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

  • Could I check whether the measures are in place - protective measures are in place?

  • Your Honour, I can confirm the measures are in place.

  • Can I raise one practical matter. I wonder if the overhead could be lowered because sitting where I am, I'm unable to see the witness because of it.

  • Is that better, Mr Griffiths?

  • Thank you. Mr Koumjian, please.

  • Mr witness, just to remind you, in order for your protective measures to work, we cannot be speaking at the same time, so please wait until I complete my question and actually wait a second and then begin your answer. Pause briefly. Make sure there's a pause between my question and your answer. Do you understand, sir?

  • Yes, sir.

  • And again, if in your answer you feel to answer a question truthfully would reveal your identity, then you let the judges know and they will decide whether we should do that in private session. Do you understand?

  • Sir, have you received any money to testify?

  • Mr Koumjian, you must remember to switch off your microphone, please.

  • Thank you for the reminder:

  • Sir, have you received any money at all related to your testifying?

  • Sir, that is a lie, isn't it?

  • I am not a cheat person. This is not a lie. The person who told you that I received money is the one who is lying.

  • Sir, did you receive on 3 February, $424,400 leones through a Western Union transfer?

  • And, sir, before you came here to The Hague, did you receive $2,000?

  • No, I didn't receive $2,000.

  • And when you arrived here, did you receive $100 euros?

  • I received 100 euros from the security.

  • Your Honour, we have some documents. May they be distributed now to the parties and your Honours.

  • Mr Koumjian, for purposes of clarification, the $2,000 you referred to, is that United States dollars rather than Liberian?

  • Yes, your Honour. Thank you for that reminder:

  • Sir, while that's being distributed, without telling us where, it's correct, isn't it, that you are staying at a hotel here?

  • And Yanks Smythe, Yankuba Samateh, was also at that hotel, correct?

  • No. I don't know that even he was here.

  • Sir, I'm going to ask you in a moment for a document to be shown to you and that would be the documents behind tab 16.

    Your Honour, this document only has the DCT number, so I believe it would be all right to put this on the overhead and display it publicly.

  • Yes, I think that is in order.

  • Sir, looking at this document, you'll see it's a report of expenses incurred on DCT-125. That's your number.

  • We see on 3 February 2010, transport and food, $424,400 leones through Western Union. Do you see that, sir?

  • And then we see in the next paragraph:

    "In addition on 18 February 2010, he was given $2,000 as an advance from his DSA, before he left for The Hague and euros 100 on his arrival here."

    So, sir, you did receive an advance on your DSA of $2,000 before you departed for The Hague, correct?

  • Now, can I be, how do you call it, well informed? Who handed this money to me, before I give the correct answer?

  • Sir, do you remember getting $2,000? That's the question.

  • The only money I received when I was in Accra was the money for the purchase of my visa, the transportation to go to the Dutch embassy and back to the hotel. And I received money not directly to me, through Western Union from the Special Court in Sierra Leone through to {redacted} in {redacted}. And when I arrived here, I was given 100 euros and I have never received $200 US.

  • The figure was $2,000 US.

  • Madam President, I appreciate that the protective measures are in place, but there's a reference to the family of the witness and their place of residence which I'm concerned about.

  • Madam Court Officer, could we redact the relations of the witness and the place where he mentioned that they are. I'm not sure if there's any person in the gallery.

  • There is. So members of the gallery who have heard this information, please do not repeat it outside of court.

  • Mr Witness, what this report makes clear is that you are receiving DSA - a DSA, daily subsistence allowance, for all of your time here in the Netherlands. Mr - isn't that correct?

  • To my knowledge, all what I am receiving is for my subsistence whilst I'm here in The Netherlands and it is not money that has been bribed - given to me as a bribe. So I want to understand from your side, what are you referring to this money that I have received?

  • Sir, my question is: It is a fact that most of the witnesses that have come here do not stay in hotels. They stay --

  • Madam President, this suggestion, in my submission, is totally unfair and uncalled for. Moses Blah, the Vice-President of Liberia, stayed in the same hotel that Yanks Smythe stayed in and received DSA from the Witness and Victims Service. So the suggestion that there is something somehow, something improper about this witness receiving DSA coming out of the mouth of Mr Koumjian, in my submission, is totally erroneous and false.

  • Mr Koumjian, where are we going with this?

  • We're going the same place we went when Defence cross-examined Prosecution witnesses about funds received. And, in fact, I would say they have - the hypocrisy, if there is any, is from the Defence. This is an issue that we should be allowed to cross-examine on. This is not an insignificant amount of money.

  • [Trial Chamber conferred]

  • The objection is overruled. We think that these questions are proper in the line of cross-examination. Please continue.

  • Mr Witness, you're a socialist who believes in social and economic justice, correct?

  • Do you believe you should be treated better than ordinary people?

  • I should be treated with what I deserve. I don't know about the rest, if they, how do you call it, fight for their rights. I deserve for my rights to be respected and I will not dictate for any other person.

  • Sir, is it your right to stay in a hotel as opposed to the safe house that the Court provides to most witnesses?

  • Let the Court send me to that - how do you call it - house and I will go. I am a stranger in this hotel. I don't know where I have been taken to and it is not me who went to the hotel and requested this money from the Court.

  • Sir, the DSA rate for March 2010 when you - for February 2010 when you arrived was $381 per day. You arrived here, isn't it correct, on 19 February? Is that correct?

  • So for those ten days you earned $3,810 in DSA?

  • No, I didn't receive any $3,000 US. It is false. It is a lie.

  • I rise again, Madam President, to inquire what is the source of this evidence? The documentation behind divider 16 makes no reference to the rates of pay as far as I see it, unless I'm missing something. And unless, of course, Mr Koumjian has chosen to give evidence, I recall that during the Prosecution case we were provided with by WVS and the Prosecution a statement setting out what was paid and what for. Where is it? I would like to see it, rather than have Mr Koumjian giving evidence.

  • That's very well. Mr Koumjian, the issue here is the source of this information.

  • Yes. Your Honour, it's behind tab 16. There should be a second document called "DSA circular report". The first page is provided just to indicate what it is. This is the DSA circular report issued monthly by the International Civil Service Commission and then the figures for The Netherlands are on the next page. From the first page you'll see that the first column is the rate for the first 60 days in a location. Going down to The Netherlands, the rate is $381 a day for February.

    Now, your Honours, there is a different rate for March and there was an error and that was not included. I understand that circular is coming - being sent by email now to us and that is a slightly lower rate. I want to make that clear, that's 358. That should be coming momentarily.

  • Mr Koumjian, is the assumption that the reference in the letter from the chief of WVS, the reference to DSA there is necessarily equal to the DSA recognised by the international service commission?

  • Yes, your Honour, that is the case.

  • There is a disjuncture here. What we have here is clearly something which has either been downloaded from the internet or provided by some international agency. What we do not have is from WVS a document showing precisely what this man was paid and what his hotel rate is. We don't have that. So Mr Koumjian is cross-examining on an unfounded basis.

  • [Trial Chamber conferred]

  • We've heard from both sides and basically we recognise that this is cross-examination and that counsel for the Prosecution can and may put a proposition to the witness from anywhere and it's up to the witness to answer one way or the other, and that will be his evidence. So the objection is overruled and, Mr Koumjian, please continue.

  • Sir, when you leave The Hague you've been told that after paying your hotel bill you'll receive the rest of your DSA money, correct?

  • I was told that all the expenses on my trip would be paid by the Special Court for Sierra Leone. That's what I have been told. Because to my understanding, and according to the questions that you are asking me, I don't know how would I sustain myself here in The Hague? I left my job back at home in Africa and came here, left all my means of obtaining what I should support my family and come to the Special Court. I cannot understand why are you asking me. How can I survive here? Remember I'm a former {redacted} also.

  • I think that needs to be stricken from the record, your Honour, for the witness's protection unless counsel doesn't want it. I'm happy to leave it.

  • I would like it stricken.

  • Madam Court Officer, there is a reference to a position that the witness held previously. This is at page 12, line 13. Please redact the reference to that position.

  • Sir, we'll come back to what you just said in private session. Sir, is there any reason why you feel you deserve more than people, for example, who had hands amputated who came here to testify, a woman who heard her children being killed and saw their decapitated heads, or a man who risked his life to stay behind rebel lines to care for children? Do you deserve to be treated better than them, Mr Witness?

  • I will stand to defend my interests and I would defend the interests of any other person. I can recognise if she stands and fights for her rights I would support her.

  • Mr Witness, did you insist on staying in the hotel as opposed to the safe house?

  • Provide a better place for me with dignity and I will move to that place.

  • You didn't answer my question. Did you insist on staying at the hotel as opposed to the safe house?

  • Where do you expect me to go if I'm not staying in the hotel? Provide a dignified place for me, I will go and stay there.

  • The house where all the other - almost all the other witnesses have stayed, you would stay there, the safe house?

  • Please can you provide the place for me and if I feel that it is dignified for me and I will also have my privacy without mingling with anybody else I am ready to go there.

  • Sir, let's just briefly calculate what DSA you have earned to date since arriving in The Hague. In February you arrived on the 19th, you were here for ten days at 381 days, that's $3,810. Now, we also have the rate for March which is ready to be shown on the overhead?

  • Can I correct you, please. Since I arrived I have only received 200 euros. The last amount I received was three days ago. And I haven't received the amount you are mentioning. And I wouldn't lie because I've taken an oath because of just a meagre amount of money. I have earned more than that before.

  • I don't know if the March is ready yet but I'll just proceed with the questions and we can put it up later if it's not ready.

  • The March rate, I don't think we need to distribute copies to everyone. It can be put on the overhead just to show the March DSA rate. Is that ready?

    I'll proceed, your Honour, without it at this point. There seems to be some confusion:

  • Sir, if the rate went down in March to 358 days, this is the 19th day of March which means the DSA totals $6,802. Which means that to date since you arrived in The Hague your DSA totals 10,612 United States dollars. Mr Witness, as a person who believes in social and economic equality, do you think that's just for you to receive all that money when other witnesses receive one tenth of that amount?

  • If I have requested any money unjustly I would have not done it. And I want to - I want it to be clear. I came here to tell the truth to testify on behalf of this President Charles Taylor's trial. I haven't come here to calculate on these small amounts that have been spent on my stay here in The Netherlands.

  • Sir, you've called this a small amount, $10,612. Without - just for your own protection, wait until I complete my question. Without saying anything that will reveal your identity, are you working now?

  • I'm a consultant and I earn more than that.

  • How much do you earn, sir?

  • It's private. I won't tell it to anybody.

  • Sir, it's relevant to the case and I would ask the witness be ordered to answer.

  • Mr Witness, please answer the question. It is relevant.

  • It's relevant. I'm paid according to what I do.

  • Which is?

  • When I advise to anybody else we calculate it and the person pays me, so it's not a fixed salary.

  • Basically, sir, you don't have a job. Isn't that true?

  • According to you, yes, but according to me, no. I'm having a job.

  • Mr Witness, you said you came here to tell the truth. I just want to tabs - tab 17 can be brought up and tab 18 not put on the screen. Your Honours and counsel can refer to that and the witness be given a copy, but that should be confidential, tab 18, because it has the witness's name. Sir, do you recognise this as a document that you signed on 19 February of this year?

  • Can I see my signature, please?

  • If the document can be moved up, please, so the witness can see his signature.

  • That's not my signature.

  • Why can't the witness not be shown a document like we are looking at.

  • That's correct. That's blacked out. The witness needs --

  • Why is he being shown a redacted thing?

  • We're in public session, but if the witness could be - not put on the overhead but be given a copy of tab 18. Not on the overhead because it includes his name and his signature, but just so that he can recognise it. That was my error. I apologise.

  • Yes, this is my signature on this paper I'm holding.

  • For the record, the witness was referring to tab 18:

  • Sir, you came here to tell the truth but you wouldn't consent to speak to the Prosecution before you testified, correct?

  • I have to testify and the Prosecution ask me what I'm testifying, how can the Prosecution hear me without me testifying? I can't understand it.

  • I don't understand your answer, but I'm going to move on.

  • I beg you please try and understand my answer to clarify everything. Try and understand my answer.

  • Try me again, sir. Why did you refuse to speak to the Prosecution if you only wanted to tell the truth here in court?

  • I have come to talk to the judges to testify and I didn't come to be - how do you call it - interviewed by the Prosecution before I testify.

  • Sir, that's your right so let's just move on to another issue. Looking at the confidential document, tab 18, it should not be put on the overhead but if the witness can look at it. Take it, sir. Is that your name?

  • Yes, this is my name.

  • Sir, the third name in the three - you have three parts to the name. The third name is not one you've given here in court. What name is that?

  • Which third name?

  • Sir, the document begins --

  • Can you spell the name?

  • We're in public session. The document begins, "I" and then it has three words, three names. The third name?

  • That is my name but written in French. And I would want to specify that I am holding a passport which is bearing this name and not my real name. I would want you to understand that.

  • That's exactly what I was going to get to. You are travelling on a passport in a false name, correct?

  • This is not a false name. This is the name that I've been given when I was born a Muslim.

  • Well, you didn't indicate that when you were in your direct examination telling us the names that you've had in your life. Why is that?

  • I think you have to go back to the notes and watch carefully. It has been given.

  • Mr Witness, did you follow the testimony of Charles Taylor at all in this case?

  • Through what means?

  • Through any means. Through newspapers, through internet, through whatever means.

  • Yes, I do follow the trials in the internet.

  • Now, sir, you've testified in open session - I see this was not in open session, so I think I would have to ask for a private session to deal with the next topic.

  • You want to go into private session now?

  • Let me try to avoid it, your Honours:

  • Mr Witness, are you familiar with The Green Book?

  • I read The Green Book.

  • And do you find it impressive?

  • Like any other ideology, political ideology.

  • You find every single political ideology impressive?

  • Yes, because it gives me knowledge to know what are the social aspects of human beings is.

  • Do you agree with The Green Book?

  • I agree with some parts. I don't agree with some other parts.

  • There's some documents behind tab 1 that I would now like to be shown to the witness.

  • There is no document behind my tab 1.

  • We'll provide another copy if there's one.

  • Mr Griffiths, do you now have the - a document behind you?

  • I have a copy now which does have a tab 1 enclosure.

  • And obviously Mr Munyard doesn't.

  • Madam President, I'm familiar with The Green Book. Thank you very much.

  • We have an extra copy if it's helpful to anyone:

  • I would like to start with part 3. I'm just going to read very small parts of this to you, Mr Witness. And if we could go to what is page 12 of 19 in part 3. I want to begin on the very last paragraph which begins "driving woman".

  • Is this document paginated?

  • Mr Witness, I'm going to read the following from the bottom of this page, page 12, just a couple of paragraphs. It reads - this is from part 3 of "The Social Basis of the Third Universal Theory":

    "Driving woman to do man's work in a flagrant aggression against the femininity with which she is naturally provided and which defines a natural purpose essential to life. Man's work obscures woman's beautiful features which are created for female roles. They are like blossoms which are created to attract pollen and to produce seeds. If we did away with the blossoms, the role of plants in life would come to an end. The natural embellishment in butterflies and birds and animal females exists to that natural vital purpose. If a woman carries out men's work, she risks being transformed into a man, abandoning her role and her beauty. A woman has full right to live without being forced to change into a man and to give up her femininity.

    Physical structure, which is naturally different in men and women, leads to differences in the functions of the organs, which in turn leads to differences in the psyche, mood, emotions, as well as in physical appearance. A woman is tender; a woman is pretty; a woman weeps easily and is easily frightened. In general, women are gentle and men are aggressive by virtue of their inbred nature."

    Sir, is this part of The Green Book? Is this one of the parts of The Green Book that impressed you?

  • You want to know whether this part of The Green Book impresses me? These are not my philosophical or political or social ideas. These are Muammar Gaddafi's ideas. And it is not that - I told you that I don't agree with most of the ideals written in The Green Book and I also agree with most of the ideals written in The Green Book. And I would want to point out to you that this part that you are reading, the idea that Muammar Gaddafi, to my understanding, where he got these ideas are based from the Islamic teachings of the role of women in society.

  • I don't want to spend too much time on this. Let's move on to page 14. And the paragraph just above evidence "Education", so it will be the last full paragraph. Sir, this read as follows:

    "Black people are now in a very backward social situation, but such backwardness works to bring about their numerical superiority because of their low standard of living has shielded them from methods of birth control and family planning. Also, their old social traditions place no limit on marriages, leading to their accelerated growth. The population of other races has decreased because of birth control, restrictions on marriage, and constant occupation in work, unlike the Blacks who tend to be less obsessive about work in a climate which is continuously hot."

    Sir, do you find this an insightful piece of writing?

  • This is a piece of writing that doesn't emanate from my thinking. It is from Gaddafi's thinking. I think the question should be directed to Gaddafi.

  • Are you impressed by this analysis?

  • No, it's not my opinion.

  • Thank you. Now I would like to go to part 1 of The Green Book. "The solution of the problem of democracy." Mr Witness, Muammar Gaddafi talks about the problem of democracy. Did Muammar Gaddafi see democracy as a problem?

  • I didn't ask him that question. I don't know his answer.

  • Did you see - do you see democracy as a problem?

  • Do you see a problem with democracy?

  • The problem I see with democracy is the wrong representation of the masses. That is the only thing I see in democracy. And the way I understand the meaning of democracy based on the western world point of view is meaningless to me. It's meaningless. I can't understand anything about it.

  • So things like elections with representative government you see as preventing rule by the masses; is that correct?

  • The representation of the - how do you call it - representing the masses, no one can represent the masses, because you have your own ideas, you have your own viewpoints and your viewpoint can be divergent with the viewpoints of the general populace. So I can't see how you can represent them genuinely.

  • Let's go to page 14. I just want to read three paragraphs related to the press. The first full paragraph begins:

    "The press is a means of expression for society. It is not a means of expression for private individuals or corporate bodies. Therefore, logically and democratically, it should not belong to either one of them.

    A newspaper owned by any individual is his or her own, and expresses only his or her point of view. Any claim that a newspaper represents public opinion is groundless because it actually expresses the viewpoint of that private individual. Democratically, private individuals should not be permitted to own any public means of publication or information. However, they have the right to express themselves by any means, even irrationally, to proper their insanity. Any journal issued by a professional sector, for example, is only a means of expression of that particular social group. It presents their own points of view and not that of the general public. This applies to all other corporate and private individuals in society.

    The democratic press is that which is issued by a people's committee, comprising all the groups of society. Only in this case, and not otherwise, will the press or any other information medium be democratic, expressing the viewpoints of the whole society, and representing all its groups."

    Mr Witness, were you familiar with these views of Muammar Gaddafi in The Green Book?

  • I read them very well and I went through them many times.

  • Sir, it's correct that Muammar Gaddafi was teaching that the press should be controlled by the party or the state, correct?

  • Muammar Gaddafi was expressing his viewpoints to the people on what he thinks genuine press means.

  • And this was one of the things that was taught at the Mathaba and in the camps, The Green Book, correct?

  • People are asked to read The Green Book in the Mathaba and in the camps.

  • Do you know, did Charles Taylor share the view of Muammar Gaddafi of the importance of controlling the press?

  • One thing I would want you to understand, that I can't think in Charles Taylor's place and I can't reason in Charles Taylor's place. He has to reason for himself. I have to reason for myself.

  • Sir, you said you discussed - many times you talked to him about political matters --

  • Madam President, sorry to interrupt, but it may be that there's something wrong with my eyesight, but I don't see anywhere in the three paragraphs referred to by Mr Koumjian where it states that it's either the party or the state which should control the press. My reading is, unless I've missed something, that it's to be run by a people's committee comprising all the groups of society. Where is the reference to party or the state?

  • Mr Griffiths, some of these issues you can take up in re-examination, surely.

  • With all due respect, Madam President, it's totally unprofessional for counsel to cross-examine on a basis which is totally false. The passage upon which he is basing these suggestions doesn't come to the conclusions that he is putting to the witness. So he's consequently cross-examining on a totally erroneous basis.

  • What is the question that you are opposed to, Mr Griffiths, exactly?

  • [Microphone not activated] page 24, line 4 to 6: "Is it correct that Muammar Gaddafi was teaching that the press should be controlled by the party or the state?"

  • Well, that's a question. That's a question that the witness - I don't think that counsel was necessarily reading out of this passage. There's a question; the witness was there; he can answer.

  • Mr Witness, perhaps you can assist us. The people's committees that Muammar Gaddafi was talking about, these were used to run the state in Libya, correct?

  • The people's committees are responsible for the day-to-day running of the state administration.

  • Their membership was chosen by Muammar Gaddafi, correct?

  • No, it's a lie.

  • Muammar Gaddafi controlled the people's committees?

  • And according to you, Mr Witness, are opponents to Muammar Gaddafi at the time that you were there in Libya in let's say the 1980s, were they permitted on to the people's committees?

  • Everybody is permitted to the people's committees in Libya. If you are residing in Libya and you take your national responsibility you are allowed to talk freely whatever you want to say. That will advance the development of those committees.

    Please, I want to correct something. These popular committees are not chosen by Muammar al-Gaddafi. These committees are chosen after a general congress. Because the Libyans have what they called a general congress and delegates are chosen from the lower structures of these general congress who represent - who go as representatives of those committees to these general congress, taking along the propositions of the lower structures of the Libyan people's authority to the congress to be debated and to be adopted by the general people's congress. So it is not Muammar Gaddafi who chooses them, Muammar Gaddafi doesn't dictate them, Muammar Gaddafi doesn't take the last decision. The decision belongs to the authority of the people.

  • Mr Witness, these representatives are not elected, correct?

  • The representatives are elected by their various committees.

  • Let's move on. Sir, I was asking you did you discuss with Charles Taylor his views of press freedom?

  • In all of your political discussions with him, you said you discussed ideology and politics, you never discussed freedom of expression or press freedom?

  • Charles Taylor believes in press freedom. I believe in press freedom.

  • How do you know that if you just told us you never discussed it with him?

  • What we discussed is based on what he reads from the press - daily press. The press say this, the press say that. So it is from his intellectual judgment that he takes his own viewpoint and not my own viewpoint.

  • My question is how do you come to your conclusion about you said Charles Taylor believes in press freedom. Did he tell you that? How did you come to that conclusion?

  • He reads, we argue. How do you call it, we analyse most of the newspapers that we read. From there I knew that he believes in press freedom - freedom of the press.

  • Sir, were you familiar with the arrest in the year 2000 of a BBC - I believe a British journalist Sorious Samura and some South Africans in Liberia?

  • No, I was not aware.

  • Perhaps if the witness could be shown MFI - and I hope I have given notice on this - 198.

    Your Honour, I'm reminded too that I haven't marked documents that were used. Perhaps doing it in the order that I used them, I believe I started with tab 16 and I would ask that that document, which includes the DSA rates, be marked for identification.

  • Mr Koumjian, you passed around a spare sheet of paper and we have already an existing similar piece of paper behind tab 16, so please be specific.

  • Your Honour, what should be included is a report from WVS of expenses incurred for the witness DCT-125. Secondly, the two-page document from the International Civil Service Commission which shows rates for February 2010, DSA rates. And then the document that was handed out shows rates for March 2010. So in total there are five pages.

  • And you want them marked as a single document?

  • So the document comprising the following pages: One is a report from WVS dated 10 March 2010 of the expenses incurred on DCT-125, that is one page; and then two pages of a document entitled "International Civil Service Commission DSA circular report" for February, that's comprising two pages; and another document entitled "International Civil Service Commission DSA circular report" for March also comprising two pages. Together those pages are marked for identification MFI-413.

  • Thank you, Madam President. Now, I also presented behind tab 17 and 18 first a redacted copy of a statement indicating the witness DCT-125 did not wish to be interviewed by the Prosecution and an unredacted. So I would ask that each be marked, but the one that is unredacted that that includes his name of course that that be marked confidential.

  • Why do you want to keep the redacted version?

  • Well, it just makes a public record of what the public can see, but it's not important to me. If it simplifies things we can just keep one document, the confidential.

  • The letter signed by the witness DCT-125 dated 19 February 2010 in its full form and a page including a redacted form are both marked MFI-414. I think the differentiation between the confidentiality will arise at admission stage.

  • Thank you. Then, your Honour, I read from documents behind tab 1, and that was - I read from parts of part 3 of The Green Book, The Social Basis of the Third Universal Theory. I read from page 12, page 13 and page 14, and I actually would only find it necessary to have those pages - the cover page and pages 12, 13 and 14 admitted.

  • The document entitled "The Green Book" and its cover page and pages 12, 13 and 14 only are marked for identification MFI-415.

  • And then I just read from part 1 --

  • Sorry, I need to go back on that. There were two parts to this book. The first part was - we need to differentiate the parts.

  • I haven't yet come to part 1. I mean I haven't yet asked your Honour to mark that.

  • So the pages that I've mentioned pertain to part 3.

  • Correct. And part 1 we would seek admission only of the first page and page 14. I only read from page 14 - or we would seek to mark.

  • MFI-416 will comprise the first page of part 1 of The Green Book. Is that right?

  • Or the cover? So that will be page 1.

  • Pages 1 and 14 of part 1 of The Green Book.

  • Now, Mr Witness, I would like you to look at a document MFI-198. If we can just put the first page on the screen briefly to remind everyone what this is. This is a document entitled "Motive and opportunity for UN panel of experts recommended sanctions against Liberia." It's a document offered by the Defence during the testimony of Mr Taylor and I would like to read something from page 17 to you.

    By the way, your Honour, I don't know if this now has a D number or a P number because I know your Honour mentioned yesterday you just issued an order, so - not yet. Okay, thank you.

  • Let me find out from Madam Court Officer. Is this formerly MFI-416 should now be an exhibit, or is it?

  • Your Honour, the decision has not yet been filed.

  • In any event, we all know what we're talking about. MFI-416.

  • Perhaps I misspoke. It's MFI-198.

  • Yes, this is the formerly MFI-198. It is the UN panel of experts report, as you say.

  • It's the response of the government, I think - of the Liberian government to the UN panel of experts report:

  • Sir, now going to page 17, I would like to start reading from the section that is now at the bottom of the screen:

    "The Four Foreign Journalists Episode.

    Perhaps the most unnerving situation in the whole scheme of attempts to demonise the Liberian government came with the arrest of four foreign journalists in Monrovia in August 2000 on charges of espionage.

    The journalists, Sorious Samura, a Sierra Leonean and producer of the Cry Freetown film; David Barre, a British citizen and the alleged script writer; Timothy Lambon and Gugulakhe Radebe, a South African cameraman, purportedly came to Liberia to produce a documentary. In the course of things, the Liberian government, through a tip-off from the security apparatus, uncovered a 'pre manufactured' script which was clearly intended to corroborate the false allegations against President Taylor and the Liberian government on diamond smuggling, gun running and support to the RUF.

    Clearly, the debacle of the journalists must have unmasked the diabolical intent of powerful interests in London and Washington given the outpour of appeals that came from influential members of the international community. Those who called the government to plead for the release of the journalists included the Reverend Jesse Jackson, former South African President Nelson Mandela, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, the British foreign office, London's Channel Four TV as well as the CNN.

    The Liberian people applauded the government, which in accordance with its laws, exercised restraint, patience and maturity in dealing with the four journalists issue, thereby preventing it from creating an international crisis.

    Following the charge against the journalists and a day before their appearance in a court of competent jurisprudence, the British ambassador accredited to Liberia with residence in Abidjan and special counsel representing Channel Four TV in London flew to Monrovia. They were joined by the Sierra Leone ambassador accredited to Monrovia, to 'find a way out of the mess'.

    In the wake of the legal procedures Channel Four TV faxed an 'unreserved apology' to the Liberian government for any offence that the actions of the journalists who were in their employ, might have caused the Liberian government and people.

    Subsequently, the four journalists, while in prison issued a similar handwritten unreserved apology. They were eventually released by the courts and permitted by the government to depart the country following their apology.

    Perhaps what is most unnerving about the entire episode is the intelligence information uncovered about the true identity of the journalists. Through Interpol cooperation it was revealed that one of the so-called journalists, Timothy John Lambon, the assumed TV cameraman, was a soldier of fortune who once offered his service in Rhodesia during its civil war years, and has been involved in wars throughout southern Africa, including Angola and South Africa during the apartheid era. Aside from the attempts to corroborate the false allegations against the Taylor government, what then could have been the motive of a potential assassin parading as a TV cameraman among a media crew, several of whom are also suspected to have been impersonating as real journalists. Suspicion of their deadly motive was further revealed from their desperate, tenacious and persistent efforts to interview the President of Liberia at 'all cost'.

    The four journalist' episode was a clear indication that their intention to produce a documentary on Liberia and link President Taylor to 'blood diamonds' and gun-running charges, was connected to the motive of the out-going US State Department and the British foreign office.

    Also, following this episode, an avalanche of allegations against Liberia ceased for a considerable period, until October (2000) when the Greenstock delegation and a panel of experts from the United Nations Security Council, visited Liberia to investigate the diamond trade and its effects on the Sierra Leone conflict."

    Mr Witness, now Mr Taylor also talked about this episode in his testimony. And this is what Mr Taylor had to say about the arrest of these journalists. If we could put the transcript on the screen from 16 February this year at page 35073. That's 16 February, 35073. I'll start reading from the first full paragraph, line 8. Mr Taylor testified:

    "But before this group came into Liberia, which is about 2000, we had received some information, and they were very persistent. We had refused, apparently, the minister tells me, for so long. There was this fear that because of the attacks against me - at this particular time in 2000 there were various attacks against me, the news media, the BBC, Washington Post and everything - that we needed to be very careful, and even their insistence on filming me, I should be - we should be very careful, because cameras exist that have certain capabilities that could harm leaders.

    One of the examples that had been given by our - I mean, to our security was the killing of Ahmad Shah Massoud of Afghanistan by using some similar electronic camera or something and that this - and that cameras existed that had rays or beams that could be pointed to an individual and could cause them in some way some bodily harm after the fact. So we were very, very much on high alert."

    Now, Mr Witness, can you see here that in his testimony - this is from Mr Taylor's re-direct examination just last month - he lied when he said he was given a warning that our security was - given an example of the killing of Ahmad Shah Massoud of Afghanistan? Do you see that?

  • I've seen the writing, but I'm trying to see - can you show me where the lie lies?

  • Well, Mr Witness, these journalists were arrested in August 2000. Ahmad Shah Massoud was killed September 9, 2001, over a year later. So Mr Taylor was lying when he said he was given a warning to his security that the same thing could happen to him that happened to Massoud because it hadn't happened. It hadn't happened. It didn't happen for another year. Do you see that?

  • I'm seeing what you are reading from the document, but I was not aware about this issue of these journalists and I can't remember Shah Massoud - I don't know Shah Massoud of Afghanistan - when he was killed. And I cannot confirm whether he was lying or not. But one thing I will tell you that, common to every leader, every political leader in the world, he has to rely on the information that his security officers give him to be able to be careful for his own security. So if he had made a mistake on the dates of the Afghan who was killed and the incident that took place in Liberia on this issue of these journalists, I don't see what I can do to clarify the situation. I'm not aware of what went on.

  • Sir, just so that there's no doubt, let's look at the documents behind tabs 19, 20 and 21 to see the date of the assassination of Ahmad Shah Massoud. That should be tabs 19, 20 and 21. Sir, do you see what we're looking at just above where it says "Profile: The Lion of Panjshir" is a date, Monday, 10 September 2001?

  • And, sir, I'll just read the first two paragraphs:

    "Ahmad Shah Massoud, who has been injured in an assassination attempt, is easily the most important leader in the anti-Taliban alliance in Afghanistan.

    Commander Massoud was wounded in a suicide bomb attack at his headquarters in a garrison town in the northern province of Takhar."

    Now, that's all I'm going to read from this document, but let's look at tab 250. Sir, this is a document from the internet called "afghan-web.com", "Afghanistan Online" and it appears to be a biography of Ahmad Shah Massoud. And in order to just speed things up, I don't want to read it all, but if you take the first paragraph, I'm going to start reading from about five lines up:

    "Massoud was chosen as leader of UNIFSA when on September 9, 2001, two days before the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, Massoud was killed."

    Then if you turn the page, we see the entry - the last entry in the table: "September 9, 2001. Death. Killed by suicide attackers."

    If we can now go to tab 21. It's a very brief article dated April 29, 2003, in the New York Times. I'll read the entire article:

    "Afghanistan announced it had set up a commission to track down those responsible for the assassination of the anti-Taliban commander Ahmad Shah Massoud as the country celebrated the 11th anniversary of the defeat of the Communist government. Mr Massoud, also a famed anti-Soviet fighter, was killed by two suicide bombers posing as journalists in northern Afghanistan two days before the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks."

    So, Mr Witness, it's not a question of Mr Taylor not remembering a year correctly. He testified under oath in re-direct examination that one of the reasons he arrested Sorious Samura and these other journalists who were investigating his role in supporting the RUF in report [sic] for diamonds, he said one of the reasons he did that was because his security had been warned about the killing of Massoud by journalists and a cameraman, but this hadn't happened in 2000. It happened over a year later. Can you explain that, Mr Witness?

  • I am not Mr Taylor to explain that, please. I have no knowledge of what - the incident with the journalist and I have no knowledge of the decision of Charles Taylor and I have no knowledge of what went around - what motivated Taylor to give his evidence on that, making the mistake.

