The 53rd day of public hearings resumed on Monday, 4th October in Monrovia, Liberia.
Prosecution Witness [GJRP-1] is Heard
The Prosecution questions the witness, [GJRP-1]
The witness started by saying that he knows L4. He first met L4 at an atayi shop called Cenpid on Carey Street around six to eight years ago. He saw L4 more frequently at another coffee shop close to his office on Benson Street, across the mosque where he has been since 2012. They became close after 2012 because they would leave their offices to go to the atayi shop on Benson Street and smoke cigarettes. They have never been to one another’s houses.
In atayi shops, the witness explained, people discuss things intellectually and everything is discussed. The atayi shop on Benson Street was managed by a person called [FNM-307]. The witness knew of this atayi shop since 2014, just before Ebola. In atayi shops, he was an active speaker, so many people knew him. He does not remember the last time he met L4 at the atayi shop but remembers that L4 visited his office two to three years ago.
L4 and the witness were at the atayi shop and L4 had told the witness that he knew of a particular case. The witness explained that, by then, news of the arrest of war criminals had spread. L4, in front of the group, spoke about Agnes Reeves, who he said had committed “horrible crimes” behind the NPFL line. The witness asked L4 to elaborate, and L4 explained the crimes at length. Then, the witness asked L4 if he was willing to testify those details to the witness’ investigators for documentation purposes, and L4 agreed. Further, the witness explained that he asks prospective witnesses to sign his consent form, which details that his organization would not pay him for a testimony, confirms that a witness is willing to share their testimony, and details that a witness is free to leave the process at any time.
The witness said that [Employee 3] took the statement from L4. The witness was not in the meeting and did not take statements from L4 himself. The Prosecution asked if money or asylum came up in the witness’ discussion with L4. The witness said he offered no money for L4’s testimony. Further, he said, “you all know that I as a Liberian do not have the power to grant asylum, asylum is granted by governments.” The witness explained that the only time GJRP provides money is to compensate for lost wages for individuals who have traveled to Monrovia to speak to GJRP for that day. In this case they cover transport, accommodation and daily meals which is calculated on average costs of meals in Liberia. GJRP does not pay for passports or anything beyond the aforementioned costs. From the perspective of the witnesses, they may have believed that GJRP was paying although it was explained to them. However, the witness clarified that the granting of asylum by GJRP to a witness is never discussed. The Prosecution asked what GJRP would do if approached by a witness who was willing to testify but was afraid for their life. The witness explained that the organization has witness protection and an officer who checks on the witnesses. The organization does not convince the witnesses, but they explain what it is they can and cannot do.
The Prosecution referred to two prior testimonies stating that the witness had promised people asylum. The witness dismissed the testimonies and said those testimonies, rather than being unintentionally “false,” intended to deceive and fight against justice, so they were lies. The witness said he had not given those individuals money, either, and that there were witnesses all over Liberia, so he didn’t need to pay anyone. The witness added that, from the names of the other witnesses, he guessed they were Mandingoes and that he wanted to tell the court about his perspective on Mandingoes.
The Prosecution asked the witness further questions about money that other witnesses had said that he gave out. The witness said he believed that US $200 would be a lot of money for 80% of Liberians. The Prosecution referred to the two prior testimonies stating that the witness had offered other witnesses US $15,000 to US $20,000 to testify in the case and asked what the sum would represent to the witness and to the GJRP. The witness said that it would amount to two months of their operational budget, including money for electricity, gasoline, and the salary of 17 employees. The witness said the organization receives their budget monthly, and not annually, and called the prior testimonies complete fabrications. The Prosecution asked for the witness’ opinion of others saying that he had promised this sum of money to them. The witness said that there are many people, including from the West, who are fighting the GJRP. The witness repeated that the GJRP does not promise money to anybody. The Prosecution told the witnesses that the same prior witnesses also said that he had coached them to testify untrue statements. The witness said they had never done that and will not because there are more than enough witnesses in Liberia and doing so would undermine the organization’s efforts for justice and the victims.
The Defense questions the witness
The Defense referred to the witness’ statement about the difference between lies and “false.” The witness explained that “false” meant a person said something inaccurate without knowledge or an intention to deceive. The Defense asked what the difference was in the context of war testimony. The witness said that if someone recalls an event differently it might be false, but someone lies when they intend to deceive. The Defense asked how the witness differentiated between the two, and he replied that it was about motivation; people remembered motivation even if they remembered events differently, but changing the motivation created a lie.
The Defense asked if the witness had personal observations about the incidents in Lofa in 2000 or 2003. The witness said yes, and they were from personal experience. The witness did not remember if he had interviewed people from Lofa after 2003, and said he doesn’t do most of the interviews, but he had not met any prosecution witnesses from this case. The Defense asked if he remembered generally, and the witness said he did not, as he had done hundreds of interviews.
The Defense asked if the witness knew of [FNM-201] playing a role in this trial. The witness responded that he doesn’t know if [FNM-201] has had a role in the trial, but does not think he should, and had an opinion to share. The Defense asked if the witness had met [FNM-201]. The witness said that he (the witness) used to live in Boston and remembers seeing [FNM-201] when they traveled from the US to the Mamba Point Hotel in 2004 to do a PBS documentary. They were there for 1 month. The witness said he has not discussed any of his work with [FNM-201]. However, in the US, [FNM-201] discussed Charles Taylor with the witness.
The Defense asked whether the witness had been a witness for the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL). The witness confirmed that he had been and said that his testimony was about what happened in Liberia, and about what happened to him more specifically. Prior to that, he was interviewed by FBI investigators in Boston about 9/11 because he had written an article in the analyst newspaper. The witness did not remember whether the SCSL interviewed him before his testimony. However, the witness remembered [FNM-201] calling him many times on the phone and he spoke to one of the lawyers, [FNM-308] as well as someone who compensated him for lost wages. The Defense asked if, prior to the Charles Taylor trial, the witness remembered mentioning that he was tortured by Gibril Massaquoi. The witness said he couldn’t remember. His testimony was mainly about whether Issa Sesay and others were in Liberia or not. He couldn’t remember if he talked about the Massaquoi situation, but said that he granted interviews to CBS and CNN, and spoke at various schools and universities.
The Defense returned to the witness’ prior testimony and stated that the witness had said he had his genitals electrocuted by a woman. The witness concurred, adding that the woman was under the supervision and instruction of Massaquoi. The Defense said that the evidence he had suggested that Massaquoi oversaw the witness’ torture directly and that there was no woman involved.
The witness said that Massaquoi was in charge of his torture to extract information from him, as he directed the lady to plug electricity that was running from a generator onto his genitals while he interrogated the witness. The witness said it was the first time his genitals were electrocuted, and it didn’t happen anywhere else apart from Clay. The Defense asked about other people involved in the witness’ torture. The witness said that Yeaten was in another room with [FNM-309] and [FNM-156]. The Defense asked if Yeaten or [FNM-309] electrocuted the witness. The witness said that he remembered Yeaten coming in the room and one time he ordered a bottle to be placed on the witness’ head, after which [FNM-310] shot the bottle. The witness also remembered [FNM-309] torturing him, and that the torture always occurred at night because they were in an immigration building on a main road. The Defense asked if the witness was electrocuted on another day, and the witness said he remembered that the electrocution was administered more than once but did not remember being electrocuted on another day. The witness said that he had heard others were tortured because of him, some of whom were electrocuted while one individual had boiling water put on his head.
The witness also remembered being tied in a duck fowl tabay. The Defense turned to an interview the witness had given with Civitas Maxima in 2018. The interview transcript recorded the witness saying he was tied but not in tabay. The witness responded that the interviewer must have misunderstood him and offered to show the marks under his shirt. The Defense read further from the interview transcript that the witness had said that during the event he was only tortured by Massaquoi. The witness explained that he had been referring to a specific event in which torture was administered by Massaquoi to get him to confess something for President Taylor. The Defense asked why the witness had said that he was only tortured by Massaquoi. The witness responded that he didn’t remember and said he mentioned [FNM-309] and Massaquoi over 10 years ago, and specified that when he said torture, he was referring to the torture that included the electrocution of his private parts. The Defense said that in his last testimony the witness had said that he didn’t know who ordered the electrocution. The witness responded that he had said that there was a lady who physically handled the electrocution and that Massaquoi was standing there.
