26/03/21 [Liberia] Day 21: The hearing of Witnesses 36, 37, 38
The twenty-first day of public hearings resumed on 26 March 2021 in Monrovia, Liberia
Witness 36 is heard
(Finnish Witness ID: Soldier 28)
The Defense questions Witness 36
The Witness began by stating that he was a soldier during the civil war from 1999 to 2000. He was ATU personnel and trained at Gbatala (Bong County); from there he was sent to Lofa County at the end of 1999. His commander was [FNM-126]. The troop he was in was a group of mixed soldiers, Liberian soldiers and RUF fighters who came to train along with them. There were troops that came to help them from Sierra Leone in early 2000; their commander was Sam Bockarie. There were many commanders, but Sam Bockarie was in charge. When asked if he remembered any names of the other commanders, the Witness said that he remembered Issa Sesay, Johnny Paul Koroma and [FNM-161]. Later on in the hearing, the Witness stated that he also remembered the name Superman.
When asked by the Defense, the Witness acknowledged that he did indeed remember someone called Massaquoi. He paused for a while, trying to recall his full name: unsurely, he said it could have been “Jumbeh”. The Witness also added that Massaquoi’s war name was “Angel Michael”. He described him as a slim man from Sierra Leone, who spoke Mende. Later on, the Defense asked about Massaquoi’s English, and the Witness responded that he did not speak English very well, comparing it to Krio. He added that Massaquoi had an interpreter. The Defense asked if the Witness knew what happened to Sam Bockarie in the war. To this, the Witness responded that Sam Bockarie was with them during the war. The Witness described that after Sam Bockarie arrested some Indian troops in Sierra Leone, they did not have sufficient arms; so he disarmed the Indian soldiers. Bockarie then sent the weapons and the people to Liberia. When asked, the Witness said that Sam Bockarie was not alive. According to the Witness, Sam Bockarie died in Liberia “5:00 in the evening”, but he could not remember the date. He said that before Bockarie died, he deployed various commanders in Lofa to different areas.
The Witness stated that Sam Bockarie was killed by Benjamin Yeaten, and that Bockarie was killed “because most of [the] commanders he deployed were doing bad things to Liberians”. His body was brought to Monrovia by a military helicopter, where it was embalmed. [FNM-127] was one of the generals who was on board the helicopter that transported the body. The Witness said he knew this because he was assigned with ATU, so anything in the country, “they would be aware of”. He was not involved in the body’s transportation, but instead only saw it when they brought the body before “the president”. There were only ATU soldiers present for this. Most of the Sierra Leonean soldiers were assigned with “50” and they did not want them to see the body. The Defense then asked if the Witness remembered anyone called “Second God”. The Witness responded that there was someone who used this name, but he died with Johnny Paul Koroma.
The Defense asked the Witness how the Finnish police got in touch with him. The Witness replied that a man named [Soldier 07], who was one of the commanders in Lofa, told him that some people wanted to come and speak with them. [Soldier 07] was the first who spoke with them, and gave the Witness’s number to the Finnish Police. The Witness was contacted a few weeks later, but he could not understand their English. [Soldier 07], who had their number, arranged for the Witness to meet them at a hotel. When he went, he met two police officers who asked him why Sam Bockarie was killed. The Witness then told them that one of the commanders assigned in Lofa, Jumbeh, “was very wicked”. They wanted to kill him for “the same reason they killed Johnny Paul Koroma”. According to the Witness, Jumbeh Massaquoi carried out a massacre in Kamatahun, after which the Witness was sent to arrest him, but he escaped. Some Sierra Leonean soldiers were then arrested by [FNM-126] and given to “50” — he does not know what happened to these soldiers. Referring back to a previous statement by the Witness, the Defense asked if he told the Finnish police that “Gibril Massaquoi” killed people in Kamatahun, to which the Witness responded that he did.
When asked if the name [Employee 1] brought anything to mind, the Witness expressed that he knew the name, but that he has not seen that person. The Defense then asked if [Employee 1] carried on any investigation in Lofa, to which the Witness responded that the Witness was there in 2000 and 2001 but did not see him.
The Prosecution questions Witness 36
The Prosecution asked if the Witness could remember other names for Massaquoi besides “Angel Michael”. The Witness replied that he only recalled the name “Jumbeh Massaquoi”. The Prosecution then quoted a section of the Finnish police’s summary which read: “Because Liberians called him Jumbeh Massaquoi, that’s when he started calling himself Angel Gabriel”. The Witness explained that Massaquoi never wanted people to call him by name, so he used the war name “Angel Gabriel”. The Witness stated that Massaquoi was a commander in Liberia, a colonel, and that “he had men”. After LURD attacked them, they fought for three months. Describing how Massaquoi looked as a soldier, the Witness recalled that he was well dressed, carried a pistol on his side and had a rifle. He had different sets of uniforms, both Sierra Leonean and Liberian.
With respect to the events described in Lofa, the Witness was originally in Kolahun. From there, they were sent to Masambolahun. They also went to Mbabahun, Nyangolahun and many other towns. There was a big town on the main road called Vezala which was the combat town for all of them. When they were not fighting, they would return there. Massaquoi was with them when they were in these towns. When they would attack the towns, they would bring the civilians and leave them with the other people in the town. When asked if Massaquoi was in Lofa all the time or if he went somewhere else, the Witness responded that he did not stay in Lofa all the time. According to the Witness, Charles Taylor sometimes brought these men to Monrovia, and specifically, he sent Sam Bockarie to 12 Houses. The Witness emphasized that Massaquoi was also brought to Monrovia, and that he was living behind Kiss FM. The Witness explained that when a person stays on the war front for a long time, three months for example, they would be brought to town to rest, sometimes for two weeks. When Massaquoi travelled to Monrovia, he drove in a Nissan Hardbody pickup truck which had been given to him. The Witness further stated that Massaquoi also travelled by helicopter because LURD had ambushed their convoy on several occasions.
The Prosecution asked the Witness about the year he spent with Massaquoi in Kolahun. The Witness stated that it was between the end of 2000 to 2001, elaborating that it was the time when Massaquoi carried out “the atrocity” and people were looking for him. They were based in Kamatahun at the time, which was some distance away from Foya. The Witness said that after Massaquoi escaped, he did not know where he went or whether he went to Monrovia, Sierra Leone, or Guinea. he clarified that the last time he saw Massaquoi was at the end of 2001 in a combat camp in Vezala, but he was not sure of the month.
The Defense questions Witness 36 again
The Defense asked the Witness how he came to hear the name “Gabriel” since the Witness said “Jumbeh Massaquoi” during this hearing. He replied that he had been mistaken because so many years had passed — however, he had used the name “Gabriel” during his interview with the police. The Defense replied that the name “Gabriel” was not mentioned in the police interview — but the Witness was sure he had said “Gabriel Massaquoi” and he had also described him. According to the Witness, Massaquoi changed his name because he did not want people calling him by his real name. Sam Bockarie also changed his name to ‘Mosquito’. The Defense asked the Witness about the origin of the name “Jumbeh”. The Witness attributed it to the police mishearing him, but the Defense reminded the Witness that he mentioned Jumbeh earlier in the hearings. Witness 36 responded that he had used Jumbeh because he could not remember that name at first, but “as we were talking I picked the name up”. He then asserted that Angel Gabriel gave himself the name, stating that “nobody give him that name”.
According to the Witness, Massaquoi was not present when Sam Bockarie’s body was transported to Monrovia, as “Jumbeh” was on the run. The Defense pointed out a discrepancy in that statement, that the Witness told the police he was with Massaquoi when Sam Bockarie’s body was transported. The Witness replied that it was a mistake, and that he had only told the police that he was in Monrovia to receive the body and carry it to the President. The Witness also explained that during the four to five month stay in Voinjama, Charles Taylor discovered that the United Nations was looking for Bockarie. Due to Taylor’s fear of Bockarie revealing his secrets, Taylor had told Benjamin Yeaten that he hoped the UN would not find Bockarie.
The Court then played a recording. The Witness was heard telling the police that Charles Taylor told Benjamin Yeaten to get rid of Bockarie so that the UN would not get a hold of him. The Witness also mentioned that they could not kill all the men, so Taylor ordered Jumbeh and Issa Sesay to bring the other men to Kolahun. The Witness also told the police that Benjamin Yeaten gave the order to kill Sam Bockarie since he was “the four-star general for us, he controlled the entire country.” The Witness also described how Sam Bockarie was killed. The recording described the final moments of Bockarie’s life, and how the Witness was with Issa Sesay and Jumbeh when the helicopter came and they carried the body to the funeral home
Following the recording, the Defense questioned the Witness as to his statements about transporting the body of Sam Bockarie. The Witness confirmed that what was said in the recording happened, but that only Issa Sesay was there, as Jumbeh was on the run. According to the Witness, when Sesay carried the body to Sierra Leone, “he was arrested, sent to the criminal court of Rwanda and he stayed there and died”. The Witness asserted that Bockarie died in 2001. Another recording was played, where the Witness was heard saying that “Jubli” as “the operation guy” was asked to “take some other guys and take them to Kolahun”. In the recording, the Witness said that the troops got divided, Jubli Massaquoi with Second God, and Sesay with other people, and they moved to Kortohun. Once there, “they decided to force civilians to dig diamond for them”.
Once the recording was stopped, the Witness clarified that Jubli was sent to Kortohun by Mr Taylor, but the Witness’s role and Jubli’s were different. He added that Jubli’s base was Kolahun.
The Defense then focused on how the Witness got into contact with the police. The Witness reiterated that it was through [Soldier 07]. They had known each other before the war, and during the war they fought together before [Soldier 07] was sent to Foya. [Soldier 07] gave him the number of the people involved and directed him there. The Witness arrived the night before the hearing; however, [Soldier 07] was not waiting for him at the venue.
Witness 37 is heard
(Finnish Witness ID: Soldier 09)
The Defense questions Witness 37
The Witness began by stating that he had taken part in the Liberian civil war from 1999 to 2003 as a member of ATU, the presidential guard force. He added that he had been to Lofa County, Bomi, South-Liberia and Grand Gedeh as a soldier.
When asked about the death of Sam Bockarie the Witness stated that Bockarie had been sent from Liberia to Côte d’Ivoire and noted that he became a wanted man and subsequently began hiding in a motorcade. He explained that Sam Bockarie was sent to Troplay, Côte d’Ivoire, via the San Pedro Highway to a commander by the name of [FNM-128]. The Witness noted that Sam Bockarie was a stranger in Côte d’Ivoire, and that he stayed in Troplay for a month before the BBC began broadcasting his location. After his location was broadcast, he ordered half of the RUF soldiers — who had been fighting with the government forces — to come to him. After the soldiers arrived, Sam Bockarie and [FNM-128] got into a conflict, and [FNM-128] was killed whilst trying to arrest Bockarie. The Witness described the soldiers who arrived in Côte d’Ivoire as “mercenaries” and stated that after [FNM-128] had been killed, the mercenaries got into a conflict with the revolutionary forces. He noted that the revolutionary soldiers believed that the mercenaries had not arrived to help them because they had just killed their leader. The Witness described there being three commanders present at this time; Sam Bockarie for the RUF, [FNM-128] for the Ivorians, and [FNM-129] for the ATU forces.
While this conflict was taking place, Benjamin Yeaten, who was the special security commander, sent a message asking why they were losing territory. Additionally, Yeaten sent for Sam Bockarie to return to Liberia, specifically to Buutuo, Nimba County. After Bockarie arrived, he was told that he had to capture all of the areas that had been lost but Bockarie responded that it would be impossible. The Witness stated that this was a ruse against Sam Bockarie, as he had come to Liberia with almost seven trucks of armed men, which was considered significant manpower. Bockarie was instructed to take a specific route to go to Tabou, Côte d’Ivoire in order to receive his new assignment. All the ATU soldiers in Buutuo were then taken to Toweh Town, to the home of the Vice President. Bockarie then entered Toweh Town with a few of his bodyguards, and an old paramount chief, [FNM-095], told Benjamin Yeaten that Sam Bockarie had arrived. Soldiers began to beat Bockarie, and Yeaten said “don’t beat him, shoot him”. After Sam Bockarie was killed, the soldiers were ordered to take his body to Côte d’Ivoire and leave it there. The Witness explained that he was present in Buutuo when Sam Bockarie arrived, but he was not present when he was taken to Côte d’Ivoire. He elaborated that he was also present when Sam Bockarie was beaten and killed, specifying that he was close enough to see what was happening. He stated that many of the commanders were present in addition to Benjamin Yeaten, including a commander for the Special Forces called “God Father”.
The Defense then asked the Witness if he had heard about a person by the name of Gibril Massaquoi. The Witness answered affirmatively, saying he had spoken to him twice. He elaborated that the first time he had seen Gibril Massaquoi was in a USC camp in Kumgbo, on the border of Sierra Leone and Liberia, and then saw him a second time in Fissiebu, Lofa County. The Witness stated that Gibril Massaquoi was not present at the meeting where Sam Bockarie was killed, and that he did not arrive there later either as he was in hiding because the authorities were angry “with the whole group”. The last time the Witness had been with Massaquoi was in Fissiebu and after then he had only seen him in a car. He added that he had not seen Gabriel Massaquoi at the Vice President’s home.
The Prosecution questions Witness 37
The Prosecution continued by following a similar line of questioning, asking the Witness when he had seen Gabriel Massaquoi in Fissiebu. The Witness had seen Massaquoi in the USC Camp in 2000 and Fissiebu in 2001. He noted that they used to come get supplies on the Old Road in Tarr Town during 2001 as well. The Witness recalled that they used to go to a yellow building between Kailondo gas station and Nigeria House to conduct transactions with the President. He added that an advisor for RUF from Sierra Leone, by the name of [FNM-176], was also involved in these transactions. The goods would be brought from the mansion ground and would be subsequently covered with a tarp, then the men would get in a car in the morning and head to Voinjama. He explained that they mostly carried fuel, ammunition, and cigarettes to Voinjama, and noted that this transport was stopped after LURD forces disrupted the area and stopped them from forming an appropriate base. When asked whether he knew what the transactions with the President were related to, the Witness stated that he was not there to see the deliveries but noted that he had heard people saying that they involved gold and diamonds.
The Prosecution asked whether the Witness saw Massaquoi take part in carrying these supplies. The Witness stated that although he had not seen Massaquoi in the yard when the supplies were brought, when they met in Fissiebu, a car brought supplies to Massaquoi. He added that there was a top commander there by the name of [FNM-130]. The Witness clarified that Fissiebu was the boundary between Sierra Leone and Liberia and that they were responsible for repelling any attacks that occurred beyond Fissiebu. He concluded by stating that, after the death of Sam Bockarie, they were in hiding and did not resurface until they were called.
The Witness was questioned on his recollection of Massaquoi. The Witness stated that Massaquoi represented the RUF and that he spoke English in a Sierra Leonean or British manner, further adding that sometimes he spoke Mende. He noted that Massaquoi was also called “Gabriel Angel” or “Angel Gabriel”, which he believed meant that when he passed by a person and did not kill them, they were safe.
When asked whether Massaquoi was commanding soldiers, the Witness stated that Massaquoi “anywhere he appeared he had voice, because he was working with authority.”
The Witness recalled that Massaquoi had direct contact with President Charles Taylor, along with Sam Bockarie. He said that Sam Bockarie outranked Massaquoi, but noted that when they wanted something from the President, the request was made by Massaquoi. The Witness went on to explain that in December 2000, the ATU forces had lost Voinjama and as a result Massaquoi and other soldiers went to Kailahun to collect additional forces to invade Voinjama. Once there, they called on the government forces to arrive. The Witness noted that Sam Bockarie was not there at the time.
The Defense questions Witness 37 again
The Defense continued by asking the Witness about Fissiebu, and what year he had met Massaquoi. The Witness explained that everyone went to Fissiebu in early 2001, around January or February after losing Voinjama in December 2000. The Defense noted that the Witness had previously stated that he saw Massaquoi in Fissiebu at the end of 2001. The Witness responded that he saw him in 2001, at the beginning of the rainy season.
The Defense then focused on Sam Bockarie, and events related to Côte d’Ivoire. The Witness explained that Côte d’Ivoire had been attacked, and that he did not see Massaquoi during the conflict in Côte d’Ivoire. The Defense noted that the Witness had previously stated that Côte d’Ivoire had been attacked in 2002, and “Chief Massaquoi” and Salami had taken part. After denying this version of events, the Witness reiterated that Sam Bockarie was sent there as a commander and that he had not seen Massaquoi take part in this attack. He recalled the authorities being angry with Massaquoi around the time Sam Bockarie was killed, and added that when Sam Bockarie died, he did not see Massaquoi at the scene.
(A portion of the transcript of a prior interview of the Witness was read out, in which he stated that Sam Bockarie was invited to a meeting at the Vice President’s house in Nimba, and the people present included Benjamin, the Vice President, and Chief Massaquoi. He added that really, the main reason for the meeting was to kill Sam Bockarie.)
The Witness reiterated that the people present were [FNM-161], [FNM-095], and Benjamin Yeaten. Massaquoi could not have been present because the RUF was in hiding at the time. He added that seven hundred Sierra Leonean troops were in fact killed in Sacleapea. After being asked whether he had previously stated seeing Massaquoi show up after Sam Bockarie’s death, the Witness replied that when Bockarie was killed, he did not see Massaquoi. He explained that he had met Massaquoi at the Vice President’s residence and in Fissiebu, adding that he used to see Massaquoi in the motorcade. The Witness recalled Sam Bockarie being killed some day in 2002. He had told the Finnish police that he had not seen Massaquoi there, because their group was accused of “conniving”.
The Defense noted that the Witness had used the name “Angel Gabriel” in the day’s hearing, although in previous interviews he had only used “Gabriel Massaquoi” and “Chief Massaquoi”. The Witness explained that the man’s full name is Gabriel Massaquoi, and that they simply used to put “Chief” before his name. He went on to explain that “Angel Gabriel” was his fighting name, and that the police had not asked him to give every name the man had. He concluded by noting that most fighters had different names, and provided an example that most people did not know the Special Security Director (“50”)’s name was Benjamin Yeaten.
(A recording was played which described the trap which had been set to kill Sam Bockarie. In the recording the Witness stated that the meeting group included the Director and Massaquoi, and that the Vice President had left for a village.)
After the Witness said that he could not recall Massaquoi being present when the trap was set, another recording was played.
(In the recording, the Witness described Chief Massaquoi arriving with additional forces, and noted that Chief Salami and [FNM-161] were the top commanders at the time. The Witness stated that an attack was subsequently launched on Côte d’Ivoire.)
After the Defense noted that the Witness’s previous interview gave the impression that Massaquoi took part in the fighting in Côte d’Ivoire, the Witness reiterated that Massaquoi was not there.
The Defense then questioned the Witness about how he became involved in the process with the Finnish police. He stated that he was put in touch with the police after [FNM-131] gave his number to [Employee 1]. He was then told that the police wanted to meet with him, and he became involved in the process.
Witness 38 is heard
(Finnish Witness ID: Soldier 14)
The Prosecution questions Witness 38
The Witness began by saying he was the special bodyguard to [FNM-161], who was the regional commander in Lofa and was sent there by Charles Taylor. [FNM-161] was a Liberian man, and the Witness was with him both in Lofa and Monrovia. [FNM-161] never had any issues with civilians in that area; however, numerous other officers had problems with civilians whenever they came to Lofa. The Witness listed these officers as Sam Bockarie (“Mosquito”), Superman, Johnny Paul Koroma, Angel Gabriel, and Sierra Leone Devil. According to the Witness, these were the people who killed civilians. According to the Witness, they would label civilians as Sierra Leonean Army (SLA) soldiers and kill them. They also killed refugees. The Prosecutor then questioned the Witness as to his encounters with Angel Gabriel. The Witness stated that he met him several times and knew him personally. He met Angel Gabriel in Yandohun, Kamatahun Hassala and Vahun. The Witness started meeting Angel Gabriel in early 2000 and stopped in late 2001. He described Angel Gabriel as one of the “big men” who brought packages for [FNM-161] to then give to Charles Taylor. They only found out later that the contents of the packages were some diamonds and gold, which were traded in exchange for weapons and ammunition. The purchased arms were sent to towns in Liberia that were extremely close to Sierra Leone, “almost inside Sierra Leone” : Kamatahun, Yandohun and Memolahun. The guns were handed to both Sam Bockarie and Angel Gabriel; however, it was mainly Angel Gabriel who received them because he was the spokesman for RUF. He was also known to the Witness and other Liberians as “Black Friday Master” because he used to kill regularly on Friday.
