2:30 (3:00 with the video/audio delay): Court is back in session following the lunch break.
Defense Counsel Terry Munyard continues his cross-examination of Isaac Mongor:
Def: Before we broke for lunch, I put to you that you had been running between duties as Mr. Taylor’s Executive Mansion guard and training the RUF. Mr. Koumjian objected, saying you had never said as much. [references document – notes from a prior statement] Did you have a chance to read that document in the last five minutes?
Judge Sebutinde: Are you suggesting it was not collected?
Def: He was reading it. [To witness] Were you reading it?
Def: Were you going back and forth, or was that something else they got incorrect?
Wit: I used to do it, then I stopped. At the early stage when I went to the base, I would come and return. But when we later had many recruits, I was not going to the ground anymore.
Def: When was that?
Wit: That same March 1990.
Def: What were you doing after becoming involved with the NPFL in 1989 and March 1990: You trained at a camp in Borpleh for two months?
Def: Then you go to fight.
Def: You went to Ganta and Gbarnga, and Kakata, and the Coca Cola factory at Monrovia – you did all of that between finishing training and March 1990?
Def: Then back to Gbarnga as an Executive Mansion guard?
Wit: Yes. At the time I was going to the front line, I was already in the mansion guard.
Def: Then you nip over to Camp Nama to start training RUF recruits?
Def: All of these things in those few months. Is that what you want these judges to believe?
Def: Did you get to the Coca Cola factory?
Def: When does it get busy at the RUF camp? When did you start doing that full time?
Wit: I began full time. I went there in March. Initially there wasn’t much recruitment, so I used to go and come back. By the end of March the training was in full force.
Def: So from the end of March you were full time at Camp Nama training RUF recruits?
Wit: Yes, from March.
Def: And you continued to be there full time until the invasion of Sierra Leone in March 1991?
Wit: Yes, I was there until 1991.
Def: [references document] It says you started training the RUF in 1990 and you were at the base until March 1991. I suggest you weren’t involved in guarding Taylor in NPFL at all.
Wit: I don’t agree with you.
Def: You just did agree with me a minute ago. You said you were at Camp Nama full time from end of March 1990 until March 1991 when you went to Sierra Leone. So you agree with this sentence in the document, don’t you?
Prosecution: The question is vague. Defense didn’t specify the time. Is he saying he was not involved at all in the executive mansion guard, or after March 1990?
Def: I’ll come back to that.
Def: That sentence in the middle of the page is correct, isn’t it? You started training in March 1990, and you were at base until March 1991?
Def: You were trying to suggest earlier that it was not correct?
Wit: I only did the duty of the Executive Mansion guard before going to the base.
Def: I want you to concentrate on the sentence in the middle of the page and tell me whether it’s correct. You were full time training the RUF from March 1990 to March 1991, at the base, weren’t you?
Def: Full time?
Wit: Make clear what you mean.
Def: That’s all you were doing between March 1990 and March 1991?
Wit: Not from the beginning of March 1990.
Def: From the end of March 1990? Your answer earlier was that when the training started you did not return. Is that right?
Wit: Yes, from the end of March I was at the camp, training.
Def: The investigators have correctly recorded what you were telling them here about your activities training the RUF?
Wit: Yes, I was training the RUF.
Def: It says two points above that: Mongor was introduced to Sankoh by Karbo, who was recruited from Sierra Leone. Who was doing the recruiting for the RUF from Sierra Leone?
Wit: There was Pa Kallon, who was the adviser to Foday Sankoh. He was recruiting in Liberia. And John Kargbo – he too joined Mr. Kallon. They were going in search of other people – some of them were in prison.
Judge Sebutinde: You asked who was doing the recruiting in Sierra Leone. His answer was who was doing the recruiting for Sierra Leone.
Def: Who was doing the recruiting inside Sierra Leone?
Wit: When the war was going on?
Def: Who was doing the recruiting of John Kargbo inside Sierra Leone before the war?
Wit: I thought you were talking about the time we were already in Sierra Leone. If you are asking who was doing the recruiting in Liberia. I don’t know who was recruiting in Sierra Leone.
Def: [references interview notes from September 2006] Mongor was in the executive mansion guard from early 1990 to March 1991. That’s different from what you’ve told us today. You said you hadn’t returned from there before the invasion in 1991.
Wit: When I said I would go back and forth, I told you it was when I went to the base initially – when the training was not in full force. When there were more recruits, I did not go there anymore.
Def: If that is the case, why have you told the investigators that you were going back and forth from March 1990 to March 1991?
Judge Sebutinde: To be fair to the witness, it says he was going back and forth from “early 1990”; then it says he was training recruits from March 1990-March 1991.
Def: With respect, the grammar suggests that the going back and forth is all part of the sentence that includes the training.
Judge Sebutinde: It’s vague and requires an explanation.
Def: I would not dispute the fact that you were recruited by Sankoh to train the RUF in Liberia and then entered Sierra Leone with them. I’m suggesting you were not in the Executive Mansion, and certainly not in Gbarnga in 1990 because it didn’t exist.
Wit: I disagree.
Def: I asked you yesterday if, after being the acting battlegroup commander, did you go back to being a battalion commander in the field when Rashid Mansaray came back, and you said you didn’t. You see here, it says early in 1992, Mongor replaced Karbo as battlegroup commander, and that you went back to being a battalion commander in the field. You see that?
Def: Yesterday you said you didn’t go back to becoming a battalion commander.
Wit: A battalion commander is different. I did not go there as a battalion commander. Within the second battalion, I was there. Rashid Mansaray took over as battlegroup commander for second battalion, and in that battalion I was also a member. But I went back to the frontline. When I gave him the position back, I went back to where I was.
Def: Why did you tell the investigators that you went back to being battalion commander if you didn’t?
Wit: I didn’t say that. I was a commander within the same battalion, but I was not battalion commander.
Def: Look at the page. Is that what you told the investigators or isn’t it.
Wit: I am telling you here what happened.
Def: Now answer the question.
Wit: I said it did not happen this way.
Def: Answer the question.
Wit: There cannot be two battalion commanders in the same battalion.
Judge Doherty: The question is did you tell investigators that you went back to being a battalion commander in the field.
Wit: I did not say that.
Def: So they have got that wrong.
Wit: Because I spoke about commander at the front line. I said I went back as a commander in the commander. But not as battalion commander.
Def: I am not asking you what happened in 1993, but what happened when you were interviewed in 2006 when you were interviewed.
Wit: I understand.
Def: Does it follow that they have made a mistake as recording that as what you were telling them.
Wit: Maybe it was a result of the language barrier. Maybe when I said commander, they thought I said battalion commander.
Def: You said yesterday they read the interview back to you so that you could correct mistakes. So are you saying they made a mistake, and you made a mistake in not correcting this?
Wit: No. The mistake was not a one-sided thing. It was from both ends.
Def: That interview was on a Sunday, the 3rd of September 2006. Would you have been working in the shop on Sunday, the Lord’s day?
Wit: No, I went to church. From church I did not go to the shop.
Def: The shop was selling drinking water?
Def: Would you have been working in the shop on the 30th of August, the Wednesday before – your first interview?
Def: So you would have lost earnings by being interviewed that afternoon? Did they compensate you for lost earnings?
Wit: They did not tell me they were compensating me for not selling in the shop.
Def: Do you stand by your answer yesterday that you were never compensated for lost earnings.
Wit: I received money. I was not told it was because of what I had lost. They did not ask me what was my lost wage. That’s what I said yesterday.
Def: Did they give you money and tell you what it was for, or did they not give you any money?
Wit: They gave me money. They said it was for transportation, the time I spent there, and for food.
Def: [references document – “Special Court for Sierra Leone: All Disbursements for Witness”] Do you know what TF1-532 means?
Wit: Yes, I know.
Def: What does it mean?
Wit: That was my witness identification number.
Def: This is a document about you?
Def: Did you go and see the Office of the Prosecution before you were interviewed – two days before the first interview?
Wit: In what year?
Def: August 2006.
Def: Did you give them information on that occasion?
Wit: On that day when they spoke with me, I told them I was willing to testify.
Def: Were you told you would be paid for lost earnings?
Wit: That expression confuses me. They were not to tell me what I had lost. I would have to tell them.
Def: Simple question. Did you tell them how much you would be likely to lose in earnings if you spent an afternoon with them, giving them information?
Def: On August 28, 2006, you were paid 20,000 Leones for transportation and meals.
Def: Did you have to travel far?
Wit: I did not travel far. I used a vehicle.
