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

  • Good morning, Mr Witness. I would like to briefly come back just to a few things about what you told us yesterday, and yesterday you were telling us about you having to obtain a pass to move from Kailahun Town to Talia. Do you remember that?

  • And I asked you this question yesterday. I asked you, "And when did you need a pass at that time to go from Kailahun Town to Talia, Mr Witness?", and you said, "If you didn't obtain that pass and you come across any rebel he would think that it is another civilian who had come to spy on them and they would kill you. That is why we obtained that pass to show that we were them".

    Now, my question is this. Did you ever see anyone killed for moving without obtaining a pass in Kailahun District during the time you were Deputy Chiefdom Commander?

  • I did not see them kill anybody, but if they told us to do anything everybody would do it because we knew if we didn't do it they would kill us.

  • Now, yesterday you testified about the fact that civilians of Talia transported cocoa and palm oil from Talia to different locations. Do you remember that?

  • What I said yesterday I can still recall.

  • Now, I would like to see if you could help us with some distance. Mr Witness, do you know approximately what is the distance between your village, Talia, and Giema in miles?

  • From Talia to Giema it is three miles.

  • Mr Werner, I notice the transcriber has written a different village. It is not Gbaiama. It is Giema. I hope that they will correct that.

  • I apologise, your Honour. Thank you for that:

  • So from Talia to Giema is three miles, is that correct?

  • Maybe I should spell again for the record. Giema would be G-I-E-M-A:

  • Now if you know, Mr Witness, the distance, what is the distance between Giema and the riverside?

  • It can be up to 10 miles.

  • And between - do you know the distance between Talia and Kailahun Town?

  • From Talia to Kailahun is seven miles, nine miles, from Talia to Kailahun Town. If you go through Bunumbu, it is nine miles to Kailahun.

  • And finally do you know the distance between the riverside and Kailahun Town?

  • From the riverside to Kailahun through Monfidor it is seven miles. There is another riverside. That is called Go-at-eh [phon]. That one is six miles. There is another one that is four miles. There are three riversides that they used to transact business that I know of.

  • Go-at-eh, I have no spelling for Go-at-eh:

  • Did you say - Mr Witness, talking about the second riverside, did you say Go-at-eh?

  • The way they call the riverside they call it Go-as-say [phon]. That is the way they refer to it. It is a name from a village along the Guinea border. It is not from the Sierra Leone end and so that word is from a language from the Guinea end. They call it Go-as-see-a [phon].

  • And, your Honours, I cannot find the spelling for that name:

  • Now, Mr Witness, yesterday you told us about Hawa Jusu. Do you remember talking about Hawa Jusu?

  • And you testified about the fact that when she was leading the civilians to the Keyah River to fish she was beaten up. Do you remember saying that?

  • What I said let me clarify that for you. If you did not write it well, let me clarify it for you. Hawa Jusu, when the rebels who come from Kailahun her leadership was just temporary. She was not a leader permanently. She would just be appointed as a leader on that day that they would want to go and do the fishing. So, her leadership was not permanent. It is temporary.

  • Yes, that is what you said yesterday. Now, you said yesterday that the RUF rebels were ordered to beat her up. Do you remember saying that?

  • Let me ask you again that question. I asked you this question yesterday, but the answer was not clear at all on the transcript. If you know, Mr Witness, who if anyone ordered Hawa Jusu to be beaten up by the RUF rebels?

  • I explained it here yesterday. That group of theirs that was based in Kailahoun, at that time I was not in Kailahun. They would come together and whatever town they would go they will say, "You'll be going to do the fishing". What I experienced is that what I am going to explain to you. I don't want to tell a lie.

  • And if you know, do you know the name of the person who ordered this RUF rebel to beat up Hawa Jusu, if you know?

  • I can't recall the name. I can't recall the name.

  • Finally, Mr Witness, you told us yesterday that civilians were mining in Kailahun Town for the RUF and you spoke about Yandohun, you spoke about a place between Sahbahun and Monfidor and you spoke about Giema. Do you remember talking about that?

  • Yes, I named three places. I did not - I heard you say "Kailahun". They were not mining there for diamonds in Kailahun. Yandohun, Giema and between Monfidor and Sahbahun also.

  • I was talking about Kailahun District, yes. So, Mr Witness, the question is this.

  • Sorry, sorry, Mr Interpreter. What was that last name you named?

  • And I spelled it yesterday:

  • Now if you know, how were the civilians treated in this location when they were mining?

  • They were capturing them forcefully. If you are a civilian and they told you to do something, you had to do it.

  • Can I have just one second, your Honours:

  • Mr Witness, you said yesterday that you went yourself to Giema and you saw a pit in Giema with civilians mining. Do you remember saying that?

  • Yes, I said that.

  • If you know, the civilians mining in Giema if they didn't want to mine what would have happened to them?

  • Well, he can't say what would have happened to them. He can only say what did happen to them.

  • I agree. I will rephrase the question:

  • So, Mr Witness, if the civilians that you saw in the pit in Giema mining, if they didn't mine what happened to them in Giema?

  • Can he make it clear that it is what he actually saw, not what he suspects, speculates, thinks might have, etc.

  • Mr Witness, I am talking about what you saw in Giema when you went and saw the civilians mining in the pit. Now talking about what you saw there, what you heard, what happened to the civilians if they didn't want to mine?

  • You would not even think about that, saying you are not going to do the mining. If you said that, you would be beaten seriously. You would not even think about that.

  • And how do you know that?

  • I knew from the job that I used to do myself. If they told me to do it, I just had to do it. I don't know about mining for diamonds, but I went there and I saw it.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. Now during the time you were Deputy Chiefdom Commander for Luawa Chiefdom, what if anything did you learn about what happened in Freetown?

  • Mr Werner, that is a very wide question both by time and events. Are you directing the witness to a particular time?

  • Well, during the time he was Deputy Chiefdom Commander from 1996 to 2000 if he heard anything about Freetown. I don't think there was many instances where he would have heard about Freetown.

  • Madam President, that is still far too wide in my submission. I think the Court is seized of the problem here. I don't think I need to address you further right now.

  • Mr Werner, first of all you are covering a four year period, plus you are covering a wide possibility of events. It could be from fetes, festivals, new buildings, anything.

  • I will try to narrow the time period, Madam President.

  • Mr Witness, can you remember the year 1998?

  • Now, if anything, what did you hear about Freetown in 1998?

  • What you have asked me, let's forget about that first. Even when you are writing, you cannot jump over one line. You will have to write serially from one line to the next, not jumping over the other lines. Let me go back to what we discussed yesterday.

    Yesterday we spoke about three swamps that we were farming on and I want to clarify that so the judges can understand that. Firstly, I said that there were six targets in Giema. Those six targets were divided. Every two targets will farm on one swamp and I said that to you, but I didn't hear you ask me that question yesterday. That is why I am reminding you. The Talia target and Giema target we worked on the swamp in Sandialu.

  • Mr Witness, let me interrupt you there. What I wanted to ask you yesterday about the target I did ask you and you answered the question. Now if you could just listen to my question and, if you can remember anything, just answer my question. Now, I asked you if you remember the year 1998 and you said that you can remember the year 1998. So, my question is this. During that year what, if anything, did you hear about events happening in Freetown?

  • While we were there the soldiers told us that Kabbah had been overthrown. After Kabbah had been overthrown, they asked that the rebels go to them so that they can combine to form one government. After some time we heard that Kabbah had been reinstated and during that time we saw Mosquito and the other rebels go back to Kailahun. I saw that.

  • And when you saw Mosquito and the rebels coming back to Kailahun, if anyone who came with them on that retreat?

  • They had women amongst them and men amongst them. Civilians.

  • And talking about these women, who were these women that you saw coming back with Mosquito to Kailahun?

  • They came from Kenema. The Kenema end.

  • Did you talk with --

  • Mr Witness, the question was who were the women. Is he saying the women were from Kenema? It doesn't seem --

  • I am going to clarify that, your Honour.

  • So talking about the women, Mr Witness, that you saw coming with Mosquito to Kailahun, again who were these women?

  • Adult women and young girls who were all in vehicles when they went.

  • And did you - at any time did you talk with these women?

  • When they got to Kailahun, they met us with --

  • Your Honours, can the witness repeat?

