Liberian Radio Operator Disputes The Evidence Of RUF Radio Operators

Charles Taylor’s 20th defense witness, a former radio operator first in the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) rebel group and then in the Special Security Service (SSS) unit of Mr. Taylor’s government, today disputed the evidence of several Revolutionary United Front (RUF) radio operators, who in 2008 testified before the Special Court for Sierra Leone about radio communications that took place between the RUF and Mr. Taylor’s government in Liberia.

According to the witness, who is testifying under protective measures and is therefore only identified by pseudonym DCT-008, RUF radio operators lied when they alleged in their testimonies that RUF commanders sent regular radio messages to Mr. Taylor about the RUF’s activities in Sierra Leone and that Mr. Taylor and his SSS Director Benjamin Yeaten sent regular instructions to the RUF through the radio operator called Sun Light, who operated the radio communication set that was installed at Mr. Yeaten’s residence called Base One.

In July 2008, a former RUF radio operator, TFI-567, told the court that in December 1998, when RUF rebels dislodged Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) peacekeepers and captured the diamond rich town of Kono, radio communications took place between the RUF radio operators based at RUF headquarters in the Sierra Leonean town of Buedu and Liberian authorities through the radio operator Sun Light, who was in charge of the Base One radio set in Liberia.

When DCT-008 was asked about this today, he told the court, “It didn’t happen so. I have my doubts because Sun Light never visited Sierra Leone to know what was happening there. Sun Light did not give any report on RUF operations…Sun Light did not have any contacts withthe RUF organization. He was only communicating with Sam Bockarie [RUF commander] on behalf of Benjamin Yeaten.”

TFI-567 also told the court that when he travelled to Liberia, together with another RUF radio operator, Memunatu Deen, who was already coordinating RUF activities in Monrovia, SSS Director Mr. Yeaten took them to see Mr. Taylor at the Executive Mansion around 10:00PM on a particular night.

When defense lawyers asked DCT-008 whether he was aware of this, the witness said, “It is not to my knowledge and moreover, Memunatu Deen’s operation in Liberia was very covert, it was secret and the Government of Liberia did not know that Memunatu Deen was in Monrovia and carrying out such operations, and it is not to my knowledge that Memunatu Deen and Benjamin Yeaten went to see President Taylor.”

He also said that he was not aware of “Charles Taylor receiving visitors at the Executive Mansion late in the night.”

This prompted a question from Justice Richard Lussick of the Trial Chamber.  Justice Lussick asked, “Yesterday, you said that in all your time at the Executive Mansion, you never even got to see the president. So how would you know if he received visitors?”

In response, the witness said,  “This is why I said that it is not to my knowledge that the president received visitors late at night.”

“Memunadu Deen never told me anything concerning her visit to the president of Liberia,” he added, noting also that neither Mr. Yeaten, nor any other person informed him of such visit.

The witness also refuted the evidence of another RUF radio operator, TFI-585, who testified in 2008 that when rebel forces invaded Sierra Leone’s capital of Freetown in 1999, Mr. Yeaten spoke to RUF commander Mr. Bockarie. During this conversation, the SSS Director expressed gratification at news of the invasion of Freetown, telling Mr. Bockarie that he’ll visit RUF headquarters in Buedu in two days. Mr. Yeaten also told Mr. Bockarie to turn on his satellite phone as Mr. Taylor wanted to speak with him, the witness told the court in 2008.

Disputing this claim, DCT-008 today told the court, “I am not aware of that. For the time that I was at 50’s [Yeaten] house, 50 never spoke to Sam Bockarie on the radio, infact, 50 never spoke to anybody on the radio, whether for family or government issues.”

He also said that he was not aware of the SSS Director making any trip to Buedu.

DCT-008 also responded to the testimony given by the overall RUF signal commander, Mohamed Beretay Kabbah, who in 2008 testified that whenever an ECOMOG fighter jet left from the Roberts International Airport (RIA) in Monrovia with a target to bomb RUF positions in Sierra Leone, Sun Light would inform RUF radio operators in Buedu that the “Iron Bird” was on the way, thus helping RUF rebels to plan their escape. Sun Light also used the code “448” when informing RUF radio operators about the ECOMOG fighter jet, Mr. Kabbah said in 2008. DCT-008 described this account as false.

“First of all, I do not know the code 448 to be reference to an ECOMOG jet. And when Base One was communicating with Buedu, there was no communication regarding ECOMOG jet,” the witness told the court.

“We had our own code that referenced an enemy plane and it was 15-2. During the NPFL days, when ECOMOG was carrying out air raids against the NPFL, the NPFL radio communication used “Iron Bird” but this was not expedient as it could reveal what we were talking about…and when we went into government, Iron Bird was cancelled and we used the code 15-2.”

The witness added, “Base One was situated in Kongor town in Monrovia. The RIA where ECOMOG was is far away from Base One…Base One had no knowledge of ECOMOG jets. Yes, we could hear a plane when moving but we had no knowledge of where it was going, so the issue of communication regarding the movement of ECOMOG jets never occurred.

When asked by Judge Lussick whether it was “possible for somebody at RIA to get intouch with Base One either by radio or telephone,” the witness said, “Yes.”

“We had a radio at RIA. It was possible,” he said.

The witness, however, said that there was no time that the radio operator at RIA informed Base One that an ECOMOG jet had take off for Sierra Leone.

The witness disputed claims that the RUF used to communicate with Mr. Taylor through Sun Light. He said that Sun Light never had access to the president of Liberia and so there is no way such communications could have taken place through Sun Light.

DCT-008’s testimony continues on Thursday.


  1. This witness is saying,
    ‘it is not to my knowledge’, ‘I was not a ware of’, I was never told, is this guy not suppose to coaborrate previous witnesses testimony, he clearly cannot speak about events he does not know of. I’m glad the judge ask that question, because I was thinking the same thing while reading this witnesses testimony. Not many definitive answers.

  2. Tracey and Alpha,

    I was in Liberia during the month of August 2010, so I was not able to closely follow the trial because internet access in Liberia is still rudimentary. Upon my return I have been trying to bring myself up to date. I am a little confuse over the absence of summaries relating to the prosecution cross examination of Issa Sesay. Did you post any summary on that or can we assume that no cross examination took place?

    1. Dear andrew jlay,

      A cross-examination of Issa Sesay did take place in August. The cross-examination started on August 12 and finished August 26, 2010. Summaries of Issa Sesay’s cross-examination by the prosecution can be found in our daily summaries during this time period – You may have to go through older posts to locate the earliest summary from August 12.

      I hope this helps.

  3. Alpha and TRacey,

    By now you should be aware that Mr. Morlu and his team misled the public about their support for media coverage on this trial back in Liberia. There is no organized media coverage of the trial on a daily basis. Some media agencies do carry clips based on their own determination of the news worthiness of the event.

    This is unfair to the people of Liberia who are interested in following up on this case. Like me, I was in Liberia for 28 days, 2-30 August 2010, and I was frustsrated over the lack of access of information on the trial.

    I did submit a post from Liberia concerning this.

  4. Judge Lussick definitely aggressive toward Mr. Anya and the witness. The only one in Court showing anything but calmness.


  5. How would someone know which country on earth a jet is travelling by just looking at it in the air? You will agree the 911 attack would have failed if this was the case. We all know that this is a make up story, no such radio communication took place between Ruf operators and any member of Mr. Taylor SSS. Military operations are covert the world over.

    Harris K Johnson

  6. The results to the defense’s effort to force the prosecution to disclose an exculpatory statement and an accounting of payments in relation to an individual known alternatively as Prosecution Witness TFl-354 or Defense Witness DCT-097 is pending. Nonetheless, if it is true that the prosecution gave DCT-097 almost $30,000 during the time it conducted interviews with him, it is understandable why Moses Blah, Joseph Zig Zag Marzah, and the like, would come forth and provide whatever information the prosecution requested.

    This gives light to the assumption that perhaps all of the prosecution witness’ were tainted. $30,000 is an ENORMOUS amount of money in Liberia and Sierra Leone!!

    See link:

  7. It is fair to suggest that Global Witness’ statement given to the defense concerning their interview with DCT-097, gives credence to DCT-097 claim that he told Global Witness that the prosecution gave him almost $30,000 in support of his being a prosecution witness.

    Even if all of the defendants being tried by the Special Court for Sierra Leone are guilty, the practice by the prosecution of providing funds to their witness’ other than for logistics to and from court allow the opportunity for unjust enrichment for their testimony.

