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Court Resumes After Lunch Break. Cross-Examination of Witness TFI-539 Continues

2:30(3:00 with 30 mins delay in video and audio): Court resumes after lunch break

Judge: Mr. Munyard, please proceed

Def: Mr. Witness, when did you say the trip to Burkina Faso occured?

Wit: That was the last time Bockarie came back together with Eddie Kanneh and Razak

Def: Give us a month and year please

Wit: It was in same 1998, at the end of 1998. I cant give the exact month. That was two weeks after Marza arrested me.

Def: And so Marza arrested you towards the end of 1998 right?

Wit: yes

Def: Tab 1 please. Now just before we look at some of the content of this document, can you tell me this. You say that when you went on that trip, you went with Gen. Ibrahim?

Wit: yes

Def: And Gen. Ibrahim had a vast knowlege of arms ammunition right?

Wit: he also had his experience

Def: So with his contribution, you were able to identify the arms that were needed right?

Wit: yes

 Def: So they didnt need you to go along because Gen. Ibrahim could have done it alone right?

Wit; You cannot say that, if they didnt need me they would not have taken me

Def: Did you actually go to Birkina Faso on this trip, with a man who had a vast knowlege in ammunition?

Wit: yes, with my consicience, i know i will not lie before this court.

Def: Did you actually stay in the Liberian ambassador’s house?

Wit: Yes

Def: The Liberians did not have an abmassador to Burkina Faso at that time right?

Wit: Except when you are telling me now but Sesay Musa told me that his brother was the ambassador and he was a late man.

Judge: What do you mean by he was a late man?

Wit: He said he was dead

Def: What was Pa Sesay’s brother’s name?

Wit: I did not know him. He said Giba Sesay

Def: Giba Sesay was indeed the ambassador to Saudi Arabia right?

Wit: I did not know about that. That was what Pa Sesay told me

Def: Col. Razak, was he actually Col. Rakson?

Wit: I knew he was called Col. Razak

Def: You also said you were greeted by a General, what was his name?

Wit: Gen. Sanah samba

Def: Did he have any other name that he was known by?

Wit: Well, they used to call him Koikoi, i dont know whether i pronounced it well.

Def: Amd he asked you about Fonte Kanu?

Wit: he was not the first person who asked me about Fonte kanu

Judge: did he ask you about Fonte Kanu?

Wit: yes

 Def; Why did you not make mention of this in all your statements

Wit: I mentioned it even in my first statement

Def: While you were in Burkina Faso, did you ever stay at the presidential lodge?

Wit: I dont know, i know they told me that the building belonged to the Liberiam embassy

Def: So it couldnt have been a presidential lodge right?

Wit: I dont know if it was a presidential lodge. They told me it was the ambassador’s house and the men who cooked for us spoke in Liberian dialect.

Def: Did you tell the investigators that you were given a Liberian passport at this time?

Wit: yes

 Def: Did you tell them you all went to Roberts airfield and were flown via a Boeing flight to the presidential airfield in Burkina Faso?

Wit: i did not tell them it was a Boeing flight.

Def: Did they make that up or you told them so?

Wit: I told them that i wouldnt know the type of flight but i recall the Logo that was on the flight and i dont even think that was the first time that flight went to Birkina Faso.

Def: Did you tell them that you were lodged at a presidential lodge and the following morning you were taken to a military air base?

Wit: I didnt tell them that.

Def: What is it you did not tell them?

Wit: I did not tell them we went to the ammunition base the following morning.

Def: Did they give you any reason why they didnt take the flight straight to the military airbase?

Wit: they did not give me any reason

Def: was it a military airbase where the ammunitaion airbase was?

Wit: Well, i saw some old aircrafts parked there. There were some combat points where men were carrying guns.

Def: Did you tell the investigators that this was a military air base?

Wit: I told them that there were old aircrafts there.

Def: Page 15 again. Nothing there aboiut you telling them of old aircrafts right?

Wit: Yes, but what i am telling this court is what i saw.

Def: Did you tell them that you were taken the next day?

Wit: I told you that i did not tell them that. I said we waited for Eddie Kanneh and Sam Bockarie because kanneh had told me that they were going to take a trip to France.

Def: Did you tell them that the timing of this trip was exactly May 1998?

Wit: I told them i cant recall the month but that it was in 1998.

Def: Page 19 please. Did you tell them that when you identified the ammunition, they were taken to the presidential airfield and you did not witness the loading?

Wit: I told them about the ammunition, not the rifle itself.

Def: You told us that the day the plane was loaded, you took off for Monrovia, that is not what you told the investigators right?

Wit: yes, i said when the ammunition was loaded, we departed.

Def: This plane was a Boeing cargo plane right?

Wit: You have asked me this question and i told you i cant tell the kind of plane. I said i can identify the logo that was on it.

Def: Didnt you tell the investigators that it was a Boeing plane?

Wit: I made it clear to them that i was unable to identify the type of plane. It was a passenger plane

Def: And you said it was flown by two Russian pilots right?

Wit: Yes, they were the crew

Def: Are they the two who flew the plane?

Wit: Yes

Def: And they were Russians right?

Wit: yes

Def: In what language did they speak to you?

Wit: The one i told you about who had beards, he spoke English a little bit. He was the one who asked me about Fonte kanu.

Def: Did you tell the investigators that the plane was flown by Ukrainians?

Wit: No, i told them they were Russians

Def: Tab 3 please, page 5. Para. 25. This is your prepping session wkith Shaymella on three days last month. This is what is being recorded. That the flight was piloted by Ukrainian pilots. Did you tell her that?

Wit: I said they were Russian pilots

Def: The flight was a Cargo flight, with the entrance at the tail end, did you tell her that?

Wit: I said that was one on the side and one at the tail, the one at the tail was the one we used to alight.

Def: Do you agree that you told her that flight was a Cargo flight?

Wit: I said the flight could carry Cargo and passengers?

Def: Which one did you tell her?

Wit: That was the same thing i told her. I said it carried cargos but it carried passengers inside.

Def: You did not say anything about the colours and the logo on the tail of the plane right?

Wit: I told her that. I told her these even before i saw the picture of the plane.

Def: Now lets look at the photograph that you were shown yesterday. The man with the beared doesnt have gloden hair right?

Wit: yes but this is the man i saw that asked me for Fonte Kanu.

Def: Now i want to move to something else Mr. Witness. When you say you went to Buedu, you go with arms and ammunition and gym equipments right?

Wit: yes

Def: was anything else carried?

Wit: Fuel and engine oil, drums of fuel.

Def: Any documents carried along with those items?

Wit: Well, i saw one document that was signed by Sesay Musa which was for the gym materials.

Def: What will you describe the document as?

Wit: I cannot describe it in anyway. But i saw it and Musa Sesay’s name was there and he signed underneath.

Def: Will you describe them as consignment papers?

Wit: No

Def: Tab 1 please page 5, did you tell them that once the consignment was loaded, you were given papers to hold?

Wit: yes

 Def: Did you tell them that some of the papers were for the gym equipments?

Wit: yes

Def: And did you say that the papers had signatures of Taylor, Yeaten and Sesay?

Wit: yes it was the papers that were underneath but i did not read them.

Def: Did you tell them that on the papers were the signatures of Taylor, Sesay and Yeaten?

Wit: I said that the paper that was on top had Sesay’s signature

Def: Did you tell them of Taylor’s signature?

Wit: No

Def: Do you have any explanation for why it appears in that statement?

Wit: I did not say that

Def: Did you tell them that there were these signatures for the arms and ammunition on board the vehicles?

Wit: I told them that i did not read the other papers but the one that was ontop had Sesay’s signature

Def: Were you making up that Taylor’s signature was there?

Wit: I did not lie about anything

Def: Were you telling them what they wanted to hear?

Wit: I did not lie about anything

Def: tab 2 please. Para. 8, the witness actually saw no siugnatures on the consignement papers. Is that what you told them?

Wit: I told them that the document on top was for the gym equipment. It had Musa Sesay’s signature.

Def: Did tell Shaymella that you saw the signature of Yeaten on the consignment paper?

Wit: I told her that i saw Musa Sesay’s signature.

Judge: Did you tell Shaymella that you saw that signature?

Wit: No

Def: Did she read this back to you?

Wit: No

Def: You quite sure about that?

Wit: yes

Def: Why did you tell us that on the way to Buedu, Boickarie threatened to kill you?

Wit: I dont know why he wanted to do that

Def: Had you done anything to warrant that?

Wit: He was referring to us as SLA but i dont think i did anything to him.

Def: Had anybody told him not to kill you?

Wit: Yes, not only one person, Samson, Jungle, etc

Def: What was the reason he gave for wanting to kill you?

Wit: he said the SLAs were not working with him

Def: And the next thing, you find yourself in an underground dungeon right?

Wit: yes

 Def: And before he threatened to kill you, he was in a good mood right?

Wit: I dont know why he did that

Def: Do any of these make any sense to you, you just did a good job for them, been promoted to 1 Star Gen, and the next thing he wants to kill you, do any of these make any sense to you?

Wit: That was his feeling, i would not tell what he thought.

Def: When you were interviewed, you said the meeting in Buedu was tape-recorded right?

Wit: Yes, in kangama

Def: You didnt tell the investigators in March 2006 that it was recorded?

Wit: I told them

Def: Tab 1 page 6 please, para. 29. Bockarie becomes annoyed and accuses you of collaborating, he wants to kill you and others save you?

