tell us what taylor did for liberia. But leave aside a failed state.

        • I am the voice of the poor and oppressed, Harris Johnson. The poor probably appreciate what I stand for than those who lobby for return to slavery and oppression of the poor! Besides, Those who think positively and act on behalf of others, contribute to the general welfare. I could choose to be silent and enjoy my wealth all my life, lived in one of the most advanced nations, and not hustle for daily bread, or totting and beating drums for tarants like taylor that most of support group does, but instead, I live low profile,say the “naked truth” daily and sleep soundly with peace of mind! If this is no contribution, then I have no idea of your perception of ‘contribution’ Harris K. Johnson.

    • remembered as a warlord, yes joseph.
      a leader is responsible for what has been done under his supervision. otherwise he wouldn’t be a leader, he was only a follower.

    • Tarpeh
      and what are his merits? But leave aside the failed state.

  7. Jfallah, my history instructor once said, “The sleep of reason produces monsters.” In your case, your inability to give reason a chance turns you into an ignorant hater!

    I’ve come to learn that peace is the foundation to progress. You want all those things to be done by Taylor when he was not given a chance to peacefully govern his people and country whom democratically elected him? Wake up Menjor, and learn to put aside hatred for Taylor and be reasonable once in your post!

    • Tomas
      He was not given a chance? Are you deaf and blind? taylor was in power several years and had the opportunity to install peace. how many more years you think he would need to do that?
      and you insult somebody beeing unreasonable! Put aside your blinded friendship with taylor and face the facts.

      • swizz
        Does one year mean several to you? For your information, Mr. Taylor enjoyed one year of peace. August 1997 to August 1998. The rest of his time was spend fighting rebels trained and supported by ellen and her friends in Washington and London. ellen and her western powers put together wouldn’t have anything better if they were in similar situation like Mr. Taylor. Think about this and stop asking what President Taylor did for Liberia.

        • johnson
          he was in power several years where he had the opportunity to install peace.
          What did he do for liberia in this time?
          just because you don’t like to hear a question, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

    • What do you stand for Tomas? You contradicts yourself…. You sound angry about Mr Taylor’s ill fate that he, Taylor,worked so hard to creat… Look at the future now my friend….

  8. You want taylor in jail but kromah and prince johnson are working in the liberian government really?

    • When we are done with taylor, then we will address your question, Victor. This trial is by the Court of Sierra Leone and as soon you Liberians start thinking unlike the taylor support group, you will get international backing to prosecute those who murdered your people and wiped out most of your villages during taylor reign og terror! This is why we are here. As for jfallahmenjor, the war has just begun, because we will follow those we already know and strike back when ever the opportunity arises! That is what we plan on doing..fight them in local elections, sabotage their interests in Liberia and the world..and hit when ever we have means..to do so politically and socially. This will be the new PORO Society to the Kissi,Bandi,Mende,Lorma,and others who may want to join us. We will have this plan in place in a short time gentlemen. I promise you dearly.. and all the Big B’s and Harrises will shut up for good!

      • Victor,
        The sooner Rebel ellen realizes that the people of Liberia need justice, the better it would be for victims of the civil war she crafted in Liberia.

    • victor
      this trial is about taylor and not about his fellows.

    • @Victor: Kromah and Prince Johnson without doubt are war criminals but one may count them as lucky because their greed did not take them in to another man’s land(Sierra Leone) to commit more grave crime like Taylor did.

  9. Taylor much face justice. It is not kissing IC, we are looking at the lives that were taken by his commend innocent people that die at the tip of fingers. What is injustice? It is about killing people and walk sky free under the pretend that there were no support to meet the need of your own people. Should that give the cause to take away the live that doesn’t border you. Let have days court and let jugdement tell us who he is.

    • lewis
      i can tell you right away who he is. just take a look at liberia and you will know.
      while Taylor (and his family, which will travel to Den Haag this days; beside: on who’s expense? a flight normally costs about 1500 US-$) lives in luxury, “his” nation was and is starving and the land is filled with traumatised ex-child soldiers who do not have nothing except pain. but this is for the most readers and writers of this site only a laugh, (right noko12345, Big b?) which shows their ignorance against victims.

  10. Alphonso W Lewis, u meant to type ‘must’?

    Aki, Taylor and African nations don’t need outside aids for developments. All Taylor and the Liberians needed is peace. That which without a nation is weakened. For Ellen to be president and serve as puppet, look at what happened to Liberian. Now they want to make a political lesson-statement out of Taylor by dragging him to Europe for what has nothing to do with the war in Sierra Leone.

    • tomas
      you exclaimed yourself as neutral in the beginning. There is not much left of this statement.
      The government of Sierra Leone asked the UN to install the court. it is not that the west came and pressed someone to judge taylor.
      The trial is about the war in Sierra Leone and nothing else. to blame the west serves only to impunity, something we all must fight if we want to live in peace, what you say is your aim.
      the court is there to consider if taylor is guilty or not. if he is judged guilty, it gets in all history books. at the latest then even you as self-appointed history student will have to learn.
      the most important thing we all must understand is – wheter Taylor is guilty or not – the SCSL puts an end to impunity which lasts much too long, including colonialism.

      • Swizz u have no knowledge of what you’re saying. This is a political persecution. Nothing more to it. This trial has everything to do with the new strategic imperialist movement in Africa through AFRICOM and friendly regimes. Ellen was to make Liberia a friendly ally which Doe refused. To have her way on the Liberian presidency, she and her masters paid Taylor to go clean the house. After cleaning, Taylor decided to sit instead of letting Ellen take over. To give her a fair chance, the 1997 election was democratically conducted with Taylor on oneside while Ellen was on the other with huge supports from Imperialist powers who brought Taylor to this trial. If Ellen had beaten Taylor, or if Taylor accepted to back down to these powers and made for her to take over after Doe, we won’t be here talking about justice. There’s no such thing as justice for black people, especially the ones from “sub-Sahara-Africa” in a place where this trial is being conducted. Find out whose paying the bill for the process, and tell me this trial is in the interest of justice and Black Africans in Seirra leone. This is a political lesson we ought to learn as victims of corperate greeds for future events. To the end, I speak as an activist and an observant of history. Im no Taylor’s fan. But that doesn’t mean i have to accept what’s happening to him and other courageous men like him. We all have a moral obligation at the end of the day–refute wrong when and wherever u see it. There’s no right in this trial, and history will prove it! Good luck to Mr. Taylor as we shine our eyes to read and hear that which we must on this day of history! US govt made it clear they don’t want Taylor in Liberia . Verdict is expected as determined before the trial began…

  11. Well, folks, the count down is about done.
    We will soon know the verdict.
    Taylor might be set free alleged foolish charges and be properly accorded all privileges of a former head of state, I hope, by his estranged friend, Ellen. He deserves those privileges. On the other hand, he might be found wanting and enjoy the coziness of the iron cage. This, too, he deserves. If acquitted, I pray he learns from the past and employs his charisma, skills, and wisdom to help rebuild Liberia. If found wanting, it might be time to think about what really happened that got him to where he is, and consider writing a memoirs on the destructive power of civil wars. Or could there be a third verdict – say maybe a mistrial? I am scratching my head…
    We have waited for this day and it is coming like a fast moving tide.
    I suspended my active participation on this forum over a year ago promising to return for the verdict…I am back to help close the debate and restating my default position – freedom or cage.
    Peace to you all!

  12. A prayer on behalf of President Taylor.

    Serenity Prayer.

    God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.

    Living one day at a time;
    enjoying one moment at a time;
    accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
    taking, as He did, this sinful world
    as it is, not as I would have it;
    trusting that He will make all things right
    if I surrender to His Will;
    that I may be reasonably happy in this life
    and supremely happy with Him
    forever in the next.

    Amen.

