Taylor Denies Ordering Bockarie Execution

By Jonathan Ambaye
Impunity Watch Reporter, Africa Desk

THE HAGUE, Netherlands-After a three week judicial break, Charles Taylor took to the stand again on October 26, 2009. On this day Charles Taylor found himself denying allegations that he ordered the execution of a key Sierra Leonean rebel commander, Sam Bockarie, during Sierra Leone’s civil war. In response to the allegations, Taylor said, “The last person on this planet that I wanted killed was Sam Bockarie. I did not order him, killed.”

This statement came after  one of the prosecution’s witnesses testified in September 2008 that commander Sam Bockarie, also known as “Mosquito”, was executed as a result of an order by Taylor. Taylor denied these claims. Continuing his testimony regarding the allegations Taylor said, “I never wanted him dead. I liked him as a son. I never gave such an order that Bockarie should be killed.”

Taylor later gave an explanation of how Bockarie was actually killed. He claims Bockarie was killed in a cross-fire with Liberian government troops who were trying to prevent him from entering Liberia with armed men from the Ivory Coast.  Taylor also had to respond to the 2008 testimony of a former Sierra Leonean member of Taylor’s Anti-terrorist Unit (ATu), Jabati Jaward. Jaward testified that he was one of many others sent by Taylor to the Ivory Coast under the command of Bockarie.  Taylor denied this claim saying that members of the ATU disbanded and traveled on their own to different places, leaving some to go to the Ivory Coast.

Taylor made additional statements in regards to Bockarie’s death to further discount the allegations that he was involved in his death. Taylor said in court, “I was very hurt when Vice Presiden Blach, told me that Bockaries was killed. I sent Blah there because I did not want that boy killed,” Taylor said. Taylor would later also say, “Blah lied here, to say that he was just in the area when Bockarie was killed. I sent him there.”

For more information please see:

All Africa – Taylor Says He Did Not Order the Execution of Sierra Leonean Rebel Commander Mosquito – 26 October 2009

Charles Taylor Trial,org – Taylor Says He Did Not Order the Execution of Sierra Leonean Rebel Commander “Mosquito”– 26 October 2009

Impunity Watch – Taylor Continues to Deny Allegations – 1 October 2009

Author: Impunity Watch Archive