1:20 – Marzah alleges Taylor cannibalism in secret society

The court session has resumed following the mid-morning break.

Lead Defense Counsel Courtenay Griffiths continues his cross-examination of prosecution witness Joseph D. “Zigzag” Marzah:

Def: Mr. Marzah, you were telling us that you’re a substantial property owner and businessman?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Did you get the money to set up that business from arms dealing?

Wit: No.

Def: Where did you get it from?

Wit: I got it from serving the government. And my wife is a businesswoman, and I have my own credit union.

Def: You set up that business solely from your earnings as a soldier under Doe and Taylor?

Wit: What I have is what my wife controls. My business and my wife’s business is not separate.

Def: You told us she has a large business. What kind?

Wit: She sells dry goods and palm oil from our palm oil factory. Apart from that we have cement she sells by bags. We sell rice and dry goods. Apart from that we have our own credit union and we have over 78 people who contribute towards it. We take the money from the credit union to buy goods and make more profit. People own credit in the club. They get profit from what they give. Those are some of the businesses. During Taylor’s regime, we even fought the war from Nimba up to Buchanan. Any safe we took by his directive we took to him. We took 7 safes from RIA airport to Taylor in Gbarnga. He gave me over 87,000 US dollars. Mosquito used to give me up to 1 million Leones when we brought diamonds.

Def: You made money from the Sierra Leone war?

Wit: Yes, through Charles Taylor.

Def: So the 3,417,000 in local currency given to you by the prosecution is not much for you?

Wit: I did not receive 3 million from anybody.

Def: These are the prosecution records. You’ve received [reads a series of figures in different figures]. That’s not a lot of money to you?

Wit: I did not receive such an amount. What I received, I will tell you if it is true. What I get was through myself and the struggle behind Charles Taylor. When we took the big diamond to Taylor he gave me an envelope with 2,000 dollars in it.

Def: I’m going by the records by the prosecution. You also received an additional 3,316,000 Leones?

Wit: Leones? I don’t know the difference of the Leone. I know US dollars and Liberian dollars. 300,000 Leones is 100 US dollars. If it’s Leones, maybe it could be true.

Def: There are a couple of matters to clear up before I put my case to you. You told us about the beating to death of Vice President Enoc Dogoleleh?

Wit: Yes.

Def: You were involved in that?

Wit: Yes, I told you Taylor said Dogoleleh was trying to liaise with the American government. Taylor passed orders to Yeaten in my presence. They pretended to travel together. They took Dogoleleh in a tinted car and took him to Yeaten’s, where he was beaten. Yeaten kept him there for three days.

Def: When was that?

Wit: I can’t remember the time. When Taylor was president in Monrovia.

Def: At Yeaten’s address?

Wit: Not Yeaten’s address. Behind Taylor’s house, in front of Yeaten’s house.

Def: Did Issa Sesay take diamonds to Charles Taylor?

Wit: One that I know about. He and I made a trip. Joe Tuoh used to go with him.

Def: You spoke of an occasion when you went with Bockarie to disarm some UN soldiers. When was that?

Wit: When Issa was in control of RUF. Taylor ordered us and we were reinforced with manpower and enough ammos, and we carried out the disarmament in Freetown. Issa Sesay came.

Def: You said Bockarie. Did you go with Bockarie to disarm some UN forces?

Wit: Bockarie was not in Sierra Leone during the UN deployment. It was Issa who was in Sierra Leone during the UN deployment. No, I did not go with Bockarie to disarm UN forces.

Def: You told us Wednesday you did.

Wit: No, I told you I went with Bockarie to disarm ECOMOG troops earlier in Sierra Leone.

Def: You told us about a massacre at Carter Camp at Harbel. Are you aware that the UN conducted an investigation of that, and that the investigation found that the forces responsible were the Armed Forces of Liberia?

Wit: I told you about the massacre.

Def: You suggested Taylor was responsible?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Were you aware that there was a UN investigation that found the AFL to be responsible?

Wit: I know about it, but I had no alternative to say any other thing. I could get up during his administration and say it was the NPFL. I would be dealt with.

Def: So you assumed he must be responsible because it was during the administration of Charles Taylor?

Wit: I’ll tell you the truth. The massacre was a directive from Charles Taylor.

Def: You’re just willing to attribute any bad thing that happened to Charles Taylor?

Wit: No. I’m here to tell the truth. I can’t say any other thing about my former leader.

Def: (references document): “witness stated Taiwanese used to send arms, ammunition and uniforms through Gus Kouwenhouven. The ships docked further out at sea.” Is that right?

Wit: It’s right, but it wasn’t the port of Monrovia. It was Buchanan. The boats would come and take the arms and ammunition, then load the ships with timber.

Def: How did you come to know about this?

Wit: I told you – I was chief of operations under Taylor. Even before then, he and I and very few others passed through.

Def: (displays a photo to the court)

Wit: I recall an old man who used to wear shades. This is the man who used to be at Buchanan port.

Def: You met him there? You picked up arms from him?

Wit: Yes, so many times.

Def: How many times?

Wit: I met Mr. Gus at Buchanan Port, even though I can’t recall the dates, it could be more than ten times. I was supposed to go on assignment with him. I made so many trips with him. I can’t explain them all. This man and another tall, big man with a big stomach – I saw this man and the other man move together.

Def: How many trips did that man make on ships bringing arms and ammunition into Buchanan?

Wit: I was not present for all these trips.

Def: How many times did you meat him in Buchanan Port?

Wit: This man is a good man to me, even though he did extremely well for me by offering me money – Mike Captan (?) – his chief of security. He was my junior officer.

Judge Doherty: That was not the question.

Wit: I met Mr. Gus over 5-6-7 times. If he said over 15 times, he would be telling a lie. But it was over five times.

Def: Each occasion was to receive arms from him?

Wit: Not all the times. The time he came with his friend with the big stomach I went to escort him. I received weapons more than three times.

Def: On how many times did you receive arms from Gus at Buchanan Port?

Wit: I said he himself was present more than three times. Each time we went, his chief of security, Mike Captan (?) was there. He was present. I was present. Over 3-4 times.

Def: On each of those occasions it was a large shipload of arms that arrived?

Wit: The ship would be over the sea, across the sea. The quantity of the ammo that I saw, sometimes they were in the speedboats. The big boat was over the ocean. Mike Captan and others would go and bring them, then put them in my car. Sometimes I took them from a warehouse. I can’t tell how much.

Def: Truckloads?

Wit: I made the trip with the Mack truck on three different occasions. We took them to White Flower, Taylor’s residence.

Def: Were you escorted by ECOMOG troops, escorted by Victor?

Wit: No.

Def: How did you get them there.

Wit: It was not the time of ECOMOG. Charles Taylor was president at the time.

Def: (references document) I suggest you’re a liar.

Wit: I am not a liar. If I were a liar I was going to accept a closed session to explain these things. I decided to do it in the open session so the public would see I’m telling you the truth.

Def: I suggest you’ve never sat with Taylor and never received orders from him.

Wit: I’m saying the facts.

Def: I suggest you’ve never spoken to him on either the phone or radio.

Wit: I spoke to him so many times, even before he established the poro society where we ate people’s livers. The reason whey Taylor trusted me was the poro society law. I started sitting with Taylor during the death of Fia Doe (?) and we ate his liver. The same thing happened with Sam Dokie. This woman Annie Yenie (?), she cooked the liver and Taylor shared it with us. He trusted me. Even the time he escaped from Ghana and we arrested Moses Blah, he was there in Ben’s veranda, and he said we should control those hearts until he came. When Taylor arrived, we took it and shared it.

Def: Have you got a fascination with eating human flesh?

Wit: Because what I’m saying, he and I passed through so many things that he trusts me. We ate human beings together. If you ask him he will tell you.

Def: You never spoke to Taylor on the phone or the radio, did you?

Wit: I did. I spoke with him on the phone and radio. We shook hands. We ate together in the poro society to safeguard our secret.

Def: When you say, Taylor gave orders to do anything, you’re assuming he did because he was president of Liberia?

Wit: Yes. I’m talking about more than the presidency. It was not because he was president of Liberia. I’m telling the truth.

Def: I suggest you did whatever you did without orders from Taylor.

Wit: During Taylor’s administration, there was no man to say he would do things his own way. Now I have disclosed to you the secrets of my poro society. Now I will no longer be a member. That is the secret, and that made him Dhakphana (sp?)

Judge Sebutinde: What do you mean?

Wit; Dhakphana is the big man who gives orders in the poro society. That is his poro society name. When you look at his face you will be shrouded in fear. He had authority.

Def: For what?

Wit: In order to control the republic.

Def: Are you saying you did all those wicked things out of fear?

Wit: We did it. It was because I was afraid and I was a part of it.

Def: Why are you crossing yourself? Is it because you’ve lied under oath?

Wit: I have broken the laws of my poro society. Everything has been exposed.

Def: I suggest you’re crossing yourself because under oath you’ve lied. And you’ve been lying for the last three days.

Wit: I’m saying the truth. From here you will see me appear before the TRC of Liberia – the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Defense has no further questions.

Prosecution has no questions on re-examination.

Judge Doherty: The bench has no questions for the witness.

One defense and one prosecution are formally entered into evidence.

Judge Doherty thanks and excuses the witness.

Prosecution: The prior witness (Isaac Mongor) is not available. We suggest we resume after the recess.

Defense agrees.

Presiding Judge Doherty: Court will adjourn early. The judicial recess begins on Monday. The trial will resume on March 31.