Tuesday January 20, 2009
3:00pm: Court resumed and defense counsel Terry Munyard concluded the cross-examination of witness Tariq Maliq. Chief Prosecutor Steven Rapp re-examined the witness and Justice Julia Sebutinde also had a few questions for the witness.
Defense counsel Terry Munyard continued the cross-examination of witness Tariq Maliq. Counsel sought to clarify certain issues relating to documents identified by the witness. Counsel asked the witness about documents retrieved from the Justice and Peace Commission in Liberia. Counsel asked the witness whether he has knowlege of the Justice and Peace Commission keeping copies of every newspaper published in Liberia and the witness said he cannot tell whether that was the case. When asked whether its possible that Ms. Ruth Mary Hackler could have obtained more newspapers from the Justice and Peace Commission than might not have been provided to him, the witness responded that he believed that to be the case. Counsel referenced the newspaper article about NPFL on the rampage against the Liberian Peace Council, another armed group and the witness agreed with counsel that there was no reference to Sierra Leone in the article. Counsel also referenced the a second newspaper article that reported an ambush of civilians fleeing from Bichanan, where 3 civilians were killed and several others abducted. The witness agreed with counsel that this was a result of a clash between NPFL and LPC and that there was no reference to the war in Sierra Leone. Counsel read another newspaper article about Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) members captured in Sierra Leone. In the said article, the writer calls the AFRC the African Revolution Council. Counsel asked the witness whether he noted that the writer could not write well about the AFRC and the witness agreed with counsel. The article states that the AFL soldiers were fighting against the Kamajors in eastern Sierra Leone. When asked whether he knew that Liberian soldiers were fighting for the Sierra Leone army under General Bropleh in the 1990s, the witness said he did not know about that.
Counsel asked the witness whether he normally keeps originals of exhibits that are submitted to him as evidence. The witness responded that it would depend on the person submitting the evidence. He said that some witnesses prefer to just give photocopies to the OTP while keeping the original copies for themselves. He said that in an ideal situation, he normally tries to keep an original copy. Counsel asked the witness about the list of ATU soldiers that were reportedly killed as identified to by prosecution witness Jabati Jaward. Counsel asked the witness whether he could tell where the original source of the evidence was. The witness responded that the evidence was processed by the Evidence Unit but cannot say from the top of his head what the orriginal source was. He said that it is quite possible that information might be in his data base. He said once he checks his data base, he will be happy to provide the information to the court. He explained that stringent rules are applied by the evidence unit to record the source of every evidence that they receive as well as the signature of the person receiving it. He said that some circumstances, however, require exception when the source of the information is impossible to obtain. He said this situation is not unique to the Special Court but applies to all other institutions. He therefore reiterated that there are some documents in his possession for which the source remains unknown. Counsel suggested to the witness that in situations like that, one might not rule out the possibility of forgery.
Counsel asked the witness about a photograph that was shown amd identified by a witness who previously testified with protective measures. The photograph depicted a hacked deadbody. The witness who testified about it said he had carried it with him for several months while fighting with the RUF, before giving it to Alfred Sesay who photocopied it and handed the original back to the witness. Counsel asked the witness why his office had not kept the original photograph. The witness explained that the situation was a typical case of what the person providing the evidence wants to do. He said he cannot say exactly why Alfred Sesay had not kept the original.
That was the end of the cross-examination of the witness. Cheif Prosecutor Steven Rapp re-examined the witness.
Prosecution counsel asked the witness about his role in receiving and identifying the corpse of Sam Bockarie. He explained that Bockarie’s DNA samples were drawn by the patholigist who performed the authopsy and handed it to the witness. He reaffirmed that the samples proved that the corpse was that of Sam Bockarie.
Counsel also asked the witness about the 14 documents that he got from Ms. Caldwell. The witness explained that among those 14 documents were two log books, which were assigned ERN numbers and the letter sent to Taylor that Johnny Paul Koroma’s wife wanted to bid him farewell.
Questions from Judges
Justice Julia Sebutinde also had a few questions for the witness. Justice Sebutinde asked the witness whether he saw an inventory of the documents obtained after the search of the RUF office in Kono. The witness said he did not see any such inventory. Justice Sebutinde also asked the witness whether he saw an inventory of the documents that were handed over to Joseph Wolczynski. The witness said he did not see any inventory personally but that the OTP created a log of those documents that were retrived but since the log was not part of any evidence, it was not handed over to him. Justice Sebutinde further asked the witness whether there was any inventory of the documents retrieved from the Justice and Peace Commission by Ruth Mary Hackler. The witness said he did not know of any inventory in that regard. As regards the documents retrieved from the search of Taylor’s house and office, the witness said no inventory for documents retrieved was given. He said that the OTP had made several efforts to get the inventory, even seeking legal means in court but that has not been successful.
There were no questions arising from the judge’s questions.
Chief Prosecutor Steven Rapp sought to tender some documents for identification. Some legal arguements were heard about the admissibility of said documents and the judges ruled that parties will be heard through motions before any decision is made on the admissibility of the said documents. Presiding Judge Richard Lussick therefore told the prosecutor to submit the documents at a latter date when all parties are heard and a ruling is rendered. That brought the witness’s testimony to an end.
Prosecution counsel informed the court that the next witness, who will commence his testimony tomorrow Wednesday January 21, 2009 will be TF1-168 and he will testify completely in closed session. Court adjourned for the day.