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

  • Yes, Mr Anyah?

  • I merely rise to state on the record we do not have any objection to the application for a private session at the beginning of the witness's evidence.

  • Thank you. That's most helpful, Mr Anyah. We haven't had one application yet, but we note that when it is made you will not object.

  • I would like a private session to take the witness's name and basic identifying information and certain unique positions he held.

  • The Trial Chamber grants that application. If that could be please implemented.

    For purposes of record and the rules we note that the Court will go into a brief private session to adduce certain evidence. This is to protect the security of the witness and it should be fairly short according to the indications we have had.

  • [At this point in the proceedings, a portion of the transcript, pages 19779 to 19784, was extracted and sealed under separate cover, as the proceeding was heard in private session.]

  • [Open session]

  • Your Honour, we are in open session.

  • Mr Koumjian, please proceed.

  • Mr Witness, we are now in open session and so please do not state your name or any information that would reveal your identity. If you do, as I've told you, there is a mechanism for us to delete it from the record, but try not to mention your name. Do you understand?

  • Sir, can you tell the judges whether you went to school?

  • Yes, I went to school.

  • Up to what level were you educated?

  • I stopped at the 10th grade.

  • What languages do you speak, sir?

  • I speak English and Gio.

  • Mr Koumjian, the witness is giving evidence in Liberian English. May I take it that he also speaks that language?

  • Sir, do you speak the Liberian form of English?

  • Yes, I speak Liberian English.

  • Sir, what country were you born in?

  • I was born in Monrovia, Liberia.

  • Can you tell us the first time you left Liberia?

  • I was in Liberia all through up to 1990, when I crossed over to Ivory Coast.

  • What happened when you went to the - well, first of all why did you go to the Ivory Coast?

  • When the war was coming in, that is the NPFL, since '89 up to '90 I crossed over to Ivory Coast and whilst I was in Ivory Coast I saw some members of the Special Forces of the NPFL. They used to visit the area where we stayed and they were encouraging people to go to the base because the Krahn ethnic group were killing the Gio and the Mano, so that was how I was encouraged to leave Ivory Coast to go to the base at Gborplay.

  • Can you tell us approximately when it was that you went to the base at Gborplay?

  • 1990.

  • Do you recall approximately what month it was? If you don't, just tell us.

  • No, I do not recall the month.

  • Just so the record is clear, what country is Gborplay in?

  • In Nimba County.

  • I asked you the country.

  • What happened when you got to the Gborplay base?

  • When I got to the base I saw a checkpoint where there were people, who included the SBUs, the soldiers and some Special Forces, and we were asked to form a single straight line. At that point they will ask you for your name and they ask you the purpose of which you are there and you will explain that you are there for training. Then they will allow you to pass through and go to the area where they had the recruits, so I was able to pass through and I went and joined the recruits and we started taking the training.

  • Can you please tell us approximately how long this training lasted?

  • Yes, the training lasted for three months. After the training one of my commandants, who was Benjamin Yeaten, on the training base, that is after the three months training, we were taken to Tapeta.

  • Before we leave the training, can you tell us what kinds of people were training with you - were undergoing training with you?

  • Yes, on the training base there were some Gambians, some Burkinabes and some Ivorians, so it was a mixed group of people taking the training. Those Gambians were Special Forces at the time and the Ivorians were just new recruits like myself. We all just went through the new training.

  • Mr Witness, you have used the word "Special Forces". Can you tell us what you mean when you say Special Forces?

  • Yes, the Special Forces were those who came with Mr Taylor who were trained in Libya. They were highly respected on the base and so we called them that name that they were using, the Special Forces, and they had a white T-shirt with a pepper bird printed right at the centre of the T-shirt.

  • What were the ages of the other people that trained with you; the age range?

  • In the case of the SBUs, some of them were ranging around ten, 12, up to 16.

  • Can you define this word "SBU"? What does that mean?

  • Yes, Small Boys Unit.

  • Thank you. Now, you mentioned your trainer. You mentioned Benjamin Yeaten. Can you tell us who was Benjamin Yeaten?

  • Benjamin Yeaten at that time was one of the Special Forces and he was the senior chief security to Mr Taylor at the base.

  • Do you know approximately how old he was?

  • Benjamin Yeaten, when I took assignment with him he told me that he was born in 1969.

  • Can you describe him physically, please?

  • Yes. He's a short gentleman, almost having the same height like me, and he had beards at that time.

  • The witness indicated by a hand movement a height. Are counsel able to estimate that height? Certainly since the witness was sitting and it was about head height then it --

  • I think the witness indicated approximately his own height and I think I would rather leave the record like that. He said a relatively short man, I believe.

  • Yes, Benjamin Yeaten is a relatively short man.

  • Sir, was Benjamin Yeaten educated to your knowledge?

  • Benjamin Yeaten was not an educated man and that includes even writing his own name.

  • Could he read, to your knowledge?

  • Benjamin Yeaten couldn't read at all.

  • Now, you indicated after finishing training you went somewhere. Can you tell us where you were assigned after your training?

  • Yes. I said, after my training we were taken to Tapeta. They put us in a truck and they took us to Tapeta in Nimba County where we met a battalion commander who was in charge of that area and he was called Tata Melay. He was a member of the Special Forces.

  • Your Honours, we will try to get a spelling later:

  • What happened then, sir?

  • When we were there, whilst we on the base, that is at Tapeta, we were waiting to go to the front line and after a few weeks I saw Oliver Varney. He came and put us in a formation and whilst we were in formation, they were briefing us, Oliver Varney appeared he was introduced to us by Tata Melay, the battalion commander, that this man is a Special Forces member and he is Oliver Varney and he is going to be assigned under this commandship as adjutant in the battalion so he is going to be serving as the adjutant within the Tapeta region.

  • Mr Witness, can we ask you to slow down because everything you say is being interpreted and written down, but the recorders are having trouble keeping up with you, so please give your testimony, giving pauses here and there.

  • Okay.

  • Mr Witness, I am a bit confused. Can you explain who was to serve as an adjutant to who?

  • I said, whilst in Tapeta, I saw Oliver L Varney Junior. He came to Tapeta and he introduced to the battalion that he is going to serve as the adjutant assigned to that battalion. So Oliver took charge over Tapeta as adjutant and later, after, whilst we were in the formation he asked that he wanted a bodyguard so he selected four men, including myself, and he did say, "From this point from today you guys are going to be assigned with me as bodyguards." So he chose me as his bodyguard {Redcated}. He chose me as his bodyguard {Redacted}. So I was assigned with Oliver in Tapeta.

  • Excuse me, your Honour, I had wanted that particular assignment in private session for a reason. So I would ask not the fact that he was a bodyguard, but when he explained the particulars - I would ask that that be redacted. On my screen it's page 15, the end of line 5 and beginning of line 6.

  • Mr Koumjian, I am loath to ask you to repeat it, because that would be repeating, but --

  • I think I can say it without revealing the information. Your Honour, I do not have a problem --

  • The sentence starting, "He chose me". Is that the sentence you are referring to?

  • Yes. In fact, that phrase, beginning with, "So he chose me". I want to stop it after it says, "From today you guys are going to be assigned to me as bodyguard" and then redact, because that was a unique position.

  • We can see the point you are making and we will grant a redaction with a warning that we have to be more careful in future. It would assist us all and to avoid a repetition and to ensure that Madam Court Officer is getting the right transcript if you could please write those relevant words down and pass them up. Then we can be assured that it's correct. Incidentally on my font it's on page 14 not page 15.

  • Mr Witness, do you know where Oliver Varney trained?

  • Oliver Varney, as I was made to understand at the base, they said he was a member of the Special Forces, those who were trained in Libya and those who came with Mr Taylor.

  • So, Mr Witness, after you received this assignment with Varney, can you tell us what - where did you go?

  • Yes. After taking the assignment with Mr Varney as bodyguard {Redacted} we left Tapeta and he was assigned in Buchanan, so we moved to Buchanan.

  • Your Honour, I take responsibility for not explaining this as well to the witness, but he has again mentioned the position.

  • Mr Witness, as you understand we are now in open session. It is clear that there are certain jobs that you had that may identify you. When coming to naming those you have to take care. Mr Koumjian, I obviously cannot tell the witness what to say, so it's for you to overcome this problem.

  • Mr Witness, just what I can tell you now, we are still in open session, is that you may mention that you were a bodyguard but do not mention your particular position. Do you understand?

  • Mr Witness, how long did you stay in Buchanan, approximately?

  • We spent approximately something like two months in Buchanan.

  • Where did you go next?

  • Madam President, certain promises were made to Justice Sebutinde in private session regarding dates and times and there is no date on the record or year regarding the time spent in Tapeta. Neither is there are indication of a time frame as far as the years concerned with respect to Buchanan and now we are going to a third location.

  • Your Honour, I am happy to cover those.

  • Sir, approximately when was it - you said you trained for about three months and you didn't know exactly when you started training. How long did you spend in Tapeta?

  • In Tapeta we spent a month.

  • After Buchanan, where did you go?

  • Okay. Whilst we were in Buchanan, then Mr Taylor moved to Buchanan. So he called Oliver Varney to put men together to move to Bomi Hills and Oliver put the men together and we moved to the port of Buchanan and we boarded - we went on board a ship and we went represent to Robertsport in Cape Mount.

  • Can you tell us approximately what year it was or years that you were in Bomi Hills?

  • Please tell us what year or years, to the best of your recollection, you were assigned to Bomi Hills.

  • Yes. That was where I was going to. I said when we left Buchanan we moved to Robertsport on a ship and when we arrived at Robertsport we captured Robertsport and we moved to Bomi Hills the same night, '90 --

  • Your Honours, we do have the language that we are requesting the redaction for if it would be of assistance to the Court Officer.

  • We would appreciate spellings as we go along rather than compounding all these location spellings and missing them at the end.

  • Tapeta, T-A-P-E-T-A. I believe we have Buchanan and Bomi Hills already.

  • This place Robertsport, however it is pronounced, what is the spelling?

  • I believe it's spelt correctly, but we will double check that:

  • Sir, did you see any fighting during any of this time?

  • Yes. When we got to Robertsport there were actually no armed men at Robertsport. The area that we actually engaged in serious combat was at Bomi Hills. We fought against the Doe soldiers in Bomi Hills.

  • For approximately how long were you in Bomi Hills?

  • I was in Bomi Hills from 1990 to '91.

  • Mr Witness, have you ever seen a man named Foday Sankoh?

  • I met a man called Foday Sankoh, but he was not in Bomi Hills. I met Foday Sankoh in Gbanga. That was my first trip from Bomi Hills with Oliver Varney to Gbanga, I met with Foday Sankoh.

  • And Gbanga is G-B-A-N-G-A:

  • Sir, tell us please the circumstances in which you saw or met Foday Sankoh in Gbanga?

  • Tell us how it was that you saw Foday Sankoh in Gbanga?

  • Okay. When we left Bomi Hills - when we were in Bomi Hills we used to travel to Gbanga for supplies. So at that particular time when we got to Gbanga, Oliver went to Foday Sankoh's house and that was where I was able to see Sankoh. He was standing outside and Oliver gave him curtsy and he put his hands round Oliver and from there the two of them went inside. That was the time I came across a guy called Daniel Tamba. He and I were friends, because by then he was assigned to Foday Sankoh. And that was my first time my seeing Sankoh.

  • Did you ever see Sankoh after that time in Gbanga?

  • What was the next time you recall seeing Sankoh?

  • My next time seeing Sankoh was in Bomi Hills. By then he and his men were already set to cross over to Freetown to fight, so he came to Bomi Hills and he met with Oliver. He had a meeting with the front-line commander, like One Man One --

  • Your Honours, the second name was not clear to the interpreter.

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter has not heard the second name that you mentioned, the name after One Man One. Please repeat that name.

  • John Gonla. John Gonla. And they had a meeting that night and the purpose of that meeting was that Sankoh's men were coming to cross over to Freetown, in Sierra Leone, to fight.

  • Your Honours, I believe the spelling of Gonla is G-O-N-L-A. John Gonla:

  • How do you know about this meeting?

  • I was standing right there on duty where the meeting was taking place.

  • Mr Witness, when you say Sankoh's men were coming to cross over to Freetown, what do you mean by Freetown?

  • To go to Sierra Leone to fight, because Sankoh was the rebel leader for the group.

  • What else did Sankoh say about his mission that you can recall?

  • I remember that he was telling Oliver that, "This revolution that we are here to launch, I do not want any looting. I do not want my citizens be harassed". That was what I heard him say.

  • Did Sankoh indicate how he would get the men and equipment to do this invasion?

  • Yes, Sankoh said his men were trained at Naama and that most of them were Liberians at that time and the supplies were given to him by Mr Taylor and that every support for that movement came from Mr Taylor.

  • Now, Mr Witness, do you know whether or not Oliver Varney was surprised to see Sankoh come and say he was bringing men through Bomi Hills?

  • No, I was not surprised, because Oliver, Sankoh and others, all of them came from Libya together. According to him, he said all of them were there and that he was a friend to Mr Taylor and he was friendly to all of them and so all of them came together. So it was not a surprise to me, nor Oliver.

  • Was there any communication before the arrival of Sankoh?

  • Yes, the communication took place in the radio room whilst I was standing there and it came directly from Mr Taylor in Gbanga to Oliver and he said Sankoh was en route and that he should make sure that he gives him every support he needed.

  • Now after Sankoh arrived in Bomi, did you ever see any troops pass through?

  • When Sankoh came he came ahead and the troop was coming behind, and after that meeting that they held the troop arrived the following day and so they were all taken to Bo Waterside. That is the border between Sierra Leone and Liberia.

  • Do you know what their target was?

  • Yes, their target was to hit Gendema at the border and after hitting Gendema they advanced as far as Zimmi.

  • Mr Witness, did Foday Sankoh go with the troops into Sierra Leone at that time?

  • No, Sankoh was the leader for the troops and so he stopped across the border, the troops went ahead and it was after a few days that he drove in. So, he used to go and return to Liberia.

  • Now, Mr Witness, you've mentioned your commander at that time - excuse me, let me go back for a moment. After you saw these troops pass through Bomi, in the direction of Sierra Leone, did you see any other movements back and forth through Bomi?

  • Oh, yes, men used to leave Bomi Hills, go in and then they will come back to Bomi on motorbikes so the movement was free.

  • Were you able to learn - and just tell us if not - the nationalities of these troops that were going into Sierra Leone?

  • All I know was that a good number of them were Liberians and it came to a time when they actually started recruiting more Sierra Leoneans.

  • Now, Mr Witness, you've mentioned your commander at that time as Oliver Varney. What happened to him?

  • Okay. Whilst we were in Bomi, after the troops had left and gone inside and whilst we were in Bomi still, Oliver Varney's assignment was changed to Maryland by Mr Taylor and so we left Bomi Hills to Maryland. Whilst we were in Maryland, Bomi Hills came under attack from the ULIMO-K. It was then that Mr Taylor called on Oliver to come back and repel the attack and Oliver returned to Bomi. He left me in Maryland and when he went back to Bomi he repelled the attack. Mr Taylor again asked him to retake his assignment in Bomi, so whilst Oliver was in Bomi he said --

  • Your Honours, could the witness kindly repeat that area slowly.

  • Please pause, Mr Witness, because the interpreter is trying to keep up with you. You are speaking too quickly. As I have already explained, it is all being interpreted and written down. Please pick up your answer where you said, "Mr Taylor again asked him to retake his assignment in Bomi, so whilst Oliver was in Bomi he said --" Continue from that point and please speak slowly.

  • I said whilst we were in Bomi it was later that Oliver's assignment changed to Maryland. That was by Mr Taylor. So we went to Maryland, but whilst we were in Maryland some areas in Bomi came under attack from the ULIMO-K. Mr Taylor again called Oliver to return and retake his assignment in Bomi Hills, so Oliver left Maryland with his troops back to Bomi Hills and he repelled the attack. So Mr Taylor told Oliver to stay in Bomi Hills on his assignment there and, whilst Oliver was there, the ULIMO attacked again and Bomi Hills was captured, so Oliver was arrested by Mr Taylor and later he was executed. He said he sold off Bomi Hills.

  • Who is "he"? The witness has said "he said". Who is the "he"?

  • Oliver Varney connived and sold Bomi and that was according to Mr Taylor.

  • Mr Witness, do you know approximately when this was when Bomi Hills was attacked and fell to ULIMO-K?

  • It was in 1992 - I mean '91 when we left and went to Maryland. I stayed in Maryland. I did not go back to Bomi Hills with Oliver and the troops.

  • Mr Koumjian, perhaps I missed something, but the witness did not say anything about ULIMO-K, did he? He said ULIMO.

  • Your Honour, I believe that is absolutely correct. That would not have made sense what I said. The witness said ULIMO.

  • The witness simply said ULIMO.

  • That is my error. Thank you:

  • Sir, now you've talked about Mr Oliver Varney being executed. How do you know about that?

  • Okay. When I left, that was when I was in Maryland, the news went all around through radio conversations that Oliver had been arrested and I --

  • Please pause, Mr Witness. Mr Anyah?

  • Yes, I am objecting on the basis of relevance. This is a description of an execution on its face pertaining exclusively to the NPFL and having nothing to do with any nexus to Sierra Leone. The witness is describing how ULIMO-K fighting in Liberia, in the territory of Liberia and Bomi, took over Bomi Hills. Oliver Varney is assigned first to Maryland, reassigned back to Bomi Hills and Bomi Hills falls into the hands of ULIMO-K and it is alleged that an order was given by Mr Taylor to execute Varney.

    Now with respect, your Honours, this is not in any way relevant to Rule 93 of the rules. It is not in any way relevant to the conflicts in Sierra Leone. The incident is said to happen between 1991 and 1992 and an internal incident during the conflict in Liberia, occurring some five years before the indictment period, how does this help your Honours decide the issues that are relevant to the case save for portraying our client as somebody who executes people? That is all this evidence goes to show; that Mr Taylor allegedly ordered someone to be executed on Liberian soil during the conflict in Liberia.

  • Mr Koumjian, your response?

  • Yes. Your Honour, the evidence is relevant not just to place this witness's testimony in context and his changes in assignment, but it is relevant for the reasons Mr Anyah is objecting because it does show a pattern of conduct and it is covered under Rule 93. It goes to show the proof of what the Prosecution case is, which is that the RUF and Mr Taylor's minions in Sierra Leone carried out a campaign of terror, that they were an organisation based on terror internally and that is how they treated the civilians even internally. Mr Taylor's control over the RUF, similar to his control over the NPFL, part of that was his power to execute anyone who didn't obey his orders; anybody who didn't carry out what he felt was the job he wanted them to do. This pattern of the accused continually executing commanders - even very top persons - without evidence, simply because they went against his wishes or failed in their assignments, illustrates this pattern of terrorising the organisation, maintaining absolute control of it and that this is part of how he maintained the control of the RUF and the other forces that he influenced in Sierra Leone.

    I would add also, if I may, that the Prosecution does have of course the burden of proof showing beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Taylor held the intent that terror be committed. This pattern of conduct of killing even those very close to him and killing civilians also in Liberia is very probative, in our view, of what his intent was of what happened in Sierra Leone.

  • Well, if I may be allowed to reply to some of this?

  • Only on a point of law, Mr Anyah. This is an interlocutory objection.

  • Well, on a point of law, the point I would make is this. Your Honours have to consider the temporal proximity of this alleged event and the period when the indictment begins to run. This event is occurring some time in 1991, or 1992. They are allegations and all counsel has said are allegations. How does it any way have probative force and reliability to show that our client has a particular pattern of conduct that manifested itself in his control of the RUF in Sierra Leone, another country. I am saying that it has little or no probative value.

  • [Trial Chamber conferred]

  • We note provisions of Rule 93(A) that evidence of a consistent pattern of conduct, et cetera, may be admissible in the interests of justice. The probative value or otherwise of such evidence is a matter to be assessed at the end of the evidence and we allow this line of evidence. Please continue.

  • Mr Witness, briefly, can you tell us how do you know about the execution of Mr Varney?

  • When I left, that is after I had heard the news that Oliver had arrested, I was concerned. I later went to Gbanga and when I went to Gbanga I was even afraid. I was hiding. I moved to Oliver's house in Gbanga because he had his house in Gbanga. When I got to the house the house had been looted and the girls - children stopping with him, some of them were around and I saw one and she told me that Macarthy, one of the bodyguards to Oliver, was around there and I was able to see Macarthy and when I saw Macarthy --

  • Mr Witness, can I ask you again to slow down, please. Speak in sentences, not one long chunk. Please slow down and repeat the answer. For example, the children, somebody's children, we didn't get whose children those were. You mentioned something, the guard's children. Did you say the guard's children?

  • The girls. The girls children. The girls. Girls.

  • G-I-R-L-S. Girls.

  • Mr Interpreters, I thought I heard guy, G-U-Y.

  • Your Honours, the witness himself spelt the word.

  • I said G-I-R-L-S. Girls children.

  • What does that mean? Mr Koumjian, what does all that mean? Just look at the record and see if you make sense of it.

  • Mr Witness, you were telling us that you got to Oliver's house in Gbanga and that the house was looted when you got there. Can you continue from there and tell us how it is that you learned of the execution of Oliver Varney?

  • Yes. I said I was in Maryland and this news was flying around. People called to all the radio rooms that Oliver had been arrested. They said he had been arrested and later I moved to Gbanga. When I got to Gbanga I went to Oliver's house and when I got there the house had been looted.

    The house had been looted and I was able to see one of the girls who was staying with him and she told me that one of his bodyguards, by the name of Macarthy was around and I saw Macarthy and Macarthy explained to me that Oliver was arrested and he said he was arrested along with Oliver and he said Oliver was tied up. He was tie-bayed. They said they took him to the task force office along with Macarthy, so later he Macarthy was set free and Oliver remained at the task force office.

    And Macarthy was there in Gbanga at that time. He saw all the action that went on there because he was arrested alongside Oliver and later Mr Taylor gave an order to Cassius Jacobs, to take Oliver to Bomaru for execution and it was a news that spread all over Gbanga, it was not in hiding.

    And after executing Oliver they left Oliver's body right at the place where he was executed. Nobody took the body up. The body was there until it got rot. Right at Bomaru. People went there and saw it.

  • Thank you. Now, Mr Witness, you said, "Later Mr Taylor gave an order to Cassius Jacobs". It has been spelled before, your Honours, but C-A-S-S-I-U-S J-A-C-O-B-S. Who was Cassius Jacobs?

  • Cassius Jacobs was the commander. He was the chief of staff for the Executive Mansion in Gbanga.

  • What happened eventually to Cassius Jacobs?

  • Okay. From there I took assignment with Benjamin Yeaten and then Mr Taylor travelled, he left Gbanga and travelled, and after he had travelled Gbanga came under attack. Gbanga came under attack and it fell into the hands of the ULIMO. So everybody left Gbanga for Ganta and later, on Mr Taylor's return, when he came to Ganta, Cassius Jacobs was arrested and he said he too sold Gbanga and he too was executed.