  • Your Honour, may these three documents perhaps be given one MFI number. They deal with the same subject of dating the death of Ahmad Shah Massoud.

  • The BBC News of Monday, 10 September 2001, comprising the article entitled "Profile: The Lion of Panjshir" and the article entitled "www.afghan-web.com", the topic entitled "Ahmad Shah Massoud" giving a chronology of his life comprising two pages, and the next article is an article from the newyorktimes.com dated 29 April 2003, the title is "After-effects briefly noted, Afghan panel to investigate Massoud's death" comprising one page. Those documents are collectively marked MFI-417.

  • Thank you, your Honour. If the witness could be shown the transcript of 9 March of this year, his testimony in open session, page 36797. If we can go to line 23:

  • Mr Witness, you said:

    "Charles Taylor never introduced Foday Sankoh to me. To my knowledge and to the way I deal with Charles Taylor, I noticed that it is an issue of internal matter. It's an internal matter of the NPFL, and he has never discussed that issue with me on - Foday Sankoh's issue."

    Mr Witness, what did you mean when you said that Foday Sankoh was an internal matter of the NPFL?

  • Foday Sankoh had no relations with SOFA, so Foday Sankoh's dealing with the NPFL was an internal matter of the NPFL and the RUF.

  • Mr Witness, you also testified that you had read Footpaths to Democracy. Do you recall that?

  • And do you recall saying that you read that in late 1996 or 1997?

  • How did you happen to read that publication - that document?

  • I got this document from a friend in Ouagadougou.

  • And what friend was that that gave you this document?

  • He's a diplomat.

  • Yes, sir. Who was that?

  • I can't mention his name here.

  • Is there a reason why you can't mention his name?

  • For security reasons.

  • You believe he would be in danger if it was revealed that he gave you a copy of Footpaths to Democracy?

  • Both him and me can be in danger.

  • Okay, then we'll deal with that in private session. You are read it after you were given the document, correct?

  • I read it briefly.

  • You read it enough to offer an opinion in this Court about it, correct?

  • I can offer an opinion in any document that I read. I'm a politician.

  • So you read the document and, sir, why did you have the interest to read the ideology of the RUF?

  • I read the ideology of every politician worldwide that I can lay my hands on to enrich my political knowledge.

  • Sir, at that time you were in Burkina Faso in late 1996, 1997 - is that right?

  • When did you actually get there? In 1996? Base there?

  • When I was where?

  • I was in Burkina Faso in 1996, 1997. I was there before even that.

  • Now, Mr Witness, when you read that document, did you speak to any RUF members about it?

  • Please. Don't let nobody judge me wrong. I don't know any RUF leadership so I don't have any relationship - close relationship with the RUF.

  • Sir, you know Sam Bockarie, don't you?

  • I've never seen his face before. I only heard his name over the BBC.

  • You know Eddie Kanneh, don't you?

  • I don't know nobody by the name Eddie Kanneh. The only person I have seen face-to-face and that's the end of it was Foday Sankoh. I don't know anybody from the RUF.

  • And Foday Sankoh was your revolutionary brother, correct?

  • I don't think you will be right in saying that Foday is my revolutionary brother without my appreciation.

  • Question, sir: Were the RUF your revolutionary brothers?

  • Every liberation movement that calls itself a revolutionary and I'm convinced that if they are revolutionaries they are my revolutionary brothers in the fight for the liberation of the African people.

  • And you view it as your duty to assist all those fighting for liberation, all these revolutionary brothers, correct?

  • My Pan-African duty is solidarity with them.

  • Mr Witness, you learned that Foday Sankoh had been in Libya, correct?

  • I learned that as you said. Yes, it's true.

  • When did you learn that?

  • I learned that after when he launched his revolution.

  • Where were you when you learned that the RUF was fighting inside Sierra Leone?

  • In 1991 I was in Danane. By that time I was sick.

  • Did you hear Foday Sankoh on the radio when he announced the attack in Sierra Leone?

  • No.

  • Did you hear Foday Sankoh on 1 March 1991 giving a 90-day ultimatum to the Momoh government threatening to launch an attack if the ultimatum wasn't met within 90 days?

  • I didn't hear it myself. I was told.

  • But it wasn't even 30 days. It was later that same month that you learned that the RUF was actually fighting inside Sierra Leone, correct?

  • I didn't know anything about it.

  • You said you learned about the RUF being in Sierra Leone when you were in Danane. Was that in March 1991?

  • Sir, do you recall Charles Taylor making threats against any forces that threatened to intervene, ultimately ECOMOG, in the Liberian conflict?

  • No.

  • Do you recall Nigerians and nationals of other countries that contributed to ECOMOG being detained in Liberia when you were there?

  • Can I just be very clear in what I said even when I gave my testimony here. No foreign nationals from West Africa who were in Liberia was arrested. I was there. I said it here that the orders were given to me by His Excellency President Taylor to secure the people. I was responsible for their security, for their feeding, I was responsible for their repatriation under the orders of President Taylor when he ordered me to provide trucks, transportation for them, and the people who were transported out of Liberia under Taylor's orders were first and foremost the diplomats whom I assisted in getting them into the US ship. Number two, the Ghanaians, I even went with the delegation to Ghana, the Ghanaian delegation to Ghana to negotiate on how they will be repatriated back to Ghana. I arranged the repatriation, providing transportation to the Nigerian nationals who were in Liberia. I arranged for the transportation of the Niger nationals who were in Liberia with the assistance of a diplomat - a Nigerien who is now a diplomat who was by that time living in Liberia. I arranged --

  • Sorry, did you say a Nigerian?

  • No, Nigerien. Sorry, Niger. I assisted the repatriation of the Ivorians by providing transportation for them. All not my initiation, it was through the orders of President Taylor. I organised the repatriation Guinean-Conakry nationals. I organised and assisted in the repatriation of the Gambians, the Burkinabes and the Sierra Leoneans who wanted to go back to Sierra Leone. But everybody who was displaced, a foreign national living at that time in Liberia was protected. They were all staying at Fendell and I was based in Buchanan and most of them also were based in Buchanan and they were not being chucked in a concentration camp. They were free, they had their houses and we had a place where the NGOs assisted to house them and to feed them.

  • Sir, who were you dealing with in getting - you said helping Sierra Leoneans that wanted to go back to their country?

  • The Liberian how do you call it - the president of the Liberian committees, just as the president of all the other committees of all the different nationalities who were in Liberia by that time.

  • What Sierra Leoneans were you dealing with?

  • The displaced people, the displaced Sierra Leoneans who were there, their committee. Because we asked all the nationals who were there to form committees so I was not dealing with an individual.

  • Sir, you've said no Nigerians or others were detained. You were in Liberia in July, August 1990, correct?

  • If the witness could be shown MFI-192. Sir, this is a book by Herman Cohen who was a United States State Department official and later worked under a contract for Charles Taylor. And if we could turn to page 149.

  • Are you asking me to recognise him?

  • Well, I'm not, but do you recognise him?

  • No, I've never seen him before.

  • I want to just read to you the second full paragraph. Just that paragraph on this page. Mr Cohen wrote:

    "To Taylor the ECOWAS refusal to name him interim President proved that Nigeria hated him and secretly supported Doe, a conclusion bolstered by the ECOWAS secretariat's location in Nigeria. The view of Cote d'Ivoire President Houphouet-Boigny, a major NPFL supporter, that ECOWAS was a vehicle for Nigerian domination of the sub-region encouraged Taylor's jaundiced view of Nigeria. After one week, the talks broke up in deadlock on 19 July. Accordingly, Taylor kept the Nigerian citizens trapped behind his lines as hostages to deter a Nigerian intervention."

    Mr Witness, that's the truth, isn't it?

  • It's a lie. Because even - how do you call it - it was not only Nigerians who were members of the ECOMOG group. You have Gambians. You had other nationals. And even the formation of ECOMOG, the whole idea came from the meeting that took place in Banjul. So I can't see why Cohen is writing such a defamatory information in this newspaper like this.

  • Let's go to the next page, the first full paragraph:

    "To establish an interim regime, a national conference of Liberian political parties and civil society would select the government and its interim leader, who would be ineligible to run for President. His exclusion as head of the interim government and ECOMOG's domination by Nigerians convinced Taylor he would be the loser. He therefore objected strongly and noisily, warning the Nigerians not to come in. Taylor's detention of their citizens and protests against their alleged support for Doe convinced the Nigerians they had no option but to intervene."

