And we are at this point going back to the testimony of Mr Malik in relation to the document that Justice Sebutinde had the question about.
Madam President, the Defence posed many questions to your Honours that they said needed to be answered. Now, Mr Koumjian has answered some of those questions, but we suggest to you that the evidence of record and the Prosecution final trial brief answer those questions for you. We agree completely with lead Defence counsel's comment to you on 9 March, that no theory can be a substitute for the reality of events. And the reality of events in this case show that the Prosecution's evidence is consistent across the events, very often corroborated by Defence evidence, and the reality of events in this case prove that this accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
One last point about Issa Sesay: Mr Koumjian noted that Issa Sesay, an opportunist and realist, came to realise that the circumstances were changing away from Charles Taylor and in favour of a more conciliatory approach in Sierra Leone. However, even after that realisation, it was not until the end of 2001 that Issa Sesay's fighters in Kailahun District disarmed. And in fact, the evidence was that there wasn't a declaration of an end to disarmament in Kailahun District until around the 11th of January 2002. It was not until September of 2001 that Issa Sesay allowed United Nations to come into Kono in any meaningful way and to disarm that area. Issa Sesay continued to travel to meet with Charles Taylor throughout 2001, continued to provide diamonds to Charles Taylor throughout 2001, continued to do his bidding, by sending fighters to fight for Charles Taylor in Liberia and Guinea throughout 2001. So that realisation was slow in coming, and his being a puppet and certainly a subordinate, subject to the instruction of Charles Taylor, continued throughout 2001.
During the Defence case and oral argument, you have heard Prosecution evidence characterised as nonsense on many occasions, on one occasion on the 9th of March, in relation to evidence referred to as garbage. Well, apply those terms as you see fit. We would suggest that you do have before you a true example of nonsense, a totally implausible theory that does not withstand the reality of events, and that is a theme and argument that you heard on 9 March when lead Defence counsel told you, well, let's look at the recruitment and the training of RUF trainees at Camp Naama and the planning of the attack on Sierra Leone. And what did the Defence tell you about that? That was all done without the knowledge of Charles Taylor.
Let's look at the reality of events. This occurred in his backyard, very close to his headquarters in Gbarnga, where his NPFL were training on the very same base, Camp Naama, his NPFL were training there. The trainers at the RUF training included Momoh Dgiba whom you have seen many pictures of, behind Mr Taylor, protecting his back. Momoh Dgiba was involved. The reality of events shows you that Foday Sankoh took prisoners to train from Charles Taylor's jails, that were controlled by Charles Taylor's NPFL. And that he took these prisoners on roads controlled by Charles Taylor, through checkpoints controlled by Charles Taylor, including through Gbarnga, to this camp, that there were checkpoints near the camp and these were NPFL checkpoints. So he drove these prisoners through these checkpoints. And also the evidence shows you that Foday Sankoh and these trainers, trainees travelled by convoy after the training to Voinjama to kick off the invasion of Sierra Leone. And that Charles Taylor's NPFL commanders and fighters led and directed that initial invasion.
And all of this happening while there was a very hot war going on, involving Mr Taylor's attempt to take control of Liberia. And yet you are to believe, as a plausible reality of events, that Mr Taylor knew nothing of this drain on his resources, of these people being taken from his jails and being sent into another country to fight.
That is not plausible. But all of that happened because it happened at the direction of, with the support of, and with the guidance of Charles Taylor, to achieve the overall objectives in Sierra Leone.
Now, the Defence would want you to accept that Charles Taylor had no knowledge of the RUF trainees at Camp Naama because he never visited them there. Well, he had his own NPFL trainees there and there is no evidence he ever visited them there. That simply is not a persuasive argument.
You're also asked to believe, well, he can't have been the head or known about these trainees because why wasn't anybody reporting to him? Well, we suggest to you he was being reported to. Foday Sankoh was keeping him well advised of what was happening with their venture at Camp Naama.
Defence counsel also asked you, well, if it's true that he was training the RUF at Naama, why didn't he give them arms for that training? Well, think about this. These are trainees, they don't need real weapons, they don't need new weapons, except for one purpose, and that is a limited number of weapons so that they can familiarise themselves with the weapons. So that they can learn to assemble and disassemble the weapons. And indeed, who told you about how NPFL trainees were trained and what kind of weapons they used? Charles Taylor told you about that on the 15th of September. And what did he tell you? He said the training of his NPFL, and he was referring to training at Camp Naama, was not done with good weapons, the training was done with demonstration weapons. They would take the weapons for the purpose of disassembling and assembly. And he went on to tell you, "Trainees, to the best of my knowledge and unless my commanders misinformed me, were not given weapons on that training base." And he told you this at page 28929, on the 15th of September. These arguments do not, in any way, detract from the evidence of Charles Taylor's critical involvement in the events at Naama.
Now, the Defence also talked to you about Foday Sankoh and my colleague has made mention of Foday Sankoh. Duplicitous, they said, capable of great deceit. And they noted that Foday Sankoh, in his letter in December of 1996, noted that he had signed the peace agreement because of enormous international pressure. The evidence in this case shows you that this conduct is conduct of a type that he shared with his brother, Charles Taylor. Indeed, Foday Sankoh was duplicitous, capable of great deceit, and he certainly has that in common with Charles Taylor, although Charles Taylor prefers to characterise it as using deceit as a tool of diplomacy.
The Defence talked about these two letters that Foday Sankoh sent to Mr Talibi and those were exhibits D-15 for the June letter and P-272 for the December 1996 letter.
What the Defence seems to go on to tell you that, somehow, there is evidence in these letters to show that Mr Sankoh had an independent connection with Burkina Faso and so the Magburaka shipment was through an independent connection, as evidenced in these letters. We suggest to you, look at these letters very carefully and you will find just the opposite. Because what is Foday Sankoh doing in these letters? He is complaining that Burkina Faso is giving him no assistance, that they will not assist him, and he mentions by name a gentleman, Diendere. Well, you've heard that name before and you've seen that name in P-18 because indeed it was this gentleman, Blaise Compaore's subordinate, who signed the end user certificates by which Burkina Faso got the materiel that was sent on to Charles Taylor in March of 1999.
What these letters show you is that, unless Charles Taylor endorsed the efforts of the RUF and later the AFRC/RUF to get assistance from Burkina Faso and also Libya, that assistance didn't come. It was Charles Taylor's connections with these individuals that made possible the assistance that was given. For example, the assistance that was given in late 1998 with the huge amount of materiel that was brought from Burkina Faso, may well have originated in Libya, but was brought from Burkina Faso to Monrovia, to Charles Taylor's RIA airport, and from there was taken through Charles Taylor's territory to Sierra Leone.
And you recall also this name Diendere. This March 1999 shipment, the Defence counsel talked about large shipments to the RUF or AFRC/RUF. Well, in fact, the evidence shows you four large shipments. We have, of course, the Magburaka shipment, which was a very large shipment, the only one that came in to Sierra Leone by aircraft. But then what else do we have? After Magburaka, we have of course the very large shipment that came in for the Fitti-Fatta mission. And you recall the evidence that there was a lot of ammunition that came in for that, because originally that was to be the kickoff for the offensive that would put the AFRC and RUF back in power. That offensive was delayed until later in the year, because the Fitti-Fatta mission failed in Kono.
Another large shipment of course was the late 1998 shipment. And then the fourth large shipment was the March 1999 shipment. But in between these shipments, the evidence is very clear in this case, that Charles Taylor continually supplied his proxy forces in Sierra Leone with smaller shipments, and these were arranged in part by Sam Bockarie travelling very frequently in 1998 to Monrovia, both to get instructions and also to facilitate the movement of materiels.
Now, Defence counsel posed some questions about Foday Sankoh's time in Ivory Coast, insofar as how it related to his relationship with the RUF, and he asked you why didn't Foday Sankoh just go over the border and ask Charles Taylor for assistance? He was in Ivory Coast, he could go over the border. Well, he didn't have to go over and tell him of the problems he was having and ask for assistance, because he and Charles Taylor had been in constant communication during the time access to the border was so restricted. Charles Taylor knew the problems he was having, getting materiel, and when it was very difficult, if not impossible, for Charles Taylor to supply him directly, he told Mr Sankoh, "Move out of the towns and revert to guerilla warfare," a tactic that Mr Taylor had used very successfully in Liberia. And he told Foday Sankoh, "Go to Abidjan, participate in the peace talks, because that will give you a front to be able to arrange to get materiels."
