16/03/21 [Liberia] Day 16: The Hearing of Witnesses 17 (continuation), 22, 23 and 24
The sixteenth day of public hearings resumed on 16th March 2021 in Monrovia, Liberia.
Witness 17 is heard
(Finnish Witness ID: Civilian 08)
The Defense questions Witness 17
The hearing opened with the continuation of Witness 17’s testimony, which began on March 8, 2021 (Day 13). The Witness was a medical professional, and he treated patients from the Waterside biscuit store incident, who, according to the Witness, mentioned the name “Massaquoi.”
The Defense resumed its questioning, and sought to clarify the year in which the incident at the biscuit store had occurred. The Witness explained that, from what he gathered from the victims and the patients, this had happened in 2002/2003.
The Witness had started treating individuals who suffered from bullet wounds and other war-related injuries in 2001 – as Charles Taylor’s soldiers started attacking civilians – and continued this throughout 2002 and 2003. The Defence asked specifically whether the Witness heard patients speak about the biscuit store incident in 2003, rather than in 2000 or 2002, and the Witness confirmed this to be the case. Returning to the Witness’ pre-trial investigation interview with the Finnish police, Witness 17 clarified that he had not told the police about anything occurring in 2001 or 2002, because the day he met them some “criminals” stole the Finnish police’s phones, and the Witness was scared for his life. However, he had told them about the biscuit store incident because he knew what happened there was a “crime against humanity” from the patients’ description that they had been in search of food and six people had died.
The Witness recalled that when the victims he was treating told him about the attack, the name he heard from them was “Massaquoi.” He clarified to the Defense that he had indeed told the Finnish police about the incident at the biscuit store. The Witness said that the victim told him about the incident in June 2003. The Witness further explained that he was treating individuals who were injured in different incidents, some of whom told him about an incident at the biscuit store. The Witness stated that this incident occurred before he wrote the letter to MSF, on June 20, 2003. When asked whether he had any information about LURD rebels, the Witness said that the only thing he knew is that everyone was fighting to cross the bridge. The Witness did not clarify whether LURD was fighting on the bridge before or after he wrote the letter to MSF.
The Defense proceeded to ask questions about the patients who were evacuated by the MSF. The Witness explained that people from the Small Catholic clinic in West Pointwere brought to Medlink Clinic in Mamba Point. The Witness recalled that he had administered emergency treatment to patients at his medicine store in Waterside, [Place 2], which had beds for patients. The Judge interjected, recalling that the Witness had spoken of an incident at a biscuit store in June 2003, and asked whether the patients had told the Witness when the incident happened; the Witness said no.
The Defense continued the line of questioning, and asked the Witness how fresh the wounds were that he was treating. The Witness described that the wounds were not fresh, since many of his patients were hiding in their houses during that time, and further clarified that some of the wounds he was treating were two, three, and more than three months.
The Defense then read from the police report, in which the Witness was recorded as saying that civilians were trying to cross the bridge because food and water were scarce, and that people were talking about one man called Massaquoi. The Witness confirmed that he was told this story by the patients he was treating, and clarified that they said Charles Taylor’s forces shot at them for trying to cross the bridge. The Defense asked the Witness about LURD, and the Witness confirmed that the patients had told him about them. The Witness further affirmed that militias shot at the civilians who were looking for food.
The Defense noted that it seems from the summary as if everything took place at the same time, and asked if the Witness thought this. The Witness disagreed, and clarified that there were tens of thousands of residents in Waterside, and he received new patients every few minutes. He explained that he didn’t have time to go and see what was happening outside until he was called by Fokoe, who said he had been shot by the militia and needed help. The Witness recalled that when we went out to go to Fokoe, he discovered the dead bodies. The Witness could not identify whether LURD had attacked, as he couldn’t identify which force it was, and offered that if he had told the police otherwise, it was a mistake. The Witness noted that he treated individuals with wounds caused by bullets and rockets, but that he could only tell that individuals were wounded, and whether the wounds were new or old. He could not tell what type of bullet caused a particular wound. When asked by the Prosecutor whether he remembered when the rocket attack occurred, the Witness responded that it was during the WW1 attacks, but couldn’t say when specifically, because he treated patients from 2001 to 2003. The Witness noted that after the war he changed the name of his medicine store, due to uncertainty whether some former fighters would be accepting of his treatment of patients, and handed it over to his son.
The Defense then asked the Witness whether he remembers marking places on a map during the pre-trial investigation interview, to which he replied that he doesn’t. The Defense proceeded to show a map to the Witness. The Witness recalled that, when he had gone to Fokeo, they had started from the biscuit store, to the Housing and Saving banks, to Mechlin and Randall Street, and that was where Fokoe lived. He stated that was where he saw the bodies, and repeated that this was his first time going out. The Witness said he knew the biscuit store before the war, as he used to shop there.
The Witness was clear that he saw dead bodies at the banks, but not at the biscuit store, as he only heard about the biscuit store from his patients. The Defense recalled that the summary stated that the Witness saw six dead bodies at the biscuit store. The Witness was adamant that he told the police that he had seen six dead bodies: two at Housing and Savings banks; two at Mechlin Street; and two at Randall Street. The Defence queried whether the Witness had himself seen the six dead bodies, and the Witness clarified that the eye witness had told him of it. The Defense played a recording in which the Witness had stated that he saw six bodies at the biscuit store, one body at the Housing and Savings Bank, one body at Micheline and Water Street, and one body at Randall and Water Street. The Witness clarified that he was nervous when he had said that, and made it very clear that he did not go to the biscuit store, but was told about the six dead bodies there by his patients. The Witness admitted that he trusted what the patients told him, so explained it to the Finnish police as though he had been there. The Defense asked the Witness whether it is common in Liberian culture to tell a story that you heard as if you had experienced it yourself, to which the Witness replied no.
Witness 22 is heard
(Finnish Witness ID: Civilian 36)
The hearing then moved from the Waterside incident to an incident that occurred in the village of Kiatahun.
The Prosecution questions Witness 22
The Witness began by recalling an incident where he was captured by a group of soldiers in the village of Kiatahun, where he resided. He did not identify the month, but remembered that it occurred in 2001. The group had included RUF and Charles Taylor fighters. This group captured the Witness; however, he managed to escape and hide in the bush. After this incident, the Witness and many others saw another group from Sierra Leone. This group also captured people, including the Witness. He stated that he tried to escape again, and that the Sierra Leoneans tried to shoot them, but the gun wouldn’t shoot. The Witness explained that “when God does not agree for your life to be taken, it won’t work.”
The Witness stated that some of the Sierra Leoneans spoke Mende, and they said that they were going to burn all of them because they thought the captured people had protection (magical charm). The Witness stated that after all of this happened, they went into the bush again. He identified [FNM-161], [FNM-115], and Zigzag Marzah as part of the group. The Witness reiterated that the soldiers told them they would burn everyone they had captured. He then stated that they killed a man, [FNM-020], in front of everyone before they left. He recalled that they had buried the man in town, next to his uncle’s house The Witness stated that the killer was called “Gibril man” and another name, which were the two names the man was using. He later stated that he doesn’t know the name of [FNM-020]’s killer; however, he knows that the killer spoke Mende, and noted that there is a difference between the Mende and Gbandi tribes. The Prosecution asked the Witness if [FNM-020]’s killer said anything after murdering him. He stated that the killer said, “I have power today.”
When prompted by the Prosecution about the capture of people, the Witness clarified that the soldiers who came to Kiatahun captured people. According to the Witness, they had captured more than 20 people. This included the Witnesses wife, [FNM-021], his brother-in-law, [FNM-023], his mother, [FNM-024], and [FNM-025]. The soldiers had killed them in Kiatahun after capturing them. According to the Witness, the soldiers burned them in a house after the gun would not work. The Witness clarified that he did not personally see the house on fire; however, his sister witnessed it and told him.
The Prosecution then asked the Witness to provide more information about the “Gibril” he had mentioned earlier. The Witness stated that “Gibril Massaquoi” was a commander for the RUF rebels. He was with the RUF that had come to Kiatahun and captured the Witness and others. He said that he learned the name “Gibril Massaquoi” when the rebels came to town, because that was what Gibril’s bodyguards called him. The Witness further stated that Gibril spoke Mende with his bodyguards in front of him. The Witness was able to identify the language because his town was only three hours from Sierra Leo ne. The Witness stated that Gibril was the commander, and that he heard Gibril Massaquoi say that “he was next to God” when they captured the civilians.
The Prosecutor sought to discover whether the Witness had any other family members. The Witness mentioned [FNM-075], his mother’s younger sister, [FNM-076], and his daughter, [FNM-077]. The Prosecutor asked what happened to his captured wife, [FNM-021], and sister, [FNM-022]. The Witness confirmed that they were captured and killed. He clarified that after his wife was captured, she was taken away and never returned. He stated that he had one child with her, who was a young child at the time and was with her grandma. He said his daughter currently attends school in Monrovia.
When asked how he recalls that the incident occurred in 2001, the Witness responded that the war was going on, and while he cannot remember the month, he can recall the year. The Witness later recalled that the dry season was approaching, but he couldn’t recall the month.
The Prosecution then asked if he recalled his interaction with the Finnish police. The Witness answered that the town chief told him that people from Monrovia had come to see him. The Witness said that he later met the police, and aside from them, he had not told any other organization about the incident.
The Defense questions Witness 22
The Defense began by asking the Witness about the Finnish police’s visit. The Witness recalled that the town chief had told him and some others that strangers had come to know how the war went, but the Witness and others were not in town when they visited.
The Witness stated that months passed between the strangers’ first visit to the town and their return. The Witness later clarified that it was three months after they first came, then the virus came. The Witness noted that the villagers were not expecting to see them again, and when the strangers did return, the villagers didn’t know in advance, they just arrived in town. The Witness told the Defence that six persons interviewed them.
The Defense then queried the Witness regarding the identity and nationality of the strangers. The Witness explained that he was not there to see them the first time they came. He was only told that strangers had come seeking witnesses. The Witness then discussed how he came into contact with the police. He stated that the second time the strangers came, they put all the witnesses together. The third time he was contacted was for him to come to Monrovia. He explained that he came to Monrovia by car, and was picked up from Kiatahun by a driver. The Finnish police had made the transport arrangements, giving them the time they would be picked up. There were four people in the car, including the driver. The Witness noted that they were all picked up from different places. The driver first picked up the Witness from Kiatahun, then picked up the others from Kolahun.
The Witness confirmed to the Defense that no one had spoken to him about the incident since 2019. The Defense then questioned the Witness as to whether he remembered anyone called [Employee 1]. The Witness stated that he had heard of the name; however, he did not know [Employee 1], nor has he met him before. He also did not know whether [Employee 1] played a part in his transportation to Monrovia.
Following this interaction, the Defense queried the Witness about discrepancies between what he said during the police interview and now. The Defense pointed out that the Witness had mentioned Monday 13 August as the exact date of the Kiatahun incident, and then proceeded to ask where the Witness got the date. The Witness explained that his remembrance had changed; however, he reiterated that he said 2001. The Defence noted that, had the Witness told the police that the incident occurred in 2001, they would have written it. The Witness maintained that he had told them 2001.
The Defense once again referenced the police interview, noting that the Witness had said no-one was killed. The Witness responded that the Finnish police had seen the grave. When queried again about the 13 August date, and asked if someone might have written it down, the Witness responded that, yes, his brother wrote it down on a piece of paper.
The Defense recalled the Witness mentioning his wife, [FNM-021], and wanted to know if she delivered a child before the incident. The Witness confirmed that she had given birth, and that the child was a month old. He also confirmed that the baby was with the Witnesses mother and not with his wife at the moment of her capture. The Defence referenced the police interview, noting that the Witness had said his wife had given birth only two weeks before being captured along with the baby. The Witness once again reiterated that only his wife was captured, and that baby had died while with him in the bush.
The testimony ended.
Witness 23 is heard
(Finnish Witness ID: Civilian 50)
The Prosecution questions Witness 23
The Prosecution started their line of questioning by asking whether the Witness remembers what happened in his village on the day of his son’s funeral. The Witness stated that, on 7 April, soldiers entered Kiatahun and killed an old man named [FNM-29]. He further elaborated that they left, and then came back again the next day and burned some houses and kitchens. After these events, he was bereaved; as his son had died and they had a funeral for him. The Witness noted that, after the funeral, they went to town and saw a group of armed men arrive. He stated that these men captured Witness 23 and some of his friends, though one of the armed men showed the Witness compassion.
The Witness described how some of the men spoke either Mende, Creole, and Liberian English. As the Witness himself speaks Mende, he was able to understand one of the men say in Mende “we are going to kill all of you that are here.” The Witness noted that some of them were Charles’ Taylor’s men, and that the men were all together. He explained how they tied some of his friends together, “commanded all of them together, the way they used to carry slaves,” and said they should go to Kamatahun.
The Witness added that he had not mentioned a few details to the Finnish Police during his pre-trial investigation interview. Firstly, that after their capture, one of the men hit him on the head with a gun, from which he suffered a wound. The Witness noted that he still has a mark on his head, and proceeded to show it to the court. The Witness further elaborated that, while en route to Kamatahun, fear took hold of him and his friends, because one of the men had told him that they would kill every one of them. The Witness noted that they took the narrow bush road to Kamatahun, not the road meant for cars, and they walked from town to town before getting to Kamatahun. He noted that there were a lot of men calling out their names to the Witness and his friends in order to intimidate them. He recalled that when they got to Kamatahun, they were not in a good condition, but a man approached and introduced himself as [FNM-112] from the RUF faction. The Witness stated that he was separated from his friends; they were kept in a house while the Witness slept with the soldiers. The Witness said they spent a whole day that way, and then were brought back together “in a forum” when the soldiers were about to kill them. The Witness recalled that some of the soldiers would call out their names, but it wasn’t possible to recognize them because of the way they were dressed. The Witness detailed how he and his friends were called into a house; he was the last one, and as he was stepping foot inside, one of the soldier’s colleagues asked the soldier why he was taking the Witness into the house, since he was important to them. This was because he could read and write, which the Witness indicated they had found out that day. The Witness recalled that, after all the people were put in the house, the soldiers set it ablaze. At this point, the Witness started crying, and the Court took a break to allow the Witness to collect himself.
The Witness continued his testimony, stating that 75 people had been captured in Kiatahun, though some escaped. From those remaining, the Witness stated that he was the only one to survive, the rest were “burned down.” Later in the hearing, the Prosecutor asked the Witness whether he remembered some of the names of those who had been captured, to which the Witness responded he could write some of their names if given a pen and paper. The Witnessbegan to write down names, and after writing 16, asked whether he should write all the names he could remember, to which the Prosecutor replied “maybe not now.” The Witness then noted an additional detail that he had not mentioned during the interview: that after they burned down the house with people inside it, they gave him ammunition to carry to Fokolahun.
The Witness recalled meeting Zigzag Marzah and others in Fokolahun, and noted that they were able to distinguish the men from each other by the way they spoke. According to the Witness, there was an attack against the RUF and government forces in Fokolahun on the day they were there. Afterwards, the Witness returned with them to Kamatahun. The Witness stated that there were many people, and he cannot remember their faces, but he remembers the names they were called. The Witness said he left for Vahun with them, and to Sierra Leone, in order to sell a tin of oil, but when they asked him to go back with them, he declined and stayed in Sierra Leone.
The Witness recalled that a lot of massacres took place. He saw RUF soldiers ask people if they need long sleeves or short sleeves; the response determining where they would cut off the hand, and they used a power saw to kill someone in Vahun.
When asked by the Prosecution, the Witness stated that the incident during which one soldier said in mende that “we would kill all of you” was in 2001. He could not remember the name of that specific soldier, but recalled that many people were calling other soldiers’ names in Kamatahun. He remembered hearing the names [FNM-113], [FNM-112], and Angel Gabriel. The Prosecution asked the Witness if he remembered who gave the order to set the house ablaze. The Witness said that it was Angel Gabriel. He recalled that, while this man hadn’t mentioned his name at the time the Witness met them, the Witness knew he was the commander in charge as the soldiers used to salute and pay courtesy to him. The Witness noted that other soldiers had other names for him, but he normally called himself Angel Gabriel and would compare himself to God.When asked by the Prosecution what exact words Angel Gabriel used when giving the order to put people in the house and burn it, the Witness recalled that the soldiers said that if guns can’t kill them, the fire would. The Witness noted that Angel Gabriel was from Sierra Leone and spoke Creole. When asked by the Prosecutor who had hit him with a gun, the Witness replied that he doesn’t know.
The Prosecutor proceeded to ask whether the Witness had heard about any violence against women. The Witness stated that on the day he got captured he saw them having sex with a little girl on the road as they were going. The Witness noted that he heard that rapes happened, but he did not see it happen himself. The Prosecution asked whether there was a particular reason he could recall the date of the incident so clearly, to which the Witness replied that many things make him remember this date.When asked when the next time was that the soldiers came, the Witness reiterated that they had come back the next day to set fire to the houses and kitchens, and then after that they had come back to take them all on Monday 13 August. The Witness said he remembers this because he had written the date on the wall the day they were captured. The Witness explained that he was a teacher, and could read and write, and that he was the “s2” for the LURD rebels and used to be the person writing passes for people entering the LURD rebel areas. The Witness stated that when he returned from Sierra Leone, the date was still written on the wall.
The Defense questions Witness 23
The Witness began answering the Defense’s question by first explaining why he didn’t include some details in his original statement to the Finnish police. He explained that this was due to him being scared at first. The Witness elaborated that when the Finnish police first came, most of the people from his town were afraid of them, as they were white. He recalled that most people were not willing to talk to white people, and some even said that if you did so they would take you somewhere. Despite this, the Witness volunteered, and was one of four people who did so, but one of his friends left. The Witness described that they were taken somewhere for an interview, and that is how he met the Finnish police. The Witness asserted that he had not discussed this matter to anyone apart from the Finnish police. He recalled that, when the coronavirus pandemic started, they thought that the police would not return. The Witness and the Defense went back and forth about the dates when the Witness had spoken with the Finnish police. The Witness stated that the interview took place in the end of 2018, while the Defence noted that the summary says it took place in 2019; to which the Witness responded “every living thing that drinks water can forget.”
The Defense asked the Witness when he was asked to come to court, to which the Witness replied that it was after the interview; a man named [FNM-078] had called him and gave him the information. The Defense asked who coordinated the Witness’ trip to Monrovia, and whether it was [FNM-078]. The Witness noted that there was a vehicle sent to take him from Voinjama to Monrovia. The Witness confirmed that [FNM-078] organised the car to take him from Voinjama to Monrovia. He further elaborated that there were four people in the car that took him from Voinjama to Monrovia.
The Defence questioned the Witness about the name Angel Gabriel, noting that the Witness had mentioned the name “Massaquoi” to the Finnish police, but was now saying Angel Gabriel in his testimony. The Witness explained that he didn’t use the name Angel Gabriel with the Finnish police because he was afraid of going into too much detail, and that Angel Gabriel was his nickname, and he heard the men call him different names. The Defense wanted to focus more on why he mentioned the name Massaquoi during the interview but used the name Angel Gabriel today during trial. The Witness responded that “in my language if they say tie the goat here or there, it’s the same goat”, and reiterated that Massaquoi and Angel Gabriel are the same person. He stated that some used to call him Massaquoi, and others called him Angel Gabriel, which was also the name he called himself. The Defense then asked the Witness why he wasn’t afraid to mention other soldiers such as Zigzag Marzah. He responded that everybody knew Zigzag Marzah, including because he had testified in the Hague. According to the Witness, he saw Zigzag Marzah the first time in Fokolahun. He recalled that it was the first time he saw him, and that he hadn’t seen him since. The Defense asked the Witness why he was scared to mention the name Angel Gabriel but not scared to mention [FNM-161] and [FNM-112]. The Witness replied that there were issues in what he told the Finnish police, as he’d already said, but he told them what he saw.
