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

  • Good morning, Mr Witness.

  • Good morning.

  • Sir, I will remind you that as you testify your testimony is being translated, so if you would please speak slowly so that the translation can keep up with what you are saying. Would you please state your name for the Court?

  • My name is Varmuyan Sherif.

  • Can you spell your first name, please?

  • V-A-R-M-U-Y-A-N.

  • Can you spell your last name?

  • S-H-E-R-I-F.

  • What is your date of birth?

  • I was born in June 7.

  • And where were you born?

  • I was born in central Liberia, Gbarnga, in a hospital close to Gbarnga called Fibi.

  • Your father was born where?

  • My father was born in Voinjama.

  • In what country is Voinjama located?

  • Liberia, Lofa County.

  • Your Honours, Voinjama is V-O-I-N-J-A-M-A.

  • What was your father's ethnicity or tribe?

  • Where was your mother born?

  • My mother was born in Sierra Leone.

  • What was her ethnicity or tribe?

  • What is your ethnicity or tribe?

  • Mandingo.

  • Would you please tell us what education you have received?

  • I am a high school student stopped at 12th grade.

  • In 1990 where were you residing?

  • I was in Kakata.

  • Where is Kakata, in what country?

  • Kakata is in Liberia, Margibi County.

  • Your Honours, Kakata is K-A-K-A-T-A.

  • What were you doing in Kakata in 1990?

  • I was attending school, St Christopher in the junior high.

  • What grade were you in at that time?

  • In the 12th grade.

  • Did you finish your school year in Kakata?

  • And why did you not finish your school year in Kakata?

  • Because the war was coming. We all ran away from Kakata.

  • Who was fighting in Kakata or approaching Kakata when you ran away?

  • The NPFL was coming and we ran away from Kakata and went to Monrovia.

  • How long did you stay in Monrovia?

  • Where did you go from there?

  • I travelled to Voinjama.

  • Why did you travel to Voinjama?

  • Whilst we were in Monrovia we heard the war entered Kakata. I couldn't stay in Monrovia so I left and went to Voinjama.

  • Why did you go to Voinjama specifically?

  • Because of the fear of the war not to meet me in the capital city.

  • Where was your father's family home?

  • My father's family home was in Chocolate City in Monrovia.

  • Excuse me, could I ask the interpreter to please speak clearly so that we can understand. Do not also speak in Liberian English, if you can please. For instance I didn't catch that last word. Something city. Mr Interpreter, what was the word?

  • Chocolate City. Around Gardnersville where my family was staying in Monrovia is a quarter in Gardnersville that is called Chocolate City and that is in Monrovia.

  • If I could at this time have the map at tab 26 marked for identification and your Honours have been provided, as has the Defence, with a large copy of this that makes it easier to see.

  • What is the MFI number, please?

  • The MFI is marked for identification 1, your Honour.

  • Your Honour, I don't think that can be.

  • Yes, it can be because the other MFIs have expired. All the other MFIs expired. Unless the Defence have any objection? No objection. So we will mark this document, a map, entitled "RUF main supply routes" as MFI-1.

  • Could I ask that that be shown to the witness, please. You should have the large copy of that map. Yes, thank you. Could you actually first show it to the witness, provide it to him, please?

  • Mr Witness, do you recognise that document?

  • And what is shown on that document?

  • That is my signature.

  • The markings on that document, did you provide the information for those markings?

  • What do those markings depict?

  • Those are the various routes from the capital city Monrovia going towards Lofa leading towards the Sierra Leone border.

  • Now if that can be placed on the screen and, Mr Witness, if you could move a bit closer to the screen and be provided with something to point to the map. Is there a pen or something the witness can be provided? You have mentioned several cities in Monrovia and to assist the Court I would ask at this time that you point to these various cities. First of all you said that you were born near Gbarnga. Your Honours, that is G-B-A-R-N-G-A. Where is that located? Would you point to that please?

  • Here [indicated].

  • And you said that you attended school in Kakata. Would you please point to Kakata on the map? You have to move the map up please?

  • Here is Kakata [indicated].

  • Something is blocking that. Can you move the map up so Kakata appears on the screen. Would you please point to Kakata?

  • Kakata [indicated].

  • And you said after you left Monrovia you went to Voinjama. Would you point out where Voinjama is on that map?

  • Here is Voinjama [indicated].

  • Mr Witness, how long did you stay in Voinjama?

  • I was there for a month.

  • From Voinjama where did you go?

  • I went to Sierra Leone.

  • Why did you leave Voinjama to go to Sierra Leone?

  • The war extended when Zorzor was attacked and the war was coming closer to Voinjama and then I left Voinjama and went to Sierra Leone. The place was called - very close to Bomaru area. The place was called Bullo. That was my mother land.

  • Mr Witness, when you say the war was coming to Voinjama, what forces were approaching Voinjama?

  • It was NPFL.

  • You said the village you went to was close to Bomaru. Could you point to that on the map?

  • This is Bomaru [indicated].

  • Your Honours, as you see that is B-O-M-A-R-U.

  • Bomaru is in Sierra Leone?

  • You said you went to an area close to Bomaru. Why did you go to this particular area?

  • That area is my mother's home called Baiwala, very close to Bomaru so that is the place I went to my mother.

  • And how long did you remain in Bomaru or in the area near Bomaru?

  • I was there for almost six months doing farming for my mother. When we - when we saw people there running, coming again, that the war was coming into Sierra Leone. Then I said I cannot stay there because I'm a foreigner I can't stay here, so I had to move to Kenema at the refugee camp very close to Kenema called RGR.

  • If I can ask you to stop there for a moment please. While you were in your mother's village what did you do?

  • I was doing farming work for my mother.

  • While you were there in that village what language did you speak?

  • You said that you felt you had to leave your mother's village because the war or the fighting was coming close. When you say that, what forces were coming close to your mother's village?

  • We heard it was the NPFL crossing to Sierra Leone.

  • You said you went to a refugee camp that was near Kenema and again to assist the Court if I could have the map at tab 27 marked for identification please.

  • That would be marked MFI-2.

  • And if that map could be shown to the witness.

  • Mr Witness, if you would take a moment and look at that map to orientate yourself. As your Honours and the Defence will see, this is a map that shows Liberia, portions of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Cote d'Ivoire. Could that map be placed on the projector, please? Mr Witness, would you please show us on that map where Kenema is located?

  • This is Kenema [indicated].

  • How long did you remain in the refugee camp near Kenema?

  • I was there when the war entered into Sierra Leone.

  • What do you mean when you say the war entered into Sierra Leone?

  • At the border area Koindu was attacked and the war - people were running away, coming into Kenema area. They could see that the refugees were moving up and down, other refugees had been arrested, saying they were Liberians bringing the war in Sierra Leone. So they found that the rebellion against NPFL by Sierra Leone government, I heard about that, that they should call LUDF.

  • Now when you said the war was coming to Sierra Leone and Koindu was attacked do you know what groups were attacking Sierra Leone?

  • The information we used to get at the time was the Liberian, the Foday Sankoh people - it was Foday Sankoh they were talking on the air was bringing war into Sierra Leone.

  • You mentioned LUDF. What was that group?

  • That group was formed among the refugees supported by the Sierra Leone government to fight against the Foday Sankoh group and the NPFL who were bringing war into Sierra Leone. Liberians United For Defence Force.

  • When you say it was a group that was formed by refugees, refugees from where, from what country?

  • The refugees were supported by the Sierra Leone government because the ambassador of Liberia from the old regime was still operating, he was still working in Freetown and that was how it happened, in 1990 up until 1991 the former ambassador for Liberia he funded it and they funded the Liberian group to fight against the Foday Sankoh group and the NPFL who were bringing the war into Sierra Leone.

  • Ms Hollis, I have my eye on the clock. I am just wondering what would be an appropriate time to break?

  • This would be a convenient time, your Honour.

  • Okay. Mr Witness, we are going to have a brief break because we have been sitting since 9. I would urge you not to discuss your testimony with anyone. The Court will resume at 11 o'clock.

  • [Break taken at 10.33 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 11.00 a.m.]

  • Good morning once again. Ms Hollis, please continue.

  • Thank you, Madam President.

  • Mr Witness, before we continue, this of course is occurring through translation and we will take your information step by step. So if I could ask you please to listen very carefully to the question being asked. Mr Witness, before the break you were telling the Court about the LUDF. Did you become a member of the LUDF?

  • Yes.

  • And for how long were you a member of the LUDF?

  • Well, when the LUDF was existing it was about six months, I recall.

  • And at the end of that six months did the LUDF become what was called ULIMO?

  • Yes, after the six months the name was changed to ULIMO.

  • Your Honours, that is U-L-I-M-O.

  • It would assist if some of these acronyms could be elaborated upon.

  • Yes, your Honour.

  • Now, Mr Witness, at this time can you tell the Court what the letters ULIMO meant, what did they stand for?

  • Let me start with LUDF, Liberians United For Defence Force. That is LUDF. ULIMO is United Liberation Movement For Democracy in Liberia.

  • Thank you for that. Now did you continue as a member of ULIMO?

  • And what was your position in ULIMO?

  • My position was battalion commander.

  • And how long did you remain a member of ULIMO?

  • I was a member of ULIMO up to 97, up to the elections.

  • The other individuals in ULIMO, if you know, what were their ethnicities or tribes?

  • It was comprising of the entire tribe, but it was dominated by two tribes, the Khran and the Mandingo.

  • And these were tribes found in what country?

  • How long did you remain a member of ULIMO in Sierra Leone?

  • I was a member of ULIMO when the name was changed. At the time we were at the border fighting against the NPFL. We crossed to Sierra Leone - into Liberia, I mean, and we continued the war.

  • Do you recall what year it was that you crossed into Liberia?

  • That was in 1992.

  • While you were fighting in Sierra Leone you said that you were fighting against the NPFL?

  • Thank you. How do you know that these were the groups you were fighting against?

  • When we were fighting we captured people and also when we get to a village we interview civilians, we would see the writings on the houses "RUF" or "NPFL". So that's how I managed to know, people that we interview.

  • You said that one of your sources was that you captured people. Could you tell us, please, if you know, the ages of the people that you captured?

  • All ages. People 25 years, 15 years, 12 years, both male and female. Both male and female.

  • And these people that you captured, were they from the RUF?

  • All from both Sierra Leonean and Liberian, both RUF and NPFL.

  • Now when you were in Sierra Leone and ULIMO what area of Sierra Leone were you fighting in?

  • I fought from - first started from close to Kenema, Kolahun to get to Zimmi, from Zimmi we have a two battalion, one is Alligator, one is Zebra. The Alligator cross from Mano River Kongo and I was heading the Zebra battalion from Bo, from Bo Waterside to Bombomtala Salamu to Teani.

  • If I could stop you there a moment and if the MFI-2 could be put back on the screen so that we can see some of these areas. Now you said you moved to Zimmi. Could you show us where Zimmi is? And you said you were fighting, I believe you said, in the Kenema area. Could you show us that area that you were fighting in?

  • I said close to - from Kenema area. It was around Golahun Tunkia area, but Zimmi is towards the Bo Waterside going towards Mano River Kongo and then we crossed over to Cape Mount where our front line was linking Cape Mount and Liberia.

  • And once you crossed over to Cape Mount where was your headquarters, where were you based in Liberia?

  • Now when you were at Klay what was your position?

  • When we opened Po River I became the acting field commander for ULIMO.

  • And you say Po River, where is Po River located?

  • Po River is not written here, but it is the beginning of the city Monrovia.

  • And then you say that at that time you became field commander. What were your duties at that time as field commander for ULIMO?

  • I was supervising all the front lines, coordinating all the various battalion commanders.

  • And who were you fighting against at this time in Liberia?

  • Fighting against the NPFL.

  • Now when you entered Liberia in 1992, if you know who was in control of Lofa County?

  • NPFL was in Lofa and RUF was.

  • Now for the assistance of the Court could you point on the map to where Lofa County is in Liberia?

  • Lofa [indicated].

  • Thank you. Now at any time did ULIMO attack Lofa County?

  • Yes.

  • And who did you fight against in Lofa County?

  • And how do you know that these people were NPFL and RUF?

  • I was a supervisor and I used to visit the area and all the front lines. We mobilise a group in Lofa to pass through Bopolu, I think. This is Bopolu [indicated]. From Bopolu to the forest and then to Zorzor area. You can find Zorzor here [indicated]. We spread between there.

  • Mr Witness, let me ask you again when you began the attack on Lofa County who were you fighting against?

  • We were fighting against NPFL and RUF.

  • And how did you know that it was NPFL and RUF that you were fighting against?

  • When we got to Zorzor area we captured a lot of people and also the civilians who were there gave us the information that the NPFL were controlling the area, but also that the RUF were in there because they used that particular route to go to Sierra Leone. So there were both NPFL and RUF attacking us.

  • And again now you have said that one of your sources of information was from captured people. What were the ages of these people?

  • They had people under age, 12, 14, 18, 25, up to 30 years who were captured, both male and female.

  • And these captured people, if you know, what was their status? Were they civilians or fighters?

  • People that were captured were fighters, but in areas there were a lot of civilians. We also captured fighters.

  • Now these fighters that you captured that were 12, 14 years of age, when you captured them did they have weapons?

  • Yes.

  • When did you initiate your attack against Lofa County?

  • 92 and into 93, throughout the years we were fighting in Lofa. We advanced from Zorzor to Voinjama and from Voinjama to Kolahun and from Kolahun to Foya.

  • Let me stop you there for a moment and your Honours it is Zorzor, Z-O-R-Z-O-R and I will not pronounce it correctly but Kolahun is spelt K-O-L-A-H-U-N and Foya is F-O-Y-A.

    Now you have indicated that you were fighting against the NPFL and the RUF. Were there any other forces in Lofa County that you were fighting against?

  • Yes, later, 1993, the Lofa Defence Force was founded in Gbarnga and they started attacking our position.

  • And how did you know about the creation of the Lofa Defence Force?

  • The leader of the Lofa Defence Force, Francois Massaquoi, he spoke on the air and he said that they were coming to remove ULIMO from Lofa County to liberate their territory. And also whilst we were fighting against them we also got some civilians who gave us the information that this group is the same NPFL who have changed their name to Lofa Defence Force because they there is a peace process going on, they do not want to use the name of NPFL, therefore they decided to change their name to the Lofa Defence Force. That was how we got to know the name.

  • Now while you were fighting in Lofa County did you know the names of any of the NPFL commanders in Lofa County?

  • Those who were fighting against us? Is that what you mean?

  • And who were some of these commanders if you can remember their names?

  • Christopher Varmoh, that was the Liberia Mosquito. You had Fasu, you have Magwon, you have Jag, that was George Dwana. He was called Jack the Rebel. Those were some of the commanders that were fighting against us.

  • Now you indicated that --

  • Ms Hollis. We need some spellings here, please before, you run off very far.

  • That's what I'm coming to, your Honour.

  • You indicated that one of the commander's names was Fasu. Is that spelled F-A-S-S-U?

  • And then you mentioned someone whose name was Magwon; is that correct?

  • Can you tell us how to spell that?

  • I can't spell Magwon out of my head now. I cannot spell it.

  • Your Honour, I think it would be M-A-G-W-O-N.

  • As a way forward, counsel, we would appreciate the spellings one by one as they come in rather then after it's compounded and then we're totally lost.

  • Yes, your Honour. He also mentioned, your Honour, Christopher Varmoh. Christopher would be the normal spelling and Varmoh is V-A-R-M-O-H.

  • Now can you tell us, please, what was the result of the fighting in Lofa County?

  • The result at the end, the ULIMO had total control of Lofa County.

  • And at what point in time did ULIMO have total control of Lofa County?

  • The end of 1993 ULIMO had - 93 and the beginning of 1994 ULIMO had total control of Lofa County.

  • And during the time that you had total control of Lofa County did fighting continue in the county?

  • We were still resisting, you know, because we break between the RUF and the NPFL and the RUF in Sierra Leone were getting their supply through Gbarnga so and the remnants of the NPFL that was in Kolahun and Foya areas all crossed to Sierra Leone so they merged with the RUF and we were still being attacked from the Sierra Leone border. Commander headed by General Fayah.

  • Now if can you just pause for a moment. You said they were headed by General Fayah. Do you know how to spell Fayah?

  • And how did you know the name of this General Fayah?

  • General Fayah fought until he lost all that he had with him and then later he crossed over to Guinea. From Guinea he went to Monrovia. During that time the NPFL and the ULIMO merged and that was in 1996. All of the commanders starting knowing each other and we were now - we became friends. We all merged in 1996 when war totally broke out in Monrovia. The NPFL and the ULIMO merged and then we become one unit. Then we started knowing each other and who was in a specific position and who was fighting at a particular point against the other and who was fighting the other at a particular point.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. Now what was your position during the time that ULIMO held control over Lofa County?

  • General supervisor.

  • And in that capacity were you involved in attacks on any other areas in Liberia?

  • Yes. We fought with - the Lofa Defence Force were continuing attacking us. We decided to fight against them and we - we fight until we get to Gbarnga.

  • Now again to assist the Court if you could please be provided with MFI-1 and if that could be placed on the screen. Could you show us, please, where Gbarnga is again?

  • Here is Gbarnga [indicated].

  • What was the result of the attack against Gbarnga?

  • We captured Gbarnga. We were there for several times when we had instruction - when Alhadji Koroma said that a peace talk was going on and that at that time now we had to retreat from there and that if we didn't retreat from there there would be no peace because the leader of the NPFL is saying that you cannot have a war on your back and then you say you want to have peace. That was in fact the reason why we retreated from there.

  • Let me stop you there for a moment. Now you mentioned a person you said you had an instruction from, Alhadji Koroma. That would be, your Honours, A-L-H-A-D-J-I K-O-R-O-M-A. Who was Alhadji Koroma?

  • Alhadji Koroma was the leader of ULIMO-K because in 1994, at the end of 94 going towards 95, we had a split. There was two types of ULIMO. We had ULIMO-k headed by Roosevelt Johnson and ULIMO-K headed by Alhadji Koroma.

  • And you said this split occurred at the end of 1994 going towards 1995?

  • And to which group did you align yourself?

  • Now when you attacked Gbarnga what types of weapons were used against you?

  • Mortar was there and then we experienced land mines. Land mines were there. We didn't know - since we had started the war we didn't see any land mines but then we experienced it when our vehicle was leaving Gbarnga to go to Zorzor area and then there was a blast under the vehicle and then 15 people died. You could only identify a particular human being in three parts because they were identified part by part. And also we saw a four barrel there. Those were anti-terrorist weapons.

  • When you say a four barrel, can you give a more detailed description of this weapon. What did it look like?

  • The weapon had four barrels. When you trigger it the bullets will go out of four barrels and then that is normally the weapon that they use to bring down a plane.

  • Mr Witness, how long did you hold control of Gbarnga.

  • We were there for one month when we received instruction from Alhadji Koroma that we should retreat.

  • And during the one month you were in control of Gbarnga where were you yourself based?

  • In the central town of Gbarnga. That was the headquarters of the NPFL. That was where we were.

  • And while you were based there at the headquarters of the NPFL did you see any kind of television satellite equipment?

  • That was the - a black satellite, the dish was black outside, but it was traced to the Middle East. That was the only thing I saw there.

  • And where did you see this black satellite?

  • At the headquarters. That was the residence for the leader of the NPFL. That is in fact the reason why I call it the headquarters.

  • And, if you know, who at that time was the leader of the NPFL?

  • Mr Taylor, the former president.

  • Now you mentioned earlier that when you were coming into Gbarnga fighting for control of Gbarnga that you had land mines used against you. As a result of having these land mines used against you what consequences did that have for ULIMO activities?

  • It gave us a lot of ideas about the war, but sometimes the war goes against you, but that did not force us to retreat. The retreat was only done because of an instruction we had from our leader.

  • Now you said that you had an instruction from your leader to retreat and to what location did you retreat?

  • We retreated to Saint Paul Bridge. That was the boundary between the NPFL and the ULIMO until the final peace was signed.

  • And in what year was the final peace signed?

  • The peace - they were signing peace and sometimes they break it. So I can only say that the final peace that brought us to election was the final one, because almost all the peace that we signed, they would break it on the way. So I can say that was the final peace because it brought us to the election. Another fighting broke out in Monrovia in 1996 when the war started.

  • If you could stop there for a moment. You're talking about the final peace that brought you to election. What year was that final peace entered into?

  • 1996, Abuja Peace Accord.

  • Now during the time that you were in ULIMO fighting in Liberia against the NPFL and in some instances the RUF and LDF, what if anything did you learn about the treatment of civilians by these groups?

  • Well, the treatment of the civilians, we didn't get any good news about that because most of the places that we captured, we realised that people were tied. Sometimes you ask why they are executing people, they tell you that we heard that they are supporters of NPFL. And that was ULIMO at the time. And some other time, people who were taken from there, if you complain you will be executed. And some other people, people's children who were under the age, 13, 14 years old girls were used at their wives. If the parent complains that person will die.

    If you have food they tell you that you civilian, you don't have blood in your body, you cannot be having food and the soldier who is carrying gun does not have food and then your food will be taken away from you. So sometimes you have to leave your food in the bush and if you have your food you bring it to the town, it will be taken away from you. Those were the informations that we heard from them.

  • Now, Mr Witness, at the time of this final peace agreement that led to the elections what was your position in ULIMO?

  • In 1995 I had the appointment at the Executive Mansion as the assistant --

  • Your Honours, could the witness come back, please. That area is not clear to the interpreter.

  • Mr Witness, can you start with the answer again, start from the beginning so that the interpreter can interpret you properly.

  • And, Mr Witness, if you would please speak slowly so that we can understand all of your words?

  • In 1995 I was appointed as the assistant director for operations, SSS, Executive Mansion Monrovia.

  • And you say that you were appointed to this position?

  • Who appointed you to this position?

  • There was a peace agreement that they decided to have the representatives of all the main three key warring faction, the NPC headed by George Boleh, ULIMO headed by Alhadji Koroma, you had NPFL headed by former President Taylor. So they decided to have a government of inclusion in 1995 when Sankawulo was the council's chairman, Sankawulo, and all the security operator - I cannot spell Sankawulo. All the security operator was distributed amongst the various warring factions.

  • I will stop you there for a moment, please. Your Honours, it is S-A-N-K-A-W-U-L-O. The other name that he mentioned was George Boleh, B-O-L-E-H.

    Sir, you mentioned that ULIMO-K or ULIMO headed by Alhadji Koroma was represented there. You had testified earlier that ULIMO had split into ULIMO-K and ULIMO-J. Was ULIMO-J represented in this government as well?

  • Yes. They gave them the ministerial position, Minister of State, Presidential Affairs.

  • And could you tell us, please, who was the commander of ULIMO J?

  • Roosevelt Johnson.

  • And if I could, please, talking about ULIMO-K and ULIMO-J, what were the ethnicities or tribes of ULIMO-K?

  • ULIMO-K had all tribes, but predominantly it was Mandingo. ULIMO-J also had all tribes, but predominantly they were Krahn.

  • Now in your newly appointed position what were your duties?

  • Assistant director for operations. At that time it was a factional government. You were only there to seek the interest of your faction at that time, because whenever there would be a group of men who were supposed to come to security section every faction would have to provide 50 people and the other faction will provide 50 persons and that was how it happened and then they will have to meet the director, they discuss about it and then they get the training and then they start the service.

    When a faction leader was coming to the Executive Mansion you would be there to supervise it because the other people were there also and nobody wanted confusion at that time again. And in case of any problem you, the one who was representing your people, will be there at the security meeting at that time.

    So at that time I was working in the capacity of SSS in my faction leader's interest. My leader would call me and tell me that this is the way I want you to operate, or that is the way I want you to operate and you would take that message to your director and I would say my boss want me to operate this kind of way.

  • You said that you were working in the capacity of the SSS. What do you mean by the SSS?

  • Special Security Service.

  • Now can you tell us for how long you worked in the SSS as a member of this transitional government?

  • I was in the SSS up to the election that bring Mr Taylor in as President of the Republic of Liberia and also he called me and reappointed me in the same position.

  • Now on 2 August of 1997 Charles Taylor became President of Liberia. You say that he called you and asked you or reappointed you in the same position. How did that happen?

  • He sent the director to call me to his residence. His residence at that time was - the house is very close to the German embassy. I don't know whether it is the same embassy or not, but the house was very close to the German embassy at the time and he wanted me to remain in my same position that I would be able to help some of my fighters in the government because he wanted a government of inclusion and I accepted the position.

  • And when you were refer to being able to help some of your fighters who are you talking about, what fighters?

  • The ULIMO-K fighters.

  • Did he explain to you why he wanted you to remain in this position in addition to being able to help your fighters?

  • That is the reason I just explained. The reason that they explained to me, if I'm in the government I will help my people, most especially the ULIMO-K people, some of the people who wanted to join the security, I would be there to assist them.

  • Thank you. How long, and let's clarify this again, you now have what position, what is the name of your position?

  • Assistant director for operations.

  • In what organisation?

  • SSS. Special Security Service.

  • And how long did you continue in that position?

  • I was there from up to 1999, 2000.

  • And in 2000 what job did you have?

  • I was transferred from the SSS to immigration as the deputy chief of security. From the deputy chief of security position to the chief of security position, from the chief of security position to assistant commissioner for operation, from assistant commissioner for operation to deputy commissioner.

  • And, Mr Witness, how long did you continue to work in immigration in these various jobs?

  • I was in immigration up to 2003.

  • During this time period, 2000 to 2003, while you were in immigration were you given any other positions?

  • Yes, I was. Mr Taylor also appointed me as deputy chief of security, army division. That was his militia group when he was ---

  • So you were the deputy chief of security for the army division?

  • Deputy chief of staff. Deputy chief of staff for the army division.

  • And during what years did you hold this position?

  • I had the position from 2001 to 2002, the end of 2002.

  • Now I'd like to go back to your job as assistant deputy of operations for the --

  • Assistant. Assistant, yeah. Assistant director, yeah.

  • So this job that you held from about the time President Taylor became the President until, you said, the end of 1999 or 2000, I would like to ask you some questions about your activities during that period of time. Now first of all as the assistant director of operations for the SSS what were your duties?

  • I was responsible for the security of the President, his family, the immediate family, his properties, the movement of the President, et cetera.

  • Now during this time where were you based?

  • Based in Monrovia, Executive Mansion was my office.

  • Now you have mentioned earlier in your testimony the Executive Mansion. Is this the same Executive Mansion you're talking about, the Executive Mansion located in Monrovia?

  • And as the assistant director of operations what would you wear when you were working?

  • Blue and navy blue.

  • That was a uniform.

  • The uniform of what?

  • The uniform for the Special Security Service.

  • Now as the assistant director of operations for the SSS who was your immediate boss?

  • Joseph Montgomery. Joseph - deputy director for operation.

  • And how long did you work for Joseph Montgomery?

  • I worked with Joseph Montgomery when I was in the SSS and he also was transferred to immigration.

  • Now during the time you worked with Joseph Montgomery in the SSS how often would you have contact with him?

  • He is my immediate boss. I have contact with him every day. Every day we discuss, we meet.

  • And who was Joseph Montgomery's boss in the SSS?

  • Joseph Montgomery was the deputy director of operations.

  • And who was Joseph Montgomery's boss in the SSS?

  • Benjamin Yeaten, director of SSS.

  • And if you know how long did Benjamin Yeaten remain the director of SSS?

  • Benjamin Yeaten was the director of SSS up to 2003.

  • Your Honours, Yeaten is spelled Y-E-A-T-E-N. Benjamin is the regular spelling. And how often would you have contact with Benjamin Yeaten?

  • I had contact with Benjamin Yeaten up to the time he was in SSS - throughout up to 2003.

  • And during that time would you have contact with him on a daily basis, a weekly basis?

  • Daily. Daily basis.

  • Now you have described your duties for us, and based on those duties what contact, if any, would you have on a regular basis with Charles Taylor?

  • Every day I had to appear. On the job I was in charge of his motorcade. So the motorcade was under my command. Any time the President is leaving from his residence to his office I would be there, I supervise and we would go together and we would also come together. That was my job every day, except if he was sick or maybe he wanted to travel to somewhere else. But that was my everyday job.

  • Now you said that Charles Taylor asked you or reappointed you to the position of assistant director of operations. If you know, who appointed Joseph Montgomery to his position?

  • It was he himself, Mr Taylor, who appointed Joseph Montgomery in charge of operations.

  • And if you know, who appointed Benjamin Yeaten as the director of the SSS?

  • That was he himself, Mr Taylor, Mr President who appointed Benjamin Yeaten as SSS.

  • Now who was below you in the operation structure of the SSS?

  • It was CPS, chief of protective service. He was Osibio Dembi.

  • Your Honours, I will take a stab at that. O-S-I-B-I-O D-E-M-B-I.

  • And what units were below the chief of protective service?

  • Senior inspector for motorcade for the advance.

  • Now as the assistant director of operations for the SSS did you have an office staff?

  • I have office staff. My secretary. I had my driver. I had my orderly, those were commonly called bodyguard.

  • Now could you tell us the names of any of your orderlies during the time you were assistant director of operations?

  • If I can stop you there, please. S-I-D-I-K-I K-A-N-N-E-H. Do you recall the names of any other of your orderlies?

  • Major Garfee Fofana.

  • Could you tell us that name again, Garfee or Garfield?

  • Garfee, Fofana, F-O-F-A-N-A.

  • That is F-O-F-A-N-A?

  • F-O-F-A-N-A.

  • And do you recall the names of any other of your orderlies?

  • Seko Sherif. S-E-K-O.

  • And the last name is spelt as yours, S-H-E-R-I-F?

  • Now if you know did Joseph Montgomery also have orderlies?

  • Yes, he had orderlies also.

  • And what were the duties of his orderlies?

  • The orderlies were there to take instruction from wherever you were moving to somewhere else, they were with you. That was the work of the orderlies.

  • Now you indicated earlier that your orderlies also worked as bodyguards. To your knowledge did Joseph's Montgomery's orderlies also work as bodyguards?

  • When I mean orderly, we commonly called them bodyguard, that's just the same thing. Orderlies mean bodyguard. How can a bodyguard have a bodyguard? Joseph Montgomery had his orderlies and they were the bodyguards. A bodyguard cannot have a bodyguard. The group that I am talking about like Sidiki Kanneh, Garfee Fofana, Seko Sherif, those were my bodyguards. So in the Executive Mansion in the office we don't call them bodyguard, we just call them orderlies.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. Now we talked about Benjamin Yeaten. Did he also have orderlies?

  • Yes.

  • And did they also perform this bodyguard function?

  • Do you recall the names of any of the orderlies for Benjamin Yeaten?

  • Yes, Zigzag Mazhar.

  • Your Honours, that would be Z-I-G-Z-A-G M-A-Z-H-A-R.

  • In addition to Zigzag Mazhar, who else?

  • Jungle. That's the only name I know for him, Jungle.

  • Can you recall the names of anyone else?

  • Do you know Sampson's full name?

  • I have forgotten that.

  • Now to your knowledge what happened with the former NPFL commanders after the accused became President?

  • They were all transferred to the government in various positions.

  • And when you say various positions, what types of positions are you talking about?

  • These are some of the position we are talking about: Joseph Montgomery's were NPFL fighter, and now he was deputy, SS director position. Benjamin Yeaten was also working for Taylor, also holding the SSS director position. So he had all of his - the group fighting in the NPFL, they all had position in government.

  • Now as part of your duties as the assistant director of operations for the SSS did you also travel abroad with Charles Taylor?

  • Yes, three times. I had the opportunity to travel to Taiwan.

  • And in what year did that trip occur if you recall?

  • 19 - end of 97 - the end of 97 to 98.

  • And on your return from this trip did you have occasion to speak with Charles Taylor?

  • Yes. When we came back I thought about myself to give him some information. When the disarmament was going on all the warring faction had arms, because the reason was the faction did not trust one another. The other faction was thinking after disarming in case anything happens they will be the loser. So nobody disarmed 100 per cent.

    And knowing myself to be one of the most senior commander of ULIMO-K and are now working with Mr Taylor in the government, most especially being his bodyguard to him, if I did not give such information and that expose, no confidence will be in me. I thought of that in the plane. So I went to him and sat with him. I said when we go to Liberia I want to go to Lofa to look, maybe some people had guns somewhere that was not disarmed, so if I get it I will bring it over. And he said - he supported the idea and he said it was a good idea.

    When we get to Monrovia I was given a Land Rover jeep and I went to Lofa. I put people together, discussing amongst them and the people started showing where the guns were hidden and I started getting them and I brought everything to Monrovia to his residence. When he came out and saw them he was happy. He told me to turn them over to the deputy ADC, that was Musa.

  • If I can stop you there, please. You said that you were given a Land Rover and you went to Lofa. Are you talking about Lofa County, Liberia?

  • Lofa County.

  • Now when you went to Lofa County what was your assignment?

  • I was given a temporary assignment in Lofa.

  • And that assignment was to do what exactly?

  • The thing that I discussed with him was that I wanted to go to Lofa to check for arms and ammunitions that may be from our ULIMO-K people who never disarmed during the disarmament period. The reason is I knew very well that arms were hidden there. So I was given a temporary assignment for the conduct of that duty.

  • And now you testified about going to Lofa County and speaking with people and finding arms. Now where in Lofa County did you find those arms?

  • That was Voinjama district.

  • And how did you know that arms were there in Voinjama district?

  • I was the - a former ULIMO fighter and I was one of the most senior commander and that was a general agreement amongst all of us, the generals, that before the disarmament whatever we do we should try to camouflage some of the arms and ammunition that in case the peace process broke up we shouldn't be empty handed. The only thing, I never knew where they went to camouflage it because at that time I already had position in Monrovia as assistant director of operations. That was the reason why I told the former President that I wanted to go and look. I never wanted to say to him that, oh, I know the place and if I went there I could not find them, it was going to be a problem for me. So when I went there I tried to talk to the former fighters who had information about him. I put them together, we discussed about it, and that - before they finally showed me where the guns and the ammunition were hidden.

  • If I could stop you there, please. Thank you. Now when you went to this area where the guns were hidden what quantity of guns did you find there?

  • Together there were four loads of pick-up, but I didn't bring all in one go.

  • Now what exactly did you find there?

  • I found AK-47, the ammunitions, the RPG, that's the name that we have for an RPG, the bomb, mortar, 60.

  • What do you mean by 60?

  • Those are the names that we have for the guns from the American system.

  • And you said that you found bombs. These bombs were for what weapon?

  • Grenade was bomb.

  • What was the condition of these weapons and the ammunition when you found them in Voinjama district?

  • The condition was in better condition because they had been greased and placed in a big hole and put into a plastic. Even though mud was on it when it got wet, they only need clean up. But they were all in functioning condition.

  • I believe you said that you ended up with four loads of arms and ammunition but you only took one. Was that on this trip back to Charles Taylor that you took one load?

  • I carried one and I went back also. When I was going that time now Joseph Montgomery --

  • If I can interrupt you, please, I'd like to talk about this first trip and then we'll move to the second trip. Now on this first trip you said you took them back. Who did you take them back to?

  • I brought them to Mr Taylor at his residence. He came outside, he saw them, he was happy with me. He also gave me - he gave instruction to the deputy ADC, he was the Gambian Musa.

  • So the deputy ADC that you are speaking of was Gambian Musa?

  • Yeah, Gambian, yeah, yeah, Musa.

  • Is that Gambian as in the country or that was his name?

  • Let me ask you why do you call him Gambian Musa?

  • He was of Gambian nationality, the West African country referred to as Gambia.

  • Thank you. Now you indicated that you took a second trip to Lofa County and what happened as a result of that trip?

  • This time when I was going on the second trip Joseph Montgomery gave one of his senior bodyguards to go along with me. So during my second trip these things we brought were taken to Joseph Montgomery's home, residence, and that he had the instruction that was everything was to be cleaned up and handed over to the Liberian security.

  • Your Honours, I believe the name that was given was Leo Mento.

  • Leo Mento, yes, that is name. Yes, that's the name.

  • And that would be spelled L-E-O M-E-N-T-O?

  • The L-E-O is different from the Mento. Leo is the name. The last name is the Mento, so you can't put all together.

  • And the last name is M-E-N-T-O?

  • Now do you know what happened or what was done with these arms and ammunition that were turned over to Joseph Montgomery?

  • The arm were being issued to the police and other security operator.

  • Now in total how many trips did you yourself make to Lofa to bring arms and ammunition back to Monrovia?

  • I think I have four trips. I think the third trip I brought eight to Joseph Montgomery again and while we were in that process I had another assignment, I had another assignment, I didn't bring all together.

  • So if I can stop you there and we will speak about this other assignment in a moment. Now during this time that you yourself were moving back and forth from Monrovia to Lofa County bringing the arms and ammunition back to Monrovia did you have occasion to travel outside Liberia with Charles Taylor?

  • And where did you go?

  • I went to Guinea, Conakry at a Mano River meeting.

  • And who was present at that meeting?

  • At that meeting was between Mr Taylor, President of Liberia, Lansana Conteh, President of Guinea, and Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, at that time he was residing in Conakry, he has been driven off from Freetown.

  • If I could stop you there. Your Honours, Conakry, is C-O-N-A-K-R-Y. Lansana Conteh is L-A-N-S-A-N-A C-O-N-T-E-H. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, A-H-M-A-D T-E-J-A-N K-A-B-B-A-H. To your knowledge who was Kabbah, Ahmad Tejan Kabbah?

  • President of Sierra Leone.

  • And you said at that time he was residing in Conakry, he had been driven off from Freetown; is that what you said?

  • Yes, yes.

  • Now were you present at any meetings or parts of meetings in Conakry, Guinea?

  • At the beginning of the discussion we were there when they spoke about non-aggression to fellow countries, when Ahmad Tejan Kabbah was complaining about he has war against him and the Liberia hands were in it and former President Taylor replied, "I did not know anything about - no idea about that war." He also - the Liberians have been getting information about people have been taking training Macenta area to attack the Liberia and President Conteh said nobody will use Guinea to attack Liberia.

  • Now if I could stop you there for a moment, please. You talking about a Macenta, M-A-C-E-N-T-A. In what country is Macenta located?

  • In Guinea at the border with Lofa County, very close to Voinjama.

  • Now you indicated that Charles Taylor said he had no idea about that war in Sierra Leone. Do you recall any other comments he made about the conflict in Sierra Leone?

  • He said whatever he would do, that nobody will use Liberia to attack Sierra Leone. That's the only comment that I can remember. But later when Conteh came out everybody - there was a closed door meeting between Ahmad Tejan Kabbah and Mr Taylor who came for that meeting.

  • Now, Mr Witness, in 1990 ECOMOG forces entered Liberia. After Charles Taylor was President to your knowledge were there ECOMOG forces remaining in Liberia?

  • No, I mean 1997/1998?

  • ECOMOG was there when ECOMOG was fighting against the AFRC in Freetown and we - Mr Taylor called us and gave us - give me an instruction that a delegation from Freetown, from AFRC, are coming to the headquarters and that we should go and receive them at James Spring airfield in Monrovia.

  • And did you follow that instruction?

  • Yes. We went there and we were intercepted by ECOMOG. ECOMOG surrounded the whole area. And then later I called the director and then he gave his instruction that he should just give me five minutes and then later he called us and then he asked us to move away from there.

  • Now do you recall the month and year that this occurred?

  • That happened in 19 - the end of 98 to - between the end of 98 to the start of the year 99. I think at the end of 98 going to 99. It has taken a very long time now, it is about 10, 15 years, so I think some certain things move off my head.

  • Now, Mr Witness, you said that you were instructed to go to this airport and to receive them. What were you to do with them after you received them?

  • To take them to his office.

  • Now what happened after this incident?

  • When ECOMOG interfered we were receiving instruction from the SSS director that we should leave the place and then after two days he called me again into his office to give me another instruction.

  • Now if I could stop you there, please. You said he called you into his office. Who called you into his office?

  • Mr Taylor called me at his - in his fourth floor office at the Executive Mansion in the presence of Musa Cisse, Joe Tuah, Benjamin Yeaten, Joseph Montgomery, Momoh Jibba, when he gave me the instruction that, "Sherif, will you be able to go to the territory of the RUF and get Sam Bockarie there for me?"

  • Mr Witness, can I stop you there for a moment so I can spell some names. Musa Cisse is M-U-S-A C-I-S-S-E. Joe Tuah is J-O-E T-U-A-H. Momoh is M-O-M-O-H, Jibba is J-I-B-B-A. Now before you go on let me ask you some questions about these people. Who was Musa Cisse?

  • Musa was the chief of protocol at the Executive Mansion.

  • And how did you know him?

  • I got to know him when NPFL and ULIMO merged in 1996 in Monrovia. So each family of one man would begin to meet the family of the other man and each fighting man will meet the other man. Musa told me that I am his son, any problem I had I should let him know and then he will handle it for me personally.

  • Now you said that Musa Cisse was the chief of protocol at the Executive Mansion. Do you know what his duties were?

  • His duty was, the one to my knowledge, whenever anything that had to do with the French countries, because he was a French speaker, most of the time the former President sent him to Burkina Faso, Cote D'Ivoire and some other French countries.

  • Now you also mentioned Joe Tuah. Who was he?

  • First Joe Tuah - Joe Tuah's first employment was assistant director for intelligence, but later he was replaced with Robert Biah. At that time now Joe Tuah was working alongside with Musa Cisse, with Musa Cisse.

  • Now you said he was - you said Robert Biah. Do you know how to spell his name, his last name Biah?

  • Your Honours, I believe it is B-I-A-H.

  • Now you said that Joe Tuah at first was the assistant director for intelligence. In what organisation?

  • SSS, Special Security Services, Executive Mansion.

  • And you said that later he was working alongside Musa Cisse. What was he doing working alongside Musa Cisse?

  • When anything was there that was relating to arms issue Joe Tuah handled it together with Musa Cisse. But Musa Cisse personally told me that, "Look, all the guns that you people carry, I know how to go and bring them. Most of the time I alone would go to Burkina Faso and some other countries and get the arms and ammunition for you, but I don't know how to use them. So Joe Tuah is working along with me."

    And Joe Tuah also, when the militia was always organised to be sent to Lofa, that is the time Joe Tuah had the function. But at the time he was now replaced he never had much function. When militia was organised to go to Lofa Joe Tuah was always there to supervise the front line taking ammunition from Monrovia, taking it to Lofa.

  • If I could stop you there. You talk about the militia organised to be sent to Lofa. During what period of time was the militia organised to be sent to Lofa?

  • When LURD started invading Liberia.

  • And do you recall what year that was?

  • That is the same - the ending of 1998 to 1999.

  • Now if I could stop you there and we will revisit that later. You also mentioned a person by the name of Momoh Jibba. Who was that?

  • Momoh Jibba was the senior aide-de-camp in the Republic of Liberia.

  • And do you know what his nationality was?

  • What country was he from?

  • Momoh Jibba is a Sierra Leonean but claiming to be a Liberian.

  • Now you indicated that these individuals and others were at this meeting that you had with Charles Taylor when he told you to go to get Sam Bockarie. Now did he explain why he wanted you to go to get Sam Bockarie?

  • He didn't explain in detail, but I knew that there was some commotion going on when the member of the AFRC government officer was intercepted at the James Spring field airport. After two days when he made an announcement that ECOMOG should now leave, we are government of our own, we want ECOMOG to leave. So that problem started coming in and on the third day when they called me at his office to get Sam Bockarie over to him.

  • Now at this time did Charles Taylor tell you why he wanted you to bring Sam Bockarie to him?

  • No. He did not explain anything.

  • Now at the time you were given this assignment did you know who Sam Bockarie was?

  • No. What - I use to hear his name because we were fighting war against one another between Foya and the Sierra Leone border, but they also were fighting us at the border, so we used to hear Mosquito Sam Bockarie, but I did not know him in particular.

  • So Sam Bockarie and Mosquito are referring to the same person?

  • Yes, it is the same person. The war name is Mosquito. His actual name is Sam Bockarie.

  • Now you said that you did not know him personally. At the time you were given this assignment did you know what position he held?

  • What we used to hear was that Foday Sankoh had been arrested in Nigeria and now Sam Bockarie was the leader of RUF. That was the information I have.

  • Now what was your response when Charles Taylor asked you to go on this assignment?

  • I accepted and I went to him.

  • Now when you went to Sam Bockarie, you said you did not know him personally, were you given any type of letter of introduction or other document to take with you?

  • No, I was not given no document.

  • Do you know why you were not given such a document?

  • If document had been given to me, if ECOMOG intercept that it is going to be a problem so for that reason best knowing o myself, but he did not explain that to me why he did not give me document. And also I did not request for document. I knew that I could do it.

  • Now when you went on this assignment how were you dressed?

  • I was in the SSS uniform.

  • And that is the blue and navy blue you described earlier?

  • Yes.

  • How soon after this meeting did you leave for Sierra Leone?

  • I left the same day. I travelled to Kakata, travelled to Gbatala, travelled to Gbarnga. I went to Saint Paul Bridge. From there I went to Zorzor. From Zorzor I travelled to Voinjama. From Voinjama I travelled to Kolahun, and I branched from Kolahun to Vahun.

  • If we perhaps could have MFI-1 provided to the witness again so that he could show us this route that he has just described.

  • Here is Monrovia. Careysburg, Kakata, Salala, Gbatala, Gbarnga, Zorzor and Voinjama, Kolahun. From Kolahun here I branched to Vahun. From Vahun I cross to Sierra Leone to Bomaru

  • [indicated].

  • If I could ask you when you crossed the border between Liberia and Sierra Leone did you have any difficulties crossing the border?

  • I did not have much difficulty because at the time me and the rest of my bodyguard were in uniform. So it was a little looking fearful to the people at the border, so they did not ask us much question until when we get to Pendembu. This is Pendembu [indicated]. When we get to Pendembu we were questioned there what was our mission about.

  • You said that you when you got to Pendembu you were questioned. Who questioned you?

  • The commander, RUF commander that was stationed in there.

  • And do you recall his name?

  • At that time did you know his nationality?

  • I heard a Sierra Leonean accent and I know him to be a Sierra Leonean.

  • Now you said that you were asked about your mission. What did you say when you were asked about your mission?

  • I told him that I had a mission to see Sam Bockarie. I came from Monrovia. I work with the Executive Mansion SSS. So they didn't ask much question to ask me, they just told me - they said, "Okay, just pass to go Kailahun. You can follow him."

  • Now what happened then after you left Pendembu?

  • I travelled to Kailahun. When I get to the central town, on my right side I saw a group of armed men. We decided to stop and I sent one of my bodyguards to get someone there who we can ask to locate Sam Bockarie to us.

  • Now if I could ask you, sir, when you say you travelled to Kailahun, if you could be shown MFI-2 and if you could show us where Kailahun is?

  • This is Kailahun [indicated].

  • Now you say when you arrived there that you saw a group of armed men and you stopped and sent one of your bodyguards to get someone so you could locate Sam Bockarie. What happened then?

  • We were lucky. The person that we called to talk to was one of the bodyguards of Sam Bockarie. He told us that this is the Sam Bockarie. Because all of us could see the group. And this is Sam Bockarie talking to the Kamajors, putting them outside. So you can wait for him. When he completes then we can inform him about you guys. Then I told him that we are just from Monrovia, we came particularly to see him. And then he said we should wait a little bit. People were inside and he put them out. While we were looking at the area he executed some of them, he said because they were Kamajors.

  • Now if I could stop you there --

  • Up to five of them.

  • If I could stop you there, please. You said that the person that you called to talk to was Sam Bockarie's bodyguard and did you say that he then pointed Sam Bockarie out to you?

  • Yes, he pointed at Sam Bockarie where Sam Bockarie was talking and he told us, "That is the Sam Bockarie but you can wait a little bit, when he finishes then I will inform him about you guys."

  • Now you said that people were inside and he put them out while we were looking at the area, he executed some of them. Now who is the he you are referring to?

  • He was referring at that time to the Kamajors.

  • No, Mr Witness, when you said he in your testimony, who were you referring to, what person?

  • When Sam Bockarie was executing the people, is that what you mean?

  • Yes, you've clarified that, thank you. Now you say that he executed certain people. How do you know that he executed them? Let me rephrase. What do you mean when you say he executed them?

  • I mean he executed the people. Sam Bockarie executed the people. Whilst we were looking at the areas he was executing the people and he said, "These people are Kamajors and we are going to finish with them" and then he gave instruction there that by the time - "I am moving now. Before I come back, the remaining people, I want all of them dead."

  • Now in what way did he execute them? What did he use to execute them?

  • He shot at them with a gun.

  • Now you indicated he gave an instruction that he was moving and before he came back the remaining people, he wanted all of them dead. What happened after that?

  • I didn't know what happened after that, because I didn't use that road. I didn't come through that route to know what happened. Because after he had executed the people and gave his instruction he just got up into his vehicle and then he moved off and then I saw his bodyguards telling the guys that - telling us that we should follow them and then my bodyguards who were remaining there, they were afraid a little. But this kind of man that we have come to see, you see the kind of thing that he's doing in our presence. Then I said to them, I said maybe he want to prove to us that actually he's a strong man on the ground here and that anything he does to anybody was final and then we also followed him. We travelled to --

  • If I could stop you there. When Sam Bockarie drove away how many people were with him?

  • He had more than three cars full of men, armed men. He had more than three cars in his convoy.

  • And you said that you followed him. Where did you go from Kailahun?

  • From Kailahun we travelled to Buedu.

  • And, your Honours, that is spelt B-U-E-D-U. If the witness could be shown MFI-1.

  • Could you show us where Buedu is, please?

  • This is Buedu here [indicated].

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. What happened when you arrived in Buedu?

  • When we get at Buedu, entering we met a check point and they told us - they ask us what was our mission and we said we met Sam Bockarie at Kailahun and his bodyguards told us to follow him and they said, "No, we did not receive any instruction so you have to wait here and we will go and inform him" and we waited. In fact, they disarmed us because we had our arms with us. They disarmed us. When they got to him --

  • I'm sorry for interrupting, but if we could take it a piece at a time. So you said that you encountered a check point. Now at the check point did you tell them who you were and where you were from?

  • Yes, I explained that to them, that I was coming from Liberia and that I was working with the Executive Mansion as an SSS officer and I only came to see Sam Bockarie. I didn't explain any further details to them. But then they told me that there wasn't any instruction given to them for that, so we have to wait until they inform him. Then they had to take all of our arms away from us. Then when they came back they said, "We are sorry, Sam Bockarie is annoyed with me that you guys are the President bodyguards, why should I take your weapons from you." Then he said, "I should return your weapons to you before I reach him." Then they returned all our weapons to us and then that indication showed us that we would be welcome in Buedu. So we travelled and entered the town. We went to his residence.

