July 7, 2008 Daily Summary Witness’s Relationship with the RUF
Throughout the day’s cross-examination, defense counsel asked a series of questions attempting to establish that the witness was a willing participant of the RUF. Although captured by the RUF in 1991, the witness was rapidly promoted and given access to the inner circles of the RUF. The defense also established that throughout the vast majority of time that the witness was with the RUF, he was living in areas populated by his tribesmen, the Menday, making it easier to escape. Although the witness repeatedly claimed that he did not escape the RUF because he was afraid of being caught, the defense laid the foundation to question the witness’s credibility as to involvement with the RUF. Furthermore, the defense tried to elicit from the witness that being a member of the Black Guard meant that he was tasked with spreading the ideology of the revolution. Such testimony makes it more difficult for the witness to assert that he was passively and reluctantly involved with the RUF.
Witness’s Actual Knowledge of Events
The defense used various strategies to illustrate the witness’s lack of actual knowledge of events. Through the use of a document from Foday Sankoh to Mohammad Talibi, the defense was able to demonstrate that the witness lacked knowledge of what was going on within the RUF. By asking the witness to explain various elements of the letter, the defense elicited that the witness was not with Foday Sankoh during this period and therefore lacked knowledge of the larger picture of what was happening within the RUF. Specifically, the witness could not explain the money transaction being discussed, the arm shipments, or who Sankoh was relying on when he referred to the “other brothers.” The witness’s repeated response that he was not with Foday Sankoh during this period only demonstrated that his actual knowledge was limited in scope.
The defense elicited testimony as to the witness’s limited contact with Charles Taylor. Although the witness had seen Charles Taylor many times, he only physically met Taylor twice. Furthermore, the defense tried to undermine the witness’s testimony connecting Taylor to diamonds by having the witness admit that he never directly gave Taylor diamonds. The witness was simply told when diamonds were transferred to Taylor by a middleman. Furthermore, the witness testified that he was never present in the same room when either Sankoh, Bockarie, Sessay, Karoma, or Yeatan spoke with Charles Taylor. The defense went as far as saying that all that the witness testified to in this Court regarding Charles Taylor and diamonds was simply information given to him from other people. Thus, the defense was undermining the accuracy of the witness’s testimony.
The defense also attempted to discredit the witness’s testimony on arm shipments by eliciting testimony that the previously described shipments were made in territory controlled by LUD and ULIMO. By eliciting testimony of the RUF’s limited control of the area where arms were transferred drew into question whether these ammunition acquisitions actually occurred.
The defense tried to elicit testimony from the witness that he was employing slave labor in his personal diamond mines. Further supporting the possibility that this witness has questionable character was the facts that at the age of 22 the witness had 5 people mining for him yet the witness received the money from selling the diamonds.