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

  • [On former affirmation]

  • Now, Mr Taylor, last week we concluded the evidence of a witness called on behalf of the Prosecution and I would like to move on now to another witness. The witness is TF1-337, Mustapha Mansaray, who gave evidence in open session in March of last year. First of all, Mr Taylor, can I begin in this way: Does the name Gisiwolo mean anything to you?

  • Tell me, do you know the names of any training basis set up by the RUF in Sierra Leone?

  • No, I don't - I've heard a few in the Court, but I don't know any of them.

  • Help me with this then: Did you at any time coordinate with Foday Sankoh, or anybody else for that matter, the setting up of training bases in Sierra Leone?

  • During that period of cooperation which you accept between the NPFL and the RUF, were you involved in any way in the setting up of training programmes for RUF recruits in Sierra Leone?

  • No, I was not. And to be specific you are talking about August '91 to May of 1992. Even in Liberia, where I led the NPFL, I would have never been and was never involved in setting up of training bases. So if I didn't do it in Liberia, of course I wouldn't be involved with it in Sierra Leone. That's not the function --

  • I accept your answer, Mr Taylor, but I need to clarify all matters in this regard: Tell me, did you direct the RUF to adopt any particular procedures in relation to the training of new recruits in Sierra Leone?

  • Mr Taylor, on the same point, help me, did you, for example, dictate who should and should not be recruited by the RUF?

  • No, no. Surely not, no.

  • You appreciate that one of the matters on the indictment is the use of child soldiers, don't you?

  • Tell me, did you recommend to Foday Sankoh or indeed to any RUF commander that they should recruit so-called child soldiers?

  • Never did. Never. Never. Never did.

  • Did you recommend to the RUF or direct that they set up Small Boys Units so-called or Small Girls Units?

  • Did you, for example, suggest that a procedure called food-finding missions be adopted by the RUF in Sierra Leone?

  • Now, let me come back to my initial question. Do you know of a training base in Sierra Leone called Gisiwolo?

  • I am looking at page 5221 of the transcript of 4 March 2008. Now, I've asked you those preliminary questions, Mr Taylor, for this reason: During the course of his testimony, that witness says that the first time he saw the commander-in-chief Corporal Foday Saybana Sankoh was at the Gisiwolo training base and that Mr Sankoh introduced himself and said that he is the leader for the RUF Sierra Leone movement. And he continued:

    "He said, but all of us are fighting the war. We are fighting it for ourselves. He is just there as the leader. That he is just a poor photographer. He doesn't have any money to fight the war to go and buy arms and ammunition to fight the war in Sierra Leone, but he has a friend, a friend who is prepared to assist him to fight the war in Sierra Leone. And he said the name of his friend is Charles Dankpannah Ghankay Taylor. He said he is in Liberia. He said he is prepared to give him fighters but he is also prepared to give him ammunition to fight the war in Sierra Leone, which made everybody happy and they applauded"

    Now, did you know anything about that?

  • No, I did not. And quite strangely, to help the Court, there are about two falsehoods here in that statement. The name Dankpannah, the name Dankpannah at the time this witness is talking about, there is no way that anyone called Foday Sankoh could have said that he had a friend called Charles Dankpannah because I did not have that name at the time. That name Dankpannah, which means chief, was not given to me until after my election in 1997. So it's impossible. That chieftaincy name was an honour given to me way after this. So he's lying.

    There is no record anywhere in the world prior to 1997 that shows me as Dankpannah. Dankpannah means chief. So he is lying. Foday Sankoh could have never told him at that time he had a friend called Charles Dankpannah. It's a lie, because that title came with my title as presidency as chief.

    Number one, I said earlier in your first question about Gisiwolo, and I said I don't know it in that form, I am sure the record reflects it and somebody may come later on under cross-examination and say, "Well, you said" - the reason why I am saying I don't know it in that form, there is a mountain, an iron ore mountain in Liberia that right now is being prospected, it's called Wologizi, it's a mountain, an iron ore mountain in Liberia. So that's what I meant when I said I don't know it in that form. Somebody reversed it. In fact the Chinese are working at Wologizi. It's a major iron ore deposit in Liberia. So that's what I meant for the record I don't know it in that form.

    So somebody - I don't know whether it's a real base or probably he was just thinking, but there is a mountain in Liberia called Wologizi. So now he has Gisiwolo. So that's what I meant into my comment.

  • Now, the witness went on to say, and I am looking at page 5251 of the transcript of 4 March 2008, that he went to Grand Cape Mount County in Liberia and he was asked why he went there and he said this:

    "A. Yes, the soldiers and the ULIMOs were chasing us so we

    crossed over to Liberia. We crossed together with the

    Liberian and RUF senior fighters with whom they came. We

    all crossed over.

    Q. Where did you go when you crossed over to Liberia?

    A. In November, when I crossed over for the first time, we

    were at Tiene ..."

    Is that the right pronunciation, Mr Taylor, T-I-E-N-E?

  • That's correct.

  • "... in November.

    Q. Did anything happen in Tiene?

    A. Yes.

    Q. What happened?

    A. November 1991, between the third and fourth week, the

    Sierra Leone and ULIMO fighters kept on fighting until they

    crossed the border and attacked us in Tiene. In the

    afternoon they attacked us and we dispersed. We were

    dislodged, we started running. We followed a route that

    was leading to Bomi Hills."

    Now, taking matters in stages, this is November 1991. So we are talking about seven months after the start of the incursion into Sierra Leone. Yes, Mr Taylor?

  • Now, Tiene is in what part of Liberia?

  • Tiene is in Grand Cape Mount County.

  • And is that a county which borders Sierra Leone?

  • Yes, it does.

  • And is that a county near Bo Waterside?

  • Bearing that in mind, were you aware in November 1991 of ULIMO forcing RUF and Liberian fighters into that part of Liberia?

  • No, personally I was not aware. We are looking at, what, about two or three months after we first make contact with the RUF, because we are talking about November. So I would say it would not be out of the ordinary for ULIMO to have attacked and in hot pursuit follow someone across the border. That would not be out of the ordinary for me. That's I would say possible, if not even probable, but it's possible.

  • Now, the route from Tiene to Bomi Hills, Mr Taylor, what type of terrain does that traverse?

  • That's paved road from Tiene - well, no, let me straighten that up, because - not Bomi Hills per se, because from Tiene you will come on highway and you will come to Klay. Now, Klay is a good - it's a good distance from Bomi Hills, and I think we have demonstrated that on the map before. But from Tiene to Klay is paved road, and from Klay to - going to Bomi, little bit of paved but the rest of it is laterite road.

  • Well, I would like you, please, Mr Taylor - because this is a matter of some importance - to have a look, please, at the defence map of Liberia.

    Could that be put up on the screen, please.

    Now, this is an area we've looked at before, Mr Taylor, but I would like you to help us to this extent: If we look to the left of the map, just above the key we see Robertsport; do you see that?

  • Yes. Excuse me, I would just ask the indulgence of the Court. I came in and brought an empty something. I left it right on my table right in the cell here. If the person wouldn't mind just picking up my reading glasses? I thought it was in there. It's empty. It's right on the desk in there.

  • I wonder if one of the security guards could oblige.

  • Yes, could that be possible, please, one of the security men.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, is there a pen there which you could use as a pointer?

  • Now, we see Robertsport, don't we?

  • Just above Robertsport, at about 11 o'clock, do you see Bo?

  • All right, horizontally to the right of the Robertsport do you see Klay?

  • Now, it may be me, but I cannot see Tiene on this map?

  • No, Tiene is not on this map, but I - the general location of Tiene is the big town - right after Bo - right after Bo Waterside - that's not Bo in Sierra Leone - just about the road here is Tiene, I would say around here. Tiene is right on the road. It's a big town.

  • Right. So Tiene is about there. And Mr Taylor, is Bomi Hills an area or a particular location?

  • Well, the area - it's a location. Bomi Hills is a location. The area is called Tubmanburg, and that word Bomi Hills comes from the fact that there were iron ore deposits, little mountains in that and they were called hills. And so what they call those little mountains where ore were being mined, they called those mountains Bomi, the hills of Bomi. Okay? That's - so it's an area. But, I mean, it's a location.

    Now, the entire area is called Tubmanburg. The county is called Bomi County, and Tubmanburg is the capital of Bomi County.

  • And Bomi Hills is in Tubmanburg?

  • No, Bomi Hills is outside of Tubmanburg in Bomi County. It's the commercial area where mining was being done, the hills.

  • Right. So now we get an idea of the route suggested by this witness. So that route begins somewhere to the right of Bo, does it?

  • That is correct.

  • And it continues to Tubmanburg?

  • Or to the area of Tubmanburg?

  • Yeah. It would - you would come - here is the road. You have to come here to Klay. From Klay then you go up to Tubmanburg.

  • Right. Thank you very much, Mr Taylor. Now, bearing that in mind, let me establish one other fact with you before I ask you one or two specific questions about the testimony of this witness. Do you know of a commander at Tiene called BZT Nya?

  • Do you know of an NPFL commander of that name?

  • Now, bearing in mind, Mr Taylor, one, the location, two, the date November 1991, this witness says this, page 5252 beginning at line 9:

    "Q. What happened when you went to Bomi Hills?

    A. The very evening when we were in that car, when we

    arrived, we met a muster parade on and we met with some RUF

    junior fighters whom I knew and some senior ones too whom I

    knew. They said the two leaders had to come to talk to us.

    Foday Sankoh and Charles Taylor were to come and address

    us. But when we arrived in the evening, it was not too

    long when Foday Sankoh arrived. I already knew him. Then

    I saw another vehicle which was a Nissan Patrol car. It

    was like a grey colour. But we were many. Somebody came

    from out of the vehicle and said his name was

    Charles Ghankay Taylor. He said he had come to address all

    of us. He said the NPFL fighters should stop treating us

    badly, we the RUF. He said the NPFL fighters should not

    treat us badly. He said they should know that we are all

    fighting for the same freedom. We clapped for him and he

    left us there and returned. We were there together with

    Sankoh and others. Our leader, Foday Sankoh, said we too

    were men. We should not be allowing the Liberians to be

    killing us, or mistreating us all the time, so he asked us

    to exercise some patience and fight the war. He said his

    friend would help him to continue the war. He would help

    him with arms and ammunition to continue fighting the war.

    He said his friend, Charles Taylor, would help him."

    Now, first of all, did you attend a muster parade in Bomi Hills in November 1991 with Foday Sankoh?

  • No, I did not.

  • Two, did you at or about that time travel in a grey Nissan Patrol car?

  • Now, I suppose it follows from my first question, but I will ask it nonetheless. Did you address a meeting of RUF fighters in Bomi Hills in or about November 1991?

  • No, and I will qualify the no. November 1991 this witness talks about fighting where they are chased across the border, and let me just remind the Court - and this little map that I drew the other day, it was for a purpose, where the President asked me if we could do a key. Look, how do I get to Bomi Hills if I am to get to Bomi Hills at all? In order to get to Bomi Hills from my side where I was, there are no roads. There are no roads to get to Bomi Hills except you drive through Monrovia. Obviously, I cannot drive through Monrovia. The only way I would have to get to Bomi Hills is to traverse through the very forest areas that we are talking about; that is, from Gbarnga to Zorzor and going through the forest all the way to Bomi Hills. This is why it is important to understand that the roadwork in Liberia from Monrovia, sitting in the centre - yes, we have troops on the other side. Those troops had to walk. To get to Bomi Hills you would have to either fight your way through Monrovia, or take days tracking through the forest, which was not my part of stuff as leader.

    So for someone to say in November 1991 that war is in Bomi, ULIMO is already attacking, and Charles Taylor is going to get men and get in the bushes - I never fired a shot during the war. It's not just possible. Now, if he says that November of 1991 Foday Sankoh went to Bomi Hills, that's possible. I will say that's possible, because by then we are already working together, November 1991, okay? And the chasing by - ULIMO chasing the RUF across the border, that's not unusual. So it would not be unusual to say it's possible that Foday Sankoh, who was a soldier, he was in the bush with them, went to Bomi Hills in 1991 October, I would not - I am not in a position to say that he is lying. But I, Charles Taylor, would walk through the bushes to go to Bomi Hills? It just never happened. No.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, the witness continues in this vein. Having explained that Foday Sankoh had informed them that his friend would supply arms and ammunition to continue fighting the war, he continues at page 5253:

    "That very evening" - so the very evening when you are supposed to have addressed them along with Foday Sankoh - "I saw CO BZT Nya, the same vehicle which had come with. There were RPG bombs and ammunition in it. There were other vehicles which had heavy weapons, which were anti-aircraft guns. They were in the vehicles. So we boarded the vehicle and we returned. When we got to a place that was five miles to Tiene, we were asked to alight the vehicle and go as ground forces, so we started walking. Three miles to Tiene we set an ambush. Around 6.00 to 6.30 a.m. we got to Tiene and they told us the strategy we were to use was to be C formation and the soldiers who were to come, they were Momoh soldiers and ULIMO. We should open fire on them ... when we made the C formation, that was the formation we gave to - we planned for the enemies in Tiene and at that time it was Momoh soldiers and the ULIMOs who were in Tiene. So we called them enemies, and we opened fire on them after the commanders had ordered us to open fire on them, and we did. We captured Tiene. That very day we advanced and we crossed the Mano River bridge, entered Gendema, that is in Sierra Leone. We advanced with those weapons at first Fairo. Two of the artillery weapons stopped there and one of the others advanced with us --"

    Now, there is a number of things I want to ask you about that. Firstly, do you recall the NPFL supplying the RUF in that part of Liberia in November 1991 with that kind of weaponry?

  • No, no, because I don't know how they could have gotten an anti-aircraft gun in that part of country at that time. An anti-aircraft gun I know is not a very small piece of equipment that you can carry. To move an anti-aircraft gun, normally that's moved around - the anti-aircraft guns that we had in the NPFL, and we had some, you had to move them on trucks, huge trucks.

    An anti-aircraft gun, I hope we could probably get a picture on the net for the Court. It's not a small weapon. You probably can use 20, 25 men to lift it. But that's not something that people carry around. You don't carry an anti-aircraft gun around. So how would they have gotten it from Gbarnga side to Bomi?

    I can't see an anti-aircraft gun - we didn't have one. Even our forces didn't have anti-aircraft guns in that Bomi region at that time because it was impossible to get it there. So I don't know how he saw an anti - maybe he is calling a different gun. If somebody says that you carry what we called a 50 calibre weapon, okay, three or four men can carry that, but not an anti-aircraft gun. We didn't have one there in that area so that cannot be true.

  • Well, let's look at this issue from another perspective then, Mr Taylor. Would you accept that it would be in the interest of the NPFL to repel an incursion by "Momoh ULIMO fighters" from Liberian soil?

  • Of course, of course. That's what I am saying. By October of 1991, the records of the Court that I have spoken of factually is that we are working with the RUF on security arrangements by October 1991. So the fact that people came across the border or even that Foday Sankoh would be in that region by October 1991, I don't know his movements, but it would not be impossible. Yes.

    So at that particular time, if Momoh forces are at Tiene, which is a huge town and to be frank, if I want to approximate Tiene from the Bo Waterside, Tiene could be within three to five miles, I mean kilometres of Bo Waterside, it's a huge town. Of course it would be in our interest to expel them at all costs, yes.

  • And so the logical question that follows is this: Did you through such self-interest provide the material described by the witness to the RUF at that point?

  • No, no. I would say categorically no because the material, as your question goes - the material that he described as an anti-aircraft gun is not possible to get there. We do have anti-aircraft guns in the NPFL, but there is no way to get it to that position because it would have to be carried on a truck and that was not possible to get it over there.

  • Very well. Now, Mr Taylor, there is another matter inferred in this passage which I want to ask you about. Were you aware of such incursions by Momoh, that is Sierra Leonean forces and ULIMO, into Liberia?

  • Yes, there were frequent what we call penetrations and they were rebuffed. Yes, there were several of those.

  • And were those incursions limited to ULIMO forces or were ULIMO at that time being assisted by Momoh, that is Sierra Leonean forces?

  • There were Sierra Leonean forces along with ULIMO forces that fought joint battles that entered Liberia at that time, yes.

  • So are we to understand then that the picture at this time is that on the one side you have the NPFL fighting alongside or in cooperation with the RUF and on the other side ULIMO is fighting in cooperation with the Sierra Leonean forces?

  • Oh, definitely, definitely. That was the whole point. That's why we agreed to work along with the RUF in the security pact because we wanted to fight the enemy in Sierra Leone that we would not have to fight them in Liberia. So, yes, that was there, yes, yes.

  • Now, does the name Siem Kolleh mean anything to you?

  • That's Siem spelt S-I-E-M?

  • Now, in April 1999, Mr Taylor, remind us, what was the major event involving the RUF which was in progress?

  • In April of 1999, the RUF and the Government of Sierra Leone, the international community, ECOWAS, we were moving. We were organising and moving RUF fighters. I mean, representative, may I speak, from Sierra Leone and Liberia onto Togo for the peace talks.

  • Well, bear that in mind, the witness goes on to say this at page 5316:

    "Q. Did you attend any meeting, even if not in Makeni, but

    during the time you were based in Makeni as IDU personnel?

    A. Yes, I attended a muster parade.

    Q. Where was this muster parade held?

    A. The muster parade was held near the government hospital

    in Magburaka Town.

    Q. When was this muster parade held, do you remember the

    date?

    A. It was in 1999, around April 1999 I can remember. That

    was when we held the muster parade in Magburaka.

    Q. What happened during this muster parade in Magburaka?

    A. During the muster parade I saw two senior RUF officers.

    One of them was Morris Kallon, then the other one was Siem

    Kolleh. I saw Siem Kolleh with an AAC twin barrel

    anti-aircraft gun. He had arms and ammunition in that

    vehicle together with RPG bombs. Then Siem Kolleh told

    Morris Kallon that Sam Bockarie had sent those materials,

    he brought them from Liberia to go and fight against Denis

    Mingo and others."

    Now, did you, Mr Taylor, in April 1999 provide through Sam Bockarie the RUF with a twin barreled anti-aircraft gun, arms and ammunition, including RPG bombs?

  • No, I did not. And to have had a weapon of that size it simply means we didn't disarm. For anybody to make up this kind of stuff to say that there is a twin barrel gun, and I know what a twin barrel gun is, and if I had - you know, I would have probably encourage that we probably get pictures of these kind of things. Then that means that I didn't disarm during disarmament.

    A twin barrel anti-aircraft gun is not a little piece of equipment and I think the Court ought to probably see a picture of one of these. It is not a little piece of equipment. This is a huge piece of equipment that is mounted and manned. In fact, once it's a twin barrel, it is fired by two men. It takes two operators to fire that weapon, two. And the base - in fact, the maintenance of that weapon and - it takes almost a squad, in fact. I don't know what some armies do, but my knowledge of the NPFL, that weapon was manned by a squad of ten men. That is, the loading of the rounds of that weapon, the belts, two men sit to fire, you don't stand to fire. This is not a little toy.

    So in 1999 at the time this man is talking about, moving such a weapon, that means I would have - one, maybe I did not disarm, and, two, I had to get it from the United Nations that had taken all these weapons. It's a blatant, blatant lie. And this is not a little piece of equipment that you can carry through the bushes. This is a truck bearing piece of equipment that must be transported by truck. I am not talking about a pick-up. I mean a truck, a military truck is where you man these weapons.

    In fact, the weapons are so heavy that they must be kept mobile because if you are firing from a position and you come under attack there is no way you can move it. So he is lying. He is lying. I did not have any twin barrel at this time and did not send any twin barrel. He is lying.

  • So can I examine one or two other details about this, please. Firstly this: In or about April 1999, did Sam Bockarie come to Liberia, to your knowledge?

  • No, no. In fact, Sam Bockarie did not come to Liberia at the movement of these people at this particular time. All the meetings that were being held in Sierra Leone with the United Nations people, Sam Bockarie manned them. The two people that came in and out and moved have been presented to this Court. Who are they? Omrie Golley and Ibrahim Bah are the two people that come through first. Sam Bockarie stays behind. After all of the people move to Togo, Sam Bockarie comes to Liberia after the delegation is moved and during the arrival of Foday Sankoh which is later. No, no, no, he doesn't come at this April of 1999, no.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, the witness goes on to say, "He" - that being Sam Bockarie - "brought them from Liberia to go and fight against Denis Mingo and others." So it's an internal power struggle within the RUF. Do you follow?

  • Did you provide arms to Sam Bockarie for such a conflict?

  • Were you aware in April 1999 of such a conflict between Sam Bockarie and Denis Mingo also known as Superman?

  • No, I was not aware and I don't think the UN was aware because the movement of those people and the delegation that they put together, there was no indication on my part, and I would have known because this whole thing was an ECOWAS operation, and others would have known that there was a conflict. This movement went off without problems because to the best of our knowledge, we knew of no internal conflict at that time in Sierra Leone. I don't dispute that they may have had their little thing but we did not know because it did not hinder the movement of the people, so it did not come to our attention.

  • Well, bearing in mind the allegation, the suggestion that you were effectively running the RUF, Mr Taylor, let me ask you this: Were you seeking to provide Sam Bockarie with the wherewithal to put down dissension within that force you allegedly were controlling? Do you follow me?

  • Yes, I follow you. No, not at all, no.

  • And the witness goes on, you see, at page 5317 and I mention this for completeness. The witness was asked this question regarding that same incident:

    "Q. Witness, you testified earlier that Siem Kolleh told

    Morris Kallon that Sam Bockarie had sent those materials,

    meaning the arms and ammunition and the anti-aircraft gun,

    and that he brought them from Liberia. Did Siem Kolleh say

    where in Liberia Sam Bockarie got these materials from?

    A. Yes, he said that in the muster parade where I was

    there, including RUF and AFRC members.

    Q. What did he say about where in Liberia Sam Bockarie got

    these materials from?

    A. Siem Kolleh told us that Sam Bockarie got these

    materials from" - guess who - "Charles Taylor."

    True or false, Mr Taylor?

  • Totally false. Totally, totally false.

  • Let's move on and deal with another aspect of this witness's testimony. Page 5336, line 5:

    "Q. Witness, you testified yesterday that in July 2000 you

    were assigned as a secretary to Komba Gbundema. Do you

    recall that?

    A. Yes, I recall that.

    Q. You told the Court that at this time Komba Gbundema was

    the operational commander for the RUF?

    A. Yes.

    Q. Witness, what were your duties as secretary to Komba

    Gbundema?

    A. At that time my duties were to take record of arms and

    ammunition, the number of fighters. The reports that were

    sent to Komba Gbundema from the various areas, at times he

    gave them to me for safekeeping. Those were my duties?

    Q. What do you mean by 'reports from the various areas'?

    A. The missions that they were going out on in areas where

    other commanders were. The two of us will take patrol, go

    there on a patrol and they will give him the report, and at

    times he will give the report to me for safekeeping.

    Q. Witness, you have said one of your duties was to take

    record of arms and ammunition. Was there arms and

    ammunition in Makeni at that time?"

    Remember, July 2000.

    "A. At the time I was working with him we used to have

    arms and ammunition.

    Q. Where did those arms and ammunition come from?

    A. Issa Sesay brought those arms and ammunition to him to

    run our operations.

    Q. What operations did he bring those arms and ammunition

    for you to run?

    A. Well, for the time that I was with him, the arms and

    ammunition that Issa Sesay brought to him, Issa Sesay gave

    the order to Komba to attack Guinea ... At this time I was

    at Kamakwei No 3 with Komba Gbundema when Issa Sesay,

    Morris Kallon and my former commander, Augustine Gbao, came

    and met us at Kamakwei, and we all slept in the same house.

    Then the following morning Komba Gbundema held a muster

    parade and Issa Sesay and Morris Kallon addressed the

    fighters there to go and attack the Guinean territory to

    oust Lansana Conte.

    Q. Who spoke at the muster parade and said that?

    A. Issa Sesay was the first person to talk to us. Later

    Morris Kallon addressed us, and I also saw a Guinean who

    also addressed us a bit.

    Q. Witness, what did Issa Sesay say when he was addressing

    this muster parade?

    A. Issa Sesay told us at the muster parade that

    ex-President Charles Taylor had given him that mission to

    launch an attack against Lansana Conte in Guinea.

    Q. Witness, did he say anything else?

    A. Yes, he said the mission that Charles Taylor had given

    to him, we should ensure that we accomplished it, that we

    should attack the Guinean territory, that he had given him

    arms and ammunition and bombs so we should launch the

    attack and the mission should be accomplished. According

    to Issa Sesay, he said it was ex-President Charles

    Dankpannah Ghankay Taylor who had given him the arms and

    ammunition, together with the RPG bombs to go and fight in

    Guinea to overthrow Lansana Conte.

    Q. Witness, who was this Guinean who was present and also

    addressed the muster parade?

    A. The first person who addressed us was called Amadu

    Toure. Then the second one was Ibrahim Sidiebay."

    Now, Mr Taylor, July 2000, did you provide arms and ammunition and bombs to Issa Sesay for the RUF to launch an attack on Guinea with a view to overthrowing Lansana Conte?

  • No, I did not. No, I did not.

  • Now, in July 2000, Mr Taylor, wasn't Liberia beset by attacks from Guinean territory by LURD?

  • Yes, we were being attacked by LURD. But I was equally busy with other matters too in July 2000 that were not warlike at all.

  • Well, we will come back to the non-warlike actives in a moment. But would you agree that it would be in your interest to counter Lansana Conte's support for LURD by taking military action against him?

  • Of course it would be in my interest, but why wouldn't I use Liberians also? Why would I ask RUF to launch attacks? What am I doing in Liberia?

  • Well, the obvious answer is that because they are your supporters. They're your auxiliaries. You have been running them, so it's said, since 1991. So that's why - that's the short answer to your question.

  • Yes, but that would be total nonsense. If I wanted to launch an attack against Lansana Conte in retaliation for what he's doing, it is obvious that I would launch a major attack against Conte. I would not go to the RUF and say, "Send some men across the border." What am I going to be doing with the thousands of people that are available to me? That's total nonsense. Total nonsense he's talking about. If RUF had a reason on the Guinean side of the Sierra Leonean border to attack Guinea, maybe it's their business. But if I wanted to retaliate against Lansana Conte, I would have used Liberians to do that and I would have had a right to do that.

  • Does the name Amadu Toure mean anything to you?

  • No, I have never met him. I don't know him.

  • Now, you mentioned that you were involved in non-warlike activities at the time in July 2000. What were they?

  • The contact that I had with Issa Sesay, I had contact with Issa Sesay in July 2000. We invited - Issa Sesay did come to Liberia in July of 2000 to meet with Heads of State in trying to consolidate the leadership of the RUF so that ECOWAS could have someone to talk to. That's the contact that I had with Issa Sesay in July 2000.

  • So what do you say to this proposition then, Mr Taylor: Isn't it a bit of a coincidence that this witness just happens to mention you giving arms, ammunition and bombs to Issa Sesay in July 2000, and guess what? Issa Sesay just happened to be in Liberia at that time?

  • Yeah, but there are several coincidences. In the first place, I don't know if this man is a soldier, but maybe he does know that Issa Sesay goes to Liberia in July 2000 because that's hardly something that other people do not know. Everybody in the RUF must know that Issa Sesay - even if they did not know before he went, after he came back they had to know because what happened? There was a major meeting held, and he brought a message after meeting me, Obasanjo, Alpha Konare, Yahya Jammeh, the Heads of State, in determining - in trying to determine the leadership of the RUF that he said he could not accept, except he went back to them. Upon going back, he informed everybody.

    But I tell you something. You know, when these guys are speaking - and I have to do this, because it just cannot appear that I am saying, no, no, no, but some of these things are just not logical, what these boys are talking about. This man says he is a secretary to - what do you call it?

  • Komba Gbundema.

  • Gbundema. A secretary, but he is taking notes of arms and he knows about missions. Well, the little military that I know - and I haven't taken military training - if you are a secretary in Komba Gbundema's office, what's the adjutant doing? What's the adjutant doing? If you are a secretary, you'd hardly be so - you can't be a secretary in this man's office and involved in military activities, then, I mean, they don't have an adjutant. Because the work of the adjutant, he makes sure that he keeps the records of names and all these kinds of things.

    So I don't know how much military this man is doing, but I am sure he knows that there is contact with Issa Sesay in 2000, and maybe he doesn't know what the contact is about. So in responding to both your question and your comment, it would not be unusual for these people trying to tie up their little story, but there is contact with Issa Sesay in 2000, but it is not about war; it is about peace.

  • Does the name Komba Gbundema mean anything to you, Mr Taylor?

  • Well, I have heard it here in this Court. I don't know him. I heard that name here. I have never met him before. Don't know him.

  • Was he, to your knowledge, a senior RUF commander?

  • Not to my knowledge. I don't know the man, no.

  • Back in the year 2000 had you heard that name?

  • No, I had not heard that name in 2000.

  • Did you, for example, during those efforts in April 1999 to transfer senior RUF commanders to Lome for the peace talks, hear that name mentioned?

  • No, I can't recall, because I did not meet the delegation and most of the people on the delegation - I saw the list, but I can't even remember the names. But I did not know the individuals on the delegation coming through. I did not meet the delegation.

  • Now, later in his testimony, the witness was asked this question, page 5418, line 3:

    "Q. The RUF were getting arms from all sorts of places

    because he was not getting one supply only from one supply

    source, was it?

    A. That is correct. We were not just get supply from one

    person or one angle. We got it from other places like the

    ECOMOG like what you mentioned. When we attacked them, we

    used to get arms and ammunition from them. When we would

    have fought with them."

    Page 5419 line 3.

    "What Sam Bockarie used to tell us, he only used to tell us about ex-President Charles Dankpannah Ghankay Taylor, but for the other people he did not tell me anything like that and he heard that from him. Maybe he told some other people ... He told us that many times. Sam Bockarie used to tell us that he got arms from ex-President Charles Dankpannah Ghankay Taylor."

    Mr Taylor, did you ever give arms and ammunition to Sam Bockarie?

  • No, I didn't. Didn't give Sam Bockarie any arms or ammunition, no. Didn't have it and couldn't give it and didn't give it.

  • Very well. I would like to leave that witness now, please, and move on to another witness.

    Could I have a moment, please, Mr President?

  • [Microphone not activated].

  • I am not hearing the attorney.

  • I want to move on and deal with another witness: TF1-276, Abu Keita, who gave evidence in open session back in January 2008. Now taking things in stages, what do you know about Abu Keita?

  • Didn't know the gentleman. Never met him in my life. I think he is also known as Mohamed Keita. I think he changed his name, but --

  • Pause there. How do you know that?

  • Well, all of his friends since he testified here have said that that's the first time - but they know him as Mohamed Keita. That was a ULIMO commander that joined us after my election and that's all that I know, that he was one of the senior commanders that joined us after the - after my election that I brought in for - what do you call it? For peace sake and reconciliation. There was he, Sherif. There is another one called Papa Kouyate, a bunch of these people we brought in. Mohamed was one of them.

  • And from which ULIMO?

  • So the Alhaji Kromah faction?

  • And just so that we are clear, they had been operating, in the main, in Lofa County?

  • That is correct. That is correct.

  • Now, when did this name first come to your attention, Mr Taylor?

  • Well, Mohamed - well, let's start with Abu Keita. When did that name first come to your attention?

  • In this courtroom, when the name - well, before the courtroom because we saw the statements and then we started asking around and nobody really knew who was Abu Keita. After he appeared here, people recognised him and say, "Oh, but that's Mohamed Keita." But it was too late now because that information, you know, investigators could not tell us, but later on, "Oh, but that's Mohamed. When did he become Abu?" So all of his friends say, "But that's Mohamed Keita." But it was in this courtroom that I first heard the name Abu Keita and after his testimony from what was told me that he was Mohamed and that he had been in some trouble in Monrovia and it was explained that he had joined the Roosevelt Johnson uprising, was arrested, released and he fled the country after his release.

  • So you say he was arrested during the Roosevelt Johnson uprising?

  • When did you discover that?

  • We discovered that during the investigation. Following, you know, his testimony here it came up that he was one of those that was arrested.

  • Now, arrested during the Roosevelt Johnson incident for what?

  • Well, let's don't forget the Roosevelt Johnson situation occurred we know in 1998. This was the situation that occurred that involved - what we are talking, we're round at about September, that involved their going to the United States embassy and that whole situation. That uprising that was crushed by Roosevelt Johnson in what we call his attempt to try to overthrow the government there were several of the ULIMO-K people that did join in that and this is the uprising I am talking about.

  • Now, you say now, Mr Taylor, that Abu Keita was a senior ULIMO personality?

  • Yes, he was a general, yes.

  • How is it that you knew Varmuyan Sherif at the time who was also a general, but not Abu Keita?

  • Because Varmuyan worked in the presidency and he held a position in the presidency and Varmuyan was more senior than Abu, than Mohamed.

  • How do you know that?

  • Well, in 1996, there was a situation we have on the records here of the attempt on the part of the government at the time to arrest Roosevelt Johnson because of an alleged murder at the time. During that time Alhaji Kromah was on the Council of State and his senior people were there. Mohamed, let me say Mohamed - Varmuyan Sherif was brought into the mansion, into the presidency at the time by Alhaji Kromah. He was one of the most senior generals brought in at the time and he worked in the SSS. That's Varmuyan Sherif.

    So because of the six man collective presidency at the time, a senior position in the SSS that meant that those individuals were exposed to all of us. That's how I got to know Varmuyan Sherif was when Alhaji, myself and George Boley - and those names are all on the record, your Honour - sat on the Council of State, okay, and so that's how I got to know him at that particular time and he was the most senior ULIMO general that worked in the presidency. That's how I got to know him at the time.

  • Now, the first thing I want to ask you about, Mr Taylor, is this: At page 1960, the transcript of 23 January 2008, the witness was asked this by Mr Koumjian:

    "Q. Sir, you mentioned a Mr Tipoteh.

    A. Yes, Togbah-Nah Tipoteh."

    Who is that, Mr Taylor?

  • Dr Tipoteh was one of the founders of MOJA and a major political leader in Liberia, Dr Togba-Nah Tipoteh. I know him very well. In fact, he heads a political party I just don't remember, but he participated in the elections of July 1997 for the presidency.

  • So he was involved as a presidential candidate, was he?

  • Now in that context the witness was then asked this, line 17, page 1960:

    "Q. Did you witness any of the campaign for Charles Taylor

    during that election?

    A. Yes.

    Q. Do you recall any slogan that was used for

    Charles Taylor's campaign?

    A. They had his last rally at the SKD where his supporters

    were using the leaflets and the slogan was, 'You killed my

    mother, you killed my father, I will vote for you'.

    Q. What was the result of the election, who won?

    A. The election at the end, when we had the voting at the

    end Charles Taylor won the election."

    Now, let me just ask you a couple of details about that, Mr Taylor, and I don't want to delay overlong on this because we have gone through the election before. Firstly, just so that we understand, what is the SKD?

  • Oh, that's the Samuel Kanyon Doe - former President Doe, the stadium is named after him in his honour. The Samuel Kanyon Doe stadium.

  • When you say which stadium, what do you mean which stadium?

  • Is there a stadium in Liberia which bears that name?

  • Where is it located?

  • It's located in the Paynesville area of Monrovia.

  • On the road going out towards RIA?

  • On the left-hand side?

  • Now, help me, did you hold an election rally there?

  • Oh, yes, that was my final rally. Yes, I did.

  • And as best you know, Mr Taylor, who was present at that rally?

  • Was it just your supporters or what?

  • Well, as it turns out, I had enemies among us too. I don't know who - I must assume - well, I assume who all were there were my supporters, but now I get to know he was there and he was not. But there were at least a 150,000 or more people, in fact more than that, that filled the entire stadium. So I can say observers from other campaigns went there and I just assumed they were all supporters, but now I know differently.

  • Now, note that the witness says, Mr Taylor, "His" - that being you - "supporters were using the slogan, 'You killed my mother, you killed my father, I will vote for you'." Was it your supporters who had formulated that slogan?

  • And just remind us, what was the origin of it?

  • Well, the propaganda that developed during the campaign - in fact all of the warring factional leaders that participated in the elections I can say were stalked by an argument coming from some of the candidates that did not participate in the revolution and they were saying, "Oh, these are killers, don't vote for them. They are killers. They are killers. They are killers. We are the good people and they are the bad people."

    So Alhaji Kromah was fighting against this, George Boley was fighting against this. So, cleverly, what a lot of the supporters did and quite frankly I would say that my supporters, but equally so all of the warring factional supporters, adopted this. That okay, fine. After we got to know that there was outside support coming for some of the presidential candidates, someone cleverly said, "Okay, great". This is just a short version. It actually was saying, "Yes, you say that he's a killer. Even if he killed my mother, even if you say he killed my father, we will still vote for him. This is the person we want." This is in essence what this whole thing - and it was cut short where they were singing, you know, the typical Liberian English, "You killed my ma, you killed my pa, but I will vote for you." This is what the essence of this.

    Now, for propaganda purposes, those that wanted to make it a big deal, they tried, you know, to shorten it, but this is the essence of it, that, "Okay, whatever you guys say out there, we know what we want in Liberia. And even if it happened, this is the man we want." This is in essence what was going on during that process. And they may want to put it this way, but I think everybody used it, especially if you participated in the crisis.

  • Thank you. Now, moving on. Page 1962, the witness said this and I invite your comment, line 3:

    "Q. Now some time after you were recalled to the AFL,

    did fighting break out in Monrovia?

    A. Yes."

    Now, Mr Taylor, "After you were recalled to the AFL", do you understand that?

  • So understand what is being said here. Abu Keita, Mohamed Keita, former ULIMO, is now saying that he was recalled to the AFL. Now what does that tell you?

  • Well, I don't know what he is talking about here, but there was such a process of saying that all of the ex-fighters, once you are a fighting man, because of the restructuring process, you are all now quote unquote AFL, and then to go into training. So I can understand what he is talking about.

  • Well, let's look at it a little deeper. ULIMO is formed in which country?

  • Guinea, Sierra Leone. Two countries, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

  • And out of what former force primarily?

  • Yes. Abu Keita is really saying here that he is a former AFL coming back. This's what he's trying to - this is what he's projecting here.

  • So a former AFL under which regime?

  • So he is coming back now into the AFL, yes?

  • "Q. Can you briefly explain what that was about, what that

    was about?

    A. Fighting broke out in Camp Johnson Road because

    Roosevelt Johnson was appointed as minister of - as a

    minister in Taylor's government and then he went on sick

    leave. When he came back he was at Camp Johnson Road and

    then he saw Joe Wally who was a former bodyguard to the

    late Samuel Doe, so he was at Roosevelt Johnson's house and

    then his - they ordered that he was to be arrested."

    Now, I want you to help me with one or two of those details and the reason why I want you to help me is because you have already given some evidence about the Camp Johnson Road incident and I would like us now to look at it from the perspective of this witness for your comment. Do you follow me?

  • Now, firstly, Roosevelt Johnson, a minister in Taylor's government; true or false?

  • He went on sick leave; true or false?

  • To where, Mr Taylor?

  • Well, it was my understanding - because there is evidence here my government provided the money. It was my understanding that this gentleman was supposed to be going to Ghana. But to my surprise, he went to more than Ghana: He went to the United States. He went all around, and I have explained what happened afterwards.

  • An then, as you complained earlier, he returned to the country clandestinely?

  • "When he came back he was at Camp Johnson Road and then he saw Joe Wally." Who is Joe Wally?

  • That's gentleman - Joe Wally is someone that I know very well. To get a good understanding of Joe Wally - let me just take one minute. Joe Wally is one of those militants that Liberia has known for a long time. When the PRC took over, that is the government of Samuel Kanyon Doe, Joe Wally was one of those militants that went to Ethiopia at the time for training under the regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam. I led evidence in this Court before that that group was sent there. It was supposed - they were supposed to be doing literacy training, but I mentioned that we were informed by the Central Intelligence Agency that they were actually doing military training. And Doe ordered them back. He did not come. He went further. I think he went on to Cuba, did training. But to cut it short, Joe Wally was one of the principal commanders that came into the country with the famous Brigadier General Thomas Quiwonkpa that was subsequently killed by Doe. He was one of the principal commanders, and it is believed at that time that the failure of the regime - of the coup at that time was that he had killed the principal commander at the border before they got in town that caused the thing, the coup, to fail.

    So Joe is an old militant that has a military background after being trained in so many different countries. He showed up at Roosevelt Johnson's place, and whenever at that time Joe Wally came into Liberia, we knew it was trouble. Joe Wally ends up being one of the principal commanders of LURD that finally fought in Liberia and, at my departure, became Deputy Defence Minister under the LURD ticket. So what am I saying here? I am giving Joe Wally's background from many, many, many years ago; Ethiopia, Cuba. He has been a militant. He was involved with Quiwonkpa. He was involved with LURD and all of that. He is somebody that I know very well.

  • When you speak of an incident at the border, that he had killed a principal commander, who had killed who?

  • Well, Joe Wally is believed - General Quiwonkpa was being used, because he was popular, to overthrow Samuel Kanyon Doe. He had a commander from Nimba called Biah, I don't know the first name - that's B-I-A-H - who was a special force. He had been trained in the United States and other places. In order to weaken Thomas Quiwonkpa's own position upon arrival in Monrovia, it is believed that Joe Wally killed Biah on orders from God knows who in order that when they got to Monrovia, that he would finally command the unit and Quiwonkpa would be removed. So it was a plot in a plot, so --

  • So did you have information that this Joe Wally had at this time joined forces with Roosevelt Johnson?

  • And where did you get that information from?

  • From our security forces who were on the ground, and Joe was present. Joe was not hiding. Joe was at the house with Roosevelt. It was not just - he was not hiding. He was - publicly - he made public statement to the President and all.

  • Is it true, as Abu Keita suggests, that an order was given for Joe Wally to be arrested?

  • Well, along with Roosevelt Johnson - to cut it short, this whole arrest was for Roosevelt Johnson and those that were a part of the conspiracy. So it was not just picking out on Joe Wally. Roosevelt Johnson and those involved with Roosevelt.

  • And the witness goes on:

    "Q. In the fighting related to the return of

    Roosevelt Johnson, who was fighting on each side?

    A. Well, it was the SSU and the SSS.

    Q. Okay. We have to explain to everyone here what those

    are. When you say the SSU, what do you mean? What is the

    SSU?

    A. The SSU was a special unit formed by Charles Taylor who

    were responsible at the mansion and Chucky was the

    commander, and we had Momoh Dgiba also, and then Benjamin

    Yeaten was SSS director and they went on for the operations

    at Camp Johnson Road. And their mission was to arrest

    Roosevelt Johnson, and then Roosevelt Johnson escaped the

    arrest and went to the American embassy. That caused a lot

    of shoot-outs. Then from there I was also arrested by one

    bodyguard of the SSU who was called PYJ, and he took me to

    Saw Beach and I was in detention there."

    Now, let's just deal with some of the details there, Mr Taylor. First of all, did you form a unit called the SSU?

  • No. When he says Chucky, he is talking about the ATU. He has made a mistake, I'm sure. There is no SSU.

  • There is no SSU?

  • And was the ATU in existence at the time of the Camp Johnson Road incident?

  • They had started a very small unit. They were less than thirty that had been specially trained, but they were called - still called the ATU.

  • And was Chucky the commander?

  • And what was Momoh Dgiba's role?

  • Was he involved with either the so-called SSU, be it SSU, or ATU or the SSS?

  • No. Later on in years Momoh Dgiba takes over the command of the ATU, but at this time he is just aide-de-camp.

  • And Benjamin Yeaten, you accept, was SSS director?

  • Now, do you know of someone called PYJ?

  • Yes, I know - actually, that name, PY, the boy - this is one - I don't know his real name. I don't know this kid's real name, but he is - that PYJ is Prince Y Johnson. He calls himself Prince Johnson after the Independent National Patriotic Front, PYJ is Prince Y Johnson. I don't know his real name. Everybody just called him - he just calls himself Prince Johnson. I know him.

  • And is he still around?

  • Boy, I want to believe PYJ is around. I want to believe so.

  • And what about Saw Beach? "Took me to Saw Beach". What is Saw Beach?

  • It's actually - it should not be S-A-W. It's S-A-L-T, Salt Beach. The barracks in Monrovia, that's the Barclay Training Centre, is located right on the ocean and the stockade - the military stockade is called the Salt Beach Stockade. So it's not S-A-W; it's S-A-L-T, like salt from the sea. Salt Beach. That's the military stockade for the military at BTC. Because he was the military, he was taken to their stockade.

  • "Q. Okay, Mr Witness, thank you. I want to take this a

    bit more slowly. First you mentioned Chucky. Is that

    Chucky Taylor, the son of President Taylor?

    A. The son of President Taylor, sir."

    And then he goes on to spell Momoh Dgiba.

    "Q. Now, you mentioned, sir, a bodyguard who arrested you.

    Can you just repeat that name slowly, please?

    A. He was called PYJ.

    Q. Just the initials; is that right?

    A. That was the only name I know for him.

    Q. Who were the forces you mentioned, the SSU and the SSS

    who were part of Charles Taylor's forces? Who were they

    fight against in that battle in Monrovia?

    A. They were fighting against Roosevelt Johnson to arrest

    him.

    Q. Where were you when you were arrested?

    A. They arrested me on the street around Looking Town

    Cinema.

    Q. Had you been involved in the fighting?

    A. I was not involved in any fighting, but they said I had

    a meeting with Roosevelt Johnson."

    Is that true or false, Mr Taylor, that he was arrested for effectively nothing?

  • This boy was a part of the fighting force - let me just remind this Court. The ULIMO-J and ULIMO-K are what? One group K is Mandingo; J are the Krahns. During the war in Liberia the group that supported Samuel Doe were the Mandingos and were part of ULIMO-K. That split up between J and K happened in terms of administration, but the boys still interacted. So what this man was actually doing, this Abu Keita, Mohamed Keita, was actually fighting along with the Roosevelt Johnson forces and he escaped from the same. But let me - in fact, to say that this boy is so terrible - you just stated in - he just stated in the testimony here that he was recalled to the AFL. He is an old soldier. Your government that recalled you to the Army is at war, and you say you are in - actually, this place, he doesn't know how to pronounce it. It's not Looking. The area in Monrovia is called Logan, L-O-G-A-N. It's Logan Town. It's not Looking Town. It's Logan Town, and there's a cinema there. I know this very well.

    Now, your government is at war and you are assigned to the barracks in Monrovia; why are you not fighting on the side of the government? You are supposed to be - you are several miles. He escaped from the scene. After this group entered the embassy, people that had spotted him and knew him, they tracked him and chased him. Logan Town is on an island. From where this fighting occurred, that's about - I would say about two to three miles from the scene. He was seen, he participated, and he was tracked and arrested. Not because he went there to visit, but because he was a part of the fighting force.

  • Well, he goes on to say this:

    "A. I was not involved in any fighting, but they set out a

    meeting with Roosevelt Johnson?

    Q. Now, at any time prior to your arrest or in the few

    weeks prior to your arrest, had you met with

    Roosevelt Johnson?

    A. Yes, I met with Roosevelt Johnson.

    Q. Can you explain what happened at that meeting?

    A. Roosevelt Johnson called both parties, the former

    ULIMO-J and those of us who were members of the former

    ULIMO-K. He said we should have a ceremony together

    because we fought against each other, we killed each other,

    and he said the war was over, so he said we should be one.

    That was the meeting I had with him.

    Q. Was this before the fighting or during the fighting?

    A. It took place before the fighting. That was why I was

    arrested, because they said they saw me there.

    Q. You said you were taken to the Saw Beach Prison,"

    ... Where is Saw Beach Prison?

    A. Saw Beach Prison is at the back of BTC.

    Q. At the back of the barracks in Monrovia?

    A. Yes, by the side of the barracks.

    Q. And how long were you kept in Saw Beach Prison?

    A. I was in Saw Beach Prison for one week. I said I was

    taken to Saw Beach. I was there for one week.

    Q. When?

    A. And I was not charged to go to Court. I was just in

    detention there. And later I was freed by one SSS director

    for operations, who was Varmuyan Sherif. He took me to

    Musa Cisse's house in Congo Town. Then Musa Cisse spoke to

    me and he said, 'Look, Abu, you are a Mandingo, I am a

    Mandingo.' He said, 'The war is over.' And he said, 'If

    you don't want to see Taylor's government, then you are

    doing - you are doing that to yourself.' He said, 'We have

    already won the elections.' He said it is better for me to

    cooperate with them.

    Q. Okay, why don't you just finish what you said and then

    I will go back and ask you some more questions about this?"

    And it continues. Now, first of all, Musa Cisse: Mandingo?

  • Role in your government?

  • Chief of protocol. One of the first people that saw me every morning and last to see me go to bed, my protocol officer.

  • And help me, were you aware that Varmuyan Sherif was involved in the freeing of Abu Keita from the Salt Beach Prison?

  • Yes. I was aware. What - there is no - it's being taken here in a vacuum, no. This fighting occurs. I have for reconciliation or reconciliatory purposes brought in senior ULIMO-K fighters. Here Varmuyan Sherif a senior general is working as senior director for SSS for motorcade. Musa Cisse, another Mandingo, is my chief of protocol who sees me more than almost any other person in the world. They are all shocked that Mohamed joins Roosevelt Johnson to fight against me. They meet with me. Musa comes to me, Varmuyan and the other senior Muslims - I mean Mandingos from around and say, "Chief, look" - in fact this Mohamed is not the only one of them in prison. There are several of them. They say, "Well, chief, okay, listen, we want you to release - to order the Ministry of Defence to release these people. We will sit down and talk to them because this reconciliation that you started, we don't want it to stop by this."

    I accept because I want reconciliation and he is talking about court, he is talking nonsense because I don't know the last time he saw a military man that is arrested and taken to a civilian court. This man, the best that would have happened to him he would have been court-martialed. So I don't know what he's talking about. He doesn't know what he's talking about. He was arrested. He stays in the place for a week. He is not beaten. Nothing happens to him.

    But because I want the process of reconciliation to continue I agree and ask the Defence Minister to have all of them released and that they would have a meeting with the senior Mandingo commanders and other elders in the country to continue the process of reconciliation. So this is nothing like a little sneaky thing going on. It is with my knowledge and with my consent to continue the process of reconciliation.

  • Now, what about this meeting called by Roosevelt Johnson of former ULIMO-J and ULIMO-K combatants, did you know about that?

  • No, I didn't - well, we got some information. What he was trying to do, he was trying to recruit to solicit assistance to resist. And all he was trying to do here was to encourage them, "Well, you know, before we fought, but let's stop, let's come together." He was looking for means to resist to overthrow the government.

    If you were a military person, you - in fact he should have been arrested from the first day he went there. You are a military person and this is not in isolation, there is tension in Monrovia for at least two weeks. You know the Roosevelt Johnson people are in that area. They are armed. ECOMOG was cordoned off the area. You are a military personnel, you are not a politician, what are you doing leaving your barracks and going into an enemy area to hold discussions? He should have been arrested from the first minute he even put his foot there. In fact the security delayed. He had no business being there as a soldier coming from the barracks to go in there except where he was a part of what they were trying to do and eventually some two weeks later there's an attack and he is involved in the attack.

  • Now, thank you for those details, Mr Taylor, because it adds some flesh to what we know already about this Camp Johnson Road incident and it helps to position this witness Abu Keita. So let's continue with his testimony before this Court. Page 1965, line 16:

    "Q. When you got to Musa Cisse's house, who else was

    present there?

    A. I left Musa Cisse's - I was there at Musa Cisse's house

    when Benjamin Yeaten, the SSS director, he was called by

    Musa Cisse and then he came and then he said, 'Keita, Pa

    Musa has already spoken about you. So that is it, you have

    to cooperate.' Then I said, 'Okay, chief. I have no

    problem with that, sir.' I said, 'I will cooperate.'

    Q. Okay, I just want to make sure that I understand. Is

    this still the same day that you were taken out of prison

    by Varmuyan Sherif?

    A. Yes, sir. That same day.

    Q. When you spoke to Musa Cisse that first time at his

    house, who else was present?

    A. Musa Cisse, Varmuyan Sherif, Benjamin Yeaten and one

    other police director who was called Papa Kouyate."

    Know the name, Mr Taylor?

  • Very well, yes.

  • "And Musa Cisse's - one of his brothers who was called Pa Morrie." Know the name, Mr Taylor?

  • "He was a police officer." Mr Koumjian then assists the Court by spelling those names:

    "Q. What happened after you met Benjamin Yeaten at Musa

    Cisse's house?

    A. They spoke to me and said I have now become a free man

    and then from there they left me and I was taken back to my

    house.

    Q. Did you know at that time - can you tell us what

    position Musa Cisse had at that time?

    A. Musa Cisse was the protocol officer of Charles Taylor

    and then his operations name was Ghankay Charo."

    Does that name mean anything to you, Mr Taylor?

  • No, it doesn't mean anything to me, no.

