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

It was a Sunday. Children were in the beach with the social workers and the caretakers. I was in my room, room and office, and I heard this noise, all the children coming inside the compound. So I just looked from my window and I saw all the children in the central compound and they were saluting a person I couldn't see, so I came down and when I approached the circle I saw Foday Sankoh was addressing the children. He made them pray. They sang the RUF hymn - anthem, sorry. Then he addressed them saying, "I am your father, you are my children. I have promised you you will have a better life, you will have free education and now you have it." So at that moment, I approached Mr Sankoh and I ask him that - I told him it was a private institution, he didn't have any right to come inside like that and he asked me who I was. I introduced myself and said I was Father Chema, the person in charge of the programme. Then he said he knew the Government of Sierra Leone had given me a lot of money to take care of the children and all the children were there almost naked when they were on the beach that day and I wasn't taking care of the children, so I just told him that the Government of Sierra Leone didn't give me any money for the programme, that all the money was coming through UNICEF and private donors from Spain, so he just got angry at that moment, pointed fingers at me and started threatening me saying he will send a commission to investigate how I was using the money the government was giving me for the children.

There were some armed people with him when he arrived in the compound, even a vehicle with some weapons and after that they left, the vehicles and Foday Sankoh.

It happened that when I was there one of the social workers was taking pictures and he took the pictures at the moment when I was talking with Foday Sankoh.

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech