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

I'm grateful. Page 1, 15th of October 1998, at or about the time of contact with Bockarie by Charles Taylor, following the letter so we get the sequence, ECOWAS meeting July; Tiagen Wantee letter, 12 August; meeting Bockarie, this is now 15th of October so we are in the same time frame. Paragraph 3, bottom of that paragraph: "He maintained that it was inconceivable that the President would address and dispatch 5,000 fighters to Sierra Leone in the presence of the press."

Let's go to page 3, please. And this is the observation of Felix Downes-Thomas, the maligned Mr Thomas, way back in 1998 when an indictment wasn't even a twinkle in Mr Crane's eye. Paragraph 6, "It does not seem that the immediate preoccupations of President Taylor would permit him to engage at this time in the type of reckless adventurism which the allegations from Sierra Leone suggest. As he himself observed, since the defence of Sierra Leone is being guaranteed by ECOMOG, it would be foolhardy on his part to even contemplate sending troops into Sierra Leone that would in effect be fighting against ECOWAS, Nigeria, Guinea and Ghana, especially just before the forthcoming ECOWAS summit when he would be seeking support for the lifting of the arms embargo on Liberia."

And if we look at the first sentence at paragraph 8, and remember this is his opinion, "In the light of the above, it does not surprise us that President Taylor is extremely confident that the various forms of fact-finding missions that he's proposing would prove his contentions right."

Again, Madam President, let's look at the politics of this. Taylor is busy trying to get the arms embargo in Liberia lifted. And yet we are being told that at the same time, he's playing this double game. He's supplying arms to the RUF over the border, massing a force of 5,000 fighters to go into Sierra Leone. Is that the activities of a man? Because let's be frank, men like him, when they get to power, like to keep hold of it. And in order to keep hold of it, you need to act politic. You need to take into account the consequences of your actions. What was his primary goal here? To get the embargo lifted. Would he be behaving in this time period in the way submitted by the Prosecution? We submit it doesn't make sense. Because we submit that the context of that code cable is logical and totally in tune with the situation inherited by Taylor upon his ascendancy to the presidency, a ruined country, broken infrastructure, mass unemployment, an empty treasury, and an army of footloose young men whose only experience for the last decade or so had been war, wandering the country, looking for the next fight. In a country whose borders are porous so that when a Liberian appears in Sierra Leone, Charles Taylor must have sent him. Look at this in the context of the time. What was there for these young men to do, these demobbed members of the NPFL, unemployed, perhaps even unemployable?

In any event, in late 1998, as we know, we have the incidents leading up to the Freetown invasion. Mr Munyard will deal with that in more detail tomorrow morning. However, we have another important document to place before your Honours for your Honours' immediate attention before we leave this topic. This document is dated the 5th of February 1999. So it is immediately after the Freetown invasion. It is written by a senior UN official, and interestingly, it's not written by MM Downes-Thomas, the MM standing for the much-maligned Downes-Thomas. It's written by someone even senior to him. Could we look, please, at exhibit D-182? Behind divider 13.

Do we have it?

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