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

"Q. Please I want you to tell me your


A. My name is Gibril Sesay.

Q. Okay, Gibril. Tell me exactly what happened to you

that you have been amputated. Tell me everything.

A. Well, when the rebels attacked Koidu Town, when we're

in Kono District on Saturday, so we were in the bush hiding

away from them. They were disturbing us in the bush,

running - chasing us in the bush. They would move

from the town and chase us in the bush and at the latter

part, when we heard that ECOMOG had come, by then we were

encamped in a village called Wendedu in a very thick forest

in a village called Wendedu in the forest. That was where

we were camped. So we got an information there that the

ECOMOG had come and based at Kokuima. Myself, my children

and my wife, we all came out and we took our loads and we

went, but when we got to a village called Penduma we

decided to rest there. So that was where we were seated

when I saw Mr Mohamed, my next friend that you have just

interviewed, I saw him amputated. So I accompanied him

because he was alone and his children were very small. So

I assisted him up to very close to Kokuima. So I decided

to return and I said I was going to collect my own children

to take them to the ECOMOG base for us to go and stay

there. When I got back I did not see my children. I met

all the loads on the veranda. To my surprise I did not

know in fact that they had gone back and chased the people

in the town and after we just left the town they went and

set an ambush at the edge of the town so I decided to

collect my pots and dishes. I had some cooked rice in

there. So when I got to place where they had set the

ambush very close to the bridge made of palm trees all of

them came outside. They were 15 in number. The one who

was their captain, whom they referred to as the captain, he

was somebody I knew. He was Staff Alhaji.

Q. He was just a soldier or a rebel?

A. He was a soldier, Staff Alhaji. I knew him very well.

Okay. He asked them to rid me of everything I had with me.

In fact, I can say they stripped me naked anyway, you see?

And they divided all my property amongst themselves. Even

my underpants, they took it from me and one particular one

amongst them put it into his pocket and he said I should

put my hand on the ground and I put my hand on the ground

and he told me he was going to chop it off and he took the

machete from his back, he chopped my hand ten times and on

the 11th time my hand finally was chopped off, and I took a

pieces of cloth that I had used as a pad on my head to tote

my loads and he decided to wipe the machete of the blood.

By then I was not - I had lost my sight so he asked me to

go and whilst I was trying to go he chopped me on my back.

Oh, oh God, oh God, oh God, oh, I am dying. I am dying, my

brother. He chopped me on my back - on my back.

So they were kicking me continuously and they kicked

me until I found myself in a stream. There was a small

stream close by. That was what in fact saved my life, or

else I would have died. So I dipped my head into the

stream and I drank some water. That helped me to regain my

sight. They were sitting there looking at me and I got up

and I was trying to manage to go ahead. I was holding my

hand so that I prevented it wasting too much of blood, but

I couldn't make it because I was bleeding seriously and

they were seated there laughing at me and my chopped

off hand was lying on the ground on the line, so I

managed to go and meet the ECOMOG. They treated me and

took me to Makeni.

Q. Where is your wife and your children? Did you see them


A. No, it is only my younger brother who is with me here.

Q. Please have my sympathy.

A. Yeah, yeah. Oh."

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech