Tuesday July 16, 2008: Daily Summaries
9:30am: Defense counsel Terry Munyard continued his cross-examination of witness Jabati Jaward in open session.
Arms Trade with ULIMO K
Defense counsel asked witness whether he knew that from 1997 upto the end of the war, ULIMO traded arms with RUF. The witness responded that he did not know of such trade in this time period. The witness said that when ULIMO traded arms with the RUF, it was mainly a barter system of trade in which the RUF gave the ULIMO fighters looted goods in return for arms. Defense counsel asked the witness whether he knew that ULIMO fighters in Lofa County who were not paid their salaries sold their arms to RUF. The witness said he did not hear of that. Defense further suggested that all factions, including ULIMO, NPFL and the Liberian Peace Council sold arms to the RUF. The witness denied any knowlege of this as well. Defense counsel also suggested that Jungle and others could have got arms from ULIMO and sold them to RUF. In response, the witness said that the only source of weapons that he knew of was Charles Taylor.
Defense coinsel asked the witness whether he had said to the prosecution that while Bockaarie received diamonds, he did not know what such diamonds were used for. The witness denied saying so. Defense counsel also asked the witness whether he had said to the prosecution that he did not know if Jungle brought arms to Sierra Leone in exchange for diamonds. The witness responded that while he did not know of the specific diamonds that were given to Jungle in a percel, he know that Jungle had come with arms but that the trick had got stuck close to Buedu.
Defense counsel pointed several inconsistencies in the witness’s written statement to the prosecution and that of his oral testimony in court. The witness stated that while there were certain mistakes in earlier statements he made to the prosecution, he had taken time to correct them when they were read to him. Defense counsel pointed out a protion of the witness’s written statement where he said he had stayed in a hut at Issa Sesay’s house between 1998 to 1999. The witness said that he first stayed at Bockarie’s house, then was later moved to the hut in front of Issa’s house. the witness said that despite this, he still spent most of his time at Bockarie’s house since he was the store keeper there.
Anti-Terrorist Unit (ATU)
Defense counsel asked the witness whether he knew how many Sierra Leone fighters had been recruited into the ATU. The witness responded that he couldnt say how many of them had joined since there were different batches of trainees. The witness, however, said in his own batch, 120 Sierra Leoneans went through the training. The witness said they joined the ATU because they had been told that that was the only way they could earn a living a Liberia and be properly secured there. The witness could not say how many Sierra Leoneans crossed to Liberia as Bockarie’s followers. The witness said that when it got to a time for them to be disarmed as ATUs, their names were no longer on record. The witness said that they maintained a list of Sierra Leoneans who were part of the ATU. Defense said that the list submitted to the witness in court for identification of those allegedly killed by Taylor’s forces contained 189 names while the witness had said that more than 200 Sierra Leoneans had joined the ATU. The witness says he only knew the names of the Sierra Leoneans in his group. The witness added that many Sierra Leoneans in the refugee campss had also joined the ATU. Defense counsel suggested that the witness only added this portion to his testimony so that the number of Sierra Leoneans on the list will add up to more than 200. The witness disagreed.
Attemps to Escape from Liberia
The witness stated that as ATU, there was a time when they went without salaries for about six months. Defense counsel asked why the witness had not tried to escape to Sierra Leone. The witness responded that he tried to escapoe and even held discussions with the Sierra Leonean ambassador but he was afraid to move because the ATUs at the border would have stopped him. The witness said he also could not send his family back except to stay at the refugee camps.
Defense counsel asked the witness whether he knew of any meeting between Taylor and Obasanjo where it was agreed that Bockarie should be prevented from going to Sierra Leone. The witness said he knew of no such meeeting. Defense coulsel took the witness through Bockarie’s trip and activities in Ivory Coast. Defense asked whey the witness and his colleagues had been flown to Ouagadougou airport, instead of another airport which was close to the border with Ivory Coast where they were supposed to fight. The witness said he did not know why the authorities had used that route. Defense coulsel asked the witness whether he knew that MODEL rebels were supported by the Ivorian givernment. The witness said he did not know of that. Defense counsel asked the witness whether he know of information that Bockarie had killed Felix Doe., and that the other rebels had chased Bockarie from Ivory Coast and he had run back to Liberia. The witness said that it was a wrong allegation against Bockarie. He said that it was Taylor who recalled Bockarie to Liberia. Defense counsel asked the witness whether he heard of rumours that Bockarie had tried to overthrow Bockarie. The witness said that Bockarie told him that some other people had told him to help overthrow Taylor but he had refused. When Bockarie was arrested, he had to tell his captors that he will corporate with them and that he moved ahead and informed Taylor about this, who subsequently asked him to return to Liberia. The witness said that whe Bockarie returned to Liberia, he was killed on instructions of Taylor. Defense counsel asked the witness whether he knew Blah was involved in the killing of Bockarie. The witness said no.