  • Mr Witness, please pause. The interpreter would like you to repeat your answer so that he can hear it more clearly.

  • When they went with those people, some of them were in Kailahun and the others were in the other villages and those - then when they were in Kailahun together we had difficulties to get food. Food was hard to come by. They asked us to show them where they will get banana.

  • Witness, can you speak a little slowly. I think the interpreter is having problems keeping up with you. Do you think you can speak a little bit more slowly, please.

  • Okay.

  • Mr Interpreter, I am just looking at the transcript here. I understood you to say, "They did not ask us to show where they would get banana". Is that what you said?

  • No, the interpreter actually said, "They asked us to show where they can get bananas".

  • Thank you for that clarification.

  • Now, Mr Witness, when you spoke with these women who had come with Mosquito to Kailahun, what if anything did they tell you about their situation?

  • They said they had taken them from where they were forcefully and brought them, that was what they were telling us, and now they have come they had no food to eat and when they came they found that we were leading the civilians. That is why they said we should go all out to ensure that they have food to eat so that they won't die of starvation.

  • And then you said that, "They said they had taken them from where they were forcefully". Who took them from where they were forcefully?

  • Those are the people I spoke about. I said Mosquito and Issa Sesay. Their group, when they were dislodged from Freetown, when they were coming they brought a large crowd and that crowd some set hold in Kailahun and others went to Buedu. Those who were in Kailahun are the ones I am talking about.

  • And you said that you spoke with these women. How old were the women with whom you spoke at that time?

  • I can't say that this person was born in this year, but when you look at somebody there are some who are short but they are old enough. There are others who are tall and they are young, so I can't tell.

  • And if you can remember what, if anything, else did these women tell you when you spoke with them?

  • They said they had turned them into their wives. They have put them into their homes forcefully. That is what they told us. When - there was a point when they selected some.

  • And when you said "they had turned them into their wives", who turned them into their wives?

  • I said those rebels with whom they came. The rebels with whom they came. Some of them were for Issa Sesay and others were for Mosquito. Their commanders - some of their commanders were there. Those whom they released who couldn't get food to eat are the ones I am talking about.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. Now, do you know someone called --

  • Mr Werner, just before you leave that point, does this witness know how many women we are talking about here?

  • Mr Witness, you told us about women brought forcefully to Kailahun and you told us that you spoke with some of them. So first of all how many women, if you know, were brought forcefully to Kailahun?

  • They brought them. There were many. I can't tell you a number, but sometimes in the morning we will be sitting down and four people would come and they will cry wanting food. To say that they will bring people and I could count, I could do a head count of them, no, I didn't do that.

  • Well, how many women was he talking to?

  • Yes, that was going to be my next question:

  • Now you told us, Mr Witness, that you spoke with some of these women. With how many women did you speak, did you talk to?

  • They were not coming together, but those who will come singularly sometimes they were up to 20.

  • So, are you saying that you spoke with 20 of these women?

  • Those whom I spoke to, yes, that is it, yes, those I spoke to, but there were more than that.

  • Thank you. Now, Mr Witness, do you know someone by the name of Yeana Jusu?

  • Can you give a spelling please, Mr Werner.

  • I will. If the witness knows anything about him I will do, your Honour:

  • Do you know Yeana Jusu, Mr Witness?

  • Yes, the name is Yeana Jusu.

  • Yeana would be Y-E-A-N-A and Jusu J-U-S-U:

  • And who is Yeana Jusu, Mr Witness?

  • Your Honours, the witness has not clarified the sex of this person.

  • Mr Witness, who is Yeana Jusu?

  • My sibling. That Yeana Jusu is my sibling. He or she was in Daru during the war. When they said that disarmament has commenced, those are people who were in Daru and they told them to return to their original places. Yeana Jusu came with a group that were many. There were more than 50. They came and they arrived in Kailahun, so they stopped them there in Kailahun and so they were in Kailahun in custody. It came to a time one day when I went to my village, but on that day that I came when I came and I went to greet Mr Sellu he said that these people all of them have been killed, but there was no way we could speak. Yeana Jusu was my sibling.

