Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Charles, "Chuckie or Chucky" Taylor: Trial Continues [UPDATE]

Extracting a pound of flesh...

It is now day 27 since the trial of Charles "Chucky" Taylor commenced. The first American citizen to be tried for torture abroad on US soil has caused a bit of an uproar, worldwide. The prosecution has called many witnesses, all attesting to the brutal nature of his alleged crimes. The defense has railroaded them on occasion with effective "out of trial" methods. Many witnesses, after testifying to the cruelty of treatments in pre-trial depositions, opted for a much more lightened tone in court. One can only assume that is fear for family, still in Liberia. There are many things to report, but they are all so horrible that I cannot even bring myself to type them. Here are a few from a little over a week ago. I'll catch up to date soon.

An update from the days that do not repeat the obvious after the jump.

Cross examination and prosecution's redirect revealed the following:

"The defense tried to establish that there were inconsistencies in the victim’s account of his torture experience...Previously, the victim testified that he had come out of his home freely, while both letters stated that his home was broken into by the President’s bodyguards...Also in discrepancy was the issue of whether the 100 men outside his home when he was arrested were in plain clothes (like the letters stated) or in ATU uniforms and black jump suits (what victim had previously testified to). The defense also alluded to the issue that the victim was claiming asylum to obtain medical treatment for a serious medical condition and also that he claimed asylum in 2005, after the war in Liberia had ended and new President was in office."

"In redirect, the prosecution asked questions to show once again that Chuckie Taylor had used a hot iron, boiling iron, and electric devices to torture the victim."

Later that afternoon...

"From Kondembaia, the home village of Mansaray, a total of nine persons, four men (including the witness) and five women were amputated. This happened after a rebel called Junta Two read out a note from the commander, saying that of all the men the right hand had to be cut of and of all the women the left hand had to be cut of. When Mansaray and the other civilians pleaded, Junta Two said there was no god today and that he was god and was going to decide what was going to happen that day. Junta Two also said that the hands should be sent to ex-President Kabbah and that those hands would never vote again. The four men were adult civilians, one being a retired soldier, all four had their right hand amputated. The five women were all civilians, one woman with her six year old daughter and one woman who was eight months pregnant, she died later. The hand of the girl of six years was put in the open mouth of a dead man, a police officer, and the rebels said that that would be his last food. These same rebels burnt down his house and the houses of other civilians."

Life after the amputation

"After the amputation the witness and two others went into the bush to rest a little..."

Source 1
Source 2

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