31/05/21 [Finland] Day 35: New Documentary Evidence

The 35th day of public hearings resumed on 31 May in Tampere, Finland after two weeks in Sierra Leone. New documentary evidence was at the center of day 35’s hearings. 

The Prosecution introduces new documentary evidence

The Prosecution introduced their new documentary evidence to the Court, as composed of three documents. The first document was a Human Rights Watch document from May 2002 which indicated that the Liberian Government and its allies – including the RUF – committed severe crimes and atrocities, such as burning civilians and conducting forced labor. This first document also stated that the RUF and Charles Taylor had been supporting one another in the Sierra Leonean and Liberian civil wars. The second document was a written paper by the Committee of [uncaptured] of the Massacre in Liberia, specifically documenting the Kolahun district. The document reported killings of civilians committed by the RUF between August and December 2001. It also indicated that the Kamalan Hassala village was one of 50 or so villages that had been burned in the same period. The last piece of documentary evidence introduced by the Prosecutor was part 3 of the Sierra Leonean Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report. The theme of this evidence was to highlight the Commission’s distrust of Gibril Massaquoi’s testimony. In its conclusion, the Commission reported that Mr. Massaquoi had been endangering peace in the aftermaths of the Sierra Leonean and Liberian Civil Wars.

Human Rights Watch’s document from May 2002

The Prosecution proceeded to go in depth with each of these new pieces of evidence. Starting with the Human Right Watch document, the Prosecution read page 2 of the report. The Prosecution shared their understanding of what they had just read by saying that the government of Liberia and the militias supporting the government had been guilty of numerous atrocities towards civilians.

The Defense recalled that Mr. Massaquoi had not been named as a member of these militias and that these militias had not been narrowed down to one specific person. 

The Prosecution went on with the report. On page 3, it was said that Charles Taylor bears the principal responsibility of the severe crimes committed in both Sierra Leonean and Liberian civil wars. The Defense underlined that this had nothing to do with their client, Mr. Massaquoi. Referring to page 4, the Prosecution pointed out that there had been multiple transfers of fighters between government forces and the militias. Liberian government forces and the supporting militias have been guilty of crimes committed in the county of Lofa and in the Grand Cape Mount county. Going into details, the Prosecution noted that government forces had hunted civilians who were hiding in the woods. Civilians have been killed, tortured, sexually abused, and burned in houses. Others were forced to carry weapons and ammunition. “All of these, in the meaning of what the defendant has been prosecuted by the Prosecutor”.

The Defense responded that these were general statements that didn’t refer to the RUF specifically.

The Prosecution explained that according to the report, in July 2001 the AFL collected hundreds of civilians and burned at least 15 of them in Kamatahun. In addition, Gbandi civilians hiding in the bush were gathered and brought to Kamatahun in September 2001. Thirty of them were burned in a house. In October 2001, AFL soldiers captured some civilians hiding in the bush. They forced them to carry ammunition and weapons to Vahun. 

The Defense retorted that there were no references to the RUF, only to the AFL. The Defense insisted that there was no evidence that Mr. Massaquoi had been commanding AFL troops and therefore, this new evidence was making the case that their client was innocent, because the RUF had not been mentioned in the evidence. 

The Prosecution continued the presentation of the report. They stated that the Government and militias had also been responsible for widespread looting in towns and villages that they occupied. Local residents were often forced to carry ammunition and weapons. The Defense stated that this did not relate to the RUF or Mr. Massaquoi. Continuing with the report, the Prosecution indicated that in 1997 Charles Taylor created two paramilitary security forces: the ATU (Anti-Terrorist Unit, led by the president’s son, Chuckie Taylor) and the SSS (Special Security Service, led by Benjamin Yeaten). They reported directly to Taylor and committed atrocities with impunity. The Prosecution said that the militias were also believed to have included former members of RUF, “many of whom crossed into Liberia during and after the disarmament process in Sierra Leone.” 

The Defense argued that the report didn’t refer to Mr. Massaquoi, and he did not act in that way.

The Prosecution then explained that the various militias and security agencies had extensive powers, poorly defined mandates and overlapping functions. They described that the situation had resulted in a “jockeying for power” between the groups in addition to a complete lack of accountability.  The Prosecution then referred to page 9 of the report, which concerned Charles Taylor. It stated that the NPFL had provided significant support to Foday Sankoh’s RUF during the first Liberian civil war. As an acknowledgment, the RUF participated in the war in Liberia in 2000-2001. 

The Defense qualified these elements as “general history from the 90s”, adding that the report didn’t mention the RUF’s involvement in Liberia in the years 2002-2003 which would be significant for this case. The Prosecution indicated that the report was from May 2002; thence, it could not include the years mentioned by the Defense. 

The Prosecution moved to pages written by Binafeir Nowrojee (counsel) and FNM-226 (researcher in HRW Africa Division). The Prosecution explained that the authors conducted interviews. A man from Popalahun indicated that many Gbandi civilians had been taken to Kamatahun and killed. More than 30 civilians burned in their houses. 15 had been executed by the order of Commander “Zizemaza”. The authors explained that these executions were based on the thought that these civilians supported the LURD. 

The Defense replied that these executions referred to the man Zigzag Marzah – who was mentioned in previous hearings – but in no instance referred to the defendant Mr. Massaquoi. The Prosecution retorted that there was no mention of Zigzag Marzah in the report either, adding that one cannot assume that “Zizemaza” means Zigzag Marzah. The Defense answered that there was no mention of Massaquoi either, which the Prosecution agreed with. 

The Prosecution then referred to an interview of a Gbandi woman. She reported that she had witnessed AFL soldiers abducting women and girls, burning down houses with people inside, and looting. The Prosecution proceeded to quote the interview that included a mention of a “Colonel Zizemara”. The Defense noted that no mention was made of Massaquoi, nor “Gibril”, nor “Angel Massaquoi”. 

The Prosecution turned to page 21 and invoked a description made by a university student regarding his arrest in February 2002 in Monrovia. The student and his mother were accused of being terrorists and money was required for their release. They were placed in cells. The Prosecution explained that this example tells the court about the security situation in Monrovia at that time. The Defense remarked that while it referred to ‘problematic’ policing, it only referred to 2002 and not 2003, did not mention militias or looting, and in no case referred to the RUF nor the defendant. 

The Massacre in Liberia report

The Prosecution referred to a section which reported an example of a massacre in the Kolahun district, with a long list of victims massacred in Kamatahun. The report indicated that several families were cold-bloodedly killed between August and December 2001. The report also reveals that 54 villages were burned down. In one interview, a thirty year old man, FNM-227, declares that his family was killed on 10 November 2001. Reading an excerpt of the interview, the Prosecution explained that the man was captured in his hometown Kiatahun and separated from the others, who were burned and died. The man was spared because the soldiers forced him to join the forces of Charles Taylor, which he did but later escaped to Sierra Leone.

The Defense countered that before the Prosecution was referring to September 2001 in Kamatahun and that now they mentioned November. The Defense added that there was still no mention of RUF, nor the defendant, only a certain “Zizemara”. The Defense clarified that “Zizemara” in no way referred to Mr. Massaquoi. The Prosecution insisted that the report didn’t refer to Zigzag Marzah, as there was no mention of him.  

The Sierra Leonean Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report

The Prosecution began with section 1150 of the report, which focused on the UNAMSIL hostage-taking and the responsibilities for the deterioration of the security situation in Sierra Leone. The Prosecution noted that this section is one of multiple in which the Commission wrote that they treated the testimony of Massaquoi with “extreme caution”. Massaquoi was described as an enigma in the RUF to those who were in contact with him throughout the war. The Commission demonstrates that during his testimony, Massaquoi deflected questions regarding his own role in combat operations and maintained that he was working with Foday Sankoh on an administrative level. However, in section 1151, numerous testimonies from the defendant’s former RUF colleagues said that Massaquoi fought fiercely at the front when he was away from the public eye. According to those testimonies, Massaquoi commanded several units of combatants during phases when vital military operations were being conducted, particularly as Target Commander on the Southern Front and as a Battalion Commander during the guerrilla warfare phase.

The Defense responded that these actions referred to events that occurred in Sierra Leone. In addition, the Defense doubted that these allegations reflected Massaquoi’s nature. They did not show that the defendant was guilty of the alleged crimes. Regarding the deflecting answers of Massaquoi, the Defense said that the context of the interviews – when the special court was about to be founded – had certainly influenced and affected the defendant; however, it didn’t show that Mr. Massaquoi is guilty of what has been described by the Prosecution.

In section 1153, it was reported that Massaquoi admitted that one of his roles consisted in fighting but downplayed the importance it had had for the RUF. Massaquoi also declared that Issa Sesay gave him diamonds, which he then brought to Sankoh. The Defense noted that Sankoh was arrested in May of 2000, and hence this section could only be referring to events before that date. Furthermore, in their conclusion of section 1154, the Commission estimated that Massaquoi acted dishonestly and without integrity during the UNAMSIL hostage-taking crisis. The Commission noted that he misrepresented the situation on the ground as it was reported to him. His motives for doing so were most likely premised upon his strained personal relationship with the field commanders in question and his enduring tendency to manipulate Foday Sankoh. 

The Defense qualified these statements as “acts of a politician”, and argued that the statements only reflect the Commission’s opinion of Massaquoi’s actions. The Defense added that those actions occurred before the peace delegation was sent to Monrovia.

In section 1155 of the report – The Prosecution went on – Massaquoi’s role is afforded special attention. Massaquoi acted as the spokesperson for the RUF and conveyed statements to a national and international audience. Moreover, Massaquoi was the conduit of information between Sankoh and RUF.

The Defense conceded that Massaquoi was known as a message carrier but denied that he was ever in a position to dictate RUF stands. 

The Prosecution then presented section 1156. They explained that the success or failure of the Lomé Agreement depended on the preservation of a fragile relationship between the parties. The Government’s stake in the process depended on the extent to which it trusted Foday Sankoh. The Commission finds that Massaquoi bears an individual share of the responsibility for the deteriorating security situation in Sierra Leone.

The Defense reiterated that these assumptions referred to times between 1999 and 2000. The Defense argued that it showed what Massaquoi had been doing which is in contradiction with the assumption that he would have spent this time in the woods. 

Referring to section 1160, the Prosecution noted that the report described that it remained to be seen whether the RUF High Command had collectively harbored an agenda to enhance their stake in power beyond the hostage-taking. The Prosecution mentioned a testimony by Sheku Andrew Coomber which “speaks for itself”. It said that in most RUF meetings, Massaquoi and Foday Sankoh were always at variance with the other members. According to Coomber, Massaquoi and Sankoh were largely to blame for the failure of the Lomé Peace Agreement. Massaquoi was insisting that all the provisions mentioned and meant for the RUF would have to be provided before complying with the implementation of the Peace accord. Foday Sankoh was saying that he was committed to the peace process, but he was then giving underground instructions to the combatants in the field not to disarm.

The Defense pointed out that Massaquoi had already testified to taking part in the peace negotiations and process, so Coomber’s testimony corroborated the defense’s testimony.

According to Coomber, on one occasion during the preparations for the negotiations, Massaquoi used the RUF High frequency radio to instruct one commander that at any time when there was a loss of communication on the radio with them, let the troops move and attack Freetown. Coomber didn’t know with whom he was talking, but suspected it was Brigadier Morris Kallon. 

The Defense recalled that this section was about High Frequency radios, not satellite phones. The Defense insisted that this made the defendant’s case stronger, as it pictured the duties of Mr. Massaquoi.

The Prosecution concluded by saying that the Commission finds that the hostage taking of several hundred UNAMSIL military personnel in the early days of May 2000 was the gravest misadventure carried out by RUF cadres during the disarmament phase. The Defense noted that these actions concerned the RUF, not the defendant who hasn’t been accused of bringing up the crisis or have anything to do with it.

Finally, referring to section 1163 of the report, the Prosecution explained that the hostage-taking saga in the provinces was to run relatively unabated for over a month, as the RUF combatant group spiraled totally out of hand. The life span of the RUF political wing was to be cut short. The Defense remarked that this brought the idea of separate wings of RUF, political and military.

The Prosecution concluded their presentation of documentary evidence by saying that the last report shows that RUF never was a pure victim of the Sierra Leonean or Liberian situation, contrary to what defense had been arguing so far.

The Defense presents new documentary evidence

A Liberian Observer Article from 2020

The Defense opened by presenting an article from the Liberian Observer, dated 12 March 2020. The Defense pointed out that the picture used in the article was the same picture the police had used during the interviews with the witnesses to identify the accused. When asked by the Prosecution what their point was, the Defense explained that, since the picture had been circulated publicly, it may have affected the view of the interviewees in identifying Massaquoi. Going into details, the Defense specified that there had been pictures of their client on the internet, including the very same picture used by the police. The Defense suggested that the witnesses may have seen the picture before they were interviewed by the police. 

The Prosecution responded that the article in question was published on the internet. They recalled that the witnesses weren’t asked whether they had access to the internet, nor if  this article had affected their view in any way. They weren’t even asked whether they had seen the article or picture. The Prosecution asserted that the article was not a reason to question the credibility of the witnesses. The Defense commented that, when examining the timelines of the recognition processes, it was visible that after this news article was published, the percentage of people recognizing Mr. Massaquoi ‘skyrocketed’. 

An article from Relief Web

The Defense then presented an article from Reliefweb.org, entitled “Sierra Leonean Rebels want to end the 10-year war”. The article reports a telephone call between the “rebel spokesman” Mr. Massaquoi and Reuters in which the defendant explained that the RUF was committed to a political end to the war. The Defense underlined that the article communicates that Gibril Massaquoi called from the northern town of Makeni. The Defense concluded that this article showed that the defendant had been giving interviews from Makeni, and that it was also a testimony of the kind of actions Gibril Massaquoi had been doing in Makeni.

The Prosecution responded that this was part of a series of several alleged interviews per telephone. The Prosecution stated that it had been proven that Massaquoi not only had been using a satellite telephone but was also able to hack the login details. They recalled that President Taylor had instructed the defendant to do so, and shown him how to. The Prosecution asserted that, based on that element, one cannot assume that Massaquoi had been in Makeni, even though he had claimed to be there. The Defense countered that the article didn’t refer to a satellite call, only to a telephone call. The Prosecution then asked whether the journalist had been asked whether they specifically meant “telephone call”. The Defense answered negatively and noted that the Prosecution hadn’t been able to prove that Massaquoi had been elsewhere than in Makeni. 

An Interview Report from May 2001

The next evidence provided by the Defense was a report of an interview that Massaquoi had given to several journalists on 4 May 2001. The Defense stated that this evidence showed what Massaquoi was doing on that day. When the Prosecution asked whether the Defense’s point was to prove that Massaquoi “had possibly given interviews on that specific date”, the Defense responded that it was “at least possible, at least reasonable”. The Prosecution admitted that it was possible that Mr. Massaquoi had given such interviews on that day; however, one could not know from where or to whom the interviews were given.

A report of the Sierra Leonean Presidential Elections of 2002

The Defense presented a report of the Sierra Leonean presidential elections of 2002. Based on the report, the Defense explained that Johnny Paul Koroma was alive on 14 May 2002, which was the date of the report of the election results. The Prosecution retorted that one could not assume with certainty that Koroma was alive on that date, since it is known that one cannot remove a person from a list if they die after standing for the election.

An article by the Washington Post from 2002

The Defense then introduced an article from the Washington Post, entitled “Once-mighty rebels are biggest losers in Sierra Leone vote”. The Defense explained that The Washington Post had met Massaquoi and had taken pictures of him. The Prosecution countered that it could not be concluded from the photo that the newspaper personally met Massaquoi, and there was no mention of a personal meeting in the article. The Defense indicated that the publishing date was 16 May 2002. 

A photo from the Lehtikuva Photo Bank taken in 2001

The Defense proceeded to present their next documentary evidence. It consisted of a photo from Lehtikuva photo bank, taken on 27 September 2001. It represented Gibril Massaquoi in his house in Makeni. The Prosecution suggested that the date of the picture could be a metadata information rather than the actual date the photo was taken. The Defense said that they were not completely sure, but they assumed the date was correct and that the court was to decide. The Prosecution explained that if the metadata came from the camera, it was easily alterable. The Prosecution noted that the Defense could not ascertain the facts of the evidence they have themselves provided. The Defense responded that they couldn’t imagine why a journalist would alter such information.

The Abuja Peace Treaty and Related Articles

The Defense then referred to the Abuja Peace Treaty, signed on 10 November 2000, underlining the significance of the date and the location. In that regard, the Defense then mentioned a series of articles. They first presented an article by Reliefweb.org, published on 3 May 2002, regarding a meeting held in Abuja. Then mentioned was the Lomé Peace Agreement, signed on 7 July 1999. Finally, the Defense referred to the Massacre in Liberia article, which was introduced earlier by the Prosecution. The Defense claimed that “Zizemara” and “Zigzag” Marzah were the same person. The Prosecution replied that the name referred to the person who was named in the article, and nobody else. 

Employee 1’s Notebooks

The Defense went on with the new documentary evidence by introducing the notebooks of Employee 1. The Defense explained that, by examining the notebooks, he would make the case that interrogations should exclusively be conducted by police, and argued that no one else should do this work. In that regard, the Defense referred to the Finnish Supreme Court case 2016:96, sections 24 and 15. The Defense demonstrated that some of the interrogation works had been outsourced to outsider organisations linked to GJRP and Civitas Maxima. The Defense pointed out that one “alleged victim” was linked to GJRP, and that the Finnish police had brought people linked to the victim to conduct interrogations. 

The Defense claimed that Employee 1 had conducted official investigations for the Finnish police. The Defense presented a picture from the notebooks which showed preliminary interviews following the Finnish Preliminary Investigations Act [Chapter 7, Section 20]. On page 10, the Defense explained that one could see some instructions that had been given to Employee 1 by the Finnish police. These instructions referred to the themes to ask about: “burning down the houses, diamonds, killings, commanders, bush armies”. The Defense insisted that these notes were testament that it consisted of official interrogations, specifying that the Finnish police had instructed Employee 1 and had a meeting with Employee 1, with the goal of their mission being to collect evidence from the area. The Defense asserted that such proceeding was not a way to conduct preliminary interviews. 

Referring to a note which mentioned the town of Kamatahun, the Defense deduced from it that the police had visited the place beforehand. From this fact, the Defense alleged that it was clearly already an official interrogation.

Continuing with that line or argument, the Defense criticized the quality of the notes, which were improper of official reports. There are no thorough indications as to who was interviewed, what was asked and what was answered. The Defense also noted that the notes didn’t reflect the instructions given by the police, showing for instance that some pages had been torn out. 

The Defense suggested that the Finnish police based their investigation on these notes and, when the police themselves travelled to the villages, they “most certainly knew where to head”. The Defense proceeded to raise several elements which made the notebooks, in their view, unreliable. They started by observing that on page 22, the remark “NOT NEEDED” was annotated next to someone’s interview. The Defense wondered in what capacity was this interview not relevant and based on whose decision, hinting the reason was that the content of the interview didn’t support the police’s story. The Defense also identified some notes in which the year was manually altered, others where it said that translators had contacted interviewed people. The Defense claimed that some witnesses had been found with the help of GJRP and Civitas Maxima. On page 59, it showed that Employee 1 had been instructed to visit certain places like Katahun, Kamatahun Hassala, and other villages. The Defense concluded that Employee 1 had conducted interrogations which were to be done by the Finnish police only. 

The Prosecution countered by saying that the reference to the court case of 2016 was completely irrelevant, as the notebook had not been presented as evidence against the defendant. The Defense responded that their intention was to demonstrate that a preliminary hearing is a means of investigation, and that they belong to the police. The Prosecution observed that in the case of 2016, the question was about materials later presented against the defendant. The Judge remarked that one couldn’t dismiss the possibility that the Defense would have asked other questions to Employee 1, had they received the notebooks. The Judge also mentioned the possibility of having to hear Employee 1 once more. The Prosecution admitted this possibility but stressed that the Defense had implied that Employee 1 was ill-minded in his actions. The Prosecution qualified this  as “unprofessional” from the defense side and that the intention was only to influence the court. The Prosecution asked the Defense whether they meant that the court shouldn’t take this evidence into consideration or that the formal requirements of the preliminary investigations logbook may not have been entirely respected. 

The Defense responded that they referred to the Preliminary Investigations Act that establishes certain formalities to the preliminary investigations. The Defense argued that, had the police travelled to Lofa, they wouldn’t be discussing the question of the width of the preliminary investigation. They reiterated the work of Employee 1 constituted of preliminary investigation which affected some people’s interviews. The Defense listed Civilian 64, Soldier 04, Civilian 35, Civilian 66, and Soldier 17. The Defense claimed that when the police hire an outsider to conduct interrogation on their behalf, there is a risk for a significant problem to the access to justice, as they are not able to refer to the notes of the interrogations. The Defense continued by saying that they find it problematic that persons from victims organisations are hired to conduct interrogations on the police’s behalf. 

The Judge then rephrased the Defense’s question: “How can we lay trust on the Employee 1’s interviewees, as the interviews haven’t been conducted by the police, but by an outsider”. The Defense added that one must take into consideration the lack of competence and responsibility of an official police for the legality of their actions. 

The Prosecution responded that they shared the view that these questions had not been preliminary questions pursuant to Preliminary Investigations Act.

After discussion with the Defense and the Prosecution regarding what had been presented by the Defense, the Judge invited the Defense to provide to the court and the Prosecution a written memoranda on the issue they raised. In the meantime, the Judge then invited the Defense to proceed with the other documentary evidence.

Identification of the accused: The National Board of Finland Guidance on Photograph Identifications

The next question presented by the Defense concerned the National Police Board of Finland guidance on photograph identifications. First of all, the Defense explained that the photograph identification had been carried out according to the rule book, so they didn’t have anything specific to add to these identifications. However, the Defense expressed the opposite opinion regarding the video identifications, which they claimed had been concluded against the rulebook. The Defense explained that there hadn’t been several video clips to be seen, and the measures had been short to the rules otherwise as well. They claimed that this was critical and may have “corrupted” the police investigations. 

The Prosecution shared the Defense’s view regarding the measures against the rulebook, saying that there had only been one visible video of the defendant. However, the Prosecution disagreed with the claim that it had caused a “risk for the access to justice”. The Prosecution argued that the investigations may have been corrupted but not the Defense’s access to justice. They claimed that it was the role of the Court to decide on such matters.

The Defense then referred to page 766 of the preliminary investigations material. They explained that there were indications made by the police regarding the chronology of when each witness had become part of the investigation. The Defense noted that some witnesses were found by Employee 1 or 2, some others by Civitas Maxima, and this was prior to the first witness collected by the police. The Defense added that some of the witnesses had been marked as a part of the investigations before they appeared in the Finnish police’s files. The Defense declared that it was upon the court to decide the significance this had on the case, and claimed that the role of Employee 1 had been crucial in collecting evidence and that the trustworthiness of the witnesses found by Employee 1 and Civitas Maxima could be disputed. The Prosecution recalled that some of the witnesses mentioned by the Defense were not part of the case. The Defense replied that they intended to demonstrate the “loopholes of the investigation”.

As with the prior evidence presented by the Defense, the Judge suggested that the Prosecution should have a redacted version of the evidence in order to have time to process it. The Prosecution reiterated that there were numerous people in the document that hadn’t been part of the trial or the investigation, specifying that the court couldn’t decide on investigations that were not part of the trial. 

The Defense pointed out that in Monrovia they had offered the possibility of bringing to the court all of these people in order to question them regarding the trial. They reiterated that they wanted to give a clear picture of the investigation to the court. The Judge rephrased the point raised by the Defense as follows: “What trustworthiness may be given to any specific witness in this trial or investigations.” The Prosecution responded that the Defense trying to show that all of these witnesses weren’t trustworthy, regardless of them being part of the trial or not, wasn’t acceptable. The Judge shared the Prosecution’s claim and again suggested they would need a listing.

The Defense, going forward with the list of identifications, demonstrated that there were several pages without “positive identifications” by the witnesses. The Defense explained that the first positive identification was from December 19, by Soldier 14, who was brought to the investigation by Employee 1. They further expounded that there were several negative identifications. The Defense specified that after 31 October 2020, except for Soldier 38 and Civilian 4, all the witnesses had given positive identifications. 

The Prosecution retorted that one must separate civilians from soldiers that have been fighting with the defendant, as the latter would recognise Massaquoi with a higher possibility. The Prosecution declared that they would like to have a redacted list so they can bring their view of this paper. The Defense replied that their point was to show that after a single event, every witness seemed to recognise Massaquoi. The Prosecution declared that it was to the court to decide what meaning should be given to this. The Defense insisted that the theme wasn’t the reliability of the witnesses, but rather the fact that pictures of the defendant on the internet and Employee 1’s actions may have altered the results of the identifications of Massaquoi.

The Judge indicated that more time would be given to the Prosecution to conclude their view on this matter.

The Defense recalled that they had been very critical toward many things during this trial, and that they had made a request for further investigations on three people. Two of them had already been interviewed. According to the Defense, the conclusion was that GJRP had been asking these people to testify against Massaquoi, “for some kind of reward”. They claimed that the matter was so severe that they had to act and bring these people and the witnesses to testify about the role of GJRP in this trial. 

Asked by the Judge whether they had anything to add, the Prosecution declared that they were obliged to act as well and bring new evidence. They added that the court would need to find some days in June for the new witnesses to be interviewed.

The Defense asked for Employee 1 to be removed from the case, the trial and the investigations altogether. The Prosecution commented that the counsels were now mixing things, and the Court would find it difficult to follow. The Defense acquiesced, and wondered aloud why, at the time, no measures were put in place following his critique. Lastly, the court, the Prosecution, and the Defense discussed the possible dates of hearing in June. The session ended with the Judge indicating that the next hearing would be on 2 June.

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