Sunday, December 20, 2009

Civil Trial Against Charles Taylor Jr.: Day 3

We concluded the fact witness portion of the trial last Wednesday (thanks for your patience the past few days - it's been a busy time!) and have only the testimony from our expert witness to go. Our expert will testify in January 2010. With help from the US Embassy in Liberia, we were able to connect a second witness to testify from Liberia in the courtroom in Miami Wednesday morning. The last of our five plaintiffs gave her testimony in the afternoon and included a detail for which other plaintiffs expressed appreciation, saying it was a very important point to understand: she noted to the judge that Liberians never expected Taylor Sr. to do to them the horrible things he did. Some witnesses hail from Nimba County - an area that supported Taylor Sr. before he became president. Once he assumed that role and began to wreck havoc on the nation, some blamed Nimba County residents for backing him in the first place. Her words and her tears explained that her people never dreamt he was capable of the terror he inflicted. Her trust - and desperation - were so deep that she hand-carried a letter during the war to soldiers' army barracks, asking for help to support her family after her husband was forced into exile. With this bravery, it is no surprise that she had the courage to come forward with her story. On a final procedural note on Wednesday, the judge denied the defendant's motion to vacate the default judgment entered against him in May 2009.

If you'd like to read more about coverage of the trial in general, click here or here, for more about the first day, click here, here or here. (You may have noted other articles have suggested that all five plaintiffs are men. This is not accurate - two are women.)

Thanks to all of you who followed the trial! We will be back with more news in the new year.

1 comment: