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

  • Mr Bangura, please proceed.

  • Thank you, your Honour.

  • Good morning, Mr Witness.

  • We will continue with your evidence-in-chief this morning. Now yesterday before we broke off you were discussing the system of communication, radio communication, that the RUF operated. Is that correct?

  • And at the particular time that we broke off you were - you had just explained how a message was sent from one radio station to another. Is that correct?

  • Now my last question was what happened at the other end where the message was received? You had explained how the message was composed and dispatched from one end. What normally happened at the other end where the message was received? This is a situation where one commander is sending a message to another commander?

  • Well, when one commander sent a message to another commander, yesterday I began by saying that the person who is sending the message, that is the commander, would write the message and sign that he had written that message. Similarly the receiving commander would have to read. But before that the radio operator who would have to receive the message would write that he received it, he will sign under it, date it and sign against it again indicating that he was the operator receiving the message. Then after that the commander himself that received the message from the operator would write the word received, he will date it and write the time against it and sign.

  • Where was this message recorded?

  • These messages, after receiving them through the radio you will first write it in the rough book after decoding the message and that is when you would enter it into the log book. We had no other where else to write the message but in the log book.

  • Now you have mentioned a notebook and a log book. Which of these does the commander sign to indicate that he has received the message from the operator?

  • Madam President, excuse me, I'm sorry to interrupt my learned friend, but the witness said first of all you would write it in the rough book after decoding and that's when you would enter it into the log book. Now to me did he mean RUF as in R-U-F or rough as in R-O-U-G-H?

  • I was going to ask that question myself, Mr Cayley. Could we clarify that point, Mr Bangura?

  • Thank you, your Honour, I will get the witness to clarify it.

  • Mr Witness, you mentioned that when the message is received it is first noted, it is first written down in the rough book and when you say rough book what do you mean?

  • Well, when I said rough book, it's on the paper or an exercise book when you get an encoded message. That book we will even burn it at any time. But when we transfer it from the rough book, the book into which it is transferred is what we called log book. That is a document we will keep forever.

  • My question was which of these does the commander sign to indicate that he had received the message?

  • It's in the log book.

  • You have mentioned that the message is received and decoded. In what form is the message transmitted from one station to another station?

  • Fine. When a commander would write a message it will be in a correct form, but when it would be handed over to the radio operator he will encode all those messages.

  • Mr Witness, what do you mean by correct form? You say when the commander gives a message it is in the correct form, what do you mean?

  • What I mean is the commander will write the message in English, but we would encode it.

  • And it is transmitted in the coded form; is that what you're saying?

  • Thank you. Now the log book that you have just mentioned, can you indicate how many log books there were - how many log books did you have?

  • Well, any station would have one log book. When it is finished we would pack it where we would normally pack our documents and we would take another new one and create a log book. So all stations had log books. Some stations would complete five or six log books even, but these were documents we kept throughout the movement.

  • Was the log book kept by any operator personally?

  • Yes, all the log books, the book and the radio were in the custody of the operator, including the code.

  • Now you have explained how one operator can transmit a message to another operator. Now what happened where a message was being transmitted from one operator to another operator? What happened - what did the other operators do who were not addressed - who were not the addressees of that message, what would happen?

  • In the first place we had a law in our guerilla army, the RUF, that all messages transmitted on the net should be monitored by the operator and be written down, even if it was not addressed to his commander. But as far as it was our military operation messages it was the operator's responsibility to write down that message and inform the other commanders.

  • Now you have mentioned that one radio operator calling another radio operator would operate within a frequency. Did another operator have access to that frequency who was not - to whom the message was not addressed?

  • Please repeat the question.

  • An operator to whom a message is not addressed, did he have access or could he have access to the message from his radio set?

  • Yes, even if I was on a station and I was not even there when the message came, as soon as I would resume transmission again I would call any station and if there was any message so that I would get a copy of that particular message. Therefore all operators in the RUF had access to all messages relating to military operations.

  • In that situation what sort of messages would you listen to sometimes?

  • Well, in that circumstance we would listen to all messages. Like, for example, message of orders, instructions and so on. For example, whenever we would have a message from our leader in respect of attacks or ambushes we would get messages for - about supply of arms and ammunitions, we would get messages relating to peace talks, we would get messages about the release of some hostages and so on.

  • Mr Witness, did the communication system within the RUF, was it limited only within Sierra Leone?

  • No, the communication system that was within the RUF was not only for Sierra Leone. Wherever we had our contact we had our communication there.

  • Now the individual stations, radio stations, did they have particular names?

  • Yes, all stations had names.

  • And what did you call those names that you gave to each station?

  • Before I will call the names, we used to change names of radio stations and their respective codes at times after one month or two. So it was not a permanent name given to radio stations. We had Bravo Zulu 4, Bravo Zulu 2, 35B, 35A, Shining Star 2 and so forth. These were names that we changed as we went on with the operations and we would give names for one month and the other month we'll change them. So we had appointment titles.

  • Now you mentioned earlier that there was a control station --

  • Mr Bangura, I'm just noticing as you speak that the beginning of your question is never recorded. It could be that you're coming in too fast. It has overlapping speakers. So we only get part of your question. I don't know if this is a fault somewhere in the recording or what it is, but for the record we're not getting the full question you're asking, consistently.

  • I can try to come in after getting the full answer from the witness. It might be some technical hitch.

  • Your Honour, we're informed by the AV booth that the interpreter does not switch off his microphone after interpreting. He should do so.

  • I think this will be rectified. It's not your fault. It's somewhere in the booth, the interpretation booth, but it's messing up the record obviously.

  • Should I wait for it to be fixed?

  • Carry on, Mr Bangura.

  • Thank you, your Honours:

  • Yes, you mentioned a number of - some examples of names of stations that you had and my question was about the control station you had from which all the other substations were controlled. Now what names at different times were given to that control station, if you remember some of them?

  • Well, I can recall one name we gave to a control station at the time we just entered Zogoda. That was the RUF. We called it Bravo Zulu 1.

  • And that changed at some stage, is that right?

  • Yes.

  • Do you remember any other name that was given to that control station?

  • Yes, I can also recall we called a control station as Alpha 2 sometimes and again we changed it to another name, we called it Alpha Zulu. Names kept on changing.

  • Did radio operators have particular names given to them?

  • Sorry, Madam President, can I just interrupt there because it's not clear to me in the transcript. My learned friend asked him about the control station at the Zogoda and he said it's Zulu 1 and the question was:

    "Q. And that changed at some stage, is that right?"

    A. Yes.

    Q. Do you remember any other name that was given to that

    control station?

    A. Yes, I can also recall we called a control station as

    Alpha 2."

    Is he still talking about Zogoda or is he talking about a different control station, because it's not clear from the transcript?

  • Could we clarify that point, Mr Bangura.

  • Now you mentioned a second name for the control station. What was that name, please?

  • The control station which was at Zogoda, these were the names that I gave to you. But at that time we didn't have other control stations. We only had one, that was Zogoda.

  • I hope that clarifies:

  • Now did the radio operators themselves have names, code names, or call signs?

  • Yes. Some radio operators had code names.

  • Can you remember some of those code names?

  • Even myself here, they used to call me to System. Then we had a friend, I wouldn't want to call his name now but I will call his code name.

  • Code names only, please.

  • We called him Ebony Prince, Shining Star or Solution.

  • Now you earlier were asked whether your communication system was only limited within Sierra Leone and you said it extended beyond Sierra Leone. Now how far beyond Sierra Leone were you able to communicate by radio?

  • We communicated in Sierra Leone and apart from that we had communications with Liberia with Charles Taylor and we also had communication with Abidjan. Then we also had communication when Sankoh went for the Lome peace accord. He went with a radio. When he was patrolling for the peace talk, wherever he would go, like where I mentioned, would have a personal communication on this particular radio.

  • Now regarding communications with Liberia how was it - how would this operate?

  • Well, the Liberia communication was a direct contact from our control station to Charles Taylor's radio station. That was effective. I would almost say it was every day.

  • Who contacted who?

  • Sometimes it was a control station with just our leader who was there who would call from Liberia. Sometimes Mr Taylor would call from Liberia to Sierra Leone.

  • Now were these calls made directly from the control station in Sierra Leone to Charles Taylor in Liberia?

  • I don't understand the word you used, "direct".

  • Who spoke to who on the radio when these calls were made?

  • Sometimes Foday Sankoh would talk to Taylor directly on this radio and some other times Foday Sankoh would write a message, then the operator would encode the message and transmit it to Liberian station. Similarly so Mr Taylor would send a message to Foday Sankoh.

  • Now do you remember some of the names or code names that were used on the Liberian side?

  • With whom, sorry?

  • When you called the radio in Liberia did you - did they have a code name there?

  • Yes, the radio station had a code name. Then our Sierra Leone radio station, when it wanted to call Liberia it had a special code name. Then the people who were called like Mr Taylor had a code name. Then Mr Sankoh as well had a code name when he was called from Liberia. For the Sierra Leone station we just call in Liberia, they would say 35B calling Butterfly. That was Mr Taylor's station called Butterfly in Liberia, so Liberia would know that Sierra Leone was calling. So if Butterfly called 35 we would know that the Liberian station was calling RUF.

  • Did you operate on the same frequencies?

  • Yes, we had the same national - that was the junction where everybody would meet. The RUF and the Liberians, there was always a radio on stand by on that net. When they were ready they would call on that net which was 70110. That was where they spoke and they will send messages.

  • Were you able to monitor messages that - communications that went on between Sierra Leone and Liberia? The radio operators within Sierra Leone, were they able to monitor these communications?

  • Yes, the communication between the RUF and the NPFL of Mr Taylor, every radio operator was aware of those messages and even the ordinary talks between the Liberian and the Sierra Leoneans.

  • Now you mentioned a national frequency earlier. Can you --

  • Madam President, before we move off that topic I wonder if my learned friend could put some kind of time bracket around this period, the communications between Liberia and Sierra Leone, please.

  • The questions are generally phrased at this stage. I will get the witness at some point to say when this practice operated or occurred, but at this stage it is just general questions I am putting to him as to his knowledge as to the manner in which he operated as --

  • I think my learned friend from his response has indicated he knows the time period is important. It's extremely difficult to take instructions unless we're actually given some kind of date. I'm sure the witness knows that. Thank you.

  • I will get to that.

  • Now, Mr Witness, you have been describing the methods of communications within the RUF and also between the RUF and Liberia, Mr Taylor in Liberia. Now what period are we talking of here?

  • Well, as far as I know, from the time that I learnt about radio, that was in 1992 and before 1992 from '91 up to the time we were disarmed.

  • I was asking you earlier about the use of the word "national". You were talking about frequency and you said the national frequency. Can you just clarify what you mean when you said the national frequency?

  • Yes, national frequency is a selected number where all the call signs in the RUF and our contact group in Liberia knew. That was Mr Taylor's group.

  • Thank you. Now at this stage, your Honours, may I ask that the witness be shown the document in tab 25.

  • Can you take a look at the document which has been shown to you, Mr Witness?

  • Madam President, we don't actually have a copy of this bundle. Is there a spare copy for the Defence?

  • Should I open this book?

  • Just hold on, Mr Witness.

  • We had understood all of these were disseminated to --

  • We don't have the bundle. I mean it's the problem that I identified last time, Madam President. I'm sure the document has been disclosed to us but we can't identify that from simply the disclosure. It's simpler if we have a copy of the bundle.

  • Your Honours, my information is that this bundle was disclosed to Defence two weeks ago, was filed two weeks ago.

  • There is a file for week 4 volume 1. Week 4 that had exhibits for the two witnesses, the previous witness and this.

  • Sorry, I'm not disputing that it's been disclosed to us but it's not tabulated in the same form for us, if you see what I mean. We get the documents, but unless Mr Bangura tells me what it is I can't identify it. That's the problem.

  • Your Honours, the bundle we filed was bundles of documents filed for week 4 and it has an index and the index indicates that the document in tab 25 is a radio log book.

  • I can identify it from the description. It's not noted as tab 25. I don't have a problem with that, but, yes, I have that document. Thank you, your Honour.

  • Are we ready to proceed, Mr Cayley?

  • Yes, thank you, your Honour.

  • Mr Bangura, please proceed.

  • Thank you, your Honour:

  • Mr Witness, can you take a look at that document, please. Now it's got many pages and I'm not asking you to read through all those pages. I just want you to quickly look at it and see whether you recognise it.

  • Please repeat.

  • I am not asking you to read through the pages at this stage. You may probably turn through the pages, leaf through the pages and see whether you recognise the document. Okay, Mr Witness, I will refer you to specific portions when I need to. What do you recognise that document as? What sort of document is it?

  • This document is our radio log book which I was just talking about. This is it.

  • Now just so that we're clear, this is - did you yourself use this radio log book at all, this particular one that you're looking at?

  • No. Where this came from, I was not at that station.

  • Now is it the same kind of document as the one that you have described in your testimony earlier today?

  • Now can I refer you to page ERN 00008738. The last four digits are 8738. Mr Witness, do you see the page that I'm referring you to?

  • Yes.

  • What is on that page?

  • It's a radio message on this page.

  • Now what does - what do you infer from the message; is it a message that is being sent from a station or is it being received by the station which kept this log book?

  • The station which kept this log book received this message.

  • Now who is this message coming from?

  • This is from Black Moses. I mean, sorry, to Black Moses from Martin.

  • I don't quite intend to go into the details but do you know who Black Moses was?

  • Yes, it was the RUF leader.

  • When you say the RUF leader who do you mean?

  • This was, we could change names like Sam Bockarie.

  • And at this time who was the leader?

  • This particular time he was the leader.

  • So Black Moses there is a code name, is it?

  • Yes, it's a code name.

  • Now you have said that the message is one which was received by the station which kept this log book. How are you able to tell that?

  • Well, one example down here that I am seeing, I can see the person who received this message and he signed under it.

  • Okay, is that an indication that this was a message which was received by the station that kept this book?

  • Yes, because the hour, the time and the date is there.

  • And also there is that word written received, an hour and the date. That shows that this person received this message.

  • Now the message is from somebody called Martin. Do you recognise that name?

  • Yes, I know Mr Martin. Mr Martin was a man who was with the RUF.

  • Did he hold a position that you remember?

  • Yes, what I knew about Mr Martin, he was a very good coordinator. He was also an agent for Mosquito moving from Buedu to Monrovia for arms and ammunition arrangements with Mr Taylor.

  • Now can I ask you to turn to another page with the last four digits 8764. Can you briefly read through that message?

  • You want me to read the entire message? You want me to read it?

  • I actually wanted you to read it quietly by yourself and I will ask you questions about it. Okay, Mr Witness, is that --

  • Please allow me. Thank you.

  • Now do you recognise this as a message also kept in the record book, in the log book?

  • Yes, I know this message very well. All the communication stations in the RUF heard this message.

  • What was this message about?

  • This message was the time when Sam Bockarie had a conflict with the RUF and he decided to leave the RUF and go to Liberia to Mr Taylor. That was when he wrote this document.

  • Did you yourself get this message at the time?

  • Yes. All the RUF radio communications heard this message and in fact most of the senior and junior officers of the RUF, majority of them had a copy of this message for reference purpose.

  • But there is no code name in the message. Can you explain that?

  • Yes, he had a reason why he didn't put any code name.

  • Are you able to tell why?

  • I can tell you something why he did not code this message. The reason was that Sam Bockarie was angry the way he was treated in the RUF and this message had nothing to do with bringing arms or ammunitions or attacks or ambushes so there was no need to encode this message.

  • Your Honours, I at this stage would respectful ask that these documents be marked for identification. First the page 8738 to be marked.

  • Is that the cover of the document?

  • No, your Honour, it's the first page that I referred the witness to.

  • Four zeros and the last four digits are 8738.

  • That will be marked for identification as MFI-42.

  • MFI-42, your Honour.

  • You said this one page and we're then going on to some others, Mr Bangura.

  • There is going to be another page, just two pages within the book. Your Honour, the second one is the page marked 8764.

  • That will become one page MFI-43.

  • Madam President, not to create problems at this stage, but it's likely that I'm going to be referring to the entire document and I don't want to create confusion in terms of having two individual pages exhibited and then the entire document exhibited. I point it out. If the Prosecution wishes to proceed as they are, it's fine, but I just don't want to cause confusion in the record of the Court, thank you.

  • We'll deal with it when it comes up, Mr Cayley.

  • Mr Witness, apart from radio communications which the RUF had as a means of contact within and without was there any other means of communication that was used by the unit, by the organisation?

  • Yes, late 1995, '96 RUF leadership had a satellite phone at Zogoda before Sankoh went for the peace accord. Then also in '98, '99 in Buedu Sam Bockarie had a satellite phone from Liberia.

  • How was communication - how did you - did the RUF communicate when they used satellite phones?

  • Well, any time from Zogoda Sankoh talked to Mr Taylor - let me start with Zogoda. He would bring that information on the field radio.

  • Your Honours, can the witness repeat that?

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter needs you to repeat what you have just said.

  • Can you go over what you have just said, Mr Witness?

  • Let me stay it again. Any time - let me start with Mr Sankoh, 1996, any time Sankoh would communicate with Mr Taylor on the satellite phone, whatever they discussed he would bring it down and transmit it as an information for RUF commanders on the RUF field radio stations.

  • Apart from the - you have mentioned Sankoh and you have mentioned Mosquito who also had a satellite phone, were the operators allowed to use the satellite phone to communicate at all?

  • No, that was not allowed, but it was their responsibility because this satellite phone was in the radio room. Any time there was an incoming call they would go and call Mr Sam Bockarie to come and receive the call. When he himself would receive that call, whatever he discussed, you would be there and prepare a message and transmit it to all RUF communications to inform all RUF authorities.

  • Now you have mentioned Sankoh and Mosquito. Did any other person or any other leader of the organisation get a satellite phone at some stage?

  • Yes, the times Sam Bockarie left and went to Liberia to Mr Taylor and again when Foday Sankoh was arrested in Freetown during the May incident 2000 Issa took over as a leader, as acting leader of the RUF. During that time again Issa had a satellite phone through Liberia. So he himself was talking to Mr Taylor. So whatever they discussed, he would do the same thing by sending messages to all commanders through field radio communications. And even if the RUF spokesman or whomsoever was representing BBC Focus on Africa or the VOA, they would use the same satellite phone to talk.

  • Mr Witness, you mentioned - in your testimony yesterday we discussed the various bases that the RUF had and you mentioned some new locations that you were able to take at a certain point and one of them I remind you was Zogoda. Now how long were you able to hold Zogoda?

  • Zogoda, what I can recall from early 1995, '96, those were the times we spent at Zogoda, our leadership spent at Zogoda.

  • Apart from Zogoda which other bases did you operate about the same period '95, '96?

  • Well, the other base that I would call which was the first page was Kailahun District, Ngeima. We called there Burkina base which was in the Kailahun District in the eastern part of Sierra Leone. Then the other one I can recall is Libya. Those names we used to call them because we didn't want people to know that we were at this or that area, but amongst ourselves we knew, and therefore Libya was Pujehun District, southern part of Sierra Leone. Then from there we had Gandorhun which was Kono District. We had Peyama which was very close to Tongo. Then we had Kangari Hills, Tonkolili District, northern province. Then we had Bradford which we called Western Jungle. Then we also had Bo Jungle.

  • Before we continue on, your Honours, I will do some spellings here. I see most of them are actually correctly spelt.

  • Peyama is P-E-Y-A-M-A.

  • Mr Witness, how long was the RUF able to keep these bases that you have mentioned?

  • Some bases RUF was there from '95, 6 - early 1996. I mean at the end of 1996 some bases were dissolved like Peyama, sorry, Peyama, Gandorhun, Libya, Zogoda, those ends were dissolved at about '96, '97.

  • Why were these bases dissolved?

  • Because when our leader Foday Sankoh moved away and went on peace talk, while he was on the peace process we were not ready to fight again. So the Kamajors used that as an advantage and started attacking our positions. So we lost those areas that I have just mentioned. And also Bo Jungle, Bo Jungle covered Sierra Rutile, Matru Jong, that area also was dissolved late 1996.

  • Now where were you at this time, about '95, '96, where were you based?

  • At that time I was at Kangari Hills. We only had Kangari Hills and Bradford which we called Western Jungle and also Kailahun which we called Burkina. Those were the three main jungles which we had now in 1997.

  • Where was Kangari Hills, which part of the country?

  • Well, Kangari Hills, if you look at the map of Sierra Leone it is at the centre of Sierra Leone which is Tonkolili District. It's in a very thick forest.

  • Who was your commander at this base?

  • It was Mr Isaac Mongor. He was the commander there. Then George, Mr George, he too was a Liberian, he was there as a deputy commander.

  • Now up until what time were you at this base at Kangari Hills?

  • Well, as for me and Mr Isaac, we entered there early 1996. We were there up until the time for the AFRC coup in Sierra Leone which was May 1997.

  • Mr Bangura, could we have a spelling for this Mr George or Judge or whatever?

  • You mentioned the names of two commanders who were at Kangari Hills. Can you just - one of them was Isaac Mongor, is that correct?

  • What was the other name that you mentioned?

  • Can you give the Court the full names, please?

  • No, I've forgotten his full name but I know about George. That is the only name that I know. We spelt it G-E-O-R-G-E. That's how we called it and spelled it.

  • Now you mentioned that were at Kangari Hills until the coup took place in May 1997. Correct?

  • Yes, sir.

  • Now when this event occurred did anything happen?

  • Yes, which of the events are you referring to?

  • I'm referring to the coup which you have just mentioned. When the coup took place did anything happen within the RUF?

  • Yes, immediately after the coup we had an instruction from Sam Bockarie. He said it was from the leadership of the RUF. Immediately we would get that message he said we should join the AFRC which had overthrown the Sierra Leone government which was the SLPP. That was the order we got from Sam Bockarie.

  • You said the message or order came from the leadership. When you say the leadership, who are you referring to there?

  • When I am talking about the leadership of the RUF, according to the context of the message, the message said Foday Sankoh said all the RUF upon his instruction should join the AFRC immediately. Then the following days we started getting the records from the national radio stations. That is the voice of Foday Sankoh.

  • How did you get the message from Sam Bockarie, the original message?

  • We got this message from Sam Bockarie through our radio communication.

  • Now as a result of the order which you received through this message did you do anything?

  • Yes, immediately we got that message everybody was happy to leave the bush. The commander who was Isaac Mongor prepared us and we moved to Matotoka which is another big town in Tonkolili District. That was where we all assembled and we were sent to Makeni. Makeni is one of the big towns in Sierra Leone. It's in the north. That was where we had our headquarters.

  • Mr Witness, just before we move away from Kangari Hills can you tell this Court what was the - what were the main activities of the RUF that were based in Kangari Hills at the time? What was going on there?

  • Well, the RUF movement at the Kangari Hills, the main things we were doing, we used to set ambush, attack civilian positions, took food from them. We would abduct civilians, girls and boys, some of them were the age of 12, 15 and also 16. Then again we would make road blocks, we would set ambush. If the ambush failed nobody would survive, we would kill everybody. We would burn houses at that time.

    For example, where we were at the Kangari Hills where we set our ambush, the civilians called that place Sankoh Garage. That area you will see all types of burnt vehicles. If you got to that place you will see all types of human skulls.

  • You said that you would set ambushes and capture civilians and abduct them. Now what did you do to those civilians once they were captured?

  • You see, most of the times when we would capture those civilians, if they were women we would marry them forcefully. If they were boys we would send them to the training base. Because Kangari Hills was a very big area, a large jungle where we had a training base and that training base consist of the lowest age of recruits who were at our - the lowest number of recruits at that training base was about 500. The maximum we would get 1,000. So those civilians, we would use them to train them, marry them forcefully, hard labour. That was how we used those civilians.

    Because when we captured lot of food, say for example 1,000 bags of rice or 500 bags of rice, the result, civilians we had at our base for labour, we would write on their foreheads RUF for them not to escape, or at times we would write on your back RUF which meant any time you would escape, when you went to the side of the government, they would know that you have come from the RUF zone and if one of them were killed the others would not escape. That was how we used those civilians in 1997 at the Kangari Hills. And not only Kangari Hills. This was a thing that happened in all the RUF liberated zones.

  • When you say liberated zones, RUF liberated zones, which zones are you referring to?

  • Those were the zones we occupied or the jungles where I named where we were.

  • You have testified that you went to Makeni and set up a headquarter there. How long were you in Makeni?

  • We were in Makeni from '97 and '98.

  • During that period that you were in Makeni what sort of activities did you engage in?

  • Well, we were at Makeni as military people when we joined the AFRC. First of all when we got to Makeni we had to deploy our manpower to the various areas that I have been naming. We had manpower at Kono which was at a diamondiferous area in Sierra Leone. From Kono to Magburaka we had Masingbi, Sewafe, Makali, Matotoka, Magburaka, all those areas that I have named we had deployments there. It was a mixed group now with the AFRC.

  • Pause a while. They are all correctly spelled, your Honour. Now you yourself, did you have any particular appointment during that period?

  • Yes. In fact I from start, when I completed my radio course since 1992 the only job I did was on the radio. I was not entitled to fighting. I was always behind the radio to receive and send messages. So I was at Makeni as the overall signal commander and I covered Kono, Kabala, Makeni itself, Lunsar, Magburaka and all the other areas I have named in Magburaka and Kono.

  • Now during this period are you able to tell the Court or give an idea to the Court of how many radio stations that you monitored or that you supervised in these areas that you have mentioned?

  • Yes. One was Makeni itself, Kabala, Lunsar, Magburaka, Matotoka, Makali, Masingbi and Kono.

  • Now apart from being assigned to supervising radio communication in these areas did you take on any other role or were you assigned to any other duty during that period?

  • Yes, it was at a point in time I used to come to Freetown and receive supplies. Sometimes I came with other commanders to receive supplies. And also I was the one who came to receive our own supply because the signal units on the radios, they always supplied us together with the other fighters. Our own salaries were received by the commander. I was the one who went there from Freetown to receive our own salaries and those from other areas would come and receive their own salaries. It was not a mixed program.

  • Now can you tell the Court what became the situation when the - after the coup, I mean regarding the commanders of the RUF, the senior commanders of the RUF. You had been ordered to move in and join the new government. Now what became the position of your commanders within the RUF?

  • Well, actually the way I understood it, when we joined those people we had a separate command structure. The command structure of the RUF remained the same and the AFRC command structure remained the same. That was my observation.

    But the leadership of the RUF, like the commanders like Sam Bockarie, Issa Sesay, they worked together with the AFRC directly. As we entered Freetown they all went there. As time went on some people changed their locations from the RUF side.

  • Can you tell the Court what particular positions or appointments some of your commanders took within the AFRC government?

  • Yes. I would try my best. But this was not something that happened yesterday, but I will try. After the merger between the RUF and the AFRC Sam Bockarie moved and had his base in Kenema. And then for a position like Mike Lamin, he returned from Liberia and came back. They all represented the RUF. Mike Lamin, he came from Liberia. He entered Sierra Leone. They all joined together in Freetown. They were there as the RUF representatives.

  • Who else was in Freetown as an RUF representative?

  • Issa Sesay was there, Dennis Mingo was there, Isaac Mongor was there, Collins was there and some other sub-commanders.

  • Now during the period of the rule of this military government did you, apart from the assignments that you have referred to already, you were assigned as a supervisor of radio communications within the north and occasionally you would come to collect supplies in Freetown for your team in Makeni, did you perform any other duty at this time?

  • Yes. You know in Makeni which is in Bombali District and Tonkolili District, I used to escort manpower to the front line when sometimes manpower was contributed in Makeni, that is number one.

    Number two, during the days of the AFRC/RUF they constructed an airstrip two or three miles off Magburaka. That was where the plane landed at night and dropped the arms and ammunition. At one time I was given order together with Mr Alpha, Mr Alpha was an administrator in Makeni under the RUF, both of us moved with his Land Rover and according to the order which came from Issa Sesay, he said the RUF who were based in Makeni, they should go and receive their own ammunition at the Magburaka airstrip.

    And very early in the morning at about 5 to 6 a.m. we went there with the Land Rover and when we got there we saw different different vehicles from various areas, Kenema, Freetown, Bo, who came to collect their own ammunition. But this plane landed at night. It was at night that it landed. When it took off we reached there. We just met that all the arms and ammunition were in boxes and they were distributed by groups. As we got there we went straight towards our own ammunition, we loaded them in the Land Rover and then we moved. And this happened not just one time but myself, I only went there once to collect ammunition.

  • You mentioned that the ammunition - arms and ammunition had been brought via plane. Did you yourself see the aeroplane at Magburaka airstrip?

  • No, I didn't see the aeroplane myself come down that airfield, but it was an arrangement amongst ourselves that it always landed at night. And the reason why I came to know that it was a plane that brought them: One, it was because it was a local airstrip; two, when I got there I saw the prints of the wheels of the plane on the ground. That was how I came to realise that it was an aeroplane that brought the ammunition.

  • Now apart from your group do you remember which other groups were there to collect their supply of arms and ammunition?

  • Yes, people came from Freetown. In fact amongst the groups that came from Freetown they were about two groups. One group was RUF. The commander who brought a vehicle to collect the ammunition was there and he was an RUF. And then the AFRC - from the AFRC side a group came also. Also from the Bo brigade, they also came. They also brought two groups, the RUF and the AFRC. Also from Kenema it was the same way. Fine.

  • Now during this period of the military rule, of military rule, can you describe the state of communication that existed between the two groups. You have testified that at the senior leadership level RUF commanders came and worked together with the AFRC leaders in Freetown, but your command structure remained what it was before. Now can you describe the state of communication that existed at this time between yourselves and the - just generally within the governing - the government?

  • Just to be clear, Mr Bangura, are you talking among the commanders of the RUF or the combined RUF/AFRC?

  • Combined, your Honour:

  • Do you understand the question?

  • No, I want you to go over the question.

  • Just generally comment on the state of radio communication that existed amongst - within the government at that time?

  • When you talk about government really, you know the AFRC was in Sierra Leone, the RUF were there, but in some areas at like Lungi it was the SLPP that were there. So I want you to make clear that area so that I will give you the appropriate answer.

  • The question would also include communications that went on between various units of RUF and the AFRC as far as you remember?

  • Well, what I know, the communication between the AFRC and the RUF, because the RUF by then - it was cordial, because there were information that came from the RUF or any plans that the AFRC and the RUF undertook, they would send it on the radio and they will send messages to district areas where we occupied. That frequently went on.

