The transcripts of the trial of Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia. More…

  • [On former affirmation]

  • Good morning, Mr Taylor.

  • Mr Taylor, you may recall that on 19 and 23 November of last year I asked you about prior testimony you had given regarding crimes committed in Liberia. Do you recall that?

  • I recall the - I don't recall the dates, but the subject matter I do.

  • And I reminded you that you had testified that the crimes committed in Sierra Leone were surprising to you because no such crimes occurred in Liberia and you answered, "That is correct", and you pointed out mutilation; do you recall that, Mr Taylor?

  • I also reminded you of your prior testimony that crimes by your NPFL subordinates were not widespread. You indicated that there may have been one or two rapes or killings in the NPFL, but the crimes were not widespread. Do you recall that, Mr Taylor?

  • You accepted that the NPFL did commit some crimes, but said that those were dealt with. Do you recall saying that?

  • And you pointed out again that your subordinates did not commit amputations. Do you recall that?

  • And I put it to you that none of these statements you had made to the Court about the conduct of your NPFL were true, and you stated that all of your statements were correct. Do you recall that, Mr Taylor?

  • And you disagreed that the crimes committed by all factions, including the NPFL in Liberia, were systematic in nature; you disagreed with that, do you recall that, Mr Taylor?

  • And you also said it was not correct that atrocities against civilians in Sierra Leone were simply a continuation of business as usual, the way you treated civilians in Liberia. Do you remember saying that, Mr Taylor?

  • And then over these two days we also engaged in a series of questions and answers related to what I put to you were crimes committed by your subordinates in Liberia, both before and after you assumed the presidency. Do you recall that?

  • And, Mr Taylor, you will also recall that at the time of these questions and answers we did not have recourse to documents; do you recall? We were not able to refer to documents in relation to the questions I put to you?

  • Do you recall that?

  • Now, I would like to revisit these areas today and suggest to you again that crimes committed by all factions in Liberia, including your NPFL, were systematic in nature, contrary to your prior testimony. That is correct, is it not, Mr Taylor?

  • What is correct? That you [overlapping speakers].

  • That the crimes committed by all factions in Liberia, including your NPFL, were systematic in nature?

  • And then I would ask your Honours to refer to tab number 6 in annex 3, the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission final report, volume 2, and I would ask that you refer to page 9 of that report.

  • It would be helpful, in light of the lead up to this, with reference to this passage, to know which of the passages on page 9 my learned friend intends to refer to. Because you will note that included on that page are two passages which the Prosecution seek to introduce as being relevant to guilt.

    If reference is to be made to those passages, then it seems to us: Firstly, my learned friend should indicated that that is the case; and secondly, then seek to justify, consistent with your Honours' decision of last November, the basis upon which they now seek to introduce this material at this late stage, bearing also in mind a reference I made last week, if memory serves, to Rule 93 and the obligation upon the Prosecution, if they are seeking to prove a pattern of conduct, to disclose such material consistent with Rule 66.

    So it would be helpful if I knew at this stage which passage is to be referred to so that we can deal with the procedural requirements as laid down by your ruling.

  • Ms Hollis, this paragraphs 18, 3 and 4, marked in the margin of the copies that we have.

  • That is correct.

  • Could you indicate, regarding your next question, which of these paragraphs you are going to put to the witness.

  • Relating to the question I just asked it would be 3, and I would also ask about number 4.

  • So, Mr Griffiths, does your objection still hold?

  • Yes, my objection still holds. The first point I make is this: You will note that this line of questioning related not only to the NPFL, but to other factions involved in the Liberian crisis. Question: To what extent can this defendant be asked about conduct of an organisation over which he clearly had no command and control?

    So consequently, it seems to us that any questions - and this is my preliminary point - must be directed to any organisation over which he had such command and control, and it must be limited to that. So that's point number one.

    Point number two: This evidence clearly goes to proof of system, a pattern of conduct. The question then is: If the Prosecution wanted to rely upon such proof, they were required to make it clear during the course of their case so that the defendant could have notice of the case he had to answer during the currency of the Prosecution case. In our submission, Rule 93 is quite clear on that.

    Furthermore my learned friend, consistent with your Honours' ruling, has not sought to address any argument so far to the twin criteria which must be satisfied before this evidence could become admissible, because it's quite clear from the marking in the margin that the content of those paragraphs goes to guilt and it's recognised by the Prosecution. So, consequently, whereas I understand the strategy adopted, you preface reference to the document by reminding the witness of prior testimony so that prima facie it appears that this is being introduced solely to contradict an earlier statement made by the witness, but in reality it is to get in through the back door evidence of system which in our submission should have been introduced as part of their case.

  • Mr Griffiths, whilst I understand your objection based on the lack of compliance with Rule 93(B), I don't quite understand or appreciate your arguments that these paragraphs go to guilt. They clearly speak of atrocities in Liberia, not Sierra Leone.

  • Yes, they clearly speak of atrocities in Liberia and Sierra Leone, your Honour, but if we note, for example, the use of the words in paragraph 3, "A systematic pattern of abuse, wanton in their execution and the product of deliberate planning organised and orchestrated to achieve a military or political objective", in essence, that is the nature of the claim being made in respect of this defendant and the RUF, so that introducing this provides the Prosecution with a foundation for saying this man armed and trained the RUF and imparted to them, based on this, a systematic pattern of conduct which they later deployed in Sierra Leone. So it provides a basis in due course for such an argument, so to that extent it is relevant, we say, to guilt.

  • Ms Hollis, I would like your response to those two issues. The first being Rule 93(B), compliance, and the latter being the issue of going to guilt.

  • First of all, Rule 93(B), compliance, could not be provided during our case in chief because these materials did not exist during our case in chief. This final report came out after our case in chief was concluded. Nonetheless, this evidence has been disclosed to the Defence, so the 93(B) requirement says the evidence must be disclosed, it has been disclosed. It has been indicated that we do intend to ask your Honours to consider it for guilt as well as for impeachment, so we have met the requirements of 93(B) now that we have the evidence and wish to use it. That is the Prosecution's response in relation to 93(B).

    In relation to the use of the evidence for guilt, the Prosecution has indicated that it wishes your Honours to consider this evidence both for guilt and for impeachment. And indeed the Defence is correct in that the relevance of this information for guilt is the pattern that emerges that is relevant to the various mens rea requirements for the various modes of liability. So we do wish your Honours to consider it for guilt, but again it's important to note that in regard to the comment that we should have used it during our case in chief, you can't use what you don't have and this report did not exist at that time.

    In relation to our ability to use this information, we would rely on our prior arguments to your Honours emphasising two points. Number one, this indeed is new evidence in the sense that it did not exist during our case in chief and, number two, as we have argued before and what we continue to submit is a factor for your consideration, your Honours have the ability, should you so determine, to use this evidence only for impeachment and not for both purposes. Other than that, Madam President, we would rely on our prior arguments on this topic.

  • Thank you. We will confer.

  • [Trial Chamber conferred]

  • We have taken note of the submissions on both sides. Firstly, regarding the objection based on the Prosecution's failure to comply with Rule 93(B) which deals with disclosure of material that shows a consistent pattern of conduct, we have noted the Prosecution's submissions that the findings of the TRC report came out after they closed their case and so we appreciate the fact that the disclosure was done at the time it could have been done because Rule 66(A)(ii) speaks of a rolling disclosure.

    Now, unless the Defence can show that this rolling disclosure didn't happen, I think we will have to take the Prosecution's word that they disclosed this material as early as they could in the circumstances.

    But on the second objection of new material that goes to proof of guilt being introduced now before Mr Taylor at this stage of the trial, we will have to uphold the objection based on the reasons that we have always given; that such material, if it is to be used in cross-examination, one, the Prosecution must demonstrate that it is in the interests of justice to do so and, secondly, they must demonstrate that it does not violate the fair trial rights of the accused. Now, in this case we are not satisfied that these two criteria have been fulfilled and for that reason, Ms Hollis, you cannot rely or use the excerpt in paragraph 4. However, I think paragraph 18 is quite benign and you can lead questions relating to that.

  • For some reason I don't have your decision on my LiveNote, but, so that I understand, the decision is we may not use paragraph 4 on page 9 but that we may use paragraph 3?

  • 18. Even paragraph 3 you may not use. I thought that when you were answering my query you said your question was going to relate to paragraphs 18 and 4. When I asked you which of the two paragraphs are you going to include in your question, you said to me 18 and 4.

  • I meant to say 3 and 4, where it talks about a systematic pattern of abuse in 3.

  • Well, in that case --

  • I did not mean to say 18.

  • In that case I will adjust my ruling to include paragraph 3 as one of the paragraphs that you may not use at this stage for the same reasons I have stated before.

  • I think we are having a problem with LiveNote. I have nothing since something showing you conferred.

  • Your Honours, the internet appears to be fluctuating. I am presently broadcasting my LiveNote which so far is working. Please press PC-1 on the panels next to your monitors to be able to view that.

  • Mr Taylor, it is correct, is it not, that your NPFL recruited and used child soldiers during the armed conflict?

  • That is incorrect. I have explained to this Court my position and my evidence on that matter.

  • And indeed, Mr Taylor, you continued to use child soldiers after you became President, isn't that correct?

  • And your denials are not truthful, are they, Mr Taylor?

  • I have given my evidence to this Court and it is truthful. If you are going to rely on the Truth Commission later on, probably we will talk about the Liberian Truth Commission report, which is the subject of many legal challenges now in the courts of Liberia and is by no means factual --

  • Mr Taylor, I'm asking you to give a speech --

  • -- I'm asking you to answer the question, please --

  • I have answered your question, and I'm saying that the factual nature of the Truth Commission is a matter of legal challenges in the courts of Liberia.

  • The transcriber has asked me to let you know to slow down, please, and possibly not to speak over each other. Please continue.

  • If we could please look at page 7 of number 6 in annex 3, the Liberian TRC final report. If we could look at the bottom of that page, please?

  • Again, Madam President, I raise the same objection. Now, Madam President, it is somewhat concerning that despite your Honours' ruling, before seeking to address the witness's mind to a passage such as this, clearly marked by the Prosecution that it's relevant to guilt, my learned friend has consistently not sought a priori to justify, based on the two-prong test promulgated by your Honours, the basis upon which she is seeking to use this material.

    It seems to us that your Honours' ruling on that issue made it incumbent upon the Prosecution to satisfy the two-prong test prior to addressing the witness's mind to the evidence. That's, as I understood it, the procedure to be adopted when reference was to be made to a material of this kind, and consistently it has required an objection on our part to prompt the Prosecution to come forward with a justification why they seek to use this material, and again we object. This material on this page, that is, paragraphs 3, 6 and 7, all go to the issue of guilt.

    There is a count on the indictment dealing with child soldiers. This is directly relevant to that, and it should be noted whilst we are aware of the date when this TRC report was published, and indeed it was post the conclusion of the Prosecution case, nonetheless, there was no timely disclosure of this document suggesting to the Defence at that time that it was the intention of the Prosecution to rely on this material.

    And I am looking now for reference to the date of this publication, and I don't know if anyone can assist me, but if memory serves, it's August 2008 - 2009.

  • On my copy, Mr Griffiths, somebody has written "Published 30 June 2009". That's on the front page, but I don't know who wrote that.

  • But in any event, it is of note that despite that fact, the intention to use this document was not made apparent until the cross-examination of Mr Taylor commenced in November.

    Now, it seems to us that there should have been timely disclosure of this document. It's not an argument that I addressed on the last occasion this morning, but nonetheless, that is not timely disclosure. And the remedy for the Prosecution, where, as here, new material has come to light, is in due course to seek to re-open their case. That is the option available to them.

    Now, returning to the instant page, page 7, argument number one then is reliant, as articulated earlier, on Rule 93 and also the disclosure obligations under Rule 66. The second prong of my argument is based four square on the decision made by your Honours on 30 November of last year. We submit that the Prosecution have not sought, neither can, justify either of those two criteria for the admittance of these three passages or paragraphs. That is my objection.

  • Ms Hollis, on my copy there are two passages on this page, that's paragraphs 3 and 7 on page 7. Am I correct?

  • I don't see a third passage.

  • Well, there is actually - there is paragraph 3, which is marked, and then at the bottom both 6 and 7 are included in the marking.

  • But before you address the Bench, Ms Hollis, I think it is pertinent what the Defence has mentioned, that the Prosecution has consistently stood up and sought to use evidence that they know is fresh evidence, that they know goes to proof of guilt, without a prior justification in accordance with our decision, as a result of which we are spending so much time unnecessarily on these objections and responses and rulings. I think this is not in order. I think we are being repetitive here.

    The test hasn't changed, the burden is clearly on the Prosecution in seeking to use this material to lay the twofold foundation before you seek to use the material rather than to wait for the Defence to stand up and object every time.

    Now, clearly the two or three passages on this page that you have marked include material that goes to guilt. Now, I am hoping that every time you stand up to attempt to use this material, you will start by addressing the Bench on this twofold test, and anything else, you know, beyond that is then a subject for further submissions.

    But I would definitely observe that this is indeed a valid objection by the Defence, that you have tended to ignore the ruling of the Bench; that you have this onus on the you to establish the interest of justice and to establish that the matter does not violate the fair trial rights of the accused; where you can see clearly that it contains material that goes to guilt.

    Now, having said that, I would like you to address us on the objection raised by the Defence.

  • Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, we would suggest that we have not ignored the ruling of the Bench.

    If you will note the sequence in which events have occurred, we have directed your attention to these pages and passages and once they are before you, the Defence has stood up and objected. Now, unless we speak over the Defence, that forecloses us from going further until they finish their objection. Simply directing your attention to this passage is not using it. Directing your attention to it, waiting until it is before you to make any further comments, and then having the Defence stand up immediately and object, we would suggest, does not mean that we are ignoring your decision on this.

    We have marked these passages as passages we would like to be used, both for impeachment and guilt, and we do know that we have a two-prong test under your decision in relation to the use for guilt. But we would suggest that indeed we are not ignoring your order in that regard. That is the first point that I would make in relation to the objection.

    In relation to the objection relating to disclosure, as you will note, the Prosecution has indicated it would use these materials both for impeachment and guilt. Until the accused had completed his direct examination, we did not know to what degree, if any, the accused might actually admit to some of the crimes in Liberia.

  • I think maybe we'll pause there, Ms Hollis. We are trying to fix the LiveNote problem.

  • We apologise for this delay. Our LiveNote has completely disappeared off the screen. We are trying our best to retrieve it.

    I think we will just have to continue as things are. I hope that the parties have LiveNote running. It's a pity that --

  • The Prosecution has it on the other screen. We have it reconnected.

  • Madam Courtroom Officer, I think it would be best if you would broadcast your LiveNote onto our screens and then we can continue.

  • Your Honour, in that case we will continue on PC-1.

  • We will do that for the time being, Ms Hollis. You may continue.

  • Thank you, Madam President. The Prosecution, and, for your Honours and the Defence's assistance, it is VII of the report that indicates that it was to be signed by the commissioners on the 29th day of June 2009. Once we had this report, we reviewed it and determined that potentially some of these passages went to guilt.

  • Are you saying 29 June is the publication date?

  • I'm saying that this shows the date that supposedly their signatures were affixed.

  • Yes, but we are interested in the date of publication of this document.

  • And that I do not know.

  • How is it possible not to know? This is a public document.

  • It doesn't show it on anything we've seen as to the actual publication date.

  • This is not something that you can't ascertain by even a phone call to the relevant authorities. I don't have the date of publication on my record, but surely this is not something that is so difficult to ascertain that we should be guessing about at this stage. So then I take it that the Prosecution does not know the date of publication of the TRC report.

  • No, we do not. We believe that it was within a month or two months of the signature.

  • In fact, I believe that probably on some internet site this kind of information is possible, as we sit here. But please address us on the points that were objected to.

  • Yes. In terms of the point that was again made about the timeliness of the disclosure of this document or the portions we intended to use, assuming a scenario that would be the earliest that the Prosecution could have known of it - it was later, but assume that we knew on 29 June 2009 of the existence of this report and actually had it, we did not determine to what extent, if any, we would use this document for guilt and indeed not determined for impeachment until the conclusion of this accused's testimony. To the extent he admitted to any of the findings in this report, we would not have used the report. So that we disclosed once we had determined what we would use and how we would use it, so we do not believe that we have untimely disclosure with this document.

    We also would point out that in terms of any potential prejudice to the Defence, this is a public document that was available to the Defence as it was to us.

    Now, moving to the test to be applied, and we are taking this on a case-by-case basis because that is consistent with the determinations your Honours have made on these matters, that we should deal with each issues as it arises, then we would again rely on our prior arguments as to both tests that must be satisfied before this document can be used pursuant to the decision of your Honours. We would, in that regard, point out that whether the document is placed on the screen for your Honours or whether we simply draw your attention to it and you find that page, it's necessary for you to find the page and look at the material before an argument can be made. So we believe that the procedure we have followed has not been unduly burdensome. But we would rely on our prior arguments.

    And, just so I am clear, I am relying on those arguments as to 7, which dealt specifically with the use and recruitment of children. Your Honours have also mentioned 3 and 6. So to the extent you're asking that I also argue those at this time, I would rely on the same argument, although I have not specifically gone into those with questions yet. But I would rely on the same arguments for those as well.

  • Madam President, can I assist to this limited extent: Mr Anyah has searched on the internet and the TRC for Liberia website says that the final report was presented on Tuesday 30 June 2009. Whether presented equates to publication we know not.

  • [Trial Chamber conferred]

  • I have conferred and for the same reason or similar reasons that we have ruled that the Prosecution could not use material that goes to proof of guilt at this stage, for those same reasons we rule that the Prosecution cannot use paragraphs 3, 6 and 7 on page 7 of the TRC report at this stage.

  • Your Honours, I switched back to PC-1, I believe, but - are your Honours getting the transcript correctly on PC-1?

  • I am not, Ms Hollis. I can't speak for my colleagues.

  • I see something just on the --

  • The entire ruling that I just gave is absent.

  • Your Honour, I think the network is also experiencing some problems. So whereas the transcribers have captured that ruling, when that happens, the LiveNote skips and then continues. It's now recording properly.

  • Will what I have said be reflected on the final transcript?

  • Your Honour, your ruling will be reflected on the final transcript.

  • Okay. Please continue, Ms Hollis.

  • Thank you, Madam President:

  • Mr Taylor, contrary to your testimony, the NPFL did not put into place even minimum standards to mitigate against the widespread abuses caused by your soldiers, did it?

  • The NPFL had in place military tribunals and to mitigate some of these issues that have been raised. We did.

  • Indeed, Mr Taylor, only the INPFL and the MODEL put in place even minimum standards to mitigate against these widespread abuses. Isn't that correct?

  • Yes, and MODEL?

  • That is so incorrect. And you know that. The INPFL never put into place anything for the few months that they were in place. Never.

  • Indeed, Mr Taylor, your NPFL victimised the civilian population of Liberia on a massive scale. Isn't that correct?

  • Indeed, Mr Taylor, your NPFL systematically targeted women as victims of crimes. Isn't that correct?

  • Indeed, the crimes that your NPFL committed against women included rape, sexual slavery and other forms of violence against them. Is that not correct?

  • Now, Mr Taylor, it is correct, is it not, that your NPFL were responsible for burning entire villages?

  • This is not to my knowledge, no.

  • If we could please look at - and this is to draw your attention to the passage in question. If we could please look at number 6 in annex 3, page 121.

  • I expect to hear the relevant arguments before the witness is shown anything, in line with the ruling I have just given.

  • Do your Honours have that page before you?

  • We have the page before us, but I wouldn't want the witness to see the page until I have heard arguments convincing me that he should.

  • So your Honours are aware of the part that was just referred to, I am looking at the part that is marked, the 11th line up from the bottom of that paragraph. Do your Honours see that in reference to massive victimisations, entire villages and towns being burned? We would rely on our prior arguments in relation to the use of this material and the fourth line above that indicates that the group being talked about is the NPFL.

  • [Trial Chamber conferred]

  • Noting that the Prosecution relies on their prior arguments, I rely on our prior reasoning to disallow the use of this passage on page 121 of the TRC report.

  • And Mr Taylor, contrary to your prior testimony, looting was in fact a part of the way the NPFL operated, wasn't it?

  • And the NPFL in fact engaged in widespread looting, did it not?

  • Well, again, when you say - I don't want to mislead these judges. I have given testimony that there were times, but that word "widespread" I disagree with, so I will answer to your question: Widespread looting, no.

  • And indeed, Mr Taylor, this widespread looting on behalf of your subordinates continued after you were President, isn't that correct?

  • And indeed, Mr Taylor, you actually ordered your subordinates to pay themselves, isn't that right?

  • That's very, very, very obnoxious. No, never did.

  • And by that you meant that they should loot to pay themselves in lieu of you actually paying them salaries, isn't that correct, Mr Taylor?

  • And, your Honours, I would ask you to again refer to page 121 of number 6 in annex 3, beginning with the sentence the 13th line up from the bottom, "With limited supplies".

  • Bottom of the page?

  • Bottom of the marked paragraph, Madam President. The line begins, "Who were unleashed". The sentence that I'm referring to begins on that same line with "Limited supplies". That sentence, as well as the last line of that marked paragraph, "Charles G Taylor, who commanded".

  • Your Honour, unfortunately my LiveNote has succumbed and has had an error message and closed. I am trying to reconnect to the system.

  • Ms Hollis, we are listening. We want to continue because we can receive LiveNote, but we have seen the passage that you are referring to and we are listening.

  • And, Madam President, we would rely on our prior arguments as to the permissibility of the use of these passages as it has been so marked, both for impeachment, and as proof of guilt.

  • I do note that the passage indeed contains material that goes to proof of guilt. It's new and is being attempted to be used at this late stage in the trial, and for the reasons that we have given before, we disallow its use.

  • And, Mr Taylor, your directive to your subordinates that they should pay themselves continued into your presidency as well, isn't that correct?

  • You ordered them to pay themselves, and that order to your subordinates continued into your presidency. Isn't that correct?

  • Not only is it incorrect, it's total nonsense.

  • Indeed, Mr Taylor, your NPFL committed the greatest number of crimes against civilians in Liberia of any of the factions there. Isn't that correct?

  • Well, I would say that is totally incorrect. Maybe someone has a different opinion, but that's totally incorrect.

  • And indeed, Mr Taylor, your NPFL committed some three times as many crimes as the LURD, which had the next highest incidence of crimes. Isn't that correct?

  • Well, when you say NPFL and LURD, we are talking about two different times. There was no NPFL during my administration at the time of LURD, so I don't understand your question.

  • Mr Taylor, I am talking throughout the conflict. The NPFL, during its existence, committed three times the amount of crimes that the other factions committed during their existence; that is correct, isn't it, Mr Taylor?

  • Well, we did not do any statistics, and I would say it's incorrect. Maybe someone has come up with their own analysis, but that's totally incorrect.

  • And indeed, Mr Taylor, the NPFL was considered one of the significant violator groups of the factions in Liberia from the time you attacked until you left the presidency. Isn't that correct?

  • By whose analysis? That's incorrect for me. By whose analysis?

  • So you disagree with that?

  • That's what I am asking you. I don't understand the analysis --

  • Mr Taylor, you disagree with that statement?

  • I totally disagree with it. And whoever - whose analysis it is is - that person's opinion is wrong.

  • And Mr Taylor, indeed the NPFL accounted for some 39 per cent of the violations committed during the course of the conflict in Liberia, and that would include the fighting with the LURD. That's correct, isn't it, Mr Taylor?

  • I disagree with that assumption.

  • I would ask that your Honours consider the material on page 214, 215 and page 10 of the Liberian TRC report, and we would rely on our previous arguments as to the permissibility of our use of these materials.

  • I am assuming, Ms Hollis, that the material you are referring to goes to guilt of the accused?

  • That is correct, Madam President. If you see at page 214, the I and G is both impeachment and guilt and at 215, impeachment and guilt, and then at page 10, I apologise that it was not marked, but it is impeachment and guilt. That was an oversight on our part.

  • My page 214 has no mark in the margin. I'm therefore assuming that everything on that page, 214, is sought to be relied upon.

