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

  • Mr Bility, what remains is for me to put Mr Taylor's case to you. Now, if I understand your evidence, you claim to have been brought before Mr Taylor and interrogated by him on more than one occasion, don't you?

  • I suggest that the only occasion on which you were brought before Mr Taylor, following an arrest, was on 24 June 2002. That's the truth, isn't it?

  • No, sir, that's not the truth.

  • It is accepted that there were other occasions when you were arrested by security officials. That is accepted. However, on none of those occasions were you held for more than 48 hours, save for the occasion when you were arrested on 24 June. That's the truth, isn't it?

  • No, sir.

  • Because it's right, isn't it, that under Liberian law a suspect can only be held for 48 hours without charge? Isn't that right?

  • Yeah, that's correct.

  • Are you aware that Saah Gbolie who arrested you on - was it more than one occasion?

  • Is that a question, sir?

  • Yes, sir. He participated in my arrest on more than one occasion.

  • He is now a member of the Liberian Senate, isn't he?

  • No, sir, that's inaccurate.

  • What is his public role now?

  • I believe he is in the Liberian House of Representatives.

  • Very well. Now, the second matter I must put to you is this: Following your arrest in June 2002 it's right, isn't it, that you were visited on two occasions by representatives from the US embassy?

  • On two occasions I did see the representatives of the United States embassy. One was a visit, one was my release.

  • No, what I'm suggesting is they visited you twice whilst you were in custody prior to your release?

  • No, sir. Prior to my release, no. They visited me once. That was in September.

  • And it's right, isn't it, that when you met with officials from the US embassy whilst in custody at no time did you suggest to them that you had been tortured. That's the truth, isn't it?

  • Well, I am not really sure if our conversation went that far because, counsel, I was very suspicious that if I said anything it will be used against me once they left. As I said earlier there was a sort of divider in the room, so I did not know who was behind that. So our conversation focused on their efforts to negotiate with the Liberian government then to release me.

  • But surely that would have been the perfect opportunity to bring to the notice of the public the fact that you had been subjected to torture?

  • Counsel, there were other ways that I thought I would be able to do that which I, of course, did. You know, counsel, you - many people aren't aware of what was actually obtaining of what was actually happening. If I said something like that, and someone behind the divider heard me, I would have been subjected to even more torture than I had been subjected to. In that respect I thought it was necessary if I didn't go into details, but I'm not sure specifically if I did mention that.

    What I did do was, I had a friend whom I knew prior to my arrest and who at times would bring small portable radio to me to listen to. I would write down - and he would bring paper and pen and I would write down communications and give it to him which he would slip in his pants and take it out and I would ask him to take it to a particular human rights organisation so that the rest of the world would be able to know what was going on. I believe it is in that respect that the rest of the world was able to know that I was being tortured.

  • But, Mr Bility, surely by making the fact public it could act as a deterrent to any further mistreatment?

  • Counsel, not with the government we were dealing with in that specific case. This was a government that didn't really care. This was a government that did even far more horrible things than just torturing my physical body. This was a government that did murder people. So I was very much aware of that and I chose to hold my cards very close to my chest.

  • So you accept then that you made no mention of torture to any representative from the US embassy who visited you?

  • I am not sure on September - I am not exactly sure if it was 25 September, it must have been on a Friday, I am not specifically sure about that, but on that occasion I am not very sure the specific lines of the conversation I did have with US embassy officials other than focusing my attention on their request. They asked me that I should accept to go into exile as a condition for my release from the government and I said no, I thought I wanted to go to Court to challenge the government's evidence against me. That's what I vividly and clearly remember, counsel.

  • Very well. One other matter. Is it your position that President Taylor held a certain animosity towards you because you were a Mandingo?

  • It is my belief that the government of President Charles Taylor held - I mean, considered many journalists whom they thought reported on instances that they did not want the rest of the world to know as quote unquote enemies. It is my position that President Charles Taylor and his government also viewed Mandingos and Krahns with some high level of suspicion. It is my position that President Charles Taylor's government was very much intolerant of free speech and as such did not want --

  • I asked you about Mandingos. Don't give us a lecture, thank you. So your position is he was anti-Mandingo?

  • I'm saying that I believe he was very suspicious of Mandingos.

  • So help us with this: Is it right that you were invited to a Christmas party at his address?

  • Personally, not as --

  • Were you invited to a Christmas party at his address?

  • The Analyst newspaper was invited to a Christmas party at his address.

  • And did you attend?

  • Were you also offered a job in his government?

  • Directly from him, no.

  • No, no, listen to my question. Were you offered a job in his government, yes or no?

  • Thank you. Is it not also right that there were many Mandingos in his government?

  • There were Mandingos in his government.

  • One of them being your uncle Musa Cisse?

  • Also Musa Cisse's brother?

  • Also a man called Bangali who was a prominent Mandingo?

  • Bangali. I don't know who Bangali is.

  • He was a member of his government as well, wasn't he?

  • And he too was a Mandingo?

  • Papa Kuyateh was also a member of his government?

  • Yes, sir. Papa Kuyateh did work with the Liberian national police.

  • And prior to working for his government Papa Kuyateh had been aide-de-camp to Alhaji Kromah?

  • Thank you. Also there were many other Mandingos integrated into the army and the other security forces?

  • If you give me names. I don't want to make a generalisation.

  • Well, are you saying --

  • I do know, counsel, that there were Mandingos in the Armed Forces of Liberia which is the official army of the Liberian government and which was of course, we understand - remained the official government's army, but which was largely inefficient and neglected. I do understand that.

  • And also is it not right that Mr Taylor had a traditional wife who was a Mandingo by the name of Fatimata?

  • I do know clearly, counsel, that President Charles Taylor did have - I'm sorry, I don't want to say a concubine. I'm not sure there was an official wedding, but he did have a female associated with him referred to as his wife and called Mrs Hadiya Fatimata Taylor, correct.

  • And was she a Mandingo?

  • Is it not also right that Mr Taylor annually sponsored up to 200 Muslims to attend the Hajj to Mecca?

  • Counsel, I do understand that --

  • I don't know. 200. You said 200, so I don't know the answer to the question 200.

  • All right, forget the figure. Did he sponsor individuals to go on the Hajj, yes or no?

  • The Liberian government --

  • Did he sponsor individuals to go on the Hajj, yes or no?

  • I would like to expand on that.

  • No, thank you, a yes will do.

  • Okay.

  • And for the most part those who benefitted from that government largesse were Mandingos, weren't they?

  • Thank you. One final matter. How many times did ECOMOG facilitate a visit by you to Sierra Leone?

  • I have mentioned one, counsel.

  • Listen to the question. How many times did ECOMOG facilitate a trip by you to Sierra Leone?

  • ECOMOG facilitated my trip on their helicopter once.

  • And that was after you became editor of The National in August 1997?

  • And that's the only time, is it, that ECOMOG facilitated your visit to Sierra Leone?

  • Facilitated, yeah.

  • Mr Bility, when then did you tell us last Monday - and I am quoting from page 22378 of the transcript:

    "I had been to Sierra Leone through the instrumentality of ECOMOG to witness the removal of the RUF and the reinstatement of the Tejan government as a reporter?"

    Now, that event cannot be in 1997. So when was this other occasion when ECOMOG facilitated a trip to Sierra Leone?

  • Which occasion? I do not understand that question, counsel.

  • On Monday last week at 19 minutes past 3 in the afternoon you told these judges that there was occasion when, through the instrumentality of ECOMOG, you had been to Sierra Leone to witness the removal of the RUF and the reinstatement of the Tejan Kabbah government. Now, that must have been in 1998?

  • A separate occasion from '97. So, help us. How many times did ECOMOG facilitate a trip by you to Sierra Leone?

  • As I said, counsel, ECOMOG did facilitate my trip to Sierra Leone once.

  • So what about this other occasion you were telling the judges about last Monday?

  • Which occasion? I did mention one occasion.

  • No, no, no. You said last Monday that they helped you to go to Sierra Leone for the reinstatement of the Tejan Kabbah government. Now, bear in mind he had been kicked out in May 1997 --

  • Right.

  • -- and he didn't return until after February '98.

  • So, help us. If you were there for his reinstatement that must have been 1998?

  • Separate from when you went in '97. So I will ask you again: How many times did they facilitate a trip by you to Sierra Leone?

  • ECOMOG did facilitate a trip by me to Sierra Leone once and I would like to specifically look at the transcript, counsel, that you are referring to, because is that specific instance as such ECOMOG that I am referring to?

  • Very well. Can we put on the screen page 22378.

  • Line 4. Take your time to read it through:

    "I had been to Sierra Leone though through the instrumentality of ECOMOG to witness the removal of the RUF and the reinstatement of the Tejan Kabbah government as a reporter."

    That must be a separate occasion from when you went in '97, so help us: How many times did ECOMOG help you to go to Sierra Leone?

  • Once, counsel.

  • So what were you telling these judges last Monday?

  • What I was telling the judges is specifically that one instance.

  • No, no, no. This instance must be, on the facts, a separate occasion, because you say quite specifically --

  • -- to witness the reinstatement of Tejan Kabbah. So, help us. How many times, Mr Bility?

  • ECOMOG facilitation of a trip, my trip to Sierra Leone - ECOMOG facilitation was once.

  • Did they facilitate a trip by you to witness the reinstatement of the Tejan Kabbah government?

  • If they facilitated such a trip, do you not agree it must be a separate occasion from when you went?

  • No, I believe it was not a separate occasion. It was a specific occasion that I've mentioned.

  • No, no. But, on the occasion you told us about, you had to be slipped across the line of the AFRC forces in order to enter Freetown. So that cannot be on the occasion when Tejan Kabbah was reinstated; we've got to be talking about two separate things. Mr Bility for once give us a truthful answer. How many times did ECOMOG facilitate a trip by you to Sierra Leone?

  • ECOMOG did facilitate a trip for me to Sierra Leone once.

  • So what were you telling these judges about last Monday?

  • It's specifically, counsel, that trip that I'm referring to.

  • So what happened to the first one?

  • That was - I was not - you asked me a specific question, how many times did ECOMOG. ECOMOG there in that question is the key, based on my understanding. So ECOMOG did facilitate my trip to Sierra Leone on one occasion. That is the occasion that you've mentioned. That is in direct response to the question that you've posed to me, counsel.

  • So which occasion are you talking about here in the transcript when you went to witness the reinstatement of President Kabbah. Which occasion is this?

  • It's the occasion which I went to watch the removal of the RUF from Freetown. So it's clear in the transcript, isn't it, counsel.

  • Mr Bility, it cannot be, because you told us last week that when you went to Freetown you had to be smuggled across the line in order to get to Freetown.

  • Don't you remember telling us that?

  • So, help me. That means the AFRC must have been still in power?

  • But here you're talking about the reinstatement of Tejan Kabbah, which was 1998. It's a different year completely, Mr Bility.

  • Do you appreciate the difference between 1997 and 1998?

  • So how can you be there in two separate years and still be blatantly trying to tell these judges that it's the same occasion? How?

  • I'm saying - the question is this, and I am very sure that the judges understand that: How many times did ECOMOG, key ECOMOG, facilitate my trip to Sierra Leone. I said once. So are you telling me that I'm suggesting that ECOMOG did facilitate another trip to Sierra Leone? I'm not saying that. I'm saying specifically that ECOMOG did facilitate my trip to Sierra Leone once.

  • I suggest you are a liar, Mr Bility. I have no further questions.

  • I respect your view, counsel, but you did not pose a question, "How many times did you go to Sierra Leone?" I clearly understand that you said that ECOMOG - the question is focusing on ECOMOG's facilitation. It's possible there are other means, there were other means, but ECOMOG's facilitation and I maintain, counsel, once. Thank you, your Honour.

  • Any re-examination, Mr Santora?

  • Thank you, Mr President.

  • Good morning, Mr Witness.

  • Good morning, counsel.

  • Mr Witness, I have some questions for you based on some of the questions and responses that you gave during the course of Defence counsel's cross-examination. So I'm going to ask you some questions now and I would like you to listen carefully. If you don't understand the question just please inform me. Do you understand?

  • Correct. I do understand.

  • On Friday Defence counsel - I believe it was on Friday - alerted you to some printouts of purported emails that were sent to an address called info_bh_monrovia@yahoo.com. Do you remember Defence counsel asking you about the printouts of these purported emails?

  • Correct, I do remember that.

  • Were these emails ever sent to?

  • Never ever. These emails were never sent to me and I know absolutely nothing about these emails.

  • You also said with relation to these emails - and, counsel, for your reference purposes this reference comes out of 15 January, page 22748. I will just give you a brief moment. It's just one quick reference. Now, counsel was asking you about this email address that I've just referred to, again info_bh_monrovia@yahoo.com, and you said - in response whether or not that was your email address you said, "Absolutely wrong. I did hear that." And then you went on to give - to respond with your actual email account. But this particular email account, info_bh_monrovia, what did you hear about this email account?

  • When I was in prison, as I said earlier in my testimony, there was a friend of mine who was one of the security guards of the National Bureau of Investigation. He would bring in portable radios. So some of the things I heard as being attributed to me were that, one, the government had specific emails that I had either allegedly sent or that had been sent to me and I specifically listened to the email address and I was completely surprised because those weren't my emails. As I said, my email then was chesando. Basically, I had no knowledge absolutely regarding that and I thought, well, that's simple, anybody can create two email addresses in five minutes and then write something from one to the other. But those were at no point emails created by me or sent by me or communications received through them, you know, by me. Not at all.

  • Mr Santora, this could already been on the record but he has mentioned his email was chesando. Could we get some spelling of that.

  • You mentioned the email. Just go ahead and state the actual email address again?

  • My actual email address at the time was chesando. That was my actual email address. That was, in fact, my first, first ever --

  • I'm sorry, that already is on the record. Thank you.

  • Counsel, the next reference for your purposes is from 15 January, the page is 22684, lines 21 to 28:

  • Mr Witness, on Thursday I believe it was, if my dates are correct, counsel was asking you about the occasion when you testified in the trial here in the Netherlands and in relation to statements that you gave to the Dutch police in Boston at the office of the homeland security department. Do you recall that?

  • Yes, sir, I do.

  • And counsel asked you, put it to you, stating - and this was - before I quote counsel, this was in relation to questions that then he put to you, Defence counsel put to you, about the sequence and timing and dates of your respective arrests that you testified to. Do you remember that?

  • Counsel said to you:

    "You were then interviewed on three separate days, 19, 20 and 21 April, by the Dutch police and that same month you were then asked to give evidence before Dutch judges, so wouldn't you agree that you had had ample opportunity to wrack your brain and put together a consistent account of what happened to you? So, help us. How did you come to misspeak yet again on this occasion? How?"

    Now in what I quoted to you counsel put two questions to you. The first question, "So wouldn't you agree you had ample opportunity to rack your brain and put together a consistent account of what actually happened to you?" you didn't respond to. Now I would like to have the witness be shown tab 6. Counsel has referred in that question counsel has referred to three dates, 19, 20 and 21 April, prior to you giving testimony.

    Within tab 6, so counsel and the Bench can follow on, there are several statements within the same tab of different dates. The first statement I'm pointing the witness to is on 19 April. It consists of seven pages, front and back. In this tab 6 are variously dated statements, 19th, 20th and 21st. The first statement I would like the witness to be pointed to is the statement recorded from 19 April 2006. It runs from page 1 to page 7 within Defence counsel's page numbering. The actual questions with respect to that interview start on page 2. Now, I would like first of all the witness to be pointed to page 3 of that interview. I will try to make this as simple as possible.

    Now, Mr Witness, just for completeness sake, on page 3 you will notice a question that is the third question down, that states, "When you were arrested in 2002 where did you stay after that until you left Liberia?" Do you see that question?

  • Correct. I do.

  • Okay. Now I would like you to examine the entire statement now and find out within that statement anywhere, any of the questions, just the questions, are there any questions related to your arrests? I would like him to be shown the entire 7 page statement and have him look at the questions.

  • Don't worry, Mr Witness, Mr Court Attendant is going to show you the 7 page statement from 19 April and I would just like you to look at the questions put to you and if you see any questions related to my arrest.

  • Which of my arrests?

  • Any of the arrests aside from the one I just pointed to you, any questions related to any of your arrests.

  • And you are going to be handed the 7 page statement momentarily. You don't need to read the entire thing, just the questions. You can remove page 2 from the screen and obviously give that to him as well because that is part of the statement.

  • So my understanding is I'm starting on page 4.

  • No. You are starting where the questions start within that interview, page 2. Just look at the questions and see if there are any questions aside from the one I pointed to you related to your arrest. Were there any statements related to your arrest in that?

  • No, I don't see that so far, any question regarding that. No, counsel.

  • I'm sorry, I meant to ask were there any questions related to your arrest. You didn't see any?

  • Yes, sir, I didn't see any.

  • Okay. Now I would like the witness to be shown the interview record from the statement of 20 April 2006 which is again behind tab 6 and it's 11 pages in length, from Defence's pagination running from page 8 to 18.

  • Okay, is that page 1 of 20 April? Okay.

  • The questions start on page 2 of that, okay?

  • Now I want you to look through there and tell me if you see any questions - just look at the questions - related to your arrests. Have you had sufficient time to review that document?

  • During the course of that did you see any statements related to your arrests?

  • Other than 2002, no.

  • No, this one. Did you see any questions related to your arrests?

  • Okay. Now I would like the witness to be shown again what is behind tab 6, which is the Dutch recorded statement of 21 April 2006. This runs on Defence's page numbers, 19, 20 and 21, with the questions actually starting on page 20. Can you take a moment to review that document, Mr Witness. I would just like you to look at the questions and after reviewing the questions - after you have reviewed the questions go ahead and indicate that you are done reviewing them.

  • What I am checking for? Something --

  • I would like you to look to see if you can see any questions related to your arrest. I'm sorry, he should be stopped at where the statement ends, 21 April 2006. That's the only statement I want him looking at right now. Have you reviewed the questions with relation to the statement taken on 21 April 2006?

  • Yes, sir, counsel. I have.

  • Did you see any questions relating to your arrests within the questions of that statement?

  • I believe I did not.

  • Okay. Now the next document within that tab to be shown to the witness --

  • Mr President, I have an objection to the questions just asked by my learned friend because they leave a completely misleading position because if one looks behind divider 6 in our bundle at page 2 handwritten number, you will see right at the bottom of the page in italics, "You say in your written statement that you drew up at our request in preparation for this hearing", and again on page 11 behind that tab, the second question, "In your statement you write that you spoke on both perpetrators and victims".

    Now, the point is this: Prior to those interviews and incorporated into those interviews was a statement prepared by Mr Bility which your Honours have behind tab 5. Now if one goes to page 4 of that tab, at paragraph 9, on page 4 behind tab 5, at the end of the first paragraph there is a clear reference to seven arrests. So effectively over the course of those three days of interviews this statement had been incorporated into the questioning.

    So it's quite clear that the witness had turned his mind to the seven arrests and that that reference was part of what he was being asked about over those three days. Yet my learned friend is trying to make the point that somehow, because no questions had been asked specifically on this topic, the witness had not had an opportunity of thinking about this aspect of his account when, quite clearly, he had been.

  • Yes.

  • First of all, I would like to address my learned colleague's concerns. I was coming to the written statement. That was the next portion that was going to be put to the witness. I was certainly not going to omit the statement that occurred prior to these interviews and I was going to bring the witness's attention to it. I did point out that I was pointing out that on those particular interview days, 19th, 20th and 21st - and it was put to him that he had ample opportunity to address the issue of arrests on those dates and I was simply pointing out that the questions that were asked of him on those dates did not concern his arrests. I was not going to omit the statement. Just to assure counsel, the statement was the next portion I was going to put to him related to this issue.

  • Well, in view of that, Mr Griffiths, you still maintain your objection?

  • Yes, go ahead, Mr Santora.

  • Just to note, because I understand the statement is in tab 5, this is counsel's bundle. In tab 6 the statement is the last portion of tab 6. Now I am not sure if that was inadvertent, but tab 6 contains the statement and it is the - just to make sure I am correct. Yes. It's the last - starting on Defence counsel's pagination, page 22. That's where the statement starts and that's why I proceeded in the order that I did. It is in tab 5 as well but just to simplify things I went to tab 6 and went according to Defence counsel's own documents.

  • Yes, Mr Santora. Well, the objection has been withdrawn.

  • Okay. Can the witness be shown what is behind tab 6, which was Defence pages 22 to 28:

  • Mr Witness, this is a statement that you gave - it is undated here but before speaking in the interviews that I've just referred to on 19, 20 and 21 April 2006. Do you understand that?

  • No, please, can you please repeat that.

  • Can you look at that document quickly. Just examine it.

  • Do you agree that this is a typed version of a statement you gave to the Dutch police prior to your interviews on 19, 20 and 21 April 2006?

  • When you say typed version, of course the general aspect here, yeah.

  • Do you recognise this as a statement that you gave to the Dutch police?

  • Yeah, I believe generally.

  • Was it in written form?

  • I'm not specifically sure. I do remember - I do know that the aspect that falls under general, yeah, that was in a written form. I'm trying to figure out whether these ones were direct questions or, you know, I wrote them. That's what I'm trying to figure.

  • Do you recall giving responses to questions - to these questions in some format, whether written or typed?

  • I believe, yeah.

  • Now I would like you to look at question 9. I'm sorry, that is within that statement, it's on page 23 of Defence counsel's pagination.

  • You will notice the question and during the course of your response - in the response six lines down. Do you see that?

  • Right. Page 23, question 9?

  • Yes and I will read the question for you, the question was:

    "If so, to what extent was it publicly known in Liberia in the years 1999 to 2003 that government troops and pro-government militias were involved in these kinds of crimes?"

    Do you see that question?

  • Yeah, I do.

  • During the course of your response you put in parentheses and you see starting six lines down: "For example, I was arrested and jailed seven times and branded as anti-government editor. I was also beaten several times. See US country reports on human rights practices 1999-2003."

    Do you see that?

  • Now I would like you to look now to the rest of that document, the questions within the rest of that document, and indicate if there are any questions related to arrests?

  • You are saying no to what?

  • I did not see any question relating to my arrest.

  • Okay. Now I would like the witness to be shown the document behind tab 7. Now, Mr Witness, this document, specifically page 21 of this document - do you recall Defence counsel asking you questions in relation to the portion - to this document specifically with relation to this page, in terms of your arrests, sequence, dates and events?

  • Correct, I do.

  • Mr Santora, perhaps for the record you could state what the document is.

  • I'm sorry. I apologise. You are correct, Justice Sebutinde. This was a document that was previously shown to the witness behind Defence counsel tab 7. That is, according to the document's first page, translator's notes with relation to a proceeding - I certainly don't want to speak to what - it doesn't actually - I know what it is, but it doesn't actually indicate and I would stipulate that this is a proceeding related to a Dutch trial here in the Netherlands of an individual named Gus Kouwenhoven and I don't see it actually indicated on here.

  • Maybe I can assist. If one looks at the second page of the document, line 3 makes clear "Record of the Court proceedings".

  • I apologise. I understand.

  • And what we have on the first page is merely notes made by the person who translated the record of the Court proceedings from Dutch into English, indicating particular ways in which he conducted that process of translation.

  • Thank you, counsel.

  • Mr Santora, whilst we are still on this document, I would like to know - I had a bit of a problem with this, understanding the nature of this document. Is this a full record of the Court proceedings of 24 April, or is it a summary of a translation of the Court proceedings which were in Dutch, or what is it?

  • This is - we did not - this is not our document. I should note that this was - actually the first time the Prosecution has seen this document was in Court. This was a document that was provided to us by the Defence, so I do not know the answer to that. I am going to ask the witness one question with relation to that very topic and then perhaps, if further inquiry is needed, we can proceed from there:

  • Mr Witness, can you take a look at that document?

  • No, just at the document in its entirety. You have already looked at it. I just want you to have it again to examine. Now, during the course of Defence counsel's questioning he referred on several occasions to the document in front of you as a transcript of evidence you gave before the Dutch judges. Do you remember that?

  • Can you look through that document and see anywhere where it's noted that this is a transcript?

  • No, sir, I don't see that.

  • That it is - I do not see any recording or reference or anything written that says that it is a transcript.

  • Thank you. That can be put away. The next document - maybe just wait one moment, I may refer to the tab one more time. Not this tab, another tab.

  • Mr Santora, sorry to harp on this. I still have not understood what this document is. I am reading it especially in relation to the first page which says the witness gave his testimony in English which was interpreted in Dutch and that the Registrar's record is sometimes a summary rather than a verbatim report. Now there is a note that follows which says, "I have maintained this convention in the translation".

    The document that we have before us is some kind of translation by somebody that we don't yet know, but we are just wondering is this an official translation from the Dutch authorities, or from Dutch to English, or what is it?

  • To answer your Honour's question, we don't know what the document is because it's not our document. It's a document that was provided to us in the course - in these tabs by Defence counsel. I have not seen this document until coming into Court and Defence provided it to us, so I don't want to speak to what this document is. I just simply wanted to clarify, because Defence counsel has said in the course of his questioning - he referred to it as a transcript and looking at the document - that's why I asked the question that I did to the witness, because there is no indication it's a transcript.

  • Perhaps let me address this question to the witness who actually testified in this trial. Mr Witness, when you look at this document, is this an accurate reflection of what actually happened in Court as you testified?

  • Your Honour, I wouldn't be able to say because I'm just viewing the document without specifically reading them, but, generally it appears to be, but I'm not sure with respect to the specifics.

  • What do you mean you are reviewing the document without reading it?

  • For example, if a document is handed to me and I am asked to look for questions posed to me so I look at the questions

  • Can you please show the witness the document, because I want him to answer this question.

  • Well, your Honour, this would take time for me to specifically read because in that case I would want to read them line-by-line and see specifically if it accurately represents what I believe obtained.

  • Because, you see, you were asked certain questions in cross-examination and certain inconsistencies were pointed out.

  • That is the reason - you don't need to read it again. There were inconsistencies that you yourself conceded --

  • -- during cross-examination arising out of this statement.

  • Correct.

  • Now all that I want to know is is this a translation of a Dutch - is it a translation? Is it a summary? What is it?

  • Counsel, I don't know what this is. This is my very first time looking at this document. I do remember the trial - participating in the trial and providing testimony, but as far as this being qualified as a translation or as a transcript, I do not know specifically.

  • Okay. That's good enough for me. Thank you.

  • The next reference for counsel's sake is 14 January 2009, page 22610, and this is in reference to lines 9 through 11:

  • Mr Witness, Defence counsel during the course of his cross-examination was asking you questions about an interview note that was taken by Alan White and Randy Neely in New York in November 2003. Do you remember him asking you questions about that note?

  • Counsel was also asking you about the opportunity to review that note when you testified in Freetown in the trial, the RUF trial, and your opportunity to review that note prior to testifying in 2004. Do you remember when Defence counsel was asking you about that?

  • And specifically Defence counsel asked you, line 9:

    "Q. Did you have the opportunity of reading through the

    record of what you had said to Randal White in November

    2003?

    A. In part."

    What did you mean by that?

  • What I meant by "in part" was that it was my understanding the trial in Freetown was going to be focused on the RUF and not on Mr Charles Taylor, so I specifically tried to look at the aspects that had to do with the RUF. So that's what I meant by that.

  • Okay. Now, for completeness, you later were interviewed by the Office of the Prosecution on 18 August 2008 by Peter McLaren and myself. Do you recall that?

  • And during the course of that interview it is recorded that you said - I'm sorry, I should just give the Defence counsel the proper tab. I apologise. This is Defence counsel tab 11. If the witness can be shown tab 11, please. This is page 1 of that interview.

  • Correct.

  • Now, during the course of this interview, just take a look at it for a moment and then you can --

  • Look at the document in its entirety?

  • Just look at the first page. I am referring you specifically to paragraph 2. Can you look at paragraph 2?

  • And paragraph 2 says, for the record, it is recorded that you said:

    "The witness stated that in many parts of his first statement taken by Dr Alan White are recorded in a confusing or erroneous manner. This included a reference to working for The Prospective. As he has stated he was arrested first while working for The National. The interview note also does not accurately account for all of his arrests and detentions or employment history as outlined below."

    Do you recall saying that in the interview of 18 August 2008?

  • Yes, counsel, I do.

  • Thank you. That can be taken away from the witness at this point. Mr Court Attendant, I will not be referring to the tabs any more. Now, the next reference for counsel is 14 January, 22539. The response on lines 5 to 6 is particularly the reference. Now, Mr Witness, you were being asked by Defence counsel about your writing for the All Liberian Coalition Party. Do you recall being asked about that by Defence counsel?

  • Correct.

  • And during the course of your responses, you said, with relation to your professional writing, this is lines 5 to 6 - you said: "I did professional writing for them and other parties as well". Do you recall saying that?

  • What other parties were you referring to?

  • I did professional writing for other organisations, businesses, what is it called - organisations and businesses, I did professional writings for those. I actually wrote - correct.

  • Such as, can you give some examples?

  • Right. Business organisations in the line of promotion and in the line of other civic organisations. Say, for example, I think it was specifically the - well, the ex-President is called Saa Philip-Joe. I'm trying to remember - I think it's the Mano River Union something. Its head then or one of its heads then was Saa Philip-Joe. So I did professional writing so at that level for that organisation. I think it was the Mano River Union Civil Society Movement. It is along that line. So --

  • Okay.

  • Just to clarify for the record, did you say Saa Philip-Joe?

  • Yeah. S-A-A, that's Saa, P-H-I-L-I-P and dash Joe.

  • Okay. Now, the next reference is 15 January 2009. I apologise for jumping around a bit here. The reference is page 22736 and I am particularly focusing on the witness's response at lines 22 to 23.

    Mr Witness, during the course of the cross-examination Defence counsel was asking you about an article that was written by you that stated that Liberians and some Sierra Leoneans were being sent to Libya for training.

  • Do you recall being asked about that?

  • Correct. I do recall.

  • And you were being asked whether or not you knew that was a fact or not?

  • Correct, I do recall him asking that.

  • During the course of your response you said, and the question was - and I will put the question to you that Defence counsel asked you.

    "Q. If you - do you know for a fact whether they were

    trained in Libya or not?

    A. My understanding of the word 'fact' in this context,

    then I will say no, and I could explain what I understand

    by fact."

    Do you remember saying that?

  • Correct, I do.

  • Can you explain what you mean by fact?

  • What I meant, in that context, was did I have firsthand - was I in a position to be able to see the guys - the 500 persons actually physically trained, you know, on training camp in Libya. That was one fact I was referencing.

    Whether was the government in position to admit that, yes, indeed, we're sending these individuals to Libya for training. That was something also in that instance I considered as fact.

    Did any specific individual from amongst the group - was in position, say their leaders, you know, their training commandants or whatever the reference may be - was in position to say, yes, we are unofficial, officially. Yes, we are going to train these guys in Libya.

    Those were the factual understanding I was deducing from the counsel's question. However, journalism doesn't work like that. It doesn't mean that the fact that a government or a party --

  • Well, before you explain with respect to how journalism worked, what information did you have?

  • I had information from a Liberian who had come from Libya who was fully aware of the situations and had brought pictures that we published. I also information from other inside sources who wouldn't want their names to be - who wanted to - who preferred to remain anonymous.

  • Okay. Thank you. Then I'm not going to ask you any further on. The last reference here is actually from the first day of cross-examination, 13 January 2009. This is in - I will be actually pointing the witness to two passages first before putting a question to him. The first passage occurs on page 22411 and it's starting with lines 8 to 19.

    Now, Mr Witness, when Defence counsel first started asking you questions on last Tuesday, I believe, he was asking you about Decree 88A. Do you recall that?

  • Yes, counsel.

  • And during the course of that questioning he was asking you, starting at line 16:

    "Q. Was it repealed?

    A. The government announced that it has - that it repealed

    it.

    Q. So it was repealed?

    A. In theory, yes, sir."

    I am now taking you to another reference. You were again being asked about issues related to the media in Monrovia at the time Mr Taylor became President and this is reference 22551 and this is starting at lines 7 through to 15. Counsel asked you:

    "Q. Now, would you also agree that in Monrovia at that

    time there were a number of newspapers published?

    A. Yes, sir.

    Q. And would you also agree that it was a somewhat lively

    print media environment?

    A. What period is this, sir?

    Q. We're talking about round about July/ August '97. It

    was pretty lively, wasn't it?

    A. Correct."

    Do you remember saying that?

  • Yes, sir.

  • Okay. Now taking you back to the first reference, when you were referring to Decree 88A and you were asked if it was repealed and you said, "In theory, yes, sir", what did you mean when you said in theory?

  • What I meant was that the government at the time seeking - hungry for trying to publish - I mean to polish its image was trying to make - was making pronouncements that would soothe the international community, because one of the demands from the international community for cooperation with the new government then was press freedom; you know, freedom of opinion. So the government was making pronouncements. Meanwhile, in practice it's actions were diametrically opposed to its pronouncements. The government's actions were diametrically opposed to the government's pronouncements. That's what I meant when I said in theory, because it was saying one thing and actually doing quite the contrary.

  • Taking you to the second reference I referred to, and just to remind you, you were asked about the media environment, the print media environment?

  • And you counsel asked you whether or not it was lively and you asked what period and he said, "July/August '97. It was pretty lively, wasn't it?" And you said, "Correct". Do you remember saying that?

  • What about after that period?

  • The media began to be suffocated. It began to lose its life. It began to lose its agility, its liveliness. Now one reason I said yes was that the Liberian media had become used generally to being able to report what it wanted to. That was beginning 1990, when Dr Amos Claudius Sawyer became interim President. From that point on, interim administrations generally were tolerant of what was written in the media. There were occasions where, you know, there were frictions here and there, but generally they were tolerant. So this is July and August and the freedom of expression that the Liberian media had been accustomed to was still alive by the time Mr Charles Taylor was elected President. So its life - it was still full of zeal. People were - journalists were still excited about the prospect of press freedom continuing even after the elections of President Taylor. But of course that was not to happen, as we began to learn very soon.

  • I have no further questions.

  • Thank you, Mr Santora. I think there are probably some items marked for identification that are going to be tendered. Do you need the witness here for that or will we discharge the witness?

  • There is an issue related before the witness is discharged, so perhaps we should do the MFIs first and then perhaps the witness should be here.

  • Yes, of course. Yes, Mr Santora. Were they any of yours?

  • Yes. If there are no questions then the Prosecution will move what is marked currently as MFI-1 into evidence. This is a copy of a newspaper article from the Liberian newspaper, The National entitled "Who is the Judas in ECOWAS?" dated 14 October 1997 which was behind Prosecution's tab 6.

  • Is there any objection, Mr Griffiths?

  • Mr President, can I indicate there are two items marked for identification by the Prosecution in respect of this witness. We have no objections to either of them being exhibited.

  • Thank you. Well, the document marked MFI-1 which has been described in the evidence will be admitted into evidence as exhibit is it P-270.

  • [Exhibit P-270 admitted]

    Mr Santora, you had one more, did you?

  • Yes, the Prosecution also, on the understanding there is no objection, would move what is currently marked what as MFI-2 into evidence which is a copy of a news article from the Liberian newspaper The National entitled "In Sierra Leone: Whom is the government supporting, junta or democracy?" dated 14/10/97.

  • Yes, that document has already been identified as MFI-2 and it will be admitted into evidence as exhibit P-271.

  • [Exhibit P-271 admitted]

  • At this time, Mr President, we move that items MFI-3A through F, the various email messages submitted, be admitted as exhibits.

  • Do you have any objection, Mr Santora?

  • The documents marked for identification and identified on the record as MFI-3A through 3F will correspondingly be admitted into evidence as exhibit D-80A through D-80F.

  • [Exhibits D-80A to D-80F admitted]

  • Can I make the same application in respect of MFI-4A through F.

  • The Prosecution does object to the admission of these in their entirety being admitted based on relevance. If you want me to go and explain, or if it's appropriate for --

  • I'm just taking it, Mr Santora, that you are saying there is some material in those newspapers that is irrelevant material.

  • That's correct, Mr President. It has been the practice in this Court for the counsel to identify the portion of the document that is relevant to be admitted or, if need be, explain the relevance of - if the entire document is - if it is submitted that the entire document should be accepted then counsel should explain the relevance of that particular document in its entirety. So that's the objection.

  • Well, I could be wrong but I think I remember Mr Griffiths saying that the newspaper extracts were put in in their entirety just for the sake of completeness and I didn't take it that he was relying on the whole of the newspapers as part of his case. But, anyway, we will hear from Mr Griffiths.

  • I am certainly not relying on the whole of each newspaper as part of our case, Mr President. We made specific reference to only certain articles within those newspapers; those articles setting out in detail the period immediately after the incarceration of this witness on 24 June 2002. So, whilst not relying on the balance of the articles reported in those newspapers, it seems to us that no damage is done by the whole of the newspapers being put before the Court, bearing in mind that your Honours have a clear note of what aspects of these newspapers we are relying on, because we went through them in detail.

  • On the relevance? Did we hear you on relevance; the issue of relevance?

  • We say that the particular articles to which we referred which detailed the incarceration of this defendant, and other articles touching upon other aspects of his evidence, inter alia reference to Liberian troops in Sierra Leone - we say all of these articles are directly relevant to the evidence of this witness and we have identified during the course of our cross-examination which of those articles we deemed to be so relevant, those being the only articles to which we referred.

  • Yes, well we will admit the whole of the documents as tendered. The Court is perfectly able from reference to the record of deciding what is relevant and what isn't. The documents already identified as MFI-4A to MFI-4F will be admitted into evidence correspondingly as exhibits D-81A to through to D-81F.

  • [Exhibits D-81A to D-81F admitted]

    Now there is one other matter outstanding, Mr Griffiths, and that is that if you recall there was an issue - I am just trying to look at my notes - where the witness has claimed privilege in relation to your question requiring him to reveal his sources and the Court has already ruled that that should be the subject of a formal application. Now, I take it you are still pursuing that?

  • I am still pursuing it, Mr President, but can I indicate that our pursuit of that issue is not dependent on this witness remaining within the jurisdiction.

  • By saying that do you mean that at some stage, once the Court decides on the formal motion, you would require the witness back for further cross-examination?

  • I doubt it, because we could deal with that matter by other means, once that information is to hand, without having the witness return.

  • So you have no objections if the witness is released at this stage?

  • I have no problem with the witness being released at this stage.

  • Thank you, counsel. There is one small issue that still I think should be raised with relation to this witness. During the course of this debate, and perhaps inadvertently, it was portrayed to the witness that the Prosecution were somehow representing his interests. For the record the witness should be, in our submission, advised that he may wish to contact an attorney on his behalf in relation to this issue. The Prosecution obviously is not the witness's attorney and is not in the same situation of interest.

    I think it was said - Defence counsel again stated that the witness can't be a lawyer for himself. He has got his own lawyer. The Prosecution is certainly not the lawyer's witness. Now, these statements may have led the witness to believe that the Prosecution is his lawyer and somehow acting on his legal interests. It's the Prosecution's submission that this is of course not the case and that he should be instructed as such with regards to this matter.

  • I am sure the witness has taken into account what you've just said, Mr Santora, but the only outstanding matter in relation to this witness at the moment is a formal motion. I don't take it from what you've said that you are going to ask him to get an independent lawyer to file a response to that motion. The Prosecution is going to respond to that motion, is that correct? That is what we are interested in at the moment.

  • The Prosecution will be responding to that motion as soon as it arrives, yes.

  • Thank you. You heard what Mr Santora said, Mr Witness?

  • Yes, I did hear, your Honour.

  • All right. Well, we would like to thank you for coming to Court and giving your evidence and it's now completed. You are free to leave.

  • Thank you so much, your Honour.

  • I understand Mr Rapp is taking the next witness. Is that correct?

  • Yes, Mr President, your Honours. The next witness will be Tariq Malik and if you give us a moment we can change our seating.

  • All right, certainly. What is the TF1 number of this witness?

  • Because the witness has never sought protection, he doesn't have one, sir.

  • Oh, I see.

  • His name is Tariq Malik, T-A-R-I-Q M-A-L-I-K.

  • Well, has the Court Usher gone to get that witness?

  • Your Honours, the Court Usher has gone to get that witness.

  • Just before Mr Malik is sworn, Justice Doherty has something to say.

  • Yes, I consider it is proper that I put on record that, as may already be known to the parties, I organised an informal walking group in Freetown over the several years I was there. Mr Malik was an occasional walker. On those occasions when he did walk with us there were always other people present, on one occasion up to 40, and sometimes it included Special Court staff and in particular my close protection was always there. We definitely did not speak about work, I had no idea that Mr Malik would be called as a witness in this trial and the walking in no way influenced my attitude to this or the previous trial, or to Mr Malik as a witness, and I wish that to be formally noted.

  • Just one moment. Thank you, Mr Munyard. It doesn't end there. Before I ask either counsel to respond, if they wish, I would also add that I think each one of the judges on the Bench has been at one time or another on the same interview panel as Mr Malik. This is in regard to appointing other officers of the Special Court. Again, nothing was ever discussed regarding any court case.

    Now I will just call on perhaps the Defence first, because it's a Prosecution witness. Is there anything you wanted to say along - in view of what's just been disclosed to you, Mr Munyard?

  • Mr President, and indeed Justice Doherty and all the judges, we have no concerns by the issues that you have just raised. We hope the walks were enjoyable and that the appointments were successful.

  • Thank you, Mr Munyard. My one thought was getting to the top of the mountain.

  • Thank you. Of course we have no concerns and we thank learned counsel, Mr President and your Honours. Let me turn to the witness. Good morning, witness.

  • I am sorry, I haven't had the witness sworn yet.

  • Exactly. I am sorry, your Honour.