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

2:30 (3:00 with 30mins delay in video and audio):

Judge: Mr. Munyard, when you are ready to proceed.

Def: Witness, you were telling us about BBC Focus on Africa program, do you listen to that program often?

Wit: yes ofcourse

Def: You said sometimes its 3:05 and sometimes its 5:05, does it go out every day?

Wit: The time i am refering to, it was only on weekends that it was not aired

Def: What about now?

Wit: there is a program now over the weekend

Def: Do you still listen to it regularly?

Wit: Well, i dont have the time now but at that time, we had to because things were not normal.

Def: When did you last listen to it?

Wit: Well before i came,i listened to it when they said somebody from Congo Kishasa had been arrested in Belgium. That was the last time i listened to it.

Def: And that was three weeks ago right?

Wit: Juet before i came here

Def: Well you tell us when you came here

Wit: Well you also know because you have been following it

Def: Well you tell the judges how long ago you heard that on BBC

Wit: Before i came here. I have been here now for one week

Def: Did you hear about former vice president Moses Blah on BBC?

Wit: No i didnt listen to that

Def: have you heard anything about Blah giving evidence here?

Wit: No i did not

Def: Were you aware that he gave evidence here last month?

Wit: Except when you are telling me now

Def: So today is that first time you have been told about this?

Wit: yes

Def: Lets go to your service with ECOMOG. In 1995, can you tell us the month?

Wit: It was around Feb-March.

Def: You have told us you were there for about eight months, is that correct?

Wit: yes

Def: So that would mean you left ECOMOG in Oct.-Nov of 1995?

Wit: Around December

Def: At the time of the AFRC coup, you said you were in Kenema right?

Wit: yes

Def: Were you in Freetown at the time of the coup?

Wit: I was in kenema

Def: You said during the time you were in the army during the Junta period, you said you were involved in stopping a student strike?

Wit: yes

 Def: And you said you were trying to put off the strike peacefully by beating people with whips?

Wit: What i meant was that people started using guns and i thought we were to stop it without guns

Def: But you wanted to put the strike off peacefully using whips?

Wit: It was an order that we had

Def: When were you in Tongo doing mining?

Wit: That was about two months to the intervention

Def: Could you have been in Tongo for about one month before the intervention?

Wit: It was more than one month

Def: You said when you were in Tongo, everyone had his portion of diamonds, who do you mean by everyone?

Wit: I am refering to the senior men who were there, like Eddie Kanneh, Bockarie.

Def: Do you mean everyone for his own personal use?

Wit: No they were government diamonds

Def: What happened to these diamonds at the time of the intervention?

Wit: I cannot tell that. I know thet when mining was going on, the govertment had its representatives there.

Judge: What do you mean by everyone had his portion?

Wit: there was the AFRC and there was the RUF. When the minig was finished, they will send the diamonds to the resident minister who will send it to JPK.

Def: That is not what you said on Monday. You said every one had diamonds so we can keep them to pull out?

Wit: That is not what i was talking. Except if you hid it, but if you were caught, you will almost die.

Def: What was the most common place to hide diamonds?

Wit: What do you mean?

Def: From your experinece, what was the most common place to hide diamonds?

Wit: Everybody had his own way. Soem people will sawllow theirs.

Def: Where did you hide your diamonds?

Wit: I did did not have diamonds, I just pulled out.

Def: Did you have diamonds before the intervention?

Wit: Well, once in a while, i used to have my own diamonds that i will sell and survive. But at around the intervention, i was not engaged in personal mining.

Def: What was your rank in the army at that time?

Wit: I was a lieutenant

Def: What was  Lt. doing engaged in personal mining?

Wit: It was not personal mining. It was a big place so sometimes you will put two or three people together and get them to mine for you.

Def: What were you doing engaged in personal mining?

Wit: I was not doing anything

Def: Were any of your relatives doing anything for you in the mining area?

Wit: It was not that they were doing something for me. They were living in the mining area and everybody was looking for survival and it was only with your family that you can work with.

Def: Government mining not for yourself right?

Wit: Yes, and even sometimes when you mined for yourself, if you got big diamonds, and you dont hand them over to the goventment, you will be in trouble. If its a small diamond, you can do business with it.

Def: So although the government was doing mining, you and anyone else did some mining for your own benefit?

Wit: yes

Def: And if you get small diamonds, there will be no problem?

Wit: If they see you it will be a problem

Def: After the intervention, chaos breaks out between the AFRC and RUF. There was no control right?

Wit: After the intervention, Bockarie was in control, in complete control.

Def: Everyone was on his own because the regime was no longer in power right?

Wit: Not everwhere. For those of us who went to the kailahun axis, Bockarie was in control.

Def: Would you agreee that after the intervention, it was decided that where an SLA was a commander, his deputy will be an RUF member and vice versa?

Wit: Yes

 Def: Did that arrangement continue in the months and years after the intervention?

Wit: It continued but very effective. The RUF had total command over everybody that was there.

Def: You also said that three months after the intervention, you crossed to Foya right?

Wit: yes

Def: And all those thtree months, you spent in Sierra Leone right?

Wit: yes, but all the things that we heard, like the arrest of JPK, that was the reason why we hid in the bush

Def: Do you have a clear memory of those things happening and you still being in Sierra Leone?

Wit: As i told you, these are some of the things that caused me to hide

Def: And it took you another three months from Foya to Monrovia?

Wit: What was going on in Foya while you were there. was any fighting going on?

Wit: No. The only thing i knew that was going on there was proper search and if money or anything iof interest to thjem, they will take them.

Def: Who were running these road blocks?

Wit: The Armed Foirces oif Liberia. And the commander there was Col. Fayia

Def: Were the Liberian army hostile to firmer junta members?

Wit: Well, not in all cases

Def: was it your understand that while the junta was in power, the Taylor government was oppsed to it?

Wit: No, it was not against

Def: So were these road blocks being run on government order as you understood it?

Wit: I dont know about that

WDef: Were the road blocks manned by rebels in Liberia?

Wiot: No, the AFL

Def: Were they doing this on government orders?

Wit: I cannot tell. Some people who crossed with vehicles, their vehicles were even taken from them.

Def:How was it you knew this woman that you stayed with in Monrovia?

Wit: I had told the court that when i was serving in ECOMOG, i befriended them and i used to assist them with food. Thats how i befriended her.

Def: What was her role when you were befriending her?

Wit: She was a senior person., a general in the NPFL.

Def: What was the NPFL doing during the time you were with ECOMOG?

Wit: During that time, they had disarmed. they were waiting for their elections to be conducted.

Def: How long did you get to know her?

Wit: I said, she did not hide her identify. She used to come with some other people. She was nice. We were also nice to her and gave them food.

Def; Did you give them food at the premises where you worked or at her home?

Wiot: They used to come to the check points.

Def: So you did not go ti her house?

Wit: No. You cannot do that during thoise times

Def: So how did you find her when you got back to Liberia in 1998?

Wit: I asked people about her and somebody directed me that i should just go and aks. The first person i asked told me she was in charge of the airport. I was able to trace her.

Def: And how sooner did you meet her that you started living in her house?

Wit: I went to the house and she was not there. I waited for her till night when she came back and i expolained to her.

Def: You told us you brought five of your men and some money?

Wit: I used that money long ago and i told you i clould not continue taking care of the sodier. I gave them some money.

Def: How long had you been in Liberia before you moved into her hiuse?

Wit: I was in Monrovia on my own right after the Jan. 6 incursion. I cannot recall the exact date now but it was after Jan. 6.

Def: How long did you live in her house?

Wit: I cannot tell the court a specific date. I was there till i went to the Freeport when Mr. Bami picked me up.

Def: How long roughly did you live in her house?

Wit: Not even upto two months

Def: So between one month and two months?

Wit: Yes

 DEf: Can you please speel her first name?

Wit: I dont know if the way i spell it is the same way they pronounce it

Judge: Never mind, you spell it the way you can?

Wit: I spelll it Matilda Johnson.

Def: Did anybody else live with here while you were there?

Wit: yes

Def: Who?

Wit: One of her brothers. He was an SSS but he was a student at the university. Her nannie as well and her bodyguards who used to come.

Def: Any other members of her family?

Wit: No, except for her brother who was an SSS and her Nannie.

Def: What was the nannie’s name?

Wit: I cant remember

Def: Do you know Matilda’s mother’s name?

Wit: No

Def: Do you know the name of her Chief of Security?

Wit: No

Def: Did you ever see a chief of security at her villa?

Wit: As i told you, i saw her moving with body guards. She liked driving and most of the time, she drove herself.

Judge: Do you know the name?

Wit: I am not sure now. There was one called Junior and i dont think that was a name

Def: When the Kabbah giovernment was overthrown, it disbanded the army right?

Wit: No, some soldiers stayed loyal to the Kannah government

Def: So when you are in Monrovia with Matilda, there is no formal Sierra Leonean contingent at the ECOMOG Freeport right?