  • Mr Witness, did you ever hear any evidence produced against Cassius Jacobs or Oliver Varney for having allegedly sold or connived?

  • Objection. Now we have a compound question suggesting that there is evidence on the record that there was an allegation against Cassius Jacobs for conniving with an unknown enemy. It's not alleged that it's ULIMO or somebody, that's not on the record, and it is now compounded with what happened to Oliver Varney.

  • I would be happy to clarify that.

  • And there is no date or foundation for the execution of Cassius Jacobs.

  • Mr Koumjian, this indeed was two questions in one, it relates to two different people. In the case of Cassius Jacobs we have not got sufficient foundation to show why an allegation was made. The evidence - you used the word "evidence". It is not evidence within this Court, I presume, but you should be clear on what exactly you mean. The question was, "Did you ever hear any evidence".

  • There has been - this particular killing of Cassius Jacobs has come up before and I believe the dates are also on record, but --

  • No, from other witnesses.

  • Well, we are adducing evidence from this witness. We need those details from this witness.

  • Sir, you said Cassius Jacobs was killed after Gbanga came under attack and fell to ULIMO and you said Jacobs was arrested and he said sold Gbanga. Who said Jacobs had sold Gbanga?

  • When Gbanga fell, we left, every one of us left to Ganta, and on Mr Taylor's return when he came to Ganta from the place where he had travelled, he ordered that Cassius Jacobs be arrested and Cassius Jacobs was arrested and it was by Mr Taylor's instruction.

  • Mr Koumjian, it all sounds quite plausible but we need to have a little bit of foundation. How does this witness come to know this instruction? To whom were the instructions given? He is telling us this story. We don't know. We don't have enough foundation.

  • Mr Witness, do you recall what year it was to the best of your recollection when Gbanga fell to ULIMO while you said Mr Taylor had gone to Ghana?

  • He said Ganta, and not Ghana.

  • I said when Gbanga fell Mr Taylor was not in the country, he had travelled. He was not in Gbanga. He had travelled. When Gbanga fell all of us moved to Ganta waiting for his arrival, Mr Taylor's arrival, and when he came he said that Cassius Jacobs had sold out Gbanga and he gave an order to the task force to arrest Cassius Jacobs and the task force arrested Cassius Jacobs and they took him to jail. He was in jail and later they arrested one Ojuku Larry on Mr Taylor's instruction and both of them were executed. That was what I said.

  • Mr Witness, first the second name that you mentioned, can you say it slowly, the second person arrested.

  • I will try to get a spelling for your Honours later.

  • We still don't have foundation as to how this witness came by this knowledge, unless he was part of the task force perhaps. That evidence is not on the record.

  • Sir, how do you know about the arrest and execution of Cassius Jacobs?

  • I was in Ganta and assigned with Benjamin Yeaten and Yeaten was the chief security to Mr Taylor and everything - I was present at everything that was going on. It was not somebody that told me. I was assigned with the chief security when Cassius Jacobs and Ojuku Larry were arrested on Mr Taylor's instructions.

  • Did you see that take place?

  • Yes.

  • How do you know they were executed?

  • They took them - they put them in the task force pick-up. They took them to a highway a town called Neingben and they were executed right on the road. The two corpses were lying down there for almost a month. Nobody touched them. Everybody used to go there to see the corpses.

  • And, Mr Witness, if you don't know tell us, but do you recall what year it was that Cassius Jacobs - that Gbanga fell and Cassius Jacobs was executed?

  • Are we going to get a spelling of this location where the executions took place?

  • Sir, can you repeat the name. You said they took them to a highway and to a town called? Can you repeat?

  • A Mano town called Neignben.

  • Could I request an interpreter's spelling?

  • Mr Interpreter, could you or your colleagues assist us with the spelling of that place?

  • Your Honours, we can only do so phonetically and what we have here is N-E-M-G-B-E-N.

  • We will try and double check that on a map.

  • Did the witness say a Mano town called --

  • Neingben, right on the main route to Ganta to Gbanga. The route right on the main road.

  • Mr Witness, just so we all clear, when you call it a Mano town, what do you mean?

  • That is a tribe that was in Nimba, Gio and Mano. That town belonged to the Mano people.

  • Mr Witness, let me go back to another question I haven't finished yet. Did you ever hear of any evidence - well, let me try to use another word. Did you ever hear any proof that Oliver Varney had in any way connived with the enemy before he was executed?

  • Up to the time Oliver was arrested and executed there was no evidence at all to prove that Oliver indeed connived with an enemy, or sold out Bomi, up to now.

  • Mr Witness, did you personally ever hear of any proof that Cassius Jacobs had connived with ULIMO before the fall of Gbanga?

  • Not at all. No proof.

  • Now, Mr Witness, I want to take you back to where you told us that Oliver Varney was killed. Did your assignment change at that point?

  • Yes, after they executed Oliver I took up assignment with Benjamin Yeaten in Gbanga. At that time he was the chief security to Mr Taylor, a two star general in Gbanga, and I was assigned to him.

  • When you say "chief security" is that a title of a position, or what is it?

  • He was responsible for Mr Taylor's movement. It's a title, chief security.

  • For how long from that point did you remain under the command of Benjamin Yeaten?

  • I was with Yeaten from that point up to the time Mr Taylor became President in Monrovia.

  • Mr Koumjian, before you move on who was the two star general referred to at page 35, line 4?

  • Mr Witness, who was the two star general you referred to?

  • I said Benjamin Yeaten.

  • During the time that you were working with Yeaten, did you talk to him?

  • Yes. Yes, the two of us used to talk. We did everything in common. In spite of the fact that he was my boss, we used to sit and discuss. When I took assignment with him, he used to encourage me that what had happened to Oliver should be forgotten about. It was a Liberian issue.

  • Did Mr Benjamin Yeaten ever describe to you his relationship with Charles Taylor?

  • Yes, he said - Charles Taylor, he used to call him father. He was his father. He was his chief. If anybody went against him, he would execute that person. He was very close to him. They did everything in common.

  • Mr Koumjian, this assignment with Benjamin Yeaten, are we going to find out exactly what it was or not?

  • Sir, at this time, after you first took up assignment with Yeaten after the killing of Varney, where were you assigned?

  • Before I took up assignment with Yeaten, or when I took up assignment with him?

  • When you took up the assignment with him?

  • I said when I got to Gbanga - at the time that Oliver was executed, when I got to Gbanga at that time Oliver had already been executed. I went to Yeaten's house and reported to him and he told me that I should be with him and I was with him throughout. We used to go to the front lines, come back and it was then that I became a bodyguard to him. Later he sent me for the SSS training in Gbanga.

  • How long did you remain with Yeaten in Gbanga?

  • I was with Yeaten. My assignment never changed. I was with Yeaten from Gbanga and later after the SSS training, because he sent me for training - a private training, SSS. It was not recognised, but it was responsible to safeguard the lives of Mr Taylor and his family. So, when he sent me for this training and when I graduated he assigned me to the mansion in Gbanga. I was assigned to the mansion in Gbanga.

  • Sir, do you recall to the best of your recollection approximately what year that was that you were assigned to the Executive Mansion in Gbanga?

  • Well, he didn't say "Executive". He said "The mansion in Gbanga".

  • I said Executive Mansion.

  • Mr Koumjian, please do take care in not leading the witness.

  • Sir, what exactly was your assignment at the mansion?

  • My assignment at the mansion was that I was assigned and we were running three shifts: in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening at night. We would go in the morning at 8 o'clock and you would be changed at 4 and another shift will come and take over by 12. So, we were running three shifts. I was assigned directly to the mansion in Gbanga.

  • Mr Koumjian, as what?

  • SSS. I said it. I said it was the SSS at that time. It was not recognised when Mr Taylor took over as President, but it was SSS.

  • Mr Witness, at that time - well, first of all can you tell us what does SSS stand for?

  • Special Security Service. Special Security Service.

  • Did you have any rank at that time while you were in Gbanga within any force?

  • When I took up that assignment I was an agent in the SSS - an agent. We call it agent in the service. That meant you did not have a rank.

  • And tell us what were your duties as an agent in the service there in Gbanga?

  • My duty was that when I reported for work I would meet my commander and he will assign me to either the gate, the fence, the entrance, to enter the mansion. When guys were coming I would open up. Anybody who was coming to see Mr Taylor I would ask them their mission. That was my responsibility, to give protection.

  • Did anyone live --

  • Madam President, there was a question posed by learned counsel opposite regarding what year the witness was assigned and we never got an answer to that question. It appears on page 37 at my lines 11 through 14.

  • Mr Koumjian, I don't think we do have a year, do we? There was a year mentioned, but in a different context.

  • Mr Witness, do you recall approximately what year it was that you took up your duties at the mansion in Gbanga?

  • Yes, it was '92.

  • Now, sir, who was - you said you were in the SSS, or an agent for the SSS. Was there a commander of the SSS?

  • Yes, at that time the security director was Mr Yeaten. Montgomery - Joseph Montgomery - was under the director, 52, Uriah Taylor one of the directors 53 and my commander --

  • Okay.

  • Thank you. Mr Witness, when you use these numbers, you said "Joseph Montgomery 52", what do you mean by these numbers?

  • These numbers were responsible for the operation - for the movement. Any operation within the SSS that position was responsible for that; the movement of the President. It's an operational code.

  • Did the director, Mr Yeaten, have a code?

  • Yes, they called him 50.

  • Your Honours, could I kindly ask the Court Officer to show to the witness - well, I am going to ask for two photographs P122A and P153A:

  • Just before I show you the photographs, sir, you mentioned the mansion. Did anyone live in the mansion?

  • Yes, Mr Taylor was living in the mansion.

  • When you say "Mr Taylor", just so we are absolutely clear who are you talking about?

  • The President at that time. We used to call him the President.

  • If the witness could please be shown or put on the screen P122A:

  • Mr Witness, do you recognise anyone in that photograph?

  • Who do you recognise?

  • The first person with the cap, or the Thuraya, is Benjamin Yeaten. The person behind him is Special Forces Sylvester --

  • Your Honours, can he repeat the second name.

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter asks that you repeat Sylvester's second name, please.

  • Sylvester William.

  • Now, Mr Witness, you identified Benjamin Yeaten and you said, "The first person with the cap", and then you said something else, "Thuraya". What do you mean by that?

  • Thuraya is a phone. It's a phone that goes to a distance. Even when you are in the forest you can use it. It's not like am ordinary phone like a cell phone. This was the kind of phone that he was using as commander. It was distributed to the various commanders. Thuraya satellite phone.

  • Your Honour, we have had it before but I am going to check the correct spelling. I may have misspelled it previously.

  • Mr Koumjian, can you assist us with the photograph that is on the screen. Which tab is it behind in this bundle, please?

  • It's not in the tabs. It is exhibit P-122A. It's one of the Prosecution exhibits. Thuraya for the record I believe is T-H-U-R-A-Y-A. If the witness can be shown the second photograph which is also a Prosecution exhibit P-153A:

  • Mr Witness, do you recognise the person, the man in the foreground of the photograph with what looks like a red or orange shirt and a gun in his right hand?

  • The first person standing with the red T-shirt with the combat is General Benjamin D Yeaten. The second person at the back there standing, with the arm, is Daniel Tamba. His code was Jungle.

  • Just so we are clear, the person you are identifying as Jungle, is he looking away from the person taking the picture or looking towards the person taking the picture?

  • He is looking at the person taking the picture with AK hanging on him, right behind Benjamin Yeaten.

  • Thank you. Mr Witness, can you tell us how security was organised at the mansion in Gbanga?

  • Yes. Security was well organised. We had the SBU and Executive Mansion Task Force. Then the SSS. Then down, when you came to the mansion - I mean, sorry, in front of the mansion, you had the SSU. I mean, sorry, the Cobra Unit. Cobra. So the security was well organised.

  • Sir, you have mentioned SBUs involved in the security. Can you give us the age range of SBUs that were at the mansion in Gbanga?

  • Yes. Yeah, we had from 12, ten, 15, even some nine year olds, because we had some little boys that were in the SBU.

  • Who did the SBUs report to?

  • The SBUs reported directly to Mr Taylor, but the chief of staff within the mansion, Cassius Jacobs, was the --

  • Your Honours, can he kindly repeat this tail end of his testimony.

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter asks that you repeat part of your answer. He did not hear it clearly. Please pick up where you said, "Cassius Jacobs was the --" and continue.

  • Cassius Jacobs, I said Cassius Jacobs was the Executive Mansion Chief of Staff in Gbanga and he reported directly to Mr Taylor. The SBU commander, Zoupon Johnson, reported directly to Mr Taylor. That was what I said.

  • Your Honours, the spelling of Zoupon is Z-O-U-P-O-N:

  • Sir, during the time that you had come under the command of Benjamin Yeaten in Gbanga, did you ever see Foday Sankoh again?

  • Yes, when I came under Benjamin Yeaten's command Foday Sankoh was given a house right at the area called Sugar Hill. Sugar Hill, that was where he stayed. At this house there were SBUs, Task Force and some SSS personnel assigned at the house, not far away from Benjamin Yeaten's house and not far away from the mansion, and we used to go there and speak to him. That was where I saw him again.

  • Can you tell us the approximate distance between the house Foday Sankoh was in and Mr Taylor's house?

  • You could stand - because there was a hill, so you could stand right at the house and look straight at the mansion.

  • You talked about various security for Foday Sankoh's house, including SBUs and SSS. Who did these security report to?

  • Those securities that were assigned there were sent there by various commanders. The SBUs reported only to their commander, Zoupon, and Zoupon would report to Mr Taylor. The SSS that were assigned there would report to Benjamin Yeaten and Yeaten in turn would report to Mr Taylor, so everybody had their responsibilities.

  • Where was it in Gbanga that you would actually see Mr Sankoh?

  • I saw Mr Sankoh at his house and, apart from that, I was assigned - when I was assigned to the mansion Sankoh used to come to the mansion when he comes to see Mr Taylor and I would be on duty. He would pass me by and go into Mr Taylor, they will discuss and he will come back and return to his house.

  • Mr Witness, do you know if at that time Mr Sankoh was permanently in Gbanga, or if he was travelling?

  • Mr Taylor was in Gbanga. He used to travel. He used to go and return; sometimes to the Ivory Coast and return.

  • Mr Koumjian, I know the witness has answered about Mr Taylor, but - and I think I recall that was your question, but the record shows that you asked about Mr Sankoh and that has not been answered.

  • Yes, thank you. I missed that:

  • Sir, I was asking you about Foday Sankoh. Do you know - and if you don't just say so - whether or not Foday Sankoh was staying at his residence in Gbanga, or sometimes travelling?

  • Oh, okay. Sankoh used to travel and come back to Gbanga.

  • Do you know - and again tell us if you don't - where he was going?

  • No, I don't know.

  • Thank you. Now, Mr Witness, when you were in Gbanga did you receive any assignments at any time to go to other parts of Liberia?

  • Yes, I was in Gbanga at the mansion when at one time an enemy hit. ULIMO hit some part of Lofa and there was a supply to take to Lofa at that time and I was part of the convoy. Mr Yeaten gave the order and we drove to that place. The RUF came from in and repelled the attack. I met with one of the commanders called Yellow Man and the supply was turned over to them. That was one of the assignments that we had.

  • Mr Witness, do you recall what year this was that you travelled to Lofa County?

  • It was in the same '92. '92.

  • You said there was a supply to take. What do you mean by supply?

  • Ammunition to take to the front line. Ammunition.

  • Was ammunition kept in Gbanga?

  • Oh, yes. Yes, ammunition was kept in Gbanga.

  • Where in Gbanga was ammunition kept?

  • The ammunition was kept right at the mansion. There was a G4 section right at the mansion. That was where the ammunition was kept.

  • Now in your answer, in talking about this trip to Lofa, you said, "The RUF came from in and repelled the attack". Can you explain what you mean?

  • Yes, when we were in Gbanga the RUF - because their supply used to come from Gbanga to reach them and so that was their supply route, so any attack that would block their route they will come from in to repel that attack because Mr Taylor used to send them supplies and so that route was not supposed to be blocked.

  • Mr Taylor used to send them what?

  • Now, Mr Witness, at what - did you ever leave Gbanga and receive an assignment somewhere else?

  • The particular supply that I am talking of, the ammunition that I am talking about, we used to take that and return to duty, so I never left Gbanga to take up assignment anywhere. We only used to take the ammunition along and return.

  • My question is what was your next assignment after Gbanga? After being based in Gbanga, were you based anywhere else?

  • No, I was never based anywhere else apart from Gbanga. I was with Yeaten and we left and went to Grand Gedeh. This is the Eastern Region where we were fighting LPC at the time. That was where the --

  • Your Honours, can he kindly repeat the unit.

  • Mr Witness, the name of the unit, the interpreter asks you to repeat that please.

  • Your Honour, can he repeat the motto of Jungle Fire. It's not clear.

  • I am sorry, Mr Interpreter? I can't hear you clearly.

  • He said Jungle Fire had a motto.

  • "Men moving, men dropping".

  • What did that mean, "Men moving, men dropping"?

  • It means there is fighting. Anybody who --

  • Your Honours, he is not clear in his answer.

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter is having problems hearing you. Could you please come a little closer to the microphone and repeat your answer from where you said, "It means there is fighting. Anyone who --" Then continue from there.

  • I said "Men moving, men dropping" was just a fighting motto that when you were fighting anybody can die at that time. Anybody could die during battle. It was just a motto, "Men moving, men dropping".

  • Mr Witness, where were you at the time that the interim government was formed in Liberia?

  • I will object to that. There have been several interim governments in Liberia coming out of several different peace conferences, Yamoussoukro and others, and so which one is counsel referring to?

  • Yes, please be specific, Mr Koumjian.

  • Where were you at the time that Ruth Perry took over and the council was formed for the interim government for Liberia?

  • I was in Gbanga.

  • Then where did you go?

  • I was in Gbanga when the interim government was formed and I moved to Monrovia.

  • Did you move by yourself or why was it that - well, let me strike that. Why did you move to Monrovia ?

  • Yes, because Mr Taylor had moved to Monrovia and all of us moved to Monrovia.

  • What was Mr Taylor's position at that time, if you know and recall?

  • He was one of the council members.

  • When you moved to Monrovia , Mr Witness, where were you living?

  • When I moved to Monrovia I stayed at YWCA where Benjamin Yeaten was staying.

  • Are you saying that you actually stayed inside the YWCA?

  • Yes. Yes.

  • Inside that building. Well, describe what it is, the YWCA?

  • No, no. The YWCA building itself was on the other side and they had a compound which was rented by Mr Taylor and nearly all the securities from the SSS and other units were living there. There were apartments. When you got to YWCA the building is outside and the compound is that way.

  • Do you recall any of the other security that were living in that compound with you?

  • We were so many, the SSS included. There were other SBUs and others and some of them were living at the back. There was a road that they called back road, that was where some of them were living. Most of the SSS personnel were living at the YWCA.

  • Did you share a house or apartment with anyone else?

  • Yes, I was in the house. I didn't have my own apartment. The house that General Yeaten was living in, that was where I stayed. At the back of the house.

  • Where was Mr Taylor living at that time when you first moved to Monrovia?

  • Mr Taylor was living at Congo Town right near that beach. It was not far away from the beach.

  • Mr Witness, were you involved in any fighting inside Monrovia, after moving to Monrovia ?

  • Yes. I was involved during the April 6, when ULIMO-K and the NPFL joined to fight against Roosevelt Johnson. I was involved in that fighting.

  • Who was the leader of ULIMO-K at that time?

  • Alhaji GV Kromah.

  • When you say the ULIMO-K and NPFL joined to fight, what do you mean?

  • When we got in town Roosevelt Johnson was on the other side, that was April 6, so Kromah and Mr Taylor had to come together to fight against Roosevelt Johnson. That's what I mean.

  • You said the date April 6. Do you recall the year?

  • No, I don't remember.

  • I believe we do have other evidence of this and it's in the testimony of Dr Ellis, at the beginning of the trial.

  • Well, with respect, your Honours, that is not really of any assistance. It is to suggest this witness's evidence is corroborative of whatever evidence, that is for your Honours to judge. The witness is on record as saying he moved to Monrovia where Ruth Sando Perry came into office and that transitional government came into being in around September 1996. So the year that this event took place in April is significant. Is it before Ruth Sando Perry takes office or is it afterwards? And to say that because other witnesses, Prosecution witnesses have given your Honours a time frame indication, that suffices, it doesn't eliminate the need to extract it from this witness.

  • Mr Koumjian, we must have the evidence adduced from this witness. If he is unable to answer the questions then he must say so.

  • He has indicated he is unable to give the date.

  • Mr Witness, what were your assignments when you moved to Monrovia ?

  • When I moved to Monrovia I was still in the SSS but it was not, as I said, Mr Taylor was not president at the time so it was not recognised. So it was directly now under Benjamin Yeaten because he called me from the Executive Mansion to come back to him so I was assigned with him and I stayed with him at YWCA.

  • Mr Koumjian, the witness has repeatedly said, in reference to SSS, that it was not recognised. I am not sure I understand what he means. Recognised by who? Or what wasn't recognised, his own training or his assignment or what was not recognised?

  • Yes. What I am trying to say is that the SSS at that time was a private security to Mr Taylor because Mr Taylor was not president at that time. It was not recognised by the Liberian government because it was just a private security.

  • Just so we understand that, what you are saying, Mr Witness, at some point do you think that the SSS was a recognised unit?

  • Yes, it was recognised when Mr Taylor took over as president. It was then well-recognised and they issued ID cards and you could go anywhere to effect an arrest.

  • Mr Witness, can you estimate approximately how long you had been in Monrovia before the fighting with Roosevelt Johnson on April 6 that you talked about?

  • Yeah. We spent like one year before the fighting with Roosevelt Johnson took place, because there were two fights with Roosevelt Johnson. The one President Taylor and Mr Kromah joined to fight against him and the one, the other one was when Mr Taylor took over as president. We fought Roosevelt Johnson at Camp Johnson Road.

  • We will come to that. Sir, where were you when Mr Taylor was elected President?

  • I was in Monrovia.

  • And you've talked a little bit about how the SSS changed but how did your assignment - excuse me, let me try again. Sir, your assignment in any way change after Mr Taylor's election?

  • Yes. When Mr Taylor became president, at the end of '99, my assignment changed. I took assignment with Sam Bockarie, General Mosquito, the RUF leader at that time.

  • I am going to come back to that quite a bit later. I just want to talk about when Mr Taylor first became president. First of all, you told us Mr Taylor --

  • Okay.

  • -- was living in Congo Town near the beach, by the beach. Did that change at any time?

  • Yeah. When Mr Taylor took over, when he stayed at the beach, I took up assignment. Benjamin Yeaten sent me again to the presidential motorcade. I was assigned to the presidential motorcade and later I was sent for training at the police academy.

  • Your Honours, can he repeat the tail end and be audible.

  • Please pause. The interpreter cannot hear you clearly. You said, "I was sent for training at the police academy." Please continue from there and please speak into the microphone.

  • I said, when Mr Taylor took over as president, I took up assignment on the presidential motorcade which was responsible for the movement of President Taylor to wherever he wanted to go. Later I was sent to the police academy for training and I did the VIP training at the police academy and I became an SSS personnel and later sent to Gbatala, where the ATU were based.

  • Sir, when you were working in the motorcade who were your commanders at that time?

  • Yes. When I took up assignment on the presidential motorcade my commander, my first commander was Edward Thomas. Edward Thomas.

  • Mr Koumjian, there is an acronym that the witness used at the end of page 53, which appears as "ETU". Is that ETU or something else?

  • If you could ascertain what it is, please.

  • So what does ATU stand for?

  • Well, they used to say Anti-Terrorist Unit.

  • Thank you. Sir, how was the SSS structured after Mr Taylor election as president, as far as the commanders?

  • The SSS structure was that if you went for training at the police academy and graduate, and then go to Gbatala and take another training from there and come back to town, they will pay you 250 United States dollars. Then, they had within that same area, they had other bodyguards that were called special bodyguard unit. They were paid 400 United States dollars. And those that never went for training at all they used to pay them 50 dollars and a bag of rice. That is what the structure was like.

  • I am not sure if this $250, 400 et cetera is a lump sum or one that is paid at intervals.

  • Mr Witness, you mentioned a pay $250, $400, $50. Was that paid one time or was it paid at an interval?

  • When I came, no, they don't pay in installment. Monthly.

  • Thank you. And you said US dollars but I just want to make sure. You mean, were you paid in Liberian currency or in US dollars?

  • US, United States dollars. It was put into an envelope and Kadiatu will call you and give it to you and you will sign thereafter.

  • Mr Witness, you mentioned certain individuals got $400 and you described them as special bodyguards, I believe you said. Can you give us the names of any of these individuals that you recall?

  • The special bodyguard unit, their commander was Charles Kolley, commonly called Senegalese. His deputy was Patrick Paye. There were many in the special bodyguards unit.

  • Mr Koumjian, I hope this is a convenient place to adjourn because we have been alerted that the tape is about finished.

    Mr Witness, this is the time during the morning when we take our midmorning break. We are now going to break for 30 minutes. We will be starting Court again at 12 o'clock. Please adjourn Court until 12 o'clock.

  • [Break taken at 11.30 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 12.00 p.m.]

  • I note the change of appearance, Mr Anyah.

  • Yes, that's correct, Madam President. Mr Terry Munyard has joined us and he has been away for a few weeks from the Court and we welcome him back.

  • Indeed, thank you. Mr Koumjian?

  • Madam President, if it please your Honours, there is something I wanted to bring to your Honours' attention foreshadowing a possible application by us at the end of the conclusion of the witness's examination-in-chief. I have had a conference with Mr Taylor just now and it is quite likely that we will at the close of the examination-in-chief be making an application for an adjournment to commence the cross-examination for a number of logistical difficulties that we've experienced vis-a-vis our team in Monrovia and access to documents, disclosure in particular pertaining to this witness and the breadth and scope of the nature of his evidence, the time period it covers and how much legwork we still need to have done vis-a-vis his evidence. I don't know where we will be as far as receiving additional information or any information from our field officers at the end of his examination-in-chief, but at that time we might very well be making such an application. I say this so that everybody is on notice and the Prosecution may make available another witness should your Honours entertain such an application and do grant it, but it's premature at this point.

  • We will note that and I'm sure Mr Koumjian has also heard what you have said and we will deal accordingly with the application when it's made and counsel for the Prosecution will be able to prepare their reply.

  • Yes, but just so that it doesn't take anyone by surprise, we will very much oppose that because of issues of security of the witness that there be any delay in his cross-examination.

  • Thank you. Proceed on, Mr Koumjian.

  • Sir, we were talking about payments specifically to members of the SSS after Mr Taylor became President. Sir, when Mr Taylor became President after his election, did there continue to be a regular army in Liberia?

  • Well, when Mr Taylor became President there was not a regular army. There were just a handful of men that they used to refer to as the AFL body. They never went for training, but they used the uniform. They did not go for AFL training.

  • AFL, can we have an explanation on record please.

  • Sir, what do you mean when you say they did not go for AFL training?

  • Okay, when Mr Taylor took over there were some Doe soldiers who had remained at the barracks and he did say he was not satisfied with Doe's men and so for that reason they never went for AFL training. So there was not any real training like the one the Anti-Terrorist Unit went for. The AFL did not go for training.

  • I still don't know what AFL stands for.

  • Sir, what does AFL stand for?

  • The AFL stands for the Armed Forces of Liberia. Armed Forces of Liberia.

  • Sir, do you know - and just tell us if you do not - whether these soldiers received any monthly pay?

  • Yes, those men who were there, some of them used to receive - like for instance I saw some of their salaries. Some of them used to receive 600 dollars, Liberian dollars, within that range. 600/700 Liberian dollars, that was what they used to receive.

  • Do you recall at that time after Mr Taylor's election, let's say in - let me say specifically in 1998 can you give us any estimate of what 1 US dollar was worth in Liberian dollars, approximately?

  • At that time when you look at the rate I think it was 42 and the US dollars was up actually, because if you take at that time something like 10 US dollars to change they would give you maybe seven or eight hundred dollars - Liberian dollars.

  • Okay, thank you. Sir, before Mr Taylor's election did you as a member of the NPFL receive any pay?

  • You mean before he took over as President?

  • No, no, no, I never received any pay.

  • How about other members of the SSS and the other forces within the NPFL? Do you know whether they received any pay before Mr Taylor's election as President?

  • Yes. When he came at that time when he was living at Congo Town, that was before he became President, there was a form of payment that he used to pay the SSS personnel. They were listed there and you would go there and receive your payment, but for me I never received it.

  • How about when you were in Gbanga, before Mr Taylor came to Monrovia, did the NPFL forces receive pay?

  • In Gbanga there was no payment made in Gbanga. Only supplies were given, like rice and maybe sometimes boots, T-shirts, jean trousers and those were the things, but they never gave any physical cash that I saw.

  • Was there any other way that NPFL soldiers would obtain things that they wanted?

  • Except for instance like at the front line when you go for a town and then you capture the town you would take anything that you like to take, but in Gbanga I did not see any other thing that somebody gave to somebody saying that, "This one belongs to you particularly".

  • Thank you. Sir, when you were in the SSS after Mr Taylor's election, can you - did you have a uniform? Did the SSS wear a uniform?

  • Yes. The SSS wore uniform. A navy blue trousers and a blue shirt with a badge and a sign belt crossing over and with the Liberian flag. A navy blue trousers with a blue shirt.

  • Thank you and thank you for continuing to speak slowly and clearly.

  • Mr Koumjian, what is a sign belt crossing over?

  • Okay, sir, can you describe again - you made a motion across your chest. What was it when you said it was a signed belt crossing over, that was the interpretation we received?

  • I'm afraid our view is obscured because of the monitor.

  • Sir, can you just describe what it is that you were talking about?

  • Yes. As senior officer there is a belt that crosses from here, from your shoulder, going down to your waist belt down here, just a form of design to the uniform, yes.

  • Your Honour, the witness made a diagonal movement from his left shoulder to his right waist.

  • Thank you, Mr Koumjian. Mr Anyah, you were able to view that?

  • We are in accord with the description.

  • Thank you.

  • Sir, I just want to go back to the command structure at that time after Mr Taylor was elected president. Who was the head of the SSS at that time?

  • When Mr Taylor took over as President, the SSS director who was - who had the code number 50, and he was Benjamin Yeaten, and the deputy for operation with code 52 was Joseph Montgomery, and the code 51 director, who was directly the deputy to 50, was Uriah Taylor, and Varmuyan Sherif at that time was 56, five six, 56 and he was deputy director for operations.

  • Thank you. Now, Mr Witness, I want to move on to another topic. Have you yourself ever been inside Sierra Leone?

  • Can you tell us about the first time you went to Sierra Leone?

  • Yes. The very first time I went to Sierra Leone was when Sampson Weah and Jungle called Daniel Tamba were at the camp with Foday Sankoh.

  • Your Honours, could the witness kindly repeat that area and slow down his pace.

  • Mr Witness, please pause as the interpreter is trying to keep up with you. Please pick up your answer where you said, "were at the camp - Jungle called Daniel Tamba were at the camp with Foday Sankoh." Please continue from there and speak slowly.

  • Jungle, Daniel Tamba, was the aide-de-camp to Foday Sankoh and was the chief liaison officer between the RUF and the NPFL. So I went with him and Sampson Weah at that time and that was my very first trip. We went to a town called Buedu in Sierra Leone and we carried ammunition to Mosquito, Sam Bockarie.

  • Now, Mr Witness, in order to help us understand the approximate time when this occurred can you tell us, first of all, when you got this assignment where were you?

  • When - the first time I was on the presidential motorcade I recall we were fighting against Roosevelt Johnson at Camp Johnson Road. That was the time I made the first trip. And at that time Taylor had been elected president.

  • Okay. Thank you. Now, you had told us earlier that there were two occasions where you fought against Roosevelt Johnson in Monrovia. Do you remember - and you said one was 6 April and the year you did not remember.

  • Yes --

  • Do you recall the date, the approximate date of this fighting at Camp Johnson Road?

  • -- it was in September. September. That was the time we fought Roosevelt Johnson at Camp Johnson Road and at that time Mr Taylor had been elected president.

  • Do you recall, and tell us if you don't, what year that was? September of which year that the fighting with Roosevelt Johnson occurred at Camp Johnson Road?

  • I can remember but I can't really recall the year because by then it was movement time. We couldn't remember the years and months because everybody was busy carrying out their responsibilities.

  • What kind of vehicle did you travel, if you travelled in a vehicle, did you go in to Sierra Leone?

  • At the first time I went it was in a pick-up, a four door pick-up, Toyota.

  • Who did you go with?

  • I said I went with Sampson Weah and Daniel Tamba.

  • Who was Sampson Weah?

  • Sampson Weah was a brother to Benjamin Yeaten and he was also an SSS personnel.

  • When you say "brother", do you mean they had the same father and mother or what do you mean?

  • They are related. I think he was his uncle. Ben was Sampson's uncle. I don't think they were from the same father or mother, but all I know is that they were related that way.

  • What nationality was Daniel Tamba?

  • Daniel Tamba was a Gissi. He was a Kissi man from Lofa County.

  • Now earlier you had talked about in the SSS there were various levels of pay. Do you know if either Sampson Weah or Daniel Tamba received pay from the SSS?

  • Yes. Sampson was not a special bodyguard, but Benjamin Yeaten put his name on the list of the special bodyguards, so he used to receive $400 US and Daniel Tamba too, he was issued an SSS ID card and he too used to receive $400 US.

  • At this time when you were in Monrovia how well did you know Daniel Tamba?

  • Yes. When I was in Monrovia I got to know Daniel Tamba. All of us met in Monrovia and my personal relationship with him at that time was at the time I went with him to Buedu and he was introduced as the chief liaison officer and senior aide-de-camp to Sankoh. So he had a house in Monrovia, his wife and everybody was there and we were all friends, we used to do things in common. That was how I came close to him.

  • Did you carry anything in the vehicle that you took to Sierra Leone?

  • Yes. We carried ammunition which included grenades, 106 rockets, LAR rockets - I mean rounds, AK-47 rounds. Those were the kinds of ammunition that we carried. RPG.

  • Sir, what is a 106 rocket?

  • 106 rocket is a long barrel and the rocket too is very long. You put it into the pipe and then you launch it. It's a very long rocket, just like from here to that something over that.

  • I'm not sure what the something Mr Witness is referring to.

  • I said it's a long rocket that stretches like from here to that thing.

  • The witness has indicated from where he is sitting to the Prosecution Bar.

  • I think about eight feet.

  • Mr Witness, when you're pointing, are you pointing to a place on the floor or when you say over there do you mean --

  • Here. Here. The white something. From this.

  • Counsel for the Defence may not be able to see. I think the witness is indicating a grill or something on the floor.

  • Madam President, indeed I cannot see what the witness is pointing to. Could we have it measured, please?

  • Right there. Here. Yeah, go, go.

  • Mr Witness, why don't you hold onto it and then we'll see how far you want him to go back.

  • Yeah, right there. It should not reach that thing. Okay, somewhere around there, yes. That is the 106 rocket.

  • Your Honour, the distance is 202 centimetres.

  • Sir, this 106 rocket, is this the kind of weapon that a single soldier carries or how is it carried or mounted?

  • When the barrel is mounted two persons will handle the rocket and then fix it into the barrel, but it's not possible for one person to take it.

  • Thank you. Can you please describe the route that you took from Monrovia to Sierra Leone?

  • Yes. I used from Monrovia to Lofa to Voinjama and then from Voinjama to Foya and then from Foya to Buedu.

  • When you were in Liberia on this trip did you pass through any checkpoints?

  • Yes. The checkpoint I passed through was the last checkpoint between the Liberian border. It's just a land. When you get to Foya you will see a rope. It was a gate and they had AFL soldiers based there from - on the Liberian side and when you cross the rope you will see a white piece of cloth hanging around. That meant that you were on the RUF territory.

  • When you travelled on this first trip were you or Jungle or Sampson in uniforms?

  • No, I never went to the - I never wore uniform. I wore jean trousers and T-shirt.

  • When you say you never wore a uniform, do you mean never or what do you mean?

  • I never wore any SS uniform, I never wore any AFL uniform, nor ATU uniform. I only had on a common jean trousers and a T-shirt.

  • Okay, thank you. I'm just trying to understand whether you're talking about you never wore a uniform on this trip or you never wore a uniform at all when you were in Monrovia or anywhere else.

  • No. When I was going into Freetown - I mean Buedu, that is in Sierra Leone, I never wore a uniform to go in there. But whilst I was in Monrovia I wore the SSS uniform.

  • Thank you.

  • Is there a reason for that distinction, Mr Koumjian?

  • Mr Witness, is there a reason why you and the others were not wearing your uniforms on this trip?

  • Yes. For security reasons, because when we were going in there were a whole lot of civilians around Voinjama, Foya so you did not have to wear uniforms, a Liberian SS uniform, and that will make you be recognised by people and whilst you were going to Freetown.

  • Since you did not have any uniforms on was it difficult to pass through the AFL checkpoint?

  • There was no difficulties because all those who were assigned at that checkpoint knew exactly what was going on and they knew the various commanders like Sampson and Jungle and they had the order there that any time that car arrived there they should allow it to pass through, so there was a free movement.

  • Thank you. What happened once you crossed the border into Sierra Leone?

  • Okay. When I crossed - when we crossed the border, whilst we were going, we got to a place, we saw a mud. There was a jeep, a Land Cruiser. We realised it was stuck up and just after the jeep we saw General Mosquito riding a motorbike coming towards us and when he got there he stopped right by our car and he got down, he greeted us, we too greeted him and he was very happy to receive us.

  • The person that you've called Mosquito, do you know him by another name?

  • Yes, Sam Bockarie, the RUF leader at that time.

  • Had you ever seen General Mosquito before that day?

  • Yes. The first time I saw Mosquito was at the YWCA at the time he came to Monrovia at Benjamin Yeaten's house. That was the first time that I saw him, but I did not go close to him.

  • When you saw this jeep, and you said you saw General Mosquito riding a motorbike, was he riding the motorbike in the direction towards you, towards Liberia, or in another direction or away from Liberia?

  • Yes, he was coming from Buedu, the control areas, towards the Liberian side, and we were going towards his control area and he was on top of the bike, but when he saw us he stopped there right by the side of our vehicle.

  • What happened then?

  • And he gave instruction. After we had moved the car from the mud he gave instruction to his driver and the bodyguards. He said they should go to Foya and buy some drinks, like beer, stout, like jumping deer, so that they could bring them for us. So they took the jeep and whilst they were going to Foya we followed him to his base, and when we got to Buedu we stopped and they unloaded the ammunition from the pick-up and he had his arm room right in the house where he was staying, so we transferred everything to the house and he was very happy. We sat down with him, he brought us drinks, we all drank together and late at night he gave us place to sleep, then we went to bed.

  • Did General Mosquito ever indicate whether he had any plans for using that ammunition?

  • Yes. He said, "I'm very happy for the coming of this ammunition because I was under serious attack."

  • Did he say where this attack was going on, if you recall?

  • Really, I never went to his front line. At any time I went there I stopped at Buedu. I never went to the front line. But I was there when some of his commanders came from the front line the following day and he was giving them instructions, so they started dividing the ammunition and that was across the Moa River.

  • How long did you, approximately, did you stay in Buedu?

  • I spent two days in Buedu and I left. I went back to Monrovia.

  • Did you ever make any other trip to Sierra Leone or trips?

  • Yes, yes. The second time was with Zigzag Marzah, Jungle Daniel Tamba, Sampson Weah and I. When we drove to Benjamin Yeaten's house, and Yeaten told us to follow him to the warehouse and we followed him to the warehouse, and that was right at Mr Taylor's house, that is on the left-hand side of the house, that was where they had the warehouse. We went there and Yeaten took a list of those things that we were supposed to carry and he presented it to the G4 section. The commander there was Moses Duoh, and we also received another supply of ammunition, mortar guns, RPG rockets, LAR, AK rounds and that was Zigzag, Sampson, Jungle and I, we left and we went to Buedu, along with three bodyguards who were on top of the car and one of them was called Enforcer, so we went there.

  • Your Honours, the witness said Moses Duoh. The spelling is D-U-O-H:

  • Sir, you said this second trip began, you said you went to Benjamin Yeaten's house. Where was Benjamin Yeaten's house?

  • Benjamin Yeaten's house was right at the back of Mr Taylor's house, sloping down the hill. No sooner you slope down the hill you see the house on the right-hand side. It was a storeyed building. That was Benjamin Yeaten's house.

  • And then you said you went to the warehouse. Can you tell us where the warehouse was?

  • I said the warehouse was attached right on Mr Taylor's house. That is when you come to the front side of the house, by the left-hand side you will see the warehouse.

  • I'm going to ask you to repeat it because I thought I heard the witness say "down" and I didn't hear that interpreted. Sir, can you repeat where was the warehouse? Just slowly describe it.

  • This warehouse is right at Mr Taylor's house, the left-hand side of Mr Taylor's house. When you stand at the front of the house, you watch at the left side, you just walk by the side of the road, then you go down and you will see the warehouse and it was attached directly on Mr Taylor's house.

  • When you say you go down, what do you mean?

  • There is a little slopey hill. You just go down there and you see the warehouse.

  • When Yeaten presented, you said a list of those things that we're supposed to carry, when he presented that to Moses Duoh do you recall any conversation?

  • He presented the list to Moses and he got back into his car and left and we stayed there. We started going through the list so that we received those supplies of ammunition.

  • How did you travel on that second trip?

  • Madam President, I realise we can ask these questions on cross-examination, but it would be helpful to know the year this took place. For the first trip all we have on the record it's in September of some year that the first trip took place, and the witness said it was when they were fighting at Camp Johnson Road. That's as precise as the timeframe got. Now we are on the second trip and there is no year on the record.

  • That would be helpful, Mr Koumjian.

  • Sir, how long after you returned from the first trip did you go on the second trip, approximately?

  • When we returned from the first trip it took about a month before I did my second trip. Like, let's say two months before my second trip.

  • Madam President, is it being assumed that the witness doesn't know the year of the second trip and the question now is how long was the difference in time between the first and second trip. Perhaps the witness could be asked if he knows the year for the second trip.

  • Your Honour, counsel is welcome to do that in cross-examination. The witness has indicated, when I asked him originally, he did not know the year of the first trip and he's given the approximate time between the two. He said it was during Mr Taylor's presidency. He has also given us some information about who was the commander of the RUF at the time and I'm satisfied. If counsel wants to ask further questions on his cross-examination that's exactly what cross-examination is for.

  • Well, there is a further obligation to your Honours, it's not just what I prefer. There's a record. Your Honours are listening to the evidence, and to have a trip being given as taking place in September and no year, and then the next question being posed is the second trip, what is the difference or passage of time between the first and second trip, it does not assist anybody, frankly.

  • Mr Anyah, Mr Koumjian has given an explanation and you're at liberty to pick this up in cross-examination. Please proceed.

  • Excuse me, your Honours. Frankly, I've lost my train of thought. I will have to go back and read the transcript:

  • Forgive me if I've asked you this before, but can you tell us the route that you took for the second trip? Was it different than the first trip or the same?

  • Yes, we used the same route. From Monrovia, Voinjama, Voinjama to Foya, Foya to Sierra Leone, Buedu.

  • What happened when you got to Buedu?

  • When I got to Buedu we saw Mosquito and he told us that he was under a very serious attack, and by then he was in the radio room when we arrived and we stopped right - because when you enter Buedu there is a tree, a big tree under which they put some benches. That was where he used to sit and right there by the left-hand side, that was where Mosquito's house was, and when you get to the house there was a radio room on the right-hand side and you will walk through, the left-hand side there was the ammunition room. So he was right in the radio room when we arrived. So he came outside and later we greeted him and he was very happy for the supply, because he was already out of ammunition, so we turned it over to him and he started sending them to the front lines.

  • Now, you mentioned that you travelled on this trip - well, I'll ask you to mention again. Who did you travel with on this second trip?

  • I said Zigzag Marzah, Sampson Weah and some bodyguards, three men who went with us.

  • What happened to Jungle?

  • And Jungle. Jungle, Daniel Tamba.

  • The three bodyguards, who were they bodyguards for?

  • The bodyguards, two were for Zigzag Marzah and one was for Sampson Weah.

  • Who was Zigzag Marzah?

  • Zigzag Marzah was an SSS personnel and a special operation man for Benjamin Yeaten. He used to send him in case of anything like effecting arrest or if somebody on the front line - for instance, if he said this person had committed any crime he will say take this person to jail. So that was Zigzag Marzah's responsibility.

  • Who was Zigzag Marzah's direct commander?

  • General Benjamin Yeaten.

  • What rank was Zigzag Marzah?

  • Zigzag Marzah was an SSS colonel.

  • By the way, do you know his real first name?

  • Was Mr Marzah popular with other members of the SSS?

  • Marzah was very, very popular.

  • What else can you tell us about his reputation?

  • Well, really, in the NPFL Marzah's responsibility directly, like I explained, was that for instance if they said somebody was a POW or that somebody had committed a crime that was against the norms of the revolution, Benjamin Yeaten would turn that person over to Marzah and he would order him to go and execute that person, so that was Marzah's responsibility, so he was very popular.

  • How long did you stay in Buedu after delivering the supplies, the ammunition?

  • We spent about few days, close to a week, and we left. We left Buedu.

  • Did you make any further trips to Sierra Leone?

  • Yes, and that was now my last trip that I made to Buedu and that was Sampson and I. We carried jean trousers, Timberland boots, T-shirts, cigarette gross, but this time there were no ammunition. We carried those things in Benjamin Yeaten's jeep. There was a tactical jeep almost in the form of a military jeep, so those things were taken to Buedu by Sampson and I in the jeep.

  • Did you receive any instructions to make this trip or whose idea was it?

  • Your Honours, can counsel kindly repeat the question.

  • Whose idea was it for you to take this trip?

  • Did you receive any order to make this trip?

  • Yes. It was Mr - I mean, General Yeaten who gave us the orders, and he gave us those things to be taken to Buedu to turn them over to General Mosquito.

  • When you got to Buedu was Mosquito there?

  • Yes, Mosquito was in Buedu, we saw him, and he welcomed us and we turned those things over to him, but the problem that we faced with him then was that he said he wanted a jeep and we told him that the jeep belonged to General Yeaten, your friend, and that indeed if you wanted the jeep you should please make a call to him so that we will not be in problem with him, and he said, "That man is my friend. All you need to do is that you should just go and tell him that your friend said he wants the jeep" and he was able to give 2,000 United States dollars to Sampson and I, so we left the jeep with him. But before leaving - but before leaving Buedu, when he said he wanted a jeep there was a tank, a war tank, with a chain under it, those big military tanks. It was captured behind the Moa River where they were fighting and he said Mr Taylor said he wanted a tank. He said he should send it to him in Monrovia. So we used this same jeep. We drove from Buedu to the Moa River and when we got to the river the tank was across the river. You could stand at the other side of the river and see the tank across, but the ferry that was there had been broken, there was no ferry functioning there, so --

  • Your Honours, could the witness kindly stop there and then --

  • Pause, Mr Witness.

  • And then slow down his pace and repeat what he said.

  • Mr Witness, again you've speeded up and this is giving the interpreters a problem.

  • Yes. Please go back to where you were saying the ferry that was there had been broken, there was no ferry functioning. Please continue your answer and please remember someone is interpreting for you.

  • I said, when we left Buedu we drove to the Moa River and at the river there there was a ferry that used to cross people over, but that ferry had been broken so it was no longer crossing over with people. So when we got to the river General Mosquito decided he would fix the ferry on his own. So they sent for drums, those big drums with some nails - with some planks and nails, so we decided to put it on the ferry to try and cross, so that he would put the tank there in the ferry and cross it over and send it to Mr Taylor in Monrovia. So we spent the whole day at the ferry. From morning we were trying to fix the ferry up to 10 at night. We fixed the ferry at night and later we sent the ferry over the water and we put all the cars that were there, we tried to flash the lights over the water so that the tank can be put on the ferry and cross it over, and they carried the ferry across the river, but the tank was so heavy and - but when they put it over the ferry for the ferry to cross it sank under the water, so there was no way for us to cross. So he only used that as an experiment, but there was no way. So we slept there at that place until the following morning and there was no means for the tank to be crossed over, so he told us saying: Okay, what we have to do - I will see what I can do. Let's go back. We left there and we started driving back to Buedu and whilst going we saw his deputy Issa Sesay and one of the front-line commanders by the name of Morris Kallon, and he gave them instruction to go to the area where he had been fixing the ferry to see whether they would be able to cross the tank over the ferry and to send it to Monrovia to Mr Taylor and if they sent it he would be happy. So we left them there going there and we drove to Buedu, and when we got to Buedu he provided a pick-up because he had already taken the jeep and he had given us money, so he gave us a pick-up, a driver called Alpha took us from Buedu straight to Gbanga.

  • We got at least one "he" in there, Mr Koumjian. "He provided". And there were a couple of others, so if we could clarify.

  • General Mosquito. General Mosquito.

  • Okay, Mr Witness, I'm going to go back and try to clarify a "he" that happened a while ago. This is page 77, your Honours, starting at the last word on line 18, page 77 on my LiveNote. You used "he" and I want you, Mr Witness, to clarify who you're talking about. You said "he said Mr Taylor said he wanted the tank".

  • No, I called his name. I said General Mosquito said Mr Taylor - that is when the tank was captured they informed him and he was so happy and he said Mr Taylor said but then Mosquito send the tank to me in Monrovia. That was what I said.

  • Thank you. Now going to page 79 on my LiveNote, line 16, you said this: "When we got to Buedu he provided a pick-up". Who provided you the pick-up? This is after the --

  • That was General Mosquito. When we got to Buedu he Mosquito said he wanted the jeep. So for that reason the jeep had already been in his possession, so the only thing he could do for us was to provide a pick-up for Sampson and I to go back.

  • And you said "he had given us money". Who gave you the money?

  • General Mosquito gave us $2,000.

  • What happened when you got back to Monrovia without the jeep?

  • When we got back to Monrovia General Yeaten asked - he said, "Where is my car?" And we said, "Chief, the car, your friend said he wanted the car so for that reason we left the jeep there with him" and he was very, very angry. He said, "If I do not get my jeep from now to the evening you guys will be executed." So we escaped, Sampson and I escaped. We were in hiding. We managed to get to the radio room and to call General Mosquito to inform him that that was the situation on the ground. So he said, "Okay. Since my friend is angry what you have to do, you remain in hiding until I get to Monrovia. I will talk to him." So Sampson and I were in hiding and after a few days Mosquito arrived in Monrovia. When he came to Monrovia he went to Ben - he came without the jeep. He went to General Yeaten and he told him saying, "I wanted the jeep so I told these gentlemen that they should hand the jeep over to me" and Benjamin Yeaten told him that, "The only way that I can listen to this is that you first of all have to send for the jeep and bring it right into my compound here before we start talking anything." So Mosquito sent for the jeep and when the jeep came they were there now, they discussed it and later we came out of hiding.

  • Thank you. Now, Mr Witness, you've told us about two trips, your first two trips where you carried ammunition to Buedu. Do you know of other trips that you were not on that other people took carrying ammunition to Buedu?

  • Yes. Before I could go to Buedu Sampson, Zigzag Marzah, Daniel Tamba, they were already going to Buedu and coming back. I told you previously that they came with General Mosquito. Once I saw him, and they used to carry ammunition before my trip to Buedu.

  • Do you know how long these trips to Buedu with ammunition continued, to your knowledge?

  • Well, Madam President, I'm objecting. There has to be some more foundation than this. The witness is talking about trips by three persons, Daniel Tamba, also known as Jungle, Zigzag Marzah and Sampson to Buedu. We don't have a time frame and they are now asking him a question about how long these trips continued. We don't know when they started, we don't know when they stopped. We don't know how the witness observed these trips. Did he go along with the three men on each and every trip? Did all three men go along on each and every trip together or were these separate trips? None of this is on the record.

  • We require more foundation, Mr Koumjian.

  • I'm trying to answer counsel's question about how long the trips continued:

  • But first, how do you know about these trips, Mr Witness?

  • Sampson was my best friend. Sampson is my best friend. Jungle and Zigzag Marzah, we all lived together at the YWCA. So when they were leaving for Sierra Leone - for Buedu in Sierra Leone - I was aware - I would always be aware because sometimes Sampson and Zigzag Marzah, when they returned - before going to Buedu with the ammunition they took me to a club called Transit on the old road. We went to this club and they had this pick-up loaded already with the ammunition. They bought us some drinks and we drank together. They left. They used to go to and fro. That happened before my own three trips to Buedu.

  • Do you have any idea when the trips that you were aware of, just the ones that you were aware of, began?

  • I have an idea, it was around '98.

  • And, sir, how long did these trips continue, to your knowledge?

  • The trips continued even when Mr Taylor took over as president. The trips still continued until Taylor left Liberia.

  • Now, Mr Witness, you've talked about General Mosquito and seeing him on your three trips to Buedu. Do you know if General Mosquito stayed in Sierra Leone or if anything happened?

  • Yeah. When Mosquito was in Sierra Leone, at that time it was after my three trips, I was back to my duty in Monrovia and General Mosquito and his deputy Issa Sesay had a problem. This problem used to happen not often. I can remember that there was a dispute between Issa Sesay and General Mosquito. Both of them were sent for from Buedu by Mr Taylor. They came to Monrovia and were taken to General Yeaten's house. From Yeaten's house they were taken to White Flower to Mr Taylor's house. That dispute was settled between them, between the two of them. They settled the dispute. The one that I can remember again was General Issa, along with the late Superman, one general, there was a dispute between Issa and Superman. Issa and Superman were against Mosquito and they sent for them again to settle this dispute between them and when they left they went back to Buedu and were still not reconciled.

  • Okay, I think I may be a little out of order but, Mr Witness, what you've just told us about Mosquito and Issa Sesay and Superman coming to Monrovia to settle the dispute, how do you know that?

  • I was in the picture. I was assigned directly with Benjamin Yeaten. Every problem that went on at White Flower, we would be there, and I was with the presidential motorcade and he, Yeaten, sent me there and later he called for me. So when Issa and others came for this kind of problem I would see them. They would come. After they would have settled the problem they would come to Benjamin Yeaten's house, all of us would sit together and they would have discussions. That was where I saw Superman. That was how I knew those people.

  • Mr Witness, do you know if Sam Bockarie ever left - you called Sam Bockarie, General Mosquito, the leader of the RUF. Do you know if he ever left that position?

  • Yes. It was - that was in around the end of 1999, 1999, when General Mosquito and Issa - the last trip that I can remember, Mosquito came to Monrovia. He was staying at a guesthouse which was designated for the RUF in Monrovia. When Mosquito came that was where he was staying. Later I went to the guesthouse and saw him. He gave us some money. Later he left. When he went back he and Issa had a problem, they were fighting between themselves. During that fighting Mosquito was able to cross over and come to Voinjama along with his family, all his property. He crossed and came to Voinjama. There was a serious battle between himself and Issa and --

  • Mr Witness, did Sam Bockarie, when he crossed over and came to Voinjama, you said he came with his family, did anyone else come with him? Did he bring anyone else?

  • He came along with his family and a huge manpower, bodyguards.

  • When you say huge, can you give us any kind of rough estimate of the number of people that came with him?

  • Close to 2,000 men.

  • Do you recall yourself the names of any of the people that came with Bockarie, that you knew?

  • Yeah, I can remember the late Salami, whose picture I think you have. One Martin, a computer man for Mosquito. Toasty, General Sheriff, not the Sheriff, not Varmuyan Sherif, but there was another Sheriff from Freetown. They were many. So many.

  • Your Honours, the witness said Toasty; T-O-A-S-T-Y is our spelling:

  • These people that you've named, let's start with Salome, S-A-L-O-M-E I believe is a spelling we've used previously. We'll double check that.

  • Was it Salami?

  • I will double check that, your Honour:

  • What was his nationality?

  • Salami, and your Honour is correct, S-A-L-A-M-I.

  • Salami was a Sierra Leonean.

  • All those people whom I have named were Sierra Leoneans.

  • What happened to these fighters - excuse me, these men who were with Sam Bockarie that came into Liberia?

  • Yeah. When they came they took them - they were received at Voinjama and taken to Monrovia and all his men whom he had brought, the manpower, they were put into the ATU. Mr Taylor gave an order that they should go to the ATU. So they were sent for ATU training at Gbatala. After the training they brought them to town and deployed them.

  • Mr Witness, I believe I've already asked him for the ATU acronym, what it stands for. Mr Witness, what does ATU stand for?

  • Anti-Terrorist Unit.

  • Who was the commander of the ATU at that time?

  • At that particular time Chucky Taylor was the commander for the ATU; Mr Taylor's son.

  • Within the ATU did Mr Chucky Taylor have any other group, subgroup, within the ATU?

  • Within the ATU Chucky had his own bodyguards whom he called the Demon Forces.

  • What kind of uniform did the ATU wear?

  • The ATU wore tiger stripes camouflage.

  • Can you describe that?

  • Yeah. It's almost like a US camouflage, but it had lines, just like a tiger. You know, like a tiger skin.

  • Did they wear anything on their heads?

  • Yeah, they wore red berets.

  • What was the base of the ATU?

  • In addition to training did anything else go on there?

  • So many things happened on the base. There was more of torture on the base. They had - if you went against the rule at the base Chucky would lay you down and he would give an order. They would put someone on your chest to sit on your chest and somebody would be holding onto your feet, one on one leg, and they would drag you right down and bring you back and you would be skinned right at the back. And they had also a very big log that you carried on your shoulder. More than five people would pick that log and it would peel your skin. They also had a round log. They called it a "billy" at that time. They put a chain on it, a very big chain, and they passed it round your neck, five men this way and this way, and they would beat you. They would lay you with that raw sore and take you to that area where they had some - a small --

  • Your Honours, can the witness kindly repeat this area, this description.

  • Mr Witness, you going too quickly for the interpreters.

  • I think go back to the point where you said they put something, a chain I think it was, they passed it round your neck and five men. Explain that, please.

  • Yeah. I said the torturing, they had one where they would lay you down and place somebody on your chest, two persons on one side and another two persons on the other side and you would be dragged over a distance and they would bring you back. They had a very big log, they would put that on your shoulder and they would beat it until all that area peels off. They also had a big round log that they would hold, they placed a big chain on it, and they would hang it round your neck. There would be five men this way and that way and they would be beating that until the skin behind your neck peels off. From there, that sore would be left like that and they would take you to a river, there was a river which they called Bill Clinton pool. That was where they would place you and you would be there for like 72 hours or a week. Some people died there.

  • How do you know about this, Mr Witness?

  • I went for training. I told you initially I went for training and after the training from the police academy I was taken to Gbatala, so I was there, so I knew exactly what was happening there.

  • Mr Witness, you had mentioned that on one of your trips you saw a person you referred to as Sam Bockarie's deputy Issa Sesay. Did you ever see Issa Sesay in Liberia?

  • Yeah, I said it. I said Issa used to come to Liberia. When they came they used to stop at the guesthouse. They used to stay at the guesthouse. At the time that there was no dispute between himself and Mosquito both of them used to come to Liberia. They would come, they would go to the waterside for shopping, they would buy jean trousers, T-shirts, they would do some shopping and return. When Mosquito left Sierra Leone, Issa still used to come. At that time it was Issa who was in charge.

  • Thank you. Your Honour, I'd like now to show some photographs to the witness and just to - there's four in total. Just to assist the Court Officer I'll give all four to her now. The first is D-51. The second is at tab 12. The third I believe has been distributed and that is ERN number P0000649 and the fourth would be a Prosecution exhibit P-68C. So if the Court Officer could bring those to the overhead projector I'll go through them one by one with the witness.

    Your Honours, this is D-51 with the ERN number P0000641:

  • Mr Witness, do you recognise the individuals in the centre left of this photograph?

  • Yeah. The one standing in the centre with the short towel around his neck is Zigzag Marzah. The first man standing with the radio in his hand is General Mosquito, Sam Bockarie.

  • Thank you. The next is at tab 12. It's a photograph with the ERN number P0000643. If that could be shown to the witness, please:

  • Mr Witness, starting at the left with the individual in the red shirt and going then to the right can you identify any of the three individuals depicted in this photograph?

  • Yeah. The first man with the red T-shirt is Zigzag Marzah. The second man to him in the centre is Daniel Tamba, Jungle. The last man on the left - on the right side is Abu Keita, General Abu Keita.

  • Thank you. Excuse me, before we leave that, did you ever meet Abu Keita yourself?

  • Yes, I met Abu Keita in Buedu.

  • Did he tell you who he was?

  • Yeah. Abu Keita told me that he was a former fighter for the ULIMO-K, a general, and he later joined the RUF. That was what he told me.

  • I'd like the witness to be shown the next photograph which has the ERN number P0000649:

  • Sir, can you recognise anyone in the photograph?

  • Yeah. The man sitting in the driver's seat is Zigzag Marzah and this was the jeep I was talking about that we took along and which Mosquito said he wanted.

  • Thank you. And now finally P-68C which has the ERN number 00029865. It's only the first page of that 68C:

  • Sir, do you recognise either of the individuals in this photograph?

  • Yeah. The man sitting with the long sleeved shirt - red, white, I don't know if it's black - is Daniel Tamba called Jungle. And the man in the jeans suit is Issa Sesay, the General Issa Sesay, the deputy to Mosquito that time.

  • Mr Koumjian, that last picture, was that a prior exhibit?

  • Yes, that is the first page of Prosecution exhibit 68C. Thank you:

  • Sir, when Sam Bockarie came with the family and men that you talked about, where did he go? Where did he stay?

  • When Sam Bockarie came with those men he first stayed at not a place - a place not far away from YWCA compound. That was where he was staying.

  • Did he later go anywhere else?

  • Yeah. When he was at YWCA, later I was called by Benjamin Yeaten to take up assignment with him. He then moved to ELWA Junction where there was a road called Four Houses Road. That was a place where Mr Taylor gave us. There were four houses in one compound. That was where he moved.

  • Can you repeat slowly the name of the junction?

  • ELWA Junction. ELWA Junction. Four Houses.

  • Four Houses Road.

  • You said there were four houses in one compound. When Sam Bockarie was staying there can you tell us who was in the various houses?

  • When you enter the compound there is a very first house on the left-hand side. That was where Sam Bockarie's sister-in-law by the name of Kadie stayed together with the other sisters. Then when you stand at that place and look straight ahead of you there was another building. That was where Sam Bockarie's mother and her family - that was where they were staying. Then when you walk on the same right-hand side there was another building. That was where General Mosquito himself together with his wife was staying. Then on the left-hand side again before Kadie's own place that was where all the bodyguards, Salami, Sampson, everybody was staying.

  • Thank you. Now, Mr Witness, you said a moment ago that, "When he was at YWCA, later I was called by Benjamin Yeaten to take up assignment with him." Can you please explain to us about this call from Benjamin Yeaten?

  • Yeah. It was in the evening hours when Sampson called me and said I should go and take up assignment with General Mosquito, but go first and report to the chief, that is Benjamin Yeaten. I went to his house and he told me that from today I will be assigned - at that time Mosquito was sitting right by him and he said, "From today's date you will take up assignment with my friend and you will take every instruction him and he will give you maximum protection." So I started my assignment.

  • Mr Witness, you told us about Sam Bockarie crossing over to Liberia from Sierra Leone with family and men. How long after that do you believe it was, would you estimate, that Benjamin Yeaten called you with his assignment?

  • I said it was at the end of '99 when Sam Bockarie came to Liberia, when he crossed over into Liberia. When he was at YWCA it took something like two weeks before I took up the assignment with him.

  • Was anyone else given the same assignment by Benjamin Yeaten to be a bodyguard for Sam Bockarie, to your knowledge?

  • Yeah. It was the late James Kemu.

  • Your Honours, can he repeat the last name.

  • Just pause, Mr Witness. The interpreter wants you to repeat the last name. You've said the late James Kemu. Who else, please?

  • Kemu, your Honours, K-E-M-U.

  • Besides Kemu, I'm sorry, Mr Witness, we missed the other names you mentioned. In addition to yourself and Kemu who else was given this assignment by Benjamin Yeaten to be a bodyguard for Sam Bockarie?

  • I said Surprise Fasu. Surprise Fasu.

  • We'll try to get a spelling or do a phonetic one. Perhaps in the meantime I can just do it phonetically, F-A-I-S-U:

  • Sir, anyone else? I thought you said another name?

  • And Fasu at this moment phonetically F-A-S-U:

  • Sir, these people, you, Sampson Weah, James Kemu and Surprise Fasu, what were the nationalities of the four of you?

  • We were all Liberians.

  • Now you said earlier that Sam Bockarie crossed with many of his bodyguards, is that correct?

  • Your Honours, can he repeat the last answer slowly.

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter asks that you repeat your last answer. Please speak slowly.

  • I said General Mosquito crossed - the men that he crossed over with were all Sierra Leoneans. They were all Sierra Leonean. But we that took up the assignment with him by under instruction from Benjamin Yeaten were all Liberians. That was what I said.

  • When you were working as a bodyguard for Sam Bockarie what was your relationship with Benjamin Yeaten?

  • I was bodyguard to Ben and he gave me the assignment, so I used to report directly to him.

  • Just so we're clear, you reported directly to who?

  • To General Yeaten.

  • I'm not clear how the witness could be - the question was, "When you were working as a bodyguard for Mr Bockarie" and then he said, "I was a bodyguard to Ben and he gave me the assignment." Does he mean - how could he be bodyguard to both at the same time, or maybe just --

  • Yes, it merits further explanation:

  • Mr Witness, when you were working as a bodyguard for Sam Bockarie and you said at the time you were a bodyguard to Ben, "He gave me the assignment", explain what your relationship was with Benjamin Yeaten at the time he assigned you to guard Sam Bockarie.

  • I was a special - I was working with the Special Security Service with the motorcade and from Mr Benjamin Yeaten called me to take up assignment with him again and I was with him - I was with Benjamin Yeaten when Sam Bockarie crossed. Then for the safety of he himself and Sam Bockarie, because they wanted a Liberian security to be assigned to Sam Bockarie just in case there is an information which could be passed over to Benjamin Yeaten, it was then that he gave us this assignment. That was what I said.

  • Where did you stay when you were on this assignment?

  • I had my house right opposite the White Flower, Mr Taylor's house.

  • Did you become - what was your relationship like with Sam Bockarie during the time you were his bodyguard?

  • I was very close to him. We used to sit together and discuss. And most of the things that he was not satisfied with that had caused him to leave the RUF, we used to sit down and talk about them. He - the effort that he had really made for the RUF, he said he had never benefitted anything. The fact that he has left Sierra Leone, he was regretful of that. He said Mr Taylor called him and told him that he should leave there because Foday Sankoh wanted Issa Sesay to take over as commander because Mosquito maybe one of these days might take over the RUF. That was Sankoh's fear. So I was very close to him and we were doing things in common.

  • You said that Mosquito said Mr Taylor called him. What name or what terms did Mosquito use to refer to Charles Taylor?

  • He used to call him Chief. He said, "Had it not been for the Chief who called me to come we would have all fought for that place until all of us lost the ground." It was Taylor that he was referring to, that every instruction he taking directly from Mr Taylor. So he called him Chief at that time because at that time Sankoh was not there, he was in jail in Togo. So the RUF was not directly under Mr Taylor, so Mosquito reported directly to Mr Taylor. So when he said "Chief" he was referring to Mr Taylor.

  • When I asked you about what Mosquito called Mr Taylor you said - part of your answer was, "We would have all fought for that place". What place was Mosquito referring to, if you know?

  • The RUF controlled areas where he was in Buedu, the entire control area. He said had it not been for the chief Mr Taylor who had told him to leave the ground to come in Liberia, "Issa and I would have continued fighting at that place until all of us lost the ground." That was what he said.

  • Your Honour, I'm looking at LiveNote and I see something that at least isn't what I recall hearing. I will check with your Honours and counsel, but on mine it's page 97 line 9, "So the RUF was" - blank - "under Mr Taylor":