    But those times we had telephones in various offices, they also used telephones from Cockerill to their private houses, or sometimes to the brigade headquarters. They used those. So during that period of communication not everything went on the field radios, because the RUF movement at the time the AFRC took over, the junta comprised of the RUF, the AFRC which was the SLA and the STF who were remnants of the ULIMO forces from Liberia, but they were based in Sierra Leone.

  • How long did the government last, the AFRC government?

  • I can say for nine months.

  • When did the government - when did their rule come to an end?

  • It was early 1998, in February.

  • How did this rule come to an end?

  • Well, their positions were attacked by ECOMOG. That is ECOMOG attacked the junta positions by air and by land.

  • And did anything happen as a result?

  • Yes, as a result of these attacks our leadership of the AFRC and RUF moved from Freetown and went down to the provinces.

  • Where were you at this time?

  • At that time I was still in Makeni.

  • When you say the leadership of the AFRC and the RUF moved from Freetown and came down to the provinces where particularly in the provinces did they come to that you remember first?

  • Well, after they had left Freetown the first area they came to was Makeni. And as I am talking about the leadership of the AFRC and the RUF I am referring to Johnny Paul Koroma, Issa Sesay and some other prominent commanders.

  • Now would you like to - would you like to give a few more names of these commanders if you can, on both sides please?

  • Yeah, I will try. Should I go ahead? Johnny Paul Koroma, Issa Sesay, Isaac Mongor, SAJ Musa, Brigadier Mani, General Bropleh, Dennis Mingo alias Superman, Morrison Kallon, Bazzy, Five-Five, Gullit, Colonel Tee. Let me stop there for the moment.

  • Thank you. Now can you describe what happened when these leaders came to Makeni?

  • Yes, when they came to Makeni, all of them, what happened was due to the intervention that took place in Freetown, that was when ECOMOG took over in Freetown, they all flee Freetown and came to Makeni. The reason why they came to Makeni was to look out for ways or means to reorganise themselves to re-attack. That was why they came to Makeni.

  • And when they arrived in Makeni did anything happen?

  • Yes. Immediately they got to Makeni, besides all the commanders, almost majority of the fighters, they all came to Makeni and when they came to Makeni a meeting was immediately summoned and this meeting took place at Flamingo. Flamingo is a night club area in Makeni. During this meeting, all the names I have made mention of, they were present.

  • Do you recall what was discussed at this meeting?

  • Yes. What was discussed during the meeting, I can be able to explain some.

  • Please do?

  • The one that I can recall. The first thing that I can recall so far that I would want to start with, now we have reached Makeni and as I say "us" I am referring to the RUF/AFRC. What was planned there was how to get into the jungle. That was the first thing. And then how - how they could be able to get Johnny Paul Koroma out of Makeni to Kailahun in Buedu. But before the meeting Sam Bockarie had told them that they should summon an immediate meeting and get discussions amongst themselves for them to move Johnny Paul Koroma from Makeni to Buedu, to Buedu. The next thing that was discussed --

  • Just before we discuss that next point or the next issue that was raised in the meeting, now you said that Sam Bockarie had told them to have a meeting and to discuss how to get Johnny Paul Koroma to Buedu. How did Sam Bockarie reach these leaders?

  • Well, anywhere the RUF and the AFRC were at that point in time communication was a priority. Whether we were in the bush or in town that was our priority. It was through the radio message that the information reached us from Sam Bockarie. And at that time he had also withdrawn from Kenema to Buedu.

  • Did you yourself have access or were you privy to that message from Sam Bockarie?

  • Now you also mentioned the meeting, a meeting that was held in Flamingo amongst the commanders or the leaders. Were you yourself present at that meeting?

  • Yes, from the start of the meeting I was present.

  • When you say from the start of the meeting, did you have cause to leave at some point?

  • Yes. After I had seen all the names I have made mention of them that I saw during the meeting and I also saw somebody who stood up and read the agenda out and again it was a message that I had monitored on my radio before I left my station so I already knew what was going to happen and I knew also that after the meeting somebody was going to deliver the message to the fighters in the barracks. Therefore I decided to leave the place.

  • Now you were getting on to a second issue that was discussed in the meeting?

  • So the second point I can recall was how they could feed the soldiers, that is the fighters, because we were now to go to the jungle. And then the other point I can recall was how we could arrange ourselves before we moved from Makeni to go to Kono and reside there. That was how the troop was going to distribute themselves, who was going to fight, which group was going to serve as security to the senior commanders, then which group was going to stay at the rear. That was the agenda.

  • I am mindful of the time. My next question might very well lead us into an area that --

  • Thank you, Mr Bangura. In the circumstances we will make the mid-morning adjournment now and we will resume at 11.30. Mr Witness, we are taking the mid-morning break.

  • [Break taken at 10.58 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 11.30 a.m.]

  • Please proceed, Mr Bangura.

  • Thank you, your Honour:

  • Mr Witness, just before the break you were discussing the issues that came up, or that were discussed, in the meeting that was held at Flamingo in Makeni, correct?

  • Yes.

  • And you had said that pursuant to instructions which had been received from Sam Bockarie by radio message, the meeting had to discuss, firstly, how to move Johnny Paul Koroma from Makeni to Buedu, correct?

  • Yes.

  • Then you mentioned two other issues that were discussed, but not in detail. One of them was how the combatants were to be fed now that they were going to go into the jungle and the other you said was about how you were to proceed from Makeni, how all the troops were supposed to proceed, is that right?

  • I would like you to deal with the subject of feeding for the combatants which you said was discussed. What was discussed?

  • Then what was now delivered to us after we had gone back to the barracks, that is us the RUF, the AFRC, those of us who were the junior ones, we saw Morris Kallon and Gullit of the AFRC, Morris Kallon for RUF. They came and explained to us, they said what they discussed during the meeting was how we were to go to the jungle and how to travel with Johnny Paul Koroma, and, secondly, how we will be able to feed the fighters. With regards the feeding, this is what I am going to explain. Well, they said, from Morris Kallon to the RUF, he said, he said all the commanders, whose names I had mentioned on this topic, they all agreed that each and every soldier should take the responsibility of feeding himself. You should gather food for yourself and all that you needed to use during the time we were in the jungle. That was the time the slogan came up and they said it was Operation Pay Yourself. Operation Pay Yourself meant you could take anything from the civilian. If you had wanted to abduct a civilian to go and work for you, you would do so. If you wanted to abduct a civilian woman, you could do so. If you wanted a car, or a vehicle, you could take it. Anything from a civilian was your right to take. So that was the first thing that he told us.

    From there, the second thing that he told us he said we were going to move, but three groups were going to proceed from Makeni to Kono. After we get to Kono then we will send Johnny Paul Koroma to Buedu, according to the instructions sent by Sam Bockarie. The outcome of the meeting is what I am explaining. So the groups were divided into three. The first group was headed by Superman. That was the fighting forces that comprised the RUF, the AFRC, the STF.

  • You mentioned barracks quite a few times now, which barracks are you referring to?

  • The barracks I am referring to is one of the biggest barracks in Sierra Leone, that is Teko barracks found in Makeni.

  • Your Honours, Teko is T-E-K-O:

  • Now, pursuant to these decisions that were arrived at in the meeting, particularly the one about feeding and you mentioned the Operation Pay Yourself which you said was declared, did anything happen?

  • After the message from the meeting has been delivered they allowed all the fighting forces to go into Makeni Town and the surrounding areas to gather food, abduct. They started burning houses. They took people's wives away from them in Makeni Town, people's school children went into vehicles, so that was how it happened. Then also in there reports filtered in from all angles in Makeni that the cases of raping was now overwhelming. They started raping women. If they refused, she would be killed. So the reports about raping filtered in plenty before we left Makeni. The burning of houses, destruction of property, reports came about all of those, plenty.

  • Now, how did you proceed when you left Makeni?

  • The preparation was that Superman first moved as advance team and he was going on the way fighting against the Kamajors. By then the Kamajors had occupied around Matotoka up to Kono and Koidu Town itself, so he was there as advance team to clear the way.

  • And after his group, which other groups did you have?

  • After that Issa Sesay, Johnny Paul Koroma and other authorities, they were in the second group. They also moved. But before that there was a breakaway group that was SAJ Musa, Brigadier Mani, General Bropleh, Colonel Tee and other commanders. They broke away and went towards the Kabala axis. Kabala is another big district in Sierra Leone and it is found in the north.

  • Is Kabala itself a district, or is it a town within a district?

  • It is a town, but the district is called Koinadugu District.

  • Yes, you were describing the manner in which you left Makeni and you have told this Court that there was a first group and a second group already, and then what was the composition of the third group?

  • The third group, that was our own group. All the groups had a radio communicator. So, myself and Alpha, who was the administrator in Makeni, we were all in the same group, that was the last group. We all moved. We all reached Koidu Town in Kono safely.

  • Can you describe the route that you took from Makeni to Kono? Just name the main towns along that route.

  • Well, the first big town that we passed through from Makeni was Magburaka. From Magburaka we went to Matotoka, from Matotoka we went to Makali, from Makali we went to Sewafe, from Sewafe, Bumpe, from Bumpe we entered Koidu Town.

  • Your Honours, I need to spell a few names there. Matotoka is M-A-T-O-T-O-K-A. Makali is M-A-K-A-L-I-E. Sewafe is S-E-W-A-F-E.

  • Now, did anything happen along the way?

  • All the towns I have made mention of, those were the big towns and there were some other smaller villages. Most of the towns I have referred to, and the villages, they were burnt down before we got to Kono itself and as we went along we went on looting civilians' foods and went on abducting school children. They abducted women from their husbands and they killed the husbands, until we got to Koidu Town.

  • These villages, some of these villages, were burnt down, houses were burnt down in some of these villages. Who did the burning?

  • Well, it was the fighters, who were the AFRC, the RUF and the STF.

  • Were they fighters from your group? You were moving in three groups, were they fighters from your group?

  • All these I have made mention of they were all from different, different groups. It was not a single group.

  • Was there any communication, radio communication, amongst you on the way?

  • Yes, as Superman went along he sent information to all of us and at the same time he sent information to Sam Bockarie in Buedu, and if we encountered problems on the way we always inform each other. That was how it happened, but we never reported on the attitudes that I have spoken about, like raping, killing, burning of houses, abduction of civilians.

  • You said that you arrived in Kono, all of you arrived in Kono safely. Where did you go to when you arrived in Kono?

  • Which town did you go to when you arrived in Kono?

  • It was Koidu Town itself, which is the headquarters of Kono District, Koidu Town. Kono District has two names. We call it Koidu Town and mostly people call it Kono. Also, for the district it is Kono, but the two names that the town carries that is Koidu Town and Sefadu. That is how we call that town. The two names belong to the same town, that is Sefadu and Koidu Town. That is the same town. The district is Kono.

  • Can you describe what happened when you arrived in Koidu?

  • Immediately we got to Koidu there was now communication between the authorities, Issa Sesay, Superman and Sam Bockarie for them to reorganise and base in Kono, for us not to lose Kono. The first message that we monitored, that we received in our message log book, according to Sam Bockarie he said he had consulted Mr Taylor in Liberia saying that in Kono, as long as we have Kono we will not fail in taking over the rest of Sierra Leone again because we already knew that Kono was one of the prominent diamond mining areas in Sierra Leone. Therefore, all the troops should be on standby there except Issa Sesay, Johnny Paul Koroma and the securities who were going to escort them to Buedu. Therefore, Issa Sesay should organise Superman as the overall commander for Kono District jungle and Morris Kallon should act as his deputy, and that they should make sure that they hold fast to the ground and should not allow to lose the ground before he left, but before Issa left he said we were guerillas and anywhere a guerilla was you should make the area fearsome. In the RUF when we talk about making the area fearsome it is a word that carries different meanings. It means we should burn down houses, destroy other properties, killing and construct road blockades and destroy bridges. That would help in making the area fearsome. That was the instruction he gave. In that case he appointed Morris Kallon and he gave him a task for Kono before he left.

  • Now, you used the certain phrase which was the order, in fact, that you said Mosquito gave for the troops in Kono, that is to make the area - I get the transcription here different. What exactly - what was the phrase that was used?

  • The order that Mosquito gave to Issa Sesay for the troops in Kono, about how you should conduct yourselves in Kono, what exactly were the words that he used?

  • Well, we should make the area fearful. By that we mean we should deploy and destroy lives and properties.

  • Now, this message, did you yourself receive it?

  • Yes, at my own station. I had it in my own log book. I monitored it and I wrote it down and I signed that I received such a message. By then I was working under Superman.

  • Where were you based in Koidu when you arrived there?

  • Well, I was very close to a commander who was Dennis Mingo, alias Superman, and we stayed at Dabundeh Street.

  • Your Honours, Dabundeh is D-A-B-U-N-D-E-H:

  • Now, following these orders from Mosquito did anything happen?

  • Yes, after the orders were given, before Issa left he appointed Morris Kallon, who was the deputy to Superman in the Kono jungle, to destroy and burn all the houses in Kono, so Morris Kallon also passed the order and he said that all the fighters on the ground, they had rights over all the properties, even women, because by then we had very few civilians in Koidu Town and the surroundings. Therefore, we should burn down Koidu Town, we shouldn't leave any house untouched and the surrounding. Even when we were ready to leave the town, the house each person was leaving you should put fire on that house and if you refuse to do so it would have been a problem for you and that was what happened: Kono was burnt down.

  • From what you are saying it was left with Morris Kallon to give orders to the men about what to do. Did he give any specific orders that you recall relating to burning?

  • Oh, yes. He gave orders at any time we had a mission that anywhere we went we should burn down houses and we should do things that would make the area fearful. He gave orders for burning and killing and also amputation, but he did not just give the orders, he always waited for a message from the headquarters.

  • Did Johnny Paul Koroma and Issa Sesay leave Kono pursuant - after these orders had been received from Mosquito?

  • Yes, they went and they reached Buedu and met Mosquito. We stayed on the ground.

  • How long were they in - or how long were you in Koidu before they left?

  • Well, not completely one week after they had left and I am sure after they had left it took about two days and the third day they entered Buedu.

  • When they arrived in Buedu was there any message to the effect?

  • Yes, Sam Bockarie transmitted a message to Superman saying that he had received Johnny Paul Koroma, Issa Sesay and some others from Koidu Town and the copy of the message was in all the communication systems in Sierra Leone.

  • Now, coming back to the orders which had been given about how - what you were to do in Koidu, you have already mentioned that Morris Kallon subsequently gave specific orders to commanders. Apart from those orders, do you recall anything else to do with Morris Kallon in Koidu at this time?

  • Yes, there are so many things. I can recall some, some of the orders that were given to Kallon and not only Kallon, the orders that were given to Superman. They used to give orders with regards attacks and ambushing and this always happened. They always gave orders, but before the orders were given Sam Bockarie, I can recall, transmitted a message that he had finally had an arrangement with Mr Taylor because we were now in Kono and we should be able to take care of Kono. He said Mr Taylor has told him that they should try and reorganise and re-prepare the airfield at Buedu, so in there they would need civilians to do the work on the field. The RUF sent over 200 to 300 civilians to Kailahun to do forced labour, to work on the field day and night with security escorts. Beside that we also got rid of some civilians for the mining purposes in Koidu Town, in Kono District.

  • Within Koidu Town, while you were there at this time, do you recall anything else that occurred apart from the fact that houses were burned and civilians were abducted?

  • Yes, in Koidu Town before ever we left there we had another message from Sam Bockarie in which he said he needed money. The arrangement between himself and Taylor has been confirmed and now he needed money, but by then there was a commercial bank in Koidu Town. He passed the order to Superman and he told him that they should destroy the bank, there should be money in there. And with regards the bank Superman also gave orders to some commanders and the bank was destroyed. There were monies in there which were US dollars, Sierra Leone money, sterling pounds and diamonds in a big cup like this [indicated]. I saw that with my eyes because where I was working was in Superman's house. Where Superman was was where I did my communications.

  • Your Honours, the witness was indicating the size of a cup and he said --

  • Unfortunately I am somewhat obscured in his view. Could he demonstrate it again? Mr Witness, can you demonstrate again the size?

  • Mr Witness, you were indicating a size?

  • I saw a cup like this [indicated].

  • Please hold it up so everyone, counsel and everyone --

  • I saw a cup like this that was filled with diamonds [indicated] and then I saw a big travelling bag, which is very close in size like a rice bag, and it was filled with Sierra Leone money. Then I saw a big black plastic. Inside the plastic, almost halfway the plastic was filled with US dollars and another money that I referred to as sterling pounds. They checked the money and they sent a message through radio and the message was sent to Mosquito at Buedu before we left Koidu Town.

  • For the purposes of the record I will record that the witness demonstrated the size of the cup of diamonds by holding up a water glass.

  • Mr Bangura, I am not quite sure whether the witness is demonstrating the size, or merely referring to the colour of the glass.

  • I was going to come to that, your Honour. I was giving him time to finish up on this:

  • Mr Witness, when you used the drinking glass before you as an indication of the - what indication are you giving to the Court? Is it - you talked about the diamonds that you saw and they were in something like the glass which you raised. Are you indicating size when you raised that glass? Is it about that size?

  • I am talking about the size of this cup, not the colour. I am talking about the size of this cup, not the colour.

  • Now, you said this money which was taken from the bank was - the contents were checked and recorded and sent to Mosquito. Do you know what happened to the money itself?

  • Yes, later Mosquito sent a message and said that he was going on a trip and where he was going on this trip was Liberia to see Mr Taylor. He said he was going to arrange for arms, ammunition and food, so when he left with the money he returned with arms and ammunition from Mr Taylor. Immediately after his return he sent a message saying that he has brought arms and ammunitions in supply from Mr Taylor, out of the money that was - that he received from the RUF in Koidu Town, after the bank was destroyed.

  • Now, Mr Witness, you have mentioned quite a number of messages that you said were received from Sam Bockarie. What was the state of communication between your location in Koidu and Sam Bockarie in Buedu at about that time?

  • Well, our communication was always there. We got instructions from Sam Bockarie and after the order was executed we were also given feedback on the radio. That went on every day. We got instructions for attacks and ambushes. We got instructions, for example the destruction of the bank, and also we got instructions about the deployment within the Kono District and we also got instructions about the dispersal of civilians from Koidu Town to Buedu to work on the field. We got instructions for us to reorganise ourselves for the mining purpose, et cetera.

  • Your Honours, I think the interpreter is speaking away from the microphone. I am getting him slightly faded.

  • Mr Interpreter, do you hear what counsel has said?

  • Yes, sure, your Honour.

  • Now, you talked about the bag in which some currency was, which was Sierra Leone currency. Can you describe for the Court the size of this bag?

  • Well, I had said earlier that the size of the bag I can compare to a rice bag, which is 50 kilos rice bag. That is what I can compare the bag to where we had the Sierra Leone money. The plastic in which the foreign currency was, in Sierra Leone we have a black plastic, black plastic bag and at exactly about the middle of that plastic was where the foreign currency was. The diamonds was what I measured to the level of this cup.

  • When you say a black plastic are you referring to a carrier bag, a plastic carrier bag?

  • Yes. We have one black plastic bag in Sierra Leone that sometimes we use to go to the markets to buy items.

  • Now, you have mentioned some of the - you have mentioned some of the things that happened following the orders that Sam Bockarie gave. Do you remember any particular incident relating to Morris Kallon?

  • Yes, after the burning of Koidu Town an incident took place, but so many events took place, but the first I want to talk about before we left Koidu Town, Morris Kallon had a sheep which he had rearing and he said it was a sacrifice for him. One Kono boy --

  • Do you say ship, or a certain animal?

  • When you say sheep, what are you referring to, Mr Witness?

  • An animal is what I am talking about, sheep.

  • There was a boy called Kai, a Kono boy from Kono District. He mistakenly killed the sheep and when Kallon received this information he went angry and killed the boy. Everybody tried to plead with him not to kill him, but he killed the boy. That was number 1. After we left Koidu Town other events happened which were orders from Kallon.

  • Your Honours, the name Kai is K-A-I.

  • Now, you said that - do you know why burning was ordered in Kono? Was there any reason behind the orders for burning?

  • Yes, why we burnt Kono completely was that we did not want ECOMOG forces to base there, so we burnt down Kono. That was the reason why we burnt down the town. We didn't want to lose Kono at all, so the only thing we could do was to destroy Kono.

  • Now, earlier you mentioned that Johnny Paul Koroma and Issa Sesay and other commanders arrived in Buedu. After the arrival in Buedu was any message received from Johnny Paul Koroma while you were in Koidu?

  • I don't understand the question.

  • Generally did Johnny Paul Koroma send any message through the network, the radio network, after he had arrived in Buedu?

  • Fine, immediately after Johnny Paul Koroma and Issa Sesay got to Buedu they had to meet Sam Bockarie, so during that week Johnny Paul Koroma transmitted a message for all the AFRC, RUF and STF. He said because he did not understand jungle exercise, therefore he was asking all the AFRC and the RUF to be taking command from Mosquito. He said from the date he wrote that message Sam Bockarie should be the leader for the movement onwards.

  • Your Honours, I think it is the counsel's microphone because I wonder if the whole court is not getting the interpreter.

  • [Microphone not activated]

  • He is probably speaking away from the microphone.

  • I am getting the interpreter clearly.

  • Your Honours, this is just listening, this is not me speaking, but I can get him always at the same level.

  • Maybe counsel can adjust his volume.

  • That is better, but the indication was that he was fading away. He would come in at a certain level and then fade away.

  • Let us try again, Mr Bangura.

  • Sorry, Mr Witness, shall we continue?

  • Yes, you were explaining --

  • Take me back to the question, please.

  • Your Honours, can counsel listen to the interpretation?

  • The question was about orders received from Johnny Paul Koroma after he had arrived in Buedu and you were in the process of explaining the orders that he gave regarding command.

  • The order that he sent through a radio message, he said he was Johnny Paul Koroma, he was writing to inform all the AFRC/RUF that he had appointed Mosquito as overall commander for the AFRC and RUF because he did not understand the jungle, so all the commanders should take orders from Mosquito as from then. That was the message I could recall Johnny Paul Koroma sent after he got to Buedu.

  • Following these orders what was the implementation that the commanders on the ground put it into? How did they implement these orders?

  • Well, what I can explain first for now, there was another group which started grumbling about this order. SAJ Musa said he was an old military man, Mosquito was a guerilla, so he would not allow Mosquito to control him, so he was not part of that order. Another group as well organised itself comprising Bazzy, Five-Five, Gullit and some other senior officers in the AFRC. They went and had their own area which was far off from Kono and at that time SAJ Musa was at Koinadugu, but all the others, the other commanders then in Kono District, Kailahun District, were taking orders from Mosquito, but even though those men could not take the order when it initially came, later SAJ Musa had to accept and even Gullit accepted later.

  • Following these orders how were deployments done between AFRC and RUF commanders?

  • In Koidu Town, that is Kono District, that is what I am talking about first, after we had retreated we had left Koidu Town and had gone one or two miles away from Koidu Town. We had gone to a small village we called Superman Ground. Superman Ground was on the highway from Koidu Town to Guinea, so from there we followed the instruction. What we did, Superman and the other senior officers on the ground, like Superman himself, Morris Kallon, Isaac Mongor, Pa Kallon and other authorities, they called other junior officers, like Bai Bureh, Komba Gbundema, RUF Rambo, they came and organised themselves and deployed at the areas that I am about to name. The first area was Sewafe bypass. This bypass which we called Sewafe bypass, Short Bai Bureh was in charge of this area. He was responsible for any movement of troops from Freetown, Makeni to Kono. He should block them.

  • Your Honours, Bai Bureh is B-A-I B-U-R-E-H. Sewafe has been spelt before:

  • Mr Witness, before we look at the various positions --

  • Mr Bangura, there is a name - I think someone was in charge of the Sewafe bypass. Could you clarify that name, please?

  • Who was in charge of the Sewafe bypass, Mr Witness?

  • Short Bai Bureh.

  • That was the name I spelt previously, your Honours. Bai Bureh, B-A-I two names B-U-R-E-H:

  • Before we get into the deployment, various deployments that you had from Superman Ground, can you tell us why you left Koidu?

  • Yes, with all the destruction that we did to Koidu Town ECOMOG was attacking us from the ground and even from the air using the jets. That was why we left Koidu Town.

  • You said that you moved to an area a few miles out of Koidu Town called Superman Ground, correct?

  • Now, how did this place get its name?

  • When we had all retreated to that place some of the people went beyond that village, but you see our seniors in the RUF, wherever they are they would want that village to carry their name, so when Superman got to that village he said, "Here should be called Superman Ground", so that was how we started calling the place Superman Ground, because Superman was based there as commander.

  • Now, you were in the process of describing the various deployments that you had around Superman Ground. Can you continue? You had mentioned Sewafe bypass and can you just go over the various deployments that you had around Superman Ground, please?

  • Yes, let me repeat. The first deployment I mentioned is Sewafe bypass. Bai Bureh was in charge. Then we had Yomandu. Yomandu was another main road from Koidu Town to Koinadugu District.

  • Your Honours, Yomandu is Y-O-M-A-N-D-U:

  • Yomandu, the commander there was Komba Gbundema. Then we had Tombodu, Savage --

  • Just pause, please. Tombodu is T-O-M-B-O-D-U.

  • And the name of this commander? Komba something?

  • Komba Gbundema.

  • Komba is K-O-M-B-A. Gbundema is G-B-U-N-D-E-M-A:

  • The next I get was Tombodu, Tombodu camp controlled by Savage. The other camp was Banya Ground. Banya Ground was a sub-camp.

  • Your Honours, Banya is B-A-N-Y-A.

  • The other place was Superman Ground itself.

  • You were going to say Banya Ground was a sub-camp, sub-camp to what, to which camp?

  • To Superman Ground. Superman Ground was - we called there headquarters. All the other areas that I have mentioned were the batallion headquarters. Then the last camp at that time was Gandorhun Highway. Gandorhun Highway was a road from Koidu to Gandorhun and Kailahun District, which was --

  • Pause, I need to spell. GANDORHUN, your Honours, is G-A-N-D-O-R-H-U-N:

  • Gandorhun, Gandorhun was controlled by Rambo, RUF commander. All the camps that I have mentioned, they put Koidu Town in an "O" formation. Those camp commanders that I mentioned, most of the deputies were AFRC. That was how the arrangement was at camp.

  • Mr Bangura, did the witness say they put Koidu Town on "O" formation, meaning what?

  • Yes, your Honour, it was not quite clear. I am getting him to clarify that:

  • You said that all these camps put Koidu Town in an "O" formation. I am not quite clear about what you said. Can you clarify yourself, please?

  • When I am saying the camps put Koidu Town under "O" formation that means they rounded Koidu Town, they were around Koidu Town, so ECOMOG could not move away from there.

  • And by "O" there you mean a circle, zero, is that correct?

  • Yes, when I said "O" I mean a circle.

  • Now, can you describe the activities of your forces at this time in these various camps?

  • Yes, after we are now at those different camps our mission was to go and attack, set ambush, go on food finding missions. During these food finding missions that is where we will abduct civilians, men and women, who come to mine diamonds, do our domestic chores and to collect arms and ammunitions, food and drugs, from Sam Bockarie in Kailahun District.

  • Now, you yourself, Mr Witness, what was your assignment at this time? Where were you based first of all?

  • This time round I was at Superman Ground and my responsibility - the only work I did was to receive messages from any radio station and give it to Superman. It was to receive and send information. That was my only job.

  • Now, let us again focus for a little while on your activities in relation to the people in these areas where you lived. Can you describe your activities and how - can you describe your activities generally?

  • When you are talking about the people, I don't understand.

  • I mean ordinary people living in the areas where you occupied.

  • The people really had no freedom, as I talk about recruitment, forceful marriage, killing and labour. So the people were not in peace because any civilian we caught, we would bring him to the base.

  • You talked about labour, what sort of labour did you mean?

  • At that time we had hard labour. We needed civilians to send them to Buedu to work at the airfield. We needed civilians to go and collect ammunitions from Buedu after Sam Bockarie would have brought it from Mr Taylor. We needed civilians to mine diamonds from Koidu. We needed civilians for our domestic chores. We needed civilians, if they were women, to marry them as bush wives.

  • How did you get food in those days?

  • We used to get food in two different ways. The food that we got from Liberia was not sufficient for us, so we take the particular mission we referred to as food finding mission. Sometimes we go to a civilian zone and attack the civilians, arrest them. Some will die. We burnt their houses, we took their food and give them to carry and bring that to our base. Sometimes we will set an ambush. Any time food will be moving from Freetown for ECOMOG we will set ambush for that. Any civilian vehicle moving from Freetown with food we will ambush that, we will take it, then we will burn down the vehicles. That was how we got food.

  • You mentioned food coming from Liberia which was not enough. Now, how much food were you getting from Liberia?

  • Well, I said the food was not sufficient. I cannot tell you it was ten bags. At times we will get 50 bags at a time, at times 20 bags, but that was not sufficient. It was only a bit sufficient for the headquarters, but not for the sub-battalions, or company headquarters.

  • What sort of food did you get from Liberia?

  • We had rice from Liberia, rice.

  • How did you know that this was coming from Liberia?

  • All the movements between Sam Bockarie and Charles Taylor, whatever they arranged, whatever he get from Taylor that man would send a message to us, the RUF as a whole, that he had received this and this amounts of food, he had distributed it into jungles, so everybody should come for his. That was the same way he distributed ammunitions. Whatever he would go and get from Mr Taylor he would inform us through the radio communication and I was a senior man in the radio communication business. I was supposed to know all about this.

  • Now, you mentioned earlier that using civilians for labour - one of the areas where you would use them for labour was to go and collect arms and ammunition. Where would they go to collect the arms and ammunition?

  • It was from Buedu. Buedu - civilians were taking the load that was arms and ammunitions and they brought it to Mao River, which we refer to as meeting point. Then our own civilians will be dispatched to go and receive, so that was how we used them.

  • Your Honours, Mao is M-O-A, Moa River:

  • Before you went to collect these arms and ammunition, was there any communication between yourselves and Sam Bockarie?

  • Yes, when this ammunition would come we would get information from Sam Bockarie that he had brought ammunitions from Mr Charles Taylor. Therefore, Superman should send this and that amount of people, number of people, to receive it. This information would go to Superman and in response Superman would send manpower to receive the ammunitions.

  • How would you know, or how did you know, that he, Sam Bockarie, had brought these ammunitions, arms and ammunitions, from Liberia?

  • It was through our communications systems because within the RUF we didn't hide any information. No information should go beyond - should go without the knowledge of the communication operators because at that time we were not using vehicles. If we want to move from one jungle to another we would pass through the bush, we would not use the roads. Therefore, communication was the easiest way to talk to the other jungles.

  • Was there any indication from these messages that you got as to how the arms and ammunitions came over from Liberia into Sierra Leone?

  • Did the messages you got about arms and ammunitions sometimes indicate how the arms were brought over to Sierra Leone?

  • Yes, in the first instance if, for example, it is tomorrow or the day after that ammunitions will be brought, Sam Bockarie would say "Jungle would bring" - Jungle was a strong fighter for Mr Taylor. He would say, "Jungle will bring ammunitions to Foya by helicopter." This helicopter was coming from Monrovia and off-load ammunitions in Foya. That was in Liberia. Foya is a short distance from Buedu, so our vehicles which we had, which Sam Bockarie had, will go to collect them and brought it to Buedu. That as well would be part of the message, that ammunitions would be coming today, and the person who will be bringing the ammunition he will call his name in the message and where the ammunition was coming from, he will mention that as well.

  • Now, this person called Jungle who you just mentioned, did you get to meet with him at all?

  • No, Jungle I don't know him personally, but any time we get message, his name will appear in that particular message and when Jungle came to Buedu we will get information that Jungle had come to Buedu and for such and such an arrangement, so I didn't know him personally.

  • Did you know whether this person had any other name apart from Jungle?

  • Now, you have discussed in your earlier testimony about how civilians were treated who lived around the camps that were - that you had set up around Koidu, that is Superman Ground, and the other sub-camps. Was there any record of these civilians who you captured, for instance?

  • In the first place, when the fighters would go on this food mission that I spoke about, if they brought any living civilian we had a unit in the RUF we called joint security. Joint security comprised G5, which was in charge of civilians. Then they had the MP unit, which was in that same joint security. They had the IO in that joint security.

  • Your Honours, the witness has pronounced something I could not understand.

  • Can I pause you. You started mentioning a number of units that operated within the RUF and this is in relation to civilians. Can you just go over the names again of these units that you mentioned?

  • The G5, G5 was responsible for all civilians.

  • Please go a little slower so that you are interpreted.

  • Joint security comprised G5, the MP unit, the IO, the IDU and the S4, so any time they would bring civilians they would take them to the office, so all units will take their individual records of those civilians. If you want to stand for five or six civilians, for them to be in your care, any time the RUF would want to use them as labourers, or to send them to the training base to train them, you would present them. They will write the number of civilians that you would request and you, the officer, will stand for them and they write their names against yours. Even when we would be ready to go, or send the fighters on a food finding, we would write all the names of the civilians, we will put the women on one hand and the men on the other hand. Some men will go for food finding to carry food and bring it, then the women who were under the officers whether to marry them, to be with them as wives, or labourers, they will write their names against yours, so that you could give account of them in the future. That was how those units operated.

  • Mr Witness, this unit that you have just mentioned, the joint security which comprised a number of other sub-units, they kept a record, as you said, of civilians who were captured. Did any of these records, or the information which they kept, get back to the commanders, the senior commanders?

  • Yes, even we, the soldiers, will give all the records to the senior commander, who was Superman, and when the civilians names were written against anybody's name they will be given to Superman, who was the senior commander. They themselves had copies in their offices.

  • Did Superman report any of this information to a higher authority as far as you know?

  • Yes, because at that time there were only two senior authorities who were senior for Superman: That was Sam Bockarie and Issa Sesay. They were senior for him. He will send this information also to those people that I mentioned.

  • At this stage may I ask that the witness be shown the document in tab 26. I hope my learned friend doesn't have any difficulty with looking at this material:

  • Mr Witness, can you take a look at the document which has been shown to you. I will give you some time to leaf through the pages and familiarise yourself with the material. Mr Witness, shall I give you a little more time?

  • Yes.

  • Do you recognise that document that has been shown to you?

  • Yes, this is part of our documents in the RUF.

  • What do you recognise this document as?

  • I know these documents as a record for RUF. The first page is the nominal roll. It was the nominal roll for all rank fighters, rank officers, who were at Superman Ground.

  • Hold on, Mr Witness, I will probably guide you through some of the pages. I just want to ask you a few general questions. You have said that you recognise this as a document of a kind that was kept by the RUF. Now, which group within the RUF would keep this kind of document?

  • The group of the RUF that would have this document was the RUF people who were based in the jungle, like, for example, even in Buedu they had their own documents like this, Superman Ground had theirs, other areas where they were based - like this particular document, this was Superman's manpower. They had this particular document. These are the senior officers on the ground. They had this document.

  • Which unit within the RUF that would keep this document, that would keep the kind of information that we have here?

  • The first person I know, the high command himself on the ground, was Superman, was entitled to this document. The second one was the joint security, they would get this document.

  • Thank you. Now, let me refer you to pages starting from - and I will call the last four digits - 5573A, starting from that page, basically the third page of the document that I have shown, 5573A. Now, I want you to look through from that page right through to 5582, through to 5582.

  • Now, it shows a list of names of people, is that not so?

  • Yes.

  • What list is this? What do you recognise it as?

  • This is a list of soldiers who were senior officers that they had at Superman Ground. This is part of the list and the other column, that shows the arm serials, or the remarks. The columns show number rank, name of soldiers. This was the list of rank officers and part of the rank officers on Superman Ground.

  • Would you say whether this list was exhaustive of all the soldiers who were at Superman Ground at this time?

  • No, this is not the total list.

  • From your - from the names that you see here, would you say whether these names that have been included here belong to a particular level, or a particular rank within the cadre of the RUF?

  • Yes.

  • Well, this is at the level of colonel which was the highest rank at Superman Ground.

  • Does it go down to below that level?

  • It goes down from colonel. From colonel it goes down to sergeant major and, according to this list, that is where it stops.

  • Do you recognise some of the names on that list?

  • I know them very well.

  • First of all, let us find out: Is your name on the list as well?

  • Well, if you can allow me to check for my name.

  • Go on. Mr Witness, I might need to guide you if you are having difficulty. Can you look at page --

  • Yes, I am getting some difficulties because I have not yet seen my name.

  • Can you look at the page ending 5574A, 5574A.

  • Thank you, I have seen it. That is number 114.

  • That says Perry M Kamara, correct?

  • If we just go back to the beginning of the list I would like you to identify a few of the names of the commanders whom we have talked about in your testimony, not all of them, just name a few and give us the number. We are at the first page, which is 5573A. Who do you recognise on that page?

  • Yes, the number 1 person I know him very well. Should I call the name? Colonel Dennis Mingo, I know him. Number 2, Isaac. His full name is Isaac Mongor. I know him very well. The number 3 person, Colonel Morris Kallon, I know him very well. Number 4, Lieutenant Colonel Rambo, I know him well. His full name is Premo. Number 5, Lieutenant Colonel Vandi. His full name is Peter B Vandi. Number 6, Lieutenant Colonel Hector B Lahai, I know him. He was AFRC. Then you have Major Lansana Conteh, I also understand him.

  • Okay, Mr Witness, that is enough. Can you look at number 12? Who is that person?

  • This is Major Bai Bureh on the same page.

  • Can we go back to number 4, Mr Witness.

  • Number 4 on the same page?

  • Who is that person?

  • It is Lieutenant Colonel Rambo, that is RUF Rambo. His full name is Premo.

  • Are you able to spell that name for us, please?

  • Did the witness say Premo, or Fremo?

  • I am a little confused about what he said.

  • Mr Interpreter, is it Fremo, or Premo?

  • Your Honours, I can spell only as he has pronounced, F-R-E-M-O.

  • Premo, I am confused, P-R-E-M-O:

  • Now, Mr Witness --

  • Can you look at number 27 on the list on that same page.

  • This is Major Matthew Barbue. He is a Liberian.

  • Can I take you back - in your earlier testimony before this Court you had mentioned a Matthew Barbue. Are we talking of one and the same person?

  • Can I take you back to number 15?

  • This is Martin George.

  • You earlier mentioned a George at Kangari Hills. Are they one and the same person?

  • No, no. This is a different person, but he is also a Liberian.

  • Also number 11, who is that person?

  • This is Major Rocky, commonly known as CO Rocky.

  • Where did he come from originally?

  • He is also from Liberia.

  • Thank you. Let me refer you to another part of the book, of the document, and that is at page 5583. Are you there?

  • Yes, sir. I am seeing it, 5583.

  • Now, you can read, is that not so?

  • Yes, sir, I can try.

  • What does it say at the top of the page there?

  • "Name of civilians from Banya Ground and their caretaker." That is what is written there.

  • Now if you look through the names on the left-hand side - there are two columns, one left and one right, and they both have names. If you look through the names on the left-hand column where we have the numbers, the numbering, do you recognise anything about those names?

  • Yes, these are names of people and their caretakers and these people are women. The ones on the left-hand side are women. The ones on the right-hand side were the officers who were taking care of the civilians.

  • Could you explain what this would indicate?

  • Well, this is indicating that these civilians are living with these commanders against whom their names are and whenever they were ready, or something is wrong and when they are ready to use them as labourers they will contact these authorities against whom their names are. Some of these civilians were wives to these people, but they were captured civilians. That is the reason why their names are written against the authorities they stayed with.

  • Thank you. Can I refer you next to pages starting 5588 and it will be through to 5591. We will look at them in turn, but I intend to deal with them in succession through to 91. On 5588 can you read at the top of the page what is written there?

  • "List of manpower to go for food", to go for food, "SLPA/RUF".

  • What do those letters stand for, SLPA?

  • What do they stand for?

  • This SLPA is the Sierra Leone People's Army that we referred to as RUF. When the RUF merged with the AFRC, at that time RUF was referred to as the Sierra Leone People's Army.

  • Now look through the names, they are numbered up to 51 on this page, that is on one side, except for numberings 36 to 51, and then you have names of what appears to be soldiers on the right side. Correct?

  • Yes.

  • What do you recognise about these names on the left side, those numbered right down to 51?

  • The number from 1 to 51, they are civilians.

  • Do you recognise them as names of persons belonging to any particular sex?

  • Yes, this is the area for - this is the area for the men.

  • And what does the - what is the indication we get from this list, looking at the names that we have against the names of civilians?

  • This is - this shows the manpower that went for food, or the manpower that we should use to go for the particular food that is made mention of here.

  • Now if you look at top of the page there is a date there, what is the date?

  • This is July 1998, 13 July 1998.

  • Does this date coincide with the period that you were at Superman Ground?

  • Thank you. Now go to the next page. The title on that page is, I believe, the same as what you had on the previous one "List of manpower to go for food" and the date is the same, correct?

  • Yes.

  • Now, whose names do you - what do you recognise about these names?

  • This other page is the page where they will take over security for them to go and guard the people who went for the food.

  • Now if you look at number 3 on that page what is the name there?

  • This is Peter Janneh.

  • And what is written against his name?

  • What does that mean?

  • What was the indication, or what unit was this Small Boy Unit?

  • Well, it was a group of boys who were at the age of 12, 15, whom we referred to as SBU. They were boys.

  • Do you see any other SBUs on that page?

  • Yes, I can see Tamba Goba, number 5. Number 7 also I can see Alhaji James. He was also SBU.

  • Now, if you look at number 6 - no, I will take you to number 2 first. What is the name you see there?

  • I can see sergeant Morie Janneh.

  • I guess that is an A, J-A. Would that be Janneh?

  • Against his name there are some letters and numbers written. Do you see that?

  • Yes, I have seen it.

  • And in fact those numbers, combination of numbers and letters, fall under a heading "Arm number". Do you notice that?

  • Yes, this is AK-47 and the serial number is 0342.

  • So what does this indicate?

  • This shows that this person, who is number 2, is carrying this gun.

  • And is that the indication that we have through to the end of this page?

  • Yes, some people are there who never carry guns, but in other areas the same indication is shown up to down.

  • Now is there any indication that somebody is carrying a different weapon from an AK-47?

  • Yes, in the case of number 8, RSM Musa Kamara is carrying G-3 which is serial number 69048759.

  • Anybody else carrying a different weapon?

  • Yes I can see sergeant Sulaman Joe, he is carrying SMG which is serial number 09431 MP unit.

  • Now if you look after number 20 - the numbering stops at 20, but two names which follow, 20, you have two names there that follow and they have got an identical - they have two identical letters and then numbers. What kind of weapons were they carrying?

  • This is sergeant Ibrahim Lamin. He is carrying TD 5515. He is carrying TD 5515. That is the serial number. Then also sergeant Shaka Daramey is carrying TD 0851 which is the serial number.

  • What kind of weapon is serial TD?

  • Well, what we call TD is just in the form of AK, but it is a little different. TD is a weapon that is - it has a long left-hand guard. That is what you call TD.

  • Can you turn to the next page, that is 5590. Somewhere on that page there is a date. Have you seen it?

  • It is the same date as the date on the previous pages, correct?

  • It is the same date, the same date on the other pages we have watched.

  • Do you have comments about the names on this page?

  • I don't understand what you are trying to talk about.

  • Now what does - what do these names suggest to you? There is no title on the page, but what do the names suggest to you?

  • According to my understanding from this page it is a continuation of a page that hasn't even got a starting number, so I can take it that these were civilians who were carrying out the same exercise on this particular food finding mission. This is the same page.

  • Thank you. Can I take you next to page 5591. Do you note the date on that page?

  • Yes, I can see Monday 30/11/98.

  • That is the month of November?

  • What does the title on that page say?

  • "Names of civilians from Banya Ground".

  • Then further down you have another - there is a line which divides the page into two. The second half of the page has another title, doesn't it?

  • What is the title there?

  • "Names of new captives along Guinea/Sierra Leone highway".

  • Now Banya Ground - first of all let's deal with Banya Ground. In your earlier testimony you have mentioned Banya Ground, are they one and the same places that we are talking about?

  • Now, what about Guinea/Sierra Leone highway, where was this location?

  • Well, that was the same highway where we resided from Superman Ground going towards Guinea and that was the very area where Banya was deployed that we referred to as the Banya Ground.

  • Thank you. Can you go onto page 5592, that is the last in this set of pages that I want you to - do you see the date there?

  • What is that date?

  • It is 15 July 1998.

  • What is the page titled?

  • "Names of civilian women and officers in charge".

  • So all the names listed on the left from 1 to 35 are names of women, is that correct?

  • Yes.

  • And the names on the right are names of who?

  • They are names of fighting men who were the RUF and the AFRC.

  • And what is the indication there?

  • This indicates that these civilians were under these people against whom their names are.

  • And for what purpose?

  • For the purposes of domestic work and hard labour and forced marriage.

  • Can you look at number 6 on that list?

  • What is the name there you get?

  • I have Sia Cabessey.

  • And which commander's name do you have against that person?

  • Well, I have here Major Rocky.

  • And Major Rocky, who is he?

  • Major Rocky was an RUF strong fighter from Liberia.

  • Lastly, Mr Witness, I will refer you to pages 5592 through to 5596. Is there a title on that page?

  • I see also a heading.

  • This indicates civilians under commanders, the heading.

  • Now, look through the list right through the pages that I have referred you to. I think we have a numbering from 1 through to 183 which is at page 5595?

  • Yes, I have seen, yes.

  • What do you recognise about these names?

  • These names were a record that the joint security kept in his office and these names indicate the amount of civilians who were under these commanders. That is the captured civilians who were under these commanders for hard labour and forced marriage.

  • Are they of any particular gender?

  • The names that I am referring you to running from number 1 to 183, pages 5593 to 5595?

  • All the names that I find in here, they are all women and the officers against them are all men. That is what I see.

  • Now can you look through the names of the officers. Do you recognise any senior officers who also had women assigned to them?

  • Yes, I know some of the names here, yes.

  • I think there is a mistake on this series. Number 2, I know this person, the officer whose name is there. Should I call the name?

  • Just let us be clear on what page you are on? What page are you on?

  • 5592.

  • Number 2, I know the person, I know the officer. It is Major Bala.

  • Who else do you recognise as a senior officer?

  • Number 6, Major Rocky.

  • Number 7, Major Jalloh.

  • Now just before we get to the end, we see some names repeated here of commanders, is that not so?

  • Where, where, where exactly?

  • If you look at number 2 and number 13?

  • Major Bala's name appears twice, is that not so? In fact even further down as well?

  • Yes, it even appears at 31.

  • What did that indicate?

  • Well, this shows the amount of civilians that were under his control. So the more the names appear, the more your own name appears also.

  • Thank you, thank you Mr Witness. Your Honours, I move that this document be marked for identification.

  • Mr Bangura, out of curiosity is number 29 RSM Elizabeth?

  • Which page are we on, your Honour?

  • I said name number 29.

  • I am asking about the page, which page are we on?

  • 5592. It is faint on my copy, but it looks like RSM Elizabeth.

  • It looks like it. I have a faded copy as well. I think the original might be - -

  • If you look over the page, page 5595, the same person appears under 177, RSM Elizabeth.

  • Is this a man or a woman?

  • I could get the witness to clarify this. Can the witness be shown the document again please? Page 5592.

  • Number?

  • Yes, this is a woman. She was also an officer so she was entitled to manpower because in RUF we had women amongst us who were officers and also we had junior officers.

  • Now if you look next at page 5595, number 177?

  • Well, this is the same woman that is carrying this name against her name.

  • I think it is 26 pages inclusive of the green front cover and a green back cover and it will be marked for identification as MFI-44.

  • Mr Witness, you mentioned the various uses to which civilians were put and amongst them you mentioned earlier that they were put to mining, is that not so?

  • Yes.

  • Now can you - and earlier also you mentioned that there had been communications from Sam Bockarie about mining, about arrangements that he had made and that you should pay attention to mining, am I correct?

  • Would you like to go over the message that you got from Sam Bockarie relating to mining?

  • Yes, of course. If I should go over that again and the message I am talking about did not just come once or twice from Sam Bockarie. It was a continuous message that came from Sam Bockarie almost all the time, but not every day. He said the mining in Kono was very important for the RUF and that will enable us to get arms and ammunition, food and drugs from Charles Taylor, and therefore we should make sure that we get rid of civilians and organise mining units and also hold fast to Kono District, Koidu Town as a whole. These were some of the messages that came in.

  • When was the first time you got a message from Sam Bockarie about mining?

  • The first time we received message from Sam Bockarie with regards mining was the earlier time we entered Koidu Town. After we had damaged the bank, the commercial bank in Koidu Town. That was the first time we received message about mining and when we did the mining what we should do with the diamonds. He explained all of those to us through radio message and even what we would have to use the money for. All of those messages came before ever we left for Superman Ground and when we got to Superman Ground messages always came in with regards how we should do the mining, how we should go about making the arrangements for the mining and he always emphasised on mining, mining.

  • Now did you start any mining activity in Koidu before you moved from there to Superman Ground?

  • Well, I can say yes because the arrangement was part of the activities. They were searching for people who will do the mining. That was where we started calling on the attention of commanders for mining before we left for Superman Ground.

  • Now when you got to Superman Ground did you embark on any mining activity from that point, from that area?

  • Yes, sir. It was so effective that Superman had to call CO Kennedy who was the overall mining commander at that time, Mr Coomber deputised him, followed by other people.

  • Coomber is C-O-O-M-B-E-R. Yes, continue?

  • So with that they consulted the G5 commander to assemble all civilians for the mining. Effectively the mining went on.

  • With support from Buedu, Sam Bockarie.

  • Your Honours, I am mindful of the time.

  • Yes, if this is a convenient time to adjourn, Mr Bangura, we will adjourn, Mr Witness, for the lunch break and we will resume court at 2.30.

  • [Lunch break taken at 1.30 p.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 2.30 p.m.]

  • Your Honour, the representation for Prosecution has slightly changed this afternoon. Maja Dimitrova is no longer with us. We have got Kirsten Keith and I will spell. It is K-I-R-S-T-E-N, Kirsten, and Keith is K-E-I-T-H for the records.

  • Thank you, Mr Bangura. If you wish to proceed on with your examination-in-chief.

  • Good afternoon, Mr Witness.

  • Good afternoon, sir.

  • Now before we continue with your evidence from where we left off before the break, I need to mop up a few areas on matters that we have already dealt with, okay?

  • Are you all right?

  • Now earlier in your testimony in relation to the document which we had just looked at, you mentioned that the joint security was a unit which was formed by various other sub-units. You mentioned IDU, MP and IO, correct?

  • Yes.

  • Now, if you would like to take them in turn I want you to explain what each of these terms mean. IDU, what did it stand for?

  • The IDU stands for Independent Defence. That is the first thing.

  • I understand "I" for Independence and "D" for Defence. What is the "U" for?