12:00pm: Court resumed in open session and the examination of Witness TF1-579 continued in open session.
Prosecution counsel Mr. Koumjian asked several questions about Sam Bockarie’s departure to Ivory Coast, his return to Liberia and his subsequent death.
Sam Bockarie’s Trip to Ivory Coast
The witness testified that in 2000, Bockarie travelled to Burkina Faso. He said Bockarie was there for sometime and that when he returned to Liberia, Taylor ordered him to go to Ivory Coast. The witness testified that Bockarie took several fighters to Ivory Coast. He said that Sam Tua was responsible for recruiting fighters to go to Ivory Coast.
The witness explained the Bockarie and his fighters were based in Danane, Ivory Coast from where they launched attacks against Ivorian forces. The witness said that he was instructed by Benjamin Yeaten to go and join Bockarie in Ivory Coast. He said he made the trip and joined Bockarie there. He said that Bockarie had Sierra Leonean and Ivorian fighters with him in Ivory Coast. The witness mentioned the names of some of the fighters that were with Bockarie in Ivory Coast as Toastie, Jabati Jaward, Vandamme, Yellowman and Idrissa.
The witness said that after two months, Bockarie asked him to take his (Bockarie’s) wife and children back to Liberia. He said he did take them to Monrovia and returned to Ivory Coast with Bockarie’s girlfriend.
The witness later returned to Liberia. He said that while in Liberia, he heard that fighting had erupted between Bockarie and Philip Doe, one of the rebel leader in Ivory Coast. He said that Bockarie therefore retreated from Ivory Coast back to Liberia. He said that Mr. Taylor gave orders to Yeaten that Bockarie and his men should be taken to Yekepa. The witness said that Yeaten returned to Monrovia and ordered him to go and join Bockarie at Yekepa.
Death of Sam Bockarie
The witness testified that while at Yekepa, he obtained permission from Bockrie for him to pay a visit to a neighbouring town. The witness said that while he was a way, he saw Yeaten moving towards Yekepa with a convoy of armed men. He said that his sister also came from the market place and told him about the movement of armed men. The witness said he decided to walk to the market place in order to get a ride from the armed men back to Yekepa. When he got there, he said a close friend of his called him aside and told him that he was a lucky man. The court went into private session to allow the witness to mention the name of the friend who told him he was lucky. When court resumed in open session, the witness explained that his friend told him Taylor had given orders to Yeaten to kill Bockarie together will all his fighters as Bockarie had become an embarrassment to him (Taylor). The witness said he was therefore lucky to have been away because he would have been killed. He said the friend expplained to him that Bockarie and all his men had been killed, including his friend, James Kemu who was beheaded. The witness said that he returned to Segleipie where Jungle confirmed the execution of Bockarie and others to him.
Court adjourned for lunch break.