  • I just want to pause there for a moment to ask you about this: You note he says that he meets Benjamin Yeaten, the SSS director, at Musa Cisse's house who says to him, "Keita, Pa Musa has already spoken about you, so that is it, you have to cooperate." "Then I said, 'Okay, chief, I have no problem with that, sir. I will cooperate'."

    Now, Mr Taylor, let us make sure we understand what is being suggested here. It is being suggested Abu Keita, former ULIMO-K, attends this meeting with Roosevelt Johnson, is implicated in a plot against your government. You, as you have explained, in a spirit of reconciliation, are persuaded by Musa Cisse and other senior members of the Mandingo community to release these people in the hope that peace may reign. Have I got it right so far?

  • You have got it right.

  • Now in that context, this witness appears to be suggesting that effectively he is asked to cooperate by Benjamin Yeaten. Yes?

  • Cooperate, as his later testimony suggests, in supplying arms to the RUF. Do you get that?

  • Now, Mr Taylor, did you order Benjamin Yeaten, your SSS director, to recruit this former ULIMO-K fighter who has already demonstrated his disloyalty to your government by attending that meeting with Roosevelt Johnson - did you ask that he become effectively a runner taking arms for you to the RUF? Do you follow me?

  • No, never did that. It would have been stupid. I mean beyond silly to do that. But let's add some more perspective to this. Papa Kouyate, who is Papa Kouyate? Papa Kouyate is a former ULIMO general who served as senior aide-de-camp to Alhaji Kromah, who this process of reconciliation brings into the police. Papa Kouyate is assistant director of police as an act of reconciliation. Morris Cisse - it is actually Morris Cisse - is a brother of Musa Cisse who is an experienced police officer. In fact, he is a Canadian citizen who has served in the Canadian police and had come home. He is also an assistant director of police. This meeting that we are talking about now is the same meeting of former ULIMO senior people that are brought into government as an act of reconciliation and other elders to really try to make sure that we keep peace and stability.

    Now, I would be stupid, very stupid, to have this Mohamed Keita boy, who I know now has demonstrated his disloyalty, to use him with the thousands, thousands of former NPFL people and thousands of ULIMO - the very Varmuyan Sherif here on that day fought against Roosevelt Johnson. Varmuyan Sherif.

    And when you hear them talk about Momoh Dgiba being involved, because during this time of crisis with the limited arms, all military people that had an idea of fighting moved out. When you have national crisis like this people don't sit down and say, "Oh, I am in the SSS, I can't shoot." Everybody moves out to try to put this thing under control. Varmuyan fights against Roosevelt on that day. So this is why Varmuyan was shocked that he, Mohamed, was involved on the Roosevelt Johnson side. And that's how the reconciliation came. So nobody in his rightful mind would want to use this man, who actually is an enemy combatant at the time, to go on "a major mission". This is total foolishness. I, Charles Taylor, would never do that.

  • But, Mr Taylor, is being recruited in the presence, according to him, of your police director, Papa Kouyate, and also Pa Morrie, a police officer. Did you - was this meeting organised as a recruitment drive for runners in the presence of those senior police officers?

  • I doubt it, no. That is - no. I doubt this meeting could have been and was about nothing about giving him what you call a very good chastise, because all of them, Papa is there, Varmuyan, it's just really - this meeting was more of chastising him for the nonsense that he had done than any type of recruitment. It could never have been about that, no.

  • But, Mr Taylor, he makes it quite clear, in effect, he was asked to cooperate, that is, recruited for a particular mission. Let's go on with a his testimony and we will see. Page 1966, line 17:

    "Q. Do you know what ethnicity or tribe Musa Cisse belongs

    to?

    A. He told me he was Mandingo.

    Q. You also mentioned Benjamin Yeaten. Did you know what

    position he held at that time?

    A. At that time Benjamin Yeaten was the SSS director.

    Q. After they took you to your house what happened?

    A. I was there and then a week later I saw Marzah, Sampson

    and Jungle and they said we should go to Musa Cisse's

    house. And then we drove to Musa Cisse's house. From

    there we were taken back to Benjamin Yeaten's residence, at

    the back of the President Taylor's house down the hole.

    Q. Okay, you mentioned someone named Marzah. Do you know

    another name he was known by?

    A. That's the only name I know him by. They called him

    Marzah.

    Q. Okay, have you ever heard of Zigzag?

    A. Yes, that was his nickname, sir.

    Q. You also mentioned someone named Sampson and someone

    named Jungle, are these two different people?

    A. These are two different persons, sir.

    Q. Can you tell us what positions at that time Marzah,

    Sampson and Jungle held?

    A. Marzah was SS, Sampson was SS, a bodyguard to Benjamin

    Yeaten. Jungle was a bodyguard to Benjamin Yeaten."

    And then he goes to explain what SS stands for:

    "A. It's the special unit at the VIP. They were close to

    the President of the State.

    Q. When you say close to the President, in what way were

    they close to the President, what were they to do for him?

    A. The director - before you see the President you have to

    go through his office. He would open the door for you to

    see the President."

    Shaking your head doesn't mean a great deal on the transcript, Mr Taylor. "The SS director - before you see the President, you have to go through his office." True or false?

  • False. Totally false.

  • "He would open the door for you to see the President." True or false?

  • "Q. Did they have any job to do besides opening doors?"

    Can you explain what their purpose was?

    A. They were the SS at the - that was the only job I knew

    Benjamin Yeaten who was in charge of the man as close

    protection."

    True or false?

  • I don't know what he means by the words "in charge". I really don't know what he means, "was in charge of the man as close protection."

  • Well, he goes on to say this and provide an explain.

    "Q. Okay, thank you. When you say 'close protection', now

    I think that helps us. Can you explain what you mean by

    'close protection'?

    A. They were security. They always moved up and down as

    VIP. Wherever you saw the President, you will see them

    around."

    Now, pause there, Mr Taylor. You remember who the "them" are? That's Marzah, Jungle and Sampson. Whenever you were moving around, were they always there?

  • No, not at all. These people were - I am not sure if --

  • Just pause there, please, Mr Taylor. Yes, Ms Hollis.

    MS. HOLLIS: Mr President, he is misstating what the witness is talking about. The witness is talking about the SS and what the SS job is. He is not saying it is always these three individuals.

  • Well, let me go back and we'll see if I am wrong about that:

  • Remember he is being asked about three individuals, Marzah, Sampson and Jungle. And in that context he is asked this question at the top of page 1968:

    "Q. When you say close to the President, in what way were

    they close to the President?

    A. They were close protection.

    Q. Can you explain what you mean by 'close protection'?

    A. They always moved up and down as VIP. Wherever you saw

    the President, you will see them around."

    Now, were they always around you, Mr Taylor?

  • Never around me, those three. Never. These were personal bodyguards to the SSS director.

  • And then let's look at the next question in terms of the objection:

    "Q. So did Sampson, Jungle and Marzah," i.e. they, "report

    to the same person?

    A. Yes, they were bodyguards to Benjamin Yeaten."

    Now, I ask you again, Mr Taylor, were those three men always around you; i.e. were they so-called insiders? Do you follow me?

  • Yes. Never, never, never ever were those three men close to me. And of the three men, the only one that I know was Sampson, a cousin of Benjamin Yeaten. Never. And he did not even provide - or was never around me, no, never. None of the three.

  • We renew the objection and we will pursue it on cross-examination, because Defence counsel conveniently ignores the proceeding language on page 1967 that directs itself to the SS and the role of the SS. As I said, we will pursue it on cross-examination and our view is misstating, mischaracterising the evidence.

  • All right. For this stage, your objection is noted, Ms Hollis, and your interpretation of the evidence can be pursued on cross-examination.

    Yes, please continue, Mr Griffiths.

  • "A. Yes, they were bodyguards to Benjamin Yeaten, sir.

    Q. So you said about a week after the first meeting at

    Musa Cisse's house they came and picked you up, and tell us

    what happened then?

    A. Yes. We went down to Benjamin Yeaten's house. Then

    there was a meeting there where I saw Sam Bockarie of the

    RUF. I saw Eddie Kanneh. Then I saw the war council

    leader of the RUF called SB Rogers, and the adjutant of

    the RUF who was Rashid and Benjamin Yeaten himself, and

    then he asked me to join the RUF in Sierra Leone. Then I

    said, 'No problem, sir.' I said as long as that was an

    instruction from you, I said I would implement it, sir. So

    I asked him to allow me to prepare myself, and then he

    accepted."

    Pause there, Mr Taylor. Remember, let us remind ourselves, this happens a week after he is released from Salt Beach Prison. What he is saying is this man, who had demonstrated disloyalty, was being ordered - well, first of all, was present at a meeting with senior RUF individuals and is there told that he should join the RUF. Now, help us, Mr Taylor, at this point in time - and remind us, when was the Camp Johnson Road incident?

  • I think September, if I am not mistaken of 19 --

  • So understand what you are saying; September 1998. Now remember, you've given evidence to this Court that's the first time you meet with Sam Bockarie.

  • Now, help us with this. When Sam Bockarie came to Liberia on that occasion, did he come alone?

  • No, Sam Bockarie came with several other people. I don't remember all.

  • Did that include Eddie Kanneh?

  • Now, you mentioned earlier that there was an elderly gentleman that accompanied him. Does the name SYB Rogers mean anything to you?

  • That can be associated with him, but I don't remember. But there was a shortish grey haired man. That's probably SB Rogers.

  • So let's tie the very loose ends together, shall we. You understand what this witness Abu Keita is saying here now?

  • On your account, this is Bockarie's first visit to Monrovia?

  • This is a week after the Camp Johnson Road incident. And he's saying that, in effect, you were asking him to become a member of the RUF. Mr Taylor, is that true?

  • That is totally, totally, totally false.

  • Can you think of any reason why you would want to do that?

  • Except somebody is stupid. I mean, there is no way. And in fact, it's just that I can't remember the - I will have to recall the exact date - the exact date of the situation in Monrovia. I know it's in September. I don't recall the date of the attack in Monrovia. Then if we look at that, then - and I will have to reflect on that - and we add two weeks, we will know - we will be able to catch this lie up tight; that is, because remember he says he stays in Salt Beach Prison for a week, and then a week later he is called to this meeting. So he is talking precisely about two weeks after the Camp Johnson Road situation. Now, I don't recall the exact date, but if we could get that exact date and add 14 days to it, we are going to see where this puts us, and we will know as to whether this boy is lying about this thing. And then we can backtrack and see when Sam Bockarie came in September. So I don't know the exact date. I will have to research it. But to answer your question directly, there is no way. The meeting with Sam Bockarie in September of 1998 is a very short and preliminary meeting. Sam Bockarie returns to Sierra Leone and in fact, when he returns in October, that's when the guesthouse is arranged. So for this man to be meeting Sam Bockarie when I am just meeting him for the first time in September 1998, I had never, ever in my life met Sam Bockarie. Because even at the time that Foday Sankoh came to Gbarnga to visit, '91 August to '92 May, he never brought Sam Bockarie with him. I didn't know the young man. And in fact, I didn't even know who were the important people. Sam Bockarie did not - I mean, Foday Sankoh did not bring anyone with him. So for me just meeting Sam Bockarie in 1998 - I mean September, and then introducing him to an Abu Keita, Mohamed, to go and join them, is nonsensical. It's total, total nonsense. I mean, maybe he is talking about a different time, but it sure didn't happen --

  • No, we are talking about a week after his arrest.

  • Oh, but according to - I may be wrong. I stand corrected on this. I think he was talking about - he was in prison for --

  • Yeah. A week after his arrest would make that two weeks following the incident on Camp Johnson Road.

  • Okay. So now maybe if that incident occurs - if that incident occurs any time after 15th September 1998, that would put this meeting in October. That's the point I am trying to make. So I will have to get the exact Camp Johnson Road date of the incident to - but I am sure in your research we will find out as to whether he is telling the truth about this being in September or whether it is in October, some two weeks later. That's the point I am trying to make.

  • Yes. Page 1968:

    "A. Yes, we went down to Benjamin Yeaten's house. Then

    there was a meeting there where I saw Sam Bockarie of the

    RUF, I saw Eddie Kanneh, then I saw the war council leader

    of the RUF called SB Rogers, and the adjutant of the RUF,

    who was Rashid, and Benjamin Yeaten himself, and then he

    asked me to join the RUF in Sierra Leone. Then I said, 'No

    problem, sir.' I said as long as that was an instruction

    from you, I said I would implement it, sir. So I asked him

    to allow me to prepare myself, and then he accepted.

    Q. Was there anyone else present at that meeting that you

    can recall? You mentioned Eddie Kanneh, you mentioned SB

    Rogers, you mentioned Sam Bockarie and Benjamin Yeaten and

    Mr Rashid?

    A. Yes, there was Montgomery and Varmuyan Sherif himself

    came and met us at the meeting."

    Mr Taylor, Montgomery is who?

  • Well, there is a Joseph Montgomery that I know that was Deputy Director of the Special Security Service.

  • And then he goes on:

    "Q. After you agreed to join the RUF, what happened then?

    A. Then I said I should prepare myself and then we were

    driven from Benjamin Yeaten's house. That was the time I

    saw a satellite phone with Sam Bockarie, and he said it was

    given to him by Benjamin Yeaten."

    Pause there. Are you aware of Benjamin Yeaten giving Sam Bockarie a satellite phone, Mr Taylor?

  • Never. No, he didn't.

  • Then he is asked this question:

    "Q. Was one person in charge of that meeting? Did one

    person seem to be the chair, the person in charge of the

    meeting?

    A. It was Benjamin Yeaten who was the chair of that

    meeting. He was the commander of that meeting.

    Q. Now, you said that he said you should go fight with the

    RUF. Did he explain why he was asking you to do that or

    where he got that idea?

    A. I don't have any idea other than the one he told me,

    that I should join the brothers.

    Q. Did Benjamin Yeaten explain anything else to you when

    he said you should go join the RUF?

    A. He said he wants a standby force to be in Sierra Leone,

    that I would be the commander of that troop to be based in

    Sierra Leone.

    Q. Did he indicate whether you would be in command? You

    said the commander of that troop. What did he say about

    the troop that you're talking about?

    A. He said I was going to be the commander of a troop that

    was going to Sierra Leone with Sam Bockarie.

    Q. Do you recall if he gave a name for that unit, the

    troops?

    A. He said the troop would be called the Scorpion Unit and

    that I would be the commander to be based with Sam Bockarie

    in Sierra Leone."

    Scorpion Unit, Mr Taylor?

  • Know nothing about it, no.

  • Would that be convenient point, Mr President?

  • Yes, that's a convenient time. We will take the morning break and resume at 12 o'clock.

  • [Break taken at 11.29 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 12.00 p.m.]

  • May it please your Honours:

  • Mr Taylor, before the short adjournment we were looking at this meeting described by the witness Abu Keita and seeking to locate it within other events which we've established were occurring at the time. Do you recall that?

  • Now, in light of that could I please ask that part of MFI-50 be put on the overhead, please. Now, Mr Taylor, in terms of the date of the Camp Johnson Road incident, does that document assist you?

  • Now, that's the time of the shooting incident at the US embassy, 19 September?

  • On which day did the incident itself begin?

  • On the 18th. Right, thank you. We can put that away now, please. Now, Mr Taylor, bearing in mind that date, now help us. Keita is arrested a week afterwards, yes?

  • He is kept in custody for a week?

  • Yes? Thereafter he says he's summoned to Benjamin Yeaten's - to an address, yes?

  • Where he's seen by Benjamin Yeaten, yes?

  • And where - also present are Eddie Kanneh, SYB Rogers and others, yes?

  • Now you're the former maths teacher, Mr Taylor, help me. Add 14 to 18, what do we get?

  • Yes, what do we get?

  • Add 14 days, two weeks, to 18 September?

  • All right. Now I see. We're talking about - we're pushing into October.

  • There's only 30 days in September, so that's 2 October, isn't it?

  • Was Sam Bockarie in Liberia in early October 1998?

  • So this meeting that this man is allegedly talking about, Mr Taylor, what do you say about it?

  • I say it's a lie as plainly as possible. But you know, counsel, the way that these stories are put together, it's just so strange. Abu Keita, Mohamed - I don't dispute that his name is Abu, because it can be three names. But I know what we have confirmed - I have confirmed it's Mohamed Keita - fights against me from ULIMO, he is brought in for reconciliation. He fights against me again in September of 1998. He is seen, he is arrested in the act. He is released.

    Here is a man and all these introductions, these names that these people are calling together, Keita must know - Keita must know Sam Bockarie. Keita must know the description he's given of SYB Rogers as War Council chairman. He must know them. And why must he know them? These are the same - these are the senior ULIMO generals that are dealing with the RUF at the time of the closure of the border from Sam Bockarie under. These people are not strangers to each other. We know here that when that border was closed way back in 1992 after the RUF was cut off - and we cut off our relationship in May of 1992 with the RUF - we know from evidence before this Court that Sam Bockarie met with the ULIMO people and they were trading. They knew each other. And I cannot be - because I'm just seeing all of these transcripts coming in my mind, but I'm sure the team can reflect it. In 1996 when the RUF was attacked and they came out of Zogoda in Liberia, if I am not mistaken, if it's not this Mohamed Keita was one of the generals that said that he was sent to go and help to disarm - and to disarm them in 1996 when they crossed from the Zogoda attack. These people knew each other. Here is a situation where this man can define titles. This is an enemy to the revolution I'm trying to bring in. He's known these people. So who had to make an introduction about Mohamed Keita and these people to Sam Bockarie?

    And in fact, let me be very clear - I have said it - I invited, with the acquiescence of my colleagues from ECOWAS, Sam Bockarie to Liberia in September of 1998. That meeting that Sam Bockarie came to Liberia, the first meeting he lived at the hotel. And that was a very, very secret meeting where there was no way that an Abu Keita and even I do not even believe - except for their old friends Varmuyan Konneh - Sherif, excuse me. Don't let's forget again in this Court my ambassador in 1998 writes a letter and he identifies - he identifies Varmuyan Sherif as an old contact of the RUF that is stationed in Monrovia. So these people are not strangers to each other. So how come now there's all this introduction? These people are old - in fact if you look at it, the ULIMO dealt with the RUF longer than we did. We had what? Seven, eight months of dealing with the RUF. They had from 1992 all the way until elections in 1997 they were dealing with these people. So they were closer. By far they knew them better. Then I would take Abu Keita - Abu Mohamed Keita, or Mohamed Abu Keita, whatever he calls himself, and send him on a mission to Sierra Leone when: One, these people that attacked me in Monrovia on the 18th, that it continues on the 19th, remember they are held up at the US embassy. They subsequently are flown out to Sierra Leone. His boss that he fought for is now flown to Freetown. And I'm supposed to be recruiting him at this particular time to go now what? To fight against his boss? So how does it work? They put their story together in such ways that are so deceptive until they miss the points.

  • So, Mr Taylor, remind us: Who was flown to Freetown after the Camp Johnson Road incident?

  • General Lincoln that was mentioned, his whole entourage.

  • So we have a group who had been fighting against your government at Camp Johnson Road?

  • Of former ULIMO fighters?

  • Who are sent to Freetown?

  • So we have a situation where with American assistance we have a group of former ULIMO fighters in Sierra Leone?

  • And you then send a former ULIMO general to become head of the Scorpion Unit in the same Sierra Leone?

  • Impossible. Impossible. If there is a Scorpion Unit, then it's got to be their own unit they're trying to put together, maybe to come back in --

  • Who is trying to put together?

  • That the Johnson and Mohamed Keita and whole LURD. This could be that whole LURD thing coming up. Because the Scorpion that I'm hearing now, okay, is a name that is used by LURD. LURD - remember the commander, okay? There is a Scorpion Unit that comes, that fights me from LURD. So if I'm hearing Scorpion now, it's got to be what Mohamed Keita and them went to start putting together, because we never saw Keita after that. Never. Since he was released and left Liberia, we never saw him.

  • So this Scorpion Unit then, Mr Taylor, as far as you're aware, who are they?

  • The only time I heard a Scorpion Unit that was a unit that was a part of LURD that attacked us and fought us until I left Liberia. There was a Scorpion Unit that I knew of in LURD. There was never a unit in Liberia called Scorpion. Never.

  • Now let's go back, shall we, to page 1970 of the transcript of 23 January 2008, line 27. Having told the Court that he was sent to be commander of this Scorpion Unit which was to act as some stand-by force in Sierra Leone - now bearing that in mind, what do you understand by the term 'stand-by force', Mr Taylor?

  • A stand-by force as we used it in the NPFL at that time and then when I became President, when I heard stand-by force, it referred to a unit that was made ready that would assist in terms of combat situations whenever they were needed. They were just ready, equipped to fight.

  • Now, help me, Mr Taylor, because you're the one who is supposed to be running this show, why did you feel a need for a stand-by force in Sierra Leone in the autumn of 1998?

  • There's no reason. And to fight who, inside Sierra Leone? No, no, I didn't need one.

  • Question, line 27:

    "Q. Did he" - that being Benjamin Yeaten - "indicate to

    you what plan he had for those troops, whether there were

    any operations planned?

    A. He did not give me any details of the operations plan,

    sir.

    Q. Was there any mention of any areas in Sierra Leone?

    A. Areas, I said Sierra Leone.

    Q. Did he indicate any particular areas of Sierra Leone

    such as - well, Port Loko. I'm just making up a name,

    witness.

    A. He said we should be based in Buedu. Buedu in Kailahun

    District.

    Q. And did he indicate whether they were planning any

    operations in any other areas?"

    There was then an objection and the question was asked again:

    "Q. Did he indicate any attacks were planned?

    A. No, he said I should be based in Sierra Leone with Sam

    Bockarie.

    Q. Did Benjamin Yeaten tell you if he had come up with

    this idea or if someone else had told him to send you to

    Sierra Leone?

    A. He said he had planned with the boss who is

    Charles Taylor who had given him the instruction to send me

    to Sierra Leone.

    Q. Now you mentioned the RUF and you also mentioned a

    person who was presented named Eddie Kanneh. Who was Eddie

    Kanneh?

    A. Eddie Kanneh is a Sierra Leonean and he was with the

    SLA, the Sierra Leone Army.

    Q. The Sierra Leone Army?

    A. Yes, the Sierra Leone Army.

    Q. Now was he with the Sierra Leone Army with the

    Government of Sierra Leone at the time?

    A. No."

    So, Mr Taylor, the position is crystal clear. According to this witness, you gave an instruction to Benjamin Yeaten to send Abu Keita to Sierra Leone to command this stand-by unit called the Scorpion Unit. Did you?

  • Never did. Never. Never did.

  • Now, let's move on. The witness goes on to say this -

  • Could I have a moment please, sir? Can I just have a minute, please, Mr President? We're just trying to locate something:

  • Now, Mr Taylor, remember the witness said how he saw Sam Bockarie with a satellite phone earlier, yes?

  • The witness goes on to say this, this is page 1974, line 4:

    "Q. Did you see how Sam Bockarie got the phone?

    A. He told me it had been given to him by the chief,

    Benjamin Yeaten.

    Q. After this meeting at Musa Cisse's house where did you

    go next?

    A. We moved - it was Benjamin Yeaten's house.

    Q. After the meeting at Benjamin Yeaten's house where did

    you go next?

    A. We drove to the Boulevard Hotel in Monrovia by Sinkor

    and then General Adam who was there --

    First of all, Hotel Boulevard, Mr Taylor, know of it?

  • Sinkor, where is that?

  • "Q. When you got to the hotel where did you go?

    A. We went upstairs on the third floor where we met

    General Ibrahim Bah at the hotel."

    Now, bear in mind when this is happening. This is two weeks after the Camp Johnson Road incident, so we're talking about early October. Were you aware of General Ibrahim Bah's presence in Monrovia at that time?

  • In any event, he describes Bah being at the Hotel Boulevard:

    "A. We went upstairs on the third floor where we met

    General Ibrahim Bah in the hotel.

    Q. Was this the first time you met Ibrahim Bah?

    A. Yes, that was the first time. I only heard the name,

    but that was the first time to meet him in person.

    Q. Can you describe him a bit?

    A. He was a short, fat man. He is not tall.

    Q. Did he have any accent?

    A. He had the Gambian accent.

    Q. Did he have any rank, did you ever learn whether he had

    any rank.

    A. They called him General Ibrahim Bah. They said he was

    a former fighter of the NPFL.

    Q. What was discussed in the hotel room of General Bah?

    A. The discussion was how best General Bah should ensure

    to find a buyer for the RUF diamonds and that also General

    Bah should help them to get a radio communication for the

    RUF, something they would use for propaganda, an FM

    station.

    Q. Okay. Can you remember who else was in the room? What

    do you remember now about who else was present?

    A. It was Ibrahim Bah, Eddie Kanneh, Sam Bockarie,

    Benjamin Yeaten and SB Rogers and Rashid and General

    Ibrahim's bodyguard they called General CR and myself.

    That was where I saw the first diamond with Sam Bockarie."

    Pause. Do you know of such a meeting, Mr Taylor?

  • Not at all. Not at all. I don't.

  • I don't know anyone called General CR, but the name CR rings a bell.

  • Well, this boy - I know a fellow called CR that I have not heard of for years now, but I'm not sure if this is the same person though, so I don't want to jump the gun here. I'm not sure if it's the same person.

  • Now, what about the suggestion that Bah was assisting the RUF with obtaining radio communication, an FM station, for propaganda purposes? Know anything about that?

  • No, I don't know, but it - don't let's forget, it's possible because, don't let's forget now, Bah knows the RUF when we go all the way back to the Ivory Coast agreement from '96. There's evidence led in this Court that Bah is with Sankoh at that particular time. But this would be interesting to watch because there's another witness that claims that I gave an FM station to the RUF and I had mentioned in this Court that - and that it was being helped - they were being helped by - they mentioned Hilton Fyle, a witness went through that in this Court. So it might be interesting to see the correlation here because now here is another witness here saying that plans are being made for an FM station. I mentioned that this FM was something like a broadcast station.

    So - but I was not aware of this meeting. But I would mention that it would not be - in 1998, at this time, it would not be unusual for maybe an Ibrahim Bah to be in Liberia. He was a businessman doing business, from what I understand. But I'm not aware of him meeting Sam Bockarie at this trip because this trip that Sam Bockarie makes to Liberia in - first in September, he is not there at this time. I'm not sure if Bockarie informs Ibrahim or what. I have know idea of this meeting.

  • But, in any event, let's continue with the account, reminding ourselves of this: "That's where I saw the first diamond with Sam Bockarie." And it continues:

    "Q. Can you explain where you saw these diamonds?

    A. The diamonds were in that Boulevard Hotel in General

    Ibrahim Bah's room.

    Q. You said you saw Sam Bockarie with it. Can you explain

    that?

    A. I saw him with diamonds. He was showing the diamond to

    Ibrahim Bah. That was the only one - that was the only

    thing I saw him do with the diamond.

    Q. Okay, to be clear then you did not see him hand the

    diamonds over. Is that correct?

    A. Yes, I did not see him give the diamond, but I saw him

    show the diamond.

    Q. Sir, are you saying one diamond or are you saying more

    than one?

    A. More than one. More than one. More than ten even.

    Q. After the meeting with General Bah in the Boulevard

    Hotel where did you go?

    A. We were around. We went back to another hotel where

    Sam Bockarie was staying which they called Kadija Hotel."

    Do you know of that hotel, Mr Taylor?

  • No, I do not. I do not know of this hotel. As we go along, I do know of a Kadija. I see what - okay. Okay. No, I don't know of a hotel called Kadija. But as we go along, I guess this will unfold.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, let us be clear about this. According to this witness, there's this meeting going on in this hotel, the Hotel Boulevard, where Sam Bockarie is showing diamonds to Ibrahim Bah. But hold on a second, I thought those diamonds should be coming to you, you were Sam Bockarie's boss. So what's going on, Mr Taylor?

  • I would have some, what I would call very - if the story is true that I'm supposed to be the boss, then I have some very disrespectful people that he will come and show diamonds to somebody without getting them to me. It's just that I'm not his boss, have never been. And it would not be unusual, I would say here, if Sam Bockarie is in Monrovia and, quite frankly, I would have to almost - and let me move almost. I would have to say categorically that in 1998, between September to December, I cannot see this kind of situation going on.

    Now, if this witness is talking about subsequent trips that Sam Bockarie made in 1999, I have no way of verifying the authenticity, but I can say, there were only three trips that Sam Bockarie made in 1998. The first trip was of the utmost secrecy and there was no way he went anywhere to deal with anybody. So that's out of the question. The second trip that Sam Bockarie made, because of security concerns in October of 1998, the second trip, a guesthouse is provided. The third trip, which is November going to December, he comes through briefly and he passes on to go to meet the chairman of the OAU.

    So if there's anything closely related to Sam Bockarie meeting up with Ibrahim Bah and doing their deals or different things, if there is a possibility - not even the probable - if there's a possibility, then this must be in 1999. So I would say almost categorically that this could not have happened in 1998.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, why do you say the first trip was in the utmost secrecy?

  • Because that was the first - in September when Sam Bockarie comes to Liberia, I have contacted my colleagues. We all agree, okay, this is an opportunity to speak to this man for the first time to see what is going on. So when he comes to Liberia he's not running all over the place meeting. It is very strict. He comes in - in fact, I sent General Menkarzon to the border. He is brought in, he's taken to the hotel, they are there with him, we meet, we discuss, he leaves the next day. So by "secrecy" I mean it is not announced on radio that General Bockarie came to town. This is what you call a - this is a getting - you know, a real evaluation meeting for me to be able to get back to my colleagues and say well, I met him and he looks like somebody that we can talk to. So by this time it is not all over the place. It is only, after I speak to them and we agree that, okay, let's follow up that he comes back. But this first meeting, it did not happen.

    On the second meeting we are more formal. This is when even an official is following up on the - Tambakai Jangaba, who is the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, is following up on this meeting, but he is not meeting people and talking business. There is no way. Now I do not dispute that he knows Ibrahim Bah. He must know Bah, because if we go back to '96 we see - and don't let's forget there's testimony before this Court that even when the junta comes into place in - while they are in Freetown there's evidence led here that Bah visits Johnny Paul Koroma and the junta in Freetown. So there is no question about them knowing each other. But in 1998, not possible. Probably 1999.

    So in answer to your question why do I say it was secret, not secret like in nobody knowing, but it was held in certain quarters in government. It did not go to the press. It did not go out - it was held at close quarters in top government circles, because this was just a get acquainted and a testing out meeting. That's what I mean by secret.

  • Okay. However, you see, Mr Taylor, the witness continued in this vein regarding that day when he went to the Boulevard Hotel. Remember he said he goes to the Boulevard Hotel, then he goes to the Kadija Hotel. Page 1976, 23 January 2008, line 10:

    "Q. After going to the Kadija Hotel, where did you go?

    A. I was there with them all through the day and then

    later I left them in the afternoon. I went to my house to

    return.

    Q. Did you go anywhere with Sam Bockarie that day?"

    Note: "With Sam Bockarie that day?" Early October now.

    "A. Yes, that happened in the night when Sam Bockarie was

    leaving to come back to Sierra Leone, sir."

    Bear in mind those facts. Bockarie is leaving in the night to return to Sierra Leone, yes?

    "Q. Please explain what happened?

    A. Benjamin Yeaten came, Sam Bockarie, Musa Cisse, SB

    Rogers, Eddie Kanneh and myself, and then we drove from the

    hotel to" - guess where - "White Flower, where

    Charles Taylor was at his house. Then they opened the gate

    for us and then we went down the left-hand side. Then they

    opened the door on the left-hand side. Then in the hallway

    of Charles Taylor's house there was a red carpet and there

    were large cushioned chairs there. And then Benjamin

    Yeaten asked us to wait there and then we were waiting

    there. And then Charles Taylor appeared. Then we all

    rose. Then he told us to sit down. Then Sam Bockarie

    said, 'I am on my way going, sir. I have come to pay my

    respects, sir.' Then he asked Sam Bockarie to maintain the

    RUF, to take care of the RUF, and then Sam Bockarie said he

    will do everything possible. And then he said if there was

    any problems, Benjamin Yeaten and Musa Cisse should be

    immediately contacted. So from there we walked out of the

    building, sir, and Sam Bockarie left, sir.

    Q. You said when you first got to White Flower they opened

    a gate. What kind of gate do you mean?

    A. The house is on a big fence. Then there is a security

    gate there. They opened the security gate first for us, we

    entered the house - we entered the house, the compound, and

    on the left-hand side there is a step to go down. There is

    a hallway there and they opened the door for us. We used

    the parlour of Charles Taylor into the house.

    Q. When Charles Taylor came in, how was he dressed?

    A. He was in a brown suit and we all rose and stood and he

    said we should have seat - he said 'Sit down'.

    Q. Did you recognise him?

    A. Yes.

    Q. Had you seen him before?

    A. No.

    Q. How did you recognise him?

    A. Because I knew that we were taken to the President's

    residence and then he appeared. Then we all rose with Musa

    Cisse, Benjamin Yeaten.

    Q. Had you seen any pictures of Charles Taylor before

    then?

    A. Yes, but for me to meet him in person, that was the

    first time."

    Now let's pause there. Now, Mr Taylor, you understand what's being said, don't you? Now let's deal with one or two details. First of all, that happened in the night, yes?

  • When they were leaving to come back to Sierra Leone. Now, this is Monrovia, and what do you say about leaving from Monrovia at night to drive to Sierra Leone?

  • Well, to leave Monrovia in the night to go to Sierra Leone, I don't see how anybody would want to do that.

  • Just driving through Monrovia to Gbarnga - from Monrovia to Gbarnga is four hours. From Gbarnga to Voinjama is another maybe five hours. That is nine hours. It's just too dangerous. The road is just too - I don't see why anybody would want to leave out of Liberia at night. You want to make sure that you leave so you can get through the bad road areas to get to Sierra Leone. All the times that Sam Bockarie came to me that I know, he left in the day to go back. So I can't understand anybody leaving at night like somebody sneaking out of town. I don't understand why he would leave at night. That would not be proper, at least I can say.

  • Then let me ask you about details. Red carpet in the hallway of White Flower?

  • No, there is no red carpet, and the way how he described it on the side, my house - if you meet in the parlours of my house - I just wish we had time to ask this man, because we have pictures of the parlours of my house, the parlour when I met President Carter and other people, and that's not on the side of the house. That goes through my front door and you enter into my parlour. So I don't know what he's talking about here, going on the side of my house. But he sure enough didn't enter the parlour if he were even at my house.

    But even more important - even more important than all these things, we are talking about October 1998. I am not in White Flower. I have not moved to my house at White Flower. I moved to White Flower on my birthday, 28 January 1999. I had not moved to White Flower. So I don't know how he could have gotten there in October of 1998 when I was not there. I was not living there. So I don't know how he got there.

  • Now, we have some photographs of White Flower which we will look at at a later stage, Mr Taylor.

  • Can I just make an inquiry through you, Mr President, whether the Court has received a bundle of photographs of White Flower?

  • Yes, we have them, Mr Griffiths.

  • We'll come back to that. But in anticipation of looking at those photographs, Mr Taylor, let us look at some of the other details that this witness claims about White Flower beginning of October 1998, okay? So he says red carpet in the hallway. Large cushioned chairs there, yes?

  • There are no - you have seen pictures of my - at least inside my house. All of the things in that living room, my parlour, they are Louis XVI and XV and no large cushion. We have pictures inside my house. Nothing of large cushion in my parlour. None.

  • According to the witness, Mr Taylor, it would appear that the sole purpose of the visit was so that Sam Bockarie could say "I'm going".

  • That's what he's saying there. Nonsense.

  • Why do you say that's nonsense?

  • Why would Sam Bockarie come to me at night to say he's going? Going where? I saw Sam Bockarie --

  • Well, you were his boss, Mr Taylor, so let's alleged?

  • No, but I'm not his boss. After I have had had - and in fact, we are not talking about the same time. But those meetings with Sam Bockarie that I met him were official meetings, and after he left my presence he didn't have to come back to say "I'm going". No.

  • And you said if there was any problem, Bockarie should contact Benjamin Yeaten and Musa Cisse immediately. What do you say about that?

  • Now let's look at other things he said about White Flower. This description: "The house is on a big fence." Is it?

  • I don't know what he means by, "The house is on the big fence."

  • But what do you understand by the word "fence"?

  • The fence is what you put around the house. So he says "on the fence." I don't have any house on the fence.

  • Is there a fence around White Flower?

  • Yes, there is a huge 20-foot wall around White Flower.

  • A wall. Not a fence. A wall. It's a 20-foot high wall that spans about 23 - about 22 or 23 inches thick, so that's why I describe it as a wall. It's not just a fence. It is eight inches, eight-inch blocks, eight inch and reinforced in the centre. In thickness it's about 22 or 23 inches. So it's a wall around the house 20 feet high.

  • Then there is a security gate there. Is there?

  • Well, again, I don't know. There is a huge sliding door - gate. I don't know what he means by "security gate". There's a huge, huge door that is about two-thirds the length of this room, the gate.

  • What's that, the gate?

  • The gate is about two-thirds the length of this that you have to - you roll. It's rolled away, so I don't know what he means by "open the gate". So there is a huge gate that is rolled away. But it must be open for - if people - if you're driving in, it must be open for you to get in. So I don't know what - if they drove in, he's saying opened security gate.

  • Now, he goes on to say, "They opened the security gate for us, we entered the house, the compound." After you go through the security gate, Mr Taylor, what are you confronted with?

  • Are you asking me to describe - when you say confronted with, what do you --

  • What do you find behind the security gate?

  • When you open the gate - and I doubt if that would happen because they wouldn't - he may be talking about a security entrance. There is a security entrance for walking in. But when you enter my front yard you would see - of course, the house is before you. There are at least two statues and a fountain in the front yard. That's what you would see immediately.

  • And he goes on. And you understand, Mr Taylor, I'm going through these details because we're looking to examine the veracity of this witness's description. You understand that?

  • "On the left-hand side there is a step to go down." Is there?

  • No. There is a walk down step on the right-hand side of my house when you enter.

  • "There is a step to go down. There is a hallway there and they opened the door for us."

  • "We used the parlour of Charles Taylor into the house." Do you understand that?

  • No, I really don't know. I really don't know what he means by this, that they used the parlour of Charles Taylor to enter the house, he says? I really don't --

  • Where is the parlour in your house? Is it at the front, the side, the back, where?

  • The parlour is at the - it's situated toward the rear of the house.

  • And what does it overlook?

  • It overlooks two things. The swimming pool and the tennis court are the two things you - because the parlour of the house - the house is built on a slope and the parlour is on the third floor of that slope. So when you drive into my yard you enter my front door, you are actually entering on the third floor of the building. That's the ground level, at the third floor. You enter the foyer and then you walk through and then you enter at the parlour I mean of the house and that overlooks these other areas. So there is not - you don't go down. You enter my house, the parlour from the front door. Nobody brings a guest to his house and walk him to the back. You walk in from the front door, and I'm sure the pictures will demonstrate that to this Court.

  • Now, he continues: "He was in a brown suit." Now, Mr Taylor, this man is giving a lot of detail, yet you say he's lying.

  • You come to the President at night. What am I going to be in a court/ suit at night? Even if you are there, what I am going to be doing in a court suit at night to meet Sam Bockarie and --

  • He said a brown suit.

  • Well, what kind of suit? What? Brown? Okay, I withdraw that court because he didn't say court in actual fact. But what kind of brown suit am I going to be in a night suit dressed up? What is it? So I don't know what he means by suit. But when I hear brown suit, I'm just assuming and I would say assume that he means a court suit, but that would not be at that particular time. Maybe something more relaxed, maybe a short sleeve white shirt or something sitting. I mean, I wouldn't be in a suit, dressed up, for Sam Bockarie to come to tell me, "I'm going."

  • Now, he continues with the account in this way, page 1978, line 1:

    "Q. After you left the house where did Sam Bockarie go?

    A. We went to Benjamin Yeaten's house down the hole,

    because Benjamin Yeaten lived after his own house down the

    hole. That was where the bodyguards were. Then they took

    them."

    Q. Just to clarify, what we understand is that to Benjamin

    Yeaten's house was down the hole, do you mean a hill? It

    was down a hill or what do you mean?

    A. Yes, down the hill. Down the hill. You have to drive

    down the hill.

    Q. And how close was Benjamin Yeaten's house to

    Charles Taylor's house?

    A. It's only the street that separates them. The fence of

    Charles Taylor is - down the street is Benjamin Yeaten's

    house and Montgomery's house."

    Pause. Is that right?

  • Yes, the - yes, that's right. Well, not the description he's saying across the street. I'm saying right to two things, that Benjamin's house is down the hill and Montgomery's house, who was the deputy, is also down the hill, yes.

  • What about it being only the street that separates them?

  • No, that's not true. Benjamin Yeaten's house is at least two blocks from my place. It's a distance from my house, yes.

  • "Q. After you went to Benjamin Yeaten's house what

    happened?

    A. That was where Sam Bockarie's bodyguards were. They

    took the bodyguards and they left.

    Q. Where did you go then?

    A. All of us drove to - up to Red Light. It was at Red

    Light that I came down from the escort pick-up where Marzah

    and Sampson and Jungle were.

    Q. And where did you go?

    A. I went to my house to prepare myself to take up my

    assignment.

    Q. Now at that time were you living in Monrovia?

    A. Yes, I was living in Monrovia."

    Now, let's move on from that, Mr Taylor. So bearing in mind the picture painted by the witness, involvement in Camp Johnson Road, arrest, two weeks later asked to cooperate, yes?

  • Then the meeting with Bah, seeing diamonds, then taken to your house, yes, before leaving. Bearing that in mind, page 1984, line 2:

    "A. I told you that from White Flower we drove to Benjamin

    Yeaten's house and then he collected his bodyguards and

    then he was given escort to go back to Sierra Leone.

    Q. Thank you. Do you know how Colonel Toma found out that

    Bockarie was on his way to Voinjama?"

    Pause. Do you know a Colonel Toma?

  • No, I don't. I don't know him.

  • "A. We got to Voinjama, it was Colonel Toma who informed

    us because he had a Yaesu police radio that was assigned to

    them there.

    Q. So your understanding is that he learned by radio

    communication?

    A. Yes, that was what Colonel Toma told us.

    Q. So where did you actually meet Bockarie to switch the

    car as you described?

    A. In Voinjama. It was at Colonel Toma's residence in the

    compound. The car that we drove in from Monrovia, that was

    the car that was used by Sam Bockarie and the other group

    and the car that Sam Bockarie drove in from Sierra Leone

    was given to me to go to Sierra Leone.

    Q. So when you switched the cars did Sam Bockarie indicate

    where he was going? Where did he go after Voinjama?

    A. He said he was going to see the President.

    Q. When you say the President who do you mean?

    A. That is Charles Taylor."

    Now, moving on, page 1993, line 7:

    "Q. Do you remember the next time you saw - the first time

    you saw Sam Bockarie after you had gone to Buedu?

    A. Yes.

    Q. Where did you see him?

    A. I saw him in Foya.

    Q. How long after you arrived in Buedu approximately was

    it before Sam Bockarie came back?

    A. I told you that it took a couple of weeks.

    Q. Thank you. How did you know to go to Foya, or why did

    you go to Foya?

    A. Because Issa Sesay said Bockarie was coming. He had

    received a radio call that we were going - we were to go to

    a meeting.

    Q. Was that you would go to meet him, I believe?

    A. Yes, I and Issa drove.

    Q. When you saw Bockarie did you see - was he with any

    vehicle or vehicles?

    A. Yes, he came with two trucks, one pick-up, with

    ammunition and manpower.

    Q. Can you describe the trucks that you saw Sam Bockarie

    with on this occasion?

    A. It was the six style truck which the Libyan government

    gave to Charles Taylor.

    Q. Do you recall the colour of the trucks?

    A. Yes."

    "Do you recall the colour of the trucks," let's pause there. Now, Mr Taylor, let's put this together again. Remember the sequence I reminded you of, yes, and you remember he was being sent to Buedu to command this stand-by force with Sam Bockarie. We've gone through that, do you recall? Now, what he is saying is that a couple of weeks after he arrived in Buedu he goes to Foya. In which country is Foya?

  • And when he goes to Foya he meets Sam Bockarie who has two trucks loaded with ammunition and manpower. So let's put that together. So we're talking about sometime in the middle of October 1998 he meets Sam Bockarie in Foya and Foya has two trucks loaded with ammunition and manpower. What do you say or know about that?

  • Well, I know nothing about it. But even without knowing about it, it's a blatant lie that Sam Bockarie in October of 1998 would be in Liberia with two trucks. And by the way, the Libyans never, never gave me a truck --

  • I was coming to that.

  • -- or trucks. So there is no such thing as a truck with Sam Bockarie in October of 1998 doing anything inside Liberia. This is a blatant, blatant lie. It is not true. It is not true. Definitely not true. And to get some help, there was a reference in the other passage where Sam Bockarie is supposed to be coming to see the President and so that's in the passage before.

  • From Voinjama, yes?

  • From Voinjama. He was supposed to be coming to see me, and so apparently now what he's saying, he waits in that area and Sam Bockarie returns.

  • That appears to be what he's suggesting.

  • This appears to be what he is suggesting, which is total nonsense, okay, that Sam Bockarie - but mind you now what - so if we look at it now, the trip that he must be describing now is the third trip, because there is a trip that he was supposed to be giving to Sam Bockarie now to go for this operation. So he's already - he prepares himself and he goes and, in fact, while he did not say he switched vehicle, the Prosecutor's question carries switched when he didn't say he switched vehicles in that process, but I think Koumjian said, "Switched, good." But now he goes on this mission with Sam Bockarie, so apparently he has returned to Liberia. You see what I'm trying to say?

  • I see what you're saying, Mr Taylor.

  • Because remember now he meets Benjamin Yeaten at this place and he's giving this assignment.

  • And Sam Bockarie's present?

  • And Sam Bockarie is present and they go, and he's saying some two weeks or so later Sam Bockarie is supposed to be in Voinjama coming to me, so that means he has gone on this mission --

  • Well, he doesn't give a time for that, Mr Taylor. What he says is, at page 1984 --

  • A couple of weeks.

  • -- that he switches cars with Bockarie in Voinjama --

  • -- and Bockarie then goes on to see you, and then he's talking now about meeting Bockarie in Foya, which appears to be a third meeting on the face of it, when Bockarie has these two trucks.

  • Yeah, but after he's given to Bockarie on the first occasion - after he's given this assignment, does he go to Sierra Leone, okay? Does he go with Bockarie to Sierra Leone or does he wait? Because if he goes with Bockarie to Sierra Leone and he's describing a couple of weeks later where Bockarie is in Voinjama coming to me, then it takes that Bockarie has already has gone to Sierra Leone and is returning. You see what I'm trying to say?

  • On the face of it, yes.

  • So, I mean, they're trying to patch this lie together now. So we have Bockarie now leaving Liberia with this commander who is supposed to be going to set up a Scorpion Unit and now they go. Now, he comes, so some way he meets Bockarie again in Voinjama, and Bockarie says he's coming to me, and it is apparently after Bockarie returns he comes with these trucks. So this is the way I understand it, and I need some help if this is the way it's going. So I don't understand this construct, okay? Except where he goes to Sierra Leone and for some reason he comes back with Sam Bockarie, and then Sam Bockarie now comes back now for this other mission, and this other mission now is to pick up trucks, ammunition, and now, he says, and manpower.

    None of that can be true, because in the first instance I don't have any Libyan style trucks at all. October 1998 where this miss it altogether, I don't have any weapons to give to no Sam Bockarie in October of 1998 or any other time that would carry trucks, because all these weapons - he, Mohamed Keita, knows very well of the disarmament process. So I do not know how he fixed this up. But maybe as we go back - as we go further now - so within the short period of time that he's released from jail, and is - this is the second encounter that he has with Sam Bockarie from this understanding. Maybe there may be a third.

  • But anyway, he goes on in this vein, Mr Taylor, and I want you to listen carefully. Page 2000, evidence of 23 January 2008:

    "Q. Who came with the letter of assignment for you? Who

    gave you the letter of assignment?

    A. Sam Bockarie, Sam Bockarie, General Sam Bockarie.

    Q. When you say 'letter of assignment', can you explain

    what that was?

    A. When I was coming to the RUF I had not been with the

    RUF before. I said it should be in writing that I was

    going to be the commander of the Scorpion with the RUF and

    then he told me yes. From there we talked to Benjamin

    Yeaten and he told me, 'Yes, Sam Bockarie has already given

    you the document,' and I said, 'Yes, sir.' Then he said,

    'Okay, that document was signed by President Taylor,' and

    he said I should maintain that document very well.

    Q. Okay, this is important so we're going to go over it

    slowly in a little detail. Did Bockarie actually give you

    a piece of paper that he said was the letter of assignment?

    A. Yes, he gave me a paper, sir.

    Q. Where were you when he gave that to you?

    A. At his house, in front of his house, on the step in

    front of his house, sir.

    Q. Do you know what happened to that paper? Do you have

    it today or what has happened to it?

    A. I lost the paper because during the last attack in

    Liberia my mother's house was burnt down. It was then that

    I lost that piece of paper."

    Mr Taylor, did you give such a written, signed document to someone so that Sam Bockarie could give it to this man Abu Keita?

  • No, never did it. And under this - even if his mother's house was standing, he would never find such a document because it never existed. It is a blatant lie. But now, counsel, I don't want us to miss this, because the way this thing is packing up we have to - let me - if I can help to unpack this lie.

    Now, this letter now must be - if there is any document, it must now be around the third encounter. Because don't let's forget he gets the assignment, he goes. The second encounter is when Sam Bockarie is in Voinjama coming to me where he returns with these trucks. So apparently to see these trucks he's supposed to be in what? Foya or some place? Now, if Sam Bockarie has a letter of assignment for him, that means that he has to give it to him either on the second trip. He meets him - because he's in Liberia. But Sam Bockarie doesn't give him this so-called letter until he gets into Sierra Leone in front of his house. That boy is lying. It's as blatant a lie as one can get.

    In fact, the President of Liberia does not, would not, and could have never signed, even if there was a military assignment in or out of Liberia. Let's assume that there is this military operation. The President of Liberia does not sign assignments for military operation. Never. Never. The only function that the President have with signatures on that concern military personnel on commissions. Commissions. Other than that, the President of Liberia does not deal with soldiers. He doesn't. And if this man was going on a military assignment, the Defence Minister doesn't sign. The chief of staff doesn't sign. The commander general doesn't sign. The President will jump up and sign and assign an assignment. It is a lie, that's all it is. Blatant as one can get it. Never happened then and would never happen at any time in any President's life in Liberia that they would sign a military assignment for someone, even if there is such an assignment.

  • Mr Taylor, tell me something. When you were President of Liberia when you came to sign documents, did you use any particular coloured ink?

  • All of my signatures, yes, I did.

  • What colour was that?

  • That's a historical thing. All Presidents before me used green. Green was used to distinguish that when the President's signature got anywhere, there would be the movement of documentation within the system from President Tubman, President Tolbert, Samuel Kanyon Doe, Charles Taylor, all - and no one else in the country signs in green. Only the President signs in green.

  • How consistent was that?

  • The President always signed in green.

  • Bottom of page 2000:

    "Q. You indicated that you had asked for the paper. Where

    were you when you asked to have the order in writing?

    A. I was already - before I left Liberia I talked about

    that with Benjamin Yeaten and he said that would be no

    problem.

    Q. Then you said after you got the paper you had another

    conversation with Yeaten. Is that correct?

    A. Yes, over a Yaesu radio, sir.

    Q. Where were you speaking on the Yaesu? Where were you

    when you had that conversation?

    A. At Sam Bockarie's residence in Buedu.

    Q. Did you actually hear the voice of Benjamin Yeaten?

    A. I spoke with Chief Benjamin Yeaten, sir, and I heard

    his voice, sir.

    Q. Where did you understand Yeaten was when he was talking

    to you?

    A. He was talking to me from Monrovia, sir.

    Q. Thank you. What did Yeaten tell you about the paper?

    A. He told me that it is my assignment paper and that I

    should protect it carefully and that I should not play with

    it because the President signed the paper and it was signed

    in blue pen."

    What do you say about that, Mr Taylor?

  • Never. You call the whole Republic of Liberia, there is not one human will tell you that the President - my presidency or before me - signed in any other colour except green. He is lying.

  • "Q. You remember seeing a signature in blue pen?

    A. Yes."

    What do you say, Mr Taylor?

  • That's a lie. That is a lie. Never. Bring any original document from Charles Taylor, it's in green. Green.

  • Now he continues:

    "Q. When Sam Bockarie arrived, did you stay in Buedu for

    some time with the RUF there in Buedu?

    A. Yes.

    Q. Can you describe at that time what was the command

    structure of the RUF in Sierra Leone?

    A. The command structure: Sam Bockarie was the commander,

    Issa Sesay was the deputy, Denis Mingo and Morris Kallon."

    What's your knowledge of that command structure, Mr Taylor?

  • No, I don't - I don't know the RUF command structure. I know by this time the acting leader was Sam Bockarie. Quite frankly, I did not know Issa Sesay at the time or what his role was, but I knew Sam Bockarie was the leader.

  • The witness goes on, page 2007:

    "Q. This first meeting that Bockarie had at the house

    after bringing the ammunition" -

    You remember the ammunition brought, yes?

  • "... you mentioned some commanders, and in your answer you

    also mentioned - you said it was an RUF meeting and you

    mentioned Akim and Leather Boot. Akim and Leather Boot

    were AFRC, they were SLAs, is that right?

    A. Yes, but they all worked with the RUF.

    Q. Can you explain to us, you said Bockarie said Kono was

    strategic. Did he explain why?

    A. He said because we needed to generate funds for the RUF

    and then the only place where we can get more resources to

    generate funds was Kono, so we could be able to do mining.

    Q. Okay. So after the meeting at the house you said there

    was a meeting in Bockarie's bedroom of the vanguards, is

    that correct?

    A. Yes.

    Q. So were you allowed into that meeting? Were you

    present for that?

    A. No, they never allowed me to attend the meeting, sir.

    It was only for vanguards and I'm not a vanguard.

    Q. After the closed door vanguard meeting, was there

    another meeting?

    A. That was a muster parade. It was not a meeting, where

    all the soldiers assembled at the military grounds before

    Kaisoko's office. That was the time he instructed Issa

    Sesay that this mission - that the mission is that there

    should be no retreat, no surrender. You should make sure

    you take over Kono and Makeni, and then he said President

    Taylor said they should be very vigilant and maintain the

    ground of the RUF during that muster parade."

    What do you know about that, Mr Taylor?

  • Nothing whatsoever. But there is a little twist to this. Even though this is the testimony of this witness, but this witness is speaking with such knowledge, and if I'm right, this witness has just entered Sierra Leone. He has not even been there for a very long time. He's talking about Akim and all these people. While one can argue that, well, he got to know this as a result of experience, but he's speaking - he's giving his testimony and speaking about a meeting as of the time that he arrives there, and it is with such authority that I would suggest that of one that may have had some experience with these people because he's just too familiar. And he doesn't say in his testimony that, "I meet some people in this meeting that later on I get to know one is called Akim." This man is speaking as though he's known these people for some time, okay.

    And so I don't understand this kind of thing, and I would suggest that that could be true because of the long dealing with these people, and Mohamed Keita is not strange to these people. But if he's explaining a situation as of the time that it happened when he's just been so-called turned over to Sam Bockarie, two weeks later or a couple of weeks later Sam Bockarie returns to Liberia and comes back with these trucks and gave him a letter of assignment, so we're talking about within a period of about two to three weeks you are in Sierra Leone and you have just - I mean, it's just flowing. This looks like something from experience. And I strongly suggest that I disagree that this man, okay, is just a stranger to this particular area that he must be explaining in this way. But, I mean, I know nothing about this.

    But if he's there for this assignment, "You should make sure you take over Kono and Makeni," well, what's his mission then? This Scorpion Unit here, what would he be if this muster - he's not invited to these meetings, there's a muster parade and this muster parade is supposed to be saying, "You must take over Kono," so what's he there for? What's he there for? It just doesn't make sense.

  • Well, let's look at it, because you note they are supposed to be planning a mission and the evidence continues, page 2008 --

  • And excuse me, counsel, he talks about manpower in a truck now, so maybe we might get into the contribution of this manpower that he's carrying because this mission, apparently, I don't see how he's commanding this mission but there's manpower. And if this manpower is in trucks in Liberia, it means that these are Liberians. Okay. Well, let's see.

  • And bear in mind, Mr Taylor, that suggestion is in the context of sometime in mid to late October, Bockarie is coming from Liberia with not only ammunition --

  • -- but fighters, right, and two months afterwards we know is the Freetown invasion. So you see the clear implication of what's being said?

  • I want you to understand that and bear that in mind as we look at the further evidence of this individual, because he continues:

    "Q. Sir, after this meeting was there an offensive?

    A. Yes. That was the time we took the offensive against

    Kono and Makeni, and then myself there was an operation from Segwema, from Bunumbu to Segwema, to Jumo Kafebu, Gbava and Bendu Junction."

    Mr Koumjian assists the Court with some spellings and then continues:

    "Q. In that offensive do you know if the main town in Kono

    - Kono Town or Koindu Town as it is sometimes called - was

    taken?

    A. Officially Kono Town was announced on Christmas Day,

    that Koindu has been taken over by the RUF.

    Q. So that was Christmas Day 1998?

    A. Yes.

    Q. So we have an idea, about how long before Kono Town

    fell did Sam Bockarie come back with the 300 boxes of

    ammunition?"

    You notice that, Mr Taylor? 300 boxes of ammunition. Okay? Over the page:

    "A. When Sam Bockarie came that was the time he said the

    materials has come and that was the time the offensive

    started.

    Q. Thank you. We are just trying to get an idea of

    approximately how much time before Christmas Day, before

    Kono fell, did Sam Bockarie come with the ammunition. How

    many days or weeks or months? Can you estimate?

    A. I'm unable to estimate that, sir.

    Q. How soon after Sam Bockarie came with the ammunition

    did the operation start?

    A. Just when he came with the ammunition there was no

    wasting time. The operation started straight. It was only

    the meeting that he had in Buedu. Immediately after the

    meeting Issa Sesay was dispatched.

    Q. Where was Issa Sesay sent?

    A. Issa Sesay was sent to Kono along with Morris Kallon

    and Akim.

    Q. Akim the SLA?

    A. Yes.

    Q. Sir, during this offensive did you play a part in that

    offensive?

    A. Yes. It was not in Kono. I was on Segwema and the

    various places I named, Jumo Kafebu, Bunumbu.

    Q. Gbava?

    A. Gbava. And then Sam Bockarie further instructed that

    if any air raid took place we should burn the place if

    there was any resistance.

    Q. Was Sam Bockarie's order to burn down if there is any

    resistance, was that carried out?

    A. Yes, yes.

    Q. Did you see that?

    A. Yes, myself I took part in that.

    Q. Where did you see the burning?

    A. We burned Bunumbu, seven houses in Bunumbu. We burned

    houses Segwema. We burned places in Jumo Kafebu. We did

    some burning in Gbava.

    Q. When you mentioned seven houses in Bunumbu, how about

    in the other places? Was it just one house or was it many

    houses?

    A. Some places we burned down ten houses, some areas

    seven, some areas eight.

    Q. During this offensive in the Kono area - first let us

    make it clear, which districts of Sierra Leone were

    involved in that offensive?

    A. That was Makeni. Makeni, Masingbi, Magburaka.

    Q. Were some of these places that were attacked in

    Kailahun District?"

    There was then an objection, and so let's go to page 2011:

    "Q. Do you know which districts were involved in the

    attack?

    A. Like which district?

    Q. During these offensives you mentioned Kono Town finally

    falling during this offensive.

    A. Yes.

    Q. During these offensives did Sam Bockarie go anywhere?

    A. Yes, Sam Bockarie travelled to Liberia.

    Q. How do you know that?

    A. Because he called Mike Lamin to come and take over, to

    be in charge of the ground in Buedu and then myself I

    escorted him to Foya where Joe Tuah came with the chopper

    and he went to Monrovia.

    Q. You said he called Mike Lamin. Who do you mean called

    Mike Lamin?

    A. Sam Bockarie instructed Mike Lamin to come and take

    charge of Buedu until he comes back from his trip.

    Q. How did Sam Bockarie communicate with Mike Lamin to

    tell him to come to Buedu?

    A. Over the Yaesu communication radio.

    Q. Now you said he asked Mike Lamin to take charge in

    Buedu. You already told us the number two in the RUF at

    that time was Issa Sesay. Do you know why he didn't ask

    Issa Sesay to take over?

    A. Because Issa Sesay was already in Kono heading towards

    Makeni, so that was the reason why he called Mike Lamin,

    because he was closer to him, to take charge.

    Q. You mentioned that you went with Bockarie to Foya, is

    that right?

    A. That is correct.

    Q. When you travelled to Foya what happened?

    A. Joe Tuah came over the chopper that had a military

    colour and then he took Sam Bockarie to Monrovia with the

    chopper."

    And he explained that means helicopter:

    "Q. Do you know how long Sam Bockarie was in Monrovia?

    A. He did not stay there long, sir.

    Q. Did you become aware when he came back? Were you

    involved at all when he came back?

    A. Yes, when he was coming he communicated and he said he

    was on his way coming and that he also came with a pick-up,

    one ashes colour pick-up, a Toyota Land Cruiser, and he

    said it was given to him by Charles Taylor.

    Q. Thank you. Again if you can just maybe instead of

    saying he try to use the name. Who was it?

    A. Sam Bockarie."

    Now, let's pause there, Mr Taylor. There's a lot there that we need to deal with. Do you understand which period we're talking about?

  • We're talking about late 1998, yes?

  • Now, the first point I want to ask about is this: He speaks of Sam Bockarie being supplied by you with 300 boxes of ammunition. Now, you understand what this means, don't you, Mr Taylor? What he's saying is the ammunition used for this attack on Kono, Christmas Day, and consequently no doubt for the attack on Freetown, you provided. Do you see that?

  • No, I didn't. But there is something that I missed and maybe I don't know it could be in the record, the question that was posed by - that was put forward by Mr Koumjian, I missed it and I apologise for this - I missed where Mohamed Keita said that Sam Bockarie had been given 300 boxes of ammunition. What I do know, I pick up, that the 300 boxes of ammunition is contained in Koumjian's question, because Koumjian comes out with 300, but I apologise, but I want to see where Mohamed Keita had said before the 300 number came up in Koumjian's question. I missed it. I apologise to the Court. I missed it.

  • That came up at page 2008.

  • It's in the question. "Did Sam Bockarie come back with the 300 boxes of ammunition?"

  • That's what I'm talking about. Where did the number 300 come from? I lost that.

  • That comes back, Mr Taylor, to page 1994, which we dealt with earlier. Let's go back to page 1993, just to set the context to which I referred you earlier. "It was the six style truck which the Libyan government gave to Charles Taylor." You remember that?

  • And it continues. He was asked about the colour that you described. Then:

    "Q. Were you able to find out or estimate how much

    ammunition Sam Bockarie brought on that occasion?

    A. He brought 300 boxes of ammunition. That was the first

    time he said he had such a huge quantity.

    Q. Is that a lot of ammunition, 300 boxes?

    A. Yes.

    Q. Did the trucks continue across the border or how was

    the ammunition taken to Sierra Leone?

    A. He came with men from Liberia. It was a mixture of

    Liberians and Sierra Leoneans, about 150 men. I was

    expecting they were the men that Benjamin Yeaten was

    talking about when he said I was going to - whom he said I

    was going to command. I was expecting that those were the

    men, but the men were later taken to Bunumbu, the RUF

    training camp. The training commander was Monica Pearson

    and one Colonel Morris. Those were the training commanders

    at Bunumbu.

    Q. Who else was with that convoy beyond Sam Bockarie and

    the manpower that you mentioned?

    A. There was one police driver called Senegalese.

    Q. When you say he was police, he was a police where?

    A. He was Liberian police. He was Liberian police.

    Q. Is that a nickname, 'Senegalese'?

    A. That is the only name I know for him.

    Q. Do you know where the convoy came from?

    A. They said the men were taken from Camp Naama.

    Q. What about the ammunition, do you know where the

    ammunition came from?

    A. They said the ammunition was from Monrovia, sir."

  • So that's the context, Mr Taylor, so you understand that?

  • Bockarie comes with the two trucks, 150 men, a mixture of Liberians and Sierra Leoneans and 300 boxes of ammunition, okay?

  • So you have provided that in the late autumn of 1998, just prior to the launching of an offensive on Kono culminating in due course in the Freetown invasion, do you get it?

  • So Abu Keita is directly implicating you in all of that?

  • And note in passing that also involved in that period is the burning of various villages, and you appreciate the destruction of property features in the indictment?

  • So what this man is saying, Mr Taylor, is that you are responsible for the destruction and mayhem leading up to the Freetown invasion. Are you clear about that?

  • I say this is totally false and is nonsensical, and I'm going to try to see if I can unscramble this lie a little bit because --

  • Well, I don't know if we have time to do that now, Mr President?

  • No, I think we'll take the lunch adjournment now and we will resume at 2.30.

  • [Lunch break taken at 1.30 p.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 2.30 p.m.]

  • Yes, Mr Taylor. Before the lunch adjournment I had set out for your comment the scenario developed by the witness, Abu Keita, of you having sent 150 fighters, whom he was going to command, along with 300 boxes of ammunition, to Sierra Leone sometime in the late autumn of 1998, which ammunition and manpower was to be used initially for the attack upon Kono culminating, as events were to prove, in the attack on Freetown. Now, before lunch you told us that you were going to see if you could unscramble that lie, as you described it. Proceed then, please.

  • Well, let's see if we can get some of the information together. If I understand, the 300 boxes of ammunition supposed to be - we are talking about late - is that December? We're talking about December 1998? Am I right to assume that?

  • Well, I'm not sure that we're right to assume that, because on the face of the transcript, which I have examined, it's unclear.

  • Okay. Well, we know now that he is saying some - in early October, some two weeks after this assignment, that is now by mid-October, he gets this letter of assignment. Now we have another trip, I would assume, that involved 300 boxes of ammunition and 150 soldiers. And if my recollection is correct, he mentions that they come from Naama.

  • Yes?

  • Well, the men come from Naama. The ammunition comes from Monrovia.

  • Monrovia. Fine. You know, this reminds me of, you know, the louder the noise of the mob the truer it's supposed to be. Now, let's look at this lie: Naama, 1998. We know from a speech that I made in December 1998, after the famous Colonel Dempsey, whose information we cannot use here, but it was contained in my statement, had reported that no training or anything had been at Naama and the place was apparently deserted for a long time. So I do not know how 150 men end up in Naama. So, in fact, there is no such thing going on in Naama.

    But let's don't forget another thing. I'm supposed to be sending men, and where do those men go to? They are supposed to be taken to a training camp in Sierra Leone that are being trained by, he said, Monica Pearson. So these are not fighters now. These are men - these are not military people - that I'm sending into combat to prepare for this so-called Kono attack that have to now go for training with a Monica Pearson. It's a lie.

    Why would I in Liberia - assuming that I am sending men to carry on any fight, why would I take - I've got thousands of men. 1998 we're talking about. The NPFL disarmed. There were over 30,000 fighters that went through the NPFL. I'm sending 150 untrained men to go to be trained by somebody called Monica Pearson. But who is supposed to be the driver? The driver, as he alleges in the statement that I heard here, is a Senegalese, a police driver, he calls it, but we've heard Senegalese here before. We've been told in this Court, these judges have been told, that Senegalese was one of the people that went with some 30, 40 men as reinforcement during the Sierra Leonean invasion. Is he a driver or is he a soldier? So they keep mounting up this lie. It's not true that I would send unarmed - I mean, unarmed - untrained, untrained soldiers to go - so by the time the operation starts, where would they be? They would still be in training.

    But beyond that, what's the function of this Scorpion Unit? As I'm going through the testimony, I have not even heard what this Scorpion Unit was supposed to have done. I hear him talking about he burned buildings or whatever. So what's the participation of this famous Scorpion Unit?

  • Well, they went there to burn down a few villages, obviously.

  • Yeah, but they are supposed to be in a training camp, so when did they get trained that they would be able to go fight to go and burn down villages? Is he commanding this Scorpion Unit to say, "Well, my unit, the Scorpion Unit, carried out this operation"? So, I mean, these boys don't know how to lie any more, okay?

    If I want to - Charles Ghankay Taylor wants to send forces into Sierra Leone to prepare for whatever he is talking about, I'm going to send people that have to go to take training before they can go to fight? Wouldn't I send fighters who have experience in combat that they would have to be sent for somebody calling themselves Monica Pearson to go and train? It's a lie.

    You know, this boy - I do not know these boys really set up for me and they are doing it well, but they are missing it. 300 boxes of ammunition. 300? Where would I as President of Liberia get that 300 boxes from when this boy knows very well that we were disarmed, and by this time, Liberia still does not have any material to even give its security personnel inside, I would have 300 boxes of ammunition to give to someone in Sierra Leone? It's a lie. And the lie does not - it does not come together because of this Naama situation. There is nobody at Naama, these untrained soldiers that are supposed to be sent to be trained for the mission. And if we look at the time involved, if we are talking about - and I'm sure the way how the reading goes from the testimony that I just heard, it appears to be around December. Because, according to the way how it read, so these people are just not available. Then who did he command as the Scorpion Unit to carry out this destruction that he - and he is so familiar with the different towns and villages and different things.

    This boy lied. It never, never happened. I never gave ^ him anyone. The only thing I can put my hands on regarding this Mohamed Keita boy is that it is possible and maybe even probable that as Keita is leaving Liberia after his release from jail, he picked up some of his ex-ULIMO fighters and goes along with them. This is the only way I can pick up that I could say that will make some sense. And he goes into Lofa where the ULIMO boys are, and while he is leaving the country, maybe frightened them, say, "If you stay here, bad things will happen," and take them along. This I see is a probability. Not even a possibility. It's a probability, because Keita and these boys would do things - if he is going to Sierra Leone, running away, afraid that he might be re-arrested or what, he probably took some people along with him.

    I, Charles Ghankay Taylor, on my honour, never sent anybody called Mohamed Keita or, as the records show to this Court, Abu Keita anywhere. If I had done it then I guess I would have had to have gone to a nuthouse because it didn't make sense. This is a man that just fought against me, and there's no way I would take him and send him on an assignment any place and leave the thousands of loyal officers and generals that are capable of commanding, I would leave them and take an enemy soldier, okay, who really is a hostile soldier to me and send him on a major assignment. It did not happen, your Honours. It did not happen.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, I'm still dealing with the same period in time and I want to remind you of five facts which emerged from the testimony of this witness concerning this period in time, late 1998. Remember he talked of a meeting and said, page 208, "After the meeting there was an offensive." Yes?

  • "Kono was taken over on Christmas Day 1998." That's page 208 - 2008, lines 24 to 26. Thirdly, "How soon after Sam Bockarie came with the ammunition --

  • Could we have that reference again? I don't think it's page 208.

  • 2008, I corrected myself, lines 24 to 26.

  • Then page 2009, this:

    "Q. How soon after Sam Bockarie came with the ammunition

    did the operation start?

    A. Immediately after the meeting Issa Sesay was

    dispatched."

  • Pause there. Hold the thought for a minute, Mr Taylor. Let me just complete the question. So meeting, offensive, immediately Kono captured Christmas Day. Then this, page 2011:

    "Q. During these offensive, did Sam Bockarie go anywhere?

    A. Yes, Sam Bockarie travelled to Liberia.

    Q. You went with Sam Bockarie to Foya. Is that right?

    A. That is correct.

    Q. When you travelled to Foya what happened?

    A. Joe Tuah came over with the chopper that had a military

    colour and then he took Sam Bockarie to Monrovia with the

    chopper."

    Do you get it, Mr Taylor?

  • So around about Christmas 1998 this man is saying Bockarie goes to Monrovia by chopper from Foya. What do you say about that?

  • Never happened. Never, never happened. But if I'm putting this - if I'm putting this together, as I understand it, if the operation to - took off for this Kono attack occurred immediately after Sam Bockarie returned and it happened on Christmas Day, but if I'm correct, that return was, what, with the 300 boxes of AK ammunition? It was also with the manpower. Is that correct? Because I don't want to misquote --

  • That's what he said.

  • So that means that the men - the men that I sent went along with the ammunition, and it immediately means a day or two, so that means that somewhere a few days before Christmas. Because he says that --

  • Okay, so that means that - well, so the men go to training. Because he says that these men went to training with Monica Pearson, so they were not a part of this operation because they just get there and they go into training. Or maybe I have the evidence wrong and I stand corrected on this. So it just doesn't hold. These 150 men with 300 boxes of AK that get there and within a few days the operation starts, but these same men were sent to Monica Pearson for training.

    If this is the evidence you can see even how big the lie is. Why would I send men? Okay, if the men are in training who are you commanding then? Who are you commanding and in fact you end up with Sam Bockarie up and down. This boy is lying so badly that he doesn't know. Unless I missed it in the evidence as I understood it these men then - during the Kono operation in December then these men are supposed to be in training because they have only arrived a few days.

  • Mr Taylor, in December 1998 was Sam Bockarie in Monrovia?

  • What part of December 1998?

  • Very early December Sam Bockarie came from Burkina Faso back en route to Sierra Leone in December, yes.

  • Was he back in Monrovia on or about Christmas of 1998?

  • Never. Never. Never. No, no, no. Never. From the time Sam Bockarie passed back through I did not see - he did not come to Liberia any time again in 1998. No.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, let us add another level of factual context to this, please. When Bockarie left in late November 1998 to go to Burkina Faso, who was he going to see?

  • He was going to see the chairman of the Organisation of African Unity, President Blaise Compaore.

  • You later discovered, you tell us, that he also went somewhere else on that trip, didn't he?

  • That is correct.

  • He went on to Libya. Based on what my protocol officer told me, yes.

  • Now, putting that together with the suggestion that a huge quantity of ammunition, 300 boxes, arrives in Sierra Leone at or about that time, yes?

  • You see the picture, don't you, Mr Taylor?

  • Right. So what do you say to this proposition: Bockarie goes via Monrovia to Burkina Faso and Libya, obtains guarantees of a huge quantity of ammunition which arrives then and is brought through Liberia to Sierra Leone. You get the picture?

  • You obligingly also send along 150 fresh recruits, yes? Do you get the picture?

  • Right. Thereafter an attack is launched on Kono, yes?

  • And a couple weeks later, around about Christmas time, Bockarie finds himself back in Monrovia. That's the picture being painted. You understand that, don't you?

  • Now, Mr Taylor, were you the hidden hand behind all of that?

  • Not at all. No, no, no. And that's the picture and that's how they organised the whole situation. It never, ever, ever happened that way. I have been very, very clear. If Sam Bockarie got ammunition out of Liberia, I am in no position to dispute that Sam Bockarie could have gotten a few boxes of ammunition out of Lofa as they had been buying.

    In fact I don't care where it came from. 300 boxes of ammunition from Liberia is an impossibility. Nobody in Liberia could have put together 300 boxes of ammunition. If he got any ammunition out of Liberia at that time it had to be their little purchases in Lofa and other places that they had been carrying on with the ULIMO people for years. But there was no such thing to - when Sam Bockarie returned from Burkina Faso I was out doing the polio vaccination. I was not even in the city of Monrovia. He came and he went through and no information reached to me that Sam Bockarie even brought material at that time. So I can't account for that.

  • Apart from the polio vaccination programme, Mr Taylor, where else were you in December 1998? Can you recall?

  • December. I also went to Burkina Faso to the inauguration of Blaise Compaore, if I recall, to the best of my recollection.

  • I can't recall offhand right now.

  • Very well. Don't worry about it for the moment. But in any event, Mr Taylor, the evidence of this witness is that Bockarie was met at Foya by Joe Tuah. Now, who is Joe Tuah? Remind us?

  • Joe Tuah at the particular time he was I would say an assistant director of the SSS I think for administration or something like that.

  • So a senior officer in your administration met him with a helicopter, yes, and took him to Monrovia?

  • "Q. Do you know how long Sam Bockarie was in Monrovia?

    A. He did not stay there too long, sir.

    Q. Did you become aware when he came back? Were you

    involved at all when he came back?"

    Bear in mind of course, Mr Taylor, this is Christmas.

    "A. Yes, when he was coming he communicated and he said he

    was on his way coming. And then he also came with a

    pick-up, one ashes colour pick-up, a Toyota Land Cruiser,

    and he said it was given to him by Charles Taylor."

    Now did you give Mr Bockarie such a Christmas present, Mr Taylor?

  • So let's move on to another topic, shall we. Page 2019 of the transcript of 23 January 2008:

    "Q. You've told us about Sam Bockarie having a satellite

    phone. Did you ever see anyone else in the RUF with a

    satellite phone?

    A. Yes.

    Q. Who was that?

    A. That was Issa Sesay. After Sam Bockarie's regime.

    Q. Do you know where Issa Sesay got the sat phone from?

    A. He said the sat phone was given to him by Charles

    Taylor from Liberia."

    True or false?

  • Well, let's see what he is talking about here now. He is saying after --

  • Sam Bockarie's regime?

  • Yes, I gave Issa Sesay a satellite phone. Yes, I did, in 2000.

  • And then we get the full context of the suggestion being made by the witness, Mr Taylor, because he has then returned to the narrative of events after the Bockarie visit to Monrovia in December. Do you understand me?

  • Question, page 2019 line 11:

    "Q. Sir, after this offensive in the Kono area, did you

    become aware of more fighting occurring somewhere else in

    Sierra Leone?

    A. Yes.

    Q. What happened next?

    A. The next operation after Kono and Makeni operations and

    Freetown - the next one that we fought in Liberia.

    Q. Sorry, you mentioned Freetown, so I want to concentrate

    on that?

    A. Okay.

    Q. The attack on Freetown. Where were you when the attack

    on Freetown was happening in January 1999?"

    Over the page, page 2020 line 2:

    "A. When the attack on Freetown happened, I was in Buedu.

    Q. Where was Sam Bockarie?

    A. Sam Bockarie was in Buedu. That was the time I told

    you that he came with these jean trousers and T-shirts and

    the car?"

    Pause there.

    "Q. How did you become aware of what was happening in

    Freetown?

    A. At 3 o'clock we listened to BBC Focus on Africa and one

    commander spoke from Freetown saying that they were in

    control of the State House. Sam Bockarie became angry. He

    called up Issa Sesay and Morris Kallon asking them why they

    should allow someone to call the BBC while he, the

    commander, has not called the BBC. Then from there he

    himself called the BBC when they were in Buedu. He was

    speaking to Robin White over the satellite phone. He shot

    and said we were coming around the State House but we were

    in Buedu."

    Pause there, Mr Taylor, and let me ask you this: Now, you were supposed to have sent this man Abu Keita to command the Scorpion battalion in Sierra Leone. You appreciate that suggestion, don't you?

  • And you were the one who also provided the arms, ammunition and manpower for the attack on Kono which was to lead eventually to the attack on Freetown?

  • So help me, Mr Taylor. How is it that your man in Sierra Leone happened to be in Buedu at the time when Freetown was attacked?

  • Makes him a very bad commander. It is a very terrible commander that Freetown is hundreds of miles away and he is sitting down in Buedu. But there is something here too that - this page 2020 line 4 where he talks about that during this Freetown situation he is in Buedu and Sam Bockarie comes with this T-shirt and the car. I don't know what he means by that car. 2020, I'm not sure --

  • I'm not sure if the car is the same pick-up that was supposed to have come before Christmas. Or what is he talking about here? I don't understand it because when they get ready to lie it's hard to put it together now. This car, you see, "That was the time I told you that he came with these jean trousers and T-shirt and the car." I'm not sure if this car is referring to the same car that was referred to before Christmas.

  • I'll come back to you on that in a moment, Mr Taylor.

  • But, in any case, if Sam Bockarie had instructions from me with manpower and heeded Keita to go and command and he is sitting down in Buedu then that means he should have been court-martialed. He should have been court-martialed and that's what makes it even a lie because I never sent him as such and that he would be sitting down in Buedu while there is fighting what- I don't know how far Freetown is from Buedu. Maybe 1,000 miles away. And the men are supposed to be in training camp being trained by a Monica Pearson.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, perhaps you can help me. On line 14 on page 2020 the witness said this: "He shot and said we were coming around the State House" - this is Bockarie in conversation with Robin White - "but we were in Buedu." What do you understand by that?

  • You say he shot and said?

  • This is Bockarie shot and said we were coming around the State House but we were in fact in Buedu. What do you understand by that?

  • These boys are playing games like cowboys. I mean Sam Bockarie is supposed to be letting maybe Robin White hear the sound of gunfire as an impression that Sam Bockarie is in the Freetown area where the fighting is going on. They are really taking the heat - they are taking this thing for fun.

  • And the witness continues, Mr Taylor, page 2020 line 21:

    "Q. Did Sam Bockarie maintain any communications with

    people in Freetown?

    A. Yes, in Freetown.

    Q. In and around Freetown?

    A. He was talking to the various commanders over the Yaesu

    radios. He also communicated with Benjamin Yeaten and Joe

    Tuah over his satellite phone at night."

    Then he goes on over the page, page 2021 line 11.

    "Q. You mentioned that Bockarie was on the satellite phone

    with Benjamin Yeaten and Joe Tuah?

    A. Those are the names I recall.

    Q. Did you hear him talking to Benjamin Yeaten and Joe

    Tuah during the Freetown fighting?

    A. Yes.

    Q. Do you know when the Freetown fighting occurred?

    A. It started in January. It was on 6 January that they

    called from the State House saying they were in control of

    the State House.

    Q. What year?

    A. That was in 1999, sir."

    Now, Mr Taylor, you understand the implication of that, don't you? That senior members of your regime were in contact with Bockarie during the Freetown invasion. Is that true or false.

  • I would say totally false, because they would have no reason to be in touch with Sam Bockarie during the Freetown invasion. None whatsoever. I would say it's false.

  • But he continues. Page 2022:

    "Q. What did Bockarie tell you? What did you hear him say

    to Benjamin Yeaten?

    A. I heard Bockarie and Benjamin Yeaten conversing about

    the progressive move that RUF has made. I didn't hear any

    instruction from Benjamin Yeaten to Bockarie to say do this

    or do that at the time.

    Q. During the fighting in Freetown in the January

    offensive did you play any part in that? What was your

    assignment?

    A. I told you I was assigned to Segbwema, Bunumbu just in

    case any wounded soldier came. I will take that wounded

    soldier to Buedu where he could be treated at the rear.

    Even Mano, I made civilians to make a hammock so they can

    take him to Buedu."

    Now, Mr Taylor, did you send Abu Keita to Sierra Leone to act as chief medic?

  • No. This general - he says he's a general. If I had sent him to go and carry out this operation, one would have expected that he will be at the very front line. But he is putting himself with Sam Bockarie, to the best of my understanding of this, he is putting himself close to Sam Bockarie at the time of the Freetown operation. And he's listening in to conversations that he's holding on the telephone or radio, whatever, okay? Well, I think we also know other witnesses that we went through a few days ago that put themselves there too and have their own account of what's going on, that's supposed to be right near Sam Bockarie, radio operators that we've heard on. Now, this is another man who puts himself there too, which there are different accounts now of what is going on. He would be a pretty bad commander, you know, acting as a medic. And I don't know the distance between these towns in Buedu, maybe if we got to know the name - the names of the two towns that he mentioned and what's the proximity to Buedu, we will know as to whether he is even telling the truth whether he was in Buedu or whatever. But that shows you how inconsistent these things are.

  • Yes. Now, Mr Taylor, we looked at that earlier reference to jeans and T-shirts, remember?

  • Now, to assist you, let me explain how that developed. Remember the witness saying at page 2011 that Bockarie went to Liberia, was picked up in Foya by helicopter, yes?

  • At page 2013, he went on to say this:

    "Q. You said the pick-up was an ash colour - the Land

    Cruiser was an ash colour. Did Bockarie explain why

    Charles Taylor gave him the pick-up?

    A. Yes, he said because the pick-up was a new pick-up. So

    he would be able to move up and down faster.

    Q. Did Bockarie bring anything else back with him besides

    the pick-up?

    A. In the pick-up he brought some jeans trousers, some

    T-shirts, some medicines and bandages."

    So it's the same trip. So the Christmas present you gave him was not just a pick-up. It was a load of jeans and T-shirts and medicines as well. What do you say to that, Mr Taylor?

  • Blatant lie. Blatant lie. He was not in Liberia any time before Christmas except for when he passed through in early December. That's not true.

  • Now, you were mentioning earlier how bad a commander this man was because, having been sent on this mission, he ended up nowhere near Freetown. Let's go to page 2023, line 4:

    "Q. How close to Freetown did you get?

    A. I did not go to Freetown.

    Q. Now, you mentioned one trip you took to Foya with

    Bockarie in a helicopter. How many trips total did you

    take? Is that the only time you saw a helicopter in Foya

    with Bockarie?

    A. No.

    Q. Were there other times that Bockarie went to Foya and

    met a helicopter?

    A. Yes.

    Q. Can you tell us about those?

    A. I told you that before he went to Monrovia the

    helicopter - Joe Tuah used to come to Foya to pick him up

    with the helicopter to Monrovia and during the Freetown

    invasion he went to Monrovia with that helicopter. He

    spent a day there. That was the time he came with the

    Toyota Land Cruiser that I told you about, the ash colour.

    The other was he carried a wounded soldier, one wounded

    soldier, seriously wounded. The helicopter took him from

    Foya to Monrovia."

    Do you see that?

  • Are we talking about two pick-ups?

  • Well, I'm sorry I can't help you, Mr Taylor.

  • Because there is an ash colour that comes before Christmas. Here is an ash colour now that is coming again, another pick-up --

  • During the Freetown invasion.

  • -- during the Freetown invasion. So are we talking about two pick-ups?

  • I can't help you. I'm just reciting from the cold black and white of the transcript what that witness told these judges.

  • This witness just lied. There is no such thing, and that's why he is so confused. He is lying. All these things are happening right before Christmas. I have people now going for training. Monica Pearson is supposed to be training them. And here he is evacuating people he said from the front. If fighting is going on in Freetown and you are in Buedu, so where is the front? What front are we - because this is another point. He is supposed to be this medic, evacuating people from the front. You are in Buedu. So where are these people coming from? Is he evacuating the wounded in Freetown, near Freetown? I don't know the distances, but it must be a pretty long distance. So how would you be in Buedu and evacuating people from the front?

  • Well, help me with something else, Mr Taylor. And I remind you, page 2023:

    "... Joe Tuah used to come to Foya to pick him up with the

    helicopter to Monrovia and during the Freetown invasion he

    went to Monrovia with that helicopter. He spent a day

    there. That was the time he came with the Toyota Land

    Cruiser ..."

    Now, tell me, was the helicopter big enough to carry a Toyota Land Cruiser, Mr Taylor?

  • No. But besides we didn't have a helicopter at the time, so imagine - I mean, this is - and, in fact, he says he stayed a short time.

  • A day. So that means that within the span of about two weeks I have given Sam Bockarie two vehicles, one ash coloured, now this is the Land Cruiser. It never happened. Just never, ever happened. And I hope I didn't misunderstand the evidence. But it looks like two vehicles here to me, which is - and I stand corrected on that.

  • Well, let me ask you another question in that regard. Even if you get taken by helicopter one leg of the trip and then you have to drive back from Monrovia in your new Christmas present, the Toyota Land Cruiser, could you do it in a day?

  • Oh, to get through - the period that we are talking about, to get through from Monrovia to Foya - Foya is almost at the end - it would take you, in fact, maybe a full - a full day and a half to get there. We're talking about, on that road, it would take you nine, thirteen, about fourteen to seventeen hours of driving.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, during the Freetown invasion which began on 6 January 1999, did Sam Bockarie go to Monrovia?

  • Did you send a helicopter with one of your senior officers, Joe Tuah, to pick him up in Foya?

  • Never did. I didn't even have a helicopter at that time.

  • Now, help me, Mr Taylor. You have heard before this Court, have you not, testimony from witnesses, including radio operators, that you were on the satellite phone to Sam Bockarie during the Freetown invasion. Do you recall that?

  • So help me, which is right: Were you on the phone to him? Or was he there in person in Monrovia?

  • Which of those two accounts is right?