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

  • Good morning, witness.

  • Yes, good morning, sir.

  • I will go back to where we were yesterday. We were, I think, on that flight from Burkina Faso to Liberia and there was mention of a sheep that you had obtained. Why had you obtained a sheep?

  • Because it was cheaper and it was a different kind of animal to be carried to Liberia. We did not have that type in Liberia.

  • What gender, what sex was the sheep?

  • Well, it was a ram, a ram.

  • Why did you need a sheep?

  • Well, I had a farm in my village and I rear animals there like cows, goats and sheep, so I wanted that kind of sheep to be carried there.

  • During the time you were ambassador during Taylor's presidency did you continue with your farm during that period?

  • Yes, my farm is still there as I speak.

  • Mr Rapp, you are going too fast. If you look at the record you are overlapping. Just give it a little break before the witness finishes his answer.

  • Witness, I was asking what do you do with the farm now?

  • My farm is now in operation and there are people working on the farm.

  • Do you do anything with the farm?

  • Yes, my farm is there and I work on the farm. I'm raising the animals. I have cows and they are grown and sometimes they are sold and sometimes they are killed and then I eat myself.

  • Now, on this trip in Burkina Faso, yesterday you told us what President Compaore of Burkina Faso had told you and Mr Tuah.

  • What did you say to President Compaore?

  • No, it was just a message that I took and I had to come back to Mr Taylor with a response. That's all. I had nothing to say, but to take message and to return the message to the sender.

  • Well, message, did you express that message orally to President Compaore?

  • Yes, it was done orally.

  • And I just want to be clear, what was the message?

  • The message that he had not forgotten as a friend, that it had taken long that he has not been talking to him, but that he still had him in his mind and that things have been difficult with him himself and that he was having difficulties, people were planning to attack his government from different angles, and that he should still remember him as a friend.

  • There are a couple of "he"s in there and I'd like to be sure who is who.

  • Thank you very much, your Honour. We will have several questions later on yesterday's record regarding some "he"s:

  • So in this particular answer - perhaps just give it again and use, instead of "he", the name of the individual who expressed these views.

  • Mr Taylor had Mr Blaise Compaore still in mind as a friend.

  • And what was President Compaore's response?

  • He said - Mr Compaore said that he is not happy with the way the friendship had been going and that he had been risking his life for him, that is Mr Taylor, but that he was not hearing from Mr Taylor any longer and that he was no longer happy about the relationship.

  • Well, when President Compaore said he had been risking his life for Mr Taylor, what did you think he was talking about?

  • What I saw and from my own analysis is that he had been helping, he had been sending things, he had been shipping consignments and the news from Gaddafi that he should still send Gaddafi consignments that he, Gaddafi, would replace later. Those were the things I think Blaise was referring to.

  • And when you refer to consignments, what did those consignments consist of to your knowledge?

  • The previous consignment that I had made mention about, the arms and ammunition.

  • Now, you told us yesterday that you and Mr Tuah then met Mr Musa Cisse and Ms Grace Minor in Ouagadougou. Did you know that they would be there when you went to Ouagadougou?

  • No, sir, I did not know they were there.

  • Did Mr Cisse say anything about both of you being in Ouagadougou at the same time and what that indicated to him?

  • No, he only told me briefly. He did not tell me his mission. He only told me that Mr Taylor was running things with a Russian government and that he will send you and later send someone after you.

  • Your Honours, the witness is going too fast.

  • Witness, you may have heard the interpreter that he said you were going too fast. You were telling us about what Mr Cisse had said to you. Would you repeat that slowly?

  • Mr Cisse told me in a joke that Mr Taylor was running a Russian government; that is he will send you and send someone after you and you would not know the mission that person was on. So he said that was the kind of government that Mr Taylor was running, so we made a joke and we all laughed over it.

  • Well, what was - what did you think about the joke?

  • The joke was just that there were too many people sent on one mission and you didn't know what the other side was after and the other side also did not know what you were after.

  • Well, why did you think Mr Taylor was engaging in this kind of practice?

  • You had described being on the plane and seeing the cargo and the size of the cargo and the markings on it. Let me ask you about what happened to the cargo when you reached Monrovia?

  • The cargo was unloaded at the Roberts international airport and upon arrival, alighting from the plane to come down, there were some trucks, about three or four in the column, and they were waiting to receive the cargos.

  • And what kind of trucks were they?

  • Long trucks that we usually use in Liberia to tote cargos and other commodities.

  • Who did the offloading of the arms?

  • We saw men on the ground that I wouldn't know, but they were soldiers of our NPFL group. They were already there in position to offload the arms and it was done very fast.

  • And at the time of this particular shipment was there any kind of international presence at the airport, ECOMOG, or UN, or anything like that?

  • Not at that moment. At that moment, no, I did not see any.

  • Now, you were on the plane and you mentioned these three other Liberians that had been in Ouagadougou. Did they also travel on the plane with you?

  • No, they did not come on the plane. To be specific Grace Minor did not come, he [sic] was afraid and he [sic] was there on different mission according to her. She did not come with me, but I remember seeing Musa Cisse on the plane.

  • And was Mr Tuah on the plane?

  • Mr Who?

  • Yes, Joe and I were on the plane. Joe and I were on the plane, because we went together.

  • Did Ms Minor indicate to you why she was afraid?

  • No, she did not. She simply said she was not coming on the plane.

  • Is it possible to have a time frame for this, please?

  • Witness, yesterday you told us this happened when you were ambassador and you were ambassador for three years. Do you have any time what time or what year during that ambassadorship this particular shipment occurred?

  • I became ambassador of Libya and, like I said earlier, during the cold season I was always in Liberia and so I did not have much time in Burkina - I mean Libya. I was in Monrovia on a break when I was ordered to bring this message over to Blaise Compaore, but I cannot recall the date, please.

  • Just to be clear, when you were ambassador in Libya and Tunisia what months did you generally spend in Liberia?

  • I was there during winter and when there was raining season in Liberia I would be there. That is from June, July, August, I was always in Liberia. August is a raining month in Liberia, terrible raining. Immediately after August I tried to go back to duty.

  • But you also referred to winter, when it's cold, and when it was cold in Libya and Tunisia where were you?

  • I was in Liberia. I was back in Liberia when it was cold. And when it was cold in Libya at that time it must be raining in Liberia, so I had to go home. As soon as the rainy season stopped, I would go back to Libya.

  • Now, in the months of winter in the northern hemisphere where were you; in other words, in December and January and February?

  • I was always in Libya. When it was January, February, I come to Liberia - I mean Libya, in Libya, but I can't recall the winter in Libya. I was always home when it was cold. That I can remember.

  • Do you know where the weapons went from the airport?

  • It was offloaded and usually I wouldn't be there when it was offloaded, but I know as member of NPFL I knew where the weapons went when they were offloaded.

  • And where did they go?

  • Well I was not at the scene, but usually when weapons were received and when I was at the airport, I would be at White Flower, it goes straight to Mr Taylor's house and at the back of his house there was a place underground where the weapons were kept all the time.

  • And just to explain, what was White Flower?

  • White Flower was the code name for the residence of President Taylor.

  • Was that the same as the Executive Mansion?

  • No, the Executive Mansion was the seat of government. I am talking about his private residence.

  • And was there just one White Flower, or were there more than one White Flower?

  • One White Flower at the time. When he was at the old building and when he left and went to his new house it was also called White Flower. Wheresoever he stayed, whether it was in Gbarnga and anywhere else, anywhere he stayed it was called White Flower. That was the code name of his residence.

  • Well, in Monrovia had there been more than - during the time of his presidency, was there more than one White Flower? I mean, was there a first White Flower and then a second White Flower?

  • Yes, when he was in the old house where the Chinese embassy's ambassador is right now that is the house where he lived, and when he built his new house he moved to upper Congo Town. There also was called White Flower.

  • And this second White Flower in Monrovia that was in upper Congo Town, what street was it on?

  • The streets are long. The road there is called Tubman Boulevard. That is in Congo Town.

  • And when you talk about the White Flower where there was a hole in back for the weapons, which location are you talking about?

  • It was at the back of this building and there was an underground - a very large place, but it was underground in the building and so when the weapons were received there was a storage there, or any war like material. Not at that particular position and at that time, but at any time weapons were received they were stored there. That was where we went to receive them.

  • Now at the time of this particular shipment was Taylor in the new White Flower, the one in upper Congo Town?

  • Yes, yes, he was there. He was living there at that time.

  • Do you know where these particular weapons that came in with you that night went from White Flower?

  • No, I wouldn't know because there were various units and the distributions went on. The units would take theirs to where they were.

  • Now did you know of any shipments of arms, or were you - did you have any knowledge of shipments of arms from Liberia to Sierra Leone?

  • Now in terms of the security situation that existed at the time these weapons were brought in, do you have any recollection of what the security situation was in Liberia at the time of the shipment that you accompanied?

  • Things were getting tense and there were rumours of war. There was ULIMO coming from Guinea - from Guinea and the situation was tense anyway. Everywhere there were rumours of war and at that time the war had not reached Monrovia.

  • You mentioned ULIMO. Were there any other forces, forces by any other name, that you had heard were active at that time?

  • Yes, there was ULIMO-J and ULIMO-K at that time.

  • Any other groups?

  • No, at that particular time there was ULIMO-K, ULIMO-J and Lofa Defence Forces. Those are the ones I know, and NPFL also.

  • But in terms of those that were threatening the Taylor government, which groups?

  • There was ULIMO-K and ULIMO-J that were threatening the government.

  • Do you know how this shipment that you came in with was paid for?

  • Do you know how other shipments were paid for?

  • Now during the time of - during this particular time when you were ambassador, or during the first year or two when you were Vice-President, did you know of any other shipments coming into the airport of arms?

  • Yes, I knew about a particular situation when I was Vice-President lately. That was when a huge sum of consignment came, and at that time President Taylor had left Liberia and the war was closing in on Liberia and Monrovia and he went - he disappeared. People thought he had run away. Then suddenly he appeared that night, and in the morning there was a noise everywhere that a plane landed with large consignment of weapons and it had been seized by the UNMIL forces at that time at the Robert international airport.

  • Okay. Just to be clear, because I asked you about the first years as Vice-President, that particular shipment that you just discussed, during the period of time that you were Vice-President was that toward the beginning or toward the end?

  • It was the end - at the end of my vice-presidency.

  • Any in the early part of your vice-presidency that you had any personal knowledge about?

  • Yes, but at that time when I was ambassador it was a little bit different. I was closer to any operation that had to do with arms, but when I became Vice-President I was in my office as President of the Liberian Senate and I wouldn't know all the shipment of arms, or arms moving from point to point, as a result of my position at that time.

  • Well, was there ever an arms shipment that came in that might have crashed that you investigated?

  • Well, I did not investigate it, but there was a shipment that came in and when it came closer to Roberts international airport we drove in there and we saw the crash, we saw a rescue mission, but that morning we did not identify from where the crash took place and I was leaving my house from Paynesville, off Monrovia, I was out of town, and I saw people yelling everywhere that there was a crash that took place. I took my personal car and when I went there I did not go to investigate to see what was going on.

