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

  • Mr Sesay, just to recap where we got to yesterday, we'd established that you have now given evidence on three occasions, haven't you?

  • This is the third time that I have not yet completed.

  • The first time was when you gave evidence in the RUF trial, is that right?

  • Then you gave evidence in the AFRC trial, is that right?

  • And now you have given evidence in this trial?

  • And in all three trials you have told the Court, or described to the Court, a terrible experience when your wife was raped by eight men in front of you and your children and how you yourself was amputated in front of your children. That's right, isn't it?

  • It is correct.

  • And you will recall that yesterday when we rose for the day I was asking you about a completely contradictory account which you gave on 9 July 2007. Do you remember that?

  • Yes. The question you asked me at that time, yes, I recall that.

  • Now you will recall that this statement taken from you, it is said, on 9 July 2007 related to a video which was shown to you. Is that right?

  • I recall that at one time, because so many people used to go and obtain statements from us, the amputees, there were many, but that particular statement you are talking about I do not recall who obtained it from me, or whether or not I was the one actually that gave the statement. I do not recall. But I recall at a point in time someone took a video to me at my house in Waterloo, Lumpa, in Sierra Leone. The person took the video to me and showed me the video and at that time I was in the hospital and by then I was imbalanced. By then I was feeling serious pain. And at that time the man who took the video to me he met me sleeping, so he woke me up.

  • Well, I am grateful that you have had overnight to think up an answer. What I am going --

  • Mr Griffiths, when the interpreter says he took the video to me, I don't understand. Did he take the video of me, or did he bring the video to me?

  • Did he bring a video to you and show you it?

  • Yes, he brought me - brought it to my house at Waterloo, a man.

  • Well, I am going to give you another opportunity of looking at that video. I wonder if the video could be shown, please, and Madam President, can we adopt the same procedure so helpfully suggested by Ms Baly yesterday which is to show it first of all without translation and then to show it a second time with the translation. The process shouldn't take more than about ten minutes, because it is about a five minute clip.

  • I will just check if the interpreters - Mr Interpreter, you have heard counsel for the Defence.

  • You recall how we handled the video yesterday. You will be able to implement that and have it first silent so we listen to what is said and then we will play it again and ask you to interpret.

  • Your Honours, the Chamber and the parties are kindly requested to press the button PC1 on the panel next to their monitors.

  • [Video played to the Court]

  • Yes, could we have it played again, please, Madam President, but this time with the translation. I am grateful.

  • Thank you. Mr Interpreter, we are going to have it played again and we would like you to interpret it simultaneously, please.

  • Okay, your Honours.

  • Mr Interpreter, you hear me?

  • That is fine. Please arrange to have it played again, Madam Court Officer.

  • "Q. Please I want you to tell me your

    name?

    A. My name is Gibril Sesay.

    Q. Okay, Gibril. Tell me exactly what happened to you

    that you have been amputated. Tell me everything.

    A. Well, when the rebels attacked Koidu Town, when we're

    in Kono District on Saturday, so we were in the bush hiding

    away from them. They were disturbing us in the bush,

    running - chasing us in the bush. They would move

    from the town and chase us in the bush and at the latter

    part, when we heard that ECOMOG had come, by then we were

    encamped in a village called Wendedu in a very thick forest

    in a village called Wendedu in the forest. That was where

    we were camped. So we got an information there that the

    ECOMOG had come and based at Kokuima. Myself, my children

    and my wife, we all came out and we took our loads and we

    went, but when we got to a village called Penduma we

    decided to rest there. So that was where we were seated

    when I saw Mr Mohamed, my next friend that you have just

    interviewed, I saw him amputated. So I accompanied him

    because he was alone and his children were very small. So

    I assisted him up to very close to Kokuima. So I decided

    to return and I said I was going to collect my own children

    to take them to the ECOMOG base for us to go and stay

    there. When I got back I did not see my children. I met

    all the loads on the veranda. To my surprise I did not

    know in fact that they had gone back and chased the people

    in the town and after we just left the town they went and

    set an ambush at the edge of the town so I decided to

    collect my pots and dishes. I had some cooked rice in

    there. So when I got to place where they had set the

    ambush very close to the bridge made of palm trees all of

    them came outside. They were 15 in number. The one who

    was their captain, whom they referred to as the captain, he

    was somebody I knew. He was Staff Alhaji.

    Q. He was just a soldier or a rebel?

    A. He was a soldier, Staff Alhaji. I knew him very well.

    Okay. He asked them to rid me of everything I had with me.

    In fact, I can say they stripped me naked anyway, you see?

    And they divided all my property amongst themselves. Even

    my underpants, they took it from me and one particular one

    amongst them put it into his pocket and he said I should

    put my hand on the ground and I put my hand on the ground

    and he told me he was going to chop it off and he took the

    machete from his back, he chopped my hand ten times and on

    the 11th time my hand finally was chopped off, and I took a

    pieces of cloth that I had used as a pad on my head to tote

    my loads and he decided to wipe the machete of the blood.

    By then I was not - I had lost my sight so he asked me to

    go and whilst I was trying to go he chopped me on my back.

    Oh, oh God, oh God, oh God, oh, I am dying. I am dying, my

    brother. He chopped me on my back - on my back.

    So they were kicking me continuously and they kicked

    me until I found myself in a stream. There was a small

    stream close by. That was what in fact saved my life, or

    else I would have died. So I dipped my head into the

    stream and I drank some water. That helped me to regain my

    sight. They were sitting there looking at me and I got up

    and I was trying to manage to go ahead. I was holding my

    hand so that I prevented it wasting too much of blood, but

    I couldn't make it because I was bleeding seriously and

    they were seated there laughing at me and my chopped

    off hand was lying on the ground on the line, so I

    managed to go and meet the ECOMOG. They treated me and

    took me to Makeni.

    Q. Where is your wife and your children? Did you see them

    again?

    A. No, it is only my younger brother who is with me here.

    Q. Please have my sympathy.

    A. Yeah, yeah. Oh."

  • Yes, Mr Griffiths? We have heard the translation.

  • Madam President, can I invite the Court to order as we did yesterday a transcript to be made of that evidence - of that account, I should say.

  • Yes, I note that Mr Interpreter was able to get most of it very efficiently and I note too most of it has been recorded, so we will have that transcribed, Madam Court Officer, and we will check to make sure everything is included through counsel.

  • I am grateful. Now I wonder, Madam Court Manager, if we could have open, please, the interview notes of the 9 July included in the bundle.

  • What tab is that again, please?

  • I was hoping that Madam Court Manager could remind me, because I don't have a bundle.

  • I think it's 6.

  • It is divider 6, I'm grateful:

  • Now, whilst I ask you some more questions about the account you gave then, Mr Sesay, I would like those of us who have available to them a record of what you said when you were shown that video available in front of you. Now, question number one: Did you recognise yourself in that video?

  • Was it a video taken of you whilst you were recuperating in Connaught Hospital?

  • Where was it taken?

  • At the Connaught Hospital, but at that time we had just been there. In fact I was sleeping. I was not that sensible enough.

  • So that helps me with my next question. How soon after your hand was chopped off were you being interviewed on videotape?

  • Well, you know, even the person who interviewed me I didn't know him, whether he took along a video camera or not. That is I told you I was not to myself at that time. I was not within the right frame of mind. The time that we were taken to Connaught, right at that time, no.

  • Mr Sesay, let's try and put the time together then, shall we. Your hand was cut off and did you manage to get to ECOMOG the same day your hand was cut off?

  • They were the ones who took me from where I had fallen down at the roundabout, Penduma Barracks Junction, and my children ran to them. Major Tanko, that was the explanation. He was the one who went there to take me. But this video clip, the time this man went there to do the interview I was not sensible enough. In fact I was sleeping and I was woken up. I was in pain. I didn't actually know what I was saying to them, you know. I was not by myself.

  • I am sorry to interrupt you, Mr Sesay. You have already told us that. My question is very simple. Did you manage to reach ECOMOG on the same day that your hand was chopped off?

  • It was on the same day that ECOMOG went there to take me at that Penduma Barracks roundabout where I had fallen down, the same day.

  • And having met with them the same day, how soon after did they take you to Connaught Hospital? Was it the next day?

  • No, they attempted treating me, but they could not. The pain was too much.

  • And so was it a couple of days later then that you were taken to Connaught Hospital?

  • And from the look of you in that video it would appear, would it not, that you had only recently been treated at the time when that video was taken?

  • Well, I don't know that. That was not a treatment. It was just a piece of cloth that was on top of the amputated hand. That was not the treatment. The time the MSF treated me I had a bandage round the wrist.

  • So it follows then that you hadn't even been treated by MSF then when that video was taken?

  • Good. So that video must have been taken shortly after you arrived at Connaught Hospital?

  • Well, yes, I think so.

  • Thank you. Consequently the events you were being asked about should have been extremely fresh and vivid in your mind?

  • Well, I told you that I was sleeping and I was woken up from my sleep when that man woke me up from my sleep. He was with --

  • Mr Sesay, that is the third time you are telling us that. I am not asking you that. My question is very simple. The events would have been fresh and vivid in your mind at the time you were being asked these questions, wouldn't you agree?

  • You know, if it was anybody who was feeling pain, I was the one. I was not sensible enough. I was not in my right frame of mind.

  • Mr Witness, please listen to the question. The question is not about how you felt at the time. The question is that when this video was taken it was close to the time of the amputation, events would have been clear in your mind. Please listen to the question again. Mr Griffiths, please put the question again.

  • I am grateful, Madam President:

  • Mr Sesay, based on what we have now established, you were being asked these questions by that interviewer within a matter of days at most of when your hand had been amputated and surely the events would have been clear and vivid in your mind?

  • How would it be fresh in my mind at that time? I was just explaining.

  • What were you explaining?

  • I was not sensible enough at that time. I was not in the right frame of mind, you know. It was only because we were being counselled and at least I came to, that was when I was able to give a clear explanation of what had obtained.

  • Mr Sesay, we have now seen that video and it is quite clear that you were in pain. I am not disputing that. But the fact of the matter is you were perfectly lucid and understood the questions you were being asked, weren't you?

  • But I told you that I was not in the right frame of mind. In that state I was feeling serious pain and I was even sleeping. I was woken up from my sleep. I have told you this.

  • Well, we can see the video and I am going to suggest to you that you were wide awake and you understood fully what you were being asked. Isn't that the truth?

  • I told you that I was woken up. Yes, indeed, I was woken up.

  • Tell me this then, Mr Sesay: Are you telling us that you did not understand the questions you were being asked by the interviewer?

  • I told you I was not in the right frame of mind.

  • Let's try my question again. Are you telling us that you did not understand the questions you were being asked?

  • Well, I was just explaining like that --

  • No, try my question.

  • Your Honours, can counsel kindly wait for the interpretation.

  • Mr Sesay, are you telling us that you did not understand the questions you were being asked?

  • I told you that I was not in the right frame of mind, so how could someone understand something clearly when I was having that excruciating pain? I was not by myself. I was not in the right frame of mind.

  • So, Mr Sesay, why did you not say to the interviewer, "Look, go away. I cannot understand what you are asking me and I could end up talking a load of rubbish"? Why didn't you say that?

  • But I told you that I was not in the right frame of mind. I told you that.

  • Do you recall on that video telling the interviewer that you did not see your children when you returned to Penduma to find them?

  • It was only when that man took the video clip to me that I could recall and I explained to him the correct story, but he did not take any statement from me. He did not write anything that I said.

  • He didn't need to. He was recording it on videotape and we have got it for posterity, so help us. Do you recall --

  • Sorry, Mr Griffiths, my understanding of the answer is it was only when that man took the clip to me that I could recall.

  • It seems to be played then.

  • Very well. Well, now that you have had an opportunity of listening to the tape yet again for the second time now, well the third time in fact, do you recall saying on that video, "When I returned Penduma I did not see my children"? Did you hear yourself say that on the video?

  • I heard myself saying that in that video, but it was when that man took the --

  • Your Honours, can the witness clarify. He is using a word that can mean video clip or a video camera. He used the word "video" and it could mean both.

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter says that he is not clear when you say "video". Do you mean the video clip, i.e. the finished pictures, or the video camera? So when you give your answer make clear which you are talking about, please.

  • It was the video clip itself, the one I have just seen. That was what he took.

  • Now, help me with this: You now accept that you said on the video, "I did not see my children". Help me, please. Why didn't you say to the interviewer, "I did not see my children, nor my wife"? Why no mention of the wife?

  • Now, why I did not mention my wife, at that time I was in pain and I did not want to talk that much. I knew that I had left my children at Major Tanko's. I told him that I did not know, that I did not see my children, because I did not want to talk that much. I was in pain.

  • Well, if you didn't want to talk that much, how is it that you found time to mention that you had picked up your pots and pans and even your underpants had been taken and put in someone's pocket, yet you forgot your own wife? How is that?

  • Objection. The witness did not say he forgot his wife. The witness said he did not want to talk about that. It's a misstatement of the evidence.

  • And what I am suggesting, Madam President, is this: If he didn't have the presence of mind, because he didn't want to talk, to mention his wife, why is he mentioning his underpants?

  • Strictly - I get the point you are making, Mr Griffiths. Strictly he didn't forget. Maybe a slight rephrasing is all that is required.

  • Very well.

  • You are entitled to put the contrast.

  • Why is it that you failed to mention your wife, but you managed to mention your underpants? Which was more important?

  • Please listen to me. I have told you that I was not in the right frame of mind. If somebody went through such a terrible experience he would not be in the right frame of mind. He would just say things that he may not even want to say at that time.

  • Did you go back and pick up loads on a veranda in Penduma as you told that interviewer?

  • I did not pick up any load. I did not do that.

  • Having picked up the loads, were you met by 15 men led by Staff Alhaji?

  • Well, they passed anyway because, you know, but I told you but they actually passed. I told you that at the time this man interviewed me I was not in the right frame of mind, but they passed through.

  • You have told me that about six times now, but let me ask you: How is it that you were able to be so precise, 15 men, and yet you didn't mention your wife? How?

  • Listen to me. I said I was not in the right frame of mind. I am saying this. There were more than that even. At that time I was not in the right frame of mind. I was not sensible enough. I am just saying this, but at that time I was not in the right frame of mind. I was not sensible enough. It was when I came to, when I regained my senses, that was when I recalled the exact things that happened to me.

  • Did the 15 men you met strip you of all your luggage and your clothing?

  • Listen, there were more than 15 who attacked the town. There were more than 15, those who attacked the town. We were under the mango tree, sitting there. I don't recall them taking any luggage - sorry, anything from me, except my wristwatch that was taken away from me by Staff Alhaji.

  • When on that video tape you say all your luggage including your pots and pans and your underpants were taken, that was untrue, was it?

  • I was not in the right frame of mind. I have told you this. I was not sensible enough. Just imagine if somebody is running away from problems, would you go and pick up pots and pans?

  • Mr Witness, please listen to the question and answer the question. The question is - please repeat the question, Mr Griffiths.

  • When on that video tape you say that all your luggage, including your clothing, was taken from you, did that happen? Yes or no?

  • No. What I know is that it was only my wristwatch that was taken away from me.

  • When it is said on that video that you knew Staff Alhaji "Well, well", was that the truth?

  • Staff Alhaji, I knew him.

  • "Well, well"?

  • Look, Mr Witness, will you kindly answer the question please. You are asked whether you knew Staff Alhaji well.

  • I knew him very well.

  • Thank you. And do you recall saying that on the video?

  • Yes, I listened to it and I saw the video and I can recall when I said that.

  • And did you recall saying on the - describing on the video after your hand had been amputated falling into a stream, ducking your head under the water and drinking some water which revived you? Do you remember saying that on the video?

  • Well, it was only now that I heard it, but at that time I was not in the right frame of mind. I am repeating it.

  • On the day that your hand was chopped off, did you fall into a stream?

  • I did not fall into a stream. I did not fall into any stream.

  • So, help me, and it may be I know the answer already, why did you say on the - give such a description, a vivid description of falling into a stream, ducking your head under water and it reviving you? Why did you give such a description if it was totally false?

  • Listen, as you have already said that you know the answer, I told you that, really, I was not in the right frame of mind. Anybody who experienced such a terrible experience - terrible thing will not be sensible enough.

  • And also do you recall saying, right towards the end of that video clip "I do not know where my wife and children are. The only person I know about is my younger brother." Do you remember saying that on the video clip?

  • That is what I am telling you that I did not want to talk anything about my wife. In fact, in the first place I did not want to talk that much. I was only coaxed and somehow forced to even speak. I was sleeping. I was woken up. I was feeling the pain. I did not want to say anything about my wife and children, you see, because anybody I saw at that time I just regarded that person as an enemy, and I did not want to say anything at that time really.

  • Listen to the question, please. Did you hear yourself saying on that video clip saying "I do not know where my wife and children are, only my younger brother"? Did you hear yourself saying that?

  • I remember. I heard myself saying that, but that younger brother of mine, listen to me please, he was not with me throughout the war. It was in Makeni that my mother went to take my brother to be with me in Freetown, while the ECOMOG were taking me to Freetown, so he would be by me to take care of me, because I was not having - I was not sensible enough so that was why my younger brother was with me at Connaught.

  • Thank you for telling us that you did mention - you recall mentioning your wife on that videotape. Bearing that in mind, and whereas I am not for one minute --

  • Mr Griffiths, please pause. You said thank you for mentioning your wife. Was it not his brother he mentioned?

  • No, no, no, he accepted he mentioned his wife and children.

  • Yes, I remember. Thank you, I am clear now.

  • Now, Mr Sesay, understand I am not for one instance belittling the fact and the pain you must have suffered when your hand was amputated, but as a husband don't you think that perhaps the worst thing that happened that day was the rape of your wife by eight men in front of your own eyes and your daughter's eyes? So help me. Why didn't you mention that?

  • I did not want to mention that. If I continue saying that I would have had more psychological pain on me. In fact I would have likely died because of the psychological problem I would have had, so I did not want to mention that. I did not want to mention that.

  • Mr Sesay, do you agree with me that in many ways what happened to your wife, her gang rape and killing, was worse than what happened to you? Do you agree?

  • The two of us suffered, but she suffered the most, but I did not want to mention that because if I had continued talking about that when I was in pain I would have died. That was why I did not even bother mentioning that.

  • What I will suggest to you quite bluntly, Mr Sesay, is this: The evidence you have given before three tribunals, including this one, I suggest is a pack of lies. What do you say to that?

  • It was not - I am not telling a lie. I have taken an oath on the Bible and I am a Christian. I have not come here to tell lies.

  • You see, what I am suggesting is that what you said on that video within days of that terrible event was more likely to be the truth. That is right, isn't it?

  • I told you that the time that I was in the hospital when this operation had not been performed yet on me I was not by myself. I was not sensible enough.

  • And what I am suggesting is that for whatever reason you have decided after the event to make up a fantastical account as to what happened to you. That is the truth, isn't it?

  • It was after I had completed my healing process, that was when I came to my senses and people were going there to counsel us. That was when people like me, for example, took some courage and I gave my correct story.

  • And what I am further suggesting, just so that you have an opportunity of dealing with it, whether you be Christian or not, you have quite deliberately lied on oath on three separate occasions. That is what I am suggesting?

  • I will not swear on the Bible and lie afterwards. I am sitting right in front of international personnel. I would not lie to them. I am explaining exactly what happened to me and that is what I have said. Now that I have regained my senses I am explaining exactly what happened to me, the correct story, and I have said it thrice.

  • What I am further suggesting is, again so that you have an opportunity of explaining this to these Judges, is that it is when you saw the video, and what you had said on that video, that you realised that you had been caught out and that is why you are having difficulty answering questions about that video now, isn't it?

  • I have no difficulties in answering your questions. I did not find it difficult. You yourself would find that I did not find it difficult to respond to your questions. I am responding to your questions correctly and I am telling you everything that you asked me of. I am not telling you lies.

  • I am going to leave that topic and I want to deal with a couple of final matters. Yes. I wonder if we could have a look at a document, please, Madam Court Manager, I think it should be behind divider 5. It should be a record of interview conducted with Mr Sesay on 15 March 2007, is that right?

  • I think that might be divider 4.

  • Now this is a record, or should be a record, of an interview conducted with you on 15 March 2007, and do you see in that first answer on that page:

    "I am an amputee. The impact that the crimes for which I gave testimony had on me and family is that I work no longer to support me and my family."

    Is that true?

  • Your Honours, could counsel please take that slowly.

  • The first answer on that page:

    "I am an amputee. The impact that the crimes for which I gave testimony had on me and family is that I work no longer to support me and my family."

    Is that true?

  • The last answer on that page:

    "I am not living a happy life now because I am out of employment. I will never mine diamonds again because I am an amputee and it is very difficult for me to take care of my family (wife and children). No place of work will accept me because I am an amputee".

    Is that right?

  • Over the page, the first answer on that page:

    "Money. I have no means of getting money unless I beg from people. Mining. Mining is where I used to get money but being an amputee with one hand I mine diamonds no more."

    Is that true?

  • Go two-thirds of the way down the page:

    "Q. Have there been any employment issues as a result of

    you being a victim of these crimes?

    A. I have no employment issues as a result of I being a

    victim of these crimes. The only thing for sure I know no

    place work will employ me because of my present status."

    Is that true?

  • Now, as we can see from the first page, that is what you said to investigators in March 2007. Could we now then, please, go behind divider 7, because it's true, isn't it, Mr Sesay, you haven't worked since your hand was chopped off, have you?

  • No. Since my hand was cut off?

  • Now, let's have a look. According to this document, in February 2004 you were being paid for lost wages. Now you would agree with me, wouldn't you, Mr Sesay, that a man who is not working cannot be paid for lost wages, can he?

  • What do you mean by "lost wages"? Put the question clear and clarify the words.

  • Look on the second - against the number 2 on that page you will see:

    "Wednesday, 4 February 2004, made by M Smart. Lost wages and transportation to the Special Court for Sierra Leone for the re-confirmation process. Transport/lost wages, 10,000 leones."

    Do you see that?

  • That I was paid 10,000 leones?

  • Yes, do you see that entry?

  • Yes, I can see an amount of 10,000 leones.

  • Now, you will see that according to that entry you were supposed to have been paid that for transport and lost wages. What I want you to help us with is this: If you weren't working, how could you have been paid for lost wages?

  • Was I paid any money because I had lost salary?

  • According to this you were.

  • Well, somebody called Smart who must be very clever if they paid you for wages which, according to you, you didn't deserve?

  • Smart? 10,000 leones in place of a salary?

  • Part of it was supposed to be for lost wages, Mr Sesay, and I am hoping that you can help us as to how that came about given that you weren't working?

  • Who is this Mr Smart who purportedly paid me 10,000 leones?

  • You are asking the wrong person that question. I am in no position to answer that. I can only deal with what I am presented.

  • I did not receive any salary from the Special Court or any other person, 10,000 leones.

  • Mr Sesay, I am not disputing your answer. So would it follow then that what is recorded on this document is totally incorrect?

  • I did not receive any salary. It did not receive money.

  • So this is totally incorrect, isn't it?

  • No, it is not correct. I did not receive any salary.

  • Well, let's go over the page then.

  • I just don't understand.

  • You see when we go over the page we see, wow, lo and behold in February 2007 again you are being paid 10,000 leones - and there's no dispute here, this 10,000 leones is just for lost wages. Can you help me? Last year?

  • I don't really understand. If somebody went to me and maybe gave me some token or maybe that was just a gift or charity and maybe the person never mentioned that I was given a salary, because I was not working with them, I am not aware of that. You were just sitting down, and say, "Okay, you just be sitting down, don't be working we will be giving you 10,000 leones every month" and the 10,000 leones - even the food that I use for my family and I, 10,000 leones would not be sufficient for that. How could somebody give me 10,000 leones per month which I did not receive? It was not specified to me that this was the reason why we were giving you that money. That is not to my knowledge.

  • So again you would agree with me that's totally inaccurate, isn't it?

  • No, because if they had told me that this 10,000 leones that we are giving to you is for this reason or that reason, that would have been better, but I did not receive any money with that tag. If they had told me that I would have said it here that they gave me 10,000 leones monthly, but that did not occur.

  • Well, look at the second entry on that page, Mr Sesay. 15 March 2007. Another 10,000 leones for lost wages. Do you see that?

  • Salary that I had lost.

  • And if you look at the next entry below that, 23 May 2007, 5,000 leones lost wages. Do you see that?

  • I have seen it, but that is not to my knowledge. If they had told me that - because a lot of people used to go to us and give us was some kindness, some gave us money, some gave us clothing, some people gave us food items. But this particular thing that you have mentioned here, that it is salary that I am seeing here reading, if those people had told me that this was your lost salary that we are giving you this money for I would have said it here in court, but they never mentioned that to me. They never did that. The only thing was that whenever I would leave Kono and go to Freetown the Court was responsible for my transportation cost.

  • I totally agree with that. Why should you pay for that? But the point is - and again when we look at the last entry on that page for July again we see 20,000 leones for transport and lost wages. The fact of the matter is, Mr Sesay, at no stage were you given money in lieu of wages, were you?

  • If you mention transportation, yes, the Special Court used to give me transportation fare to return. Yes, they did. But that they gave me money saying that that was for the salary that I had lost? If they had mentioned that I would have said it here, but nobody ever mentioned that to me.

  • So you would agree with me that whoever has put this document together has written down something which is totally false? Would you agree?

  • Well, I wouldn't say it is wrong, because they used to give me money, but they never tagged it that way, as salary. You know salary means somebody who is working for you. That is the person you can pay salary to. If they had said, "This is salary to you" I would have accepted - I would have said it here that they gave me salary. If it was transportation, yes, they used to give me transportation fare to and fro, the Special Court gave me that. Indeed, yes, they did. But salary, no.

  • The final matters that I want to deal with you, Mr Sesay, are these. Do you remember yesterday I showed you a statement from September 2003 according to which you had said that you had been a soldier in the Sierra Leonean army? Do you remember me showing you that?

  • Now, is it possible, Mr Sesay, that you were in fact a soldier?

  • I was not a soldier.

  • And that perhaps you were part of Staff Alhaji's group and you did something wrong and, because of that, they chopped your hand off. Is that possible?

  • Well, I never did anything wrong to that man and I was not part of that man's group. Neither was I part of the military or a soldier or anybody related to that, no.

  • And is it possible that it is precisely because that was your role why you decided to make up an account about your wife being raped in front of your children in order to disguise the truth of what actually occurred? Is that possible?

  • What true story? Put the question directly. Put it properly to me so I can answer the question.

  • Let me put it in this way then: Is it possible that the only truth you have told any court is the fact that your hand was chopped off, but all the rest of the story is a complete embellishment to mask the fact that you were in fact a soldier?

  • That is why I told the Court yesterday if they conduct an investigation in Sierra Leone, they search any computer and they see my name or photo relating to any of the military barracks then I am guilty. But I am not a soldier. I would not hide my identity if I were a soldier. If I were a soldier I would have said so.

  • That is all I ask this witness, Madam President. Madam President, can I ask that the record of disbursements be marked for identification, please, and also I think I omitted to ask for the video clip to be marked for identification.

  • The video was not marked for identification. You did ask for the transcript.

  • Madam President, my difficulty with the videotape is this: It is extracted from a longer series of interviews, one of which was shown by Mr Anyah yesterday, and I think it is a CD made by Open Society. Now I had extracted just the particular clip which refers to this witness and put it on my memory stick and I am wondering whether technical facilities are available to transfer it from my memory stick to another mode of recording so that it can be preserved as an exhibit by this Court.

  • I will have to direct that question to those who are better equipped to answer it than me, Mr Griffiths. I will ask that first and then I will ask counsel for the Prosecution if they have any comment on the procedure you propose in view of the fact it is something that emanates --

  • From actually your memory stick, but let us see if it can be done first.

  • Your Honour, in response to that, the clip that we just played is actually part of a whole clip and so I think Mr Griffiths is slightly mistaken. It is actually the whole clip is there, but we were able to show a few minutes of that. So in actual fact it is the same full clip Mr Anyah played yesterday of which we also showed only a part. Now, having liaised with CITS they stated yesterday that they would be able to copy the whole clip, including both of the clips onto a CD, but they are not able to extract a few minutes and put those individually. So it would be the whole clip, but it could be specified that the exhibit actually runs from a certain number of minutes, the length which shows to another - some other minutes, your Honours. I hope that helps clarify.

  • Madam President, I am grateful for that, because I in fact gave the Court Manager the times of this particular clip yesterday, and if she could hand it back to me I could specify that now and we could for the record indicate that MFI-1, Defence MFI-1 for this witness, would be a video clip from 11:42 until 12:24 on exhibit EVO146.

  • Now, Mr Griffiths, one thing I noted when it was being played, and it is borne out in your cross-examination, is that there seems to be no date on that video clip. I couldn't see one on the screen.

  • Well, Madam President, it may be that what we need to do is to go - I didn't record it, but from memory I think there was a date right at the beginning.

  • Mr Griffiths, is this the same exhibit or clip that we admitted yesterday as exhibit D-72?

  • No, that is a further clip from the same CD-ROM from the same recording. Basically what happened was an interviewer went to Connaught Hospital and on that particular day interviewed I think, if memory serves, about five individuals sequentially and the clip which Mr Anyah showed yesterday is one of those individuals who was interviewed and then Mr Sesay was also interviewed during that sequence. So we are talking about the same CD-ROM.

  • So would this interview appear on the same CD-ROM as the one we admitted yesterday?

  • And therefore, is it necessary to admit it again, or simply to specify the minutes that you just told us?

  • Well, perhaps it might be neater for us just to specify the minutes and perhaps refer to it as clip between these minutes on exhibit D-72 or whatever it was. So then I would only mark for identification the disbursements form. Would that be correct?

  • Well, I think we might have to deal with the video clip differently. What I will do at the moment is I will mark those minutes 11:42 to 12:24 for identification, and when it comes to a tender we will deal with - we will hear the Prosecution's comments and we will deal finally with it, because there are two different - they are being tendered through two different witnesses.

  • Yes.

  • So, for the moment I will mark it as MFI-1, that is part of a video clip, being the minutes 11:42 to 12:24 on exhibit EVO146. Again, I am not sure that EVO146 is a formal notification. Again, we will deal with that when the time comes. And MFI-5 is a three page document headed "Special Court for Sierra Leone all disbursements for witnesses" and it becomes MFI-5.

  • Now, Mr Santora. You have heard the cross-examination. Questions or re-examination?

  • There is a little bit of re-examination. Just maybe to assist the Court too, I have actually asked to see perhaps when we do deal with the tendering of exhibits if these cannot - I am not sure why they can't be separated out and just associated with each witnesses. We are checking on that if there is a way that would perhaps make this whole thing a lot neater and just have each clip as associated with each witness be admitted vis-a-vis that witness. So, if that is possible, we are checking on it and we can deal with that when we come to tendering.

  • Counsel, just for reference I just have a few questions and I will give you the LiveNote reference before the question. The first reference is on my page 21, lines 6 through 9.

  • Mr Witness, I am going to ask you some questions about some of the things that Defence counsel asked you, okay? Now, Defence counsel was asking you about a video that was taken of you after this incident occurred. Do you remember him asking you about that?

  • And he was asking you why you did not explain on that video what happened to your wife. Do you remember that?

  • And in answering that question you said, in questions about your wife, you said, "The two of us suffered, but she suffered the most, but I did not want to mention that because if I had continued talking about that when I was in pain I would have died. That was why I did not even bother mentioning it." What did you mean when you said, "If I had continued talking about that when I was in pain I would have died"? What did you mean when you said that with regards to your wife - with what happened to your wife?

  • Well, the things that the juntas and the rebels did to my wife, and I was in pain, this man who conducted the interview with us at Connaught, if I had spoken to him about that woman that would have caused a serious psychological impact on me. I would have died even as a result. I am saying this again, because what they did to her I did not want to say anything about it. I did not want people to know about it even. You know, yesterday when I was talking and I got to that particular point in the testimony, if you could recall, if you had watched my countenance, my countenance changed. The way I felt was so bad. It was now that I am a little strong enough to say something about that. That is why I even said something about it, but at that time I could not. I was weak. I hadn't even sufficient blood in me, and if to be talking about the psychological impact would have killed me. It was after some counselors had counseled me that was why I was able to say something about it.

  • Counsel, the next reference, for your purposes the next reference is page 13 of my LiveNote and just to clarify the correct line numbers. At page 13, lines 18 to 21:

  • Now, Mr Witness, Defence counsel was also asking you about a time when people came and showed you a video - this video that you just saw - when they showed you a video in Waterloo. Do you remember Defence counsel asking you about that?

  • And he was asking you about - with regards to a statement given in 2007 when you were showed this video. Do you remember that?

  • And with regards to that you said, "It was only when that man took the video clip to me that I could recall and I explained to him the correct story, but he did not take any statement from me. He did not write anything that I said ." Do you remember saying that?

  • That is true. He showed me the video. He said - he asked me if I was the one in the video. I don't know the man's name and even if he is now amongst me I cannot recognise him. I did not know him and I don't know him. He was a male, that I am sure, I cannot describe him even, but he went there at a time at my house. He showed me the video and asked me if I was in that video and if that was my picture and I - that was my photo in the video and I said yes. He showed the video. It was playing and I saw it and I said yes. I saw Mohamed S Kamara, Momoh Tarawalli.

  • After he showed you the video, did he ask you anything else?

  • No. He only asked me if I would be able to explain to the Special Court and I said yes, I would be able to explain to the Special Court what had happened to him - to me. But I told him that where I was in that movie I was not in the right frame of mind. I was not even sensible enough. That was what I told him.

  • Let me - Mr Witness, when you said to him, when you said in your answer, "I explained to him the correct story, but he did not take any statement from me. He did not write anything that I said", what did you mean by that?

  • I don't remember him writing anything.

  • What do you mean when you said you explained to him the correct story?

  • When I saw myself in the clip I told him that that particular explanation was made when I was not in the right frame of mind, and I told him that I wanted to explain myself and I did, but I did not see him write anything. After I had explained everything, I just saw him take the video and he went. In fact, there were two. Two of them went. He was not alone.

  • And just one final point: In what format did he show you the video, do you remember? I don't know if the word "format" can translate properly. How was the video shown to you? By what means?

  • He slotted it into - he put it on the table and he started playing it.

  • On what? On what did he play it on, do you know?

  • It was a flat video - a flat device. He opened it up.

  • Can I just have a brief moment, Madam President?

  • There is no further questions and just as a note, Madam President, and for counsel, I did get informed - I was informed that technologically we are able to separate out these clips so we can submit them separately. I am not sure why that was the - I am not sure why that was represented that they couldn't be. I was surprised by that, because it is a fairly I think simple thing, but I thought maybe we could check. So they can be separated out if the court is inclined in a way to keep each video just associated with a particular witness.

  • They are actually Mr Griffiths and Mr Anyah's exhibits, but they are being - if they are being tendered and I will wait to hear any application they relate to two different --

  • Perhaps I am premature and I will bring it up when it comes up.

  • Mr Griffiths, that completes the witness's testimony.

  • Madam President, it seems to us that given that we already have before the Court a CD containing all of the clips, it seems to us - and that has already been exhibited - that we fail to see why it is necessary now, beyond specifying the particular times which delineate this witness, why we need to create yet another exhibit, but it is matter for the Court.

  • Well, with due respect, Mr Griffiths, you started it.

  • Yes, I know, but I am hoping to end it now by saying that perhaps what we ought to do is let's stick with the exhibit we have already and merely name for the purpose of the record and this witness the particular times where his clip is shown.

  • Very well. I will treat that as an application, Mr Santora, to admit only a reference to this witness. So in effect - and I want to make sure I know what you are all doing - the Defence exhibit D-72 will remain as Defence exhibit D-72A.

  • [Exhibit D-72 renamed D-72A]

    There will not be a new Defence exhibit, but if there is to be a reference in evidence or in submissions, et cetera, it will only be referred to by these times. Is that what you're saying, Mr Griffiths?

  • Your Honour, yes, and perhaps we could then label it as D-72C?

  • Well, there appears a logic in that, Mr Santora, so I will refer for purposes of submission, et cetera, to a part of a video clip which in effect is D-72A being the minutes 11:42 to 12:24 will be referred to as D-72C.

  • [Exhibit D-72C admitted]

    Please continue, Mr Griffiths.

  • And then the second application we would necessarily would have to make, Madam President, is for the transcript of that video to become D-72D.

  • The transcript has not been extracted yet and therefore I cannot mark it and of course it will have to be checked. I will do as I did yesterday. I will just defer that part, but I have noted the application and I will invite a reply to the application when the transcript has been prepared. Please proceed.

  • The final matter is the disbursement record, MFI-5.

  • Well, that will become Defence exhibit D-73, a three page document headed "Special Court for Sierra Leone all disbursements for witness".

  • [Exhibit D-73 admitted]

  • It is good Mr Anyah is on the Defence bar. Yesterday when we admitted exhibit D-72, or D-72A, there was no delineation of minutes and potentially that means that the entire video clip was taken in evidence. I don't think this is right, but you did not specify minutes as Mr Griffiths has done this morning. Are you able to perhaps clarify for us what it is you want to do? Do you want the whole clip taken note of or were there certain minutes that you wanted us to restrict our attention to?

  • Thank you, Justice Sebutinde. May it please your Honours, good morning. Mr Griffiths and I have just been discussing this matter and I think the manner in which we are proceeding might be the most efficient and might be the best course to adopt. Whilst this discussion was going on I did obtain from Madam Court Manager the precise minutes that pertain to the video clip that we displayed and had marked for identification and introduced into evidence yesterday in respect of TF1-216, Ibrahim Fofana, and the precise minutes where the frames in question appear commence at 17:52 of the video through 19:32.

    Now, what I seek to do at this point with leave of the Chamber and considering where we are procedurally that your Honours are still dealing with the current witness, if you grant me permission I could make my applications now in respect of this particular exhibit or I could make it after this witness is discharged, but what I propose to do is to make an application that Madam President's description of the video be modified or amended to include the relevant minutes in question and that would be Defence exhibit D72-A.

    Defence exhibit D72-B would be the English transcription of the Krio exchange on the video of which we have received a copy and I was going to ask learned counsel opposite if they have seen it and whether they do acquiesce that this is an appropriate reflection of what the video documents and the transcription would then be Defence exhibit D-72B and then the exhibit in respect of this witness, the video played today by Mr Griffiths, would take on Defence exhibit D-72C and thereafter the transcription of the audio into English would then be Defence exhibit D-72D. That is the course we propose to adopt to the extent it pleases your Honours.

  • I have already said that we will deal with the transcripts when they are all dealt with, but there is an application to basically amend the description of D-72A. Have you any comment on - it was Ms Baly's witness and Ms Baly had carriage of that. Have you any comment on that?

  • I have no objection to what Mr Anyah seeks to do.

  • And I have no objection to the transcript being tendered. I have seen it.

  • Therefore, Madam Court Officer, there will be an amendment to the title of Defence exhibit D-72A to recite the minutes therein which are minutes 17:52 to minute 19:32 and by consent the transcript in English of the verbal exchange on that clip becomes confirmed as Defence exhibit D-72B.

  • [Exhibit D-72B admitted]

  • Thank you, Madam President.

  • If there are no other matters I will discharge the witness.

    Mr Witness, thank you very much for coming to court. That is the end of your evidence and we thank you for coming and giving your evidence yesterday and today. We wish you a safe journey back and I will ask Mr Court Usher to assist you to leave the Court.

    Mr Santora?

  • Ms Baly has carriage of the next witness, which is TF1-198.

  • Thank you. Good morning, Ms Baly.

  • What language will this next witness speak?

  • The next witness will speak in the Kono language.

  • I will just check if we have a Kono interpreter in position. Mr Interpreter, are the Kono interpreters in position?

  • There is a brief application to rescind protective measures.

  • This witness has said she is prepared to testify in open session. There is an application to rescind protective measures which were granted to the witness in the 5 July 2004 decision, she being a Category A witness and so listed on the annexure to the motion. We are seeking the recision of the use of a pseudonym while she testifies, which was order (a), and the use of a screen while she testifies, which was order (e), and the use of voice distortion while she testifies, which was order (g).

  • Just again to ensure that the record is clear, that means that (b) is still in position? That is the address, whereabouts and other identifying information.

  • So in effect when the witness is in court she will give her name, but not her present whereabouts. Is that the correct effect?

  • That is the correct effect, yes.

  • Thank you for that clarification. Mr Griffiths, or Mr Anyah, I am not sure.

  • Madam President, our position remains as indicated earlier in similar situations and can I indicate that so far as this witness is concerned there are two very discrete and short topics that I have to deal with with her and I am quite happy for my learned friend to lead her on the formalities of adopting her previous testimony.

  • Is this a Rule 92 witness?

  • Yes, it is. I'm sorry, I should have informed your Honours of that.

  • Well, I want to make sure that we are all ad idem on the effect of recision of some of the Category A. I will note that the application is to rescind pseudonym, screen and voice distortion, but whereabouts, et cetera, remains as protective measures and we grant that application to rescind measures (a), (e) and (g) of the decision of 5 July 2004.

    We note that there may be an application to deal with matters in cross-examination. We will deal with it if and when it arises.

  • When I say there are two matters, Madam President, I mean that the two topics that I will be cross-examining on are very short and discrete.

  • I understand. I thought you were still talking about protective measures. I am clear now. Ms Baly, please have your witness called.

  • Your Honour, may I just make one thing clear. The witness is prepared to give her name. I will not be asking her her current whereabouts, but she is prepared to give her name to the Court and her --

  • Yes, that is our understanding. I may appear repetitive, but I feel it is important, given the long list of measures, that we are all clear about what we are talking about. (a), (b) and (c) doesn't mean a great deal when it is said out loud.