The 60h day of public hearings resumed on Thursday, 13th January 2022 in Finland.

Witness W1 is Heard via Video link

The Defense questions the witness W1

The witness was a police officer. Looking into the additional protocol number 8, the Defense sought to understand [Employee 1]’s initial period of employment with the Finnish police, which the police registered to have been between 18 March and 19 April 2019. The Witness suggested that these dates likely represented the first investigative trip to Liberia as agreed with [Employee 1] which was organized by [FNM-330].  The rest of such trips were organized by the Witness. Next, the attention was shifted to the additional protocol number 9 which contains a table with the outgoing payments according to which a payment of USD 258 had been made, equivalent to a ten-day working period, between 18 to 29 March, 2019. The witness explained that other salary payments must have been made in the period between March and April, and the witness did not know why they were not reflected on the table. 

On 3 April 2019 USD 340 was paid with a note that it is a “budget for the trip to Lofa” which the witness clarified that it probably represented an estimated budget for the trip to Lofa where [Employee 1] was likely asked to visit ahead of the police investigators, as they sometimes did. He could not remember whether at this specific time they had already visited Lofa before. The Defense recalled the discussion during a hearing in Monrovia that [Employee 1]’s monthly salary was USD 460, which was the same monthly salary he was receiving from Civitas Maxima.  

The Defense continued with [Employee 1]’s employment in 2020 (as stated in the additional protocol number 8) according to which he worked for the Finnish police between 19/10 – 15/11/2020 but the Defense was aware that he had already worked for the police from the beginning of October, as per additional protocol 9, page 4, which showed a transfer in USD for the October salary. The Witness explained that he mistakenly did not include in the additional protocol number 8 the Western Union money transfers for the expenses and salaries incurred before the arrival of the Finnish police officers. Instead, it contained only the payments made while they were in Liberia. Moreover, in the additional protocol number 9 the Witness included the dates 01-31/10 and 01/01 – 31/03 and he verified them in his email exchange with the Civitas Maxima employee [Employee 1]’s assignment with the Finnish police. The Finnish police always requested from Civitas Maxima to hire [Employee 1] and would pay his salary for that period. The information he initially provided in the additional protocol 8 was wrong because he forgot to verify it in his email exchange.  

On page 4 of the additional protocol 9, a payment of USD 210.93 was recorded on 12/08/2019, but the Witness could not remember the expense it covered. The Witness also clarified that the reference to “one employee worked for the District Court of Pirkanamaa” from 01/01 – 15/04/2021 and 16/08-30/09 was [Employee 1] who was employed by the Central Criminal Police of Finland but the District Court of Pirkanmaa paid the invoice. However, going forward the administration will separate the invoices for investigative expenses and witness expenses. The Witness confirmed that the Central Criminal Police of Finland decided to pay [Employee 1] the same salary as Civitas Maxima. Then, in January 2021 [Employee 1] began working for the District Court of Pirkanmaa which agreed to pay him a higher salary of USD 600.  

Next the Witness explained [Employee 1]’s role in hearing the Lofa witnesses for the Central Criminal Police of Finland and the District Court. Specifically, he was in charge of communicating with them ahead of the hearings and making arrangements for their travel to Monrovia and any other practical needs. He collaborated with [FNM-312] who was located in Lofa. Typically, several weeks ahead of witness hearings [Employee 1] travelled to Lofa to prepare and [FNM-312] organized their transportation from Lofa. It is evident from the additional protocol 9 that [Employee 1] travelled to Lofa in January. Between February and April when [Employee 1] was employed by the District Court, [FNM-312] followed up with the people in villages in Lofa to ensure they would travel to Monrovia on time while [Employee 1] met them in Monrovia and accompanied them to their accommodation that had previously been arranged. The Witness doubted that the driver would have found the accommodation for the witnesses and also taken care of witness’ needs as many had never visited Monrovia before. There were in total two drivers who, by the second round, knew their way around, but still, there were other practical needs that [Employee 1] fulfilled and made sure people arrived in order and made it to the court on time. 

The Defense recalled a situation at the court when a person responsible for the technical equipment, conveyed that [Employee 1] was with the witnesses at the end of the hearing. The Defense intervened after which the Witness was requested to the courtroom and asked whether [Employee 1] was in the accommodation with the Lofa witnesses. The Witness confirmed that he was. The Witness denied the Defense’s claim that he had replied at the time “without [Employee 1] there are no witnesses”.

The Prosecution questions the witness W1

The Witness explained that additional protocols 8 and 9 were requested by the Defense for clarification and that they were drafted by [FNM-331]. He also explained that number 9 was prepared to clarify some contradictions related to [Employee 1]’s employment because the Witness forgot to check in his emails time periods during which [Employee 1] worked for them. So, number 9 clarified the information from number 8 as the Witness confirmed in his emails the specific dates agreed upon with Civitas Maxima when [Employee 1] would work for the Finnish police. 

The Witness described [Employee 1]’s role with the witnesses as a person whose organization ensured that witnesses could be contacted, attend hearings and someone in his position could tackle cultural and other obstacles. The police never suspected that [Employee 1] may have an ulterior agenda.

The Defense questions the witness W1 again

As [Employee 1] was paid by the Central Criminal Police of Finland the Defense inquired whether the police paid related income tax and other duties in either Finland or Liberia. The Witness clarified that the payment was made in Liberia and [Employee 1] was responsible for the related taxes or dues. The Defense was looking for salary certificates indicating that salary and taxes have been paid. The Witness asserted that the Western Union receipts contain travel expenses, salary, and other expenditures, and in the protocol number 9 the total sums were broken down. 

The Defense referred to the witnesses heard in Monrovia in 2019. All of them but one testified that the war in Monrovia ended in 2003. Then, the Defense said it became indisputable that Massaquoi was in the safe house in Sierra Leone as of March 2003, and the Defense said that then a new group of witnesses said that the events took place before 2003. The Witness confirmed that he, as an experienced investigator, certainly took note of this change in the time period. The Witness said that the Finnish police did not suspect that the witnesses had been influenced. They took witness testimonies as they were told. The investigators remarked that there was a difference in testimony between two groups, but he could not remember if they were completely different. Throughout the interviews the investigators attempted to clarify time periods but concluded that people could not recall them accurately. 

The Prosecution questions the witness W1 again

The Witness explained that had the hearing taken place in Tampere he could have printed out the receipts; some payments were made in Liberia, and those made via Western Union produced receipts that detail only the total sum without a break down. Also, had the hearing taken place in Tampere the source documents could have been printed out. 

The Court Examines Written Evidence

After the break the parties discussed several documents related to [Employee 1].

The Judge proposed that the court review [FNM-243]’s statement. The Defense began with the document on page 349 of the pre-trial protocol which contained his written responses as [FNM-243] could not be heard in court despite several attempts.  

According to [FNM-243], Gibril arrived at the safe house in 2003 and was receiving payments until he left for Finland. The WVS team did not meet Gibril before he came to the safe house. The Court rented the safe house, paid the rent, paid an action result grant and health care expenses among other expenses. Massaquoi could not leave the safe house without an official escort and was explicitly brought to the prosecutor’s interviews. During the 5 years Massaquoi was under protection, different reports related to his rent expenses, healthcare expenses, his kids’ school expenses, and others, were destroyed due to administrative reasons. Threat assessments were made from time to time, and in [FNM-243]’s opinion, Gibril was the target of a real threat. On 31/07 there was an incident in the safe house Gibril was living in, and the possibility of it being a targeted attack could not be ruled out, so Gibril moved immediately to a safer place. Gibril lived in three different safe houses before leaving to Finland. [FNM-243] was sure that between 03/2003-09/2005 it was not possible for Gibril to leave the safe house. The possibility of him leaving was very small but he could not say with certainty that Gibril would not have left.

The Defense pointed out that [FNM-243] as the head of the department emphasized that the threat was directed at Gibril. [FNM-243] also said that until the testimony in March 2003, he was absolutely certain that Gibril could not have left the safe house without his knowledge, but after 2005, security levels were lowered, so [FNM-243] could not be sure. The Defense said that they couldn’t ask [FNM-243] whether Gibril could have left for Ivory Coast or spend extended time in Liberia but that according to [FNM-243]’s written evidence, Gibril could not have left the safe house. The Prosecution accepted the use of this document but inquired whether [FNM-243] could be heard under any circumstances. The Judge explained that the Ministry of Justice instructed that [FNM-243] ought not to be contacted neither via video nor phone. The record would reflect that both parties accepted this without waving their rights to possibly hear him at a later stage. 

The Prosecution pointed out that it ought to be considered that [FNM-243] was the head of the witness protection unit. The Prosecution identified contradictions between statements. Specifically, under point 2, [FNM-243] stated that witnesses could not leave ever, and in point 7, he confirmed that again but later added that he could not guarantee that Gibril never left the house. The Prosecution acknowledged the Defense’s understanding that [FNM-243] was stating a certainty for the period of 2003-2005, and then the statement of uncertainty pertained to the time period after 2005. However, the Prosecution maintained that without hearing from [FNM-243] it could not be known whether he differentiated between time periods; only he could provide the “precise meaning”. The Prosecution concluded that when the document is read in the context of what succeeds it [FNM-243] does not provide a definite answer, but instead states that it is unlikely that Gibril would ever have left. 

The Defense said that [FNM-243] was not always present at the safe house and could not follow all Gibril’s movements. Also, [FNM-243] made this statement during the pre-trial investigation without being able to reflect on witness testimonies referring to Gibril’s actions. The Defense interpreted point 7 to mean that between 2003 and 2005 it was impossible for Gibril to leave. After the testimony, the security level was lowered over time after which it could not be said with certainty that Gibril did not leave. 

Moving on to Prosecutor’s written evidence, the Prosecutor went through the evidence already submitted to identify the discrepancies between [FNM-243]’s statement and Gibril’s description. Specifically, the Prosecution focused on the pre-trial protocol (2400/R/200/18) pg. 3504-5, a memorandum of the attack on the second safe house in which Gibril was living. Someone had said that the guard on duty had approached the intruder, then two intruders attacked the guard from behind and tried to stab him, and all the intruders were armed. Then the intruders went upstairs, and the guard followed and yelled at Massaquoi to escape, after which Massaquoi managed to jump over the fence. 

The Prosecution said that the description differed from Gibril’s testimony in court who explained that at the time he was upstairs, and the person came from downstairs. They called [FNM-243] and waited for someone to open the door, but they managed to open the door with the guard and with the help of a table and some bricks they crossed the wall and escaped with the children. The Prosecution inquired whether [FNM-243] left something out or this was the description someone gave to him. The Prosecution was concerned with the differences in the account of the event and that one of the descriptions does not correspond to the facts. 

The Defense replied that Gibril explained that the report was only about him and for that reason children were not mentioned but that the account of the escape over the fence was the same. The Defense conceded that it is not clear whether [FNM-243] wrote everything down or if this represented a general description or whether the guard conveyed the events as they happened. Gibril had testified that the attack happened shortly before he was about to testify and that he escaped to a house next door.

The Prosecution continued with the additional protocol 1, beginning on page 9. It contained the interrogation record of a police officer following up with questions sent to [FNM-243] via e-mail after he had submitted the written responses. In this document the Prosecution began from page 11, point 5.

The police had asked if it would have been possible for Massaquoi to leave the safe house or visit another country without the witness protection group knowing. [FNM-243] had replied that it was very unlikely that Massaquoi could have left the safe house, and virtually impossible that Massaquoi could have left the country without them knowing. The Prosecution said that this answer indicated probability and not certainty. In response to the police’s question whether the threat to Massaquoi ever came to a head, [FNM-243] replied that there was attempted break-in at the safe house in 2005, after which Massaquoi was moved to a safer environment and security measures were tightened. The Prosecution emphasized [FNM-243]’s comment that security measures were tightened, which corresponded to another witness’ description of the security measures that were in place until the incident. 

The Defense interjected that the purpose of a safe house was to provide safety and security for Gibril so he can testify at the SCSL and that it was not a prison. Consistent with what Gibril testified, after the attack, armed guards were assigned around the clock, while before there was only one armed guard present in one of the shifts. 

The Prosecution said that it was undisputed that security measures at the safehouse were tightened after the attack, but only by giving a gun to the guards. The Prosecution said that when a person is tasked with describing an event that they did not directly experience, he/she has to include all different possibilities as he/she understands them. The Court must assess the strength of that assessment in comparison with the witness testimonies. The Prosecution underlined that there were two phases of the security measures: one before the testimony and the other after it. 

Moving on, the Prosecution turned to evidence from the pre-trial protocol, which was an article or a report entitled “Massacre in Liberia” submitted on 21st of May 2002 to the UN. The Prosecution said that the report was written by the witness L5 who testified to reveal what went on in Lofa during the war. He fled Sierra Leone and went to a refugee camp where he interviewed around 75 persons and only one of those people, [FNM-325], could provide a detailed account of specific people who had been burned in their homes in the village of Kamatahun, by Gibril, as he understood it. Other witnesses mentioned Kamatahun but mostly passed by or saw burned houses and human corpses. Some people also mentioned that Zigzag Marzah ordered the killings. The Prosecution continued that [FNM-325] made a list of victims during pre-trial hearings and both parties had the list. When that list is compared with the list in L5’s article, the 15 names match. During the pre-trial hearing [FNM-325] asserted that Gibril who was in trial is the same person as Gabriel. The Prosecution concluded that accordingly this article did not rule out Gibril as a possible person behind the attack. 

The Defense agreed that it was undisputed that [FNM-325]’s account, as conveyed by the witness L5, was a description of the same event in the Prosecutor’s indictment. There were also some of the same names in this account as were mentioned in the Prosecutor’s indictment. However, the Defense reminded the court of [FNM-226]’s testimony that Gibril’s name was not mentioned and that Zigzag Marzah was in charge.

The parties further discussed the challenges inherent in witnesses accurately remembering names from 20 years ago. The Central Criminal Police of Finland had said they had arbitrarily found witness L5, but his name was noted in [Employee 1]’s notes. It was decided that this issue would be addressed in closing statements. 

Witness [Employee 1] is Heard Virtually

The Defense questions the witness Employee 1

The Defense began the questioning in relation to the pre-trial protocol pages 669, 674, 684 and 687. 

Referring to the hearing in Monrovia, the Witness had testified that he did not initially take part in witness background interviews about Gibril for Civitas Maxima but was involved later on. Now, he clarified that he had conducted a preliminary interview with three to four people and passed on the information to the Central Criminal Police of Finland. However, the police did not use any of these people as witnesses. The information he collected with the Central Criminal Police of Finland was forwarded to GJRP and then to Civitas Maxima. He could not remember the names of these four people but knew it was three women and one man. One of the women had a child. The Witness confirmed that these interviews were conducted before he started working for the Central Criminal Police of Finland. He didn’t work with them on their first trip but did collaborate with them on their second trip.

The Defense turned to the record of an interview conducted by Civitas Maxima on 20/01/2018. The Witness confirmed he was present at the interview, but that similar to the way he worked for the Central Criminal Police of Finland, he conducted the pre-trial interview and conveyed the information he collected to the person who actually conducted the interview. The interview was with the civilian 3 who was in zone 1 and 2, Grand Pass. The Witness called him on the phone and Civitas Maxima conducted the interview.

Under point 12 in the interview, Civilian 3 asserted that GJRP’s notes about him witnessing a shooting with a long gun was incorrect and that it must have been a misunderstanding. The Witness said that there may have been a misunderstanding that was corrected in the Civitas Maxima’s interview, from which this quote was taken. The Witness recalled that during the pre-interview on the phone he and Civilian 3 spoke of the kind of gun used during the event and he was possibly mistaken about whether it was a long or short gun. 

On pagr 674 of the pre-trial protocol was an interview with Civilian 19 but the Witness could not remember whether he interviewed this person as he was not the only one conducting pre-interviews. The interview in question was conducted on 21/01/2018 by someone from Civitas Maxima. The Witness could not remember whether he was involved and explained that his role was not to conduct interviews. The Defense raised that according to a Civitas Maxima document, the Witness provided cultural explanations, translations from Liberian English, and acted as a secondary interviewer. The Witness was not aware that he was assigned these responsibilities and clarified that he was present in the interview for 5 to 10 minutes but someone else usually conducted the interviews. 

Page 684 of the pre-trial protocol related to Civilian 32 and the Witness remembered that she was a woman with a baby. The Witness interviewed her via telephone and transferred the information to Civitas Maxima but did not participate in the interview in Monrovia. Civilian 32 had said that [Employee 1] was interested in certain things going on in Lofa, and wanted to talk to people who lost someone. She, thus, spoke to [Employee 1] on January 15th on the phone and told him about her experiences. The Witness had told her it was urgent and about justice. The witness said that this contact sounded correct as they had conducted pre-interviews on the phone; he asked about murder and torture in Lofa and transferred the information to Civitas Maxima just like he did with the Finnish Police.

The witness remembered Civilian 33 as “a tall guy” whom he met either in Lofa or Margibi and Civitas Maxima interviewed him on 19/01/2018. The Witness was not present for the actual interview but interviewed him before Civitas Maxima. According to the evidence, civilian 33 shared that [Employee 1] brought him “here” and that he was first referred to [Employee 1] for guidance. [Employee 1] said that he would speak to him on January 9 to understand what had happened during the war, that he would write it down and “send it to white people.” On the day of the interview, [Employee 1] called him to inform him that “white people” had arrived and would help investigate what had happened to him. The witness said that he had not offered Civilian 33 guidance or advice, he only conducted the pre-interview.

The Witness said that when he met the Civilian 33 he conducted the pre-trial interview in person because he was in Grand Bassa at the time, which is close to Maguibi Road. During the pre-interview the Witness took quick notes which he shared with Civitas Maxima, and he did not know if this case was related to the Finnish authorities or not. 

The Witness emphasized that he conducted these pre-interviews with the GJRP prior to his engagement with the Central Criminal Police of Finland. He was not required to take very detailed notes when he contacted the witnesses over the phone. The information he collected he shared with GJRP. The Defense confirmed that the notebooks were not required because the employment dates were corrected in the additional protocol 9.

The Prosecution questions the witness Employee 1

As the Witness did not have copies of his notebooks on him the Prosecution had no further questions. 

Witness [GJRP-1] is heard via call

The Defense questions the witness [GJRP-1]

The Witness had been heard in Monrovia about the events in Clay and partially on his statement to Civitas Maxima of 24/01/2018 regarding Gibril Massaquoi in Clay. The Defense said that today several points would be addressed from this evidence and one point from the Charles Taylor trial documents. 

According to the pre-trial protocol, pg. 695, during the interrogations the Witness stated that “when they took me to clay, I had already been in prison for 2 months, 26.7.2002.” The Witness did not recall this, but he remembered having been arrested on a Monday, either on 20/06 or 24/06 and was under arrest for two months, which is incorrect as June to July is one month. The Defense requested that the Court record reflect the different statement and to flag this as reference material. The Witness corrected the date of his arrest to 24/06 because it is his birthday on that day. He confirmed that he did not have his notes on him to verify because only the day before he had been informed that he was summoned to speak with the court and did not understand it was for a trial hearing. 

The Defense said that according to the protocol the Witness previously stated that Gibril was there with the electrocution machine that [FNM-309] also used and the Witness confirmed that he believed it to be correct. 

The Witness did not remember his statement that he was brought to Clay on 26/04/2002 and was there for at least a week and subjected to at least two rounds of torture before Gibril came. He, however, did remember that before Clay he was in NDI prison cells, then moved to Coldwell zone 7 and 5 under the command of chief Light. The Defense asked to have this point under reference material as well because the Witness was not sure of the content of the statement. 

On page 695 of the protocol the Defense went through two prior statements. In the first, the Witness said “during one event in 2002 it was only Gibril torturing me” and he confirmed this statement and explained that one event involved several people, but when the electric shocks began other people left; in one part of this event Gibril tortured him. He urged the Court to send someone to Liberia to confirm that the building where the commanders and leaders were was different from the place where the torture took place. Today it houses the local migration office. 

The Witness reiterated that Gibril instructed the woman who was there to torture him, although there were others who beat him such as [FNM-309] who gave the orders to Gibril and other people also tied him in tabay from which he still has marks on his hands. The Defense asked how Massaquoi had tortured him that one time. The witness responded that Gibril was involved in the tabay and he ordered the woman to apply the electric shocks. After giving the order, he left to sit down with Benjamin Yeaten and [FNM-310]. There were other people there present who did not take part in the torture, such as Benjamin Yeaten’s driver. The Prosecution interjected to clarify that [GJRP-1] did not say that he was moved to another room, it was [FNM-309] who went to the room where the torture continued.

The Defense raised that the witness had previously testified that Gibril and [FNM-309] were in the room but not Benjamin Yeaten. The Witness explained that when he was relocated from the cellar to the office building, [FNM-309] left to another room with other people. Then [FNM-309] took him, Gibril and the woman to another place where he was tortured. The Witness added that he thought that as [FNM-309] was Liberian who was assigned to Benjamin Yeaten, he was of higher rank than Gibril who was Sierra Leonean. The Defense requested the court to include parts where the witness stated only Gibril was present to the reference material. 

The Defense recalled that during the first questioning in Monrovia the Witness repeatedly stated that he did not know who ordered his torture. The Witness replied that he did not remember whether he said it like that but that this was his opinion. He thought that [FNM-309] ordered Gibril to escort the Witness to the room to be tortured and sent the woman there, too. Gibril ordered the woman to torture him and he monitored it. 

The Defense said that the Witness responded to the Prosecution previously that he did not remember who had given orders to the woman. The Witness reiterated that he could not be certain.  He recalled that [FNM-309], Gibril, himself and the woman went into the building from the street. [FNM-309] beat him in the cellar, said something and then walked out. The Witness believed that [FNM-309] had a higher rank than Gibril, who was ordering the woman. When the Witness screamed in pain, the woman was asked to stop the torture and he was questioned and accused to have conspired to stage a coup against Taylor, together with the American foreign minister and others.

The Defense repeated that in the spring of 2021, [GJRP-1] had said that he did not know who gave the woman orders, but now he believed that it was Massaquoi. The witness confirmed, and added that he had also been tortured for 2.5 hours by Charles Taylor, which is something he had already said in Europe and the USA. 

The Defense read aloud from the Witness’ interview with Civitas Maxima, highlighting the witness’ use of the word “he” when referring to the person electrocuting him. The Witness explained that [FNM-309], Gibril, the woman and himself went to the “main torture” room after which [FNM-309] left Gibril in charge who was ordering the woman to torture the Witness. It was Gibril who asked the questions after the Witness screamed to stop and ordered the woman to resume the torture when his answers were not agreeable. The witness confirmed that there was only Massaquoi, him, and the woman in the main torture room after [FNM-309] left.

The Witness explained that in the first interrogation he stated that he believed that Gibril gave orders and explained that there was a difference between the words belief and knowledge in the English language. 

The Witness testified at the Charles Taylor trial in 2009. In the pre-trial protocol, pages 3473-4, the Witness stated: “I also did see someone I had previously reported of Gibril who personally told me he was a Sierra Leonian, he asked me when torturing me, whether I know what Gibril means, and I said yes because I understand Arabic.” 

The witness explained that he knew Gibril from the media as an important person in the RUF. Also, as a Muslim, the Witness knew that Gibril refers to the favourite angel of God according to the Bible and the Coran. The Defense emphasized the part in the evidence in which Gibril presented himself to the Witness during the torture, as the Witness confirmed that he believed that he testified during the trial that Gibril tortured him. The Defense requested to mark this as reference material.

The Prosecution questions the witness [GJRP-1]

The Prosecution pointed out that after the Defense’s questioning, it was clear that [GJRP-1] had not mentioned a woman in prior testimonies. The Witness explained that because of the nature of his profession, as a journalist and a human rights defender, he encountered many enemies, and had not wanted to bring up the woman before. It was Massaquoi who asked the questions and led the situation; he considered that Massaquoi had tortured him personally and he was responsible for it. Finally, he explained that for a Muslim man from the Mandigo tribe it is culturally challenging to speak about another woman, not his wife, administering electric shocks to his genitalia. For all these reasons he considers that it was Gibril himself who tortured him.  

The Witness could not remember now everything that Gibril said to the woman primarily because he could not hear since he was screaming in pain. Only when the woman stopped, he was able to hear the questions and was asked who his accomplices were. The Witness also stated that when Charles Taylor tortured him, a TV crew was brought in to record his confession and broadcast it later on the radio.

During this period of arrest the Witness was abused and tortured more than five times and was blindfolded during most beatings but he recognized [FNM-309]’s voice. At this specific instance he was not blindfolded, however. He specified that he had been tortured at zone 5, Como Town, sub-zone 5, at Clay, also the National Bureau of Investigations. He explained that after Charles Taylor had interrogated him and didn’t get the answers he wanted, he called Benjamin Yeaten to get him to make the witness talk. Massaquoi and [FNM-309] operated under Yeaten.

The Defense questions the witness [GJRP-1] again

The Defense returned to Witness’ testimony before the SCSL, specifically points 19 and 20 to confirm that the Witness stated them. In particular, the Defense pointed out that he had not mentioned Massaquoi in this section. 

The Witness explained that he had mentioned “Yeaten and his men,” which included Gibril who was under Yeaten’s command as well as other foreign mercenaries. He added that in that case before the SCSL, Gibril was not the one accused. The Witness clarified that although [FNM-309] was not in the court then, he mentioned him because he had known him for a long time and they knew each other personally.

The Defense pointed out that the Witness referred to “Yeaten, Tuah and their SS men.” The witness said that Gibril was considered a member of the SS men because he was close to Yeaten. When he was asked in the hearings in Liberia whether Gibril was in the SS the Witness could not remember his response. The Defense suggested that he said that “SS men are always Liberians and Sierra Leonians belong to ACBA.” The Witness confirmed that and added that all foreign mercenaries at ACBA were under Yeaten’s command. The Witness further clarified that SS was composed of Liberians unless Yeaten wanted someone to join the SS. However, Gibril was not specifically mentioned, and the Witness explained that it is because 95% of his book was not recorded in his testimony. He was under the control of Benjamin Yeaten and his men. Yeaten led the war for Charles Taylor and all the fighters were under him.  It was Yeaten who took the Witness to Clay and Lofa. When he said Yeaten’s men, he meant all the fighters.

The Judge interjected that according to their notes on this topic the Witness previously replied that according to the law, only Liberians could be SS men and that the Sierra Leoneans fought in ACBA but that Taylor could order the men to join the SS. 

The Witness could not confirm whether Charles Taylor ordered Gibril to join SS but said that Massaquoi was in Liberia on Taylor’s invitation. It was general knowledge that Taylor had helped the RUF in Sierra Leone and that Taylor and Massaquoi had formed a bond. 

The Defense turned to Witness’ relationship with [FNM-309]. According to the pre-trial protocol, page 695, [GJRP-1] had said that “It was always [FNM-309] and some of his men that I did not know. I did not know [FNM-309] prior to this but I got to know him because whenever he came his men would get ready,” while today the Witness had stated that he knew him for several years. The Witness now clarified that he knew of him, rather than that he knew him. They were never friends. He knew that [FNM-309] was with Charles Taylor and Yeaten. The Witness explained now that he did not know [FNM-309] personally, but that he knew of him and although they came from the same country he did not know how bad of a person he was. 

Defense requested that this be added to the reference materials.

The Prosecution questions the witness [GJRP-1] again

The Witness could not remember if he was given the opportunity to read through and sign the record of the Civitas Maxima interview but assumed that he was.

The Court Discusses Evidence 

After the witness hearing ended the Judge asked the Prosecution for an update on the photo analysis.  The Prosecution explained that the photos are in the laboratory of the Central Criminal Police of Finland for age analysis. As the laboratory could not complete it, the samples were sent to the company that had manufactured the paper, which had not yet provided answers on the timetable. 

The Defense raised a concern on the possible disappearance of papers, specifically that some photos in the pre-trial protocol had not been entered into evidence and the person who provided them could not be questioned. The Defense said that the photos had been manipulated to evidence the guilt of the defendant. 

The Judge replied that since these photos had not been presented to the court they could not be discussed further. 

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