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

  • Good morning, Mr Witness.

  • Sir, yesterday you told us that Sam Bockarie and Issa Sesay had appointed you the mining commander and you had gone to Kono. Can you tell us for approximately how long were you in that position as mining commander?

  • From '98 to 2000.

  • During that time was there ever any interruption where you were unable to act as the mining commander for a period of time?

  • And very briefly now, and we'll go into it in more detail later, what caused the interruption in your time as the mining commander?

  • It reached a time, and at that time we were now in Koidu Town, they put an allegation against me that I had lost diamonds, so since then they started conducting an investigation against me and then I was later sent to Buedu to Sam Bockarie.

  • Sir, we will come back to that in a moment in more detail. Can you just tell us for approximately how long, because of that event, were you not acting as the mining commander?

  • For how long approximately?

  • It took about two and a half - and a half months.

  • Okay, thank you. Sir, can you explain to us what your duties were as the mining commander?

  • Yes, the job I was doing was to ensure that all the mining sites where we were working if I was not present on the daily basis there were people I sent there. And then if they got diamonds at any particular location there were people who collected them and brought them to me and from there we would sit and arrange and then sort them out before we took them to Issa Sesay.

  • Who was your commander at the time that you were the mining commander?

  • There were two people who were my commanders. One was Sam Bockarie and two was Issa Sesay.

  • Up until the end of your time as mining commander, you said you were the commander up until some time in 2000, were both Sam Bockarie and Issa Sesay your commanders or did anything change?

  • Sam Bockarie left at a point in time and went to see Charles Taylor in Liberia, so Issa Sesay was now in command.

  • You've talked about your job it was "to ensure that all the mining sites where we were working" - you explained what had to happen. Can you tell us now where those sites were located that you were responsible for?

  • First in which district, or districts, were the sites that you were responsible for?

  • It was in the Kono District. That was where I was responsible for.

  • Okay. Were you ever responsible for any sites outside of the Kono District?

  • Yes, later. It was in the Kenema District and the place is called Tongo Field.

  • Can you tell us approximately when it was that you became responsible also for the fields - the Tongo Fields?

  • I cannot tell the exact date now, but it took some time because I did not actually go there in person, but I sent somebody there, a representative.

  • Okay. Who did you send to Tongo Fields as your representative?

  • It was Mike Nimley.

  • And who is or who was Mike Nimley?

  • Who was Mike Nimley reporting to?

  • He reported to me.

  • Are we going to have a spelling, Mr Koumjian?

  • Just a moment. Your Honours, I believe the bar's spelling is N-I-M-L-E-Y:

  • Sir, can you recall, first of all, how many sites were there in the Kono District that you were responsible for?

  • Okay. Can you tell us how many sites you were responsible for in the Kono District?

  • Should I call the names?

  • Okay, first let's do that. Can you tell us the names that you recall of the sites that you were responsible for?

  • One was Tombodu; two, Kaisambo; three, Benz Garage; four, Bondovulahun; five, Ngaya; six, Ndomahina; seven, Bandafay; and there were many others.

  • You indicated - well, first of all where were you based at the time that you were the mining commander?

  • It was in Kokuima in mining camp, but it was based in Kokuima.

  • Was Kokuima itself a headquarters only, or was it anything more than a headquarters?

  • Yes, Kokuima was our mining headquarters. Even if you went to anywhere else you will have to report at Kokuima.

  • Did any mining go on in Kokuima itself?

  • Yes, that was where I called Benz Garage. It is in Kokuima that the Benz Garage is located.

  • Mr Koumjian, before we move on there are some spellings, there are some new words to me, and I note too the record has not got them correct. Ngaya is incorrectly spelt, but Ndomahina and number seven are new names to me, I think.

  • I will go through the ones that I believe are not spelled correctly or that we have. First the third one - perhaps I could just clarify. The witness has said Kokuima which we have spelled before I believe, but he said Benz Garage:

  • Is that two words, Mr Witness?

  • Yes, Kokuima is an area and Benz Garage is a walking spot that is within Kokuima.

  • The fourth site that the witness mentioned was Bondovulahun, B-O-N-D-O-V-U-L-A-H-U-N. The fifth site, Ngaya, N-G-A-Y-A. The sixth location mentioned, Ndomahina, N-D-O-M-A-H-I-N-A. The seventh Bandafay, B-A-N-D-A-F-A-Y.

  • And the second, Kaisambo, or something like that, site number two?

  • Kaisambo, K-A-I-S-A-M-B-O.

  • Thank you, Mr Koumjian.

  • Thank you, sir. Can you tell us how did this - first of all when you talk about mining sites, what was being mined?

  • We were mining for diamonds.

  • During the time that you were the commander were any other minerals being mined?

  • I was mining for diamonds, but sometimes diamonds and gold went together, but we were not looking for that. We were looking for just diamonds.

  • How did the mining actually occur at the sites? Can you describe the process of looking for and recovering the diamonds?

  • Yes, it was manpower that we used because at the earlier stage we did not have machines to do the mining, so it was the men who were using the shovels, the pickaxe and some other working tools, so they dug the ground and they removed the gravels. After gathering the gravels we made the shaker, something like a shifter, and out of those gravels we got diamonds.

  • Mr Witness, the little tools that you have mentioned, the axes --

  • Your Honours, correction interpreter. Instead of the word shifter, it is sieve. Something like a sieve.

  • Thank you, Mr Interpreter.

  • Sir, you have mentioned a few basic tools, a pickaxe, shovel, shifters or sieves. Can you tell us where did you obtain those tools?

  • Do you know where you got those tools from?

  • Can you tell us?

  • At the earlier stage when we captured Koidu those items that ECOMOG had looted or they were working with and when they escaped and left those items behind, those were the items we gathered, we assembled them. Those were the ones we were working with. But those are things that are quick to be destroyed. But later, Issa Sesay sent to Sam Bockarie so we were now getting brand new ones from Liberia because the dirt normally destroys those items very fast. So we are now getting those items from there.

  • Mr Witness, at any of the sites that you were responsible for during any of the period of time that you were the mining commander, were any types of machines used?

  • Can you explain that to us, please?

  • We had two types of machines, like in the case of the Caterpillar, it is always there to push the earth from the surface and there were machines that we call the bailing machines that will remove the water from out of the pit before we get the gravel out. Those were the two machines that we were using.

  • Do you know where you obtained those machines from?

  • Like I have told you earlier, most of those machines, some that we captured from the ECOMOG that we were using, they were sometimes destroyed, so we were now getting new ones from Monrovia that were brought by Issa Sesay from Sam Bockarie and they will fix those to the machines. They used to bring brand new bailing machines, the ones that we used to bail the water. That was how we used to get those items.

  • Did these machines require any fuel?

  • Yes, without fuel they cannot work. It is just like a human being; if you don't eat you will not work.

  • Where did you obtain the fuel for these machines?

  • I have told you that they were bringing diesel and petrol from Monrovia. When they brought the items like the mining equipment they brought those things from there.

  • You have called some of the sites you have worked - you have used the word "pit". Can you describe what you mean by a pit?

  • Yes, a pit - what they mean by a pit is a hole, but it is a language used in mining. When the hole is dug the hole is referred to as a pit.

  • Sir, you have also used the word "manpower" and said that manpower was used. Can you give us more details about how manpower was used?

  • Yes, the language that I use which is manpower, it means the civilians who did the job, because by then the soldiers or the gunmen did not do the job because they had guns in their hands, so we used the civilians to do the job, the manpower job. That was why we referred to them as manpower.

  • Sir, how were these - first of all, were these civilians paid for the job they did?

  • No, even those of us soldiers were not getting paid so the civilians did not obviously get anything like a pay.

  • How did you obtain these civilians to work in the mining sites?

  • We looked out for them. Most times when we were in the bush and when we captured civilians those were the ones that we carried to the sites to do the job, and even when we were now in town Issa Sesay and Morris Kallon, they were using vehicles to go to Magburaka, Makeni and they would bring civilians to do the job.

  • Mr Witness, is there any reason why you had to go or Issa Sesay and Morris Kallon had to go all the way to Magburaka or Makeni to get civilians? Why didn't you get civilians from the Kono District?

  • Those who were in Kono whom we had captured were not many and most of them had escaped, but in other towns like Magburaka and Makeni many people were living there, so that was where Kallon and Issa Sesay used to go and get people and they would bring them and give them to us for us to use them to do the job.

  • Mr Witness, can you give us any estimate of the number of civilians that would be mining on an average day in the Kono District during the time you were the mining commander?

  • Within there there were two mining systems. Within the government mining there were approximately two to three hundred, but in the case of the private ones I cannot say anything about that because I was not taking a head count of the manpower that they had.

  • Mr Koumjian, is this throughout the district? This is the question you asked. Two to three hundred throughout the district?

  • Mr Witness, we want to understand your evidence. You have talked about - you have named some mining sites and you said there were many others. Is this the total number of civilians for all of the mining sites in the Kono District?

  • No, that is what I am trying to tell you. I said in the government mines we did not go all over the place. It was along the Koidu axis, but there were minings going on outside Koidu in other areas but they were not under my direct command so I can cannot tell you their manpower. I was only responsible for the government mining so that is what I am telling you about.

  • Sir, these other mining sites that you said were not under your direct command, under whose command were they, if you know?

  • They were under the high commands.

  • When you say the high command, can you explain what you mean?

  • Yes. Issa Sesay, Morris Kallon, Superman, they were the high command and they had special places where mining was conducted for them, so I did not have any hands in those.

  • Sir, at the sites that you were responsible for, can you tell us was there any command structure or any organisational structure at the site?

  • Yes.

  • Can you explain, please?

  • I had my deputy who was called Michael Coomber, and the operations commander was there called Alpha Turay, and the deputy operations commander was there, a staff captain Alhaji, and we had an advisor called Pa Abdul and Pa Saidu. They were all there to ensure that the operations went on smoothly. They were the ones who went and conducted inspections at the sites and they would meet the securities there and they ensured that any diamonds that were collected, they will bring them and hand them over to the operations commander and the operations commander in return will take the diamonds to me.

  • Now you have indicated that these deputies and various persons working with you went to the sites and met with the securities there. Who were the securities at the sites? What do you mean by that?

  • We had mining securities who manned the mining sites and the bodyguards were all securities. And even myself, the security that always walked along with me was a security for the mining site. So that was why they were there for. We also had the Black Guards. They were not many, but they also - they also were there to back up our securities.

