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

  • [On former affirmation]

  • Mr Taylor, for the questions that I'm about to ask you could we first of all remind ourselves of a certain context. You will recall that the case is that the RUF invaded Sierra Leone at two points. Do you recall that?

  • Prong 1 was through Kailahun District?

  • Prong 2 was into Pujehun District?

  • There came a time when prong 2, the incursion into Pujehun District, was repelled and they retreated back into Liberia. Do you recall that?

  • They eventually then made their way back through Liberia to Kailahun, yes?

  • Now, bearing that sequence of events in mind, the witness we're looking at now says - and this is page 21359 of the transcript of 1 December 2008, just so that we can recap:

    "Well, we were in Bomi Hills and then myself and the other fighters, the NPFL and all of us, that is what I'm referring to, when the ULIMO attacked us in Bomi Hills and they captured Bomi Hills from us, so from there when we retreated through the Maca crossing point the next place I was based was Kakata. And we were in Kakata until the time Foday Sankoh came from Liberia. When Foday Sankoh came from the front line from Liberia, that is Monrovia, he came together with Mr Taylor. That was during the Operation Octopus sometime in September 1992, something like that. Yes, I am sure. September during Operation Octopus."

    Now bearing in mind the context which we've now established, firstly were you aware ever Foday Sankoh re-entering Liberia from the Kailahun axis, to borrow a phrase?

  • You joining up with him and coming to these beleaguered troops in Bomi Hills from Monrovia?

  • No, I'm not aware of that. And the reason I'm not aware is because it never happened. I don't see how Foday Sankoh could have entered Liberia from any point by September of 1992. I don't think he would have survived.

  • Because after the break-up in May - I will say May/early June of 1992, there is no senior RUF individual or junior or Sankoh that had any contacts with us physically and it was impossible for Foday Sankoh to have been in Liberia by September of 1992. It is impossible.

  • Very well. In any event, Mr Taylor, the witness goes on to say this, page 21361:

    "Q. About how long - how much time transpired between when

    you left Bomi Hills and you arrived in Kakata?"

    Because the account is that they retreat to Bomi Hills then Kakata. Do you follow me?

  • "Q. Approximately how much time passed?

    A. About a month. Because we spent some time at Maca at

    the crossing point that I've just explained about. We were

    there on defensive from Maca we went to Kakata."

    Now, Mr Taylor, I want to pause. Bearing that time frame of about a month in mind, so we have this situation now: This group described by the witness as bearing the name Black Kadaffa, composed of something like 90 per cent Sierra Leoneans, yes?

  • Have retreated from Sierra Leone and they are present in Liberia in that part of Liberia for about a month or so. Question: Were you aware of their presence at the time?

  • No, I was not aware of their presence at that time.

  • But, Mr Taylor, frankly let me ask a question. How is it possible that such a force could be present in Liberia for that kind of period of time without you knowing?

  • Well, let's look at where - it may be of interest in trying to answer this question and probably I would suppose using a map. Let's not forget where we are. The area of where this witness is talking about --

  • Can I interrupt then, Mr Taylor. If we need a map, let's have one.

  • You want a map of where?

  • A map of Liberia. Yes, a map of Liberia because I want to show the areas that this man is talking about where they were supposed retreat from after Kakata.

  • Very well. Remember we provided a map of Liberia which looks like this and could you change places, please, Mr Taylor, because this is of importance. So, Mr Taylor, what are you saying to us?

  • The first thing I want to do is to at this particular time - at this particular time in question let's see where are the NPFL forces at this particular time in question.

  • We're talking about the autumn of 1992?

  • That is correct. The area I'm going to mark will show the area around Monrovia.

  • Why have you marked that area?

  • I'm marking this area to show that the NPFL forces are in the rest of the country, but at the point of where this gentleman is talking about here, Kakata, and I will give the explanation, in order to get from Kakata to the area that this gentleman is talking about, which is on the - I think it's at the Pujehun side, that will be around - I do not know where it is in Sierra Leone, but that will be somewhere - we're talking about in this general area of entry.

    Now, there are no roads from this side of the country to get to Kakata. Monrovia is being occupied by the Government of Liberia and the Armed Forces of Liberia. The only way you can get to Kakata, you have to track through the bushes. You have to walk. There is no driving. There is no driving. You have to come - this is Kakata. This is Bong Mines here. I will mark those with the letters. So you have to walk - and I will tell what these marks mean - through the forest. This is all - there are no highways between this part of the country and this part of the country. Even when forces have to get from on this side, you have to walk through the bushes to get there.

    So the first question I would - you know, that would come in my mind is: How did he get from here? And why would he have come all the way to Kakata, okay, leaving Bomi Hills, Tubmanburg here and all these areas? So it brings a question to my mind as to whether this person is even in this area. But the question that you asked, why don't I know, because, number one, we know that people are fighting in this area. I don't know of a retreat. But we get to find out later through intelligence that that's this group that have been formed called Black Kadaffa involving Sierra Leoneans and Liberians headed by General Degbon and others that have infiltrated their way into Bong Mines and into Kakata. So the purpose for these people coming all the way here was the very reason why they were arrested. That was the plan of this troop movement here. So we really don't know because there are soldiers here and there's no reason for them to have been in this Bong Mine, Kakata area.

  • The reason given by the witness, Mr Taylor, is that they were fleeing in the face of an advance by ULIMO.

  • No. No. But ULIMO did not just come in one day and sweep an entire region of the country. They could not have been fleeing from ULIMO, because even at this particular time, as ULIMO is advancing, all this area of Bong Mines and all of the towns in this general area are occupied by NPFL forces. So ULIMO doesn't come this way. If you listen to the testimony before this Court, where did - what did ULIMO do? They went through Bopolu, they came through the Belle Forest and entered where? Zorzor. This is why, eventually, you see the cutoff. So all of the towns in this general area here are still occupied by the NPFL. So there was no reason to retreat to Kakata when Bong Mines was a bigger city than Kakata. There was no reason. If he was a part of this group, they came on this clandestine mission.

    So why did I want this map? To show that there is no road that anybody could have travelled, that he makes it look easy. You know, one may think, well, they came from here and transversed through Monrovia and came to Kakata. So if they reached to Kakata, they came through the bushes on this clandestine mission. That's why they were arrested.

  • Mr Griffiths, I wonder if the witness could show us the Maca crossing, if he is able.

  • Maca crossing, Mr Taylor?

  • It may not be - it may not be on this map.

  • First of all, let's take it in stages. Have you heard of Maca crossing?

  • Well, no. I have heard of Maca. I'm not sure if there's a crossing point there. But Maca - maybe if we got another map of Liberia - is in Grand Cape Mount County. Maca would be somewhere here. It's a town over here. Maca is in Grand Cape Mount County. There's not a river at Maca. We may need a different map to show this, but Maca is a town in Grand Cape Mount County. Would you want me to write anything on this map about why I marked it this way?

  • I'm considering, Mr Taylor, because given the markings you've made, it might be somewhat difficult to provide a key to what it was you were indicating.

  • I don't know if, your Honours, I can seek some guidance here.

  • I can't see any possible way you could prepare a key for those markings.

  • I can't either. But I think the point being made by the witness is quite clear, and, consequently, despite the markings, I would still ask for it to be marked for identification:

  • So, Mr Taylor, what I would ask you to do, please, is to sign and date it.

  • Well, okay, I'll follow the instruction, but I think a key can be provided. But if I sign and date this, what --

  • Well, if the witness thinks --

  • [Overlapping speakers].

  • Because it will not indicate anything if I just sign and date it.

  • Very well. If you just take your time, Mr Taylor, and provide a key, and then after you've provided the key, then you explain to us what the key shows. Okay?

  • Okay. Let me just - I'll make like a star. Yes. The circle, star, I'm saying here, it shows the area controlled by the GOL, the Government of Liberia, that held the only route, auto route from Bomi Hills to Kakata. The broken lines show the ULIMO entry into Liberia. The third one, the lines from Cape Mount County to Zorzor, shows the encirclement of Monrovia by the NPFL, and the fourth, the broken lines here, show the foot route that these individual took through Bong Mines to Kakata.

  • Just so we can understand those notations, could you insert a date?

  • That those notations were applicable?

  • If you could put a date and signature at the bottom.

  • That's not what I'm referring to. Just for the first notation, you say circle (star) shows area controlled by Government of Liberia.

  • At what time period? That's what I'm referring to.

  • Yes. Okay, I'll just make a second key. Number 1 refers to - I put here dates applied to the key at the left of the page, which would be this, and number 1 will be around July 1990 through May 1992. Number 2, I'll say, on or about May 1991. Number 3 and number 1 are just about the same - the same dates because number 1 referred to the encirclement and number 2 just shows the - it's about the same. Number 4, I will put this to around April/May of 1992.

  • Right. Could you sign and date that now, please, Mr Taylor?

  • And whilst that's being done, Mr President, can I ask that that be marked for identification MFI-262, please.

  • How would you like that described?

  • Map marked by defendant showing alleged infiltration by Black Kadaffa and surrounding events.

  • That document then will be marked for identification MFI-262.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, could you regain your seat, please. Now, I'm grateful for your assistance in that regard, Mr Taylor, because it then provides a context for the next passage of testimony to which I'm going to refer. Page 21361:

    "A. ... From Maca we went to Kakata.

    Q. Upon your arrival in Kakata, what happened?

    A. I was now in Kakata until the time the NPFL launched

    their Operation Octopus on Monrovia."

    Yes?

  • Now, let us just pause there and remind ourselves that the witness had earlier said:

    "When ULIMO attacked us in Bomi Hills they captured Bomi Hills from there. When we retreated through the Maca crossing point the next place I was based was Kakata when Foday Sankoh came from the front line, that was during the Operation Octopus sometime in September 1992."

    He then says at page 2161 that they spent about a month in Maca and then they arrived in Kakata at the time the NPFL launched their Operation Octopus on Monrovia:

    "And we were there because even though we had been there with them and we had been scattered, but some of the Black Kadaffa units were still intact, although some of its members were on the various front lines, but a part of the people within the Black Kadaffa that I'm referring to now, there was a point in time when we were in Kakata and Mr Taylor and Pa Sankoh, they moved from the Gbarnga area and they went to the front line going towards Monrovia. That was Echo Bravo."

    Now remember earlier he had said that you had come with Sankoh from the front line in Liberia, that is Monrovia. Now you are coming from the Gbarnga area with Pa Sankoh moving towards Monrovia. Do you see that?

  • I see it.

  • "That was Echo Bravo. And whilst Pa Sankoh was going, he

    left a message with CO Lion and he asked him to assemble us

    so that he will make us go back to Sierra Leone through

    Kailahun to join the other RUF fighters who were in

    Kailahun.

    Q. First of all, you said that Mr Taylor and Pa Sankoh

    moved from the Gbarnga area and they went to the front line

    going towards Monrovia. How do you know that Mr Taylor and

    Pa Sankoh moved from the Gbarnga area and went to the front

    line towards Monrovia? How do you know that?

    A. When they moved from the Gbarnga area they came to

    Kakata and CO Lion and others met the Pa, Pa Sankoh, and

    the message that Pa Sankoh gave to CO Lion was, because I

    was also on the radio there, so I was one of the persons

    who CO Lion gave the message to that Pa Sankoh had given to

    him, he said we should prepare that message. He said if

    there was anyone amongst us, my fellow, my colleague RUF

    fighters around Kakata, or around that area, he said I

    should inform that person that Pa Sankoh said we should try

    and prepare ourselves to go back to Sierra Leone and he

    gave a date in fact. He said from the date CO Lion gave me

    that message he gave us two days to assemble ourselves and

    from that time almost everybody was now coming on board.

    Those of us, the RUF fighters, all of us were now coming

    to assemble around the police station where the NPFL police

    station was. That is on the highway in Kakata. That was

    where every one of us came because at any time Pa Sankoh

    would come everybody would be able to see him.

    Q. Mr Witness, remember the original question I asked you

    was how you know Sankoh - Foday Sankoh, Pa Sankoh, and

    Mr Taylor went towards Monrovia towards the front line.

    That is what I asked you. How do you know that?

    A. It was Mr Lion, Mr Alan Blamo, The Lion, he told me."

    Now, Mr Taylor, first of all, did you come from Monrovia with Pa Sankoh at this time?

  • Did you come from Gbarnga towards Monrovia at this time?

  • Were you in company with Pa Sankoh at this time?

  • Now help us. Was there a NPFL police station in Kakata?

  • Was it on the main highway?

  • Now, according to this witness, these men, these combatants, Black Kadaffa, were told by Pa Sankoh to assemble at a NPFL police station. Do you follow me?

  • Question therefore: How could such a thing happen without your NPFL police based at that police station informing you? Do you get me?

  • It didn't happen and if such a thing had happened it would not - the police would not have been able to inform me. I was just not an ordinary person. But, you know, as I'm listening, your Honours, to this testimony the only way I can answer this question is to put forward a proposition. Look, this particular person here appears to really, really be confused. And my proposition is if he is talking about the assembly of RUF individuals to leave Liberia or to go back in any case, my proposition would be that he must be talking about months earlier. Because when this conflict occurred between the RUF and the NPFL in May of 1992, all RUF individuals that were in Liberia packed up and they had to leave. Now, my proposition is that he's got it all mixed up and that if he is talking about this time NPFL - I mean RUF individuals were packed up and they left for their own safety out of Liberia in May of 1992 after Top 20, Top 40 and Top Final.

    So I see this as the first confusion in his mind that I'm giving this proposition that he must be talking about this time. He reminds me of a typical - and this would not be unusual. For a Sierra Leonean who may have been in that general area to be around Kakata or if he was in the Cape Mount, Bomi area to come to Kakata as an individual, but I can't see him as being a part of any organised force in Kakata at that time.

    But even a third - a third situation that we have to look at. The most educated I would say amongst the RUF officials or former officials that appeared before this Court who are protected, all of them - the name I wrote on this paper, the last that I really - one of the top academics, every one that have come of any importance that had the capacity to say so many things all have said to this Court that all ties between the NPFL and the RUF were severed in May of 1992. Now, for this man to come and say that Sankoh - Foday Sankoh is in Liberia in September of 1992 is just incredible. It did not happen and he has got it mixed up. It just didn't - it is not possible. It is outrageous for him to say this and I would just propose that he's got the time all mixed up.

    The evacuation of RUF from Liberia occurred in May. I've said that to this Court. Their own senior witnesses have said this to this Court.

    So the reason why I didn't know, in direct answer to your question, because it didn't happen as he explained it here. It just didn't happen. I'm coming from Monrovia first with Sankoh and Sankoh - what would Sankoh be going to Monrovia with me? And even - even for the period - the period between August of 1998 through - I mean, excuse me, of 1991 through May of 1992 when Foday Sankoh did come to Gbarnga, there's not one indication that Foday Sankoh and I are riding together or are talking together. All witnesses that have come here have told this Court Foday Sankoh came to Gbarnga. He went to the executive ground to see me and he left. There is no comradery going on between Sankoh and myself even during the time that he is coming of us riding together and going up together. It didn't happen. Sankoh and --

  • Hold that thought, Mr Taylor. You say you weren't riding around with him. That's not what this witness is telling us. Let's have a look at another passage. Page 21364 for 1 December 2008. Listen to this. Remember, he's already got you coming from Monrovia with Pa Sankoh and going to Monrovia with Pa Sankoh. You understand that?

  • At or around the same time, but he goes on to say this, page 21364:

    "Q. What specifically did the message say, the message

    that he said he got from CO Lion?

    A. The message said we should prepare to go back to Sierra

    Leone through Kailahun to go and join our colleague RUF

    fighters in Kailahun.

    Q. Okay. Originally this question was about you leaving

    Liberia and you have said now that you have reached this

    location Kakata. Now you've described the message that CO

    Lion sent about having Sierra Leoneans go back to Sierra

    Leone. Is that correct?

    A. Yes.

    Q. After this message was transmitted by CO Lion what

    happened?

    A. Well, two days after that Pa Sankoh came to Kakata.

    And fortunately enough he met a good number of us around

    the police - I mean the MP headquarters in Kakata. He came

    in convoy with Mr Taylor. He alighted and spoke to us

    briefly but Mr Taylor did not talk to us. He was still

    seated in his own vehicle. Mr Taylor did not alight. He

    was still seated in his own vehicle - his own jeep, the

    glass - the windscreens were up when Pa Sankoh alighted and

    came and spoke to us. He said, 'My children, my brothers,

    my sisters, all of us now know what the struggle is all

    about.' He said, 'You should prepare.' And he

    Foday Sankoh was now saying he was going to Gbarnga and on

    arriving there he said he was going to send a vehicle or a

    truck to pick us up from Kakata. Indeed, when he went he

    sent the truck.

    Q. Who sent the truck?

    A. Foday Sankoh."

    Jumping a few lines:

    "Q. How do you know the individual in the vehicle was

    Mr Taylor?

    A. It was CO Lion who told me.

    Q. Was that the first time you ever saw Mr Taylor?

    A. Yes."

    Now, Mr Taylor, you see what's being said there, don't you?

  • What do you say about it?

  • It's totally, totally untrue. Sankoh and myself could have never - in fact during even the time he was permitted in Liberia we never rode in any vehicle together even in Gbarnga. Never. So this whole fantasy of Sankoh being in Liberia in September of 1992 is totally, totally erroneous. Totally.

  • He goes on to say, just to complete the sequence of events, that Sankoh did indeed send a truck to pick them up. And that truck - it was a big - a large sized three wiper Toyota truck. This is page 21366 of the transcript. The truck arrived and they were taken to Gbarnga. What do you say about that, Mr Taylor?

  • I'm not aware of any such thing happening. I'm saying that if this evacuation - if this witness is proposing that this evacuation of Sierra Leoneans occurred in or around May of 1992, I would give it some credence, because after this fallout Sierra Leoneans that Sankoh had in Gbarnga, that thing was severed and they packed up and they left. But there is no way that this - this evacuation of Sierra Leoneans from Liberia is occurring in September. It did --

  • No, he says that eventually they make it back to Sierra Leone by November 1992?

  • Yeah, but even - if they didn't make it out in September they could not have made it out in November. They are not there. If Sankoh was there in September that's a miracle, and for Sierra Leoneans soldiers whatever to be in Liberia by November 1992 that's even a bigger miracle because there was so much anger between these two groups because I was angry. I was not talking to Sankoh. And most of the people we are talking about, their brothers and their relatives got killed in that Top 20, Top Final thing and people were angry, and we're talking about something that happened in May. By September, October, November, there would still be Sierra Leonean soldiers hanging around in Liberia? It's impossible. Impossible.

  • Well, it doesn't end there, Mr Taylor, according to this witness. So let me test you with this, because the witness goes on to say this, page 21383 of the transcript: That having returned to Sierra Leone by November 1992, in the middle of 1993, he moves to Kailahun Town where he is working as the control station commander in Kailahun Town.

    And then he says this, page 21384: "I used to receive instructions from Foday Sankoh" - this is why mid-1993 in Kailahun - "to contact the various front lines to inquire about situations. I was also receiving reports from the various front lines and passing them on to Pa Sankoh."

    Then this: "I was equally contacting Liberia, like Treetop, to send messages from Pa Sankoh to Mr Taylor. Those were my duties, you know, in Kailahun Town; communication purely in Kailahun Town at that time."

    Mid-1993, Mr Taylor, you're still in contact?

  • Total nonsense. Never happened. Never happened.

  • And he goes further and embellishes it in this way, line 24, page 31384:

    "A. Well, we were fighting a war. Every morning when I opened the transmission I would check - I would call the various call signs within the liberated zones to get morning reports from all of them. Then I used to go to the Liberian radio net to contact Treetop to know if they've got any information - I mean if Treetop, their father, who was Mr Taylor, if he had anything for us, any message for Pa Sankoh."

    What do you say about that?

  • Total nonsense. Total nonsense. I don't know - you know, again, in being - in being fair to some of these radio operators that are being led down this road, I would not --

  • What do you mean "led down this road"?

  • Well, because they are all saying the same bunch of lies that are impossible. We had the first one, King Perry, that talked about contacts. We have the senior people saying that contacts were severed. But look at, you know, after it had been firmly established that there is no physical contact, I guess the other thing to do is to make sure that there is radio contact. Everyone is coming, talking about radio contacts.

    Now, to be fair, as I have to be in this case, with the time that the RUF and the NPFL people are together, and I'm speaking specifically about August '91 through May '92, I don't doubt that some of these operators established friendship and it would not be out of the ordinary for an RUF operator who knows an NPFL operator at one station or another to call. I don't put this past them. You may have a friendship that you could have developed, you go to another frequency and you talk or what. But at my level, the defence level and the NPFL hierarchy level, there was no way that my radio operator, Butterfly, would have ever received, okay, any radio message from Foday Sankoh. He would have not.

    Because, in fact, let's go back. Butterfly, my radio operator, is a Special Force who is in Libya, and - so while Foday Sankoh is coming to Liberia, there is another thing that is important, and the Gambians like, you know, like a Butterfly and others, were not looking at Foday Sankoh - when Foday Sankoh came to me in Gbarnga, he did not hang out with me as a colleague where he came and had dinner with me. Because, as far as I was concerned, Foday Sankoh, if he had any friends, they were Special Forces. Those were his people that he hang out with in Gbarnga. There is no way - no witness has come here and said, "Oh, he went to have dinner with Mr Taylor." He came, he saw me, he left. So if Foday Sankoh wandered around Gbarnga, he went out with his colleagues, with other Special Forces.

    So this type of situation that this man is explaining here, in fairness, I would not dispute any part of any of their testimony where they say that they are calling some radio operators in Liberia and chatting. That one I wouldn't put it past these people, once they know each other. But at the official level, and if I had known that any - any senior NPFL operator was in contact with Foday Sankoh, he would have never been an operator again. He would have been removed and punished. There were no official contacts between Foday Sankoh and myself. There were no official contacts between Foday Sankoh and my Defence Minister or any senior NPFL personnel. And so --

  • Well, Mr Taylor, sorry to interrupt you.

  • And, you know, let me see if, in light of that answer, any or any senior NPFL personnel, how senior was General Anthony Mekunagbe?

  • Oh, was a soldier, yes. General Mekunagbe --

  • No, no. Question: How senior was he? Would you describe him as a senior NPFL personnel?

  • Well, no. I would describe him as a middle level NPFL personnel.

  • I'll tell you why I ask. Page 21385, in the same answer the witness says this:

    "Like in Liberia, for instance, I can remember that Pa Sankoh used to tell me to contact General Anthony Mekunagbe and one - there was an SSS Cobra commander, whose name I cannot recall, he used to call him to tell him - to ask him for ammunition, to tell him to send ammunition or logistics. Those were part of my duties in Kailahun?"

    So what do you say about that?

  • I would not dispute this, that Foday Sankoh would ask somebody during that period to contact Mekunagbe. I would not dispute. It's possible and I will even say even probable because based on what - and I'm talking about after the fact now. Based on what information we receive as to Mekunagbe's own activities with Foday Sankoh that led to the training and attack in Sierra Leone, this was his principal - it was one of his principal contacts throughout the place and we got this information after the arrest of Mekunagbe. So it doesn't surprise me. It doesn't surprise me.

  • Now, SSS Cobra, ring a bell?

  • There isn't - there is no unit that I know in the NPFL called SSS Cobra. This could be Cobra - Cobra is a code name that I think one of the generals used.

  • All right. Did you have a general with a first name Cassius?

  • What was his call sign? Cobra?

  • No, Cassius was not Cobra. I will help later on as we go along. I cannot remember it, but he was not Cobra, no. Cassius was not Cobra.

  • Let me tell you why I ask, same page:

    "Q. In the very last sentence you said he used to call him

    to tell him, to ask him for ammunition. To tell him to

    send ammunition. Who --

    A. Mr Sankoh used to tell me to contact the SS Cobra

    director at the time to send ammunition for him and at the

    same time he used to tell me to contact Treetop saying that

    we needed ammunition, that we were going through strains

    for ammunition, for Treetop to pass the message to

    Mr Taylor. To 'him' there is the man's name that I cannot

    recall, that SS Cobra commander. Something like - maybe

    I'll recall with time. Something like Cassius - Cassius

    something. But really, I cannot recall his name anyway."

    Cassius Jacob, a contact?

  • Yeah. No. In fact - in fact, I can say categorically it could not have been a Cassius Jacob. At this time, and we're talking about, what, 1992, am I --

  • '93, mid-1993, the witness says he is in Kailahun at the control station.

  • No, but by this particular time, Cassius Jacob is not any - he is not, I will call it, a real - a senior commander in the NPFL at this time. Cassius Jacob is not a Special Forces. He is trained and he's very junior, so he doesn't take up any serious command responsibility until I will say the beginning of 1994. So it would not be Cassius.

  • But, interestingly, you notice, now in this answer, in addition to Anthony Mekunagbe, which contact you may be prepared to concede, here he is saying he's contacting Treetop. And you explained to us yesterday, Treetop is the command control centre, right?

  • So he is saying there's contact with Treetop as well. What do you say about that, Mr Taylor?

  • I'm not in a position - it could very well be true, but that contact at Treetop, may be there's an operator on that he knows. I would not - I'm not in position to categorically say that he is telling a lie here because it depends on who is on duty and who - maybe it could be one of his friends that he is talking to.

  • But, Mr Taylor, he goes on to say, page 21386:

    "Q. How often were you in communication with the station

    Treetop?

    A. It was daily. Sometimes if we were under enemy

    pressure, enemy pressure for instance we the RUF, when I

    would have informed Treetop they often contacted us - I

    mean, Treetop used to contact us often to know how best we

    were doing in repelling such attacks."

    So he is describing two-way communication between Treetop, the command control centre attached to your Ministry of Defence, and the RUF in mid-1993 on a daily basis.

  • No, I wouldn't - I would not want to believe that even if - you know, when these people are speaking - and I know this is a legal situation. When these boys are speaking, we have to try to see if we can get into some of their heads to see what they are talking about. Number one, he can cannot be in daily contact with Treetop. And when we're talking about Treetop, we're not talking about an individual. We're talking about a station with many, many operators.

    So I'm saying that if this boy knows an operator that is on duty at a particular time and calls and speaks to him, this I am in no position to say he is lying. Maybe he did talk to somebody. Now - but Treetop is just a radio station with many operators that are running three, four shifts with at least three operators or four on every shift. So if he knows somebody there he is talking about - but then again, as he explains this, let's look at the time. He is saying mid-1993. Mid-1993. But if we look at mid-1993 we must remind ourselves of one important thing: Even if he is getting material or he wants to get material, how is he going to get it by mid-1993? How is he going to get it? Where is he going to pass to get it in mid-1993? Where?

    So this is how they confuse themselves. He cannot be talking about mid-1993 because by August of 1993 ULIMO has full control of Lofa. Where is he passing? Where? Where is he passing with this material? So I'm saying they are getting it mixed up. I mean he has got this thing totally wrong. Okay, let's say somebody is in NPFL area that is telling him come. Where is he going to pass to get it? So he cannot be talking about this period. And sometimes this is the way they mix up the dates and try to tie in information.

    Well, if he is getting let's say even on the incident again with Mekunagbe, where does he meet - which Mekunagbe is he calling in mid-1993? The ghost Mekunagbe? Which Mekunagbe is he calling? Black Kadaffa and these people have this problem in late 1992. Remember he talks here about Operation Octopus. This happens around the time that we have this issue with the Black Kadaffa. These people are arrested, they are tried. This Court knows that we've admitted that people were executed Mekunagbe me died in jail. What Mekunagbe is he calling in 1993 except he is calling a ghost Mekunagbe.

    So I'm trying to say that these boys being able to - if you've got a friend over in the NPFL area that you call and say, "Oh, my man, you know, how are things?" And these boys talk a lot on these radios, you understand me, and this is why when they get ready to talk they will leave the national frequency and they probably go to many, many hundreds of other frequencies because that frequency Treetop doesn't change. So you can call somebody and say, "Go to this frequency, I want to talk to you" that you do not interrupt the line. But this boy is lying. If he is calling Mekunagbe then he called him from the grave. There is no way that this is happening in mid-1993.

  • When is Mekunagbe executed?

  • I understood the witness to say he died in jail.

  • When did Mekunagbe die?

  • He died in jail. At about the beginning of 1993 he is incarcerated - late 1992. He dies in jail. He is not one of those that is executed, but he dies with this process.

  • He dies in jail at what time?

  • You are speaking of the impossibility of providing these supplies at this time. We'll come to that in a moment. But just to paint the full picture before we come to that the witness goes on to say this in answer to this question:

    "Q. In terms of this ammunition messages, how often did

    these occur whilst you were in Kailahun?

    A. While I was in Kailahun almost every week I would

    send message pertaining to ammunition. Sometimes when the

    pressure would have mounted from the Sierra Leone Army,

    almost every day I would still remind them. Sometimes they

    would send the ammunition. We would be in Kailahun and the

    ammunition would arrive.

    Q. How do you know that?

    A. When the ammunition - before the ammunition arrives a

    message would be sent. Like the Treetop would send a

    message that we should expect, or Cassius something, that

    SS Cobra director at the time, and when the ammunition

    reaches us in Kailahun the Pa would tell me to inform

    Treetop that the Pa, meaning Pa Sankoh, would tell me to

    inform Treetop that he has received the consignment.

    Q. Do you have any information as to which route this

    ammunition arrived from?

    A. Yes. It came most often from Gbarnga." Mid-1993 I

    remind you. "Gbarnga through Zorzor, Voinjama, from

    Voinjama to Foya and then to Sierra Leone. It was - and at

    any time the ammunition arrived the Pa used to give me

    instructions to send to the front lines to call up some of

    those commanders, the front line commanders, the target

    commanders, to come and receive their ammunition.

    Sometimes he will tell me to send a message to CO Rashid -

    I mean The Lion. Sometimes The Lion will tell me to call

    CO Rashid to come and received the ammunition.

    Q. How do you know that this was the route? The route

    you've described from Gbarnga through Zorzor, Voinjama, how

    do you know this was the route?

    A. There was radio communication and when those men - and

    when everybody was escorting the ammunition at that time

    they will inform us in the RUF, in the RUF controlled

    areas. They would inform me that they had arrived at a

    particular destination.

    Q. Like?

    A. I can recall there was a time when one Kennedy who was

    a Vanguard who travelled with some materials from Gbarnga,

    when he met us in Kailahun. Sometimes the Pa would send

    Domingo and others, his bodyguards, and Jungle, Colonel

    Jungle was the person who did those things at the time and

    I was there with Pa Sankoh."

    Now he is saying mid-1993 whilst he in Kailahun these messages are passing backwards and forwards between Cassius, Mekunagbe and Treetop asking for ammunition on a weekly, sometimes a daily basis, and it's coming via from Gbarnga, it would appear by road, to Sierra Leone. What do you say about that, Mr Taylor?

  • Oh, boy. I swear. It is so big a lie. I don't - you know, all I can say here, it's a lie. I will just be repeating myself. I think this Court is aware now of the dates that we've talked about. I don't want to just sound like a broken record here. Because this particular boy here that is talking this thing, he doesn't know what he is talking. He cannot know what he is talking about mid-1993. But maybe in helping the Court we may have to get maybe Varmuyan Sherif's testimony and some of the others.

  • And how they place the dates of the occupation because when we talk about ULIMO's activities in Lofa, while they take full control by August of 19 - by at least August of 1993, I would say the fighting in the area is so intense and dangerous, but the full control is as of this time.

    So for this man to be talking about what Foday Sankoh - Foday Sankoh who had complained as early as May of 1992 of the insufficiency of material and the little bits and pieces here. The break-up has occurred way back in 1992. Senior individuals and their academics have come here and have told this Court that contacts were severed, physical contact and otherwise.

    This man now comes and says way down in 1993, this is at least a year later, because between May of 1992 to September, October, November 1993 it's more than a year, he's got material passing through. This is simply a lie.

  • Well, Mr Taylor, let me help you as best I can with the time frame given by the witness for these movements. You remember in an earlier passage he said he arrived in Kailahun in mid-1993, yes?

  • From there he told the Court that he then moved with Pa Sankoh to Sandeyalu and he was there in Sandeyalu until late 1993. He then went to Koindu with Pa Sankoh and he was in Koindu, page 21393, up to December 1993. That's lines 13 to 17 on page 21393. So he is in Koindu. He arrives in Koindu and he is in Koindu until December 1993. Bear that date in mind.

    "Q. After your next basing --

    A. Well, from Koindu, we stayed in Koindu until the enemy

    pressurised us and cut off our supply routes."

    Line 20:

    "Then we were in Koindu when Pa Sankoh told me to contact. That is before we left Koindu I contacted Treetop to contact Mr Taylor for him to do whatever he could to send ammunition for us through the jungle."

    Do you follow me?

  • Because they had been cut off. Do you follow?

  • So he is now contacting Treetop for you to send ammunition for us through the jungle.

    "Wherein other people from the RUF could go to receive them. I even contacted. There was even a dialogue directly between Mr Taylor and Foday Sankoh at that time, and that was really the first time that I saw - that I overheard the two of them directly speaking on the radio, on the VHF radio, whereby Mr Sankoh sent some options."

    Do you follow that?

  • So after the supply routes are cut, one assumes in light of what we know by ULIMO, there is this request for the supplies to continue through the jungle and you, Charles Ghankay Taylor, according to this witness, was in direct conversation with Foday Sankoh at the end of 1993. What do you say about that?

  • I say that's a direct lie. Period.

  • But, Mr Taylor, he goes on. The dialogue, that is the conversation you had with Mr Sankoh, he goes on to describe in this way at page 21394, line 12:

    "The dialogue was based on so that Mr Taylor could send ammunition for us because, you know, the enemy had really pressurised us. The SLAs and the ULIMO too were pressurising us. So Mr Taylor even suggested to Pa Sankoh that he should see if there was any way that Mr Taylor could ensure that a chopper, that is a helicopter, picks up Pa Sankoh from Koindu or the area that Pa Sankoh would identify. Then Pa Sankoh said that was not a good option for him. He said if he goes out of Sierra Leone, that the RUF would go in disarray at that time."

    You do understand that, don't you?

  • Yes, I do.

  • They are cut off. You're having this direct conversation with him, "Well, listen, Pa Sankoh, tell you what I'll do, my brother. I will send this helicopter to go and fetch you." Did anything of the like happen, Mr Taylor?

  • The NPFL never, ever had a helicopter. No such thing happened. Helicopter? Never. Never.

  • Well, Mr Taylor, let us examine all the possibilities because you will recall that you described certain things that you said to him in that letter of May 1992 as diplomacy, diplomacy involving at times an element of deception. Was there an element of --

  • Something that I said to him or he said to me?

  • No, that you said in your response to his letter. Do you remember?

  • Let's not forget, shall we. So help me, was this a bit of diplomacy?

  • Even though you didn't have a helicopter you were suggesting you did have one just to keep him quiet?

  • No, there was no such thing. There was no such discussion and so there could not have been any diplomatic language. I was just not in contact with Sankoh since our last conversation in about May/early June of 1992. No.

  • But the witness goes on:

    "Q. How do you know that it was Mr Taylor communicating

    directly on the radio?

    A. I contacted his radio station, Mr Taylor's radio

    station. Butterfly I suggest. It was I who suggested the

    dialogue from Lion. I mean at that time from Toyota to

    Ebony that Toyota would want to talk to Ebony on a very

    important issue. So I mounted pressure until Treetop took

    it up and he was finally able to get Mr Taylor to come to

    the radio to talk to his brother, the late Sankoh,

    directly. I conducted the dialogue. I overheard them

    speaking.

    Q. Was there any other time you heard directly Mr Taylor

    communicating with Mr Sankoh?

    A. I cannot remember that. I cannot remember that. I

    cannot remember that. During my regime with Foday Sankoh I

    cannot remember that any more."

    So what the witness is asking these judges to accept, this is a conversation which sticks in his mind. It's the first time he's heard the two of you speak directly. He is able to put a date on it. He is able to further embellish it by suggesting that mention was made --

  • Yes, Ms Hollis.

  • I have an objection to the use of the word "embellish". This is the second time counsel has done that. That is comment. That is not question. "Embellish" certainly has negative connotations.

  • He adds the detail that a chopper was involved. Now, help me, what do you say about that? Are you still saying the man is lying?

  • The man is blatantly lying. There is no such - look, if I Charles Ghankay Taylor, following the conflict with Sankoh where some of my good boys died, had any further radio contact, not even me personally, because Charles Taylor, from the NPFL days through my presidency, getting on a two-way radio that every Tom, Dick and Harry anywhere in the world can listen to was a no, no. I knew better than that. But for this boy to get up and say that I am in contact with Sankoh and even speaking to him personally, he is lying. If it had happened, I would have sat here and told this Court, "Yeah, after Sankoh left, there was no - we couldn't help him, but I spoke to him from time to time." I would say that.

    There was no contact with Foday Sankoh by this individual and that remained that way until I saw Sankoh in 1999 July in Lome. Never spoke to him. He never tried to make any contacts with me himself, with all the opportunities he had. I say it to these judges: I Charles Ghankay Taylor never talked to Sankoh after May of 1992. I did not.

    Now, I don't care how many of these little liars come up and say this. I don't know how they constructed this, but it did not happen after that time. If it had, I would have said, "Yes, I spoke to Sankoh. There was no harm in speaking to Sankoh, so I spoke to him." I didn't. Period. I didn't.

  • Very well. Let's move on from those suggestions and let us now deal with another topic mentioned by this witness. Page 21432, testimony of 2 December 2008, line 16:

    "Q. Mr Witness, you also said that some of the contents of

    these communications while you were in Kenema concerned

    logistics. To your knowledge, how was the AFRC, RUF" -

    note - "receiving supplies at this time?

    A. Well, I recall that there was a point in time whilst we

    were in Kenema, it was in late 1997."

    Do you follow, Mr Taylor?

  • So you've been elected President. You're a few months into the job, yes?

  • "A. ... there was one Memunatu Deen who was a radio

    operator - a field radio operator - for the RUF and one

    Fonti Kanu who is now a late man. He was the battalion

    commander for Daru. They travelled to Monrovia - no,

    wrong, wrong, I want to say Liberia. They travelled to

    Liberia, Fonti and Memuna, and they went and they brought

    with them some ammunition. They brought some ammunition."

    Pause. Firstly, does the name Memunatu Deen mean anything to you?

  • I have heard the name. I have heard the name.

  • Here. I've heard the name here in this Court.

  • Whilst President of Liberia, did you know of that name?

  • No, I did not know of Memunatu. No.

  • What about Fonti Kanu?

  • You appreciate that what is here being suggested is that in late 1997 those two individuals went to Liberia and returned with ammunition. What do you say about that, Mr Taylor?

  • Well, it is untrue, and I guess as we go further we will get to know how untrue it is. Because we're talking about late 1997, the AFRC is in power in Freetown and we're still talking about the very infancy of my presidency where we don't have materials. I don't know how this material business will come for anybody called Fonti Kanu, that will come. If I know the RUF and don't know - and don't know this Fonti Kanu, whoever he is, but there was no material that will come from Liberia in late 1997 to go to anybody. That's not true.

  • Now, late 1997, Mr Taylor - now, you recall a letter from Johnny Paul Koroma following the coup in May of 1997 requesting materials from you. Remember?

  • Did you decide to meet that request?

  • No, I never - we never even - we never even - I never even responded to Johnny Paul Koroma's letter. In fact, Johnny Paul Koroma did more than that. He sent a delegation that I did not see. No.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, of course, according to this same witness, you've been in contact over the years by radio with the RUF in Sierra Leone, haven't you, from Treetop?

  • But that is not true. That is not true.

  • Yes. But that is what he is suggesting.

  • But in 1997, Johnny Paul Koroma, after coming to Pa, inviting the RUF to join them, writes you a letter. What do you say about that?

  • Well, you know, what makes this so - what I'll call illogical - Johnny Paul Koroma comes to power. The RUF joins Johnny Paul Koroma. They are together. From evidence before this Court, Sam Bockarie goes to Freetown. They have senior members. They have a council. Johnny Paul Koroma - I'm in radio contact now with the RUF.

  • Over the years.

  • Over the years. Why would Johnny Paul Koroma have to write me a letter for ammunition? Why? Why would Johnny Paul Koroma have to write me a letter for ammunition? He is sitting in this council meeting with the RUF most senior man that I'm supposed to be in contact with, Sam Bockarie and all of them. Isn't it easier for somebody in the RUF to say to them in council meeting, "No, no, no, no, no, don't write Mr Taylor. We know the man. We're in contact with him. We'll call on the radio and settle this matter"? Why is he writing me? Why is he writing me if I'm in contact with the RUF? Why? There's no point to write.

    The fact is, I am not in contact with them at this particular time. And in trying to make contact, Johnny Paul Koroma writes. Because for me, I mean, if you're thinking logically, which I'm sure these people are not thinking in putting this - maybe in a hurry putting this lie together, why somebody wouldn't just say to them, "No, don't write him. Get on the radio. Call Treetop" - if there is a Treetop any more - "call Treetop and say we want to get to him, or call some of our old contacts"?

    Look, my people, I don't know what to say again. I'm not in contact with the RUF over this period of time they are talking about at all. And, yes, Johnny Paul Koroma did write I think in trying to establish some contact that I did not respond to in 1997. He sends a delegation to Monrovia. That evidence is before this Court by a witness whose name was here - by that witness whose name I wrote on the paper. I did not see them.

    At this particular time, what is going on in late 1997? ECOWAS is putting pressure on the junta to turn over power to Tejan Kabbah. You understand me? And by late 1997, I can remember after the foreign ministers' meeting where the information is reached that the AFRC have no intention of turning power over, that it should have turned over in April 1998, a decision is taken through consultations that force will have to be used.

    So these boys do not know and they are stuck in a situation where they have to say something. There is no contact between the RUF and the NPFL as of May 1992 and it does not resume at this particular time. It only starts again in July 1999 when I meet Sankoh in Lome. That's the story. And that's the fact.

  • "A. ... they went and they brought with them some

    ammunition. They brought some ammunition. On their return

    when they arrived at Daru they contacted Mosquito. So that

    was one of the shipments that I know about that I will say

    it was a means by which we got ammunition. Specifically

    that is the means that I recall that we got ammunition

    through during the AFRC days.

    Q. Okay. Do you know, first of all, where in Liberia that

    Memunatu and Fonti Kanu travelled to, Mr Witness?

    A. Yes, yes, please give me a chance to think properly.

    In late 1997, yes, I do not recall exactly where they

    picked the ammunition from, but Memuna was staying in -

    Memuna was staying in Monrovia anyway at that time. Memuna

    was staying in Monrovia. She was based in Monrovia at that

    time.

    Q. How do you know about this particular shipment? How do

    you yourself know?

    A. I knew about it through radio communication. Memuna

    contacted me from Monrovia even before they left and she

    told me that she and Fonti Kanu, that is Memuna and Fonti

    Kanu, were travelling to bring some materials that had been

    given to them by the Papay, that is Mr Taylor. And when

    they arrived in Daru, Memuna also contacted me to tell me

    that they had arrived in Daru and Mosquito and I, we

    travelled to Daru to receive the shipment.

    Q. What specifically was in the shipment?

    A. They were an assorted form of ammunition, like AK

    rounds, GPMG, RPG. And I'm saying this according to Memuna

    and Mosquito because I did not specifically enter the ammo

    dump in Daru.

    A. ... when we got to Daru we went straight to the

    battalion headquarters in Daru. That is the Moa Barracks

    where Mosquito and the late Fonti Kanu, they entered the

    office and they discussed and then I entered the signals

    room where I met Memuna and others - I mean Memuna and some

    other radio operators. And when we were now there in Daru,

    that was the time Memuna started briefing me about the

    things they had brought with them. After that, some of the

    material, we took them along with us to Kenema."

    Mr Taylor, Musa Cisse, who is he?

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

  • Listen to this:

    "Q. ... Why was Memunatu based in Monrovia?

    A. Memuna was one of the radio operators who travelled

    with Lion" - that's Foday Sankoh - "to la Cote d'Ivoire and

    sometime in 1996, during the Abidjan peace talks, and she

    was there until Pa Sankoh was arrested and circumstances

    through which and how Memuna went to Monrovia I did not

    know exactly because by then I was in captivity in the

    hands of the Kamajors, but she was living in Monrovia with

    one Papay Musa, one Musa Cisse. She was living with him in

    his house."

    What do you say about that?

  • I don't know who Musa Cisse had in his house, really. This could be possible, but I'm not aware of it.

  • Because she goes on to identify - he goes on to identify, page 21435:

    "Q. Do you mean Musa Zesay?

    A. Yes, one Musa Cisse. I knew that he was a Special

    Forces member and he was a Gambian. That is what I knew

    about him and he was one of Mr Taylor's securities. He was

    a Zambian - wrong, sorry, he was a Gambian, Musa Cisse.

    That is all I know about him."

    And Musa Cisse was a Gambian, wasn't he?

  • No, Musa Cisse was Liberian. Liberian, Musa Cisse, all his brothers, his family, uncles, brothers, pa, ma, everybody. He is Liberian fully. All his children are there, the late Musa Cisse. No, the chief of protocol at the Executive Mansion, Musa Cisse. His brother Jebbeh Cisse was ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Never, never been any other thing but a Liberia.

  • Well, according to this man he is a Gambian or a Zambian. And then he goes on to say about Memunatu Deen:

    "Q. Do you know what her duties were in Monrovia?

    A. Yes. It was through Memuna that we coordinated most of

    our affairs. I mean the RUF through Memuna to Musa Cisse

    and from there Musa Cisse will link directly to the Papay.

    I mean Papay Taylor.

    Q. And when was this?

    A. This was late 1997."

    So what the witness is suggesting, Mr Taylor, is that one of your Special Forces, a Gambian or a Zambia, Musa Cisse, is living with an RUF radio operator who has been in la Cote d'Ivoire in 1996 with Foday Sankoh until his arrest which we know to be March 1997 and she is coordinating, through the man she is living with, events with you?

  • That's not true. I don't know if Musa Cisse had anybody in his house called Memuna, because I really didn't know who was in his house. But I just want to put something maybe as a guide. Let's look back at late 1997 and some of the evidence that has been led here in this Court by the Prosecution. This man is putting himself up as the Mr Know-All but let's go back to - remember in this courtroom, ammunition that comes to the RUF in late 1997, based on evidence before this Court, we heard that there was supposed to be a plane that landed at Magburaka from evidence, and this name Fonti Kanu that has come up was supposed to be on that plane. And also on that plane according to an OTP witness before this Court, I think at least more than one, there was supposed to be a gentleman on that plane called Commander Musa who had brought some ammunition and an anti-aircraft missile and have come to teach people how to use it.

    So when we're talking about ammunition getting into the AFRC/RUF in late 1997, that's the evidence that witnesses have brought before this Court. But now this witness now is saying that Fonti Kanu is involved in bringing ammunition from Liberia. So we may be talking about two different things, but all I'm saying here is that what came before this Court about Magburaka and if we go in the records we'll see Fonti Kanu associated with the Magburaka shipment. So maybe as we investigate further we will get to know the veracity of what this witness is trying to tie in.

    This is what - when these boys don't know what they are supposed to know they get into areas that they have no idea of and then pack it up with lies. So I just brought in this because what he is saying here is totally false and I'm wondering if it's not associated with this famous Magburaka shipment in late 1999 with Foday Sankoh - with Dauda Fornie, whatever they call him, here. This could be what he is referring to and now he has tied it up to Dauda Fornie and Memuna coming from Monrovia with ammunition which is not true. So it just shows for me how mixed up they are and how they are still trying to patch this lie together.

  • Just give me a moment, Mr Taylor. Mr Taylor, does the name Osman Tolo mean anything to you?

  • No, I don't know. I don't know him. I don't know Osman Tolo.

  • Because on 4 July 2008, page 12991 of the transcript, we are told that Memunatu Deen's husband was an Osman Tolo?

  • Yes, that --

  • Do you recall that?

  • Now, we're being told here that she is living in the same house as Musa Cisse.

  • I can't - I don't know it. I don't know.

  • It's not Osmond. It's Osman.

  • Osman Tolo and that's page 12991, transcript of 4 July 2008:

  • On this same note, Mr Taylor, the witness continued. Remember this is late 1997.

  • Same topic.

    "Q. I'm talking specifically when you said we coordinated

    most of our affairs through Musa Cisse and from there Musa

    Cisse will link directly to the Papay, I mean Papay Taylor.

    What time span are you referring to when you make this

    assertion?

    A. It was late 1997, yes. That Musa Cisse was one of the

    people who liaised between us. That is, the RUF and

    Mr Taylor. He was one of the people who liaised at that

    time.

    Q. How long did that last?

    A. Well, Musa Cisse's phase down at the time when we

    withdrew, that is when the Kamajors flushed us out of the

    Kenema - I mean after the operation Sandstorm Tiger Tail

    launched by ECOMOG when we retreated to Buedu. After that

    Musa Cisse's coordination phased out and it was then

    Benjamin Yeaten who carried out most of the coordination

    now at that time. That is the RUF and the AFRC. I mean,

    sorry, RUF and Mr Taylor."

    What do you say about that, Mr Taylor?

  • Totally untrue. This person phasing out and another person phasing in. Benjamin Yeaten and Musa Cisse were like colleagues almost about the same rank. Musa Cisse chief of protocol, Benjamin Yeaten director of SSS. There is no such thing going on in 1997 or any other time. No. No, that is not true.

  • I'm moving to another topic in relation to the same witness. Page is 21442:

    "A. I received orders from CO Mosquito to contact the

    other side, that is Liberia. That was one of the ways we

    referred to Liberia as the other side. That is Liberia.

    To contact and inform Papa Musa and Benjamin that the

    situation had got out of hands, but the ECOMOG had flushed

    us out of most of the areas that we occupied and that we

    had retreated to - that we had retreated to as far as

    Kailahun District."

    This is following the ECOMOG intervention, Mr Taylor.

    "And that the other people were still retreating and they

    were in the northern area. Some of our colleagues - some

    of our colleague fighters who were in the Western Area were

    on the run, retreating towards the Kono area and we needed

    material. We needed material, that is ammunition, to stop

    the ECOMOG advance into our territory.

    Q. What happened then?

    A. From there Sunlight told Five-Zero that message and

    Five-Zero in turn told Mosquito that he will get on to him,

    that he will get on to him.

    Q. How do you know that Sunlight told Five-Zero that

    message?

    A. Sunlight came back. He came back on the net and

    contacted me and he contacted us and said he had passed the

    message on to Five-Zero and Five-Zero had said Mosquito

    should be on the stand-by and he would get a response from

    him later. But on that very day we did not get any

    response in respect of that message until the following

    morning when we were in Pendembu.

    Q. What was the response?

    A. The response was for Mosquito to travel to Monrovia.

    It was for Mosquito to travel to Monrovia on the

    instruction of Mr Taylor according to Benjamin Yeaten."

    Q. Just to be clear you have referred to 50. Who is 50?

    A. 50 was a code name for Benjamin Yeaten."

    Then he goes on. Do you understand what is happening here, Mr Taylor, before I go on to deal with some more details about this? This man is suggesting that in early 1998 your director of the SSS sent a message that Sam Bockarie was to travel to Monrovia. Do you see the implications of that?

  • Oh, I see. I see.

  • What do you say about that, Mr Taylor? Early 1998?

  • Well, in response to your question, it is not true and there's several reasons why it cannot be true. Number one, for this to be true - and, in fact, let me just prefix my statement. Look, by late 1997 we have ECOWAS documents before this Court. We have reports of the Secretary-General detailing. By late 1997, I'm on the Committee of Five. We've been authorised to speak to Bockarie and all of these other people. Discussions in documents that we've presented, UN documents here, have seen that discussions are on the way even for some of these individuals to be permitted to travel. If I, Charles Ghankay Taylor, had spoken to Sam Bockarie or had invited Sam Bockarie, it would have been within my right. But it did not happen.

    When did we make contact with Sam Bockarie? That comes back to my proposition that several things will have to be wrong. The trip of Eddie Kanneh to my ambassador in August 1998 and the letter from my ambassador in Conakry to the Foreign Ministry in August 1998 would have to be wrong. Because that letter plainly states that for the first time Sam Bockarie wants to come to see me. So now, unless we say that the ambassador is lying, or I don't know if we can ever get Eddie Kanneh to come here and tell what happened, then this man's story here then we will just have to accept it. This did not happen.

    So even though I had the authority to send for Sam Bockarie granted me by ECOWAS and my colleagues, why would I sit here and say that I never saw him at that time when I had every authority as of 1997 to speak to any one of them? I had not done that. So the man is lying that there was this type of thing where I would send for Sam Bockarie. Sam Bockarie comes to Liberia in September 1998 for the first time that I see him or meet with him.

    If it had happened any time earlier - the point I'm trying to make - I would tell this Court, because I had the authority to do so. Why would I have the authority to send or talk to Sam Bockarie at that time and sit here and say, "Oh, no, it didn't happen"? I had every right to speak to him at that time, but I had not spoken to him. I had not met him. So this boy is lying. He doesn't know what he is talking about. He's lying.

    Maybe he's gotten the time mixed up. But at the time he is talking about that - let's go to the intervention, what is happening at the intervention? I know that there are agreed dates here, but the intervention took several days. And don't let's forget, the aircrafts that participated in that intervention took off from Robertsfield in Liberia. We were aware. I, Charles Ghankay Taylor, was aware of the intervention.

    By 14 February 1998, we have documents here before this Court that shows two Mi-8 choppers flew in from Sierra Leone that landed at Spriggs Payne airport. On both of those choppers, one of them was, we've talked about it, the commander of the Sierra Leonean Air Force called Victor King. We are in dispute over who has jurisdiction. Within that very same February, the Committee of Five met in dealing with the problems in Sierra Leone because this Court has been told there was an important issue at the time. What was that issue? The use of force against the junta not having been yet approved under Chapter VII of the United Nations. The Committee of Five under I think the second or third report of the Secretary-General is mentioned - that has been presented to this Court, the Committee of Five travels to Addis Ababa and on the sidelines discuss the issue and leave Addis Ababa and goes to New York and reports to the Security Council about what is going on. At that meeting, decisions are taken for the return of Tejan Kabbah to Freetown which happens in March 1998. With me in Liberia, still ECOMOG is there. There's a conflict. ECOMOG, we reported here, it was contained in this document from - that was published by the Nigerian embassy in Monrovia, one of our exhibits before this Court, buzz over my convoy and around the Executive Mansion this conflict. Sam Bockarie will come to Liberia at that time when I have security provided by ECOMOG? In fact, the Nigerian government for the first time provides me, from the time of my election as President, with Secret Service from Nigeria. Sam Bockarie will come and nobody will talk about it? ECOMOG will not complain that they have expelled the junta from Monrovia and here I have Sam Bockarie in Monrovia? How many lies or how disjointed can these lies be? ECOMOG has a whole unit protecting me. My security at that particular time is provided by ECOMOG, soldiers and Nigerian Secret Service personnel. Here I'm meeting Sam Bockarie at this particular time and ECOMOG doesn't complain about it? It's a lie, your Honours. He is not sent for by me at that time. When I do send for him, it's in September 1998 and he comes. That's the fact of the matter.

  • Well, Mr Taylor, we hear what you say, but this witness gives an extremely detailed account of this visit. And I'm sorry but I must burden you with it so that you have an opportunity of dealing with it.

  • Page 21442, line 26:

    "A. The response was for Mosquito to travel to Monrovia.

    It was for Mosquito to travel to Monrovia on the

    instructions of Mr Taylor according to Benjamin Yeaten."

    Q. Just to be clear, you have referred to 50. Who is 50?

    A. 50 was a code name for Benjamin Yeaten."

    Let's jump to page 21444, line 21.

    "Q. Can you put a time frame on this now? Is it possible

    for you to put a month and a year?

    A. That was early 1998.

    Q. You spoke earlier of an ECOMOG intervention occurring

    in Freetown. By the point you reach Buedu, about how much

    time had passed between the ECOMOG intervention and the

    time you reached Buedu? Can you approximate.

    A. Well, it was in the same month. It was in the same

    month.

    Q. Can you approximate how many days.

    A. Because - no. Freetown did not just fall and we went

    to Buedu immediately, no. We were still in Kenema keeping

    the defensive for about at least a week. We were still in

    Kenema keeping the defensive. It was not just after

    Freetown had fallen to ECOMOG that we left Kenema. We were

    still keeping the defensive.

    Q. Okay. So you said you passed the night in Buedu. Then

    what happened?

    A. The following day I took off for Monrovia, together

    with Mosquito."

    Do you understand that now, Mr Taylor?

  • I understand.

  • On that time frame this man is saying he travelled with Mosquito to Monrovia in the same month of the ECOMOG intervention. Do you get it?

  • "Q. Who else was with you?

    A. One Rashid Sandy was there. One Shabado was present -

    Shabado - together with some other bodyguards of Mosquito.

    There was a Sellay Duwor, Sellay ... We used about three

    years to go. About three vehicles, or so ... jeeps and

    vans. Jeeps and vans. One van - yes, jeeps and vans.

    Q. ... how many people in total were in these three

    vehicles?

    A. I cannot be exact, but I think we were about 15. I

    cannot be exact. No, not 15, no, around ten to 15,

    something like that. Then we were together with - yes, we

    were many, with some of Mosquito's bodyguard.

    Q. Now, you mentioned Sam Bockarie of course, you

    mentioned Rashid Sandy and you mentioned Shabado. Is there

    anybody else you remember specifically?

    A. Yes. Those of us who took off from Buedu I have just

    named a few of us and along the way we met" - guess who -

    "Jungle, one Colonel Jungle who was one of the Liberian

    security, and all of us travelled together.

    Q. Where did you meet Jungle?

    A. In Voinjama, because on that day we met him in Voinjama

    and we spent the whole day in Voinjama until late in the

    evening. That was when we took off from Voinjama."

    Jump to line 22:

    "A. We went through Voinjama and Gbarnga, then to

    Monrovia. And on the way, that is between Gbarnga and

    Kakata, we met with Benjamin Yeaten and Mosquito and

    Mosquito entered his vehicle and all of us travelled

    together back to Monrovia. We went back to Monrovia. All

    of us travelled to Monrovia.

    Q. Well, when you say all of you, when you met Benjamin

    Yeaten between Gbarnga an and Kakata, first of all describe

    exactly what you observed. What did you see when you met

    him?

    A. When we met Benjamin Yeaten he turned the vehicle and

    Mosquito got into Benjamin's jeep and Mosquito left us in

    the other jeep and he entered into Benjamin's jeep -

    Bejamin's jeep - and all of us travelled, that is

    ourselves, Mosquito, Benjamin Yeaten and the others, all of

    us travelled to Monrovia. On the way, you know, there was

    no security threat. Nobody disturbed us. The moment they

    saw Mosquito - sorry, the moment the security post saw

    Benjamin's vehicle they will just give him a way.

    Q. How did you know the person you were meeting there was

    Benjamin Yeaten? How did you know that?

    A. I did not know. In fact, I never knew that Benjamin

    Yeaten was coming to receive us on the way. I did not have

    any communication like that. We just saw him on the way

    and he said he had come to receive us and he said the Papay

    had sent him to receive us and that was when Jungle said,

    'This is Benjamin Yeaten, Papay's chief security', that is

    Charles Taylor's chief security. He said he was the SS

    director.

    Q. Who said that?

    A. Jungle. Jungle.

    Q. And you said that you had no trouble - nobody disturbed

    you along the way. The moment they saw Benjamin Yeaten's

    vehicle the security post, they wouldn't disturb you. What

    security posts are you referring to?

    A. You know, like to enter Monrovia there was an ECOMOG

    security post at that time. There was an ECOMOG security

    post, yes, and besides that there were some police security

    posts."

    Now, remember you telling us, page 52 of today's transcript at line - at line 10, that ECOMOG was still in Liberia at the time?

  • Seriously deployed. Yes. Yes.

  • Now, he is saying that this group, something like four or five vehicles now, because three left Sierra Leone, they meet with Jungle, then they meet with Benjamin Yeaten, yes?

  • Pass through an ECOMOG roadblock totally undisturbed. You get it?

  • "Q. So go ahead and continue. What happened after you got

    to Monrovia?

    A. When we arrived in Monrovia, we were - Benjamin

    distributed us to - Jungle took some people and lodged them

    at a particular place, and I was at Benjamin's house with

    Sunlight and Mosquito. Mosquito too went to a different

    place. That was where he slept. And early in the morning

    he came.

    Q. I was going to ask, because I'm not sure I understand

    your answer exactly. You said that you arrived in Monrovia

    and Benjamin 'distributed us. Jungle took some people and

    he lodged them at a particular place.' Who are you

    referring to? Which people did Jungle lodge at a

    particular place?

    A. The securities that Mosquito went with.

    Q. Later you said, 'I was at Benjamin's house with

    Sunlight and Mosquito. Mosquito too went to a different

    place.' What do you mean? Was Mosquito with you or not?

    A. Well, Mosquito was just with us during the day, because

    when we arrived at that night we arrived late in the night,

    and so we needed some rest and so everybody went to where

    he was to sleep. So early in the morning Mosquito came and

    met with Benjamin Yeaten and I gave him updates from the

    various front lines and Mosquito, Benjamin and one Rashid,

    they went out and they left me at Benjamin's house that

    morning. Rashid, Mosquito and Sellay. Rashid, Mosquito,

    Sellay and Benjamin Yeaten. There were four who went out

    that morning and they left me at Benjamin's house.

    Q. Now you said you gave Benjamin [sic] an update from the

    front lines - various front lines. Is that correct?

    A. Yes.

    Q. How were you able to do that?

    A. Well, that was the purpose why I travelled with

    Mosquito to monitor from the front lines and give him

    updates. When I arrived that very night I contacted them

    and in the morning - very early in the morning - I went to

    radio room, that is Base 1. I even used the Base 1 radio

    to contact that morning, and I contacted the various front

    lines to get updates. Then I fed Mosquito with the

    information.

    Q. Who did you contact on the front lines?

    A. Almost all the front lines. I contacted Issa's

    station, I contacted the various stations, Superman and

    others, I contacted eagle. There were other stations that

    I contacted. I contacted many stations and I collected

    information from the various front lines.

    Q. Do you remember what information you passed on to

    Sam Bockarie? Do you remember what was the contents of

    that.

    A. Well, at that time Issa and others were retreating from

    Freetown, that is, Issa himself and others; Johnny Paul,

    Superman, and others. They were on their way from

    Freetown. They were on their way from Freetown while

    retreating, and in the defensive areas I asked Eagle and

    others, and they said they had no problems with the various

    defensive positions that particular morning."

    Having confirmed that the Issa referred to is Issa Sesay, he continues:

    "Q. Now, you said you went to Benjamin Yeaten's house.

    Where exactly was that house?

    A. It was at one area in Monrovia called Congo Town. That

    is at the back. That is behind Mr Taylor's place, where

    Mr Taylor was. They refer to the place as White Flower.

    That was where we was."

    Jump to line 17:

    "Q. So you said that when you got to the house then that -

    well, first of all, you also have referred to a location

    that you contacted the front lines from, Base 1."

    And he identifies where base 1 was. Let's pause, Mr Taylor. Do you understand what this man is saying?

  • During the course of the ECOMOG intervention, whilst the AFRC and the RUF are retreating from Freetown, including such senior individuals as Johnny Paul Koroma and Issa Sesay, Mosquito at that very same time is in Monrovia. You do understand that, don't you?

  • Oh, yes, I do.

  • And you see the amount of detail that this witness is giving about this trip. Before we come back to this evidence just help us, what do you say about this allegation?

  • Totally, totally erroneous. Totally false. It is misleading, because he's got it all wrong. And unless we want to take the story that the ambassador informed me of - and my authority to meet with Sam Bockarie and I'm telling you it didn't happen at this time, then there's - I don't know how they manage, but they have done - I don't know how they put this thing together. I really do not know. There is no such thing at this particular time. Sam Bockarie does not come to Liberia at this time. This is not the time that I, Charles Ghankay Taylor, send for Sam Bockarie. He don't come to Liberia in February of 1998. Sam Bockarie comes to Liberia in September of 1998 upon my sending and asking him to come after receiving the message from my ambassador in Guinea. He does not the come before then at all.

  • I think we'll take the morning break now. We'll adjourn until 12 o'clock.

  • [Break taken at 11.30 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 12.00 p.m.]

  • Now, before the break, Mr Taylor, we were looking in detail at the testimony of this witness regarding a trip he allegedly took to Monrovia in February 1998, accompanied by Mosquito, whilst the ECOMOG intervention is in progress. Do you follow?

  • Now I'll pick up where I left off:

    "Q. So you said that when you got to the house then -

    that, well, first of all, you also have referred to a

    location that you contacted the front line from, Base 1.

    Where was Base 1 located?

    A. Base 1 was at Benjamin's house. It was at Benjamin's

    house that Base 1 was. It was a radio station that was

    called Base 1.

    Q. And can you describe this radio station? Well, when

    you saw it, was this the first time you had seen it?

    A. That was the first time. It was a VHF radio set. It

    was in one of the rooms at Benjamin Yeaten's back yard in

    Benjamin's compound. That was where it was. There was a

    radio set with stationery and the radio set was a Yaesu

    radio set.

    Q. Now, you said that Sam Bockarie, Jungle, Rashid and

    Benjamin Yeaten went off somewhere that day and you

    remained. Is that correct?

    A. Yes.

    Q. So when you say you remained, you remained where?

    A. I remained in the radio room at Benjamin's house.

    Q. Do you know where those four individuals went?

    A. Well, they told me they were going to meet with the

    Papay directly. Master told me that. I mean Mosquito. He

    told me that they were going to see the President. At that

    time it was Mr Taylor.

    Q. Now you yourself, you have also, who was in the radio

    room, who was in Base 1, who was there besides yourself?

    A. That morning - that particular morning I was in the

    radio room with Sunlight. I was in the radio room with

    Sunlight that particular morning.

    Q. Was this the first time you met Sunlight?

    A. Yes, yes.

    Q. Do you know his real name?

    A. No.

    Q. So you said that Sam Bockarie and the others left. How

    long were they gone for?

    A. They were out for almost the rest of the day. It was

    around 7 - 6 going to 7 that Mosquito and others returned

    to the house at Benjamin Yeaten's.

    Q. What happened after they returned?

    A. From there Mosquito told me to pack up and that we were

    to return to Sierra Leone.

    Q. And so go ahead, continue?

    A. From there Mosquito told me to pack up my things and we

    were to return to Sierra Leone, so after I'd completed

    packing I went out and got into the vehicle and we left.

    On our way we met a truck loaded with ammunition and the

    other securities who were with Mosquito. All of them, I

    met them now on the way along the highway on the outskirts

    of Monrovia going towards - going towards - going towards

    Kakata. Going towards Kakata.

    Q. So just to be clear, how many nights did you actually

    spend in Benjamin Yeaten's house?

    A. One. That was the night that we arrived, and the

    following day we left."

    So, Mr Taylor, just so that we are clear, this group of ten to 15 individuals, including Sam Bockarie, travel overland through ECOMOG checkpoints, come to Monrovia, having met Benjamin Yeaten and Jungle along the way. They're housed by Jungle and Benjamin Yeaten. This particular individual is on the radio in Yeaten's house, Base 1, that night and in the morning obtaining updates on the situation in Sierra Leone. Meanwhile, Bockarie goes off to meet you. They leave that same day, the next day, and on the way they're met by a truck going towards Kakata loaded with ammunition, the inference being you had supplied them. You follow, don't you?

  • Yes, I do. Yes, I do.

  • What do you say about that, Mr Taylor?

  • Answer: It is a lie. But I always, you know, try to reflect on the records before this Court. A truck parked on the Kakata Highway mid-way with ammunition, we heard about that before in this Court. But we hear about it as having been a truck parked on the side with ammunition that was supposed to be brought into Roberts International Airport by Sam Bockarie & Co after they returned from a trip to Burkina Faso, that they did not reach to Monrovia and the truck was parked on the highway. At a different time. The same truck.

    So what comes to my memory now is that in constructing this whole nonsense, they've got these boys mixed up. We've got these boys mixed up. We've heard about a truck before on the highway parked halfway between in - that was supposed to be late 1998 and this was the ammunition that was supposed to have been transported to Sierra Leone for the 6 January invasion. That's the first time I heard about that truck - about a truck business in this Court. Now we have this man now putting this truck in February of 1998. I don't know. It's not true. I don't have any ammunition in - and I guess where the whole thing what I've repeated here before now just a second, is that everybody is building this case on the premise that Charles Taylor has ammunition, and I don't have. They forgot. They thought that following my election as President I was given all the arms and ammunition taken from the disarmament. Charles Taylor does not have any ammunition in the Republic of Liberia at this time. Every gun, every ammunition, is in the custody of the international community that they finally destroy totally. So this whole house of cards is built on the fact that Taylor has arms and ammunition. I don't. Where am I going to get truckloads of ammunition from in February of 1998 to escort some place? Where? It doesn't happen. It doesn't happen. And to show you how it's mixed up now, we hear a different story about a truck parked halfway on the road. As much as I can recall - I mean, we may have to go into the records. But as you're reading it, it's coming to me that we've heard about a truck like this at a different time again talking about the same thing. It's not true.

  • I'm sorry, Mr Taylor. Had you finished?

  • Page 21452 of the transcript of 2 December 2008, line 29:

    "Q. Was this your first trip to Monrovia?

    A. Yes.

    Q. Now, you said that you spent one night in Benjamin

    Yeaten's house and you left, and on your way you met a

    truck loaded with ammunition and the other securities who

    were with Mosquito - who exactly did you meet on the way?

    A. We met Mosquito's bodyguards, Jungle and others, with a

    truck loaded with ammunition and it was a mini truck of

    ammunition on the way.

    Q. Where did you meet this truck?

    A. It was on the road, on the outskirts of the town

    towards Kakata. Towards Kakata.

    Q. Now, you said 'with Sam Bockarie's securities'. Were

    these the same securities you referred to before?

    A. Yes, yes. I'm referring to his bodyguards, Shabado and

    others with whom all of us had travelled.

    Q. What type of truck was this, can you recall?

    A. It was a six-wheel truck, but it was not a very big

    truck. It was a mini truck. Let me say a medium sized

    truck. Like in Sierra Leone there is a way we refer to

    them, we call them as pikin Benz. That's the kind of truck

    that I'm referring to."

    He goes on to explain what he means by that. Then we go over the page to page 21454 and pick up the account, he having given the explanation. Line 9:

    "Q. Did you have the occasion to learn anything that was

    discussed in the meeting?"

    That's the meeting allegedly between you and Mosquito, Mr Taylor.

    "A. I was not there directly, but while we were going on

    the way, because I was in the same vehicle as Mosquito with

    Rashid and others, and we were discussing on the way while

    going. We said it was not a bad trip. Mosquito said it

    was a nice trip. He said the Pa had said that he would be

    ready to give us support to the best of his ability at that

    time, and Mosquito said Papay had said - that is Mr Taylor

    I'm referring to now - that at that time he did not have

    sufficient ammunition, that the time that we travelled,

    that's why we did not return with much ammunition.

    Q. Do you recall the type of ammunition that you did

    return with?

    A. Yes. It was asserted. AK rounds, I mean grenades,

    GPMG, RPG rockets. I mean not the tubes. Not the tubes

    themselves, but the rockets. GPMG rounds. I think so.

    That was - that was it so far.

    Q. Did you eventually return to Buedu?

    A. Yes."

    Let's go over the page just to complete the account, page 21455, line 5:

    "Q. Okay. You said that - I'm just going to give you,

    Mr Witness - you said in your response, when you were

    talking about the meeting, what you learned about the

    meeting between Sam Bockarie and others with Mr Taylor, you

    said that, in your response, we said that it was not a bad

    trip, Mosquito said it was a nice trip. He said the Pa had

    said that he would be ready to give us support to the best

    of his ability. Who are you referring to when you say 'the

    Pa'?

    A. Mr Taylor.

    Q. And who were you referring to when you said 'he would

    be ready to give us support'? Who is the 'he' that you're

    referring to?

    A. Mr Taylor was willing to give us support."

    Jump to line 26 and we see this answer:

    "A. The ammunition that we went with was what we used.

    You know we left some in Buedu and took the bulk of the

    ammunition to the various front lines, and we distributed

    them to the various front lines within Kailahun District

    and we sent some to Kono. That was the ammunition we used

    to stop the ECOMOG advance into our territory."

    So, Mr Taylor, what is being said is this: You, whilst a member of the Committee of Six pledged to bring peace to Sierra Leone, at this time you supplied the RUF with arms and ammunition to halt ECOMOG's advance in Sierra Leone, even though President Abacha was allegedly your good mate at the time and he had ordered that. What do you say?

  • I see why it is said that I was meddling in Sierra Leone. It never happened. This boy is totally, totally always lying. It never, never happened. And you know, if we want to get logical about this, which we have to be, remember in late 1997 Johnny Paul Koroma writes me a letter for arms and ammunition that he doesn't get. All of a sudden the intervention occurs, and the very month of the intervention Sam Bockarie is supposed to be invited to Monrovia by me and supposed to be given arms and ammunition.

    But there's a little logical part that we have to look at here that is not answered. Johnny Paul Koroma writes for these weapons. Maybe we could assume Sam Bockarie, who was the most senior on the council, did not know about it. And once he comes to Monrovia and he gets this ammunition en route to Sierra Leone, he doesn't mention anything about, you know: I told Johnny Paul Koroma not to write to Taylor, and you see I couldn't have handled this thing, but he didn't listen. You see we got material.

    You know, there is no connection, there is no link between the failure to respond to the late 1997 refusal to give weapons to them and this so-called receipt on - I mean, within the period of the intervention being conducted by ECOWAS. So, you know, in this whole logical pattern in going through this thing, so many problems and so many disconnects in this that, you know, all you just keep getting - when the facts come out say yes, you get this - this did not happen. Sam Bockarie does not come to Monrovia in February of 1998.

    Look, if Sam Bockarie had come to Monrovia in February 1998, I can almost say with certainty there would have been an incident. There would have been an incident between the Government of Liberia and ECOMOG at that particular time. I can almost say so. Just as we had the incident when Victor King arrived in February - on 14 February 1998 with those helicopters that an incident - because there is no way ECOMOG soldiers, who had been dying in Sierra Leone, fighting, carrying out bombing raids, and one of the people that - the most senior members of the junta arriving in Liberia, going through ECOMOG lines, that they would not have at least made an attempt to arrest him. They would have made attempts to arrest him. It would have caused an incident between my government and ECOMOG.

    Sam Bockarie did not come to Liberia in February of 1998 or March or April or May or June or July or August of 1998. He came in September of 1998 on my invitation to him. By this time in September of 1998 we have a situation where discussions are underway for a status of forces agreement with ECOMOG. They are - we have gone through the period of tension. Everybody is aware that he's coming, including the United Nations is aware that certain members of the junta or former junta can travel. They know, I have discussed it with them, that's why we do not have an incident when he comes in September of 1998. He did not come to Liberia before September of 1998. He did not.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, in light of that answer, let me pose this proposition to you as one possible interpretation: That when Johnny Paul Koroma wrote to you following the coup in May 1997, you felt no need at that time to assist him because you had, in effect, achieved the purpose of the plan conceived in Libya, because the RUF were now jointly in control of Sierra Leone. But then following the ECOMOG intervention in February 1998 you saw your plan, your design, falling apart, so that's why you quickly rushed in reinforcements to hold the ECOMOG advance. Do you follow me?

  • I follow you very well.

  • Well, what if that was suggested to you? What's your response?

  • My response would be that would be of, you know, a rather - what would I call it? Irrational theory that would be advanced like most cases are advanced, and that's why cases get lost. That would be totally irrational, because I can tell you for one reason if I did not want Nigerian jet fighter bombers taking off from Roberts International Airport in line with that intervention, they would have never taken off. We could have stopped them.

  • How?

  • All we had to do was drive vehicles on the runway and they would never take off. Even if we could not fight them, we could have - look, I was aware that an intervention was taking place. I, in meetings with my colleagues - and a lot of us had said that a decision had been taken that there should be a peaceful resolution to the problem. The committee had agreed that the junta would turn over in April. Abacha felt otherwise. But when it got down to the nitty-gritty, it took the consensus of ECOWAS for the intervention to occur. Liberia, I can say, was a part of the intervention, because we permitted our territory to be used.

    What we did not agree to was the use of personnel from Liberia with the Kamajors operation. Other than that it would be sick for anybody to believe: Well, no, they have carried on. What? We all knew that the junta had accepted stepping down. There was no question about it. And don't forget, ECOWAS had met with the junta. They had met with the individuals in Ivory Coast, and a senior ECOWAS delegation in records before this Court had gone to Freetown and had met with Johnny Paul Koroma in Freetown before the intervention. So, look, there were ongoing discussions. So that would not be logical to advance a theory as such. No, it would be illogical.

  • Mr Taylor, we've spent a little time dealing with that alleged visit by Sam Bockarie in February 1998 because of its significance?

  • I would now like to move on, please, to another topic: Communications as described by this witness. Do you follow me?

  • Page 21479 of the transcript of 2 December 2008:

    "Q. Now, you also said that the station situated across

    Sam Bockarie's house was in communication with stations in

    Liberia. Do you recall saying that?

    A. Yes.

    Q. Describe what you mean by this.

    A. Well, that was the station that Sam Bockarie used to

    communicate with Benjamin Yeaten, because at the time we

    were now in Buedu. Sam Bockarie had a satellite phone. He

    had a satellite phones" - plural - "anyway. The first

    satellite phone was from Johnny Paul. That was the one he

    took from Johnny Paul, and then later Mr Taylor sent - I

    mean, Mr Taylor gave him another satellite phone, yes."

    Now pause there. Did you give Sam Bockarie a satellite phone?

  • Yes, I did.

  • I gave Sam Bockarie the satellite phone in October of 1998. I gave him a satellite phone. That's why I'm saying this boy is mixed up with time. Yes, I did.

  • Were you aware that he already had one?

  • Well, no, I was not aware. But from evidence here we know that in 1996, according to evidence led in this Court, when Foday Sankoh goes to Abidjan for the peace talks, OTP witnesses here have said that Foday Sankoh sent a satellite phone and a fax machine to his people. So I would assume that after the death of Mohamed Tarawalli, Sam Bockarie should have had a satellite phone as of 1996, from evidence led in this Court.

  • Question, line 14:

    "Q. Okay, I'm speaking now - I will ask you more questions

    about satellite phones later. I'm specifically asking you

    about the radio station across from Sam Bockarie's house

    that you said was in communication with stations in

    Liberia. Which stations in Liberia was this radio station

    in communication with?

    A. The leading station was Base 1."

    Now, remember Base 1 is the radio station located at Benjamin Yeaten's house?

  • That is correct.

  • "Q. When you say 'leading station', what do you mean by

    that?

    A. It means there were other stations that we communicated

    with, but the most important amongst the stations that we

    always contacted was Base 1.

    Q. How often was the contact between Sam Bockarie's

    station and Base 1?

    A. Well, that sometimes depended on the nature of the

    security threats on the various front lines or the

    developments at the various front lines. Sometimes for the

    whole day we will only have one communication with them,

    but sometimes when we were in full force on full offensive

    we will communicate with them almost every day, sometimes

    on an hourly basis, yeah. But there is actually no

    specific time duration that I can refer to to say whether

    it was either after every two days that we spoke with them,

    or every three days, or every hour. It all depended on the

    prevailing situation on the ground. So it was all based on

    that.

    Q. Why were you in communication with this station,

    Base 1? Why was Sam Bockarie's station in communication

    with this station Base 1?

    A. Well, Base 1 was the station that coordinated

    communications between Sam Bockarie directly to Mr Taylor.

    It was not through Base 1. For example, if Mr Benjamin

    Yeaten wanted to talk to Mosquito on the - but that

    Mosquito's satellite phone was not switched on, Benjamin

    will tell Sunlight to contact Bravo Zulu 4 to inform

    Mosquito to switch his satellite phone on. So in the

    inverse, Mosquito too would tell the operators at Bravo

    Zulu 4 to tell Benjamin Yeaten to call him on the sat phone

    so that they would discuss whatever he wanted to tell them.

    Sometimes if Mosquito - sometimes when Mosquito does not

    travel to Monrovia for ammunition, and if he decided to

    send someone else he, Mosquito, will communicate with

    Mosquito throughout until he or she gets to Monrovia and

    returns to Buedu. So that was how the communication used

    to flow."

    So regularity of contact between a radio station attached to Benjamin Yeaten from a radio station immediately opposite Sam Bockarie's house and Yeaten using that link to coordinate your control of events in Sierra Leone. True or false, Mr Taylor?

  • Because he goes on. Page 21482, line 7:

    "A. For example, Mosquito would want to make a request

    from Charles Taylor for ammunition. Mosquito would use his

    own control station, that is Bravo Zulu 4 in Buedu, and he

    would use that radio station through the operators and

    would communicate with Base 1. That is Benjamin Yeaten's

    radio station. That was Benjamin Yeaten's radio station,

    and it was Sunlight who was in control at Base 1. When

    Benjamin Yeaten got any request from Mosquito he would say

    'Okay, hold on, I will have to meet the Papay', or 'Maybe I

    will have to hang heads with the father.' We had different

    code names that we used to disguise the various commanders.

    Something like that, and so that was the major role that

    Base 1 played."

    He is explaining now at line 23: "That is, he would want to consult directly with Charles Taylor."

    Mr Taylor, the witness is categorically there stating that you were controlling events through your able lieutenant Mr Benjamin Yeaten. What do you say about that?

  • That's totally false. Totally, totally, totally false. Totally false. Now, what would a radio - there's nothing unusual about Benjamin Yeaten having a radio at his house. It would be - that would be normal. SSS director. The SSS had its own radio frequency across the country. Wherever Secret Service were, there were radios. I don't know how they can put forward this kind of statement with such straight face that this is happening at the time. Maybe if there is constant communication between Benjamin Yeaten and Sam Bockarie as of the time he comes to Liberia, I would say that's highly probable. Yes, between the time that Foday Sankoh - I mean, that Sam Bockarie comes to Liberia in September of 1998 going on, I would not even argue about contact between Benjamin and Sam Bockarie after he comes to Liberia. I would expect that it would happen. He was in charge of the security.

    And one thing that he does mention here - and he doesn't mention here, and I guess he tried to get it straight. He doesn't talk about the guesthouse and all that kind of stuff, so there is no contact. Because from the second trip that Sam Bockarie pays to Liberia, which is October 1998, he's placed in a guesthouse and the Government of Liberia install a radio there. We don't deny that. We installed a radio communication system at the place. But all these other things, your Honour, about February and all this thing, if this man is not mixed up with the dates, then he's deliberately lying. That's all I can put it to.

  • Well, he goes on to describe the nature of the relationship between Bockarie and Benjamin Yeaten. Page 21484, transcript of 2 December 2008, beginning at line 21:

    "Q. Now, you've made references as well to Benjamin

    Yeaten. What was his specific role, according to your

    knowledge?

    A. I knew Benjamin Yeaten to be the SSS director for

    Mr Taylor, and Benjamin was the one who coordinated between

    Mosquito and Mr Taylor. Like, most often when Mosquito was

    speaking to Benjamin he used to answer to him, 'Yes, sir.

    Yes, sir.' I used to hear him answer, 'Yes, sir. Yes,

    sir.' And so I can say more or less Benjamin was a

    commander to Mosquito.

    Q. And who, if anyone, do you know, was Benjamin Yeaten's

    commander?

    A. Benjamin Yeaten's commander that I knew was his leader,

    I can say our leader - our former leader, Mr Taylor, and he

    was a CIC." Commander-in-chief. "He was Benjamin Yeaten's

    commander".

    I'm jumping a few lines in the next answer:

    "The reason why I refer to him as our former leader is that because most often he was the one that Mosquito consulted with for strategic actions that he wanted to take - that Mosquito wanted to take, and he used to report to him directly. Mosquito used to report to him directly - either directly, or indirectly sometimes - and then really those are some of the reason why I said so. Even before Issa also took over he, Mosquito, used to report to Mr Taylor directly."

    Now, you'll recall, Mr Taylor, a diagram being placed before this Court showing the hierarchy for the NPFL - well, for the RUF circa 1991-92. This witness is saying that at the time Sam Bockarie takes over, and thereafter when Issa Sesay succeeds him, you're the one effectively in control. He's saying this quite plainly, that Mosquito is referring to Benjamin Yeaten as, "Yes, sir. Yes, sir." God knows how he referred to you when he spoke to you. Now, what do you say about that?

  • I don't know how Mosquito referred to Benjamin Yeaten, whether he said "Yes, sir" or not. I doubt that Mosquito will say "Yes, sir" to Benjamin Yeaten, because they were all Krowla [phon] boys so to speak. But, you know, I am no second fiddle to anybody, so I am in charge when Foday Sankoh - when Foday Sankoh is there, he's in charge. When he goes away, I'm in charge. So I'm playing second fiddle to Foday Sankoh. I don't know what's going through their heads. All I can say to this Court is it's not true that I am running the RUF at any time. Foday Sankoh remains in full control of his organisation. Even when he's arrested in Nigeria, there's evidence here that Foday Sankoh sent specific instructions - specific instructions - to Sam Bockarie, including his promotion. Again in 2000 - 8 May 2000, after the arrest of Foday Sankoh, what happens? Even after Heads of State of ECOWAS meet Issa Sesay on my invitation in July of 2000 at the Executive Mansion, where Obasanjo, Gnassingbe Eyadema, Yahya Jammeh, Alpha, we are there. Issa Sesay right there tells all of the Heads of State, "No, Your Excellencies, I have to go back and inform my people and I have to get the permission from Sankoh."

    Alpha Konare, in records here factually before this Court, and Obasanjo fly to Freetown. They meet Tejan Kabbah. He brings Foday Sankoh. They deliver the note, and Obasanjo and Alpha Konare, then Chairman of ECOWAS, bring the note back, the approval. Issa Sesay comes to Liberia and in August of 2000. Alpha Konare, Obasanjo, Charles Taylor meet at the airport, he is named. So even then Issa Sesay is saying we have to go to Sankoh.

    So whether it is Sam Bockarie who Sankoh appoints directly, okay, upon his arrest in 1997, or Issa Sesay who comes in 2000, in both cases it is the decision of Sankoh who leads his RUF. It's got nothing to do with Charles Taylor. I was not ever any second or third or fourth fiddle to anybody when it comes to the RUF. That is not true. It's a lie.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, the witness went on to give examples of your alleged control of affairs in Sierra Leone. Page 21485. Just to remind yourselves where we are. Line 14:

    "A. Even before Issa also took over, he, Mosquito, used to

    report to Mr Taylor directly.

    Q. How do you know that?

    A. I was a contact person that liaised the communication

    between them. And then I had travelled with Mosquito to

    Monrovia and he had moved with some gemstones that he spoke

    about, although he did not show them to me directly, but he

    said he handed them over to Mr Taylor. And that besides,

    Mosquito I said - Issa - no, Mosquito consulted Mr Taylor

    about certain things that he wanted to do. Because for

    Mosquito to even accept a ceasefire, because there was a

    point in time when Foday Sankoh called from Freetown and

    talked about the ceasefire, he consulted with him before he

    accepted the ceasefire. That is Mosquito consulted with

    him before he accepted a ceasefire.

    Q. Consulted with who?

    A. Yes. That is, after Foday Sankoh has spoken with

    Mosquito and before Mosquito accepted the ceasefire that

    Foday Sankoh had said we should do, he first consulted with

    Benjamin Yeaten to get Charles Taylor's advice before he

    accepted - before he agreed with the ceasefire. And even

    when Mosquito and Foday Sankoh still continued the

    discussion on that ceasefire there was a time that Sunlight

    intercepted a conversation when Foday Sankoh was speaking

    directly with Mosquito. But Sunlight did not know that it

    was Foday Sankoh who was talking. He thought Mosquito was

    just speaking to any other commander just like that or any

    other person. So when Sunlight contacted Mosquito

    still tried to convince him."

    Do you understand what's being said there, Mr Taylor? That Foday Sankoh tells, who's leader of the RUF, tells Mosquito, "Let's have a ceasefire." Mosquito says, "No chance, not until I consult with the Papay Charles Taylor." Do you understand that? That's what's being said.

  • Yeah, the only little problem - I don't know what time he could be talking about. If Foday Sankoh --

  • Well, I'll tell you what time we're talking about. Page 21488, line 21:

    "Q. Now, before the break we were focusing on the time

    when you were assigned as a radio operator in Buedu from

    early 1998 until April 1999 ...

    A. Yes."

    That's when we're talking about, Mr Taylor.

  • But Foday Sankoh is speaking about a ceasefire.

  • This period between early 1998 and April 1999, where is Foday Sankoh? Where is Foday Sankoh at that time that he Foday Sankoh is talking on the radio about a ceasefire? Where is he? As far as I'm aware, he's incarcerated. Isn't he? He's incarcerated. Foday Sankoh has been brought to Sierra Leone, Freetown. He's been put on trial, hasn't he, from Nigeria? He's in the custody of the Sierra Leonean government. So how is he talking to Sam Bockarie about a ceasefire? I don't understand this part, if we're talking about early 1998. Remember, now, Foday Sankoh is arrested in 1997 and he's not released. Foday Sankoh is sent to Freetown and he's put on trial and he's condemned, right? Yes. It can't be that Foday Sankoh is giving instructions to Sam Bockarie that he has to inquire from me. I'm not aware of - I mean, it's impossible.

    But, having said that, one of the things that I'm beginning to see here, and I think I ought to interject it in this trial, is the lack of understanding on a lot of the part of these RUF people that I have seen coming here regarding my own involvement on the Committee of Five and my own role as a mediator at that time, a lot of people don't understand it. And so whether it is intervening on that side, moving people - by moving people I mean, even the coming of Sam Bockarie, the coming of Johnny Paul Koroma, they see this as me controlling things. They don't understand what my role is as a mediator for ECOWAS and acting at this time. So a lot of these people here do not understand that, and I guess this could account for the confusion, "Hey, Mr Taylor is controlling."

    Okay, so maybe one of my own sins is getting involved as a mediator for the committee - I mean, for ECOWAS at this time. Because for this man to be talking about even communication of orders from Foday Sankoh that is being followed up by me between early 1998 and April - because what I know by - well, it depends again how they play with it. April 1999, I know by mid-April 1999, on or about 15 or 17 April, Foday Sankoh is airlifted from Freetown --

  • Where was he in Freetown?

  • And remember the time frame this witness is talking about, early 1998 until April 1999.

  • Yes. On a Beechcraft aircraft that the UN gets permission from the Government of Liberia and he's moved into Lome around 15 to 17 April 1999. So I don't know if Foday Sankoh had contacts or was permitted to speak to these people. I don't know, but I doubt it, because he was a prisoner up until - from our understanding, up until the signing of the Lome agreement in July 1999. While it is true Foday Sankoh was on the ground moving up and down in Lome, but if he did not sign that Lome agreement, he was not going to be a free man. He was going right back to jail. So his freedom depended on a negotiated settlement in Lome. I knew that and most of our colleagues knew that. That's why he was escorted - he under escort to Lome, he moved around freely, but Foday Sankoh was reminded by me and many others in two nights of sleeplessness, "Listen, you have a choice of signing this agreement, or we can go back to status quo." He was told that in this meeting. Two nights. I get there on or about 5 July 1999. Obasanjo, Eyadema, Blaise Compaore, we spent two nights.

    So I have a serious difficulty with this time and the account of this witness given the facts that I know, and I stand corrected on these facts. I have serious difficulties with this whole explanation that this witness is giving. I say it is not true.

  • Well, he continues in this vein, page --

  • Mr Griffiths, sorry to interrupt, but I think it's important. The LiveNote transcript has the witness as saying that on a Beechcraft airport that the UN gets permission from the government and he, meaning Sankoh, is moved into Lungi. I think it's Lome.

  • And a Beechcraft aircraft, not airport.

  • Yes, we've looked at those code cables detailing the request of the Liberian government for overflight clearance for that Beechcraft aircraft.

  • Now, the witness continues in this vein, Mr Taylor, page 21489 of the transcript commencing at line 7:

    "A. ... when Sam Bockarie would want to see Mr Taylor, or

    anything that he thought should not be discussed on air, he

    would just make a request from BY - I mean Benjamin Yeaten

    - that he wanted to go to Monrovia.

    Even though there was a sat phone communication, by the

    time we had our communication in Buedu those communications

    used to go on, because I can even recall some time when

    during the Mosquito Spray operation when it initially

    started I remember there was a communication between

    Benjamin Yeaten and Mosquito for Mosquito to send

    reinforcement across to Liberia in Kolahun, Voinjama area,

    to go and fight against Mosquito Spray - Mosquito Spray's

    fighters."

    Now, remember, we're in the period - let's just remind ourselves what the witness was told on the previous page:

    "Q. ... we were focusing on the time when you were

    assigned as a radio operation [sic] in Buedu from early

    1998 until April 1999. The following questions are still

    related to this time period, do you understand?

    A. Yes."

    In this time period, Mr Taylor, he's saying there's a Mosquito Spray incursion. Now, in April 1999, was there such an event?

  • April 1999, there is movement to Lome. We - let me see. No, I do not think it is at this time. We do have an incursion - yeah, I think there are some problems in April 1999, as we are undertaking Lome. I think, yeah, there is a little problem where there is an incursion into Lofa.

  • Was it by Mosquito Spray?

  • No, it was not by Mosquito Spray. That was in '98.

  • No. But you understand what this means? Remember, the witness has been directed to apply his mind to this time period and the witness is saying, during this time period there's an incursion involving Mosquito Spray and there is a request from Liberia for the RUF to send reinforcements to deal with that situation. Do you understand?

  • No, but there is no such thing at this time that the RUF or any other time is asked to send reinforcement into Liberia. So this is totally out.

  • Well, let's just assume for the sake of argument that the witness, given the time period he's being told to direct his mind to, is talking about that incursion that took place in April 1999, that means, Mr Taylor, that you were running a two-track approach. On the one hand, you're assisting the United Nations to airlift RUF representatives to Lome. At the same time, you're requesting Sam Bockarie to send fighters across the border to fight your own little domestic battles. Do you see?

  • Yes, I see what he's talking about. Yes, I do.

  • What do you say about that?

  • I say that's total nonsense. In fact, the area that he's talking about, don't forget that the UN - where are they? They are not picking up - and this is not a one-day situation. Most of April is used removing people left and right, and that would be totally ludicrous to say that while we're doing everything to remove these people, get them from Sierra Leone, that I'm supposed to be requesting. It is totally false. That's not true.

  • Now, let's deal with another detail whilst we're looking at that passage and it's this: "When Sam Bockarie would want to see Mr Taylor or anything that he thought should not be discussed on air, he would just make a request from Benjamin Yeaten that he wanted to go to Monrovia." What do say about that?

  • I would not know if he spoke to Benjamin, but it would not be unusual during the time that Sam Bockarie is in touch with us for him to either maybe speaking to Benjamin and say, "I would like to come." I wouldn't put too much to - as far as denying that this was possible. I still think that it would be possible for Benjamin, within the period that we actually bring Sam Bockarie in that, you know, throughout late '98 throughout '99, but the period he's talking about is early '98 to mid-1999, which is not the real case, but within the time frame that he does come, I wouldn't object to the fact that it's possible he could have spoken to Benjamin Yeaten, no. It's possible.

  • Very well. Page 21490, line 13:

    "Q. Now with regard to these communications related to

    ammunition, describe what they were - what would happen

    with these communications? How would they work?

    A. Like, for example, if Mosquito's sat phone had a

    problem and there was demand for ammunition, they would

    just give a direct instruction to the radio operator to

    send a message to Sunlight - sorry, Benjamin Yeaten through

    Sunlight, that we did not have ammunition or we were under

    enemy pressure. Then Sunlight would come back on the air

    and say that according to Benjamin Yeaten, Mosquito should

    wait for him. That is, Benjamin Yeaten to consult with

    Zero-Four-Seven, and that was Mr Taylor. And sunlight

    would call again after some time and he would tell Mosquito

    that, 'Okay, you Mosquito' - Sunlight would tell Mosquito

    that according to Benjamin Yeaten, you should travel to

    Monrovia or send somebody to Monrovia to come and receive

    some materials. By that I mean ammunition. Sometimes

    Benjamin Yeaten would send, like, Jungle or Zigzag Marzah

    or one other Mosquito, a Liberian Mosquito. He was in

    Liberia. He was called Mosquito. He was one of Charlie's

    securities. Any of them, Benjamin could use them. They

    were the ones that Benjamin used to dispatch materials to

    Sierra Leone."

    Detail: Zero-Four-Seven, who's that?

  • Well, at this time I have used that code name, but as President of Liberia I'm called Unit 1. So remember I said it came from Ebony and it would changed. By this particular time I'm called Unit 1.

    But there's another interesting piece of information here. I see that the material that are being dispatched, so to speak, to Sierra Leone, we're talking about the period - am I right, we're talking about 1998 going into --

  • April 1999. We're still talking about the same period.

  • Okay. What he's saying here, that he was a Liberian, he was called Mosquito, and he was one of Charles Taylor's securities. Now, there was, and there is, a Mosquito in Liberia, and he has been there from the beginning of the war. In fact, he had that Mosquito name long before anybody called Mosquito. But what is interesting about this, remember now we're talking about 1999 and 1998. I don't hear Zigzag Marzah here. I don't hear Sampson Weah here. There's a new introduction about somebody that is now carrying ammunition and now that is Mosquito, whose real name is Christopher Varmos [phon]. Now I just want us to put a flag up on this one, because this period there's ammunition that's supposed to be going and there's not a Zigzag Marzah involved, there's not --

  • Well, let me correct you to this extent, Mr Taylor. It reads: "Sometimes Benjamin would send, like, Jungle or Zigzag Marzah, or one other Mosquito, a Liberian Mosquito".

  • Oh, no. Okay. I didn't see the other part of that, okay?

  • Because it just caught me that I didn't hear those names before. Okay. Well, even though he mentions that, but that is not true Mosquito, because this Mosquito --

  • General Christopher Varmos was a senior general that would not go on an errand for a Benjamin Yeaten, so that would be out of the question. But that - in the period that he's talk about that doesn't happen, but I guess he's just calling names here, because these people know people on the ground and he's just talking. But General Varmos would not - I don't think Benjamin would disrespect a colleague to go run and an errand for him like this, no.

    And let me just put another bit of information on this satellite telephone business, because Sam Bockarie did have a satellite telephone. The problem that they had with that telephone was these telephones, you have to pay the bills for them and the reason why I gave him - I gave him a satellite telephone in October is the - it was a new company and we could - he could buy the service cards in Monrovia, okay? The old telephone he could not - in fact, they had - they could not pay the bill. So I think it's important that we mention that he did have a phone before I met him, but we gave him one because of the service that we needed to have between he, myself and any other member of the committee that he wanted to talk to. And I think he did utilise it, because I did not arrange for him to go to meet the chairman of the OAU in late November. He organised that on himself - on his own.

  • Talking about the satellite phone, Mr Taylor, was it possible for Sam Bockarie to top up or recharge the credit on his phone in Sierra Leone?

  • No. Well, okay, yes. But there's a procedure. Yes, I will say no and yes. Yes - no in that the cards were not there, but what happen on the Thuraya - the Thuraya telephones, they sell what we call scratch - they sell cards for a certain number of units that you can buy. So it's possible for somebody in Monrovia to buy a Thuraya - a certain number of credits and text it to you and then you could then get the numbers and you would dial - I think it's - you dial to the Thuraya operator when you're about to charge up and they can charge it. Yes, they can do that.

  • Because at page 21510 in that regard the witness says this at line 28:

    "A. Well, the satellite phone which Mosquito used most

    often were for direct talks with Benjamin Yeaten, and it

    was the same sat phone that Mosquito used for connection

    with BBC to share the views of the RUF with the world.

    Q. Now, how do you know Sam Bockarie was using this

    satellite phone for direct talks with Benjamin Yeaten?

    A. Many times he told me myself to tell Benjamin Yeaten to

    call him on his sat phone. I can recall sometimes -

    sometimes he told me to tell Benjamin Yeaten to send credit

    for him so that he would recharge his account, and

    sometimes I would stand close to Sam Bockarie while he

    would be talking to Benjamin directly."

    So do you agree with that, Mr Taylor?

  • Well, I agree that he could send him credit. His standing next to Benjamin contrasts seriously with - you know, with what other witnesses have said. But, yes, it's possible to send credits. It's possible, yes.

  • And it continues:

    "Q. Now, you said that you recall that there were

    sometimes that he told you to tell Benjamin Yeaten to send

    credit for him so that he would recharge his account. Who

    told you this?

    A. Sam Bockarie.

    Q. And specifically how did this work?

    A. Well, I transmitted the message directly to Sunlight.

    From Sunlight, then Sunlight in turn would pass it on to

    Benjamin, and then Sunlight will come back to me on the

    radio and say, 'Daf, the message has reached Benjamin and

    he will act on it.'

    Q. Did you know how the satellite phone was topped up?

    A. No."

  • I can see your concern, Mr Taylor, but my recollection is the only thing protected about this witness is his contact details, address and so forth.

  • Then he's asked, page 21511, line 26:

    "Q. Which of the phones - let's start from the time you

    arrived. When you started your assignment in Buedu, did

    Sam Bockarie have a satellite phone?

    A. No. Initially when we got there, no.

    Q. When did he obtain one?

    A. It was after Johnny Paul's arrival from Freetown.

    Q. And later on then you said he obtained a satellite

    phone from Charles Taylor. Do you know when this happened?

    A. Yes, it was sometime around early 1998."

    Do you see the significance of that, Mr Taylor?

  • Yeah, that's why I said that some of - he's got it wrong. It's really - it's late 1998.

  • Well, this witness disagrees. I'm on page 21512, line 16:

    "Q. This incident you are referring to when Johnny Paul

    Koroma's phone was obtained, when did that happen? Can you

    approximate when?

    A. Well, I do not recall the exact date, but what I know

    is that it was early 1998. That was after we had withdrawn

    from Kenema and when they too had moved from Freetown and

    arrived.

    Q. And finally, you said that one of these phones was

    given to Sam Bockarie by Charles Taylor. How do you know

    that?

    A. I recall that I made one other trip with Sam Bockarie

    to Monrovia, and on our return he handed over a bag to me

    for me to carry. He told me that it was a satellite phone

    that was in there, and he told me it was the Papay who gave

    it to him, and by that he was referring to Charles Taylor."

    Now, it's difficult to identify when that one other trip was, but it's interesting that when we continue with the testimony of this individual, last line, line 29 on page 21521 we find this:

    "Q. Now, earlier you said that you yourself made trips to

    Monrovia. Is that correct?

    A. Yes.

    Q. You've described one of those trips that occurred after

    the ECOMOG intervention?"

    Now, we looked at that in some detail, did we not, Mr Taylor?

  • Yes, we did.

  • "Q. Now, during your time in Buedu when you were working

    as a radio operator, about how many trips did you make to

    Monrovia?

    A. Roughly seven.

    Q. Now, you've also referred to an incident of the

    invasion of Freetown on 6 January 1999. Can you recall

    about how many of these trips you made to Monrovia before

    that incident, 6 January 1999?

    A. I had gone there up to six times. Because after 6

    January, I only went to Monrovia once with Sam Bockarie,

    and that was during Sam Bockarie's regime. That apart,

    it's only when I went there again and boarded a flight to

    go to Togo. That one is not included, the time I went to

    Monrovia to transit and travel to Togo.

    Q. Okay. I want to focus now on the trips that you made -

    that you say that you made between when you arrived after

    your first trip up to 6 January 1999, and you said you went

    approximately six times."

    There was then some clarification of the question asked and then he continues over the page at page 21514, line 3:

    "A. Well, Mosquito had recognised me to be one of the

    operators who had been used to the Liberian communications

    network. He knew that I was one of the operators that had

    been used to their communication system. And that besides,

    it was an appointment, because the first trip that I made

    with him I did not cause any problem, and during the second

    I did not cause any problems, and when I travelled with him

    I did my job accordingly, the way I was supposed to do. So

    I thought it was just because of the kind of way I was

    doing my job, that was the more reason why I was travelling

    with him. That was the reason why I got the instruction to

    travel with Mosquito."

    Then he's asked about the route they took. Then he's asked this question at line 26 on the same page:

    "Q. Why was Sam Bockarie making these trips, do you know?

    A. Yes, I know some of the reasons why he made those

    trips.

    Q. What were those reasons?

    A. Well, to the best of my knowledge - to the best of my

    knowledge, Sam Bockarie used to go to Monrovia to receive

    ammunition, sometimes some other logistics or condiments,

    food supplies, and then sometimes he would go to Monrovia

    on the instruction of Zero-Four-Seven for briefing. He

    would go to Monrovia on instruction from Zero-Four-Seven

    for briefing.

    Q. How do you know this?

    A. Well, most times even when Mosquito will talk directly

    with Benjamin Yeaten and even if it was on the sat phone

    that he discussed with Benjamin Yeaten and if he got any

    information or instruction from Benjamin Yeaten to travel

    to Monrovia, he would tell his radio operators. And if

    there was any radio operator who was immediately around he

    would tell them and those were not informations that he

    decided to hide away from us. And for me sometimes I

    travelled with Mosquito on some of these trips. So

    Mosquito used to tell me directly when he got instructions

    from the Papay to go to Monrovia. He will say, 'Daf,

    prepare yourself and move with me.'

    Q. Aside from yourself and Mosquito, who else would

    typically be on these trips?

    A. Well, up until the time I left Buedu to go to Lome I

    was one of the operators who made those trips. Major

    Sellay - are you referring to the operators?

    Q. Well, aside from radio operators, who else would

    typically go on these trips?

    A. On those trips sometimes Mosquito had some bodyguards

    that he did not leave behind at all because there was the

    adjutant general, the RUF adjutant general, who was called

    Rashid, he never used to leave him behind. And also like

    Sellay, he never used to leave him behind. And sometimes

    he would go with Eddie Kanneh. Sometimes he would go to Pa

    Rogers, apart from me."

    Let's pause there. Now, important question, Mr Taylor: This radio operator is being asked what was some of the reasons why Sam Bockarie made the trips to Monrovia and he says, one, to receive ammunition, sometimes for other logistics and also to receive briefings from you, or instructions. Mr Taylor, what was the reason for Sam Bockarie travelling to Monrovia after you first made contact as you tell us in September 1998?

  • Only in pursuing him to agree to a ceasefire and the implementation of the 1996 Abidjan agreement. That was all. All of the trips that he makes, this is what it is all about. It's about the peace process that Sam Bockarie is being urged very much. He's also told that by the chairman of the OAU. He's under a lot of pressure to agree to accept peace. This is all the reason why he's travelling. No other reason.

  • Did he on occasions travel with Eddie Kanneh?

  • I remember, yes, on a couple - I remember, from the second time that Sam Bockarie visited, there was a gentleman with him called Eddie Kanneh, yes. Some of the other meetings, I did not see the same gentleman, but we must be - as we're going through these operators, something has caught my attention.

  • All of these operators - I remember one operator came here and described Sam Bockarie as I think he said bragard. I think he said bragard, that he told everybody everything. So I'm saying this is consistent now with these operators. They're all saying, "He talked everything. He talked everything. He told us everything." So it may be interesting to observe the consistency of this because this is to tie up - these are the loose ends of this lie. If Sam Bockarie is an individual that would be - if he's speaking at this level with radio operators, everything that he's discussing with Heads of State and officials with radio operators, then I have a lot of questions about how - what kind of leadership he has. But when you look at the way that some of these questions are asked to these people, I mean, they are very - this whole thing has been so simplified. "How did you know that? Oh, somebody told me. And how did he get from Buedu to Monrovia?" Who doesn't know that there's one road from the border there in Lofa that the whole world knows that there's one road coming from Foya, Kolahun, Voinjama, Zorzor, Gbarnga. There is no other road. It's not like you would forget. But the simplistic nature of this whole trial and what is going on, I mean, it's very - it's a terrible situation here. "How did you know? Well, somebody told me. And how did he get from Buedu to Gbarnga? He came through Zorzor and Voinjama." Of course he came through Zorzor and Voinjama, because it's the only way to come if they're coming.

    So, you know, you ask these type of simple questions to these witnesses and they just - they're talking. "How did you get to know Sam Bockarie? He used to brag. He told everybody." I don't care whether you can be the stupidest leader in the world, you don't talk important things with messengers and little radio operators. So, I mean, I guess this is the nature of things here, I guess, with me. But this boy here, yes, wherever he goes right there, I will tell this Court, "Oh, yes, this happened, that happened." But that Sam Bockarie is supposed to be coming, he doesn't know why Sam Bockarie is coming to Monrovia and he concludes that he's coming for a - and if we remember these period, I wouldn't even doubt, based on evidence before this Court, this period Sam Bockarie going back through Lofa and if they had made arrangement with their old colleagues for a little ammunition, I mean, which some of their witnesses have said, yes. But for Sam Bockarie to come to Charles Taylor - and this whole case rests on - look, if this Court believes that I had material between disarmament up until I would say 2001 and 2002 where I wrote the United Nations and told the Security Council that I would bring ammunition for legitimate self-defence, if this Court believes that I had material at the quantity that these people are talking about, then I'm already guilty. There was no such thing in that country with Charles Taylor having material; but the whole case is built on: "He's having material. He's distributing it." It's not true. It's not true. I guess this is --

  • Well, Mr Taylor, let's continue with the witness's evidence, because you recall he said that this trip in February 1998 was the first trip he made to Monrovia with Sam Bockarie, yes?

  • Well, he goes on, page 21516, line 17:

    "Q. ... Do you recall your second trip to Monrovia?

    A. Yes. I recall part of my second trip to Monrovia. I

    recall.

    Q. Can you describe for the Court that trip?

    A. Yes. The second trip I made to Monrovia was also with

    Mosquito and on that trip I went with Mosquito and that was

    the trip that we made when - I think when I went with one

    of the code. I had to travel the code, the communication

    code, the RUF communication code, to Sunlight.

    Q. Why were you travelling with the RUF communication code

    to Sunlight?

    A. For him to we able to monitor communications directly

    from Sierra Leone and for him to use the code for himself

    so that he will be able to give briefings to Benjamin at

    any time when Benjamin asked him about updates from Sierra

    Leone. And also so that at any time he came to the RUF

    radio net he would not use the Liberian voice procedure

    there and he would not use the Liberian code there.

    Instead he would use the RUF codes on the RUF net, radio

    net.

    Q. Who instructed you, if anyone, to give these codes to

    Sunlight?

    A. It was the overall signals commander, and that was the

    late Sellay. The late Sellay M Duwor."

    Then he goes on to explain that the codes they'd been using that had been changed, that's line 26 on page 21517, and he explains on page 21518 the regularity with which those changes took place. Then to date this trip we move to page 21519, line 16:

    "Q. Can you approximate when this trip occurred?

    A. Yes, we were approaching mid-1998. Yes, around mid-1998. We were approaching mid-1998."

    Jump to line 27:

    "THE WITNESS: ... when we arrived in Monrovia I was just

    in the radio room with Sunlight - I stayed in the radio

    room with Sunlight - and then Mosquito and Benjamin and

    others went out.

    Q. Do you know where they went?

    A. Yes, they went to meet with the CIC, the commander in

    chief, at that time.

    Q. Who was the commander in chief?

    A. Former President Taylor. They went to meet him,

    because Mosquito told me to wait on him in the radio room

    at Benjamin's house and he told me that they were going to

    see the Papay.

    Q. Who actually was with Mosquito? Do you recall anybody

    else?

    A. I recall that Rashid was with him. Rashid was one of

    the men who was with Mosquito, yes, when he went with

    Benjamin.

    Q. How long did you stay in Monrovia this time?

    A. We spent just about a day in Monrovia. It was just for

    a day and the following day we returned."

    He is then asked who else went on the trip, which I'm not going to trouble with. But then when we go over the page to page 21521 we find this: "What happened after they left?"

    No, to put it in context I need to start earlier. Bottom of page 21520:

    "Q. Now you said that Sunlight, Mosquito and others went

    to meet the commander in chief, former President Taylor.

    About how long were they gone for, can you recall?

    A. I said Benjamin Yeaten. I said Benjamin Yeaten.

    Benjamin Yeaten, Mosquito and Rashid, they went to the

    commander-in-chief.

    Q. And how long were they gone for?

    A. When they went in the morning, I can say almost for the

    rest of the day Mosquito did not return at Benjamin's

    house. He did not come there.

    Q. Okay, where did they - well, did you - what happened

    after they left?

    A. After they had left they were out for the whole day,

    and it was not until in the evening that the vehicles we

    had travelled with, they brought those vehicles loaded with

    ammunition and then we travelled back to Buedu.

    Q. Who brought these vehicles loaded with ammunition?

    A. Mosquito and Benjamin Yeaten.

    Q. Do you know where this ammunition came from?

    A. I do not know where they exactly loaded these

    ammunitions in the vehicle.

    Q. And how many vehicles do you recall had ammunition in

    them?

    A. They went to two vehicles.

    Q. And when you say that they returned with these vehicles

    of ammunition, where did they actually return to?

    A. They came back to Benjamin Yeaten's house where

    Mosquito has left us. That was where they picked me up

    again and then we returned to Sierra Leone.

