Friday July 18th, 2008: Daily Summary: Cross- and Re-Examination of Witness Jabati Jaward

Defense Counsel Terry Munyard continued his cross-examination of witness Jabati Jaward in open session. Charles Taylor is present. Courtenay Griffiths began by stating that the Defense regards the memo of Anders Beckman with total dissatisfaction and suggested: 1) the Court to order the Registrar for a full inquiry why it was necessary to conduct a strip search of the accused and 2) the Court to order the Registrar to conduct a regular research of detention to investigate whether Taylor performs any illegal activities. The Defense stated that a prisoner can only be researched if (there is the suspicion that) he has prohibited items in his possession. In the research mentioned above the Registrar should investigate whether inspections of Taylor are necessary, in order to prevent repetition of what happened yesterday. The Court conferred. Meanwhile Taylor handed over some documents to Griffiths. The Court did not find it necessary to grant reply to the Prosecution. The Court considered the Special Rules to be applicable (rule 59); the Registrar should conduct a research into these matters. The Registrar asked to be excused before the continuance of the examination of the Witness. Prosecution asked to complete the testimony of the Witness today. 

Influenced by trial?

The Defense asked Jabati Jaward whether he met a number of other Prosecution witnesses in 2007 in Tembe Town, Freetown. Jaward stated that he did not talk with these persons about his contact with the Court. The information was only for the Court, therefore he never disclosed any information to anyone else. Further the Defense asked Jaward whether he followed the trial in the media and the evidence that had been given during the time he was in Freetown. Jaward stated that he did not follow the trial closely, was not aware of every piece of evidence, and was not encouraged to add in things, but heard that for instance Isaac Mongor, senior RUF member, testified. After these two attempts the Defense focused on the money that was paid by the OTP to the Witness. Thanks to that money he could go to Sierra Leone. The Court also paid for and will continue to pay his education fees.

Interview notes

The Defense refered to the cross-examination of last Wednesday, in which the Witness stated that there were ‘corpses on the ground and so on’ when Sylvester rescued him. In the interview notes of August 2007 the Witness did not refer to that. According to Jaward, he mentioned that in the interview, but it is the fault of the interviewers who made the notes that it is not included. They never read interviews back to him. On Wednesday last the Witness stated that he was almost executed for the first time, the Munyard asked if he was also almost executed a second time. Jaward confirmed this and explained that he was arrested while driving a bus full of wounded soldiers for Doctor Makuna to Monrovia. However, he was supposed to be in hiding and not to move. Someone noticed and told Yeaten that he was trying to escape. He was arrested and taken to the base at the order of Yeaten. However, Jungle came to Jaward and stopped the imminent execution. Munyard questioned whether he was such an important person that he was up for execution twice.

High Command

Jaward knew High Command and often spoke with him after he had been rescued by Sylvester. Munyard inquired if Jaward had been aware that High Command was a kind of investigator to Sam Bockarie because Bockarie and his men caused problems to the Ivorian rebels they were supposed to fight with. Sorogaye, a rebel leader from the northern part of Ivory Coast ordered his men to attack Sam Bockarie and Sam Bockarie killed Felix Doe in that fight which caused a war. According to the Defense that is the reason why Sam Bockarie fled into Liberia. High Command went off to a meeting with Yeaten, Blah and others to discuss how to deal with Sam Bockarie and subsequently he went with Yeaten and others to execute Bockarie. High Command shot him dead with a group of ten men some distance away from a village. All this information is not familiar or known to the Witness. High Command neither told him when he saw him again in Monrovia.

ATU – handwritten lists

The Witness was asked if he knew if Sam Bockarie had contact with Charles Taylor. Jaward confirmed this, but added that there was no direct contact. Munyard called attention to the three handwritten lists, all dated 10 March 2002, that were marked by the Witness on 14 July 2008. Jaward was not able to indicate how many soldiers the ATU entailed. The Witness marked the lists also previously, outside the Court. The lists were presented twice to Jaward before he came to this Court and once while in this Court. All three times Jaward received the same set of papers but marked some people differently on the various lists each time. Jaward is now indicating regarding a lot of names that he is not sure whether they are alive or dead. For another number of names he corrected the previous list as he was remembering the nicknames of persons and could therefore identify them. According to Jaward he knows what happened with the people on the lists because he investigated this when he returned to Sierra Leone.

ATU – typed list

The Defense handed out new documentation. On the front cover it had a badge of the ATU. It included a list of ranks and names with a payment rate. On page 24 there is a list of Sierra Leonians and their ranks. Handwritten date is 4-19-03. Also other names are added to these names; these are names of wives. They signed for receiving the payment. Captain Jabati Jaward is included with a rate of USD 80 and not USD 225 as the Witness proclaimed. Jaward is confronted with the fact that he said that these lists were destroyed at the order of Chuckie Taylor. The Defense accused the Witness of lying regarding the destroying of lists and the non-existence of a list with Sierra Leonians. At comparison of the lists it was established that nearly all the names correspond, only a few names are not included in the typed list.

Re-examination in chief by Mohamed Bangura

Bangura tried to lift out some statements of the Witness that would restore his credibility and link Charles Taylor to the situation. He referred to the 16 July 2008 transcript of the Court sessions regarding diamonds. Jaward indicated that he saw Jungle with Sam Bockarie in 1999 dealing with arms and ammunitions in Buedu and stated that the supplies from Liberia got larger; a second supply for arms and ammunition had to be created. The arms and ammunition were coming from Liberia, escorted by Charles Taylor’s security people: Jungle, etc. The diamonds were given to Jungle for the benefit of Charles Taylor. Jaward stated to have been present and seeing the diamonds being given to Jungle. Jaward said not to have gone to Cocopa with Sam Bockarie, but had learned about these facts from his wife and brothers.

The Court had no questions for the Witness and Presiding Judge Doherty dismissed the Witness.

Court was adjourned until 18 August 2008 9:30 a.m.