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

  • Mrs Dogolea, do you have with you your passport for the year 2000?

  • Could you produce it, please?

  • I have already handed it over to the Court. This is the pass --

  • Thank you. Are there actually two passports connected in some way - I mean bound together in some way?

  • Yes, it's double.

  • I would like you first of all to turn to the - I'm not quite sure which one is the relevant one, but would you turn to page 19 of the second of those two passports, the back one. The page is numbered at the bottom right of each page. And could you just hold it up so that I can see we're looking at the page I wanted you to refer to. Could you just hold it up over here for a moment. Yes, thank you. I think that's the right page, Madam President. Now that you've got that page, could you keep your finger in that page and just go to the front of that passport and confirm, please, the name of the person whose passport it is?

  • Dogolea, Regina.

  • Now, could you - I don't know - given the stiffness of the passport I'm not quite sure how this will work but if it's possible I would like it on the overhead, on the projector so that we can just see that page. Yes, thank you. Looking at that, Mrs Dogolea, what is it?

  • A passport.

  • What is on that page 19 of the passport?

  • It's May 23, 2000. May 18, 2000. It's August 14, 2000.

  • All right. That's the date. Now, putting the passport aside, please, if you would just take that off. Did you go to Taiwan on more than one occasion?

  • It was only one time.

  • And what year was that?

  • Your Honours, we already have a copy of that page that we saw in the bundle on Friday. That is the only item I would wish to have marked for identification.

  • You'll have to remind us what tab it was because we never marked it.

  • Yes, I can. It was tab 18.

  • Page 19 of the witness's passport is marked MFI-5.

  • That is my re-examination. Do your Honours have any questions for the witness?

  • Good morning, Mrs Dogolea. I'm asking you about your evidence that your husband wanted some traditional treatment and went into the bush with some people he called brothers. Do you remember giving that evidence?

  • Now, was there any reason that your husband's security did not go with him when he went into the bush?

  • Securities followed them because they were all men. They only stopped women from going there.

  • So the security went with him. Is that correct?

  • Yes, because they were men.

  • Well, you told us on Friday that when you wanted your husband to return, you sent your security to get him. Do you remember saying that?

  • Yes, I told you that.

  • And so did your security come back with your husband?

  • But I think you told Mr Munyard when he was asking you questions on Friday that only the people who took your husband into the bush came out of the bush with him. Do you remember saying that?

  • Yes.

  • And are you now saying that apart from the people who took him into the bush, your security also came back with him?

  • Yes, but I told you that the only thing they said that women were not allowed to go to the place but men could go there. It was only women who were not allowed. So at last he did say that he sent for me for someone to collect me, but because I could not go there as a woman I sent my security to go there and bring him.

  • You see, that's what I can't understand. You quite clearly said on Friday that only the people who took him into the bush came back with him, and now you're saying that apart from the people who took him into the bush, your security also came back with him. That's what I can't understand. Now, which is the correct version?

  • The correct one is because those were the people who went to do the herbal medicine and the people who went to do the medicine were the people who took him to the bush, so the security was just there. That was the reason I said that they were the people who took him to the bush to do the medicinal business.

  • Madam Witness, the question is very simple: How many persons took your husband to the bush?

  • There were three, and I made mention of two. The people who were doing the medicinal business were three. I made mention of two but I did not recall the name of the other, the third one.

  • Now, of the three people, were any of these three people your husband's security?

  • No, they were his own people.

  • What do you mean? What do you mean "his own people"? Relatives?

  • They were his relatives. He sent for them to do the treatment.

  • So when they were administering the treatment, none of your bodyguards or his bodyguards was present, were they?

  • I said I was not in the bush.

  • Excuse me, that is not what I asked you. That is not what I asked you. Were any of his bodyguards or your bodyguards - did they escort him to the bush to the best of your knowledge?

  • No, it was his own relatives who took him to the bush, at last what I saw, but for --

  • So at what stage did your bodyguards meet up with your husband?

  • It was at the time he sent for me. He had said that he was weak. That was the time he sent for me before I went there with the people.

  • And who did he send to come and get you?

  • It was one of the men, the Vahn. The Vahn man.

  • I have a couple of questions, madam, for you. One is in relation to the statement that we marked as MFI-2. Perhaps that statement could be shown to the witness. I have some questions arising out of that statement.

    Madam, this is the statement that you said you wrote - or rather you dictated to your stepdaughter and she wrote everything that you said. This was your testimony, wasn't it?

  • Yes.

  • Now, earlier on in your testimony I think it was the Defence lawyer who asked you - no, it was the Prosecution lawyer who asked you whether you were aware of the people testifying before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and you said you were not. What is your answer, were you aware or not?

  • It was only Zigzag Marzah's own that I was aware of. But the other people, I was not in town so I did not know.

  • So if that is the case, madam, I would like you to look at the first paragraph where you say:

    "My attention has been drawn to the testimonies by witnesses who appeared at the recent Truth and Reconciliation hearings."

    Do you see that sentence?

  • So I need to understand if you knew nothing about the existence of these testimonies at the Truth and Reconciliation hearings, how come you referred to them in your statement? Can you explain that, please?

  • Okay, thank you. It had been a rumour all around before - before --

  • Your Honours, could the witness be asked to make that area clear. Your Honours, could the witness be kindly asked to make that area clear.

  • Please pause. And, Mr Interpreter, I wish you to interpret accurately what the witness is saying even if it doesn't make sense to you. Madam Witness, please repeat your answer. The interpreter didn't keep up with you.

  • Yes, please ask the question again.

  • The question is very simple. You told the Court that you didn't know anything about the testimonies before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and that the only testimony you knew was that of Zigzag Marzah before this Court. This is what you told the Court.

    Now, I looking at this statement am wondering if what you are saying is true, how come you refer to the - in fact the very first people you refer to in your statement are the testimony by witnesses who appeared before the TRC in Monrovia?

  • You know, if you saw anybody - you did not see anyone whose name I made mention of there.

  • Yes, but why did you mention the TRC witnesses at all if you say that you had no idea that they were witnesses before the TRC?

  • Yes, I did not have idea. It was when Zigzag Marzah made the statement. I told you - you asked about a particular person and I said no, I was not in town at that time.

  • Thank you for your answer. The second question I have arising out of this statement: What was the purpose of this statement, madam? Why did you write it?

  • The reason is, Madam President, because people were going around saying - talking about things, but if you ask them they will not even tell you the truth and if you asked them they will not even tell you that yes, I did it. And this man now came up and said something like that so that made me - I said that was the reason why I gave - I brought out this press release because imagine, because --

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

  • Madam, you are talking too fast. You are talking too fast. Okay.

  • Sorry, sorry, sorry.

  • We couldn't get an interpretation of what you said. So you were saying the reason why you brought out this press release. Continue from there slowly.

  • I said the reason I brought this press release out was because that kept on reminding me about the death of my husband and you know - and you know that a stigma was at my back looking at me, a young girl, and being that I was a widow now and the man is dead and I was suffering, I was going up and down, nobody was helping me, and nobody - and if nobody was coming out to say oh, so and so thing or said this person did this. And they had set up a certain committee about this thing and nobody came out clearly to talk to me what the truth was maybe so that made me you know - the time that they made these statements me myself, I was not feeling happy so that was the reason why I decided to bring out this press release. So I did not even want to say anything like this.

  • Your Honours, could the witness be asked again to repeat that area slowly.

  • You were giving another reason. You said you did not even want to say anything like this. Please continue from there slowly.

  • Yes, and I did not even want to come here because the more it perpetrated my heart because if I and my children were still continuously hearing about these things because person who was taking care of us --

  • Your Honours, the witness is still going fast. Let her slow down.

  • Please slow down, Madam Witness.

  • I want you to calm down and to repeat your answer slowly. The question I simply asked you was what was the purpose, and I think in summary you are saying you wanted to stop the rumours and the stories going around concerning your husband's death. Would I be correct in summarising that?

  • Was that the only reason?

  • Yes, that was the only reason because I was now tired of hearing them and they continued to move my heart.

  • Can you please look at the penultimate paragraph which begins, "I commend her Excellency". The paragraph reads:

    "I commend her Excellency Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for her leadership and the American President for the donation of books and hope that all Liberians take advantage of the opportunity."

    Why did you put that paragraph in a statement like this?

  • You know, that is the reason I told you that me too I wanted to commend the woman because she was doing well for us and at that time they brought the books, so that was the reason why I put it there. You know, if someone was a President and was doing something, so that was the reason why I did that.

  • But I thought you told me - or you told us - that the only reason you wrote this statement was to clear rumours concerning your husband's death.

  • Yes, ma'am, and even if you declared that, that something was going on in the country and you liked it and you had little chance you could do that.

  • Perhaps lastly I would like to ask again a question relating to the men that took your husband to the bush. Did you say that these men were his brothers in a physical sense? Were they his relatives?

  • Yes, he told me that they were his brothers. Yes, they were his brothers. He sent for them.

  • Did you know them before?

  • Yes, the times we used to go home I used to see them. They used to come and visit him.

  • Your Honours, the last bit was not clear.

  • You said they used to come and visit him and then what else did you say?

  • I said the time we used to go to their home, they used to come there to us and I will see them discussing. I know them.

  • Thank you. Do any questions arise out of these questions?

  • No, I don't have any questions but I would like to have a quick look at the passport, if possible.

  • I don't have any questions. Thank you, your Honour.

  • Perhaps, Madam Witness, one last question. You told us that this passport has two passports in one. Right?

  • Yes.

  • We used to travel, so I used to put my passports together. I did not want it to get missing.

  • Why do you have two passports?

  • No, the other one expired, so I attached the other to it.

  • Thank you.

    Could we - are you tendering any exhibits?

  • Yes, please. I would ask for all MFIs, MFI-1, 2, 3, and 4 on the Prosecution's behalf to be tendered as evidence.

  • Does the Defence object to any of the Prosecution MFIs?

  • Madam President, we don't object. I'm just wanting to confirm which MFI I'm about to make a short submission in relation to. Yes, it's MFI-4. What I would invite the Court to do is to admit only that part of that page which was referred to in evidence by my learned friend.

  • We had marked page 1, of course, to give perspective to the Gazette, but also the last page and, I must say, I didn't mark the paragraph. Mr Munyard, what paragraph would that be on the last page?

  • I'm very sorry, I think I've - yes, I have actually got the wrong MFI. It's MFI-1, I'm sorry, I've referred you to the Liberian Gazette. It's principally the second and third paragraphs. I can't now remember - my learned friend will no doubt assist - how much she read out of the first paragraph, if at all.

  • Yes, it's - yes, she did read the whole of the first paragraph.

  • It's those three paragraphs only which I would invite the Court to admit and not the rest of that page.

  • Actually, I think it was only the two paragraphs, the first and third, weren't they?

  • Madam President is quite right.

  • In any event, MFI-1 which is a web page from article entitled "Liberia: Former House Speaker Makomanah requests ten containers of blood at Duport Road Massacre, witness testifies", January 22, 2008, and the paragraphs we are admitting in evidence are paragraphs 1 and 3, of course with the heading as well, that will be admitted as exhibit P-548.

    MFI-2, which is a statement in relation - this is a statement entitled "Statement in reaction" - let me just find the heading - entitled "Statement in reaction to witnesses' testimonies at both the TRC of Liberia and the Special Court for Sierra Leone sitting in The Hague", the whole of that statement is admitted as exhibit P-549.

    MFI-3 is a Sierra News article entitled "Liberia's VP killed for Salone", date 28 June 2000, that is marked - that is admitted as exhibit P-550.

    MFI-4, which is the official Gazette of Liberia of Monday, 3 July 2000, that's volume, I think, number 18, the first and last pages of that article - the publication are admitted as exhibit P-551.

  • [Exhibits P-548 to P-551 admitted]

    Mr Munyard, I believe you want to exhibit MFI-5.

  • Yes, which is the one page - actually, I think it's two pages, one blank, one with a visa, of Mrs Dogolea's passport for the year - that covered the year 2000.

  • We have seen a copy of page 19 of the witness's passport with the contents of a courtesy visa from the Republic of China. That is admitted as exhibit D-421.

  • Thank you very much, Madam President. That concludes --

  • Your Honour, it would be D-422, because another document was admitted as D-421 via motion through the Chamber.

  • The record is corrected accordingly. That passport page 19 is now D-422.

  • [Exhibit D-422 admitted]

    Mrs Dogolea, I want to thank you for your time and your testimony, which has now come to an end, and we wish you a safe journey home. Thank you, and the witness may be escorted out, please.

  • Thank you too, Madam President.

  • Madam President, two matters. One, I just wanted to let the Court know that we did all listen to the tape on Friday afternoon. There wasn't anything on it that hadn't appeared on the LiveNote, and that was agreed by Mr Koumjian and myself, who were present when the tape was listened to. So that puts that matter to rest.

    The second is this, that I've been in touch with Mr Anyah yesterday evening. He had started his proofing of the next witness 299, and if you recall, last week I indicated that he thought that he would be ready to start tomorrow afternoon - by the time of the afternoon session. He now thinks he will need the whole of today and tomorrow. She is not - if I can put it in this way: She is not a young witness. She is - she needs an interpreter and she covers a very large amount of ground in her testimony, and he says it's taking quite some time to cover that ground and for those reasons, he asks the Court for today - the rest of today and tomorrow to complete his proofing of that witness.

  • Is that the only witness that the Defence has waiting?

  • Yes, because we've obviously tried to be economical in terms of the numbers of witnesses we've got here, and it was for reasons out of our control that the witnesses ran short last week.

  • In the premises really, having heard from the Defence the reasons given, we do not have any alternative but to adjourn to Wednesday morning and hope that from Wednesday morning onwards we will - all the parties will comply with the Trial Chamber's order - standing order to always have a backup witness. In this case we do appreciate that it was for reasons beyond your control that the backup witness arrived late.

  • Madam President, your comments are noted and I can assure you that we have been doing our utmost to make sure that we have witnesses here, but also to make sure that we don't have witnesses here so long in advance that it's costing the Court, and the WVS in particular, vast amounts of money to keep people here in The Hague. But we don't anticipate at this stage any further holdups.

  • Very well. Court is adjourned to Wednesday at 9 o'clock.

  • [Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 9.39 a.m. to be reconvened on Wednesday, 16 June 2010 at 9.00 a.m.]