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

  • Please proceed.

  • Your Honour, before I proceed just to inform the Court about the Court's order which was issued yesterday regarding the photograph, we did pass that order to the Freetown investigation section of the OTP and to the evidence section. The evidence section reported that they searched again and did not find the photograph. The investigation section did talk to Mr Cunningham, the investigator who said that he had scanned and returned the photograph to the witness, but he does not have the photograph.

  • Mr Munyard, you had raised this issue in the light of the witness's remarks. You have heard the response from the Prosecution. Is there anything further you wish to say on this subject?

  • I don't think there is anything I can add to the astonishment that I expressed yesterday that any investigator could possibly have handed back an exhibit of this significance to the person who produced it. I would hope that in the future at any rate the vast army of investigators that the Prosecution appear to have down in Freetown, from my observations in April, are instructed to retain original exhibits.

  • Thank you. It is the normal practice. However, Mr Koumjian, you have heard the remarks. There is nothing more I think that can be added to what has been said so we will proceed with the witness's evidence, Mr Koumjian.

  • Good morning, sir. When we left off we had come to the point where your plane had landed in Burkina Faso. After the plane landed, can you tell us where you went?

  • Your Honours, can the witness kindly speak up.

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter needs to hear you clearly. Please speak a little bit louder and maybe come a little closer to the microphones.

  • Yes.

  • Sir, if you could push your seat a little bit closer it also helps with the voice distortion.

  • After we landed, as I said, two vehicles came and one of them there was a general who was introduced to us by General Ibrahim as his boss who was called General Samba. It was just in Ouagadougou, not far from the airport, and he took us to a residence whom - which he said belonged to the Liberian ambassador. That was where we went, because on that very day Eddie Kanneh and Sam Bockarie left us because they had another trip that they were to make. According to Eddie Kanneh he said they were supposed to go to France, he and Sam Bockarie, so they left us there at this residence that I am telling you about. It was not a hotel. It was a house. Most of the guys who prepared food for us at the residence were speaking Liberian languages. So, that was where we were lodged in Ouagadougou.

  • Just to remind us you said Eddie Kanneh and Sam Bockarie did not go to the house with you, so can you tell us which members of the delegation went to the house?

  • General Ibrahim, Colonel Razak, Pa Cisse Musa and I, together with the other people who came to receive us. We were the ones who went to the house.

  • How many nights, if you recall, approximately did you spend at that house?

  • We spent three nights at the house and on the fourth Eddie Kanneh and Sam Bockarie came. Then we went to the store, that too was not far from the house, and I tried to identify some of the arms that I had knowledge about. As I told the Court General Ibrahim himself had vast knowledge on some of the weapons, so together with his contribution we were able to indicate some of the weapons that we could get for us to bring and use on that Panhard and the 40 barrel.

  • Sir, I have a few questions about the answer you just gave, so please concentrate on just these questions. First you said, "Eddie Kanneh and Sam Bockarie came. Then we went to the store." When you say "the store", what do you mean?

  • It was a place that had big doors that rolled up. Those were the stores that we were taken, including the two other personnel whom I said were in Burkinabe army uniform. They were the ones we went with to the store. These were big stores. They were not small stores.

  • Was the place you call --

  • Where the arms were.

  • Was this place that you have called the store, could you tell if that was a civilian location or a military location?

  • It was not a civilian location. It was a military location. The store belonged to the Burkinabe armed forces. It was not a civilian location. Civilians would not just get access to that place, because it had gates and it was well secured with securities around with guns. That was where we drove to.

  • How long did it take you to drive from where you were staying to the place where the weapons were, approximately?

  • It did not take even an hour. They were just short distances. They were all in the city.

  • You said, "We went to the store." Can you tell us now who you remember being with you when you went to the place where the weapons were?

  • I can recall Sam Bockarie, Eddie Kanneh, myself, General Ibrahim and Colonel Isaac - Colonel Razak and those two Burkinabe military officers. I didn't know their names. We went to the store while Pa Cisse Musa and General Ibrahim's boss --

  • Your Honours, the witness has called a name that I would like him to repeat.

  • Pause, Mr Witness, please. The interpreter has not heard a name that you pronounced. Go back please to where you said, "We went to the store with Pa Cisse Musa, General Ibrahim's boss ..." Continue from there and pronounce the names.

  • Yes, myself, Eddie Kanneh, Sam Bockarie, General Ibrahim, Colonel Razak and the two Burkinabe military personnel whom I did not know by name. We went to the store and we were able to identify some of the arms that we needed. As I said General Ibrahim himself had vast experience in arms, so with his contribution we were able to identify some of the arms that we would make use of during - sorry, on the Panhard and the 40 barrel and some RPG7 and some 7.62 millimetres; both NATO and Warsaw type of ammunition.

  • Sir, in your answer when I first asked you to name the people that went with you the transcript has you saying, "Sam Bockarie, Eddie Kanneh, myself, General Ibrahim and Colonel Isaac - Colonel Razak." Are those two people, or was there a Colonel Isaac?

  • No, Colonel Razak. Razak.

  • Mr Koumjian, in that same answer the witness mentioned General Ibrahim's boss. He hasn't taken that any further. I am just curious to know who General Ibrahim's boss was.

  • Can you explain, sir, when you say again today General Ibrahim's boss, who are you speaking of?

  • I am referring to General Samba. He and Papay Cisse Musa stayed at the residence where we were lodged in Ouagadougou.

  • This General Samba that you talked about, what was his nationality?

  • He was a Gambian. I had told the Court that when General Ibrahim told me about him, he told me that he was the man who invaded the Gambia during the '80s under Dauda Jawara's regime. He said he was a personal friend to Papay Sankoh. He was at his house in Ivory Coast.

  • Anything further, your Honours? No:

  • Sir, can you describe as best you can approximately the dimensions - well, let me just ask you can you describe what this place looked like that you called the store inside? What did it look like?

  • It was a warehouse - a very big warehouse - that even vehicles could park in it. It was a very big warehouse; warehouses like those you can see at the airports that even aeroplanes can park in. That was how it looked like. It was divided by apartment. It was a very big warehouse, not a small one. A big store. As I told you, it had gates manned by securities with weapons and sand bags around.

  • You had told us a few moments ago that, "General Ibrahim himself had vast experience, so that with his contribution we were able to identify some of the arms." Can you explain again in a bit of detail what happened when you and General Ibrahim were identifying arms?

  • We were able to identify them and the people who came around who loaded some of the arms - who started loading some of the arms - were military personnel from Burkina Faso. They came and started loading and when they started loading it, the first five trucks that they loaded and the consignment started leaving, that was when myself, Sam Bockarie, Eddie Kanneh, General Ibrahim, Colonel Razak, we drove back to the house where we were and to get prepared because the plane which took us to the place was still parked. It was still parked there waiting and they started transporting the arms to the airport where the plane was parked, so we came back to the house to get prepared.

  • Thank you. I understand from this last answer that while you were at the warehouse they started loading the first five trucks. Can you describe these trucks?

  • Yes, they were military trucks. They were military trucks that were used by the army because all of them had military registration plates. They didn't have any other registration plates. They were all military trucks and all the drivers were in green uniform.

  • So what happened after you left the warehouse?

  • As I said, we went to get ourselves prepared and when we got prepared we were there and after they had finished loading the trucks it was then that we used the same vehicles that General Samba had used earlier, that he used to pick us up. So those were the vehicles we used to go back to the airport and at that time we met, the plane already had started and when we went straightaway we emplaned and it rode through the runway and we left.

  • I want to clarify your movement, sir.

  • I hope that before my learned friend does that we can clarify his last answer which has come up in a very strange way on the screen. We have on the screen - I am looking at page 8 line 24 onwards, "So those were the vehicles we used to go back to the airport and at that time we met, the plane already had started and when we went straightaway we S-N-E-M planed and it rode through the runway and we left." I am afraid I have no idea what he is saying, let alone what the plane did.

  • I heard, but we will have it clarified, "We emplaned which is some sort of technical term I have heard about one other time", but let's get it in plain English, please, Mr Interpreter.

  • Yes, your Honour, the interpreter used "emplaned".

  • Mr Interpreter, what does that mean?

  • To go on board the aircraft, your Honour, E-M-P-L-A-N-E.

  • Sir, I want to make sure that we are clear of your movements. When you left the warehouse where was the next place you went to?

  • We went back to the house where we were lodged to get ourselves prepared.

  • After preparing yourself at the house or the lodge where did you go next?

  • And General Samba informed us that we were to leave. As I said, when we landed in Ouagadougou earlier the same vehicles which we had used, two jeeps that belonged to General Samba were the same jeeps that we used back to go to Ouagadougou while the plane had already been loaded and the engine was warming up and we --

  • I don't want to get any further than - you have answered the question, thank you.

  • Mr Koumjian, the witness yesterday, if I recall mentioned, one Koqwai Samba. Is this the same General Samba that we're talking about?

  • Yes, it is the same General Samba. He was a Gambian who was introduced to us by General Ibrahim or to me, because I never knew him that he was his boss. I am referring to the same person.

  • And is he saying they got on the plane or isn't he? I am sorry to be insistent about this, but "emplaned" is not an expression I am familiar with and I would just like to know in simpler English if that's what he meant.

  • The interpreter explained that "emplane" means to board an aeroplane. That is the interpreter's word, but I will be coming to that later in my examination.

  • Very well. Proceed, Mr Koumjian. If Mr Munyard is still not satisfied he can raise it again in due course.

  • Sir, I want to ask you about something though before you got to the airport. During your stay in Burkina Faso did you learn whether Sam Bockarie met with anyone?

  • As I told you, when we landed in Burkina Faso Sam Bockarie and Eddie Kanneh - because Eddie Kanneh had already told me that they had a trip to France that Mosquito was to go and buy a house in France, so I don't know if he met with any other person other than General Sania Samba because he met us there when he went for us at the airport. That was when General Ibrahim introduced him to me as his boss, but I don't know if he met with any other person. But apart from the fact that Eddie Kanneh told me that General Sam Bockarie and he were to go and meet with the President, I don't know whether he met with him at all because I was not there and it never happened in my presence. I am telling the Court what I know or what I witnessed.

  • Just to be clear, when you said, "Eddie Kanneh told me that General Sam Bockarie and he were to go and meet with the President", which President are you speaking about? The President of which country?

  • I was referring to the President of Burkina Faso, that was Blaise Compaore.

  • If I understand your answer you are saying you never saw the President of Burkina Faso yourself, is that correct?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • Did you learn, or did anyone tell you whether or not Sam Bockarie had met with the President of Burkina Faso?

  • That was Eddie Kanneh who told me. I discussed some more with him. As I told the Court he was a comrade officer so I felt freer to talk to him, so he was the one who gave me that information.

  • Did Eddie Kanneh indicate to you how he knew about a meeting between Sam Bockarie and the President of Burkina Faso?

  • As I told you earlier, Sam Bockarie could not speak French, but Eddie Kanneh spoke very good French, so he was the one who interpreted for Sam Bockarie. When Sam Bockarie would be talking he would be interpreting into French because Sam Bockarie could not speak French. That is what I know.

  • Did Eddie Kanneh tell you when this meeting took place? Was it during your trip, or was it another time?

  • He said before they were to leave for France. As I told you, after General Samba had spoken they drove off with another vehicle. Except after those three days that they returned that I saw Eddie Kanneh and Sam Bock and we went and identified the arms in the store that I told you about. That's all that I know.

  • Madam President, my learned friend just asked this witness, "Did Eddie Kanneh tell you when this meeting took place?" He has already said he didn't know whether any such meeting took place. I don't want questions asked that appear to be pushing the witness in a particular direction. They are known as leading questions.

  • Mr Koumjian, it is a valid point. I don't know what meeting you are actually referring to, but if it relates back to the answer that he was not aware whether they met the President then you should not lead the witness.

  • Your Honour, in response the witness indicated he was not present during any meeting. On my LiveNote page 12, line 2, I asked: "Did you learn or did anyone tell you whether or not Sam Bockarie had met with the President of Burkina Faso?" The answer was: "That was Eddie Kanneh who told me. I discussed some more with him". To me that indicated that there was a meeting. Then when I asked him "Did Eddie Kanneh indicate how he knew about a meeting", he said, "As I told you earlier Sam Bockarie could not speak French, but Eddie Kanneh spoke very good French, so he was the one who interpreted for Sam Bockarie when Sam Bockarie would be talking".

  • I found both those answers very inconclusive. He said they discussed, I don't know what, because he trusted Eddie Kanneh, but to me it did not convey a clear message that there was or there was not a meeting, or he had been told that there was or there was not a meeting.

  • Reading the answers I agree that there is ambiguity.

  • Sir, just tell us what you remember. Please, I do not in any way want you to - just a second. Did Eddie Kanneh indicate to you whether or not there was a meeting? Do you recall now whether Eddie Kanneh indicated to you whether or not there was a meeting between Sam Bockarie and the President of Burkina Faso?

  • Yes, as I said, Eddie Kanneh told me that they were to have the meeting before he and Sam Bockarie were to leave for France and they drove off. But I don't want to say things that I was not present, but Eddie Kanneh told me that they had the meeting with Blaise.

  • Do you recall anything Eddie Kanneh told you about what occurred at meeting? Let me strike that. Let me ask you: Did Eddie Kanneh tell you anything about what was said at the meeting?

  • No, he only told me that the President was the host and he was the one they had the meeting with before they left, he and Sam Bockarie, to go to France, but I was not present when they had the meeting, but he told me that they had the meeting.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. When you got to the airport can you describe what you saw at the airport in Burkina Faso after coming from the lodge to the airport?

  • When you say "the lodge" you mean the ambassador's residence?

  • Thank you, your Honour.

  • We came back to the airport when we left the lodge. The first movement we made was to go to the warehouse where we identified the ammunition and we returned to the ambassador's residence again where we received a message that we were to get ready to go back to the airport. When we got to the airport we were driven to the runway because we were treated as executives and we went on board the flight and the flight rode on the runway and went back to Monrovia.

  • When you got to the airport was there anything around your plane?

  • Well, except the vehicles who - except the vehicles which had steps, that had ladders that we used to climb up and when we left they reversed and they went back.

  • Thank you. Was there anything already on the plane when you got inside?

  • Yes, they had already loaded. As I told the Court earlier, most of the seats after we had - they had loaded in the places that were meant for cargo we used the seats too to pack because we were not many. So, all the empty seats we used to pack the boxes somewhere down where the feet should be. That is just it.

  • You told us that six of you had gone on the trip from Liberia to Burkina Faso. Who returned on this trip?

  • All six of us returned.

  • What time of day was it when you got to the plane at the airfield in Burkina Faso for the return trip?

  • What do you mean?

  • Was it day time or night time when you got to the plane to go back to Liberia?

  • It was day time.

  • Was it morning, or afternoon?

  • Well it was around 11, because we landed in Liberia in the afternoon.

  • Thank you. When you - by the way, did you see the pilots on the plane on the way back?

  • The same pilots who flew us to come were the same pilots who flew us back to Liberia.

  • Thank you. And just to clarify something, were they staying where you were staying at the ambassador's residence?

  • Earlier I told the Court that when we arrived we alighted and we went to the ambassador's place. I don't know where the pilots stayed. They stayed at the airfield. It was a special plane.

  • Thank you, sir. When you landed in Liberia - I am sorry, I may be assuming something you haven't testified to yet. Where did the plane go from Burkina Faso?

  • We returned to Liberia. It did not go anywhere else.

  • Where did you land?

  • At Roberts airfield.

  • Please describe what happened when the plane landed?

  • When the plane landed we stayed in the plane for a long time - for some time - and one of the pilots came and opened the side door, but later I saw him close it again. We were in the plane sitting. Everybody was looking at each other. That was when I realised that the ECOMOG who were at the airfield were coming close to the plane, because when I peeped out of the window that was what I saw. So then I concluded that that could have been the reason why the pilot closed the doors again, and we were there for some time until I started seeing other vehicles coming with Liberian security personnel, the SSS. Vehicles were bringing them and they will alight the vehicles, the vehicles will go back and bring some more people, so I saw that their number - that they outnumbered the ECOMOG personnel who were at the airfield.

    Before the plane could open, but it did not open again at the side as it did before, I can recall Zigzag Marzah drove a vehicle, a Honda vehicle, and came and somebody else drove a jeep and came under the plane, and at the back of the plane they released a step that touched the runway and it was from the back of the plane that the first person that came out used. Cisse Musa, he was the first person, and from that General Ibrahim followed and then I too went out. As we were getting out - as I got out I went into the vehicle straight off that Marzah had brought, and Razak too came out and went into the vehicle that Marzah had brought and Eddie Kanneh too went out and went into Marzah 's vehicle while the other people - I mean the other three people, Sam Bockarie, Cisse Musa and General Ibrahim, were sitting in the other jeep that was driven by another man, but Chucky was in front of that jeep and so we drove off from the airfield direct to the mansion to Cisse Musa's office.

  • In your answer you said that, "Sam Bockarie, Cisse Musa, General Ibrahim were sitting in the other jeep that was also driven by another man, but Chucky was in front of that jeep." Who was Chucky?

  • Chucky was the commander for the men who came and he was the son of President Charles Taylor.

  • When you say you then drove off to the mansion, can you tell us clearly which place are you talking about when you say "the mansion"?

  • That was the office of the President. We drove there while Razak and I went to Cisse Musa's office in his waiting room and Cisse Musa, General Ibrahim, Sam Bockarie and Eddie Kanneh went and said they were going to see the President.

  • Just a couple of questions back at the Roberts airfield. When you left, were all of the items that you brought on the plane still on the plane?

  • Yes, they were there.

  • You talked about SSS security arriving at the airfield. When you left did the security remain, or did it all go with you?

  • The securities left with the plane, with the pilot.

  • Just to clarify, I am not sure what you mean when you say --

  • Mr Koumjian, before you leave the topic of this journey from Burkina - to Burkina and back, could you give us a time frame, please.

  • Mr Witness, you told us earlier that when you were in Monrovia before your arrest you heard about what you called the 6 January incident in Freetown, correct?

  • The 6 January incident, that has gone past long ago.

  • The question is if you - you have also talked to us about or mentioned the Lome Peace Accord which it is a --

  • Sorry, Mr Witness, please wait for the question.

  • I am just trying to assist you with the dates, so please listen to what I am saying. It is a fact that this Court has found that the Lome Peace Accord --

  • Well before my learned friend proceeds, he has done this on a number of occasions. The facts found by the Court are for the Court. They are not facts published to witnesses and a witness should not be given information that the witness may not know. The fact found by the Court is, as I say, a matter that the Court takes in effect judicial notice of. It doesn't mean that witnesses are then fed that information.

  • Mr Koumjian, why can't you just straightforwardly ask this witness when he went, when this trip took place, and see what the answer may be?

  • Because, your Honour, what I would be doing is asking this witness, who I believe is not very good about dates, to give us a date almost a decade ago and then I think we could confuse the record. I would much rather the witness be given some parameters where he can place a date based upon events that he is aware of. I think that that assists the Court in finding the truth, rather than have people who are not checking their calendars every day try to come up with a date that happened almost a decade ago.

  • This witness gave a specific date of a specific month of a specific year at the beginning of his evidence. He is patently capable of remembering specific dates when he wants to.

  • Mr Koumjian, we cannot assume, as you seem to be doing, that the witness cannot remember unless it is put to him in a straightforward manner and he is asked. I am not prepared to accept that he cannot remember unless I hear it from him.

  • Your Honour, if I may reply because the Defence just replied without permission. May I?

  • Yes.

  • Yes. We believe that this assists the Court in determining the truth. We are trying to give witnesses some guidepost of dates that are known by all parties that are fixed that we know when they occurred. It will only assist the Court in making sure the witnesses have a better idea of placing a date, rather than coming up with a date almost a decade ago for people who may not be very good at doing that.

  • Mr Koumjian, you are still saying "he may not". He may be this, he may be that, I don't know. That is the first thing. Secondly, you are verging on leading him in some of the ways you are putting these time parameters as you refer to them. Let us first ascertain whether he remembers and after that we will know whether he does in fact remember, or he does not remember.

  • Sir, how long after you heard Sam Bockarie talk on the BBC about the 6 January incident do you think it was that you took this trip to Burkina Faso?

  • 6 January had gone past long ago. I didn't want you to be bringing me back. 6 January had passed long ago. It was after 6 January, long after that. It was about the second phase that Benjamin Yeachen discussed with me that the second phase was for us to try and gain grounds. That was everywhere where ECOMOG was we were to try and push them from those places. 6 January had passed long ago before that could happen even.

  • Mr Witness, this is very simple. All the judges want to know is this trip you have described that you went to Burkina Faso, can you remember the year or the month when you went to Burkina Faso?

  • It was around March. March, around March.

  • Which year? It can't have been 1999. Was it 1999, or 2000?

  • It was in 1999. It was not in 2000.

  • So it was around March 1999, you think?

  • Sir, just to follow up to make sure of something based on the questions from the Bench, Her Honour's question. Just so we are sure, did this trip to Burkina Faso occur before or after the Lome peace was signed?

  • No, before. Before the Lome peace.

  • And, your Honours, I would just for reference ask your Honours to consider this evidence in light of the report of the commission of experts testified to by the first witness and I believe it is paragraph 211 which discussed certain dates of certain flights:

  • You said that you went to the mansion which you said was the office of the President. What happened when you got there?

  • Well, as I said, Colonel Razak and I were waiting in the protocol officer's office while General Sam Bockarie, General Ibrahim, Pa Cisse Musa, Eddie Kanneh had gone to the President's office. I don't know what they discussed there, but when they left there Pa Cisse Musa told me that he was - that I was to expect some money that they should give to me because I had told him that if I got that money --

  • Mr Witness, please proceed. I just wanted the interpreter to catch up with you.

  • I was expecting that if I got that money I should use it to take my family to Liberia to be with me there, because Cisse Musa had assured me that I would be with them and he will take me as his son and I will work with the Liberian Government. He really gave me that assurance, but the amount of money that I expected was not given to me at that moment. He only gave me some amount, about 2,000 dollars, and we drove to his house where I was.

  • I suppose these would be Liberian dollars?

  • No, it was US dollars. I was expecting an amount of money that he had already promised to give to me and that was about 20,000 US dollars and after the trip he did not give me that amount of money any more. He gave me 2,000 dollars and advised me to go to the house and get my luggage and wait until further notice.

  • The money that was given to you you said was about 2,000 US dollars. What currency was it in?

  • They were US dollars in 100 dollar bills. That was what he gave to me.

  • When you say you went back to the house, which house did you go back to?

  • I went back to Cisse Musa's house. Then in the evening hours he came home, he brought with him a Land Rover Discovery and he told me that that Land Rover Discovery was from His Excellency and that was what I would be using. As long as I will be working with them that will be the vehicle I will be using.

  • When you say "His Excellency", who are you talking about?

  • I am referring to President Charles Taylor.

  • What did you do with the money that Cisse Musa gave you?

  • Well, I got dressed up. As I told you, Zigzag Marzah had now become a personal friend and I gave him some amount and Memuna too at the house, I gave her some money and I used the remaining at times for - even though they used to give me fuel, but there were times I bought fuel for myself for the time that I was with Cisse Musa.

  • The money that Cisse Musa gave you, did you understand it to be his own money, Cisse Musa's money?

  • No. Cisse Musa told me plainly that it was from His Excellency that he got the money for me. He made that known to me and he told me that with time the money he had promised me, I would get it. Because I told him that because of the encouragement he had given to me I would need that money to bring my family to Monrovia, because if my family was with me I will be able to work with them peacefully, because if my family were in Sierra Leone and they did not know anything about me, I was in Liberia, it wouldn't have been good.

  • Go back to the plane which you said was at the airfield when you drove off and went to the mansion. Do you know what happened to what was being carried on the plane?

  • As I told you, some of the ammunition that we went for were in the plane. I was concerned, so I asked. I asked Cisse Musa about the consignment in the plane and I said, "What about them?" He said that ECOMOG had left the plane and the plane had been off-loaded, because I was concerned and I was asking about the consignment in the plane.

  • When you say the plane had been off-loaded or when Cisse Musa told you that, did you find out or understand where this ammunition went to?

  • As I told this Court, my situation was a little delicate. I had to be very careful. There was no need for me to be finding out. That man had moved especially for those ammunitions, so I didn't bother to ask him again. As he said that I knew, yes, that would be correct, they must have off-loaded the plane.

  • Sir, what did you do then after returning from --

  • Mr Koumjian, who was that man that he is referring to? He said, "That man had moved especially".

  • Mr Witness, in your answer you said, "There was no need for me to be finding out. That man had moved especially for those ammunitions, so I didn't bother to ask him again." Who is "that man" you were referring to?

  • I said the man I am referring to is Cisse Musa. The protocol officer was a senior man. There was no need for me to ask him, because I knew we had gone for those ammunitions for a purpose, so there was no need for me to confirm again to tell him just what you've asked me. I took him by his word because I was working for him.

  • So, Mr Witness, what did you do after you returned from this trip to Burkina Faso?

  • As I said, I was at Cisse Musa's house where Memuna was. I was together with him. But most of the times I used to move around with Zigzag Marzah and we will come to Benjamin and we will be at Benjamin's, from there we would ride off and we would go to Zigzag Marzah. It was like that, up and down, moving up and down, because I still expected that I will get that money that Cisse Musa had promised so that my family would come and join me because I was concerned about that, because I wanted my family to come and stay with me in Liberia so I would work effectively if my family were with me.

  • What happened to you then?

  • Well, Marzah observed that I used to ask him many times about how my family would come. I was very concerned about how my family would come and how I will get the money, but I can recall one day when he called me and said, [redacted], and I said, "Yes, sir" and he said, "I want to give you an advice. I want you to forget about this" --

  • Pause for a moment. There has been a name mentioned.

  • Thank you, your Honour. If that can be stricken - if the Court can order that be stricken and the video feed also edited.

  • Mr Munyard, you have noted what was said.

  • Yes. I have no comment.

  • Excuse me, edited. May that be redacted from the public transcript and redacted from the video.

  • Please have the name redacted that the witness said. Mr Witness, I must remind you that you must be careful in mentioning your own, relatives' or other names that could identify you.

  • Very good. Please proceed with your answer. We will take care of this.

  • He said, "I would want to advise you to forget about that and any time Benjamin would call you and ask you, just tell him that you want to go to Sierra Leone and organise your artillery men that you had spoken about and that you want to go and fight alongside your men. I think that will help you other than asking here for money for your family to be brought to Monrovia. I would want to give you this piece of advise." Indeed after two weeks - two weeks after we had come from Burkina was when he gave me that piece of advice and I took to his advice. So when Benjamin called me, I can recall it was one afternoon, just like how Marzah had advised me, that was what I did. I told him that I would want to come and organise my artillery men and to come to Sierra Leone to see --

  • Sir, you said --

  • Mr Koumjian, just before you go to your next question I want to make sure that the redaction has been properly recorded as it may not have been properly ordered. I have indicated that the draft should be made. However, for purposes of record I will note that the name mentioned has to be redacted. The order is on its way.

  • Perhaps to help those doing the redaction I believe that answer begins - the question was, "What happened to you then?" It begins, "Well, Marzah observed that ..."

  • Continue with your questions, Mr Koumjian.

  • Sir, I just wanted you to clarify when you said, "I can recall it was one afternoon, just how Marzah advised me, that was what I did. I told him that I would want to come and organise my military men." Who did you say that to?

  • That was Mr Benjamin. He called me one afternoon and he asked me what was happening since I have been around, and then like Colonel Marzah had advised me I told him that I would want to go and organise my artillery men who were in the army together with me and who were on the other side and that I will want to go and see Johnny Paul because he was my boss. In response he told me that I shouldn't be worried about that and that on Master's arrival, that is Mosquito, he will tell him and that on his return to Sierra Leone he will go with me to Buedu.

  • What happened to you then?

  • Then within those few days Colonel Marzah allowed me to go back on the radio that was in Benjamin Yeachen's place and Colonel Marzah called on the radio and he got a commander who was in Sierra Leone by the name of Colonel Tito. He came over the air and they started discussing. Colonel Tito responded that he told Colonel Marzah that they had been monitoring the VHF radios regarding all the communications having to do with me and that they were always waiting to know what was going to be the outcome. He said they knew that that was the same allegation they had made against Moses Kabia, whom I referred to as Rambo, who was the chief security to Johnny Paul, and they ended up killing him in Liberia. And that it did not just stop there and that if they were to do the same mistake in assassinating me everything would have taken to the wrong side, because they will not be in good terms any longer and they will not take anything from their own side and their cooperation will be in problem. He was saying that it was better they did not take that decision and Colonel Marzah told him that - I am standing right by him the moment he was talking and that nothing was wrong with me and that very soon I will tell his boss that I will want to go back to Sierra Leone to fight alongside my men. He said he believed that that will happen as soon as Sam Bockarie will arrive in Liberia.

  • Mr Witness, Tito - the person you called Colonel Tito - who was he?

  • Colonel Tito was an SLA.

  • Do you know where he was when this radio conversation was taking place?

  • Yes, he was around Magbeni.

  • Thank you. You said that he said they had been monitoring. What do you mean by monitoring?

  • On the VHF. We always had a standby set that was stationed to monitor the various frequencies about how operations were going on and it was always there to monitor any frequency that was on the air. They would tune it on to pick up information that they would act on accordingly. So, it was from those radios that Tito told him that they had been monitoring all the conversations that had been going on.

  • So, Mr Witness, what happened after this radio conversation?

  • Well the following day it was in the morning hours, around 1 something in the morning, when Colonel Marzah went to Cisse Musa's house where I was and he called me and told me that I should pack up my luggage and that General Sam Bockarie had arrived. He asked me to pack up my luggage and I went inside and started packing, but as I was coming outside with my properties he told me that the properties were plenty and he said he was advising me to just take a few of them and just dress up and take one or two things with me. He was advising me to hand over the remaining to him so that he will keep them for me, and that when I arrive I should call him over the radio and sometimes when Sam Bockarie would not be coming to Monrovia he will send Victor Kemoh and when Victor Kemoh arrived he will give - hand over the properties to him for him to take them over to me in Buedu.

    So we drove and went to Benjamin Yeachen's place, that is at the back of White Flower, and when we went there I met Sam Bockarie there and he had brought the same trucks that I had mentioned earlier, the Leyland trucks and his jeep. By the time we arrived there, they had already loaded the three Leyland trucks with arms and ammunition. He welcomed me, we greeted and we started discussing and he advised me to board his own Land Cruiser - that is what he was using, that was a black Land Cruiser - and on that particular day Sam Bockarie was dressed in an American camouflage uniform with a red beret. So I boarded the Land Cruiser and I told all the men who were around the place, I bid them farewell and then we drove off to Sierra Leone.

  • You said that they had already loaded the three Leyland trucks with arms and ammunition. Did you see from where they obtained the arms and ammunition to load the trucks?

  • It was the store that was at Benjamin's house, at the back of the house, the same store I have spoken about earlier. It was from that same store that they took out the arms and loaded the trucks, but amongst the trucks there were equipment used in gymnastic that were - there was gymnastic equipment used for exercise and some drums of fuel and diesel. Petrol and diesel.

  • Sir, on this trip that you spoke about, you said yourself and Sam Bockarie. Do you recall anyone else who was with you on that trip?

  • Yes, I can recall. On our way coming, that was going to 3 am in the morning, he stopped at an area where we collected the wife of the first accused in the AFRC case, that is Tamba Brima's wife, that is Margaret, and we also collected the second accused's wife, Ibrahim Bazzy's wife, Anifa, and they also went on board the same jeep because they were also trying to reach their husbands inside, so we all drove off.

    I can recall also that on our way coming we drove for the whole of the night until the morning hours and we got to a point where one amongst the Leyland trucks had - the Leyland trucks broke down and when it broke down the entire convoy stopped there for the moment. When the Leyland truck broke down there was a driver, an SLA driver, who was called Jalloh, he was driving one of the trucks, and when the truck broke down we all alighted and Sam Bockarie decided to install a radio because he always moved around with a VHF radio.

    He called the commander who was based in Foya. That is Colonel Fayia. He called him and explained to him that one amongst our trucks loaded has got a broke down, and he responded that he was going to send one of the AFL trucks that he was using around the border area so that all the equipment that were loaded on board the truck, the truck that had broken down, will be transferred and he responded to that.

    So, as we were waiting I can't actually tell what happened. Sam Bockarie became angry with me. He called me and told me that if I did not die in Liberia I will die in Sierra Leone and he said he was going to shoot me. He took out his revolver pistol. He had a big revolver pistol that he was using. He loaded it with the rounds and he cocked it and he started using some words that, "You, the SLA guys, you are trying to sabotage our operation. You are trying to sabotage the operation", and that if I did not die in Liberia he is now going to kill me. If Zigzag Marzah did not kill me, he is going to kill me. So I was in shock, I was overwhelmed by doubt and then I said to him, "General, if you decide to just kill me like that, innocently, it will not be good, but as far as I am concerned you can see the efforts that I have made. I have willingly travelled with you and I have come also willingly to fight alongside you and my own men. So, I don't think I have gone against your operations." But he insisted that he was going to shoot me, but by the grace of God we travelled with some of the SSS and amongst them there were two. One was called Colonel Jungle and the other Colonel Sampson and together with his own bodyguards, I am talking about Major JR and Major Foday, and Major JR told him, "Master", that is he was referring to General Sam Bockarie, he told him, "Please, sir, I don't want you to shoot at this man". He said, "This man is a very nice man. At the time we went to Freetown he was working at the defence and when we were there he was nice to me". And that, "At the stage where we are now in the war this man will be very useful, so for that reason I am advising that you don't shoot at this man".

    But Sam Bockarie still insisted that he was going to gun me down. But, by the grace of God, Colonel Sampson and Colonel Jungle, they were SS members, they were always with Mosquito, they represented the Liberian Government. Colonel Jungle got up and told him that, "Master, I don't want you to shoot at this man". And then they came and rid him of the weapon and I was now standing there in fear and Colonel Jungle even said to me that Sam Bockarie had already received an instruction from President Ghankay Taylor about my issue and that he was not going to kill me, but I did not actually believe.

    But we were there and I realised that he was not going to shoot at me again because he had already been disarmed of the weapon and the truck that was sent for us by Colonel Tengbeh arrived and we transferred all the ammunition into that truck and then we continued our travel. We travelled for the whole night because the road condition was appalling. We travelled for a long period of time and finally we got to Buedu at General Sam Bockarie's headquarters.

    When we got to Buedu, whilst everybody was alighting from the vehicle and just as I alighted General --

  • Excuse me, your Honours, I raised my hand to stop the witness:

  • Witness, I want to ask you just one or two questions about this journey before we get to Buedu. First of all, did you have any kinds of radios on the journey, any kind of radio?

  • Yes, it was the VHF radio. Sam Bockarie always had one with him when he moved around so that at any time he will be able to establish communication.

  • Was there any regular commercial radio, AM/FM radio?

  • No, that VHF radio was a very powerful radio. If you wanted to listen to commercial radio you will be able to tune it to that station and I recall that there was a point in time that he tuned to the BBC and when the BBC came over air saying that the Sierra Leone Government had agreed to release Foday Sankoh from Pademba Road Prison and that even though they had passed death sentence on him, that there had been people who decided to serve as mediators, like President Eyadema, that he had agreed to serve as a mediator through his foreign minister so that they will be able to establish a peace talk. I recall that that happened that particular day.

    I think that was one of the reasons why Sam Bockarie had to calm down and I heard him that he started saying that if Tejan Kabbah said he was not ready to discuss with them, he will force him to accept to go to the table to discuss with them. I recall that. I think all of those things helped to calm him down and the VHF radio was on and it was when Colonel Tengbeh sent the other truck for us to transfer the goods that were on board the broken down truck, for us to transfer it over to the other truck, and some of the same people to come and repair the broken down truck and we left it there, then we moved.

    I also recall that immediately we got to Buedu Sam Bockarie called an SLA who was called Junior Marvin. He was a colonel. He called him and said, "Marvin", then he came. He said - he told him, "Take this man to the MP, hand him over to his provost marshal".

  • Try to limit your answer to my question and then I will ask you the next question. This broadcast that you said was from the BBC about Foday Sankoh being released for peace talks, where were you when you heard that broadcast? Do you recall approximately?

  • It was at the same point that I had made mention of, that was in Liberia whilst we were on his way coming to Sierra Leone that Sam Bockarie wanted to gun me down. It was at that same point.

  • Was it before Sam Bockarie was pointing the gun at you, or cocking the gun, or after, or during that time?

  • Well, they had spoken to him already, but at that time he had already established the VHF set. He had passed all the connections and he had established a communication and it was during that tuning that he tuned to the BBC channel. That was during the 3.05.

  • Sir, we don't understand what you mean when you say, "During the 3.05". Can you explain that?

  • I am talking about the 3.05 BBC Focus on Africa, 3.05. That is five after 3 o'clock, BBC Focus on Africa. It was over that particular news that we heard that.

  • How do you remember the time of the broadcast was five after 3 exactly? How do you remember that now?

  • You know that when the BBC Focus comes on the reporter will give the time. He normally gives the time 5.05, but at that time he gave the time that it was 3.05. That is what I recall.

  • Does the Focus on Africa programme, or did it at that time come on at different times during the day, or the same times during the day each day?

  • No, it comes sometimes at 3.05 then sometimes five after 5.

  • On this trip do you recall approximately how many people in total there were with you on the trip?

  • Like I said, Sam Bockarie's men like Major Foday, Major JR, Major Victor Kemoh and the two SS - one amongst them Colonel Sampson and the other Colonel Jungle, they were representing the Liberian Government. They were all present including the first AFRC accused and second accused's wives, Margaret and Anifa. They were also present together with the drivers.

  • Okay, Mr Witness, I didn't ask you to name them. I am just asking you for a total. Are you saying that these are the only people that were on the trip that you can recall, or were there others also?

  • There were some other people, but those are the ones that I recall because the others were just guards who were in the vehicles to guard the ammunition.

  • Can you tell us then approximately how many people in total, just give us a number or a range of numbers if you can?

  • I am unable to do that. I can't recall. I don't want to say something in this Court that I don't know about and something that I'm not sure about.

  • Thank you. Mr Witness, when you got to Buedu now please tell us what happened when you arrived?

  • Just as we arrived in Buedu and we alighted the vehicles it was at that time that General Sam Bockarie called on one of the SLAs who was Colonel Junior Marvin. He called him immediately and ordered him to take me to the provost master and that was Colonel Kaisuku and he said he should hand him over to him immediately and he carried out the order. He took me to the provost marshal at the MP and when I got there the provost marshal said they should put me in the dungeon. When I say dungeon, I mean a hole that was dug. It was underground and it had a zinc cover on top of it and it was in there that I was placed.

    But I met people in there. I met Fayia Musa in there, I met Dr Jalloh, I met Palmer and I met a lady whom they said was Foday Sankoh's wife. I met them in the hole. I was crying by then. One amongst the people who were in the hole, Palmer, advised me, saying that, "Oh, my friend don't start crying here. In here people don't cry. You are better off because you are just coming in here. I have been here for years. So all I will advise you is for you to shut up and then patient, you wait and see what is going to happen". But I refused.

    I was there for four days. Within those four days another SLA who was called honourable Adams, he came from his deployment area in the east, from the Joru jungle. He came to the MP office and he was talking. I was in the hole and I was able to pick him up by his voice, so from there I shouted his name and when I shouted his name he responded and asked, "Who is that shouting my name like that?" And I told him that I am the one and I explained myself. I said, "Please, I have spent a very long time in this struggle. Master brought me from Liberia with the hope that I have got my freedom, but it turned round to the other way. But, please, I am asking you if you know where Johnny Paul is I would want you to go and explain my situation to him. Maybe with his intervention things will be better off for me". Then he said okay and he went.

  • Your Honours, I believe the transcript at one point I am sure it will be corrected when the tape is listened to, it was "Maja Musa" instead of Fayia. The interpreter said Fayia Musa in discussing the persons that were in the dungeon when he arrived.

  • The other name is Kaisuku.

  • Yes. Our spelling is K-A-I-S-U-K-U, one word:

  • So after your conversation with Adams, what happened then?

  • Adams conveyed my message to Johnny Paul and the following day I overheard somebody shouting, knocking at the doors of the MPs and asking for me, and then I also shouted and answered to him and I told him that I was in the hole, in the dungeon. So there was one Major Tom Sandy who was also a military police, I later realised that he was the one asking for me, so he opened the dungeon and he asked me to come out of the dungeon. He said Mosquito was outside waiting on me, so I came out and indeed when I went outside I saw Mosquito.

    He advised them - because by then I had been stripped naked. He advised them to return my wearings to me for me to wear to dress up, so I dressed up and he told me that we should go to Johnny Paul. At that time Johnny Paul was based in Kangama, which was about three miles away from Buedu, Mosquito's defence headquarters. He said Johnny Paul asked that we go and see him.

    They were using the Pajero that I have made mention of, that was what he was using together with Eddie Kanneh in Monrovia, and in that Pajero the late SFY Koroma's wife, when I said he was Johnny Paul's brother, by the name of Rosetta was in there, and the director of war who was the late YB Rogers was in there, and Sam Bockarie and Eddie Kanneh themselves were in there and Eddie Kanneh was driving. We all went on board the Pajero jeep.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. You said a name Rogers. Can you repeat that name again?

  • Yes, Pa Rogers. They introduced him during the forum that we had, or the meeting that we went to hold before Johnny Paul, as the head of the war council for the RUF. That is the late Pa Rogers. He died in the Pademba Road prisons.

  • And do you recall the first name, or what else they called him besides Rogers?

  • I can't recall his first name.

  • Thank you. So, did you then arrive in Kangama?

  • And please tell us what happened when you arrived there in Kangama?

  • I have forgotten to make mention of Colonel Sampson and Colonel Jungle who were also in the Pajero. All of us drove to Kangama, and when we arrived in Kangama I was fortunate that since we had withdrawn from the city that was the next time I met with Johnny Paul and that I saw him. I saw him. He was there with his family and he was there with Jumu Jalloh, the former minister of tourism, and including Pastor Momoh. When we alighted from the vehicle, we entered the veranda. It was a storied building, but there was a particular place prepared where the veranda was where there were seats and so we all went there and took seats.

    So Johnny Paul greeted me, we sat down there a while and Johnny Paul called for a tape recorder and an empty cassette - a blank cassette. So the blank cassette was put into the tape recorder and Mosquito started explaining about me, he started explaining about the incident, the information he got from Liberia, he explained about the trip that we made. After he had completed his explanation and that was being recorded, he said later that the reason why he got up to that point was that he had understood that the SLA were trying to blame him for Moses Kabia's death, alias Rambo, who was the chief security to Johnny Paul. He said he decided to call this forum to make himself clear that he had nothing to do with that man's death in Liberia. He said that was the reason - one of the reasons - why he decided to convene this forum in the presence of Johnny Paul.

    From there Eddie Kanneh also highlighted his own point, and I was later made to understand that honourable Cobra was always trying to blame Eddie Kanneh about the allegations made against me that I was a spy for the SLPP government. Eddie Kanneh also tried to clear the air in explaining that he was not the person who made the allegation against me, but that it was fellow Sierra Leoneans who I met at the Freeport. From there Pa YB Rogers spoke and he said they will not be in place to encourage such things, because he said such things had the potential to cause disputes.

    From there, after that entire discussion, Colonel Jungle also spoke and the cassette in my presence was replayed. After listening to it, he took the cassette and handed it over to Colonel Jungle for Colonel Jungle to take it back to Monrovia so that they will be able to send it to His Excellency and, like I said, it was Colonel Jungle and Colonel Sampson who represented the Liberian Government.

    From that point Johnny Paul and General Sam Bockarie they moved aside and stood at the corner, a little bit far off from us, and started discussing, but I did not know what actually they discussed. So, from that point Johnny Paul told me that I should feel free around and that he had told Sam Bockarie about me. He said I shouldn't worry. I will live with them as a free man until I receive necessary instruction from Sam Bockarie and that whatever Sam Bockarie told me I should go by that, he said, because at that present moment it was Sam Bockarie who was in charge of every operation.

  • Sorry, Mr Koumjian, but I had noted the people that went in the Pajero to Johnny Paul's and then they went on to the veranda and now twice there has been a mention of Mosquito, or Sam Bockarie, saying things. I don't remember him in the Pajero.

  • I would have to look at the transcript, but I did understand that Bockarie is the one that collected him.

  • He was brought out of the dungeon, he saw Mosquito, he was naked, he was given his clothes back, they went into a Pajero, Eddie Kanneh was driving, there was somebody's wife, et cetera.

  • Your Honour, he does mention him on my --

  • Your Honour, can counsel activate his mic.

  • Sorry, page 40, line 24. I will start from line 23, "He was Johnny Paul's brother by the name of ...", something that is not clear, "... that was in there and the director of war was the late YB Rogers was in there and Sam Bockarie and Eddie Kanneh."

  • Thank you, Mr Munyard, I see it now.

  • The woman that was in the dungeon was it SFY Koroma's wife, or Johnny Paul Koroma's wife? In the dungeon.

  • The witness said Foday Sankoh's wife is how he described it.

  • Sir, by the way, just as we mentioned the people in the dungeon, you mentioned Foday Sankoh's wife. Did you learn why she was being held in this dungeon?

  • Yes. In the dungeon after I had shut up at that moment now and I had spent some time with them, it was at that time that Palmer told me that after the Yamoussoukro peace talk which they went for they came back to the Guinean border to talk to the combatants about the outcome of the Yamoussoukro peace talk, but that they were across and it was at that time Sam Bockarie said that they will not be across the river talking to them. That delegation included the Sierra Leone ambassador - former Sierra Leonean ambassador to Guinea, Colonel Jabbi. He said they will not be across the border over the river talking to them, so he asked them to cross over so that they will be able to talk to them. You know, they tried to cajole them, and no sooner they crossed over they arrested them and seriously beat them up. They beat them up seriously and, even when I entered the dungeon, I realised that --

  • Mr Witness, pause please. The question was directed at Foday Sankoh's wife. Are you saying that Foday Sankoh's wife was one of the group that met at the river at the Guinea border?

  • Yes, my Lord, they all went for the peace talk in Yamoussoukro. They were at the Guinean border, so when they called them to cross over they all crossed over. They were four in number. They told me that it was because of that particular movement that they did that they decided to arrest them and they said they wanted to connive with the government. That was why they beat them up and placed them in the dungeon. They were closed in there for years. She was the only woman amongst the three men.

  • Mr Witness, you said at this forum in Kangama that at one point Johnny Paul Koroma and Sam Bockarie went - stepped away. Can you tell us where they went?

  • They did not go to somewhere else. They only distanced themselves from us and they stood in a particular corner discussing. I did not actually know what they discussed, but after their discussion they came back and took their seats.

  • So in that discussion in the corner was it only Johnny Paul Koroma and Sam Bockarie, or was anyone else involved?

  • They were the only two people who got up. They left us and then they went to the corner, just he and Sam Bockarie.

  • You said that the cassette tape of the forum was given to Colonel Jungle to take to President Taylor. Why do you believe - what makes you say that Colonel Jungle was to take it to President Taylor? What did you learn about that?

  • Well that was just what they said in our presence, all of us, and like I told you before Colonel Jungle and Colonel Sampson were the representatives of the Liberian Government and so I saw that they put the cassette in an envelope and it was handed over to Colonel Jungle. That was just what they said, but I did not actually know the reason why they said he should take it over to President Taylor.

  • I don't have any further questions as to the forum, just so your Honours know, if there are any questions now before I move on.

  • Sir, after this meeting in Kangama, what happened to you?

  • Well, Sam Bockarie - we drove back, by that I mean Sam Bockarie, Eddie Kanneh, Pa YB Rogers and - Sam Bockarie, Eddie Kanneh, Pa YB Rogers, Colonel Jungle, Colonel Sampson, we drove back to Buedu at General Sam Bockarie's headquarters and when we arrived there he asked somebody to prepare some food for me. He called on one man who was a nurse. He was a medical nurse. He asked the man to give me some treatment, some first aid treatment and some drugs, and he handed me over to Major Victor Kemoh. So, I was now there at the defence headquarters with them for some time.

  • At this point after the meeting with Johnny Paul Koroma in Kangama, were you free from the dungeon?

  • Yes, my Lord, I was treated and then I was now handed over to Colonel Victor Kemoh and I stayed with him in his house. He prepared me a room there and I was staying there until the time I got well.

  • In the previous answer it was Major Victor Kemoh and now in this next answer he is a colonel.

  • Sir, do you know one or more than one Victor Kemoh?

  • It is the same person, Major Victor Kemoh. I did not say colonel. I said major. He handed me over to him freely and he said I should go and stay with him now whilst I was undergoing treatment, because I had very serious typhoid fever.

  • Sir, what happened after you got well?

  • Well after I got well, General Sam Bockarie - like I have said, he was the chief of defence staff. He called on me one particular day and told me that I should feel free around. He spoke with me and promoted me to the rank of major and it was in black and white. It was written. It was typed and signed and he signed as the chief of defence staff. And he told me that they were faced with serious threats at Segbwema and that it will be nice that we go with him to Pendembu, we will be there and we will be there waiting and someone will come from Liberia who will come to help us to construct a ferry that we will be using at Manowa. That was after - that was three weeks after my arrival in there and, indeed, he himself went with us. All of us went to Pendembu and we waited there until somebody arrived from Liberia and that was the Liberian Mosquito. He was a Liberian SS. He came with 12 SS men. They were all well armed and we met in Pendembu, we organised ourselves in Pendembu and we went to Manowa where we constructed a ferry.

  • Can we just have some clarification on "three weeks after my arrival there", because I don't know if he is talking about his arrival in Buedu where he was treated for typhoid, or whether he is talking about later movements? It is just not clear.

  • Sir, you told us about your trip to Buedu and when you heard the BBC broadcast about Foday Sankoh being released. How long after that approximately was it that you went to Pendembu with Sam Bockarie?

  • Well, the time I spent in Buedu up to the time I was removed from the dungeon and up to the time - all the times I spent at the headquarters it was totalled to three weeks, and the one that made it four weeks was the time we travelled with Sam Bockarie to Pendembu where we waited on Liberian Mosquito and he arrived with some men with a Toyota Hilux and we went to construct the ferry. That was the time.

  • Mr Interpreter, did you say it was totalled to three weeks, or did you say it was two to three weeks?

  • Totalled to three weeks, your Honours.

  • I see the LiveNote had "two to three" and the interpreter has indicated, thank you:

  • Mr Witness, where you actually saw Liberian Mosquito and the 12 men, was Liberian Mosquito in Sierra Leone or Liberia at that time?

  • He came. He came from Vahun and he met us in Pendembu and he also gave an idea.

  • The question is clear. Was this meeting - you saw him in Sierra Leone, or in Liberia? You have said Pendembu. Specify which country.

  • If I can just - also, your Honour, I did hear through my headphones the interpretation and I didn't hear the word "Liberia", so I am not sure the witness got it.

  • I see. In the circumstances put the question again, Mr Koumjian.

  • Thank you. Sir, where you saw Liberian Mosquito, at that time was Liberian Mosquito inside Liberia or inside Sierra Leone?

  • He came from Vahun and he came to Pendembu in Sierra Leone.

  • Thank you. And what happened there where you met Liberian Mosquito with his 12 men?

  • Well, they also came and helped us put ideas together and we constructed a local ferry - a local ferry. We constructed a local ferry, but the intention of constructing the ferry was for us to be able to cross the Panhard tanks - the two Panhard tanks - over. That was the intention why we decided to construct the ferry, but the first attempt that we made to move the Panhard tanks over the ferry was not possible because the Panhard tanks ended up going into the river, the Moa River, so it was not possible.

  • Okay, so I understand the river you were trying to cross was the Moa River from your last answer. Is that correct?

  • Yes, my Lord, it was the Moa River that we were trying to cross.

  • Can you please make it clear to us which side the Panhard vehicles were on and which side you wanted to take them to?

  • Well, the Panhard vehicles were on this side and when I say "on this side" I mean the Kono side. The only way we would have used to pass through there was through the Daru barracks, but the ECOMOG had fortified themselves and were based in the Daru barracks and so we were unable to use that particular route to go around. So the only route that was open to us that we had access to was through the Moa, but the Panhard tanks were so weighty that it was not possible because the intention was for us to be able to cross over with the Panhard tanks so that the Liberian Mosquito, if we were to cross the Panhard tanks, he would have moved them to Liberia.

  • Mr Witness, we understand that. When you said, "They were on this side", well this side is Holland. Where exactly were they and where exactly where you taking them? That is the question you were asked.

  • It was over the Bunumbu area and the river divided Bunumbu - it separated Bunumbu and Pendembu. They were on the Bunumbu side, so if we were able to cross them over we would have had an easy access for them to be taken to Liberia because all of those areas had been cleared up. They were under our perfect control.

  • The tape had actually run out during the answer, I am afraid. We will have to now take the morning adjournment, Mr Witness. We are going to adjourn until 12 o'clock and we will resume at 12. Please adjourn court until 12.

  • [Break taken at 11.30 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 12.00 p.m.]

  • Mr Koumjian, it would appear the answer has been recorded and I believe the tape was still running, so that last answer is on record. If you proceed on, please.

  • Thank you, your Honours:

  • Mr Witness, you talked about coming to Buedu in a convoy with some trucks with ammunition. Do you know what happened to that ammunition?

  • As I told the Court just now, when I came I made no movement. Immediately I arrived, Sam Bockarie ordered Junior Marvin to take me to the dungeon, so I don't know what happened to that particular ammunition.

  • Okay, thank you. Where did you go next after the operation you talked about involving the attempts to get equipment across the Moa River.

  • Well, when we made the attempt for the tank to come on board the ferry and that failed, there was some confusion at the river. There was a commander called Morris Kallon. He cocked his rifle. He already set one round in the chamber and they said they would shoot at him, because the SLA liked to betray and I was near Sam Bockarie, General Sam Bockarie, so I told Sam Bockarie that he should please stop Morris Kallon not to shoot at the driver because those men were useful and the tanks were still at our disposal and if he had shot the driver that would not be good. Really General Sam Bockarie listened to me and the driver was not shot. We used what we referred to as monkey jack that we tie on a big tree and we also tied it on the APC, the tank, and we drew it from out of the river.

    From there, because we were unsuccessful, Sam Bockarie called honourable Cobra, honourable Sule, myself and Colonel Bakarr and some other men. He gave us more manpower with some ammunition and said that we should go to Segbwema where we already had troops under Colonel Momoh Rogers' command, he said because they had monitored ECOMOG and they were trying to regroup in Daru and they wanted to come and hit our men in Daru and Segbwema so they would clear the Segbwema route. That was the order that General Sam Bockarie gave to us.

  • Mr Witness, did you yourself go to Segbwema?

  • Was there any combat that you saw in Segbwema?

  • Yes, my Lord. As we went to Segbwema it did not take even up to three days when ECOMOG advanced with a seven barrel tank. They advanced to pull us out of Segbwema, because Segbwema was a vital ground. Segbwema would link to Tongo and would link to Kenema and Manowa. So when our troops had been in Segbwema, the operation was really difficult for ECOMOG, except when they would fly with their logistics by air. That was why ECOMOG wanted to hit us and they hit our first ECOMOG - sorry, our first combat camp that we established and one of our soldiers lost his life.

    There is a bridge in Segbwema that divides - that separates Segbwema. We were moved - we almost lost the town, but because of the brave men that we had, like one Major Soriba, he showed some bravery that made even the seven barrel tank that ECOMOG had brought, they could not go back with it and the officer who was commanding the artillery from the ECOMOG side and the tank driver, they died in that operation and the tank was just there [indiscernible] and even myself I entered the tank trying to move it from the bridge, but it happened that the clutch plate was not functioning, so it could not move. So because of that I advised the radio man, the operator, to call General Sam Bockarie and inform him that that was the situation. In spite of the fact that ECOMOG was firing against us using heavy mortars, I said we could not move that tank and that was the situation, and he authorised us to burn it down and indeed we ordered a soldier to set fire on the tank and the tank burnt down. That was what made ECOMOG to be unsuccessful and so they withdrew back to Daru where they were. They even used the Alpha Jet against us, but when we set the tank on fire the smoke prevented the Alpha Jet from bombing any target, because they could not trace any target because of the smoke in the air.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. After this attack by ECOMOG on Segbwema - I believe you said ECOMOG was not successful - what was the next fighting that you saw? Mr Witness, you don't need to give us all the details of the battle, but just explain to us where it was and who was taking part.

  • After ECOMOG had lost that operation, it was then that General Sam Bockarie called a forum. So I was one of the men who went back and we crossed Manowa and we went back to Pendembu where we planned to attack Kenema.

  • Can you tell us what was the plan as far as attacking Kenema?

  • Well, we planned to capture Kenema, but the ECOMOG who were in Kenema, their forward position was at Mano Junction and that was a big obstacle for us. It was a simultaneous attack. When Akim Turay would be coming from Tongo where he was, using the main highway, another troop would be bypassing to go and block Blama Highway so if any reinforcement would be coming from Freetown or Bo they would fall in an ambush. And RUF Rambo himself was to set an ambush in Lago while we - what I mean by "we", that includes honourable Cobra, honourable Sammy, honourable Sule and some other SLAs, including a tank. We used one of the Panhard tanks so that we would be able to capture Mano Junction, but we were not successful because the man who was in charge of the operation, who was Eagle, did not allow us to use the tank the way it was supposed to be used. He directed it the way it should not be directed. As I said, the tank used two types of ammunition. There was the piercing and the explosive. So the explosive was in the tank at that moment, so when he gave the wrong command the tank ended up releasing that bomb and that bomb caused heavy casualty and we lost up to 15 men from our own side including one of the oldest RUF fighters who was called Kailondo, Native Warrior.

  • Sir, if you can briefly explain, you said the bomb caused heavy casualties and that we lost up to 15 men. Can you explain why the bomb from the tank caused casualties among your men?

  • Well the way the firer wanted the barrel to go, because it was an elevated barrel that could rotate he was only to fire it the way the command Eagle wanted it to be fired, if it was the piercing, because that is designed to pass through hard objects, but the other bomb that came after that was the explosive and if you come from the curve towards Mano Junction there are cotton trees in front of us. That was what was the explosive hit at and, when it hit at it, the bomb blasted back and the fragments killed our men who were near the tank. I was just about 70 metres off, because they did not take the advice that we gave to them and so that caused casualty and for that we did not succeed to capture Mano Junction and finally we could not capture Kenema.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. Now after this failed attempt to take Mano Junction, what was the next military operation you were part of?

  • Well, we withdrew back to Segbwema and we rested for two days and General Sam Bockarie sent another order that we should go and hit Daru barracks where ECOMOG was so that we would dislodge them and we would clear that highway, but we came and organised ourselves including Issa Sesay, who was the battlefront commander, and I was his advisor on that particular operation while Colonel Bakarr was the operations commander. We made the attempt. We attacked Daru barracks 2 a.m., but it was not easy. ECOMOG had very serious firepower. They used mortar and artillery against us and we sustained casualties heavily. That also prevented us from succeeding in Daru and we withdrew again to Segbwema.

    Two days after that operation was when the Lome Peace Accord was signed and Foday Sankoh came over the BBC and advised that everybody who was under the RUF and SLA command at that moment should cease fire and stop all hostilities. The ceasefire met us in Segbwema.

  • Mr Witness, after the Lome Peace Accord was signed what was your assignment?

  • Well after the Lome Peace Accord had been signed, Issa told me that now that the Lome Peace Accord has been signed - he called Colonel Momoh Rogers, Major Francis Musa and other senior officers who were around and told them that - he said these words, "Now that you yourself have heard what Papay Sankoh has said I think it would be advisable for us to listen and hold on, but I am returning to Kono so that I will send the message and make sure that the men abide by the ceasefire". So, he moved me from Segbwema and I joined him - honourable Hector and myself joined Issa and we moved to Kono. When we arrived in Kono he made me the IO, that is the intelligence officer, in charge of 2nd Brigade.

  • What force or forces controlled Kono at that time after the signing of the Lome Accord?

  • It was the SLA/RUF, or RUF/SLA. We were in control of Kono and it was there that Issa himself had established his base after he left Makeni and at that time the commander was a vanguard called Colonel Martin George. He was the brigade commander.

  • Did Issa Sesay stay in Kono, or did he go anywhere after that, after you arrived?

  • Well, he stayed in Kono observing all the diamond mining. What I meant by that, I meant the government diamond mining while he was in Kono. He continued to be there until the very last time I saw Sam Bockarie. He came there with two Arabs that I can recall had gone to Benjamin Yeachen on that day who separated those diamonds. They came to Kono to visit us. That was the very last time I saw Mosquito.

  • The question was about Issa Sesay. Did Issa Sesay eventually leave Kono to go somewhere?

  • Well, the only time Issa Sesay left Kono was when Mosquito Spray cut off our supply route. That was the - when they attacked Foya, Lofa County. When that attack occurred, it was when Sam Bockarie sent a message that all the fighters that we had in Kono should organise themselves and Issa Sesay should get a reinforcement from those men so we should come and capture and clear the ULIMO off from Foya. That was an order he had received from President Charles Taylor. That was the only time Issa moved with troops.

  • Sir, you mentioned Mosquito Spray. Do you know who Mosquito Spray was?

  • Although I don't know him or I did not see him, he was a ULIMO. He was the commander of the LURD rebels. They were the ones who cut off our supply route - our supply route in Foya - because everything came from Liberia for us. So, Mosquito Spray came - Mosquito Spray and others came and cut off our supply route and that created a problem for us. That was why Issa put men together to go and clear that supply route.

  • How long was - first of all just to be clear, when Issa Sesay left Kono because of the Mosquito Spray attack was that before or after the Lome Peace Accord was signed?

  • That was after the Lome Peace Accord.

  • Do you recall for approximately how long Issa Sesay - well, first let me ask you did Issa Sesay return to Kono after leaving on the Mosquito Spray operation?

  • About how long after he left did he return?

  • Approximately two weeks.

  • Did he come back by himself, or with anyone else?

  • Well, when Issa Sesay returned I can recall that he brought the twin barrel that was at Mosquito's headquarters - the twin barrel. That was what we used to defend the headquarters from the Alpha Jet. He brought it back together with some more men, including Captain American and his own troops. Captain American was an SLA and his troops, he brought them back to Kono and they met us.

  • Were there any other persons that you recognised with Issa Sesay when he returned to Kono?

  • Yes, he had reinforcement, his men and some of the fighters who were in Buedu, together with some SS men who he brought from Foya. He crossed over with them to Kono. They met us at the base.

  • Mr Koumjian, I'm not sure if that actually answers your question.

  • Do you recall any of the SS men? Do you know their names?

  • I can recall like Captain Denis. I can also recall the men I told you that they were always with us representing Liberia, like Colonel Jungle, he was one of the men, and one Colonel - he too was from Liberia and he was called Colonel Martin, I can recall those, but his nickname was Lion. He too came along with Issa in Kono.

  • Now, Mr Witness, you've talked to us about some operations you were involved in in Sierra Leone after returning from Liberia. During any of those operations do you know whether or not any of the ammunition that you had picked out, or ammunition of that type that you had picked out, in Burkina Faso was used?

  • Like the RPG bombs and the twin barrel ammunition, he brought some more together with the twin barrels. And the tanks, because there was a tank in Kono, he brought ammunition for that one too. I can recall that.

  • Who are you saying brought the ammunition?

  • It was Issa Sesay. He brought the ammunition and some more 7.62 millimetre NATO and Warsaw type, because after the ceasefire - when the ceasefire was in place already, ECOMOG was not fighting, so there was no way we could get ammunition from ECOMOG, so he brought some more of those from Buedu.

  • Mr Witness, did you eventually leave Kono?

  • Mr Koumjian, we're a little lost. This ammunition that Issa Sesay brought, he brought it from where to where? Because there's the battle at Foya that we've been speaking about, so this ammunition was brought from where to where?

  • Mr Witness, you said Issa Sesay brought ammunition. First, where did you see Issa Sesay with the ammunition?

  • Issa Sesay took them from Buedu. After they had cleared Mosquito Spray and the route, Issa Sesay brought the ammunition, together with the twin barrel which Mosquito was using to defend his headquarters from the Alpha Jet, and brought them to Kono, together with some more manpower and they met us in Kono.

  • Earlier you spoke about some fighting at - I believe it was Mano Junction. In that operation you talked about some tank fire, is that correct?

  • Yes, my Lord. It was the tanks that I told you about, the Panhard.

  • The type of shells, you described two different types, piercing and explosive.

  • Had you ever seen that type of ammunition in Liberia?

  • It was only at that time when we brought them from Burkina. I told you that we wanted to make use of those tanks that we had captured from ECOMOG. It was only the tanks without the ammunition. It was at that time that I saw it. But when I came in, I only saw the ammunitions again when we left Segbwema and tried to hit Mano Junction. We used it again to hit Daru barracks, but we were unsuccessful.

  • Mr Witness, please just answer this question: When did you leave Kono approximately?

  • Well, why I left Kono, during --

  • That wasn't my question, sir. My question was when did you leave Kono?

  • That was the time Issa Sesay had come from Buedu, as I am saying. He came from Buedu and said that now the SLA who are in Makeni do not listen to Papay Sankoh's order, because he said because they said Foday Sankoh had told them that they should send former President Momoh to Buedu at Mosquito's place, but Brigadier Mani and the other SLAs who were there had refused to do that, so we should organise ourselves and so we would go and dislodge them from Makeni.

    I advised him that, "General, now that all of us have been fighting together as one, I think we should resolve this thing amicably", because I was the IO commander and that was my duty, but he said I was not to dictate to him what he should do, so he ended up organising men and they went and hit Makeni and they dislodged the SLAs in Makeni. As a result of that I had a fear, because I was an SLA and I was in Kono with Colonel Martin George and others, so it was that fear that made me to go through Magburaka and I went to 91 where ECOMOG was and I surrendered myself and my weapon and my grenades that were in my possession.

  • My question is, Mr Witness: Do you remember approximately what month and year that was?

  • It was at the end of 1999. The end of 1999.

  • Thank you. I have no further questions, your Honours.

  • Thank you, Mr Koumjian. Mr Munyard, cross-examination?

  • Thank you, your Honour.

  • Mr Witness, I want to ask you first of all how it was that you first came into contact with the Office of the Prosecution of this Court?

  • I can recall back when somebody who had come in contact with the Court and through his explanation to the Court he mentioned my name and when he mentioned my name while discussing with the Court, that was how my name came up and it was that very person that went with some men that I had never known before, they went to me asking me. I even really had some fear because I didn't want anybody to associate me with anything like that. That was how I came in contact with the Court and they met me in Kono.

  • Well, all you've told us so far, in answer to my question, is that somebody else mentioned your name to the Court and then they met you in Kono. How did you actually come into contact with them? Did you make contact with them, or did they make contact with you?

  • I have told you that it was one ex-combatant who explained to the Court and when he was explaining issues to the Court - but I did not know it was the Court. It was a gentleman called --

  • Your Honours, can I call the name?

  • Just pause, Mr Witness. Mr Interpreter, I will ask counsel. The interpreter is seeking guidance as to whether he can repeat the name mentioned. I am not aware of the issues involved with this person.

  • Your Honour, I really do not know the person that the witness is going to name.

  • He has already called the name. It's not on the record, but the interpreter --

  • I didn't hear the witness say the name. I heard only the interpreter. There is absolutely no problem, your Honour.

  • Mr Interpreter, you've heard counsel.

  • It was a gentleman called Alfred Sesay.

  • Alfred Sesay is not the person who put the Prosecution in touch with you. Alfred Sesay was the Prosecution, wasn't he?

  • Alfred Sesay was a policeman. He was a CID in Sierra Leone. He got in touch with me, as I told you. I had a fear because I didn't want anybody to associate me with this Court issue, but he took his time to talk to me that I should not have any fear, that I should explain only what I knew. He was the one I got in touch with. He is now in England. He used to work for the Special Court. He was an investigator.

  • And was the person who gave your name to Alfred Sesay - was that a friend of yours?

  • He was not my friend, but he was an ex-combatant. He was an RUF person. When I was with the RUF he knew me. He was the one explaining when he gave my name to the Court. I even felt bad about it.

  • So did he tell you that he was going to give your name to the Court, this ex-combatant?

  • As I am telling you, he did not ever tell me. It was a surprise to me. That was why I even had a fear initially, because I didn't want anybody to associate me with the Court. I lived - I was living my private life. At that time I was working for --

  • I'd ask the witness not to say who he was working for.

  • Mr Witness, please don't give the name of the organisation or company you were working for, for security reasons.

  • Do you require the information, Mr Munyard?

    Mr Munyard: I didn't quite hear your Honour's question. I don't require the name of any organisation. I wasn't asking about that. I was asking about the go-between:

  • Right, so Mr Alfred Sesay, a CID officer from the Sierra Leone police, who was then working for the Court, came and met you in Kono. Is that right?

  • He met - this ex-combatant that I'm referring to, it was in Kono and it was in Kono that Alfred Sesay met me at Old Yengema Road.

  • And did Alfred Sesay interview you in Kono at Old Yengema Road?

  • Was it just him who was interviewing you, or was there anybody else present?

  • Well, there was another person because they went with a white Land Rover, I saw a driver and a white man, but it was Alfred Sesay who took his time to talk to me because I was very aggressive.

  • When he was talking to you was he making notes of what you were telling him?

  • At the beginning he was not writing anything.

  • Does that mean that he was writing something later on?

  • Yes, I saw him writing. He started writing.

  • The witness at that point gestured with his right hand in a writing movement:

  • So this is the first time that they meet you, yes?

  • And can you help us with roughly how long that first interview lasted?

  • Well, I cannot be specific now, but it took some time.

  • I'm a little late, but I would object to the word "interview" as the witness has told us that they were talking about - according to what the witness has described, the conversation was not an interview. He was telling him about cooperating with the Court.

  • I don't recall the word "cooperating", but you've heard the objection, Mr Munyard, although the witness has in fact answered your question.

  • My reply to the objection is that the witness is clearly describing an interview because he is describing an exchange between himself and Alfred Sesay and I will pursue what that exchange consisted of, if I may.

  • Yes, please continue.

  • When you first met Mr Sesay on this occasion in Kono and he at some point starting writing down what you were telling him, what were you telling him about?

  • Well, he was not writing exactly what I was telling him. He was just taking down my name and my particulars and my phone number so that they would be able to contact me again.

  • And what else were you telling him on that first occasion?

  • Well, as I am telling you, I was too busy. When he got my particulars I told him to see if there would be another time to get me back. I had something to do. I was too busy to talk to him for a long time.

  • And so did he get back to you?

  • Yes, he got back to me after some time, almost a month.

  • And did you see him again and did he write down more notes of what you were telling him on this second occasion?

  • Yes, I saw him again, but he did not write down any notes. He just asked me about when I would be able to go to Freetown and I told him that I was working. I would only be able to go to Freetown when I would be on leave, I said, but outside that if I went to Freetown that would be for my job, an official trip.

  • And so did you eventually go and see him in Freetown?

  • It did not just happen immediately. It took some time before Mr Sesay and I got in touch again with each other.

  • Mr Witness, that's why I asked the question, "Did you eventually go and see him in Freetown?" Did you go after some time and see him in Freetown and give him information?

  • Yes.

  • How long after the very first time that he got in touch with you in Kono did you go to see him in Freetown?

  • Over three months.

  • When you went to see him in Freetown, were you aware that he wanted information from you about any involvement you had with Charles Taylor?

  • Like I told you, they had already discussed that with Mr Sesay even before Mr Sesay tried to get in touch with me, and he was finally able to cajole me and he told me that I shouldn't fear. Because in actual fact I did not want to have anything to do with this Court, but when he finally explained to me that there was going to be no problem and, even if it came to the worst, they would hide my identity from the public so that the public would not be able to know. So, yes, he asked me and he told me to feel free to explain myself, what I knew, so that he would also be able to know.

  • So the first time that you go and see him in Freetown, you are aware that he wants to know from you everything about your dealings with Charles Taylor, yes?

  • He did not directly say he wanted to know about my dealings with Charles Taylor. What he said was that what I knew, what I did and the role I played during the war, that was what he wanted to know.

  • I asked you just a few moments ago, "When you went to see him in Freetown, were you aware that he wanted information from you about any involvement you had with Charles Taylor?", and your answer was, "Like I told you, they had already discussed that with Mr Sesay even before Mr Sesay tried to get in touch with me ..." So they'd already discussed that before, hadn't they, that they wanted to know all you could tell them about any dealings you had with Charles Taylor?

  • He did not specifically tell me that they wanted to know the dealings I had with Charles Taylor. What he said was that he was asking to know the role I played and what I knew. That was what he wanted to know. And it was during my explanation that I explained about what I knew, the things I came across and what I experienced. That is what I am trying to say.

  • You told us that you were told by them - by Mr Sesay - that they could hide your identity from the public. Hide your identity from the public in what?

  • Because I made it very clear to Mr Sesay that I did not want to have any business to do with this Court because I was a busy man and I wouldn't want him to associate me with the Court, but Mr Sesay told me that it was not a crime and that if it came to the worst nobody from the public will know my identity. That was what he told me.

  • Whose trial did you think you were giving him information for?

  • He told me about the Special Court and that other trials were going on in Sierra Leone. The CDF trial was going on, the RUF it was going on and the SLA/AFRC trial was going on.

  • And did he tell you that they were getting information from people, yourself included, in order to prosecute Charles Taylor?

  • No, he did not tell me that.

  • When did you first discover that you were going to be used as a witness in the prosecution of Charles Taylor?

  • Well, when he had finally got me to explain myself and whilst I was explaining, it was during my explanation that he knew that I had got some business - some dealings with Liberia and he told me that if I knew I had got some dealings with Liberia and that you have mentioned Mr Taylor, he said he knew that if I had much information he will have to put it aside and then when it gets to the appropriate time he will have to call on me. So, that was just what he told me.

  • In other words, during the first interview when you first tell Mr Sesay and his colleague all about your time in Liberia. Is that correct?

  • No. Like I told you I initially had fear in me, to be frank enough with you. I did not want to go into details. I had fear in me. It was not just from the first time.

  • Mr Witness, we may be at cross-purposes. I am talking about the first time you actually go to Freetown and are seen by him then. During the course of that interview he makes it clear, does he, that he is looking for information from you to prosecute Charles Taylor?

  • He said after he had got some pieces of information from me he told me that he would call me when it got to the appropriate time.

  • Mr Witness, the question is directed about the person that was going to be prosecuted at the Court. Were you aware whose trial you might give evidence in?

  • It was only after he had got those pieces of statements from me that he told me that when President Taylor will be indicted they will have to call on me. That was the time I knew, when he told me, and indeed when they had got President Taylor he called me again. That was the time I met with the other investigator, that is Mr David.

  • When you first met Mr Sesay in Freetown, were you reimbursed for loss of wages and transport and so on?

  • No, at the initial stage there was nothing like that.

  • Just listen to the question, please. When you first met Mr Sesay in Freetown, were you reimbursed for loss of wages and transport and so on?

  • Like I told you, at the initial stage nothing like that happened. It was when he asked me whether it is possible for me to leave my job and come over so that we will be able to sit together and at that time he will be ready and he will be able to write something on paper, and I knew that that will be difficult for me because it will let me lose my daily wages. But then he told me I should come, they will try to do something about that and then indeed when I came he reimbursed me the transportation cost that I used.

  • And loss of wages?

  • No, it was the transportation cost that I used. It was reimbursed to me.

  • All right. And was that the first time that you went down to see him in Freetown and he wrote down what you were saying on paper?

  • That was my third meeting with him in Freetown when he invited me to go to their office. That was the time it happened, my Lord.

  • Just so that we can be clear, Mr Witness, you've mentioned two occasions in Kono when he sees you to persuade you to help them and then you've mentioned going to Freetown. In the last answer that you've just given, "that was my third meeting with him in Freetown", are you saying that the first two were also in Freetown and it was only on the third occasion when you met him in Freetown that he paid for your transportation, or are you saying that it was the third time that you met him, twice in Kono and then the third time in Freetown, that you were reimbursed?

  • They did not give me anything in Kono and the first time I came to Freetown, that I made it possible to meet with him, was when I came on duty for my organisation that I was working with and I came the second time - I also saw him, but the third time was in their office like I said. That was the time I met with one of his fellow comrades that he told me was a policeman from Canada who was called Mr David. That was the third time. So because of the time that I used to come, my transportation cost that I paid to come was reimbursed to me.

  • Yes, so am I understanding you correctly that you see them three times in Freetown and it is only on the third occasion in Freetown that they reimbursed you your transport costs?

  • On the first two occasions in Freetown did they write down what you were telling him?

  • On all the occasions after visit number three in Freetown when they do write down what you're saying do you get paid for transport costs for each time you're interviewed?

  • Yes.

  • Can you remember now - and tell us if you can't - that the first time that they interview you and they pay you your transport costs was on 23 and 24 March 2006? Do those dates ring any bells with you?

  • No, I can't recall those dates any more. I can't recall them because, like I told you, I was working. I was engaged.

  • Can you remember being interviewed over a two day period in 2006, early 2006?

  • Say again.

  • Can you remember being interviewed at the Special Court premises by Alfred Sesay and Mr David, the Canadian gentleman, over a period of two consecutive days?

  • Do you remember, about three months later, being interviewed over three consecutive days, in June of 2006?

  • Can you help us with this then: After the two day interview that you do recall with Alfred Sesay and the Canadian policeman, how long after that was the next time you were interviewed?

  • Like I am telling you, and I'm saying it again, I was too busy, I was engaged, I can't recall. I can't recall the specific dates and I do not want to say something wrong here.

  • Can you remember how many times you were interviewed by the Prosecution - on how many different occasions you were interviewed by them before you came to Holland, to the Netherlands, I should say?

  • I can recall again that after Mr Alfred and Mr Sesay interviewed me and wrote down something, I can recall also that there was a time that this man, this lawyer, and another lady interviewed me again, which is up to three times. Three times, yes. These ones interviewed me once and I did not see them again except that I am seeing him here.

  • I notice that the witness turned towards the Prosecution Bar, but did not specific who on the Bar he was referring to.

  • I was just going to deal with that, your Honour.

  • I'm sorry to interrupt you. There was a gesture that I wanted to put on record.

  • By "this one here" you're referring to the gentleman who has been asking you questions before I stood up, is that correct?

  • Yes, and a lady.

  • And then the third time that you're interviewed before you came to this country, can you remember who interviewed you then?

  • That was the last - I think he was the last person that interviewed me. That was the third time. The last person who interviewed me before I came here was another lady by the name of Shyamala. She interviewed me.

  • Did she interview you with anybody else?

  • No, she interviewed I alone.

  • I don't mean were you giving information with another person giving information, I mean was there more than one person in the interview, in addition to the lady called Shyamala? Was she assisted by anybody else present?

  • Yes, somebody assisted her, but the person was a Sierra Leonean man and the person was speaking Krio.

  • And, finally, were you interviewed very recently here in the Netherlands and, if so, who interviewed you very recently?

  • It is this lawyer.

  • This gentleman in front of me.

  • Mr Witness, there are two gentlemen in front of us. Can you just identify is it the person that you've already identified, the gentleman that has been asking you questions, or is it the other gentleman sitting next to him?

  • The two gentlemen, these two gentlemen.

  • Both of these two gentlemen sitting on the front row of the Prosecution Bench interviewed you very recently, is that right?

  • Right. I want to ask you in what language were all of --

  • Mr Munyard, again I apologise for interrupting. For purposes of record the witness indicated Mr Koumjian and Mr Santora.

  • Thank you, your Honour:

  • In what language were these interviews conducted? The first one with Mr Sesay and Mr David?

  • Mr Sesay and Mr David, it was in Krio. Mr Sesay was speaking in Krio whilst Mr David was speaking English.

  • The second interview with the lawyer and another lady, what language was that interview conducted in?

  • They went with another man who was also working for the Court and he was Mr Lahun. They met me at my job. They interviewed me in both English and Krio. Mr Lahun was speaking Krio.

  • The last interview in Sierra Leone, conducted by the lady called Shyamala, what language was that interviewed conducted in?

  • She was speaking English and another investigator, who also works with the Court, was speaking Krio, so it was both. If she said something that I did not understand clearly, the next person was there to interpret it and if I also said something that was clear to her, that same next person was there to interpret it for her.

  • Thank you. So is that what happened in each of those three interviews: That they're conducted both in English and Krio and any misunderstandings by either you or the interviewers were explained?

  • Yes. Yes, my Lord.

  • Thank you. The last interview that I think took place on Friday of last week, what language was that conducted in?

  • Well, there was an interpreter that interpreted between these two men and me. There was a lady that was speaking Krio.

  • Very well. In each of these interviews was somebody taking notes?

  • Except the ones who were interviewing me.

  • That's not a very clear answer, Mr Witness. When you say "except the ones that were interviewing me", do you mean those persons who interviewed you were taking notes, but you were not taking notes? Is that what you mean?

  • Well, what do you mean by taking notes? You mean whether they were writing? Whether they were writing?

  • If I can deal with it. I don't know if you can see from where you are, but again the witness is making a handwriting gesture with his hands.

  • You mean if they were writing?

  • I am hampered by the screen, unfortunately. I don't see any gesticulation.

  • Do you mean whether they were writing?

  • Mr Witness, let me try and deal with it if I may. You've told us about four different interviews: Three in Sierra Leone, one here in the Netherlands. When you are being interviewed, you told us earlier that in the first of those interviews Mr Alfred Sesay was writing down what you were telling him. Now, did one or other of the investigators interviewing you write down what you were telling them in every interview?

  • Yes, for those that were conducted in Freetown. At any time they were interviewing me they wrote, they wrote down the notes, but for this one that was done at this - at the latter part in the Netherlands here they did not take down any notes. We were just like discussing.

  • Well, we'll come back to that if we have to. The three where they did write notes, were those notes read back to you at the end so that you could correct anything that was wrong, or clarify or add to any of the information that you'd given them?

  • Yes.

  • And did you at any time in the course of an interview being read back to you correct what the note taker had written down?

  • Yes. I can recall, like in the case of Shyamala, I did some correction while she was writing and I told her it was not supposed to go that way.

  • And finally in relation to the last interview, the one here in the Netherlands, was anyone who was present typing anything into a computer, or writing anything down by hand?

  • No, nothing was being typed into a computer, but they read out the statements to me and for some areas that I said, "No, it shouldn't go that way", they scratched it off with - they struck it out with a pen.

  • So do you mean that they had actually made a note of what you were saying and, when they read it back to you, you corrected it and they scratched out what they'd written?

  • Whilst they were reading the documents in front of me, whatsoever thing they read if something was there that was not correct I told them that it was not correct and so they scratched it out.

  • Yes, at this point I'm only concerned with this interview last Friday, do you understand? That's all I'm asking you about now. And did they do that process in that interview?

  • Yes, they scratched out the one that was not correct. So they scratched it out with a pen and I told them, "That one was a mistake."

  • How good is your ability to understand spoken English?

  • I can try. I'm not perfect, but I can try.

  • How many years did you spend in school?

  • And you were taught in what languages?

  • English, Krio and sometimes French.

  • And were you given books that you worked from that were written in English?

  • And were you able to understand those books?

  • When you joined the army, is it right that you were sent to the Nigerian Defence Academy for further training?

  • I made that correction even with Shyamala that there were two batches of training and after the training I told Shyamala that I was commissioned under the Sierra Leone Military Academy, whereas the other batch was commissioned under the Nigerian Defence Academy. So, I had made that point clear with Shyamala.

  • Mr Witness, that doesn't actually answer the question. Were you sent to the Nigerian Defence Academy?

  • That is the same thing I am trying to express, ma'am. I told Shyamala that there were two batches.

  • Pause, Mr Witness. No, no, forget what you're telling Shyamala. Tell the judges. Did you go - were you sent to the Nigerian Defence Academy? Were you sent or not, yes or no?

  • They sent me there on the special training.

  • Right, thank you. Was it the Nigerian Training Assistance Group Programme?

  • Yes, I think that's the acronym, NATAG. And were you trained there for a period of about 12 months?

  • How long do you say you were trained there for?

  • I had about three months training at the Nigerian Defence Academy.

  • And was that training conducted in English? The English language?

  • Yes.

  • And did you have any difficulty in following the training in the English language when you were in Nigeria for those months?

  • I measured up little by little. I tried to measure up.

  • But you graduated from there, didn't you?

  • I went through the training and I graduated at the Benguema training centre. That was just what I was trying to make clear to you, but you did not give me chance to do so.

  • You graduated as a second lieutenant, didn't you?

  • At the Benguema training centre, yes.

  • And you were trained there also in English, weren't you?

  • Yes, and Krio because that is our own local language, Krio.

  • After you'd graduated did you stay in the army all the time up until the AFRC takeover in May 1997, or did you leave the army at any time before the AFRC coup?

  • I was in the army throughout up to the time I retired in 2001.

  • Were you ever court-martialled during your time in the army?

  • I was never charged. Not a day that I was charged in fact, instead of talking about just court-martial.

  • At some point you were sent by the army to join the ECOMOG force in Liberia. Can you remember what year that was?

  • That was early '95.

  • And in the course of your duties in Liberia, did that involve you working at the Executive Mansion while you were working as part of the ECOMOG force?

  • I never worked at the Executive Mansion. I made it clear to this Court that I never worked at the Executive Mansion.

  • Right. When you were first describing your experiences in the army of Sierra Leone, you told this Court on Monday of this week that sometimes you ran across enemy checkpoints where you saw heads cut off and planted at checkpoints and you saw amputated limbs as well. Did you tell the Prosecution that when you were being interviewed?

  • Yes.

  • And in which of the interviews did you tell the Prosecution that? Was it in your interviews in Sierra Leone, or was it in your interview last Friday with the two lawyers opposite?

  • It was the one I did with the two lawyers here.

  • And was it something you just told them, you just volunteered, or was it something you told them in answer to a question, "Have you ever seen severed heads or limbs?"

  • Your Honour, that question provides only two of what would be an unlimited number of possibilities.

  • I agree, but I don't know if my learned friend wants me to --

  • I think counsel is entitled to cross-examine, he has a certain leeway and it's up to the witness if there are other possibilities to answer. I will allow the question as put.

  • Do you wish me to repeat the question, Mr Witness?

  • Well, I will in that case. Was it something you just volunteered, you just told the Prosecutors last Friday, or did you tell them that in answer to a question along the lines of, "Have you ever seen severed heads or limbs anywhere?"

  • Yes, those were some of the experiences I got during the battles and that was what I answered.

  • Mr Witness, pause again. This is a specific situation. Did you volunteer the information, or did you answer a question?

  • So why didn't you volunteer that information in interview number one, interview number two, or interview number three in Sierra Leone?

  • Well, they did not ask me some of those questions about my experience in the army, what were my experiences in the army. Those questions were not asked of me in Sierra Leone during the interviews they conducted with me there.

  • So were those questions asked of you on Friday?

  • Yes, they asked me.

  • Thank you, your Honour, I see the time and I'm about to move - in fact I can't quite see the time.

  • We have roughly two minutes, but if you are moving into a whole new line of cross-examination it may be appropriate to adjourn at this point, Mr Munyard.

  • I am about to go on to something else.

  • Mr Witness, we are going to take the lunch time break. We will have a one hour break and we will resume court at 2.30. Please adjourn court until 2.30.

  • [Lunch break taken at 1.28 p.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 2.30 p.m.]

  • Mr Munyard, when you are ready to proceed.

  • Witness, you were telling us today about hearing the voice of Africa, BBC World Service programme?

  • I think it's Focus on Africa.

  • I have done it again I fear. I think I called it voice of Africa. It's Focus on Africa:

  • I imagine, Mr Witness, you are more familiar with Focus on Africa than I am. Do you listen to that programme often?

  • You have told us sometimes it goes out at five past 3 and I think sometimes it goes out I think at five past 5. Does it go out every single day?

  • The time that I am referring to it was only during the weekends that it was not aired, that is Saturday and Sunday it was not aired.

  • And what about nowadays?

  • Well, now there is a programme now over the weekend, Focus on Africa. Now there is a programme over the weekend.

  • And do you still listen to it regularly?

  • Well, I don't have chance always because at that time why we were listening to it frequently it was because the situation in which we were was not normal.

  • Do you still listen to it regularly?

  • When did you last listen to it?

  • Well, before I came I listened to it when they were telling us of somebody who is in Congo, Kinshasa and who was arrested in Belgium. They said Special Court had indicted the person. That was the last time I listened to it before I came. That was the former Vice-President to Joseph Kabila. They said he was arrested in Belgium. That was the last time I listened to it before I came.

  • And that was about three weeks ago, wasn't it?

  • Before I came here.

  • Yes, we don't know when you came here. You tell us when you came here.

  • Well, I think it too were following up, because you have just said it was about three weeks ago, so I think you were following up.

  • You are agreeing with me that it was about three weeks ago, are you?

  • Well, that's what you have said.

  • Mr Witness, just tell the judges how long ago it was that you heard that Focus on Africa programme about a former Vice-President of an African country.

  • Before I came here. I have been here now for one week, so I want to believe it is around the time that you are saying.

  • Thank you. I now want to ask you about another former Vice-President of an African country. Did you hear anything on Focus on Africa about former President and former Vice-President Moses Blah of Liberia?

  • No, I did not listen that. I did not listen to that. I hadn't the time.

  • Have you heard anything about Moses Blah, former President and Vice-President of Liberia, giving evidence at this Court?

  • No, I did not follow that up.

  • Were you aware that he gave evidence before this Court last month?

  • I did not follow that up, except when you are telling me now.

  • So today is the first time that anyone has ever told you that Moses Blah gave evidence to this Court in this trial in May?

  • Can I go back, please, in time to your service with the ECOMOG peacekeeping force in Liberia. You said that you were in Liberia - you were sent by the army to join the ECOMOG force in Liberia in early 1995. You able to help us with a month?

  • Your Honour, if I could ask counsel for a citation on that it would be helpful.

  • Certainly. It is page 84 in 14 point font and it is line 24 and 25 and the answer is page 85, line 1.

  • Of today? I'm sorry, was that today?

  • Yes, just before lunch.

  • Okay, thank you. And, your Honour, just to remind counsel about his microphone. That is other reason I stood up. I see he has turned it off, thank you.

  • Sometimes it stays on, sometimes it goes off. I am trying to remember, but if it is causing a problem no doubt someone will let me know.

  • It is something to do with the voice distortion. Normally we are not so fussy.

  • No, I am trying. I am now going to wait for the answer to my question.

  • Mr Witness, do you remember the question?

  • No, my Lord.

  • Mr Munyard, please put the question again.

  • I asked you, when you told us about an hour and a quarter ago that you had been sent by the army to the ECOMOG force in Liberia in early 1995, are you able to give us a month when you went to Liberia to join the ECOMOG force?

  • It was around February/March. February/March.

  • You have told us that you were there for around eight months, is that correct, from February/March 1995?

  • Yes.

  • So that would mean that you left the ECOMOG force in Monrovia and came back to Sierra Leone in October/November of 1995, correct?

  • Around December. Around December.

  • At the time of the AFRC coup in May of 1997, you have told us you were in Kenema, yes?

  • Were you in Freetown around the time of the AFRC coup?

  • I was in Kenema.

  • You told us that during the time that you were in the army during the junta period, when the AFRC and RUF were in power, you were involved in trying to put an end to a student strike. Do you remember telling us about that?

  • Yes, I remember.

  • And you said that, "We were about to stop the strike peacefully, just beating them with whips." Is that what you mean by peacefully: Beating people with whips?

  • What I meant by peacefully - because the strike ended up with gunshots and they hadn't guns, so I thought we were to stop the strike without using any gun.

  • But you were intending just to beat people with whips, were you, in order to put an end to the strike peacefully?

  • Not me specifically. That was an order that we received from the chief of staff at that time.

  • And when is it that you say you went to Tongo and were involved in the mining fields there?

  • That was about two months before the intervention that I am talking about, when Yamohokaty died.

  • Could it have been as short as about one month?

  • Could you have been in Tongo for as little as about one month before the intervention?

  • It was more than a month before the intervention.

  • You told us in your evidence earlier that when you were in Tongo "everyone had his portion of diamonds". Who do you mean by everyone?

  • I am referring to the AFRC senior men who were there, like Eddie Kanneh who was the resident minister, Sam Bockarie who was representing the RUF. That was what I was talking about, and we who were representing the army, we were there for the AFRC.

  • But "everyone had his own portion of diamonds", by that do you mean for his own personal use?

  • No, you would not mine it for your own personal use. They were government diamonds.

  • At the time of the intervention, what happened to these diamonds that everyone had their own portion of?

  • Well, I cannot tell that because - but I know that when the mining was going on the government had its representative there and so whatever diamond they got was reported to the resident minister, Sam Bockarie. Those diamonds were reported to him.

  • Sorry, Mr Munyard. Mr Witness, what do you mean by everybody had his portion?

  • There was the AFRC and the RUF. That is what I am talking about. When - everybody had his representative there. After the mining would have finished, then they would put the diamonds together and send them to the resident minister, Sam Bockarie, and he in turn will send it to Johnny Paul.

  • That is not what you were telling us in your evidence on Monday. What you told us on Monday was that:

    "Mining in Tongo started hastening up. Everyone had his own portion of diamonds so as to be able to have some if we had to pull out."

    In other words, you were basically describing all the senior people involved in the diamond business as having their own personal stash, weren't you?

  • That is not what I was talking. You would not even think about that, except if you hid it, but if you were caught you would be beaten to near death, except if you hid it.

  • And what was the most common place to hide your stash of diamonds?

  • What are you trying to say?

  • You were involved in the control of the mining industry in Tongo, you say, for a couple of months. You have told us that if you hid diamonds and you were caught you would be beaten to near death. You tell us, from your experience, what was the most common place that people would hide their diamonds?

  • Well, everybody has his own way. I cannot tell you now specifically that this was a standard way that - some people would swallow it and some other people had their own ways.

  • Where did you hide your stash of diamonds?

  • Well, unfortunately for me, during that time I did not have any diamonds again and so I did not hide any diamonds. I just pulled out because things were really out of control.

  • "During that time I did not have any diamonds again", suggests that you did have some diamonds before the intervention. Is that correct?

  • Well, once in a while I used to get some diamonds that I would sell and I survived on the proceeds of that, once in a while, before the intervention, but at around the intervention - because at that time I was no longer engaged in any personal mining.

  • You were a member of the armed forces when you were posted to Tongo, weren't you?

  • What was your rank at that time, in the two months before the intervention?

  • I was lieutenant right up until the time I left the army.

  • And what was a lieutenant doing engaged in personal mining in Tongo?

  • It was not a personal mining, as I was saying. That one was like if you are overseeing a government mining and the area was a big place, they were not just doing the mining at one place, so maybe you would put one or two or three people together and you would feed them so they will mine for you, because it was only the government that was capacitated enough to do big mining, because it was the government who could bring a lot of civilians together.

  • It was your phrase that I was quoting back to you when you said:

    "Well, once in a while I used to get some diamonds that I would sell and I survived on the proceeds of that, once in a while, before the intervention, but at around the intervention - because at that time I was no longer engaged in any personal mining."

    What were you doing engaged in personal mining when you were a soldier, a lieutenant, based there to oversee the mining operations?

  • I was not doing anything.

  • Were any of your relatives doing anything for you in the mining area?

  • Well, it was not that they were doing something for me as such. They were living in a mining area and during those times things were really difficult and everybody was looking for a way and means to survive and protection. So it was only a relative or a friend that you could mine with during those times, because everybody was engaged in government mining and it was well supervised.

  • Government mining means mining for the government, not for your personal benefit, doesn't it?

  • Yes, and even when you would be mining for yourself, for your personal self, if there are times you got a big diamond and you did not present that to the government and the information got to Kenema, to either Eddie Kanneh or Sam Bockarie, it would not be an easy thing for you. So that made people to hand over diamonds like those, except those small diamonds that could not cost anything, so with those you could transact business together with other people who were mining for you.

  • So, finally on this subject, is this your evidence: That although the government was in control of the diamond mines at Tongo you, and anybody else who was in a position to do so, could cream off the smaller diamonds for your own personal benefit?

  • Yes, I told you that.

  • And if you were later found with a stash of diamonds, even smaller diamonds, that wouldn't be a problem. Is that what you're telling us?

  • It would be a problem. That was why I told you that that would not be to the knowledge of the big ones, because I was there purposely to represent the government.

  • Now after the intervention chaos breaks out amongst the AFRC/RUF, doesn't it?

  • Where are you talking about?

  • After the intervention there was no control any more, everyone was on his own because the regime was no longer in power. Do you agree?

  • Well, after the intervention Mosquito was in control. Mosquito was in complete control.

  • Mr Witness, let me just see if you agree or disagree with this proposition. There was no control any more, everyone was on his own because the regime was no longer in power. Do you agree with that?

  • Not everywhere. As I told you, all of us who went towards the Kailahun-Daru axis - as I told you, Mosquito was in full control.

  • Do you agree with any part of the proposition that I have just put to you that there was no control any more, everyone was on his own because the regime was no longer in power?

  • Like in the city, but where I found myself that I am telling you we - when the intervention met us in Tongo we went towards the Daru area and Mosquito was in complete control from the initial stage of the withdrawal. That was why he was able to go with those big weapons like the twin barrel that I told you about, that I told the Court about. He was in control completely.

  • Well, the proposition, the phrase I was putting to you, comes from your own evidence to this court on Monday.

  • Again if we could have the citation it might be helpful.

  • I can't, because I am going from my handwritten notes, but it is on Monday the 9th I believe and to give you an idea of when on Monday I can tell you it was some time after 10.12 a.m. in the morning.

  • Yes, what I am reading at 10.06 it's clear - it's on page - line 18 of page - I have lost the page. Well, he was talking about the intervention - the coup at that time.

  • Can I help my learned friend by repeating that what I am quoting from comes some time after 10.12 in the morning, because I have made notes of certain of the witness's evidence and set the time against them. This comes some time after that. Actually it comes between 10.12 and 10.28. The next note I put a time against is 10.28, but I am moving on in any event.

  • Was the last question answered? I don't think so.

  • Your Honour, I don't think so, but I can move on and deal with it.

  • You have told us that Mosquito had command and when the army was in disarray Mosquito and the Sierra Leone Army, the SLA as a whole, were no longer in control, but Mosquito was able to put the RUF structure under a strong command. Do you remember telling us that some time after 10.28 on Monday morning?

  • Not only the RUF did Mosquito put under strong command. Even the SLAs who went to that end - I am talking about people who went towards Kailahun, Buedu, who left Daru. Mosquito was in total control at that particular time. It was until when the entire operation had started again General Mosquito was in total control of the operations for us to go and fight back and dislodge ECOMOG and government troops from the various areas that they had captured.

  • Right. I want to ask you about the relationship between the RUF and the SLA after the intervention. Would you agree that after the intervention it was decided that where the SLA had a commander that his deputy would have to be an RUF commander and where the RUF had a commander his deputy would have to be an SLA member? Would you agree with that proposition?

  • And did that arrangement continue in the months and years after the intervention?

  • It continued, but it was not that effective. The RUF had total command over everybody so far that was there.

  • You also told us on Monday that three months after the intervention you finally crossed into Foya out of Sierra Leone. Do you remember telling us that?

  • Yes.

  • And all of those three months you spent in Sierra Leone, did you?

  • Yes, yes, as I told you, because of the things that used to happen and we heard about, like for example when we heard that Johnny Paul had been arrested and his wife had been searched and some of his honourables that were with him had been tied up and beaten up, that was why we started using those bypasses. That was the reason why we hid --

  • Mr Witness, I am going to interrupt you for a moment. I am simply trying to ask you about timing at the moment. We are not so much interested in what was going on, but the period of time. Now do you have a very clear memory of all of those things happening and you still being in Sierra Leone for those three months from the time of the intervention in mid-February 1998?

  • As I told you, I am mentioning this because these were some of the things that made me never to come to the open. I was hiding right until the time I went out of the country.

  • Right. And then it takes you another three months, you say, to get from Foya to Monrovia. Do you remember saying that?

  • Yes, because it was on foot.

  • What was going on in Foya and in the area around Foya while you were there? Was any fighting going on?

  • There was no fighting going on around Foya. Fighting was not going on there. The only thing I knew that was going on there was that if somebody was travelling that person would be properly searched and if money was found on that person, or any other thing that was of interest to them that would be taken from the person and seriously beaten up.

  • Who was actually running these road blocks? Were they the Armed Forces of Liberia, or were they local civilians, or were they some other group?

  • It was the Armed Forces of Liberia and at that time the commander in that area was Colonel Fayia.

  • As far as you understood it, were the Armed Forces of Liberia hostile to former members of the junta; that's to say SLA or RUF?

  • Please simplify that language for me. What do you mean by "hostile"?

  • Were the Armed Forces of Liberia against the former junta members, SLAs and RUF?

  • Well, it was not in all cases. Not in all cases. Not in all cases.

  • Was it your understanding while the junta was in power that the government of Charles Taylor in Liberia was opposed to or against the junta in Sierra Leone?

  • No, it was not against. It was not against at all. It was not against the junta.

  • So were these road blocks that were manned by the Armed Forces of Liberia, where people would be searched and have all their property removed, was that being done on government orders, as you understood it, or was that just soldiers acting entirely in their own personal interests?

  • Well, I don't know. I don't know that.

  • Were any of these road blocks that you were so anxious to avoid being manned by rebel forces opposed to the Government of Liberia?

  • It was the Liberian soldiers, the AFL, they were in those places.

  • Yes, we know that from what you have told us. I am asking you as far as you're aware were they doing this, removing people's property, on government orders, or were they doing it entirely to line their own pockets?

  • That is what I am telling you, Mr Lawyer, that I cannot tell whether they were ordered by the government or not, but I know that they were doing that. And to some extent some people who even crossed over with vehicles, the vehicles were taken away from them and they found themselves in refugee camps because there were refugee camps there at that time.

  • How was it that you knew this woman whose name you have given to us and that you went to stay with in Monrovia when you arrived in Monrovia in - well, it must have been around August 1998?

  • I have told this Court that when I was serving, during that time I befriended that woman when I was with the ECOMOG and I used to assist them once in a while with food. We had a food stuff that was in a packet that we referred to as compo. That was what we used to give to some of them. That was how I befriended that woman.

  • And what was her role when you were befriending her with this food?

  • It was not hidden, it was clear, and she was a senior person. A general in the NPFL.

  • And what was the NPFL doing during the time that you were in the peacekeeping force of ECOMOG?

  • Well, during that time they were disarming. They had disarmed even. They were waiting for their elections to be conducted. They had already disarmed.

  • And how well did you get to know this woman?

  • I said she did not hide her identity. She was a big person. She used to come there with some other people even, because she knew how to talk to people and so I liked talking to her. So whatever she wanted, she would explain to us and we too used to encourage them just for them not to start any other hostilities. So we used to give them food. That was how I came to know her.

  • And did you give her food in the premises where she worked, or at her home?

  • They used to come and meet us at the checkpoints. I can recall that, yes, they used to come and meet us at the checkpoints.