The 49th day of public hearings resumed on Friday, 24th September in Monrovia, Liberia.

Witness L1 is Heard

The Defense questions Witness L1

The Defense began by asking how the witness came to be in contact with the Finish police. The witness explained that several months ago he was called by [FNM-273], who was the former superintendent of Grand Gedeh, who told the witness that he would give his number to [FNM-201]. [FNM-201] called the witness and wanted to know whether he knew [GJRP 1]. The witness said that knew [GJRP-1] well and that [GJRP 1] had asked the witness to testify against the people he did not know. The Witness knew [GJRP-1] from ULIMO, when 20 years ago [GJRP-1] worked to recruit people to fight in the war. 

The Defense asked the witness about the meeting when [GJRP-1] asked him to testify. The witness said that [GJRP-1] picked him up from Nezoe and took him to Mamba point by taxi. In the taxi, [GJRP-1] told the witness that he could get money if he went and testified against Alieu Kosiah, Jungle Jabbah and someone called Gibril. The witness said he knew the first two commanders and couldn’t remember the name of the last but that [GJRP-1] told him he had fought in Freetown. According to the witness, [GJRP-1] wanted the witness to testify that the men had entered Liberia and opened people’s stomachs. [GJRP-1] told the witness that seeing as he was an old fighter and had fought in Lofa, he would know what to say. When the witness told [GJRP-1] that he did not know Gibril, [GJRP-1] said that he would give him a picture and when he gets on the stand that he can recognize him from the many pictures he would be shown.  

The Defense asked the witness if Hassan mentioned how much money he would get and where he would get asylum. The Witness replied that he received US $200 when Hassan took him to Mamba point and that [GJPR-1] promised US $16,000 if he were to testify. He would give him US $4,000 in advance and they could go to Ghana. The witness took the US $200 and Hassan dropped him off on Carey street, right to Unity base. Seven months later he took other people to Ghana, including General Butt Naked. 

The witness said he next saw [GJRP-1] at the funeral of [FNM-274] in Cadwell where [GJRP-1] and the witness had a confrontation. The witness told [GJRP-1] that he could not swear on the Qur’an and lie; that a curse would follow his children. [GJRP-1] then told [FNM-275] that [FNM-276] and [FNM-277] would be arrested in Norway. The witness told [GJRP-1] that no one would get money from him. A month later they met again at [FNM-278]’s house and [GJRP-1] could not talk to the witness. 

Then Defense then asked the witness whether he had recognized anyone on the pictures he was shown by the police. He replied that he recognized [GJRP-1]. The Defense also asked if he showed the police anything on his phone and the Witness confirmed that he showed the police his communications with [FNM-201]. The Defense asked if [FNM-201] gave him instructions and he replied that [FNM-201] stopped communication with him. Finally, the Defense asked the Witness whether he told anyone of [GJRP-1]’s offer of money. The Witness replied that he told three of his friends, who told him not to go. Lastly, the witness said he last saw [GJRP-1] at the aforementioned funeral.

The Prosecution questions Witness L1

The Prosecution began by asking the witness about the nature of his relationship with [GJRP-1]. The witness explained that he got to know [GJRP-1] twenty years ago, in 1992 on Jamaica road, where they lived close to one another. Their friendship started when they were together in ULIMO; the witness was a fighter and [GJRP-1] a liaison who used to bring medicine and water. After the war, in 1996 or 1997 ULIMO transformed into a political party which met at the party headquarters in Catholic junction. When the Prosecutor asked the witness if [GJRP-1] knows where he lives the witness said that they had lived in the [FNM-287] house. The witness then clarified that two years ago he left town and lives in the bush.  

When asked when he met [GJRP-1] at Mamba point, the witness said he could not remember exactly, and then said maybe two years ago. The Prosecution reminded him that he told the Finish police on 31 May, 2021, that it had been nine months ago. The witness clarified that in 2020 he did not see [GJRP-1]. He saw him when Jungle Jabbah’s case was happening and that this is what he had told the Finish police. He could not remember the exact dates. The Prosecution asked the Witness whether [GJRP-1] maybe wanted him to testify on Jungle Jabbah and the Alieu Kosiah case because they were serious cases in 2019. The witness replied that it was a trial to see if he could be used for money. The witness explained that [GJRP-1] knew that the witness had only fought for ULIMO because [GJRP-1] recruited him to fight at Po river and told him that the only way for a Mandigo to get independence is to fight. The Prosecutor asked why [GJRP-1] would ask the witness to testify against Jungle Jabbah, Alieu Kosiah and Gibril when he fought for ULIMO, and not for Charles Taylor or the RUF. The witness replied that his experience as fighter might have come up in conversations with other fighters. 

When asked whether he knew of any acts of Gibril during the war the Witness repeated that he does not know Gibril. The Prosecution then moved on to the time when Witness received US $200 from [GJRP-1] at Mamba point and asked why he accepted the money if he was not going to testify. The witness replied that [GJRP-1] thought he could encourage the Witness by the money and about where they would go, but the Witness could not swear on the Qur’an or the Bible and lie.  

The Prosecution then asked about the US $4,000 that [GJRP-1] offered to the witness as an advance.  The witness explained that he did not go to Ghana, so he did not get the money. The Prosecutor asked where [GJRP-1] obtained what the Prosecutor calculated to be US $20,000. The witness said he did not know where the money came from but that [GJRP-1] said he was working. The Prosecution highlighted that the witness mentioned accepting $200 from [GJRP-1] but had said that it was both for transportation and as a test. The witness said he was referring to money that he didn’t work for.

In relation to [GJRP-1]’s request to testify against Jungle Jabbah, Kosiah and Gibril the Prosecutor asked what [GJRP-1] had asked the witness to say. The witness said that [GJRP-1] asked him to make up his own story. The witness said that he told [GJRP-1] that Jungle Jabbah was the best rebel and in the area under his control no one intimidated anyone. Then, [GJRP-1] asked the witness to testify that both Alieu Kosiah and Gibril captured Lofa county, but he refused because he wasn’t there. The Prosecution pressed the witness to describe the lies that [GJRP-1] asked the witness to say about Gibril. The witness said that there were many, including asking the witness to say that Gibril had raped people and opened their stomachs. [GJRP-1] had emphasized the importance of repeating Gibril’s name. When the witness mentioned a female lawyer representing Gibril Sesay, the Prosecutor interrupted, and the witness explained that he had meant Gibril Massaquoi but he couldn’t pronounce the name so he said Gibril Sesay. The witness said that the female lawyer had called him and told him that [FNM-201] had given her his number.

The Prosecution next asked if the witness knew [FNM-201]. The Witness replied that he prosecuted their former leader. The Prosecutor asked the Witness about the contents of [FNM-201]’s message. The witness found the WhatsApp message of 21st April in which [FNM-201] wrote: “I understand you spoke to the defense counsel of Massaquoi. Can you provide other names and phone numbers of who he recruited as witnesses against Massaquoi.” The Prosecution asked how [FNM-201] knew that there were witnesses recruited to testify against Massaquoi. The witness said that he had first spoken to [FNM-273] who gave his number to [FNM-201]. The Prosecution referred to the first message [FNM-201] had sent the Witness in which he wrote that it was good talking to you (the Witness) and the Witness confirmed that he had spoken to [FNM-201] about witnesses recruited to testify against Massaquoi. The Prosecution moved to the second message sent to the Witness in which he was asked whether there were witnesses to [GJRP-1] offering him money and asylum in exchange for false testimony. The Prosecutor confirmed that the witness had told [FNM-201] that [GJRP-1] recruited witnesses to testify falsely. The Prosecutor asked how the witness knew that. The witness replied that poverty can make you do many things. He explained that ex-combatants have an office at the Lonestar gas station and he heard it there. Some people came and confessed to the Witness. He sent [FNM-201] the names of persons [GJRP-1] had contacted but was not sure if they testified. Those were general Black and White and [FNM-279].  

The Prosecution returned to Witness’ earlier mention of [GJRP-1] recruiting witnesses for the Anges Reeves trial which he had not mentioned to the Police. The witness insisted that he did tell the police, even if it was not in their notes because he recalled that people were afraid to come to Monrovia because they feared getting arrested for fighting. The Prosecution asked if [GJRP-1] had promised the witness asylum. The witness confirmed that at the funeral [GJRP-1] told him that he could get him asylum in Europe, not America. The Prosecutor asked if [GJRP-1] told the witness how he would be able to get him asylum. The witness responded that [GJRP-1] said he had been doing his work for 30 years.  

The Prosecutor asked if the Witness remembered [FNM-201] sending him articles on WhatsApp. The witness confirmed that [FNM-201] had sent him a lot of articles but that he only saw them when he had cellphone connection. The articles said that [GJRP-1] was guilty and would go on trial for lying. [FNM-201] sent the witness articles in September but he was not sure if there were more because his telephone fell into water. The witness agreed that the police could take pictures from the phone after his testimony. The Prosecutor asked if the witness knew whether Alain had any activity in Liberia or whether he promised the witness anything in return for his testimony. The witness said no, and said that Alain only asked for the truth. When asked, the witness declined any knowledge of BW Group LLC. He knew [FNM-280] who fought for the LURD against Taylor and the witness supported them. He saw [FNM-280] last during the last war when Taylor was deposed. [FNM-280] was at Bagh and they were tapping rubber together. The witness confirmed that he knew [FNM-281] during the time with ULIMO but that it had been a long time since he saw him; the last time was when Taylor became president.  

When asked by the Prosecutor to whom he told that [GJRP-1] offered him money to testify the Witness replied that he had told general Black and White, [FNM-279] and [FNM-282], a female soldier.  The Prosecutor countered that according to the police summary he had also told [FNM-281]. When they listened to the recording the Witness had indeed said [FNM-281]. 

Defense asks further questions 

The Defense asked the Witness whether receiving messages from [FNM-201] had an impact on how he talked about [GJRP-1].  The witness replied that he had a visa to travel to Norway and after he heard they were arresting ex combatants he did not go. Then the Defense asked whether [FNM-201] suggested that the Witness says something to the court that is not true he replied that he did not and that all of their conversation is on the text messages. The Witness confirmed that what he testified about [GJRP-1] in court reflects his personal experience; that Bility gave him US $200 at Mamba point and asked him to testify against Gibril Massaquoi.

The Prosecution asks further questions 

The Prosecutor asked about his Norwegian visa arrangements and the Witness replied that it was a student visa for two and a half years but that he was afraid he would be arrested.  

Witness Z2 is Heard

The Prosecution questions Witness Z2

The Prosecution asked the witness to describe his experience of the second Liberian Civil War between 1999 and 2003. The witness recalled that the last time he came to Monrovia he was interviewed by the Finnish police and shown some pictures. He thought they must be old; the person in question was younger than the person in the photos. 

In his interview, the witness had told the police about his commander and the person in question. 

One evening the witness was at the house of Benjamin Yeaten’s girlfriend, [FNM-283]. Three or four pick-ups parked by the gate. His commanding officer, [FNM-284], was told that they came to meet Benjamin Yeaten. Yeaten’s meeting ended late, however, so he asked the witness and the other men to take the visitors to the guest house behind Kiss FM.  

The next time the witness saw the visitors was on the front line. There, [FNM-284] told them that [FNM-285] was the commander working with the Agbah forces, which was the RUF. Later [FNM-284] instructed them to work with Angel Gabriel. They worked with him until about three weeks before the end of the war, when they separated because of difficulties between the groups.

The Agbah forces were in the Rasamy Building and the witness and his forces were in Mr. Bar compound. One evening there was looting on Water Street. 

Salami came to their side with his forces, following the orders of Benjamin Yeaten to stop people from looting. Angel Gabriel had told Salami that if the looters resisted, they should be executed. [FNM-285] said he didn’t want looting going on while they were expecting an attack and went to the embassy area. 

Just after, the witness heard heavy gun fire. When it stopped, he and his unit came out and saw some women crying. The assistant commander was told that Agbah forces were shooting people. The witness and his unit walked to the store and saw that most of the people inside were dead. The witness and his unit called [FNM-285] to join them. Then, they went to look under the bridge, where they found that seven people had already been executed. [FNM-285] called Benjamin Yeaten who came down from E.J. Royce. He called Angel Gabriel and they went upstairs with [FNM-285]. The witness, Salami and others remained outside and argued. They almost fought among themselves but commander 50 came to calm them down. He gave money to [FNM-285] and others and asked the witness and other men to leave as he would settle it. Two to three days thereafter there was a ceasefire between the LURD and the government forces. The witness and his unit changed location and he never saw Angel Gabriel again. 

The Prosecutor asked about the leader of the Agbah forces. The witness said the first leader was Sam Bockarie who was killed in Ganta along with four other commanders. Because there was nobody else left, 50 made Angel Gabriel the new commander. His deputy was Salami and underneath Salami was [FNM-140]. The Prosecutor returned to the evening when visitors came to the house of Benjamin Yeaten’s girlfriend and asked who was present then. The witness responded that it was in June or July 2003 when the RUF special forces, Angel Gabriel and Salami, came. They arrived in the period of WW 1, 2, and 3. When they arrived it was WW2 because WW1 stopped in Duala and did not reach central Monrovia. Angel Gabriel was in a car with tinted windows and the Witness saw him at the guest house where they took them for the night. The guest house behind Kiss FM was also where the witness and his forces kept arms; an ‘ammo dump.’

Returning to the incident at the store, the Prosecutor asked whether the witness was with [FNM-285] when he went to the embassy area. The witness explained that he was assigned to guard the gate where their ammunition car and pickup was. The witness confirmed that he saw the bodies himself in the store where the Agbah forces shot people and waited for the commander to come to the scene. Then the Prosecutor asked about the witness’ earlier mention of some people having been taken under the bridge. The witness recalled that they were alerted to the shooting there by a woman who was shot in her foot. All the people shot were civilians. When he went there with general [FNM-285] they saw the bodies of the civilians and it caused a confusion. Right near the bridge was a long building called the Rasamy building. The witness explained that the Rasamy building was the Agbah base, and the bridge was the Old Bridge.

Then the Prosecutor asked the witness whether Angel Gabriel was present when he had argued with Salami. The witness replied that when they argued two generals came who were also angry and Angel Gabriel said he would only listen to 50 because he gave the orders. This incident happened in August, three or four days before the ceasefire. The witness did not see Angel Gabriel after the ceasefire. The Prosecutor inquired how many times the Witness saw Angel Gabriel. The Witness replied that he had seen him at the guest house and on the frontline, where they saw each other every day. The witness said that Angel Gabriel spoke Krio. 

The Defense questions Witness Z2

The Defense asked the witness how he got in touch with the Finnish police. The witness explained that he met his friend in Ganta, [FNM-286], who told him that the commander of the Agbah guys, from Water Street, Angel Gabriel, was arrested. [FNM-286] said that he knew someone working in an organization and gave him a number. When he called the number, [Employee 1] picked up the phone and told the witness that there were people in Monrovia, so the witness traveled to Monrovia. The Defense stated that the Finnish Police interviewed him on the 12th of May and that there was a recording and a summary. Then the Defense confirmed with the witness that his friend [FNM-286] had an amputated leg and that they met in Red Light after their phone call. The Defense asked about someone called [FNM-148] and the witness clarified that it was [Employee 1] who called him and told him there was a case and that the witness could testify in it. [Employee 1] did not tell him anything about the case, [FNM-286] did, and when he arrived in Monrovia, he got more information.

The Defense played a recording from the witness’ police interview, in which the witness described someone called [FNM-148] calling him and saying there was a problem with a case and that he wanted the witness to testify, and that the case concerned someone called Angel Gabriel. The witness accepted that it was [FNM-148] who had first called him about the case. The witness went to meet [FNM-148] at a hotel called Talk of the Town in Monrovia, and [Employee 1] was also there. The witness clarified that it was [FNM-148] who had first called him, but that when he had arrived in Monrovia and called that number, [Employee 1] had picked up. The Defense asked the witness who had said that there was a problem with a case and that it concerned Angel Gabriel. The witness said that it was his friend [FNM-286] who had heard it from [FNM-148] because they were brothers. 

The Defense then returned to how many times the Witness saw Angel Gabriel, comparing his earlier statement before the court and his statement to the police. The Witness said that although he said to the police he saw him twice, he meant many times. The Defense asked where the three or four pickups that he saw arrive at Benjamin Yeaten’s girlfriend’s house came from. The witness said they used to be at Clay Junction, but the movement of LURD forces meant they had changed location.

The Defense moved on to witness’ statements to the police about Angel Gabriel. When asked to describe him, the witness had said that he was very tall, had light skin and was skinny, and was not Liberian because he spoke like the Agbah guys. The Defense also noted that the witness thought that Angel Gabriel was his real name. The witness clarified that he told the police that he didn’t know Angel Gabriel’s real name.

The Defense returned to how many times the witness had seen Angel Gabriel. The witness explained that when he had said twice, he had meant meeting him at his boss man’s place, and then at Waterside. The witness only saw him at the incident in Waterside that he had spoken about. The time the witness saw 50 giving out money to Angel Gabriel and to others was the only time that he had seen 50 giving out money.

The Defense then returned to the Waterside biscuit store shooting incident and reminded the Witness that he had told the police about general 50 giving money to people, including Angel Gabriel, but he did not mention the shooting nor the dead bodies to the police. He also did not mention [FNM-285] to the police. The recording was played and in that segment the Witness does not mention the shooting incident. 

Then the discussion turned to two pictures the Witness was shown by a police officer during his interview. The witness said he was shown a picture of Angel Gabriel but that the picture looked older. When asked to identify the person in the picture the Witness responded that the person he was talking about is younger than the one in the photo. The Defense showed the Witness a photograph on his laptop which was the picture the police had shown to the Witness. As the Witness was walking out, the court clerk also asked him whether a photograph was shown to him by the police and the Witness confirmed that it was.  

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