Cross-Examination of Witness TFI-539 Continues

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

Judge: If there are no other matters i will remind the witess of his oath. Mr. Munyard, you may proceeed.

Def: Good morning Mr. Witness, can i try and recap a little on the account you have given us of your flight from Sierra Leone after the Junta rule. You told us that it took you three months to get to Foya, and another three months to get to Monrovia. So total of six months in 1998 which takes us to August of that year right?

Wit: Yes

Def: What were you travelling with by way of personal effects?

Wiyt: I did not have any personal things as such.

Def: Apart from the clothes you were wearing, did you have any other clothing with you?

Wit: yes, i had few trousers and shirts and foot wears

Def: How were you travelling with those?

Wit: I had a bag that i put on my back

Def: How many clothes in that bag?

Wit: The situation was not to travel with a lot of things, so i can recall i had five khaki trousers, about eight shirts

Def; And footwears?

Wit: yes, about two pairs of sneakers

Def: How big was this bag?

Wit: Usual military bag that can take a few things. At that time, i cared more about saving my life but not clothing

Def: What else was in the bag?

Wit: I can remember that i had my documents, my military ID cards, my artillary documents

Def: Where were they kept in your bag?

Wit: I had some other small; bag that had a zipper, it was in it that i put thoise. I put them in a plastic bag for the rains before putting them in the bag

Def: And by the time you got to Monrovia, it was in the middle of the rainy season right?

Wit: Yes

Def: And youy travelled through the bush right?

Wit: Not through the bush as such. I used the main road and whenever we got to a road bloce, i will send one or two of my mean ahead who will go and assess the road and based on what they see, we might use the bush road.

Def: During the six months, did you ever have to sleep rough like under trees, etc?

Wit: Not at all

Def: Just tell us how big this bag was with all of your belongings.

Wit:First of all, the training that i underwent, i am capable of carrying 50 Kilos for any movement. It was a sizeable bag

Def: How big was it?

Def: It was a sizeable bag. Usually, when you see military men, you see them carrying bag pack. It was sizeable that had straps. Infact, if you sleep anywhere where there is no pillow you can use it as a pillow.

Def: Did you use it as a pillow?

Wit: Once in a while

Def: When you left for Buedu, you said Bockarie told you not to carry many things right?

Wit: It was not Bockarie who told me, it was Marza who told me. I took 4 pairs of Khaki trousers, and a t-shirt

Def: This is a smaller bag than the one you have been describing?

Wit: yes

 Def: Did you ever get the remainder of your things you left with Marza?

Wit: No

Def: What did those remaining effects include?

Wit: More of the things that i had bought at Kerry St. I was fortunate to pack some of my trousers including the one that had the photo. When i got to Buedu, i called Marza on two occasions but he never sent them.

Def: The fact that you took the Khaki trousers with you to Buedu was just a coincidence right?

Wit: It was not. At that time, the common things you will wear are khaki trousers because it was strong so i took that particular one because it was strong.

Def: Did you fight in those trousers?

Wit: As i told you when i went to Buedu, there was a time when i was taking out my things to clean them, it was at that vtime that the picturew fell from the Khaki trousers, so i kept the picture for rememberance.

Def: Are you telling the judges that you kept it for rememberance?

Wit: yes, because when i look at it, if it were not for God’s blessings, i would have ended up like that.

Def: Where did it fall to when you were preparing to do laundry?

Wit: It was in the roomk where i was lodged. I was shaking them to give them to a lady to launder them for me and the picture fell of. Then i took it and kept it for it to be safe.

Def: Where did you keep it to be safe?

Wit: I had some books. I liked reading books to pass time. It was in that book that i put the photo.

Def: Are you wearing the same kind of trousers today?

Wit: yes, although it is not of the same colour

Def: The same kind of pockets?

Wit: yes

Def: Just show us please

Judge: Mr. Witness, stay within the cottons when you stand up please

Wit: Just the same pocket like this. You see this, its an example of the same picture. This is my family picture and its the same picture

Judge: For the records, i will state that the witness showed what looked like army shots with two pockets carrying two pictures

Def: Was it just coincidence that you came in today with the trousers that have photographs or have you been adviced to do so?

Wit: Nobody told me. Ask the people who picked me up at the airport, this is the trousers that i had on from Sierra Leone.

Def: And how long have the photos been in that pocket?

Wit: It was the one i had from Sierra Leone

Def: So they have been in that pocket for a couple of weeks?

Wit: Yes

Def: When you shook you trousers for the laundry, how is it that the photo fell from a pocket that was closed?

Wit: I was searching the pockets to make sure i didnt leave money in it, so i took it out.

Def: You told us earlier on that you shook the trousers right?

Wit:Mr. Lawyer, i enptied the trousers at my own pace, to ensure that nothing was in it.

Def: How long after you secreted this photograph when Marza droped it, how many months had past before you saw it in Buedu?

Wit: As i told you, and according to what i have told this court, you yourself can help me calculate. It was when i returned to Buedu. I cannot give a specific time.

Def: How many months had past from the moment you got this photograph from Marza to the time you saw the picture in Buedu?

Wit: I have told you that according to the statement that i made, you yourself can help me calculate but to say that i can give you a specific time, i cannot

Def: Why is it if you were so careful to preserve this photograph for up to seven years, why is it that in the last two years, you have managed to lose it?

Wit: As i told you, i had a lot of things to do. I had changed two addresses in Freetown ad when you are changing addresses, you can lose things.

Def; You changed two countries, you went to Burkina Faso, into a dungeon, you went all over the place for seven years, and still managed to hold onto the photograph?

Wit: It just happened that i saw it in my pocket in Buedu but i didnt have it in mind to keep it

Def: Are you saying that the reason it is missing is because you changed addresses?

Wit: Yes, i did not lose it deliberately

Def: Are you saying that somebody adviced you to lose it deliberately?

Wit: No

Def: Do you agree that the photo was handed back to you by the investigators?

Wit: That is where i told you that there is some doubt. I am a human being too. For those men to get me, it was not easy.

Def: Do you agree that they handed the photo to you?

Wit: I told you that, i wouldnt want tp say something i nam not sure of. There is some doubt there. I said i saw the pictures with them but they have said they dont have it.

Def: Your honour i am now going to hand out some documents. I am going to start at Tab 1. The Tabs are numbered internally, so each one will start at page 1 bottom right corner.

Judge: Mr. Munyard, you wwill have to be careful because the witness’s name appears in these tabs

Pros: I think we’ll just make sure that the Tabs are not shown on the public cam.

Def: I think that is reasonable.  Let me remind you Mr. witness that you have told this court that each interview was read to you and you pointed out what was wrong and made corrections.  Please turn Tab 2, date Agu. 6, 2007 which is a prepping session with the Prosecution. Do you remember telling Mr. Koumijin that you read and write English and Krio?

Wit: Yes

Def: Is it true?

Wit: Yes

Def: Lets go back to Tab 1 please. Starting on Page 1 of Tab one, interview conducted on 23 and 24 of Mar, 2006 by David Cinningham and Aldred Sesay right?

Wit: I spoke of Mr. David

Def: You also said Alfred Sesay from the CID took part right?

Wit: yes

 Def: The second paragraph gives your history in the Sierra Leone army, four sentences down in tha pargraph says you and other personel were deployed to the Liberian ECOMOG till 1996, right?

Wit: No i told them, there are somethings here that are not correct.

Def: Did you tell them that you were redeployed in 1996 right?

Wit: No, the time written here is not correct. There are also some other areas that i am not satisfied with.

Def: What have they recorded wrongly in that sentence?

Wit: Well, it is where that it stated that i served, there is no specific time, it does not differentiate the time that i served in ECOMOG.

Def: What is wrong with it that you served there until 1996?

Wit: Because i went there in 1996 but it appears here that i worked there before 1996.

Def: Are you saying you did not work there before 1996?

Wit: No, i worked there but it doesnt specify the time that i went there. It just states that until 1996.

Def: Were you working in the ECOMOG force in Liberia before 1996?

Wit: yes

Def: So whats wrong with this sentence that you were redeployed there in 1996?

Wit: Nothing is wrong with it.

Def: Why did you say you were there from Feb. to Dec. of 1995?

Wit: 1996, i left ECOMOG around Dec, that is what i was saying. I was posted back to Kenema.

Def: Dec. 1995?

Wit: 1996

Def: Were you in Liberia at the time of the elections in 1996 in Sierra Leone?

Wit: Yes, it was just after the election that i came to Sierra Leone

Def: And the election finished in April 1996 right?

Wit: I cant remember that now

Def: So you are saying you were in Liberia until Dec. 1996 or just after the elections in 1996?

Wit: I was not in Sierra Leone for the elections so i cant say anything about that.

Def: While you were with the ECOMOG force in Monrovia, did you ever work at the Mansion?

Wit: No

Def: When do you say the elections in Sierra Leone?

Wit: Mr. Lawyer, i cannot give you a specific time. I told you this yesterday.

Def: Tab 2 please. Page 3. Bottom right had corner, these are the hand written notes taken at the time of your interview at Lungi by Mr. Koumjin, you were taken through your first statement line by line right?

Wit: Even the layer who is sitting her will tell you he met me on a pressing job. I was representing a whole unit at the airport. We didnt have enough time so i even thought he will come back the next day.

Def: At this prepping session, your first interview notes were gone through line by line right?

Wit: yes

 Def: After you had given them a bit more information about your history, on Page 3, lets go to the 6th bullet, which says “in 1995, sent to ECOMOG,” who was your commander in the ECOMOG unit?

Wit: Col. Yapo Sesay

Def: So you were under yapo in 1995?

Wit: I was under Yapo

Def: Yapo was his commander upto 1996 right?

Wit: Until the entire contingent was withdrawn

Def: Worked in headquarters and returned to Monrovie?

Wit: The Headquarter was in Monrovia

Def: Including Mansion, do you see those words?

Wit: I did not tell them that.

Def: Go back to Tab 1, page 1, it says you were posted to Freetown until the AFRC took over in 1997 right?

Wit: I said the AFRC overthrow met me in Kenema

Def: But you told the interviewers that you were i Freetown when the AFRC took over

Wit: I did not tell them that, it was their mistake

Def: When the AFRC were overthrown, the army was disbanded by the democratic government

Wit: I told this court that some soldiers remained loyal to the democratic government

Def: Do you agree that it was disbanded?

Wit: I do not agree completely

Def: You told the investigators that the army was disbanded right?

Wit: may be they did not get me right. It was not everybody in the army that was in favour of the AFRC.

Judge: Did the government disban the army?

Wit: yes, that was the president’s statement

Def: You told them that when you proceeded to Congo Town, you stayed with Matilda Johnson?

Wit: That is not a detailed account

Def: Did you tell them the above phrase

Wit: No its not like that

Def: When you told them about Bami, did you tell them that he still had an office in Kenema and Kono?

Wit: It was in Kono. It was Saleh who had an office in Kenema. I can recall that at a point in time, Mr. Sesay and Mr. David went there.

Def: Did they go with you?

Wit: Yes

Def: Did you ever tell them that Bami had an office in Kono, Kenema and was dealing in diamonds with Russians?

Wit: Even right now, he is dealing in diamonds

Def: was he dealing with Russians?

Wit: Even right now, he is dealing in diamonds

Judge: Was he dealing with Russains?

Wit: That was after the war had come to an end

Def: Page 9 please of same tab, five lines from the top,we see bami was with a civilian, something about mining in Tongo between 1997-98, he fled with Bockarie to Liberia during the ECOMOG intervention. Today he has an office in Kono-Kenema-still dealing i diamonds with Russians, is that what you told them?

Wit: It was Bami who was in charge of all government diamonds in Tongo and during the intervention, he ran away to Liberia

Def: Dod you say he ran away with Bockarie?

Wit: yes

 Def: Did you say he was still dealing with Russians?

Wit: No that was after the war

Def: Page 2, para. 6. Bami adviced that he did not trust you because Sierra Leoneans had come to Liberia to see if Taylor was supporting the RUF, that he suspected you of being a Kamajor spy, did you say that?

Wit: No. It is not a detailed account. It was Patricia who called Bami so whether they had that feeling, i did not know. It was Marza who told me.

Def: When did you first learn that patricia suspected you?

Wit: It was when Marza told me that the Sierra Leoneans i met at Freeport alleged that against me.

Def: Page 2, para. 9. four lines to the bottom, it says Marza showed you the photo of the lady and her name is given as Isha right?

Wit: I told you that Marza told me that but i did not know the person.

Def: But you told the prosecution during examination that you did not know the person?

Wit: I said it was Marza who gave me the name. Maybe he made a mistake

Def: Who made the mistake?

Wit: the lawyer

Def: the investigators also say her that they scanned the photo and returned the original to you right?

Wit: That is where i have some doubts.

Def: Para. 10 on same page, they waited for the arrival of Eddie Kanneh and when he did not arrive, Marza and yourself drove to Eddie Kanneh’s place

Wit: We did not drive. It was Marza’s house where Eddie Kanneh arrived.

Def: Are you saying you walked?

Wit: yes, Marza was not with a vehicle at that time and the pub was not far from Marza’s place

Def: Eddie Kanneh and Marza are both important people right?

Wit: yes

Def: Are they got into a heated arguement and took out weapons for each other all about you?

Wit: Not for my sake as such, but it was the order that Eddie gave to Marza and the question he asked him, that was the reason why Marza was angry.

Def: You are absolutely of no importance to these people at this stage right and they threaten to shoot each other over you?

Wit: It was not for my sake as such. A heated arguement erupted between them.

Def: And they proceeded to Yeaten’s house at Whiteflower?

Wit: It was Marza and I that went to yeaten’s house

Def: And Yeaten’s house is at White Flower?

Wit: I said Congo Town, at the back of Taylor’s residence

Def: You told Yeaten that you were presently living with Matilda?

Wit: yes

Def: And you only knew her by the name of Matilda right?

Wit: Matilda Johnson, yes

Def: You have never know her as Matina?

Wit: Its just the same thing, its the same individual, that is just my own pronounciation.

Def: Did you ever know her as Matina?

Wit: Everybody has his or her own way or calling the name. I called her this way and she responded.

Def: yeaten called the police director Joe Taye and asked him to attend at White Flower. Did you tell them that?

Wit: I told the court he was using the VHS set, i do not know whether he called Joe Taye, but the police director came indeed

Def: Did you tell them what is written here?

Wit: No

Def: So what did they get wrong?

Wit: That is at the point where you said he called an individual to come.

Def: Page 11 please, same Tab. fourth para. down. Starts with the sentence “BY asked many questions.” Did you tell them he asked many questions where you came from, where you lived, etc?

Wit: Yes,

Def: And you told him you came to rescue yourself and that you were living with Matilda?

Wit: yes

Def: And BY called the police director?

Wit: No

Def: So they made that up?

Wit: I said an individual came.

Def: Did you tell them the name of the Police Director?

Wit: yes

Def: Matilda heard the conversation so she came to BY’s residence. She identified you to BY. Did you tell them that?

Wit: yes

Def: And BY said if that was true, then the two of you can leeave and comeback the following day. You left and came back the following day with Matilda at 10am. Did you tell them that?

Wit: No

Def: Are you saying they invented that?

Wit: I did not tell them that

Def: What did you not tell them?

Wit: Where you said Matilda took me home and brought me the following day. I was still with BY and he handed me to Marza.

Def: there was not a single word during the interview that you were kept in Yeaten’s guard room for a night right?

Wit: I said so but i dont know if they wrote it

Def: So why did you not point that out?

Wit: They did not read this line to me, to be honest. Look at the lawyer over there.

Def: have these investigators invented the fact that Matilda took you home that night and brought the following morning?

Wit: may be they did not get me clearly.

Def: Did you tell them that Matilda had overheard the radio communication and came?

Wit: They were using the VHS and so many people who heard came around that i did not even know.

Def: Did you tell them that Matilda overheard their radio communication?

Wit; I said they were all monitoring the radio

Def: One last time, did you tell the investigators that Matilda overheard the communication?

Wit: Yes

 Def: Tab 4 please, page 2, para. 14, these are notes supplied to us on Monday of this week, of your proofing with the lawyers there. Did you tall them that Matilda did not overhear any radio communication or have they made it up?

Wit: No

Def: So they have invented that right?

Wit: may be it was a mistake on their part

Def: Para. 13 of Tab 1 deals with you going to the executive mansion and meeting Taylor, do you agree?

Wit: Yes

Def: Go back to page 4 of Tab 2, in the left hand margin, the number 13 has this, that during the war, lots of people died but you were lucky that you stayed alive, right?

Wit: Yes

Def: 14 in the margin on page 4, Foday kallon also fled to Monrovia right?

Wit: yes

Def: Why didnt you tell Mr. Koumjin in August of last year that they Matilta did not take you home but that you were imprisoned in Yeaten’s guardroom?

Wit: To be frank enough, all of the times he met me, i was not able tom concentrate much. Now i can concentrate because of the way you are putting them into paragraphs.

Def: Para. 12 of pagee 3 of Tab 1. Did you tell them this? When they arrived before BY, he adviced them of a new development, that the troops had captured a 40 barrel weapon and two Pan hard tanks from the Guineans, did you say that?

Wit: I said the 40 barrel was from the Guineans and the Tanks from the Guineans.

Break in video and audio transmission.

Def: I apologise. Did Yeaten say they will require ammunition for these weapons?

Wit: Yes, it was because our men captured the tanks without ammunition and that if i had any idea

Def: Were the tanks and the 40 barrel in working order. Were you told that?

Wit: he said Bockarie said they wanted to make use of them, so i knew they were in working order.

Def: Help us with the month and the year when all these happened.

Wit: I cant give you a specific month, but when i was arrested, i passed the night in the guard room.

Def: The very next day, you get taken to the Mansion and introduced to the president right?

Wit: No

Def: We are running out of tiome so i will stop there.

Judge: Mr. Witness, we are now taking the mid-mornong break and we’ll resume at 12:00. Please adjourn court for 12:00