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Ambassador Linda Thomas- Greenfield (left) arrives at the Robertsfield Airport in Monrovia

saying inside and outside the Court that Taylor’s trial has been driven by American political interests. Now he has support from the contents of the leaked cables. In the motion, he argues: “In terms

of relevance, the cables and the Apology support the Defence position that the prosecution of Mr Taylor is in fact po- litical and his indictment was deliberately selective. “It will be recalled that lead defence

counsel submitted during the Defence’s opening statement that Mr Taylor was only indicted and arrested because of the USG’s interests and pressure. “Mr Taylor subsequently testified that

the USG had a vendetta against him and sought to remove him from power through various means, including by demonising and destabilising his government, giving military support to opposition LURD rebels, and working to install Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as president. “Mr Taylor also testified that the

Tomas-Greenfield] is critical to ensuring that Mr Taylor receives a fair trial.” According to the defence: “Te cables

clearly indicate, inter alia, two things: (1) the US Government’s desire to ensure that Mr Taylor does not return to Libe- ria, and (2) proof that there are and have been contacts between the Trial Chamber, the Prosecution and the Registry, respec- tively, and agents of the USG [US Gov- ernment] outside the official lines of com- munication. Tis, it is submitted, raises grave doubts about the independence and impartiality of the Special Court’s prosecu- tion of Charles Taylor. Viewed objectively, the evidence could lead to the reasonable conclusion that the indictment and trial of Mr Taylor by the Special Court is no more than an extension of United States foreign policy interests in West Africa, with there being no genuine connection to any alleged crimes in Sierra Leone.” Courtenay Griffiths, a brilliant British QC (or Queen’s Counsel), has forever been

United States also attempted to oust him in furtherance of US commercial interests in the sub region. Other accounts imply the USG targeted Mr Taylor because of unsubstantiated evidence linking Liberia to al-Qaeda and the attacks on US embas- sies in 1998.” Te motion recalled that “when the

Prosecution called Hassan Bility, a Libe- rian journalist, as a witness, the Defence challenged him on the basis that he was acting in cahoots with the United States Government. “During cross-examination of Bility,

lead defence counsel suggested that Bil- ity was serving as a spy for the USG dur- ing the conflict in Liberia. Bility denied being a spy, but did say he had dinners with political counsellors and one hu- man rights officer of the United States embassy in Monrovia, during which they ‘talked like friends’ and would ‘share opinions’. “Bility also cooperated with the USG’s

Federal Bureau of Investigation in its in- vestigations of Charles Taylor and his son, Chucky... Mr Taylor testified that Bility was an intelligence officer for the

US embassy in Monrovia and Defence witness DCT-190 subsequently testified that Bility served as a source of informa- tion for LURD [the US and UK-backed anti-Taylor rebel group].” “In short,” the motion concluded, “it is

submitted that the contents of the cables further suggest that the Special Court has

Taylor’s lead defence lawyer, Courtenay Griffiths. “Mr Taylor was only indicted and arrested because of the USG’s interests and pressure,” he told the Special Court

been used to pursue ‘war by other means’, thus corrupting international law and justice in pursuit of a particular state’s enemy... “Te April 2009 cable exposes the fact

that there are persons in the Trial Cham- ber, the Prosecution and the Registry, giving information to the United States Government outside the official channels of communication. “Given the seemingly compromised

impartiality and independence of the Spe- cial Court in light of its connection to the USG as alleged herein, the Trial Chamber should allow the defence to re-open its case and admit the selected portions of the March 2009 cable, and the entirety of the April 2009 cable, and the first paragraph of the Apology into evidence pursuant to Rule 92bis [of the Court].” All in all, legal experts who have closely

followed the trial are unanimous that the American government has exposed its hand too much in pursuing Taylor.

New African March 2011 | 31

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