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

  • Good morning. We will take appearances first, please.

  • Good morning, Madam President, your Honours. For the Prosecution this morning, Mohamed A Bangura, Maja Dimitrova and Nicholas Koumjian.

  • [Open session]

  • [The accused present]

  • [Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.]

  • Good morning, Madam President, your Honours, counsel opposite. For the Defence today myself, Courtenay Griffiths, with me Mr Morris Anyah and Mr Michael Herz of counsel.

    Madam President, before we commence, can I raise two matters with the Court, please. The first is this: As a consequence of the disruption of airline traffic into Europe, we will have problems progressing the trial next week because currently there is only one further witness in The Hague, and we know not how long the current travel difficulties will persist or whether, indeed, flights will be coming in from West Africa at any time soon. I thought I would alert the Court to that - it's more than likely that definite possibility next week.

    The second is this: A number of individuals have asked when will the summer recess take place this year, as we need to plan our diaries with family and other such like commitments in mind.

  • [Trial Chamber conferred]

  • Mr Griffiths, your submissions have been noted. We're of the view that since the transportation of witnesses is really up in the air, I think it's - sorry?

  • It's literally up in the air.

  • Yes. We will have to cross that bridge when we get to it. We can only hope against hope. Things have definitely improved in the last few days. I have proof of that myself. I had a relative travelling who arrived this morning from Africa. So things are improving, but who knows. They might improve, they might not. We will handle that when the time comes.

    As for the summer recess, we will discuss it and consult with the President and then we will let the parties know as soon as possible.

  • I am most grateful for that.

  • Mr Fayia, good morning.

  • This morning I remind you of your oath to tell the truth. That still binds you, as Mr Koumjian continues with cross-examination.

  • Madam President, at this time we would like to deal with a document that is confidential, so we would ask the Court, for the protection of witnesses, to go into private session.

  • That is for the protection of another witness.

  • Okay. For the members of the public listening in, we have to go into a brief private session whereby you can look into the court, but you can't hear what's being said. This is for the purpose of protecting another protected witness.

    Madam Court Officer, please arrange a private session.

  • [At this point in the proceedings, a portion of the transcript, pages 39480 to 39510, was extracted and sealed under separate cover, as the proceeding was heard in private session.]

  • [Open session]

  • Your Honour, we are in open session.

  • If I could just have one moment to organise my note.

  • Sir, I want to ask you: When you were in detention, you witnessed this massacre in Kailahun Town. Did you also witness or - the killing of any of your fellow prisoners when you were held in Buedu?

  • Tell us about that.

  • A Nigerian member of the ECOMOG who was a prisoner of war called Hassan Faddah [phon], his Nigerians brothers reported to - I don't know whether it was to Mosquito or Issa - reported that he had contracted tuberculosis. The fellow was called Hassan Faddah.

  • Why did they report that?

  • I don't know why they reported it. But all of us were held in the same building, maybe on the parlour - we were in a small room. But every morning we would open the door that was closed between us. So we were conversing. But they reported to the guards that Hassan Faddah had contributed tuberculosis. So two days after that we saw somebody at the door taking - calling Hassan's Faddah out. So they took Hassan Faddah out, and what we heard later was that he was killed.

  • He never returned --

  • He never returned at all.

  • -- to the cell with his fellow Nigerian soldiers?

  • He never returned at all.

  • Sir, you talked about a Mr Tengbeh going and spending six months in Gbarnga, 1991 to '92; correct?

  • Mr Tengbeh actually preceded you by many years as the public relations officer for the RUF; isn't that true?

  • When was Mr Tengbeh the public relations officer for the RUF?

  • That time. That time he went.

  • So he wasn't just a senior citizen from Kailahun Town. He was the RUF public relations officers?

  • Yes, for at that time, yeah.

  • Sir, where is the Ahmadiyya school? Maybe my pronunciation is bad.

  • A-H-M-A-D-I-Y-Y-A?

  • Yes, sir. Where is that, do you know?

  • I don't know the place you are talking about. Ahmadiyya school is a school.

  • Where is it? In what town is it?

  • I don't know. There are a lot of Ahmadiyya schools in Sierra Leone.

  • Where you ever in the - what is the Banya compound?

  • Banya is a compound of the paramount chief in Kailahun. The palace.

  • Did you know a Mohamed Swarray when you were in the RUF?

  • Yes, I knew one Mohamed Swarray.

  • He was, I think he was the first civilian - he died long ago. I don't remember the kind of thing he was doing. He dies long, long ago in the Top 20.

  • He headed the Internal Defence Unit, correct, of the RUF?

  • IDU, yes, initially.

  • And you worked for him, didn't you?

  • Yes.

  • No, no, no, I did not. I did not.

  • Do you know someone named 045?

  • Yes, a nickname, 045. Does that ring a bell?

  • Yeah, it does but I don't remember the person. It does. 045, yeah, I used to hear the name. He was a Sierra Leonean and a Temne but I don't know his full name.

  • Sir, you underwent some training at one of the Ahmadiyya schools, didn't you?

  • No, I never took any training at all. Myself, Mr Deen-Jalloh and those who were working with me in the agriculture department, none of them took training.

  • Just going back to Mr Tengbeh, he had a daughter Josephine, correct?

  • And she was one of Foday Sankoh's concubines?

  • She was Foday Sankoh's wife. He actually married her in Freetown.

  • Sir, you also mentioned in your testimony the death of Mohamed Kamara, that he was beaten to death.

  • Yes.

  • Where did that happen?

  • That happened in Buedu.

  • When did that happen?

  • When we were in the incarceration there.

  • And who was Mohamed Kamara?

  • He was a mechanic. He was a Honda mechanic. He used to mend the Hondas. So, if I may explain?

  • He was accused of having gone to I think Foya or - no, not Foya. To a town on the border town - sorry, on the border with Liberia. He had gone there, he got drunk and, according to what Issa was saying, he said he had got himself drunk and said a lot of things. What are the things he said, that we were not told. Because in fact we were even inside when we just heard him crying. They were beating him, he was crying. So it was when they brought him to put him in the dungeon that we saw him. The next morning again they came and gave him some beating.

  • You saw him in the dungeon?

  • Yeah, they put him in the dungeon.

  • And where were you that you could see that?

  • There were times when they used to put us outside a bit. That was going to the close of the whole thing in early 1999.

  • The dungeon is a hole in the ground covered by aluminum sheeting. Is that right?

  • And so you could hear him crying from that hole?

  • No, he was crying from where they were beating him. When they put him in the dungeon, I don't think he cried.

  • How did you learn he died? What happened next?

  • When they brought his food - according to what the guard said, when they brought his food, the guard opened the - that was the time the guard opened the door, he looked into the hole and he was lying there dead and then they took him outside.

  • And, sir, was he - you said he was a mechanic. Was he a civilian or a combatant?

  • I think Mohamed was a combatant.

  • What was his nationality?

  • Could the witness be shown D-222. Actually, while that's being prepared, perhaps I can first pass out another document, which is Sierra Leone Web from October 1999:

  • Sir, this is a document that was presented during Mr Taylor's testimony, I believe. It's a United Nations code cable to a United Nations official in New York from Downes-Thomas, the RSG in Liberia, representative of the Secretary-General in Liberia, dated 3 October 1999 with the subject "Sankoh and Koroma's departure from Monrovia and return to Freetown." Do you recall yesterday telling us that you went to Foday Sankoh's house and he was in Freetown in August 1999?

  • Yes, I do. That was the first place we were taken to.

  • This first paragraph:

    "RUF leader Corporal Foday Sankoh and AFRC leader Johnny Paul Koroma left Monrovia for Freetown at 13.00 also along with selected international observers/guarantors. The departure of the two rebel leaders which was scheduled to take place on 2 October 1999, immediately following the ceremony at the Executive Mansion, was delayed due to protracted negotiations which took place before the commencement of the ceremony."

    Second paragraph:

    "While the two rebel leaders and the international observers/guarantors accompanying them left on board an executive jet provided by the Nigerian government, some 70 of their supporters and members of their immediate family were ferried by commercial planes provided by the Government of Liberia. At Roberts International Airport, the two were seen off by Sierra Leoneans residing in Monrovia, senior members of the Government of Liberia, including the Vice-President Enoch Dogolea, and members of the diplomatic corps and other well wishers."

    Then paragraph 4:

    "In reaffirming his commitment to abide by the Lome Peace Accord, LPC Koroma underscored the importance he attaches to the alliance between AFRC and the RUF and the constructive role which the two groups are likely to make to the implementation of the peace accord."

    Now, before I ask you questions, I would like you to, to also understand this, take a look at another document I am distributing now. Sir, if we can start, just to understand the source, look at the very bottom of this page. We see that this has a web address that this is from, archives, slnews. Then going to the top we see:

    "3 October. RUF leader Corporal Foday Sankoh (pictured left) and former AFRC chairman Lieutenant Colonel Johnny Paul Koroma (right) finally arrived in Freetown on Sunday, nearly three months after the signing of the Lome Peace Accord on July 7 to end more than eight years of civil war."

    So, sir, do you see that when Foday Sankoh came to Sierra Leone after Lome, the first time he arrived was on a flight from Monrovia on 3 October 1999? You told us you didn't actually see Foday Sankoh. Understanding these two documents, do you still believe that Foday Sankoh was in Sierra Leone in August?

  • I said Foday Sankoh's house was the first place they took us when we arrived in Freetown in August.

  • The question is was Foday Sankoh in Sierra Leone then? Do you know or you don't know?

  • I know Foday Sankoh was in Freetown because what happened was, when he was told to go collect us by the UN, he went there and deliberately decided to leave us behind. That was the same August. When he arrived they asked him about us. He said he had left us behind. So they made arrangements to go collect us there, from Buedu. It was the ECOMOG truck that collected us from Buedu up to Daru Barracks. Then from Daru Barracks they took us to Kenema. From Kenema we had to be flown to Freetown. From the military heliport we were taken to his house straight. That's the first port of call. Then one fellow, Kenneth Macauley, who was at that time serving as protocol to Foday Sankoh, took us to where they provided accommodation for us.

  • Did you see Foday Sankoh?

  • That night we did not see him.

  • Did you see him in August or September 1999?

  • When did you see him?

  • I did. In fact before we - even at the presidential lodge at Hill Station, I met him - I mean there was a day he met us there. That was in September. He met us there. That was the time this man was his bodyguard, Akim was his bodyguard. He met us in the presidential lodge in Hill Station.

  • Sir, Foday Sankoh did not return to Freetown until he had met Johnny Paul Koroma and Charles Taylor in Monrovia? He didn't come back until October. Isn't that true?

  • What I know and I very well know is that when we went to Freetown Foday Sankoh was there. Because he actually - he was told to go collect us, only that when he went he left us behind.

  • Let me read from the third paragraph and see if it refreshes your recollection on anything. Do you recall Foday Sankoh saying:

    "'Ladies and gentlemen, today we hail the dawn of a new era. The war has ended. The hour of peace, forgiveness and reconciliation has come. We stand before you today to ask for your forgiveness and a spirit of reconciliation across this country', Sankoh said in a prepared statement which was broadcast over the radio. 'You, who we have wronged, you have every human right to feel bitter and unforgiving, but we plead with you for forgiveness. Those who have died, those who are grieving for the loss of their loved ones, those who have been disabled, whose property has been destroyed, those traumatised - the children, the youth, the women, the aged - we ask their forgiveness.'"

    Do you remember Foday Sankoh - or hearing a broadcast on the radio of Foday Sankoh asking the Sierra Leone people to forgive him for the crimes of the RUF?

  • No, but it would have been a very big relief for me if I actually heard this one, because this is the kind of thing I expected from him. It's very good that he did this.

  • I am going to move on to a different subject.

    Your Honour, before I do, can this document from the Sierra Leone Web be marked for identification?

  • The entire document, or just that one page?

  • It should be just one page. Yes, it's a two-page document, but only the first page is relevant.

  • The article entitled "Sierra Leone News Archives, October 1999" from the Sierra Leone Web dated 3 October, that's the first page alone, is marked MFI-10.

  • Now, Mr Witness, you talked to us and told us that on your trip to Libya from Burkina Faso you were accompanied by someone that you knew as Ibrahim Balde; that you met him in Burkina Faso and he went with you and Foday Sankoh to Libya.

  • This Court has heard evidence that the names Balde and Bah are the same.

  • Now, I would like the witness to be shown the transcript of 25 August 2009, page 27563. Sir, at the very top - top line, the Defence counsel was reading from a document. And so we begin while he is reading the document and he says:

    "'He is also known as Ibrahim Balde and Balde Ibrahim. He was a key player in the RUF/AFRC axis and has been instrumental in the movement of RUF diamonds from Sierra Leone into Liberia and from there to Burkina Faso.'

    Mr Taylor, do you know Ibrahim Bah?

    A. I know Ibrahim Bah, yes.

    Q. When did you first meet Ibrahim Bah?

    A. I first met Ibrahim Bah back in 1990.

    Q. In what circumstances?

    A. Bah was one of the men that came along with Dr Manneh,

    known as Kukoi Samba Sanyang, to Liberia.

    Q. From where does Bah originate, to your knowledge?

    A. To my knowledge Bah is Senegalese."

    Sir, did you know that Ibrahim Bah, although he came with Dr Manneh, the Gambian leader, was actually Senegalese?

  • I did not know that. It is only today that I'm hearing that.

  • But President Taylor apparently knew that.

    "Q. Now, having met him in 1990, how much contact did you

    have with him thereafter?

    A. Very little. Bah was one of the regular security

    personnel and was not assigned directly with me. Some of

    our brothers were - his Senegalese and Gambian brothers

    were, but he was not someone that frequented around me.

    But I got to know most of the Gambians because they could

    come around freely and they were - when I say 'the

    Gambians', we just look at them together as the Gambians.

    But there were a couple of them that were Senegalese, and

    he's one of them.

    Q. Yes. Did you have any particular association with Bah

    during the course of the Liberian civil war?

    A. No, not directly, no.

    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

    in --

    Q. When?

    A. In 1994."

    Now, first of all, sir, before I continue reading, were you aware that Charles Taylor became President in about August 1997?

  • Yes, I do.

  • So when he says, "After I became President I heard that Bah came back into Liberia a few times," this is after August 1997. Was that before or after the AFRC coup? August 1997, who was in power?

  • In Liberia, you mean?

  • In Sierra Leone, sir.

  • August 1997, President - no. August 1997 the AFRC was in power.

  • Then he says:

    "In 1994. Early 1994 Bah had left Liberia along - and Dr Manneh also left - with some of them. And 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."

    Now, sir, I believe you told us on your direct examination you don't know what Ibrahim Bah's profession was or what he did; is that correct.

  • No. Yeah, that's correct.

  • Did you know that he was NPFL?

  • No, I did not know that. It was only the friendship between he and Foday Sankoh that I was made to know by Foday Sankoh himself.

  • Could we have the transcript for 14 September 2009, page 28743. This, sir, again is the testimony of Charles Taylor. I'm going to start reading from about ten lines from the bottom. Now, in line 20, starting to read from there, the Defence counsel is reading from testimony, and he reads from the testimony of another witness. That other witness was asked:

    "'Q. Who is General Ibrahim Bah?

    A. General Ibrahim Bah, Foday Sankoh told me that he was

    his friend and General Ibrahim Bah was with the NPFL.'

    True or false, Mr Taylor?

    A. Well, if we use the word - if we use the word 'NPFL' as

    we know it at that - way back in - and I'll give the

    specific years. If we are going back to as far as, I would

    say, '93, I would say NPFL. Because Bah left around late

    '93, '94 with his boss.

    Q. Who is his boss?

    A. Kukoi Samba Sanyang. So if this is the - if we focus

    in on that period, I would say Bah was a part of the NPFL."

    So, Mr Witness, you know that this Bah, who was part of the NPFL, was a friend of Foday Sankoh, correct?

  • Yes. By this - yeah. From this testimony, yes.

  • Thank you. Could the witness now be shown P-153A, a photograph. Sir, perhaps before - the photograph is being displayed now to the public, but if the witness could be handed the photograph so he can look at it more closely. My question for you, sir, is if you recognise any of the people in that photograph? And specifically, the man in the helmet in the front and the man in the blue vest behind him?

  • No, counsel.

  • You do not recognise any --

  • Could we have - we have a copy. I would like the witness to sign and date this writing that he does not recognise - specifically the man in the blue vest. Take another look. Do you know him? Perhaps let's first show it to the judges, again.

  • Okay. Could you take this - we are going to give you a clean one --

  • Mr Koumjian, what are you asking the witness to do?

  • If he - I want him to write - to sign and date the document and write, "I do not recognise anyone in this photograph."

  • It is not necessary. Is it necessary? The testimony speaks for itself.

  • In other words, he cannot attest to the picture. So what are we going to exhibit?

  • That's fine, your Honour. It would be the same as if the witness does recognise it and we write it.

  • No, it's different. If the witness does recognise someone in the picture, his evidence is he speaks to the picture. In this case, the reverse is true.

  • Sir, I want to ask you about the person you call Jungle. What was his name?

  • We used to call him General Jungle.

  • What was his real name?

  • No, I don't know his real name.

  • Could we have the testimony, please, from 23 September, page 2955.

  • Your Honour, this appears to be private session material.

  • Thank you, Court Officer.

  • Sir, I am going to read from line 10. It does not reveal the identity of a witness. This is from the testimony of Charles Taylor, and this is what he said:

    "Jungle was one of those men that were left behind after ULIMO cut off the NPFL. He is a Gissi boy that got in touch with his brother Sam Bockarie and he had been with them since 1993. Anybody who says anything contrary, your Honour, they are lying."

    Sir, did you know that Jungle came to the RUF when the NPFL was cut off by ULIMO?

  • No.

  • Would you agree with Charles Taylor that anybody who says anything else is lying?

  • No, I cannot agree with him. Because what we know, and we know very well, is what we are supposed to say.

  • Sir, what is a political frolic? Do you understand that term?

  • I want to move on to Daniel Kallon. Daniel Kallon, he was in Liberia at the time that the vanguards were training in Naama, correct?

  • That is what they told us.

  • He had been in Liberia for many, many years, correct?

  • Sir, you said that he worked at Firestone. His job at Firestone was a cashier, correct?

  • I don't know what he was doing at Firestone. I only knew whether he was working there.

  • In 1990 the NPFL controlled Firestone. Is that correct?

  • Yes - no, sorry, I don't know. I don't know. Sorry.

  • Now, sir, on 15 April you said - you were talking about Foday Sankoh being in contact by radio from Nigeria and you said on page 39000, "I don't know whether he used the phone to call them or he had a radio contact, but he was communicating." Do you recall that?

  • Now, he wouldn't be able to talk to the - when you said "call them", you were talking about Sam Bockarie and the combatants, correct?

  • Yes, through his radio in Abidjan.

  • Thank you. And he also was on the international media, he was speaking on the radio, correct? For example, when you announced the change of leadership, Foday Sankoh was on the radio denying it, correct?

  • And, in fact, he even contacted you, correct, and threatened you? Now, you may have had a telephone --

  • The witness hasn't responded.

  • Did you say yes, sir?

  • Yeah, he contacted me to insult me.

  • Thank you. Now, sir, you may have had a telephone access in Ivory Coast but Mosquito and the combatants in Sierra Leone, they had no regular telephones, did they?

  • So how was Foday Sankoh communicating with Mosquito, do you know?

  • Yes, I said he had a radio set in his house in Abidjan. So when he got into trouble he called his radio in Abidjan to inform Mosquito and Issa about the incident. Although of course the BBC had announced it. So basically what he only told his radio operators in Abidjan to tell Mosquito and others was that his arrested was masterminded by me and my colleagues, the external delegation.

  • I want to go to when you say you were in detention and you were visited by Musa Cisse. When was that?

  • That was the time the peace talks - the Lome peace talks were being arranged. I think it was in 1999.

  • Can you give us a month?

  • No, I don't remember the month. However, he did not go to the cells where we were, he did not go there at all. When we went, Mosquito sent people to go collect us from the cells.

  • And then what happened?

  • When we went there, Mosquito told us that - he said that Mr Musa Cisse had been sent to talk to us - sorry, to talk to him about us. He said but he is not going to release us at all. He will not even put us on parole.

  • Well, did you actually see Musa Cisse?

  • Yes, we saw him.

  • Did he speak to you?

  • Yes, he spoke to us. He greeted us.

  • Now, you knew him, of course. You knew him well from the Ivory Coast, correct?

  • Well, I don't want to risk using the word "well", but I know him, but maybe I don't know him well.

  • And he also knew other members of the delegation from that time, correct?

  • Now, you said he gave a message or he talked to you. What did he say that makes you feel so grateful to Charles Taylor?

  • Yeah, he told us that Charles Taylor sent him to come persuade Mosquito and the other senior members of the RUF combatants to release us while the peace process was being organised.

  • Now, sir, do you know why Charles Taylor himself didn't speak to Mosquito about that?

  • You knew that Sam Bockarie, Mosquito, had a satellite telephone, correct?

  • In fact, Charles Taylor testified he gave him a satellite telephone. So can you explain why Charles Taylor didn't call up Sam Bockarie and ask him to release you?

  • I don't know. I can't tell.

  • Sir, at the time you saw Musa Cisse, you had been in detention for about - for over two years, correct?

  • Sir, in this courtroom Charles Taylor testified that he had meetings with Sam Bockarie in Monrovia in - three times in 1998. I believe it was August, September and November in the end of 1998. And he never mentioned when he was asked about what he spoke about - he never mentioned ever asking Sam Bockarie about the delegation and the release of the delegation. Do you know why he never spoke to Sam Bockarie on those three occasions about your release, if he was interested in you?

  • In fact I - no. I don't even know they ever met while we were in incarceration.

  • That was a secret. You didn't know it?

  • No, I didn't know.

  • And you hadn't heard it until I just told you, correct?

  • You hadn't heard it until I just told you?

  • Yes, until you just told it to me.

  • Sir, you talked about Issa Sesay and you called him a heartless, blind loyalist, correct?

  • He was loyal to Foday Sankoh because Foday Sankoh had given him a rank, correct?

  • Now, how loyal would you expect Issa Sesay to be - and that rank was lieutenant colonel, correct?

  • How loyal would you expect Issa Sesay to be to the person that helped him become the leader of the RUF?

  • Well, I don't know who helped him become leader of RUF.

  • Okay. But if whoever did help him, you would expect Issa Sesay to be loyal to that person?

  • In fact, he was supposed to - yeah, he would be more loyal.

  • Could the witness be shown D-86, please. Sir, do you recognise this?

  • And this is the letter you testified you wrote to Charles Taylor, correct?

  • Yes.

  • It's dated 15 January 2000, correct?

  • Sir, let me be very blunt. I don't believe you wrote this letter. You didn't write it, did you?

  • I wrote it myself on behalf of my colleagues.

  • Sir, what's the name of Mosquito? What's his name?

  • There is a typographical error. He is Sam Bockarie, but the Samba [indiscernible].

  • You have never referred to him in your testimony as Samba and I asked you yesterday if you knew any Sambas and you said no. Do you recall that?

  • Sir, let me also compliment you in a way. You don't speak in the kind of pretentious language that's in this letter. That's not the way you speak, is it?

  • That's my normal way of speaking. The letter is not pretend - it's not a pretentious language.

  • Let's look at the fourth paragraph, for example:

    "Frankly speaking, by the genuine assessment of all and sundry that lay any degree of claim on a relationship with and knowledge of the RUF, Mr Musa Cisse's appearance in Buedu on that delegation presented a political frolic and a fully-fledged and awe-inspiring team bearing more overpowering diplomatic pressure on the Revolutionary United Front than any prince of peace anywhere on the globe would have done."

    Did you write that sentence?

  • Sir, you just told us this morning you don't know what a political frolic is; you didn't understand the term?

  • Well, probably it was in the accent I did not see.

  • My accent? How do you pronounce "political frolic"? What does it mean? First, how do you pronounce it, sir?

  • Political success.

  • A frolic means a success?

  • Sir, the fax number that's on this letter, whose fax number is it?

  • That's the Foreign Ministry of Liberia.

  • Sir, you told us that Addai-Sebo gave you that number, correct?

  • Addai-Sebo wrote the letter, didn't he?

  • I wrote it myself.

  • You signed it. Addai-Sebo wrote it for you, didn't he?

  • He did not write it. I wrote it.

  • And you never showed it to any of the other people, did you?

  • I did show it to them.

  • In the document you talk about wanting to visit Charles Taylor on your way through Monrovia. The second to last paragraph:

    "And if it would please Your Excellency, we would prefer to visit your great city and its warm-hearted people including Your Excellency on our way to Freetown."

    Did you go to Monrovia?

  • No.

  • He did not respond to this letter to tell us we will go.

  • Did you need his permission to visit Monrovia and its warm-hearted people?

  • It was he we wanted to see.

  • It says here, "We prefer to visit your great city and its warm-hearted people including Your Excellency." So you were only going if you could see Charles Taylor?

  • Yes.

  • And why did you want to see Charles Taylor?

  • To show our gratitude to him for what he did for our peace process.

  • Thank you. I am finished with the letter. Now, Mr Witness, you have talked about 1991 and 1992 up until Top Final and, remind us again, you said Top Final was around August 1992. Is that correct?

  • Yeah, July, August.

  • That all before that time Foday Sankoh was based in Gbarnga, coming and going to Sierra Leone and never staying more than two weeks, correct?

  • If we could look at the testimony of Mr Taylor, 25 November 2009, page 32408. You told us the truth about that, correct, sir? Did you lie or did you tell the truth about that?

  • About Foday Sankoh being based in Gbarnga.

  • I said the truth.

  • Thank you.

  • I said he was always coming and going.

  • I believe you told us the truth. Thank you. Page 32408, middle of the page, line 11. You see, Mr Witness, I believe you told us you truth but I believe Charles Taylor lied under oath. He was asked:

    "Q. Did Foday Sankoh base with you in Gbarnga?

    A. Well, again, Foday Sankoh was not based with me in


    Q. Please explain what you mean when you say he was not

    based with you in Gbarnga?

    A. Well, to be based means to be permanent, from my

    understanding, so he was not permanent. If your question

    is he visited me in Gbarnga, yes, but he was not based with

    me in Gbarnga, no.

    Q. Well, he had his own house assigned by you to him by

    you. Is that correct?

    A. I have said yes.

    Q. And you also provided to him communications capability.

    Is that correct?

    A. I have said yes.

    Q. If Foday Sankoh is a leader of a group that is doing a

    revolution in Sierra Leone, why would he be in Gbarnga?

    A. That's what I am saying. He is not based. He visits.

    I have just said I am trying to draw a distinction for the

    judges of what my basing is and what his visitation was. I

    said to this Court he visited.

    Q. What was the period of time that Foday Sankoh was

    coming and going to Gbarnga?

    A. I have told this Court between August 1991 and May

    1992. I have said it a hundred times.

    Q. So all through that period of time he was coming and

    going, approximately what percentage of that time was he

    actually in Gbarnga?

    A. Foday Sankoh did not go outside of Gbarnga and in again

    all through that time. I would say Foday Sankoh would come

    only to Gbarnga. He would not visit any other areas. So

    of the time he came to Gbarnga he spent a hundred per cent

    of whatever time he spent in Liberia in Gbarnga.

    Q. My question - I'm sorry if it wasn't clear - was what

    percentage of time did he spend in Gbarnga as opposed to in

    Sierra Leone?

    A. Foday Sankoh only made a few visits over the years,

    Mr Koumjian. That was not his home. He spent I would

    say - if you look at the total period, I would say Foday

    Sankoh spent 90 per cent of his time in Sierra Leone and

    maybe another, maybe 5 or 10 per cent in Liberia. Very,

    very few visits to Liberia.

    Q. Why was it necessary then to give him a house if he was

    only coming for very short visits?

    A. We did not have any hotels in Gbarnga at that time, he

    could not live at my house and so we gave him a place. It

    was something like a guesthouse that he would use for

    whatever number of days he would be there. That would be

    two, three days."

    So we see here, Mr Taylor lies and says that Foday Sankoh would only stay two or three days. You told us that Foday Sankoh and Mr Tengbeh went to Gbarnga for six months before they returned to Sierra Leone. Isn't that correct?

  • That's correct. They were there up until the end of the Top 40.

  • Now, sir, you yourself went to Gbarnga, correct?

  • You yourself went to Gbarnga. How many times did you go?

  • I went to Gbarnga once.

  • That was in July 1995.

  • Let's look, please, at the testimony of Charles Taylor of 27 October 2009.

    Your Honour, I don't know if we have time to do this. It will take me a couple of minutes to read this.

  • By the time it's located, we will have run out of tape. We will take the morning break now and reconvene at 12 o'clock.

  • [Break taken at 11.30 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 12.00 p.m.]

  • Madam President, can I notify the Court of a change in appearance. We've now been joined by Mr Terry Munyard of counsel.

  • Thank you. Mr Koumjian, you may continue, please.

  • Also, for the Prosecution, we are joined for the first time by Sigall Horovitz.

  • Counsel is welcomed to the Court. Please continue.

  • Sir, you told us about your trip to Gbarnga in July 1995. You went the first week. You stayed there for the rest of the month until early August and then you went to Accra for two weeks with Mr Taylor, correct?

  • Yes.

  • Let's look at the testimony, please, of Charles Taylor from 27 October 2009, page 30445. Sir, I'm going to begin reading from line 5. Now, at the point in line 5 that I'm reading, the Defence counsel was reading to Mr Taylor the testimony of a Prosecution witness. That was TF1-516. So the Defence lawyer read to Mr Taylor this testimony. The Prosecution witness was asked:

    "'Q. Do you recall any communications at this time whilst

    you were at Zogoda with the other side, any specific


    A. Yes, at that time they used to just come on the net and

    identify themselves as 35B. They said, "35B, 35B", and the

    station commanders could be called to come and talk to

    them. I can remember during the time we were communicating

    and facilitating the movement of Corporal Sankoh from

    Zogoda to Yamoussoukro there was a call from that station

    35 bravo. At that time the station sergeant told me that

    the station was located in Gbarnga and that was the station

    of Charles Taylor. He had not yet been elected as

    President. There was a call from the radio operator

    requesting the radio operator on our side to make available

    Toyota, that Ebony was on the radio to talk to Toyota. In

    the code I went through, Ebony was referring to Charles

    Taylor and Toyota was referring to Corporal Sankoh and they

    had that radio conversation and in their conversation Ebony

    told Toyota to make use of, or take advantage over that

    peace accord which he was supposed to attend in

    Yamoussoukro to move outside to get more dancing materials.

    Dancing materials, they were referring to ammunition and

    some other materials relating to combat.'"

    And then Mr Taylor was asked about Yamoussoukro and he said, "Yamoussoukro is the political capital of la Cote d'Ivoire." Then Mr Taylor was asked by his lawyer:

    "Q. Now, tell me, do you recall a conversation with

    Corporal Sankoh at a time he was moving from Zogoda to


    A. No, not at all. But look at where he puts me, he

    places me at Gbarnga in 1996.

    Q. Why do you say 1996?

    A. Well, that's what - because 1996 is the time they

    are going to la Cote d'Ivoire for the meeting. What am I

    doing in Gbarnga in 1996? I am not in Gbarnga. I moved to

    Monrovia in 1995. I am on the Council of State at the

    time. What am I going to be doing? You know, the only way

    we can catch these little lies, what I am doing in Gbarnga

    in 1996 that somebody is calling me on a radio in 1996?

    When I am on the Council of State in Monrovia, what am I

    doing on the radio in Gbarnga? Not so. I am in Gbarnga in

    1996 - I am not in Gbarnga in 1996, point number one.

    There is no contact between Foday Sankoh and myself at this

    particular time in 1996 or no other time. It's a blatant,

    blatant lie.

    Q. When had you joined that council, Mr Taylor?

    A. I joined the council in 1995.

    Q. When in 1995?

    A. I go to Monrovia in July 1995 on the Council of State.

    Q. And for how long do you remain in Monrovia thereafter?

    A. Oh, I continued in Monrovia until my elections."

    Mr Witness, Charles Taylor testified under oath that he went to Monrovia in July 1995 and never left there until the elections in 1997. But, sir, you were with him throughout July 1995 and travelled with him to Accra in August 1995. Isn't that true?

  • Very, very true, yes.

  • So what Mr Taylor said here in Court is not the truth, correct, from what I just read? Why do you smile?

  • It's left with the Court to judge that one, but I remember we went to Accra in 1995 in August and we are placed in Sicaps Hotel in Accra. We with other - we and his other men.

  • And, sir, you went to Gbarnga, you said, because Charles Taylor had invited you, correct?

  • Through Foday Sankoh, correct?

  • So when Charles Taylor says here he had no contact with Foday Sankoh, he did have contact with him in 1995, correct?

  • Well, I cannot say yes or no to that one because according to what - because he sent the message to Cassell for Cassell to tell us, then we had to tell Foday Sankoh in turn. That was how the conversation went on and that's what I've said here this morning.

  • Sir, I want to move to another topic. Talk about the decision that you and the other members - and the action you and the other members of the external delegation made to replace Foday Sankoh. That was a rather momentous decision, do you agree?

  • It had consequences for you and the country of Sierra Leone, correct?

  • And, sir, you made that decision because it was clear Foday Sankoh was not interested in peace. Is that right?

  • It was something that you and the others discussed and decided on jointly, correct?

  • And when you made that decision, you then went and held a press conference, you told us, correct?

  • Yes, counsel.

  • That was 15 March 1997, correct?

  • There were members of the international press present. Is that right?

  • Including Agence France-Press?

  • And an Ivorian newspaper, you told us?

  • Yes, Ivoire Soir.

  • And others, correct?

  • When you made that announcement, it immediately became international news. It was on the radio, correct?

  • It was on the BBC, correct?

  • You heard it - the next day it was on Focus on Africa a couple of times. Is that right?

  • Yes. I think it was the same day.

  • Same day. Thank you. And also on RFI, Radio France Internationale, correct?

  • Also on the Voice of America, correct?

  • And Sankoh immediately heard it because he called you up right away and threatened you, correct?

  • And then because of that news there immediately was an international response from different international governments, correct?

  • And you were contacted, for example, by the UN by Mr Dinka, correct?

  • Also the President of International Alert called you up right away. Is that right?

  • And the Foreign Minister of Cote d'Ivoire, you had a meeting with him, Is that right, Mr Essy?

  • Excuse me, it was not a one-on-one meeting. We then organised to have a meeting with him to discuss the matter with him.

  • What did you say? Did you say we then organised or we didn't organise?

  • We then. Then organised to have a meeting with him to explain what we had done with him.

  • We did that, yes.

  • "You" in the plural, you and the other members of the delegation, correct?

  • Now, you also then made - were given support by the international community, by different countries, in the effort to find a new leadership for the RUF, correct?

  • Yes.

  • Because at this time Foday Sankoh had already been arrested in Nigeria, before you made this announcement. Is that right?

  • So, for example, the Government of Sierra Leone contacted you and indicated their willingness to support, correct?

  • Also the Government of Nigeria flew you to Guinea. You flew to Guinea on a Nigerian plane.

  • No. It was Air Ivoire.

  • Excuse me, it was a - it was Bellview, yes. It was in a Nigerian plane, Bellview. Bellview was hired for us.

  • And the President of Guinea Lansana Conte helped organise your trip to meet the combatants, correct?

  • Now, in making this decision and trying to get - you tried to get international support for your decision, correct, for your - the replacement of Foday Sankoh?

  • No, we don't have to get international support.

  • Did you contact Liberia?

  • Before? Before this - before making --

  • No. Before or after.

  • No, no, we did not contact Liberia at all.

  • Did you talk to Musa Cisse?

  • Well, we just thought it was not an international matter. We thought it was an internal matter within the RUF.

  • It was not an international matter? You've just told us about being in contact with International Alert, with the UN, Mr Dinka, with Mr Essy the Foreign Minister of Ivory Coast, you said you organised a meeting with him, and that you were assisted by the President of Guinea. Why not Liberia?

  • No, because they did not call us. All these other people you have mentioned, they called us.

  • All the other neighbours of Sierra Leone --

  • Could I ask the both of you not to speak over each other and to slow down, please.

  • Before you go on too, Mr Koumjian, I get concerned when I see things in the LiveNote record that may not be correct and may not be detected on editing. So I'll just go back a few questions. You were asking about a Nigerian plane flying the witness and his answer here, I'm looking at page 74, line 11, is that he says this, "Excuse me, it was a - yes, it was a UN plane. Bellview was hired for us." I thought he said it was a Nigerian plane. There's a big difference. What did you say, witness?

  • I said a Nigerian plane, Bellview. Bellview.

  • All right. I mention that now in case it gets missed in the editing because I think it's quite a serious thing to say a UN plane flew the witness to Nigeria.

  • Thank you, Justice:

  • So, sir, the Sierra Leone government, the Government of Guinea, the Government of Ivory Coast, they all were involved in supporting the external delegation in the attempt to find a new leadership amenable to peace in Sierra Leone, correct?

  • You didn't hear anything from the Government of Liberia, correct?

  • Mr Witness, let me suggest to you why it was you didn't hear from the Government of Liberia. Can the witness please be shown the transcript from 12 November 2008, page 20125. Sir, this is the testimony of Augustine Mallah who testified openly and I'm going to start to read from line 4. It's quite lengthy. He testified:

    "A. After I had left Abidjan and had come to Danane, the

    house where Philip Palmer was at Belleview One Protocol

    Yard, the reason why it was referred to as protocol yard,

    according to what I was told by Philip Palmer and others,

    there was another house nearby, just about 15 yards off the

    house where Philip Palmer was. There was a man there

    called Pa Musa Cisse. This Musa Cisse man was the protocol

    officer for Charles Taylor. So the house where Pa Musa

    Cisse was in relation to where the RUF base was where

    Philip Palmer was was a short distance. That's why I said

    I estimated it to be a 15 yard distance. So this Pa Musa

    Cisse had a radio man and that radio man, we referred to

    him as Action Man. He was a Sierra Leonean, this Action

    Man, but he had left the RUF for a long time and he was

    then with the NPFL. So Action Man had been with Pa Musa

    Cisse as a radio operator. Just when Foday Sankoh and Mike

    Lamin were arrested when I came to Danane, the following

    day at night Action Man went to us at the house and he

    invited us at Musa Cisse's house and he told me that in

    fact he had had communication with Foday Sankoh. That was

    two days after - after Foday Sankoh had been arrested in

    Nigeria. He was then in detention.

    He said he had heard information. He said he had had

    contact with Foday Sankoh and Foday Sankoh had told him to

    contact Mosquito so that the two of them would be linked up

    and he would give him some pieces of advice and order. He

    told him that he should tell Mosquito to take advice from

    the other side. And we came. After he had told us this we

    were there and the following night --

    Q. Mr Witness, before you move on to the following night,

    let me ask you some questions about what you have just told

    the Court. First of all, Action Man, did you know him by

    any other name?

    A. Well, this Action Man, I did not ask him about any

    other name of his. I don't know.

    Q. And you mentioned Mosquito. Who was Mosquito?

    A. Mosquito was a Sierra Leonean. He was Sam Bockarie who

    was taking care of RUF, whom Foday Sankoh had told to take

    care of the RUF in Sierra Leone.

    Q. And who was it who said to take advice from the other

    side? Who said that?

    A. It was Foday Sankoh.

    Q. And who was to take advice from the other side?

    A. Mosquito, Sam Bockarie.

    Q. Did you understand what was meant by 'the other side'?

    A. Yes, that is just what I am about to say. The next

    night Action Man called me, together with CO Brown. We

    went to the house where Pa Musa Cisse was and we sat there.

    We were about two yards away from where Action Man was

    sitting, but it was in the same room. We saw him contact

    Mosquito and I heard Foday Sankoh's voice and Foday Sankoh

    asked about Mike Lamin. Action Man replied that he had

    been arrested. He spoke to Mosquito.

    Q. Who spoke to Mosquito?

    A. Foday Sankoh. He told Mosquito that - he told Mosquito

    that Mosquito should not take anything from Fayia Musa and

    others. He said even the detention that he was in, Fayia

    Musa and others had hands in that, so the only thing that

    he was telling him was that he should take advice directly

    from Charles Taylor in Liberia.

    Q. Now, who was saying to take advice directly from

    Charles Taylor in Liberia? Who said that?

    A. Foday Sankoh told Mosquito, Sam Bockarie. He said Sam

    Bockarie should take advice from Charles Taylor in Liberia.

    He said even before he was arrested in Nigeria he said he

    had spoken to Charles Taylor, that is Foday Sankoh. He had

    spoken to Charles Taylor for his Sierra Leonean fighters

    who had been with the NPFL and fought alongside the NPFL.

    He said, being that Mike Lamin had crossed over with a lot

    of his fighters into Liberia, he will want those fighters

    who had been fighting for a long time alongside the NPFL to

    find ways to be transported back to Sierra Leone to

    Mosquito to continue the fight and therefore he should take

    advice from Charles Taylor. I heard that. And from there

    we left the room and returned to our house."

    So, sir, do you understand now after hearing this that the reason Liberia didn't try to contact those of you trying to change the leadership of the RUF was because once Foday Sankoh was arrested, Charles Taylor was in command of the RUF and he had no interest in anyone else taking over?

  • Yeah, if that statement is true then that is the reason why we were not contacted by Liberia at all, definitely.

  • Mr Witness, you've told us about all the international press reports and international reactions to your decision to replace the leadership. Can we look now - we have a document to distribute. This is the Sierra Leone News from the Sierra Leone Web from March 1997. Sir, there are two entries I'm going to refer to in this document and perhaps taking them in chronological order. The first one is on the second page and that is the entry dated 15 March. For the record, this is from the Sierra Leone News web page and at the bottom of the page you can see the web address. I'm reading now the entry for 15 March. It says:

    "A senior member of the Revolutionary United Front announced Saturday that the RUF high command had sacked its leader Foday Sankoh for blocking a peace agreement to end the war. Captain Philip Palmer, military representative of the RUF's external delegation, said the decision was unanimous and was made Friday night after intensive radio contacts with rebel leaders and others in Sierra Leone. Palmer, a founding member of the RUF, confirmed a report from the Nigerian ambassador in Sierra Leone that Sankoh was effectively under house arrest in Lagos, Nigeria. 'With a view to promoting the spirit of healing and reconciliation and a rapid return to normalcy in Sierra Leone, the RUF high command declares with immediate effect the leadership role of Corporal Foday Sankoh terminated,' Palmer said in a written statement dated Saturday. The statement, which was released in Ivory Coast, referred to Sankoh's 'unyielding determination to thwart the peace process and prolong the suffering of the people of Sierra Leone.' It referred to his refusal to meet with UN officials and members of a peace delegation about the implementation of the peace process, and of refusing to nominate members to joint monitoring and demobilising committees. 'For now we are trying to restructure the leadership to fill the vacuum,' Palmer said."

    Sir, is this entry for 15 March that I just read accurate about the events that happened when you announced the change of leadership?

  • No, that account is not correct because it was I who made the announcement.

  • Okay, but it indicates that there was a written statement from Philip Palmer. When you made the announcement was there also a written statement by Philip Palmer?

  • Yes, he did. Yeah, he did. Sorry.

  • And did you make it clear that you were doing this change because of Foday Sankoh's basically sabotaging the peace process?

