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

Mr Taylor, on that line you said:

"Listen, there is something about - I've been using certain terminologies and what I know, you know, the demonisation and they make you look like you are some scum of the earth so they can destroy you. Nonsense. Listen, I am a Pan-African revolutionary and I have respect for myself. Look, all this thing to try to make thee look like a scum in order - listen, never. Not Charles Ghankay Taylor. This is all why we have seen this and my record is clear. You know all this thing in the public eye. Charles Taylor stole millions of dollars. He has assets scattered around the world. The same lies and constructs to make you appear worse than human until today and I sit in this Hague today before these honourable judges and I challenge the United Nations, I challenge any human being or organisation in this world - I mean on this planet to bring one bank account that Charles Taylor has money in. They continue to lie. I have heard the Prosecutor blatantly lie saying we found millions. Bring the millions here. Please, today, if you have any. If there is any bank anywhere in the world, in Europe, Switzerland, wherever, that has an account - a numbered account for Charles Taylor or anyone associated with me that brought money to you, I urge you today to come forward here in this Europe and bring it. If anyone anywhere on the planet knows of a building or any property in Europe or the United States, please, you're authorised to come forward today. They can hear it throughout the world. This lie about Taylor. I'm supposed to be such a scumbag that people bring me diamonds and nothing but a mayonnaise jar. How much more can they demonise me? How much more? I challenge them today to bring any evidence. It's a lie. Never brought me any diamonds in nothing just as there are no bank accounts anywhere in the world. I will tell anybody, if a bank account is found anywhere in the world that has any money belonging to Charles Taylor, then Charles Taylor has lied. His whole life is a lie."

The next passage I wish to read to you is from 3 August. It begins on page 25847, line 3. Your counsel had been reading from a speech you gave in France in November 1998 that was on page 142 of the presidential papers, but the question begins on line 3, page 25847, 3 August. On 3 August, your counsel asked you:

"Q. ... Pause there. Let's confront that too, Mr Taylor.

The popular image of you is of someone running a country

and lining your pocket in the process; that you were

involved in a little personal enterprise. What do you say

about that?

A. I would say that is total falsehood and total nonsense.

Look, we are in a court of law. I have heard these

accusations before. Taylor is supposed to have robbed the

Liberian treasury dry and Taylor - I can still remember I

was by this time in Nigeria and the Gyude Bryant who led

the transitional government, the name is on the record, was

at a donors conference in Washington DC and the former

Secretary of State of the United States, a very good man,

Colin Powell, in describing me or my activities at that

time said that he has assets scattered around the world.

We have since heard about Taylor with billions. How long

has it been?

The issue of money, having it or not having it, is about

ten years old now. I was still President of Liberia when I

was accused of amassing billions. I went on the national

radio and I announced to the Liberian people - I said to

them if any human on this planet earth goes to any bank

anywhere in the world and brings one bank account of

$100,000 belonging to Charles Taylor, I said I will resign

the office of President. It's been ten years.

I've heard the United Nations has passed asset freeze, all

these things. All these asset freeze, what bank accounts

have the United Nations ever come up with and said, oh,

guess what, here is a former bank account of Charles Taylor

or here is what is in it.

You know, we're in this Court in Europe and this may be the

only time I may have to really - for the world to hear from

me. This situation in the world where people just get up

and make up things, unsubstantiated allegations. You'll

just hear it one day, boom, Mr Taylor is this. And you

will be working for the rest of your life trying to

straighten it up and it never gets straightened up. Nobody

ever brings factual evidence, but it is repeated and

repeated and repeated until people - it begins to sound

like it's true.

I have heard the Chief Prosecutor of this Court talk about

monies of Taylor. I challenge him again here today in this

Court that he is Chief Prosecutor, bring one bank account.

Bring any evidence from any financial institution. There

is none. Let the gentleman come forward and say, 'Well,

here is an account belonging to Charles Taylor. He had it,

but even he closed it years ago'. Bring anything."

Do you recall - Mr Taylor, do you believe that I've read accurately from your testimony?

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech