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

And on the far right-hand column is the reliance on Isaac Mongor's hearsay, where the Trial Chamber finds, based on this evidence, the Trial Chamber finds that the accused told Bockarie that the operation should be made fearful. Now, I'm saying this is double hearsay. The original declarant is Charles Taylor and not even Sam Bockarie. Sam Bockarie is deceased. He is not available to be cross-examined by Mr Taylor. All we have is the evidence of Isaac Mongor. It is uncorroborated. If this were to appear before the European Court of Human Rights, if it were to go before the Supreme Court of Canada, it could never sustain this sort of finding. Uncorroborated hearsay, double hearsay from Isaac Mongor, from a declarant who is deceased, when the original declarant is the accused. This sort of finding would not be sustained in these jurisdictions. The row immediately below is another example. The adverse finding appears on the left-hand column. The Trial Chamber finds that after the Waterworks meeting, the accused told Bockarie to use, "All means to get to Freetown in a satellite phone conversation." And the basis for this is uncorroborated hearsay, we say, and that's to be found in the middle column. TF1-317 testified that when Bockarie returned from his conversation with the accused over the satellite phone, Bockarie said that Taylor gave him an instruction for Operation No Living Thing and that they should capture Freetown, "by all means in order to push the government into negotiations." And based on this -- you have the reliance on the far right-hand column, where the Chamber wrote, "Based on this evidence, the Trial Chamber finds that the accused told Bockarie that the RUF should use all means in order to pressure the government into negotiations for the release of Foday Sankoh." Again, double hearsay. The accused is the original declarant. Sam Bockarie is unavailable. There is no right of confrontation respected vis-à-vis cross-examining Sam Bockarie. It is a satellite telephone conversation. Whether or not TF1-317 was close to the conversation when it occurred, I'm talking about proximity-wise, whether he could hear Sam Bockerie's side of the conversation, would not change the circumstances of this hearsay. If we could go to page 6. Thank you. Now, this is the section of the Judgement dealing with operational support, communications. It deals with aiding and abetting through the provision of Liberian communication networks to the RUF for Foday Sankoh when Foday Sankoh was in custody in Nigeria. Foday Sankoh was taken into custody in Nigeria, I believe, around March of 1997. It says, "While detained in Nigeria, Sankoh used the MPLF communications network to communicate with the RUF and send messages to Bockarie through Mr Taylor." Two witnesses -- Foday Lansana, stated that Bockarie told him that RUF members, Moinama, which is Martin Moinama, and Massaquoi were passing messages from Sankoh through Taylor for Yeaten. And then you have TF1-388 that Daniel Tamba called on the radio and had been instructed by Taylor to give a message to Bockarie which was passed on by Sankoh. If we take Foday Lansana's evidence as an example, we are talking of quadruple hearsay. Foday Sankoh is the original declarant here and Foday Sankoh is said to send a message through Martin Moinama and Massaquoi. None of them appeared at the trial. And this message was sent either through Taylor or Yeaten, Benjamin Yeaten. Yeaten, of course, was not a witness at trial. And Bockarie told Foday Lansana all of this. What are the indicia of reliability here? How can this type of evidence be credible under the circumstances? The right of confrontation not respected, Sam Bockarie not available, much less Martin Moinama or Massaquoi. The same applies to TF1-388 statements: Sankoh is not available, the original declarant. Sankoh told Taylor to give a message to Bockarie and this was relayed through Daniel Tamba, who was not also available. And what are the findings of fact that are important in this? The column on the right, the Trial Chamber's finding. The Trial Chamber recalls that it had no general reservations regarding the credibility of TF1-388, Mallah or Lansana. Though these witness accounts differ in detail and in some instances are hearsay, they corroborate each other in that Sankoh used either the accused or Tamba to pass messages on to Bockarie. Let's pause there. The Chamber is acknowledging that there are different details in this evidence. In some instances the Chamber says they're hearsay. Nonetheless, the Chamber says they corroborate each other. And then it goes on to say, "Though Lansana contends that the communication between Sankoh in detention and the accused in Liberia occurred through two intermediaries, Moinama and Massaquoi, this may have been an extra detail that was not passed on to the other witnesses through Tamba or Bockarie." The Chamber is now coming up with excuses for why the evidence is unreliable. If you read that statement again, the Chamber is coming up with the justification. You know there is the maxim in dubio pro reo, "give the accused the benefit of the doubt." When you read this type of statement and you think of that maxim, it leaves one very, very disconcerted about this type of legal analysis. The Chamber says, in addition, though Sesay does not mention the involvement of the accused, the Trial Chamber notes its finding that at various times Tamba was an agent of the accused." The Sesay before referred to here, if I'm correct, is testimony by Defence witness Issa Sesay. A member of the RUF testifies that the accused was not involved and yet the Chamber says it notes its prior findings that Daniel Tamba was an agent of the accused. Under all of the legal systems I went through quickly, this type of evidence would not pass muster. It would not even be admitted, much less relied upon. The row immediately below is another example. On the left-hand column at paragraphs 3914 and 4248, Roman numeral (xv), the accused was aware that 448 messages were sent to the RUF when ECOMOG jets left Monrovia. So you have ECOMOG in Monrovia going into Sierra Leone to bomb locations where the RUF are. The issue is were messages sent from Liberia at the request of the accused or through the accused to warn the RUF that these jets were coming? What is the source of the evidence that's relied upon? Superman told Alimamy Bobson Sesay that Sam Bockarie had told him that the 448 jets had left and that the information came from Mr Taylor through Mosquito. Superman was not a witness in this case. Sam Bockarie was not a witness in this case. The witness who testified did not even hear this from Sam Bockarie himself, he heard it from Superman, who was relaying what Sam Bockarie told Superman. Now, this is triple hearsay. And then on the far right-hand column we see what the Chamber wrote about this evidence: "This is the only evidence that specifically mentions the accused as having sent a warning to Sierra Leone that an ECOMOG jet was en route. It is uncorroborated and it is hearsay. The accused denied sending a warning, saying that it would have been impossible for him as president to have sent a warning on the radio or by telephone. The sense of the evidence given by Alimamy Bobson Sesay" -- if I may have a minute -- "in the view of the Trial Chamber, was not that the accused necessarily transmitted a message personally but that he had caused a message to be sent to Bockarie. So the Chamber is now analysing Sesay's testimony just by the fact Sesay is saying Superman told him what Bockarie told Superman. The Chamber is saying the thrust of that information was not that the accused actually sent it himself but that the accused caused the message through someone else to be sent to Bockarie. The Chamber goes on to say, "Nevertheless it cannot find on the basis of the evidence that the accused personally sent a message to Bockarie warning him that an ECOMOG jet was en route." But now you go to the paragraphs below: The Trial Chamber considers that Alimamy Bobson Sesay's evidence linking Taylor to the 448 messages corroborates the overwhelming evidence that these 448 messages were regularly and consistently transmitted by his subordinates, which leads the Trial Chamber to find that the accused must have been aware of the transmission of these messages. What has the Chamber done? It has found utility for an otherwise admissible piece of uncorroborated triple hearsay. It has said: Although we can't use it on its own, we are going to use it as corroboration for another finding of knowledge on the part of Mr Taylor, an awareness that messages were being transmitted from Liberia to Sierra Leone about 448 messages. This is impermissible. It's either admissible or not. If it's not admissible, you can't use it to corroborate other evidence that you say is overwhelming. I will make one more quick example. If we go to page 12, please.

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