  • Yeah, in fact we did not stop at that. We went ahead to say that he cannot continue to be our leader because he has decided to turn his back on everything he has told us before and on the peace process and that he was - because he was not prepared to give the people of Sierra Leone peace, we would not like to continue with him again as our leader.

  • And it was after this announcement that you started getting these international contacts, correct?

  • Now let's go to 31 March, the first page, the entry there, the very top one. I'm not going to read it all, but just a few sentences. The first sentence:

    "Seven senior RUF officials, including two commissioners to the Commission for the Consolidation of Peace (CCP), and Sierra Leone's ambassador to Guinea were abducted Saturday, apparently by a faction within the Revolutionary United Front loyal to Foday Sankoh."

    Is this accurate, sir?

  • No, it's not accurate at all.

  • Correct what's inaccurate?

  • The number of senior RUF members was not seven.

  • You've explained who it was that was abducted, but they were the members of the external delegation that you've mentioned in your testimony, correct?

  • And you were a member of the CCP, correct?

  • Was there anyone else abducted who was a member of the CCP?

  • Thank you. Now, I want to go to the middle of the paragraph. The line that begins nine lines up, in the middle of that line:

    "On March 15, RUF leaders in Ivory Coast announced that Foday Sankoh had been ousted as leader after intensive consultations with RUF officials in Sierra Leone. The Nigerian high commission in Freetown subsequently reported that Sankoh was being held under house arrest in Lagos after being arrested in Nigeria for weapons violations. In an interview over the weekend, Sankoh denied that he was being detained or that he had been replaced as RUF leader. 'I am a free man in Lagos. I can go wherever I want and I'm in full control of the RUF,' he said. 'Ibrahim Deen-Jalloh and Philip Palmer and Fayia Musa are traitors, 'he added. 'They have betrayed the RUF.'"

    Sir, do you remember Foday Sankoh making this radio interview after your press conference denying that he had been replaced as the leader?

  • Yes, I do.

  • May that document please be marked for identification.

  • The " news archives" consisting of two pages, dated March 1997, is marked MFI-11.

  • Sir, I would now like you to hear the testimony - while I read to you, the testimony of Charles Taylor when he was asked about these international - these news reports and the events where your group tried to oust Foday Sankoh. Could we have the transcript for 23 July 2009, page 25153. I'll start reading from the first line, a question to Mr Taylor:

    "Q. ... In March of 1997 Foday Sankoh is arrested in

    Nigeria. Were you aware of that?

    A. Yes, I was aware.

    Q. How did you become aware of it?

    A. It was all on the local news, yes.

    Q. And do you have any idea what Foday Sankoh was doing in


    A. None whatsoever. I do not know.

    Q. Had you sent him there?

    A. No, no, no.

    Q. Do you recall thereafter that a group of senior RUF

    members effectively tried to take control of the RUF in

    Sankoh's absence?

    A. Well, let me - by recalling, that's what I heard here.

    At the time that issue occurred it was not a big news

    issue, so it's very unlikely that I would have really heard

    about it. It was not a big issue. I heard the details


    Mr Witness, it was a big issue for anyone in the region when you announced the replacement of Foday Sankoh, wasn't it?

  • Mr Witness, what is your response? Perhaps you should ask the question again.

  • Mr Witness, there was an immediate reaction from the international community when you replaced - announced the replacement of Foday Sankoh in the leadership of the RUF, correct?

  • From everybody except Liberia among your neighbours, correct?

  • And it was on the international news. It was a big issue in the international news, wasn't it?

  • Thank you. Now, sir, you've talked about Sam Bockarie. What was his level of education? How would you describe it?

  • I heard that he went up to the - Form 4, the 10th grade, fourth year in secondary school.

  • Thank you. Now, you've talked about the members of the external delegation being the educated elite of the RUF. Is that correct?

  • Yes.

  • Was Sam Bockarie among the educated elite of the RUF?

  • No. He was not in the external delegation.

  • I know that. But was he intellectual, Sam Bockarie?

  • Was he a person that was sophisticated about international matters?

  • You said - I want to show you two different documents. Was Sam Bockarie loyal to Foday Sankoh - before I show you those - would you say?

  • Could the witness be shown first D-9 and then P-66?

  • He was, to a point.

  • If we can start with D-9. This is a document that was shown to you in your direct examination. It's also a document that Charles Taylor testified was made in Monrovia. If we can look at the last page of the - it's a salute report. And just see how it's signed. It's signed "Most respectfully yours, Major General Sam Bockarie". This is a salute report made in Monrovia to Foday Sankoh.

    Now, if we can look at P-66, please. This is, we see, addressed to His Excellency. I'll allow the witness to look at it first. It's addressed to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Liberia Dr Charles G Taylor. Sir, when you're done, let us know and we'll put it on the overhead, but I want you to look at the - I'm going to ask you to look at how it's signed - or not signed, but how the - the salutation at the end.

  • I've seen it.

  • Okay. It's addressed at the top - first, it's labelled "Confidential". And it says it's "Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone brigade headquarters Buedu" dated 24 June 1998. Sir, that's while you were in detention, correct?

  • Yeah.

  • It's addressed to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Liberia, Dr Charles G Taylor, and it's from Brigadier Sam Bockarie (Mosquito) chief of defence staff, RUF/SL. Then if we go to the bottom. Do you recall that the letter to Foday Sankoh was signed "respectfully yours". The letter to Charles Taylor is signed - the salutation is "your obedient son". Sir, which in - being from Sierra Leone, which shows more respect, more loyalty, which salutation, "respectfully yours" or "your obedient son"?

  • From the look of the language there, "your obedient son".

  • Thank you. Now, sir, I would like to read from the testimony from 12 April of this year, page 38659. While we're on the subject of Sam Bockarie, Mr Witness, I want to read to you from the testimony of the previous Defence witness, Charles Ngebeh, and what he said about Sam Bockarie. If we can go down the page, please. I'm going to start reading from line 17.

    Sir, at this point the Prosecutor starts to read from a news report from November 1998, and the Prosecutor reads to the witness from this news report:

    "'The Revolutionary United Front will destroy every living

    thing if anything happens to their leader Corporal

    Foday Sankoh, RUF commander Sam Maskita Bockarie told the

    newspaper For Di People in a report published on Wednesday.

    Sankoh is currently being held in Pademba Road Prison in

    Freetown where he is preparing an appeal against his

    conviction and death sentence on treason charges. 'I am a

    ruthless commander,' Bockarie said in a telephone

    interview. 'I am ready to damage but I am waiting until

    something happens to Sankoh. When I take Freetown I shall

    clear every living thing and building. To my God, I'll

    fight. I'll kill and kill, and the more they tell me to

    stop, the more I'll kill. Only Sankoh can tell us to


    Now, Mr Witness, you were aware that Sam Bockarie made that

    threat in November 1998, weren't you.

    A. Well, now you've come to the point that I want when

    you've mentioned Foday Sankoh. I know that Sam Bockarie

    can - would even say more than this. The date Foday Sankoh

    was captured he made that threatening remark against the

    country, yes. Now that you've mentioned Foday Sankoh, yes,

    Sam Bockarie would do that. Yes, he said that. He would

    do it.

    Q. Indeed, Mr Ngebeh, that wasn't the only threat that Sam

    Bockarie made to attack Freetown in 1998, was it?

    A. Yes, I told you Sam Bockarie - I told you that since

    '97 he was a bad leader. I told you. I told you in my

    statement. He was a bad leader. He can make any remark.

    Even those of us who were fighting, he threatened us. Who

    else? Now that you've called Pa Sankoh's name I have got

    the gist of it. He just made that statement.

    Q. In fact, Mr Ngebeh, several times in December 1998 Sam

    Bockarie threatened to attack Freetown. Isn't that


    A. Hey, mama, I don't want to tell lies. I've taken an

    oath. I have seen - I have heard Sam Bockarie say words

    even more than this. Let's go ahead. He was a wicked


    Sir, would you agree with Mr Ngebeh that Sam Bockarie was a wicked commander?

  • 100 per cent.

  • Did you hear Sam Bockarie threatening to attack Freetown in 1998? You were in detention at the time, but did you hear that on the radio?

  • Yes. The one we heard on the radio was when he said he was - he said he was in State House.

  • Did you hear him say he would destroy every living thing?

  • It was this man who said that, Eldred Collins.

  • That was another time, but you heard Eldred Collins say that?

  • Yeah, he said they would run Operation No Living Thing.

  • And that was in 1998 while you were in detention, correct?

  • And Eldred Collins was a senior RUF official, correct?

  • Yes.

  • Did he more or less replace you as the spokesperson for the RUF? Or you don't know?

  • I don't know, but he was a minister in the AFRC government.

  • With all the things that you've told us about Sam Bockarie, would you agree with a statement that he was a person of good moral background?

  • Would that be the truth or a lie?

  • That Sam Bockarie was of good moral background?

  • No, he did not have a good moral background at all.

  • Because, Mr Witness, Mr Taylor testified he gave Sam Bockarie Liberian citizenship and it was pointed out to him that Liberian law requires that to become a citizen someone has to be of good moral background. Could the witness please be shown the testimony of 2 December 2009, page 32899. I'm going to start reading from line 9. The Presiding Judge then said to Mr Taylor:

    "Mr Taylor, Mr Koumjian is not asking you whether you think Sam Bockarie is a person of good moral character on criteria provided by the law. He's asking for your own personal opinion. I think you can answer that."

    Charles Taylor answered:

    "I have no information not to have - look at - I look at everybody the same. So for me, I would say he was somebody of good moral background, yes."

    Mr Fayia, you don't agree with Charles - do you agree with Charles Taylor's opinion that Sam Bockarie was a person of good moral background?

  • No, but he was expressing his own opinion. I don't agree with that.

  • Sir, what happened in Freetown in 1999, the atrocities in Freetown were infamous internationally, weren't they? You have heard about the Freetown invasion, haven't you?

  • Yes, although we were in the jails.

  • And you talked to us about Charles Taylor's - excuse me, Sam Bockarie's role in Luawa Yiehun massacre, correct?

  • You told us how Sam Bockarie ordered you and the other members of the external delegation tortured, correct?

  • Yes.

  • You've also talked to us about how Sam Bockarie ordered the massacre of the 60 something persons detained in Kailahun Town that he accused of being Kamajors, correct?

  • And that he himself fired the first shot, killed the first person, correct?

  • That's what they told us, yes, those who were outside.

  • By the way, if a witness came to this Court and testified that they went - that day they went to see Sam Bockarie in Buedu and they heard he had gone to Kailahun Town and then the witness went to Kailahun Town and saw Sam Bockarie, standing at the roundabout, shoot a prisoner, is that consistent with what you saw happening?

  • Mr Witness, you've told us about how grateful you were for Charles Taylor's assistance in getting - you say sending Musa Cisse to get you released from Sam Bockarie in Buedu, correct?

  • Yes, I do.

  • You and the other members of the external delegation, correct?

  • And you've also told us that in 1995 he had invited you and Palmer to Gbarnga, you had spent a month there with him and he had taken you for two weeks to Ghana, correct?

