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

  • Mr Witness, I remind you as I have done on other mornings that you have taken the oath to tell the truth, the oath is still binding upon you and you must answer questions truthfully. Do you understand?

  • Please proceed, Mr Munyard.

  • Thank you, your Honour.

  • Mr Mansaray, I am going to break off for a moment from discussing the number of times that you were interviewed, the more than one dozen occasions on which you were interviewed by the Prosecution, and I am going to ask you now please to look at a map.

    Madam President, I have got here sufficient copies for everybody, I believe. The one that I am going to ask the witness to look at is a colour copy, but I am afraid that everybody else is going to be the poor relation and have a black and white copy. Are there enough copies to go round? I think I have another, if need be?

  • Mr Munyard, I think my learned colleagues and I have copies. So, if counsel on the other side --

  • I am sorry, I missed that, your Honours. I was just conferring.

  • I am just checking that you have a copy of the document.

  • I do, your Honour.

  • Before it goes on the screen I am going to hand out another map, because despite our best endeavours no map published on the internet covers the two aspects I want to ask the witness about and so I now have to distribute another black and white map. I am going to give the witness one in A3 size and everybody else one in A4 size. Thank you, Madam Court Officer:

  • Mr Mansaray, I am going to ask you first of all to look at a map of Liberia that you have a coloured copy of. It is the first one that I just distributed. (I am conscious, Madam President, that I was asked a couple of times yesterday to speak slowly, so I am going to try and deal with this albeit as quickly as possible, I am going to try and be careful when I am pronouncing names to pronounce them slowly enough so the transcribers have chance to write them down.) Looking at the first map, Mr Mansaray, that is a map of Liberia, is it not?

  • Well I am seeing some other countries on the map, on the side.

  • Of course. It is principally a map of Liberia and you are quite right that we can also see Sierra Leone, Guinea and Cote d'Ivoire , or parts of those countries on the map, but the map is - you will see the caption in the box on the left-hand side on the bottom it says "Liberia". Do you see that?

  • Yes, I have seen "Liberia".

  • I don't want to do anything that is in any way unfair or embarrassing to you. Are you able to read sufficiently to be able to read the names of towns on this map, and when I say "names of towns" I mean all the names on this map?

  • There are many names of towns on the map.

  • All right. If you need any assistance in having them read out to you, do say so. Now, do you see where Liberia borders with Sierra Leone?

  • Yes, I am seeing it on the map.

  • And can you see the word "Mano", on your copy it will be in blue writing, just above and to the right of the word "Sulima"; the town of Sulima in south east Sierra Leone? Can you see "Mano" on there?

  • I am seeing "Sulima". I have not seen "Mano" clearly. I have seen Sulima.

  • Well, you know that the Mano is the Mano River?

  • Okay, yes, I will agree with you. I have seen the line indicating the boundary.

  • Yes. Do you see the word "Mano" running along that line just to the left of the town of Bendaja, or Ben-dyer [phon]?

  • Yes.

  • So, you see now the Mano River?

  • And you can see - if we go from the coast up the Mano River, we can see the town of Bo. That is the town of Bo in Liberia, do you see that?

  • Then the town of Bendaja, or Ben-dyer. I am told it is Bendaja. Do you see that?

  • Yes, I have seen the name "Bendaja".

  • And then above that is the town of Congo?

  • Then we don't - if you follow the border along, if you keep going up along the border, we don't get to another town close to the border until we get to Vahun almost at the top, do you see that, or fairly close to the top?

  • Yes, I have seen the name of another town.

  • The town of Vahun?

  • Now are you able to help us, by reference to this map, in telling us where it was you crossed over the border into Liberia when you were driven out by the Sierra Leone Army and/or ECOMOG forces from Sierra Leone into Liberia in 1991?

  • Yes, I can answer the question.

  • Please do. We thought you were about to.

  • Well, the very first time I went through from Sierra Leone to Liberia it is along the Mano River. In Sierra Leone it is called Mano Pende. When you cross over there, you come to York Island that was in Liberia.

  • Can you show us on the map where that is, that is what I am asking you to do, if you are able to?

  • Well, the way I am seeing the town, from Sulima you come to a town --

  • I wonder if the witness could point on the map?

  • If the witness could please move to the map and use a pencil or pen to indicate.

  • The side of Sierra Leone I am seeing "Mano", but I think the town Mano and York Island will be between Bendaja, coming down to the Sulima area, because I am not seeing the town York Island in the Liberian - on the Liberian side, but the town was Mano Pende where several of us RUF crossed into Liberia.

  • So just so I can be clear, are you saying that the town of York Island is somewhere near Bendaja?

  • Well I couldn't say this to you, because this Bendaja is not very clear to me. The areas that I understood at the time are the names I am calling. From Mano Pende I went to York Island, but Bendaja I don't know if it is a village or town. I did not go there, so I wouldn't be able to tell you the geographical area where Bendaja is located.

  • Did you go to any towns, apart from York Island, while you were in Liberia? I am talking about 1991.

  • Well when I left York Island I went through a route, a dusty route, that I used to go to Zimmi.

  • You used to go to where, sorry?

  • I said I used a route, a dusty route, when I left York Island. That was the route used by RUF and AFL to go to Tiene. We went through several other towns.

  • Yes. Are you able to help us by looking at this map to show us where Tiene is?

  • Tiene is supposed to be in the Grand Cape Mount County, but the name "Tiene" I am not seeing it on the map.

  • No, but the map I am afraid is the map with the largest number of names on it that we have been able to find on the internet recently. So it is somewhere in Grand Cape Mount County, Tiene, but are you able - when looking at Grand Cape Mount County on the map there, are you able to give us any idea of where you think Tiene is?

  • Well, I cannot say because I am not seeing "Tiene" on the map. I told you earlier that I am not very clear on the geographical area of Liberia, but if it is on the map I will have pointed at it.

  • Right. And can you just confirm for us that the whole time you were in Liberia you didn't go to any towns other than York Island? Is that what you are saying in your evidence?

  • No, I told you that it was a day's visit. We went to Bomi Hills, then later I came back to Tiene and then used the highway to come to Sierra Leone. That was through Bo Waterside. I crossed through Gendema to enter Sierra Leone.

  • So, you used the highway to go back into Sierra Leone?

  • Now looking at the map that you have in front of you, you say you crossed back into Sierra Leone at Bo Waterside. We are talking about Bo in Liberia, aren't we?

  • Yes.

  • And do you see there is a pink line on your coloured version of the map going from Bo, or Bo Waterside, across Grand Cape Mount County to a town called Klay. Do you see that pink line?

  • Yes, I have seen "Klay".

  • Now I think you and I are the only people with coloured maps, so in order to help the Court can you also look at the box at the bottom left-hand corner where it has the title "Liberia" and it gives an indication what these various lines are. If you look down six symbols, do we get a pink line there that is described as being a road?

  • Well this I am seeing it, but I cannot tell you much about this map. I told you that before.

  • No, Mr Mansaray, I am just putting on record through you that the line that you have been looking at that goes from Bo across Grand Cape Mount County is a road on this particular map. Everybody else has a black and white copy of it and I just want to establish that the thin line that goes from Bo to Klay on this map is meant to be a road, do you see?

  • I have seen a small line. You mean the one from the town Robertsport? Is that what you meant?

  • No, Robertsport doesn't have a pink line.

    Madam President, can I get round this by making clear to the Court that I will ensure that you and my learned friends opposite have a colour copy so that you can see that the line we are talking about is a road. That was all I was trying to do.

  • It is very faintly on the black and white. Very faintly.

  • We do have the coloured copy on our screens. We are following perfectly.

  • Ah, of course. Yes, I am so sorry. I am trying to keep up with LiveNote on my screen. Right, all right. I can move on from that then.

  • Your Honours, there was a point about the route that the witness said they used, or used coming back into Sierra Leone. I see it come up that he talked about Bo Waterside and another name. It is just the spelling of that name. I believe I heard Gendema, but it comes up as something else, "democracy" or something. I will be grateful if my learned friend helps the Court with the spelling, perhaps with the witness.

  • Mr Munyard, you heard that request for assistance.

  • I can't help with spelling, but the witness can.

  • No, but the witness, yes.

  • Yes, Mr Witness - Mr Mansaray, I am sorry. You do have a real name. Mr Mansaray, can you help us with the spelling of the place that you mentioned that my learned friend opposite has just referred to?

  • It was Bo [sic] Gbendeh first - Mano Gbendeh. He didn't spell that.

  • It is Bo Waterside and then - no, he didn't spell that, your Honour.

  • You are quite right, he didn't.

  • Can you spell Gbendeh for us, please?

  • G-B-E-N-D-E-H, Gbendeh. M-A-N-O, Mano Gbendeh.

  • And then the other word - the other name that came after Bo Waterside where he said they crossed into Sierra Leone?

  • Gendema.

  • Could you spell that for us, please, Mr Mansaray?

  • G-E-N-D-E-M-A, Gendema.

  • And are you able to give us any idea by looking at this map where those two places are?

  • Mano Gbendeh is opposite York Island. When you are in Sierra Leone, that is Mano Gbendeh. You will stay there and see York Island in Liberia. Then Gendema is on the border at the Mano River Bridge. When you are there and cross over to Liberia, you go to Bo Waterside. On our own side they call there Gendema.

  • So, Mano Gbendeh is opposite Bo as we see it on this map? Bo Waterside?

  • No, Mano Gbendeh is not opposite Bo Waterside.

  • But I thought that is what you were saying, "On our side it is Mano Gbendeh and you cross over the bridge"?

  • I think he said it is opposite York Island. That is what the record shows. Opposite York Island.

  • Your Honour is quite right.

  • What would help is if the witness knows and would mark by a point, maybe by a letter or a circle, these places.

  • Yes. I was asking him if he knew where York Island was earlier and he said he didn't know looking on this map, but now that he has identified the Sierra Leone town on the other side of the river that might help:

  • Are you able to indicate on this map where Mano Gbendeh and York Island are?

  • If it was a larger map where I could see all the names of the towns I would have been able to do that, but for this I cannot.

  • All right. Just help us with this. Is Mano Gbendeh and York Island south of the town of Congo that we can see there above Bendaja? By south I mean nearer to the coast, nearer to the ocean.

  • Yes. Mano Gbendeh, yes, is very close to the sea.

  • Then you went to Tiene, and you are unable I think to tell us where Tiene is by looking at this map, and how far is Tiene from Bomi Hills where you say you went on one occasion?

  • Well like I said yesterday I cannot give the exact mileage, because it was my very first trip and I didn't undertake that trip with a peace of mind. I was in the mood of fear. In fact, the vehicle that we used we had fighters around us who took us along. So, I wouldn't want to lie to you.

  • Did you ever go on that trip again, or was that the only time you went to Bomi Hills?

  • That was the only time I went and stopped there and then returned the same day, until I came back to Sierra Leone.

  • And did you go on any of the roads - the proper roads - when you went from Tiene to Bomi Hills on that one occasion?

  • I want you to repeat this question. I did not get it clearly.

  • You can see on the map that there are roads marked. The pink lines are main roads. Do you see those, Mr Mansaray?

  • Yes, I am seeing pink lines on this map.

  • When you went from Tiene to Bomi Hills, did you go on any of the main roads?

  • A vehicle took us along. I had thought we used the main route. We didn't use a bush path.

  • Right, thank you. Right. Now, do you see the town of "Klay" marked on that map? If you travel from Bo Waterside along the road on the map that is going across Grand Cape Mount County, do you see the town of "Klay"?

  • Yes, I can see a town that has been spelt K-L-A-Y. "Klay".

  • Right. I think it is sometimes spelt differently, K-L-E, but it is known as Klay and that is in the county of Bomi. Can you remember going through, or near to, the town of Klay on your way to Bomi Hills?

  • Well, I cannot say about these various locations. I had told you before I cannot say. What I understood when I was in that vehicle, when we left Tiene they took us to Bomi Hills and then later we came back. To say when we were going I was observing, no, I didn't do that.

  • All right.

  • Mr Munyard, sorry to interrupt. I am having trouble finding Bo Waterside and I thought I was good at map reading.

  • It is just called "Bo", your Honour. It is on the left-hand side.

  • Bo and Bo Waterside are the same place, is that it?

  • That is what I understand it to be, because it is on the side of the water by the look of the map. I will be corrected if I am wrong.

  • Ah, now I am clear. I was interpreting them as two different places.

  • Ah, well let us ask the witness first of all:

  • Can you help us? If you go back to Bo, Liberian Bo, there on the border of the Mano River, when you talk about Bo Waterside is that what you are talking about, that town of Bo, or is Bo Waterside somewhere different from the town of Bo?

  • No, it is the same Bo that the Liberians call Bo Waterside. That is where when you cross the bridge from Sierra Leone that is the first town you come to.

  • Is that where the Mano River Bridge is that you have been telling us about?

  • Thank you. Right, back to Bomi County now. If you follow the road, we have got to the town of Klay, and then the road goes down to Monrovia. Do you see that?

  • Yes, I can see the road.

  • And - I am sorry, I am speeding up again. Or it goes up through Tubmanburg, do you see that?

  • Okay, I have seen the name you have just called.

  • Thank you. Now would you have a look at the other map, please. (Madam Court Officer, I think we will need you.) There is another map of Liberia and again do you see "Monrovia"?

  • Yes, I can see the spelling for Monrovia down the map.

  • If you put your finger or the pen on "Monrovia" and then move it directly up, do you see the town of "Klay", this time spelt K-L-E?

  • Yes, I have seen K-L-E.

  • And then again if you carry on up the map do you see "Tubmanburg"?

  • Yes, I have seen it.

  • And then to the right and up a little do you see "Bomi Hills" marked on that map?

  • So, that tells us where Bomi Hills is in relation to the first map that we were looking at that doesn't have the name of Bomi Hills on it.

  • I didn't understand your question.

  • Mr Mansaray, I am just clarifying. We now know - if we went back to the first map we now have an idea of where Bomi Hills is on the first map. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a map on the internet that covers both the towns and Bomi Hills. Now, you have just told us in answer to a question of mine that you were not observing where you were going when you were in the vehicle taking you from Tiene to Bomi Hills. Was it a closed kind of vehicle, was it a military vehicle that you were not able to see out of, or were you not observing simply because you were not looking where the vehicle was going?

  • It was a big vehicle. It had weapons in it. There were senior officers in. We were lying on each other for us to survive. I was unable to raise my head up to peep outside.

  • Right. So the picture that you have now painted, if I can try and summarise it, is that you travelled on that occasion in considerable discomfort in that vehicle. Is that right?

  • Yes, that was what happened.

  • You travelled on proper roads, that is what you told us? I am just trying to summarise your evidence, Mr Mansaray, and correct me if I am putting it wrongly. You travelled on proper roads. That is right, isn't it?

  • Yes, the road when I was in the vehicle was good, but because we were not using the bush path it was a vehicular road.

  • And you have told us that you would not have known whether or not you were going through, or past, towns or villages because of your inability to look out of the vehicle. That is correct, isn't it?

  • Right. Go back, if you would, finally to the first map. I am going to ask you to look at another place in Liberia, but before I do can we just establish this from you. How long were you in Tiene? How many weeks or months were you in Tiene?

  • Well, in Tiene I spent up to three months there.

  • Right. Apart from this one day trip to Bomi Hills, did you go anywhere else in Liberia at all in 1991?

  • Well, it was in Tiene we were at the time. There I was. The other town we used to go for patrol, there was another big town there called Gbessay. I used to go there. Then we usually use the route going to Tiene to come to Bo Waterside and then go back to Tiene town. The other town where we were, there was an ammunition dump. We usually used that route to go to that town and then come back.

  • And what town was that?

  • That was in 1992. That was from November 1991 we fought and then crossed over, then from 1992, January --

  • Your Honours, can the witness be made to repeat his answer?

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter needs you to repeat your answer. Could you please pick up from the point where you said, "... then [in] 1992, January", and continue from that point.

  • From January 1992 to February 1992, I left Tiene and came back to Sierra Leone.

  • Mr Witness, the question that the lawyer asked you was what was the name of the town. He didn't ask about the time. He asked about the town. There is a town you mentioned where you would go where the ammunition dump was located.

  • It was Tiene. Tiene.

  • I was also asking you about 1991. Now, you have said that you were in Liberia in 1991 for about three months. Is that right?

  • No, that was 1991 to 1992. That was the end of the three months.

  • Well, Mr Mansaray, do you remember being interviewed by the Office of the Prosecutor about your time in Liberia? You remember being interviewed by them? If you will bear with me for just a moment, I don't want to put anything inaccurately of course. Yes, I don't in fact think you gave them a date, I will be corrected if I am wrong, a date when you first went into Liberia. Can you help us with the date when you first go into Liberia in 1991?

  • It was in November 1991.

  • And so you stayed there for three months, emerging back into Sierra Leone in 1992, yes?

  • Please repeat the question.

  • I am just summarising what you have told us already. You enter Liberia in November 1991 and you come back into Sierra Leone three months later in about February of 1992, correct?

  • Yes.

  • And you don't go back into Liberia again except, if I have understood you correctly - except to go to Tiene to the ammunition dump. Is that what you were saying?

  • Yes, I didn't go there and stay again in Liberia, except when I used to go upon instruction to collect ammunition and I will return on the same day. That is what I mean.

  • Yes, and on those instructions you went to Tiene is what you were telling us a minute ago. Is that correct?

  • All right. You never went into Liberia anywhere else other than the places you have now told us about. Is that right?

  • But those places are in Liberia.

  • Yes, we understand that. Now I would like you to look at that map in front of you, please. Do you see in the middle of the map of Liberia in red writing the county of "Bong"? The name "Bong"?

  • B-O-N-G?

  • Yes, I have seen it.

  • And do you see the town of "Gbarnga" immediately above the letter "n" of "Bong"?

  • I have seen "Gbarnga".

  • And the road from Gbarnga, if you wanted to get to Tubmanburg and the Bomi Hills the road from Gbarnga goes down to Monrovia, doesn't it?

  • So to get from Gbarnga by road to the Bomi Hills, you would have to go down into Monrovia and out the other side up to Klay and Tubmanburg, wouldn't you?

  • I told you I cannot tell you that that is what it is. I am just seeing it on the map, but I did not use it to get to Monrovia, or go to Gbarnga.

  • Right, thank you. I am going to move on to something else now. I don't know if the witness needs to move back to his other location. We were looking yesterday at the number of occasions when you were interviewed by prosecutors from the Special Court, and when I say "by prosecutors" I mean people working for the Office of the Prosecution. We know that you were interviewed in November of 2003, March of 2004, October of 2006 - sorry, January of 2006 and October of 2006, and we were just looking when we finished yesterday at, I think, the time you went for interview in May of 2006. I don't know if I just said "October" when I should have said "May"? Yes, let me make it clear. It is January and May of 2006 that you were interviewed. Now, in January 2006 you told us at that time you were now working for a project run by the United Nations Development Programme. That is right, isn't it?

  • Yes.

  • And you told us yesterday that although you had to go off to Monrovia to see Special Court investigators - sorry, I am being corrected. You told us although you had to see Special Court investigators - Madam President, I appear from reactions all around the Court to be putting something inaccurately.

  • I need to check the record, but I understood he went to Freetown, not Monrovia.

  • I am sorry, I am entirely wrong. I am still stuck on the map of Liberia. It seems to have imprinted itself on my brain this morning. You are absolutely right, Freetown:

  • And that job with the United - because it was a job with the United Nations organisation, going off to be interviewed by investigators to the Special Court meant that you didn't lose any wages from your employment with the United Nations organisation you told us yesterday. Can you just help us with this, Mr Mansaray. Did you get the job with the United Nations Development Project through the assistance of investigators from the Special Court for Sierra Leone?

  • No, no

  • You got that entirely independently?

  • No, it was not the Special Court. Yes.

  • In any event, you didn't lose any wages as a result of going for that particular session of interviews?

  • I did not lose my salary. I got my salary.

  • Yes. And is that the time that you spent a whole week in Freetown?

  • We know that - I am sorry, I interrupted you. Carry on.

  • Well, it could be between five days to one week when they needed me and took me to Freetown and back two times, because I cannot recall the exact time that I spent with them because always they met me at the field where I was working and so when they came I didn't stay long with them. Then I would return.

  • And you told us yesterday that you went by yourself, you didn't go with your family or any members of your family, in January of 2006?

  • Yes, in Freetown I went with them alone. Because they were going to get the statement from me, I went with them alone for the interview.

  • We know from the documentation that we have been supplied with that you were interviewed on 14 January 2006, but on the face of it on that day alone. Does that accord with your memory, that you were only interviewed on one day despite being in Freetown for the better part of a week?

  • I really did not get that question clearly.

  • Is it right that in January of 2006, although you were kept in Freetown for five days to a week, they only actually interviewed you on one day?

  • I was not just interviewed on a day. It was more than that.

  • It was more than that?

  • Well, we have been supplied with a document that is entitled "Proofing notes of 14 January 2006" that does not give any indication that you were interviewed on any day in January of 2006, apart from that one day. Can I ask you again. Were you interviewed on one day, or more than one day, in January of 2006?

  • Well I cannot recall that now if it was one day, or if it was more than that. I cannot recall that.

  • Do you recall if you were interviewed on the first day that you got to Freetown?

  • I believe so, yes.

  • You might have got there the night before and been interviewed the next morning. The 14 January may be the second morning. I don't imagine - do you have any particular memory of it now?

  • Well, what I know when they brought me I was interviewed. They interviewed me.

  • Yes, and you say that they interviewed you on more than one day during that week?

  • Were you still in Freetown being seen by Special Court Prosecution staff by 30 January 2006, a little more than two weeks after 14 January 2006 for which we have proofing notes?

  • I don't think if I spent up to two weeks with them. I don't think so.

  • During that period in January 2006 were you given any money, or were all your transport, hotel and food arrangements met by the Prosecution?

  • At that time I was not lodged at a hotel. It was a private house which they rented. That was where I lodged. When I was returning they gave me back my transportation fare, and the work that I was doing they gave me the payment.

  • I am sorry, the work you were doing "... they gave me the payment". What is the payment for?

  • Well, I told them how much UNDP was paying me when I was working with them and it was the same money they gave to me for the time that I was with them.

  • Mr Mansaray, you told us yesterday and again today that you did not lose any of your wages from the UNDP project on the occasion that you were taken to Freetown to be interviewed by the Prosecution of another United Nations organisation, or body. Do you remember telling us yesterday that you did not lose wages from your UN job when you came to see prosecutors from the Special Court in January of 2006?

  • Yes.

  • So, are you saying that you were paid twice in January 2006: once by the UNDP and once by the Special Court prosecutors?

  • Yes, because I had to secure the job that I was doing. Special Court was not paying me on a month basis.

  • Your, Honours, can the witness repeat?

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter requires you to repeat your answer. Please pick up after you said "Special Court was not paying me on a month basis".

  • When they would meet me at my work place, I would make sure that I had secured my job for which I was paid and there were rules. If the coordinator did not meet you there you will be terminated, so my colleague with whom I was working whenever I will be going I will leave him at my place so he will give an excuse on my behalf because I did not disclose my identity to anybody that I was working with Special Court. The money that UNDP was paying to me I will take a share of it and give it to my colleague, so when Special Court would meet me at my field I told them that I was working and so they asked me what was the daily wage that UNDP paid me and I told them. So, they will pay that first before I will move with them to come to Freetown. That is what I am telling you exactly.

  • Let me see if I understand that. You had to leave your field to go to Freetown, but you didn't want your colleagues working in the field with you to know what you were doing and so you gave your UNDP wages to them and just said, "I am going on leave". Is that right?

  • Well, I told him that I was coming for a workshop relating to human rights. I did not say it was on leave. I told him that it was a workshop. I did not disclose to them that it was Special Court.

  • And is this right, that because they then had to cover your work you gave them your UNDP wages?

  • Did you keep any part of your UNDP wages though?

  • Well, yes, sometimes I had some reserve.

  • Yes. So when the Special Court - when the prosecutors of the Special Court - paid you for lost wages, you were making a small profit, were you?

  • Well, I have not referred to it as a profit. It is not a profit to me. It was just a sacrifice that I made. But it was not a profit to me because they would just pay me my wage and my transportation fare, so I don't think that it was any profit.

  • Well, you have just told us that you kept a bit of your UNDP wages and then you got reimbursed. Did you get reimbursed for the full amount of the UNDP wages by the prosecutors of the Special Court?

  • Well if I were to go for two or three days I will tell them and they will give me the money, so the remaining days UNDP would pay me for that.

  • All right. But can you think of any reason why you were being paid transport and meal costs on 26 January 2006 and on 30 January 2006 "Meals whilst coming to Freetown"?

  • Well for that, even if it happened, if you lodge somebody you would have to feed that person because they needed me. If they brought me to Freetown, it was their duty to feed me.

  • Mr Mansaray, I am not talking to you about the need to feed you. I am talking to you about the dates on which this money appears to have been paid. We have a record of the payments made either to you or on your behalf by the Prosecution. And I am looking at the records and the only records - let me make it clear to you. The only records that have been disclosed to us for January 2006 are as follows. On 26 January 2006, 30,000 - well, it says "Local Currency" and I am therefore going to call it leones. 30,000 leones for "Transport/meals" and on the same date another round 30,000 leones for transport and meals. Then on 28 January 2006 60,000 leones "Lost wages whilst attending the court for prepping", and on 30 January 2006 under the category "Family meals whilst coming to Freetown" another round sum of 10,000 leones. So on the documents we have been provided with it would appear that you were being paid for meals on 26 January and on 30 January and, if you were interviewed on 14 January as we have been told, then why were you still being paid, or were you personally being paid for your meals and lost wages on 28 and 30 January?

  • Well, that was what they told me at the beginning. They said they were not going to pay me on a monthly because of the statement that was given to me. They only would give me money because they met me working and so they will give me the money I would be losing. That was what I was telling you yesterday. 2003, 2004, 2005, I had no talk with them. I was working, so my problem was not with them. They needed me later on and so it was their place. What they thought fit or necessary for me as a human being it was their place to do it, and when they would meet me I would explain my problems to them and so they assisted me. It was not that we made an agreement to pay me, but I explained my problems to me and they reasoned with me to assist me.

  • What do you mean by "assist me"? What did they actually do to assist you?

  • Like apart from the amounts that you have mentioned, sometimes in 2006 my family members could get sick and even my wife at a point underwent an operation. I had a cellular phone, I called them, told them my problems, and at that time I was unemployed, I hadn't any money and so they assisted me to pay the medical bill.

  • Now just before the transcript disappears up the top of the page you said in your previous answer to me, "They told me they were not going to pay me on a monthly basis because of the statement that was given to me". Do you mean that you asked for monthly payments, if you were cooperating with the Office of the Prosecution, and they said "No"?

  • No, they told me clearly just so that I could understand from 2003 that I gave the statement, but before I gave the statement they told me that the Special Court - the Special Court did not or does not pay people who they have taken statements from.

  • Your Honours, can the witness repeat?

  • Pause, Mr Witness. The interpreter hasn't caught up with you. Which part, Mr Interpreter?

  • Your Honours, I would appreciate if he begins the answer.

  • Most of it is down. Mr Witness, please continue from where you said, "The Special Court did not pay people who they have taken statements from", they told you.

  • Yes, they did not make a promise to me that after the statement they will pay me any money, or they will pay me on a monthly basis, because I had given them a statement. They only told me that the Special Court needed me to come and be interviewed by them. If they did not go to pick me up using their vehicle, if I used public transportation, they would return the fare to me. Then if I got sick, or my family members got sick and I reported to them and asked for assistance, if they found out that it was correct they would assist me. That was what they told me. They said if I had any job that I was doing and I was paid for that job, if they needed me and go to my place and take me from my place of work, brought me for an interview, they would be responsible for my lost wages. They will give me the exact lost wages.

  • Sorry, the Special Court prosecutors did pay you for giving statements to them, didn't they, in the sense that they paid medical bills for you, they paid school fees or uniform costs for your children and they paid round sums of money every single time that you had expenses involved in going to see them? I will explain "round sums of money" in a moment if you wish me to. You were given financial assistance because you helped the Special Court prosecutors by giving them statements. That is right, isn't it?

  • It is not correct. It was not like that.

  • Well, in that case we will have to look at it in a little more detail. I want to go back, please, to November 2003 when you gave your first statement to the Special Court. You told us how that happened. You were not working at the time, you were taken by a police officer in his vehicle and you were accommodated overnight and given meals and so on, yes?

  • Yes, that first night they took - prepared meal to me and I only slept there for a night and the following day I returned.

  • But you spent none of your own money on that occasion that you had to be reimbursed for. That is right, isn't it?

  • Well I did not spend any money to come and meet them, but what I meant by job, it was not a monthly thing. I used to find my living, it was a daily thing, so when I was returning they gave me the money that I had lost.

  • I asked you yesterday were you in employment, or were you earning any money - any income - and you said "No". Do you remember saying "No", that you were not in employment, or earning any money, when I asked you, or words to that effect, yesterday?

  • Well if you say I did not get any money I thought you meant from the Special Court, but throughout my life I have been living on money every day with my family.

  • I am not suggesting that you haven't, but yesterday I asked you were you in employment in November 2003 and you said "No". I also asked you if you were making any money, or words to that effect, yesterday and you said "No". Now, we know that on 20 November 2003 you were paid two separate sums for which two separate receipts were issued both under the category of "Lost wages". The first the detail is "Funds required to facilitate the attendance of witness at the Special Court for interview process", the second one is exactly the same category and reason and the sums you were paid were lost wages of 20,000 leones and lost wages of 10,000 leones. Now, did you lose earnings of a nice neat round sum of 30,000 leones as a result of being taken off by a policeman to the Special Court in Freetown in November 2003?

  • What I meant yesterday exactly, I was not working on a salary. It was a day to day way of having my living. We would go and - we would, for example, work for construction companies to make blocks and they will give me some money. I was a labourer, menial jobs I will do those, so they will give me and I will feed my family with that.

  • I am going to interrupt you for a moment just to say that accepting that maybe you didn't understand me fully yesterday, or maybe I didn't make myself sufficiently clear yesterday, even if you were earning money, as no doubt you were trying to do to support yourself and your family, did you lose a nice, neat, round sum of 60,000 leones as a result of going to the Special Court in a police vehicle in November 2003? Did you lose 60,000 leones - sorry, 30,000 leones on that occasion?

  • This question, I don't understand it.

  • I am asking you about being paid to give evidence. Can I be plainer than that?

  • They did not pay me any money to go and give statements. They did not pay me any money for that.

  • That is completely untrue, isn't it? You were paid 30,000 leones.

  • Yes, the money that they gave to me when I explained myself to them and they reason with me that I was a man who had a family, my wife and my children, so when they will take me for two days, for example, I explained myself to them. So they assisted me in return, but they did not give me money that this one is a payment for the statement that I had given to them, no.

  • Can you help us with this. Does the expression "paid" mean something different from the expression "assisted", as far as you are concerned?

  • Yes.

  • What is the difference between those two words, as far as you are concerned?

  • Because if it were payment I would have - I would show the amount that I was to be paid, but I did not ask them for the amount. I did not state any amount. They asked me that, "For the two days that you had left your family, what do you think you were using, spending on a daily basis?", and I told them that that was the amount I was using on a daily basis, but if it was payment I would have shunned the money more than that.

  • Were you earning - well, let us just see the number of days you were away. You are picked up by the police officer and you spend the night in Bo town, yes? This is what you told us yesterday. You are collected by the police officer in his vehicle and driven to Bo town where you spend the night. Is that correct?

  • Yes.

  • The next day you are taken to Freetown where you are interviewed at 9.17 until 12 noon in the morning of 20 November, yes?

  • No, I did not sleep in Bo. It was not in Bo.

  • Well I thought you told us yesterday that he collected you, you didn't have time to go home and tell your wife and children and so you sent a message to them that you spent the night, I thought you said in Bo town, it will be checked, and then you went on to Freetown the next day. Is that not how it happened?

  • I did not tell you that yesterday.

  • All right. Tell us today what happened on the event of your first ever interview by the Special Court prosecutors?

  • Well the experience I had to be interviewed, the police officers - the police officer used some kind of trick on me. I realised it later. At first we were doing some construction job, but there came to a time when I went to a town called Sambaia Bendugu. They went there and I asked them for a lift. We were many, but they only afforded me the lift. I came to Magburaka. The next morning I saw a policeman. He went with a motorcycle and took me from the house. When we came to the office, the same police officers I saw in the vehicle in Sambaia Bendugu were the same police officers who told me in the office that the Special Court wanted me to come and talk to them.

  • What was the trick, Mr Mansaray, that the police pulled on you?

  • Well we were many, but when we spoke to them I was the only one who they gave the lift to, but the next morning I saw them at my house saying that the Special Court needed me and so I did not return home. They said if I was ready let me join them to go, so I did not return home. I was a bit afraid even, but I joined them and we came to Freetown.

  • I am going to ask you again what the trick was and then I am going to ask you after that what were you afraid of. Can you please explain what the trick was that they pulled on you?

  • The way I saw them took me from Sambaia Bendugu, later I knew they went for that - they mainly went for that. They went in search of me in that town, so when they told me in the office that morning that the Special Court needed me I had a lot of thoughts.

  • Yes?

  • So, I was there when I sent a friend of mine to my wife that we were going to Freetown. They told me we are not going to spend too long, I should not be worried, so that gave me some courage and we went.

  • What were you afraid of, Mr Mansaray?

  • You know, they say a court is an institution that deals with law and we had just come from a war. I was an ex-combatant and they said the Special Court needed me. I was wondering what was the need the Special Court had for me, until when I got there, met with them and they told me if I had any information about the war that we fought I should explain to them. Court deals with laws, so I was a little worried.

  • And if you explained to them they would assist you in various ways, is that what they told you?

  • Who?

  • The people who took you to and saw you at the Special Court?

  • Well, the way I saw them they were policemen. They had uniforms on. I was not happy until when we got to Freetown and I was not in their care anymore. The other people I saw were not in uniform, so I was at ease then.

  • Yes. Well, you are going to be at ease for half-an-hour now because I think it is time for the break.

  • Yes, indeed, Mr Munyard. We will take the mid-morning adjournment and we will resume at 12 o'clock. Please adjourn court.

  • [Break taken at 11.30 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 12.00 p.m.]

  • Please continue, Mr Munyard.

  • Thank you, Madam President:

  • Mr Mansaray, just before we broke you said:

    "The way I saw them, they were policemen, they had uniforms on, I was not happy until we got to Freetown and I was not in their care any more. The other people I saw were not in uniform so I was at ease then".

    So police officers particularly in uniform make you feel uneasy, is that right?

  • Well, it was the time they met me just after I had left the war. That's what I'm telling you. I am not telling you that it was all the times that I saw police officers in uniform.

  • It's not a criticism of you, it's a feeling that's probably shared by many people throughout the world. I just want to establish that you move from one situation where you're uncomfortable into another situation where you're being dealt with by civilians or certainly people not in uniform and that made you more comfortable, did it?

  • Had you been told by the police officers that you would be compensated financially for your trip to Freetown or was that something that you weren't told until you met these people who were wearing ordinary clothes?

  • They did not tell me anything about money, they only informed me that the Special Court had told them to go with me to Freetown if I was willing to go with them.

  • So the first time you learn that you're going to be assisted financially is when you meet the people from the Special Court, the Prosecutors, is that it?

  • Yes, that was the time when I met them and they asked me if I was responsible and I said yes.

  • And you spent two days away from home on that occasion, yes?

  • Yes.

  • And they paid you 30,000 leones in lost earnings for those two days, yes?

  • They did not pay me. It was just an assistance, because I did not tell them the amount. It was just an assistance. It was not a payment.

  • You didn't tell them the amount, so they just decided to give you 30,000 leones, did they?

  • Yes, I did not charge them as to what they should give to me, I did not tell them what they should give to me. They just asked me what I use on a daily basis, that is myself and my family, and I gave them the estimate. So they worked that out and they gave me some money.

  • What was the estimate you gave them for you and your family on a daily basis, Mr Mansaray?

  • Well, I told them that my family including me would normally use between 5 and 10,000 leones per day and they gave 20,000 for the two days. The 10,000 was for the day we got there and to eat in the morning. That was why they gave me 10,000. So that's why the money got up to 30,000 leones.

  • Well, you're wrong actually because both lots of money were given to you under the category of lost wages and the reason that you were given lost wages is as follows: "Funds required to facilitate the attendance of witness at the Special Court for interview process".

  • I don't know if that is the reason they stated there, but I told them that I was not formally employed, I used to do some menial jobs that I could get some money from, that I could get up to that amount. So they assisted me. It was not a payment.

  • You made a profit on that journey to the Special Court that time, didn't you?

  • I did not make any profit.

  • How much do you say you were able to earn in November of 2003 on average per day?

  • Per day I used to get between 5 and 10,000 leones. In the morning I will go around because I wasn't formally employed, we would go and we would mould bricks, we would do some other construction job, so every day I would get 5 to 10,000 leones, or at times I could even get more than 10,000.

  • Did you get work every single day or not?

  • Yes, I did, on a daily basis because at times it could be an a contract basis, at times it would be a two week contract or a one month contract and we would ask them for - we charge them and they give us the amount.

  • And how many in the family, please, in November of 2003?

  • We were six. Myself, my wife and four children.

  • And just to be clear you did tell us yesterday I think that you yourself incurred no transport, accommodation or food costs on that first interview because you were driven by a police officer, put up for the night and provided with meals. That's correct, isn't it?

  • Yes.

  • So when you told us a moment ago that you were given money for food that can't be right, can it, unless that was another profit?

  • No, the morning I talked about, the 10,000 they gave to me, that was the money to be used for food in the morning.

  • What, for your food in the morning in Freetown?

  • I don't understand the question.

  • Your answer was:

    "The morning I talked about, the 10,000 they gave to me, that was the money to be used for food in the morning".

    What morning?

  • It was 10,000 leones.

  • What morning was it given to you for food for? Was it the morning of 20 November 2003 when you were being interviewed for the first of more than a dozen times?

  • Well, the first morning was the day we got there, the evening was to eat, buy cigarette and smoke and for the following morning it was for breakfast and lunch. So that was why they gave me that money, 10,000.

  • But you told us yesterday that they provided you with all of those things at no cost to you, unless I have completely misunderstood your evidence. And indeed before you answer that, Mr Mansaray, if they give you money for food and meals they say so in the document that spells out how much they've given. How much does a packet of cigarettes cost you in leones in 2003?

  • Well, at that time it could be up to 1,000 leones.

  • Right. And how many packets do you get through a day?

  • At times I can smoke maybe two sticks of cigarettes.

  • How many in a packet? How many in a packet?

  • Some cigarettes it could be 10 in a packet, some others could be 20 in a packet.

  • We're talking about them costing 1,000 leones. How many do you get for a thousand, is it a packet of 10 or a packet of 20?

  • And how many packets of 20 do you get through in a day?

  • No, I could not smoke that for one day. They gave me the money, they said this money's for your breakfast, your lunch and I can smoke. So I just knew that they gave it to me to make use of it. From what I explained to them they did not give it to me just like that, I requested for it. And besides that it was not only food or cigarettes, I also bought some other medicines from out of that same money because after the journey when I got to the place I was not feeling that well, but I did not explain that to them, but out of the 10,000 that they gave to me I used that for food, apart from the one that they brought, the food that they brought to me. There are times I could eat more than three times a day, I do not just eat once a day.

  • How can you possibly remember now what it was you asked them for money for in November of 2003 when you've been interviewed by the Special Court on more than 12 different days over a period of years? How are you able to say to the learned Judges now, "I asked them for money for a packet of cigarettes and I also got some medicine" and so on and so forth? Are you saying you have a completely accurate memory of every amount of money you were given, every item you asked for money for or do you accept that you might be getting things mixed up?

  • No, I'm not getting things mixed up.

  • I want to put to you finally in relation to November 2003 that you were not paid a single leone for anything other than lost wages and you were paid in two receipts on that date the total round sum of 30,000 leones.

    Now you saw them again in 2004, in March of 2004, and you told us yesterday about that occasion and you told us yesterday that when you saw them in 2004 it was for more than one day. Do you remember? Do you remember saying that. If you don't remember then just tell the Court now --

  • Yes.

  • -- how long you spent in 2004 seeing Prosecutors from the Special Court?

  • Yes, when they met me in 2004, I travelled to Freetown, I was there for more than a day.

  • How many days were you there?

  • Well, if I can recall it could be up to four to five days.

  • Did you pay your own transport costs or did they take you?

  • They paid the transport fare for me.

  • Did you pay for your own accommodation or did they pay for that?

  • They paid for the accommodation.

  • Did you pay for your meals over those days?

  • They paid for the food that I ate where I was.

  • Did they pay for your cigarettes during those four to five days?

  • Well, I did not mention cigarette, but whenever they would give me money for transport maybe I could get some change from there, then I would buy cigarettes from out of that, but I did not ask them for money for cigarettes particularly.

  • Did they pay you for loss of wages for those four to five days?

  • Yes, they paid me. Just as I had told them on the first occasion I was not permanently employed, but for the menial jobs that I used to do, they looked into that and they assisted me.

  • Can I just explain something to you, that when I use the expression "pay" I'm using it in the sense of people in England and all it means is to give someone some money, it doesn't mean anything more than that. If it means something more than that to you then I will try to remember to use another word. Do you follow?

  • Yes, I've heard you.

  • Did they give you money - you told us that you needed I think 5 to 10,000 per day for the family and then you also had earnings, it may have been that your earnings were 5 to 10,000. Just tell us again how much you needed per day for the family and how much your average earnings were from the casual work you were doing?

  • Those work that I did, there were days that I could get 5,000, some other days I could get 10,000. There were times it could be on a contract basis and they would take us and they would give us the money for the contract. So the amount of money that they were giving to us, I did not hear that clearly.

  • I interrupted, it was my fault.

  • Mr Mansaray, could you repeat your answer, please. When I interrupted you the interpreter wasn't able to hear the rest of your answer?

  • No, your Honour, I interpreted exactly what the witness said. He said he did not hear that.

  • They were just assisting me because the money that I got from the casual jobs that I was doing could not reach up to the amount that they even gave to me, so I cannot refer to that as payments, it was just an assistance. Because there were some contracts that I had, at times in two days time I would even get more than 50,000 leones. Then some other days I would go and make bricks, at times I could get 5 or 10,000 leones a day. So in 2003/2004 that they met me, the money that they gave to me maybe for two days, four days that I spent with the Special Court, they did not pay me the exact money that I used to get when they were taking me. It was just an assistance that they were rendering to me.

  • In the typical week you would be earning nearer to 5 to 10,000 leones a day than 50,000 leones a day, wouldn't you, in a typical week?

  • I did not understand that.

  • Is it the word "typical"? Let me try another expression. In a normal week you would not be earning as much as 50,000 leones a day, would you, you'd be much more likely to be earning between 5 and 10,000 a day?

  • And you said to a us a moment ago the money - you said it couldn't reach up to - the money that you were earning, it couldn't reach up to the money that the Court were giving you. Do you mean that the Court were assisting you with more than you would normally earn in a day?

  • It was less. It was less than what I used to get.

  • Well, that's not compensation for loss of wages, is it?

  • Well, I took it like that because they told me even before I could divulge anything to me that they were not going to pay me, the Special Court does not pay people. So I accepted that.

  • No, they don't pay people, they assist people, don't they?

  • Well, I'm talking about mine. I don't know about other people.

  • People was your word, Mr Mansaray, but we'll move on. They assisted you, didn't they?

  • And you are perfectly well aware that they assisted plenty of other people as well as you, aren't you?

  • I said I know about mine. I don't know about the other people, if they assisted them. I know about mine.

  • Is that an honest answer?

  • It's an honest answer, because all along that I have been with the Special Court when they were taking me for interview, from the statements to the interview, I did not meet with any other person who was a witness or that I knew about the person's affairs. They only told me about mine. They told me, the staff, that I should not discuss anything with anybody relating to the Court so I don't know about any other person's affairs. I know about mine and that's what I'm talking about.

  • From 20 November 2003 until the beginning of February this year are you saying that you have never come across anybody else who has been interviewed by the Special Court and been given assistance by them?

  • If I told you that I would be telling a lie. I don't know about that.

  • Right. Back to March of 2004. What else did you get assistance for in March of 2004? If it wasn't for cigarettes then what else were you given assistance for then?

  • It was only transportation fare that they gave to me. Only that.

  • And loss of wages?

  • I was not on salary.

  • Loss of earnings, maybe. The average amount of money you told us you would earn in a normal week was 5 to 10,000 a day. If you were four to five days at the Special Court in Freetown you would need to be assisted in relation to the loss of money you would otherwise have earned, wouldn't you?

  • I did not get this particular question clearly.

  • Mr Mansaray, in March of 2004 when you go to the Special Court you're not in a full-time job then, are you?

  • Correct. Exactly the same as November 2003, you weren't in a full-time job then either, correct?

  • Yes.

  • In November of 2003 they give you assistance in the form of 30,000 leones assistance to cover the lost opportunity you had to make some money making bricks or doing other casual work that you weren't able to do because you were down in Freetown seeing the Special Court, correct?

  • So they presumably gave you the same assistance in March of 2004 when you were in exactly the same position as you'd been in in November 2003, correct?

  • Yes. They assisted me.

  • You told us that in 2003 you had spent some money on medicines and some money on cigarettes, yes?

  • Yes, but that was my own private issue. I did not discuss that with them. I just used the money from my own judgments. I told you that the money they gave to me was not even up to what I used to earn a day.

  • It wasn't compensation for lost earnings, it was less than compensation for lost earnings; that's what you're now saying, isn't it?

  • Yes, what I used to get on a daily basis was more than what they gave to me.

  • Why didn't you say to them, "I actually earn more than this on a daily basis"? They were quite willing to compensate you for loss of earnings, weren't they?

  • Well, I did not tell them. What they asked me and I explained, they assisted me in that regard. I did not continue or I did not tell them that no, I was not satisfied. I just accepted it.

  • All right. Now just help us with this: You've said that a packet of cigarettes can cost a thousand leones. Does it cost a round sum of 1,000 leones or does it cost something other than a round sum?

  • I don't understand the question.

  • Could a packet of cigarettes cost 638 leones, for example?

  • Would its cost always be 500 or a thousand or 1,500 or what would it be if it's not those sorts of sums?

  • Some cigarettes could be sold at 500 leones, some others 1,000 leones.

  • But can you buy things for figures between 500 and a thousand leones? What do the leones come in in either bank notes or coins?

  • There are two different. You have bills and coins.

  • I thought there might. Now tell us what the value of leone coins is, please. The word I would use is denomination. What I mean by that is what is the smallest number of leones in a coin and then tell us how many leones there are in the other coins?

  • Like in my country Sierra Leone the smallest coin is 50 leones.

  • And does it go up 50, 100, 200 and so on in coins?

  • The amount of the value of the different coins.

  • Yes, there is another coin, the highest in Sierra Leone is 500 leones. We have 100 leones and 500 leones.

  • So you pay for things in Sierra Leone in leones in amounts of 50s or hundreds or thousands, yes? A thing will cost 50 or a hundred or 150 or a thousand, et cetera, do you follow?

  • Yes, there are some things in Sierra Leone that could cost that amount that you are mentioning now.

  • All right. Now I'm going to ask you one last question about 2004. You've told us earlier that you have a precise memory of exactly what you got the money for in 2003. Is your memory of receiving money in 2004 also absolutely accurate?

  • 2004, the money they gave to me was transportation cost. They gave me transport fare to pay my way to meet them in Freetown.

  • And how much was that?

  • I cannot remember that now, the exact amount.

  • If You don't remember the exact amount they gave you, just tell the Court how much it cost in March of 2004 to go from your home to Freetown and back?

  • Well, at that time transportation was 17,000 leones, 15,000 leones.

  • A round trip, there and back?

  • No, one trip, if you make a trip.

  • And they presumably also paid you for the fact that you weren't able to earn any money in March of 2004 for four to five days; yes or no?

  • I did not get that clearly.

  • Presumably they also gave you assistance to compensate you for not being able to earn money during those four to five days when you were down in Freetown; yes or no?

  • Yes.

  • And are you able to remember now how much they gave you?

  • Well, I cannot remember the amount that they gave to me at that time.

  • Do you think it was about 30,000 leones again?

  • It was more than that.

  • More than that. Are you able to help us with how much more than that?

  • I cannot tell now the exact amount, but it was more than the first one. It was more than the 30,000 leones that they gave me for the first occasion.

  • Pausing there, Madam President, can I put the Prosecution on notice that we would like the details of the payments in March of 2004 because in the most recent documentation we've been given dated 28 February 2008 there are no payments recorded to this witness between 20 November 2003 and 26 January 2006.

    The Court may remember that the last time I cross-examined a witness in relation to these sort of expenses we were suddenly presented almost at the end of the examination of the witness with a further batch of figures that we hadn't hitherto been given.

    I'll move on now to January of 2006 if I may:

  • Mr Mansaray, we know that you were seen in January of 2006. You've told us about the time that you were in Freetown seeing them then and I'm going to try and deal with this as briefly as possible. You've already told us you think you were there for several days, you think it was about a week.

    Let me ask you about 26 January 2006. According to documentation we've been given you were paid 30,000 leones in the category of transport and the reason for it was payment to you for transport/meals from one place to another, presumably your home to Freetown but the places don't matter. Can you remember being paid 30,000 leones for transport and meals in late January 2006?

  • Well, in January they met me but I cannot recall all the monies they gave to me, the total amount of the money they gave to me. They met me so - and I believe they gave me money, but I cannot state the amount.

  • So your memory of what you were given then is not as accurate as your memory of what you were given in November 2003. That must be right, mustn't it?

  • Yes, there are some areas I could recall, some assistance they gave to me I could recall, but it came to a time they gave me some assistance but I cannot recall now. Besides 2003 there was some assistance given to me I can still recall.

  • Well, I'm going to take you through the assistance that we've been told about and then I'll ask you about any assistance that we haven't been told about. On the same day, 26 January 2006, you were given another 30,000 leones for transport and meal costs to travel to meet with the WMU team, witness management unit presumably. When you went to Freetown for the interviews in January of 2006 did you travel anywhere other than Freetown? Did you have to go to any other place to meet anybody or were you in Freetown the whole time before you went back home?

  • I was in Freetown until I returned. I didn't go anywhere.

  • So you got 60,000 leones for transport and meal costs. Does that figure ring any bells? Do you remember getting that?

  • I can remember, yes. I can remember.

  • That's only two years ago. Did you get anything else that time?

  • What else did you get?

  • Well, later I was assisted. At the time I was unemployed. I was given money for school fees for my children, books, uniform and shoes. Then my wife too fell ill. I also got ill. I was assisted in that direction.

  • I'm sorry to interrupt you, I'm only asking you at the moment about January 2006. I'm going to come on to other months in 2006. Can you just confine yourself at the moment to January 2006. We know that you got 60,000 leones for transport and meal costs. Did you get anything else in January of 2006 by way of assistance from the Prosecution?

  • No, I did not get any other thing else.

  • Are you quite sure about that?

  • Is your memory accurate about the amount that you received in January of 2006?

  • Well, I can't say it can be accurate 50 per cent because at the time we are dealing with money, I cannot recall all of that, what the exact amounts were.

  • I'm just trying to find out how accurate your memory is on these matters. Do you remember receiving 60,000 leones in lost wages on 28 January 2006, two days after you received 60,000 leones for transport? Tell us if you don't remember.

  • I cannot remember.

  • We've been supplied with a document that says that you were given that on 28 January 2006 and we've been given the number of the receipt which presumably you signed for receiving the money. Can you remember being paid 10,000 leones on 30 January 2006 for meals whilst coming to Freetown?

  • Well, these monies, that was the way it happened. When I travelled, transport fare and what to eat, they used to pay them. But if there are receipts and that has a date and my signature then I will agree to that. If I haven't seen anything about that and then you want me to answer them I wouldn't want to answer to something that will - that is not clear to me, because that was what was happening. Whenever they needed me I would be given transport fare if they were unable to provide me a vehicle to convey me to where they want me to go. And we did sign documents to that effect.

  • May of 2006, your fourth interview with the Prosecution was on 3 May 2006 and it took place in Bo. Can you remember going to Bo in May of 2006?

  • Yes, I went there.

  • How long were you there?

  • I cannot remember the length of time I spent there.

  • Was it the only time that you were interviewed in Bo?

  • Well, it was only two years ago. In fact less than two years ago. Try and go back in your accurate memory and remember, if you can, how many days and nights you spent in Bo being interviewed by people from the Office of the Prosecutor of the Special Court?

  • I think it could be a day.

  • Might it be two days?

  • Well, that would be the first night we passed there and then the following day we - they conducted the interview. That will constitute the two days.

  • I accept that. Did you have to pay your own transport to Bo on that occasion or did they provide you with transport?

  • Which of the years are you talking about?

  • I think I went and - when I went to see them.

  • You mean you paid your own fare and they reimbursed you, is that what you're telling us?

  • And were you going from the same home town to Bo as you had been from to Freetown in 2003 and 2004? Were you travelling from the same town to Bo as you travelled to previously to Freetown?

  • Yes.

  • And does it cost more or less to go from your home town to Bo than it does to go to Freetown?

  • How much does it cost, a round trip, from your home town to Bo?

  • It was around 15,000 leones.

  • Let me be absolutely clear on that. By 15 you mean one five?

  • The documents we've been supplied with make it plain that on 3 May of 2006 you were provided with 20,000 leones for meals supplied for two days. Does that sound like the sort of amount of money you would spend on meals over two days in Bo in Sierra Leone?

  • It's not enough. That money is not enough for two days.

  • Not enough. Well, if it wasn't enough why didn't you tell them what it actually cost you?

  • Well, it says - from the start of it they told me I was not working for them to be paid. So if such amount was given to me and then I started requesting for some others it would appear as if I had wanted them to pay me for what I was doing. So I accepted it and I managed it in the best way possible for myself.

  • Is that true, Mr Mansaray? Are you really saying that they just gave you this sum of money rather than compensating you for the money you had actually spent on the meals that you took?

  • I didn't get you clearly.

  • Are you seriously saying that all the Office of the Prosecution did was gave you a certain sum of money rather than actually paid you what it cost for you to eat for two days?

  • That was just an assistance given to me for that two days.

  • Right. Well, tell us how it was that they came to give you on the same day 50,000, five zero thousand, for your transport costs. You made a big profit on that, didn't you?

  • It was not a profit.

  • You told us it cost 15, that is one five thousand, 15,000 leones return trip from your home to Bo but you were given 50, that is five zero, thousand leones for your transport on 3 May 2006. That means you made a 35,000 leone profit on the round trip, doesn't it?

  • I did not make a profit in fact. Now that you've named the month I have now recalled. I was not staying in my home town at that time. I was somewhere else when I was sent for. I went - I was in Zimmi Makpele, I came to Pujehun and then later I went to Bo. So I don't think I made a profit out of that.

  • Well, that was why I specifically asked you if you'd ever been interviewed in Bo before, so that you could try and remember the circumstances and are you now saying that you travelled from somewhere completely different from your home town to get to Bo for that interview? Is that what you're now saying?

  • What does an average meal cost if you're not staying at home and you're on ordinary Sierra Leonean going out to eat at a stall or a cafe or a restaurant of some sort? What would you normally expect to have to spend on a meal?

  • Well, if I am not at my house I sometimes will expense 12,000 leones or 13,000 leones a day.

  • I noticed the witness said "a day" and I thought you had said "a meal".

  • Now we'll move on. The next time you were interviewed was 5 July of 2006, that's interview number five. Can you remember how long - well, first of all can you remember where you were interviewed in July of 2006?

  • Well, for that I want you to assist me to be able to recall.

  • You were interviewed by Mustapha Koroma, can you remember him?

  • Yes.

  • Somebody called Chuck Collot [phon], I think that's his last name. It might be an acronym. It might be a set of initials. Can I just clarify, was there somebody called Chuck? I think it's a last name. Chuck Collot, does that ring any bells with you?

  • Do you mean Jack?

  • I don't know who this is. All I can tell you is I've got the name Chuck next to Collot. Not Jack, Chuck. But you might have known him as Jack. And someone called Magnus Lamin. Does that help you to locate this interview? You were interviewed by three people, Mustapha Koroma, Chuck Collot and Magnus Lamin?

  • Yes, I can recall.

  • And do you know where they interviewed you?

  • It was at my house where I was in Pujehun. There they went and interviewed me in a vehicle.

  • Right. So no transportation or food costs for you then. Were you given any compensation for not being able to go out and work that day because the Special Court investigators were there interviewing you?

  • Well, I was given an assistance when they went there and met me.

  • And what was that assistance for?

  • They went and paid a medical bill at the government hospital in Pujehun when my wife was admitted to undergo an operation.

  • And had they paid for any of your wife's medical expenses before that? In 2006 just two years or less than two years ago, had they paid anything else apart from the medical costs that you've just talked about at the government hospital?

  • Can you remember how much they paid you? I keep using the word "paid", I mean, the way you understand it, how much they had assisted you with?

  • First I was assisted with 150,000 leones at the time the woman was to be admitted and given blood for the operation to be conducted.

  • And were you subsequently given 180,000 leones for the rest of the medical costs? Mr Mansaray, I don't want to prolong this unnecessarily. The receipts we've been shown indicate that your wife's medical costs of 330,000 leones were actually paid by the Special Court. There's no dispute about that. That was 150,000 in late June of 2006 and the remainder of 180,000 on 4 July 2006. So that was all given to you to pay your wife's medical bills, yes?

  • Yes, the 130,000 leones was paid to the doctor who did the operation.

  • And I just want to know in addition to you being given those sums for your wife's medical bills were you compensated for loss of earning opportunity on that occasion in July 2006 when you spent time with the Special Court Prosecutors being interviewed yet again?

  • No, I was not given any other thing.

  • Were you given any other assistance after the interview in July but before the next interview, interview number six, in October of 2007? Were you given any other assistance between July of 2006 and October of 2007?

  • Yes.

  • Now do you agree that you were not interviewed - let me ask you this: Is it right that you were not interviewed between July of 2006 and October of 2007, or were you interviewed between those dates?

  • I can recall I was interviewed at my house about two times.

  • Let us be clear about the year. We've been dealing with 2006 so far. You were interviewed in Bo on one occasion in 2006 and you had to travel there from somewhere other than your home. In July of 2006 you were interviewed at your home. What was the other occasion when you were interviewed at your home; was that also in 2006?

  • No, it was in 2006 when Mustapha Koroma and others went and interviewed me in that vehicle.

  • I don't quite understand that. You've told us that Mustapha Koroma and Mr Lamin and a man called Chuck or Jack interviewed you at your home. You're now talking about when Mustapha Koroma and others interviewed you in that vehicle. Is that the same interview as meaning the interview in your home or were you interviewed later by them in a vehicle?

  • It's the same interview that I'm talking about.

  • Fine. You've said there were two occasions when you were interviewed at your home. When was the other occasion when you were interviewed at your home? Let me try and help you. Was the first time you were interviewed at your home this time you've just talked about when you referred to it as interviewed by them in a vehicle? Was that the first time you were interviewed at your home?

  • No, I said some other people met me but I was only questioned in a vehicle.

  • I'm going to move on if I can. After the interview in July of 2006 when you were compensated for your wife's medical expenses or when they paid your wife's medical expenses to the doctor and the hospital did you receive any other assistance from the Special Court Prosecutors in 2006 that you can now remember?

  • No.

  • Well, let me try and jog your memory. Does this sound right: That on 23 August 2006 you were given 250,000 leones to pay your children's school fees and the cost of their uniforms, et cetera?

  • Yes, this happened in Bo.

  • If the Special Court had not assisted you with the cost of your children's school fees or uniforms, et cetera, would they have been able to go to their schools and have uniforms? Would you have been able to afford that or not?

  • Well, I would have tried, but I explained to them because I had a difficult situation, so I explained to them and they reasoned with me and assisted me.

  • When you say, "I would have tried", I'm sure you would have tried, Mr Mansaray, but do you think you would have been able to afford to pay for the school fees, the uniforms and whatever the et cetera means if you hadn't had the assistance of the Special Court?

  • Yes, I would have tried some other means because from that time when they assisted me right up to now I am doing things for myself, but at that time I had some problems in my family.

  • I don't want to know about the problems, but are you saying to us that you would not have been able to afford to send the children to the school and buy their uniforms, et cetera, because of the problems that you had?

  • Yes, at that time it just coincided with the re-opening of schools, instead of the kids not going to school and they would be discouraged, so I asked them and they looked into the situation that I had explained to them and they realised that it was correct so they decided to assist me.

  • And so you made a profit from the Special Court to the tune of 250,000 leones to pay your children's school fees and uniforms, et cetera, didn't you?

  • It was not a profit.

  • You didn't have to find the money yourself from your earnings, did you?

  • At that time I did not have it so that's why I pleaded with them.

  • And by them providing you with that assistance you profited from your relationship with the Office of the Prosecution of the Special Court, didn't you?

  • No, it was not like that. I did not ask for the money for that reason.

  • Do you think for one moment that if you had not been giving these interviews to the Special Court that they would have stumped up the 250,000 leones for your children to go to school?

  • Well, I don't think it would have happened, but that's why they told me that if I had any problem that I could not solve I should explain to them. If they assessed it and they saw that was in place they would assist me.

  • Mr Mansaray, I'm sure we all understand that. My simple point is this: As a result of your relationship with them, agreeing to give interviews to them, you profited, did you not?

  • Well, that is not a profit. I did not profit.

  • I'll ask you one last time. If you hadn't been giving them interviews they wouldn't have given you that money, would they?

  • Well, it's true.

  • Did you travel anywhere - in 2006 after that interview in July which took place at your own home did you travel anywhere in order to see the Prosecutors or give them any information or any assistance?

  • Can you help us then with this: Can you think of any reason why on 25 August 2006 they gave you 25,000 leones for transport and on 28 August 2006 they gave you 25,000 leones for transport if you didn't go anywhere after July of 2006 for the benefit of the Special Court?

  • After July 2006 - well, later they called me again in Bo.

  • For another interview?

  • Well, at that time they said I should come to - it was not for an interview. To take a passport picture.

  • And did that take five days?

  • How many days did it take if it took more than one?

  • To travel from your home to Bo and back?

  • How many hours does it take to get from your home to Bo?

  • Well, it depends on the vehicle you would be travelling with because the road is really not in a good condition.

  • Yes, we understand that. Would you now tell us how many hours it can take?

  • Well, there are times you could take about six to seven hours.

  • Did they accommodate you overnight or did you have to pay your own accommodation costs?

  • I paid for my accommodation.

  • For one night before you went home again the next day?

  • And presumably they reimbursed you the cost of the accommodation. Am I right that they gave you assistance for the amount you'd spent on your accommodation?

  • And does the sum of 25,000 leones sound right for the cost of a return fare from your home to Bo and back or would it also cover the cost of a night's accommodation?

  • The lodging was inclusive in the 20,000 leones and 5,000 leones for the feeding.

  • Now does the lodging and the feeding and the cost of transport all amount to 25,000 leones?

  • You told us earlier I think it would cost about 15,000 leones to get from your house to Bo and back, am I right?

  • You are right to say that, but the fare at our end was not stable. It fluctuated. It could go up and come down. It was not a fixed cost.

  • Thank you. That all happened - the trip to Bo for the passport photograph you say happened on 23 August. Can you think of any reason why on 28 August 2006 you were again paid 25,000 leones for transport?

  • Yes.

  • Can you tell us, please?

  • It was the time I asked them for assistance regarding my children's affairs and they asked me to come to Bo, so that was the transport fare that was refunded to me to go back to my home town.

  • Why didn't you deal with that five days earlier when you were in Bo seeing them for a passport photograph?

  • The photograph thing happened in 2007 and the school affair was in 2006.

  • Let me make it clear I'm only referring to payments at the moment in 2006. Your children's school fees and uniforms you were paid 250,000 on 23 August for. On that same date you were paid 25,000 for transport. Five days later you're paid another 25,000. This is all August 2006.

  • Well, the five days that you spoke about later, I'm not aware about that. It was only the time I came and asked for assistance for the school fees and they gave me my transportation fare, but that after another five days later they gave me money, no, I'm not aware of that.

  • So that 25,000 is pure profit to you as far as you're aware now, correct?

  • No, it was not a profit.

  • You haven't come up with any explanation as to why they gave it to you. You've not told this Court of any money that you spent that they were compensating you for?

  • It was the transport fare which I paid and what I should pat for my return. That was the reason I was given the 25,000 leones.

  • You already had that money on 23 August, your return fare. Mr Mansaray, did you have any dealings with the Special Court after August but still during the course of 2006?

  • Well, I don't think so, if I had any other contact with them.

  • Can I just ask you about the business of the passport photograph. Was that an occasion when you went to Bo to sort out documentation issues? Would that be a correct way of describing that?

  • Yes, that was the time.

  • Thank you. All right. Well, I want to ask you about November of 2006. Under the category of lost wages you were paid 60,000 leones, payments for four days meals. Do you remember getting 60,000 for four days meals?

  • They did not give me money for food.

  • Well, can you remember at the end of November 2006 getting 60,000 leones?

  • Yes, I can remember, but I don't think it was for food.

  • Well, it says here that you were given it as payments for four days meals. In other words 15,000 leones a day for food for four days. Is that what it would cost you to eat if you weren't staying at home, 15,000 leones a day?

  • I cannot remember that, the time you're talking about. I'm a little confused.

  • I'm trying to jog your memory. Would it cost you about 15,000 leones a day to eat if you weren't staying at home?

  • Well, it depends.

  • Could you manage on 15,000 leones a day for food if you're not at home?

  • So why do you think you were paid, on 28 November 2006, 60,000 leones for four days worth of meals? What were you doing with the Office of the Prosecutor in late November 2006 that involved you having to be paid your food costs, your away from home food costs, it would appear?

  • Well, at this time I don't really understand what you are talking about. I don't think something like that happened in November 2006.

  • That's what we've been supplied with by the Prosecution, a receipt for 60,000 leones for payments for four days meals. If you didn't spend four days engaged on activities for the Office of the Prosecutor then that again is pure profit for you, isn't it; 60,000 leones profit?

  • I don't believe so.

  • When you went in August to sort out your passport photograph did you also meet witness management unit staff or did they help you to sort out the documentation problems?

  • Well, I think it could be July 2007.

  • Mr Mansaray, were you paid money for your transport fare from your home to Bo and back upon invitation to meet witness management unit staff in Bo to sort out documentation issues? Forget about the year. Is what I have just suggested to you correct?

  • Well, they called me in Bo to make the passport arrangements.

  • And is "they" the witness management unit staff?

  • Yes, I met with them.

  • Are you able to help us now with the year? Was it 2006 or 2007?

  • Now we'd just dealt with 28 November 2006. I want to turn now to December of 2006. Can you remember now did you have any particular problems, and I don't want to know the detail, but did you have any particular problems in December 2006?

  • And were those problems of a medical nature?

  • Yes.

  • Would you have been able to afford to pay for your - pay your medical bills if you hadn't been given assistance by the Special Court?

  • At the time when I was employed I used to pay my medical bills. But when I was not employed when I got medical problems I communicated that to them for assistance so that they could assist me.

  • And so does it follow that in December 2006 you were not employed and so you had to ask the Special Court to pay your medical bills?

  • Yes.

  • Mr Munyard, I'm noting the time.

  • Madam President, so am I and I'm moving on to something else so it's probably best to stop here.

  • I was just going to ask the question have you got many more questions for this witness?

  • I have got quite a bit more.

  • In that case if you're moving on to a new topic --

  • We haven't yet reached the sixth interview and he's been interviewed more than 12 times.

  • I've been counting them up as we went along. So in the circumstances then it would be prudent to adjourn at this point.

    There was the other issue that you indicated to us yesterday that you would inform us of the status of Mr Griffiths.

  • Yes, I've spoken to him last night and again this morning during the morning break. He is about to cross-examine an expert witness in the retrial. That will certainly take him into Monday. He may or may not have finished cross-examining that witness by the end of Monday. At the moment he wouldn't anticipate being much into Tuesday but he is certainly unable to come here on Monday during court time here in The Hague and he can't say for certain right now whether or not he'd be able to be here first thing on Tuesday morning. What he said to me is he'll have a better idea by the end of court business today in London which of course is half past five here in The Hague which is no good to anybody. I mean that in the - I don't mean in it a pejorative sense. It doesn't assist. But that, I'm afraid, is the position at the moment.

  • Can you give us some sort of indication of how long you will require to complete your cross-examination of the witness?

  • Of the present witness? An hour or so, depending on the answers I get of course, but an hour or so and we've all been notoriously bad at giving estimates, but that's the best I can do, I'm afraid. Madam President, do you want to release the witness now before we discuss anything else?

  • No, I'm just going to ask Mr Bangura if he has re-examination.

  • Your Honours, at the moment certainly there will be re-examination. A couple of questions.

  • Then it would appear that we will require another witness on Monday given the indications that have been given from counsel for the Defence.

  • I'm not sure, your Honour. What you mean by another witness other than the one that we mentioned with the security concerns. May I respond before the Court makes a decision?

  • Certainly. I'm not making a decision.

  • Do you want to have this witness still here or can he be released?

  • Mr Witness, we are now adjourning for the rest of the day because on Fridays we do other work in the afternoon and we will be resuming on Monday morning. I again remind you you're not to discuss your evidence with anyone else until your evidence is finished. Do you understand?

  • Your Honour, the situation is that extraordinary measures with the security of the family of the proposed witness have been put into place. These are temporary measures that are now in place. They will be in place next week, but we do not anticipate that we'd be able to continue those measures that are outside of our own control beyond that date. If this witness does not begin Monday I don't believe there's any assurance that the witness would finish during that time period before the break.

    Our own position is that the Defence has appointed four senior attorneys. We believe another attorney - the issue of who will cross-examine is for the Defence to determine but this case is in trial. It is, in our view, the most important trial taking place in the world today and a lawyer should be available on Monday or even on Tuesday using Monday's transcript, I imagine Monday will be largely direct examination, to cross-examine the witness. So we ask the Court to allow us to call this witness Monday because otherwise we anticipate losing the testimony and the Court will then lose the benefit of the evidence.

  • Thank you. Allow me to consult. Mr Munyard, it would appear by implication I think from Mr Koumjian's response that he is suggesting that the witness could start in-chief even in the absence of lead counsel, or counsel who will cross-examine. Has that been - do you know if Mr Griffiths has got a view on that?

  • Yes, I do, Madam President. We all have a view on that. Mr Koumjian is one of, on my counting, at least seven qualified attorneys, to use his phrase, on the Prosecution bench or available to the Prosecution. We are --

  • Sorry, Mr Munyard, I'm putting what Mr Koumjian said. I'm asking what Mr Griffiths's attitude would be.

  • Yes, I'm starting to explain. It's quite a lengthy explanation. The Prosecution outbalance the Defence in terms of resources, in terms of available attorneys, in terms of the number of years that they have been involved in the preparation of this very important trial and I would also add in terms of lack of cooperation and transparency. We have been entirely cooperative and we have been transparent in our dealings with the Prosecution. We have not had that reciprocated.

    And the way in which this witness has now been, or it's being proposed that this witness be bounced into court, not once but twice, when the Prosecution were fully aware of Mr Griffiths's other commitment, a commitment that was already in place when he took on this brief, a commitment that his professional ethics obliged him to adhere to and a commitment that Mr Taylor was well aware of and consented to, the Prosecution knew all of that. They had a witness order, that's to say a list of the order in which witnesses would come. They've shifted that order around and we have been agreeable to that.

    I'm not going to repeat what I said yesterday when this issue was raised, but I do want to restate it. I don't need to spell it all out, but I invite the Court to take into consideration all the matters that I raised yesterday.

    However, I did not outline the full history yesterday because at that stage none of us was entirely clear as to the course that the Prosecution were proposing. The full history, Madam President, and your Honours, is that Mr Griffiths in my presence discussed with members of the Prosecution bar the fact that he was going back to London for this retrial and discussed witness arrangements with them, including Brenda J Hollis, in my presence and sought their cooperation in the order in which witnesses were to be called. That cooperation was offered.

    In fact, that offer would appear on the face of it to have been a sham and I say that for this reason: I can't at the moment give you a precise date but no doubt someone will check it for me, when I spoke yesterday of an occasion a couple of weeks ago on a Friday when I happened to bump into Mr Koumjian in the canteen I didn't give you the full history of that week. That week I had spoken to Ms Hollis on the Thursday at the end of court business and I asked her when they were proposing calling the witness 399. I know it was a Thursday late afternoon because I actually had to ask my learned friend opposite to remind me what day of the week it was and she said to me, "Wednesday or Thursday of next week at the earliest". That was when that witness was due. Mr Griffiths made arrangements as a result of my calling him that night.

    The next morning, Friday, and I think it's now two weeks ago, if that assists with the date - the next morning - I should say on the Thursday night I believe that's the evening when we were then all hustled out of court in a hurry because a, what we were told, very important witness had to have his court familiarisation session. So the Prosecution even when they were telling me that they didn't think that witness was going to be reached until Wednesday or Thursday at the latest had him lined up outside the Courtroom and were clearly contemplating calling him on the Monday.

    We then move to the Friday. At the end of the Court day on the Friday, or at some time anyway in the morning of the court day on the Friday, I spoke to Ms Baly and again I simply said to her, "I want to give Mr Griffiths an update. Is it still Wednesday or Thursday at the earliest?" Her reply, her opaque reply, was as follows: "Well, the next witness has been ill". The next witness was one whose name I'm not allowed to mention but whose number I can't off the top of my head remember, 362. That was all I was told. So I said to her, "What are you telling me? Are you saying she isn't well now?" And Ms Baly, who I have to say looked very embarrassed, simply said, "I'm just telling you she's been ill in the past".

    Now that was all we knew until we left this Courtroom, and as I explained yesterday and I don't need to repeat, by pure chance several of us chose to go and eat in the canteen and by pure chance I bumped into Mr Koumjian who said to us, "We are likely to call 399 on Monday". Now I may be innocent and I may be naive but I do not believe for one moment now, in the light of everything that has transpired, that I was getting honest answers on the Thursday or the Friday morning from my colleagues opposite in court and I do not say that lightly and it's happened not once but it's now happened twice.

    On that Friday we then contacted Mr Griffiths at - I gave you the time yesterday. I think from memory it was 4.33 p.m., but it was certainly late in the afternoon on the Friday. We then got an email from Leigh Lawrie, who seems to be used as the post mistress for these messages - an email from her saying that the Prosecution intended to call 399 on the Monday morning. Sorry, I think it might have been on the Tuesday. Whatever happened on the Friday, it was clear they were going to call this witness at the latest on the Tuesday morning and indeed Mr Griffiths came here on the Monday afternoon and we were in court ready for that witness on the Tuesday morning.

    You then gave an oral decision on the application of I think 14 January by the Prosecution for special measures for that witness and also witnesses 532 and 388 to have special measures. The decision appears to have been given in writing on 26 February 2008. You made the decision known orally in court on that Tuesday morning.

    Interestingly, the Prosecution intend to call 532 and 388 without special measures. So despite the fact that the Prosecution applied on 14 January in the same, at times I would suggest, histrionic terms of the need for special measures for all of these witnesses, the moment that the Court says you can't have those special measures two out of the three say, "All right, the security situation is not so terrible that I can't give evidence without them". So two of the three witnesses are going to give evidence without the need for special measures and panic such as has now been evinced. One of those, we understand, is available to give evidence on Monday. This is what we were told in an email last night and I'll tell you about that in a moment.

    But in terms of the chronology we're still on the date of your oral decision. Mr Griffiths spoke that same day to Mr Koumjian who told him, "We are considering appealing the Trial Chamber's decision in relation to witness 399" and we heard no more about it. Mr Griffiths then stayed for a couple more days and then went back to London to resume the retrial.

    During the course of this week it is perfectly obvious that a great deal of activity has gone on behind the scenes. We have been told absolutely nothing about this. The Court has been told, as far as I'm aware, nothing about the proposal to bounce this witness in again. No proper formal application in writing has been made. The idea that extraordinary measures for the witness's family security could have been put in place in just 24 hours is patent nonsense in our submission and it is perfectly obvious that the Prosecution have been planning this for some days.

    They tell us yesterday afternoon at 28 minutes past two, when they know perfectly well that they've been planning this for some time, and they know perfectly well the difficult position that it puts Mr Griffiths in in terms of dealing with this witness. They also know perfectly well that from everything they've been communicating to us that the next witness that was going to be called was 532 and that is the basis on which we have all been working as professionals.

    It ill behoves the Prosecution opposite to say to us that this is the most important trial in the world and yet one of their most important witnesses can be tossed over the course of a weekend to another member of the Bar. We are saying to you as experienced professionals who follow our domestic and indeed our international codes of ethics to the letter as well as in the spirit, that is not proper or appropriate for that witness to be passed over to somebody else. The Prosecution would not do it and we would not expect them to do it. We have cooperated from start to finish with the Prosecution in all that they have tried to do to adjust their witness arrangements and we have been treated with a very obvious, embarrassed in some cases, lack of transparency by members of the bar on the opposite side of this Court. It is quite wrong in our submission to attempt to juggle this witness in this way for the reasons that I've outlined.

    Furthermore, it is extremely unlikely that that witness will be finished in the course of four and a half court days which is what we have next week. And for the benefit of anybody who might make any further proposal, extremely unlikely that witness will be finished in five court days. So that witness is bound to go beyond the Easter vacation.

    And the idea that that witness's extraordinary security measures for his family cannot be put into place again at some point during the next court session is frankly absurd. You've had no details of these extraordinary measures. You've had no details of why they've suddenly been put in place. You've had no details of why they can't be put in place again and you know how long has been allocated for this trial.

    It is a manipulation of the Court. It's a manipulation of the Defence and we invite the Court to say that the proper practices and procedures of the Court should be upheld and the witness list not be manipulated in this way. And furthermore that when the Prosecution are contemplating moves such as this they not give us embarrassed excuses, but have the guts and the professional strength to actually inform us in proper time of their planned changes in the witness order.

  • Mr Koumjian. Sorry, Ms Hollis.

  • Thank you, Madam President. Illness of witnesses, unfortunately we don't control that. Two witnesses, not one, were ill. People being shown the Courtroom, that's WVS and I don't know what witness he was talking about. Discussion with lead Defence counsel about his two week absence, I did speak with him and I specifically asked him, "Are you the attorney who will cross-examine 399?" He said he was. I said, "Well, then your presence will be required most likely during this two week period you're gone". So he was on notice of that. Manipulation of the schedule, illness of witnesses I've already talked about that.

    We found out on 26 February that 399, 338, not 388, and 532 would not be provided with the measures we had requested. We lost 338 as a result of that. Immediately, being officers of the Court who are not acting in bad faith, we went back to our witnesses who were impacted by this ruling and the anticipated follow on ruling to see if there was some way that we could accommodate what we believe to be legitimate security concerns in this case with the Court's order and we began working on that on the 26th.

    With 399 we found out yesterday that that could happen because of the willingness of individuals and organisations beyond this Court to become involved. We had no obligation to tell anyone that he could testify before yesterday because we didn't know that would be the case. There were specific requirements that he gave and it was only yesterday that we found out we would be able to meet those requirements. At that time we did indeed tell the Defence. We have told the Defence what our position was at various times based on what we knew at that time.

    Now this matter of our unprofessional conduct and failure to cooperate and failure of transparency, there are certain things we have no requirement to be transparent about and that is our ongoing efforts to try and accommodate both witness concerns and the Court's order. We make that known once we are able to do it.

    In terms of transparency in other ways we are transparent. Many of the questions that are being asked of our witnesses are because we have provided the documentation to the Defence. If we were acting in bad faith and being unprofessional we would hide these things, but we're not. And when we make errors we stand up and say we make errors and we don't make excuses for them as we have seen consistently from the Defence side of the bench.

    Now in terms of cooperation, the Defence paints a very different picture than we have seen of them. We have been told by them that they would accept certain things and then in court they act surprised that we put those things forward and I'm speaking about the executive summary for an expert witness. We put that to them because we wanted to discuss it with them, we were told that the executive summary would be accepted and then the same counsel who has just been making these comments about us stood up in court as though he had never heard about and said that of course he should have been made aware of it and they would not or would only begrudgingly accept the executive summary.

    We have not acted in a way that has embarrassed ourselves. We have in fact attempted to be straightforward with the Defence and we have not received the cooperation from them that they would have you believe that we have. We have not acted in bad faith. If they wish to allege that and make a submission so that it can be examined and investigated, we welcome that. Because throughout this trial until today there have been questions put to witnesses and remarks by the Defence to the effect that we have not been acting professionally, that we are hiding things, and we deny all of that and we welcome any substantiated allegations so that we have the opportunity to defend.

    Now in terms of 399, Mr Griffiths was well aware that during this two week period he may be called because I specifically raised that witness with him thinking he might be the one who would be called upon to cross-examine him. He did make a commitment to this case. The first time we knew of any prior commitment that may have an impact on how this case was conducted in terms of these two weeks was just before he left. So at the time that he was brought on as counsel I'm not aware of any sort of scheduling implications that were raised at that time.

    It is of course for your Honours to determine based upon what is a fair trial whether we will be proceed with this witness with another of these qualified counsel cross-examining that witness or if indeed we will take the chance that we will lose the witness and not allow his evidence to go forward. That is entirely within your hands and we respect your judicial judgment in that matter. But in terms of the accusations that have been made, certainly we deny them. We think that the Defence has misrepresented our dealings, to their detriment as professionals, and we would welcome any opportunity to deal with a substantiated complaint about our professionalism, our ethics or the way we have conducted this trial.

  • Thank you, Ms Hollis. We will retire and consider these submissions.

  • Madam President, before you do can I just clarify very briefly something that was said about my conduct.

  • Just before you do I just have one question to ask Ms Hollis before we break to deliberate this matter. Obviously we haven't made any decision whatsoever until we deliberate, but I'm just looking at the realities, Ms Hollis. If say we were to allow the witness to give evidence on Monday, the way things are shaping up it wouldn't be before the afternoon and then we have Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and then half a day Friday. Now what are the realities of completing this witness in that space of time?

  • Thank you, your Honour. Your Honour, the Prosecution direct will be very short, we think a day or less, and so it would be a matter of how much cross-examination the Defence went into with this witness. So if we were to sit all day Friday possibly we could complete it, but again it would depend upon the extent of cross-examination of the witness.

  • Thank you. We will --

  • Two things. One is in relation to the illness of witnesses. We have never been told that any witness is ill. We have never been told that 562 or whatever her --

  • Yes, we know who you're talking about.

  • You know who I mean. We were never told she is ill and can't come to give evidence. That wasn't the reason that we were told that 399 was being bounced in on that occasion.

    Secondly, we have never been told until now that the Prosecution are no longer calling 338 and I do apologise for getting the number wrong on that one. Why haven't the Prosecution told us since your decision in open court about that witness that he's no longer being called. I ask the question rhetorically.

    Finally, this. It is suggested that I grudgingly accepted an executive summary. You may have a better memory than Ms Hollis. When the question was raised I said I'd never heard about the executive summary and later it was explained that there'd been some discussions between different counsel on both sides and I said, in terms, I believe there's been a misunderstanding, a breakdown in communication. In other words, there wasn't anything grudging about it.

    Finally, Ms Hollis says she wasn't aware of any scheduling implications before a couple of weeks ago for Mr Griffiths's attendance here. If that is right why was she so insistent at a case management hearing in late November on Mr Griffiths getting the written permission of Mr Taylor every time he Mr Griffiths was not going to be in the Courtroom? Of course she was aware of scheduling implications.

  • Mr Munyard, I do want to avoid a slanging match between counsel.

  • All right. I'm wanting to correct inaccuracies and I have nothing further to add.

  • Thank you, will adjourn and consider this --

  • Madam President, I beg your indulgence. Once again Defence counsel has misstated communication that has been given to them. We sent them an email, the same email we sent to your legal officers indicating that we had two witnesses who were ill. We did send that.

    And at the meeting that we had about trial practices and the Prosecution wanted them, the reason the Prosecution raised that is because in past trials Defence counsel had been absent and we wanted to ensure that the record reflected always that it was with the consent of the accused because it's a potential appellate issue. And to say that I knew about this two week absence of Defence counsel is totally inaccurate, there's no basis for it.

  • Thank you, Ms Hollis. That is going to be the end of this exchange. We are going to adjourn to consider this.

    Excuse me, I haven't given a fair indication. We will try and come back with a decision within five to 10 minutes or as quickly as within that time.

  • [Break taken at 2.05 p.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 2.25 p.m.]

  • Our apologies, it took a little longer than I indicated.

    We have weighed up the submissions and taken account of the respective rights of the Prosecution to present their case and the accused's right to have lead counsel who has prepared the Defence case pertaining to this witness present. We note Mr Munyard's advice that Mr Griffiths is likely to be back on Wednesday morning and therefore we will hear witness 399 on Wednesday morning. If Mr Griffiths is available earlier, this order will be reviewed. In the meanwhile another witness is to be interposed if the present witness's evidence is completed prior to the return of Mr Griffiths, or prior to Wednesday morning. That is the order of the Court.

    We will now adjourn to Monday morning.

  • [Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.26 p.m. to be reconvened on Monday, 10 March 2008 at 9.30 a.m.]