Court session 9.30-11.30: Continuing cross examination Witness TFI 590


Court session 9.30-11.30: Continuing cross examination Witness TFI 590

Presiding Judge: Mr Witness may I remind you about the oath. You most answer the questions truthfully. Mr. Bangura, please proceed.

Pros: Good Morning Witness.

Judge Sebutinde: The witness does not have the exhibits.

Pros: 139 B is provided for the witness. We will continue where we left on Friday. I would like to clarify some things we have discussed on Friday. On the second day you saw Mosquito in Voinjama, he was in company of Chucky Taylor, Campare and two Arabic looking guys, correct?

Wit: They were Mr Taylor’s MPs. One was to be said a (…) dealer of the (…)-group in Freetown.

Judge Sebutinde: What were they? (…) dealers? Is that a diamond dealer? And to which Taylor are you referring?

Wit: Yes, diamond dealers and I mean just Taylor, the president of Liberia.

Pros: Where were they heading?

Wit: The convoy went to Sierra Leone.

Pros: Person nr. 2 was shot by Chucky Taylor. Do you remember the nationalities of the 4 four that were shot?

Wit: They were Sierra Leonean. There were Liberians too.

Pros: I would like to talk about the security of Chucky Taylor. Are you able to tell whether the general belonged to any particular ethnic group?

Wit: There were Sierra Leonean in the group. They spoke to me in Mendi or Krio. Krio is the common language spoken in Sierra Leone.

Pros: In a shop security forces would come in and in general discuss what was going on? Did they mention anything about the fighting in Sierra Leone? Did you know where the fighting was?

Wit: Yes, Freetown, Kenema all those areas there were fightings around January-March 1999.

Pros: Mosquito was shot and wounded and came to Banga for treatment. The time he came to Chucky he delivered weapons to Chucky for Sierra Leone and Guinea?

Wit: I would hear this from the security personal that would come to my place. And they would discuss it. I was in Kulan, people usually do business here. Information was accessible. It was in March 1999.

Pros: You said RUF soldiers were in good numbers in Gbatala. Did they have weapons?

Wit: They had vehicles and big guns. They had small rifles as well. They hang the rifles on themselves. Not on the vehicles.

Pros: Was there a fighting attack in Voinjama? The attack was prepared by RUF-forces in Liberia, how did you know?

Wit: After I met my family, before entering Gbatala? I went to Monovia trough the RUF checkpoints.

Pros: Voinjama was divided in two groups, political and ethnic lines.

Wit: Mandingos and Loma people. Lomas were mostly Christians and NPFLs of Mr Taylor.

Pros: You mentioned two persons Taylor.

Wit: I mean the president.

Pros: The leader of the manufactory was Aligicroma? Did you know any other people of the Mandingo people or leaders?

Wit: In 1988 around Augusts, I cannot remember the particular month. There was a SSS commander: Sheriff. I saw him. I was at the same area where he was with his people. They were talking and there was a big celebration.

Pros: At what point did you see him?

Wit: After he came back from Sierra Leona.

Pros: How did you know that he was a SSS commander, how did you know this?

Wit: There were a lot of people. There was no harassment. The people were happy. He was talking to his people.

Judge Sebutinde: Could you please repeat the name?

Wit: Varmuya Sheriff

Pros: We are not sure if we have the right person. Please spell Varmuya.

Wit: I don’t know, but it could be: Varmuya.

Pros: How did you travel from Monrovia to Gbatala?

Wit: We were sitting in jeeps. In the open side of the jeep, in the back.

Pros: When you arrived at Congo town at the residence of Charles Taylor. Did you remain in that position in the back of the jeep?

Wit: Yes, we were still in the back of the jeep.

Pros: What was you condition before you left Gbarnga. You said you were tied and blindfolded and cello tape over your mouth. What was your fysical condition?

Wit: We were tight the same as from Banga to Gbarnga. It was abnormal. We had physical trauma.

Pros: When you arrived at Congo town at Mr Taylors residence. Did you have to wait long before he came out to see you?

Wit: Yes, it took time

Pros: Did you move from your position in the vehicle?

Wit: We were in the same position.

Pros: The cloth was taken from your mouth when Mr Taylor came?

Wit: Yes

Pros: What about the ropes?

Wit: I was still tied. All of us when Taylor came.

Pros: You tried to answer one of the questions Taylor asked you?

Wit: we said we were refugees and did not know what he was seeing.

Pros: Could you answer back to him?

Wit: I had a chain. And I was beaten and was hit.

Pros: You were beaten while you were in the jeep while you spoke to Taylor? And the security guy hit you when you answered to Taylor?

Wit: Yes we were beaten. They took the facility out of our mouth.

Pros: Chucky Taylor received a message that Papay wanted to see you and you said you were referring to Charles Taylor. How did you know that Papay is Taylor?

Wit: Everyone in Liberia would call him Papay.

Pros: Have you ever seen Taylor before that day?

Wit: No sir, that was my first day.

Pros: How was he dressed, when you were brought to him?

Wit: He was not formally dressed. It was casual. More like pyjamas or something. He was not really dressed.

Pros: Were you dressed?

Wit: No, we were naked. All of us, we only had ropes on us.

Pros: Taylor asked if you were to overthrow his government. Who are the Kamajors?

Wit: They are Malesia-groups.

Pros: Were they in Liberia?

Wit: No. They were not in Liberia. If you were told to do anything and you would refuse. It would mean you were against them and you were a rebel or a Kamajor.

Pros: Let’s go back to were we left of on Friday. You protested about your condition. After the protest were you taken anywhere?

Wit: We were taken to hospital. I saw someone from Voinjama.

Pros: Did he give you assistance?

Wit: Yes there were people looking at us and calling us rebels. Than he looked at us and called my name and I shouted his name back. I knew him. He was taken away and I cried. He said he knew me, that I had a daughter and yelled that I was not a rebel. I told him to go to Brothstreet and find my brother. He explained my situation to my brother. My brother went to the Sierra Leonean embassy in Monrovia the same day. The ambassador gave my brother a letter. My brother brought the letter to the RSE-office. The office came and saw us. We got released. Ms Van Buren and Mr Moriba asked the guard to open the gates. They were in front of the gates. Moriba came inside the cell and spoke to us. He observed our condition. He asked if we were refugees. I said yes. He took our coupon number. These numbers are supplied to refugees. It is a form of identification. Mr Moriba and ms Van Buren would confirm that we were refugees. Mr Moriba promised that he would let us free. We were freed two weeks later.

Presiding judge: The witness is saying that they came into the ccell. He mentioned earlier the hospital. Please clarify?

Pros: Where was it? You were taken out of cell for treatment?

Wit: They met us at the BTC cell, then we went to the hospital. Then I saw the man I know. They have taken us back to our cell. We were still in the cell when Mr Moriba and ms Van Buuren came.

Judge Sebutinde: Is BTC a cell?

Wit: It is a Barclay Training Centre. It is a military cell. It was a cell inside that particular centre.

Pros: How did you get released? The officials came back; did they come with anybody else?

Wit: Yes, Mr Moriba en Ms Van Buuren, the defense minister and others as well. The defense minister wanted the MPs to clean or bodies before the others would see us. He was a little bit worried. I have met the defense minister before. He was an official that we saw at Taylor’s house before. He was the one that said that they should take us to BTC. When I saw him that day, I realised he was Daniel Chea. He introduced himself. He went to our cell and asked the MPs to free us.

Pros: Did you receive any medical attention for you condition?

Wit: After we were free he took us to Greystol Cinic in Kellystreet in Monrovia.

Pros: You were there for some days. For what conditions were you taken there?

Wit: My hands were swollen. I could do anything myself. It took 6 months. We got treatments for anything my whole body was sore. If I were on the bed and would get up my skin would stick on the bed / cloth. We received medicine and treatment. I got treatment for like a year.

Pros: You were tied? You still have these scars?

Wit: I have them for the rest of my live.

Pros: Please see tab 6, the first photograph, one with many people. Do you recognize anybody there? Who do you recognize?

Wit: Yes I recognize. In the middle, the man with white, is mr Charles Taylor, former president of Liberia. On his right is mr Chucky Taylor. He was the one that tied us and shot the person named nr 2.

Presiding Judge: The witness is working with a copy. Where is the original?

Pros: We do not have the original here. We will give you later information on the original.

Judge Sebutinde: The copies are not clear at all. That is why originals always should be in court. At least for the court to see.

Pros: It is not entirely clear where the originals are. We will get a clear position. We can move on and have the witness identify the persons. And we will later come up with the originals.

Judge Sebutinde: Were these photographs provided to witness originally. If the pictures are not clear to us, they are not clear to him.

Presiding judge: The witness did not give us any information about who took the photograph. Is the witness the person who took the photograph?

Pros: No, I just ask him if he could identify anybody in the photograph?

Griffiths for the defense team: it would be helpful if witness could clarify more background information on this photograph.

Presiding judge: Please proceed Mr Bangura. I will await after the break.

Pros: Please circle the heads or draw a line to the people you recognise and enter their names in it. Do you recognise anyone of the photograph in the courtroom? Which one?

Wit: Yes, the former president of Liberia. Mr Charles Taylor. He is sitting in the back of the room on the left (pointing). With the blue-black shirt.

Pros: Could the Court please record that the witness recognized the person.

Judge Lussick: Mr Taylor is not wearing a blue black shirt.

Pros: can you give a more distinctive description?

Wit: He is wearing glasses. He wears a white shirt

Judge Lussick: Why saying blue-black shirt first?

Wit: I meant suit, sir.

Pros: Could you please point out his position?

Wit: His is in the second row.

Pros: The witness has identified the person on the back row in the defense side. Please show the witness the photograph in Tab 1. Mr witness do you see that photograph. Who is this person?

Presiding judge: Again this is a copy. Where is the original?

Pros: My apologies. The originals will be provided after lunch.

[Photograph shows picture of Chucky Taylor]

Griffiths: I would like to take the source of the photograph. Was this photograph taken while Chucky Taylor was in custody in Florida?

Pros: It is from the justice department of the United States.

Griffiths: I want to know how the prosecuting received this photograph. Were and how was it obtained? This photograph has not been provided to us. I know the photograph, but it was used Florida.

Pros: I cannot give you the very accurate information when and how we obtained it.

Griffiths: They should, if it is in their possession. It should be disclosed since we did not receive it.

Pros: I would refer to case file.

Presiding judge: Are you saying that just a bare photo arrived in you mail?

Griffiths: It cannot be the case that the witness who now appears may have witnessed in Florida and we would like to see a statement if he took such a testimony.

Pros: The prosecution is not in possession of materials were the witness took earlier testimonies.

Griffiths: The witness was heard on 21 November 2007 by Bangura and an investigator, the witness had his own lawyer. Something else was going on in the background. This relates to the proceedings in Florida. Any testimony regarding this witness should be investigated and disclosed otherwise we cannot proceed cross-examining this witness.

Pros: The prosecution does not have the position to know whether the witness has taken other testimonies.

Griffiths: There is a very easy solution for this.

Presiding judge: You should disclose every evidence to the defense.

Griffiths: The matter can be dealt with very easily. We can ask the witness whether he took a statement in Florida? This is how we can deal with it quite simply.

Presiding judge: We note the remark regarding the awareness of possession of the defense of any other statements. Please proceed mr Bangura.

Presiding judge: The photograph shows several people and the witness marked two people is marked as document MFI 16.

Pros: The photograph [skips the photograph of Chucky], the document…

Griffiths: Why is this document introduced to this particular witness? We can al see what this document is?

Pres judge: I agree mr Bangura.

Pros: Some of these practices that were carried out, are they published in writing in Liberia, during your period there or after that?

Wit: I saw these documents recently.

Pros: When?

Wit: It was recently, since my stay here.

Pros: when you found out from the prosecution, did you realise that they were published in Liberia?

Wit: yes.

Griffiths: It is totally improper to use a proving session for the witness to confirm the document and by introducing this document to the court by a proving session.

Pros: The document is from a public source. The matters that the prosecution want to draw attention to is that the witness’ statement is in line with these documents. The prosecution’s position is that there is nothing improper to have the witness look at the document that is based on a public source. It is right and proper that the witness is shown material, which is consistent with his statement.

Judge Lussick: to clarify things in my mind, I have read it. Does the document relate to the witness’ personal experience?

Pros: No, the document is not personally related to the witness, but the document is a reflection of that what the witness has suffered.

Presiding judge: the document should be introduced as rule 92 application and not thru this witness.

Pros: We will move on to the document that is not in the binder, it is provided late.

Presiding judge: Does the defense have copy?

Pros: yes.

Presiding judge: Again this appears to be a copy.

Pros: We do have a original in this case.

Presiding judge: It should be shown to witness.

Pros: Mr witness do you see the photograph?

Wit: Is is myself

Pros: When and were?

Wit: Samukai Camp, it was a refugee camp it was in Monrovia. In Caldwall. It was taken 3-4 months after my release from BTC. By then I could not do anything with my arm.

Pros: You talked about your disabled arm.

Wit: Yes you can see the plasters. I was not able to do anything by then. My hand was almost dead. It took more than a year to over win the problem. They still are not okay.

Pros: In the testimony you talked about the events that lead you to being released from the cell of BTC. When were you released?

Wit: 20 may 1999.

Pros: Would you like to record this photograph?

Wit: Yes sir.

Judge Sebutinde: Could the judges at least see the original?

Pros: Yes, your Honour.

Judge Sebutinde: What is what you want the judges to take notice of? The plaster on his hands? Anyway it is your case…

Presiding judge: Please identify the plaster on his hands; I see it on his arms as well.

Pros: What were the plasters covering?

Wit: The injury, the wound. Not just the plaster on my elbow. Also the medicine on my skin. All of my body was wounded, I was stabbed. I was in a clinic on intensive care.

Pros: After the plaster was taken of you hands, you still needed medication?

Wit: I did even when I travelled to this country.

Pros: Do you have medication now?

Wit: Yes. I can show you (witness takes of suit and roles up sleeve). Do I have to take my shirt of?

Pres Judge: Yes please. As I can note and will record: From wrist to elbow has on each arm a black scarred banned. Estimated one centimeter in width. Also other markings. Please put shirt and jacket back on and we will proceed.

Judge Sebutinde: We know how he got the scars on his ankles. But how does he get these scars?

Pros: in addition to showing the scars on your hands, you also showed you marks on your shoulders and chest. What do these marks represent on your body?

Wit: I was tied several occasions. They melted plastic on me. I was stabbed with boneheads.

Pros: We have the original photograph. There is a copy.

Presiding Judge: Please can we see the original.

Pros: Is the copy the same as the original, which we showed the court?

Wit: Yes, they are the same. One is a copy.

Presiding judge: The copy of a photograph, which the witness has identified himself, is marked as MFI 17.

Pros: The witness is the owner of the original and he would like to keep the original.

Presiding judge: we have seen the original a witness stated that it is a copy. It can be received to the witness. Mr Griffiths, the counsel for prosecution is closed. Mr Griffiths please proceed.

Def: I want to make sure that I understand. You left Kenema in February 1999. You were finally released from BTC 20 may 1999. The event you told us about took place over 1 year? All the events are from your travelling from Kenema to Voinjama and took place in Liberia?

Wit: Kenema is in Sierra Leone that would be Sierra Leone and Liberia

Def: In Feb 1998 an approaching war made you fled from Sierra Leone. You ended up in Voinjama in Liberia. How long did this journey from Kenema to Voinjama take?

Wit: two weeks.

Def: All the event you describes everything took place in Liberia?

Wit yes.

Def: Have you spoken to the prosecutors of the United States?

Wit: I have spoken to people of the United States

Def: according to material we have got, you first spoke to prosecutor in this case in April 2007. Did you speak to the prosecutors in the United States before or after that date?

Wit: After that sir

Def: You arrived in The Hague, was it a couple of weeks ago?

Wit: a week ago

Def: You spent some time with the lawyer sitting over there, mr Bangura. You already spoken to prosecutors of the United States. On how may occasion shave you spoken to the prosecutors of the United States of America?

Wit: (…)

def: did you speak to lawyers or police officers?

Wit: Yes I did in the country where I live in, I spoke to the police and investigators of the United States.

Def: What is the country you live in? Is it in Europe? Lawyers travelled from United States to country where you currently live in, in order to interview you?

Wit: I do not know whether they were lawyers.

Def: What people that was involved in the Chucky Taylor trial travelled to you?

Wit: More than two. There were three.

Def: Were those people special agents or were they from the FBI?

Wit: I have their names.

Def: Were those people special agents or were they from the FBI?

Wit: One was assistant attorney USA.

Def: Was there also an FBI agent?

Wit: That is correct sir

Def: Was there special agent representing the CIA?

Wit: No sir, I was not introduced to such name.

Def: Please name the assistant attorney USA

Wit: can I say that name?

Presiding Judge: I do not see why not.

Wit: Caroline, I cannot remember the whole name.

Def: It is a female assistant attorney? Is the witness name Carol separate Line or Caroline, one word? What is the surname?

Wit: I do not remember.

Def: is it you do not remember or don’t want to tell me?

Wit: I do not remember.

Def: What is the name of the FBI agent?

Wit: would I answer to that question?

Presiding judge: I see no reasons why you would not say that. Why do you hesitate?

Wit: John was from the FBI. That was the only name I know. The third person was Matthew. It is the only name I know.

Def: What are the names of the police officers from you current country was there anyone from this prosecution. Who was present?

Wit: yes. Everytime the people from US was visiting. People from my country would be there as well.

Def: You have had a lengthy conversation with Chris Morris and Mohamed Bangura. Your lawyer was present. Is he a lawyer from the country where you now live and was present on each occasion while you spoke with the prosecutors of the USA and the prosecutors of this court and also last week with Bangura in The Hague?

Wit: No. But he is here today. I knew he would come. He was not here when I was questioned by mr Bangura

Def: He was not here last week. He only arrived today, because I would examine you?

Wit: He is my personal lawyer sir?

Def: Have you spoken to your lawyer since you have been giving evidence last week?

Wit: Yes

Def: when?

Wit: before I came here, we exchanged text messages. I have you spoken to him the last weekend. I saw him on Friday.

Def: Did you discuss the evidence giving in this court with him?

Wit: no

Presiding judge: Rule 70-1-1 waived its right?

Pros: He did not waive this right.

Presiding judge: Mr Griffiths, what is you reply?

Griffiths: Any privilege resides with the witness and it is with the witness whether he wants to waive it or not.

Presiding judge: You have been asked questions concerning conversation between you and your lawyer. Under the rules of this court, you can refuse to answer the question. You can also consent to disclose the information with you and your lawyer.

Judge Sebutinde: The name of the country, should it be redacted.

Griffiths: I did notice. Do you want to tell me what you spoke about with your lawyer?

Wit: I could. But it is very personal. We had fun about weather here and there and the food.

Def: How long did you spend in the company of you lawyer in the weekends.

Wit: About an hour or two and then I went to bed.

Def: You couldn’t spend an hour discussing Dutch weather.

Wit: His engaging and how it is. He described it to me, the weather over there and here. They were some of the issues. I was aware that I could not discuss any evidence in this court. Our conversation was very personal.

Def: where is he staying?

Wit: He stays at the same hotel.

Def: how many times have you met them?

Wit: I met him more than three times.

Def: When did you meet first, months and year will do.

Wit: July 2007.

Def: When you met him first, it was before November 2007 this case. Did you make them aware that you have already spoken to the US attorney in July 2007.

Wit: It is a very different case

Def: I am not interested in the other case. [Repeats question]

Wit: I do not think so, because it is a very different case

Def: You did not mention to them ‘guess what a few months I spoke to attorney US’ is that the truth?

Wit: I am here to tell the truth. As I said, this a different case

Def: You did not tell mr Bangura in Novermber 2007 that you spoke to the US attorneys?

Wit: no I do not think so

Def: Did you or did not you?

Wit: No I did not.

Presiding judge: Mr Griffiths and Mr Witness, I hope this is a convenient time. We will be adjourning until 12 o’ clock.