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

Your Honours will see from page 1 of the document that this is not from Downes-Thomas. He's just been copied in. It's from Miyet of the United Nations in New York. Now, I don't know whether in due course it's going to be suggested that Miyet was another agent of Mr Taylor. I know not. But event, Mr Miyet sets out some rather inconvenient truths for the Prosecution here. Putting the passage that I want to draw your attention to in context, look at paragraph 2 on that page.

"The initiatives you have taken in conceiving the five-point plan and securing support for it among the leaders of the sub-region are highly commendable. You have kept the United Nations at the centre of the diplomatic process while helping to avert a split amongst the members of ECOWAS. We fully concur in all your actions."

Why do I mention that? The UN are at the centre. So one would expect them to know what they are talking about. Over the page, please.

"You may wish to make the following points. Bullet point number 4, in the case of Liberia, the United Nations, though aware of allegations of Government of Liberia involvement with the rebels, have no direct evidence of such involvement. The United Nations welcomes reports that the Liberian senate is considering investigating allegations of Government of Liberia involvement. The United Nations would also welcome the exercise of any influence President Charles Taylor could bring to bear on the rebels to reach an accommodation with the Government of Sierra Leone, including a ceasefire which would permit the delivery of humanitarian assistance and provide a basis for further discussions in his 9th of July 1998 report."

Last two lines: "The United Nations would welcome further face to face meetings between President Taylor and President Kabbah."

Now, when Mr Taylor turns around and says, "I was asked by the Committee of Five to be the point person on peace in Sierra Leone," that is pooh-poohed by the Prosecution. No, you weren't. And even if you were, you were playing a double game. Seems according to this that it wasn't just the ECOWAS Committee of Five which was making that request. The United Nations were also asking him to get involved, why? To bring about peace. An inconvenient truth. And help us. Look at the date. This is a month after the Freetown invasion. 5th of February 1999. Why is the United Nations, who were at the centre of diplomatic efforts to bring about peace saying, yes, there are allegations but no direct evidence? Why not? Hold on a second. You would have thought that at least one local foreign minister or president might have had a word in the ear of the UN representative, "You might not know, you know, but we know, Taylor was the one behind the Freetown invasion." How come he's saying this a month later? It doesn't make sense.

Now, Mr Taylor's role in the facilitation of the talks in Lome are amply supported by documentary proof, and I invite your Honours' attention, I don't refer to it because I note the time, exhibit D-193A, 193G, 193J, and 193K. They document the movement of RUF representatives through Monrovia for airlifting to Lome, and the other steps taken by Mr Taylor to facilitate that process. Because we say that ever since he became President, Charles Taylor had been asked to get involved in resolving the conflict in Sierra Leone, and he did so because it was in his own interest. The development of Liberia could not take place whilst the conflict was still raging in Sierra Leone. Now, the Prosecution have sought to gainsay his good intention. He was playing a double game. His role was to get the best deal for the RUF at Lome. He, Charles Taylor, single handedly, in the company of all those other West African Presidents, he managed to get the best deal for the RUF, pulling the wool over everybody else's eyes. You will recall the cross-examination about the Lome agreement. Didn't you, Mr Taylor, set out to get the best deal for the RUF? Remember it? How did he manage that? We've seen the photographs. They are sitting in a bedroom in Lome, all of them, with Foday Sankoh there. How did Taylor pull that one off with all the eyes focused on him? How did he manage it? This man is a magician. And yet, interestingly, whereas he's there securing the best deal for the RUF, guess what? He doesn't manage to include his other proxy in Sierra Leone, the AFRC. They weren't represented in Lome, which is why they kicked off in Okra hills. They had been sidelined. So why didn't he involve them as well, if he's in control? Does it make sense?

And, you know, this whole idea that Taylor has changed tack - sorry, this whole idea that Taylor was playing a double game, one game in public, one game in private, look carefully. This wasn't how this Prosecution was originally put. They were forced to run this double-game argument because of what? Documentary proof, inconvenient documentary proof. That's why.

And I don't even mention, because again I'm looking at the clock, the various minutes of the meetings from ECOWAS leaders. We ask you, Mr Taylor, to get directly involved. It's all there in the minutes. However, by December 1999, peace in Sierra Leone was threatened and a decision was made to extract Sam Bockarie, the main threat to peace. Now, the Prosecution sought to insinuate, initially, that this was further proof of Charles Taylor's control of Bockarie, his boy. They were obviously unaware of the proof we would be able to place before this Court, divider 14, please, Madam Court Manager, exhibit D-228. Do we have it?

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