  • I would like you to hear what Charles Taylor said about the external delegation. Could we have the transcript for 23 September 2009, page 29523. Excuse me, this is private session so I'm going to have to read it and I'm going to have to do it carefully. So this is page 29523 from 23 September 2009. I'm going to start reading from towards the end of the page. I'm going to summarise.

    At that point the counsel was reading from testimony and he said that a person said that they had met an acquaintance who told the witness that he had met some external delegates of the RUF that were residing in Danane and he mentioned Palmer and he mentioned Fayia Musa. And the witness said he said, "Oh, so Palmer is here?" And the acquaintance said, "Yes, and Fayia Musa."

    Now, the Defence lawyer on 23 September last year read that testimony to Mr Taylor and said he had a couple of questions to ask him. The first was:

    "Q. Firstly, were you aware of the establishment of an RUF

    external delegation in the Cote d'Ivoire?

    A. No, I was not aware. I had no knowledge of an external


    Q. Now did you later discover that the President of Cote

    d'Ivoire had set up residence for RUF delegates in Cote


    A. Yes, but that's a later time.

    Q. But at this time back in 1995 were you aware of this?

    A. No, no.

    Q. Did you know of a Philip Palmer?

    A. No."

    Mr Witness, you told us that Charles Taylor invited you to Gbarnga. You and Philip Palmer went and spent a month with Charles Taylor in Gbarnga and two weeks travelling with him to Accra, correct?

  • Yes.

  • Do you know why he would deny his knowledge of the external delegation in 1995?

  • Let's see what else Mr Taylor had to say. Can we please go to the transcript from 7 September, page 28187. Mr Taylor is being shown a document and we see in line 10 Defence counsel says there's a date 1995 and then on line 12 he asks:

    "Now, as I say, I'm seeking to put this document in context, Mr Taylor. In 1995, did you have any contact with the RUF?"

    Under oath in this courtroom Mr Taylor said, "None whatsoever."

    Mr Witness, that's a lie because Charles Taylor invited you to Gbarnga, according to your testimony, through Foday Sankoh and you were in Gbarnga and Accra with him, correct?

  • Yes, counsel.

  • Sir, and in December 1995 you launched "Footpaths to Democracy", correct?

  • And Charles Taylor invited you to his hotel, correct?

  • He congratulated the RUF on marketing itself, correct?

  • And he gave you or your delegation 10 million CFA, correct?

  • One more bit of testimony from 17 September 2009, page 29175.

  • Is this also private session?

  • I believe it's open session:

  • Again Mr Taylor is commenting upon testimony of Prosecution witnesses and he says at line 13:

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

    Now, Mr Witness, you told us about the invitation to Gbarnga, the trip to Gbarnga, Accra, the launching of "Footpaths to Democracy", the meeting in the hotel in Abidjan, the 10 million CFA that Charles Taylor gave you, and you said sending Musa Cisse, according to you, to Buedu to have contact with the external delegation before Lome. But, sir, given all of these contacts that you've talked about between yourself and the RUF and Charles Taylor, when Charles Taylor says the RUF and NPFL had no contact between May 1992 and July 1999, that's a lie, isn't it?

  • It is not true.

  • Thank you. Your Honours, I have no further questions.

  • Mr Fayia, just a couple of matters, please. Firstly this: You were arrested in March 1997 by Sam Bockarie, weren't you?

  • Now, in March 1997 as far as you're aware, what was going on in Liberia?

  • No, I don't know what was going on in Liberia.

  • In March 1997 had Charles Taylor been elected as President of Liberia?

  • In 1997 we are - that was the time we were in the jail.

  • But are you aware what the situation was in Liberia at that time? Was Charles Taylor President of Liberia at the time of your arrest?

  • Please, I don't remember at all.

  • Very well. Can the witness please be shown MFI-11. Now, do you recall being shown this document a short while ago?

  • I would like us to look at a couple of the other entries in this document so that we can situate what was happening at the time of your detention by Sam Bockarie. Can we start with the second page of that document, please. And the final entry on the page dated 14 March:

    "Heavily armed riot police attacked a meeting of over 2,000 students who had gathered in an open park to discuss burning national issues and to sensitise the public about the mismanagement of state funds. The meeting was called by the National Union of Sierra Leone Students to plan a wave of protests against the government's decision to give retirement benefits to former President Joseph Momoh. Violence started just before NUSS Secretary General Abdoulie Bayraytay was to address the crowd, when 50 riot police stormed the meeting to arrest him and other student leaders. When students attempted to prevent the leaders's arrest, the police opened fire with tear gas and attempted to disburse the crowd with batons. More than 15 students were injured by police batons and in the commotion that followed the firing of tear gas cannisters, Bayraytay said, 'Already I understand a number of injured students are undergoing treatment in various hospitals and clinics across the capital, while several more are still being detained by the police. A government statement said police had been ordered to take appropriate but reasonable action to prevent a student group meeting anywhere throughout Sierra Leone.'"

    Now, did you know about this incident, Mr Fayia, which occurred a few days, it would appear, before your detention by Sam Bockarie?

  • It was in the news.

  • It was in the news?

  • And, help us, was this indicative of the kind of behaviour one could expect from the Sierra Leone police at this time?

  • So this was a one-off isolated incident, was it?

  • I don't think it was isolated because a lot of such things happened before the war itself.

  • Now, let us look at the entry second paragraph from the top of the page, please, dated 20 March. And remember, this is 1997:

    "Police say that illegal gem buyers mostly from Zaire have invaded the diamond mining areas. They are here to desperately buy large quantities of gemstones to illegally smuggle to Antwerp, a police spokesman said. Diamond dealers in Kono said the new merchants are mainly Lebanese, French and Belgian. A Central Bank spokesman said the flood of counterfeit dollars associated with their activities was responsible for the unexplained fall of the dollar against the Leon recently although there has been no turn around in the Sierra Leone economy."

    Are you aware of this, 1997, March, just before your arrest?

  • No.

  • Well, let's have a look at the first paragraph on this page, then, 22 March:

    "Three journalists from independent newspaper Expo Times were arrested Wednesday and have been charged with spying. Ibrahim Seaga Shah, editor and publisher in chief; Abayomi Charles Roberts, editor; and Gibril Koroma, general editor, pleaded not guilty before a Magistrate's Court on Friday and were remanded to Pademba Road Prison after their application for bail was denied."

    Help us, do you know about that?

  • All these things were in the news. It was Fofana who announced this one on BBC.

  • So you heard about this event at the time, did you?

  • On the BBC. Was that Focus on Africa?

  • Focus on Africa, yes.

  • Let's go to the first page then, shall we. 25 March, penultimate paragraph:

    "At least 20 people have died in a battle between soldiers and Kamajors apparently over diamonds. The fighting broke out at Tongo Field on Sunday and continued on Monday causing thousands of people to flee the town. The trouble reportedly started when soldiers began digging in a gravel pit where diamonds have often been found. The Kamajors told the soldiers they had no right to dig for diamonds on their lands. The soldiers refused and this sparked off the fighting, a resident said. Relief workers in Kenema said that 15 injured people had arrived there along with thousands of civilians from the Tongo area."

    Again, did you happen to hear about this on the news?

  • No, this one I did not hear about it.

  • Twenty people dying during clashes between the Sierra Leone Army soldiers and the Kamajors over diamonds. Do you recall this event?

  • These things - all these things happened when we were not - when we were in Ivory Coast, so I think it was on the news too - sorry, in the news. We were not in Sierra Leone at that time at all.

  • Okay. Now, another matter. At the time of Foday Sankoh's arrest in Nigeria, where were you?

  • We were in Abidjan.

  • Now, help us. At that time, had Mike Lamin also been arrested?

  • No. Mike Lamin was arrested by the Ivorian government when I reported to the Minister of Foreign Affairs that Foday Sankoh had given him instructions to run quickly to Danane and to instruct the boys there to have Palmer and his wife Winifred killed.

  • So help us, Lamin's arrest on that account came after Sankoh's arrest, did it?

  • Well, yes. Well after that.

  • Oh, it was after my radio interview with the - I'm sorry, it was after the press conference in which I announced Foday's ousting. It was about between 16 and 17 March.

  • Yes. Because if we go back to MFI-11, and a passage to which your attention was drawn by Mr Koumjian, we see that on 15 March mention is made of the press conference held by you. Yes?

  • Yes.

  • And so you say Lamin's arrest would have occurred roughly when?

  • I said between the 16th and the 17th of March 1997.

  • Now, bearing that in mind, could I invite your attention now, please, back to a passage of testimony to which your attention was drawn. This is transcript of 12 November 2008, page 20125. Let's start, shall we, at line 4:

    "After I had left Abidjan and had come to Danane, the house where Philip Palmer was was at Belleview One protocol yard."

    Pause. Is that true.

  • No.

  • What's wrong with it?

  • Palmer was not staying in the protocol's yard. Palmer rented a house not very far from the protocol's compound, but he was not in the protocol's yard at all. At least I remember there were two houses between them. A Catholic priest had his residence just after Musa Cisse's house before you get to another house that you will see before you go to Palmer's place.

  • Now, this individual goes on to say this:

    "The reason why it was referred to as protocol yard according to what I was told by Philip Palmer and others, there was another house nearby just about 15 yards off the house where Philip Palmer was. There was a man there called Pa Musa Cisse."

    Was Musa Cisse's house 15 yards away?

  • Away from Palmer's residence?

  • No. I said there were two houses between them. The Catholic priest of St James Diocese in Danane was residing in the house immediately after Musa Cisse's house when you are going towards Palmer's place. Then there was another house - in fact, there was another house which you will see before you get to Palmer's place.

  • Let's miss a couple of lines. Line 13:

    "This Pa Musa Cisse had a radio man and that radio man, we referred to him as Action Man. He was a Sierra Leonean, this Action Man, but he had left the RUF for a long time and he was then with the NPFL."

    Do you know someone called Action Man?

  • No, I don't remember that one. It was Cassell I knew. Cassell.

  • Did you ever know Musa Cisse to have a radio operator called Action Man?

  • No, I don't remember that one. It's Cassell I know. Cassell was receiving messages for - was operating the radio at that time.

  • So Musa Cisse's radio operator was called Cassell and not Action Man. Is that right?

  • That's as far as I know --

  • Was Cassell a Sierra Leonean?

  • No. Cassell, I think that's a Bassa name in Liberia.

  • So Cassell was a Liberian, was he?

  • Did you ever know Musa Cisse to have a Sierra Leonean radio operator?

  • Line 18:

    "Just when Foday Sankoh and Mike Lamin were arrested when I came to Danane, the following day at night Action Man went to us at the house and he invited us at Musa Cisse's house and he told me that in fact he had communication with Foday Sankoh. That was two days after - after Foday Sankoh had been arrested in Nigeria. He said he had heard information. He said he had had contact with Foday Sankoh and Foday Sankoh had told him to contact Mosquito so that the two of them would be linked up and he would give him some piece of advice and order. And he told him that he should tell Mosquito to take advice from the other side. And we came."

