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

  • Yes. Yesterday before we adjourned I was asking you about one or two propositions of general application in order to elicit your reaction to them. Now can we start again, please.

  • The first suggestion that I am going to make is that you were never invited to the President's house on a social basis. Do you agree?

  • That is not true.

  • And I suggest that that was the case at the time he lived next door to the German Embassy and also when he lived at White Flower. Do you agree with that?

  • President Taylor's house when he was living close at the German Embassy, former President --

  • I am sorry, I didn't understand that answer.

  • I am not sure if the question has been properly interpreted. Please ask the question again. Mr Interpreter, listen very carefully and interpret accurately for the witness.

  • What I am suggesting is that at no time were you invited socially either to the President's address next to the German Embassy, or to White Flower?

  • Who invited me that you are referring to?

  • President Taylor. That he never did?

  • Every morning President Taylor, it is my responsibility to see him every morning before we go to job. I was invited every morning. It is my duty as assistant director for operation.

  • Mr Griffiths, perhaps you could elaborate on what you mean by socially invited for the interpreters?

  • Very well. Let me start at a different point then. Would you regard your relationship throughout the time that you were assistant director, your relationship with President Taylor, as being a friendly one?

  • I was not friendly to it. I am a security to him. I have a duty to perform for him. That was why he appointed me as assistant director for operation, whose responsibility was for his security.

  • Now did he ever invite you as a friend to either the address near the German Embassy, or to White Flower?

  • We are not friends. I am a security to him, so it is my responsibility every morning to appear before him and to make sure I give instructions to my deputies how for the two different advance and in motorcade I was supposed to go on job and who was supposed to be there today and who is supposed to be there tomorrow. That was my duty every morning. I appeared there to perform my duty.

  • Well, what I suggest is that that was never your responsibility?

  • It was my responsibility.

  • Very well. Can we move on then.

  • Would you agree that you have never sat down and had a drink with Mr Taylor?

  • What do you call drink?

  • When friends go out and have a drink together. You have never done that with Mr Taylor?

  • But I repeated that to you that we were not friends. I never sat down with him to drink with him.

  • And equally you have never, ever sat down and watched TV with him?

  • No.

  • As a consequence you would have no clue what TV programmes he would watch, would you?

  • I said that whenever he invited me to his office to give me instructions, the CNN is in his office and also - and in the waiting room. The waiting room where the guests they go to see him to talk to him on a daily basis, they had another television in the area on CNN. That was what I said.

  • My question is different. Did you ever sit down and watch television with him?

  • I said whenever he invited me in his residence, or to his office, there is a television on his desk. A CNN television.

  • Did you ever sit down and watch television with him?

  • But I saw television in his office and his residence.

  • Next question. Would you agree that you have never spent more than a few minutes in his company at any one time?

  • You mean with anybody?

  • What I am saying is that on the occasions that you would see the President, you would only see him for a very short period of time. Would you agree?

  • Yes, five minutes/ten minutes.

  • Would you agree that you were never an insider; that is one of President Taylor's trusted inner circle?

  • I was one of the trustful men. That was why he appointed me as his deputy chief of staff and also I was the assistant director for operation to him. If he had no trust on me, I would never have been a bodyguard behind the President and also with sidearm to travel with him in the plane from country to country if I was - if he didn't trust me.

  • Do you agree that President Taylor had, as many such leaders do, an inner circle of friends and colleagues?

  • Please repeat that question.

  • Would you agree that President Taylor had a trusted inner circle of friends and colleagues?

  • He had other trusted people also.

  • Let me put it differently then to see if we can get to the point. Would you agree that someone like Benjamin Yeaten was much closer to the President than you were?

  • And would you agree that there were a number of individuals who were closer to the President than you were?

  • So, would you agree that there was a clear distinction between that inner circle of friends and yourself?

  • You see what I am suggesting, so that we understand each other, is that you were never an insider, which is the way in which you were depicted by Mr Rapp in a press conference last week? You were never an insider in that sense, do you understand me?

  • Your Honour, the Prosecution would ask that the Defence counsel define for this witness what Defence counsel means when he says "insider". This witness did not give a press conference and "insider" is a very vague term, so perhaps to assist the witness Defence counsel could explain to the witness what Defence counsel is meaning when he is asking him if he is an insider?

  • Mr Griffiths, what do you say to that, if only for the benefit of the interpretation, because I am getting the distinct impression that the terminologies you use are not perhaps even clear to the interpreters in order to portray the question meaningfully to the witness? If you could break it down so that the interpreters accurately convey it to the witness.

  • Very well. Very well, your Honour:

  • What it is I am suggesting is that you were never as close to the President as you are trying to suggest to this Court. Now, do you understand that?

  • Let me help you. We had different, different jobs in the SSS. The assignment was prepared by me as assistant director of operation. We had the aide de campe group who were in the office with the President, except if the President said he wanted to see John Brown or Peter Brown and then he would call that person. He had special attendants. The special attendants sometimes were five in number. These were people who were always in the President's office, in his bathroom, at his residence and in his house, and also most of these people were members of the Special Security Services and they had directions from their directors. Any time he would say, "Call this director and then call this director", but when the motorcade is ready to move, or the President is ready to move from his house or the office, the direct of SSS will have to be there and the deputy director of operation and the assistant director of operation will have to be there and the CPS. Those are the people who were in charge of the convoy, but taking him to the office after which we go to our various offices. When it is time for him to go back, then the special assistant will call on all the aide de campes again who will come - who will come back together and then take him back to his house. So, I don't know what you mean by "insider"? So if you are talking about an insider maybe it is the special assistants who were with him at his office or at his residence, but we all had obligations to perform.

  • So would you agree, in light of that answer, that your primary responsibility was for the transport of the President?

  • That was not my first responsibility. My first responsibility was to protect his life.

  • I am not going to spend more time on that. Would your Honour give me a moment? Yes. Now you accept, witness, that you had been a senior member of ULIMO?

  • You accept that because of that history you were treated with suspicion by many former NPFL members?

  • Do you accept that, even when you took up the post of assistant director, you were still regarded with suspicion because of your history?

  • I said after three years.

  • I don't understand your answer. It is my fault. After three years what?

  • That was from 1997 to 1998 and 1999 up to 2000 before he started looking at me with suspicious eyes and then I was transferred into prison.


  • I am sorry, did you say, "He started looking at me with suspicious eyes?"

  • Yes, that is what I said.

  • Let me see if I can clarify that, please, witness. Who started looking at you with suspicious eyes?

  • The information the NPFL people were giving to Mr Taylor was that the war was coming from Guinea end and that, "Sherif was one of the former ULIMO-K senior commanders and so we don't trust him to be very close to you. So, we want you to transfer him to somewhere else".

  • Now, are you saying that there came a time when Mr Taylor distrusted you?

  • It was at that time.

  • Can you help us, please. What time are you talking about? Can you give us a year?

  • I am talking about 2000.

  • At the time of the LURD invasion, which involved many former ULIMO fighters, were you regarded with suspicion then?

  • Now, we know that the LURD invasion was 1998. That is right, isn't it?

  • The LURD invasion was in 1998? I know about 1999. 1999. At the end of 1999.

  • But at the very least would you agree that from the time of that invasion you were regarded with suspicion?

  • I was put in cell for six months and after that he recalled me and apologised to me and he gave me two different assignments to perform.

  • Would you say that you were as close to the President as Hope Menkorzu [phon], or Mentopou [phon]?

  • Please repeat that.

  • Do you know the name Dopoe [sic] Menkerzan [sic]?

  • I know the name Duopo Merkazon and also I know him in person.

  • Could you spell the name, please?

  • No, I can't spell it.

  • My stab at it, your Honour, is D o-p-o-e M-e-n-k-e-r-z-a-n:

  • Would you say that you were as close to the President as him?

  • I don't know how close Duopo Merkazon was to the President, but I knew him to be one of the special forces that came with Taylor from Libya; that had their training in Libya.

  • He had a much longer relationship with the President than you?

  • I explained that to you already.

  • Now you know the name Roland Duoh, don't you? It is a name that has been mentioned before.

  • I know Roland Duoh.

  • Were you as close to the President as him?

  • No.

  • Do you know the name Momoh Jibba, again a name we have heard already?

  • Were you as close to the President as him?

  • Momoh Jibba was my senior officer. He was closer to the President more than me, because he was the senior aide de campe of the Republic of Liberia.

  • Now let us move on to another proposition, shall we? Would you agree that you have never seen President Charles Taylor in company with Sam Bockarie?

  • I never saw President Taylor together with Sam Bockarie, that is true.

  • Bearing in mind the account you have given us, would you agree that you have no idea why Charles Taylor would want to speak to Sam Bockarie?

  • I don't have that idea, because I was not there. What they discussed or what they discussed about, I was not there.

  • Which leads to my next question, the answer to which must be "yes". You were never present when Charles Taylor spoke to Sam Bockarie?

  • I was never there when he was talking to Sam Bockarie.

  • Does it follow that consequently you have no idea what they spoke about?

  • Asked and answered, I think. That question was asked and answered.

  • Next question. You have never seen Sam Bockarie give diamonds to Charles Taylor?

  • I said I never saw Sam Bockarie and Mr Taylor together. What he told me he said, "Do you remember where you met Benjamin Yeaten and Musa Sesay that they took Sam Bockarie from your vehicle?" He said, "Then just go back to that same position. You will meet Sam Bockarie there, or if you don't see him just wait there for ten minutes. They will meet you there". That was the only time myself and him spoke about Sam Bockarie for the second time.

  • Does it follow that the answer to my question is, "No, I have never seen Sam Bockarie give diamonds to Charles Taylor"? Is that right?

  • Next proposition. Do you agree that you have no idea what happened to the diamonds you claim to have seen in Sam Bockarie's possession?

  • I don't have that idea.

  • Does it follow that the last time on your account you saw that jar of diamonds was in Voinjama?

  • I said when Sam Bockarie was taking off his jacket to go and take bath, I saw a mayonnaise bottle full of diamonds in it - in Sam Bockarie's pocket. That was what I said.

  • And my question is different. Do you agree that you never saw that bottle again?

  • You mean for the second time?

  • At any time after that?

  • I saw diamonds with Sam Bockarie.

  • Mr Interpreter, I do not know what it is you are saying to the witness. Please repeat the question accurately to the witness.

  • Let me ask the question again. Do you agree that after Voinjama you never saw that jar of diamonds again?

  • No, I did not see it again from after Voinjama.

  • Do you agree that you never saw Charles Taylor give Sam Bockarie money?

  • I never saw him putting money in Sam Bockarie's hand, but he told me that he had given some money to Sam Bockarie. He was saying his men from Voinjama area and the rest of the other area he will buy their own arms and ammunition, but I never saw him delivering the money into Sam Bockarie's hand and I never saw them together.

  • And the "he" you talk about, is that President Taylor?

  • I am referring to former President Taylor.

  • I suggest that is a lie?

  • What is a lie exactly?

  • A lie that the President told you that he had given Sam Bockarie money to purchase arms. I suggest that is a lie?

  • Would you agree that you have no idea what instructions, if any, Charles Taylor gave to Sam Bockarie?

  • I did not have any idea because, as I said, I was never in their meeting. I said that earlier.

  • Now I want to move on now, please, and deal more specifically with the account you gave of going to Sierra Leone to bring Sam Bockarie back to meet with Charles Taylor. For now I just want you to confirm for us, please, the outline of the account you gave us. I am looking at a transcript of the evidence you gave on this topic. Now, what you told us was --

  • For the record please quote either the date, the date and the page and the line that you are reading, because we don't all have access to it.

  • Yes. Your Honour, I am looking at the unperfected transcript for --

  • What is the date indicated?

  • It is the day before yesterday. It was on Wednesday, 9 January.

  • The page and number would be helpful. The page number and line would be helpful.

  • Well, your Honour, my copy is not paginated. The copy I have is not paginated.

  • Very well, just read it out. Very well. That is okay.

  • Because as I understand it there is an initial draft copy, which is later perfected, and because of time constraints this was the copy I received before the night I began my cross-examination that I am working from.

  • Very well. Very well. Just make sure you read it out for everyone to hear.

  • Now, you began your account regarding this trip by referring to the seizure of that helicopter at Jack(sic) Spring airfield by ECOMOG and you were asked this question, "Now do you recall the month and year that this occurred?", and you said, "That happened in 19 - the end of 98 to - between the end of 98 to the start of the year 99". Now, do you agree that is roughly when you say this occurred?

  • I said it happened in 1998.

  • Was it at the end or beginning of 1998?

  • It was the beginning of 1998.

  • Well I am not going to press you on the date now, but it may become significant later. You went on to say that after that incident at the airport Mr Taylor called me at his fourth floor office at the Executive Mansion?

  • Yes.

  • Present then was Musa Cissay, Joe Tuah, Benjamin Yeaten and Joseph Montgomery. Is that right?

  • Including Momoh Jibba and Musa, who was the deputy aide de campe.

  • So consequently all of them were present when you were given this instruction, is that right?

  • And at that meeting he told you to get Sam Bockarie over to him?

  • Fifthly, you told us that Charles Taylor did not explain why he wanted to see Sam Bockarie?

  • You went on to say - and this is point number 6 - that at the time you were given this assignment you did not know who Sam Bockarie was?

  • I know Sam Bockarie to be the RUF commander.

  • Mr Interpreter, was that "I know", or "I knew".

  • I knew. I knew Sam Bockarie because when I was in partner with Sam Bockarie during the ULIMO and RUF, I used to hear his name "Sam Bockarie" as the leader of RUF.

  • Let me explain why I asked that question. You were asked the same question by my learned friend, Ms Hollis. The question was: "Now at the time you were given this assignment did you know who Sam Bockarie was?" Answer: "No. What - I use to hear his name because we were fighting war against one another between Foya and the Sierra Leone border, but they also were fighting us at the border, so we used to hear Mosquito Sam Bockarie, but I did not know him in particular". Do you agree with that answer that you gave to Ms Hollis?

  • I said yes.

  • Point number 7. When you went to see Sam Bockarie, were you given any type of letter of introduction or other document to take with you?

  • No.

  • And do you agree that you said, when asked by Ms Hollis on Wednesday this question, "Do you know why you were not given such a document?", you said --

  • Your Honours, we will broadcast the portion of the transcript from which the Defence counsel is examining. If you press button PC1, it is on page 829 of the final corrected revised transcript.

  • And how do we scroll that to get to the relevant pages? Does Mr Griffiths himself have this on his screen?

  • I now have it on my screen.

  • That means he has to find the page, doesn't it?

  • That is the difficulty correlating my references, because I have hand paginated my bundle.

  • Your Honour, I will scroll up and down.

  • Nonetheless, Mr Griffiths, I propose that you continue as you have been referring to your rough transcript.

  • It is quicker that way.

  • I think so, your Honour, yes:

  • Do you recall that you were asked this question by Ms Hollis: "Do you know why you were not given such a document?", and your answer was: "If document had been given to me, if ECOMOG intercept that it is going to be a problem so because of ...", and there was an indiscernible word, "... and knowing personally to myself, but he did not explain that to me why he did not give me document and also I did not request for document. I knew that I could do it". Do you remember saying that?

  • I said yes.

  • Thank you. "However, do you agree that you told us that you went on that assignment wearing your SSS uniform?", three lines from the bottom of the page now on the screen. Do you agree?

  • And then you went on to describe the route you took, and I have no intention of going through the details of that, and then you went on the say that you had no difficulty crossing the border into Sierra Leone?

  • I never had difficulty at the border.

  • Do you agree that you went on to say that on the occasion when you met up with Sam Bockarie you saw him with a group of Kamajors?

  • Yes, in Kailahun.

  • And they were up to five of them? There were five Kamajors?

  • Yes, he executed.

  • Because you went on to say that he executed them by shooting them with a gun?

  • Now would you agree that that act by Sam Bockarie was not only surprising, but also horrific?

  • It was bad.

  • And would you agree that it is the kind of incident which would stick in your mind?

  • Do you recall going on to say that you then travelled from Kailahun, where that incident took place, to Buedu?

  • And in Buedu you were taken to Sam Bockarie's house?

  • Do you agree that you told us that Sam Bockarie was suspicious of you?

  • And he asked you in particular why did Mr Taylor send you, rather than one of his NPFL members?

  • I explained that reason.

  • But he did ask you that question?

  • He asked me. He asked me.

  • Because you would agree, wouldn't you, that he would necessarily be suspicious of you because you were a former ULIMO commander who had fought against him?

  • And is it right that he told you in terms that he did not trust you?

  • Do you agree that you went on to say that you spent the night at Sam Bockarie's house?

  • I spend the night in his house.

  • And do you agree that you told us that on the following day you walked about 20 yards from the house to somewhere where a radio was located?

  • Now, I wonder if we can scroll on a little bit. Yes, do you agree, bottom of - line 16, bottom of the page, would you agree that he told the radio operator to call Monrovia and the Executive Mansion?

  • Yes.

  • And that worried you?

  • Because at that stage - and remember we are talking about 1998 - you did not know that the RUF had any connection with the Executive Mansion?

  • Yes, the RUF had been in the Executive Mansion from 1995. Up to the time Mr Taylor become President, we did not have any connection with RUF.

  • And then you went on to say, "Who gave the radio ..." - you were asked, "Who gave the radio operator the instruction to call Monrovia?" Could we scroll up, please?

  • Sam Bockarie gave the operator - the radio operator - instructions to contact Monrovia Executive Mansion.

  • And then crucially this: "Did you provide them with any information as to how to contact the Executive Mansion in Monrovia?", and your answer was, "No"?

  • No, I did not give any information.

  • So it follows, therefore, that the information required to make that radio call was already in Sam Bockarie's possession?

  • I do not understand that.

  • It means then, if you didn't give them the necessary details, that they already knew how to get in touch with the Executive Mansion?

  • On the return journey, he having been reassured, you travelled by a different route to the one you had taken to get to Kailahun?

  • He told me that.

  • And then I want to move on to events which took place when you stopped at Voinjama. You said that one of the reasons why you stopped there was because Sam Bockarie said he wanted to have a bath and he wanted a haircut?

  • That was the reason why we stopped.

  • So, you took him to your own family home in Voinjama?

  • And at a time when you were present with one of your senior officers and also Sam Bockarie, Bockarie took off his jacket?

  • Yes.

  • And in the inside pocket of that jacket you saw a mayonnaise jar full of diamonds?

  • Yes, a middle size.

  • Can you indicate now, please, how big you say that bottle was? Just indicate using your hands and I will seek to describe it for the purposes of the transcript. Just use your hands and show me how big you say it was.

  • The middle size is just like this. A size like this.

  • [Microphone not activated] a bottle some eight inches or so tall?

  • Your own hand is more taller. Yes, yes. The middle. The middle.

  • Six inches tall, yes

  • Six inches tall by, what, three inches wide?

  • From this end to this end. Middle size.

  • Are you saying the length of your palm?

  • And that bottle had hitherto been concealed in his inside jacket pocket?

  • Inside jacket pocket. That was the camouflage jacket.

  • Next point. Whilst in Voinjama, a helicopter flew from Monrovia to Voinjama to meet you?

  • Not Voinjama. Camouflage flew to Tenebu.

  • How far from Voinjama is that?

  • And the helicopter had flown from Monrovia?

  • To Tenebu.

  • The helicopter flew from Monrovia to Tenebu. He used a vehicle from Tenebu to Voinjama.

  • But, in any event, transported on that helicopter was the director of intelligence?

  • Yes, he was the director - assistant director - for intelligence.

  • And from what you have told us, the purpose of his flight from Monrovia to Tenebu was to confirm Sam Bockarie's identity?

  • Yes, to confirm if actually Sam Bockarie - the real Sam Bockarie - I was bringing to Monrovia.

  • And as far as you are aware, having confirmed Sam Bockarie's identity that assistant director of intelligence went back to Tenebu, got on the helicopter and flew back to Monrovia?

  • Yes, after telling me, "Thank you. He is actually the one you are bringing".

  • So just in practical terms, it would have been possible to put Sam Bockarie on that helicopter and fly him to Monrovia?

  • That was not the instruction that was given to me. If I had done that I would not have agreed, because he was my colleague. If I do not receive the direct instruction from Mr Taylor, or from Benjamin Yeaten, I would not have turned a man over to him because he was not a senior officer to me.

  • But my question is very simple. In practical terms, Bockarie could have been put on that helicopter and flown to Monrovia? It was practically possible?

  • No, I am not saying you didn't have those instructions. What I am saying is that, if Mr Taylor had wanted to, he could have got Sam Bockarie put on that helicopter and flown to Monrovia? Do you agree?

  • No, because James Spring field you had batch of ECOMOG. ECOMOG was there. Where the helicopter - where the helicopter will land in Monrovia that they will not know. This was something we were doing under camouflage.

  • Very well. In any event, you drove as far as Waisue?

  • That is where you parted company with Sam Bockarie?

  • Yes.

  • On that journey, did you have to go through any ECOMOG road blocks?

  • In the whole of Lofa I said yesterday there were no ECOMOG presence there. There were no ECOMOG present in Bong County and there were no ECOMOG in Margibi. ECOMOG were only present around the city starting from 15 gate, so I was posted to go on that mission. That was when Benjamin Yeaten was the director of the SSS and his own vehicle was dark. Nobody will look inside his vehicle. That was the reason why he came to the highway to receive Sam Bockarie from my vehicle and then he told me that they were going to use another means to get him to Monrovia when nobody will know.

  • Now, would you agree - and I am helpfully assisted by a note - that there are - it is possible to land a helicopter within the grounds of the Executive Mansion?

  • It never happened before. It never happened before. It never, never happened before. Up to now, no helicopter had never landed inside the Executive Mansion yard and I am still working with the SSS up to this moment.

  • I suggest that is complete nonsense, but anyway let us move on. As far as you were aware, was Sam Bockarie known to President Taylor prior to you bringing Sam Bockarie to Monrovia?

  • I cannot explain that, because I didn't know. What I knew was that he instructed me to get Sam Bockarie and bring him over to him.

  • You had no prior knowledge of the relationship between Sam Bockarie and President Taylor?

  • I did not know. It was only based on information that Mr Taylor was the one giving support to the RUF. Those were the information, but because of my trip to get Sam Bockarie to bring him over to him and then to take him back he confirmed to me that he was the one giving support to the RUF. That confirmed to me.

  • I am sorry, I will have to ask clarification. From the interpretation there were two things that the interpreter said. He said, "He confirmed to me that he was giving support to the RUF", and then he says, "That confirmed to me that he was giving support to the RUF". This is what I heard and they are two different things. If you could examine again around that area, please.

  • Very well:

  • Who confirmed to you that he was supporting the RUF?

  • I said we used to get the information that Mr Taylor was the one who was supporting RUF, but that was not confirmed. But when he instructed me to go to Sierra Leone and get Sam Bockarie to bring him over to him in Monrovia as the President of the Republic of Liberia, that indicated to me that actually he was the one that was giving support to RUF.

  • As far as you were aware, when you went to collect Sam Bockarie did you have any knowledge if President Taylor had met Sam Bockarie before?

  • No, and Sam Bockarie himself confirmed that to me. When I was taking him back he told me, "Sherif, thank you very much. At the time the RUF started their mission it was Foday Sankoh who was dealing with Mr Taylor and we only used to communicate through the phone, or the satellite, or radio, but I never knew Mr Taylor in person and now you have been the cause for me to sit down with him and discuss with him. He has given me money, he has given me satellite and so now I want to say thank you very much for what you have done for me". That was what Sam Bockarie told me when I was taking him back.

  • Now at the time you were sent to Sierra Leone, Lofa County fell under the authority of Christopher Varmoh, didn't it?

  • No.

  • Now, Christopher Varmoh - and it is a name we have heard before, your Honours - was also known as the Liberian Mosquito, wasn't he?

  • And what I am suggesting is that he was in charge in Lofa County at the time?

  • I said no. There were no government forces around Lofa at that time. It was the former ULIMO that had been dissolved. They were all staying in their individual areas. I was the first government official who visited that area to get Sam Bockarie and bring him over. At this time that we are talking about no government official, no police, no army from Mr Taylor's government that ever stepped his feet in Lofa at that time, and that if I went to go there - if I had not gone there to mobilise the people, to talk with them to work with the Taylor government, they were not going to do it at all.

  • Would your Honours give me a moment? What I am suggesting is that Christopher Varmoh was clearly in charge of that area and that you are not telling us the truth about that?

  • That is not true. Christopher Varmoh became the eighth battalion commander. That was after all of my mission had completed. After I had got all the arms and ammunition from the territory of Lofa, I brought Sam Bockarie and took him back and that was after which he started sending the police and the army to Lofa. By the time I am talking about, when I started the mission, I alone went there at that time in order to avoid any problem.

  • I will put my case on this point and move on. You see what I am suggesting is that, if President Taylor wanted to bring Sam Bockarie to Monrovia, it was easy for him to get the one Mosquito to speak to the other and achieve that purpose. He didn't need you and you are lying when you say you were sent to Sierra Leone to bring Sam Bockarie back. That is my case on that. What do you say about that?

  • That is not true. I knew Christopher Varmoh as Liberian Mosquito. I knew Mosquito Spray as LURD Mosquito and I knew Sam Bockarie to be the RUF Mosquito. I knew all of them, but this time I am talking about Christopher Varmoh was in Monrovia. He had not taken assignment.

  • I have put my case on that, but I will be coming back to that topic in due course. Can we move on to another matter, please. Witness, in late 1998, beginning of 1999, you began to suffer from a form of African sine, didn't you?

  • No.

  • What is African sine?

  • I don't know until you explain to me.

  • Have you never heard the term "African sine" before?

  • Let me put it bluntly then. Did you not begin to suffer from a form of mental illness?

  • That is not true.

  • And did that mental illness not develop after the first attack by LURD on Liberian government positions?

  • No.

  • And was that mental illness not brought on because of your family background?

  • That is not true.

  • In the sense that firstly your family was very anti-Taylor, wasn't it?

  • And by way of example let us just look at something, please. If we go to page 3 of the bundle which I provided - and I would like the witness to be given that bundle, please, and could the witness turn to page 3. On line 16 on that page: "My father brought his two wives". "Brought to where?" "I said my father brought his two wives". "Two wives". "They were brutally murdered. They catch them and put them in a private car and put fire on them". "Who murdered them?" "NPFL". The number at the top of the page is 00036735. Was that the truth?

  • Does it follow then that your father was very anti-NPFL and Taylor?

  • Please repeat that.

  • Given the experience your father had had, his two wives murdered by the NPFL you say in the most brutal fashion, your father hated Mr Taylor, didn't he?

  • Yes, that is true.

  • And not only your father. Your family generally hated Mr Taylor, didn't they?

  • And your family were very angry at the fact that given that experience, your father's wives murdered, you had gone to work for the very man who was responsible? They were very angry with you because of that, weren't they?

  • And it caused you a great deal of anguish, didn't it?

  • That is true.

  • For all the time that you were working for Mr Taylor, you were trying to come to terms with that contradiction that, "Given what has happened to my family, what am I doing working for this monster?"? That was the thought constantly in your mind, wasn't it?

  • Did your family not constantly remind you of that experience?

  • They reminded me.

  • Were they doing that constantly?

  • Did you have difficulty coming to terms with that?

  • I overcame that difficulty because we wanted peace. I did not - I did not want to go to join ULIMO because my father or my father's wife had been murdered or killed by Mr Taylor. The reason was because I have been pushed from one place to another, from one place to another, and by this time I had been pushed against a wall and I wanted to go back home. This was the information I used to give to my family that, these "Things we have to put all aside. If we say, 'Oh, this killed my father or my mother' and we try and revenge that, then the war won't finish. I have to work with Mr Taylor to bring peace".

  • Would it be right that your family would say to you, for example, "How can you be working for this man when formerly you were fighting and risking your life against him?"? Did they say that to you?

  • They said it to me. They said it.

  • And when LURD attacked Liberia, LURD containing many former ULIMO fighters, did your family say to you, "Look, your former comrades are now fighting against Taylor and there you are supporting him"? Did they say that to you?

  • They said that and I was still giving my support and I was still fighting against them, because I told them that this was a constitutional government, the man was democratically elected by the Liberian people and the man called me to work with him and I had to work with him with my heart.

  • What I am suggesting is that because of that conflict in your mind, which you were unable to reconcile, you went clinically mad? That is what I am suggesting.

  • That is not true. If that was in my mind I took six months in central police from jail, then from there he gave me arms to go and fight the people they were fighting that were dominated by Mandingo. I lost two of my brothers from one father from the LURD side, but I still defended Mr Taylor. Up to the last, I was the only person in Monrovia that he had hope on. In the night he will call me. In the day he will call me. He said, "Look, do anything to protect my life now because this is not Presidential business because I agree that I am going to leave, but please try to hold on to your position". When his loyal people that he trusted were running away - when they captured Sam Montgomery in the plane at Roberts international airport he was running away. That was the day he said, "Sherif, go and take the deputy commission of our operation, please". That happened.

  • Do you know a plan called Amos Morris? A-m-o-s M-o-r-r-i-s?

  • How well do you know him?

  • I knew him. I captured him in Lofa from NPFL and later I used him as my driver. Up to this present day he is with me.

  • When you say "with you", with you where? Not where in terms of where you are living. Is he still your driver?

  • He is still my driver.

  • Do you have any reason to distrust him?

  • Would you regard him as a truthful person?

  • Would he have any reason to tell lies about you?

  • Now tell me if such a man were to say that during this period you were walking around Monrovia naked, shouting to yourself and having to be effectively kept under house arrest by your own family, would he be lying about that?

  • That is not true. I never got sick.

  • Was there ever a time when you were walking the streets of Monrovia naked?

  • I never walked in the street of Monrovia naked.

  • Were you not given money by Charles Taylor to seek medical treatment for your illness in Mali?

  • Did you go to Mali?

  • Because there were no mental health facilities in Liberia which could cope with you, did you not get sent to Mali?

  • That is not true.

  • Do you know a man called Musa, M-u-s-a, Cissay, C-i-s-s-a-y, who has since died?

  • I knew Musa Cissay, who personally took me as his son. He was Taylor's - Mr Taylor's - main man. By that I mean he knows - he knew most of the secrets of Mr Taylor and he was Mr Taylor's trustful person. He also took me as a son and he told me that - he said whenever I had a problem I should let him know.

  • Was it not Musa Cissay, the person who took you as his son, who arranged for you to be taken to Mali for treatment?

  • That is not true.

  • And were you not treated in Mali by a native doctor?

  • That is not true.

  • A doctor who was also a Mandingo?

  • I don't know any doctor that you are referring to as a Mandingo man.

  • Did that doctor not take you back to Mali to Liberia to the border?

  • That is not true.

  • Even though you had not fully recovered?

  • You mean you are saying that I was sick? How would Mr Taylor look at a sick person and give him more than 500 bags of ammunition, arms and ammunition, to go and distribute it in different quarters in the Republic of Liberia - this is what you are referring to - and after which he sent me to go to the bush again and fight battle on his behalf?

  • What I am suggesting is that upon your return to Liberia, because you had not fully recovered you received further treatment from a Saudi Arabian man?

  • That is not true.

  • Help us with this, please. Have you ever been to the Middle East for military training?

  • In that five missing years when you claimed you were learning Arabic, had you in fact not gone to the Middle East for military training?

  • In Kakata there was Habibu Sharif [phon], an Islamic and Arabic school. You can go anywhere and ask and they will tell you that in my absence. That was where they called Habibu Sharif. That is in Kakata.

  • Are you trying to disguise to this Court what you were actually doing for that five year period, which is why you claim you were still at school in 1990? Is that what is going on?

  • I am not hiding anything. I never knew about guns. I was not a military personnel at that time never. Never.

  • Is that why, because of your training in the Middle East, you rose so swiftly through the ranks of the LUDF and ULIMO to become a senior commander?

  • The reason for me to be rising as senior commander in the guerilla warfare is when you are very strong at the battle front you always get promotion. That was the reason why I had quick promotions. If you are brave somebody, you go to the battle front and then you achieve your goal, you will get promotion. That was in guerilla warfare.

  • And is it not the case that you were moved from your role as assistant director in the SSS because of your illness?

  • That was not it. I was being put in jail.

  • I suggest that is why you were moved to immigration, but you were moved to immigration, weren't you?

  • That is two questions, Mr Griffiths.

  • That is two questions in one.

  • You were moved to immigration, weren't you?

  • And did you have the call sign 309?

  • And were you not moved to that post because of your mental illness?

  • That was not said to me.

  • I am going to ask you for the last time, witness, have you received treatment for mental illness in any part of the world?

  • Common headache, sickness, I always receive that. Even at The Hague here, my head always hurt me. That is for one hour/two hours. I will take Paracetamol and it will go down.

  • So, it follows then that there won't be any medical records of yours relating to you anywhere in the world showing that you were treated for mental illness. Is that right?

  • That is not true. That is not true.

  • Mr Interpreter, I do not know what it is that you interpreted to this witness:

  • Mr Witness, are you saying that it is not true that there are no medical records? Is that what you are saying?

  • It means - repeat the question back.

  • Is it right that there would be no medical records available anywhere in the world to prove that you were treated for mental illness?

  • That is not true. That is not true, no.

  • I am not satisfied that the question has been properly translated. Mr Griffiths, can I ask you to ask questions more directly for the sake of the interpreters. If you ask your questions in a round about back to front manner, I don't think we are being fair to the witness. I am not satisfied with this answer. Please ask the question again in a more direct manner and let the witness answer again.

  • Would there be any medical records anywhere in the world to prove that you were treated for mental illness?

  • If you say my head was hurting I will say, yes, there would be a medical record on me, some time I got sick and I went to the hospital there would be a medical record, but if you are referring to mental problem or this kind of sickness you are referring to I will say no.

  • When was the last time you saw Charles Taylor in person?

  • Prior to his departure he sent for me at White Flower, he sent for Musa and then he told me and said, "Sherif, thank you very much for what you have proven to me. People were giving me all kinds of negative information to me about you and now what you have proven is you have proven to me that you are actually somebody that I can trust". And he took 10,000 United States dollars cash, he took it and gave it to me. He also took 5,000 US dollars and gave it to me to be giving to Torto Boone [phon]. He was one of the brigade commanders that was working along with me - to be given to him. That was our final day.

  • I am not going to dwell on that line, because I want to pursue my line of questioning. You agree that Charles Taylor went to Nigeria when he --

  • Your Honour, I am sorry for the late objection, but I have just seen the transcript and I object to Defence counsel's language that he is not going to "dwell on that lie".

  • Then I apologise, because it shows as "lie", l-i-e.

  • Ms Hollis, I do understand and I am asking the transcriber to take note of that correction from "lie" to "line".

  • When President Taylor stepped down as President, as part of that agreement he went to Nigeria, didn't he?

  • He go to Nigeria.

  • Did you not go and visit him in Nigeria?

  • I visited him in Nigeria, that is true.

  • So when I asked you earlier when was the last time you met President Taylor and you told me that it was at the Executive Mansion, why did you tell me that a moment ago?

  • If I understand the question, I thought you were referring from the time he was in power as the President of the Republic of Liberia.

  • Actually to be fair to the witness, Mr Griffiths, I think you said, "What was the last time you saw Mr Taylor prior to his departure?"

  • No, I didn't, your Honour.

  • That is what I have in my notes. I may be wrong.

  • Well, I accept responsibility if it is my fault:

  • So, the last time you saw President Taylor was in Nigeria?

  • He invited me to Nigeria, myself and Roland Duoh. We travelled from Monrovia to Ghana and from Ghana we travelled to Togo. We spent a week with Benjamin Yeaten and from Benjamin Yeaten we travelled to him in Kalaba.

  • Can I just pause to mention this, your Honour. Page 44 of LiveNote: "Q. When was the last time you saw Charles Taylor in person? A. Prior to his departure, he sent for me at White Flower". That is what the transcript says:

  • So earlier you did say to me, despite the question, that the last time you had seen him was at White Flower. So, I am going to ask you again. Why when I asked you that question did you not tell us that the last time you saw him in person was in Nigeria? Why did you not tell us that?

  • I didn't understand what you were referring to. The way I understood it was that I thought you said when he was President of the Republic of Liberia and that what was my last time that I met with Mr Taylor. I said it was at White Flower when we met, he gave me money and he said to me, "Thank you", but then if you asked my last time I saw him was in Kalaba, Nigeria.

  • Now, tell me something. Did you tell the Office of the Prosecutor that you had gone to see former President Taylor in Nigeria?

  • No, I cannot remember everything. No, no.

  • Why did you not tell them that?

  • Because I cannot remember everything that has happened from 1990 to this present moment. If you ask me to explain everything, I think we will stay five months here and I will be explaining. And if tomorrow, if I am going to come to this Court, if something else comes to my mind that happened at that time that I had not said I will say it again. Yes, there are more informations that can come to my memory, and if you gave me the chance I go and sit down I think I come the next day I will explain more. That is why I am explaining what comes to my mind.

  • Did you not think it a matter of some importance to mention to the people who were taking a statement from you the important fact that, "The last time I saw Mr Taylor was in Nigeria"? Why didn't you tell them that?

  • I explained the reason to you that that slipped from my memory at the time I was making my statement.

  • Now, when you went to visit --

  • Mr Griffiths, it is half-past-ten and I would imagine this is not a bad place to adjourn.

  • It is as good as any.

  • To break, rather. So, you can pick up that question when we return from the break. Mr Witness, we are going to break for half-an-hour and we will resume at eleven o'clock.

  • [Break taken at 10.30 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 11.00 a.m.]

  • Mr Griffiths, please continue.

  • I am obliged, your Honour. Before I commence, your Honour, there is one matter that I must the correct. I have been helpfully as always reminded by Ms Hollis that a date that I gave yesterday was wrong because it is dealt with in the agreed facts at AD and I think we ought to correct that now before we go any further.

    Do you recall me putting to the witness that the helicopter seized at Jack Springs field was on 13 February. That's not right. It is on or around 14 February. It may not amount to a great deal, but for reasons of accuracy I think we ought to accord the date with the agreed facts.

  • Okay, so the date remains on or about 14 February.

  • That is the date of the seizure of that helicopter.

  • Now, witness, I have been assisted over the break and it may be that when I was asking you about mental illness we were at cross purposes because, as I understand it, in Liberian English mental illness refers to a headache.

  • Are you asking a question, Mr Griffiths?

  • Headache. I had headache.

  • What I am saying is just in terms of the words used if I said to a Liberian, "You've got mental illness" it just means headache, doesn't it?

  • No, what you meant, mental illness, you are telling the individual that they are crazy.

  • I am glad that you understood what I was putting to you because what I was putting to you quite bluntly was that you were crazy, which is the word I am told used by most Liberians to refer to that condition. I just want you to be clear about that. I was suggesting you had gone crazy. Do you understand me now?

  • I was never crazy.

  • Now that we have clarified those two things shall we move on. I was asking you when we adjourned half an hour ago about the trip you made to Nigeria. Now do you agree that you went to Nigeria to visit Mr Taylor with Roland Duoh?

  • Yes.

  • A name we have heard before and so the spelling of it should not cause any difficulty. Now that trip to Nigeria took place during the transitional period after Charles Taylor stood down as president, is that right?

  • And prior to going to visit former President Taylor in Nigeria, you had visited the leader of Guinea, President Conteh, hadn't you?

  • No, from Kalaba before I went to Guinea.

  • You went to Guinea before you went to Kalaba?

  • No, from Kalaba to Guinea.

  • Who did you see in Guinea?

  • I went to the lady Aisha Conneh.

  • What is her position?

  • She was the former wife of Sekou Damate Conneh. It was Roland Duoh and myself.

  • Can you help us with some spellings, please. Could you spell the first name of the female you referred to?

  • I cannot spell Aisha. I can spell Conneh, K-O-N-N-E-H.

  • And the second individual you referred to, could you help us with the spelling of that person's name?

  • You mean Roland Duoh?

  • The husband of this lady.

  • Sekou Conneh, S-E-K-O-U K-O-N-N-E-H.

  • Madam Court Manager, I think the witness needs assistance in some regard.

  • What was the purpose of the visit?

  • It was an ordinary visit. It was not official.

  • Did you not know President Conteh of Guinea from your time with ULIMO?

  • During that same trip we met President Conteh also.

  • So the same trip when you saw the ex-wife of Sekou Conneh?

  • It was during the same trip that we met Lansana Conteh also.

  • What was your purpose in going to see Lansana Conteh, the President of Guinea?

  • We were trying to bring peace. Roland Duoh was one of the trustful fighters from Mr Taylor and also I had been one of the person serving between - as a liaison between ULIMO and NPFL. So we took the decision to meet Mr Taylor in Kalaba and from there we went to Guinea to see Lansana Conteh to make him understand that the war is finished and what will be our mission now, we are working with the DDR, that is the disarmament, the demobilisation, rehabilitation and reintegration. We were now choosing - we were chosen by the interim government in charge that was Gyude Bryant's government to work alongside with the United Nations to make sure the ex-combatants should now understand that the war was over and that they should disarm. That was the message we carried around.

  • This was before the election of the current president of Liberia, Johnson-Sirleaf?

  • We are talking about Gyude Bryant's time and now you are bringing me back to the Johnson time.

  • Now Sekou Konneh was one of the leaders of LURD, is that not right?

  • He was the leader of LURD.

  • Would your Honour give me a moment. Yes I just needed to clarify one or two things.

  • Now this visit to Guinea, Sekou Conneh as you now accept was a former leader of LURD but the other person you mention, Aisha, who was she the daughter of?

  • When she was - I knew her to be the mediator between us and Conteh, before we could see Conteh. That is all I know about her.

  • But she is also Conteh's adopted daughter, isn't she?

  • I never knew her to be an adopted daughter of Lansana Conteh.

  • Is it not the case that she was your way of arranging a meeting with President Conteh?

  • I said we needed her assistance for her to mediate, so she assisted us to see President Conteh so that was what I said.

  • Thank you. So she was the one who arranged that meeting for you?

  • Following that meeting with President Conte, that's when you went to see Mr Taylor in Nigeria, wasn't it?

  • That is not true. I have explained that earlier to you, that when we left Monrovia we went to Ghana, from Ghana we went to Togo and we spent a week with Benjamin Yeaten and Benjamin Yeaten communicated with Mr Taylor. When he sat down on the ground and when I was telling him, I said, "Chief, why are you sitting on the ground?" I said, "When I am communicating with my father it just appears to me as if he is still standing over me." That is why I sat on the ground before I started talking to him. But I said to him, "How will he know you are sitting on the ground or you are sitting on the chair talking to him.?" And then that arrangement was made by Benjamin Yeaten before we left Togo to go to Kalaba to see Mr Taylor. It was from there that we made the trip to Guinea. From Guinea we came back to Monrovia to continue our demobilisation and reintegration program.

  • In any event I am going to leave that topic now. In November 2004 Johnson-Sirleaf was elected President of Liberia, wasn't she?

  • Please repeat that.

  • In November - and I am corrected - 2005 Johnson-Sirleaf was elected President of Liberia, wasn't she?

  • Did you retain any government post after she was elected?

  • I went back into the SSS and up to this moment I am working with the SSS.

  • Truth and nothing but the truth.

  • Did you at any stage leave Liberia to live in Sierra Leone?

  • From the end of - from 2004 and when I was being interviewed by the Special Court they had asked me whether I would be willing to testify. I told them I fear for my life and my family and it was until 2007 when my family was threatened by Roland Duoh, by supporters of the NPFL and that if I was to go to anywhere they wanted me to testify they would need to take my family out of there first.

  • Now it may be my fault so let me clarify it. Did there come a time when you left Liberia to live in Sierra Leone; yes or no?

  • After the election of President Johnson-Sirleaf did there come a time when you left Liberia to live in Sierra Leone?

  • So you have remained living in Liberia until recent times, have you?

  • And you are still employed, are you, as assistant director in the SSS?

  • No, I was - before I left the country I was the resident commander. I was the resident commander for SSS at the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf residence.

  • So did there come a time when you left the country?

  • No, beside that visit I am talking about when I went to Nigeria, I passed through Guinea and I came back. I worked alongside with the United Nations to disarm. We started doing our campaign for the Unity Party and the Unity Party won and they employed us, I went back into the SSS.

  • Between about 2005 and the end of last year have you ever lived in Sierra Leone?

  • Never, never. Never visited even the border.

  • Have you throughout the time you have been in contact with the Office of the Prosecutor until you arrived in The Hague, have you continued to live in West Africa?

  • Is it not the case that you lost your job following the election of Johnson-Sirleaf?

  • I did not lose my job. Up to this moment I still have my ID card and up to this moment I am still working with the SSS. The Special Court - before I left there to come, the Special Court had to go and ask permission from Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in order for her to allow me to come and testify.

  • Very well. I am going to move on to another topic now. We know that on 23 February 2005 you were interviewed by investigators and lawyers from the Office of the Prosecutor for the Special Court in Sierra Leone; that's right, isn't it?

  • It is not in front of me. I am not looking at it. Maybe that was it.

  • Now before we come to look at the bundle of documents that I placed before you - I wonder if that can be supplied to the witness, please. If you turn to page 2 of that bundle this is an 88 page transcript of an interview conducted with you on Wednesday 23 February 2005, an interview which commenced at 10.24 a.m. which is shown on page 00036734 and which concluded at 12.37 p.m. on that same day. Do you recall that interview?

  • Yes.

  • Was that the first interview conducted with you?

  • Prior to that interview on 23 February 2005, had you spoken to anyone attached to the Special Court of Sierra Leone?

  • I spoke to Special Court people for the second time, but I can't recall their names and I can't recall the time, but after that I also spoke to them.

  • The reason why I ask that is this: If we turn to page 1 in that bundle you will see that on 22 February 2005 you were seen by a John Stein, a Michael Gonsalves and prosecutor Chris Santora who has joined us today sitting at the back of the Court. You were seen by those three individuals at Mamba Point hotel in Monrovia, is that right?

  • Yes.

  • You will see that they had travelled to Monrovia, it would appear, on that day. Do you agree?

  • I did not understand that.

  • If you look at the top line, "22 February 22 2005, investigators from the OTP had travelled to Monrovia to conduct interviews with potential witnesses from or associated to Lofa County." Then it goes on to say that you were interviewed, yes?

  • Yes.

  • That page for reference is 00036822. Before we come to deal with the contents of that interview I would like to ask you about one or two preliminary matters, please. Firstly this: In terms of this meeting on the 22nd, who approached who? Did you approach the OTP or did they approach you?

  • They asked me questions and I answered to them.

  • No, no. In order for you to have met them on 22 February somebody had to have initiated the contact. Do you agree?

  • I don't know how they got my contact number. They called me on telephone.

  • Prior to them calling you had you let it be known to them that you wanted to speak to them?

  • They asked me that they wanted to speak to me and then I went to meet them.

  • With respect, my question is different and I will interrupt.

  • Please do desist from interrupting when the witness is answering because we will confuse the record. One person should speak at time for the sake of the record. If you speak over each other's voice the transcribers are confused.

  • I want you to be clear about my question. It is an important point so please think carefully. Before they telephoned you had you indicated to them by any means that you wanted to talk to them?

  • Did it then come as a surprise to you when they telephoned you?

  • And when they telephoned you, were you immediately willing to speak to them?

  • How long did it take before you became willing?

  • Before they had - before they came we had heard information. Roland Duoh called us to a meeting and he said that they have got the information that some people are coming from Freetown from the Special Court. They are coming to convince some people to explain what happened during the term of office of Mr Taylor. And I said before the Special Court got to Monrovia we got the information from Roland Duoh. He called us and informed us that we should be very mindful and we should be very careful, people were coming from Freetown from the Special Court. He said they called him and he switched off his phone because he never wanted to talk to them. They also called Joe Tuah and Joe Tuah was advised to leave Monrovia to go to Nimba and those of us who were in Monrovia, he said we should be very careful. He said these people were coming to get information. That was my only time I got to know that people were coming to find out, to get information about the things that happened during the Taylor time.

  • Now given that, what you have just told us, are you saying that you were initially reluctant to speak to them?

  • I was skeptical. I never knew what their mission was, because the information that Roland Duoh gave us moved most of us into fright. So he said they were calling people on their phones telling them that we are the people working from the Special Court and we want to talk to you, but before that time Roland Duoh had frightened so many people already, so most people were just running helter-skelter, moving from one place to another. And most people in fact changed their SIM cards.

  • So just so that we are clear, it was not you who approached the OTP?

  • It was not me. They contacted me on my mobile phone.

  • Very well. It wasn't because you were broke and you thought you could make some money by selling a false story to the OTP?

  • No, not for that. I was not broke. Mr Taylor left some money with me. I still had it. He left 10,000 United States dollars with me. I still had it. That money was with me.

  • So when we come then - turn over please to page 2. When we come then to the interview which took place on 23 February can we take it that by that date you were willing and happy to speak to the OTP?

  • I was willing.

  • Were you happy to speak to them?

  • I said to you I was willing to speak to them.

  • Let's try my question again, shall we. There is a difference between willingness and happiness?

  • I choose willingness.

  • I asked you about happiness as well. So let me try my question again. Happiness is a simple word. Were you happy to speak to them; yes or no?

  • I said to you I was willing.

  • Do I take it you have no intentions of answering my question?

  • Mr Griffiths, to be fair to the witness happy is not a simple word, especially in the context in which you have used it. I am happy to let you stand there and address the Court. It doesn't mean I am laughing. I think the witness has given you his version of the answer.

  • Very well, your Honour. I won't pursue that any further.

  • Now during the course of that interview was the interview tape recorded?

  • So someone was operating a tape machine and recording your voice?

  • I do not know whether they had a machine, but what I do know, somebody was writing.

  • Well, if there is a tape I have never seen it, but I am sure that we will be enlightened in due course, so let's move on. What did you think the purpose of that interview was?

  • The purpose of that interview was to put the truth what happened and they asked me, "We want you to explain to us exactly what you know about - from the day you were born up to this present, what all you passed through, if you participated in the war up to election, where you worked. We want the entire story of what you have passed through." That is what they told me.

  • Consequently you appreciated from the outset the need to be truthful, did you?

  • I was truthful and I am still truthful.

  • So you have been truthful to the OTP and to this Court throughout, have you?

  • Yes.

  • And everything you told the Office of the Prosecutor throughout those interviews and later interviews, you were always truthful, were you?

  • Now, your Honours, amongst the matters I will be asking this witness about are certain payments that were made to him during the course of his contact with the office of the OTP and it's important that we be in a position to correlate those payments with the dates of the interviews conducted with him. Consequently I have put together a schedule which might be of assistance to us all, which illustrates those facts and I would like copies now please to be distributed, and I do have a copy for my learned friend, to the witness and to the Court so we can follow the chronology of events.

    Now your Honours will quickly see the scheme of this document. In column number one we have the dates upon which this witness was interviewed. In the third column we have the dates upon which payments were made to him and those dates have been taken from a schedule of payments which your Honours will find at the back of the bundle of documents with which I have provided the Court.

  • Would that be tab 13?

  • Yes, it would be, I think. Yes, it is. It is referred to as Special Court of Sierra Leone, all disbursements for witness TF1-406. So the dates in the final column come from that document.

  • Could you turn, please, to page 1 - sorry, page 2 of this bundle. This is the interview conducted on 23 February 2005 and I do not apologise for the fact, witness, that we are going to spend a little time going through this interview. We will see on page 1, at line 26, that, having mentioned where you were born, the fact that you are a Mandingo.

  • Mr Griffiths, for the record could you please refer to the correct page number in your bundle which is page 2 and not page 1. We are looking at page 2, are we not?

  • Yes we are. The reference at the top of the page is 00036734.

  • We see that you were being interviewed by three individuals: Christopher Santora who, as I mentioned, sits at the back of the Court, a Mr Gonsalves and a Mr Stein. Having mentioned where you were born and at line 26 the fact that you are a Mandingo, when we go over the page to page 3 at the bottom, 00036735 at the top, you mention the fact --

  • Madam Court Manager, that's the wrong page you are showing. It is the page previous to that.

  • You mention on that page at line 9 that you were a student in Kakata when the war came, at line 14. You then mention at line 18 the fact that your father's two wives were brutally murdered. They had been put in a private car and set on fire by the NPFL. I have asked you already about that this morning, haven't I?

  • That's true.

  • You told us how you felt about Mr Taylor as a result, yes?

  • I told you that I never had problem with that. That was the will of God.

  • Over the page to page 4 at the bottom, 00036736 at the top, you deal with the various movements you made as a consequence of the offensive launched by the NPFL and, at the bottom of the page, that you had joined the LUDF. That's right, isn't it?

  • Please repeat. Please repeat that question.

  • At the bottom of page 4, 00036736 at the top, you mention the fact that you felt compelled to join the LUDF, don't you?

  • Whether I was compelled to LUDF?

  • Yes, it says that at the bottom of that page, doesn't it?

  • Mr Griffiths, I am sorry to interrupt. I need to ascertain from this witness if he can read English and follow. This is an assumption you make. Mr Witness, can you read English?

  • Are you able to follow this text that the lawyer is taking you through, line by line?

  • You are referring to 29?

  • I am referring to page 4, bottom right-hand corner.

  • Mr Witness, can you answer my question. Are you able to follow this document in English?

  • Mr Griffiths, please proceed.

  • Now do you see at line 26 the words "So the fear was in us so we were compelled to join the militia force, the militia force, yes, LUDF." Do you see that?

  • And you agree that is the case, and I am not dwelling on that, I am just demonstrating the scheme of this interview. We will come to the points of dispute in a minute. When we go over the page to page 5 now, 00036737 at the top --

  • Page 5 at the bottom right-hand corner. Do you see line 16, "I stayed with the LUDF until after six months the force was getting bigger when we changed the name to the name of ULIMO." Do you see that?

  • We have gone over that and I have no purpose in asking you any further questions about that.

    Over the page again please to page 6, at line 5, 00036738 at the top, "After clearing the Sierra Leone border we crossed over into Liberia" and then at line 20, "ULIMO eventually split into two factions", and we have gone over that already, haven't we, witness? We have gone over that already, haven't we?

  • Yes.

  • So again I am not delaying matters. Then at page 7 at line 12 to 14 and again at lines 20 to --

  • Page 7, bottom right-hand corner?

  • No, 7, 7, bottom right-hand corner?

  • 00036730 at the top. I am grateful, your Honour. Commencing at line 12 through 14, picked up again at line 20 through 22, you deal with your employment by Mr Taylor following his election. You agree with that?

  • Yes.

  • When we go over the page to page 8, 00036740 at the top, you see at line 16 the questioner says, "I want to talk about what you saw and heard in terms of Taylor's relationship with the RUF."

  • Now let's just pause there for a minute. Here the questioner was making clear what the objective of the interview was. Do you agree?

  • The objective of the interview, what they told me, they wanted to know from the day I was born up to present.

  • Does it not say here - and this is the first time when the purpose of the interview is being spelt out - "We want to talk to you about what you saw and heard in terms of Taylor's relationship with the RUF." You knew that was the principal reason for them talking to you, didn't you?

  • While they were interviewing me all that came about, but the starting of the interview, they told me they wanted to know from the day I was born up to present. Whilst we were interviewing all that came about later.

  • You knew from near the beginning of this interview that they were primarily interested in President Charles Taylor and his relationship with the RUF. You knew that, didn't you?

  • That is true. I have that information. I told you that Roland Duoh told us that people were coming to interview former combatants.

  • I think I will still take the comment from Ms Hollis.

  • Thank you, your Honour. The objection that I came to my feet to make is that Defence counsel is being argumentative with the witness and is ignoring the fact that from page 2 through to page 7, or up to the time they began to talk about this witness's involvement with Charles Taylor, they talked about his date of birth, personal background, where he went to school, coming to Sierra Leone, becoming part of LUDF and then becoming part of ULIMO. So in fact counsel is ignoring the fact that this background was covered and there is nothing in these first few pages to indicate that he was told a primary purpose of this interview. I believe the question was argumentive.

  • I totally disagree, your Honour, and I am somewhat annoyed that my learned friend has misread my line of questioning in that way. First of all, it is normal practice in any jurisdiction when investigating officers are conducting an interview with an individual that they ask first of all for certain background details, then they make clear what the purpose of the interview is. That is point number 1.

    Point number 2 is I was at pains to go through those first seven pages to make clear that that normal practice had been followed. Now when we get to page 8 we see the questioner setting out the purpose of the interview. So in my submission it was perfectly legitimate for me to ask the witness - that background material having been got out of the way - did he not regard this as being the true purpose of the interview and unless I am stopped from asking that question --

  • Mr Griffiths, this is now a different question you are asking. The question you asked previously was whether the witness was aware of the primary purpose of his interview with OTP and he answered to you - the answer he gave actually was that he learnt the purpose not from OTP, but from Mr Roland Duoh. This is what is on the record.

    Now the issues raised by Ms Hollis are pertinent. There are seven pages prior to the 8th page where the background of the witness, including his role in the war, is covered. That record speaks for itself.

    Now, if you want to rephrase the question in the manner you are now putting it, whether he understood the purpose of the interview as that portrayed in line 16 to 18 of your page 8, that is different. That's a different question.

  • But your Honour --

  • Otherwise I would have to sustain the objection of Ms Hollis. I think she does have a point.

  • Your Honour, at page 70 at line 19 of the LiveNote record, having referred the witness to that passage I said, "You knew from near the beginning" and we are near the beginning. Page 8 of 88, "You knew from near the beginning of this interview that they were primarily interested in President Charles Taylor and the relationship with the RUF." That was my question.

  • And the answer that the witness gave is that he knew this purpose from Roland Duoh who is not part of OTP.

  • That is what the record says, so maybe we can proceed from there.

  • Very well, your Honour.

  • Can we have a look at page 8, please. Page 8, bottom right-hand corner, 00036740 at the top please. Do you have that? Do you see at line 16 this sentence, "I want to talk about what you saw and heard in terms of Taylor's relationship with the RUF." Do you see that?

  • What did you understand by that question?

  • What I understood, they wanted me to give information about what I know that I can explain to them about the line between the RUF and the NPFL, Mr Taylor. That was what I understood from them.

  • Mr Interpreter, did you say the lie between?

  • Can the witness please go over that?

  • Can you repeat your answer, please?

  • Please repeat the question.

  • When the interviewer said to you, "I want to talk about what you saw and heard in terms of Taylor's relationship with the RUF", what did you understand by that?

  • What I understood was that they wanted to get information from me, what I saw and what I know that existed between the RUF and Mr Taylor.

  • And did you appreciate that they were particularly interested in that?

  • The information they needed from me and I gave that to them.

  • Were you aware that they were particularly interested in that topic?

  • I was not located in their hearts, for me to open up their heart to tell what they wanted. They only asked me to questions and then they said if I could assist and then I assisted.

  • If we jump to line 28 on that page we see an answer from you:

    "A. AFRC, when ECOMOG removed them from Freetown, he

    called me to the office.

    Q. Taylor called you to the office?

    A. Yes. He said, 'I want you to try and get Mosquito for


    Do you see that?

  • Yes.

  • So within a few questions of them mentioning, "We want to ask you about Taylor's relationship with the RUF" you immediately mention Taylor wanting you to get Mosquito, don't you?

  • Every question they asked me, if I knew I could assist and that I had information relating to that question, I will do.

  • You agree, don't you, that it must be seconds after they mention what they are looking for from you you mention going to get Mosquito, don't you?

  • That was not the only thing they were looking for. They started from my age, my school days and we passed through a lot of areas before we reached the Sam Bockarie area. So whatever question they asked me and I knew I had information relating to that question, I will assist them by giving them the information.

  • Turn to page 10 at the bottom, please. That's page 00036742. Beginning at line 9 - well, line 8, you deal with the difficulties the government was facing following President Taylor's election because, jumping to line 10, "Everybody didn't give all the arms to ECOMOG. Some people were still hiding gun. Some ULIMO were still hiding guns. Not only ULIMO, all the factions."

  • Yes.

  • "Not only in Lofa County." And you have already told us about that and you agree with all of that, don't you?

  • And when we go over the page to page 10 we see the same theme of disarmament being pursued from line 2 through to line 13?

  • Can you see at line 10 that you mention again Taylor asked you to get Mosquito - no, you are asked again, "Taylor asked you to get Mosquito?" You say yes and you accept it. Is that right?

  • Just to conclude that issue on disarmament, because the interviewer has jumped from topic and back to topics, so if we can deal with things in chapters. If we jump forward to page 41, that is page 00036773 at the top, at line 19 you are reminded that you had earlier mentioned the disarmament process and how the arms were supposed to be turned in. That topic is taken up further on the next page, page 42, 36774 at the top.

  • Yes.

  • You will see at line 28:

    "Q. So Taylor told you to go up to Lofa with money and have people turn in their arms and they won't be troubled, but he would [inaudible] communicate with Sam Bockarie and the RUF to go into Lofa to meet people. The various commanders and soldiers who would be having arms, commanders, but the first thing the government will want to know what is happening in Lofa."

    Do you see that?

  • I see it.

  • Then when we go over the page to page 44 for completeness you will see between lines 15 and 20 mention is made of President Taylor saying he would send money to Mosquito to buy those arms. Do you see that?

  • Pausing there, did President Taylor himself say to you he would send money to Bockarie to buy arms?

  • Let me make this thing clear to you. He said to me, yes.

  • Then when we go over to page 45, 367777, at line 21 you mention getting a lot of ammunition. Over the page, page 46, 36778, line 8, that you had four loads of cars and you brought it to Monrovia and that's the truth, is it?

  • Then at line 23, that those arms had been hidden by Alhaji Koroma?

  • Former leader of ULIMO-K.

  • At page 47, again for completeness, from line 17 to 29 there is references there to taking four loads of pick-ups to Mr Taylor's house in Kongo Town and I am not going to go back over that because that is territory we have covered already. This discussion about continued disarmament continues for the next few pages until on page 51 - turn over to 51, please - at line 26 you deal with the purpose of that disarmament.

    "Charles Taylor wanted for the arms to be out of Lofa. Not to say that the only army was depending to sponsor Mosquito. That's not the arms that he was depending on to sponsor Mosquito. It was just how to get Lofa under control because he didn't want ULIMO to be armed, who have arms. He wanted to control the area so he set up this. He have to involve money how to get it out."

    Pause there, it is right, isn't it, that the strategy involved buying the arms off the former ULIMO fighters?

  • The arms were not bought from the former ULIMO fighters. That was to encourage me as the assistant director of operation and also for senior officer of ULIMO-K, so he gave me that money to take care of whom I will be able to take care of, but he didn't give me the money to go and buy arms. It was for my use. I needed to buy fuel to put it in a vehicle. I used two to three vehicles in the Lofa area. One was in the Kolahun, one was in the Voinjama area. So that was the reason why he was giving me money, so that I will not get problem in doing my job.

  • Now you had said earlier, you see, that Sam Bockarie had been given money to buy arms provided from former ULIMO fighters. That's right, isn't it?

  • Let's now start looking at line 11 on this page, page 52, please.

    "From ULIMO and then this started to happen and there were RUF fighters coming in, Voinjama, Kolahun, Foya, everywhere, with money and with looted goods, money, and besides bringing their money in the ULIMO soldiers were taking their own arm and even going after RUF to look for them."

  • "Q. So the ULIMO fighters would be going to Lofa, even not

    come to you. A lot of people were going in there now with

    their ammunition and their arms to sell it to the RUF?

    A. Yes."

    Pause there?

  • Yes.

  • So help us with this then, which is right: Had Taylor given money to the RUF to buy the ULIMO arms or were ULIMO fighters involved in a little private enterprise selling the weapons to the RUF themselves, which is right?

  • Mr Taylor told me that, "I have given some money to Sam Bockarie to use whoever to assist him buying the arms." I said at that time I met with Zigzag Mazhar who said that he had money that he was taking to Sam Bockarie. He showed me the money and I saw the arms and ammunition in Zigzag Mahzar's car and he said this to me. That was between Foya and Kolahun. And before I moved from Foya I left Sam Bockarie and Benjamin Yeaten together in Foya.

  • We have been over that before. Now let's try my question. Which was right: were ULIMO fighters selling their arms to the RUF?

  • Both is correct. The RUF were buying. At the same time the former ULIMO-K would also take their arms to them for sale.

  • Because when we go back to that page we see this, don't we, line 23:

    "Because it was a good way to make money, yeah? You would get money, or you get diamonds, or that, what would influence you even to get small ammunition. You want to go to Tongo area there, you go in, go get it."

    "Q. So this starts happening after your trip with Mosquito and this goes on for how long?

    "A. Months."

  • Yes, yes.

  • Let us just pause there for a minute and examine that in a little more detail then, shall we? So there is a period of several months, after you collected Bockarie in early 1998, when effectively that Lofa County was totally lawless, wasn't it?

  • There was no control there. That one I agree with.

  • As a result, because none of these combatants were being paid, in order to make money they were busy selling arms and ammunition to the RUF, weren't they?

  • That is also true.

  • So the RUF and ULIMO, even though they had been former enemies, were involved in their own little arms trade, weren't they?

  • During that time.

  • Is that a yes, Mr Witness? Is that a yes to the question asked?

  • He needs to repeat the question because I don't know the time he is referring to because if he says they were selling to RUF, I am referring to 1998. It was not the time that they were fighting against each other. If you are talking about 1998, yes.

  • That is what I am talking about.

  • The period after the Abuja Peace Accord. After that time they were selling arms to the RUF, weren't they, former ULIMO fighters?

  • After Sam Bockarie made several visits to Monrovia, the area I was instructed myself to coordinate that was the RUF and the NPFL area. Since then the business went on.

  • I don't want to be diverted, but I have to take you up on an aspect of your answer. Several visits from Sam Bockarie, where did you get that from?

  • When I took Sam Bockarie to see Mr Taylor, I took him back. Some other time I saw Sam Bockarie in Monrovia when he went to Martina Johnson's house and the other time I saw Sam Bockerie at the Roberts international airport. That was why I said he was up and down and also at the point in time myself when I visited Foya I saw Sam Bockarie and Benjamin Yeaten together, so Sam Bockarie, I can say, was now frequent in Liberia. He was almost like a free man.

  • Very well, so that is your evidence, which brings me nicely onto the topic of Sam Bockarie. Can we go back to page 8, please. Just to remind you, that is where you mention the former president inviting you to the mansion and asking you to get Mosquito for him. When we go over to page 9, 00036741 at the top, you say this at line 2, "He says, 'I want you to try and get Mosquito for me so you can make it?' I say, 'Yes, sir.'

    "Q. He asked you can you make it and you said, 'Yes, sir.' Had you met Mosquito at this point? Did you know who he was?

    "A. I never met Mosquito before.

    "Q. Had Taylor met Mosquito before this time personally?

    "A. Taylor never knew Mosquito before now. They only been communicated on phone."

    Who told you that?

  • The reason is that the secret communication that went on between Sam Bockarie and Joseph Montgomery when I was in Sierra Leone, in Buedu, that was an indication to me that they had been communicating. Also Sam Bockarie made it very clear to me, when I was taking him back, that, "I don't know Mr Taylor and I doesn't know me, but we have been communicating through radio, but you are the person who is now making it possible for me to go and see Mr Taylor, sit with him together and talk one to one, so thank you for your efforts."

  • Don't thank me at all, it is a pleasure.

  • Your Honour, I believe the witness was quoting what Mr Taylor said to him not thanking defence counsel, or what Sam Bockarie said to the witness. I don't believe the witness was thanking defence counsel.

  • Very well. Turn to page 12, please.

  • Mr Interpreter, can I please ask you to be accurate in your interpretation. We are getting disparities between what the witness is saying and what you are interpreting. It is very important that you interpret accurately. If you find that the witness is too fast for you to keep with, by all means say so and then we will try and slow down the witness. Am I clear on this?

  • Yes, your Honours.

  • Can we go to page 12, please, 36744 at the top, line 9, "The very day he gave me the instructions I left that night.

    "Q. That night, who did you take with you?

    "A. Only my driver and my one bodyguard.

    "Q. What were their names?

    "A. Morris Kolahay [phon].

    "Q. Morris Kolahay, okay. Was he the bodyguard?

    "A. Yeah, bodyguard.

    "Q. Who was the driver?

    "A. Crazy.

    "Q. That's alright, is it? Is that alright?"

  • That was his nickname, Crazy, but his full name was Abdulai Koroma.

  • If we look further down the page we see that name there, so I will not delay. Over the page, please, page 13, 36745 at the top, line 19:

    "Q. He didn't give you any documents?

    "A. They were risky?

    "Q. It was risky.

    "A. ECOMOG was sending information that people that escaped from Freetown were coming to Monrovia.

    "Q. So ECOMOG was worried about people escaping from Freetown, from the former junta government coming to Monrovia.

    "A. Yes and also some were arrested, those that took the helicopter from Freetown."

    We have already examined that so I will not delay. Turn to page 15, please, 00036747 at the top, line 10, "I was in uniform". Line 14, "The Executive Mansion uniform, the special security uniform." Then you go on to say that the route you took, at line 19, "I normally travel with. I am aware of both Liberia and Sierra Leone." You agree that you had no problem finding your way.

  • Yes.

  • Then when we go to page 17 you see at the top, page 36749, line 4, you mention going to Kailahun Town. Do you see that?

  • Let us just pause and remind ourselves - let me ask you this: what was the most significant thing that happened when you met Sam Bockarie in Kailahun?

  • When I got to Kailahun, in the central town of Kailahun there were a group of armed men. We could see them on our right. They were taking some people from inside the cell. They were all naked. They had no shirt. They were all tied up with rope. Then I said to myself we cannot pass here, but we stopped there and I sent one of my bodyguards to get one of the fighters who we could get information from and we were so lucky, the person that was contacted was one of Sam Bockarie's bodyguards. He came to me and I asked him. He told me, "Yes, that man you see standing in front of the group there, with the arm in his hand pointing to the people, he is the Sam Bockarie, but now he is busy. You have to wait a little bit. When he is finished I will inform him about you people." I explained to him that we came from Monrovia and I work with the SSS and I had a message for Sam Bockarie.

  • Then Sam Bockarie, on your account, proceeded to shoot five men right in front of your eyes?

  • Yes, sir, these are Kamajors and - go ahead.

  • We are at 17 now. Let us just look at the account you gave to the OTP regarding this, line 4:

    "Q. You went to Kailahun, to Kailahun Town?

    "A. Yes.

    "Q. What, when you I [sic] got to Kailahun, when I get from Kailahun they say, 'Oh, Mosquito was just here and he just left.'

    "Q. He just left? Who told you this?

    "A. The commander in Kailahun.

    "Q. Do you remember his name?

    "A. No, it was the same night.

    "Q. Does the name Augustine Gbao sound familiar to you?

    "A. That name is familiar, but I don't know whether he is the one that talked to me that night.

    "Q. Okay, so that night they explained to you that Mosquito had just left.

    "A. Mmm.

    "Q. And gone to Buedu, okay, to Buedu, so did you proceed to Buedu?

    "A. I proceed to Buedu.

    "Q. Now, are you still with just your vehicle, or did the RUF send people with you?

    "A. No, they didn't send nobody. I know that whole area.

    "Q. Okay, so they let you go on alone.

    "A. Yes.

    "Q. Did they give you any sort of pass?

    "A. No.

    "Q. No paper?

    "A. No. When I get to Buedu they say, 'You can't enter in the town, the master is in the town.'

    "Q. And who was the master?

    "A. Mosquito.

    "Q. Okay, so there was a check point?

    "A. There was the check point. I gave them the information I have to Mosquito from Monrovia, from Charles Taylor.

    "Q. You gave them the information that you had sent for Mosquito from Charles Taylor?

    "A. Yes, they said, 'But you have to disarm yourself.'

    "Q. They asked you to disarm yourself."

    Let us pause there, what is missing from that account?

  • If the document said if I went to Kailahun maybe that is the one. I said when I crossed to Sierra Leone I went to Bomaru, from Bomaru to Baiwala, from Baiwala I went to Pendembu. It was at Pendembu that I got the information when they told me that, from the commander, that Sam Bockarie had just passed. I want that to be made clear, Pendembu.

  • In this account you are dealing with your recollection of what happened in Kailahun. Do you agree that on these two pages: 1, you don't mention meeting Sam Bockarie in Kailahun. Do you agree with that, in the passage I have just read? Yes or no? Do you agree?

  • Please repeat, please repeat that question.

  • In the two pages I have just read, page 17 and 18, do you agree that you do not mention meeting Sam Bockarie in Kailahun?

  • I did not have conversation with Sam Bockarie in Kailahun.

  • Did you not tell us that you saw Sam Bockarie in Kailahun and he executed five Kamajors?

  • I was present when that happened.

  • Why did you not tell that to the investigators when you were describing in this passage what happened in Kailahun? Why didn't you mention that?

  • I mentioned it, but if it is not written then maybe it is their error.

  • We are to blame the investigators because you told them and even though this was being recorded contemporaneously somehow they omitted it from the transcript, is that right?

  • I cannot say yes, or no.

  • But you go even further because in this passage, page 17, line 7, "When I get from Kailahun they say, 'Oh, Mosquito was just here and he just left.'" According to you, you saw him executing people in Kailahun so which is right: Were you told he had just left, or did you see him executing people?

  • The one that is right, the area that they told me that he just - but that was in Pendembu and you are leaving that area out. That took place in Pendembu. I drove from Pendembu to Kailahun before I could see Mosquito demonstrating executing Kamajors.

  • Why did you say in this statement that you were told, when you got to Kailahun, that Mosquito had just left? Why do you say that here?

  • I do not understand what you are saying. I explained what happened and even the document is my writing, which I made clear how things do happen. The one I am just explaining now, just take that.

  • That is why I am asking you about it, you see, because it differs so markedly from the account you are giving us now. What I want you to try and explain to us, please, is why didn't you give the account you are giving us now back on 23 February 2005 when you spoke to the OTP? Why has your account changed?

  • The story has taken a long time. I want you to understand that. Even all what I am explaining now maybe later I will leave from here, something else might happen, will come to my memory. These things have taken almost 18 years now. It is not a day, or one month, or two months issue, so you must please understand with me what I am explaining to you. If I do forget, or leave some part out, if it comes to my memory before I leave from here I will explain it. The way the story happened is the one I am just now explaining, so you can take what I am explaining to you today.

  • I am not accepting it, which is why I am asking you. Why - this was the first time you had met Sam Bockarie, wasn't it?

  • I don't understand that now.

  • Where was the first place that you set eyes on Sam Bockarie?

  • Thank you. On that very first occasion when you saw that man, he shot five people dead right in front of you. How did you forget to tell the OTP about that?

  • I explained that to you earlier. If the story that I left something out and today I mention it because it had taken a long time.

  • Because when we continue on page 18 - because I think the point is now clear. Page 18, 36750 at the top:

    "Q. They took the pistol and they let you proceed?

    "A. No, they said, 'Wait here.'

    "Q. 'Wait here'?

    "A. Yeah, I wait there and they carried the message to him. When they told him who is that they said, 'Somebody came from Monrovia in the uniform to say that Charles Taylor send him to come to see him.' He said, 'Oh, but we took the gun from him?' 'No, no, carries gun back to him.' 'Give his gun back to him. Tell him to come back again and allow him to come.'

    "Q. So they allowed you to come in?

    "A. Yes.

    "Q. Now I want you to explain as you come, in where exactly did you go in Buedu?

    "A. We went to his house.

    "Q. His house? Do you remember his house?

    "A. Yes.

    "Q. When you got to his house did you see who was, who was there at his house?

    "A. The place was heavily deployed.

    "Q. Heavily deployed? Meaning there was a lot of men there?

    "A. Yes, they have weapons in the jeep at the back of the house.

    "Q. There were weapons in the jeep at the back of the house?

    "A. Yes.

    "Q. Was there a gun mounted?

    "A. Yes, an AA mounted on the jeep."

    Pause there, would you now agree, having read through these two and a half pages, that in this account you appear to be suggesting that the first time you met Bockarie was in Buedu not Kailahun? Do you agree?

  • Your Honour, again I am going to have to object to the clarity of this. The witness has testified that he saw Sam Bockarie in Kailahun. He has never testified before this Court that he actually was personally introduced, or met the man. Now he says he went to Buedu and he met him, so I believe that this question is unfairly confusing these two terms: Saw him and met him.

  • Madam, I want to go to the bathroom please.

  • Mr Witness, I think you can be escorted out. I hope this will not take very long because we still have another 25 minutes or so.

  • [Break taken at 12.29 p.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 12.32 p.m.]

  • Sorry to cut you off.