  • Did you find out anything about what was on that plane that crashed?

  • Well, before we approached the area where the crash took place there was a lot of explosions everywhere, boom, boom, boom, so we were advised by the airport securities that it was dangerous at that moment for any authority to go there. So we parked far away from where the explosion was taking place and later when the explosion subsided I drove towards the main airport and I saw two white men bodily carried by security men into the ambulance and taken to the hospital. I tried to stop the vehicle and before they opened the man [indiscernible] I saw the man having - the two of the men having Ukrainian passports. I think one died in fact. I saw the passport and I inspected it and I saw that it was a Ukrainian passport with the man, the one that got wounded.

  • Now, these two shipments that came into Roberts airport, the one that crashed and the one that - well, I guess three shipments, the one that you accompanied and then the one at the very end of your vice-presidency. Was any other airport, to your knowledge, used to receive shipments?

  • Now, during the period of time before the NPFL was in Monrovia, or in the area of the airport at Roberts international, were arms brought in by air to Liberia?

  • I wouldn't know. It was based on rumours, but as high officials of government sometimes we heard from our securities that there was a load landing last night, but those I did not follow up because I was not a soldier. I was an ambassador at that time - I was vice-president at that time, so sometimes when those sort of news came around I did not follow up, because I was not instructed to do so.

  • Well, let me just go back for a moment and I know we covered some of this yesterday, but before the Taylor presidency and before you were ambassador, when the NPFL controlled, as you said, 90 per cent of Liberia --

  • Yes, sir.

  • -- did shipments come in by air to the NPFL forces?

  • No, not that I know of.

  • Now let's go back to talk about individuals involved in the Taylor government and you've given us a couple of names in regard to this mission, or at least two missions in Burkina. Musa Cisse, what was his role in Taylor's government?

  • Musa Cisse was the chief of protocol at the Executive Mansion.

  • And what were his responsibilities?

  • Musa Cisse's responsibilities at the mansion, according to law, were to receive guests, to inform the President who was coming and who was going out, and sometimes he was sent out of the country on missions by the President. I wouldn't know what type of missions they were.

  • And you talked about his formal role. Did he have any informal role?

  • Musa Cisse was a friend of the President. The first time I met Musa Cisse, before he became protocol chief he was Taylor's friend and we met in Ouagadougou and they were friends on until Taylor became President and then he became chief of protocol of the Executive Mansion.

  • And what ethnic group did he belong to?

  • He was Mandingo by tribe. Mandingo. There is a tribe in Liberia called Mandingo.

  • And what was the general position of a Mandingo regarding Taylor, other Mandingo other than Mr Cisse?

  • Mandingos were bitter enemies to Taylor because the ULIMO-K that I have just made mention of was a Mandingo group and they were bitterly against the Taylor forces and they were always in a crash, except for Musa Cisse.

  • Now, you mentioned Grace Minor. What was her role in the Taylor government?

  • Grace Minor was called the friend of the President and she was always proud to be called the friend of the President and then later she became senior senator for Montserrado County until Taylor left.

  • You mentioned the name of a county. You said Montserrado County.

  • Montserrado County, that is the seat of government. That is where Monrovia is located, within Montserrado County.

  • I believe that's on the maps, your Honour. If it's not we'll provide the spelling in due course here:

  • You mentioned her role as senator. What kind of assignments did Taylor give her as his friend?

  • Well, he became senator. He was elected senator by the people of Montserrado County and he became senior senator of that county. We had two senators in each county and she was one of the senators for Montserrado County.

  • That was a constitutional role as senator. Did she do things specifically for Taylor?

  • Well, she was close to the President as a friend of the President. She was not just a friend by mouth, she was with the President. Whatever the President wanted to do, she was going to do it as a friend of the President, besides her job. Her job was very official, but unofficially she was always with the President, talking, discussing together.

  • Other than this time that you met her in Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, did you have any contact with her?

  • Yes, I met her in a location when I was ambassador, when I was on an occasion to Libya, and the morning to take me was not ready by the government and that President Taylor said, "As you are going on your way to Libya you should stop by in Abidjan and then go to where Grace Minor is", and she directed me to her and then I went there. I saw Grace Minor and Grace Minor gave me to 3,000 US dollars to help me with my per diem, my transportation and what took me to Libya at that time and she did give me the money. Grace Minor gave me the money.

  • Your Honours, in case we don't have it, the Montserrado spelling is M-O-N-T-S-E-R-R-A-D-O.

  • This other place, on his way to something. There was a place that the witness was going to. He said, "You should stop on your way to ...", a place, "... and then meet Grace Minor". There was a place the witness named that was not recorded.

  • Witness, you have heard her Honour. What place were you going to?

  • I was on my way to Libya, Libya, and I was instructed to stop by Grace Minor in Abidjan to help with my transportation, per diem and when I received it I received 3,000 United States dollars from Grace Minor.

  • Were there any other women that were close to Taylor that also handled those kind of finances?

  • Then there was Kaddieyatu Finlay who was a special assistant to the President.

  • Is that spelt K-A-D-D-I-E-Y-A-T-U?

  • Is the last name an English name, Finlay, F-I-N-L-A-Y?

  • Were there any other women that had positions close to Taylor?

  • No, those two women that I have just mentioned were very close to Taylor, except for those who were in various offices whom I wouldn't know about, because he was the President.

  • Are you familiar with a woman by the name of Martina Johnson?

  • Yes, Martina Johnson was on the military side. She was the commander of the artillery unit. That was where I knew her to be. She was fighting during the war. She was with the NPFL and commander of the artillery unit and she was heading the missiles group. That is what I know about her.

  • And that was during the war.

  • Do you know what she did after the war?

  • After the war, yes, there was a slip of mine. After the war she became - she got a job at the airport at Roberts international airport as one of the commanders, the security commanders at the airport, at Roberts international airport.

  • And did she remain in that position?

  • Yes, from there I did not see her any longer. I did not know where she went to. She disappeared. I don't know where she went to. I didn't check that.

  • On the financial side, on the side of the government finances, who did Taylor rely on in that area?

  • Well, the finance, when he was President and I was Vice-President I only knew the finance minister at that time who was responsible for finances, but besides that I don't know and besides Kaddieyatu Finlay, who was in the office - like when we were travelling she gave the per diem when, if I happened to have a trip with the President, like to go to up country, sometimes out of Liberia, if I was in Liberia and I needed to travel with the President, or ordered to travel with the President, that was the person we went to to get our per diem for each person and you would sign against our name and you should sign against what amounts you received.

  • Per diem is P-E-R D-I-E-M, which is your daily allowance that you received, correct?

  • You talked about the finance ministers for Taylor. Who was his first finance minister, if you know?

  • The first finance minister was a Nimba County man. Sorry, just give me a little bit of time. I will recall the name, but it has been a very long time. I have forgotten some of these things.

  • Well, perhaps if I ask you what Taylor's relationship was with him you will remember. What was his relationship with his first finance minister?

  • The finance minister in question was a minister of government and on one occasion he wanted - Mr Taylor wanted some money to be disbursed to the Executive Mansion and he refused to do that on the grounds that every money disbursed from the finance ministry must be signed for and he became very tough on that. I did not see him discussing it with him - discussed, but he discussed that with me and he said, "When the President asked me to give him some money and I refused and that he should sign for this money and that whosoever was to receive money was to sign for that money and it was only on that account that the money will be disbursed", and after that he lost his job. I didn't know what happened, but I saw him at one time and he told me he was not working any longer.

  • Now, I'm not sure whether we have the "he"s correct there.

  • The name - I am sorry, Nathaniel Barnes. That's the name.

  • And do you know what he's doing now?

  • Nathaniel Barnes is in the United States as ambassador of Liberia to the United States, so he got a job in the foreign ministry.

  • But when you said that "he made requests", who was the "he" that requested money?

  • President Taylor at the time requested this money, according to what he told me, Nathaniel Barnes - what he told me.

  • Mr Witness, could you face the judges and speak into the microphone, please.

  • And just to be clear, you mentioned Barnes or Taylor and I just want to be sure that we know which he is he. I think it's pretty clear, but just for the sake of the record here which has to be clear with your testimony who - would you just recount what you told us with the names of the individuals that were involved?

  • The name of this minister was Nathaniel Barnes, minister of finance at the time.

  • Now, do you know who succeeded Mr Barnes as finance minister?

  • It was Minister Charles Brett. He succeeded Mr Nathaniel Barnes.

  • And the finance minister, how was the finance minister appointed during Taylor's government?

  • All cabinet ministers were appointed by the President. They are under the executive branch of government and only the President could appoint a finance minister.

  • Now yesterday you mentioned at one point the - I think it is the LPRC, the Liberian Petroleum Refining Company. Do you know who headed that during Taylor's government?

  • I remember there were three managers of that entity during Taylor's government. First it was Cyril Allen. Cyril Allen. The second that I can remember is Bell Dunbar.

  • Okay, let's make sure we have the spelling of those names. Cyril Allen is that C-Y-R-I-L A-L-L-E-N?

  • And this Bell, that's Bell B-E-L-L?

  • Bell, yes. Bell, like in bell.

  • And Dumbar, or Dunbar?

  • And what was Taylor's - well, who appointed the head of the LPRC?

  • The President of Liberia, Taylor.

  • Did you hear anything about Taylor's role at the LPRC?

  • No, no, I wouldn't know.

  • Now, there's - Liberia is famous for its flags of convenience for shipping. What agency in Liberia handles those flags of convenience registry of commercial ships?

  • It is the Maritime Bureau. That is they control the fleet that registers Liberians flags.

  • And who headed this bureau, or office, during Taylor's government?

  • There was - this time there was - just a minute, I'll come to it. Mr Benoni Urey.

  • And that's spelled B-E-N-O-N-I and then last name Urey, U-R-E-Y?

  • And how was that particular program administered, to your knowledge?

  • To my knowledge, I got to know when I became President. I didn't know when I was Vice-President how it operated, sir. But what I saw on my records was that this bureau had a headquarters in London and it was also headed by another man but I don't know his name, but the - the one in Liberia, Benoni Urey, paid certain amounts to the government of the proceeds of the taxes, or the dues paid to the - paid to the Liberian government.

  • Well, do you know where the money went during Taylor's government from those dues or payments from the shipping companies?

  • No, when I became President that was when I questioned it and I saw receipts. The receipts said that he had paid these monies to the President and I had such receipts from the finance ministry and I said, "You said from the President", and he said, "I paid through the finance ministry and I've taken about three years, four years, I can't remember the date in advance, and you have nothing here, so don't talk to me any more about these maritime monies because it has been paid in advance".

  • When you said paid in advance to the President, who was it paid to?

  • He said to President Taylor, but the receipts I saw, I saw - the finance minister had given receipts for the monies that was due to the government at the time.

  • So, the finance minister gave receipts to the companies that paid the money. Is that correct?

  • I made the company to give me the receipts. I met the commissioner of maritime to give me the receipt of the monies according to him that he had paid to government.

  • Now, did Taylor give him a receipt for the money that he paid to the President?

  • The money had been received I saw were given by the finance minister. I don't know by what means that he paid to Taylor. I don't know how. He will have to say that.

  • Who appoints the head of this office?

  • President Taylor appoints that person. Whosoever was President will appoint the commissioner of maritime affairs.

  • To your knowledge was there anyone else, any other officers, that were bringing in funds for the Liberian government or for Taylor?

  • Were you familiar with a gentleman by the name of Talal Lel Ndine?

  • I know Talal Lel Ndine. Talal Lel Ndine was a friend of the President. I didn't see him bring money, but I knew that he was very close to the President.

  • Is that name spelt T-A-L-A-L and then a middle name L-E-L and then last name N-D-I-N-E?

  • Yes, Ndine.

  • Do you know anything about what his business was?

  • Talal had one business. He was involved in fisheries, fishery company. Talal was involved in building materials. Talal was involved in a lot of different businesses in Liberia. He had people working under him. He was just a big boss. And I only knew him to be Talal, the friend of the President. A friend of Taylor, sorry.

  • And what kind of businesses were these that he was involved in?

  • He was involved in building materials, he was involved in a fishing company. He was involved in a lot of business that I cannot count now off the top of my head.

  • Witness, let's leave that list of prominent individuals and go back to something you said yesterday. You told us that in your meeting with President Gaddafi in Libya, at a particular time I think when you were ambassador, he asked you about the men who had been trained there in Libya and how they - what kind of positions they had and noted that you and Taylor had good positions and you said you lied to him. How did you lie?

  • He wanted to know whether the men who had trained with me were in government positions in high places and he said, "You, I know you. You are an ambassador. What about the other men that were here in training?" So I said, "As for me, I was already an ambassador, Taigen Wantee was an ambassador in Guinea and things were going fine. There were other people working in various places, which I know. We were very few who were working. Some were just there. Some, as I speak now, they are having problems. They are burning coal". That was a lie, because at the time that I told him it was not a great majority of us that were working. We were about three or four who had jobs with the government. So that was a lie, but I told him things were all right.

  • Witness, you said you had of course been adjutant or adjutant general for the NPFL back in Libya. Did you keep track of the men that had trained with you back in Libya?

  • Yes, I keep track. The main reason was that we were all from the same ethnic group and they were already around me when there were difficulties. They would come and talk to me, yes.

  • Did you make lists of any of these men?

  • Yes, I made a list of these men. We made a list of this list from adjutant up to now. We have a list to know what was happening to them, because we might forget and they will come and say, "You are from NPFL". If you are not listed then you were not there. You were lying. The other junior commandos, people who came when we were fighting, they call themselves Special Forces from Libya. Sometimes it was a lie, because everybody was general, general. We were trying to ensure who this general was and where he was trained, so that was the main reason why we kept the list.

  • Your Honours, at this point there's a document I would like to have exhibited to the witness. It wasn't in the binder, but it was distributed yesterday. It's the nominated original roster of the Special Force commandos of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia. It carries the ERN number 00100513, a document of five pages - six pages, excuse me. Could that be exhibited to the witness:

  • Witness, do you recognise this listing?

  • Yes, I recognise the list.

  • And it's obviously a copy. Do you know where the original of this document is, or who created the original of this document, put it that way?

  • Adjutant general. When I was adjutant I must have this list to know who was in the NPFL at the time.

  • And who created the list?

  • The list was drawn from the training to know who was in the group of NPFL.

  • Now, witness, and perhaps if we were to - it's on the screen. Witness, I see on this list number one - excuse me, before we do that I think at this point is it possible to have this marked for identification?

  • It can be marked for identification at this point, yes, although we haven't had much evidence about it. I will note that it is a five page typed document with a series of names and it will be marked for identification MFI-16, is it?

  • That is correct, your Honour.

  • Okay, well, directing your attention to this document I see the first name "Charles Ghankay Taylor, leader" but then after that I see names with Xs after them, several here at the beginning. Who placed those Xs on the document?

  • Those Xs on the document are people who have been killed, who have been executed, during the time of the war and after the war. So we had to mark to know what happened to who.

  • Mr Rapp, I still don't know who placed the Xs. For all I know, it could be someone in this courtroom.

  • Who placed the Xs on this document?

  • Those Xs, as inspector general I put those Xs on the name. I, Moses Blah.

  • Well, the first person that has an X is the second individual, Cooper G Miller, there's an X. What happened to him?

  • Cooper Miller was a first commander, you can see down there. He was the first commander. When we were in training he said that when Taylor was not on the base for a very long time he decided to change the name of the organisation and become the head of this organisation. He influenced a lot of the fighting men, the trainees, that he was now the head of this organisation and nobody should take orders from Taylor any more. But then among the group Taylor had security people implanted in the group, then he got this information and he rushed to base and set up an investigation. Cooper was guilty of doing that with some few other people, so Cooper was arrested and taken out of the base to Burkina Faso. There was Cooper and Augustus Wright. They were taken to Burkina Faso.

  • Well, now, yesterday you told us about them being taken to Burkina Faso and detained, but you have Xs here by both of their names at 2 and 3. You said that Xs indicated that they'd been executed.

  • That was later on. I'm waiting for the question to come.

  • [Overlapping speakers].

  • They were taken to Burkina Faso and the intention of taking them to Burkina Faso was that you will be there and you will not be able to - nothing will be done to you, you will not be able to go to Liberia. We should have gone to Liberia and fought, he would release them and bring them to Monrovia. They were dangerous to the organisation. But later, as the war went on between Prince Johnson and us, these men surfaced on Prince Johnson's bill. The first man, Cooper Miller, he had a clash with our boys and he was killed. He was executed there on Prince Johnson's base. The second man, Augustus Wright, was also executed in LAMCO Yekepa where he had gone to see Mr Taylor. He went in the place where Mr Taylor was with arms on him. He was searched by security men and they discovered a pistol on him and he should not have carried an arm where Taylor was without authority. He was then executed too.

  • And who ordered his execution?

  • As I told you, no execution takes place in NPFL if Taylor does not authorise it, it will become illegal.

  • Now, there was a place name that you mentioned where he had gone to see Taylor. What was that place name?

  • Taylor had gone to this place for inspection. This place is called LAMCO, Liberian American Mining Company. There was a headquarters there.

  • I think you told us at one time you worked for LAMCO in Buchanan, was this in Buchanan or elsewhere?

  • No, it was in LAMCO, Yekepa. That is in Nimba County and Buchanan is in Grand Bassa County.

  • You said Nimba and then you used a word after Nimba. What was that word?

  • Nimba Yekepa. The particular place is called Yekepa where LAMCO was operating, where the mountain is - the Nimba is in Yekepa, in a village called Yekepa.

  • Is that spelt Y-E-K-E-P-A?

  • And is that where the iron comes from?

  • Yes, that was where the iron was from.

  • And was that also where he was executed?

  • That was where the man was executed.

  • Okay. Well, let's continue on down this list --

  • Really, Mr Rapp, in a way we do not have an exact answer to your question as to who authorised, or ordered rather, the execution. We had a general observation.

  • Thank you, your Honour:

  • Who ordered the execution of Augustus Wright?

  • As I said, the man was executed because he had gone into the place of President Taylor with arms, which he was not supposed to do. He was arrested and executed.

  • Now can you tell us who ordered the execution of Augustine Wright?

  • I cannot say outrightly because I was not there. I was told later that he was arrested and executed. From my own analysis, nobody would be arrested and executed in NPFL if the commander-in-chief does not order that. That's my conclusion.

  • And Mr Miller, do you know who ordered his execution?

  • Miller died in a fight. Miller died in a fight because he had left and gone to Prince's base. A group of NPFL ordered by Mr Taylor to move onto Prince Johnson's base and arrest anybody who had escaped to go there and it was at that time that he got killed. He was shot. But it was the order to move into the base that was done by Mr Taylor.

  • So then was Miller executed, or he died fighting?

  • Let me say he died in a fight. He died in a fight.

  • Thank you, witness. The Wright execution, do you know roughly what period that might have occurred?

  • That I cannot remember, but it happened. It happened.

  • You spoke of Miller having gone over to Prince Johnson's side. I think you also told us in your original answer that both of these men had gone over to Prince Johnson's side, is that correct?

  • They had gone there earlier. Augustus had decided to return to Mr Taylor, but I didn't know what message he was carrying, but in the process, when he was going, he was found with arms on him. He was investigated and executed. But for their own safety they were running away from Mr Charles Taylor. They didn't know where to go to be safe. That was when they went to Prince Johnson's base.

  • Let's move on down the list. Before we get to number 9 I take it number 8 is you, correct?

  • Yes, yes. Moses Blah, number 8.

  • Now, number 9 has an X by it. You've said you put the Xs there, why did you put an X by Mr Kerseh, Peter Kerseh's name?

  • Peter Kerseh was one of the strong fighting men. He crossed over to Prince Johnson and they were fighting against the NPFL. Later he decided to come back to Taylor's group. He was arrested on a motorbike one morning. I don't know the exact date. That case was also reported to the President, that Peter Kerseh had been arrested, and it was ordered that he should be investigated and if he was found guilty he should be executed.

  • Do you know who gave that order?

  • From my analysis, as I speak, nobody has a right to kill anybody in NPFL confines if the commanding chief does not give this order, nobody. If you did that you would be arrested too.

  • Before we go to the next X at number 11, the number 10 individual, who is Samuel G Varney?

  • Samuel G Varney was - he later became commanding general of the Liberian army. He is also from my ethnic group. He was one of the trained soldiers for the Liberian government earlier, before the NPFL was founded.

  • Mr Rapp, sorry to interrupt, was Peter Kerseh also executed? We haven't got the conclusion of that. We know he was investigated.

  • Executed. Sorry, your Honour. He was also executed.

  • Desertion. He left his post and went over to Prince Johnson.

  • Just while we're talking about specific crimes, do you know what Augustus Wright was accused of?

  • He was entering into a place where Taylor was with an arm, with a pistol on him, and he hadn't a permission to do that.

  • You did give us that, sorry. We were talking about number 10, Samuel G Varney. Is he still alive?

  • No, Varney is dead. He got sick and died.

  • The 11 individual has an X by him. Why did you put an X by him?

  • This man was also executed. He was the most educated man in the NPFL. He was a geologist and he had been very loyal to President Taylor, but he got into trouble. He was also investigated and it was found that he made a coup and wanted to overthrow the organisation at the time and become head of that organisation. He became executed on the orders of Mr Taylor. That I know of.

  • Well, what organisation was he trying to take over?

  • National Patriotic Front of Liberia, the NPFL.

  • And was he accused of acting with any other individuals?

  • Yes, at that time he - at that time he was executed. Further down there was another person who was arrested and executed.

  • And do you know what time period this was?

  • This was during the war. This was during the war. At this time the war was being fought very close to Monrovia, Bomi Hills, and we were fighting to gain territory at that time. It was at the stage of the war.

  • Do you know who conducted the investigation of Mr Degbon, this man that is number 11?

  • I wouldn't know. He was far away from where I was. I heard that he was executed and I found out that he was executed.

  • Now, number 12, Prince Y Johnson, is that the individual that led a separate force from the NPFL at one time?

  • Yes, this is the Prince Johnson. He is now a senior senator of Nimba County. He is alive. He's in Liberia.

  • Witness, we've seen a number of individuals that had been his followers that ended up executed. You say he's now a senator. How did he avoid that fate?

  • As far as I'm concerned, he has not been investigated by anyone. He fled to Nigeria through the help of the United Nations peacekeeping force. He returned to Liberia and maybe he won the election and became senator for my area, Nimba County.

  • Do you know when he went to Nigeria?

  • He went to Nigeria when he fled from his camp. Immediately when he killed Samuel Kanyon Doe, he had planned to escape. He was also attacked by us and it was during one of these attacks that Cooper Miller was killed and he too decided to escape from his base. That was when he was escorted from out of there by the Nigerian peacekeeping forces because they wanted peace, so they took him away to Nigeria. He had been there for years. I cannot remember - it was during our last election that he resurfaced and he stood for elections and won.

  • And the last elections, those were elections after Taylor left power, is that not correct?

  • Yes, the election after Taylor.

  • Before we go on to the next Xs, the person at 14, V Michael Paygar, do you know anything about him?

  • Michael Paygar between the Executive Mansion Guard battalion commander for a time period, but he has been dismissed or transferred because he has not been behaving properly. He'd been drunk. And later in his life he's in Monrovia and he left the job. He was sacked by Mr Taylor.

  • Let's go on to page 2, if we can. We don't see any Xs until we get to number 38, Timothy Mulibah. What do you know about Timothy Mulibah?

  • Mulibah was executed on a charge of trying to overthrow Mr Taylor.

  • And was it alleged that he was associated with other persons in that effort?

  • Yes, there were other people who were against Mr Taylor like Prince Johnson. There were other people whom I cannot remember off the top of my head now. He was arrested, a board was set up, he was investigated and his execution was ordered by the President.

  • And when you refer to the President?

  • President Taylor. I say President, because at the time of the war - I will always say President because we used to call him President even when he was not President. When he was leader of our NPFL organisation we always addressed him as President so, your Honour judge, please excuse me for that.

  • And I just want to be clear. I mean just in terms of the specifics of the order, do you know about this order specifically, or is it a conclusion that you reached about who made the order?

  • This investigation, Taylor was involved. He became very serious about this. That was how I came to know. Before he was executed he was hunted because he's been running around, but he was arrested. I should have known at the time because of my position.

  • And, again, who ordered his execution?

  • It was Taylor who ordered his execution.

  • Let's continue on down this list toward the bottom if we can to 58, Enoch M Dogolea. Now, I think you mentioned that name yesterday as the man that was Vice-President before you became Vice-President?

  • And you said he died?

  • And did you receive any reports on how he died?

  • Well, to my knowledge Enoch was sick and Taylor at the time had sent him to France and to other European countries for medication. He came back, the sickness got worse and he was taken to Abidjan. That was when he died. That is what I know of his death. But rumour came after that that he had been beaten by Mr Taylor and there was a newspaper report that he was beaten by Mr Taylor. I was not there when he was beaten, but from my analysis he died from a sickness.

  • And do you know the source of the rumour?

  • Rumours in Liberia are like wildfire. If anything happens in Liberia, everybody will tell you. They will even say things that they do not know about.

  • Can we then move to the third page and just as we pass over names we see at 65 Joe K Tuah. That's the individual that you went to Burkina with?

  • The individual that you have also identified as deputy director of the SSS?

  • And going further down the list, Francis Menwon at 72, do you know him?

  • I know who Francis Menwon is.

  • And Francis, who is he?

  • Francis Menwon was one time investigated. There was a report on Francis Menwon that he was planning to overthrow the government. He was arrested and investigated, but he got off the hook. He wasn't arrested. He was wearing plain clothes, he was no longer close to the President and, as I am speaking to you, he is now in Monrovia doing nothing.

  • The name, just excuse me to go back one to 71, John Duo, do you know what happened to John Duo?

  • John Duo, he got sick and died.

  • And the number 75, Oliver Varney, do you know what happened to him?

  • Yes, Oliver Varney was arrested and investigated for trying to overthrow Taylor at the time. His execution was also ordered.

  • Do you know who ordered his execution?

  • Well, I have been always saying this. I will presume all the time that it was Taylor, because he had the order to execute anybody. He was arrested on a charge of attempting to overthrow him, Taylor as head of NPFL. That was when his execution was ordered.

  • Was he in fact executed? Was he executed?

  • Yes. Yes, your Honour, he was.

  • Witness, I don't see an X after his name. Is there any reason why there's no X after his name?

  • Yes, we skipped that name. We forgot to put the X there. I'm sorry, sir.

  • Let me just ask about two other people on this list. Number 88, Anthony Menquenagbeh. Do you know what happened to him?

  • He was also executed for attempting to overthrow the leader of the overall group, NPFL. He was executed - investigated and executed - by the order of President Taylor.

  • Any reason why you didn't put an X behind him?

  • I forgot, I'm sorry. I'm sorry, sir. There are other names. You know, I went over them in my mind. I didn't have a good sight.

  • Number 90, Johnson TB Leaman, do you know what happened to him?

  • Leaman got sick and died. He had a job as a minister - deputy minister for coast guard affairs in the defence ministry. He got sick and died. He was appointed by President Taylor, but he died. Just recently he got sick and died.

  • I just want to be clear, what position did he hold under Taylor?

  • He was deputy minister of defence for coast guard affairs with the marine.

  • And for what period of time was that?

  • Immediately when Taylor became President.

  • And for how long during Taylor's presidency?

  • He was there for about - he was there for quite a long time. I cannot remember the time frame, but he had been deputy minister for a long while until he got sick and died.

  • Let me ask the Court Attendant to go on to page 4 and let's go further to the top of page 4 on the projector. The individual at number 99, Paul Nimely, do you know anything about him?

  • Paul what, sir?

  • The person at 99 if you look at the list?

  • Do you know anything about him?

  • I know about Paul Nimely. He is well. He's okay.

  • And do you know what - did he hold any positions?

  • Paul Nimely later became the representative for his county. He was working with the legislator. He was elected during the Taylor government and he was one of the representatives for Sinoe County.

  • Do we have the spelling of Sinoe? I think that's S-I-N-O-E, is that correct?

  • Yes, that is it. That's the correct spelling.

  • And what party was he associated with?

  • He was associated with the National Patriotic Party, NPP.

  • Let's go on to number 103 and I see an X by the side of the name at number 103, Joe Doe. Why did you put an X there?

  • Joe Doe had an unfortunate situation. He was in Monrovia after the war when Benjamin moved to Foya close to Sierra Leone on an assignment. That was where he asked Joe Doe to go, but previously Joe Doe had a problem with Benjamin Yeaten which I investigated between the two of them. Joe Doe's brother's wife was taken by Benjamin as his wife and there was a confusion. Joe Doe being afraid of Benjamin, he didn't want to be involved with our organisation. He fled into La Cote d'Ivoire. Benjamin persuaded him, he sent people after him, they convinced him and he came back to Liberia. When Benjamin went to Foya, as I said, he sent for Joe Doe. He said he wanted to talk to Joe Doe. The night he entered Foya it was that night that he was arrested, investigated that he wanted to overthrow Taylor at the time, and as I heard - from what my security told me there was a bitter argument. He said, "You called me here. How would I overthrow you in the bush?", and they said they should execute him. That's how he got killed. He was executed by Benjamin Yeaten.

  • Well, to your knowledge was he engaged in any effort to overthrow the Government of Liberia?

  • That I don't know of. He was a very quiet individual. Very, very quiet indeed.

  • And you said that Benjamin was on assignment up in Lofa County. Do you know what that assignment was at the time?

  • Benjamin was moving everywhere, wherever there was fighting. I didn't know whether it was by order of the President, or by himself. He was like - he became so powerful that he could do anything, he could go anywhere, and so he had gone there on one of those occasions to see how the men were fighting at the border with Sierra Leone. That was when he sent for Joe Doe and Joe Doe got killed there. He executed Joe Doe there.

  • Now, going on down the list I see 121. That is the Benjamin Yeaten that we've been talking about, is it not?

  • Yes, that's the Benjamin Yeaten.

  • And I'm just going to be clear, he could go all over. Did he go anywhere that Taylor did not want him to go?

  • He must go with permission. Each time you see Benjamin you will see the chief. He had greater power in a way. The only person that was above Benjamin at the time, that I know, was President Taylor, nobody else.

  • Now down to 123. Yesterday you mentioned Dopoe Menkarzon as being one of the leaders of the Liberians that went into Sierra Leone. Is this that same individual?

  • Yes, this is the Dopoe Menkarzon, yes.

  • If I can ask the Registry to go on to page 5 and just to ask about one of the names that's not checked here. Paul Vaye, do you know what happened to Paul Vaye?

  • Paul Vaye got sick with AIDS and died.

  • Did he have a position before his death?

  • No, Paul Vaye never had a position.

  • Now 132, a Musa Cisse. Is this the same as the Musa Cisse that was involved as chief of protocol for Taylor?

  • So it's spelled a little different, but sometimes these spellings aren't standard, is that the case?

  • Yes, that is his name. Yes, sir. Your Honour, sir, your Honour, judge? I want to use --

  • Yes, please assist the witness. Mr Rapp, if you wish to have a seat.

  • Thank you, your Honour. I will take a short break while the witness goes to the restroom.

  • I hope you're more comfortable, Mr Witness. Now, Mr Rapp, when you are ready to proceed, please.

  • Thank you, Madam President:

  • Let me go on down the list here. I see an X by 138, Sam Larto. Is that the individual you spoke of yesterday?

  • Yes, Sam Larto.

  • You described him being killed, did you not?

  • Sam Larto was one of the strong fighters of the National Patriotic Front. He got killed on the highway of Monrovia-Gbarnga. He saw a man with a television set and he stopped that man for inspection. He inspected the boy and the fellow said it was a TV and he said, "You've stolen this TV", and got into the quarrel and he got the man, he took out his pistol and he shot the man. He was arrested by Mr Taylor and put in detention. He was investigated and executed.

    But previously Sam Larto had gone into Zwedru, Grand Gedeh. Whoever had - they had brought some people to safety, from the bushes where we were controlling Grand Gedeh, and I was responsible for the elderlies, the pregnant women, the old ladies. At one time I went to the highway as I mentioned, Maryland, Cape Palmas Highway, Sam Larto went after me. In my absence he went there, in the old administrative building where I kept these people. I was caring for these people. He went there and executed all of them, about 70 some persons, and upon my return I ran to Gbarnga with this report to the President. He was not in Gbarnga and the President said, "I will have him brought here to be investigated." It was not until I was in Gbarnga that I heard that he had been arrested for killing another person. It was then that President Taylor ordered that he be executed.

  • So between the time of him being detained for that first allegation that you brought, had he been freed?

  • Yes, he had been freed. He was not arrested in my presence when I brought this first report. The second time I saw him, that was the time that he was executed. He was in jail for shooting the man with the television set.

  • You mentioned the name of this place in Grand Gedeh County. It was something like Zwedru?

  • Yes, Z-W-E-D-R-U, Zwedru.

  • Let's go on down the list. There's another name here, number 155. I see a mark there. What does that mark mean?

  • Well, this other fellow was killed in an ambush. I wasn't there, but the story surrounding this man - Elmer Glee Johnson was an American citizen, Liberian American citizen. He had come to Liberia and was a friend of Mr Taylor and had decided to fight alongside, because of his military experience, but at one time there was an ambush near Buchanan. He fell into that ambush, but the story surrounding his killing was that - I was not there, but rumour has it that he was killed on the orders of Taylor, that he was getting more aggressive, he was not taking orders, but officially he was killed in an ambush, but I didn't know who set the ambush and who killed him, but that was what was said at every quarters when I asked how he got killed.

  • You mentioned there was a rumour. Do you know the source of the rumour?

  • That's what I said. There were no special persons who were saying this, how he got killed, "Oh, this man was not killed by an enemy, he was killed by his own forces on the order of the President, that was how he got killed." That was what I heard.

  • And who did you hear that from?

  • From a lot of fighters, the civilians, many people. I can't name one person. I didn't take it serious. I didn't investigate this matter.

  • Going down finally to page 6, the last page, the individual at 160, Tom Woweiyu.

  • Do you know this individual?

  • Yes, I know Tom Woweiyu.

  • And what happened to him?

  • Tom Woweiyu was a friend of President Taylor. He was introduced to us - to me. When I say "us" I'm talking about because I was an adjutant in Libya. He went to Libya along with President Taylor. At that time he was introduced to the battalion, that he was a best friend of Taylor, he was working with the organisation, but that he was in America taking care of some other things being done on the other side in America. Later he became defence minister in the NPRG government, the government I told you that was set up in Gbarnga. At one time he was arrested. He was arrested. According to him he was arrested on the order of Mr Taylor. He had been detained by the Small Boy Unit in another place called Mabarklay. He had been detained, his Nissan car patrol jeep was taken in a dirty place where these boys were. They knew him to be a minister of defence for us at the time. He was detained for a very long time. He didn't like the treatment he received. He told me that. Since then he left and went back to the United States.

  • What happened as a result of the investigation against him?

  • On the investigation a lot of things happened. He was in America. He had left and there was no real investigation. When this thing happened he reported it to the President, Taylor at the time, he was not happy with the response, so he left the organisation and went.

  • Witness, you said he had some involvement with Small Boy Units?

  • Yes, he was arrested by them. They were at the checkpoint. At the checkpoint there were only Small Boy Units where he was travelling through to go to Monrovia. It was there that he was stopped and taken out of his car into a little house in a little shack where they were. They asked him why he was roving up and down the road. He said he was the defence minister, he had every right to patrol the area controlled by NPFL. They had him there, he did not say he was treated - during the conversation he said he was not treated fairly. He tried to report this to the commander-in-chief of our group at the time, Mr Taylor, and the response he received was not satisfactory to him so he had to leave. He left and went to the United States.

  • You said he hadn't been treated fairly. Did he say who had not treated him fairly?

  • He said the Small Boy Units, they forced him out of his car with no due respect. They dragged him to some place and searched him. It was not done properly, as a man who considered himself as a minister of defence at the time, to be treated thus.

  • Did he talk about what happened to him in detention?

  • He sat there, it was a rainy season, rain was pouring down on him. He was searched vigorously without any due respect.

  • Yesterday you talked about the Small Boy Units, or small boys that had arrested you. Who did the small boys take orders from?

  • I'm sorry, your Honours, yesterday there was no evidence that the Small Boy Units had arrested this man. There was no evidence to that effect yesterday.

  • I think counsel may be precisely correct:

  • You said that small boys had been involved in detaining you, is that correct?

  • Yes, they detained me, when they were around the prison walking up and down and they were saying, "We will take this man away who has been giving our arms to Prince Johnson." They did not arrest me, but they were around. They were guarding around where I was detained.

  • Do you know who the Small Boy Units, or these young men and Small Boy Units took their orders from?

  • There were two ways. They took orders from Benjamin Yeaten at the time. The other person was the President to them. Sometimes the President gave direct orders. As commander-in-chief he had all right to order the units. They were not units that were positioned in one place. Every area, every commanders had Small Boy Unit. I told you yesterday that everybody had a Small Boy Unit because they were unreasonable and everybody would like to have a group of small boys in their command.

  • You said Taylor had some role with Small Boy Units. Did he have his own Small Boy Unit?

  • Yes, a lot of them in the Small Boy Unit. At one time there was a unit called - majority of them were Small Boy Unit. He had a unit before ATU. I will call their name later.

  • So you don't recall at this point the name of this Small Boy Unit?

  • No, no. I don't remember.

  • What did this unit do specifically?

  • They took military operations and assignments assigned to them. They will bring the man, arrest the man, block the road, they will block the roads. I said they were very, very unreasonable. They could be assigned anywhere to do any dirty operations, because they had no reasoning, they had no sense of direction to do anything. Like I must say that I had one with me, I had a Small Boy Unit too.

  • The particular unit that you can't remember the name of, how was that unit different, if at all, from any other unit?

  • They were all Small Boy Unit. One small boy under age they called Small Boy Unit. The assignment would make them look different. If you had to do some jobs that had to do with a big person in the organisation, you would behave differently, but they were all called Small Boy Unit. There was no special name to be given to them.

  • You told us just now that a great many units or forces had Small Boy Units attached to them.

  • Was there an overall command structure for the Small Boy Units?

  • Yes, because they had their own commanders at that time and they only reported to their commanders and they were so unreasonable, they wouldn't even report to you as the inspector general, overall commander for that unit. They had their own chiefs. If you wanted to talk to them you will have to talk through their commanders. That was how they operated.

  • And do you recall the name of any of their commanders?

  • Yes, there was Zubon who was originally the commander of the Small Boy Units and the first unit that I knew about was headed by one Zubon. He is now in the United States of America.

  • Is that name spelt Z-U-B-O-N?

  • Mr Rapp, sorry to interrupt again. I don't recall from this witness that he has explained to us really what these Small Boy Units are, or what the ages of these small boys were.

  • Your Honour, we talked about the one yesterday that detained him, but let's talk about all the Small Boy Units:

  • From your observation of the Small Boy Units, what were the ages of the these people who were --

  • Well, from my observation if you are a small boy and you are part of the Small Boys Unit they were between, 13, 14, 15 age brackets and if you were above 15 you were old, you wouldn't be referred to as Small Boy Unit.

  • Well, you said that over 15 they weren't Small Boy Units. How about anybody under 13?

  • What ages other than 13 or 14 were involved?

  • Well, you would be called Small Boy Units except that you had fallen into another unit, but you would not be accepted into the Small Boy Units group if you were above 15, 16. It means you were too old and that you had sense of direction, you could reason.

  • What was the youngest age that you saw involved in a Small Boy Unit?

  • We'll put aside this particular exhibit until we can conclude the testimony and seek to offer it:

  • Witness, we've been talking about individuals that were with you in the Libyan camps, about 161. Over the time of the conflict, over the time of the war, at its greatest how large were the numbers in the NPFL?

  • The numbers were up and down because, as we recruited, more groups were added to the units in training. Like I told you, we started from 22 and we went up to 80 [sic]. We went to 80.

  • Well, let's talk about after the NPFL entered Liberia. How large did the NPFL become?

  • Mr Rapp, before the witness answers I thought I heard the witness say 180. It's recorded as 80.

  • 180.

  • Thank you. Please proceed, Mr Rapp.

  • I asked the question and I want to ask something now that I hear it's 180, but the question I asked you specifically was: How large did the NPFL become after it entered Liberia?

  • We went up to almost 10 - 20,000 and the control was not with me at that time, because at that time we had some other groups. We had some other groups coming in and they were given names by the commander-in-chief and they were not under my control. We grew up to about 70,000 or so because we had many men. You could not even count the numbers any longer, because they were under different commands and different operations and they were no longer operating to the adjutant general, or the inspector general. Like the Executive Mansion Guards unit, they had their own group and I wouldn't know how many persons were there in that group.

  • You said the group grew to 70,000. Do you have any idea how many men were killed in combat from the NPFL during the war?

  • I could have reported the number of people within the NPFL who were trained in Libya. I recorded that. But with the general casualties in the NPFL and the additional men that had joined us, I would not be able to tell. The numbers were huge, very, very huge. Very huge. We lost almost over 10,000 men.

  • Now, you said "we lost 10,000 men", you have mentioned casualties also. Were there men that were wounded or disabled as a result of the fight?

  • Exactly. Wounded people, disabled people, people who were killed in combat, because it was not easy attacking a sitting government. It was a big fight.

  • After the war, what happened to those that had been disabled in the conflict that had fought for the NPFL?

  • Well, one incident that I can remember that occurred was that on one occasion the wounded people were collected almost at the end of the war when we were in serious combat with LURD. The men were assembled by Benjamin Yeaten on one occasion and I don't know how much was their number, but they were in a big truck and they were taken to a place on the Bomi Hill Highway, to a river called Mahare River.

    When these people got to this river and when Benjamin said that, "You have been requesting for benefit and you are all wounded, so now you have to come here and this is where you are going to get your pay for what you have done", and that pay was converted into serious execution. He shot some of them, they sent them into the river and the trucks did not return with them.

    I got this information from areas within Bomi Hills and those areas, that those people were killed. I don't know who killed them, but it was Benjamin who personally took them away and he said he killed them because they were embarrassing the organisation because they were wounded and they would come to Monrovia and they have seen them everywhere, that they were wounded by the NPFL, so that was not going to give the organisation a good name, so he took them away to pay them. That was what I heard from civilians and other people. He dumped them all into the river, Mahare River. That is on the Bomi Hills Highway.

  • The river, would you spell that?

  • Mahare, I don't know. It is a native name, Mahare. M-A-H-H-E-R, or something like that. Mahare River.

  • Anyway, you said they were embarrassing in Monrovia. Who were they embarrassing?

  • They were - the citizens, the civilians, the population, they were all wounded. Some had amputated arms, some had one eye gone, one foot gone, they were begging everywhere, they wanted to survive and they never had anything to eat so they were going around. So Benjamin said it and I heard that from him on several occasions, that these people will be paid one day, but I did not know the payment that he was talking about was that he was going to take them and execute them.

  • Had they taken any political role?

  • These wounded men.

  • No, they did not. They were just there as beggars, going from place to place begging people.

  • In terms of the time that this happened, I think you told us about an event, but can you fix it more precisely in time? Was this during Taylor's presidency, or before it?

  • That was around 2003. That was the time it happened. It was almost at the end of his presidency. That was the last war between LURD and the government when this incident occurred.

  • I'm just a little unclear with what you said. What did Yeaten say specifically about these individuals to you?

  • In conversations I had with him before, or a week before, or even after the incidents happened, he said that these boys are disturbing everywhere in town and that there was need for them to be paid and, "I will take them somewhere and they will get their pay." It was a large number, a very large number. Some were wounded, some even the sore had not healed yet, some of them blood was still on them and he said they did not have a place to keep these people and he said it would be an exposure of us and we will take them somewhere - "I will take them somewhere and they will get their benefit", and later we discovered that he had done such a thing to these people, that he took them to Mahare River and had them executed.

  • When did you find out about this, this event?

  • It was a day or two after that I was told and knowing me to be the Vice-President, that you cannot get to the President at the time you wanted certain information, to clarify some people might come to me and they asked, "What's happening? Yesterday we saw a truck load of children, wounded children, and they were dumped into Mahare River and they were shot at." Then I said, "Well", and then they told me, they said they saw Benjamin and the road was blocked for minutes or for hours whilst the operation was taking place and we saw people guarding and we saw people floating everywhere and people were crying and they said these people have not yet died and they were shooting in the water and they were consulting with me, they were asking who were those people. Then they said Benjamin took a group of people and he said he wanted them to be paid and for them to get their benefits, and I did not know actually whether that was his intention and I did not go back to him to ask. But at that time the war was raging, there was severe fighting all over. LURD was fighting to enter Monrovia at that time.

  • And why didn't you ask?

  • I did not ask at that moment because we were all fighting for safety. There was nowhere to get rice, nowhere to get water. I was disturbed, everybody was disturbed. Instead of taking care of my family I would not go to ask such a question. Whom would I have gone to to ask that question in fact?

  • Why didn't you ask Taylor?

  • No, I wouldn't at that time because I told you the Executive Mansion Guards, if they were involved in anything I had limited authority. I did not question their operations. My operation was outside the Executive Mansion Guards unit, or the Executive Mansion Guards. More especially, when I was Vice-President you don't just approach your President. We thought that he would say certain things happened at certain places at this time and at that time, but I was not authorised, more especially when Benjamin Yeaten was involved, no. Knowing him to be a crucial man and a most powerful man working with the President, I left that up to him. It was up to him to find it out by himself.

  • You said that the individuals who had visited you mentioned that the road had been guarded. Did they tell you who was guarding it?

  • You said as Vice-President you'd had people come to you and report on this incident one or two days after it happened and I believe the record will reflect that they said that the area had been guarded where the shooting was taking place. Did they tell you who was guarding it?

  • No, there was Benjamin Yeaten who had blocked the highway and he authorised a group of the Jungle Fire unit to block the road away from people and they had stopped everybody from a certain distance from where the incident was taking place, and they stood there for a while and they did not move a step. You don't go behind, you don't come to the front. After the operation had happened they allowed them to pass and as soon as they took off, they saw the vehicles taking off then the civilians knew that they were allowed to move back and forward at that time.

  • Witness, we've been talking about Liberians that had been involved with the NPFL and the Taylor government. Were there any non-Liberians close to Taylor?

  • Yes, there were other groups of - other than Liberians that were close to Taylor, like the Gambians. I know about the Gambians. The Gambians were very close and even one became the aide-de-camp to the President, a senior aide-de-camp to the President on one occasion.

  • And who was that Gambian individual that became aide-de-camp?

  • The came I can't remember. I think the name was N'jie. Musa N'jie.

  • Would that be spelt M-U-S-A N'-J-I-E?

  • Now, I think yesterday you told us about an attempt on Taylor's life at the Executive Mansion when he was part of the seven man government, or the seven person government. You said an individual by the name of General Jackson was a Gambian. How did you know that he was a Gambian?

  • He was a Gambian. I knew that because I had met with Jackson even before I came from Libya. I knew that he was with Dr Manneh and in fact he was a brother to Dr Manneh and President Taylor had taken him to be his senior aide for a very long time, and when the President got to the mansion - when the President was attacked at the mansion he escaped it and Jackson was killed because he was the cover guard and he was shot at that time, but actually he was a Gambian. You will know someone if he was a Gambian or a Liberian and even in our region if I speak my English they will know that I speak the Liberian English, that is even the reason why the judges are finding problems with my language, because I want to speak the Liberian English and I want to speak standard English and that I will try to do.

  • Mr Rapp, I note the time and this is the time we usually take the mid-morning break. So we are going to adjourn now, Mr Witness, until 12 o'clock.

  • [Break taken at 11.30 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 12.02 p.m.]

  • Mr Rapp, please proceed.

  • Madam President, your Honours, before I proceed, first of all on a spelling I think of this - we have looked up a the name of this river and I think the spelling was reported incorrectly. So the correct smelling of Mahare River is M-A-H-A-R-E.

  • Thank you.

  • Before I return to the Gambians question, just a couple of things to follow up from questioning earlier this morning. When we were looking at the list, the roster of the special commandos, did you conduct the investigations of any of the persons there on the list who were executed?

  • No.

  • And do you know who would have conducted investigations in those cases?

  • When a high profile investigation involving Cassius and some other people, that is the Executive Mansion Guard unit, we had to do that. Not with me. Even if it is outside of where the President, it's not close to - like upcountry he had a full control over them to investigate.

  • Well, who had full control over them?

  • President Taylor. Benjamin Yeaten.

  • And do you know what investigations would consist of at that level?

  • I said again Benjamin became so powerful during operation he was - it was not too close to --

  • Your Honour, the witness has to repeat this bit.

  • I wouldn't know what the investigation would be because he does not report to me and so I wouldn't know.

  • Okay. I don't know if it was necessary to repeat the beginning of your answer. Would you repeat the beginning of your answer when you were talking about Benjamin Yeaten?

  • I said Benjamin became so powerful and he will also conduct an investigation, sometimes ordered by the President. So I wouldn't know what the investigation entailed, because I did not have the authority to question him.

  • Well, in your role as inspector general, I want to find out a couple of things.

  • How long were you inspector general?

  • I was inspector general from 1991 until the time I became Vice-President of Liberia.

  • Becoming ambassador to Libya, sorry.

  • So did you start - in what year did you begin?

  • 1990/'91 I became inspector general.

  • And what year again did you become ambassador to Libya and Tunisia?

  • Excuse me, do you mean '87?

  • '87. Is it '87? The year, no, it was 2000.

  • Witness, when was it in relation to Taylor becoming President?

  • No, when was the appointment as ambassador in relation to Taylor's presidency?

  • I became ambassador because I was inspector general of the organisation. I sometimes travelled with him when he was going out of Liberia and I don't know the answer directly.

  • Mr Witness, I understood the question was when was the appointment as ambassador?

  • And when was that in relation to Mr Taylor's presidency?

  • In relationship - in relation with what?

  • I understand, Mr Rapp, you are talking about a time, are you?

  • Well, thank you very much, your Honour:

  • Just in Taylor's presidency, was it in the first year, second year, third year, or what year of Taylor's presidency was it?

  • That was the third year.

  • And when did you become Vice-President?

  • I became Vice-President the third year - I became ambassador, the third year Enoch was there, the beginning of the presidency. He died after three years and I was there 2000 - I became ambassador in 2000 - I mean President - I am getting confused now.

  • Okay, witness, so why don't we just slow down here. When did Taylor become President?

  • Taylor became President in 1997.

  • And how long after he became President did you become ambassador to Libya and Tunisia?

  • After three years.

  • Well, when did you become Vice-President?

  • I became ambassador when Taylor became President, sorry, and I became Vice-President in 2000.

  • Okay. So I think you told us a minute ago that you were inspector general from 1990/1991 up until the time you became ambassador.

  • And that would be 1990/1991 to 1997?

  • Was that an active position during all of those six or seven years?

  • No, when he became President everything slowed down. There were no more active operations for inspector general any more. I was just - I was a member of the organisation at the time, until I became ambassador.

  • Witness, when you were inspector general, what part of the country did you spend most of your time in?

  • I was in southeast - the southeastern part of Liberia. I don't know if I called those names. I was in Grand Gedeh, Maryland, Sinoe, the southeast of Liberia.

  • You mentioned Grand Gedeh, which I think we have had the spelling of and Maryland I presume we do.

  • Yes, Maryland and Sinoe.

  • I think we have all of those spellings.

  • Witness, just another question from this morning. We were talking about Musa Cisse and you coming back with him on this plane between Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, and Monrovia, Liberia. Did you travel outside Liberia on any other occasions with Musa Cisse?

  • No, not that I can remember.

  • Do you know of any other foreign missions that Musa Cisse was involved in?

  • There are so many that I wouldn't be able to say how many. He was always out of Liberia on missions for the President.

  • Do you happen to know what countries he may have visited?

  • Musa went to nearly almost - except for America, he went anywhere where the President wanted him to go and at one time he went to Asia and on that mission he was given money, a huge sum of money, up to a million dollars, to negotiate and purchase arms for the organisation. He came back with a report that the money was missing. He had been duped out of the money by a Chinese national and that caused a big uproar and he wanted to know what he did with this money. That money was not like $50, or like $100. As the investigation went on the President discovered the investigation. President Taylor discovered the investigation that Musa was not educated and so he could make such a mistake. It was possible. So that was left alone.

  • So he was not punished for that?

  • He was not punished for that.

  • And just to be clear about dollars, I know Liberia has a dollar that is different to --

  • US dollars, please.

  • Just for the sake of clarity, we have talked about that half a million dollars that you had taken from Gaddafi to President Taylor in South Africa, was that US dollars or --

  • What happened to Musa Cisse?

  • Musa Cisse died. He fell ill and died.

  • Witness, let me go back to where we were with the Gambians. You mentioned this General Jackson who had died, or had been killed saving Taylor's life. He was called General Jackson. Why was he called a general?

  • When you are an aide-de-camp to the President you will be called a general, a brigadier general, must be the head. Either brigadier or a lieutenant general will occupy that position. So he must be called a general when you are an aide-de-camp to the President.

  • And where had you first met this General Jackson?

  • I met General Jackson first in Burkina with his brother, who is Dr Manneh, who happened to be the head of the group that went to The Gambia to find them through their government. That is the younger brother who was Jackson. I met them together in Burkina.

  • Do you know when that was when you met them in Burkina?

  • We were in Burkina in 1989, 1989, the later part of 1989. After that we separated and we went our separate ways towards Liberia.

  • Did you ever see Dr Manneh again?

  • No, until we entered Liberia and we captured Buchanan. That was when I saw Dr Manneh. He was in Buchanan like he was in charge of Buchanan. I didn't know how he got that appointment. He was in Buchanan and he became so powerful he was ordering soldiers to war and things. Mr Taylor at the time didn't like what he was doing. As a result of that, he had to leave. He left. Since then I have not seen him any more.

  • Well, who was he ordering? Which soldiers?

  • Ordering our soldiers. He came along with a dozen of Gambians. They were there together with our own fighting forces. They were all - they were on mixed operations. Nobody would know who was a Gambian. No Liberian would know who was a Gambian, or who was a Liberian, except you had that kind of - that level of experience, but he was fighting alongside our forces.

  • And was he investigated?

  • Not that I know of, but there is like - he was not satisfied with the treatment too because he was becoming powerful. He was deputy to Taylor in operations, which President Taylor didn't like very much. He was the sole owner of the revolution. He didn't have a deputy at the time to say, "You deputise today, you deputise tomorrow." That was Manneh's behaviour, so he had to go back to where he came from.

  • Do you recall any other Gambians that were in Liberia at this time with the NPFL?

  • There were a lot of them. There were lots of them. There was a fellow who called himself Yank Smith, who himself was a Gambian and he became a Liberian ambassador to Tunisia and Libya in my stead when I became Vice-President. Yank Smith.

  • Just stop there for a moment.

  • What did you say his name was?

  • Y-A-N-K, Yank Smith, S-M-I-T-H.

  • S-M-I-T-H, so it is Smith in the English pronunciation?

  • Smith and first name Yank. Was that his true name?

  • No, that was a pure Liberian name. I don't know how he got that name, but that was a name he used in Liberia. As I speak he is known as Yank Smith, but he is a Gambian.

  • What was the source of that name, do you know?

  • How, as a non-Liberian, was he able to be an ambassador to a foreign country on behalf of Liberia?

  • That was illegal, but I wouldn't say. I don't know how.

  • Do you know of any other Gambians that had positions in the NPFL, or in Taylor's government?

  • Yes, Yank Smith, there was a guy who became aide-de-camp to the President, General Jackson who also became a senior aide and he died in the process. There was Rebel, but I can't remember his name. He was called some kind of rebel, also from The Gambia. There were many. Some died during the war. They were fighting alongside us. I will come to that name later.

  • Do you know an individual whose last name was Monsua [phon]?

  • Can you remember what his first name was?

  • Monsua, no, I can't remember. I will remember later. It has been quite a long time so I am having difficulties recollecting the names.

  • Okay. Do you know an individual by the name of Mustafa Jalloh?

  • Yes, Mustapha Jallow, he is a Gambian too. I remember that name.

  • Did he hold a position in Liberia?

  • They were all attached to the Executive Mansion Guard unit. They were closer to the President. You investigate to know what their positions were and what their assignments were. They were like backup forces. They were there, but I can be clear on the Liberian citizens than the Gambians. They were coming in like mercenaries because they were there on some secret operation which I can specify.

  • You mentioned someone just before we passed the Gambians and go on to other nationalities that was called Rebel. Do you have any idea was that his nickname or what?

  • That is a name. He was some kind of a rebel, but he was a Gambian. He was a Gambian, a very tall man, but I have forgotten his name.

  • You said yesterday that you had seen Bockarie in Liberia during Taylor's presidency. Can you give us more precision about when you first saw him there?

  • I saw Mosquito first in Benjamin Yeaten's house at the back of Mr Taylor's residence, down in a slope where Benjamin lived. That was where I met Mosquito for the first time. He was introduced to me by Benjamin Yeaten and he said, "This is Mosquito", I mean Sam Bockarie called Mosquito. He shook my hands and said, "Chief, how do you do, sir?" I said, "I am all right. I am all right. I am Blah. I am the Vice-President of Liberia." From then on he has called me chief. Sometimes I see him driving in a Nissan patrol jeep, a grey jeep that was given to him by the President, President Taylor.

  • Did Mr Bockarie tell you why he was in Liberia?

  • No, he didn't tell me, but I saw him with Benjamin Yeaten and I concluded that he has come to Liberia by order from the President, or by Benjamin Yeaten, because I saw him in Benjamin Yeaten's house for the first time.

  • And if he didn't tell you what he was doing, did you find out what he was doing?

  • You said you saw him once at Benjamin Yeaten's house. Did he stay anywhere else?

  • Yes, he was there and later he was given a house very close to the Nigerian House. He was there with his group for some time. Excuse me, please. I saw him first at the Nigerian House, but I did not go in there to talk to him. I drove by and he said one Mosquito lives there. It was on the second time that I intercepted and shook hands with him in Benjamin's house and he introduced - Benjamin introduced him to me and we shook hands.

  • Well, let's be clear about the Nigerian House. Where was the Nigerian House?

  • The Nigerian House is in Congo Town, very close to the first White Flower, the first place where Taylor stayed that I mentioned earlier, by the German embassy in Monrovia and at the back a little bit you have got the Ghanian embassy. In between there is White House and in between there was a road. That was where he was.

  • When you saw him this first time had Taylor moved into the second White Flower in Monrovia or was he --

  • Exactly so. No, when I met him for the first time Taylor was in the first White Flower where he was - where the Chinese embassy is now.

  • And again, and I'm not sure we got precision on this, in terms of Taylor's presidency, beginning in '97, how long into his presidency was it before he got the second or built the second White Flower in Monrovia?

  • That I wouldn't know, because, as I told you, I was up and down. I didn't know when he moved. But at one time when I came - I went on a mission. They said he had moved to his new house. All of us were happy and we moved to where he was, his new place. I didn't keep track of the movement of the President. I didn't keep track of that.

  • You said that he was there with his group, Bockarie was there with his group. Again, where was he with his group?

  • When I met him at Benjamin Yeaten's house I met him alone, but when I was coming out of the house I saw people speaking Krio. It was not a very big group. They were like nine, ten men outside Benjamin Yeaten's residence. They all stood up and they watched me pass by, the time we met in Benjamin Yeaten's house.

  • And how were you able to tell they were speaking Krio?

  • I know. As I told you earlier I know the Sierra Leoneans when they speak. I know the Liberians when they speak. I know all those people, all those foreigners. Within our region when they speak we do know each other by speaking.

  • Did you see these Sierra Leoneans on any other occasion?

  • Yes, I saw them around - the last time I saw them - no, before the last time I saw them it was when I was arrested and put into detention, in prison. There were a lot of them by where I was. From the back of the window to the front of the house they were there passing and threatening me with statements, "Oh, we will kill the Pa's Vice-President tonight. We will go to Robertsfield tonight". They were speaking - they were speaking to each other in Krio. I was not sleeping. I was a little bit disturbed. I was still alive and they were talking and talking right where I was detained. I used to see them through the windows and watch them as they moved about. They were fully armed with rifles, guarding where I was.

  • Okay, we will get on to that situation later. Let's just ask you though whether you saw any other Sierra Leoneans other than this group at any time in Liberia during Taylor's presidency?

  • They were always there. They were always there. My God, come back with the question.

  • Well, let me ask you about any official visitors from Sierra Leone. Were there any of those?

  • Yes, yes. On one occasion there was a little conflict between Sam Bockarie and Foday Sankoh and Johnny Paul Koroma. They came to Liberia. They had a meeting in which I was not involved, but according to Foday Sankoh who said they had come to chief to settle this matter between us and so that we can go back. I didn't know how it ended.

    The last time I saw Johnny Paul Koroma was when he was at Spriggs Payne airport, a smaller airstrip that we have in Liberia. He boarded a helicopter. We had our own helicopter that took him back to Sierra Leone. That was the last time, but he seemed not to be satisfied because he spoke to me before he boarded the plane that he had also come to the chief but the treatment he received from the RUF was not satisfactory so he was going back. He said he was not satisfied with the judgment anyway.

  • Well, who is he referring to when he spoke - when he said that he had spoken to the chief?

  • He was speaking to the President. He said, "Well, President Taylor has called us to settle this matter, but it looked like I am not satisfied with the judgment, but I have to take it as it is". He went back to Sierra Leone on the helicopter.

  • Well, what did he mean by "judgment"?

  • They had conflict. They had dispute among themselves and so they had to come down to President Taylor to see how he will unite them to work as a unit. He said he was not satisfied with the decision taken by President Taylor.

  • Well, why did Taylor have the ability to make a decision for them?

  • How would you describe their relationship with Taylor?

  • It was cordial, because if you come to somebody to try to determine the matter between you - between both of you - it could be that the relationship is good.

  • You said he left in a helicopter?

  • Was it a Liberian helicopter?

  • A helicopter, yes, we had a helicopter.

  • And do you know where he was going precisely in Sierra Leone?

  • And do you know what position Johnny Paul Koroma held or had held in Sierra Leone?

  • Johnny Paul Koroma was the head of the junta. From what I read in the papers and listened to the radios, that he was head of the junta in Sierra Leone.

  • And to the best of your knowledge when he came to Sierra Leone on this occasion, was he then a head of the junta?

  • No, he was not. Something happened that I did not know. Either he was caught in the RUF territory or something, because something happened, some misunderstanding. They wanted someone to unite them. That was why they came to President Taylor.

  • Could you tell whether this was before or after the period of the junta?

  • It was after the period of the junta, because the reason is that the discussion we had, he was talking like he was not in control of anything at that time.

  • Did Yeaten ever discuss with you the Sierra Leoneans that were with him?

  • You mentioned the Sierra Leoneans being with Yeaten when you saw him at Yeaten's house and then later when you were yourself detained. Do you know what the Sierra Leoneans did for Yeaten?

  • I saw them with Yeaten and on some occasions I saw them in a car riding around town or going on duty, but I wouldn't say directly what they were doing with Yeaten. I told you my authority was limited to talking to the Executive Mansion Guard, or unit, to be investigated and what I was trying to find out I will get into trouble.

  • Well, were any Sierra Leoneans involved in the war in Liberia?

  • And which Sierra Leoneans were involved?

  • The Sierra Leoneans fought along the LURD, they attacked LURD in Ganta and the Sierra Leoneans whom we saw were with Benjamin Yeaten. They fought and pushed the LURD rebels from - they pushed them towards Guinea and I saw them on two or three occasions with heavy weapons. They were very powerful indeed.

  • Let's talk about LURD for a moment. What was LURD? I am not sure we have mentioned that word yet?

  • LURD was the movement, a fighting force, backed by the Mandingo ethnic group. They were fighting against the government of Liberia. There were three factions. There was Government of Liberia, the LURD and MODEL and they were helping alongside the government forces to push the LURD back into Guinea.

  • Okay. Now we are in a pronoun situation. They were fighting alongside government forces. Who was the "they"?

  • The group from Sierra Leone. They were fighting alongside the government forces.

  • And did the group from Sierra Leone have a name?

  • Yes, the LURD - I mean the RUF headed by Mosquito, Sam Bockarie.

  • And what relationship did Yeaten have to this group of RUF?

  • They had a good relationship. I met them together. They moved together. They ate together. They were very friendly. They were very, very friendly. He hosted them and we found a place for them. They were in my county and they were at various locations, sir. They were posted.

  • And when this fighting happened with the LURD in which the RUF was involved, were you ambassador then or were you Vice-President?

