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

  • Well, Madam President, I apologise sincerely for interrupting, but the web page is from LinkedIn which is another website. And I appreciate the fact that your Honours have considered the matter and are inclined to rule immediately or imminently, but you recall that when this document was given to us it was first given to your Honours and then distributed accordingly to the rest of us. We didn't review it in depth.

    Overnight I have reviewed it in depth and if your Honours wish to hear a few additional submissions, we would be grateful for that. But you are in the process of ruling and I merely point out that it is from LinkedIn not an official Lonestar document or from the website of Lonestar.

  • Be that as it may, Mr Anyah, I would imagine that whatever information that you may have that is contrary to what we have, you have the right to raise it in re-examination. That is a possibility.

    In any event, this is a web page and the title on top of the page is "Lonestar Cell/MTN Liberia company profile". We are of the view that there is nothing to preclude the Prosecution in putting this document before the witness and the reasons given by the Defence in our view do not hold water as this is cross-examination and indeed the Prosecution is entitled to put such a document before the witness. So the objection in relation to that document is overruled.

    The second document is a web page from and the title is "Liberia: TRC's economic criminals". The Prosecution indicated that they would rely or wanted to put before the witness the first two paragraphs of this article that is dated 6 July 2009 and that they would not be concerned with the rest; they would not put the rest of the article before the witness.

    Now, we have read the contents of the first two paragraphs that the Defence objects to on the grounds that they go to the guilt of the accused. We do not agree with the arguments of the Defence for the reason that although the article indeed does speak of "several individuals and institutions the TRC concludes are guilty of economic crimes" and then gives the excerpt, Mr Taylor is not on trial for economic crimes and therefore we do not think that whatever is written in this article in any way goes to his guilt as far as this trial and the indictment are concerned. So we overrule the second objection and the Prosecution is free to put the documents before the witness.

  • Thank you:

  • Good morning, Madam Witness.

  • Ma'am, before we come to documents, I just want to ask you about something you told us yesterday in the afternoon. You said that just before coming here to The Hague you called Lonestar to find out when they started operating. Is that correct?

  • Not exactly, correct.

  • Okay. First of all, did you call someone?

  • And who was the person you called?

  • I called two persons. Mr Gabriel Knuckles and I called Mai Urey.

  • The first name, could you help us with how to spell the family name, Gabriel what?

  • It's Gabriel Knuckles, Knuckles is K-N-U-C-K-L-E-S.

  • And the second person you called with the family name Urey, what was the first name?

  • Mai, M-A-I. Mai Urey.

  • What is the relation of Mai Urey, if any, to Benoni Urey?

  • Please come again.

  • You know Benoni or Ben Urey, U-R-E-Y, one of the directors of Lonestar; do you know him?

  • Yes, Benodi Urey.

  • Thank you for correcting me. Benodi, is that how you pronounce it?

  • Thank you. And what is his relation to Mai Urey?

  • Thank you. Now, Mr Urey is a big supporter of Charles Taylor, would you agree?

  • Tell you the truth, I have never been involved in governmental or political business. I am a private business person.

  • Okay. Thank you. Fair enough. Did you explain to the people you called why you were calling, that you were coming to testify?

  • Well, I - after I called Mr Knuckles and he kept making appointment and didn't keep up with his appointment, I called Mai Urey and I start to say, "Mai, I'm going to testify and I have no idea when Lonestar was established, when they launched the cellular phone." And she said, "Give me some time, I will check." I did. She did not call me back and I called her.

  • Okay. And that's when she told you what?

  • She told me it was in 2001. August 2001, if I am not mistaken.

  • Madam, now I would like to show you some documents. The first one is the one labelled "Lonestar Cell" at the top, "MTN Liberia", company profile on LinkedIn. Before I show you these documents, madam, were you aware that before the mobile service was operational in 2001, isn't it correct that Lonestar was established in Liberia building the infrastructure in the year 2000; is that right? Do you know whether that's true or not?

  • Please state your question again.

  • Sure. I put it to you - what I am saying is: Lonestar began operating - providing the services, excuse me - mobile services in 2001 after being established in Liberia and building the infrastructure in the year 2000. Is that correct?

  • I still don't get that. The infrastructure?

  • Let's go to the document. Maybe that will help. Madam, the first sentence I am going to read to you, it says:

    "Lonestar Cell is the leading GSM communication company in Liberia that has been operating since June 2001."

    Madam, isn't it correct that Lonestar began providing services to users of mobile phones in June 2001?

  • I would say again, I do not remember. This is why I kept asking around.

  • I appreciate that. Thank you. That is a - we understand your answer. It's a long time ago. Almost ten years, correct?

  • Okay. So let's go then to the second document. This is an article from an internet site, "Liberia: TRC's economic criminals". I am only going to read to you the second paragraph. That's all I am concerned with. And that says:

    "Lonestar Communications Corporation (LSC), Liberia's only mobile phone service provider from 2000 to 2004, allegedly committed an array of economic crimes including tax evasion, bribery and telecommunications fraud. LSC was owned by two corporations: (a), Investcom Global Limited, a Lebanese corporation that owned 60 per cent of LSC; and (b), PLC Limited, a corporation owned jointly by Charles Taylor and Benoni Urey and Emmanuel Shaw II, two of Taylor's financial advisers. Because Liberia has no functioning, land-based telephone system, LSC greatly profited from its status as the only company in the telecommunications sector."

    Madam, does that refresh your recollection that until 2004, the only mobile phone service in Liberia was Lonestar?

  • I would like to say that I don't think I am dreaming. I am not dreaming at all, because there was a company that I was registered with and owned a telephone.

  • Thank you. That was ICOM, correct?

  • That was the name you gave. That was a call-back service you told us, correct?

  • That's not? Okay. And I see perhaps we didn't really answer the Justice's question clearly, so let me go back to that. Can you give your best explanation of what a call-back service is?

  • To the best of my knowledge, I think a call-back service is - I would say I think it's a lower rate calling the United States. For me, that's what it was.

  • Thank you. Is it correct - you correct me if I am wrong, but is it the kind of service where you call a number and then when you reach that number and connect it, you put in the number you want to call - let's say it's one of your cousins - and then you hang up and then the number will call back to your phone in Liberia connecting you to your cousin. Is that how it worked?

