It was to be expected that the defence would like to have all charges against former Liberian President Charles Taylor dismissed. His counsel, Mr Morris Anyah, argued in a lenghty submission that took all day (yesterday) that the evidence presented was too flimsy to warrant a conviction. He acknowledged that terrible things had happened in Sierra Leone during the 11-year conflict, but denied Charles Taylor’s role in the planning or execution of the atrocities which resulted in hundreds of thousands of victims.
After Mr Anyah concluded his submission, prosecution counsel Ms. Brenda Hollis responded announcing that the prosecution wants to respond on April 9, which was accepted by the judges. Hence, the prosecution response will take place at 9:30 A.M. this Thursday.
I will not easily forget the looks of Mr Taylor during this day. I observed him closely and was astonished by the lack of emotions. It was only at two occasions that I noted a different attitude. One was at 10:30 A.M. when the defence counsel elaborated on the accusation of enlisting child soldiers. The former Liberian president then nervously moved in his chair, visibly feeling uncomfortable. The second time was when the death of Samuel Bockarie, aka Mosquito, was mentioned. It is widely believed that Samuel Bockarie, a one time ally of Charles Taylor, was murdered with his family upon orders of the warlord turned President. Mr Taylor frantically wrote notes during this episode of Mr Anyah’s submission.