So he knew the situation and he also knew the situation from the contacts he had with members of the external delegation, and don't forget, Charles Taylor himself went to Abidjan for the launching of Footpaths to Democracy. And we suggest to you it is very reasonable and very likely that during that trip, he had direct contact with Foday Sankoh. So he didn't need to go across the border. He already had fully apprised Mr Taylor of his situation and was getting direction from Mr Taylor.
Now, the Defence also ask you, well, why didn't he include Charles Taylor's name in these letters? Well, my colleague has alluded to one reason, and that is by this time the RUF is very notorious for its horrific crimes against civilians. And so Mr Taylor, as he did with Sam Bockarie in D-9 was not about to have his connection mentioned directly. But we suggest that there is another reason. There is another reason based on evidence before you, and that is that what was happening with these letters is that, in effect, Foday Sankoh was scamming Mr Talibi. You have evidence to show that there was no known business partners for deals, for weapons, that there was no known deal for weapons, and also that Foday Sankoh was using the money, quite large sums of money, he was given for his own personal pleasures and purposes, not to advance the cause. And so Mr Sankoh knows that without Mr Taylor's endorsement, he's not going to get anything, but he's trying to pull a scam. He's not going to tell them to contact Charles Taylor. Charles Taylor knows how greedy Foday Sankoh is, and he's going to demand some proof that these are bona fide deals before he gives the go-ahead. That didn't happen.
And the other thing that you have in the evidence is that despite all of these requests for assistance and all of these comments about deals for weapons, there is no evidence to indicate that this huge sum of money was ever given to Foday Sankoh or that any weapons deals derived from this exchange with Mr Talibi. The letters support the Prosecution case, they don't support the Defence argument of an independent connection with either Libya or with Burkina Faso. In each instance, it took Mr Taylor's involvement and endorsement to get assistance from those countries for his proxy forces.
Now, yesterday, you had a discussion from the Defence about credibility of evidence, and of course that is key to your consideration in this case. We suggest to you that there were some assertions made by the Defence that are not correct. For example, we suggest to you that hearsay evidence of one witness can be used to support hearsay evidence of another witness. For example, if you have, as we do in this case, many witnesses telling you that Sam Bockarie and Issa Sesay, in their roles as on-the-ground commanders in Sierra Leone, came back and reported to their subordinates about their meetings with Charles Taylor, about the plans Charles Taylor devised, about the assistance Charles Taylor was giving, about the instructions Charles Taylor was giving, we suggest to you that all of this evidence can be considered for the consistency of those reports, and as credible evidence and very important evidence in this case.
We also suggest to you that it is very common that judges accept one part of a witness's testimony and do not accept other parts. That is very common.
In relation to insider or accomplice testimony, we have discussed this in our final trial brief at paragraph 42. But you recall the law on insider or accomplice evidence, you are certainly supposed to view it with caution, but you may rely on it when you determine that it is credible, and in fact you may rely on it even when it is not corroborated.
The Defence has invited you to look very carefully at the evidence, and of course you must do that. But you must look carefully also at assertions about the evidence that are made by either party. And you may want to recall, when you are looking at the evidence and judging inconsistencies, you may want to recall the argument made by lead Defence counsel in this Court on 16 July of 2009, and this was when Mr Taylor had told your Honours that the initial invasion of Liberia took place on 29 December, and then lead Defence counsel, after an objection, argued at page 24649, "Obviously, he," meaning Charles Taylor, "misspoke this morning. Not everyone, the Defence said, particularly in the pressurised position of sitting in the chair being cross-examined, can recollect every date and every occasion."
Of course Mr Taylor was not being cross-examined at that time. He made this mistake during direct examination. But the point is one worth considering.
The question, as I mentioned, in relation to allegations of inconsistencies, is: Are these truly inconsistencies or are the allegations based on misstatements, mischaracterisations of the evidence, or a misunderstanding of the evidence. And we suggest when you look at the Defence final trial brief and oral argument, that they have many instances where they make allegations of inconsistencies that are, in fact, based on incorrect statements of the evidence, mischaracterisations of the evidence or misunderstandings of the evidence. Now, in that regard, given the time that we have, I would simply like to look at a few instances that we suggest that the Defence oral argument and brief is replete with these examples.
If you recall on 9 March, the Defence told you that there were many, many inconsistencies in the evidence regarding the Magburaka shipment. And as one instance of that, they asked the question, well, how was the shipment paid for? Defence counsel told you one witness, TF1-597, said it was paid for with diamonds. Note the plural, he told you. Diamonds. Because another witness, TF1-371 said that it was paid for with a 90-carat diamond and $90,000 from the Bank of Sierra Leone.
We invite to you closely examine the transcript of 28 January 2008, at pages 2309, 2311, 2313 and 14 and also to look at the transcript of 31 January, 2703, at page 2703. We suggest when you do that, you will find this witness spoke of 90-carat diamonds, some quantity of diamonds, about 90-carat diamonds, the required quantity, diamonds. Note the plural.
And also, you will find that the witness says very clearly that the $90,000 was for the flight. It was for the transport. It was on 31 January, when the Defence counsel put to the witness in a question, a 90-carat diamond. But on the same page, and this was at page 2704, on the same page, the Defence counsel went on later to ask, "So, just so that we can get the sequence clear, payment for the shipment is made by diamonds." Defence counsel inserts a 90-carat diamond, not the witness.
Now, the same witness is misquoted as to a significant point at paragraph 890 of the Defence final trial brief. And your Honours, when I refer to the Defence final trial brief, I'm referring to the corrected brief, not the latest filing. We simply did not have the time to do a correlation between those. So it's 890 of the corrected final trial brief, where the Defence tells you that this same witness testified that the attack on Freetown was entirely Sam Bockarie's idea. Well, we invite your attention to the testimony of 30 January 2008, at page 2641 and 2642, where the witness told your Honours that the instruction to go to Freetown originated in Monrovia from Charles Taylor. That's the evidence of record.
So, inconsistency or mischaracterisation, misstatement, of the evidence?
Yet another instance with this same witness, at paragraph 1079 in the Defence final trial brief, wherein the Defence assert that this witness and another witness, Karmoh Kanneh, TF1-571, give no account of Sam Bockarie meeting with Charles Taylor regarding a shortage of arms and ammunition prior to Sam Bockarie's travel to Burkina Faso. Now, maybe we have a little wordplay there, but we invite your attention to the testimony of the 28th of January 2008 at page 2403, where the protected witness testified that according to him, meaning Sam Bockarie, they were going to meet Musa Cisse in Monrovia and meet Mr Taylor. Ibrahim Bah was to escort them to Ouagadougou, but they were going to stop at Monrovia first, and meet Mr Cisse and Mr Taylor before they took the trip to Ouagadougou.
And as for Karmoh Kanneh, on 13 May, we invite your attention to that transcript, 13 May, page 9639, where Karmoh Kanneh told you, "Well, he," meaning Sam Bockarie, "did not explain to me how he," meaning Sam Bockarie, "travelled to Liberia but before he," Sam Bockarie, "left, he told us that the arrangements had gone through Mr Taylor."
Inconsistency, misstatement or mischaracterisation? You decide.
Now, TF1-274, DAF, was a witness you were told you had to pay particular attention to. At paragraph 1285 of the Defence final trial brief, the Defence asserted to you that it was quite clear that DAF, TF1-274, had a tendency to give accounts on issues that were beyond his knowledge. And they cite as an example his testimony that Superman and SAJ Musa worked together to capture Eddie Town. And they said that this testimony was oblivious of their well-known fallout well before, and that Superman, in fact, never went to Eddie Town. Well, we would invite your attention to the testimony of TF1-334, the 21st of April of 2008, at pages 8166 to 67, and also the 22nd of April at pages 8193 to 94 and, in particular, page 8223. And we would suggest that when you look at that evidence, you will find that 334 tells you that SAJ Musa and Superman were working together, and, in fact, they tell - he tells you that SAJ Musa addressed the troop and said that there was something that had been prepared and he and Superman should come to Colonel Eddie Town to advance. And he talks about infighting, but he said that they should continue.
"He said that the infighting should not stop the programme that had been organised whereby they had released reinforcement, that is SAJ and Superman, to come and join us so as to advance on Freetown."
Inconsistency, mischaracterisation? You decide.
TF1-338 was also the subject of attention by the Defence, and of course, he would be because he gave very credible, mostly direct evidence that was of great significance to this case and very harmful to Mr Taylor. Now, this witness was referred to in the Defence final trial brief at paragraph 1336. And in this paragraph, and because of the content, I will not go into the details but we will suggest to you this:
First, the Defence misstate why this witness said that he engaged in the event that he's talking about in paragraph 1336. They misstate why he did that.
Secondly, they erroneously claim that this witness is the only one who will speak to this issue, to this event. Well, we suggest to you that you look very carefully at the testimony of this witness at 2 September 2008 at pages 15233 to 15235, and it is very clearly laid out, the circumstances of that event, and there is no inconsistency. It is the Defence who is misstating what the witness said and it is not incredible in any way. We also invite you to look at evidence of 29 January 2008 at page 2459 to 2460, and the 31 January 2008 at page 2787. And we suggest that when you look at this evidence, you will find that this evidence corroborates the account of TF1-338.
Isaac Mongor, TF1-532, was another witness that your Honours were told you should look at very carefully, and of course you should look at all the evidence in this case very carefully, but you also have to ask yourself, true inconsistency that is being asserted or misstatement or mischaracterisation of evidence? And in relation to Isaac Mongor, on 10 March the Defence told you, as they have asserted in the past, that Isaac Mongor told this Court that he was sent to Camp Naama to be the training commander there, training commander there. And there was a great deal made of that. How could this man be the training commander? Well, look very carefully at his evidence. Nowhere does this witness tell you he was sent to Camp Naama to be the training commander. He tells you he was sent there to train and others have told you that he did, he was a PI instructor. And he names many other instructors who were at Camp Naama and the point was made, well, Special Forces could train them. Well there were Special Forces there training them, and that is in evidence as well. But nowhere, nowhere, does Isaac Mongor tell you that he was sent to Naama to be the training commander.
Now, the Defence have also attacked and challenged Mr Mongor's evidence about the operation culminating in the attack on Freetown in January of 1999. And in that regard, we would refer your Honours to the paragraphs in the Defence final trial brief 884, 885, 886. And in paragraph 884, first of all, when the Defence is talking about this idea that it was a joint operation, and by the way, when we think about this being a joint operation, don't forget the agreed fact that the Defence has never withdrawn from, that it was the AFRC/RUF who attacked Freetown in January of 1999. But, anyway, when we are talking about Isaac Mongor, when they are telling you about his evidence of commanders who took part in this attack, in paragraph 884, they omit someone. They omit Akim Turay from their discussion. And why do they do that? Because it doesn't fit their theory because as we know Akim Turay was what? He was an ex-SLA. He was an AFRC member. He was one of the commanders that took part in this attack.
And you know that from the evidence of Mr Mongor on 11 March at page 5797.
In that same paragraph they present a very skewed view of Mr Mongor's evidence as regards the relationship between Sam Bockarie and SAJ Musa. They omit from that account that Mr Mongor also testified about the presence of RUF radio operators with SAJ Musa's group, radio operators such as King Perry and Alfred Brown, thus demonstrating the link between the RUF, Sam Bockarie and SAJ Musa and he talks about that on 11 March again, at page 5800.
And at paragraphs 885 and 886, the Defence artificially describe the fighters involved in this operation in different aspects as being part of either the AFRC or the RUF groups, when in truth if you look at Mr Mongor's evidence he makes it very clear, and unwavering is he, in his description that this late December offensive and January invasion was perpetuated by combined forces. And he does that in various locations, again if we look at 11 March, page 5823, 5824. 11 March, 5810, when he talks about the People's Army and you recall there was evidence that the People's Army is the AFRC and RUF. And you recall that that is evidence that you received on 23 January at page 1972 and on 17 April at page 7873.
So inconsistencies, showing implausible theories or evidence from the witness? Or mischaracterisations of the evidence? We suggest mischaracterisation of the evidence.
Now I would like to move on to some other points that the Defence has made in oral argument and their final trial brief that might benefit from closer consideration and I will do this as time permits.
Let's look, first of all, at the Defence arguments to you in relation to the AFRC as part of the joint criminal enterprise. Now, on 9 March, the Defence told you that think about this in logical and psychological terms. It is not logical that the AFRC would accept Charles Taylor as leader because their comrades had been killed by Liberians. Well, not only is it logical, it is reality. But think of it in this way: It is beyond dispute that the AFRC accepted the RUF as their equals. They accepted them into the government. And the RUF, over the years, killed many more of their colleagues than Mr Taylor's Liberian forces did, and yet they welcomed the RUF with open arms and immediately after taking power. So to reach the greater good in your mind can you deal with people that once were your enemy? Well, Charles Taylor has shown you that you certainly can, when you are driven to achieve your objectives and that's what happened here.
And why were they so eager to embrace the RUF? Well, the evidence shows you why. They wanted to be able to immediately join with the RUF and Charles Taylor in their joint criminal enterprise so they could get the benefits of it. And, indeed, they did join with them and they did get the benefits of it. They got Mr Taylor's efforts to get them recognised, they got his efforts that, in fact, we suggest to you, prolonged the life of this unlawful regime, and they got the benefit of arms and ammunition. And Mr Taylor got benefits immediately as well, because he got diamonds.
So were they a part of the JCE? You bet they were. That's what the evidence tells you, and they did it because they wanted to achieve the ultimate objectives of the JCE, control of the people and territory, and exploitation of its resources, and there is ample evidence about how they exploited those diamond resources during the junta. And they participated in the criminal means by which that joint criminal enterprise was to be effected.
And you also recall the evidence that it was Gibril Massaquoi who actually brought Charles Taylor's number to Johnny Paul Koroma.
And that is found at the Prosecution's final trial brief at paragraph 186 and the reference is to the evidence of TF1-597.
Now, in trying to tell you that the AFRC did not and could not have been part of this JCE, the Defence pointed your attention to this coup plot that was transmitted by who? Gibril Massaquoi, they say. And Steve Bio, to actually overthrow Johnny Paul Koroma. Now, remember, Gibril Massaquoi, this man who brought the phone number for Charles Taylor to Johnny Paul Koroma was the one who was very close to Foday Sankoh at the end, was the one who actually went to Nigeria with him. We suggest to you that he brought that number from Foday Sankoh. Now, duplicitous, deceitful? Foday Sankoh? Maybe yes, maybe no. Because what did Issa Sesay tell you? That they, he, found out about this plot, he was approached, and what did he do? He went to Sam Bockarie and told him about it, and they decided, because Foday Sankoh said work with the junta, they decided to actually turn this information about a coup plot over to Johnny Paul Koroma, and as a consequence, Gibril Massaquoi was put in jail. So Foday Sankoh send them? Someone else behind it? Who knows? But that's the evidence before you. In fact, these people that supposedly were never in league with the AFRC, that never worked in concert with them, those two leaders turned that information over to Johnny Paul Koroma, and Gibril Massaquoi was arrested.
Now, one point that the Defence made during their argument was to, in effect, complain about protective measures that had been provided in this case, and also to overstate the reality of these protective measures. And on 9 March, you were told that much of the Prosecution's case, the crucial part of its case, that is been, in large measure, shrouded in secrecy. Well, of the 94 Prosecution witnesses who testified live, 21 testified using protective measures. Only four of those testified in closed session. The others testified largely in open session, with some private sessions. So about 26 and a half per cent of our witnesses had protective measures. The Defence, of course, called far fewer witnesses, 21 witnesses. Six of them had protective measures so about 28 and a half per cent of their witnesses had protective measures.
Now, on the 9th and the 10th of March, you were told that Moses Blah supports the Defence position that the border between Sierra Leone and Liberia was closed until the elections in 1997. Now, we would invite you to look at Moses Blah's evidence and see if that's what he said and we would invite you to look at his evidence on the 19 May 2008, at page 10193. This is in cross-examination, and, in fact, it is the Defence counsel who puts the dates to this witness, not Moses Blah independently recalling the dates, and indeed, when the Defence counsel puts the dates to him, the Defence counsel puts to him the border was closed until the elections in June 1997, and Moses Blah agrees with that. But, of course, the elections were in July of 1997. This witness throughout his testimony showed to you that he has a great problem independently recollecting dates. This was the Defence putting a date to him and him agreeing, even though even the Defence got it wrong. It wasn't June when the elections took place, it was July.
And if we look on 20 May, testimony of this witness, at page 10361, he explained to the Court what he knew about this border between Sierra Leone and Liberia and at that time, he told you that the border he was concerned about was the one he knew of, that he can say something about, was the border between Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire. Because it wasn't far from his home. But where you're talking about the border of Sierra Leone, he told you, "It's very, very far away from me, and I did not know the real different towns and the marcating systems on that border, but I knew at a point in time that the border was closed."
