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

  • Please proceed, Mr Anyah.

  • Thank you, Madam President. Good morning, counsel.

  • Good morning, Mr Witness.

  • Good morning, sir.

  • Mr Lansana, when we left off yesterday I recall that I had read you a passage from one of the statements or interview notes from the Office of the Prosecution dated 1 February 2007 and I recall your last statement to the Chamber was that the paragraph I read you was in error. So let me commence by asking you to confirm that statement. The statement comes from tab 5, page 33 and it was as follows:

    "The witness once again states that during the time period from 1998 until 2000 he did not monitor any communication between Liberia and Sierra Leone. He was not aware of any communications between RUF commanders and NPFL commanders (Example: Foday Sankoh, Sam Bockarie and Charles G Taylor and Benjamin Yeaten)."

    So, Mr Lansana, do you confirm that this statement is in error?

  • Yes.

  • Thank you. Yesterday we talked very briefly about Monrovia and your visit there in December 1999 and you told us about meeting Benjamin Yeaten and Ibrahim Bah for the first time. I recall you saying that you met Mr Yeaten at the guesthouse, correct?

  • And in some of your statements to the Office of the Prosecutor you described the guesthouse as an NPFL guesthouse, true?

  • Yes.

  • And this was December 1999, yes?

  • Are you aware of the fact that by December 1999 there was no entity called the NPFL?

  • What I mean about the word NPFL was a military wing that brought about the government under the leadership of Mr Charles Ghankay Taylor. So when I said NPFL I was referring to the military or armed wing of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia.

  • Well, as of August 1997 there was no National Patriotic Front of Liberia; true or false?

  • Yes, you are right that there was no NPFL but I spoke - I said so because I was considering the military wing of the government.

  • So the military wing of the Liberian government you described as being the NPFL in December 1999, is that your evidence?

  • That is how I considered it according to my speech.

  • Let's speak briefly about the events leading up to the invasion of Freetown on 6 January 1999. You told us on Friday that on 6 January you were in Lunsar, yes?

  • Yes.

  • And you were there with Superman, were you not?

  • And another group of RUF - rather AFRC or SLA members had made their way from Rosos into Freetown and they were led by Gullit, right?

  • Gullit, Alex Tamba Brima, that's to whom you're referring, right?

  • And while you and Dennis Mingo were in Lunsar you were waiting for another group of reinforcements from Kono which included Issa Sesay as well as Morris Kallon, yes?

  • Yes.

  • Now did Morris Kallon and Issa Sesay eventually arrive where you and Dennis Mingo were?

  • Please rephrase that question.

  • I will repeat the question which is the reinforcements you were waiting for, as in Issa Sesay and Morris Kallon, did they arrive in Lunsar when you and Dennis Mingo were there?

  • And when they arrived how much time had passed - well, I withdraw that. Had 6 January 1997 [sic] come or arrived when Mingo - when Sesay and Kallon were in Lunsar with you?

  • At no time did Issa Sesay, Morris Kallon or Superman ever stay with me at Lunsar.

  • But you just told us that you were there with Dennis Mingo?

  • Yes, indeed, I was there with Dennis Mingo but I never stayed together with Issa Sesay, Morris Kallon and Superman together.

  • Mr Witness, I think the question is did they arrive, not where they stayed.

  • Yes, that's the question indeed:

  • Would you like me to repeat the question, Mr Witness?

  • I'm asking whether this group of reinforcements you were expecting, Issa Sesay and Morris Kallon, whether they did in fact arrive at Lunsar and meet you there with Dennis Mingo?

  • No, they met us in Waterloo.

  • Was this at the time of the retreat from Waterloo to Makeni?

  • No, before the retreat.

  • This was before the retreat and did you go to Waterloo from Lunsar?

  • But in Freetown was Gullit, yes?

  • Yes.

  • And Gullit was the - did you say strike force commander?

  • He was the overall commander for the Rosos group.

  • But on Friday you said he was the task force commander in Freetown, is that fair to say?

  • The question that was posed to me was that how did I consider Gullit according to the communication on the BBC and I said he did say that he had already identified himself and that according to Sam Bockarie that he was the task force commander.

  • Okay, that's fair enough. Now you told us there was communication between the various groups that were participating in the invasion of Freetown. Specifically you said there was communication from Kono from Sam Bockarie to Superman, yes?

  • Objection. The counsel has misstated the evidence.

  • In what way, Mr Santora?

  • The witness never said that there was Freetown [sic] from Sam Bockarie from Kono.

  • What does the record say? I thought I said --

  • Mr Anyah, the recorded question is there was communication from Kono from Sam Bockarie to Superman. Are you saying that that is what - putting to the witness that he said that?

  • Yes. He said on Friday that Superman communicated with Dennis Mingo and he said --

  • Well, if I may have a moment, your Honour.

  • Mr Santora, I'm sure you probably meant to say something different but your objection reads this way: "Objection. Counsel has misstated the evidence." Then the reason you give is, "The witness never said that there was Freetown from Sam Bockarie from Kono." It doesn't make sense. You meant to say something different I think.

  • I believe that maybe perhaps I spoke too quickly and they didn't pick up my speech. I said that the witness never said that there was communication from Freetown to Sam Bockarie from Kono and the point being "Sam Bockarie from Kono" is in my submission a misstatement of the evidence.

  • I will just rephrase the question.

  • Yes, in the circumstances I think that's the appropriate thing to do, Mr Anyah.

  • Mr Witness, you were asked this question on Friday and you gave this answer, the page of the transcript is page number 4552 and it's 22 February 2008 starting at line 1:

    "Q. At this point can you say generally which groups were

    communicating with each other?

    A. Yes. The group that was in Kono was in communication

    with Superman and at the same time the group that was in

    Rosos was also in communication with Superman and the

    communication used to flow from one point to the other

    based on the advancement of that particular group.

    Q. How do you know this?

    A. It was through the communication."

    Do you recall giving those responses to those questions on Friday?

  • And you went on to say specifically you knew about developments that were occurring in the events leading up to the invasion from situation reports. Do you recall that?

  • Yes.

  • You also said separate and distinct from situation reports that you also knew what was going on because you yourself monitored communications amongst the various groups, true?

  • Indeed you were asked a question and this is on page 4560 of that same day's transcript starting at line 8. You were asked the question:

    "Q. What were you doing in Lunsar at that time?

    A. I was with Superman and I used to monitor

    communication in Lunsar

    Q. You said that Sam Bockarie was in communication with

    Gullit during the Freetown invasion. How do you know that?

    A. Because I used to monitor the net between Sam Bockarie

    and Gullit and other commanders that had communication

    sets."

    Do you recall telling this Chamber those answers on Friday last week?

  • Yes.

  • So it would be fair to say that there were two ways in which you knew what was going on at this time; situation reports and through your own monitoring activities of the net. Correct?

  • I wonder if Madam Court Officer could assist me, please. I will be referring to tab 2 in the Defence set of documents, pages 28 through 29.

  • Mr Witness, this is a transcript from your interview with the Prosecution on 21 November 2003. On page 28 I will be reading from lines 18 through to the next page:

    "Q. How do you know that they were at Rosos?

    A. They all passed us from Makeni, as I told you, after

    that forum concerning the information received from

    Kailahun, and they told us that they were moving towards

    that end. Any time they used to communicate we used to get

    circulation that they have reached so-so point, so-so-so

    point, within the camp.

    Q. That's leading me to the next question.

    A. Okay.

    Q. Was there any communication going on between these AFRC

    commanders and the RUF commanders?

    A. Yes. After they, I mean, sort out their indifference

    there was communication between them.

    Q. Did you monitor some of the communication between these

    two groups?"

    I'm sorry, may I have a moment, your Honours? I have to consult with our client for a second. I'm sorry to do this. Thank you.

    Madam President, Mr Taylor is not feeling well at this time and I have been advised as such and it may be a matter that requires consultation with a doctor quite immediately and with leave of the Court we would ask that the proceedings stop at this point

  • Just let me be clear. First of all, should Mr Taylor be taken out now? Yes. Please escort Mr Taylor and ensure that he gets medical attention as soon as possible and other matters I will deal with - procedural matters I can deal with in his absence. If it requires a short adjournment for instructions that will be given.

  • Your Honour, I wonder if I could just interrupt to say this. I've consulted with Mr Taylor and he's quite happy for the cross-examination of this witness to continue in his absence.

  • Pursuant to Rule 60. Therefore I - you can allow Mr Taylor to go out and, as I said before, we will then deal with these procedural matters. Please assist the accused to leave.

  • [In the absence of the accused]

  • Now that the immediate problem of getting Mr Taylor seen to medically is put in hand let us continue with what you were saying, Mr Griffiths.

  • Your Honour, I spoke to Mr Taylor and he's quite happy for the proceedings to continue in the sense of Mr Anyah's cross-examination of this witness in his absence and we see no reason why the proceedings ought to be delayed, because the matter has been dealt with, instructions have already been taken from Mr Taylor on this particular witness. It seems to us that there would be no injustice caused by Mr Anyah's cross-examination continuing at this point.

  • Thank you for that, Mr Griffiths. It's most helpful.

    In the light of Mr Griffiths's information to the Bench we will continue pursuant to Rule 60(B) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. Mr Anyah, please continue.

  • Thank you, Madam President:

  • Mr Lansana, I was reading you an excerpt from your interview on 21 November 2003 and I was now on page 29. I will just start from page 28 again, line 18, ERN number 00037775:

    "Q. How do you know that they were at Rosos?

    A. They all passed us from Makeni, as I told you, after

    that forum concerning the information received from

    Kailahun, and they told us that they were moving towards

    that end. At any time they used to communicate we used to

    get circulation that they have reached so-so point,

    so-so-so point, within the camp.

    Q. That's leading me to the next question.

    A. Okay.

    Q. Was there any communication going on between the AFRC

    commanders and the RUF commanders?

    A. Yes. After they, I mean, sort out their difference

    there was communication between them.

    Q. Did you monitor some of the communication between these

    two groups?

    A. No, but I used to get information from Super because in

    the evening he can brief some of his close bodyguards when

    they are nearby."

    That's what you told the Prosecution in November 2003, correct?

  • A point of correction, please. This tab was not an interview one on one. It was recorded on a tape recorder and I want you to make a specific visit to points 4 and 5 saying that I didn't monitor some of the communication between the two groups, yes.

  • Did you make an amendment to the statement, is that what you're telling the Court?

  • During my interview if the tape were around that could also be pointed out. It was very explicit that I could recall that they asked me another question whether I monitored all, I said no, that is quite impossible. It was an interview on a tape recorder.

  • Well, I am telling you that this is a transcription of any words that you said during this interview. Are you saying this is an error?

  • This is what I am saying. It was later recorded through writing, but it was a tape recorder that - I remember precisely that this interview was conducted between myself and a lady and the investigator was around monitoring. So I cannot recall saying that I did not monitor any communication at that particular time. I monitored some communication, but not all.

  • So, Mr Witness, what you're saying to the Court is that this transcript and this passage I have just referred to does not accurately reflect what you said to the Prosecution --

  • May I finish my question, please?

  • Sorry.

  • What you're telling the Court is that this passage from this transcript that I have just read does not accurately reflect the statement you made to the Office of the Prosecution on 21 November 2003, yes?

  • Well, let's take a look at the next page and see if you recall saying this.

  • I will read from lines 12 through 20 if it please the Court. Mr Lansana, the area of questioning now involves how you knew what was going on in Freetown and here is what you told the Prosecution on 21 November 2003:

    "Q. So can you tell us about any plan that was made,

    either by RUF or AFRC, or by the two of them, to attack

    Freetown on January 6th, 1999?

    A. No. No. The group that entered Freetown were directly

    under the command of Bazzy, Gullit, and the entire men or

    command structure within Rosos, and we were far from that

    particular point. So --

    Q. But how did you know that it was the group which was

    based at Rosos that invaded Freetown on January 6th, 1999?

    How did you know that?

    A. I got to know that when we enter Pademba, and even now

    there are people who discuss it on daily basis in Pademba."

    That's what you told the Prosecution in November 2003, true? True or false that is what you told them?

  • False.

  • I put it to you, Mr Lansana, that in respect of everything you have told this Court about the invasion of Freetown in January 1999 you heard all of that from fellow prisoners or inmates at Pademba Road ,true or false?

  • False.

  • Let us speak about Martin Moinama for a second. You told us last Friday that Moinama during this invasion of Freetown, 6 January '99, was found at Pademba Road prison by Gullit and that the communication came from Sam Bockarie regarding Martin Moinama. Do you recall that?

  • We are speaking of the same person, right?

  • Did you tell us Sam Bockarie radioed a message to Gullit regarding Moinama when Moinama was found in Freetown in January 1999?

  • Specifically you said that Moinama was the person who prosecuted, that was the word you used, Foday Sankoh during his treason trial and later it was clarified that you meant he was a witness against Foday Sankoh and that they found Moinama in Pademba Road and Bockarie ordered him to be executed or killed, yes?

  • He was a Prosecution witness against Mr Sankoh in his last trial in 1998.

  • That was not what I'm asking you about. I'm asking you of a radio communication from Bockarie ordering that Moinama be killed. Did you say that to the Court on Friday?

  • And you said that that communication was from Bockarie to Gullit, yes?

  • And you said that Gullit carried out that execution of Moinama, yes?

  • And you told us that you knew that the communication came from Bockarie because you were monitoring or you listened to the communication over the radio, yes?

  • And then counsel asked you this question, I'm reading from page 4562 of Friday's transcript starting at line 26. Counsel asked you:

    "Q. How do you know he carried out that instruction? How

    do you know Gullit carried out that instruction?

    A. I knew it when Gibril Massaquoi who was on the scene

    arrived in Lunsar along with other combatants from

    Freetown."

    Over to the next page, page 4563:

    "Q. So when Gibril Massaquoi arrived in Lunsar with other

    combatants, when was that?

    A. It was after they had been pushed out of Freetown in

    1999."

    So you knew that in fact Gullit was - sorry, I withdraw that. You knew that in fact Martin Moinama was killed when Gibril Massaquoi came to Lunsar, yes?

  • Yes, it was confirmed that he was executed, but the instruction was given by Sam Bockarie on the air.

  • Was it Massaquoi who told you that, yes, Gullit - that, yes, Moinama had been executed?

  • Gibril Massaquoi said it and other combatants proved that he was executed based on the instruction given by Sam Bockarie.

  • And when you met with the Office of the Prosecution in January of 2007, specifically 17 January, you told them who carried out the execution. You said it was Alhaji Conteh or Black Jesus, yes?

  • Yes.

  • He was the triggerman or the person who actually did the deed, yes?

  • Madam Court Officer, if you could assist me, please. I will be referring to tab 1, page 21 from the witness's interview with the Office of the Prosecution on 17 November 2003. The ERN number on that page is 00037118 and I will start at line 17.

  • Mr Lansana, you were asked the question - actually, your Honours, it might be best if I were to start from page 20 for contextual reasons and that will be the last line, line 15, and there's a question posed to you:

    "Q. Who was now in charge of the communication in Kangari

    Hills?

    A. Kangari Hill?

    Q. Yeah.

    A. One Martin Moinama, who - Martin Moinama was in charge.

    Q. And where is Martin Moinama now?

    A. Really, I cannot give a specific location of Martin

    Moinama, but according to other information that I got, he

    was the one that prosecuted Mr Sankoh in 1990 - the last

    case that he got, that he was condemned, yeah, he was the

    one who do the Prosecution. So I cannot tell his

    whereabouts now and I have not seen him from that time."

    This is what you told the Prosecution in 2003?

  • That is what is recorded on this tab.

  • But you did not tell them that Martin Moinama was dead, true? True?

  • Yes, yes.

  • Yes you did not tell them, correct?

  • Yes or no, did you tell them?

  • No, I did not tell them.

  • You did not tell them that Alhaji Conteh killed Martin Moinama, true or false?

  • Yes, but I also revealed it to them that Martin was executed by Alhaji Conteh.

  • You told them this information on 17 November 2003, is that your evidence?

  • On the day that this interview was recorded you told them that information, that's what you're telling the Court?

  • I am putting it to you that you only mentioned that Martin Moinama was killed when you spoke with them in January 2007, true or false?

  • It was in 2007, yes.

  • So the first time you told them Alhaji Conteh or Black Jesus killed Martin Moinama was in 2007, right?

  • In 2003, however, you did not know the whereabouts of Martin Moinama, yes?

  • I never had a complete clue on the information that I gave. I mean the information was not actually put through to them that Martin was killed at that particular time.

  • Well, let me suggest --

  • Mr Witness, I'm having trouble understanding that answer. The question was in 2003 did you know where Martin Moinama was.

  • No. It was one of the points that I based my information on that I cannot give information or continue to give information to the Special Court if they wanted me to be a witness, because Martin who had served as Prosecution witness against Mr Sankoh was killed when the troops of the RUF and the junta entered Freetown on January 6 and Martin was recaptured by those troops under Gullit's command and he was executed because he never had protection. So that was my point of contention, that I would not want to be a witness based on this experience until the security was put in place.

  • So your evidence to the Court is as a result of the death of Martin Moinama you were reluctant to be a Prosecution witness, is that your evidence?

  • Yes, very fine, from 2003.

  • And when they interviewed you on 17 November 2003 when they came to this particular issue of Kangari Hills and Martin Moinama you told them that it was one of the points of contention you did not wish to speak about. Is that a fair assumption to make?

  • From the initial stage that had been my ground, because I never wanted to be a victim after giving my testimony or anything that had to do with the war, after giving my information I would not want be a victim because Martin had already been a victim and he was executed after he had given testimony against Mr Sankoh.

  • But this account of your concerns that you echoed to the Prosecution is not recorded in this interview, is it?

  • This is what I am saying. I said this was a recorded information. I was interviewed and it was only later that this material were written, but it was a tape recording. So --

  • Your Honours, the witness is running too fast for me, please.

  • Pause, Mr Witness, please. The interpreter is having a problem keeping up with you. Please speak more slowly. Please repeat the last part of your answer.

  • Thank you, madam. What I am trying to say with regards this particular interview, I was contesting and arguing that I will not serve as a witness because Martin Moinama, a radio operator, who served as Prosecution witness in the 1998 trial of Mr Sankoh was executed because he did not have security or protection in Freetown and it was based on this information that I was not in position to serve as a witness at this moment.

  • So your evidence is that you told them all of that you have told us now and it is not reflected in this transcript, yes?

  • Yes, this is what I am saying, it was not recorded in this transcript.

  • But yesterday I read you another paragraph in tab 5 where you expressed concerns about your security in relation to other prisoners at Pademba Road and the Prosecution did record those concerns. Do you recall that?

  • But in the case of your concerns relative to Martin Moinama they did not record that, yes?

  • Yes, it is not recorded as I can see on the script.

  • Madam Court Officer, can we go to tab 16, please:

  • Mr Witness, I had shown you this document previously from the High Court of Sierra Leone. It is the case of the state or the people in Sierra Leone against Foday Sankoh, yourself and others and we have reviewed it on Friday, I believe, and if you look three lines down from Mr Sankoh's name you see the name "Alhaji Conteh (alias Black Jesus)". Do you see that?

  • Black Jesus was one of the defendants in your criminal case in Sierra Leone, yes?

  • Black Jesus was --

  • He was one of the defendants in your criminal case in Sierra Leone, true?

  • Black Jesus was with you at Pademba Road prison, correct?

  • I put it to you that the entire story you have told us about the death of Martin Moinama, you heard that story while you were at Pademba Road prison; true or false?

  • Madam Court Officer, I would like the documents in tabs 13 and 14 to be displayed, please. Tab 13, page 1:

  • Mr Witness, these are records kept by the Special Court in this case the first page by the Office of the Prosecution regarding money that they gave to you and on page 1 we see that on 23 January 2007, 97,000 leones were given to you and the reason for the money - your Honours, it's number 3 on page 1 of tab 13?

  • My page 1 is all blank so maybe it's on - let me have the figures again, please, Mr Anyah.

  • Yes, Madam President. 97,000 leones.

  • I think that might be on page 2 of ours. Is it broken into two bits, 37,000 and 60,000 leones respectively?

  • Yes, Madam President.

  • In that case it's on page 2. Thank you, I've found it.

  • Perhaps you have a different version than I have. I understand why. I am using an older version and I should revert to the newer version.

  • I wouldn't bother, Mr Anyah. The page 1 on the version that we have doesn't have any figures on it at all, so you're probably better off starting at page 2.

  • Mr Witness, the entry on entry 5 says that on 23 January 2007 you were given 97,000 leones and the indication is for medication required for witness, meals and drinks provided to both witness and escort of Pademba Road. That is an accurate account of what you were given on 23 January, true?

  • Mr Witness, were you interviewed on that day, on 23 January 2007?

  • Pardon me, sir?

  • Were you interviewed by the Prosecution on 23 January 2007?

  • When the money was given to me?

  • Can I ask you this. It says that you were escorted from Pademba Road. Is it fair to say you were taken to the Special Court on that day?

  • Yes.

  • And you met with representatives of the Office of the Prosecution on that day, true?

  • How long were you at the Special Court on that day?

  • I cannot precisely tell.

  • Did they ask you questions on that day and did you give answers to them?

  • I came in with a medical report regarding ulcer that I was suffering from and the prisons also reminded them that the medicine was not available, so I was escorted by a prison officer in order for me to receive this money for the medication.

  • That is not my question. My question is when you were at the Special Court meeting with the Office of the Prosecution did they ask you questions and did you give answers; yes or no?

  • No.

  • They did not ask you any questions?

  • It was at the end of the interviews that I received this money based on the medical report that I came in with.

  • So there was an interview, yes?

  • What I am trying to say, I brought the medical report and after the investigation they deemed it necessary to give this money --

  • Your Honours, the witness is still going too fast.

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter is having trouble keeping up with you, so again speak a bit more slowly, as you were doing, and repeat the last part of your answer.

  • What I am trying to say, there was a medical report from the prison that I was suffering from ulcer and it was based on this information that I was escorted by a prison officer to the Special Court on the above date, 23 January 2007, and on completion of the day this amount was handed over to me for that purpose.

  • Mr Lansana, we understand that they gave you money to get medical treatment. What I want to know, before they gave you money they asked you questions and you gave answers, yes?

  • I cannot recall precisely in case of this date whether I was interviewed.

  • You cannot recall?

  • But they went to the trouble to take you all the way from the prison to the Special Court, is that your evidence?

  • And the only thing you remember is that they gave you money at the end of some period of time you spent with them. Is that your evidence?

  • Your Honour, for the record I would just note going back to the document I gave the Court yesterday delineating the interview dates with the witness that we have no record of this meeting with the Office of the Prosecution and nothing was disclosed to us about 23 January 2007:

  • Now, Mr Witness, the next entry on this sheet - (Madam Court Officer, if you could go back to the disbursement itemisation.) Entry number 6 does correspond to a date on which we have notes for your interview, 1 February 2007, and on 1 February 2007 you were given the sum of 25,000 leones, 15,000 of which was for meals for witness and Pademba Road prison guard and 10,000 for medicines required for witness. Do you recall that, Mr Witness?

  • This was the amount that was consumed whilst I was with them in the place. They gave me this money to buy food for that particular day.

  • I understand. I'm simply asking if they gave you money on that day and did they give you these amounts? Is your answer yes?

  • No, what I am saying is that the money was used by them to feed me, but it was not handed over to me.

  • And the money for medicines, did they have the medicines there for you or did they hand you the money?

  • They used the money to buy some tablets that I was using in order to cure myself.

  • I see. We then have an entry in number 7 for 6 February 2007 and it says, "Meals provided for clarification interview with investigations" and the amount in question being 15,000 leones. Mr Witness, on that day, 6 February, when it says, "Meals provided for clarification interview" you were interviewed by the Prosecution, yes?

  • Your Honours, for the record we do not have any indications that an interview occurred on 6 February. We have no records of that interview:

  • The next entry is from 15 February 2007 and this does correspond to a date on which we have records that you were interviewed. It says that you were given again the sum of 15,000 leones, the reason being, "Meals provided to witnesses (as prison escort) during clarification interviews with investigations". Mr Witness, do you recall being given that sum of money on 15 February 2007?

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. The next entry, I believe that would be Wednesday 30 May 2007. Mr Witness, in May of 2007 it says you were given the sum of 150,000 leones, 100,000 of which was for, "Assistance with schooling of two children (prior to coming under WVS)" and 50,000 of which was funds provided for clothing. Do you recall being given that sum of money on 30 May 2007?

  • Yes.

  • Mr Anyah, you named a number of children which on our copies has been redacted. I don't know if that is significant or not.

  • Yes. When it came out as soon as I spoke it - I am going off another copy, an earlier version, and parts of mine are redacted but this particular part is not and then in the version that was disclosed to us most recently it is redacted there. I mean, I can show the Prosecution the copy I have. It's slightly earlier in date than what is on the teleprompter and so we could strike that number if it's a problem, but I don't see why it is given his testimony yesterday.

  • Mr Santora, it appears you're being invited to reply.

  • Thank you, your Honour. I would just ask if it's possible to use the redacted - the reason why the redactions are there - they are there for a purpose and if counsel can just refer to the redacted copy if he's going to continue --

  • Do you require --

  • As far as this particular item I would request that it be redacted.

  • Why is that, Mr Santora? I do recall evidence yesterday.

  • I stand to be corrected. I'm just - in terms of the evidence counsel was referring to, if the witness named a number of children in his evidence, if that is in the record already then I will not request redaction at this point.

  • Unfortunately I cannot recall whether it was in the private session or not.

  • I think it was in the private session, but I will say this, two points: One, I am also operating out of a redacted version. It just happens that redactions between the two versions are not consistent.

    Second, I don't see how a number can in any way, shape or form cause problems in the realm of issues that counsel is concerned with. I don't see how acknowledging that someone has children or how many they have can pose a problem in this context. I frankly do not.

  • A lot of evidence has been given in open session, I don't think this requires a redaction, but in the light of Mr Santora's reservations perhaps in the future if you would respect some of those redactions.

  • Yes and I will just work off the copy that it appears everybody has which is the one that appears on the overhead projector. May we continue, Madam Court Officer, please:

  • Now, Mr Witness, I believe you may have given a response to the question already. Did you say you do not recall being given this 150,000 leones on 30 May 2007?

  • I have not responded to that question. I said yes.

  • Yes means you received the money?

  • Yes, indeed, I received this money.

  • Thank you, sir. The next entry is from 14 June 2007 and it indicates you were given the sum of 135 ,000 leones for, "School uniform/costume required for children". Do you recall being given that sum of money on 14 June 2007?

  • Yes.

  • The next entry, entry 11, is from 16 July of last year and it confirms that you were given 30,000 leones for communication purposes. Do you recall being given that money on 16 July 2007?

  • And down to the 12th entry --

  • Mr Anyah, ours is redacted in part so I hope yours is.

  • Yes, it is. I am working off the same version now:

  • Entry 12, 31 October 2007. Mr Witness, the amount in question again is 30,000 leones and the reason that it says you were given this money is for Celtel top up to communicate with. Now do you recall receiving that sum of money on 31 October 2007?

  • Yes.

  • Madam Court Officer, is there - the last page, I suspect. Yes, could you place that, please:

  • Now entry number 13 which is from last month in this year, 18 January 2008, says that you were given the sum of 75,000 leones and the category given is education. Mr Lansana, did they give you 75,000 leones last month?

  • And you see the total amounts in question at the bottom and the number of payments, a total of nine payments for 572,000 leones. Does that sound about right to you, Mr Lansana?

  • Yes.

  • Madam Court Officer, there's a document in tab 14, if we could see that document, please:

  • Mr Lansana, the Court's Witnesses and Victims Section has kept a record of all the money the Court has given to you and it's different from the one you got from the Office of the Prosecution and I want to ask you some questions about that. Madam Court Officer, if you could scroll the document up so that he could see the figures in question.

    Mr Lansana, this document says - where it says number 2, "Subsistence Allowance" it says:

    "Witness was brought into WVS protective care on 5 April 2007. To date he has been paid a total of 5,952,800 leones as subsistence allowance."

    Mr Witness, is that a fair categorisation of how much you have received in subsistence allowance?

    Madam President, I will ask a question but to correct the LiveNote it reads "categorisation" and I believe that's what I said, but I meant characterisation. I would ask the witness a question again so we can --

  • First of all, Mr Witness, you've had a chance to look at this document?

  • Yes, ma'am.

  • Are you ready to answer questions on it?

  • Thank you, Madam President:

  • My question is this, this figure 5,952,800 leones, does that figure fairly and accurately reflect the amount you have received from Witnesses and Victims Section for subsistence allowance?

  • I believe so, yes.

  • And in addition to that they have also paid for medical, yes?

  • And you see the figure there 203,000 leones?

  • And that also sounds about right?

  • Yes.

  • They have paid for child care in the amount of 644,000 leones, yes?

  • And that also sounds about right, true?

  • They have paid for transportation in the amount of 500,000 leones, yes?

  • And then there's a category of miscellaneous regarding which it is said they have paid approximately 926,200 leones, true?

  • And then we get to rent, maintenance and utility bills. Mr Lansana, it says here that they have spent 3,328 United States dollars for your rent, maintenance and utility bills. Is that correct?

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. Your Honour, may I have a moment, please? I have no further questions at this time. I tender the witness.

  • Thank you, Mr Anyah. Mr Santora, have you re-examination of the witness?

  • I do, your Honour. One moment, I just need to adjust my microphone. Thank you.

  • Good morning, Mr Witness.

  • Good morning, sir.

  • I just want to ask you some questions about some of the issues that Defence counsel asked you about this morning and yesterday. Now yesterday you agreed with Defence counsel when he told you about a previous statement you gave to investigators on 16 January 2007 where you told investigators from the Office of the Prosecution that you were afraid for your safety in Pademba. Is that correct?

  • Why were you afraid for your safety in Pademba?

  • Number one, with reference to Martin Moinama's death, that had been the number one objection that I made to the Special Court when they visited me in the year 2003. I said that I was the communication officer of the RUF and that I had information to give to the Special Court, but based on this experience I cannot go further with any explanation, that is detailed explanation in relation to the revolution.

    Point number two, my colleagues and other members of the RUF have surrounded me at Pademba Road prisons. So any step I make out of Pademba Road prisons were being monitored by them. Just in case anything happens during that time I could be a victim like Martin Moinama

  • Now you said that when you met with investigators in 2007 you said that you were afraid for your safety. Now was this also the situation in 2003?

  • Definitely, yes.

  • In 2003 who were you afraid of?

  • I was afraid for my security because I was in prison and during that time anything can happen as it happened in the case of Martin Moinama.

  • Mr Interpreter, did the witness say "I was afraid for my security" or "of my security"?

  • When you say you were afraid for your security, who specifically were you afraid for your security from?

  • The ex-combatants who were with me in prison, I was afraid for them not to get the source of my information that I was giving to the Special Court. There was every possibility that I could be poisoned or if there was any turmoil in the country I could be a target to them in prison.

  • Now you said that when you met with the Special Court with investigators from the Office of the Prosecution in 2003 you told them you were a communication officer and you had information but, "Based on this experience I cannot go further with any explanation, that is detailed explanation in relation to the revolution." What did you mean when you told OTP investigators that you could not go further with any explanation, that is detailed explanation in relation to the revolution, when you met with OTP investigators in 2003?

  • What I'm trying to say is that I was speaking with the investigator, but I had a lot of reservation in my information based on this - on Martin Moinama's experience. It was - this was overemphasised to the investigator and a lawyer that I went through even up to 2007.

  • Now this morning Defence counsel was asking you about an individual called Alhaji Conteh alias Black Jesus. When you gave your statement to the Office of the Prosecution in 2003 do you know if he was in Pademba Road at that time?

  • And was he there or not?

  • He was there, yes.

  • Now you again met with the Office of the Prosecution and I'm referring the witness now to tab 5 on page --

  • Is this the Defence bundle?

  • I'm sorry, your Honour, yes, this is the Defence bundle that he had previously been shown. Tab 5 which would be page 3, ERN 00037713, and this is with regards to the - if the witness's attention can be pointed to the fifth bullet point down the page which reads starting page 21 line 23 through 24:

  • Now, Mr Witness, this is an interview note from a statement taken by you on 16 January 2007 at the Special Court at the Office of the Prosecution with Joseph Saffa and Steven Niemi. Do you remember this interview?

  • I'm sorry to interrupt, it's actually 17 January.

  • I apologise. That is correct:

  • An interview that was taken on 17 January 2007. Do you remember this, at the Special Court?

  • Now with regard to the section I pointed out, when you met with investigators on that day according to this interview note you looked at your prior statement from 17 November 2003 and you wished to make a change by adding the following:

    "That he is aware that Martin was killed under the instructions of Mosquito and he was killed by Alhaji Conteh (alias Black Jesus) under the instructions of Sam Bockarie at New England Ville, Freetown and this would have taken place during the January 6th invasion. The reason for the execution was because, according to Sam Bockarie, Martin was the one who prosecuted Foday Sankoh and he was a traitor. The witness is aware of this information because he was monitoring the radio set at Lunsar, Sierra Leone. The information would have been from an actual conversation he heard between Mosquito and Gullit."

    Now did you tell investigators from the OTP this when you met with them on 17 January 2007?

  • Yes.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. Now yesterday the Defence counsel was asking you about questions regarding the time you met with Benjamin Yeaten and you said during the course of your testimony here that you were introduced by Foday Sankoh on 22 December 1999 at the guesthouse in Monrovia. The Defence counsel then pointed you to a statement taken 1 February and I now will refer to tab 5 in the Defence bundle. I apologise. One moment, your Honour. I just want to make sure I have the right reference.

  • Counsel, perhaps I could point you to the page. There are two of them. The first one is on page 34 and then perhaps you're looking for the one on page 35, tab 5.

  • Yes, thank you:

  • Now yesterday Defence counsel pointed you to a prior statement you gave on 1 February 2007 and within which there was no mention that you were introduced by Foday Sankoh to Benjamin Yeaten as you said that you were in court. Do you remember that?

  • Pardon me, please?

  • Let me rephrase the question. Yesterday when Defence counsel was asking you questions about when you went to Monrovia and had a conversation with Benjamin Yeaten in December of 1999 - do you remember when he was asking you questions about that?

  • Yes.

  • And you said that you were introduced to Benjamin Yeaten by Foday Sankoh on the day that you arrived in Monrovia, 22 December 1999. You said that in your testimony, is that correct?

  • Now yesterday Defence counsel pointed you out to a prior statement that you had given to the Office of the Prosecution on 1 February 2007 in which in that statement there's no mention that Sankoh introduced you to Yeaten. Do you remember when he pointed that out to you?

  • Yes, I remember it, but my statement, the two statements do not contradict each other. What I can precisely remember, the question was posed to me how did I get to know the detail about the house as NPFL - as an NPFL guesthouse and I said that Rashid Foday who was in charge gave me the details and he made me to understand that Sam Bockarie was in Monrovia at that particular time. That was completely different from the information regarding Mr Sankoh introducing me to Benjamin Yeaten for further operation. So I don't think that information contradicted the point that was shown to me by the Defence counsel's information.

  • Well, with regard to the issue of Foday Sankoh introducing you to Benjamin Yeaten I want you now - the witness's attention to be pointed to tab 6 on page 9 which is ERN 00035648. Now, Mr Witness, on 14 February - I'm sorry, on 15 February 2007 you gave an interview to the Office of the Prosecution at the Special Court with Joseph Saffa, Steven Niemi, Alain Werner and Chris Morris and do you remember you were again asked about this issue, about the meeting with Yeaten. Do you remember that interview?

  • Yes.

  • Now according to the investigators you said with regards to this issue relating to meeting Benjamin Yeaten you said:

    "The witness went to Monrovia in the circumstances described in his previous statement and was told to go there by Foday Sankoh. He left Freetown by air and arrived directly in Monrovia. Foday Sankoh was there on that day and he introduced the witness to Benjamin Yeaten at the NPFL guesthouse in Congo Town."

  • Is this an accurate reflection of what you said to the investigators on 15 February 2007?

  • Thank you. Now yesterday Defence counsel - I'm going back in time now and I'm going to ask you about an event that occurred in 1990 and yesterday Defence counsel asked you about the meeting at Coca-Cola factory and the subsequent BBC broadcast that you heard in 1990. Now you stated in your testimony in court here that you were present in the meeting when Charles Taylor met with his Special Forces and later on that same day you heard Charles Taylor over the BBC. Defence counsel asked you about a prior interview that you gave to the Office of the Prosecution and in that interview which was on 1 November 2007 Defence counsel pointed you to where the interview reflected that you said you were very close to Charles Taylor where he was positioned when he was talking to the BBC at that time.

    Now after that interview was given during one of your preparation sessions here in The Hague on 2 February 2008 you were asked about this same event and I would like to refer the witness now to tab 10, page 2, ERN 100197. Now do you recall this preparation session here in The Hague on 2 and 5 February 2008?

  • Yes.

  • Now in that particular preparation session this recording - this interview note says the following:

    "The witness was present in the radio room when Taylor had met with members of his Special Forces" --

  • Sorry, where are you reading from?

  • I'm sorry, your Honour. I realise I didn't give you the exact location. I'm on tab 10, page 2, ERN 100197. It's the first full paragraph and it's the sentence within the middle of that paragraph starting "The witness was present":

  • Mr Witness, do you see where I am? I'm going to read to you what this interview note says:

    "The witness was present in the radio room when Taylor had met with members of his Special Forces and the topic of discussion was the ECOMOG jets which were bombing Liberia from Sierra Leone. It was after this meeting the witness heard Taylor on the radio, but was not present with Taylor when Taylor was speaking to the BBC."

    Do you remember saying this during your preparation session?

  • Yes.

  • Thank you. Now, yesterday Defence counsel was asking you about the time you spent in the NPFL before coming to Sierra Leone, after your experience in the Guinean refugee camp. Do you remember that?

  • Now, with regard to the prior statements you've given to the Office of the Prosecution, the Defence counsel said that, "In all your interviews from when they, being the Office of the Prosecution, first met you in November 2003 it was only in The Hague you told them you went to Guinea, yes?" And you stated, "Yes, because he was interviewing me systematically from one point to the other. He was asking me the question and then I will answer according to the question that was asked." What did you mean by this?

  • What I am trying to say is that the past interview conducted by investigators and the lawyer, while in Sierra Leone, in 2003 and 2007 I was interviewed and I was answering by means of questions and the information was taken down, as compared to the interview in The Hague. I was asked to systematically inform the lawyer from the day of my departure from the University of Liberia up to year 2000 when I was arrested in Freetown. So, that had been the difference between the interview conducted in the past and the interview conducted in The Hague.

  • Yesterday Defence counsel suggested to you that in 1991, when you were in Kailahun, "You did not have full access to information involving military activities over the radio; true or false?" He asked that you question: Whether that was true or false. Do you remember when he asked you that?

  • Yes, indeed.

  • You started your answer by saying "What I am trying to say" and you were - the answer was not finished.

  • What I am trying to explain is that in 1991 I never had access to communicate, or I was not an operator directly, but I had access to information because I was operating with colleagues who gave me detailed information about the operation that was going on and I was even on the scene when issues were discussed in relation to the communication set up, because I was with Roosevelt Nyameleyan.

  • Now, during your testimony, both when I was asking you questions and Defence counsel was asking you questions, you were asked about the event in which Mr Taylor recalled NPFL fighters from Sierra Leone to Liberia in April or May of 1992. Do you remember being asked about this issue?

  • Yes.

  • Now, you said, both in response to my questions and later to Defence counsel, that you were present in Baidu in the radio room when the order to recall NPFL fighters came from Charles Taylor and was communicated over the radio. You also testified that you heard an announcement from Oliver Varney at a parade ground in Kailahun, when Defence counsel was asking you questions. Can you describe the sequence in which these events happened?

  • Yes. I was trying to make counsel understand that the message for the evacuation of the NPFL fighting forces was first transmitted from Charles Taylor's operator to the radio station in Baidu. Upon the arrival of the generals, who were superceded by Mr Anthony Menquenagbeh, Charles Taylor spoke to them in the radio room in Baidu before their departure. Each and every one of them had a specific task. Oliver Varney was in Kailahun and he openly read out this particular instruction while the troops were in the formation.

  • So the Oliver Varney message - I'm sorry, let me withdraw that question. So when you say Oliver Varney was in Kailahun and he openly read out this particular instruction, are you saying this was after this radio message was transmitted?

  • Yes. The radio message was sent to Baidu, recorded. Upon the arrival of the generals in Baidu, Mr Charles Taylor spoke to them and each and every one of them had a specific task. Oliver Varney was tasked to ensure that all the NPFL fighters in Kailahun assembled and this message was read to them during the parade on the formation ground.

  • Also, Mr Witness, yesterday with regard to the same issue regarding this radio communication and the recall of the NPFL fighters in April or May of 1992, you said, when Defence counsel was asking you questions that:

    "The general communication that was transmitted after the infighting was monitored by me in the radio room. The one concerning codes, or no codes, was directed to me as to whether I was the person who received this message and passed it to the general. That was when I gave the explanation that I never had code, or access to code, to communicate directly."

    What did you mean by this?

  • What I am trying to say is that there are communications that do not need codes. I previously told the counsel that verbal communications were done by generals on a specific frequency. That communication only needed to be secured by a frequency and not by codes. That had been my previous communication and information to this counsel.

  • Just allow me to clarify, Mr Santora. When the witness refers to that previous communication to this counsel is he referring to yourself, Defence counsel, or some other counsel at some other time?

  • Mr Witness, in your last answer you just gave to this Court you said, "That had been my previous communication and information to this counsel." What do you mean?

  • In the open interview I was asked by the Prosecution counsel to demonstrate the sequence of communication in respect of codes and specific frequencies. That I demonstrated and everybody listened. I made it very explicit that authorities' communication only need to be safeguarded by a specific code - I mean specific frequency encoded and not a code by a document used by the operators and I was asked over and again about who had the authority to use the codes and I said only the operators, but authorities are guarded on a specific frequency for verbal or voice communication, which had nothing to do with the code system.

  • Okay. Just in terms of one aspect though of when you said, "In the open interview I was asked by the Prosecution counsel", just which interview are you talking about exactly?

  • The interview that was done in this particular court. You asked me to demonstrate - to talk about the code system, the frequency code, to the entire court and that was demonstrated and there was a difference between the operator's code, the nickname, et cetera, and the code frequencies which I made available to the authorities to communicate, which was free from the coding system.

  • Mr Witness, I understand the content of what you've talked about, I just want to understand where you said, "This was my previous communication and information to this counsel", did you mean this Court? What did you mean by this counsel?

  • You asked me to demonstrate and to tell the Court --

  • Just a minute, Mr Witness. We understand the demonstration and the codes. We're clear on that point. Is this something you said in the course of your evidence in court in the last few days, or is it a previous exchange between you and a counsel outside of the Court?

  • No, not outside the Court. This coding system was demonstrated in the Court and everything was made clear that there are frequencies that authorities can communicate without --

  • We understand that point. We're just trying to ascertain --

  • Now, yesterday when Defence counsel was asking you questions he suggested to you that from 1996 to 2000 you did not function properly as a radio communication man and you agreed with that suggestion. What do you mean when you say you did not function properly as a radio communication man?

  • I responded by saying that the documentary information, log books, were not directly under my control, but that had access to monitor communication. In the past I made it explicit over and again that there was a confusion and immediately after Mohamed Tarawalli got missing in action I was instructed to give chance and that there was another commander who was in charge of the radio communications system in the RUF.

  • Just one moment, your Honour. Your Honour, the Prosecution has no further questions.

  • Thank you, Mr Santora. Mr Santora, the Bench does not have any questions of the witness.

  • At this point, your Honour, the Prosecution would seek to move in the first - what is marked MFI-16, we would seek to tender this as an exhibit.

  • Mr Anyah, you have heard the application.

  • Thank you, Madam President. We would register an objection to this document going into evidence. The basis for our objection - the Chamber will recollect that this document, at the time it was put to the witness, we even objected to the viability of its identification at that time and the witness did not know who authored the document, the witness did not know when the document was prepared. I initially pointed out to the Chamber that - this is the document in tab 23? Yes, okay. What was clear was that the document appeared to have come from a book, the front page of which was in the plural, "Black Guards", and I did point out to the Chamber that was in the plural, not in the singular. The witness did not know when it was made, he did not know who prepared the document and all counsel had him do was look at the page with the ERN number 00025639 and he looked specifically at the part that says "BF", it appears to be a "C" or "E", dash "SKY" and he said these appeared to be familiar to him as being codes that were used during his time with the RUF.

    We maintain our position that there is not a sufficient foundation for this document. This document could have been created at any time before, during, or after the conflicts in Sierra Leone and we stand by that objection.

  • Your reply, Mr Santora, please.

  • Thank you, Madam President. Your Honour, counsel had addressed foundational arguments that this Court has already addressed and at this point the admissibility of this document is relevance. It is the Prosecution's submission that this document is relevant, that this document does contain information that was connected to this witness's testimony. The witness has spoken of his familiarity with the contents of this entire document. He has spoken to particular aspects of this document, as counsel noted, on that particular page, with regard to the coding system. It's the Prosecution's submission that the test at this point is relevance and it clearly meets the standard of relevance, given this witness's testimony. If your Honours wish me to again address the foundational arguments I will, however I believe at this point - it's the Prosecution's submission that the test at this point is relevance.

  • We will admit this document as an exhibit. Issues of weight, et cetera, will be a matter for final submission. That becomes Prosecution exhibit --

  • P-83, your Honour.

  • P-83, thank you. I understand it is one page only? Let us clarify that.

  • I do want to clarify that. It is a page of this particular document and I know we argued in terms of foundation for the entire document, but the Prosecution is only submitting this page, which is page ERN 00025639. The Prosecution is only tendering that page.

  • So, it is one page of handwriting starting "FMBGC" and it is ERN number 00025639.

  • [Exhibit P-83 admitted]

    Please proceed, Mr Santora.

  • The Prosecution is moving to tender what is now MFI-17 as an exhibit. This is page marked ERN 00010009 from a code book on personal call signs in the RUF radio network that was shown to the witness during the course of his testimony. That is currently marked as MFI-17.

  • I would make the same objection and I perhaps need to clarify the basis for it, given the remarks by our learned counsel on the other side. Foundation is always an aspect of the receipt of any kind of evidence, or document, or material into evidence. It is not just limited to relevance. It has to be authenticated and that involves the witness knowing something about the preparation of the document, so I make the same objection here. The threshold for identification, marking something for identification, is minuscule. Anything can be marked for identification. The issue is whether this witness knows who wrote this document, he doesn't; whether he knows the date on which it was prepared, he did not; whether he knows something so particular about the document that it is contemporaneous to the period that he spoke of. I pointed out to the Chamber any of these names could have been written in the year 2006 and it merely becomes a document that someone wrote names on that the witness is familiar with.

    So, I register the same objection and I point out what we pointed out previously, which is this document - we were given two pieces of paper from an exercise book that was partially torn, if I recall this exhibit correctly. We did not see the other portions of the exercise book, but it was put to the witness before we realised that there was more to the document. Looking at it, the only thing he contributed to this, which is a list of names like I've said, is that he looked at one name, General Ibrahim, and he said, "Yes, that's General Ibrahim." There was no first name and I suppose the implication is that this is to correspond to the General Ibrahim that he's testified to as being General Ibrahim Bah. Again, having handwritten documents from exercise books that anybody could have prepared at any time, with just names that could have been taken off newspapers, and proffering it to this Court as evidence when the witness doesn't know from where it came, I don't think that's a sufficient foundation, even in the information on the document pertains to the conflict.

  • Your Honour, in response to Defence counsel's objection to this item: Your Honour, firstly Defence counsel has mischaracterised the witness's testimony with regard to this particular document. The witness's testimony has extensively gone over various ways of coding that were existing in the RUF radio network. One of those coding mechanisms was the coding mechanism used for commanders on the point of operations and the witness did speak to this issue and then did connect this document to that particular issue. The Defence counsel is correct that there was one example picked out of this group of commanders and the witness was asked about him, but Defence counsel is mischaracterising the witness's testimony when he states that the only thing that was discussed in the course of his testimony was one reference to a General Ibrahim.

    Secondly, your Honour, Defence counsel asserts that foundation is still at issue and I guess in response to that, your Honour, the foundation of whether or not a document can be put to a witness, in the Prosecution's submission, was tested by this Court and it was determined that there was enough foundation to have this witness speak to the contents of the document. It's the contents of the document that are at issue. This witness's testimony and his connection to how the RUF radio operations - it was the Prosecution's submission that this witness - there was clear foundation for this witness to speak about the contents of this document.

    Now, one aspect that Defence counsel brought up was how this document was particularly created, how it was particularly written. In the Prosecution's submission that is not relevant in this situation. The issue is whether or not this witness can speak to the particular contents of the document. It is the Prosecution's submission that foundation has been established already and at this point relevance is the test for this Court.

  • Your Honour, can learned counsel please go slowly.

  • I apologise. At this point the test for this document is relevance and that in the Prosecution's submission this document, this page, is clearly relevant in line with the witness's testimony with regard to the use of commander names, coding and especially during the course of military operations.

  • Thank you, Mr Santora. Sorry, we are in the course of discussing the submissions, however we've been told we have run out of time. The tape has closed off. We will therefore adjourn and come back with a ruling on this. We will adjourn until 12.05. Sorry, just pause, please. Mr Griffiths?

  • Your Honour, could I give you an update at some stage regarding the situation with the accused?

  • I'm hoping that we will hear as soon as.

  • I am in a position to provide further information, but if the tape is running out perhaps it is best if we leave it until afterwards and then it can be placed on the record.

  • That would be very wise. In that case we will adjourn to 12.05 and resume thereafter. Thank you.

  • [Break taken at 11.32 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 12.05 p.m.]

  • I will just take a note of the change of appearances and then ask Mr Griffiths for the update he indicated to us before the brief adjournment. Mr Santora.

  • Thank you, Madam President. Your Honour, at the Prosecution bench at this time is Brenda Hollis, Mohamed Bangura, Shyamala Alagendra and Leigh Lawrie and myself, Christopher Santora.

  • Thank you, Mr Santora. Mr Griffiths, you indicated you have some news.

  • Well, your Honour, the situation is this: The accused was seen by a doctor in the building who thereafter contacted the doctor attached to the detention unit who had access to the accused's medical records. As a consequence of that consultation he was taken to hospital. Various tests have been conducted and I am told that although the tests have proved inconclusive, the doctors have concluded that he should be kept at the hospital until 2.30 at least, for further checks. Now, that has this consequence, your Honour: We had direct instructions from Mr Taylor that he would be prepared for the cross-examination of this witness to continue in his absence. I would be very reluctant to embark on the testimony of another witness in his absence because your Honours will be aware that Mr Taylor has played an active role in the courtroom and I would be loathe to embark on another witness without him being here to hear the testimony and provide us with the multitude of Post-it notes that is his norm.

  • Yes, I can fully appreciate what you are saying, Mr Griffiths, and of course the statute and the rules are, to my mind, fairly clear on this point. We will complete this witness and then when that finishes we will then again hear formally from you for the purposes of record, reply and ruling.

  • I am most grateful, your Honour.

  • I now turn to the application and objection to tender as an exhibit a document marked MFI-17. We have considered the application and the objection. We consider this is an anonymous document that purports to give the names and their codes. Only one such name and code was put to the witness and, on the evidence, the Trial Chamber is in doubt if the other names are actual, or fictitious names. In the circumstances, the Chamber is not satisfied as to the relevance of the document and upholds the objection.

    Yes, please proceed, Mr Santora.

  • Your Honour, the Prosecution move to tender what is now marked as MFI-18, which was the document at tab 14 shown to the witness, marked ERN 00009485. This is a letter, one page, from the Black Guard commander to the leader. The Prosecution moves to tender this into evidence as an exhibit.

  • Yes, Mr Anyah, you heard the application.

  • Thank you, Madam President. We would interpose an objection to this document as well, for a number of reasons. The Chamber heard the evidence and our recollection of this, or the foundational aspects for this document, was as follows: There was apparently a radio conversation between Sam Bockarie and Dennis Mingo, or Superman. That conversation, per the evidence, was recorded on some kind of tape. The witness's testimony was that the tape, or recording, was made by a Black Guard commander. He in turn gave that tape to a Black Guard secretary who reduced the recording to handwritten notes. The witness indicated that he was present when the secretary was writing the handwritten notes, but the witness could not recall what happened to the handwritten document and certainly, as the Chamber is aware, this is not a handwritten document. There was no foundation that the witness was there when this document was made and we pointed out to the Chamber that at the top of the page appears to be a fax number, or appears to be another date from a fax machine that suggests a date in October 1999.

    In any event, when counsel put certain aspects of this document to the witness, in particular the middle paragraph that started with, "Therefore, I always make sure that whatsoever diamond I receive is always reported to Brigadier Sam Bockarie", the Chamber will recall the objection that was made and the lack of a foundational basis for the witness's personal knowledge that Dennis Mingo always returned every diamond he received to Sam Bockarie. So, we raise an authentication objection to the document and authentication is, of course, subsumed under foundation, and we do not believe that this witness told the Chamber that he was there when this typewritten version was prepared. There is no account on record as to what happened to the tape recorded version, there is no account on record as to what happened to the handwritten notes, so I would also interpose a best evidence objection.

  • I think the best evidence rule has been disapproved in some of the international jurisprudence, Mr Anyah. However, I will hear your objection.

  • Well, I was going to suggest that in certain domestic jurisdictions it is still alive and well, but I realise where we are.

    The issue is this: The best evidence in this case would be the tape recording, of course, and now we are talking about thirdhand evidence from handwritten notes and then subsequently typed up, no accounts being given for the first two versions, so I register an objection in that respect. Thank you.

  • Mr Santora?

  • Thank you, Madam President. Your Honour, the issues that counsel has just addressed, which were addressed previously during the course of this witness's testimony, all go to weight. Your Honour, under Rule 89(c) this Trial Chamber pursuant to the appellant decision in Norman which states, "Evidence is admissible once it is shown to be relevant. The question of reliability is determined thereafter and is not a condition for its admission." This is the decision --

  • Mr Santora, what is this citation?

  • I will give you the citation right now, your Honour, I apologise. This is a citation appeals judgment in Norman et al SCSL-04-14-AR65, Fofana, Appeal Against Decision Refusing Bail from the Appellant Chamber, 11 March 2005. The Appellant Chamber relied on - I apologise for my pronunciation - a case from the ICTY, Prosecutor v Delalic et al, which was a trial decision, which itself stated that, "It is neither necessary or desirable to add to the provisions of sub-Rule 89(c), a condition of admissibility which is not expressly prescribed by that provision."

    This Chamber is under Rule 89(c). According to this appellant decision, the issue is relevance. Every issue that counsel has just addressed, in the Prosecution's submission, goes to weight, goes to reliability. Now, in terms of what counsel did say about this particular document, I would like to address that issue, but as a preliminary matter it is the Prosecution's submission that relevance is the test at this point.

    Defence counsel has said that because there is not an original recording, an original handwritten document that led to the creation of this document, that therefore that could undermine the reliability of this document. Again, as I said, this is an issue of weight, but just in terms of what this witness did say, the witness was present for the very conversation over the radio that this document spoke to. The witness was present when that recording was transcribed into a handwritten form and the witness examined the contents of this particular document and was familiar with their contents, and the issue as to how it was created is, in the Prosecution's submission, not to be primarily determined even for its weight. In other words, the witness has examined the contents of the document and is familiar with the contents of those documents.

    For these reasons, your Honour, the Prosecution submit that this particular letter is clearly relevant and, given the witness's testimony as to how this document was created, the Prosecution submits that it should be admitted.

  • We have considered the submissions of counsel. We note the objection by the Defence as to the authenticity and the history, let me say, of this particular document. We consider that those objections go to weight. We consider that this is a relevant document and accordingly we admit it in accordance with Rule 89. That, in my record, will become prosecution exhibit P-84. Yes, I am told that is correct.

  • [Exhibit P-84 admitted]

  • The Prosecution tenders what is marked as MFI-19A and 19B. I would ask to submit this cumulatively if it is permissible with Madam President, your Honours, to submit 19A and 19B cumulatively. This is what was tab 21, which was the radio broadcast of Sam Bockarie over the BBC Radio World Service Focus on Africa programme. MFI-19A, which was marked as D0000046 and the associated transcript of that recording, which is marked as MFI-19B. The Prosecution moves to tender both of these items into evidence as exhibits.

  • Yes, Mr Anyah, your reply?

  • Thank you, Madam President. I interpose an objection as well to this. On its face we had an audio recording that purports to be a BBC recording. The significance of the recording, of course, is that someone has to be able to tell us this is Sam Bockarie's voice and that someone that they have proposed to us is this witness. To be satisfied that this witness is in a position to say that this is Sam Bockarie's voice, the Chamber has to, at a preliminary level, consider the evidence that has been presented of his contact with Bockarie, as well as the familiarisation with Bockarie's voice that was established at the time the document was tendered, or identified. Given this witness's evidence and considering some of the issues that arose in cross-examination, this is not a situation where the Prosecution has buttressed its attempt to introduce this document with evidence from additional witnesses. It is relying solely on this witness. I would interpose an objection that there is not a sufficient foundational basis, on the basis of this witness's evidence, regarding the authenticity of Sam Bockarie's voice on this recording. Thank you.

  • Thank you, Mr Anyah. Your reply, Mr Santora?

  • Your Honour, again this Chamber is operating under Rule 89(c) which states that the test for admissibility is relevance. The issues that counsel addressed go to weight. Your Honour, in this particular instance the content of that recording, in the Prosecution's submission, is clearly relevant. It is the Prosecution's submission that in terms of relevance that can be determined on the face of a document and the further issues that Defence counsel has brought up in this particular instance, in the past, go to weight.

    With regards to this particular exhibit, since counsel has addressed the issue of weight in his submission, the Prosecution submits that first of all the witness has testified that he was familiar with the voice of Sam Bockarie. He has stated that he is familiar with the voice of Sam Bockarie over a period of years through his access to radio communications. The witness, in this particular instance, even went so far as to recall a specific BBC broadcast around the time of the Freetown invasion and before ever even hearing that broadcast was able to identify some of the contents that were spoken about by Sam Bockarie around this time.

    Further, your Honour, as I said, on its face, regardless of what this witness had said, the recording itself identifies the voice of Sam Bockarie. It is the Prosecution's submission that this is relevant on its face and the issues with regard to what the witness spoke about, in terms of the exhibit itself, these are all issues that go to weight and I am reluctant to comment more on weight because at this point the test is relevance and it is the Prosecution's submission that this document - I am sorry, that this recording and its associated transcript clearly meet the test of Rule 89(c) and should be submitted as an exhibit.

  • Thank you. The unanimous view of the Trial Chamber is that the objections go to weight. The document is admissible and will become prosecution exhibit P-85A, that is the CD that we heard, and 85B, that is the transcript of that recording.

  • [Exhibit P-85A admitted]

  • [Exhibit P-85B admitted]

    Mr Santora, please continue.

  • The Prosecution has no - let me verify this. There are no further exhibits to tender with regards to this witness.

  • Thank you, counsel. If there are no other matters I will release the witness. Mr Witness, that is the end of your evidence. We thank you for coming all the way to give your evidence in the Court and we wish you a safe journey back. Thank you. You are now free to leave the Court. Someone will assist you.

  • Thank you very much.

  • Before we proceed to the next part, I will first ask the Prosecution which witness they intend to call and then I will invite you to make your submissions, Mr Griffiths.

  • Very well, your Honour.

  • Morning, Madam President. The next witness that will be called by the Prosecution, in light of the Chamber's ruling earlier this morning, is witness TF1-362.

  • Thank you, Ms Hollis, for that. You are already aware of Mr Griffiths and I will now ask him to make a formal application. Mr Griffiths, the next witness is TF1-362.

  • [Microphone not activated].

  • I didn't notice that. The next witness that is proposed by the Prosecution is TF1-362. You have indicated certain reservations. In the light of that information I will now hear your application.

  • Our submission is very simple, your Honour. We submit that we ought to adjourn at this point until the accused is in a position to return to court and then resume the taking of the evidence of this witness.

  • Thank you for that. Who is replying on behalf of the Prosecution? Ms Hollis, thank you. Ms Hollis, you have heard the application by counsel to adjourn pending a medical report on the accused.

  • The Prosecution has no objection to the Defence request.

  • Thank you, Ms Hollis. Mr Griffiths, you had indicated to us before the adjournment that you anticipated having a medical report at around 2.30. Is that still the situation?

  • When last I was informed, your Honour, yes. I have had no further information since, but I do appreciate that the Court Officer is in contact with the security detailing with the accused and it may be that she will be in a position to provide either more up to date information, or, indeed, to keep your Honours updated between now and 2.30.

  • I understand, thank you. In the light of the submissions and the consent by the Prosecution, and in the light of the accused's rights under Article 17 and Rule 60, we will adjourn the Court until 2.30 this afternoon for further information concerning his wellbeing.

  • I am grateful, your Honour.

  • Please adjourn the Court until 2.30.

  • [Lunch break taken at 12.30 p.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 2.30 p.m.]

  • Good afternoon. Mr Griffiths, if you could --

  • May it please your Honour.

  • Your Honour, the information we have is that various tests have been carried out on Mr Taylor. There is nothing identifiably wrong with him and indeed he was anxious to return to this Court this afternoon, but was told in no uncertain terms by the medical staff that they wanted to keep him in all day just to be on the safe side. But as far as I am aware he should be ready for us to proceed tomorrow and, as far as we are concerned, there is nothing to prevent this trial continuing tomorrow with Mr Taylor in attendance.

  • So, [microphone not activated] to adjourn until tomorrow morning?

  • Your Honour, yes, please.

  • Counsel, Ms Hollis, are you replying?

  • We have no objection to the Defence's request.

  • Thank you, Ms Hollis. We have already noted the rights of the accused under Article 17 and Rule 60. Obviously, we hope that the accused has a speedy recovery and we would agree that in the circumstances it is only proper that we adjourn until tomorrow morning. We note that there is no objection and the consent of the Prosecution. So, we will adjourn the Court until 9.30 tomorrow and hope that Mr Taylor is better then.

  • I am grateful, your Honour.

  • Thank you. Please adjourn the Court until tomorrow at 9.30.

  • [Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.32 p.m. to be reconvened on Wednesday, 27 February 2008 at 9.30 a.m.]