5:00 Defense doubts witness’s claim of visits to the Executive Mansion in Monrovia

4:04 (4:34 with the delay in video and audio): Court is back in open session.

Defense counsel Morris Anyah resumes his cross-examination of prosecution witness TF1-516:

Def: I was asking you about what else was located on the fourth floor of the Executive Mansion in Monrovia. You told us of another room where work was done to repair communications equipment. You said there was another large room where you usually sat?

Wit: There was an office. I went there the second time.

Def: Whose office was that?

Wit: I met some people working there. Later he took me to the radio room and I met Sky One on the set.

Def: Are you aware that the president’s office was on the fourth floor at that time?

Wit: I can’t tell.

Def: Are you aware that the secret service’s office is on that floor, and that there’s a cabinet room there?

Wit: I can’t tell.

Def: Did you take stairs or the elevator?

Wit: We walked by stairs.

Def: Do you know if the president had sleeping quarters there?

Wit; I don’t know anything about that.

Def: Were there any visiting heads of state there?

Wit; I cannot tell.

Def: You told us you saw or met President Taylor there. Met or saw?

Wit: I will explain. There is a space in front of the Mansion. Just after the gate we met Sierra Leoneans and we were talking. The president was talking to the officers. He said “those men helped capture Voinjama.” I did not go there to shake his hands.

Def: So you saw him, not met him?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Do you now agree that while you were in Gbarnga, Yeaten introduced you to Taylor?

Wit: Not in Gbarnga. The introduction was at the Mansion grounds. I only saw him in Gbarnga.

Def: Did you tell the prosecution that someone told you Taylor’s office was on the sixth floor?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Did anyone tell you it was on the fourth floor?

Wit: Not the fourth floor, sixth.

Def: Did you ever go there in the evenings?

Wit: I told the investigators I did not go there in the night.

Def: Did you ever go to the Executive Mansion in the evenings?

Wit: No, in the morning hours. But the second time I left there late.

Def: [reads document] “The Executive Mansion in Monrovia is a six story building… Witness only went with Yeaten and was only allowed on the fourth floor.” You are the same person that Yeaten welcomed to his compound, the same person he took on helicopter flights?

Wit: Yes.

Def: You’re the same person he allowed to be present when Eddie Kanneh brought diamonds?

Prosecutor Bangura: That’s a misstatement of the evidence. It’s different to be present and to be “allowed to be present”.

Def: You have testified in this court that…let’s look at what you’ve told the prosecution in addition to what you’ve said in court. [references document] “Bockarie had a compound in Monrovia during this time and he was at Yeaten’s residence almost every day. Issa Sesay came…Superman too…witness saw Gibril Massaquoi there twice.” And in court you said you saw Eddie Kanneh there with diamonds in 2000. That’s what you said, right?

Wit: Let’s go to the area you’re looking at.

Def: Did you tell the prosecution that?

Wit: I told them that Kanneh used to come with diamonds and there were radio transmissions that he was coming with diamonds.

Def: Did you tell the prosecution what’s stated here.

Wit: This doesn’t say Eddie Kanneh.

Def: I’m asking now about what is stated here. Did you see the others here.

Wit: I’m really confused now.

Prosecution: I’m confused too.

Judge Doherty: Listen to the passage again and focus on that question.

Def: The question is: these are notes from a prosecution interview with you on July 19, 2006: “Bockarie had a compound in Monrovia at this time and was at Yeaten’s residence every day…Issa Sesay came…witness saw Superman there several times…saw Gibril Massaquoi there twice.” Did you tell the prosecution this?

Wit: Yes.

Def: If you’re the same person Yeaten allowed to be present when Sesay, Superman, Massaquoi came, how is it your access and movement in only one place, the Executive Mansion, is restricted?

Prosecution: Defense is putting questions on a premise that has not been established. He’s asking why the witness was no longer allowed to roam about in the Executive Mansion.

Judge Sebutinde: Now you’re misrepresenting what the defense is saying.

Def: I can rephrase the question.

Judge Doherty: Please do so. Yeaten’s house and the Executive Mansion are not the same place.

Def: We’ve confirmed you’ve ridden helicopters with Yeaten, you lived in his compound, his family lived there, and you were restricted to the fourth floor of the Executive Mansion?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Was a reason given why your access was restricted to the fourth floor when it seems that everywhere else you had broad access?

Wit: I don’t know.

Def: Have you ever told us that you were present at Yeaten’s house when Eddie Kanneh brought diamonds.

Wit: I received the call from Sesay that Kanneh was bringing diamonds, and I saw Kanneh come to Yeaten’s house.

Def: So you were present when Eddie Kanneh brought diamonds to Yeaten?

Wit: I was there.

Def: The RUF had a guesthouse in Monrovia?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Did they have it when you were in Monrovia?

Wit: That was the time I knew the guesthouse.

Def: Was it operational when you were in Monrovia?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Was it there when you got there in December 1999?

Wit: Yes.

Def: But Bockarie was not staying there?

Wit: I cannot remember.

Def: Bockarie came to Monrovia in December 1999?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Before or after you?

Wit: After I went.

Def: When you were in Monrovia, did Bockarie get there before or after you?

Wit: I was not in Monrovia permanently. I went to Monrovia and returned to the front line in Lofa.

Def: Were you and Sam Bockarie ever in Monrovia at the same time in 1999?

Wit: No.

Def: In 2000?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Before or after the operations in Voinjama?

Wit: Before and after.

Judge Doherty: We have to adjourn for the day. For the record, we did go into private session earlier for the protection of the witness in the afternoon session.

Court is adjourning for the day. The proceedings will resume tomorrow morning at 9:30.