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

Witness, yesterday the Defence invited your attention to selected passages from official documents and asked you various questions about their content. I would like to go to at least three of those documents now, if I could have the assistance of the Registry with MFI-31.

I think we should have on our screens MFI-31, which is the Security Council document, fifth report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Sierra Leone dated 9 June 1998. If we could go to page 3 of that document, the one that ends with the ERN 4203, or the ERN ends with those digits. Okay, if we are there, my monitor does not show it but I'm on the wrong channel, I will get to there, but I presume we have in front of us page 3 and directing your attention down to 13, and I don't want to spend too much time on this because what I wanted to do was to read out 15, but it's important to understand the context and if you will notice in 13, 13 begins, "Following the expulsion of the illegal military junta from the capital Freetown" and then it goes at the end to say, "ECOMOG forces also advanced eastwards towards the Kono and Kailahun Districts where the forces of the former junta were concentrated". But I wanted specifically then to read paragraph 15 in that context:

"As ECOMOG troops approached, armed former junta elements attacked the local civilian population killing, raping and mutilating hundreds of them, causing tens of thousands of Sierra Leoneans to flee into Liberia and Guinea in the last few weeks and tens of thousands more to flee into the interior of Sierra Leone. Hundreds of patients have been admitted to hospital suffering from amputation of limbs and ears and severe lacerations. Humanitarian organisations fear the actual number of victims may be much larger."

Witness, my question to you is were you aware of these events?

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