September 22, 2008
Through a series of questions Stephen Smith agreed to the following:
• Sam Bockarie went to Liberia at the end of 1999.
• In 2000 Lansana Conteh was President of Guinea.
• Taylor claimed that LURD (Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy) rebels attacked Liberia from Guinea, while Conteh claimed that the first attack came from Liberia, Smith published an article in Le Monde presenting both views, most likely in late 1999, but cannot remember the exact date as he used to write about two articles a week for that newspaper.
• The US helped Guinea in training their military, specifically the US Marine Corps.
• It was widely reported that the US gave militairy training and other support to the LURD rebels, but Smith did not endorse it.
• In 1999 LURD carried out three attacks from an area close to the Liberian/Guinean border.
• In the press Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was considered to be close to the LURD rebels.
Stephen Smith disagreed when Terry Munyard stated that while being attacked by LURD, the Liberian government had the right to obtain arms illegally during the UN arms embargo. According to him the embargo could have been respected and the EU and UN could have been called upon for help.
Smith disagreed with Munyard that in 2000, when Taylor was President, Johnson Sirleaf had more credit and support in the US than Taylor himself.
MODEL (Movement for Democracy in Liberia)
When asked, Smith explained that MODEL was a rebel group, essentially consisting of Krahn (as was President Doe), also in struggle with President Taylor. They attacked Taylor’s troops from the south east of Liberia near the border with Ivory Coast.
Munyard put before the witness an article in French with an English translation thereof, entitled: “Warlord or Head of State: Charles Taylor makes for indignation” and checked with Smith the translation of several sentences and expressions, as well as covering several points in the article.
When asked Stephen Smith explained that Executive Outcome is a modern mercenary force. Sandline was the organisation prompted into action by the British government. They went on fighting missions against rebel forces, they were paid out of commercialisation of diamond mining in Sierra Leone and were presented as a parallel army defending the regime of President Kabbah. Munyard put before the witness that when Kabbah came to power the SLA (Sierra Leonean Army) was in disarray and they were not being paid. This led to the overthrow of President Kabbah. In 1998 Kabbah was reinstated and he sidelined the SLA. He included others for his defense: Sandline, Executive Outcome and the Kamajors. Smith agreed to this, but disagreed that Kabbah, as Munyard put it, “left the SLA to rot”. He preferred to give Kabbah’s government the benefit of the doubt and considered it to be an interim period to retrain the army.
At 4.30 p.m. Court is adjourned until tomorrow 9.30 a.m.