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

  • May it please your Honour:

  • Mr Marzah, yesterday when we adjourned I was asking you about shipments of arms that you say were brought into Liberia by both air and by sea, and we ended the day with you informing us that you knew that one source of such arms was Taiwan. Do you recall that?

  • I did not tell you about a particular area that the thing used to come. I said both RIA and the kind of boat. That was my statement.

  • Let us talk about the source of the arms before they got to Liberia. One of the sources you told us yesterday was Taiwan; is that right?

  • Yes.

  • Through Benjamin Yeaten, the chief security of Charles Taylor.

  • What about Charles Taylor? Did he tell you that because apparently, according to you, you were on speaking terms with him? Did he tell you that?

  • Yes. Charles Taylor only mentioned Burkina and the one from a European country, from where the white man was coming, but he didn't name the European country to me, but we considered it to be America.

  • Help me, please: When and where did you have this conversation with Charles Taylor?

  • On so many occasions my leader Charles Taylor had the confidence in me because we had passed through so many societies which he knew about from Harbel Hill. At the time of the execution of Herr [phon] Doe we sat down and discussed and from there in Gbarnga, again in his own residence and even in his own residence in Monrovia, at White Flower.

  • Your Honour, if I can just note I heard the witness say "Poro societies", but I didn't hear that in the translation, just "societies".

  • Mr Interpreter, did the witness specifically refer to Poro societies?

  • Your Honours, could the witness say it again?

  • No, Mr Interpreter, I am asking you the question. Did the witness say Poro societies?

  • Your Honours, the interpreter cannot recall. I am following the witness. Could he say that again?

  • Mr Witness - please assist the witness. I am asking did you say "Poro society", or did you say "society"?

  • I said Poro society.

  • We will [overlapping speakers].

  • Well, given that you are telling us that you had such a close relationship with the president at such a high level, can I ask you about some other matters then?

  • You are welcome, sir.

  • By late 1996 Charles Taylor was a member of the Council of State, chaired by the Honourable Ruth Sandoh Perry, wasn't he?

  • Yes. That was the time we had the interim government. He was not a full-time president, but we used to call him president.

  • At that time all other members of the warring factions were also on the council, weren't they?

  • Repeat the question.

  • All other members of the other warring factions in Liberia, they were also represented on the council, weren't they?

  • And at that time, we are talking about 1996, there were 20,000 peacekeeping soldiers throughout Liberia, wasn't there?

  • I can't give you the exact number now because I have told you that it was not on record, or it was not something that I kept.

  • No, but you would have us believe that you were operating at the highest levels of government, in a military capacity, so this is the kind of fact you should be able to assist us with. So, please, let me ask you again: Were there not 20,000 peacekeepers in Liberia in 1996?

  • 1996 - I can remember '90 when ECOMOG was deployed there and from there, whilst we were in Monrovia during the period of the interim government, actually I was busy on so many occasions. I cannot give you the full number of the men that were assigned there, but if it will be 20,000, or above 20,000, I only know that the peacekeeping force was assigned there.

  • It was a large force, wasn't it?

  • Large, or large?

  • A large, L-A-R-G-E, force.

  • Okay, okay. When you say plenty, it will be clear to be understood, yes.

  • Right. Those soldiers manned all airports, sea ports and border entries from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Cote d'Ivoire, didn't they?

  • It was not in all the areas you are naming, but those who were assigned at the airport at that time, they were biased against our president, Charles Taylor. They were working for money, so through them we used to get ammos from them, because the Nigerians who were assigned there believed in black deal.

  • What does that mean?

  • They used to sell the weapons to our chief. Sometimes when our logistic came overnight, when the ammos came overnight, Charles Taylor will call me personally, Ben, Joe Tuah, Peter Saikpedeh, and sometimes we will take with us a carton of money just from this end to this end, all in US dollars, and it will be received by Victor, who was the ECOMOG commander assigned with Charles Taylor at White Flower, and then he will hand deliver it to the commander that was at the airport for us to be able to get our ammos and ammunition from the airport at that time.

  • So, let us just take it in stages then. Firstly, there were Nigerian troops stationed at Roberts International Airport.

  • Not just Roberts International Airport. Some were assigned directly with Charles Taylor at the old White Flower. Some were assigned at the ECOMOG headquarters and some were assigned at Grand Bassa because they believed that through our chief Charles Taylor they used to get money, so they used to liaise with us in line of receiving our arms and ammo.

  • I am talking about arms coming in through Roberts International Airport, so can we just concentrate on Roberts International Airport as a point where arms were coming into the country, okay? Now, were there Nigerian troops stationed at Roberts International Airport?

  • At that time we were having --

  • I'm sorry to interrupt you, but everybody is anxious to complete your evidence as soon as possible, so can you try and answer with a sentence which includes either of the two short words yes or no. Let me ask the question again. Were there Nigerian troops stationed at Roberts International Airport, yes or no?

  • Make it clear because I can recall in the '90s Nigerian troops were assigned and later they were withdrawn from there. Make it clear because when I speak fast again --

  • Pause, Mr Witness. Counsel is going to make --

  • Let me make it clear then. In 1996/1997, the period when you told investigators and prosecutors in this case you were involved in ferrying arms from Roberts International Airport, at that time were there Nigerian troops stationed at the airport, yes or no?

  • Yes.

  • How many Nigerian troops were stationed at the airport at that time?

  • It was about the size of a company and they were mixed up with some Ghanians, but at the time we received the ammos, they won't allow the Ghanians to go inside the fence. They took over the night shift. The Nigerian troops were in charge of the night shift.

  • You are saying, are you, that it was through bribery that it was possible to bring arms through Roberts International Airport?

  • You personally bribed these officers, did you?

  • The money was given to us and then we will take it to Victor, who was the Nigerian officer assigned with Charles Taylor, and he, Charles Taylor, would hand deliver the money to him and then we will all board the same car and he will take it to the Nigerian officer that was assigned at the airport. But the money would be hand delivered by me.

  • Right. Where would you get that money from?

  • From Charles Taylor's house, White Flower. From Charles Taylor's house, White Flower. He himself would bring the money and give it to Victor in my presence, whilst we were sitting down, and then he will tell us to escort Victor to the airport and we will remain there to get those items.

  • And Victor, what is Victor's full name, please?

  • No, the name that I can recall, that is it. Even through the black deal, when the disarmament was going on, he was the same person that helped us to take some of the arms from Charles Taylor's house and hide it and at that time ECOMOG was doing searching in all the council members' houses.

  • Mr Marzah, you were telling us yesterday that you were making numerous trips to Roberts International Airport. You are telling us today that that involved bribery of a Nigerian senior officer. Now, given that, you must have had a relationship with him, so try and help us. What is his name?

  • Victor, that is his name that I can remember. I told you that the thing happened for a long time ago, so I cannot know the man's full name. I was not even expecting that today I will sit before the honourable judges to be explaining. It was not something I kept in record to say it was something, David Jones' name in my archives, or Peter Merry's name in my archives.

  • What rank was he within the Nigerian forces?

  • Captain, Captain Victor.

  • Captain Victor, a Nigerian soldier whose full name you don't remember. Have I summarised that properly?

  • You said whose full name I can remember?

  • Counsel said you do not remember. That is all right. Continue, Mr Griffiths.

  • Can I fairly summarise what you are telling us about this man because I am anxious to try and identify who you are talking about, you see, or that those sitting opposite can also have that opportunity. It is a captain, he is Nigerian and his name is Victor. Can you give us any other identifying details of that man?

  • The man used to dress in military uniform and once you were in military uniform it was difficult to identify - to say I would identify a military personnel amongst the unified group, but he used to dress in military uniform and even the time they made an attempt on us at the mansion, he was hit with a bullet, the Nigerian man, the captain.

  • So, it is a Nigerian officer who on one occasion was wounded during an attack on which place?

  • At the mansion during the six man council government.

  • That helps us as well. Where was that man stationed?

  • Each and every day he was assigned with a car, but every day I also used to come from my house and meet him at the site of the job, but he was assigned directly with Charles Taylor, but at that time I never knew his residence.

  • Why not?

  • For security reasons because he was a commander and when he was hit he was changed from there and they brought another man, so it was not compulsory for me to ask him, "Say, Victor, where do you live?" And I never knew his residence.

  • But from what you are telling us, Mr Marzah, you were third in command in Liberia. Only Benjamin Yeaten and the President stood above you, so how come you didn't know that?

  • Objection, that misstates the evidence. It is assuming a fact not in the evidence. The witness never testified he was number 3 in Liberia.

  • Pause, Mr Witness. You have heard the objection, Mr Griffiths.

  • I will rephrase the question, your Honour.

  • Thank you.

  • Yesterday you told us that the only two people in the country above you were Benjamin Yeaten and the President. Do you remember telling us that?

  • Yes, Madam President, please. I want to talk with you before I answer this question. You said I shouldn't question the counsel, but again he shouldn't offend me too, please. So, repeat your question. I am willing to answer your question. Do not offend me and do not misquote me.

  • Mr Witness, I am not clear what is offensive, but if you have asked it to be repeated, I will ask counsel to repeat it and if I think you are being harassed, I will intervene.

  • Mr Marzah, did you tell us yesterday that the only two people above you, in terms of importance, were Benjamin Yeaten and President Taylor?

  • Yes, yes, through our Poro society.

  • Can we just stick to the "yes", please. I am anxious to get on. Given that position, Mr Marzah, how is it that you didn't know where this captain was living?

  • Yes, I was not to know the area and I was not due to know all the security houses and for me to be close to these two people was based upon our Poro society and even down to Taylor, we all used to eat the human beings whilst we were there, so he was part of it.

  • How does that feature in the question I asked? Have you got a fixation about eating people, Mr Marzah?

  • Objection, that question is not productive, I believe, to these proceedings.

  • Somewhat facetious remark, Mr Griffiths.

  • It bore no relation whatsoever to the question I asked, your Honour.

  • I agree, that part of that answer is quite irrelevant. I am talking about the fixation part on your question.

  • I want to move on, Mr Marzah, so can you help me with this please: This discussion we have been having about the bribery of Nigerian troops at Roberts International Airport, in order to facilitate the bringing in of arms, why did you not tell the Prosecution about this?

  • Yes, sir, thank you. I told you that there were so many problems and from the questions of the Defence and the judges, that will let me remember some of the behaviours. It was not something that was on record for me to deal with as my handiwork, so when the questions come then I will think about them.

  • Mr Marzah, you were asked questions about arms coming in through Roberts International Airfield and I showed you yesterday a passage in an interview where you referred to hundreds of trips to that airport. Now, tell us why, in that context, did you not mention this bribery?

  • Yes, sir, Mr Counsellor. That is what I am continuously repeating. I said it was something that went on on different occasions. It was not in record for me to go through it bit by bit, but through the judgment I will recall the ideas and remember some of those behaviours. Yes, sir.

  • Very well. Now, speaking about peacekeeping troop deployment in Liberia at that time, such troops manned checkpoints on all major and minor roads throughout the country, didn't they?

  • Yes, there were checkpoints. There were checkpoints, but there were close contacts by Charles Taylor through Victor that I am talking about. That is by giving them money and at times some of those materials will be transported in an ECOMOG Mowa [phon] car, a Mowa, a jeep. ECOMOG would not check the cars, the weapon car that their colleague used.

  • Let us just break that down now, shall we? You agree there were checkpoints throughout the country on all major and minor roads. Do you agree that?

  • Yes, there were checkpoints.

  • Those checkpoints were manned by non-Liberian troops; is that right?

  • You know, some checkpoints were occupied by ECOMOG and some checkpoints were occupied by Liberians, but going far into it that was the zone when the six man council became technical for Charles Taylor to make way for Charles Taylor to dissolve --

  • Your Honours, the last bit of the witness's evidence was not clear.

  • Mr Witness, please repeat your answer after you said "Charles Taylor dissolved". What did he dissolve?

  • Thank you, sir. I said at the time the six man council was trying to be technical, he liaised - Charles Taylor liaised with the ECOMOG through the Victor that I am talking about and from there the ECOMOG dissolved the Liberian checkpoints and the checkpoints that remain were just ECOMOG checkpoints.

  • So, there were checkpoints throughout the country manned by ECOMOG troops throughout the period 1996/1997; is that right?

  • Thank you, That will do. At those checkpoints all persons and vehicles were searched; is that right?

  • Yes, ordinary vehicles.

  • Objection, I think the witness is entitled to explain that answer.

  • He said "ordinary vehicles".

  • Okay, I said ordinary vehicles would be searched, but the ECOMOG mobile was not searched and it were those ECOMOG mobiles that we used to carry those arms and ammos through Victor.

  • So when, for example, in 1996/1997 you were transporting arms from Monrovia to Sierra Leone, you were using ECOMOG vehicles, were you?

  • At that time we used to move at night and sometimes we didn't use ECOMOG vehicles and ECOMOG was nothing to us in that matter. They took directions from us and through President Charles Taylor's instruction we would disarm them and they would be executed, so they had no alternative to search our car.

  • I am trying to follow what you are telling us, so I apologise if this takes longer than I thought it would. ECOMOG vehicles were used to transport arms to the RUF; is that right?

  • I told you ECOMOG vehicles were used from the airport to White Flower, but from White Flower to go to the RUF controlled area I was assigned with two yellow Mack trucks with which I would move overnight and whilst I was moving Victor would escort me from Monrovia, White Flower, to Bong County and when I entered Lofa then we will have control over the ECOMOG that were assigned in Lofa. That was the area where they stopped, from the airport to White Flower.

  • So, when all of those shipments came into Roberts International Airfield, all of them, all of those arms and ammunitions would be loaded onto ECOMOG vehicles and taken to White Flower; is that right?

  • Yes.

  • So, consequently you are telling us that Nigerian troops were conniving with Charles Taylor to --

  • -- evade the arms embargo. Is that what you are telling us?

  • And they were doing that throughout the period 1996/1997?

  • Yes, during the period of the interim government when they were assigned there.

  • Just to follow through on what you are telling us, from White Flower to the border with Sierra Leone you would have to go through ECOMOG checkpoints, wouldn't you?

  • That question, it comes --

  • Your Honours, the witness is running too fast for the interpreter.

  • Again, Mr Witness, please go a little slower for the interpreter. Please start your answer again. Thank you, Mr Witness.

  • Thank you. Before I moved up from White Flower during 1996 up to 1997, I would be escorted by ECOMOG troops, by ECOMOG troops. From 1996, when Voinjama - I mean Lofa was captured by ULIMO, they used to escort me up to Yekepa area at night.

  • So, I just want to make sure I understand what you are telling us. From White Flower, onwards to Sierra Leone, these shipments of arms intended for the RUF, you would be protected by ECOMOG soldiers; is that right?

  • Yes, it is right, by the directive of Charles Taylor.

  • So, consequently the transport of arms into Liberia and onwards to the RUF, that was done with the full connivance and knowledge of ECOMOG, was it?

  • Thank you.

  • At the time they were victims for the first time. When we received orders from Charles Taylor, that was the time they realised our weight, so they were subject to Charles Taylor. They only used to receive some money from him and then they will help us to escort us as far as Nimba, for us to pass through.

  • Help us please, again, Mr Marzah: Why did you not --

  • -- whisper a word of this to the investigators and the prosecutors during those many conversations you had with them?

  • I told you that there were many occasions from the time the investigators started asking me and from your own questions now it will let me recall some of those behaviours. I told you that, sir.

  • Now, also was it not right that during this period no-one was permitted to bear arms except the peacekeepers?

  • Repeat the question.

  • Let me put it differently so that you get the context. At the time the Council of State was set up, there was an attempt, was there not, to disarm all of the combatants?

  • Thank you. At that time they were disarmed and the six man council, Charles Taylor's friend, one white man, helped us through Charles Taylor and we were in possession to fortify Charles Taylor's security. We all had pistols with us, but I cannot tell you about the other councilors' securities.

  • That is not what I am talking about. Generally, within Liberian society at the time, there was a process of disarmament, wasn't there?

  • Yes, they had disarmament process.

  • As part of that process the only persons permitted to carry arms were the peacekeepers; isn't that right?

  • Also at that time is it not right that Charles Taylor lived at Mamba Point, opposite the US Embassy compound, Mamba Point?

  • He only spent roughly about two or three months in that place, but at that time, when we were there, we were still in possession of firing arms.

  • But just to limit my question to where he was living, he did live at that time at Mamba Point, didn't he?

  • At that time he was at Mamba Point and later he left there to go to the old White Flower.

  • Mamba, your Honours, is spelt M-A-B-A [sic], Point as in P-O-I-N-T. M-A-M-B-A, M-A-M-B-A.

  • Mamba Point.

  • Can you spell it for us, Mr Marzah?

  • Hey, counsellor, I have always told you my problem. I beg, I am unable.

  • The reason why I have spent so long dealing with ECOMOG's presence in Liberia at the time is because I suggest to you that it would have been impossible for you to be transporting arms through Liberia to the RUF, precisely because of that ECOMOG presence. That is the truth, isn't it?

  • Thank you, Mr Counsellor, but I am telling you the truth and nothing but the truth and I told you from the beginning that I am one of the living bodies of the NPFL and I am telling you the exact story. We were still in possession of firearms with the consent of some of the ECOMOG staff.

  • Now, as part of that process of disarmament, Mr Marzah, all the arms collected were destroyed by ECOMOG, weren't they?

  • It were the ugly ones that they destroyed, but the effective ones that we had, Victor also made it possible for us to be able to take them and bury them at the Camp Schefflein Highway and we also took some from there and we carried them as far as Gbarnga in the Mowa jeep. It were the ugly ones that they took to BTC and with some fraction on weapons they burned them, but the effective ones were still in our possession.

  • But arms were destroyed by ECOMOG?

  • Yes, they destroyed some arms, but not all the weapons that I was aware of.

  • And those arms were destroyed under the supervision of the United Nations, weren't they?

  • What I know, I personally saw the ECOMOG troops. All I knew was that it was an ECOMOG force. Whether it was United Nations - all I know that it was ECOMOG troops.

  • Again, it was the same Victor who allowed Charles Taylor to keep the effective arms buried in Liberia, yes? The same Victor made that possible?

  • The same Victor I am talking about, yes. He was the person who the contact passed through. He was the one that the contact passed through, but not all the ECOMOG contingent were concerned. It was through Victor and a few staff that we carried out the hiding of these weapons.

  • Now, this Victor features so prominently in your evidence, I am sorry but I am going to have to try and press you for as much identifying details as possible. Can you tell us as much as you can about this Victor, please, because I want to be able to trace this man. Can you help us? He is a captain, he is Nigerian, he was shot. What else do you know about him?

  • Since Victor was shot at the mansion and when he was released from there, since then I have never seen him, so from there I can say I cannot be able to trace Victor.

  • Can you help us with any other details about him? Anything will do.

  • The only information that I am aware of about Victor was that Victor assisted us to get some arms for us through the directive of Charles Taylor. Besides that, I don't know any other story about Victor, how he went, or how he came.

  • Describe him for me.

  • Even though you are standing up, but you are more bulky than Victor. You are more bulky than Victor. Victor was a black guy and he was a Nigerian.

  • So he is not as fat as me?

  • No, no, no, no. No, he is not taller than you.

  • So he is about my height?

  • What is your height?

  • About 5 foot 9 when I exaggerate.

  • I beg you, tell me what is 5 feet and 9. No, I am saying that you and him, you are taller than the man a little, but he was a slim man. He was a very active captain that I am talking about. Maybe if I stand up now, like I am standing now, Victor will just stop somewhere around here [indicated].

  • So he reached around your shoulder. Shoulder height to you?

  • He would be over my shoulder a little, but when he is in the military boots maybe his head will come closer to the level of my ear.

  • Help me, please: Did he have long hair, short hair, or what?

  • No, no, Victor was not having long hair. He was a man that was a very clean guy. He was a clean Nigerian guy. He was always shaved and he had his hair cut. He was a clean military personnel and even the time you see him, you can say no dirty man can sit with him. He was a clean guy. He was a learned man.

  • What complexion was he? Was he as dark as me, darker than me, or what?

  • Almost - you are almost like him, but he is darker than you.

  • And anything else you can help us with?

  • If the questions continue, if I recall I will help you with it, but if I don't recall I will not be able to help you with it.

  • Just for purposes of record, we will note that the witness stood and indicated first shoulder height and subsequently ear level height.

  • Could I just have a moment, please, your Honour:

  • Does the name Victor Malu mean anything to you, Mr Marzah?

  • No, no, no. I didn't say Victor Malu. That Victor, Victor Malu, I saw Victor Malu, but the Victor I am talking about was the captain. Victor Malu is different from the captain that I am talking about.

  • So we know that Victor Malu was the Nigerian general in charge of the peacekeepers in Liberia. So, it was not that Victor, it was another Victor.

  • No, no. Victor Malu is different and the Victor I am talking about, the captain, he is different. General Victor is different. Victor Malu is different. The captain that was assigned with Charles Taylor, which I knew, is different.

  • But you did know Victor Malu?

  • Yes, I knew Victor Malu, but it is a long time ago. He left us, but I don't know where he is.

  • But it was Victor Malu who was in command of ECOMOG troops in 1996/1997; is that right?

  • Your Honour, can the learned counsel please repeat the question?

  • It was General Victor Malu who was in command of ECOMOG soldiers in 1996/1997?

  • There were many ECOMOG generals that were in command, but I can't recall exactly, but I know Victor Malu to be one of the ECOMOG generals. But the Victor I am talking about was a company commander under Victor Malu.

  • Let me ask the question differently. At the time you say you were transporting arms through Liberia to the RUF, who was the commander of the ECOMOG troops?

  • Thank you very much. There were so many officers of Nigeria, Nigerian forces were there. Victor Malu was there. There is another man whose name I have forgotten. There were many there, Nigerians, including some Ghanians, but Victor Malu was popular so I got used to his name. But the one that was assigned to us directly, with our chief Charles Taylor directly, is the one that I can describe and I will tell you his functions, the time he was with us.

  • Now, apart from Nigerian troops that peacekeeping force was also made up of Ghanians; is that right?

  • Soldiers from Guinea; is that right?

  • Soldiers from Uganda?

  • I can't remember that, but most of them - you know, being that I battled against the Nigerians, I knew the Nigerians, I knew the Ghanians, I knew the Guineans and I knew the Sierra Leoneans, but the rest of the other countries, I didn't know them. I only considered them to be ECOMOG troops.

  • Help me, the bribery that you spoke of, that involved the Ghanians and the Guineans and the other troops as well, did it?

  • No, I can't tell. What I know that I can tell you is that the commander who was at Robertsfield was a Nigerian man. He was also a major. He was the person that received the money. I am sorry, it is a long time now. I have forgotten his name, but he was the person that received the money, but I never used to see Ghanians there, Guineans, or Sierra Leoneans. It was between the Nigerians.

  • So, it was this Victor who organised the bribery from Roberts Airfield to Monrovia and also from Monrovia to the Sierra Leone border. The same captain did all of that; is that right?

  • Yes, that is right.

  • So, someone of the rank of captain was able to bribe soldiers throughout the whole of Liberia?

  • To bribe soldiers in the whole of Liberia - the one that I know about is what I am talking about, but whether the money went through the rest of Liberia I don't know.

  • But you told us that you would be escorted by ECOMOG troops from Monrovia all the way up to Nimba, wasn't it? So, who was in charge of that part of the bribery?

  • The company commander that was assigned there, alongside the Nigerian forces that were assigned under him, they were the ones who used to carry out that assistance.

  • Give us a name for the person who organised that for you.

  • I told you Victor, Victor, but I can't remember the names of all the people. Their Nigerian names are difficult. I am unable, but you can ask our leader, Charles Taylor himself. He will show you and he will tell you that it was Victor who was the commander of the Nigerian troops with us there in White Flower and at the mansion. Yes, sir. So, it is Victor that I know.

  • You see, what I am going to suggest to you, Mr Marzah --

  • -- is this account that you gave to the investigators and the prosecutors about making hundreds of runs taking arms to Sierra Leone, I suggest that is a lie.

  • I will not lie to you and I will say the truth and nothing but the truth. It was even above hundred trips that I will tell you about and even some Sierra Leoneans, they used to see me, and even people in Lofa used to see me pass through their county, so if it is possible for you to do some background investigation they will tell you, but I made over a hundred trips.

  • I suggest the transport of arms in the way you have suggested would have been impossible during that period 1996/1997, given the presence of ECOMOG troops in Liberia. That is the truth, isn't it?

  • Not just in '96 and '97. I told you that they at the airport in '91 to '96 and after Charles Taylor was elected president the shipments still continued, so within this time the trips were above hundred. It were not just in '96 and '97.

  • I finally suggest, as far as this topic is concerned, that you have deliberately manufactured that account for your own purposes, perhaps for financial gain. Do you understand?

  • I am hoping on my very self, I am not working for money. I am saying the truth and for our country to have proper peace with our neighbouring countries that are surrounding us, but I am telling you the truth about what happened. I cannot lie whilst I have already taken an oath on the Bible.

  • Yes. Now, on Wednesday of this week you told us about a trip made by certain RUF members to Burkina Faso to purchase arms. Do you remember that?

  • Yes, I stated that.

  • Can you help us firstly with when that was?

  • I told you on Wednesday that at the time I used to carry the arms and ammos to Mosquito and whilst I was returning I brought some diamonds in jars, but Mosquito and I, including Mike Lamin and their bodyguard that was called FOC, Junior and others, I can't name all of them, when I went with the ammos they showed me a diamond, a passport size diamond which was big. So, when we took these ones to Monrovia Charles Taylor was impressed and he even gave us envelopes with money inside and the money that was in my own envelope was above 100 - I mean 1,000.

  • Mr Witness, the question was about arms and Burkina Faso.

  • Do you recall RUF members going to Burkina Faso to purchase arms?

  • Yes, through the recommendation of Charles Taylor. He sent Musa Cisse along with them, Eddie Kanneh, Mike Lamin, Mosquito, in my presence.

  • I can't recall the year, or the date. I told you.