  • Who were the Black Guards?

  • Black Guard in the sense means they were Foday Sankoh's own special bodyguards and they were referred to as Black Guards.

  • Who did the Black Guards report to?

  • The time Foday Sankoh was there they reported directly to him, but when he was not there the second in command whom he left in his place, that was Sam Bockarie, they reported to him. When he too was not there they reported to Issa Sesay. That was how it went on. They reported to the high command who was on the ground.

  • Thank you. Now, these bodyguards and securities, you mentioned your own, that were at - and others that were at the sites, were these men armed or unarmed?

  • They were armed. That's why they were referred to as securities. They were armed.

  • What was their job at the site?

  • Their job was to protect the civilians from harassment or molestation from other people and to also prevent the civilians from stealing the diamonds. Those were some of their duties.

  • Mr Witness, these civilians that were doing the mining, were they rich individuals?

  • No, even if - even if someone had money when you were captured to go and do a job you will not indicate that you had money because you wanted to save your life. So you would have to go and do the job.

  • How were the civilians dressed during the time that they were doing the mining?

  • When they will get prepared to go and work, they put on a working dress because in that kind of job you do not dress up yourself as if you are in an office. You are working in a hole, a pit. You will have to play with dirt or mud. You are not going to wear a suit or a coat. You would have to wear a dress just like farmers who dress because you are going to work with dirt.

  • Mr Witness, how did you and the others involved in the operations ensure that these civilians did not take the diamonds that they found?

  • Whenever they will be working there were people monitoring them. We were monitoring them. Just like you yourself when you are working in an office there is somebody monitoring you. So they always had fears to take any diamonds because there were rules which indicated - which says that if somebody lost a diamond or stole a diamond you would be killed, but if you are fortunate you would be beaten up seriously.

  • Sir, what were the ages of the civilians that were doing the mining?

  • There were adults. Some were about the age of 30, 25, 20. There were some other people who were about 15.

  • What was the gender or genders of the civilians doing the mining?

  • The men were doing the mining. Women were not doing the mining. The women stayed home to take care of their husbands' homes.

  • The ages that you have given of the civilians was limited between 30 and about 15. Was there any reason that older people were not chosen for doing the mining?

  • Old and experienced people did not handle shovels because they were not strong enough, but they were there to give advice to the young ones because the young ones were energetic enough they were having the shovels. They would do the work, the manual work, and the old ones will give advice to them.

  • Sir, the securities that you said were at the site, what were the ages of the securities that were at the site?

  • The securities were not big men. They were just from 10 to 20. Those were the age brackets, 10 to 20.

  • These securities, did they belong to any fighting force?

  • Yes, they were RUF fighters.

  • Now, Mr Witness, you have indicated that at one time you were investigated. I would like to go into a bit more detail about that. First of all, do you recall approximately when that was?

  • It was from '98 that - when Kono fell in our hands finally from '98 to '99, but I cannot recall the exact day or date now.

  • Okay. When this happened to you, who was in command of the RUF?

  • It was Sam Bockarie.

  • You have talked about when you arrived at this assignment and that the forum before the attack on Kono took place a couple of weeks after your arrival. How long after Koidu Town was captured were you in the position as mining commander until this investigation started? Can you estimate the number of months, or weeks?

  • Just after I was given the assignment to go to Kono, that is I went to Kono in '98, within the space of a month was when Issa Sesay went back to Kailahun, that is Buedu, and brought those ammunition for us to capture Koidu Town. The week he got to Guinea Highway was the very week we attacked Koidu Town, because they didn't want everybody to know. So when we captured Koidu Town I was still the mining commander right up to 1999 when that incident occurred, but I cannot recall the exact date now. I don't want to tell a lie.

  • Okay, thank you. What happened when you were investigated? Can you tell us the details?

  • Yes, there were people whom I met in the command at the place. When they were removed from the position I was put there, they had a grudge for me. They were looking for ways for me to leave the place or leave the position, because - but they couldn't because they hadn't the power to remove me from the position. So what they resorted to doing was one of them went to Issa Sesay, because Issa Sesay was his tribesman, that he had given me a diamond and had lost it. So Issa Sesay sent an order to the MP for me to be investigated.

  • How were you investigated?

  • We had the people's court. The people's court investigated me and after the fact-finding they sent me to the headquarters to Sam Bockarie. That was where the verdict was passed.

  • Mr Witness, we would be interested in you explaining to us the people's court. What was the people's court and how did it operate?

  • People's court in the sense it was a combined unit put together. That was what we referred to as people's court. Like one MP, IO, IDU, all these units were put together and they formed the investigation panel. That was what we referred to as people's court.

  • Sir, you used some acronyms and I just want to ask you for each if you know what they stand for. First, the MP. Do you know what MP stood for?

  • Yes.

  • Military Police.

  • They were policemen, but in the military terminology we called them Military Police.

  • They were policemen in what force?

  • You said IO. Can you tell us what with IO stands for?

  • Yes.

  • Intelligence Officers.

  • These Intelligence Officers worked for which force?

  • And you used the acronym IDU. If you can, please tell us what that stands for.

  • IDU, they were there specially working with civilians. They were liaison officers working with the civilians and also working with us, the soldiers. Whatever problem there was with the soldiers or the civilians, they were the ones working to solve those problems. That was their duty.

  • Thank you. Do you know what that acronym - what the initials IDU, stood for? If you don't, just tell us.

  • I have forgotten a little bit.

  • Thank you. What force was the IDU a part of, if any?

  • When you went to the people's court, can you briefly describe what happened?

  • Yes.

  • They obtained a statement from me. All the units, each of them obtained a statement from me and I was investigated. They did not see anything to prove that I had done what I was accused of. Those who told the lie on me, one of them admitted that he had told a lie because whatever we do there is God watching us, so he admitted that he had told a lie, so I was sent to Sam Bockarie and he released me and advised me to be careful with the people that I work with. So he sent me back and take control of the place. That was what happened.

  • Mr Witness, at the time that you went through this court proceeding in the RUF people's court were you a member of a military force?

  • Yes, I was a member of the RUF.

  • Did you have a rank in the RUF at that time?

  • What was that rank?

  • I was a lieutenant colonel.

  • Do you know, sir, if the people's court had the authority to punish or recommend punishment for RUF officers for doing misdeeds?

  • Can you give us any more information about that?

  • Yes, if for example you have committed a crime and you have been investigated and found guilty the panel will sit together and they will indicate the period you will spend in prison and they will as well recommend hard labour for you, but they will not kill you.

  • Was there a possibility of the death penalty in the RUF?

  • Well, there were death penalties issued out, but the panel actually also the members had fear because they knew that it could happen to them some day so they never issued out --

  • Your Honours, can the witness repeat this, please.

  • Mr Witness, please pause. The interpreter asks that you repeat some of your answer. Please pick up after the following, "They had fear because they knew that it could happen to them some day so they never issued ..." Continue from that point, please.

  • What I meant was that the unit that formed the court had fear to pass a verdict like that because maybe it could happen to them or their brothers. They will only pass a verdict for some other punishment like imprisoning you or hard labour, not killing you. But the other commanders, the high command, will pass a death penalty. That was not from the court.

  • Thank you. Mr Witness, you have talked about how the diamonds were mined. Can you tell us what happened to the diamonds after the workers found the diamonds from the gravel? Can you slowly give us step by step what would occur to those diamonds?

  • Okay. When the workers would have taken the diamond, there was somebody they would give it to. He will always be with them at the site. Those were the names I mentioned before now, the operations commander, the advisor, my deputy was Coomber, they would be at the site to receive the diamonds before ever the diamonds could get to the town.

  • Mr Witness, these people like your operations commander and your deputy Coomber, did they get the diamonds directly from the workers or did they go to the site and get the diamonds from someone else?

  • They will be at the site directly with the workers. They would be looking after the workers so they will be with them right at the site. Just after they take the diamonds from the pit, they give them to them.

  • Okay. After these individuals that you have named and explained their positions received the diamonds from the workers what happened to the diamonds?

  • The diamonds would be parceled and brought to town. That was our headquarters, Kokuima.

  • Where exactly were the diamonds brought to?

  • When they took the diamonds they brought them to me at Kokuima. They will bring the diamonds to me. That was where my office was. Then I will invite some people, not everybody, but certain people I will invite them, and we - I will present the diamonds.

  • What happened once the diamonds were brought to you?

  • When they brought the diamonds we will sit together. Those senior ones that I have mentioned before will sit together and we sort the diamonds out. There were the clean ones and the industrial ones together. The clean ones would be at one place and the industrial ones at another place. I had somebody who was experienced in that. He will do the weighing to know the caratage or percentage before ever we could take the diamonds to Issa Sesay.

  • Thank you. Going back, you said that the diamonds were brought to your office. Did this happen once a week, once a month? What was the frequency with which the diamonds were brought to your office?

  • They brought diamonds to my office on a daily basis except on Sundays or something had happened in the RUF that we could not work on that day, but when once they worked they always brought diamonds to me on a daily basis.

  • You have told us a moment ago about, referring to diamonds, clean ones and the industrial ones. First, can you explain, what do you mean by the clean ones?

  • The clean ones means colourless without any fault, white like a paper.

  • And what do you mean by industrial ones?

  • Industrial means coloured. It could be black or red or coffee coloured, green or any other colour, but industrial means colourless.

  • Colours, your Honours.

  • So just to clarify the interpretation, Mr Witness, are you saying that industrial means that it had a colour or had no colour?

  • Industrial was coloured. If it was not coloured that was not industrial.

  • Sir, you have talked about the sorting of the diamonds. Who did the sorting of the diamonds?

  • I had Pa Abdul and Saidu Bangura. Those two people were professionals in that job. They will know the percentage and the caratage.

  • Did they use anything to look at the diamonds or did they just look at them with their eye?

  • They used something. It was called lip, with a lens.

  • Thank you. You have indicated there was - the stone, the diamonds, were weighed. Can you describe that process?

  • Yes, we had a scale.

  • Were the diamonds weighed in a group, or each individual stone was weighed?

  • We had different types of weighing. If it was a big one we would place just one on the scale, but if they were small we put more than one on the scale. The smaller ones we would put more than one on the scale, but if it was big then we would just put one on the scale.

  • When you had finished this process of sorting and weighing the diamonds was any record kept?

  • Can you describe what kinds of records were kept, or made?

  • At the time that I was there, even though everybody will take his individual records because when it was mining everybody would have to submit a report to the commander that had sent him, but I had my adjutant who would take records for me, who would write down everything for me. And, you know, the RUF, there were a lot of educated people. So whatever somebody said even they would just write that down, let alone diamonds taking.

  • What kind of record did you have your adjutant keep? Can you tell us what kinds of things were recorded?

  • It was about the diamonds that we got on a daily basis. Whatever the quantity of diamond we had on that day the adjutants would record that, how many carats, what the percentage was, the adjutant would write that down and some other people would write that in their own individual books. But I had my own book in which my adjutant would write that down.

  • Sir, when you say - you talked about your books and then you said some other people would write that down in their own individual books. Can you explain what you mean when you say other people would write that down in their own individual books?

  • Okay, like the operations commander, he had his own book. Whatever he received on the site right up to the time it got to me he would indicate that in his book. The advisor was not educated but he had somebody who jotted things out for him. My deputy too had somebody who would write down his. Even myself, I was not writing, but I had my adjutant who will do the writing for me. That was what obtained.

  • Aside from those working for you, or under your command, did anyone else monitor your work and keep any records of the diamonds?

  • Except the Black Guards that were sent, they had their records, but the senior officers, except if they gave them documents that I did not know about, maybe secretly, but they did not come to site to take records from us.

  • You said the Black Guards they had their own records. Do you recall any Black Guards that were around Koidu when you were the mining commander monitoring mining?

  • Can you recall any names of the Black Guards that were there?

  • Yes. One was Bakundu, the second was Mosquito, the third was a guy called Mustapha, but they were assigned at different places. There were four Black Guards at the mining.

  • Your Honour, one spelling, Bakundu, B-A-K-U-N-D-U:

  • Sir, the second name you mentioned was Mosquito. Can you tell us who is this Mosquito?

  • He was a Black Guard, a young man. He just had that name because he was slim. He was slim. That was why he took that nickname. He was a Black Guard. His name was Fallah.

  • Your Honour, at this time I would like the witness to be shown tab 8. That is document D-54 in evidence.

  • Mr Koumjian, may I ask why you want this document to be shown to the witness at this stage?

  • To explain his knowledge of various entries to give the Trial Chamber the benefit of explanations of this record from someone who was present when mining took place at the time period in fact that's covered by this book.

  • Mr Koumjian, you can lay the document before the witness just as soon as you have laid enough foundation for it, but not before.

  • Okay. Your Honours, this is a document that was already admitted into evidence.

  • Well then you tell us what exhibit number it is.

  • Your Honour, I believe I have. Let me see if I can find the line. It's on line 8 of page 26. It's document D-54 which was admitted with no foundation being laid by the Defence before the document was shown to the witness.

  • Then I beg your pardon. You should have said exhibit D-54.

  • Thank you. Your Honours, I understand previously the Defence --

  • Your Honours, the AV booth is requesting whether they can display that document.

  • Yes, as far as - yes. Your Honours, first I would like to point out that the Defence I believe previously when they exhibited this document asked us if we had a better copy of the document and - sorry, excuse me. This is a different issue. Excuse me:

  • Sir, taking a look at this document, I would like you to look at the front page and then look through a few of the other pages.

  • Your Honour, I wonder if my learned friend could at least ask the preliminary question if the witness had seen the document before.

  • There are a few preliminary questions.

  • Before I - I am asking the witness - how can the witness answer that question if he doesn't look at the document first? That objection seems to me to be extremely unreasonable. I have asked the witness to look at the document and the objection is that I should first ask the witness if he has seen a document that he hasn't been shown yet. So respectfully that's my reply. Do your Honours want me to take the document away from the witness and ask him if he has seen something before that hasn't been shown to him?

  • Two things. I don't know if the document - if the witness is seeing the document via the screen or if he is looking at it physically in which case he needs to see all the pages.

  • Your Honour, the witness has a physical copy of the document including all the pages.

  • And of course secondly we are not sure if he is literate in the language of the document.

  • I certainly can ask that question:

  • Sir, can you read? Mr Witness, before you - please take your - before you look at the document, sir, can you read English? Can you read English?

  • I can understand it.

  • What is your level of education?

  • I stopped at form 3.

  • Can the witness read it, or just understand English?

  • Sir, can you explain your answer. I asked you if you read English. Can you --

  • Yes, I can read.

  • Now can we establish if he has seen this document before.

  • Sir, would you please take a look at the document?

  • Mr Koumjian, do you recall did we have an original exercise book that was tendered, or was this the best copy that we had?

  • It was tendered by the Defence, so there may be an original. I'm not sure if this was the best copy that we had.

  • This was a document disclosed to us by the Office of the Prosecution and the best copy we had was the photocopy.

  • So when you asked the witness if he has seen it before you are asking if he has seen this copy or whether he saw the original exercise book, or what are you asking?

  • I haven't yet asked the question, your Honour. First I am going to ask him if this is a document that he prepared and whether he recognises it and, if he can, if he can tell us what it is.

  • Please proceed, Mr Koumjian.

  • Sir, is this your mining record?

  • Well, this record is the one belonging to the Black Guards.

  • Well, how do you know that?

  • Because it says so on the first page, your Honour, which is pretty obvious.

  • Your Honour, that is argumentative. What is the objection? That I cannot ask the witness where the document comes from?

  • I am overruling that observation. It was an observation.

  • How do you know it was a Black Guard report?

  • The Black Guard to whom I was referring, that is Joseph Bakundu, even though I did not read what he was writing, but I used to see a similar book like this in his hand and the times when they will be doing handing over I will be there and I know him very well.

  • Okay. Sir, I would like to turn --

  • Mr Koumjian, I don't understand that answer. Has this witness seen this particular document before, or not? Mr Witness, have you seen this particular document before in your life, or not?

  • Yes, I saw it during the time of my assignment. I saw that with the Black Guard.

  • Mr Witness, just to be clear, was this document shown to you by anyone from the Office of the Prosecutor before you testified? Was it reviewed with you? Were you questioned about it?

  • That is what I am telling you. I saw it during my time and I saw it again in the office.

  • Okay. When you say in the office, which office do you mean?

  • The Special Court.

  • When he says he saw it "during my time", what does he mean by that?

  • That's more important. Thank you:

  • Mr Witness, when you say "during my time" you saw it, what do you mean by that? What was your time?

  • What I mean by that is the time that the RUF was in power when I was a mining commander in Kono. The Black Guard that is called Joseph Bakundu, I knew him and I saw this book with him.

  • Mr Witness, just to be sure, earlier you said, "I used to see a similar book like this in his hand and the times when they will be doing handing over I will be there, I know him very well". Now did you see this particular book, or did you see a book similar to this with Bakundu?

  • It was an exercise book, not a paper like this. It was not in the paper form like this. It was an exercise book with a cover like this, not like a white sheet of paper.

  • We appreciate that this is a copy of an exercise book, but focus on the question that I am asking. When you say, "I used to see a similar book with Bakundu" as you have testified earlier, are you saying that you saw the original of this particular book or that you saw a book with Bakundu similar to this book?

  • This is the book. This is the book whose original I saw, because they would be sitting on the round table, everybody would have his book in front of him.

  • Sir, I would like to have the Court Officer turn to the third page with the ERN number 00012916. I would like to ask you about certain entries in this book and tell us based on your time as the mining commander whether they have meaning to you that you can help us to understand?

  • Sorry, Mr Koumjian, before he goes to explain particular pages, in view of his testimony that he has seen this book before perhaps he could tell the Court what the book is? Explain to the Court what this document is, the whole book, before he goes on to pick on pages? Mr Witness, what is this book?

  • This book is a record book pertaining to the mining that we were doing. But the security who was a Black Guard, Bakundu, this is his book. This is not my book when I was overall boss. This book is the security's book, Bakundu. He owned this book. But we were doing mining, so whatever we got on a daily basis, the caratage, percentage, weight, that was where he was recording it wherever he worked.

  • Sir, looking at this page there are some names in the second column. Do you recognise any of the names?

  • Yes.

  • Can you tell us what names you recognise?

  • Mohamed S Conteh, I know him.

  • He was a security. He was a former SLA.

  • Can you read the second name?

  • Do you know who Saidu Sam was?

  • He was a civilian, but he was leading a group.

  • Do you recognise the name - after the first line the name says Komba something. Do you recognise that name?

  • Yes, that is Komba Buah.

  • Who was he?

  • He too was a controller. These names are controllers' names. There are no workers' names here.

  • When you say "controller", what do you mean?

  • Somebody who would lead, they call them head men. For example, when you are in this Court there is somebody who is the head of it who would lead people to work.

  • There is a name that appears to be Sam Bockarie. Do you know who this was in this book?

  • Yes, Sam Bockarie, I know him very well.

  • Who is this person, Sam Bockarie, in this book?

  • Sam Bockarie was just a nickname. He took the name from the former Mosquito, Sam Bockarie, but he too was a head man. He took people to go and work every morning, but he took that name.

  • Okay, so you are saying - you say he took the name from the former Mosquito, Sam Bockarie. Are you saying this person is not Mosquito?

  • No, it is not Mosquito. Sam Bockarie would not do a job like this.

  • Now, sir, in the next column, the third column, can you read what it says at the top?

  • Stage 2 of Kono.

  • You have the names and just to the right of the names what does it say? It says date, received from, and then the third column what does it say above the number 7? Above the number 7, can you read that?

  • Number of pieces.

  • Do you understand what that would refer to?

  • Can you explain that to us?

  • Yes, what they mean by number of pieces is when you count something from 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, the total amount you get. If it is one that is one piece, if it is two it is two pieces.

  • The next column next to where it says number of pieces, can you read that?

  • It is carat. We called it garatage. That is Krio.

  • What does that mean?

  • How did you determine that?

  • The scale which we had would be the one to determine that. The scale was made by white people. When you put the diamond on it the caratage would register. The stone, for example, that you would have put on top of it weighs this much, that it is one carat or two carats or three carats. That was how we knew.

  • Thank you. Can you read what's written to the right of garatage? What is the next column?

  • Can you explain what that means?

  • Yes.

  • Please, what does the percentage refer to?

  • It's like when I sell - for example, if you fill this cup with water and the other one say, for example, it's in the middle, that's what is called a percentage. That is half. It is not full.

  • Okay. So when you say percentage it is a percentage of what?

  • The diamond. It is half. Half a carat. It is not up to a whole carat, but if it is not - if for example this cup is not full, it's in the middle, then that is half. We say 50.

  • So the percentage is the percentage of a carat?

  • The percentage means - okay, let me make it simpler. For example, this cup is one carat. Say if the cup is full it is one carat, but if the water is just in the middle, that is half and that is a percentage. It is not full. It is not up to a carat. One carat is 100 per cent, so if it is not full we call it percentage. Anything that is 90 coming down is below one carat and that is percentage.

  • Okay, thank you. Perhaps just one example may make it clear for all of us, sir. If you weighed a stone and it said it was one and a half carats what would you write in the columns for caratage and percentage if the stone weighed one and a half carats?

  • One and a half? That half there must be an indication. It could be 20 per cent or 60 per cent or 50 per cent. It depends on what is half if it is exactly half. Whatever you see is what you write. You must see the number, then you write the 1 on the caratage, then the percentage you will see if it is 50 that is registered you write 50. If it is 60 then you write that.

  • Mr Koumjian, I hope you are more clear on this than I am, because it seems to me if one carat is 20 per cent the logical answer to your question would be 150 per cent so I am --

  • Thank you:

  • Let me give you another example. I don't know how good you are with mathematics, but if a stone was exactly one and one quarter carats, what would you write in the column for caratage and the column for percentage if you knew it was exactly one and one quarter carats?

  • The way we did it maybe there are some other ways that other people did it. If it was one carat you will only write 1 carat. There is another column. If it is 10 per cent or 20 per cent the scale will indicate that, you write 20 per cent or 10 per cent or - then you write 1 carat 20 per cent or one and a half carats if that is what is indicated. That was what we were taught to do.

  • Like if you see this now, 3 carats here and 36 per cent, that is 3 carats 36 per cent.

  • Am I to understand, Mr Witness, that it is the scale that tells you both the carat and the percentage?

  • Yes, yes. We did not do it by ourselves. I was the school - sorry, it was the scale that indicated. The scale is like this monitor. When you put the diamond into it, it will indicate on the monitor.

  • Is this scale electronic or not, sir?

  • It was electronic. An electronic scale was what I had. There was another scale that was not electronic. They weigh it like the way they weigh gold, but I had an electronic scale so there will be no cheating. That was produced by white people.

  • Mr Koumjian, I don't profess to quite understand what the witness is saying, but, Mr Witness, if I refer you to the first entry there - look at that document. The first entry says the number of pieces is 7. Do you see that?

  • And then it says caratage 3, and then it says percentage 36 per cent. Now are you saying that the actual caratage is not 3, it is 3.36 per cent? Is that what you are saying?

  • No. Anybody who has been doing mining would understand this one. These pieces means the number of diamonds, the physical number of diamonds. That is to say, for example, this 7. This 3 is when they put all of them together. They put them into the machine and the machine will indicate on the monitor, say it is 3 carats and if the remaining is not up to one carat it indicates that in percentage, not up to a carat.

  • That is what I just put to you. I said that the actual weight is 3.36 carats. Isn't that correct? You have got 3 carats and 0.36 or 36 per cent of another carat, so the total weight of the seven pieces of diamonds is 3.36 carats.

  • Yes, yes. We call it 3 carats 36 per cent. We do not call it 3.36. We call it 3 carats 36 per cent. Maybe there are some other way you the educated people would pronounce it, but for us we called it 3 carats 36 per cent, not 3.36 per cent.

  • Madam President, I wonder, before my learned friend proceeds, mention has been made of a machine. I wonder if we can have any more specifics about that machine so that we can identify it? Maybe that can thereafter throw some light on what the percentage and the caratage values mean.

  • I think Judge Lussick has got to the bottom of the interpretation problem, but it would be helpful. Maybe if we did get a little bit of information about the machine it would assist.

  • Sir, can you just describe for us the best you can this scale - the weighing machine that you said was electronic, what did it look like?

  • The face was like a clock, something like an electronic wristwatch. It will have numbers there, but it had a hole in the middle like something like this cup. When they dropped the diamonds inside you look at the face of it, just like you watched the face of the electronics watch, and then you see that when you drop the diamonds inside it will indicate whether it is one carat after you have dropped the diamonds into the hole.

  • Did the scale indicate the percentage?

  • Yes, that is what I mean. Any percentage that comes after the caratage it will be indicated, whether it is one carat or two carats. If it is 1 carat 10 per cent, then you will see on the face of the watch. You will see it written there 10 carat or 2 per cent after that. Everything will be indicated.

  • Could the witness be given a piece of paper? Thank you:

  • Mr Witness, just so we understand --

  • -- if a stone was 2 carats and 50 per cent what would you see on the machine on what you said looked like a clock? Can you write that down, if the stone was 2 carats and 50 per cent?

  • I think you need to move it down.

  • Okay. Like for instance let's say this is the scale, the hole where you drop the diamond is here and let's assume this is a diamond and you will see on the scale indicated "G" and that "G" stands for garat and that "P" is also indicated on the scale and you see it is percentage and the "G" stands for garatage. And when you drop the diamonds into the hole you watch right here. If you see any number appear here, if you see a 2 or 3 it means it is 2 or 3 carats and what you look under here for is percentage and any number that comes after the 2 carat or 3 carat, you see it, it is the percentage, you see it written percentage. So any number that you see here is percentage. You will not refer it to as carat, it's percentage. And any number that is indicated under here the "G" here is the garat. That is normally what we used to do.

  • Can you show us what it would look like if the stone was 2 carats and 50 per cent and the percentage was 50. If it was 2 carats and the percentage was 50.

  • Should I write it there?

  • The way I have written it here the 2 here stands for the "G", it is the garat, and the "P" here is the percentage. This is 2 carats 50 per cent. That was how we used to write it.

  • Thank you. Sir, after the diamonds were sorted and weighed and the records made what happened with the diamonds at that point?

  • We would take those diamonds to Issa Sesay because he was our immediate commander.

  • When you say "we would take the diamonds", who actually or which person or persons would actually take the diamonds to Issa Sesay?

  • I was number one, my deputy Coomber was number two, the operations commander Alpha Turay was number three and amongst the advisors maybe one will go, like Pa Saidu, he will go with us. We took those diamonds to Issa Sesay.

  • Now you have named a number of individuals. Can you explain to me - do you mean that these different people took different trips, or are you talking about several people taking a trip together with the diamonds to Issa Sesay?

  • If Issa Sesay was in Koidu Town where we were, the people I have referred to will all go with me and we will all take the diamonds to him. Sometimes all of us did not go. If we were to go to Buedu in Kailahun District to Sam Bockarie, he will give instruction to Coomber or any other person amongst us. He will say give the parcel to so and so person to bring it over to me, so that was what we used to do.

  • Sir, you have talked about, excuse me, the machine that counsel asked about. You described this machine for weighing. Where did you get that machine?

  • That machine, I am not referring to those that were not electronics. Those ones, we captured them. But that particular electronic machine was brought by Sam Bockarie. He sent it to Issa Sesay for it to be given to us, but I did not actually ask him where he got it from.

  • You said you delivered the diamonds to Issa Sesay. Did you deliver them to anyone else, or only Issa Sesay?

  • We started with Sam Bockarie before we came later to Issa Sesay.

  • Okay. When you say you started with Sam Bockarie, when did that change where you started taking them to Issa Sesay instead of Sam Bockarie?

  • At first when Issa Sesay was in Makeni, when we captured Makeni and Issa Sesay took a transfer to be based there, when we took the diamonds we will inform Sam Bockarie and he will say that we should parcel them and give it to one particular person amongst the group that I referred to and they will take them to him in Kailahun District in Buedu. And when Issa Sesay transferred back to Kono and when he was in Koidu we never used to go there - go over there again. We used to just hand them over to him. He will take them over.

  • Sorry, Mr Koumjian, are you moving off this book aspect of the evidence, as there is a point of clarification I want to have. If you don't object I will address the witness. Mr Witness, you have said that different people kept books of this kind - counsel, I am referring to pages 24 and 25 - and each recorded the diamonds. Were those books cross-checked so that everybody was writing the same thing, or recording exactly the same figures?

  • No, the way it was conducted, even before the diamonds reached us, like in the case of the operations commander and the securities, they will have already seen them on the site, but they wouldn't know the garatage of them because they don't have machines to take records of them. But where we were in the office, that was where the percentage and everything was checked. Myself, the securities and all other people, like in my own case my adjutant used to take the record of it, but I cannot tell for the others.

  • Thank you, Mr Koumjian.

  • Sir, were the Black Guards - following up on that - present in your office during this process of weighing that you're talking about?

  • When we came there some of them will come, but not all of them will come together. The one who normally came to take records for them will come. Not every one of them will come. Not every one of them understand how to read and write, so they would send a representative.

  • Sir, you have talked about your own record being kept by your adjutant. What happened to that record, do you know?

  • Yes, my own record was taken by my adjutant and after he had taken it I will keep it and at any point I was ready he will come and collect it and he will go and write.

  • What happened to that record that you had kept?

  • Those records got missing.

  • What happened to your own record? Did you have any of them after the war?

  • Yes, they were with me until the time the disarmament took place. I later destroyed them.

  • Did anything happen just before you destroyed them that caused you to destroy the records?

  • What caused you to destroy the records?

  • There were rumours - because at first I was not in the city, I was in the provinces. The rumours we heard and the information we heard about the Special Court forced so many of our brothers to run away. They went to Liberia, Guinea and some other countries. There were some of us who did not go and because we did not go we destroyed some of the properties that we had with us so that they will not use them to identify us.

  • Thank you. Now, sir, you have talked about delivering diamonds to Sam Bockarie. Do you know - and if you don't, tell us - what Sam Bockarie did with those diamonds?

  • Those diamonds that we used to give to Sam Bockarie, Sam Bockarie took those diamonds to Monrovia to Charles Taylor.

  • How do you know that?

  • Sam Bockarie was my colleague, we all trained together, and most of the times I was not assigned to particular areas I will stay with him in Buedu or some other places that he stayed. So I used to get so many information from him.

  • I understand you have told us that you were close to Sam Bockarie, but please answer directly my question. How do you know that Sam Bockarie took the diamonds that you gave him to Charles Taylor?