    Now, you remember that Mr Koumjian went on, counsel who was asking you questions, to inform you that this particular individual claimed, in effect, that Sankoh told Mosquito to take advice from Charles Taylor. Do you remember that?

  • No, but we were in Abidjan. The only instruction I remember Foday Sankoh give the bodyguards through this guy - oh, my goodness - Mike Lamin. He told Mike Lamin to go to Danane with an instruction from him to the boys to beat Palmer and his wife Winifred to death.

  • That's what I'm coming to you see, Mr Fayia, because after Foday Sankoh arrived in Abidjan or in Cote d'Ivoire, did you tell us that he brought his radio operators with him?

  • And were those radio operators based with him at the house given to him by the Ivorian government in Cocody?

  • Yes, Juliet James and others were there.

  • After that radio was set up at his house in Cocody --

  • The witness has not said anything about a radio being set up. It's leading and suggestive.

  • I'm sorry, I don't understand. I'm sure it's my fault, I'm being stupid:

  • Was there a radio set up at Foday Sankoh's house at Cocody, Mr Fayia?

  • Yes, in fact it was through that radio that he was able to send - through that radio he was able to send a message. He sent a message to the radio in the house there. Juliet James was operating that radio.

  • Now help us --

  • Excuse me, please. It was in disagreement with him, with Foday Sankoh, that Juliet James ran to the hotel and told me. She said we have just received information - message from Foday Sankoh to tell Mr Mike Lamin to go to Danane and to have Palmer and his wife killed, beaten to death.

  • Now, after Foday Sankoh arrived in Cote d'Ivoire and the radio was set up at his house in Cocody, did you and the other members of the external delegation continue to use Musa Cisse's radio?

  • No, that was the time - in fact they came with two radios. One of radios was in Palmer's house directly in Danane. That was where Stephen Kamanda, who is now a nurse in Liberia, that was where he was working.

  • Where was the other radio placed?

  • Which one?

  • You said they came with two radios, one was in Palmer's house in Danane?

  • Where was the other radio?

  • The other radio was in Abidjan at the Cocody house.

  • You said Stephen Kamanda is now a nurse, a nurse in Liberia?

  • Now, at the time of Sankoh's arrest in Nigeria, were you and the other external delegates using Musa Cisse's radio?

  • No, by then - by then the two RUF radios were set. In fact, we did not use any radio because we were in the hotel. We were in Hotel Ivoire.

  • So by the time of Sankoh's arrest Musa Cisse's radio is not being used by the RUF, is it?

  • No, not to my knowledge at all.

  • Indeed, the only communication you've told us about following Sankoh's arrest in Nigeria came via the radio in the Cocody residence. Is that right?

  • And that was the instruction to beat Palmer and his wife to death. Is that right?

  • Now, were you on good terms with the radio operators based at the Cocody address?

  • Yes, we are very good - in fact that was the reason why they were able to give us the information concerning the instruction from Sankoh for Palmer's death.

  • Did any of those radio operators tell you that they had intercepted a message from Sankoh to Mosquito telling Mosquito to from now on take instructions from Charles Taylor? Did anyone tell you that?

  • Now, you were asked about a letter which you wrote to Charles Taylor and which you faxed to him from Abidjan. Do you recall that?

  • And remember you were told in blunt terms, Mr Witness, that you had lied to this Court when you said that you had written the letter. Do you recall that?

  • Yes, but I insisted that I wrote it.

  • Now help me. What did you stand to gain from, as suggested, lying about the authorship of that letter? What did you stand to gain?

  • Absolutely nothing.

  • Can the witness be shown MFI-10, please. I'm sorry, it's my fault. My apologies. Not that document. Thank you.

    Madam President, I wonder if we can go into a private session at this stage, noting that the public gallery is for the most part empty, in the hope that we can conclude this by 1.30.

  • The reason being?

  • I want to refer the witness's attention to a document currently marked confidential.

  • For reasons of protection of the security of a protected witness, we will go into a brief private session. Madam Court Manager.

  • [At this point in the proceedings, a portion of the transcript, pages 39570 to 39574, was extracted and sealed under separate cover, as the proceeding was heard in private session.]

  • [Open session]

  • Your Honour, we are in open session.

  • Mr Fayia, in the context of your trip on behalf of the RUF to Belgium, you were asked about the Workers' Party of Belgium and Mr Ludo Martens. Do you recall that?

  • Yes, I do.

  • And do you remember reference being made to the links of the - the link between the Workers' Party of Belgium and the Communist Party and the International Communist Seminar; do you recall that?

  • And also that Mr Ludo Martens had authored a book on Stalin, yes?

  • Yes.

  • Now help us. What, if any, political leaning did the RUF have in terms of communist or any opposing philosophy or politics?

  • No, RUF did not have any links with communism of any sort.

  • Now, in the article to which you were referred, you were referred to a passage which said that the Workers' Party of Belgium were influenced by the ideas of the Communist Party of China, guerilla movements in Latin America, the movements against the Vietnam War and the Leuven Vlaams movement, all perceived as aspects of a worldwide struggle against colonial or neo-colonial oppression.

    Help us. Why was it that you, as a representative of the RUF, met with the leader of a party who were also associated with the worldwide struggle against colonial or neo-colonial oppression? Why?

  • There was no definite reason. It may have been a coincidence. We were introduced to Mr Ludo Martens by Mr Monguya, who I think happened to be - sorry, who happened to be the President of a party in Congo they called MARC, Movement for the Resurrection of Congo, MARC. Mouvement d'Action pour la Resurrection du Congo, MARC. I think it is friendship between MARC and PTB that motivated Mr Monguya to introduce us to Mr Ludo Martens. And Mr Ludo Martens never introduced us to any other party; he just said I will introduce you people to some leading politicians here in Belgium. He even made arrangements for me to meet the Foreign Minister, whose name I don't remember again. He made arrangements for Mr Sankoh to come over here to deliver a speech to the European Parliament. By then Ireland was provided presidency. But we were not seeking any communist link with PT at all.

  • What did you say about the presidency? You said something about the presidency.

  • Of the European Parliament.

  • Yeah, the President of the European Parliament by then was Ireland.

  • Another topic you were asked about was a visit you made to Liberia in 2008 to register that NGO, Beacon of Hope For the Undeveloped. Now help me. When you went to Liberia in 2008, how long did you stay in the country?

  • In the first place, I arrived in Liberia in September 2008. I arrived there September 2008, and we got the organisation registered in November. Because I am not working there, I just set up the organisation there. I set up the organisation there, I put people in charge. Liberians are in charge there. So I have to go back to Ghana, where I am based. It was on my way to come to check how the business was running that my brother-in-law Jigay met me in Voinjama. He told me about coming to give this testimony. That was 2009, November.

  • Yes. Now, the final matter I want to ask you about is this: You were asked a number of questions about Dr Addai-Sebo; do you recall that?

  • And you were referred to a number of documents where reference was made to Dr Sebo and his supposed links to Charles Taylor. Do you recall that?

  • I want to draw your attention, please, to one such document, MFI-4, please. Now, is this headed "Fall From Grace", this document? It's the document which was at tab 8 in the bundle handed up?

  • Yes, it is.

  • Now, you were only referred to two lines in the third-from-the-bottom paragraph. I would like us to look at this document in a bit more detail:

    "Charles Taylor's fall is a reminder of the perils of absolute power, writes Gamal Nkrumah. I sat back and watched Liberian ex-President and former Baptist preacher Charles Ghankay Taylor handcuffed, visibly shaken and disheveled, taken prisoner in a United Nations aircraft, surrounded by United Nations peacekeeping troops popularly known as the Blue Berets. The scene seems somewhat incredulous. Still, I had the strange feeling that I'd seen it all before. A persuasive sense of deja vu engulfed me. It was a typical cloak-and-dagger drama with its characteristic mix of whim and menace.

    The Taylor drama has all the hallmarks of the Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milosevic sagas - the witch trials, the paranoia, the conspiracy theories and the exacting personal price of power.

    For a drama so full of portent and omens, the signs are not good. Many African leaders started out as anti-corruption advocates, and invariably it was not long before their quest for power resulted in murder and mayhem. Taylor is no exception, but why was he singled out? Like Saddam and Milosevic, he will no doubt be subjected to methodical and almost ritual degradation. In an interrupted telephone interview, Liberian ex-President told Al-Ahram Weeky that behind his fall were machinations and betrayals that he did not foresee. 'I was betrayed by the Nigerian authorities,' he said. And despite his ordeal, he stressed that he was in comfortable surroundings and that he was being handled by 'very professional people'. Immediately afterwards, our conversation came to an abrupt end.

    But, internationally speaking, there must have been a reason why, of all African leaders, he has been singled out as the sacrificial lamb. Observers say that Taylor's adventures, above all else, have left a thick red smear of blood across the war-torn West African countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia.

    No doubt this is true. But below the stormy surface of international politics is a concerted attempt to reshape this corner of West Africa in America's image and likeness. 'History is the chronicle of the victor,' Akyaaba Addai-Sebo, independent consultant on preventive diplomacy and conflict transformation, and formerly special envoy of International Alert, told Weekly. He also helped broker peace negotiations between the fighting groups in Liberia and Sierra Leone. 'They desperately needed a trophy,' he explained. 'They cannot tolerate a civilian who took up arms against a military dictatorship and won free and fair democratic elections in spite of the onslaught of the United States, Britain and the powers that be.' He went on: 'They have had their way, their pound of flesh. Taylor is most likely to go the way of Milosevic or even Sankoh for that matter.'

    Taylor is currently held by a special UN court set up for Sierra Leone in 2002. The United Nations already runs a tribunal in The Hague to prosecutor war crimes suspects connected with conflicts in the Balkans in the 1990s, and Taylor is scheduled to be flown into the Netherlands in due course. The Dutch government has no qualms about hosting the trial of Taylor, but it wants clearance from the UN first. His presence in the custody of the Special Court sends out a clear message that no matter how powerful or feared people may be, the law is above them, explained Desmond De Silva, chief UN prosecutor.

    Taylor plans to assemble a team of international lawyers for future hearings. Among the lawyers who were mentioned by the international media are Alan Dershowitz, law professor at Harvard, and Karim Khan, a British lawyer who represented Taylor when he challenged the jurisdiction of the war crimes tribunal in 2003. The Ghanaian solicitor Kofi Akainyah was also approached to defend Taylor. Meanwhile, Vincent Nmehielle, the UN special court-appointed defence lawyer, is defending the former President in Sierra Leone.

    The accusations of unfair treatment have already begun. Taylor's sister Louise Edna Taylor-Carter, who heads a delegation of six family members in Sierra Leone, said the family was denied access to Taylor. 'He'll never get a fair trial here,' she said. And she has a point. It is undoubtedly the case that Taylor will not receive a fair trial in Sierra Leone, but it is not clear whether he will receive a fair trial in The Hague either.