  • And all of those members went to Burkina Faso to purchase arms, did they?

  • Those people whose names I have called to you, they were people who were given to Musa Cisse for recommendation to go and bring arms and when they came they did not bring the arms, but to my surprise we were in a nightclub and Mosquito received a call that the cargo plane had arrived from Burkina. They said it was from Burkina and when we went there there were enough of arms and ammos and we were unable to carry them all that same night, so that was what I told you from the beginning. These were the people who went: Mike Lamin, Eddie Kanneh, Mosquito and Issa Sesay [sic] and the rest of the men stayed with me in Monrovia.

  • Yes, Mr Koumjian?

  • I thought the interpretation might have used the wrong name for one of those names.

  • I see. My learned colleague agrees with you. Can you refer us to the record so it can be corrected, or checked.

  • Mr Witness, did you mention Musa Cisse, or Issa Sesay?

  • I said Musa Cisse. I didn't say Issa Sesay. I said Musa Cisse.

  • Tell me, how were those arms purchased in Burkina Faso paid for?

  • I was not there, but where I was I knew straight that they were going for arms. After we took this passport size and the large diamonds we brought after the passport size diamond, he sent them for them to go and make recommendations for Mosquito to be getting direct arms and ammos, so once they returned Mosquito told me that his trip was successful and the following night I saw a plane arrive with enough of ammos. So, I believe that they bought them, but I was not with them in Burkina.

  • Do you know of a place in Sierra Leone called Magburaka?

  • Yes, I know Magburaka. I know Tongo, I know Kono, I know Bunumbu, I know Mine 91, I know Kono, I know Kailahun.

  • Yes. We are only asking about one place. Just pause, please, and hear the next question.

  • The next question is do you know of an airfield at Magburaka?

  • Airfield, no.

  • Do you know of any flights from Burkina Faso into Magburaka carrying arms for the RUF?

  • I can't tell. I was not there at that time. I can't tell.

  • You know nothing at all about any such event?

  • If I know I will tell you, sir, but I don't know. I was not there all the time.

  • Very well. If one were in the north eastern part of Sierra Leone during the period when the RUF were active in Sierra Leone, which would be the nearest international airport for you?

  • Pronounce the name of the place again, please, Mr Griffiths.

  • North eastern Sierra Leone, your Honour.

  • I don't know. I don't know. The only place I know that they had the football field, when I was in doing the invasion a helicopter went to collect me to Monrovia. That was in Kailahun, but besides that I don't know whether they had an airfield, or a playing field.

  • My fault I am sure.

  • There is an international airport in Freetown called Lungi, isn't there?

  • The place through which we pass, is that the name?

  • Do you know of the international airport in Freetown, Sierra Leone, called Lungi?

  • Yes, I saw that one when I was coming here.

  • Do you know of an international airport in Liberia called Roberts Airfield?

  • Yes, yes, even my wife is from there. I have some children from Robertsfield. I know the airport.

  • If you were a member of the RUF and you wanted to fly to Burkina Faso, which airport were you forced to use because of the civil war?

  • Repeat the question.

  • If I was Musa Cisse and I wanted to get to Burkina Faso to buy arms, which was the only international airport I could use?

  • At times you will use car, you go through Ivory Coast. At times you will use Roberts International Airport. At times you use Springsfield in Monrovia city.

  • But if I was an RUF member, could I, during that time of the civil war, travel to Freetown and get on a plane at Lungi to fly out of the country?

  • No, no, no. I don't understand that question. Repeat it.

  • Because of the civil war in Sierra Leone, if I was an RUF member and I wanted to fly out of the country, could I use the international airport in Freetown?

  • It could be that if you connive with the Freetown government, like the way Gibril Massaquoi, who was the spokesman when he deviated from the unit, maybe those are some of the areas he passed through. That could happen, but it is not possible as RUF member to fly over the enemies and then use a plane from Lungi Airport.

  • Your Honours will recall that yesterday I raised a matter regarding the manner in which a certain aspect of this witness's evidence should be dealt with. I have reached that topic now. I wonder if we could make arrangements.

  • Mr Koumjian, you are aware of the issue that arose yesterday. Have you any objection?

  • We request private session given what counsel has notified us of. Thank you.

  • We will have to go into closed session, please - private, excuse me. Private session. I should inform members of the public that the next portion of the questions and answers will not be heard by the public. This is in accordance with the rules for the security of certain witnesses.

  • Your Honour, you might wish to indicate to the public that this period shouldn't last more than 10 minutes, or so.

  • Counsel has informed us that he does not expect this session to last more than 10 minutes, the private session I am referring to, and then the Court will again be in full open session. Incidentally, if you just want to sit and watch you are free to do so.

  • Your Honour, just taking advantage of the time, Victor Malu, the last name is spelt M-A-L-U.

  • [At this point in the proceedings, a portion of the transcript, pages 6115 to 6125, was extracted and sealed under separate cover, as the proceeding was heard in private session.]

  • [Open session]

  • Your Honour, we are in open session.

  • Thank you. Please proceed, Mr Griffiths.

  • Mr Marzah, so far as you transporting arms into Guinea, I suggest that was done without any involvement whatsoever by President Taylor. That's the truth, isn't it?

  • Your Honours, the witness's microphone is not on.

  • Just pause, Mr Witness. We have to put your microphone on. Thank you, Mr Witness. Please start again from the beginning.

  • Yes, yes. It involved Mr Taylor and without him we wouldn't get this and it was through his instruction that we implemented them.

  • Because just to look at that enterprise in a little more detail, in order for you to get those arms across the Guinean border you had set up a private arrangement with a Guinean customs officer, hadn't you?

  • It was based on Mr Taylor's influence and he asked me to carry out this operation and to establish business by buying kola nut, palm oil, to establish that business for me to be able to convince the securities and for me to be able to be crossing with those items. I never had the experience, but he educated me.

  • Who organised the situation with the customs officers in Guinea? Was it you or was it Mr Taylor?

  • I was the one. I was the one. After he gave me.

  • So do you agree that you, Zigzag Marzah, set up a personal relationship with a woman in Guinea?

  • And as a result of that personal relationship you set up with that woman you were thereafter able to cross from Liberia into Guinea unmolested by the Guinean customs?

  • Yes, through Mr Taylor's directive for us to be able to transport the weapons.

  • Can we just leave Mr Taylor to one side for the minute and just look at the way in which this was set up. You found the woman, you gave her the money, you made the arrangement. Is that right?

  • I did not give the woman money and I cannot put Mr Taylor aside because I never had any authority to do such thing without his effort.

  • I have just been informed, Mr Marzah, that you are not even waiting for the translation. You fully understand me, don't you?

  • What do you mean? What?

  • You are not even waiting for the translation. You fully understand what I am saying, don't you?

  • Well, I don't understand you. Repeat. The ones that I don't understand, you will repeat it. This is my first time sitting in front of you here, so please educate me.

  • Mr Marzah, you see what I am suggesting is that you have been trying to deceive us throughout your testimony in this Court. That's the truth, isn't it?

  • I am not deceiving the Court. I am saying the truth and nothing but the truth before God and man. What I did and the processes I passed through, all what I did are those I am telling you. If it is something that you want me to continue and continue I will still recall so many other activities that went on. It has been a long process and it had happened a long time ago and I cannot just recall them all.

  • As an example of your deceit you had your mobile phone switched on with you in court yesterday, didn't you?

  • My phone was not - the phone is spoilt. It is a spoilt phone and even if you say I should send for it, I cannot communicate with that phone here. The phone cannot communicate. The Nokia is now in my residence.

  • Mr Witness, that's not the question. The question was did you have your mobile phone switched on with you in court yesterday?

  • The phone was not on, sir.

  • Were you not receiving messages on that phone while you sat in that very seat yesterday answering questions?

  • No, no, no, no, nothing like that, nothing at all, nothing.

  • Were you asking to go to the bathroom on more than one occasion yesterday in order to check your messages?

  • No, no. Going to the bathroom was to free myself. It was not to check messages. What I am telling you were the things that happened and the ones that I can remember are the ones that I am telling you. I am not somebody who somebody will put words in his mouth.

  • Mr Marzah, was there somebody outside of this courtroom giving you instructions whilst you gave your evidence yesterday?

  • Upon the oath that I took in this Court I will say the truth and nothing but the truth since I started my testimony and that was the very day that the KPN closed my phone and the phone is spoilt. I have not had - I have not been in touch with anybody at all.

  • Did you have that phone with you in court on Wednesday, the first day that you came to give evidence?

  • The phone? No, no. The reason why you saw the phone, I brought the phone to turn it over so that they can service it for me, but the officers, that is the protective officer who is taking care of me, he said the phone will not be fixed until I go through my testimony. Even up to this moment I am angry with them because I would like to be in touch with my family. And since I started this testimony I have not been getting communication easily. I can show you the phone. If you ask for it they can give officers, they will go for it and they will bring it and you will put it on yourself and then you will see it, whether you can make call through it or not.

