Prosecution Presents “Hearsay” Witness

By C. Winnie Saywah-Jimmy

Prosecution’s 3rd witness, Moses Kermue, who testified as an employee of Plant Protection Department (PPD) of the Liberia Agriculture Company (LAC) said he was not present but was told on the 17th of November 2007 when he got news that Bruno Michiels was shot and killed around the 3.3 Extension.

He said, “I heard from a reliable source by information while at my house; a call was made which we heard that the late Bruno was shot and killed. I was not there that day because it was my day-off.”

He said but on November 16, there was a surveying team headed by the late Bruno and one Alex Peterson and others including and two PPD officers which were all in the bush together. He explained how the surveyors began to cut the road and planted pegs.

The witness said while performing their duties, they came across two gentlemen in the forest and met one Alex Tarr and Rufus but upon their arrival they saw us, and following an exchange Alex asked whether the promise LAC made to build them school and clinic was done and he told them that this had been on the radio therefore they should monitor and see what their benefits will be.

“It was already approaching lunch time and Bruno was about to go for lunch. We requested to escort him back on the road but he said no and that we should continue our work. The team continued to cut through the bush until they approached a young rubber bush and it was where we saw a group headed by Mr. Crusoe,” the government witness testified.

“We heard them say, ‘who are you gentlemen and where are you from?’ At that time, the late James Myers answered saying we are from LAC plantation and Mr. Crusoe said, “I learned that LAC was going to conduct a survey here, so we declared this day a holiday in our area and LAC has been fooling us, this time around, LAC is not going to fool us, in fact, I’m going to let the government to know about this so if you people leave here today, you must not return again,” he explained further.

Witness Kermue said Crusoe turned his back to them and while walking away said, “if your come back here, your will see what will happen”. He explained that a lady he is unable to identify even now appeared with the group and said to Myers, “James I know you very well; don’t be part of these people.”

He said while they were leaving the bush, he asked James who the woman is and was told that she is called ‘K’ and how he (James) knew all those who were in the group adding that he (Kermue) is unable to recognize anybody in the docket besides Mr. Crusoe.

The State 4th witness, Obediah Koffa also took the stand and in his testimony told the court and jury that he too was absent from work on the day Bruno was allegedly murdered but ironically attested that it was all the defendants in the dock who committed the act.