12:00 – Defense asserts Marzah acted without Taylor’s instruction to enrich himself

The proceedings have resumed in open session following a brief private session called due to a witness protection concern.

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

Def: So far as you transported arms into Guinea, I suggest you did this without any involvement by Mr. Taylor.

Wit: It involved Taylor. Without him, we wouldn’t get this. We implemented his instructions.

Def: In order for you to get the arms across the border, you’d set up a private arrangement with a Guinean customs officer?

Wit: Taylor asked me to establish that business with the kola nuts. I never had the experience but he educated me.

Def: Who organized the situation with the customs officer in Guinea – you or Taylor?

Wit: I was the one, after he gave me…

Def: You agree you set up a personal relationship with a woman in Guinea?

Wit: Yes.

Def: And thereafter you were able to cross into Guinea unmolested by customs?

Wit: Yes, through Taylor’s directive in order to transport the arms.

Def: You found the money, you gave her the money, you made the arrangements?

Wit: I never gave the woman money. I never did anything without Taylor’s efforts.

Def: You’re not waiting for the translation. You fully understand what I’m saying, don’t you?

Wit: I don’t understand.

Def: I suggest you’ve been trying to deceive us throughout your testimony.

Wit: I’m not deceiving the court. I’m saying the truth before God and man. I can still recall so many activities.

Def: As an example of deceit, you had your mobile court switched on in court yesterday, didn’t you?

Wit: No. It is a spoiled phone. I cannot communicate with that phone here.

Judge Doherty: Did you have the phone on yesterday?

Wit: The phone was not on.

Def: Were you not receiving messages on that phone. Isn’t that why you wanted to go to the bathroom on multiple occasions, to check your messages?

Wit: No.

Def: Was there somebody outside this courtroom giving you instructions whilst you gave testimony yesterday?

Wit: I will say the truth. Since I started my testimony, that was the day the KPM spoiled my phone.

Def: Did you have that phone with you on Wednesday?

Wit: No. The reason why you saw it, I brought it so they could service the phone. The officer said it won’t be fixed until I finish my testimony. I am angry with them even now because I cannot call my family. I will ask the officers to bring it and you can look for yourself.

Def: You were engaged in that activity in Guinea to line your own pockets, weren’t you?

Wit: I was directed by Taylor.

Def: Was the situation this: that a lot of ULIMO arms were floating around Lofa at the end of the civil war, and people like you were collecting them and selling them across the border?

Wit: No. I was instructed to take all the weapons to Sierra Leone. I never disarmed.

Def: I’ve received some instructions about a little detail. There was an occasion when there was an attack on the Executive Mansion in attempt to kill Taylor, in which Victor the Nigerian was shot?

Wit: Yes, even Taylor’s desk was pierced by a bullet. God helped Taylor go to the bathroom then. Some people died.

Def: The Nigerian officer liaising with Taylor and who shot during that incident – his name was Ali and not Victor.

Wit: Ali was deputy to Victor. I said Victor. Victor was the commander.

Def: But it was Ali who was shot?

Wit: It was Victor that I recall. Whether Ali was shot, I don’t know. It was a busy day. It was Victor that I know about.

Def: Do you recall that Ali had to be airlifted to Nigeria for medical treatment?

Wit: I can’t tell.

Def: On how many occasions have you transported diamonds from Sierra Leone to President Taylor.

Wit: It was not in record, and I can’t remember them all.

Def: On how many occasions did you transport diamonds from Sierra Leone to Monrovia.

Wit: I told you it was on many occasions. I can’t say exactly. Maybe 10-15-20. Every times I carried ammos, I must carry diamonds. If there were plenty in the jar.

Def: On each occasion, was it a mayonnaise jar used?

Wit: Not a mayonnaise jar, but a bottle the size of this glass, with a narrow top. The one that really impressed him was this shoulder pad diamond. We would wrap the jar in a piece of cloth and put it in a bag.

Def: You took a jar of that size to Taylor on over 20 occasions?

Wit: I can’t recall all the trips I made. There were many trips.

Def: On each trip you would take a jar back of that size?

Wit: Sometimes they were not in jars.

Def: On each occasion that you went back to Taylor you carried diamonds, whether in a jar, a cloth, or your underpants?

Wit: I wouldn’t take diamonds in your briefs.

Judge Doherty: Did you always bring diamonds?

Wit: Yes, along with representatives of the RUF.

Def: And apart from you, other RUF members were taking diamonds to Taylor?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Bockarie [others]?

Wit: It’s not a question for me.

Def: Do you know if Bockarie took diamonds to Taylor?

Wit: I don’t know. I know about my own.

Def: How is it that when you spoke to investigators in Jan 2006: “witness stated he knew Bockarie carried diamonds into Monrovia and knew they were for the old man”?

Wit: I told you Bockarie and I…

Prosecution objects: The next sentence of the paragraph should be read as well.

Def: Please allow me uninterrupted questions.

Def: Why did you tell them you knew Bockarie took diamonds to Monrovia, and now you say you don’t know? Which is right?

Wit: I’m talking about the trips he made with me. He and I escorted the diamonds. I can’t give account about what he did with others. I can’t describe things I didn’t see.

Def: The paragraph goes on: “Witness says was present at White Flower on several occasions when Bockarie gave diamonds to Taylor.” All true?

Wit: If you could give all that detail in Jan 2006, why did you give me a contrary answer five minutes ago?

Prosecution objects: That was not a contrary answer.

Def: It was, if my learned friend can read.

Judge Lussick: (reads from transcript) You asked a broad questions with no qualifications and got a negative answer.

Def: I asked about Mr. Sherif yesterday, who worked with the SSS. Did he carry diamonds to Taylor?

Wit: I don’t know. I can’t guess and give a wrong answer, because Taylor is in problems today.

Def: I suggest you told investigators what you thought they wanted to hear in order to profit for yourself.

Wit: No. During Taylor’s administration, if you did things on your own you were risking your own life.

Def: You have been receiving considerable sums of money from the prosecution, haven’t you?

Wit: No.

Def: Starting in about Nov 2006, you started to receive money from the prosecution, didn’t you?

Wit: I can’t remember that. Moreover, that got me annoyed, to leave Sierra Leone, even though they used to pay my transportation from Nimba County to Monrovia.

Def: The record shows you received 25 US dollars in April 2006. You remember that?

Wit: When we talk about money, 25 US dollars is not money for a type like me to come work for it. 25 dollars, I have people I pay more than that.

Def: I made a mistake. It was 400 dollars. Is that also a paltry sum?

Wit: Yes, it’s a small money. It’s about 130 US dollars from my village to Monrovia. So when I make trips to and from, I get 400 dollars, so what was I going to take home?

Def: 400 US dollars may not be much to you if you’d made thousands selling arms to Guinea. Is that where you made your real money from?

Wit: I have a large palm and rubber farm – 378 acres of land. Apart from that…

Interpreter says the witness is speaking too fast.

Judge Doherty says court must now take the mid-morning break anyway. The session will continue at 12:00. With the delay in video/audio, this summary will resume at 12:30.


  1. This witness is a psychopath and should be arrested. I am totally appalled by these ludicrous lies. I am a member of the Poro Society and nowhere in that society do we eat humans or for that matter encourage any form of cannibalism. This is a serious abomination to the true values of our African Traditions.
    Can you all see how once more the west has been able to use our own black people to denegrate the traditions of Africa? How on earth could this nonsense be allowed in any court of law? The man needs to be taken to an asylum. He has a facination with eating human beings. This has totally turned this caseinto another charade. Come on now we are reasonable beings is this credible at all?

    The prosecution need to be more careful with the kinds of idiots they bring forth as socalled witnesses. This man has actually made them look like proper jokers. Is this case for real? Even the judges should know better than to allow these sort of lunatics to appear before them.

    What is wrong with these people? this case is getting even more bizare than before. For God’s sake safe your face and dismiss this farce of a trial.

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