Court Resumes after Mid-Morning Break. Cross-Examination of Witness TFI-539 Continues

12:00 (12:30 with 30 mins delay in video and audio):

JUdge: Please proceed Mr. Munyard

Def: Thank you your honour. Mr. Witness, we were discussing the time when all this happened, meeting Bami, going to the guard room, is it the next day that you went to the Mansion?

WiT; It took some time. That was after Benjamin and I discussed about the new development, when Bockarrie came with the diamonds, it was after that that i was taken to the mansion.

Def: And you had never been to the mansion before?

Wit: Yes my lord.

Def; During your time working for ECOMOG, part of the duties was to provide security for members of the Council of State right?

Wit: Yes

Def: And ECOMOG had an office at the mansion at the time right?

Wit: ECOMOG comprised different contingenets. My contingent had no responsibility like that

Judge: Do you know whether ECOMOG had an office at the mansion?

Wit: ECOMOG did not have an office at the mansion

Def: And you are sure of that right?

Wit: yes

Def: Lets carry on with the sequence of events. You said you only went to the mansion after Bockarie had arrived with the diamonds right?

Wit: yes

 Def: Tab 1, page 3, para. 12 and 13 please. I am going to ask you about the second half of para. 12. Did you tell the investigators that you adviced Yeaten that you had knowlege of what was needed for the 40 barrel gun and that you’ll assist?

Wit: yes, even for the Pan hard too

Def: Did you tell them that Yeaten immediately consulted with Taylor via CHS radio?

Wit: I told them that Yeaten told me he will consult Taylor and get back to me.

Def: Did you tell the investigators that you heard Taylor say they should take you to him that moment?

Wit: No

Def: What part have they invented?

Wit: Will you allow me to explain?

Def: What part did you not tell them?

Wit: That they immediately consulted the CIC and he asked them to take me to him, i did not tell them that. Maybe it was a mistake. It did not happen that way just like that. He told me that he will consult him and he will get on to me.

Def: Do you agree that what they have written down here suggest that you had a conversation in which Yeaten was speaking to Taylor that night?

Wit: I told you it was a mistake. If you allow me i will explain.

Def: Page 12, hand written notes, BY spoke immediately on CIC and voice on other end said bring him to me now right. Is that what you told the investigators?

Wit: I told you if you allow me i will explain. That is not it.

Def: Para 13 now, did you tell them that you were taken to the Mansion by Marza, directly to the Security Officer’s officer, and then to the protocol Officer’s office?

Wit: What i told them is not in detail here. It did not just happen immediately after.

Def: Lets just go through the sequence of events here. You went to Taylor’s office and left with a gift of $1500 and you went shopping. That while shoping, you met kallon and told him to report to ECOMOG or the US Embassy. Marza dropped you off at Sesay’s house. That night, you were woken that Bockraie arrived and its not till after that that the diamonds were sorted out right?

Wit: That is how they wrote it but it was after Bockarie had brought the diamonds that i met with Taylor.

Def: At this stage, you have told us that people in Liberia were concerned that there might be spies trying to show that Taylor’s govt. was supporting the RUF right?

Wit: yes

Def: If they wanted to spupport the RUF, they had lots of trained arttileray officers right?

Wit: I dont know if they had many of those. I knew. I knew Matilda was an artillery specialist but she was working at the airport.

Def: So she could have put the Taylor govt. intouch with the artillary equipment that they needed right?

Wit: She did not want to come to Sierra Leone. These artilleries were ti be used in Sierra Leone.

Def: Did you know that there were many Liberian artellary specialists trained in the US right?

Wit: I did not know about that. And besides, the AFL were not operating well. The SSS guys were more in control.

Def: And you are a stranger that they just met like that right?

Wit: I told you my artillary documents were in my possession that Marza took from me.

Def: Are you saying the Marza took the docuemnets, gave them back to you, and through the assessment of an illiterate man, you were taken to meet the president and he makes you a 1 Star Gen?

Wit: Marza did not give the documents back to me.

Def: Looking at Para. 13 on page 3 of tab. 1, your account is that you are taken to the Protocol Officer’s officem, and you are taken to Taylor’s office and he tells you you are a lucky man, saying Liberia was a home of revolutionalists, he makes you a 1 Star Gen, gives you money right?

Wit: There are some things here that are wrong, he gave the money to Sesay Musa and he gave it to me

Def: This meeting with Taylor is a complete lie right?

Wit: It is true. I can tell you that i was not the only Sierra Leonean that was promoted by Taylor. I can call names of other Sierra Leoneans that had same treatement.

Def: After you had been made a 1 Star Gen, you were adviced to await the return of Bockarie to Monrovia, did you say that?

Wit: yes

Def: So he had not yet come to transact the business on diamonds right?

Wit he had come and gone back to handover his headquarter and prepare for the trip.

Def: Did you purchase an infantry jacket after that?

Wit: I bought a commando jacket with pockets

Def: Did you buy an infantry jacket?

Wit: No

Def: Did you tell the investigators that you bought an infantry jacket?

Wit: No

Def: Page 12 of tab 1 please. The last line of page 12. “purchased infantry jackets, civilian clothes, boots and toiletories?’ Did you tell the investigators this?

Wit; The expression infantry jacket is not correct

Def: So they invented infantry jacket right?

Wit: May be that was their interpretation of what i said but that is not what i meeant.

Def: In you evidence on Tuesday, you said Bockarie came at 2am, and on his arrivel, Marza called me to go with him and you explained the business of identifying Bockarie, you said he came with three trucks captured from ECOMOG, and you said Bockarie, Yeaten and Marza sat down and two arab men came with Saleh and the diamonds are sorted out right?

Wit: yes

Def: And these take place at 2am and after?

Wit: yes

 Def: Where did the mayonaise jars come from?

Wit: From Sierra Leone

Def: What was it that the jars of diamond were in?

Wit: He called  his bodyguard who brought his suitcase and the bottles were in it.

Def: What sort of suitcase was it?

Wit: It was a brown suitcase

Def: What sort was it, was it flat or rigid?

Wit: It was rigid

Def: What was it made of? Was it regular fabric or something else?

Wit: I cannot say what it was made of

Def: Para. 15 pn page 3 of Tab 1 please. That night, you were awoken and told Bockarie had arrived. You were taken to Yeaten’s house and welcomed by Bockarie. Did you tell them that?

Wit: yes, but this is not the way i explained it.

Def: What did they get wrong?

Wit: because, Marza and others wanted me to identify Bockarie and i did that but it is not written here.

Def: Did you tell the investigators that?

Wit: yes, i told them

Def: can you say why they did not write it down and why you also did not tell them to include it in there when they read it to you?

Wit: i did not know that they did not write it.

Did you tell the investigators that Bockarie was aware of your knowlege of the weapons that they needed?

Wit: yes

 Def: Marza drove you and dropped you at Sesay’s residence, did you tell them that?

Wit: yes

Def: the following morning, you were taken to Yeaten’s house and after your arrival, Saleh met you there right?

Wit: Yes, together with the two arabs and i asked why the two arabs had weapons with them and he told me they were wanted men.

Def: You said this all happened in the middle of the night, in the middle of the night or it happened in the morning?

Wit: It was at 2am in the morning, not midnight. But it was dark.

Def: the diamond business happens at 2am right?

Wit: Yes

Def: Page 14, tab 1 please, We drank together and Marza droped me home, and the others went to the club, the next morning, Marza got me and we went to BY’s residence, we were having breakfast together when Saleh and the other two arab men arrived. They were named on a CIA list and living in Monrovia, right, did you say that?

Wit: My friend, you are now talking about two different things. You seem to be complicating everything.

Def: Did you tell the investigators that?

Wit: You are talking about two different things

Judge: Counsel is asking you, did you tell the investigators all of those things?

Wit: Its not correct that is why i am objecting.

Judge: is it what you told the investigators?

Wit: No, not that way my lord. The lawyer has asked me questions regarding two different things

Judge: When you say it is not that way, do you mean those are not the words you used or id di not happen?

Wit: It happened that way but he has now read out two different statements to me. I said these words but it was not at the time that he is now talking about here.

Def: You cant remember the story correctly right?

Wit: I can recall and if you allow me i will explain

Def: let us look through the rest of the coount. On page 12, we just read the arrival of Saleh and the other lebanese during your breakfast. And it carries on like this. Bockarie poicked up a leather bag, he took out the card board boxes, wrapped with tape, inside it were diamonds, he opened the boxes, he removed the tapes, lifted the tops and all three boxes were full of diamonds. This was the first time you saw diamonds of such quantity and quality. The Lebanese men started evaluating the dimonds. It was at this time that Yeaten asked you to go and prepare for the trip for Burkina Faso. Marza took you off and yoyu were ready for take off. Where were the mayonaise jars?

Wit: the script you have read is not recorded as i have explained to the people. The Mayornaise bottles were in Bockarie’s suitcase.

Def: Did you tell the investigators that these diamonds were in mayornaise bottles?

Wit: yes

Def: Did you point out that they had recorded something completely different when they read this to you?

Wit: they did not read this out to me. This is the first time i am seeing this.

Def: What was read back to you, because you told us earlier on that every interview was read to you and you had the opportunity to correct all mistakes. What was read to you in Mar. 2006?

Wit: Mr. Lawyer, this was not read out to me. That is why i am saying if you permit me i will explaine exactly what happened.

Def: tab 1 page 4 please, para. 17. This is a typed version of what i read to you.  Was this the typed version that was read to you?

Wit: It did not happen as it is written here

Def: How did this happen?

Wit: This was the morning tha Bockarie came…

Def: Stop, that is not what i am asking, when was this read this to you?

Wit: they did not read this back to me.

Def: Tab 2 please. Page 4, left hand margin, par. 17 in the margin.  The prosecution went through each of your interviews with you right?

Wit. Mr. Lawyer, it is through your cross-examination that i have been able to know that some of the things you said happened this way. If they had explained to me this way, i would have corrected them.

Def: Are you are saying that when prosecution recorded you saying that Gen. Ibrahim was at that meeting, they were inventing this?

Wit: The area i made mention fo gen. Ibrahim was when he was introduced to me before bthe trip to Burkina Faso. If you also permit me, i will tell you the people who were present at the first meeting when Bockaroe brought the diamonds. I wouldnt want to answer to the wrong thing.

Def: You told the investigator and Mr. Koumjin that Gen. Ibrahim was present in the meeting right?

Wit: No

Def: So they made that up right?

Wit: I told you i will explain where i first met Gen. Ibrahim. Maybe they made a mistake.

Def: But they were clearly asking you about those present at that meeting right?

Wit: No

Def: Why did you not tell Mr. Koumjin in the prepping session that the investigators had got the diamond story wrong?

Wit: I remember that even during the prepping session i told him that there was a card box in the suitcase and it was in that card box that the mayornaise bottles were.

Def: You can read English perfectly well. During the course of the prepping session, were you given a copy of the interview to follow as you were being asked about it?

Wit: No

Def: But you told Koumjin that in the cardbox, there were mayornaise bottles, and so there should be some record of you saying mayornaise bottles right?

Wit: I told Koumjin that in the box that Bockarie sent for, there were three sized mayornaise bottles all filled with diamonds.

Def: Tab 3 please. This is another prepping session just last month when you were interviewed by Shaymella, right?

Wit: yes

 Def: It says witness made the following corrections and clarifications to his previous statements, do you remember being prepped three weeks ago?

Wit: yes, it was the ones that they showed me that i was able to correct.

Def: Was shaymella writing things down with a pen and paper?

Wit: Well when she started reading, the ones that she read to me and if there were problems, i will tell her but like i told you, i did not have so  much time. I will sometimes leave my work to come and meet her and will leave again.

Def: How did she scratch out a mistake?

Wit: With pencil. She drew a line accross

Def: Somebody else was present called Iddirss Sesay?

Wit: yes he was translating

Def: And she was writing with a pencil on a piece of paper right?

Wit: Yes

 Def: And i put it in record that we did not get any hand written notes of prepping sessions. We have asked and they have said there were no such notes.

Judge: Mr. Koumjin, you should disclose that

Pros: I think there should be a motion in writing for that which will require a good response

Def: We’ll put that in writing.

Def: If we tirn to page 4 of Tab 3, we look at Para. 20, this is Shaymella asking you questions about the original interview notes. In para. 21, it says, with reference to para 17, witness  states that the diamonds brought by Bockarie were in mayornaise bottles and not in card boxes as stated earlier by the witness. Is it a coincidence that this interview starts a day after Blah said in this court that he saw diamonds in mayornaise jars?

Wit: I did nor follow up and did not hear about that.

Def: Did you noe hear about that on Focus on Africa?

Wit: No

DEf: Did you hear that Vamunya Sheriff had also given evidence about diamonds in mayornaise bottles?

Wit: i do not follow up such things. I did not follow up.

Def: Were you aware that Marza mentioned mayornaiuse bottles here?

Wit: i dont even know if Marza is still in existence

Def: Is that an honets answer?

Wit: I dont know such things, i dont follow up

Def: Did someone suggest to you that you should put the diamonds in mayornaise bottles?

Wit: No, i corrected that to Shaymella. I told her they were not in card boxes.

Def: I see the time now.

Judge. Mr. Witness, we are now going to adjourn for lunch and we’ll resume at 2:30. Please adjourn court for 2:30.