Cross-Examination of TF1-590 Continues

9:30 (10:00 with 30mins delay in video and audio):

Court resumes with the continuation of cross-examination of Witness TF1-590.

Judge: If there are no other matters, i will remind the witness of his oath. Mr. Griffiths, please proceed.

Def: Yesterday when we ajourned, you were telling us about being in Taylor’s compound and him greeting you in his pyjamas, right?

Wit: Yes

Def: What time of the night was this?

Wit: It was midnight

Def: And you had been driven from Batalia specifically to meet with Taylor right?

Wit: Yes

 Def: How many of you?

Wit: 3 detaimnees

Def: So your arrival was so important that he didnt even have time to dress and he came to meet you in his pyjamas, right?

Wit: It might be so, i can’t tell

Def: And you also have the pleasure of the Defense Minister?

Wit: I was not greeeted sir

Def: But he was present right?

Wit: Yes

Def: How many members of Taylor’s government came to greet you there?

Wit: They took me to the compound

Def: Who else was there?

Wit: There were people with Taylor

Def: How many?

Wit: Over 4

Def: And they were all in pyjamas?

Wit: I was focusing on Taylor

Def: How were they dressed?

Wit: They had shirts on

Def: Anyone in military uniform?

Wit: There were people in military uniform, like sucurity, Chuckie was there

Def: Describe the compound for us please

Wit: The house was fenced

Def: What could you see?

Wit: I was a prisoner then, it was not a privileged visit

Def: Did you see any buildings?

Wit: yes, i saw a house

 Def: Describe it

Wit; I could not describe that as i was under pressure, i was in pain, not a comfortable visit

Def; What did the building look like?

Wit: Please sir, you cannot force me to say what i cannot remember

Def: Are you saying you cannot describe the building

Pros: Your honour, i think the witness has answered the question and i dont know what else my learned friend wants to elicit.

Def: I suggest that you are lying. At the very least, you could see a large fountain in the compound if you got there, do you remember that?

Wit: I was under pressure, it was not a comfortable visit, so you cannot expect me…

Judge; Mr. Witness answer the question, did you see the fountain?

Def: Did you see the fountain just inside the gate?

Wit: I could not tell, am sorry

Def: You should be able to if you went to that address

Wit: I was there

Def: Do you want to start telling us the truth?

Wit: I have been saying the truth

Def: Now Taylor said you should be taken to the beach and your head cut off right?

Wit: yes he did

Def: But it never happened despite the order from the leader Mr. Taylor right?

Wit: They gave another order for us to be taken to BTC

Def: If i understand what you have told us, what date were you arrested at St. Pauls Bridge?

Wit: The 18th of April

Def: How many days did you spend at Batala?

Wit: About 4-5 days

Def: Thereafter you were taken to Taylor’s place?

Wit: yes

Def: Where else were you taken?

Wit: BTC

Def: So while at Battala, you were beaten constantly?

Wit: yes

 Def: With what?

Wit: Barbed wire, with guns, i was kicked

Def: And that was on your naked skin?

Wit: Yes

 Def; How many occasions were you beaten with barbed wire?

Wit: The day we were taken to Monrovia

Def: How many times?

Wit: I did not count, i still have the scars on my body

Def: You were also beaten with rifles?

Wit: yes

 Def: Anything else?

Wit: they burnt plastic on my body, candle wax was melted on by genital

Def: And you were also stabbed with bayonet right?

Wit: yes

 Def: Where

Wit: On my left leg

Def: And when you went to BTC, you were kept without food and water for two weeks right?

Wit: Yes

Def: How big was the room in which you were detained?

Wit: Was a very small room, closer from the front of the judges to where i am sitting

Def: Shall we agree that somewhere in the region of 10 feet?

Judge: We do have a measuring tape Mr. Griffiths

Wit: Can i stand up?

Def: Please stay within the confines of the cotton pleas.

Court Officer: Your honour, the witness has indicated 80 centemeters

Wit: 80 centemeters from the desk of the judges

Court Officer: Your honour the witness has indicated 241 centemeters

Judge: So the original 80 centemeters has been revised?

Wit: yes ma

Court Officer- The tape stops short of what the witness has indicated. The width will be 336 centemeters

Def: How many people were detained in  that room with you?

Wit: More than 30 people

Def: So there wouldnt have been a place to lie down

Wit: the place was choked, some people were standing

Def: Everyone will have to stand in the placee you just described

Wit: Soem people were standing and there was a prison leadership, which will lie down

Def: And you spent two weeks in that place without food or water?

Wit: yes

 Def: And you are lucky to be still alive right?

Wit: Yes

Def: And were you taken to the Gray Stone Clinic?

Wit: Yes

 Def: What happened to you there?

Wit: Soem security people used to go there and their presence was intimidating

Def: And that was in a US embassy compound right?

Wit: I dont know. It was not fenced, it was an open house and people could go there

Def: How long were you there?

Wit: About 1 week

Def: And where were you taken?

Wit: We were taken to Samuka Camp

Def: And that is where that photograoh of you was taken right?

Wit: Yes

 Def: Please show the witness that photograph. This is a photograph taken at that camp, who took it?

Wit: It was a photographer sir

Def: Was he attached to the UNHCR?

Wit: It was a local photographer

Def: So you paid him to attend and take that photo?

Wit: This photo was taken by ba commercial photographer. I wanted to have the picture of me. By then, i was a bornagain, i wanted to keep this record

Def: Did you pay him to take this photo of you?

Wit: Where did you get the money from after all you had gone through?

Wit: My brother was there, he was doing business

Def: So who paid for the photograph?

Wit: I used to have money, my wife had money

Def: Why was it decided to take this photograph?

Wit: For my personal memory. I could explain to my kids someday

Def: So your family decided to expend prescious funds for this? There appeare to be some dark marks on your chest right?

Wit; Yes

 Def: Where is the scar of the barbed wire?

Wit: On my body,. This photo was taken some months after my release

Def: Which month was it taken?

Wit: Around Sept. 1999

Def: So how long had you remained in Samuka camp

Wit: I was in Samuka camp till March 1st 2000 when i left for the country i am living in now.

Def: yesterday, you said you saw some Arab guys in Vonjama right?

Wit: Yes

 Def: How did you know they were Taylor’s gem dealers?

Wit: through the security personel who came with them

Def: When over the course of several interviews you spoke to OTP, did you tell them the arab guys were Taylor’s gem dealers?

Wit: yes

Def: Well i’d like you to look at extracts from the interview you had please.  Could we look behind divider 6. We see interview notes of an interview conducted with you on Nov. 21 2007, where Morris and Bangura and also your lawyer who is still with us in the public gallery were present. Have a look at Page 6 please. Para. 33 talks about when you saw the arab lebanese. Why didnt you say then that they were Taylor’s gem dealers?

Wit: I told them that the arabs guys were in the vehicle

Def: But whey did you not mention there that they were Taylor’s gem dealers

Wit: If you allow me to finish my statement. The day they were goint to Sierra Leone, they were all walking. Gen. Mosquito, campari, Chuckie Talor were all with them. That was what i said.

Def: Why is there no mention toi these men being Taylor’s gem dealers

Wit: I have said that before, in the document written, my Liberian experience.

Def: Could you look behind Divider 2 please. This is an extract of an interview conducted with you on Nov.21. You talked about the arabs guys again?

Wit: Yes

 Def: Do you see any reference to them being Taylor’s gem dealers?

Wit: I have given a written statement about this issue. We have discussed it. This was an oral record. We have talked bout that

Def: Lets move on plrease. Look behind Divider 1. Now behind that, you will see tranmscript of interview dated 21 Nov. Help us please. Where did this interview take place?

Wit: In the country where you were living

Def: So Mr. Bangura and Morris travelleed to meet you?

Wit: Yes

 Def: When we go over to the second page, if we go just half way down that page, you see that your lawyer was present. You lawyer introduced himself to you and said he got intouch with you right?

Wit: yes

Def: He got intouch with you through another client, do you know that individuial?

Wit: Yes he is my friend

Def: So your friend got in touch with the lawyer and he got in touch with you?

Wit: yes

 Def: Was your friend also being interviewed by Mr. Bangura and Mr. Morris

Wit: I cannot tell

Def: Yes or no?

Judge: If you know, answer

Def: yes

 Def: Is he also from Sierra Leone?

Wit: yes

 Def: So you see, right at the start of the interview, they made clear to you about Chuckie Taylor’s arrest right?

Wit: Yes

 Def: And you said you had not mentioned to Mr. Bangura that you had spoken to the American authorities?

Wit: I said i dont know if Mr. Bangura had any contact with the Americans

Def: So you cant remember whether you told Mr. Bangura

Wit: That was what i was saying

Def: Did you understand that you were going to be witnesses in the Chuckie Taylor trial?

Wit: This was the first contact, that was before we had direct contact with the Americans.

Def: Were you from then aware that you will be a witness in that trial?

Wit: I was a victim of his act

Judge: did you know at this time that you could be a witness?

Wit: That was said to be so ma.

Def: Can we go over the page please, page 4. On 21st Nov, you had only created one statement, which statements in the plural here was Mr. Morris talking about if he didnt have the American statement already?

Wit: That was the statement i wrote about my Liberian experience

Def: But he uses that plural here. Which other statements are you talking about?

Wit: The OTP had called me when i was in my country and it was when i wrote that document. There had been some conversations.

Def: Prior to this interview, you had made just one statement, now when Mr. Morris says he had seen your statements, what other statement is he talking about?

Wit: I dont know

Def: Which other statements are they talking about?

Wit: We had conversations first and so may be they took those to be statements. We exchanged emails.

Def: was it an email?

Wit: yes

 Def: How many emails did you send?

Wit: May be two or three

Def: And in those emails, you set out details of your account right?

Wit: It was after we spoke over the phone. An individual wrote me the email to confirm the conversation, i replied, it was then he asked me to complete the statement, that is what i did.

Def: Did you give details of your evidence in emails?

Wit: I dont remember, i still have those emails, i can bring them

Def: Would you mind me having a look at those emails?

Wit: Whats the relevance of that?

Def: Do you have something to hide

Wit: No

Def: Can you let me have them?

Wit: I could

Def: Lets go to Page 5 please. Mr. Morris is still speaking. Count 8 lines down from the top of the page please. He says you have probably told what happened to you many times right?

Wit: This is strange. I have experience this trauma for myself

Def: No, Had you told this story many times?

Wit: No. He was just suggesting that.

Def: Page 6, nine lines from the top. What did you understand his caution to mean?

Wit: That i should be consistent with what i say.

Def: And you met with the lawyers to make sure you tell the same story right?

Wit: Ofcourse

Def: When we go to the bottom of the page. Your lawyer asked how names are handed to the defense, and Mr. Bangura explained about witness protection right? So right at the outset, they were explaining that you can give evidence anonymously right?

Wit: yes they explained to me the procedure at the court. I have been trying to get over my trauma and so i was concerned.

Def: Page 11, Mr. Morris told you that many witnesses are interested in the financial aspect. Were you?

Wit: No

Def: Could we put this document on the screen please. Its about witness expenses. This document details disbursement made in respect of you. We see that on the 22 of Nov, for transportation by air, taxi, bus and hotel, you received $1141. Was that sum only for your travel and accomodation?

Wit: Yes

 Def: Did it cost that amount?

Wit: yes

 Def: Did you pay for yourself?

Wit: I paid taxi

Def: Did you buy your airline ticket?

Wit: yes

 Def: And the hotel accomodation was paid for you?

Wit: yes

 Def: Did you receive thjat sum in your hand?

Wit: No. I only received reimbursement for my taxi and train

Def: Thats good. So how comes you are getting $1141

Wit: This money included my air ticket, my hotel bills, the food i ate there and the taxi and train.

Def: Can we take this slowly. The airfare was paid for, the hotel was paid for, did you receive $1141 in your hand?

Wit: No

Def: So what did you receive then?

Wit: I paid for taxi from my house to the airport, which is about $20, train ticket which could be about $20-30.

Def: In reality then, you should have got $50?

Wit: That was the money they gave to me. The money in this document is what was spent on everything. I never received that amount in hand

Def: And so, this figure is totally misleading because it was not actually given to you.

Pros: I have a problem with this line of criss-examination. The document clear states what this amount was spent for.

Judge; The witness himself has said that, so what is your objection?

Pros: That the money here covers everthing

Judge: But no body is disputing that. The witness can say yes or no right?

Def: Did you sign a receipt for that kidn of sum?

Wit: I dont remember sir

Def: Please help us, did you or did you not?

Wit: I was working and i lost money from my job to come and see this people, so i dont know, i am sorry

Def: Is it that you cant remember if you signed a receipt?

Wit: they told me they had paid all these amounts.

Def: Did you sign a receipt for this sum?

Wit: Couldnt remember

Def: Now just briefly, the photograph taken infront of the UNHCR, did you make representations to the UNHCR in 1999 about what had happened to you?

Wit: It was officials from the UNHCR made my release possible so they knew about my case

Def: Did you give a statement to officials of UNHCR?

Wit: yes i did

Def: There were several refugees at the UNHCR camp right?

Wit: yes

Def: They would have written down what you said right?

Wit: i dont know

Def: So they should have a written record of what you told them right?

Wit: I dont know

Def: You never met with Taylor right?

Wit: I did

Def: thats all i have your honour

Judge: Any re-examination?

Pros: Yes your honour. Mr. Witness, you were asked about your mining business in Kenama, can you just say what was your own personal involvememnt in the mining?

Wit: I had people who mined for me. I sponsored the mining

Pros: Do you yourself get into the pit to do the mining?

Wit: No

Pros the question of RUF forcing people to mine, in your position as the person sponsoring the miners, would you have been targeted for forced mining?

Wit: Indirectly sir. They will take my workers and not myself

Pros: You spoke of the death of BS Massaquoi, do you know how he was killed?

Wit: he was killed by Mosquito. Everybody knew about that. He was brutally killed.

Pros: Did you see his corpse?

Wit: His body was lying at Hangha Road

Judge: But did you see the corpse?

Wit: No

Pros: regarding your decision to leave Vonjama to go to Monrovia, how did you come to that decision?

Wit: Because there had been attack on Vonjama and there was terror on civilians and it was better to leave

Pros: was it your personal decision to leave?

Wit: It was with my family

Pros: Regarding arms shipment, you said you saw an aircraft landing at Vonjama, apart from that occassion, did you at any other time see boxes in Vonjama?

Wit: Yes, that was very regular. RUF used to come from Sierra Leone and take these amunition at Vonjama.

Pros: What kind of boxes?

Wit: Green boxes, containing ammunition

Pros: How could you tell?

Wit: We have seen these boxes with the soldiers in Sierra Leone before. They had writtings

Pros: Do you recall any of these writings?

Wit: I cant remember

Pros: When you said these boxes were taken to Sierra Leone, what made you say so?

Wit: Because the people who came will come to my kiosk and explain. They will take them and go back, the road that leads to Kolahun and to Sierra Leone.

Pros: Going to Monrovia, will some one take the same road?

Wit: No

Pros: What about going to Guinea?

Wit: They will take another road that leads to Guinea

Pros: On your previous statements, my colleague said you had never mentioned the two arab looking guys were gem dealers for Taylor, right?

Wit: yes

 Pros: Can the witness be shown, this is a page from the witness’s previous statement that is not in the binder. Its dated 16th April 2007, its 00031226. We’ll focus on the last 3-4 lines of the 4th paragraph. Mr. Witness, reading from the paragraph, the sentence which startes with “they spent weeks…” Do you see the mention of these arab guys being gem dealers of Taylor, is that what you referred to as having stated before?

Wit: That is correct

Pros: At Mr. Taylor’s compound, what was your concentratiuon on when you were brought there, tied and being beaten?

Wit: My concentration was on whether i was going to live or not.

Judge: Mr. Bangura, i notice the time, will this be a convinient time to take the mid-morning break?

Pros: Yes your honour

Judge: Please adjourn court for 12:00.