  • Could you explain?

  • The call-back service was when you dialled your number you want to reach, it rings twice and you put it down and the call will come to you, then you pick up your telephone and answer.

  • Okay. Thank you. And when you pick up your telephone and answer, do you get at that time an operator? Or would you get the person you were trying to call - let's say it was a cousin, just as an example - or would you get an operator, who would then connect you to your cousin? Do you remember?

  • I don't remember.

  • Okay. Thank you. Ma'am, the only telecommunications that was operating before Lonestar was a satellite phone service which was very expensive. Do you remember that? When you are talking about another company, it was a satellite phone service, something like Atlantic Monthly, had a very expensive service, correct?

  • I think - maybe that is what it was, but as long as I don't see a call through a telephone, I say it's wireless and I say it's cell.

  • Thank you. Now, ma'am, you said that - well, excuse me.

    May these two documents, your Honour, that I have just put to the witness be marked for identification?

  • The first of the documents, which is the article entitled "Lonestar Cell MTN Liberia" is marked MFI-4; and the second of the documents, which is entitled "Liberia: TRC's economic criminals" dated 6 July 2009 is marked MFI-5.

  • Now, ma'am, you said that when you - your brother - before your brother gave you your phones, you knew that you could get a phone through your work. Is that right?

  • Yes.

  • And that was your work with LPRC?

  • Did you - a phone, then, was very useful in your work at that time, a mobile phone, correct?

  • Would you please repeat?

  • Yes. Was that because a phone would be very useful to you in your work so you thought your company would, of course, provide you with a mobile phone?

  • No, I didn't think that.

  • Okay. Why did you think your company would provide you with a mobile phone?

  • Because it was the company that bought this ICOM telephone to make my work easier.

  • Okay. So first of all, isn't it true that the phones before Lonestar - you said you call anything a cellphone that's not - that's mobile. Those were very, very expensive to use, correct?

  • I don't understand.

  • Before Lonestar, the phones that you could use without saying whether they are satellite or GSM - because you've said you are not aware of that technicality - they were very expensive to use, the phones before Lonestar, correct?

  • Are you speaking about money-wise, or the cost?

  • Yes, the cost to the user was very expensive, correct?

  • Well, to tell you the truth, I didn't purchase it, so I --

  • Okay. Thank you. Now, did you in fact then get a phone from LPRC after the mobile phones came out - the Lonestar phones came out?

  • No. They promised to pay anybody who had a phone, to pay for that phone for the company.

  • And how would they pay for the phone?

  • Well, if I was given a phone, the cost of the phone, I guess management checked the cost of the phone and were reimbursed for whatever phone we had. So we used it for the company.

  • Well, ma'am, how did you pay for your use of the Lonestar phone?

  • Come again?

  • How did you pay? Did you pay a set amount per month? How did you pay for the use of the Lonestar phone?

  • I didn't pay for the phone. I bought credits. You have cards, prepaid cards.

  • And that is because in Liberia, even at least as through 2007, it was not possible to have any monthly plan. All the mobile phone services were prepaid and you had to charge the phones with credits from a card, correct?

  • Your Honour, I have another document I would like distributed. I only plan to use the first page, but I have the rest of the article which I will provide to counsel opposite.

  • Please show the document to counsel opposite first, before you put it on the overhead.

  • That's the remaining pages of the article for Defence counsel:

  • Madam, before I show the article, you do agree that the phone you had used before Lonestar was much more expensive, don't you?

  • Yes.

  • And in fact yesterday at page 42376, lines 11 and 12, you said that when Lonestar started, "I for one just put away ICOM because it was too expensive." So the phones before Lonestar were much more expensive, you agree, correct?

  • I would say that because when the phone was given, I think I asked the MDA administrative assistant how much these things cost. She said they are pretty expensive. So if she said they were expensive, I knew they were expensive.

  • Madam, I have a document I would like to show to you, we will put it on the overhead, and tell us if you can read it. If you can't read it, we will allow you to pick it up. Can you read it off the screen? Ma'am, can you read the article off the screen?

  • And this is an article from it says "The Perspective, Scanning the current Liberian business environment: A first person's account, Part II". First I want to ask you about the person that wrote the document, Jackson Fiah Doe Jr. This is the son of Jackson Fiah Doe who had run for President of Liberia against Samuel K Doe, correct?

  • Please come again.

  • Do you know Jackson Fiah Doe Jr?

  • Not personally. Do you know that he is currently I believe a deputy managing director at LPRC in Monrovia? Did you hear that or no?

  • Okay. Thank you. Were you aware that Jackson Fiah Doe, the person who ran against Samuel K Doe, had a son called Jackson Fiah Doe Jr? Had you ever heard that?

  • Okay. The article is dated February 28, 2007. I am just going to read part of the first paragraph:

    "While in Liberia, I discovered that certain businesses are very profitable in the country. They are generating lots of money. For instance, the cellphone companies are reaping enormous profits. Currently, there are four cellphone companies in Liberia: Lonestar, Cell-Com, Liber-Cell and Comium. These companies generate revenues in several ways; they sell cellphones, prepaid cards (or scratch cards) and phone chips or (SIM cards). The cellphone companies especially enjoy significant profits from the prepaid cards. Unlike their counterparts in the United States and other parts of the world, which offer customers various call plans, and allow them (customers) to pay phone bills at the end of the month, cellphone companies in Liberia only offer customers prepaid services via calling cards. Therefore, one has to use a prepaid phone card to make local as well as international calls."

    Would you agree with what I've just read about the fact that the only way to make - to use a phone, mobile phone in Liberia at least up to February 2007 was through a prepaid phone card?

  • Please come to the last portion of your question.

  • Sure. The only way, as you explained earlier - the only way to pay for the use of your phone was prepaid scratch cards, correct?

  • Your Honour, may this document be marked for identification.

  • The document from the The Perspective entitled "Scanning the current Liberian business environment: A first person's account" dated February 28, 2007 is marked MFI-6.

  • There is another document I would like to show you, madam. Madam, were you aware that your - that Mr Jenkins Dunbar --

  • Please pause, Mr Koumjian. Can I inquire if the Defence have seen this document before?

  • Madam President, I am familiar with the document from outside of court, but as far as it being used in relation to the examination of this witness, I am being tendered it today for the first time. I may ask for a brief moment to look into a few matters, in particular I wonder if this is already exhibited in this case. I need to verify that. Secondly, I can see from the top of the document a date, 14 April 2005, and I know that these documents are issued in several periodic installments.

  • Yes, but, Mr Anyah, that is not a valid objection. The reason that I asked was whether the Defence have had an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the content. If you have, as indeed you have indicated, then I will ask Mr Koumjian to proceed.

  • Just for counsel's benefit, our records indicate that it has not been exhibited:

  • Madam, this is a list, a press release, with the number "Press release SC/8359". We see it says, "Security Council committee on Liberia updates its travel ban list". I am just going to read a little from the first page and from the third page. On the first page, just so we understand what the list is. It says on the first page:

    "On 14 April 2005, the Security Council committee established pursuant to resolution 1521 (2003) concerning Liberia decided to add the following five individuals to the list of persons subject to the travel restrictions imposed by paragraph 4(a) of resolution 1521 (2003) and renewed by paragraph 1(a) of resolution 1579 (2004) (the travel ban list)."

    And then we see five names. The next sentence indicates: "The revised list is reproduced in full below." If we turn to the third page of the document we see the first name that appears is Belle Dunbar, date of birth 27 October 1963. Is this your cousin, ma'am?

  • No, my niece.

  • And then Jenkins Dunbar, date of birth 10 January 1947. Is this your brother?

  • May this document be marked for identification or I could - could it be marked for identification, please.

  • The document entitled "press release Security Council/8359" and entitled "Security Council Committee on Liberia updates its travel ban list" consisting of 7 pages is marked MFI-7.

  • Perhaps if I could ask that the arm be lowered just so that it's not completely obscuring my view.

  • Madam President, the witness appears to be in some distress, and I wonder if you might inquire.

  • Madam Court Manager - Madam Witness, would you like a short break?

  • Your Honours, the witness would like a short break.

  • Very well. We will take a short recess of about 10 minutes or so.

  • [Break taken at 10.09 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 10.23 a.m.]

  • Your Honours, the AV booth are requesting two minutes before we continue.

  • I think you need to switch to the second channel.

    Mr Koumjian, please proceed.

  • Madam, I promise I don't have too many more questions for you.

  • May I say something before you ask your question?

  • Certainly, ma'am. Please go ahead.

  • Tomorrow is June 10. The date on my brother's birth record is wrong. It's June 10, 1947 and tomorrow would be his birthday, this is why --

  • We understand, and I promise you I will not ask you any more questions about your family.

  • It's okay.

  • Thank you. And we don't have too much - too long to go. Madam, you said yesterday that your phone was stolen on 15 November 2009, last year, and you went immediately to the Lonestar to have the SIM card replaced, correct?

  • Now, when you got to Lonestar, they gave you a SIM card that very day, correct?

  • What has happened to the witness's microphone?

  • Madam, so when you received the new SIM card, the person who stole your phone still had your phone with your old SIM card with the same number, correct?

  • Yes.

  • And you told us it was 15 November. That day you got the SIM card at the Lonestar offices. Was that in Monrovia?

  • Yes, in Monrovia.

  • What days of the week are they open?

  • They are open Monday through I think Saturday at I think sometimes it's 12.

  • Thank you. I would like to distribute a calendar for 2009. Before we display that, if we can briefly look at the transcript from yesterday, page 42381. Madam, I am going to read from line 17. You were asked:

    "Q. Can you tell us what year your telephone was stolen

    from you?

    A. It was last year - last year, November. November 15."

    And now if we could switch to the overhead to look at a calendar for last year for November. Madam, you will see from the calendar that 15 November last year was a Sunday. So the Lonestar office was closed. Isn't that true?

  • Yes.

  • Thank you. I am finished with the document. I know we have had this issue of calendars before. I would ask the Court to take judicial notice that 15 November 2009 was a Sunday. Or, in the alternative, to mark the calendar.

  • Mr Koumjian, the evidence speaks for itself. The witness hasn't contradicted you. We don't need to mark the calendar.

  • Ma'am, you told us about going to Charles Taylor's house and meeting him. Do you recall talking about that? That was the house by the German embassy and you said it happened after your sister had seen on TV, on a small television station, a report about Charles Taylor bringing in arms. Is that correct?

  • Please repeat the first part of the question.

  • You told us about going to Charles Taylor's house and you said it had happened after your sister, I believe it was your sister, had seen on TV, on a small television station, a report about Charles Taylor bringing in arms?

  • Please pause, Mr Koumjian. Yes, Mr Anyah.

  • Madam President, I would be grateful to have a transcript reference for the reference to a television because I need a minute or two to look that up. And if the page number is available, I would like to have it, please.

  • Certainly. One moment, please. If we could have the transcript put on the screen for yesterday, page 42383. Going to the bottom of the page, the last two lines. There is a question:

    "Q. And why did Juliet ask you to do that?

    A. She said she had watched a TV station, a small TV

    station, and they said that Charles Taylor was bringing in

    weapons so she wanted to leave the country."

  • Do you recall that, madam?

  • And you don't recall what year that was, correct?

  • Even though it was the time - and you don't recall whether or not Charles Taylor was President at that time, correct?

  • But whether he was President or not, he was already a very famous person in Liberia. Is that right?

  • Well, if you say. I think famous is a relative term for those who know that somebody is famous, but I am not in that business.

  • Thank you. Well, let me ask my question differently. For you, a citizen of Liberia, a resident of Monrovia, was Charles Taylor, when you met him, a famous person or a very noteworthy person?

  • I would say yes.

  • But because it's hard to remember years, you don't remember the year, correct?

  • I don't remember.

  • Do you remember if this was at the time of the fighting against Roosevelt Johnson in April 1996 in Monrovia?

  • I don't - I don't recall.

  • Okay. Thank you. Now, ma'am, yesterday in a private session you were asked about another phone number, not the number that you said was your phone number, but you were shown a piece of paper with another phone number written on it and that's P-135, and I am not going to show it on the screen because it was private session, but you were asked at page 42395, the question was, line 24:

    "Q. Have you ever received a call on your cellular

    telephone from that number? And.

    A. No, no."

    Do you recall that?

  • Yes.

  • Ma'am, do you remember now what number it was that you saw on that piece of paper?

  • I don't remember.

  • Ma'am, how is it then that you could say definitively that you had not received a call from that number? Could you remember all the numbers that have called you?

  • All the very important numbers I remember.

  • So isn't it correct, really, madam, that you don't remember whether all the numbers had called you? That's right, isn't it?

  • Please rephrase your question.

  • The truth is, you cannot remember all the phone numbers that called your mobile telephone over the years, can you?

  • I can't remember, but I know that most of my calls are business calls for catering. So I remember them because I saved them.

  • So, ma'am, the truth is though, you cannot say whether or not you received a call from that number. No one could remember that, can they, all the numbers that called them? I made that question compound, so let me ask it simpler.

    You cannot say truthfully, definitively, whether or not you received a call from that number, correct?

  • Please restate your question.

  • Ma'am, when you said that you had never received a call from that number, you were saying that to be helpful to the Defence, correct?

  • I don't understand what you mean by being helpful to the Defence.

  • Ma'am, you cannot remember, you have just told us, I believe, all the numbers that called you, correct?

  • Yes, I don't remember all.

  • So if someone gives you a number, a Liberian phone number beginning with 06, you can't say whether or not that number over the years had called you or not, could you - can you?

  • Maybe not definitely, but.

  • So, ma'am, what I am suggesting to you is that the answer you gave was not the complete truth because the complete truth is you wouldn't know whether or not that number had called you or not. Isn't that true?

  • Thank you. Madam, you said the number that you have testified is your mobile phone number - that number was said in open session in this trial in June 2007 and then that witness was brought back for cross-examination in August 2007. Is it correct that you received no phone call or no contact from the Defence until 2009?

  • Please pause. Mr Anyah?

  • I believe counsel has been speaking of the year 2007. The opening statement was on 4 June, so I think there is an error with respect to the years in the question.

  • I appreciate that. Thank you, counsel. That was my error. 2008. Let me restate it. My apologies:

  • Madam, this witness testified in June 2008. There was a break for the Defence to investigate information about phone numbers the witness had until August 2008. Madam, you did not receive any contact or call from the Defence until 2009. Isn't that true?

  • 2009. Yes, I think it was in 2009.

  • Ma'am, that was last year, correct?

  • Ma'am, from what you have testified to, from 2001 to 2009, you had the same phone. That is from the time you received the phone until it was stolen on Randall street, November 2009, over eight years, according to your testimony, you had the same phone with the same SIM card. Is that right?

  • And you never lost that phone during those eight years?

  • I can't remember misplacing it.

  • Okay. But it's possible that something like that could happen and you have just forgotten it because it's been so long, correct?

  • I don't know.

  • Okay. And, madam, it's correct that the number you gave as your current phone number, on several occasions individuals have called you asking for Charles Taylor? Correct?

  • Thank you. No further questions.

  • Mr Anyah, any re-examination?

  • Yes, Madam President, I have a few questions.

  • Good morning, Ms Hoff. I have a few questions for you stemming from the questions that were asked by counsel opposite, so please bear with me to the extent I touch on matters that might be a bit sensitive to you at this point, given what you told the Court after we resumed from the last break.

    Let's start with the last question that was just asked to you by counsel opposite. The question was - this is at line 18 of my page 26 - you were asked this question:

    "Q. The number you gave us as your current phone number,

    on several occasions individuals have called you asking for

    Charles Taylor, correct?

    A. Yes."

    The time period during which persons have called asking for Charles Taylor is when? That is, when was the first time you received a call from someone asking for Charles Taylor on your phone?

  • Like I said, it was on a Saturday when I was catering, when the first two, I think, three calls came saying that there was a trial going on and somebody said that that number was Charles Taylor's number. It was at that time I received - I started receiving calls, and about six, eight months, after that time, there was a foreign call 1.30 that night, when somebody called and said, "May I speak to Mr Taylor?" I said, "This is not Mr Taylor. He is in The Hague. And please don't wake me up, because you know where Mr Taylor is", and I couldn't sleep again. But not before then.

  • What year was it that you received the first call that the request was made to speak to Charles Taylor? Did you understand the question, Ms Hoff?

  • Please?

  • Yes. You told us about receiving a call on a Saturday during which the person asked for Charles Taylor. I want to know in what year did you receive that call?

  • Did I - the calls that came that Saturday were calls from two or three different persons, but they did not say that they wanted to speak to Charles Taylor at that time. They said there was a trial going on. Two of them just called and said, "Is this Taylor's number?" and "May I know who is speaking?" And it cut off.

  • Very well. Just listen to my question. I appreciate the distinction you are trying to make. Before these calls came on that Saturday, had you ever received any call where the person calling asked whether you were Charles Taylor or the number you had belonged to Charles Taylor?

  • Now, what year was it that you received the first call from someone inquiring whether your number was Charles Taylor's number? What calendar year; that's what I am referring to.

  • I won't remember the year. I said it before. But I think it was sometimes last year, because right after those calls, I think that's when Mr Gray contacted me. I don't recall the exact time. I think, to the best of my knowledge, it was last year sometime.

  • Was Charles Taylor in Liberia at the time you received the first of these calls?

  • Where was he when you received the first of these calls?

  • He was here in The Hague.

  • Thank you, Ms Hoff.

    Could Ms Hoff be shown all the MFIs marked by the Prosecution, starting with MFI-4, MFI-5, MFI-6 and MFI-7, please. Could we first display MFI-4, please. It's very hard for us to read the document. Perhaps a hard copy could be given to the witness to hold up close. Yes. That appears to be better.

    Ms Hoff, first of all, can you read what is on the screen; that is, do you see it legibly and clearly?

  • Yes.

  • You remember being shown this document a few minutes ago today - well, I believe it started yesterday afternoon - but you remember discussing it with counsel opposite today as well? You remember that, Ms Hoff?

  • She was not shown this document yesterday.

  • You were shown this document today, this morning; you remember that?

  • Thank you. Now, if we zoom out a little bit. Ms Hoff, do you see at the top, the top left-hand corner, it says "LinkedIn"; do you see that?

  • And Madam Court Officer, could we scroll to the bottom left-hand corner to the end of the document so that the last line is shown on the page. Ms Hoff, do you see a website address ""; do you see that?

  • Are you familiar with the website called LinkedIn?

  • Do you know how information is uploaded or put into this website called LinkedIn?

  • Do you know whether anybody in the public domain can upload information onto this website called LinkedIn?

  • Please restate your question.

  • Yes. Do you know whether LinkedIn is the sort of website that anybody in the public can log into and upload any information they wish to upload into it?

  • I don't know anything about the website.

  • So you do not know how information makes its way into LinkedIn?

  • Can we go to the top of the document, please. Thank you, Ms Hoff. Now, the primary reason you were shown this document, from the questions, had to do with when Lonestar started operating in Liberia. So let's read what it says. At the top it says:

    "Lonestar Cell is the leading GSM communication company in Liberia that has been operating since June 2001."

    Do you see the reference to Lonestar having started its operations in June 2001 per this document? Do you see that, Ms Hoff?

  • Yes.

  • Can we go to MFI-5, please. And just bear in mind what you have seen in the first document, June 2001. If we could focus on the second paragraph that was read to Ms Hoff. Now, the second paragraph, Ms Hoff, reads - and I will just read the first sentence of that paragraph:

    "Lonestar Communications Corporation (LSC), Liberia's only mobile phone service provider from 2000 to 2004."

    Let's pause there. One document said Lonestar started operating in June 2001. This document says from 2000 Lonestar was Liberia's only mobile phone service provider. Ms Hoff, does the information in these two documents regarding the time frame when Lonestar started operating in Liberia appear to be the same to you?

  • No.

  • What is the difference between the two?

  • Please pause. Mr Anyah, are really these questions that are fit for a witness? Are these not questions or things you should reserve for your submissions? Do the documents not speak for themselves?

  • Well, first of all, the documents haven't been admitted, Madam President; and second of all, these issues were pursued in cross-examination by counsel opposite. In particular this issue was considered to some degree during that examination, and I am using the same documents to point out additional information, as we see it, in re-examination that was not pointed out in cross-examination. But the witness has answered the question.

  • Very well.

  • Thank you, Madam President:

  • I did not get an answer from you to the last question, but I think you have answered the question in its core in the previous answer, so we will move forward.

    Now, this document we are looking at, if we go to the top of the document again to the left-hand corner, Ms Hoff, this document at the top left-hand corner says ""; do you see that?

  • And when you go down the left-hand side of the page, do you see a notation that says "New Democrat (Monrovia)"?

  • Are you familiar with the New Democrat?

  • Yes, it's it is a newspaper that comes out every day in Monrovia.

  • The New Democrat is a newspaper that comes out every day in Monrovia?

  • Are you familiar with the Liberian TRC, or the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia?

  • Well, I heard when it was going on, but it didn't interest me, because everything almost that they said it sounded like lies to me because we knew some of the people. So I really didn't follow the TRC, no.

  • And then you see in the middle of the page it says, "Liberia: TRC's economic criminals", and then the first paragraph says:

    "Contest over the economy was one of the prime reasons for the prolongation of the war and its attending horrors as the plunder of meagre resources intensified. The TRC, in its report based on its mandate of investigating economic crimes, has listed several individuals and institutions it concludes are guilty of economic crimes. Excerpt:"

    Do you know what it means when the word "excerpt" is used there, Ms Hoff?

  • No.

  • Do you know whether the information in this document come from the TRC report, Ms Hoff?

  • I don't know because I see "New Democrat Monrovia" and I see "", so I don't know if this is the original document from TRC. I wouldn't know.

  • Thank you, Ms Hoff. Can we move to MFI-6, please. Can I ask one more question, Ms Hoff, before MFI-6. This newspaper, the New Democrat, what is the reputation of that newspaper in Monrovia?

  • Normally, sometimes the reason why I purchase New Democrat is everything about Taylor is in there. Everything they write, Taylor has to be in the newspaper every day, that Democrat. So normally when you want to read about the Court, you know, the trial, you can get the Democrat. You get information.

  • Are there newspapers in Liberia that have the reputation of being pro or against Charles Taylor?

  • I think the Democrat is the only one I hear people say against Taylor.

  • The paper you just referred to, the New Democrat?

  • Yes, the Democrat.

  • Thank you, Ms Hoff. Now, MFI-6. The name Jackson Fiah Doe Jr has been mentioned to you. Do you know that person?

  • No. I know before the war there was a Jackson F Doe. I didn't know what the - I don't actually know what the F was for, but I know there was an older man, Jackson F Doe, that ran one time to be President when Samuel Kanyon Doe was running, I remember.

  • Do you see at the top it says "the calm after the storm"? Do you see that?

  • And you see it as a web page with the name The Perspective and do you see the words "The Perspective" again underlined in the middle part of the top of the page?

  • Right below where you have "Jackson F Doe"?

  • And do you see the reference to "Atlanta, Georgia, February 28, 2007"?

  • Do you understand what that reference to Atlanta, Georgia, is?

  • I would say maybe that is where he resided. I don't know.

  • If we scroll down the page - when you say maybe that's where he resided, who is the "he" you are referring to, Ms Hoff?

  • Maybe the Jackson Fiah Doe.

  • Yes, the first full paragraph at the middle of the page, there is a part of that paragraph that starts with the sentence that begins with "although" and I will just read it for you. The writer says:

    "Although I was in the country for only two weeks, I spent about 250 United States dollars on prepaid cards to call my family, customers and employees in the United States."

  • Actually, it doesn't say United States dollars, does it?

  • It has the dollar sign.

  • Yes, but it could be Liberian dollars, because earlier when he is referring to 5 dollars he does say 5 US dollars. So we don't know what these dollars are.

  • That's a good point, I appreciate it, but it is dollars and we will just proceed with the amount given and the ambiguity as is remains:

  • The issue is, Ms Hoff, what I have just read, this sentence, "although I was in the country for only two weeks", what do you understand it to mean?

  • Maybe it meant that he spent too much money on cards.

  • What do you understand the length of time period this person is saying they were in a particular country?

  • Yes. What do you understand as the time frame or period of time that this writer says they spent in a particular country?

  • A short time frame. Two weeks.

  • And do you know to which country the writer refers when they say "although I was in the country for only two weeks"?

  • I am sure it's Liberia.

  • Thank you. That's MFI-6. Can we go to MFI-7, please. Ms Hoff, you remember being shown this document earlier this morning?

  • Can we go to page 3, please. And, Ms Hoff, I will ask that you just bear with me, it's necessary that we cover these issues again. The reference there to Mr Jenkins Dunbar, the birthday in question listed in this document, is that his correct birthday?

  • No.

  • What is Mr Jenkins Dunbar's correct birthday?

  • June 10, 1947.

  • Thank you. Now, yesterday you were asked questions about Mr Dunbar. In particular you were asked about his service as Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy in Liberia. You were also asked about your niece, Ms Belle Dunbar. Can I ask you this in respect of those two persons: The fact that Jenkins Dunbar was a minister in Mr Taylor's government, has that in any way affected what you have told this Court, I mean its sincerity or truthfulness?

  • Please come again.

  • Yes. The fact that your late brother served as a minister in Mr Taylor's government, has that in any way affected your sincerity before this Court, your truthfulness?

  • The fact that Ms Belle Dunbar, your niece, was a director at the LPRC, the Liberian Petroleum Refining Company, has that in any way affected the truthfulness of what you have told this Court?

  • The fact that Ms Fanny Dunbar-Bull - it's either Fanny Dunbar-Bull or Ms Fanny Bull-Dunbar. I want to be more specific. Ms Fanny Dunbar-Bull served as a dietician for Mr Taylor, has that in any way affected your sincerity or truthfulness before this Court?

  • Thank you. That's all with MFI-7. Now, you told us of your phone being stolen and you went over that with counsel this morning regarding the date on which you said it was stolen. You remember yesterday in private session I read you transcripts from this case about someone who claimed to have had the same number that you have. Do you remember what years that person said they were in Liberia?

  • No.

  • Was your phone ever misplaced, lost or stolen in the years 2000 to 2003?

  • Ask the question again.

  • Yes, Ms Hoff. Was your telephone ever lost, as in misplaced or stolen, in the years between 2001 when you got it and 2003?

  • No.

  • Thank you. Yesterday - this is at page 42413 of the transcript, if that could be pulled up, please?

  • Mr Anyah, I am just wondering the question that you put to the witness, this is the statement you said at page 38 line 7, "You remember yesterday in private session I read you transcript about someone who claimed to have had the same number that you have." Was that what the transcript actually said? I thought that witness said that the witness's number is the same as Mr Taylor's number and the witness himself gave by way of a confidential exhibit his own number, which is different from the witness's number. Am I mistaken?

  • No, you are not mistaken. You are absolutely right. That was an error on my part and I withdraw that question. The relevant question for our purposes has to do with the dates, whether the witness's telephone was lost or misplaced and the witness has answered that question. So essentially I will seek leave of your Honours to withdraw that question. Thank you:

  • Now, I don't know if we have this page, page 42413. Ms Hoff, you were asked some questions and you gave a response. This won't take long. At page 42413, line 27, you were asked this question:

    "Q. Okay, sorry, I am talking about the Lonestar number,

    the phone, the one your brother gave you that starts 06.

    When did you obtain that?

    A. It was the first day Lonestar opened, the first day,

    because everybody with 510 comes in the first day and then

    the 512 and that's how it went. I don't remember the day."

    What I want to ask you is what you meant by saying in relation to the first day Lonestar opened, when you say, "The first day, because everybody with 510 comes in the first day and then the 512," what do you mean by those sequence of numbers in relation to when Lonestar opened?

  • When Lonestar opened, there was a rush for telephones and the first set of people had one like 51, 5100, 512. So the first day is those that have the 510, because all the other persons I know that got phone that day was in that same series, the 510. And then the next day, you know, I think it started to go up like 512, 513. Now it's almost 08 something. I don't remember the --

  • When you see the telephone number of someone who subscribes to Lonestar, are you able to tell around what time period they may have obtained that number from Lonestar? That is, was it the beginning of Lonestar's operation, a few years after, or later in the sequence of time?

  • Well, I can tell maybe from the first day and the second, then up to present, because the one up to present gone to about 10 numbers, I think.

  • But for the numbers that you were issued during the earlier periods of Lonestar's operation, are you able to tell which number was issued first in sequence?

  • Yes, from what I got, yes.

  • Thank you, Ms Hoff. Do you know the differences between a satellite phone and a mobile phone?

  • Maybe not.

  • Do you know the difference between a mobile phone and a cellphone?

  • Thank you, Madam President. That's all I have in re-examination.

  • I am just wondering if the judges have any questions. Yes, the judges have one or two questions for the witness, please.

  • Madam Hoff, did you bring your mobile phone with you to The Hague?

  • Yes, I have it at the residence.

  • Thank you, Madam Witness. Yesterday you spoke about the incident where your telephone was stolen, and this morning in answer to questions by counsel for the Prosecution you confirmed that you immediately went to Lonestar after that incident. That's page 20, line 1 of today's transcript. Yesterday you also explained to us at the Lonestar office you asked - and I am looking at my notes now, and it was page 123 of yesterday's transcript - you asked for the same number that you had had previously, and they put something in the computer, it came out, and you said:

    "They gave a paper. I broke it off on the stick. I broke it off and I put it into the --"

    But you did not complete that answer, and I do not know what it was that you put it into. Could you tell us, please.

  • Yes. Actually, when they gave the cards, they tell you that you have about two hours or so to wait before you can use the SIM. So when I said I put it in, it was after the time that they told me, I broke it off and put it into a telephone.

  • But you have told us that the telephone was stolen. What telephone did you put it into?

  • I used to sell telephones. My brother is in the States used to send phones to sell. Just telephones, but no SIM cards.

