Former President of Liberia and war lord Charles Taylor who is standing trial in The Hague, The Netherlands on 11 counts indictment which include acts of terrorism and unlawful killings, took the witness stand yesterday and described all the charges as lies.
“I am not guilty of all of the charges not even a minute one. This whole case is of deceit, deception and lies. I cannot understand why all of these people are brought to talk against me. It’s impossible how humans can come in an organized version to lie and lie and lie” he said.
Adding that maybe the people did it for survival as this is a complete misinformation and disinformation “whether I live for 100 years, this is a moment I will never forget when people got themselves so low that they should think of such a thing for me.”
Questioned by his defence counsel Courtenay Griffiths as to whether he was aware of the invasion of Sierra Leone Mr. Taylor said that “I Charles Ghankay Taylor never, ever at anytime knowingly assisted for the invasion of Sierra Leone.”
He also denied the allegation that he received jars full of diamonds from the RUF in Sierra Leone.
Charles Taylor also denied the allegation that he planned the invasion of a friendly country, Sierra Leone. He said that it was when they were in Libya that he heard that the Sierra Leone Pan African Movement had such intention.
Charles Taylor also told the court that during the invasion of Sierra Leone he was busy dealing with the UN business to help Liberians return to a better condition and also it was during this time that he was elected to be part of the ECOWAS Committee of five for Sierra Leone so there is no way he could plan or instigate or order the invasion of Sierra Leone.
Mr. Taylor said that he heard about the invasion of Sierra Leone through his security adviser contrary to the evidence by prosecution witness Moses Blah who told the court he [Taylor] spent 24 hours in front of a Television.
The witness further told the court that between May 1992 to August 1999 there was cooperation between the RUF and NPFL and that they provided some ammunition to the RUF but that the letter which the prosecution presented to the court where Foday Sankoh aka Mosquito complained that he did not have enough supply was because his expectations were too high for what he received.
The witness also told the court that the atrocities committed in Sierra Leone during the war never took place in the war in Liberia. He said most of those killed were top officials in the revolutionary force who were caught either for rape or stealing from civilians.
Charles Taylor stated if even there was cooperation between the RUF and the NPFL, this would have ended because of the atrocities that the RUF committed.
He said he got in contact with Mosquito between 1998-99 and that it was in late 2000 when Sankoh was arrested that he came in contact with Issa Sesay.
Taylor disclosed that Sesay was a reluctant and humble man because he refused to become the leader of the RUF when he was asked by the members of the Committee of five as he said he wanted the approval of Sankoh before he took up the position.
Trial continues today By Betty Milton