Charles Taylor Monthly Trial Report – October-November 2010
Jennifer Easterday and Eline Houwen3 January 2011
A summary of the Taylor trial for the months of October and November 2010 written by Jennifer Easterday and Eline Houwen at the UC Berkeley War Crimes Studies Center. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Open Society Justice Initiative.
The Taylor Defense team formally rested its case on November 12, 2010. The Trial Chamber will not sit again until closing arguments commence in February 2011. During this reporting period, the last Defense witness was called and the Chamber ruled on several Defense motions. The Chamber denied a Defense motion requesting an investigation of the Office of the Prosecutor on allegations of contempt of court, but granted the Defense leave to appeal. Also, after ordering the Prosecution to disclose exculpatory evidence concerning the alleged death of AFRC leader Johnny Paul Koroma, the Court denied a Defense motion to introduce that evidence into the record. Leave to appeal this decision was also granted. These and other legal issues are discussed below, along with a discussion of the testimony from the final witness to testify in the case against Charles Taylor.
The sole witness who testified during this reporting period was:
Samuel Flomo Kolleh (DCT-102)
This report summarizes witness testimony heard during November 2010 and identifies important issues that have arisen at trial. As with previous WCSC monitoring reports, it is available online at http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~warcrime/SL_Monitoring_Reports.htm. This is the final periodic trial report for the Taylor trial and for the Special Court for Sierra Leone Trial Monitoring Program. Following this report, the WCSC expects to publish one more thematic report on the Taylor trial and one final retrospective analysis of the Special Court’s work from beginning to end.
2. Defense Themes and Strategies
This month, the Defense called its final witness and raised a few remaining legal issues with the Court. Witness DCT-102 testified about training with the RUF in Liberia prior to the RUF’s first incursion into Sierra Leone. The Witness also testified about trading diamonds for weapons, but denied that Taylor was involved. Mr. Kolleh further told the Court that he was intimidated and bribed by the Prosecution during interviews in 2003. This testimony supported Defense contentions that the Prosecution should be investigated for contempt of court for improperly treating witnesses and potential witnesses. Although the Defense has formally rested its case, two outstanding appeals will be decided by the Appeals Chamber in early 2011. It is unclear how Appeals Chamber decisions on these motions may affect the Defense’s final trial brief, which will…