    Mr Witness, you were aware that Nigerians were detained by Taylor's forces in July and August 1990, correct?

  • It's a lie. And I will tell you that according to what you've read just now, that Taylor realised that he would be the loser, therefore, this is why - no, it's not true because - you know, Taylor is a politician. He's not just an adventurer. He knew what he was doing. He was playing his cards, like anybody else in the world can play his cards to win in politics. So if he sees that by being leader of the interim government he will be the loser, he will not stand for elections. He can't see the rationale why he took up arms to fight to liberate his own people, so Charles has to stand to see to it that he becomes the President of Liberia to be able to implement his programme that he wanted for his people in Liberia.

    So the issue that because he saw that he was a loser, this was why he had Nigerians behind his line trapped and they kept them in detention camps was a lie. Nobody was chucked in a detention camp in Liberia during the time I was there, because all the nationals, foreign nationals of the West African sub-region who were there during that time were there under protection, not kept in any place. They were fed. They were taken care of. And the proof is that, ask any NGO that was there, independent NGOs, even non-African NGOs who were there by that time, they can give you the real version of what took place and how they participated in securing these people and feeding those people. So it is a real big lie to say that these people were kept behind Taylor's line against their own will. It is not true.

  • Mr Witness, Mr Taylor warned ECOMOG that if they came in he would fight them. Isn't that true?

  • He has the right. He is fighting for his people. And if anybody comes to disturb the struggle that he is fighting for other interests, as a leader of the Liberian people, Charles Taylor has every right to do whatever he wants to protect what he has already won.

  • Sir, please answer my question. And let me read it again so I make sure you have it.

  • Sir, Charles Taylor warned ECOMOG that if they came in his forces would fight them. Isn't that true?

  • I said that Charles Taylor has a right to say that as a leader.

  • What you are answering is not what was asked. That's why it was asked again, because you didn't answer. You are giving your opinion on something else.

  • He wants me to answer what is in his head. I will not do it.

  • No. He has asked you a question, which is quite simple, that you can answer. Mr Koumjian, please ask the question again.

  • Mr Witness, isn't it true that Charles Taylor warned ECOMOG that if they entered Liberia his forces would fight them?

  • No, it's not true.

  • And, Mr Witness, isn't it true that Charles Taylor had his forces begin a process of detaining foreign nationals particularly targeting Nigerians?

  • It's not true.

  • If we could have the transcript, please, of 20 July, page 24730.

  • Is this 20 July of last year?

  • Sorry, 20 July 2009, yes. 24730:

  • Mr Witness, this is from the testimony of Mr Taylor. Just perhaps for completeness, if we go to the page before, I'll just start reading the last sentence on the previous page. Line 25, the question from Defence counsel to Mr Taylor was:

    "Q. Now as a consequence of that, Mr Taylor, bearing in

    mind that at this stage the NPFL controlled a sizeable

    portion of the country, did you take any steps against the

    nationals of those contributing countries who were within

    your territory?

    A. Yes, to an extent we did. Doe is killed now in

    September, but we have warned ECOMOG that because certain

    contributing states had taken sides we knew that they would

    not be fair and that we will fight them if they arrived.

    Now, by October ECOMOG commenced a massive bombing raid,

    indiscriminate bombing raid across NPFL areas. Some of

    them were a little too precise, and what we did at that

    particular time was to begin a process of picking up

    certain nationals, especially we were targeting Nigerians

    because at that particular time there was a free flow of

    information" -and a particular point here, I think, of

    notice would be - "when ECOMOG deployed in Liberia in

    August, I have mentioned to this Court that Camp Schefflein

    was not captured by the NPFL at that time."

    So, Mr Witness, who is the liar, Mr Taylor, when he says he did begin the process of picking up nationals contributing countries and targeting Nigerians, or you?

  • Now, if Taylor is lying, you can prove him lying. But I am telling you the truth and I want you to understand that. Liberia, the area that Charles Taylor liberated was not just three inches. He liberated most of the parts of Liberia. And where I was staying, what we were responsible of, that is what I'm telling you. What Taylor told you, he is telling you. If security are priorities of Taylor's, NPFL has picked up people, I was not aware. But what I'm telling you is that I have my proofs that if you can ask some these NGOs - there is the Red Cross, the Catholic relief service, you have MFS, you have Medecins Sans - okay, MFS, and you have these journalists without borders - they can tell you exactly what I was doing in Buchanan with all the nationals who were under my protection. So if Charles Taylor has given the orders that some Nigerians were picked up, it was not to my knowledge. And you should always put this in your mind when you are asking me a question: I am not part of Charles Taylor's military strategy and plans.

  • Mr Witness, everyone who was in NPFL territory during that time, and particularly someone in your position, would have known that Nigerians and other nationals of ECOMOG countries were being detained and targeted. Isn't that true?

  • Unless if you want to let me accept it in your way of thinking, but, to my knowledge, I was not aware.

  • Sir, when you saw Foday Sankoh you said in Gbarnga, according to you, for the first time, did you go to talk to him?

  • It's clear in the testimony I gave that I didn't speak to him. I just always shook hands with him, and I went to see President Taylor.

  • Were you curious about Foday Sankoh?

  • Who he was, what his movement was about.

  • I'm not an adventurer, so I always do things precisely to prove that I'm a political leader.

  • You said you saw him and then you went to see Taylor. Did you then ask President Taylor about Foday Sankoh?

  • I told you that internal - NPFL internal matters, I don't meddle with them.

  • Wouldn't it be natural for you, sir, to ask about another revolutionary group in the neighbouring country?

  • No, it's not our way of dealing. Our movement has its own way of dealing with other movements. We don't pass through another movement to be able to get information concerning another movement. That would be pettiness.

  • If the witness could be shown the transcript of 23 September of last year, page 29480.

  • Your Honour, just to remark that this is private session material.

  • I hope it's not being broadcast. Is it? Is it being broadcast beyond the Court? Okay, so it's not being broadcast. It's okay.

  • Madam President, I would like to read a paragraph that begins line 18 and --

  • Please do take care, because this is private session material, and depending on how you ask, I would not want you to reveal any protective information.

  • Mr Witness, this is from the testimony of Mr Taylor. I'm starting to read from line 18. He testified in September - in fact - excuse me. I will have to deal with this in private session. I apologise for not thinking about that.

    Sir, I would like you - did you ever discuss at any time with Foday Sankoh the ages of the individuals in his armed forces?

  • What are you saying?

  • Did you ever discuss with Foday Sankoh what ages were his soldiers?

  • No. And I want to ask you, which Foday Sankoh? A ghost or real Foday Sankoh?

  • Please, please, please. A "no" will suffice. Okay?

  • A "no" will suffice. It is enough for you to say "no". You do not need to give running commentaries in addition.

  • Sir, did you ever discuss with Charles Taylor Foday Sankoh's view of child - the use of child soldiers?

  • Did you discuss with anyone Foday Sankoh's views on the use of child soldiers?

  • If the witness could be shown from his testimony from 9 March, page 36884. I would like to ask you about something you said there, sir.

  • Your Honour, once again, this is private session material.

  • Out of an abundance of caution, I could deal with it in private session then:

  • Mr Witness, when were NPFL soldiers - NPFL trainees first in Libya, if you know?

  • When they first went I didn't know. I knew that they were there but I don't know when they first went.

  • When did you become aware that they were there?

  • I was aware that they were there in '87.

  • Do you recall when in '87?

  • Do you know how they got to Libya, whether they passed through other countries?

  • Mr Witness, where were you when Thomas Sankara was killed?

  • I was in Accra. That very day I was in Accra.

  • When you had arrived in Accra that day?

  • No, I was there a few days before he was killed.

  • And when did you return to Burkina Faso?

  • I didn't come straight to Burkina Faso. From Ghana I went to Libya.

  • How many days before Thomas Sankara was killed had you left Burkina Faso?

  • I left Burkina Faso few weeks before Sankara was killed.

  • Now on this trip where you went to Libya, was the NPFL there in Libya?

  • When Sankara was killed?

  • Well, you said you went to Libya after Sankara was killed from Ghana?

  • Yes.

  • Was the NPFL there?

  • No, to my knowledge.

  • When you were in Accra, where was Charles Taylor to your knowledge?

  • On this trip that you just mentioned?

  • Charles Taylor, I got the information that he was in Burkina. Because I don't monitor his movements.

  • Sir, do you recall the date that Thomas Sankara was killed?

