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

Madam President, your Honours, we would like to close our oral submissions by very briefly touching on one other aspect of the testimony of the accused Charles Taylor. Throughout the course of Mr Taylor's testimony, he sought to avoid responsibility for his choices, actions and his refusals to act. And one of the ways he did that was to classify those who raised concerns about his involvement with his proxy forces in Sierra Leone as either part of a global conspiracy or puppets of that conspiracy. He alleged that these supposed conspirators included of course the American and British governments, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, the Security Council insofar as the United Kingdom and the United States dominate that body, South Africa because South African connections are protecting the De Beers interests and the fall guy is Charles Taylor. He told you that the CIA could have been part of that conspiracy. He told you that Nigeria was part of it because it led the onslaught of allegations against Liberia in connection with the situation in Sierra Leone. He told you that former President Abacha was part of the conspiracy on different levels. He told you that the panel of experts who authored Exhibit P-18 may have been part of that conspiracy. That NGOs such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International were indirectly involved in the conspiracy. Indeed he puts the authors of one of his own exhibits, the Belgian report, which talked about how diamond deals were carried out in Liberia, and in Europe, he puts the authors of that report also among the conspirators who are responsible for his being before your Honours in this case.

He told your Honours that Sorious Samura and his crew were de facto part of the conspiracy. That United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan was not directly part of the conspiracy. He included as puppets, or tools of the conspiracy, former President Kabbah, various ECOMOG generals and ECOWAS leaders, international and Liberian journalists and he even included what he called the well-respected justice and peace commission in Liberia as a mere puppet of this global conspiracy.

To prove this conspiracy and that the conspirators, in particular the United States, have control over this Court, the accused put before you leaked United States state department cables which they introduced into evidence and were accepted into evidence, the so-called Wikileaks cables. However, an examination of those cables shows just the opposite, that this Court operates independently in accordance with its mandate. And that it is not a puppet, though other people according to Mr Taylor, indeed, were puppets.

In terms of any concern expressed by western countries about Mr Taylor's effect on the stability of the subregion, such concerns are merely an echo of the concerns raised by his fellow African Presidents, and you have evidence of that before you. Exhibit P-441, a statement of Nigeria in January of 1999, raises concerns, and grave concern about the nefarious role played by Liberia in relation to the events in Sierra Leone. President Jerry Rawlings told a Liberian delegation that it was disappointing that Liberia was now supporting rebels against the peacekeepers that had helped you end its own civil war. And President Rawlings said that Liberia's support for the RUF is a stab in the back of countries contributing troops to ECOMOG.

Former President Obasanjo told a United Nations team that Mr Taylor was the problem in the subregion and that is found at P-44, paragraph 33, which was a 16 October 2000 document of the United Nations.

President Gbagbo of Cote d'Ivoire told Moses Blah after Moses Blah had assumed the presidency, he told him that Charles Taylor saw Gbagbo's house on fire and added gas to the fire and the fire started blazing everywhere in his country.

And if we could have a slide, please?

Now, on 5 November 2009, Mr Taylor told you that he was the victim here, the victim of an intelligence setup. But, your Honours, you have seen the victims here. They have come before you in this courtroom and they have told you about what happened in Sierra Leone as a result of Mr Taylor's choices, his actions and his failures to act. They have come here as the victims of a new breed of killer that Mr Taylor and his proxy forces created, killers who knew no restraint and who were on the brink of denying themselves and others the very notion of humanity. Those are the victims in this case, not Mr Taylor.

If we could have the next slide, please?

The victims who came before you are victims, such as Patrick Sheriff who told you, "Then my brother came to me and said, 'Hey Pa Sheriff, I have come to die for you.' They cut off all his ten fingers. When they finished they took those ten fingers and they said Peleto was going to make a chain out of them. Oh, Father God. When they put the fingers in the cup, then they shot him. They shot him and he died on the spot and they went. God will pay the promoters of these rebels in Sierra Leone. God will bring judgment upon the promoters in this country. All those who promoted the rebels in Sierra Leone, those who have caused our suffering today."

God's justice is mysterious. Today, Charles Taylor appears before you to face human justice. Through criminal proceedings that have been most fair to him, decided by impartial and independent judges on the basis of the evidence before you. Not by the whim of a man with a gun or a machete or a man with an insatiable greed for wealth and power. Today, Mr Taylor faces human justice, based on your assessment of the evidence adduced in this trial. The evidence that proves this accused is rightly before you as the man most responsible for the crimes with which he is charged. And the evidence proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr Taylor is guilty of those crimes.

And, your Honours, the Prosecution ask you to so find.

That concludes our oral submissions and unless there are questions, your Honours, we have nothing more.

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