  • And what happened - and when you say his residence, whose residence are you talking about?

  • Sam Bockarie's house.

  • And what happened when you arrived at Sam Bockarie's house?

  • When I got there he sent for me to enter, to meet him in his room. He asked me about what my mission was and I told him that I was sent by Mr Taylor, the President of the Republic of Liberia at that time, that I should take you along with me to go and see him, and he said - he asked me for my name and I told him my name is Varmuyan Sherif. He said, "Are you not from ULIMO?" I said yes. He said, "Oh, I don't trust you. I don't trust you." He said, "Why didn't Mr Taylor not send some other person like Joseph Montgomery or any other NPFL men, except you ULIMO men who have been fighting against me."

    Then I explained some reasons to him. I told him the reason is in Lofa County area, now it's controlled by ULIMO-K and now the fighters there did not disarm properly, some of them had weapons. If Mr Taylor used any of the NPFL guys to come for you maybe they would have ambushed that person, you can't tell. But knowing me to be one of the most senior commanders in the ULIMO-K I can pass through them and I can take anybody through them anywhere and there wouldn't be any problem. Maybe, I said to him, that will be the reason why Mr Taylor sent me to collect you. The reason that I could explain to him in order that I convince him for me to accept for him to go with me is what I told him, but it was not that Mr Taylor gave me that reason. Now he said, "I do not trust you because you are an ULIMO-K man."

  • Let me stop you there. He said he did not trust you. You explained to him why you came. What happened after that?

  • That is the reason I was explaining. So when I told him that the reason was he knew me to ULIMO senior officer, I can pass through with you through, but if it had been any NPFL man coming for you he would have encountered problem at Lofa.

  • Now let me ask you to listen carefully to my question. After you gave him that explanation what happened?

  • He said he was going to call to Monrovia to find out. So the next day - we should sleep until the next day while I explained to him, he didn't trust nothing that I explained to him. So we had to sleep. So he would call tomorrow to the Executive Mansion to find out. So I began getting worried, how he going to get in contact with Monrovia, and Monrovia, I don't know RUF had any communication with the Executive Mansion. From the time I had been there up to election of Mr Taylor coming there I did not know that link. So we were worried throughout the night until the following day.

  • Now where did you spend that night or did you sleep that night?

  • He gave me room right through his door room in the same house. That was where I slept.

  • And what happened the following day?

  • The next day he said we should walk to go to the radio room, the radio room where they had their communication area. And we walked just about 20 yards from the house. We walked up there and he told the radio operator to contact Monrovia, the Executive Mansion. So I was still worried because this thing was discussed among a few people in the Executive Mansion, I don't know who was going to contact or who they were going to get in touch with or maybe the person they contact, the person may not be aware of our mission and that would have been a problem for me. So the radio operators, the radio they were dealing with was some radio that had --

  • Your Honour, can the witness please repeat himself.

  • Mr Witness, please go over your testimony a little bit slower because the interpreter has to interpret it for us. Please just back up a bit. Just repeat your testimony a little bit slower, please.

  • And, Mr Witness, if you would please just say a few sentences and then wait so that the interpretation can catch up with you. So would you please repeat what you had just said about what happened the next morning when you went to the radio area and the radio operators were told to communicate with Monrovia?

  • Yeah. He told the radio operator to call Monrovia Executive Mansion. I was worried. The reason being that I never knew that the RUF had any connection with the Executive Mansion since I had been in the Executive Mansion since 1995 up to the election that brought Mr Taylor to the Executive Mansion. The Executive Mansion had no direct link with the RUF at all or any contact with the RUF radio operators. And this information given to me for me to come there was given to me in the midst of few security officers. But my worry now was who were they going to contact, or maybe the person that he was trying to contact never knew about my mission.

  • And when you say he gave the radio operator the instruction, who are you talking about? Who gave the radio operator the instruction?

  • Sam Bockarie gave the radio operator the instruction to contact the Executive Mansion of Liberia, Monrovia.

  • Now let me ask you: Did you provide them with any information as to how to contact the Executive Mansion in Monrovia?

  • No. That was the reason why I was worried.

  • That day when the instruction was given to contact the Executive Mansion did you provide them any information as to how they could do that?

  • No. I didn't give any information on that.

  • So what happened after the instruction was given?

  • The radio operator contacted the Executive Mansion, but where we usually communicate on our central communication in the Executive Mansion was not the area that was contacted. Somebody else at that time answered them on the fifth floor of the Executive Mansion and that was one of the radio operators that came with the NPFL that answered and that was at 405. That was the code I knew for that. 405 answered the radio.

  • Now let me ask you how do you know that 405 answered the radio?

  • I knew 405 to be one of our radio operators in the Executive Mansion that came with Mr Taylor from the NPFL camp and also I recognised his voice when the radio operator contacted him and then he said, "Please wait for me a little bit" and he said, "I am going to contact Joseph Montgomery."

  • And what happened then?

  • When I heard the name of Joseph Montgomery I was - my heart cooled down a bit because Joseph Montgomery was aware of my travel into Sierra Leone to get Sam Bockarie. So Joseph Montgomery came on the radio room and now Sam Bockarie and Joseph Montgomery started communication. When he asked Joseph Montgomery, "Are you aware of Sherif coming over to me here and taking me over back to Mr Taylor" and he said, "Yes, that man Sherif is my deputy, my immediate deputy, whatever instruction he say to you, whatever message he brought for you is an instruction from Mr Taylor, so please follow it up."

  • Now let me ask you, you said that the radio operator said that he would get Joseph Montgomery. How do you know that the person who then came on to the radio was Joseph Montgomery?

  • Joseph Montgomery came in the radio and said, "This is 52" and that is our secure codes and I know that he is 52, I am 56, and I recognised his voice. If somebody - if somebody who had been together before almost three years before the election of Taylor, from 95 Joseph Montgomery was - during the faction representative, faction time, Joseph Montgomery was the deputy director for administration, SSS, representing NPFL when I was assistant director for operation. So I recognised his voice. We worked together 95, 96 up to 97, up to that time, so I know his voice, somebody that we worked together throughout, so I recognised his voice.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. Now you indicated that the communication to the Executive Mansion went to the fifth floor of the Executive Mansion. Now how did you know that?

  • That is why when I came back - before I went at the fifth floor to find out that a radio at the fifth floor. So when I came back before I got to know the entire detail that there was a radio, they had brought it from Gbarnga and they stored it at the fifth floor and that's where they do their communication is different from the Executive Mansion radio. I did not know about it when I was in the Executive Mansion until when I got back from the trip and I visited the area then I got to know about it.

  • And at that time did you learn why they had a separate communications area on the fifth floor?

  • After when I came from Sierra Leone, that's what you mean?

  • Yes, I got to know about the communication that they had there.

  • But my question, sir, is did you learn why they had this separate communication centre on the fifth floor?

  • Yes, I know, but I had nothing to do with it because my senior bosses were involved in having a separate communication up there, so I had no objection or to ask why they had it up there for.

  • And when you say your senior boss who are you talking about?

  • I am talking about Joseph Montgomery and Benjamin Yeaten.

  • And did you learn what this separate communications centre was used for, what times of communications?

  • They had a two Yaesu radio there. They had two radios there at the fifth floor at the Executive Mansion. That is a long range radio from country to country.

  • And do you know how to say Yaesu?

  • Your Honour, I believe that it may be Y-E-A-S-U.

  • Now you also said that you knew it was Joseph Montgomery because he used a code 52 and that was his code?

  • Yes, that was Joseph Montgomery's code, 52.

  • And you indicated your code was what?

  • Were these codes within the SSS?

  • Up to now it is still existing.

  • Were these codes within the SSS organisation?

  • This was the code for the SSS up to the peace time now. The director was 50. The deputy director for administration was 51. The deputy director for operation was 52. The deputy director for training is 53. The deputy director for intelligence is 54. The assistant director for administration is 55. The assistant director for operation is 56. The assistant director for intelligence is 58. Then you have the assistant director for training, 57.

  • Thank you, sir, and again I will ask you to speak slowly so that we can follow the translation. Now after this communication with Joseph Montgomery at the Executive Mansion what happened then?

  • Now Sam Bockarie told me - he said, "Okay, I'm satisfied now. You can now go to the house and prepare yourself for us to leave." And then if he ask me - he asked me what route I used when I was coming to Buedu and I explained to him that I used from Vahun I crossed to Bomaru, from Bomaru to Bawala, from Bawala to Pendembu, from Pendembu to Kenema. No, no, no, from Pendembu to Kailahun. To Kailahun, I'm sorry. From Kailahun to Buedu. He said, "No, I am not going to use that route because I still have some fear in me that there is a problem in front of me. So we will use another route. So we will use the route from here to Koindu."

  • Mr Witness, I will have you in a moment explain the route that you followed back. At the present time, your Honours, the new location that was mentioned is Bawala. I believe that is spelled B-A-W-A-L-A.

    Now after you had this discussion and Sam Bockarie determined the route you would use, what happened then?

  • We left. After two hours we travelled to Koindu.

  • Now let me stop you there. You left. How many people were travelling with Sam Bockarie?

  • He said he never had trust, especially in the Lofa route, so he had to travel with all his bodyguards and all of his escorts. So he had three vehicles behind him that he was travelling with. So I had to accept it because I was trying to get him over. So I said to him, "No problem, you can carry whatever you want to carry."

  • Now these bodyguards that he was travelling with, were they armed?

  • They all had weapons. They all had weapons. One of the cars had the anti-terrorist weapon inside, the weapon that they normally mount into a pick-up, into a pick-up van. We went to Koindu and from Koindu we went to Mendekoma.

  • If I can stop you there, please, and if I could ask that MFI-1 be made available on the screen. Could you first show us Koindu?

  • This is Koindu [indicated].

  • And Mendekoma that you mentioned - your Honours, I believe that is spelt M-E-N-D-E-K-O-R-M-A. I may have misspelled that, it may be K-O-M-A, Mendekoma.

    Now you said that he had three vehicles behind him in this convoy. Did you notice anything unusual about those vehicles?

  • Those vehicles were looted vehicles because I could see the erased areas. It appeared as if they were NGO vehicles. And you can see that they never had keys in fact to start them. They would only put the ignition wires together for the cars to start. And I realised that in fact on the side of the vehicles there were erased - they were erased writings. It looked like they belonged to NGOs.

  • Now what happened when you arrived in Koindu?

  • He decided that one of the vehicles should go back. That was the vehicle that they had the mounted weapon inside. Then I told him, "What I want you to do for me now is that everybody should put their arms in the vehicle and then put the tarpaulin over it and then sit on top of it. That is because ECOMOG deployments are in Monrovia and now we don't have any guns in the country and then if they see you having arms travelling in a vehicle like that it will raise a concern to them" and then he accepted it. And then we decided to put all of the weapons - some of them behind the vehicle seats and then some of them into the truck and then we put the tarpaulin over them and then one of the vehicles went back and then we now left with three vehicles because myself, I travelled with one vehicle.

  • Mr Witness, if I could perhaps stop you there. Madam President, this may be an appropriate time to break.

  • Yes indeed, with about three minutes to go I think this is an appropriate time to break for lunch.

    Mr Witness, we are going to break for one and a half hours for lunch. I would request you not to discuss your testimony with anybody until you have actually finished testifying in court. So court will adjourn until 2.30 this afternoon. Thank you.

  • [Lunch break taken at 12.57 p.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 2.30 p.m.]

  • Good afternoon. Mr Witness, I remind you are still under oath. Mr Witness? Is the interpreter there.

  • Your Honour, the witness's mike is not on.

  • Court Management, could you please switch on the witness's microphone:

  • Mr Witness, did you hear what I just said? I said you are still under oath.

  • Thank you, Madam President. Before we proceed, I would simply like to note that for some reason our LiveNote is showing a prior transcript of a - it appears to be of a prior witness, but now apparently we are on track again:

  • So, Mr Witness, before we had our break you were telling us about returning from Buedu to Liberia and you testified that you had reached Koindu. Now, perhaps at this time MFI-1 could be placed again on the projector. Now, Mr Witness, would you please tell us where did you go from Koindu?

  • From Koindu to here, Foya. Foya.

  • And where did you go from Foya?

  • From Foya to Kolahun and from Kolahun to Voinjama. We had a break.

  • Now in Voinjama where you had the break, what happened while you were in Voinjama?

  • Sam Bockarie said he wanted to have a bath, he wanted to cut his hair, so I took him to our house at the Mandingo Quarter in Voinjama City.

  • Now, you say you took him to "our house". What do you mean when you say "our house"?

  • Voinjama is my home, where I originated from. That is the reason why I said "at our house". We have a house there that is called Sherrif Quarter.

  • What happened once you arrived to that house?

  • He said he wanted to take his bath and to get a haircut, so he had a haircut and in the process when he said he wanted to go and have a bath he took off his jacket to enter the bathroom. Three of us were together: he, myself and one of my senior officers. They call him Master General. Inside the jacket pocket - your Honours, could the witness come back to that area, please? He is not too clear on that.

    PRESIDING JUDGE:

  • Mr Witness, could you just repeat what you have said slowly. The interpreter did not get you. What happened at the bathroom? Repeat that, please.

  • At the back of the house he took his jacket off to hang it. Whilst in the process of taking his jacket off, I saw a mayonnaise bottle that he took out of his jacket and we realised there were diamonds in it, in his pocket. One of my senior officers who saw these diamonds said, "Oh, we can get rid of this man and take these diamonds and then we will cross over to a different country and then go away". Then I said to him, "No, if you do that we will be putting ourselves into problem and we have our families in Monrovia and so that is not necessary".

    Then later, the assistant director for intelligence travelled through helicopter. He came to see me. He said the President sent him, President Mr Taylor now, to make sure that the person that I am bringing to Monrovia whether he is the true Sam Bockarie. He had a picture with him, and that was I think Sam Bockarie's picture that he was carrying, and when he was just coming from the bathroom we were now getting ready to go to Monrovia. He looked at him and he said, "Yes, thank you very much. You make me feel good".

    Then later in an hour's time we left Voinjama. We travelled to Zorzor and from Zorzor we travelled to Salayea. From Salayea we travelled to Belefanai. From Belefanai we travelled to Wiesua. That is the village very close to Gbange. That is the very last village to Gbange.

  • Now, Mr Witness, could I stop you for a moment. You talked about an assistant director of intelligence. Do you remember the name of that person?

  • Robert Bieh. Robert Bieh, 58. That is own code at that time.

  • Now, when I interrupted you you said you had reached a village close to Gbange. What was the name of that village?

  • Waisue.

  • Your Honours, I believe that is spelt W-a-i-s-u-e:

  • Now what happened when you arrived in Waisue?

  • I met my boss man coming in. That is Benjamin Yeaten. He was travelling with Musa Sesay in another jeep coming from Monrovia. They stopped us. They said to me, thank "Thank you very much. We will now take Sam Bockarie to go alone and you can take the rest of Sam Bockarie's men and you go straight to your house".

  • Now, let me ask you this. When he told you, "Thank you very much", and that they would now take Sam Bockarie alone, did they tell you why they were going to do that?

  • Yes, the reason they told me that they said ECOMOG had a check point at 15 gate to Mabarkley and also Careysburg. So, these places ECOMOG still had check points there and say they are now going to use another route. They are going to bypass this 15 gate and get to Robert field and they will use Robert field road to go to Monrovia. So, that is the reason.

  • Now, what happened after this meeting then?

  • They took Sam Bockarie, they travelled that route and I took the rest of Sam Bockarie's men with me straight to my house in Monrovia.

  • What happened after you arrived back at your house in Monrovia?

  • The next day Sam Bockarie came with one of the escort jeep. Mr Taylor's escort jeep came to the house to speak to his men. He also asked for his long range ranger, because when we were travelling they carry along with them. He started communicating with Kono and Tongo.

  • Now, how did you know that he was communicating with Kono and Tongo?

  • They were communicating in Mende and I could hear Mende and Sam Bockarie was speaking Mende.

  • And why did you believe they were speaking with Kono and Tongo?

  • He called the name of the place and he was telling them that, "Both Kono and Tongo, you guys who are there, you should be alert because the SLU soldiers were coming from Freetown. You should receive them and give them good treatment", and that, "I got information also that JPK --", that is Johnny Paul Koroma, "-- is missing in action and that he is heading for either Kono or Tongo area and that everybody should be alert to receive him". Those were the information that he was giving them over the radio that I had.

  • Your Honours, Johnny is J-o-h-n-n-y, Paul is P-a-u-l and Koroma is K-o-r-o-m-a:

  • Did you know who Johnny Paul Koroma was?

  • Well, Johnny Paul Koroma was the leader of AFRC that took over from Ahmad Tejan Kabbah.

  • Now, what happened after these radio communications at your house?

  • Sam Bockarie left. The next day Mr Taylor sent my deputy to call me, Osibio Dembi, his own code was 59, to White Flower. When I went there he was very happy with me. He had some money also and he gave me some money. He asked me whether I knew where the place where Benjamin and Sesay took Sam Bockarie from in my vehicle and I told him.

  • Now, Mr Witness, could I ask you to pause for a moment and let me ask some questions about what you have just said. You said that you went to White Flower. What was White Flower?

  • That is the residence of Mr Taylor. They call it White Flower.

  • And at White Flower who did you see?

  • Musa Sesay was there and also my deputy who went and called me. He was also present. When Mr Taylor gave me money and he was happy with me, he said to me, "Do you know the place where Benjamin Yeaten and Musa Sesay took Sam Bockarie from you from your vehicle?", and I said, "Yes, Waisue". He said, "Just drive back there. If you don't see them, just wait a little bit and they will meet you".

  • Now when you say "He said, 'Just drive back there'", who are you talking about? Who told you that?

  • Former President Taylor.

  • What haoppened after that?

  • I went back to the house, took the rest of the men including Sam Bockarie's men and his vehicle. We drove back to the same location. That is Waisue. When we got there nobody was there, but within the next ten minutes we saw them coming.

    When Sam Bockarie got down from Benjamin Yeaten's vehicle, he transferred in his own vehicle, both of us were riding together. I was driving in Sam Bockarie's vehicle. When he was so happy with me he told me, "Thanks very much, because you have been the very first person to make things possible for me to see Mr Taylor". He said, "I knew Mr Taylor during the time when RUF was getting ready for the mission. At that time I was just a little boy and Foday Sankoh was the leader at that time, but all of the time we had just been communicating through radio. For me to sit down with Mr Taylor face-to-face and talk and to see him and sit and talk, you have been the cause that has happened for me and I will never forget about you. You will always be my friend and any time I come down Monrovia I will reach to you. I have money. He gave me money. I have satellite. He gave me satellite phone. Any time I want to communicate with him I can communicate with him. In any part of the world I want to communicate I will communicate with that person".

  • Now, let me stop you for a moment. You said that Sam Bockarie told you that "he" gave Sam Bockarie money and "he" gave Sam Bockarie a satellite phone. Did he tell you who he was referring to when he said "he"?

  • He was referring to former President Taylor.

  • And did Sam Bockarie tell you anything else which had occurred during his visit?

  • No. He only showed me the money that he was having and he showed me the satellite phone and he said now he is a happy man and now he is going back and he knows he will have to achieve his mission and that he was now heading for his mission. Those were the things he told me.

  • Did he tell you what his mission was?

  • Now, you said that he said he had received money and he showed you money. Could you tell how much money?

  • I can't tell how much money he was having, but he showed me the money and he showed me the satellite phone.

  • And when he showed you the money, could you tell what currency the money was?

  • Does that mean US dollars?

  • Now, you said that before you took this trip and you were with Charles Taylor he gave you money. What was the currency of the money he gave you?

  • USD. US dollars.

  • Now, what happened then? After you had this discussion with Sam Bockarie and you are travelling together in this vehicle, wHere did you go?

  • I drove back to Voinjama, from Voinjama to Kolahun, from Kolahun to Foya and I went to the Mendekoma border. That was where I stopped and I came back.

  • You came back to Monrovia?

  • Now, let me go back just a moment and let me ask you. You said that you were called by President Taylor and he told you to go to the spot where you had taken Sam Bockarie, this Waisue. Now at that time when you met with him, did you tell him about the killings you had seen in Kolahun?

  • No, no, I can't involve myself on that. All my trips going in and coming out indicates to me that I knew very well that the missions Sam Bockarie was carrying on were being supported by Mr Taylor. So, I wouldn't have decided to report Sam Bockarie to say, "Oh, these are the things he has been doing". Oh, no, I did not at all involve myself in that. I only did what I was instructed to do.

  • And now you said that you came back to Monrovia after taking Sam Bockarie to the Sierra Leone border. Did you have another meeting with Charles Taylor after you came back from that mission?

  • He called me back and instructed me that whatever arms and ammunition that I am bringing to Monrovia I shouldn't bring them to Monrovia again. I should take them and turn everything over to Sam Bockarie that I had. At that time I had only the last consignment, that is the last load, one load of pickup, the last consignment that I had in hand.

  • Now when he told you that you should take arms and ammunition to Sam Bockarie, what if anything else did he tell you or instruct you to do during that conversation?

  • He also said I should not speak to the former fighters that are in Lofa. Everybody should be free. I should go and open corridor and nobody should arm any RUF man whenever they do come to Liberia, or any of the former fighters who go to Sierra Leone to be armed. All the area should be free. Those who have their arms they can take their arms if they want to go across Sierra Leone to buy and they were giving some money to Sam Bockarie and Sam Bockarie will be buying arms and ammunition on their own. Sometimes some of the arms were brought to Monrovia, not everything. They may be having some arms there and Sam Bockarie will send whoever he wants to send, whoever had the arms and ammunition, to travel through Lofa area to buy and the territory should be free to every and also --

  • Mr Interpreter, please make an effort to be understood. There are some words you say that we simply don't understand, Mr Interpreter. You must interpret clearly in English so that we understand.

  • So, Mr Witness, Charles Taylor told you he wanted you to take action to have an open border so that people in Lofa County would feel free to provide arms and ammunition to the RUF?

  • So, what did you do after that meeting?

  • When I went back to Lofa, that was in Voinjama and Kolahun Foya, I met all the former fighters there and I let them all understand that if any of them had arms and ammunition they want to go and do business in the RUF territories you are free, and also the RUF should have free movement to Foya, to Kolahun, to Voinjama, wherever they want to go. So, nowhere should be seen to be seen as your own territory either on the Sierra Leone side, or the Liberian side. Everybody was now a free man. RUF had their rights in here and also you have your own right into RUF territory.

  • Now, earlier you had mentioned that you had a fourth load of arms and ammunition which you had collected in Lofa County. What did you do with that fourth load of arms and ammunition?

  • The last one I was instructed to take to Sam Bockarie. The first one, the second one, the third one were brought to Monrovia. The last one was taken to Sam Bockarie. And when I was going to Sam Bockarie I was supposed to meet him in Buedu, but I was so lucky that I met him at Foya and so I told him that we should move together to the border so that I can turn the ammunition over to him.

  • Now you said that you met him in Foya, and perhaps we could use MFI-1 again so that you could point out what you are talking about when you say Foya. So you are pointing to what is designated Foya City, is that correct?

  • And did you travel to the border with him?

  • Yes.

  • What happened at the border?

  • The arms and ammunition that I was having at that time I turned them over to him and then we had some snapshots, photographs, also.

  • Now at this time if I could be assisted, please. At tab 29, photo O and photo P at tab 29, if they could be marked for identification and if they could be marked with a number and then A and B?

  • Ms Hollis, please repeat the numbers of the photographs.

  • Yes, tab 29, photograph 0 and photograph P as in Papa. Do you have those photographs? If they could be marked for identification and if I could ask that the photograph which ends with the numbers 667 be marked as A, that is photo O, and the photograph that ends with 668, which is photo P, could be marked as B.

  • Why do you want to mark them again as A and B, or do you want to mark them with an MFI-number?

  • MFI one number, but then I don't want them as two separate exhibits, if your Honour pleases. They would be MFI number --

  • Okay. So, this would be MFI-3?

  • MFI-3, your Honour.

  • So, the first photograph which is marked as O will be MFI-3A and the second photograph would be MFI-3B.

  • Thank you, your Honour. If those could be shown to the witness, please. Your Honour, the witness is being given an original copy of each of these photographs and is he being shown O:

  • Could you tell us what that photograph is?

  • [Microphone not activated] Yes, this was the photo taken at the border. Yes, this was the photograph we had at the border. Yes, this was the thing in which the ammunition was. This is me, myself. Please could the witness speak into the mike, please? Your Honours, could the witness speak in the mike?

  • Mr Witness, please repeat explaining the personalities in the photograph with the microphone on. Start again.

  • This is myself, this is the driver assigned to me from NPFL, this is the bodyguard for Montgomery and these are my other two bodyguards. So, everybody is represented right here.

  • And you said that is what is shown in this pickup truck are arms and ammunition?

  • Where was this picture taken?

  • And Mendekoma is close to what city in Sierra Leone?

  • Koindu. Sierra Leone and Liberian border.

  • And this photograph was taken when you were at the border with Sam Bockarie?

  • Yes.

  • Now if you could look at MFI-3B, which is photo P.

  • And can you tell us what this picture shows?

  • The picture - this is myself in a special operation in the uniform that was provided to us by Mr Taylor. Whenever we had an operation like this, we wore this uniform. This is me here myself, this is my body guard, Sidiki, and this is one of the officer, Master General. This picture was taken in Foya. When I was going to the border, I had to change the uniform. In case the civilians around see the uniform, you can see the badges here that identify it as executive management. So, I had to change into another clothing so on my way back to Monrovia I had my uniform on again.

  • And what colour is this uniform that is shown in this picture?

  • This is black. This is for special operation.

  • Thank you. Now after you took the weapons and ammunition to the border, what did you do?

  • I turned the ammunition over to Sam Bockarie.

  • Now, how - what quantity of arms and ammunition did you provide him on this trip?

  • The vehicle was full. I can't tell you the exact quantity, but in the pickup van it was full. The truck of it was full. There were AK-47 rounds, RPG and some other guns.

  • And in addition to the guns, did you provide him with anything else?

  • Now after - you said that on your way back to Monrovia you had your uniform on again, after you arrived back in Monrovia what happened?

  • The next day he called me back to go to White Flower and that I should now try and look for one of the most senior officers of ULIMO - that is the former ULIMO-K - who will now work alongside with Sam Bockarie. And wherever the equipment was going, taking them from Lofa area, going to the territory of the RUF, when they see one of the ULIMO-K senior officers working alongside with Sam Bockarie they will be free. They will feel free with them.

  • Now, you said that "he" called you back to White Flower. Who called you back to White Flower?

  • Mr Taylor called me back to White Flower and he gave me another instruction that I should now look for one of the most senior officers of the former ULIMO-K who will work alongside with Sam Bockarie in Sierra Leone.

  • Now, Mr Witness, you indicated that you were to do this because when they see one of the senior officers working alongside with Sam Bockarie "they" will be free. Who are you talking about when you say "they"?

  • I am referring to the former militia, the former fighters of ULIMO-K, who will now feel free because the instruction was already there that they should all feel free to go to RUF territories because RUF too was looking for reinforcements and so they were recruiting. So, if they had one of the most senior officers of the ULIMO-K, the junior officers hear that one of their senior officers is working with Sam Bockarie, they will feel free. Many of them will feel free to go there.

  • Now, what did you do after this meeting with Charles Taylor?

  • From there I contacted Abu Keita.

  • And who was Abu Keita? Your Honours - excuse me, I am sorry, Mr Witness - it is A-b-u, Abu, Keita, K-e-i-t-a. I am sorry, Mr Witness. So, you said that you contacted Abu Keita?

  • Yes, I contacted Abu Keita and Abu Keita was deputy chief of staff of ULIMO-K. His rank was Major General. He was one of the most senior officers that I would have thought of at that time in the ULIMO-K. And he told me that he is unhappy about - he is suspicious about it, because these are people they have been fighting against. He doesn't know whether his life would be secure or not.

  • Mr Witness, you allow the interpreter to finish interpreting for us before you add on your other statements.

  • So, you indicated that Abu Keita said he is suspicious about it because these people have been fighting against him and he doesn't know whether his life would be secure or not. Who was he talking about, these people who had been fighting against him?

  • He was talking to RUF people. He was referring to the RUF people, because at that time now we wanted him to go and work alongside with Sam Bockarie and he has been fighting against Sam Bockarie for a very long time. So, he needed to readjust his mind whether he would feel it necessary to do so or not.

  • And what happened after this conversation?

  • Whilst we are on that, another fighting broke out in September when Mr Taylor's government - that is Roosevelt Johnson again. Roosevelt Johnson went for medical checkup out of the country. When he came back, we never knew where he passed through. No security could identify the border through which he passed, so Mr Taylor became very much concerned and so he invited Roosevelt Johnson at the Executive Mansion and Roosevelt Johnson said he was not coming anywhere. And the securities - the police was instructed to arrest Roosevelt Johnson, and we never knew because Roosevelt Johnson too had bodyguards - a small armed group - at his residence. So, firing broke out at Camp Johnson Road. Roosevelt Johnson resisted arrest.

  • If I could stop you there for a moment, please. You said Camp Johnson Road?

  • Yes, Camp Johnson Road.

  • The road from the Executive Mansion straight to Camp Johnson Road. The road from the Executive Mansion, that road that leads straight to central town, that is the one called Camp Johnson Road.

  • So, this is in Monrovia?

  • So, it was after this incident that you again spoke with Abu Keita?

  • Yes, Abu Keita accepted the offer. He said - then when I contacted Musa Sesay, Musa Sesay said I should take Abu Keita to Benjamin Yeaton's house.

  • Did he tell you why you should take Musa Sesay to Benjamin Yeaton's house?

  • Abu Keita to Benjamin Yeaten's house. Yes, I took Abu Keita to Benjamin Yeaten's house. The reason was Sam Bockarie is there now waiting for Abu Keita. That was the reason why he asked me, "Now Sam Bockarie is waiting for Abu Keita, you can take Abu Keita to Benjamin Yeaten's house".

  • And where was Benjamin's Yeaten's house located?

  • At the back of Mr Taylor's house. The next house just at the back, that was Benjamin's Yeaten's house.

  • And when you say "Mr Taylor's house", what do you call that house?

  • We call there White Flower.

  • Now, did you take him to this meeting?