October 15, 2008
Defense Counsel Terry Munyard continued his cross-examination of prosecution witness Sahr Charles.
Mining and Issa Sesay
In 2000 Issa Sesay was leader of the RUF. Charles has seen Issa Sesay come to his mining area about 20 times that year. Five of these twenty times Sesay was given diamonds in full view of the witness. The other times he came to visit his people and had equipment handed over to the mining commander, officer Med. Usually Sesay’s visits would last about two hours. On days that diamonds were found and Sesay would not come, the diamonds would be handed over to a rebel soldier and the diamonds would be put in a piece of paper. Charles does not know where the diamonds were kept afterwards until they were given to Issa Sesay or if they were given to Issa Sesay.
G5 commander Sylvester Kaieh and UN Peacekeepers
Munyard went back to the subject of the G5 Sylvester Kaieh: Charles confirmed that Sylvester spoke Liberian English and confirmed a prior statement that Sylvester saved a lot of people’s lives.
Zambian UN Peacekeepers were captured in the mango season of, the witness thought, 2001. According to prior statements the witness and others from Tombodu took food to the Zambian peacekeepers. If caught they would be punished by the rebels. Munyard established that this punishment consisted only of verbal threats and being chased away from the area where the peacekeepers were kept. In a prior statement the witness said he took food to the Zambians for about ten times. But in reality it was his wife who took the food to them and Munyard concluded that Charles exaggerated his role in this activity and likewise downgraded the role of the G5’s as a having a positive impact on the punishment of rebels for mistreating civilians and that there is a big difference between warning a rebel and punishing a rebel by death.
Re-examination in chief
Prosecutor Alain Werner conducted a short re-examination in chief. Regarding the evidence of Charles about the G5 Sylvester Kaieh, Werner referred to the transcript of the RUF trial of January 17, 2005, where Charles stated to the Defense Counsel in that trial that G5 Sylvester Kaieh had a sympathetic attitude towards civilians and would try to solve problems: Sylvester would speak to the rebels involved in the presence of the civilians involved, for example the witness, the rebels would tell Sylvester they would stop doing the things they had been doing, but after Sylvester had left would continue as before and even doing worse things than before. This showed that the witness did mention before that the role of this G5 in solving problems was limited.
Defense Counsel Munyard rose and objected, stating that by highlighting this Werner would impeach the witness who one time stated the role of Sylvester was limited and another time stating that, in his capacity as G5 mediator between rebels and civilians, Sylvester saved a lot of lives.
The judges decided that, even though seemingly there might be an inconsistency, it is possible that the witness meant that Sylvester saved many lives in another way in spite of the fact that the rebels did not heed his advice and that Werner simply refuted the statement that the witness had never said before that the rebels would not listen to Sylvester.
The objection of the Defense is overruled and the question and answer of the Prosecution are allowed.
MFI-1a and MFI-b and MFI-2 are tendered as evidence and become Prosecution exhibits P199a (transcripts in open session), P199b (parts of the transcripts in closed session) and P200 (the document with OTP disbursements).
Presiding Judge Lussick thanked Sahr Charles for giving his evidence in this Court and the witness is dismissed.
Prosecution witnesses TF1-195, TF1-206 and TF1-197
Lead Prosecutor Brenda Hollis brought out that the testimony of these witnesses are subject to a pending decision of this Court concerning admission under Rule 92bis.
Presiding Judge Lussick said the Bench would decide on that now and therefore Court was adjourned half an hour early at 1 p.m. until 2.30 p.m.