Lead defense counsel Courtenay Griffiths continues his cross-examination of prosecution witness Varmuyan Sherif:
Def: Would you agree that from what I’ve just read to you, the first time you claim to have seen Bockarie was in Beudu, not Kailahun.
Wit: I said I saw him in Kailahun, I first sat with him in Beudu.
Def: That’s not the account you gave in this in inverview?
Wit: It that’s what they wrote, they made a mistake.
Def: I am going to suggest to you that you have wickedly lied about Taylor sending you to get Bockarie.
Wit: Not true.
Def: These discrepencies in your account come about because you’re lying.
Wit: I’m telling the truth.
Def: In order to lie, you need a good memory, which is why there are differences in your accounts.
Wit: I’m telling the truth.
Def: (referring to interview) Passage regards trip to Voinjama and Bockarie’s haircut. Question: Who cut the hair? Answer: I have a hair cutter there. Passage describes Bockarie taking off a military uniform – a Sierra Leonean uniform of colonel’s rank. After spending the night in Voinjama – Bockarie constantly communicated by radio in Mende and Krio, sometimes yelling. Then Taylor sent a helicopter… Witness, what is missing in this account?
Wit: It was not written correctly. When we got to Voinjama, I sent for headquarters to cut Bockarie’s hair. He had a uniform from Sierra Leone – a camoflouge jacket. He took a bath. Robert Biah came and saw him. We left Voinjama that same day. We did not sleep.
Def: What is missing in this account from this interview?
Wit: It says we slept in Voinjama, we did not sleep there.
Def: There’s no mention of a mayonaise jar of diamonds out of his pocket, is there?
Wit: That is also not there. I have had more than ten interviews with these people. I explain some things on one day. I’ve never explained everything in one sitting.
Def: How could you forgot about the diamonds?
Wit: I did not say I forgot. When I got tired, I stopped explaining.
Def: You deliberately didn’t give them the information?
Wit: I gave them all the information, but not all to one person at one time.
Def: I want to press you further on this. (Points to another place in the interview transcript from Feb 2005.) Q: “Did he give anything to the papa?” Who is the papa?
Wit: Papa is one of my drivers, assigned to me by the office.
Def: (reading) “I’m sure it would be diamonds” because one of the RUF bodyguards told me about it after the whole process. That Mosquito had a lot of diamonds. That Mosquito took a lot of diamonds from a car to give to Musa Cisse. That witness only learned of the diamonds afterwards. Which of these is right: did you see a jar of diamonds taken from his pocket, or were you told about the diamonds after the trip?
Wit: I saw the diamonds in the jar out of his pocket.
Def: Why didn’t you tell them that?
Wit: I didn’t know the prosecutors prosecutor. I skipped over some information until I knew they weren’t a threat to my life. When I knew that all they wanted the truth, then I gave them the entire story.
Def: So you lied to the investigators when you said you only found out afterwards.
Wit: It is not a lie. I saw the diamonds with Bockarie.
Def: Why did you tell the investigators something completely false – that you only found out about the diamonds later.
Wit: The bodyguard explained more to me about the diamonds later.
Def: Earlier, you told me you had always been truthful with the OTP. Why were you giving the OTP false information in this interview?
Wit: I didn’t give them false information. I later spoke with Bockarie’s bodyguard, who gave me more information about the diamonds. I just left out seeing Bockarie with the diamonds.
Def: (Points to another point in the interview transcript.) Here Mr. Santora (a prosecutor) said: I want ask you about diamonds. I know that you said you learned later that Mosquito had a parcel of diamonds with him when he went to see Taylor. Are you aware of any other diamond deliveries to Taylor – did you ever see diamonds? Quotes witness as answering “No, I didn’t see it”. Is that right?
Wit: I said I did not see Bockarie hand diamonds over to Taylor. I saw Bockarie with diamonds. I saw the RUF diamond agent who came to my house.
Def: But here you say you didn’t see diamonds with Bockarie. Why did you lie?
Wit: I did not lie. I saw Bockarie with diamonds. I did not see him hand the diamonds to Taylor.
Def: Do you agree there is a difference between “I saw diamonds” and “I did not see diamonds”?
Wit: There’s a difference.
Def: Both can’t be right at the same time? So it would be a lie if someone says one of those on one occasions and the other on another occasion?
Wit: It was how they asked the question.
Def: I want to give you something to consider over the weekend. (points to another reference in the statement regarding whether he saw diamonds)
Judge Sebutinde interrupts to say that the session must end, and adjourns proceedings until Monday morning.