The transcripts of the trial of Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia. More…

  • Very good. Please proceed, Mr Santora.

  • Good morning Madam President, your Honours. Good morning counsel.

  • Good morning Mrs Witness. Are you hearing me in Krio?

  • I am just going to ask you a few questions about some of the things that you said yesterday before we move on to continue what you were talking about and just for purposes of Defence counsel I will give you any references I use just ahead of time of the question and the first one is actually from page 12127 of yesterday's transcript, lines 10 through 16.

    Mrs Witness, yesterday you were talking about the time when the Abidjan Peace Accord was signed and then where you were, you were attacked by the Kamajors and that you and your group were scattered until the AFRC coup. Now, I asked you whether or not you were operating on a radio at that time, at the time between when you were attacked by the Kamajors in the Black Water area up until the time of the AFRC coup, and yesterday you answered, "At that time I was not operating because so many things were missing from us, thus causing us not to switch on our radios." What did you mean when you said "because so many things were missing from us"?

  • I meant that the things that we used to switch the radio on, like the solar plate, which was what we used to charge the battery, and the battery itself were damaged, which made us not to be able to switch on the radio because there was no battery or solar plate because that was the energy we used.

  • Now the next question I have from something you said yesterday and, counsel opposite, this is page 12193, the portion of the response I will be referring to runs from lines 24 to 29. Yesterday I was asking you about the time when you were - you knew about arms and ammunitions coming from Buedu to Superman Ground and I asked you what you meant when you said these arms and ammunitions came from Buedu, "What do you mean by that?"

    You said you knew they came from Buedu "because when people would come from Superman's location or a group of people, if they were, for example, to go and escort a person like when they went to escort the ECOMOG soldier they had a crossing point at that riverside."

    You went on to say, "So those who were in Buedu, the armed men, the trained men who were unarmed men, would carry the materials on their heads and they would bring it to the commander who would be leading the other group that would have come from our own end."

    Now I am going to ask you first of all what did you mean when you said, "The armed men, the trained men who were unarmed men would carry the materials on their heads"?

  • If I said the trained men who were not armed? Of course the armed men were those who had weapons who were in front of the group in case of anything that they would meet like enemy troop, they would be the ones to fight. And those whom I said were trained men went to the base and they left the base as trained combatants, but they did not have weapons. Those were the ones we called unarmed men and they were the ones who would carry those arms and ammunition.

  • So who actually carried the ammunitions?

  • Your Honours, can counsel wait for the interpretation.

  • Mr Santora, the interpreter says you are speaking through the witness.

  • I am sorry. I apologise.

  • Mr Interpreter, did you get the final part of the witness's answer?

  • Very well. Maybe start from the beginning again, Mr Santora, on your next question.

  • It was just in terms of who actually carried the ammunitions then?

  • It was the unarmed men. They were the ones who carried the ammunition.

  • You also said, "They would carry the materials on their heads and they would bring it to the commander who would be leading the other group." What did you mean when you said, "They would bring it to the commander who would be leading the other group"?

  • I believe that wherever a group is formed and they have somebody leading that group and if anything has to happen in that group, like a command or anything, it has to go through that commander. So if they brought those arms and ammunition from Buedu, the commander who would be leading that group that would be coming from Buedu should hand it over to the commander who would be leading the group that had come from Superman's ground. That commander who had come from Superman's ground would command his own men whom he would be going with who and who should carry those things to bring them back.

  • So in the instance that you're talking about, which was the first time you knew about arms and ammunitions coming from Buedu to Superman Ground, do you remember who the man was who was sent from Superman's ground to go ahead and carry these things back?

  • I cannot recall the name of the man.

  • The next reference, counsel, is 12195, line 19. Mrs Witness, yesterday when I was asking you about what happened to civilians, what you saw at PC Ground, you said that, "The RUF would capture civilians, men, women and children." What specifically would happen to the children who were captured?

  • When I said children, it was those who were above eight to - that was from eight to 13 years who were not tall enough to be considered as adults and those children too went to the training base and they were referred to as SBUs if they were boys and if they were girls they were referred to as SGUs and when they would graduate the commander at the base would distribute them. At times it would be that somebody who might have gone to the war front and captured that boy or girl and brought that person, so if that boy or girl graduates he will take him or her again. But if that person is not willing to take the boy or girl the training commander would give the boy or girl to any other commander to stay with him and work for him. He will send him or her to work for him.

  • Just one other question on this point: When you were at PC Ground where was the training base, if you know?

  • The training base was at Superman's ground.

  • Do you know where within Superman's ground?

  • It was around the town, but in the bush. It was just after the last house. If you are coming from Koidu it was at your left-hand side that it was located and you would be at the base and could see into the town.

  • What kind of training was going on at this base?

  • The same training that we too underwent was what was done or carried out in any other training base that was opened.

  • When you say "that we too underwent" are you referring to when you talked earlier about your training at Dia?

  • Yes.

  • Now, next reference, counsel, is 12197, lines 24 to 28. Mrs Witness, yesterday I asked you another question about what was happening to the civilians while you were at PC Ground and you said that they would carry loads and I asked you what you meant by that and in your response you said:

    "So you who were not carrying a gun and a civilian, then civilians who were captured were the ones who carried whatever property that they got from those areas where they were captured. They were the ones who carried them to the base."

    I just need to clarify what you meant by this portion, so the first question I have is when you say, "The civilians who were captured were the ones who carried whatever property", what do you mean when you say "whatever property"?

  • When I said property, it could be clothing, it could be food, bags. When some men looted and they would put them into those bags they will give them to civilians to carry it for them, or maybe they will give the civilians sheep or goats to carry. I mean anything that they took from those towns that they captured, they would give them to civilians to be carried for them, to be brought to the base.

  • So before the group - the armed group arrived whose property was it actually?

  • Sometimes I will say it was the civilians, but there were some other towns where military men like the SLA or ECOMOG were based so I cannot differentiate who owned what or who owned what, but I knew that they were property belonging to other people other than us.

  • When you say, "Whatever property that they got from those areas", when you say "they" who are you referring to?

  • The RUF combatants who would go and capture the area.

  • And then you said, "They were the ones who carried them to the base." Again, who actually carried the property to the base?

  • The civilians would carry the loads. It was the armed men who led them to go to the base.

  • Now, you said that some of this property included clothing and food? One moment. I am going to repeat that question, Mrs Witness. You said some of this property included clothing and food. Is that correct?

  • Any other kinds of property that you remember that were taken from these areas?

  • If I say property those were the things, because at the time when we were in the bush you would not carry a vehicle, or motorcycle, to go with.

  • Counsel, the next reference is 12198, lines - it is the response basically from lines 11 to 16:

  • Now, yesterday I was asking you about operations while you were at PC Ground related to civilians. In one of the answers you gave you said that:

    "... they came in contact mostly with civilians when ECOMOG were based, they had the full assurance to stay because they believed that they were safe, but when there was an attack they were unable to move just like the ECOMOG would do."

    Do you remember saying that?

  • Yes.

  • Can you explain that again.

  • Well I will explain it like I said, because civilians were not trained like how the military men were trained. Somebody who had been trained as a fighter, or a soldier, he would know if he heard a gun sound or the jet he would know what to do, but the civilians did not know what to do in those times. So if there was firing going on he would not know where to go, whether where he would be going he would meet the rebels, that was the RUF, or he would meet the ECOMOG. He will just run.

  • What did you mean when you said, "... when ECOMOG were based, they had the full assurance to stay because they believed that they were safe"?

  • The time ECOMOG was advancing the support that they had made the civilians to trust them, but wherever ECOMOG captured, or recaptured from the RUF, the civilians will come and base with them there in the town. They would go with the feeling that the rebels will never enter that town again, because they knew that ECOMOG were fully armed and therefore they could not be dislodged. So, most people would come to the town and settle there wherever ECOMOG was based.

  • The next reference, counsel, is on the same page, lines 25 through 27:

  • Now, you were talking about yesterday also an operation from Tefeya. You said that you recalled:

    "... in Bumpe when it was attacked where they captured some civilians who were taken to the base. Later I saw them."

    Do you remember saying that?

  • Yes.

  • What did you exactly see?

  • I saw women at Tefeya whom they said it was the combatants who were under the RUF in Tefeya who had captured them from Bumpe and I did not know them before that time. I saw them there and they had not been to the base yet.

  • What happened to these women?

  • They were with the men who captured them. They were adults, so they were with the men who brought them to the base.

  • And you saw them - where exactly did you see them? Which base?

  • When I went to Tefeya.

  • Also yesterday - and this is just a general clarification, counsel, there is not really a reference - you referred to an operation at Koidu Geiya and you said you know Rambo was there for this operation. Which Rambo are you referring to?

  • The next reference, counsel, is 12207, lines 7 through 9:

  • Now, yesterday you were talking about when you overheard or monitored a radio conversation between radio operators in Gandorhun and Tefeya concerning this expression, "Pull yu han pan di war", or, "Remove your hand from the war, remove your foot from the war", and I asked you yesterday, "Do you know where these operations were happening, what area?", and you said, "Along the Bumpe area because they were running that operation ..." --

  • Just pause. Mr Anyah?

  • Yes, Madam President, it is in reference to what counsel just said. I do not believe there was a Krio interpretation for the expression on the record yesterday.

  • Well I have a recollection of something, but let us make sure that --

  • Is the question whether or not it was translated yesterday, or --

  • What counsel is saying is there was no reference at all. I have a different recollection from counsel, but my learned colleague concurs with counsel and therefore it is important that we get the exact - make sure exactly what the record is. You have quoted, Mr Santora. What is the --

  • I said the answer was on line 10 and 11, "Take your hand off the war, take your foot off the war", and that was --

  • The Krio phrase that you just said, is that in the transcript?

  • No, it was - this was the translation that was said - the witness said it.

  • I am asking is the Krio phrase in the transcript?

  • No, it is translated into English.

  • And that is your evidence. This is the point of the crux of the --

  • This kind of evidence was not led, at least not through this witness yesterday.

  • Okay, I understand.

  • Mr Anyah, you were objecting to the fact that it was said at all, or to the fact that the Krio was not on the record?

  • My objection is consistent with what Justice Sebutinde has said. The witness never spoke Krio words as translated by the interpreter. She spoke it and it came out in English, "Remove your hands and your feet from the war." Counsel in his question injected the Krio interpretation of that in English.

  • Very well. Mr Santora has amended his question.

  • I will, your Honour, but just for the record I did not - I spoke exactly what the witness said yesterday from my recollection and I did use the Krio expression. However the witness did say that exact Krio expression, so Justice Sebutinde is exactly right that it is not on the record.

  • No, Mr Santora, there is a difference in that previously a witness has given evidence that this command or comment by the rebels was actually said in Krio. Now, this witness hasn't said it was given to them in Krio. That is the subtle difference. You are injecting the Krio word as if it is part of the evidence. It is not.

  • I understand, Justice Sebutinde, and I will rephrase the question:

  • The communication that you referred to yesterday which you said yesterday, "The one that I monitored when they said 'Take your hand off the war. Take your foot off the war'", what exactly did you hear them say?

  • Like I said yesterday I heard them talking, that was one operator from Yomandu and another from Gandorhun, discussing. The one was telling the other that, "People are daring. When they amputate people's arms they will say ..." --

  • Your Honours, can the interpreter use the Krio expression?

  • Yes, say it in Krio, Mr Interpreter.

  • Okay, your Honour.

  • That is the witness is repeating something she heard and if she heard it in Krio please say it in Krio.

  • Thank you, your Honour.

  • Well, Mr Santora, perhaps you can clear this up. You asked the witness, "What exactly did you hear them say?" Do you mean verbatim, in other words if she was listening to the Krio language you want her answer in Krio?

  • I think now I understand what Justice Sebutinde was referring to before:

  • The first thing I should ask is what language were they speaking when you heard this conversation?

  • Now, in Krio what exactly did they say? And I would ask that the translator use the Krio expression - use the Krio.

  • Well, the translator should say exactly what this witness says.

  • Okay, what exactly did they say?

  • What I listened to I heard them saying, "People were daring. Man den get mind o way den wan kot pipul den an, den day say, 'Pull yu han pan di war. Pull yu foot pan di war'."

  • Now, when you heard this conversation going on --

  • It would be helpful now if the translation were on the record for that phrase.

  • When you say, "Pull yu han pan di war. Pull yu foot pan di war", do you know what that translates to in English?

  • Well I don't know if you want me to speak English directly, but what I understood by that as I said yesterday because the people whose hands were amputated were civilians, it was the RUF fighters who amputated civilians' hands and their feet and whenever they wanted to do this action that was what they told the civilians, the expression I just said in Krio, which meant that they were not to be involved in the war. They were not to have anything to do with the war. It was not the business of a civilian.

  • Mrs Witness, you speak English. Is that correct?

  • The words, "Pull yu han pan di war", can you say what that means in English?

  • If I can say it in English?

  • Yes.

  • Your Honours, Madam President, I apologise to interrupt but I register an objection to this. As Justice Sebutinde pointed out, in the past when witnesses have come before your Honours when they are testifying verbatim about a Krio phrase they heard for example over the BBC or such they say it in Krio, it comes out in the transcript in Krio but the interpreter interprets it into its English meaning.

    The crux of this problem is that the witness is recounting conversations between radio operators who are relaying - actually it's triple hearsay. The radio operators in question are relaying what they understood RUF soldiers to be saying on the field vis-a-vis the amputation of civilians. The witness overhears this conversation. It does not necessarily follow that the RUF operators between Gandorhun and Tefeya were using the exact precise phrase that is alleged to have been used in the field by the RUF operators.

    The Prosecution is now attempting to get a particular phrase onto the record. It's a Krio phrase. The languages of this Court, as your Honours know, are English - well, the primary language - and the interpretation should be done in English. He has tried in the first instance to get the interpreter to interpret it in Krio onto the English record which makes no sense whatsoever and now we are spending time on questioning where the foundation for the particular phrase they wish to introduce is there but is double or triple hearsay and your Honours retain the discretion in certain instances to preclude that.

  • May I respond briefly, your Honour?

  • Briefly, because the official record of this Court is English and the official interpretation from the official interpreter is the official record.

  • I have no problem in having the translator make the translation, but just in response, because counsel has talked about whether this is triple hearsay. First of all, aside from the fact that there is no rule against hearsay, this is about this witness's recollection and it's about the reliability of what she heard as a radio operator. Now, I would be happy to have the translator translate exactly what "Pull yu han pan di war" meant, but I wanted it to come from the witness if she understood, but I would be happy to --

  • She has said, "I understood it". She has said that.

  • Then I would just ask the translator to make the translation for the record. Mr Translator, can you translate what the expression "Pull yu han pan di war, pull yu foot pan di war" - can you translate that?

  • Your Honours, can the interpreter go on?

  • Yes, please. Mr Interpreter, please interpret those words which the witness has used.

  • "Pull yu han pan di war", your Honours, is translated "Take your hand off the war". "Pull yu foot pan di war" is translated "Take your foot off the war".

  • Mr Santora, forgive me, I just don't see the point you are making. Are you trying to say that this witness's recollection is not all that good, or that what she heard wasn't reliable?

  • Initially, your Honour, this question started with relation to whether an area that this was can occurring in - and it's only after the objection was raised, because of the fact that I used Krio words when the record had the English words to this expression. I was not seeking to even go into this area for this particular issue, so there was no - this just comes out of counsel's objection to my use of the Krio expression.

    The initial question simply had to do with the page reference I gave Defence counsel was when the witness said, "They were running that operation around Bumpe to Tefeya" and I was just going to clarify what she meant by that area when she said "around Bumpe to Tefeya". So initially that was the only point to raise this issue, your Honour.

  • You haven't reached it yet.

  • I will just quickly move to that point and then move on:

  • Mrs Witness, when you said this was happening around Bumpe to Tefeya what do you mean?

  • I said it happened around Bumpe and Gandorhun station which was operating around Njaiama Sewafe, but I was not patient enough to listen to them and to know what particular station this incident happened.

  • So when you say "around Bumpe", do you know specifically where around Bumpe?

  • I didn't know the towns between Bumpe and Tefeya, but I know that from Tefeya to Bumpe it is not a far distance.

  • Now, the next area --

  • Mr Santora, the incident - when you say "the incident" are you speaking about the conversation that she heard, or are you speaking about - what incident?

  • I am referring to when she said, "They were running that operation around Bumpe to Tefeya." It's lines 7 to 8 of page 12207 of yesterday's transcript.

  • What operation exactly?

  • That's the operation referring to when I asked her when she heard these messages, these radio messages related to this expression.

  • Yes, but what operation exactly are you alluding to because, as far as I understand the evidence this lady gave yesterday, she was reporting a conversation she overheard from where she was and she went as far as saying, if my memory serves me right, that she wasn't really sure exactly who they were referring to or where exactly this is supposed to have taken place, the amputations. Now you're asking a question saying there was a particular operation where the amputations happened.

  • Yes. Yesterday I asked that question, "Where is this happening when you heard these messages", as your Honour just said, because that's how she heard about it. Her response was, "Along that Bumpe area because they were running that operation along Bumpe to Tefeya." So that operation refers to the operation concerning amputations.

  • Please proceed, Mr Santora.

  • Thank you, your Honour:

  • Now, Mrs Witness, yesterday towards the end of the day I asked you why you went to Buedu with Superman and in your response - I am sorry, counsel, this is 12209, really line 26 is the issue. In your response you said, "They gave Issa Sesay diamonds to take to Liberia." When you said "they" what did you mean?

  • Sam Bockarie was whom I was referring to.

  • Did you learn why Issa Sesay was given diamonds to take to Liberia?

  • When I went to Buedu I knew why the diamonds were given to him.

  • What I learned in Buedu from Major Sellay and Sebatu, who were in the Buedu station, told me that Issa Sesay went with those diamonds to Charles Taylor so that he would bring arms and ammunition.

  • When exactly did you learn this?

  • Just as I got to Buedu, that very night Major Sellay and I, together with Sebatu, were together.

  • Now yesterday at the very end of the day I asked you what happened when you got to Buedu and you started giving your answer and before you continue I just want to ask you about a portion of the answer that you did give yesterday.

  • I am sorry to interrupt, but just before you leave that point the witness said that "Issa Sesay went with those diamonds to Charles Taylor so that he would bring arms and ammunition." Weren't the diamonds stolen before they ever got anywhere near Charles Taylor, if in fact that was where they were meant to be.

  • I was going to, in the course of her testimony, elicit to the extent she knows whatever happened to these particular diamonds that she's referring to, but I am only going to elicit that - I was going to elicit what she knows about the extent of this transaction, or attempted transaction.

  • Well, I think you should. You shouldn't leave the evidence there. As the evidence stands now the diamonds went to Charles Taylor and that's not what happened at all.

  • Do you know what happened to those diamonds that you are referring to that were given to Issa Sesay?

  • Yes, I have a foundational objection. We have a foundation for when she heard this information from Major Sellay as well as Sebatu. We don't have any foundation for when Issa Sesay is alleged to have gone to Liberia with diamonds.

  • The witness has said when she heard this information; when she arrived in Buedu.

  • Yes, but that does not automatically follow that Issa Sesay had left the same day or the same week. It could have been ages before.

  • I will elicit the basis of her knowledge on all of this as we talk about this particular incident. To be quite honest I haven't got to that point yet.

  • But we need to have a bit more background information or foundation as to what exactly happened.

  • I was responding to - I will and at the same time I will address Justice Lussick's concern too to make sure the evidence is clear as to what she knew happened to this particular set of diamonds:

  • Mrs Witness, you said you learned this information from Major Sellay, is that correct?

  • When did you learn it?

  • She has answered that question; the very night she arrived.

  • I was just going to start again. Okay:

  • What exactly did you learn about this incident with the diamonds and Issa Sesay?

  • I believe that I said it here yesterday that I was at Superman's ground when this diamond issue came up. I was not in Buedu and they never sent a message from Buedu station to us at Superman's station that Sam Bockarie had given Issa Sesay diamonds to take them to Liberia.

    We only came to know about these diamonds when Issa Sesay reported to Sam Bockarie that the diamonds that he had given to him had gone missing and because these diamonds went missing and people were grumbling around that if it were any other person within the RUF other than him who may have lost those diamonds, Sam Bockarie would have killed that person. So commanders and soldiers alike wanted to know what they were going to do to Issa for those missing diamonds and it was during that time that I got a message for Superman and other commanders from the other stations to move to Buedu and hold a meeting about those diamonds so that they will tell them exactly what had happened and what they had to do.