The Defense turned to Benjamin Yeaten. The witness could not remember the name of the troops Yeaten commanded but knew that he was referred to as 50 and was the highest ranked fighter. While the witness didn’t know the command structure, he knew there were Sierra Leoneans in Monrovia during the war. The Defense asked if the witness had heard of a group called Special Security (SS). The witness said he had, and said that the SS were not part of the armed forces but were assigned by law to protect the president. However, the SS became militarized under President Taylor. The Defense asked if the SS were present in Clay when the witness was tortured. The witness said that the SS did not wear uniforms so he wouldn’t know, but he knew that [FNM-309] and some others were always following Yeaten. He knew this because he lived in the same building as some of them. The witness further said that the SS was made up of Liberians but there were Sierra Leoneans fighting in Liberia and Charles Taylor could add them at his convenience.
The Defense turned to ZigZag Marzah and asked the witness if he played a role when the Finnish Police wanted to be in contact with Marzah. The witness said he could not remember but said he last had contact with Marzah in on May 3rd, 2001, when the witness’ arrest was ordered by the government. The witness had lived in the same apartment as Marzah. The Defense asked if the witness played a role when the police were contacting Marzah. The witness said he didn’t remember but that when the Finnish police came, they seconded a GJRP staff member, [Employee 1] to the police, after which [Employee 1] ceased communication with the GJRP. However, the witness said he never called or saw Marzah.
The Defense asked if the witness spoke with [Employee 1] about Marzah. The witness said he didn’t remember but that the police asked him specific questions and he shared his knowledge with them. Further, the witness said he never filed a witness for this case, and only knows two defence witnesses. The Defense asked the witness if he remembered saying to [Employee 1] that the Finnish Police wanted to speak with Marzah. The witness said that he was off this case, but he spoke to a lot of people for his job and there are things he doesn’t remember as part of the investigation but that he last saw Marzah in 2001. However, the witness said that the Finnish Police may have asked [Employee 1] about contacting Marzah and it was possible that the police asked the witness if he knew Marzah. The Defense alluded to a statement that was made that [Employee 1] told the witness that Marzah had wanted money from the Finnish Police and was turned down. The witness said he thought this was when [Employee 1] was first seconded to the police. The witness said it was impossible to remember every conversation but now that the Defense mentioned money he remembered. He said that as a rule the GJRP doesn’t give money to anybody.
In fact, the witness said that the organization had had Charles Taylor’s bodyguard who had lots of information, but they cut him off because he wanted money. No matter the value of the information, the witness maintained that GJRP does not give out money. The witness said that the bodyguard’s testimony would pertain to this case and to another one. The Defense asked how the witness knew that the bodyguard’s testimony would pertain to this case and the witness said that the bodyguard was his friend and had shared information with him. The witness met him frequently in central Monrovia and the bodyguard had told him things he promised not to say. The bodyguard was closest to Taylor of all Taylor’s bodyguards. But the witness said he told the bodyguard that they didn’t pay for testimonies. The witness could not remember the month they had this conversation. The bodyguard knew to come to the witness because he listens to the news and knows that the witness is the head of an organization that deals with war crimes.
The Defense returned the questioning to [Employee 1]. The witness said that when [Employee 1] was not employed by the Finnish police, he was employed by the GJRP. Officially, all contact stopped after [Employee 1] started working for the police but unofficially, the witness called to check up. The Defense asked if [Employee 1] returned to the GJRP the day after his contract ended with the Finnish police. The witness said that no, [Employee 1] took a few days off in between his work for the police and for the GJRP. The Defense asked if the GJRP has collaborated in cases where the victims might be their own employees. The witness said that he was a witness in this case, and there is one other case where a GJRP employee might be a possible witness. The witness didn’t know if he would be classified as a victim by that court.
The witness asked to speak to the court and the judge acquiesced. The witness said that victims and justice workers were under threat from people who don’t take accountability and that some people had started a smear campaign against the GJRP.
Prosecution Witness [Employee 1] is Heard
The Prosecution questions the witness [Employee 1]
Referring to his earlier testimony before the court, the witness explained how he was approached by Finnish police. He explained that the Finnish police contacted him in 2019 and he was instructed that for the duration of their engagement he was not to take instructions from anyone else or disclose their work to anyone.
The Prosecution asked [Employee 1] how he found witnesses. First, the witness stated he went to Lofa.
In terms of locating witnesses, they relied on three main methods.
If the witness came from a rural area, they followed what they called a community entrance. They first met with the community leaders, including youth, women or elders. He explained that they were looking for witnesses who had experiences of the war in Lofa, especially those that related to RUF activity and individuals who had knowledge about killings, rape, torture or burnt houses. In most villages and towns, the elders would instruct them to come back after some time during which they would gather witnesses with such experiences, and when [Employee 1] and the police came back the following day, the witnesses were referred to them. He asked them if they had experience with the RUF and if they were willing to speak to Finnish police. Most agreed and their names were put on a list and forwarded to the Finnish police.
Another way to find witnesses was in itaya shops, of which there are 200 in Monrovia alone. People gather there and talk about current events and events in the past such as war, politics and soccer. The witness went there and listen to people. When he heard something of interest, he would approach the person and show his interest in the topic discussed. He would inquire if the person knew the issue well and say that he knows people who would be interested to talk further about it, especially about the RUF related activities. If the person agreed, [Employee 1] forwarded them to the Finnish police. Some of the witnesses led him to other witnesses and this is how he met most of the witnesses.
When he approached ex-combatants, at first, they would be defensive in fear of possible punishment. They tended to demand an explanation and [Employee 1] would tell them that it was not about them and that he worked with some Finnish police officers who might want to speak to them. The witness never mentioned the name Gibril Massaquoi because he had strict instructions from the Finnish police. His instructions were to ask the potential witness which one of the factions committed an atrocity at a particular time and place. If they mentioned RUF or LURD fighters, [Employee 1] asked them if they were willing to talk about their experience to the Police. Sometimes they demanded more information but [Employee 1] denied their request and referred them to the Police.
[Employee 1] said he has never interviewed a witness and recorded their answer. He was under instruction to only ask the potential witness which faction they had experience of and where, but not to hold an interview. The Prosecution stated that some witnesses had said that [Employee 1] gave them the name Gibril Massaquoi. The witness responded that he couldn’t remember saying the name to anyone.
Sometimes, the witness received a contact from another witness and would have to follow up with two, three or sometimes four people. Other times, people gave names and contact information to the police who would in turn contact the witness to follow up.
The Prosecution asked about the witness’ training in approaching witnesses. The witness said he knew his job well and was familiar with witness management. He received training on approaching witnesses from the IICI and people from Holland. People from Civitas Maxima were also there. The witness said he had also cooperated with other national authorities including the British Metropolitan Police and the U.S. Department for Homeland Security.
The Prosecution asked [Employee 1] to compare his experience working for other national authorities to his experience working for the Finnish. The witness said that the Finnish are more technical and leave no loop open while the Americans are more relaxed. Sometimes, the Americans allowed him to listen to the witnesses on the field but in the Finnish investigation [Employee 1] was not allowed to be present for any witness interview. For everyone he had worked for, he was forbidden from mentioning the name of the suspect to witnesses. When it came to the lodging and allowance given to witnesses, the witness said all national authorities did the same. However, the witness mentioned that working with the British and American authorities he was allowed to go to the GJRP office and talk to Civitas, but with the Finnish authorities he was not allowed to do so.
The Prosecution moved to the witness’ two notebooks that he had previously given to the Court at the Defense’s request. The witness explained that they contained notes to guide his work, and that the notebooks also contained his notes for matters beyond this case. He shared these notes because he had consulted them during the previous testimony and the Defense inquired about them, so he shared the notebooks for transparency. One or two pages were removed because the witness used them for a toilet tissue when he was on his way to Kamatahun in the forest.
Regarding the witness approaching the witnesses in itaya shops, the witness said that people asked if there would be financial compensation. He explained to the people he spoke to that their transportation, accommodation and a fixed amount for meals would be covered. Two witnesses, including Zigzag Marzah, demanded additional compensation and they were left out. When he was looking for witnesses, the Witness did not differentiate in approach between the Prosecution or Defense witnesses. He knew that one witness was for the Defense and later he found out that there were about ten persons who testified for the Defense but did not know in advance how people would testify.
The Defense questions the witness, [Employee 1]
The Defense asked the witness how he referred witnesses to the Finnish Police. The witness explained that he didn’t give the police his notebooks, but he gave them a written list of witnesses or passed on a list made by communities like Kamatahun. The witness said he didn’t keep notes or records and didn’t know the names and numbers of the witnesses. The witness clarified that he was instructed to ask potential witnesses about the RUF but not to mention names.
The Defense turned to [Employee 1]’s notebooks and noted that the witness had written in April that his instructions were to ask questions about diamonds and burnt houses, but the RUF was not mentioned. The witness responded that if the Defense checked the book there were further instructions, because they had 3 meetings and those were notes from one of them. The Defense noted that during the witnesses’ testimonies, it was clear that they had gained information from somewhere and asked the witness who he thought had told them. The witness said he didn’t know but the Defense should ask the witnesses that question. The Defense stated that the witnesses said that [Employee 1] told them. [Employee 1] repeated that he had not told witnesses anything. The Defense asked if [Employee 1] finding witnesses through a chain of people could have meant that some of those people told the witnesses. [Employee 1] replied that he could not speak for them, and maybe it happened, but he didn’t know. The Defense asked the witness why he had said that the Finnish Police forbade the witness from contacting the GJRP and Civitas. The witness replied that those were his instructions and he didn’t ask questions, and added that no other country or organization he had worked for had demanded the same cut of contact.
The Defense asked about the pages missing from witness’ notebook. The witness said he had told the Finnish police that he had used them and explained that one page was used for a toilet tissue, one to write down a person’s number, and one to wipe up palm wine after it had spilled.
After the witness finished work for the Finnish police, he returned to GJRP usually after one week, during which he rested, although he could have returned immediately as per the contract. He said that when he transitioned from working for the GJRP to working for the Police he was not consistent in breaks. Sometimes the Police asked him to start working one or two weeks prior to their arrival, and the witness would stop working for the GJRP. The witness was paid by the Finnish police from the first day he worked for them. The Defense pointed out that the witness’ notebook and the Finnish police indicated that [Employee 1] worked for the police from 18 March until 19 April, but his notebook also mentioned him working on the 23rd of April.
The witness explained that before the Finnish police came, he started working in Lofa, which is recorded in his notebook. However, he said that the notebook was just for him, and if the police said he stopped work on the 19th of April, then they must be right.
A page from witness’ notebook was displayed on the courtroom TV monitor. The witness explained that it contained a call log graph that he prepared for the Finnish police. They used to use a similar method at GJRP to keep track of witnesses. The names of the witnesses in the call log displayed were from this case. However, it was not used, and the witness didn’t make calls, evidenced by the comments section being blank.
The witness also worked for the Finnish police from 1 November to December 2019. Another page from the notebook was displayed. The witness explained that it referred to his two trips to Nimba between 4 and 6 October 2020. Before his trip the police told him that Defense wanted Zigzag Marzah to testify. The first time he went to Nimba was with the Finnish police and they met Zigzaz Marzah who requested money for his testimony. The second time the police asked the Witness to find him because he was outside the mobile network coverage. The note displayed was from the second trip.
