Charles Ghankay Taylor has denied allegations that Foday Sankoh and himself came together to exploit the people of Sierra Leone of their natural resources. He also denied allegations that he ate human beings. He was giving evidence in his defence at the Special Court in The Hague, The Netherlands.
The witness said: “the allegations are false, it is nonsense. Liberia is a rich country endowed with natural resources from gold, diamonds that came all over Liberia; it has bauxite, oil which is now found everywhere. For God sake everything you need is there what should I go to Sierra Leone to do?”
He maintained that he never met Sankoh in Libya and they never arranged to exploit Sierra Leone for its mineral resources and that the person he met in Libya was Alie Kabba who was the leader of the Sierra Leone Pan Movement.
The witness also denied an allegation made by a prosecution witness that he [Taylor] ate human’s beings and that as a member of the Poro society he ate human flesh. Taylor said that the whole evidence is false as the Poro society was a social structure which resisted the slave trade in Liberia and that all the presidents before him were members of the Poro society.
Charles Taylor said that “the whole evidence makes me sick at the stomach” and that the evidence is incredible, and this shows the extent to which people go to lie.
Adding that no one in his right sense will believe the evidence of Zig Zag Masaquoi as he was never a member of the society. He further told the court that there were certain groups in Liberia that practice cannibalism but he did not eat human flesh nor did he ordered his NPFL men to eat human flesh. Speaking about the spread of language between Sierra Leone and Liberia, the witness testified that the countries are one people because most of them speak the same language like mende and kissy.
He also told the court that a man will come from Sierra Leone speak any tribe like mende and decide to live in any part of the country.
The witness testified that during the invasion of Freetown, the various heads of states like Presidents Momoh. S. Momoh and Strasser hired and used mercenaries and they were part of the army to aid them in the fight and these mercenaries spoke Liberian languages.
He denied sending Liberian soldier to fight in Sierra Leone as the Liberian soldiers were never under his control.