    It was during this time that I too went with Superman to Buedu and it was when I got to Buedu that I understood from Major Sellay why Issa was given these diamonds and at that time Issa had gone to Liberia with the diamonds and they had gone missing before he came back, before we - before the meeting was called for and when I went to Buedu.

  • So what exactly did Major Sellay tell you why Issa was given these diamonds?

  • Like I said just now, he said Issa went with those diamonds for him to give them to Charles Taylor so that he would bring arms and ammunition that we referred to as materials in Buedu.

  • When you say that you learned that the diamonds went missing did you learn anything else about what happened to these diamonds?

  • From what I know that's what I am saying and I am sure of it. I never asked Issa Sesay or any other commander what happened to the diamonds, but Issa Sesay complained that he lost the diamonds and when I got to Buedu I learnt there that when he went to Liberia he was lodged at a hotel, according to his explanation. It was at that hotel that he lost the diamonds.

  • Now, yesterday at the end of the day when I asked you about what happened at Buedu when you arrived and as you started responding before the end of the day you said:

    "After the meeting Sebatu was in the radio station, but he came early that day. She told me that she is off because her master, who was Sam Bockarie, were leaving to go to Foya."

    Do you remember saying that?

  • Yes.

  • First of all, when the record says "After the meeting Sebatu was in the radio station, but he came early that day", when you say "he", who do you mean?

  • And is Sebatu a man or a woman?

  • So should that say "she came early that day"?

  • Then you said:

    "So that was why she has left to come back home and I saw the vehicles leaving when they were going to Foya from Buedu, but I did not know who went in that convoy."

    That's where you stopped yesterday. Actually you said, "They came back that same day in the evening. When they came --" and then you stopped. So I want you to continue explaining what you were talking about when you said, "Her master, who was Sam Bockarie, were leaving to go to Foya." Just go ahead and pick up from there.

  • The time --

  • Your Honours, can the witness repeat the whole bit of her answer.

  • Madam Witness, please pause. The interpreter needs you to repeat your answer. Please start from the beginning again.

  • When Sebatu came and told me that Master and others were leaving for Foya, that was why she had come early, and by "Master" she meant Sam Bockarie, and the house where we were was not far from the street and it was not far from Sam Bockarie's house. I saw the vehicles moving when he entered into his vehicle, that is Sam Bockarie, and his bodyguards too entered into the vehicle. There were some other vehicles too which moved with his. I saw them going.

    When they returned I saw them come back to his house with the vehicles and they off-loaded some things and they were putting them into his place. And they called for Superman to go to a zoebush where herbalists were.

    MR SANTORA;

  • Mrs Witness, before we go on to that I just want to ask you some questions about what you just described in terms of these vehicles and Sam Bockarie. First of all, where is Foya?

  • In Liberia.

  • How did you know they were going to Foya? How did you know Sam Bockarie was going to Foya?

  • I think I said it here earlier that Sebatu who was the radio operator there for Sam Bockarie told me that her master and others were leaving Buedu for Foya. That was why she had returned earlier at home.

  • So did you actually see Sam Bockarie leave in vehicles, in a vehicle?

  • You are just going over what she has agreed she did do and see.

  • Okay, I will move on. I just wanted to clarify her basis of knowledge:

  • How long did it take Sam Bockarie after he left to return?

  • It took him hours because it was after 12 o'clock midday when they left and he returned before 5 o'clock.

  • Who did he return with?

  • The moment they came with the vehicles, at that time I was not at the house when they disembarked on the vehicles, but when we went to the zoebush it was when I saw Colonel Jungle.

  • Who is Colonel Jungle?

  • I knew that - I knew him from that day that I saw him that he was an NPFL fighter who had come from Liberia.

  • Now, you said when they came back they off-loaded some things when Sam Bockarie returned. You said "they off-loaded some things." What do you mean by "some things"?

  • If I can say, exactly when they come back I did not see the things that they brought, everything, I did not physically see them. But when I was to return to Superman's ground, the things that they gave to Superman included arms, ammunition, alcoholic drinks which we referred to as morale booster and they said they had brought them from Foya. So if I can say what they brought was what I saw given out, but I cannot say exactly what they had brought.

  • How long did you stay in Buedu?

  • You said that you saw also herbalists. What do you mean by that?

  • Sam Bockarie took us to a zoebush which was outside Buedu where there were some herbalist and juju men who said they could protect people, they could protect somebody from bullets. They will make somebody bulletproof. Those are the people we called herbalists.

  • Do you know why they were brought to Buedu - I'm sorry, let me rephrase the question. Do you know why they were in Buedu?

  • Like I said just now, I understood that why they came to Buedu was for them to perform the same juju practice for the RUF fighters to protect them from bullets. So they will mark the RUF fighters' bodies, so when they go to the war front bullets will not pierce their bodies and they will be brave enough to do whatever they had gone to do.

  • There are some "they"s in there, Mr Santora.

  • Just to clarify, Mrs Witness, when you said, "So they will marked the RUF fighters' bodies", who do you mean "they"?

  • The herbalists that I saw.

  • Then further on you said, "So when they go to the war front bullets will not pierce their bodies." There who do you mean by "when they go to the war front"?

  • The RUF fighters, or whoever the herbalist would put the mark on their bodies.

  • How many herbalists were there?

  • There were up to seven.

  • Do you know where they were from?

  • I knew they came from Liberia.

  • How did you know that?

  • Well, first was the language that they spoke and, two, Sam Bockarie himself, when he was handing them over to Superman, that was what he said. And there was an old woman who was a Gbandi, the two of us spoke to each other. She told me.

  • What did the old woman who spoke Gbandi tell you exactly?

  • She told me that they who were the herbalists had their boss who was a Loma tribesman. She said Charles Taylor had sent them to Sam Bockarie so that they will come and protect the RUF fighters' bodies from bullets, particularly we who were in Kono for us to be able to recapture Kono from the ECOMOG.

  • When you say "to recapture Kono from the ECOMOG", where specifically are you talking about?

  • And when you say that Sam Bockarie handed them over to Superman, what do you mean by that?

  • That evening that we went there Sam Bockarie introduced Superman to the herbalist and introduced the herbalist again to Superman and he told Superman what the herbalist had come to do. He told Superman that those were his strangers, that he was to take them to his base and it was from his base all the other commanders will bring their own men under their control to have them marked.

  • Now, you said that this was to prepare them to try to retake Koidu. Is that correct?

  • Yes.

  • Was there a name given to this operation?

  • What was that name?

  • The name was Fitti-Fatta operation.

  • What does Fitti-Fatta mean?

  • If I can say it is a Krio word. When everything is in abundance, thinking about ammunition that was in abundance, arms was in abundance, manpower was in abundance, and the morale booster that was cigarettes and alcoholic drinks they were all in abundance. In other words, I mean everything was in abundance.

  • Mr Santora, I don't understand if Fitti-Fatta operation was the procedure of marking the fighters, or it was the retaking of Koidu. When you asked, "What was this operation?", the way you asked it and the answer that the witness gives I am none the wiser.

  • Did you understand Justice Sebutinde's question, Mrs Witness?

  • Can you explain that?

  • The expression was not for the herbalist. It was for the operation that we were to go and attack Koidu. That was the name of the operation.

  • Now, you said when Superman and Sam Bockarie - when Sam Bockarie had introduced Superman to the herbalist and then:

    "He told Superman that those were his strangers, that he was to take them to his base and it was from his base all the other commanders will bring their own men under their control to have them marked."

    Can you explain what you mean when you were saying that, "... it was from his base all the other commanders will bring their own men under their control to have them marked"?

  • At Superman's ground where we were, that is Meiyor or PC Ground, was where the herbalists were based. Superman's place was where the herbalists should be, so the other commanders who were in places like Yomandu, Gandorhun, Tombodu, Tefeya would bring the manpower which was under their control, both the armed and the unarmed men, the fighters, who were in those respective locations, to Superman's ground and it was there the herbalists were doing their work, what they had come to do. They were not - they never left Superman's ground to go to any other place. They were based there doing their work.

  • Initially, though, this conversation that is occurring that you are describing between Sam Bockarie and Superman, where is that occurring?

  • In the zoebush where the herbalists were in Buedu.

  • Now, you said you were in Buedu for three days. Then where did you go?

  • At night we left Buedu and passed the night in Kailahun and in the morning we left Kailahun for Koidu with the herbalists.

  • Okay, and where did you --

  • Mr Santora, I don't know if you have left the Fitti-Fatta operation --

  • -- because we need a time frame for it at an appropriate point.

  • Yes, I was just bringing - I will come to that point, your Honour. I will keep it noted:

  • Now, you left Buedu. Where did you end up?

  • At Superman's base.

  • Who did you travel from Buedu to Superman's base with?

  • We went with some armed men with whom we had not left Superman's ground to go to Buedu. It was from Buedu that they had come from, from Sam Bockarie, to join us together with the herbalists, and we came with them to Superman's ground.

  • Now, earlier you said you left Buedu with arms and ammunition. Where did that arms and ammunition go?

  • We brought them to Superman's base.

  • About how many of you travelled from Buedu to Superman's base?

  • We were many. We were more than 200 going to 300.

  • After you arrived at Superman's base, what happened?

  • When we got to Superman's base, the next morning Superman gave me a message to send to Komba and Bai Bureh and Rambo and where Rocky CO was, where there was no radio, but it was from Yomandu that they took soldiers who went and told them the information about what they were supposed to do, for them to send their own manpower that they wanted for that Koidu operation for them to go to Superman's base and be marked by these herbalists.

  • First of all, you said that there was a message sent - you sent a message to Komba, Bai Bureh, Rambo and where Rocky CO was. First of all, how did you send that message?

  • I sent the message to Yomandu, Tefeya and Gandorhun by radio and it was a coded message. It went to Yomandu for Komba to also get soldiers under his command and send them to Tombodu so that they can transmit the same message to Rocky CO.

  • Now you said that, "... for them to ... their own manpower that they wanted for that Koidu operation." What did you mean when you said "... for them to ... their own manpower"?

  • If I can answer that, all those commanders whom I have named who were at those various locations had men under their control who took commands from them. It was through these commanders that commands pass to go down to these men who were under their control and it was these soldiers who were under the various commanders that I am talking about.

