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?
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?
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?
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?
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.