    See link:

  8. The prosecution in its effort to disrupt the flow of the defense examination of DCT-008 requested that the court force the defense to hand over all summaries’s and records in their possession so that they may prepare for cross examination. After the recess the court held that the prosecution has not pointed to any inconsistencies in the summary submitted in August 2010; a frivolous attempt by the prosecution.

    Court was adjoined until 9 AM September 3, 2010.

    From this response by the prosecution, it is fair to suggest that this witness pose grave danger to the prosecution’s case!

  9. Dear Alpha Sesay,

    I was not logged on during the prosecutions presentation of witness’, and I am wondering whether TFI-567 and DCT-567 is the same person? See paragraph 3 and 5 of your September 1, 2010 post.

    Thank you

    1. Hi Sekou,
      Thanks for pointing this out. It was a typo and the necessary correction has been made already.

  10. What’s going on with this defense witness. Is he contradicting the testimony of prosecution witnesses while confirming key details of their testimony? I think DCT-008 eagerness to expose Yeaten’s role with the RUF might yield rewarding information if explored under cross-examination. Personally, I think DCT-008 thinks something funny was going on between the SSS and RUF without Mr. Taylor’s knowledge. If the prosecution team can form a line of questions which can lead him towards his suspicions, I think DCT-008 may pose a potential threat to the defense team.

    1. Dear Al-Solo Nyonteh,

      My assessment of DCT-008 is that he is probably telling the truth. In relation to Mr. Taylor being aware of all the miniature details of his security team; look at the action his took against his own son concerning his indiscretion.

      I was not there, but judging from the witnesses that have come forth against Mr. Taylor, there were MANY that shared disloyalties with him, and they probably only remained with him until the money ran out. It is my opinion that Moses Blah was forced to testify against Mr. Taylor or face war crimes charges himself. When the defense follower the money trail they will find the tainted prosecution witnesses.

      Nevertheless, DCT-008 does not purport to be a prosecution witness.

  11. Alpha Sesay,
    There are many ways biased journalism is used to influence opinion and once again you have resorted to your most egregious- dialectics . Maybe it just ignorance, but given your leanings and your backers, I’d say it is delibrate. I saw you on television espousing the virtue of Ms Campbell testimony only to be devastatingly embarassed by her testimony. As usual, with the tail covering the_ _ _ you have wimpered into another hyperbolic claim. Why the long intro:?

    Well, in the above caption you state: “Liberian Radio “Operator Disputes the “Evidence” of of RUF Radio Operator”? In the article you do not say what the “Evidence” is. Evidence is something tangible- in this case a ‘Recording, Written Document, Video Tape, Pictures” and more would have all sufficed. You present nothing of the sought, but claim there is evidence being disputed.
    I am not an attorney, but I think the RUF claim would be considered “Hear Say” not evidence, not even the Empirical Type.

    As I said , your grand kids will read your postings one of these days. Make them proud. We know you have to eat, but don’t sell your soul. If your really want to know who is responsible for the war in Liberia and Sierra Leone- take a look at all of the multilteral companies/countries who are coming in and buying your assets- gold, diamond, oil etc., on the cheap. This plot was put in place more than 50 years ago- started with the attempt to limit the area of territorial waters.

    1. Michael A. I am sure you know too that you are talking to some one’s Husband or father! Alpha ‘s reporting is not bais and had never been! what would you be personal about making your case, instead of voicing out your opinion on how you feel about how Alpha’s report appears to you? Look at where I think you are not only being personal, but “insulting”, judgemental, and sarcastic.”As I said , your grand kids will read your postings one of these days. Make them proud. We know you have to eat, but don’t sell your soul;” Your grand kids will also come to read your postings some day and may be worried about how grandpa could possible defend taylor who is responsible, as alleged, for the destruction of so many lives and country! Remember that this is not the only Job Alpha was doing to take care of his Family before taylor’s trial. Alpha is probably better off, and better educated than most on this blog that brag everyday of being so sophisticated! You need to be objective next posting or I will come harder and critical of your objectives on this blog,Michael A! Focus on the taylor trial and free him through your intellectual presentation and not on the messenger, Alpha!

      1. Fallah Menjor,
        Are you related to Alpha? Or, do you think this guy is self defenceless..Please respect Micheals opinion. I also want to say that you should kindly focus oin the trial instead of others opinions. Micheal has the right to critique anything that he may need clarity of…Please Alpha is not your couisin, grandma, nephew, aunty ,.sister or whatsoever relation you are anticipating. Alpha is a very educated and capable human.

        1. Yes, NOKO5, I am related to all African Brothers and closer to those from West Africa. You could possibly be my cousin too, NOKO5, except if you feel better than Fallah because of family root in the past! Taylor is the subject here and not, really, who fallah is related to or agrees with .We will iron out the ethnicity of Liberia later Noko5 after taylor’s trial!

      2. Mr Fallah,

        You make me laugh!you always talk about education,how about intelligent?,i think you are a very intelligent man who is playing devils advocate….sound like a real lebanese in sierra leone/liberia.

        You will no doubt side with the enemies of sierra leone/liberia especially if they come from europe,becuase you will like to think you are one of them doing a job on us!!!Enjoy old man enjoy….hope your grand children don’t think like you!!

        There are so many people in that area that have managed to educate themselves to the highest standard but are proving to be a mere absurbers of knowledge copied!!

        1. I have expressed this over and over CEE that I am proud of who I am and what I believe in, and the cause I take here in the name of the victims of, alleged taylor crimes against my people! If it hurts your feelings, my apologies, CEE.

        2. Yes Mr Fallah,

          most people believe in decency , and also beleive people should be tried for the crimes they commited in the right place for the right crime…not sure why you liberian genere feels sierra leone is the right court to try charles taylor…

          given the evidence so far and as a fairly alerted sierra leonean,if i am going to blame anyone apart from the sierra leoneane already dead or incaserater i will be looking at Gadafi of Libya,Campore Burkina Faso and the ivorian!!!

          You are just following the logic of people that believe they can get people almost in their traditional lynch mob way regardless of the damage it will cost…if they really care they should be helping the liberian create a court in liberia to try Mr Taylor for crime commited in liberia not sierra leone.

          The third parties in the sierra leone war are proven to be many and diverse and Mr Taylor do not seem to have any control,i think the libyan, ivorian and burkinabe have more influence over the RUF…..LET CALL A SPADE A SPADE.

    2. MIchael A

      Your comments can be compared to attempting to shoot the messenger with an empty pistol. There are more than one category type of evidences, you only mentioned demonstrative evidence which includes physical evidence. The evidence Alpha Sesay mentioned were witness testimony which is considered a category of it’s own. There are expert witness that testify their expert opinion and individual whom testify information on events in which they have personal knowledge. My friend before you try to shoot the messenger, please check to see if the gun is loaded.

      This trail is not about who started the war or contributed to the war nor is it about who was involved in the war. The purpose of the SCSL is to bring reconciliation to the people of SL, whom where victims of serious humanitarian crimes due to the war. We can’t rewrite the scope of the SCSL, we can only support their effort.

        1. Sekou,
          I think I agree. I have my own suspicions of Alpha’s summaries but not this one. I think this particular one is fair. Alhough Michael A has stated that he is not an attorney so he probably does not know that testimony of a witness is also the witness’s evidence.

      1. @
        SCSL stated purpose is to bring WHAT to SL? How can people be so easily misled? Reconciliation starts with the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth! Unless and until the world …the world hears what every witness has to say then there can be no true reconciliation. A simple read of the posts on this site reveal just how polarized persons are over the conflicts that were allowed to fester while our good friends who control the SCSL stood by while their kind profited. A conviction of CT won’t do jack for the people of SL…I feel for anyone who lacks this basic understanding of what reconciliation IS.

        I repeat, I am not a supporter or hater of CT. My heart physically hurt when I think about the death, destruction, exploitation and lack of education in countries like SL, Liberia, Rawanda, Ethiopia, Iraq…etc. Sometimes the pain is so great I find myself crying b/c it seems never ending.
        peace & blessings

  12. Micheal, I beg to differ with you regarding the evidence question. Alpha is correct. Evidence do not neccesarily have to be some form of physical. Oral testimonies are also considered evidence, in the prosecution case, we have what you corectly term as “hear say” evidence.

    1. @ all

      Hearsay evidence may or may not be admissable. IF admissable, it is done with a limited purpose BUT not admitted for the trth of the matter aserted. Unless you are a learned fact finder then it is best to refrain from using hearsay evidence to bolster your opinions.


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