  • I was Vice-President of Liberia then.

  • And did they fight anywhere else other than in this battle that you described with the LURD?

  • They fought - they fought in Lofa, but what I heard - it was rumoured - someone told me that it was Benjamin himself who said, "You people should not worry. Do not be worried. If LURD was coming from Guinea to attack our area like in Voinjama they will be cut off by our brothers from Sierra Leone". He did not say RUF when he was telling us. He said, "Our brothers from Sierra Leone will be there and they will be cut off by them".

  • And when was that roughly when he was telling you that?

  • He was telling me that in 2003. It was a recent conversation - it was a recent conversation in 2003.

  • Mr Rapp, the witness mentioned two groups LURD and MODEL I think. What was MODEL and how do you spell it?

  • You heard the judge's comment. Let me pose a question. What was MODEL and how do you spell MODEL?

  • MODEL was a group that grew out of ULIMO-K. They were from the Krahn ethnic group. They were backed by MODEL. M-U-D-E-L, MODEL. M-U-R-D-E-L or M-U-D-L. It can be spelled in two ways.

  • Now you indicated that this group of RUF under Bockarie was fighting the RUF. Were they also involved - or they were in the RUF, they were fighting LURD. Were they also involved against MODEL?

  • Yes, they were fighting against MODEL in Lofa. MODEL was coming in from Voinjama backing - how do they call it? Backing from Guinea. In fact they were coming from Guinea on to Voinjama and they were trying to come to Foya where we had a bigger base where our men were posted. They had been pushed back by the RUF forces. From what Benjamin said, I was not there, he said, "Our brothers, the RUF forces, will have to push them back. Our brothers are there to push them back".

  • Do you know where they pushed them back to?

  • Back to Sierra Leone. That's what he said. We all knew that they were from Sierra Leone.

  • Did this Bockarie group go into any other country?

  • I only knew that they were coming from out of Cote d'Ivoire. I didn't know when they went to Cote d'Ivoire, but I saw them coming from out of Cote d'Ivoire into Liberia for the last time.

  • And when did you see them coming out of Cote d'Ivoire?

  • That was in May. It was in May, only May. They came through Loguatuo, entry point to Cote d'Ivoire. They came into Ganta and on to Saclepea where they were in a very large group.

    Usually I go to my town to spend weekends. As Vice-President, when I am taking a break off, or time off, I go to my home, which is Toweh Town, Nimba County. On one occasion I was going home when there was a big convoy of LURD - of RUF fighters entering the country and people were all panicky because they were bringing arms, ammunition, trucks, cars. The civilians in Ganta said, "Well, where are these boys coming from? It is a very big group and they were fighting people." They did not bother anyone. They went and left towards my home town and they based in Saclepea. When I got to Saclepea I went to the old school building where they were. They brought women, they brought children from Cote d'Ivoire, they brought arms and ammunition and cars. At one point they were fighting over a car, so I went to where they were. I didn't see Sam Bockarie there, but I saw other commanders who came with them. I said, "Where are you people based and what are you doing here?" They said they were coming from - there was a conflict with their group in Cote d'Ivoire and, "We had to escape to come to Liberia with our properties", their cars, women, their children and they were all at the school building in Saclepea.

  • I don't know if we have the spelling of Saclepea. How is that spelt?

  • S-A-C-L-E-P-E-A, Saclepea.

  • Okay, I think we have got S-A-C-L-E-P-E-A.

  • And you said this was in May. May of what year?

  • And do you know --

  • Do you know where they went after that?

  • They were there helping to fight the group in Ganta. They were there for quite a long time. On what I saw earlier or later, what I saw was I was on my way to my home again on another weekend when I discovered the men were still on the road, but the fighting in Ganta - by the time we got to Ganta we had to bypass Ganta because there was fighting going on. When I took the back road where we used the pass and came on to Cocopa, Roberts plantation, that was when I saw the manager of that plantation, called Harrison Karnwea.

  • Okay, we have a couple of locations there. You said you went to a Cocopa plantation. What type of plantation was that?

  • That was a Roberts plantation called Cocopa plantation.

  • Is that C-O-C-O-P-A?

  • And you mentioned there was an individual at the plantation called Harrison Karnwea.

  • Karnwea, the manager of the farm, of the plantation.

  • Is that K-A-R-N-W-E-A?

  • How do you know Harrison Karnwea?

  • Harrison had been my old time friend. He had been my friend for quite a very, very long time and we are of the same ethnic group.

  • Before we leave the Sierra Leoneans, you talked about Bockarie staying at the Nigerian House near the German embassy in Monrovia at one point.

  • Do you know where he stayed after that?

  • From there, as time went by, in 2002 that was the time I discovered that they had come through Cote d'Ivoire and he has come along with his group and they were based at this plantation. That was where he stayed: Harrison Karnwea's house in Cocopa.

  • And do you know how long he stayed at this house in Cocopa?

  • No, I wouldn't say. I wouldn't say exactly how long, but that was where he was based. The men were staying in Saclepea because he had a very large group. The group was in Saclepea with their wives and children. When they leave Saclepea they go to help to fight in Ganta.

  • Again, because I know we are going back and forth in dates, this battle that was going on in Ganta, who were they fighting in Ganta?

  • They were fighting LURD in Ganta. LURD was attacking Ganta and trying to control Ganta in order to stay and base there. We too were trying, as a government, to push them out of Ganta into Guinea and LURD was assisting us to do that.

  • LURD was assisting you to fight the LURD? I mean who was assisting you to fight the LURD?

  • RUF. Bockarie's group was fighting us from Sierra Leone.

  • Well, you talk about pushing them back into Guinea. Did RUF --

  • Mr Rapp, you had better get this evidence sorted out. The witness has replied, "The RUF were fighting us from Sierra Leone." Was that the evidence?

  • Let's be clear here, witness. On what side was the RUF fighting?

  • RUF was not fighting us, sorry, judge. RUF was fighting, assisting us to fight LURD to go back into Guinea from two fronts. The first front the fighting was was in Voinjama. Voinjama LURD would come and attack. The LURD would come and attack to push us out of Voinjama. RUF will come from out of Guinea to assist us to push them back into Guinea.

  • Okay, Voinjama I think we have that several times.

  • Yes, Voinjama fighting was a separate fight. Voinjama when they discovered - when RUF is coming out of Sierra Leone, to assist us push LURD, is a different occasion. Then the occasion with LURD, that time LURD had not come out of Cote d'Ivoire to enter. They later entered into Liberia, it was in May 2000. I mean that is 2002. That was when they entered through Cote d'Ivoire to assist us with the Ganta war. That is what I am trying to say. They are two separate times. They were always assisting us from out of Sierra Leone.

  • And just to be clear, you said push LURD back into Guinea. Did the RUF go into Guinea?

  • No, they were assisting us to push them. We did not go to Guinea because it was not possible. They will assist us to push - delay them from taking big cities like Voinjama and Ganta.

  • Okay. Let's go on to your vice-presidency and your official role. As Vice-President did you take any official trips on behalf of your government?

  • Yes, to my knowledge I went to - I went to South Africa to represent the government when there was the Francophone conference. They wanted President Taylor to attend. He couldn't go because there were frequent attacks from LURD and MODEL, so he could not go, so he asked that I go to represent him in South Africa. Then there was another occasion when I had to go to Nigeria to represent Liberia at the inauguration of Obasanjo in Nigeria and I will recollect later.

  • Did you make any official visits to countries that adjoined Liberia?

  • Yes, when these visits happened I was then the President. It was not under his administration.

  • Well, as a Vice-President did you make any visit to Sierra Leone?

  • Yes, I went to Sierra Leone. He had asked that I go to Sierra Leone to take along a communication from him to President Tejan Kabbah of Sierra Leone, which I did.

  • And what was that communication?

  • Well, there was an explanation that he was involved with the war in Sierra Leone, that he was not, that he was a member of - as a member of the Mano River basin he would not attack his neighbour. A lot of explanations to clarify things to President Tejan Kabbah. Taylor wanted to clarify to President Tejan Kabbah, so I took the communication. I was head of a delegation that went. I was not alone. The defence minister was there and the advisor of national security was also with me. We went to Sierra Leone, but I headed the delegation.

  • You were delivering this message that you just described to us. Do you know what that message was in response to, if anything?

  • Well, I did not take the response with me. I was asked too many questions by the press, my involvement, my country's involvement with the war in Sierra Leone, whether we were harbouring Mosquito. A lot of questions came up from the press. What I did was to tell them that they did all that, but there was no response. He received a letter that and I should tell his brother thanks.

  • Well, I think you just told us that he was saying, "We are not involved in attacking our fellow country in the Mano River region." Was that a response to something that you were delivering?

  • The response to what? The accusation from all the Sierra Leoneans, from newspapers, from everywhere. The accusation was so large that people would talk about it all over the place: Mosquito being in Liberia, that Liberia is backing the war in Sierra Leone. That was what he was trying to refute: That he was not. That was what the letter said.

  • And whom did you meet in Sierra Leone?

  • I met President Tejan Kabbah first and then I went on to - with his permission I went in to see - because there was a lot of talking that he denied. He instructed me - President Taylor did not instruct me to do, but I went to see the amputees, their condition, to make sure that it actually happened to the people of Sierra Leone. I went to the amputees camp, I saw them, I greeted them. I said in general, "I am not trying to preach at the people of Liberia, but you allege saying that we are killing your people. We are not in court, but I am sorry for what happened to you. This is war. If there was something, I don't think we were fully responsible. This is the money from my own pocket." I saw some people they were very, very sorrowful. They had both hands amputated, their legs. I saw a fat woman in a condition, it almost brought tears to my eyes. I said, "Sorry, why must this thing happen? This is a high degree of cruelty." I spoke to her, I rubbed her back and I gave them some money. That was what I did in Sierra Leone.

  • I just want to be precise. What did you say about Liberians in Sierra Leone, or what did you say on behalf of your country?

  • I said I was sorry, I was sorry. I said, "This is an accusation. If this happened I am very, very sorry." I couldn't say yes at the time, that Liberians were killing Sierra Leoneans. I said I was sorry for the condition - I was sorry for the condition of those people, so I had to give them some money on my own. It was not from the Government of Liberia. I told them that.

  • Well, why couldn't you say yes, it had been Liberia?

  • No, at that time it was not possible for me to say. Then I will be judging my President, I will be judging myself. So what I said was that I was sorry for what was happening so I gave them some money and I said, "Well, look, I am sorry, if this is the case I am sorry, we will talk at a later date", but the President had sent to me already that he was not involved with the war in Sierra Leone. I mentioned the letter that was given to Tejan Kabbah that I brought.

  • Now you used this expression there was a lot of talking that he denied. What did you mean by "a lot of talking"?

  • People said we have Sam Bockarie in Liberia, we have men in Sierra Leone fighting and I was - I was hit hard by the press of Sierra Leone. They had twisted me everywhere to find facts that we were backing the war in Sierra Leone and I said, "No, I don't know anything about that".