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

  • Good morning. We will take appearances, please.

  • Good morning, Madam President, your Honours, counsel opposite. For the Prosecution, Brenda J Hollis, Maja Dimitrova and Nicholas Koumjian.

  • [Open session]

  • [The accused present]

  • [Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.]

  • Good morning, Madam President, your Honours, counsel opposite. For the Defence today, myself Courtenay Griffiths. Also with me, Mr Terry Munyard, who is not in court momentarily, and also we are joined today by Ms Vladislava Stoyanova, who hasn't been with us before.

  • Thank you. Before we begin the proceedings, I am given to understand that there are interpreters to be sworn. We will swear them now.

  • [Interpreters sworn]

  • Mr Griffiths, I was given to understand that we are continuing with the re-examination of DCT-125.

  • That is entirely correct, Madam President. So can I indicate that firstly he has to be brought in, and initially, at least, I would like us to be in private session.

  • Then the witness will be brought in, please, and the measures implemented.

    For the members of the public listening in, we will start with a private session, which is necessary for the witness's protection.

  • I wonder if we could have the overhead down, please.

  • [At this point in the proceedings, a portion of the transcript, pages 37710 to 37729, was extracted and sealed under separate cover, as the proceeding was heard in private session.]

  • [Open session]

  • Your Honour, we are in open session.

  • Now, Mr Witness, do you recall, in connection with a suggestion that the Libyans were engaged in supporting terrorists, that you were shown two news articles regarding the Irish Republican Army?

  • Yes, please.

  • Could we please look at the document behind tab 13 which is MFI --

  • Yes, I am grateful:

  • Can we look at the first page, please. Now, Mr Witness, were members or elements of the Irish Republican Army in Libya?

  • No, the leadership of the IRA had contacts with Libya, but never their militants were in Libya. All the time I have been in Libya and had contacts with Libya I was never aware of it as a founding member of the Mathaba and a member of the executive committee, never.

  • Now your attention was directed to the passage in this news article which dealt with the Irish Republican Army obtaining Semtex through Libya originated in the Czech Republic. If we look at the last paragraph on that first page we see this:

    "But as it grew throughout the 1970s and reorganised it began to acquire a wider range of weapons from around the world, principally through sympathisers in the United States of America, and the skills to make increasingly sophisticated home made bombs."

    Were you aware of this link between the Irish Republican Army and the United States of America?

  • No, I was never aware of it.

  • Now another matter. At Camp Tajura, inside the camp were the militants training from the various revolutionary groups training in that camp, were they segregated from each other inside the camp or could they mix with each other?

  • Every group was assigned at its own location and they were never together.

  • Were they fenced off from the other groups so that they couldn't meet them, or what?

  • No, there was military discipline that they couldn't mingle up with the others.

  • But what about feeding facilities and so on; do you know anything about that?

  • Feeding facilities, every group selects militants from their group to go and collect the food from the kitchen.

  • Yeah, from their area of - to their area of residence.

  • So was it a central kitchen, or what?

  • It's a big kitchen where they cook for all the soldiers.

  • For all the militants --

  • For all the militants of different movements.

  • And so a representative from each movement would have to go to that kitchen to get food for their group?

  • Yes, and to get bread in the morning, breakfast, to get food in the afternoon and the evening for every group.

  • So that the cooking facilities, at least, were shared amongst all the soldiers in the camp?

  • Were there any other shared facilities; for example, the training grounds and so on? Were those shared?

  • Every group has its time of training, and they were not trained in groups.

  • Now, did you in March 1999 meet with an RUF delegation in Burkina Faso?

  • 1999? No, I never met RUF delegation anywhere. I did not have any contacts with the RUF. Only I saw, as I said earlier, Foday Sankoh when I met him in Gbarnga. That was the only contacts I had with the RUF. I never knew RUF members, and I had no contacts with them.

  • Where were you in March 1999?

  • In March 1999 I was in Danane. I was still sick. I was sick at that time, and I was not in Burkina Faso.

  • Another topic: Did you introduce Suwandi Camara to Charles Taylor in Libya?

  • Did you introduce Suwandi Camara to Charles Taylor in Burkina Faso?

  • Did you introduce Suwandi Camara to Charles Taylor in Liberia?

  • Never. Charles Taylor was not having relations directly with our militants except through the chief of staff and his aide-de-camp, who was one of our officials. The late Jackson.

  • Now, do you recall being shown various documentation regarding the assassination of an Afghani militant Ahmad Shah Massoud?

  • Could we look, please, at the document behind divider 20, MFI-416B. Now, before we look at this document, Mr Witness, do you recall that your attention was directed to these documents after a lengthy passage of testimony from Mr Taylor had been read to you about some journalists and certain intelligence that Mr Taylor had about them attempting to kill him, yes?

  • Yes, please.

  • Now, as a former leader, you have received intelligence in the past, have you?

  • Yes, please.

  • Is that intelligence always correct?

  • I mean, for example, George Bush said there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. That's been proved to be wrong, hasn't it?

  • Yes, it was a big lie.

  • Now, take a look now, please, at the document MFI-416B. Now, a selected passage of this - it should look like this. I think you are looking at the wrong document. It should look like that.

  • Your Honour, MFI-416 is one document.

  • I have MFI-416 being the documents behind tabs 19, 20, 21.

  • It's part of 417, the Afghan web. It's part of - just a minute. It's part of 417.

  • Is it 417? I thought they were all given 416.

  • 417, according to my note.

  • So the documents, as I understand it now - I will be corrected if I am wrong - behind dividers 20 and 21 both bear the appellation MFI-417?

  • 416 is pages 1 and 14 of The Green Book. That is 416.

  • Okay. It must be my fault.

  • Could we - could you show the witness that one, please. Now, Mr Witness, you were shown this document, but your attention was not directed to a particular aspect of it. If we count up six lines and you see to the right of that line:

    "Massoud was chosen as the military leader of UNIFSA when, on September 9, 2001, two days before the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, Massoud was killed. He was the victim of an Al-Qaeda suicide attack. The attackers posed as television journalists, setting off a bomb packed inside their video camera."

    Now, were you aware of that fact?

  • No, sir.

  • Very well. Put that document away, please. Now, the final topic I want to deal with is this: Do you remember me asking you earlier about your reason for not venturing far from your hotel and you told me it was for security reasons, yes?

  • Now, listen very carefully to the way I ask the question, because we are in public session. The President of the country from which you originate was at one time a member of the same group as you, wasn't he?

  • Is the President still a member?

  • He has never resigned and we have never sacked him also.

  • Now help us: What is the attitude of the President towards you?

  • The attitude of the President --

  • Objection. This again is beyond the scope of re-examination.

  • If I am allowed a couple of uninterrupted questions, the point will become clear.

  • Yes, I am going to allow you the uninterrupted questions.

  • What is the attitude of the President towards you?

  • The attitude of the President towards me is of fear - constant fear. Because when he took over power, our militants who were with him requested that I should be recalled back to take the leadership. Those militants, five of them were executed the very same day.

  • Help us with this: What would the President do to you if he found you?

  • If he finds me today, he is going to chop my head off, because he has tried many times: When I was kidnapped in Guinea-Bissau; when I was in Dakar many times; and even when I went to the country when he invited me --

  • This is why I asked the question: You - it was suggested to you that you travelled from West Africa in order to make money, $10,000. What's more important to you, your life or $10,000 US?

  • My life is more important, and I can be able to obtain my way - my means of subsistence on my own.

  • Because before I sit down, can we have a look, please, at the US Department of State document placed before this witness, the document behind divider 14. I have it as MFI-420.

  • That is correct.

  • Just the first page. The last paragraph on that page:

    "The government's poor human rights record worsened and it continued to commit serious abuses. {Redacted} dominance and restrictions on opposition" - can we redact the name of the President, please?

  • Yes.

  • "Dominance and restrictions on opposition party continued. In practice, citizens do not have an effective right to change their government:

    Then this:

    "Security forces committed some extrajudicial killings and beat or otherwise mistreated detainees and prisoners."

    Do you have a real fear for your life?

  • I have a real fear for my life.

  • Why did you come to The Hague to give evidence? Was it for money?

  • I came to The Hague to tell the truth and I didn't come to The Hague for money, because I was never told that I would be given money.

  • I have no further questions.

  • Thank you. I think we will deal with the question of exhibits now before the witness leaves. Or we could discharge him, if you prefer.

  • I beg your pardon. The judges have one or two questions for the witness. Madam Court Officer, the questions that the judges want to pose will require a brief private session for the security of the witness. Please organise it.

  • [At this point in the proceedings, a portion of the transcript, pages 37738 to 37739, was extracted and sealed under separate cover, as the proceeding was heard in private session.]

  • [Open session]

  • Your Honour, we are in open session.

  • I raise it for this practical reason: The matter I raised in Friday last, and I see that Mr Townsend is in court to implement that, I would also like to be present at that so it would be helpful if we could deal with the exhibits and then if I could be excused so that I could be present.

  • Certainly.

  • And I think we will start with your exhibits, Mr Griffiths. Yes, Mr Griffiths.

  • There are three documents which we would ask to be exhibited. They are MFI-408, MFI-409 and MFI-410. I deal with them collectively for this reason: They are all different versions of the same document. So there is the original photocopied document, the translation and the extracted colour photographs and I would ask for those documents to be exhibited, please.

  • Would you prefer to have a single generic number?

  • I think that would be helpful for future reference and then they could be A, B and C.

  • So the copy of a publication called "La Mathaba" - Mr Koumjian, I assume you have no objection?

  • Correct, your Honour. As I indicated during the direct, I have no objection to this document.

  • Thank you. The copy of the "La Mathaba Mondiale", this is a French version of this book, formerly marked MFI-408 is now D-412A. The unofficial English translation of the same book, which was formerly 409 is now exhibit D-412B. The bundle of coloured photographs taken out of the French version of this book is marked exhibit D-412C.

  • [Exhibits D-411A to D-411C admitted]

  • In order to shorten matters, can I indicate that I have no objection to the admission into evidence of any of the documents put to the witness by Mr Koumjian.

  • Thank you. Mr Koumjian, should I assume that all the documents marked --

  • Yes, your Honour. There is one matter I wanted to just raise, and I appreciate counsel's indication, but on MFI-422 additional pages were read this morning and what I would prefer is that we substitute the entire document behind the tab 12 rather than - otherwise just the pages that were read. I don't know if there would be an objection to that, the Court would have the entire document.

  • No objection.

  • For some of these documents I'm afraid I can't recall - I don't have the originals. I would want to admit the actual document as marked.

  • I am happy to provide your Honour my bundle if that would help.

  • Especially the documents that were written by the witness. Madam Court Officer, the first exhibit is MFI-411.

    It's been drawn to my attention that the next Defence exhibit number was not 412, but rather 411. So I am going to change the generic number of the last three exhibits from D-412A, B and C respectively. That is the "La Mathaba Mondiale" and associated exhibits. They are now D-411A, B and C.

    Now, for the Prosecution exhibits, the document that is a list indicated by the witness of countries that he has been to up to March 2006, that is now admitted as exhibit P-499.

    The list of SOFA forces in Liberia as written by the witness is now exhibit P-500.

    The report from WVS, that is the witness and victims services, it's a memorandum stated 10 March 2010 consisting of one page is respect of witness DCT-125 - it doesn't consist of one page. This document previously marked as MFI-413 consists of a memorandum that is one page and then two other pages of an International Civil Service Commission DSA circular for February 2010 and another circular for March 2010. That's a total of five pages is collectively admitted as exhibit P-501.

    The next is a letter signed by the - addressed to the Special Court for Sierra Leone signed by witness DCT-125 in its unredacted form, together with its redacted form, are admitted collectively as exhibit P-502 and they will be marked confidential.

    Now, the next was MFI-415. This is a copy of The Green Book, part 3 entitled "The Social Basis of the Third Universal Theory" comprising the cover page and pages 12, 13 and 14. That will now be admitted as exhibit P-503.

    The next exhibit which was MFI-416 is The Green Book, part 1, the title is "The Solution to the Problem of Democracy, The Authority of the People" comprising of a cover page and pages 1 and 14 will now be admitted as exhibit P-504.

    Now, the next exhibit comprising a number of newspaper articles, there are actually I think three newspaper articles. You have the BBC News article "Profile: The Lion of Panjshir", September 10, 2001, comprising two pages. That will be exhibit P-505A. A second article is from the Afghan web online, that comprises two pages. This is not properly described. This is an article entitled "Ahmad Shah Massoud" comprising two pages, that will be exhibit P-505B.

    The third article is from the New York Times entitled "After Effects, Briefly Noted Afghan Panel to Investigate Massoud's Death" comprising one page and dated 29 April 2003, that will be now admitted as P-505C.

    Then the article from LexisNexis entitled, "A Friendship Dies in a Bloody Coup, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso", dated October 26, 1987, it's comprising three pages, that is now admitted as exhibit P-506.

    An article from the Human Rights Quarterly by Frans Viljoen, dated - it's not dated, but I think it's volume 27 of 2005. The title is "The Special Rapporteur on Prisons and Conditions of Detention in Africa, Achievements and Possibilities", that article comprises the cover page and pages 165 and 166, that is now admitted as exhibit P-507.

    A document entitled "The US Department of State, Diplomacy in Action, The Gambia, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour 2000", this is dated 23 February 2001, and it has 13 pages from pages 1 to 13, that is now exhibit P-508.

    There are two articles that follow now. One is an article from LexisNexis entitled "Gambia Rebels Call on Senegal to Move Troops", Dakar, Senegal dated August 1, 1981, comprising two pages, pages 1 and 2, that is now exhibit P-509A.

    Another article from the Boston Globe newspaper entitled "Gambia Rebels Demand Pull-Out by Senegalese in Dakar, Senegal" dated August 1, 1981 also comprising two pages is now exhibit P-509B.

    Another article from the Boston Globe entitled "Claim and Counterclaim in Gambia Fighting" dated 2 August 1981 comprising two pages will be exhibit P-509C.

    Now, the next document, which was formerly MFI-422 now comprising - it's a documented called "The Gambia: Studies in Society and Politics" by Arnold Hughes now comprising pages - the front page - two front pages, then pages 92, 98, 99, 100 and 103, those pages together are now exhibit P-510.

    The BBC news article entitled "The IRA's Store of Weaponry" dated 14 August 2001, this is a BBC news web, is now admitted as exhibit P-511.

    And lastly, a copy of the New York Times, an article entitled "Havel says his predecessors sent Libya explosives", 23 March 1990 comprising two pages, that is now admitted as exhibit P-512.

  • [Exhibits P-499 to P-512 admitted]

    Mr Witness, I would like to thank you for your testimony, and we wish you a safe journey home.

  • Thank you very much.

  • Madam President, in order to facilitate the matter I raised on Friday, Mr Taylor will leave Court for 15 minutes, but it need not hinder the commencement of the next witness's testimony, so we can - as soon as the Court is vacated by this witness, we can start with the other witness.

  • We shall presume, as you have rightly said, that Mr Taylor has waived his right --

  • -- to be present: Mr Munyard, are you taking the next witness?

  • Madam President, I am. If you will give me a moment just to deal with Mr Griffiths's wires, that have literally become crossed. So I am limited, as you can see, in the scope - I will be about a minute, I think, if you don't mind. Thank you, I am now disentangled.

    Can I indicate that the next witness, DCT-146, as in the case of all Defence witnesses, enjoyed a measure of protection as a result of your Honour's order of 27 May 2009 in that his identity was not to be disclosed publicly. In fact, I have spoken to this witness this morning and he has confirmed that he is willing to give evidence completely openly, including giving his full name in court, and the language that he will give his evidence in is Krio.

  • May I inquire if the Krio interpreters are in place?

  • Then let the witness be brought in, please.

  • Madam President, Mr Taylor is still here. I'm assuming that's because arrangements are being made behind the scenes for him to leave, but it may be more appropriate that he goes before the witness is sworn, simply for the smooth running of the Court.

  • Yes. I thought he had left.

  • So did I, and it wasn't until I heard a voice behind me that I became alerted to the fact that he was still here. You have the advantage over me in that you can see him; I don't have eyes in the back of my head.

  • Could Mr Taylor please be escorted out of the courtroom. Thank you.

  • [The accused not present]