January 24, 2008
MONROVIA (TRC)?The widow of former deputy minister of Public Works, Isaac
Vaye, told the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia Thursday, the
11th public hearing, that former president Charles Taylor and General Benjamin
Yeaten were responsible for the death of her husband.
Suzanna Vaye said Isaac Vaye and John Yormie were arrested on June 4, 2003 and taken to the
residence of former president Taylor before they were killed.
Mrs. Vaye said Vaye and Yormie were later taken from "White Flower" (Taylor's
house) to an unknown destination where they were murdered. She said her husband
and Yormie were killed upon the orders of General Benjamin Yeaten, alias "50."
Susanna, 48, said this happened when an indictment to arrest Taylor was
unsealed by the United Nations backed War Crimes Court for Sierra Leone while
he was attending a peace conference in Ghana.
She said that when news of the indictment hit Monrovia,
Vaye was at the home of Taylor's
brother, Bob, in Paynesville, when he was called to return home.
She said when her husband heard that John Yormie was invited by President
Taylor, he decided to accompany him, but she advised him not to because he was
not the one invited.
Susanna said she and Yormie's widow, Cynthia, made frantic efforts to know
their husbands' whereabouts by going to the homes of General Joe Tuah and
Richard Flomo, alias "Banana," the special attendant to President Taylor but to
She said they were informed of their murders on July 14, 2003, during the height of the war with
the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) and the Movement
for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL).
The first blind witness to testify since the beginning of the hearings,
Sarah Quaye,said her father, Joe, husband, Mannah Anderson, and son,
Biwee Bility, were executed by fighters of the defunct National Patriotic Front
of Liberia (NPFL) while hunting for ethnic Mandingos and Krahns during the
Quaye, 45, became visually impaired from a liquor she claimed she was given by
NPFL fighters. She said the incident happened in the township
of West Point after they decided to
seek refuge elsewhere.
She also accused General Charles Julu of killing her uncle, Colonel Appleton,
in an ambush in Buchanan, Grand Bassa
County after alleging that Appleton
was a sympathizer of the NPFL.
Another witness, Annie Smallwood, said she was made handicapped when an insane
fighter of the defunct United Liberation Movement for Democracy (ULIMO) of
Roosevelt Johnson, went on a shooting spree in Bong Mines, lower Margibi
County shooting her in the right
Smallwood, 42, said the incident occurred when news spread of an attack by
ULIMO-K fighters on ULIMO-J positions in Tubmanburg in 1994, She was carrying a
three-month-old baby, who, along with his father, was killed by the attackers.
The only perpetrator to testify, Morris Padmore, recounted atrocities he
committed when he joined the NPFL in Division 11 and Du-Side
Hospital in Division 10 in
Firestone, Margibi County.
Padmore admitted involvement in the Carter Camp massacre, where over 500 to
600 civilians were murdered, and the Du-port Road
Padmore, 32, said he was 15 years-old when he was recruited into the NPFL
and trained at Konola Mission School Campus in lower Margibi
County, which was then used as a
training base. He said the base was under the command of General John Tarnue,
NPFL training commandant in 1990.
He said his first assignment was the Roberts International Airport (RIA),
where he received military supplies brought into the country by Air Burkina for
the front's leader. Thereafter, Padmore said he was sent to Gbarnga, Bong
County and Vahun, Lofa
County before he was sent to Sierra
Leone and Guinea
as a mercenary.
He also revealed his participation in the death of the five Catholic nuns
during the October 15, 1992
"Operation Octopus" that the NPFL launched to capture Monrovia.
Padmore said he and other fighters attacked Gardnerville, a suburb of Monrovia,
and entered a white building where the nuns were executed under the command of
General Christopher Vambo.
Before the execution of the nuns, Padmore said they were raped and stabbed
several times. He said he did not know they were missionaries serving the
Catholic Church in Liberia.
Padmore said he served the dissolved Special Security Unit (SSU) and Anti-Terrorist
Unit (ATU), two elite security apparatus during the Taylor
regime. He said before the Taylor
regime he was a member of the NPFL Marines Division.
Another witness, Joseph Kamara, said his left eye was damaged after he was
arrested and flogged with guns by six soldiers of the Sierra Leonean ECOMOG
contingent in Liberia
under the command of Corporal Thompson on April 5, 1995.
Kamara, 46, recalled that at about 7pm
the soldiers went to his house in West Point, claiming
that their tape recorder was missing and that it was sold to him for US$150.00,
a claim he refuted.
He said following the incident, he was taken to the ELWA
Hospital in Paynesville, where he
was told by doctors that he needed eye surgery but he lacked money to cover the
He said the matter was reported to the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission
(JPC), then headed by Samuel Kofi Woods, who in turn wrote the ECOMOG Field
Commander, who ordered an investigation.
Kamara said the investigation found the six men guilty and that they were asked
to underwrite the cost of his medical treatment, but nothing was done until
they ended their mission and returned to Sierra
The last witness to testify Thursday was Stephen Bryant, who accused then-Assistant
Minister of Youth and Sports, Marbue Richards of unjustly denying Bryant his
wage of US$150.00 because he did not play for the IE Basketball team for a