The Special Court for Sierra Leone used investigative software from ZyLAB to help prove its case against the former Liberian president, Charles Taylor, who was found guilty recently of planning the killing of tens of thousands of people during Sierra Leone’s civil war. Taylor was accused of using “blood diamonds” to arm and fund rebel troops in Sierra Leone, as part of his strategy to seize the country’s diamond mines.
Johannes C. Scholtes, chief strategy officer for ZyLAB, says, “This was a very difficult case for the prosecution to prove. The team had millions of relevant documents of varying quality and formats, and only a portion was readily searchable. Therefore, we deployed our software to enable the legal team to use state-of-the-art exploratory search methods.”
According to ZyLAB, its e-discovery and investigations software made all the data collected in the case fully searchable.
Prior to the conviction of Taylor, Herman von Hebel, registrar for the Special Court of Sierra Leone, wrote Scholtes, “Our staff greatly appreciates the use of this comprehensive program for the filing and searching of documents, which will benefit the work of the Court.”
Scholtes says, “It was critical to enable the prosecution to retrieve key evidence from all documents. With ZyLAB, not only did their investigation span the complete collection, but it also led to the discovery of integral references and code words for the prosecution’s case.”
The ZyLAB data mining tools were used to pinpoint and decipher several clandestine references and alias terms that ultimately influenced the case, the company reports.
After implementation of the ZyLAB software at the Office of the Prosecutor, the rest of the Special Court for Sierra Leone also deployed the technology for records and evidence management.