  • No, Madam President. Indeed, you should have received a copy that was marked under "Violations by Group", the bottom paragraph on that page of 214. 215 the page is marked. The impeachment and guilt is shown for the paragraph itself in terms of our intended use of it.

  • Ms Hollis, since you rely on your previous arguments, I rely on the previous reasoning of the Chamber to disallow for use the material at the bottom of page 10, the material at the bottom of page 214 under the heading "Violations By Group", and the material on the whole of page 215 of the TRC report.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, you testified on 19 November that the NPFL did not use terror against civilians. Do you recall giving that testimony?

  • I don't remember the date, but I do recall testifying that - to the best of my recollection, my evidence before this Court has been - and I do not disclaim - that there were some times that there were atrocities committed. There were not impunity, and as they were brought to the attention of the authorities, they were dealt with in our commissions - our military tribunals. That's my evidence before this Court.

  • Mr Taylor, the question that was directed to you on the 19th was that the NPFL did use terror against civilians, and you testified the NPFL did not use terror against civilians. Do you recall that testimony?

  • To the best of my recollection, yes, I do recall that the NPFL did not use terror against civilians.

  • Indeed, that was not truthful testimony, was it, Mr Taylor?

  • In fact, terror was one of the main tools that the NPFL used. Isn't that correct?

  • Your Honours, I would ask you to direct your attention to the marked portions of pages 212 to 213 of the TRC report, and the Prosecution would rely on its prior arguments relating to the permissibility of this material, both as to impeachment and guilt, in relation to terror becoming the main tool of warring factions.

  • For the same reasons as I have given before, the passages that are marked on page 212 and 213 of the TRC may not be used.

  • And Mr Taylor, indeed you, as the leader of the NPFL, intended the use of terror by your subordinates; isn't that correct?

  • And you used terror against the civilian population as a means of control of the civilian population; isn't that correct?

  • If I had used terror, I would not have been elected. That is totally incorrect.

  • And indeed, Mr Taylor, part of the reason you were elected is the fear you would return to such conduct if you were not elected; isn't that true?

  • Well, that is totally untrue. Except I could control the international community, that is totally untrue and unfounded.

  • Mr Taylor, you recall us talking about NPFL checkpoints?

  • And you agreed that they were also called gates. Do you recall that?

  • Now, you also told the Court that the NPFL checkpoints were not the scene of very serious crimes against civilians. Do you recall that?

  • I don't know if these were my exact words, that, you know, based on the way you put the question.

  • Mr Taylor, these NPFL checkpoints, they were indeed the scene of very serious crimes, weren't they?

  • No, but you have referred to evidence that I gave, so that's why I am referring to it now. So if I gave that evidence that you tried to get me to agree or disagree, it would be fair to me if you were to state where that evidence is.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, let's look at what you said about that. Mr Taylor, allow me to return to that so I can give your exact quote and we, for the moment, will move on to other topics, but I will get back with that so we know exactly what you said.

  • You misquoted me then.

  • No, I didn't say that, Mr Taylor. I said we will get back to that so that we can show exactly what you said. Now, Mr Taylor, indeed it is correct, is it not, that NPFL checkpoints were the scene of very serious crimes against civilians?

  • It is correct, is it not, that your NPFL checkpoints were the scene of very serious crimes against civilians?

  • This is in Liberia, no doubt.

  • This is in Liberia, yes.

  • The way you put the question, is it correct that your NPFL checkpoints were the scene of various serious crimes, I would disagree with the way the proposition is put. Again, my evidence before this Court is that there were some crimes committed at some of these areas and it was an issue, I said, as it was brought to the authority's attention they were dealt with. Now, the way it's generalised - the purpose of these gates were not to commit crimes. That's the way the proposition is stated by you. So I would have to say no, based on my understanding of your proposition.

  • Mr Taylor, your NPFL had checkpoints throughout your entire area of control, didn't it?

  • And those checkpoints were manned by armed fighters of yours. Isn't that correct?

  • And indeed these armed fighters at these checkpoints even included children, didn't they?

  • And at your checkpoints throughout your territory your fighters committed crimes against civilians who came to those checkpoints. Isn't that right?

  • Well, again, no, the way the it's done, I would say no. You say that at all of those checkpoints, I would say no.

  • And indeed, Mr Taylor, it was a practice at those checkpoints to commit crimes against civilians. Isn't that correct?

  • That is totally incorrect.

  • And that practice at those checkpoints included singling out people because of their ethnicity. Isn't that right?

  • Well, no, the way the proposition is put, I would say no to the proposition.

  • And indeed your fighters singled out people based on ethnicity such as Krahn, people you considered to be your enemies. Isn't that correct?

  • No, that is totally incorrect, the way in which the proposition is put, but I rely on my evidence that I have given that I do not deny that there were times that individuals, but the way you have generalised it, I would say no.

  • And, Mr Taylor, indeed when these Krahn were singled out, they were often killed because of their ethnicity at these checkpoints. Isn't that right?

  • Well, again that's very general. I would say I would rely on the evidence that I have given. In fact I have answered that question in so many different forms as you have brought it. I rely on my evidence.

  • And this singling out of people based on ethnicity was systematic by your NPFL. Isn't that correct?

  • Throughout the time of your early conflict before you became President.

  • What do you mean by early conflict before I became President?

  • Mr Taylor, you know what we are talking about, we are talking about the civil war that you were engaged in before you were elected President?

  • I don't read minds, counsel. I'm asking you a specific question. If you are speaking between 19 - because I become President in 1997. Are you speaking about the period between 1990 and '97?

  • Was there some period within there that your NPFL did systematically commit these crimes based on ethnicity?

  • Well systematically what you've put it I would say no. My evidence before this Court speaks for itself that at the early stages, at the very early stages, there were incidents where certain elements of NPFL engaged in such practices between I would say January to March. That was brought under control and that's my evidence before --

  • Of 1990. And, to the best of my recollection, it was brought under control and that evidence I have given previously before this Court. But not for the entire period, no.

  • Your Honours, first I would refer you again to page 121 of the TRC report. And if you would direct yourselves to beginning with the last word on the ninth line above the bottom of that paragraph, "Ethnic cleansing and ethnic profiling".

  • You mean the sentence beginning, "Massacres".

  • Yes, the portion of that sentence that we are speaking to at this point is the portion that begins on the next line with "ethnic" and speaks of, "Ethnic cleansing and ethnic profiling was standardised." I would rely on previous arguments of the Prosecution in support of the permissible use of this information.

  • This sentence definitely contains material that goes to proof of guilt and, based on my previous reasoning, we disallow its use.

  • Mr Taylor, your question about what your prior testimony was in relation to the commission of very serious crimes against civilians, on my LiveNote at line 24 today I asked you:

    "Q. You also told the Court the NPFL checkpoints were not

    the scene of very serious crimes against civilians. Do you

    recall that?

    A. I don't know if these were my exact words that, you

    know, based on the way you put the question."

    And then you said:

    "You have referred to evidence I gave, so that's why I am referring to it. It would be fair to me if you were to state where that evidence is."

    So, Mr Taylor, if we could please look at 19 November, page 32240. And we'd find that on PC-1, Madam Court Officer?

  • Please give me a moment to locate it and remove my LiveNote so that I would be able to show the transcript.

  • And if we could look at line 19, I asked you:

    "Q. Your NPFL checkpoints were very frequently the scene

    of very serious crimes against civilians. That's

    correct, is it not, Mr Taylor?

    A. I wouldn't say so, no. I wouldn't say so, no."

    So, Mr Taylor, that was your prior answer to that question?

  • Yeah, but your question here is you say were very frequent. Now, your original question you asked today was to the extent of widespread, right? Now very frequent and widespread are two different things.

  • I said - let's look at it again:

    "You also told the Court that the NPFL checkpoints were not the scene of very serious crimes against civilians. Do you recall that?"

    That was the question.

  • Yeah, but then the whole essence of the two questions are different.

  • Well, Mr Taylor, I am not going to argue with you over the plain language of the --

  • Ms Hollis, can you ask a question - for the sake of progress, can you ask a question now if you wish to, or has your question been answered?

  • I simply was referring him back for his benefit to the prior question and answer, Madam President.

  • And do you wish to put a question after referring him to his prior testimony?

  • So, Mr Taylor, despite your prior testimony, it is indeed true, is it not, that your checkpoints were the scene of very serious crimes against civilians?

  • Again as it is put, I would say - well, you know, even as you have put the question now, I have admitted into evidence here that there were some crimes at some of these gates and as they were brought to our attention we dealt with it. Now that's a little different from the way it was put. Very frequent crimes, no. I would say that --

  • Mr Taylor, the question as put now is what you are requested to answer, which is:

    "Mr Taylor, despite your prior testimony, it is indeed true, is it not, that your checkpoints were the scene of very serious crimes against civilians?"

    That is the new question.

  • Well, the way the question is put I would have to say no. The way it is put now, I will have to say no.

  • Well, the way the question is put is the way the question is put. Counsel is not going to put questions as you wish it to be put. Just answer the question as put to you. There will be much progress in that way.

  • Mr Taylor, also on 19 November I asked you about your NPFL subordinates committing crimes against Krahn and Mandingo in Kakata in 1990. Do you recall me asking you about that?

  • I don't recall the specific question.

  • This is at page 32245 of your testimony of 19 November. It was in the context of targeting Krahn and Mandingos as well as government officials, and if we look to line 12:

    "When your NPFL took the town or city of Kakata in 1990, your subordinates committed those kinds of crimes against Krahn and Mandingo in that area."

    And we are referring back up to what was put to you at lines 7 to 9, that is, separating them out and killing them in a brutal manner. And your answer was - in relation to the town or city of Kakata in 1990, your answer was, "That is so far from the truth. It is so incorrect." And you indicated:

    "In Kakata, the situation in Kakata, the day that the NPFL forces moved in, the business centres closed for a few hours and re-opened. Not even one bit of looting. In fact, one of the commanders that took over Kakata, one of my Special Forces, is still alive. Nothing happened in Kakata."

    And you indicated General William Sumo was the commander you were referring to. Now, Mr Taylor, that testimony was not accurate, was it?

  • Very accurate.

  • And indeed, the crimes of killing based on ethnic identity were committed by your NPFL as they entered Kakata, that is the truth of it, isn't it, Mr Taylor?

  • Now, if your Honours could please keep number 6 at tab 3 available, but I would like to move to another document, number 32 in annex 4. This is the ECOMOG book, Lieutenant Colonel Festus Aboagye. I am referring to page 37 of that book. That is number 32 in annex 4.

  • This is the book by Festus Aboagye?

  • That is correct, Madam President, page 37. And you will note that there are three areas on that page that are marked. My interest at this point relates to the top two portions that are marked, the portions that are marked in the centre paragraph.

  • The passage beginning, "The military situation"?

  • That is correct, Madam President. And the passage in particular I am interested in goes down to the 13th line, which begins, "Control Bong Mines with yet more massacres". That is the portion that I am referring to. You will note that the markings do not show a letter I and a letter G, and as we complained in our cover letter, we are not asking that you consider this passage for purposes of guilt, but for purposes --

  • Ms Hollis, I have said this before. Our ruling has not changed. It's not what you intend to use the passage for; it's for its content objectively. Now, does this content, in your opinion, contain material that goes to proof of guilt, or not?

  • If we are talking about the probative of guilt standard which your Honours have set forth, then we believe that someone could consider this probative of guilt, yes.

  • In which case, I am listening for your justification for its use at this stage.

  • And the justification is the same argument that we have relied on previously, noting in this particular case as a factor we continue to suggest is a significant factor to be considered, that we are not asking that you consider this passage for purposes of guilt.

  • Based on my previous reasoning that this is evidence that goes to proof of guilt, it is being introduced late in cross-examination of the accused, did not form part of the Prosecution case in chief, and the twofold justification has not been met, so it cannot be used.

  • Indeed, Mr Taylor, this killing of people in Kakata based on their ethnicity, that killing was reported to you, was it not?

  • And indeed, it would have been reported to you as the commander-in-chief. Such a killing would have been reported to you, wouldn't it?

  • Well, I would say it should be reported. I don't know if it would have been reported.

  • Mr Taylor, you took no action against the fighters who committed these crimes in Kakata, did you?

