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

Thank you, your Honour. And what you'll see, your Honours, is the Trial Chamber made two distinct but nevertheless related findings about Charles Taylor's purpose and in his associations with the AFRC and the RUF. And a question was asked from the Bench of the Prosecution, "Well, does the Chamber's findings concerning JCE really have anything whatsoever to do about aiding and abetting?" And the answer that was given said, "Well, no, because that was only about the existence of a plan." Well, the existence of a plan was one part of it, but another part of it was intent, because when you're dealing with a criminal plan, you're also talking about criminal intent. The Trial Chamber's finding in front of you does concern the pre-1996 period and it says that the accused in the AFRC and RUF had common enemies, namely ULIMO, and that therefore there was an interest to be in an alliance with the RUF. The point here is not, as the Prosecution has tried to frame it, that if there is some purpose in addition to a criminal purpose, that does not alleviate the criminal liability. Of course it doesn't. That's not the issue. The issue is, if you supply ammunition for a non-criminal purpose, if that purpose is the reason why you supply it, then that does not -- that displaces the finding, the ability to find, that the purpose was to further crimes. And here what you see, at least in the pre-1996 period, is an indication that the weapons were supplied by the accused, not as some ulterior motive to find ULIMO, but as the primary, as the -- to use John Locke's expression, it is the reason that is imminent in the act itself, and that's what this finding relates to. The reason that the pre-1996 finding of the Chamber is relevant is because the post-1996 reasoning is expressed in similar terms, in the sense that it does make mention of the fact that the accused and the RUF were military allies and trading partners, and for that reason is an insufficient basis to find beyond reasonable doubt that the accused was part of any JCE. Now, yes, that does go to the issue of plan. What it also indicates is that the Trial Chamber is saying "We cannot find that Charles Taylor's intent in providing this assistance was to commit crimes," and that's highly salient to the issue of purpose. It's directly relevant. Is it the same question? No, your Honours, it's not the same question. Is it relevant? It certainly is. And I'm mindful of the recent pronouncement in the Lukic case, in which the Appeals Chamber said that it is extremely hazardous on appeal to look at findings in relation to one form of liability and then convert them to another. And I would say that that is a matter on which your Honours certainly need to be cautious. At the same time, you have a voluminous Judgement, and at the end of that voluminous Judgement with all the findings that the Chamber came to, you nevertheless had the ultimate conclusion of the Trial Chamber being that Charles Taylor had no criminal intent in respect of any of the actions that the Trial Chamber found he had taken. We contest that many of those actions taken. We challenge those findings, but nevertheless, even in respect of those findings, the Trial Chamber found that Charles Taylor had no criminal intent in respect of those actions. Has the Prosecution appealed that finding? The Prosecution has not appealed that finding. The Trial Chamber's conclusions on joint criminal enterprise go uncontested by the Prosecution. Now, what did the Chamber positively say about Charles Taylor's alleged mens rea, and is what it said in any way close to the purpose standard? I would suggest to your Honours that it's not close to the purpose standard. We have this finding from the Trial Chamber at paragraph 6949, which again is about 6,000 paragraphs after the finding concerning Payema, and here we have the Trial Chamber saying that it could find beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused knew that his support would provide practical assistance in the commission of crimes during the course of their military operations in Sierra Leone. Now, notably, the Chamber here again is laying emphasis on the support being provided for military operations out of which -- or in relation to which, or perhaps simply as a consequence of which, crimes were committed. It's notable that the Chamber actually doesn't in terms say that the support was provided to the crime specifically. They are still relying on this intermediation between the action of Charles Taylor and the crime. I've pointed out what I believe are some of the specific improper steps along the way, the liability crucibles that were deployed by the Trial Chamber, but here we have even the Trial Chamber itself telling you "This is what we consider the substantial assistance to have been to." This is not a gloss provided by Defence counsel, this is from the Chamber itself. Does this meet the purpose standard? Not only does it not meet the purpose standard in terms, as I've tried to point out, the Trial Chamber did not even explain to your Honours or to the public or to Mr Taylor what precisely in particular he is said to have knowledge of. What is the reference point? What does he have knowledge is going to occur specifically? Does he know that the crime in Payema is going to occur? Or is it simply that he should know that there's a substantial possibility that some of the assistance he provides could be used in a crime? And we say that that's a definition of knowledge that doesn't even meet the standard of knowledge that would be applied in many countries, and it certainly doesn't meet the standard of purpose.

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