  • Mr Marzah, what you engaged in in Guinea, if you were engaged in that activity, you were doing that to line your own pockets, weren't you?

  • Not my own way. I have always told you, sir, that I was directed by my leader Charles Taylor and during Charles Taylor's administration I can't recall any man doing things on his own, may the Lord forbid.

  • Was the situation this: That a lot of ULIMO arms were floating around Lofa County at the end of the civil war and that people like you were collecting them up and selling them for your own purposes across the border? Is that the situation?

  • No, no, no. Even in Liberia if they tell you that I disarmed it will be a black lie because I was instructed by Charles Taylor to take all the weapons to Senaye [phon] and that I did. I left the enemies in Gbarnga and I penetrated with my bare hands and I never had even a round to disarm, yes.

  • Now, I have received some instructions, Mr Marzah, about a particular little detail. There was an occasion when an attack was made on the Executive Mansion in an attempt to kill President Taylor. That is right, isn't it?

  • Yes, yes.

  • It is during that attach that you say Victor the Nigerian was injured, is that right, he was shot?

  • Yes, even then the desk that Mr Taylor was sitting on, it was God that helped him to rush into the bathroom. In fact the desk was pierced through by a bullet. In fact some people were lucky, they jumped from the first floor over the fence and some people who went inside together, they died, yes.

  • You see, I am asking you about that detail because the Nigerian officer who was liaising with President Taylor and who got shot during that incident his name was Ali not Victor.

  • No, no. I said Victor, Captain Victor. Ali is different. Ali was a deputy to Victor. If anybody told you Ali, it is a black lie. The Ali in fact you are talking, it is from this topic now that I have got to recall his name, but it was Victor that I knew as the commander.

  • But it was Ali who was shot. That's right, isn't it?

  • It is Victor's that I can recall. Whether Ali was shot I don't know because that day was a busy day and for us to even - to have even taken President Taylor from there to White Flower to come and engage the people again, I can say it was a busy day. So it was Victor who was close to our leader Taylor. He is the one that I know about.

  • And do you recall that Ali had to be airlifted to Nigeria for medical treatment?

  • I can't tell. I can't tell. I can't tell. I can't tell.

  • On how many occasions have you transported diamonds from Sierra Leone to President Taylor?

  • That was not on record and I can't remember all. From the time of Mosquito's administration and up to Issa's administration, but I cannot check all.

  • On how many occasions did you, Zigzag Marzah, transport diamonds from Sierra Leone to Monrovia?

  • I told you it was on many occasions, but I cannot tell you the exact number of trips. I don't want to lie to you, but maybe if I check the trips it might be above 10, 15 to 20 trips, but I cannot recall all the trips. And each time I carried ammos I must bring diamonds along with Mosquito's representatives. And if they were plenty in the jar Mosquito will either send Issa along with me or he himself will come along with me. It happened on many occasions so I cannot recall all.

  • And on each occasion was it a mayonnaise jar that was used?

  • Not a mayonnaise jar. It was some kind of a bottle, you know, a bottle which was a size like this glass, but it was a little longer with a small mouth. Sometimes the diamond will stop just by the level, or sometimes the diamonds will not go that far, they will just stop somewhere around here. But the real one that made him to be impressed was the shoulder pad diamond.

  • Now, if I can indicate, your Honour, I think the witness indicated a bottle about six inches in height, perhaps three inches in diameter which he said on occasions might be anywhere between two and a half to three inches full with diamonds.

  • I don't know the inches. I don't know the inches. But if they brought me a jar here I will show you the difference. Sometimes when they brought big diamonds about 10 and 15 and when you put them inside they will go even above the brink of this thing, when they were big in size. But if they were like 10 carats downwards or 20 carats upwards they will not be plenty in the jar and then we would wrap the jar in a piece of cloth and put it into a bag.

  • For the purposes of record, Mr Griffiths, I note that Mr Koumjian appears to have agreed with that estimate.

  • Now you took a jar of that size to President Taylor on over 20 occasions?

  • I told you I can't recall all the trips that I made. They were many trips, I can't recall all. That was what I said to you.

  • But on each trip you would take a jar back of that size?

  • Sometimes we did not carry it in jars. When we knew that the big ones - can I go on?

  • I hope not. Let me try a different question because I am anxious that we get on with this. Let me ask it differently. On each occasion that you went back to President Taylor you carried diamonds, whether in a jar, whether in a sock, whether in your underpants. Is that right?

  • I wouldn't take diamonds in my briefs. Diamonds is something that you can keep in --

  • The question is on each occasion that you went back to President Taylor did you carry diamonds.

  • Yes. When I was coming from Sierra Leone, yes.

  • And you did that on more than 20 occasions?

  • I told you I can't give an exact account of the trips, but it happened on many occasions and each trip that I made, I brought diamonds along with the representatives of the RUF.

  • And apart from you, other RUF members were taking diamonds to Charles Taylor as well, weren't they?

  • Bockarie would take diamonds - Sam Bockarie would take diamonds, would he, to Charles Taylor?

  • Can I talk? Okay, I am a soldier. I talk about what I know and I talk of my very self, so that question is meant for those whose names you are calling. It's not for me.

  • Is it within your knowledge that Bockarie took diamonds to Charles Taylor?

  • I can't give you an imaginary answer. I am talking about my own acts. I can't talk about what they carried out or not.

  • Mr Witness, do you know, or do you not know?

  • I don't know. I know about my own.

  • Well, help us then, please. How is it that when you spoke to investigators on 31 January 2006, page 9, your Honours, you said to them, second line:

    "The witness stated that he knew that Bockarie carried diamonds from Sierra Leone into Monrovia and that the diamonds were for the old man."

    Why did you tell them that when, according to you now, you knew nothing about it?

  • I told you Mosquito and I --

  • Just pause.

  • I think in fairness the rest of the paragraph, at least the next sentence should be read.

  • Your Honour, I will conduct my cross-examination in the manner I would like to. I will come to the rest of the passage in due course. Mr Koumjian can rest assured that I will, but I am dealing first of all with the contradiction. If my learned friend would allow me a couple of uninterrupted questions - he is the one anxious to finish the witness today. Please let us get on with it.

  • Put the question, Mr Griffiths.

  • Why did you tell them in this statement that you knew Bockarie took diamonds to Monrovia and yet you're telling us now that you don't? Which of those two is right?

  • The one that is right was the trip that Mosquito made with me and the one that he and I carried and that is what I am talking about. But in the case of his own personal occasions, like Joe Tuah going to collect him or Benjamin Yeaten going to collect him, I can't give accounts about that. But the trips that he made with me with the diamonds is what I am talking about.

  • Did you say to the investigators that you knew that Bockarie carried diamonds from Sierra Leone to Monrovia for the old man?

  • Did you tell them that; yes or no?

  • So if you told them that back in January 2006, why did you tell me something different no more than five minutes ago?

  • No, what I am telling you is that the trips that he made with [indiscernible] there or Joe Tuah or Benjamin Yeaten I don't know about it. But the trips that he made with me, he and I escorted the diamonds, that is what I am explaining to the people. But the ones that he did with those people I can't give account about that. So time will come that you will ask me to describe what I carried out and what I saw. So the things that I did not see I am unable to describe them. So he and I, that is Mosquito, we made so many trips with diamonds to Charles Taylor.

  • Because the paragraph goes on:

    "The witness stated he was present at White Flower on several occasions when Bockarie gave Taylor diamonds. The witness stated that he would pick Bockarie up" --

  • -- "at the RUF safe house in Monrovia (referred to as the YMCA) by car at night and take Bockarie to White Flower where Bockarie would spend the night. He recalled on one occasion being present when Bockarie gave Taylor a large diamond."

    Is all of that true?

  • Yes, it is true.

  • So if you were able to give all of that detail in January 2006, why did you give me a contrary answer five minutes ago?

  • Objection. That was not a contrary answer. The question of counsel was did he know if Bockarie gave diamonds on trips he wasn't on, this witness wasn't on, and he is talking in this paragraph about trips he was on.

  • No, he is not. He is not talking about trips he was not on, your Honour. Look at the passage. If my learned friend can read --

  • The record, Mr Griffiths, at page 61 line 6 - beg your pardon, line 4, you asked: "Is it within your knowledge that Bockarie took diamonds to Charles Taylor?" There was no limitation on that. It was just a broad question. His answer was: "I can't give you an imaginary answer. I am talking about my own acts. I can't talk about what they carried out or not." Then the Presiding Judge says: "Do you know or do you not know?" The answer was: "I don't know. I know about my own."

  • I am grateful, your Honour.

  • So that's what the record says. You asked a broad question, you didn't put any qualifications on it whatsoever and you got a negative answer.

