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

  • Mr Kabbah, yesterday when we adjourned I was asking you about diamonds and can I once again, please, invite your attention to page 21 behind divider 1 in the bundle, please. Now, let us just remind ourselves where we got to yesterday. We were looking at the last two paragraphs on that page, which refer to a visit by Eddie Kanneh accompanied by two white men. Now if we take things up at the last paragraph it reads as follows, doesn't it, "The other time Kabbah saw these two white guys they were with Eddie Kanneh"? Now bearing in mind that you had earlier said in the previous paragraph that you'd seen these men once with Sam Bockarie in September/October 1999, I take it they'd come back again at a later date. Is that right?

  • Yes, the two white men who came to Sam Bockarie, they came back later.

  • And they came back after Sam Bockarie had gone to Monrovia?

  • Yes.

  • Because Issa Sesay was in charge by the time they returned?

  • And you say there:

    "The other time Kabbah saw these two white guys they were with Eddie Kanneh, Issa Sesay and Zigzag Marzah and that would have been around March 2000. Kabbah saw them in 'Small Lebanon' at Issa Sesay's house."

    Pause there. Small Lebanon is in Koidu Town, isn't it?

  • "Kabbah saw a large number of diamonds, enough to fill a large coffee cup, given by Issa Sesay to Eddie Kanneh. From there Eddie Kanneh and the two white guys went back to Liberia."

    Now this:

    "Kabbah thinks the two white men went to France but they were Lebanese or Lebanese-looking people who spoke Krio. Kabbah says one was called 'Michel'. Kabbah heard that these guys were in Freetown previously but after the AFRC coup they fled to France."

    So the Lebanese men spoke Krio, did they?

  • Yes.

  • And it was quite clear to you that at some stage they must have lived in Sierra Leone?

  • And indeed you heard that they were based in Freetown, didn't you?

  • And had they not travelled from Freetown rather than from Monrovia?

  • It was from Monrovia, because during that time the road was blocked and people had not been coming towards that end.

  • Which road was blocked?

  • The road from Freetown - the road from Freetown was not the one that they used. They used the Liberian road and they came through Kailahun, because when they came to the border they called.

  • Yes, but which road was blocked?

  • The one that came from Freetown towards Kono. It was a road that the civilians would not use. It was not the route that they took.

  • Can I just develop that a little further. So consequently at this time in the year 2000 - no, let me start again. From when had that road been blocked?

  • The road to come to Kono was a road which was - which was not a free road which was accessible to transport vehicles. The time that the road was blocked I cannot recall, but those ones passed through Kailahun and they came to Kono. They did not come from Freetown.

  • Yes, but can you help me as to when it was blocked? You can't?

  • I cannot help you with that now. I cannot help you.

  • The reason I'm asking is this. If I were a Lebanese diamond dealer based in Freetown at that time, if I wanted to get to the diamond bearing region in Kono I would have to travel through Liberia, wouldn't I?

  • Yes, you wouldn't travel to Liberia, but those men during the AFRC coup what I understood was they said they ran away from the country. They said they had already run away from Freetown.

  • And do you know where they'd run to?

  • When they came they said that they were in France.

  • But in any event for them to travel from France to Kono logistically they'd have to travel through Liberia, wouldn't they?

  • Yes, they came through Liberia because they came with Zigzag Marzah and Eddie Kanneh who were in Monrovia. They were not in Freetown.

  • So just so that we're clear what we're saying, they may have come through Liberia, but it doesn't mean that they came from Liberia. Do you follow me?

  • Yes.

  • And would that be a fair way of putting it?

  • What I knew was that they were not based in Liberia.

  • Thank you. And you knew them to be diamond dealers, didn't you?

  • What I knew about them was that they said that they were friends of Sam Bockarie. That was the first time that they came. When they came, they said that they were friends of Sam Bockarie.

  • One final matter in relation to diamonds, and for this can I invite your attention, please, to an interview conducted with you on 17 and 18 June 2008 which you will find behind divider 4. Can I invite your attention, please, to page 8 of that document.

  • Counsel, just to clarify, you said behind divider 4, but the 17 and 18 June interview is behind divider 5. I just want to make sure I'm on the right interview.

  • Sorry, my fault. I saw the number 17 behind divider 4 and was misled. It's behind divider 5. Thank you, Mr Santora:

  • And can we go to page 8 of that document, please, and I'm looking at that second paragraph numbered 29. Now in this interview conducted in June of this year you told Mr Alain Werner, an attorney attached to the Office of the Prosecution, this:

    "The only time that the witness is sure that the civilians were forced to mine was in 1998 when fighting was going on in Kono District. The witness cannot say for sure whether civilians were forced to mine in 1999. From 2000 onwards the civilians who were mining the diamonds were doing it voluntarily because they hoped somehow to get diamonds from the piles even though Peleto used to take diamonds from them if the diamonds were seen by the RUF in the piles of the civilians."

    Is that true?

  • Because in that period after 2000 after Sam Bockarie left when you moved to Kono, as you tell us, even you as a radio operator were engaged in mining, weren't you?

  • Yes, my boys had been mining.

  • When you say your boys, what do you mean?

  • I had civilians who were with me whom I had been feeding, so they were the ones that I'm referring to.

  • And did your fellow radio operators also have civilians mining for them?

  • Everybody had somebody, you know, to mine for them.

  • And during this period that we're talking about from about 2000 onwards, it would be fair to say, wouldn't it, that rather than the RUF controlling the mining as such there was something of a free for all in Kono, would you agree?

  • I wouldn't agree with that, because the mining it was a controlled mining. Any area wherein mining was going on there was a mining commander that was in charge, who was an RUF representative, who would make sure that any gravel that was extracted there it must be shared for those that had been working and the one for the RUF. So I had not seen an area in which people had been mining freely, that when you wanted to mine you would just mine, because you had sections wherein every commander was asked to oversee.

  • But would it be fair to say that during that period anyone who wanted to engage in mining could do so even though it was supervised in some way by the RUF?

  • Yes, whosoever wanted to mine. Whosoever wanted to mine could mine.

  • Thank you. Now let's move on to another topic, please, and it's the peace process in Abidjan. Would you agree with me, Mr Kabbah, that two things destroyed the prospect for peace in 1996. Firstly the decision to hold elections before peace, would you agree with that?

  • Did you say the decision that we took, which the RUF took, to say that peace before election or election before peace? Ask that question again.

  • Yes, the reason why the peace process came - the decision by the RUF, was it not, was that there needed to be peace before there could be elections?

  • Yes, the time that we went that was on negotiation. It was not even the time that we --

  • Your Honours, would the witness be asked to go slow.

  • Mr Witness, please pause. The interpreter finds that you're speaking too quickly and you must remember the interpreters and that people are writing your answers. Please pick up your answer where you said, "It was not even the time that we --" and continue from there and speak a little slower, please.

  • It was not the time that we went to the first negotiation. That was the negotiation that we went to, to negotiate for peace. The peace talks, it was Pa Sankoh that went there. When we went the option that he gave us was that he said we were to say peace before elections and, when they did not accept that, so he said we were to come back.

  • Now the reason why the RUF's position was peace before the elections was very simple, wasn't it? At that time the RUF was holed up in the bush and had no prospects of being able to campaign effectively in an election, would you agree?

  • At that time I wouldn't agree with that because you wouldn't say that. We were in the bush, but we still had been defending ourselves.

  • Yes, but what I mean is you needed to have access to the whole country as a political party if you were to engage in elections, didn't you?

  • Yes.

  • And in order for you to participate throughout the nation of Sierra Leone there would need to be peace first, wouldn't there?

  • Which is why Sankoh said "Peace before elections"?

  • And the second reason why the prospect of peace in Abidjan was destroyed was because of Kamajor attacks upon RUF positions. That's right, isn't it?

  • And if we look behind divider 1, please, at page 11, if we look at the second paragraph on that page in February 2007 you told the investigators this:

    "While Foday Sankoh was in Abidjan for the talks which led to the signing of the Abidjan Peace Accord in November 1996, the Kamajors launched an attack on Camp Zogoda, which was the then RUF headquarters, and other areas under RUF control. Kabbah says it was the Kamajor attacks which occurred up to the AFRC coup, which destroyed the chance for peace at that time."

    Is that true?

  • Yes.

  • Because whilst the RUF were in Abidjan trying to agree a peace deal the Kamajors effectively took the RUF by surprise, didn't they?

  • Yes.

  • And they scored a devastating victory against the RUF, particularly at Camp Zogoda, didn't they?

  • Many RUF fighters were killed?

  • And it came as a shock to the RUF, didn't it?

  • Now, please look behind divider 2. This is what you say at paragraph 16 on page 5:

    "CO Mohamed Tarawalli was the senior man in charge at that time" - you're talking about at the time of the Abidjan peace talks - "that Foday Sankoh went to Abidjan. The witness thinks that the agreement might have been signed when Zogoda was put in disarray. Foday Sankoh had heard that Zogoda was going to be hit and relayed a message to Tarawalli with this information. Tarawalli was slow to react and the Kamajors won a major victory. Many RUF soldiers died and very few reached Kailahun. Mohamed Tarawalli later went missing and that was serious for the RUF."

    Again, do you recall saying that to the investigators?

  • Yes.

  • And that was the truth, wasn't it?

  • So in summary, Mr Kabbah, would it be fair to say that in 1996 the RUF genuinely wanted peace?

  • And the prospects for peace were destroyed by the actions of people on the other side?

  • Repeat that question.

  • The prospects for peace were destroyed by, one, the activities of the Kamajors and, two, the decision to hold elections before peace, would you agree?

  • That particular year, yes.

  • Thank you. Let's move on to another topic now, shall we? I want to ask you about the civilians you saw killed in Kailahun. Which year was it?

  • That was after the retreat.

  • So it was in 1998 some time after February?

  • How long after February of that year?

  • When we lost Freetown as far as Daru, because when we lost Daru that was the final retreat. We only came and made a defensive in our own positions.

  • Now I am not seeking to justify the killing of those individuals, but I want to seek to find out the background to it. A moment ago we were talking about an attack by the Kamajors on Zogoda and other RUF positions in 1996, do you remember?

  • And the RUF were under constant attacks from the Kamajors up to the AFRC coup, weren't they?

  • As a result, there was a great deal of suspicion within the ranks of the RUF about anyone thought to be a Kamajor?

  • And the Kamajors were quite distinctive because many of them had these body markings?

  • Yes, I had said that. Yes.

  • Now during the course of that retreat, did the RUF come under attack from any Kamajors?

  • Yes, from - let me say from ECOMOG attack. Kamajor and the ECOMOGs were the ones that had been attacking RUF.

  • In fact you'd been constantly under attack from them, hadn't you?

  • And as a result there was a great deal of suspicion within the ranks of the RUF about anyone suspected of being a Kamajor. Would you agree?

  • And there was a suspicion at that time - bearing in mind that the RUF and the AFRC were retreating from Freetown in disarray, there was a concern that their ranks may have been infiltrated by Kamajors, wasn't there?

  • Yes.

  • Now those 60 civilians - and again I stress, Mr Kabbah, I am not seeking to justify anything - they were suspected of being Kamajors, weren't they?

  • Yes, they were suspected of being Kamajors.

  • Now, whose decision was it to kill them?

  • Did anybody order Sam Bockarie to do it?

  • No, it was because he was vexed. You see, when he was tired, at that time there were raids and he was so tired and so when he came he sat down.

  • Because Sam Bockarie could at times be quite an impetuous and angry man, couldn't he?

  • He wouldn't be angry easily - get angry easily, but when he was pushed to the corner he would become angry.

  • And often times he would take decisions in anger, wouldn't he?

  • And often times those decisions could be totally irrational?

  • One final matter on this topic. Why is it that you didn't mention this heinous event until September of this year?

  • Which events? Are you talking about the attack that they had been attacking our positions?

  • No, I'm talking about the killing of 60 unarmed civilians. Why did you not mention it until 6 September of this year?

  • It would be in my statement. It is in my statement. Ask me about that. Ask me about that now.

  • I know it's in your statement, but what I'm asking you is given that you had given several statements to the investigators over the years why did you wait until 6 September of this year, a couple of weeks ago, to mention it to the investigators for the first time?

  • It was not everything that happened in the RUF that I said. I myself my mind had not been keeping everything, but if at all like those documents that they brought, or the questions that you asked me, I had already forgotten about them. So if somebody were there, you know, to think about some other person else then he would think about him, but to say that I would be able to recall everything that happened in the war it would not be easy.

  • Look behind divider 6. We see a record of a short interview with you and this was the occasion when - and we see the date 6 September 2008. This was the occasion when you mentioned this for the first time. Mr Kabbah, let me ask you this. Did you fail to mention it earlier because you felt ashamed?

  • Ashamed that you were associated with Sam Bockarie who committed an act like that.

  • That man, he was the one that did this act. It was not I that did it. That would not reflect on me. It will reflect on him, so I was not ashamed. Some of these things which had been happening it was not everything I would be able to recall, but when this question was posed to me I straightaway - I straightaway told them that I was with him. In fact I would have said, "I was not there when this thing happened", if I did not want to give an answer to that, but when they asked, "Were you aware of that?", I said, "Yes". Then I said - I explained what happened. You see, I did not say that I was ashamed because I with him, no. You see, he did what he wanted to and it was not I that did it.

  • So who do you blame for that act in Kailahun by the roundabout?

  • Let's move on to another topic, shall we? Turn behind divider 1. Behind divider 1, page 4. I want to look at the second to last paragraph on that page:

    "Kabbah recalls General Dopoe Menkarzon bringing 13 Beretta rifles to Pendembu in 1991. Kabbah says that the RUF used to capture enough arms from the government forces that eventually they did not need to get arms from Liberia or elsewhere. However Kabbah is aware of ammunition coming in from Liberia on many occasions. Kabbah says Foday Sankoh used to go to Monrovia and come back with ammunition and food. Sam Bockarie also used to go and bring ammunition back from Liberia."

    Pause there. Is that the truth?

  • Yes.

  • And let's go now to page 20, please, the second paragraph on that page:

    "During that period of 1998 and 1999, Kabbah says that he never saw arms being shipped from Liberia. Kabbah says by that time the RUF had enough weapons. For example, Kabbah recalls numerous AK-47 rifles captured by the RUF after the big offensive of late 1998 and early 1999 from Guinean troops who were stationed in Kambia. The RUF stored these rifles in Kailahun and did not use them until they fought the Donso in late 2000 near the Guinea border."

    Is that true?

  • Yes.

  • So between 1998 and 1999 no arms were shipped from Liberia?

  • No arms came, but we used to get ammunitions there. Arms are different from ammunition.

  • I will come to the ammunition in a moment, but in 1998 to 1999 no arms from Liberia. That's your evidence, is it?

  • And it's the truth, is it?

  • You can state that fact quite confidently, can you?

  • Yes.

  • The reason why I want you to be sure about this is we appreciate of course, don't we, that one of the most gruesome events of the Sierra Leonean civil war was what happened on 6 January 1999, so within the period you're telling us about now no arms came from Liberia. That's right, isn't it?

  • Correct. We did not get any arms from Liberia.

  • The second point is this. The attack on Kambia, who mounted that attack?

  • The Kambia attack, it was Superman and the SLA that were there in the north.

  • And can you give me a date for that? It was some time towards the back end of 1998, wasn't it?

  • That event took place during the same attack that I have been talking about when the ECOMOG were based and the capture of Kono and subsequently they went to all the other areas.

  • And the position is this, isn't it? A huge amount of arms and ammunition were captured in Kambia, weren't they?

  • Were Gullit and SAJ Musa also involved in that attack on Kambia?

  • All of them were there. That was the time that all of them were in the north.

  • And it was after that attack on Kambia when that large amount of arms were captured - it was after that that that same group launched the attack on Freetown, wasn't it?

  • Using the arms they had captured in Kambia?

  • That area, you see, I will talk a little about it. The arms that were captured in Kambia, they took arms to Kailahun which were captured from Kambia. I do not know whether all of them were sent because I was not there, so just the captured arms, the ones that they would send, they were the ones that we would see.

  • I know about that and let's just digress for a moment and deal with the point that you make. Let's go behind divider 2, shall we? At page 5, paragraph 19:

    "The witness advised that the AK-47s captured by the RUF during the late 1998 offensive, were stored in his home in Yandowahun, two miles from Kailahun. The weapons were all brand new."

    Is that true?

  • Yes.

  • And the weapons, those were the weapons captured at Kambia, weren't they?

  • Yes.

  • And so many had been captured that some were actually put into storage because they were not needed?

  • That was what they said in Kailahun, the ones that they took and stored in my own village. You see, where I was based, if they had any others --

  • Your Honours, would the witness be instructed to repeat the last segment of his testimony.

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter asks that you repeat the last part of your answer. Please pick up where you said, "You see, where I was based, if they had any others --" and continue from there.

  • If they had any other arms that were left with them in Kambia, well, I was not aware of that. The ones that were sent to Kailahun, those were the ones that they took to Yandowahun village.

  • Do I need to have a spelling for the name of the village, Madam President?

  • I don't recall hearing it before and it's in the bundle so perhaps it could be spelt in, Mr Griffiths, please.

  • It's spelt from the interview notes as Y-A-N-D-O-W-A-H-U-N:

  • Now, I'm still talking about the capture of these arms from the Guineans in Kambia. The situation is this, isn't it, Mr Kabbah? That so many arms and ammunition were captured that SAJ Musa decided to blow up some of them because they couldn't be carried?

  • It could be true, because I did not see that and that operation to which they went they did not ask for ammunition from anybody. They went to that operation after that mission and so it might be true, but I wouldn't clearly say that that was what happened because I was not in the scene.

  • "They went to that operation ...", which operation?

  • The Freetown attack. That's what I'm talking about.

  • So they went on the Freetown attack after the attack on Kambia. That's right, isn't it?

  • And you're aware, aren't you, that it was when SAJ Musa was blowing up the arms that they couldn't carry that unknown to him there were some 188 millimetre mortars amongst the weapons and the explosion was larger than he thought and he died as a result of that explosion? You know that, don't you?

  • No. The story that I knew about SAJ Musa's death was that they said when they captured Benguema he was by a house, the house was launched upon and it was in there that he died because they said it was an arm - ammunition dump. It was not in Kambia, the capture that they captured Kambia that he died. They said it was in that ammunition dump that he died.

  • But it was as a result of an explosion that he died, wasn't it?

  • Yes, it was an explosion. They said it was a rocket that exploded which killed him.

  • And it was after SAJ Musa died that Gullit took over the invasion of Freetown. That's right, isn't it?

  • I'll come back to the invasion of Freetown in a moment. So the bottom line is that group who invaded Freetown, led initially by SAJ Musa and later by Gullit, had captured a large quantity of arms in Kambia and later they captured further arms in Benguema, didn't they?

  • Yes, they used to capture ammunitions.

  • And it was then after they had captured those two quantities of ammunition that they went on to attack Freetown?

  • Mr Griffiths, I think you and the witness are mixing the words "ammunition" and "arms".

  • It was after they had captured a large quantity of arms and ammunition in Kambia and again captured a further quantity in Benguema that they launched the attack on Freetown. That's right, isn't it?

  • You would be correct, because if somebody had ammunition it was meant to fight with it.

  • I now want to remind you, please, of something you told us - let me find the reference first - on Friday last week. What you told us was this. It's page 16149 of the transcript for the assistance of my learned friends. You told us this:

    "The struggle had reached a point when these bits and pieces of ammunition that we were getting from Liberia was dwindling because the area of the struggle had become large and, you know, it is ammunition that fights war. So when Sam Bockarie returned it was at that time that he spoke about that, that he had discussed that with Charles Taylor that we should try and get Kono and when we would have taken Kono we would get ammunition because when we get Kono we will get diamonds and it will help us to get ammunition. That was the discussion, the retaking of Kono so that we can mine and get enough ammunition, because the bits and pieces that he's been giving us used to help us."

    And then again at page 151 at line 14 you were asked to clarify "because the bits and pieces that he's been giving us used to help us", and you went on to say that it was from Charles Taylor.

    Now let's put to one side for the minute the reference to Bockarie coming back and saying that he'd had a discussion with Charles Taylor about taking Kono, because you will recall that yesterday we dealt with what you said about that in February 2007. What I want you to concentrate on is that reference to bits and pieces, okay? Do you follow me?

  • Yes.

  • Now, what did you mean when you used that phrase "bits and pieces"?

  • The bits and pieces that I was referring to, before we attacked Kono - that was a long time ago - we used to have enemy attacks, and so Jungle when he was coming from Monrovia at times he would come with two or three boxes. At that time he came he would come with that. That is what I meant by bits and pieces.

  • So what you're saying is - no, let me start again. Would it be fair to say that between about 1992 and 1998 for the most part the RUF were surviving on bits and pieces of ammunition, as you describe it?

  • 1992? I am not referring to that. At that time - at that time RUF had been cut off. After the retreat from Freetown, when ECOMOG had driven AFRC junta from power when we came to Buedu that's what I'm referring to. From that time up to when Sam Bockarie went and came with that ammunition which was captured in Kono from Monrovia, before he went and came with that ammunition we used to have two or three boxes from Liberia. That is what I am still referring to.

  • So we're talking about then - let's put this together, because this is a point of some significance. From 1992 up until about 1997, would you agree the RUF were cut off from Liberia because of the activities of ULIMO?

  • Yes, I had said that long ago.

  • I'm just putting things sequentially. Once the border opened up until about late 1998 - so from about '97 to '98 - the RUF were surviving on these bits and pieces, two or three boxes, is that right?

  • Yes, that was what we used to take to defend our positions until when we were able to go to that mission.

  • And just so that we understand the context of these bits and pieces, somebody like Jungle would arrive in Buedu with a pick-up truck with two or three boxes of AK-47 ammunition in the back, is that right?

  • Apart from Jungle, did anybody else come with two or three boxes in the back of a jeep or a pick-up?

  • I was aware of Jungle when he used to come.

  • You were aware of nobody else?

  • Does the name Varmuyan Sherif mean anything to you?

  • Varmuyan Sherif I used to hear about that, but I did not know him.

  • He was a ULIMO general, wasn't he?

  • Yes, it's possible. I used to hear about the name, but I never knew him.

  • Did you ever see him in Buedu?

  • I did not see him. The person that was a ULIMO that I knew was Keita.

  • Now, let's go back to these two or three boxes on the back of a pick-up. Throughout that period that was the kind of supplies you were getting, wasn't it? Two or three boxes, bits and pieces?

  • Often times you had to clean some of the ammunition with diesel, didn't you?

  • The one that Jungle used to bring?

  • No, because they were in boxes when he used to come with them.

  • During that period, did you ever receive ammunition which you had to clean with diesel before you could use it?

  • Yes, that was - it was during the time that ULIMO was at the border when we used to go to the Koindu border. That was the time.

  • Exactly, because during that time you would buy ammunition from ULIMO which had been buried by them during the disarmament process in Liberia and before you could use that ammunition, because it had been in the ground, you had to clean it with diesel, didn't you?

  • Yes, we used to clean it.

  • And there was quite a trade going on between ULIMO and the RUF in bits and pieces of ammunition, wasn't there?

  • Yes.

  • And there was also such a trade going on with Guinea for ammunition, wasn't there?

  • Yes, at that time when we had been talking about the Guinea ULIMO business, that was the time when the junta had not yet taken power. That was in the '96. At that time ULIMO was on the border.

  • And so that we can put this in context could I invite your attention behind divider 2 to page 8, paragraph 37, please:

    "The witness also learned of events or happenings from conversation heard while in the presence of either Sam Bockarie or Issa Sesay. There was nothing hidden in conversations relating to weapons or ammunition being delivered for the RUF coming from different countries."

    Which different countries, plural note?

  • Mr Witness, did you understand the question?

  • I don't understand the question.

  • Please put the question again.

  • From which countries, plural, were the RUF receiving arms and ammunition?

  • RUF had not been getting arms and ammunition from any other country except from Liberia and the ones that we had been buying from the Guinea border, but to say that the RUF went and bought ammunition from another country I did not see that with my own eyes.

  • So help me, please. Why in this interview in October of 2007 were you saying countries plural? Why?

  • Liberia and Guinea, are they not countries?

  • So those were the two countries you were talking about?

  • Yes, they are the two countries.

  • What about Burkina Faso?

  • Even if to my own knowledge ammunition came from Burkina Faso, except if it landed in Liberia, but to say that I saw with my own eye ammunition coming from Burkina Faso straight to Sierra Leone to the RUF, from the oath that I have taken I had never seen that with my owned naked eyes except if it came and landed in Liberia and they went for it, but to say that I saw that with my own eyes, no.

  • So if I understand what you're saying, arms did come from Burkina Faso but they came through Liberia. Is that what you're saying?

  • Objection.

  • What is the objection?

  • I believe counsel was characterising what the witness said and I believe he mischaracterised what the witness just said in terms of arms coming; hypothetically if they had come from Burkina Faso and how they would have come. Counsel said, "I believe what you are saying ..."

  • "If I understand what you are saying ..." Look at the transcript.

  • It says, "Arms did come from Burkina Faso", and the witness has said, "Even if to my knowledge ..."

  • Right. The witness was presenting a hypothetical.

  • There's a subtlety in it, Mr Griffiths. You are entitled to put the question, but he did put it in a - he did say "if to my knowledge".

  • So let me to appease those opposite ask it differently:

  • Are you aware of arms coming from Burkina Faso through Liberia?

  • Are you aware of any connection between the RUF and Burkina Faso for the obtaining of arms in 1998?

  • Very well. We will come back to that in a moment, but before we come back to that let me ask you this. Those bits and pieces of arms and those arms that the RUF were purchasing from ULIMO and the Guinea border, would it be fair to say that they may have come from Liberia but you can't say that they came from Charles Taylor?

  • The ones that we used to buy from - in Guinea were from the Guinean troops. The one that we bought from ULIMO were from the ULIMO troops. The one that Jungle used to come with was from Charles Taylor.

  • But that is the same Jungle who had effectively become a member of the RUF, yes?

  • It was the same Jungle.

  • So we're talking about that hybrid individual of Liberian origin but RUF member who consequently could move freely between the two countries, yes?

  • Jungle was not an RUF member. He stayed with the RUF. He was not an RUF member. He was not trained by the RUF. He was trained by the NPFL. Although he stayed with the RUF, but he was not an RUF. Even for us in the RUF like the SLA when they joined us never did we call them RUF. We called them SLAs.

  • You miss my point and so I'll come to it directly. How do you know that Jungle wasn't purchasing those arms in Liberia independent of Charles Taylor and bringing them to the RUF because of his affiliations to the RUF? How do you know that wasn't the case?

  • I will take my time. Jungle, after the border was opened up and he had been with the RUF, it was he and Sam Bockarie who used to travel to go to Charles Taylor. This was not something which the RUF and the NPFL - it wasn't a secret to them. They were both brothers and sisters. And the ammunition that I'm still emphasising on, I don't think there was an arms store in Liberia where arms were sold in Liberia. There was no ammunition dump there. And always when Jungle came he said he came from Charles Taylor from the mansion and when Mosquito sent him he would send him to Charles Taylor. I don't think up to this time if there is an arms store in Liberia wherein arms are sold.

  • But there were groups in Liberia like ULIMO, and indeed the NPFL, from whom arms could be bought. That's the truth, isn't it?

  • Well if you say he used to buy them from them that's your own opinion, but to what I know he said it was from Charles Taylor and when he came that was the salute report he gave and he told us that he went to Charles Taylor.

  • Were you aware that - this period that you're talking about when Jungle is going backwards and forwards to Liberia, are you aware it was the period of disarmament in Liberia and not all arms were handed over to ECOMOG and so there were arms going free for purchase? Do you follow me?

  • I am understanding what you are saying.

  • Because bear in mind the period of disarmament in Liberia is 1997 to 1998 and this is precisely the period when Jungle is going backwards and forwards bringing back bits and pieces, two or three boxes at a time. So I'm asking you again how do you know Jungle wasn't purchasing them from NPFL soldiers who would rather make a profit than hand the arms and ammunition over to ECOMOG? How do you know?

  • What I know, and the conversation that used to take place between Sam Bockarie and Jungle when he came, he was not sending him to ULIMO, to ECOMOG. He sent him to Charles Taylor. This was not in my absence. It happened in my presence not once, or twice. At any time we bought arms from ULIMO I have stated so. From Guinea I have also said so. If I had said something that we were doing differently in a different way in which Charles Taylor was not involved, I wouldn't come and say here something different that this person came from Liberia. I wouldn't say that at all.

  • Mr Griffiths, just to go back a step before I lose it, when the witness was answering a previous question he said that, "He gave us that. That's what he said in his salute report". There had been a reference to two individuals and I don't know who gave the salute report. Let me get it for you before it disappears.

  • Page 31, line 6.

  • Yes, that's correct. No, it's earlier than that. It's at page 31 in my font, line 3, "... but to what I know he said it was from Charles Taylor and when he came back there was a salute report he gave." In the preceding questions two individuals are named, one is Mosquito and the other is Jungle, and so it's not clear to me who gave this salute report and who it was given to.

  • Now you mentioned earlier, witness, that a matter was mentioned in a salute report. Who mentioned that matter in the salute report?

  • I said that when Jungle used to come, when he gave - he used to give salute report to Sam Bockarie after he came from Monrovia from the mansion.

  • Thank you for that clarification. As I was forming a different impression, I'm grateful for it.

  • Are there any further clarifications, Madam President?

  • No, I would have intervened earlier, but you had already started your question.

  • Not at all. Not at all:

  • So would those salute reports be in writing, or would they be presented orally?

  • When he came he will present the salute report orally. He will say, "This was what the Pa said".

  • That's your account, very well. Now during that period in late 1998, you say before the attack on Kono, you saw the biggest consignment of ammunition, food and used clothing which the RUF had ever received. Is that right?

  • Yes.

  • And you tell us that it came in a ten tyre truck?

  • And you'd never seen such a large quantity of ammunition before?

  • Yes, we never had any hundred boxes of ammunition at a stretch.

  • And you never saw such a large consignment again?

  • Can you help me, please, with a date in late 1998 when you saw that large consignment?

  • I wouldn't be able to help you with that because I cannot recall but, with regard that ammunition, that was the ammunition that the RUF used to attack Kono, as far as Makeni and other areas.

  • We're talking about some time in October, November or December 1998, aren't we?

  • I said I wouldn't say the particular time. I would make reference to the event that occurred.

  • Nonetheless, it was before the attack on Kono?

  • Would you agree that it was before December 1998?

  • I'm still saying that the real time we attacked Kono I cannot say. I cannot recall.

  • Very well. Do you recall Sam Bockarie making a trip to Burkina Faso in November 1998?

  • Not a day. Never did Sam Bockarie tell me that he was travelling out. At any time he informed me that he was going to Liberia. If he made a trip to Burkina Faso, I was not aware. He only used to tell me that he would go to Liberia. Maybe he had - when he reached Liberia he may go, that would be a secret for him, but I don't know.

  • Do you not recall that Sam Bockarie in November 1998, accompanied by Ibrahim Bah and Eddie Kanneh, made a trip to Burkina Faso?

  • You do know who Ibrahim Bah is though, don't you?

  • Yes, I know Ibrahim Bah.

  • Look behind divider 1, please, and let's look at page 13. Could I have a moment, please?

  • Can we look behind divider 1, please, and look at page 13. In this interview conducted with you in February 2007 you were asked about a number of individuals and your knowledge of them, weren't you?

  • Repeat the question.

  • In the first interview conducted with you by Chuck and Chris you were asked whether you knew and had seen a number of individuals, weren't you?

  • Yes.

  • One of the individuals about whom you were asked was Ibrahim Bah. Look at page 13, about a third of the way down the page, "Ibrahim Bah" - put this on one side. Yes, perhaps we ought to flip back.

  • I have not seen the area yet.

  • It is a third of the way down the page. Do you see it?

  • "Kabbah heard of him and knows him as 'General Bah'. Kabbah believes he was a Gambian who was a close associate of Charles Taylor but Kabbah never saw him."

    Pause there. Was that the truth?

  • Yes.

  • Was it true that you had never seen Ibrahim Bah?

  • Ibrahim Bah, I saw him once when he came to Buedu. Once.

  • Can you understand the difference between "I never saw him" and "I saw him once"? Do you understand the difference between those two things?

  • Both of them can't be true, can they?

  • So, help us. Why did you say there that you'd never seen him?

  • But you had seen him, hadn't you?

  • Yes, I saw him once in Buedu. The time we had already retreated to Buedu he came there once. There was a Pa with us, Pa Francis. He came and said, "Your brother has come", and Pa Francis was my friend and he was a Gambian and he said, "My brother had come, Ibrahim Bah", and I don't know how he came to know him.

  • Now, what I'm going to suggest is that you saw Ibrahim Bah in 1998 when he came to Buedu and met with Sam Bockarie. That is right, isn't it?

  • Yes, it's correct. He came there. With regard the year I cannot say, '98 or '99 I cannot say, but he came to Buedu.

  • Repeat that for me, please. You can't say whether it's '98 or '99?

  • I said I cannot be too specific that it was in 1998 or '99, but he came there while we were in Buedu when Sam Bockarie was there.

  • Why is it that you can't be specific?

  • Fine. The years that those things had happened have lapsed. It had occurred about five or six years. If it were a book that you were reading every day you can recall things in there. If you had left reading that book so many years ago you could not recall everything. There were certain things I have read from books. These are things I cannot recall any more.

  • Help me. Why are you so uncertain now, yet in June of this year you were certain? Look behind divider 5 at page 3, paragraph 11, three lines into the paragraph. Well, let's start at the beginning:

    "As the witness previously stated Ibrahim Bah was a Gambian and a close associate of Charles Taylor. Bah had fought with the NPFL from the early days and he was a big man. Unlike what the witness stated in a previous statement, the witness remembers seeing Ibrahim Bah in Buedu once in 1998."

    Not maybe '98 or 1999, but in 1998. Why were you certain then, but so uncertain now?

  • What made me to explain events in this way, I have observed that from the time I started testifying some of the dates that I used to give may lead to confusion. It may not be the exact time the event took place, but if I base my explanation on an event I think that could help and so now I explain issues relating to events.

  • Very well. In any event, we've now got to the position when we know that in June of this year you recall that you had met Ibrahim Bah in 1998. Now when in October of 2007 you met with the investigators for the second time, do you recall them showing you a number of documents?

  • They showed to me some pictures, not documents.

  • Very well. Behind divider 2, please, interview of 8, 9 and 10 October. Let's go to page 9, bottom paragraph, "The witness was shown two photographs and documents as attached." Over the page, one of the documents shown to you bearing the ERN number 00015487:

    "Minutes of a forum RUF defence headquarters dated 2 December '98. The witness is familiar with the facts of the report. He did not attend the meeting but he was on the ground there at the time. The meeting was held at the Waterworks on the Dawa Road leading to Foya. A delegation had gone to" - note what you say here - "Monrovia and were returning to tell the instructions they had been given. The meeting talked about the future structure and deployment of the RUF/AFRC forces."

    Now, do you remember being shown that document?

  • I said I was aware of the pictures. They gave me a picture of Issa Sesay and Abu Keita. They presented to me a picture.

  • You see, I've got a solemn declaration here from an investigator who says that he showed you that document and you told them that you were aware of the contents of it. Are you denying now that you were shown that document?

  • I deny. I am denying that. They showed a picture to me. I saw pictures.

  • I would like this put up on the - you do remember Chris, your investigator, don't you?

  • Yes, I can still remember him.

  • Can we put up the first page of that on the screen, first of all, please. What does that say? Does it say "Solemn Declaration"? Does it say "Solemn Declaration"?

  • Yes.

  • Is it a solemn declaration being given by one Chris Morris?

  • That is what is written there.

  • Have a look, please, first of all at the date. What date does it say on that?

  • And the Chris Morris there is the Chris you'd been meeting since February 2007, is that right?

  • And did you know this Chris to be a liar?

  • I met him and he was an investigator. I don't know whether he was lying or not, but what I'm saying I saw pictures. I did not see documents.

  • Can we put the second page of that on the screen, please. At the top of that page does it say in effect that he showed you ERN 00015487? Does it say that?

  • Do you see a number in that first paragraph 00015487? Do you see it?

  • Yes, I have seen that.

  • And you appreciate that in this solemn declaration Chris Morris is saying he showed you that document. Are you still denying that you were shown it?

  • I said I saw the pictures. I did not see that particular document. I saw the picture. That was the time when Chris and Chuck Kolot initially met with me. I met --

  • The interpreter is sorry. Can the witness come again at the tail end of his testimony.

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter needs you to repeat the last part of your answer. Please repeat the last part.

  • I said it was only pictures that were shown to me and the pictures, the ones that I was able to identify there, were Issa and on the other picture I saw they asked me to identify the person on the picture and I said "Issa" and on Abu Keita they placed an "X" there. Those were the pictures I was aware of.

  • So did you ever say to Chris that you were familiar with the facts of the report and you knew what that report was talking about? Did you ever say that to Chris?

  • This is what I'm saying. I was not aware of any document that I told Chris that I knew what was in the document. From the statement that I've been - I gave I was aware of the two pictures, but the document, no. I was aware of the two pictures.

  • So Chris Morris is a liar then, is he?

  • Maybe he was a liar because he is human, but I wouldn't say. What I did I will accept, but what I didn't do I wouldn't accept that I did it.

  • Well if you didn't say that you knew about this document, Chris Morris must have lied about you, mustn't he?

  • Ah, yes.

  • So you're saying he's a liar, aren't you?

  • With regards that document, yes. I only knew of a picture.

  • Can I have the document back, please. What I suggest, Mr Kabbah, is this. I suggest - and it's not often that I'm taking up for investigators - that you're the liar, not Chris Morris. Do you follow me?

  • I heard what you've said.

  • Because I suggest that you did see that document and, you know what, I'm going to show it to you again. Could we have, please, the first exhibit in the bundle for this week which should be headed, "Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone Defence Headquarters Forum with the External Delegates led by the Chief Defence Staff" dated 2 December 1998 and bearing that same ERN number 00015487. This is a document served on us by the Prosecution in conjunction with this witness. Do you have it? Do your Honours have it?

  • I don't have it. Justice Sebutinde? I'm not sure. No, none of us have it.

  • Well, it was served on us with this witness.

  • It is possible the bundles came to us and for some reason we don't --

  • I wonder if I could hand up the document just to see whether your Honours are familiar with it?

  • I've just been clarified that there were no bundles. I am grateful to my learned sister.

  • Well, it was served on us with the witness and one can understand why given the contents of the statement which I've just shown him.

  • I have no doubt, Mr Griffiths, we will get it sorted out. I am sure it is simply an administrative matter and we can get copies.

  • I think P-63 was the document. It was actually a previous Prosecution exhibit.

  • Very well. Well, if it's a previous Prosecution exhibit, is that exhibit available please?

  • Your Honour, I can locate it in a moment, because I had no prior warning.

  • I'm sorry, it's my fault. I take full responsibility for the delay. I had assumed, Madam President, that as was normal practice a bundle of exhibits was served with the particular witness.

  • Just to clarify, this was not listed as a potential exhibit for this witness, I think that may be the confusing point, and so it was not distributed.

  • Thank you, Mr Santora. That clarifies it and I understand our Legal Officer is going to try and help us get - access a copy.

  • Yes. Can we first of all, please, put the first page of this exhibit - and it's exhibit, can I be reminded please, Mr Santora?

  • P-63. I'm most grateful to my learned friend:

  • Now this is the document which Mr Morris, the liar, claims that he showed to you. You will see it is dated 2 December 1998. Do you see that?

  • Now that I've shown it to you, do you recall being shown it in October 2007?

  • I am saying that I have never seen this particular document which is before me. I did not see this document. If I saw it before this time I would have said it. Nothing wrong with that.

  • But according to Morris he showed it you and you said you knew about this meeting and, even though you weren't present, it was a meeting that took place at the Waterworks. So, let me take you through some of the details and you will appreciate why I'm asking you about this document in this context. Can we look at the second page, please, 17 lines from the bottom of the page:

    "The mission extended to Burkina Faso where they (delegates) were warmly received and attended to. All discussions with the Burkinabe authorities were highly fruitful. There was however a diplomatic test on the CDS ..."

    Who is the CDS?

  • It was Sam Bockarie. He was the one we used to call CDS.

  • "... a diplomatic test on the CDS to prove his ability and seriousness as commander on the ground. The CDS behaved excellently and maturedly to the admiration of His Excellency Compaoré."

    Who is he?

  • Who?

  • Who is Compaoré?

  • President Compaoré, I am aware that he is the President of Burkina Faso.

  • Let's continue:

    "The brigadier has done a very historic job for the RUF/SL movement. He has signed a rich contract for us and with our support given to him and the movement we shall do everything possible to promote this struggle".

    Go over the page - no, before we go over the page, if we go back to the first page for a moment we will see at the beginning of the large paragraph at the bottom that that bit that I've just read out is part of a report being given at that meeting by Mr SYB Rogers who also attended this mission to Burkina Faso.

    Let's now go, please, to the third page. Now, we see at the top of the first page, "Next to speak was Colonel Eddie Kanneh." Now remember me asking you if Bockarie went to Burkina Faso with Ibrahim Bah and Eddie Kanneh - and now we know SYB Rogers was also there - and you, a radio operator who had access to the net, told us you didn't, listen what he's saying, third line, "All the trip was very successful." Remember this is 2 December 1998.

    Now let's go a bit further down the page. 14 lines from the bottom of the page, please:

    "In the first place the CDS told us that they were not financially strong to make the trip as successful as it turned out to be."

    Bottom line, "According to the CDS he took along Major Lawrence Womandia because he can speak French." Do you know Major Lawrence Womandia?

  • Yes.

  • Who is he?

  • Lawrence was a Sierra Leonean.

  • And does he speak French?

  • Yes, he used to speak French.

  • What language do they speak in Burkina Faso?

  • I did not go to Burkina Faso yet. I have never been there.

  • In any event, let's go back:

    "He took along Major Lawrence Womandia because he can speak French and it was the delegates' intention" - over the page please - "to visit France, countries and even Libya."

    Miss a couple of lines: "Pa Rogers and Colonel Eddie and we made the trip together."

    Miss a line:

    "The brigadier told the forum that he was able to formally hand over our struggle and petition about our leader to the President of Burkina Faso who is the current chairman of the OAU so that as OAU chairman he will step in and mediate peace between us and the SLPP government. He warned that now is the time to work together to secure the release of our leader and to avoid funny things like gossip that will lead to disunity amongst us."

    Last paragraph , "Colonel Mike Lamin" - now you know him, don't you?

  • Yes.

  • "... thanked the CDS and the delegates who went with him on the mission. 'We as RUF/SL must consider this gesture as a brilliant challenge and we must do something impressingly in return of the challenge'. He warned that we must not talk on how the material was channeled to our base for security reasons."

    Over the page, handwritten just before the end of this note: "Major E Collins stated that the CDS has killed two birds with one stone, i.e. political and military problems."

    Now having read that out to you, do you remember that meeting following a trip by Bockarie to Burkina Faso with SYB Rogers, Eddie Kanneh, Lawrence Womandia and Ibrahim Bah? Do you remember it?

  • No, no.

  • Do you remember them coming back and saying something to the effect that they'd managed to secure a deal for a large shipment of ammunition?

  • I cannot recall this particular meeting you're referring to. I was not present where this particular meeting occurred.

  • Because what I'm suggesting is, you see, you know full well that Bockarie went to Burkina Faso with those other individuals and that's where the large shipment of arms came from in late 1998. I'm suggesting you know that, which is why on their return they held this meeting on 2 December 1998 and you knew about this meeting and told the investigator that in October 2007. That is the truth, isn't it?

  • That is not the truth. The meeting that we held at the Waterworks where I was present, that was the one I have explained about. For this meeting I wasn't in Buedu where they held this meeting, and Sam Bockarie and others, as it is stated that they went to Burkina Faso, when they went there and came with ammunition how would a vehicle leave Burkina Faso and came to Buedu?

  • Because what I'm suggesting is - and I asked you this before and you were having difficulty - it may have come through Liberia, but it doesn't mean it came from Charles Taylor. Do you follow me now?

  • Yes, I do follow what you are saying, but what I can say is it was from Liberia where Mosquito got those particular materials. At any time he left us, he would say he would go to Liberia. Not a day he had explained to us that he was going to that country. He said he was going to Monrovia. Those were big people. Maybe they made contract there, but I was not aware.

  • Let's go on then to the Freetown invasion bearing in mind all we've discussed on the last topic, in particular its timing. Now, so before we go on to this topic let us bear in mind in late 1998 Bockarie, SYB Rogers and others went to Burkina Faso, and also in late 1998 SAJ Musa and a group led by him had success at Kambia and Benguema in capturing a large quantity of arms. Let us now come on, please, about a month after that meeting to 6 January when forces enter Freetown. Where were you on 6 January 1999?

  • 6 January 1999 I was in Buedu.

  • Where was Sam Bockarie?

  • Sam Bockarie was in Buedu. He wasn't anywhere. He was in Buedu.

  • Where was SAJ Musa and Gullit?

  • SAJ Musa had died and Gullit was in Freetown in January 6th.

  • What was the name of the radio operator with Gullit in Freetown?

  • It was King Perry and CO Alfred. They went with the group that went to Freetown.

  • Were they both RUF members?

  • Who was in charge of that group?

  • Do you mean the fighting group, or the radio?

  • Thank you, the fighting group.

  • It was Gullit who was in charge when they entered Freetown.

  • Prior to Gullit taking charge, who had been in command of that group?

  • It was SAJ Musa who was in command.

  • Have you ever come across the name Red Lion battalion?

  • You've never heard of that?

  • No. No, we never heard that red battalion group, except they adopted the name when they entered.

  • Were they not linked with Senegalese and Abu Keita?

  • Senegalese, Abu Keita and others, they came for the Guinea mission. I was never present in a situation wherein a name was given to the group. I don't know.

  • Very well, that's a small point. I'll move on. Sam Bockarie had been informed by Gullit that Gullit and his battle group intended to attack Freetown and Sam Bockarie told him not to do it, didn't he?

  • Yes, Sam Bockarie said he should wait until they put some manpower together. That was the period of SAJ Musa and Gullit, but it was Gullit who gave out the information.

  • But - and I want a simple answer - Sam Bockarie told Gullit not to enter Freetown, didn't he?

  • Yes.

  • But SAJ Musa and Gullit decided to disobey that order?

  • And what SAJ Musa did, because he knew that he was acting contrary to Bockarie's orders, he prevented King Perry, the radio operator, from contacting Bockarie to tell them what - to tell Bockarie what they were doing. That's right, isn't it?

  • So Perry was prevented by SAJ Musa from maintaining radio contact with Bockarie?

  • Yes.

  • Because Musa knew that the battle group he was leading were acting contrary to Bockarie's orders?

  • Mr Interpreter, I don't know what "not at all" means.

  • My Lords, he was not in line with Bockarie's orders. That was what I meant.

  • Now that group led following the death of SAJ Musa by Gullit, they were mainly made up of former SLA soldiers, weren't they?

  • And there was also some STF members amongst them, weren't there?

  • And those STF members were former ULIMO fighters, weren't they?

  • Yes.

  • And remember us talking about, I think it was Monday, how these former SLA soldiers wanted to get back to Freetown. You remember us discussing that?

  • Now, it was only after that group entered Freetown that Sam Bockarie - well, let me put it differently. Let me start again. It was only after that group had entered Freetown and reached State House that they contacted the radio station in Buedu, is that right?

  • It is correct.

  • In fact you radio operators and RUF members in Buedu, the first time you knew that Gullit was in Freetown was when you heard it over the BBC. That's right, isn't it?

  • And when you heard it over the BBC it came as a complete surprise to you, didn't it?

  • And it was totally unexpected?

  • We were expecting that, because we used to get from the BBC - when they even attacked Waterloo we got the information and we knew that they were trying to advance to Freetown, even though Sam Bockarie had warned them to wait. We knew that since they never accepted the orders and that they were heading for Freetown, so it wasn't a surprise to us because that was their own mission.

  • Their own mission, thank you. But it was unplanned so far as Sam Bockarie was concerned, wasn't it?

  • Yes, it was not planned.

  • Now once you heard the news on the BBC you radio operators in Buedu started calling desperately the other radio stations to find out precisely what was going on, didn't you?

  • Yes, we found out especially Superman's station who were closer to the other men.

  • And that was the only way you were able to get any information about what was going on on the ground?

  • Yes, later Perry came on the air --

  • I am coming to Perry. Believe me, I'm coming to him now. Then suddenly Perry called on the radio, didn't he?

  • And at what time was that, a time of day?

  • I wouldn't be able to say the exact time, but he called. He called us. He was the one who first called us.

  • And he called because Gullit's group had run into trouble, hadn't they?

  • They were being suppressed, to borrow a word you used. That's right, isn't it?

  • And they desperately needed reinforcement?

  • And that's when they called?

  • And Perry explained to you when he called out of the blue, "Look, the only reason why I haven't contacted you before is because SAJ Musa stopped me from doing it". That's right, isn't it?

  • Can we go, please, quickly behind divider 3. Behind divider 3, page 1, paragraph 5:

    "Witness states that initial communication that went on at that time was a request for reinforcement by Gullit to Bockarie. There was also communication between Sam Bockarie and Gullit directly about the release of prisoners from Pademba Road Prison. Sam Bockarie gave specific instruction to Gullit which he carried out."

    So the first call you received was a request for reinforcements?

  • Yes.

  • Now when Gullit came on to the radio to speak to Sam Bockarie, there was an argument between them, wasn't there?

  • In effect Bockarie saying, "You disobeyed my orders. Why are you calling me now just because you've run into trouble?" That's right, isn't it?

  • Now despite the argument between the two of them, Sam Bockarie did try to send reinforcements, didn't he?

  • But those reinforcements only got as far as Waterloo?

  • Yes, they were unable to reach.

  • The bottom line is this, Mr Kabbah. That invasion was carried out by a group composed of primarily former SLA soldiers who did not want Bockarie to know what they were doing and they only got in touch with Bockarie when their mission failed. That's right, isn't it?

  • Yes, the initial contact.

  • What I'm going to suggest to you is that throughout that episode you had no contact - when I say "you" I mean you as a radio operator - or Sam Bockarie had no contact with Charles Taylor, do you follow me?

  • We, the operators, had no contact at all.

  • I'm not going to go over the business about when Bockarie had the satellite phone now, but what I'm suggesting is you did not hear any conversation between Bockarie and Charles Taylor on a satellite phone. Do you follow me? I suggest that's a lie.

  • To say Charles Taylor and Sam Bockarie did not discuss about that issue, the attack on Freetown, you mean?

  • They discussed that. They spoke about that.

  • And what I suggest is that it may be that it was that liar, Chris Morris, who persuaded you to give an account which included that supposed conversation between Charles Taylor and Sam Bockarie and what I'm suggesting is you took up the offer and decided to lie about that. That's the truth, isn't it?

  • That is not the truth. That is not the truth.

  • That's all I ask, your Honour.

  • Sorry, Mr Griffiths, when you say, "That's all I ask", is it on this particular topic because we're just on the verge of the break, or is that the end of your --

  • That's the end of my cross-examination.

  • Thank you, then that would be an appropriate time to adjourn for the mid-morning break. Mr Witness, we are going to take the mid-morning break. We will resume court at 12 o'clock. Please adjourn court until 12.

  • [Break taken at 11.30 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 12.00 p.m.]

  • Mr Santora, do you have cross-examination of the witness - re-examination, excuse me.

  • Just re-direct examination, your Honour.

  • Yes, thank you.

  • Yes, Madam President.

  • Good afternoon, Mr Witness.

  • Mr Witness, I'm just going to ask you some questions about some of the issues you've been testifying about over the last few days, okay?

  • And just for counsels' purposes, for each of these references I'll just give you the reference ahead of time and this first reference - these first few areas are from today and so they'll by LiveNote references. The first one is on mine 33, lines 11 and 12, and I'm operating on 16 point font. I don't know if that helps:

  • Now, Mr Witness, earlier today Defence counsel was asking you questions about an individual named Jungle. Do you recall that?

  • And he was asking you about something that you referred to as salute reports. Do you recall that?

  • And you said that, "When he came he will present the salute report orally. He will say, 'This was what the Pa said'". Do you recall saying that?

  • First of all, who were you referring to when you say "he"?

  • And who were you referring to when you say "the Pa"?

  • Charles Taylor. Charles Taylor.

  • Do you recall the contents of these salute reports?

  • Yes, the salute reports, when he came he would say that this was what the Pa sent, that is the material that he would come with. That was the salute report.

  • And how frequently would that occur?

  • That used to happen a lot of times up to the time when the attack on Kono took place.

  • And where were you based when you observed this?

  • Now the next reference, counsel, is on my LiveNote again at page 16, line 18:

  • Mr Witness, another question that was raised this morning, you were asked in a reference about an individual called - in a reference - I'm sorry, let me rephrase the question. During the course of questioning the individual named Dopoe Menkarzon came up. Do you remember that?

  • Dopoe Menkarzon was a Liberian general.

  • What do you know about him?

  • Dopoe Menkarzon, what I knew about him he was the first general. When the war entered he was in charge of the troops that were there in Pendembu and also he was the first general whom I saw came - whom I saw come with Beretta weapons which were given to the first graduates at Pendembu base.

  • What group was he with?

  • He was with the NPFL.

  • Now, this morning Defence counsel was asking you about a document and was putting certain portions of that document to you and I'd ask for the assistance of the Court Attendant.

  • You're referring here to Prosecution exhibit P-63, Mr Santora?

  • Yes, Madam President. There's no real page reference here because this was a long portion of questioning:

  • Now, can you just please take a look at the document. Do you see the document in front of you?

  • Do you recall when Defence counsel was asking you questions about portions of this document?

  • Now, I would like you to turn to page - put the second page on. The ERN for this should be 15488. Now, Mr Witness, if you could put your attention - and just for you to recall, when you were testifying to Defence counsel you agreed that this - that there was a meeting in late 1998 and Defence counsel stated that this was a document from this meeting in late 1998. Do you remember that?

  • I do recall that, but I disputed that this document - the meeting that I attended did not have anything to do with this document.

  • Down 15 lines do you see the reference to "CGT"? Do you see that in the document? Let me make sure I'm right on the number. Actually, it's 16 lines down.

  • Do you know who that refers to?

  • Don't lead as to what it is. If the witness thinks it's "CST", that's his problem.

  • I'm pointing to something that clearly says "CGT" on the document.

  • Well, the witness should be asked whether he can see "CGT".

  • Mr Witness, I noticed you wore glasses yesterday. Do you want to put them on again so that you can find the reference counsel is talking about?

  • Perhaps Madam Court Attendant could point it out.

  • My glasses are not with me. I have left them. I am seeing it as "CST".

  • Do you know what that refers to?

  • Mr Witness, do you see the three letters?

  • I have seen the three letters.

  • Well, if he can't see the letters I'm going to move on. If he really can't see the letters I don't think it's fair.

  • I have seen the letters, but the middle letter is not clear.

  • Can you put the next page of that document on:

  • Now, Mr Witness, if you could point your attention - bring your attention to eight lines from the bottom where the sentence says, "The CDS congratulated Colonel Jungle". Do you see that and can you read that?

  • Do you see the next sentence - I'm sorry, can you read that sentence, "The CDS congratulated Colonel Jungle"? Just take a look at that.

  • In that sentence it says:

    "The CDS congratulated Colonel Jungle and General Ibrahim Bah for their sincerity and honesty in delivering the parcels that were given to them for our father across."

    Do you know who "our father across" is?

  • We, our Pa that we knew across was Charles Taylor. We did not know about any other Pa. Pa Sankoh and Charles Taylor, these were our Pas. These were the ones that we knew.

  • Thank you. We can take the document away at this point. Counsel, the next reference comes from 15 September, which was I believe yesterday, and the transcript reference is 16241.

  • 15 September was Monday, Mr Santora.

  • I'm sorry, I apologise. It was from Monday's testimony. The page reference is 16241, lines 25 to 27, over to 16242 up to line 15:

  • Now, Mr Witness, on Monday you were being asked why was it that you didn't leave the RUF. Defence counsel said to you:

    "Q. Whilst you were in that darkness, Mr Kabbah, did the

    thought cross your mind why did I not try to escape from

    the RUF before?"

    During the course of your answer you said as part of that answer - and this is lines 14 and 15 on 16242. You said, "If I had gone to Liberia I would have been hunted and brought back". What do you mean when you say you would have been hunted?

  • Just like I have been saying in all my statements, Liberia, the fighting group a part of the ULIMO or the LURD that was there, the NPFL, it was our own group which was working hand in hand with us. If I had hidden and had gone to Liberia Sam Bockarie should have sent a message there, or sent somebody there, so that I could be hunted and bring me back.

  • I'm sorry, I don't understand that kind of answer. He says, "... a part of the ULIMO or the LURD that was there, the NPFL, it was our group". You have got three groups there.

  • And finally it was "our group", that makes it four.

  • Mr Witness, I'm going to ask you to clarify your last answer. What did you mean when you said, "... a part of the ULIMO or the LURD that was there, the NPFL, it was our group which was working hand in hand with us"? Can you explain that answer slowly?

  • Yes, one, the ULIMO was an enemy troop. Two, LURD was an enemy troop. That's a quite different issue. At that time when that thing happened it was the NPFL troop which was on the border with us and we and they were working hand in hand and the NPFL and the RUF were working hand in hand, so if I had hidden from RUF and we went to NPFL that means I had not hidden. It's just like when you come from fire and go to - go in the sun. Then I would be brought back. I would be caught and brought back to Koidu. That is what I meant.

  • You also said in your answer:

    "If I had hidden and gone to Liberia Sam Bockarie should have sent a message there, or sent somebody there, so that I could be hunted and bring me back."

    Sent a message to who, Mr Witness?

  • The commanders that were there, because the commanders that were there at the border with us and the soldiers that were at the border with us, all of us had been working hand in hand. He would send a message to Foya because there was a station. He would send a message there saying that such and such a person has hidden, or he would even send our own brothers because they knew me. They would go and hunt for me. They would be able to identify me. Maybe the commander who would be at Foya may not know me, but our own brothers who would be at Buedu if they went they would be able to identify me and see me.

  • How do you know that?

  • Well aren't we questioning the witness at the moment on his subjective fears, not things that actually happened but just what he was afraid would happen if he escaped, and you're asking him how he knows that as though it's a question of fact?

  • Well, I was trying to establish some foundation for why he's expressing this belief and I will rephrase the question:

  • Why do you believe this? Why do you believe that you would have been hunted?

  • I was a radio operator and I knew a lot of secrets in the RUF. If I hid, they would feel that I would go and reveal all that I knew about the RUF.

  • And just one more question on this. You said, "Maybe the commander who would be at Foya", and you referred to, "The soldiers that were on the border with us". From what group are you referring to when you say, "The soldiers that were on the border with us"?

  • I was referring to the NPFL soldiers. I had clarified that. The NPFL soldiers that were at Foya, because they were the ones who had been sharing the border with us at Buedu.

  • And the next reference, counsel, is - I'm sorry, the date is the same, that being 15 September which is Monday, and the transcript reference is 16254, lines 25 to 29, over to the next page 16255, lines 1 and 2:

  • Now, Mr Witness, I am going to return to another topic. During the course of questioning on Monday, Defence counsel was asking you about restricted frequencies. You were asked by Defence counsel, "What were the restricted frequencies within the RUF?", and in your answer you stated as follows:

    "A. There were frequencies that we used to set, but I

    cannot recall any now. There were more stations like the

    station in Liberia which was where Sunlight was that was in

    the mansion and that was Memuna's station who was in Pa

    Musa's place. Those were restricted stations."

    Why were these stations restricted, Mr Witness?

  • These stations, they were restricted stations because we had been dealing with outside countries. We wouldn't like when we had been trying to communicate about any important issue like messages that we would like to send so as to send ammunition for us, or when Jungle would like to go, we would send a message so that no other station could monitor them because there are some soldiers in the RUF who cannot control their mouths. At times when they go to the battlefield and they were captured, if they captured a soldier who knew about our communication, about Charles Taylor and all, if you are captured he would divulge the secrets. That was why we restricted those two stations. We said that no other station should communicate with them except the headquarter station.

  • Now I'm going to turn to another issue, Mr Witness, and there's several references here and so I'll go through as I refer to prior testimony and/or there's also a reference to a prior witness statement. The transcript reference is as at 16340 and 16341 and, I apologise, that is from yesterday's transcript. Now during the course of questioning yesterday, Mr Witness, Defence counsel was asking you about some of your statements that you made to the Office of the Prosecution to investigators. Do you remember that?

  • Yes.

  • And he asked you about the first statement you took and a portion of that statement which was behind tab 1 from 2 February 2007 statement at page 10, and I believe it probably should be shown to the witness just so he can recall if he remembers being asked about it. Now, Mr Witness, on that - is page 10 in front of him, just to clarify? Okay. I want to turn your attention, Mr Witness, to this section, the second paragraph, the first full paragraph, the second paragraph on the page. Yesterday Defence counsel asked you about this paragraph and Defence counsel asked you if you agree with what you said in that paragraph. Specifically he asked you if you agreed with what you said where it says:

    "Kabbah does not recall hearing Sam Bockarie or anyone else referring to instructions or orders from Liberia regarding the planned attack in late 1998."

    Do you remember that?

  • Yes.

  • And you agreed that what you said to the investigators was correct. Further on Defence counsel asking you about this issue said to you - and I'm going to quote exactly what Defence counsel said to you in questioning. He said, "So can I take it" - and this reference, I am sorry, is 16341, lines 25 to 29. The question to you, Mr Witness, was:

    "Q. So can I take it then that at that meeting following

    Sam Bockarie's trip to Monrovia he did not say to you, 'I

    have been told by Charles Taylor that this is the plan'.

    He didn't say that, did he?"

    A. Never. He never told me that."

    Do you remember that? Do you remember when you said that in court yesterday?

  • Yes.

  • Now earlier - and you can take the reference away at this point. Earlier during the course of your direct examination when I was asking you questions I was asking you questions about meetings you recalled in Buedu and you stated in your testimony that you recalled - you gave information about two meetings, one at Waterworks and one later behind Issa Sesay's house. Do you recall that? And I apologise I didn't give the reference to where I'm referring to in this. This is from the direct examination of Friday, 12 September at 16151.

  • I rise, Madam President, because I am concerned that what my learned friend is seeking to do is in effect to impeach his own witness.

  • It sounds suspiciously as if in effect he's seeking to cross-examine his own witness.

  • I must say, Mr Santora, it does sound at this stage as though you're about to contradict your witness with a previous statement he made in giving evidence-in-chief.

  • I was going to actually just clarify one small point about his presence at a meeting, something that was said in direct examination which is at odds with what was agreed to in cross-examination, and so it's simply a clarification about whether or not - and I don't want to say what it is within the presence of the witness. I know it took a long time to get to this point, but actually it's just some simple clarification in regards to what he said in direct and then what he agreed to in cross-examination.

  • That's what you do when you cross-examine your own witness. You take what he said in direct examination and what he contradicted himself in cross-examination and you put them back to him.

  • That's what you do when you cross-examine your own witness and then you don't do that. In other words, the judges are agreeing with the objection of the Defence.

  • I understand. I'm going to move on then, thank you. One moment, your Honours:

  • I'm going to move to another area, Mr Witness, and the reference here, counsel, is 16383, line 12, again from yesterday's testimony. Mr Witness, yesterday when you testified about Liberians who were RUF members you mentioned one individual called CO Martin George. Who was he?

  • He was a Liberian.

  • Do you know what his role was?

  • Yes, CO George was a commander in Kailahun during the time when they arrested the peacekeepers. He was the commander there.

  • Now, during the course of --

  • Mr Santora, a commander of who?

  • I was looking at the transcript myself.

  • For the RUF who were in Kailahun. He was the commander during that time.

  • Sorry, Mr Santora, to interrupt, but wasn't there more than one group arrested?

  • I can clarify that. I was going to finish one aspect of the --

  • Sorry, I should not have interrupted.

  • That's fine and I will clarify that point as well, your Honour. Let me move actually on to that point:

  • When you say "during the time when they arrested the peacekeepers", what are you referring to?

  • The peacekeepers' arrest did not only take place in Makeni, or Lunsar. It also took place in Kailahun and during that time he was the commander in charge in Kailahun. That was what I meant.

  • Do you know how he came to be with the RUF?

  • All of them came at the time when the border was opened up to the time when the NPFL soldiers had had to go, but they stayed and so that was how he came to be with the RUF.

  • Do you know when he came?

  • I'm going to move on to another topic and the next reference, counsel, again from 16 September, yesterday, is pages 16364 to 16365:

  • Mr Witness, yesterday Defence counsel was asking you whether there was a secret frequency used to communicate to Charles Taylor and this is lines 8 through 10. Do you remember that?

  • Yes, I can recall, but I tried to clarify that it was not to Charles Taylor directly, but with Sunlight we had a secret frequency.

  • I'm going to ask you about that, but I just want to see if you recall when you said initially, "No, I was not even aware", when you were asked specifically about Charles Taylor. Do you remember that?

  • And the Defence counsel put to you something, a portion of your prior statement which was from, I believe, tab 1 - actually, no, I apologise, it's tab 2. Give me one moment, your Honour. I just want to make sure I have the right reference. Okay, I'm sorry, I apologise, it was tab 4, paragraph 5. I am sorry about that. If you could put paragraph 5 up. Do you see paragraph 5?

  • Yes.

  • Now yesterday Defence counsel referred you to a sentence in paragraph 5, but he only read to you part of the sentence omitting the second half of the sentence. Now, do you see the first sentence in paragraph 5?

  • It says:

    "Witness states that messages came from Charles Taylor over a secret frequency to the control room in Buedu which was received from Sunlight."

    Do you recall saying that to investigators?

  • Yes.

  • That's all. You can take that reference away. The next reference is from yesterday's testimony at 16381, lines 1 through 5:

  • Now, Mr Witness, another topic that you testified about yesterday was an individual named Benjamin Yeaten. Do you remember talking about that yesterday?

  • I'm going to read to you a portion of yesterday's testimony in which Defence counsel posed a question to you about Benjamin Yeaten and I'll read your response as well. The question was:

    "Q. And so long as Benjamin Yeaten said anything everyone

    assumed without any evidence that it must have come from

    Charles Taylor, is that the position?"

    And your answer --

  • Yes.

  • Your answer was, "Yes, because they said he was his right-hand man and so whatever he said he must have discussed with the Pa."

  • First of all, when you said, "They said he was his right-hand man", who said Benjamin Yeaten was his right-hand man?

  • Sam Bockarie, Issa, they were the ones who had been saying that because they were the ones that had been going to Monrovia and back.

  • And for clarity, whose right-hand man was Benjamin Yeaten?

  • And what do you understand right-hand man to mean?

  • What I understand by right-hand man, let me say your best person whom you know that is your best servant, or an individual whom you can confide in to send in a particular mission.

  • I'm going to ask you about another topic now, Mr Witness. Yesterday - and again the reference here is 16381 and starting at line 9 there's a series of questions about Jungle and that's the - these are where these references are coming from. Now, Mr Witness, yesterday Defence counsel was asking you about an individual named Jungle. Do you remember this?

  • Yes.

  • Now in one of your answers to Defence counsel about this individual - and this is the answer on lines 20 to 24 - you said:

    "Jungle - Jungle was there with their remnant renegades, not with the RUF. They were together with Fayia. They were in the bush in their own separate jungle. He was with General Fayia, the one who was in charge of Foya at the time."

    Who is General Fayia?

  • General Fayia was the commander of the NPFL fighting troop which was at Foya during that time.

  • During what time, Mr Witness?

  • 1992, at that time I was at Bailu Ground border. That was the time. He was the commander up to that time. Up to the time that ULIMO came and dislodged them in that area, Jungle was around that particular area.

  • And after 1992 do you know what happened to Fayia?

  • Fayia escaped and crossed the border and went through Guinea and went to Monrovia and up to now Fayia is in Monrovia. Those who go to Monrovia inform us about it.

  • And you also said, "The one who was in charge of Foya at that time." What time are you referring to there?

  • I said 1992, the first assignment that I took up as operator at Bailu Ground. That was the time that Fayia was at Foya as commander, because he used to come to the ground to us at Bailu Ground - he, the General Fayia.

  • I wonder if I can interrupt my learned friend briefly. At line 12 you will see, "Those who go to Monrovia inform us about it." Who are "they"?

  • I'm talking about the present. Some of our old friends with whom I was in the RUF --

  • Just pause, Mr Witness, because I haven't found - my font must be different, but if --

  • I'm not sure if that was an objection, or a request for a clarification.

  • I took it that Mr Griffiths was speaking to you, though asking you if you would get the witness to clarify that.

  • And I of course take my instructions from the Bench.

  • It should be clarified. I'm just trying to find it because I thought it may be an earlier question. Has the witness finished his answer to the present question and then we'll move to the clarification?

  • I will clarify that if your Honours are requesting that point.

  • Let me just find the reference myself then. One moment.

  • I have it on line 12, Mr Santora, on page 74.

  • Mr Witness, you said that - when I asked if you knew what happened to Fayia after 1992 you said that:

    "He escaped and crossed the border and went through Guinea and went to Monrovia and up to now Fayia is in Monrovia. Those who go to Monrovia inform us about it."

    That last sentence when you said, "Those who go to Monrovia inform us about it", who are you referring to when you say "Those who go to Monrovia"?

  • These were some of the RUF soldiers who had been in the RUF. After this disarmament some men had gone to Monrovia, because they had families there, and when they came back they were the ones that had been talking about those things. At times when we sat together we would ask each other whether such and such a person was alive and they would say that, "Yes, he is even a police officer in Monrovia".

  • I'm not sure if that clarifies it for your Honours' purposes?

  • I feel fairly clear on what it was all about. Mr Griffiths?

  • I'm perfectly clear now as well, Madam President. Thank you, counsel.

  • Again, Mr Witness, on the same topic - and I apologise if you may have answered this already, but my question is afterwards Defence counsel asked you again about Jungle saying - and I'm quoting from line 24 now - "But he effectively became part of the RUF, didn't he?" Then your response in referring to Jungle was you said, "Yes, he used to come to us the time Fayia wanted us to go to Monrovia." What do you mean when you're talking about "the time Fayia wanted us to go to Monrovia"?

  • I did not say when - I did not say when Fayia wanted us to go to Monrovia. I said when Fayia went to Monrovia. At that time he left them in the jungle and he went to Monrovia.

  • Okay, thank you, Mr Witness. Now later on again Defence counsel asked you a similar question about Jungle, asking you, "Jungle effectively became a member of the RUF, didn't he?", and you stated in response:

    "That's what I said, because he was with us. He would move to go to Monrovia and he would return. That was it. He would go back and forth."

    Explain what you mean when you say, "He was with us and he would move to go to Monrovia and would return".

  • What I meant by that is Jungle - when Fayia had gone, he left Jungle at the jungle and he went to us, the RUF. He was with us and up to the time when the road was opened, when NPFL had to repel the ULIMO or the LURD to the border, he used to go to Monrovia and came back because Sam Bockarie used to send him.

  • Why would Sam Bockarie send him?

  • He used to send him for ammunition.

  • Now again on the same topic - and this is the final part of this topic on Jungle and this is reference at 16382, lines 16 to 22. Now, Mr Witness, again Defence counsel was asking you another question about Jungle and the question was put to you, the question:

    "Q. But in the same way that Jungle effectively became a

    member of the RUF there were other Liberians who fell into

    the same category, wasn't there, who effectively came over

    and became RUF members? That's right, isn't it?"

    Your response to that question by Defence counsel was:

    "A. Yes, some Liberians became RUF members. All of us

    were within Sierra Leone now. But about Jungle, when we

    retreated he and Sam Bockarie used to make the Liberian

    trips mostly."

    What did you mean when you said - first of all, do you recall saying that yesterday?

  • Yes.

  • What did you mean when you said, "But about Jungle, when we retreated he and Sam Bockarie used to make the Liberian trips mostly"?

  • Yes, Liberian soldiers were there, NPFL soldiers were with us, but Jungle he was the man whom I had been seeing at any time that Bockarie wanted to go, or he himself would go. He was not like the other Liberians who had left this country. When Sam Bockarie had been able to take one and say that, "I would have this man as my own man", Sam Bockarie and Jungle had been working together wherever he wanted to go.

  • When Sam Bockarie - you said when he - hold on. You said that, "I had been seeing him at any time that Bockarie wanted to go, or he himself would go." Go where, Mr Witness?

  • I wonder if my learned friend could also clarify that the witness said, "He was not like the other Liberians who had left this country". Which country is that?

  • Sierra Leone. The RUF controlled zone.

  • Thank you, counsel. Can I just have one moment, your Honours, because I think I'm almost wrapping up?

  • Yes.

  • That concludes the re-direct examination, Madam President.

  • Thank you, Mr Santora. Mr Witness, that is the end of your testimony and you will now be free to leave the Court. We thank you for coming and giving your testimony and taking your time to be here and we wish you a safe journey. Please assist the witness to leave the court well.

    Yes, Ms Hollis?