Def: What sort of vehicle?
Wit: I took a taxi.
Def: How much did the taxi cost from where you live to the Special Court?
Wit: Nearly 1,000 Leones.
Def: We know that you were interviewed at 20 to two until half past four. Had you already had lunch before the interview?
Def: Why did you get 20,000 Leones for a taxi that costs 900 and you’d already had your lunch?
Wit: That is their administration. I don’t know their procedures.
Def: You knew you would be able to make some money out of cooperating with the Office of the Prosecutor, didn’t you?
Wit: My cooperation was never based on monetary issues.
Def: But you knew you would make some money through cooperation?
Wit: I wasn’t thinking about that.
Def: Were you thinking you might be prosecuted yourself if you didn’t help them?
Def: [references document] On Wed 30 Aug 2006: transport, meals lost wages. You were interviewed from 9:50 until almost 11:45 in the morning. Presumably you’d had your breakfast when you went there?
Wit: Yes, I ate at my house before I went.
Def: The interview concluded at 11:42. Did you then go and have lunch? Would you normally have lunch around the middle of the day?
Def: You ate after you had the interview?
Wit: No. I can eat at any time I feel like eating. I don’t have a particular hour.
Def: When working in the shop, selling drinking water, what do you do for lunch?
Wit: In the morning, I ate breakfast before going to the shop. At times I could not eat anything in the shop except for bread or soft drinks.
Def: How much would you normally spend on food during the working day?
Wit: I had other people working with me. I gave them something like 10,000 Leones. Sometimes I gave money to a cook for all of us to bring some food.
Def: How many men have you got working with you selling processed drinking water?
Def: They’re all working for you?
Wit: Yes. I had three men and a lady.
Def: How much on average would you earn per day if you totaled a whole week’s up-and-down earnings?
Wit: I cannot tell you. It is business. I could rise or fall.
Def: Cannot or will not? You know how much your business made in an average week?
Def: How much were you making in an average week, if any?
Wit: At times, I could get what I had already spent. Other times I would not get what I had already spent. Maybe I would get 900,000 Leones for two weeks. Maybe it could fall to 600 or 700.
Def: How much of that was profit after you paid everyone’s wages, rent and whatever else you had to pay?
Wit: The rent – the bishop paid for that place for three years already.
Def: How much profit were you making?
Wit: It depends on what I spent for the week. If I bought goods and put them in the shop, maybe I would get 5 or 400,000. There were times I would get more than that even.
Def: You were paid on August 30, the day of that interview, 50,000 Leones for transport, meals and lost wages. Does that come as a surprise to you that you were paid for lost wages?
Wit: If I tell you about the money that I lose, I would not say I was losing 50,000 per day. I would get money from selling other things in the shop – not just water.
Def: Does it surprise you to see that on that day you received money for lost wages?
Wit: If they were giving me money, I cannot be surprised. Nobody told me the money was for lost wages.
Def: So does it surprise you to see that you have been paid for lost wages?
Wit: I’m saying they gave me money. They did not tell me the purpose for the money. They never said it was money lost for not going to the shop.
Def: On Sunday the 3rd of September, when you would have been at church and not in the shop, you were paid the same about for the same reasons. But you didn’t lose any wages did you?
Wit: Yes, I was at church, not at the shop.
Def: Why would you be paid for lost wages on a day you weren’t working?
Wit: Maybe that is the way the prosecution department would term the expenditure. I did not go into details with them. I don’t know how the department functioned.
Def: At the beginning you were only paid 20,000 for transport and meals – and we know that represented a profit to you of about 19,000. So you get lost wages presumably when you tell them that you’d lost earnings. So did you tell them you lost earnings on that Sunday in September?
Def: [references another document] This is an interview on 1 October 2006. You were interviewed at 10:20 in the morning and it finished at 1:20 in the afternoon, so a three hour interview. It says you were asked to create a timeline. It says the investigator reviewed another witness’s statement [reads witness identification number]. I don’t know whether I’m allowed to read the name.
Prosecutor Nick Koumjian: Can we have a brief private session?
Judge Doherty: Is there a problem?
Pros: Yes. It has to do with witness security and obeying court orders.
Judge Doherty: Court will go into brief private session.
3:39 (4:09 with the video audio delay) Court goes into private session. This account will continue when the proceedings resume in open session.