Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Upon Request By Defense Lawyers, Judges Will Convene Status Conference

Mr. Taylor

The Special Court for Sierra Leone judges in The Hague have ordered that a Status Conference be convened on Thursday, January 20, 2011 after a request was made by defense lawyers for former Liberian president Charles Taylor.

On Tuesday, January 18, 2011, Mr. Taylor’s defense lawyers filed a “Defense Request for a Status Conference” in order ”to review the status of the case.”

“The Defense notes the outstanding matters which it submits are crucial to conclusively and properly litigating its case through the final brief,” the defense application stated.

The “outstanding matters” relate to a notice of appeal and several motions that have been filed by defense lawyers including an effort to appeal a Trial Chamber decision on the “Defense Motion Requesting an Investigation into Contempt of Court by the Office of the Prosecutor and Its Investigators,” a “Defense Motion to Recall Four Prosecution Witnesses and to Hear Evidence From the Chief of WVS [Witness and Victims Services] Regarding Relocation of Prosecution Witnesses,” and “Defense Motion for Disclosure and/or Investigation of United States Government Sources Within the Trial Chamber, The Prosecution and the Registry, Based on Leaked USG Cables.”

Prior, a scheduling order issued by the judges required both prosecution and defense to file their final trial briefs by January 14, 2011 in anticipation of hearing closing arguments from February 8 to 11, 2011. While prosecutors filed their final brief by the deadline, defense lawyers on their part failed to do so.

“The Defense acknowledges that it has yet to file a final brief. The Defense emphasises this decision was not made in deliberate disdain of the Court or its orders, and it was not intended to demonstrate any disrespect for the Court’s authority. Instead, the Defense was guided by its professional duty to its client,” defense lawyers wrote in their application.

Defense lawyers also stated that they had refused to accept service of the prosecution’s final brief until such a time when they would have filed their own final brief.

On same Tuesday, January 18, Trial Chamber judges issued a decision in which they granted the defense request to convene a Status Conference.

In the decision, the judges stated that they were granting the defense request, ”[c]onsidering that it is in the interest of justice to give the Defense an opportunity to explain why it failed to file its final trial brief on 14 January 2011, as ordered, and why it has refused to accept service of the Prosecution final trial brief.”

The Status Conference is scheduled to take place at 2:00PM in The Hague, on Thursday, January 20.

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Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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