The transcripts of the trial of Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia. More…

  • [Open session]

  • [In the presence of the accused]

  • [Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.]

  • Good morning. I'll take appearances, please. Ms Hollis.

  • Good morning, Madam President, your Honours, opposing counsel. This morning for the Prosecution, Nicholas Koumjian, Mohamed a Bangura, we are joined by our case a manager and myself Brenda J Hollis, and our case manager, of course, is Maja Dimitrova.

  • Thank you, Ms Hollis. Mr Munyard?

  • Good morning, Madam President, Your Honours, counsel opposite, for the Defence this morning, myself, Terry Munyard, we are joined by our legal officers, Kimberley Punt, Kathryn Hovington, Michael Herz, our case manager, Salla Moilanen and our new intern, Peter Katonene.

  • Thank you, Mr Munyard. If there are no preliminary matters, then I will invite you to proceed, Mr Munyard.

  • Thank you, Madam President.

    Madam President, your Honours, the area that I want to deal with principally this morning is a fairly discrete area and relates to matters of credibility. And, in particular, specifically to the credibility of some of the Prosecution witnesses.

    We have, in our final trial brief, set out general propositions on credibility. In paragraphs 1382 to 1401. And we set out in those paragraphs our understanding of the jurisprudence in relation to credibility of witnesses, the approach that a court should take to the credibility of witnesses, the dangers that arise, particularly from reliance on insider witnesses, many of whom are, of course, accomplices and the court will not need to hear from me any lengthy exposition of the law on accomplice evidence and the caution that the Court is bound to apply when considering the evidence of accomplices. Likewise, we have had a great deal of hearsay evidence from witnesses in this case. Hearsay, of course, is, or can be, an element affecting the credibility of a witness. And, in particular, hearsay cannot be corroborated by more hearsay, so a witness, who is not in the eyes of the Court particularly credible, can't be made more credible by yet more hearsay on the same subject. Equally, a witness who gives some evidence about an incident that he either saw or was told about cannot be corroborated or supported, his evidence cannot be made more credible by another witness who comes along and says that the first witness told me whatever it is that he saw or heard about.

    These are all aspects of credibility. They are dealt with, as I've said, in the opening paragraphs of our final section of the closing - of the final brief on this matter, and we've given some examples after paragraph 1401 of particular individual witnesses whose credibility is especially in issue. That list, I make absolutely clear, is not exhaustive. There are many other witnesses whose credibility we called into doubt, in many cases grave doubt, who are not specifically addressed in that final section.

    But in my remarks to you this morning, what I will be submitting, in the context of this terribly important case, involving grave charges against Mr Taylor, the accused, we say that in this case, there are so many examples of egregious implausibility, and in a number of cases, downright lies by particular Prosecution witnesses. We submit that it is appropriate, in the circumstances of this case, to completely put aside several Prosecution witnesses altogether. And we say, quite boldly, forget the exercise of looking to see if there is support for something that that witness says from other witnesses. If there is, then rely on those other witnesses alone. In our submission, some of these Prosecution witnesses have been so damaged that no reliance should be put upon them.

    Their evidence, in short, is such that their credibility is so seriously undermined as to render them wholly - wholly - lacking in credibility.

    Now, another element of credibility is the whole question of payments to witnesses. And, indeed, to potential witnesses. Now, let me try to put that into some kind of context.

    All the ad hoc criminal tribunals that we are aware of operate a witness and victims section, which provides services to witnesses once they are formally declared as a witness, including reasonable expenses to meet the expenses that they have incurred by cooperating with whichever branch of the Court it may be. Those expenses may include the cost of security and protection to vulnerable witnesses and their dependents, including, in some cases, relocation expenses. And we have no difficulty with that. Inevitably, witnesses in cases of this sort are going to have to be, from time to time, relocated, moved, given certain kinds of protection, all of which cost money. Inevitably, witnesses are going to have to travel, in some cases, in order to be interviewed by the Prosecution, or for that matter, the Defence. That is going to cause them costs, it may involve them in loss of earnings. All of those are legitimate expenses.

    However, we say that some of the evidence in this case demonstrates, very clearly, that some Prosecution witnesses have been rewarded, have, to put it bluntly, profited from their connection with the Prosecution. The Prosecution, as you are aware, has its own fund, in complete contrast to the Defence, has its own fund from which witnesses are paid money or out of which witnesses' expenses of one sort or another are defrayed, not necessarily given directly to the witness but some expenditure on the witness's behalf has been made.

    This is a fund whose provenance has never been disclosed, the Prosecution have never said where they get the money from, they've never said how much it is, and, indeed, although they claim to have established clear criteria as to the categories of money that can be spent, the criteria are, we submit, very vague and often disputed by the witnesses in question. To take but one example a witness on a number of occasions in this trial has said they were paid money, which we see in the documentation is said to be for loss of earnings, when the witness has said, well, I wasn't earning anything at the time. That's just one example. The Court has many such examples in the evidence. We say that in some cases it is clear beyond doubt, that this fund, this money, has been used to encourage witnesses to give evidence rather than simply to put them in a position where they are not economically disadvantaged or their security at risk by their cooperation with the Prosecution.

    Put bluntly, in our submission, this fund has been used in such a way, on occasions, as to taint the testimony of some of the Prosecution witnesses.

    By lavishing funds on witnesses which go well beyond compensating them for their actual expenses or losses consequent on their giving time to the Prosecution, this money, we say, has been used to pollute the pure waters of justice and the court cannot turn a blind eye to the effect that such financial rewards are likely to have on the evidence, and we invite the Court, when considering each and every witness about whom you have heard evidence of receipt of monies, to look very carefully at that witness's evidence. If there are obvious inconsistencies between what they have said previously to the Prosecution and what they've said, either in court or in the run-up to their testimony in court, look, we submit, look at the way in which they have been financially rewarded for their cooperation with the Prosecution.

    Now, it is, of course, completely and utterly naive to expect any witness to say, "Well, this money that the Prosecution spent on me, or spent on me and my family, made me more willing to tell them what they wanted to know." Life, frankly is not like that. You, as judges, bring your experience of the world and your common sense to bear on the evidence that you are assessing. You, as the finders of fact, of course, apply good sense to the whole picture.

    The very practice of giving handouts which go way beyond the actual cost of the witness's expense, itself strikes at the heart of justice, and it does so in a particularly insidious way, precisely because no witness is ever going to admit as much and in some cases may not even recognise that they have been affected by the largesse that has been lavished on them. We invite the Court to say that where there are examples of this practice, and I'm going to turn to some in due course, where there are examples, the Court should disregard the evidence of witnesses involved, unless there is strong and real corroboration from other sources.

    And may I then move to the way in which this fund has been operated in practice and take the Court to a particular account.

    I'm going to do so by reference to a witness who wasn't actually called but was a potential witness in this case, a potential Prosecution witness, and indeed, as is the case with a number of witnesses in this trial, also a potential Defence witness. There are other examples that I'm going to come to in due course, but we submit that when you look at the way in which money has been doled out, it clearly indicates that the Prosecution have been willing to encourage people to cooperate with them by financial handouts.

  • I'm sorry, Mr Munyard, the computers seem to have frozen, the LiveNote.

  • Your Honour, I will get a technician to assist.

  • Madam President, normally when this has happened the Court officer has been able to stream her LiveNote on a screen. Like Mr Koumjian, I've now forgotten which button to press to get that, but no doubt we'll receive some assistance.

  • If you press "transcript".

  • Your Honour, my transcript is being broadcast but we will not be able to view any exhibits while that is happening because we are using one screen.

  • We'll deal with that problem when we come to it, but if you can broadcast yours to the counsel and the bench, please, so we can proceed.

    Mr Munyard, I understand Madam Court Officer's is now being broadcast, so if you can please proceed.

  • I'm happy to proceed. I can't see anything on any of the array of screens in front of me that shows the transcript.

  • Counsel would need to switch to the courtroom button on his computer away from his present screen, which is probably his LiveNote.

  • Can I say - ah, there it is.

  • Please keep going and if there is a need for exhibits, as I said we will deal with them when it arises.

  • Yes. May I, before I start taking the Court through examples, make this point? Where a culture has arisen where witnesses expect to be paid sums of money, not merely their expenses, but a very generous amount of money in relation to their expenses, what is the effect of that on the administration of justice, of such a system? And let me illustrate that with an anecdote. If people expect to be paid to give evidence, then it can lead to a bidding war. I think everybody's seems to be now - yes.

    And I want to tell the Court an anecdote, I'm not giving evidence as such; it's simply an illustration, in our submission, of the effect of this system of doling out money to people to cooperate with the Prosecution.

    At an Outreach meeting in Freetown that I went to and spoke on behalf of the Defence at, this question of witness expenses and money paid to witnesses was raised, and I made the point that I'm making now, the Prosecution have a fund out of which they pay witnesses, to which came the immediate rejoinder from a member of the audience, "Well, what's the problem with that? Why don't the Defence offer more money to the witnesses?" And that - that vignette captures perfectly the effect on the administration of justice of making sums of money available that go way beyond the actual expense to the witnesses themselves.

    And let us consider the realities of life in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Desperately poor people in a country still devastated by civil war, by the effects of civil war, ten years later. People managing their best, but, as we all know, struggling to survive, struggling to make ends meet, large numbers of people without regular employment. Some who do have regular employment not regularly paid, teachers is a well-known example of that situation in Sierra Leone. And finally, what is an insignificant sum to someone from Western Europe or from North America, what would amount to loose change in their pocket, in fact, can make a huge difference in the hands of a poor person in Sierra Leone, someone who has a family to support. 10,000 leones, three United States dollars a year or two back, is a significant sum of money that can help to buy food and to put someone in a better position than they would otherwise have been to a Sierra Leone citizen. Whereas to somebody such as many of those in this courtroom now, it's a sum of such trifling order that they wouldn't even notice if it was lost.

    Now, may I turn then to illustrate first of all the way in which the system has been operated and then I will go to some specific examples of witnesses. And I'm going to deal with the situation relating to a potential witness who ended up with the - the anonymous title of DCT-032.

  • Please clarify, Mr Munyard, are you saying this witness was not called and did not give evidence before the Court?

  • Yes, but he -

  • How can you adduce evidence in relation to what he said or did?

  • Because you have it, Madam President, I'm going to come to that. You have it actually in the form of certain documents admitted under rule 92 bis. And there is a history here that is illustrated by the documents admitted through the Appeal Chamber under rule 92 bis. This was a witness who eventually came to the attention of the Prosecution in the middle of 2008. Now, the timing and the way in which the Prosecution dealt with this potential witness is very interesting. On the 12th of March 2008, a man called Zigzag Marzah gave evidence in this Court in public session, and he mentioned the witness - I'll call him the witness, because although he didn't give evidence he was a potential witness - he mentioned 032 in the course of his evidence, and it was in a significant context. Then, on the 15th of May 2008, Moses Blah, a former President of Liberia, gave evidence, and I've no doubt the Court has his evidence very much in mind still. He also gave evidence about the incident that Zigzag Marzah had given evidence about in which Marzah named this particular person. On that same date, the 15th of May, the Prosecution interviewed a person, Witness TF1-375 who actually did give evidence. They interviewed that witness for the 17th time on the 15th of May 2008. That witness had never, prior to that date, talked at all about the incident in which 032 was said by Marzah to have been involved, but on that day, the 15th of May, 375 suddenly came out with an account of the same incident, naming 032.

    Now, the Prosecution then approached 032, and we have, in the exhibits, confidential exhibits, and so I'm not going to go into them in any great detail, but we have confidential exhibits D-479 and D-480, that both relate to witness 032. And I don't believe that - I don't want them put up in any event because they are confidential, but D-479 shows a long list of disbursements, that means quite simply money paid either to or on behalf of 032, starting on the 8th of June of 2008, going through on nine different occasions during June, when he was paid several hundred United States dollars, and when I say dollars - I'm not going to say United States dollars, all the time, if I use the expression dollars throughout my submissions then I refer to the United States dollar and no other country's dollar. He was seen nine times - sorry, he was seen 11 times or paid 11 times in June. He was paid eight times - nine times in July of 2008. In August 2008, he was paid two amounts of money. And in October 2008, he was paid more money on three different occasions. And that came to in excess of $3,000.

    Now, that money was -

  • These being payments from which unit?

  • Oh, from the Prosecution's fund.

    That money was paid to him whilst he was said to be providing information, and it covers transport, lost wages, but essentially it is for information and support, financial support, to him.

    I should say that on the 5th occasion when he was paid that money, he was also given a letter of immunity from Prosecution should he give evidence in this trial.

    Now, what was interesting about that was that he was clearly a confidant of witness TF1-375. Witness 375 started to give evidence in June of 2008, and he gave evidence in June 2008 about the very incident that he had only suddenly remembered the previous month when being interviewed by the Prosecution. In the meantime, he had to be - his evidence had to be interrupted. He was sent back to West Africa and returned here to resume his evidence in August of 2008. Throughout all that time, the Prosecution are lavishing this large amount of money, over $3,000 over a matter of a few months, on this friend, contact, of 375, who they were clearly, in our submission, clearly hoping to persuade to give evidence. And there can be no better illustration of that fact than the letter of immunity from Prosecution that he was given as early as June of 2008.

    So here is somebody who is put into the hands of the Prosecution as a result of other evidence that was given in this case, who is provided with a very considerable sum, and the sweetener of the offer of immunity from prosecution. He, in our submission, is a clear example of the process that has been followed in financial support for witnesses who the Prosecution are hoping to persuade to come to court and give evidence. As you know, he himself didn't but his friend, 375, did come to court to give evidence and I'm now going to turn, if I may, to that particular witness. I should say that we have touched on this witness in paragraphs 1410 to 1423 of the final trial brief and I'm going to just highlight some of the relevant evidence of that witness.

    Now, this was a witness who was seen in total, I think I'm right in saying, 24 times by the Prosecution, certainly it was a figure in that order, interviewed many, many times by the Prosecution. He was seen between September 2005 and May 2008, and in that time he was provided by the Prosecution with over $4,000 and 825,000 leones, and he did not come into the protection - sorry, he came into the protection of the Court, that's to say he was also under the care of the witness and victims service from the 20th of August 2006. So the Court will appreciate that from the 20th of August 2006 up to May of 2008, he was being paid monies, expense was being incurred on his behalf by both the Prosecution and by the witness and victims section, and as we saw in the course of his evidence, the witness and victims section, from the 20th of August 2006 to the 15th of August 2008 spent a total of 38,359,200 leones, that's roughly speaking at that time I think about $10,000, bearing in mind the exchange rate at the time. That included 13 million, nearly a third of that, was subsistence allowance and a category called miscellaneous of 3 and a half million leones, over that period of time. Miscellaneous being explained by him as payment for an expensive computer course that he was sent on. But while he's in receipt of $10,000 worth of court money, he's also in receipt, for most of that same period of time, of over $4,000 worth of Prosecution money, as well as 825,000 leones.

    Now, what was the money spent on? Why was he given this money? He is somebody who told the Court in the course of his evidence that on one occasion at least he was paid $50, $50, for taking another witness to see the Prosecution on his motorbike, a distance of five minutes.

    When asked, "Have you been paid $50 for spending that small amount of gasoline in your motorbike before?" He said, "Yes, they have been giving me gas more than that before."

    He was also - he also told the Court that he wasn't satisfied with being given only $50 for a five-minute motorbike ride and was then given a hundred dollars for a second visit to the Prosecution and on that second visit, in fact, on both of those visits he admitted that he hadn't even told the Prosecution the truth when he'd seen them on those two visits.

    And yet, he didn't even know what the money was for. He told this Court, in August of 2008, that he received in June 2006, $100 on one occasion. Bear in mind that, of course, by that time he's also in the care of the witness service. He received a hundred dollars from the Prosecution. "They gave me money, the money, I accepted it, I didn't know what it was for. I knew it was for the same transport purpose but for the meantime I took this amount of money, I can't remember what it was for."

    And he went on to say when his actual expenditure was analysed in the course of cross-examination, he went on to accept that he'd made a $90 profit on that particular occasion. Now, just pause there for a moment. What is $90, US dollars, worth to a Liberian or a Sierra Leonean, your average Liberian or Sierra Leonean, when in Sierra Leone your average decent hotel receptionist earns roughly about $88 a month? What is $90 pure profit, not subject to tax, worth in the hand of someone in one of those countries?

    Regularly, this man was being paid these round sums, and we see these round sums all the time, the evidence is littered with examples of round sums. Only occasionally will you actually see 97,000 leones or $28.50 or some obviously specific expenditure. Most of the time they are round sums. And inevitably, we submit, inevitably, those round sums represent not just the cost to the witness, but a reward for attending. Even, in our submission, even the most innocent and impartial witness is bound to feel a sense of obligation to the party paying him or her money of that sort, particularly when the money is being paid regularly and in some cases over a period of years.

    And indeed sticking with 375, he also said that, on one occasion, when returning from a trip from one country to the neighbouring country, for which he was paid $200, he was given an additional $100, which he said was an appreciation from the Prosecution for him to use for his family.

    Well, what, I ask rhetorically, is an appreciation, if it's not a gift?

    He is also a witness who described - or agreed that the $50 that he was paid for, in effect, crossing the road, he agreed that - sorry, he took the view that that wasn't enough.

    Now, how does the Court assess the impact of that sort of payment, or those sorts of payments, on witnesses? It is, in our submission, inevitable that it is going to have an effect on the witness, and where you find, as you will have seen in his evidence, where you find that there are a number of inconsistencies in the evidence of the witness, a number of brand-new pieces of evidence coming out, a number of wholly implausible pieces of evidence from the witness, in our submission you will be driven to the conclusion that by coming out with all of this additional evidence, all of which of course hostile to Mr Taylor, the accused, you will be driven to the conclusion, we say, that the financial benefits have had an impact, whether desired or not, on the testimony of the witness. And in his case, I need give you no better example than something that he said about a witness who was involved in the killing of Sam Bockarie. Now, I'm being very careful in the way in which I phrase this: That witness told you -

  • Excuse me. All of this evidence was brought out, I believe the subject counsel is getting to, was in closed session so I suggest we do this in private session.

  • I -

  • One of the reasons we have to pay money to witnesses is to protect their lives, and it would exacerbate things if we put people at risk by saying information in open session.

  • Can I simply reiterate that I'm being -

  • Mr Munyard, you know what you're going to say, we don't, but are you going to quote something that was in closed session?

  • I'm going to quote something that a witness said. It was said in closed session and if you wish me to go into closed session for this, then I'm happy to do so. It won't take long.

  • The question is one of identification.

  • Yes.

  • You consider it could identify?

  • Well, the way I was hoping to phrase it, I don't think it would, but I think it's going to be clearer if we go briefly into closed session and I deal with it in that way.

  • In that case, we will have a private session. And for purposes of record and the public, this short private session will enable people in the gallery to see but not to hear, and it is for the protection and security of a protected witness. Madam Court Officer, please put the Court into private session briefly.

  • [At this point in the proceedings, a portion of the transcript, pages 49487 to 49489, was extracted and sealed under separate cover, as the proceeding was heard in private session.]

  • [Open session]

  • Your Honour, we are in open session.

  • And my last point on that witness is just as he starts to talk about 032, so the Prosecution then start to lavish money and attention on 032. The link is obvious. The method is the same.

    Now, I'm going to mover to a completely different witness now by way of further example, of the way in which money can impact on a witness's testimony, and this is a witness called Suwandi Camara, TF1-548. This is the witness who you may remember was engaged in heavy weapons training in Dr Manneh's bedroom. In the Mataba, which I think was in Tajura, a suburb of Tripoli about which we have been hearing a great deal in recent days. Suwandi Camara, of course, was called to bolster the Prosecution's argument that appeared to be live for quite a long time in the case that the whole joint criminal enterprise had started off in Libya. I think you'll search long and hard before you find that repeated or referred to at all in the Prosecution final trial brief, but they called evidence about Libya, as a result of which we had to call evidence in due course, and Suwandi Camara was called to say that he'd seen Foday Sankoh and Charles Taylor together at the Mataba.

    No doubt in the intervals what he'd emerged from Dr Manneh's bedroom and left the heavy weapons behind. He is the man, uniquely, of the witnesses in this case, who purported to claim a connection between those two, Mr Taylor and Mr Sankoh, whilst in Libya. He was in regular receipt from the Prosecution of nice round sums of $100 a time, for his travel expenses. He told you, and we'll look at it in a moment, he told you how he used to hire a car to go and see the Prosecution, to be interviewed. And he'd get travel expenses. And the car turned out to be, in local currency, dalasis, turned out to vary, the car hire turned out to vary from anything between about 30 cents to just under a dollar.

    Now, let's give him the benefit of the doubt. Let's assume when he told you about that that he was talking about one way only. Let's assume - let's take the higher sum because he said at a later stage the hire car cost went up. So let's assume he had to pay two whole dollars out of his hundred dollars. What's his profit? Well, he said that he was given a hundred dollars once for a list of items, including loss of wages, that he was adamant that he hadn't lost wages. He said, They regularly - they usually give me $100. And when we looked at the amounts that he was being given, sometimes the heading would be, "loss of wages and transportation" and so on, and sometimes it would be for "meals, transportation and communication". Now, when he was asked about $100 that he received for "meals, transportation and communication", he said he didn't know how much the phone calls, that's communication, he didn't know how much the phone calls that he had to make cost, he said he thought they were expensive. But why is it, again, I ask rhetorically, because you know the answer, I would suggest, you would hardly need me to tell you, why is it he's being given these handouts of $100 at a time? Because clearly in each and every case he's not just receiving his legitimate expenses, he's also being rewarded. This was the witness you may recall who constantly demanded that I should not use the expression "you were paid $100". In his culture, being paid had a different connotation from simply receiving or being given assistance, if that helps you to identify him in your minds.

    In any event, he was given a similar amount of money under the heading, "Security." Well, he couldn't really work out what the security was that he was given the money for. He started off by saying to you, "I think it was because when people from the Prosecution came to see me, I took them on a cultural tour," and he seemed to be implying that that was what the $100 for security was all about. And then he said, "Well, actually, I did ask them for money to put a fence around my orchard."

    When he was asked if he'd actually done it, if he'd put the fence around his orchard, he said, "Well, I'd started it by the time I left for The Hague." I mention that in case it's in your minds that the security that he needed putting a fence around his orchard, was somehow to protect his premises from potential people who would do him no good because of his cooperation with the Prosecution. But it's perfectly plain that it was nothing to do with that. He wanted a fence around his orchard, he hadn't even completed it by the time he left for The Hague, having had the money some good time before.

    Now, that is an example of someone else who was paid handsomely for the evidence that he was going to come to court and give, evidence which, as I said, was unique in this case in that it put Mr Taylor and Mr Sankoh together, meeting together, in the Mataba in Libya. As it happens, that aspect of the case, that aspect of the Prosecution's case, appears to have fallen away over time, and you do not see it reflected in their final trial brief. But that isn't the point. My point is, another witness, who, we submit, very clearly and very obviously, has received financial incentives to tell stories that are favourable to the Prosecution.

    And my final note on Suwandi Camara was this: When he was asked about receiving regular payments of nice round sums of a hundred dollars a time, he said it meant very little to him because, as he put it, "I'm used to being given far more than $200 by people, brothers" who he met presumably at home in the Gambia. That was actually his evidence to you. Oh, a hundred from the Prosecution to me is nothing. People give me far more than that all the time.

    Clearly, someone you may think who is prepared to make it up as he goes along and presumably, because he's had the advantage of these rewards.

    Now, I want to turn, then, to Isaac Mongor, Witness TF1-532. Now, this is a classic example, in our submission, of a witness who we say the Court should exercise such a degree of caution about as to completely disregard his testimony. From start to finish, Isaac Mongor is somebody who contradicted himself, who told obvious lies, who couldn't remember from one day to the next what he'd told you in the course of his testimony, and who, of course, was another one who was a beneficiary of the generous largesse of the Prosecution fund. He was somebody who we established at the outset had a good command of English. In 24 interviews, he only had an interpreter present on five occasions. He had had schooling in English, up to a late age. He attempted to answer my questions before I had finished asking them, and therefore before they had been fully translated. And answer my questions in English. And if you want an example of that, and it's a particularly appropriate date, it's the 1st of April 2008, April Fools' Day 2008. Mr Mongor started to answer my question in English before I'd even finished it, demonstrating his grasp of the language. And it's important to understand his grasp of English because there were so many contradictions in the course of his evidence as between what he was saying to you in court and what he'd said on up to 24 previous occasions when seen by the Prosecution.

    He was a man who usually blamed the Prosecution investigators and, indeed, lawyers, who interviewed him, he was somebody who regularly - who claimed that every interview was read back to him and he was able to correct the interviews at the end, and yet he failed to correct any of the significant contradictions in interview when compared with his testimony. And I'm going to look at his testimony until a little detail.

    He began by denying that he had any interest in receiving the letter of immunity from Prosecution that had been given to him at the time that he started being interviewed by the Prosecution. Interestingly, he was adamant at the beginning of his cross-examination that he had already indicated a willingness to be interviewed and had been interviewed on a couple of occasions before getting the letter of immunity, which I think, going from memory, was dated 12 September 2006, I might have that wrong. But in any event he was absolutely adamant that that letter came later. When it did arrive he said he had no fear of being prosecuted. He wasn't one of those who bore the greatest responsibility, and he had no concern about the Court, and the letter really, you may feel, he was telling you meant nothing to him.

    That was what he said at the beginning of his cross-examination. It was pointed out to him, that Mr Koumjian had described him in his evidence-in-chief as one of the top senior commanders of the RUF, but he still pooh-poohed the idea that he was at any real risk of Prosecution under the ambit of this Court's jurisdiction. At the beginning of his cross-examination.

    He began his evidence-in-chief on this very day three years ago.

    Now, it then turn out, by the time he'd been cross-examined for a little while, it then turned out that he had received the letter of immunity from Prosecution before starting to be interviewed, on 7 April he admitted, finally, that he knew before he was interviewed that he would be getting the letter of immunity, and he said, on that date, the 7th of April, that even having received the letter of immunity, he still had a shaky heart. That was obviously his way of describing anxiety. He still had a shaky heart about the prospect that even though they'd given him the letter of immunity they might still prosecute him.

    Compare and contrast those two different positions that he took in the course of cross-examination. It didn't matter a jot to me, I'd already started being interviewed, I wasn't one of the ones at risk of being prosecuted, and then, actually, I knew I was getting the letter before I started to cooperate with them, and nevertheless I still didn't even trust the letter, I was still very worried that I might be prosecuted before this Court.

    Well, you make what you will of that, but in our submission, he can't have it both ways. And how can you resolve the inconsistencies in a witness of that sort? How can you say, we'll take this bit of his evidence and we'll accept it and we'll reject this bit of his evidence? Because, as we saw across the whole panoply of issues that he gave evidence about, he was constantly in testimony contradicting, baldly and at times shockingly, contradicting what he had earlier told the Prosecution, in some instances several times before.

    Now, he - he couldn't even get his story straight about how he joined the NPFL. I should say that he is a Sierra Leonean with a Liberian mother, he told you, had done some of his - had grown up in Sierra Leone but had gone to Liberia. You heard evidence to that effect from a large number of witnesses. He was in Liberia at the time of the NPFL invasion, depending on which of his interview accounts you accept, if you could accept any of them. On one he says he joined the NPFL and on another he claims that he'd been captured by them, in early 1989. I repeat, early 1989. That was the account the interviewers wrote down that he'd given them. Well, you know that that's obviously nonsense because the NPFL don't invade until Christmas eve of 1989. He sought to correct that in his evidence and said that he'd never told the Prosecution interviewers that he was captured in early 1989.

    He is somebody who had, in the mid-80s, spent two months as a soldier, a volunteer, he joined up, in the Armed Forces of Liberia, and he lasted just two months before he, as he put it, ran away. It wasn't for him. The military life didn't suit him. He went back to being a businessman. So he's got two months' training in the mid-1980s with the AFL, he's captured, let's do him the benefit of the doubt, he's either captured or joins the NPFL around Christmas of 1989, and he told you, in his testimony, that he was then sent to train the RUF, to be the training commander, at Camp Naama, of the RUF in March of 1990. And who was it who sent him? He couldn't wait to tell you that it was Mr Taylor who sent him, Isaac Mongor, with his wealth of military experience by that time, a total at best of five months spread over more than five years, it was him who Mr Taylor sent to train those RUF people at Camp Naama. He was the one who said that the RUF was Mr Taylor's organisation, Foday Sankoh was nothing more than a front man. And Mr Taylor sent him there to carry out that very important job.

    Now, Mr Taylor, you may remember, pointed out in the course of his evidence, and of course he wasn't contradicted on this in cross-examination, he pointed out the very important fact that this same Prosecution called General John Tarnue in the RUF case to say that he was the one sent by Mr Taylor to train the RUF at Camp Naama. Well, how plausible is Mongor's account that with his two months' training in the AFL from which he ran away, and end of December to some unspecified date in March with the NPFL, he's the one who is appointed to go and train the combatants at Naama? Or was it General John Tarnue, the horse that the Prosecution backed in the RUF trial?

    We have a concept, not just domestically but internationally, that the Prosecution is indivisible. The Prosecution, in our submission, cannot face two different ways. In the RUF trial, they called General Tarnue. In our trial, they call Isaac Mongor. Now, interestingly, when we looked at what Mr Mongor told the Prosecution when he was first interviewed, knowing he was safe with his letter of immunity on the way, who did he say recruited him to Camp Naama? Foday Sankoh.

    "Foday Sankoh recruited me to Camp Naama. I was introduced to Foday Sankoh by John Kargbo, a former Sierra Leonean police officer now in the special security division in Liberia."

    Oh, no, he said, that's completely wrong, they've got that wrong, the interviewers have misunderstood me, I didn't say that it was Foday Sankoh who recruited me. I've always said -

  • Sorry to interrupt, Mr Munyard, but it looks as though the LiveNote has hung again, if you could pause a moment to see what the situation is.

  • Your Honour, I'll have a technician in shortly. Please press the transcript button on the panel next to your monitors and you can be able to view the feed from the AV booth of the LiveNote.

  • Has everyone else got transcripts? Can we continue? Yes. Please proceed.

  • Thank you.

    Well, no, I didn't mean Foday Sankoh recruited me. I mean Mr Taylor sent me there and then I had a chat with Foday Sankoh. And the Prosecution interviewers got it all wrong when they wrote down that Foday Sankoh recruited him via the good offices of John Kargbo and no mention in that interview of Charles Taylor having anything to do with it.

    Now, bear in mind that he never corrected those notes of interview, he never pointed out the error of the ways of these, no doubt, experienced Prosecution interviewers, that he insisted that although there was no mention of Mr Taylor sending him there, he insisted that it was definitely him and he knew - he knew, when he was first interviewed in 2006 and onwards, that he had been asked to tell the Prosecution all he knew about Charles Taylor. So this isn't somebody who's not got his mind focused on Charles Taylor when he's being interviewed. And yet he manages to get something as fundamental as that wrongly recorded and fails to point out the error of the interviewers' ways.

    Now, again, if you just pause for a moment and apply common sense and reality to the facts of the situation, the NPFL, as you know, from evidence you'd heard, had plenty of Special Forces trained at - trained in Libya. We can't - although it doesn't appear any more in the Prosecution's final brief, we can't get away from Libya at the moment, but you know that those forces, a lot of them, were there being trained systematically over a period of time. And yet, for some reason, according to him, Mr Taylor chooses this run-away, this inexperienced nobody, to head up the training in Camp Naama. And the evidence that is contained in those interviews about him being recruited by Kargbo and then Sankoh to go and join the RUF in Camp Naama, no doubt rang bells later on when you heard exactly the same kind of story from other witnesses, both Prosecution and Defence, and surely at this stage, nobody disputes the fact that Sierra Leoneans living in Liberia at the time were recruited, some with no option, people who were in prison, some voluntarily, no doubt, but Sierra Leoneans were recruited by Sankoh and Sankoh's men, and that you may feel is how Isaac Mongor ended up at Camp Naama.

    What did he say about Charles Taylor and Foday Sankoh, about this special relationship? Well, in his interview, when he's originally telling the Prosecution all he knows about Charles Taylor, he says, "When I saw Foday Sankoh and Charles Taylor at Gbarnga, I had no special impression of them." That's all that interview says about the two of them. Fast forward to 2008, to this day three years ago, and, suddenly, the whole situation, the whole picture, has changed. Mr Mongor, of course, is another one who benefited financially from his cooperation with the Prosecution. But as we will see in his case it goes further, because, of course, when the truth finally came out and it was like drawing teeth, pulling teeth, when it finally came out, it emerged that he was practically quaking at the fear of being prosecuted unless he gave the Prosecution all that he "knew", and I put the word "knew" in quotation marks.

    I mentioned that he had benefited financially. He said, in giving evidence on the 1st of April 2008, he said that he didn't normally work on Sundays, but when we looked at the financial documents from the Prosecution's fund, we identified three separate Sundays on which he was paid for, surprise, surprise, lost wages. Lost earnings.

    Well, it gets worse, because he said that Charles Taylor sent him to Camp Naama, and yet, in interview, he said he'd never spoke to Charles Taylor. He then changed it later on to say, "Well, actually, I did speak to him a couple of times when I was a frontline commander." This is in his interviews. So this trustee who has been sent by Taylor to Naama to act as his eyes and ears, no doubt, as well as to help build up Mr Taylor's surrogate organisation, the RUF, doesn't - there is no evidence even of regular reporting back to the boss in Gbarnga. It is, in short, a pathetic collection of lies to which you were treated by this witness, at every single stage of his evidence. This is just the beginning.

    And what does this senior NPFL figure do in May of 1992, when the Top Final operation is on? Does he, like his brothers, the other NPFL people, does he go back into Liberia? No. He fights the Liberians and ends up with a cutlass in his head for his pains. That was the evidence he gave you. The evidence overwhelmingly suggests that it was nonsense that he was recruited by Mr Taylor, and it is obvious that he fell four-square into that class of person who was recruited by Sankoh and finally, when the Liberians withdrew, he stayed with the RUF, all the way through up to the year 2000, when the poor man finds himself arrested, falsely accused of a crime, and languishes in prison for five years or more.

    This is a man whose story grew and grew as time passed. As time went on, when you look at the interviews and you come to his testimony, he becomes more and more a confidant of Mr Taylor.

    Now, on one occasion, I've said where is the evidence of him communicating with his boss? On one occasion, he said in evidence that he communicated directly with Mr Taylor whilst in the field. It was pointed out to him that in his third interview with the Prosecution, and on any account the beginning of the cross-examination, the nonsense about not being bothered about the immunity letter or the end of it, on any account he's got the letter of immunity by this time, by this interview, what do the Prosecution investigators record him as telling them? "I never communicated directly with Charles Taylor whilst in the field."

    Oh, well, he said, oh, well, you know, the record may be wrong because of the language barrier. Unfortunately for Mr Mongor, this was one of the five interviews out of 24 when he actually had an interpreter present. So the language barrier collapsed in front of his very eyes.

    And before we move on to other elements of his evidence that demonstrate beyond any doubt whatsoever that he was simply making it up as he went along, as he got further and further into the thrall of the Prosecution, if he was so important at Camp Naama, why did he constantly go backwards and forwards between Naama and working at the Executive Mansion in Gbarnga in the year from March 1990 to March 1991, when the RUF invades Sierra Leone? That's what he told the OTP investigators in his interviews, "I went back and forth between the two". And yet when it comes to his evidence he said, oh, no, once I'd been sent to Naama in March 1990, there I stayed. No doubt to emphasise to you, the triers of fact, how important he was as the training commander in Naama. Unfortunately for him, again, in black and white, never corrected, there it was in one of his earlier interviews.

    Now, I'm going to turn to a separate issue that he gave evidence about, the Magburaka air shipment.

    Well, for a start, he told you it was in early 1998 that the air drop happened. He said, "It was in 1998 and not long after it we were pushed out of Freetown." That's to say the intervention occurred.

    Well, I am not somebody who would criticise any individual for getting a date wrong after a period - so long a period of time when they are being asked to remember all sorts of events over a span of at least ten years. However, you have to bear in mind with Isaac Mongor that he, unlike I suspect most of us, is someone who claims that his memory improves as time passes, unlike mere mortals whose memory sadly tends to fade and become less reliable as time passes. So, although I still don't criticise him for getting a date wrong, you have to bear in mind that he claimed that his memory got better and he remembered all sorts of things later when he was later being interviewed that he'd forgotten, things of vital importance you may think, that had somehow slipped his mind when being interviewed about them.

    Well, of course, in evidence, he puts the Magburaka air shipment down to Mr Taylor. He put pretty well everything down to Mr Taylor. Why? Because you know that in his interviews he didn't. He said Mr Taylor arranged that shipment from - and I'm afraid I'm going to have to mention the country again - Libya. Well, that was another story that he told you in evidence that had grown and grown as time went on.

    Where did the story begin? Well, in interview in July of 2007, we saw him telling not just a Prosecution investigator, experienced investigator, but also one of the Prosecution's own counsel, he said, "Oh, well, they were expecting that shipment from Burkina Faso." And he denied in cross-examination ever telling the interviewer, and it was Mr Werner, the lawyer, he denied ever saying anything about Burkina Faso. He said this: "I talked about Libya. How can I move from that to talk about Burkina Faso?" And yet this was one of the interviews that he specifically was asked about.

    "Was this interview read back to you at the end?"

    "Yes," he said.

    Well, what else is he recorded as saying in that interview? And bear in mind that's less than a year before he comes into this - not this, but he comes into the courtroom and gives you his testimony, all down to Mr Taylor. From Libya.

    He said this in that interview, "The RUF had arranged for it to be shipped in from Burkina Faso, but when they joined the AFRC, the contract was renewed by Johnny Paul Koroma." You have to say to yourselves, "Well, have the experienced interviewer and Mr Werner got it so wrong that when someone talks about Libya, they hear the words Burkina Faso?"

    No mention at that stage of Charles Taylor's involvement in any of that.

    Mr Taylor comes in as time passes. And what was his excuse for that? "Oh, well, I must have just forgotten to mention Charles Taylor's involvement in it." What on earth, I ask again rhetorically, what on earth is going on with this witness? We will see in due course.

    While we are mentioning the junta period, one thing he did say in his evidence to you is, "Oh, there was no mistrust between the AFRC and the RUF," a somewhat bizarre statement, you might have thought, when you heard it in his evidence, because by then it was already well established that there was mistrust from the outset between the two parties to what was described in one exhibit as this marriage of convenience.

    No, no, no, he said, he insisted there was no mistrust, and then we looked at his earlier interview, where he said, "There was mistrust between the RUF and the AFRC", and he was talking then about an early stage in the junta period. Why was he at such pains in his evidence to contradict a fact that we all know to be true? Who was he trying to help? What was he trying to achieve? What were the pressures on him? And what were the inducements that came into play in his mind, consciously or not?

    We move to the Freetown invasion.

    At the time of the Freetown invasion - sorry, at the time that he's first interviewed, interviewed, being asked tell us everything you know, everything you can remember about Charles Taylor, he's asked about the Freetown invasion in 2006. And there is no mention of Charles Taylor. So he's specifically asked, and he says, "I didn't really know anything about Charles Taylor's role in the Freetown invasion."

    Later, in 2007, there is a clarification interview, one of the 24, and he's asked specifically about the Freetown invasion, and whose idea it was, and no doubt, whether or not Mr Taylor had anything to do with it, he's asked actually about what he'd previously said, I don't know about Charles Taylor's role, and he says then in 2007, in interview, "Oh, I thought it was largely an AFRC affair." Still no mention of Charles Taylor. Then it turns out that it was Mr Taylor's idea all along after all.

    What on earth are you to make of this kind of testimony? Why didn't he tell the Prosecution that when he was first interviewed? Well, he was asked about that and he said, "Well, I didn't trust the Prosecution when I was first being interviewed by them. I thought they might turn against me." Despite the fact that he's clutching the letter of immunity from very early on in his long series of interviews with the Prosecution. And bear in mind that it is in 2007 when he's asked to clarify his remark about not knowing anything about Charles Taylor's involvement in the Freetown invasion, that he says, it's an AFRC affair. Well, is he trotting along to see the Prosecution time after time after time, still not trusting them, still thinking he's going to be prosecuted? Do you think that's plausible? Do you think that's credible? Or do you think it's a lot of nonsense? And Charles Taylor, once again, by the time we are getting close to his evidence and by the time he comes into court, suddenly, everything is down to Mr Taylor, that hitherto he knew nothing of Mr Taylor's involvement in.

    Put simply, it stinks. I am touching on a selection of the contradictions and inconsistencies in this witness's evidence. If I was to go through them all -- well, I won't - I don't need to finish that sentence.

    He gives a wholly implausible explanation as to why, if it was Mr Taylor's idea all along, why he didn't tell the Prosecution that.

    What has been going on here? Well, I'm not saying it's the full picture or the whole answer, but it is instructive in his case to look at what happened in one of his interviews that we saw in his evidence on the 7th of July - sorry, 7th of April 2008. And it starts at page 6765 and this is the only transcript that I'm going to ask if it's possible to be displayed. If it's not, I can read it. It's not a terribly long excerpt. I'm very grateful to Madam Court Officer. I think it's going to be displayed.

  • I note that it's open session but if you know the content.

  • It was all open session, Madam President.

    Despite the fact that there's all these screens in front of me the one that it appears on is at the far end of the bench. I will go from my hard copy here. 6765. I'll start at line 9. I'm very grateful to Ms Punt who has fund it on a screen much closer to home.

    I'll start at line 9.

    "Judge Sebutinde: Mr Koumjian, as I understand it, we're dealing with prior inconsistent statements. I, for one, have not had a satisfactory answer to the numerous questions by Mr Munyard around this issue. Every time he asks the question we get a slightly different answer from what he's asked, and I would like to get an answer to this prior inconsistency."

    And I then go back to what he told the interviewer in February - and - February 2007, when he was trying to find out what you meant in October 2006. That's to say, Charles Taylor - I don't know anything about Charles Taylor's involvement. He's asked again in February 2007, and bottom of the page, line 26:

    "Q. Why did you tell the interviewer in February 2007, when he asked you what you meant in 2006 October when you told him, 'I don't know about Charles Taylor's involvement in the decision to attack Freetown in January 1999', why did you tell the investigator that when he asked you for the second time, that by that you meant you understood the Freetown invasion was largely an AFRC project?

    A. I think when you said it was the AFRC that planned that to enter Freetown, but I was able to make it explicit to you that the AFRC were unable to enter Freetown without the help of the RUF because the enemy did occupy the other areas where we attacked them before SAJ Musa's group were able to get a free access to enter.

    Justice Sebutinde: Mr Mongor, I think you're avoiding the question. Nobody asked you to tell us the logistics of who entered or when they entered. For the nth time: Why did you tell in 2007 the investigators what you told them, that it was largely an AFRC project?

    The witness: The reason why I told them that is because if you look at the group that moved for the Freetown invasion, many of them were AFRC men who were soldiers. They refused to wait for the RUF group to join them. They were just doing it by themselves."

    Now, I then move on to something else, line 24:

    "Q. There came a time, did there not, in November 2007 when you tell them, the investigators, that Sam Bockarie told you he'd had a meeting with Charles Taylor and a plan had been developed to attack Koidu, Makeni, Kenema and other strategic areas prior to advancing to Freetown. Why did you tell them that in November 2007 when you'd been saying on several occasions before that you didn't know about Charles Taylor's involvement in the decision to attack Freetown?

    A. This was the time I said they had not asked me anything concerning the plans and I did say that it was when Sam Bockarie came with the ammunition, he explained to us the things that they discussed with regards our advancement.

    Q. But they asked you about Charles Taylor's involvement in the decision to attack Freetown on a number of occasions before November 2007. What made you change your story in November 2007?

    A. It was because I knew and I later realised something about the plans that Sam Bockarie brought with regards to the advancement that I later told the investigators.

    Q. Are you saying you'd forgotten about what Sam Bockarie told you of Charles Taylor's big idea to attack Freetown when you were questioned in 2006 and 2007, and that you suddenly remembered in November 2007? Is that what you meant by, 'I later realised something about the plans that Bockarie brought'?

    A. Yes. I am a human being. I am liable to forget. And you cannot say what I'm saying I will sit in one place and explain everything about it because it's history."

    And then this:

    "Q. Were you being pressed in November 2007 to give the Prosecutors more than you had given them on this subject before?

    A. Well, I have told you, yes, the Prosecution would want more information.

    Q. Yes. Were you being pressed?

    A. Yes. When they asked me over and over.

    Q. And did you feel that you had to give them more than you had already given them to satisfy them?

    A. Well, it was not something to satisfy them that I was to say but it was because it came to my mind that I told them at that time."

    Now, just pausing there, do you accept for one moment that he had forgotten until he was being pressed and asked over and over that he'd forgotten before November 2007? Before a date, I remind the Court, when this trial should have been well underway and anyone who was being interviewed as a prospective witness probably had been aware that they were likely, especially someone who has been interviewed since 2006, likely to be coming to The Hague at some point in 2007. We know the reasons. We don't need to go into that, why it didn't happen.

    "A. It came to my mind that I told them at that time.

    Q. Did you have a shaky heart in November 2007 when you were being interviewed again?

    A. Well, I have so many other things, so many problems that disturbed me, but I cannot say that it was because of that at that time that my mind was shaky but I am a human being. I normally have problems I think about."

    Now:

    "Interview number 19, it was. Did you worry, Mr Mongor, that you were being interviewed now for the 19th time and they still - and that they really needed something more out of you or that you might be in trouble yourself?

    A. I have my mind on so many other things. I think about so many things, my Lord. I'm a human being. I will have something in my mind as I'm sitting here, then maybe I'll forget about it and start thinking about some other things. You will not tell me as a human being that it is always that you have a steady mind."

    I then - I'm not going to read all this out. I, then, in summary form, I asked him - I pointed out that the week before, he said he didn't know that the RUF accused were on trial but then had changed his account later. And over the page, line 7.

    "Q. Do you recall whether I first asked you that you said, 'no, I didn't know they were on trial'?"

    And he agrees, "Yes, I recall."

    "Q. When you were interviewed in November 2007, were you told that the RUF trial was taking place?

    A. Even if it happened, I can't recall now whether they said it and that I heard it."

    I then asked for a document to be put on the screen, and you'll pick it up at line 24, that we had very recently been handed. And I read from the question, line 24".

    "Q. It's the Special Court of Sierra Leone Office of the Prosecutor interview notes, dated the 29th of November 2007, being interviewed by an investigator S Streeter, the language is in English, and the Prosecutor, who is present in the interview, Alain Werner."

    Over the page, line 2. Actually we don't need to know about the time of the interview. Line 6.

    "It would be 1310 in 24 hour clock.

    "Q. 'Alain Werner discussed'" - I'm going to read out the initials in full - "'Alain Werner discussed trial date and assured the witness knew the process involved in trial transport, accommodations, et cetera.'"

    That bears out my point that by that time he would have been advised about the arrangements that would be made for him to come to give evidence in this trial. Line 13:

    "Q. Now this is the end of November, last year. It's not very many months ago. Can you remember when you went to be interviewed then by Mr Werner and another that they were talking to you about transport and all the processes involved in your giving evidence in the trial?

    A. I think so.

    Q. 'Alain Werner explained that RUF Prosecution was complete.' Can you remember Mr Werner telling you the Prosecution part of the RUF trial was now complete?

    A. Maybe he said but I forgot."

    Again I'm not going to bother with the rest of that. If I go over the page, line 6:

    "Q. And you knew perfectly well that the RUF accused were on trial because you'd been visiting the detention yard in 2005 and 2006, hadn't you?

    A. I'd gone there.

    Q. Let's go back to the page."

    I repeated what Mr Werner had said.

    "Q. Did he not only tell you that the Prosecution part of the RUF trial was over, but the information they were seeking now concerns the Taylor Prosecution? Did he tell you that?

    A. Yes. As you're explaining now I recall, yes."

    He then went on to say he didn't think he'd taken part in the RUF prosecution, and he said that he didn't think he'd been asked questions with a view to being a Prosecution witness in the RUF case.

    Over the page, and this, I suggest, is very telling indeed. Because this is the interview where he starts to say that Charles Taylor, contrary to everything he'd said in the past, Charles Taylor was the brains behind the Freetown invasion. I quote to him line 2 from the note.

    "Q. 'Alain Werner explained that the information being sought now,' that's November 2007, 'concerns the Taylor prosecution. Alain Werner explained to the witness,' that's you," to the witness, and I'm pointing out to him that's him, "'that as a top level commander he would be privy to more information than he has disclosed so far.'

    A. Yes. They told me they've heard some information concerning me so that was why they called me to explain as part of the high command."

    And then I point out: "It doesn't say there that they told you they had information concerning you."

    He then says, "They had information."

    Line 14 - sorry, line 15:

    "Q. What was the information?

    A. I only know they had information that I was part of the high command and I was someone who had been with the NPFL before and the RUF, so I should be able to give some more -- some information concerning the two parts."

    Another telling answer. Then I put to him:

    "Q. This is interview 19. They knew perfectly well before then you'd been part of the high command, because that's what you'd been telling them."

    And of course, pausing there why else had he been given a letter of immunity the year before?

    "A. Yes, I've not denied that, I told them that."

    And then, he persists in saying there was information. Over the page:

    "Q. What was the information they had on you?

    A. I can't know that now but I've told you they said I was one of the RUF high command and they asked me whether I was and I agreed."

    Line 7:

    "A. They had known but suppose I'd come and if I was called by somebody, I come, they ask if I'm one of the high command and I said no. How would you believe that?"

    Then line 13:

    "Q. Alain Werner explained to you that as a top level commander you would be privy to more information that you disclosed to the Prosecution in the 18 previous interviews, that's what he was telling you, wasn't it?"

    I had to repeat that. And then you see, he answers, line 23:

    "A. Yes, he told me.

    Q. They wanted you to give them something you hadn't given them already, is that right?

    A. Maybe it was not something that I'd not given to them before, but maybe they wanted me to add to what I had given them before."

    And then I put to him that he'd added to it by making up a pack of lies about Mr Taylor.

    Now, standing back from this witness, standing back and looking at every stage of his evidence, he changes his story fundamentally. Look at the facts, look at the financial support, look at the payments for loss of earnings when he wasn't even working, look at the financial inducements, look at the pressure, look at the fear on him, look at his shaky heart even though he had in his hand a letter of immunity from Prosecution, and look at the contradictions, the inconsistencies, the lies, the implausibility, and in our submission, no reasonable court could possibly rely upon a word that a witness like that was saying. He is but one example. There are others, there are certainly others. We have referred to some of them in our final brief in that final section. We have referred to others in other parts of the final brief. But in our submission, if this Court was to place any reliance at all on witnesses of this sort, then the tide of justice in this International Criminal Court is at a very low ebb indeed.

    Madam President, those are my submissions.

  • Thank you, Mr Munyard. As I understand, there are no other matters this morning, I will adjourn the case until tomorrow morning at 9.

    My apologies. I think there may be questions from the Bench.

  • Mr Munyard, I know that you in the Defence team, you've organised your closing arguments by dividing certain topics between yourselves, but I have questions that I'm not sure which of you should be answering them, but I'll place the questions any way.

  • Certainly.

  • The first one relates to, I think paragraph 439 of the Defence brief, which deals with the ULIMO buffer zone. Paragraph 439. Closure of the border by ULIMO. In this paragraph the Defence argue that ULIMO controlled the borders between Liberia and Sierra Leone from late 1992, early 1993, to, and I quote, "June 1996." But in the closing arguments, I think it was Mr Griffiths who stated that this buffer zone was in existence until the election of the accused in July 1997. So that there is almost like a year's difference. Now, which of these times does the Defence wish the Trial Chamber to take into account?

  • Your Honour, I think the position is that there is evidence to both of those effects. There is evidence from some witnesses, and indeed, a document to the effect that at the very least it was until 1996. There is other evidence that it was until Mr Taylor's election in 1997. And so I'll certainly have that investigated for you, and no doubt, in the course of tomorrow's session, we will be able to give you a resolved position on that by reference to evidence. But there is evidence from different people that says different things. What you see in paragraph 439 is the most conservative. In other words, in effect, it's the most generous account from the point of view of the Prosecution. Whereas, in fact, there is other evidence that suggests that the border closure went on for longer.

  • Supplementary to that, is it the Defence submission that ULIMO controlled the entire border from 1992, 1993, or does the Defence accept the Prosecution's submission or position that ULIMO controlled the entire border over a period of time commencing from late 1992, 1993 progressively.

  • Again, there is contradictory evidence on this. Some of the evidence is to the effect that by the time ULIMO split into the two groups, between them they contained the whole of the border. Some in the north and some in the southern counties.

  • Mr Munyard, please have a seat. We are just looking into the logistics of continuing now because the tape has either run out or about to.

    We understand that it will take ten minutes to change the tape, and since we are already into a mid-morning break scenario and I understand that there are logistics relating to Mr Taylor and others, we'll take the mid-morning break and resume at 11.30.

  • Very well. I was going to suggest a possible solution that Justice Sebutinde gives me her questions now and that we deal with them tomorrow in our rebuttal. And so obviously the questions would be repeated on the record tomorrow and then we could supply the answers as well. I don't know how many more questions your Honour has but if it was only a few, then that might be a sensible and practical solution.

  • I have about three or four questions, but the problem of course was with the record, the tape having run out.

  • Yes, that's the way I was suggesting of getting your questions on the record tomorrow.

  • If you prefer for me to ask these questions tomorrow and thereby to eat into your two hours of rebuttal, I can do that.

  • What I was actually suggesting is if you give the questions to me now, then it would probably speed things up if we give you the answers tomorrow. In other words, it would eat less into our two hours.

  • As Madam President said we will adjourn for half an hour, and return. I'll give you the questions, you can give us the answers whenever.

  • Please adjourn court to 11.30.

  • [Short recess at 11.06 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 11.30 a.m.]

  • Madam President, a change on the Defence bench; our case manager, Mrs Moilanen, has now left us.

    May I answer Justice Sebutinde's first question? Moses Blah, Prosecution witness, said the border was closed in effect until 1997, I am reliably informed. I haven't in the short time been able to check that but the source it came from is usually impeccable. So there is a Prosecution witness for you who said that.

  • All right. My next question, Mr Griffiths, is during your presentation, you've asked the Trial Chamber to - when addressing credibility of witnesses, you've said some witnesses are not to be believed completely, one example being Isaac Mongor. You just gave us that one example. You didn't give us a list. Am I to take it that in the written brief, this list is indicated of witnesses that should be totally disregarded?

  • Your Honour, certainly those at the back. There are others referred to, and I'm just anxious that I don't call out a name when I should be calling out a number but can I mention two numbers to you? If you'll give me a moment to put my glasses on, I'll get the numbers for you. I say two numbers, there is one in particular. And I'm afraid I can't now remember if he was protected or not.

  • I think it will be safe if we go by TF1-numbers.

  • Yes, certainly I just need to get it TF1-338 is another example of a witness who was so discredited in Prosecution - who so contradicted his previous statements with his testimony.

  • I think the question that I'm asking or the clarification is not for more examples, because your submission was there are some witnesses who fall in the category of not reliable, and then there are others who are so unreliable that the chamber should just throw them out.

  • It's this latter category that I'm asking. Do you indicate in your final trial brief, the written brief, this distinction? Or not?

  • I don't think we put it in quite those terms. I've certainly put it in those terms this morning and I would invite the Court to take on board my approach to the witnesses listed in the final section of the brief, together with 338, who is not dealt with specifically there, but is dealt with in other parts of the final brief, as a group of witnesses to whom my submissions, we, the Defence, wish to apply.

  • Very well. My second-last question relates to Mr Taylor's being the "ECOWAS point president", in quotes, in 1998. Now, Mr Griffiths, during his presentation, mentioned ECOWAS minutes showing that ECOWAS asked Mr Taylor to quote unquote "get involved" in Sierra Leone. And this is referred to at the transcript at pages 49465 to 49466. Mr Griffiths then mentioned documents referring to Taylor's involvement in 1999, and I think it was Mr Koumjian who raised this issue that there is lack of documentation supporting Mr Taylor's mediating role in 1998.

    Now, can the Defence refer to any documentation on Mr Taylor's role in Sierra Leone in 1998? Or not? That is one question. If you can't answer it today.

  • I can't. We'll seek to give you an answer to that tomorrow.

  • Right. And again the last question is document-related, and this is the issue of Sam Bockarie's trips to Monrovia in the year 1998. I think the evidence somewhere between the Prosecution and the Defence, is that Sam Bockarie made trips in September, October and November of 1998, and Mr Griffiths during his presentation indicated to the chamber that the way you had divided the work between yourselves, you would address the issue of documentation supporting these trips. We've now come to the end of your presentation. You didn't. But I wanted to give the Defence this opportunity, really, to tell us if there is documentation or there isn't. There would be my last question to you.

  • That would not be the first time - I suspect it probably is the last time, however - when Mr Griffiths has put something forward on behalf of the Defence team about which perhaps not all of them knew. I have in mind court sitting hours, by way of example. However, I will attempt to give an answer to that tomorrow.

    I wasn't in court yesterday during Mr Griffiths's submissions, and I only learned late in the day of matters that he anticipated I might be dealing with that I might or might not have been dealing with. I don't want to say any more than that but I will attempt to deal with that or to have that dealt with tomorrow.

    Your Honour, Justice Sebutinde, is that the last of your questions? Because I just want to go back to the first two. In our submission - I've answered the first one about who says the border was closed until 1997, the Prosecution witness Moses Blah. As far as the entire border is concerned, I hoped I'd made it clear it's our position that the two ULIMO groups, I think K were in the north, Lofa County, and J were in Grand Cape and Bomi County in the south. And it's our position that the entire border was closed off for the period that we've stated in the final trial brief. And again I emphasise that the final trial brief date of 1996 is one that I don't think anyone disputes, whereas from Prosecution witnesses, there may be differing accounts as to whether or not it was closed until 1997. But there you have in the evidence of one Prosecution witness, Moses Blah, that it was closed until 1997. And we don't dispute that.

  • Thank you. That would be all from me.

  • Madam President, are there any other questions from the Bench?

  • Perhaps I can expand on a question asked by Justice Sebutinde relating to the - Mr Taylor's role as a point President, Justice Sebutinde limited it to certain events. And I would broaden it to ask for any documentary evidence relating to that position. We have had several ECOWAS reports, et cetera, tendered. Perhaps if you could define in those or related documentation.

  • Madam President, are you asking for more documentation in addition to what you've received or are you asking for clarification?

  • Oh, no, I'm only limiting my questions to documents tendered before the Court, because that is what we are going to consider, what is in evidence. I'm not going to consider any extraneous.

  • I'm sorry I used the wrong word when I said received, I really meant addressed upon. Are you asking if there is any other material that you weren't addressed upon?

  • That's basically it, yes.

  • Certainly. Again can I put that over to tomorrow?

  • Indeed, I would anticipate it would require a little research. Maybe a lot more than a little research.

  • Can I say straight away I'm not going to commit anyone to deal with anything in their submissions tomorrow, but we will do our best to answer all of your questions.

  • Thank you, Mr Munyard. That is all we have from the bench and I will therefore restate that we will adjourn now and resume court tomorrow at 9 o'clock.

    Please adjourn court.

  • [Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 11.40 a.m., to be reconvened on Friday, the 11th day of March 2011, at 9.00 a.m.]