Another page from the notebook was displayed. The witness explained he wrote that page when he was working for the Finnish police who asked him to start working on 4 October although they came on 19 October and paid him from then.
The Defense referred to the witness’ prior testimony that the witness had not arranged the transportation for the Lofa witnesses to come to Monrovia. He had visited Lofa on the Finnish case. The police had hired a vehicle and asked the witness to go and tell the witnesses who couldn’t be reached by phone that the Police was here and that they were needed in Monrovia. The witness could not remember the date. The Defense asked if the note on the screen had something to do with that trip to Lofa. The witness inspected the note and responded that it wasn’t for the Finnish; it pertained to identifying mass graves with someone else.
In the period between 1 January and 15 April the Witness travelled for the Finnish police twice to Voinjama, Kamatahun, Bolahun Kortohun and other villages nearby. The first trip was with the Finnish police and for the second trip he traveled with [FNM-149]. Besides then he had travelled to different places for the Finnish police and he could not remember when. Recently he had travelled to Nimba twice for the Finnish police. When he travels to Lofa the Finnish police cover the cost of transportation which is not fixed; it is low in dry season; accommodation is US $50 and the amount for the meals is US $10 for him and US $20 for the witnesses, which was raised from the original US $10. Witnesses that came from Lofa to Monrovia were first directed to call FNM-311 who instructed them where to go. Once they arrived, another person took over.
The Defense pointed out that in the period between January to April, the Finnish Police paid the witness US $1,250 for the cost of transportation and US $2,450. The Witness clarified that transportation cost covered Lofa and Nimba. Sometimes witnesses lived on farms and could not be reached by phone so he would have to wait for them two to three days. The witness suggested that the vehicle cost could have also been included, as a typical car was rented for US $200-300.
When the witness was previously testifying, he was asked to show his two notebooks. The next day the witness remembered telling the Prosecution that they could look through it but said that he did not give his consent to the Defense to look at his notebooks. The Defense asked, if not all the witnesses’ names were in his notebook, then where were the rest recorded? The witness told the Defense to ask the police, as they had everything, and the notebook was only for his private use and he didn’t intend to give it to anyone.
The Defense focused on a page from one of the notebooks displayed on the court TV monitor which the Witness first said was notes on witnesses related to the massacre that occurred around Kamatahun and Kotohun, which was not related to the case of the Finnish police. However, then it was established that the Witness met with the Chief and the elders on 4 April and the witnesses between 8 and 12 April. Two days later, on 14 April in Voinjama, the Finnish police conducted the first witness interview. After the witness looked at the page from the notebook on the monitor it showed a date of the meeting, and the witness confirmed the meeting was for the Finnish police. It contained the names of people to interview given by the chief and the elders and instructions to ask them about diamonds, murders, and burning houses. The witness said he did not speak to them as there were no phone numbers next to the names. The witness explained that the note on the page, 8 to 12 April refers to the time when the Witness first went to the village, the Finnish police came the following day and the day after they returned to interview the witnesses, starting on 14 April.
The Defense referred to one of the witnesses listed, witness 7, and asked if that witness was only interviewed by the police on 1 December 2019. The witness said he could not remember if they were in Lofa in December but said that the witnesses listed were not all interviewed together as the list included witnesses from other villages. They came from Kamatahun, Bolahun, and Kiatahun. The witness visited Kiatahun with the Finnish.
The witness said that he met the potential witnesses first by inquiring with the village chiefs whether an event in question took place in their village. He was then asked to return at a later day, after they consulted and collected names of potential witnesses. Next to the lists of names he received, the witness would note that they answered the questions, and it would not mean that he questioned them. Sometimes, he would receive a name of a person who would only be interviewed by the police after a month or so. However, regarding the witness 7 who was on the April list but interviewed in December, the witness insisted that he did not meet him when he wrote down his name in the notebook.
The witness said he visited Kiatahun with the Finnish police in April but did not get the list then; he gave the questions to the elders for the witnesses and was told that they would get back to him after consultations. [FNM-312] then brought him the list a few days later, having obtained it from a guy they met in Massabolahun, who has a drugstore and is possibly a youth leader. However, because the road to the village was bad during the rainy season, the witness did not return to the village until the dry season. The witness did not know whether the witnesses he reached spoke about Massaquoi as he was not in the interviews.
The Defense asked whether the witness had met the witnesses named on a particular page in his notebook between the 8th and 12th April. The witness responded that he didn’t meet any of them.
The witness said that when he went to towns or villages, he would meet people who were not listed in his notebook. The Defense had notes that mentioned the witness, after meeting the community leaders, would talk to town people. The witness said that they would ask people general questions. If someone knew about it, they would send that person to the Finnish police. He didn’t talk to the entire town and did not talk to people who were on the list. The witness and [FNM-312] went to pick up the list. Sometimes, they didn’t pick up a list but simply went back with the Finnish police, like in Sivilahun.
The Defense returned to the witness’ prior testimony, in which [Employee 1] discussed talking with people and asking them if they were comfortable sharing their story and repeated the question of whether [Employee 1] met the witnesses. The witness clarified that he had met and talked to the witnesses, but had not talked to them on these matters, and usually just got their contact number and forwarded them to the Finnish police. The Defense asked whether he wrote down names and phone numbers and the witness responded that it was sometimes just names. The witness clarified that sometimes he wrote down witnesses’ names into a list, and sometimes he was given a list. The Defense asked which of the witnesses he had met out of those who were listed on a particular page. The witness responded with four names from Babahun, Kotohun, Kotohun Hassala and Kamatahun. The witness said that the guy he met who compiled the list is from Kintiahun but [FNM-312] also met him in Babahun. The witness explained he had been to Kintiahun first with the Finnish Police, where he only talked to the elders. He did not always write down the names of witnesses in his notes because he didn’t know that people would ask for them.
The Defense moved on to the topic of witnesses wanting to bring photos or albums. The witness said he did not talk to Thomas as he was not at the interview, but that Thomas told [Employee 1] that a witness had an album. [Employee 1] remembered a witness, [FNM-313], who came and promised to bring a picture but did not submit them because he wanted to come back again. The witness said that, at first, Thomas didn’t mention this to him, but two days before his return, Thomas told the witness to contact [FNM-313] to tell him to bring the photo. The witness met [FNM-313] at LY junction and told him that he was under instructions from Thomas to get the photos. However, [FNM-313] did not show him the photos and said that one lady had the photos and he wanted to see Thomas. He said he needed more money to get the photos. In front of [FNM-313], the witness called Thomas to relay the request, and Thomas replied that he had already given him transportation money.
The Defense asked about an album, and the witness confirmed that he had recently been looking for a photo album. [Employee 1] thought it could have been the same guy. The guy said he needed more money to get the photos, and [Employee 1] said the police couldn’t give him additional money and asked to be put in direct contact with the lady, who he thought could have been the guy’s aunty. The witness went to meet the aunty. He thought that the album could have been by [FNM-314]. [Employee 1] told [FNM-314] that he would not underwrite his expenses before he met the lady. Her name was [FNM-315]. When they met [FNM-315], the witness explained what [FNM-314] told him and the woman said she had the album and would give it to them or go with them. She went in and came out with a black plastic bag, but a man intercepted her and spoke with her in a local dialect that the witness couldn’t understand. She went back into the house and left through the back door and the witness didn’t see her for the next two hours. He informed Thomas and called [FNM-316] to discuss what had happened. The witness’ understanding from the guys around was that the lady thought they were trying to arrest her. Thomas told the witness he had done his best and to come back. Since then, the witness spoke to [FNM-316] and he promised to help convince the woman to send the album, but [Employee 1] hadn’t heard anything since.
The Defense turned to the latest group of witnesses who had been interviewed in May and June. [Employee 1] said he had helped to find some of them. The Defense asked how [Employee 1] had found those witnesses. [Employee 1] said that sometimes he spoke to insiders and ex-fighters. [Employee 1] referred to one witness who had been on other cases besides the Finnish one. [Employee 1] said he had spoken to the witness like he spoke to the others. The Defense asked if [Employee 1] had told this witness that the trial was about World War 1, 2 and 3. The witness said he had not, but the Defense said that World War 1, 2 and 3 were mentioned in the recording. The witness said he did not restrict witnesses to speaking about particular issues because something could have happened in Lofa or somewhere else. The Defense played the recording where the witness had said he asked witnesses whether they had knowledge about Charles Taylor or RUF soldiers during the war in Monrovia – World War 1, 2 and 3 – and the one that took place in Lofa. The witness maintained that he did not restrict witnesses to speaking about World War 1, 2 or 3 because he also asked about Lofa. The witness couldn’t remember but may have said that there was a court process going on and witnesses were needed. The witness said he had not told the witnesses that there was a problem with the process and that permanent witnesses would be needed. The witness said that the Finnish police did not give him instructions at this stage to ask about World War 1, 2 and 3 but that he knew to ask about Monrovia and Lofa from the work they were doing. The Defense asked whether the witness knew someone called [FNM-317] and whether that person was looking for witnesses for this process. [Employee 1] responded that he might have met [FNM-317] at an itaya shop but he talked to a lot of people and couldn’t remember. [Employee 1] said he had not asked [FNM-317] to look for witnesses, and repeated that if someone told him that they had knowledge of the war, he would ask them to show him. The Defense asked about [FNM-245]. The witness said he had heard his name but did not see him and had not asked [FNM-245] to look for witnesses. The witness clarified that only he and [FNM-312] searched for witnesses, but that wasn’t the same as someone saying they knew someone else and giving him a contact. The Defense said that one witness had stated that [FNM-245] contacted him, and then [Employee 1] had followed up. [Employee 1] acknowledged this had happened. The witness had only met him at the itaya shop but did not know him personally. The Defense said that one witness said a friend contacted him. [Employee 1] said that witness was another guy who was in Paynesville but is now in Bomi Hills. [Employee 1] met him at the itaya shop and he said he had a friend who knew a lot about the war so [Employee 1] asked for his number. [Employee 1] noted he was a commercial motor bike rider. The Defense said that another witness had mentioned a second person bringing them to the police. [Employee 1] confirmed this had happened and that the witness was a Lorma guy. The Defense asked about the second person. [Employee 1] said maybe he knew the witness, but he talked to many people and couldn’t remember. The Defense mentioned another name, and the witness responded that some of these names were sent to him, but he didn’t see them. The Defense turned to [FNM-318] and asked if this individual brought a witness to the trial. [Employee 1] confirmed this was the case, and that he knew [FNM-318] because they all rode bikes at LY junction. Sometimes they would get four or five names but could only get one person.
The Defense turned to a different witness who said that someone else had contacted him first before he spoke to [Employee 1]. [Employee 1] confirmed speaking with the witness. The Defense mentioned other names to [Employee 1]. The witness said that most people spoke with Thomas first and Thomas told him to follow up. When he called, he would get sent additional names. The witness clarified that Thomas had not given him this particular name but most times Thomas gave him names to follow up on. The Defense said that one witness said that two other people called him before he spoke to [Employee 1]. [Employee 1] said he didn’t know the first person, [FNM-319] but the witness could have made a mistake with names as most witnesses didn’t know his name. The Defense said that, according to another witness, [FNM-319] told the witness that the Finnish had a case against Angel Gabriel. [Employee 1] said he was not there and was not aware of this. [Employee 1] suggested that this is a close society, and it was possible that a witness left and was discussing it in his community, and someone heard. The Defense asked if [Employee 1] had said he was looking for witnesses to testify against Angel Gabriel, and the witness responded that he didn’t know. The Defense asked [Employee 1] how the witness knew the correct name at the beginning of his interview, and the witness responded that he didn’t know. The Defense said that somebody else had said that [Employee 1] had told him about Gibril Massaquoi. The witness responded that he did not know and did not meet them so could not have told them names.