Court Resumes After Mid-Morning Break: Examination of Witness TF1-579 Continues

Mid-Morning Session: November 5, 2008.

12:00pm: Court resumed after mid-morning break and examination of TF1-579 continued in open session.

Upon resumption of court after the mid-morning break, defense counsel for Mr. Taylor Mr. Morris Anyah informed that court that after the exemination-in-chief of the witness, the defense intends to make an application for an adjournment in the witness’s evidence in order to allow the defense to do some more work and adequately prepare for the cross-examination of the witness. He said that during such preparation, the prosecution will be free to call up another witness so that there is no waste of the court’s time. Prosecution counsel Mr. Nicholas Koumjian responded that the prosecution will object to any such application as an adjournment before cross-examination will jeopardize the security of the witness.

Mr. Koumjian then continued the examination of the witness.

Payments Received by NPFL Fighters Before Taylor Became President of Liberia

Prosecution counsel asked the witness whether he received any payments as a member of the SSS prior to Mr. Taylor becoming president of Liberia. The witness responded that he did not receive any payments. He said that other SSS officers, however, received some form of payment. These payments, he said, were in the form of food supplies, clothing, boots, etc. He also said that fighters will take things from towns captured at the frontline. The witness said that when Taylor became president of Liberia, the SSS started wearing uniforms.

Witness’s Visits to Sierra Leone

Prosecution counsel asked the witness whether he ever visited Sierra Leone. The witness said that he visited Sierra Leone on three seperate occassions. He said that on his first visit, he went along with Samson Wai and Jungle and that this was when Jungle was serving as ADC to Foday Sankoh. He said that they took along ammunition to Sam Bockarie in Buedu. The witness said he was not in unifrom when he went to Buedu. He said when they crossed into Sierra Leone, Bockarie met them on the way and led them to Buedu with the ammunition. The witness said that he was in Buedu when the RUF commanders from the frontline came and took the ammunition for RUF operations. Witness said he spent two days in Buedu during this visit.

The witness said that he made a second visit to Buedu along with Zigzag Marzah, Samson and Jungle. He said that before they left for Sierra Leone, Banjamin Yeaten took them to a warehouse at Taylor’s residence and gave them ammunitions which they took to Sam Bockarie in Buedu. He said the second trip was made about two months after the first trip. When asked about who Zigzag Marzah was, the witness said that he was an operations man for benjamin Yeaten.  His real name, he said was Joseph Marzah.

The witness said he made a third trip to Buedu together with Samson. He said that this time round, they did not take along ammunition but that they carried clothing, boots, and cigarettes for RUF fighters, which were delivered to Sam Bockarie. The materials he said were given to them by Benjamin Yeaten. He said that when they went to Buedu, Bockarie took them to the Moa River and showed them a war tank which he said Taylor had made a request for. He said that when they went to the Moa River, the tank was on the other side of the river and the ferry was broken. He said that they spent the whole day trying to fix the ferry and that when they finally did, they put the tank on top of the ferry. Due to the tank’s weight, the ferry sank. He said that on their way back to Buedu, they met Issa Sesay and Morris Kallon and Bockarie instructed them to go and fix the ferry. The witness said that he returned to Liberia together with Samson.

Sam Bockarie’s Relocation to Liberia

The witness said that when Issa Sesay and Sam Bockarie had a problem, Taylor invited them to Liberia to settle their dispute. He said that when the problems persisted, Bockarie left the RUF in Sierra Leone in 1999 and relocated to Liberia. The witness said that when Bockarie was leaving the RUF for Liberia, he took along his family members and a huge number of fighters who were loyal to him. The witness said that based on instructions from Taylor, Bockarie’s fighters were recruited into the Anti Terrorist Unit (ATU). He said Chuckie Taylor, Charles Taylor’s son was the head of the ATU. The witness was shown four photos for identification. In these photos, the witness identified several individuals including Zigzag Marzah, Sam Bockarie, Jungle and Abu Keita. When asked about Abu Keita, the witness said that he met Keita in Buedu and that Keita told him he had been a member of ULIMO-K before joining the RUF.

Witness Assigned to Work with sam Bockarie

The witness testified that when Bockarie relocated to Liberia, Benjamin Yeaten assigned him to work directly with Sam Bockarie. The witness said that Sam Bockarie was given a whole compound to live in at the ELWA Junction. He said that the house contained four houses, one of which was occupied by Bockarie and his wife, the other by his mother, the third by his sister and other family members and the fourth by his bodyguards. Other Liberians he said were assigned to work with Bockarie were Samson Wai, Suprise Faiso and James Kemu. He said that they reported directly to Yeaten. The witness said that his own house was located right accross the street, opposite Taylor’s White Flower residence. The witness said that he built a very close relationship with Sam Bockarie during this period. He said that Bockarie confided in him about many issues. The witness said that when Bockarie spoke about Taylor, he referred to him as Chief. He said Bockarie told him about his struggles to keep the RUF alive in Sierra Leone and how he had not benefitted anything in return. He said that Bockarie told him it was Taylor who had invited him to relocate to Liberia. He said that Bockarie told him he had been taking all instructions from Taylor in Sankoh’s absence.

Court adjourned for lunch break.