Summary of the Charles Taylor Judgement

SPECIAL COURT FOR SIERRA LEONE
TRIAL CHAMBER II
Before:
Justice Richard Lussick, Presiding Judge
Justice Teresa Doherty
Justice Julia Sebutinde
Justice El Hadji Malick Sow, Alternate Judge
Registrar:
Binta Mansaray
Case No.:
SCSL-03-1-T
Date:
26 April 2011
PROSECUTOR
v.
Charles Ghankay TAYLOR
JUDGEMENT SUMMARY
Office of the Prosecutor:
Defence Counsel for Charles G. Taylor:
Brenda J. Hollis
Nicholas Koumjian
Mohamed Bangura
Kathryn Howarth
Leigh Lawrie
Ruth Mary Hackler
Ula Nathai-Lutchman
Nathan Quick
Maja Dimitrova
James Pace
Courtenay Griffiths, Q.C.
Terry Munyard
Morris Anyah
Silas Chekera
James Supuwood
Logan Hambrick

SUMMARY JUDGEMENT
PROSECUTOR V. CHARLES GHANKAY TAYLOR
1.
Trial Chamber II, composed of Justice Richard Lussick, presiding, Justice Teresa
Doherty, Justice Julia Sebutinde, with alternate judge Justice El Hadji Malick Sow, today
delivers its Judgement in the case of the Prosecutor v. Charles Ghankay Taylor. For the
purposes of this hearing, the Chamber will briefly summarise its findings. This is a
summary only. The written Judgement, which is the only authoritative version, will be
made available subsequently.
Introduction
2.
Charles Ghankay Taylor was elected President of Liberia and took office on 2
August 1997. On 4 June 2003, his Indictment by the Special Court and Warrant of Arrest
were unsealed, and on 11 August 2003 he stepped down from the Presidency and went
into exile in Nigeria. In 2003, the Accused applied to the Special Court to quash his
Indictment and set aside the warrant for his arrest on the grounds that he was immune
from any exercise of the jurisdiction of this Court by virtue of the fact that at the time the
Indictment and Warrant of Arrest were issued he was a sitting Head of State. This
application was denied by the Trial Chamber, and its decision was upheld by the Appeals
Chamber on 31 May 2004, on the ground that the sovereign equality of states does not
prevent a Head of State from being prosecuted before an international criminal tribunal or
court. Accordingly, the Appeals Chamber held that the official position of Charles Taylor
as an incumbent Head of State at the time when these criminal proceedings were initiated
against him was not a bar to his prosecution by this Court. On 29 March 2006, the
Accused was arrested in Nigeria by Nigerian authorities, following a request by Liberian
President Johnson-Sirleaf that he be surrendered to the Special Court pursuant to the
Warrant of Arrest. Shortly thereafter he was transferred into the custody of the Special
Court in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and was formally arraigned on 3 April 2006, when he
pleaded not guilty to all counts in the Indictment. Because of security concerns, the
Accused was transferred to The Hague on 20 June 2006.

3.
The armed conflict in Sierra Leone started in March 1991 when armed fighters
known as the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), led by Foday Sankoh, attacked Sierra
Leone from Liberia. The RUF continued their insurgency against the Government despite
the Abidjan Peace Accord in November 1996. In a coup on 25 May 1997, members of the
Sierra Leone Army overthrew the democratically elected Government of Ahmad Tejan
Kabbah and invited the RUF to join its Junta Government, called the Armed Forces
Revolutionary Council (AFRC).
4.
As leader of the NPFL (National Patriotic Front of Liberia) and later as President
of Liberia, the Accused is alleged to have acted in concert with members of the RUF
(Revolutionary United Front), AFRC (Armed Forces Revolutionary Council),
AFRC/RUF Junta or alliance and/or Liberian fighters, including members and ex-
members of the NPFL (Liberian fighters). Specifically, in that capacity, the Accused is
alleged to have assisted, encouraged, directed and/or controlled the above mentioned
warring factions in conducting armed attacks in the territory of Sierra Leone from 30
November 1996 to 18 January 2002 (the Indictment period). The attacks included
terrorizing the civilian population including burning of civilian homes, murder, sexual
violence, physical violence, illegal recruitment of child soldiers, abduction and forced
labour, and looting.
Procedural Background
5.
The Prosecution case commenced on 4 June 2007 and closed on 27 February
2009. During the Defence case, the Prosecution was granted leave to re-open its case to
call three additional witnesses who testified on 5, 9 and 10 August 2010. In sum, 94
witnesses testified for the Prosecution, including three expert witnesses. A total of 782
Prosecution exhibits were admitted into evidence including five expert reports.
6.
The Defence opened its case on 13 July 2009 and closed on 12 November 2010,
having called 21 witnesses, including the Accused, who testified for seven months, from
14 July 2009 until 18 February 2010. A total of 740 Defence exhibits were admitted into
evidence.
7.
Prosecution closing arguments were heard on 8 and 9 February 2011. Defence
closing arguments were heard on 9 and 10 March 2011. Oral responses by both parties
were heard on 11 March 2011.
8.
After 420 trial days over the course of three years and ten months, the case was
formally closed on 11 March 2011. A total of 115 witnesses testified, 1,522 exhibits
were admitted into evidence, 49,622 pages of trial records were transcribed and 281
written interlocutory decisions were issued by the Trial Chamber.
Summary of the Charges
9.
The Accused is charged with 11 Counts under the Indictment. Five of these
counts charge the Accused with crimes against humanity punishable under Article 2 of
the Statute, in particular: murder (Count 2), rape (Count 4), sexual slavery (Count 5),
other inhumane acts (Count 8) and enslavement (Count 10). Five additional counts
charge the Accused with violations of Article 3 Common to the Geneva Conventions and
of Additional Protocol II, punishable under Article 3 of the Statute, in particular: acts of
terrorism (Count 1), violence to life, health and physical or mental well-being of persons,
in particular murder (Count 3); outrages upon personal dignity (Count 6); violence to life,
health and physical or mental well-being of persons, in particular cruel treatment (Count
7); and pillage (Count 11). The remaining count charges the Accused with conscripting or
enlisting children under the age of 15 years into armed forces or groups, or using them to
participate actively in hostilities (Count 9), a serious violation of international
humanitarian law punishable under Article 4 of the Statute.
10.
The Indictment charges that the Accused is individually criminally responsible,
under Article 6(1) and 6(3) of the Statute, for the crimes referred to above.
11.
The Accused pleaded not guilty to each of the counts charged in the Indictment.
Summary of the Defence Case
12.
The Defence accepts that crimes against humanity and war crimes were
committed during the Indictment period in the course of the armed conflict in Sierra
Leone, but denies that the Accused is responsible. The Defence submits that the burden
of proof is upon the Prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt (i) that the crimes
were actually committed; (ii) that the crimes fulfil all the legal elements of Articles 2, 3
and 4 of the Statute; and (iii) that there is a nexus between the alleged crimes and the
Accused.
13.
As part of its case, the Defence maintained that the Accused, through his
diplomatic efforts, played a substantial role in fostering peace and security in Sierra
Leone, that his contribution to the peace process was significant, and that his prosecution
has from the outset been “selective and vindictive in nature…on the basis of political
motives and interests.” The Defence also challenged the credibility of the Prosecution
evidence. The Trial Chamber has considered a number of preliminary issues in its
written Judgement, including the issue of selective prosecution and a number of fair trial
issues raised by the Defence. With regard to the issue of selective prosecution, the Trial
Chamber finds that the Accused was not singled out for selective prosecution.
Summary of Findings on Crimes Committed
14.
The Trial Chamber finds that the Chapeau Requirements in respect of the crimes
against humanity, violations of article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and of
Additional Protocol II and other serious violations of international humanitarian law
charged in the Indictment, have been proved by the Prosecution beyond reasonable doubt.
15.
The Trial Chamber has examined the evidence presented in relation to the crimes
that members of the RUF, AFRC, the AFRC/RUF Junta or alliance, and/or Liberian
fighters allegedly committed in Sierra Leone between 30 November 1996 and about 18
January 2002. The Trial Chamber finds that the crimes charged in Counts 1 to 11 were
committed. The findings on each of these crimes will be summarized in turn.
MURDER, a Crime Against Humanity, punishable under Article 2.a. of the Statute.
(Count 2) and/or
VIOLENCE to Life, Health and Physical or Mental Well-Being of Persons, in
particular MURDER, a Violation of Article 3 Common to the Geneva Conventions and
of Additional Protocol II , punishable under Article 3.a. of the Statute (Count 3)
16.
The Trial Chamber finds that the Prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt
that members of the RUF, AFRC, AFRC/RUF Junta or alliance, and/or Liberian fighters,
murdered civilians in various locations in the following districts of Sierra Leone:
17.
In Kenema District between about 25 May 1997 and about 31 March 1998.
18.
In Kono District between about 1 February 1998 and about 31 January 2000.
19.
In Freetown and the Western Area between about 21 December 1998 and 28
February 1999.
20.
In Kailahun District between about 1 February 1998 and about 30 June 1998.
RAPE, a Crime Against Humanity, punishable under Article 2.g. of the Statute
(Count 4)
21.
The Trial Chamber finds that the Prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt
that members of the RUF, AFRC, AFRC/RUF Junta or alliance, and Liberian fighters
committed widespread acts of rape against women and girls in various locations in the
following districts of Sierra Leone:
22.
In Kono District between about 1 February and about 31 December 1998.
23.
In Freetown and the Western Area between about 21 December 1998 and about
28 February 1999.
24.
In Kailahun District in 1998 and 1999 women and girls were raped in various
locations which were not charged in the Indictment. The Trial Chamber makes no finding
of guilt for these crimes for reasons fully set out in the written judgement.
SEXUAL SLAVERY, a Crime Against Humanity, punishable under Article 2.g. of the
Statute (Count 5)
25.
The Trial Chamber finds that the Prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt
that between about 30 November 1996 and about 18 January 2002, members of the RUF,
AFRC, AFRC/RUF Junta or alliance and Liberian fighters committed widespread acts of
sexual slavery against civilian women and girls in Sierra Leone in various locations in the
following districts of Sierra Leone:
26.
In Kono District between about 1 February 1998 and about 31 December 1998.
27.
In Kailahun District in 1998 and 1999.
28.
In Freetown and the Western Area between about 21 December 1998 and about
28 February 1999.
OUTRAGES UPON PERSONAL DIGNITY, a Violation of Article 3 Common to the
Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II, punishable under Article 3.e. of the
Statute (Count 6).
29.
The Trial Chamber finds that the Prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt
that members of the RUF, AFRC, AFRC/RUF Junta or alliance and Liberian fighters
committed widespread acts of outrages upon the personal dignity of civilian women and
girls by acts such as forcing them to undress in public and by raping them and
committing other acts of sexual abuse sometimes in full view of the public, and in full
view of family members, in various locations in the following districts of Sierra Leone:
30.
In Kono District between about 1 February 1998 and about 31 December 1998;
31.
In Freetown and the Western Area between about 21 December 1998 and about
28 February 1999;
32.
In Kailahun District in 1998 and 1999 outrages upon personal dignity were
committed against women and girls in various locations not charged in the Indictment.
The Trial Chamber makes no finding of guilt for these crimes for reasons fully set out in
the written judgement.
VIOLENCE to life, health and physical or mental well-being of persons, in particular
CRUEL TREATMENT, a Violation of Article 3 Common to the Geneva Conventions
and of Additional Protocol II, punishable under Article 3.a. of the Statute (Count 7);
and/or
OTHER INHUMANE ACTS, a Crime Against Humanity, punishable under Article
2.i. of the Statute (Count 8 )
33.
The Trial Chamber finds that the Prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt
that members of the RUF, AFRC, AFRC/RUF Junta or alliance, and Liberian fighters
committed widespread acts of physical violence against civilians in various locations in
the following districts of Sierra Leone:
34.
In Kono District between about 1 February 1998 and about 31 December 1998,
civilians were forced to endure cruel treatment including having words carved into their
bodies, and amputations of limbs.
35.
In Kailahun District, crimes of physical violence were committed not charged in
the Indictment. The Trial Chamber makes no findings of guilt for these crimes for
reasons fully set out in the written judgement.
36.
In Freetown and the Western Area between about 21 December 1998 and about
28 February 1999 civilians were subjected to cruel treatment, including the amputations
of limbs.
CONSCRIPTING OR ENLISTING CHILD SOLDIERS INTO THE ARMED
FORCES OR USING THEM IN HOSTILITIES, and Other Serious Violations of
International Humanitarian Law, punishable under Article 4.c. of the Statute (Count
9)
37.
The Trial Chamber finds that the Prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt
that between about 30 November 1996 and about 18 January 2002, members of the RUF,
AFRC, AFRC/RUF Junta or alliance and Liberian fighters conscripted and enlisted
children under the age of 15 into their armed groups and used them to participate actively
in the hostilities in the following districts of Sierra Leone:
38.
In Tonkolili District, children under the age of 15 were abducted and conscripted
into the RUF at Kangari Hills from early 1996 until May 1997. Between 500 and 1000
children had “RUF” carved into their forehead or back to prevent escape.
39.
In Kailahun District, children under the age of 15 were conscripted into the RUF
throughout 1998 and 1999, and underwent military training at Bunumbu training base,
also known as “Camp Lion”, and at Buedu Field.
40.
In Kono District during the Indictment period, children under the age of 15 were
conscripted into the RUF and AFRC at various locations and were used to participate
actively in hostilities and to amputate limbs, guard diamond mines, go on food-finding
missions, as bodyguards, to man checkpoints and in armed combat.
41.
In Bombali District, children under the age of 15 were conscripted into the RUF
and AFRC between 1998 and 2000, underwent military training at various locations and
participated actively in hostilities.
42.
In Port Loko District between January 1999 and April/May 1999, a child under
the age of 15 was abducted, conscripted into the AFRC and used for active participation
in hostilities in Masiaka.
43.
In Kenema District during the Junta period, children under the age of 15 were
used as armed guards for mining sites.
44.
In Koinadugu District between March and May 1998, children under the age of 15
were used to participate actively in hostilities and at least one child under the age of 15
was used to fight against the Kamajors.
45.
In Freetown and the Western Area, children under the age of 15 were used to
participate actively in hostilities in Benguema from the end of January until March 1999
and during the Freetown attack in January 1999.
ENSLAVEMENT, a Crime Against Humanity, punishable under Article 2.c. of the
Statute (Count 10)
46.
The Trial Chamber finds that the Prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt
that between 30 November 1996 and about 18 January 2002, members of the RUF,
AFRC, AFRC/RUF Junta or alliance and Liberian fighters intentionally exercised powers
of ownership over civilians by depriving them of their freedom and forcing them to work,
thus committing the crime of enslavement in various locations in the following districts
of Sierra Leone:
47.
In Kenema District between about 1 July 1997 and about 28 February 1998,
civilians were abducted and forced to mine for diamonds.
48.
In Kono District throughout 1998 and 1999, civilians were abducted and used as
forced labour to carry loads, perform domestic chores, go on food-finding missions,
undergo military training, and work in diamond mines.
49.
In Kailahun District between 30 November 1996 and July 2000 civilians were
abducted and used as forced labour to carry loads, collect arms and ammunition,
construct the Buedu airstrip, undergo military training, farm, fish, perform domestic
chores and go on food-finding missions.
50.
In Freetown and the Western Area between about 21 December 1998 and about
28 February 1999, civilians were abducted and used as forced labour to carry loads,
perform domestic chores and destroy a bridge.
PILLAGE, a Violation of Article 3 Common to the Geneva Conventions and of
Additional Protocol II, punishable under Article 3.f. of the Statute (Count 11)
51.
The Trial Chamber finds that the Prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt
that members of the RUF, AFRC, AFRC/RUF Junta or alliance, and Liberian fighters,
engaged in widespread and unlawful taking of civilian property in various locations in the
following districts of Sierra Leone:
52.
In Kono District, between about 1 February 1998 and about 31 December 1998,
civilian goods were looted, money and diamonds were looted from a bank and, as part of
‘Operation Pay Yourself’, civilian homes and shops were looted.
53.
In Bombali District, numerous instances of looting of civilian property occurred
between 1 February 1998 and 30 April 1998. Money from a bank was also looted.
54.
In Port Loko District between 1 February 1998 and 30 April 1998 there were
numerous instances of looting of civilian property as part of Operation Pay Yourself.
55.
In Freetown and the Western Area between about 21 December 1998 and about
28 February 1999, widespread looting of civilian property from residences and businesses
occurred.
ACTS OF TERRORISM, a Violation of Article 3 Common to the Geneva
Conventions and of Additional Protocol II, punishable under Article 3.d. of the Statute
( Count 1)
56.
The Trial Chamber finds that the Prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt
that members of the RUF, AFRC, AFRC/RUF Junta or alliance, and Liberian fighters
committed acts of terrorism by committing the crimes described in counts 2 to 8 as part
of a campaign to terrorize the civilian population of Sierra Leone.
57.
There was evidence in the crimes described in counts 2 to 8 of public executions
and amputations; people were beheaded and their heads displayed at checkpoints; during
“Operation No Living Thing,” during the Junta Period in Kenema Town, a civilian was
killed in full public view and then his body was disembowelled and his intestines
stretched across the road to make a “checkpoint”; women and girls were raped in public;
people were burned alive in their homes. The Trial Chamber finds beyond reasonable
doubt that the purpose of these atrocities charged in counts 2 to 8 was to instil terror in
the civilian population.
58.
However, some acts of violence, even when committed in a campaign whose
primary purpose was to terrorise the civilian population, may not have been committed in
furtherance of such a campaign. The Trial Chamber finds that this is the case with the
acts of violence underlying the crimes of Child Soldiers (Count 9), Enslavement (Count
10), and Pillage (Count 11). The Trial Chamber therefore finds that the crime of acts of
terrorism has not been established for these counts.
59.
The Trial Chamber also finds that the Prosecution has proved beyond reasonable
doubt that acts of terrorism were committed by the widespread burning of civilian
property with the primary purpose of terrorizing the civilian population in various
locations in Kono District between about 1 February 1998 and about 31 December 1998,
and in various locations in Freetown and Western Area between about 21 December 1998
and February 1999.
Summary of Findings on the Role of the Accused
60.
The Trial Chamber will now summarize its factual findings on the role of the
Accused.
The Role of the Accused before 1996.
61.
The Trial Chamber has considered evidence prior to the Indictment period only
for the purposes of clarifying the context, or establishing by inference the elements of
criminal conduct that occurred during the material period, or demonstrating a consistent
pattern of conduct.
62.
Evidence before the Trial Chamber establishes the following. At the end of the
1980s, a number of West African revolutionaries were trained in Libya, including Charles
Taylor from Liberia, Ali Kabbah and Foday Sankoh from Sierra Leone and Kukoi Samba
Sanyang (a.k.a. Dr. Manneh) from the Gambia. The Accused met Sankoh in Libya,
although the exact circumstances of their meeting are not known. Contrary to the
Prosecution’s submissions, the evidence did not establish that prior to 1996, Taylor,
Sankoh and Dr. Manneh participated in any common plan involving the crimes alleged in
the Indictment, nor in fact, that the three men even met together. Furthermore, the
evidence was that during the pre-indictment period Sankoh operated independently of the
Accused, and that while he relied at times on Taylor’s guidance and support, Sankoh did
not take orders from the Accused.
63.
During the pre-Indictment period the Accused provided the RUF with a training
camp in Liberia, instructors, recruits and material support, including food and other
supplies. However, again contrary to the Prosecution’s submissions, the evidence did not
establish that the RUF were under the superior authority of the Accused or the NPFL
chain of command, or that they were instructed in NPFL terror tactics.
64.
The Accused supported the invasion of Sierra Leone in March 1991. NPFL troops
actively participated in the invasion, but the Prosecution failed to prove that the Accused
participated in the planning of the invasion. The Prosecution also failed to prove that the
support of the Accused for the invasion of Sierra Leone was undertaken pursuant to a
common purpose to terrorize the civilian population of Sierra Leone. Rather, the evidence
shows that the Accused and Sankoh had a common interest in fighting common enemies,
namely ULIMO, a Liberian insurgency group in Sierra Leone, and the Sierra Leonean
Government forces, which supported ULIMO.
65.
The Accused withdrew his NPFL troops from Sierra Leone after the fallout
between NPFL and RUF troops in 1992, culminating in Operations Top 20, Top 40, and
Top Final. While the Defence maintains that the Accused had no further contact or
cooperation with Sankoh, the leader of the RUF, after 1992 following Top Final, the Trial
Chamber finds otherwise. Although the Liberia-Sierra Leone border was ‘closed’ by
ULIMO and the Sierra Leone government forces, it remained porous, enabling the flow
of arms, ammunition and other supplies from Liberia into Sierra Leone during the
remainder of the pre-Indictment period. For example, there was evidence that the
Accused provided arms and ammunition to Sankoh for an attack on Kono in November
1992, and he advised Sankoh prior to and following the attack on Sierra Rutile. The
Accused also asked Sankoh to send troops in 1993 to help him fight ULIMO.
The Role of the Accused during the Indictment Period
Military Operations
66.
In February 1998, ECOMOG forces intervened in Sierra Leone and expelled the
RUF/AFRC Junta from Freetown, reinstating Tejan Kabbah’s SLPP Government to
power in March 1998. Although ECOMOG initially forced RUF and AFRC forces to
withdraw from Kono, under the orders of AFRC leader Johnny Paul Koroma, these
forces managed to recapture Koidu Town in late February-early March 1998. A few
weeks later, ECOMOG forces regained control of Koidu Town. In mid-June 1998, forces
under the ultimate direction of Sam Bockarie, who had by then assumed leadership of the
renegade RUF/AFRC Junta forces, made another attempt to re-take Koidu Town, code-
named Operation Fitti-Fatta. The Fitti-Fatta attack was unsuccessful, and in late
November-early December 1998, after a trip by Bockarie to Liberia where he met with
the Accused, a meeting was held at Waterworks in which Bockarie ordered RUF/AFRC
troops under his command to carry out a two pronged attack on Kono and Kenema, with
Freetown as the ultimate target. The attacks on Kenema and Kono were launched in mid-
December 1998. While the former was unsuccessful, the latter attack succeeded, and the
RUF/AFRC troops continued towards Freetown. On 6 January 1999, a group of
predominantly AFRC troops led by Alex Tamba Brima (a.k.a. Gullit) launched an assault
on Freetown.
67.
The Trial Chamber will now summarize its findings on the assistance provided by
the Accused in these military operations.
68.
From the time of the ECOMOG Intervention, the Accused and his subordinates
communicated to the AFRC/RUF forces the imperative to maintain control over Kono, a
diamondiferous area. When the AFRC/RUF forces were pulling out of Kono during the
Intervention, the radio station of Benjamin Yeaten, Director of the Accused’s Special
Security Service, intercepted a radio transmission between AFRC/RUF radio stations
about the withdrawal and intervened to ask why the forces were withdrawing. Then, in
several satellite phone conversations with Johnny Paul Koroma, who was trying to make
arrangements to get to Liberia by helicopter, the Accused told Koroma to capture Kono.
After a first failed attempt, the Accused gave instructions for a second attack, which led
to the ultimate recapture of Koidu Town in Kono District in late February-early March
1998. Once Kono had been recaptured, the Accused told Bockarie to be sure to maintain
control of Kono for the purpose of trading diamonds with him for arms and ammunition.
69.
The Accused advised Bockarie to recapture Kono following its loss to
ECOMOG, again so that the diamonds there could be used to purchase arms and
ammunition. Such advice was transmitted to RUF commanders both through Bockarie
and Liberian emissaries Daniel Tamba (a.k.a Jungle) and/or Ibrahim Bah and resulted in
the Fitti-Fatta attack in mid-June 1998.
70.
In addition to urging the RUF and AFRC to capture and hold Kono, the
Accused supplied arms and ammunition for the operations in the Kono District in early
1998 and for Operation Fitti-Fatta.
71.
In November/December 1998, when Bockarie met with the Accused in
Monrovia, the Accused jointly designed with Bockarie the two-pronged attack on Kono,
Kenema and Freetown outlined by Bockarie to his commanders in a meeting at
Waterworks on his return to Sierra Leone. Although the idea to advance towards
Freetown was already in discussion when Bockarie went to Monrovia, the Accused
emphasised to Bockarie the need to first attack Kono District and told Bockarie to make
the operation “fearful” in order to pressure the Government of Sierra Leone into
negotiations on the release of Foday Sankoh from prison, as well as to use “all means” to
get to Freetown. Subsequently, Bockarie named the operation “Operation No Living
Thing,” implying that anything that stood in their way should be eliminated.
72.
At this time there were two plans to attack Freetown, one made by Bockarie
with the Accused, and one made by breakaway AFRC commander Solomon Anthony
Joseph Musa (a.k.a. SAJ Musa), whose troops had started an advance towards Freetown
at the end of June/beginning of July 1998. Consistent with his discussions with the
Accused, Bockarie invited SAJ Musa after the Waterworks meeting to join his efforts to
attack Freetown but Musa refused. However, with SAJ Musa’s death in or around 23
December 1998, when Gullit took over the leadership of the troops at Benguema and
resumed contact with Bockarie, Bockarie and Gullit coordinated in their efforts to capture
Freetown. From that point onwards, SAJ Musa’s original plan was abandoned, and Gullit
followed the Bockarie/Taylor plan, as had been contemplated by Bockarie and the
Accused. During the operation, Bockarie exercised effective command and control over
Gullit, issuing a number of instructions to Gullit, including the order to use terror tactics
against the civilian population on the retreat from Freetown. The Trial Chamber did not
make a finding as to how SAJ Musa was killed, but noted that the possibility of his death
had been mentioned by Bockarie at the time of the Waterworks meeting.
73.
The Accused gave advice to Bockarie and received updates in relation to the
progress of the operations in Kono and Freetown in the implementation of their plan.
Bockarie was in frequent contact via radio or satellite phone with the Accused in
December 1998 and January 1999, either directly or through Benjamin Yeaten. Yeaten
also travelled to Sierra Leone to meet with Bockarie in Buedu during this period.
However, it is not clear that the Accused had any level of control over the conduct of
these operations. Of the instructions allegedly given to Bockarie by the Accused during
this period, only one was proved beyond reasonable doubt, that being that the Accused
instructed Bockarie to transfer some of the Pademba Road prisoners to Buedu. This
finding is insufficient to establish, as the Prosecution has alleged, that the Accused
directed or had control over the Kono and Freetown operations in December 1998 and
January 1999.
74.
In addition to planning and advising on the Kono-Freetown operation, the
Accused also provided military and other support. He facilitated the purchase and
transport of a large shipment of arms and ammunition from Burkina Faso in around
November 1998 which was used in the attacks on Kono and Kenema in December 1998,
where further arms and ammunition were captured. These arms and ammunition were in
turn sent to the troops in Freetown in January 1999 and also used by the RUF and AFRC
in joint attacks on the outskirts of Freetown. The Accused also sent personnel in the form
of at least four former Sierra Leone Army (SLA) fighters who participated in the attack
on Kono, as well as 20 former NPFL fighters who were part of the forces under the
command of Gullit that entered Freetown, and a group of 150 fighters with Abu Keita (a
former ULIMO member), known as the Scorpion Unit, who participated in the attack on
Kenema.
75.
During the Freetown operation, the Accused’s subordinates in Liberia also
transmitted “448 messages” to RUF forces to warn them of impending ECOMOG jet
attacks. These messages originated in both Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Operational Support
76.
In addition to support for specific military operations, the Accused provided to the
RUF, and the RUF/AFRC alliance, communications support, financial support, military
training, technical support and other operational support. Of these, communications
support, facilitation and transport of materiel and personnel and the provision of a
guesthouse to the RUF were sustained and significant.
77.
Concerning communications assistance, following the invasion of Sierra Leone in
1991, the NPFL provided radio operators and equipment to the RUF with the knowledge
of the Accused. NPFL radio operators were sent to Sierra Leone and trained RUF fighters
in radio communication. Some of these radio operators stayed in Sierra Leone following
the break with the NPFL in Operation Top Final, and the RUF continued to benefit from
the training and equipment provided by the NPFL throughout the conflict in Sierra Leone
and during the Indictment period.
78.
The Accused gave Sam Bockarie a satellite phone in October 1998. Bockarie also
received “top up cards” for phone credit from Benjamin Yeaten. The Accused also gave a
satellite phone to Issa Sesay in 2000, albeit with full knowledge of the ECOWAS leaders.
The supply of such satellite phones enhanced the communications capability of both
Bockarie and Sesay, which they used in furtherance of RUF and RUF/AFRC military
activities. Sesay, for example, used a satellite phone to report to Bockarie that Kono was
under RUF control. While Foday Sankoh was also given a satellite phone, the
Prosecution failed to prove that the phone came from the Accused.
79.
In addition to providing communications training and equipment to the RUF, the
Accused and his subordinates facilitated communications for the RUF through their own
communications network. The RUF/AFRC was provided access to radio communications
equipment in Liberia by the Accused or his subordinates. This equipment was used by
RUF radio operators to communicate with the RUF, in one instance concerning supplies
of military equipment, and in another to update Bockarie on events in Sierra Leone when
he was in Liberia. A radio was provided by the Accused to Johnny Paul Koroma.
However, this radio was used specifically for the purpose of enabling Koroma to
communicate with the West Side Boys about the UN peacekeepers that they had taken
hostage. The evidence did not establish that the Accused and Yeaten received updates
during the Freetown invasion from an RUF operator stationed in Liberia.
80.
Although the establishment of the infrastructure and the training of RUF radio
operators occurred prior to the Indictment period, the ongoing support from the Accused
and his subordinates through the provision of satellite phones, the use of the NPFL
communications infrastructure, and the transmission of “448” messages alerting the RUF
to imminent ECOMOG attack, collectively enhanced the communications capacity of the
RUF/AFRC during the Indictment period, and its capacity to carry out military operations
in which crimes were committed.
81.
In relation to the guesthouse, the Trial Chamber finds that from 1998 to 2001 the
Accused provided a base for the RUF in Monrovia, equipped with a long-range radio and
telephone, RUF radio operators, SSS security supervised by Benjamin Yeaten, cooks and
a caretaker. Although the guesthouse was used by RUF members partly for matters
relevant to the peace process or for diplomatic purposes, it was also used to facilitate the
transfer of arms, ammunition and funds directly from the Accused to the RUF, and the
delivery of diamonds from the RUF directly to the Accused, belying his testimony that he
was entirely unaware of what occurred at the guesthouse. The RUF guesthouse provided
a base for the RUF in Monrovia, which facilitated the regular transfers of arms and
ammunition from the Accused to the RUF, as well as diamonds from the RUF to the
Accused, transactions which played a vital role in the military operations of the RUF in
which crimes were committed.
82.
The Trial Chamber further finds that during the Indictment period, the Accused
provided much needed road and air transportation to the RUF of arms and ammunition
into RUF territory. Materiel was also escorted across military checkpoints by security
personnel working for the Accused, including Daniel Tamba (a.k.a. Jungle), Joseph
Marzah (a.k.a. Zigzag), and Sampson Weah. This facilitation of road and air
transportation of materiel, as well as security escorts, played a vital role in the operations
of the RUF/AFRC during a period when an international arms embargo was in force.
83.
The Accused also provided financial support, military training, technical support
and other operational support to the RUF, including medical support. In most instances in
which the Accused provided financial support, the funds given by the Accused to various
individuals were for unspecified or personal use. The evidence failed to establish that the
10 million CFA francs given by the Accused to the RUF in Côte d’Ivoire, or the $USD
15,000 given by him to Sesay to support the RUF, were used to facilitate arms and
diamond deals. However, the Accused did give funds to Bockarie, in the tens of
thousands of dollars, to buy arms and ammunition from ULIMO. The RUF received
financial support for arms and ammunition from sources other than the Accused as well.
84.
Similarly, while the Accused provided other forms of support to the RUF,
including medical support, and he acknowledged that he permitted injured RUF fighters
to get treatment in Liberia, it is not clear how continuous or substantial the provision of
medical care was throughout the Indictment period. In preparation for the Fitti-Fatta
mission in mid-1998, the Accused sent ‘herbalists’ who marked fighters in Buedu and in
Kono in order to bolster their confidence for the mission to recapture Kono. Other
support included the provision of goods such as food, clothing, cigarettes, alcohol and
other supplies to the RUF by the Accused. The evidence is insufficient to enable the Trial
Chamber to judge the quantity of supplies provided. Other supplies for the RUF came
from Liberia through other channels unrelated to the Accused.
85.
With regard to military training and technical support, the Accused instructed
Bockarie in 1998 to open a training base in Bunumbu, Kailahun District, and told him
also in 1998 that the RUF should construct or re-prepare an airfield in Buedu. However,
the Prosecution failed to prove that the Accused sent Martina Johnson, a former NPFL
artillery commander, to Buedu to train RUF fighters to use a 40-barrel missile gun.
86.
The Accused provided safe haven to RUF fighters, including Mike Lamin, when
they crossed into Liberia after the retreat from Zogoda in 1996, but the Accused was not
found to have ordered the RUF combatants to cross into Liberia. He had not yet taken
office as President at that time, however, and the Prosecution failed to prove that he
facilitated documentation to enable Lamin to travel to Côte d’Ivoire.
Arms and Ammunition
87.
Turning to the allegations of the Prosecution relating to the role of the Accused in
providing military support to the RUF/AFRC, the Trial Chamber first considered two
preliminary issues raised by the Defence, one relating to the status of the border between
Sierra Leone and Liberia, and the other relating to disarmament in Liberia. The Trial
Chamber finds that at no relevant time in the Indictment period was the ECOMOG
presence on the Liberia/Sierra Leone border, or the official closure of the border by the
Liberian government, sufficient to prevent the cross-border movement of arms and
ammunition. With regard to the claim that as a result of disarmament and the destruction
of arms, as well as the arms embargo, Liberia had insufficient arms and ammunition to
supply Sierra Leone, the Trial Chamber finds that despite these measures, the Accused
was able to obtain arms and had the capacity to supply arms and ammunitions from
Liberia to the rebel groups in Sierra Leone. Moreover, he had the capacity to facilitate
larger arms shipments through third countries. Of the arms shipments to the RUF and
AFRC linked to the Accused during the Indictment period, the largest arrived not from
Liberia, but through Liberia from third party states, primarily Burkina Faso.
88.
The Accused directly supplied arms and ammunition to the RUF/AFRC, as well
as facilitating the supply of arms and ammunition to the RUF/AFRC from outside
Liberia. During the Junta period, the Accused sent ammunition to Bockarie via Daniel
Tamba (a.k.a. Jungle) in 1997. The Accused was the source of the materiel delivered by
Tamba, Joseph (a.k.a Zizgag) Marzah and Sampson Weah, among others, to Sierra Leone
throughout 1998 and 1999, such supplies consisting of both arms and ammunition.
Bockarie himself made trips to Liberia in 1998 and 1999 during which he obtained arms
and ammunition from the Accused. During Issa Sesay’s leadership of the RUF, the
Accused continued to deliver arms and ammunition to the RUF in 2000 and 2001 via
Tamba, Marzah, Weah and others. Sesay himself made trips to Liberia, including a trip in
May 2000 and at least two trips in the second half of 2000 and early 2001, during which
he obtained arms and ammunition from the Accused.
89.
Although the materiel delivered through, inter alia, Tamba, Weah and Marzah
was limited in quantity, certain shipments provided by the Accused on Bockarie’s trips to
Liberia in 1998 and 1999 did contain sizeable amounts of materiel.
90.
After 14 February 1998, the Accused sent Varmuyan Sherif to open a corridor
between Lofa County and RUF-held territories to facilitate the trade of arms and
ammunition between the RUF/AFRC and ULIMO. As a result, members of ULIMO who
were supposed to disarm and surrender their arms to the UN, instead sold or bartered
them to the RUF. The Accused also provided financial support to the RUF/AFRC in
order to facilitate their purchases of arms and ammunition from ex-ULIMO combatants.
However, the evidence was insufficient to establish that the Accused attempted to help
the RUF purchase arms and ammunition from ECOMOG and ULIMO prior to the Junta
period.
91.
The Accused facilitated two large shipments of ammunition. The first occurred in
late 1997. In around September 1997, the Accused sent Ibrahim Bah to Freetown to meet
with Sam Bockarie and Johnny Paul Koroma to make arrangements for the procurement
of arms and ammunition. Bah was given 90 carats of diamonds and $USD 90,000 to pay
for the shipment. This shipment of arms and ammunition was delivered by plane to
Magburaka in Sierra Leone sometime between September and December 1997 and was
distributed amongst members of the AFRC/RUF Junta. Materiel from this shipment was
used by the AFRC/RUF forces in fighting ECOMOG and SLPP forces in Freetown
before, during and after the Intervention, in the Junta mining operations at Tongo Fields
prior to the ECOMOG Intervention, in “Operation Pay Yourself” and subsequent
offensives on Kono, as well as in the commission of crimes during those operations.
92.
The Accused also facilitated a shipment of materiel around November 1998 from
Burkina Faso. Ibrahim Bah and Musa Cissé, Charles Taylor’s Chief of Protocol,
accompanied a delegation led by Bockarie to Burkina Faso where a shipment of arms and
ammunition was arranged and brought back by plane to Liberia, and then transported by
trucks provided by the Accused to Sierra Leone. The Trial Chamber finds that the
Accused was instrumental in procuring and transporting this large quantity of arms and
ammunition for the RUF, that he was paid for it with diamonds, and that he kept some of
the shipment for his own purposes. The shipment from Burkina Faso was unprecedented
in volume and, as noted previously, was critical in the December 1998 and January 1999
offensives.
93.
The Trial Chamber considered the Defence submission that other sources of
military equipment for the RUF and AFRC far outweighed supplies allegedly provided
by the Accused. In addition to receiving arms and ammunition from the Accused, the
RUF and the AFRC also obtained supplies from the existing stockpiles of the former
government when they took over power in May 1997, by capturing them from ECOMOG
and UN peacekeepers, and through trade with ULIMO, AFL and ECOMOG
commanders. However, these sources of materiel were of minor importance in
comparison to those supplied or facilitated by the Accused. Significantly, the RUF/AFRC
in fact heavily and frequently relied on the materiel supplied and facilitated by the
Accused; the Accused’s support often satisfied a need or request for materiel at a
particular time; and shipments of materiel supplied by or facilitated by the Accused often
contributed to and were causally linked to the capture of further supplies by the RUF and
AFRC. Although there were instances in which the materiel that the Accused gave to the
RUF/AFRC was more limited in quantity, on a number of occasions the arms and
ammunition which he supplied or facilitated were indispensable for the RUF/AFRC
military offensives. The materiel provided or facilitated by the Accused was critical in
enabling the operational strategy of the RUF and the AFRC during the Indictment period.
94.
On the basis of its findings, more detailed in the written Judgement, the Trial
Chamber rejects the Defence argument that Benjamin Yeaten, the Director of the
Accused’s Special Security Service, to whom the arms couriers reported, was engaged in
the trade of arms and ammunition for the RUF independently and without the knowledge
of the Accused.