  • Madam President, your Honours, the next witness will be TF1-189. The witness will testify in English and the witness has the following protective measures which were granted in a decision on 5 July 2004, that is the use of a pseudonym, the use of the screen and voice distortion, and the witness will swear on the Bible.

  • Madam President, I wonder if before the witness comes in I just want to make a couple of points about the fact that this witness is being called now. Can I make it quite clear that the Defence do not intend or wish to be obstructive in any way, but I simply want to raise the manner in which this witness has been bumped up the call order because this witness was in fact going to be not the next, nor the one after, but the third witness after the witness who has just given evidence.

    My learned friends opposite did give us notice in a series of notifications. Starting on 1 September we got their list of Prosecution witnesses for this week and in that notice the present witness 189 didn't feature at all.

    We then had a further notification, dated 8 September, and in that notification this witness's name did then appear as the fourth witness this week. In fact the witness to follow the one who has just given evidence is going to be 122, followed by 125, followed by 062 and then the present witness, so she was going to be the fourth witness this week.

    On 9 September we got a further notice dealing with an addendum for witnesses next week, and then on Monday of this week at 4.59 p.m., that's to say one minute before 5 o'clock on Monday, we got an email simply saying that the Prosecution proposed to call this witness next as soon as the witness who has just gone was finished because of scheduling issues for the impending witness.

    Now in the pre-trial conference that was held in May - I call it a pre-trial conference, but it was a pre-trial hearing that was held before the full Court on 7 May last year - an undertaking was given and indeed it's referred to in one of the three notifications that I've just referred the Court to. My typeface is slightly different - my font, as so often, is rather different from the font that's referred to, but I'm sure we're all talking about the same passage. My learned friend, Ms Hollis - in answer to a question from Mr Khan, and indeed her Honour Justice Sebutinde then presiding, my learned friend said that they would indeed produce at least two weeks before the witnesses were due to be called a witness list and call order.

    Now, I'm simply making the point that from our point of view preparing the case and preparing witnesses amongst us is obviously a logistical matter. To be told at one minute to 5 on Monday that the Prosecution proposed bumping up the list from the fourth following witness to the immediately following witness with no explanation other than because of scheduling issues for the witness isn't particularly helpful.

    In fact we have been able to rejig our own working arrangements and I am now going to be able to deal with this witness, but for all we knew - and I think I can say this on Mr Griffiths' behalf. For all we knew he could have finished the witness who has just left the stand during the course of Tuesday and then 189 would be on the witness stand well out of the call order and indeed not two weeks before we had been notified of her being proposed to be used, but only in the preceding week had we been told that she was proposed to be called.

    So I'm simply asking those opposite that, if they are going to make a change in the running order as they have done in this instance in bringing a witness up from number four to number one, they do give both ourselves and indeed the Court the courtesy of an explanation rather than simply saying, "Because of scheduling issues we're now going to call this witness".

    I'm effectively putting down a marker, I hope in an uncontroversial way, to invite those opposite to attempt to give us both more notice if they can and something better by way of explanation than a two word phrase relating to scheduling difficulties. We are not standing in their way and we are seeking to be as cooperative as we can, but we do think this needs a little bit more explanation than that two word phrase that we've so far had.

  • Ms Hollis, you have heard counsel for the Defence and if you can assist us with an explanation.

  • The explanation for the timing for the order for this week is that when the witness verified that the witness had to leave this week we notified the Defence.

  • Sorry, which witness are you referring to?

  • The one that's coming in.

  • Yes. Now in terms of notice to the Defence that this witness was on the horizon, on 18 July the witness was included in what we had projected for our August schedule. Of course, schedules vary depending on the length of direct as well as cross-examination and other factors. On 12 August the Defence was given notice of this witness in terms of the August and September schedule and so it's not a new name, but in terms of the order for this week, as I said, as soon as we learned that the witness would not be able to remain here beyond this week the Defence were notified of that.

    In terms of the explanation, I don't understand why an explanation as to what scheduling difficulties the witness has is of significance. It is the witness's scheduling difficulties and that was the notice that was given. Should the Defence say they don't believe it and she should stay then perhaps the reasons would become more relevant, but the Defence points to be made and marker being laid down they indicated have nothing to do with their preparedness to deal with this witness and so the Prosecution does not feel it has been discourteous to either the Bench or the Defence. We have given them information at the time we received it and they now indicate they are prepared to move forward.

  • Thank you, Ms Hollis. Just pause please before the witness is called.

  • [Trial Chamber conferred]

    Thank you. We note the submissions of both counsel and we note that both counsel are ready to proceed. I will ask Madam Court Attendant how long it will take to put the protective measures in order. You have heard that it is a screen and voice distortion. Can you please indicate to us?

  • Your Honour, the AV booth normally informed us during the break that they would require 30 minutes to set up voice distortion.

  • 30?

  • In the circumstances, this would bring us up to the normal lunchtime adjournment and therefore it's inappropriate to rise and then come back only to adjourn for another hour. We will allow the AV booth to implement these protective measures and we will resume the luncheon adjournment at our normal time which is 2.30 as everyone has other commitments. Mr Munyard you're on your feet.

  • Madam President, can I just make one final point, I don't want to labour this and you have acknowledged that we are ready to deal with the witness. The point isn't that we were told in July that the following witnesses we expect to call in August and September. The point is, and I quote from the Prosecution's own notice of 1 September I think it is:

    "As agreed at the pre-trial conference on 7 May 2007 the Prosecution provides a witness list in order of appearance for each week of trial at least two weeks in advance of the week the witness is due to testify."

    Now that notice came out with the witnesses for this week. The present witness about to be called was not in that list for obvious reasons, the Prosecution weren't expecting to call her, and we work on the basis of that notice, not something that we've been given by way of general indication two months ago that the Prosecution expect to call the following witnesses in the following months.

    All I'm asking for is a little bit more courtesy when the Prosecution are disrupting their own call order which they themselves accept they had undertaken to provide two weeks in advance with a bit more notice than on a Monday afternoon with one minute to go to the close of business from a witness who they had been prepping or proofing the very same day on the Monday and indeed on Sunday as well. So they've been talking to this witness on Sunday. They wait until all day at the end of Monday and we therefore had to prepare for that witness on Monday night because for all we knew Mr Griffiths' cross-examination might well have ended in the middle of Tuesday and for my learned friend simply to say, "We told them in July we were planning on calling this witness in August", I don't think is proper courtesy quite frankly.

    I don't want to make a huge issue out of this but I have to say I was expecting a little bit more by way of a courteous response, particularly given the fact that we're saying quite plainly we're not standing in the way of this rejigging of the order and we are going to try and make things work as smoothly as possible for the Prosecution, as well as for the Court, but they have completely contradicted their own undertaking from May of last year as quoted in the notice that accompanied the witness list on 1 September.

    That's all I'm going to say on the matter, but I was hoping for a little bit more generous a reply from those opposite.

  • Mr Munyard, you are not seeking relief from the Bench I gather?

  • I'm not, no. We're not because - we could, but we're not going to.

  • Madam President, I think that does warrant additional comment as he has made additional comment even though they continue to say they're prepared to proceed. We don't take these witnesses off a shelf. These witnesses are not under our control. When a witness tells us at the time they tell us that they are only committed to be here for this week and they have scheduling issues that may mean they have to leave for the week, we give notice. We did not do this because of some convenience for the Prosecution. This was entirely because of the witness's schedule and we gave notice of it.

  • Ms Hollis, what do you say to the statement by Mr Munyard that you knew this witness had scheduling problems as early as Sunday when he or she went for prepping but you only informed the opposite side on Monday close of business?

  • Well, I'm not sure he said that, but if he did the answer is quite clear. We did not know on Sunday that the witness had these problems. Nor did we know on Monday until the conclusion of the session with the witness when it happened to come up. We did not withhold it for an entire day so we could try to catch the Defence at some disadvantage or for some other reason. When we found out we told them.

  • Except perhaps I will say this one thing and I don't think my colleagues will contradict me, in the past we've had a practice whereby if the Defence feel after the examination-in-chief that they're not ready to proceed with cross-examination for any reason, any valid reason, then at that stage the Trial Chamber is quite flexible in adjourning to allow them adequate time to prepare and that could be done in this case if necessary.

  • If I could just add to that, I for one am very grateful to the Defence that they in fact have not mounted an application for an adjournment on the grounds of being taken by surprise.

  • Well, we don't believe it would be an adjournment. It would simply be we would be unable to call this witness and we'll move on to the next one.

  • Let's not prophesy on the results of an application, Ms Hollis.

  • Can I make one clarification to Justice Sebutinde. I didn't say that the Prosecution knew on Sunday. What I said was that they were prepping or proofing this witness on Sunday and on Monday but the reason we know that was because yesterday morning after the Court had sat we were sent the proofing notes for Sunday and Monday. Now I got those during yesterday morning and I might have been cross-examining this witness by yesterday afternoon. That's how we know that she was being seen on Sunday and Monday. I don't know of course what she said. Ms Hollis may be entirely justified in saying the witness never told us until some time late on Monday that she had to leave by Friday.

    That raises questions of the way in which both the Prosecution and the Witness and Victim Section manage witnesses' arrangements. A witness who is booked to come here is probably also booked to go back at the very least provisionally on a specific date and so it will help the Prosecution as much as it will help us if the witnesses are told that they must make it clear when they're going back. It's rather surprising that the Prosecution were seeing a witness on Sunday and on Monday and she didn't tell them until the end of Monday that she's got to leave on Friday. I'm not blaming Ms Hollis. I'm saying that there are serious systemic problems in the way these witnesses' arrangements are being organised.

  • I can only observe that there has been, as is correctly pointed out by both sides - at the pre-trial conference in May 2007 certain time notices were set. To date things appear, and I stress appear because we are not privy to everything, to have run smoothly.

    As has also been pointed out by both my learned colleagues, this has been cured in the past by an application that has been entertained from the Defence if necessary. Mr Munyard has not indicated that he is making an application. I again can only accept that the Prosecution did not have - or I have not been given any information that they had and I again can only remind the Prosecution of their undertaking at May 2007 and to adhere to it, bearing in mind human frailties do occur from time to time. We will adjourn Court until 2.30. Please adjourn Court.

  • [Lunch break taken at 1.10 p.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 2.30 p.m.]

  • I note some changes of appearance. Ms Hollis?

  • Yes, Madam President. This afternoon for the Prosecution, Ruth Mary Hackler and myself, Brenda J Hollis.

  • Thank you, Ms Hollis. Mr Munyard?

  • Madam President, this afternoon for the Defence myself, Terry Munyard, Morris Anyah and Michael Walker.

  • Thank you. Please swear the witness.

    Ms Hollis, please proceed.