  • Well, if - I mean, the way - you see, again no report came to me, so I could not take any action. How do I take action against a report that never came to me?

  • Now, Mr Taylor, you indicated that the commander that took over Kakata was a General William Sumo. When you say he took over Kakata, what do you mean?

  • He was the commander - one of two commanders that moved into Kakata.

  • So he was part of the operation to capture Kakata?

  • In factual, there was no fighting in Kakata. That's what I mean by "moved in". There was no fighting in Kakata.

  • And did you ever court-martial him for his actions in Kakata?

  • Any action, Mr Taylor. Did you ever court-martial this man for his actions in Kakata?

  • You are a soldier. Do you court-martial people that have not committed --

  • Mr Taylor, I ask the questions; you answer them --

  • -- did you court-martial this man for his actions in Kakata?

  • What actions? You have to spell out to me what actions did he --

  • Well, Mr Taylor --

  • Mr Taylor, if there was no court-martialling, that's all you need say. You never court-martialled him for any action. It's a simple question.

  • Well, there were no unlawful acts on the part of General Sumo, so he was not - that was reported to me, so he was not court-martialled.

  • In fact, Mr Taylor, William Sumo - now, did you have more than one William Sumo in the NPFL - Special Force in the NPFL?

  • Special Force, no. There was one William Sumo.

  • Indeed, he was one of the most notorious perpetrators in your NPFL, wasn't he?

  • And the action in Kakata was not at all atypical of William Sumo's conduct, was it?

  • Ask that question again?

  • The action against civilians in Kakata was not at all atypical of William Sumo's actions, was it?

  • General Sumo did not commit any crimes in Kakata that was brought to me.

  • Mr Taylor, did you ever at any point court-martial William Sumo?

  • No, I did not court-martial William Sumo, as no unlawful acts were brought to my attention.

  • You didn't court-martial this man because you didn't court-martial those who carried out crimes against civilians; that's the correct answer to that, isn't it, Mr Taylor?

  • That would be a totally incorrect answer, because there is evidence here that we did court-martial people, including Special Forces, that committed crimes. So that would be inaccurate.

  • You court-martialled people you felt were a threat to your power, isn't that correct, Mr Taylor?

  • Now, Mr Taylor, indeed, the singling out of people based on ethnicity and killing them and committing other crimes against them, this type of conduct was carried out by your subordinates when they took control of Bong Mines as well, isn't that true?

  • Madam President, page 37 that you have just looked at, also we were speaking before of Kakata, but it also indicates massacres at Bong Mines. Now, it may be that you had included that in your prior ruling. If not, I would ask that you consider it for use based on the same arguments we had advanced before.

  • What passage are you referring to?

  • Madam President, this is again page 37, and it is the line beginning with "The" and then the next line "recapture of Kakata, however diverted the rebels to the German-controlled Bong Mines with yet more massacres". That is the portion of that page I am now referring to.

  • Yes, but you did refer to it previously, the whole chunk that is marked in the middle of that page.

  • That is correct for --

  • So what are you asking me to do? I have already ruled on the whole chunk.

  • So you have ruled on Bong Mines as well?

  • Now, Mr Taylor, you also testified on 19 November that there was no massacre in Bakedu. Do you remember that testimony? And we are talking about a massacre in Bakedu in 1990 by your subordinates.

  • Yes, I can recall the Bakedu question.

  • And Mr Taylor, that is not correct testimony on your part, is it?

  • There was no massacre in Bakedu by the NPFL, was your question, and I said no.

  • And indeed, Mr Taylor, in Bakedu your NPFL killed some 500 ethnic Mandingos, isn't that right?

  • And that included an Imam, isn't that right?

  • And that report was made to you, was it not, Mr Taylor?

  • And again, these people were singled out because of their ethnicity, isn't that right, Mr Taylor?

  • I would ask your Honours to look at page 123 of the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission report. If you see that page you see that it is marked "I" and "G" and I would direct your attention to the information beginning the 10th line up from the bottom of that first paragraph. It is the line that begins, "NPFL-held territories were killed" and the part that I wish to direct your attention to begins at the end of that line, "500 ethnic Mandingos including an Imam killed in Bakedu by the NPFL." We rely on our prior arguments as to the permissible use of that information.

  • Ms Hollis, I rely on the Chamber's previous ruling to disallow the use of this line as it contains fresh evidence that goes to guilt.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, you said in part of your response to the question about Bakedu that there was no massacre by the NPFL because the NPFL was miles away. Do you recall telling the Court that?

  • But indeed, Mr Taylor, the NPFL was able to go to Bakedu and carry out this massacre of some 500 people. Isn't that correct?

  • And you conducted no court martial against anyone for killings in Bakedu, did you, Mr Taylor?

  • There was no court martials because of any issue that was brought before the authorities of any killings in Bakedu.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, you may also recall that I asked you about killings by your NPFL in Grand Gedeh County, killings of Krahn civilians and I asked you about those killings that occurred in 1990. Do you remember that? And you said that in 1990, citizens of Grand Gedeh were not bothered. Do you recall that, Mr Taylor?

  • In 1990, yes, I recall - not the specific words, but we didn't capture Grand Gedeh County until very - depending on the period. I remember the testimony.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, it's correct, is it not, that you may attack an area but not capture it?

  • And that's what happened in 1990 in Grand Gedeh County. Isn't it, Mr Taylor?

  • What part of 1990 are you talking about.

  • Well, Mr Taylor, let's try around August of 1990.

  • I can say there could have been attacks around that period in 1990.

  • In fact, Mr Taylor, your NPFL carried out massacres in Grand Gedeh County during that time, didn't it?

  • That is not correct. There was fighting in Grand Gedeh around late 1990. The Armed Forces of Liberia were still up in Grand Gedeh.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, you did testify that the NPFL were in fact present in Grand Gedeh County in 1991. Do you recall testifying to that?

  • By 1991 - there was heavy fighting in late 1990. By 1991, I would say the NPFL - while we did not have the entire Grand Gedeh, the NPFL occupied parts of Grand Gedeh in 1991, yes.

  • And indeed, Mr Taylor, in 1991 your NPFL was responsible for killing hundreds of members of the Krahn ethnic group and Mandingos in Grand Gedeh County. Isn't that correct?

  • And your NPFL targeted these individuals for supposedly supporting the Doe government. Isn't that correct?

  • And, in fact, throughout this time, Mr Taylor, your NPFL continued to detain civilians, torture and kill them in areas under your control. Isn't that right?

  • I would ask your Honours to look at page 178 of the Liberian TRC report, the second entry from the top of the page. We would rely on our - it is the 1991, setting out NPFL responsibility for killings in Grand Gedeh County, Krahns and Mandingos. It is marked as both impeachment and guilt, and we would rely on our prior arguments in relation to the permissible use of this information.

  • This passage on page 178 - is it page 178?

  • The second passage with the year "1991" from the top contains material that does go to proof of guilt of the accused and, for the reasons given before, we disallow its use at this stage.

  • Mr Taylor, do you recall in 1991 court-martialling anyone for any killings in Grand Gedeh County?

  • 1991, not specifically, I don't. It could have happened, but I don't recall. There were several tribunals, so I don't recall.

  • Do you recall if any commanders were prosecuted in 1991 for any killings in Grand Gedeh County?

  • No, I don't recall. If there were some commanders, it could have happened without my knowledge, but I have no recollection of it.

  • Mr Taylor, do you recall on the 19th we also talked about the rounding up of individuals from ECOMOG contributing countries in late 1990. Do you recall?

  • Rounding up of citizens from ECOMOG contributing countries?

  • And you indicated that individuals from ECOMOG contributing countries - that you had rounded some of them up and questioned them and in some cases incarcerated them. Do you recall telling the Court that?

  • Yes. Not incarcerate. I said we questioned them and released them. Some were arrested, yeah. You did that during World War II to the Japanese.

  • I didn't understand the last part of that answer. Who did what to the Japanese?

  • You said "you", are you referring to counsel?

  • Yes. The issue of questioning people during times of war and crisis is not unusual and I am referring to what the Americans did in World War II. The British did it on the Isle of Man. That's a normal procedure and they were let go.

  • Mr Taylor, what would be helpful is if you didn't regard counsel as a representative of the Americans.

  • No, no, no, I am not referring to counsel. I am saying the practice is not unusual.

  • But when you say "you", "You did this to the Japanese", that is in fact what you are insinuating.

  • Mr Taylor, in relation to your testimony now where you said, "We questioned them and released them and not" - you said, "Yes, not incarcerate. We questioned them and released them. Some were arrested, yes." Mr Taylor, arrest - do you include incarceration in arrest?

  • Well, when you arrest you have to incarcerate for a time, yes. I am looking at incarceration as being put in jail for a crime. I am looking at - but arrest and detention, yes, but not incarceration.

  • Okay, let's look at what you told us on 19 November beginning on page 32251 and going to page 32252. If we could look at the very bottom of page 32251, you are talking about, beginning at line 27:

    "But now you have introduced the ECOMOG side. Now we are talking about this August when ECOMOG comes. So if I am answering your question now, when ECOMOG started the combat later in the year, those individuals that were from ECOMOG contributing countries, we had them rounded up and questioned them and in some cases incarcerated some of them."

    So, Mr Taylor, back on 19 November you did tell these judges that you had in some cases incarcerated some of these people, correct?

  • You didn't see the whole of your answer, did you, Mr Taylor?

  • I'm sorry, Mr Taylor. If we could go to the next page, please. I apologise for that, Mr Taylor. Do you see on page 32253 your answer began: "Now we are talking about this August when ECOMOG comes, so if I am answering your question now when" - and then we move over:

    "When ECOMOG started the combat later in the year, those individuals that were from ECOMOG contributing countries, we had them rounded up and questioned them and in some cases incarcerated some of them, yes."

    So, Mr Taylor, on the 19th you told these judges that in some cases you incarcerated some of these individuals, yes?

  • That is correct.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, you disagreed that you had incarcerated any of these nationals before ECOMOG actually came to Liberia. Do you remember that, Mr Taylor?

  • Yes, you disagreed that --

  • -- you had rounded up or held any of these individuals before ECOMOG actually came to Liberia. You recall?

  • Yeah, to the best of my knowledge, no, we had not arrested anyone before ECOMOG came in August 1990.

  • But indeed before August - before ECOMOG actually came to Liberia in August 1990, you already held about 3,000 civilians from the ECOMOG contributing countries, didn't you?

  • No, not to my knowledge. I would disagree.

  • But you would have known that, wouldn't you, Mr Taylor?

  • If anybody - 3,000 individuals, we would not even have had the capacity, no. Not to my knowledge, no.

  • And, Mr Taylor, you held these some 3,000 individuals because you were already aware of the creation of ECOMOG. Isn't that correct?

  • No, we did not hold 3,000 people. Now you asked me two questions. Was I aware of the creation of ECOMOG, yes. Did I incarcerate people before, no. There were two questions.

  • So before they landed you were actually aware of the creation of ECOMOG, correct?

  • I was aware of the creation of ECOMOG.

  • And you were aware that it was a force that had a mandate that included coming to Liberia. Isn't that correct?

  • Yes, I was aware that ECOMOG's mandate was to come to Liberia, yes.

  • And it was because of that that you rounded up some 3,000 citizens of the contributing countries even before ECOMOG landed. Isn't that right?

  • That is totally incorrect. I didn't even know the full - I did not know the composition of ECOMOG, no, so it's not possible. No.

  • And, Mr Taylor, indeed you continued to capture and hold foreigners from contributing countries after ECOMOG had come to Liberia, correct?

  • But, no, you see, you say "you continued". I have just said that we did not hold. If you say "you continue", but that was not my answer. So, the way you put it, I have to say no because there was no continuation of something that had never started before they arrived. So no.

  • And indeed, Mr Taylor, you did hold foreign nationals of the contributing countries after ECOMOG came to Liberia. Isn't that correct?

  • Could you ask that question again, please.

  • Yes. You, the NPFL, did hold foreign nationals of contributing countries after ECOMOG came to Liberia, didn't you?

  • Again, I am confused by that question, quite frankly. Would you please, probably - I am confused by the question.

  • Well, let's break it down.

