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

Thank you, Madam President. I only have a few further brief remarks. A further indication of the lack of findings that satisfy the purpose standard is -- and at -- it's helpfully illustrated by the quotation here still on the screen in front of you, that there must be the mens rea in respect of the specific crime of the principal perpetrator, and notwithstanding what the Prosecution has said, even the Chamber in its narrative of events in Sierra Leone would have to concede, even if it didn't make any such finding or attempt to make such findings, that there was an ebb and flow in the violence. There were periods that were much more violent than others. There were periods when the AFRC in particular was negotiating. There were periods when the RUF was negotiating. There were periods when there were more efforts at reconciliation than others. I don't urge any particular conclusion on your Honours in respect of that. What I do suggest, however, is that in the absence of an attempt to, in a very specific way, explain what Charles Taylor's mental state may have been at different times, should suggest to you that the Chamber didn't do that at all. They may or may not have attempted to do so, but even the Prosecution disputes that in its submissions, saying that no, there was only one mental state, only one state of knowledge throughout the entire period from 1996 through 2002, and that Charles Taylor would have had precisely the same mental state throughout that entire period, and I would suggest that the complexity of the circumstances and the evidence belie that particular methodology. Now, your Honours have -- the Prosecution has emphasised, both in its submissions and even here today, the finding of the Chamber that the Trial Chamber further recalls that at the time there were news reports of a horrific campaign being waged against the civilian population of Sierra Leone. And the Trial Chamber relies on a supposed admission by Charles Taylor to that effect, and you'll even see that there are quotation marks there that purport to reflect what he says. The first difficulty with this is that, first of all, Charles Taylor never said this. Charles Taylor was posed a question formulated by the Prosecution which included this phrase, to which he responded, "May of 1998, yes, there were news reports of that, yes." And the context of that answer and the context of the question was in respect of a specific operation, Operation No Living Thing, and there were several Operation No Living Things, unfortunately, but this one was one that apparently started in May -- April or May 1998. And the answer and the question were both in relation to that particular operation. The Chamber not only does not exercise care, and I suggest to your Honours and you should know this I'm sure from your own practices as Trial Judges, that admissions, particularly of an accused, particularly those that are contrary to accused's interests that are deemed to be incriminating, must be treated with the ultimate most care. And here you have the Trial Chamber not only failing to mention that this was not Charles Taylor's testimony out of his mouth, it was a response to a proposition put by the Prosecution, and a qualified one at that. Not only that, but there is no contextualisation of the response in respect to a time period or the operation, and I suggest that that alone reflects an error in reasoning and an error in relation to whether or not an absence of a finding that Charles Taylor possessed purpose in respect of the assistance he was providing, either then or at other times. Your Honours, I've done my best to answer your questions. I don't propose now to go any further with substantive submissions or to respond further to what the Prosecution has said. I understand that you'll provide an opportunity to do that tomorrow. I thank you kindly for your keen attention, and I stand ready to answer any questions you may have.

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