    • During opening statement prosecution lay out certain things to the court emphasizing at the time of trial she (prosecution) would prove beyond a reasonable that President Taylor is culpable for committing crimes against humanity. Additionally, the prosecution went to a greater extent by telling the court President Taylor had billions of dollars stacked away in foreign banks around the world, and she (prosecution) would prove to the court were the billions dollars are, and the money would be used to compensate the victims of Sierra Leone and Liberia. Did the prosecution meet her obligations as stated in her opening statement to prove beyond a reasonable doubt of the alleged charges? Politically yes, the prosecution proved her case beyond a reasonable doubt. However, legally, the prosecution failed miserably to prove a single charge beyond a reasonable doubt.

      Would the court make a decision that is political tarnishing the repartition of this honorable court or make a legal decision base on facts? In my opinion, the decision could be both, political and legal. If President Taylor is found not guilty a (legal judgment) it means he won the world, a big win for any one person. However, if President Taylor is found guilty a (political judgment) would send a shockwave around the world, because the world has been following the trial. The evidences are not there for a guilty verdict.

      The wisest verdict and anything close to justice is to workout a compromise. President Taylor should be granted immunity from jail term allowing him to live in another country until the west sees him as not being a threat, which he’s not. This is probably the best way out to save faces…Tomorrow’s judgment would set the stage for peace in Africa or the continue injustice, struggle for power and the dominance of a continent by powerful nations not because these powerful nations love Africa, they love Africa’s wealth.

      Just want to take a moment to say thanks to people of justice, my Comrades for the endless fight, job well done. We did what we had to; the rest is out of our hands. To the people of Sierra Leone, my heart goes out to them. May God grant the people of Sierra Leone the solace they rightfully deserves.

      If the Evidence is there, Judges Must Convict, If the Evidence is not There, Judges Must Acquit!

      FREE AT LAST, FREE AT LAST, THANK GOD ALL MIGHTY, FREE AT LAST!

      • Big B, I hope this gets posted before time runs out; Quote from Big B;”However, if President Taylor is found guilty a (political judgment) would send a shockwave around the world, because the world has been following the trial. The evidences are not there for a guilty verdict.

        The wisest verdict and anything close to justice is to workout a compromise. President Taylor should be granted immunity from jail term allowing him to live in another country until the west sees him as not being a threat, which he’s not. This is probably the best way out to save faces…Tomorrow’s judgment would set the stage for peace in Africa or the continue injustice, struggle for power and the dominance of a continent by powerful nations not because these powerful nations love Africa, they love Africa’s wealth.”Unquote; First of all, why would the World go into ‘shockwave ‘ over the verdict if taylor is found guilty? Secondly, for you to equate taylor trial as ‘powerful nations vs poorer nations ‘ is not only a lie, but your missing the point of justice for victims, represented by the Prosecution, vs tyrannical alleged crimes of charles taylor, who bears the greatest responsibilty in this trial! Sorry, your limited knowledge and sometimes ignorance can not allow you to see things differntly! Bye and God Bless you Big B so that you will see light some day in you life time!

      • Big B
        to use the words of a man of peace (Martin Luther King) in favor of Taylor as a warlord is such an idiotic idea, Big Bluff. it shows that you don’t understand.
        Taylor is no longer an alleged murder, he is a murder.
        Free at last for the people of Sierra Leone and Liberia

  13. Hey Folks

    The time is near freedom is ours lets keep in prayers GOD will reward us

    bye

    Zobon

  14. The time has come for Africa to have her First international victory over the so called ” justice ”
    African leaders watch up. Its always Africa.

  15. I feel sorry for Africa and Africans… they continue to get screwed and yet they still look up to the ppl doing the screwing… This is not about Taylor or SA. I want Taylor to be found guilty to send a message that these ppl can’t come into Africa and tell us what to do and control our lives and resources… Taylor stood up to them and this is where it got him… What ever taylor did in Liberia, others did worst… keyword “LIBERIA” not Sierra Leone. People on this site hates Taylor because of what he did in Liberia forgetting to know that the damn case, for the last time, was never abt freaking Liberia. For all those who support Ellen and the rest, this is the only way they can get Taylor without getting Ellen and the others. If there is a trial in Liberia Ellen would be #2 but guess what? she’s president and there is no way she will allow a trial to take place…

  16. Taylor is a murderer. now it’s on the record and written in history.
    the case is not about the west. it’s about impunity in africa.
    Justice is done.