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

  • [On former affirmation]

  • Mr Taylor, continuing with the testimony of a particular individual, at page 2433 of the transcript of 28 January 2008, we find this:

    "Q. You have testified about Sam Bockarie's trips to

    Monrovia. During this time you were in Buedu." That's

    from March 1998 until April 1999. "Did Sam Bockarie

    travel to any other locations in Liberia?

    A. Yes, Foya.

    Q. And why did he go to Foya?" That's Sam Bockarie.

    "A. Well, he went to Foya to see - to give morale and talk

    with the RUF combatants that were based in Foya."

    Now, pause there, Mr Taylor. Foya is in which country?

  • It's in Liberia.

  • "... I mentioned earlier that while the Freetown

    fighting was going on there was a serious fighting between

    Mr Taylor's security forces and the LURD rebels at that

    axis where Christopher Varmoh and Mosquito, whatever,

    Liberian Mosquito were based. And they did request and

    that came from the instruction from Mr Taylor and Benjamin

    Yeaten to get a contingent of RUF to be based in Foya to

    give support to them. So Sam Bockarie gave instructions to

    some other commanders, including even Morris Kallon, to

    base there and give them support and there were more than

    200 armed RUF in that axis. So he spent some time there

    coordinating the activities."

    Now, pause there. Mr Taylor, what do you know about that?

  • I know nothing about it. I'm not aware that the RUF sent 200 armed soldiers into Liberia. No, I'm not aware of that.

  • Now, note the timing, Mr Taylor. This is supposed to be taking place at the same time as the Freetown invasion. So we're talking about January 1999, okay? So despite the fact that the RUF/AFRC have allegedly combined to carry out the attack on Freetown, Mosquito, has nonetheless based 200 - more than 200 armed RUF fighters in Foya. Did that happen?

  • No. And if it happened, it is not with my knowledge. I knew nothing about it and at least - at least the Defence Minister or somebody would have informed me. And because I did not get such information, I don't think it happened.

  • "Q. Was this the first time that Morris Kallon had gone to

    Liberia to fight?

    A. No, no, no, that's not the first time Morris Kallon had

    gone to Liberia to fight.

    Q. And when had he gone to Liberia before that to fight?

    A. There was an incident about somebody called Mosquito

    Spray who initially came to Buedu. He was I think the

    forerunner of that attack. But the attack did not actually

    sustain. I mean it was not sustained. Morris Kallon went

    there briefly and they repelled the attack and they came.

    But it intensified towards the end of 1998 and early 1999."

    Now, Mr Taylor, there had been, had there not, an incursion from Guinea in August 1998?

  • That is correct.

  • And would it be accurate to say, as this individual did, that that situation intensified towards the end of 1998, early 1999?

  • Well, I would say it continued. It continued.

  • But would you say intensified?

  • Between '98 and '99, no. Between '99 and 2000, yes, I wouldn't say - that's why I say it increased. Intensified later on, but between '98 and '99, there was no real intensification. There's another attack, but it's not intensified.

  • Now, the attack in August 1998, Mr Taylor, for how long was that attack sustained?

  • For not more than a day. They came in, caused some trouble, Mosquito Spray, and they were driven right back out. Within hours, that was all over.

  • Was it the kind of situation where the Liberian security forces required assistance from abroad?

  • And did you on that occasion, as suggested here, did you employ members of the RUF to deal with Mosquito Spray?

  • Now, it continues:

    "Q. When Morris Kallon and these other commanders and the

    some 200 RUF fighters were in Liberia fighting against the

    LURD, who did they report to?

    A. Benjamin Yeaten.

    Q. And when they were in Liberia fighting against the

    LURD, who provided them with arms and ammunition?

    A. Benjamin Yeaten provided them with the arms and


    Now, Mr Taylor, do you understand what's being suggested here? That in addition to the supplies of arms and ammunition which you had provided, as we dealt with on a prior occasion, in order to facilitate the attack on Kono and the Freetown invasion, the suggestion here is, you were also providing additional arms and ammunition for use in the defence of Liberia from LURD. Do you follow?

  • No. And if I - if - I don't know why these boys would make up these things. Look, LURD comes in, attacks Liberia. Should I as President have a problem defending it? So what's all this thing about, "Oh, he gave" - you know, the only part of this that, you know, I would be concerned about, if anybody in the government - we're not talking about NPFL, we're talking about the government. There's no NPFL. If anybody encouraged any individuals from Sierra Leone or wherever to participate in trying to expel insurgents from Liberia, I mean, this should have been done with the knowledge and consent of me as commander in chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia. That was not done. But somebody is saying that, of course, if LURD came into Liberia and I had the opportunity to get arms from wherever I would have gotten it, which was my right to do. But I did not invite anyone from the RUF to participate. As simple as that. I didn't.

  • Now, could we just deal with that proposition a little further then, Mr Taylor. Could some 200 plus foreign, in effect, mercenaries have been in your country without you knowing about it?

  • No, I would have had to know about it. I would have had to know about it. Now, you know, these boys exaggerate. Now, if this man is saying that while there was fighting in Liberia and there's very - because we're talking about Foya. We're talking about Liberians that - and Sierra Leoneans that you can very rarely distinguish between. If he is saying that while the fighting was going on in Foya that a few Liberians that were on the other side - because these Gissi, Gbandi boys on that border, you don't know the difference between them. If he is suggesting that some Liberians that were in Sierra Leone came over, because these are their towns and villages in that area, and fought, this I would not know about. And I would even be very fair and say that's possible, that a few Liberians that were in Sierra Leone could have come back because their towns and villages, you know, were under attack. But to say that some 200 plus people will come well armed, I would have to know about it. And because I did not know about it, I would really say that it is not true.

  • But, Mr Taylor, not only is he suggesting that these numbers were involved, it's further being suggested they were based in Foya, being controlled by their own commander, who was acting under the command of your head of security, Benjamin Yeaten. Question: How could that have occurred without you finding out about it?

  • That's what I'm trying to say, because it didn't occur. I would have had to know, because Benjamin Yeaten was not in charge of the Armed Forces of Liberia. Benjamin Yeaten was the director of the Special Security Services, and if he was in the field, he was not the most senior person there. What happened to the Defence Minister, the chief of staff of the armed forces at the time? Such a thing could not have happened for some foreign group to be based in Foya and I would not know about it. That's not the case.

  • So what were - what was Benjamin Yeaten's role in relation to those LURD incursions, Mr Taylor?

  • Benjamin Yeaten being a Special Force and all senior generals and all fighters at that particular time visited the front line to see what was going on. But, I mean - and if they had to fight, they fought. Everybody took part to try to expel and keep security within the country.

  • But who was in charge of the overall situation in Lofa?

  • Oh, the overall situation in Lofa was under the command of the chief of staff of the armed forces.

  • How do you spell that?

  • K-O-N-A, Kona. Some spell it with an H, K-O-N-A-H.

  • Help me, in order to deploy the Armed Forces of Liberia to meet such a threat was there any particular rules and regulations governing your ability to send troops into battle in that zone?

  • When you say rules and regulations I need some help here.

  • Well, help me, as commander-in-chief were you accountable to the legislature in Liberia before you could transmit forces to Lofa?

  • No, no, no, no. Once the country comes under attack, the President must act immediately. Under the laws he has the right. That's the whole point of the oath of office, to protect the constitution and territorial integrity of the country. So you don't immediately need to go to the legislature. You have to respond and then inform the legislature.

    But the normal procedure would be no different from any other military procedure anywhere else. You get an attack. The Defence Minister will meet with the chief of staff. They will put together a plan and they will come and inform the President. And most of these cases involve funding. If it calls for any extra assistance in terms of money, food, medical and other things that's the immediate job of the President to making sure that the armed forces can - and what are we talking about when we talk about armed forces? We don't actually have an army at that time but I would say the fighting men, I prefer using the phraseology fighting men, are able to carry out their duties. This would be what would happen.

  • Now, I want to move on and deal with another topic. I want to deal with a version of events with regard to the transfer of RUF representatives to Lome. Do you follow?

  • In April of 1999. Page 2434 line 13:

    "A. We left on board a vehicle that was brought to us by

    Jungle. Two pick-ups which took us to Foya - I mean Vahun

    and Vahun we on boarded a helicopter to Monrovia.

    Q. What kind of helicopter was this?

    A. It was a helicopter that somebody - one of Mr Taylor's

    security Joe Tuah came along with the helicopter for us for

    the delegate to Monrovia.

    Q. Do you recall what was the colour of this helicopter?

    A. No, I can't really recall.

    Q. When you arrived in Monrovia what did you do?"

    Can I pause to ask you a factual question, Mr Taylor. Was the RUF guesthouse in Monrovia located on a particular street?

  • The RUF guesthouse is located on Tubman Boulevard in Monrovia.

  • You appreciate that in, for example, New York, many streets bear a number rather than a name. Are there any numbered streets in Monrovia?

  • Yes, there are numbered streets.

  • Where is 16th Street?

  • Oh, 16th Street is within an area of Monrovia called Sinkor, that's spelt S-I-N-K-O-R, but 16th Street I would say is approximately a mile and a half from where the RUF guesthouse was actually located. So that's a long distance between 16th Street and where the guesthouse was located, which is next to the Nigerian embassy in Monrovia.

  • In any event: "When we arrived in Monrovia, we were taken to the RUF guesthouse at 16th Street." What do you say about that?

  • That's not true. The RUF guesthouse is not located on 16th Street. 16th Street, like I say, is a mile and a half at least from that point. I'm not sure if we have a very good map of the city area, but he is wrong. He is wrong about the location of the RUF guesthouse. He is wrong.

  • Let's just briefly deal with that, shall we. Can we just please take up for a moment the map of Monrovia which was distributed. I want to deal with this as quickly as possible, please, Mr Taylor. I don't want to delay overlong on this point. Right. Mr Taylor, can you see the map from where you are?

  • As I say, I don't want to waste too much time on this. Do you see an area called Sinkor?

  • Do you see the name Sinkor is just above Tubman Avenue, yes?

  • If you look to the left of Tubman Avenue do you see 9th Street?

  • If you count the streets going to the right, you have 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 is just above the second S in Zaire embassy. Do you see that?

  • Then 17th and then 18th, all right?

  • Then we see to the right bottom corner the Sierra Leone embassy and you had indicated on this plan earlier where the RUF guesthouse was, yes?

  • And just remind us quickly, where is the RUF guesthouse?

  • All right, fine. If we just do that quickly. Just indicate because remember you've already marked it on a map. If you just point to the general area.

  • It's somewhere up in this area going towards the boulevard where you go to the airport, up here. That's the distance from here - that's why I estimated it is about a mile and a half or so from here to here.

  • Fine. Thank you, we can put the map away now. So you say an error has been made. It's not 16th Street, it's somewhere else, yes?

  • "Q. How long did you stay in Monrovia?

    A. We were there for two days and we were transported from

    there to Lome.

    Q. When you were in the guesthouse do you recall who if

    anyone else was in the guesthouse at the time?

    A. When we went to the guesthouse we already met the RUF

    securities that were stationed there. Sankoh's securities

    were there and the radio operators, Memunatu Deen was

    there. Memunatu was in charge of the radio and there was

    another guy called Tolo, Osman Tolo, and there were two

    Sankoh security I saw there were who permanently based at

    the 16th Street guesthouse, one Rashid and the other one

    called Freedom."

    Now again pause. Two questions. Firstly, were the RUF representatives bound for Lome lodged at the RUF guesthouse in Monrovia?

  • Yes, they were.

  • Secondly, do you accept that the RUF had at that time radio operators based at that location?

  • Yes, they had a radio - well, I'm not sure if operators. They had a radio operator and people, yes.

  • Were you aware of there being securities attached to Sankoh at the address permanently based?

  • No. I was aware that Sankoh left a caretaker there. There were at least two or three persons that were permanently based there. I did not know their specific assignments but there were at least two or three persons there.

  • And it goes on: "They were Black Guards. They were Sankoh's security and were also the security of Sam Bockarie." It goes on, "But Mr Taylor provided that guesthouse" which you accept, don't you, Mr Taylor?

  • "We were there and Benjamin Yeaten came and met us. Mr Taylor's security met us at the guesthouse and he gave each of the delegates 300 US dollars and we were just there."

    Do you recall that? Would you agree?

  • I did give some money. I can't remember how much, but I agree.

  • "Also another commander, one Mustapha, a Gambian, came there also and met with us and talked to us and he asked us to wait for the next day for the flight that was going to take to us Lome. So two of them actually met us there."

    A Gambian called Mustapha?

  • I'm not sure. There's a Gambian called Mustapha, I don't know as to whether he went there, but he could have.

  • What role did he play?

  • Mustapha was generally one of the security personnel that moved around. Mustapha Jalloh is the full name, yes.

  • "So two of them actually met us there. They were the only

    people that met us there and we were there until the day

    for our flight. They took us to James Spriggs field


    Q. Did Benjamin Yeaten tell who provided the $300 that was

    given to each of you?

    A. Yes, he met us. He said Mr Taylor gave that money to

    all the members of the delegate, each member of the

    delegate $300.

    Q. When you actually came into Monrovia on the helicopter

    where did you land.

    A. James Spriggs field airport."

    Then he went on to mention that they were taken by car to the guesthouse, we need not detain with that, and that the car belonged to Mr Taylor's security. Then it continues:

    "Q. When you left and went back to James Spriggs field

    airport how did you travel to the airport?

    A. The same guest car took us to the airport.

    Q. And then from that airport how did you travel to Lome?

    A. We travelled on board a UN plane."

    Is that true?

  • Yeah, you see that's the problem with these people. But he could not remember that the helicopter that picked him up from Vahun, this is this - this is the man that could not remember the UN helicopter picked him up. The only name he could come up with was Joe Tuah. When we have produced documents here, reports to the United Nations by Downes-Thomas stating how they got picked up from Vahun and who all were involved. He could only remember that some man came called - he couldn't remember that it was a UN helicopter. You know, that's the problem with this and his whole description of it is a little cutting in here to make up things. An UN helicopter went to Vahun, piloted by UN people, on board were UN people that brought them from Vahun and we have documents that have been presented here, reports from Downes-Thomas, of why we had to move from Foya to Vahun because of the friction in the area and a decision was taken by the UN but he couldn't remember that it was a UN helicopter.

    So I mean as he is tying this up, you know, we have to break it down a little bit because a UN helicopter picked him up from Vahun, on board were UN people, they brought him to Spriggs Payne Airport, he was taken to the guesthouse and he was taken back to Spriggs Payne Airport and he was flown out of Liberia on UN aircraft.

  • Now it continues:

    "Q. Who was with you going to Lome?

    A. In our flight beside the delegates nobody else, only

    the delegates.

    Q. Who were the other delegates?

    A. Myself, SYB Rogers, Rashid Sandy, Junior Vandi,

    Lawrence Womandia and others."

    Now, remember, we looked at US documentation showing the full list of names, so we needn't delay over that:

    "Q. What happened when you arrived in Lome?

    A. We arrived in Lome, we were escorted by the organisers

    of - no, we were met by the Foreign Minister of Togo at the

    airport and he took us to the Deux Fevrier hotel.

    Q. What happened when you arrived at this hotel?

    A. We met Mr Sankoh and we were given various rooms to

    stay in, we rested for that night and the next morning

    Mr Sankoh summoned us at the poolside for briefing to give

    him status report of what actually had occurred during his

    absence while he was in detention both in Nigeria and


    Q. Was Mr Sankoh staying at the same hotel you were

    staying at?

    A. Yes, we were all stayed at the same hotel.

    Q. So what happened then during this briefing session?

    A. We had a briefing with him and he did ask every

    delegate to report. SYB Rogers reported to him as well as

    the adjutant Rashid Sandy, myself and Ibrahim Bah who was

    there, I mean we met Ibrahim Bah there with Mr Sankoh and

    Omrie Golley."

    Now, do you recall the UN documentation we looked at, Mr Taylor?

  • That Bah and Golley were the first two in Monrovia to be flown out to Lome?

  • And now we're now being told that when these delegates arrive they meet up with Bah and Golley already there. You follow?

  • "A. Omrie Golley at the time was the head of the external

    delegation. They had an external delegation. He and

    Ibrahim Bah and also at one point in time he was the

    spokesman for the RUF.

    Q. You said Ibrahim Bah was there. What was his role at

    the time?

    A. Ibrahim because was an adviser to Mr Sankoh before and

    still he was still the adviser to Mr Sankoh when we met him

    and he was also - he also doubled as a member of the

    delegation, external delegation along with Omrie Golley."

    Now, Mr Taylor, was it at your request that Ibrahim Bah had gone to Lome?

  • Because it continues:

    "Q. You had mentioned him earlier in connection with him

    being a liaison with Charles Taylor. To your knowledge at

    this time did he continue to be a liaison with Charles


    A. At one point in time, yes, of course, at the same

    moment while this was all going on he actually left Lome

    for Monrovia and he came along with Memunatu Deen to Lome

    and I met two of them at Mr Sankoh's suite and he and

    Memunatu brought $20,000 for Mr Sankoh which according to

    them was sent by Mr Taylor to Mr Sankoh."

    Do you understand that?

  • So Bah, having been transferred by the UN to Lome, travels back to Monrovia where he is given $20,000 by you and he returns to Lome with one of the RUF radio operators. Do you follow?

  • No, I didn't send Foday Sankoh any money. If I had, it would have been a good gesture, but I didn't. And if I wanted to send Foday Sankoh money, I would have sent it by the Foreign Minister - the former Foreign Minister that was already on the ground in Lome. Why would I wait for somebody called Bah to come back to Monrovia? It would have been a good gesture to give Foday Sankoh money, as Eyadema did, Obasanjo did, everybody. I just didn't at that particular time, no.

  • "Q. And did they explain what this $20,000 was for?

    A. Well, they said he has sent - he has actually sent, he,

    Sankoh, he needed money at that point in time and he has

    sent Ibrahim Bah and Ibrahim Bah suggested to him that they

    should go - he should go and get some money for Mr Sankoh

    and in our briefing we explained to him about the mining

    operations and what have you, but Ibrahim Bah have also

    intimated to him on most of the activities that took place

    even before we got there. So Ibrahim Bah went to Monrovia

    and they got this money the $20,000 from Mr Taylor for

    Mr Sankoh. And he was really very unhappy in fact with

    that because according to him that was - I mean that was

    peanuts for him at that point in time based upon the report

    he received when he was in prison regards the RUF diamonds

    that Sam Bockarie took to Mr Taylor during the entire


    Do you understand what's being said, Mr Taylor?

  • That the $20,000 wasn't a gesture. It was, in effect, money you owed to Mr Sankoh as leader of the RUF.

  • Because you were the one who had been collecting diamonds from the RUF during the period of his incarceration in both Nigeria and Freetown. Do you follow?

  • What do you say about that?

  • That's totally - total, total foolishness because I had collected no money. And, in fact, we subsequently see when Sam Bockarie reports, he doesn't report I received any diamonds because I didn't. And, quite frankly, if I had sent Foday Sankoh money and he had said that, that would be very ungrateful of him to say that - that, if he received a whole $20,000 and said it was peanuts, he was a very ungrateful person. I mean - but I didn't send him any money at that particular time.

  • Well, I'm going to ask you another question about this in a moment, Mr Taylor, but let us finish the - what was said about this:

    "Q. ... when you say it was peanuts to him and he was

    upset who are you referring to?

    A. Sankoh.

    Q. This briefing you received about diamonds to Charles

    Taylor, were you present for that briefing?

    A. Yes, I was present at that briefing.

    Q. And what was told to Foday Sankoh about diamonds to

    Charles Taylor?

    A. Yes, everything that had transpired in Buedu was explained to him. The Johnny Paul Koroma diamonds ..."

    You remember the 1,000 pieces, Mr Taylor?

  • That Bockarie took but didn't get to meet you, remember?

  • "... all the other diamonds that were mined and the

    diamonds they took to Mr Taylor - by Sam Bockarie taking

    those diamonds to Mr Taylor. I mean everybody gave that

    report to him.

    Q. And what concerns if any were raised about these

    diamonds to Charles Taylor?

    A. Well, Sankoh was not happy, was not happy with them.

    He was you be set. I mean he at one point in time was

    actually agitated" - note that word - "but

    unfortunately Mosquito was not around, I mean he was in

    Buedu when we were having this meeting and he was asking

    Mr SYB Rogers at one point in time why is it that they

    didn't control those diamonds until he comes. I mean, what

    was the use of giving the diamonds to Mr Taylor. So he was

    really upset about that.

    Q. When he asked that question what was the answer he was


    A. Well, everybody was blaming Sam Bockarie. Everybody

    was blaming Sam Bockarie."

    Let's pause there. Now, Mr Taylor - now, Mr Taylor, this: Do you recall it being suggested, Mr Taylor, that Foday Sankoh had given instructions for you to be the guardian of diamonds produced by the RUF?

  • Do you recall that being said?

  • Now, you note that according to this control - this report, it's being said that, "Why didn't they control those diamond," that is, the RUF, "until he comes?" Do you follow?

  • Now, which is right: Were you told to be the safekeeper of those diamonds, or what? Or had you somehow intervened and injected yourself in this situation in order to enrich yourself? Do you follow?

  • Neither of the statements is. But there's so many of these statements that are just not right and they just don't hold. This is the same person - the same person who stated that Johnny Paul Koroma had appointed Sam Bockarie as chief of defence staff and turned right around and said that I made him a general. Now, I do not know what the chief of defence staff position should have been. Now, here we are saying that Foday Sankoh is "agitated" in a meeting about diamonds, and if we look at the time of this meeting, which is around April or thereabout, and we look at the time that Sam Bockarie makes his salute report to Foday Sankoh, which is in September, so we have May, June, July, August, September. So Sam Bockarie has almost four months, knowing that Sankoh is agitated in Lome about diamonds that should have been given to me, the full five months that he had to prepare this report, so why didn't he tell Sankoh in his salute report, "Well, please don't be upset, but you're so-called brother got all these diamonds"?

    I mean, this man is a liar as I see it in that statement that he made there about diamonds coming to me and all that. Neither of the two statements in your question, neither is correct because it's a lie.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, help us. You arrived in Lome in July, didn't you?

  • And you met with Foday Sankoh, did you not?

  • When you met with him, did this agitated man, who had been, in effect, swindled out of thousands of pieces of diamond, did he confront you about it?

  • No. Never asked me a question about diamonds. Never.

  • Did he, to your knowledge, say to any of the other Heads of States present: "You can't trust this man, Taylor, you know. Guess what he did to me"? To your knowledge, was anything like that said?

  • Now, let's go on. And I'm going now to - we're still on the topic of Lome. Page 2442:

    "Q. While you were in Lome as part of this delegation, do

    you recall meeting with any Liberians?

    A. The Foreign Affairs Minister of Mr Taylor's government

    visited us there very briefly.

    Q. Who was that?

    A. Monie Captan visited Mr Sankoh.

    Q. Were you present at that visit?

    A. Yes, I was present.

    Q. What was discussed at that meeting?

    A. It was basically a courtesy call on Mr Sankoh and

    complimenting him for partaking in the peace talks."

    Now, pause there. Did your Foreign Minister go to Lome, Mr Taylor?

  • Yes, he went to Lome when I went, yes.

  • Did he go with you or had he gone to Lome prior to your arrival?

  • No, no, no, he went with me. On the ground in Lome I had the former Foreign Minister, D Musuleng-Cooper, as head of a delegation there, but the actual Foreign Minister went on the 5th, or thereabouts, when I went.

  • "Q. In addition to Monie Captan, did you have meetings

    with any other Liberians?

    A. The other meeting had to do with the presence of this

    fellow, I think I mentioned about him, Jungle. And he was

    the only Liberian along with Ibrahim Bah and Memunatu Deen.

    When they came from Monrovia with the $20,000 for Mr Sankoh

    that was given by Mr Taylor I was in that meeting when they

    presented that money to Mr Sankoh in this room by them."

    Pause there. Do you understand that?

  • That the transfer of the $20,000 US wasn't just involving Bah, but it also involved one of your other regular runners to Sierra Leone, Jungle. Did you send Jungle to Lome?

  • No. If Jungle got to Lome he was an RUF so he went with Sankoh - he went because Sankoh was there. No. What would a little Jungle be doing going to Lome? How did he get to Lome, I mean except through Sankoh, because Jungle is not an official in my government. What would he be doing there?

  • Now, what about this, Mr Taylor:

    "Q. To your knowledge did Johnny Paul Koroma travel to

    Monrovia during the time of the Lome negotiations or


    A. He did travel there during I think the time of the


    What do you say about that?

  • Johnny Paul Koroma travelled to Liberia, Monrovia, in August, long after the Lome agreement was signed which was signed in July - around 7 July 1999. It is not until the Okra Hills situation and the West Side Boys that this man is brought to Monrovia. He is not in Monrovia at all in the month of July of 1999. No. That's totally false. Totally false.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, do you recall, it's a matter which you dealt with at an earlier stage in your testimony, that there was some dissatisfaction on the part of the AFRC?

  • And what was that dissatisfaction about?

  • There were about two issues. One, they were not a part of the negotiations in Lome, okay. The SLA was not a part. The second problem was that they saw no role for the SLA after Lome. And the third point was that there was no role for Johnny Paul Koroma, who was the leader of - speaking on behalf of the SLA. So those were the three problems that were left unresolved.

  • So bearing that in mind, was Johnny Paul Koroma and an AFRC delegation in Lome at the time of the negotiations?

  • Not at all. There was not one of them. Johnny Paul Koroma at the time of the Lome negotiations is being held - he is incarcerated by the RUF up-country. He is incarcerated. He doesn't even - I don't think he follows it at all. And it is because of his incarceration, one, and, secondly, the nonparticipation of the SLA that lead to the taking of the UN and other official hostages in August that lead to the famous Okra Hills situation with the West Side Boys.

  • Well, we're being told here, "He did travel there during I think the time of the negotiations."

    "Q. To your knowledge did Johnny Paul Koroma travel to

    Monrovia during the time of the negotiations or before?

    A. He did travel there during I think the time of the


    So it's travel to Monrovia.

  • "Q. Do you know why he travelled to Monrovia?

    A. He went to see with other AFRC delegates that came from

    Freetown to meet with Mr Taylor, his AFRC boys. He went

    there and he met with them and they spent some time as the

    guests of Mr Taylor.

    Q. And how did you learn about this?

    A. I learnt about that when I went in Freetown and I talk

    with one of the delegates Bazzy Kamara who was on that


    Q. Did Bazzy Kamara tell you what was discussed with

    Charles Taylor?

    A. I said that they met with him and he did try to

    persuade them to work along with the RUF for a smooth

    programme following the signing of the accord."

    Now, was that meeting with Johnny Paul Koroma during the time of the Lome negotiations?

  • Not at all. No, no.

  • The discussions in Monrovia and the negotiations occurred in August. Following the release of some UN personnel, very few, and some other officials, negotiations were undertaken for the exchange of the prisoners for Johnny Paul Koroma. Johnny Paul Koroma was then brought to Monrovia and the UN and other Sierra Leonean government officials and other RUF officials were released.

    About a week later or thereabouts, working with President Kabbah and the United Nations, we then bring to Monrovia members of the West Side Boys unit that were involved at Okra Hills in taking these hostages. I meet with them. A witness in this Court covered a part of that meeting. I meet with them and they leave and Johnny Paul Koroma remains in Monrovia until Sankoh comes in September and that is the final meeting where there are negotiations dealing with the issue of the SLA and the agreement.

    But, you know, that's why when you get this second-hand information he's got it all wrong and he is running with a part of it that is not correct. Johnny Paul Koroma is not in Monrovia at the time of Lome. He comes in Monrovia far after Lome and we conduct these negotiations before he and Foday Sankoh leave in October.

  • Now, Mr President, I wonder if we could go briefly into private session just to deal with one topic which shouldn't last more than ten minutes, just to deal with one matter. It's some detail which might identify the witness and through an excess of caution I think it might be best if we dealt with it in that way.

  • All right. For the members of the public, we're going to go briefly into private session, which is estimated to last not longer than ten minutes. This is necessary to protect the identity of a witness who enjoys the benefit of a protective measures order of this Court. Now what that means is the members of the public can still continue to watch the proceedings, but simply will not be able to hear what is being said. As I said, this private session will probably last around ten minutes.

    Madam Court Manager, could you please put the Court into private session.

  • [At this point in the proceedings, a portion of the transcript, pages 29620 to 29622, was extracted and sealed under separate cover, as the proceeding was heard in private session.]

  • [Open session]

  • Your Honour, we're in open session.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, we have this question:

    "Q. After you came back from Lome where was Sam Bockarie?

    A. Sam Bockarie had a problem with Mr Sankoh and he was

    against the disarmament process."

    This is page 2449 of the transcript.

    "He was not in support of the Lome agreement and he tried

    to persuade some group of the RUF not to disarm. And

    because of that he fell out with Mr Sankoh and Mr Sankoh

    explained he was very embittered. There were arguments on

    the phone when he was talking to Sam Bockarie and he

    instructed Issa Sesay to go to Buedu and have Sam Bockarie

    arrested. Sam Bockarie heard it. He contested that

    particular instruction from Sankoh and he collected arms as

    well as ammunition he had with him in Buedu and his

    security, his family and some other RUF were actually put

    under gunpoint and all of them drove to Foya in Liberia and

    they met with the security there, Benjamin Yeaten, and they

    drove to Monrovia."

    Hear that?

  • What do you say about that?

  • That shows you how much real problems I have. How do you untangle all this web of - people that do not know. There are United Nations documents here, the discussions with Foday Sankoh and Sam Bockarie that we conducted in Monrovia. The presence of Obasanjo in the meeting as reported by the United Nations documents here, the United Nations representatives being present, the threat to Sam Bockarie, the instruction. I can see he knows nothing about it, but he has come up now with his own version of things. But the rest of the world knows a different story and not from Charles Taylor's side. The United Nations documents are very clear about it. The participation of Obasanjo in these meetings, our clear-cut statement to Sam Bockarie and his eventual extraction from Sierra Leone. So this man, like most of his stories, have been attached in a way that suits his own knowledge and that's all it is. It suits his knowledge, but there is an official version of this. Sam Bockarie did not just, as he put it up, just got up and packed up, took arms and ammunition, whatever he said. There was a process of two meetings involving another Head of State, involving a special representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations. So there's a different version totally, totally different from what he said. So he does not know what he is talking about in what he said there, just as he has done in many other areas of his testimony. It did not happen the way he explained it there. It did not.

  • But there's one particular aspect of that account which I want to ask you about. Bockarie actually put under gunpoint some RUF and drove them to Foya. You get it? That some of those who went with Bockarie into Liberia were taken there at gunpoint by Bockarie. What do you know about that, Mr Taylor?

  • How could that be? So they were hostages. Sam Bockarie did not enter Liberia with any hostages because, in fact, it would not have been accepted and every human that arrived in Liberia with an entourage from Sam Bockarie were disarmed at the border. And so assuming that someone was held at gunpoint and brought into Liberia, at the point of the border, they were all disarmed and they were all free men and no such thing was brought to my attention. So I can't account for what happened in Sierra Leone, but that was not brought to my attention, but they were disarmed at the border. And when Sam Bockarie entered Liberia, he did not enter as one coming with his people. Every man and woman that came as free people.

    So I would strongly disagree with his assertion that people were forced in at the level of Liberia. In Sierra Leone, I can't account for that, but - and if they were brought in by force, and as a result, if they were hostages, they could have been hostages up to the Liberian border and it had to cease, because everyone was disarmed. And once they entered Liberia, they were all free people. So I really can't say as to whether that is true on the Sierra Leonean side, but that was surely not true on the Liberian side.

  • Can I ask you about a particular detail, Mr Taylor. Following the Lome - the signing of the Lome agreement, was Sam Bockarie in Monrovia at that time?

  • No. Sam Bockarie only came - when Foday Sankoh came, Sam Bockarie came to - he came in April, went - he came back in September when Foday Sankoh arrived.

  • So he was there in April 1999?

  • Was that at the same time as the delegation was going to Lome?

  • And he came back in September?

  • Now, we are told that - in fact, I'll leave that. Page 2450:

    "Q. How did you learn that Sam Bockarie had left Buedu

    with his family, security and others and arms and

    ammunition had gone to Foya?

    A. I was there when the securities who escaped from Buedu

    brought the complaint to Mr Sankoh as well as those that

    went with Sam Bockarie to Monrovia. Once they were at -

    once they sought sanctuary with Benjamin Yeaten, who used

    to be Mr Taylor's security, one of them called Eddie Kanneh

    called Mr Sankoh on the phone and he was actually appealing

    for Mr Sankoh to have clemency on him, that he as going to

    leave Sam Bockarie to come back to Freetown. At the same

    time I paid a couple of visits to Monrovia sometime in

    2000, 2002 and met most of - almost all Sam Bockarie's

    security and all the RUF that he carried with him with the

    arms in Monrovia. I met them with Benjamin Yeaten. I met

    them at the house of Momo Dgiba who is one of Mr Taylor's


    Two matters. Sanctuary? Sought sanctuary with Benjamin Yeaten, Mr Taylor?

  • I don't know how that was possible. He didn't. Sam Bockarie was brought to Liberia by the Government of Liberia under my instructions in coordination with my colleagues that had agreed that such action. So it is very foolish of this man to say that somebody will come into Liberia with a group of people to seek sanctuary with a junior security personnel in the country. It didn't happen that way.

    The Government of Liberia brought Sam Bockarie in line with the acquiescence of ECOWAS and the United Nations. That's how he got there. So if there was sanctuary, it was granted by the Government of Liberia.

  • Now, the second aspect of this that I want to ask you about is the Eddie Kanneh situation. When Bockarie came to Monrovia in December 1999, did Eddie Kanneh come with him?

  • Yes, Eddie Kanneh did move with Bockarie.

  • Do you recall whether there was some request by Eddie Kanneh to be allowed to return to Sierra Leone?

  • No, I'm not aware of any such request, because Eddie Kanneh stayed in Liberia, from my understanding, from there on. And started going back and forward later on, but I'm not aware of any such conversations between Kanneh and Sankoh. No, I'm not aware.

  • And the final aspect of this I want to ask you about, Mr Taylor, is this: "I met most - almost all of Sam Bockarie's security and all the RUF that he carried with him with the arms in Monrovia." Do you follow?

  • What do you say about that?

  • I don't know what this man is speaking about, with the arms in Monrovia.

  • That's why I'm asking, Mr Taylor, because according to you they were disarmed at the border.

  • So what are they doing with arms in Monrovia --

  • Except where he is explaining a situation where most of the men that come that are granted citizenship are now ATU personnel. That's a different story. But he is explaining it as though - I understand that the continuation of that statement, as with the arms in Monrovia, as comparing to the arms and ammunition that he talks about that they brought out when they came, okay? And so he has his facts all mixed up. Totally mixed up.

  • And, now, Momo Dgiba was an aide-de-camp to you, wasn't he?

  • Now, it continues, page 2451:

    "Q. What happened with the men that Sam Bockarie took with

    him to Liberia?

    A. Well, they were integrated into the Liberian security

    forces, the Anti-Terrorist Unit. Most of them were in the

    ATU. Some of them were used as personal bodyguards to

    senior security commanders. When I visited Monrovia I saw

    them with Mr Taylor's top most security commander like one

    Roland Duoh. He had most of them with him and Benjamin

    Yeaten had in fact dozens of those boys residing at his

    house at White Flower and some of them were with Momo Dgiba

    in the ATU and they were used as security and that was it.

    They were all integrated into the Anti-Terrorist Unit of

    Mr Taylor."

    What do you say about that?

  • Well, there's just so many lies, so I don't know what to say, yes or no, to what - the whole thing is - look, the ATU was trained and equipped by the Government of Liberia. They were the best force ever trained in that country during my administration. They were not assigned to no Benjamin Yeaten. They were not assigned to - those individuals were the best housed and the best equipped in the country. Their mission in Liberia, as has been explained by one of them before this Court, was to provide security to foreign diplomatic missions and government installations. They didn't leave anybody - he is lying as he describes it there. Now, one of them have been before this Court and have explained their functions.

  • Now, you do accept though that many of those RUF who accompanied Mr Bockarie into exile in Monrovia were indeed integrated into the ATU. You accept that, don't you?

  • Oh, yes, I do.

  • Were they also employed as personal securities by commanders such as Roland Duoh and Benjamin Yeaten?

  • Never. In fact, Roland Duoh, so distant - never, ever. No.

  • Roland Duoh so what?

  • I say he is so distant from the whole process. Roland Duoh was army, so he had nothing to do with security functions. And none of those boys were assigned to any individual. They were strictly assigned to VIPs. Not to Liberian government security. Benjamin himself is a security personnel, and the ATU were very, very, very well trained and very well equipped for the purpose of serving diplomats and others, no. So Roland Duoh and Benjamin Yeaten situation as described by him, totally, totally false.

  • Given your acceptance that members of the RUF were integrated into the ATU, Mr Taylor, was Sam Bockarie himself integrated into any security position within Liberia?

  • Never, no. Never, no. And may I just add: After those individuals, the Sierra Leoneans that were given actual citizenship in Liberia, after their integration into the ATU, Sam Bockarie had no control whatsoever or no contact with them and Jabaty Jaward, who was a senior officer in the ATU, that was one of those spoke about it here before this Court. Sam Bockarie had no contacts with them and he said that in his testimony for the Prosecution in this Court. So they were just not there for what he is explaining, no. Absolutely no.

  • Line 1, page 2452:

    "When I first met with Sam Bockarie actually he was part of Mr Taylor's security. He was integrated into Mr Taylor's security in Monrovia. He complained about his disappoint with Mr Sankoh and that - I mean he's now integrated in the security of Mr Taylor."

    What do you say about that, Mr --

  • That's a lie. That's a lie. Sam Bockarie was never part of any security unit in Liberia. Never. Sam Bockarie arrived, he was put on salary, he was given a jeep, he was - his immediate family around him were given subsistence, he was given a house. He was never put as a part of any security force in Liberia. The men - the able-bodied men that were recruited were given citizenship, they are put in the ATU, they were given a monthly salary, in fact, the best paid in the whole country. He was never a part of any security. It's a lie.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, when Bockarie left in December 1999, are you aware of who took over control of the RUF at that point?

  • Yes, I'm aware.

  • Had he taken over in December 1999, to your knowledge?

  • Yes, to the best of my knowledge, immediately upon the departure - we have to be very careful with takeover now, but he takes over the command responsibility. But Foday Sankoh at this time is in Freetown, okay.

  • Because this is said, same page, 2452, after Bockarie left, Issa Sesay took over his position. Then this question:

    "To your knowledge during the junta and also in 1998 and 1999" - so the period we're looking at, Mr Taylor, is 1997 to 1999. Do you follow?

  • "... in what ways was information about RUF actions

    conveyed to Charles Taylor?

    A. Three main ways. One of them was the satellite

    telephone communication facility that was with Sam

    Bockarie. The second measure was the military

    communication VHF, very high frequency set that relayed

    messages to radio Sunlight. They had a crew Sunlight,

    somewhere behind White Flower, that is the residence of the

    SSS director Benjamin Yeaten. And our radio operators too

    that were in Monrovia and they said we were true runners" -

    this is the third way - "like Sampson, Marzah and Jungle

    who were part of Mr Taylor's security outfit."

    Now, do you understand what's being said there?

  • There were these different methods of communication between 1997 and 1999. One, the satellite telephone. Two, the VHF radio and indeed there appears to be two aspects to that. There's firstly radio Sunlight somewhere behind White Flower, and our operators that were in Monrovia and then you've got the runners like Sampson, Marzah and Jungle. Do you follow?

  • So two radio stations, radio Sunlight and the operators in Monrovia, then we've got the satellite phone, and then we've also got now the runners, yes?

  • Now, what do you say about that, Mr Taylor, bearing in mind the time frame posed by the question, '97 to '99. Do you follow?

  • We have to put this - we have to break it up now and put it into full context. 1997. Well, there are trips to Monrovia in 1997 and so I do not know if they are runners by some of these people involved. There's a letter. He forgot the letter routed 1997 because there's a letter from Johnny Paul Koroma and the AFRC, so he forgot that. But then when we go into the most serious part of this, 1997 there is no contact that I have with the RUF.

  • What about the junta?

  • Or with the junta. There are two contacts that we have with the junta. Two. Two contacts. The first contact is a letter from Johnny Paul Koroma that we do not respond to. The second contact is a delegation to Monrovia that we do not meet. This happens in 1997, the second half of 1997. Now, let's not forgot in 1998 there's massive confusion because we have the intervention in February of 1998. But from 1997 going on I hope I had a way of getting contact because we had been authorised but we had not established contact yet with the RUF. You look at ECOWAS documents that have been presented before this Court, the Committee of Five was authorised to speak to the junta and let's review something.

    Why didn't I meet with that delegation in 1997? Because ECOWAS - while ECOWAS was speaking to the junta, ECOWAS and the international community had not recognised the junta as a government. So for me to have met them and their so-called delegation for anything other than the peace process would have been acquiescence to an extent. So that level of acquiescence would not have been acceptable to the international community, so we didn't meet them.

    Now we have the situation where in August 1998, scrambling to get some contact, we have this contact with my ambassador in Guinea. So the first communication with the RUF and Sam Bockarie occurs in September of 1998. By October, okay, radio contact is made because we give the guesthouse and we install a radio there and Sam Bockarie is given a telephone. So to the extent of there being radio contact and telephone contact in October of 1998 that is true.

    But now you've taken a factual situation, it's been obscured by the lies and then unless you take it apart you would not understand. "Well, okay, he's right, he has been in contact." Well, the contact comes, it must be added, officially and for a purpose. This happens from beginning of October.

    So if we go back to 1997 all the way up until August of 1998 if he says there's contact with the RUF, that's a lie. Right off the bat. Then we look at October going on between that time and going on from October 1998, November, December, and coming on into the Lome Peace Agreement 1999, fine. Because in February following the intervention we begin the whole process again of trying to get these people back to the negotiation table and there are a lot of contacts that my government - that I have at that time with the RUF. Many, many contacts. And we finally succeed, okay, in getting together. And these are all contained in the Secretary-General's report. All the contacts are open. They are public. They are transparent. So to that extent, yes. But that's the context that we have to put it in, if not the whole thing is obscured. So based on your question now, counsel, there cannot be a straight yes or no to that question because there's some truth, but the context now I think will help the Court as I have explained it.

  • Mr President, I apologise for this but again briefly we will have to go into private session.

  • To the members of the public I'll announce that the Court once more will need to go briefly into private session. Again that is to protect the identity of a witness who is subject to a protective measures order of this Court. What that means is that the public can still see the proceedings but will not be able to hear what is being said.

    Madam Court Manager, please put the Court into private session.

  • [At this point in the proceedings, a portion of the transcript, pages 29635 to 29652, was extracted and sealed under separate cover, as the proceeding was heard in private session.]

  • [Open session]

  • Your Honour, we are in open session.

  • Mr Taylor, the witness was then asked this question on a different topic and we need to deal with it:

    "Q. I would like to ask you some questions to clarify some

    points of your earlier testimony. You testified last

    Friday that upon your return to Zogoda in 1996 Foday Sankoh

    briefed you what the situation had been like since you left

    the RUF in 1991. And you testified that part of what he

    told you was that at some point the border between his

    forces in Sierra Leone and Liberia was closed because of

    ULIMO. You also testified that at some point you and Fayia

    Musa travelled from Danane through Ivory Coast and Guinea

    to return to Sierra Leone and Zogoda. During your

    discussions with Foday Sankoh when he was telling you what

    had happened in your absence what if anything did

    Foday Sankoh tell you about the use of that route through

    Guinea and Ivory Coast?

    A. That was the route that the external delegates used to

    Ivory Coast, I mean to Danane in Ivory Coast. It was used

    by other people that wanted to see Mr Sankoh. I can recall

    he told me they used the same route when journalists wanted

    to report what was actually happening in the jungle to the

    outside world. They used the same route to come to meet

    him and that was what he told me.

    Q. What if anything did Foday Sankoh tell you about any

    meetings between Charles Taylor or his representatives and

    the RUF during this time the border was closed?

    A. I can't really recall him telling me that. The only

    person I can recall telling me that he used that route was

    Jungle. He said he used it sometime in 1993/'94.

    Q. Did he tell you why he used that route?

    A. He said he used to come - he told me he was sent to

    meet with Mr Sankoh by Cisse, Musa Cisse."

    Now, such a route through the Ivory Coast and Guinea to get to the RUF in order to avoid ULIMO, Mr Taylor, was that a route you were aware of?

  • No. But it's a possible route, yes.

  • Was it a route used by you, for example, to send Jungle to the RUF?

  • No. But if Jungle is with me in Liberia to go to the RUF why does he have to go through Guinea? All he has to do is go to Danane, right across the Liberian border and go on to Sankoh. Why would he have to go back, go through Guinea? No, I mean it would be foolish if he is with me in Liberia.

  • It's said that Jungle used that route '93/'94?

  • So that means that he is in Sierra Leone. So I have no control over Jungle. '93/'94 that's in Sierra Leone. Now, if he is working for - because Jungle had been with Sankoh since that time, okay, and so I can see if he is sent he is sent by the RUF to Sankoh using Guinea.

  • Pause there. Mr President, I heard the telephone so I guess we're running out of time now?

  • We've probably got less than a minute of tape left, Mr Griffiths.

  • That's as good a point as any.

  • We'll adjourn now for the morning adjournment and reconvene at 12 o'clock.

  • [Break taken at 11.30 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 12.00 p.m.]

  • Mr Taylor, before the short adjournment we were considering some testimony regarding a route through the Cote d'Ivoire and Guinea into RUF held territory in Sierra Leone. Do you recall that?

  • And just to remind us, the route went via Danane in the Ivory Coast. Is that right? And then through Guinea into Sierra Leone, yes?

  • Now, in consideration of that route allegedly taken by Jungle in 1993, '94, I would like us to refer to a map of West Africa, please, and I have alerted all parties to the particular map we propose to look at. It's the map of West Africa, which looks like this.

    Now, Mr Taylor, I wonder if you would change places for a moment, please?

  • I'm sorry, Mr Griffiths, is this one of the ones in this bundle?

  • No, it's not. It's was one in the original bundle provided by the Prosecution in that black folder. It should be under the - at the back of the bundle behind the category called "miscellaneous".

  • To assist the court, it's an exhibit, exhibit P-1.

  • Thank you, Mr Bangura.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, this is the best map that we have available, which shows in their entirety Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d'Ivoire and Guinea, yes? Now, just take a moment and acquaint yourself with the map. So if we can locate first of all Abidjan, which is on the Atlantic coast of the Cote d'Ivoire, yes?

  • That is correct.

  • Now, there came a time, did there not, when Foday Sankoh was based in Abidjan in la Cote d'Ivoire. Is that right?

  • Now, we see that there is that border between Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire up to where that finger of Nimba County points into Cote d'Ivoire and Guinea?

  • Just above the "A" in "Liberia", we have that finger pointing into Guinea and Cote d'Ivoire, don't we, yes?

  • And in that stretch, that is where Danane is located, just above the "Y" in "Yamoussoukro", yes?

  • And so the route being described by the witness departs somewhere above the "Y" in "Yamoussoukro", goes through Guinea and then into Sierra Leone, you appreciate that?

  • Now, such a route, Mr Taylor, was it a route that you used during this period after ULIMO had cut off the border to maintain contact with the RUF. Do you follow?

  • No. Why would it make sense for anybody to - and the period in question here is what, 1993?

  • '94?

  • '94. But Sankoh is not in la Cote d'Ivoire at this time. But if Jungle is coming and going, so he wouldn't have to go to Abidjan, that means he will come and - at this point that you were talking about, what you referred to as the finger right here, this is the border between Guinea and la Cote d'Ivoire. It is true this section of the country points up here, but the interesting point to mention here is that from where you described as this finger all the way here, that's all the border between Liberia and Guinea. So if anybody is coming from Sierra Leone and if there is anything factual about somebody coming from Sierra Leone to me, you would be able to enter NPFL area from this finger. You wouldn't have to come all the way down here to Danane, because right up here is Mount Nimba. We've heard of Sanniquellie before in testimony here and we've also had another word introduced here called Yekepa that's right up here. So you're already into NPFL held area. This is - Yekepa is right here. So why would this person leave Yekepa, which you can come from Yekepa right down to Sanniquellie and Ganta, okay? Why would you leave Ganta - why would you leave Ganta and come all the way down here to Danane, when you are right - from here you can come into Ganta. Ganta is NPFL area and from Ganta to Gbarnga is less than an hour's drive. So it doesn't make sense what this witness is trying to explain, okay? Maybe they have other reasons for going all the way to Abidjan, with would be in 1996, okay? But at the time he is talking, if there is contact between the RUF and the NPFL and one wants to consummate that particular contact, you would be better off doing right here, which is Ganta. If you look, Ganta is right here and from Ganta coming to Gbarnga at the time in question, '93, '94, you would be about - less than an hour drive from the border. So nobody would want to leave here and traverse all the way here, so it doesn't make sense. I don't know as to whether this is a spare map that you want to make little dots on to point the location, or what.

  • I think --

  • That's a Prosecution exhibit. Is that the exhibit that the witness is being shown?

  • It's a Prosecution exhibit.

  • The actual map there is exhibit P-2, is it?

  • As I understand it, yes, your Honour.

  • Well, you can't mark it, Mr Taylor.

  • Your Honour, that's not the exhibit. It's a copy that's in the map file.

  • Well, if it's a copy, Mr Taylor, just help us. If you could mark on that, first of all then, Ganta.

  • Okay. Ganta would be just about here.

  • Put a number "1" beside that and then put a key in the Atlantic Ocean and put "Ganta". Marked "Danane" roughly where Danane is.

  • Put a number "2", key in the Atlantic Ocean, please.

  • I am not sure if I am spelling Danane correct here.

  • Mark number "3" Gbarnga, roughly. And the point you are making being that the distance from 3 to 1 is a much more direct route than through Danane to go all the way around the finger of Nimba to get to Sierra Leone, is that the point?

  • Of course, yes. Between 3 and 1, maximum, an hour drive. 45 minutes, people take between Ganta and Gbarnga. You enter right from Guinea into - Gbarnga - I mean, into Ganta. There is no two ways about it.

  • Okay. Is there anything else you want to tell us about that map before we move on, Mr Taylor?

  • Could I ask that that be marked for identification?

  • Would you want me to sign this and date it?

  • Yes, please.

    And could we have it marked for identification MFI-263?

  • How do you want that described,

    Mr Griffiths?

  • Map of West Africa showing Danane, Ganta and Gbarnga marked by the defendant.

  • Thank you. That map is marked for identification MFI-263.

  • I haven't signed it. I was waiting for you. Can I go ahead and sign it?

  • And the date, please.

  • Just to correct the transcript, I think I made an error earlier on in describing the map before it was marked as Prosecution exhibit P-2. It is in fact Prosecution exhibit P-1.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, the particular witness we are dealing with at or about this point in testimony was shown a document and it's an important Prosecution exhibit which I think you should have an opportunity of dealing with. It's exhibit P-67, and it's a report from the Black Revolutionary Guards, a handwritten report, okay. Do you recall that document, Mr Taylor?

  • Now, I am going to take a little time going through this document to give you an opportunity to deal with it. Now, you will see it's addressed to the leader - no, in fact, can we start right at the top, please. There is some writing missing at the top, but it's appears the words "Revolutionary Black Guard of Sierra Leone Peoples Army", yes, top right-hand corner?

  • "To the leader, from the Black Revolutionary Guards. Subject, situation report." Now, pause. We are told by this individual that this is a photocopy of the report of the Black Guards to Sankoh dated April 1999 and that it was actually presented by a Black Guard representative at the time, Junior Vandi, okay. That's the testimony of the witness, page 2477.

    "Sir, on behalf of the entire Black Guard unit we are hereby taking this opportunity to make a summary report to let you know or understand the situation on the ground.

    To start with, we thank the Almighty God" - I can't make out what the word to the left of the hole punch is - " as per your previous concentisation programmes to the entire movement that this is a holy war which everyone within the movement have realised because in your absent the struggle continues with lot of developments."

    Now, pause. Mr Taylor, have you heard of the Black Revolutionary Guards?

  • I had not heard of it before. I heard of it here in the Court.

  • "Sir, as you left us in 1996 to go and sign the Abidjan accord, lot of enemy pressure (Kamajor) was mounted on us, but due to the dedication and loyalty of the command you left on the ground, we were able to contain situation until the AFRC coup d'etat, wherein you instructed the high command for us (RUF) to join the brothers in order to form the People's Army and defend the sovereignty of our motherland.

    The external delegates who were with you in Abidjan also went over to the media that they have toppled the leadership of the RUF, and went to the extent of inciting people, but due to the fastness and the security experience of the high command, we were able to trick them to come on the ground for us to work out all necessary modalities. They came through the Guinea-Sierra Leone border (Nongowa ferry) and were finally arrested by us and brought on the ground in a lock up.

    Furthermore, when we join the brothers, some of us senior officers and elders were given ministerial positions in the AFRC government. All the same things were not working well with the RUF members in which the high command even decided to leave the city Freetown and decided to base in the provinces. Things were not put in a proper shape as the so-called honourables were just doing things as they like. There was no proper command and control until ECOMOG decided to make a final strike into Freetown in which they succeeded in driving the entire AFRC out of the city.

    When Freetown fell in the hands of ECOMOG, the high command therefore decided at once without any delayance, as there was no command and control, to move to our original base (Kailahun) and position the RUF combatants to the old former 1991 defensive points, which were Neuma, Bonbohun and Jojoima. These positions were seriously defended until when the ECOMOG advanced to Kenema and Daru. From then, the enemies had tried their level best to penetrate the defensive position, but no chance had been given to them. In the north, the enemies captured Makeni and tried to advance to Kono. Our men retreated and defended part of Kono."

    Something "to the security situation, the high command therefore instructed the then battle group commander, Brigadier Issa Sesay, to try by all means to report with the former AFRC chairman JPK to Kailahun. As a result JPK and his bodyguards were brought to Kailahun as per instructions. They were welcomed by the high command and elders.

    Sir, at this stage, the high command, JPK, senior officers, junior officers and the entire combatants held a forum and finally agreed to continue the struggle under one structure and command.

    Immediately Freetown and the provincial headquarters fell in the hand of ECOMOG. The high command was call to report by the President of Liberia, Mr Charles Taylor, wherein the President seriously briefed the high command and gave him the confidence that he should not give up but to keep up the struggle and uphold the revolution until the leader returns."

    Now, pause there. Now, Mr Taylor, the events narrated by the writer, that is the external delegation and what they said to the media, the fact that they were lured back into Sierra Leone and arrested and detained, we have all heard evidence to that effect, haven't we?

  • Yes, we have.

  • The invitation to the RUF from the AFRC to join them in Freetown, again we have heard evidence to that effect, haven't we?

  • The intervention by ECOMOG in February 1997, again we have heard evidence to that effect, haven't we?

  • 1998, sorry. We have heard evidence to that effect, haven't we?

  • So would you agree, Mr Taylor, that whoever is writing this report is giving an accurate record of what happened after Sankoh left in November or thereabouts of 1996. Do you follow?

  • Now we come to this part: "Immediately Freetown and the provincial headquarters fell in the hands of ECOMOG." So that's February 1998?

  • "The high command was called to report by the President of Liberia, Mr Charles Taylor." Who do you understand to be the high command, Mr Taylor?

  • I really don't know who is the high command. I don't know how they make - because the high command, as I know it, would be more than one person. But in this Court they have referred to the high command as the leader. I think the high command here, this writer could be referring to Sam Bockarie, in my understanding of it.

  • Well, that's what the particular individual who was being shown this report also concluded, that this is a reference to Sam Bockarie. So bearing that fact in mind, let us continue:

    "The high command" - let's say Sam Bockarie - "was called to report by the President of Liberia, Mr Charles Taylor, wherein the President seriously briefed the high command and gave him the confidence that he should not give up but to keep up the struggle and uphold the revolution until the leader returns. The President" - that's you - "gave full assurance to the high command, Sam Bockarie, and promised to give his maximum support to the RUF. The President also took an oath that he will never betray his brother (Corporal Foday Sankoh). From that point, the President gave huge quantity of logistics (ammunition) to the high command" - Sam Bockarie - "for us to start repelling the ECOMOG advancement or to contain the situation."

    Did you, in or about February 1998, meet Sam Bockarie and make such a promise to him, Mr Taylor?

  • So, Mr Taylor, help us with this: You accept that up to this point this is an accurate account of what took place in the absence of Sankoh?

  • Why do you say now that this part of the report is wrong?

  • Well, in the first place, I don't know if this really - nobody has challenged the authenticity of this report, the fact that you have a report and there are factual points in the report, it doesn't make it - I mean, it depends on who wrote this report. I would have a serious problem. Why would the Black Guard be reporting this, according to them, in 1999 and --

  • April 1999 and come - and it's in handwriting. I don't understand this. But I know the facts that they mention. I mean, this is somebody that knows some information. But there is no way that I summoned Sam Bockarie to Monrovia and gave him a large amount of ammunition because that's an impossibility. That's an impossibility. At the time that Sam Bockarie comes to Monrovia, which is far later from February, there are no arms, there are no ammunition. But another witness talks about Sam Bockarie coming and ECOMOG is giving him trouble with diamonds and he can't give it to me. So there is something factual in what this writer is talking about, but I don't know the motive behind putting this in. But I gave Sam Bockarie - I don't have weapons to give to anybody. How can I give him weapons? That's not true. It is not true.

  • So what are you saying about this document then, Mr Taylor? And I invite your comment, because you appreciate this is one of the foundation stones of this Prosecution. It's an important document from their point of view. So what are you saying about it?

  • Well, there would be several things that I would say about this document. One, this is a document that contains some factual things. I would first of all wonder why this document is written in April 1999 and given to Sam - to Foday Sankoh, if that's April, in Lome. Okay? Why is it written? That would be the first thing. And for this, even for the whole document to be considered as being an authentic document in any case, we would even have to find out if this is actually the handwriting of the guy that wrote this document. This could be a forgery, it could be a fabrication. I don't know. But it does contain some factual evidence, okay?

    So if you ask me what's my comment on, it, and we really want to get into - because this is about somebody's life, my life, then we may have to verify handwriting to make sure and bring - in fact, who is the Black Guard commander at that point? If he is available, we'll subpoena him and bring him to this Court.

  • Well, we are told it is a Mr Vandi who presented this report to Mr Sankoh.

  • Yeah, but Vandi - is Vandi the Black Guard commander? From what we have been told in this Court, there is somebody else that's supposed - I forgot the name, but it's not Vandi that's the Black Guard commander. Why would Vandi write a report for the Black Guard and he is not the commander?

  • Well, we don't know who wrote it. Because if we just quickly go to the final page, to come back - final page. Let's move to the bottom of that page. Do you see any signature there or name?

  • No, it just says, "Faithfully submitted, your Revolutionary Guard, RUF". So who wrote the report? I mean, I don't see a signature. I don't see a name.

  • Well, according to someone, it's supposed to be a Mr Vandi.

  • I don't - I wouldn't - I tell you what, there is just something suspect about - you know, this is a typical document with some factual things inside, but they got it all wrong.

  • Well, can we go back to the page we were on before, please.

  • Mr Griffiths, before you go there, Mr Taylor said this document was written in April of 1999. Where do you get that date from?

  • Well, that is a date I get from the testimony of a witness at page 2477, beginning at line 14.

    "Q. Do you recognise that document?

    A. Yes. I recognise this document as a copy of a

    photocopy of the report of the Black Guard to Sankoh, 1999

    in April, and that was actually presented by the Black

    Guard representative at that time, Junior Vandi.

    Q. And at that time in April 1999, did you read that


    A. Yes, I went through it when we were in Lome, after he

    had already made the report to Sankoh and it was turned

    over to Rashid, who was then the adjutant in the discussion

    in Lome."

    Now, Mr Taylor, have you heard of the name Revolutionary Guard in relation to the RUF?

  • No, I had not heard it until here.

  • Have you heard the name Black Guard in relation to the RUF?

  • What about Black Revolutionary Guard?

  • Let's go back now to this page.

    "... for us to start repelling the ECOMOG advancement or to contain situation. To this development, when the high command returned from Liberia, he briefed JPK, Johnny Paul Koroma, pertaining to the latest development and met him personally to give a helping hands with diamonds or any foreign currency he had brought from Freetown for him to impress President Taylor as a result. JPK denied bitterly that he had brought no diamond with him, whereas the high command had gathered information that JPK has brought lots of diamond with him, but he wants to keep it on his own without financing the movement, as we are now under one umbrella. Therefore, the high command gave instruction to Brigadier Issa Sesay and Brigadier Mike Lamin for them to proper search JPK for diamonds. After the searching, lots or large quantity of diamond was taken from JPK and his bodyguards. Later, the parcels of diamond was given to Mr Ibrahim (General) and Sister Memuna for them to travel with the parcels directly to President Taylor."

    Pause there. Now, you recall that earlier in the testimony of this witness, this witness claimed first visit is after they had removed the diamonds from JPK they took the diamonds to Monrovia, were unable to see you, they were given to Musa Cisse, Benjamin Yeaten and Bah in Monrovia to give to you. Do you remember that?

  • Yes, and in fact, Bockarie went.

  • Yes, Bockarie went. Now, two things: Firstly, according to this document, even before that trip, after they had searched JPK, you had already seen Sam Bockarie. Do you follow?

  • So there is an initial trip by Bockarie where you promise all arms and ammunition and the rest of it. They - he goes back. We then have, according to this document, the search of JPK, and then now those diamonds are given to General Ibrahim and Sister Memuna, not Sam Bockarie, to travel and report directly to you. What do you say about this, Mr Taylor?

  • It's such a misstatement of facts that it is just blatant - it's a lie. It's untrue. Okay? But as you mentioned before, no, they are saying here that I have given - not promised - I have given a large of material even before Bockarie comes, according to this.

  • Yes, even before any diamonds arrive.

  • It's a blatant, blatant fabrication. That's all it is. And now as I am going through this document now, I am beginning to see that there is something suspect about a document that is written - nobody knows the author of the document, there is no name attached to the document, just a general thing "Black Guard". Anybody could have written this. We don't have handwriting experts in this Court to authenticate, because - I mean, this is not true.

  • "To this development, the high command was unable to receive the first satellite phone from General Ibrahim which he was - used to do some important contacts with."

    Pause there. When was it that you provided Sam Bockarie with a satellite phone?

  • In October 1998, on his second trip.

  • Were you aware that General Ibrahim had also provided a satellite phone to the RUF?

  • Indeed, more precisely, that General Ibrahim had provided a satellite phone to the high command, that is, Sam Bockarie; were you aware of that?

  • Let's continue, shall we:

    "After General Ibrahim returned back to Burkina Faso, the high command also received a good caratage of diamond from Kono. He also planned to send another good parcel to General Ibrahim in Burkina Faso ..."

    Now, help us, Mr Taylor, I thought these diamonds were coming to you.

  • Why were you allowing Sam Bockarie to be sending your diamonds to Ibrahim Bah in Burkina Faso? Why are you doing that?

  • This person doesn't know - this is a pure fabrication here. Because Ibrahim Bah is a part of the delegation to Monrovia that was supposed to bring me these diamonds before, after Bockarie comes to Monrovia and fails to see me. Now they have got him here off, he is going to Burkina Faso, and this person now does not even refer to this alleged trip by Bockarie where the diamonds are given to Benjamin Yeaten, Bah, you know, to give to me. So this - I have serious, serious doubts that this is a serious document that does not have an author. I don't - I have serious problems with this document.

  • "... send another good parcel to General Ibrahim in Burkina Faso for ammunition and arms, as he had started making some important contacts for materials."

    Now, were you aware that Ibrahim Bah was making such important contacts - and from the context one can only assume in Burkina Faso - for materials? Were you aware of that?

  • "The high command therefore decided to hand over the said parcel of diamonds to the battle group commander Brigadier Issa Sesay in order for him to pass through Monrovia and make his way to Burkina Faso and meet General Ibrahim to work out fast modalities to get some needed materials for us."

    Now, pause. So the route - so Issa Sesay, the battle group commander, is taking diamonds to Monrovia, but not for you, Mr Taylor. Monrovia is just a transit point for him to go to Burkina Faso. Do you get it?

  • So help me, why are you allowing senior members of the RUF to come to Monrovia laden with diamonds, and you are not taking them; you are allowing them to go on to Burkina Faso? What are you doing?

  • I am not in control of them, but I doubt even if this happened. I doubt this very much, because the only time we - the period in question - and you can tell this is a fabrication, really, I can almost say this - the period in question, there is evidence led in this Court that - remember now, Issa Sesay comes to Monrovia with some diamonds that get lost. So now this is another person saying that he was supposed to come through - because we are talking become the same period - and, of course, one can say maybe this could be another time - but as far as we know with Issa Sesay coming with diamonds to Monrovia, we know here, from what I have heard in this Court - and I stand corrected - that Issa Sesay comes to Monrovia with diamonds, they are lost, and eventually they hear it on the news.

  • Well, hold that thought. Let's move on:

    "Brigadier Issa Sesay left the base and travelled along with Colonel Jungle and some Liberia securities to Monrovia."

    So note, Sesay is travelling not by himself but with some of your securities, even though the diamonds are not going to you. Do you follow?

  • "He did not make his way through as he only stop in Monrovia. And information was later received by the high command that the parcel of diamonds has dropped from Brigadier Issa. He therefore return on base and gave the same report to the high command.

    The joint security therefore investigated the battle group commander and took statement from him.

    Later, a forum was held pertaining this issue, and the senior officers and elders suggested to suspend the issue until the arrival of the leader.

    More so, President Taylor continues to give helping hands with logistics which involves foodstuff and materials. The high command was called in every month to report to Monrovia for briefing."

    Do you understand that?

  • On a monthly basis, Bockarie was called to Monrovia for a briefing, Mr Taylor. What do you say about that?

  • Oh, Lord, I say this is totally, totally mixed up. This document - this is a lie. Bockarie would not call every month for no briefing. But when we look at this document now, there is more reason to be more suspect. There is no way we can accept this document here. Well, except you look at all the evidence presented on this case. Now there are witnesses that took an oath in this Court and said that Issa Sesay was given diamonds to bring to me in Monrovia and he lost them. Here is another witness that has taken an oath and has sworn that Issa Sesay was given diamonds to take to Burkina Faso and they got lost in Monrovia. They're the same diamonds we're talking about here. So what's supposed to happen to me now? Okay. Everybody has sworn to an oath here, but here is this - this is the same thing we are talking about, okay, that Issa Sesay was sent to Monrovia to take diamonds to President Taylor to receive arms and ammunition at a very desperate time and he dropped them and it was on the news and he came back. Here is another man who calls himself the black revolutionary united guard or whatever who is now saying Issa Sesay was given diamonds to take to Ibrahim Bah in Burkina Faso. So I'm caught in between now with the two oaths and the two lies. That's what I am caught with here.

  • Now, you appreciate, of course, that the individual who is speaking about this document is saying that it's an accurate document. He is verifying that. Do you understand this?

  • Maybe what we ought to do is to see if we can obtain the handwriting of this individual. I think it may help to see. If he didn't help to construct this document that - in fact, I stand corrected on this. But I think when Foday Sankoh goes to Lome in April, the Black Guard commander does go to Lome. I will have to research this. So then why would this individual present a handwritten report when the commander is already there that the commander cannot sign and the commander cannot attach his name to?

    So this is a part of their handiwork here, this fabrication. This is what's going on. So we may have to see if there is any document that this person has signed and maybe we may have an idea and if we have to get a handwriting expert because this is a pure, pure, fabrication. It has to be.

  • "The high command later called Brigadier Denis Mingo (Superman) on a forum for a mission to be carried out to capture the whole of Kono. They came up with an agreement to apply some guerilla tactics to overrun the strategic positions in Kono District. A plan was drawn, but Superman never went with the plan, and the mission fail without capturing Kono and over 30 MIA" - missing in action - "on our side and also KIA" - killed in action.

    "After this said mission, Superman was able to put some manpower together and proceeded to Kabala axis and created a jungle there.

    In September 1998, the high command called a vanguard forum. He addressed the forum, and made all the vanguards to understand that they should tighten up their belts and officiate themselves as vanguards of the revolution. Also as to how best they should operate to promote the good image of the struggle. In this forum, the high command" - Sam Bockarie - "tried to constructively criticise the way Superman is behaving. The high command made Superman available over the communication for a dialogue. In their dialogue, he criticised Superman for putting a Lebanese woman behind him which is delaying the operation. In fact to this the high command therefore instructed Superman to report for a better plan up, but he responded that he will not report to the call. From that point, Superman started operating on his own without taking any instruction or orders from the high desk.

    In October, the high command was again called by President Taylor. We therefore went along with him to Monrovia. The high command was instructed by President Taylor to move to Burkina Faso and meet with the Burkina President."

    Pause. At one level that's factually correct, isn't it, Mr Taylor?

  • Did you not see Sam Bockarie in October 1998?

  • Was that visit not thereafter followed by a visit by him to Burkina Faso?

  • Yes, but that was in November. He is specific here, he says October. So that's not factual.

  • No, but let's read it again:

    "In October the high command was again called by President Taylor. We therefore went along with him to Monrovia. The high command was instructed by President Taylor to move to Burkina Faso and meet with the Burkina President.

    The high command, the war council chairman and one SLA representative, Colonel Eddie Kanneh, took the trip to Burkina Faso."

    What do you say about that?

  • Well, I am going to have to open this up because I can't say yes to this because the fact of the matter is I did not order or instruct Sam Bockarie to meet with Compaore. So that's false. I did not. That arrangement was made with the knowledge of everyone and don't let's forget in Secretary-General Kofi Annan's report it's stated that permission had been given to individuals to be able to travel out at that particular time. So there is no instruction from me. This is an arrangement that had been made and the United Nations is aware that certain people have to move out of Sierra Leone. That's contained in the Secretary-General's report. So I did not instruct. There was an arrangement for them. They made their arrangement. They move on. So I did not instruct. It is factual that they went to Sierra Leone, but it's not factual that the instruction came from me.

    It is also not factual and you have a point that I cannot argue, he says in October he was called but he doesn't say he travels to Burkina Faso in October. So I will give him the benefit of the doubt. So it could have happened after that. But I do not instruct. This is something that has all of the hands of the international community for the approval of certain people of the junta and the RUF to move out and it was in that report that was read out to this Court from Kofi Annan. So this whole thing so he has got it all wrong. So there is some truth and some not, you know - I would call it lack of understanding.

  • "The high command, the war council chairman and one SLA representative, Colonel Eddie Kanneh, took the trip to Burkina Faso. They met President Blaise Compaore and they were highly welcomed. They took two weeks in Burkina Faso. They were given words of confidence and assurance by President Blaise that he will not let Corporal Foday Sankoh down at all. The President told the high command" - Sam Bockarie - "to be very hard in command to uphold the movement until the arrival of the leader. In fact he instructed the high command" - Sam Bockarie - "to forward the RUF issue to the OAU as he is the current OAU chairman."

    Who was the OAU chairman at this time, Mr Taylor?

  • Blaise is. Blaise Compaore.

  • "On their return, they were given huge quantity of materials for serious offensive to start a campaign for the release of our leader. The delegation returned back to Monrovia in November. The delegation returned back in case and held an immediate forum for a serious offensive to commence."

    Pause. Now, according to this, Mr Taylor, Sam Bockarie, the chairman of the war council and Eddie Kanneh travel via Monrovia to Burkina Faso in October returning in November. True or false?

  • That's false.

  • November, and returned in early December. He is just a little off.

  • Do you agree with the suggestion that they were gone for approximately two weeks?

  • Now, you see, it goes on to say that they received a huge quantity of materials for serious offensive, yes?

  • So this would be sometime late in the year of 1998, just prior to the Freetown invasion in January, do you follow?

  • Now, help me, Mr Taylor, did you provide that ammunition or did Blaise Compaore?

  • Well, I didn't provide any ammunition because I didn't have. He is suggesting here that Blaise Compaore provided that. I received no information as President of Liberia in 1998 that when Sam Bockarie returned from Burkina Faso he brought arms and ammunition. Such a report never reached me. And I remember when Sam Bockarie came, when they returned from that trip I was out of Monrovia, in fact I was not in the city. I was on the polio campaign as I have mentioned to this Court. But --

  • Sorry to interrupt you, Mr Taylor, but yesterday when we were dealing with the testimony of this same witness, this same witness claimed before these judges that it was you who provided this large quantity of arms in late 1998 for the Freetown invasion?

  • Yes, yes. 300 boxes.

  • 300 boxes of AK, remember?

  • So which is right? Did it come from Burkina Faso or did it come from you? Help us.

  • It did not come from me. If there was any such ammunition, it did not come from me. If it came from Burkina Faso, I cannot verify that it came because no such report came to me that ammunition arrived at Roberts International Airport. As I said that, yes, there is corruption, it's possible that such could have happened, but I received no such reports that there were ammunition, because the aircraft for going and coming was not provided by the Liberian government. They provided their own - they made their own arrangement for air travel. So I cannot say with any certainty before this Court that Blaise Compaore sent ammunition through Liberia. If it came, I was not informed of it, and it would have probably entailed some very senior corrupt officials. But such, the possibility of arms and ammunition coming in and passing through Liberia or any other thing, are all possible in any of these - in some of these small countries. But that report never reached me.

  • But hold on a second, Mr Taylor. 300 boxes of AK-47 ammunition passed through Liberia without you noticing or it being brought to your attention?

  • I am not sure if the document we are dealing with now suggests that, as my learned friend has put it, 300 boxes passed through Liberia. I am not sure which evidence my learned friend is referring to, but certainly not this document.

  • I am not suggesting, Mr President, that it's a reference to this document. I am suggesting to the testimony of the individual we are dealing with - an aspect the testimony we are dealing with.

  • Yes, you are referring to evidence from yesterday. I will overrule your objection, Mr Bangura.

  • Now, do you see the point, Mr Taylor?

  • Just so that we get an idea, just roughly how big is a box of AK-47 ammunition?

  • Oh, I would say about three quarters the size of this file tray.

  • So when you say the file tray, we are talking about - are we talking - it's on two levels?

  • Oh, no, the top level. Just that top level.

  • Just the top level?

  • Yeah, three quarters of that top --

  • I would say just about that wide too.

  • Just about the same. Just about the same.

  • So we are talking somewhere in the region of what?

  • About a metre long, a metre square, and about what? A quarter of a metre high?

  • Well, you have to forgive me. We were trained not in these metres. I still have --

  • I am old fashioned as well, Mr Taylor. Give us some feet and inches?

  • Okay. I would say that appears to be about a foot and a quarter in length; I would say anywhere between a half - about 6 inches in width - I mean, in height, and width - I would put the width to close to a foot. So that's about the size of an AK box.

  • Now, we are talking about 300 of those.

  • So we are possibly talking about a room almost this size full of AK-47?

  • Well, let me see if I can break it. 300 boxes of AK can fit in a 10-ton truck. So it would be something smaller than this. It can fit in one truck, a 10-ton truck.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, let's just examine a few more details then, right? Now, 300 boxes of AK-47 ammunition, to those who have purchased it, would you agree, would be an extremely valuable item?

  • So you would expect those to whom such a quantity belonged to guard it with their dear lives?

  • So you would expect such a quantity of ammunition to be accompanied by very, very tight security, yes?

  • Who themselves would need vehicles in which to transport themselves. Are you following me?

  • So we are talking about, then, a convoy of vehicles traversing Liberia with all its unpaved roads, so moving quite slowly, to get to Sierra Leone. You follow me?

  • Now, bearing all of that in mind, we now have a mental picture. Are you saying something like that could have happened in Liberia without you knowing?

  • Yes. I am saying that if you - the situation over there was - yes, that's possible. If you have the high level contacts with sufficient corrupt people, it can happen. One truck with maybe not a long convoy with an escort, at this particular time I would say it's possible. If you have some corrupt people that are in charge, you can do that.

  • And in amongst them there is not one honest soul who has put his hand up and said, "Hey, Mr President, guess what?"

  • Well, it depends on how high that - if these senior people with some little authority in dealing with security people, I would not get to know. I would not get to - I tell you, there were things that happened - minor things that happened in that country - in some of these little countries - even some of my colleagues talk about - it took a year or two before you heard about it. A lot of things happened. I can tell you, for example, when we started fighting LURD in Liberia, there were times that we transited material through countries without the authorities knowing. So this is - I am just trying to say, it is possible. As to the probability, that's another issue. But it's possible. If, for example, you are dealing with some senior security people within the establishment, you can get something like this. Once it's not staying in, it's something going through, and they would even see to it that it is escorted through right way away, this is possible, I am saying.

  • Let's go back to the document:

    "All the combatants were happy and agreed to start the operation in capturing Kono. The said operation was given to the battlefield commander, Brigadier Issa Sesay. Huge quantity of material was given to the battlefield commander, and he immediately left for Kono. They also held a forum in Kono and succeeded in overrunning the entire Kono District and capture some artillery weapons and huge quantity of arms and ammunition. The whole operation was therefore given to the late Colonel Rambo, who further extended the operation to Tonkolili and advanced to Makeni. After the fall of Makeni the late colonel, as per instruction, went and received Brigadier Superman to join the operations.

    They therefore extended the operation to Port Loko as far as Waterloo and Kambia axis.

    Furthermore, Colonel Rambo also tried his level best to link up with the other brothers that entered Freetown, but the Freetown operation was not coordinated as the said commander, Black Jah, was not going by the instruction from the high command. When they retreated from Freetown, the battlefield commander met them and told them to present a comprehensive report pertaining the whole Freetown operation, but they deliberately failed to do so."

    Pause. Now, what do you understand by:

    "Colonel Rambo also tried his level best to link up with the other brothers that entered Freetown, but the Freetown operation was not coordinated as the said commander, Black Jah, was not going by the instruction from Sam Bockarie"?

    What do you understand by that, Mr Taylor?

  • He is saying that the RUF contingent never entered Freetown. That's what I understand.

  • And so who was responsible for the Freetown invasion, according to this? Who is Black Jah?

  • I don't know who Black Jah is, but he is supposed to be an RUF commander, according to what - from what I understand here.

  • Well, we have got other evidence about who Black Jah is, but I am not here to give evidence. But anyway, "... was not going by the instruction from the high command." What do you understand by that?

  • The high command being Sam Bockarie?

  • Well, high command is Sam Bockarie. It simply means that this particular person, whoever this person is, is not taking instruction from Sam Bockarie, doesn't follow the instructions.

  • And that thereafter they're asked for a comprehensive report but they deliberately failed to do so.

    "According to the Black Guards security information, they brought some diamonds and lot of foreign currency from Freetown, but they never presented anything to the high command.

    The late Colonel Rambo even arrested $600,000 US from some of the men from Freetown and presented the said sum to the battlefield commander Brigadier Issa, and also some diamonds.

    Again there was instruction from the high desk for Lieutenant Colonel Gibril Massaquoi to report for important inquiry and briefing, but he refused the call for over four good times.

    As a result, there was an instruction from the high command to the battlefield commander for Lieutenant Colonel Gibril Massaquoi to be arrested and turn over.

    The battlefield commander further went along with the late Colonel Rambo and some Black Guards as per instructions to arrest Lieutenant Colonel Gibril and Major Nya.

    During this process, Superman and his men put on stiff resistance and even open fire and launch some RPG bombs, therefore scatter the whole group and killed some men and went to the extent of advancing to Makeni and attack the residence of the battlefield commander and vandalised the whole compound and took everything in the compound, including the materials for operations and enough foreign currency and diamonds. He even extended in razing the compounds of some other senior officers.

    After some days, he came for the second time and attacked Makeni and killed Colonel Rambo and some security personnels, fire some people, but they missed to kill the battlefield commander and chased him all the way to Makali and missed him for the second time.

    According to security findings, most of the senior officers cannot give any advice or try to contain that situation. Instead, they keep on inciting to spark the situation.

    According to Superman, he has vowed not to ever take command from the high command, Sam Bockarie.

    In regards to the mining process, it is only recently that the authorities has given the go ahead for mining to be going on. Lieutenant Colonel Kennedy is the overall mining commander. They have been getting some small pieces which is in our big record book.

    Another development is that one businessman from Cuba by the name of Carlos offered the movement one FM radio station, and the station itself has being built up a hill in Dodo-Kortuma."

    Now, Mr Taylor, were you aware of a radio - an FM radio station being provided by the Cubans to the RUF?

  • No, I am not aware of it.

  • No, but another witness said that I did that.

  • Yes, I know. That's why I asked you, you see.

  • "Also in January, the high command organised an operation for the Segbwema to be captured in order to cut the supply between Daru barracks and Kenema. The said operation went on smoothly, but unfortunately failed to capture. We in fact left another operation at hand to attack Kenema.

    In conclusion, sir, we are hereby suggesting that the issue of Superman should immediately be put under control before he try to mislead some of our struggle brothers.

    Faithfully submitted, your Revolutionary Guards, RUF/Sierra Leone."

    Now, Mr Taylor, you would accept, do you not, that there we have preserved in cold black and white a suggestion in that report said to date from April 1999 deeply implicating you in events during the absence of Foday Sankoh. You agree, don't you?

  • What do you say about that?

  • I am saying that this whole document, if it has to be looked at very seriously, because this looks like mischief to me, the first thing we have to do is to identify whether this document is authentic, number one. Who wrote the document? Did it come from the Black Guard command? And why is it in this way? It would take some time for us to really verify it. But what I see here, this looks like a fabrication to me. That's all I can put it to. Because this is someone mischievously that mixes facts and half truths, disinformation. So for me, I don't see how a report can be written to the leader, their leader, that does not eve - you know, it's not signed by anybody. At last you would say signed XYZ commander. But this is just a blank report and I guess the person had good reason for not putting a name to it, because reference could be made to that person.

    Anybody could have written this document with some knowledge of the situation on the ground and you can see how they put it. I would say that this is a fabrication and it's a mischievous fabrication because it does not contain - I mean, I don't know how - that's the Court's decision, but my whole thing is that I don't see how such a document could be accepted where we still don't know the author of the document. Sam Bockarie wrote his document, we know it comes from Sam Bockarie. All the other reports, anybody who writes a report should be able to put a name to it. There has got to be a name and a face to a report. So this one we just say faces, the Black Revolutionary Guard. That could be any group or anybody. So that's my comment.

  • Now, that document was examined in detail by the particular individual we are concerned with. Portions of the document were put to him for his comment. Do you follow?

  • One such portion was that part which reads: "From that point the President gave huge quantities of logistics (ammunition)" and the question was posed, "Is that accurate?" The answer was given, this is page 2481, "Yes, up to 1999." True or false, Mr Taylor?

  • Totally false.

  • Then that first trip described in the report of Bockarie to you when you effectively told him to uphold the revolutionary ideals in the absence of Sankoh. Do you recall that?

  • "Q. Did Sam Bockarie make a trip to Liberia after you had

    arrived in Buedu but before you took the diamonds from

    Johnny Paul Koroma?"

    An understandable question in light of the witness's testimony.

    "A. I can't really recall whether he made a trip before

    that. I cannot recall at this point. I can't. But what I

    do know is that after General Ibrahim was already there and

    he came through that end from Monrovia, he was already

    there and so what I do recall is after these diamonds were

    taken from Issa, he travelled to Liberia along with General

    Ibrahim and this Memunatu Deen. It is mentioned here.

    Q. So the part that says 'later the parcel of diamonds was

    given to Mr Ibrahim general and sister Memuna for them to

    travel with the parcels directly to President Taylor', who

    do you say accompanied them on this trip?

    A. Sam Bockarie."

    Now, do you see any mention in that document to Sam Bockarie, high command mind you, going on that trip with Ibrahim Bah and Memuna?"

  • No, it doesn't mention that here. No, not in this report.

  • Well, according to this individual, Sam Bockarie went along with Memunatu Deen and Ibrahim Bah but somehow the writer of the report forgot to record that?

  • Yeah, but, counsel, this witness cannot on the one hand say that his testimony is true and the details of this report are also true because there are two - you know, I mean, either his account is true or the accounts - because there are different accounts of the same issue as he gave it and this is where it goes back to the question of the 300 boxes, okay, and then when we look at this account where you have ammunition being given to Sam Bockarie before the diamond issue, on the one hand, then you have Sam Bockarie was supposed to have come, couldn't see me, okay, and left the diamonds in the hands of - I mean for Benjamin, Jungle and Bah to give it. And on the other hand you have a different account in this where Issa Sesay is given diamonds, okay, the same diamonds that he referred to that now comes to Monrovia, but not for me, is destined for Burkina Faso where Bah is supposed to carry.

    So he cannot say that he agrees with this report and it's supposed to be such an authentic report where his own accounts, okay, are different from the accounts in this report. So one of those two must be wrong. So I do not really think he can say with any degree of clarity that he agrees with this later assertion. So if now he agrees that the account read there is the proper account in this document, then his account must be wrong.

  • Now, he was asked about the transfer of diamonds via Issa Sesay and via Monrovia to Burkina Faso. And he was asked:

    "Q. Was that the plan?

    A. Yes. I think I did mention this. There was a point

    when Sam Bockarie gave Issa Sesay some diamonds. He went

    to Monrovia and he was along with Jungle when later he said

    that the diamonds got missing and he came back together

    with Jungle with that report.

    Q. To your knowledge, why did Issa Sesay travel through

    Monrovia on this trip to Burkina Faso?

    A. I mean that was the access. I told you that that road

    was opening and Ibrahim was already in Buedu by the time I

    returned and that was the route used to go to Monrovia."

    Now, pause a second there, Mr Taylor, and help us with something else. Remember we are dealing here, according to this witness, with late 1998, yes?

  • That is correct.

  • ECOMOG intervention has taken place in February 1998, yes?

  • The RUF and the AFRC have been forced to retreat from Freetown, yes?

  • Now, at this stage, bearing in mind all of that, from your understanding of matters, members of the RUF and AFRC, would they have had the facility to travel out of Sierra Leone via Lungi airport?

  • At this particular time in late 1998, no, not to my knowledge.

  • So help me, if I am a member of the RUF, I am a Sam Bockarie, and I want to get to Ouagadougou, what's the route I have to take to get there?

  • There are two routes. Two. Either through Guinea or through Liberia.

  • Through Guinea in which way?

  • You come, you have to go through Conakry and go on, keep going.

  • And is there a UN travel ban at this stage?

  • There is. There is a travel restriction on them.

  • So was it to your knowledge that individuals like Ibrahim Bah was using Monrovia as a transit point for travel between RUF held territory and other parts of the African continent?

  • It was not to my knowledge, but it's possible that he could have been doing that, yes.

  • Now, were you, as President of Liberia, monitoring such travel?

  • Well, I mean, Ibrahim Bah was not on any travel ban, so he was not of interest to the Liberian government. Those individuals that were on some restrictions were granted permission by the UN. You just have to refer to Kofi Annan 's report, the names of the junta people and those people, there are certain group that had sought permission to move out and it was granted that those people could move. And Bockarie happened to be one of those that the United Nations was very aware of and contained in the report and the names of who were some of the people being considered for that travel. But Ibrahim Bah was not of interest to the government or anybody else at that time.

  • Now, in relation to the same report, the witness provides us with a further detail missing from the report itself. Now, on the sixth page of that report, there is reference to the capture of the whole of Kono and:

    "They came up with an agreement to apply some guerilla tactics to overrun the strategic positions in Kono District. A plan was drawn up, but Superman never went with the plan and the mission fail without capturing Kono and over 30 MIA" - missing in action - "on our side and also KIA" - killed in action.

    You remember that portion of the report?"

  • Now, it's said that this was the first mission attempt to capture Kono. They called the mission Fitti-Fatta mission, yes?

  • So Fitti-Fatta late 1998, mission to capture Kono, this is what he says. Do you know of a Fitti-Fatta mission, Mr Taylor?

  • No, I read about it here. No, didn't know anything about it.

  • But, Mr Taylor, you know, this witness says that you ordered Operation No Living Thing, so how come there is this Fitti-Fatta mission and you don't know anything about it?

  • Because I never ordered any of them. This witness also said some other things there. In fact just going back about a few lines, this witness, and if you look at the Prosecutor's question that follow, which was a little I think misquote in the record, this witness had not said anywhere in his testimony, to the best of my recollection, that that first - that that trip that Issa Sesay took to Monrovia with these alleged diamonds were supposed to be taken to Burkina Faso. If I recollect, this witness said that Issa Sesay was given diamonds to bring to me in Monrovia for ammunition and he lost them.

  • But the way the Prosecutor phrased the next question, when he was referring to the account in that note, the Prosecutor suggested that he had said in the way - that Issa Sesay, while en route to Burkina Faso, lost the diamonds, but that was a misrepresentation of what the witness had said. If you go back to that question as it was phrased by the Prosecutor, you will see the nuance that - where it misstated what this witness had said before. You read the question before in the record.

  • Page 2482. Now, if we look at the bottom of that fourth page:

    "Q. After General Ibrahim returned back to Burkina Faso,

    the high command also received a good carriage of diamond

    from Kono. He also planned to send another good parcel to

    General Ibrahim in Burkina Faso for ammunition and arms, as

    he had started making some important contacts for

    materials. The high command therefore decided to hand over

    the parcel of diamond to the BGC Brigadier Issa Sesay in

    order for him to pass through Monrovia, make his way to

    Burkina Faso and meet General Ibrahim to work out fast

    modalities to get those needed materials for us. Now, was

    that the plan?

    A. Yes."

    And what do you say, Mr Taylor?

  • I am saying now when you look at the Prosecutor's question, it infers that the witness had already alluded to the fact that Issa Sesay was en route to Burkina Faso to carry the diamonds when they got lost. But when you look at that witness's statement throughout his testimony, he said emphatically that Issa Sesay was given those diamonds to bring to me in Monrovia for arms and ammunition.

  • He lost them, okay? So by him agreeing now that in fact the plan was to pass through Monrovia to Burkina Faso misstates the fact based on the question that the Prosecutor asked. So right there he lied in between and, you know, based on the question that the Prosecutor asked him, he even lied because he had never said that or alleged that before. He had alleged that those diamonds were for me specifically.

  • I see the time, Mr President.

  • Yes. We will break for lunch now. Resume at 2.30.

  • [Lunch break taken at 1.30 p.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 2.30 p.m.]

  • Mr President, I just wish to announce a change in representation for the Prosecution this afternoon. Mr Christopher Santora is not with us this afternoon.

  • Thank you, Mr Bangura. Yes, Mr Griffiths.

  • May it please your Honours:

  • Mr Taylor, before lunch we were considering that document, the Black Revolutionary Guard situation report, yes?

  • And do you recall that we'd encountered in that document reference to one Black Jah - J-A-H?

  • That is correct.

  • Now, in further relation to that document, the individual we're discussing went on to be asked this question, quoting from the document, page 2487, 29 January 2008:

    "A. Furthermore, Colonel Rambo also tried his level best

    to link up with the other brothers that entered Freetown,

    but the Freetown operation was not coordinated, as the said

    commander Black Jah was not going by the instruction from

    the high command.

    Q. Tell us, who is Black Jah?

    A. Black Jah is the code name for Gullit."

    Did you know that, Mr Taylor?

  • "Q. Do you know what is meant when it is said that Gullit

    was not going by the instruction from the high command?

    A. He was supposed to have waited for the joint operation,

    waited for Issa before they can proceed to Freetown, but he

    went ahead without waiting for that instruction."

    Now finally in relation to that document, that individual was asked this. This is page 2487 of the transcript:

    "Q. Moving to the last page of that report, if we look at

    the second paragraph down, 'In regards to the mining

    process, it is only recently that the authorities have

    given the go ahead for mining to be going on. Lieutenant

    Colonel Kennedy is the overall mining commander.'

    At what point did Lieutenant Colonel Kennedy become the

    overall mining commander?

    A. I can't recall really, but it was in 1998, mid-1998. I

    saw him there. I saw him going to Kono as the mining

    commander. He was working along with another fellow called

    Med, CO Med. I can't really specifically tell you the

    date, the month, but it was mid-1998.

    Q. Now the language here, 'In regards to the mining

    process, it is only recently that the authorities have

    given the go ahead for mining to be going on,' do you know

    what was meant by that language?

    A. No, no. I don't really understand what he is trying to

    say here.

    Q. During 1998, to your knowledge was mining going on in


    Now, what do you understand by that, Mr Taylor, that only recently that the authorities have given the go ahead for mining to be going on following the appointment of Lieutenant Colonel Kennedy in mid-1998 as the mining commander? What do you understand by that?

  • It could suggest that mining had not - one suggestion I could say would be that mining had not been going on before this time. That's one - that's what I think. That's one suggestion.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, I want us to leave that document now, please, and there is another document that I want you to have a look at. Again a document that was shown to this witness, and I touched upon it yesterday but would like us today to look at it in some more detail, and it is exhibit number D-8. Now, do you recall this document being produced in this Court, Mr Taylor?

  • Now we see that the document is headed, "Unofficial translation verbatim report on a recorded discussion between Corporal Foday Sankoh and his cohorts on his return from detention at Nigeria in 1999 explaining their activities during his detention in 1996 to 1999 (specifically January 6)". Now, from where did Sankoh go - no, let's not move from the title just yet, please. Now, from where did Sankoh come to attend the Lome talks, Mr Taylor?

  • From prison.

  • And in what year was that?

  • 1999, April to be exact month, yes.

  • So looking at that title, "... on his return from detention at Nigeria in 1999 ...", is that accurate?

  • "... explaining their activities during his detention in 1996". Was he detained in 1996?

  • When was he detained in Nigeria?

  • To the best of my recollection, it's early 1997 --

  • That's a matter of record. March 1997, yes?

  • So again the title would appear to be inaccurate in that respect, wouldn't it?

  • "Adjutant general: The leader sir, War Council Chairman, the adviser, and other members of the delegation. The report that we had prepared since we came here contained certain issues which I felt should not be documented because of security reasons."

    Note that, please:

    "... should not be documented because of security reasons. Therefore we decided to meet the leader and other members and brief them orally. Among the issues jotted down for the leaders and other members to deliberate on were:

    1. We start with minerals. First and foremost the 1,832 pieces of diamond in nine plastics received from JP Koroma.

    Next was the 14 pieces of diamonds misplaced by Brigadier Issa Sesay, among which was an 11-carat piece of diamond. Then the sales of 244 pieces of diamonds at a total price of $17,000 US to rise funds.

    2. Some of the behaviours of Brigadier Superman: A, he was disloyal to the commander on the ground; B, he break the Kono Bank without informing anybody; C, he had been attacking and killing some RUF members; D, he had misused RUF funds.

    3. The mass promotions that was made by us.

    4. Moreover we made some trips to Burkina Faso and other neighbouring countries.

    5. Then, of course, we had been informing you about some mining programmes that we have undertaken in Kono and Tongo. But Pa Rogers and CO Mike can elaborate more on these points mentioned. So let us start now with number one diamond received from Johnny Paul Koroma, which was 1,833 pieces in nine plastics."

    Now before we go over the page, note the second sentence, Mr Taylor:

    "The report that we had prepared since we came here concerned certain issues which I felt should not be documented because of security reasons."

  • "Therefore, we decided to meet the leader and other members and brief them orally."

    What do you understand by that?

  • That there shouldn't be any written or recorded report anywhere, even after that.

  • That there shouldn't be any written report of certain issues because of their sensitivity, but rather they were going to tell Sankoh about them orally. Is that what you understand?

  • Let's now move down the page and see what the issues are now which are being dealt with orally. Now, we see the first thing being dealt with orally are those diamonds removed from Johnny Paul Koroma, yes? Now, given that they were meant to be dealt with only orally, can you help as to why they appear in that Black Revolutionary Guard report in written form? Do you follow me?

  • I follow you now. It shouldn't be in there because

  • [overlapping speakers].

  • Because remember, the Revolutionary Black Guard report is dated April 1999, do you follow?

  • This is a meeting which Sankoh in person after he returns to Sierra Leone beginning of October 1999. Do you follow?

  • Now according to this individual, these issues were not to be dealt with in writing and documented. They were to await, no doubt, the coming of Mr Sankoh for them to be dealt with orally, yes?

  • Now, Mr Taylor, bearing in mind that Black Guard report and what you have said this morning regarding its authenticity, do you see that items 1, 2 and, indeed, 4, were dealt with in that document?

  • Yes, you can see that, yeah. It dealt with Superman, it dealt with diamonds and it dealt with the trip to Burkina Faso by Issa Sesay, Eddie Kanneh, et al, yes.

  • Let's go to the second page, please. Now, as you understand it, the person who was speaking on page 1, the adjutant general, who would such a person be? Who is the adjutant general attached to, do you know?

  • The adjutant general would be attached to the overall commander who would be the high command. The adjutant general actually would be the third. In military sense, you have the commander, the deputy and the adjutant, so he would be the third in command.

  • After whom, bearing in mind the hierarchy within the RUF?

  • That would be - Bockarie would be the high command. You would have Issa Sesay, from testimony here, would be the second. They would be after Issa Sesay.

  • Right. So that's the person giving that initial report on page 1. Let's go to page 2, Pa Rogers:

    "It is true that diamonds were received from JP Koroma. Okay, those that the adjutant general had put on paper were received from him. How these diamond were received I could not tell because while some of us pulled out from Freetown we were at Kono when JP Koroma arrived at our base. As a result of this, we did not have any foreknowledge on whether they had received diamonds from him. But there was a reason why they received the diamonds from him. In the first instance when we pulled out we thought that since he was regarded as Head of State at that time he may have something to feed the boys as the boys did not have anything on the ground to feed the combatants, other people and his own delegation. We had to tell the CDS" - CDS, Mr Taylor?

  • I think this would be chief of the defence staff.

  • Who, bearing in mind what we were told yesterday?

  • "We had to tell the CDS that JP Koroma had nothing at hand which prompted them to ask other members of the delegation (SLA) that if they know of members in their delegation which had money in their possession they should inform Mosquito to take action. With this view, they had to raid the place of JP Koroma. Mike Lamin will be in a better position to elaborate on the raid because they did the operation. Hence by the time we arrived, we only heard that they had taken diamonds from Johnny Paul Koroma. But again how these diamonds were transacted only, Brigadier Mike can actually explain to you how they had gone about as far as the diamond business was concerned.

    Brigadier Mike. Okay, sir, just to reiterate what the chairman of War Council has just said."

    So we know now that the Pa Rogers referred to is the chairman of the War Council.

  • War Council.

  • And remember earlier there was reference to the chairman of the War Council going along with Bockarie and Eddie Kanneh to Burkina Faso, so we now know who that is:

    "Just to reiterate what the chairman of War Council has just said we left Freetown and arrived at Kailahun via Kono where we met Mosquito who virtually had nothing to feed the soldiers especially the SLA brothers. In fact Brigadier Issa and myself escaped with Johnny Paul Koroma to Kailahun. Later, Mosquito, Brigadier Issa and myself told Johnny Paul Koroma that since he was the Head of State we expected him to have some amount of money which we can decide to use for logistical support in a bid to organise the men. Johnny Paul Koroma told them that Gullit also known as Black Jah, had some diamonds he had instructed him to mine in Kono. I then left with Brigadier Issa to meet Gullit in Kailahun. I told him to hand over all the diamonds he had in his possession and we collected 115 pieces of diamonds from him which were valued at $15,000 US. We returned with the diamonds to Mosquito the same day. These diamonds were handed over to Mosquito in the presence of Johnny Paul Koroma, Brigadier Issa and myself. He in turn handed over the diamond to Johnny Paul Koroma but he later refused to respond to our needs when we have set our defence position at Gbaima in Koidu areas so that the enemy could not push us further. In sequel, Rambo, the CSO to Johnny Paul Koroma, informed us that Johnny Paul Koroma is in possession of a plastic containing diamonds, including some United States dollars which he intends to escape with together with his family. Notwithstanding this, we had been monitoring him through intelligence source that he had intentions to escape so we intimated Mosquito and Issa suggesting that we confront this brother and ask him to hand over all government properties he had in his possession to enable us to procure all the logistical materials to carry out the operations they agreed with us and therefore confronted Johnny Paul Koroma in a non-violent manner. Johnny Paul Koroma had to reason with us and handed over nine plastics containing diamonds. We in turn handed over these diamonds to Mosquito for safekeeping and utility in the presence of his late bodyguard brother Shabado, CO Mohamed's bodyguard, Major Kamara, CO Issa and other senior men. Since then the diamonds were with Mosquito since Pa Rogers and others were in Kono. Not too long, Mosquito informed me that he wanted us to contact the other brothers in Monrovia. Although he had already made some contacts with them, but he needs some of the gemstones to give to the leader in Monrovia to facilitate these contacts. Before this, of course, we were aware that some transactions was going on as on several occasions he made visit to Monrovia through the help of one Benjamin Legon, a Liberian security personnel, in collaboration with the adjutant general. The general adjutant knows about some demands given to Benjamin Legon for onward handing over to the leader of Liberia. Then we later decided to send somebody to the brother in Burkina for the logistical materials, hence brother Mosquito decided that Brigadier Issa should go on that mission."

    Can we pause and can we just go up the page a little bit. "Not too long Mosquito informed me that he wanted us to contact the other brothers in Monrovia."

    The other brothers in Monrovia, Mr Taylor, who's that?

  • I don't know who he's referring to, to the other brothers that they have in Monrovia. I have no idea of who this could be.

  • "Although he had made some contacts with them but he needs some of the gemstones to give to the leader in Monrovia to facilitate these contacts."

    Who's the leader in Monrovia?

  • I really don't know who is this leader in Monrovia to facilitate --

  • Sounds like you, Mr Taylor.

  • No, but he said to facilitate the contacts.

  • Yes. But let's just think about the timing, shall we. Leader, yes, could be Foday Sankoh, but he's not in Monrovia. He's been in either Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria or Freetown. So who's the leader in Monrovia?

  • Well, my understanding of this statement, I'm the President in Liberia, but the way this statement reads that, although he had made some contacts with them, but he needs some of the gemstones to give to the leader in Monrovia to facilitate these contacts, except where I am expected to make contacts, then he cannot be speaking about me.

  • No. You're the one who's going to be facilitating some contacts.

  • That's what I'm saying. Unless he's referring - contacts with who then?

  • That's what I'm asking, Mr Taylor.

  • If we take this document at face value, it suggests a link between you and Bockarie with a view to you facilitating certain things for them. Do you see?

  • That's what he's trying to imply, but I'm not sure, counsel, if - because of the unique situation here, I'm not sure because - I don't know what you want to do with this.

  • Well, I am giving you the opportunity, Mr Taylor, to comment on this because undoubtedly in due course it is going to be suggested that you're the leader in Monrovia being referred to here. Do you understand?

  • No, no, no. I fully understand that, but I'm trying to say that I'm talking about the - we are - well, I can't really get into, really, analysing this statement as I should as we are now, as we are in this particular setting. That's what I'm talking about.

  • Mr Griffiths, are you asking this witness was he the leader in Monrovia or are you asking him to analyse the statement?

  • No, I'm asking him whether this is a reference to him.

  • Well, there you are, Mr Taylor. That's a simple question. No need to analyse the statement.

  • Is this a reference to you, Mr Taylor?

  • And who is Benjamin Legon?

  • I don't know anyone called Benjamin Legon.

  • "Then we later decided to send somebody to the brother in Burkina." Who is that, Mr Taylor?

  • I don't know who this person is referring to as the brother in Burkina. Quite frankly, I don't know.

  • "For the logistical materials, hence brother Mosquito decided that Brigadier Issa should go on that mission."

  • Well, except he's referring to Ibrahim Bah as the brother in Burkina because I'm sure he cannot be referring to anyone - he can't be referring to the President. So I would say Bah.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, let us look again at this, shall we:

    "To the leader in Monrovia to facilitate these contacts. Then we later decided to send somebody to the brother in Burkina" - a possible contact - "for the logistical materials, hence brother Mosquito decided that Brigadier Issa should go on that mission."

    Did you set up a contact between the RUF and the brother in Burkina? You follow me?

  • I follow you. No, I never set up any such contact. No.

  • "In this way some parcels of diamonds among which was a 15 carats diamond that I've seen myself was handed over personally by General Mosquito and myself to him. We left for Monrovia but we understood later from Issa himself that he had lost the diamonds in Monrovia."

    Can we just quickly to go to the bottom of the page to make sure this is page 4. This same page. Yes. Let's go back to page 3:

    "In this way some parcels of diamonds among which was a 15 carat diamond that I have seen myself was handed over personally by General Mosquito and myself to him. We left for Monrovia ..."

    Let's go back to the second page and see who's talking at this point. Who's talking? Is it page 2 or page 3? Just let's confirm who's talking at this point. That's page 2. Let's go to page 3. It's Brigadier Mike. Page 3, Brigadier Mike still. Page 4, Brigadier Mike still, yes. Go to the top of the page, please.

    "We left for Monrovia, but we understood later from Issa himself that he had lost the diamonds in Monrovia."

    So on the face of it Brigadier Mike has gone to Monrovia with Issa on this occasion it appears. Is that right, Mr Taylor?

  • That's what - that's the whole problem here. That's right, but, I mean, I'm not sure if we get - well, anyway, yes.

  • Now, any recollection of - well, no --

  • But that's the point. That's what I meant by how we are. That to deal with this as we are sitting now - because I want to make comparisons and different things, I can't get into it right now.

  • Very well. I wonder, Mr President, if we could go into private session, please.

  • Have you got any estimates, Mr Griffiths, of how long this is going to take?

  • Very difficult to say, Mr President.

  • I won't pin you down to that.

  • Yes. Members of the public, we're going to have to go into private session in order to protect the identity of a witness who is the subject of protective measures orders of this Court. This means that you can still see the proceedings, but you won't be able to hear what's being said.

    Madam Court Manager, could you please put the Court into private session.

  • [At this point in the proceedings, a portion of the transcript, pages 29707 to 29709, was extracted and sealed under separate cover, as the proceeding was heard in private session.]

  • [Open session]

  • Your Honour, we are in open session.

  • Mr Taylor, can I just caution you to this extent now: Forget about the witness we were dealing with. We're looking purely at this document as an exhibited document now. Do you understand?

  • And we'll return back to the particular narrative we were looking at at a later stage, do you follow me?

  • And can we have up on the screen now where we left off, please.

    "Pa Rogers: Just as Brigadier Mike had explained about the proceeds before we disbursed the money, we considered the part played by the external delegation, comprising Omrie Golley and General Ibrahim, who had been spending their money to facilitate contacts and to clarify some issues on behalf of our movement."

    Now, remind ourselves, Mr Taylor: Omrie Golley and General Ibrahim, the first two RUF delegates to arrive in Monrovia in April 1999 for airlifting to Lome, yes?

  • That is correct.

  • "We had trust in them, even though they did not put forward any claim for the expenses accrued by them. We think it fit to encourage them, hence the general called me to give the external delegation $8,000 US, which I did. Next, I was not present on the issue about Johnny Paul Koroma. I was made to understand that General Ibrahim was present at the time of that operation. Therefore, General Ibrahim or general adjutant will dilate on that issue what actually was given to him for the other brothers outside there. I could not tell, but we were in dire need of those things so that we can defend our ground to prevent the movement going into disarray. These are the areas that brigadier had not commended on."

    So we go back to the adjutant general:

    "Allow me to say something now with records to what the brigadier had just said about the things received. Those diamonds were with Mosquito when we decided that we would make good use of it by creating an avenue for outside contacts, since the pressure was high against us. Then luckily, General Ibrahim arrived the same day. There and then we all agreed to move to Monrovia to meet the Big Brother. This move coincided with Benjamin leaving for Monrovia also. In this way we met at Koindu, where we checked the 1,832 pieces of diamonds in a nine plastic which was intact. In lieu of this, Bra told Benjamin that they had something that they want to present to Big Brother in Monrovia so that he will help us.

    Immediately Benjamin advised us that for security reasons we should not enter Liberia at the moment, as ECOMOG are hunting for us. Benjamin further said he was instructed to sneak with JP Koroma to Monrovia to avoid suspicion."

    Now I want us to pause there. Let us remind ourselves, Mr Taylor, of some evidence we've heard to the effect that Mosquito's initial trip to Monrovia had to be aborted because of ECOMOG patrols in Monrovia. Do you remember that? Remember some testimony to that effect?

  • Mosquito tried to get to Monrovia, but he couldn't because of ECOMOG patrols. Do you remember that?

  • Well, that's not my recollection of the evidence, so that's why - my recollection is that he's in Monrovia but cannot see me. So it's not aborted. That's my recollection. That he goes to Monrovia, but he doesn't see me, so he has to return.

  • But something was said also, was it not, about ECOMOG?

  • Yes. Yeah, but he's in Monrovia but because of the ECOMOG activities, he cannot see me. This is my recollection.

  • Now, would it be right that in 1998, say, if someone like Sam Bockarie had gone to Liberia, ECOMOG would be interested in picking him up? Would that be right?

  • Well, it depends on the time now, because he would be one of those individuals - if it's closer to February, he would be one of the individuals that they would have an interest in - in speaking to, because the intervention has just occurred. So they would be interested in speaking to him to see what is he doing there. It would cause some problems, but they would be interested in speaking to him.

  • At this stage, Mr Taylor, to your recollection was there a travel ban in place imposed by the United Nations Security Council?

  • I'm not sure if - there was a travel ban that had been imposed by ECOWAS.

  • When had the ECOWAS travel ban been imposed?

  • Which meeting are we talking about?

  • We're talking - well, I'm talking about the committee meeting in Abidjan late '97 when the information reached us that - I was not in the meeting. In fact, it was a foreign ministers meeting - that the AFRC had no intention of giving up power, that they would stay in. And so some actions were taken to begin to deny them travel and some ECOWAS --

  • Give me the date again.

  • I would say this is about the last couple of months of 1997.

  • Right. Okay. So last couple of months of 1997, ECOWAS imposes this travel ban. Was Sam Bockarie on that travel ban?

  • All the senior members of the junta would be on it.

  • Now, let us just put together one or two other facts which are now - which you've testified to already, Mr Taylor. You recall that you tell us that in August 1998 you received some information from your ambassador in Guinea?

  • About members of the RUF wanting to get in touch with you, yes?

  • And that as a result of that contact, yes, you thereafter contact other members of the Committee of Six, yes?

  • And as a consequence of that, Bockarie comes to Liberia for the first time in September 1998?

  • In order for Bockarie to attend in Liberia in September 1998, did you have to get a special dispensation from ECOWAS for them to lift the ban on him travelling?

  • Well, all this committee - this committee was responsible for peace. Once the committee had agreed, that was sufficient. Just as done at the UN. It's a sanctions committee and --

  • Right. So just run that past me again. I'm not sure I understand.

  • The committee is dealing with this particular matter on Sierra Leone, and whenever the committee has to take action, it doesn't have to go back to the entire ECOWAS to say, "Can we do this?" This committee will take a decision upon consulting. That's how we consult each other. And it's okay, and they felt that it was okay; we invited him.

  • Right. Now, bearing that background in mind, okay, August, the letter from the ambassador in Guinea, yes?

  • You contact your colleagues, clearance is given for Bockarie to come in September, yes?

  • Now, from the letter you receive from your ambassador, it was quite clear that members of the RUF wanted to get in touch with you.

  • Now, were you aware then, Mr Taylor, of perhaps an earlier attempt by members of the RUF to enter Liberia before you had gain the clearance when they were having to sneak about because ECOMOG were hunting for them. Do you follow?

  • Yes, I follow. No, I had no prior indication that they wanted to contact us, no.

  • Because until you gain clearance from ECOWAS, if Bockarie, without permission, had entered Liberia, ECOMOG would necessarily be empowered at that stage to pick him up, wouldn't they, prior to you getting clearance?

  • Well, can I say yes and I can say no, and I'm saying no to the word "empowered". There would be maybe - there would be a little technical issue here because they would be acting out of line if they were to just pick somebody, but they would be at liberty to show interest in speaking to him, okay. And I'm deliberately putting it this way because to say that ECOMOG would just pick up somebody and discuss the problem before that we've mentioned to this Court about the 14 February entry of the two helicopters from Sierra Leone, so it would not just be - they would not have - be clothed with the authority to just go and pick up, but they would express interest in wanting to speak to him because the authority on the ground is the Government of Liberia.

  • But I'm looking at the language of this document and also other testimony we've heard regarding ECOMOG and I'm seeking your assistance with this as a possible scenario: Bockarie, et al, want to get in touch with the leader in Monrovia. They try to enter Liberia and they're being hunted by ECOMOG, so that trip is aborted. We then have an approach through the Liberian ambassador to Guinea and thereafter you make contact and now legitimately they can enter Monrovia and in due course you meet them in September. Do you follow me?

  • Yes. That's --

  • Which would make sense of, what, this document. Now, do you know anything about that, Mr Taylor?

  • No, I know nothing about the attempts before. No. But your scenario would be appropriate. That's an appropriate scenario that is expressed here. I know of no attempts before they write my - before my ambassador writes me that they're trying to reach me, no.

  • Now, do you have any idea, Mr Taylor, who this Bra is, B-R-A, being mentioned here on page 5?

  • No, I don't know. I don't know this.

  • Or who is the Benjamin being referred to?

  • I would suspect that they would be talking about Benjamin Yeaten, that's the only Benjamin I have come in come [sic]. But what would Benjamin be doing in Sierra Leone at this time? That's not possible. That's not possible.

  • And the Big Brother in Monrovia, who could that be, I wonder?

  • Well, I don't know if they're referring to - I'm not their brother, but they could be referring to the President of Liberia. They could be referring to me, or maybe somebody else they know there. But I figure that they could be - if they're relating Benjamin, they must be talking about me.

  • "Immediately Benjamin advised us that for security reasons we should not enter Liberia at the moment as ECOMOG are hunting for us. Benjamin further said he was instructed to sneak with JP Koroma to Monrovia to avoid suspicion."

    Know anything about that, Mr Taylor?

  • That's total nonsense that - we have so much evidence before the Court. There was no such thing about Johnny Paul Koroma coming to Monrovia, and then this is contrasting seriously with - now we're hearing that - in fact, if we're looking at this period, Sam Bockarie doesn't come to Liberia, but we've heard that he came. We've heard that he came.

    Now, here is the adjutant here now - I think this is the adjutant speaking - saying that Benjamin advised that he should not enter. So that means that Benjamin - what I'm seeing here is that Benjamin leaving for Monrovia is implying that Benjamin is in Sierra Leone. Well, this is totally impossible. No.

  • "Then Bra replied that JP was not around. He then asked which area is JP presently. Bra said JP is about fairly miles away from where we were at the time, hence Benjamin has to leave. What follows after this was Bra asked me, he said, 'Rash, provide one operator and one bodyguard including Jungle.'"

    Pause there. "Provide one operator and one bodyguard including Jungle." What do you understand by that, Mr Taylor?

  • And who is in a position to provide him?

  • Well, then Bra should be able, whoever this Bra is. Rash is supposed to be providing; I don't know who Rash is.

  • Well, Rash is the adjutant general. So Bra is asking the adjutant general of the RUF to provide Jungle. But I thought Jungle was one of your securities. Do you follow?

  • So why are you allowing the adjutant general of the RUF to provide one of your own securities, unless of course Jungle is a member of the RUF? Do you follow?

  • Jungle is a member of the RUF since '93, surely.

  • "I will be leaving tonight for Monrovia to meet Pa Musa. During that patrol journey we narrowly escaped ECOMOG patrols and arrived at Pa Musa's residence."

    Who's Pa Musa?

  • This could be Musa Cisse. That's the only person I would think about.

  • "We informed him about what we have at hand and our intentions. He agreed with us and said he will brief the Big Brother about our present stance. But when Pa Musa met with Big Brother and explained about our mission he said no, Mosquito should not come for security reasons and he even told us to leave Liberia immediately as information has spread around that we all going to him and that ECOMOG were deployed from that point on to Mabaclay."

    Now, there's much there that we need to dissect. "When Pa Musa met with Big Brother." Remember, they are in Monrovia now, so who is Big Brother?

  • "And explained our mission." Now, was there an occasion, Mr Taylor, when Musa Cisse came to you, Charles Taylor, and said, "Look, there's a couple of people coming here from the RUF. They've got some diamonds. They want to meet with you," and you said, "No, don't let Mosquito come for security reasons. And you know what, guys, you better leave Monrovia quickly because people are talking, word's about that you're here," was there such a meeting?

  • There was no such meeting, no. If anybody had managed to get across the border at this particular time - and I do not know where we can place this time, but we know it is somewhere after February 1998 - I would have been delighted at that particular time to have been able to make contact with the RUF. So there was no such contact.

  • Mabaclay, where is that?

  • No. I think what he's really trying - there is an area near Monrovia called Mount Barclay, two words. Mount Barclay. So I think this person made an error. It's Mount Barclay.

  • "Therefore after we received such advice from Pa Musa we left the same night, hurriedly washing our car which was too dirty because of the bad Lofa road. We reached Gbarnga. Less I forget he told us that if we have anything we should send it with a reliable person but Mosquito should not go there. We arrived at Koindu in the evening and met Benjamin, Memuna and others where we left them and gave them the feedback on our mission. Bra said no problem. This is how God works out things. That he could have been arrested. He said we should write a letter and hand over the 1,832 pieces in nine plastics to the Papay."

    Who's that?

  • They're referring to me.

  • "Bra approved the letter. General Ibrahim, Memuna and Jungle went to Liberia while we returned to Buedu."

    Sounds familiar? Heard that account before, Mr Taylor?

  • In a different way.

  • "When Pa Rogers and others went to Gbarnga later, these diamonds were shown to him. Big Brother told them he is going to reserve them until you (Pa Sankoh) return."

    You see the clear implications of that, don't you, Mr Taylor?

  • You were given 1,832 pieces of diamonds for safekeeping until Sankoh returns. Were you?

  • I was not. But don't let's forget we're talking about a different set of people here now. These 1,800 people, this is about almost a third group that's supposed to be involved with getting this to me.

  • "With regards to the 244 pieces that we sold, I have the record in a ledger showing the quantity and everything. The sales were followed by the arrival of external delegation selling drugs and other brothers. Bra called JP, Pa Rogers, CO Mike, Dr Williams, other authorities, including two other brothers who were assisting us in getting drugs, food and other necessities outside that were needed at the front line. We haggled on the price of gems. We agreed at $17,000 US which was paid later. $1,000 was given to Johnny Paul for his feeding; $800 was given to Mr Golley and Ibrahim; and the remaining amount was used in buying more rice and the needed items such as cigarettes, et cetera, that the boys needed upfront. These items arrived recently, although $500 was given to us when we left with Brigadier Issa."

    Now, that transaction, Mr Taylor, sale of 244 pieces which realised a grand total of $17,000 US, do you know anything about that?

  • No, I don't know. I don't know anything about it.

  • Could I have a moment, please, Mr President.

  • Over the page, please:

    "I was seriously sick with open mold for about two months but I believe JRR, one of our security, can brief you better on that sir."

    So then junior Rambo intervenes:

    "Yes, sir. Pertaining to the diamonds that general handed over to Brigadier Issa, I was with general when these pieces were brought from Kono. Among the gem was an 11-carat pieces. The general held a meeting with some senior officers who told them that the war had reached a stage wherein we needed external assistants to make contacts for ammunition in Burkina Faso."

    Mr Taylor, Burkina Faso? Why not Liberia?

  • Well, I guess they know we don't have weapons, so - but this has been the normal route, I guess.

  • "Thus Brigadier Issa, a senior member in the movement, was given the said document to hand over the same to General Ibrahim in Burkina Faso. Issa was also given the diamonds and briefed on how best he could travel with it to Monrovia, then Burkina Faso. He left Koindu with SS security like Colonel Jungle that the leader had assigned to us for such operation. He was on this mission. This Colonel Jungle, they high command instructed him that they should secure Issa on to Liberia. From there the high command further instructed Issa to try his level best to reach Burkina Faso to meet General Ibrahim for the said diamond sales. He was on this until we heard from Jungle that he dropped these diamonds in Monrovia. The commander immediately summoned Brigadier Issa to report back to the base. Jungle went to receive him as he reached at the base."

    "Foday Sankoh: Stop. So the mission was not accomplished?

    Pa Rogers: Yes, sir."

    Next we come to:

    "Discipline the behaviour of Brigadier Superman: H