August 26, 2008
Today Court proceedings took place in private session for the larger part of the day. Charles Taylor was present, in spite of the maximum security measures during transport not yet having been lifted and his Lead Defense Counsel Courtenay Griffiths yesterday stating that his client would not appear in Court while these measures were in place.
Defense Counsel Terry Munyard continued to cross-examine prosecution witness TF1-375, who continued to have protective measures: pseudonym, screen, voice distortion and image distortion.
Payments by the OTP
When Court went back in open session at 15.27 p.m. today, Defense Counsel Terry Munyard showed the witness and the Court a document, being a record of all the money paid to the witness by the OTP (Office of the Prosecutor) and the VWS (Victims and Witness Section) of the Special Court. He asked the witness about a payment of 50 USD the witness received from the OTP on 9 September 2005 for information on investigative assistance. When Munyard asked the witness what information he gave that day to the Prosecution, Court went back into private session for three minutes. At 15.40 p.m. Court was back in open session. The witness agreed that at this first interview with investigators of the OTP he gave them a false name, used a nickname of another person, gave them a couple of names and agreed to speak to them again. For this he was rewarded 50 USD, according to the witness for transportation costs and him “wasting time” with the investigators while he could have made money when having spent his time differently.
This was the line of questioning Munyard maintained for other payments made to this witness: 100 USD each time for interviews on 19 November 2005, 3 December 2005 and 4 June 2006. Munyard established that for all these dates 100 USD was given to the witness for giving information, while the witness maintained it was for transportation and lost wages. Munyard also established that his actual travel expenses were either much lower or even non-existent as the witness was already in Monrovia for other purposes.
The witness claimed to have been at home on 27 July 2006, this being one day after Independence Day in Liberia, while Munyard put before him interview notes from that day, so the witness must have spent that day with investigators of the OTP. Munyard established that there are no interview notes of 14, 22 and 25 July 2006, while payments to the witness by the OTP were made on those dates. Munyard also established that the witness received a total of USD 575 from the OTP almost entirely for giving them information.
In August 2006 the witness was put under the care of the VWS and has since then received payments for transport, rent, maintenance and utilities bills, accommodation, food, lost wages and miscellaneous. Munyard suggested that the witness “has made money of this exercise and continues to make money of this exercise” which the witness denied.
Munyard questioned the witness about three more payments:
13 August 2006: 100 USD for travel preparations, travel documents and travelling;
18 August 2006: 200 USD for giving information (the witness maintained the money was for travelling from Monrovia to Freetown);
19 August 2006: 100 USD for family accommodation and food.
At this point in the cross-examination at 4.30 p.m. Court adjourned until tomorrow 9.30 a.m.