  • I am grateful, your Honour:

  • I asked you about a Mr Sherrif yesterday who worked for the SSS. As far as you are aware did he carry diamonds to Charles Taylor?

  • I don't know about the Sherrif's activities. I cannot guess and give you a wrong answer because Charles Taylor is in problem today. I am telling you what I know. I can't give an account of Sherrif.

  • What I suggest, you see, Mr Marzah, is that once again in relation to diamonds you were telling the investigators what you felt they wanted to hear in order to profit for yourself. That's the truth, isn't it?

  • No, I told you, Mr Counsellor, during Charles Taylor's administration, and moreover with things like diamonds, if you did things on your own you were risking your own life. So whatsoever activity went on it was as a result of the approval of Charles Taylor. That is what I am telling you.

  • Because the bottom line is you have been receiving quite considerable sums of money from the Prosecution, haven't you?

  • Can we go to page 107, please.

  • Anyway, you will ask.

  • Now starting in about November 2006 you started to receive money from the Prosecution, didn't you?

  • Repeat your question.

  • According to the records disclosed to us, from about November 2006 you started to receive money from the Prosecution, didn't you?

  • I can't remember that. And moreover that got me annoyed to leave Sierra Leone and even though they used to pay for my transportation from Nimba County to Monrovia.

  • Tell me, the records I have suggest that - I'm sorry. The records I have suggest that the first payment you received was in April 2006 when you received 25 US dollars. Page 103, your Honours. Do you recall that?

  • I remember that. Mr Counsellor, please is this thing not coming on? Mr Counsellor, when we talk about money, 25 United States dollars is not money for a type like me to come and work for it. I am here in the best interests of my republic, Liberia. So I am here to say the truth. $25, I have people who I pay more than that.

  • Well, let us talk about $400 because it was my mistake, you see. The very first payment you receive from them dated Sunday, 26 February 2006 was for 400 US dollars. Is that also a paltry sum, Mr Marzah?

  • Yes, it's a small money. From my village to Monrovia is about $130, USD. So when I make trips to and from and you give me $400 what was I going to take home? It was something like - I was submissive to them for me to say the truth. Yes, I received the 400. And apart from that on several occasions I received more transportation from them.

  • Well, 400 US dollars may be not a lot of money to you if you had been making thousands selling arms in Guinea. Is that where you made your real money from?

  • From which one? I make my money - I make my money out of the proceeds of my farm. I have a large palm farm. I have a large rubber farm. I told you I cover 378 acres of land and apart from that the same thing --

  • Your Honours, the witness is running too fast.

  • Just two things. First of all, Mr Witness, you are speaking too fast and, secondly, I think the tape has just about run out. So we will take the opportunity to take the mid-morning break. We will adjourn now and resume at 12 o'clock. You understand?

  • Thank you, sir. Thank you sir.

  • Please adjourn court until 12.00.

  • [Break taken at 11.30 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 12.00 p.m.]

  • Please proceed, Mr Griffiths.

  • May it please your Honour:

  • Mr Marzah, you were telling us before we adjourned that you are a quite substantial property owner and businessman. Is that right?

  • Did you get the money to set up that business from arms dealing?

  • Where did you get the money from?

  • I got the money when I was serving the government from Doe's administration up to Charles Taylor's administration. And my wife is a business woman, up to this moment she has a large business, and also I had a credit union on my own.

  • And so you set up that business purely from your earnings as a soldier under the Doe and Taylor regimes?

  • Yes, yes, and also - come in again.

  • You set up that business solely from your earnings as a soldier under the Doe and Taylor regimes?

  • And his wife's business.

  • I was going to come to that.

  • It is just the word "solely".

  • And also from your wife's business?

  • No, what I have is what my wife controls and I don't have a separate business of my own and then my wife's business is not separate.

  • You told us earlier that your wife is a business woman and she has a large business. Is that right?

  • What kind of business is it?

  • She sells dry goods and from there she will buy some palm oil and sell them, because we have a palm oil factory, and apart from that she sells --

  • Your Honours, your Honours, the witness said something. I don't know smell, or what. It is not clear to the interpreter.

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter did not hear you clearly. What is it that your wife sells? You said you have a palm oil factory "... and apart from that she sells --" Continue from there, please.

  • Thank you. Apart from that we have cement, she sells them by bags, and also we sell rice in container per bag and also we sell dry goods on old road. And apart from that we have our own credit union and we have over 78 people who contribute towards it. Under the credit union we take the money and then we buy our goods to sell them and gain more profit, so anyone who joins us with 500 Liberian union and based on the credit that you will own in the club we will give you credit by the end of the year, sometimes 500, or 1000, or 2000, and if you credit more money for you to open more avenues we will give you money depending on the credit that you own with us. So, those are some of the businesses.

    And, moreover, during Charles Taylor's regime we even fought the war as far as from Nimba up to Buchanan. Anything that - any safe that we burst through his directive we will take the safe to him, myself and my commander Paul Well [phon], and then we will take it to him at the Roberts international airport. After the time we took the seven safes from the airport, we took it to him at Gbarnga and then he burst it and he gave me over 8 to 9,000 USD and from there I was able to make use of that money during the revolution.

    And transportation of the diamond also. When I carried ammos for Mosquito, Mosquito would sometimes give me about a million or 2 million leones and when I exchanged that it will go up to 1,000-plus or 2,000-plus United States dollars. That was how I got the money, yes.

  • So, the bottom line is you were profiteering during the Sierra Leone civil war? You were making money out of it?

  • Yes, through Charles Taylor.

  • So as a consequence the 3,417,000 in local currency that the Prosecution gave you, that is not a lot of money to you, is it? (Page 1024, your Honours.) That is not a lot of money to you, is it?

  • How many millions?

  • 3,417,000 in local currency?

  • No. I did not experience such an amount, no. 3 million? No. No, I did not receive 3 millions from anybody.

  • Well these are the records which the Prosecution themselves have given me and, according to those records, you have received since about February 2006 4,785 US dollars, 3 million plus - 3,417,000 in local currency and it would appear a further 53,000 something although it does not state in what currency. That is not a lot of money to you?

  • No, I told you I did not receive such an amount from anybody. What I received, if your record serves you right, when you say it if it is true I will say it is true, but I did not receive the millions and millions you are talking about. What I get is - was through my very self and the struggle that we struggled behind Charles Taylor, and even the time we took the passport size diamond to Charles Taylor the envelope that he gave me and the money that was inside it was above 2,000 United States dollars. I told you previously. So for that reason the Prosecutors in Freetown, I didn't receive the whole lot of millions that you are talking about. If you say in leones then I don't know, but millions, no.

  • I am just going on the records in front of me, Mr Marzah, provided by the Prosecution, and also you see in addition --

  • In addition to those sums, you also received a further 3, 300,000 - it looks like 300,600 leones?

  • Leones? I don't know the differences. I don't know the difference of the leone, but if it were US dollars or Liberian dollars if you brought them up I will know the difference. But, you see, the leones that you are talking about, 3,000 - I mean 300,000 leones is 6,000 LD, which is 100 US dollars. So if it is leones maybe it could be true, but if it is US dollars or Liberian dollars I did not receive such an amount. A hundred dollars US in Liberian dollars is 6,000 and in leones is 300,000.

  • Very well. There are a couple of matters which I want to clear up before I am going to what we lawyers call put my case to you. Firstly, you told us about the beating to death of Vice-President Enoch Dogolea. Do you remember telling us that?

  • And that is spelt, your Honours, E-N-O-C D-O-G-O-L-E-A-H:

  • And you were involved in that, you tell us, Mr Marzah?

  • Yes, sir. Yes, sir. I told you it was by the directive of Charles Taylor. When he said that Enoch Dogolea was trying to liaise with the American government, then he pass instructions to Benjamin Yeaten in my presence. Then they pretended as though Enoch Dogolea and Charles Taylor were going to travel, and when Charles Taylor went to the airport they put Enoch Dogolea in a tinted car and they took him to Benjamin Yeaten's yard in the banana bush and he was beaten there to the point of death. Later Ben kept him in his house for three days, and later they called his wife saying that the way Enoch and President Taylor went, he became sick and it was as a result of the sickness. So that is my point, thank you. And apart from that, after Enoch Dogolea I can explain to --

  • Your Honours, the next --

  • We have heard the explanation, thank you, Mr Witness.

  • Your next question, Mr Griffiths.

  • I can't remember the time. I can't remember the time. It happened when Charles Taylor was President. He was President in Monrovia. In Monrovia. It took place in Monrovia right behind --

  • Benjamin Yeaten's address?

  • Not Benjamin Yeaten's address. Behind Charles Taylor's fence in front of Benjamin Yeaten's house. In Benjamin Yeaten's banana bush. Fine.

  • The other matter - and these issues I am dealing with are not in any particular order. The other matter I want to deal with is this. As far as you are aware, did Issa Sesay take diamonds to Charles Taylor?

