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

  • Yesterday you will recall, Mr Marzah, that I was asking you about various atrocities which you accepted you committed you tell us in three different countries, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Do you remember me asking you about that?

  • Yes and I will stand again and clarify the doubts so that you can be satisfied with the atrocities that happened through the directive of Mr Taylor.

  • Now on that topic I just want to ask you one or two other questions, please. Can you help us as to why it is you didn't mention a single word of those wicked things you did in all the interviews you conducted with investigators?

  • Why didn't you mention anything about slitting open pregnant women, smashing babies' skulls against walls, executing hundreds of people yourself, why didn't you mention any of that to the investigators?

  • Thank you very much. I will say the truth and nothing but the truth. Let me make it clear to you that once I have been present here and before I came I never knew that this was something that I was going to sit here and explain and even the atrocities that happened against the UN, ECOMOG and others, it is now that it is coming in my mind, so those are the two questions that I would want to make clear to you. Thank you.

  • Let me try the question again. Why did you not mention a word of any of the accounts you gave yesterday to any of the lawyers who questioned you or the investigators? Why not?

  • Objection. That assumes a fact not in evidence and I believe not true.

  • Your reply, Mr Griffiths?

  • Well, based on the material we've been disclosed I see a foundation for the question. Of course if Mr Koumjian is sitting on information which hasn't been disclosed then I may be acting in error, but I don't know.

  • Well, information has been disclosed. For example - I could point to it if counsel wishes it, but particularly this question dealt with investigators and attorneys and in the last several disclosures concerning Mr Marzah's discussions with me many of these atrocities were disclosed. I can give the dates and the paragraphs if necessary.

  • My learned friend will have his opportunity to re-examine, your Honour, and I was intending in any event to deal with what was in fact said by this witness in those interviews. So perhaps if I'm allowed a few uninterrupted questions I might be able to establish the position.

  • Matters can be raised in re-examination, but you must not mislead the witness. If it has been disclosed or if he has said it would be improper to mislead the witness.

  • It was my fault, Mr Marzah, because I was hoping to deal with matters expeditiously, but what I suggest we do --

  • Thank you very much.

  • Your Honours, the witness's microphone is not on.

  • Just pause, Mr Witness, until we get your microphone on, please.

  • Okay. You know, I was so disappointed that all my explanations were not disclosed to the lawyers. And even explain how I went according to Mr Taylor's order to disarm the ECOMOG, how the Nigerian soldiers were slaughtered by us through Mr Taylor's instruction and also the disarmament of the UN and the reason why they were not allowed to return. I explained all of those, but all of those of my statements were not disclosed out here in the Court yesterday. So I thank you for bringing that up, Mr Lawyer.

  • Mr Marzah, let's return to the topic I'm trying to deal with and it's a simple topic. Did you at any stage in any interview with the Office of the Prosecution mention that you had opened up pregnant women's stomachs with a knife?

  • Can you tell me when you did that?

  • When I slit the pregnant woman's stomach open I said it was an instruction from my leader Charles Taylor and I go according to instructions. I am a military man.

  • Witness, please pause. The question relates to when you told the Office of the Prosecutor. Please answer that question.

  • I can't recall the date, but I have been explaining to them, from the Prosecutor's court in Freetown up to here, they have most of my statements, but they did not bring more out so the question should be for them.

  • But the answer to my question is, Mr Marzah, that you did mention that you Zigzag Marzah committed such an atrocity, you told that to investigators and lawyers in this case, did you?

  • I explained everything in details to them. Yes, sir, I did.

  • Secondly, and I'm taking in slowly in order that I don't mislead - secondly, did you tell any investigator or any Prosecution lawyer that you Zigzag Marzah had killed babies?

  • That is the same question. I will still answer to it yes. There was a unit called No Baby on Target. I explained all of those, yes.

  • So you did tell them, "I, Zigzag Marzah, on the instructions of Charles Taylor killed babies". You told them that, did you?

  • Yes, I told them about after Charles Taylor had formed the unit No Baby on Target he said no living thing was to be pitied up to young babies.

  • I know that in these statements you make mention of an operation called No Baby Living. I'm asking you a different question. Did you say to the investigators, "I, Zigzag Marzah, with my own hands on the instructions of Charles Taylor killed babies". Did you tell them that?

  • Yes, yes.

  • Did you Zigzag Marzah tell the investigators and the lawyers for the Prosecution that, "I have executed hundreds of people in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone". Did you do that?

  • I said above hundred. Yes, I did. I explained everything in details to the Prosecutors.

  • So you told them that as well?

  • Yes. I told them that the instruction I received from Charles Taylor and all what I did.

  • Because what I'm going to suggest is this, you see: The only references to such behaviour in all of this documentation that I've got here is a reference to a stick in a woman's vagina, a woman buried in sand and people being raped. Those are the only references and I'll be corrected if I'm wrong. No mention in any statement of opening up pregnant women or killing babies or killing hundreds of people. Can you help me, Mr Marzah, why none of that appears in any of the documents before me? Can you help me?

  • I will help you in the sense that that question goes to the Prosecutors because I explained my point of view and my grievances and all the things I did in the past on the directive of Mr Charles Taylor.

  • You told the Prosecutors about all of them, did you?

  • I repeat yes. I repeat yes. Again yes. Moreover yes, yes.

  • Mr Marzah, you see the man sitting over there who asked you questions before me, did you tell him about those things?

  • So you did tell him?

  • To all - I told you yes.

  • Thank you. So you told Mr Koumjian, the man over there, about pregnant women being opened up, babies being killed and you killing hundreds of people. You told him that, did you?

  • Now, your Honour, a matter of law I think arises because none of the statements that have been disclosed to me, and from the absence of any interruptions by my learned friend it would appear that my propositions are correct. If there is a record of this witness saying any such thing to Mr Koumjian I'd like to see it.

  • Your Honour, we have complied with all of our disclosure obligations and if you would like me to testify now about the statements I could. I don't think I - but counsel has the statements. I would say this: If I had heard the witness say he opened up pregnant babies and he specifically said that to me or killed them that would have been included, that specific statement, in the disclosure.

  • So would my learned friend be happy to confirm that no statement exists containing that kind of information. It might shorten matters.

  • I would confirm that. I also would indicate that I'm not saying that the question was asked to the witness. I would say that the witness did not make that statement --

  • I'm grateful to my learned friend.

  • Now, I'm still on the same topic, Mr Marzah, now that we've entered --

  • Stinger, he was my advisor in Jungle Fire.

  • You were introduced to investigators from the Prosecution by a man called Stinger. Who is he?

  • Stinger, he was one of the soldiers that took part in the war under Charles Taylor's regime.

  • And was he the person who introduced you to Prosecution investigators?

  • Were you introduced to Prosecution investigators by a man called Stinger?

  • Who is Stinger who introduced you to the Prosecution?

  • Stinger was one of the soldiers, all of us fought under Charles Taylor. And moreover he was assigned with me and I left him in Monrovia and apparently I went back to my home town Nimba.

  • I don't want there to be any confusion or any suggestion that I'm taking advantage of you, Mr Marzah, so what I'm going to do is this, I'm going to hand out for everyone's assistance bundles of transcripts of the various interviews conducted with you over a period of some two years. I think I have sufficient copies for everyone, your Honour, including the interpreters.

  • Now for everybody's assistance because the printed numbers in the top right-hand corner of the page do not follow consecutively I have numbered this bundle consecutively by hand in the bottom right-hand corner and we'll be using that number in order to bring the witness's attention to a page, but I will also for the record give the number at the top of the page.

  • Thank you, Mr Griffiths.

  • Mr Marzah, perhaps I could ask you before we start, and it's not that I want to embarrass you, can you read?

  • I told you from the beginning that I do not read and I can't write.

  • Well, very well. What I will do is I will read out to you and we'll have on the screen the particular passages that I'm interested in and so you'll be able to hear what was recorded by the investigators when you spoke to them. Do you follow me?

  • If you read it and if it is my statements I will believe it and if I was misquoted somewhere I will tell you no.

  • Thank you very much. Now I would like initially to draw your attention to the very first page of this bundle. It's page 1 in the bottom right-hand corner and the number at the top of the page is 00100137. You will see we have here notes made by investigators who spoke to you on 31 January 2006. Now can I pause there. Do you recall now, Mr Marzah, that it was in January a couple of years ago that you first spoke to the Prosecutors in this case?

  • When you explain and if I recall that it is my statement I will tell you yes, but I can't read and write and now you are showing me a paper so I don't know.

  • I'm just asking you about the date for now. Do you now remember that the first time you spoke to anyone from the Prosecution was on 31 January 2006?

  • I can't recall the date, but I can recall all that I said to the Prosecutors and the Prosecutor who is sitting over there was not the only person that were treating things with me.

  • Now I'm merely interested for the purpose of the topic I'm currently dealing with with the second sentence in paragraph 1: "The witness was introduced by Stinger." Now that Stinger, is it the soldier, your colleague from the army?

  • He is not my friend. He was a soldier assigned under Charles Taylor and he was also assigned under me, but he's not my friend.

  • Counsel didn't say friend, Mr Witness. He said colleague, meaning someone you worked with. Was this same person a person you worked with?

  • Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

  • And when had you worked with that individual?

  • That gentleman, that officer, we had been together for a long time during Charles Taylor's regime and I can't recall how many years we spent together.

  • And help me, please, how did it come about that Stinger introduced you to investigators from the Prosecution? Did Stinger approach you or did you approach Stinger?

  • Let me put it much simpler. We know that on 31 January 2006 you went to speak to the Prosecution. All I'm asking is this: Did that come about because your colleague Stinger came along and said, "Listen, Zigzag, there's some Prosecutors who want to talk to you" or was it a case of you going to Stinger and saying, "Stinger, look, my conscience is killing me for all of these wicked things that I did, I want to talk to a Prosecutor" and so he arranged it. Which of those two is right?

  • Should I explain it?

  • Okay, thank you. You know, it happened one time when I saw Stinger go to Nimba, my village, and he told me that there was an issue regarding the atrocities that took place in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, "So I wouldn't want you to be arrested by anybody, so it would be nice if you go and introduce yourself to the Prosecutors about the things that you know". So from there Stinger took me from my village in Nimba County to Monrovia. So that was how I was able to come around the Prosecutors. Thank you.

  • So can I ask you a blunt question then. You went to speak to the Prosecution because you were afraid of being prosecuted yourself?

  • I was not afraid. I was not afraid. I knew that I was taking instructions from my leader Charles Taylor, so if it came to explanations I was - I would be available to say the truth and nothing but the truth so that was the reason why I went there.

  • But why did your friend say to you then, "I wouldn't want you to be arrested". Do you have any idea?

  • Yes. The idea that I had was that at this time Charles Taylor had promised us that no African leader was going to be arrested, so I was almost surprised when they arrested him. And I was an ordinary officer, so that was the reason why I went around the Prosecutors to explain everything to them in details and the things happened through his orders.

  • Was it because you didn't want to be charged yourself?

  • When you began talking to the Prosecution were you told, "If you speak to us, Mr Marzah, you will not prosecute you". Were you told that?

  • To prosecute me how?

  • Did they say to you, "Unless you speak to us we will charge you with crimes". Was that said to you by anyone?

  • No, no, no.

  • Were you told then that you wouldn't be asked about the things that you did so long as you were prepared to talk about Charles Taylor?

  • I didn't do things on my own. Charles Taylor's government was a government that had a constitution that governed the state. So equally so all soldiers took direct instructions from Charles Taylor.

  • I have to interrupt you because time is short and I would like to finish with you as soon as possible. Let me try the question again please and listen carefully to the question and try and answer it. Were you told, "Mr Marzah, we won't ask you about things you did if you tell you what Charles Taylor did"?

  • I didn't do things on my own.

  • Please pause. Mr Griffiths, with respect, it may be that he doesn't quite understand the question because I can see some ambiguity in it myself.

  • Let me try the question again.

  • If you could please try again.

  • Did anyone at any stage say to you, Mr Marzah, before you began speaking to the Prosecution investigators something along the lines of, "If you tell us about Charles Taylor we're not really interested in what you did"?

  • No, they didn't.

  • Were you told by anyone, "If you provide us with information we will look after you financially"?

  • Very well. Let's go back to the first page in this document, please. Now we see at the second line, the definite article at the end of that line, "The witness was sober and composed". Can I ask you this please, Mr Marzah: Do you take drugs?

  • I don't take drugs. I don't take drugs.

  • Do you have a problem with drink?

  • I don't take that. I have a serious problem that I incurred from the rocket when I was under Charles Taylor so I don't take drugs and I don't drink. I showed you yesterday. Look, listen, are you listening to my ear? So there is no way that I can drink nor take drugs.

  • Now remember yesterday we spent a little time talking about atrocities committed by you in Sierra Leone. You remember that, don't you?

  • Do you remember me asking you yesterday about atrocities committed by you in Sierra Leone?

  • I can remember some and through questions - it was actually not something that was put on record as though I was going over it, but through questions I can remember some or even more.

  • I ask for this reason, you see: I wonder if you would turn with me to page 49 in that bundle. Page 49, bottom right-hand corner, page 00022958 at the top. I wonder if we can put it up on the screen, please. Penultimate line on that page:

    "Zigzag had sent situation reports to Taylor and Sankoh every day. Some days he would send up to five reports. At first it was just to Taylor, before the RUF was named. After RUF was named Zigzag would report to Sankoh and Sankoh would report to Taylor. Taylor would call Zigzag confirming reports sent to Sankoh. Taylor would call Zigzag to confirm Sankoh's reports as Sankoh was afraid to go to the front line and Taylor knew this."

    Now this:

    "Zigzag would report on progress made, casualties on both sides, prisoners of war, captured civilians. He did not report physical or sexual violence against civilians because he did not see it."

    Did you tell the investigators that?

  • When the question is too long I will be confused. Please shorten it so that I can understand it.

  • Did you tell the investigators as recorded here, "He did not report physical or sexual violence against civilians because he did not see it". Did you tell the investigators that?

  • I did make mention about the raping of women and when Mosquito took action against the soldiers, yes.

  • We'll come to one or two instances where you mention that, I'm just dealing with this passage, because just so that you understand, Mr Marzah, in this passage you're dealing with making regular reports to Charles Taylor about what's happening in Sierra Leone, up to five such reports a day, and you're telling the Prosecutors in that regard that you did not report physical or sexual violence because you didn't see it. But you were doing it yourself, so how could you be saying this to the investigators?

  • Let me tell you one thing. In my reports to Charles Taylor I used to focus on what happened at the battle front and so many things happened and I cannot recall all of them and even the sexual violence that you are talking about, it existed in the NPFL as well as the RUF. So there were so many activities that I can't recall all of them.

  • I'm not going to labour that point, Mr Marzah, because I'm anxious to get on, but --

  • Help me please with this: Is it your position that Mr Taylor ordered these atrocities to be carried out?

  • Yes, sir. Without his instruction if you did things your own way you will be executed.

  • Now did Mr Taylor take any steps to curb ill-disciplined behaviour by soldiers on the ground?

  • No, no, no. The only action I saw Mr Taylor taking was that anybody who did not go by his instructions, definitely you will be executed.

  • Turn to page 56, please, last paragraph:

    "Zigzag advised that when he stated members of the Special Forces lost interest in the war he was referring to the Liberian war when many NPFL Special Forces lost interest in fighting and were concentrating more on looting, women, abandoning their assignments and killing innocent civilians. Because of this Charles Taylor invested power on the junior commandos and Small Boy Units. SBUs were deployed to check points to arrest and detain or discipline Special Forces members excluding Benjamin Yeaten. This order was by way of written documents distributed to each commander of the NPFL and signed by Charles Taylor."

    Is that true?

  • The question is too long. Repeat it.

  • When certain Special Forces were abandoning their duties, looting and raping did Charles Taylor give the junior commanders and SBUs powers to discipline them?

  • The only power that he gave to the SBU was that any Special Forces that was on the front, when they were on the battle front they would do raping, they would do looting and as long as you were at the battlefront you will be safe there, but if you went somewhere else that was not the battle front and you did those things then you would be taken care of.

  • Let me ask a different question then. As mentioned in this passage did Charles Taylor issue written documents seeking to discipline Special Forces for their misbehaviour?

  • I did not see a document, but what I saw was that SBUs were deployed and they said they were - the Special Forces were not fighting and that those who were going to the rear, meaning the safety zone, those were the people for whom he deployed the SBUs. But those who were that battle front, they had their right to rape, to loot and do any other thing and they carried out executions by his instructions. Thank you.

  • Did Mr Taylor issue documents which were distributed to each commander and signed by him regarding ill discipline?

  • I will be bold to tell you as I am before you here I don't value any paper. What my commander Taylor told me was what I did. So on the issue of documents please do not ask me about that. I don't know anything much about paper business.

  • Well, if you didn't know anything about paper business why did you tell the Prosecutors, "This order was by way of written documents" and you see you said that to them - hold on, let me just finish the question, please. You said to them on 21 September 2006 when you were interviewed by a Mr MacCormack a Mr Ross, and a Mr Mustapha Koroma. That's what you told them. Now help us, why did you tell them that, unless it was the truth?

  • Maybe - I will say the truth and nothing but the truth. Maybe they misquoted me. I told them that I am not a learned - I'm not educated and that I was only taking instructions from Charles Taylor and all that happened was what I told them.

  • Very well. Let's move on because we can see what's on the page. During the incursion into Liberia by the NPFL were any steps taken by any commanding officer to curb ill discipline by soldiers on the ground?

  • The initial arrival of the NPFL, it was only during Prince Johnson's administration that looting and raping were not allowed. And even when a soldier went to capture a town you will not sleep in the town, everyone will go back into the bush and sleep there. But since Mr Taylor arrived the looting, the stealing and the harassment started and that was how he was able to get more manpower.

  • Now on that note Prince Johnson was very much a hands on commander, he was at the battle front with his troops, wasn't he?

  • Prince Johnson was a physical man. He used to be at the battle front and during his administration there were no Special Forces. The only - they were only expected to do the physical jobs that they were to do.

  • What I mean by the question, Mr Marzah, is this: I don't know if you understand the phrase, but he was the kind of commander who wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty along with his men?

  • Yes, Prince Johnson was effective, he had command structure, he did not take nonsense from any soldier who went around looting, raping or harassing and for that reason the whole county embraced him. They used to get food from the various villages by themselves and they used to offer him so that he will supply us with that food. Thank you.

  • Because he was on the front line he was in a position to supervise and control the behaviour of his soldiers, wasn't he?

  • Yes.

  • Now, in contrast, Charles Taylor was not the kind of leader to be at the front line, was he?

  • At times Charles Taylor used to go to the front lines, most times he visited the front line and he saw some of the activities but no action was taken by him.

  • The reason I ask the question I've just done is this, please turn over to page 57, just above the middle of the page: "Zigzag stated that during the period that Prince Johnson was a commander no soldier looted, raped or harassed civilians."

  • Yes.

  • "When Prince Johnson left and established his own faction (INPFL) soldiers in the NPFL began to loot, rape and execute civilians on their own, knowing that no action would be taken against them. This was partly due to Taylor not attending the front lines like Prince Johnson used to."

    Did you say that to the Prosecutors?

  • I said it and I backed that with - when I said to them that it was according to his instruction and anything that happened, destruction, raping and harassment, it would not happen in the absence of him and anything we did we did so that we could reach Monrovia.

  • The point I'm making is this that there was an essential difference, wasn't there, between Prince Johnson and Charles Taylor in terms of how closely they supervised their men. Would you agree?

  • To supervise, at times Prince Johnson did not go to the war front but his actions made us to be afraid so that we would not do such things, but when he himself Charles Taylor went to the war front and saw the destructions, the way he appreciated them, that let us to carry on with it.

  • And if we turn to page 36 you see again there just above the top hole punch you say this - page 36:

    "Prince Johnson was military commander - told fighters 'Don't loot, don't rape and harass, you are here to help the people'."

  • Mr Griffiths, I'm following you on the hand numbering.

  • Page 36 at the bottom, your Honour, it should be page 00016780 at the top.

  • Thank you, my learned colleague has indicated it for me. Sorry for the interruption.

  • And you agree with that sentiment, do you, that you were ordered not to loot, rape and harass?

  • During Prince Johnson's administration there was full instruction and the actions of him, no man would have been brave to do such things.

  • And again if we turn to page 89 in this bundle, the top line on the page:

    "The witness also stated that during 1990-1991 in Liberia any soldier that raped would be killed and any soldier that looted would have their hands cut off."

    Is that true?

  • During Prince Johnson's administration the hand you did it with, they would cut that hand. If you went and raped, definitely he will treat you. But not '91. And after Prince Johnson left all of these activities started during Charles Taylor's administration.

  • And one other reference in this regard, turn to page 11, please, last line on that page:

    "The witness stated that his group", this is in Liberia in 1989, "only targeted the military and did not engage in any looting or criminal activity."

    Page 11, your Honours. It's page 11 at the bottom and page 00016698 at the top. Do you remember telling the Prosecutors that?

  • I told the Prosecutors that during Prince Johnson's administration in 1990 from December 24 to up to Prince Johnson's departure there was no looting and raping. We only targeted armed men, not civilians.

  • And so far as the RUF are concerned are you aware of any activities by RUF commanders seeking to control misbehaviour by RUF members?

  • What I experienced about the RUF commanders was that the same instruction from Charles Taylor extended within the RUF, so when a civilian carries a complaint no serious action is taken. Even the civilians were enslaved by farming and will do all sorts of things for the RUF and when they forwarded complaints no action was taken.

  • Now let's just try again, please. Are you aware of any actions taken by RUF commanders to control, for example, people who raped?

  • The one that I experienced, it happened once during Sam Bockarie's administration. Some civilians went and complained that they raped their wives and Mosquito said he was going to take action and in my presence he never did.

  • Didn't he?

  • Did he not take any action?

  • I said in my presence he didn't take any action against the soldier. But he only told the men - the man whose wife was raped that he was going to take care of his soldier, but he did not take any action in my presence.

  • Turn to page 34, please. Just above the middle of the page, do we see paragraph 5, four lines from the top:

    "The reason why the five RUF were executed by Sam Bockarie, they went on their own patrol in a village and where they raped women and killed a person. Then Sam Bockarie received the complaint, he did not try the soldiers, he executed them at once."

    Is that true?

  • That was done at the time when Foday Sankoh was still in power. It was Mosquito's girlfriend that those people went and raped. That was the reason he executed them. Apart from that he never took any serious action on an outsider's own.

  • Well, help me with this: Why does it not say here that he killed them because it was his girlfriend?

  • I told you that I gave so many statements and the people who were doing the writing, they misinterpreted in some of these documents. Even some points of correction, some of the documents you showed, he showed - there is the Prosecution. I made some corrections. Look at him there, you can ask him.

  • Tell me, why does it say "women" plural if it was just Mosquito's girlfriend?

  • The girls who were raped around Kailahun District where Mosquito's girlfriend was, some were included with Mosquito's girlfriend. That caused him to take a serious action. But so many rapes went on whereby civilian men went and complained and no action was taken in my presence. It did not happen only once, twice. I mean many times.

  • And help me please with this: Did you have a bush wife in Buedu?

  • Come again. Come again.

  • What part of the question didn't you understand?

  • The word you just spoke just now, I did not understand you. Repeat your statement.

  • Did you have a bush wife in Buedu?

  • How old was she?

  • The woman was about - she was having two kids according to her from Magburaka. They called her Hawa. Then in Koindu - I mean Kono I was having a girl by the name of Siebatu. She hadn't a child but she gave birth to a child for me.

  • And did either of those two women willingly become your partner?

  • It was one at the time. At the time Mosquito was there he gave me the lady - he approached the lady for me and when Mosquito left when I was retreating with Issa to Kono he approached Siebatu for me and Siebatu is now in Freetown. She's got our little son. Sometimes she visits me in Liberia, yes.

  • So would it be fair to say that she was forced to become your partner?

  • She was not forced. She was not forced.

  • She was just given to you like a bag of rice?

  • She was wooed by my friend to be my friend and she accepted it.

  • Now one other thing you mentioned about the RUF was the use of forced labour. Was it Charles Taylor again who ordered the use of forced labour?

  • Yes. I can tell you the reason when you ask me.

  • Let's just deal with things in stages. So you say Charles Taylor gave an order, right, that forced labour should be used. That's right, is it?

  • That question is for Charles Taylor, not me.

  • Did you receive an order from Charles Taylor or hear of such an order to use forced labour?

  • There was an order given to Mosquito by Charles Taylor, once we were in the jungle you should make use of the civilians to be making garden for you people in my presence. From there Mosquito implemented that order for Charles Taylor.

  • So you were present when Charles Taylor told Mosquito to use forced labour, were you?

  • When I tell you that I am one of the living persons of the NPFL what do you think?

  • Mr Witness, no facetious replies. Please answer properly.

  • Were you present when Charles Taylor gave an order to Mosquito to use forced labour?

  • Yes, yes. At the time --

  • Thank you. Turn to page 54, please. Page 00022963 at the top. Let's try the third line:

    "Zigzag is not aware of any order coming from Charles Taylor regarding forcing civilians to work. However, when this practice occurred no disciplinary action was taken against anyone."

    Is that true?

  • Your Honour, I think in context it should be put to the witness and it appears to be - I just turned to the page but it appears to be, from the paragraphs before, that this is all talking about NPFL which would appear to be Liberia. It seems to be different than the subject of the last questions with the RUF.

  • Well, help me. When you're saying there, "Zigzag is not aware of any order coming from Charles Taylor regarding forcing civilians to work" is that true?

  • Is that my question?

  • Repeat it. I thought that you were asking the lawyer. I was not thinking it's me, so repeat that question.

  • Just to deal with Mr Koumjian's objection, you're making a general --

  • I'm going to make a general statement and in light of the interruption, your Honour, I'm going to deal with it in a little bit more detail.

  • Your Honour, if I can just state I made an objection which I believe I'm entitled to do. It was not intended to be an interruption. I'm sorry. I'll try to be --

  • I treated it as a proper objection and I'm asking counsel if he's going to deal with that objection.

  • Mr Marzah, did you say to the investigators that you were not aware of any order coming from Charles Taylor regarding forcing civilians to work? Did you tell the Prosecutors that?

  • I told the Prosecutor the same structure that was in the NPFL extended with being in the RUF. So RUF and the NPFL were the same body. So any wrongdoing which were made were - had no action.

  • Did you tell the Prosecutors that you were not aware of any order coming from Charles Taylor regarding forcing civilians to work?

  • I can't remember that. I can't remember that, but what I know is what I am telling you, the same structures of the NPFL.

  • Next question: If what you're telling us about overhearing an order to Mosquito how could you have given an answer like that to the investigators?

  • What happened happened at --

  • Pause. The objection was that you were putting - excuse me, let's start again. The objection, and there's a validity in the objection, was that he is referring to NPFL forcing civilians to work. You're moving on now to a situation involving Sam Bockarie, by implication the RUF. Are you asking him whether he should have mentioned the RUF or are you moving into a completely new dimension that doesn't refer to the record of interview?

  • No, I'm not, your Honour. With respect, what I'm seeking to do is this: I'm seeking to suggest that the answer recorded there would not have been recorded in the way it was, even if within the context of NPFL, given what the witness is now telling us, particularly in light of his comment that whatever was NPFL was RUF and vice versa.

  • I do note, Mr Koumjian, in fairness to counsel for Defence, he said he's not aware of any order coming from Charles Taylor. So it appears to be broader and given that he has distinguished between the two situations I will allow the question.

  • Tell me, Mr Marzah, why did you give that information to the investigators given that you knew that you were present when Taylor had ordered Mosquito otherwise?

  • I will tell you the truth and nothing but the truth. You see, Mosquito was not a Sierra Leonean, he was an NPFL soldier and what we did in the NPFL by Charles Taylor's instruction extended within the RUF.

  • Now one final matter on this topic and I'm dealing with, I'm sure you understand, what you told us yesterday about atrocities and attempts to curb it, that's the topic we've been dealing with for much of the morning and the final matter in this regard I'm going to deal with is this: Even Benjamin Yeaten was subjected to disciplinary action by Charles Taylor, wasn't he?

  • Benjamin Yeaten was the chief security to Charles Taylor.

  • I know he was, Mr Marzah. I'm asking you a simple question. Even he Benjamin Yeaten was disciplined by Charles Taylor, wasn't he?

  • The only time he was disciplined was at the time that we were in Gbarnga when he failed to follow Charles Taylor's instruction. That was the time he was detained.

  • And what was that all about?

  • I can't recall now the actual fact, but it was about a certain issue in relation to the execution of certain people and rescued some among those people and that angered Charles Taylor and he took a serious step. It was a little bit - they were going to execute him.

  • Let's try the next page, page 55, 00022964 at the top, please, middle paragraph:

    "Zigzag stated that Charles Taylor gave the order to arrest Benjamin Yeaten in about 1992 and the reason for this order was that Charles Taylor's then chief of security Dopoe Menkarzon had instructed Anthony Menquenagbeh to carry a supply of arms and ammunition to the RUF in Sierra Leone and Benjamin Yeaten who was army division chief of staff based in Gbarnga and Lofa Highway intercepted this supply and distributed this supply of arms and ammunition to his commanders without the approval of Charles Taylor. The reason Benjamin Yeaten supplied for his action was that the enemies were coming closer to his territory and he would not allow the arms and ammunition to go to the RUF. When Benjamin Yeaten's actions were reported to Charles Taylor by" --

  • Your Honour, learned counsel is very fast, please.

  • Sorry, Mr Interpreter:

  • "When Benjamin Yeaten's actions were reported to Charles Taylor by Dopoe Menkarzon, Taylor ordered Benjamin Yeaten to be arrested and executed". Is that true?

  • Thank you. Now help me with this: Would you agree, Mr Marzah, that this episode demonstrates that even at the highest level of the Liberian administration in terms of people taking so-called instructions from Mr Taylor there was a great deal of ill discipline, wasn't there?

  • I will tell you the truth. Those who were indisciplined, they would be executed. That's why they formed the SBUS. But we took the right instruction, those who took the actions of execution with Charles Taylor's awareness went away with no action taken against them.

  • The simple point I'm trying to make is even somebody like Benjamin Yeaten, head of the SSS, would act in an ill-disciplined way. Would you agree?

  • It only happened once in Gbarnga in relation to some material, ammos that they were taking to the RUF. But since we got to Monrovia Charles Taylor introduced Benjamin Yeaten at his security meeting in front of the Executive Mansion that any activity of execution --

  • Would you agree, Mr Marzah, that this shows an example of a senior officer acting in an ill-disciplined way?

  • Which senior officer are we referring to now?

  • That is Benjamin Yeaten.

  • Benjamin Yeaten did so many things, put on some behaviours that were not proper, but later Charles Taylor called us at a meeting in the Executive Mansion and said whatever Benjamin Yeaten did he was aware of.

  • The point I'm making, you see, Mr Marzah, is this: That Liberia and Sierra Leone at that time was in chaos and it opened up opportunities for people like yourself and Benjamin Yeaten to line their own pockets and make money. That's the truth, isn't it?

  • To do what? Repeat the statement.

  • All right. Let me put it differently. Were you, for example, taking advantage of the chaos in Liberia to sell arms recovered from ULIMO to the RUF as a private way of lining your own pocket?

  • No, no.

  • Do you know anybody else who was?

  • To buy arms on the street?

  • Do you know of anyone during that chaotic period in Liberia's history who was taking advantage of that chaos on a private enterprise basis to sell arms to the RUF? Are you aware of that?

  • To sell arms to the RUF, no. RUF were taking direct supplies from the NPFL leader Charles Taylor. The only person that bought arms at the time was at the time I was ordered to take to Abu Keita was Sheku.

  • Very well. I'm going to move on to another topic now, please. Yesterday I asked you about the Freetown invasion and you told me you were not a bird so therefore as an infantryman you had entered Freetown. Do you remember telling me that?

  • Yes.

  • And that was the truth, was it?

  • Turn to page 30, please.

  • Sorry, what page did you say?

  • 30 at the bottom, your Honour, 00016768 at the top, paragraph 21.

  • "The witness further stated that while he was convalescing in Monrovia the AFRC/RUF rebels invaded Freetown on 6 January 1999. The witness stated that two days before, 4 January 1999, Taylor called him and asked him if he was medically fit to join the RUF fighters to invade and capture Freetown, that Freetown will fall to the AFRC/RUF rebels soon. The witness told Taylor that the condition of his leg prevented him from going. The witness stated that after his wound had healed he was involved in combat operations on south eastern Liberia against anti-Taylor forces."

    Help me, were you in Freetown at the time of the invasion or were you convalescing in Monrovia?

  • This paragraph you're reading is not correct.

  • I have an objection that the wording of this question may be vague to this witness. The reason being yesterday when the witness discussed the invasion, I'm referring to page 148 of the LiveNote lines 9 through 11, he said, "Including the invasion that took place in the city, the one that made JP to retreat along with Eddie Kanneh". So I don't believe it's at all clear that this witness is talking about 1999 when he talks about being in the city of Freetown.

  • I'm glad to see that my learned friend anticipated the point overnight because he has the transcript. I wonder if he could give us a reference. It would be helpful.

  • I did give a reference. I said page 148, lines 9 through 11.

  • Page 148, lines 9 through to 11. Now in my submission, your Honour, I was perfectly clear in my question yesterday, and it's quite clear that my learned friend must have seen the implications of the answer which is why he did his homework overnight to pull up that page from the transcripts. We submit that this is a perfectly valid question and I'd like to pursue this line, please.

  • Mr Koumjian, I see the point you're making. However, counsel for the Defence is entitled to put a prior inconsistent statement if he is of the view it is a prior inconsistent statement and you are entitled to clarify that issue in re-examination. I will allow the question as put.

  • Tell me, Mr Marzah, were you in Freetown for the invasion in January 1999 or were you convalescing in Monrovia?

  • I told you, do you see your paragraph 21 that you're talking about, '91, this and that, I don't know. What I know is that the invasion in which Johnny Paul, Eddie Kanneh retreated with us to Buedu to Mosquito's base. But '99, ninety ten, I don't know about that.

  • And were you there for that repeat, were you?

  • At the time of the retreat I was not by myself. It was at the time that I received the rocket wound on my jaw, on my ear.

  • No, help me, are you saying that as a consequence of being wounded you had left Freetown before the others or are you saying you weren't there at all?

  • I told you I was there. We carried out the invasion, during the fighting before I received this rocket wound. That is what I said.

  • Is it the case, Mr Marzah, that you were convalescing in Monrovia in January 1999?

  • The one you are talking about, 1999, it happened around Guinea area, but the invasion that you're talking about, I can't recall the specific year, but I know that the time that Charles Taylor sent me and said Mosquito has some group in Freetown to cooperate with us, when I carried the ammo we have to make sure that they entered Freetown and while in the city - while in the city of Freetown I received this rocket wound, so I didn't remember what happened later.

  • I'm going to try again. At the time of the invasion of Freetown in January of 1999 were you convalescing in Monrovia?

  • I can't recall the year. I can tell you that the invasion - I mean the invasion which made Johnny Paul, Eddie Kanneh [indiscernible], for them all to retreat with us, whether it was '99, or ninety ten, or '94, I can't remember the year. That's what I'm saying.

  • Let me try it this way: Was there a January in whichever year when you were convalescing in Monrovia while AFRC and RUF soldiers had invaded it?

  • No, no, no. You are misquoting me and this document that you're showing to me, it looks like you are reading your own document, it's not part of what I am saying. That's for yourself.

  • I'm not allowed to do that, Mr Marzah. I'm only allowed to put to you previous statements made by you. Now you're recorded on 13 March 2006 when you were being questioned by, I think it's a Rob Hotston, you said this to them, and all I'm trying to understand is this, were you in Monrovia as you told them or --

  • [Overlapping speakers].

  • Can I finish? Or were you in Freetown invading? Which of the two is right?

  • The one that is correct is that I was ordered by Charles Taylor himself that there was some group to join the RUF, I should take ammo and arms to join these people for us to take the invasion and to ensure that they take over the mansion. But during the move it was at the time that I was hit with a rocket on my head that split my ear and at last I didn't - I was not aware how they retreated. When I got better and I went back I saw Eddie Kanneh and others in Buedu. But I don't know about ninety ten, this paper that you're producing.

  • I'm going to try one last time before I suggest to you that you're deliberately refusing to answer the question because you know you are lying. Help me, please, this is the last time I'm going to ask you. Were you in Monrovia convalescing or were you in Freetown in January 1999?

  • You said January 1999. I only know about the invasion in which I took part and I will say the truth and nothing but the truth. I can't take an oath and sit down here and tell lies and this thing --

  • Mr Witness, you have told us that before. This is a straight question. Please answer it.

  • Yes, let him repeat.

  • In January 1999 were you convalescing in Monrovia or were you invading Freetown; which is right?

  • I don't remember the year, but I took part in the invasion of Freetown.

  • I'm going to suggest, Mr Marzah, that you know full well that you lied to us yesterday because you were anxious to show us how many things you claimed to have done in Sierra Leone and you'd forgotten what you'd told the investigators back in 2006. What I'm suggesting bluntly is that you are now lying about this. That is the truth, isn't it?

  • I can't tell lies and I will not tell lies. Even if you tell me that I'm lying, that's part of your job that you're doing. I can't tell lies. I'm saying the truth to you.

  • Very well. That's all I'm going to ask about that. I'm going to move on to another topic now. You are a Gio by birth, aren't you?

  • And how do you get on with Krahn? Krahn people, Krahn?

  • K-R-A-H-N. How do you get on the Krahn?

  • The only problem with the Krahn and the Gio is that Doe carried out atrocities against us and for this reason when we saw Charles Taylor we were happy to revenge, the same way they destroyed our people. But the whole thing is over, now we are united and we are together.

  • Let me ask you a very specific question now. Mr Marzah, do you know what a cannibal is?

  • Except you tell me, that English is too big.

  • What do you call someone to eats other human beings?

  • What do you call someone who eats other human beings?

  • The human being that can eat his fellow human being, it's a human being. The one that wants to kill you and eat your family and your people, you get rid of him and eat it the same way - and eat him the same way. It's just a revenge.

  • So you have eaten your enemies on more than one occasion, haven't you?

  • More than one time? Come again, repeat your question.

  • You have eaten your enemies on more than one occasion, haven't you?

  • Yes, by the instruction of Charles Taylor because of my Poro society. There is a ceremony for my Poro society and when he approved of it I carried on.

  • Turn to page 88, please. 88 bottom right-hand corner.

  • Yeah. Judge, I want to come in. I want to use the bathroom.

  • Madam Court Attendant, please assist the witness to leave temporarily. Mr Griffiths, if you wish to have a seat.

    Please continue, Mr Griffiths.

  • Page 88, please, and this is taken from an interview conducted with you on 2 July of last year and you told the investigators this:

    "The witness states Samuel Doe was a Krahn and so when the witness and his men would go into the Krahn counties they would kill all the people and eat them in the belief that this would rid the country of the whole Krahn race."

    Is that true?

  • Thank you, I will answer you. Yes, judge, please permit me to say something to you, sir, Mr President.

  • Try and answer the question, please.

  • You should answer the question. If you have some form of physical problem I will deal with it.

  • Okay, repeat that question.

  • Did you say to the Prosecutors on 2 July of 2007 that:

    "Samuel Doe was a Krahn and so when the witness and his men would go into the Krahn counties they would kill all the people and eat them in the belief that this would rid the country of the whole Krahn race."

    Did you tell the investigators that?

  • And was it the truth?

  • And was that when you first invaded Liberia?

  • The first time, no, no.

  • The first time when the NPFL entered Nimba County in Liberia is this when you were eating Krahn people?

  • When were you eating the Krahns then?

  • We fought in the county during Charles Taylor's administration when he said - he said he came to liberate us the Nimbalians, because Charles Julu had come to eat our own people. Sometimes he would come to the school campuses and cut off the students heads. So when Charles Taylor's came to liberate us we took the stance to go to their counties to revenge. And furthermore again, the explanation about the year is what you should ask me about.

  • Which year was it?

  • During Charles Taylor's regime from '93 to '94 at the time Charles Taylor was in Gbarnga and we were in Grand Gedeh when they drove him for Gbarnga when he sent for us again.

  • Maybe we should look at the context in which this paragraph appears in order to see whether you're telling us the truth about this. Let's start perhaps at paragraph 33:

    "The witness stated that the people from Nimba County were glad to join the Taylor forces when he came along because Samuel Doe and his forces had killed many Nimba County reasons who were mostly from the Gio tribe. This included women and children that they would capture, take them to the port in Monrovia and load them into containers, take the containers out to sea and dump them overboard."

    And then you go on to say about eating Krahns. So you're talking about when the NPFL entered Liberia. Are you saying that at that stage Charles Taylor ordered you to eat Krahns?

  • I told you yes, yes. Any activity against which you did not take action was appreciated by him. What Doe did by taking our own people, not just Doe, Charles Julu, he himself went as far as eating some of the Nimbalian children from school campuses. When he kills them they would butcher them in the street. Like AK Pa [phon], he did that there so many times.

  • Now according to you at the time that the NPFL entered Liberia you were under the command of Prince Johnson who didn't allow this kind of thing. So help me please, who was it who told you to eat Krahns?

  • Thank you very much. Prince Johnson did not go far enough in the war. We were in Tiaplay when Charles Taylor wanted - his Specials Forces wanted to kill him and he ran away from us. But when he came to encourage us mostly Nimbalians to join his forces, that whatever Doe did to your people you should revenge and carry out the same act and what they did to us was what we did to them. We hadn't any sea port or container to put the children there or this or that rather than to go and fight against them and destroy them.

  • Pause, Mr Witness. The question is who told you to eat Krahns? Please answer that question.

  • I said yes sir, yes sir. I said Charles Taylor.

  • Very well. And did Charles Taylor order you to eat people in Sierra Leone as well?

  • Yes, sir, to set example for the forces to be afraid.

  • So help me, where in Sierra Leone did you eat people?

  • It happened when we were disarming the ECOMOG by his directive. He said that those Nigerians were disturbing the south eastern region, when we captured them we should eat them. Even the UN, when we were disarming them he said he didn't want any of those white people to pass through Freetown to go, so when we get them we can use them as pork.

  • Pork. Pork to eat. Pig. Food.

  • So Charles Taylor told you you could eat Nigerians and white people as pork?

  • The Nigerian - the Nigerians and the UN. He said the remaining Africans which will pass with them through Buedu, he will turn them over to the international communities, but the others, like the Nigerians and some other people, we should kill them and do anything we want to do with them and that was what we were supposed to do with them is what I am telling you.

  • So, Mr Marzah, Charles Taylor ordered you to eat Nigerians --

  • -- and white UN officials. How did he give you that order? Was it in person or was it over the radio or what?

  • It was not over radio. When Mosquito went for the first time when ECOMOG were deployed and he gave the instruction for us to go and disarm the ECOMOG he said he hasn't got any room. Even when there is no food guerillas live by their fellow human beings, so we should live by them when had there was no food. So that was how we were living by them, by eating them. There he is sitting down.

  • How many UN soldiers or ECOMOG soldiers did you eat?

  • Thank you very much. The ECOMOG soldiers, the Nigerian troops, we eat a few, but not many. But many were executed, about 68. Those who were captured were executed. And the UN troops, the whites, after we had taken them to Vahun to Benjamin Yeaten's base Benjamin Yeaten himself executed about --

  • No, no, let's forget about executions --

  • Wait. Wait now. You can't eat them alive. You can't eat human beings alive. You have to execute them before you eat them, right.

  • Right. And did you cook them as well?

  • Yes, I participated. You think if my senior commander does something I will deviate from it?

  • So help me, please, just how do you prepare a human being for a pot?

  • I am sorry there's no way to demonstrate here because we are sitting.

  • Just describe it to us?

  • Okay. The way we do it, the way you're standing, sometimes we lay you down, slit your throat and butcher you and take out your skin, your flesh, throw your head away, your intestines, your flesh, we take it and put it in a pot and cook it and eat it. The way you're standing, you cannot stay like that and we eat you. We would kill you first and take those parts that are not good for us and this your palm, your two palms, we would put them together and clean inside your intestine and wrap it around, because it's not correct. It's a hard bone. Charles Taylor knows that. That's how we eat them.

  • And did you have a preference for white people, Nigerians or Krahns, which ones taste the best?

  • Yes, I have likeness for them, but there was no alternative to do it my own way. There was no was no alternative to do it your own way. As long as it was Charles Taylor who gave instruction and you did anything your own way you would be surely executed. If I'm lying, the remaining UN troops, the Africans that passed through --

  • Mr Witness, pause. You have deviated from the answer.

  • Now I mean that wasn't the only instant where you ate human flesh. You also ate Superman's heart, didn't you?

  • Yes, by the directive and a ceremony in Ben's yard by the time we turned over his hand to Charles Taylor.

  • And did Charles Taylor tell you as well to eat Superman's heart?

  • Where were you when he told you to do that?

  • Ask he himself. I can --

  • Mr Witness, I've told you before, no facetious replies.

  • Where were you when Charles Taylor told you to eat Superman's heart?

  • When after he had passed the instruction, because in his security meeting he said whatever instruction comes from Ben should be executed, whatever instruction came from Ben should be executed. Whoever does not go by Ben's instruction would be dealt with. So when we killed the men - the man and he said we should take out the heart and Charles Taylor said we should eat the heart and take the hand to him. So in my presence Ben and I entered at the back of his yard. He went inside in Charles Taylor's house and turned Superman's hand over to him and from there he gave us $200 each, went into his car and bought - he went and bought the ingredients to cook the man's heart with. That's how I believed that that was his instruction.

  • So it wasn't Charles Taylor who actually told you, it was Benjamin Yeaten?

  • It was Charles Taylor. It was Charles Taylor. It was Charles Taylor. Listen to my explanation.

  • So help me one final time because we're running out of time. Where were you when Charles Taylor gave you the instruction to eat Superman's heart?

  • At that time we had already executed Superman. We were in Monrovia with the man's heart and the arm.

  • Mr Witness, listen to the question. The question is about a place. Where were you? Where?

  • Okay, we were in Monrovia. In Monrovia. In Monrovia.

  • Where in Monrovia was it that Charles Taylor stood in front of you and said, "Zigzag, I want you not only to cut off his hand but to also eat his heart". Where were you when Taylor said that to you?

  • Objection, your Honour. As stated the question assumes facts that the witness has not testified to.

  • You're being overly precise, Mr Griffiths. You're assuming that the person was in front of him, et cetera.

  • Was there ever a time when you stood in front of Charles Taylor physically like now and he said to you, "Zigzag, I want you to go out and eat a human being" or a part of a human being?

  • Apart from Superman?

  • Okay, thank you.

  • Whether he be white --

  • Thank you, I understand. It happened twice when Gbarnga fell. I stood physically before Charles Taylor at the time Robin White was interviewing him. They were standing beside a jeep and he was telling the man that he was in his yard. That is the time he telephoned the Death Squad for me to carry out that execution. Anywhere there are human beings, you should eat them. They are no longer human beings. I was not in position to eat them raw, rather than to cook them with pepper and salt and fix some barbecue with them. It was from Gbarnga.

  • Would that be a convenient point, your Honour?

  • Indeed, Mr Griffiths. We will take the normal mid-morning adjournment. We will resume at 12 o'clock.

  • [Break taken at 11.30 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 12.02 p.m.]

  • Mr Griffiths, please proceed.

  • I am grateful, your Honour:

  • Mr Marzah, before we adjourned --

  • -- I was asking you about your eating habits and I just want to ask you a bit more before I close that topic, please. Now, if I understand your account, you played a very important role in the killing of Superman; is that right?

  • Yes, by my president's, Charles Taylor's, directive, for my life's safety, yes.

  • Can I pause for a moment to suggest that maybe we could get on a lot quicker if you don't add "on the instructions of Charles Taylor" at the end of every sentence. All right? Let us try a short answer. Now, did you also kill a man called AFRC Rambo?

  • No, Rambo was killed by Eddie Kanneh, through Charles Taylor's instruction, for him not to reveal information to JP.

  • Let us just be clear about it. You did not kill Rambo?

  • I did not kill Rambo, but Eddie Kanneh was instructed by Charles Taylor and Eddie Kanneh killed Rambo on Camp Schefflein Highway.

  • Can I, for everybody's assistance and future reference, ask that we put next to that answer "TF1-371".

  • I am not sure what counsel is asking. Are we arguing the case at this point?

  • Is this a matter that would be more relevant in submissions?

  • It is just so that everybody can have in mind the particular answer and that other reference, your Honour. I was just hoping to be helpful.

  • Mr Griffiths, I am just concerned about protective measures. I don't know why you are asking us to put "TF1-371" against this kind of answer, but is this in any way going to jeopardise the protective measures of TF1-371?

  • I would say no.

  • I don't think it will, your Honour, which is why I quite deliberately used the reference rather than the name. I am conscious, given my slip yesterday, we need to be careful:

  • Now, the final matter I want to deal with on this topic is regard to that account you gave yesterday about the President of Liberia, as he then was, engaging in the murder of a pregnant woman on the beach outside White Flower, okay? Now, can we turn first of all, please, to page 101, Madam Court Manager, in the bundle. We will need 102 as well, please. We are looking at a record made of an interview conducted with you on 24 February 2008 and in that interview you said this, "There was a woman" - paragraph 7, your Honours:

    "There was a woman who was believed to be from ULIMO-J who was killed on the orders of and in the presence of Charles Taylor. She was arrested in Monrovia and taken to the beach behind the old White Flower by Charles Taylor's men. This happened before Taylor became president and during the time of the transitional government in Liberia. The woman was pregnant. Taylor ordered for her to be stripped naked and to be put into a pit. Those present with Taylor at the scene included Benjamin Yeaten and the witness. As she was being covered by sand, the woman looked up at Taylor and pleaded with him to release her. The witness and other continued to pour sand over her until she was completely buried. After which a white sheep was released on top of the pit and the witness and others tore the meat off the live sheep and ate the meat."

    Is that true?

  • Yes, yes, but this woman she was not specifically from ULIMO-J, but I told you, upon our arrival in '95 in Monrovia, that was the first ceremony for Charles Taylor, yes.

  • Help me with this: Would you agree, Mr Marzah, that an event like this is very dramatic?

  • Yes, it is bad, but it was Charles Taylor's ceremony for his presidential job and I don't have - I didn't have any alternative to it.

  • Help me with this, please: Given that you started talking to the Prosecution on 31 January 2006, why did it take you two years, until February 2008, to remember this dramatic act? Why did it take you so long to mention it?

  • Just imagine to rule a country for over 14, 15 years, there have been so many stories that I can't recall all at the same time. Thank you.

  • Were you present at any other event like this?

  • On this woman's issue?

  • Any other event where someone is buried alive and you eat a live sheep. Have you ever done that on any other occasion?

  • The one that I remember it is --

  • Have you ever done that on any other occasion, yes or no?

  • The one that I remember is what I have explained.

  • So try and help us please --

  • That is what I remember.

  • You appreciated when you first went to speak to the Prosecution, in January 2006, that they wanted to hear about all the bad things that Charles Taylor had done. You understood that, didn't you?

  • Thank you. All the activities of Charles Taylor I cannot recall. I told you it was not documented and it was not on record as something that I could study. The one that I could remember is what I have explained. Even when I go, after they have read my statement to me, that one that was not correct, I told them to rectify the error that was therein.

  • I am still seeking your assistance, please. How did it take you two years to remember?

  • How did it take you two years, Mr Marzah, to remember something like this?

  • Thank you very much. As you talk - thank you very much. As you are talking I am remembering some more than even what I have explained.

  • Tell us some more then, please.

  • It depends on your question, but this one that you have asked me about, that is the one I remembered to explain to the Prosecutor, but if there is any other question for me to remember some more, I will still explain to you in detail.

  • I will ask you once more and then I will move on. Why did it take you so long to remember this?

  • Because the activities - I told you as chief of operations I was having so many problems on my hands concerning Liberia, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone. So, you know, whilst we were talking, some came to mind.

  • Given that you have given us this account, and in order to test its veracity, that is whether or not you are telling the truth, you know where it says there that you and the others tore the meat off the live sheep and ate the meat, is that true?

  • Yes, yes. I told you it was a ceremony.

  • Did you use any knife, or any other implement, to cut up the sheep?

  • You used your bare hands?

  • Bare hands. We fought over it as a guerilla ceremony.

  • So, just so that we get a picture of this scene on the beach outside Monrovia, how many people were present around this white sheep?

  • Please let me stand up a little and demonstrate to you.

  • Yes, please. I want as much of your help as you can give us please.

  • Okay, the ceremony that I am talking about is something that after burying the lady alive, the sheep was used as his presidential ceremony for the other five councilors to be afraid of him. So, it is not something to kill the sheep with a knife. It was a guerilla ceremony. Thank you.

  • All I am seeking your assistance on is the details of this scene because we want to be able to picture it to see whether or not you are telling us the truth. How many people were present first of all?

  • Let us take it in stages. How many people were present?

  • Thank you very much. It was not four people, four men, or five men. It was a group of people. At the time this man was still - this man - aide-de-camp.

  • Your Honours, can he repeat the name of the aide-de-camp?

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter asks that you repeat the name of the aide-de-camp.

  • I said at that time Bulldog was not the aide-de-camp. He was just a security. They were there, Benjamin Yeaten was there, Isaac Musa was there, Joe Tuah was there. Who else? Sandoh Johnson was there.

  • You, of course, were there.

  • I myself was present and - if you ask me when I am answering your question - when I am answering your question don't interrupt, please. I am answerable to your questions, Mr Lawyer. So, when you permit me to answer you, I will talk, so talk again. Thank you. Okay, but then it must not repeat itself. I will do it to you.

  • Just a correction for the transcript. The person who was not then an aide-de-camp, the witness said Bulldog, but the transcript doesn't have that.

  • Mr Witness, we control the Court, not you.

  • Sorry, sir. Sorry, sir, Mr President. Sorry, sir. Sorry.

  • Continue with your answer, please.

  • Thank you, okay. Repeat it. Please continue.

  • We have got most of the answer. You were asked the people and we've got many names. Please continue with those.

  • Sorry, I believe one thing was transcribed incorrectly and may be important. The name Johnson, I believe the witness said the first name Sandoh with an "O". We can check with the witness, but that is what we heard.

  • Thank you, Mr Koumjian. Mr Witness, did you say Samuel Johnson, or Sandoh Johnson?

  • I said Sandoh Johnson, yes.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. If that can be noted.

  • Just so that we all appreciate why that is so significant, whose son is he supposed to be?

  • After these people I told you, since '95 up to this time, it was not something whereby we listed the people, but we who were the target commanders were many there, but those who were our senior people, these are the people I have been able to name to you. But we were in a group and after --

  • Pause, Mr Witness, again. I understand counsel is saying, "Whose son is Sandoh?"

  • Sandoh, S-A-N-D-O-H, your Honour.

  • Thank you. Sandoh Johnson.

  • Yes, Mr President, I don't know Sandoh Johnson's mother and father because I met him in Monrovia.

  • So, if we can summarise thus far - and I want you to appreciate I am just seeing whether there is any truth to this - on your reckoning, would it be fair to say there was a group of about 10 to 12 people there, based on what you have told us so far?

  • I am telling you more than that. It was a ceremony and this ceremony of this sort, to fight a raw animal, it is a culture from way back in our tradition. Even when the guerillas are ready to make sacrifice, they will fight over a living animal and share it among themselves. You who are lucky will get a piece. If you are not lucky, you won't get.

  • Were you lucky?

  • I had a piece, I had a piece. I had a piece and it was not an animal to cook, or roast. Any piece that stays with you, straight in your mouth.

  • Mr Griffiths, when the witness says "guerillas" is he now referring to the animal in the wild, or the fighters, the guerillas?

  • Maybe I should clarify that:

  • You heard her Honour's question. Can you answer, please?

  • Yes, sir, I can answer that question. When we say guerillas we are talking about the fighting men, yes. It is the fighting men.

  • So, you got a piece, but the second part of my question is this - and you remember I am testing the truth of what you are telling us - how did they manage, without any knives or any implement, to cut up and tear this sheep apart? I am glad you find it funny.

  • Mr Lawyer, I am happy. That is why I am laughing. You are supposed to know, as a African, when we are talking about the warrior ceremony and moreover to fight over a living animal, you know, it was something even some people who were wounded on their bodies and all. Mr Lawyer, you are supposed to know. You are from Africa.

  • Mr Witness, it is not proper to be personal to counsel in things like this. That is not the proper way to do things. You should answer the question directly and not make personal comments.

  • Yes.

  • It is not something I was used to in Kingston, Jamaica, Mr Marzah, so that is why I am asking for your assistance.

  • Okay. Let me assist you here. In Africa when we talk about the warrior, even way back with bow and arrow, before they go to war, for instance, they will bring a living animal, they have the bow and arrow, they will stab it with it to make the ceremony. They will fight over it. But that happened at White Flower after the burial of this pregnant woman alive and we were so many and some people had blood on them. They only had blood on them, they couldn't get it.

  • You mentioned bow and arrows and spears. I am not asking you about that. I am asking: How do you tear up a furry animal with your bare hands?

  • Naked hands, naked, bare hands. We take it, fighting over it, pushing it here and there until it was butchered. We split it. To even get a piece, it was a war. You who would get a piece would be lucky at war.

  • We have spent this little time, Mr Marzah, going over this matter because I suggest that this is a lie. Charles Taylor was never present with you at any such ceremony. That is right, isn't it?

  • I am telling you the truth and it is your right to bring up criticisms because it is your job, but it is the truth that I am telling you and it is nothing but the truth. Before God and man, that is what I am telling you.

  • I suggest that it is a figment of your imagination. That is the truth, isn't it?

  • I am telling you the living truth. There is Charles Taylor sitting behind you, ask him. Maybe if he is truthful to you he will be exact. Yes, sir, yes, sir.

  • [Overlapping speakers] to deal with something else. You joined the Liberian armed forces as a recruit in 1978, didn't you?

  • You were aged 17 at the time.

  • No, at the age of 19. I was born on 7 June 1958. If he wrote something like that, that means the person does not know the calculation of my age.

  • If we turn to page 10 - I am sorry to bother you again, Madam Court Attendant. Page 10 at the bottom, page 00016697 at the top, paragraph 2, and this is a record made by a Mr Rob Hotston, investigator, and a Mr David Cunningham, along with an interpreter, on 8 March 2006. Paragraph 2, "The witness stated that he joined the Liberian army in 1978 at the age of 17." Is that right?

  • It is wrong. I told you I was born in 1958, 7 June, and I joined the army in 1978. Calculate the years and you will know what I am talking about.

  • Mr Marzah, you and I are not going to fall out over a couple of years. I was just seeking to be precise.

  • Yes, sir.

  • At some stage you were sent by President Doe's government to Israel for specialised training, weren't you?

  • How long did you spend in Israel?

  • I spent 90 days in Onquba [phon] base.

  • What was the nature of the training you received from the Israelis?

  • The training that I received from Israel was infantry, to be an Executive Mansion Guard battalion for Doe. At the time Mr Taylor too was major in the armed forces of Liberia.

  • If we look at page 1 of this bundle and would you agree there is nothing at all controversial about the type of training you received in Israel, is there?

  • There is nothing controversial. There is nothing like secret, or nothing that you need to hide about the training you received in Israel, is there?

  • To hide what I did in Israel? Why should I hide what I did in Israel? I went there to take my in service infantry training to come and serve the Executive Mansion Guard battalion and we came and were using a red badge on our uniform in Monrovia and later, in the '85 invasion, I went away.

  • The question I ask is quite simple. If we turn to page 1, paragraph 2, last sentence:

    "Was sent for additional military training in Israel. The witness declined to describe the nature of this training other than to say it was 'specialised'."

    For what reason were you being so coy with the investigators about the training you received?

  • No, you asked me a question, so I have to break it down, sir.

  • All right. Let me try and break it down. Was there anything about the training in Israel that you received that you were reluctant to talk about?

  • There was no extra clandestine training, only that you were to be more advanced to use weapons, the VIP protection, long range, how - when a mobile is using, how to get on the mobile, how to go around a VIP. From there I took up assignment at the mansion.

  • So there was nothing at all secret about what you were doing, the training you were receiving, was there?

  • Nothing, nothing.

  • Please try and help us, I will ask you for the last time: Where we see that the investigators have recorded, "The witness declined to describe the nature of this training other than to say that it was 'specialised'", why didn't you want to tell them what it was you had been doing in Israel?

  • It was because at the time that they were interviewing me I carried all my documents, my certificates from Israel. I showed it to them and later I took it back, so it was not something to explain in details to them. I only showed them my documents for them to know that I have been trained under the Israeli Government before.

  • I am not going to labour the point, Mr Marzah. Let us move on to something else. We are still on your training. Apart from within Liberia and apart from in Israel, did you receive any other training in any other foreign country?

  • In a foreign country apart from Israel where I went for my in service training, yes?

  • Did you have any training in any other countries apart from Israel and Liberia?

  • No, I did not take training - I mean, when Charles Taylor came I did not take training again anymore, but when AFL - when they sent us to Israel for training.

  • I appreciate your obsession with Mr Taylor, Mr Marzah, but please try and listen to the question. You joined the Liberian armed forces in 1978. You must have received some training then in Liberia.

  • Oh, is that what you mean? Okay.

  • Did you receive some training then?

  • At the time I joined the force in Liberia I was staying with the late Richard Henry, a Kongo man. From there he made the recommendation based upon my attitude towards him. He only took me to Camp Schefflein. From there I will call his name. He said, "This my son I want him to be - I want this my son to be a soldier to be assigned to me. At that time he was a speaker of the house, Richard Henry. During Tubman's administration in '78 he was a speaker of the house. That was how I joined the force, but when Doe took over he sent us a proper training in Israel.

  • Yes, but all I am asking is this simple matter: Did you receive any military training at all within Liberia?

  • The only lecture, or the --

  • Your Honours, can the witness repeat.

  • Mr Witness, pause. The interpreter asks that you repeat your answer and the question again was, "Did you receive any military training at all within Liberia?" Please repeat your answer.

  • Yes.

  • Thank you. Apart from Israel and Liberia did you do any military training in any other country?

  • I don't want to be accused by anyone of misleading you, Mr Marzah, so let me ask the question again.

  • Apart from Liberia and Israel, did you do any military training in any other country?

  • No.

  • Turn to page 3, please, paragraph 10. This is page 00100139 at the top:

    "The witness stated that he had met Foday Sankoh in Burkina Faso in late 1986, being introduced by Charles Taylor. The witness had been part of a group of NPFL combatants (including Liberians, Gambians and Sierra Leoneans) training in Burkina Faso."

    Is that the truth?

  • No. You can ask the Prosecutor. After I had seen this statement I said it was an error and they made a clarification. I think he has a copy there.

  • Not of this you didn't. So you are saying, are you, that at a later date you corrected that?

  • After they have read this statement to me I told them no. I only had my training from Liberia. Apart from that, Doe sent me to Israel. Foday Sankoh was introduced to me in Liberia at Gborplay after Charles Taylor has crossed.

  • Let us just have a look at that paragraph in total, shall we:

    "The witness stated that he had met Foday Sankoh in Burkina Faso in late 1986, being introduced by Charles Taylor. The witness had been part of a group of NPFL combatants (including Liberians, Gambians and Sierra Leoneans) training in Burkina Faso. The training commander was identified as a 'Captain Mohammed' (a native of Burkina Faso. The witness could provide no other identifying information re the subject.) Two white male South Africans (no identifiers) also provided training at the base, which was referred to as 'Tajorah Moscow'. The training itself was directed at basic infantry skills such as weapons handling, working in small units, et cetera."

    Mr Marzah, please, where did the investigators get all of that detail from?

  • I only mentioned about the white South African that was training at the anti-terrorist base - anti-artillery base, sorry.

  • Your Honours, can the witness kindly repeat.

  • Pause, Mr Witness. Repeat your answer. You are going too fast. Pick up where you said "at the anti-terrorist base - the anti-artillery base." Continue from there, please.

  • Thank you, sir. I said I did mention about the two white guys from South Africa that were training anti-terrorist base in Gbatala and I took my training in Liberia. After Doe took over, he sent us to Israel. Before I knew and saw Foday Sankoh, he was introduced to me in Gborplay after the arrival of Charles Taylor. Even to become a full member of the NPFL, it was through Prince Johnson. I did not say Burkina Faso.

  • Where did they get the name Captain Mohammed from, if not from you?

  • It is misquoting of document. They can make errors too. The people do not understand my English sometimes when I explain. When they read some to me, I make some clarifications for them.

  • Sorry, you can't get away with that, Mr Marzah, because there was an interpreter present. There was an interpreter present. So, help us please: Where did they get the detail about it being called Tajorah Moscow from? Where else did it come from other than you?

  • I am sorry, I don't know about this. What I know is what I have explained. I am here to tell you the truth and what is not true, I will not say it on paper, because you are reading it for me to agree with you and I have told you from the beginning that I will say the truth and nothing but the truth, and it is the truth that I am telling you. So, I don't have an answer for this.

  • Well, I have to press you for an answer, Mr Marzah. Can you help us, please, with this?

  • Pause Mr Witness, Mr Griffiths. I note you say there was an interpreter present. I am just looking for the interpretation clause that is common in these records of interview.

  • You know, I took it from the reference at paragraph 1, your Honour, to an investigator, a Mr Sesay, being present. Maybe I have got that wrong and maybe my learned friend could assist us.

  • I believe that is a Sierra Leonean investigator.

  • Yes, but I still go back to the point. I may be wrong about there being an interpreter present, but help us please, Mr Marzah, even if there was no interpreter present, help me: Where did the investigators get the name Captain Mohammed from, the reference to two white South Africans, the reference to Tajorah Moscow? Where did all of that come from if it was not from you?

  • Let me tell you the truth. There is a medicine for lies. There is no medicine for the truth and nothing but the truth. What I know is what I have told you.

  • Mr Witness, I have told you a few times before. You have to answer the question. Don't be facetious.

  • Okay, I don't know about this.

  • I am helpfully assisted by my learned friend. Apparently Tajorah is a Libyan name. Did you ever do any training in Libya?

  • I told you no, no, no. I was trained in Liberia and I was trained in Israel, no.

  • I am going to move on from this point, please. Following your training in Israel you became a satu officer, didn't you, S-A-T-U?

  • What does satu stand for?

  • Satu is for Doe's mansion guard battalion who were assigned at the mansion. After we left the training, they dissolved the army that was there. It was the same thing just like how Charles Taylor had the ATU. That was how satu was formed by Doe.

  • You were a member of that specialist unit, weren't you?

  • I remember that unit, but there is something documented even in my certificate you can - I am sorry that I didn't bring it along with me. You would have seen all those who trained us and how and the purpose of our training. You would have seen it, but it did not take long.

  • Help me, Mr Marzah: Did you at any stage, during the period commencing in January 2006 when you had contact with investigators and the Prosecutors in this case, did you at any stage give them any documents that were in your possession?

  • Documents? Only my training certificate that I showed to them and from that all that I have been going through, those pictures, I turned it over - I turned them over to them, yes.

  • Let us be a bit more precise if we can. So, you gave them your training records?

  • I showed it to them, but I did not give it to them because it is my personal document.

  • Very well. Did you show them photographs that were in your possession?

  • The photograph was that - but my certificate they wanted to - I told them that I don't want my certificate to be photographed. Then --

  • Your Honours, can he repeat the name of the person?

  • Mr Witness, again we will ask you to repeat the name of the person. The interpreter didn't catch it. Please repeat it.

  • I said when I carried my certificate from satu base I only showed it to them for them to know that I am an old service man. They didn't photograph it, but the pictures that concerned Sierra Leone and some parts of Liberia, they were serious about them. They photographed them and returned them to me.

  • So, you did give them some photographs but nothing else?

  • I was having some papers with me, but - I was having some papers with me. I believe they photographed it, but I can't recall it now.

  • So, you gave them some documentation which, as far as you recall, was photocopied by either the investigators, or the lawyers involved in prosecuting this case; is that right?

  • Come again, please.

  • Can I summarise what you have just told us in this way: You gave various documentation to the investigators and the Prosecutors, they photocopied some of them, including photographs which you had given them; is that right?

  • I can remember when Rob asked me if I had some documents from Charles Taylor I said yes. I told him yes. But later when I carried my - I didn't carry my document, the documents with me, only my certificates and some pictures. I carried it and they photographed it, but they did not photograph my certificate.

  • You can be assured, Mr Marzah, I am asking you these questions for a reason, a very good reason. Apart from your certificates and photographs, did you provide any other documents to either investigators, or lawyers acting for the Prosecution?

  • I showed Rob some papers on which I signed for some materials in Monrovia.

  • Your Honours, can the witness kindly repeat.

  • Just a minute, Mr Witness. Again the interpreter asks you to repeat. What is the problem, Mr Interpreter?

  • He has to repeat. He is speaking very fast.

  • Not with you, with the interpreter. The interpreter finds that you are speaking too quickly, Mr Witness, so please repeat your answer. You said you showed Rob some papers which you had signed for some materials in Monrovia. Please continue from there.

  • Yes, I showed him some papers and later I left to go to the residence. Whether he photocopied it or not, I can't tell, but there were some papers with me that I showed to him and it stayed in the office and I went to the house. From there, when I came back the following day, when they were given, they turned it over to me. I mean the pictures. They turned them over to me. Whether he photographed it or not, I don't know.

  • Forget about photographs, forget about certificates. If I understand what you have just told us, you gave to investigators in this case written documentation about material you had received for transport to Sierra Leone; is that right?

  • I don't think he went that far, Mr Griffiths. I heard him say materials.

  • Did you hand to the investigators written documentation about material you had received in Monrovia for transport anywhere else?

  • I can't remember that.

  • What was the material you were referring to a couple of minutes ago when you spoke of receipts?

  • When I spoke about material, militarily I am talking about ammos and arms.

  • Did you give to the investigators written documentation with reference to arms and ammunition which you had received?

  • I can't remember that, sir. I can't remember that because I am trying to say that when I was there there were some activities that I was dissatisfied with, so I decided to go back home and I can't remember that. So, even the pictures that were photographed, they did not do that in my presence. Thank you.

  • I will move on to another topic. In any event, you end up as one of President Samuel Doe's bodyguards, don't you?

  • I was not his bodyguard. I was a security for the Liberian Government. He was the president. I was not a bodyguard for Doe.

  • Thank you. In any event --

  • Doe was a Krahn, wasn't he?

  • There came a time when an attempt was made on President Doe's life, an attempt to overturn his government; is that right?

  • Yes, it was correct, due to his attitude.

  • Because his attitude, as you describe it, put in a word he was a tyrant, wasn't he?

  • He was a bad man. That was why we attempted to overthrow him.

  • And you thought that it was justified to seek to overthrow him, didn't you?

  • Yes, yes and we made the attempt twice.

  • Following the attempt, following the attempt by Thomas Quiwonkpa, a native of Nimba County, to stage a coup against Doe, Doe carried out a reign of terror in Nimba County, didn't he?

  • Yes, he was doing the bad things even before Quiwonkpa planned the coup.

  • Amongst the things that then President Samuel Doe did in Nimba was to cut off people's heads and put them on poles; is that right?

  • It is not right. That was why we were fighting to overthrow him.

  • Mr witness, counsel is asking what the late President Doe did, not what you did.

  • Perhaps the witness understood "right" to be morally right as opposed to "is that correct".

  • Mr Marzah, as a fact, did President Doe's supporters and troops, during the reign of terror in Nimba County which followed that coup, cut off people's heads and put them on poles?

  • In fact, was your own father not executed by Doe?

  • Not my father, but the sister that was next to me, not my own father. My father died during the Krahn and the Gio people's war a long time ago, but that was a - they executed my sister in the Lutheran church.

  • As a consequence you hated President Doe, didn't you?

  • And you were afraid that you yourself might be killed, weren't you?

  • Which is why you fled Liberia and went to the Ivory Coast.

  • When in the Ivory Coast you met with Prince Johnson, didn't you?

  • Now, help us please: Why did you thereafter join the NPFL?

  • I joined Prince Johnson to help overthrow Doe so that we will be able to return home and also he was continuously killing our people, so we thought we should find the means to overthrow him. That was the reason why I was happy to join Prince Johnson to go and overthrow Doe.

  • At the time you thought that the project upon which the NPFL had embarked was justified, didn't you?

  • At that time there was no NPFL. It was freedom fighter. That was right.

  • You thought that you and the other freedom fighters were fully justified in seeking to overturn Doe, didn't you?

  • You felt that the only way of overthrowing him was to take up arms and begin an armed struggle against him?

  • Now, I just want to deal with one detail. Yesterday, when you were being asked questions by the man over there, you said this:

    "I first met Charles Taylor in Gborplay after I was arrested by Special Forces. I was put in a container. Fire was placed on the top. I was then taken in a wheelbarrow to Charles Taylor's address."

    Is that right?

  • It was not right. That behaviour was not right towards me.

  • It is my fault. It really is not your fault. I need to clarify the question I was asking.

  • Okay, okay. Thank you, thank you.

  • Yesterday do you remember explaining that those were the circumstances in which you met Charles Taylor?

  • Yes, repeat the question.

  • I will start at the very beginning. Yesterday you told us this:

    "I first met Charles Taylor in Gborplay after I was arrested by Special Forces. I was put in a container. Fire was placed on the top."

    Charles Taylor, you explained, was walking past and asked for the container to be opened and when it was opened you were taken in a wheelbarrow to Charles Taylor's address. You told us those were the circumstances in which you first met him; is that correct?

  • For the second time, yes.

  • Thank you. Turn to page 2, please, paragraph 4:

    "In 1985 while still in the Ivory Coast the witness met Prince Johnson with whom he had served in the armed forces of Liberia. The witness stated that Johnson recruited him to join the NPFL, National Patriotic Front of Liberia," and listen to this, "and in 1986 personally introduced him to Charles Taylor."

    So, what I would like you to help us with, please, is this: Did you meet him - can I finish my question, please. Did you meet him when you were released from a container with fire on the top of it, or were you introduced to him by Prince Johnson in the Ivory Coast? Which of those two is right?

  • Thank you very much. I told you I left Liberia in '85 after the coup d'etat. While I was there in '86 I came across Prince Johnson and I heard about Charles Taylor, but I had seen Charles Taylor before in Liberia when he took over GSA as director. But since he departed the only time I saw him was in Gborplay. It was not in Ivory Coast, nor Burkina, but the second place I met him was in Gborplay and after he had released me from the container, that was the following day after he had released me from the container.

  • Well, I would like your assistance, please. On the face of it paragraph 4 suggests that you first met Charles Taylor in Ivory Coast in 1986. Is that right, or wrong?

  • That is quite wrong, is it?

  • No, no. I didn't see Charles Taylor in Ivory Coast, no. It was Prince Johnson who talked about Charles Taylor and I had the confidence that he was able to help us and I met him in Gborplay the second time since he had left Liberia.

  • But help us, please: When someone is locked in a metal container and is at risk of death because fire has been put on the top of it, it is the kind of event one would remember, don't you think, Mr Marzah?

  • Yes, that was the reason why I was grateful to him and I carried out the battle for him.

  • One would have thought, given that this man had stepped in to save your life, you would for the rest of your life remember the circumstances in which you met him. So, help me: Why were you telling them that you met him in the Ivory Coast and not in a metal container on fire?

  • These of your five paragraphs are misquotation of document. I did not say I met Charles Taylor in the Ivory Coast. I said in Gborplay. The person that I met in Ivory Coast was Prince Johnson, who told me Charles Taylor was going to help us to overthrow Doe and for that I was happy.

  • Can you help me also with this: Why is it that there is no mention of the container at all, or the fire, or the wheelbarrow, in this paragraph? Why is that?

  • I did mention about putting me in a container and that was why I was grateful to him and that was why I was serving him, and from there he even gave warnings to his Special Forces that nobody should play around me and that the purpose of coming to Liberia was not to be killing the innocent children.

  • Mr Marzah.

  • Can you give us a credible explanation as to why there is no mention of the container in this document? Why isn't it there?

  • You can ask the Prosecutor because I did mention that. You should ask him. It should be in his record there. I did make mention about the time the Special Forces arrested us when we were with Prince Johnson and they even carried out the execution of our brothers on the road. The remaining about 22 or 23 humans who were still alive, they placed us in a container.

  • Mr Witness, you are wandering off the answer again. The question was about why it is not in the document. You have answered that part. Your next question, Mr Griffiths.

  • My next question is this --

  • I explained it, sir. I explained it.

  • Can you help me, please, as to how it is that mention is made of the Ivory Coast when you never met Mr Taylor there? How does that come about?

  • No, I don't know that. What I know and what I explain is what I am saying. I am telling you the truth and I will say the truth and nothing but the truth. So, it will not be something like a lie then I answer to that lie.

  • Now let us try my question again: Where did the reference to the Ivory Coast come from?

  • Objection, I think that is vague.

  • Where did the reference in that paragraph, which I have read out several times to you, where did that reference come from? I hope that assists my learned friend.

  • Thank you. This Ivory Coast mentioned here, yes I did make mention of Ivory Coast with regards the time I was in exile when I met with Prince Johnson there, but I did not make mention of meeting with Charles Taylor in Ivory Coast. I am telling you what I explained, so I will not make mention of what I don't know.

  • But then it goes on to say, do you see, we are still at paragraph 4, "The witness later," that is after the introduction, "entered Liberia as a member of the NPFL." So, it is clear, on the face of that, that you were telling them that you met him in the Ivory Coast. For the last time I am just going to ask you, it is a simple question, where did they get it from if not from you?

  • Well, I will not say lies to you. The things that I did not say, I will not agree with them here. I am still telling you that the time Prince Johnson met me for us to cross, we were not even known by a unit called NPFL. At that time they called us freedom fighters. NPFL existed during the arrival of Charles Taylor. Thank you.

  • Mr Witness, that does not answer the question. The question was: Where does the mention, or the reference to Ivory Coast come from? I think, Mr Griffiths, have I paraphrased it correctly?

  • That is the question.

  • Please answer that question.

  • Yes, Honourable Judge, what I did make mention of about Ivory Coast was the time I went to Ivory Coast and when I was in exile there and there Prince Johnson went to Ivory Coast and met me there. He said to me that there was a man called Charles Taylor that was coming to help us, so that we could overthrow Doe. That was the reason why I made mention about Ivory Coast. Even that time the Charles Taylor came and talked to us about the revolution, it was in Gborplay. I had explained that to the Prosecution twice.

  • Turn to page 11, please, in that bundle. So, this now is another interview. Well, in fact it is that - it is in March 2008 - sorry, 2006. 8 March 2006. Let us start at the top of the page:

    "The witness stated that Doe, a Krahn, was afraid of another coup attempt by Nimba soldiers who were ethnic Mano, or Gio. Having been disarmed and fearing arrest and/or execution, the witness deserted and returned to Nimba County. Upon his return, he stayed two days before continuing on into the Ivory Coast. That is at the end of the rainy season in 1983. At this time Doe loyalists in the Liberian army were arresting any able-bodied male Nimba resident who could be seen as a threat. The witness crossed the Liberia/Ivorian border and went to Danane then on to Boake, staying there until 1985. In that year he met Johnson who had also deserted from the Liberian army and sought refuge in the Ivory Coast along with a number of other ex-soldiers who were from Nimba.

    "The witness stated that he was subsequently contacted by Johnson and told about an organisation that was being formed to fight and free Liberia from the Doe regime. He and 37 others met with Johnson at Benneville" - pause there, in a later interview you correct that name, but note this - "in the Ivory Coast. The witness stated that all but five were former Liberian army officers, the others were property owners from Nimba County who had had land/property in Monrovia confiscated from them by the Doe regime."

  • Your Honours, can the learned counsel please repeat this question, please.

  • "And free Liberia from the Doe regime. He and 37 others met with Johnson at Benneville [sic] in the Ivory Coast. The witness stated that all but five were former Liberian army officers, the others were property owners from Nimba County who had had land/property in Monrovia confiscated from them by the Doe regime. Johnson told the group that there was someone who could lead them back to Liberia and introduced Charles Taylor and an unidentified group of Taylor's associates. The meeting took place on December 13, 1988. Three months later, Johnson called the group together again stating that 'the Old Man' was coming to talk to the group 'one on one'."

    Then you go on in paragraph 7, you see, to talk about, in the middle of that paragraph, entering Liberia on 24 December 1989. So, what we have here, in January - I am sorry. On 31 January, I am right, you say that you meet him in the Ivory Coast. On 8 March, again you say you were introduced to him in the Ivory Coast. Help us, please, Mr Marzah, how is it that you come to repeat the same erroneous information twice within the space of a month, or so? How?

  • Thank you very much. I explained to the Prosecutor and my lawyer about the coup that took place against Doe. It didn't happen once. The '83 coup was different. That did not affect my leaving Liberia and after the coup failed [indiscernible] went on explaining so many things. So, we left and we --

  • I cannot relate this answer to the question asked. The question asked is about something that was said to investigators for the Prosecution and you are being asked why you said something twice and why you said it and are saying something else now. I hope I have paraphrased it correctly.

  • I can't improve on that, your Honour.

  • Yes, sir. I want to make some clarification on this document. I told the Prosecutor that the coup d'etat against Doe did not just happen once. We attempted in '83. We attempted to overthrow Doe in '83. I did not escape for that reason. In '85 during the Quiwonkpa coup that was the time I left Liberia finally for the Ivory Coast.

  • You are saying the same thing again, Mr Witness. We are not asking the history of it, or, sorry, counsel is not asking the history of it. He is asking why you said one thing to the investigators and something else here. That is what he is asking.

  • But let him make his questions short, but if he explain the things as long as he has done, it will be difficult for me to keep up with him. So, when he explains for some time, he breaks, then I will answer, then we explain again and then I answer.

  • He is following a procedure, but let me suggest - counsel, it would appear the witness is confused. Perhaps, whilst you have put it properly to him, please shorten your question.

  • Mr Marzah, in January 2006 you told the investigators "I met Taylor in the Ivory Coast." In early March 2006 you told the investigators again "I met him in the Ivory Coast." Why are you now telling us you met him in Gborplay in a container?

  • No, I did not tell the investigators that I met Charles Taylor in Ivory Coast, no. I said in Gborplay. The person I met in Ivory Coast was Prince Johnson. That has been my statement over and over.

  • Mr Marzah, can you help us as to how it is the investigators have recorded that same information on two separate occasions?

  • I can't tell. What I said is what I am repeating. I will not lie against Charles Taylor because today he is in problem. I am telling you still that it was Prince Johnson that told me that Charles Taylor was coming to help us, but I did not see Charles Taylor in the Ivory Coast. I only met him in Gborplay.

  • I am going to ask you once more and then I will move on. Do you have any explanation as to how the investigators have recorded the same wrong information twice in the space of just over a month?

  • I don't know. I was not doing the paper job, but I am telling you what I explain and what I knew about.

  • Very well. Let us move on and let us see if we can deal with one other point before we have to rise at 1.30. Yesterday again you told us this:

    "Foday Sankoh I saw for the first time after CT released us from the container. He, that being Charles Taylor, introduced Foday Sankoh to us as his colleague."

    Is that right?

  • Yes, yes, yes.

  • So you met Foday Sankoh for the first time in Liberia?

  • [Overlapping speakers]

  • That was the town I met - yes, there was a border point through which he and Charles Taylor entered.

  • So why then, turning to page 3, did you tell the Prosecutors in January 2006, paragraph 10, "The witness stated he had met Foday Sankoh in Burkina Faso"? Why did you tell them that?

  • No, I am repeating my statement. I am telling you what I know about and what I explained to the people. If they did not understand my English, then that was their own business. I told them that I met Foday Sankoh in Gborplay after I had been released from the container and before we received orders to go to the front line he was introduced to us by Mr Charles Taylor. I made that point of correction to the Prosecutor himself.

  • Did you make it to that gentleman sitting there opposite me? Did you make the correction to him?

  • So you told that man there, "You see this bit here about me meeting Sankoh in Ivory Coast, that is totally wrong." You told him that, did you?

  • I told him what I am explaining to you. I told him and later he told me that the - but then the people who wrote down these things, they must have done errors.

  • Did you say to that man there, when you pointed out this mistake, "You know that is completely wrong", and did he turn to you and say, "Well, look, we have served this on the Defence, perhaps we ought to change it"? Did he say that to you?

  • I told him - yes, yes.

  • So, that man over there told you that he was going to tell us that this ought to be corrected because it was wrong. He said that to you, did he?

  • Yes. What I know I told him and what I saw I explained to him. The way I met Sankoh and Taylor, I explained everything in details to them, but I did not meet Sankoh in Burkina Faso, nor Ivory Coast.

  • You anticipate my next question because when we go to page 11, having told the Prosecutors on the 31st that you met him in Burkina Faso, on page 11, which I have just read out at length to you, you told them that you met him in the Ivory Coast. Now, help me, please, Mr Marzah, which is right? Did you meet him in Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, or Gborplay? Which is right?

  • I told you I met Charles Taylor, Foday Sankoh, in Gborplay, but I met Prince Johnson in Ivory Coast. He told me about Charles Taylor coming to help us and to serve as our leader for us to go and overthrow Doe. You can ask the Prosecutor himself. I made that statement, but then he took this document and said - but those who copied these ones, I see so many errors inside.

  • Mr Marzah --

  • -- so not only did they get it wrong when they said you met him in Burkina Faso, lo and behold they got it wrong a second time when they said you met him in the Ivory Coast. Who is responsible for that?

  • I did not go to Burkina Faso. I was in Ivory Coast. I told you that I only had training from Israel. That besides, I did not go to Burkina Faso. It was Prince Johnson who told me about Charles Taylor. I met Sankoh and Taylor in Gborplay and I started to know Sankoh through Taylor in Gborplay.

  • Would you agree, Mr Marzah, that the reference to you meeting Sankoh in Burkina Faso, it is either a lie told by you - can I finish my question? It is either a lie told by you, or they have written down wrongly what you have told them. Which is the right answer? What has happened? Is it a lie, or have they recorded it wrongly?

  • I cannot take oath on the Bible to come here and lie, no. I am telling you about what I told the people. I told the people that I met with Charles Taylor and to even know Sankoh it was upon the arrival of Charles Taylor in Gborplay, but I cannot swear on the Bible and then lie, no.

  • So, is the answer to my question that the investigators must have got it wrong? It is their fault?

  • That is a mistake. It is a mistake, yes.

  • Somehow you said "Gborplay" and they have recorded it as "Burkina Faso", yes?

  • No. I said Gborplay, Gborplay in Liberia. Gborplay is not in Burkina, nor in Ivory Coast. Gborplay.

  • Because when we look at page 11 you have even given a date when it took place: 13 December 1988. So, you are being precise. So, help me, how did they get it so wrong?

  • I can't tell. I can't read and write for me to correct the document, but what I said is what I am explaining to you.

  • Would that be a convenient moment, your Honours?

  • Indeed, Mr Griffiths. We will take the lunchtime adjournment. Mr Witness, as yesterday, we are now going to take a break for lunchtime and we will start again at 2.30. Please adjourn court.

  • Okay.

  • I wonder if I could remind your Honours of a matter raised by your Honour first thing this morning, because I think we need to schedule in a time today when we ought to deal with that matter which is least inconvenient to the witness.

  • The matter is partly in your hands if you are ready to respond to what I have said.

  • It is a matter my learned friend Mr Anyah will be dealing with, your Honour. I don't know how long it will take. I am sure it need not detain the witness and it may be that if I sit down and Mr Anyah takes over, we can get, at the least, some time estimate as to how long it will take.

  • Madam Court Attendant, if you wish to escort the witness out, please. Yes, Mr Anyah?

  • Yes, Madam President. We have reviewed paragraph 11 of the motion.

  • I was only directing to one bit. It is the entire motion, of course, you must consider.

  • We have reviewed the entire motion. In particular, we have reviewed paragraph 11. I think the initial response the Chamber wants from us is whether or not the reference to the scope of what we agreed to in paragraph 11 is accurate.

  • It is whether you - it is whether you will consent to the order sought. That is what we are asking. We bear in mind that this is marked as urgent and if you adopt the stance you took before and neither oppose nor object, we can make an oral order. If you do not, then it must proceed in its normal way.

  • Thank you, Madam President. The short answer would be that we do request time to respond. We do not consent to the motion. I would seek leave of the Chamber to elaborate just briefly so that it does not appear that we are being unnecessarily difficult. The particular paragraph in question suggests that in the past the particular measures being sought, we have found them to be appropriate. The answer is yes, indeed, we have found them to be appropriate, but in a particular context and that context was in relation to a response --

  • Yes. I only asked an indication. If you are putting in a response, these are matters more properly dealt with in a response.

  • Perhaps I can make one other observation, Madam President, and this might ameliorate some of the concerns the Chamber might have. I noticed when your Honour started this issue, perhaps one of the bases for the urgency to deal with it before the recess is the degree to which it might implicate some of the witnesses that might be testifying after the recess. Just so the Chamber is aware, on Tuesday this week, at about 7.00 p.m., we received an email message from the Prosecution which delineated the list of the next 10 witnesses, or the call order of the next 10 witnesses. I do not believe any member of the Chamber was copied on that email. But in going through the list of the next 10 to 11 witnesses they have scheduled, or they anticipate calling in the month of April, only two of those 10 witnesses are implicated in this particular motion and the first of those two is listed about fourth on the list of the 11 witnesses. So when we come back from the recess, to the extent we allow the usual response and reply times under the rules to deal with this motion, the Chamber will not be faced with a situation where it has to rule on a motion in respect of a witness who is scheduled to testify immediately.

  • I understand. Very well. In the light of that I will make no further comment and we will take the lunchtime adjournment.

  • [Lunch break taken at 1.34 p.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 2.30 p.m.]

  • Please proceed, Mr Griffiths.

  • May it please your Honours:

  • [Microphone not activated] Now, we were just before the --

  • I am sorry. I have been told I should put both microphones on now:

  • We were discussing, Mr Marzah, just before the short adjournment your initial meeting with Foday Sankoh. Having dealt with that matter, I want to go on to another matter and I wonder if I may be assisted by Madam Court Officer. Could you turn, please, to page 3. I want to ask you about one or two general matters, please, Mr Marzah. Can you help us as to what Foday Sankoh's intention was when he formed the RUF?

  • Thank you. Before the introduction of Foday Sankoh we never knew about the RUF, but after himself and Charles Taylor had a meeting at Harbel Hill they arranged that he was going to Sierra Leone to have a war there.

  • Your Honours, the last bit of the witness's testimony was not clear.

  • Mr Witness, sorry to interrupt you, but the interpreter didn't hear the last part of what you said. Please start again from where you said, "They arranged that he was going to Sierra Leone to have a war there". Please continue from that point.

  • The purpose of Charles Taylor sending Foday Sankoh to Sierra Leone was to go there and take complete control over Sierra Leone and to fight against the government so that the soldiers of Freetown will not continue to help the forces of Doe to continue attacking us.

  • Right. Now I am grateful for that, Mr Marzah, and I will come back to that latter aspect of it, but it may shorten matters if I just draw your attention, please, to paragraph 12 on page 3. If we count up seven lines from the bottom of that paragraph we see this, "The 'operation' was for Foday Sankoh to become President of Sierra Leone by overthrowing the government of Sierra Leone", and for completeness you go on to say, "and that Charles Taylor would get something in return for helping Sankoh, to help 'he boys'". So that was Sankoh's intention, wasn't it, to overthrow the governme