Wit: Some people escaped when the Sierra leonean contingent was withdrawn. they used to go to the Freeport.

Judge: Are you saying there was some kind of Sierra leonean contingent?

Wit: I am saying that some individuals escaped and did not return to Sierra leone.

Judge: Its been put to you that there was no form of Sierra Leone contingent in ECOMOG right?

Wit: Right

Judge: So these people who used to come around the port had no work there, they just used to come there right?

Wit: yes, they escaped.

Def: When did you first tell the prosecution about Mammy yele?

Wit: Well, it was when the prosecution lawyer was trying to know from me what the reason was that made me to go to Freeport to see the Sierra Leoneans to know what was happening back home. That was when i told him that there was a woman there who used to prepare Sierra leonean dishes and that Sierra Leoneans went there to eat.

Def: When did you explain this to the prosecution lawyer?

Wit: When i came here last Friday.

Def: The same time that you first told the prosecution about seeing heads and limbs at check points?

Wit: No

Def: Is this right, that when you go to Freeport, you bumped into Bami, right?

Wit: I did not just bump into him like that. I told you that i met with the wives of Tamba Brima, Bazzy and Momoh Dorty. It was Patricia who called Bami to serve as liaison to meet with Bockarie and Eddie kanneh. They were original doubtful over me because they wondered where i had been all this while.

Def: What about Bami, was he doubtful?

Wit: It was Patricia who told Bami, i dont know what she told him but the way things went, i think Bami too had that impression.

DefL Bami told you he did not trust you because they had information that Sierra Leone army officers had come to Liberia as spies?

Wit: yes, i knew i was clean

Def: Why did you show him your house when he had told you you were a Kamajor spy?

Wit: I knew i was not a spy. When he told me he will tell Eddie kanneh and Bockarie, that was why i showed my address.

Def: Did you want to go back to Sierra Leone to fight with the rebels?

Wit: At that time, i was also a rebel because we had all moved out. I really had wanted to go back to Sierra Leone because i did not cherish the way i was in Liberia.

Def: Were you looking for some money by working for someone who will pay you?

Wit: Not at all

Def: Do you agree that you were putting yourself at risk by showing Bami your address?

Wit: I did not know that something like that will happen and my conscience was clear. I knew it would have been better for me to go to Sierra Leone because i was not used to depending on someone for my survival.

Def: And he came to your house the next thing right?

Wit: Yes

Def: And he took you to a pub where you met Zig Marza?

Wit: I did not meet Marza there. I met K1 and two other Sierra Leoneans there. It was later when Saleh came and went and i saw two men who came. One of them identified himself as Marza and the other was Capt. Dennis.

Def: Did Marza live near the pub?

Wit: yes, but i only knew that later.

Def: Are you telling us that it was per chance that Marza came in that day and started speaking to you?

Wit: What do you mean?

Wit: Are you saying it was an accident that he came in or was that part of the arrangement?

Wit: Yes, he said it was because of the information given to him by my own Sierra Leonean brothers that was why he came.

Def: Did he enquire how you entered Liberia?

Wit: yes i explained to him

Def: Let me suggest to you that you meet Marza in the pub, he takes you to the back of the pub to speak to you in private, and he says he suspects that you are a Kamajor spy and if that is true, he will kill you right?

Wit: I did  not meet him there. he met me there with the other guys drinking. That was when he asked me to have a discussion with him.

Def: He said to you you will not live to see tomorrow if you were a spy?

Wit: Yes

 Def: So the day before, you got people saying you they think you are a spy right?

Wit: No

Def: When did you realise that Patricia thought you were a spy?

Wit: That was when Marza told me that was the information my Sierra Leonean brothers and sisters gave to him.

Def: So he told you in the pub that Patricia said you were a spy right?

Wit: he did not specifically say it was Patricia. he said my own Sierra Leonean people told him i was a spy for the Kamajors.

Def: When did you first learn that patricia thought you were a spy?

Wit: When Marza told me that that was the feeling my Sierra Leonean people had about me

Def: So that was when you first learned that Patricia thouht you were a spy?

Wit: yes

 Def: So you go from five months wandering around, and then suddenly, in space of two days you are accused of being a spy, with bami and Marza and you are effectively imprisoned right?

Wit: No.  dont want you to complicate what i said. You are trying to tell me that Patricia and Bami suspected me and Marza suspected me. I said no sir. I did not read that in the face of my Sierra leonean people that they suspected me. I went there because i wanted to get information on what was happening back home.

Def: At the back of the pub, you show Marza some documents right

Wit: For him to know that i had no business to do with the Kamajors. And when we went to the back of the pub, when he showed me that photo and said i was found guilty, they will kill, me, that was when i showed him by documents.

Def: How big is the certificate for artillary training?

Wit: It was a one page certificate, a one page paper. It was folded. It was like and A-4 paper.

Def: Like this A-4 paper i have?

Wit: Correct

Def: What was written on the A-4 paper?

Wit: On the top of it was the organization where i had the training, NATAG. It also indicates my name, the time frame of my training and at the bottom, it indicated the signature of the commandant.

Def: And Marza read these documents to himself?

Wit: he took all the documents from me

Def: Did you see him reading them?

Wit: He watched the. I cant tell whether he reads or writes

Def: Were there any other documents?

Wit: No sir

Def: Because Marza has told this court that he cant read and write. You said he looked at them, yes?

Wit: I didnt say he read them. I said he looked at them for sometime and folded them and placed them into one of his pockets.

Def: Is any of this story true?

Wit: Mr. Lawyer, i am a Christian, i am under oath here, i will not come here and say what did not happen. What i told this court is the truth.

Def: Is all you have told the prosecution true?

Wit: yes

 Def: The photograph that he showed, where did he get that from?

Wit: He took it from his pocket?

Def: Now you are telling us that he didnt give you the photograph but it fell down and you took it?

Wit: He showed me the picture.

Def: So he accidently droped it on the ground and you picked it up and thats how you got it right?

Wit: yes

Judge: Was that the photograph he used to threaten you?

Wit: he showed me several pictures which were very fearful. One of them fell on the ground and i picked it up.

Def: Why did you pick it up and put it in your pocket?

Wit: I expected him to ask for it because it did not belong to me.

Def: Did it not occur to you to hand it back to him?

Wit: Well, like i told you, when Marza moved from there and went back to the pub, he looked very angry and so he just asked me to go with him

Def: Was it clean

Wit: yes

Def: Was it shiny or  not?

Wit: Its a picture. It was not destroyed

Def: Did it appear to have been folded?

Wit: No

Def: Were any of the corners bent?

Wit: No, he had big pockets on his trousers. So he didnt have to fold it.

Def: Was it the same size as the scanned one here?

Wit: It was not big, just normal size picture

Def: Did he tell you why he was carrying these photographs in his pocket?

Wit: He did not tell me.

Def: Where did the photograph go once it was in your pocket?

Wit: It was with me

Def: The side pocket of your trousers?

Wit: Yes

Def: Together with the other documents?

Wit: He had taken the other documents from me

Def: He didnt give them back to you?

Wit: Upto this moment, i have not received them

Def: So when you out the photograph on the floor, you just put it in your pocket by yourself?

Wit: Yes

Def: have you any recollection at all of what you told the judges on Monday about this photograph?

Wit: It was in my pocket until the time i changed my trousers and i folded that trousers and it happened that it was one of those that i took along when leaving for Buedu. It was not my intention to carry that photo with me. It was a particular day in Buedu when i wanted to launder my things, that was when i saw it and so i kept it. It was   a Khaki trousers and you know that is a strong material.

Def: Is it that you put this photograph into your empty pocket or among other photographs?

Wit: I said, all other documents and photos were taken by Marza

Def: You said that Marza did not tell you who this woman was?

Wit: Yes

 Def: Why did you tell the prosecution that the woman was called Isha?

Wit: No, i said he told me she was Isha but that i did not know the woman personally.

Def: You have already told the court that Marza did not tell who she was but told the prosecution he told you she was Isha right?

Wit: That was what Marza told me

Def: Why did you say in your evidence that he did not tell you?

Wit: I cant remember saying that

Def: Did Marza ever ask you whether you ever saw the photograph since he had lost it?

Wit: he did not ask you

Def: You said at some stage, he had become a personal friend of yours right?

Wit: yes he was my friend

Def: So when you hid this photograph from Marza, you knew always that you had it right?

Wit: Before God and Man, it was only when i wanted to launder my things in Buedu that i saw this photograph.

Def; Were you not concerned that if Marza found out that you had his photograph, he will conclude that you were indeed a spy?

Wit: I didnt think about that. At some pount, i was not even thinking of that photo. I was just concerned about my life.

Def: I have more questions but will ask them in the morning.

Judge: Mr. Witness, we’ll now adjourn court. You are again reminded that you are under oath and you should not discuss you evidence with anyone else. Please adjourn court to 9:30 tomorrow morning.