LIBERIA: First State Witness Trips In ‘Mercenary’ Case

Pascal Kollie , the first state witness in the trial of the 18 alleged mercenaries on Wednesday gave a contradictory account of  the  number of persons he actually knew in the cross-border attack  into Cote d’Ivoire.

It can be recalled that during his testimony from the witness stand at the Criminal Court 'D' at the Temple of Justice last week, Kollie named General Neezee Barway, Kia Cole, Edward Cole and Prince Youtely, as those he knew during the cross-border attack.

However, during cross-examination by Defense Counsel Tiawon Gongloe Wednesday, Kollie changed his testimony, stating that Neezee Barway, who he identified as leader of the group, was the only person he actually knew.

When asked about his position on the frontline, Kollie testified that he had no cutlass, gun or any arm to fight because, as he put it, “General Neezee Barway did not trust me because I am from a different tribe and I can speak French, so he thought that if he gave me gun, I will kill them.”

“So I was waiting for someone to die on the frontline then I will take their gun to fight,” he added.

Kollie said the seven peacekeepers were killed upon the order of General Neezee Barway, explaining that Barway told Kia Cole to blast the UN Peacekeepers’ pickup truck with his rocket propelled grenade (RPG).

He further testified that after killing the peacekeepers, General Barway and his men took their guns to Garlo Town in Grand Gedeh County.

Following the cross-examination, the court adjourned to resume Thursday with more witnesses testifying.

The 18 Grand Gedeans are accused of involvement in the cross-border attack into Cote d'Ivoire in 2010-2011, which resulted in the deaths of several persons, including seven UN peacekeepers.

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