  • That question is plain. The previous question was holding - related to holding people before ECOMOG. Now, this question is: Did the NPFL hold people from these countries, civilians from these countries after ECOMOG came to Liberia.

  • Your Honour, I'm not going to argue with you, Madam President, but that "hold' in the English that - your Honours, when you say - if counsel asked me: Did you arrest people after ECOMOG came? Yes. But to say if you - did you hold? That is a continuing process to me. And these are the trick questions that I can't just answer. Did I arrest people after ECOMOG came? Yes, your Honours. But when Prosecution says: Did you hold? It means that there was a continuing process to me.

  • I appreciate the difference. So, Ms Hollis, what is your question?

  • Well, Mr Taylor, when you arrested people you held them, correct?

  • Yes, when I arrested people I held them.

  • And you arrested and held these people after ECOMOG came. Isn't that correct?

  • I arrested and held people after ECOMOG came, that's correct.

  • This is a good time to take a break. The tape has certainly run out. We will continue after the break at 12 o'clock.

  • [Break taken at 11.30 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 12.00 p.m.]

  • Ms Hollis, please continue.

  • Thank you, Madam President:

  • Mr Taylor, you recall also on 19 November we talked about the killing of five American nuns during Operation Octopus. Do you remember that?

  • And you told the Court that the nuns died trying to get away in a car in combat and the car was sprayed with bullets because it was on the road. Do you remember telling the Court that?

  • That is correct.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, is it your recollection that all five of these nuns were killed in that manner?

  • Well, first of all, let me say it was a tragic incident. No, to the best of my recollection, it's been a long time, I think there were about two - two nuns died in - in the - I think in the car and I think the other three nuns tragically, I think, died at - I'm not sure if it was a monastery or what. Where they were lodging. That's my recollection of the incident.

  • And this took place in Monrovia. Is that your recollection?

  • Well, a suburb of Monrovia. A suburb of Monrovia. Not Monrovia itself. I think a suburb of Monrovia.

  • Indeed, Mr Taylor, it is correct, isn't it, that two of these nuns were killed while they were driving one of their security men?

  • They were driving one of their security men?

  • Counsel, I don't know the specific details. I still have to say it was a tragic situation. The report that reached to me, very tragically, was that there was combat in the area - I think in an area called the Freeway - we call it the Freeway - that is coming around Monrovia. And that it was right after a major combat and there were ECOMOG soldiers in the vehicle, and those that were in ambush saw the ECOMOG soldiers and opened fire on the car and the nuns. Two of the nuns were in that car. That's the best of my recollection. I could be wrong. That's how I understood it at the time. And that's how the two nuns and the soldiers, the ECOMOG soldiers, were killed in the car. And even the report that reached to me about the - well, you only asked about two, so I will leave - I will wait for the next question.

  • And, indeed, they had provided transport for two ECOMOG soldiers and were ambushed by the NPFL. That's correct, is that your recollection?

  • No, no, no. My recollection is not that they had provided. I don't know who provided the transport. From my recollection is that there were ECOMOG soldiers in the car with these people at the time that the car was ambushed. It was during combat. That's my recollection.

  • And their vehicle was actually taken by your NPFL after the ambush. Isn't that correct?

  • No. My recollection is that the vehicle was burned on the site. If I recollect correctly, the vehicle was burned and the bodies that were in that vehicle were burned after the bullets hit the car. I think there was some either explosion of the tank, but they were burned in the car. That's the information that reached me, if I recollect properly.

  • Actually, Mr Taylor, the two nuns that were killed in the car in the ambush, their bodies were left alongside the road. Isn't that right?

  • No, that's not the information that reached me. Sadly, it was unfortunate. My information is that they were burned in the car, that's - along with the soldiers.

  • In relation to the other three nuns who were killed, six of your soldiers entered where they were living and killed those three nuns. Isn't that correct?

  • I - no, that's not my - in fact, the report that reached me at the time from the commander - in fact, my commanders continued to deny. They continued to say that other soldiers, the AFL and some of their affiliates, had reached the property before they got there. In fact, all of the people that were in that area, the NPFL successfully evacuated them from the area. And they, from my recollection, said that those people had been killed by other people. The ones that they took responsibility for are the two that were in the car, and it was very sad and there's no - we had protected Americans throughout that period and it was very - it was a sad situation even for me.

  • Mr Taylor, in addition to the three nuns that were killed by your NPFL soldiers, your NPFL also killed a Lebanese businessman who was there with the nuns. Isn't that correct?

  • That - no, that report did not reach me. I'm sorry, I - that report did not reach me.

  • And also your NPFL abducted the businessman's wife, along with other individuals. Isn't that correct?

  • No, that report did not reach me. I have no knowledge of that report, that a Lebanese businessman was killed, no.

  • Mr Taylor, that's not really correct, is it? You were told about this incident, weren't you?

  • Ms Hollis, the situation of foreigners getting killed in Liberia was very, very serious to me and it did not reach me as you've suggested, no.

  • Mr Taylor, you didn't court-martial anybody as a result of this incident relating to these five nuns, did you?

  • Well, again, like I said, the two - because there was an incident that involved an ambush and not a deliberate killing, no. Nobody was court-martialled for the - and I keep referring to it as the tragic loss of those nuns' lives, and I just hope nobody tried to capitalise on a tragic situation as that.

  • Madam President, I would direct your attention to page 179 of number 6 in annex 3, the Liberian TRC report, page 179. And on that page, the entry October 23, 1992. You see it relates to the killing of the three American nuns and a Lebanese businessman and the abduction of other persons by the NPFL. We would ask that you consider this both for impeachment and for guilt, and we would rely on our prior arguments as to the permissible use of this material.

  • This is the paragraph on page 179 that has the date October 23, 19922. The Prosecution concedes that it has content that goes to guilt. And based on their former arguments, we rule as we've reasoned before in our ruling that this new evidence that goes to guilt cannot be used at this time in light of our ruling of 30 November 2009.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, in relation to the killing of these five nuns, we had also spoken about the Catholic Church later deciding that it would investigate the killing of those nuns. Do you recall us talking about that?

  • You see - but, your Honour, you know, I don't want to argue. You see, the way you posed the question, as a result of the killing of those nuns, you've already established that we've killed them when I have my - my evidence to this Court is that the NPFL did admit that two of those nuns, okay, died in this ambush. Now, killing for me in my interpretation means that they were wilfully killed by the NPFL. So I don't know how to answer this question. If you are talking about as regards the death of the nuns, for me the death of the nuns and the killing of those nuns are two different things. So please, please help me here so I can answer your question.

  • Well, Mr Taylor, we talked about the Catholic Church's decision that it would investigate what it termed as the killing of these nuns and you said you didn't know about the Catholic Church attempting to set up an investigation into those murders, but it was possible. Do you recall that testimony, Mr Taylor?

  • Well, not verbatim, but I recall the discussion where I said that it was possible, but I was not - about their investigation. I said it was possible. In fact, I'm sure they should have.

  • And, Mr Taylor, we also discussed the reaction of Sando Johnson to the Catholic Church's decision to investigate the killing of these nuns. And I put to you that Sando Johnson reacted very negatively toward the church when they attempted this investigation and you said you didn't know of that. Do you remember telling the Court that?

  • Something to that effect, yes.

  • Well, indeed, Mr Taylor, you knew the Catholic Church had decided to investigate this matter, didn't you?

  • I just told you, I said I didn't know. I said it's possible, but I said I did not know.

  • And you also knew of Sando Johnson's reaction to that, didn't you?

  • No, I didn't follow - a member of the House of Representative of Liberia and their actions in the House, I did not follow Representative Johnson's specific view on the situation. I can't tell this Court that I knew of it. No, I didn't.

  • Mr Taylor, in fact, your government took the position that Sando Johnson's allegations, in particular against Bishop Francis, were his personal views. You recall your government taking that position, don't you?

  • You say my government. An official of my government. I don't recollect any statement issued. It very well could have been. An official could have spoken, but I don't recollect any - I have no recollection of the specific statement.

  • So you are saying you don't recollect your government, and that would be someone in your government, indicating that Sando Johnson's allegations were his personal views. You are telling the Court you have no recollection of this?

  • I have no - I was President. Millions of things happened. That particular incident of my government coming out and saying that, it very well could have been that an official spoke on the issue which could have happened. I, sitting here, don't have any recollection and I promise you if you bring a document and is from an official I will tell the judges, "Oh, yes this is from an official." I have no personal recollection as I sit here now.

  • Indeed, Mr Taylor, Sando Johnson's negative comments about the church's decision to investigate - and these included specific allegations about Bishop Francis. Sando Johnson's allegations led to a decision by the Catholic Church to shut down all of its services except for emergency services. Isn't that right?

  • During which period of time? During the war?

  • No, when the Catholic Church decided it was going to go forward with this investigation?

  • I don't remember. I know Honourable Johnson and Archbishop Francis had problems. They are from the same town, the same village, from the same tribe. They always had problems. But as to your question where the Catholic Church shut down all of its activities except, for what did you say, humanitarian? Did you get you right?

  • Except for emergency services.

  • Except for emergency services, quite frankly, I don't - I don't have any recollection of the Catholic Church shutting down because of that controversy.

  • Mr Taylor, this situation arose in 2002. You recall that, don't you; this situation of the church deciding to investigate and Sando Johnson responding?

  • My dear, 2002 - excuse me. I'm sorry. I said "my dear". I'm sorry. 2002 we are in total war and chaos. Quite frankly, I don't recall that. It's possible that there was this controversy at the time. 2002, Liberia - in fact, Monrovia comes under attack several times. I don't remember that, counsel, really.

  • Indeed, Mr Taylor, you remember it because the Liberian Council of Churches in protest and in support of the Catholic Church also called for a three-day shutdown of schools and other facilities. You remember that, don't you?

  • I don't remember this for what specific reason. There were controversies going on. I met with the Council of Churches a few times, but to my recollection for different - different reasons, from my recollection. I don't know as to whether it was because of the problem between Honourable Johnson and Archbishop Francis concerning the investigation of the nuns. I have no specific recollection of that.

  • Mr Taylor, you remember that because you actually - you yourself actually were involved in a four-hour discussion with representatives of the Liberian Council of Churches. Isn't that correct?

  • I just told you I met with the Council of Churches many times. And we discussed many issues. But I did not meet them specifically to deal with the issue of the nuns. There were several pressing issues at the time and I said before you even asked the question that I met with the council several times.

  • And you met with them for one of these issues which was the allegations of Sando Johnson and the reaction of the churches. Isn't that correct?

  • We discussed many things. 2002 the Catholic Church --

  • Mr Taylor, the question was very specific. One of the things that you met with them about was the situation that arose based on Sando Johnson's allegations and the church's reaction. Isn't that correct?

  • No, I don't think that was the - that was the case specific because of Sando Johnson, no.

  • May I please ask your Honours to look at tab 64 in annex 3. That is in binder 3 of 3.

  • Madam President, we note that the passage sought to be relied upon does not bear either the letter I for impeachment or the letter G for guilt. Nonetheless, our submissions are as follows:

    First of all, the first rule of admissibility as regards evidence is relevance. Question, therefore: To what is this evidence relevant? It is the evidence of the killing of five nuns in Liberia. Is it being suggested, first of all, that this is admissible to show, for example, system? If so, what is the event in the Sierra Leonean conflict to which such a principle would apply?

    We also need to bear in mind that nowhere on this document sought to be admitted is there any date which would assist us in deciding whether or not this is material which could have been introduced during the currency of the Prosecution case.

    Furthermore, in our submission if this material is to be introduced in order to impeach or contradict any prior testimony of the accused, it needs to be borne in mind that the defendant has repeatedly said that he does not recollect the full details of this incident. Had he committed himself to certain propositions during the course of his questioning, then of course different considerations may apply. But he has made it quite clear that today he is not fully conversant with all the facts of an incident which took place as long ago as 1992.

    However, going beyond that, this evidence clearly prima facie is relevant to guilt because it's suggestive of forces under the command and control of this defendant carrying out atrocities during the course of the Liberian conflict which, given the nature of the allegations he faces, would necessarily be relevant to a pattern of behaviour, if that is the purpose to which it is intended. And in our submission, based on our prior submissions, that could be the only purpose.