    Taylor is not charged with crimes he committed in his country, but rather in Sierra Leone. James Bleeton, editor of Liberia's New Standard newspaper, told the BBC that had Taylor contested the presidential elections that brought Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to power, he would easily have won as he did in the 1997 polls. To this day, Taylor remains tremendously popular in Liberia, which explains why the Liberian government was reluctant to receive him, for his presence in the country would have caused something of a commotion. 'Are the people stupid then? Taylor is popular for a reason. And his captors realise that all too well. Indeed, the victims of Taylor are much more humane than the elite in power,' Addai-Sebo explained. Indeed, even in Sierra Leone, where he has many enemies, most people do not particularly seek revenge - rather justice. 'Many of the amputees themselves do not seek revenge. The responsibility of the carnage cannot be restricted to a single person.'

    Behind all the commotion, perhaps oil is one of the reasons that the US in particular is interested in Liberia. West Africa has emerged as a new source of oil for the West, which is uneasy about dependence on the unstable Middle East. Liberia is rich in offshore oil reserves, and in fact Taylor was seeking to invite the Chinese, who have deep sea oil technology, to develop the Liberian oil industry. 'The idea behind Taylor's trial is the continued denigration of the stereotypical African they say has a chip on his shoulder. The west wants "yes men", not African leaders who have their own opinions,' Addai-Sebo said. 'They cannot except African solutions that are not a result of pressure from outside.'"

    Now those quotes from Addai-Sebo, Mr Fayia, are they typical of the politics of the man you knew?

  • You mean Addai-Sebo?

  • Was he a pan-Africanist?

  • And from your knowledge of him, what did he understand by "pan-Africanism", Dr Addai-Sebo?

  • According to him he - by "pan-Africanism" he meant - and always said - the liberation of the African community.

  • And from your vantage point, was Addai-Sebo of assistance in achieving the Abidjan Peace Accord, or was he a hindrance?

  • He was very persistent on achieving it, right from the start to the end.

  • And did you find his assistance helpful?

  • Yes, because he was always advising us. In fact, like the speech I am talking about which Foday Sankoh almost refused to read, he brought a professor from Japan to help us do it together.

  • Madam President, I appreciate that only the first page of this document was marked for identification as MFI-4. I'd like the whole document marked for identification, please.

  • I think it won't be necessary to give it a different MFI number. But when the document is being tendered, as I hope it will be, I will adjust the number of pages accordingly. Your submission is noted.

  • Finally, could I invite your attention, please, to MFI-7. Now, this is a document entitled "Building Peace in West Africa" by Adekeye Adebajo. Could we go to page 86, please. Your attention was directed only to the top paragraph. I want to ask you about the second paragraph on that page which reads as follows:

    "The Abidjan Accord was, however, a personal triumph for Ivorian Foreign Minister Amara Essy, who worked tirelessly for nearly a near to bring both sides together."

    Do you agree with that proposition?

  • No, because most of the provisions of the accord were suggested by the RUF. So I can say that it was a triumph for both the Ivorian government and for the RUF.

  • "Essy was credited with convincing the notoriously recalcitrant RUF leader Foday Sankoh to leave his bush camp for the comfort of Abidjan."

    Is that true?

  • Yes.

  • "But Essy was regarded by some observers as favouring the RUF, a perception fuelled his reported closeness to Addai-Sebo. The Ivorians were also accused of providing the RUF with a base in Danane that also reportedly served as an arms supply route for the rebels."

    Now, help me. First of all, did Amara Essy favour the RUF, in your opinion, Mr Fayia?

  • No. Amara Essy - I mean, just like what they said in the first line of that paragraph, he was working so the Ivorian government as a government can have the credit of giving Sierra Leone peace after the conflict. So he was - he did not favour the RUF at all. When the RUF and the Government of Sierra Leone - whenever he was dealing with them, he was dealing with them on a - even handedly.

  • Did these reports that the Ivorians were providing the RUF with a base in Danane which was being used as a supply route for the rebels for the RUF, is there any truth in that?

  • As far as you're aware, did the RUF ever obtain arms and ammunition from Cote d'Ivoire?

  • No. In fact, they would not tolerate that one. They would not tolerate that one at all.

  • Who wouldn't tolerate that one?

  • The Ivorians would not tolerate that one, so we never told them anything about arms business. We were always running after the peace process. That is why in fact all those who were on the peace process, up to the date the accord was signed, most of us were civilians.

  • "The fact that Cote d'Ivoire and not ECOWAS was the only West African moral guarantor of the agreement" - and that's true, isn't it?

  • "... along with the UN, the Commonwealth and the OAU, stoked up the historical sub-regional rivalry between Abidjan and Abuja. This rivalry dates back to Cote d'Ivoire's recognition of, and provision of military assistance, to secessionist Biafra during the Nigerian civil war of 1967 to 1970. Abidjan with the support of Paris had led several exclusively Francophone economic and political groupings against what it saw as Nigeria's efforts to dominate the West African sub-region through ECOWAS. Abidjan had also supported the NPFL against ECOMOG in Liberia."

    And then we see it goes on to mention Sankoh's detention under house arrest in Nigeria. Did that rivalry between Cote d'Ivoire and Nigeria have anything to do with Sankoh's arrest in Nigeria in your view, Mr Fayia?

  • In the first place, we did not see any rivalry between them, between Cote d'Ivoire and Nigeria. We did not suspect that at all. And his arrest in Nigeria, according to what all of us heard on the radio, was because he carried arms, arms that he used to carry - that he carried to Abuja once without he being arrested.

    What happened actually was, he had gone to Nigeria without the permission of the Ivorian government. He went as a private person. So when he got there, according to what they said, when his passport was passing through the immigration officers, they suspected some strange thing. How should Foday Sankoh come here without the government knowing? Because they say they contacted Abacha to see if he was expecting him. He said no. That was why he was arrested.

  • Now, we see this also, don't we, if we skip a line:

    "Sankoh, whose forces were running out of arms, had been directed to Nigeria by Steve Bio, a Sierra Leonean businessman."

    Two things. Firstly, were the RUF running out of arms in late 1996, '97?

  • In 1996, '97 we were not talking about arms again, firstly. And, secondly, what we heard that Steve Bio was doing with Foday Sankoh, he said he had some connections in Russia. He said he was going to take him to Russia, not to Nigeria. According to what we heard, they were on their way to Russia.

  • Tell me, did the NPFL have any representatives at the peace talks in la Cote d'Ivoire in 1996?

  • Apart from la Cote d'Ivoire, as reflected in the passage to which I just directed your attention, was any other West African country involved in the peace negotiations in Cote d'Ivoire in late 1996?

  • No.

  • You've told us about a visit you made to Gbarnga and thereafter to Accra in 1995. Do you recall that?

  • On that occasion, were you given any message by Foday Sankoh to take to Charles Taylor?

  • Was Sankoh aware that you were travelling to Gbarnga on that occasion?

  • Yes, we told him. He told us not to go, but we decided to go.

  • So he was against you going?

  • And following that visit to Accra with Charles Taylor, did he, Charles Taylor, give you any message to carry to Foday Sankoh?

  • Madam President, that is all I ask in re-examination.

  • Mr Koumjian, do you wish to move any of these documents into evidence?

  • Yes, your Honour. The Prosecution would tender MFI-1 through MFI-11, including the pages - the full article that counsel read, which was MFI-4, into evidence.

  • Yes, Mr Griffiths any objections?

  • Then the following are the exhibit numbers allocated:

    MFI-1, that is the RUF agriculture chart for Kailahun District as of June 1991 as drawn by the witness Musa Fayia consisting of one page is now exhibit P-521.

    MFI-2, this is the list of RUF vanguards as remembered and prepared by the witness Musa Fayia consisting of three pages is exhibit P-522.

    MFI-3, this is the biography of Akyaaba Addai-Sebo, from a document entitled "Forum 2000" consisting of one page, is now exhibit P-523.

    The document MFI-4, "Fall from grace, Charles Taylor fall is a reminder of the perils of absolute power", an article by Gamal Nkrumah, it is now consisting of two pages, is now exhibit P-524.

    MFI-5, which is an article entitled "A dirty war in West Africa, the RUF and the destruction of Sierra Leone" by one Lansana Gberie, consisting of the cover page, publication page and page 12, that is now exhibit P-525.

    MFI-6, which is a document entitled "Between Democracy and Terror, the Sierra Leone Civil War, edited by Ibrahim Abdullah," consisting of the cover page, publication page and page 202, that is now exhibit P-526.

    MFI-7, an article entitled "Building peace in West Africa, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea-Bissau", an article by Adekeye Adebajo, consisting of a cover page, publication page and page 86, that is now exhibit P-527.

    MFI-8, this is the biography of one Ludo Martens, it's a web page from "" consisting of a single page is now exhibit P-528.

    MFI-9, another web page, consisting of one page about the Workers' Party of Belgium, is now exhibit P-529.

    MFI-10 is an article from the Sierra Leone News Archives, it's a web page, consisting of one page and the date is October 1999, that is now exhibit P-530.

    Lastly, the article from the Sierra Leone Web from for March 1997, consisting of two pages, that is now exhibit P-531.

  • [Exhibits P-521 to P-531 admitted]

  • Mr Fayia, we want to thank you for your testimony. You may now stand down and we wish you a safe journey home, whenever that will be.

  • Madam President, can I indicate that I will be leaving the courtroom at this stage because Mr Anyah has carriage of the next witness.

  • Please show the witness out and have your next witness in.

  • Good afternoon, Madam President. Good afternoon, your Honours. Good afternoon, counsel opposite. Before the next witness is brought in, for the Court's purposes, the witness's number is DCT-062, and I do have a preliminary application to make in respect of protective measures, if it pleases your Honours.

    Madam President, this witness is governed by your Honours' decision from 27 May 2009, the CMS number is 782. The witness was afforded the protective measure of pseudonym by that decision to the extent that the witness falls in the category of persons protected as being ex-combatants. Now, the decision, in our submission, is still binding as of today with respect to the pseudonym. The relevant part being on page 14 of the decision where your Honours enunciated your various orders, in particular subsection B, which reads that "the names or any other identifying information of these witnesses shall not be disclosed to the public or the media and this order shall remain in effect after the conclusion of proceedings." That, we submit, accords him the protective measure of pseudonym even up until this movement.

    Since the witness's arrival in The Hague, I have spoken to the witness and so have others, and the witness does wish to testify openly, testifying with his true name and identity. Accordingly, I respectfully move that that protective measure of pseudonym be rescinded.

  • Does the Prosecution have any objection to the application made?

  • Good afternoon, Madam President, your Honours, counsel opposite. I have conduct of the next witness for cross. The Prosecution does not oppose the application made by the Defence. Thank you.

  • In view of the fact that the witness DCT-062 has indicated that he wishes to now testify openly, the protective measure referred to by Defence counsel, namely, that of the use of a pseudonym, is accordingly rescinded.

  • Thank you, Madam President. I would also indicate that the witness will be testifying in Liberian English and he wishes to be sworn in on the Bible.

  • Thank you. Are the Liberian interpreters in place?

    THE INTERPRETER 1: Yes, your Honour.

    THE INTERPRETER 2: Your Honour, we are.