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

  • Good morning, sir. Could you tell us where you were at the time of the invasion of Sierra Leone in March 1991?

  • Yes, I was in Siama, a place that was not too far from Bomaru.

  • At that time did you see any fighting? Were you engaged, excuse me, in any fighting against the invading forces?

  • At the initial stage I was not engaged in any fighting.

  • Were you ever engaged in any fighting in the Kailahun District of Sierra Leone?

  • Yes, that was after they had attacked simultaneously that made us young soldiers to be put together so that we will repel the attacks.

  • Counsel is requested to please switch off their microphone when the witness is speaking.

  • Sir, where did you go then to repel the attack?

  • Where I was in Siama, when we saw people coming and they said they had attacked Bomaru there was an officer, Lieutenant Kargbo, he is dead now. He took the Land Rover that was there, together with his bodyguards. He said to go and see what had happened in Bomaru. On his way going he fell in an ambush and he died. From there the advance continued because they had attacked Bomaru, Koindu and the other part along the border simultaneously. It was from that end that I started experiencing the war.

  • Mr Koumjian, before you proceed, I think we need a spelling of Siama, the place mentioned first by the witness.

  • Sir, do you know how to spell Siama?

  • It is S-I-A-M-A-H [sic], Siama.

  • We will double check that, your Honour. I believe that is not correct and we will try to obtain the correct spelling:

  • Is that in Kailahun District, sir?

  • Thank you. I don't want to go into details of each battle, but can you tell us how long you were fighting in Kailahun District from the time of the initial invasion in March 1991. Until when were you there and engaged as a soldier?

  • As a private soldier, when the incursion started, I started my experience from Siama and they took us and told us that we were to repel Koindu, but we were not successful. The entire army withdrew and came back to Daru barracks, that is the Moa barracks. We were there until when Rambo moved for them to capture Daru barracks. From that time I started fighting and defending as other ranks until 1993 when I was commissioned as a second lieutenant, [redacted] 1993. I was posted back to the Daru barracks.

    In that time RUF had had control over the entire Kailahun District. It was only the barracks that we were able to protect through the assistance of the Guinean contingent and as a second lieutenant, when I came back, we only had troops in Pendembu and at that time the military regime of Strasser was in power. He himself went to Pendembu, that was the most forward position, and addressed me and my colleagues who were commissioned as second lieutenants. Then we decided to advance and recapture some of the grounds that RUF had taken from us. For example, I first moved to Giehun, from Giehun we moved to Kailahun. It did not just happen immediately. There were some places I engaged the enemy for about 72 hours before we could finally push them from Giehun to Kailahun and from Kailahun again we engaged them for over 89 hours. At that time the enemy had been in Kailahun for over three years and Kailahun was well fortified, but we were finally successful in pushing them off. But when you got to Kailahun there were two tracks. One of the tracks led to Buedu and another led to Balahun, Dia and Koindu, so we were fighting along those two tracks until we captured Koindu.

  • Your Honour, in the answer the witness gave a date for his commission, on my LiveNote it is page 4, line 8, and I would ask that that exact date be redacted and we just leave the 1993 year.

  • Mr Munyard, you have heard the application to redact. Have you anything to say to that application?

  • No, I have nothing to say to that.

  • [Trail Chamber conferred]

  • We allow the redaction of the date being the day and the month recorded and the year will be left. Please implement that accordingly.

  • Thank you. Your Honours, before I clarify the issue of the town names that counsel raised, Siama - I believe the correct spelling is S-I-A-M-A:

  • Sir, in your answer you said, "One of the tracks led to Buedu and another led to", and then you gave the name of some places. Can you repeat those places slowly, please?

  • The one that was after Kailahun was Balahun, Dia, then you go to Koindu, and the other ones were from Kailahun to Buedu.

  • Your Honour, apparently there is just the first name Balahun that we will check the spelling on. We will look up the map of Kailahun and try to get that for you later:

  • Sir, during the time that you were engaged in this fighting in the early 1990s in Kailahun that you have been discussing, did you ever run across any checkpoints of the enemy forces?

  • What enemy forces, Mr Koumjian, we would like to know.

  • Sir, in 1991 and in the subsequent years when you were in the Sierra Leone Army who were you fighting against in Kailahun District?

  • We were fighting against the RUF and once in a while we were fortunate to capture some men who were Liberians who were fighting alongside the RUF, especially when we would interrogate some of them they will say they were Gio tribes people from Liberia and at times some of them were directly from Burkina Faso, but they too were fighting alongside the RUF. They were the people we fought against.

  • Sir, during those years fighting in Kailahun District did you run across any enemy checkpoints?

  • Yes, for example when we were advancing to Kailahun I saw heads that had been cut off and planted on checkpoints and some of them wrote notes and stuck them into the mouths of those heads, because when we were fighting we were looking for important documents. I saw some of those heads and I saw some amputated limbs which was part of the guerilla tactics; that is to make the area fearful so that the advancing troops would have some fear in us. I saw some of those heads. And at a point in time we took out the notes that were stuck in the mouths of those heads and from those notes we learnt that there were people fighting with Foday Sankoh, but they had betrayed Foday Sankoh and Foday Sankoh ordered their execution. Those were some of the heads. I was fortunate enough to see some at the checkpoints.

  • First, your Honour, we have a spelling of Balahun, B-A-L-A-H-U-N:

  • Sir, when you said you saw notes in the mouths and you learned that the people that Foday Sankoh had ordered their execution, can you describe the ages and genders of the heads you saw?

  • Well, I can recall that the majority of the heads were males. I only saw the head of one female as we continued our advance. As we went on our advance we observed the Geneva Convention, so when we captured enemies we will encourage them and interview them for us to get important pieces of information. So those heads and those people whom we had captured, one of them told me that one of the heads, the woman, was Foday Sankoh's wife and the other head belonged to somebody who was fair in complexion and this captured person told us that he was one of the men who was at FBC and protested against Siaka Stevens's regime and had escaped to Libya. That was one of the men who was working alongside Pa Sankoh. But he said because they connived against Pa Sankoh, that's why we were able to push the enemy from Kailahun, Giehun and beyond. That was the information that I got from one of the captured enemies. He was one of their senior men. He was called Rashid.

  • Sir, what is FBC?

  • That is Fourah Bay teachers college, Fourah Bay College. During the 70s there were some people like Hindolo Trye who protested against Siaka for the one party system. Some were able to escape and some were arrested and so he identified one of those men that these - that he was one of these students who had escaped to Libya and trained together with Foday Sankoh to launch their revolution.

  • Thank you. Sir, did you know someone named - and forgive me if I mispronounce this - Ngauga?

  • I know Ngauga who was a serving soldier in the RSLF.

  • Your Honours, that is correctly pronounced by the witness. That is N-G-A-U-G-A:

  • Do you know what happened to this soldier?

  • Well, I can remember after we had pushed the enemy up to the Guinean border, that is Koindu and Buedu, we heard from the leader, that is Strasser, that we were to grant them amnesty so that we will be able to end the hostilities. So at that time all of us were happy that the war was about to come to an end and really some of them surrendered.

    And during that time almost half of the Kailahun District was not occupied by the enemy, so that gave them the opportunity to regroup and use the other way going towards Jojoima and they made use of the - some of the weaknesses of the army. What I mean is that some of the members of the army thought that the enemy was not fighting any more, so the enemy hit a place called Nomofamah. That was a surprise attack and that made the war to start afresh, because they got a lot of ammunition from that place. It was not really easy for us.

    So during that time the army was focused on clearing that area. That was the time Ngauga was captured. By the time the army was able to see Ngauga again his two hands had been cut off and they wrote a letter and tied a rope on it, put it and hang it on his neck and sent it to the resident minister at that time who was fighting along the east end. He was called Tom Nyuma.

  • Just before you proceed, Mr Koumjian, can we clarify the name of the two places. I had thought I heard Koidu and it is recorded as Koindu and Buedu. It's line 24 of page 8. Could we just clarify that, please.

  • I thought it was Koindu, but let me ask:

  • Sir, what were the two places where you said you had pushed the RUF to the border and you mentioned two towns?

  • If you say Koidu that means you talking about Kono. I am talking about Koindu. That is the border between Guinea and Liberia. That was where we pushed the enemy.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. Thank you, Mr Koumjian. Please proceed.

  • In your answer you also mentioned some other locations and I believe this is where Ngauga was captured. Can you tell us the chiefdom, if you remember, where Ngauga was captured. Okay, if you don't know?

  • Nomofamah. That is the Kenema axis. I think it's the Baoma Koya chiefdom, Nomofamah.

  • Okay, thank you. We will look up the spellings of that and give that to the Court later:

  • Sir, did you actually yourself see Ngauga?

  • Well, when he brought the letter at that particular moment I was not present on the ground, but after he had been brought at the front line medical first aid office trying to stop the bleeding I saw Ngauga.

  • Okay, thank you, sir. Now, I am going to be moving through the years pretty quickly in the next series of questions, so don't be - please understand --

  • Mr Koumjian, before you move on, this amputation of Ngauga's, do we have a time frame for it?

  • Sir, you indicated this was in the time of Strasser. Do you remember the year when this happened when the surprise attack occurred and Ngauga was captured?

  • I wouldn't want to guess. I wouldn't want to guess here, but I know it was during the regime of Strasser that Ngauga was captured, around the 1990s, but I cannot be specific.

  • Okay, thank you. Mr Witness, do you recall where you were at the time of the 1996 elections in Sierra Leone where Kabbah was elected President?

  • I was in Liberia as a peacekeeper.

  • And can you explain to the judges what your job was in Liberia at that time?

  • As a peacekeeper, and I was a lieutenant, I became platoon commander and later I was a company commander before I returned home.

  • Thank you. You indicated you were a peacekeeper. Can you tell us what peacekeeping organisation you were with, or peacekeeping force?

  • I was with the ECOWAS peacekeeping force that was referred to as ECOMOG.

  • Where were you stationed in Liberia?

  • Well, my contingent's headquarters at that time was close to Freeport, but I worked at places like Hotel Africa, I worked at the Red Light, then I worked at some other different road points that were established by ECOMOG within the city, that is Monrovia.

  • Thank you. Now, sir, you have indicated that you were there at the time of the 1996 elections in Sierra Leone. Do you recall for approximately how long you served with the ECOMOG force in Liberia?

  • Yes, I can recall that I served for over eight months in Liberia before I came back home.

  • Okay, thank you. Sir, I next want to go to the coup in Freetown on 25 May 1987. Where were you at that time?

  • Do you mean 1997 or 1987?

  • Thank you for correcting me, 1997.

  • I was in Kenema serving with the 18th Battalion and on a Sunday morning we heard an announcement on the BBC when a Corporal Gborie announced that they, the junior soldiers, had taken over power from Kabbah's regime.

  • Sir, for those forces that were with you, those Sierra Leone Army forces that you were serving with in Kenema, what was the reaction to the announcement of the events in Freetown?

  • Well, to be frank, everybody reacted his own way, but like for me and some other junior soldiers we thought it was necessary at that time, because there were certain things which were happening that were not in place. For example, they had formed the CDF forces that was referred to as the Kamajors. These Kamajors, at the initial stage, they were fighting alongside the army peacefully, but coming to us, the time Corporal Gborie and others took over, the Kamajors used to attack the soldiers' positions. That made people like me to be disgruntled because at that time we had nobody to do something in order to stop what was happening. So everybody reacted his own way. Some people, like me particularly, thought it necessary because the big ones - I mean the senior officers on whom we depended - and some of the heads of the political wings could not stop it. So that was my reaction.

  • Okay, thank you, Mr Witness. You have explained to us your reaction and you said that others like you supported what happened in Freetown, the action by the junior officers, or junior men. Were there others who opposed it amongst the SLAs?

  • Yes, some people opposed it and most of those who opposed it fled to Lungi, which was the place where supporters of the democratic government had gone. So the soldiers who were in support went to Lungi, but there were some still who supported the democratic government who stayed around, but they did not voice it out. They just had it within themselves.

  • You indicated that you were stationed there, based there, in Kenema at the time of the 25 May coup. Where exactly within Kenema were you? Were you in the town, or somewhere else in the district?

  • I was in the Kenema Town, because at that time it was the safest place for soldiers.

  • Thank you. Now, you have explained to us the reactions of the SLAs, the various reactions. What was the reaction of the Kamajors to the announcement of the coup?

  • Well, first they opposed the coup and in fact at some point they started mounting up checkpoints along the main highways, which they knew people must use to access big towns, and at those checkpoints any soldier who was caught on board any vehicle would be brought down the vehicle and that soldier's throat would be slit off.

  • What happened in Kenema, where you had been based at the time of the coup?

  • Just as I said, there are some places along the Kenema Highway, like Blama, Gembeh, and we had troops in Zimmi. Those roads were all blocked by the Kamajors immediately and we got reports - or some soldiers who were in private vehicles, like the government boss, they were put down those vehicles and their heads were cut off.

  • Okay, thank you. So what did you do after you learned of the coup?

  • Well, I personally and the five men I had - when the coup had occurred there was no control any more. Everything was in shambles, so I came to Freetown with my men. I came to the city, because my family was in the city, and there was some fighting in the city, so I came to Freetown. That is what I did.

  • What did you do once you got to Freetown?

  • Well, I reported at the army headquarters at Cockerill. The time I am referring to, at that time the chief of defence staff had been replaced, the army chief of staff had been replaced, everything was then under the AFRC control completely. So I came to Freetown and so when I came to Freetown, at that time most of the senior officers did not cooperate with the AFRC and some were considered to be cowards. The AFRC was looking for brave officers and I was one of them. I was spoken to to work alongside them and I worked with them and by that I got some appointments from them.

  • In what part of the country were you based after joining the AFRC?

  • I was in the city working at the defence headquarters and the defence was close to the State House. My role at that time was to protect the city from looting and to prevent some people who would want to seize advantage of the situation. We set up a unit which was directly set up by Johnny Paul and was referred to as WASP, Western Area Security Patrol.

  • Sir, you have told us about the reactions of SLAs to the coup and the Kamajors to the coup. What was the reaction of the people inside Freetown, the civilians, to the take over by the AFRC?

  • Really it was a mixed reaction. Frankly, some people were in favour of the coup at the initial stage and there were some other people who were not in favour of the coup at the initial stage. Everybody had his own reason.

  • Mr Koumjian, did we get a spelling for Blama and Gembeh? I don't believe they are on the record yet.

  • Thank you, your Honour. We will provide those:

  • Sir, can you tell us if you specifically witnessed any civilian opposition to the AFRC?

  • Yes, my Lord. Some civilians did not oppose right after the coup. They did so because of what some members of the AFRC and the RUF which had come to the city did and so a group of civilians decided to oppose the regime. For example, I can recall a particular time when the students, including the nurses, decided to organise a strike action to show the international community that they did not support the coup.

  • What happened during that strike action by the students and the nurses?

  • I can recall one morning when the students decided to take to the streets of Freetown and troops which were loyal to the AFRC, what I meant by troops that were loyal, some of the bodyguards to the Supreme Council members, some of us in the WASP that were responsible for the city were ordered to stop the strike action. I can recall at a particular time during that day when we were about to stop the strike action peacefully, we were just beating them up with whips, and some of Issa's bodyguards opened fire, especially at the nursing home and nobody could control them. They opened fire there and some students had bullet wounds. I can recall a male nursing student who had two gunshots by his side and his colleagues held him while he was bleeding. He even ended up dead. And some female students were captured and put into a vehicle and even some male students were put into a vehicle and taken away. I don't know where some were taken to, but some were taken to the Central Prison; that is Pademba Road.

  • Okay, thank you. Mr Witness, did you remain assigned to Freetown throughout the junta period, or did you receive another assignment?

  • Yes, they gave me another assignment in Tongo, eastern Sierra Leone. That was when one of the officers who was sent there by the name of Captain Bangura, who was also called alias Yamohokaty, one soldier mistakenly shot him and he died and so I was posted to Tongo and I went there. I was in Tongo right up to the end of the regime in Freetown.

  • Mr Witness, this Court knows that the intervention by ECOMOG where the AFRC/RUF were pushed out of Freetown occurred in the middle of February 1998. Where were you at that time?

  • I was in Tongo.

  • And do you recall for approximately how long you had been in Tongo before those events?

  • Well, I can recall that when I was in Tongo it was not that long, about two or three months while I was in Tongo, then the intervention took place and the AFRC/RUF were ousted from power in Freetown.

  • What happened in the Tongo area when the intervention occurred?

  • I can recall again when the intervention occurred most of the senior men who were in Kenema at that time, like the resident minister Eddie Kanneh and Sam Bockarie and some other senior men whose names I cannot recall now who were mining in Tongo started hastening up with the mining so that everybody would have his portion of diamonds just so that if we would have to finally pull out of the place they would be able to have some diamonds with them. That's what I know of.

  • Well, did you have to pull out of the place in Kenema, or in Tongo?

  • Yes, we pulled out, because the regime on which we depended in the city that gave us arms and ammunition and ration were no longer in power and there didn't seem to be any control any more. Everybody was on his own. That's what I can recall.

  • Sir, did any other force attack the AFRC or RUF in Tongo or in Kenema District at that time?

  • Yes, it was the Kamajors. The Kamajors attacked in Tongo and some other small villages. The ECOMOG, which was in Liberia, moved from Monrovia, they used the highway to Koindu and coming towards Kenema. Yes, I can recall that. That happened.

  • Sir, did the army, the AFRC forces, in the Kenema District that you were with and in Tongo have any heavy weapons before the intervention?

  • Yes, we had it. We had heavy weapons, like SPG, which is an artillery weapon. We had anti-aircraft weapons. We had RPG-7 which we used.

  • Can you describe what an SPG - you said it was an artillery weapon. Can you tell us anything else about that?

  • Yes, SPG is an Israeli made weapon and it was very effective. Very effective, you know, for that particular terrain.

  • What kind of a shell does it fire?

  • It fires bigger shells.

  • Is it a long barrel weapon or short like a mortar?

  • It is a long barrel weapon, SPG. It has a wheel at the back. An individual cannot carry it. You can only do so using a vehicle. That is how you can move with it effectively.

  • Mr Witness, I just want to make sure we have the initials correct. Are you saying SPG as in Sam Paul George?

  • I am not getting that clearly.

  • Can you repeat the three initials for S, something, G? We are not sure of the second initial.

  • SPG. It's an Israeli made weapon. It is a long barrel artillery weapon.

  • Sir, what happened to the heavy weapons that the AFRC, the former SLA army soldiers, had in the Kenema District at the time of the intervention?

  • Well, I can recall like for the twin barrel Mosquito took it. He did not allow the enemies to have that. He took it to Buedu and he took some other weapons too. But like the SPG, it was difficult to go with that and so it stayed behind. But for the twin barrel I can remember he went with it together with some single barrel AAs, those two he took to Kailahun.

  • Well, you said the SPG was difficult so it stayed behind. What happened to it when you say it stayed behind?

  • As I said, an individual cannot carry it and during that time some of the specialists, the artillery personnel, everybody was in disarray. Everybody was running for his life. That was one of the reasons why we left most of the weapons.

  • Well, when you say left, do you mean left to the forces that were pushing you out of the area?

  • Sir, how about in Freetown? Do you know what happened to the heavy weapons that the SLAs, the AFRC, had in Freetown at the time of the intervention?

  • Well, I am sorry, he has put himself quite some distance from Freetown and he is describing his own - he is describing people fleeing in disarray and all the rest of it. Unless there is some foundation as to how he could possibly know what happened to weapons in Freetown, it seems to me that this isn't a question he can properly answer in the light of the evidence he has just been giving.

  • I believe the witness can answer the question and he can explain the basis of his knowledge.

  • Well, you will have to have more foundation to show that he has such knowledge before he can answer this question.

  • Sir, do you know what happened to the weapons in Freetown? Just answer yes or no.

  • I was not in Freetown at that moment, but the men who came from Freetown met - some of them met us and when we asked them for some of those weapons, for us to use them to repel the advancing enemy, they said they had left the weapons in Freetown.

  • Thank you. Sir, can you describe what effect the intervention had in changing, if it did, the relationship between AFRC and RUF?

  • Yes, it was some of those effects that made most of us not to stay with the RUF because they were blaming some of us that we were too careless, we didn't want to fight, and they started threatening some of us, because at that time there was no command. At that time, frankly Mosquito had the command and some of us didn't want to be molested and we heard about some other people who were molested. Some of our fighting spirit was killed and some of us were even hiding. What I meant by "we", I am referring to the majority of the SLAs.

  • Mr Koumjian, you have just asked the witness to tell us how the relationship changed after the intervention, but I don't think there is any evidence of if there was a relationship at all before the intervention. Am I mistaken?

  • Certainly not from -

  • I am trying to scan my transcript.

  • You are correct as to this witness. I am relying on evidence from the other witnesses who testified.

  • Assuming this witness knows that evidence?

  • No, I am not assuming this witness knows the other evidence. I am certainly not assuming that. I am assuming that the witness has talked about what happened in Freetown and the other witnesses have already described the relationship. I am sorry, I will be happy to ask him about the relationship in Freetown. Thank you. Thank you for that:

  • So, Mr Witness, how was the relationship between the RUF and AFRC in Freetown in your opinion, in your observations?

  • It was really cordial, because they were working together with us. I know that some of them were even appointed as Supreme Council members, like Issa Sesay, Peter Vandi, Mike Lamin. Those men were Supreme Council members so the relationship was really cordial in Freetown.

  • Thank you. Thank you, your Honour:

  • Sir, in your answer a moment ago you said the following in talking about what happened after the intervention. You said "frankly Mosquito had the command". What did you mean by that?

  • Yes, what I am trying to say is that when the army had gone into disarray Mosquito and the SLA as a whole were no longer in control. The command structure was disturbed, but Mosquito was able to put the entire RUF structure under a strong command and control. As a result of that, I knew that indeed things had changed because the men we expected to receive commands from, like Johnny Paul and some of his Supreme Council members, they had all gone into disarray somewhere in the north, whilst some of us found ourselves in the east, so there was actually no command structure amongst the SLA. It was only Sam Bockarie who had the absolute command.

  • Thank you. Now, sir, you said that "we", "some of us", "we" went to the east. Can you briefly tell us about your movements after the intervention?

  • Mr Koumjian, sorry to interrupt again, but when the witness said "Sam Bockarie who had the absolute command", does that mean Sam Bockarie had the absolute command even over the witness and the SLAs, or only over the RUF?

  • He had absolute command over both the SLA and RUF at that particular time.

  • Mr Witness, can you briefly tell us about your own movements, where you went after the intervention?

  • Yes, after my withdrawal from Tongo and some other SLAs and RUF had withdrawn from Kenema, we all met at the Daru barracks and whilst we were at the Daru barracks we had plans to understudy the situation, so that we would be able to regroup, to go back to Kenema and repel the enemy forces from there, but that did not work because the advancing troops came with heavy fire power, especially those who came from the Liberian side. They were using three Alpha Jets at the same time, so that did not allow us to regroup any more. They bombarded us seriously, so because of that we all went into disarray. Now I am not actually speaking for myself, but some of the SLAs who were in Kenema and Daru - and not just them in fact. Most of them ran away with their entire families. By that I mean some men ran away with their wives, their children, their brothers, their cousins. I can say almost everybody ran away with their own families, because whilst the advancing troops, the enemies, were coming, anybody who was an associate or a friend of an SLA or RUF was expected to be killed. So, as a result of that, everybody concentrated on finding a way to run away. So, as a result of that, we did not regroup to repel them. So we all went into disarray.

  • Can you tell us, Mr Witness, where you went after that failed attack?

  • Yes, I went to Bunumbu. I was in Bunumbu for some time when we understood that Mosquito had authorised a commander, who was called Ben Kenneh, to mount a checkpoint at one of the main routes along that area and whosoever will pass through those areas, be you an SLA or RUF, will be searched. There were some men who were searched and they rid them of their monies that they had with them, diamonds that they had with them, and some were seriously punished and that was the reason why I and my own men that I had with me, they were five in number, we decided to use a bypass, because I never had wanted to allow them humiliate or beat me up. So I tried to push up and I was finally able to cross the Moa.

    After crossing the Moa I decided that I will not allow myself to surface in any big town and anywhere whilst I was going with my boys, anywhere I heard that RUF were I would find a bypass and while we were running away, using our bypass, we came across some personnel who told us that Johnny Paul had been arrested and he has been beaten up and that his wife too had been arrested and that most of the Supreme Council members had been beaten up, they rid them of their properties, diamonds and monies, so it was not an easy task.

    Three months after the intervention we were just moving around the bushes in Kailahun, just to find a way out to find ourselves in Liberia so that we could get to a place that will be open and free for us around that time. I struggled with my men until we got to Buedu and, like I told you, we used a bypass around the Dawa area and I finally crossed over to Foya, Lofa County. That was how I was able to make my way out, out of Sierra Leone.

  • Mr Witness, could you give us any estimate about how long that was after the intervention? In other words, how many weeks or months after the intervention was it that you arrived in Foya?

  • He has just said three months.

  • I am happy with that, but he said three months after the intervention they were "in the bush trying to find our way", but I am happy with that:

  • Sir, where did you go after Foya?

  • Well, eventually I found myself in Monrovia. That was where I was, around Dualla. That was where I found myself.

  • Can you tell us approximately when that was in relation to the intervention? Can you estimate how many weeks or months after the intervention it was when you arrived in Monrovia?

  • Well, after the intervention, the time I spent within Sierra Leone to the time I found myself in Foya was about three months and from Foya to enter Monrovia it was equally not easy at that time, because even there there were road blocks where people were rid of their properties and I also spent three months within that area also before I got to Monrovia and it was when I entered Monrovia that I felt satisfied that nobody was no longer chasing me. There I lived my life as a complete civilian.

  • At that time did you have any money or anything with you that you were able to pay for your basic needs with?

  • Yes, I had money with me, but at that time we did not do any business or trade and it was that money that I used to support myself and my soldiers who were with me, about five of them. I spoke with them, I told them that this is the situation and I managed to give each and every one of them what I could so that each and every one of them would find their own ways, because at that time things were difficult and I wouldn't have been able to take care of myself and continue taking care of them.

  • Where were you staying at that time?

  • Like I told you before, I was staying at Dualla as an ordinary civilian. I was staying in Monrovia, Dualla. It's closer to a marketplace. They have got a very big marketplace around that area.

  • Mr Koumjian, I know you are about to give us a spelling, but I just wanted a clarification. The witness said he went to Monrovia and where he was able to live as a civilian, but then in the same breath he says he was able to find money that he used to support himself and his soldiers who were with him. That would appear to me to be rather inconsistent. He had soldiers with him, but he was living as a civilian?

  • I can clarify.

  • I would want to - I would want to come in there. I did not find money on the way. It was the money that I had with me in Sierra Leone. That was what I had in my possession. And those soldiers that I am referring to, I am the only person who would be able to tell the Court here that they were soldiers or any other person, because by then we had given our guns away and we had no guns with us. So I only considered them as my children. So when I went with them and they were staying with me I decided that the money that I had with me I should share with them, give each and every one of them what I could so that they would be able to live their own lives, because by then things were so difficult that I wouldn't have been able to continue taking care of them and taking care of myself.

  • Your Honour, Dualla is D-U-A-L-L-A. Also prior spellings Biama, B-I-A-M-A and Sengbe, S-E-N-G-B-E:

  • Mr Witness, just so we are clear, the soldiers that you were with in Monrovia who were - you don't have to give us their names, but who were they? Where did they come from?

  • I have told this Court that I had five soldiers with me in Tongo. Those were the same soldiers that I was able to move with until the time we got to Monrovia. Those were the same soldiers that I have spoken about to the Court here that it came to a time that I realised that I wouldn't have been able to continue living with them, because at that time everybody was fighting to save his or her own head. As a result, I decided to share with them what I had so that each and every one of them will find their own ways.

  • Mr Koumjian, there were two outstanding spellings. That was Nomofamah, you didn't give us that. And also a name of a person Yamohokaty, right.

  • And I thought the witness - this spelling you said Biama, I thought he said Blama. Did you say, Mr Witness, Blama or Biama?

  • Blama, B-L-A-M-A. Blama. It is on the highway moving from Bo to Kenema.

  • Did you also say Gembeh or Sengbe?

  • So, with respect, I think we ought to revisit these spellings, all of them.

  • Sir, the name that the justice just asked you about, can you spell that name?

  • Gembeh? Blama you mean or Gembeh?

  • The individual that you mentioned, Yamohokaty.

  • Yamohokaty is an alias, but the officer himself was Captain Bangura. He was a Limba by tribe.

  • Can you spell Yamohokaty or not?

  • Y-A-M-O-H-O-K-A-T-Y, Yamohokaty.

  • And Nomofamah, can you hazard --

  • Nomofamah is N-O-M-O-F-A-M-A-H, Nomofamah.

  • G-E-M-B-E-H, Gembeh.

  • Thank you very much:

  • Sir, can you tell us did you stay in Dualla, or did you move at some point?

  • Well, I lived my own life for some time. I used to move around, but I stayed at Dualla and I was there for some time until after 6 January, because I was at Dualla until the time the 6 January incident happened when I heard Sam Bockarie over the BBC on 6 January. All those times I was still living in Dualla and it was only after - that was some months after 6 January that all what I had with me had completely finished and my survival was not easy.

    And whilst I was there as a peacekeeper, during the peacekeeping mission, I had established friendships with some people and so I used that advantage and I said to myself before allowing myself to go through all restraints, I decided to visit a lady I had established friendship with by the name of Matinda. I visited her. She was living in Congo Town close to the late President Tubman's house. I visited her, I explained myself and I even told her that I did not even have a place to stay. So she accommodated me and she advised me that I should be very careful the way I move around until we are able to assess the situation and I will be able to return to my country.

  • Sir, I have several questions about what you just told us. First, when you talked about the 6 January incident and you heard Sam Bockarie over the BBC on 6 January, can you explain what you mean?

  • What are you trying to ask me to explain?

  • Well, when you say the 6 January incident, just so everyone is clear, what do you mean by the 6 January incident?

  • Yes, that was the time Sam Bockarie went over the BBC and said the city had been captured by our men, by that I mean the AFRC/RUF, and if they did not try to bring a peaceful settlement and if they attempted at pushing them out forcefully out of the city they would burn down the whole city. So that is what I mean when I talked about 6 January. And you know that at that time Sam Bockarie was very frequent over the air. That is what exactly I meant.

  • Mr Koumjian, I don't think we have got a year. We have got 6 January, but not which year.

  • Do you recall the year, Mr Witness? Perhaps if the record could reflect the witness hasn't yet answered. Let me try something a different way. Sir, which city was it that Sam Bockarie was talking about.

  • He was talking about Freetown.

  • Now, Mr Witness, we have told you that we all understand that the intervention happened in February 1998, so was this what you heard that was February 1998. The 6 January when you heard this radio broadcast, when was that? Do you remember the year now?

  • Thank you. Now can you tell us the name of the woman that you said you went to see? The complete name, if you recall it?

  • Matinda Johnson. Matinda Johnson.

  • Excuse me, your Honour, I believe I am hearing something different from the witness than the interpreter is giving as far as the first name.

  • Mr Interpreter, what name did you give for the lady referred to by the witness?

  • The witness is saying Matinda.

  • Mr Witness, could you please say the names of this lady again clearly?

  • I said it's Matinda Johnson.

  • Matinda. Matinda Johnson.

  • And, sir, when the did you first in your life meet this lady?

  • I met that lady when I was a peacekeeper and at that time things were very difficult with them, especially in terms of food, and it was at that time that I met her at first.

  • Who was this lady at the time that you were a peacekeeper?

  • She was an NPFL lady and she was a general and she was specialised in artillery. That was the time I met her and we established friendship.

  • Mr Koumjian, the witness has said "things were very difficult with them", who is the "them"?

  • Mr Witness, when you said that things were very difficult at that time for them, who were you talking about?

  • For me. I am talking about myself. Things were difficult for me, because by then I was not engaged in doing any other thing because I was just sitting idling, I had nothing to do, so I was waiting until things went better in Sierra Leone so that I will return.

  • So when you came from Dualla to go and see this lady, what was her position at the time that you saw her again now in Monrovia?

  • When I saw her, she told me that she was in charge of the airfield. She was the general in charge of the airfield; that is the Roberts airfield.

  • What did she do for you after you spoke to her?

  • Well, like I have told the Court before, she assisted me to get a place. I changed my environment. I left Dualla and I went to Kongo Town. I was now living in her place.

  • Now, Mr Witness, can you tell us did you meet some people that you recognised from Sierra Leone later?

  • Yes, that was after I had stayed with Matinda for some time, but, however, what happened - a human being if you go to a particular place where was not actually your rightful place, you will not be very happy within yourselves and at that time I was very eager to always know what was going on in Sierra Leone and the reason why I was eager to know what was happening in Sierra Leone was because I always got information over the BBC and I wanted to get some direct source. So, as a result, one day I decided to move from the place and I went direct to where the ECOMOG base was established at the Freeport. I went to take a stroll there and when I went there I met with some Sierra Leoneans. There was a woman, a Sierra Leonean woman, who used to sell some Sierra Leonean dish. She was called Mammy Ellie. I went to take a stroll at our place and I met honourable Tamba Brima's wife, Margaret Brima. I met with honourable Ibrahim Bazzy's wife who was called Anifa and I met with honourable Momoh, alias Dirty, Momoh Dirty. I met his wife there, Patricia, together with some other Sierra Leoneans whose names I cannot call now. I met them there. They were all there together.

  • Your Honours, some spellings. Mammy Ely, it is two words, Mammy M-A-M-M-Y, Ellie E-L-L-I-E. The witness said Momoh Dirty, which as we understand is spelled D-I-R-T-Y, Momoh M-O-M-O-H.

  • I recall that being spelt D-O-R-T-Y at some point, but maybe it is a different person, or a different spelling.

  • We will check, thank you:

  • What happened when you met these people?

  • Momoh Dirty's wife, who was Patricia, asked me a question. She asked where I had been all this while and then I answered the question. I told her I have also been here in Monrovia for some time now and she also asked why I have not been coming to the riverside there and then I told her, "That is difficult for me", and I said, "Instead of coming here and finding things difficult" - I said some of my SLA colleagues who had been with us had returned and they were fighting alongside with the RUF and things are improving for them and now they held some grounds. So instead of staying in Liberia and suffering, why wouldn't I go back to Sierra Leone and get in touch with them? Then I told her that I do not have any means now, I don't know the means to use to go there, but then she told me that she will try and get in touch with Sam Bockarie and Eddie Kanneh so that I will be able to sit with them and discuss further on the issue, so that if it happens then at that time things will improve with me.

    We were there talking when two Sierra Leonean men, one called Bamie and the other called K1, they came. They met us there and Bamie told me that - Bamie and K1, they told me that they will inform Sam Bockarie and Eddie Kanneh about my being in Liberia and that they said they will be able to make necessary arrangements for me to team up with them and join the fighting troops so that I will be able to go back to Sierra Leone instead of staying in Liberia and continuing to strain.

  • Your Honour, the spelling for Bamie is B-A-M-I-E and K1, the letter and number as in the transcript:

  • Sir, who was Bamie?

  • Well, what I understood about Bamie was that he was a kind of liaison who liaised between interested SLAs or businessmen. He liaised between interested SLAs and businessmen and Sam Bockarie and Eddie Kanneh.

  • What was Bamie's nationality?

  • Bamie is a Sierra Leonean and I had known him since I was in Tongo. He was in charge of all of - he was in charge of Sam Bockarie and Eddie Kanneh's diamond miners in Tongo and it was in Tongo that I knew him.

  • Sir, can you tell us anything about K1?

  • Yes, K1 was Bamie's friend Bamie and K1 was always operating hand in hand and they were both men who had knowledge about diamonds.

  • What did you do after this conversation?

  • Well, after the conversation I ended up showing Bamie where I was staying. I introduced him to the place where I was staying and, like I told the Court, I told him that I was living with Matinda in Congo Town and then I told Bamie that after getting in touch with Sam Bockarie and Eddie Kanneh, he has told me that after that he will come to the area and collect me. Then I also replied that I will come to the main street so that when he alights from the taxi I will be able to see him.

  • When did you next see Bamie?

  • It was one day after the previous day that I was able to see Bamie. He alighted from a taxi and I called him and he told me that he had got in touch with Sam Bockarie and Eddie Kanneh and that they wanted to see me and that that was the reason why he had come.

  • Mr Interpreter, what is one day after the previous day?

  • Your Honours, that was exactly what the witness said.

  • Mr Witness, one day after the previous day would be the same day, so can you tell us how many days after you first saw Bamie did you next see Bamie?

  • I met Bamie, for instance, like today and the following day I saw Bamie again and he came, he was in a taxi, he alighted and then he did exactly what I told him for him to get on to me. That was what I meant.

  • And after Bamie got out of the taxi can you tell us - take your time and tell us what happened?

  • And then Bamie told me that he was ready to go with me for me to be able to meet with Sam Bockarie and Eddie Kanneh so that we will be able to get further discussions on how I will be able to join the fighting forces in Sierra Leone and then I answered, "Okay".

    So I joined him and we went, but as we were going we got to a junction in Congo Town. That is the YMCA Junction. When we got there, he told me that we should alight from the taxi and when we alighted we moved straight. We moved off the main road and we branched to another street and we finally ended up in a pub, a bar, and he told me that we should spend some time there in waiting. When I got to the pub I met his friend there, the friend that I referred to, K1, with whom he did things in common. He was also sitting there and he told me that I should wait and that they were going to try to get in touch with Eddie Kanneh and that they would come.

    I was there myself, Bamie and K1 together with two other Sierra Leoneans when Mohamed Saleh came. Mohamed Saleh is a Lebanese diamond businessman who had also ran away from Kenema in fear of the Kamajors because they had accused him of doing business with the AFRC. So Mohamed Saleh came, he met us there, we all sat there for some time, we started taking drinks together.

    We were there for some time and I saw two gentlemen that I had never seen before and I did not even know them. They joined us in the pub and Mohamed Saleh, who was the Lebanese businessman, he left us and he went.

    We were there for a long time, like I said. We were drinking, discussing, drinking and discussing and one amongst the two men who had just come introduced himself to me as Colonel Marzah and he told me that he was Colonel Marzah and the others said he was Captain Denis. He said he was coming from the mansion. I greeted them, we all sat there for a while, but I did not know if they had been given any information, but as the discussion went on Marzah told me that he would like me to be his friend and that later I should go and escort him to the airport as he was going to collect one of his friends. So I told him, "Okay, there is no problem with that".

    So we all sat there together discussing about Sierra Leone and I took out my military ID card and showed it to him and I had a certificate on artillery and it was a course that I had taken and trained for when the times in the army were normal and the army had established an artillery unit alongside the Nigerians and it was part of an organisation called NATAG and it was an organisation that the Nigerian army had formed and it was that organisation that trained the Sierra Leonean army in some specialist courses.

    So I showed him some of those documents, that is Marzah. He read through them and he returned them to me. We seated there still discussing with the other men when Marzah called me and he said he wanted to talk to me.

  • Your Honours, the spelling of Saleh is S-A-L-E-H:

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. Now I would like you to tell us what happened when Colonel Marzah indicated that he wanted to talk to you. Slowly and in detail tell us what you remember?

  • Well, Colonel Marzah called me and we went to the back of the pub whilst the other men were sitting in front, drinking and listening to music. He called me to the back of the pub and he asked me who were those other men who were seated with me discussing with me and I told him that those men are my fellow Sierra Leoneans and we were all in Sierra Leone. And then he asked me whether I was sure about what I was saying and then I said, "Yes, they are my brothers". And he told me that those men are not my brothers and I asked him why. He said because they had alleged that I am a spy that had come from Sierra Leone and that the Kabbah government had recruited to come and observe and see - and to see whether the Ghankay government was actually supporting us. When I say "us", I mean the RUF and the SLA.

    He said to me that that was the information given to him by the men. Then I told him, I said, "Oh, they are lying". I said, "It is a clear lie". And then Marzah told me that now he is the commander for the Death Squad and he said if he investigates about me and proves otherwise that it is true I will be a dead man and I will be killed in an ugly manner. He took out a picture and showed it to me. He showed me the picture and told me to just look at it and he told me, "You see this lady, it was the same reason why this lady came here and we did the same thing to her and if we prove that that is the reason why you are here you will die in a more ugly manner than this lady".

    And I was afraid that I had been entrapped and then he immediately asked me whether I knew somebody by the name of Rambo and then I said, "Oh, the only Rambo that I know is a Sierra Leonean" and he also described the person. So straightaway I realised that that was Moses Kabia who was the chief security to Johnny Paul Koroma. He asked whether I knew him. I said, "Yes, I know him". He asked how I managed to know him. I said I knew that man as a soldier and he was the chief security officer to Johnny Paul during the AFRC, that is how I knew him, and I don't know him to be somebody bad. And Marzah later told me that that was the same thing that man wanted to do here when we got the information and he said he had arrested the man and the man has been killed. He said he did not even waste time with him, because the man - the man did not speak to him the way I am speaking to him. He did not agree to say anything.

    I told him that that man was a stammerer, somebody who stammers, he finds it difficult to talk and if you had not known him before you would want to believe that he did not want to talk to you, but I know him. He is somebody who stammers so much and he told me that that man did not talk to him the way I am talking to him and he said he killed the man straightaway and he slit his stomach open and took out his heart. And when he showed me the photos he handed them over to me for me to see them and he saw in my face that I was now in very serious fear, but he told me that he was assuring me with the influence that he had and he said he knew that I was a military man like he is and if he proved that I was innocent he would not kill me, he will allow me to survive. But I did not actually believe that because of the way he spoke to me. But we ended up going back to the pub and we also went to join the other men who were there and we waited for a while for the arrival of Eddie Kanneh and Sam Bockarie.

    We waited there for some time and going towards 7.30 in the evening Marzah told me, he said, oh, now tell the other men that the mere fact that Eddie Kanneh and Sam Bockarie have not still arrived, he was now going to take me along with him to see them. We took the same direction and we started moving.

    When we got to --

  • Mr Witness, I held my hand up to stop you because I think we have talked about the discussion with Marzah and I want to go over some of what you have told us before we move on. First of all you talked about the Ghankay government. What did you mean by that?

  • At that time I mean it was President Charles Taylor who was in government, so that was what I was referring to. His native name is Ghankay. Ghankay Taylor's government.

  • How many pictures did Marzah show you?

  • Well, it was the picture on which I saw that a woman was mutilated. That was the picture he showed to me. And I carried that picture for a long time with me and I later showed the picture to the Court in Freetown. That was the only picture that I received from Marzah.

  • Your Honour, I would like the Court Officer to put on the document scanner the tab 1 photograph. I would caution it's very graphic and I don't know that it needs to be broadcast in the interests of the victim, but it should be put on the document cam. Also please do not broadcast it because it has a signature, I believe, of the witness. So I would ask your Honours to instruct the video booth not to broadcast the photograph.

  • Has the video booth heard the application by counsel that the photograph should not be broadcast?

  • Sorry, there are two photographs. The one we selected does not have the name or the signature of the witness, but I still would - I will leave it to your Honours. I don't know that it is necessary to broadcast it.

  • Your Honour, before anything is put on the screen, I would like to ensure that it is the original photograph that we are being shown for reasons that I think will be absolutely obvious, given that this witness says that he has kept it for a very long time and it has now been given to the Court in Freetown.

  • You have also heard the application that it not be broadcast. What is your reply to that application?

  • Well, so far the alleged victim has not been named. In the very imprecise copy that we have been shown, a scanned copy, there is absolutely no way that you could identify the body of the person there. It is an unpleasant photograph, but courts deal with unpleasant detail. For my own part, given that the alleged identification of the body has not been given, I see no reason - if the witness is producing this as evidence to support what he is saying I see no reason why it shouldn't be shown.

  • Mr Koumjian, there are two points. First of all you mentioned a signature and the copy I have in my bundle of documents does not have any name, signature or other identifying matters. That's the first thing. The second thing is the witness has mentioned that the original was given to the Court. Is that within the control of the Prosecution, or where is it?

  • Your Honours, my understanding is it was given to the investigators, they scanned it and returned the original.

  • Returned the original to who?

  • Is the original available for at least the judges to see, because this is the normal procedure? If an original is available we would like to see the original and then you could broadcast the copy. So, we want to know is the original available?

  • Sir, do you have the original with you in Europe?

  • Well even in Freetown they asked me for the original, but a complication was there between the initial investigators and me that one of the investigators is now on studies in England. He is one Alfred Sesay. I have always tried to look out for that original, but I have not been able to see it again and so I was in doubt whether it was still not in possession in Mr Sesay or Mr David's possession.

  • [Trial Chamber conferred]

  • We have considered the application. The Bench accepts that this is a gruesome photograph, but we have no reasons before us to prevent the public knowing the nature of the killing that was perpetrated on this person and therefore we will allow the photograph to be broadcast.

    I have just been alerted to the fact that there is one minute left and will you be able to deal with that in that one minute, Mr Koumjian?

  • Yes.

  • Madam President, before that happens we haven't dealt with the question of where the original of this is.

  • The witness has given evidence on record that it was given to investigators and one of the investigators has gone and he hasn't - it was still not in possession. Perhaps I should allow - rather than my draw an inference, I will allow counsel to clarify part of that answer --

  • Yes, because it certainly --

  • -- so it is properly on record.

  • Yes, the answer at the moment is ambiguous because it suggests at the moment that he thought - the witness thought - he had it, but he has looked for it, can't find it and thinks either Alfred Sesay or Mr David, who I presume is David Cunningham who is an investigator.

  • You have heard the indication, Mr Koumjian. I have just been informed that the tape has finished and we will pursue that more properly after the mid-morning break.

    Mr Witness, we are now taking the mid-morning break from now until 12 o'clock. We will resume court at 12. Please adjourn court.

  • [Break taken at 11.30 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 12.00 p.m.]

  • Mr Koumjian, please proceed. I think you were going to start with clarifying that issue raised.

  • Mr Witness, do you know where the original of that photograph that Marzah gave to you is?

  • As I was telling the Court, I said it could either be - it could either be with Mr Alfred Sesay, or Mr David, because when they scanned it I had some other things to do. I cannot remember whether it was given back to me, or not given back to me. They asked me that from Freetown. I searched for it, but I did not locate it.

  • Okay, thank you. If the photograph could then be displayed, please.

  • Well before anything further is done with this photograph I would ask - in fact, I would request the Court to order - that the Prosecution do everything in their power to trace the original. I have never had any experience of any domestic tribunal where an exhibit of this significance has been handed back to the witness by investigators. If that is in fact what has happened, then it is outrageous. If it has been kept by the investigators, which is what anyone would expect to be elementary standards of investigation, then it should have been kept in a safe and traceable place and it should be traceable now. That is my application.

  • Mr Koumjian, your reply to that application?

  • Well, your Honour, we have looked for it. Obviously it is in our interests to find the original of the copy - of the photograph and we have not been able to locate it. I don't have a problem with the Court making that order and we would just repeat the exercise that has been done, because I certainly would like to have the original of the photograph.

  • Mr Koumjian, are you saying you have actually spoken to these individuals that the witness has named who are abroad studying?

  • Then what are you saying?

  • That the evidence unit conducted a search is what I understand.

  • Yes, but now you have new information from the witness who said that there are two individuals he thinks handled this photograph and so for you to say if we make the order you will only repeat the same exercise is surprising to me.

  • Your Honour, I certainly would be shocked if the investigators had it in their personal possession and I don't know if we have their contact details because they are no longer with the Court, but I have no problem with trying to contact them. I don't personally know either individual. Oh, your Honours, I should correct something. My understanding is one of them is currently with the Court, so I didn't realise that. Thank you.

  • [Trial Chamber conferred]

  • The Trial Chamber directs that the Prosecution should search for the original photograph in the light of the witness's evidence and, if located, bring the original before the Court. In the interim, the copy will be shown to the witness.

  • Thank you, your Honour. I will ensure that an electronic mail is sent immediately to Freetown conveying that order:

  • Sir, before you is a photograph with the ERN number P0001188. Do you recognise it?

  • What is that photograph?

  • It is one of the photographs that he gave to me to instill fear in me and to see how they used to kill people. He told me that this was a woman and, because she had come to spy in the same manner as he thought I did, that is why she was killed and if I was found guilty I would be treated the same way. This is the photograph.

  • Your Honour, the photograph with the ERN number I mentioned, which depicts a nude woman, her legs spread, her right ankle apparently partially or largely separated and her left arm completely separated and a large wooden stick lying half a metre from her thighs, may that be given an MFI-number?

  • The photograph as described by counsel will become MFI-16.

  • Counsel, isn't this body decapitated? Did you say that?

  • I didn't say that. I couldn't quite tell myself. The head or face is not visible, although there appears to be a shadow or something dark beyond the neck:

  • Sir, did Zigzag - did Mr Marzah, Colonel Marzah, tell you the name of the person in that photograph?

  • We haven't had the name Zigzag from the witness, as far as I am aware.

  • Sir, the question was did Colonel Marzah tell you the name of the woman depicted in that photograph?

  • No, he just told me that the woman was a Sierra Leonean who too had come to spy.

  • Now, in your answer you said it was one of the photographs. Was more than one photograph given to you by Mr Marzah, or just one photograph?

  • Well I saw other photographs, but how I got this one was one of the trousers which I used had this photo in the side pocket. That was how I brought this photo to Sierra Leone.

  • I am sorry, that is not quite clear to me. Did Mr - did Colonel Marzah give you the photograph? How did you originally obtain it?

  • Colonel Marzah showed me this photograph and when he showed me I too had some other documents; my artillery documents, my military ID card and some other military photos. When Colonel Marzah and Eddie Kanneh were arguing Colonel Marzah left this photo in my hand and so I put this photo amongst the other photos that I had into my right pocket.

  • Okay, we will come to that argument shortly. So after you returned to the table with Colonel Marzah, what happened then?

  • Colonel Marzah said that the two of us, he and I, should go because the people we were waiting for, that is Eddie Kanneh and Sam Bockarie - because they had not come we should go and he knew where we were to meet them and later he told me that he learnt that Master - because that was the way he referred to Sam Bockarie, as Master - that he had already left for Buedu, but Eddie Kanneh was there. We should go and try to locate Eddie Kanneh to know what we could get from Eddie Kanneh.

  • What did you do then after Colonel Marzah said you should go try to locate Eddie Kanneh?

  • So we went, because my life was just in God's hands at that time. I was not sure of anything so I said, "Let us go" and we went. We went and met with - we went to see Eddie Kanneh but where we went to see Eddie Kanneh was Zigzag Marzah's house. As we were getting to the compound Eddie Kanneh came with the Pajero jeep. He drove and parked it and Marzah left me and went to him some metres off and he explained that he had brought this man and Eddie Kanneh got annoyed and he shouted on Colonel Marzah that there was no need for Colonel Marzah to bring me to him to see me. He said he was expecting Colonel Marzah to have assassinated me. And he said, "You should not tell me what I am to do here, here is Liberia, and in fact this man has told me that he knows you, so you should not just come shouting at me telling me what to do" and they were engaged in a heated argument and he took out a 45, that is a big pistol. When he took that out Eddie Kanneh too took his out, but where Zigzag Marzah's house was located was a kind of quarters, there were flower vases around by the wall, so while the argument was going on between the two of them, the two of them had taken out their pistols, I just went behind the flower vases but they did not shoot at each other.

    From there Zigzag Marzah said that he would show Eddie that there is Liberia, not Sierra Leone where they will just do things like they wanted, that Eddie should not control him at his own place and as long as I was in his custody, if I was innocent he would make sure that I was spared. That was the argument that ensued between the two of them. From there --

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. Your Honour, there were several "he"s. I believe it is clear from the context who is speaking, but if your Honours would like me to clarify I will.

  • What is not clear is who is Zigzag Marzah. He was speaking of Colonel Marzah a while ago and now we have a Zigzag Marzah.

  • The question is, Mr Witness, who is Zigzag Marzah? Is that the same or a different person than the colonel you were speaking about earlier?

  • Yes, the one and the same person that identified himself to me as the Death Squad commander, because I never knew him before. I had never known him, but he was the same man who had introduced himself to me as Colonel Zigzag Marzah and told me that he was the commander for the Death Squad.

  • What happened after this argument between Eddie Kanneh and Zigzag Marzah?

  • It was then that Colonel Marzah said the two of us, that is he and I, should go and Colonel Marzah's house to the street was not that far. It is just some stroll and you go across the street. While we were standing there Colonel Marzah used a VHF radio that he had in his hand and he called. I don't know who he called, but we were standing there for some time and a van came that had some SS in it. They had on uniforms, light blue camouflage uniforms. Even the driver himself wore the same uniform and the vehicle came and stopped, it was a Toyota Land Cruiser van, and Zigzag Marzah, Colonel Marzah, said we should go on board the vehicle and we went on board that pick-up and we drove off.

  • Where did you go to?

  • What is SS? "Had some SS in it". What is SS?

  • SS is Special Security Service. Special Security Service.

  • Did you learn what the SSS - what its role was in Liberia?

  • Well, the AFL was there, but according to my observation they were not that effective. The SSS were the President's bodyguard forces.

  • Where did you go in the vehicle with the SSS troops?

  • We drove to right down Congo Town and we stopped at the junction between Charles Taylor's house and a drive that ran down and then Zigzag Marzah asked us to go across the street and I was behind him and we crossed and we walked right down. It was a slope. Down that slope there are some houses and at back of the houses there was a large swamp and we went there. That is at night now. We went. When we arrived Colonel Marzah was saluted by the security officers who were at the house. From there you would know that he was a prominent person and we entered the gate.

  • If I can stop the witness for a moment. I heard the witness saying something that I understood to say, "They gave him a lot of respect" before he said he was a prominent person and it was not translated.

  • I heard "big respect".

  • He was honoured. You will know that he was a big man that deserved some respect.

  • I see the transcript that you are referring to, Mr Koumjian.

  • It just was not translated.

  • Mr Interpreter, the witness had said that there was big respect shown to the Marzah as he entered. That does not appear on the record. Did you hear this said by the witness?

  • The witness has said it again, your Honour, and I have interpreted that one.

  • There was another word where they were going down a slope. There is something, Mr Interpreter, that you said, something like "spore". What did you say? The transcript shows it as indiscernible.

  • Your Honours, I can't quite recall what was said except the witness says it again.

  • Perhaps it would be better to ask the witness to clarify:

  • Sir, you said you went to a junction between Charles Taylor's house and a drive that ran down. Can you then describe that location and where you went again, please, slowly?

  • When I am talking about Mr Taylor's house that is the side of the fence. It was a slope, then that is where you will go right down and at the back of that place there is the - there are houses and at back of those houses was a large swampy area that you can stand there and see a far distance. That was where I was taken to.

  • First of all, Mr Witness, do you know if there was any other name used for Charles Taylor's house?

  • They said White Flower. White Flower, Ghankay mansion.

  • Where did you go to then after you were taken by Zigzag Marzah down the slope?

  • Right down there was a house which had a small gate and in that compound he took me to a veranda. I was standing there when he entered and called a gentleman whom I had never known in my life. He was a short man. He came outside and the man came and sat on a white plastic chair and Zigzag Marzah said I should sit on the floor and I sat there and the man introduced himself as Benjamin Yeachen [phon]. He introduced himself to me as Benjamin Yeachen, that he was the director of security, that I should not fear anything while he will be interrogating me, that I should explain exactly who I was and he asked me, he started interviewing me, who I was and I started explaining.

    Then Zigzag Marzah turned towards me and asked me to take out some of my particulars that he had seen with me, like my artillery document, my military ID card, then with some of my military photos and gave it to the man who called himself Benjamin Yeachen and they started discussing in their language and later Zigzag Marzah made me to know that it was a Gio language. They started discussing in that language and from there, after they had discussed for some time --

  • Mr Witness, I just stopped you so you can clarify. When you said, "They were discussing in their language", who was talking in that language?

  • Benjamin Yeachen and Zigzag Marzah. They were talking in that language.

  • The record keeps reflecting a name that the witness has not said. The name that the witness has said is Benjamin Yeachen. Now, I have no idea how that is spelt but it is definitely not spelt the way that it appears in the transcript. Perhaps you could clarify that with the witness.

  • I don't know the spelling. It was the way the man introduced himself as Benjamin Yeachen to me and he started interviewing me. He asked me my name and I gave him my name and he grew concerned because he felt that I was a Mandingo by tribe because of my surname and I told him --

  • Mr Witness, would you please stop for a moment?

  • Mr Witness, we are just concerned about this name that you are naming and its spelling because it is being misspelt in the transcript.

  • Can I also just ask that that last sentence by the witness be redacted from the transcript.

  • I will take a response, but my initial reaction is that there isn't a lot in it. Let me get the response first and follow proper procedure.

  • Why? There is nothing in there that identifies the witness.

  • And indeed even if there had been, for reasons that we know about - in fact the very reason that is being discussed here - it wouldn't identify him.

  • I am not sure how counsel knows that, or how much knowledge counsel has. I don't know how common Mandingo names are and how many Mandingo names there are. The witness said it was a Mandingo name. I would ask that that be redacted from the transcript.

  • There are thousands and thousands of people of that ethnic group.

  • Clearly, but this obviously limits the number of people in this situation as described in the testimony that the witness could be.

  • Mr Koumjian, what are you asking to be redacted exactly? What words, or what line are you asking?

  • In mine it is line 15 of page 87, "He felt that I was a Mandingo by tribe", and I would like to redact everything after that. I would like to keep "Mandingo by tribe" and redact the following.

  • There is nothing after that. Where? There is no surname, or any name, mentioned after that.

  • Your Honour, there are a limited number of names to my understanding in Sierra Leone that are Mandingo names, so by giving this information we would help persons to identify the witness and I don't think it is necessary to broadcast that. There are many people that have Armenian names, but if you say a prosecutor on this case with an Armenian name obviously it would identify myself.

  • [Trial Chamber conferred]

  • The view of the Bench is that this would not identify the witness and the application is refused.

  • Thank you, your Honour.

  • Mr Koumjian, we are proceeding not knowing who this person is or how to spell their name, Yeachen.

  • Your Honour, I believe the spelling it is a matter of pronunciation. The witness is pronouncing "ch" instead of what we would say would be a "t", but I would like the witness to identify him by another manner other than the name.

  • You are giving evidence from the Bar table, Mr Koumjian. It should come from the witness.

  • Sir, can you tell us everything you know or found out about this person called Benjamin. Who was he?

  • It was according to the way the man introduced himself to me. That is what I am telling the Court. He said he was the director of security. The director of security. Then he gave me the name that I have just given to the Court, that that was his name, and he asked me for my name. When I gave my name to him, my name is like a Mandingo name and that was the feeling he had. I told him, "No", that I am a Sierra Leonean and I had no business with Mandingos. It was just a coincidence that my tribe too has that surname in Sierra Leone.

  • Mr Witness, you said he introduced himself as the director of security. Now did you understand, or did you come to understand, director of security for what?

  • The SS director. The director of security to President Charles Taylor.

  • Thank you. The place that you were at you said it was a veranda. Did you learn what that place was? That building?

  • Yes, it was his house, but there was a tile on the veranda and I was sitting on the floor when he was interviewing me. What I was made to understand was that my arrest coincided with an incident that occurred towards the Guinea border, that they had just arrested some ammunition from some Guineans, and not long after that - I think within the same week - was when Marzah arrested me. So he felt that I was a Mandingo and so he wanted to link me up with the arrest that they had made, the ammunitions that they had captured, and I told him that I was completely innocent and that I just found myself in that situation because of the incident that had happened in our country and I was just trying to make sure that I survived the incident.

  • Mr Witness, you talked about an incident that occurred towards the Guinea border that they had just arrested some ammunition. How did you learn that? Did someone tell you that?

  • He, the man himself, was explaining that he thought I had a link with the arrest they had made at the Guinea border, at Grand County, and they understood that the Mandingo guys wanted to invade them and he told me that if they attempted that one they will not ever live to tell the story. So, I disassociated myself and I said my name was from Sierra Leone and he was free to go out and investigate and if I was found guilty let him take any decision.

  • Mr Witness, I know it is natural to use the word "he", but we want to be very, very clear all the time here and so I would ask you to try to use the names. When I asked you about the incident that occurred --

  • Benjamin. I meant - by "him" I meant Mr Benjamin Yeachen. That is what I am talking about. When he was interrogating me himself - when he was interrogating me himself - he, Mr Benjamin, at that time Zigzag Marzah was standing by his side. I was sitting on the floor. That was when he used these words that I have just said to the Court.

  • So, what happened after this conversation with Benjamin when you were sitting on the floor?

  • Well, after the conversation with Benjamin some other people came around because they were discussing this on the VHF radio handset. They were discussing this on the handset. That made some other big people come around and one of these people was a man whom Zigzag Marzah told me was the police director that was called Mr Joe Tay [phon]. He came on the scene. And another man again came to the scene, a slim tall man, and Marzah told me that he was the deputy SS director who was called Varmuna Sherif and he too came to the scene. When he came to the scene he spoke to me, but I told him that I was a Sierra Leonean and I had no business with Mandingo people and I didn't know anything. I was innocent.

  • I really notice with concern that the record is picking on names used in the past and substituting them for the testimony of this witness. This is wrong. You should try, or the transcriber should try, and write exactly what the witness is saying instead of substituting names which we have in the past which the witness has not said. Mr Witness, what is the first name of Sherif that you mentioned?

  • He said his name was Varmuna Sherif, or something like that, because the situation in which I found myself at that time it was only God who knew how I was, but it was not easy for me because I was in between life and death.

  • And the name of Mr Joe? The second name of Mr Joe?

  • Zigzag Marzah told me that this other man who had come was the director of police. He said he was called Mr Joe Tay, or Joe Taya [phon], or something, Joe Tay, and he too stood there and listened when that man called Mr Sherif was interviewing me, but I still stood by what I had said and told them that I had no business with Mandingo people, that I was a Sierra Leonean and I was serving even before we ran during the intervention.

  • Mr witness, I was just asking clarification for the names you mentioned.

  • Yes, I am sorry, Justice Sebutinde, but may I pursue that in relation to the person he is saying is the director of police, because what is not clear is whether the name that he is calling is a surname or two names, a first name and a surname, and I wonder if he could tell us if the name - when he calls him "Mr Joe Tay" is that the man's last name, or is that both his first name and last name?

  • Well, he said he was told that was the name and so --

  • But, counsel, surely you have a duty. This is evidence. If it is one name or two names put together, it is your duty to clarify for us. It is your loss if we get this evidence wrong.

  • Your Honour, I can ask the witness, but I hardly expect in this situation he would have asked, "Is that one name or two?":

  • Mr Witness, did you ask whether Joe Tay was - or did you learn whether that was one name or two names? Whether that was a first and last name, or just one name?

  • Mr Lawyer, the situation in which I was was not a situation where I had any rights to question people, but according to Marzah the man who came he brought men who were in police uniform and that was how he introduced the man to me. It was just one person that he referred to as Joe Tay. One person, not two people.

  • Mr Witness, we are just asking is Joe Tay two words, or one word?

  • Is it one name, or two names? Is it Joe Tay, or Jotay [phon]?

  • He called just one person that particular name, one person. He said this is the police director. Anybody who --

  • I understand. Pause. Please pause. Do you know if Joe Tay is one word or two words?

  • I can't tell, you but he called one person that name. One person. That was the person he introduced to me as the police director. He said I needn't fear when he was interviewing me. I should just respond to his questions about what I knew.

  • Proceed, Mr Koumjian.

  • The person that you said was introduced as Sherif, can you describe that person at all?

  • Yes, he too was a slim person, tall. He was introduced to me as the deputy to Mr Benjamin.

  • Can you tell us anything about his complexion?

  • Yes, he is not too dark. Something like my complexion. He was tall and slim. Because he spoke to me.

  • Did anyone else come to the house that you recall other than the police director and the person you identified as - you were told was Sherif?

  • Yes, many other men came. Some I cannot recall their names and I could not even know their names. Some of them will just come, look at me and would turn the other way, you know. Many of them came, but they will just look at me and turn the other way.

  • The person that was introduced as Sherif, the deputy director you said, did he talk to you?

  • Yes, he asked me questions just as I told the Court about who I was and I told him just as I had told Mr Benjamin. Those documents of mine and military ID card and military pictures, those too they looked at and when they looked at them they knew that, yes, I was a Sierra Leonean.

  • Mr Witness, was there any discussion about where you were living at that time?

  • Yes, I told Mr Benjamin, just as I had told Zigzag Marzah, that I was living with Matinda. She had lodged me and should be able to tell them that I was not a bad person. I told them that. And they were talking on the radio, VHF set. They were calling people, discussing. I heard them mentioning her name on the discussion and she came. She came later and met me. She came with a guy who was her brother who too was an SS and was in the Liberian university and she spoke. That made me to be a little calm and the pressure was a little reduced because she came and identified me.

  • What happened then, Mr Witness?

  • From there Mr Benjamin told Zigzag Marzah that I should be in his custody until further notice.

  • Did you remain on the veranda, or what happened to you?

  • Well, as I was describing the house, where I met Mr Benjamin there was a boys' quarter. The house is a storied building. There was a house adjacent to the house that I can recall now. It was a boys' quarters, two room apartment. One of them was a guard room. It was in there that I was locked.

  • How long did you stay locked in that room, or that apartment?

  • I was there for two days, but in the morning Marzah will come and take me out and we will discuss and the following day --

  • Sorry, your Honours, the witness has used the expression again "the day before the other day".

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter wants you to clarify a word you've used. Say it again, please, Mr Interpreter.

  • The day before the other day.

  • I passed the night there, like for example this night - say for example I was captured that night and I slept there and in the morning I was taken out, Zigzag Marzah took me out, I was within the compound for the whole day, I slept there again. The following day Marzah took me out again and I told him that I want to change my underwear and I want to have shower, I want to take my shower. Zigzag Marzah decided to take me to where I was, that is Matinda's place, because we walked and we climbed up again. We got to Mr Charles Taylor's house.

    You crossed over the street and you see will see late Tubman's house, an old structure, but in the fence there is a road that will go to the other place where Matinda Johnson's house was. That was where he took me. I was behind him while we were going.

    We came to some distance, we met Matinda getting ready to go and work and Zigzag Marzah went ahead and saluted Matinda and at that time Matinda was using a green car and she turned and saw me. I arrived there, they spoke to each other and I went closer to them and in my presence he told Marzah that, "Marzah, you are very lucky" and she said, "I told you that Liberia is not like how it was before. You have to be very careful." And they spoke to each other and from that point Zigzag Marzah gave me some amount and I went, took my shower, changed my dress and took me back to Benjamin's place.

  • Mr Witness, you said, "Zigzag Marzah gave me some amount". What did you mean by that?

  • No, it was Matinda who gave us 100 dollars US for my use, but she actually handed the money over to Zigzag Marzah, so after I had taken my shower and had changed my dress we went back to the house, that is Mr Benjamin's house. We went back to Mr Benjamin's house.

  • What happened, sir, after you returned to Benjamin's house?

  • Yes, like I have said, all of those, my documents I have spoken about, were left in Mr Benjamin's house so when we returned to Mr Benjamin, Zigzag Marzah asked me that when he saw me with those men amongst whom I was sitting he asked whom amongst them that I knew and then I told him that I know Denis Mingo, I know Issa Sesay, I know Mosquito and I told him that at the time they went to Freetown during the AFRC regime they were all there and they all knew me and then Zigzag Marzah said, "Okay, no problem".

    From there, in Mr Benjamin's house there is a small room that was used for radio communication and there is a veranda close to that room and when you stand in the room you will see that there were installation cables that passed all over the roof and when I was in the radio room there was a communications man there who was called Mr Sallay. He was an RUF man and he was in the radio room.

    So it was that radio handset that Mr Zigzag Marzah took and he started communicating and according to what I understood and what I heard he was talking to Sam Bockarie in Buedu. He was communicating and I heard when Zigzag Marzah was speaking and after saying some words he will press the button on the radio and Sam Bockarie too will reply and the discussion focused on me and he told him that, "Fortunately some of my men" - and when I say "my men" I mean some of the SLA, that is like honourable Cobra, honourable Sule, honourable Lagah who was also a communications man, they were all in Buedu at that particular time at Sam Bockarie's headquarters, and he said that they had all confirmed that I was not a bad person. It was just a piece of misunderstanding, that I was not a bad person. It was a misunderstanding. So he said that Zigzag Marzah should hold on until he arrives from Buedu and Zigzag Marzah too answered and he said, "Okay, no problem, Master" and from there we came back outside.

  • Sir, you said that Zigzag Marzah was talking to Sam Bockarie. How did you know it was Sam Bockarie that Marzah was talking to?

  • Marzah told me. He treat me fairly. He told me that he was trying to get Sam Bockarie over the air for them to discuss, because to him as far as my issue was concerned it was only Master that had a last say because that was how they used to call him, Master. Even before we entered the radio room he had told me that he was going there to talk to Master, because like he had said to me that he was going to ensure that as long as I was innocent he would ensure that I will be spared.

  • Thank you. Mr Witness, you did use the word "he" a lot and just so we are clear when you say, "He would ensure that I would be spared", who is the "he"?

  • Marzah was a very influential man and, like I told you earlier, he had introduced himself to me as the commander of the Death Squad.

  • Pause, Mr Witness. Counsel is asking who is the "he" you are referring to. He is not asking you to elaborate.

  • Marzah. Mr Marzah.

  • Master? He was referring to Sam Bockarie as Master.

  • After this conversation on the radio, what happened?

  • We came out and they were eating, and Mr Benjamin and some other men were playing draught before coming to the dining table and then Zigzag Marzah asked me to join them to eat. But fortunately for me I had wanted to ease myself - I wanted to urinate - and then I went at the back of the house to ease myself where I saw an amputated human hand. They were on top of a drier and there was fire beneath and they were like drying up, and he told me that it was turtle that they had cooked. He asked me whether I eat turtles, but I tried to look at the things that were drying up the drier and I knew it was not turtle. But I did not want him to understand that in my face, that I was really against eating that kind of thing, so I only said that I was okay and they continued eating.

    When they completed eating their food Mr Benjamin went inside, and myself and the other SSS men who were still continuing playing the draught, I seated there with them. Later Mr Marzah too went in and he called me, and when he called me Mr Benjamin was seated in the veranda. Then Marzah called me and said I should come, Mr Benjamin wanted to talk to me, and he said, "You said you are an artillery officer", and that he had got a message from Sam Bockarie that our men - and when I say "our men" I am referring to the SLA and the RUF. He said they had captured two APC tanks, that is anti-personnel carriers, from the Nigerians and that they had also captured a 40 barrel from the Guinean contingent. He said that was a new development and, since I had told them previously that during the time the army was moving on peacefully we had a division that was trained as artillery personnel and that I had told him that previously and he had seen the documents with me that I was indeed an artillery officer, he said all of those men were there and he said if they were on our own side I will be able to organise them and he said this is the situation and that they believed that I would be very, very much useful.

  • Thank you. Just going back over your answer a little bit in order, the witness said, "I saw an amputated human hand", and then I thought he said something that was not translated and then the transcript indicates "... and then they were drying up":

  • Mr Witness, what did you see when you went to ease yourself?

  • I said I saw a drier - a drier. That is where normally locally the local people dry their fish, but I saw amputated human hands on top of that drier. But the reason why I came to conclude that they were human - amputated human hands was because they had fingers and they had nails, so when they invited me to eat the food I said, "No, I am okay."

  • Okay.

  • Mr Koumjian, I don't really want to belabour the point, but I think it was singular hand or hands. Would you clarify that point, please?

  • Mr Witness, did you see just one hand, or did you see more than that?

  • I saw some other part that I couldn't identify, but I saw the hand and I concluded that this hand was not - this hand was not of a bush animal. So I saw it, I concluded it was a human amputated hand and so I decided not to eat the food.

  • So it was one hand and some other parts that he saw, yes?

  • Is that correct?

  • Yes, I couldn't identify the other parts. If you saw them you will feel that they were ordinary bush meat, but when I saw that amputated human hand I concluded that indeed these were not bush meat that were drying up and so I said, "I will not eat this kind of food", and so I said I was okay.

  • Mr Witness, who was it that told you that it was turtle?

  • It was Mr Marzah and some other SS who were at the front gate, because it was in - the food was in a big tray that everybody could eat from.

  • Who was eating together there?

  • Mr Marzah was there, he was eating, he ate there, and the other security personnel who were around they all came and ate from that tray from which they were eating.

  • And do I understand you correctly that this is still the same house?

  • Yes, it is the same house. It was during the time they were eating that Mr Benjamin got up and went inside, you know, because that particular day he had just arrived from somewhere and he had on coat suit.

  • Mr Benjamin, was he joining the others eating together?

  • Mr Benjamin was a big man. He did not join the other people to eat. I said it was during the time they were eating that he got up where he was playing the draught and he entered his house.

  • Just so we are clear, when you say draught what is that game?

  • It is a game that you play like a check. I think it is called check in English, a draught.

  • Okay, sir. Now I want to go and get the detail, take it very slowly, about the radio call that you told us about. You said Benjamin called you in and said they had received a radio call. Did he say who the radio call was from?

  • From Mr Sam Bockarie.

  • And you indicated that some APCs had been captured from the Nigerians. Is that correct?

  • And that another item had been captured from the Guineans. What was the other item?

  • It was a 40 barrel.

  • Okay. First the APCs, do they have another name, or was that the only way he described them to you?

  • Well, he said it was - the model was Panhard APC. He said that our men had captured two of those and one 40 barrel.

  • Would your Honours like me to spell Panhard?

  • Sir, what is a 40 barrel?

  • 40 barrel is a Russian made weapon that carries the 40 barrel, like a tipping type. It has 40 muzzles and those are the barrels. It has wheels under. It could be driven in fact.

  • Did you say "muscles", Mr Interpreter?

  • I said it had 40 barrels - barrels. 40 muzzle barrels. Open barrels. It is from there that the missiles are shot. It is a long range weapon.

  • The missiles that it shoots, can you describe --

  • Your Honours, I think the witness is referring to nozzles, but I said exactly what he said. He said "muzzle" and so I said "muzzle".

  • Well, a muzzle is a rifle barrel.

  • No, that is not a rifle barrel. It is a bigger one. It had big muzzles, but it carries 40 behind and when you want to use it it will tip up like a tipping. It tipped from down and goes up like this and it could be elevated. It can be elevated to any direction that you would want it.

  • The witness made a motion with his hand from the elbow showing about a 45 degree tilt.

  • We will have that put on record, the demonstration as described by counsel.

  • So, the word is muzzle?

  • What word are you using, sir?

  • It is a barrel. It is a barrel. They are big barrels.

  • Sir, you said it fired a missile. You used the word "missile". Can you describe - have you seen what those missiles look like?

  • Yes, it is a missile that cannot be easily carried by one person because it is long. It could stretch from a distance of this table up to here, but they were actually long missiles.

  • The witness indicated by stretching his hands, but also stated that it was longer than the indication he gave so I will not put a figure on the indication.

  • Sir, are you saying that it is longer than the length of that table? That table seems to be actually three separate small tables put together. Is it longer than all three put together, or the same size, or smaller?

  • It stretches longer than this table a little bit and it can only be carried by two men because when - it had some boxes like thin like boxes and in those boxes sometimes you could even use them to put water and it has a cover that you can lock it up with.

  • The witness has indicated now a bit longer than these three tables. Can we have an estimate of the - sorry, Madam Court Attendant, I think you have got a tape measure if you can give us a measurement of the three tables together, please, and we will note that.

  • It is just a small difference. Just a small difference.

  • Your Honour, it is 210 centimetres.

  • Thank you. Counsel have heard the witness say that it was a bit longer, a little bit.

  • Sir, after Benjamin described to you the weapons that were captured, told you the weapons that were captured, what else was said?

  • He asked me whether I will be able to identify those weapons and the ammunition that could be used in them and then after the 40 barrel he also asked me about the Panhard and then I told him, yes, I will be able to identify them and I believe that if they were there and I was able to identify them we will be able to use the weapons.

  • Thank you. Then what happened?

  • Then from there I also spoke so that I could give him confidence for him to know that, yes, I will be useful as an artillery man. So I was able to convince him and then he told me that I should wait, that he was expecting Master, that is Sam Bockarie he was referring to. He said he was coming from Buedu and he said when Master arrives from Buedu whatever arrangements we will be able to make and if it were possible I will have to join a team and he will organise a trip for us and he said that he believed that if we went to Burkina Faso we will be able to get those weapons as soon as possible so that we will be able to use it during the second phase and the second phase he was referring to was that all the areas still held by ECOMOG, we will be able to dislodge them from there, so that if there were going to be anything like a peace talk we will be able to gain more grounds.

  • Mr Koumjian, did the witness indicate who had captured the weapons, or where these weapons had been captured from? I am looking from the transcript, I don't seem to see it.

  • I will cover that. If I may ask one question about time before that, your Honour:

  • First, sir, let's go back. Did Benjamin indicate to you where the weapons were captured?

  • Benjamin told me that the weapons were captured in Sierra Leone. That is our men captured the weapons. When I say "our men", I mean the RUF and the SLA. He said they were the ones who captured the weapons. He said the two Panhards were from the Guineans - I mean from the Nigerians and the 40 barrel was from the Guineans at Mongo.

  • Now, Mr Witness, I want to try to get some idea of when this conversation was when you were talking to Benjamin about these captured weapons. You had told us earlier about hearing Sam Bockarie making a radio broadcast on BBC when they had entered the city and you said the State House. Can you give us any kind of estimate about how long after that it was that you had this conversation with Benjamin.

  • I have told the Court before that those broadcasts made by Sam Bockarie was like in 6 January. And even after 6 January he used to go over the BBC frequently. But this one I am trying to tell you about now happened at the tail end of things because by then 6 January had passed and RUF/SLA had recaptured most of the grounds where ECOMOG was like in Makeni, Kono, Segbwema and some other areas where ECOMOG had occupied. They dislodged ECOMOG from there and that went over the BBC. But the one I am talking about now happened at the tail end, that is what I am trying to tell the Court. By then 6 January had passed ever since when Sam Bockarie later came up with this broadcast.

  • We understand it's after 6 January and that was after - first in trying to determine the month when this happened, do you know if this was before or after the Lome agreement was signed that Yeaten talked to you about the captured weapons?

  • No, I have not spoken about the Lome agreement. By then the Lome agreement had not reached.

  • Mr Witness, pause. Counsel is trying to ask you is when, what time this conversation took place. He is not asking about Lome. He is trying to give you - trying to say was it before or after Lome that this conversation took place.

  • He did actually answer that.

  • It was before, before, before, before.

  • Was this in the year 1999, or the year 2000, or 2001, this conversation? Can you at least indicate the year for us, please.

  • It was before, before.

  • Before what?

  • At that time we were not even thinking about the Lome Peace Accord.

  • Nobody is talking about that yet. I am asking whether this conversation happened in the year 1999, or the year 2000, can you tell us, this radio conversation.

  • No, it was not in 2000. It was in 1999. 1999.

  • Thank you, sir. After your conversation with Benjamin about the captured weapons what happened to you then?

  • He outrightly told me that we should wait for Sam Bockarie and we waited. And the day after the day we had the discussion, like for instance if I am talking about today, a day passed after the discussion and the following day Sam Bockarie came around 2 a.m. in the morning from Buedu.

  • Now, you have told us about some people vouching for you. You told us some people came to the house, Matinda, and you also talked about a radio conversation with Buedu. Was there any other attempt to see if people knew you at that time, or around that time?

  • Attempts by who, Mr Koumjian?

  • By Mr Yeaten or those holding you in - excuse me, Mr Benjamin or those holding you in custody?

  • Thank you, it wasn't clear. Was there any other attempt to see if people knew you by anyone, to see who you really were?

  • Yes. I can recall and that was the day I told you about that Sam Bockarie came 2 a.m. in the morning and on his arrival Colonel Marzah called me to go with him and I was at a distance when Sam Bockarie together with - he came with one of his bodyguards called JR and the other called Major Foday and he came with another bodyguard who was called Major Victor Kemoh. He had on a jean suit, a jean jacket and a crepe and he was at the distance when Colonel Marzah asked me and he said, "Amongst those men" - he was at a distance when Colonel Marzah asked me, he said, "Amongst all of those men, those four men, can you identify to us or to me who is Sam Bockarie?" I said, "Yes, Colonel Marzah" and immediately after his question I was able to point at Sam Bockarie and I told him, "That is Sam Bockarie". Indeed when I pointed at him I went close to him and in response Sam Bockarie said he was not used to me in Freetown, but when they went to Freetown he used to see me go to the defence and he was able to identify me and I was equally able to identify him in the presence of all of them.

  • Mr Interpreter, the witness used the word "crepe" to describe a piece of apparel. Please translate it into proper --

  • Sneakers, your Honours.

  • Sir, you said that, "He was not used to me in Freetown, he used to see me go to the defence". What do you mean by "the defence"?

  • Well I mean the defence headquarters, because Sam Bockarie and others used to go there for logistics - I mean rations, ammunition - and like I told the Court I was at the defence headquarters serving as one of the officers in the WASP and so sometimes we used to meet and discuss. That is what I meant.

  • Where was it that you saw Sam Bockarie in Monrovia this time that you are talking about?

  • At Benjamin Yeachen's house. That is what I am talking about.

  • Did you see if he came in a vehicle, or vehicles?

  • Yes, he came with three Leyland trucks that were captured from ECOMOG and a black Land Cruiser jeep and that was his official jeep that he used; a four wheel drive.

  • Can you tell us - describe for us - what a Leyland truck looks like?

  • Yes, Leyland trucks are big trucks. They were big trucks used by ECOMOG. It bears four wheels and with a big truck at the back that one could load a lot of items on.

  • What happened then, Mr Witness, after you saw and identified Sam Bockarie?

  • After going to the veranda with Colonel Marzah, like I said it was - there was a plastic table at the centre of the veranda and Sam Bockarie, Benjamin Yeachen, Colonel Marzah, they sat in the chairs and Colonel Marzah asked a man to bring a chair for me and I also sat close by them. We seated there and the Lebanese man whose name I made mention of, Mohamed Saleh, who I said was a diamond businessman, he came together with two other Arab nationals that I never knew before. They came.

  • Your Honour, I am stopping the witness because I see the time.

  • Yes, that would be convenient, Mr Koumjian, if it is appropriate.

    Mr Witness, we are now going to take the lunchtime adjournment. We will have a break for one hour and we will resume court at 2.30. Please adjourn court until 2.30.

  • [Lunch break taken at 1.30 p.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 2.30 p.m.]

  • Yes, Mr Koumjian, please proceed.

  • Mr Witness, just to remind you where we left off, you had said that Sam Bockarie had arrived and you had gone to the veranda of Benjamin's house and that Bockarie, Benjamin, Colonel Marzah were seated at a table with Mohamed Saleh and two Arab men and they pulled up a chair for you. What happened then?

  • It was from that point that Sam Bockarie called his bodyguard, that was Major Foday, to bring a box, a suitcase like. Then Foday went to the vehicle, a black Land Cruiser jeep, brought the suitcase and put it on the table and Sam Bockarie opened the suitcase and in the suitcase there were three mayonnaise bottles, small size bottles and he opened them and Mr Benjamin called for a tray like container. The bottles contained diamonds and he turned the diamonds into the tray and he also asked for those plastic bags that they used to put drugs and Mohamed Saleh and the two other men started dividing the diamonds whilst we were there and they were doing it - the two Arabs and the Lebanese, Mohamed Saleh, started to put them into the packets. After they had put them into the packets they sealed the packets and after doing that they handed them over to Mr Benjamin Yeachen. After handing it over to Mr Benjamin Yeachen, Zigzag Marzah and I left the veranda.

  • Sir, you described what you called three mayonnaise bottles. Can you give us a little more description? You also held your hands apart. I'd like you to do that again and describe what these bottles looked like.

  • Mr Witness, if you could hold your hands so we can all see it, both Defence counsel and the judges. So if you could hold them up - your hands up, please.

  • Okay. They were not big bottles that much. A size like this. Mayonnaise bottles. Small sized mayonnaise bottles like this. But they were three that were in the suitcase that Sam Bockarie took out and put them on the table and Mr Benjamin called for a tray.

  • We are just talking about the size of the jars at the moment, Mr Witness. If you can hold your hands up higher because there's a computer screen.

  • Just a small like this. A small size like this. I am not talking about big bottles. Small size mayonnaise bottles. Three of them.

  • Your Honour, my request would be to ask that the witness be given the tape measure and then I'll ask him to show us the height and the width and the diameter.

  • Were counsel for the Defence able to see the demonstration? Please proceed.

  • Yes, thank you. I could see. I'm not sure how easy it would be to measure.

  • Yes, small size mayonnaise bottles. Like this, you know, and it was a round top like this. Small sizes. Three of them were in the suitcase that Sam Bockarie took out. He took them out from the suitcase and Mr Benjamin called for a tray, and it was in that tray that the diamonds were emptied and from there they put the diamonds into those small plastic bags that you can put drugs into.

  • We're clear on that point, I think. Let us get the dimensions.

  • I don't think that the witness used the tape at all. It was just stuck at the measurement that the tape was at when it was handed to him.

  • Mr Witness, please put your hands where you had them before, where you showed us the first time. Madam Court Attendant, you take the tape measure from the witness, let him put his hands where he had them before and then measure.

  • It had a round hole like this.

  • Do what you were doing before, please.

  • A round hole. A mouth like this. If you know mayonnaise, the smallest bottle of mayonnaise.

  • Mr Witness, right now we'd like you to show the amount of yellow tape the same as the height of the bottle. Is the tape that you have now the same as the height of the bottle? Yes. Now if the court attendant could read that.

  • Yes, sir. A small size with a round top like this.

  • [Overlapping speakers] and stop telling us about the opening and the rest of it and deal with these things in stages. Thank you.

  • What is the height, please?

  • Your Honour, the witness has indicated 16 centimetres.

  • Your Honour, I would now like the witness to be given the tape back and to now show us how far across --

  • You said the bottle was round, what was the diameter? In other words, how far across is the distance of the bottle?

  • From here to here. A short distance.

  • Mr Witness, we are now talking about the width, the dimension.

  • Yes, yes, yes. The opening is like - the opening of this glass is slightly bigger than the bottle's top, but it is broader than this glass.

  • What I'm asking you, Mr Witness, is to show how broad it is, so can you show with the tape. You said it's broader than this glass. Show with the tape, not around it but just across it, how far across it would be that would be from one side of the circle to the other side opposite of the circle.

  • The opening is a little smaller than this, but the bottle can stand on its own. It's bigger than this, but it has a smaller opening. Three of those were in the suitcase that he called his bodyguard to bring.

  • The circumference is smaller than the drinking glass on the table. If you could assist the witness to show you how much smaller, we can come up with a diameter at least.

  • It's round. It's smaller. Yes, like 8 metres [sic] and it's moulded.

  • Okay, the question is which, Mr Witness, is smaller, the mayonnaise jar or the diameter of the glass? Is the diameter of the glass the smaller one, or is the mayonnaise jar the smaller?

  • I'm talking about the opening, that the opening is smaller than the mayonnaise bottle, but the other part of the mayonnaise bottle is bigger and it's round molded.

  • Your Honour, the width of the glass across is 7.5 centimetres.

  • If I understood the last gesture, the semi-arc the witness drew with his hands on the glass, he's indicating that the diameter changed at various parts. It was thicker in the middle than at the top or the bottom.

  • What bearing does this have on the contents of these jars? The size of the bottles, what bearing does it have on the contents?

  • Sir, the diamonds that you saw in the jars, how much of the jar was filled with diamonds?

  • Three. There were just three jars, all of them were full.

  • Are you saying all of the jars were full with diamonds, all three?

  • What happened after the diamonds were put into the plastics?

  • After they had been separated and they put them into the plastic bags, all of those diamonds were taken by Sam Bockarie and handed over to Mr Benjamin. After they had been handed over to Mr Benjamin, not long after then I and Zigzag Marzah went out of the veranda and out into the compound where the securities sat, while Mr Bockarie, Mr Benjamin, the two Lebanese, including Mr Mohamed Saleh, entered Mr Benjamin's vehicle and they went. I don't know where they went because I did not go with them.

  • Okay. Now, sir, at that time where --

  • Did he say this was the same time of 2 o'clock in the morning, yes?

  • 2 o'clock in the morning?

  • It was past 2 then. It was past 2 at that time, but I can't tell you now the exact time, but it was more than an hour after.

  • And at that time where were you staying?

  • I was in the veranda. It was from the veranda that Zigzag Marzah called me and we came outside, because I had seen the other Sierra Leoneans who were near the vehicles, including, as I said, Victor Kemoh, Major Victor Kemoh, Major Foday and Major JR, with the other SS fellows. All of us were standing outside discussing.

  • Just a minute, Mr Witness. You have answered the question. Let counsel ask the next question. Proceed, Mr Koumjian. I suspect it's not quite what you were expecting, the answer you've heard.

  • Sir, going back, you've talked about Benjamin Yeaten calling you in and talking to you about the capture of some weapons and then, as I understood your testimony, you're saying two days later Sam Bockarie arrived. Is that correct?

  • Yes. I said it here in the Court just now. I said just after we had discussed that he told me that Sam Bockarie would have to come, but if Sam Bockarie came after the arrangement then he would tell me the details of our next options as to how to get arms, but maybe it depended on how Sam Bockarie would come and maybe we would gather to make a trip to Burkina Faso and identify some of those ammunition as soon as possible.

  • My question, Mr Witness, is: You told us that you were staying in the guard room at the house of Benjamin, at this time when Bockarie came were you still staying in the guard room, or where were you staying at night?

  • They had taken me out. I told the Court that Zigzag Marzah was observing me, if I actually knew Sam Bockarie, and I went through the identification process. I identified him and he too identified me.

  • So my question is: When were you released from the guard house?

  • Well, just as I said, since I was locked up and I came out, the two of us, Zigzag Marzah and I, and we went to Matinda, they did not lock me up again when we returned. The only thing, I was under Zigzag Marzah's surveillance, but to be frank they never locked me up again, but for 24 hours I was under Zigzag Marzah's surveillance.

  • Okay. So after Zigzag Marzah took you out - and this is when you went back to Johnson's house to change and clean up, is that correct?

  • Yes. I told him that I wanted to change, because I had my things there.

  • From that point on you said you were in Marzah's 24 hour care. Where did you stay?

  • After Sam Bockarie had come and they had sorted out the diamonds and discussed with Benjamin, I was at Zigzag Marzah's house. I stayed at Zigzag Marzah's house at YMCA. I was with him.

  • Mr Koumjian, this witness has said something, I think on page 90, where he says by way of answer:

    "Yes. I said it here in the Court just now. I said just after we had discussed that he told me that Sam Bockarie would have to come, but if Sam Bockarie came after the arrangement then he would tell me the details of our next options as to how to get arms."

    I'm just wondering, where is this coming from? Do we have any background as to how they came to be talking about arms and who is their next arms? Meaning who? This seems to come out of the blue.

  • My understanding is he's referring back to the conversation with Benjamin after the capture of the weapons and Benjamin talked to him about the trip.

  • Well, if you're satisfied, it's fine.

  • Proceed, Mr Koumjian.

  • During this time then, after your conversation with Benjamin, what did you understand you were doing then? Were you waiting for anything? What was your role supposed to be?

  • He said we were to wait for Benjamin - sorry to wait for Sam Bockarie to come, but I just believed that if Sam Bockarie came and when we had a discussion at that veranda together with those two men, Mohamed Saleh and when I said I and Marzah were present, after they had sorted those diamonds out and went into Benjamin's vehicle and drove off I think Benjamin meant that we were to wait for Sam Bockarie to come so that we would get the finance.

  • Mr Witness, I'm just trying to clarify the answer that you gave that Her Honour pointed out is not so clear. So, did you understand you were waiting for Sam Bockarie to do what? What would happen once Sam Bockarie arrived, according to what Benjamin told you?

  • He said when Sam Bockarie would come he would work out modalities so that they would be able to get the finance. If possible, after the discussion they would tell us to make a trip so that we would be able to get the ammunition that we will use on the Panhard and the 40 barrel and some other arms.

  • Okay, thank you. So, Mr Witness, you've indicated you then were staying at Zigzag Marzah's house. For approximately how long did you stay at his house?

  • I stayed with Zigzag Marzah for about three days. I stayed with him for about three days, the two of us stayed together, but every morning we would come to Benjamin's house. He would not leave me behind. He would always come with me. I was with him.

  • You've told us about Sam Bockarie arriving and you identified him to Marzah and then the diamonds being sorted on the table. Do you know how long Sam Bockarie stayed at that time, how long he stayed in Liberia, if you know?

  • Yes, within the three days that I was with Zigzag Marzah Sam Bockarie was there, because there was another bedroom in Zigzag Marzah's place. That was where Sam Bockarie used to sleep, so Sam Bockarie was there.

  • Did anything happen while you were at Zigzag Marzah's house and Sam Bockarie was staying there?

  • Yes, I can recall at one time something happened that shocked me. I didn't know the discussion that had taken place. Sam Bockarie had a driver who was a Fullah by tribe. His wife used to cook for Marzah and for all of us at the house where Sam Bockarie was staying. I don't know what - I didn't know the discussion that transpired between the driver's wife, Mr --

  • I am asking you to go slower, because I think the interpretation is having a little difficulty keeping up with you. Okay, please proceed.

  • I didn't know what had transpired. The driver --

  • Your Honours, the witness has called the name of the driver. Can I go on?

  • Mr Witness, pause. Please repeat the name of the driver. The interpreter did not hear you clearly.

  • Your Honour, the interpreter just wanted to know if he could pronounce the name.

  • Oh, sorry, I misunderstood. Please pronounce the name of the driver again.

  • Pa - I think Mr Bah. He was a Fullah by tribe. His wife's name was Mariama. She was cooking for us at the house. I didn't know the discussion that had gone on between Mariama's friend, who was in love with Sam Bockarie, and Mariama herself. I didn't know what had transpired between the two of them.

    But I can recall some day we were sitting, myself, JR, Sam Bock, Foday and some other Liberians who I cannot recall now, when Marzah came. That was in the afternoon hours and he entered. He met us in a kind of dining room. There was a big table there and he took out something from his pocket, opened it up and dropped it on the table and I observed that it was a hand - this part of the hand. It had rings on them and a nail paint and he said to Mosquito, "Master, mission accomplished." He dropped the hand on the table. That was shocking to me to see a thing like that.

  • For purposes of record, the witness has indicated the lower palm. Please demonstrate again so counsel can see, Mr Witness.

  • The lower palm of the arm. Why I knew that it was a female hand it had a lady's ring and a nail polish on the fingers, and he dropped it on the table and he said, "Master, mission accomplished", and they all burst out laughing. I too laughed because I had no option, but I was concerned to see a thing like that because I knew it was a human hand. That was one of the things I observed that made me to - that instilled fear in me about Marzah.

    But while we were discussing I knew from Marzah that the lady was the driver's - Sam Bockarie's driver's wife's friend, but during the discussion I learnt that the lady fell in love with Sam Bockarie just because - just for us to get that information and what they wanted to know was whether the Ghankay government was supporting the RUF/SLA for what was happening. That was shocking to me. I witnessed that.

  • For the purposes of the record, the witness indicated an extended hand from the wrist upwards.

  • Was this the hand of Sam Bockarie's wife's friend, or what?

  • The driver - the driver's wife who was at Zigzag Marzah's house. She was pregnant. It was the friend of this driver's wife, according to Marzah. According to Marzah the girl was in love with Sam Bockarie, but I did not know what had transpired between the lady whose hand was displayed and the driver's wife, but they said the lady had come as a spy to know if the Ghankay government was supporting the RUF and SLA. He said, well, those were the things that got to Sam Bockarie and Sam Bockarie told Marzah to assassinate the lady. That was why she was killed and that was when he dropped the hand he said, "Master, mission accomplished."

  • Mr Witness, are you saying that the amputated hand belonged to the same woman that you said was in love with Sam Bockarie? Do I understand that correctly?

  • Sir, I did not even know the woman in person, but that was what Zigzag Marzah told me; that the lady came and fell in love with Sam Bockarie to get that information, that the woman was a spy and that was what she had come to do and that was why she was killed.

  • I'm moving to another subject, unless there are any questions from the Bench? No:

  • Sir, what happened next as far as you were concerned?

  • Well, from there Zigzag Marzah and I went back to Mr Benjamin Yeachen's house. When we went back to Mr Benjamin Yeachen's house Mr Benjamin Yeachen told us that they had already made an arrangement for all the arms that we needed, because if we got them as soon as we could we would go ahead with the mission that we had at hand, because he had told me about the second phase; that was everywhere that ECOMOG was we should try to dislodge them. He said they had made all the necessary arrangements and Zigzag Marzah took me to the protocol officer, whom I had never known. He said if he took me there then I will be with the protocol officer for the time being and, whatever instruction I was to receive, the protocol officer would give me that instruction. Indeed, Zigzag Marzah took me to a man and identified me and I had never seen that man before. He was called Cisse Musa.

  • Your Honour, the interpretation was "and identified me" and I'm just wondering if that is the same as introduced me.

  • Are you asking the judges?

  • No, I'm asking the interpreter.

  • No, your Honour, that was the witness's expression and "identify me" actually is not even Krio, so he chose to use the English expression.

  • Now when you went to Sesay and you met Cisse Musa, where was it that you were taken?

  • They took me to Cisse Musa's house and introduced me to him. He greeted me and we spoke, and Cisse Musa told me that he will - he welcomed me and said he will give me a place where I will be with him at the house and he will take me as his son until there were proper arrangements for us to make the trip.

  • Were you told who this Cisse Musa was, or what his position was?

  • Yes, even before we went to see him Marzah had told me that he was a big man and he was a nice man, he hoped that he would treat me as his son and Cisse Musa was the protocol officer to His Excellency.

  • When you say "His Excellency", who do you mean?

  • President Charles Taylor.

  • Did you then stay at his house? At Cisse Musa's house?

  • Yes, I stayed there for some time and during the time I was at the house I was able to meet with another Sierra Leonean lady called Memuna Jalloh. She too was staying in the same compound as Cisse Musa's.

  • You said that she was a Sierra Leonean lady. Do you know what she was doing, Memuna Jalloh, in Monrovia?

  • Yes, Memuna Jalloh, according to Memuna Jalloh she was an old time RUF, that she was a kind of daughter to Pa Sankoh. They started the RUF and she knew about communication. Through the communication with Memuna I came to know that her husband was on this other part, that was he was a Sierra Leonean. He was a radio operator. He was called Tolo, Memuna's husband. I learnt that Memuna was the liaison between RUF and the Ghankay government, she herself told me that, and that she had a lot of experience because she asked me about a lot of people, if I had met those people before. I even was made to understand that Memuna herself lived in Ivory Coast with Foday Sankoh.

  • You said that her husband was "on this other part".

  • He was a radio operator.

  • Thank you, but when you said he was "on this other part", what did you mean?

  • She said her husband was in Sierra Leone and once in a while - because where Memuna Jalloh was in Cisse Musa's compound there was a VHF radio. Once in a while she will go to the radio and talk to her husband and some other commanders on the other side. She did all of those for me to have confidence in her and not to be afraid.

  • Where was it that she worked in Liberia?

  • Well, most of the time she was in her radio room, but at times she would come to the mansion.

  • First, when you say "in the radio room", where was the radio room that you are speaking of that Memuna was normally in?

  • That was the radio room that was in Musa Cisse's house, there was a radio room there, a room that had a VHF set and they had done installation there. I am referring to that particular radio room and Memuna was in charge of that radio room.

  • Now, earlier you talked about a conversation that - I believe it was Marzah had with Buedu. Excuse me, it may have been Benjamin. That Marzah had with Buedu and then also that Cobra had spoken about you. Where was that radio?

  • At Benjamin Yeachen's place. I had said it here before. It was at Benjamin Yeachen's place. There too there is a radio room - there was a radio room.

  • And do you recall who was operating that radio when you saw it?

  • There were other operators there, but the operator who spoke to me and whom I came to know that was a Sierra Leonean, a Mende by tribe, was called CO Sallay.

  • Mr Koumjian, I'm sorry to interrupt again. Cisse Musa has been spelt in two different ways in the transcript before us. Could you please give us the spelling that should apply.

  • Were you taken anywhere else in Monrovia while you were waiting, after going to Cisse Musa's house?

  • Yes. I can recall at the time, just as I told the Court, that Zigzag Marzah was really observing my movements. At the time he took me to a lady called Madeleine Doe. Madeleine Doe, a Kru.

  • Your Honours, can the witness repeat his last bit.

  • The interpreter needs you to repeat part of your evidence. Please pick up where you said, "At the time he took me to a lady called Madeleine Doe, a Kru." Continue from there, please.

  • Madeleine Doe. As I said, Marzah used to walk around with me. I told him that I had a girlfriend that I would like him to take me to by the name of Madeleine Doe. He took me there, but when he took me there I was with a lady when Marzah told me that he was going in search of liquor. So when he went to look for liquor he spent some time there and I knew he was - I was being surveillanced [sic], so I didn't want to do anything that would make him to be suspicious of me. So I did not wait for Marzah any more. I walked straight to Major Benjamin's place at his residence. I even met the security there and I asked if Colonel Marzah had got there and they asked me where I had left him and I explained to them. Little did I know that Colonel Marzah had been looking for me now, he thought I had escaped. But fortunately for him, when he came back to the place he met me and then he knew I had not escaped. Yes.

  • Sir, you indicated that you were told that you were waiting to go on some type of trip. Were there any preparations made about you going on a trip?

  • Well, there is another incident that I can tell the Court. There was a time when I was with Zigzag Marzah, at Benjamin's at night, and Marzah called me. He took one of Benjamin's cars. I can remember it was a Honda car with a golden colour and I went into the car and he asked me to go, but he had bought some drinks that he put at the back of the seat and when we were going he asked me to open one of the drinks for him and I took out one of the bottles and I opened the drink for him and he was driving. The front seat was empty. I was at the back seat. As soon as I was giving the drink to him, he stopped the vehicle just like that. Then he asked me if I knew how God had created me and I said no and he said my face had appeared seven times in the mirror and I said I didn't know anything about that and he said he was to take me to go and kill me and he showed me the two weapons and he told me that he was a killer, but for me he was going to change his mind, he was not going to kill me again. He turned around and we came back and that instilled more fear in me about him.

    When we returned - you know as you were asking me about the time of the preparation, Cisse Musa told me that he was preparing a passport and he did prepare a Liberian passport. All of us who were to go on the trip went with a Liberian passport, so a Liberian passport was prepared for me.

  • When you say that a Liberian passport was prepared for you, what was done to prepare the passport? I'll ask you another question, I'm sorry. I recognise you don't understand me. I will try to make it clearer. First of all, did you receive the passport?

  • Yes, I only received the passport after Sam Bockarie had come. The day before we travelled, it was that day that I received the passport.

  • Okay, I recognise that's a little bit further on in the course of events, but let me ask you: In what name was the passport? Was it your name, or another name?

  • It was a Liberian name, something Moriba, I can recall. That was the name, a Liberian name. All of us who travelled, travelled on Liberian passports. We all carried Liberian passports.

  • Was there a photograph in the passport?

  • Was it your photograph?

  • Yes, yes. It was at Cisse Musa's house that I took the picture. It was that photo that was on the passport. We were there until Sam Bockarie, Eddie Kanneh and an old struggler in the RUF that was called Colonel Abdul Razak. All of us carried Liberian passports.

  • Before you left Liberia were you taken to meet anyone else?

  • Yes, Zigzag Marzah came and met me at Cisse Musa's house, but before Cisse Musa left for the office that day he told me that Zigzag Marzah would come to pick me up and we would go to him at the office where we would get further instructions, because he himself would have to be part of the trip.

  • When you say "the office", did you learn where Cisse Musa worked?

  • Yes, later we went there. I cannot recall the date now, but it was on a Thursday in the afternoon. We went there and I met Benjamin Yeachen and a Pa called Jungle Jim, an old man.

  • First, how did you get to the office? Did you go by yourself, or with someone else?

  • No, before Musa Cisse would leave for the office that day he told me somebody would come to pick me up and Zigzag Marzah took me there to the office.

  • What you call the office, was it called something else?

  • The office of the protocol officer was located in the mansion, that was where his office was. Zigzag Marzah took me to the protocol officer's office.

  • And when you say, sir, the mansion, what was the mansion?

  • That was the office of the President. The office of the President was located in the mansion. That was where he took me and it was there Cisse Musa's office too was and it was written on the door, "The protocol officer to His Excellency."

  • You said this mansion was the office of the President and Zigzag Marzah took you there. Did Marzah enter the office of the - the building with you, the mansion?

  • Thank you. Was there security that you passed through to enter the mansion?

  • From the first gate the security started saluting Zigzag Marzah. All of the securities that we met saluted him. Zigzag Marzah was a very important person. Nobody asked me any question. They would just salute him and he would return. They salute and he would pass through, because Zigzag Marzah didn't wear any uniform, he wore a civilian dress.

  • So the person that took you to the office of the President was saluted and allowed through, was the same --

  • He didn't say the office of the President. He said the office of the protocol officer.

  • Actually at line 11 he said that was the office of the President.

  • I'm sure I heard "president" as well. The record says, "The protocol officer to His Excellency. It was written on the door", line 11, page 105, but preceding that it says that that was the office of the President.

  • Sir, the person that took you through the security and was saluted and treated in the manner you've described, was that the same person that gave you the photograph of the woman with the dismembered body?

  • Yes, my Lord. It's the same person who was Colonel Marzah. He told me he was the commander for the Death Squad. He was the same man who went with me.

  • And what happened once you got to the mansion?

  • When we got to the mansion, we went to the protocol officer's waiting room. We met a Pa who was an elderly man called Jungle Jim, I met Benjamin Yeachen and I recognised him and I met the protocol officer. Those were the ones I met and the protocol officer advised us to wait. After waiting the protocol officer went to some offices and entered the office of His Excellency, that is President Charles Taylor. Then Zigzag Marzah and Mr Benjamin Yeachen, all of us went into the waiting room and Mr Benjamin Yeachen got up and followed Cisse Musa while Zigzag Marzah and I and Jungle J - and I also met two other people whom I did not know. He entered HE's office, he did not stay that long and they all came out together with HE himself and I saw - Marzah got up and the other men and all of us got up. I too got up and they gave courtesy to His Excellency. That was the first time for me to meet with Mr Charles Taylor and he shook my hands, yes.

  • Sir, just to clarify what you said, when you say "HE" what do you mean?

  • The person that you said was named Jungle Jim, who was he, if you know?

  • Well, according to Zigzag Marzah, he said Jungle Jim was in Lofa County. He was in charge of all mining activities for His Excellency.

  • What happened after Charles Taylor came in?

  • As I said, that was my first time to meet with him. He welcomed me and he told me that that was the home of revolution, that what had happened to me was just a misfortune and that I was very lucky because some people who faced situations like those could even lose their life. So if that had happened to me it did not mean that I had lost everything, that everything was lost, and that was I welcomed to Liberia and I would have to have further instructions from the protocol officer, Cisse Musa. He said this in front of everybody. He took out an envelope and gave it to the protocol officer, who in turn gave it me to later, and in the envelope there was some money that was up to $1,500 US - 1,000 was in $100 bills and the 500 was in $50 bills - and he went back into his office. From there Benjamin and Jungle Jim stayed back in His Excellency's waiting room, then Zigzag Marzah and Cisse Musa and I went to Cisse Musa's office. It was from there that the two of us, Zigzag Marzah and I, left and we went to Broad Street.

  • Your Honours, the witness has called another street name that - after Broad Street he called another street name.

  • Very well. Mr Witness, the interpreter did not hear clearly. You said, "We went to Broad Street", and then you mentioned another street. Please repeat the name of the other street.

  • Carey Street. I went to do some shopping.

  • Sir, before we go on to that, I want to make sure that we understand as much as you can recall about this meeting. Did Charles Taylor say anything to you about why you were there in his office, or what you were doing in Monrovia?

  • No, he just told me that I would receive further instructions. I had already - I already knew the purpose. He only told me - after he had welcomed me and motivated me he told me that I would receive further instructions from the protocol officer, who was Cisse Musa.

  • Did he say anything about whether you had any type of position at that time?

  • Yes, but he just said that orally. It was not written on a paper. He said I will start as a one star general and, if I proved my loyalty to the revolution, then maybe I will go beyond that.

  • Okay. Now, you said --

  • Excuse me, who said these words to the witness?

  • You said he actually handed the envelope to Cisse Musa and when was the envelope given to you?

  • As I told you here, it was when Zigzag Marzah, Cisse Musa and I returned to Cisse Musa's office. It was then that Cisse Musa gave me the envelope. He said maybe I would want to buy some things and really I wanted to do some shopping.

  • So what happened then after you were given the envelope and went to, you said, Broad Street and Carey Street?

  • Yes, when I opened the envelope and counted the money right there I gave Colonel Marzah $200, and from there it was Colonel Marzah who drove me and we went to Carey Street because that is the centre where I could buy some footwear and trousers and some commando jackets.

    After the shopping I told Marzah to take me to the Freeport, that same place where I told the Court that it was a place Mammy Ellie used to cook, and we went there. Colonel Marzah was talking to a Sierra Leonean lady and he told me that he liked her, so while they were discussing I left them, went down a little and I saw some other Sierra Leonean brothers and sisters. It was a surprise to them to see me, because they thought that I had already been killed. There was one Salieu Kai. He was shocked and he said, "Am I seeing a ghost, or what?", but I did not discuss with him further.

    I was able to discuss with a man called Kallon. He too was a lieutenant in the Sierra Leone Army before we fled. His name was Foday Kallon. I had some discussion with him, but he did not go that far and I told him that, "Pa Kallon, this is my situation and even right now I am not on my own. The man that you are seeing standing over there, he's Colonel Marzah. He's the man who is in charge of the Death Squad. I have grown to fear him even more." I said, "Even Moses Kabia, who is called Rambo, this man has told me that he was the one who assassinated that man." And I said, "So, there is a mission - I don't know how you can save me, which means you have to be very much careful because that man is really powerful. You either inform ECOMOG at the right time, or you inform the American embassy so maybe I will go there for rescue. I would prefer them to rescue me and from there I will go to Sierra Leone, but the situation right now it's really tight for me."

    We were there when Colonel Marzah came. When I turned back I saw Colonel Marzah coming and so I stopped the discussion and changed the topic with the gentleman, and I turned to Colonel Marzah and Colonel Marzah said we should go and we left.

  • You told us that you knew Foday Kallon from before and that he was a lieutenant. He was a lieutenant in which army?

  • It was the Sierra Leone Army and he was born in Daru.

  • Do you know what Foday Kallon was doing in Monrovia when you saw him then?

  • Well, according to Foday Kallon, he said Mosquito had appointed some of them - and when I say "them" he called a Captain Bakarr and he also named a Captain Hindolo who is now serving life imprisonment in Sierra Leone - and he said he was in the refugee camp and that at that time they were now mobilising men, strong fighters who were interested, that they were mobilising them so as to go and join forces with the other men there to fight and be able to gain more grounds from ECOMOG and the government.

  • Your Honour, I believe Bakarr has been spelt before and Hindolo I believe was spelled before. While we're doing spellings Carey Street is C-A-R-E-Y, earlier this morning, before the lunch break the witness mentioned Victor Kemoh, K-E-M-O-H, and Leyland Trucks is L-E-L-A-N-D [sic].

  • I think it is Leyland Trucks.

  • In fact I think the spelling is L-E-Y-L-A-N-D. It is a town in Lancashire, which is the county I come from, so I'm familiar with them.

  • An authority on the subject, Mr Koumjian.

  • I wouldn't go that far, your Honour.

  • Do you know what happened to Foday Kallon after you spoke - first, let me withdraw the question. Mr Witness, in that situation, when you asked Foday Kallon to help you, did you feel you were taking a risk?

  • I knew it was a risk, but the reason why I was able to talk to Foday Kallon was because he was an officer from the Sierra Leone Army and for military men we always took oath and the cause of the oath normally is that you will not betray your comrade, because if you did then it was up to you, you would be affected by the oath. So that was one of the reasons why I had confidence to talk to Foday Kallon and, again, it was because Foday Kallon was somebody I had been used to before and I was one of the people who recommended Foday Kallon for commissioning as a second lieutenant.

  • Mr Witness, do you know, and if you don't know just say so, whether Foday Kallon ever did pass your message on to ECOMOG, or the US embassy?

  • No, I don't know because Zigzag Marzah did not give me time and I never wanted Colonel Marzah to be aware of the discussion that took place between Foday Kallon and I.

  • Mr Witness, I want to go back - you had mentioned that Sam Bockarie had arrived. You said that he stayed at Zigzag Marzah's house when you were staying there. Do you know for how long he was there after he arrived and you saw him, the time that you identified him for Marzah?

  • I think I had told you that when he came that night that I identified him and when we all sat together and they had the discussion with Benjamin Yeachen and the Lebanese, Sam Bockarie left. He left for Buedu. They loaded all the three trucks from Benjamin's house and they loaded them and they left, they left Benjamin's house that day, and after three days Sam Bockarie came back. It was within those three days that that incident took place and from there, when Sam Bockarie returned to Buedu, and at the time he was coming back was the time he came with one of the oldest strugglers in the RUF, that is Colonel Razak and Eddie Kanneh.

  • Okay, I want to go back now. There's some confusion --

  • Mr Koumjian, I'm not sure what a struggler in the RUF is.

  • When you use that expression "one of the oldest strugglers in the RUF", what do you mean, sir?

  • Well, they meant the people who started the revolution. Some could be Special Forces, or some were the very first vanguards who were trained in Gbarnga at a base called Sokoto base. It was those old men that they referred to as the old strugglers, like Peter Vandi, Roman Diaf [phon], Francis Musa and others. Those were the ones they referred to as the old strugglers.