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Special Court Monitoring Program Update #116

Charles Taylor Trial Report

October and November 2010

The Taylor Defense team formally rested its case on November 12, 2010. The Trial Chamber will not sit again until closing arguments commence in February 2011. During this reporting period, the last Defense witness was called and the Chamber ruled on several Defense motions. The Chamber denied a Defense motion requesting an investigation of the Office of the Prosecutor on allegations of contempt of court, but granted the Defense leave to appeal. Also, after ordering the Prosecution to disclose exculpatory evidence concerning the alleged death of AFRC leader Johnny Paul Koroma, the Court denied a Defense motion to introduce that evidence into the record. Leave to appeal this decision was also granted. These and other legal issues are discussed below, along with a discussion of the testimony from the final witness to testify in the case against Charles Taylor.

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Special Court Monitoring Program Update #115

Charles Taylor Trial Report

August and September 2010

The Taylor trial began to wind down during this reporting period, with the testimony of two Defense witnesses and three additional witnesses for the Prosecution. Issa Sesay concluded his testimony and the Defense called DCT-008, a Liberian radio operator for Taylor’s Special Security Services (SSS) unit. The Prosecution also called three witnesses in August, re-opening its case approximately a year and a half after formally resting in February 2009. The Court dealt with a number of important legal issues including, inter alia, the exclusion of custodial statements given by Defense witness Issa Sesay; the introduction of documentary evidence; the Prosecution’s disclosure of information about Defense witness DCT-097; a Defense motion to exclude or limit evidence falling outside the scope of the indictment; and a motion requesting an investigation into contempt of court for the Prosecution.

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Special Court Monitoring Program Update #114

Charles Taylor Trial Report

July 2010

Trial Chamber II at the SCSL continued to hear evidence from Defense witnesses this month in the case against Charles Taylor. Proceedings were cut short at the end of the month (July 19 – July 23), when the Trial Chamber entered its week long summer recess. The Trial Chamber returned to the usual schedule on July 26. The Defense introduced only one witness during this reporting period, former interim leader of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), Issa Hassan Sesay. This report summarizes witness testimony heard during the month of July and identifies important issues that have arisen at trial.

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The Trial of Charles Taylor Part I: Prosecuting “Persons Who Bear the Greatest Responsibility”

Charles Taylor Trial Report

June 2010

This report is the latest in a series of periodic analytical reports issued by the War Crimes Studies Center as part of its permanent international monitoring program at the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL or “Court”). Since the Court began in 2004, the War Crimes Studies Center (WCSC) has been the only international organization to have maintained an ongoing presence at the SCSL. Our monitors have covered all four trials, producing regular critical analysis on the development, jurisprudence, and functioning of the Court. The WCSC has issued over one hundred and twenty trial reports covering dailycourtroom proceedings, and published numerous in-depth thematic reports evaluating discrete aspects of the “hybrid tribunal” model of international criminal justice. These reports have addressed such topics as the treatment of child witnesses, the treatment of sexual violence charges, and the internal operations of the Court’s Defense Office and the Office of the Prosecutor. This report is based on daily in-court monitoring of the Taylor trial’s open sessions, review of public filings and decisions, review of articles and other legal research materials, and interviews with key Court personnel.

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Special Court Monitoring Program Update #113

Charles Taylor Trial Report

June 2010

Trial Chamber II at the SCSL continued to hear evidence from Defense witnesses this month in the case against Charles Taylor. Proceedings were cut short at the end of the month (June 28 – July 2), when the Defense team asked the Trial Chamber to take an unscheduled break, because the Defense was unable to produce a witness for this interval (they cited scheduling conflicts and logistical issues). The Trial Chamber resumed its usual schedule on July 5.

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Special Court Monitoring Program Update #112

Charles Taylor Trial Report

May 2010

Trial Chamber II at the SCSL continued to hear evidence from Defense witnesses this month in the case against Charles Taylor. Witnesses, all of whom were NPFL insiders, testified about the early days of the NPFL, and told the Court that Taylor did not supply the RUF with arms or ammunition. Witnesses further claimed that the NPFL did not use child soldiers or commit crimes against Liberian civilians—who, witnesses testified, welcomed and supported the NPFL.

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Special Court Monitoring Program Update #111

Charles Taylor Trial Report

April 2010

The Defense case moved ahead steadily in April, with three new witnesses taking the stand for Charles Taylor. By the end of this reporting period, Taylor’s Defense team had called a total of eleven witnesses. Much of the testimony this month focused on events occurring before the indictment period (which spans from 1996 to 2002), including the formation and training of the RUF in 1991, its first incursions into Sierra Leone, and the early years of the war. This testimony can help the Defense disassociate Taylor from allegations that he created and/or supported the RUF from 1991 through the conclusion of the war in 2002.

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Special Court Monitoring Program Update #110

Charles Taylor Trial Report

22 February – 31 March 2010

The Defense called its second witness, Yankuba Samateh, a.k.a. Yanks Smythe, on Monday February 22, 2010. By the second week of March, the Defense had increased the pace at which it was calling witnesses, with six witnesses completing testimony during this reporting period. The witnesses testified primarily about Taylor’s time in Libya, the use of child soldiers, and how the RUF acquired guns and ammunition. Many witnesses during this period were granted protective measures, and much of their testimony took place in closed session.

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Special Court Monitoring Program Update #109

Charles Taylor Trial Report

10 November 2009 – 18 February 2010

This report provides an in-depth review of the cross-examination and subsequent re-examination of Charles Taylor in the Special Court for Sierra Leone case Prosecutor v. Charles Taylor. Taylor first took the stand in his own defense on July 14, 2009. He testified under direct-examination for thirteen weeks. During his subsequent cross-examination, the Prosecution had the opportunity to question Taylor on the content of his testimony, and attempt to damage his credibility as a witness. Cross-examination began on November 10,2009, and lasted approximately eleven weeks, concluding on February 5, 2010. The Court granted the Defense one week to prepare for its re-examination, which lasted from February15 – 18, 2010. On February 18, 2010, Taylor finally stepped down from the stand, ending his seven-month period as a witness in the case against him.

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Monitoring Program — Case 001: Update #22

Prosecutor v Kaing Guek Eav, alias ‘Duch’ Report #22

Final Weekly Report Summary, Week Ending December 6, 2009

The following report provides an overview of the proceedings in the Duch trial, with a view to summarizing the “lessons learned” from the ECCC’s first case, both for future cases at the Court and at international(ized) tribunals generally. Where deemed relevant by the Cambodian monitors attending the proceedings, comment on the “lessons learned” for the Cambodian national sector has also been included in this report.

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KRT Trial Monitor

In the first set of appeal hearings since the Trial Chamber issued its Judgment in Case 002/01 on 7

In the final week before the Trial Chamber adjourned for a month-long mid-year judicial recess, it s

Despite two public holidays this week, the Trial Chamber managed to complete the testimony of two wi

This week, the Trial Chamber commenced the next segment of the proceedings in Case 002/02 with testi

Over four days of hearings this week, the Trial Chamber heard the testimony of two witnesses and a C