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Taylor was not part of plan to invade Salone

Taylor was not part of plan to invade Salone

In the ongoing Special Court trial of  former Liberian President in the Hague, Defence Witness, Yanks Smythe concluding his four day direct examination today denied Prosecution claims that Mr. Taylor participated in a common plan to invade Sierra Leone with the aim to exploit the country’s resources.

After the announcement of representations by the parties, Defence Lawyer, Courtenay Griffiths informed the Judges that Mr. Taylor could not access the live written testimonies of the Defence witness from his computer.

Following Mr. Griffith’s inquiry the Court Manager announced that the passwords to Mr. Taylor’s computer had been given to another person. Some of the Judges and the Prosecutors also complained that their microphones were not working.

Presiding Judge, Julia Sebutinde became furious over the technical problems that greeted Mr. Taylor’s trial on Thursday. After experiencing intermittent technical problems during the morning hours, the court’s microphones, headphones and computers were finally restored to normality.

During the opening of the Prosecution case on June 4, 2007, Prosecutor Stephen Rapp alleged that Mr. Taylor and his forces provided support to the RUF for the invasion of Sierra Leone. Mr. Rapp had further said Mr. Taylor provided military training, arms and ammunition as well as fighting forces for the invasion of Sierra Leone.

Mr. Smythe, testifying in Mr. Taylor’s defence, told the court he was not aware that Mr. Taylor participated in the invasion of neighbouring Sierra Leone. But Defence Lawyer Morris Anyah pressed the witness about the Prosecution allegation. The Prosecution in its indictment alleged that Mr. Taylor’s sole intention for invading Sierra Leone was to exploit the resources of that country.

The Prosecution alleged that the Former Liberian Leader was compensated with diamonds for aiding Foday Sankoh to wage war in Sierra Leone. But Mr. Smythe concluding his direct examination denied the receipt of Sierra Leone’s diamonds by Mr. Taylor.

Meanwhile it has been made known that the cross-examination of Defence Witness, Nyanks Smythe begins on Friday.

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