  • The one that I know about, yes, he and I made a trip, but at times Joe Tuah used to go for him. So whether he carried it on his own, I don't know, but the trips that I made with him we carried diamonds along with us.

  • The other matter I want to clear up is this. You spoke of an occasion when you went with Sam Bockarie to disarm some United Nations soldiers. When was that?

  • It happened when Issa was in control of RUF. We were ordered by Charles Taylor, and in fact we were reinforced with some manpower and enough ammos, and we went and carried out the disarmament in Freetown. That was along with Issa Sesay and then from there he made us to understand --

  • No, you told us that you went with Sam Bockarie to do that. Is that right?

  • Sam Bockarie's own was during the ECOMOG administration. ECOMOG administration.

  • Did you go with Sam Bockarie to disarm some UN forces, yes or no?

  • Sam Bockarie was not in Sierra Leone during the time the UN deployed. He was there during the ECOMOG administration. It was Issa who was in Freetown during the UN deployment.

  • Mr Witness, you have not actually answered the question. Did you go with Sam Bockarie to disarm some UN forces?

  • No, no.

  • You told us that, though. You told us that, if memory serves, on Wednesday. You told us you went with Sam Bockarie to disarm UN forces. Did you, or didn't you?

  • No, I told you I went with Bockarie to disarm the first ECOMOG troops that were deployed in Sierra Leone. The UN troops case happened during the Issa Sesay administration. That was what I said.

  • Another matter. You told us about a massacre which took place at Carter Camp in Herbal [sic]?

  • In Harbel. Are you aware that the United Nations Security Council ordered an investigation into that, conducted by the former Attorney-General of Kenya, Amos Wako, and they found that it was the Armed Forces of Liberia who were responsible? Did you know that?

  • Repeat the statement. The name that you called is looking conflicting.

  • All right. You told us about a massacre at Carter Camp in Harbel. Do you remember telling us about that?

  • And you appeared to be saying --

  • Yes, I remember that I said and I told you who spearheaded --

  • Just try and keep the answers short, please.

  • Mr Witness, let counsel ask the question and then answer it.

  • Yes, sir.

  • You told us about that massacre, didn't you, yes or no?

  • Yes, yes. Yes, I did.

  • And you appeared to suggest that Charles Taylor was responsible, didn't you?

  • And I am asking you --

  • That is my statement.

  • -- were you aware that an investigation was conducted into that incident under the auspices of the United Nations Security Council and they concluded that it was the Armed Forces of Liberia who were responsible? Did you know that?

  • I know about it, but I didn't have any alternative to say any other thing.

  • Say any other thing but what?

  • To put objections against our leader, President Taylor, when he had already denied that it was the AFL, and for me to get up during his administration to say, "No, it was the NPFL", I was going to be dealt with. So, what he said was what we agreed with.

  • So are you saying that, because it was under the administration of Charles Taylor, you assumed he must be responsible?

  • No, no, not so. What I am trying to tell you is that I will tell you the truth. That is the reason why I came on in open session to say the truth and nothing but the truth. The massacre that took place in Camp Carter was a directive from Charles Taylor. That is what I am telling you.

  • You are just willing to attribute every bad thing that happened to Charles Taylor, aren't you?

  • No, no, I am here to say the truth and nothing but the truth. I cannot take an oath to come here and lie against my former leader.

  • Can we look at one other issue. Can we turn to page 87, please. At paragraph 29 on that page you say this:

    "The witness stated the Taiwanese used to send arms, ammunition and uniforms through Gus Kovwenhoven. Gus's ships would come and dock farther out at sea and the illicit materials would be unloaded by smaller ships. The larger ship would then come into the port of Monrovia and load timber".

    Is that right?

  • It is right, but there is an error there. It is not in the port of Monrovia, but the port of Buchanan. It was at the Buchanan port. That was where we had the station. When the ship came with the materials then they will take the speed boats to go and unload it, and then the ship will come through Buchanan and then they will load up the ship with logs and timber and then it will take it along. I did not say Monrovia port. I said Buchanan port.

  • So they have got that bit wrong, but apart from that bit all of that is correct, is it?

  • It is correct. The ones that you read, when they are my statement I will agree with you if they are correct.

  • Now, how did you come to know about this?

  • I told you I was chief of operation under Charles Taylor, and even before I became chief of operation I know he and I and very few others passed through, even before he had such confidence in me. So, if he asked me further I will break that down.

  • Well I would like you to just have a look at a photograph, please. (I wonder if Madam Court Officer could put that on the overhead?)

  • This picture is not too clear to my sight. Don't you have the actual one? This picture here. You see, what I can recall he was an old man who used to wear shades, but, yes, that was the man who was at Buchanan port. This is him. This is him.

  • And you met him at Buchanan port?

  • And when you met him twice at Buchanan port, that was to pick up arms from him?

  • Yes, yes. Not two times, so many times. Not two times. More than two.

  • How many times - how many times did you meet that man at Buchanan port and picked up arms from him? (I think we have copies for the parties of this.)

  • Thank you very much. I met Mr Gus at Buchanan port, if I am not mistaken, even though I can't recall the dates and the how many trips I made, but it could be more than ten because I was supposed to go on an assignment with him before they sent Monie Captan to him as chief security, but I made so many trips with him that I can't name all.

  • And --

  • And what I have forgotten about, let me explain it. This man and the other tall huge man with a big stomach, sometimes when he came that was the time you will see this man and the other white man move together, yes. These are some of the things that I remember about them.

  • About how many trips did that man make on ships bringing arms into Buchanan?

  • I will not lie to you. I am sitting here publicly to say the truth and nothing but the truth. I was not present during all these trips. What I was present about - in was to go and receive the ammo, and in my presence he sent Monie Captan and others over the sea to go and unload. And then after they brought the things from Buchanan port immediately they will put it into my truck and then I will proceed with them, but I cannot recall how many trips he made.

  • How many times did you meet him in Buchanan port?

  • Thank you very much, Mr Counsellor. You see, this man is a good man to me. Even though he did extremely well for me by offering me money, I met this gentleman so many times. He was a chief security, Monie Captan, and he was - at the same time he was also my junior officer, so sometimes when I was out of money I used to go to him and he will give me some money.

  • Mr Witness, you are not answering the question. The question was how many times did you meet him in Buchanan port. The question is not about --

  • And the one that I can recall when I went across I met Mr Gus over five, six, seven times, but I am unable to give the exact number. Maybe he also can say, "Zigzag went to me for over 15 times", then he will be telling a lie, but it has been a long story and I cannot recall all the trips, but it was over five times.

  • And on each occasion that you met him at Buchanan port, that was to receive arms from him?

  • Not on all occasions. At the time that his friend came, I escorted his friend that had the big stomach at the time they went there with the man; the round man that looks like a mottled tyre. When they brought it, I was the man who escorted the man to he and Gus at Buchanan port and at that time I received weapons in his presence more than three times. But from there it was the chief security, Monie Captan, with whom we used to go, and what we would receive we signed for it and then we take the document to him and that is what I know about this gentleman.

  • On how many occasions did you receive arms from that gentleman at Buchanan port?

  • Which gentleman, because we have got the big round one and we have got --

  • Your Honour, I am sorry, from Gus:

  • On how many occasions did you receive arms from Gus at Buchanan port?

  • Yes, sir, Mr Counsellor. I said he himself was present more than three times, but each time we went his chief security that was assigned with him by Charles Taylor - I call this man's name just now, Monie Captan. He was the one that we passed through to receive the things, but the three times I am talking about was the time Monie Captan went across the sea to unload things from the ship and he himself was present, I was present and all those who went with me were all there. And the boys unloaded my truck and from there he gave me something, I placed it in my pocket and then we left. That was over three/four times, but each time we went we passed through his security, Monie Captan.

  • And on each of those occasions it was a large ship load of arms which arrived?

  • Thank you, Mr Counsellor. I will say the truth and nothing but the truth. The ship will be over the sea. Across the sea.

  • Your Honours, your Honours, could the witness slow down his pace a little?

  • Mr Witness, you have speeded up again. Please speak more slowly for the interpreter.

  • Continue from where you said, "The ship will be able over the sea. Across the sea".

  • And bear in mind the question and answer it.

  • Okay. Oh, I know the question he asked me, yes, sir. I mean, the quantity of the weapon - I mean the ammo that I saw sometimes they were in the speed boats, that was during the three trips that I made, but the big boat will be over the sea, over the ocean, and Monie Captan and others will go where the ammos were and then they will bring them. When they brought them they will put them in my car. That happened over three to four times, but the ones that I started receiving they were in the warehouse, but I can't tell the quantity that the ship brought. The ones that they brought from there and the ones that I met in the warehouse are the ones that I know about.

  • And were they truckloads of arms and ammunition?

  • How many truckloads?