  • If we could have the document behind tab 10, please, put on the screen. Sir, you'll see that is this a document from a LexisNexis service. It's an article from the New York Times, dated 26 October 1987 from Ouagadougou. "Dateline: Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, October 24." Let me just read the first three sentences:

    "For a decade, the two young military officers were inseparable friends. They trained together, they ate together and, eventually, they plotted together. Once in power, however, Captain Thomas Sankara and Captain Blaise Compaore found that this country of 8 million people was too small a place for both of them. The showdown came October 15, when a unit of Captain Compaore's commandos shot President Sankara and 12 aides to death."

    Then, to avoid reading the whole article, if we can go to page 2. In the middle of the page:

    "Two young men at the gravesite said they were offended by the treatment of the President's body. Under the cover of a curfew in the pre-dawn hours of October 16, the bodies of Captain Sankara and his 12 aides were thrown into a common grave and covered with a light layer of dirt. The burial was so hasty that mourners were able to dip their handkerchiefs in pools of blood that drained from the grave. On October 17 the remains were reburied in separate graves."

    Then if we go to the third page, second paragraph at the top:

    "On the radio the night of the coup, the new President denounced his erstwhile comrade in arms as 'the renegade Sankara.' Radio commentators later branded the former President a traitor and megalomanic. Later in the week, Captain Compaore told reporters that he might erect a memorial to the slain President."

    Then I am going to skip down six paragraphs:

    "According to one western diplomat who said he had interviewed one of Captain Sankara's surviving bodyguards, the President was unarmed when Captain Compaore's men entered the presidential compound.

    At the presidential compound Friday President Compaore gave his version of the killing. Captain Sankara had resisted arrest with a machine pistol, he said, killing one of the Compaore men."

    Mr Witness, do you know - does this accord with your memory that Thomas Sankara was killed on 15 October 1987?

  • Yes, I know Sankara was killed in October but the precise day I can't remember.

  • And at that time NPFL recruits were in Burkina Faso in Ouagadougou, correct?

  • Your Honour, at this time it might be useful for me to go into private session. I have a lot of matters to cover in private session.

  • For the members of the public listening, we have to go into a brief private session for the protection of this witness.

  • Just to be fair to the witness, I think it will be more than brief. I have a lot of matters to cover in private session.

  • Thank you. Your Honour, may that article that was just shown be marked for identification.

  • [At this point in the proceedings, a portion of the transcript, pages 37610 to 37656, was extracted and sealed under separate cover, as the proceeding was heard in private session. [Open session]

  • Your Honour, we are in open session.

  • Madam President, your Honours, both the witness and Mr Taylor expressed a desire to see each other at the conclusion of the witness's evidence. I raised this matter with the Registrar and Mr Townsend contacted security in this building who have decided that the easiest way of facilitating that is for the witness, on the conclusion of his evidence, to be taken to the holding cell just behind the Court here. Security are happy with that, that they can see each other for 15 minutes at the conclusion of his evidence. You can see why I decided to raise this in the absence of the witness. And I'm told by security that all they require in order to put the necessary arrangements in place is for the judges to indicate that they have no difficulty with such a meeting taking place. And I was asked to raise it at this stage in the hope that, if the witness's testimony finishes today, it can be facilitated at 4.30.

  • Mr Koumjian, before we give our decision one way or the other, could we hear from the Prosecution regarding this application.

  • Your Honour, in this situation I believe just as a friend of the Court, it's our view that, for security, this should be a monitored - also for the integrity of the proceedings - a monitored visit, if such a visit is permitted.

  • Mr Griffiths, will this be a monitored visit?

  • Can I indicate, Madam President, my learned friend may well be unfamiliar with the procedures backstage, if I can call it thus, but there are always at least three security guards in attendance who observe visits through a glass panel in the door. So it would be impossible for anything untoward to take place during the course of such a visit.

  • Mr Koumjian, is that the same as monitored?

  • No. My understanding of monitored would be, of course, to monitor the conversation. And I don't know if counsel - whether that - I am, as counsel says, unfamiliar with what takes place backstage, but our concern, of course, and I would imagine it would be the concern of security also, is that normally any visits to a detainee other than those that are privileged such as with counsel are monitored, which means that the conversations are listened to. And in particular with this witness, I see every reason why - who is - well, I don't have to go into that.

  • Who normally is that third party that sits monitoring?

  • Well, I'm told by Mr Taylor that such meetings normally take place in sight and hearing of those responsible for his security, as opposed to being recorded.

  • [Trial Chamber conferred]

  • Mr Griffiths, we have been considering and we're concerned about this visit for a number of reasons, one of which is, supposing there's a need for the witness to be recalled for some reason or other on the stand. Do you foresee that this will definitely not happen?

  • Madam President, I can't see any circumstance in which, as presently advised, we would be considering recalling either this or any other witness.

  • Supposing the Prosecution want to recall him? Anyway, these are the risks that one takes when one arranges such a meeting. However, we've also taken note of the concession by the Prosecution that they would in principle not be opposed to such a visit provided it is monitored for the integrity of the proceedings.

  • Madam President, I'm sorry to interrupt, but can I also say that there is this safeguard if your Honours are concerned at the prospect of the witness having to return: A handwritten recording could be made of the meeting, and that could be used as ammunition in cross-examination at a later stage if the need arose to recall him.

  • In any event, let me finish my ruling. This is what we had come up, and this is the ruling of the Court.

    In view of the Prosecution's stand on this issue, we agree that for the integrity of the proceedings the visit should be monitored, and we're not satisfied that only three security would constitute the monitors.

    We direct that the head of office from the Registry, Mr Townsend, should be present, and in the event that he's unable to be present, then the chief of detention of - Silvano, I think, should be present. Mr Townsend indicates that he would be able to be here within the precincts of the Court by 4 o'clock this afternoon. This is a note I've just received. So as long as Mr Townsend is present, this visit is possible. It's agreeable to the judges.

  • I'm most grateful.

  • So the witness would be brought in, please.

  • Your Honour, perhaps just to take advantage of the time, there are a couple of documents that I failed to ask to be marked that were just used. Those would be the documents behind tabs 14 and 15. I'd ask that they be given an MFI number.

  • [In the presence of the witness]

  • Whilst we're still in open session, I will mark these documents. The first is the document behind tab 15. Now, Mr Koumjian, you have to specify what parts of this document you want marked.

  • This document behind tab 15 entitled "The Special Rapporteur on Prisons and Conditions of Detention in Africa: Achievements and Possibilities", I'm only requesting the first page and then the pages that I read from, which are 165 and 166.

  • Then the document as described by counsel comprising three pages is marked MFI-419. The document behind 14, specify please the pages.

  • Your Honour, on this document I only read from page 5, but my request would be to have the entire document marked because I think it puts in context the tone of the document, that it's quite critical of human rights practices in that country.

  • This is a document comprising 13 pages entitled "US Department of State, Diplomacy in Action" and the date is 23 February 2001. That is marked MFI-420.

    Now if we could revert into private session, please, for the completion of certain evidence that is confidential.

  • [At this point in the proceedings, a portion of the transcript, pages 37661 to 37693, was extracted and sealed under separate cover, as the proceeding was heard in private session.]

  • [Open session]

  • Your Honour, we're in open session.

  • Could the witness be shown the transcript from 14 July 2008, page 13567. I'm going to read from 25, starting at the end. This is testimony of a witness, TF1-388, who testified in 2008, Mr Witness. This witness, TF1-388, was asked:

    "Q. ... Can you just remind us at the time that you

    encountered Akim Turay and General Ibrahim at Voinjama?

    A. This was in December of 1999, sir.

    Q. And do you know what was their mission? What was the

    purpose of their trip?

    A. Well, from my discussion with him Akim Turay at that

    particular time, I saw them with vehicles. A truck was

    loaded with logistics, but the one I can really identify

    was that there was a machine in a truck which Akim

    described as a mining plant. He said they were carrying it

    to Sierra Leone to mine diamonds with it in Tongo. So that

    was one of the most important issues that he spoke about.

    Q. Did Akim tell you who gave them the mining plant that

    they were taking along, as well as the other logistics as

    you described them that they were taking to Tongo?

    A. Specifically, you know, he did not say this person had

    taken this mining plant and given it to us, but at that

    particular moment when they came he only said that they

    were from Charles Taylor in Monrovia and that they were

    going to Sierra Leone. He described this machine to me as

    a diamond mining plant that they could be carrying to

    Kono."

    Then if we go down some lines to line 26:

    "Q. Now, you mentioned the name General Ibrahim. Do you

    know this person called General Ibrahim?