The Defence also addressed diamonds a bit in oral argument and to a greater degree in their final trial brief. And at page 760 of that final trial brief they tell you that, "The evidence fails to establish a joint criminal enterprise involving the taking over of political and physical control of Sierra Leone in order to exploit its abundant natural resources."
It says, "What diamonds did was to underwrite that war almost midway into the conflict. And it says that really the conflict in Sierra Leone had its roots in the genuine socioeconomic and political grievances."
Now, that last part of course is something that no one is unfamiliar with. That is what we may term rhetoric over reality. Because the rhetoric that makes you look good to the internationals, and helps to bring some people to you, is that we are here to help the people, but you've been told about that reality throughout the trial, even by Defence witnesses. Did those crimes happen in Sierra Leone? Charles Ngebeh was asked. "Yes, all of them happened. That's why those people are in jail."
Rhetoric versus reality. It's the same thing in Liberia, rhetoric versus reality. That wasn't the reason for the war, but it did make a good show. And if you look at the evidence, the evidence is overwhelming to show that one of the ultimate objectives of this conflict in the JCE was the exploitation, the pillage, of natural resources because what does the evidence show you about that? Every time, every time the RUF, and then the AFRC/RUF, had access to diamonds, whether they were taking diamonds that had already been mined or whether they were mining themselves, every time they had access they took those diamonds. It happened in Zimmi, you were told, at the beginning of the war. It happened in Kono, you were told, in late 1992, early 1993. And, of course, we know it happened big time in the junta. And as soon as they were pushed out of Freetown in 1998, diamond mining began, the exploitation, the pillage of those resources continued and when did it reach its full flower? When Issa Sesay was in charge and when Charles Taylor sent equipment to him. And during Issa Sesay's time you were told Charles Taylor got the benefits of 5,000 pieces, at least, of Sierra Leone gem-quality diamonds.
And if we look at exhibit D-366, Footpaths to democracy and if we look at what is said under the RUF SL anthem title at page 00009705 of that Footpaths to Democracy, what do they ask? Where are our diamonds, Mr President? Where is our gold, NPRC? And of course, we have it from a very good source that diamonds were one of the ultimate objectives of the war in Sierra Leone. And that is we have it from Charles Taylor himself. In a November 2000 interview with Stephen Smith, what did he tell Stephen Smith? "Yes, I think," Charles Taylor said, "I think the war in Sierra Leone is a war for diamonds." Of course, he said it's the British who want diamonds, but in fact he said it was a war for diamonds, and we know from the evidence he was the one benefiting from that war for diamonds. Now, it's also in that same article that Mr Taylor tells you the RUF committed terrible atrocities and that someone will have to answer for that.
Now, what were some other Defence questions? Well, on 9 March your attention was drawn to D-481, the US state department cables. And Defence counsel referred to a comment in that cable about no weapons caches having been found following the CPA. And then the Defence counsel asked you, well, you know, you're told that he never truly disarmed, that he lied when he spoke in court about it, that this was a disarmament that did not happen. Now, we look at what the US ambassador is saying, disarmament of the factions following the CPA has been extremely successful. And then Defence counsel asked you which of these two are we to believe? Well, you should believe both. Because what Defence counsel has done, intentionally or unintentionally, has confused time periods because what is the cable referring to? After the CPA. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2003. So after Charles Taylor left the country, there were no weapons caches found.
But what is our evidence talking about? We are talking about the disarmament that precedes the July 1997 election, the disarmament that Charles Taylor's own former Minister of Defence told you simply did not happen. That's what we are talking about.
Now, your Honour, I am running out of time here. I'd like to move on to two final topics.
The Defence has talked to you about diversions in this case and we suggest there have been diversions and we suggest to you that from the very beginning the Defence has tried to transform this criminal proceeding into a political and propaganda platform for Charles Taylor. That is a platform that he feels very comfortable with. And these efforts have continued in oral argument, on 9 March you were told that this trial was a 21st century form of neocolonialism. In making this statement to you perhaps the Defence forgot how this Court came into being, it was the Government of Sierra Leone, a government of a West African country that sought a means by which some, some measure of accountability could be determined for the crimes in that country. And they did that by reaching out to the United Nations. And they had to do that by reaching out to the United Nations because the Lome Agreement that Mr Taylor and his people were so instrumental in shaping and pushing through, that Lome Agreement gave blanket amnesty. So he benefited from it, his proxy forces benefited from it, but the victims in Sierra Leone didn't benefit from it, and so the Government of Sierra Leone asked that a court be created and that's how this Court came into existence.