Referring back to a detail in his testimony, the Defense wanted to know how the soldiers entered the town on 13 August. The Witness explained that war is not the same as it is in Europe, and that in Africa soldiers come “bush by bush’’ until they enter the town. The Witness clarified that this meant that the soldiers entered the town walking.
The Defense noted that the interview summary noted the Witness as saying that the order to burn the house was given to Zigzag. The Witness noted that he did not see Zigzag until Fokolahun. The Defense asked the Witness whether Zigzag was the first commander that he saw. The Witness clarified that the group was large, and he avoided going out into the open. The Witness noted that he was young and afraid, and did not want to draw the attention of the other soldiers, so he used to stick by the soldier that was helping him.
The Witness repeated that he first saw Zigzag in Fokolahun, and stated that, if Zigzag had been in Kamatahun, he did not see him there. The Prosecution asked whether the Witness recalled an incident where only women were burned, and the Witness said he has heard of many incidents, but only stated what he saw, because he does not want to provide hearsay or second hand information.
Witness 24 is heard
(Finnish Witness ID: Civilian 43)
The Prosecution questions Witness 24
The Witness began by recalling an event when soldiers came to her village and she was captured. She stated that, while she did not remember the time, she did remember that many soldiers came to the village. She was with her mother and father in the town when the three of them were captured. They were grabbed and put at gunpoint, and told not to shake. They killed her mother and father in front of her. The Witness later clarified that one of the boys in Angel Michael’s group, who were Sierra Leonean, killed her parents. The Witness elaborated that the boy was following an order from the commander to kill them.
Following this, they left the village and reached another village called Kamatahun. Once they reached the village, the Witness stated that they did not kill her, but she was beaten. When they got there, there were many people and they were put in a house. In the morning, they were taken out of the house and put at gunpoint. One of the boys said that these people would not die even if you shot them with a gun. To this, the Chief responded that he had a solution for this;that they should put them inside the house. The soldiers put them inside the house and set fire to it. The Witness mentioned the person saying “I am the second person after God.”
The Witness later stated that this Chief was Angel Gabriel. When asked by the Prosecution whether she heard his name during the the time of the event, she stated that they were in Kamatahun, that the chief spoke Creole, he would say that he had been sent there to kill, that he would kill anybody who gave him cause to do so, and that he was “Angel Michael” and was not from there. When asked by the Prosecution about the two names, Angel Gabriel and Angel Michael, the Witness stated that it is the same person. When asked whether she saw if the Chief had a weapon, the Witness replied that he used to have a small gun hanging on him. She recalled that they were hiding and if he saw you come out he would order his men to kill you.
When they left Kamatahun, there was more fighting. The Witness stated that they then went to Foya. She said that, since that time, she was not able to go to school, there was no one helping her, she was just suffering. The Witness also noted that she did not go back because she was told they would kill everyone in town and bring new people to live there. The Witness stated that every day she curses the man who gave the order to kill her family. She said that she cannot write like other people her age, because she wasn’t able to go to school, which she would have if her father had been alive.
The Prosecution then asked some clarifying questions. The Witness stated that because it was wartime, she cannot remember how old she was at the time of the incident. Later on, she clarified that she used to cook during this time, and children are usually taught to cook around 15, and by 17 they would be able to cook well; thus, she would have roughly been around this age. After being asked the name of her town, she answered that it was Gbeawuhun. The Prosecution then asked whether the Witness knew if people were killed in Kamatahun by methods other than burning, the Witness responded that once the fire started, she ran away and hid in the bush.
When asked if the Witness remembered talking with the police from Finland, she stated that she did. The Witness explained that the town chief facilitated the contact with the Finnish police. She said she was on a farm, and when they came into town the town chief talked to her as he knew that she doesn’t have a mother or father. When asked by the Prosecution when she had talked to anyone other than the town chief about this event, she replied that “it has been a year before I saw the people.” When asked whether she had spoken with any other organisation apart from the police , she responded that “since the war ended, we have not seen any other person besides the people who entered there”, which she clarified was a reference to the people who interviewed her.
The Defense questions Witness 24
The Defense began their questioning by asking about the town chief who contacted the Witness about the investigation by the Finnish police. The Witness stated that he was the town chief of Bolahun Wahassan District. The town chief told her that the people came to know what happened to her during the war. The Defense then asked clarifying questions regarding what the Witness told the town chief about what happened to her during the war. The Witness explained that she told the town chief the same things she has told the Court today, and clarified that she told the town chief that Angel Michael gave the order to kill her parents, this was the only name she told him. She further stated that she used to hear many other names, including Zigzag Marzah, but couldn’t not remember the other names. The Defense asked if she had heard of [FNM-161] or “Charge the Bush”, to which she responded she had heard those names, but they were not in the group of Sierra Leoneans who killed her people.
The Defense then recalled that in her statement to the Finnish police, the Witness said that it was Gabriel’s bodyguard, ‘Charge the Bush’, who had set the house on fire after Gabriel ordered it. The Witness clarified that there were many soldiers there, making it hard to tell which one had set the house ablaze. She remained clear that she saw the fire with her own eyes, elaborating that the soldiers had something called “charge” which they lit on fire and placed on the roof of the house. The Defense referred to her statement to the Finnish police, in which she said that ‘Charge the Bush’ decided to keep her as his woman. The Witness denied this, saying that they were only beating and killing her people. The Defense stated that in the interview, the Witness said that this did not happen for a long time and they were hearing gun sounds; to which the Witness responded that they were in the bush and did hear gun sounds, stating that maybe it happened.
When asked by the Defense, the Witness stated that she saw Angel Gabriel for one week when they were in Kamatahun, after which he left. The Defence questioned the Witness in detail about the names she used for Angel Gabriel when she talked to the Finnish police. The Witness reiterated that he said his name was Angel Gabriel. The Defence queried, in particular, whether the Witness had known the “Angel” part of his name before she was interviewed by the Finnish police, as she had said he used the name Chief Gabriel. The Defense asked if she only used the full name “Angel Gabriel” after the Finnish police asked if she heard that name. The Witness responded that, at the time the police asked her, since it happened a long time ago, she was unsure whether it was Angel Gabriel or Angel Michael. The Defense asked again whether she had used the name “Angel” before she was asked about it, and she reiterated that she remembered the name “Angel”, and had said Angel Gabriel before saying Angel Michael.
The Defense then asked about the recording where the Witness stated that “her people” were shot, asking who she is referring to as ‘her people’. The Witness clarified that they killed her father and her mother, and they took different groups to Kamatahun. She elaborated that they killed many people, but before they did that, they killed her father and her mother. When asked where she was and why she thinks they killed her people, the Witness said that they were in the house when people came and surrounded it. The Defense stated that, on the recording, the Witness said that her people were shot and she was under the bed at this time, she heard the gunshot, and later saw the bodies. The Witness confirmed that when she heard the gunshot she ran outside, where she saw the bodies of her parents with bullet wounds and blood running from the wounds.
The Prosecution questions Witness 24 further
The Prosecution referred back to their earlier question about what else happened in Kamatahun apart from the burning, asking if the Witness remembers speaking about other events with the Finnish police. The Witness said that she cannot remember now as it has been a long time since it happened. The Prosecution said that in the interview the police wrote down a statement from the Witness where she said that “Gabriel had a woman that cooked for him. One morning Gabriel called the women to him and said she would be eaten” and “he said today you would be my soup.” Following this, the Witness and the other women started to run, stating that while they did not see the actual killing, they all saw the body parts which were sold. The Witness had also said that Zigzag Marzah and [FNM-161] were present when this happened. The Prosecution then asked if this happened, to which the Witness responded that when she was asked if she saw Zigzag Marzah she said no. The Prosecution clarified that they meant to ask if Gabriel called the woman to him and said that she would be eaten. The Witness said that she did not say Gabriel called the women to him, and that she was with them in that group; clarifying that she said that he killed her father and mother and burned the other people.
The hearing concluded and will resume on the 17th of March in Monrovia, Liberia.