9:30 (10:00 with the video/audio delay): Court is in session.
Defense counsel Terry Munyard continues his cross-examination of prosecution witness Isaac Mongor:
Def: Yesterday I was asking you about “Jungle”, a man you said in evidence you knew to be Tamba, but a man whose real name you had earlier told the prosecution you didn’t know. You remember, you said the prosecution read names to you?
Def: We don’t accept a word of your account of activities with Jungle.
Judge Doherty: Is that a question?
Def: What do you say about that?
Wit: I say I knew his name, and that is Jungle.
Def: Did you know his real name?
Wit: I knew his real name, but it escaped me.
Def: Did you ever know his real name.
Pros: The question has been asked and answered.
Def: Let’s move to other names. Did you know somebody called…your honor, at this stage I don’t know the status of this name and in order we might not have to go into private session, I suggest I show it to Mr. Koumjian. [indicates place in statement where name appears]
Pros: It’s not a problem for us. The fact that a name is put to a witness – if it is the name of a protected witness, and is simply put to a witness, that’s not a problem. It is only a problem if it raises the person’s cooperation with the court. It’s that association that could be problematic. We have no concerns about this person.
Def: [references document] Look at the name “CO Tactical” on the page. You see?
Def: It says here in these interview notes from September 17, 2006, that you had seen him in Makeni last week. He was a cab driver. He was a member of the NPFL sent by Taylor to Sierra Leone. He wouldn’t cooperate with the prosecution unless someone like Mongor convinced him to do so. What did you mean?
Wit: The prosecution need him. They asked if I knew him. I said yes. They asked if he would cooperate. I told them he is Taylor’s loyalist, but I will take the chance to talk to him. Maybe then he’ll cooperate. I knew him for a long time.
Def: How were you going to convince him?
Wit: I would have met him to talk to him, to tell him that the investigators wanted to talk with him. That they wanted to know why he was in this country and what he was doing in the country. If I had gone there, maybe he would have been able to cooperate.
Def: What do you mean, they wanted to know why he was in Sierra Leone?
Wit: They came to know that he was NPFL. They asked if I knew him. I said yes, I knew him to be NPFL. I was also NPFL. They wanted more information about the man, and how he managed to come from the NPFL to settle in Sierra Leone.
Def: Are you suggesting you were going to get him in trouble for living in Sierra Leone as a Liberian unless he cooperated?
Wit: That was not my intention. I don’t think because he was Liberian he would be harmed.
Def: Apart from anything else, you have to pay special taxes as a foreigner living in Sierra Leone?
Def: If nobody realizes you’re a foreigner, you wouldn’t have to pay?
Def: Were you going to report him to the authorities if he didn’t cooperate?
Def: Are you a man with a reputation for violence?
Wit: No, people don’t know me for that.
Def: Were you accused during the war of killing a large number of people in a particular village?
Wit: Yes, I was accused.
Def: What village?
Wit: It was Sandiaru.
Def: Where is that?
Wit: It is behind Kailahun Town and closer to the Guinea border, but within Kailahun District.
Def: You were accused of killing over 50 people trying to escape to Guinea?
Wit: They were not up to 50.
Def: How many do you say you killed?
Wit: It’s been a long time, so I can’t recall the total.
Def: An estimate?
Wit: If you say 50, it is too much.
Def: Give us an estimate.
Wit: It might be more than a dozen.
Def: More than two dozen, perhaps?
Wit: No, more than a dozen, but not up to two dozen.
Def: Foday Sankoh wanted you dealt with after the war was over for that massacre, didn’t he?
Wit: I didn’t have such information and Sankoh said nothing to me about that.
Def: [references document] This is a document said to be information relating to you – with your witness number. You see?
Def: It’s “To Peter Harrison, from Umaru Kamara”. You know Umaru Kamara, don’t you?
Wit: Maybe I’d recognize him.
Def: Yesterday, in notes from July 2007, we saw that the investigator there was Umaru Kamara and the attorney was Mr. Nick. You remember now?
Wit: Yes, I recall.
Def: The information has come through John Berry. Do you know who Mr. Berry is?
Wit: Maybe I know him, but not the name.
Def: Do you know a Canadian police officer who works for the prosecution known as Mr. Berry, or Mr. John?
Wit: I recall.
Def: Subject is all blacked out. In the body of the text: “Source said witness was training commandant in Liberia for all fighters to attack Sierra Leone. That he came with the first team of fighters that attacked Sierra Leone. That after the NPFL fighters were driven out because they misbehaved, that the witness was made battlefield commander next to Foday Sankoh.” All correct?
Wit: [Says all correct after each sentence.] Except, it should be battlegroup, not battlefield.