    There was someone I knew who was among them. His name was Vandi. He is someone from Giema. There were so many people from Bandajuma, that crowd of people who were killed. The woman whom I - the wife whom I had, whom I have right now, her father was among them. They were killed. That is what I know about Yeana Jusu.

  • Mr Witness, what was the gender of Yeana Jusu?

  • Thank you. Now, if you know, you explained about the killing of Yeana Jusu and other people. When did that happen, if you can remember?

  • That day when they said nobody should shoot anybody, it was in that year. It was in that year that that was done to them.

  • And you told us before the time when Mosquito retreated to Kailahun. Was it - was it after the time Mosquito retreated to Kailahun that Yeana Jusu was killed?

  • Mosquito and others were in Buedu. It was in-between that time. I said it was after the overthrow of Mr Kabbah they came to Freetown and they returned. This period of time I am talking about, it was that time when they declared ceasefire. It was during that time. Maybe it is on paper and you people know, but it is during that period. When they talked about ceasefire, when nobody was supposed to shoot anybody, it was during that period that this thing happened. But they were in Buedu, they came from Buedu and did that and returned. They were not in Freetown.

  • And if you know, Mr Witness, how many people were killed?

  • I said - I think I have explained everything yesterday. I said there were more than 50.

  • And if you know, Mr Witness, why were these people killed?

  • When they said they should come and they did not come, they said they were Kamajors as they were - when they were coming they did not bring any cutlasses, except their bodyguards who had guns, but they killed them alleging that they were Kamajors. They said when they were in Daru they joined the Kamajors. It was for that reason that they killed them, but we did not see them with any guns and they did not come with guns.

  • Mr Werner, I still haven't worked out who "they" that did this are.

  • Mr Witness, who killed these alleged Kamajors?

  • I was not in town at that time, but it was Mosquito who gave the order together with Issa that they should kill all of them.

  • And how did you know about that?

  • Those two people they did not say that that person should die but, when they gave the guns to these people and they asked them to kill them, they killed all of them.

  • My question, Mr Witness, was how did you know about that?

  • They had the power then. They were the only ones who would say, "Kill that person", and they will kill that person. They were the ones who gave that order. When I came that was what Chief Sellu told me. They were in Kailahun, they left Buedu and came to Kailahun and they killed those people.

  • And when you are talking about Chief Sellu, are you talking about Sellu Ensah?

  • Yes, he was my own head. Whenever I came, I will go and visit him.

  • And were you told how were these people killed?

  • Yes, they shot them.

  • Now, you told us that your brother Yeana Jusu was among them and you said that these people were accused of being Kamajors. As far as you know, was Yeana Jusu a Kamajor?

  • He was not a Kamajor at all. He was an ordinary civilian. He was not a Kamajor at all.

  • And you spoke about a relative of your wife who was killed as well. Was that person a Kamajor?

  • He was not a Kamajor. In fact, he was an old man. He was not a Kamajor.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. Now, yesterday you told us that during the time you were a Deputy Chiefdom Commander you were not able to move freely and you testified about the fact that civilians of your village, Talia, were forced to work and were forced to carry goods and you told us that you yourself several times was beaten up and yesterday you told us that several of your children died of malnutrition and today you said that your brother was killed by the RUF. Now how did these things affect you emotionally, Mr Witness, at that time?

  • At that time I was not happy. Now I am saying it here you are saying I am speaking very fast, but I am speaking now and my heart is palpitating. I was never happy and I will never be happy.

  • Can you explain further why were you not happy at that time?

  • With great respect, I think any human being listening to this story hardly needs the witness to explain why he was not happy. I think it is unnecessary and in fact it is close to demeaning to ask this witness to spell out in terms what is painfully obvious to the entire world who are listening to his testimony.

  • Your Honours --

  • Your Honours, it is our case and I am doing that for some precise reason and it is relevant and I can explain to you very precisely why legally it is relevant for us and I think I am entitled to have discussions.

  • Well, certainly you are entitled to reply.

  • So, your Honours, maybe before I reply, the mic could be off this witness just to make sure that he doesn't hear what I am saying. I think it would be fair.

  • Because I am going to talk about part of our case and what is important for us legally to prove.

