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

  • Good morning, Mr Witness.

  • Good morning, Mr Anyah.

  • You were here last on 24 August and a few days have past, and just like you were reminded about two matters by the Presiding Judge, I would like to remind you of one other matter, and that is that when you speak, you remember that it is being interpreted and so you should speak slowly. Do you follow me?

  • Thank you. On Tuesday, towards the end of the Court session in the afternoon, you were telling us about trips that Sam Bockarie took to Liberia. Do you recall that?

  • Yes.

  • I want to go back to a particular response you gave to a question I posed. For everyone's benefit, this is in the transcript for 24 August, the relevant page being page 47054. That's 47054.

    Now, I asked you a question about Sam Bockarie's second visit to Liberia. The question was: "You referred to a second trip by Sam Bockarie, you said a second visit. What were you referring to when you used the phrase 'second visit'?"

    Your response was this: "I am talking about after his first visit in late September, he then came back. I do not remember the time, but it was between October to December."

    And then you said this: "But he came back the second time, and then Jungle told me that, 'Oh, the brother has come again', so when Sunlight heard this, he took upon himself as an uninvited guest and he went to greet Sam Bockarie. And at this time Sam Bockarie was at the YWCA community but not in the previous house that he had first stayed."

    Going to your response there, when you said, "When Sunlight heard this, he took upon himself as an uninvited guest to go and greet Sam Bockarie", did you accompany Sunlight when he went to say hello to Sam Bockarie?

  • Yes. When Sunlight went to speak to Sam Bockarie during Sam Bockarie's second visit, yes, I went along with Sunlight.

  • Can you tell us whether Sunlight, in fact, met Sam Bockarie?

  • Yes. Sunlight met Sam Bockarie. He met Sam Bockarie.

  • When he met Sam Bockarie, were there others who had come from Sierra Leone with Sam Bockarie present there?

  • Yes. When Sunlight got there, Sam Bockarie introduced him to some of those he had come along with, those who had come along with Sam Bockarie. At this time, Sam Bockarie came with one of his radio operators by the name of Mortiga. He introduced Sunlight also to Eddie Kanneh and one Gibril Massaquoi. Those are the names that {redacted} can recall. And also, according to Sunlight, he saw, during one of Sam Bockarie's two visits, he cannot remember which one of the visits, he also saw two Lebanese men with Sam Bockarie.

  • Madam President, there is an application I would make for a redaction. I use a 14 point font, and it is on my page 60, line number 2. For others, it may be somewhere around line number 7 on page 60.

  • Madam Court Officer, you see the name before the words "can recall". I suppose that's what you're referring to, yes.

  • Please redact that name.

  • Now, Mr Witness, you mentioned a couple of names: Eddie Kanneh, Mortiga, Gibril Massaquoi.

  • Before that meeting with Sam Bockarie when these persons were introduced to Sunlight, had any of those names been known to Sunlight from radio communication with the RUF?

  • No, with the exceptions of Gibril Massaquoi, whom --

  • Your Honours, he has used the name again. Can he be kindly requested to repeat his answer?

  • Mr Witness, please pause and repeat your answer. Or perhaps let counsel ask the question again.

  • Thank you, Madam President.

  • Mr Witness, you were saying that with the exception of Gibril Massaquoi, none of those names had been known to Sunlight before. First, can you confirm whether Sunlight knew who Gibril Massaquoi was before that meeting when Sam Bockarie introduced Massaquoi to Sunlight?

  • Sunlight never knew Gibril but he had heard the name Gibril Massaquoi on the BBC prior to this visit, as being a spokesperson or spokesman for the RUF and then Mortiga - Sunlight had been dealing with Mortiga as a radio operator before, but Sunlight did not know Eddie Kanneh. Let me make this clear.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. When you say that Sunlight had been dealing with Mortiga as a radio operator before, what do you mean?

  • Yes, Mortiga had been on the radio from the RUF point and he had been in communication with Sunlight on the radio but, before then, Sunlight did not know Mortiga in person.

  • You said Sunlight had been in contact with Mortiga previously and that this was, "From the RUF point." Do you know where exactly Mortiga was within Sierra Leone when he, Mortiga, was in contact with Sunlight on previous occasions?

  • According to Sunlight, he had been contacting the RUF radio call sign Planet 1, and some time it is referred to as Bravo Zulu 4 but he had been in contact with an operator called Sellay who, according to Jungle, he told Sunlight that Sellay was the operator and chief radio operator to Sam Bockarie. But Sunlight, during this time, once in a while he used to communicate with Mortiga, but he was mostly dealing with Sellay at the time.

  • Well let me ask my question in another way. I am trying to ascertain the place from which the communications from the RUF came. Sierra Leone is a big country. Let's start with Sellay.

    On Tuesday you spoke of radio communication between Base 1, Benjamin Yeaten's residence, and an RUF radio operator called Sellay? You have referred to Sellay today as the chief RUF radio operator.

    Now, where was Sellay based?

  • Sorry, Mr Witness, please wait. Ms Hollis.

  • Thank you. As I see it, what he said was he was the chief radio operator to Sam Bockarie and it may be different from the chief radio operator, for example, for the RUF.

  • When Defence counsel was phrasing his question he indicated that - he referred to Sellay today as the chief RUF radio operator. What the witness said was he was the chief radio operator to Sam Bockarie. He didn't say RUF.

  • Yes, Mr Anyah, I think that is a pertinent observation.

  • That's accurate. I have no quarrel with it. I will rephrase the question.

  • Mr Witness, you have indicated today that Sellay was the chief radio operator to Sam Bockarie. You told us on Tuesday, 24 August, that there was a radio communication between Jungle, from Base 1 and Sellay, of the RUF. You said it happened at least twice, at least that's what you said on Thursday before we adjourned, you had told us about two instances when that happened.

    What I want to know is: To your knowledge, where, within Sierra Leone, was Sellay based?

  • According to Jungle, Sellay was based in Buedu and that was where he was assigned with Sam Bockarie. And on the issue of Sellay being chief operator to the RUF and to Sam Bockarie, according to Jungle, Sellay was the chief operator to Sam Bockarie. Being chief operator to Sam Bockarie meant that he was chief operator for the RUF. That was what I understood from him.

  • Thank you. You referred today to a call sign or a radio as Planet 1 and you also mentioned the Bravo Zulu 4. Are those two names the names of different radios?

  • Planet 1 and Bravo Zulu 4 are code names for the radio in Buedu assigned to Sam Bockarie, which Sellay was operating. First, when Sunlight started communication with the RUF, there was a code for Buedu called Planet 1 and it was later changed to bravo Zulu 4. That, not withstanding, both codes were used - both codes were used.

  • Do you recall what year and what month the radio's name was changed from Planet 1 to Bravo Zulu 4?

  • The code Planet 1 - I can't recall - but it was changed, but I can't recall when.

  • You told us on Tuesday of a code or call sign for an RUF radio called 35B. You remember mentioning that on Tuesday?

  • Yes, I remember mentioning the code 35B.

  • To which radio is that code pertinent, that is, with which radio does it go along?

  • Okay. The code, 35B, as I said on Tuesday, was the code for the RUF. According to previous operators whom I met in the system during the NPFL days, they told me that this code, 35B, was referring to the RUF operation. At that time I was not a part of the radio communication. That was in 1991, '92.

  • At the time when Sam Bockarie took his second visit to Monrovia and you said, on Tuesday, that it was between October and December 1998, indeed, with respect to three visits to Monrovia by Sam Bockarie and you said they were called between September and December 1998, so at the time of that second visit by Sam Bockarie, do you know whether there was a radio belonging to the RUF using the call sign 35B?

  • Please repeat your question.

  • Yes. In the later part of 1998 was there, to your knowledge, a radio belonging to the RUF with the call sign 35B?

  • I know, but I had at the back of my mind that the RUF used the code 35B in '91 and '92. I was told that by the previous NPFL operators whom I met in the system of communication.

  • The record has you as responding to my question "I know". Did you answer my question yes or no? The question was: In the later part of 1998 was there, to your knowledge, a radio belonging to the RUF with the call sign 35B? Can you answer that question, yes or no?

  • No.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness.

  • Sorry, Mr Witness, are you saying that in the latter part of 1998 there was not a radio with the call sign 35B; is that what you're saying?

  • I am saying in the latter part of 1998 there wasn't a call sign called 35B.

  • Now, I am going back to the names you mentioned earlier. You told us a little bit about Gibril Massaquoi. Do you know who Eddie Kanneh was when you saw him with Sam Bockarie in Monrovia?

  • When I saw Eddie Kanneh with Sam Bockarie in Monrovia, I did not know who he was until later when I was told by Jungle that he was once a minister in the Sierra Leonean government, but I did not know which ministry he headed.

  • And going back to this fellow, Mortiga. You said that Mortiga had been in communication with Sunlight before - your words were, "Sunlight had been dealing with Mortiga as a radio operator before."

    Can you tell us more about the nature of that interaction over the radio between Sunlight and Mortiga? First, tell us when, to your knowledge, it started? What year and what month?

  • Mortiga, at the time that Sellay was at Bravo Zulu 4, just I think once or twice he intercepted Sunlight's communication when he was trying to get in touch with Sellay. But Sunlight, after this visit in 1999, that was when Sunlight started dealing with Mortiga frequently because, at this time, according to them, Sellay had committed suicide. So Mortiga took the place of Sellay. I mean, not Mortiga - Mortiga came later, it was Daf who took over along with Mortiga. But in 1998, in late 1998, Sunlight did not deal with Mortiga extensively. It was on just one or two occasions when he intercepted his communication.

  • Let me ask you about that. You have used the male pronoun "he" twice now. Just for clarifying purposes, you said, "Mortiga at the time that Sellay was at Bravo Zulu 4, just I think once or twice he intercepted Sunlight's communication when he was trying to get in touch with Sellay ."

    Who was trying to get in touch with Sellay when their communication was intercepted by Mortiga?

  • The first "he" that intercepted was Mortiga and the second "he" was Sunlight. Sunlight was trying to get in touch with Sellay on Bravo Zulu 4 and then Mortiga responded to Sunlight on Bravo Zulu 4.

  • Mr Anyah, I take it from that that Mortiga was a male person?

  • I was the one that used the male pronoun in respect of the Mortiga, but I can ask the witness.

  • Mr Witness, given your responses, what is the gender of Mortiga?

  • Mortiga is a male.

  • Now, you have told us about interceptions, one by Mortiga and another one by Sunlight. When these interceptions were made, was it the case that Sunlight was, in both instances, operating from Base 1?

  • What I said was that it was once in late '98 when Sunlight was contacting Sellay on Bravo Zulu 4, but instead of Sellay, Mortiga responded to Sunlight. He responded to Sunlight. That was what I meant when I said Mortiga intercepted Sunlight.

  • Very well. And my question is: What radio was Sunlight calling from?

  • Sunlight was calling from Base 1, the radio at Yeaten's house.

  • You said earlier on that Sellay had committed suicide. Do you know when that occurred?

  • It happened in '99, but I do not remember the part of '99.

  • Was it early in the year, the middle of the year or around Christmas time, December?

  • I do not remember actually.

  • You said it was Daf who took over, along with Mortiga, but in late 1998 Sunlight did not deal with Mortiga extensively. Who is Daf, Mr Witness?

  • Daf was the next - the operator who succeeded Sellay.

  • He succeeded Sellay into which position?

  • He took over from Sellay at Sam Bockarie's radio, call sign Bravo Zulu 4.

  • Now, going back to Sam Bockarie's visits to Liberia, let's focus on the first and the second visit. On the occasion of the first visit you said Sunlight went to be introduced to Sam Bockarie. The second visit you said Sunlight went to greet Sam Bockarie. Do you know the purposes behind each of these visits by Sam Bockarie to Liberia?

  • Okay. According to Sunlight, the first visit when he met Sam Bockarie for the first time, he did not know why Sam Bockarie was in Liberia. But the second visit, Jungle told Sunlight that Sam Bockarie and his delegation had come to meet the Liberian government at the Executive Mansion in relation to the RUF peace process.

  • And when you were present when Sunlight greeted Sam Bockarie, did Sam Bockarie say anything about the purpose behind that second visit to Liberia?

  • I didn't understand your question.

  • Yes. Forgetting for a moment what Jungle said about the purpose behind Sam Bockarie's second visit, when you were in Sam Bockarie's presence on his second visit to Monrovia, did he say why he was in Monrovia?

  • Besides the names you gave us - Eddie Kanneh, Mortiga and Gibril Massaquoi - were there any other persons not Sierra Leonean present in that house when you went to see Sam Bockarie on the second occasion?

  • Apart from Sampson and Jungle, I cannot remember any other Liberian there.

  • What of non-Liberians, foreigners? Were there any persons not from either Liberia or Sierra Leonean present in that house?

  • No. As I said before, it was on one of the two trips that Sunlight saw two Lebanese, two Lebanese nationals, but I cannot remember --

  • Your Honour, can he kindly repeat the last bit of his answer.

  • Mr Witness, you were saying it was on one of the two trips that Sunlight saw two Lebanese men?

  • Were you there when Sunlight saw these Lebanese men?

  • I was there with Sunlight and he saw those two Lebanese who were in the room with Sam Bockarie.

  • Were these Lebanese seen with Sam Bockarie during his first visit to Liberia?

  • I do not remember on which of the visits, but it was on one of those two first visits, one of the two visits, but I do not remember which one in particular this time.

  • Mr Anyah, I know that you are struggling with the way to lead some of this evidence in a way that does not violate the protective measures, but sometimes I think it may be better for the witness to tell us what he saw and sometimes it's not really necessary to refer to what another person saw. You can ask him straightforwardly: Did you see these two individuals again on such and such a day? Unless he was alone with those two individuals, in which case such a thing would then reveal who he is. I think there is no harm in this witness speaking for himself as to what he saw, rather than proceeding in the way you have been proceeding which actually is likely to reveal his identity.

  • Very well, Madam President. I take note of that.

  • Mr Witness, to your knowledge are there Liberians that are Lebanese - of Lebanese origin?

  • The Lebanese men that you saw during one of Sam Bockarie's visits to Liberia, do you know whether they were from Liberia?

  • I don't know whether they were from Liberia, but I heard them speaking Krio. But I did not know whether they were Liberians or Sierra Leoneans. Actually I do not know their nationality.

  • Do you know what was the reason or purpose behind their being in Sam Bockarie's company?

  • You mentioned a third visit by Sam Bockarie to Liberia in the latter part of 1998. Can you tell us more about that visit?

  • Okay. In late 1998, I believe it was in December, if I am not mistaken - I believe it was in December. It was on one evening when Benjamin Yeaten drove down to his house and I saw Sam Bockarie, along with Gibril Massaquoi and Eddie Kanneh again with him in Benjamin Yeaten's vehicle and they drove down to Ben's house. And within that period, Jungle told me that the brother has come to meet with the chief tomorrow at the Executive Mansion. He was now referring to the President, that Sam Bockarie has come to meet the President the following day at the Executive Mansion.

  • You said Ben drove down to his house and you saw Sam Bockarie, Gibril Massaquoi, Eddie Kanneh at Ben's house. Were they all in the same vehicle?

  • Yes. They were in Ben's car.

  • What was the purpose behind their trip to Benjamin Yeaten's house?

  • I don't know, but they drove into the yard and I did not know why he took them there. And what I could remember was that they had a meal together; they ate together and then they departed.

  • You referred to what Jungle said and you said Jungle told you the brother had come to see the chief on the following day at the Executive Mansion, the chief in this instance being President Taylor. Do you know the purpose behind that scheduled meeting that Sam Bockarie had with President Taylor on the following day?

  • He only told me that Sam Bockarie will be meeting with the President tomorrow at the Executive Mansion, but the purpose of the meeting I did not know. He did not tell me.

  • Do you know the purpose behind Sam Bockarie's third visit to Monrovia around December 1998?

  • Was Jungle present at Benjamin Yeaten's house when Yeaten drove up with Massaquoi, Bockarie and Eddie Kanneh?

  • Yes. Jungle was present. Jungle was also with Sampson Wehyee with them in the car. All of them came together.

  • This is the Sampson Wehyee you mentioned on Tuesday?

  • You have said now that Benjamin Yeaten was in the company of Sam Bockarie during his third visit to Monrovia. How about the first or second visit; to your knowledge, did Benjamin Yeaten meet with Sam Bockarie during Sam Bockarie's first visit to Monrovia?

  • Is it possible that they met and you would not know it?

  • What about the second visit to Monrovia; do you know whether the two of them met when Sam Bockarie visited for the second time?

  • Maybe - maybe they met, but I don't know. I was not there.

  • Now, you've told us about Sam Bockarie's reasons for being in Monrovia during his second visit. You mentioned something about the peace process and to meet with the Liberian government.

    Now, do you know whether on any of Sam Bockarie's visits, the first, second, or third, he actually met with the President of Liberia, Charles Taylor?

  • Even though I was told, I do not have knowledge as to whether he met with the President, but this was what I was told by Jungle.

  • In the later part of 1998 do you know whether Benjamin Yeaten had a satellite telephone?

  • Yes. Benjamin Yeaten had a satellite phone in the last quarter of 1998.

  • What type of satellite phone was it?

  • He had a satellite phone. I don't know its name, but it was a phone that had an antenna with a long wire attached to it, a cord attached to it, that you had to place out to search for its network. It was a phone almost the size of this computer.

  • Did he obtain this telephone before Base 1 was set up at his residence, that is before the radio was set up at his residence?

  • I saw this phone with him when - after he had moved to Congo Town, where Base 1 was installed. That was where I saw this phone.

  • Was Base 1 already in existence at the time that you saw the phone for the first time?

  • Do you know the range of that satellite phone, that is how far it could call?

  • I don't know how far, but he once communicated with - he instructed Sunlight once --

  • Your Honour, can he kindly repeat his answer more clearly.

  • Please pause, Mr Witness. You have to repeat your answer for the interpreter. You said, "I don't know how far. He once communicated with" - so continue from there.

  • Yes. I said I do not know the range of that satellite phone. Even though I saw him once communicating with Sam on this satellite phone after he had told Sunlight to tell Sam to switch on his phone. Afterwards, he called and I heard him speaking to Sam, even though I didn't stand close to hear the communication that was going on.

  • Mr Anyah, who is Sam?

  • Mr Witness, when you referred to Sam, to whom are you referring?

  • I am talking about Sam Bockarie.

  • Do you know when this satellite phone conversation between Benjamin Yeaten and Sam Bockarie took place?

  • Right after - it happened after Sam's second visit, after his second visit.

  • After his second visit in 1998.

  • What was the nature of this telephone conversation?

  • No. I told you I was not around when they were communicating, but I was around when he started the communication with Sam.

  • To your knowledge, did Sam Bockarie at that time also have a satellite telephone?

  • Yes. When Sunlight visited Sam during Sam's second visit, he saw Sam with a satellite phone.

  • Do you know how Sam Bockarie got that satellite phone?

  • I don't know how he obtained it.

  • The fellow Mortiga that you mentioned previously, that you saw during Sam Bockarie's second visit to Monrovia, besides seeing him at the house where Sam Bockarie was staying, did you see him anywhere else in Monrovia while Sam Bockarie was in town?

  • Yes. The following day after Sunlight had met with Mortiga during Sam Bockarie's first - I mean second visit in 1998, Jungle took Mortiga to Ben's house. The following day, Jungle brought Mortiga to Ben's house and Mortiga met with Sunlight, and he, Mortiga, drew a communication on the paper that was coded, and that was translated - the communication was translated back to Sellay in Buedu. This was the second time that I met him. And after the communication, Sunlight took him - he took Mortiga to his house to have lunch together. Right after the lunch, Mortiga went back to where he had come from.

  • Let me ask you about this communication you referred to. You said Mortiga was taken to Ben's house, and you made reference to the drawing of a communication on a paper that was coded.

    First of all, who wrote something on a piece of paper? And second of all, who coded it?

  • Yes. Mortiga came down with this message in code, which was the communication, and he transmitted this message to Bravo Zulu 4, to Sellay, and then he left. So this message - this code was prepared by Mortiga.

  • The code that was used, was it understandable to you?

  • To your knowledge, did the radio operators at Base 1, at the time of this transmission by Mortiga during Sam Bockarie's second visit to Monrovia, have the codes that were being used by the RUF?

  • No.

  • Was there ever an occasion, to your knowledge, that Benjamin Yeaten himself came on the radio to communicate with the RUF?

  • No. Benjamin Yeaten himself, even in respect to the Government of Liberia radio communication, he did not communicate on the radio because he was afraid of being intercepted. And secondly, he did not know the communication codes. So, he never spoke on the radio in my presence.

  • The satellite phone conversation between Benjamin Yeaten and Sam Bockarie that you have told us about, do you know whether the President of Liberia was aware of that communication?

  • The President of Liberia, I believe, did not know about this communication. The reason is that, earlier, Ben had told Sampson, Sunlight and those close to him that his relationship with Sam Bockarie was personal and secret, and the President of Liberia, or even the Government of Liberia, does not know about it, so they should be very careful so that they wouldn't disclose this relationship to the President.

  • I have been referring to communication with the RUF in my questions, but you have told us that the radio, Planet 1, later to be called Bravo Zulu 4, was based in Buedu. Now, besides the communications with Buedu from Base 1, were there, to your knowledge, communications between Base 1 and any other RUF stations? I am now talking about the period late 1998.

  • Okay. Let me make something clear here. The contact or the relationship between Ben and Sam Bockarie was only between Ben and Sam Bockarie. So the communication between Base 1 and Bravo Zulu 4 was limited to the two of them. This one had no communication with any other RUF station, with the exception that sometimes when Base 1, on the net in search of Bravo Zulu 4, at which time it was not on or had switched to another frequency, then some of those RUF stations would intercept and tell him that, "Stand by, we would get him any message," and he would tell them that, "When it comes on, tell him to contact me or I will contact later." That is, the communication was only between Bravo Zulu 4 and Base 1, but not with any other RUF radio section.

  • Mr Anyah, perhaps you are going to develop this point that I am going to mention, and if you are, I am sorry to bring it up prematurely, but I don't understand why the President of Liberia was forbidden to know about the relationship between Sam Bockarie and Benjamin Yeaten. I don't understand what the harm is in that.

  • In other words, why was it necessary to keep the communication between Sam Bockarie and Benjamin Yeaten secret? Why the secrecy?

  • I will ask the witness.

  • Mr Witness, do you know the reasons behind the secrecy?

  • Okay. What I observed or knew was that after Sam Bockarie's first visit to Monrovia, Sam Bockarie and Ben became very close friends. In this friendship, there were deals, there were secret deals, between them, along with Musa Cisse. Musa Cisse had been in contact with these people through Jungle. And later, when Ben got involved, there were lots of secret deals that the President did not know about, like mostly the selling of ammunition to Sam Bockarie for cash and so on. So this deal, at this time, was between Sam Bockarie and Benjamin Yeaten.

  • Let me ask you a few questions. You just said that Musa Cisse had been in contact with these people through Jungle. Which people are you referring to that Musa Cisse had been in contact with?

  • I am talking about Sam Bockarie or the RUF; that is, as I said on Tuesday, that Jungle was like a buying officer for the RUF because he was a Liberian of the Kissi tribe from Lofa County, and because of his nationality, the RUF was using him to come to Liberia and buy whatsoever they needed, like fuel, petroleum as a whole, food, medicines and other things, but he was under the protection of Musa Cisse. He was like a bodyguard to Musa Cisse. But he used to go in and come out. Musa Cisse was doing business with the RUF or with Sam Bockarie during this time.

  • Just so - I think I am getting the picture now.

    Mr Witness, are you saying, then, that Benjamin Yeaten was stealing ammunition under the nose of the President of Liberia and selling it to the RUF.

  • Benjamin Yeaten was getting ammunition without the knowledge of the President. And he used to even send people - he used to send people all around to collect ammunition, like from the southeast. He used to send people to collect ammunition from the ex-LPC people. They used to buy for him and he would, in turn, sell that to Sam Bockarie. And even in Lofa. Let me just note a certain thing. Times were heard at this time, so because of this there were - there was a lot of corruption in the system by - by some officials of government that the President did not know anything about, such as the selling of ammunition. Even ULIMO, the ex-ULIMO in Lofa County, they used to sell ammunition to the RUF. At one time Sam lectured us, explained this to us, that this fellow, Varmuyan Sherif of ULIMO, sold arms to him - let me say ammunition to him. He bought ammunition from Varmuyan Sherif. All these things were not known to the President, he did not know anything about that. This was the reason Ben - Benjamin Yeaten told his close bodyguards, who knew about this thing, to keep it very secret and be careful because whenever the President hears about it he would be arrested and prosecuted. And before the President arrests him, you, who would be the cause of this exposure, he would deal with you before the President could deal with him.

  • But, Mr Witness, there would have been other people involved in handling the ammunition and handing it over to the RUF by Sam Bockarie and transporting it out of Liberia. Do you mean to say not one word of it got back to the President?

  • Your Honour, the President was a President. He was up there. He did not know what was happening down the line. For example, when I talk about corruption, for example, after the elections, after the elections, the salary of the security and the other civil servants was very low. I personally was a lieutenant.

  • I was not asking about salaries of people. My simple question was how could the transaction of selling ammunition and its transported out of Liberia not be known to the President when a lot of people would have been involved, except Sam Bockarie and Benjamin Yeaten, for instance - well, I withdraw that - that's my question.

  • Yes. The reason was that these people were high-ranking government officials. We are talking about Benjamin Yeaten being the chief of security to the President, and even his bodyguards, when his bodyguards are driving around, no other security would search their car. We are talking about, again, the chief of protocol to the President, Musa Cisse, who was highly respected. Whenever they saw his vehicle, nobody at any checkpoint would check his car, so these people used their position, their positions, as cover-ups to carry out such things without the knowledge of the President.

  • How do you know all this?

  • I was - I was - I was there. Even during the war I travelled with - with the director, Benjamin Yeaten, at the checkpoint that we got at, they wouldn't check the car. They did not check the car. He was highly respected. People feared him allot.

  • Your Honours, if I may, a lot of these questions will be, hopefully, answered more comprehensively as we progress and I don't wish at this point to avoid the questions that your Honours wanted to pose.

  • Well proceed, Mr Anyah.

  • Mr Witness, a couple of clarifying questions about what you have just said.

  • Before the question that was first posed by his Honour, Justice Lussick, I had asked you about whom you meant by, "These people" that Musa Cisse had been in contact with and you said Musa Cisse had been in contact with Sam Bockarie or the RUF, this was through Jungle.

    Now a couple more questions. You referred to secret deals. You said, "Mostly the selling of ammunition to Sam Bockarie for cash."

  • Yes.

  • To your knowledge in which year and in which month did these secret deals begin?

  • Okay. In late 1998, like I said, after Sam Bockarie's first visit to Monrovia, Sam Bockarie and Benjamin Yeaten were very close and Benjamin Yeaten will send ammunition using Jungle or Sampson. Jungle or Sampson will take the ammunition to Sam Bockarie and sometimes they were picked up from Benjamin Yeaten's yard and sometimes they were picked up from Musa Cisse's yard at night. Everything they did, sometimes we discussed about it, like especially me, most times Jungle told me about these things.

  • Remember to go slowly, Mr Witness, we are following you.

  • I am sorry, if I am going too fast.

  • Now, what sorts of ammunition?

  • Mr Anyah, just before - the witness said, or he referred to what he called the first visit by Sam Bockarie to Monrovia.

    Mr Witness, how do you know that this was Sam Bockarie's first visit to Monrovia? Is it possible that he could have visited before? Was this the first visit that you were aware of or could there have been earlier visits than late 1998 that you didn't know about?

  • Jungle, who was the runner for Sam Bockarie was the one who told me that it was Sam's first visit, so I got to know that. So I believe that his first visit was that of September.

  • Madam President, I don't know if that satisfies your Honour.

  • Now, Mr Witness, you referred to the ammunition being taken at night from either Benjamin Yeaten's house or Musa Cisse's house. What amount of ammunition are we talking about?

  • Okay. For the one that I saw, at the time they were leaving I saw something like five boxes of AK-47 rounds and few RPG rockets in rice bags. And Jungle said this is what we would take - we would carry later. And the movement was always done at night by Sampson and Jungle because these were the people that Benjamin Yeaten normally sent. And sometimes there - they would be escorted by Zigzag Marzah, who was one of the drivers.

  • What sorts of cars would they use to transport this ammunition?

  • Sometimes they used Ben's pick-up and some of the time they used a Nissan pick-up, it had four tyres. It was a pick-up four-wheel drive.

  • You referred to Jungle as being the buying officer for the RUF. What do you mean by buying officer?

  • It is because he was the one that the RUF used to come to Liberia to buy whatever they needed, things like medicines, he used to buy medicines, according to him, he used to buy petroleum products and some other things.

  • Now, the ammunition, I want to ask you some questions about its sources. You said before - this is at my page 18, using a 14 point font of the LiveNote - you said that, "Benjamin Yeaten used to get ammunition from different places", this was in response to a question by Justice Lussick, and the question was: "Are you saying then that Benjamin Yeaten was stealing ammunition under the nose of the President of Liberia and selling it to the RUF?"

    You made references to a few places. You said, "Ben used to send people all around to collect ammunition, like from the southeast". What do you mean by southeast there?

  • I am talking about the southeastern part of Liberia, like Grand Gedeh, Sinoe, Maryland. Those areas - before the 1997 election, those areas were occupied by the LPC, so they went there and got the ammunition and then brought it to Ben and, in turn, he will sell them to Sam.

  • Madam President, when the witness spoke previously about this, I heard the witness say ex-LPC. The record, which I am sure will be corrected, at page 80, refers to ex-SLPP people. But the witness has just said LPC.

    The LPC to which you are referring, is that the same group that you spoke of on Tuesday, known as the Liberian Peace Council?

  • Now, apart from the southeast you said, "Even in Lofa" in relation to sources of the ammunition and your answer was not complete. What were you referring to about Lofa County?

  • I was talking about Lofa County. Before the election, almost a huge portion of Lofa was controlled by ULIMO-K. That was the ULIMO that belonged to the - to Alhaji Kromah. They used to go there and get ammunition from those people. They used to buy it because, according to them - according to Sampson, those guys said that during the disarmament, before the '97 election, they did not disarm. They did not present all of what they had. They kept some. So after the election, that was the time Sampson and Jungle used to go there - bought those things from them.

  • You went on to say that, "At one time Sam lectured us, explained this to us, that this fellow, Varmuyan Sherif, of ULIMO, sold arms to him - let me say ammunition to him." Who lectured you, was it Sam that lectured you?

  • Okay, I'm sorry if I mentioned the word "us." But it is almost exact. He - he informed Jungle about it and Jungle, in turn, informed me. The information was that Sam bought ammunition from Varmuyan Sherif. So if I had said "us" then I made a mistake. When I saw Sam during his three visits, he did not inform me about anything like that. Is it clear?

  • Yes. Now on Tuesday you mentioned a communication between Jungle, who was at Base 1, and Sam Bockarie in Sierra Leone during which, at least this is what Jungle told Sunlight afterwards, that Jungle had discussed with Sam, and Sam had said - this is at page 47049, lines 14 through 18 of the transcript of the 24th, Tuesday, and I will just read it to be more precise:

    "Jungle told Sunlight that what they discussed was that Sam said that they were running out of food and that he should give the message to Benjamin Yeaten and Musa Cisse that they were running out of food and for them to assist him with food."

    You said this communication occurred after Jungle's first communication with Sellay. Now, do you know whether there was any response by either Benjamin Yeaten or Musa Cisse to this request for food supplies by Sam Bockarie?

  • No.

  • Are you saying you do not know or are you saying, no, there was no response?

  • I don't know if there was a response to that request.

  • Now, the secret deals that you spoke of, these deals between Musa Cisse and Benjamin Yeaten on the Liberian side, and Sam Bockarie on the Sierra Leonean side, do you know when they ended, if at all? You have told us when they commenced. Do you know when they ended?

  • Yes. The deals, or let me say the contact, the radio contact with Sam Bockarie, or any deal between Ben and Sam Bockarie, ended immediately when Sam Bockarie came to Liberia to seek refuge with his family, to seek refuge with the Liberian government. That was when every contact, to my knowledge, stopped. That was in '99. I believe it was in December '99 when Sam Bockarie finally returned to Liberia.

  • I am not just referring to radio contact. I am referring to the deals you've spoken about, the sale of ammunition for cash. When, to your knowledge, did such deals end?

  • It ended - to my knowledge, it ended immediately when Sam Bockarie finally came to Liberia, because this deal was only something between Sam Bockarie and Benjamin Yeaten. It was not between Benjamin Yeaten and the RUF organisation.

  • Well, speaking about that, the times that Jungle would come to Base 1, do you know whether he was transmitting any messages on the behalf of Benjamin Yeaten?

  • No, he never transmitted any message on behalf of Benjamin Yeaten.

  • Now, let's go back to radio communication at Base 1. You have told us about two communications by Jungle in late 1998. Were there instances when Jungle was not present at Base 1 but there was radio contact made by Sellay to Base 1 in search of Jungle. Do you understand the question?

  • No, please repeat that.

  • Were there any occasions when Sellay, from Buedu, radioed Base 1 asking for Jungle but Jungle was not around?

  • Yes. It happened sometimes. Sometimes Sellay called and asked for Jungle and then the operators there will tell him that Jungle is not around.

  • Would he leave any messages of substance for Jungle on such occasions when Jungle was not there?

  • No, but let me come back to that. Yes, it happened once that in the same '98, but I do not recall when, that a message was given to Sunlight, Sellay gave a message to Sunlight, asking him to tell Jungle that the brother - I mean, Master, he used to call him Master, and that was Sam Bockarie. That Master wanted Jungle to go to Pa Musa and tell him that they needed food. It was then that Sunlight gave the message to Jungle and then Jungle left.

  • This request for food, is that a different request than the prior request you told us about on Tuesday when Jungle told Sunlight about his discussion with Sam Bockarie?

  • Yes, sir. Yes, sir. It's different from that.

  • You just referred to Sam Bockarie as Master. How was Sam Bockarie referred to on the radio by Sellay when he called from the RUF?

  • Sellay used to refer to Sam Bockarie on the radio sometimes as Master and then sometimes Subject.

  • And when messages were sent by Jungle to the RUF, do you know whether he referred to Benjamin Yeaten in those messages?

  • When calls would come into Base 1 for Benjamin Yeaten, from anywhere, not limited to Sellay, just regular radio contacts, the operators at Base 1, what was the manner in which they referred to Benjamin Yeaten, that is how was he referred to?

  • Okay. The operators at Base 1, when it came to a communication regarding the Government of Liberia, they referred to Benjamin Yeaten as Unit 50. And if they were talking about Benjamin Yeaten in relation to Buedu at Base 1, they would refer to him as Victor Oscar. Or sometimes they also would say, "The subject at my end."

  • So Victor Oscar and Subject was how Benjamin Yeaten was referred to in relation to communication with Buedu; is that what you're telling us?

  • Yes.

  • Was he ever referred to as Unit 50 in connection with communication with Buedu?

  • No. He was not referred to as Unit 50 in connection with communication at Bravo Zulu 4 because code 50 was well known by every radio operator under the Government of Liberia as a way of referring to Benjamin Yeaten. So instead he would use Victor Oscar in relation to communication with Bravo Zulu 4 and with that of Base 1.

  • Please pause, Mr Anyah, because I find this a little confusing. The answer to the previous question said the operators at Base 1, they referred to Benjamin Yeaten as Unit 50. And now he is saying, no, he was not referred to as Unit 50 in connection with communications at Bravo Zulu 4.

  • Yes, Justice Doherty. To put it in context, the witness's prior response was the operators at Base 1, and this is the important part, when it came to a communication regarding the Government of Liberia, they referred to Benjamin Yeaten as Unit 50. And then --

  • But the question related to communications between Base 1 and Buedu, not with the Government of Liberia.

  • Yes, I was just asking whether the terminology that was used to refer to him in relation to Liberian communications was on any occasion used during communications with Buedu. I can clarify the question, but - I will clarify his responses.

  • Please do so.

  • Mr Witness, you've given us three names.

  • Just listen to my questions. You have given us three names by which Benjamin Yeaten was referred to on the radio. You said Unit 50, you said Victor Oscar and sometimes you said he was referred to as Subject. Now, on which occasions was he referred to as Unit 50?

  • Benjamin Yeaten is referred to as Unit 50 when Base 1 is in a radio communication with the Government of Liberia, government - radio operators. But when it comes to the Liberian government radio operations, then Benjamin Yeaten is referred to as Unit 50.

  • How is Benjamin Yeaten referred to when Base 1 communicates with Buedu?

  • Now, when Base 1 is in contact with Buedu, Benjamin Yeaten is referred to as Victor Oscar or Subject. It is either Victor Oscar or The Subject.

  • And why was it the case that he was not referred to as Unit 50 when there was communication between Base 1 and Buedu? Why did they not call him Unit 50?

  • The reason the operators at Base 1 were not referring to Benjamin Yeaten as Unit 50, when it came to communication between Buedu and Base 1 was to protect themselves because they had been initially warned to be very careful and protect - in protecting the relationship between Benjamin Yeaten and Sam Bockarie in order so that the Government of Liberia will not discover this close relationship, or so that the President of Liberia will not discover this close relationship. So, in case they refer to Benjamin Yeaten as Unit 50 on the RUF net, then if the radio communication was exposed to anybody - or maybe some of the government operators were monitoring and then they hear this code, they will definitely know.

  • Now, we go back to the radio operations at Base 1. It is late 1998?

  • Mr Anyah, I have to remind you that today we end at 1.00, not 1.30.

  • Yes, Madam President, I am aware of that. Thank you.

  • It is late 1998. You tell us that Jungle would come and relay messages to Sellay. Besides Jungle, was there any other occasion when someone else associated with the RUF came to Base 1 to use the radio? You have also mentioned Mortiga today, but besides Mortiga and Jungle, did anyone else associated with the RUF come to use the radio at Base 1 in late 1998?

  • Yes. In November or early December of 1998, Jungle - Jungle brought - Jungle and Sampson, because these two people were always moving together during this time, they brought a lady, a lady - a girl called Memunatu Deen, and they introduced Memunatu Deen to Sunlight as the radio operator from the RUF who - whom they had brought to be giving, or to be transmitting or receiving, information from the RUF and then to some of the RUF businesspeople, like one Ibrahim. They used to call him General Ibrahim. So Memunatu was brought and introduced to Sunlight, and then she used to at this time do all of the RUF communications, Memunatu Deen.

  • You said Jungle and Sampson brought Memunatu Deen and they introduced Memunatu Deen to Sunlight. You referred to the introduction, referring to Memunatu as the RUF - or as the radio operator from the RUF. What nationality was Memunatu Deen?

  • Memunatu Deen was a Sierra Leonean.

  • Do you know where she was staying in Monrovia at the time she was at Base 1 or brought to be introduced to Sunlight?

  • I don't know, but what Jungle told Sunlight was that Memunatu Deen was staying with Musa Cisse at that time.

  • You mentioned somebody called General Ibrahim, and you said, in relation to him --

  • No. I heard the word "like one Ibrahim".

  • He did say "general" afterwards. He said it in two different ways.

  • I apologise.

  • It is on the record.

  • It is on the record. I withdraw that.

  • Who is General Ibrahim, Mr Witness?

  • I do not know this General Ibrahim, but I used to hear his name in most of the communications that Memunatu transmitted to Bravo Zulu 4.

  • When you spoke of General Ibrahim, you referred to him in the context of "some of the RUF businesspeople, like one Ibrahim, they used to call him General Ibrahim". Who were these RUF businesspeople?

  • She did not disclose to me who those people were, but these were people who were residing within and outside Liberia, but she did not disclose to me who these people were.

  • Madam President, I see the time. Thank you.

  • Very well.

    Mr Witness, we will continue with your testimony on Monday. We do not sit on Friday afternoons. But I do caution you that you are not to discuss your evidence with anybody.

  • Yes, I do, your Honour.

  • Thank you. The Court adjourns to Monday at 9 o'clock.

  • [Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.02 p.m. to be reconvened on Monday, 30 August 2010 at 9.00 a.m.]