International Justice Monitor

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Charles Taylor’s Former Vice President Moses Blah Ordered The Execution Of RUF Commander Sam Bockarie, Witness Says

Charles Taylor’s former Vice President Moses Blah ordered the execution of a Sierra Leonean rebel commander in Liberia who was already a subject of an indictment issued by the Special Court for Sierra Leone in 2003, a former radio operator in Charles Taylor’s Special Security Services (SSS) unit today told the Special Court for Sierra Leone judges in The Hague.

When notorious Revolutionary United Front (RUF) commander Sam Bockarie was executed while entering Liberia from Ivory Coast in 2003, allegations were made that his execution had been ordered by Mr. Taylor.

Giving his account of the circumstances surrounding Mr. Bockarie’s death, defense witness DCT-008 told the court that in 2003, a radio operator using “the call sign Lima Tango told me that Sam Bockarie had been killed as he was trying to enter Liberia with armed men.”

Prosecution witnesses have testified before the Special Court for Sierra Leone judges in The Hague that the order to execute Mr. Bockarie was handed down from Mr. Taylor to his SSS Director Benjamin Yeaten, who took men to the Liberia-Ivory Coast border and executed Mr. Bockarie along with his bodyguards and family members. When Mr. Blah testified in 2008, he told the court that he was in Nimba County when Mr. Boackerie was executed, and Mr. Yeaten had met him there and told him of an operation that they had just executed. When Mr. Yeaten took him to his vehicle, Mr. Blah said he saw the corpse of Mr. Bockarie at the back of the truck. He explained that when he took Mr. Bockarie’s remains to Monrovia and informed Mr. Taylor about it, the former Liberian president told him that it was a military operation and there was no need for Mr. Blah to get involved.

Mr. Taylor, during his testimony, denied these claims and told the court that he had only sent Mr. Blah to stop Mr. Bockarie from entering into Liberia with armed men and to have him arrested.  It was Mr. Blah’s handling of the situation had led to the death of the RUF commander. Today, DCT-008 corroborated Mr. Taylor’s account.

“What Lima Tango told me was that Sam Bockarie had a group of armed men, uncountable number of armed men, and he was trying to return to Liberia but at this time, the Liberia security tried to stop him and at this time, the group [Liberian security] was led by Moses Blah,” DCT-008 told the court.

“He Moses Blah was ordered to arrest Sam Bockarie but when they got there, Sam Bockarie resisted arrest, and he [Blah] said, ‘Do not waste time with that man, if he resists arrest, just kill him and bring his body to me’ and so they killed him and took the body to him [Blah].”

“He [Blah] brought the body to Monrovia and took it to the Striker Funeral Home,” he added.

Prosecutors allege that Mr. Bockarie was killed on his return from Ivory Coast after being sent to fight in that country by Mr. Taylor. When Mr. Bockarie was returning to Liberia with men whom he had commanded in Ivory Coast and with a Special Court for Sierra Leone indictment already issued, Mr. Taylor ordered his execution to cover any tracks of his close relationship with the former Sierra Leonean rebel commander, prosecutors allege. Mr. Taylor has dismissed these allegations as lies.

When asked today to tell the court what the Liberian government said about the death of Mr. Boackerie, DCT-008 explained, “What I heard from the government through the defense minister…was that Sam Bockarie, after he had left Liberia, attempted to come to Liberia with a fighting force, which the Government of Liberia wanted to stop and when he opened fire on the government security, they killed him.”

DCT-008 also spoke about the circumstances surrounding the death of Daniel Tamba, aka Jungle, who according to prosecutors was Mr. Taylor’s liaison with the RUF in Sierra Leone. Prosecutors say that when Jungle later returned to Liberia, Mr. Taylor ordered his execution, and he was shot in the back by his own comrades who were acting on orders handed down by Mr. Taylor to SSS Director Mr. Yeaten. Defense witnesses have said that Jungle was a member of the RUF who had a close relationship with Mr. Yeaten without Mr. Taylor’s knowledge. DCT-008 today testified that after the disarmament in Liberia, Jungle was one of the Liberian members of the RUF who refused to be disarmed in Sierra Leone and instead returned to Liberia, where they became part of Mr. Taylor’s security forces.

Explaining his account of how Jungle died in Liberia, DCT-008 today said, “What I heard about his death was that he died by a friendly fire, from a friendly gun.”

“He was engaging the enemy forces, he was hit by a BZT at the back. While the BZT was giving them cover, the BZT mistakenly hit him in the back,” he said.

When asked about Mr. Yeaten’s reaction to Jungle’s death, the witness said, “What I observed was that after this had happened…Ben [Yeaten] came to Monrovia constantly crying that he had lost Jungle. He was very sad.”

The witness also today gave an extensive account of radio communications between the RUF in Sierra Leone and “Base One,” the radio that was stationed at Mr. Yeaten’s residence in Liberia. The witness spoke about how radio operators in Liberia including Mr. Yeaten’s radio operator called Sun Light communicated with RUF radio operators, who included Memunatu Deen, Sebatu, and Dauda Aruna Fornie. These communications were based on the relationship that existed between Mr. Yeaten and Mr. Bockarie, and these contacts were not to Mr. Taylor’s knowledge, the witness said.

He added that when RUF commander Mr. Bockarie left Sierra Leone and relocated to Liberia in late 1999, all communications between Mr. Yeaten’s operators and the RUF ceased.

DCT-008’s testimony continues on Tuesday.

46 Comments
  1. Another early connection of Liberian fighters in the RUF that clearly indicates that it was true from the beginning that RUF and NPFL were BEDFELLOWS! “DCT-008 today testified that after the disarmament in Liberia, Jungle was one of the Liberian members of the RUF who refused to be disarmed in Sierra Leone and instead returned to Liberia, where they became part of Mr. Taylor’s security forces.” Of course, “jungle” being the “notorious” Daniel Tamba! I know the support group will dismiss this contact, again, as mere coincidence that Liberians fought along side the RUF, and thus, proving the Prosecution’s Theory, that Taylor must have definitely known about this, and therefore awared of the facts, and thus bearing the greatest responsibility of the destructions of lives in the process, as alleged by the Prosecution. This proves the Prosecution’s allegation that taylor participated in criminal enterprises of the war in Sierra Leone, by not only providing weapons, but members of his NPFL rebel forces as well!

    • J fallah Menjor,
      and what did Taylor get in return for all the help he gave the RUF according to you ?

    • Fallah,
      You are missing the point and continue to do so. Nobody here saying that Liberians didn’t fight in Sierra Leone as members of the RUF. First of all, there are Sierra Leoneans who were born in liberia because their parents were or are Sierra Leonean; therefore, they consider themselves Sierra Leoneans. I did post a comment before which Tracey didn’t approve; in that post, I did talked about some Bangura Family who children were fighting for the RUF but they used to come to Liberia when ever they wanted.
      Moreso, Taylor has said before that he did help the RUF from the beginning of their (RUF) fight in Sierra Leone inorder to fight ULIMO in Sierra Leone and that he stopped helping them in 1992 . So what of that you still don’t understand or remember?
      I WILL TELL YOU THIS AGAIN FALLAH, YES INDEED, LIBERIANS FOUGHT ALONG SIDE THE RUF BUT THE QUESTION IS THAT, WAS IT MR. TAYLOR WHO SENT THEM? It’s the same way in Liberia, there Sierra Leonean fighting for ULIMO, LURD, MODEL, ULIMO J AND THE FORMER NPFL. Does it mean that the Government of Sierra Leone sent them to do so?

      Now let’s look at the 9/11 attack in the USA… Those who carry out that attack against the US, many of them were Saudi Arabian, does it mean the Saudi Government knew and infact did sent those people do that nonsense?

    • Jfallah,

      Let me remind you that it is an open secret that Liberias fought along side the Ruf on their own behalf. At the TRC hearings in Monrovia, key rebel leadrers like Mr. Joe Walace confirmed that he and other assited enemies forces in Sierra Leone in order to gain support inside SL to fight Mr. Taylor. Jungle is just one of the many people that crossed over to SL for personal reasons with no Taylor Link.

      Harris K Johnson

    • @ JFmenjor

      If we follow your line of thinking, then in the following scenario President Sirleaf will be responsible to:

      Liberian’s enlisitng in country U armed forces and fighting under the command of that country U leader in a war that the WEST determines was uncivil. Sirleaf also provides weapons to country U.
      J if you are truly Liberian or even a Lebanese leach, then you would know that Liberians, Ivorians and SLeonians often intermingle.( even with the Lebanese) So no BIG surprise that there would be some intermingling of the armed forces. Absent the cultural and historical intermingling, MONEY makes strange bed fellows.
      peace and blessings

  2. Well Fallah,
    What do you have to say about this witness (DCT 008) testimony yesterday? If you are honest so as to speak, didn’t I tell your back in 2009 that Mr. Bockarie was killed because he resisted arrested while trying to enter Liberia with a very large number arms men from the Ivory Coast? I even told your that a Cousin of my called Sundayboy Davis ( COL Morden War ) was involved in trying to arrested Mr. Bockarie at that time and he Sundayboy got shot by Sam Bockarie himself. Now your see what’s being said today? We look forward to hearing more from this witness and others following him.

    • Jacone, it does not matter which ‘trigger happy’ rebel’s bullet hit and killed sam Boakeri, what matters here is, on whose orders was the ambush carried out? Again, fingers are pointing to Blah, the NUMBER2 man, who would not possibly carry out such orders as a civilian without taylor’s knowledge. Simple common sense, Jacom. Please don’t ask me if there were videos to show taylor telling Blah what to do! Let us leave this cheap arguement, for God’s sake! This trial is not about physical proofs as you guys’ perceptions seem to be all along, Jacon. The dots are the ones the Judges need to connect, and that’s all about it, Jacone!

      • Fallah

        Says who that Blah was a civilian? Blah was a Special Forces Commando and could very well and did very well do things without the knowlege of Taylor. Was it Taylor who told him to attempt to overthrow him in 2003 when Taylor was indicted? Blah too had his own agenda. He was influenced by the Mamba Point friends to overthrow Taylor but was stopped by Yeaten. So how do we know he and those same people did not havesome other sinister plan to try to implicate Taylor in the death of Boakarie. How do we know they did not even send Boakarie to fight in Cote D’Ivoire in the hope of implicating Mr Taylor.

        Your arguments are becoming way too shallow. You have run out of steam my dear. Take a rest.

        • Great Helen, I respect your opinion. Others have favourable opinions about my postings and I need none from you or any taylorites! I do not write to receive praises in return. I write what I have to say on behalf of the victims of Sierra Leone and Liberia whose voices seem to get drowned by the noises from taylor camp had it not been for the few of us on this blog that keep the fight on from your continual bullying and attacks on the victims just to save taylor’s neck from the rope! have a nice day Madame Helen.

      • Fallah,
        Did Blah accept during his testimony that he was given such an order as sugested by you to kill Sam Bockarie?

      • fjallah,

        Mr. Taylor was President of Liberia and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, he had all right to order the execution of any enemy force intering Liberia. But Taylor is a kind man that’s why he wanted Sam alive. Stop making noise around here about who ordered Sam dead. I would have ordered his execution if I was president of Liberia defending my country and people.

        Harris K Johnson

        • I think taylor was more of a preident to the NPFL than to Liberia. He is your president Harris K. Johnson! I do not recognize him as predident! Don’t you see how I address him? Don’t get me started this week Harris!

      • @JF menjor

        A learned person can’t connect the dots without some physical proof.
        p&b

  3. According to these last few defense witnesses, Mr. Taylor was an impotent, clueless president/warloard; that or the witnesses are plain liars.

    • Mr. Jama,
      Precisely!

      • Jama and Teage,

        Is this man supposed to be omnipotent and omnipresent? I thought only God was. How do you all expect him as president to be the wqrehouse keeper, immigration man, border patrol man, clerk in the office, etc, etc….
        How many leaders even of organisations are aware of every detail that goes on in their organisations? Let’s be real here. This man was the President not some low down worker. You all need to stop this shinanigans. You know it was utterly impossible forhim to keep taps on everything. Only a narrow minded person could assume that.

    • Mr. Jama and Ms. Teage,
      These defense witnesses are not saying Mr. Taylor was an “impotent, clueless president/warlord.” These witnesses are showing the court that is do not matter if you are a leader of an organization, group, business, country or your own family, you do not know what everyone is doing at any given time. You do not know what everyone is during in his or her personal life or time.

      Even the four judges that is sitting on the bench in Mr. Taylor case do not know what each other is during outside of the hours they are sitting in court.

      If no one informed Mr. Taylor of Yeaten’s non-governmental dealing with the RUF, just how was Mr. Taylor was to know?

    • According to the prosecution, CT was a ruthless president wheeling and dealing millions of dollars worth of diamonds and weapons while empire building into SL and the Ivory Coast. Yet despite, this alleged command on armed forces in three countries and unlimited supply of diamonds and weapons, he couldn’t hold it down in one country. Moreover, there are no banking transactions to show BOO.
      I beg, please don’t bother responding about the one account with deposits from a government agency with his name on it.

      Like it or not CT explanation is plausible. Moreover, the head of a state be it african or western can take measures and liberties in the name of national security. Was that the case in Liberia? Was this president forced to make alliances with outside forces for national security or was he fighting wars on several fronts with ECOWAS, UN, etc.?

      peace & blessings

  4. Let me get this correct, witness DCT-008 obtained his version of Boackerie death via third party communication. Sounds like hearsay to me. The defense team is doing a good job leading him in the line of questioning, but he is still throwing bones to the prosecution.

    • Al- solo Nyonteh,
      The witness is right to say that’s what he was told because as a radio operator, he’s not at the location where everything is going on. I am a soldier and I have been to the war zone in Iraq 4 times now and I must tell you, what ever you are told by those at the frontline is what you will logged. Informations he recieved were through radio communication, so that’s all he can say!

      • Jacone, please do not compare the US Army that is not only well equiped, but follows the Geneva Conduct of War, and soldiers, like you, well deciplined, to these rag-tag, drugged rebels that existed in the NPFL and RUF. These guys, including radio operators, were all afraid to log truths in their operations that would not meet the approval of taylor and which went up the command through the generals such as Yeaten, Sam Boakerie,and Daniel Tamba. You are aware of the chain of command, Jacone, and why would you think the radio operators,uder taylor would say other wise? Would you think they will tell you that taylor just aproved a new consignment of weapons that arrived at Roberts International Air Port of Liberia for delivery to sam Boakerie in Buedu Town? Or The Foya Town operator called us to iform us by radio that a helicopter that is bringing Issa from Whiteflower contains a consignment of light weapons for use by the commanders in the field? Come on, Jacon, you are too deciplined to harbour taylor, believe me! Do not follow this guy to his end!

        • Fallah,
          I am not backing Mr. Taylor for whatever he did wrong but what I don’t agree with is holding Mr. Taylor responsible for what happened in Sierra Leone. For example, we all know that NPFL didn’t have control of the border of Sierra Leone from late 1991 up to 1997. Now how was RUF getting weapons to continue fighting ?

        • Enough said Fallah

        • JFMENJOR

          Do you honestly think the US logs everything in the log books? Or, are you just stirring the pot of hate and discord that Samuel Doe did in the 1980’s?

          ps fellow bloggers, take note of the issues that jf menjor does not responds to.

          p/b

      • Jocone

        What makes this witness any different from the prosecution witnesses? Through out Mr. Taylor’s trial a large amount of individual (including you) claimed hearsay is not solid evidence. Since you have an urge to enlighten me on information gathering techniques. Could you please inform on what procedure is used to determine how you weight hearsay evidence?

        • Al-Solo Nyonteh,
          What I am saying is that, as a radio operator testifying in a case, all you can say is that you were told by radio communication what ever information you’re testifying about.

        • Jocone

          I remember an experiment that was performed, it involved seven people sitting side by side. A eighth person whispered a written script which contained about 100 to 250 words into one of the seven people ear and instructed them to whisper it to the person beside them. This process continued until the script was verbally pass to all seven people. When the seventh person was asked to repeat what was said, the variation from the original script was dramatically different. Although the general plot stayed pretty much the same, names and locations were switched around. My point is, hearsay (third, fourth, fifth, etc.. ) is not solid evidence. We now the order to kill Bockarie were relayed through Benjamin Yeaten and it’s not clear how many people were involved in relaying the message between Benjamin Yeaten and Lima Tango. So please explain that procedure you use to determine how you weight hearsay evidence. My opinion third, fourth, fifth, etc.. hearsay evidence should be viewed with two microscopes and only the general plot should be accepted (in this case Bockarie was killed at the Liberian border).

      • Jocone

        finally some one who can educate us on how information is relayed during war.

        thank U and thank god you survived Iraq!

        • Thanks cen

        • Jacone,
          I have the utmost respect for you. But the assertion that you can share some light on how the communication Is with the best Army and the world, hence sharing some light on how the looting robbing murderous drugged up NPFL is rediculous!!!!
          First of all we are talking about a rebel faction that allegedly did not have enough weapons to fight, used child soldiers, drugged them up, and indicriminately fired missles without target trackers, onto innocent bystander very frequently. There is no u shading light on commincation technique used by an army with millions of dollars of radio transmission equipments in Iraq will shead light on NPFL affairs. There is NO type of comparison, NPFL never ever followed the same code of conduct as American army so there is just honestly no comparison. I was told some oliver guy and someone else was trail and executed for treason by NPFL, since when did an American general execute an American soldier without fair trail and a true military court?, and even when they are found guilty death has not yet been the punishment.
          As I said I have the utmost respect for you and thousands of other American forces, but u are 100% inaccurate when u compare protocol followed by American troops to that followed by NPFL Rag tag little boys.
          I understand what u were trying to say but that analogy was a misfit for NPFL. There is 0 similarities ZERO!

    • Al-Solo,
      what about prosecution witnesses? were they eye witnesses to majority of the events they testified about?

      • Dear cen,

        Can you please resubmit your comment with a link to the information you cited? Once this is done, we will be glad to post your comment.

        Thank you.

        • Taegin,
          Are you the new moderator on this site? Where is Tracey/Alpha? a little introduction will be fine please.

          • Dear Sam,

            Yes, I am a new moderator to the site. I work for the Open Society Justice Initiative and will be assisting Tracey and Alpha with moderating and maintaining the website. I am very happy to be a part of this project.

            Kind regards,

            Taegin

          • Welcome on board,Taegin Stevenson. Don’t pay any attention to the bullies on this site! Be like Alpha and Tracey. They care less about personal attacks and have continued to exibit their ulmost professionalism in hadling “accusations” and unnecessary attacks on any thing that does not seem to go their way! You are already doing it! As a Liberian, I am very familiar with our cuklture of vendictiveness and hatred toward people that do not sound or have names similar to ours! We appear friendly but very treacherous, and cruel. You see how our leaderships in the past have treated the citizenry of the regions of West Africa, just to give you example.We are divided, even amongst ourselves, as you will see on this blog. Keep note of what will happen upon end of this trial in our Ntive Homeland of Liberia!

          • @JFMenjor aka THE JOKER

            I C you are happy to keep feeding the divisiveness among our people.

          • Cen,
            Thanks for that new name; That was very inovative….

          • Taegin,
            Welcome, and please do not feed into Fallahs method of trying to buy moderators. This guy bought his teachers,instructors,principle/s and perharps college or university/ties president/s while in school. (Also, I think some math grades.. precisely arithmatics.. LOL). This is why he is surporting the prosecutions for buying their their witnesses and trying to buy out the defence lawyers and their witnesses… WATCH OUT FOR HIM…

          • You also forgot, Noko5 , to mention how I bought my job, that I just retired from doing in the U.S. You see, truth hurts and that is the best weapon Fallah has to fight taylorites! You guys are shady and hate truths..that is the bottom line, Noko5. I am a warrior and you will see my ability to not only coordinate, but execute principles that I hold dearly and to be the truth! Taylor is my focus for now, as soon that is taken care of, we go to other business, NOKO5, have a wonderful weekend, Brother.

          • Taegin Stevenson,

            Welcome. Glade to have you with us.

          • Thank you, Jose.

            I am very happy to be a part of this project.

            Best,

            Taegin

          • Ok Taegin, you are welcome to the hot seat!

      • The link is as follows:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver_North

        From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

        Oliver Laurence North (born October 7, 1943) was a US Marine Corps officer. Currently, he is a political commentator, host of War Stories with Oliver North on Fox News Channel, a military historian, and a New York Times best-selling author.

        North was at the center of national attention during the Iran-Contra affair, a political scandal of the late 1980s. North was a National Security Council member involved in the clandestine sale of weapons to Iran, which served to encourage the release of U.S. hostages from Lebanon. North formulated the second part of the plan: diverting proceeds from the arms sales to support the Contra rebel groups in Nicaragua. North was charged with several felonies and convicted of three, but the convictions were later vacated, and the underlying charges dismissed due to the limited immunity agreement granted for his pre-trial public Congressional testimony about the affair.[NOTE : this is how the US government takes care of their own]

        If Ollie pulled the wool over the US government with all the credit Ms. Teage gives the US, then it is plausible for the wool to be pulled over president Taylor’s eye.
        @ Jocone

        I understood that you were not comparing apples with oranges. But we are apples and oranges blogging so to speak. Some of us here will not get it, ignore it, or are it. A radio is a radio is a radio. It is basic knowledge that a radio transmissions and how information is relayed by radio from one point to the next are pretty much the same all over. Interestingly, those who have not served or thought to serve day one in the armed services could challenge you on your experience.

        p/b

    • @ Al-Solo Nyonteh

      HELLO!

      Most of the testimony in this trial is hearsay and second and third hand.

      p/b

  5. Dear Nasty Plastay,

    Thank you for your comment, however, cannot approve it because you use a word that does not comply with our policy for comments – http://www.charlestaylortrial.org/about/terms/. If you remove the word in the second sentence, we will be happy to post it.

    Kind regards,

    Taegin

  6. All the petty comments going back and forth is childish u all stick to the issues.