Mid-Morning Session: Cross-Examination of Witness Tariq Malik Continues

Monday January 20, 2008

12:00pm: Court resumed and defense counsel Terry Munyard continued the cross-examination of witness Tariq Maliq. Counsel sought to establish how certain documents were obtained and to clarify information contained therein.

Referencing Alfred Sesay’s declaration when he testified in the RUF trial, counsel told the witness that Sesay did not say he made an inventory of the documents taken at Sankoh’s house in Freetown. Counsel said that Sesay said he also did not take an inventory of the documents taken from the CID by OTP or other agencies which examined them. The witness disagreed with counsel and said that in his testimony, Sesay had said that he familiarised himself with the documents. Counsel asked the witness to give him the reference and the witness referred him to transcripts of Sesay’s testimony in the RUF case.

Looking into the various individuals who had contact with the documents once retrieved from CID, counsel told the witness that a Ms. Caldwel had handled the documents but that the witness did not mention her in his declaration. The witness explained that he did not see the need to mention Ms. Caldwel since she only had limited contact with the documents and was not the principal actor in handling them. He said he felt more oblidged to mention those individuals who had a more direct contact with the evidence.

The witness agreed with counsel that the materials were not immediately documented when they were brought to the OTP.

Counsel referenced several discrepancies in certain documents as they related to the authors of reports. Example, there were certain reports that were written by the Black Guard Commander, some signed by the Black Revolutionary Guard and another from the Black Guard.

Counsel also pointed that the documents were originally in one rice sack but that when they were taken to OTP, they were in two sacks. The witness said he could not give any definitie reason why they were put into two bags. He said it could be that it was done to ease transportation or that the one sack got destroyed, etc. He said those were his mere thoughts as to what could have happened.

Counsel also referenced several letters written by the RUF administrative officer Jonathan Kposowa. Counsel drew the witness’s attention to most of the documentas bearing stamps with the word “Party” at the end, such as the United Party or the Revolutionary United party in relation to the RUF.

Counsel also pointed out complaint letters which indicated that senior officers were disciplined for misconduct.

Counsel then moved to the documents retrieved from the Liberia Search, which included searches conducted at Taylor’s house and offices in Liberia. Counsel read from the witness’s declaration that the prosecutor wrote a letter to the deputy Minsiter of Administration and Public Safety in the Department of Justice that Taylor’s house and officers be searched. The witness responded that while the letter was addressed to the Deputy Minister, the request was for competent authorities to search the house and offices, not the deputy minister to personally do so himself. Counsel told the witness he was merely using the witness’s own language used in his declaration.

Counsel referenecd the witness’s statement that OTP was not able get an inventory of documents retrieved from the search. Counsel asked the witness whether there was any request made in that regard and the witness said he cannot say whether any such request was made. Counsel showed the witness some exhibit that had writings on it. The witness said it was not right for writings to be made on the exhibit and that they were definitely not written by the evidence unit.

Court adjourned for lunch break.