  • I know that since the time Foday Sankoh himself was in command and up to the time that he was in Ivory Coast - I mean when he was held in Nigeria, he even advised Sam Bockarie and Issa Sesay that anything that we got that was a mineral we shouldn't misuse it, we should give them to Charles Taylor for safekeeping.

  • How do you know that Foday Sankoh advised Bockarie and Sesay to give the diamonds to Charles Taylor for safekeeping?

  • Those who had travelled with the Pa, I mean Foday Sankoh, to Togo, like there was one of Pa Foday Sankoh's bodyguards called Junior, he came back with the same message in Buedu that that was what Foday Sankoh said that Mosquito, Issa Sesay, shouldn't misuse any government property, especially diamonds which are minerals. He said they should give them to Sankoh - I mean Charles Taylor for safekeeping. Also after that I heard that from Sam Bockarie and the radio man who was communicating for Sam Bockarie he brought the same message written on paper that Foday Sankoh had sent that message, and most times when we left Sierra Leone to go to Liberia any mineral we had it used to go to Sankoh. That is something I know about.

  • I apologise, but my colleague has very helpfully reminded me that the diagram the witness drew showing the weighing machine and how it would display carats and percentage has not been marked for identification. I ask that it be marked for identification.

  • A one page handwritten diagram by the witness will be - I think I have lost track of the MFI numbers. Madam Court Attendant, if you can assist me please.

  • Your Honour, it will be MFI-2.

  • Thank you, MFI-2. Please proceed.

  • Sir, during the time that you were the mining commander, you have told us about your relationship with Sam Bockarie, did he ever discuss with you anything about mining and diamonds?

  • Do you recall any of the instructions or any of the words or things that Sam Bockarie would talk to you about regarding diamonds?

  • Tell us what you remember?

  • The reason why I was sent over even that mining, because I can say we were many in the RUF but those in whom they had such a confidence to undertake such activities were not many. And like we knew in the RUF it was only minerals that solved our problems in helping achieve our goals, so he used to call me and give me lectures on how to put pressure and that if we got diamonds we would be able to get arms and ammunition and so that was the work he sent me to go and do in Kono. So the diamonds that we got were the diamonds that he took to Monrovia to Charles Taylor for us to get our supply of arms and ammunition to be able to fight the war so that the enemy will not conquer us, so that was what he used to tell me and he used to advise me to double and redouble my efforts.

  • Sir, during the time that you were the mining commander, did you take any trips outside of Sierra Leone?

  • I did not go to a foreign country, only that --

  • Mr Witness, you are hesitating in answering the question. Is there a reason?

  • Not really, but I did not get clearly what he said. That is the reason why I am watching at you.

  • Please repeat the question, Mr Koumjian.

  • I am going to ask you a slightly different question. Mr Witness, you have told us about going to Liberia and on your operations to Lofa County. Did you ever take any trips after that anywhere else in Liberia?

  • Yes, I travelled to Liberia, but at the time I was doing the mining I did not travel any more, but at the time I was not in the mining sector I used to travel to Liberia.

  • Okay, thank you for clarifying that. Where - besides Lofa County, where else did you go in Liberia?

  • In Liberia I can say that was our own home that we used to travel to. From Lofa, Gbarnga, I know all those areas.

  • Did you ever go to Monrovia?

  • At one time I went to Monrovia, but I did not go alone.

  • Before we go into who you went with, do you remember when it was? Was it before or after you were mining commander?

  • It was the time I had not been mining commander. At the time I became mining commander I did not have chance to do such things.

  • Thank you. Do you recall this trip to Monrovia, was it during the junta time or before or after the junta time?

  • It was after the junta time when we had retreated and we were now in Buedu.

  • You said you didn't travel alone. Who did you travel with?

  • Sam Bockarie and I.

  • Can you please tell us about that trip?

  • I travelled with him, including his bodyguards, because I had earlier told you that at any time I was not assigned to a particular area I would always be with him. So, we went to Monrovia.

  • Why did you go? Was it an order, or was it your choice?

  • No, I did not choose to go. He asked me to go with him because he was a friend of mine, so the two of us travelled including his bodyguards. All of us went.

  • Where did you go in Monrovia?

  • We went - at first we were lodged in his friend's place, the one I had talked about, Jungle. That was where we were, myself, him, including his bodyguards.

  • Okay. How long did you stay in Monrovia with Sam Bockarie?

  • We spent a few days, two or three days, because normally when Sam Bockarie went to Monrovia they will not allow him to be just passing around like that because they did not want people to see him. So, most times he will be in his vehicle and so we did not stay long there and we returned.

  • Just to clarify something you said just a few questions before, you said at first you were lodged at Jungle's place. Did you stay anywhere else during that stay in Monrovia, or did you spend all of the nights at Jungle's place?

  • No, where they took us to it was Jungle who received us and so he went and lodged us. The place is at ELWA junction.

  • Do you know did Sam Bockarie go anywhere else besides Jungle's place while you were on that trip to Monrovia?

  • Tell us what happened.

  • We were at the house when Jungle came with a jeep and he called him and he said Benjamin Yeaten was calling on him and so they went, but when they went and on his return he told us that it was the Pa who called him and all of us knew that when he said the father he was referring to Charles Taylor. He said he was the one that called on him.

  • Unfortunately, Mr Koumjian, we are up to our time limit. I have been alerted that the tape has just about finished. Mr Witness, we are now going to take the mid-morning break of half an hour. We will resume court at 12 o'clock. Please adjourn court until 12.

  • [Break taken at 11.30 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 12.00 p.m.]

  • Mr Koumjian, please proceed.

  • Mr Witness, your last answer that you gave included a lot of pronouns. You said "he" a lot and it's not clear who you are talking about, so let me read back my question and your answer and then ask you to repeat your answer putting the names instead of saying "he". I was asking you about whether Sam Bockarie went anywhere on that trip to Monrovia and you said:

    "We were at the house when Jungle came with the jeep and he called him and he said Benjamin Yeaten was calling on him, so they went, but when they went and on his return he told us that it was the Pa who called him and all of us knew that when he said the Father he was referring to Charles Taylor. He said he was the one that called on him."

    So I would ask you to explain that again but using the names. When I asked you if Sam Bockarie went anywhere other than Jungle's house, tell us what you know about that.

  • Yes, first he went to Jungle's place and after that Jungle came and said Benjamin Yeaten was calling him. But after Sam Bockarie returned he said it was Charles Taylor who had called him. So that was where he was coming from.

  • Okay. You said, "After Sam Bockarie returned he said it was Charles Taylor who had called him". Who told you that, that Charles Taylor had called Sam Bockarie?

  • He, Sam Bockarie himself, when he came back to us at the house. That's when he said - he, Sam Bockarie, said Charles Taylor had called him.

  • Now you said you spent a couple - well, do you recall anything else that Sam Bockarie told you about his meeting with Charles Taylor? If not, just tell us.

  • I don't know everything, but there were some things that he explained to me. Not everything, but he gave me some brief explanation. One of them was he told us about how to strengthen the security in the Lofa County.

  • Explain what Sam Bockarie told you about that in relation to his meeting with Charles Taylor?

  • That's what I'm trying to explain. I said one of them was that Sam Bockarie should not forget about Lofa, because that was our main supply route from Liberia to Sierra Leone.

  • Who said that Sam Bockarie should not forget about Lofa?

  • According to Sam Bockarie it was Charles Taylor who told him that he, Sam Bockarie, should not forget about Lofa County's security because Lofa County was RUF's main supply route leading to Liberia.

  • Okay. And what happened after the two or three days? What did you do after the two or three days you spent in Monrovia?

  • We decided to come back to Sierra Leone.

  • Who did you travel with?

  • It was Sam Bockarie and I, but we travelled together with - we were not in the same vehicle. Jungle and Zigzag Marzah too travelled.

  • How many vehicles did you come with to Monrovia?

  • There were two vehicles, a jeep and a truck.

  • How many vehicles were with you when you went back to Sierra Leone?

  • That is what I have spoken. I said we returned with two, a jeep and a truck.

  • Do you know if anything was in the truck?

  • Can you please explain?

  • There was ammunition in the truck.

  • Sir, you said you were mining commander until 2000. Do you recall in approximately which month you stopped being the mining commander?

  • I can't recall the exact month, but maybe I can talk about an incident or something that happened around the same time. That was the time the Guinea war started. That was the month that I finally left the mining.

  • Okay, thank you. Sir, we will get to that in just a moment. When you stopped being the mining commander, first of all who made that decision? Who relieved you of that position, or changed your position?

  • It was Issa Sesay, because no other person else could make a decision like that. He was the high command.

  • When you say Issa Sesay was the high command at that time, where was Sam Bockarie, if you know, at that time?

  • At that time Sam Bockarie was no longer there. He had gone to Monrovia to Charles Taylor.

  • Did anyone replace you as the mining commander?

  • Yes, it was Amara Salia, who was also called Peleto.

  • Is this the same person you discussed yesterday in regards to the bank robbery and the efforts to recover the money from the bank?

  • Yes.

  • Did Issa Sesay give you any reason for replacing you?

  • Yes, later he told me.

  • What did he tell you?

  • According to him, he said he did not make that decision alone. He said Morris Kallon did not like the idea, that is the way I was behaving towards the civilians. He said I had a Bible under my arm. In that sense he meant that I was not harsh with the people for them to do the work, I was not threatening the people to do the actual work that they were supposed to do, so he went and told Issa Sesay to put somebody in charge of the mining who would be hard, who will be aggressive enough for the work to go on well. That was the reason.

  • Sorry, Mr Koumjian, I am looking at the record I think line 18 of page 55. Did the witness say, "Morris Kallon did not like the idea, that is the way he was behaving", or "Morris Kallon did not like the idea, that is the way I was behaving towards the civilians"? What is it that Morris Kallon did not like?

  • The way - he said we were not talking to the people for them to do the work. We were not forcing them to do the work. We were talking to them softly, so they should bring somebody who would use force to do - who would use force on the people to do the work so they would get a lot more money, what they actually wanted.

  • Does your Honour want a further clarification?

  • No, I think I have got it plainly now.

  • Well just one clarification, sir. When you said, "Morris Kallon said we were not forcing them to do the work", who is the "we" that you meant?

  • Okay, I am talking about myself number 1. That is my administration. I spoke to the people politely for them to carry on with the job, but Kallon wanted me to do it soldierly to use force. Whether the person wanted to do the job or not, I should force the person to do the job. That was what Kallon wanted me to do.

  • Do you know, Mr Witness, when Peleto replaced you was anyone else replaced in the mining administration?

  • Do you recall the names of any other individuals that were working with Peleto that maybe were not working with you?

  • Can you tell us those names that you recall?

  • On the mining activity, when I had left there were a lot of people who were involved. They sent a lot of people there, like the former deputy brigade commander who was Gasimu, he too was then involved in the mining business, Bukero too was a miner, Kamara was a miner, CO Med was now a miner, Lion was now a miner.

  • Do you recall any other name for Lion?

  • His name was Blamo.

  • Please try to - while you are thinking of any other names, sir, I just want to give some spellings to the Court. B-U-K-E-R-O, Gasimu, G-A-S-I-M-U.

    Now, Mr Witness, understanding it is a while - quite a while ago, can you recall at this time any other names of people who were mining during Peleto's time?

  • Those were the names that I have named. There are many other senior officers that were now involved in mining that were not working at the time that I was there.

  • Do you know how long Peleto remained the mining commander?

  • Peleto was there until the end of the war.

  • Do you know whether the results of the mining, the diamonds that were found, whether they were more or less than the - during Peleto's time than during your time?

  • During Peleto's time everybody then was involved in mining. At first people were afraid and so at that time they got a lot of diamonds, much more than the ones we got when it was my own time, because civilians, soldiers, officers, were all involved in mining at that time and so they got a lot more diamonds than my own time because at that time we were not doing any fighting. We were only doing mining.

  • You talked about some tools and some machines that were used during your time. Do you know if the same tools and machines were used during Peleto's time, or was it any different?

  • When I left there the tools that we used to work were the same tools that we left at the place, because I handed over everything. Those were the tools that they used. They got other ones in my absence - if they got other ones in my absence I didn't know, but the ones that I left that I handed over I know they used them.

  • Thank you. Now, sir, during the time that you were the mining commander, did you ever see Foday Sankoh?

  • Can you tell us the circumstances? Well, first of all, where was it that you saw Foday Sankoh?

  • I saw Foday Sankoh in Koidu Town itself.

  • Do you know if that was before or after the Lome Accord?

  • That was the time he was released in Nigeria. He came to Monrovia and he was taken to Sierra Leone. That was the time.

  • Tell us what happened when you saw Foday Sankoh in Koidu Town?

  • He went together with the former ambassador who was in Liberia. That was - I have forgotten his name now a bit. The two of them went to Kono. He went there, he greeted us and the other forces, the Kamajors, who were there. All of us met together and he spoke to us well.

  • And what happened when Foday Sankoh came? Did you yourself have any conversation with Foday Sankoh?

  • Yes, I had a conversation with him. He was my commander.

  • What was - did you give anything to Foday Sankoh?

  • Yes, I gave him diamonds.

  • Do you recall how much - how many stones you gave him?

  • Yes, I can still recall the ones that I gave to him.

  • Can you tell us what you remember?

  • Yes, I gave him 15 pieces of diamonds. 15 pieces of diamonds. When you count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 up to 15; 15 pieces of diamonds.

  • Do you remember anything about the conversation with Foday Sankoh that you had that you can tell us? Can you briefly describe it?

  • Yes, he just asked about - because at that time everybody used to give his individual reports to him, but I did not write it down. I sat together with him and I explained to him what had occurred in his absence. I explained to him and what had happened to me personally, like the molestations, I explained everything to him. It was after that that I handed the diamonds over to him.

  • After that meeting that you had with Foday Sankoh, do you know where Foday Sankoh went?

  • Yes.

  • He returned to Freetown.

  • When Foday Sankoh was in Freetown, did you remain the mining commander for some period of time?

  • Yes, I remained there for some time but not for a very long time when I was relieved.

  • Okay. Mr Witness, do you recall which month it was that you were relieved of the position? I may have asked you this before and if you don't know the answer just say you don't know.

  • That is what I have told you. The month I cannot recall now the exact month, but if you can know the month that the Guinea war was launched that was the very month that I was relieved.

  • Thank you. Let me ask you this question. Were you the mining - do you recall when Foday Sankoh was arrested in Freetown at his house on Spur Road?

  • Yes, I can recall. I was in Kono when I received that message.

  • Were you still the mining commander at that time?

  • About how long, how many months if you can remember, after that was it that you were relieved as the mining commander?

  • After Foday Sankoh had been arrested in Freetown, the other people escaped and they got to us in Kono. It did not take up to three months when my assignment was changed, but I can't recall the exact date now because it was not everything I can memorise because we were never expecting to be doing this by now.

  • Yes, thank you, Mr Witness. It's helpful to us the information you provided. Sir, when Foday Sankoh was in Freetown, had come back to Sierra Leone, what was your practice as far as what you did with the diamonds? Who did you give the diamonds to?

  • It was still Issa Sesay. The time that I was there I gave the diamonds to Issa Sesay. It was only that time that Sankoh went to Kono that I gave him the 15 pieces, but he, Issa himself, saw them and he allowed me to give them to the Pa.

  • Thank you. Now, Mr Witness, after you were relieved of the position of mining commander, what was your next assignment?

  • I did not have another assignment. I was just - by then - right up to the time the Guinea war started.

  • Okay. Before we go into that Guinea war, I want to ask you a few other questions and give you some words and ask you if you recognise these. Are you familiar, sir, with Opera?

  • Opera? Do you know anything about Opera?

  • Maybe the pronunciation is problematic. I don't know that Opera pronunciation. Opera. I don't know that pronunciation, Opera. Maybe there is a problem with it.

  • How about Joe Town?

  • Okay, that is why I said maybe it was the pronunciation. I know Joe Town. Joe Town is near Koidu Town.

  • Joe Town was a small village near the road, but it was a mining area too.

  • Do you know anything called Tankolo Camp? Does that pronunciation sound correct? Do you recognise that?

  • Please call it again. Maybe you are missing the pronunciations. I don't know.

  • I may not be reading correctly, sir. Let me move to something I can read. Do you know something called Number 6?

  • Yes, there was Number 6, there was Number 7 as well. Those were mining sites. I know the places.

  • Number 6 was near Number 7. It is around Kokuima area.

  • What about Congo Bridge?

  • Congo Bridge is between Koidu and Kokuima, the bridge that is in between there is what was referred to as Congo Bridge.

  • Do you know a place called Kuyor?

  • Yes, I know that place, Kuyor. It's in Koidu Town.

  • What is Kuyor?

  • Kuyor is the name of an area, but it's a mining area too. It's in Koidu Town.

  • What about Congo Bridge? You told us where that is. Were there any mining sites near that?

  • Yes, it's the same mining area. It is the bridge that divides the two towns, the Koidu Town and Kokuima. Down the bridge and up the bridge were both mining areas, so that's why the places were called Congo Bridge.

  • I believe I said Kuyor at one place and I would like to spell it for the record.

  • Well, I anticipate, your Honours, that this precedes an application to put before the witness a document. If that is the case then I would prefer the witness to spell the name rather than Mr Koumjian.

  • I have no problem with that, if he can:

  • Sir, can you spell Kuyor?

  • No, I cannot. I know the place called Kuyor, but that's a Kono word. It's not an English word. That's not an English word. It's a Kono word.

  • Would your Honours like the spelling or not?

  • Please spell it into the record, Mr Koumjian.

  • K-U-Y-O-R. Thank you:

  • Sir, does Zone 4 mean anything to you?

  • If it means anything to me?

  • Please repeat that.

  • Well, do you know a place called Zone 4, or not?

  • Yes, all of those places were in Koidu, Kono District. These places that you are mentioning were mining areas and even when there was no war the mining company that was there used to mine in those places. Those were the names.

  • Mr Witness, earlier in your testimony you mentioned an Alhaji who was working with you in mining. Do you recall that?

  • Do you know what his rank was, if he had one?

  • It was Staff Alhaji. He was a staff.

  • Do you recall - do you know his last name?

  • We called him Staff Alhaji.

  • Did he have a different first name, or you don't know?

  • He was called Bayor.

  • Do you know a Foday Fofanah?

  • Maybe he had a nickname, but Foday Fofanah?

  • Mr Witness, what is your answer? You know or you don't know?

  • No, I don't know. I don't know.

  • Mr Koumjian, is Bayor spelt correctly on the record?

  • Mr Witness, do you know how to spell - you said he was called Bayor. Do you know how to spell that?

  • Yes, the way I spell it is B-A-Y-O-R. That's the way I can spell Bayor.

  • Your Honours, I would like an original document placed before the witness and that is the document in tab 10.

  • Your Honours, I would like some foundation as to the basis upon which this particular document is being placed before the witness. If your Honours were to look behind tab 10, you will see, for example, that there's quite a substantial document behind that tab, much of it illegible. From what is legible dates on it refer to 2001 when this witness has ceased being mining commander, so one wonders then the basis upon which Mr Koumjian is seeking to introduce this document through this witness. So there's two points. One, is the witness in a position to speak to this document. Secondly, what is the foundation for placing this particular document before this witness?

  • Yes, Mr Koumjian, your reply, please.

  • Actually, your Honours, my reply is that I don't need to place it before the witness, but I would move it now into evidence as a relevant document under 89(C). The document is relevant because on the face of it it's quite clear that it is mining records, exactly as counsel points, out for a period of time after this witness was mining commander, not during the time he was the mining commander. The locations mentioned are locations that this witness directly tied to this witness's testimony. Some of the names mentioned of the commanders are persons who this witness has mentioned as people he knew that were involved in mining.

    So the witness's testimony goes to help corroborate the authenticity of this document. It goes to help the Trial Chamber understand what it is, because, as you can see, it's very similar - as far as what is recorded is similar to the other book, the Black Guard report book, that was put in, and for that reason it is obviously relevant because the diamond mining is I think - I don't think anyone is asking me to explain why diamond mining is relevant to the case and this further provides evidence that the mining was going on in an organised fashion by the RUF in the manner that the witness has described.

  • Mr Griffiths, counsel for the Prosecution has made an application.

  • Well, your Honour, I have before me the provisions of Rule 89 which in summary provides that the Chamber can admit any relevant evidence. Now whereas we appreciate the width of that provision, nonetheless it seems to us that we ought to be provided with some information by which the Defence can question firstly the origins of this document, secondly its authenticity.

