Defense underscores Moses Blah’s status and lack of knowledge regarding Taylor’s connections to the AFRC/RUF

3:00 (3:30 with delay in video and audio):  Court is back in session following the lunch break.  Lead Defense Counsel Courtenay Griffiths continues his cross-examination of Moses Blah.


Def:  Your Honors, can I attend to a matter of housekeeping?  The documents that are being distributed should have been in the bundles I handed out this morning, but because of an oversight they were not.  I invite you to put the document headed “Autopsy Report” behind divider three.  And I invite you all to place the document headed “Statement of Moses Blah” behind divider six.  Now, Former President, I was dealing with that statement you signed in which you made various comments about your comrade in arms, Former President Charles Taylor, you remember?  To finish off, firstly, do you remember making that statement?


Wit:  I said yes.


Def:  And when you made it, were you endeavoring to tell the truth?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  Because, would it be fair to say, you wouldn’t have signed the statement were it to not contain the truth?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  I want to move on now please and deal with other matters.  Now we had dealt with the advance of the NPFL through Liberia.  I now want to deal with another development:  that is, ECOMOG.  Now it’s right isn’t it that in August 1990 and with the agreement of both President Doe and Prince Johnson, ECOWAS sent a seaborne force of 2500 West African troops to Liberia?  That force entered Monrovia and took control of the port area.


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  And it was quite clear, was it not, that ECOMOG had intervened in the hope of preventing the NPFL from securing an outright victory?


Wit:  You are correct.


Def:  And the NPFL forces were enraged that other African countries had intervened in this way.


Wit:  You are correct.


Def:  Now at the end of August 1990 there was an ECOWAS meeting in the Gambia that was boycotted by the NPFL.


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  But prominent Liberian diplomats promoted Dr. Amos Sawyer as president of an interim government of national unity.


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  The NPFL did not recognize that body.


Wit:  No.


Def:  Despite ECOMOG’s efforts, there were clashes between the Liberian Army and the NPFL?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  On September 10, 1990 Prince Johnson captured Doe and brutally murdered him.


Wit:  You are correct.


Def:  Johnson then pronounced himself head of state.


Wit:  You are correct.


Def:  In October 1990, ECOMOG with the assistance of the independent NPFL successfully drove the NPFL beyond Monrovia.


Wit:  You are correct.


Def:  But the NPFL continued to control the remainder of the country.


Wit:  You are correct.


Def:  What was the feeling between the NPFL at that time about cooperating with ECOMOG?


Wit:  At that time, NPFL felt misled by ECOWAS, and coming in of ECOMOG was not… the NPFL would not consent.  They were going to intervene into this matter.  There was a heavy force coming in to support the other side to attack us, and we were driven from our position.  That made the NPFL not cooperate with ECOWAS.


Def:  Do you recall that a ceasefire was signed in November 1990?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  The result was to effectively divide the country in two.


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  There was a period of uneasy truce.


Wit:  You are correct.


Def:  Now, in October 1991, the independent NPFL surrendered to ECOMOG and dissolved in September 1992.


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  It’s around this time, specifically in June 1991, that a completely different player appears – ULIMO.


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  And they came out of Sierra Leone.


Wit:  You are correct.


Def:  Who supported them?


Wit:  Roosevelt Johnson.


Def:  Who provided them with arms and ammunition to invade Liberia?


Wit:  It was Sierra Leone.


Def:  In June 1991, while there was an uneasy truce, the Sierra Leonean government funded a group to invade Liberia.


Wit:  You are correct.


Def:  ULIMO immediately decided to attack the NPFL.


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  And there were fierce battles between ULIMO and the NPFL in Lofa County.


Wit:  You are correct.


Def:  That fighting continued for a continual period.  And effectively it resulted in ULIMO gaining large portions of the western region bordering Sierra Leone.


Wit:  You are correct.


Def:  The ULIMO forces was mostly made up of former Doe supporters and ex-army soldiers.


Wit:  You are correct.


Def:  One consequence of ULIMO’s offensive was to effectively cut off the border between Sierra Leone and Liberia?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  And that border was effectively controlled by ULIMO from 1992 until the elections in June 1997.


Wit:  You are correct.


Def:  The NPFL did not have access to that part of the border?


Wit:  You are correct.


Def:  In late 1992 and early 1993 a much larger ECOMOG force entered Liberia.


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  And they began trying to crush the NPFL?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  That force consisting mainly of Nigerians comprised about 15000 troops.  And that ECOMOG force succeeded in imposing a blockade on most of the area controlled by the NPFL.


Wit:  You are correct.


Def:  And that caused food shortages.  And effectively prevented the NPFL from securing arms and ammunition.


Wit:  You are correct.


Def:  At or about that time, the UN imposed an arms embargo on all the warring factions in Liberia excluding ECOMOG.


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  Now, it was at or about that time because the NPFL was so beleaguered that negotiations began between NPFL and ECOMOG.  And there occurred a massacre of 500-600 civilians at a displaced person camp by Monrovia.


Wit:  I remember that.


Def:  And the NPFL was being blamed?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  It was the Liberian Army that was in fact responsible.


Wit:  Exactly.


Def:  Throughout this period your leader Taylor was making valiant efforts to secure peace leading to democratic elections in Liberia.


Wit:  You are correct.


Def:  The NPFL hardly had enough weapons to defend itself.


Wit:  I agree.


Def:  Much less to provide weapons to anybody else?


Wit:  No. 


Def:  During this period from 1992 up to the elections, it was a struggle for the NPFL to arm and feed itself.


Wit:  It was very difficult.


Def:  There weren’t enough arms to go around.


Wit:  You are correct.  There was an embargo.


Def:  The NPFL didn’t have access to arms to give away.


Wit:  There were no arms at that time.


Def:  Do you recall that some time in 1994 there was a peace agreement at Akosombo?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  And that provided for a ceasefire that took effect December 1994.


Wit:  Yes, I remember.


Def:  And also established a timetable for disarmament beginning in April 1995.


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  Let’s look at news reports from around this time.  MFI-26.  Dated March 3, 1994, this front page of the news shows the forces at play in Liberia.  The main story is about ULIMO.  In the middle we see reference to the NPFL and an attack on a village.  And then we see UNMIL deploys in Maryland County.  At this stage, UNMIL were deploying throughout the country.  We need to see what was happening on the ground in Liberia and how that might affect the shipment of arms.  Look at the story about General Apande.  [Reads from story related to deployment of UNMIL and ECOMOG.]  UNMIL and ECOMOG are deploying throughout the country.  From some time before March 1994 we have a widespread ECOMOG and UNMIL presence in Liberia.  Is that right?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  And they had set up checkpoints, roadblocks on all major routes throughout the country.


Wit:  You are correct.


Def:  There was equally a presence at Roberts International Airfield. 


Wit:  You are correct.


Def:  For much of this period the Airfield was not operational because it was bombed.


Wit:  You are correct.


Def:  It wasn’t open to international flights until 2002.


Wit:  You are correct.


Def:  Let’s have a look at MFI-27.  Now this is January 1994 and we have a snapshot of what’s going on.  Main story:  three civilians killed, others wounded in ambush.  To the right, there’s an article about ethnic politics gaining momentum.  Remember me mentioning about the development of divisions within Liberian society among ethnic lines.  There’s something like 27 different tribes in Liberia.  Let’s just pause and have a look at the article.  [Reads from article regarding ethnic politics in Liberia.]  Again, we have a flavor of what life was like in Liberia.  Now, I just want to clarify one or two details.  In Liberia in 1994, the NPFL did not control Monrovia?


Wit:  No.


Def:  And most of the newspapers are printed in Monrovia, aren’t they?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  In fact, the only newspaper printed in NPFL territory was the New Patriot.  And that newspaper came out twice a month.


Wit:  That’s right.


Def:  During your evidence-in-chief you were referred to this newspaper.  You would not have had access in 1994 because the NPFL were not in Monrovia.


Wit:  What?


Def:  You said you remembered seeing this article recording certain events.


Wit:  Yes, I saw it when it was brought to NPFL-controlled areas.  There were a lot of accusations against the NPFL.  I saw this paper and read it.  And I thought how can the NPFL kill people when they don’t even have guns?  I said that I saw this paper.  I simply said I saw this document. 


Judge Sebutinde:  Are you talking about MFI-26?


Def:  Is this the document on the screen?  This is the document I want to ask about.  You were shown this paper, the Daily News, and asked if you recalled reading the article.  If this was a paper only printed in Monrovia, how did you manage to see it?


Wit:  I can assure you.  There was a checkpoint.  We read papers from Monrovia every day.


Def:  Do you disagree with this article, “NPFL burns 200 alive”?


Wit:  I cannot say.  I wasn’t there.  But yes, I remember the story.


Def:  What were your thoughts about this story at the time?


Wit:  These papers we read and said, NPFL did this or killed.  We looked at these things to be pure propaganda at this time.  The Peace Council was very active.  More than NPFL.


Def:  The Daily News, which faction in Liberia sponsored it?


Wit:  [Inaudible.]  They had their own papers.  They could write anything they wanted.


Def:  Would you agree that much of what was published about the NPFL was propaganda?


Wit:  Yes, during those years.


Def:  They weren’t there, so they were making up these stories, weren’t they?


Wit:  Yes.  Telling this story just to sell papers.


Def:  Much of the reporting at this time was totally inaccurate.


Wit:  I agree.


Def:  So we need to take all of these articles with a very large pinch of salt.


Wit:  I agree in instances like they had some papers written by some men to make more money.  Like some things written about me here in The Hague.  Those are lies.


Def:  Exactly.  And the other point to be made is that Liberia is the kind of place where rumors spread like wildfire.  And it only takes one set of loose lips to set a rumor in motion.  That’s right, isn’t it?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  Even during this trial, the phone connection went down, and there was a huge rumor Charles Taylor had died.  Just a couple of weeks ago.


Wit:  That was when I was in Monrovia.  I heard that.


Def:  Because someone couldn’t get through to him on the phone.  So we need to bear all that in mind.  Bearing that in mind, let’s talk about ECOMOG and UNMIL.  You’ve told us that from 1992 they were deployed throughout Liberia.  And do you remember Victor Marlow [ph]?


Wit:  Yes.  Commander of ECOMOG.


Def:  Did you know him well?


Wit:  No?


Def:  Any dealings with him?


Wit:  No.


Def:  Weren’t you the liaison with ECOMOG?


Wit:  Yes, but I didn’t have contact with Marlow.


Def:  Part of the reason ECOMOG and UNMIL had deployed throughout the country was to speed up disarmament.  And one way that was done was that anyone caught at a checkpoint with war materials would have it confiscated, wouldn’t they?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  And would you agree that it would have been virtually impossible to transport arms and ammunition without it being intercepted?


Wit:  ECOMOG was in control of the country.  I would not say impossible because they had other means to drop arms to any destination.  ECOMOG became so powerful that they could take money and do anything at that time.  The Nigerians were known for that.


Def:  What I’m saying is, because ECOMOG was so powerful, it was impossible for the NPFL to transport large quantities of arms.


Wit:  I wouldn’t say no or yes because everybody had money and these people were moneymaking people.  I’ve got evidence from what I saw.  One day they are on your side and the next day they are on the other side.


Def:  We’re talking about 1992 to 1997, right?


Wit:  Yes.  Things were not that controlled.  These guys could do anything for money.  You can see visibly a checkpoint and sometimes you can penetrate the roadblock.


Def:  Can you give me a date for the Council of State?


Wit:  Just before the elections.


Def:  1995?


Wit:  Between 1995 and 1996.


Def:  And all the warring factions were represented?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  NPFL?


Wit:  Yes. 


Def:  ULIMO-J and K?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  The Liberian Peace Council?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  Coalition forces?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  All those forces ordered their leaders to step down.  ECOMOG took control of all internal and external security.


Wit:  Yes.  Everybody was not sure what was happening.  I agree that there were roadblocks everywhere.  But what also happened was that the peace was holding at the top.  There were a lot of factions with equipment.  Some disarmed, some did not.  A game was playing.  I’m telling you the facts.


Def:  I fully agree.  I just want to elaborate.  Yes, the leaders of the various factions were sitting on this Council.  It wasn’t just a great deal of tension, it was a great deal of mistrust.  So that, for example, although they were supposed to give up arms, some were burying their arms in the jungle until they needed them again.  They would hand over a few weapons in the hopes that they would satisfy someone.


Wit:  You are correct.


Def:  It was a very uneasy peace.


Wit:  Yes.  People were not certain.  People were worried, even during the election.  And trouble started later.


Def:  At the same time, there was a degree of good will between the people at the top.


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  And the disarmament process continued and completed in the middle of 1996.


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  And the arms collected, some were used to arm the police and the army, who were short of weapons.  Some were used for training purposes.  And some were burned.


Wit:  Yes, and some were useless too.  Rusty and rotten.


Def:  Some were burned, right?


Wit:  They were cut into pieces and burned.


Def:  Looking at the reality, ULIMO had control of the Liberia and Sierra Leone border.  And we’d also established the ethnic links which crossed those borders.  And one of the things that was happening was that former ULIMO fighters were making money by selling their arms across the border, right?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  And there was a fairly brisk cross-border trade, wasn’t there.


Wit:  I agree 100 percent.


Def:  We are talking about free enterprise.  Everybody was out to make a fast buck.  In the forefront were former ULIMO fighters who still controlled Lofa County.


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  Now we need to fit into our chronology the Abuja Accord in 1995.  One of the details:  In 1996, there was an assassination attempt against Taylor.  Where did that take place?


Wit:  At the Executive Mansion in Monrovia.


Def:  Someone died, didn’t they?


Wit:  General Jackson.


Def:  And wasn’t there a Nigerian soldier who was injured?


Wit:  A lot of people got injured.  Some people fell from the top floor and broke legs.


Def:  I’m talking about a Nigerian called Ali.  He had to be shipped to Nigeria for treatment.


Wit:  You are correct.


[Defense Counsel Griffiths takes a moment.]


Def:  Ali was a captain in the Nigerian army. 


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  Eventually, then, elections were held in July 1997.  Did you campaign?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  Throughout the country?


Wit:  No, in my area.  We supported the NPP at the time.


Def:  That political party was formed by Taylor to get involved in democratic electoral process.


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  You joined the NPP?


Wit:  Yes.  It is my party.


Def:  Can I take it then that in the summer of 1997 you remained a staunch supporter of the principles of the NPFL?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  As far as you were concerned, there was nothing about the NPFL which would want to cause you to distance yourself?


Wit:  To be frank, as I am sitting here, I am still a member of the NPP, except if the NPP pushes me away.  I have not distanced myself from the National Patriotic Party. 


Def:  What I am talking about is during that eight year period there was nothing about the behavior of the NPFL which would cause you to distance yourself from that movement?


Wit:  I have been pushed away from the NPFL but I still belong to the NPP.  I have not officially resigned from my post. 


Def:  We are at cross purposes.  You agree, don’t you, that between 1989 – the time of the invasion – and the summer of 1997 – the time of the elections – you remained a staunch supporter of the NPFL?


Wit:  Yes.  Except if I am pushed by the party.


Def:  I’m not interested in now.  I am merely interested in that window of eight years.  Believe me, we will come to address the later years.  I am concentrating on that eight-year period.  I would like you to focus your mind on that period.  OK?


Wit:  I am still a supporter of NPP.


Presiding Judge Doherty:  Mr. Witness, it is my understanding that he is asking about NPFL only.


Wit:  NPFL dissolved before 1997.  There was no NPFL in Liberia.  So whoever belonged to the NPFL would consider himself NPP.  It’s the military wing.  If you were caught calling yourself NPFL there wouldn’t be a leader.


Def:  During that period between 1989 and the elections in 1997 did you still remain a staunch supporter of that movement that you had been fighting for during that period?


Wit:  I’m saying yes, I was a member of the NPFL within those eight years until it was dissolved. 


Def:  During that eight year period, did anything occur in terms of the behavior of either the NPFL or the NPP which caused you to want to distance yourself from them?


Wit:  I told you, yes, I was still a member until it was dissolved.  What explanation do you want?  When it became NPP I was still a member.


Judge Sebutinde:  The question relates to the following:  was there anything in the behavior of the movement that would cause you to want to disassociate yourself?


Wit:  A lot of things happened.  Too many things happened.  But we were still on.


Def:  I honestly think we are at cross purposes.  Can I try one last time?  The ATU and those other groups that you have mentioned, they were formed after the elections, weren’t they?


Wit:  No, some came before the elections.  [Inaudible.]


Def:  What other things upset you?


Wit:  I was not upset per se.  After all of these things, I stayed on.  With all the disrespect.  How could a man who was handpicked could come and disrespect you?  They kept you away from your leader sometimes.  He, as a general commander, has become so powerful.  But we kept going.


Def:  I was talking about a period before he even became President.  I was talking about 1989 until July 1997 when you are campaigning. 


Wit:  I agree with you in a sense.  These general commanders started ever since we started fighting.  When general commanders came in from Monrovia to train.  Some had close contacts with the leader of the organization.  You could not penetrate them to even see your own leader.  I understand your question.  This thing had started before the President even came to power.


Def:  If you found this behavior so distasteful, why did you campaign?


Wit:  This was not from the President, it was from some individuals who could do anything to keep you away.  If it was someone who was trained in Libya I would bring it up the way you were supposed to.  But they presented themselves so powerful, and that was very disgraceful to other NPFL members.


Def:  Help me please.  What else about that time did you find distasteful?


Wit:  As far as I am concerned, that distasteful behavior, we had a special forces meeting previously held at the President’s mansion.  When this group became powerful, all of this was cut off.  We questioned this thing on and on.  I’d been running a campaign had nothing to do with what you are talking about.  We stood on as revolutionaries.  But we were not satisfied. 


Def:  I’m going to try and approach this differently.  You were talking about a shipment of arms from Cote D’Ivoire.  Because the arms did not arrive immediately, it was alleged that you were in cahoots with Prince Johnson and you were investigated and arrested.


Wit:  Yes, that was in 1990.


Def:  And in that connection, you were asked about where the arms were coming from and you indicated Libya.  Mr. Rapp asked you how you knew…


Wit:  Did I say Libya?  You will have to bring me back.  How do I know when I said Abijan?


Def:  Let me read you the passage.  You said that being the Inspector General you knew the time – when and where – those things were coming from.  What you were telling us was that given your high position in the NPFL you should know certain things because those things were not hidden from you.


Wit:  I remember.  I am saying that it was not hidden from me.  Abijan is where I went for the arms, not Libya.  That is where we took the arms from.


Def:  On that same day, Wednesday last, you said you had very few field commanders reporting to you about illegal happenings.  You said you were always on the field with a communication in your car and house.  You said the communication in your car was a long range radio.  You said that the communication in your house was the same.  Is that correct?


Wit:  Yes.  I would say again, I said anything in the field that was illegal that was supposed to be reported to me was reported.  I was in charge of crimes against civilians.  I was not referring to people telling me that arms have come.


Def:  I will be quite frank.  What I’m interested in is your knowledge.  And the first passage, that passage says, “I am a senior officer in the NPFL.  I should know this information.”  What you are saying is I had access to radio communications, so I knew what was going on in the organization. 


Wit:  If it’s not on the radio, I wouldn’t know.


Def:  You had your own operator?


Wit:  Exactly.


Def:  That’s why you could tell us you heard Johnny Paul Koroma had been killed.  You heard it over the radio.


Wit:  The operator told me in code that that’s what he heard.  I didn’t say he was killed in Lofa County.


Def:  Talking about your sources, you also told us you had your own newspaper that came once or twice a month. 


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  It’s also right that you had access to the BBC, CNN, and international broadcasts.


Wit:  You are correct.


Def:  When you were ambassador in Libya you were coming back regularly to Liberia and given your high position you were kept up to date as to what was happening, weren’t you?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  And in relation to another matter that you were asked about on Thursday, you told us that you knew about an enemy offensive because you were Vice President and Inspector General.  Do you agree?


Wit:  100 percent.


Def:  And you would also agree that during that time that you were ambassador to Libya, that was one of the most important foreign appointments?


Wit:  I agree.


Def:  Colonel Gaddafi was one of the biggest supporters of Liberia, right?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  As ambassador, it would behoove you to keep up with events in your country?


Wit:  You are correct.


Def:  Remember, we are still talking about access to information.  On Thursday you said about the underground bunker at the back of White Flower that you “should know” as Inspector General and Ambassador that you “must know.”  Do you agree?


Wit:  Yes.  They won’t refuse telling me anything because I had a big post in the NPFL.


Def:  The final piece I want to remind you about.  On Thursday you said about an event at White Flower that it was easy to find out about the event.  You said the majority of Taylor’s bodyguards were from your ethnic group and that if you wanted to know, you would know because they were close to you.  Is that right?


Wit:  That is correct.


Def:  Effectively, you had spies amongst President Taylor’s bodyguards?


Wit:  They were not spies.


Def:  You had your sources, didn’t you?


Wit:  Let me tell you further.  They were not trained.  They were handpicked.  They were not professional.  If President Taylor was leaving today, all of the girlfriends in Monrovia would know.  They would talk about it.  By the time you get to your house, people would tell you the President is traveling.  Is that how a professional bodyguard is supposed to behave?  You keep the President’s secrets. 


Def:  [Laughs.]  If you didn’t always think I was trying to set a trap, you would understand my questions a lot better.  The only point I am making is that from your positions and your access to information, and contacts within the Executive Mansion, you were someone in the know, weren’t you?


Wit:  Yes.  I will make sure information is correct because as Vice President or Ambassador I should know.  Then, by that you get the information, and sometimes it is correct.


Def:  Despite all that we have spent the last ten minutes discussing, you had no direct knowledge concerning arms supplied by Charles Taylor to the AFRC or RUF?


Wit:  Now, this is a question I want to answer.  I am aware Taylor sent people to Sierra Leone with Sierra Leone rebel leader, but I did not see arms being shipped.  I didn’t see arms being given to anybody to go to Sierra Leone.  But I saw men going to Sierra Leone.  A man working under me would boast that he was coming from Sierra Leone.  When Dopoe returned he told me, and Namayan told me that he was in Sierra Leone.  And I asked, how do you know?  And he said he was in Sierra Leone.  But I cannot tell you anything about arms shipment into Sierra Leone.  But Liberians were in Sierra Leone fighting!


Def:  Given your position, you knew nothing about arms shipment?


Wit:  I am not responsible for arms.  I am not in the armory.  What I do know, if you commit a crime, I do go after you.  That is what I know.  Do you know what trouble I would have gotten into.  What concerned me was what I tried to investigate.


Def:  Let me be quite clear that I understand.  From 1989, Inspector General, through Ambassador through Vice President, at no stage did you know anything about arms shipments to Sierra Leone?  Yes or no?


Wit:  Let me enlighten you.  Arms shipment to Sierra Leone is far from my knowledge.  As Inspector General, I wouldn’t know that arms given to us to liberate ourselves were going to Sierra Leone.


Def:  Next topic.  Despite your access and high position, you have no knowledge regarding cash support from Taylor to the AFRC/RUF?


Wit:  No.


Def:  Despite your access to knowledge and position, you have no knowledge concerning diamond consignments going to Taylor or his management?


Wit:  I don’t know anything about a piece of rock going to Charles Taylor.  From RUF to Taylor or from Taylor to RUF.


Def:  Nothing about any such transaction?


Wit:  No.


Def:  At no stage did any one of Taylor’s bodyguards mention to you as a fellow Nimba that they saw someone enter White Flower with a mayonnaise jar full of diamonds?


Wit:  No, no, no.  I do not know about that.


Def:  I ask because we have heard so much about mayonnaise jars that there must be a whole warehouse at White Flower.  Did no one mention to you that Taylor had a stockpile of mayonnaise jars in White Flower?


Wit:  No.  Harrison told me that Bockarie had a refugee bag of U.S. dollars that he took around with him.  [Inaudible.]


Def:  Moving on. 


[Witness steps out momentarily.]


Wit:  Your Honors, I am sorry.


Def:  Good news is that there are only 15 minutes left.  Now, we are still talking about the state of your knowledge.  Would it be fair to say that you have no knowledge of radio communications between Taylor and AFRC/RUF.


Wit:  No.  Concerning what?


Def:  Any military operations.


Wit:  Excepts things I heard on radios.  Besides that, nothing.


Def:  Let’s be clear.  The period you are talking about, when you heard Sierra Leone being mentioned, was when [inaudible] was going into and out of Sierra Leone from 1991 to 1992.  That was the only place you heard reference to RUF on the radio?


Wit:  Yes.  That was the initial communication when Taylor’s forces went into Sierra Leone.  I would only come from my region on holidays to brief the chief on the matter.  I was not stationed in Banga during the years the war was fought.


Def:  Do you know anything about a military operation called Spare No Soul?


Wit:  No.  I don’t know.


Def:  You never heard that phrase?


Wit:  I heard a lot of things but I cannot recollect.  We had other codes, like Jungle Fire, but I had not heard that particular phrase from anybody.


Def:  Did you ever hear it on the radio?


Wit:  Oh, no.  That is not the kind of communication they would put on the radio.  They would put the location of persons, a name of town, but they would not say this is Spare No Soul.  If they did, they would be exposing themselves.


Def:  Despite your position and access, did you ever hear reference to No Living Thing?


Wit:  I would say no again.


Def:  Despite your access to knowledge and position, do you know anything about any Liberian involvement in the Freetown invasion?


Wit:  The invasion of Freetown, no.  I wouldn’t know.


Def:  What I’m asking about is this:  despite your position and access to knowledge, did you hear anything about Liberian involvement in the involvement in the invasion of Freetown?


Wit:  The only way were rumors and accusations that Liberia was declaring war.  They were on radios and in newspapers.  I did not hear particular individuals.


Def:  Were you party to any discussions in Monrovia or any part of Liberia regarding such a topic?


Wit:  I can’t remember.


Def:  Are you aware of any direct instructions given by Taylor to either Foday Sankoh or any other senior commander within the RUF?


Wit:  Well, in my statement, I said that the only time I saw Foday Sankoh was when the war was on and he said to me that he had come to talk to Taylor that his boys were committing atrocities.  So that was what he came to tell the President, and if he didn’t get the response, he would know what to do.  It was the owner of the revolution who was talking.


Def:  My question is very different.  Did you ever hear Charles Taylor giving orders to Foday Sankoh as to what to do in Sierra Leone?


Wit:  I said no.


Def:  Did you ever hear Charles Taylor give instructions to any senior RUF commander as to military operations in Sierra Leone?


Wit:  No.


Def:  Did you ever hear Charles Taylor give instructions to any senior RUF commander as to the need to control certain diamond mining areas in Sierra Leone?


Wit:  No.  I say no again.  No!


Def:  Are you aware of any regular radio communications between Charles Taylor and any senior RUF commander throughout the period you were Vice President?

Wit:  I will say no.

Def:  Now the period when Foday Sankoh made complaint to you about the behavior of NPFL forces in Sierra Leone, that was 1991 to 1992, wasn’t it?


Wit:  This was in 1991 when this complaint was made.


Def:  Who was in direct command during that period – 1991 to 1992 – of NPFL soldiers in Sierra Leone?


Wit:  The biggest man was Dopoe Menkarzon that was the only man I knew.  There was Namayan Kollie, but he was not in command.  He told me the biggest man was Dopoe Menkarzon who was restricted them.  When they looted, he would kill them and tie them up.  In Sierra Leone, the most senior man was Dopoe Menkarzon who reported to Foday Sankoh. 


Def:  Foday Sankoh was Commander-in-Chief in Sierra Leone?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  After NPFL forces were withdrawn in 1992, would it be fair to say that the only knowledge you have of a link between Liberia and Sierra Leone is limited to that period, 1991 to 1992.  Would you agree?


Wit:  I would be lost on the dates.  The events happened, but the individual dates I cannot recollect.


Def:  The period when Dopoe was in Sierra Leone was 1991 to 1992.  As far as Sierra Leone was concerned, did it disappear from your consciousness at this time?


Presiding Judge Doherty:  Mr. Witness, we will resume tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m.