International Justice Monitor

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Court Resumes After Lunch-Break. Examination of Witness TFI-539 Continues With Facial and Voice Distortion

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

Pros; So the three of them were sitting with you, when Saleh and the two arab looking men came, what happened?

Wit: Bockarie called his securtity Foday to get a suitcase from the vehicle. Foday brought the suitcase. In it, there were three mayonaise bottles, which contained diamonds. Benjamin asked for a tray where he turned the diamonds. He also asked for plastics used to put drugs. Saleh and the two other men started dividing the diamonds and put them into the packets. They sealed the packets and handed them over to Benjamin. Mazza and I left the verandah.

Pros: How many mayornaise jars did you see?

Wit: Just three, but they were all full with diamonds

Pros: What happened after the diamonds were put into the plastics?

Wit: They were all handed over to Benjamin, not long after that, Mazza and I left the compound, while the rest of them entered Benjamin’s vehicle and left. I dont know where they went to.

Judge: was it at the same time at 2:00 in the morning?

Wit: yes it was past 2Am now.

Pros: Where were you staying at that time?

Wit: I was at the verandah when Mazza called me because the other Sierra Leoneans had arrived.

Pros: So when you were in Mazza’s care, where did you stay?

Wit: After Bockarie had come and they had sorted out the diamonds, i stayed at Mazza’s house at YOMC. I stayed with him.

Pros: After your conversation with Benjamin, what did you understand you were doing, what was your role supposed to be?

Wit: he said we were to wiat for Bockarioe to come. After they had sorted the diamonds out, when i left with Mazza, i think he meant that we should wait for Bockarie to come so that we can get the finance.

Pros: So what will happen once Bockarie arrives?

Wit: Benjamion said after that, they will get finance and get us to go and get ammunition to use on the 40 barrel gun.

Pros: For approximately how long were you at Mazza’s house?

Wit: For about 3 days. But every morning, we’ll come to Benjamin’s house.

Pros; Do you know how long Bockarie stayed at that time?

Wit: yes, within the three days i was with Mazza, Bockarie was there. he used to sleep at Mazza’s house.

Pros: Did anything happen while he was there?

Wit: yes, at one point, something happened that shocked me. Bockarie had a driver who was a fullah. His wife used to cook for us. I dont know the discussion that transpired with the driver’s wife. The driver was Pa Bah. His wife’s name was Mariama. She used to cook for us at the house. I dont know the discussion that transpired betweet Mariama and her friend who had a relationship with Bockarioe. I can recall that some day we were sitting together when Mazza came and entered. He met us in a kind of dining room. he took out something from his pocket, opened it and droped it on the table. I observed that it was a hand, by the palm, that had rings and paints of the fingers and said to Bockarie, “Master, mission accomplished.” It was a female hand. They all laughed and i too laughed but i was shocked to see that. That instilled fear in me. While we were discussing, i knew that the lady was Mariama’s friend. They said that the woman was in a relationship with Bockarie to seek information. They said she was a spy, wanting to know if the Taylor government was supporting the rebels. That was why Bockarie asked that the lady be executed. Zigzag Mazza told me all this. I saw this with my own eyes.

Pros: What happened next?

Wit: From there, Maaza and I went back to Benjamin’s house. When we went back there, Benjamin told us that they had already made arrangement for all the arms that we needed. He said where ECOMOG troops were, they should be dislodged. he said Maaza should take me to the Protocol Officer. he took me to the man and identified me. He was called Sesay Musa.

Pros: Where was it that you were taken?

Wit: They took me to Sesay’s house and introduced me to him. He told me that he will give me a place where i will be with him. he said he will take me as his son, until there were proper arrangemnst for us to make the trip.

Pros: Who was this Sesay Musa and what was his position?

Wit: Even before we went to see him, Mazza told me he was a nice man and he will take care of me. He was the protocol officer to Taylor.

Pros: So did you stay at Sesay’s house?

Wit: yes, i stayed there for some time. While there, i met another Sierra Leonean lady staying in the same coimpound, her name was Memuma Jalloh

Pros: Do you know what she was doing in Monrovia?

Wit: yes, according to her, she was an old time RUF. She was a kind of daughter of Sankoh. They started the war. She knew a lot about communication. her husband was called Tolo, also a radio operator in Sierra Leone. I learnt that she was the liaison between the RUF and the Taylor government. She herself told me that. I was made to understand that Memuna herself lived in Ivory Coast with Sankoh. Once in a while, she will go to the radio and talk to her husband and other commanders. She did all of these for me to have confidence in her.

Pros: Where was it that she worked?

Wit: Most of the time, she was in her radio room.

Pros: Where was the radio room?

Wit: That was the radio room at Sesay Musa’s house and memuna was in charge of the radio room.

Pros: Were you taken anywhere else in Monrovia during this time?

Wit: yes, i can recall at the time just as i told the court that Mazza was really observing my movement. He took me to a lady called Madeline Doe, a Kroo. Mazza used to work around with me. I told him i had a girlfriend called Madeline that i want him to take me to. When i was with the lady, he told me he was going to look for luquor. I knew i was being surveilanced so i did not want to do anything suspicious. He stayed for long and so i left and went to Benjamin’s house. Mazza thought i had escaped but when he came to Benjamin’s house, he met me there.

Pros: You indicated that you were to go on a trip. Were there any preparations made for that trip?

Wit: I can tell the court fo another incident. There was a time when i was with Mazza, he took Benjami’s car, a golden colour. He had bought dromks that he put at the back of the seat. He asked me to open one of the drinks for him. he was driving. As soon as i was giving the drink to him, he stopped the vehicle and asked if i knew how God created me. He said my face had appeared seven times in the mirror. he said he was to take me to go and kill me. he said he was a killer but for me, he will change his mind and not kill me. When we returned, Sesay Musa told me he was preparing a passport. he prepared a Liberian passport. All of us who went on the trip went with a Liberian passport.

Pros: Did you receive the passport?

Wit: I only received the passport after Bockarie had come. That was the day before we travelled.

Pros: In what name was the passport prepared?

Wit: It was a Liberian name, something Moriba. All of us who travelled carried Liberian passports.

Pros: was there a photographa in the passport?

Wit: yes

Pros: was it your photo?

Wit: yes. It was at Sesay Musa’s house that they took the photo.

Pros: before you left Liberia, were you taken to meet anyone else?

Wit: yes, mazza came and met me at Sesay’s house. But before Sesay left on that day, he told me that Mazza will take me to his office for further instructions.

Pros: Did you learn where the office was?

Wit: yes. We went there, we met Benjamin and a man called Jungle Jim, an old man.

Pros: How did you get to the office?

Wit: Mazza took me there. It was the office of the Protocol Officer, it was in the Mansion.

Pros: What was the mansion?

Wit: That was the Office of the President.

Pros: Did Mazza enter the Mansion with you?

Wit: yes

Pros: Was there security that you passed through to enter the mansion?

Wit: From the first gate, the security started saluting him. He was an important person and so no one asked me any question.

Pros: What happened when you got to the Mansion?

Wit: When we got to the mansion, we went to the protocol Officer’s waiting room, we met an elderly man called Jungle Jim, i met Benjamin Yeaten, i met the Protocol Officer, those are the ones i met. The Protocol Officer adviced us to wait. he went to some offices and entered Taylor’s office. Mazza and Benjamin, all of us went to the wiating room. Benjamin got up and followed Sesay, the rest of us waited. He did not stay long in Taylor’s officer and they came out with Taylor himself. We all got up and gave courtesey to Taylor. That was the first time i met with him. he shook my hands.

Pros: Who was Jungle Jim?

Wit: Mazza told me that he was in  Lofa county and was in charge of Taylor’s mining activities.

Pros; What happend when Taylor came in?

Wit: He welcomed me and said that was the home of revolution. he said what had happened to me was an unfortunate situation. He said i was welcome to Liberia and said i will get further instructions from Sesay. He gave Sesay an envelop which was later given to me. The enveloip contained $1500. Taylor went back to his office. Benbjamin and Jungle Jim stayed while Mazza, Sesay and I went to Sesay’s office. Mazza and I left later and went to Broad street and then to kerry street. I went to do some shopping.

Pros: Did Taylor say anything to you about why you were there?

Wit: He just told me that i will receive further instructions. I already knew the purpose.

Pros: Did he say anything about whether you had any type of position at that time?

Wit: yes, but he just said it orally, that i will start as 1 Star General and if i prove my loyalty, i will go beyond that.

Pros; When was the envelope given to you?

Wit: It was when we returned to Sesay’s office.

Pros; So what happened when you went to Broad St and Kerry st?

Wit: When i opened it and counted the money, i gave Mazza $200. he drove me and we went to kerry St where i could buy some foot wear and clothes. After the shopping, i told Mazza to take me to the Freeport, that same place where a Mammy yele used to cook. We went there. Mazza was talking to a Sierra leonean lady and he told me he liked her. I left them there, went down a littlle and i saw some other sierra leoneans. It was a suprise to them because they thought i had alrready been killed. I was able to discuss with a man called Foday Kallon, who was also a Lt. in the Sierra Leone army. I told him my situation. I told him who Mazza was. I told him that the man had told me he assasinated  Moses kabia. I asked him what he could do to save me. I told him to either inform ECOMOG or the American Embassy. I told him i wanted rescue. We were there when Mazza came and i changed the topic. I turned to Mazza who said we should leave.

Pros: Do you know what Kallon was doing in Monrovia at that time?

Wit: According to Kallon, he said Bockarie had appointed some of them, including a Capt. Backarr, Capt. Hindolo who is now serving life sentence in Sierra Leone. he said they were mobilizing men to go and join forces with the other men to be able to gain more grounds from ECOMOG and the government.

Pros: In that situation when you asked kallon to help yopu, did you think you were taking a risk?

Wit: I knew it was a risk but the reason why i was able to talk to him was because he was an officer in the army and we took oath as officers not to betray our comrade. It was also because i was used to him before and i was one of the people who recommended him for commission as an officer.

Pros: Do you know whether he ever passed your message over to ECOMOG or the US Embassy?

Wit: No, Mazza came and we didnt have time to finalise,

Pros: Do you know for howlong Bockarie was at Mazza’s house when you were there?

Wit: I think i told you earlier that when he came that night i identifoed, when we sat together and had a discussion with the Lebanese guys, he left for Buedu. After three days, he came back and it was within those three days that that incident took place. When he returned to Buedu, when he was coming back, he came with one of the oldest strugglers in the RUF, Pa Razak and Eddie Foday.

Pros; What do you mean by one of the oldest strugglers in the RUF?

Wit: It means those who started the revolution. they could be special forces or vanguards.

Pros: You siad that the same night that Bockarie and the diamonds were sorted, he left right?

Wit: yes, they left with Benjamin that night. It was in my prsence that the trucks were loaded. The trucks were loaded with ammunituion.

Pros; Can you remind us again how many trucks he came with?

Wit: he brought three trucks and you could see the ECOMOG signs on that and a black land cruiser jeep.

Pros: How many trucks were the ammunition put into?

Wit: the three trucks were fully loaded before they moved to Sierra Leone.

Pros: When was the next time you saw Bockarie?

Wit: That was when i was at Mazza’s house. It was within those three days that that incident took place, the lady who was suspected of being a spy, and whose had was cut off.

Pros: How long did Bockarie stay during this visit?

Wit: About three days

Pros: When was the next time you saw him?

Wit: I was now staying with Pa Sesay. After i had done my shopping and was moving with Mazza, that was when he came and we made the trip to Burkina Faso.

Pros: Who did you travel with?

Wit: We were six in number, my self, Bockaroe, Col. Razak, Eddie Kanneh, Sesay Musa and Gen. Ibrahim

Pros: What did you learn about Gen. Ibrahim?

Wit: I was made to undrestand that he was a Gambian and that his boss was a close friend of Taylor and that his boss was the one who accomodated Sankoh in Ivory Coast.

Prso: Do you know what languages he spoke?

Wit: I did  not know whether he spoke any of the local languages in the Gambia  but he spoke French.

pros; What did you communicate with him through?

Wit: We spoke English

Pros: Did you learn what army he was a Gen. in

Wit: I believe it was oin the Liberian army. Even Sesay Musa, Mazza, called him Gen. Ibrahim.

Pros: Did Taylor explain to you what he meant by revolution?

Wit: No sir

Judge: What did the witness mean by revolution?

Wit: they were refering to the rebellion. Through discussions, i was made to understand that even sankoh was part of the Special Forces, that he helped Taylor fight in Liberia and Taylor provided him with a base to train his own men. These men were called the vanguards.

Pros: How did you travel to Burkina Faso?