    Q. So did they leave and come back on the same day?

    A. Yes, yes."

    Over the page to page 21522. No, let's pause there. Mid-1998. Bockarie is back in Monrovia after a few months, meets with you and Benjamin Yeaten, ends up heading back to Sierra Leone with two carloads of ammunition. What do you say about that, Mr Taylor.

  • It's totally false. We are talking about February now, the first trip. Mid 1998? What'd we say, July. I would say about mid-June, July.

  • And he is saying that they went and came right back almost the same - they returned the same day or the next day, and they went and came right back. But don't let's forget the period that we're talking about here. If we're talking about mid - the middle of the year in that part of the world, we're talking about the rainy season. That's what we're talking about if we're talking about June, July. Even if somebody is going on that road to Sierra Leone, it would take you a couple of days at least on the road. That's the rainy season. Terrible, terrible road. So again this - you know, I don't know what's going into these people's heads and what he's saying, but the period in question is totally erroneous. Totally erroneous.

  • I think we might take the lunch break now and we'll resume at 2.30.

  • [Lunch break taken at 1.30 p.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 2.30 p.m. ]

  • Now, before the break, Mr Taylor, we were looking at the trips made by this radio operator with Sam Bockarie to Monrovia, yes? The last trip we looked at is timed by the witness as mid 1998. Now, moving on. At page 21522 of the transcript the witness is asked this question, line 7:

    "Q. Did Sam Bockarie always go on these trips with you?

    A. No.

    Q. Was there any - how many times did he not go on these

    trips with you?

    A. There were two trips that we made that Sam did not go

    with us - no, with me.

    Q. And what were these trips? Can you approximately tell

    me when with these occurred?

    A. Yes. To be specific, one of the trips was immediately

    after the 6 January invasion - or I can say during

    immediately when our men had entered Freetown, that is, the

    AFRC/RUF fighters. Mosquito contacted Benjamin Yeaten and

    told him that that was the situation. He said our men had

    entered. That was Mosquito speaking to Benjamin Yeaten,

    and he was telling him exactly that that was the

    situation - Benjamin. He said, 'Now our men are in the

    Freetown in the city presently.' He said the only problem

    is that we are short of ammunition, and so he said, 'I want

    you to reinforce us with the ammunition.' That was

    Mosquito speaking. And when I say 'he', I am quote

    directly what it was Mosquito was speaking.

    Q. I will come on to that particular incident. But prior

    to 6 January was there any occasion when you travelled to

    Monrovia without Sam Bockarie; do you recall?"

    Now, Mr Taylor, pausing there. Now, I will come to it in a bit more detail in a moment, but do you see what the witness is saying here? That there is a visit immediately after the 6 January invasion, yes? A visit to Monrovia. I want you to hold that thought and we will come back to it. Now, he goes on:

    "Q. I would come to that particular incident, but prior to

    6 January was there any occasion when you travelled to

    Monrovia without Sam Bockarie; do you recall?

    A. Yes, yes.

    Q. When was that? Can you approximately tell when?

    A. It was around mid 1998.

    Q. And what was the purpose of that trip?

    A. It was ammunition that I went to receive: Myself,

    Victor and the driver, Bongo Man - I mean, Yellow Man and

    Jungle."

    Now, let us just remind ourselves of this: Remember, the second trip in 1998 was mid 1998, you remember that?

  • The witness is now saying at page 21523 that this trip without Mosquito is also mid 1998. Do you see that?

  • So in other words, he is making two trips.

  • Well, no. Mosquito makes one trip, page 21516, yes? "The second trip I made to Monrovia", line 21 page 21516, "was also with Mosquito."

    Now, page 21522: "Was there any occasion when you travelled to Monrovia without Sam Bockarie?

    Answer, page 215223, "It was around mid 1998."

    So here we have in the middle of 1998 a second visit to Monrovia by members of the RUF, although on this occasion Bockarie doesn't come. Do you follow me? So this the third time - visit this witness talking about in 1998, and he continues.

    "Q. How come Sam Bockarie didn't go?

    A. Well, it was not at all times that Sam Bockarie

    actually went to Monrovia to receive consignment. Apart

    from me, sometimes he sent other people to go and receive

    consignments from Monrovia. Because of the situation on

    the ground, sometimes he wouldn't be able to move away too

    far from the frontline."

    Yet, remember, immediately after the ECOMOG intervention, he did move from the frontline and go to Monrovia, but we continue.

    "Q. On this particular occasion when you went with Yellow

    Man and - when you went without Sam Bockarie and you went

    with Yellow Man, Victor and Jungle, do you know why Sam

    Bockarie didn't go on this particular occasion?

    A. Yes. The reason why Sam Bockarie did not go at that

    particular time was because he was supposed to hold a

    meeting some commanders from the various frontlines.

    Q. Do you know if this meeting was held? I am not asking

    about the meeting. I am just asking you whether or not you

    knew if the meeting occurred?

    A. Yes."

    Then he goes on, page 21524:

    "A. Yes, the meeting took place.

    Q. Now, aside from going on trips to Monrovia, did you

    make any other trips into Liberia during this time period

    when you were working as a radio operator in Buedu?"

    Remind ourselves, time period: Middle of 1998 - no, early 1998 to April 1999. Have you got that clear, Mr Taylor?

  • "A. Yes.

    Q. Describe the nature of these trips.

    A. At one point in time also I recall - and that was

    before the 6 January operation in Freetown - before the 6

    January operation in Freetown I was in convoy with

    Mosquito, Eddie Kanneh, Pa Rodgers, together with Shabado

    and others amongst Sam Bockarie's securities, and we

    travelled to Monrovia."

    So this is the fourth trip, apart from the 6 January trip, that he is talking about. Do you follow me?

  • Remember he has described one in February with Mosquito, one in mid 1998 without Mosquito, yes? He is describing this trip now, and then we have the 6 January trip. So we will come to them.

    "Q. Describe the nature of this trips?

    A. At one point in time also I recall - and that was

    before the 6 January operation in Freetown - before the 6

    January operation in Freetown I was in a convoy with Mosquito, Eddie Kanneh, Pa Rodgers, together with Shabado and others, amongst Sam Bockarie's securities and we travelled to Monrovia."

    He is then asked this question:

    "Q. Were there any particular occasions that you travelled

    to other places in Liberia during this time period?

    A. Yes.

    Q. Where were these locations?

    A. I also recall that at a point in time - at a point in

    time I travelled with - we travelled to Voinjama - the

    Voinjama area together with Shabado, Foday and others to go

    and receive some ammunition in Voinjama at one point in

    time.

    Q. Can you say approximately when this was?

    A. Mid 1998."

    So this is the third trip he is making in mid 1998. Do you get it?

  • "Q. Why were you going to Voinjama to receive

    ammunitions?

    A. Well, those ammunitions that Mosquito - I mean, some

    ex-fighters had buried in the ground that they were digging

    out again, there was a commander on the ground there who

    was responsible in that area for these ammunition and who

    was assembling them. So after assembling them, Mosquito

    would send people to go and collect them from there. And

    that did not just happen in Voinjama. It happened in some

    other areas like Vahun, Foya, areas along the border area.

    And those ammunition were kept underground by

    ex-combatants. That was before the disarmament in Liberia,

    and that was what led to the election of Mr Taylor.

    Q. When you say 'ex-fighters', who do you mean?

    A. Well, I am not referring to any distinct group,

    actually, in respect of this to say it was so and so group

    or so and so group.

    Q. So who were you referring to then when you say

    'ex-fighters' were --

    A. Liberian ex-fighters.

    Q. And do you know any of the groups that they were

    affiliated with?

    A. No, because I was not based there in that place. I

    only went there to receive. I only went as part of a

    receiving team at that time.

    Q. How were you actually obtaining these ammunitions?

    A. Well, in this case Mosquito used to send people to go

    into Liberia, because by then all the commanders who were

    based in the various towns, all of them knew about the kind

    of coordination that was going on, the way we coordinated

    the operations. So they were all well informed about the

    kind of operations that was going on, so they used to

    protect people. Like, for instance, Kennedy - CO Kennedy.

    Sometimes Mosquito used to send him there and secure these

    ammunitions. Sometimes Mosquito used to send different

    people. Sometimes he even sent Sellay, commander, because

    that was his area."

    Page 21526 we have reached, line 13:

    "Q. How would Mosquito send them? How?

    A. He used to give them physical cash money for them to

    go, but before that he would have spoken with the commander

    on the ground there and that commander in charge will be

    well informed on the ground in Liberia. I mean the

    commander in charge on the ground in Liberia, Mosquito

    would have spoken with that person and informed the person

    about the issue. And at that time those ammunition had

    been buried in the bushes and by then nobody actually

    needed them, so they thought they could just sell them and

    get something out of it.

    Q. When you say physical cash, what do you mean exactly?

    A. Money. Like US dollars.

    Q. Do you know where Sam Bockarie obtained these US

    dollars?

    A. Yes. Almost any trip Sam Bockarie made to Monrovia he

    used to get money from Mr Taylor. Mr Taylor used to give

    him sometimes 20,000 United States dollars. Sometimes

    10,000 United States dollars. The amount used to vary,

    but I know that any trips Sam made he used to get it. The

    way I used to know about that, I don't know whether the

    figures he used to give me were accurate, but he used

    to say, 'Oh, Solution, but the Pa has given us something

    here, so I want you guys also to have this money and put it

    in your pockets.' Sometimes he used to give me something

    like 50 US dollars or 100 US dollars out that Mr Taylor

    used to give them."

    Q. Now, these trips you are referring to to these

    locations in Liberia, you yourself, how often did you make

    these trips?

    A. Like this one I have told you about, I only knew about

    that once. But that apart, I still used to travel to

    Liberia. I used to go there sometimes on my own accord to

    do my own personal business or sometimes Five-Zero will

    send a stock to like Foya and he would send ammunition to

    like Foya and he would communicate with Mosquito and tell

    him, 'Please send people to Foya to come and receive'."

    Now, Mr Taylor, what is being described there, let's look at it in some detail, okay. I want you to bear in mind as we look at some of these details the salute report which Sam Bockarie prepared for Foday Sankoh in September 1999, do you remember?

  • I also want you to bear in mind what you have told us about the effectiveness of the disarmament process in parts of Lofa, yes?

  • Back to page it 21524:

    "Ammunition some ex-fighters had buried in the ground that they were digging out again. There was a commander on the ground there who was responsible in that area for those ammunition and who was assembling. Those ammunition were kept underground by ex-combatants. That was before the disarmament in Liberia."

    Now, what do you understand by all of that, Mr Taylor?

  • Well, I don't know why this witness just not - if he is being actually truthful he just doesn't say ULIMO. He knows ULIMO is there. He knows Sam Bockarie is captured by ULIMO when he goes to speak to them for arms. It is just baffling. I don't know if he wants to be, you know, truthful here. He knows it's ULIMO, so why don't you just say ULIMO was there. So he knows the NPFL was not there.

    But he is just trying to right - you know, by shielding off ULIMO he is trying to tie in my government with the delivery of these arms, because he knows this is ULIMO. When he says before disarmament, who is there? So I don't think he is being very truthful here. But he must be referring to ULIMO, but he is trying to link it to my government - you know, during the time of my government that, you know, these things were hidden in and they are being dug up now and delivered.

  • Now, you recall, Mr Taylor, that Sam Bockarie in that salute report, which we have looked at now on more than one occasion, indicated that he had used funds left behind by Foday Sankoh so establish a relationship with ULIMO for the purchase of arms, yes?

  • And you recall, Mr Taylor, on a different level, it being alleged against you that you were receiving diamonds from the RUF in exchange for ammunition, yes?

  • Bearing those two thoughts in mind, let us now revisit page 21526:

    "He used to give them physical cash for them to go. The commander in charge would be well informed on the ground in Liberia. And at that time, those ammunition had been buried in the bushes and by then nobody actually needed them, so they thought they could just sell them and get something out of them. Like US dollars."

    Now, pausing there, what do you understand by that, Mr Taylor: They no longer had any use for them and so they might as well get something out of it? What do you understand by that?

  • Just from that I can say there is a sale of weapons for cash.

  • Now, from your understanding of the situation in Liberia before disarmament, as the witness indicates, why would that make economic sense, if at all?

  • Well, the way the disarmament took place, there was not proper demobilisation, it was just a freeze. So some of these kids knowing that - in fact a lot of them - they were not getting anything out of disarmament, they decided to hide these things that they could sell later. And remember now they are already having a brisk business relationship across the border. So it made sense to them to try to keep these things, because they knew that there would be further sales and further business going on.

  • And where it's said:

    "Almost any trip Sam Bockarie made to Monrovia he used to get money from Mr Taylor. Mr Taylor used to give him styles 20,000 US dollars, sometimes 10,000 US dollars, the amount used to vary."

    And bear in mind also in that regard, Mr Taylor, let us just pause briefly to remind ourselves of another piece of evidence. You remember Varmuyan Sherif mentioning that you had begin him money to give to the RUF to purchase arms from ULIMO, you remember that?

  • Now, Mr Taylor, bearing in mind you are supposed to be the recipient of regular provisions of mayonnaise jars full of diamonds in exchange for ammunition, were you providing these kinds of sums to the RUF in order for them to purchase arms from ex-combatants in Lofa?

  • Of course not. Of course not. And if the RUF is receiving these, if I am receiving these mayonnaise jars of diamonds, 20 or 10,000 dollars seem a real cheat. Then I am actually cheating them. Then I'm a cheat. I'm a real cheat. And then they have to take the money and go again and buy ammunition in Lofa. But then what's happening to the ammunition that I am giving them?

    Remember now, I am supposed to be giving them this ammunition. There is the first amount that's given in February of 1998. And in the middle of this 1998 that he talks about there is supposed to be - now we know of three trips. One trip he comes with Sam Bockarie, he gets weapons. On another trip he come without Sam Bockarie. Then why do they have to buy ammunition again right about the same time --

  • Middle of 1998.

  • The middle of 1998 when they are getting all these supplies already from Monrovia. So it's just a waste of resources. I mean, we will talk about the economy of scales, they know nothing about that then. Because it just doesn't make any sense that you are getting this heavy supply from Monrovia and then the little money that you are bringing all these diamonds and all the diamonds that Taylor is getting and he gives you a little 20 or 10,000 and you have to suffer to go and buy some additional things. It just doesn't make sense.

    And, you know, I always like to come back because I have tried to go through this case so many times and it baffles me. When you look at the way the explanations are going, immediately after the February intervention, Sam Bockarie comes to Monrovia. Immediately after the 6 January invasion, Sam Bockarie comes to Monrovia. That's nearly a year apart. Identical action almost, identical behaviour on the part, so to speak, of Sam Bockarie.

    Now, I am doing nothing in Liberia. In fact, the period he is talking about, even as I reflect on this so-called first trip, it is very important for me to remind while I am helping the Court - to remind the Court of what's going on at this time. The very month of February that this gentleman is talking about, in exhibit after exhibit before the Court - in fact, February, following the intervention on the part of ECOWAS, I spend most of February going into March, based on evidence led in this Court, receiving about I would say between six to ten ambassadors during that particular time. Because most of the letters of credence are presented in February and most of March. I am so tied up with the diplomatic community, okay, in dealing with this thing. March, Kabbah comes to Freetown. President Clinton, if I am not mistaken, March of 1998 visits West Africa. I speak to him and that's on that side. So there is no way I am fooling around with a Sam Bockarie when I am busy dealing with the Sierra Leonean problem and bringing ambassadors.

    Now, go to this mid-1998 where he is pulling in ammunition an all this kind of thing. Three trips in mid-1998. What am I involved with in mid-1998? To the best of my recollection, in June 1998 the President of the Security Council invites my minister counsellor in New York to a very important meeting, the President of the Security Council, based on a letter from this gentleman in Freetown called Francis Okelo saying that most of the people that were involved during the intervention that they arrested were Liberians. The President of the Security Council comes, he invites my minister counsellor, Mr Wisseh, for an important meeting and demands an explanation from the Government of Liberia.

    And if we remember evidence presented before the Court, documentary evidence, Kofi Annan comes to West Africa the end of June. I go to Nigeria the end of June/early July where Kofi Annan, Tejani Kabbah, General Abdulsalami Abubakar and I have a meeting in July, the very first few days of July on the same Sierra Leonean situation and dealing with this problem. So I am supposed to be so silly and stupid or whatever I am, I have all these things, the President of the Security Council is saying that the Security Council is demanding an explanation on the allegation that Liberians were involved and what was my own involvement. We are trying to respond to this. The Secretary-General visits and all these documents have been presented here before the Court. And here I am having Sam Bockarie running up and down in Liberia in this period of time receiving arms and ammunition, when he is not coming, he is sending his boys in, they are receiving arms and ammunition. I don't know. I don't know. It's not true. It is not true.

    I mean, there is nothing else I can say about this, about this concoction that they have brought before this Court. It is not true. It is not true.

  • Very well. Now, later on in the course of his testimony, indeed on the next day, 3 December 2008, the witness was invited by counsel for the Prosecution to revisit that trip made in mid 1998 minus Sam Bockarie. I am looking now at page 21535 of the transcript at line 4. So we are talking about the trip now, Mr Taylor made minus Mosquito. Do you understand?

  • Yes, I do.

  • "Q. Now, yesterday during the course of questioning you

    were describing some of your trips to Monrovia. And you

    said on one occasion prior to the Freetown invasion of 6

    January 1999, that on one occasion you yourself went with

    Victor and Yellow Man and Jungle without Sam Bockarie to

    Monrovia. Do you remember talking about that yesterday?

    A. Yes.

    Q. Now, it was some follow-up on that particular trip that

    I never inquired from you yesterday about. Again, do you

    remember approximately when this was?

    A. I said around mid 1998.

    Q. And what happened on this particular trip? Can you

    recall what happened? Or what did you do on this

    particular trip?

    A. It was a trip that I went on to receive ammunition in

    Liberia in Monrovia.

    Q. Where specifically did you go?

    A. We received the ammunition from Five-Zero and returned

    to Liberia - sorry, returned to Sierra Leone on the same

    day.

    Q. Where did you receive this from Five-Zero?

    A. Behind White Flower.

    Q. How do you know?"

    Then counsel for the Prosecution revised this question and asked him - said:

    "Q. When the ammunitions were received, were you present?

    A. Yes.

    Q. Where were you specifically?

    A. I was on the scene. I was standing right by the van

    that we went with. We were in the van when Benjamin

    called. There were some other Liberian securities, but I

    did not know their names. They were the ones who loaded

    the ammunition into the vehicle and we moved.

    Q. Did you see them loading ammunition?

    A. Yes, yes.

    Q. Can you describe the ammunition? Can you recall what

    type?

    A. They were assorted. AK rounds, it was more of AK, GMG

    rounds and some RPG rockets.

    Q. And when you went to Monrovia from Buedu, by what means

    did you go to Monrovia?

    A. We used a vehicle to go.

    Q. How many vehicles?

    A. One.

    Q. And when you were loading the - when the ammunitions

    were loaded, how many vehicles were involved?

    A. It was only the vehicle that we went with. That was

    the vehicle that had the ammunition. But apart from that,

    Benjamin's vehicle was parked there and there were some

    other vehicles. But it was only that vehicle that was

    involved in the ammunition.

    Q. And what kind of vehicle? Can you recall what kind of

    vehicle you were in?

    A. It was a Hilux. Hilux van.

    Q. Just one final point. Specifically, can you recall

    where exactly within the - you said it was at Benjamin

    Yeaten's house. But where specifically did this loading

    take place, can you recall?

    A. It was right inside of White Flower. Behind White

    Flower. Not at Benjamin's house. It was at White Flower

    itself. Not Benjamin's house. It was behind White Flower.

    There is some underground area.

    Q. When you say 'White Flower', what do you mean?

    A. Mr Taylor's house where he lived. At the house. That

    is where we refer to as White Flower."

    So you understand what he is saying, Mr Taylor?

  • This trip in mid 1998 without Benjamin Yeaten --

  • Without Sam Bockarie. He directly implicates you by suggesting that the loading of the ammunition takes place inside White Flower?

  • I don't know what he is saying, whether it's inside, behind --

  • Well, let's take them in turn. Was there a stockpile of ammunition inside your home address White Flower, Mr Taylor?

  • There is no - there has never been any stockpile of ammunition at White Flower and there is no underground. In fact, White Flower has been searched twice, once by the Special Court by a warrant from this Court. I am sure if there was an underground at White Flower, they would have said it. They have searched the house before. When I was [indiscernible] they searched the house. There is no underground. I guess it's this type of foolishness that they rushed and searched my property. There is no underground. Nobody - I never kept weapons in there. White Flower is one building in a fence, and nobody would ever go in my fence to load ammunition. So now - but if you listen the way how this boy is talking, they are at Benjamin Yeaten's house. He is standing by a van. Ammunition comes and is loaded, but then it's loaded behind White Flower in White Flower. None of these things happened. Not only just this time when Sam Bockarie is not in Liberia or even this gentleman himself; it just never happened. Never. Maybe if he loaded ammunition at some other time from Benjamin Yeaten's house, I can't account for that. But not at White Flower, no. Never.

  • Right. Let's put mid 1998 to one side now and move on. And I am moving to page 21542 of the transcript 3 December 2008. Now, let me preface any reference that that transcript with this question, Mr Taylor: Mr Taylor, in late 1998, did Sam Bockarie come to Monrovia?

  • No. Not late 1998. As far as very late, I will be specific instead of being general. Sam Bockarie came to Liberia in about late November 1998, to be specific. He passed through.

  • When you say "passed through", what do you mean?

  • He went to Burkina Faso to visit --

  • No, no. Let's just take things slowly, Mr Taylor. And I have a good reason for asking.

  • How does he travel to Monrovia?

  • Does he stay overnight in Monrovia to your knowledge?

  • No. To the best of my knowledge, he doesn't spend the night in Monrovia. He travels on.

  • He travels on to where?

  • From Roberts International Airport.

  • Who organised that trip?

  • He himself organised the trip. I don't know how they got organised, but a plane came and picked him up and took him to Roberts.

  • Did you purchase airline tickets for him?

  • No, no, no, no, no. There was no airline tickets. I didn't, no.

  • Did you arrange for an aircraft to come to collect him?

  • Did he travel by himself?

  • No, he did not travel by himself.

  • Who did he travel with?

  • Sam Bockarie travelled with Eddie Kanneh that I remember, because I had known that name. He had also travelled with - because of the French speaking - Musa Cisse speaks French. He travelled with Musa Cisse to serve as interpreter for President Compaore.

  • Now, pause. Musa Cisse was employed by whom?

  • And with whose permission did Musa Cisse travel with him?

  • Because the mission that Sam Bockarie was going on to Burkina Faso was a peace mission to meet the chairman of the OAU and because he, Sam Bockarie - from what he said, he couldn't speak French - I sent along my protocol officer, who spoke French and English, to interpret during the meeting.

  • Now, you were explaining who was attending and you have mentioned Eddie Kanneh?

  • There were several other people from Sierra Leone, but I don't remember them.

  • How long did he stay in Ouagadougou, to your understanding?

  • Well, I don't know how long he stayed in Ouagadougou, but he was away from Liberia for two weeks.

  • As far as you are aware, was his travel confined to Ouagadougou?

  • No, to the best of my recollection, I was told that he travelled beyond Ouagadougou. He went to another place.

  • He went to Libya while he did that travel, from what I was told.

  • Did you know prior to him leaving that he was heading on to Libya?

  • When did you discover that he had been to Libya?

  • Upon the return, my protocol officer briefed me that - because I wanted to find out why did the trip take so long. He said no, they were not in Burkina Faso. Sam Bockarie left them and he went to Libya and came back.

  • Did Musa Cisse accompany Mosquito, Sam Bockarie, to Libya?

  • Now, on his return did he stay long in Monrovia?

  • No, no, no. Sam Bockarie came back and he continued on to Sierra Leone. They came back a little early. He came and he met with me to thank me for, you know, sending Musa and - you know and helping in arranging this trip with the - you know, to make it possible with the chairman of the OAU and that they had had very fruitful discussion and he was on his way. He left the same day for Sierra Leone.

  • Now, when he returned, Mr Taylor, did you demand from him a debrief?

  • No, no, no, no, no. I didn't. No, no. There was none. If I wanted to know anything, I would have found out from the chairman himself or from Musa Cisse. And as a matter of fact, let me just add, when Sam Bockarie came back, I was not - I was not in Monrovia. I was not in Monrovia itself. I was on the outskirts of Monrovia. At this particular time if my recollection is correct, I was involved in the polio - I was involved in the polio campaign in Liberia at that time. So it was just they came to the location where I was and, you know, thanked me because I was very busy - it was during the polio campaign time - and then he continued.

  • Now, bearing all of that in mind, Mr Taylor, let us now visit page 21542 of the testimony of this witness on 3 December 2008. He is reminded of what he said about the trip at or about the time of the 6 January invasion.

    "Q. And you said you went approximately, you thought,

    early December and you went with Mosquito, Rashid, Pa

    Rodgers, and Eddie Kanneh amongst the crew that went on

    this trip. Do you recall starting to tell the Court about

    that yesterday?

    A. Yes.

    Q. I'd like you to go ahead now and slowly. I am going to

    ask you to slowly describe this trip for the Court. Again

    I am going to emphasise to you that you take your time when

    you explain this, okay?

    A. Yes. I do recall sometime in early December myself,

    Sam Bockarie, the late SYB Rodgers who was the People's War

    Council chairman, Rashid, Eddie Kanneh, among others -

    among other people, those of us who travelled to Monrovia.

    The trip that we made to Monrovia was to escort Sam

    Bockarie because he, Sam Bockarie, was supposed to travel

    to Libya, initially what he told us. He, Sam Bockarie -

    what he told us, he said according to the discussion he had

    had with Benjamin, that he was to go and receive some

    materials - I mean, ammunition. But when we arrived in

    Liberia the course changed and that particular movement was

    diverted to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Sam Bockarie, Eddie

    Kanneh, Pa Rogers went to Burkina Faso to the best of my

    knowledge.

    "Q. You said that initially you were told by Sam Bockarie

    that he was supposed to travel to Libya, that he had had a

    discussion with Benjamin and that he was going to receive

    some materials and he was supposed to travel to Libya. Is

    that correct?

    A. Yes.

    Q. Where did you learn this? Where were you when you

    learned this from Sam Bockarie?

    A. It was in Buedu. I was in Buedu right behind Sam

    Bockarie's house where his satellite phone was installed,

    where he used to install his satellite phone, and I met him

    there. He was sitting by his phone together with some of

    his bodyguards who were around him and some other people.

    Q. Now you said then that when we arrived in Liberia the

    course changed and that particular movement was diverted to

    Ouagadougou. What do you mean when you say when you

    arrived in Liberia the course changed?

    A. Well, instead of Sam Bockarie going to Libya, he said

    the Papay had told him that the ammunition had been brought

    to Burkina Faso, so he was now to go and receive the

    ammunition from Burkina Faso."

    Now, Mr Taylor, you appreciate that your co-conspirators on this indictment include Colonel Gaddafi and Blaise Compaore. You know that, don't you?

  • Yes, I do.

  • Now you see what is being suggested and inferred here, don't you? Sam Bockarie comes to Monrovia. He is supposed to be going to Libya. But you then, effectively, inform him, once he arrives in Monrovia that the plan has changed. "No need for you to go to Libya now, Sam. The ammunition is in Burkina Faso." You understand that, don't you?

  • Yes, I do.

  • You see that that puts you at a heart of a design involving Colonel Gaddafi and Blaise Compaore, don't you?

  • You see that, don't you?

  • What do you say about that, Mr Taylor?

  • That's a total lie. It's not true. Look, the decision for Sam Bockarie to go to Burkina Faso was not just Charles Taylor's decision. And if you look in a document presented here, which is a United Nations document, the issue of some of these people with the junta like Bockarie and others travelling out for peace was approved. There were several of them named in that document on who could travel, because at this particular time travelling for them was not supposed to happen.

    So if there was a design, I have no idea of the design. But I know that Sam Bockarie would not have come and he would not have been permitted to travel through Liberia to go to Burkina Faso to see the chairman of the OAU unless the chairman knew, I knew and others knew, including United Nations and other people. Everybody knew of Sam Bockarie's trip. If not, he would not have travelled. And I am sure we can refer to that document that I am talking about, Which is an UN document that has been exhibited in this Court.

    So this matter of whether there was - I would have never known whatever else that was arranged. Sam Bockarie, I didn't spend a dime to get Sam Bockarie to go. From what I understand, a small aircraft came for Sam Bockarie that was arranged by the chairman and he travelled to Burkina Faso.

  • Who is was the chairman?

  • The OAU at the time. So this is totally - but, you know, based on those that constructed this case, they would need this kind of - I don't know how they got him to say this kind of thing, but this is totally not true. But is Blaise Compaore some little boy? Is Blaise Compaore some little boy that - I mean, he would have to almost be acting with my acquiescence. If he wants to give material to Sam Bockarie, it requires me to ask him? Or is Gaddafi a little boy? No.

  • Now, how had this trip been arranged to the best of your knowledge, Mr Taylor?

  • This trip was arranged by Sam Bockarie and I think some of the people he travelled with. Because we had some good people. I understand - I really don't know this man very well. If there was an older man in the delegation that - because Sam Bockarie met me with Eddie Kanneh and an older man. I do not know if it was Mr Rogers, but he was an older man, a shortish type, with grey hair. I can still remember him. He had some good people. But they had arranged this before they made this --

  • Arranged it with who?

  • Well, everybody agreed. Kabbah agreed that some of these junta people could travel. The UN agreed. So within their circles I am sure that he had talked to other senior people for it to be included in an UN report that certain members of the junta could be permitted to travel. They had talked to other people. And don't let's forget, the RUF by this particular time going all the way back to 1996, if we look at the delegations that they sent, they were not a bunch of little bush boys sitting back there. They had educated people with doctorate degrees, Dr Abbas Bundu, Karefa-Smart. These are not little boys. These are people that knew how to get around.

    I have no idea of how Sam Bockarie arranged that trip. And I repeat, when Sam Bockarie came to me in September 1998 he had a satellite phone and I gave him another phone because of the problems they were having in getting credit. But he already had a satellite phone by this particular time and I gave him a second one. So they had did a lot of work I'm sure. They had people that supported them.

  • Now, it continues:

    "He said the Papay had told him that the ammunition had

    been brought to Burkina Faso, so he was now to go and

    receive the ammunition from Burkina Faso.

    Q. When you say in this context the Papay, who are you

    referring to?

    A. Commander-in-chief Taylor.

    Q. And just describe sequentially what happened. You said

    that when you arrived the course changed, but then you said

    of Sam Bockarie, 'He said the Papay had told him that the

    ammunition had been brought to Burkina Faso.' Do you know

    when this happened?

    A. Well, it was in December.

    Q. When did it happen in terms of the course of your trip?

    A. It was only after we had reached in Monrovia. That's

    when I knew about that. That everything --

    Q. How did you learn about that?

    A. It was Mosquito who directly told me."

    And then he establishes that the time frame is December 1998:

    "Q. Now go ahead and I won't intervene. Just go ahead and

    sequentially say what happened. So you arrived in Monrovia

    and what happened then? Where did you arrive to?

    A. When we got to Monrovia I was at Benjamin's place

    throughout the trip waiting for Mosquito. I waited on him

    in Monrovia and he went and returned. I was in Monrovia at

    Benjamin's house using Base 1 to collect information from

    the front lines, because I was coordinating with the front

    line all of the times, and Mosquito used to call on the

    phone, on the telephone line, to get information from me

    directly pertaining to what was going on at the front line

    and that was the reason why Mosquito travelled with me to

    go to Monrovia; so he would be getting information.

    Q. Where was Mosquito calling you on the phone from, do

    you know?

    A. Yes. Mosquito was calling me from Burkina Faso.

    Q. And how do you know that?

    A. He told me. When he arrived, that is Mosquito, he

    called on the telephone and he spoke with Sunlight and

    Sunlight called me and I spoke to him directly. He said he

    had reached his destination. And even before he left he

    told me that they were going to Burkina.

    Q. How did it happen that the course changed?

    A. Well, that one is for those in the higher echelons

    because I don't know exactly why the course was diverted."

    And bear in mind, Mr Taylor, this is a radio operator speaking.

    "That one is for those in the higher echelons because I

    don't know exactly why the course was diverted.

    Q. So when you first arrived in Monrovia, where did Sam

    Bockarie go when you first arrived?

    A. When we arrived in Monrovia I was at Benjamin's and Sam

    Bockarie and Benjamin used to go out. They would go out

    for the whole day and sometimes when he would return he

    would tell me that they met with Papay briefly and

    sometimes - when we were in Monrovia even before he would

    go out he will not come back to Benjamin for the whole day

    at times, except the following morning, because we spent up

    to 72 hours in Monrovia before Sam Bockarie took off for

    Ouagadougou.

    Q. When you say we spent up to 72 hours, who spent up to

    72 hours in Monrovia before taking off to Ouagadougou?

    A. Myself, Rashid - myself, Rashid, Shabado and some of

    Mosquito's bodyguards with whom he travelled.

    Q. Who specifically actually went on the trip with Sam

    Bockarie, do you know?

    A. Well, from the RUF side I recall the late Pa Rogers and

    Eddie Kanneh. They were the ones who travelled with Sam

    Bockarie.

    Q. I am asking you about the trip that Sam Bockarie took

    to Ouagadougou. Is that what you are referring to? Well

    go ahead and say the people that you know travelled to

    Ouagadougou.

    A. The people who went with Sam Bockarie to Ouagadougou

    were the late SYB Rogers and Eddie Kanneh.

    Q. And anyone else?

    A. Those are the two I know of from the RUF. If any other

    person was there, I don't know about that person.

    Q. And how long were they gone for?

    A. They spent up to a week. They spent up to a week in

    Ouagadougou.

    Q. And during the week where did you stay?

    A. I stayed in Monrovia at Benjamin Yeaten's house.

    Q. And you said that you were receiving calls on the phone

    from Sam Bockarie during the course while he was on this

    trip to Ouagadougou. How often was that happening?

    A. He called me about three times from Ouagadougou. About

    three times.

    Q. And were there any other discussions aside from what

    you've already said about reporting the situation?

    A. Well, during his stay in Ouagadougou, is that what you

    mean? During his stay in Ouagadougou most of the

    discussions we had was for me to give him updates from the

    front lines. If there was any problem I should tell him

    where there was that problem or where there was no problem.

    That was the topic of discussion.

    Q. How were you getting information to send to Sam

    Bockarie about the front lines?

    A. I communicated on the RUF radio net every day. Every

    day I communicated on the RUF radio net. I followed the

    various activities in the front lines.

    Q. Now, you said they were gone approximately a week.

    What happened when they returned? Describe what happened.

    A. Well, I stayed at Benjamin's house right up to the time

    Mosquito and others returned, and when they returned, he

    returned at night. On the very night I did not see him and

    the following day he came to Benjamin's house in the

    evening. He was sitting in the studio for a short time,

    that is Base 1, to get information from me, and he called

    Issa and the two of them spoke and Mosquito gave me

    instructions to send a message to the front line to some of

    the commanders to come and meet him in Buedu - to come and

    meet him, Mosquito, in Buedu. From there, that very

    evening we took off together with Mosquito. All of us had

    come with Mosquito took off again to go back to Buedu."

    Let us pause there, and I want to ask you about one or two details been that. Now, the first thing Mr Taylor is this: This witness, although he accepts that he was not one of the higher echelons and therefore his knowledge might be limited, says that initially the visit was to be to Libya, yes? Then on arrival in Monrovia the plans changed because of your intervention, and instead they went to Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso; you understand that, yes?

    Now, the witness goes on to say that he had radio or satellite phone contact with Bockarie whilst Bockarie was in Burkina Faso, yes?

  • Now, Mr Taylor, you have told us that you subsequently discovered that Bockarie, following his arrival in Burkina Faso, went on to Libya, yes?

  • Do you hear this witness making any mention of that?

  • No, he stops at Burkina Faso. He doesn't - but Bockarie does go to Libya.

  • Now, do you have any motive, Mr Taylor, in disclosing that fact?

  • No. I am here to tell the truth and help the Court to make a decision. From what was reported to me by my protocol officer, was that Bockarie went to Libya. And I believe him.

  • Now, the second thing I want to ask you about that passage is this: You said to me earlier that as best you recall, Bockarie arrived, goes to Roberts International Airport, and leaves from there to Ouagadougou, yes?

  • Page 21545, however, at line 19, this witness says that Bockarie spent 72 hours in Monrovia before he took off to Ouagadougou. What do you say about that?

  • That's not true. Bockarie arrived in Monrovia, to the best of my knowledge. Bockarie saw me very briefly, except he came late at night. Because Bockarie saw me in the morning, and he said he had just come. So I don't know how he checked his hours. Bockarie could have come late at night and saw me in the next morning, because at the time that he saw me the next morning, they took off - from the best of my knowledge. I don't know the exact hour. They could have taken off late. But Bockarie saw me before noon on the date of their travel, and I would assume that he said that they were on their way, and so that's it now.

    If 72 hours for him means that they came late at night and saw me early in the morning, I didn't get into that. But Bockarie came and saw me and left. But he was not in Monrovia. Because 72 hours for me is three days. No.

  • Another detail I want to ask you about. Was he away for a week, or for longer than a week?

  • He was away for longer than a week. Two weeks, to be exact. Bockarie was out of my presence and my information for two weeks. Because if he had come back, I would have known. Like I say, I was dealing with the polio vaccination campaign at the time of the return. But it was about two weeks.

  • Now, were you aware that whilst he was away in - outside of Liberia, that he was in regular contact with a radio operator in Monrovia?

  • No, I wouldn't know. I didn't know that.

  • Would it surprise you if he was?

  • No, it wouldn't surprise me. If Bockarie had no contacts in Sierra Leone on getting information behind him, then it's possible that he could have had somebody, that his radio operator in Monrovia, he could call and provided the radio operator had a second satellite telephone. I don't know how they work out their arrangement, but I will be fair and say it's possible that he could have called his radio operator in Monrovia, and the radio operator in Monrovia, having access to radio communication in Sierra Leone, could tell him what happened. I don't fuss with that possibility.

  • Now, let's pick up the account following Bockarie's return to Monrovia. Page 21547, line 18:

    "Q. Okay. Before you go on, before you actually left,

    when the group returned from Ouagadougou, who was in the

    group, do you recall?

    A. Well, at Benjamin's house, where they met me, Mosquito

    was in a group with Benjamin, Eddie, and General Ibrahim.

    Q. Who is General Ibrahim?

    A. General Ibrahim, I knew him to be a Gambian who used to

    help Foday Sankoh coordinate the RUF affairs outside of

    Sierra Leone since 1996 during the Abidjan accord - even

    before the Abidjan accord."

    Now, let's just pause there, Mr Taylor, for a moment. Were you aware of this role played by General Ibrahim, the Gambian?

  • Which role? The role of coordinator?

  • Coordinating RUF affairs outside of Sierra Leone since before the Abidjan accord.

  • No, I was not aware of that. That wouldn't be strange, but I was not aware of it.

  • Why wouldn't it be strange?

  • Because Ibrahim Bah left NPFL controlled area back in 1993-1994 and I never heard from him again, but he knew - he was in Libya. Ibrahim Bah was in Libya and so he had defended Foday Sankoh, he - in fact, some of the evidence that I heard in this Court about his role in 1996 and some of the documentation provided by the OTP that I have read, I have no reason to doubt that he, Ibrahim, could play such a role with Foday Sankoh. I wouldn't doubt it.

  • Well, let's just pause, Mr Taylor. Just so that we can - before we move on to deal with another aspect of this witness's testimony in relation to Ibrahim Bah, let us remind ourselves. In April 1999 during the transit of RUF personnel to Lome, Ibrahim Bah and one Omrie Golley were two of the first to travel, weren't they?

  • They were the first two, yes.

  • And as you understood it, Bah then, in April 1999, was there on RUF business on behalf of the RUF to your knowledge, yes?

  • Yes, to my knowledge and the knowledge of the United Nations too, may I add.

  • And so putting that together with what this witness is saying, that means from before 1996 to at least April 1999, Bah is working on RUF affairs, yes?

  • On behalf of Foday Sankoh, yes?

  • And let's just remind ourselves also of the contents of those two letters written to Mohamed Talibi back in 1996, yes?

  • My business partners, do you remember those references?

  • Now page 21547, and we will come back to Ibrahim Bah. Line 28:

    "Q. Do you know why he was present at this particular

    moment when the group returned from Ouagadougou?"

    Here answers the man who is not part of the higher echelons.

    "A. Well, General Ibrahim, because he used to talk to

    Mosquito before that time on the radio - I mean, on the sat

    phone - General Ibrahim and Mosquito used to talk on the

    sat phone and most times General Ibrahim coordinated things

    for the RUF in other areas, sometimes with" - guess who -

    "Charles Taylor, sometimes in Burkina, sometimes in Libya.

    He was the one who made those trips on behalf of the RUF,

    most of the trips that he made."

    Now, let's just concentrate on that little nugget, "sometimes with Charles Taylor". True or false?

  • Totally, totally, false. Totally false.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, were you aware at this time that Ibrahim Bah was playing this role in Burkina, sometimes in Libya, and so on?

  • No. I was not aware. I was not aware he was playing that role.

  • But hold on an a second, Mr Taylor. You've been - you've set up the RUF in the first place. You've been running them, directing them by remote even after ULIMO cut off the border. How is it that they've got contacts with Burkina and Libya and you are telling the Court you don't know anything about it? How come?

  • Because I never had any control over them, that's how come I don't know it. I didn't have any control over them. I didn't have any interests in what they were doing other than peace. I had no idea that Ibrahim Bah or any other person was involved in these activities. And Ibrahim Bah, wherever he is on this planet Earth, I don't think has ever told anybody that he was working with me or knew - he could not have, because I know it would have reached here. No. Had no knowledge, because Ibrahim Bah was not one of those Gambians when they came that was of any very high command. I mean, Ibrahim just - he was one of those individuals that moved around. He was not even assigned with me. No, I didn't know Ibrahim was involved with Foday Sankoh except where - from evidence that we've seen here, we know that not only was he involved with Sankoh in 1996 or before. Even 1997 evidence has been led he goes to Freetown with the AFRC. I have no, no, no, no, knowledge of this, no.

  • Right. Now, Mr Taylor, let's move on another topic. And happily, we only have about half a dozen other topics to deal with in relation to this particular witness, but we are having to take our time because he is an important witness. So let's now go to page 21564 of the transcript for 3 December 2008. He is now talking about the Freetown invasion, okay?

  • Mr Taylor, I know it's the end of a long week, but you really do have to say "yes" or "no", because it needs to register on the transcript, do you follow me?

  • "WITNESS: Apart from the ECOMOG transmissions, I heard

    from the transmitting station also about the capture of

    certain parts of the city, Freetown.

    Q. Let's just stick to the transmit station, because I

    think that may make it simpler. What did you hear from the

    transmitting station on that day, 6 January 1999?

    A. I saw a message in the message logbook which said that

    our men had captured the State House.

    Q. Who are you referring to?

    A. Our men who were in Freetown - the RUF/AFRC combatants

    who entered Freetown. And it read that they had captured

    the State House and certain parts of the city.

    Q. Who was the message from specifically, do you know?

    A. Yes, the message was from Gullit and he was Black Jar.

    That was his code name.

    Q. Who is Gullit?

    A. Gullit was one of the bosses in the AFRC, he was one of

    the bosses in the AFRC, and Gullit was one of the most

    senior commanders. And, to be specific, he was the one

    who led the troops that entered Freetown?

    Q. So who was at the transmitting station with you? Who

    else was there on this day, 6 January?

    A. I met all the operators - in fact almost all the

    operators by then were in the transmitting station. Like

    Seibatu, Tiger, Tourist. Almost all the operators were in

    the station on that particular day.

    Q. Now, on that particular day what stations was the

    transmitting station in Buedu in contact with?"

    Now, pausing there. Mr Taylor, at the time - this is back in January 1999 - were you aware of an AFRC commander called Gullit?

  • Were you aware back then that the invasion of Freetown had been led by that individual?

  • Let's move on. Page 21581, line 1:

    "Actually, there had been some minor problems that had been

    existing between us and Gullit. That is, RUF and AFRC.

    That was Sam's concern. That was the only time that he was

    grumbling. Even before they entered Freetown and even when

    he received the message in the morning, that was when Sam

    was saying that. He said maybe Gullit and others would

    want to - maybe they would change this time around to

    cooperate if at all they didn't go there to seize power,

    they wouldn't want to be greedy and take power on their

    own. And Sam Bockarie assured Gullit that Rambo was very

    close to him on his way to join him in the city - and that

    Rambo was on his way to join him in the city and that time

    late Rambo and others were around the Masiaka area going

    towards Freetown.

    Q. On that broadcast there was an individual named TAB

    Yaya, former PLO-2? Do you know who was that?

    A. No, I don't know him in person and don't know much

    about him.

    Q. Now, there is a reference Pademba Road prisoners. What

    do you know about Pademba Road prisoners during 6 January

    invasion?

    A. Gullit and others had captured Freetown. It was the

    following morning that he sent a message and it was King

    Perry who transmitted the message that they had released

    many people from the prisons and that they had released

    many of the political detainees who were held prisoner,

    together with some other people. But when they got to

    Pademba Road they could not see Pa Sankoh, but that they

    were able to release some other people but they did not see

    Pa Sankoh. The message was sent to Mosquito."

    Over the page to page 21582.

    "A. After Mosquito received the message he told Five-Zero,

    I mean Benjamin Yeaten, that the men had entered the city

    but they could not see the Pa, I mean Pa Sankoh, and that

    they did not know where Pa Sankoh had been taken to. Among

    the people released were like the late ex-President Momoh,

    Victor Foh and among other renowned Sierra Leonean

    politicians who were in the prisons. And Mosquito informed

    Benjamin about the people who had been released and he also

    informed him that he could not see Pa Sankoh in the prisons

    and he requested for more ammunition so that they will be

    able to defend the city. He was asking Benjamin to send

    ammunition for us.

    Q. Now, you said that Gullit sent a message through King

    Perry to Sam Bockarie - sent to Mosquito - about the

    prisoners from Pademba Road. Is that correct?

    A. Through King Perry. I mean that King Perry was the one

    who transmitted the message as a radio operation.

    Q. Then you said that after Mosquito received the message

    he told Five-Zero, meaning Benjamin, that the men had

    entered the city but they couldn't see the Pa, meaning Pa

    Sankoh. About how much time transpired between the time

    Bockarie received the message from Gullit through King

    Perry to the time he contacted Benjamin? How much time

    transpired between?

    A. It was that very morning just when Sam Bockarie got the

    message, because at that time, while the 6 January

    operation was going on, we moved a bit from Sam Bockarie's

    house. We were no longer seated at Sam Bockarie's house

    where he used to sit, opposite the house. We went down

    towards Dawa Road. There was a barri, an old barri, where

    we used to sit because of air raid because there was

    frequently air raid by the Alpha Jet. The Alpha Jet used

    to raid Buedu."

    He then was reminded that he hadn't answered the question, so picking it up at line 14:

    "A. It was not up to an hour. It was not up to an hour.

    Q. And how in this particular instance did Sam Bockarie

    make contact with Benjamin?

    A. It was through the sat phone."

    Now I want to pause there. Mr Taylor, you will understand that the witness is there saying this: That on the very morning of the 6 January invasion 1999, within an hour of being told by Gullit that forces had taken over State House and entered Pademba Road Prison, your director of the SSS was telephoned by Bockarie and informed. What do you say about that?

  • I don't - I don't know. I doubt if that's the case, but I really don't know. Maybe he would call Bockarie.

  • Well, if you say you really don't know, Mr Taylor, then it begs the following questions, doesn't it: Why would Bockarie be calling your director of the SSS immediately, virtually, after he had received such a message? Why him?

  • But, counsel, I think even before we get to that, did such a call occur? That's what I mean by I don't know. We don't even know if such a call occurred. This is this man talking about, he - so, I mean, I wouldn't know. Because why, within an hour, we are talking about - what are we talking about? 6 a.m. in the morning Sam Bockarie is supposed to be calling Benjamin Yeaten. I don't even know if such a call occurred. But in the construct of these people anything is possible with them when they get ready to make up these things.

    So I really don't know because I can't see why Sam Bockarie would have any reason to call and inform Benjamin Yeaten of what is going on when he knows very well that, what, from all the information that it's not an RUF - I don't know. I really don't know. I don't even think this call occurred.

    I am not informed about this situation until about 9 a.m. I would say or thereabout in the morning when my national security adviser comes in. So how they collect their information, I don't know really. I don't know even if the call occurred. I doubt it. That's what I mean by I don't know, because I doubt that such a call would be made because there is no reason to make a call to Benjamin Yeaten to say, "Guess what happened? We are in Freetown." As though he knew about the Freetown invasion. Did he know? From all evidence I have seen, he didn't know.

  • Well, Mr Taylor, according to what the witness is saying, he had a very good reason to be calling Sam Bockarie, line 11, page 21582: "He was asking Benjamin to send ammunition for us." That's the reason he claims.

  • Okay. Assuming that that's the reason. But we've been told, this Court has been told, of the massive amount of ammunition that was supposed to have been sent from Liberia for the invasion. That's what we were told here in this Court. That there were massive amounts of ammunition that were sent that conducted major operations, Kono and because this - remember we go back to Fitti-Fatta and it's all in my head now. Fitti-Fatta, then Kono and on to Freetown with this massive attack and that's how it was going. And then what are we talking about, say late December. So in less than a week you are supposed to be calling back, "Guess what happens? We need some arms and ammunition."

    It's just terrible that these people make up these kinds of things. But even - let's just for the sake of an intelligent argument - number one, I didn't send any ammunition. I didn't have any ammunition. Where would I get ammunition from in January 1999? January 1999, we are in the last stages of concluding the programme to begin the burning of the arms later on in 1999, which occurs in July.

    So when you put these facts together, I am telling you it is as confusing to me as it ever gets. It does not happen because I don't see any reason why Sam Bockarie would call Benjamin Yeaten to say, "Send me some ammunition", as though Benjamin Yeaten or the Government of Liberia have ammunition. So I just don't believe this whole tale as it is presented.

  • But also, Mr Taylor, according to this witness, in December Bockarie had gone to Ouagadougou where a shipment of ammunition had recently arrived from Libya. Do you recall that?

  • Oh, yes. That's what I am saying. There is supposed to be this massive ammunition, then what are they calling me for?

  • He has just come back from Ouagadougou.

  • And, according to this witness, that was all about sorting out some ammunition which had been shifted from Libya, yes?

  • So help me, can you understand why, what, a couple of weeks later he is asking your director of SSS for more ammunition? Can you help us?

  • I can't. That's why I say I don't believe this tale. I do not believe it at all. So there is - I really can't help. But I don't understand the necessity to develop this kind of fabrication. I don't understand it. So I am sorry, I really can't help you on that.

  • But he continues, page 21586, line 5:

    "After some time, Benjamin came back to Mosquito and called him on the sat phone and he gave him instructions to make sure that he told Gullit and others to dispatch all those big names that he had mentioned, to call for them to be with him in Buedu at the headquarters, that they should not be at the front line. He said" - listen carefully - "that was the instruction from Mr Taylor. And Mosquito told the operator in charge - that was one Mohamed Kabbah, I can recall, and on that very day he was the one on duty and he sent the message. I was there when Mohamed Kabbah encoded the message and sent it to Gullit and others for them to send back those people to the rear for safety.

    Now, Mr Taylor, I don't need to draw your attention to the significance of that, do I?

  • You are the director of operations here?

  • You understand that?

  • Because, remember, the same witness has already established the line of command: It's you, then Benjamin Yeaten, then "Yes, sir. Yes, sir" Sam Mosquito, you get it?

  • So here we see that line of command in operation, don't we?

  • Right. So what are you saying?

  • This is a lie. But let me interject one more thing because, you know, this whole case is about as much as we can remember what's going on now. President Momoh - President Joseph Momoh - Saidu Momoh, who is a friend of mine - if Momoh, who it's said was released from Pademba Road during the 6 January invasion and that I was directing that those people should not remain at the frontline to be brought, why would Momoh sit down in the bush in - well, I don't know where - Kailahun, wherever they were, at last I would have granted Momoh the courtesy of bringing him to Liberia. Momoh does not leave that part of the world until Johnny Paul Koroma is released from there in August 1999. So Momoh is up there in the bush suffering. I understand he was sick for many months. So why would I order or be in control of an operation in Freetown where the former President, who is friend of mine, would come out and I have such control that I cannot ask - or not even ask. That's the wrong word. That I cannot instruct, "Have Momoh brought to me", that he would be at least comfortable in Liberia. I have nothing to do.

    But there is - I am not too sure about this and I don't want to jump the gun, because there is a name - there are names floating in this section here that I see a link in the lie and the construction of this lie, and I don't know if I can associate a particular name here, but I don't know the status, so I will just leave it for now.

  • Well, hold on a second. Yes. Hold on a second. Now, you notice, page 21586, yes? Note the route of communication. It is Mosquito to Yeaten. Yeaten calls back and tells him there is this instruction from Mr Taylor. Do you see it? Page 21586.

  • And Mosquito told the operator in charge - that was one Mohamed Kabbah, yes?

  • Remember we looked at Mohamed Kabbah yesterday?

  • That's what I was saying just now. I don't know the status, that's why I didn't want to mention any names.

  • Let's just remind ourselves. Mohamed Kabbah, who we looked at yesterday, page 16173, 15 September 2008, line 7:

    "Sam Bockarie communicated with Benjamin Yeaten, and he used to communicate as well as with Charles Taylor. But for the communication with Charles Taylor, that one he used a satellite phone. And the capture of Freetown, that was not even a hidden thing that he would go to a corner and discuss like he used to do. That one he did in the open place when he was trying to inform Charles Taylor that our men were in Freetown. He did that in the open because the RUF was happy. That was a joy to the RUF. They had entered Freetown."

    You see that?

  • Yes, but that's the name I was talking about. I didn't know as to what - when I said I didn't know the status, I didn't know his status, because I remember what he had said. I didn't know his status.

  • Right. So help us, Mr Taylor, which is right? Did Mosquito speak to you directly, or did he speak to you through Benjamin Yeaten? Help us.

  • Neither of them. Neither of them. That's what makes it so confusing. I picked it up right away and said I didn't want to mention his status, because two different stories about the same situation.

  • But Mohamed Kabbah, according to this witness, is the operator in charge. He is supposed to know. So help us, what's going on here, Mr Taylor?

  • Absolutely - from what I know, there is none of this kind of thing. There is no contact with Sam Bockarie. I don't speak to Sam Bockarie on the 6th and so on. So this is why I am explaining you have this radio operator saying one thing here, Mohamed Kabbah saying a different thing about the same thing and dealing with the same person. This shows you maybe it's almost like a script. Maybe they forgot their lines.

  • And this witness - let's go back to the one we've been dealing with today.

    "And Mosquito told the operator in charge, that was one

    Mohamed Kabbah I can recall, and on that very day he was

    the one on duty and he sent the massage. I was there when

    Mohamed Kabbah encoded the message and sent it to Gullit

    and others for them to send back these people to the rear

    for safety.

    Q. How did you know Mosquito was speaking to Benjamin

    Yeaten?

    A. After he called Benjamin, and I was sitting at the

    other extreme edge of the corner, he said, 'Is this

    Five-Zero?' And he said yes. He explained to him the

    development at the frontlines, and when he was talking to

    him he used to respond, 'Yes, sir.' When they were

    discussing, he would respond to him directly 'Yes, sir.

    Okay, okay, I will do that.' And when Mosquito finished,

    he told the operator directly that he had had instructions

    from Benjamin from above; that is, Charles Taylor through

    Benjamin" - note: Not directly - "that Benjamin had told

    him that the Pa had said that they should make sure that

    those people who had been released from Pademba Road should

    come to Buedu."

    And then he confirms at line 25, page 21587:

    "It was Benjamin who came back on the line - on the

    telephone line and called Mosquito. Benjamin called

    Mosquito back on the sat phone. It was Benjamin who sent

    the instruction to Mosquito for Mosquito to call for the

    people who had been released by Gullit and others from the

    Pademba Road Prison to send all of them to Buedu, including

    ex-President Missouri. He told Gullit and others to

    dispatch all those big names that he had mention?

    Q. What do you mean when you say 'all those big names'?

    A. Yes, all the big names. You know, like, there was one

    Steve Bio among them. Steve Bio, Osho-Williams -

    Osho-Williams, Victor Foh. You know, really I cannot

    recall all of the names now - all of the names of the

    people who were released from Pademba that were named, but

    there were about 20 prominent people in Sierra Leone who

    were among the list."

    Then he is asked this question at page 21588, line 20:

    "Q. Then you said, 'He said that was the instruction from

    Taylor.' Who said that?

    A. It was Mosquito who said that. That was the

    instruction.

    Q. Who did he say that to?

    A. It was the operator to whom he was explaining.

    Mosquito was now explaining to the operator about his

    conversation with Mr Benjamin Yeaten.

    Q. Now, then you said that Mohamed Kabbah, who was the

    operator, sent this message to Gullit. Is that correct?

    A. Yes, yes.

    Q. Now, just in terms of timing here, what date is this

    that we are referring to?

    A. It was around 7 January, I'm sure. It's supposed to be

    something like that, 7 January in the morning. That was

    after the Freetown invasion, the following day.

    Q. Now, do you know if this message was received?

    A. Yes.

    Q. How do you know that?

    A. Gullit and others received the message and acted on the

    message."

    Now for completeness, line 11, page 21589.

    "Q. Now, I am going to ask you to just describe generally

    the frequency of the communications between Sam Bockarie

    and Gullit during the course of this Freetown operation?

    A. I can say there was frequent communication at that

    time. Frequent communication was there. There was a free

    flow of communication.

    Q. What do you mean by that?

    A. That it did not take up to an hour when one of the

    stations in Freetown did not call to Buedu directly, or

    Mosquito's station in Buedu did not call one of the

    stations in Freetown directly to get an update from there.

    It was constant communication that existed."

    Now, I am going to leave that. Mr Taylor, late on a Thursday afternoon, simple question: Did you have a hand in that orgy of violence which was the 6 January invasion of Freetown?

  • No, never did. Did not know of it. Had nothing to do with it. Absolutely nothing.

  • Before the event, did you find - did you provide materiel to either the AFRC or the RUF to facilitate that invasion?

  • Did you have any prior knowledge that it was to take place?

  • Did you instruct, at any stage prior to 6 January, anyone to conduct such an operation?

  • Never instructed anyone, never encouraged anyone, didn't know of anyone that anticipated any such terrible situation, no. No.

  • Had you, through your contacts in either Libya or Burkina Faso, facilitated in December 1998 the provision of ammunition to the RUF or the AFRC to make such an invasion possible?

  • No. If I had opportunities for weapons at this time, I would have gotten them for the Government of Liberia. Had no such opportunity and did not seek any.

  • Could Benjamin Yeaten, whose name features prominently in these radio reports, could he have facilitated the 6 January invasion without your knowledge our consent?

  • Well, there are two - I will give two responses. I will say no, and no. No. In fact, he could not have facilitated that; and no, he did not facilitate. He could not. What will little Benjamin Yeaten, a little director, be in a position to facilitate this kind of action? No, no, no.

  • Did you, Mr Taylor, after the event learn of any role played by any of your staff in the 6 January invasion?

  • No, didn't get any - no, no.

  • Mr Taylor, having been alerted, as suggested, of a shortage of ammunition through Benjamin Yeaten on the morning of 7 January 1999, did you cause to be provided material reinforcement to the RUF or the AFRC?

  • No. Not at all. Even if there was a desire at any point in that period, I did not, could not have, because I had no ammunition, I would not have encouraged such a thing and there would be no need. Even if I had tons and tons of ammunition, I would have never encouraged that because we had been pushing very strongly for peace. No, no.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, this Court has heard distressing and depressing accounts of individuals having their limbs amputated in Freetown during that invasion. Did you order such behaviour?

  • Never ordered such behaviour. Don't condone it at all. Did not condone any such behaviour during the entire Liberian revolution. We have never --

  • Did anything like that happened during the Liberian revolution?

  • Had you decided then to adopt a novel tactic in Sierra Leone?

  • No, none. I did not encourage - there are no amputees, none from the Liberian civil war. No, no. I did not encourage any brutality against civilians in Liberia. Those that were caught, soldiers got executed in Liberia for rape, soldiers got executed in Liberia for murder. I did not - that's how I won the elections in 1997. I did not tolerate any inhumane acts on the part of military people that were in the NPFL. And when you crossed the line based on the operational order, we court-martial you and the result of that court martial was followed.

    And that's why I have not denied to this the Court the number of executions. It was not because of politics. They were executed for rape. They were executed for murder of civilians. I dealt with those problems as of - there were no impunity on the part of NPFL soldiers. On crimes that was brought to my attention, they were dealt with. There was a court martial that dealt with it. No, I did not know and could not have ordered any such nonsense, no.

  • For the record, Mr Taylor, did you order any member of the AFRC or those members - few members, it would appear, of the RUF, like King Perry, who arrived in Freetown, to abduct young females to become bush wives?

  • No, bush wives, no. No, we did not. I did not. No, no, no, no.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, we know that this Freetown invasion features prominently in this indictment which is why I am asking you these questions. Now, help us, what motive would you have, given the design alleged to have exploit the mineral resources of Sierra Leone - what motives did you have to order, condone, support in any way, the kind of atrocities which took place in Freetown?

  • None whatsoever. None whatsoever. No motive whatsoever.

  • At the time, January 1999, or for practical purposes December 1998, did the Liberian government have the arms and ammunition to provide to supply to the RUF or the AFRC to carry out such an operation?

  • No. The Liberian government had no arms or ammunition. All arms and ammunition that were within the Republic of Liberia were in the custody of the United Nations and peacekeepers in Liberia for destruction. We had absolutely nothing.

  • Mr Taylor, in January of 1999 what were you writing to the Secretary-General of the United Nations about? Do you recall that correspondence?

  • Yes, we were writing - I wrote to the Secretary-General talking about the accusations that have come out and asking him for people to be assigned at the borders to make sure that the accusations were wrong, asking for people to be posted.

  • Do you recall writing to him also about the establishment of the, to borrow an UN phrase, modalities for the destruction of the arms?

  • You remember that correspondence?

  • Were you at the same time, Mr Taylor, effectively playing a double game?

  • But for one to have seen that - you know, if you are in control - first we must establish here that the weapons are not in my command. They are not in my control. The weapons, all are under the lock and key of the United Nations. I don't have the weapons. The Government of Liberia does not have control of the weapons. So we cannot be playing a game.

    The weapons - all of the weapons are containerised under the lock and key of the United Nations. So there can be no game. There can be no game. We are having problems on the ground. Remember in a letter that was presented to this Court, I had even asked the international community to at least let us save some of the good weapons to be used for security. That was not even done. I have no weapons. I have nothing. Even the full army of security forces in Liberia to stop the armed robbery from little groups around, we did not have sufficient to protect the citizenry. Not to even talk about arms and ammunition to be exporting - some fellow sits here talking about a six-tyre truck, what did he say, mini something, a Benz and all this nonsense. No, we do not have. And I think it has been sufficiently established here that the Government of Liberia doesn't have any weapons during this period. And as a result, we cannot give that which we do not have. We do not have it.

    So all of these lies are based on the supposition that we have these weapons. But through the grace of God, I am so glad that those weapons were not in our custody because the next thing would have come out, they would have said, "Oh, yeah, he had them but he was sneaking the weapons out." Well, we did not have control of the weapons; the United Nations did. We had no control of the weapons. None.

  • Mr Taylor, how many satellite phones did you give to Sam Bockarie?

  • I gave Sam Bockarie one satellite phone.

  • Page 22048 of the transcript of 10 December 2008, line 12:

    "A. Well, in fact, it was not one satellite phone. It was

    not only once. Mr Taylor used to give Sam Bockarie

    satellite phones to ease communication between the two of

    them. That is he and him. That is between him and

    Charles Taylor, between Mosquito and Charles Taylor and

    Benjamin Yeaten. And also for Mosquito to have access to

    the international media."

    Q. So we've now got more than one satellite phone given by

    Mr Taylor to Sam Bockarie?

    A. Yes."

    What do you say about that?

  • That's not true. I gave Sam Bockarie a satellite telephone in October 1998. Now, if I had given him two or three, I would sit here and tell this Court, "Oh, I gave him three phones." What damage can you do with three phones that you cannot do with one phone? This is totally ludicrous. I gave Sam Bockarie one phone and I have said to this Court I even assisted with the credits for that phone, for him to be able to call and have it alive when anybody wanted to speak to him. Many of us, other Heads of State in the sub-region, spoke to Sam Bockarie. He used it had whatever way he wanted. We did not restrict it to what he could use it to. If he had other phones, maybe somebody else gave it to him. I, Charles Ghankay Taylor, gave Sam Bockarie one telephone. Not two, not three. That is not true. That's not true.

    And another thing this witness talks about, twenty or so Sierra Leoneans - permanent Sierra Leoneans are released from Pademba Road Prison on my instruction. Not one of them ends up in Liberia. So what's my interest? If I was interest in permanent Sierra Leoneans, he says about 20 or so were released from Pademba Road, not one would enter Liberia? So I have all this control, I will ask for them to be released and not one would end up in Liberia? Including the Momoh and all of them don't end up in Liberia? So what am I asking them to come out for? So none of them any interest in coming to safety at least? I don't know how the logic is run in this whole thing here. I just had nothing to do with what they were doing and as they put it together, they're wrong.

  • Couple of other matters, Mr Taylor. Firstly this, page 22167 of the transcript 11 December 2008".

    "Well I am telling you that when Foday Sankoh was away, it was from Mr Taylor that Mosquito was seeking advice. Like even in the case of disarmament, I mean the going to Togo and to maintain the temporary ceasefire, Sam Bockarie at first consulted with Mr Taylor even before he accepted what Foday Sankoh said."

    What do you say about that?

  • Sam Bockarie received instructions from Foday Sankoh? The first thing, we talked about this before, I don't know how he did that. But then again in the context of what - you know, sometimes you want to get - you feel bad but then you understand the level of some of these people. Before going to Lome - this boy does not know all of the communication with Liberia, with my Foreign Ministry, United Nations cables running up and down, seeking permission, Sam Bockarie, they don't know. They just see it so if Sam Bockarie comes to Liberia and concludes a discussion and he goes back and now he tells them, "Oh, I talked to President Taylor and we are going to do this", they interpret this probably as instructions from me. So I don't know as to whether I should be upset at these kind of people. They don't know what's going on and they come up with their own ideas. This whole Lome thing, it's not just Charles Taylor. So, I mean I --

  • Mr Taylor, we've got four minutes left and I want to finish this witness. There is one other point I want to deal with in relation to him. The witness spoke during the course of his testimony of being placed in a dungeon by Mosquito because he had written a letter to Foday Sankoh in which he had suggested that Foday Sankoh should get you, Charles Taylor, to tell Mosquito to disarm. And the reason why he had written that letter to quote page 2257, line 37:

    "Because I knew that he had direct influence over him. Even when Pa Sankoh was not there, it was to him that Mosquito sought. It was Mr Taylor that Mosquito used to seek most of the advice on relevant issues that he was supposed to deal with."

    Now, Mr Taylor, if you had that kind of influence, why did you allow Mosquito to almost disrupt the disarmament process such that you had to extract him from Sierra Leone and bring him to Monrovia? Why did you allow that to happen?

  • Because I didn't have that, what he is explaining here. That's why. No such thing existed. But here is a man with so much influence over Mosquito, he personally, who is taken in confidence by Mosquito. Now for a single advice, if Mosquito throws him in the dungeon then you can just see where that closeness is and how much or how close he really is to Mosquito. That's the tragedy of this whole situation, I guess.

  • Would that be a convenient point, Mr President?

  • Yes. Thank you, Mr Griffiths. Mr Taylor, we are going to adjourn. I will remind you again not to discuss your evidence with any other person. We will adjourn now until 9.30 next Tuesday morning.

  • [Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.28 p.m. to be reconvened on Tuesday, 22 September 2009 at 9.30 a.m.]