  • And you said that "... they wanted for that Koidu operation". When you say "that Koidu operation", what operation are you referring to?

  • I am talking about the Fitti-Fatta operation.

  • What happened after this message was sent?

  • After the message had been sent, these commanders whom I have named each one of them came with his own manpower from his own base, those whom he selected whom he felt will be able to go on this mission - this operation. For instance, Komba came with his own men, Rambo too came with his own men, Bai Bureh too came with his own men.

  • So, about how many men in total came?

  • Well I did not do a head count of all those who came, but there were many.

  • And do you know approximately how much manpower you had at that point at Superman Ground?

  • We had up to 500.

  • What happened after these men arrived?

  • After they had come for the whole day, we were receiving these men. The next morning these herbalists created a special place for them to be doing this marking on the bodies of the soldiers and we went there. Because I spoke Gbandi, Superman called me to speak. When that Loma Pa was talking, the Gbandi woman would tell me and I will interpret what she tells me to those who did not understand the language. So, it was Superman first who was inside the place which was established. They marked there with a circle whereby when you entered that circle you did not come out until you were marked. I was the second person to enter that circle after Superman. I was standing there with Superman when I was talking what the Gbandi woman was telling me. So when they marked Superman the woman told me to sit down, I sat down and they marked me and they marked the rest of the other soldiers. We were there up to nightfall. They marked us and gave us laws for the markings that had been made on our bodies. After they had completed the marking, Komba and his men returned to their location. Rambo returned with his own men. Bai Bureh returned with his own men.

  • Mrs Witness, just before you go on with that, in terms of this instance where Superman was marked and then you were marked, what do you mean when you say you were marked?

  • The herbalists had marks that they put on our bodies. They said that was the protection which they had come to do.

  • How did they mark you?

  • With a blade. When they were marking you, you did not stand up, nor did you shake and these marks were 168, 168.

  • What do you mean when you say "these marks were 168"?

  • All the marks that were made on our bodies, including mine that I counted, it was 168.

  • Just to be clear, do you mean there was a total of 168 marks on your body, or was the figures "1-6-8" marked on the body?

  • I mean the total marks that were put on my body.

  • Do you still have some of these marks?

  • Mr Santora, the witness also said, "They gave us laws for the markings". What does that mean?

  • Did you hear Justice Sebutinde's question, when you said they gave you laws for the markings, what does that mean?

  • When they were giving us these marks the herbalists told us that it would be for seven days you did not - you should not take your bath, for seven days if you were a woman you should not have sex, if you were a man you should not have sex as well. For those seven days whatever was a slimy food, be it a sauce, you should not eat. You should not sit on a mortar for seven days.

  • You said that after this markings incident that commanders went back to their various areas. You said that Rambo went back to Gandorhun and Bai Bureh went back to his area as well. Is that correct?

  • What happened next?

  • Before they left, Superman met with these commanders and the men whom these commanders had brought and the men who were at our own base and they planned how to carry out this operation in Koidu whereby all these commanders were to attack Koidu from their own positions.

  • Can you explain the plan?

  • If I should explain that plan, after this instruction it was when they went back that they were to launch from Yomandu and all went on simultaneously. And those in Gandorhun were to come from the Gandorhun route to Koidu and we too were to leave Superman's base to Koidu.

  • How did you know about this plan?

  • I was there when they held the meeting.

  • We would appreciate a time frame both --

  • If I could finish, please. We would appreciate a time frame both for the ceremony of the markings and for this plan.

  • This plan you are describing, when approximately was this discussed?

  • The day when we received these marks, the next morning - because they didn't complete marking everybody, all the men that came. The next morning they completed it before 12 o'clock. Just after they had completed the marking of the men, when they were about to leave, that was the time they held the meeting.

  • This meeting and this marking incident, do you know if this was before or after the death of Sani Abacha?

  • I can't recall the exact date, but I know that it was before the death of Abacha.

  • Can you recall the year?

  • And can you recall approximately how long this was before the death of Abacha?

  • It did not take long because after that Koidu operation it was not long when Abacha died. It was not even up to two weeks when Abacha died.

  • Mr Santora, you are assuming that this is a judicially noticed fact, the death of Sani Abacha?

  • It is an agreed fact, your Honour.

  • Agreed fact. Okay, I beg your pardon then.

  • That's okay. If you want the reference just for the record I would be happy - okay:

  • Now, go ahead now and describe - first of all, did this operation occur, this operation that you called the Fitti-Fatta operation?

  • Did you participate in it?

  • Now, you've described this planning meeting and this marking ceremony. About how long after the planning meeting did the actual operation occur?

  • Can you tell the Court what happened on this operation, this Fitti-Fatta operation?

  • Yes. When I went I was at first in a vehicle with the radio set which was not switched on. It was on the vehicle because wherever the attack was going on at, where it will be possible to switch on a radio set I will switch it on. And that same vehicle was also used by Superman up to the time with we got close to Koidu Town where the combat camp was.

    And when we left the Guinea Highway, those of us who had come from Superman's place, we met Guineans on the way entering into Koidu Town. That was where the Guinean soldiers were under ECOMOG. Fighting took place there. The Guinean soldiers ended up running away. They abandoned their arms, their weapons that were mounted, which were heavy weapons, including 30 calibre, there were RPGs there and in the house, the corrugated tin shack where these Guinean soldiers were, they had ammunition there, a lot. So we took them and put them in the vehicle.

    Then we went ahead and I was with Superman in that vehicle up to the time we got to Koidu Town. He alighted and joined the forces that were on the ground. I was in the vehicle and went up to Five-Five point where that bridge is. That was where I stopped. I returned to the cotton tree where you used the road to go to Tombodu. That was where I waited with the radio.

  • How long did this entire operation take?

  • That one night. It was at night. It was a nightly operation.

  • Was the operation successful?

  • What was the result of the operation?

  • When we got to at that bridge, the ECOMOG had left Koidu Town and gone to Tankoro, to that Five-Five bridge, but just as we were getting to the bridge there were people who were RUF fighters in that bridge, but there were many in the bridge. The ECOMOG launched a bomb that exploded among them and over 20 RUF men died there. That made us to withdraw from that place. Though the other flanks where these men had come from, I was not with them so I can't tell exactly the time that they left Koidu, but it was from that time that I left Koidu, around 4.30 in the morning, to return to Superman's ground.

  • Your Honours, there is just one spelling that we have spelled before. It didn't come across. Tankoro is spelt previously as T-A-N-K-O-R-O:

  • Now, did there come a time when you left Superman Ground?

  • Approximately when did you leave Superman Ground?

  • From the time that I went to Superman's ground to the time that I left there, it was up to five months.

  • Why did you leave Superman Ground?

  • I first left there and went to Foday Lansana in Tefeya, and when I came back Superman told me that Mosquito, who is Sam Bockarie, had given him an order to move to go to Kurubonla where the SLAs, headed by SAJ Musa, where they were based. He said he should go and attack them, that Superman should launch an attack on the SLAs at Kurubonla, and that very day I was on the set when he sent a message to enquire if Superman had left to go. And Superman left that very day. He went to Yomandu.

  • What about yourself? Did you leave with Superman, or did you not leave yet?

  • I did not go, I stayed at the base, but when Superman went after three days he sent a message for me to go.

  • Who sent a message for you to go?

  • Superman sent a message for me to join him.

  • At that time he was in Yomandu.

  • Continue. What happened after he sent that message?

  • The day that I received the message in which he included me and some of his bodyguards that he had left at Superman's base, we left the next day, but when we got to Yomandu I did not find Superman there. Komba was not there. It was Short Bai Bureh that I met in Yomandu.

  • What happened at - first of all, how long did it take you approximately to get from Superman's ground to Yomandu?

  • A whole day, because I did not go straight.

  • What happened when you got to Yomandu?

  • When I got to Yomandu Superman was not there, he had already left for Kurubonla, but when I got to Yomandu I communicated with him that I and his other bodyguards have arrived in Yomandu. When he went to Kurubonla, the instruction which Sam Bockarie had given him he did not carry it out. He joined the SLAs and they moved from Kurubonla and went to Kabala. When I got to Yomandu and told him that we have arrived there, he said Short Bai Bureh should get manpower from among his own men whom we met so that we and the manpower from Yomandu and those of us who had come from Superman's base could go and meet them, he Superman, where they were. I passed the night in Yomandu and the next day in the evening one Senegalese met us in Yomandu.

  • Who is Senegalese?

  • Well Senegalese when I knew him, at first when he went that evening that he arrived Bai Bureh told me that he was an STF and the STF whom I knew were the ULIMO fighters who were fighting alongside the Sierra Leone Army in Sierra Leone. So, that was what Bai Bureh told me that Senegalese was STF. I surely knew him as a Liberian because he did not know how to speak Krio, he was speaking the Liberian English, and he said he was sent by Sam Bockarie to come and join Superman with reinforcement, which was composed of 30 men, for them to go and attack - for them to launch the attack which Sam Bockarie had sent Superman to carry out, but when he got to Yomandu Superman was not there at the time. The next morning --

  • I am sorry, before you go on --

  • Yes. Mr Santora, this is getting somewhat confused.

  • That is why I was --

  • Yes, "he joined the SLAs", "I told him we had arrived there." Did she tell Sam Bockarie, or Superman, or who?

  • I am going to clarify that. I will clarify that portion first.

  • Yes, there is another series of "he"s thereafter.

  • Mrs Witness, I just have to ask you a few questions about some of the things you have just mentioned, okay? Now first of all you said, "Sam Bockarie had given him an order to move to Kurubonla." Who did Sam Bockarie give the order to?

  • "... to go to Kurubonla where the SLAs, headed by SAJ Musa, where they were based. He said he should go and attack them." Who said - who do you mean when you said, "He said he should go"?

  • If I speak the Krio, I mean Sam Bockarie told Superman to go to Kurubonla and attack SAJ Musa's men.

  • "And that very day I was on the set when he sent a message to enquire if Superman had left to go", who sent that message?

  • And then, "Superman had left that very day. He went to Yomandu." Who left to Yomandu?

  • Superman left me at Superman's ground and went to Yomandu.

  • Now, later on when you were saying - I asked you what happened when you got to Yomandu and you said:

    "When I got to Yomandu, Superman was not there. He had already left for Kurubonla, but when I got to Yomandu I communicated with him that I and his other bodyguards have arrived in Yomandu." Who did you communicate with when you arrived at Yomandu?

  • And then, "When he went to Kurubonla, the instruction which Sam Bockarie had given him he did not carry out", who is the "he" you are referring to?

  • I am sure it was Sam Bockarie who instructed Superman to carry out an operation in Kurubonla and Superman did not carry it out.

  • And then you said, "He joined the SLAs." Who do you mean by "he" there?

  • I am still referring to Superman.

  • "They moved from Kurubonla to Kabala", who is "they"?

  • Superman and his men and SAJ Musa and his men.

  • Then you said, "When I got to Yomandu and told him we had arrived there", who did you tell you had arrived there?

  • I told Superman that I and his bodyguards whom he had requested for us to meet him had arrived in Yomandu.

  • Now, later on you said you passed the night and the next morning - the next day, I am sorry, "In the evening, one Senegalese met us at Yomandu." You went on to say - when I asked you who Senegalese was you said in your response, "He was speaking the Liberian English and he said he was sent by Sam Bockarie to come and join Superman with reinforcement." When you say, "He was speaking the Liberian English", who were you referring to?

  • You asked me - how you asked me who Senegalese is and I am talking about Senegalese.

  • Did you yourself have a conversation with Senegalese?

  • I spoke with him.

  • Can you just say what he told you in that conversation?

  • That is what I have just said. When I first got to Yomandu, when Senegalese got to Yomandu, Bai Bureh told me that Senegalese was an STF. Senegalese himself told me that he had come from Liberia and that it was Sam Bockarie who had sent him to join Superman.

  • So do you believe Senegalese was an STF, or not?

  • Objection. The witness said - I think she said Bai Bureh told her that Senegalese was STF. Counsel is asking her if she believed or not and I object to the form of the question.

  • What is wrong with the form of the question?

  • She may have believed him, she may not have believed him. What is the nature of your objection?

  • She received the information from somebody and - well, I withdraw the objection.

  • At the end of the day whether she believed it or not doesn't go to the credibility of - sorry, does not go to whether he was an STF or not. What her belief is is not relevant.

  • So, first you said you had a conversation with Short Bai Bureh and then you had a conversation with Senegalese. Do you believe he was STF, or not?

  • I did not believe that he was an STF.

  • Because the STFs who joined the SLAs - I mean the AFRC and the RUF whom I saw and knew, they had taken a long time in Sierra Leone, they were speaking the Krio better, but Senegalese did not speak a single Krio.

  • Now, you said Senegalese himself told you that he had come from Liberia and that it was Sam Bockarie who had sent him to join Superman. Do you know where he came from in Liberia?

  • I did not know where he had come from in Liberia.

  • And you said there was 30 men there as well. Who were these 30 men that you referred to?

  • The 30 men too were men who had arms and they were all Liberians. From what they spoke, the dialects they used, I did not know of in Sierra Leone.

  • Did these men speak Krio, as far as you know?

  • Do you know where they came from?

  • I did not ask them individually, but their commander who brought them, that is Senegalese, said they had come from Liberia.

  • Did you recognise the language they were speaking, or the dialect?

  • I can still recall that there were some men among them who were Kpelle, whom I saw and saw them talking with the STF, and some of the Liberians who were still within the RUF who were Kpelle I heard them talking the language.

  • And do you know what language Senegalese spoke? Well, what language did you speak with Senegalese in?

  • It was only Liberian English. I did not hear him speak any particular language.

  • Is there anything else you talked about in your conversation with Senegalese?

  • I have already told you what Senegalese told me and it was Senegalese and I in the group that we were, that is the signal unit, which was composed of radio people or people dealing with radio, that we went around with when we were leaving Yomandu to go to Kurubonla.

  • What happened after you met Senegalese in Yomandu?

  • We left Yomandu with Senegalese. I, Superman's bodyguards and Short Bai Bureh's men who were in Yomandu whom he added on to us, left Yomandu for Kurubonla. That was the next day, after Senegalese and the others had arrived. The next day we left Yomandu.

  • Did you eventually arrive at Kurubonla?

  • We arrived at Kurubonla, having walked all day and all night. We arrived at Kurubonla, but Superman and SAJ Musa and others were not there any longer. It was only some soldiers, some SLAs and their wives whom they had, that we met at Kurubonla.

  • Where did you go, if anywhere, after Kurubonla?

  • We went to Koinadugu.

  • Approximately, how long did it take you in total to get from when you left Superman Ground to Koinadugu?

  • One week.

  • Now when you arrived at Koinadugu, can you describe what you saw when you got to Koinadugu?

  • When we got to Koinadugu, before entering Koinadugu one last village from which you left, but it was not up to two miles to Koinadugu, that was where the STFs were. That was where I met the STFs whom General Bropleh was with. That was where they were based and that was where we met men who had come from Koinadugu from Superman's location where he and Superman, SAJ Musa, were. They came ahead of us in that village and we - together we entered Koinadugu.

    It was in the evening that I entered Koinadugu. All the houses that were there it was just a few houses whereby the soldiers and SAJ Musa's men who had gone there did not occupy, and I did not really see civilians who were living by themselves, like you would say they were staying in their own houses, that is just civilians in a house, living in a house there.

  • Now aside from Superman and SAJ Musa, what other commanders do you remember being present at Koinadugu when you were there?

  • Foday Lansana was there; Gugumeh was there, also known as Mohamed Kallon; Tall Bai Bureh was there; Rambo, whom they called Red Goat, an SLA; Alfred Brown was there; and O-Five.

  • Mr Santora, I think there are a couple of spellings, including the spelling of the name of General Bropleh, which I think had not been recorded - I think we have it on record.

  • We do I believe too, but let me just double check that. Bropleh is on the record spelt B-R-O-P-L-E-H. There was one name called out I think it was an alias for Mohamed Kallon.

  • Yes, for Mohamed Kallon.

  • I think the witness said Gugumeh and I don't have that as being spelt:

  • What was the alias you said was Mohamed Kallon's alias?

  • Can you spell that, Mrs Witness?

  • Now, you named some of the commanders that you remember being present at Koinadugu. Who was - can you describe the composition of forces, or the groups that were at Koinadugu?

  • The SLAs were there headed by SAJ Musa, the STF and the RUF, but they had fighting groups like Strike Force, Red Lion battalion.

  • Mrs Witness, before I continue you said one name - you used the name who was present, Alfred Brown. Who was Alfred Brown?

  • Alfred Brown was the one who deputised Foday Lansana as signal commander.

  • What was his position at this point in Koinadugu?

  • At the time that we went there he was a major and he was not the one who deputised. He hadn't a position, but he was operating a radio.

  • What do you mean when you say "he was not the one who deputised"?

  • Before we came to Koinadugu, before I knew Major Sellay from Buedu it was Alfred Brown who was the deputy to Foday Lansana.

  • Who was the individual you referred to as O-Five?

  • O-Five was an SLA soldier. He was a colonel.

  • Now, you mentioned that Alfred Brown worked on the radio. Who else at Koinadugu when you were there - were there any other radio operators there?

  • Can you name the ones that you remember?

  • King Perry was there. Eddie Murphy was there. Albert Boima, Waco-Waco or Vandi Massaquoi, Jusu Kanneh and I. Elongima was there on the SLA side. Keifala was there. Archie was there.

  • Just a quick spelling. I believe Keifala was spelt on several occasions, but it is still not coming up.

  • Did she say O'Vandi?

  • Waco-Waco or? Go ahead, what did you say?

  • Or Vandi Massaquoi. He was the one we used to call Waco-Waco. That was why I said "Waco-Waco or Vandi Massaquoi".

  • Just some quick spellings, your Honours. Keifala is K-E-I-F-A-L-A and I believe that covers the spellings.

  • You have about one minute left, Mr Santora.

  • Yes, and I hesitate to go into a new area.

  • You are going into a new area?

  • Well, it may be appropriate therefore to adjourn and take the break now. Madam Witness, we are now going to take our mid-morning break. We will resume court at 12 o'clock. Please adjourn court.

  • [Break taken at 11.30 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 12.15 p.m.]

  • Counsel and Madam Witness, I apologise for the late recommencing after the break. We were unavoidably detained due to a pressing judicial and jurisdictional matter, hence the delay. Mr Santora, please continue.

  • Thank you, Madam President:

  • Mrs Witness, at various points in your testimony you've referred to an individual called Major Sellay. Can you spell his name?

  • S-E-L-E, but he spelt it S-E-L-L-A-Y.

  • When you say he, you mean Major Sellay himself spelt it S-E-L-L-A-Y?

  • One other matter before we continue, Mrs Witness. This morning, when you were talking about your conversation at Yomandu with Senegalese, you said that, "Senegalese himself told me he had come from Liberia." Did he tell you why he came from Liberia to Sam Bockarie?

  • What he told me was that Charles Taylor had sent him and others to Sam Bockarie and Sam Bockarie sent them to Superman.

  • Now, you were describing your observations at Koinadugu after you arrived there and, just for clarity, do you know approximately when you arrived at Koinadugu, what was the month and year?

  • It was in August.

  • And what year was that?

  • Now, you talked about various forces and units at Koinadugu when you arrived. You referred to a Strike Force unit and a Red Lion battalion. What is the - what do you known about the Red Lion battalion?

  • The Red Lion battalion that I knew was the one that Red Goat, Colonel Rambo, the SLAs headed, but the Red Lion battalion that was --

  • Your Honours, can the witness repeat this.

  • Pause, Madam Witness. The interpreter is trying to keep up with you. Could you please repeat the part of your answer that he did not hear. Start at the point where you said, "But the Red Lion battalion, that was" - now continue, please.

  • The new Red Lion battalion that was formed at the time I got to Koinadugu, and that was formed by Superman, the STF, the SLA or AFRC and the RUF, they constituted that Red Lion battalion.

  • What do you mean when you say the new Red Lion battalion?

  • Because there had already been a Red Lion battalion before I arrived there, but it mainly comprised the SLAs.

  • So when was the new Red Lion battalion formed?

  • It was when I got to Koinadugu.

  • Was it after you arrived at Koinadugu, or was it already in existence?

  • After I had arrived in Koinadugu.

  • And this new - about how long after you arrived in Koinadugu?

  • The very day I arrived in Koinadugu and the next day the battalion was formed.