  • I made the trip with the man's truck three different times, on different, different occasions and directly to White Flower, and those items were put in Charles Taylor's warehouse and it took over a month before I shipped one truck to Sierra Leone.

  • And those arms that you took by truck to White Flower, were you escorted by ECOMOG troops ordered by Victor?

  • So, help me. How did you get them from Buchanan port to White Flower past the ECOMOG check point?

  • No, this did not happen during ECOMOG administration. At that time, Charles Taylor was President. It was not the time of ECOMOG administration. It was not ECOMOG administration, no.

  • Could I ask that this item be marked for identification, please, your Honour.

  • The one page document headed, "Dutch Appeals Court acquits Gus Kovwenhoven" will be marked for identification as MFI-18, is it, or 19?

  • MFI-18, your Honour.

  • You see, Mr Marzah, just so that you are under no illusions, I suggest you are a liar. Is that not true?

  • Your Honours, the witness's microphone is not on.

  • Pause, Mr Witness. Your microphone is not on. Now, Mr Griffiths, please repeat your question and let the witness start again.

  • What I am suggesting, Mr Marzah, is that you are a liar?

  • I am not a liar. If I were a liar I was going to accept a closed session to explain these things, but for the public to see and to know that I, Zigzag, is talking the truth, that was why I decided to do it in open session for you all to have credit for me that I am - that I will not lie against my former leader Charles Taylor, no.

  • I further suggest that you have never sat with Charles Taylor or been in his presence to receive orders from him?

  • Well maybe that is what you feel, but I am telling you the accurate facts, yes.

  • Furthermore I suggest that you have never spoken to him on either the telephone, or by radio?

  • Should I answer?

  • I talked to Taylor on so many occasions, and even before Taylor established the Poro society, during which we ate people's livers which we experienced with him, I - since you don't have things to put across to me, let me just break open everything so that you will know the truth.

  • My first time to - for you to believe me that I sat with Mr Taylor, let me give you the proof the reason why Mr Taylor had the trust and confidence in me. No matter, the Poro society law maybe I will spoil it here. I don't have any problem with that. Let me be bold to tell you.

    I started sitting with Mr Taylor during the death of Theodore when we took his liver and we used it at a ceremony and he shared with us. We all ate it. And the same things happened in the case of Sam Dokie. The death of Sam Dokie, his liver was taken away by us and then we carried it and it was cooked by this lady. I will call the woman's name. Annie Yenni. Annie Yenni. Annie Yenni. Annie Yenni cooked it and Charles Taylor shared it with us.

    I am not talking about the ceremony that took place behind his house. Those were things that we did in Monrovia. At that time we had not yet been in Monrovia and when we came to Monrovia to clarify to you the reason why Charles Taylor trusted me and that, because I kept secrets.

    And even at the time he escaped from Ghana when we arrested Cooperville along with Moses Blah, we arrested those two people, and he was there in Ben's veranda. Ben and I were sitting down and he said we should "control those people's hearts until I get there". Then we took out those two guys' livers and then, after we had kept it in Ben's freezer for a long time, when Charles Taylor arrived we cooked it and all of us shared it together.

    Since then he trusted me as a full member of the Poro society. I am sorry to say this now, but once I have been pushed to the corner I am going to say the truth. I am saying the truth nothing but the truth.

  • Have you got a fascination with eating human flesh, Mr Marzah, because my question was simply that you had never spoken to him on the telephone or the radio? Why are you telling me now about eating human beings yet again?

  • No, because what I am saying he and I passed through so many things for him to have confidence in me, so if you are asking me that is the reason why I am breaking everything down for you to know. And if you ask him that we ate human beings together he will tell you, yes, and he knows that I am a full member of him. I repeat I wouldn't have come publicly to sit amongst people whilst the whole world is looking at me to sit here and lie to you, no.

  • Let me try my question again. It is a simple question and I would like a simple answer. You never spoke to Charles Taylor on the telephone or the radio, did you?

  • I did. I spoke to Charles Taylor. I did speak to Charles Taylor over the radio, over Thuraya phone, and physically we shook hands and we sat together, and this Poro society I am talking about it was something we ate together so that we will safeguard his secret; all of us our secret.

  • Is it the case, Mr Marzah, that when you say Charles Taylor gave orders to do this, that or the other, you are assuming that he did because he was President of Liberia?

  • Yes, sir, Mr Counsellor. Why should I lie? Apart from his presidency, what I am talking about now is more than the presidential job and in that case we will die for each other. So, I am saying the truth and nothing but the truth. It is not because he was President of Liberia. It is the truth that you are getting from me.

  • Whatever you did I suggest you did without being ordered to do so by Charles Taylor. That is the truth, isn't it?

  • Thank you very much. During Charles Taylor's administration, there was no man to say he will have his own way to do such things. No way. Under no condition. What happened is what I am telling you and I am telling you the accurate story. And now too much of the questioning that you are bringing you have let me disclose to you the secrets of my Poro society and that means at any time I move from here I will no longer be member of that society. That is a secret and that made him Dankpannah.

  • I think, your Honours, that the society is called Poro P-O-R-O.

  • Poro society. Yes, that is the common spelling, Mr Griffiths.

  • I am grateful, your Honour.

  • Mr Witness, your last statement which you said "and that made him Dankpannah", what do you mean?

  • Any big person who is part of that Poro society from whom you take instruction is commonly known as Dankpannah, but that Dankpannah name is a society name for him.

  • The big boss. The big boss. He is over all the bosses, in which case when he got up whilst he was coming closer to you when you look at his face you will be shrouded in fear. That is he had authority, yes.

  • For to hear the voice from us to be able to control the Republic, which we did.

  • And so are you saying that you did all those wicked things out of fear?

  • Repeat your question.

  • Are you saying that you did all those wicked things out of fear?

  • We did it and it was because I was afraid and I was part of it and that was the culture for us to control the country.

  • No, you did it, Mr Marzah --

  • Why are you crossing yourself, Mr Marzah?

  • Repeat your question.

  • Why are you crossing yourself? You just crossed yourself in the chair. Why? Is it because you are lying under oath?

  • I have broken the laws of my Poro society. This is not something that I am supposed to expose but, because Charles Taylor did not give you notes to tell you that we should forget about that area and he is sitting down there and you continued to ask me, I have already spoilt my law and even down to him, his very self, everything has been exposed.

  • You see, I suggest you are crossing yourself because you know under oath you have lied and you are concerned about what might happen to you, aren't you? That is the truth, isn't it, because you have lied and you have been lying for the last three days, haven't you, Mr Marzah?

  • Thank you very much. I will not lie to you. I am saying the truth. And from here you will see me appear before the TRC, the truth and reconciliation process in Liberia, for you to know that I am saying the truth and nothing but the truth.

  • I suggest that what you have told this Court is anything but the truth. That is all I ask, your Honour.

  • That is the end of your cross-examination?

  • Thank you, Mr Griffiths. Re-examination, Mr Koumjian?

  • No, thank you, your Honour.

  • Thank you. Just pause. I have - sorry, excuse me, the Bench has no questions of the witness. However, before he can be released there is one document marked for identification.

  • There is actually two, I believe. One for the Prosecution, which was the drawing.

  • You are quite correct, Mr Koumjian. I overlooked that one.

  • We would move that into evidence.

  • I have no objection.

  • So that is one one page document, MFI-17, which becomes exhibit P-92, is it?

  • That is correct, your Honour.

  • [Exhibit P-92 admitted]

  • And, your Honour, can I ask that this document MFI-18 also be exhibited.

  • That is a one page document, MFI-18, headed "Dutch Appeals Court acquits Gus Kovwenhoven", which will become Defence exhibit D --

  • [Exhibit D-14 admitted]

  • Mr Witness, that is the end of your evidence. We thank you for coming to the Court to give your evidence and you are now at liberty to leave the Court and we wish you a safe journey. Please assist the witness to leave the Court, please.

  • Mr Koumjian, I regret to say I can't recall who had carriage of the last witness.

  • I did, your Honour, but the witness is not present and so we would ask the Court to resume after the break. Because of the uncertainty, the witness travelled and is no longer in the country.

  • I understand. You have heard the application, Mr Griffiths.

  • We have no observations to make, your Honour.

  • In the circumstances then, in the light of the fact that one witness has finished his evidence and the other witness is not available who is part heard, we will adjourn the Court.

    We are now going into recess with effect today and the Court will resume on 31 March, which is Monday. Oh, I have just been given a clarification that recess actually starts on Monday. We are all working for the rest of the day. We will resume at 9:30 on Monday, 31 March, and I wish everyone a pleasant Easter.

  • And can we return the compliment, your Honours. I hope you all have a very pleasant Easter.

  • Thank you. Please adjourn the Court to Monday, 31 March.

  • [Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.45 p.m. to be reconvened on Monday, 31 March 2008 at 9.30 a.m.]