In the Appeal Chamber of the former President of Liberia, Charles Taylor, both the Prosecution and Defence team yesterday submitted six issues during their oral argument.
These six issues include whether the Trial Chamber correctly articulated the actus reus elements of aiding and abetting liability under customary, international law.
The differences and similarities between aiding and abetting, instigating and ordering, as forms of liability under Article 6(1) of the Statute. Whether customary international law recognizes that certain forms of liability set forth in Article 6(1) of the Statute are more or less serious than other forms of liability for sentencing or other purposes.
The second issue is whether the Trial Chamber’s findings meet the mens rea standard of purpose, the third issues is that of whether acts of assistance not “specifically directed” to the perpetration of a crime can substantially contribute to the commission of a crime for aiding and abetting liability.
And that whether the acts of assistance not to the crime “as such” can substantially contribute to the commission of the crime, for aiding and abetting liability.
Whether the Trial Chamber’s findings, meet the “as such” standard.
In their submission, Nicolas Koumjianon behalf of the Prosecution said that by providing monies to an organization for war, he [Taylor] was committing crimes against humanity, and that the act of Charles Taylor was intentional.
He stated that in the area of specific direction, the lawyer defined Joint Criminal Enterprises (JCE) and aiding and abetting.
He said JCE deals with a group of people who commit crimes while aiding and abetting is that the contribution made by the accused to the commissioning of the crime.
Adding that if there is evidence like in this case, wherein his action contributed to the commissioning of 11 counts and his action was specifically directed to the crimes.
The prosecuting lawyer said there were lots of evidence before the court as one witness said Taylor in a radio broadcast said that Sierra Leone will taste the bitterness of war which he accompanied.
Lawyer Nicolas Koumjianon said that there is interest in harmonizing the evidence but the primary interest is truth.
The defence counsel will also submit their oral argument based on the six issues highlighted by the Appeals Chamber.
By Betty Milton