And there is also a perverse sort of logic in this argument and the logic seems to be that unless the heads of African states will create courts or can create courts to punish crimes within their country, even crimes that offend everyone of us as members of the global community, unless they do that, the rest of the world should simply butt out. Because if they don't do it, then these victims should be left without justice. Somehow they deserve lesser justice. We suggest to you that is not the case.
Now, the Defence went further. They went much further in the argument here, and he basically said that this was not a trial at all, but an abuse of legal forms to achieve a predetermined end. Predetermined end. And he said that the tribunals and that means any tribunal, which are but an instrument of diplomacy in the hands of states are, in fact, not administering law at all but instead providing a spurious cover for their paymasters, thereby prostituting the legal process.
Are your Honours providing spurious cover for your paymasters, prostituting the legal process? Of course, you are not. This is a criminal trial, with an accused who is here because of the evidence showing the crimes he committed. And of course, the Defence in their accusation conveniently forget that since all of the cost of the tribunals are paid for by these so-called paymasters, the Defence too, being paid by them, must then be providing cover for the paymasters and prostituting the legal process. That would be the logical outcome of their argument, wouldn't it? Is that the case? Of course, it is not.
Now, the Defence have talked to you about selective prosecution and they have rightfully relied on the Delalic Appeals Chamber judgment in talking about selective prosecution. And that was an Appeals Chamber judgment delivered on 20 February 2001. And when we look at that Appeals Chamber judgment, as the Defence has, we see that in that case, the Appeals Chamber held that there is very broad discussion or discretion on the part of the Prosecutor to make decisions about the crimes that will be charged and the offenders that will be prosecuted. And that it's a very high burden that must be met, that it must be shown that indeed the intent of the Prosecution was to discriminate on improper motive and that similarly situated persons were not prosecuted.
Well, the Defence haven't shown you either of those. There is no intent to prosecute for improper motives. This accused is before you because he earned the right to be here through his choices, through his actions, through his failures to act. The evidence is overwhelming of his involvement in all of this. That's why he's before you.
Secondly, similarly situated accused? In trying to show you about similarly situated accused, one of the things that the Defence told you was, well, let's look at ECOMOG. Well, look at ECOMOG, both in Sierra Leone and Liberia. ECOMOG was the group that the people fled to, these foreigners in their land, they fled to them. How much worse must have been their own countrymen who were committing these crimes against them that they fled to ECOMOG? And in addition, no one in this case is similarly situated to this accused. He was at the very centre of the web of the crimes in Sierra Leone. Gaddafi, Compaore, they helped build that web and they helped maintain that web through Charles Taylor. The international community did not go to Gaddafi, did not go to Blaise Compaore; they went to Charles Taylor, because he's the one who had control over the leaders of these groups that were perpetuating such horrific crimes.
Now, the Defence at paragraph 21 of their brief cite you to the Delalic case, and they tell you that the Delalic judgment, in that judgment, the Appeals Chamber noted that, and here is their quote: "Unless all potential indictees who are similarly situated are brought to justice, there should be no justice done in relation to a person who had been indicted and brought to trial."
Pretty strong language. What does that tell you? If you can't get them all, you can't get any of them. Is that really what that judgment said? Take a look at that. The judgment said this, there were a few words omitted but very critical words. Here is what Delalic actually said and they were talk about, let's assume a hypothetical case, where not all similarly situated people were prosecuted. "Even in that it cannot be accepted," those were the words omitted, "it cannot be accepted that unless all potential indictees who are similarly situated are brought to justice, there should be no justice done in relation to a person who had been indicted and brought to trial." That's what they told you. That's what they told you. And I am informed that this is now paragraph 16 of the new Defence brief.
Your Honour, they misstated the law there, because it fit into their argument. They have misstated the evidence to make it fit into their argument. The evidence in this case, credible evidence in this case, proves this accused guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of each and every count of this indictment and we ask your Honours, acting not as puppets but acting in your capacity, people of integrity, people of independence and impartiality, when you look at the evidence you will conclude proof beyond a reasonable doubt has been met and we ask you to enter convictions on all of the counts in the indictment. Thank you.