Another Witness Testifies In Mercenary Trial

By Edwin G. Wandah

The ongoing hearing of the 19 Liberians on trial for allegedly crossing over to the Ivory Coast to wage war on that sisterly nation has entered another day, with another witness taking the stand for the second day of the trial.

During yesterday’s hearing at Criminal Court ‘C’ at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia, the witness pleaded guilty to the allegation levied against them by the State.

According to the witness, he and several Liberians standing trial were forcibly recuited from Liberia and taken to the Ivory Coast to wage a war in that neighboring country.

“I followed those guys in the Ivory Coast and we went through ambushes to fight in,” the witness stated.

Meanwhile, on the first day of the witness’ testimony, he explained that after travelling to Grand Gedeh County to dig gold, he was forcibly arrested by Nyezee Barway’s men, asking him to join them as they were on their way to the Ivory Coast to fight.

However, during the cross- examination, defense counsel asked the witness to prove beyond all reasonable doubts while he believes that those arrested and are on trial are the doers of the crime.

As defense lawyers led by Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe who quizzed the witness on series of questions observed that the Prosecuting team representing the Republic of Liberia objected to several of the defense lawyer’s questions on grounds that the defense counsel overly burdened the witness with records.

In further crossed examinations, Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe asked the witness that in his first testimony, he told the court and jury that he (the witness) did not carry guns, despite his admittance of being involved with Nyezee Barway and the rest of the guys.

On that, the witness denied taking up arms to fight, but admitted serving as medic for Nyezee Barway and the rest of the guys in the Ivory Coast. “I did not carry guns; I was treating those guys that were being wounded at the war front and I did not even use anything,” the witness stated.

The case was adjourned for today, Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 8 a.m.