  • I'm sorry to interrupt. Do we have a date or time frame for her arrival in Koinadugu on the record?

  • Yes, your Honour, at the beginning of this question I asked a date and month and the witness said - I asked her what month and year "you arrived at Koinadugu" and the witness said it was in August, and, "What year was that?" "1998". That's page 51, approximately lines 5 to 9 on my LiveNote.

  • Now, you said this new Red Lion battalion consisted of SLAs, STF and RUF. Was there a commander to this new Red Lion battalion?

  • It was Colonel O-Five, and Major CY, who was Superman's bodyguard, was deputising him.

  • About how many people were in this new Red Lion battalion?

  • Do you know why it was formed?

  • I knew that the new Red Lion battalion was formed by Superman to go and join the SLAs who had been cut off at Rosos so that they will go and join them at Rosos.

  • How do you know that?

  • I knew that when they were leaving and I was present when they were leaving and Superman told me that they were going there.

  • Now, you had mentioned previously that there were radio operators at Koinadugu. Did this new Red Lion battalion have any radio operators?

  • Do you remember who they were?

  • Alfred Brown, King Perry, Elongima.

  • Now in terms of you yourself, when you arrived in Koinadugu what were you - first of all, about how long did you stay in Koinadugu?

  • I spent more than a month in Koinadugu.

  • What were your activities while you were there in Koinadugu?

  • I was still operating under Superman as radio operator.

  • Now this group that left, this new Red Lion battalion, do you know where they actually - do you know where went?

  • I knew that they went to Rosos.

  • How do you know that?

  • I was there. Just as I said, I was there when they left and I knew that that was where they were going, because I was present when Superman told them what to do and when they arrived in Rosos O-Five communicated with Superman that they had arrived in Rosos.

  • Now, you said you were in Koinadugu approximately one month. Where did you go after you were in Koinadugu?

  • I went to a village around Koinadugu which we referred to as Pumpkin Ground.

  • And do you know the name of that village?

  • I know the name, but I cannot recall it now. Maybe I'll think about it later.

  • Why was it called Pumpkin Ground?

  • The time we went there, because we were based in - at the time we were based in Koinadugu, civilians left the town, there were no civilians there, and the place became - the place was bushy and there were a lot of pumpkins in the town, many of them. That's why we called the place that way.

  • And about how far away was Pumpkin Ground from Koinadugu itself, Koinadugu Town?

  • It was at the side of Koinadugu Town. It was more than seven miles away.

  • Now, how long approximately - first of all, at the point you left Koinadugu and went to Pumpkin Ground were you still operating on the radio?

  • And who did you go to Pumpkin Ground with?

  • Superman, Foday Lansana, Tall Bai Bureh, General Bropleh and some other commanders like Gugumeh, Colonel Titus. There were some other commanders. We were many.

  • Who is General Bropleh?

  • I knew that he led the STF.

  • And about how many combatants were in your group that went from Koinadugu to Pumpkin Ground? Approximately how many?

  • It was up to 400.

  • Mr Santora, there's a name there, "other commanders like Gugumeh". Have we had him before?

  • I thought we just spelt him before the break, but maybe I'm incorrect.

  • I'm sorry, yes, it slipped my mind. My apologies. I do remember now.

  • I don't remember how it's spelled, but I do remember we spelt it:

  • Now, how long approximately did you remain in this location you've called Pumpkin Ground?

  • We spent more than one month there. We were there for nearly two months.

  • And why did you leave Pumpkin Ground?

  • We left Pumpkin Ground for Makeni.

  • Well at the time we came to Pumpkin Ground Superman was still the head, because it was from Koinadugu that we scattered - that we - that SAJ Musa left us and Superman was the head in Pumpkin Ground and we left Pumpkin Ground to come to Makeni to attack Makeni.

  • So, did your group actually attack Makeni?

  • Do you know when that attack was?

  • It was in December.

  • Who actually attacked Makeni?

  • Rambo's group came from Magburaka end, from Kono. They passed through Masingbi, Magburaka and they entered Makeni. And Superman's group, we passed through Binkolo, that was the highway to go to Kabala, and we passed through Bumbuna and we came down to Binkolo and we entered Makeni.

  • When you say "Rambo's group", who do you mean?

  • RUF Rambo and Short Bai Bureh.

  • Now after you left Pumpkin Ground up to the time of the attack on Makeni, about how much time had passed approximately?

  • It had taken about a month and half.

  • Now, can you describe - during that time, from the time you left Pumpkin Ground to the attack on Makeni, were you working on the radio?

  • Who, if anyone, was - and you were working on the radio for Superman. Is that correct?

  • Who, if anyone, was Superman in communication with during the move from Pumpkin Ground to Makeni?

  • Once in a while we communicated with Buedu station and we also communicated with Rosos and Yomandu, and for us radio operators we communicated to our friends in the other stations that were controlled by RUF.

  • So how often were you, the radio operators, in communication first with Buedu?

  • We, the operators, every day when we switched on the set we spoke to Buedu station to our colleague operators, because they had said that we were not RUF any more because Sam Bockarie had declared us that we were not RUF because Superman and others had joined SAJ Musa and others. So there was that problem between them, but we, the radio operators, used to talk to each other on a daily basis when once we switched the radios on.

  • During the time from Pumpkin Ground to Makeni, what would you talk about?

  • When we left Pumpkin Ground for Makeni, whenever we switched on a radio if we for example got Buedu station, or any other friendly station, we will tell them where we were and what the situation was where we were.

  • What do you mean by "other friendly station"?

  • The stations where - within the RUF.

  • So, at this point what were the friendly stations you remember?

  • I can call Buedu again, and at that time when we left Pumpkin Ground and while we were going we used to talk to Komba's station and at that time Short Bai Bureh was there. We also spoke to Gandorhun station, and in Buedu there was not only one station. They had about three stations. We spoke to them. Anyone we could get in contact with, we spoke to.

  • Now, you said that for the attack on Makeni your group came through Binkolo and RUF Rambo's group came through Kono. How do you know that they came through Kono?

  • While we were going there was a village along the Bumbuna, that was very close to Bumbuna. When we got there, the very moment we said we should have a rest was when a jet came and bombed in the village where we were and there were many people amongst us who were armed and even some were unarmed, and women inclusive, some of them died and some others were wounded seriously. So we went to a place where we could have some time to care for the people who had been injured and there was where we were when we heard on the net - when Rambo - when we heard that Rambo and Bai Bureh had recaptured Koidu from ECOMOG and that they were advancing towards Makeni.

  • How did you hear this on the net?

  • When they were sending the message from Rambo to Sam Bockarie, first it was an ambush message, an ambush that was set along the Koidu Highway towards Masingbi, from Njaiama Sewafe to go town. Along that highway they said was where they set the ambush and it was that ambush that finally made the ECOMOG to withdraw from Koidu and I monitored that message and after that message, when they too were advancing towards Makeni, Sam Bockarie sent a message to Superman that we should hurry up and join Rambo's group in Makeni.

  • Did Superman comply with that message?

  • So after receiving that message and you said you were in a village near - I apologise one moment. Well, I can just ask you again. Where were you when you received this message - when Superman received this message from Sam Bockarie to move to Kono - to Makeni?

  • We were around Bumbuna.

  • And from that point how long did it take to advance to Makeni?

  • From the village where we were, I was at the place for four days after the message had come, because we took a long time there for us, for up to two weeks, for those wounded people, the wounded soldiers, to be healed. So when the message came, Superman formed a group that was headed by Colonel T for them to go to Makeni and we called them the advanced team and Superman - I stayed at the base in that village.

  • So who actually led the advanced team?

  • It was Colonel T.

  • Now, was Makeni actually attacked?

  • How was it attacked?

  • When they went, at that time Rambo and others had entered Makeni Town from Magburaka Road and, according to the reports that Colonel T sent, they went and passed through Binkolo and went to - right up to the barracks in Makeni, but they could not enter the barracks, but they launched an attack on the barracks, but they could not enter the barracks, so they withdrew back to Binkolo.

  • We'll need a foundation for that since she remained in Bumbuna. How did she know all this?

  • The movements that you've just described, how do you know about these movements?

  • That --

  • Your Honours, can the witness repeat that.

  • Madam Witness, please repeat your answer for the interpreter.

  • What answer should I repeat?

  • I think we will have the question put again, Mr Santora, as the answer wasn't interpreted.

  • You had just described some movements about how Rambo and others had entered Makeni Town from Magburaka Road and, according to the reports Colonel T sent, they went and passed through Binkolo and went right up to the barracks in Makeni, "But they could not enter the barracks, but they launched an attack on the barracks, but they could not enter the barracks, so they withdrew back to Binkolo." Simply, what I've just read to you, which you answered, how to you know that?

  • I said I knew it just as I was answering the question, that I knew that through the message that Colonel T sent to Superman. That was how I knew that that was what happened.

  • How was Colonel T sending these messages?

  • When they went, they didn't go with a radio set because we only had a set at the base and because of the jet raid we could not get energy, the battery was not functioning. We were using solar plates. So when they went they were fortunate to capture a radio which was a Codan, but the operator who was there did not know how to operate the radio. So whilst they were - while they were fidgeting with it he was able to switch it on and it was through that radio that he sent the message. So when Colonel T and others had left our base, we were listening through that radio to know what was happening and it was from that radio message that we understood what happened in Makeni.

  • Now, you said that initially they attacked the barracks but could not enter and they withdrew back to Binkolo. I'm referring - you said Colonel T's group. What happened after they withdrew back to Binkolo?

  • When they withdrew back to Binkolo and Colonel T sent the message to Superman, we left that village where Superman, I and others were and the women who could not move, who were with the wounded soldiers, and some armed men in the village, we moved. And the second group, that was our own group, that was Superman and myself, were there. We moved to join Colonel T and others in Binkolo and we arrived in Binkolo around 5.30 in the morning. When we arrived in Binkolo we communicated with the station that was in Makeni, which was Rambo's station, and Short Bai Bureh's station, which was at Teko Road, and at that time the road that led to Binkolo, there were no soldiers there. I mean neither ECOMOG, nor SLAs, or civilians. None of them were on that road. But the ECOMOG used it - particularly the SLAs, they used it from the barracks - to pull out from the barracks to go to Kabala and it was that same road that we used to enter Makeni. When we entered Makeni we went straight to where Bai Bureh was. That was Teko Road.

  • Just before you continue, Mrs Witness, I just want to understand something you said. You said that you joined Colonel T and others in Binkolo. You remember arriving around 5.30 in the morning. You communicated with the station that was in Makeni, which was Rambo's station and Short Bai Bureh's station, which was at Teko Road. At this point, who was in control of Makeni?

  • In Makeni Town, part of Makeni Town was occupied by RUF, RUF was in control, that was along Magburaka Highway and right up to the centre and Banana Road - sorry, RUF was in control. The ECOMOG and the SLAs were in the barracks.

  • Where are the barracks?

  • The barracks was out of Makeni a bit, when, for example, you are going to Teko village.

  • What road are the barracks on?

  • The road is called Teko Road and it leads to Magburaka Road. At Banana Street, then you come to Magburaka Road.

  • Mr Santora, the witness has said it was occupied by ECOMOG and SLAs. Now, the term SLAs has been used in relation to Rosos as well. I think there may be a little difference.

  • You were one step ahead of me, but I noticed that as well, your Honour.

  • Very good then. I will let you continue.

  • Thank you, your Honour:

  • Now, Mrs Witness, you said that at the barracks the ECOMOG and the SLAs were in the barracks. Who do you mean here when you say SLAs?

  • Well, if I can clarify that, the first set of SLAs who were in Rosos, we the RUF still referred to them as SLAs, but it was because they were former Sierra Leonean army members. But when they joined the AFRC they were no longer referred to as such, but we still called them that way and the SLAs who were in the barracks were the ones who were still loyal to the government. They were the ones who people referred to as the SLAs at that time.

  • And was there an actual name to this barracks that you're referring to?

  • Now, did Teko barracks remain in control of the ECOMOG and these SLAs that were loyal to the government?

  • The question has been answered, but if counsel reads the question he posed it as, "Did Teko barracks remain in control". I think he meant to say whether ECOMOG and the SLAs still had control of Teko barracks.

  • I thought I said "in control of". I understand now. I think it's a grammatic - I understand.

  • It's a question of who was controlling who. In any event, as Mr Anyah correctly says, it's been answered.

  • It's been answered, so I'm going to move on:

  • Now, Mrs Witness, do you remember the actual day you entered Makeni?

  • I cannot recall the day, but it was 25 December 1998.

  • And when you entered, who was in control of Teko barracks?

  • It was the ECOMOG and the loyal Sierra Leonean Army under the government. They were there.

  • And then you have already said that they did not - the ECOMOG and the SLAs loyal to the government did not remain in control. Can you explain how they lost control of Teko barracks?

  • The moment my group, that was Superman's group, joined Colonel T and we came to Makeni, we went straight to where Bai Bureh was, that was Teko Road, and we met Bai Bureh at Teko Road. Then Superman and I were sitting when Bai Bureh and Superman spoke and Bai Bureh was to go and show the barracks to Superman. And they stopped when they attacked the barracks, Bai Bureh and others when they attacked the Teko barracks, and from that moment we did not even rest for an hour when we moved to Teko barracks. When we were going to Teko barracks, there was a school which was along the road going to Teko barracks called MCA. It was there that we met an armoured tank coming from the barracks to enter Makeni Town, and it was from that spot that a battle started and we then went into the barracks. We entered right into the barracks at night and we were in the barracks until 5.30 in the morning.

  • How long did the battle last?

  • We started it around 3.30 and I left the barracks around 5.30.

  • In the morning, or the afternoon?

  • The next morning.

  • I'm going to ask you to clarify just one point, Mrs Witness. When you said the battle started at 3.30, do you mean 3.30 in the afternoon or 3.30 in the morning?

  • In the afternoon.

  • And when approximately did the battle end?

  • 5.30/5.45 on the 26th.

  • And is that 5.30 in the morning, or 5.30 in that same afternoon?

  • I answered. I said it was 5.30 in the morning.

  • And you said this is 5.30 in the morning on 26 December. Is that correct?

  • Now, I'm going to move you - I'm going to ask you about some questions moving you ahead in time a little bit. Where were you on 6 January 1999?

  • I was in Lunsar.

  • Can you describe what happened from your vantage point at Lunsar on 6 January 1999?

  • When I was in Lunsar, I was living in the same house where Superman was and it was at the same house that the radio station was. On 6 January I went at night and I operated, but it was not for the whole day and early in the morning --

  • Your Honours, can the witness repeat.

  • I'm sorry to interrupt, because I heard the witness say something that's very different than what came out and I perhaps should ask her to clarify.

  • Exactly, that's what the interpreter wants her to repeat. I think she used the net, instead of the night.

  • Exactly. That was my point as well.

  • Put the question again, Mr Santora.

  • I'll start it over:

  • Mrs Witness, I'm just going to ask you again if you can try and speak slowly so the interpreters can keep up with what you're saying, okay?

  • Okay. Now, I asked you from your vantage point at Lunsar on 6 January 1999 can you describe what happened?

  • I started by saying that when I was in Lunsar I was at the same house as Superman's and it was at that same house that we had the radio that was there for Superman and was operated by me. 6 January I switched on the radio, but I did not operate for the whole day. On 7 January, early in the morning --

  • I am sorry, Mrs Witness. I don't mean to interrupt you, but I'm just going to ask you to take it step by step. On 6 January when you put the radio on, did you hear anything?

  • I did not hear anything.

  • It was 7 January, 5.30 in the morning, that BBC usually gives the news. It was then that I heard that rebels had entered Freetown and they had captured the State House. I heard that first over the media, so I came from out of my room and switched on the radio. So when there was daybreak already, that was around 7, there were radiomen who had gone to Freetown. They were in the group that had left Rosos, they were the ones who entered Freetown, and we got those men on the radio.

  • Who were those men you're referring to?

  • The Red Lion battalion that left us in Koinadugu and the men they met at Rosos, together with the men that SAJ Musa had taken from Koinadugu and joined them.

  • Continue with what you heard yourself on the radio. At this point I believe you said 7 January?

  • Now, which radio is this? Her radio set, or the BBC radio?

  • I was going from her that she had said - I can clarify that, your Honour:

  • The events you were just describing about from the men that had entered Freetown, including Red Lion battalion and the group from Rosos, where were you getting this information from?

  • At the time that I knew that the men from Rosos had entered Freetown I first got that from the BBC, and when I switched on the radio at 7 in the morning the men who had come from Rosos switched on their radio and I heard them calling to inform that they've entered Freetown.

  • Who did you hear them calling?

  • They called Sam Bockarie.

  • Now, what else did you hear on the radio set?

  • Gullit spoke to Sam Bockarie and the operators who were there, King Perry. O-Five too spoke to us, that is Superman and I who were at the station at the time, that they had captured State House and that they have freed prisoners who were at Pademba Road.

  • Now you said first that, "Gullit spoke to Sam Bockarie and the operators who were there, King Perry." Do you know what they spoke about?

  • I have already said what they said, which was the capture of State House and the release of the prisoners.

  • Did they mention any names of these prisoners?

  • Can you remember some of the names that were called?

  • Gibril Massaquoi, ex-President Momoh, Steve Bio, Martin Moinama too was there and some other men who were in the AFRC.

  • Now you also said that, "O-Five too spoke to us, that is Superman and I ..." Do you remember at this point on 7 January what O-Five was speaking to you about?

  • He spoke to us about the State House that they had captured and how they were enthusiastic, how they were happy. He also spoke to us about Gibril Massaquoi and how they released the prisoners from Pademba Road.

  • Go ahead and now continue to describe what else you heard over the radio set from this point, if anything?

  • Later, through message that was sent by Gullit to Sam Bockarie, I too monitored that message. A message came from O-Five to Superman that stated where they passed around Waterloo when they went to Freetown which --

  • I don't think that is correct. I think I heard something different.

  • I actually missed it. I may have missed it. I'm not sure. Perhaps she should just --

  • Madam Witness, would you repeat your answer where you started, "A message came from O-Five to Superman ..." Continue from there, please.

  • A message came from O-Five to Superman whereby that same message told us that they've lost SAJ Musa when they were going to Freetown and the route they used where SAJ Musa had died before they entered Freetown and what they captured there. Most of the things that they captured there, including the State House and the release of the prisoners, came in the form of a message.

  • I'm just going to ask you to clarify that last sentence. You said, "Most of the things that they captured there, including the State House and the release of the prisoners, came in the form of a message." What do you mean when you say, "Most of the things that they captured there ... came in the form of a message"?

  • The first time, at the first - during the - at first Superman spoke one on one on the radio. This one was a message that was written by O-Five and sent by radio to Superman.

  • When you are saying "this one", what are you referring to?

  • The question that you asked me by message. That is what I'm clarifying, the message, what message - the message that I'm talking about.

  • So which message came by paper?

  • The death of SAJ Musa, because that was what they did not talk about over the radio.

  • Now, what happened after this message?

  • When the men who were in Freetown had passed on this message, Sam Bockarie sent a message to Superman to move, he and Rambo to join the men who had entered Freetown.

  • How do you know Sam Bockarie sent this message to Superman?

  • He sent a message. When I say he sent a message, I said from Sam Bockarie - as the operator was sending the message he would have the front column whereby the person who was sending this message would have his name and the person he was sending it to, and I myself received that message.

  • So where was Superman when you received this message?

  • He was in Lunsar.

  • You also said that Sam Bockarie sent a message to Superman to move, he and Rambo to join the men who had entered Freetown. At this point, when this message was sent, do you know where Rambo was?

  • Rambo was in Makeni.

  • And which Rambo are you referring to?

  • After this message from Sam Bockarie to Superman, what happened?

  • Rambo came with ammunition to us in Lunsar and we were to use that ammunition to go to Freetown.

  • How do you know Rambo came with ammunition to you in Lunsar?

  • I was in the same house with Superman and at that time, if Rambo came there he came to the same house and I saw what was happening.

  • What kind of ammunition did he come with, do you know?

  • The weapons that we were using, their ammunition like the AK, GMG and RPG bombs and the 60 and 80 millimetres, I saw him come with them, and one twin barrel.

  • And do you recall by what means he actually arrived?

  • He came with a pick-up and a truck.

  • Now, after you received this message from Sam Bockarie to join the men in Freetown and after you received this ammunition from Rambo in Lunsar, what happened?

  • We left Lunsar for Freetown.

  • Now, earlier you said that you initially started monitoring radio communications on 7 January. Do you remember the day you left Lunsar to go to Freetown?

  • 8 January.

  • And can you describe, after you left, the route you took? Just describe the road you took.

  • Yes. We went to Gberi Junction where you take a route to go to Port Loko and Masiaka. We used the main road and we were in a vehicle when we went to Masiaka, on to Waterloo and on to Hastings. We stopped at Hastings because we were unable to dislodge the ECOMOG who were at Hastings. We were unable to pass through Hastings, so we returned to Yams Farm. That was where we were based.

  • First of all, during the course of this trip from Lunsar to Hastings and then eventually Yams Farm, who was with you?

  • Superman, Foday Lansana, Gugumeh. They were with me as commanders.

  • Approximately how long did it take you to go from Lunsar to Hastings?

  • Well, we left Lunsar at around 4.00 p.m. and we waited at Gberi Junction until 7, because the jet was raiding the main highway. So we left Gberi Junction at night and we arrived at Hastings in the morning, but it was between 4.30 to 5.00. It was still - it was daybreak then.

  • Now, you mentioned some of the commanders that went with you. How many men were involved, or how many combatants were involved in this movement that you've been describing?

  • We were up to 200.

  • Now, during the course of this trip from Lunsar to Hastings were you operating on the radio or not?

  • I was on the radio.

  • And were you using the radio?

  • That night when we were travelling I did not use the radio, but the morning, when we came back to Yams Farm, I started using the radio.

  • Okay, from this point - first of all, where is Yams Farm in relation to Hastings?

  • Yams Farm is just after Hastings when you're going to Waterloo. After Hastings you met Yams Farm. If you were at Yams Farm, on top of a hill, you would see Hastings.

  • Now, first of all you said when you got to Hastings you couldn't cross or - one moment. That you couldn't dislodge the ECOMOG who were at Hastings. Can you describe what happened actually when you got to Hastings?

  • Like I said, we were unable to dislodge the ECOMOG. From the time we left Lunsar, apart from Masiaka, it was at Four Mile that we met - we found out that fighting had taken place there. The next place was Hastings. That was where the ECOMOG soldiers were based and we could not have just passed through. Fighting had to go on. There was some shooting for some hours, but because of the river that was around the town, except the main road, there was no other route to use to enter Hastings and we were not able to enter Hastings.

  • Do you know approximately how long the men that you were with - how long they engaged ECOMOG at Hastings?

  • Almost two and a half hours.

  • Now, then you said you went - you moved back to Yams Farm, is that correct?

  • And you said at that point you started operating the radio set.

  • Can you tell the Court some of the things you heard while operating the radio set from Yams Farm at this point?

  • When I switched on the set the first thing that I did was to call the Buedu station and I passed on an information to them that we were now at Yams Farm and have been unable to enter Hastings. By that time we were expecting that the group that was in Freetown would come to Hastings so that when we were coming from Yams Farm, so that we would join them at Hastings, but at that time the ECOMOG had already dislodged them from State House and when I switched on the set I heard the message going to Sam Bockarie that the ECOMOG had dislodged the men who were in Freetown at the State House and that the State House had been recaptured from our men who were there.

  • Continue.

  • Mr Santora, I'm not sure, this message, who she was sending this message to. She keeps saying "them" and I'm not sure if it's the people in Freetown, or Sam Bockarie at the base in Buedu. I'm referring to page 76 from line 2 where she says, "I switched on the set the first thing I did was to call Buedu", passed on an information to them and - okay, so it was Buedu that she was passing this information.

  • I will clarify it, your Honour:

  • So when you arrived in Yams Farm you said the first thing that you did was call the Buedu station and, "I passed on an information to them that we were now at Yams Farm." So who specifically did you send that information to?

  • When I called the Buedu station it was to Sam Bockarie that I sent the message.

  • Now, later on you were describing a communication going to Sam Bockarie that "... the ECOMOG had dislodged the men who were in Freetown and that the State House had been recaptured from our men who were there." I want you to continue - well, first of all, can you just start again explaining this communication relating to State House?

  • The communication that I'm talking about, whereby it was Gullit who sent a message to Sam Bockarie over the radio saying that the ECOMOG had pushed them out of State House and that fighting was going on in Freetown at that time. I monitored it when he was sending that message to Sam Bockarie, and after he had sent the message to Sam Bockarie he first - Sam Bockarie first asked Gullit if Gullit and others still had the prisoners with them and he answered "Yes". And when he said that fighting was going on in Freetown, Sam Bockarie told him that if the men, that is the ECOMOG, forced Gullit and others out of Freetown, they should burn the fucking place and that they should not spare anything. He said that verbally.

  • And was there any response from Gullit?

  • He answered "Yes, sir" to him.

  • Now, where exactly were you when you heard this communication?

  • I was at Yams Farm.

  • And about how many days, if any, had passed when you heard this from the point you reached Yams Farm?

  • Just a day.

  • And can you describe the tone, if you recall the tone, of Sam Bockarie's voice when he sent this message?

  • He was angry as he spoke. He was speaking with power. When he spoke, you knew that he was angry.

  • Do you know what he meant when he said that they should not spare anything?

  • Well, if I can say what I mean, I am sure you too can say anything and nothing will result from it, be it property, a house, be it a human being, anything, which means everything. That is what I mean. That is what I understood.

  • Now, how long did you remain at Yams --

  • Just pause, Mr Santora. "You too can say anything and nothing will result from it, be it property, a house ..." I'm not sure exactly what that means.

  • Mrs Witness, I asked you if you know what Sam Bockarie meant when he said that they should not spare anything and you answered:

    "Well, if I can say what I mean, I am sure you too can say anything and nothing will result from it, be it property, a house, be it a human being, anything, which means everything."

    I'm going to ask you to explain that answer, because I guess - first of all, I'm asking if you knew what Sam Bockarie meant when he said that they should not spare anything?

  • I am sure I can clarify that, because I have already answered it. In anything that I say, that nothing would result from it. Like I am here now in this place, if you can tell me to take anything in here it can mean that I can take a computer, or a cup, or anything that is in here. That's what you mean because you've not - you've not said what - specified what I should take. That was why I said nothing was exempted from what was in Freetown, be it a house, be it people, property, vehicles, anything that was there.

  • Now, approximately how long did you remain at Yams Farm?

  • I was in Yams Farm over two weeks before I came to Lunsar.

  • Now, you've discussed communications between Sam Bockarie and Gullit. When you say Gullit, who do you mean?

  • He was one of the SLA commanders who was in the AFRC whom I knew.

  • Now, you've also discussed communications that occurred between O-Five and Superman. Did you hear any communications between them when you were at Yams Farm?

  • The communication that I heard was still based on the dislodging, that ECOMOG dislodged the fighters at State House and the fighting that was going on, because he said the fighting was intense. And Superman too asked him for Gibril Massaquoi and he said that Gibril Massaquoi was with them, that is O-Five and others.

  • After you heard that the men in Freetown had lost the State House, what happened?

  • After Sam Bockarie had given this order to Gullit he gave another to Superman saying that Superman and his men should stay at Yams Farm to ensure that there is a safe corridor for those coming from Freetown, because they were now in disarray in Freetown and so we were to stay at Yams Farm to wait on the group that was coming from Freetown.

  • Did Superman comply with this order/instruction?

  • Mr Santora, I note the time. Although we did resume a little late, it is the normal lunch break time and so I think we should adjourn now to 2.30. I hope that is a convenient time.

  • Thank you, your Honour.

  • Madam Witness, we are now going to take our usual lunchtime break. We will resume in one hour at 2.30. Please adjourn court until 2.30.

  • [Lunch break taken at 1.30 p.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 2.32 p.m.]

  • Mr Griffiths, you are on your feet.

  • Your Honour, yes. Madam President, I rise merely to enquire what the situation is in relation to the witness in respect of whom a ruling was given yesterday. I ask merely for this reason: That I, of course, have the responsibility of organising resources within our team and in order to organise our diaries it would be useful to know what the situation is in respect of that individual and whether it is still proposed to interpose him at some stage, because that has consequences in terms of who will be in attendance for the Defence team in court. So it would be useful to know what the position is now in respect of the witness.

  • Ms Hollis, can you assist us in responding to that?

  • Certainly, Madam President.

  • As a result of the ruling of a majority of the Trial Chamber, the Prosecution will not be calling TF1-168.

  • I am grateful, your Honour.

  • Thank you, Madam President:

  • Good afternoon, Mrs Witness. Mrs Witness, I am just going to ask you about something you just said before the break - before the lunch break. You said that Sam Bockarie told Superman that his men, "Should stay at Yams Farm to ensure that there is a safe corridor for those coming from Freetown." What do you mean when you say "a safe corridor"?

  • What I meant by safe corridor was if we were not at Yams Farm at that time when the men in Freetown, headed by Gullit and O-Five, were dislodged they could not come to Yams Farm. We made - we created a safe area, that was Yams Farm, for ECOMOG not to be able to base there, so those who would be coming from Freetown would come and join us safely.

  • And the men coming from Freetown, did they join you?

  • Now, your Honours, I would ask at this point that the witness be shown a map which is labelled at S19. Now, initially distributed to your Honours was a pre-marked map. In light of yesterday's ruling, this map I am proposing to show the witness is a blank map.

  • Very sensible, Mr Santora. That is S - what was the number again, please.

  • 19. Again - okay. A copy of this blank map was previously distributed with another witness.

  • Maybe I have taken it out in that case.

  • It is not marked, the map I am referring to.

  • Madam President, I do not have a copy of the map in the original map book that was given to us by the Prosecution. I do understand that perhaps it was distributed, but perhaps we could have some indication of which witness - in conjunction with which it was distributed.

  • Actually it was distributed with two witnesses, one was TF1-577 and another one this week with TF1-168 on Tuesday and I am informed that we requested that it be put in the map book after distributing copies for TF1-577.

  • Thank you, Mr Santora. I have found my copy.

  • And if Defence counsel is not finding it --

  • Yes, I would be grateful to receive your extra copy. I understand you have an extra copy.

  • I will check. Just to note the map that has been given to Defence counsel, the only difference is that he will notice that on the top and the bottom there is an extra white border area that was cut off.

  • That is fine, counsel. Thank you very much.