Defense notes discrepancies in Kargbo’s testimony

2:30 (3:00 with delay in video and audio):  Court is back in session following the lunch break.  Defense Counsel Munyard continues his cross-examination of Samuel Kargbo.


[Interruption in audio and video.  Video and audio resumes at 3:45, but audio quality is poor.]


Def:  Did you ever see him use it on a veranda?


Wit:  At the side of that veranda.  That is where we always stood.


Def:  Finally, was it accompanied by any larger piece of equipment?  Was there a larger piece of equipment inside of the building?  Something to do with the satellite phone?


Wit:  I did not see anything.  It was only the satellite phone.


Def:  Do you remember speaking to the Prosecution about a call that Johnny Paul Koroma made to Mr. Taylor after the Iranian Embassy incident?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  Do you remember telling them he made the call on a satellite phone?


Wit:  I cannot remember I told them he called through a satellite phone.  I said a land line.


Def:  [Presents bundle to the witness.]  Look at tab number two.  An interview on the 16th of November 2007.  Do you see that page?  Can I ask you before we go to the point about telephones, do you remember the interview Mr. Steven Streeter was conducting with Joseph Saffer, who was interpreting.


Wit:  Yes, I remember.


Def:  The language was English and Krio.  Did you follow the questions in English even though they were translated?


Wit:  I understood more in Krio.


Def:  Also present was Mr. Santorum.  He was the one you told us convinced you to cooperate.  So you had seen him before?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  On that first page, in paragraph one, you’re recorded as saying that in May 1997 a colleague of yours from SLA, named Abo Sankoh, attended your residence in Freetown, expressed dissatisfaction with the government, and advised a coup.  Did you tell them that?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  He said he was dissatisfied with the government, right?


Wit:  Yes, with the government and senior officers.


Def:  And that a coup would be staged, not a demonstration.


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  And you agreed to participate.  Did you tell them that?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  Why were you, who was no longer a member of the SL Army, was asked to participate in a coup against the government?


Wit:  They knew how I was dismissed from the army.


Def:  So they knew how angry you were at how you were treated by the SLPP government?


Wit:  I was not angry, but they knew how I was dismissed.


Def:  And this coup against the government was quite possibly going to expose you to risk of your life, wasn’t it?


Wit:  No.  I never thought so.


Def:  How do you overthrow a government that is being supported by a multinational military force (ECOMOG) without there being some risk of exchange of fire and risk to your life?


Wit:  Well, it was a kind of dissatisfaction that was within the rank and file.


Def:  Second paragraph says that there was no mention of Koroma or Steve Bio.  Who is Steve Bio?


Wit:  I don’t know anything personal about Steve Bio.


Def:  Was Steve Bio an arms dealer?


Wit:  I don’t know.


Def:  They’ve got all this correct, haven’t they?  This is what you told them?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  On another page, the witness was involved in the coup with 16 others, and after the successful staging was appointed as a member of the Supreme Council, with Koroma as chief.  The witness was present when Koroma had a conversation with Sankoh regarding AFRC/RUF cooperation.  Sankoh advised Koroma that he would be sending someone on his behalf to advise on this issue.  Gebril Masakoy arrived for this purpose three days later.  So far everything is correct, as you said it?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  Why didn’t you tell them that Masakoy arrived with telephone numbers for West African leaders?


Wit:  He brought the numbers and gave them to the chairman.  I told the Prosecution.


Def:  Were the notes of the interviews read back to you?


Wit:  No.


Def:  You sure?


Wit:  Yes, I’m sure.


Def:  So they interviewed you on that particular day from 13:30 hours to 16:45 hours (just over three hours) and they didn’t read any of it back to you to correct anything they got wrong?


Wit:  I don’t understand.


Def:  They didn’t read it back?


Wit:  They interviewed me again so that we can go over everything. 


Def:  I’m asking you, did they not in these earlier interviews in Freetown read back their handwritten notes?


Wit:  They did it.


Def:  So when you said earlier they didn’t, that was wrong?


Wit:  I did not say they didn’t do it.  After they compiled everything.


Def:  We know that you were then put through days of proofing in May of this year in The Hague.  I’m only concentrating on the day of your second interview in Freetown.  At the end of that interview, was it read back?


Wit:  After it had been compiled, I can’t recall if it was the very day.  I think it was the following day.  And I said it was correct.


Def:  They missed that Gebril Masakoy gave Sankoh these phone numbers even though you told them that?


Wit:  Well, that is a mistake on their part.  I told them that he brought numbers.


Def:  It’s a mistake on your part as well if they read it back to you and you don’t correct it.  Do you agree?


Wit:  No.  I had told them, and it was not everything that I could recall.


Def:  When they came to read it back to you, did it contain Gebril Masakoy turned up with telephone numbers?


Wit:  If they did not write it, it is their mistake.  


Def:  They read the interview note back to you.  You did not point out that they omitted to write down that Gebril Masakoy brought telephone numbers of West African leaders. 


Wit:  I did not pick that up.


Def:  They then say that the witness was present when Koroma conversed on the phone with Charles Taylor, Gaddafi, and others.  Right?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  It says his call to Taylor occurred shortly after the call to Sankoh and the subject matter of the call with Taylor included planning, supplies, and that an alliance between the AFRC/RUF would work.  And Taylor said he should be notified if there were problems with cooperation from the RUF.  Did you say this?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  The witness believes that Koroma received numbers from West African leaders from Sankoh.  Did you tell them that?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  You said, “we were there when Gebril Masakoy brought them.”  Yet the prosecution failed to write that down, and you failed to point out that error when it was read back to you.


Wit:  It is not correct.


Def:  I am right in suggesting that there is nothing written in this interview saying that Masakoy brought the numbers.  Right?


Wit:  I said that.


Def:  I am right that you failed to tell the Prosecutors that they failed to write what you told them.


Wit:  You are not correct.  The previous one we just read said that.


Def:  I really don’t want to labor this, but if you are saying that it is recorded that Masakoy brought the numbers, please show us.  Will you accept my assurance that it doesn’t appear?


[Interruption in audio.]


Wit:  The way it is written, there is nothing about Gebril Masakoy.  But it says about Sankoh.


Def:  Koroma had a telephone conversation with Sankoh.  You told us that.


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  And Sankoh was under a kind of house arrest in a kind of hotel in Nigeria.  Did you know that?


Wit:  I knew he was in Nigeria.


Def:  And do you agree it looks as though you are suggesting that you think Koroma received the telephone numbers from Sankoh in the course of the telephone conversation.  Do you agree?


[Interruption in video and audio.]


Wit:  I was there when he brought the numbers.  He said there were other numbers about some other leaders that he requested from Sankoh.


Def:  On paragraph nine, others present included other Supreme Council members, Gullit, and others.  Did you tell them that?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  Then it says, with respect to other communications between Sankoh and Taylor, the witness said that the witness was present at Koroma’s house when Koroma made a satellite phone call to Taylor after the looting of the Iranian Embassy.  Is that correct?


Wit:  I said land line.


Def:  So, they’ve got that wrong.


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  Thus far, they’ve missed out Gebril Masakoy and they got wrong that Koroma spoke via satellite phone after the Iranian Embassy incident, correct?


Wit:  Yes.  I spoke about land line.


Def:  If they read it back to you, why didn’t you correct them?


Wit:  This particular one was not read to me.


Def:  That’s not what you told us 20 minutes ago.  Do you want to reconsider.


Wit:  I told them it was a land line.  I did not say it was a satellite phone.


Def:  I’m asking you, why didn’t you point out to them that they put satellite phone.  You just said they didn’t read it back to you.  Do you stand by that?  That they didn’t read it back to you.


Wit:  If they stated it, I would have corrected it.


Def:  Did they read this interview back to you?


Wit:  They read a lot of interviews to me.  I cannot recall.  If they said it was a satellite phone, I would have corrected it.


Def:  When I was asking you about this interview before, you said you thought they read it back to you the next day.  Does that jog your memory?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  So it appears from your earlier answer that they did read this interview back to you.


Wit:  Yes, I follow.  I don’t know if they made the mistake.


Def:  When they read it back to you, why didn’t you correct them?


Wit:  I couldn’t pick it up.


Def:  Why not?


Wit:  I am a human being.  Human beings make mistakes.


Def:  This is a major error, isn’t it?


Wit:  I don’t agree that it’s a major mistake.  It’s a slight one.  All of them are telephones.


Def:  When did Koroma get his satellite phone?


Wit:  I never saw it in town.  It was only after the retreat.


Def:  Did you ever learn from anybody when he acquired it?


Wit:  No.


Def:  Are you not curious to know how Koroma had suddenly managed to get a satellite phone after being pushed out by ECOMOG forces?


Wit:  No.


Def:  Are you aware how expensive satellite phones are?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  I’m not going to dwell on it, but on the 7th and 8th of May of this year, these statements were read back to you so that you could correct them and they were gone through line by line.  In tab number three, we can see that the witness reviewed the statement and made clarifications and corrections.  There are four corrections on one page, three on another, and none on another – the one we have just been looking at.  Do you agree that you have had two opportunities to correct this error and that you failed to do so?


Wit:  Just as I am saying, everyone can make a mistake.  You yourself have made a mistake.


Def:  Do you agree that you have failed twice to correct this error.


Wit:  I cannot say that I failed because I did not write it.


Def:  Alright.  Let’s see some of the other matters that are recorded.  Paragraph 11, you said you present at the Supreme Council meeting when the Magbaraka arms shipment arrived.  Correct?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  At this meeting, Koroma said that the arms would arrive in Magbaraka.  The witness stated that he believed the arms were traveling through Liberia, although there was no discussion of the specific origin of these arms.  Correct?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  There were no Liberians at this Supreme Council meeting.  Did you tell then that?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  Which of these delegations did you say that Lion went on to Monrovia?


Wit:  I forgot.


Def:  I want to summarize some of the rest of this page.  Paragraph 12, during this meeting Fonte Kanu was assigned to follow Ibrahim Bah to participate in the shipment.  The witness stated that Bah was responsible for making arrangements for the shipment.  Bah was not present at this Supreme Council meeting but met separately with Koroma.  The Magbaraka arms shipment arrived a week after the meeting, and you went to the airstrip when the plane landed.  The plane landed briefly, the materials were dropped, and only one person disembarked from the plane.  Did you tell them that?


Wit:  No.


Def:  Did you tell them that only one person disembarked from the plane?


Wit:  No.  I told them about Musa and the others – Fonte and Mike.


Def:  All at that time in November?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  And they managed not to get that down.  Those other two.  Was it their mistake?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  If you turn to tab number five.  When you were here in The Hague and you went through these statements you corrected the one person and you said Fonte Kanu got off the plane also.  You see, you were taken through these statements line by line, weren’t you?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  And we can see in paragraph 10 that you said Fonte Kanu also alighted from the plane with Musa.  You’ve had a thorough opportunity to go over every line of these statements.


Wit:  I did not get that opportunity.  The document was read to me and I was asked questions.  I don’t know if what you are saying and what was read to me are the same.


[Break in audio and video.]


Wit:  I did not pick that up.


Def:  Are you saying that you didn’t remember that when you were going through this in fine detail two weeks ago that you didn’t remember that Mike Lamin walked off that plane with the other two, and that this has just come to you today?


Wit:  As you asked me questions I told you.  At that time, I told you the people who were present.  At the time they were asking me questions about who was present.


Def:  I suggest that Mike Lamin was back at the barracks awaiting these arms.  He wasn’t even at the airstrip.


Wit:  Well, that is your suggestion, but I know he was there.


Def:  If someone said Mike Lamin was back at the barracks, would they be lying?


Wit:  Yes. 


Def:  Now, I don’t want to take you to anything else in that part of that interview.  I want to try to keep if we can to chronological order of events.  Just before we move on, can you help us with this?  In tab number one, do you see on the second page, paragraph 11, the witness states that May 1997, Zagalo approached you stating that a coup should be staged.  You already agreed you said pretty much the same in the later interview.  In paragraph 12, after the government was toppled you were made a Supreme Council Member until November 1997.  You told us that your job was tourism and housing when you gave evidence a couple of weeks ago.  Did it involve housing or was that a slip of your tongue?


Wit:  It was not a mistake.  That was the appointment.


Def:  So the statement about tourism and culture was wrong?


Wit:  Tourism and culture and housing.


Def:  They made a mistake that you didn’t pick up then or in May.  Yes?


Wit:  Just like I said, I can’t tell whether your document and their document are the same.


Def:  These are the Prosecution documents.  They are not ours.  Paragraph 13, in November 1997 he was appointed as commander in Kono where he worked with Ibrahim Sesay.  Did you at some point at some point correct November 1997 to January 1998.


Wit:  No.  It was 1998.


Def:  Who got it wrong in the first interview?


Wit:  It was the one who interviewed me.


Def:  Then it goes on to say that it deals with your leaving Freetown at the intervention and it describes your journey.  On the next page, it says on paragraph 17, once you were in Koroma’s village he began to communicate with Taylor via satellite phone.  You were responsible for security over satellite phone.  Did you say this?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  And did the satellite phone only consist of that small, boxlike structure that you told us about?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  And what does being in charge of security mean?


Wit:  It was kept under my driver seat so when they needed it I would take it from there.


Def:  After the intervention, you already described your journey across Sierra Leone.


Wit:  At first we did not head for Liberia.


Def:  Your ultimate aim was to get out of the country.


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  Which way was the easiest and safest way out of Sierra Leone?


Wit:  Well, when he had joined me, I had understood that Taylor would send a helicopter for us to go to Liberia.


Def:  In fact the Liberia border was where you were not expecting to find pro-government, including ECOMOG, forces?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  You weren’t heading there because Taylor offered a helicopter, but because it was the safest route out of Sierra Leone?


Wit:  No.


Def:  When was this call when the helicopter was offered?


Wit:  It was after the intervention.  It was after that that Taylor said it would not be possible, so we decided to go toward Liberia.


Def:  So you are in Koroma’s village when you had this conversation about the helicopter?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  And that’s the only reason Koroma went to Kailahun?


Wit:  Yes. 


Def:  Was Koroma trying to avoid the RUF areas before that?


Wit:  It was only after the call.  He never had plans to go to the RUF zone.


Def:  Are you saying Koroma was afraid of going to RUF territory?


Wit:  I don’t know.


Def:  You weren’t heading there because Taylor offered a helicopter, but because it was the safest route out of Sierra Leone?


Wit:  No.


Def:  When was this call when the helicopter was offered?


Wit:  It was after the intervention.  It was after that that Taylor said it would not be possible, so we decided to go toward Liberia.


Def:  So you are in Koroma’s village when you had this conversation about the helicopter?


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  And that’s the only reason Koroma went to Kailahun?


Wit:  Yes. 


Def:  Was Koroma trying to avoid the RUF areas before that?


Wit:  It was only after the call.  He never had plans to go to the RUF zone.


Def:  Are you saying Koroma was afraid of going to RUF territory?


Wit:  I don’t know.


Def:  You were with him and his family trying to get out of Sierra Leone.


Wit:  Through Taylor’s call.


Def:  He was reluctant to go through RUF territory.


Wit:  He didn’t tell me.  It was only as a result of Taylor’s call.


Def:  Did you give him your jeep?


Wit:  I was driving him myself.


Def:  What did he have before you turned up with your jeep?


Wit:  I drove him myself.  I went and picked him up.


Def:  And if you hadn’t turned up, he wouldn’t have been able to travel.


Wit:  No.  He would have found it difficult.


Def:  And so you end up in Buedu with Koroma and his family, and together with all your diamonds and his diamonds.


Wit:  Yes.


Def:  Where were his diamonds hidden?


Wit:  I can’t tell.  It was only at the time they broke the briefcase and took the diamonds out that I knew.  That time we were in Buedu.


Def:  You knew he had a large amount of diamonds on him?


Wit:  I never knew that.


Def:  He never discussed with you that he had a stash of diamonds?


Wit:  No.


Def:  How many weeks had you traveled with him at the time you both were discovered with diamonds?


Wit:  That February to mid-March.  I cannot tell the exact amount that was taken from me.


Def:  So they took money and diamonds from you?


[Interruption in audio and video.]


Court will resume tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.