Def: But you were next to Foday Sankoh?
Wit: I was not the second person in the structure. You had battlegroup and then you had battlefield.
Def: On 11 March this year, Mr. Koumjian said to the court in your presence “at one point he was acting the number two position in the RUF”. You didn’t correct him there, did you?
Wit: Maybe it slipped off my mind. When you talk about battlegroup, it’s about the third position.
Def: You were described as the acting number two person on 11 March. You were happy to be described that way?
Wit: I was not happy.
Def: Why didn’t you object?
Wit: Maybe it slipped my mind. The battlefield was the second position, the battlegroup was number three.
Def: It’s still a very high position?
Def: “At one time witness was demoted by Sankoh because he killed civilians trying to escape from Sandiaru to Guinea” Is that right?
Wit: I was not in any position at that time – to say I was demoted. I was just a frontline commander. The killing of those people was through an order. So I don’t think I was called upon to be demoted. They did not call me to be demoted.
Def: So this information is completely wrong?
Wit: He did not demote me at all and I never had such discussions with Sankoh.
Def: You were subject to an investigation in the RUF and you came close to being executed?
Wit: Yes, at one time I was investigated. But that was for a different subject.
Def: When was it that you killed these people in Sandiaru when they were trying to escape the civil war?
Wit: If I’m not mistaken, I think it was in 1992, but I can’t recall the month.
Def: You were acting battlegroup commander in 1992, weren’t you?
Def: It was you who were giving the orders in 1992, wasn’t it?
Wit: Which order?
Def: You were giving orders to those beneath you?
Wit: Yes, I was giving orders to those underneath me whenever I received orders from those above me.
Def: Did you personally kill these civilians?
Wit: I was there myself.
Def: Now answer the question.
Def: How many did you personally kill?
Wit: I cannot recall the figure now because it has taken a long time.
Def: What were these people doing when you killed them?
Wit: Those people came from Guinea. We had had instructions because at that time we received information regarding the border and the area we occupied – that people were about to move from that side to attack our position. So we were on security alert. We had instructions that anybody coming from that side, we should deal with that person and we shouldn’t spare the person’s life. That’s the area the people came from.
Def: What people?
Wit: The people about whom you have spoken. The people we killed.
Def: You told us you were on security alert and that people were about to move from the Guinea side to attack our position. You’re talking about fighters, aren’t you – not civilians?
Wit: I was talking about fighters, but civilians had a role. Civilians took information and carried it back. We knew those are the things that normally obtain during war.
Def: These people did not come from Guinea, they were trying to escape to Guinea?
Wit: I don’t know. I don’t think so.
Def: This incident is well known, isn’t it?
Wit: Yes, people know about it.
Def: And they know that these were civilians trying to run away from the fighters?
Wit: I don’t think people knew that they were trying to escape to Guinea?
Def: How did you kill them?
Wit: I killed them because they came from the Guinean side.
Def: I asked how?
Wit: With guns.
Def: How many did you personally kill?
Wit: I said the ones I killed myself, I can’t recall the figure.
Def: Give an estimate.
Wit: I’m unable to estimate any figure. It’s been a long time.
Def: Try the truth, please.
Wit: It’s not that I’m trying to please you. But it’s been a long time and I cannot give you a figure now.
Def: These were civilians. Do you mean men, women and children?
Wit: They were men and women.
Def: And children?
Wit: I did not see children.
Def: Is that an honest answer, Isaac Mongor?
Wit: I’m saying I did not see children.
Def: You were acting battlegroup commander at the time?
Judge Doherty: That’s well established.
Def: So it was under your orders that these hapless civilians were shot to death?
Wit: Yes, through my orders, but the orders came from above and I executed it.
Def: Who did the orders come from, do you say?
Wit: The order came from Foday Sankoh.
Def: Do you mean you had an order from Sankoh on how to carry out your duties in this particular village. Was Sankoh controlling every aspect of where the RUF were fighting?
Pros: Those are two questions.
Def: Are you saying Foday Sankoh controlled every aspect of where the RUF were fighting at the time you committed this atrocity?
Wit: Sankoh was the leader. Any information he had from any location, Sankoh gave instructions. He knew about everything the RUF was doing.
Def: Where was he?
Wit: In Pendembu.
Def: Where else was the RUF fighting at the time you carried out this massacre?
Wit: We were in Mobai, Pendembu, Baima, close to the Daru Barracks, we occupied all of those areas.
Def: And Sankoh was giving orders to the commanders in all of those areas?
[Approx. 10:15 (10:45 with the video/audio delay): interruption in video/audio feed from the court]
This account will continue when the techincal difficulty with the feed from the ICC courtroom is fixed.