Military Personnel
95.
As previously noted, approximately 20 former NPFL fighters who had been
integrated into the Armed Forces of Liberia formed part of a group of approximately 200
fighters led by O-Five who attacked and committed crimes in Karina and Kamalo in
Bombali District on or about August/September 1998. Subsequently, this group of 20
fighters was incorporated into the Red Lion Battalion, which was comprised of 200
fighters and was part of a larger group of up to approximately 1,000 fighters who
attacked and committed crimes in Waterloo, Fisher Lane, Hastings, Freetown Eastern
Police, Pademba Road Prison, Kingtom, Fourah Bay and Upgun in Freetown and the
Western Area, on or about December1998/January 1999. These 20 fighters were sent by
the Accused from Liberia to Sierra Leone where they joined the RUF/AFRC forces in
Sierra Leone and participated in attacks in which crimes were committed.
96.
The Trial Chamber finds that Abu Keita and the reinforcements known as the
Scorpion Unit were sent by the Accused to Sierra Leone and participated in the attack on
Kenema, in which Abu Keita committed crimes. The Kenema attack was part of the
attack on Kono and Freetown. Although the evidence did not establish beyond reasonable
doubt that the Scorpion Unit was sent for the purpose of fighting in the Kono and
Freetown military operations, which included Kenema, Daniel Tamba, on behalf of the
Accused, approved Bockarie’s decision to integrate the Scorpion Unit under his
command.
97.
The Accused sent former SLA soldiers to the Bunumbu training camp soon after
the Intervention, although their subsequent deployment was not established. The Accused
later sent a group of former SLA soldiers from Liberia back to Sierra Leone to support
the attack on Freetown. These men arrived in Kailahun in or around late November
1998, and they participated in the attack on Kono in December 1998, although they were
unable to reach Freetown and did not participate in the Freetown attack.
98.
Liberian government authorities and RUF/AFRC members recruited and forced
Sierra Leonean refugees residing in Liberia to return to Sierra Leone to fight. However,
the evidence did not establish that these civilian refugees participated in attacks in Sierra
Leone.
99.
The Trial Chamber considered the allegation by the Prosecution that the Accused
assisted the AFRC/RUF by capturing and returning AFRC/RUF deserters to Sierra
Leone. The Trial Chamber finds that the Liberian police authorities detained two
RUF/AFRC members Fonti Kanu, and Dauda Aruna Fornie, and handed them over to
RUF personnel in late 1998 and late 1999, respectively. In evidence about his own arrest
and torture in Sierra Leone, Mohammed Kabbah described as common knowledge the
cooperation of Liberian authorities and the RUF on the return of wanted Sierra Leoneans
who escaped to Liberia.
Diamonds
100. The Trial Chamber finds that there was a continuous supply by the AFRC/RUF of
diamonds mined from areas in Sierra Leone to the Accused, often in exchange for arms
and ammunition.
101. During the period May 1997 to February 1998 diamonds mined in Kono and
Tongo Fields were delivered from the AFRC/RUF to the Accused by Daniel Tamba
(a.k.a. Jungle) in exchange for arms and ammunition.
102. Following the ECOMOG Intervention, from February 1998 to July 1999, the
diamonds delivered to the Accused by Sam Bockarie directly, as well as indirectly
through intermediaries such as Eddie Kanneh and Daniel Tamba, were given to him in
order to get arms and ammunition from him, or sometimes for “safekeeping” on behalf of
the RUF.
103. From February 1998 to July 1999, diamonds were delivered to the Accused by
Sam Bockarie directly. These diamonds were delivered to the Accused for the purpose of
obtaining arms and ammunitions from him. During this period, diamonds were also
delivered through intermediaries such as Eddie Kanneh and Daniel Tamba.
104. The RUF also traded diamonds with entities and individuals other than the
Accused or his government. Testimonial evidence of specific involvement of the Accused
in the trade of diamonds supported the findings of a United Nations report of a panel of
experts that diamond smuggling from Sierra Leone to Liberia was “the bulk of the RUF
trade in diamonds” and while difficult to quantify was nevertheless the “primary source
of income to the RUF”. This report concluded that the trade of diamonds between Liberia
and Sierra Leone could not be conducted in Liberia “without the permission and the
involvement of government officials at the highest level.”
105. From July 1999 to May 2000, Foday Sankoh delivered diamonds to the Accused,
and diamonds were delivered to the Accused on his behalf in or before 1999 while he was
in detention. In March 2000, Foday Sankoh visited South Africa and travelled through
Monrovia on his way back to Sierra Leone, meeting with the Accused in Monrovia.
According to one witness, among the diamonds delivered to the Accused during this
meeting were a 45 carat diamond and two 25 carat diamonds.
106. From June 2000 until the end of hostilities in 2002, Issa Sesay delivered diamonds
to the Accused, including on one occasion a 36 carat diamond. Eddie Kanneh also
delivered diamonds to the Accused on Sesay’s behalf. Sometimes the diamonds were
delivered to the Accused supposedly for “safekeeping” until Sankoh’s release from
detention and, at other times, in exchange for supplies and/or arms and ammunition.
During this period, diamond trading between the RUF and persons other than the
Accused also took place.
107. As detailed in documentary evidence before the Trial Chamber, Liberian
diamonds are generally known to be of a significantly lower quality than diamonds from
Sierra Leone, refuting the claim made by the Accused that he would have had no reason
to trade in diamonds from Sierra Leone because Liberia had its own diamonds.
Moreover, the documentary evidence indicates that export of diamonds from Liberia was
far greater than Liberian diamond production, attributing the difference to diamonds from
Sierra Leone smuggled through Liberia.
108. The Trial Chamber finds that the Accused also facilitated a relationship between
the RUF and a Belgian known as Alpha Bravo for the purpose of diamond transactions.
However, there was insufficient evidence to establish that the Accused facilitated a
relationship between the RUF and other diamond dealers.
109. The Accused also provided diesel fuel for the Caterpillars at the diamond mining
sites in Sierra Leone, and equipment for use in mining diamonds to the RUF on at least
one occasion between 1998 and 2002. While there may have been multiple sources of
mining equipment and fuel entering Sierra Leone during the Indictment period, the
Accused was among them. The Trial Chamber has also found that men sent by the
Accused visited at least one mining site and assessed mining operations.
110. While there was evidence of occasional inquiries from Benjamin Yeaten and
reports to him about the activity at the mining sites in Sierra Leone, the evidence did not
establish that regular updates were sent to the Accused about mining activity.
The Peace Process
111. The Trial Chamber will now summarize its findings relating to the role of the
Accused in the peace process and the Defence contention that his involvement with the
RUF/AFRC was solely for the purpose of promoting peace.
112. During a radio conversation with Foday Sankoh, following the attack on Sierra
Rutile in 1994, the Accused advised the RUF leader to send an External Delegation to
Côte d’Ivoire. In Côte d’Ivoire, the delegates met Musa Cissé, an NPFL representative,
who allowed them to use his radio for communications with Sankoh. The Accused,
through contact with Musa Cissé, invited members of the External Delegation to Liberia,
where he met them twice in 1995. In December 1995 the Accused met members of the
External Delegation in Cote d’Ivoire on the occasion of the publication of “Footpaths to
Democracy”, at which time he gave them CFA 10 million francs for their maintenance.
113. The Accused instructed Foday Sankoh to participate in the Abidjan peace talks
from March to November 1996 in order to obtain ammunition and materiel for the RUF.
The evidence established that while in Abidjan, Sankoh obtained arms and ammunition
for the RUF using funds from Libya. However, the evidence was insufficient to establish
that Sankoh used contacts of the Accused to obtain arms and ammunition in Abidjan.
114. The Accused played an active role in the Lomé peace negotiations, which role the
Prosecution alleged to be subversive, suggesting that the Accused improperly assisted
and advised the RUF delegation before and during the negotiations so as to procure the
most favourable outcome for RUF/AFRC and himself. The Trial Chamber did not find
this to be the case, in the absence of evidence that the Accused controlled the RUF
delegation or dictated the outcome of the negotiations. However, the evidence established
that the Accused was engaged in arms transactions at the same time that he was involved
in the peace negotiations in Lomé, publicly promoting peace at the Lomé negotiations
while privately providing arms and ammunition to the RUF.
115. Following the Lomé Peace Accord, the so-called West Side Boys, discontent with
the apparent exclusion of the AFRC from the peace process, kidnapped UN peacekeepers
and others in Sierra Leone and demanded to talk to, and then see, Johnny Paul Koroma,
their leader. The Accused officially and publicly made arrangements to bring Koroma to
Monrovia, including negotiating a waiver of the UN travel ban, and facilitating several
meetings, thereby playing a central role in bringing Koroma and Sankoh together and
achieving a reduction in the tension between the RUF and the AFRC. The evidence
establishes, as the Accused contends, that the UN and ECOWAS Heads of State knew
about his public role in the negotiations. Taylor’s influence with both Koroma and
Sankoh evidently made him a significant actor in the process and helped to facilitate the
release of the UN peacekeepers and others who had been taken captive by the West Side
Boys.
116. The Trial Chamber accepts that as President of Liberia, as a member of the
ECOWAS Committee of Five (later Committee of Six), the Accused wielded
considerable influence over the warring factions in Sierra Leone and that the ECOWAS
heads of state played a substantial role in the Sierra Leone peace process. However, there
is strong evidence showing that while publicly participating in regional efforts to broker
peace in Sierra Leone, the Accused was secretly fuelling hostilities between the
AFRC/RUF and the democratically elected authorities in Sierra Leone. This clandestine
undermining of the peace process by the Accused occurred even when he knew that an
arms embargo by the UN and ECOWAS was in force in the region.
117. In late April or early May 2000, the RUF forcibly disarmed and detained a group
of approximately 500 UNAMSIL peacekeepers in Sierra Leone. The Accused was asked
by ECOWAS to become involved in negotiations for the release of these hostages, and
his mandate was endorsed by the United Nations. Thereafter, the Accused invited Issa
Sesay, RUF interim leader, to Monrovia to discuss the matter of their release. After this
meeting, from about the middle to the end of May 2000, the RUF released the captured
UNAMSIL peacekeepers into Liberian territory in stages. The Trial Chamber found that
the Accused had significant influence over the RUF decision to release the UN
peacekeepers, and that in his meeting with Issa Sesay, Taylor promised him assistance
“in the struggle”. While the Trial Chamber found that Issa Sesay made a trip to Liberia in
May 2000 in which he obtained arms and ammunition from the Accused, the evidence
was insufficient to establish that this materiel was provided in exchange for Issa Sesay
agreeing to release the UNAMSIL peacekeepers.
118. In July 2000, a meeting was convened in Monrovia to discuss the selection of new
leadership for the RUF following Sankoh’s imprisonment. The meeting was attended by
all of the ECOWAS heads of state and an RUF delegation led by Issa Sesay where it was
proposed that Sesay take over as Interim Leader of the RUF. In another meeting late that
night, the Accused privately advised Issa Sesay to say that he would disarm but “not do it
in reality”. At that time, the Accused was supplying Sesay with arms and ammunition,
and also calling on the RUF to send forces to help him fight his own enemies together
with the AFL in Liberia and in Guinea.
119. The Trial Chamber accordingly finds that while the Accused publicly played a
substantial role in the Sierra Leone peace process, including as a member of the
ECOWAS Committee of Five (later Committee of Six), secretly he was fuelling
hostilities between the AFRC/RUF and the democratically elected authorities in Sierra
Leone, by urging the former not to disarm and actively providing them with arms and
ammunition, acting, as the Prosecution described, as “a two-headed Janus”.
Leadership and Command Structure
120. The Trial Chamber has considered the leadership and command structure of the
RUF, and the role of the Accused, if any, in relation to that structure. The Trial Chamber
has found that Foday Sankoh and the Accused met in Libya in the early 1990s and
pursued parallel goals and aspirations, but not in a chain of command. Following
Operation Top Final in 1992 and the withdrawal of NPFL troops from Sierra Leone,
contacts and cooperation between the Accused and Sankoh continued, but to a lesser
extent. The Accused asked Sankoh to send troops in 1993 to help him fight ULIMO. He
advised Sankoh prior to and following the RUF attack on Sierra Rutile, and he advised
Sankoh to send an External Delegation to Cote d’Ivoire.
121. When Foday Sankoh was arrested in Nigeria in March 1997, he instructed Sam
Bockarie to take orders from the Accused. While much evidence was adduced relating to
the trade of arms and diamonds between Sam Bockarie and the Accused, the evidence did
not establish that Bockarie took orders from the Accused. The instructions given to
Bockarie by the Accused were given with the inherent authority the Accused had by
virtue of his position. Bockarie was deferential to the Accused and generally followed his
instruction. However, the Trial Chamber considers that the role Sankoh envisioned for
the Accused while he was in detention was that he would guide Bockarie, and that
Bockarie should look to his guidance, not that the Accused should take over Sankoh’s
role as the leader of the RUF with effective control over its actions.
122. Sometime around March 1998, Sam Bockarie was promoted. The Prosecution
alleged that this promotion was made by the Accused directly, or through a joint decision
between himself and Johnny Paul Koroma. Bockarie had just returned from Monrovia.
The Trial Chamber finds that the Accused may well have been consulted by Koroma, or
talked directly with Bockarie about the promotion while he was in Monrovia, but not that
Bockarie was promoted by the Accused. Like Sankoh, Koroma turned to the Accused for
advice and support, and the Trial Chamber accepts that he would have consulted the
Accused. Nevertheless, the Accused was not part of the command structure.
123. In December 1999, Sam Bockarie left Sierra Leone and went to Liberia, amidst
violent clashes between RUF fighters loyal to Foday Sankoh and RUF fighters loyal to
him. He was told to leave Sierra Leone by the Accused, but the Trial Chamber finds that
in summoning Bockarie to Liberia, the Accused relied on the authority of ECOWAS and
sought the help of President Obasanjo, organizing a meeting at Roberts International
Airport between Foday Sankoh, Sam Bockarie, President Obasanjo and himself, as a
result of which a decision was made that Bockarie would not return to Sierra Leone until
the disarmament process had been completed.
124. On 26 July 2000 a meeting took place at the Executive Mansion in Monrovia
between the heads of state of ECOWAS and an RUF delegation led by Issa Sesay, where
the suggestion was made that Issa Sesay should become the Interim Leader of the RUF.
Sesay would not accept the appointment without it first being approved by the RUF and
Foday Sankoh. A meeting of RUF commanders was held, and a letter was also delivered
to Foday Sankoh by President Obasanjo seeking Sankoh’s consent to the appointment.
At a follow up meeting in August 2000, Sesay was confirmed as the RUF Interim Leader.
Presidents Obasanjo and Konare both met with Sankoh in Freetown, without the Accused
present, and the Trial Chamber finds that this process was undertaken by ECOWAS
heads of state collectively, rather than the Accused unilaterally.
125. The Accused called on the AFRC/RUF to assist him in fighting outside Sierra
Leone. In 1999, the Accused ordered Bockarie to send AFRC/RUF forces to assist him in
his fight against Mosquito Spray and the LURD forces that had attacked his forces. In
2000 and 2001 the Accused instructed Issa Sesay to send RUF forces. The RUF forces
sent in response to these requests fought alongside AFL forces in Liberia and Guinea
under the command of the Accused’s subordinates. The evidence was insufficient to
establish that in 2001, Bockarie left Liberia to fight for Taylor’s allies in Cote d’Ivoire, as
alleged by the Prosecution.
Knowledge of the Accused of Crimes Committed in Sierra Leone.
126. The Accused testified that prior to becoming President, he was not following
whether crimes were committed by the RUF in Sierra Leone. The Trial Chamber found
that the relationship of the Accused with the RUF from 1989 until he became President
was much closer than he admitted. The Accused knew that during the early war years in
Sierra Leone, RUF soldiers, under the command of NPFL officers, abducted civilians
including children, forcing them to fight within the NPFL/RUF forces against the Sierra
Leonean forces and ULIMO. Moreover, the Accused was aware that the RUF captured
civilians and looted money during the attack on Sierra Rutile, and he advised Sankoh on
the use of the hostages and the money.
127. The Accused testified that, upon becoming President, he received a daily briefing
from his national security advisor, which would include press and intelligence reports.
Also, following his election, the Accused joined the ECOWAS Committee of Five and
would therefore have received and read ECOWAS reports. The numerous reports
prepared in 1997 by ECOWAS and the United Nations agencies establish that, as early as
May 1997, the crimes committed by the Junta were significantly reported by these
international organisations. In a report of June 1997, the United Nations Department of
Humanitarian Affairs reported killings of civilians, amputations and looting in Sierra
Leone. An ECOWAS report of the Committee of Four on the situation in Sierra Leone, in
August 1997, described the “massive looting of property, murder and rapes” following
the coup on 25 May 1997. The final report of the sixteenth meeting of ECOWAS Chiefs
of State in Abuja, Nigeria, in August 1997, a meeting in which the Liberian
representative participated, also described “a very bloody coup, followed by massive
looting and vandalisation of public and private properties and the opening of the prisons
by the junta”. In a speech to the Nation on 18 June 1997, the RUF forces themselves
apologised for the atrocities they had committed in Sierra Leone, including killings and
rapes.
128. Following the coup, on 29 August 1997 ECOWAS decided to place a total
embargo on all supplies of petroleum products, arms and military equipment to Sierra
Leone. Similarly, on 8 October 1997, the United Nations Security Council decided to
impose an embargo on arms and ammunitions to Sierra Leone. These embargos clearly
indicate that, at the very latest by August 1997, the Junta was perceived by the
international community as a threat to peace and it was recognized that military support
could facilitate the commission of the crimes described above.
129. The Accused was evasive in his testimony as to what and when he knew about the
crimes being committed in Sierra Leone. In light of these contemporary reports, and
considering the fact that the Accused received daily briefings from his national security
advisor about the international situation and was a member of the ECOWAS Committee
of Five, the Trial Chamber finds that as early as August 1997, Charles Taylor was
informed in detail of the crimes committed during the Junta period including murder,
abduction of civilians including children, rape, amputation and looting.
130. After 1997, the media coverage of the AFRC/RUF’s crimes and terror campaign
against the Sierra Leonean civilian population increased. Many reports and articles by
International Organisations, Non Governmental Organisations and newspapers admitted
into evidence describe the atrocities committed by the AFRC/RUF troops after the
ECOMOG Intervention and the end of the Junta Government. These public reports
demonstrate that at that time, it was public knowledge that AFRC/RUF forces committed
the following crimes: unlawful killings, sexual violence, physical violence, looting,
conscription and use of child soldiers, abduction, terrorism, and other atrocities.
131. The Accused himself admitted that by April 1998 if “someone was providing
support to the AFRC/RUF”, he “would be supporting a group engaged in a campaign of
atrocities against the civilian population of Sierra Leone”. At that time, as the Accused
testified, there were news reports of a “horrific campaign being waged against the civilian
population in Sierra Leone.” In a statement dated July 1998, the Accused “strongly
condemned the continuing rebel activities in Sierra Leone, as well as the horrendous
atrocities that had been committed there.”
132. Based on this evidence, and the testimony of the Accused himself, the Trial
Chamber finds that the Accused was aware of the crimes committed by RUF/AFRC
forces against civilians, including murder, abduction of civilian including children, rape,
amputation and looting, as early as August 1997 when he became President of Liberia.
Summary of Legal Findings
133. The Indictment charges the Accused with individual criminal responsibility
pursuant to Article 6.1 of the Statute for the crimes referred to in Articles 2, 3 and 4 of
the Statute alleged in the Indictment. The Trial Chamber has found that the crimes
charged under Counts 1 to 11 of the Indictment were committed and now turns to the
responsibility of the Accused for these crimes.
Responsibility Pursuant to Article 6(3) of the Statute
134. The Indictment charges that the Accused is individually criminally responsible for
the crimes referred to in Articles 2, 3 and 4 of the Statute as alleged in the Indictment by
virtue of holding positions of superior responsibility and exercising command and control
over subordinate members of the RUF, AFRC, AFRC/RUF Junta or alliance, and/or
Liberian fighters. It is alleged that the Accused is responsible for the criminal acts of his
subordinates in that he knew or had reason to know that the subordinate was about to
commit such acts or had done so and the Accused failed to take the necessary and
reasonable measures to prevent such acts or to punish the perpetrators thereof.
135. The Accused denies criminal responsibility based on a superior/subordinate
relationship with the perpetrators of the crimes.
136. Article 6(3) holds a superior criminally responsible if the superior knew or had
reason to know that his or her subordinate was about to commit crimes prohibited by the
Statute or had done so, and the superior failed to take the necessary and reasonable
measures to prevent or punish the perpetrators. It must thus be demonstrated that the
superior had effective “command and control” over his subordinates – i.e. the material
ability to prevent or punish the commission of the offence.
137. The Trial Chamber is of the view that the Accused had substantial influence over
the leadership of the RUF, and to a lesser extent that of the AFRC. However, that
substantial influence over the conduct of others fell short of “effective command and
control” as demonstrated by the evidence.
138. The evidence establishes that from 1990 to March 1997 Sankoh was the sole
leader of the RUF and that he did not take orders from the Accused. When Sankoh was
arrested in March 1997 he appointed Bockarie to lead the RUF and instructed him to take
direction from the Accused.
139. The Trial Chamber finds that the Accused gave guidance, advice and direction to
Bockarie and to his successor, Issa Sesay, but that the evidence does not establish that
either of them was a subordinate of the Accused, nor that the Accused had effective
command and control over the RUF during their respective tenures. Similarly, the Trial
Chamber finds that the Accused gave guidance, advice and direction to Johnny Paul
Koroma when he was leader of the AFRC/RUF Junta, but the evidence does not establish
that he was a subordinate of the Accused, nor that the Accused had effective command
and control over the AFRC/RUF Junta.
140. With regard to Liberian fighters who were found to have participated in the
commission of crimes, the Trial Chamber finds that even if they were sent to Sierra
Leone by the Accused, there is insufficient evidence to find beyond a reasonable doubt
that they remained under the effective command and control of the Accused once in
Sierra Leone.
141. The Trial Chamber accordingly finds that the Prosecution failed to prove beyond
reasonable doubt that the Accused is individually criminally responsible under Article
6(3) for the crimes referred to in Articles 2, 3 and 4 of the Statute as alleged in the
Indictment.
Joint Criminal Enterprise
142. The Indictment charges the Accused with the crimes referred to in Articles 2, 3
and 4 of the Statute as alleged in the Indictment, which crimes amounted to or were
involved within a common plan, design or purpose in which the Accused participated, or
were a reasonably foreseeable consequence of such common plan, design or purpose.
143. As discussed earlier, the Trial Chamber found that the Prosecution failed to prove
that any of the three alleged meetings in Libya, Burkina Faso and Voinjama, where the
common plan is said to have been established, took place. Furthermore, while the Trial
Chamber found that the Accused provided significant operational and military support to
the RUF, particularly after he became President of Liberia, the evidence does not
establish that this support was provided pursuant to a common plan in the context of a
joint criminal enterprise.
144. Accordingly, the Trial Chamber finds that the Prosecution has failed to prove
beyond a reasonable doubt that the Accused is criminally responsible by virtue of having
participated in a common plan, design or purpose to commit the crimes alleged in the
Indictment.
Responsibility under Article 6(1) for Aiding and Abetting
145. The Indictment charges that the Accused, by his acts or omissions, is individually
criminally responsible pursuant to Article 6.1 of the Statute for (inter alia) aiding and
abetting the planning, preparation or execution of the crimes referred to in Articles 2, 3
and 4 of the Statute as alleged in the Indictment.
146.
The Prosecution submits that in providing practical assistance, encouragement, or
moral support, the Accused’s acts had a substantial effect on the perpetration of the
crimes charged in the Indictment, and that he had a clear intent to act in support of those
crimes.
147. The Defence denies that the Accused is responsible for aiding and abetting the
commission of any of the crimes charged in the Indictment.
148.
“Aiding and abetting” requires that the accused gave practical assistance,
encouragement, or moral support which had a substantial effect on the perpetration of a
crime.
149. The Trial Chamber finds beyond reasonable doubt that the Accused provided
arms and ammunition, military personnel, operational support, moral support and
ongoing guidance to the RUF, AFRC, AFRC/RUF Junta or alliance, and Liberian fighters
for military operations during the Indictment period.
Commission of crimes intrinsic to the RUF/AFRC’s war strategy.
150. Before turning to the various forms of assistance provided by the Accused, the
Trial Chamber considered the RUF/AFRC’s war strategy. Throughout the Indictment
period, the operational strategy of the RUF and AFRC was characterised by a campaign
of crimes against the Sierra Leonean civilian population, including murders, rapes,
sexual slavery, looting, abductions, forced labor, conscription of child soldiers,
amputations and other forms of physical violence and acts of terror. These crimes were
inextricably linked to how the RUF and AFRC achieved their political and military
objectives. In particular, under the leadership of Sam Bockarie, the RUF and AFRC
pursued a policy of committing crimes in order to achieve military gains at any civilian
cost, and also politically in order to attract the attention of the international community
and to heighten their negotiating stance with the Sierra Leonean government. That their
operations were given titles such as “Operation No Living Thing”, and “Operation Spare
No Soul” made explicit the intent of the RUF and AFRC to wage a campaign of terror
against civilians as part of their war strategy.
151. The findings of the Trial Chamber as to the various forms of assistance provided
by the Accused are as follows.
Arms and Ammunition
152. During the Indictment period, the Accused directly or through intermediaries
supplied or facilitated the supply of arms and ammunition to the RUF/AFRC. The
Accused sent small but regular supplies of arms and ammunition and other supplies to the
RUF from late 1997 to 1998 via his subordinates, and substantial amounts of arms and
ammunition to the AFRC/RUF from 1998 to 2001. The Accused facilitated much larger
shipments of arms and ammunition from third party states to the AFRC/RUF, including
the Magburaka shipment of October 1997 and the Burkina Faso shipment of
November/December 1998.
153. Also during the Indictment period, these arms and ammunition were used by the
RUF, AFRC, AFRC/RUF Junta or alliance, and Liberian fighters in military operations,
including the Junta mining operations at Tongo Fields prior to the ECOMOG
Intervention, “Operation Pay Yourself” and subsequent offensives in Kono District in
1998, and in the Freetown invasion in January 1999, and attacks on the outskirts of
Freetown and the Western Area in late January to early February 1999. These operations
involved widespread or systematic attacks on the civilian population and the commission
of crimes. The Trial Chamber finds that the provision and facilitation of these arms and
ammunition constituted practical assistance which had a substantial effect on the
perpetration of crimes by the RUF and RUF/AFRC during the Indictment period.
Military Personnel
154. The Accused also provided military personnel to the RUF/AFRC. The Accused
provided a group of 20 ex-NPFL fighters who had been integrated into the AFL. These
20 fighters fought in Karina and Kamalo in Bombali District in August/September 1998
as part of a group of 200 fighters. These 20 fighters were later on incorporated into the
Red Lion Battalion, which comprised of 200 fighters. The Red Lion Battalion was part of
a group of 1,000 fighters who participated in the invasion of Freetown and committed
crimes during the course of military operations in December 1998/January 1999.
155. The Accused reorganized, armed and sent former SLA fighters and Sierra
Leonean civilians who had retreated to Liberia back to Sierra Leone to fight in the Kono
and Freetown operation, and these men fought in the Kono operation in December 1998.
156. Moreover, the Accused sent Abu Keita and 150 fighters as reinforcements known
as the Scorpion Unit, who participated in the attack on Kono and Kenema Districts in late
1998/early 1999.
157. The Trial Chamber finds that the practical assistance provided by these military
personnel sent by the Accused had a substantial effect on the commission of crimes by
the RUF/AFRC during the course of military operations.
Operational Support
158. In the pre-Indictment period, NPFL radio operators and equipment were sent to
Sierra Leone, and RUF fighters were trained by the NPFL radio operators in radio
communications, with the knowledge of the Accused. The RUF continued to benefit into
the Indictment period from the enhanced communications capacity that resulted from this
assistance. However, as the acts of the Accused took place prior to the Indictment period,
the Trial Chamber has not taken them into account in determining criminal responsibility.
159. The Trial Chamber found that the Accused also provided operational support to
the RUF/AFRC during the Indictment period, including giving Sam Bockarie and Issa
Sesay satellite phones, and facilitating communications for the RUF through the NPFL’s
own communications network; providing the RUF/AFRC access to radio
communications equipment in Liberia; allowing the use of the radio station at Benjamin
Yeaten’s home for communications with Bockarie and later Sesay; and the transmission
of “448 messages” to RUF forces warning them of impending ECOMOG jet attacks,
which the Accused must have known about. This communications support provided
practical assistance to the RUF/AFRC for the crimes committed during the course of their
military operations throughout the Indictment period.
160. The Accused also provided financial support to the RUF/AFRC, including funds
to Bockarie of $10,000 to $20,000 at a time, on multiple occasions for the purchase of
arms from ULIMO. The Accused also kept diamonds and money in “safekeeping” for the
RUF/AFRC.
161. The Accused also provided a guesthouse to the RUF in Monrovia, which was
used by the RUF to facilitate the transfer of arms and funds from the Accused to the RUF
and the delivery of diamonds from the RUF to the Accused. The Trial Chamber
considers that the provision of the RUF guesthouse by the Accused, as a base of
operation for procurement and a way station for the transport of arms and ammunition,
provided practical assistance to the RUF/AFRC for the commission of crimes committed
during the course of military operations.
162. The Accused provided other forms of support to the RUF/AFRC, including the
provision of security escorts, facilitation of access through checkpoints, assistance with
transport of arms and ammunition by road and by air, safe haven and medical support for
treatment of wounded RUF fighters in Liberia, as well as provision of goods such as
food, clothing, cigarettes, alcohol and other supplies to the RUF. The Accused also sent
“herbalists” who marked fighters in Buedu and Kono to “protect” them against bullets
and bolster their confidence. Liberian forces also assisted the RUF/AFRC with the
capture and return of deserters to Sierra Leone.
163. The provision of such support, in addition to the military support provided,
constituted practical assistance to the RUF/AFRC which had a substantial effect on the
commission of crimes committed during the course of military operations.
Encouragement and Moral Support
164. The Trial Chamber has considered the ongoing communication and consultation
between the Accused and the RUF/AFRC leadership, and the ongoing advice and
encouragement that the Accused provided to the RUF/AFRC. He advised Sankoh to
participate in the Abidjan peace talks in 1996 in order to obtain arms and ammunition for
the RUF. He instructed the RUF to open a training base in Bunumbu in 1998, and to
construct an airfield in Buedu. He instructed the AFRC/RUF to capture Kono, and
subsequently advised them to hold and re-capture it, as a source of revenue through
diamonds that could be used to secure arms and ammunition. The Trial Chamber has
taken into account the position of authority of the Accused as an elder statesman and as
President of Liberia, the deference that was accorded to him by the RUF/AFRC
leadership and their reliance on his guidance, and the fact that his advice was generally
heeded by them.
165.
Taken cumulatively, and having regard to the military support provided by the
Accused to the RUF/AFRC, the Trial Chamber finds that the practical assistance,
encouragement and moral support provided by the Accused had a substantial effect on
the commission of crimes by the RUF/AFRC during the course of military operations in
Sierra Leone.
The Accused
166. The essential mental element required for aiding and abetting is that the accused
knew that his acts would assist the commission of the crime by the perpetrator or that he
was aware of the substantial likelihood that his acts would assist the commission of a
crime by the perpetrator. In cases of specific intent crimes, such as acts of terrorism, the
accused must also be aware of the specific intent of the perpetrator.
167. As discussed earlier, the Trial Chamber is satisfied that as of August 1997, the
Accused knew of the atrocities being committed against civilians in Sierra Leone by the
RUF/AFRC forces and of their propensity to commit crimes. Notwithstanding such
knowledge, the Accused continued to provide support to the RUF and RUF/AFRC forces
during the period that crimes were being committed in Sierra Leone. The Trial Chamber
therefore finds beyond reasonable doubt that the Accused knew that his support to the
RUF/AFRC would provide practical assistance, encouragement or moral support to them
in the commission of crimes during the course of their military operations in Sierra
Leone.
Conclusion
168. For the foregoing reasons, the Trial Chamber finds beyond reasonable doubt that
the Accused is criminally responsible pursuant to Article 6(1) of the Statute for aiding
and abetting the commission of the crimes set forth in Counts 1 to 11 of the Indictment.
Planning
The Accused is charged with individual criminal responsibility pursuant to Article 6.1 of
the Statute for (inter alia) planning the crimes referred to in Articles 2, 3 and 4 of the
Statute as alleged in the Indictment.
169. The Prosecution submits that the Accused, acting jointly with RUF, AFRC and
Liberian subordinates, designed or organised the commission of crimes, at both the
preparatory and execution phases, by designing a strategy for the AFRC Junta, the RUF
and AFRC forces, including selecting strategic areas to attack and control, such as Kono
and the capital Freetown, and organizing the delivery of arms and ammunition needed to
carry out the attacks.
170. The Defence submits that the evidence put forward by the Prosecution does not
show that the Accused planned the commission of crimes or was aware of the substantial
likelihood of crimes as charged in the Indictment as part of the January 6 invasion of
Freetown, asserting that it was the AFRC, not the RUF, who executed and planned the
attack.
171. Criminal responsibility for planning requires that the accused, alone or with
others, intentionally planned the criminal conduct constituting the crimes charged, with
the intent that a crime be committed in the execution of that plan, or with the awareness
of the substantial likelihood that a crime would be committed in the execution of that
plan.
172. The Trial Chamber found that in November 1998, Sam Bockarie and the Accused
designed a two-pronged attack on Kono and Kenema, with Freetown as the ultimate
destination. This plan was conveyed to RUF and AFRC commanders in December 1998
at Waterworks in Kailahun District.
173. The plan designed by Bockarie and the Accused led to the attacks on Kono and
Makeni. In the course of the implementation of this plan, a small contingent of troops led
by Idrissa Kamara (a.k.a. Rambo Red Goat) reached Freetown and Bockarie’s forces got
to the outskirts of Freetown, where they met up with the forces led by Gullit. During the
course of the implementation of this plan, these forces committed the crimes charged in
the Indictment. These crimes resulted directly from the plan made by Bockarie and the
Accused in Monrovia. There was evidence that while in Monrovia, the Accused
instructed Bockarie to make the operation “fearful” in order to pressure the Government
of Sierra Leone into negotiations. Moreover, following the Waterworks meeting, the
Accused told Bockarie during a satellite phone conversation to use “all means” to get to
Freetown.
174. The Trial Chamber found that following the Waterworks meeting Bockarie told
SAJ Musa to attack Freetown but SAJ Musa refused to take orders from Bockarie and
continued on his own advance pursuant to a separate plan. The Trial Chamber found that
Gullit took over the leadership of the troops at Benguema following the death of SAJ
Musa. Bockarie then assumed effective control over Gullit and SAJ Musa’s plan was
abandoned for the Bockarie/Taylor plan, as conveyed by Bockarie at Waterworks.
Further execution of the plan was carried out with close coordination between Bockarie
and Gullit, with Gullit in frequent communication with Bockarie and with Gullit taking
orders from Bockarie. In these circumstances, the Trial Chamber finds that the
Bockarie/Taylor plan substantially contributed to the commission of crimes committed by
Gullit’s forces while Gullit was operating under Bockarie’s command.
175. The Accused, having drawn up the plan with Bockarie, and having followed its
implementation closely via daily communication with Bockarie, either directly or through
Yeaten, was aware of its continuing evolution.
176. As mentioned previously, the Accused was well aware of the crimes committed
by the AFRC/RUF forces in the course of their military operations, and that their war
strategy was explicitly based on a widespread or systematic campaign of crimes against
civilians. Moreover, by his instruction to make the operation “fearful”, which was
repeated many times by Bockarie during the course of the Freetown invasion, and by his
instruction to use “all means”, the Accused demonstrated his awareness of the substantial
likelihood that crimes would be committed in the execution of the plan.
177. For the foregoing reasons the Trial Chamber finds beyond reasonable doubt that
the Accused is criminally responsible pursuant to Article 6(1) for planning the crimes
committed by members of the RUF, AFRC, AFRC/RUF Junta or alliance and Liberian
fighters in the attacks on Kono and Makeni, in the invasion of Freetown and during the
retreat from Freetown.
Ordering
178. The Trial Chamber has found that while the Accused held a position of authority
amongst the RUF and RUF/AFRC, the instructions and guidance which he gave to the
RUF and RUF/AFRC were generally of an advisory nature and at times were in fact not
followed by the RUF/AFRC leadership. For these reasons, the Trial Chamber finds that
the Accused cannot be held responsible for ordering the commission of crimes.
Instigating
179. The Trial Chamber, having already found that the Accused is criminally
responsible for aiding and abetting the commission of the crimes in Counts 1-11 of the
Indictment, does not find that the Accused also instigated those crimes.
DISPOSITION
180. This brings me to the verdict. I will ask the Accused, Charles Ghankay Taylor, to
please stand.
181. Having considered all the evidence and the arguments of the parties, the Statute
and the Rules, and based upon the findings as determined by the Trial Chamber in its
Judgement, the Trial Chamber unanimously finds you guilty of aiding and abetting the
commission of the following crimes pursuant to Article 6.1 of the Statute during the
Indictment period, and planning the commission of the following crimes in the attacks
on Kono and Makeni in December 1998, and in the invasion of and retreat from Freetown
between December 1998 and February 1999:
Count 1: Acts of terrorism, a violation of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions
and of Additional Protocol II pursuant to Article 3(d) of the Statute.
Count 2: Murder, a crime against humanity pursuant to Article 2(a) of the Statute.
Count 3: Violence to life, health and physical or mental well-being of persons, in
particular murder, a violation of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and of
Additional Protocol II pursuant to Article 3(a) of the Statute.
Count 4: Rape, a crime against humanity, punishable under Article 2(g) of the Statute.
Count 5: Sexual slavery, a crime against humanity, punishable under Article 2(g) of the
Statute.
Count 6: Outrages upon personal dignity, a violation of Article 3 common to the Geneva
Conventions and of Additional Protocol II pursuant to Article 3(e) of the Statute.
Count 7: Violence to life, health and physical or mental well-being of persons, in
particular cruel treatment, a violation of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions
and of Additional Protocol II pursuant to Article 3(a) of the Statute
Count 8: Other inhumane acts, a crime against humanity pursuant to Article 2(i) of the
Statute.
Count 9: Conscripting or enlisting children under the age of 15 years into armed forces
or groups, or using them to participate actively in hostilities, another serious violation of
international humanitarian law pursuant to Article 4(c) of the Statute.
Count 10: Enslavement, a crime against humanity pursuant to Article 2 (c) of the Statute.
Count 11: Pillage, a violation of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and of
Additional Protocol II pursuant to Article 3(f) of the Statute.

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