    A. General Ibrahim, I knew him before this time as one of

    the delegates that used to go to Sam Bockarie behind the

    rebel lines, you know as someone who had been sent by

    Charles Taylor before this time.

    Q. Do you recall about what time you last saw him come and

    see Sam Bockarie, as you say, behind the rebel lines?

    A. I cannot remember the specific time that I saw him, but

    I can remember him in Sierra Leone behind the rebel lines

    before this time."

    Mr Witness, were you aware of Ibrahim Bah going to Sierra Leone?

  • No.

  • Mr Witness, were you aware of Ibrahim Bah, let's say since the time Charles Taylor was elected President, 1997, going to Liberia?

  • No, I was not there.

  • Were you aware of Ibrahim Bah travelling there?

  • Was Ibrahim Bah in Burkina Faso in 1998?

  • I don't know anything about it.

  • Let's go to the transcript of 23 February this year, page 35733, the testimony of Yanks Smythe. 35734. At line 8, Yanks Smythe was asked:

    "Q. And are you saying from 1992 onwards Ibrahim Bah never

    returned to Liberia while you were there?

    A. No, he never returned to Liberia. I only saw him in

    1998 when I went to Burkina for treatment. In fact, he was

    very nice to me because his wife was cooking for me every

    day, sending me food. Up to the time I left Liberia to go

    to Libya, he never returned to Liberia. I never saw him

    there."

    First of all, Mr Witness, {redacted} - may that be redacted, your Honour?

  • I don't know.

  • Let me rephrase the question or redact it, please.

  • Okay. Just to be on the safe side, Madam Court Officer, please redact the comment by counsel in the question he was asked about to ask.

  • Sir, were you aware that Yanks Smythe came to Burkina Faso in 1998 and was staying with Ibrahim Bah?

  • 1998 I was not in Burkina.

  • Well, where were you then?

  • I was in Ivory Coast seeking treatment. I was sick by that time.

  • Yes, 1998 I was still sick.

  • Sir, didn't you say you went to Ivory Coast in 1993?

  • Since I was sick I was in Ivory Coast until I left Ivory Coast I can remember in 1998 or 1999. I was all the time in Ivory Coast. I was not going to Burkina Faso; I was not in Liberia. So all that happened, I can't tell you, I know anything about it.

  • Can the witness, given that last answer, be shown the testimony of 10 March, page 36967. This is private session, so I don't believe I can read it in public. Shall I just come back to this, Madam President?

  • Or should be go to private session briefly.

  • No, proceed with what you're doing. If it's necessary we will go back into private session later.

  • Mr Witness, isn't it true that you based yourself in Burkina Faso from the end of 1986 all the way through 2003?

  • I was based, I had my house there, I had everything there.

  • So, sir, weren't you aware of Yanks Smythe being in Burkina Faso in 1998 staying with Ibrahim Bah?

  • No, I was not there.

  • Let's see what Charles Taylor says about Ibrahim Bah being in Liberia. Could we have the transcript of 11 August 2009, page 26516. In the passage I'm about to read to you, Mr Witness, the context is Mr Taylor is being asked about persons travelling to the Lome negotiations in July 1999 or April of 1999. And we see on line 10:

    "Q. But during this period, Mr Taylor, did you meet with

    Ibrahim Bah and Omrie Golley?

    A. No, when Bah and Golley first came to the country I

    didn't meet them. I didn't have to meet them, no.

    Q. Did you see them at all before they left for Lome?

    A. Yes, I did see them before they left."

    So here we see Mr Taylor acknowledging seeing Ibrahim Bah in 1999. Can we also have the transcript, please, of 25 August 2009 at page 27563. I'm going to read from the very bottom of the page:

    "Q. After you became President, to your knowledge, did Bah

    remain in Liberia?

    A. Well, Bah - after I became President I heard that Bah

    came into Liberia a few times. But Bah had left Liberia

    back --

    Q. When?

    A. In 1994. Early 1994 Bah had left Liberia along - and

    Dr Manneh also left - with some of them. So when I'd heard

    that some of the Gambians had come, I heard that Bah came

    in and went as a businessman in Liberia."

    Were aware, Mr Witness, of Ibrahim Bah making business trips to Liberia during the presidency of Charles Taylor?

  • Never because I was never there.

  • Mr Witness, during your testimony a lot of time was spent reading a speech by Muammar Gaddafi about his views of the world and imperialism. Do you recall that?

  • And you understand that the purpose that so much emphasis was placed by the Defence in your testimony on that speech was to show that Charles Taylor could no more support terrorists that Muammar Gaddafi would support terrorists. You understand that, don't you?

  • I didn't get you well.

  • You understand - you appreciate, that the purpose, the suggestion by the Defence is that Charles Taylor would no more support terrorists than Muammar Gaddafi would support terrorists?

  • I never knew that Muammar Gaddafi was supporting terrorists because I was not a terrorist, so I didn't see any terrorists there. I don't know anything about it.

  • Mr Witness, it's never been the Prosecution's position that everyone that dealt with Libya or Muammar Gaddafi was a terrorist. But, Mr Witness, isn't it true that some of those that Muammar Gaddafi trained and supported were terrorists?

  • I only know about our training, but I don't know about training other terrorists because I didn't meet any terrorists in Libya.

  • Did you meet the Colombians from the movement of 19 April called M-19?

  • I only met their leaders at the general congress, but I didn't know that they were there for training.

  • And were you aware of them - the famous incident where they took hostages from the supreme court building, all the judges and others present, resulting in the deaths of many individuals?

  • I don't know anything about it.

  • Were you aware of Muammar Gaddafi during this period of time supporting anti-Yasser Arafat factions, Palestinian factions that were more radical?

  • I don't know anything about it.

  • I'd like the witness to be shown the documents behind tab 13 and tab 11.

  • Mr Koumjian, we can't show both at the same time. Which would you have the Court Officer show first?

  • Let's start with tab 13, please. This is an article from BBC News dated Tuesday, 14 August 2001, "The IRA's Store of Weaponry." If we can just go then to the next page, 2 of 4, to the very bottom of the page. There's a heading "Libya Connection", and I'll read:

    "But the IRA's acquisition of arms in the 1980s helped transform the organisation into one that could fight a devastating and sustained campaign.

    The first arms connection with Libya was discovered in 1973, when a ship laden with guns and ammunition, the Claudia, was apprehended off the Irish coast.

    According to Libya's leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, he resumed contact with the IRA in 1986, after the UK assisted the US in bombing Tripoli.

    It is believed that three substantial shipments of arms reached Ireland before the French authorities apprehended a ship, the Eskund, laden with some 150 tons of weaponry.

    It is these supplies from Libya which provided the IRA with its most significant and infamous weapon, Semtex."

    Now let's go to other document. I believe it's tab 11. It's entitled, "Havel Says His Predecessors Sent Libya Explosives", and it's dated March 22. We see published in very small print - above "London, March 22" we see "published March 23, 1990":

    "President Vaclav Havel of Czechoslovakia said today that the ousted Communist Government in Prague had shipped 1,000 tons of lethal Semtex explosives to Libya, which had passed it on to terrorist organisations.

    '200 grams is enough to blow up an aircraft,' he said, 'and this means world terrorism now has supplies to Semtex to last 150 years.'

    The Czechoslovak-made plastic substance is pliable, high yield, odourless and undetectable by sniffer dogs or conventional baggage inspection X-ray machines."

    Mr Witness, first of all, do you recognise the name Vaclav Havel as being the former President of Czechoslovakia who became President after the Velvet Revolution who had been in prison during the previous communist regime?

  • I was not closely following the political events in Czechoslovakia that time. I don't know anything about him.

  • Mr Witness, in Libya among the topics of training was explosives, correct?

  • I don't know anything about it. I'm not a military - I was never there during the training.

  • Were you aware of Libya sending 1,000 tons - remember there's 2,000 ponds in a ton - so that's 2 million pounds of Semtex plastic explosive to Libya - excuse me, that Czechoslovakia had sent that to Libya?

  • I don't know anything about it. It's a top secret - Libyan top secret. I don't know anything about it.

  • Perhaps just one more small area to cover in private session and I'll conclude the cross-examination.

  • Madam Court Officer, please go briefly into private session.

  • [At this point in the proceedings, a portion of the transcript, pages 37702 to 37707, was extracted and sealed under separate cover, as the proceeding was heard in closed session.]

  • [Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.30 p.m. to be reconvened on Monday, 22 March 2010 at 9.00 a.m.]