In the Angolan capital Luanda the first witnesses for the prosecution have been appearing in the trial of 13 mercenary soldiers who face the death sentence for their role in the recent Angolan civil war.
SV Callan in handcuffs enters court and fixes head-phones
SV Callan's lawyer Maria Lopez
GV Court ZOOM INTO Callan sitting amongst others mercenaries
SV Mercenaries sitting in court
SV Callan PULL BACK TO Grillo giving evidence PAN TO judge (3 shots)
BELL: "Callan came in handcuffs and it seemed to set him apart even more from the other 12 accused. It followed previous incidents in the dock when he had seemed to chide and threaten some of the others. The same morning -- the fourth day of the trial -- Callan had turned down the offer of a British lawyer, preferring his Angolan Maria Lopez who, by common consent, has handled the difficult case with great skill. At the start of the session the presiding judge explained why the handcuffs were necessary."
WOMAN TRANSLATOR: "That Callan must attend the court with handcuffs on because of his undisciplined activities and because he might choose to do something unexpected."
BELL: "First to give evidence that day was the injured Gustavo Grillo, Argentinian born, but a former U.S. marine. He had also once been bodyguard to a New Jersey racketeer with Mafia connections."
WOMAN TRANSLATOR: (Unclear) Grillo what is your name?"
GRILLO: "My name is Gustavo Otelo Grillo."
BELL: After evidence of identification the cameras as usual had to leave but Grillo was to go on under gentle and sympathetic questioning to reveal himself as the star witness. He condemned the British and American governments, the CIA, his fellow mercenaries and himself. My eyes have been opened, he said, I see some light. I see things different now."
The trial of the 13 mercenaries -- nine British, two Americans, one Irishman and an Argentine is being extensively covered on Angolan and Cuban television. Then men fought for the losing side in the Angolan civil war -- the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA).
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Background: In the Angolan capital Luanda the first witnesses for the prosecution have been appearing in the trial of 13 mercenary soldiers who face the death sentence for their role in the recent Angolan civil war. One has described how white mercenary leader and former British paratrooper Costas Georgiou, known as Colonel Callan, was in command when up to 73 Angolans were slaughtered. After the warning by presiding judge Mr. Ernesto Teixeira da Silva that Callan might try to do something unexpected, the Cypriot born Londoner again appeared in handcuffs on Monday. The BBC's Martin Bell reports on the effect it had on the court.