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

I appreciate that entirely, your Honour. In that event I will not refer specifically to what has been just said. I will rely on your Honours of course to, as you say, look at what has already been briefed. I will just make one general closing submission in respect of the totality of the Prosecution's remarks in respect of aiding and abetting, and one submission with two parts. And one submission, the first part of that submission is, if you analyse consequences, if you analyse knowledge, knowledge of consequences in the aggregate, then it is virtually impossible not to extend liability to all kinds of activities that are widely regarded as not criminal. Why is it that Wal-Mart is not guilty of aiding and abetting gun violence in the United States even though it is quite clear they are the number one seller of ammunition and guns in the United States? And statistically there's no doubt that guns are being used every day and will continue to be used every day in very serious violence. There can't be any doubt in the minds of anyone working or running Wal-Mart that that ammunition is being used for that purpose. That doesn't mean that they are subject to criminal suits, to criminal prosecution, and then just leave it up to a fact based inquiry. That's not the case, your Honours. It is -- there is a legal basis. There is a legal understanding that that does not come close to the causation that is required under the actus reus of aiding and abetting. That's my first point. You cannot view these issues in the aggregate, because for the very same reason you would have the United States and other countries who do supply large quantities of matériel support to for example Yemen, and we've briefed your Honours on this issue. In the very year that they spent more than a hundred million dollars supplying Yemeni security forces the Department of State indicated that crimes were being committed either directly or with the support of those security forces. No one I hope, and I hope the Prosecution wouldn't say, "Well whether the United States is guilty of aiding and abetting crimes in Yemen is merely a fact based inquiry," that we can have States with universal jurisdiction statutes bringing in Barack Obama to Court and saying, "Well, it's okay, the judges will just decide based on a fact based inquiry whether or not indeed you have substantial contribution." I suggest that there is a legal standard at work here that would preclude such a criminal prosecution. And, your Honours, my final point. What is the point of all of the very careful discussion by this very Appeals Chamber and other Appeals Chambers around the world about the limits of JCE3 liability? JCE3 liability, which in terms of foreseeability is also dolus eventualis, but the predicate of getting into JCE3 liability is criminal intent. What the Prosecution is in effect asking you to do is to create -- to ratify a form of liability that accepts dolus eventualis alone without that predicate criminal intent as a form of liability, sufficient in itself, and the Prosecution during its submission said, "Well, don't worry about that," in effect, they didn't say this in terms but they implicitly told you "Well, it's okay, there's a major difference between significant contribution in JCE and substantial contribution in aiding and abetting so don't worry about overextending aiding and abetting." Your Honours, there isn't a single case that I know of that has ever turned on the distinction between "significant" and "substantial," and indeed when you read the case law about JCE you know -- and I'm sure you have, you know that indeed the standards are essentially indistinguishable. The quantum, the extent of influence, is essentially the same even though the case law does use those two different words. So in essence what you have is the Prosecution coming to you, and your Honours -- unlike the Trial Chamber, your Honours have the broader view in mind. Your Honours know the broader scope, the broader structure of liability that is in place. Your Honours understand the need for a coherent and logical whole. You understand that it doesn't make sense that such a contested form of liability as JCE3 could simply be swept aside and subsumed in a new form of liability that simply says, "It's okay, you don't even need that threshold of criminal intent." And, your Honours, I would suggest that that distinction, that comparison between this novel and grossly overextended form of aiding liability in comparison with JCE3 shows you that there's something quite wrong and quite dangerous going on in the Trial Judgement. And with that, your Honours, I would turn the floor over to Mr Anyah.

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech