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

  • Mr Zaymay, when we adjourned yesterday I was - we were discussing Zigzag Marzah. I am just going to ask you a few more questions, and then I will refer you to the evidence that he gave before this Court. Last week when you were giving evidence you mentioned the time that Prince Johnson decided to split. Now, my question is: When Prince Johnson took off with some of the recruits that you had recruited within Liberia, do you know what happened to Prince Johnson and that group?

  • Prince Johnson - we were ordered to arrest Prince Johnson. Those of us who escaped and went to Mr Taylor, Mr Taylor ordered us to arrest Prince Johnson.

  • Was Prince Johnson eventually arrested?

  • Prince Johnson's arrest transformed into an attack between Prince Johnson forces, the INPFL, and the NPFL.

  • And my question is eventually was he apprehended? A yes or a no could suffice.

  • Now, when you were fighting in the NPFL from the time that you entered Liberia to the time that Mr Taylor moved to Monrovia in 1995, you said, how were you surviving as NPFL fighters? How were you surviving? How were you sustaining your livelihood?

  • There was a pay system established within the NPFL.

  • When was that pay system established?

  • The pay system came in in 1992 when I was in Maryland.

  • And under that system, who was paid?

  • The commanders used to pay the elements within his command.

  • And where was the payment coming from?

  • There was a Ministry of Finance in Gbarnga, so it came from the Ministry of Finance.

  • How are regular were the payments?

  • The pay remained in process until the time we moved to Monrovia.

  • What does that mean? The question you asked was how regular, and he says remained in progress. What does that mean?

  • I was going to refer him back to the original question.

  • My question was: Mr Zaymay, at what intervals were people being paid in the NPFL?

  • And for how long did that payment system remain in place?

  • The payment system remained starting from '92 up to '95, when Taylor moved to Monrovia.

  • Would you recall how much it was that an average fighter was getting as payment?

  • Within my command, a commander received 1,000; executive officer received 700; the elements within the unit received 500 each Liberian dollars.

  • Yes. The witness said there was a Ministry of Finance in Gbarnga. This is 1992 we are talking about. Ministry under which government?

  • Yes, Mr Zaymay, you mentioned a Minister of Finance in Gbarnga. Under which government was that minister working?

  • Under NPRAG government.

  • Besides the monetary payment that the fighters were getting in the NPFL, were they paid anything else or were they given anything else?

  • Yes. We used to get food supplies constantly, plus the payment.

  • And when you say food supplies, what exactly constituted food supplies?

  • And where was that rice coming from?

  • I don't know where Mr Taylor was getting the rice from, but the food supply used to come from Gbarnga.

  • Now, I am going to refer you back to the transcript and I am going to refer you to the evidence of Zigzag Marzah. Just for the record, again, it's the transcript of 12 March 2008. I will probably start at page 5851 - or, rather, let me start at 5850.

    Now, Mr Zaymay, I am going to refer you to the evidence of Zigzag Marzah who testified for the Prosecution in this case. When Zigzag Marzah came before this Court he told the Court that he was a member of the Armed Forces of Liberia, the AFL, from 1978 to 1985 when he went into exile in Ivory Coast and in Ivory Coast he was in a place called Zongwe.

    Madam President, I do not wish to read that part of the evidence. It's at page 5850. I will read the relevant part which I want the witness to comment on on the following page.

    At page 58581, line 3, Mr Marzah was asked about the time he returned to Liberia and the question was:

    "Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, when you returned to Liberia,

    were you alone or were you with a group?

    A. Yes. I came back along with Prince Johnson's group who

    were about 17 and I was recruited by him in Ivory Coast."

    I will go on to the next page where Mr Marzah gives a bit more detail - or, rather, let me end there and ask you this: You said when you entered Liberia you were headed by Prince Johnson. Do you remember Zigzag Marzah being part of your group?

  • No.

  • Yes, I do remember at the end of the session yesterday the witness was asked about Zigzag Marzah and his recollection of him and it strikes me that if counsel is going to a transcript and showing him his being there, he is attempting to refresh his recollection. So I am objecting on the basis of it being leading.

  • I don't know that he did - we did hear some testimony about this witness's knowledge of Zigzag Marzah and when he last saw him and I don't quite recall the answer that he gave, but now I think Mr Chekera is entitled to put a transcript to the witness, this witness, to ask his comment on it. I don't remember what he said yesterday about his recollection, but he has given the answer, he says no, and perhaps there are more questions to arise. But you can take it up in cross-exam.

  • Thank you, Madam President:

  • On page 5852, line 14 --

  • Mr Chekera, I am wondering if the witness was interrupted because you asked him a question and before he had - all he said was no. I don't know if he was about to say anything more and then said - I interrupted with counsel's objection. Or perhaps that's an answer good enough for you. I don't know.

  • Maybe I will probably just ask the witness to --

  • Perhaps he was going to say, no, I don't remember or something. I don't know.

  • That is a fair observation:

  • Mr Zaymay, I had referred you to Zigzag reference to the time that he said he was in Zongwe and he was recruited by Prince Johnson and in a group of about 17 and I had asked you whether you had any knowledge of that. What was your answer?

  • I said no. Zigzag Marzah never entered with us. We were all Special Forces who were trained in Liberia that entered Gbutuo.

  • At page 5852, Zigzag Marzah actually says he entered with the group that entered through Gbutuo on 24 December 1989 and this is what he says from line 14:

    "From Ivory Coast we entered in Gbutuo on 24 December 1989. From Gbutuo at that time I had not yet seen Charles Taylor. Prince Johnson was the commander, but he, Prince Johnson, he told us that there was one William Obey who was going to be the battle group to lead us, but later he was afraid and some of the Special Forces of Charles Taylor were arrested in Ivory Coast. So Prince Johnson and us passed through Gbutuo as far as Bluntou, so we came as far as Tiaplay and that was where we were based."

    I am just going to ask you a number of questions arising. On 24 December 1989 was Prince Johnson part of your group when you entered through Gbutuo?

  • Yes. Prince Johnson was the commander who led us when William Obey retreated.

  • And was Zigzag Marzah --

  • Excuse me. That was not the question. You asked him a particular date. You said on 24 December was Prince Johnson part of your group when you entered through Gbutuo. So he has got to tell us if that is the date they entered, whether Prince Johnson was part of the group and whether they did so through Gbutuo.

  • Let's unpack that statement, Mr Zaymay. You have told this Court that when you first had entered - when you first entered Liberia you entered through Gbutuo. When did you enter Gbutuo?

  • We entered Gbutuo on December 25, 5 o'clock in the morning.

  • What is your comment to the statement by Mr Zigzag Marzah that the forces under Prince Johnson that entered Gbutuo entered on 24 December 1989?

  • Zigzag Marzah - I never saw Zigzag Marzah. The forces who entered Gbutuo were all Special Forces who were trained in Libya. There was no civilian whoever entered with us. Zigzag Marzah was not part of the group. He is a great liar.

  • You have told this Court that you then went and established a base at Tiaplay. Now, you have also told this Court about the split between - the split when Prince Johnson left and formed his own group. Now I am going to refer you to the evidence of Zigzag Marzah on that issue and I will ask you to comment on it. I am going to refer, Madam President, to page 5853, line 29. That's the last line to the next page. This is what Zigzag Marzah says about the conflict involving Prince Johnson:

    "After Tiaplay, that was where we were and a conflict erupted between - among the Special Forces. Between the Special Forces and Prince Johnson who was our commander. And each time we captured an area, Prince Johnson would send a letter to our leader Mr Taylor and the Special Forces would take the letters from the envelope and then they would send a counter letter against Prince Johnson. From there Prince Johnson deployed us to go as far as Tappita and on our way moving, they, the Special Forces, against him, they had a conflict. So he went away and from there some of the Special Forces came and arrested me. They took me to Gborplay."

    The part I want you to comment on particularly is: Do you know whether Zigzag Marzah was ever arrested?

  • No.

  • Madam President, going on to the next --

  • Mr Chekera, how can you go on? What do you understand by that answer?

  • Sorry?

  • What does "no" mean? It means no, he doesn't know? Or no, he was never arrested? What?

  • The question, Madam President, was: Was Zigzag Marzah ever arrested?

  • No, the question was do you know whether.

  • Mr Zaymay, was Zigzag Marzah ever arrested?

  • He gave an answer "no". Why don't you build on that. What does "no" mean?

  • I was trying to be more specific:

  • When you said "no", Mr Zaymay, what did you mean?

  • No. Zigzag was never arrested. It's a big lie.

  • At page 5855, he goes on to give more detail about his arrest at line 9:

    "The remaining Special Forces there and the remaining Special Forces arrested me and took me to Gborplay. I was not alone. Myself and Prince Johnson, they took us there and they kept us in an old car box that appeared like a container. And they were lighting fire, lighting fire on top of the container, and while it was burning we were shaking inside the container and at that time some of our friends had already died."

    Do you recall an incident when Prince Johnson and Zigzag Marzah were apprehended?

  • I am informed by Mr Koumjian there has been an errata in relation to this page in relation to the arrested aspect.

  • What is the nature of the errata? Is this not the official record that we are looking at?

  • Your Honour, this is the official transcript.

  • So what errata are we talking about?

  • I am informed it's an errata dated 15 March 2010 and it relates to page 5855, lines 8 to line 16.

  • Could Madam Court Officer scroll down so we can see the lines 8 to 16. I don't understand how this errata business works, but I thought that the errata means going back into the official transcript and actually correcting the errors, not having two records side by side. I don't know how this errata business works. So, Madam Officer, I would like a word from you as to what we are supposed to do. If, indeed, there is an errata, let somebody bring it to our attention.

  • Madam President, if you will excuse me for interrupting. In that regard, our case manager is just printing out the copy of the errata, if that assists.

  • Madam Court Officer, the document you have just handed to the judges on the face of it shows that these were apparent interpretational errors that occurred. The transcript we are looking at is a transcript of 12 March 2008. The errata is done in March 2010 - that is two years down the road - by somebody who says that there was an interpretational error. Is that correct?

  • Your Honour, as far as I am aware, that is the situation. No transcript was re-issued, therefore, the transcript that we have before us presently is the transcript on the record.

  • So who authorised this kind of thing to go on? Who authorises things like this to happen? At whose initiative was this correction done?

  • Your Honour, I would have confer with chief of languages, because that errata seems to stem from the language section of the Court Management Unit.

  • Because where does that leave the official court record that we are aware of? Indeed, if there is an error done in translation, it's usually corrected during the Court and before the judges. But who does this kind of thing privately two years down the road to change the testimony of a witness because, in their opinion, the whole testimony was mistranslated? This is what we are wondering, whether this has been going on or whether this is a one-off thing.

    Madam Court Officer, could you please print out a copy of this transcript for us, this page, so we can see what the differences are?

  • I will do that, your Honour.

  • This is what I am going to say in relation to this discovery that we have made: First of all, we are shocked that proceedings can take place in court in whatever language the interpretation happens as it happens by people we trust the Court appointed knowing that they are capable of interpreting accurately. Two years down the road someone quietly determines to change the interpretation because they know better and actually publishes it as a correction of the official record. The Trial Chamber is the trier of fact. We do not recognise these additions and changes that are done behind the scenes. These changes rob the parties of an opportunity to comment on what was heard in court and frankly, I am shocked that this has been going on. I do not know how long this has been going on, but it's not good and it's not right. It is illegal; let me call it what it actually is. It is illegal for anyone, I don't care if it's the chief of languages, to change the official transcript outside of the court sitting, and I hope it doesn't happen again.

    We do not recognise it and we will go by the official record in this case.

    Mr Chekera, please continue.

  • Thank you, Madam President:

  • Mr Zaymay, I had just referred you to an excerpt of the evidence of Zigzag Marzah where he said - maybe it would be easier if I would just read the relevant part again. Line 9:

    "The remaining Special Forces were there and the remaining Special Forces arrested me and took me to Gborplay. I was not alone. Myself and Prince Johnson, they took us there and they kept us in an old car box that appeared like a container" - if you could just wait for me --

  • That's a lie.

  • Just hold on and wait for me until I finish:

    "And they were lighting fire - lighting fire on top of the container whilst it was burning. We were shaking inside the container, and at that time some of our friend had already died."

    Do you remember this incident that Zigzag Marzah is talking about?

  • It's a big lie. In fact, Prince Johnson was not arrested. Had Prince Johnson been arrested, he wouldn't have been fighting at the front against the NPFL. That is just to prove to you that it's a big lie.

  • Very well. What about the other persons? Was Zigzag Marzah ever arrested and put in an old car box at Gborplay?

  • It's a lie. It's a big lie. Zigzag Marzah was not in fact ever arrested. It is a lie.

  • Mr Chekera, the witness says - I don't know if this is really what the witness said concerning Johnson. He says if in fact - if Prince Johnson had been arrested, he wouldn't have been fighting at the front against the NPFL. Isn't the testimony that the NPFL soldiers arrested Prince Johnson, tortured him; that is why he broke away? Isn't that the gist of this testimony, Zigzag Marzah's?

  • Let me clarify, Madam President:

  • Mr Zaymay, what Mr Marzah was suggesting when he was giving this piece of evidence was that it was actually as a result of the arrest that Prince Johnson broke away and formed his own group. Do you know anything about that?

  • Prince Johnson was never arrested. He was never, ever arrested. The order came for him - for Prince Johnson to be arrested, but we told him that if we arrested to --

  • Your Honours, could the witness be asked to slow down.

  • Please slow down with your testimony. Just repeat what you were saying in the last sentence. The order came. The order came from who? Continue from there.

  • The order came. When Degbon left the base and went to Ivory Coast, Degbon met Mr Taylor and told Mr Taylor that Prince Johnson gave orders to execute some Special Forces. It was then that Taylor sent a letter of arrest. I received the letter of arrest and gave him the letter of arrest - I was the 1st Battalion commander - saying that we should arrest Prince Johnson saying that he had gone against the SOP. So all of us, the commanders, held a meeting, and we discussed that it will not be easy to arrest Prince Johnson, because he had a unit called the task force - that it would not be easy to arrest him, and if we attempted to arrest Prince Johnson, if we failed, in fact, in trying to arrest Prince Johnson, there would have been an attack against each - the two groups, and we - there would have been a bloodshed because it would have led to gunfire between us. So the best we said we could do was to escape from Prince Johnson. That was how we escaped from Prince Johnson and went to Mr Taylor in Gborplay. Prince Johnson was never even arrested in Tiaplay.

  • In your evidence last week you said that when Mr Taylor moved to Gborplay he then constituted another group, which was sent to arrest Prince Johnson. Did that group ever arrest Prince Johnson?

  • No. When Taylor gave the order for his arrest and when they went to arrest him, it transformed into an attack, and that became an attack between the INPFL and the NPFL until Prince Johnson - who proceeded to Monrovia. He was not even ever arrested.

  • Were there any persons who were arrested at Gborplay and placed in an old car box?

  • No. There was a military police commander in Gborplay. There was no old car used as a jail house. It is a great lie.

  • Very well. I am going to take you to another allegation that is slightly different at page 5855, line 29, to the next page.

  • Just before you move, perhaps this could be clarified, Mr Chekera. The witness is thinking of people being kept in an old car, by his last answer. That's what he is thinking. He is saying there was nobody kept in an old car. It's a great lie. But nobody was ever talking about an old car.

  • Let me just clarify that. Thank you:

  • Mr Zaymay, my question was: Were there any persons who were ever arrested at Gborplay and placed in an old car box that appeared like a container?

  • It's a lie. It's a big lie. The only jailhouse that was in Gborplay that I knew about was the - a military police cell and there was an MP commander in Gborplay who had a jailhouse there.

  • The Military Police cell if you can just quickly describe, I don't want you to go into detail, what was the military police cell like?

  • There were two big rooms. One was for the Special Forces and one was the others. And me, myself, I was confined in there for 72 hours.

  • Page 5855, line --

  • Could those two rooms be described as something like a container?

  • Let me just probe a little bit further.

  • Now, Mr Zaymay, the two rooms that you referred to, would you describe them as a container?

  • No. It was a house in which people were living, but the MP commander declared there as the headquarters. It was a house and not a container.

  • You have told us about the name NPFL and when you, the trainees in Libya, acquired that name. This is what Mr Marzah has to say and I want you to comment on that. He was asked.

    "Q. Now, with the organisation that you joined and you

    said you then entered Liberia with Prince Johnson, did that

    have a name? What was the name of the organisation?

    "A. At first we never had a name. We called ourselves

    freedom fighters.

    Q. Did you later get a name?

    A. Yes, after the arrival of Mr Taylor in Gborplay that we

    had the name the NPFL, the National Patriotic Front of


    Do you agree with Mr Marzah's evidence here that you started using the name NPFL at Gborplay when Mr Taylor arrived?

  • The organisation was named in Libya NPFL. In Libya. That was the name of the organisation that we moved with into Liberia.

  • And what, therefore, is your comment in relation to Mr Marzah's allegation there?

  • What I have to say here is that you don't know Zigzag Marzah. Zigzag Marzah is not a sound person. When Zigzag Marzah was with Benjamin Yeaten, he used to take drugs, opium, excessively. Sometimes they tied him and he was thrown into dirty water.

  • Your Honours, could the witness be asked again to slow down.

  • Please pause. You are running again and the interpreter can't keep up with you. Please slow down. The last thing we have you saying is "they tied him and he was thrown into dirty water". Now, continue from there slowly.

  • Zigzag Marzah is not sound. Zigzag Marzah is one who smokes opium. He smokes drugs excessively. He was the one who brought in --

  • Your Honours, could the witness be asked to repeat the name of that tablet.

  • Sorry, Mr Witness, you said he brought in what tablet?

  • Repeat the name of the tablet.

  • We called the tablet Ten Ten. Ten Ten. They are tiny tablets. When you take it then you become dizzy. It was Zigzag Marzah who brought those tablets. And he induced some other guys who started taking it and when that was discovered by Benjamin Yeaten, that Zigzag Marzah was the one who brought about the tablets, and that it was also a drugs, he brought it into his unit, he ordered that Zigzag Marzah be dragged. He was dragged for two hours. Zigzag Marzah was just a dirty man in the NPFL that everyone knew about. He smoked opium excessively. We later got to know that Zigzag Marzah was not someone who was sound. Zigzag Marzah lies like someone I don't even know how to describe. Zigzag Marzah is not straight, he is not competent. Benjamin Yeaten himself did not use to allow Zigzag Marzah to go close to him. Zigzag Marzah was always in the kitchen. That is what I know about Zigzag Marzah.

  • You referred to a drug called Ten Ten that Zigzag Marzah brought in. When you say brought in, what do you mean?

  • You know, those drugs were discovered during the ECOMOG raid, during Octopus, when ECOMOG was bombarding us. The ECOMOG used to take those drugs with them in their chopper and they used to drop them all over around the NPFL-controlled area so that when you took it in you will become dizzy and you could even take it and then you end up shooting your own friend or maybe you end up shooting your own hand or your own palm. You would not even feel it - get a feeling of it. So it was Zigzag Marzah who discovered that. And he brought it. Now --

  • Just before you proceed, do you know why ECOMOG was dropping off these drugs?

  • Yes. To make the NPFL soldiers dizzy, to make them useless. Because at that time the ECOMOG were fighting against the NPFL. So when the leader, Charles Taylor, got to know about those drugs, he informed each and every one of us that the ECOMOG were dropping certain drugs into your controlled areas. So he said, "You guys should not take any drugs that had not been prescribed by your doctor that you find in the streets or you find on the ground - on the floor or that you find in the jungle." So that was how we got to know about those drugs.

  • And you said when Zigzag Marzah discovered these drugs, what did he do?

  • Zigzag Marzah brought it in the midst of his friends, in the midst of his colleague forces, friendly troops, and the boys started taking it in. So sometimes some people started acting funny. So that was the time that Benjamin Yeaten got to know that it was Zigzag Marzah who brought the drugs. That was how Zigzag Marzah was disciplined. He was disciplined by dragging him.

  • What do you mean disciplined by dragging him? Can you just - I don't want you to give a long explanation. Disciplined by dragging him, what does that mean?

  • They punished him. They build a circle, they put him on the floor and he was being dragged from one point to the other for bringing bad drugs in the midst of the soldiers.

  • And when was this that this happened? You said --

  • How was he dragged? On the end of a car or at the back of a horse or what?

  • How was Zigzag Marzah dragged around? Can you just briefly describe the dragging process? I don't want you to give a long explanation. Just to give us a picture of the punishment you are talking about.

  • The soldiers formed a circle about five metres from one person to the other and they will hold his two legs, they drag him on the ground and pass it on to another person and the person too would drag him from one point to the other point and give it to another person. It was not by car.

  • And you said that lasted for two hours?

  • You mentioned that the drugs were being dropped off by ECOMOG around 1992, did you say?

  • And when was this punishment when - the punishment that Zigzag Marzah got, when was this?

  • It was during the Octopus when those drugs were discovered. During Octopus, '92.

  • And beside Zigzag, were there any - do you know whether other fighters were using the drugs?

  • There was a group - a special group with Zigzag Marzah and it was that group that was dealing with those drugs. I think there were about five or six persons.

  • And after Zigzag Marzah was punished, do you know whether he stopped using the drugs?

  • Well, he stopped the drugging and he went back to his opium.

  • How do you know about Zigzag Marzah's opium?

  • He and I were in the same unit. I was fighting within the Jungle Fire. He smoked cigarettes, he smoked opium. I used to see him with opium.

  • At what point were you fighting in the same unit, Jungle Fire, with Zigzag Marzah?

  • During the time Gbarnga fell and during the recapture of Gbarnga. No, no, no - yes, it was during the recapture of Gbarnga, yes, in '94.

  • Now, I am going to take you back to the transcript and move on with Mr Marzah's evidence. Page 5858, line 14:

    "A. After my release from the container by Charles Taylor,

    he assigned me with the 1st Battalion under Edward Millen


    On the next page, 5859:

    "I was ordered by Charles Taylor along with the Special

    Force member by the name of Godfather. His full name is

    Alfred Mieh. We took the route and went to battle at

    Tappita along with some Special Forces under Edward Millen,

    who was the battalion commander."

    When Mr Taylor appointed you, you said your first appointment was 1st Battalion commander. Is that right?

  • Yes.

  • When was it that you were appointed 1st Battalion commander? Where were you, rather, when you were appointed 1st Battalion commander?

  • After we had escaped from Prince Johnson, that was the time I was appointed as the 1st Battalion to be based in Gbutuo.

  • And for how long did you remain in that position?

  • Um, I remained in the position for about a month, and I was called - I remained in the position for about a month.

  • And who was appointed to replace you?

  • When I was there, Francis Mewon was my assistant officer, and it was Francis Mewon who remained in charge in Gbutuo.

  • When you gave us the respective commanders for the unit, you said that Edward Mineh was the 1st Battalion commander. Do you know when he was appointed 1st Battalion commander?

  • I do not remember when the changes were made from Francis Mewon to Edward Mineh, but Edward Mineh was the 1st Battalion commander who attacked Monrovia.

  • Now, who was responsible for appointing members into respective battalions?

  • At that time during the early times of the war, it was Mr Taylor himself.

  • Do you therefore agree with Mr Marzah here, where he says that after his release from the container he was assigned with the 1st Battalion by Mr Taylor?

  • All what Zigzag Marzah has said is a lie. I do not agree with him. Zigzag Marzah is a liar.

  • Now, Zigzag Marzah --

  • Mr Chekera, that's a very generalised statement. You asked a specific point, and I don't know if that generalised statement answers that specific point.

  • Let me push the question a bit further.

  • Specifically, you have agreed that Mr Taylor was appointing members to respective units, and Zigzag Marzah here says that he was appointed to the 1st Battalion unit by Mr Taylor. Do you agree with that - or, rather, let me put it this way: Do you know anything about that appointment of Zigzag Marzah into the 1st Battalion unit by Mr Taylor?

  • No.

  • No, he was not appointed; or no, you don't know?

  • Zigzag Marzah was not appointed into any unit. I was the 1st Battalion commander in Gbutuo. Zigzag Marzah was not appointed into any unit by Mr Taylor. Zigzag Marzah was a very small man down the line. He did not know, in fact, anybody. He was not anybody, in fact, to go close to Mr Taylor.

  • Just to be clear. Zigzag Marzah says he was appointed to the 1st Battalion in Gborplay. Was he appointed to the 1st Battalion in Gborplay, if you know?

  • No. I don't know. It did not even happen. Zigzag Marzah would not even go close to Mr Taylor for any appointment.

  • Mr Witness, yesterday you gave us a list of the battalions and the units of the NPFL and their leaders, in which you told us where you were a commander. You have now said that you were the battalion commander of the 1st Battalion in Gbutuo. Is that correct?

  • When we escaped from Prince Johnson, that was early 1990, I was the first person who took the assignment as the battalion commander for about a month. For about a month, until when I had an accident.

  • Do you want to pursue that, Madam President?

  • Yes, because I took notes yesterday when the witness was telling us who the battalion commander was for the 1st Battalion. That was Edward K Mineh; not the witness. The witness, on the other hand, appears as the battalion commander for, first of all, the 2nd Battalion from 1990 to '91, and then later he was transferred to the 6th Battalion. So, Mr Witness, when were you commander of the 1st Battalion? Specifically: When?

  • Okay. I think it was about March or April I was at first appointed - my first assignment was - my appointment as 1st Battalion commander to move to Gbutuo and after one month, when I had an accident --

  • Your Honours, could be the witness the asked to slow down and repeat that area.

  • Slow down. Yes, you said after your accident, what happened?

  • I was taken to Burkina Faso for treatment, and after my treatment I came back to Gborplay. At that time Gbarnga had been captured. The only target was Monrovia. So I was appointed as 2nd Battalion commander to move and then attack Monrovia.

  • So you were commander for the 1st Battalion for how long?

  • For about a month in Gbutuo.

  • And based on that one-month experience, your evidence is that Zigzag Marzah was never a member of the 1st Battalion - based on that one month? There is no possibility that after you left that 1st Battalion, Zigzag Marzah was appointed to that 1st Battalion, in your opinion?

  • Yes.

  • "Yes" what? There is a possibility?

  • Zigzag Marzah was not even competent to take any assignment within the 2nd Battalion.

  • I am not asking your opinion. I am saying your testimony is based on your one month as commander of the 1st Battalion to say that Zigzag Marzah never was appointed to the 1st Battalion.

  • Okay. Thank you. Please continue.

  • To confuse the issue further, the witness has now said that Zigzag Marzah was not even competent to take any assignment within the 2nd Battalion.

  • Yes, I heard that. I was just going to refer - in reference to the issue that Madam President was asking, I was going to refer to the transcript of 7 May, page 40701, line 225. That's when the issue was raised by the witness for the first time in relation to his appointment.

  • Just a minute, Madam President. Sorry, Madam President, I was referring to the appointment of the witness to the 1st Battalion, and I thought that reference might assist in that regard.

  • Yes, it would be interesting to - what does it say?

  • Let me just get the --

  • Just refer us to the page number. I am sure Madam Court Officer will bring it up on the --

  • Page 40701, 7 May, line 225.

    "So when we went, Mr Taylor ordered me, said, 'Zaymay, you would go to the base. I am coming to the base. You go to the base, collect and organise a unit and move, and you would go there as the 1st Battalion commander to be based in Gbutuo.'"

    That was when the issue was first raised for the first time in relation to that appointment, and I think this was in relation to a meeting that was in Ivory Coast.

  • But this doesn't throw light on the dates in question.

  • I don't even remember if you asked him whether he actually went and established a base in Gbutuo. All I was going by was the question you asked him yesterday, to give us the details of the command structure, and he didn't include himself in the 1st Battalion.

  • Yes, I noticed. That's why I was giving that background, just for the issue to be clear.

  • In any event, continue.

  • Mr Zaymay, do you know where the 1st Battalion was deployed?

  • Yes. The 1st Battalion deployed between Gbutuo and Gborplay by the side of the riverbank between Liberia and Ivory Coast.

  • Sorry, maybe I should have been clearer. In 1990 - do you know where the 1st Battalion was deployed in 1990?

  • And do you know how far they advanced?

  • No. The 1st Battalion was only deployed to protect the border so that Prince Johnson will not be able to cross and go back into Ivory Coast. They remained in that position until I had the accident.

  • And when was it that you had the accident? Just for that part of the evidence to be clear.

  • I had the accident between March and April.

  • Of 1990 early. March to April 1990.

  • And when you came back - you said you came back after three months - do you know where the 1st Battalion was deployed?

  • When I came back, yes. When I came back, Edward Mineh was in the position. Edward Mineh was now the commander of the 1st Battalion.

  • My question was: Do you know where it was now deployed? Where was the 1st Battalion at this point when you came back from hospital after three months?

  • The 1st Battalion was in Firestone, Harbel.

  • Did it proceed beyond Harbel?

  • The 1st Battalion was in Harbel itself. Firestone, Harbel and RIA.

  • My question was: Did the 1st Battalion go anywhere beyond Harbel?

  • Could you tell me how far it went?

  • The 1st Battalion went to attack the 1st Battalion of the Samuel Kanyon Doe government, AFL, at Schefflein, whilst the 2nd Battalion was engaged in attacking Monrovia.

  • Now, I am going to refer you to the evidence of Mr Marzah where he discusses the disciplinary system within the NPFL. Remember yesterday we talked about the SOP. Now, Mr Marzah was asked to draw a comparison between the time that Prince Johnson was leading your group, the group that - before Prince Johnson split to form the INPFL in relation to the time after Prince Johnson had left and I am going to read you what he said about that and I will ask you to comment. The question was at page 5861:

    "Q. Mr Witness, you have told us that you fought before

    being placed in the container with Prince Johnson forces

    and you told us you remained with the NPFL and its

    successors up to 2003. Can you compare how the Prince

    Johnson forces treated civilians with how the NPFL forces

    treated civilians?

    A. I said during the Prince Johnson's administration,

    there was no authority to go and harass civilians, or even

    to rape, or to loot during Prince Johnson's administration.

    When you joined Prince Johnson, the cloth that you had on

    you would battle with it until you return. At any time he

    saw something strange with you, he would either execute

    you, or you will go through military discipline, so there

    was no way you could play around with civilians during

    Prince Johnson's administration. What he told us was to

    battle against soldiers and to ensure that we overthrow Doe

    from the directive from Charles Taylor to him."

    Do you agree with this summation of the disciplinary system during the time of what the witness calls Prince Johnson's administration when Prince Johnson was the leader?

  • Yes. Those were the orders of the SOP. No looting, yes.

  • My question is: Was this how Prince Johnson was instilling discipline, that what Mr Marzah is saying is that Prince Johnson was a strict disciplinarian. Do you agree with that?

  • Yes. Prince Johnson was our commander, when we entered we were enforcing the SOP, yes.

  • Now at line 26 the witness was asked:

    "Q. And how did that compare with your time with the NPFL?

    How were civilians treated with the NPFL?

    A. I will say the truth and nothing but the truth. When

    our leader himself was present in Liberia, there were more

    opportunities for us. We had a chance to do anything, like

    to loot, to rape. At the same time what you got was for

    you to be courageous and to battle for him."

    Do you follow what Mr Marzah is saying in this context? Mr Zaymay, do you follow what Mr Marzah is saying? He is saying that the disciplinary system that ensued under Prince Johnson's administration fell apart when the leader - and by the leader he refers to Mr Taylor - was now present in Liberia. Do you agree with that observation?

  • No. The SOP was given to us by Mr Taylor. When Mr Taylor came, the SOP still remained; there should be no looting and no raping.

  • Yes. And was that SOP enforced, because Mr Marzah is saying here that the disciplinary system crumbled under Mr Taylor?

  • It's a big lie. Marzah is lying. Marzah is lying. The SOP father himself, Mr Taylor, was on the ground. Nobody will tamper with the SOP. No violations at the front, no lootings, no rapings. In fact those of us, the commanders, were enforcing it. We did not allow soldiers to rape, no. It's a lie.

  • Why do you refer to Mr Taylor as the father of the SOP?

  • He headed the organisation. He brought the SOP to us. And how would he sit down and tell us to go against it? We wouldn't have allowed that. It did not in fact happen. That was why I said he was the SOP father.

  • Mr Chekera, when you or when the witness speaks of the time of Prince Johnson being the leader, what time are we talking about?

  • Yes, let me - do you want me to verify with the transcript or with --

  • Yes, please, with the witness.

  • What time are we talking about when Prince Johnson was the leader?

  • Mr Zaymay, when Prince Johnson was leading your group when you entered through Gbutuo to the time that he then split and formed his own organisation, you said the INPFL, was he strictly applying and enforcing the SOP?

  • And after Prince Johnson left and formed his own organisation, the INPFL, did that strict application of the NPFL - sorry, did that strict application of the SOP crumble under Mr Taylor's leadership when Mr Taylor came to Gborplay?

  • No. The SOP still remained.

  • Absolutely not. I am asking about time frames. I want to know the years that we are talking about.

  • You entered through Gbutuo on 25 December, you said, 1989. Mr Zaymay, you entered through Gbutuo in 1989, 25 December, yes?

  • And you were led by Prince Johnson?

  • You said at that time Mr Taylor was still in Ivory Coast?

  • And you said that Prince Johnson was the most senior NPFL member at the time in Liberia?

  • When was it that Prince Johnson split to form his own organisation, the INPFL?

  • From December 1989 to mid-March Prince Johnson was in command.

  • Mid-March of which year?

  • March 1990.

  • And when was it that Mr Taylor came to Gborplay?

  • Mr Taylor came to Gborplay in 1991.

  • Do you know which part of 1991?

  • I do not recall the month, but it was in 1991. He got a base in Gborplay.

  • Does that put the evidence into perspective?

  • No, no, no, excuse me. Taylor came to Gborplay in 1990. 1990.

  • Do you remember which part of 1990, if you can give us a month?

  • No, I do not recall the month.

  • My next question logically is this: The witness earlier on today, when you asked him were they paid and how were they paid, he said that they were paid I think from 1992 they were paid some kind of salary, regularly or not regularly, but they were paid. My question is: How did they make a living before 1992? I would like the witness to throw some light on that. How did they earn a living before 1992?

  • I was hoping to go that - when you look at the page where I am, we're going to discuss looting. Let me just deal with that right away:

  • From the time that you entered, Mr Zaymay - from the time that you entered Liberia from Ivory Coast, until the time that a salary payment system was instituted in the NPFL, how were the NPFL fighters sustaining their livelihood?

  • When we entered Gbutuo in 1990, the civilians within the entire Nimba County embraced the revolution, the NPFL. And it was those very civilians who used to collect food around on their own. They brought cows, chickens, rice, goats and sheeps to the fighters willingly and they were saying they were coming to thank us. They said they had suffered in the hands of the Krahn wicked people. So the civilians embraced the organisation. They were feeding us willingly.

  • And for how long did you remain surviving on the goodwill of the civilians?

  • That remained until I had an accident and I was taken to Burkina. Yes, until I went to Burkina.

  • And would you know how the NPFL fighters were surviving during the time that you were away?

  • Yes. It was from the same civilians in the entire Nimba County. I even learned later that - because by then I was not there, I was in the hospital. I learnt from Agnes Taylor, the witness of Mr Taylor, that the NPFL had captured the Nimba headquarters of Sanniquellie and that the chiefs and the zo in Nimba were all contributing food for the fighters.

  • Your Honours, that was not clear to the interpreter.

  • What did you say, Mr Witness? We didn't catch it. Something about Gbarnga. What did you say?

  • I said it was the same thing that happened in Gbarnga. The same way the Nimba County citizens were bringing food for the fighters in Nimba, that was the same thing that the Bong County people did in Gbarnga. Taylor was to pass and go straight to Monrovia, but the Bong County people said that they would not allow him to pass. They said they will give him a place and he will live there with them. They said they would not allow him to pass. So that was how Taylor managed to be based in Gbarnga.

  • Why did you Bong County people refuse Taylor to pass to go to Monrovia?

  • They embraced the organisation. They embraced the organisation. They said they liked the movement and they liked the NPFL, so they said the leader will not pass. He should stay with them in Gbarnga until the time he will be ready to go to Monrovia. But they said they would not let him pass. So the superintendent, the commissioner and the heads, the elders and the zos, all of them, they all willingly said it. That was how Taylor was based in Gbarnga, but he was on his way straight to Monrovia.

  • Mr Zaymay, Zigzag Marzah says that you were surviving on looting. Page 5862, line 11:

    "Q. Now, Mr Witness, before the election of Charles Taylor

    as President, were the NPFL soldiers paid any salary?

    A. Before election, or after elections?

    Q. Before the election.

    A. No, we had go ahead that what - wheresoever we

    captured, what we got there was for us. So, we were

    encouraged to battle. We were not physically paid, no."

    Do you follow what Zigzag Marzah is saying, Mr Zaymay? He says before Mr Taylor was elected President, the NPFL was not - the NPFL fighters were not paid anything and you were surviving on looting. Actually, you were encouraged to go into battle, and that would be your opportunity to loot. What's your comment?

  • It's a lie. A big, big lie. The NPFL was paid. The payment started since '92. I could - I remember when I was commanding general in the southeastern region in Maryland, I was called directly by Mr Taylor asking me - he said, "General Zaymay, report to Gbarnga to receive the salaries of the soldiers." And I went there, I got the monies from him, and he asked me to give the strength, my total - the total strength of my men. And he calculated, he did the breakdown: Commander, 1,000; deputy commander general, 700; and going right down to the least person, 500. And that total was calculated, and it was signed by him and it was taken to the Chief of Finance, and it was taken to the Ministry of Finance. I took it to the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Finance approved it. They gave me a cheque, I took it there, and I received my money. I took it with me. I went and paid the soldiers. And the salary system started from 2000 up to the time Taylor left Monrovia in 2005. No soldier ever looted for payment. The SOP was strong. No one could tamper with it. It's a big lie.

  • I just want to be clear about something. When did the salary system start again? You have given two different dates.

  • The salary started in 2002 when I was in Maryland. When I was in Maryland.

  • And when did it end?

  • No, no, no. No, no, no. The salary started in 1992. In 1992. 1992. It's a mistake by saying 2002. The salary system started in 1992. When I was transferred from Bomi Hills to Maryland in 1992. Not 2002.

  • On the same page, still on page 5862, Mr Zigzag Marzah also alleges that the NPFL were using terrorist tactics against civilians. I will refer you to the relevant portion. Line 18:

    "Q. Sir, when you were with the NPFL, were there any

    tactics that were used to create fear in your opponents and

    those around you, those civilians around the area?

    A. Yes. When I was with the NPFL to fight from Tappita to

    go to Grand Bassa, the tactics that we used sometimes we

    set ambushes, but before setting any ambush anywhere,

    anywhere we are going to capture, the battle that we do

    there there is no rescue for any civilian. From there you

    take the human head and you would place it over your car

    bumper and when people see it they become afraid, and when

    the enemy hears that news they will say the people who are

    coming, the men who are coming, they do not forgive any

    person. So, for that reason they too would vanish."

    Mr Marzah is giving evidence about the time that the NPFL was fighting from Tappita to Grand Bassa. Were you involved in any fighting in Tappita to Grand Bassa?

  • Yes.

  • When was it that you were involved in fighting from Tappita to Grand Bassa, this area?

  • Where were you in 1990?

  • I can remember 1990. There was a mission that was given to me that Krahn soldiers, the AFL, were coming to Tappita by entering Nimba County in Tappita. So I was to move and block the bridge between Grand Gedeh - between Grand Gedeh and Nimba County. Between Grand Gedeh and Nimba County. There was a special unit that was given to me that was prepared from Gborplay just for this mission, so I moved from Gborplay with this unit along with Godfather. I went and captured Tappita successfully and deployed men on the bridge - at the bridge between Grand Gedeh and Nimba County. Between Grand Gedeh and Nimba County. Then I returned to my assignment area.

  • Now, do you know anything about these allegations that are made by Mr Marzah? Did you see any of this during the time that you were fighting in the NPFL?