  • So, your Honours, the emotional mental effect of what was done to this witness and what he observed or learnt about what happened to him is relevant for us in many respects. (1) is the fact in circumstances surrounding the crime committed and (2) goes to Count 1 of our indictment which is acts of terrorism. As you know, elements of acts of terrorism are acts or threat of violence directed against protected person, or their property, and one of the elements is the offender willfully made protected person or their property the object of those acts or threats of violence.

    Now, the act or threats of violence were committed with the primary purpose of spreading terror among the protected persons. Now while it is not required to prove that the actions in fact terrorised the person, the effect on the person of the act is relevant to establishing that the act was committed with the primary purpose of spreading terror.

    Now it goes as well to Count 7, which is violence to life, cruel treatment, and violence to life one of the elements is causing serious harm to mental or physical health.

    It goes to Count 8, which is other inhuman acts, and again one of the elements is that the perpetrator inflicted great suffering, or serious injury to body, or physical, or mental health by means of an inhuman act.

    Finally it goes to Count 10, enslavement, and as you know one of the elements is that the perpetrator exercised any or all of the power attaching to the right of ownership of a person such as by purchasing, selling, lending, or bartering such person, or by imposing on them a similar deprivation of liberty. Now, the effect of the actions taken against the witness and those he observed, or learned, or if any other manners, are relevant to those deprivation of liberty and exercise of ownership.

    So, for all these reasons it is our case that it is that we are entitled to ask this question and I do not think that the extent of what he may say was covered by his testimony yesterday. That is our submission.

  • Madam President, do I have a right of reply on law? I thought some weeks ago you said I had a right of reply on law only and these are legal issues.

  • On law only. This is very limited. Very limited.

  • Yes, well I propose just to say two things in relation to the legal submissions just made. One is that my learned friend referred to the act being committed with the primary purpose of spreading terror. The primary purpose is the purpose in the mind of the perpetrator, not the effect on the victims. That is one point that needs to be underlined. The Court then of course looks at what the perpetrator has done to see if terror was in fact perpetrated, or spread I should say.

    And secondly in relation to Count 10 in particular, my learned friend only has to prove in relation to enslavement the necessary physical acts that go to enslavement. The emotional effect is irrelevant, in our submission, to the question of enslavement. It is either done, or it isn't. The effect it has on the individual is of secondary importance, if any.

  • Thank you, Mr Munyard. Mr Munyard makes a valid point that will be more properly dealt with in submissions in the final count and we will allow the question.

  • Madam Court Officer, perhaps you could adjust the witness's headphones.

  • Perhaps it would be suitable to remind the witness of the question, Mr Werner.

  • Mr Witness, I asked you how the things that you told this Court yesterday and today affect you emotionally and you answered that you were not happy at that time and my question was if you could elaborate and tell us why you were not happy?

  • It is something that makes someone unhappy. My sibling was killed with a gun. They made an allegation against my sibling and they killed him, or her. That cannot make somebody happy. I am not happy.

  • Now, Mr Witness, what did you observe, if anything, about the civilians in Talia during that time who were forced to work?

  • We used to work. We used to work. When they said, "This is what you should do", we had to do it. If they say, "You should weed grass from Kailahun", we had to do it forcefully. You wouldn't deny doing it. You have to.

  • During that period what, if anything, did the people of Talia tell you about their lives?

  • We are not living well. We are not living well because we had no food to eat. So many people died among us. So many people died of starvation among us in Talia. There was no food. When we were doing that work, when we used to do that work we had food, but during this time we had no food and so many people died among us in Talia. The graves are there and they are many.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. I have no further questions.

  • Thank you, Mr Werner. Mr Munyard, cross-examination of this witness?

  • Madam President, we have no questions of this witness.

  • Thank you, Mr Munyard. Mr Witness, I would like to clarify something you said. You explained to us that your response - one of your responsibilities was to go into the surrounding villages and tell what work had to be done. I would like to understand did you - were people asked from time to time to do work, or did they have to work all the time?

  • For instance, the work of weeding grass it was not every day. Sometimes when we weeded grass we would leave it first three months. After three months we will go and weed the grass. For instance, the other example is farming. That farming we had to go there every day until the harvest.

  • Thank you. Questions arising, counsel?

  • No questions, your Honour.