Angel Gabriel would speak either English or Mende. For example, Gabriel was speaking Mende when the Witness saw him kill [FNM-043]. [FNM-043] and [FNM-093] were the ones who always brought the package to Angel Gabriel. According to the Witness, Angel Gabriel accused [FNM-043] of tampering with the package. That is how the Witness and others found out about the contents of the package. The Defense later asked the Witness how [FNM-043] called Angel Gabriel, and the Witness said he called him “Ngor Massaquoi”, which meant “big brother”.
The Prosecution wanted to know about when the Witness saw Angel Gabriel in Monrovia. The Witness said that it was in February 2001, when Angel Gabriel delivered a package to Charles Taylor. The Witness described Angel Gabriel as being calm whenever he visited Monrovia, and that he occasionally had a motorcade with a presidential escort. The last time he met Angel Gabriel was in 2001. However, the Witness could not remember the month, but added that it was “almost rainy season”. The Witness went into further description, recalling that it was around the time “they clear[ed] Voinjama road” while LURD rebels were based in Voinjama.
The Witness recalled that he was there on numerous Friday when Angel Gabriel killed people. He, along with the other soldiers, would whisper that “Black Friday Master is here“. The Witness then proceeded to mention two primary places where the killings occurred: Combat Camp, and Kamatahun, where he brought some people from Nimhalhun to burn. The Witness stated that it was Angel Gabriel and Superman who burned people, which resulted in [FNM-161] being “vexed with them”.
The Witness stated that he was not present when Angel Gabriel burned people. He was with [FNM-161] in Golahun when Angel Gabriel caught those people. Gabriel took them from a town after a ‘papay’ there had a dream of taking a medicine that prevented him from being killed by a gun. The Witness and [FNM-161] heard about this when they reached Masambolahun. By the time they arrived in Kamatahun, Angel Gabriel had already put the people in a house, including children, and lit the building on fire. The Witness indicated that this caused a rift between Liberian forces and the RUF members, as the latter were meant to be helping, but were instead “cruelly” killing people. Along with Angel Gabriel, the Witness and [FNM-161] met with Mosquito.
According to the Witness, [FNM-161] confronted Angel Gabriel and said, “you are killing my people; you need to stop.” Angel Gabriel then referred to the people as “connivers” and handed a package to [FNM-161]. From there, the Witness accompanied him back to Monrovia. He once again reiterated that Angel Gabriel was the commander who had ordered the burning and was the person whom [FNM-161] was angry with.
The Prosecution then asked the Witness how he remembered that it was a Friday. He explained that they met people praying in the mosque on the way to Sosohalun, but they passed by them and “didn’t do anything to them”. The Witness recalled the year to be 2001 but could not remember the month.
The questioning then shifted to the Finnish police. The Witness told the Prosecution he recalled discussing the same incident with police last year. One day, while he was working, [Employee 1] called and told him [FNM-132] had spoken to them, and told them that the Witness knew about the transactions between RUF and government soldiers. [Employee 1] added that police from Finland wanted to speak with him. He then made arrangements with [Employee 1], who introduced him to the Finnish police. The Witness stated that he has not seen [Employee 1] since then; however, the police have called him twice. The Witness reiterated that it was [FNM-132], with whom he had fought together with during the war, who had given his name to [Employee 1].
Finally, the Witness told the Prosecutor that except for the Finnish police, no one else knew of this due to his fear of arrest.
The Defense questions Witness 38
The Defense began by asking the Witness about [Employee 1]. The Witness said that it was [Employee 1] who directed him to the venue, but he had not seen him. The Witness stated that he met one man and a woman from an organization that provided victim/witness support. He spoke to them at the venue. They encouraged him to speak the truth and told him not to worry; however, they avoided eating with him.
The questioning then shifted to the incident at Kamatahun Hassala. The Witness stated one of the reasons people were killed was because of RUF. They would capture civilians and accuse them of being SLA soldiers, and kill them at combat camp. He also explained again that some people at Kamatahun Hassala were set on fire because of someone’s dream that they had taken medicine preventing them from being killed by a gun.
The Defense queried the Witness as to whether he had told the police about the Kamatahun Hassala incident. The Witness explained that he told the police about the killing that occurred there, especially at Combat Camp. He also added that he thought he had told the police about the burning of people in the house but could not remember. The Defense stated that the Witness told the police that there was a massacre, but he was not present. According to the police summary, the Witness described bodies with slit throats, others chopped in pieces, and others with bullet wounds. The Witness explained that those things did happen, and even if he did not remember to tell the police about the burning of the people, it still occurred.
The Witness explained that what happened in Kamatahun Hassala was not a one-off occurrence. The killing happened continuously until the war ended. With the Defense pressing on the inconsistencies, the Witness responded that if they checked the police summary, they would see that he had mentioned the burning. The Defense replied that the Witness mentioned places in connection to Angel Gabriel but not Kamatahun Hassala. The Witness responded that he had just remembered it and decided to say it, remembering he was a “soldier man”.
The Defense returned to Angel Gabriel and the burning of people at Combat Camp. The Witness explained that Angel Gabriel “used to kill people and rub blood on his juju”. The Defense referenced the police summary, and said that the Witness mentioned houses set on fire during cold nights, but it was at Combat Camp when they put people in a house and burned it. The Witness clarified himself, saying that the burning did not only happen in Combat Camp but Kamatahun as well. He recalled this fact because of the question asked by the Prosecution earlier in the hearing. The Witness also told the Defense that despite not remembering the day they burned people in Kamatahun Hassala, he did recall saying that there were killings in Kamatahun where Superman and Sam Bockarie cut people’s throats.
The Defense asked for clarifications regarding the last time the Witness had seen Angel Gabriel. According to the police summary, it was at a mountain in Lisco in 2002, where generals met to attack Foya and Voinjama. The Witness agreed that this had happened in 2002, but stated that the last time he interacted with “Chief Angel Gabriel” was in 2001. He also said that Angel Gabriel was not with him when he was transported in a helicopter, nor did he know Angel Gabriel’s location at that time. He could not recall telling the police whether he saw Angel Gabriel there. The Witness also did not recall telling the police if he saw Angel Gabriel. He said the people present were “top people”. He added that [FNM-161] was killed in 2002 when he came into town, and that Sam Bockarie was taken to Côte d’Ivoire with some RUF men.
The Defense then asked the Witness about the most intense period of killing during the war. He explained that it was when Charles Taylor stated that “anyone they see in Lofa is a rebel”, which happened a few months after the Voinjama battles. The Defense once again referenced the police summary and said that the Witness had stated that he had often heard Angel Gabriel give orders to kill people, and saw him kill, especially between 2002-2003. The Witness reiterated that the killings were continuous and that the RUF used to catch Sierra Leonean refugees and call them SLA. The Witness then proceeded to explain Charles Taylor’s statement about people in Lofa, stating “let me make you people to understand”. He clarified that LURD rebels came first, and had a leader that they used to call “Mosquito Spray”. The Witness went on explaining that the first time LURD came, they spent a week and left. The second time they arrived, they spent three months. During those three months, LURD took over Voinjama, Kolahun, Foya, Zorzor, and Salayea. The government forces fought and removed them, which resulted in LURD fleeing into Guinea. According to the Witness, Charles Taylor told them to pursue LURD, which is how the Witness entered Guinea for some time.
The Defense wanted to know if Angel Gabriel was the only man Charles Taylor spoke to directly, and the Witness answered affirmatively. He also added that [FNM-161] and Sam Bockarie had direct contact with Taylor. However, Taylor always met them with someone else.
The hearing concluded and will resume on Thursday, 29 March 2021 in Monrovia, Liberia.