  • No. That is why I say Zigzag Marzah was lying. When you enter where NPFL was fighting - let me say this: The reason that NPFL was strong to advance into Monrovia within six months was that we used the very civilians to give us information. We used - we embraced the civilians. Before attacking any town, we would get information from the civilians. We would ask them if there were soldiers in the town and they will say yes, and they will give us the position of the soldiers. Then we would move straight to where the soldiers were living and leave the civilians alone. The very civilians whom we had embraced would give us the location of the soldiers. If you do not know a place and you set the civilians aside, who would give you the information to move ahead? That was a big lie. We used the civilians to feed us with information. The embraced the very civilians whom we had gone to embrace. How would we have killed everybody? That is a great lie.

  • Just to be faithful to the evidence, Mr Marzah did not say you killed everyone. He said you - the NPFL would put - would take a human head and place it over the bumper of a car to create fear, and my question specifically relates to that practice. Is this a practice that you know of from being a member of the NPFL?

  • I said it's a lie. It's a lie. It's never even happened. It's a great lie. Nobody used human skulls on vehicles. It's a lie.

  • Again to be faithful to the evidence by Mr Marzah, he did not say "human skull". He said "human head".

  • I continue to say it is false. It's a lie.

  • Next page, 5863, line 1:

    "Q. Was there a practice that you used at checkpoints with

    the NPFL to create fear?

    A. Yes, after we left Nimba to go as far as Kamutes [phon]

    Town, as far as Monrovia, any checkpoint we use human

    intestine, sometimes we put the head on a stick for people

    to be afraid."

    Did the NPFL, during the time that it was advancing as far as Monrovia, to your knowledge use human intestines at checkpoints in order to create fear?

  • No, it's a lie. No, it never happened.

  • Line 8:

    "A. When the person is executed, when he is executed his

    stomach is slit and you take the intestine and you use it

    as a rope and you take the head and place it on a stick and

    you put it aside the checkpoint."

    More graphic details there. Do you now remember? Did you see any of this happen?

  • Not in my command. I never saw it. I was the commander for Kakata straight to Monrovia. I never used - nobody ever used human - the intestine of a human being as a gate. It's a lie. This is a lie.

  • Page 5864, line 13:

    "Q. Mr Witness, do you know if Charles Taylor ever passed

    these checkpoints that had the displays that you are

    talking about of human heads and intestines?

    A. Yes, he was aware. He made us understand that as

    guerillas you have to play with human blood so that the

    enemy forces would be afraid of you."

    Do you - is this within your personal knowledge, that Mr Taylor used to encourage NPFL fighters to play with human blood so that the enemy forces would be afraid?

  • No, it never happened. No.

  • Madam President, I will refer to, briefly, exhibit P-436A.

  • Your Honour, we did not have notice of this exhibit. We would require some time to locate it.

  • Madam President, I could just read the excerpt. It's only two lines. My apology for overlooking that notice.

  • Sorry, this is an excerpt of what?

  • It was a Prosecution exhibit used in cross-examination.

  • Yes, but it's a document - what document is it?

  • The description of the document, I think it was an excerpt of the Liberian TRC report.

  • Mr Chekera, do you think or do you know?

  • The ERN number I have is 874 and, yes, it was an excerpt.

  • You see, we have this exhibit in our courtroom folder, but we just have that page 175.

  • And there is no description of what this document is.

  • That is what we also have in our --

  • Yes, but if you are going to rely on it for cross-examination, I am asking you for the record to state what it is.

  • What is it? What is this document?

  • It is an excerpt from the Liberian TRC report.

  • Now you can put it before the witness.

  • Mr Zaymay, you remember when you talked about the disarmament of ECOMOG forces in 1992. This is an exhibit that was put before this Court by the Prosecution and I am going to refer to the September 1992 part which was isolated by the Prosecution for purposes of this trial:

    "Nearly 600 ECOMOG soldiers were taken prisoner, some of whom were severely beaten by their NPFL captors."

    In September 1992, Mr Zaymay, do you know of any case of 600 ECOMOG soldiers who were taken prisoners by the NPFL and severely beaten?

  • Some of which. Some or whom were --

  • Sorry, yes, your Honour:

  • Some of whom were severely beaten?

  • No, not to my knowledge.

  • When you disarmed ECOMOG, do you know whether there was any ill-treatment of the ECOMOG soldiers who were disarmed under your command?

  • No. No ECOMOG was maltreated under my command after the disarmament.

  • Were ECOMOG soldiers disarmed elsewhere other than under your command?

  • I only know about my command.

  • I might as well while at it go to the September '94 entry second from the bottom:

    "September 1994: The NPFL reportedly detained and ill-treated 30 civilians from the Bassa ethnic group in Gbutuo and Nimba County accused of supporting the LPC."

    Mr Zaymay, in September '94 do you know about 30 civilians from the Bassa ethnic group in Gbutuo, Nimba, that were detained and ill-treated for supporting the LPC?

  • No, I don't know about this.

  • The last paragraph:

    "September 1994: Large numbers of civilians and refugees were beaten and raped and their property looted by the armed groups involve in the fighting around Gbarnga."

    You said that Gbarnga fell and was recaptured in 1994, yes?

  • No, not to my knowledge. By NPFL? By NPFL? No. But there were two forces that were in Gbarnga, LPC and ULIMO. The two of them attacked Gbarnga. ULIMO first entered and the LPC later entered and LPC took ULIMO to be the NPFL. ULIMO took the LPC to be the NPFL, so these two units fought for one week before we could attack them. So no NPFL fighter ever arrested any civilian.

  • Mr Chekera, the citation that you read doesn't refer to the arrest of a civilian.

  • Yes, I note that and I was going to correct that:

  • The allegation here, Mr Zaymay, is large numbers of civilians and refugees were beaten and raped and their property looted by the armed groups involved in the fighting around Gbarnga, that was around September 1994. Did the NPFL beat, rape and loot the property of civilians around Gbarnga during that time?

  • I repeat, no, no. I want to say something concerning this. I said no. The two armed groups, ULIMO first entered Gbarnga. LPC came. ULIMO took LPC to be the NPFL. LPC took ULIMO to be the NPFL. So these two units fought. They fought artillery war. It was not easy. The leader, Mr Taylor, told us that the two units have met and they were taking each other to be the NPFL. So NPFL should retreat to the rear and let them fight each other. So they fought each other for about a week before NPFL could come in. There were no civilians in Gbarnga during the time those two units were fighting. Before NPFL entered, there were no civilians in Gbarnga. So the NPFL never raped nor flogged any civilian.

  • Now, I am going to ask you about - just a few more questions. The time that you were in Libya, when you were at Tajura taking training, you said you took your training at Tajura. Where the trainees at Tajura allowed to go outside Tajura?

  • No. No trainee went out of the fence. The fence was electrified. No trainee went outside that fence. Only our heads. The only way you could go out of the fence is when you reported sick. When you reported sick, they had a government hospital. They had a military hospital in Metiga. That was where the government hospital - the military hospital was located. If you reported sick, one man from your group, as your leader, would go to the instructor together with the instructor with you to the hospital. That's the only time you could see outside, when you reported sick, when you were to go for treatment. Apart from that, nobody was allowed to go outside the fence.

  • And you mentioned a place called Tajura. Did they trained - sorry, called Mathaba. Did the trainees at Tajura have access to Mathaba?

  • No. Not to my knowledge, it never happened. What are you going to do in Mathaba? The restriction there was high. You couldn't go outside.

  • I want you to be very clear in that answer because you seem to be saying two different things. Did the trainees have access to Mathaba or not, or you don't know?

  • The trainees did not have any access to Mathaba.

  • Now, when you were at Tajura you told the Court that Mr Taylor came and addressed you for the first time you had a meeting where he outlined the objectives of the NPFL while they were training. Now, I am going to read you what the Prosecution alleges were the reasons for the training of the NPFL at Tajura and I am going to ask you to comment on it.

    Madam President, I refer to the opening statement of 4 June 2007 and I will refer to page 282.

  • Could you kindly indicate the CMS number?

  • I am afraid I do not have the CMS number. I pulled it off the website.

  • So how are we supposed to follow?

  • Madam President, would it be convenient for us to do that after the break?

  • Your Honour, I have the relevant transcript.

  • Display the transcript.

  • May I proceed, Madam President?

  • Yes.

  • I will begin at line 12. This was the statement by the Prosecutor - the opening statement by the Prosecutor when he opened the case against Mr Taylor and these were the allegations he was saying the Prosecution would put forward through their evidence. At line 12:

    "A plan was there formulated" - that is a plan at Tajura in Libya. "A plan was there formulated by the accused and others to take over political and physical control of Sierra Leone in order to exploit its abundant natural resources and to establish a friendly or subordinate government there to permit - to facilitate this exploitation. This was part of a larger strategy that included helping others militarily in their respective revolutions to take over their respective countries, and the first one was to be Liberia. For that there was created the National Patriotic Front of Liberia, the NPFL, and then of course there was the RUF, the Revolutionary United Front, created for Sierra Leone.

    The agreement made by the accused and Foday Sankoh was to begin, as I say, in Liberia with the help of Sankoh's forces, and Liberia would then be used as a base from which to move into Sierra Leone with the help of the forces of the accused."

    I will just pause there.

  • What page was that? You said page 282. I don't think there are that many pages in the opening statement.

  • Of the transcript, as it is posted on the official website of the Court.

  • Did you give us a proper quotation of this transcript, namely, the date.

  • 4 June 2007.

  • And the lines that you were reading?

  • I was looking at a different document, Mr Chekera.

  • It is in order for you to cite the official transcript because that's what happened in court, what you were reading. I was just concerned that you hadn't put on the record where you were reading from.

  • The Prosecutor, Mr Zaymay, alleges here that the plan was that was formulated in Libya was for the NPFL and the RUF to take over political control of Sierra Leone in order to exploit its abundant natural resources and to establish a friendly or subordinate government. Do you agree with that?

  • No.

  • Where do you disagree with the statement?

  • The - our motive in the NPFL, our plan was to liberate our country, not to go anywhere else. We had our own problem and we had not solved our problem. How could we go somewhere else? That's why I said, no, it's not to my knowledge. No.

  • Again, I just want you to be very clear. Are you saying, no, this was not the case, or are you saying whatever is alleged by the Prosecutor is not within your personal knowledge?

  • I said, no, that was not the NPFL plan. No.

  • The Prosecutor goes on to allege that this was part of a larger strategy that included helping others militarily in their respective revolutions to take over their respectively countries, and in this instance it says that, in terms of this agreement, the NPFL was specifically created in Liberia and the RUF was created specifically for Sierra Leone as part of a common purpose or a common plan to take over control of Sierra Leone.

  • Mr Chekera, you are making a mistake. It doesn't say the NPFL was created in Liberia.

  • Sorry, I observed the mistake as soon as I said it. Let me rephrase.

  • Perhaps you can do that after the break because we have come to the end of the tape. We are going to take half an hour's break and reconvene at 4.30.

  • [Break taken at 4.01 p.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 4.35 p.m.]

  • I understand the head of the sub-office has an announcement or something that he would like to bring to everybody's attention. Mr Gregory Townsend, please.

  • May it please the Trial Chamber. Thank you very much for the audience, your Honours. I know that there's been a lot of communication, but I just wanted to make myself available here to answer any questions and to apprise the Trial Chamber and the parties that as discussed previously the move to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon courtroom would be implemented and, in effect, this would be our last hearing of the evidentiary phase of the Taylor trial here in the ICC Courtroom II and that tomorrow during the ICC holiday we would effect a move and we would be ready for this case to continue in the STL courtroom from Monday at 9.30, your Honours. I'm available for any questions. Thank you.

  • I do not think that there are any questions. The people that are concerned in this courtroom I think are aware of what the move entails. But it remains for me to say on the record publicly that we - on behalf of my colleagues and I think on behalf of the parties, that we are grateful and thankful to the ICC administration for permitting us to use the courtroom facilities and the office facilities since the year 2007 when we first came to The Netherlands for purposes of this trial and also to use their detention facilities for the accused person Mr Taylor. And I wish everybody a smooth transfer to the premises of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

  • Madam President, I did actually have a question, but I was about to ask it when you started to make those comments. As you know, in November of last year we were told by the Registrar that tomorrow would be a public holiday and we wouldn't be sitting because it's a public holiday here in The Netherlands, so many of us had made plans, including in the case of one of my colleagues booked air tickets. Last week we're suddenly told it's not going to be a holiday. So some of us have changed our plans and we'll be available to be at the Lebanese Tribunal tomorrow, but it would be helpful to us, because we're having to change things at short notice, to know, where it says 1430 practice and moot Court, how long it's anticipated that will last so that we can then make our arrangements.

  • Mr Townsend, you've understood the question?

  • Absolutely. The schedule indicates a start time of 1430 tomorrow at the STL courtroom, and it's only contained in the text of the email, but that session is scheduled for 90 minutes. So it would end at 1600. 2.30 to 4 p.m. tomorrow. I hope that's clear.

  • Thank you very much. And I would like on behalf of the Defence to endorse Madam President's thanks to the staff here at the ICC, in particular the staff who have been of assistance to us and I'm talking about a whole range of people from the toilet cleaners right through to the IT people. They have all been very helpful and they have made our time here a lot easier, particularly in light of some of the bureaucratic difficulties that we've faced in our time here. We're very grateful to them.

  • Thank you. I couldn't agree with you more. I think, Mr Townsend, that will be all.

  • Thank you, your Honour. I ask leave and I join you in your thanks to the ICC and thank everyone for their appreciation and consideration and assistance.

  • Mr Chekera, we may now continue with the witness on the stand.

  • Thank you, Madam President:

  • Mr Zaymay, just a few more questions. From the time that you left Liberia after you left Libya - Madam President, I will pursue the other line of questioning that you had adverted to earlier in a different way. You had pointed out a correction to the question I had earlier posed and I'm referring to that question through another way. From the time that you left Libya to enter Liberia to start your revolution as the NPFL were you ever joined by any members of the RUF?

  • And during the time that you were at Tajura was there ever a time when there was a meeting between any member of the NPFL and any member of the RUF to chart or to come up with the objectives of their respective revolutions in their respective countries?

  • No, nobody ever discussed such.

  • Mr Chekera, you ask a witness whether from the time that you left Libya to enter Liberia to start your revolution you were ever joined by any members of the RUF, and he answers, "No, I never." What does that mean?

  • Yes, let me clarify. Thank you:

  • Mr Zaymay, the question I asked earlier on was whether the NPFL was ever joined by any member of the RUF from the time you started your revolution in 1989 to the time that Mr Taylor was elected President?

  • No, not to my knowledge.

  • Again I want you to be very clear. Are you saying you were never joined by - or, rather, the NPFL was never joined by any member of the RUF, or are you saying you do not know?

  • Were you objecting to anything, Ms Howarth?

  • No, I do apologise.

  • I said no, I never saw any NPFL joining the RUF. No, I never saw it.

  • It's twisted the other way round. Is that what you asked? Perhaps that's how it was interpreted.

  • The question was: Was the NPFL ever joined by any member of the RUF?

  • No, I did not see any RUF man joining the NPFL, no.

  • During the time that you were at Tajura, do you know whether Mr Taylor, your leader in the NPFL, ever had any meeting with any member of the RUF where they discussed their respective objectives in Liberia and Sierra Leone?

  • No, I never saw it and I never heard of it.

  • Do you know whether Mr Taylor ever had a meeting with any member representing himself or herself as the leader of the RUF to discuss the respective objectives of the RUF and the NPFL?

  • No, I never heard and I never saw it.

  • Madam President, that will be all in evidence-in-chief, thank you. Thank you, Mr Zaymay.

  • Ms Howarth, are you taking the cross-examination of this witness?

  • Good afternoon, Mr Witness. Can you hear me okay? You are not answering yes or no. Can you hear me okay?

  • Yes, I can hear you.

  • Mr Witness, can you tell us how did you come to be involved in this case?

  • The case against Charles Taylor.

  • I was called as a witness by the Court.

  • How did you come to be called as a witness?

  • I was in Liberia, Monrovia. The Defence team called me that I was needed at the international court, the war crime court, as a witness. That was how I knew, and I came.

  • Who was it from the Defence team that called you?

  • We have the office in Liberia from the lawyers. One Mr Gray called me and said I was needed in The Hague. That was how I got to know that I was needed here.

  • When was it that Mr Gray called you?

  • Can you remember when last year?

  • I cannot be exact with the month, but it happened last year.

  • Do you remember if it was the beginning, middle or end of last year?

  • At the beginning of last year.

  • You mentioned an office in Liberia. Without being specific, can you say - maybe I'll rephrase that, but which town or city is that office in, if you know?

  • Liberia, Monrovia.

  • Do you know Mr Gray as a member of the NPFL?

  • I don't know - I did not know Mr Gray in the NPFL, but I knew Mr Gray as Vice-President to - Vice-President of Liberia.

  • Having had that call from Mr Gray, what decision did you then make?

  • Oh, I told my family that I was in The Hague, and they said okay, be brave and know what to say.

  • Mr Interpreter, did you say be brave or did you say be brief?

  • Brave.

  • Be brave. My family told me to be brave and to know - and to say what I know.

  • Before we get to The Hague, Mr Zaymay, what discussions, if any, did you have in Liberia about this case?

  • After they had acquainted me with the information, I was called by Mr Gray to make a statement. That's the statement that I'm asking - I'm asking questions from.

  • Just to clarify something you said. You said "after they had acquainted me with the information". When you said that, what were you referring to?

  • When they acquainted me with the information, I was called by Mr Gray to give a statement, and I gave a statement about what I know.

  • Mr Witness, you are not answering the question. The question is when you say "when they acquainted me with the information", what do you mean "when they acquainted me with the information"? Who? Who acquainted you with information? Who acquainted you with what information?

  • Mr Gray. When Mr Gray called me and told me that I was needed in The Hague, that is the information.

  • In relation to that information, do you know why Mr Gray came to call you, Mr Zaymay?

  • Well, I did not know why he came to call me until later I was told that I was needed here.

  • Do you know how he got your number to call you?

  • Mr Gray knew me in Liberia. He knew where I lived.

  • Did he also know your telephone number?

  • Tell me, how do you know Mr Gray in Liberia, other than in relation to your involvement in this case?

  • I knew Mr Gray as one of my ex-Vice-Presidents of Liberia. That's how I knew him.

  • When you are talking about ex-Vice-Presidents of Liberia, under what administration are you referring to?

  • Under Moses Z Blah's administration.

  • And can you remind me, between when and when was Moses Z Blah's administration in terms of years?

  • Moses Blah took over in 2003 for about - he remained in command for about a month - two or three months or so.

  • The ex-Vice-President of Liberia that you are referring to as Mr Gray, whom appointed him to that position, if you know?

  • Mr Gray, I do not know who appointed him, but I heard that the Vice-President to Moses Blah was Mr Gray - was Mr Gray.

  • He was appointed to the Senate by Mr Taylor, wasn't he?

  • You don't know? Or you don't want to know?

  • I don't know. I was at the front line fighting against LURD when Taylor left. I did not know what happened. I did not know who brought Mr Gray in. I only heard it over the radio, over the media. I was at the front.

  • Did you hear whether he was the senator after the 1997 election?

  • I did not know Mr Gray before I knew him when he was Vice-President.

  • Now, you mentioned giving a statement. Can you say when last year you gave that statement? Again, was it at the beginning, middle or end of the year?

  • At the beginning. I can't remember the exact month.

  • And where was it, in terms of a town or a city, that you gave that statement?

  • Can you remind me, please, where is it that you live?

  • Where I left? Come again.

  • It was: Where do you live? L-I-V-E.

  • I live at ELWA Junction in Monrovia.

  • Now, when you gave that statement, who did you give the statement to?

  • Mr Gray asked me to give a statement, and Mr Gray recorded me.

  • Was it just Mr Gray there, or was there anyone else?

  • There is a small office, but the one I could recognise there was Mr Gray.

  • I'm not sure whether something was lost in translation there because I was asking if there was another person there and it's come out on the transcript as there is a small office. So perhaps I'll try again. Mr Zaymay, was there any other person than Mr Gray there when he took a statement?

  • There were other persons, I think one or two persons in the office with Mr Gray, but I did not know them. They were Liberians, but I did not know them. It was only Mr Gray that I knew because he was Vice-President. He was the only person that I could recognise.

  • Mr Gray didn't introduce these people?

  • He did an introduction, but I can't remember the people. That was my first time of seeing them. It was only Mr Gray that I focused on.

  • How long did you spend with Mr Gray on that occasion?

  • It took me two days with Mr Gray the first time I met him taking the statement and he was recording.

  • When you say he was recording, do you mean that he was writing down what you were saying?

  • Yes, he was recording and the person - the other person was doing the writing.

  • Then what do you mean when you say he was recording?

  • For the first - the first time that Mr Gray called me, I was giving the statement and they were doing the recording. There was another person there, but I did not know him. The person was doing the recording and Mr Gray was taking down my statement. When I explained, he will take it down and this person was doing the recording. That was the very first time in two days.

  • Do you mean someone was tape-recording?

  • Someone else was writing down? Have I got you right on that?

  • Yes. Mr Gray was writing down my statement and at the same time somebody else was doing the recording, the very first time when we met.

  • Do you mean on the very first time you met with them? Or that that was the first time they were doing the recording?

  • My very first time. My very first time when Mr Gray sent for me for the very first time.

  • Now, you said your meeting with Mr Gray and the others took two days. Was that two full days?

  • No, not full days. I will go there at 10 and I'll leave there at 2. I will go there at 10 and leave there at 2. It was not the whole day.

  • I understand. The information that you had given having been written down, did you then see the information that was written down?

  • I never saw it. It was not given back to me.

  • Do you mean at that time, or at all?

  • Yes, the information that was taken down, they told me that they will send it to The Hague. It was not handed over to me. I never saw it.

  • Was it read back to you?

  • Yes. They played it. My own statement, after they had recorded it, they played it and I listened to it.

  • And do you know why that was taking place?

  • Yes, I knew. When he called me, he told me that they were going to record me. They were going to take a statement from me because the statement would be sent The Hague and you will go The Hague. That was time that I knew why they were recording it.

  • Do you know what was going to happen to the recording?

  • He told me that the recording - they would have to sit down and finalise it. They would sit down and draw questions from my statement in order to answer questions in The Hague.

  • Were you happy when you listened to the recording that they got it right, what you had said?

  • Yes. I listened to it and I said, yes, that's my statement.

  • And did you sign anything at all to say, "Yes, they got it right. That's my statement"?

  • So, Mr Zaymay, this is the first occasion where you meet with the Defence team. What was the - or, rather, when was the next time that you met with a member of the Defence team?

  • I met a member of the Defence team this year. This year - yes, this year.

  • I met with the Defence team, Sillah, for the last - for the last time before coming here.

  • Who is Sillah? Is it Silas? Is it the lawyer sitting in court who was asking you questions earlier?

  • Yes.

  • And where was it that you met with him?

  • And you said it was this year. Can you tell us which month it was?

  • February or March.

  • And, again, in terms of a town or city - I'm so sorry. You said you met him in Monrovia. When you met Silas in Monrovia, was it just yourself and Silas, or was there anyone else there?

  • I met Silas and Logan. And apart from them, there was a man called Abraham from Sierra Leone. He had the office in Monrovia from the Defence team.

  • For how long did you meet with Silas and Logan on this occasion?

  • I met them on two occasions within the same month.

  • If you can recall, how far apart were those occasions? Was it within the same week or --

  • Yes, within the same week and the same month.

  • And on the first of those two occasions, how long did you spend with Silas and Logan?

  • Within two days.

  • And, again, how long on each of those two days did you spend with them?

  • About three hours.

  • So is that about three hours each day? Is that what you're saying?

  • And on this occasion was anything written down?

  • They did not write anything down for me to see, but they cross-examined me from my question - I mean, from my statement.

  • And is this what happened on the first time you met with them?

  • What happened on the second time you met with them?

  • I met them for the second time here.

  • Earlier you said there were - I'll just get this right - two meetings within the same week and the same month. I got the impression that you met them twice in Monrovia. Is that correct or have I got that wrong?

  • I met them twice in Monrovia and from Monrovia here.

  • So on the first time you met them, you said "they cross-examined me from my question". Was that on the first time or the second time?

  • The two days that I met with them, they cross-examined me in those two days for the first and second cross-examination.

  • Was any statement taken from you on either of those two occasions?

  • When they asked me questions from my statement, when I explained and give answers, they take them down.

  • Do you mean they write them down?

  • I did not know whether they wrote it down or not, but they would mark it on a piece of paper, the cross-examination.

  • So were they writing on a piece of paper?

  • So moving on from - I'm sorry. On the second occasion when you met them in Monrovia, can you just tell me for how long did you meet with them on that occasion?

  • Always three hours. Three hours on those two occasions.

  • Now, what was the next thing for you in terms of your involvement in this case?

  • What was the next thing? What do you mean? I do not understand it.

  • That's fair enough. It's not the best phrased question. When did you next meet with someone from the Defence team?

  • After Monrovia, within those two days?

  • Here in The Hague.

  • Can you tell me when was it that you arrived in The Hague?

  • I left Liberia on the 28th.

  • Yes, April 28. And I got here on April 29.

  • And which date did you first meet with the lawyers?

  • My first time that I met the lawyer was on the 3rd or the 4th.

  • And how many times have you met with the lawyer or lawyers while you've been here in The Hague?

  • And which lawyer or lawyers did you meet with?

  • I met with Silas and Logan.

  • And on the first occasion, for how long did you meet with them?

  • I do not have a watch on my wrist, but I can estimate for about four hours.

  • Your estimations are fine, thank you. On the second occasion, for how long did you meet with them?

  • And was any statement taken on either of those two occasions?

  • No.

  • Was anything being written down or typed by the lawyers on those two occasions?

  • Are you sure about that?

  • Yes, I did not see them writing down anything.

  • Now, Mr Witness, have you been following this case, the case against Charles Taylor, while you've been in Liberia?

  • Haven't you taken any interest in it at all?

  • The man was arrested by the United Nations. They would investigate him. If he is free, they will release him. That's what I'm looking up to.

  • Which man are you referring to?

  • Mr Taylor.

  • So while you've been in Liberia you haven't taken any interest at all in this case?

  • Oh, I was expecting the release of my ex-President, for him to come back. That was all I believed in.

  • Are you saying you believe in the release of your ex-President?

  • I wish - I'm wishing for his release. For long we've never had any ex-President in Liberia apart from Moses Blah that was there for only months, so we're expecting at least to have some of our ex-Presidents in Liberia with us.

  • Are you here to give evidence because you wish for his release?

  • At not here to give evidence because I wish him to be released. I'm giving evidence of what I saw, what happened.

  • Now, you've said that you wish for his release. Given that that's your wish, have you not followed at all the proceedings that have happened here in The Hague from Liberia?

  • I am following the proceedings. What I'm saying in the Court here --

  • Your Honours, can he kindly repeat his answer.

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter didn't get what you said. Kindly repeat your answer slowly.

  • Ask the question again.

  • I certainly can do that. Now, you've said that you wish for his release. Given that that's your wish, have you not followed at all the proceedings that have happened here in The Hague from Liberia?

  • I have been following the proceedings, to answer questions about what I know and what I saw.

  • How have you been following the proceedings?

  • To answer all questions.

  • Mr Witness, you just told me "I have been following the proceedings." How have you been following the proceedings?

  • It looks as though there might be some misunderstanding here, Ms Howarth. I think he is referring to these present proceedings with him as the witness and he's saying "to answer all questions about what I know and what I saw".

  • Very well, I'll try and clarify that. That may well be the case:

  • Mr Witness, when you say "I've been following the proceedings", do you mean you've been following the proceedings whilst being a witness in court here?

  • Yes.

  • So you're saying whilst in Liberia you haven't followed the proceedings at all?

  • When I was in Liberia, what proceedings would I follow in Liberia? I was told to give a statement and I gave a statement. I was told that there would be a Defence team that will be coming to interact with me to cross-examine on the statement that I gave. The Defence team came and cross-examined me. From there you'll be called at any time to come The Hague to answer questions against your statement, and I did. That's why I am here answering questions today in The Hague. So that's the proceedings I'm following.

  • You're interested in the fate of Mr Taylor, aren't you?

  • Not per se that I have faith in him. The judgment would decide. Not that I have faith in him.

  • But you would like to see him released?

  • Yes, he's one of my ex-Presidents.

  • I apologise for interrupting my learned friend. I think my learned friend and the witness are communicating at cross-purposes. My learned friend was asking about fate and the answer related to faith.

  • I do see what --

  • Possibly. Possibly the interpreter interpreted it differently. Perhaps you would like to take those questions again.

  • I'm happy to move on from that point. I think it's been dealt with:

  • Have you not followed any news reports about what's been going on in this case whilst you've been in Liberia?

  • I listened to the BBC, I listened to Network on Africa and it was said that Mr Taylor was being tried in The Hague. That was the information I heard.

  • So you say you are someone who listens to the BBC. Is that right?

  • You listen to Network on Africa?

  • But the only information that you've heard about this case is that Mr Taylor is being tried in The Hague. Is that right?

  • Do you read the newspapers at all?

  • Sometimes, but I do not always have money to buy the newspapers. Once in a while.

  • And you've never read a newspaper article in relation to this case. Is that right?

  • Sometimes I do read newspapers.

  • Mr Witness, are you aware of the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Liberia?

  • Now, aren't I right that you are in fact somebody who gave evidence before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission?

  • And that was in Montserrado County. Is that right?

  • Monrovia, the capital, yes.

  • And it was on 4 February last year, 2009, that you gave evidence?

  • Yes.

  • I'm going to move on to the testimony that you've given in these proceedings. You spoke at the beginning of your evidence about Belle Yella prison camp. Do you remember that?

  • And you explained that after the Doe coup, members of the True Whig Party were arrested and taken to the Belle Yella prison camp?

  • And you described the Belle Yella prison camp as being the highest prison camp?

  • Yes.

  • Is that the highest prison camp in Liberia?

  • Belle Yella is the maximum. There are other prison camps in Liberia, but Belle Yella is the maximum.

  • And going back to the arrest of those members of the True Whig Party, do you know how they were taken to Belle Yella prison camp?

  • And can you explain how, please?

  • They were taken there by a helicopter. There was no car - there is no car road - there was no car road at that time from Monrovia to Belle Yella. They were flown there in a helicopter.

  • You mentioned LAMCO in your evidence. You said it was the Liberian and American Mining Company. Do you remember that?

  • Can you confirm, is that an iron ore mining company in Nimba County?

  • If I could ask for the Court Manager's assistance. I would like to pull up a transcript. That is of 6 May 2010 at page 40592. I'm starting right from the top, line 1. Mr Witness, this is a part of your evidence when you arrived in the Ivory Coast where you've taken exile. It reads:

    "When I got there, I found many - I met many civilians, old women, pregnant women, of the Gio ethnic group. We were from the same area. I met many of them there and I asked them why they were there and they said, oh, we learned that you too were - you were not coming to exile so why are you here? And I said it's not easy."

  • Your Honour, the learned counsel is not clear. Can she kindly repeat the last statement, please.

  • Ms Howarth, perhaps you could take it a little slower for them to interpret back to the witness.

  • Yes, I will. I think I inadvertently sped up because I was going to skip a small section. Perhaps if I check the LiveNote:

  • "When Quiwonkpa spoke, we heard Quiwonkpa over the radio. Those of us who were here were jubilating. But later when the English changed, when Doe spoke, all of us went into our shells. Now the Krahn soldiers came here and they were patrolling in a truck, in a pick-up full of armed men, and at night they would come to the town and start beating up people and killing people. Even some of the towns were burnt down, the villages. Even many of the villages were burnt down. Everybody here was a rebel. That was what caused us to run away to go into exile. That was what they told me."

    Now, Mr Witness, who was it telling you that?

  • The civilians whom I met in exile who had come from our area, from our homeland in the other towns nearby.

  • And from what tribe were those civilians?

  • The Gio ethnic group. Gio tribe.

  • And when you say the civilians were telling you that, how many civilians were telling you that?

  • There were over 30,000 civilians all over in the various towns. There was a big displaced camp that was built with tents, and I went in their midst. They were all my people.

  • So were all of the people that you spoke to telling you that?

  • Yes, Gio people.

  • And what was their emotional state when they were telling you this?

  • They were crying on me. Some children were sick with malnutrition. People were emaciated and you can see their bones. There was no food, no refugee supplies. They had to go to work in people's farms for survival.

  • The people who were crying, how did they feel about what had happened to Quiwonkpa?

  • They were crying for their own lives. They did not have time for Quiwonkpa. Quiwonkpa had been killed. They were crying for their own lives, how they were suffering in exile. "So you, Zaymay, you are in the army. We are depending on you and now you have come here in exile? How are we going to make our lives? How are we going to live? How are we going to get back home? We have no hope now." That was what they were saying.

  • What about the Krahn soldiers that they said came there and were patrolling, how did they feel towards these Krahn soldiers?

  • They felt bad about the Krahn soldiers. They were crying. They felt bad about the treatment they had received. That was what they were saying. How are they to go home? How are they going back home? Are they going to die in exile? They are feeling bad about the idea. That is what they were crying, that they were not going to go back home because the Krahn soldiers were there.

  • I want to move on now from - to the journey that you took from the Ivory Coast via Burkina Faso to Libya. You explained that you took a bus to Abidjan. Is that correct?

  • Yes. From where I was, I boarded a bus to Abidjan.

  • And can you just remind me, where was it that you were?

  • I was in Zongwe.

  • And having taken a bus to Abidjan, you then took a train to Burkina Faso?

  • Yes.

  • And from Burkina Faso, you then took a plane to Tripoli?

  • On this journey, can you tell us what travel documents did you use?

  • When we went into exile Houphouet-Boigny, the President at that time, issued refugee carte d'identite. The Ivorians called it carte d'identite. Carte d'identite was what we travelled with.

  • Whose name was on the carte d'identite that you had used?

  • They prepared mine in my own name. Every individual's own was prepared in his or her own name.

  • And who prepared them?

  • It was signed by the chief of immigration.

  • The chief of immigration of where?

  • Of the Ivory Coast.

  • Now, you - did you have tickets for the train?

  • And who provided those?

  • I did not know who provided the ticket. It was in French. I do not read French.

  • You took a plane from Burkina Faso to Tripoli. Was that a private or a commercial flight?

  • It was a private plane.

  • And did you have tickets for that trip or not?

  • Yes, they gave us a ticket.

  • And whose name was on the ticket?

  • I cannot remember. I cannot read French. I did not know whose name was on the ticket.

  • So you didn't recognise your own name on the ticket?

  • Oh, the ticket? The ticket was prepared in the same way as our - as our train tickets were prepared with our individual names.

  • Were there persons on the flight other than those heading to Tajura?

  • No. We took a special flight.

  • I'm going to skip ahead and go to your - the route you take from Libya to Guinea. So you told us that you took a plane from Tripoli to Abidjan. Is that right?

  • And from Abidjan you take a bus to Sepulu?

  • And from Sepulu you go to - is it Nzerekore in Guinea?

  • Nzerekore in Guinea.

  • What documents did you use to travel with on those occasions?

  • When we got to Abidjan, the identity card that they gave to us was requested for and they gave us another, because it was given annually. From the time we left and the time we spent on the base, when we got there it was renewed and we were given a different one and the other one was destroyed; they burnt it.

  • Where did you get the new identity card from?

  • At the bus park in Abidjan.

  • Which country issued the identity card?

  • Cote d'Ivoire, the Ivory Coast.

  • Whose name was on that identity card?

  • The signature, or what? Which are the names? My own name was on my own identity card signed by the immigration.

  • You mentioned that the old identity cards were burnt. Do you know why?

  • Our chief who was travelling with us who spoke French, Godfather, he burnt them and gave us another one.

  • I don't know.

  • Now, when you took this flight, again was that a private or a commercial flight?

  • From where to where?

  • Yes, from Tripoli to Abidjan?

  • I can't tell. There were other people on board the flight apart from my group that I went with.

  • Did you have tickets for this flight?

  • Yes, I had a ticket.

  • The other people on board the flight, do you know who any of those were?

  • Were they just ordinary people as far as you're aware?

  • Yes, I was only focused on my group.

  • The ticket, did it have your name on it or a different name?

  • I had my name on my ticket that was given to me.

  • What language was this ticket in?

  • The ticket was prepared in French, but I saw my name.

  • Did anyone check your ticket?

  • My ticket was given to me at the airport. Nobody checked my ticket.

  • Who gave it to you?

  • Degbon gave it to me at the airport.

  • Now, moving on to something different again. You mentioned Samuel Varney in your evidence. You explained that he was from Nimba. Am I right that he is also a Gio?

  • Yes, he was a Gio man.

  • Am I right that during Operation Octopus it's Isaac Musa who is the battle group commander?

  • Have you understood the question, sir?

  • Come back with it again. I thought she was still talking.

  • Yes, am I right that during Operation Octopus it's Isaac Musa who is the battle group commander?

  • Isaac Musa was the chairman of the joint chiefs.

  • And he was the battle group commander. Is that correct?

  • No, he was chairman of the joint chiefs, not battle group.

  • We might come back to that later. Benjamin Yeaten, you said yesterday that he was an SS commander. Can you tell me what rank he was?

  • SS commander Benjamin Yeaten was colonel.

  • You've mentioned - you have to bear with me on the pronunciation, but Edward Mineh spelt M-I-N-E-H. Do you know who I'm referring to?

  • If you say Edward Mineh I know who you are talking about.

  • I wanted to ask you when was it that you first met him?

  • I met Edward Mineh when he was in exile in the Ivory Coast when we all fled into exile in '86.

  • Just so we're clear, my question was when you first met him. Was it in 1986 in the Ivory Coast that you first met Edward Mineh?

  • Yes, I first met Edward Mineh in 1986 in the Ivory Coast.

  • If I could ask the Court Manager for assistance again. I wanted to refer to the trial transcript of 11 May this year at page 40750:

  • It's starting from line 24, please. I don't know if I said the right - I'm sorry, it should be 40745. It's my error. I've got the wrong page. It's the same line. So at line 24 it reads:

    "Q. Now beside the fighting that you had with ULIMO when

    you were in Cape Mount, was there anything else of note

    that happened in Cape Mount while you were in Cape Mount?

    A. Yes.

    Q. Yes, what was that?

    A. When I was in command as the 6th Battalion commander,

    that was before the first attack by ULIMO, during the

    ceasefire, there were captured arms in my arms room that

    were sent to Mr Taylor in Gbarnga, and Anthony Mekunagbe

    and Timothy connived and sold those arms to the RUF in

    Freetown through Lofa."

    Now, Mr Witness, my question is this: When you referred to Freetown, you are referring to the country Sierra Leone there, aren't you?

  • Yes.

  • Yes, I'm just coming back. Who was the battle group commander for Octopus - Operation Octopus?

  • Octopus? Octopus operation, at this time all the units had been changed to different names. Battle group - battlefront commander Isaac Musa was changed to chairman of the joint chiefs. Battlefront commander Sam Larto had died, so there was no battle group commander. There was only the chairman of the joint chiefs to supervise the front.

  • Again in relation to Operation Octopus, this ultimately fails in 1992, doesn't it?

  • Yes.

  • And immediately after this, where are you stationed?

  • When Octopus failed we went back to Gbarnga and I was based in Kakata.

  • You said that you were based in - "we went back to Gbarnga and I was based in Kakata." So did you go to Gbarnga before Kakata?

  • No. From Monrovia, Kakata. Kakata is in Margibi County. Gbarnga is in Bong County. Gbarnga is far away from Kakata. It is way behind Kakata.

  • What was your assignment in Kakata?

  • During Octopus, I hadn't an assignment at the time. I was merged in the army division.

  • Yes. I mean in Kakata, what was your assignment when you were there?