    So even though it has not been indicated on the document that this is being admitted as proof of guilt, the content of the passages are such that it can have no other purpose and, consequently, we submit that the two-prong test enunciated by your Honours applies to this document.

  • Ms Hollis, could we hear from you, please, in response?

  • Thank you, Madam President. In this instance the test need not and should not be applied. This information is being used for impeachment and we do not agree that even in the world of theoretical possibilities it is probative of guilt. We suggest that the broader issue on which it impeaches this accused - there are really two, but the first one is this accused's statements to the Court about the upholding of freedom of expression in his country, the individuals' and groups' rights to pursue actions that they felt were appropriate, that he supported that type of thing, and also that during his presidency they lived under the rule of law.

    We also believe that this is significant to impeach the picture he has painted of himself as a tolerant person who is open to other views, and we suggest that indeed the reaction about the investigation by the Catholic Church on behalf of Sando Johnson, a person who is very loyal and very close to this accused, is in effect this accused indirectly reacting to this investigation. It would paint him in a bad light. It would impact the public image that he wishes to portray and he used this means to shut it down.

    We also suggest that it impeaches his supposed inability to recollect this incident and recollect that the Catholic Church was going to investigate, and we suggest that again this is his attempt to try to avoid talking about an incident which would portray him and his subordinates in a bad light and instead he says he doesn't recollect.

    Now, he did tell your Honours just a few moments ago in relation to meeting with the Council of Churches about this particular issue that he said, "I don't think that was - that was the case specific because of Sando Johnson, no." So we believe that there is a basis to use this to impeach him, but in this instance we do not agree that even under a hypothetical standard probative of guilt that it meets that test and that the two-prong test would be required. We certainly only intend to use it to impeach this accused.

  • Ms Hollis, your submissions relate only to the content of page - there is no page on this, but just the one page, or the entire document behind divider 64?

  • The first page would be included, Madam President.

  • Along with what else?

  • Then when we look at the second page of the document down to - well, the four paragraphs, the first four paragraphs and the second page of the document ending with the paragraph that talks about "in solidarity with the Catholic Church". Then if we look at the next page of the document, the second paragraph, the first full paragraph, ending in "frank and open discussions with Mr Taylor." Those would be the portions that we would ask your Honours to consider for the purpose of this questioning.

  • Please give us a moment to actually read these portions.

  • [Trial Chamber conferred]

  • Ms Hollis, we've conferred and we're of the view that this article - this one article entitled "Murder of the five American nuns" read as a whole is prejudicial to the accused in that its content is probative of guilt, and what you are asking us to do is to select paragraphs from it, namely, the paragraphs - four paragraphs out of the second page and one paragraph out of the third page and the whole of the first page. Now, if we did that, it would be tantamount to taking passages out of context and one cannot - for this article, one cannot do that and meaningfully understand the passages that you are asking us to - so we find actually that in order to understand passages that you are referring to, some of which don't direct go to guilt but a lot of which do go to guilt, you would, in fact, have to read the whole article. And if you do read the whole article, we hold that that would be prejudicial to the accused within the meaning that we gave in our decision of 30 November, and therefore, I rule that you really cannot use the paragraphs that you want to use out of this article for those reasons.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, again, it just isn't true that you have no recollection of this incident, is it? This was a very serious incident in Liberia at the time, wasn't it?

  • What incident are you referring to, counsel?

  • The controversy that arose based on Sando Johnson's responses to the Catholic Church's decision to investigate the killing of these five nuns. It was a very serious incident in Liberia, wasn't it?

  • This was a very serious incident in Liberia, wasn't it, Mr Taylor?

  • Ms Hollis, the incident of the - the two incidents when the nuns died or the incident of the Legislator Sando Johnson taking on the Catholic Church?

  • The incident of the legislator taking on the Catholic Church:

  • That was a very serious matter at that time in Liberia, wasn't it?

  • Not to my knowledge, that it had been a very serious incident between - if such happened between Sando Johnson and Bishop Francis. For me, personally, I didn't see controversy between Johnson and Archbishop Francis as being a very serious incident for me.

  • And, Mr Taylor, it was so serious to you that you took four hours out of your schedule to speak with the Liberian Council of Churches about their decision to close down their facilities. Isn't that right?

  • Well, which question you want me to answer now? Let me answer your question. Meeting - did I meet with them for four hours? I mean, I'm not sure if it's four. I met with the Council of Churches on many issues. Now, if your question emborders [sic] that that meeting was about the Sando Johnson controversy, I would say no.

  • And, in fact, the Liberian Council of Churches only agreed to resume the functioning of the schools and other institutions after you had your four-hour meeting with them. Isn't that right?

  • I can recall after - I'm not sure if I met them once. You're referring to four hours. I could have met them several times and I do not know as to whether this is the specific incident that you are referring to. But after one of meetings that I had with them on some of the issues about irregularities, what some soldiers were alleged to be doing, the Council of Churches did agree to resume their work across the country. It was not just because of the Catholic situation. The Council of Churches were working across Liberia.

  • And, Mr Taylor, indeed, as a result of this meeting with representatives of the Liberian Council of Churches, you promised to bring the parties to the dispute together, didn't you?

  • Mr Taylor, the dispute we're talking about is the controversy between the Catholic Church supported by the Liberian Council of Churches and Sando Johnson based on his negative remarks.

  • But I've already told you I don't recollect what his negative remarks were or what they were between the churches. I said I met with the Council of Churches because of different reasons. And after those meetings, the Council of Churches resumed their work. So as you posed the question, I mean, it has again embodied what I've already said to this Court, that I was not fully aware.

  • And, indeed, Mr Taylor, you promised to bring the parties together to examine the evidence over the claims made. Isn't that correct?

  • I don't - I don't - again, if you're referring to the nuns' business, I don't recollect that those meetings were about that, so I could not have told them that I would bring the parties together to do anything. No.

  • I would ask the attention of the Court and the accused to be directed to tab 11 in annex 3. This is a BBC News report, "Liberia's church strike ends", Tuesday, 13 November 2002:

  • You see, Mr Taylor, "BBC News, World Edition, Africa, Tuesday, 19 November 2002, Liberia's church strike ends." You see that, Mr Taylor?

  • Yes, I see that.

  • "Church representatives in Liberia have called off a protest that closed schools and health centres run by the church. The decision was taken after a meeting with President Charles Taylor to discuss accusations made against the head of the Catholic Church, Archbishop Michael Francis. The Reverend Pelessant Harris, Secretary-General of the Liberian Council of Churches, said that President Taylor had promised to bring the parties to the current dispute together to examine the evidence over claims made"

    So, Mr Taylor, it is in fact true that you met with the Liberian Council of Churches over this dispute. Isn't that right?

  • But, again, what's the dispute, counsel? What dispute? According to these people, what - I said I met with the Council of Churches on many issues.

  • The dispute involving Sando Johnson and the Catholic Church in which the Liberian Council of Churches supported the Catholic Church.

  • Maybe I need to take a look at this entire document, because I am still saying to this Court I met for many reasons and they did agree to open up their situation - you know, their centres. I'm not sure, I can't see this full document, as to whether it is specifically saying this is about Sando Johnson and Archbishop Michael Francis, about the nuns. So I haven't seen the document if full, so.

  • "'I think very soon the whole issue will be resolved,' he told the BBC's Network Africa." That's Reverend Pelessant Harris.

    "The church and the government have been trading accusations since Archbishop Francis launched an investigation last week into the murder of American nuns ten years ago."

    Then if we drop down to the last paragraph beginning:

    "A Member of Parliament, Sando Johnson responded by accusing the archbishop of failing to address homosexuality in the Catholic Church. Activities at all church-related health and learning institutions throughout the country were seriously disrupted on Monday, the first of three days of planned disruption. Archbishop Michael Francis has often criticised President Taylor's government saying it has a poor human rights record. In a statement on Monday, the government urged church leaders to call off the protest in the interest of education and the health of the Liberian people. The government maintained that Sando Johnson's allegations against Bishop Francis were his personal views but the Council of Churches disagreed. It's said that when an official who holds such a high office speaks he cannot separate himself from his office."

    So, Mr Taylor, you promised that you would bring the parties to this dispute over the Catholic Church investigation and Sando Johnson's response, you promised you would bring those parties together to examine the evidence over claims made. Isn't that right, Mr Taylor?

  • Well, that's not - well, maybe I got it wrong. I will say no, because my understanding of this and the controversy here in this BBC report is about Sando Johnson and homosexuality. That's how I understand this.

  • In the Catholic Church, Mr Taylor?

  • And that was his response after the Catholic Church decided it would open an investigation?

  • Look, my evidence is on the record. I don't have any recollection of Sando Johnson saying this particular situation - I mean, getting involved in this particular situation. In fact, Sando Johnson was not an official of the Liberian government.

  • Mr Taylor, the initial question of which you are losing sight is: Did you promise that you would bring the parties to the dispute over the Catholic Church investigation as you promised? That is the question on the issue at hand.

  • No, that was not the - no. I did not promise that I would bring the parties together, your Honour. No.

  • Madam President, I would ask that that article be marked for identification.

  • The BBC News article entitled "Liberia's church strike ends", dated 19 November 2002, is marked MFI-386.

  • Thank you, Madam President:

  • Mr Taylor, perhaps you also recall on 19 November 2009 I asked you about NPFL massacring hundreds of civilians in Belle or Bella [phon] district in May 1993. Do you remember me asking you about that?

  • In the Belle District, I don't - yes. Yes, I have some recollection of that.

  • And at the time you said you did not know of any district called Belle District and it was probably my spelling and pronunciation, but do you recall saying you weren't aware of any district called Belle District?

  • Yes, I'm aware that I said I'm not aware of any district called Belle District.

  • Now, as I said, perhaps it's my pronunciation and my spelling, but you are certainly aware of the Belleh District are you not, Mr Taylor?

  • I'm aware of a district, the Belleh District.

  • Yes, that's Belleh. That's correct.

  • And the Belleh District is located in what is now Gbarpolu County. Isn't that correct?

  • Let me see if I can think about that. Belleh, yes, that would be in Gbarpolu County now, yes.

  • And it is sometimes referred to as the Belleh Fassama District, Mr Taylor?

  • Yes, sometimes, because there are two. You have Belleh Fassama. You have Belleh Yella. So, yes, sometimes it's referred to as Belleh Fassama. I'm not sure if it's the Belleh Fassama District, but there's a combined name sometimes as Belleh Fassama, yes.

  • If we look at the Belleh District in Gbarpolu County, in that district we have Fassama, correct?

  • I know Fassama is in - it's in Gbarpolu County. I'm not sure, counsel, I will be corrected on this, if it's in the same district, but there is a Belleh Fassama and there's a Belleh Yella. I agree.

  • And do you recall if Belleh Yella is actually in Belleh District?

  • It could very well be. I'm not - I don't - I wouldn't deny or dispute this. If the map shows it, fine. I don't know all of these districts and their placement, but it's possible.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, you said at the time that you didn't know that district. Now we have talked about Belleh District and you've indicated you know that it is a district in Gbarpolu County, so now let me ask you: You are aware, are you not, that in 1993 your NPFL massacred more than 200 civilians in Belleh District. You're aware of that, aren't you, Mr Taylor?

  • No, but - but again, you see, you are - I don't want to argue for the judges warned me. Your proposition that I said that I was not aware of the district at the time is not correct. It's not correct, counsel. You asked me if I knew of a place called Belle and I said no. Now I have never said I do not know of a Belleh District.

  • Well, that's what I'm saying, Mr Taylor. That initially you indicated Belle and probably my spelling, my pronunciation. Now we have talked about Belleh District. So now, Mr Taylor, I am asking you again in relation to Belleh District and hopefully I've pronounced that correctly --

  • Is that Bellah [phon] or Belleh?

  • It's probably my pronunciation. It's B-E-L-L-E-H District:

  • Are you aware that in May 1993 your NPFL massacred more than 200 civilians in Belleh District?

  • No, I'm not aware of any massacre in Belleh District at the time that you mention, no.

  • And this was in Fassama, Mr Taylor, which is in Belleh District, correct?

  • Fassama is in Belleh District, correct?

  • I've said I'm not too sure that Fassama is in Belleh District because there's a Belleh Fassama, there's a Belleh Yella, so I would say Fassama is there but I'm not aware of any killing in that particular district.

  • Mr Taylor, Belleh Yella is also in Belleh District, is it not?

  • I don't know, counsel. I know there's a Belleh Yella and a Belleh Fassama. As to whether they are two districts or one district, I really can't recall now. Maybe the map could help me out. I'm not - there are two names. As to whether they are in the same district, I'm sorry, I don't know.

  • Are you aware that in May 1993 your NPFL massacred more than 200 civilians in Fassama and other villages and towns near Fassama? Are you aware of that, Mr Taylor?

  • And that includes massacres in Belleh Yella. Are you aware of that, Mr Taylor?

  • No, I'm not aware of any - in 1993 that would have been impossible. No, I'm not aware of it, because Lofa - most of our fighters in that region were people from that region, so I doubt it. It didn't come to me, I'm sorry.

  • Mr Taylor, a massacre of civilians in that area would have been reported to you, would it not?

  • Yes, if a massacre had occurred it should have been reported to me.

  • Your Honours, firstly if I could ask that you look at page 180 of tab number 6 in annex 3, under "May 1993". I would ask that your Honours allow the Prosecution to use the entry on that page, May 1993. We have indicated that the use is both for impeachment and for guilt, and we would again rely on our prior arguments as to the permissible use of this information in cross-examination.

  • Ms Hollis, you are talking about the three entries marked on that page - all the three entries?

  • No, Madam President. I'm talking about the entry "May 1993" relating to the attack on Fassama. I will in due course be asking your Honours to consider the September 1993 entry on that page and October 1993 entry on that page, but at this point in time specifically the May 1993 entry.

  • In our view the passage under "May 1993" does contain information that's probative of guilt and, based on your prior arguments, we rule as we have done before; that you cannot use this passage as the two-prong test has not been met by your arguments before.

  • Madam President, I have two other documents I wish to refer you to in relation to the same issue, and that is number - that is tab number 48 in annex 4, which is "Chronology of terroristic acts committed by the NPFL from August 24, 1990, to June 12, 1993". It will be page 10 of that article, tab 48 in annex 4, page 10. We're looking at the bottom of page 10. It is the second entry from the bottom, "May 1993". It talks about massacres of more than 200 civilians in Fassama Town and other villages and towns in Belleh District in Lofa County.

  • I'm not sure what article it is that we're looking at. The article that you are just citing, what is it?

  • If you look at the - what in my document is the third page, the large numbers at the top of that page would end in "810" is the title page of the document, "Chronology of terroristic acts committed by the NPFL from August 24, 1990, to June 12, 1993, published by the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Interim Government of National Unity, Republic of Liberia, June 21, 1993."

  • Ms Hollis, the paragraph under the heading "May 1993" is couched in more or less the same words as the previous document, and for the same reasons that you have given, we consider that the article is prejudicial to the accused and you have not laid the two-prong foundation that we require in our previous decision.

  • Thank you, Madam President, for that ruling. I would simply note, to put it on the record, that we did intend this particular document for impeachment only.

    Now, your Honours, the next document I would ask that you look at in relation to the same matter is tab 61 in annex 4 that is entitled - it is a Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia, "NPFL fighters massacred 450 civilians in Belle District, survivor". And in that relation we would ask that you consider the entire article as impeachment and we would rely on our prior arguments.

  • Having read the article, we are of the view that the article does contain material that goes to proof of guilt, and regardless of the intention for which it's intended, we find that the Prosecution has not justified its use in light of the two-prong criteria spoken of in our earlier decision. So you cannot use this article at this stage.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, contrary to your testimony, you were made aware of this killing of several hundred civilians in this district in 1993, weren't you?

  • I would not have been aware. It was not - the NPFL was not in that particular area in 1993, so I was not aware. ULIMO had taken over that particular part of the world. I was not aware. It never reached to me, no.

  • Mr Taylor, you were informed of mass murder on the part of your NPFL subordinates, weren't you?

  • That's a general question now. What do you want me to do? That's a global question.

  • When mass murders were committed by your NPFL, you were made aware of that, weren't you, Mr Taylor?

  • Well, again, that's too general, but I'll be specific to try to help to move from this. When an NPFL commander of mine killed several people in Maryland County, I was made aware and he was put on trial.

  • Indeed, Mr Taylor, you were made aware of such incidents and you took no action unless it was in your best interest to do so. Isn't that right?

  • Mr Taylor, let's take a look at your testimony on 19 November at page 32255. Mr Taylor, if you look at line 6, so we get the context:

    "Q. Mr Taylor, in December 1992 your NPFL killed some 35

    people at Firestone. Isn't that correct?

    A. Not to my knowledge. The only one I know at Firestone

    was the accusation at Carter Camp which was not the NPFL."

    Q. So you're not aware that in December 1992 some 35

    people being killed by your NPFL?

    A. I would say no. Because if that - if those people had

    been killed in '92, they would have ended up before a

    tribunal. So I would say --

    Q. You have no knowledge of anyone being prosecuted at a

    tribunal for killing 35 people at Firestone?

    A. I have no knowledge of that so I have to assume it

    didn't happen. Because that at least - at that level it

    would have reached me. That's mass murder. That's not

    just - that's mass murder. It would be dealt with and it

    would definitely reach me.

    Q. It would definitely reach you?

    A. Yes. Mass murder? I would have been told of the

    horrific situation and I would have - it would have reached

    me."

    So, Mr Taylor, on 19 November, "Mass murder? It would be dealt with and it would definitely reach me." Those were your words, Mr Taylor. That's what you told the Court.

    Now, Mr Taylor, if some 200 or more people were killed, that would have reached you, wouldn't it, Mr Taylor?

  • Well, counsel --

  • Because that's mass murder.

  • Well, this is going to prolong it. That mass murder that I described in my evidence here is referring to the specific case of the 35 people that I'm responding to the question. That's why I answered in the way. Now, if your question now is would this separate and distinct case of 200, if that had happened, something like that would - should reach me. That's what I'm saying. But my --

  • And it did reach you, didn't it?

  • No, it did not reach me. That did not reach me.

  • And you are just not being truthful about that, are you, Mr Taylor?

  • Because that information reached you and you did nothing to punish your subordinates who perpetrated that massacre.

  • That's correct, isn't it, Mr Taylor?

  • Totally, totally false and misleading. No.

  • And, Mr Taylor, we just read at that page when you mentioned the Carter Camp Massacre, but you said that wasn't the NPFL. In fact, Mr Taylor, it was your NPFL who committed the massacre at Carter Camp. Isn't that correct?

  • That is not correct. We all rely on the UN and their investigators. If the UN came into Liberia and lied and were in complicit with the NPFL, then your assumption would be right. No.

  • And, Mr Taylor, the reason that this story initially came out as it was is because you and other commanders of the NPFL threatened the survivors. Isn't that right?

  • That's a lie. It's not correct. A blatant lie.

  • Mr Taylor, before we address that, it is correct, is it not, that during the Carter Camp massacre, inhabitants were actually locked up in their homes and then those homes were set on fire. That's correct, isn't it?

  • I don't know what happened down there. What we were told is that the AFL soldiers went in there and shot and maimed people. I don't - I don't remember the specific details, if people were locked up. It could have been.

  • And, Mr Taylor, those who tried to flee these burning buildings were shot and - isn't that right?

  • Well, if that's what the report says, yes, then it happened.

  • And they were shot by your NPFL, weren't they?

  • I've already answered that question. It's asked and answered.

  • And, indeed, Mr Taylor - are you giving a legal objection to that, Mr Taylor?

  • I'm not a lawyer. I'm saying I've answered it. You've asked me that question three times, except if you want me to change my evidence. I've said to you, the NPFL did not do it. I've said to you, the UN investigated. And I'm saying to you that the United Nations, with all of their experts, concluded it was not the NPFL. I've answered that.

  • And, Mr Taylor, as part of the Carter Camp massacre, your NPFL also raped girls and women. Isn't that correct?

  • I said, no, that is not correct. I've answered that. No.

  • And, indeed, during these killings, one of the NPFL commanders there told the fighters that he wanted to drink soup. That is correct also, is it not, Mr Taylor?

  • That is not correct. To my knowledge, no, that's not correct.

  • And as a result five young men were killed and their hearts were extracted. Isn't that correct?

  • That is not correct, to my knowledge - well, the way the question is coming; is that correct; is that correct, I disagree that this was done by the NPFL. As a part of the horrific things that happened down there, I'm not - I'm not contesting the horrific things that were reported by the United Nations because I will be confronted in the future by saying, "Well, you said this, but look in the UN report." I don't know the details of what happened down there. I'm not contesting the UN report. I'm just trying to say that it was not done by the NPFL. That's my response.

  • And, indeed, Mr Taylor, after the hearts were extracted, the commander was given those hearts for a meal. Isn't that correct?

  • I wouldn't know, counsel. That's not correct.

  • And, indeed, contrary to your evidence, you and some of your subordinates forced survivors of the massacre to lie to investigators. That's the truth, isn't it, Mr Taylor?

  • Then they were not real investigators. That's not the truth.

  • After the massacre your fighters took some of the survivors to your marine base. Isn't that correct?

  • No. After the massacre, some of the survivors of the massacre who had family in Gbarnga and other places were taken there and the NPFL gave them humanitarian assistance. To that I say yes.

  • And, Mr Taylor, at your marine base, your commander Sogbandi told the survivors that they should say that the people who did the killings came from Harbel Garden way. Isn't that correct?

  • Indeed, your commander Sogbandi told the people that others will come and ask the survivors about the massacre. Isn't that correct?

  • That is not correct. Not to my knowledge.

  • You told them how to answer. Isn't that correct?

  • That's total fantasy on the part of the Prosecution. No.

  • And your commander Sogbandi also forced these survivors to tell investigators that the survivors had walked the 45 miles after the massacre before reaching your forces. Isn't that right, Mr Taylor?

  • And your commander Sogbandi threatened to eliminate anyone who told investigators the true story of the massacre. Isn't that correct?

  • Wherever you are reading from, that's totally incorrect. I fully believe that the United Nations report that was made was authentic and it was properly investigated. I disagree with whatever opinions you are reading.

  • And indeed, Mr Taylor, Mrs Musuleng-Cooper sent a pick-up truck for these survivors and they were taken to Cuttington University. Isn't that correct?

  • Yes, a lot of the survivors I said were taken to Gbarnga. Some of these people had friends and relatives and I'm sure that Liberians would show more care for their Liberians than others. Some of those people did go to Gbarnga, yes.

  • Indeed, she also asked these survivors to attribute the massacre to the AFL. Isn't that correct?

  • God forbid. Dr Cooper was a decent woman. Very decent and would have never, ever gotten involved in such nonsense. And I strongly, strongly object to that. Mrs Cooper was a decent, decent woman and your standards I would not want to apply to her.

  • And, Mr Taylor, it's also true, isn't it, that later that same day you met with these survivors?

  • I met with survivors that came, yes, and it was a horrific thing. I met with survivors.

  • And you told them to relay to the investigators what General Sogbandi had told them to relay. Isn't that correct?

  • That's a total black lie. That's not correct.

  • And you also told these survivors that if they said your men did the killings, these survivors would be killed. Isn't that right?

  • Total nonsense. That is not correct.

  • You also told them they had to say the people who did the killings came from Harbel Garden way. Isn't that correct?

  • And you told them that they had to say that these survivors had met your men 45 miles away. Isn't that right?

  • Madam President, at this time I would ask the Trial Chamber to look at tab 6 in annex 3, pages 128 to 129. And at page 128 at the bottom of the page, the last full paragraph on that page, the paragraph which begins, "By 1993". I would ask your Honours to consider the information provided beginning with the line seven lines above the ending of that paragraph, the line that begins, "Buried on the Catholic Saint Dominic campus". Then the sentence that begins, "As part of the NPFL's terror campaign", I would ask your Honours consider from that sentence to the end of that paragraph and also consider the next paragraph that begins on page 128 and goes over to 129, and I would ask that you consider the information in that paragraph all the way down to the last sentence, but not including the last sentence. And on that same subject, in the same annex at page 180 also the entry "September 1993" relating to the killing of nearly 600 unarmed civilians. And we note that both of these are marked with an I and a G, indicating the Prosecution's request that you consider it both for impeachment and for guilt. And we rely on our prior arguments.