Wit: By air, from Roberts Airfield. In the morning hours, Pa Sesay and I slept in the same house, and Bockarie, Razak, Eddie Kanneh, they also drove in their own vehicle and Gen. Ibrahim was also driven in his own vehicle and we all met at the airport. It was a special aircraft that was at the airport waiting. We did not go through any protocols. We just got out of the various vehicles and we used the side steps of the aircraft and entered. The flight took off to Ouagadogou.

Pros: So did you see who was flying the plane?

Wit: yes, when we got in, i saw one of the pilot. He came to the back, a tall white man, he had beards and mustache. I was made to understand that he was a Russian.  They were two in number, the only two people in the plane.

Pros: can you describe the air plane that you were on?

Wit: yes, it had yellow, blue and red lines. At the tail, it had a logo that i will imagine, something like a base ball logo. Although it has taken a long time, but i can recall some of the things i can use to identify it.

Pros: Did the plane have seats for passengers?

Wit: yes it did. Even when we were now on board, we later ended up loading the ammunition boxes on the seats and fastnened the belts on them. When we loaded the aircraft, some of the remaning seats were not loaded, about six in number. It was on those seats that we sat.

Pros: You honour, at this point, i will like the witness to be shown some photographs. Do you recognise what is depicted on the screen in front of you?

Wit: yes, i recognize this flight. I recognize the logo on the tail, the colours on the flight.

Pros: Are you saying this photograph suits you recollection of the flight you travelled on?

Wit: yes

Pros; The witness could be shown P-21A. I just want you to look at P-21A and just nod when you examine it and you will look at P-21B.

Wit: yes, before even seeing this picture, i had shown the court that because it was a passenger aircraft, we parked some of the boxes on the seats. I recognize that these were the ways the things were parked.

Pros: The witness could be shown 21B.

Wit: yes, i told you that some of the arms were parked on the seats and some on the floor so that it will look like a passenger flight. Some were locked in the cabin.

Pros; Please show the witness the photo on Tab 23. can you recognize anyone in this photograph?

Wit: yes, like i told you, in had told the court about this gentleman with the beard and the other gentleman is his colleague. But it was with the help of the man with beard that i am able to identify the other man as part of the crew.

Pros: Did you ever talk to the man with the hair on his face?

Wit: yes, he also spoke English and he heard Razak and I discussing. Then he asked me for somebody. He asked me for Major Fonte Kanu and i told him that he was in Sierra Leone.

Pros: Where was it that he asked you about Fonte Kanu?

Wit: It was on the plane. When we entered the plane, he came to close the back door. That was when he asked me about Fonte kanu.

Pros: After the plane took off, where was this man?

Wit: The two of them were now in their own cabin.

Pros: Fonte Kanu, was he on this trip to Burkina Faso?

Wit: he was not there, but during the days of the AFRC regime, you know we had arms embargo, but he was in charge of arms.

Pros: During your trip to Burkina Faso, did Fonte Kanu’s name come up againt?

Wit: yes

Prosd: Who brought it up?

Wit: When we got to Ouagdougu, one of the guys who received us at the airport, Gen. Ibrahim told me he was a Gambian and was called Gen. Sanna. He said gen. Sanna had entered the Gambia with a rebellion during the days of Dauda Iawara. He asked me about Fonte Kanu and i told him he was in Sierra Leone. That was what i told him because i did not know anything about Fonte Kanu after the intervention.

Pros: Had you ever been to Burkina Faso before?

Wit: No

Pros: Where did the plane land?

Wit: Ougadugou, it was in the city

Pros: What happened when the plane landed?

Wit: When the plane landed, we alighted, two vehicles approached the aircraft and that was where Gen. Ibrhaim introduced the other General to me. He said the Gen. was his boss and Sankoh was staying at his house in Ivory Coast. He was one of the people who brought the vehicles. There were two other gentlement who were in Uniform. They were members of the Burkina Faso army.

Pros: Did you learn whether it was Bockarie’s fisrt trip?

Wit: Well, the manner in which he was received and where we were lodged and most of the men we met in the hotel, the way i saw them interacting, i dont think it was his first time.

Judge: Mr. Koumjin we are just about out of time. Mr. Witness, we are going to adjourn now. You are reminded that you should not discuss your evidence with anyone else while you are under oath. Please adjourn court for 9:30 tomorrow morning.