  • Mr Witness, that is the end of your evidence. We thank you for coming to give your evidence here in Court today and you will now be able to leave the Courtroom. Please assist the witness to leave.

  • Your Honours, can I ask leave for our team for me to go on the back?

  • Yes, that is fine. Mr Werner, just before we call - the next witness is called, there is a matter that relates to the admission of documents as exhibits yesterday. It has been brought to my attention that the witness yesterday - and since it was closed session I will not refer to names or anything else that will identify the witness - tabled or through him there was tendered two documents of which he was the author, or which directly related to him, and in the circumstances the question arises as to whether those documents should be marked as confidential. The documents in question are P-77 and P-82.

  • Your Honour, thank you for raising that matter. The answer to that from the Prosecution's point of view is yes.

  • Mr Munyard, have you any comment on this matter?

  • Only that P-82 is a letter from somebody else.

  • It is not a letter from him and it doesn't - P-82, your Honour.

  • That is a letter regarding procedure.

  • Regarding documents generally.

  • I thought that you were referring to P-77 and --

  • Yes. Personally I don't understand why P-82 would be confidential, because it is a letter written about a whole collection of documents. Are you saying that because one of them is that --

  • Well if it is in relation to that one, again in the general interests of open justice I would have thought that P-82 should therefore be redacted in relation to P77 but otherwise be public.

  • You have heard the objection, Ms Baly.

  • Yes, we would agree that that would be an appropriate course. It is only the one document that we are concerned with.

  • Very well. The P-77 will become a confidential document and P-82 will be redacted where any reference to P-77 is made.

    Mr Werner, if you wish to make your changes and call the next witness, please.

  • Thank you, your honour.

  • Mr Santora, I note that you appear to have carriage of this matter.

  • Yes, your Honour, that is correct.

  • Could you please tell us who the next witness is and the language, etc.

  • The next witness is TF1-275. There is just three small preliminary matters I would like to bring to your attention.

  • Well, perhaps we will do so before the witness enters the Court - the well of the Court.

  • Yes, exactly. Your Honour, first of all the language is Liberian English. Your Honour, this witness has - after consultations with this witness he has expressed his desire to testify openly in public, and so any existing protective measures at this point we would ask - we would request that they be rescinded. And the third matter, your Honour, is that the witness's religion prohibits him from swearing on a holy book, he is a denomination of Pentecostal Christianity, and so he will swear and affirm to tell the truth pursuant to rule 90B under the oath that does not require the - that does not have the witness on a holy book.

  • Mr Santora, would you be more specific on the existing protective measures that you want the Court to rescind, please?

  • Yes, your Honour. I believe that the existing protective measures were that the initial application was for this witness to be along with other witnesses - the initial protective measures were a screen, pseudonym and voice distortion.

  • I want you to quote to us maybe the decision that gave these orders.

  • One moment, your Honour. I will get that, your Honour. One moment.

  • Good morning, Madam President, your Honours.

  • Mr Anyah, I am just not sure if Mr Santora has finished yet and so if you could just take a seat and then let him finish.

  • Okay, thank you, Madam President.

  • Your Honour, this was the result of the decision by the [redacted] that granted these measures, and we are now requesting this Chamber to rescind those measures.

  • Now, Mr Anyah, you have heard Mr Santora make an application in relation to the protective measures in place for this witness. Is that the matter that you are seeking to reply to?

  • I merely rose to advise the Court that I would be undertaking the examination for the Defence.

  • Thank you, Mr Anyah. In that case, we will rule on that application first and then proceed.

    We have heard the application from the Prosecution that the witness has voluntarily rescinded the protective measures presently in place and we grant that application. However we bear in mind that the protective measures referred to a previous trial and, in the light of that, we will have the reference to that trial rescinded from the record - redacted from the record.

    On the question of the swearing, as you properly point out the rules allow the witness to make a solemn declaration and that will be done.

    Now, if the witness can be brought. Mr Interpreter, is the Liberian English interpreter in place?

  • Correct, your Honour.

  • Thank you, please proceed. And for clarification I record that the rescission of the protective measures relates to this trial only.

  • And, your Honour, just also too that this is just for your - I think you may understand this already, but this is his first - this is the only trial that this particular witness has been involved with.