  • Sorry, I didn't understand your answer. Ma'am, what telephone did you put the new SIM into?

  • I had telephones home.

  • You mean you had a spare telephone set at home?

  • I sell telephones, so I just took one to use.

  • Are there any questions arising from these inquiries by the judges?

  • Not by the Defence. Thank you.

  • Very well. Madam Witness, I just want to thank you for your testimony, which has now come to an end, and we will soon discharge you from the courtroom as soon as some exhibits have been admitted. In the meantime, we wish you a safe journey home.

  • Mr Koumjian, do you wish to tender any of the MFIs into evidence?

  • Yes. I would tender all the exhibits that we put to the witness, and I would indicate I have no objection to the Defence exhibits.

  • Yes. I beg your pardon, I had forgotten that the Defence had two documents marked for identification.

  • Yes, Madam President, I would like to have them admitted, but admitted confidentially, because you recall these numbers that we wished to remain private. So that would be both MFIs 1 and 2, we seek that they be exhibited, but confidentially.

    And I do have a few objections to make regarding the Prosecution's MFIs.

  • Let me get the Defence exhibits out of the way. Madam Court Manager, I think the next will be exhibit D-419.

  • That is correct, your Honour.

  • Then MFI-1, which comprises a sheet of paper on which the witness has indicated her own telephone number, is admitted as exhibit D-419 and will be marked "confidential".

    The second document, which was MFI-2, is a sheet of paper on which the witness indicated the telephone numbers of her brothers and sister. That will be admitted as exhibit D-420 and will be marked "confidential".

  • [Exhibits D-419 and D-420 admitted]

    Mr Anyah, I will hear you on the other exhibits.

  • To be more precise, and for purposes of brevity and efficiency, I do not have an objection per se to MFI-6, which is the Jackson Doe article. All I would ask is that only the portions considered during cross-examination or re-examination be included as part of the exhibit. Essentially, I am asking that the first full paragraph only constitute the exhibit, not the parts dealing with rice importation and the like. So that's MFI-6, and that's the observation there.

    I would make the same observation regarding MFI-7, the Security Council document. Counsel opposite read the top part of the first page without naming the names on the rest of the first page. The transcript reflects that counsel merely said there are some names listed on the first page. And then we went to page 3, and counsel opposite considered only two entries.

    Now, we ask that to the extent this is exhibited, that the exhibit is made up of only the parts of the third page referred to by counsel opposite and the parts of the first page referred to by counsel opposite; that is, we object to the balance of the document constituting any part of the exhibit.

  • On what grounds do you object to the rest of the document?

  • I object on the grounds of your decision of 30 November 2007. This is a case where - most of the names that are listed in this document have featured in Mr Taylor's cross-examination at some point or another. Look at the first page: Musa Cisse, Chief of Protocol; during the cross-examination of Mr Taylor, Victor Bout was considered; the second name Ibrahim Balde, also known as Ibrahim Bah; Cyril Allen, all these name - or most of them have been put to Mr Taylor, Talal El-Ndine and the like.

    Now, there are notations made about each of these persons. This is a Security Council document. The Prosecution called 91 witnesses, tendered hundreds of exhibits. This document is a very notorious document in Liberia. It is the infamous travel ban documents that has caused a lot of hardship for a lot of people in Liberia. Not once in the entire course of this case did the Prosecution seek to have it admitted as an exhibit.

    We filed before your Honours litigation about this particular document, CMS --

  • No, no, no, no, no. Mr Anyah, I want you to go - our decision was very clear as to when a document may not be admitted in evidence. The grounds or criteria are few and succinct. I don't want to hear a litany of submission on this. Just simply tell me - tell the judges on what grounds you object to the rest of this document being admitted in evidence simply.

  • I object on the basis of paragraph 27 of your decision of November 30, 2009. That paragraph calls for a particular standard when a document that is to be deemed to be fresh evidence is sought to be admitted.

    There is a three-part test. First, the Prosecution must disclose the document. We were given that document in court today. Second, in the first half of the second --

  • Disclose what kind of documents?

  • Documents that go to the guilt of the accused, and that is what I submit this document is.

  • Now get to the point and tell us which part of this document goes to the guilt of the accused, please.

  • Well, all of the parts of the document in the column called:

    "Justification: Victor Bout, businessman, dealer and transporter of weapons and minerals, arms dealer in contravention of UN Security Council, supported former President Taylor's regime in an effort to destabilise Sierra Leone and gain access to elicit acts and gain illicit access to diamonds."

    That goes to the guilt of Mr Taylor.

  • Very well. That is all I wanted you to get to very succinctly. You are objecting to the rest of this document because, as far as you can see, it contains material that goes to proof of guilt. Would I summarise that?

  • Yes. So that's this document MFI-7.

    MFI-4 and MFI-5, I object on the basis of generally acceptable principles of evidence. The Special Court does not have a best evidence rule, but this rule in several jurisdictions exists, and it is an important rule, it's an important jurisprudential and evidentiary principle.

    The first one, MFI-4, comes from a website called LinkedIn. This is like some of those websites they have these days, facebook and the rest, where people go and upload any information they want, whether it is true or not, and there is no accountability, so to speak.

    Now, you look at this MFI-4, and it is not even an individual. It --

  • Sorry to interrupt you. Do you not think that these, your arguments relating to MFI-4 and 5, are arguments to go to the weight of the document rather than its admissibility?

  • That is why I prefaced it with saying I am triggering, if you will, or relying on a best evidence rule that I hope your Honours will consider in the context of this document.

  • Well, that rule does not apply at the admissibility stage. It applies when you are weighing the evidence at the end of the day.

  • In jurisdictions where I have practiced, it can apply to the admissibility stage.

  • Not in this is jurisdiction. And you know that, Mr Anyah, really.

  • Well, I make the objection nonetheless and I am, of course, in the Court's hands as far as that is concerned.

    The same observation with regards to MFI-5, which is the Liberian TRC excerpts, if you will. You have heard testimony by the witness. There is reference here to the New Democrat. So what we have here is allAfrica website reprinting something from the New Democrat which the New Democrat says came from the TRC reports. That's the essence of this document. Nobody knows where this information came from. That's the nature of this document.

    The Prosecution has in this same case presented evidence directly from the TRC report. Why not in this instance? And so I invoke again the best evidence rule at this stage of admissibility, and I urge your Honours to consider it as a generally applicable principle of international law and to preclude the admissibility of this document. Thank you.

  • Mr Koumjian, if you could take us through your MFIs. I know that you have indicated that you wish to tender all of them; however, I just wish to clarify from you: MFI-4, you wish the entire page to be admitted, not so?

  • What is your response to Mr Anyah's objections?

  • As to MFI-4, 5 and 6, those are arguments that go to the weight to be given. There is no rule that requires that evidence come from a primary source in the Special Court of Sierra Leone or other international tribunals. As to --

  • MFI-5 is just the first two paragraphs --

  • -- that you wish tendered.

  • That is correct. And also for the travel ban list, I would indicate that the only portions that I request - that we will be requesting are pages 1 and 3, the first page I read just to introduce what this is, a list, and the two names I read on page 3.

  • And MFI-6, which is The Perspective, you have no objection to the first paragraph only --

  • Very well. First of all, let me say on the outset that the Defence objections relating to MFI-4, 5 and 6 are objections really that go to the weight of these documents and they are not objections that we are prepared to entertain at the stage of admission of a document and so they are not a bar to admission of these documents.

    As relates to the arguments relating to MFI-7, I think those have now been rendered moot since the Prosecution has indicated that they only intend to tender the title page - in fact the title of the document, really, without the list of names and only the two names referred to on page 3. So there are no issues between the parties as relates to that MFI. And so I will relate the various Prosecution exhibits as follows:

    MFI-3 - there was an MFI-3 that I don't seem to have. That was a Prosecution exhibit, wasn't it?

  • Yes, your Honour, and that was the correspondence from the Defence to the Prosecution which has a different name for this witness.

  • If I may, Madam President, when the Prosecution sought that it be marked for identification, I believe they requested that it be confidential. We would urge the same be adopted, should it be exhibited. We have no objection to it.

  • Right. This is the document that was marked MFI-3 as redacted yesterday and that document is now admitted as exhibit P-543 and will be marked confidential.

    MFI-4, which I have described before and which consists of a whole page, that is exhibit P-544.

    MFI-5, consisting of a single page but only the first two paragraphs of that page are admitted in evidence as exhibit P-545.

    MFI-6, which is a page out of The Perspective, and that is page 1 of the article entitled "Scanning the current Liberian business environment: A first person's account" by Jackson Fiah Doe Jr. The first paragraph on that page is admitted in evidence as exhibit P-546.

    Lastly, the press release Security Council/8359, an article entitled "Security Council on Liberia updates its travel ban list". Now, that first page, the title on the first page, as well as page 3, the portion that relates to the two names that were dealt with in the witness's examination, that's Belle Dunbar and Jenkins Dunbar, those portions of that document are admitted as exhibit P-547.

  • [Exhibits P-543 to P-547 admitted]

    Madam Witness, we do wish you a safe journey home and thank you very much for your evidence.

  • Thank you.

  • Ms Hollis, I must turn to you at this stage to inquire. It's now time for the mid-morning break and you had indicated that you might be able to proceed with cross-examination of DCT-190 after the testimony of the current witness. Now it has so happened that the current witness has finished her testimony earlier than Thursday as had earlier been indicated. How do you wish us to proceed?

  • Thank you, Madam President. Very briefly, we would ask your Honours for the following procedure. We believe there are two options. The first option would be that we begin our cross-examination of DCT-190 tomorrow morning on those portions of the testimony for which we had notice. As I indicated yesterday, we do need to use our investigators on some of the new matters. We have sent taskings for that. We would not be prepared to deal with those new matters tomorrow.

    We still are of the view we would be prepared to deal with those new matters towards the end of next week, should your Honours allow us that time. So we would ask that other witnesses be interposed.

    But, to be clear, we would be prepared to proceed with some of the cross-examination beginning tomorrow morning. And we do want to thank the Defence. Last evening at 1836 we were provided about 35 pages of statements of the witness.

  • Very well. That is appreciated. And, Mr Anyah, I don't know if you are able to answer this. I know that I think earlier on this week Mr Griffiths, lead counsel, indicated to the Chamber that due to travel changes in the airline that brings the witnesses from Africa to The Hague, changes that were beyond our own control, these witnesses would not be here until Sunday or Tuesday, I don't know. Sometime anyway. But what is the final position? Are you in a position say to proceed with the next witness say on Friday?

  • Madam President, we do face difficulties logistically in that sense because of some developments with the airlines that brings the witnesses and Mr Griffiths mentioned these yesterday. As I stand before your Honours, we do not have in The Hague besides the witness that has just finished and the one whose testimony has been continued, DCT-190, another witness I believe. I think those are the only two witnesses we have physically in The Hague. We expect some witnesses towards the end of this week, today being Wednesday, but how many are coming I am not entirely sure. Originally two were scheduled to come in the next few days. I have been told it's down to one and there might be another person arriving over the weekend.

    We have no difficulty with the manner of proceeding proposed by counsel opposite, which is to commence with the cross-examination of DCT-190 tomorrow. Where a difficulty might arise would be sometime early next week. To the extent that the Prosecution is unable to continue that cross-examination for reasons indicated already, we may come to a point early next week where we have just had a witness arrive and we might be seeking time to meet with the witness and proof the witness.

    So it's hard for me to say. All I can say is we will be prepared to go forward tomorrow and we will keep your Honours apprised about the developments regarding the transportation of our witnesses and to the extent early next week we need more time to meet with the recent arrival, we would make the appropriate request.

  • Thank you. Your submissions are also appreciated. So we will adjourn the proceedings to tomorrow morning at 9 for cross-examination of DCT-190 and any glitches that may arise beyond the Court's control, we will cross those bridges when we get to them.

    Sorry, I must have misspoken. We will adjourn to tomorrow until 9.30. Court is adjourned accordingly.

  • [Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 11.37 a.m. to be reconvened on Thursday, 10 June 2010 at 9.30 a.m.]