  • The aforesaid passages, that's on page 128 flowing over into 129, and the passage under the title "September 1993" on page 180, all of which contain material that is probative of guilt and that is being sought to be used during cross-examination are disallowed for the reasons that were given earlier; that the two-pronged test has not been met through your prior arguments, so you cannot use them.

  • And, Madam President, in relation to the Carter Camp massacre as well we would ask that your Honours consider the information - the document at tab 52 in annex 4. It's a Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia press release entitled, "Taylor, Sogbandi, Musuleng-Cooper forced victim to lie to UN, says Carter Camp survivor", and we would ask that you consider the entire document and we are asking that you consider it only for purposes of impeachment.

  • The article entitled, "Taylor, Sogbandi, Musuleng-Cooper forced victims to lie to the UN" which the Prosecution indicates is a press release of the TRC of Liberia basically contains the same information that's probative of guilt as in the previously ruled upon passages and, based on the reasoning - or the arguments by Prosecution counsel given before the Court, we disallow the use of this article for the same reasons that we have given previously.

  • Madam President, your Honours, we would ask you look at two other documents in relation to the same Carter Camp massacre. Number 34 in annex 4. It is again a Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia press release, day 5 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia public hearings, and the information to which we would direct your attention in this article is found on the second and third pages of this article, the pages with the large numbers at the top ending in 194 and 195, and if we look at the second page we would ask you to consider --

  • We must be looking at different pages. The article under our tab 34 is entitled "Former Deputy Public Works Minister's widow testifies."

  • I'm sorry, I'm misstating the pages, Madam President. "Former Deputy Public Works Minister widow testifies", and, your Honour, looking at page with the large numbers 205, this is the second page of this document, and we would ask you to consider the information that is contained about half the way down the page, the paragraph that begins, "The only perpetrator to testify, Morris Padmore, recounted atrocities he committed when he joined the NPFL." And the next paragraph, "Padmore admitted involvement in the Carter Camp massacre."

  • It's just those two paragraphs that you want us to take notice of?

  • We will be returning to Padmore's admission that he was also involved in the Duport Road massacre, which is in that same - second of the paragraphs that we talked to your Honours about. "Padmore admitted involvement in Carter Camp and the Duport Road massacre," and we will be referring to the Duport Road massacre as well, Madam President. So those two paragraphs of that article for impeachment purposes and we would rely on our prior arguments, Madam President.

  • I'm looking at the two paragraphs mentioned by counsel that begin, "The only perpetrator to testify" and that end with the words "the Duport Road massacre." In so far as these paragraphs show that these were atrocities committed by the NPFL, the information therein is probative of the guilt of the accused and given the fact that this would be prejudicial for you to use it at this stage, there is nothing in your prior arguments that, in our view, satisfies the two-prong test. So you cannot use these two paragraphs.

  • Madam President, how much time do you show that we have before the break; three minutes, four minutes?

  • I think you have one minute, according to my watch.

  • Then I don't have enough time to go into this next document, Madam President.

  • In which case we'll take our luncheon break now and resume at 2.30.

  • [Lunch break taken at 1.30 p.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 2.30 p.m.]

  • Good afternoon. Ms Hollis, please continue.

  • Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, before the luncheon break I was about to ask your Honours to look at tab 40 in annex 4. This is a reference that includes the Carter Camp massacre as well as the Duport Road massacre.

  • Can I just interrupt my learned friend briefly just to announce that there's been a change on the Defence Bench. We've now been joined by Mr Chekera.

  • Thank you, Mr Griffiths. That's noted. Ms Hollis, please continue.

  • That would be tab 40 in annex 4. I would ask your Honours to look at this document, day 5 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia public hearings. Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia, I would ask you to look at the second page of that document. At the top you see the large numbers "194", the last numbers of the large numbers at the top of the page. I would ask your Honours to consider beginning with the last paragraph on that page, the only paragraph that is marked relating to Mustapha Allen Nicholas, alias Arab Devil, and atrocities committed by him and other combatants of the NPFL. And then on the next page, the top paragraph, admitting involvement in the Carter Camp and Duport Road massacres. Atrocities committed in Gbarnga and other places. And gives a listing of the generals under whose command he says these occurred. Please note that we have marked these for consideration for impeachment only and we would rely on our prior arguments, Madam President.

  • Ms Hollis, I'm not sure if this actually is text from the TRC report or if it's a text out of a newspaper. Or what is this?

  • It's my understanding that this is a Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia press release, not out of the report itself, predating the report, based on day 5 of the public hearings.

  • Ms Hollis, these passages that you've indicated on the pages you've marked contain new information that goes to the guilt of the accused. Based on your previous arguments, I find, as I've found before, that those arguments do not illustrate that you've complied with the two-prong test laid in our earlier decision. I therefore rule that you cannot use these passages in your cross-examination.

  • Mr Taylor, the truth is that it was your subordinates who carried out this massacre at Camp Carter. Isn't that right?

  • That is not right.

  • And you and other senior members of your group ensured that false information was given out as to who perpetrated this crime. Isn't that right?

  • And you did this in order to use the massacre as an opportunity to discredit the Armed Forces of Liberia, correct?

  • And also you did it to undermine support for them?

  • On 19 November you testified that the NPFL was in control of Nimba County in 1993. Do you recall telling the Court that, Mr Taylor?

  • And you said this in relation to our putting to you that in August 1993 your NPFL had killed civilians in Nimba County. Do you recall that, Mr Taylor?

  • You made this statement that you were in control of Nimba County was part of your answer in response to the Prosecution putting to you that in August 1993 your NPFL had killed civilians in Nimba County. Do you recall that?

  • You said it was impossible that - and you used the term Nimbadians, who were fighting the war would go back and kill their own people. Do you recall that, Mr Taylor?

  • Do you recall saying that?

  • If I recall --

  • That it was impossible that --

  • -- for Nimbadians to go back? Yes, I have some recollection of that.

  • -- who were fighting the war would go back and kill their own people. You recall that?

  • You also told the Court that no court-martials had occurred for killings in Ganta because there were no killings. Do you recall that, Mr Taylor?

  • Mr Taylor, that account of yours was not a truthful account, was it?

  • Indeed, in August 1993 your subordinates killed people in Nimba County. Isn't that right?

  • Now, you said Ganta. Are you referring to Ganta? Because I responded to Ganta.

  • Ganta is specifically in Nimba County, yes, Mr Taylor?

  • Ganta - are you referring to Ganta?

  • Well, first of all let me ask you: In August 1993 your subordinates killed people and civilians in Nimba County. Isn't that correct?

  • And specifically your subordinates killed people in Ganta. Isn't that correct?

  • If I could ask your Honours to turn to tab 22 in annex 3, "Tears of sorrow at TRC hearings in Liberia", 29/01/08. Number 22 in annex 3. "Tears of sorrow at TRC hearings in Liberia", New Vision from Monrovia, Liberia, January 29, 2008.

  • Madam President, point of clarification. Could I inquire through you what is the source of this document? Does it constitute minutes taken from the hearings at the TRC, or what?

  • Ms Hollis, what is this document that we're looking at?

  • If we look under "Tears of sorrow at TRC hearing in Liberia, Liberian journalists catalogue gross human rights abuses by rebel fighters." So it is Liberian journalists cataloguing human rights abuses.

  • Which journalist? It's not "journalists". It's "journalist" --

  • -- in singular. And therefore the question is who is the author of the document?

  • There is no author listed.

  • Is it a newspaper article? What is it?

  • It is a newspaper, and if we look at page 11 of this document it's the last page of the document. It does not list an individual journalist. It indicates the New Vision Newspaper published by International Center For Media Studies and Development in West Africa. It gives contact information for it.

  • Mr Griffiths, I think that answers your question.

  • And, Madam President, in particular if you would look at the fifth page of that document with the heading "Massacre in Nimba County". The first entry is what I am speaking to now, "In August 1993", and it relates an incident concerning Matthew Cheplay, an NPFL general, and Wild Geese and executions in Ganta.

    Now, your Honours, while you are considering this document it may expedite matters if we tell you what other portions of this document we would also seek to refer to. I understand that your Honours have said this should be on a case-by-case basis, but it would be the same basis for referring to all of these. It is for impeachment, and it might speed up matters if I were to tell you all of it now. Or we can take it one by one, whatever you prefer.

  • Ms Hollis, let me tell you what I think I would prefer is for you to take us to the extracts of this document that you wish to refer to and to submit as to whether their content goes to proof of guilt, and thereby to then proceed to justify their use at this stage. I am not interested in what the intentions are behind using them, simply the content of the document and the extracts. That's what I'm interested in. And once you are satisfied that the content goes to guilt, I then want to hear you on your justification as to its use at this stage.

    So one of the passages is found at page 5 of 11.

  • That's correct.

  • That's three paragraphs there.

  • Under "Massacre in Nimba County".

  • I had drawn your attention specifically to the first one; however, the Prosecution would ask you to consider all three of those paragraphs in addition to the paragraphs under "Massacre in Grand Bassa County" and then at the bottom of the page, "Massacre in River Cess County".

    Then if we look at the next page, which would be page 6, if we look under the heading "Yeaten and Duo hacked to death 350 civilians", then that passage which is marked on that page under "Yeaten and Duo hacked to death 350 civilians" down to "listened pensively to the witnesses and took note". Then, your Honours, if you were to look at page 9 of the document, we would at some point ask you to consider the bottom portion of that page beginning, "Former Vice-President linked to looting". That would go over to page 10 through the fourth paragraph beginning, "Jah said the containers were burst open by the fighters". And at the bottom of that page, "Isaac Musa witnessed mass killings", and that would go over to page 11, the last paragraph of text on page 11.

    Those would be the portions of this document to which we would, in the course of questioning on this topic, ask your Honours to consider.

    Again because of our position on the matter we would simply point out, understanding that your Honours have ruled differently, that we have marked these passages for impeachment only. We would rely on our prior arguments as to the permissibility of our use of these portions of this document and would ask that your Honours allow that we be able to use those passages of this document.

  • Thank you, Ms Hollis. I will confer.

  • [Trial Chamber conferred]

  • Ms Hollis, we've considered the passages that you've taken out of this article or catalogue called "Tears of sorrow at the TRC hearing" by the New Vision, Monrovia, 28 January 2008. All the passages that you've mentioned directly or indirectly go to proof of guilt of the accused in that they make certain allegations against the NPFL or persons that would be under the accused's command and control.

    Now, based on the arguments that you have given previously, which we have ruled that they do not meet the two-prong test, I have no alternative to say that you cannot use this information because you haven't illustrated that you've met the two-prong test. So you cannot use any of the paragraphs that you have outlined.

  • Mr Taylor, relating to 1994, do you recall on 23 November I put it to you that your NPFL subordinates had killed over 30 people in River Cess County because it was occupied by the LPC, and I put it to you that they were killed because they were accused of being supporters of the LPC. Do you recall that, Mr Taylor?

  • Yes, I have some - yes - recollection.

  • And you said that that was totally incorrect. Do you recall that, Mr Taylor?

  • I said that was incorrect. It was occupied by the LPC, yes.

  • And you said it was incorrect that your NPFL subordinates had killed over 30 people in that county. Correct, Mr Taylor?

  • In fact, Mr Taylor, in January 1994 it was your NPFL who killed 32 people in River Cess County. Isn't that correct?

  • That's not correct.

  • And these people were killed because they were accused by your subordinates of being supporters of the LPC. That's correct, isn't it?

  • Your Honours, I would ask that you look at page 197 of the Liberian TRC report which is tab 6 of annex 3. That is page 197 at entry 8, "January 15, 1994, massacre, Neeswen Town, River Cess County, NPFL fighters kill 32 persons". That is the entry and your Honours will note that the Prosecution has marked that for use for both impeachment and guilt. We would rely on our prior arguments to the Bench as to why either or both of these uses are permissible and would ask that we be allowed to use this portion of page 197.

  • Ms Hollis, based on the reasons we've given before, or similar reasons, you are not allowed to use this passage in cross-examination.

  • Mr Taylor, also on 23 November I asked you about attacks by your NPFL