Court is back in session.
Defense counsel Terry Munyard states that he and lead counsel Courtenay Griffiths must be in Ireland Saturday morning. He says logistic for this would be difficult or impossible if court sits tomorrow afternoon, as planned to compensate for a lost session last Thursday. He proposes that the Friday afternoon session be moved to next week. Prosecutor Brenda Hollis says prosecution has no objection if the hours are eventually made up. Judge Doherty agrees to the proposal.
Defense counsel Morris Anyah continues his cross-examination of prosecution witness Abu Keita:
Def: I read to you from a statement you made to the OTP in which you said Bockarie went with you from Buedu. It was also said that 350 men arrived within a week or so of your arrival in Buedu. Is that a correct statement of the facts.
Def: When it’s written here that you said in Feb 2003, that 350 men came within a week of your arrival, that’s an error?
Def: Yesterday you said there were two men. 150 came in Dec 1998?
Wit: Yes. Bockarie brought them, along with Mahzar and Sampson.
Def: They came from Liberia?
Wit: From Liberia.
Def: Did they bring these men in trucks?
Def: 150 men in trucks?
Wit: It was 2 trucks and one pick-up.
Def: Was Sampson in this convoy?
Def: And Jungle and Mike Lama?
Def: When these men arrived, they weren’t under your command?
Def: But Yeaten promised you would control them?
Def: When you left Monrovia, Yeaten gave you an AK-47, a pistol, ammunition and 3 bodyguards?
Def: Did you ever tell the OTP he gave you 11 bodyguards?
Def: Yesterday you said you were promised 300 men?
Def: You confirmed for us that they were brought in two groups, the first of 150 brought in Dec 1998?
Def: The second batch came in Jan 1999?
Def: Yesterday you said Yeaten gave you three bodyguards, but I put to you that you previously told the OTP he gave you 11 bodyguards.
Def: Did you take 11 bodyguards with you to Buedu?
Def: (refers to document) This is what you told Ms. Dufka in June 2003: I carry my own security – 11 men. Mosquito sent some of them to Manawa crossing point, some to Kailahun. I wasn’t happy with that, but that was the instruction. That’s what you told the OTP in 2003?
Def: Was Bockarie the commander on the ground?
Def: And Bockarie took your men?
Def: You were given a radio by Yeaten before you went to Buedu?
Def: And Bockarie took that radio?
Def: Bockarie told you, you could not serve two masters – there could be only one commander on the ground, himself?
Def: You told us yesterday that Bockarie was often in comminication with Yeaten – often over a Yesue radio and sometimes over a satellite phone?
Def: The same was true of Issa Sesay?
Def: You told us that on some of those occasions, Bockarie and Sesay told you they’d been in contact with Yeaten over these radios?
Def: You yourself didn’t speak to Yeaten via these radios, correct?
Wit: No, we communicated.
Def: You communicated but not over the radio?
Def: At any time while you were in Buedu did you speak with Taylor over a radio?
Def: Your basis for believing that Sesay and Bockarie were speaking with Yeaten was because you were told, or you heard one side of the conversation? They told you they were speaking with Monrovia?
Def: Bockarie told you they had spoken with “the chief” or “the director” and these names had particular meanings?
Def: Did “director” mean Yeaten?
Def: Sometimes they said they spoke with “Pa” or “Papay”, and that had a specific meaning?
Def: When you heard the phrase “chief” who was that?
Wit: Benjamin Yeaten.
Def: “Pa” or “Papay”?
Wit: Charles Taylor.
Def: When they said “Director”, whom did they mean?
Wit: Benjamin Yeaten.
Def: (refers to a document) These are the interview notes from an OTP meeting with you in July 2007. It says: In Voinjama, Zigzag Mahzar and not Bockarie himself told the witness that he was taking Bockarie to see the chief, which the witness knew to be Charles Taylor. You just said that “chief” meant Benjamin Yeaten?
Def: You told the OTP that “chief” meant Charles Taylor, correct?
Def: You did not say that to the OTP?
Def: You told us yesterday that Taylor was the overall person to whom the RUF reported?
Def: In fact, in the past you have said he was the boss of the RUF?
Def: That he sent you to Buedu?
Def: When you got to Buedu, you said Bockarie said there would be only one commander?
Def: That was contrary to what you were told in Monrovia?
Def: They took your men, also contrary to what you were told in Monrovia?
Def: Bockarie disregarded the commands of Yeaten, which came from Taylor?
Def: What did you do on a daily basis in Buedu?
Wit: I worked with Bockarie and Sesay. An airstrip was being built. When Bockarie came with ammunition and manpower, a jet destroyed the caterpillar at the airstrip. The manpower worked on it. Issa sent operations to get manpower. I was working in (lists various villages) to take wounded soldiers back to Buedu.
Def: In the RUF you were given a rank of General?
Def: You said yesterday you worked at a diamond mine?
Def: On occasion, you participated in the sale or distribution of cocoa for the RUF?
Wit: I did not take part. But I saw the trucks.
Def: You were a General with no troops under your command?
Def: And you were sent by Yeaten under Taylor, to handle a mission of importance to the sub-region?
Def: Where did you fight in Sierra Leone?
Wit: When LURD attacked in Liberia, we were called from Buedu. Bockarie, Sesay, Kallon and I moved to Foya to meet the AFL commander, Col Stanley. We met Christopher Varmoh. Benjamin Yeaten and Bockarie were coordinating while we were on the front lines. When we took Kolahun and Voinjama, Yeaten, Bockarie and Defense Minister Daniel Chea were there. A helicopter arrived with Chea. Then he, Bockarie and Yeaten used the helicopter to go to Monrovia. That was the first operation. It was August 1999. There was a second operation in 2000.
Def: In which country was the second operation?
Wit: In Guinea.
Def: Did you fight in Sierra Leone between 1998-2002?
Wit: (Lists villages) into Kailahun and Kenema Districts.
Def: I want to ask about dates and months you spent in various places in Sierra Leone. (Refers to document) These are interview notes from an interview with the prosecution in February 2003. The prosecution summarized your statement: Abu stayed in SL with the RUF from 1998 until 2001. His movements were: Sept-Dec 1998, in Buedu with Mosquito; Dec-Jan 1999, participated in attacks in Kono, Makeni, Freetown, up to Waterloo; Jan 1999-April 2000 based in Makeni; Sep 2000-March 2001, participated in RUF-Liberia attacks on Guinea; June 2001, called by Yeaten to Abidjan to plan attacks on Guinea. Yesterday you testified about events in Kono in Dec 1998?
Def: You testified about the invasion of Freetown in Jan 1999?
Def: You told the OTP that in Jan 1999- April 2001, you were based in Makeni?
Wit: That’s not correct.
Def: I put to you that when the attacks in Freetown took place, you were based in Makeni and not in Buedu.
Def: Where is Teku Barracks?
Wit: When we advanced to Waterloo, that’s when we arrested the Kenyans and Zambians. Teku Barracks is in Makeni.
Def: I put to you, that for most of what you described yesterday, you were not in Buedu.
Wit: Not true.
Def: Were you there when Bockarie came with the new pick-up?
Def: You have just seen the OTP notes from your discussion in 2003. It says in Jan 1999 you were based in Makeni. You were in Buedu at the same time.
Wit: I moved back and forth. I had a vehicle.
Def: Between Buedu and Makeni?
Def: Yesterday, you describe Bockarie coming back with a vehicle given to him by Taylor. You said you took Bockarie to Foya on his way back. You said that in Foya, Joe Tuah arrived with a helicopter?
Def: You saw Bockarie board the helicopter?
Def: How did you know it was going to Monrovia?
Wit: They said they were going there.
Def: You said he returned with a vehicle given to him by Charles Taylor?
Wit: Not this time.
Def: You said when he came back with a vehicle, he carried jeans and t-shirts.
Def: I put to you he never came back with a vehicle given him by Taylor.
Wit: He did.
Def: He came back by helicopter if he went at all?
Def: (refers to document) This is a prior statement to the prosecution. Witness said within a week of the Freetown invasion, witness escorted Bockarie to Foya, where a chopper was waiting. Tuah was there, who worked for Taylor. Witness had earlier met Tuah in Monrovia. About two days later, Bockarie and the others came back to Foya in the same chopper. This is what you told the OTP in November, correct?
Def: There’s no mention of a vehicle.
Wit: That’s why I told you he made the trip twice.
Def: Yesterday you said you observed the burning and looting of houses around Kono?
Wit: Not in Kono, in Bunumbu (and other villages), when I took part in these operations. That was 1999 when we were fighting.
Def: But from Jan 1999-April 2001 you were based in Makeni?
Wit: We moved from Buedu to Makeni.
Def: And that move took place before the Freetown invasion?
Def: Why did Yeaten choose you to go to Buedu?
Wit: I don’t know.
Def: You were a former ULIMO fighter and had just been released from prison under suspicion of having taken part of a coup attempt?
Prosecution objects: witness has not mentioned a “coup attempt”. Judge allows the question.
Def: When you were sent on this mission, you were suspected of having plotted a coup against Taylor?
Wit: I don’t know about a coup.
Def: You were an AFL soldier who was accused of not fighting against Roosevelt Johsnon?
Def: Yet you were the one chosen to go to Buedu?
Def: I put to you that Sheku Suwape Koroma
Def: I put to you that you did not go to Buedu at the request of Benjamin Yeaten.
Wit: It was Yeaten who asked me to go the RUF.
Def: (making a series of assertions, with the witness answering after each) I put to you that after you were released from prison, you went into hiding in Monrovia, and that Sheku Suwape Koroma approached you and another person and made a proposition to go to Buedu. Koroma told you there was work there to recruit Liberians into the RUF. Koroma bought a Land Cruiser and registered it as a produce vehicle for the transport of cocoa. He gave you 500 dollars and the other man 400 dollars to work for him in Buedu. He took you and the other man to Buedu to work for Bockarie. All of you had an arrangement with Liberian border officials – you paid them 1,000 dollars so that you could move men into Buedu. You told Bockarie you would bring men from Liberia on a weekly basis. On a weekly basis, you and your partner took 10 men from Voinjama. At some point Sam Gboley arrested your partner in this. After your partner was arrested, you were afraid to return to Liberia. At that time, you stayed in Buedu and joined the RUF. You were no more than a logistics officer for the RUF in Buedu.
Wit: All false.
Def: A person who said Koroma sent you to Buedu would be lying?
Def: (referring to a document) Did you tell Ms. Dufka that when Doe was assassinated in 1990, you joined ULIMO in Sierra Leone.
Def: Did you tell her that Taylor’s faction killed Doe?
Wit: It wasn’t Taylor. It was the INPFL of Prince Yormie Johnson.
Def: When did you last see Varmuyan Sherif?
Wit: I can’t remember. It was at Yeaten’s house.
Def: Have you seen him in The Hague?
Def: Do you live near him now?
Wit: I don’t know.
Def: Back to ULIMO: During the time you were with ULIMO, ULIMO controlled the entire border area?
Def: ULIMO started controlling that area in 1993 and continued through 1997 when Taylor was elected?
Def: Nothing could move through that border without going through ULIMO?
Wit: The RUF never had any contact to cross into Liberia.
Def: Between 1993 adn 1996, it was unlikely that the RUF could have any contact with Liberia?
Def: And before you left from Liberia to Sierra Leone, before August 1997, you had no knowledge of Taylor’s contact with the RUF?
Wit: I never knew.
Def: You didn’t know if Taylor ever sent weapons to the RUF?
Def: In November 2007 you spoke with the OTP in Freetown?
Def: After the meeting a van from the court’s witnesses and victims section drove you?
Wit: From where to where?
Def: From Jomo Kenyatta Road to somehwere?
Wit: I don’t remember.
Def: Were you in a vehicle with Nancy Bounducca?
Def: And another lady named Mary?
Wit: I don’t remember that name.
Def: And a man named Akim Bombola?
Def: You met Idrissa Kargbo when the vehicle came to a stop at one point?
Wit: I don’t remember that name.
Def: (makes a series of assertions, with the witness answering after each) I put to you that when you met Idrissa Kargbo, you told him you had mentioned his name to the OTP, and you wanted him to go along with what you’d told them. You told him that if he went along, he could get asylum in The Netherlands. You also told him, his family would also be relocated if he cooperated with the OTP.
Wit: False (to all)
Def: If Nancy Bouducca, Akim or Mary came and said they overheard you saying these things, they would be lying?
Def: (refers to a document) In June 2003, you received 445 dollars?
Def: Two days later June 2003, Corinne Dufka made a payment to you of 885 US dollars?
Def: The same day, a J. Berry spent 723 dollars to your benefit?
Def: 57 dollars were used to pay for your hotel costs?
Def: 322 dollars were paid to cover expenses for you?
Def: In July 2007, 6,000 Leones were expended on your behalf?
Def: The total amount you’ve received from the OTP is 2,502 dollars plus 6,000 Leones?
Def: Most of this was a few days before your June 2003 interview with Ms. Dufka?
Def: You’ve also received money from the witness and victim section of the Special Court?
Def: What’s the total amount?
Wit: I can’t say.
Def: Was it paid in US currency?
Def: Less than or more than 1,000 dollars?
Wit. Not even close. But I can’t estimate it.
Defense has no further questions.
Prosecutor Nick Koumjian now has an opportunity to re-examine the witness.
Pros: (Showing the same document shown by the defense – records of disbursements to witness) About these payments that defense raised: You were asked about 445 dollars in June 2003. What was that for?
Wit: It was for my affairs.
Pros: Were you handed the money in cash?
Wit: I received a ticket, no cash.
Pros: Entry number 2 on the document lists a ticket from Abidjan to Conakry. Is that true?
Defense objects: on their version of the document, the travel lines were blacked out. Prosecution: the amounts were disclosed to the defense; Defense: the context is important, and the prosecution should either be limited to using the same version of the document, or the court should supply defense unredacted documents; Judge Lussick states: can see no reason prosecution can’t use the redacted version for re-examination.
Pros: On 20 June, 2003, there’s a category: transport, a second entry for travel; a third for travel; a fourth for a hotel; a fifth for transport. Is it true that these costs were incurred by you or on your behalf?
Pros: You were asked about any radio communications with Yeaten. Did you ever speak yourself on the radio with Yeaten.
Wit: Yes. I spoke with Yeaten.
Judge Sebutinde has a question for the witness: (referring to interview with Corinne Dufka on June 30, 2003) The beginning of the document shows that present in the room were Corinne Dufka and you yourself. Are you fluent in English?
Wit: I can understand English a little bit. I am not fluent. The interview was conducted in Liberian English. She was speaking English and I was speaking Liberian. What she said was not interpreted into Liberian English, and what I said was not interpreted to her in English.
Defense counsel Morris Anyah requests that the prosecution agree with the defense that Corinne Dufka spoke and understood Liberian English. (cites a document) Witness gave three statements that were taped and subsequently transcribed. Notes say Corinne Dufka spoke and understood Liberian English. An OTP translator and WVS employee subsequently confirmed the accuracy of her transcripts. Prosecutor Nick Koumjian states that the document is correct. It is an official document of the Office of the Prosecutor.
Prosecution requests that all exibits used during Abu Keita’s testimony be admitted into evidence.
Defense objects to admission of a document showing the witness’s appointment to an official position under the government of Ruth Sando Perry, saying the document lacks foundation. The witness didn’t testify with regard to the signature on the document. We don’t know where the document came from. Prosecution: We know where the document came from – the witness gave it to the prosecution, and testified that it was indeed his letter of appointment. Judge Doherty says the judges rule to admit the document.
Defense has no objection to admission into evidence of various photographs, but notes that this doesn’t necessarily mean that the defense agrees that the individuals shown in the photographs are actually those people, as identified by the witness.
Judge Doherty thanks the witness and excuses him.
Lead prosecutor Brenda Hollis calls the next witness, TF1-371. The witness will testify in English, and in closed session. The witness also testified in closed session in the RUF case. The protection order has not been rescinded or modified.
Lead defense counsel Courtenay Griffiths says he will be dealing with this witness for the defense team.
Defense objects to the closed session. Prosecution says defense had notice that this witness would testify in closed session. The witness protection order for this witness has not been modified. Defense replies: the trial chamber in another case made the order. Rule 78 speaks of “a trial chamber”, in the singular throughout. Implied in that rule is the proposition that the prosecution must make the application before the chamber in which the witness is to be heard. Otherwise the defense has no opportunity to challenge the decision. It would impede the right of the accused to a fair trial.
Judges are conferring.
Presiding Judge Doherty: The majority decsion of the trial chamber is that under Rule 75F, protection measures for one proceeding at the Special Court apply to the proceedings of later proceedings. Under Rule 75G, a party to a secondary proceeding (such as this trial) must apply to vary the protective measures. The defense had notice and made no such application.
The court enters closed session. The public galleries have been closed and the video/audio feed to the media center has been suspended.