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

  • Thank you, your Honour:

  • Good morning, Mr Mongor. I am going to ask you first of all about money this morning and, your Honours, I am looking at tab 17 in the bundle. Thank you, Madam Court Officer.

    Mr Mongor, I have a correction to make. Throughout the course of last week when I was cross-examining you, up to I think Friday, I kept saying that you had been interviewed on 24 separate dates. As I indicated at the end of last week, I thought I might have got that wrong. I have rechecked and on my counting of all the different days you were actually interviewed on 26 separate dates and, as I have previously said, if I have got that wrong there are others who have the documentation who will correct me and I will be happy to be corrected.

    Now, you told us when I first started asking you questions that you had been given some money on each of the occasions, each of the dates when you were interviewed, is that correct?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • We looked last week at some of those occasions and I am not going to go over that material again, but I will just go through it, as it were, to tick off those dates. So we start on the first page of tab 17. We have looked already at box number 1, 28 August. That was prior to your first interview. The first interview was in the second box, 30 August, and we looked at that. We also looked at the next interview in box number 3 where you received 50,000 leones, the same as box number 2, for transport, meals and lost wages, and again the third interview, on 4 September, the same sum for the same reasons.

    If you go over the page, please, box number 5 is Friday, 8 September. Again the same amount of money, 50,000 leones, for meals, transport and lost wages. Now, number 5, 8 September, follows on from number 4 which is 4 September, but we know that you were interviewed in between those two dates: On 5 September and then again on 6 September, but there are no sums recorded for those two dates of interview.

    The next time you were interviewed after 8 September, in box 6, was 17 September, but there is no receipt for that date, or on that date as such. The next receipt we see is box 6. Can you have a look at that, please. Friday, September 29th 2006, transport and lost wages, 15,000 leones. No reference to meals there. Can you pause for a moment and just think back. Was there ever a time when you went along to see the Prosecution for an interview, but they didn't at the end of that interview, on that day, hand over the money to you, they gave it to you at some later date? Did that ever happen, or did you always get it on the same day as you have told us both this morning and last week?

  • No, I can't recall that. The one you have spoken about, I don't think I was given the money on that same day.

  • Well, I am not going to spend a long time on this, but the one I have spoken about is 17 September 2006. How can you now remember whether on 17 September 2006, one out of 26 different days on which you were interviewed, that on that specific date you weren't given the money on the day?

  • Well, as we go along discussing issues about the monies then maybe my - I will reflect and recall about the money issues that you are talking about. That was why I said so.

  • The question I asked you is how can you remember on 7 April 2008 that on the day you were interviewed, 17 September 2006, on that particular day they didn't give you the money there and then, they gave it you at some other time? How can you remember that now?

  • Well, I want to tell you that the date you are talking about I can't recall it actually, but I recall that there were days that I went there that they did not give me money and I returned.

  • Well, can you recall saying in the last eight minutes that every time you were interviewed you were paid? You certainly said that when I first asked you about this last week?

  • Yes, I said it. I have said it. I have not denied that.

  • Are you now saying that you have got that wrong and there were in fact days on which they didn't pay you?

  • Well, it was not a large amount, but I think they were always giving me money, but if I am not mistaken I think it was just about two times that I was not given money, but the money was later given to me.

  • Let me see if I have understood that. Are you saying that there were about two occasions on which they didn't give you any money on the day, but they gave it to you later, or are you saying there were about two occasions on which they gave you no money at all, either on the day or at any time after that?

  • I said they gave me the money later.

  • All right. After 17 September the next time you were interviewed was 1 October 2006. In fact, in box 6, Friday 29 September, you are given 15,000 leones, although that wasn't a date on which you were interviewed. You were interviewed two days later on Sunday, 1 October; but if you look at box 7, which is the next one in time after box 6, that relates to 23 December 2006 when you were given 40,000 leones for meals, transport and lost wages again. Now, in the meantime, between 29 September and 23 December, you had been interviewed on 1 October, 8 October, 11 December and 23 December, the same date of the next receipt in box 7. Were there four occasions when you received - well, let me put that in another way. Were there three occasions on which you can think that you weren't paid at all in October and December 2006, or is the position that you just don't know now?

  • Well, I can't recall now.

  • Box 8, 20,000 for meals, transport and lost wages, another Sunday. You said last week that you wouldn't lose wages on a Sunday. Do you still maintain that?

  • I don't sell on Sundays.

  • No, all right. Box 8, Sunday 28 January, meals, transport and lost wages. Lost wages there for that Sunday, is that a mystery to you as to why they would pay you for lost wages?

  • Well, maybe that is the procedure of their own job. I cannot dispute that.

  • Box 9, please. Another Sunday, 4 February, which was indeed a date on which you were interviewed. The reason given there is "monies provided to witness to enable clarification interview on 4 February 2007", that is the Sunday, another 20,000 for meals, transport and lost wages.

    The next occasion on which you were interviewed was 8 February 2007, but there is no payment specific to that date in this document. The next date where there is a payment is box 10, Wednesday 21 February 2007, "monies provided during interview with witness management unit/investigations on 21 to 22 February 2007". Now, I just want to ask you - I don't want to know the detail, certainly not at the moment at any rate. Did you have interviews with the witness management unit/investigations on 21 and 22 February 2007, that is just over a year ago, that you can now remember?

  • Well, the people who were there, all I know is that they are Special Court workers who are there, who normally went to call me. So I can't tell the difference between them to say this person is this and that other person is that, but all I know is that they were all Special Court people, so when they needed me they called me.

  • Would your Honour bear with me for just a moment:

  • This is a document supplied to us by the Prosecution, you understand, not from court staff as such. Can you remember being interviewed on two consecutive days, one day after another, in late February last year by somebody in the Prosecution?

  • Well, I can't recall that now because it has taken a long time, but I know that those things have been happening.

  • Right. We don't have any interviews for either of those dates, so if you were interviewed on those dates then that brings the total number of days on which you were interviewed to 28. Again, 40,000 for transport, lost wages and meals on 21 February. The next box is Monday, 26 February 2006 and it is described as follows, "reimbursement provided to witness during clarification by Witness Management Unit on same date", presumably meaning the date Monday, 26 February 2007. 20,000 for meals, lost wages and transportation then. We don't have any document relating to an interview on that date, but if you were interviewed on that date by the Prosecution then that would bring it to 29 separate dates.

    The next time you were interviewed you were interviewed on 14 and then on 15 June 2007.

  • Just pause a moment, Mr Munyard. Did you ask - I didn't record or hear a reply when you put the 26 February interview to the witness.

  • Yes, to be fair to the witness I think the only thing he could say is "yes" because I was simply putting the fact in evidence that this document demonstrates that there was an interview on that date, 26 February.

  • Your Honour, I would say that is a matter of interpretation of grammar: Whether "on same date" refers to the reimbursement, or the clarification.

  • I think you have a question on record, Mr Munyard. In fairness to the witness he should be allowed to answer it.

  • I completely agree. Shall I put it again?

  • I think it would be best. Put it again.

  • I will put it again in a way I hope the witness is able to answer:

  • Mr Mongor, if you have a look at box 11 the date is Monday, 26 February 2007. On that date you were given 20,000 leones for meals, lost wages and transport and the reason that is specified there is "reimbursements provided to witness during clarification by Witness Management Unit on same date". Now, do you have any memory now of being paid for - or being paid on that date during a clarification interview?

  • Well, the date that you are talking about I can't recall now because it has taken a long time, but I received money, but I can't recall the dates.

  • Right, but do you agree that the document suggests that you were paid money for an interview on Monday, 26 February 2007?

  • Your Honour, I would object because that is asking this witness to give an opinion as to the grammar of that sentence and what it means and I would say since clarification by WMU, WMU does not do the clarification. So clarification - "reimbursements provided to witness during clarification by WMU on same date", to me it is quite clear what the meaning of that is and I don't think it is proper to ask the witness to give his interpretation of the English.

  • I am very happy for my learned friend to give what his interpretation is. I, of course, have nothing to do with the WMU of the Prosecution. He will know better than me.

  • I would just point out that it is logical that WMU does not do clarifications. They to do do reimbursements, so if it says "reimbursement by WMU on this date" that is what took place.

  • Thank you for that clarification, Mr Koumjian. Likewise I am not aware of the bureaucratic procedures, but clarification is now before us and it would appear that "on the same date" refers to --

  • Can I have a try at this and Mr Koumjian will correct me if I have got it wrong:

  • Mr Mongor, it appears that you were paid by the Witness Management Unit on the same date, i.e. Monday 26 February 2007, for your expenses during a clarification interview. Do you agree?

  • Yes, I agree that I received money, but I can't recall the date now, my Lord.

  • All right, thank you. Can I invite the Prosecution to supply us with records of the interviews referred to in both boxes 10 and 11?

  • Yes, thank you, your Honour. I want to make it absolutely clear that the Prosecution has provided the Defence with all interviews with this witness and if there is a record of a payment on a certain day we have checked all interviews have been provided to the Defence of this witness.

  • Box 12, please. Mr Mongor, the next date on which you are paid anything is Thursday, 29 November 2007. It is for communication and it is 30,000 leones. Now, that is some nine months after the previous payment in February of 2007. In the meantime, we know that you were interviewed on 14 and then on 15 June 2007 and on 25 and then on 26 July 2007. So that is four separate dates between boxes 11 and 12. Do you have any recollection of not being paid for four interviews in the middle of last year?

  • I can't recall now concerning the dates you are talking about.

  • Box 12, 29 November 2007, you were interviewed on that date. Then if we go over the page to box 13, Wednesday 5 December 2007, again for communication another 30,000 leones. You had been interviewed the previous day on 4 December 2007. Do you now know what you were either given money for, or what given something to the value of 30,000 leones for communication means?

  • Well, I can recall that the 30,000 that you are talking about was for me to buy a top-up card for my phone.

  • Right. The next box, 14, Wednesday 5 December 2007, 120,000 leones for communication. Was that top-up cards, or was that something else? Sorry, it is the same date, but it is a separate receipt.

  • I received that money they gave me.

  • And what was it for?

  • Well, I had requested for communication business so they gave it to me.

  • Yes, but what do you mean by communication business? It is four times as much as the two previous payments of 30,000 which were top-up cards.

  • What was this one for?

  • Well, the 120,000 leones that you are talking about was given to me and I used some for communication business. That is also to buy some top-ups for my phone. Then the remaining, I used it for meals.

  • So can you remember now how much you spent of it on communication, on top-ups?

  • Well, I can't recall everything now. To say that I can recall everything now and give you the exact amount that I used on communication I cannot recall it now, but I am sure that I was given money for me to buy top-up and put it into my phone most times.

  • Can I just clarify something with you and I know you told us last week, but can you remember the date when you came to The Hague this year?

  • I came here in January.

  • That was the time I came to The Hague.

  • All right, thank you. Any idea now whether it was early January, late January? Can you be any more specific than that?

  • I can say it was in late January that I came here.

  • All right. The next tab, please, number 18. I think the witness is still on the previous tab. Yes, thank you. Mr Mongor, this is a further sum of money that was expended in relation to you and your family by the Witness and Victim Service. That is a separate body of the Court, different from the Prosecution. You can see there, in paragraph numbered 2, "subsistence allowance", that you were brought under the protection of the Court on 10 March 2007, that is just about 13 months ago, and since then, to 26 February of this year, you have been paid a total as follows: A subsistence allowance of 7,852,000 leones. Now, I don't want to know details of any addresses, or anything like that, but did you move house at all on or around 10 March 2007? I am not talking about coming to The Hague. I am talking about when you were still in Sierra Leone.

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • Right. Was your rent paid for on or after that date, around 10 March of last year?

  • Well, it was the Court that paid. I did not pay myself.

  • Thank you. As well as having your rent paid for, were you also provided with money for food for you and your family?

  • So is this right: That the Court provided you with an allowance? They paid money to you to pay for the food for yourself and your family since around 10 March last year?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • In addition to that, we see under the heading "Other Expenditure", medical 234,600 leones. Now, I don't want to know the details of that, but were those medical expenses for you, or for your family, or for both you and your family?

  • It was for me and my family.

  • Right. Childcare 660,000 leones. Again, I don't want to know any of the detail, but were you paying for childcare before 10 March 2007, or not?

  • Before coming to the Court, is that what you mean?

  • No, this is all since 10 March 2007 that these payments appear to have been made and I am just trying to find out whether these were payments to you that constituted a benefit to you that you hadn't had before. Now, if you want me to explain that in a different way I will, but do you follow? If you hadn't had to pay for childcare before March 2007, then receiving 660,000 leones for childcare after that date would be a benefit to you, wouldn't it?

  • Is it no that you didn't have to pay for childcare before March 2007, or no it wasn't a benefit to you?

  • I was paying for childcare.

  • Right. Before March 2007, before you moved?

  • So after that date the Court paid for the childcare, is that right?

  • So that was a sum that you no longer had to find out of your own pocket because the Court were now paying for it, is that right?

  • Transportation 285,000 leones. Can you just give us, in very broad terms, some understanding of what your transportation costs were after March of 2007? Where was it you were having - what travel were you having to do that the Court paid for? Again, I don't want to know addresses, or locations. I just want the know in general terms.

  • What? To say what?

  • We see here a figure of 285,000 leones for transportation. Was this transportation cost something that you had to undertake because of your move, or what was it for?

  • Well, I think those were the monies given to me for transportation. That is what I totalled up to that amount. That is what I want to believe.

  • Right. What transportation was involved?

  • Yes, sometimes I went to the provinces. Sometimes I used taxi and the puda pudas that went to the provinces.

  • Did you go to the provinces as part of your giving assistance to the Prosecution, or were you going to the provinces for your own personal reasons?

  • Well, I did not go to the provinces on behalf of the Prosecution, but I went to the provinces to visit my other family members.

  • Right, and the Court paid for that?

  • So again that was something that you didn't have to pay for out of your own pocket?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • And so that was a benefit to you?

  • Well, it was the Court that told me that if I was planning to visit anywhere, to go anywhere, I should inform them. So that was the assistance that they used to give me.

  • Right. Then finally we have got rent, maintenance and utility bills, 1,039 dollars, the equivalent to 3,117,000 leones. Now, you told us when I was asking you about the 7,852,000 leones up above that they paid your rent and they also paid you money for food and so on, but the rent appears as a separate figure down here, the equivalent of just over 3 million leones. So does this follow: That the 7,852,000 up above must relate to food only?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • The grand total there is 14,337,000 leones. Do you see that?

  • I have seen it there, my Lord.

  • And out of that the medical expences, the childcare, some of the transportation and the food payments are all a benefit to you, aren't they?

  • These were things that I used to do before. I did it myself. So if I was - so I was now under their auspices, then maybe that was the way their office operated, so I had no objection against it, my Lord.

  • Well, I am not suggesting that you would object, Mr Mongor. The one thing I haven't asked you about is the heading, "Miscellaneous". Do you see that down there in that list just below "Transportation", 2,223,400 leones? Miscellaneous presumably means all sorts of other bits and pieces that don't fall in the categories we have looked at so far. Can you give us some idea of what you were given money for that didn't fall under the headings that we have looked at thus far?

  • Well, I lost my phone, my communication set, at one time and at that time even when they tried to contact me they couldn't get me and so I made them understand that I lost my phone, so they assisted me with a new phone at that time. So some of those things they did them.

  • Right. A new phone wouldn't cost 2 million leones, would it? What else? Could you give us some other examples?

  • It wouldn't cost 2 million leones, but I think I have been requesting from them sometimes - in fact, I can recall when my father was sick, when he was admitted in the hospital I informed them and they gave me some money.

  • Yes, they gave you some money for what?

  • Well, I asked them to assist me because my father was sick and it is because you are talking about other things that were expenditures that they did to me, that did not concern food and other things, and I have told you about the issue of the phone and I have told you about the other assistance that they gave me, like the case of my father. When I asked them, they assisted me.

  • Yes, but doesn't your father's visit to hospital come up the category of medical that we have already looked at? I asked you if it covered both yourself and your family and you said it did cover your family as well.

  • Yes.

  • So that wouldn't come under miscellaneous, would it? Can you give us examples of anything else, apart from buying you a new telephone, that would come under the category of miscellaneous?

  • Well, there were so many things, but some of them I might have forgotten now. These were monies that they assisted me with. Actually I can't recall all of them now, but I believe that they gave me money. Even at the time my father was in Liberia and at that time he was sick, I recall that I informed them and even at that time when I was about to travel to go there, I informed them about that also. They helped me with money also. All of those things.

  • Right. Well, that would come under transportation, wouldn't it?

  • Yes, it should come under transportation. I am not disagreeing with that fact.

  • Not miscellaneous. Is there anything else you can think of that isn't covered in the categories above, apart from a mobile phone, that would account for the expenditure of some 2 million plus leones?

  • I might have forgotten, really.

  • Can we go back, please, to tab 2.

  • Just before we do, Mr Munyard, I am having a bit of trouble with the arithmetic in this. I don't have a calculator with me, but it appears to me that 555,000 added to 7,852,000 does not come to 14,337,000.

  • Your Honour, there is a 3 million at the bottom, the dollars.

  • Yes, that is the equivalent - yes, that subtotal too seems a bit odd, because that he has been paid a total of 7,852,000, but those figures to me don't come to 7,852,000. They come to 6,000,500-odd. But, in any event, I remark this. I don't think it is in issue, but it does strike me as incorrect.

  • I see, you are saying the subsistence allowance of 7 million and these other things are two separate things.

  • Yes, because it does say "other expenditure".

  • Now I am clear. Thank you for that clarification.

  • Whether the mathematics still add up - well, there is a 5 million and a 7, nearly 8 million. So yes, it looks as though it does add up.

  • It doesn't quite add up. My calculation comes up to 14,372,000 leones.

  • So it is more than the total.

  • Just slightly more, yes.

  • Well, there it is:

  • Mr Mongor, just so that you understand this exchange that has been going on, it looks as though you were actually paid more money than this total of 14,337,000 by the Court and it may be someone has got their mathematics wrong somewhere along the line in putting down that figure there, but, in any event, do you agree that you received a very considerable benefit from co-operating with the Prosecution?

  • Yes, I received money from them.

  • A very considerable benefit to you? Money that you would otherwise perhaps not have been able to afford to spend on your family and yourself, do you agree?

  • No, my Lord. I don't want to agree with you because I have been taking care of my family before.

  • I am not suggesting you weren't. What I am suggesting is that since you started to co-operate with the Prosecution, a lot of the money you would have had to find out of your own pocket to care for your family has been given to you. Do you agree with that?

  • Thank you. Tab 2, please. Mr Mongor, do you have tab 2 either in front of you, or on the screen in front of you? It is a letter dated Tuesday, 12 December 2006. Do you see that?

  • You said - what is the date you said?

  • It is on the top of the letter, top left-hand side. Tuesday, 12 December 2006. Do you see that date on that letter?

  • It is from Christopher Staker, the acting Prosecutor of this Court. Do you see that?

  • It is addressed to you, is it not, "For the attention of Mr Isaac Mongor, Dear Mr Mongor", do you agree?

  • And it reads as follows:

    "As the acting Prosecutor for the Special Court for Sierra Leone, I would like to take this opportunity to assure you that I have not laid any criminal charges, nor do I intend to lay any charges against you because of your affiliation with any parties that have been charged by this Court. I trust that this letter may help put your mind at ease with regards to this matter."

    It is signed by Dr Staker. Now, do you remember receiving that letter?

  • Yes, my Lord. I received that letter.

  • It wasn't on a day when you were being interviewed in September 2006. How did you receive it? Did it come in the post, or was it given to you by hand?

  • My Lord, they invited me at the Court and then I went there. That was where I received the letter, in the Court, inside the Special Court compound.

  • Right. Did you know that they were about to give you that letter?

  • Well, I never knew whether they wanted to give me a letter.

  • But did you know that they were going to assure you you would not be charged with any criminal offences before this Court? Had they told you, in other words, before they gave you the letter?

  • Well, I got an information initially in which they said they had nothing against me and then they wrote this letter and gave it to me.

  • Right. This information that they gave you initially, was this before the first interview when you started telling them things?

  • You mean the information regarding this particular letter that I have spoken about? Is that what you mean, my Lord?

  • Yes, the person who first spoke to me, who tried to ensure that I talked to the Prosecution, he assured me of that even before I came to the Court.

  • Right, thank you. I want to turn to something else, please. In your evidence in March when you were being taken through your account by Mr Koumjian, you told this Court - and correct me if I have misunderstood - that the invasion of Freetown on 6 January 1999 was essentially Charles Taylor's idea, do you agree?

  • I said that, my Lord.

  • So it was all down to Charles Taylor, was it, the idea that Freetown should be attacked in early January of 1999?

  • Well, it was a plan that they arranged that we should attack all the other places that we attacked and that we should attack Freetown. That was a plan brought - that Mosquito brought.

  • From?

  • The time he came from Monrovia. That was the time he called us to a meeting and he explained that to us.

  • Are you sure it wasn't in fact a project of the AFRC, the attack on Freetown in January 1999?

  • Well, the AFRC people went there. They went to Freetown, but the plan that was brought by Mosquito from Mr Taylor was for us to attack all the other places and to advance on Freetown, but they did not select a specific group that it was this group that was supposed to go to Freetown. I am not saying that the AFRC and the RUF did not go to Freetown. They all went to Freetown on 6 January.

  • And whose idea was it?

  • Well, the plan I have told you about was a plan that Mosquito brought when he came from Monrovia and he told us that he discussed with Mr Taylor and that was the same time he brought the ammunition for us to attack Kono and other places, and for us to advance on the capital city and to capture there.

  • Now, I put to you on Friday that the relationship between the AFRC and the RUF was a difficult relationship and you didn't agree. Do you remember?

  • I believe counsel on Friday put a timeframe of during the initial junta period, during the time that they were in Freetown, as I recall.

  • I think what I put was "from the outset". I think I used that expression "from the outset".

  • Meaning right from the start it was a difficult relationship:

  • And you would not agree with that, would you, Mr Mongor?

  • Yes, it was because you were talking about the start. You said the RUF and the AFRC and you were talking about the beginning. That was the one I said I did not agree with.

  • Yes, you have just heard Mr Koumjian's intervention, haven't you, and that is why you are now coming out with that answer, isn't it?

  • That was not it, my Lord.

  • All right, I suggest it was. When I was asking you questions on Friday I was making it clear from the very beginning, all the way through, there were difficulties in the relationship between the AFRC and the RUF. Do you agree from start to finish there were problems between the two groups?

  • I want to tell you that there was a problem, but it was not a kind of problem that will bring about something serious that we will not be able to handle, because, for example, even you or any man when you are in your home you must have misunderstandings. So I am saying even when two forces are together they must have misunderstandings, but there will be a time when they will be able to talk amongst themselves to settle their differences.

  • Do you or don't you agree that right from the beginning, all the way until the end, there were problems in the relationship between those two groups? Yes or no?

  • Yes, there were problems.

  • Thank you. [Overlapping speakers].

  • There are problems with them.

  • All the way through, from the outset right through to the end, and by the end I mean the end of the AFRC and the RUF as organisations?

  • We shouldn't say from the beginning because at the time they invited us we were doing things in common with them, you see.

  • You told us in your evidence --

  • We never had problems.

  • You told us in your evidence in March that Ibrahim Bah had to come to Freetown to talk to the AFRC and RUF, when they had just formed the junta, to urge them to work together. Do you remember telling us that?

  • Yes, my Lord, I said that.

  • Did you ever hear a radio broadcast very shortly after the junta was formed and invited the RUF to join them, in which Foday Sankoh himself was recorded telling the RUF that they should accept the offer of the AFRC and join the junta? Did you ever hear Foday Sankoh on the radio saying that?

  • I did not hear that, my Lord.

  • Did you hear about it?

  • The only thing I heard was an instruction that came to Sam Bockarie. That was when the AFRC took over and they invited us to join them and he said it was the Pa that gave him the instruction and it was the time he passed the instructions on to me and other people for us to join them.

  • Right. So you didn't need Ibrahim Bah to turn up later to urge you to work together. The Pa, through Sam Bockarie, had already told you to do that, yes?

  • Well, I will still need somebody for us to give us advice even though the Pa had said it.

  • Did anybody tell you about this broadcast?

  • Mr Munyard, is this Pa Foday Sankoh?

  • Yes, he has referred to him as the Pa when I was asking about Foday Sankoh.

  • I am working on the basis that we are dealing with the same Pa here:

  • Mr Mongor, did anybody in the RUF ever tell you that Foday Sankoh had been interviewed in a prison cell and that interview had been broadcast over the radio, I think the BBC, saying the AFRC invitation to the RUF to join them should be accepted by the RUF? Even if you didn't hear it yourself, did anybody tell you that broadcast had gone out over the airwaves?

  • I did not hear a broadcast. I told you it was my boss, Sam Bockarie, that said that he received a message from the Pa saying that we should join the AFRC men. So that was the time he gave me an order to move and meet the other brothers.

  • Last time, listen to the question, please: We understand you are saying you didn't personally hear the broadcast, I am asking you did anyone in the RUF tell you that Foday Sankoh had made a broadcast over the radio - I am talking about the BBC type radio, not a field radio - saying that the RUF should accept the offer and join with the AFRC? Did anyone tell you they had heard him making that broadcast over the radio?

  • Well, I did not hear a BBC broadcast.

  • Nobody told me about BBC broadcast.

  • Not one single person, is that what you are saying?

  • Yes, they did not tell me that it was a BBC broadcast. I did not hear that from anybody.

  • Once the RUF joined with the AFRC, was there a level of mistrust between the two groups?

  • Well, it was the first time when I received the instruction to come and meet those men.

  • I don't understand that answer. Mr Witness, did you understand the question?

  • The question was: Was there some mistrust between the RUF and the AFRC after they joined?

  • I don't think he said sometimes. The way I heard it, the way I understood it was maybe he was talking about the time we met.

  • Mr Munyard, in the circumstances please put the question again.

  • Once the AFRC - sorry, once the RUF joined the AFRC and became the junta and the junta was set up, was there some level of mistrust between the two organisations?

  • Well, I never had that feeling.

  • Right. Tab 11, please. It starts at page 37994 and I am going to be looking at 37995, but I just want to establish the date first. That is why we will start with 37994. Madam Court Officer, we are going to start with the date which is on the first of those two pages. Do you have that, Mr Mongor?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • It is an interview with you in Freetown. The investigator was Shelley Birston and the attorney was Alain Werner. Do you see that?

  • And it is on two days, but the day we are looking at is written here 2007, 14 June. Do you see that?

  • Interview starts at 1432 hours, 2.30 in the afternoon, complete interview done in English. Can you recall now you were being interviewed in the middle of last year by those two people? Now, you know who Mr Werner is, don't you?

  • Yes, if I see him I would know him.

  • All right. Try looking to your right. You may not know him as Mr Werner. You may know him as Mr Alain, I don't know, but is there a gentleman to your right, the person nearest to you, who you recognise?

  • Yes, I know him, my Lord.

  • What do you know him as?

  • The Alain you are talking about is the name I know.

  • Right. That is Mr Werner, Alain Werner. Do you see that name there at the top, in that top section? Can you remember being interviewed by him and I am assuming that Shelley Birston is a woman. I am very grateful to Mr Werner for confirming that. Can you remember being interviewed by Alain and a lady?

  • Yes, I can recall.

  • And the whole interview was conducted in English, do you agree?

  • Yes, I agree to that.

  • Did they make sure that you understood their questions because it was all being conducted in English?

  • In common with 24 other interviews out of the 29, it was conducted in English and you were satisfied, were you, that you understood what they were asking you in that language?

  • I understood.

  • Right. Can you turn over, please, to page 37995. Do you see page 37995? Have you got it in front of you?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • Right. I want you to start at the third paragraph down which starts with the words, "Before the AFRC coup in 1997". Can you see that?

  • Yes, I have seen, "Before the AFRC coup in 1997".

  • Thank you. It reads as follows:

    "Before the AFRC coup in 1997 the witness had requested from the RUF, northern jungle, ammunition by radioing Sam Bockarie in Buedu. Sam Bockarie told him that Jungle had already left to see Papay (Charles Taylor) with the request for more ammunition and that the witness should hang on."

    Did you tell them that?

  • It then goes on:

    "Sam Bockarie later told the witness [that is you] that Jungle had come back to Buedu with some 50 boxes of ammunition for AKs, RPGs and GMGs. When he was told about that the witness was already in Freetown with the AFRC and it was in 1997."

    Did you tell them that?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • It goes on:

    "The witness thinks that Jungle was in Monrovia when the AFRC coup took place in Sierra Leone and that he brought the ammunition to Buedu once the RUF had joined the AFRC in Freetown."

    Did you tell them that?

  • Yes, I told them, my Lord.

  • It continues, "When the ammunition did arrive in Buedu" - pausing there and just taking your face away from the page for a minute, Mr Mongor, can you help us, when did the ammunition arrive in Buedu?

  • Well, I can't tell you the time now because at the time I requested for the ammunition I was still in the jungle and the time it arrived I had received instruction that I should go and join the brothers and that is the AFRC, so I can't recall any specific date now that it was on this specific date that the ammunition arrived.

  • Well, let us just look at the whole of that sentence, please, "When the ammunition did arrive in Buedu the RUF top command" - are you in the RUF top command?

  • Yes, I was there.

  • "... the RUF top command did not tell the AFRC that they had received this ammunition as some level of mistrust still existed between the AFRC and the RUF."

    Did you tell them that?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • So why did you tell us that there was no level of mistrust between the two organisations just a moment ago?

  • Yes, I did say that I did not trust somebody. I did not feel that way.

  • Pardon? Can you just explain that again?

  • I said I don't think I had the feeling that I feared somebody.

  • Right. Now would you go back to my question, please. Why did you tell the judges a very short time ago that there was no level of mistrust between the AFRC and the RUF?

  • Your Honour, I would refer counsel to page 29 of the LiveNote, line 9, and the witness's answer, at least on my 14 point screen. May I read the question and answer to help your Honours, or at least --

  • [Microphone not activated].

  • The question begins on line 6 and the answer of the witness on line 9.

  • Please read it, Mr Koumjian, to ensure that we are all --

  • The question by Mr Munyard was, "Once the AFRC - sorry, once the RUF joined the AFRC and became the junta and the junta was set up, was there some level of mistrust between the two organisations?" The witness's answer, "Well, I never had that feeling."

  • I completely agree:

  • Why did you tell the Court that earlier this morning?

  • Your Honours, the counsel's mic is not switched on.

  • Why did you tell the Court what Mr Koumjian has just very helpfully read out, this very morning, and yet back in June of last year you were saying to the investigators, one of whom is Mr Werner who is sitting there, that when the ammunition did arrive in Buedu the RUF top command did not tell the AFRC they had received it "as some level of mistrust still existed between the AFRC and the RUF"?

  • Yes, I said that.

  • Why did you tell the Court what you have told them this morning, when you said that when you were interviewed back in June last year?

  • Mr Witness, we are not talking about the ammunition. We are talking about the mistrust.

  • Okay, the reason why I said that was when the ammunition came the man who was in charge of the ammunition, that is Sam Bockarie, he did not release it for it to reach us in Freetown. That was why I said that. I said maybe he never had trust. That was the reason why he did not send the ammunition for us to use then. That was why I talked about the mistrust.

  • Yes, so why did you tell the judges this morning that which Mr Koumjian just read out: That once the RUF had joined the AFRC in the junta that you did not believe that there was still some level of mistrust between them?

  • Yes, I said it because within myself I felt that as long as I was now together with the people I had no fear in me, so it was based on that that I said that I never had such a feeling that there was something like that.

  • I didn't ask you about your feelings. I asked you about the two groups. Do you understand?

  • I asked you if you were in the RUF top command, do you remember?

  • Yes, you asked me.

  • Look at the words on that page again, please, and let us just follow the time sequence. The first bit, or the part that starts, "SB [Sam Bockarie] later told the witness that Jungle had come back to Buedu with some 50 boxes of ammunition." When you were told about that you were already in Freetown with the AFRC and it was in 1997, so that means it was at the time that the AFRC had invited you, the RUF, to join them, doesn't it?

  • Yes, that was the time.

  • So the two organisations have joined up and formed the junta, yes?

  • Then it goes on:

    "The witness thinks that Jungle was in Monrovia when the AFRC coup took place in Sierra Leone and that he brought the ammunition to Buedu once the RUF had joined the AFRC in Freetown."

    So the ammunition doesn't arrive in Buedu until you and the AFRC are together forming the junta, yes?

  • Say again.

  • Look at the page. The ammunition does not come to Buedu until you, the RUF, had joined the AFRC to form the junta in Freetown, yes?

  • Yes, because I did not see the ammunition when I was with the men. That was why I said that.

  • I am looking at the page again. When the ammunition did arrive in Buedu - now we know that is after you had joined the AFRC to form the junta, "When the ammunition did arrive in Buedu the RUF top command" - and that, we know, includes you - "did not tell the AFRC that they had received this ammunition as some level of mistrust still existed between the AFRC and the RUF."

  • Yes, I was one of the top commands. I have not denied that. But when you talk about top command and concerning ammunition, I did not have authority or order over the ammunition. So the person who was the top commander who had authority over the ammunition, he did not have that belief. That was the reason why he did not reveal the secret to the brothers whom we had joined.

  • Mr Mongor, what we have just been looking at from your interview in June of last year, makes it perfectly plain that you were already in Freetown with the AFRC as a member of the junta when you were told about Jungle coming to Buedu with 50 boxes of ammunition?

  • And the RUF top command did not tell their AFRC colleagues about that ammunition because of the mistrust between them, is that right?

  • Well, that is what I am trying to tell you. I said I am not disagreeing with the fact that I was top commander, but I said I never had authority over the ammunition and that the person who was in control of the ammunition did not disclose it. So when he refused to disclose it, I asked on demand to him. It was not my place to go and tell people about it.

  • So, the RUF were keeping their own stash of ammunition without letting their brothers in the government know about it. That is what you were telling the Prosecutors in June of last year, wasn't it?

  • Yes, that was what I said because the ammunition was in possession of the commander, that is the RUF commander, and he did not reveal them at all to the other brothers.

  • At the time of the AFRC/RUF Junta, what was your relationship with SAJ Musa like, S-A-J Musa?

  • Well, I was not that used to SAJ Musa, but we were all living in the same area around Hill Station and I knew him around the area, that was where we were. I recall at that time, one time when he came he distributed fish to us, those of us who were commanders living in that area, and since that day the only times I met with him again was when we had meetings sometimes at JP's place.

  • You didn't get on with SAJ Musa, did you?

  • Well, I did not have any problems with SAJ Musa. I don't think I had gone into any misunderstandings with him before.

  • Well, I don't recall that I have had problems with SAJ Musa before. I can't recall.

  • You didn't think that SAJ Musa would co-operate with the RUF, certainly by the time you had all been driven out by the intervention. You thought by then that SAJ Musa wouldn't work with the RUF, didn't you?

  • Well, the time we were pushed out in fact SAJ Musa did not join us the time we were pushed out when we were retreating and at that time everybody was finding his or her own way to go, but I did not have that in mind that he will not be ready to work with us, because when were in Freetown we were all working together. So even at the time when we retreated from Freetown to go to the jungle we expected him to go together with us, but he took a different route and so we did not all join together to take the Koidu route.

  • Mr Munyard, sorry to interrupt, but I note from the record the place where the witness and SAJ Musa lived is Hill Station, not his station.

  • I heard Hill Station certainly.

  • Well, Mr Mongor, weren't you relieved when you discovered that SAJ Musa had been killed in the explosion at Benguema barracks because you thought he would never work with the RUF, or he wouldn't work well with the RUF?

  • Yes, I felt relieved.

  • For that reason that I have just said, do you agree?

  • Would you agree with this, that certainly by the time of the intervention and after you had all left Freetown SAJ Musa regarded the RUF as a very untrained and unruly lot, as opposed to himself and others who had been in the Sierra Leonean Army?

  • Well, maybe that was the way he was thinking, but he did not voice that out to us.

  • No, I am asking you that was your view, wasn't it? You understood that that is how SAJ Musa saw the RUF, didn't you?

  • Maybe that was - that was his feeling.

  • No, I am asking you that is how you understood SAJ Musa to be thinking or feeling, isn't it?

  • Well, I said maybe that was the way he felt, that that was what if RUF was.

  • Your Honours, sorry for the interruption, I apologise, but Mr Werner heard something different on one of the translations if we can get a clarification and that is on page 39. The answer reads, "Well, maybe that was the way he was thinking, but he did not voice that out to us", and Mr Werner believes the witness said "me". I don't know if the interpreter could clarify, or someone could clarify.

  • Mr Interpreter, you have heard Mr Koumjian. What did the witness say? Did he say "us" or "me"?

  • The witness said "us", your Honours.

  • Well, that is the official record then.

  • All right. Well, I am going to come back to that if I may. I make it clear that I do have a matter I want to refer the witness to, but I can't put my finger on it right at the moment.

  • Mr Witness, did you say that SAJ Musa did not voice his opinion to you, or did not voice his opinion to "us"?

  • All right. Right, Madam President, are we ready to move on from that one?

  • Mr Mongor, I want you to think carefully about this question that I am going to ask you now. When you were first being interviewed by the Prosecution, was it your position that Charles - that you didn't really know anything about Charles Taylor's role, if any, in the invasion of Freetown on 6 January 1999?

  • Yes, if my memory serves me well maybe I said that.

  • And is that right: That you didn't really know anything about Charles Taylor's role, if any, in the invasion of Freetown in January 1999?

  • Well, I did not know initially, but later I came to know.

  • Well, I don't want to be unfair to you. When you say "later I came to know", what do you mean by that? When is later?

  • When communication started going on.

  • Right. Let me make it perfectly plain, I am not talking to you about the time that these things were happening, 1998 and 1999. I am talking about your discussions, your interviews, with the Prosecution that start at the end of August 2006. Now, when you were first being interviewed by the Prosecution in 2006, you couldn't really tell them anything about Charles Taylor's involvement in the invasion of Freetown on 6 January 1999 because you didn't know anything about it, did you? Do you agree?

  • I want you to ask that question again. Let me understand it well.

  • Right. You start to be interviewed at the end of August 2006 and you are then interviewed many times in 2006 and again many times in 2007. When the Prosecution first started to ask you questions about Charles Taylor's involvement, if any, in the invasion of Freetown on 6 January 1999, you told them you didn't really know anything about whether or not he had any part in that, didn't you?

  • And that was the truth, wasn't it?

  • That was what I said.

  • What you first said to them, that you didn't know anything about Charles Taylor's involvement in the invasion of Freetown, was true, wasn't it? You didn't have any knowledge about Charles Taylor being involved in the plan to attack Freetown in January 1999, did you?

  • I told them that, my Lord.

  • Thank you. There came a later stage later on when you started to tell them a story along the lines of the evidence that you had given to us in March, namely that Charles Taylor had told Sam Bockarie that you should attack all these other towns and then move on to Freetown. That is right, isn't it?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • Why did you tell them that Charles Taylor had the plan to attack Freetown later on when earlier you had told the Prosecution that you really didn't know anything about his involvement in the invasion of Freetown in January 1999?

  • Yes, I said that.

  • No, why did you change your story - hang on - later on, when you were being interviewed later on, having originally said that you don't know anything about Charles Taylor's involvement in the attack on Freetown in January 1999?

  • When they asked me whether I was saying the truth, what I was talking was the truth, and they said they wanted me to say the truth, I said, "Well, the plan was something that Mosquito brought and he explained to us that it was he and the Pa who discussed that we should attack all the other areas and then advance on Freetown and capture there." That was the time I told them, "Okay, I will tell you the truth. This was what Mosquito explained to us when he returned."

  • So why didn't you tell the Prosecutors that when they were first asking you about what, if anything, you knew of Charles Taylor's involvement in the attack on Freetown in January 1999.

  • Yes, I did not initially tell them, but later when they asked me they said to me that they wanted me to say the truth about what I was explaining and then I also told them that, "I don't want to lie. Now I will tell you the truth." I said, "This plan came from Mr Taylor and it was when Sam Bockarie returned that he brought the whole plan that the attacks should go on", and that was the time I told them that.

  • Right, so before you were ever interviewed by the Prosecution you knew all along that the plan to attack Freetown was Charles Taylor's idea, yes?

  • When they first start interviewing you were you telling them lies?

  • I did not tell them at all.

  • I am going to try again on that one. When they first asked you, "What can you tell us about Charles Taylor's involvement in the attack on Freetown in January 1999?", did you tell them the truth, or did you tell them lies?

  • I did not tell them the truth. At the start, at the first time, I did not tell them the truth, but later I came out plain to them.

  • Would you like to explain to the learned judges why you claim that you lied to the Prosecution in the early stages of your interviews?

  • What did you say, sir?

  • Would you like to explain to the learned judges sitting there why you lied to the Prosecution in the early stages of your interviews?

  • Well I myself who is sitting here now I thought those things were strategies that the people used and, although they had told me that they had nothing to do with me, I think it was something that they were doing to cajole me so that later they will be able to get me round and to arrest me for something. But later when they actually told me that I shouldn't hide anything away from them, I should tell them the truth, and then I later came out to plain to them and said, "Okay, I will tell you the truth", and I said to them that, "Yes, this plan was a plan that came from Liberia and it was Mosquito that brought it that we should carry out the attack".

  • Right, let us look at what you have just told us:

    "I thought those things were strategies that the people used and, although they had told me that they had nothing to do with me, I think it was something they were doing to cajole me so that later they will be able to get me round and to arrest me for something".

    On 12 September of 2006 you had been given a letter granting you immunity from prosecution, hadn't you?

  • They told me that.

  • You have told us this morning that you knew before you ever started being interviewed by them that they were going to give you this letter. Did you think that the letter might not be worth the paper that it was written on? Is that what you are saying?

  • Well it worth it, but I am a human being. I needed to think. Sometimes somebody will write something on a piece of paper and then I will read it and sometimes what is said in the paper then I will just look at it that way, but equally so I am a human being. I had my own way to feel about it.

  • So, you were still worried? Despite having had the promise of immunity, you were still worried that they might actually charge you with an offence and you would end up being on trial in front of this Court. Is that right?

  • At times I had the feelings in mind and sometimes I thought over them, but sometimes again I will sit down and say, "What actually did I do? I did not do anything", but as a human being you will be sure - you will not be cock sure, so sometimes I sat down and said, "Maybe these things will happen, or maybe they will not happen", and sometimes I had a free mind and sometimes I had it in mind I thought that it was going to end up this way.

  • So, have I understood you correctly? Throughout 2006 are you saying that you were still worried that they might prosecute you even though you were co-operating with them?

  • Yes, I was co-operating with them. Yes, I had really accepted to talk to them and they also had assured me that they were not going to do anything to me, but at the same time I had a shaky heart.

  • Right, and because of your shaky heart you decided you wouldn't tell them the truth about some things. Is that right?

  • Well it was when I started, but later when they actually assured me I said, "Okay", this thing - I decided to give in and I decided to tell the truth. So whether anything was going to happen to me now let it just happen, whether they were going to kill me let them kill me, but I said, "Okay, I will say the truth", but as long as I wanted peace for myself and I also wanted peace for them I decided to give in to say the truth to them.

  • So, in how many interviews did you tell them lies?

  • Well I don't think I can recall that it was so and so interview, but based on this particular interview that we are talking about I decided to give in myself and say the truth. And as long as I wanted peace I decided to say the truth and if anything was going to happen after that let it happen, but I said I will say the truth to them.

  • Let me see if I have understood, Mr Mongor. You were worried that they would still prosecute you and so you decided that you would give them more information that they wanted to hear in order that they would not prosecute you. Is that what you are saying?

  • No, my Lord, not what they wanted to hear that I told them only to satisfy them, but I am saying that I gave in myself so that I will say the truth for the sake of peace. This was the reason why I was willing to say the truth for to them, but I am not saying that this was any reason just for me to say something that will satisfy them. I was not trying to satisfy them at all.

  • Did you feel at any stage during the whole interview process that you were being pressed by them?

  • What is the pressed, my Lord?

  • You understood it last week because you said when I used the same term, "No, I wasn't being pressed by them". Have another go at that question, please, and try and give me an honest answer. Did you feel that you were being pressed by the Prosecution to give them information at any stage during the interview process?

  • Well, when you talk about press I take it that it is just like when you press somebody to say something that you want to satisfy you. That was not the case actually. It was not the case that I was being pressed just to say, okay, say this, or say this or say that. That was not what they were doing to me.

  • Are you sure about that?

  • But at times they asked me question and later they will ask me the same question. Like, for instance, if they asked me a question today and when I went some other time when I came back they will ask me that same question. Something like that.

  • Yes. In fact, you do know what pressed means because last week you asked me to stop pressing you. Do you remember that? Do you recall?

  • Yes, I recall when I told you not to press me. It was when you were asking me over and over, over and over.

  • Right. Was there ever a time when the Prosecution made it clear to you that they really wanted more information out of you than you were currently giving them and that there must be more information you could give them?

  • They wanted more information from me based on the roles that I played and the things that I knew about for me to come out plain and explain to them.

  • Mr Mongor, just tell the learned judges, would you, some of the lies that you told in the first interviews? Give them some example of things you told the Prosecution that were lies.

  • Well I can't recall now, except this topic that we are discussing on now concerning the J6 that we were discussing, I told you that initially I did not tell them with regards Mr Taylor's plans. But when they later told me that, "We actually want you to tell this Court the truth", and then I also accepted that I will be willing to say the truth, then I decided to come out plain, but if you think there is any other that you have recognised or that you have realised that I did that I had not said initially that I have not been able to say now, you come up with it and then I will answer before this Court plainly that, yes, that is it.

  • Well, I am not going to rise to the challenge. You just tell us - tell the Court - how it was to your advantage not to tell them the truth about Charles Taylor's involvement in the attack on Freetown on January 6th 1999?

  • Well I don't know about any advantage that you are talking at, my Lord.

  • You have told the Court this morning a series of questions - sorry, a series of answers and I am just going to go through them. First of all, you knew before you were ever interviewed that you were going to get the immunity letter. Even after you got the immunity letter you still had a shaky heart and you thought they might - hang on, hang on. Listen to the question, please. That they might still find some reason to prosecute you. You have also told the Court this morning that therefore you devised strategies in order to protect yourself against the possibility of them charging you. How did it protect you to tell them that you didn't know about Charles Taylor's involvement in the attack on Freetown on January 6th 1999?

  • Before answering to your question all the things that you have said, I want to make one point clear. I have told you that I did not tell you that they were coming to give me a letter, because they did not inform me that they were going to give me a letter. And I had said initially that the person who spoke with me told me that the things that I was going to come and explain before them did not mean that the Court had something against me even before they served me the letter.

  • How did it help you not to tell them the truth about what you claim to be Charles Taylor's involvement in the invasion of Freetown on 6 January 1999?

  • He did not help me in any way to say that was a help to me, because it was not something that as long as I was going to benefit from it if I had to say that.

  • So, then why lie?

  • Well I did not lie, my Lord.

  • Well, you have told us that you did lie. Do you have any recollection, Mr Mongor, of what you have been saying in the last 20 minutes?

  • I said I did not make up my mind to tell them at that time, but later I made up my mind to tell them the truth. That was what I said.

  • Madam President, I am going to move on to something. Would this be a convenient moment? It is not something I can deal with in two minutes.

  • Well, we only have a few minutes left on the tape and so this may be an appropriate point to adjourn.

  • We will resume at 12 and you will be able to then go into your next area.

    Mr Witness, we are now going to take the mid-morning break. We will start Court again at 12 o'clock. Please adjourn Court until 12.

  • [Break taken at 12.00 p.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 12.00 p.m.]

  • Mr Munyard, please proceed with your cross-examination.

  • Thank you, your Honour:

  • Mr Mongor, just before we broke you are recorded as having said, "I said I did not make up my mind to tell them at that time, but later I made up my mind to tell them the truth. That was what I said." Now you said that you told them lies, but you can't remember what the lies were apart from about Charles Taylor and the 6 January invasion. In the last half hour while we've had a break have you been able to think of any other lies that you told the investigators during the earlier interviews?

  • I did not remember any one, my Lord.

  • Well, can I suggest that it was a lie to say that you had asked for and received ammunition around the time of the AFRC coming to power, that's the ammunition that you say eventually made its way to Buedu. That's a lie, isn't it?

  • Not a lie, my Lord.

  • The AFRC came to power in May of 1997, do you agree?

  • I agree it was in May, yes, my Lord.

  • What was going on in Liberia at that stage?

  • You mean in May, my Lord?

  • That's what I mean.

  • Well, I can't recall anything now that I think was going on there.

  • Well, try hard to think about it. You are part Liberian. Did you have family in Liberia in May 2007?

  • Yes, I had family there.

  • Who was president of Liberia in May 2007?

  • It was Mr Taylor who was there.

  • Are we talking May 2007 or 1997?

  • Did I say 2007? I am so sorry, it may be me. We will start again:

  • The AFRC came to power in May 1997 you agree. Did you have family in Liberia in May 1997?

  • Yes, in 1997 I had family there.

  • And who was president in May 1997 in Liberia?

  • It was Mr Taylor.

  • Had he been elected president by May 1997 when the AFRC came to power next door in Sierra Leone?

  • Well, I can't recall the month, but I know that he was president.

  • At the time that the AFRC staged their coup in Sierra Leone you're saying Charles Taylor was president of neighbouring Liberia, yes?

  • Charles Taylor was president in 1997. Whether it was the time that the AFRC took over, that I can't recall. I can't recall the month, but I know that in '97 Mr Taylor was president.

  • You see you've said there was an ammunition deal with Liberia at that time, with Charles Taylor at that time, around the time of the AFRC coup, but the ammunition didn't actually arrive in Buedu until after you had gone to Freetown to join the Supreme Council of the junta, remember?

  • Yes, I recall that. I said it.

  • And how was it that the ammunition made its way from Liberia into Sierra Leone at that time in 1997?

  • Well, I was not there so I cannot tell you how it happened.

  • Have you heard of somebody called Ruth Sando Perry?

  • Even if I had heard it before, but I can't recall it now. I can't recall that name now.

  • President of Liberia in May 1997. Does that ring any bells?

  • Well, the month that you are talking about I can't tell that it was at that time. I cannot recall exactly the month that you are talking about.

  • Do you know the name? Does the name ring any bells?

  • Well, I don't think that made me to recall anything.

  • What about ECOMOG? Were there any ECOMOG troops in Liberia in May 1997?

  • I cannot recall about ECOMOG troops at that time.

  • Are you saying that you as a member of the Supreme Council, or whatever it was called, the governing body of neighbouring Sierra Leone, that you were not aware who was the president next door in Liberia at the time you joined the government of Sierra Leone?

  • Well, I have told you that in 1997 Mr Taylor was president, but I can't recall the month.

  • Mr Mongor, were you not aware that at the time that you joined the junta government in Sierra Leone there were something like 20,000 ECOMOG troops stationed all over Liberia? Is that something you were not aware of?

  • Well, I don't know about 20,000 troops except that you have said it that there were 20,000 troops. I don't know how many thousand troops were in Liberia. I don't know about that.

  • Put the numbers on one side. Were you aware of a large contingent of ECOMOG troops in Liberia at the time you joined the junta government in Sierra Leone?

  • Maybe it happened, but I can't recall it now.

  • Tab 1, please, page 23026. Now do you have 23026 in front of you?

  • I don't have it as yet. Yes, my Lord, I have seen it.

  • Right, I want you to look two-thirds of the way down the page, please, where it says "Continuation of interview of Isaac Mongor at 1311 hours." That's just after 1 o'clock in the afternoon, "2006 September 6th". Do you see that? And you had the benefit of an interpreter on that occasion. Do you see that?

  • Yes, I have seen 2006, September.

  • You were being asked in these interviews to tell the Prosecution everything you knew about Charles Taylor, weren't you, Charles Taylor and the NPFL? That's right, isn't it? Looking at the page isn't going to help you. Just answer the question, please.

  • And the first point that we see underneath 2006, 6 September, is: "Mongor did not participate in invasion of Freetown in January 1999 as he was too far away. He was in Geru in Kenema District." Do you see that?

  • Yes, I have seen it my Lord.

  • Is that true? First of all, did you tell the interviewers that?

  • Yes, I told them that I was not there.

  • Because you were too far away, you were in Geru, yes? Did you tell them that?

  • I told them that I was.

  • Why didn't you tell them?

  • I'm sorry, did the interpretation finish?

  • Please repeat your answer, Mr Witness.

  • I said I told them that I did not take part in the 6 January 1999. I said I was far away from that end, from Freetown.

  • Did you tell them that the plan had been for you to eventually go to Freetown in January '99?

  • Yes, I told them.

  • I'm talking about on the occasion of this interview. Did you tell them then, "I was far away in Geru, but the plan was that once we had captured Geru we would head towards Freetown." Did you tell them that?

  • No, I did not tell them that after I had captured Joru I should go to Freetown. I did not tell them that.

  • Because at that time I had not been told about my going to Freetown so I would not have said that.

  • Is that what the witness actually answered? Can I enquire if the interpretation is correct?

  • I accept the record. It says, "I had not been told about my going to Freetown so I have not have said that".

  • "So I would not have said that":

  • Mr Mongor, did you understand my question? I was asking you why you didn't tell the interviewers in September 2006 that you were too far away because you were in Geru, but the plan was that once you had secured Geru you would move on towards Freetown?

  • Your Honour, my objection is that the counsel's question is assuming that the witness has given evidence that he didn't give. I don't want to be leading the witness, but the witness didn't say that he was told capture Geru and go to Freetown in his instructions. There was a sequence of events he testified to.

  • Mr Munyard, are you putting a prior piece of evidence? I am trying to recall this myself.

  • Your Honour, if I need to I will dig it out of the transcript.

  • I have a recollection, Mr Koumjian, of something to deal with this. We will have to just check the record.

  • I believe, and I hope it's assisting everyone including counsel - I believe the witness testified that the instruction to go to Freetown came after his unsuccessful attack, I believe on Geru, and then receiving some information about troop movements. Then he was instructed to go to Freetown.

  • I have got it all here and I will put it in just a moment, but I want to clarify first what it was he answered originally:

  • Are you saying that in September of 2006 you had not - I am going to have to go back, sorry. It has gone off the page now. Your answer that I have been querying is, "Because at that time I had not been told about my going to Freetown so I would not have said that." That is where I started this particular sequence of questions. Are you saying that when you were seeing the interviewers in September of 2006 you hadn't been told about going to Freetown after you had captured Geru, if you could have done?

  • Well, I had not had the instruction that when I captured Joru I should go to Freetown.

  • Did you ever get such an instruction?

  • Yes, they gave me that instruction.

  • Who gave it to you?

  • It was Sam Bockarie who gave me the order.

  • Yes, so why didn't you tell the investigators, "I was too far away in Geru, although I had been instructed to go to Freetown"?

  • Well, I did not tell them because I don't think before I went to Joru I had had the instruction that I should go and attack there. I did not get the instruction before I went to that area to go and attack, so that was why I did not tell the investigators that at that time. But after I had attacked and did not succeed and when I attacked I captured the place in 72 hours and my next target was to capture Zimmi, but I was to receive ammunitions that were on the way, but it was in - it was within 72 hours that the enemy troops pushed me back from that position and it was after that that I received that instruction. So I did not tell them that I had received the instruction, but if I had received the instruction before entering Joru I would have told them.

  • Right, but why didn't you say to them, "I was busy in Geru and couldn't go to Freetown at that stage although I was told that I should go to Freetown after Geru"? Why didn't you fill in the picture of your part in the invasion of Freetown?

  • When - well when they did not bring up that kind of question I don't think I was to do something about it, but it was when they brought - and I told you that I did not --

  • Your Honours, the witness is running too fast.

  • Mr Witness, pause. You are going too quickly for the interpreter. Please slow down and pick up your answer where you said, "I think I was to do something about it, but it was when they brought it up". Continue from there, please.

  • I said I think I was supposed to do something about it, if they had asked me I would have gone into details, but I want to tell you about the instruction that you are talking about; the reason why I told them that I was far off and that I was to join the Freetown group. I have told you that I did not get the instruction before I went to attack that particular position that I was to go to Freetown. I did not think about that and it was later that they gave me the instruction.

  • And who was it you say gave you the instruction?

  • I said it was Sam Bockarie who gave me that instruction.

  • Yes, did SAJ Musa have any role in the suggestion that you should move to Freetown after Geru?

  • Well, at the time I had the instructions SAJ Musa was no longer alive. He was no longer living. At that time we had had information that SAJ Musa was dead.

  • Just one spelling because - for consistency in the transcript. The spelling on the transcript today is taken from the record interview, but we have spelt Geru previously during the witness's direct examination and I believe even before that as J-U-R-U - excuse me, J-O-R-U and that was in the March 10th transcript.

  • Thank you for that, Mr Koumjian.

  • So, SAJ Musa was dead at the time that it was suggested that you should head towards Freetown. Is that right?

  • Mr Munyard, sorry to interrupt, but as I understand it there are two distinct places. The one is called Geru and the other Joru. Are you saying that you meant to spell it Joru?

  • My understanding, your Honour, is there is one place and the spelling we used previously is J-O-R-U. The investigator in his note spelt it differently, but we can clarify. In my understanding we are only talking about one location, Joru, and then the witness says his targets were Joru and Zimmi.

  • I am staying out of this, if I may. I am just going to ask some questions:

  • Right. So if SAJ Musa was dead by the time it was suggested that you should move towards Freetown, why did you tell this Court on 11 March the following and just listen to what it says:

    "The time SAJ Musa died Gullit and his men moved to go to Freetown. They advanced on Freetown. But before they left he received a message that he should wait and receive reinforcements and at that time even myself, SAJ Musa had selected me to move with my men to join those men before they entered Freetown and at that time I was on the Joru axis."

  • It might be helpful if we all had the citation.

  • Oh, I am sorry, did I not give the page reference? It is page 5819 from line 4 down:

  • Can you remember saying that, Mr Mongor, when Mr Koumjian was questioning you?

  • Well I don't think the time I was to go to Freetown and when they had given me the instruction SAJ Musa was alive at that time, because SAJ Musa had died and it was Gullit who was in command and so I don't recall that SAJ Musa was alive when I received instruction to go to them.

  • Well, nobody objected that you had given the wrong name by mistake on 11 March when you said, "... even myself, SAJ Musa had selected me to move with my men to join those men before they entered Freetown." Was it SAJ Musa, or was it Sam Bockarie, or was it Gullit?

  • Your Honour, I believe counsel has made a mistake. If I refer counsel and the Court to page 5821, line 13, we went over this at time of the direct and there was a question of the interpretation. Page again 5821, line 13.

  • I accept that. I am looking at line 13, yes:

  • Well, you corrected it. Do you accept you must have made a mistake the first time round, because nobody could hear SAJ Musa in fact if you had said Gullit? Do you accept you used the wrong name the first time round?

  • Yes, I agree that I used the wrong name, but it was not SAJ Musa but Sam Bockarie.

  • The plan to take Freetown had been SAJ Musa's and Gullit's plan, hadn't it?

  • It was they who moved towards that point.

  • It was their plan not Charles Taylor's plan, right or wrong?

  • Well, it was a plan that Mr Taylor made together with Sam Bockarie and even before we heard it.

  • So it was your plan first, was it, when you say, "We heard it"? It was Mr Taylor, Sam Bockarie and the RUF's plan first, was it?

  • It was Sam Bockarie and Mr Taylor. They were the ones that planned and send the plans to the RUF for us to carry out those things; the advancement.

  • Let us just see what you said in March. On 11 March, page 5795, and I am going to try and summarise it from line 5 down. Sam Bockarie told you he and Mr Taylor had sat together and planned to run an operation:

    "... [the] plan [was] for us to launch an operation whereby we'll capture Kono, Makeni and advance to Freetown. And we were also to attack Joru. So those were the areas we were to capture. We were also to launch another attack on Kenema ... and one person should attack Joru, when that person would have attacked Joru he should advance on Zimmi."

    And then over the page, page 5796 starting at line 16 - well, line 14 actually:

    "Q. Did Sam Bockarie indicate what the purpose of this attack was going to be?", that is the attack Mr Taylor had planned, "What was the ultimate purpose?

    A. The reason for this attack, for this advance on the various places and for us to take those places, you can remember at that time Foday Sankoh had been moved from Nigeria and he was in jail in Freetown. So we were to attack Kono and take there. We were to attack Freetown in order to free Foday Sankoh and the others who were in jail there. We were also to ensure that we seized power."

    Yes? That is what you told this Court in March, that it was Mr Taylor's plan and that was the objective. Is that what you have always told the Prosecution?

  • I told them.

  • Can we go to tab 4, please. This is 1 October 2006. I would like you to turn, please, to page 23798 and let me know when you have that, Mr Mongor.

  • Yes, I have it, my Lord.

  • Does it say in the middle of that page - can you see a line that says, "Mongor has never been back to Liberia"? Do you see that? Do you see that, halfway down the page?

  • Yes, yes, I have seen it.

  • Two lines below that does it read as follows, "Mongor doesn't know about Charles Taylor's involvement in the decision to attack Freetown in January 1999." Does it say that?

  • Yes, that is what the paper says.

  • Is that what you told the Prosecutors on 1 October 2006, a Sunday?

  • Yes, I said that.

  • That was what I told them.

  • Because I did not know about that.

  • So that is the truth, that statement, is it?

  • I cannot say it is the truth.

  • If it is not the truth why did you tell them that?

  • I don't think I have any reason why I told them that.

  • Try again, please, Mr Mongor.

  • I said I don't think I have any reason.

  • Have a third attempt at explaining that statement, would you?

  • Asked and answered.

  • It has been asked twice. If you have another question to put, please put it, Mr Munyard.

  • Can you think of any reason why you would have told a lie to the investigators on Sunday, 1 October 2006?

  • I don't have any reason to proffer to you to say that I lied. And I am not lying.

  • Mr Witness, I wish to be clear. The counsel is challenging you that you told a lie on Sunday, 1 October 2006. Are you saying in reply that you are not lying now, or you didn't lie on 1 October 2006?

  • I said I am not lying now. That is what I'm saying.

  • Well, you haven't given us any reason yet.

  • Well, that's not a question.

  • Have you? Have you given us a reason yet that isn't a lie?

  • Are you now referring to 1 October 2006, for purposes of clarity?

  • Yes, my Lord, ask your question again.

  • You told us, in fact you told her Honour, the Presiding Judge, "I am not lying now". Not lying about what?

  • I am not lying now that Taylor did not take part in the January 6 invasion. I am not lying at all.

  • Mr Mongor, we're not talking about Mr Taylor's taking part in it. Look at the words on the printed page, 23798: "Mongor doesn't know about Charles Taylor's involvement in the decision to attack Freetown in January" 1998 - sorry "1999". I'm doing it again. 1999.

  • Well, that is what I am trying to tell you and that what I am telling you now is that Charles Taylor knew about that attack.

  • You started this interview at 10.20 in the morning on Sunday, 1 October 2006. Would you have been to church already before you went to have this interview on that Sunday?

  • Maybe, but I can't recall whether I went to church, or that I had come from church at that time. I can't recall.

  • You knew then how important it was to tell the truth to the investigators, didn't you?

  • I'm not sure if that was "I know", K-N-O-W, or "no", the opposite of yes.

  • I thought it was "I know". Mr Interpreter, what did the witness say? We are not clear.

  • The witness said, "I know".

  • Mr Mongor, can you think of any way in which it would have protected you to tell a lie to the investigators on 1 October 2006 about Charles Taylor's involvement in the decision to attack Freetown?

  • I don't think I have any reason to lie to the investigators.

  • Yes, all right. Could you turn, please, to tab 19 and for the benefit of everybody this was the small bundle that I distributed last week. I am afraid there was a slight fault with the bundle that was the main bundle that was prepared. There is one tab in there, I think it's tab 17, that is a duplicate. No, it's tab 16. Tab 16 is a duplicate so we can ignore that and tab 19 should have gone in sequentially after tab 7, but we have just continued - sorry, sequentially after tab 8. We have just continued the tab numbering.

    In any event, we will look at tab 19, please. This is 8 February 2007. Do you see that, Mr Mongor?

  • Yes, I have seen it, my Lord.

  • Now the interview we have just been looking at which took place on 1 October, you were asked more questions about your answers in that interview on 8 February following and if we look at page 28455 we can see that you were interviewed at just after 2 o'clock in the afternoon on 8 February and the interviewer was continuing to clarify the answers that were contained in the record of the interview of 1 October. If you turn, please, to page 28457 I would like you to look three paragraphs down from the top. Do you have that in front of you?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • Three paragraphs down from the top the sentence starts, "When the witness said". Do you see that?

  • Yes, I have seen it, my Lord.

  • And it reads as follows:

    "When the witness said that he didn't know about Charles Taylor's involvement in the decision to attack Freetown, he meant that he understood that the Freetown invasion was largely an AFRC project."

    Did you tell them that?

  • Is it the truth?

  • Yes, I told them, my Lord.

  • No, is what you told them there the truth?

  • So it wasn't all Charles Taylor's idea. It was largely an AFRC project?

  • AFRC had the movement, but how would they have done it without the RUF? They wouldn't have been able to do it.

  • Mr Mongor, they did do it without the RUF, didn't they?

  • Yes, it was when they were in Freetown that they made the coup in May that you are talking about.

  • You know what we are talking about here. We are talking about the invasion of Freetown in January 1999.

  • Yes, I told you that they wouldn't have been able to do it without the help of the RUF.

  • The invasion of Freetown in January 1999, is that what you're talking about?

  • In fact, it wasn't until the AFRC contingent started to get into trouble in Freetown that they only then called in the RUF. That's right, isn't it?

  • I want to tell you that if the RUF had not been attacking all the other places those men wouldn't have been able to get inside. What I know about fighting is what I am trying to tell you.

  • This was a SAJ Musa and Gullit idea to attack Freetown to restore the Sierra Leone Army, wasn't it, January 1999?

  • They wouldn't have been able to bring the Sierra Leone Army back together if they only depended on that small group that they used to go, because you can see that all the other areas where the ECOMOG troops were occupying will not allow them to pass through to go and restore the army, except the RUF participated to reduce the burden on them. It is the experience that I have concerning war that I am sharing with you.

  • Thank you. SAJ Musa was not on good terms with the RUF at this stage, was he?

  • Well, initially SAJ Musa was not in agreement with the RUF. He never had any good dealings with the RUF.

  • Tab 12, please, page 39001. Now this is an interview in July 2007 conducted by an investigator, Umaru Kamara, and the attorney present was Mr Koumjian. Mr Nick to you. If you look at the top of page 39001, paragraph 14 reads, "SAJ Musa was hard to work with because SAJ felt he should take orders from nobody." Did you tell Mr Nick and the investigator that?

  • I told them that.

  • SAJ Musa was a fully qualified soldier, wasn't he?

  • Yes, he was a fully qualified soldier.

  • He did not have a lot of respect for you RUF fighters, did he?

  • That was later on that he did not have respect for us.

  • Yes, he died in the attack on Freetown, didn't he?

  • He did not enter Freetown, my Lord.

  • Waterloo was where he died, wasn't it? Benguema Barracks?

  • As part of the advance on Freetown, yes?

  • He was not cooperating in some big plan of Charles Taylor's to seize Freetown in January 1999, was he?

  • Well, he agreed with the arrangement.

  • That was why when the --

  • Excuse me, can the witness be allowed to finish his answer please.

  • I did actually apologise and some moments before Mr Koumjian stood up to say that.

  • Mr Witness, please finish your answer if you have not done so.

  • Well I have finished, my Lord.

  • Mr Witness, you did not finish your answer. You said, "Well, he agreed with the arrangement. That was when the --" The question asked to you was, "As part of the advance on Freetown?", and then you didn't finish your answer.

  • My Lord, I thought I finished it, but I did say he agreed with the plan that Mosquito brought. That was why they moved.

  • This was the time later on when he did not have respect for the RUF. That is right, isn't it?

  • I think I had said initially that the man was not taking any command from the RUF at the time they were there, but the time the plan came up that we should forget about all the petty misunderstandings that we had, they said we should forget about it all and that we should go on this plan. That was the reason why they agreed and then they moved.

  • Tab 13, please. Do you have tab 13, Mr Mongor?

  • This is an interview where - on 29 November 2007 where you were interviewed by Mr Werner, or he was present certainly, with an investigator, S Streeter. Do you remember that interview, November of 2007? Can you remember being interviewed in an interview in which Mr Werner was present?

  • Well there were interviews but I cannot recall the dates as you are keeping the records, but the name of the person that you are referring to if I see it and if I know the person then I will answer, "Yes, I know the person".

  • Right. Mr Werner is the gentleman that we have identified earlier sitting closest to you on the Prosecution side. Now I would like you, please, to turn to page 45403, paragraph 28. Keep turning. Do you have that? It is in the middle of that page.

  • Yes, I have seen it, my Lord.

  • It reads as follows, "The witness states that he was in Kenema District when he heard that SAJ Musa died." Did you tell them that?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • It continues, "The witness stated that Gullit took over command of this group after the death of SAJ Musa." Did you tell them that?

  • Yes, I told them that, my Lord.

  • Then it goes on, "The witness said that as a member of the RUF high command he was happy when Gullit took over command." Did you tell them that?

  • Yes, I told them, my Lord.

  • It continues, "He stated that he was happy because he did not feel that SAJ Musa would have cooperated with the RUF if he had led the group that took Freetown." Did you tell them that?

  • I told them, my Lord.

  • The invasion of Freetown was an AFRC project, wasn't it?

  • Well, it was not just AFRC.

  • Let me make it absolutely clear to you that when you said that, when you didn't know about Charles Taylor's involvement in the decision to attack Freetown, you meant you understood that the Freetown invasion was largely an AFRC project, you were there being asked questions about your earlier statement, "Mongor doesn't know about Charles Taylor's involvement in the decision to attack Freetown in January 1999." That is the invasion of Freetown that we are talking about. Not the AFRC coming to power in a coup, but the invasion J6 as I think you called it. Is that right?

  • Yes, that was how I called it, my Lord.

  • Why did you tell the interviewer then, in February of 2007 when he was trying to find out what you meant in October 2006 - why did you tell him that you didn't know about Charles Taylor's involvement in the decision to attack Freetown because that invasion was largely an AFRC project?

  • Well if AFRC had that plan then it was their business to have it, but I am saying they would not have been able to do it. I am mainly explaining to you what my experience is about war. That group, being a small group, wouldn't have been able to enter Freetown when ECOMOG was occupying Kono, Makeni, Gberie Junction and all those other areas up to Freetown. To say that small group will have been able to go through all of those obstacles to go to Freetown without the help of the RUF for them to be able to enter, they were able to enter Freetown because some other RUF groups who were in Kailahun District were able to attack Kono, Kenema District, Makeni, Gberie junction and all those areas. They were able to attack there, so that was what made the way for them to be able to enter inside.

  • So it is not right to say, is it, that the Freetown invasion was largely an AFRC project?

  • Asked and answered. I believe the witness has given a detailed answer explaining that.

  • Well, we were dealing with October 2006 when we went over that. I have now moved on to February 2007. This is the second part of his explanation to the investigator about why - about not knowing about Charles Taylor's involvement in the decision to attack Freetown. As far as I am aware, 8 February was not a Sunday. I had only been dealing with the Sunday, 1 October, before.

  • Mr Koumjian, as I understand it, we are dealing with prior inconsistent statements. I for one have not had a satisfactory answer to the numerous questions by Mr Munyard around this issue. Every time he asks a question we get a slightly different answer from what he has asked and I would like to get an answer to this prior inconsistency.

  • Put the question, Mr Munyard.

  • Can I just go back to it? I have got to find it on the transcript:

  • Mr Mongor, why did you tell the interviewer in February 2007, when he was trying to find out what you meant in October 2006 when you had said that you didn't know - sorry, let me just make sure I am putting the right thing to you.

  • Which one are we dealing with, Mr Munyard?

  • We are dealing with February 2007. I have got it now:

  • Why did you tell the interviewer in February 2007, when he asked you what you meant in 2006 October when you told him, "I don't know about Charles Taylor's involvement in the decision to attack Freetown in January 1999", why did you tell the investigator when he asked you the second time that by that you meant you understood that the Freetown invasion was largely an AFRC project? Why did you tell him that in February 2007?

  • I think when you said it was the AFRC that planned that to enter Freetown, but I was able to make it explicit to you that the AFRC were unable to enter Freetown without the help of the RUF because the enemies did occupy the other areas where we attacked them before SAJ Musa's group were able to get a free access to enter.

  • Mr Mongor, I think you are avoiding the question. Nobody asked you to tell us the logistics of who entered or when they entered. The question by counsel is very clear. For the nth time: Why did you in 2007 tell the investigators what you told them, namely that the attack, the January 1999 attack, was largely an AFRC project? Why did you tell that to the investigators? That is the question that has been asked. You haven't answered it.

  • The reason why I told them that was because if you look at the group that moved for the Freetown invasion, many of them were AFRC men who were soldiers. They refused to wait for the RUF group to join them. They were just doing it by themselves. It was based on that I said that.

  • I'm not going to pursue this any longer:

  • However, there came a time, did there not, in November 2007 when you tell them, the investigators, that Sam Bockarie told you that he'd had a meeting with Charles Taylor and a plan had been developed to attack Koidu, Makeni, Kenema and other strategic areas prior to advancing to Freetown. Why did you tell them that in November 2007 when you had been saying on several occasions before that you did not know about Charles Taylor's involvement in the decision to attack Freetown?

  • This was the time that I said they had not asked me anything concerning the plans and I did say that it was when Sam Bockarie came with the ammunition that he explained to us the things that they discussed with regards our advancement.

  • But they asked you about Charles Taylor's involvement in the decision to attack Freetown on a number of occasions before November 2007 and you said you didn't know anything about his involvement. What made you change your story in November 2007?

  • It was because I knew and I later realised something about the plans that Sam Bockarie brought with regards the advancement that I later told the investigators.

  • Are you saying that you had forgotten about what Sam Bockarie told you of Charles Taylor's big idea to attack Freetown when you were questioned in 2006 and 2007 and that you suddenly remembered in November 2007? Is that what you mean by, "I later realised something about the plans that Sam Bockarie brought"?

  • Yes. I am a human being. I am liable to forget and you cannot say - you cannot say what I am saying I will sit in one place and explain everything about it because it is a history. That was why I said that.

  • Were you being pressed in November 2007 to give the Prosecutors more than you had given them on this subject before?

  • Well, I have told you, yes, the Prosecution would want more information.

  • Yes, were you being pressed?

  • Yes, when they asked me over and over.

  • And did you feel you had to give them more than you had already given them to satisfy them?

  • Well, it was not something to satisfy them that I was to say, but it was because it came to my mind that I told them at that time.

  • Did you have a shaky heart in November 2007 when you were being interviewed yet again?

  • Well, I have so many other things, so many problems that disturb me, but I cannot say it was because of that at that time that my mind was shaky, but I am a human being. I normally have problems that I think about.

  • Interview number 19 it was. Did you worry, Mr Mongor, that you were being interviewed now for the 19th time and that they really needed something more out of you, or that you might be in trouble yourself?

  • I have my mind on so many other things. I think about so many things, my Lord. I'm a human being. I will have something in mind as I am sitting here and then maybe I will forget about it and start thinking about some other thing. You will not tell me that as a human being it is always that you have a steady mind.

  • I asked you one day last week if you knew, now that is, last week - if you knew that the RUF accused Sesay, Kallon and Gbao were on trial and you said no, you didn't know they were on trial. You changed your account later, but do you remember saying nobody had told you they were on trial when I first asked you that question last week?

  • I believe asked and answered. This area has been covered quite in detail.

  • Can I say I understand my learned friend's objection and normally I wouldn't have asked the question again, but there is a reason for it which will be demonstrated in just a moment. So I would ask the Court to bear with me on this.

  • I will allow the question. He is asking him if he recalls that particular exchange.

  • Thank you, your Honour:

  • Do you recall when I first asked you that you said, "No, I didn't know they were on trial"?

  • When you were interviewed in November 2007 were you told that the RUF trial was taking place?

  • Even if it happened I can't recall now whether they said it and that I heard it.

  • I wonder if Madam Court Officer would be good enough to put this document on the screen. It is a page of the interview notes we were handed in the middle of last week. I am afraid I haven't got round to photocopying it. I have highlighted part of it but have not added to it apart from that and I am going to concentrate, please, on the highlighted part, but can we bring it down the screen at the moment just to identify it. Thank you:

  • Mr Mongor, can you see that on your screen?

  • Yes, my Lord, I have seen it.

  • It is the Special Court Sierra Leone Office of the Prosecutor interview notes and the page number is 45422. The date is 29 November 2007, the location was the Special Court interview room. You were being interviewed by S Streeter - sorry the investigator is S Streeter, the language is English and the Prosecutor is Alain Werner. Do you see all that?

  • Yes, I have seen it.

  • It says, "Commence interview" it's either 1010 or 1110, or that's what it seems to me to be. If anyone has a different interpretation I am happy to go with that?

  • It looks like 10 past 1.

  • That would be 1310 in 24 hour clock, your Honour. In any event, we are clear on the date. Thank you, Madam Court Officer:

  • "AW discussed trial date and assured" - I think it reads - "that witness knew process involved in trial, transport, accommodations et cetera." You see that, Mr Mongor?

  • Now, this is the end of November last year. It is not very many months ago. Can you remember when you went to be interviewed then by Mr Werner and another that they were talking to you about transport and all the processes involved in your giving evidence in the trial? Do you remember that?

  • I think so.

  • All right. "AW explained that RUF prosecution was complete." Can you remember Mr Werner telling you the Prosecution part of the RUF trial was now complete at the end of last year?

  • Maybe he said it but I forgot. I am not disagreeing with the fact that he said it, but I am saying that maybe I forgot.

  • So when I put the question to you, "Are you not aware that the RUF accused are on trial at the moment" why didn't you say to me, "Oh, yes, I had forgotten about that. You're quite right. Somebody mentioned that to me only a few months ago"?

  • Well, maybe my thoughts did not go to that. Maybe I did not think about that.

  • You implied, did you not, in answer to my question that it was a complete revelation to you that the RUF accused were already on trial. Do you agree?

  • Well, that was how I felt about it, that was how I took it.

  • And you knew perfectly well that the RUF accused were on trial because you have been visiting the detention yard in 2005 and 2006, hadn't you?

  • I had gone there.

  • Right, let's go back to the page, "AW explained that the RUF prosecution was complete and information being sought now concerns Taylor prosecution." Do you see that? Is that right? Did he not only tell you that the Prosecution part of the RUF trial was over but the information they were seeking now concerns the Taylor prosecution? Did he tell you that?

  • Yes, as you are explaining now I recall, yes.

  • Had you possibly been involved as a potential witness in the RUF prosecution as well as the Taylor case?

  • I don't think I took part in the RUF prosecution that I can recall.

  • I think we can probably jog your memory by saying that you didn't take part in the RUF prosecution, whether or not you can now remember doing so. You didn't take part in the case in the sense of going to court and giving evidence, but were you at any stage being asked questions with a view to your being a Prosecution witness in the RUF case?

  • I don't think somebody asked me that and I did not go to the Court at any point in time with regards the RUF case.

  • I'm not sure if you have understood the question, but I am going to move on:

    "Alain Werner explained that the information being sought now", that's November 2007, "concerns the Taylor prosecution. Alain Werner explained to witness", that's you, "that as a top level commander he would be privy to more information than he has disclosed so far."

  • Yes, they told me they have heard some information concerning me, so that was why they called me to explain as part of the high command.

  • Well, it doesn't say there they told you that they had information concerning you, does it?

  • They had information.

  • What was the information?

  • Well, I think the information they had, they knew it best.

  • What was the information? Did they tell you?

  • I only know that they had information that I was part of the high command and that I was somebody who had been with the NPFL before and the RUF, so I should be able to give some information concerning the two parts.

  • Isaac Mongor, this is interview 19. They knew perfectly well before then that you'd been part of the high command because you'd been telling them that, hadn't you?

  • Yes, I have not denied that I told them that. Even before that they had got information that I was part of the high command of the RUF and I did confirm to them that yes.

  • So that wasn't the information that they were telling you they had on you on 29 November last, was it?

  • Well, that was not the information they said they had from me.

  • What was the information they had on you?

  • I can't know that now, but I have told you that they said that I was one of the RUF high command and then I also came to them and confirmed to them that yes. They asked me whether I was one of the RUF high command. I said yes, I agreed.

  • They already knew that, didn't they?

  • They had known, but suppose I had come and if I was called by somebody, I come, they ask me if I am one of the high command and then I said no. How would you have believed that? Except when I come myself, then you ask me your question then I confirm it to you and say yes. That is it. Then you will be able to believe it.

  • Alain Werner explained to you that as a top level commander you would be privy to more information than you had disclosed to the Prosecution in the 18 previous interviews. That's what he was telling you, wasn't it?

  • What did you say? Ask your question again.

  • Alain Werner was saying to you that they believed that as a top level commander you were privy to more information than you'd disclosed to them in the previous 18 interviews. In other words, that they believed you must have more that you could tell them. Do you agree that that was what he was saying?

  • Yes, he told me.

  • They wanted you to give them something that you hadn't given them already, is that right?

  • Maybe it was not something that I had not given to them before, but maybe they wanted me to add to what I had given them before.

  • Yes, and you added to it by making up a pack of lies about Charles Taylor being involved in the invasion of Freetown on 6 January 1999, in total contradiction to what you told them earlier, didn't you?

  • It was not because of that. It was not because of that at all. To say that I went to lie to them because they needed more information so I went there to lie, so that I give them false information concerning Mr Taylor, no.

  • Did that suggestion of Mr Werner's that you would be privy to more information than you had already disclosed to them make your heart shaky?

  • It is not a sort of a heart shake. It's not that I had a shaky heart for what the man said.

  • What did you have as a result of what the man said?

  • Well, I only knew that I was supposed to talk what I knew about my involvement in the two sides and the belief that I knew more, so they wanted me to be bold to come up with them. So that was the way I understood it. But it was not something that I was to say to satisfy them, to say that I was talking something to satisfy them.

  • You were pressed and you lied in that interview, didn't you?

  • They did not press me to lie during that interview, my Lord.

  • Well, I am suggesting they pressed you and you lied. Do you agree with that?

  • I don't agree, my Lord.

  • Did you feel pressed?

  • They did not press me to lie and I don't think I felt that way.

  • Did you feel pressed by that comment that you hadn't disclosed everything to them?

  • They did not press me. It was not a press.

  • Madam President, I see the time. Is this a convenient moment?

  • Yes, Mr Munyard. We have only about a minute left so we will take the lunchtime adjournment. Mr Witness, we are now going to adjourn for lunchtime. We will recommence court again at 2.30. Please adjourn court.

  • [Lunch break taken at 1.28 p.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 2.30 p.m.]

  • Mr Munyard, please proceed.

  • Thank you, Madam President. Your Honours, I have no further questions of this witness.

  • Thank you, Mr Munyard. Re-examination, Mr Koumjian?

  • Yes, your Honour, just a few areas:

  • Sir, I want to start, Mr Mongor, with talking to you about what we were discussing just before the lunch break and you were asked about an interview that you had last year, with Mr Streeter and Mr Werner, where you talked about the nationwide offensive that led to the attack on Freetown. I want to ask you about a couple of other interviews you gave previous to that, starting with 23 December 2006. So if I could maybe borrow the Defence tabs that they've provided, it's in tab 7 of the Defence bundle and if that could be just put on the screen, page 0002676. This is from 23 December 2006.

  • Is it 26276?

  • Sorry, yes, that's correct. 26276. Thank you, your Honour:

  • The very first paragraph I'm going to read to you, sir:

    "Mongor was at a meeting of RUF commanders in late November where Sam Bockarie discussed plans to attack. He said the Pa, meaning Charles Taylor, said that they should recapture Koidu Town, Makeni and that they should move on Freetown as well. Commanders were given various assignments regarding the campaign."

    Now, sir, do you recall, does that sound consistent with what you told Mr Kolot, the investigator, on 23 December 2006?

  • I said that.

  • Thank you. Now I'd like to go to tab 19 from the Defence supplemental bundle, if I can find mine, and ask that the witness be shown page 28456 and this is from an interview in October of 2006, in fact 1 October 2006, just a month or two after you began speaking to the Prosecution. I'd like to --

  • Sorry, did I gave the page?

  • No, it's not 1 October. It's a clarification of that one. It's actually 8 February 2007. It's the same interview in which he said Mr Taylor had no involvement in the invasion in Freetown and that it was an AFRC project.

  • Sir, exactly, from the same interview that counsel quoted you where you mentioned that Freetown was an AFRC attack, the AFRC attacked Freetown, would you look at page 28456 in the paragraph that is the sixth bullet point down. I'm going to read to you how that reads:

    "An example would be the attacking of Kono in late 1998. That decision was made by Charles Taylor, not Sam Bockarie. Bockarie said that to the high level RUF people at a meeting in Buedu. The witness thinks that this meeting was in early November 1998 where Bockarie discussed plans to attack Kono, Makeni, Joru, Kenema and Freetown."

    Mr Mongor, is that consistent with your recollection of what you told Mr Kolot in February 2007?

  • Yes, my Lord.