Wit: yes

 Def: Sankoh was interviewed on that dday and Bockarie was in a good frame of mind and we left for Buedu?

Wit: yes

 Def: And when you get to Buedu, you are put in a hole?

Wie; Yes

Def: So what happened to your belongings including your trousers that had the photograph?

Wit: I gave everything to the MP commander. After i was taken out, they gave me back my clothers

Def: Were you wearing the trousers that had the photograph?

Wit: That was not the trouusers i had on.

Def: Was the photograph crisp during all these months?

Wit: As i told you, when we came from Kangama, he handed me over to Major Victor. It was only at Major Vitor’s place, i was not well, that was when i wanted them to launder my things and i saw the photo.

Def: The tape recording is only mentioned as recently as last friday right?

Wit: I had told them long ago

Def: Did you tell them you moved to Kono and was there for two to three months?

Wit: I was there for weeks

Def: What did you tell them that they failed to put in there?

Wit: I told them that when i was in Buedu, Bockarie promoted me before we left to go and make the ferry.

Def: Are you saying you said all these and they failed to write them down?

Wit: That is what i told them but may be they made a mistake.

Def: Did you tell them that because of the infighting in Makeni, you went and handed yourself to ECOMOG at Mile 91.

Wit: yes

 Def: What date was that?

Wit: I cant recall the date. I know that it was after the Lome accord was signed

Def: You sure about that?

Wit: Yes

Def: Tab 2. This is the last prepping session, para. 33 says 1998, dry season, before rains, was that when  you went to Kono and remained there for some time?

Wit: This is not clear. It was just after the Lome accord that i moved to Kono

Def: Did you tell the investigators that it was in 1998 before the dry season that you went to Kono?

Wit: I did not tell them that.

Def: Can you think of any reason why 1998 dry season is written in your statement?

Wit: I did not give any date. I know it was after the Lome Accord that i went to Kono.

Def: Whatever happened to the 40 barrel gun?

Wit: As i told you, we did not use it. It was there right upto the disarmament in Manowa.

Def: Was it ever destroyed by gunship fire killing people repairing it?

Wit: It was not the gunship, it was the Alpha jet that droped cluster bombs.

Def: Why didnt you tell us that it was destroyed by Alpha Jet?

Wit: It did not destroy it. It droped bombs around it and killed people. During the disamament, ECOMOG took it.

Def: Did someone tell you that it has been stated in this court that the barrel was destroyed?

Wit: No

Def: Is it that you have been telling lies in this court?

Wit: You have no right to tell me that.

Def: No further questions

Judge: Any redirect examination?

Pros: Yes your honour. Mr. Witness, you have testified here for over ten hours, did you spend this same amount of time with members of the OTP?

Wit: No

Pros: You indicated that ytou spoke with me and another colleague, did that take place in an office. Do you recall where the location was?

Wit: It was an office area yes

Pros: Do Liberians pronounce words the same as people from Sierra Leone?

Wit: Not in all cases

Def: You have given us a couple of different answers about when the flight occured, one of the judges asked you to state the month and you said around March of 1999, today you said 1998,

Wit: It was in 1999. I was stressed with some of the questions.

Pros: Do you actually remember hearing a radio broadcast of the Jan. 6 1999 incident?

Wit: yes

 Pros: In what country were you?

Wit: I was in Liberia

Pros: Were the events of interest to you?

Wit: yes, it is my country so things happening there will be of interest to me.

Pros: Can you remember the place you were at when you heard that broadcast?

Wit: I was in Duala. I had not yet joined Matilda

Pros: When Marza arrested you, was that before or after you heard the broadcast?

Wit: It was after

Pros: Do you recall the first time you heard the Lome accord was signed?

Wit: It was in 1999, after we had attacked Daru, that was when Sankoh made the announcement

Pros: How did you hear about that?

Wit: Issa Sesay told us, and also the radio operator

Pros: Did the fact that the accord was signed, did that have any significance to you?

Wit: Yes, because i particularly was fedup with the situation. We wanted peace.

Pros: What are you better at recalling, dates or important events?

Wit: Important events

Pros; Where were you when Issa told you about Lome?

Wit: Segbweme

Pros: The trip to Burkina Faso, was that before or after the Lome accord

Wit: It was before the accord

Pros: Thank you, no further questions.

Judge: Thank you Mr. witness, that is the end of your evidence. We wish you a safe journey back home. Any applications

Pros: The prosecution moves that the documents that were tendered for identification be tendered in evidence

Def: I dont have any objection, since the original of one of them is not here, it will depend on the weight that will be attached to it. Also the photo of the man with the beard, it will depend on the weight to be attached to it.

Judge: Thank you Mr. Munyard. These become prosecution exhibits and let them be marked accordingly. I may now release the witness.

This ends the evidence of witness TFI-539.