    At present we have a situation whereby Mr Koumjian through this witness in effect is saying here is a document, we want it to go before the Court because it includes relevant evidence, but one or two a priori conditions have not been met. Where did it come from? Who wrote the document? Where is the original? Is it available for inspection?

    If none of those one would have thought necessary conditions are met, effectively what my learned friend is arguing for is a position whereby the OTP could download any document from the internet and present it to this tribunal through any witness and in our submission Rule 89 cannot be that wide. So I am still asking for some foundational evidential support for this document.

  • May I reply? It's an important matter. I would seek leave to state our position on this.

  • Is it a point of law, Mr Koumjian?

  • Yes, only points of law. Your Honour, the matters that counsel says are preconditions for the admission of a document, there is specific case law that none of these are preconditions for the admission of a document that it is required that the author be known, that it is required that a witness be available to testify to how the document was prepared, or that it is required that an original be presented. Case law specifically says those are not required. In fact in this case, as I mentioned at the beginning of my application, the original is here in court and that is what we are seeking to admit at this time. It is a book that the Court Officer has.

    The Defence position is inconsistent, because the Defence has put into evidence documents that have absolutely no tie in to the witnesses who have testified about that they have been presented to and just off the top of my head I will give a few examples. In the testimony of Moses Blah, the autopsy report of Sam Bockarie was put to the witness who said he had no information about the autopsy. Obviously, it was not a --

  • Mr Koumjian, is this a point of law?

  • This is not a point of law. You are being argumentative. Let us deal with this evidence. It doesn't help us drawing in exhibits that have already been admitted in different circumstances and probably for different purposes.

  • As a point of law, then - thank you, your Honour. As a point of law I would say that the case law is clear that the exact same rules of evidence apply to the Defence and to the Prosecution and that what we are seeking is that the equivalent rules be clearly stated and applied to both parties. The evidence is clearly relevant. As we have seen in other documents, and as your Honours have stated many times in your written decisions, in your oral decisions, the authenticity of the document can be - is not necessary at the time of admission. It is something you weigh later.

    Many documents we presented through one witness and further witnesses have commented on it, the document's authenticity is built up over time over several different witnesses and is further corroborated as one document and one document corroborates another.

    So these records, which on their face are clearly relevant, they mention the sites that the witness has talked about in Kono, they clearly mention caratage, we believe should be admitted at this time because they meet the standards of - that this court has articulated as to the standards for admissibility whether or not a document is relevant, and it is directly tied into this witness because he has talked about the mining, he has talked about the sites and he has talked about these commanders. Thank you.

  • Mr Koumjian, what I am going to say is not the opinion of the Trial Chamber. I am just giving - it is something I am thinking of and I am just giving you an opportunity and possibly Mr Griffiths an opportunity to answer this. If the document cannot be linked to the evidence of the witness, then you are not seeking to prove any facts by oral evidence. You are seeking to prove them by documentary evidence. And it seems to me that if that is so then the provisions of 92 bis apply and you cannot attempt to evade those provisions by simply dumping documents on witnesses who know nothing about them and trying to admit them through 89 (c). As you know very well, 89 (c) is a general rule giving the Court some right to admit evidence if it sees fit and if the evidence is relevant, but Rule 92 bis is lex specialis dealing with information in documents.

  • Your Honours, we don't - first of all, for purposes of argument I will say that this evidence is not linked to the witness. I have stated my position that it is; that the document is linked to the witness's evidence. But regarding 92 bis, I believe your Honour makes an important point and I would like to talk a little bit about that.

    Your Honours know that Rule 92 bis was taken from the rules of the ICTR originally word for word and I believe that the language has been amended since then. There is also a very similar 92 bis provision in the rules of the ICTY. 92 bis applies for evidence that is offered in lieu of oral evidence and, if you look at the use of that rule in the other tribunals, in the other tribunals it has clearly been used to put in witness testimony of witnesses who are not going to come to court, or under the provisions of, I believe, it's D, under D, to come to court only for cross-examination.

    One of the reasons I think it is clear that 92 bis does not apply to every document and it would not make logical sense for it to apply to every document is that 92 bis specifically says the document cannot go to the acts and conduct of the accused. So, your Honours, it would not make sense that no document can be admitted in this tribunal that goes to the acts and conduct of the accused. That would make that rule - it wouldn't make sense. For example if there was a letter from an accused ordering crimes that would not be admitted because it goes to the acts and conduct of the accused, or a videotape of the accused participating in crimes because it goes to the acts and conduct it could not be admitted. Our position is that 92 bis is very specific if you look at the history of the rule and how it has been used --

  • Well, wait on. You must look at the Special Court history of the rule because our rule is much broader than other International Courts.

  • Yes, and specifically I note the decision in Fofana, as your Honour points out, where they said the reason the rule is different, 92 bis, was because in the Special Court the objective was to avoid technical rules of evidence that would preclude relevant evidence from coming in or from very difficult hurdles of admitting evidence that is clearly relevant before the Trial Chamber could consider it. And specifically, I think if you look at I think it is Justice Robertson's consenting opinion, it may also be in the majority opinion, they talk about how in the situation of the Special Court, especially where a truth commission exists and other organisations have submitted large reports about the crimes that occurred, it would not make sense to have to prove all of that all over again.

    So our position is that 92 bis was never meant to make it more difficult in the Special Court to get documents into evidence than they are in other tribunals, and it would not make sense to say it applies to every document because then it would preclude any document that goes to the acts and conduct of the accused from being admitted into evidence.

  • Yes, all right. Well as to documents going to the acts and conduct of the accused, if you read Galic then Galic limits the meaning of those words to a very special circumstance, but what you haven't considered is that talking about the admissibility of documents under 92 bis you haven't explained why the documents should be admitted through this witness instead of taking the normal 92 bis procedure. This witness - you haven't laid any foundations as to why this witness can speak to the document.

  • Well, I am asking the Court to admit it along with the testimony. I am not sure about the words "through the witness", but what I am pointing out is that this document is relevant to the witness's evidence because he has already named - given evidence that would help corroborate the authenticity of this document. There is case law, and I believe one is a pre-trial decision in Prlac, P-R-L-A-C, saying that documents can be admitted through a witness when the witness can talk about either the relevance of the document, the probative value of the document or some evidence as to the authenticity of the document.

    Clearly this witness has not - we are not saying that he saw this document, it was created after he was the mining commander, but he recognises the places, he recognises some of the names he has told you about in his testimony of - he stated of these places that they were mining sites and the names and he has told you how records was kept. He has gone into detail of how records were kept in the normal course of mining.

    So it is directly relevant and it would make more sense when your Honours and the parties consider the evidence at the end that this document go along with this witness's testimony, because it is most relevant of all the witnesses that we have heard to this witness's testimony. Thank you for your patience in hearing me. Thank you.

  • Well firstly I apologise to the Presiding Judge, because it was a matter that I was considering rather than the whole Bench and I did indicate that I would give Mr Griffiths a chance if he wished to reply.

  • Well I am grateful, your Honour. Put shortly, the position is this. Mr Koumjian accepts that the witness has no relation, if I can use that term, with this particular document, and so in effect he is seeking to use this witness to circumvent the provisions of Rule 92 bis. He is seeking to do that by praying in aid the provisions of Rule 89, and in our submission it is a totally erroneous route for my learned friend to take and before he could do that there has to be some foundation. Absent such foundation we submit that Rule 89 does not allow for the admission of this document through this witness, which is what my learned friend is seeking to do.

  • [Trial Chamber conferred]

  • We have considered the submissions in this case. If the Prosecution wishes to tender a document under Rule 89 (c) through a witness, they need to lay foundation and in the instant case there is no sufficient foundation. If a document is to be tendered without a witness, then the application should be made under 92 bis of the rules.

  • Mr Witness, in relation to diamonds, does white have any meaning? Can you explain what it means when you talk about white in relation to diamonds?

  • The weight means when it has been weighed. When we weigh it on the scale, that is where we know if weight.

  • Sorry, perhaps the interpreter didn't understand me. I am just talking about the colour. I'm sorry if I was not clear. The colour white.

  • Does "white" mean anything to you?

  • The colour by which you mean white, as you are all English people, when we say something is white it means it is purely white and it has no other colour mixed with it. It is purely white.

  • Mr Witness, for the record we are not all English people. Thank you. Sir, you have talked about the Guinea operation. Can you tell us what year that occurred?

  • Mr Koumjian, the witness used the term "Guinea war". Now is Guinea war and Guinea operation --

  • Sir, you said something about Guinea. Were you ever in Guinea yourself?

  • Do you recall what year it was that you were in Guinea?

  • 2000. The year 2000.

  • Do you recall if it was dry season or rainy season?

  • It was - it was coming close to the rainy season, but it was not deep in the rainy season. It was at the end of the dry season.

  • Thank you. Sir, you have told us that you remember when you were in Koidu Town when Foday Sankoh was arrested on Spur Road. Was the Guinea operation before or after that?

  • Sorry, first of all it is not helpful anyway because I am in the wrong year. Excuse me, let me try something else:

  • Sir, tell us how it was that you went to Guinea. Explain what happened.

  • My trip to Guinea was not done by me alone. Some other people went there and it was a directive. It was an order given to me - given to Morris Kallon by Issa Sesay and he asked us to go there.

  • Okay. At the time that you went to Guinea, who was commanding the RUF?

  • It was Issa Sesay who was commanding the RUF at that time.

  • Can you tell us what the circumstances were that you went to Guinea? Please you started to tell us. Go ahead and explain it.

  • I said it was an order that made me to go there, but before ever we went there we received Mohamed Turay who was the late Sheku Turay's son from Guinea. He came together with Issa Sesay. Both of them came from Monrovia, Liberia, and when he came it was at Kokuima that the arrangement was made. He and Morris Kallon did the arrangement for us to launch a war in Guinea.

  • When you say that both of them came from Monrovia, who are you talking about?

  • Issa Sesay and Mohamed. The late Sheku Turay's son, Mohamed Turay.

  • What were the orders that you received?

  • Issa gave me the order that I should join Morris Kallon for us to go, so I joined him and I remained with him until we moved. We went through Kamakwie.

  • Did Issa Sesay tell you what the purpose of you joining Morris Kallon was?

  • What did Issa Sesay tell you?

  • It was because of the Guinea war for us to go and fight in Guinea, because Mohamed Turay was the rebel leader for Guinea who was going to take the war into Guinea, but he did not actually have manpower on his own that he could take. So that was the reason why he passed through the RUF, so that the RUF could assist opening the road for him so that he will carry out his war.

  • Your Honour, one spelling for the record, Kamakwie, K-A-M-A-K-W-I-E:

  • Sir, just so we understand, if you know at the time that Issa Sesay came from Monrovia and was talking to you about the order, was there a war already going on in Guinea?

  • Okay, thank you. So after he told you to join Morris Kallon, what happened?

  • I travelled with him to the town that I had called, Kamakwie. That was where we arranged everything. All of us, the soldiers, assembled there and we arranged it and we were distributed to various areas.

  • What was your role in that event?

  • In the RUF anywhere they were to send somebody to, or even when people were to go and fight in a particular area, they will send certain people as advisors so that they will ensure that people carry on with the fighting so that people would not forget about what they are there to do. So that was like my role. I was there to ensure that what the officers had asked the troops to do, they did them.

  • Were you yourself commanding any troops?

  • I did not command troops, but I was within the troops.

  • Who were the commanders involved in this operation?

  • Morris Kallon was one, Bai Bureh, the Tall Bai Bureh and the Short Bai Bureh, Komba Gbundema, myself and so many other officers, junior officers, who were the fighters.

  • Can you tell us what was the plan that you had to bring this war to Guinea?

  • The reason why people were forced or people were asked to go to Guinea, it was because the President who was there, Lansana Conte, was conniving with the Sierra Leone government and that enemies used his territory to enter Liberia through the Lofa County.

  • Okay. Sir, my question is did you have a specific objective in the operation? What were you told to do? Were you going to any particular place in Guinea?

  • Can you explain that?

  • In our own area we captured two places. We captured Madina Wola, that was the area I went to, and Morris Kallon and others went to Pamelap. They went and captured there.

  • Okay, the spellings, Madina Wola, M-A-D-I-N-A, one word, W-O-L-A the second word. And Pamelap, P-A-M-E-L-A-P:

  • Now the forces that you have just mentioned that attacked Madina Wola and Pamelap, were all of these forces RUF?

  • Those towns are in Guinea. They are not in Sierra Leone.

  • Okay, let me try my question again. What forces - you talked about the attack on Madina Wola and Pamelap --

  • What forces were attacking these two towns?

  • It was the RUF that attacked those areas.

  • Was RUF coordinating with any other force at that time?

  • Can you explain that, please?

  • We entered three places, the two places that I have already referred to and the third one was Gueckedou, and the route entering there is from Liberia and it was the NPFL who entered through that area to go to Gueckedou.

  • Okay. So the RUF forces that attacked Madina Wola and Pamelap, from where did they attack those locations? Where did they enter Guinea, if you know?

  • It was from Sierra Leone that we entered and from Kamakwie there is a route straight to Madina Wola and from Kamakwie there is a straight route to Pamelap, so we were divided into two groups, so we undertook the venture.

  • Sir, what was the result of your attacks for the RUF forces?

  • The result was not good. It was not fine for us.

  • What happened?

  • There was discouragement in between, because Issa Sesay and Morris Kallon discouraged the fighters and some officers, so we retreated from the place. It was not that we were pushed by enemies. It was we ourselves who decided, that is the RUF, to withdraw from the place. It was as a result of discouragement.

  • Can I intervene to seek clarification on a couple of matters, Madam President? Firstly, on page 78 at line 13 we have this answer from the witness: "Lansana Conte was conniving with the Sierra Leone government and enemies" and he has just now in the last answer again referred to enemies as yet undefined. It may be it would assist us all to know who these enemies were.

  • I would be happy to ask that question:

  • Sir, you said Lansana Conte was conniving with enemies. First of all, who were the people that Lansana Conte was conniving with, according to what you were told?

  • Okay, the SLA - let me say the Sierra Leone government had certain fighters, let me say the Kamajors, and the STF too put themselves together and they were passing through Lansana Conte's territory, that is in Guinea, and entered Liberia in Foya District and Voinjama and that is in the Lofa County. They were going there to fight war. So those are the people I mean. Those are the people I refer to as enemies, that is the Kamajors and the STF put together who used to go and fight war in Liberia through Guinea.

  • Just for purposes of record, Mr Koumjian, the status or who was Lansana Conte? He has been referred to but for purposes of record.

  • Sir, who was Lansana Conte?

  • Lansana Conte is the President of Guinea.

  • So, sir, when you say that Lansana Conte and that these enemies used to go and fight war in Liberia through Guinea, so who were they the enemies of, Lansana Conte and the forces he was with or helping? They were enemies of who?

  • We considered all of them as enemies. At first the former Sierra Leone government, Lansana Conte's government, who were allowing the Kamajors to use their territory to go and fight in Liberia, we considered all of them to be enemies for us.

  • But enemies of who is the question? Enemies of who?

  • Enemies to the RUF and the NPFL.

  • Thank you. Sir, did the RUF, the forces that you were with, suffer any casualties, any wounded or dead in that attack in Guinea?

  • Can you tell us do you recall any commanders being killed?

  • Two people died on our own side that I recall. One of the boys was called Olu. His name is Olu, that is what they called him, and there was another one called Mohamed, Mohamed GMG. That was how they used to call him, Mohamed GMG. Those two men, those two boys, died. And even I sitting in front of you here, I got wounded during that operation.

  • Were any other - well, first of all, what forces were you fighting against, the RUF? What forces were you fighting against in this attack in Guinea?

  • We were fighting against the Guinean soldiers.

  • Do you know what forces were what you called the NPFL forces from Liberia? Who were they fighting against in Gueckedou, if you know? If you don't, tell us that you don't.

  • NPFL in Liberia, those were Charles Taylor's forces. They were fighting against the Guinean soldiers. Those are the Lansana Conte soldiers.

  • Now you said that the result wasn't good and you talked about how some of the soldiers felt. Did that have any effect on the RUF, that operation?

  • Yes, it affected the operation but --

  • Sorry, sir, my question is did the change in morale affect the RUF when you came back to Sierra Leone?

  • Yes, because we did not go to Guinea in order only to retreat again, but the conditions forced us to return. It was not that the Guinean troops or the Guinean government soldiers pushed us out of the place. We ourselves decided to retreat.

  • Thank you. Now, Mr Witness, I am going to move to another area unless there are questions on the Guinea issue.

  • It's just that your last question was not answered as far as I'm concerned. You asked about whether the morale had any effect when they returned and the answer doesn't relate to that. If you're happy, move on.

  • Thank you, your Honour.

  • No. What I mean about the morale, yes, when we returned people thought that we were unable to carry out the attack and so that was the reason why we decided to come back, but that was not it, because we, the fighters, knew that that was not actually the reason. We decided to come back because of circumstances.

  • Mr Witness, can you explain those circumstances? What caused the RUF that had been fighting so long to become disgruntled in this operation?

  • When Sam Bockarie had left and gone to Monrovia Issa Sesay who remained in the position was discouraging the fighters, so the soldiers became disgruntled and at any time he told them - he asked them to do something they would not want to do it because he always discouraged people. But at the time Sam Bockarie was in the position nobody was disgruntled. He used to encourage the soldiers and at any time the soldiers brought their problems to him, if he was able to solve it he will, but if he was unable he would then tell you again that he cannot solve it at that moment.

  • Were the RUF soldiers that participated in that operation in Guinea satisfied that it was - being part of that operation that the RUF was attacking Guinea?

  • No.

  • Can you explain that answer?

  • That operation was not our operation to go to Guinea and I had earlier stated that Issa Sesay - it was Issa Sesay's quest for money that he decided to undertake that, but Foday Sankoh had told us earlier that it was not our responsibility to enter into Guinea with a war because that wasn't our target and it was not our mission. But because of his quest for money, when Mohamed Turay brought dollars, when he brought the dollars to Liberia and he met him there, it was because of those dollars that he came back and he asked us to go to Guinea. Then he sent us to Guinea and then we went there. That was the reason why when some of our men heard about that they were disgruntled. They did not want to go.

  • Okay, thank you. Any further clarifications or I will move to a different subject?

  • I was going to just clarify who the "him" was, but I think it's sufficiently clear that the "him" was Issa Sesay's quest, et cetera. It's Issa Sesay, so please move on, Mr Koumjian.

  • Sir, you have told us about Sam Bockarie, Mosquito. Did you ever see - and you have told us - well, did you spend much time with Sam Bockarie?

  • Yes.

  • Did you ever see Sam Bockarie's signature?

  • Yes, I know it very well.

  • How did you see Sam Bockarie's signature before?

  • I would be close to him when he would write a letter, enclose it to send to somebody and he will sign. Sometimes they will prepare a letter to be sent to somebody, they will bring it over to him, he will sign. Sometimes he will ask the S4 or the G4 to take materials to send them to the front line and he will sign on the document and I was sometimes close to him when he did those things. So I knew his signature and I know it.

  • I would like the witness to be shown the last page of tab 1, the page with ERN number 0009671.

  • Excuse me, please show it to the witness.

  • Your Honour, for the record this document is D-9 already in evidence:

  • Sir, do you recognise the signature or any of the signatures?

  • Yes.

  • Sorry, I have the wrong document.

  • Whose signature is that?

  • This is Sam Bockarie's own.

  • Mr Koumjian, is D-9 an original, or is it a copy?

  • I believe it's a copy.

  • Your Honour, it's a copy.

  • Whether it's the best - well, I think it came from the Defence. Whether there is an original in the possession of the OTP I could check, but I don't believe so. If I could then ask that the witness be shown tab 2, the document in tab 2, which is a one page document.

  • Is it in evidence?

  • Yes, it is. This is P-20:

  • Sir, it might be actually easier for you to stand up for a moment and look at the document. He has a copy. Do you recognise the signature?

  • Yes, even if I don't stand I see it.

  • Whose signature is that?

  • It's Sam Bockarie's signature.

  • Even if I am sleeping I will tell you. I know.

  • Thank you. Take that away, please:

  • Mr Witness, did you know - did Sam Bockarie have a wife or any wives that you knew?

  • Yes, he had a wife.

  • Did you know any of the family of the wife?

  • I know his - I know all of his family and his wife's family.

  • Since disarmament did you ever see Sam Bockarie's wife or any of her family in Sierra Leone?

  • I have never seen a wife after that, but I saw his wife's elder sister and Sam Bockarie's younger brother.

  • What was Sam Bockarie's wife's elder sister's name, or what is her name?

  • Her elder sister's name is Kadie.