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

  • Good morning, witness.

  • At the break we were discussing radio stations, so let's go to another kind of radio. Yesterday Defence counsel asked you - it wasn't yesterday, I believe it was Monday afternoon - if you were aware of Charles Taylor's radio conversations with rebels in Sierra Leone. You said you were not. As inspector general of the NPFL, were you aware with whom Charles Taylor carried on regular radio communications?

  • Well, not in that case. Like in the case of the question yesterday he had a radio, he had a communication, he had a Thuraya phone and he had other means of communication, but in the case with direct conversation with rebels in the RUF, no, I have not listened to any one of that, but he had so many means of communicating with whom he wanted to communicate with.

  • Well, as ambassador to Libya and Tunisia, were you aware with whom Charles Taylor carried on regular radio communications, or telephone communications?

  • It went the same way. He used to communicate with whosoever he wanted to communicate with, because he had the capability, he had the phones, he had long range radios and he had other phones like Thuraya, which is very international, and when he was communicating I wouldn't listen to that, except for the long range radios we used for war. At that time it was an open radio that anybody could listen to, but I did not see him, nor listen to him, communicating directly to anybody on the war front.

  • And as Vice-President did you have access to know with whom he was communicating with by radio or telephone?

  • Just the same way again. He talked to anybody he wanted to talk with. If I am leaving here he will communicate with me, he will communicate with Mr Gaddafi, he would call him and have conversations with him and with other people at Mataba and they can call him and then they will just say, "Chief, just talk to us", and you have to make haste and go home and then sometimes he will call that you should come back. When I was on mission outside, he always communicated with me by way of Thuraya, or any other means of communication, or sometimes ordinary telephone.

  • Just to be clear, because the question was: Did you know with whom, other than yourself, he communicated?

  • Yes, he communicated with Gaddafi most of the time.

  • Witness, the Defence asked you about several individuals and put their names to you and you provided some brief answers and I just wanted a little more detail on some of these individuals. They put to you the name of an Elie Selebe - I believe that was S-E-L-E-B-E - and you indicated he had been a finance minister. Do you know when he had served in that post?

  • Elie Selebe served in the year - he was finance minister and then the president of the bank, the National Bank. That is I think 2000/2001.

  • Was that when he was finance minister, or president of the National Bank?

  • He was president of the National Bank. He was the finance minister in the finance ministry in the year 1997 to 1998, to my knowledge.

  • And do you know what happened to him?

  • He left the bank. He left the bank and during the last war there was fighting in Monrovia and he left the bank and went to Ghana. He was partly living in Ghana and sometimes he will come to Liberia. At one time President Taylor sent for him to leave Ghana to come to Monrovia and that was in 2002 - 2001 and then he came back to Monrovia, but from there I did not know where he left to.

  • Well, there was another individual identified as a finance minister, a John Bestment, and you identified him as such. Do you know when he served?

  • Bestment served shortly after Selebe. That was 2002. He was there for about a year and I think he was sacked, or he was removed.

  • And do you know what happened with him after he was removed?

  • The Defence asked you about a man by the name of Bon-Go-Ray, asking you whether he had been a bodyguard of yours and you said no, but in your answer you said you remembered him. How do you know him?

  • Bon-Go-Ray, Ray had been the first cousin to Benjamin Yeaten and he was working around the commander in chief. I cannot say exactly what his position was, but he was a very strong man going to war from place to place and even in the war in Tapita, against the MODEL rebels, he was there at the front fighting in Tapita. That is the Bon-Go-Ray I know of, but he was never my bodyguard. Since the war, the bodyguards I had are still with me. Some are now in the university, they are going to school, but Bon-Go-Ray had never been to school and he had never worked with me as bodyguard, but he was a fighting man. He was very close to Benjamin Yeaten. He is a brother, I can say, to Benjamin Yeaten.

  • Well, is he a brother or a cousin, or what do you mean by brother?

  • In Africa we say brother. That would mean we are referring to a cousin and your uncle would be your father, your auntie will be your mother. That is our custom. That is what we say to our closer relations. If you say cousin, most times they will think you are trying to separate yourself from the family. So you will say "my brother".

  • And do you know where he is now?

  • Bon-Go-Ray is in Liberia.

  • Mr Witness, the Defence asked you what you would have done in the case of Moses Blah in June 2003 if you had been in Charles Taylor's shoes and you responded to that question. If you had been in his shoes what would you have done in the cases of John Yormie and Isaac Vaye?

  • What I said was that I responded that if a man is accused or reported that he has been involved in the coup I must take this man to Court and have him properly investigated and the law will take its course. But you cannot bring the law unto yourself when you are investigated or when you, the accused person, will serve as your own judge. You shouldn't be your own judge. If I were Taylor I wouldn't have done that. The matter should go to Court and then the law should take its course.

  • Witness, the Defence referred to your detention in a room at the Tuah residence as house arrest. What were the conditions where you were held?

  • I also denied to say it was house arrest. I was like in a jail. If you are under house arrest you have facilities, you can move around, you can drink if you want to drink. But I was really detained, door locked with a key and I always see someone sitting in front of the door. So I cannot consider that to be a house arrest.

    That was why I said I was being detained as a prisoner. I did not move freely, I was in a single room and the room was locked, all the windows were protected by heavily armed gunmen and they were speaking Krio, speaking this and that, threatening me and they will say, "We will take the Vice-President to the Robertsfield Highway tonight and he will be going to Europe". So much intimidation. I was not free where I was held.

  • And how many days were you there?

  • And were you able to step outside the house during that time period?

  • The only time I stepped out of that house was the time I was called to go to the Executive Mansion.

  • Witness, in an answer to Defence counsel you recounted your conversation with the US Charge d'Affairs about what was called or what he called the notorious ATU. What behaviour made the ATU notorious?

  • He was referring to the behaviour of the ATU. The ATU took the law upon themselves. They behaved as though they were not under control. They did not behave as a military unit. They took everything on to themselves. Sometimes they left guard posts, they would attack anybody in the street and take away from them anything they had and they had no regard for anybody. As long as you were not a member of the ATU they would not respect you. I think that was what he was trying to refer to. It was the behaviour of the men.

  • And who did the ATU work for?

  • They worked for the former President Taylor. They were his personal bodyguard unit.

  • Witness, you mentioned that Benjamin Yeaten made a radio address before Taylor's return from Accra in your answers to Defence questions. What did he say in that radio address?

  • Benjamin said over the radio that the former President was out of the country and that he dared anybody in Liberia if you go out of the way of the law of this country or any groupings, or any citizen of Liberia in any location, you will see the weight of the military. And he said they will feel the - how did they call it? In fact, they will feel the military vibration. That was what he said. I did not know what he meant by vibration, but that was what he said.

  • Witness, yesterday the Defence invited your attention to selected passages from official documents and asked you various questions about their content. I would like to go to at least three of those documents now, if I could have the assistance of the Registry with MFI-31.

    I think we should have on our screens MFI-31, which is the Security Council document, fifth report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Sierra Leone dated 9 June 1998. If we could go to page 3 of that document, the one that ends with the ERN 4203, or the ERN ends with those digits. Okay, if we are there, my monitor does not show it but I'm on the wrong channel, I will get to there, but I presume we have in front of us page 3 and directing your attention down to 13, and I don't want to spend too much time on this because what I wanted to do was to read out 15, but it's important to understand the context and if you will notice in 13, 13 begins, "Following the expulsion of the illegal military junta from the capital Freetown" and then it goes at the end to say, "ECOMOG forces also advanced eastwards towards the Kono and Kailahun Districts where the forces of the former junta were concentrated". But I wanted specifically then to read paragraph 15 in that context:

    "As ECOMOG troops approached, armed former junta elements attacked the local civilian population killing, raping and mutilating hundreds of them, causing tens of thousands of Sierra Leoneans to flee into Liberia and Guinea in the last few weeks and tens of thousands more to flee into the interior of Sierra Leone. Hundreds of patients have been admitted to hospital suffering from amputation of limbs and ears and severe lacerations. Humanitarian organisations fear the actual number of victims may be much larger."

    Witness, my question to you is were you aware of these events?

  • No.

  • You indicated yesterday that you were familiar with these reports that were put out by the United Nations regarding the situation in Sierra Leone?

  • I said yes, on the newspaper reports. That means that some of these papers, they will come out, you buy them, you read, but that doesn't mean that you agree, because you were not at the scene. That was only something said by the newspaper. You can - if I can recollect from the newspaper and that I read it I will say, "Yes, I saw the newspaper", but that doesn't mean that I agreed with the things that happened, because I was not there, I did not see them happen, but that was just how I agreed with most of the newspaper reports, but that didn't mean that they happened.

    Sometimes in Liberia you will see the newspaper, you will read them and you will read different things in them and then you see different headlines and then you read them. Then sometimes you see certain things and you just read them and sometimes they are confusing, sometimes based on rumours, and they will write a newspaper and say all kinds of things about what they cannot prove.

  • In terms of the content of this particular paragraph - and I think we are talking about a date when you were ambassador to Libya - were you aware about this reported fleeing of tens of thousands of Sierra Leoneans into Liberia and Guinea during this period?

  • This was also through radio that there was a war in Sierra Leone and people were running up and down, they were running helter-skelter and they were going to different locations. I was not there and I cannot say yes completely to it, but I heard that from radio communications, or radio.

  • Well, let me just ask you about one more passage in this document and that's at paragraph 36 and that would be at page 7, 4207 are the last four digits of the ERN number, and I am looking at paragraph 36. Let me just read it to you and then ask you a question:

    "Of those victims who have received treatment most are male ranging in ages from eight to 60 years. The youngest amputee admitted to hospital is however a six year old girl, one whose arms were completely severed. Victims also report that babies have been taken from their mother's arms and burned alive. There are numerous reports of rape, including one of the multiple rape of a 12 year old girl. Doctors at one hospital state that lacerations inflicted on one 60 year old woman are the result of a failed attempt to behead her."

    The question that I have is how does this compare to what you heard about events in Sierra Leone?

  • All of these are news reports that you see them, you buy papers, you read them. And all of these things, even when I was in Libya, papers were sent to me by my wife. She will buy the papers, some interesting headlines, she will buy them and send them to me to keep me alert.

  • And these were --

  • Mr Rapp, I don't understand the question, much less the answer.

  • The question was --

  • Because in paragraph 36 there are specific events reported. Now I don't understand the question, "how does this compare to what you heard?" And much less when the witness says all these were newspapers sent to me. I don't understand how that relates to the question you asked.

  • Well, the question related - the witness in his prior answer said that he had received information about what had happened in Sierra Leone. Now he said he had received that by newspapers and other means, not specifically from UN reports, and so I put to him how this particular information compared to what he had heard and that was the issue, rather than leading him specifically asking whether it was correct or incorrect:

  • And you are satisfied with the answer he gave?

  • Yes, I am, your Honour:

  • Let me then move to a document that was in the Defence bundle if we can and that is the document at - I believe it was given the MFI-36H meaning that it was one of several separately labelled parts of tab 1 of that Defence bundle, specifically the Human Rights Watch report of 3 November 2003. Now, if we can move forward in that document to what had been page 23 of the bundle, it would be the fourth page of MFI-36H, the page that begins with the heading, "Arms abuses and Liberia's warring factions". Let me invite your attention, witness, to the second paragraph of that page and read it to you and then I would have a question. It is a lengthy reading and I will attempt to read it slowly. It is but a single paragraph, however:

    "The forces of the former Taylor government and associated militias have been responsible for war crimes and a long list of serious human rights abuses. Using the power of the gun they carry out rape, looting and forced recruitment of children throughout the areas they control. For years Taylor's government received weapons despite the embargo, often counting on regional allies, such as Burkina Faso, to cover up its illegal arms imports. A UN panel of experts has documented that arms dealers supplying Liberia arranged arms deals in Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine. On 8 August 2003 newly arrived peacekeepers from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) foiled an attempt by the then government to bring in a large consignment of weapons by air. The seized consignment contained 22 tonnes of weapons, including two brand new mortars and numerous boxes of mortar rounds as well as eleven tonnes of 7.62 millimetre small arms ammunition and rocket propelled grenades (RPGs). Had this cargo not been intercepted the resupply of Taylor's forces might have plunged Monrovia back into full-scale war, just as it was beginning to emerge from a long period of fighting."

    Now, my question, witness: This arms shipment that is described as taking place there at the beginning of August 2003, 8 August, is this the arms shipment that you have told us about?

  • Yes, this is the one that was intercepted by the peacekeepers, yes.

  • Witness, the report here that the resupply would have plunged Monrovia back into full-scale war, do you know what Mr Taylor's plans were for the use of those weapons?

  • Except when he said on the national radio that he had no intention of leaving the country, that he was not running away, that he will fight from house to house until the last person died. That was what he said. That was almost about the same time when these weapons were intercepted. His plan was to fight from house to house until the last person died.

  • And that, you say, was a speech at about the same time, in August of 2003?

  • Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

  • Yesterday the Defence read out to you a long press conference reported on CNN on 6 July, about a month before, 2003, with President Obasanjo of Nigeria and President Taylor of Liberia. Now, on 6 July 2003 did you believe that Taylor was going to resign the presidency and leave Liberia?

  • It was not clear. I did not even believe that he would have left at the time he left to go to Nigeria.

  • Now, witness, the Defence also asked you, or put it to you that you should have known, or should have had a clue, as they put it in their manner, before 11 August 2003 that you were going to succeed to the presidency and you said you did not. I would like to ask the Registry to put before you another MFI, MFI-18, and that is a CNN article also about the weapons plan being intercepted and I am looking for page 2 of that document. Let me go down the page here a bit, the paragraph that begins, "On Saturday", which is I think the fifth full paragraph and read the next four paragraphs there and ask a question to you based on this content. This is an article dated 7 August 2003:

    "On Saturday Taylor said he would hand over power to a new President on 11 August and that the Parliament would meet Thursday to approve the new President. Taylor had said that the choice for President is between Vice-President Moses Blah and House Speaker Nyundueh Monkomana, but on Thursday leaders of the national assembly were told that Taylor would not address Parliament. No reason was given for Taylor's cancelling his plans, CNN Koinange reported. Taylor had been hedging lately on whether he would accept Nigeria's offer of asylum. His government has said he would leave only after peacekeepers were oh the ground and if a war crimes indictment against Taylor is dropped."

    Witness, how does this compare to your observation of events at the time?

  • That was what I said, that I was not too sure of becoming the successor of President Taylor at the time he was leaving. It was Nyundueh Monkomana and Moses Blah, which was contradicting according to our constitution, so that was why I said that I was not informed and I was not told by anybody that I will be taking over the country as President, because we were two men at the time chosen and his intention was not even to go. He did not have trust in Nigeria that he would have gone there to stay peacefully. It sounded to him, according to him, that it was a trick. That was what I heard him say at the point in time. He said, "Maybe my going to Nigeria is a trap set in front of me." So his going there, he did not cherish it, according to this document, and that is what I said.

  • Witness, you mentioned in your answers to Defence questions that there had been, you said, discussions and resistance and it is a lengthy answer that you gave, but it related to the Liberian legislature and the question of whether you would be replaced in the presidential succession by this Mr Monkomana. On 11 August 2003 had you received any information about the conclusion of those deliberations, or those discussions?

  • No, I was not told about anything. No communication was addressed to me. We were all hanging in the air until we shot over the Executive Mansion and I was called in to be sworn in as President of Liberia. There was no formal discussion. There was no formal conference by the legislature, nor a communication with the legislature.

  • Witness, when you were called over there, to the Executive Mansion, on 11 August 2003 and saw Charles Taylor and saw him put the sash of office on you and leave, at that time, from your observation, why did you believe he was leaving on that day?

  • This was something you could not actually imagine. Being Vice-President and as usual we were at the Executive Mansion parlour where there was a programme and I was called to be present and everybody went there, and all of a sudden I was called to - I did not even address the congregation, because I was - of course, as I was called I was sworn in to become President and immediately after I saw these four Presidents around the former President, they went upstairs and maybe into his office and they were there and everybody was just moving as though somebody had come to take somebody away. I overheard these Presidents saying that this time he must go, this time he must go. So that was how I got to know that he was leaving that moment and that was exactly what they said and then they took him away. He was sitting in the car with Obasanjo and some other Presidents, they were about three, and we all rushed to the airport and it was strictly from the Executive Mansion direct to the airport. That was how he left the Executive Mansion.

  • Well, thank you, witness, for your answers. We can put that document aside. I just have one final question, or two final questions about a related subject. Witness, were you a member of any secret society to which the accused, Charles Taylor, belonged?

  • Yes, I remember a Poro society to which I was invited to join, but I did not. I delayed because I did not want to be a part of any society in Liberia. I am a Christian and I don't join societies other than going to church. Poro society, the headquarters was in Gbarnga and from time to time the government officials will go and everybody joined a society save Moses Blah.

  • Thank you very much.

  • Could we have the spelling of the first society?

  • Poro, P-O-R-O. Poro society.

  • Also, Mr Rapp, I am not sure I know what a Poro society is? I mean you asked the question and he answered, but I have no clue what it is.

  • Let's be clear. What is a Poro society in Liberia?

  • A Poro society in Liberia is a society of men and I have not been in there to see what they do in the Poro society. So what I know is that I hear people say Poro society. That is where men, big men, are joined and children sometimes in fact. It is a society which grew out of the tribe called Kpelleh. There is Kpelleh, there is Mano and there is the Loma. These three in the three counties, that is where you have the Poro society.

  • Is it a religious society?

  • No, it is not religious. It is difficult to say what they do in there except to join the society. The only symbol that you will see for a common people are marks on the back of the person. You will have marks on your back and if you see those carvings on anybody you will know that that person is a member of the Poro society.

  • So why did you say you would not join it because you are a Christian? Is it incompatible with Christianity?

  • Yes, it is contrary to Christianity. If you are a Christian and believe in God, you would not want to go initiated into another society, or any other organisation that you think will not be compatible with your Christian religion. You will be contradicting yourself.

  • How is it incompatible?

  • You will leave to go and join another society and in the society they will have their own laws and suppose my back is not supposed to be carved to waste my own blood and then I say, "Well, I am not going to join it, because it has its own rules and regulations and we will have to do these things." Suppose you are in there and they compel you to do certain things that a Christian shouldn't do, so I just decided to avoid the whole thing and said, "I will not be part of this society because I did not know what was happening in there." I had my Bible to pray with.

  • And you said you were invited. Who invited you, sir?

  • President Taylor invited me. He asked me. He instructed me to join the society on two or three occasions, but I delayed the process. I would say, "I will come", I will do this this time, I will do that the next time, but it never happened.

  • Thank you very much, your Honour, and that will conclude my re-direct examination.

  • Mr Witness, I have one question for you that comes out of MFI-24, which is a news archive, a report about your visit to Sierra Leone and what you are alleged to have said to President Kabbah. This is what you are alleged to have said to President Kabbah, it says:

    "Liberian President Moses Blah expressed regret Friday for his country's role in Sierra Leone's civil war and assured Sierra Leoneans in a live television broadcast that, 'The past will not be repeated.'"

    Now, my question is: What was it that you were expressing regret for exactly?

  • About the war in Sierra Leone. I told you I saw our fighters Dopoe Menkarzon and Christopher Varmoh, they were in Sierra Leone fighting and they themselves told me that they were in Sierra Leone fighting. So that was what I was referring to, that as I became President of Liberia I will never send anybody to Sierra Leone to fight with any other group in Sierra Leone, and even not to attack the country directly myself as President. I told them that that will never happen and I said, "Let bygones be bygones", and that we should live as good neighbours.

  • What exactly did you mean by your country's role in the civil war?

  • By sending people to fight. Like I told you that the men were going and they had referred to a place called Kuwait and later I found out what Kuwait was and they told us it was a place in Sierra Leone and they brought riches, cars and some other things from out of there. So that was what I was talking about. They sent men in there to fight alongside with the RUF and so that was what I promised, that it will never happen as long as I remain President of Liberia. I was also referring to the war in Sierra Leone in which Liberia was involved.

  • Yes, but my interest is who had sent these men to fight, do you know? These Liberians, these individual Liberians, who had sent them there to fight?

  • According to Foday Sankoh, what he told me was that President Taylor had sent his men and they were misbehaving, killing his citizens and I concluded that that was the fight that I am referring to.

  • Was it true that President Taylor had sent these men?

  • Yes, because Dopoe Menkarzon told me, he said it, and he was the man heading the command out there from the NPFL side. He said it.

  • Mr Witness, I have one, maybe two or three questions. You have described to us seeing the body of a person you came to recognise as Sam Bockarie at the back of a jeep. Could you tell us what time of the day did you see that?

  • That was about 10 o'clock in the morning.

  • And what was the visibility like when you saw that?

  • 10 in the morning, yes.

  • 10 o'clock in the morning and the body was - in fact I was so surprised to see someone who was living and he just passed by my house and I offered them food to eat, I did not take a clear look at his body, but he was lying on the back in the pick-up.

  • Thank you, witness. Are there any questions arising from the Bench's questions, Mr Griffiths?

  • Can I just ask one matter:

  • Former President, you were asked by the learned judge about that article flowing from your visit to Sierra Leone. The period you're talking about when Liberians were sent into Sierra Leone, you're talking about 1991/'92, aren't you?

  • Mr Rapp, questions arising?

  • Witness, low were you able to recognise the body that you took such a brief glance at as Sam Bockarie?

  • Because I saw the man the previous night and he stopped by my house. I identified him by the clothes he was wearing and I knew that was Sam Bockarie's body because he was still dressed in the same outfit he had on him when he stopped by my house together with Benjamin that night and they were offered food and drinks and after they left.

  • Thank you. If there are no other questions - thank you, Mr Witness. Please pause, there may be some procedural matters to be dealt with.

  • Your Honours, we wanted to make offers of exhibits. Having not been here for that before, do we do that in the presence of the witness or do we excuse the witness?

  • There is no firm procedure. We normally try and do it in the presence of the witness, but we have done it in his absence. It's just in case some issue arises.

  • Thank you very much, your Honour. At this point then there are several exhibits that have been marked for identification that we would like to move into evidence as Prosecution exhibits and I see that the Registry has helpfully prepared a list of Prosecution MFIs and I believe I would need to go down through each one of them and move them separately.

  • Yes, if you make your application one by one I will invite Defence to respond.

  • Your Honours, we would move the admission as a Prosecution exhibit of MFI-16, a document described as an original roster of special force commandos, special force of Liberia.

  • Your Honour, it may be that I can assist my learned friend in this regard: So far as all the Prosecution items marked for identification is concerned, we have no difficulty in them being exhibited. I don't know if that might assist in shortening the process.

  • It certainly would - sorry, Mr Rapp.

  • I thank my learned friend and it would indeed. I would note that there are probably two on the Defence MFI list that we would like the make sure are included and --

  • I will invite Mr Griffiths if he has any application in relation to the Defence MFIs then he can make an appropriate application if he so chooses.

  • I just don't want to miss the opportunity to move --

  • In that case you can move those.

  • Right. So I would accept certainly the stipulation of the accused not to object to offering MFI-16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21, MFI-22 an exhibit in seven parts, seven different numbers or letters 22A, B, C, D, E, F, G, MFI-23, 24, MFI-25, MFI-26, MFI-27, MFI-28, MFI-29 and I would move for their admission as Prosecution exhibits and then ask after we do that to raise two on the Defence list.

  • Thank you, Mr Rapp. I will just check what number we are up to before I go through these one by one and describe them for purposes of record.

  • Your Honour, it would be P-116.

  • Very well. The first is a six page document headed "Original Roster of Special Forces Commandos of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia". It becomes Prosecution exhibit P-116.

  • [Exhibit P-116 admitted]

    The next document is a two page document headed "BBC News, Bockarie died a wanted man". It becomes Prosecution exhibit P117

  • [Exhibit P-117 admitted]

    The next document is a three page document headed "CNN.com/WORLD" with a subheading "Liberia weapons plane intercepted". It becomes Prosecution exhibit P-118.

  • [Exhibit P-118 admitted]

    The next document is a one page document headed "Special Court for Sierra Leone" dated Monday 30 October 2006 and signed by James Johnson, acting Prosecutor. It becomes Prosecution exhibit P-119.

  • [Exhibit P-119 admitted]

    The next is a six page document headed "Special Court for Sierra Leone, All Disbursements For Witnesses". It becomes Prosecution exhibit P-120.

  • [Exhibit P-120 admitted]

    The next document is a one page document headed "Special Court for Sierra Leone" with an inter-office memorandum subheading, "Addressed to all Defence teams" and it becomes Prosecution exhibit P-121.

  • [Exhibit P-121 admitted]

    The next set of exhibits are a series of photographs and they have been given an MFI number with a sub-number and I intend to adopt the same procedure in the exhibits unless there is an application to the contrary.

  • Your Honour, MFI-22A is an unmarked version of exhibit P-68C.

  • Yes, that is correct. Well, subject to anything counsel said it has been marked by this witness and therefore becomes a separate exhibit in my view. It's a new exhibit.

  • That would be our position, your Honour.

  • I have no objection whatsoever, your Honour.

  • Yes, have we got the originals? I will call them from my records, but Madam Court Officer will note that it is the original photographs that will actually be the exhibits. I am going to hold up the copy I have so everyone agrees what it is. The first photograph is a photograph in which the witness has identified two persons, one Benjamin Yeaten, the other Sylvester Willor. It becomes Prosecution exhibit P-122A.

  • [Exhibit P-122A admitted]

    The next photograph, again I hold it up so people can confirm, in which the witness has identified a person as John Yanmayan. This becomes Prosecution exhibit 122B.

  • [Exhibit P-122B admitted]

    The next document is a photograph in which the witness has identified several persons including Benjamin Yeaten, Charles Taylor, Musa N'jie and others and it becomes Prosecution exhibit P-122C.

  • [Exhibit P-122C admitted]

    The next document is another photograph in which the witness has identified several persons including Musa N'jie, Mr Charles Taylor, Joseph Montgomery and others. It becomes Prosecution exhibit 122D.

  • [Exhibit P-122D admitted]

    The next photograph has been identified by the witness as having Mr Charles Taylor, Musa Cisse and Joseph Montgomery and a lady who he was unable to recall. That becomes Prosecution exhibit 122E.

  • [Exhibit P-122E admitted]

    In the next photograph the witness has identified, among others, Mr Charles Taylor, a senior ADC N'jie, a Gambian gentleman and the Charge d'Affairs of the Ivory Coast and Joseph Montgomery. It becomes Prosecution exhibit 122F.

  • [Exhibit P-122F admitted]

    In the last photograph the witness has identified Mr Charles Taylor, himself Mr Moses Blah, and a person called Allen. That becomes Prosecution exhibit P-122G.

  • [Exhibit P-122G admitted]

    The next document is a three page document headed "BBC News" with a subheading "Freetown bears the scars". It becomes Prosecution exhibit 123.

  • [Exhibit P-123 admitted]

    The next is a one page document with a title "Sierra Leone News Archives" and the date 22 August, the year is not specified. It becomes Prosecution P-124.

  • [Exhibit P-124 admitted]

    The next document is a one page document headed "Daily News" with a date Friday, 24 July 1998. It becomes Prosecution exhibit P-125.

  • [Exhibit P-125 admitted]

    MFI-26 is a two page document headed "Monrovia Daily News" and it becomes Prosecution exhibit 126.

  • [Exhibit P-126 admitted]

    Then I go to MFI-27, which is the two page copy of The Inquirer, volume 4, number 6, and that becomes Prosecution exhibit P-127.

  • [Exhibit P-127 admitted]

    The next document, which is MFI-28, is a constitution of Liberia. We did record the number of pages when we first marked this for identification and I think, Mr Rapp, you told me there was one page, or was that the different document where there was one - a different document where there was one page. Very well, this is a 24 page document and it is the constitution of the Republic of Liberia. It becomes Prosecution exhibit P-128.

  • [Exhibit P-128 admitted]

    The next document, which is MFI-29, is headed, "Liberian codes revised, volume 3", and I understand it is not an exact numerical sequence. It becomes Prosecution exhibit P-129.

  • [Exhibit P-129 admitted]

    Mr Rapp, you have indicated you would be moving two Defence - two that were marked for identification.

  • Yes, your Honours. We would move MFI-31, the fifth report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Sierra Leone, as a Prosecution exhibit.

  • Mr Griffiths, this document was marked for identification by the Defence.

  • MFI-31, which is the United Nations Security Council fifth report?

  • We marked that document for identification, your Honour. I don't know whether it matters whether it is marked as a Defence exhibit, or as a Prosecution exhibit.

  • It doesn't in as much as that if there is no objection to it being tendered it has now been moved by the Prosecution and I will therefore give it a "P" number, but as you correctly say, it is a public document. This is a 17 page document which is headed "United Nations" and subheading "Security Council fifth report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Sierra Leone." It becomes P-130.

  • [Exhibit P-130 admitted]

  • Your Honour, the reason we are doing this is we are unsure whether the Defence will in fact offer them, having read out certain passages. We just wanted to make sure the Court had access to the entire document.

    The other document was specifically MFI-36H and that is the Human Rights Watch briefing paper of 3 November 2003. Now, I know it was given a lettering, but I think that was simply because it was behind tab 1, but it really is freestanding from the newspaper articles, so we think it is appropriate that it have a number as a Prosecution exhibit if there is no objection from the Defence.

  • Your Honour, in this particular instance I would like it to be a Defence exhibit, please.

  • We are indifferent to that. If the Defence indicates they will be moving it as an exhibit, we will withdraw our application.

  • Thank you, Mr Rapp. I note that and if there are no other Prosecution tenders I will then invite Mr Griffiths to see if he has any documents he wishes to tender of those marked for identification.

  • Well, I was proposing, your Honour, to tender all of these to be exhibited and I don't know if my learned friend has any objection to any of them. It might be that we can deal most efficiently with this if my learned friend indicates any specific objections that the Prosecution have.

  • Yes, your Honours. Let me be plain, I think the ninth item on the list, MFI-38, the affidavit of Jusu Momo, we would have objection to and be happy to argue that separately, or to present our objection. We essentially believe it would be would have to be offered under 92 bis and it would be the kind of individual that would be subject to cross-examination.

    The eighth document, MFI-37, we really have no objection to the autopsy report coming in, it is relevant, but it really shouldn't come in through this witness who is totally unfamiliar with it and our position is that it could be offered by the Defence separately as a relevant document and we would have no objection to its admission.

  • In that case what I will do, Mr Griffiths, is I will go through this list and when we come to the documents that counsel for the Prosecution has indicated he will object to, we will deal with them individually.

  • Your Honour, very well.

  • The first is a series of photographs which the - let me first check what number we are up to on the Defence list. Madam Court Attendant, if you could assist, please.

  • D-33, your Honour.

  • Thank you, D-33. The first of these is a photograph on which the witness has identified certain persons. It was marked for identification as MFI-30A and he has identified himself, Mr Charles Taylor and Momoh Gibba. That will become Defence exhibit --

  • D-33, your Honour.

  • [Exhibit D-33A admitted]

    The next is also a photograph. Again the witness has identified certain persons as Mr Charles Taylor, General Cona and the witness himself, Mr Moses Blah. It will become Defence exhibit D-33B.

  • [Exhibit D-33B admitted]

    The next is again a photograph in which the witness has identified a gentleman as an ADC of the President, Mr Charles Taylor shaking hands with a gentleman called Flomo, Mr Flomo. That will become defence exhibit 33C.

  • [Exhibit D-33C admitted]

    And the last of those photographs in which the witness has identified certain persons: First is the bodyguard, the second was President Charles Taylor and the third was a chief of staff, Cona. That becomes Defence exhibit 33D.

  • [Exhibit D-33D admitted]

    The next document has been tendered by the Prosecution and following from that is MFI-32 which is, "Liberia's response to allegations of our involvement in the Sierra Leone civil war", issued by the Ministry of Information, dated 26 January 1999. It becomes Defence exhibit D-34.

  • [Exhibit D-34 admitted]

    The next document is a Security Council letter dated 22 March 2001 from the permanent representative of Liberia to the United Nations with the annexure thereto. It becomes Defence exhibit D-35.

  • [Exhibit D-35 admitted]

    The next document is MFI-34. It is a letter from the permanent representative of Nigeria, dated 10 July 1998, to the Security Council and it and the annexures thereto are Defence exhibit D-36.

  • [Exhibit D-36 admitted]

    The next document is MFI-35. It is a letter dated 5 July 2001 from the permanent representative of Liberia to the United Nations. The letter and the annexures there to become Defence exhibit D-37.

  • [Exhibit D-37 admitted]

    The next is a series of newspaper reports and the report of Human Rights Watch, which were marked together and I will go through them one by one. The present MFI-36A, a one page document, AFP news article, dated 7 April 2008. I would suggest that it would be appropriate to give them separate numbers as they are not really coordinated documents, but I will --

  • I am quite happy for your Honour to adopt that course.

  • [Exhibit D-38 admitted]

    The next is also a newspaper report headed 'All Africa.com", with a subheading "Blah's testimony". It becomes D-39.

  • [Exhibit D-39 admitted]

    The next is a one page document headed "Star Radio Liberia", with a subheading "Blah subpoenaed". It becomes Defence exhibit D-40.

  • [Exhibit D-40 admitted]

    The next is again a newspaper report, "The analysis", and it is the subheading, "Monkomana wanted bucket of blood", a two page document. It becomes D-41.

  • [Exhibit D-41 admitted]

    The next document is a one page document "Christian Science Monitor", with the subheading, "Liberian President plans to step down". It becomes Defence exhibit D-42.

  • [Exhibit D-42 admitted]

    The next document is a Sierra Leone News Archive, several pages. It is August 2003 and it becomes Defence exhibit D-43.

  • [Exhibit D-43 admitted]

    Next, MFI-36G, is the International Herald Tribune with the subheading, "Peacekeeping and diplomacy". That becomes Defence exhibit D-44.

  • [Exhibit D-44 admitted]

    Now, Mr Griffiths, you have heard that the next document, MFI-37, has been the subject - yes, 36H is the Human Rights Watch report and I note it is not on the list, but it is clear to me that you intend to have that exhibited.

  • Certainly, your Honour.

  • Yes. It is a 33 page document headed "Human Rights Watch, 3 November 2003", with a subheading, "Weapons sanctions, military supplies and human suffering". It becomes Defence exhibit D-45.

  • [Exhibit P-45 admitted]

    Now, Mr Griffiths, you have moved to tender the autopsy report. There is an indication that it will be objected to. I will hear the objection and invite your response.

  • Your Honours, I want to make sure that you understand the nature of my objection and I am not attempting to be pedantic here, but this witness did not have any knowledge of an autopsy or of this document and questions were asked to him about the body of which he did have some knowledge. We would submit that it is inappropriate to base the admission of this document on this witness's testimony. It would be like putting a UN resolution to someone who had never heard of the resolution. So we don't think it can be done that way.

    On the other hand we think it can be offered as a relevant exhibit and this Court, which is not bound by national rules of evidence under Rule 89, could accept it on that basis. It could be done in writing, but we certainly would not object to an oral application for its admission.

  • Just, Mr Rapp, I accept what you say and the document is definitely relevant, but it was presented to the witness in cross-examination presumably to contradict him, or to at least obtain his comments on it, and it seems to me that some of the transcript would not be able to be understood unless that document was put into evidence as well. My view is that if it's used in cross-examination in the manner it was it should be tendered now. I don't know whether you wanted to expand on your original objection in view of what I have said.

  • Well, your Honours, we are trying to make sure that we are following the appropriate procedure before the Court and when a witness is not familiar with the contents of a particular document, basing its admission as an exhibit in this Court on his testimony seems to us perhaps to suggest that it's not as relevant or as probative as it should be, but again our position is that it is a relevant document, it is important that it be in the record and we have no objection to it being there.

  • There being no objection, shall I mark it as an exhibit? Because Mr Griffiths has a right of a reply, but --

  • I would suggest under the circumstances, hearing what the Honourable Justice has indicated, and hearing that argument, let me just withdraw my objection and go ahead and say let's have it admitted as an exhibit.

  • Thank you, Mr Rapp. In the circumstances I will then mark this as a Defence exhibit D-46. That is the autopsy report from the Central Laboratory Services with a note Connaught Hospital dated 4 June 2003. It becomes Defence exhibit D-46.

  • [Exhibit D-46 admitted]

    Now the next document that was marked for identification was a one page document headed "Affidavit of Jusu Momo". I note the Prosecution has indicated there will be an objection. I will hear that objection and invite a reply.

  • Your Honours, this is the statement of an individual sworn before a notary in Liberia, but that's not the way in which we hear the evidence of persons in this trial and under our procedure generally it's by oral testimony. There is an exception under 92 bis for oral statements that are properly verified when they don't go to the acts and conduct of the accused.

    Frankly it would be our submission under the law established in the ICTY Appeals Chamber in the Milosevic case dealing with 92 bis that since the issue here is Yeaten - whether Yeaten took the body to the chief, to Taylor, or, as alleged here, this witness took it, which would be something to the contrary, it is an issue relating to Yeaten and it is possible under 92 bis to bring in testimony relating to a subordinate or an accomplice. However, the precedent if we were to follow the ICTY would suggest in this kind of suggestion that cross-examination would be necessary of this kind of witness and under those circumstances we don't think it can be offered.

    Additionally we note that this is not a business record or some kind of public document created at some time in the past. It is something prepared for this litigation. I think it bears the date 15 May 2008, if I read the numbers correctly, just six days ago, clearly prepared even while this witness was testifying. So under those circumstances we would object to its admission without this witness being available for cross-examination.

  • Your reply, Mr Griffiths?

  • Your Honours, in our submission the document is relevant to an important aspect of this witness's testimony as it directly contradicts an important aspect of the account that he gives. It is therefore in consequence, we submit, important and relevant in placing his account in context.

    We further submit that it is logically connected to the witness's evidence and it is difficult to see how the witness's evidence on what is undoubtedly perhaps the most important aspect of his account could be understood without your Honours being at the same time in a position fairly to juxtapose this document against that account.

    I appreciate the difficulties that my learned friend has described. In our submission, no doubt your Honours will bear those difficulties in mind in deciding how much weight to attach to the document. Those are our submissions, your Honour.

  • Thank you. Allow me to consult.

  • [Trial Chamber conferred]

    We have considered the submissions. We consider that the document is relevant and the objections go to weight. The document is therefore admitted and becomes Defence exhibit D-47.

  • [Exhibit D-47 admitted]

    The next document is a three page document "CNN Transcript", subheaded "Presidents of Liberia and Nigeria hold press conference" and it becomes Defence exhibit D-48.

  • [Exhibit D-48 admitted]

    The last document is, if I recall correctly, six pages. We will check that for the record. It is headed "In the High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division" with a subheading "Between Charles Taylor and Times Newspapers Limited". It becomes Defence exhibit D-49.

  • [Exhibit D-49 admitted]

  • I am most grateful, your Honour.

  • That appears to be all of the documents marked for identification. I will now release the witness, unless --

  • Yes, your Honour.

  • Mr Witness, that is the end of your evidence. We thank you for coming to give your evidence to Court and you are now free to leave.

  • We wish you a safe journey home.

  • Your Honour.

  • Thank you. Please assist the witness.

    I note a change of position on the Prosecution Bar, but I understand there is an interpreter to be sworn in prior to the calling of the next witness. If that can be done first and then I will ask Prosecution for details of the incoming witness. If the interpreter could come into the well of the Court, please.

  • [Interpreter sworn]

    Thank you, Madam Interpreter. We welcome you to the Court and I will ask for a record of your name for the purposes of the record later.

  • Thank you, your Honours.

  • Mr Koumjian, I assume you have carriage of the next witness as I see you have taken the hot seat.

  • Good morning, your Honours. I will be leading the next witness. The next witness is TF1-597. The witness does have protective measures that were put in place by a decision of this Trial Chamber on 10 January 2008, referring to a decision on protective measures of 5 May 2006. The witness had pre-trial protective measures in place. The witness has indicated he is willing to testify openly and so because of that the Prosecution would move to rescind paragraphs (a) through (g), realising that paragraph (h) remains in place for the witness, which guarantees confidentiality of confidential documents.

  • May I please have the date of that order again, Mr Koumjian?

  • The decision for this witness, TF1-597, was issued by this Trial Chamber on 10 January 2008 and referred to the decision of May, I believe 5 May 2006, and those protective measures in that order were listed in paragraphs (a) through (h). We are asking that all be rescinded except for the last (h). I believe exactly the same procedure was used on the last witness. We do have copies of that decision if the Court would like them.

  • I am probably not following it properly, Mr Koumjian, but I have got - no, listen to me. I have got the decision here. You are talking about (a) to (h) and rescinding all except (h), but what I can't understand is if the original protective order had provisions (a) to (m) and if we are looking at (a) to (m), which are the ones you want to apply and which are the ones you want rescinded?

  • It would be helpful if you have a copy.

  • [Overlapping speakers] copy of that decision. Let me see if I can get one.

  • Madam President, your Honour, I will be dealing with this witness from the point of view of the Defence and I would be grateful to my learned friend if I could be supplied with a copy, particularly now that I have heard Justice Lussick's comment that this decision goes beyond letter (h). I thought I had understood - I am very grateful - what the protective measures were, but I didn't realise that they went beyond letter (h). Thank you.

  • Yes, well, I am grateful to the Court for bringing the decision to my attention that goes through the letter (m). I believe (i) through (m) refer to various measures that the Trial Chamber imposed upon the Defence to ensure that non-public materials remained non-public, so since we are asking that (h) remain then we would ask that those remaining measures also remain in place. So the Prosecution motion is to rescind

  • (a) through (g), while keeping in place (h) through (m).

  • I can indicate that we don't have any difficulty with that.

  • Thank you, Mr Munyard.

  • [Trial Chamber conferred]

  • Madam President, can Mr Taylor be excused for a moment for the usual reasons?

  • Yes, please have Mr Taylor escorted.

  • [In the absence of the accused]

  • Mr Koumjian, there is a reference in the decision to an annexure. Have you got a copy of the relevant annexure?

  • I am sorry, could your Honour repeat the question? I didn't quite get it and my LiveNote is not up yet.

  • We are interested in the annex that contains the witnesses, the witness pseudonyms.

  • [The accused present]

  • I am sorry, could your Honour tell me the annex to which decision?

  • Sorry, my attention has been drawn to the specification of the witnesses in one of the paragraphs of the decision. Therefore, the request for an annex does not arise.

  • We note the application and, by consent, order that the rescission of the protective measures listed in paragraphs (a) to (g) of the decision of 5 May 2006 are hereby rescinded.

    Mr Koumjian, what language will the evidence be given in?

  • The witness will testify in Sierra Leone Krio, your Honour.

  • Please call the witness and, Mr Interpreter, is the Sierra Leone Krio interpreter in position?

  • The Prosecution calls Samuel Kargbo.