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

Your Honour, it would have no effect, because the reason that the Trial Chamber acquitted Charles Taylor under joint criminal enterprise is that they found it not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Charles Taylor had a common plan with the RUF and the AFRC to commit the crimes. The element of joint criminal enterprise that they found lacking was not his contribution. It was whether or not there was a common plan. In dealing with that specifically in the pre-indictment period, the beginning of the indictment, pre-indictment, what the Trial Chamber noted - and the Defence has cited this many times in their submissions - is that Charles Taylor had a trading relationship, arms for diamonds, with the RUF and that sometimes he was their military ally. That actually was ULIMO before the indictment and there was no enemy in Liberia until LURD came in 2000. There were two minor attacks in '99. Anyway, the Trial Chamber talked about his trading relationship with the RUF and his military alliance at some times with the RUF as being the motivation for the assistance he gave them, for sending them the arms and ammunition that allowed them to commit the crimes. So the fact that they found that there wasn't an agreement between Charles Taylor and the RUF to commit terror is not an element of aiding and abetting. Aiding and abetting requires simply providing assistance knowingly, aware of the substantial likelihood the crimes would be committed, and in fact the Trial Chamber found specifically that Charles Taylor made a substantial contribution to the crime; even higher than what's required for joint criminal enterprise which is significant contribution to the enterprise. So my submission is the acquittal on joint criminal enterprise because the Trial Chamber did not find that Taylor was part of a common plan with the RUF and AFRC to commit terror, as charged in the indictment, that that has no bearing on whether he aided and abetted the crimes in the 11 counts of the indictment knowing that his assistance would facilitate those crimes.

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