Detained Human Rights Activist Accuses Taylor Government
Contrary to claims by the Liberian government, human rights activist Aloysius Toe says he is not an executive member of the dissident group that is fighting to overthrow the Taylor-led administration; as Patrick K. Wrokpoh reports.
Defendant Toe, on Friday, told the Criminal Court ‘A’ that he is not and will never be part of any dissident group in the country contrary to the government’s claims.
Testifying shortly before he was discharged from the witness stand as the first defense witness in the on-going treason case against him, Defendant Toe in response to a question from the jury as to how he received an e-mail from the dissident group and why he decided to keep it at his house among others, said the e-mail came through the address of the human rights community in Liberia that is used for communication purposes.
He told the court that as Secretary General of the Liberia human rights community, he immediately called a meeting of the community and showed them the document. He did not explain the reaction and response of the human rights community to the e-mail.
Asked as to why then the document was found in his home since it had come through the address of the human rights community, Defendant Toe said he took the e-mail and other documents to his house for fear of a possible police raid on his office, having received several tip-offs regarding such an incident.
He disclosed that his office was broken into by a dozen of police officers sometime in March, 2000, apparently because of his stance as a human rights crusader, and so as a precautionary measure, he decided to take the e-mails along with several other documents to his house for safe-keeping.
On the issue as to his whereabouts at the time the police went to search his house and found the documents, Mr. Toe told the court that he had gone underground, having received information by way of a telephone call, that the police was in search of him.
Asked by the presiding judge of the court, Judge Boima Kontoe, as to whether the e-mail letter: '...Blue-print For Stability In Liberia" was addressed to him through his personal e-mail address or that of the human rights community, Defendant Toe who had earlier informed the court that the charges of treason against him was only intended to silence the human rights community, said the e-mail address ‘email@example.com’ is that which is used by the human rights community and as such, it appears on the letter-head of the human rights community. He said his personal e-mail address is "firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, state prosecutors waived cross-examination of Defendant Toe, thereby making the way for the defense’ second witness to take the stand. The defense’ second witness, Mrs. Vivian Muna Toe, wife of the defendant, took the stand and rested with her testimony in the case. She is expected to be cross-examined today when the case resumes.