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

  • I want first of all this morning to deal with one or two discrete topics. The first topic I'd like to deal with with you is amputations. I wonder if the witness, please, could be shown our Defence cross-examination bundle. I would like you, please, to look behind divider 7 at page 14. Now, what you're looking at there is a note of certain things you have said on a previous occasion. Now if you count four lines from the top do you see this, "Is it also the case that the AFRC committed atrocities against civilians which the RUF commanders were not happy about?" Answer, "Yes, that caused the problem in Makeni." Pause there. Is that right?

  • Yes.

  • What problems were caused in Makeni because of those activities by the AFRC?

  • It was at that Kabala axis. It was the AFRC, former SLAs, who were there, Gullit and others. They were killing innocent people, amputating people's legs and arms and we did not want that sort of bad name, so that was why that problem erupted between us, we and the SLA. The bad things that they were doing all of us were blamed for that, so whenever they did them people blamed us. That was the problem that was between us in Makeni.

  • So who was to blame?

  • They were the ones who got the blame, was it?

  • Who actually did those wicked things? Who actually did them?

  • That's what I have told you. It was the former SLAs. When they joined us they said they had come to repay people who had done wicked things to them, but then when they were doing these things to people the people were not blaming them, the blame was on all of us. Even though later some RUF joined them because they were persuaded to join them and to do those wicked things, but initially they were the ones who did it.

  • Now can I draw your attention further down that page, please. If you count eight lines from the bottom of that page do you see this, "While we know that there were amputations of civilians in Sierra Leone during the conflict, would it be correct to say that amputations were not taking place in Makeni?" Answer, "Yes, it was in that Kabala area that was done, the SLAs who were in Kabala." Again, is that right?

  • That's what I have told you. They used to do these wicked things in the Kabala axis, but when all of us met in Makeni when we came from - we came from Kono, the RUF, so all of us joined together and we were settled in Makeni and that was what they were doing in Kabala. That was what we did not like and that was the problem we had in Makeni, but they were not based in Makeni. They were in Kabala.

  • Understand this, Mr Witness. So far as this topic is concerned, I am not challenging what you're telling us. I am agreeing with you. Do you follow me?

  • Yes.

  • So let's go over the page, shall we, where you give further details about this. Turn the page, please, and count 12 lines from the bottom of that page, please. "That's what I'm saying. I never saw that happen in Makeni, "It was in that Kabala area where the SLA soldiers and the ULIMO soldiers who were with Superman who were there in that area, they did that." Pause there. So the ULIMO soldiers who were fighting with the SLAs, they were also involved in doing these wicked things, weren't they?

  • Yes.

  • Skip a couple of lines and then we see this, "Is it also right that amputations were not taking place in Magburaka?" "No, that did not happen in Magburaka because there was not much fighting there. They did not happen then". "And is it also right that amputations were not taking place in Kailahun?" Answer, over the page, please --

  • "Yes, not that I know of. I would just like to explain a little on that so that you'd know. The amputations all started with Johnny Paul's people, but at first it was something very strange if Foday Sankoh hears that. In fact, you wouldn't even attempt to do that because you would think about the rule, the rules that we had. But Johnny Paul's boys wanted to revenge. That is what caused that." "Just one other matter, if I may. I spoke to you earlier about exchanges on the Guinea border."

    Let's pause there. What you say there about Johnny Paul's boys, again is that the truth?

  • Yes.

  • Thank you. I'd now like to move on, please, and deal with another topic. You can close that file for a moment. Now, do you recall an event when Augustine Gbao was asked to dig his own grave?

  • Where did that occur?

  • It occurred in the Naama base, Criole [phon].

  • Who ordered Augustine Gbao to dig his own grave?

  • Rashid Mansaray.

  • Did he dig his own grave?

  • Was he asked to get into it?

  • Why was that done to that man?

  • You want me to explain a bit?

  • It was at one time at the Naama base when we were there that we saw Augustine Gbao in Foday Sankoh's vehicle. He was brought from Gbarnga. When they came they said he had gone on a recon. They said he had left from Freetown, Sierra Leone. He was sent there to go on a spy mission to see what we were doing there. So Augustine Gbao was in jail, he was put in jail, and even some of us like me I was sent to that jail to go and gather information from him to actually know whether he went there on a recon mission. But that was not what he went there for. He did not go for a recon mission because I got that from him. I went there in the jail myself. But Foday Sankoh was not at the base so Rashid went and opened the jail yard and took out Gbao one morning. He was taken to a riverside where we used to take our shower. It was along that road that he ordered him to dig his grave.

  • Now Mike Lamin was present at that event, wasn't he?

  • He was the one who told Pa Sankoh that Rashid was to kill Augustine Gbao.

  • But in the end Augustine Gbao's life was saved, wasn't it?

  • Yes, sir. When Foday Sankoh was told he issued out an order to send to Rashid not to kill Gbao, so that he was to be brought back and be placed where he was.

  • Sorry, I want to understand Lamin's role. Was Lamin part of the conspiracy to kill Gbao, or he merely reported what was about to happen to Gbao?

  • He did not partake. What he did was to go and inform Sankoh that Gbao was about to be killed, that Rashid wanted to kill Gbao. That was why even Gbao was not killed.

  • Now another topic, please. Could you once again look behind divider 7 in that file, please, and before we come to a particular passage can I ask you this question. You've told us about your role in purchasing ammunition from former ULIMO combatants. Did the RUF also purchase ammunition across the Guinea border?

  • At the Guinea border we used to take produce there, but the way we used to buy from ULIMO was not the way we bought from them. They were packets. It was in '93 when we went to the jungle initially.

  • Mr Witness, the question was whether you purchased ammunition across the Guinea border. You said you took produce, but I don't know what you bought with the produce. You haven't answered the question.

  • What I meant, yes, in '93 when we went to the jungle and we met with the NPFL we were together in the same place. They were the ones who even negotiated on our behalf because they were there. We got ammunition from there, but not much. We did not even buy many ammunition. We only bought few packets, but that did not take long and we stopped it.

  • Because if we now go, please, to page 8 behind divider 7, we see at the bottom of the page, six lines from the bottom of the page, "Do you know that there were ammunition transactions which took place on the Guinea-Sierra Leonean border?" "Yes." "And that the RUF participated in such transactions?" "Yes." Now it is correct, is it not, that the - that's another topic. You agree with that?

  • That's what I've told you. That's what I explained to you. When we met with the NPFL initially at that border in '93 they were the ones who negotiated on our behalf - Jungle and others.

  • And if we just continue with the passage, and this is another topic, "Now it's correct, is it not, that the RUF had laws which prohibited rape?" "Yes." Is that right?

  • "And which prohibited the burning of houses?" "Yes." Is that right?

  • "And which prohibited amputations?" "Yes." Is that right?

  • Yes, at the initial stage it was Foday Sankoh himself who instituted that law, but when he was not in power, when he left, those who stayed did not go by the law any more.

  • And it continues, "And which prohibited looting." All those laws were there and they were there, weren't they?

  • Yes, the order was there because that was a laid down law that was there right from the beginning.

  • "Which prohibited the harassment of civilians?" "Yes." "And which prohibited the killing of innocent civilians?" "Yes." "And there was also a law, was there not, which prohibited the killing of an enemy combatant if that enemy combatant surrendered with their hands up?" "Yes, all was on paper." What was the name of that paper, witness?

  • It was ideology paper. They started teaching us that from Naama base, so even in Sierra Leone it was the same ideology paper that we had. That was what they gave to us.

  • Very well, let's leave that topic.

  • Mr Griffiths, just before we leave, a point of clarification, page 9, line 5. I thought I heard the witness say "when he left" whereas it's written, "when we left".

  • I'm looking at the LiveNote transcript. On my font it's page 9, line 5. "When he was not in power when we left."

  • Yes, "when we left":

  • Now when you say, witness, "when he left", are you talking about when he was arrested in Nigeria?

  • Yes, when he was not with us again in the jungle. That's what I mean. When just we were in the jungle.

  • Now I'm going to come back to that in a moment, but I'd like to deal with another topic first, please, and I'd just like first of all to briefly remind ourselves of some evidence you gave us last week and the week before. From that bank robbery some 56 million leones were recovered, is that right?

  • Yes, the one that we got from people, that was it, but the one that was at the bank I cannot tell you because people escaped with money, but the one that we got from people, live, that was what I saw and that is it.

  • And that's, for everyone's assistance, page 14145 of the transcript. Now you further told us that before you retreated from Freetown when ECOMOG pushed you out you had some 200 million leones, is that right?

  • And what happened was, as I understand it, some 25 million leones were taken by yourself and Sam Bockarie to Foya where you met Ma Mary and changed that money into Guinean francs. Is that right?

  • Yes, that was how it happened, because at that time the Sierra Leone currency hadn't much value.

  • And it was that money in Guinean francs which you used to purchase a consignment of ammunition from ULIMO, is that right?

  • Now you also told us this, that on another occasion when you went to purchase arms from ULIMO you were provided with 7,000 US dollars by Sam Bockarie. Is that right?

  • Yes, Sam Bockarie was the one who had the money. Foday Sankoh gave the money to Sam Bockarie, but I knew about it and so it was from that money that he used to take some and give to me. It was not everything that he gave to me. He used to take some at a time and give to me, but I knew about the 7,000 dollars.

  • This is page 14156 of the transcript from 20 August:

    "What I am telling you, he gave me leones, but the first one was Foday Sankoh who had left money with him, he, Sam Bockarie, so it was that money that he himself was there when the transaction was going on. It was dollars. 7,000 US dollars."

    Page 14157: "$7,000. American dollars." And that was used for the transaction, yes?

  • Yes, that's what I mean. That's the $7,000 I'm talking about.

  • Now help me with this, please. Where did you get that figure of 7,000 US dollars from?

  • That $7,000 I saw it with Mosquito when Foday Sankoh gave it to him. I just did not say it like that. I saw it myself with him.

  • And did you use all of that $7,000 to buy ammunition from ULIMO?

  • He did not give me the money in a lump sum. He used to give some to me in leones. He used to take some and give to me in leones and in francs, Guinea francs. He did not give me the physical dollar. He used to exchange it into francs and give it to me.

  • Mr Witness, I don't think that's answered counsel's question. The question was, "Did you use all of that 7,000 to buy ammunition from ULIMO?" You've explained that you didn't get it all, but you didn't say what you did with what you got.

  • I cannot recall the total amount that he gave to me. I cannot recall that now, the total amount that we used. I would not tell whether he gave me all the $7,000, whether it was in francs or leones, but I cannot tell now the total amount that I used.

  • What I'm asking is did you use all of that 7,000 US dollars to purchase ammunition from ULIMO?

  • I used some money, that's what I'm telling you, but I cannot tell now if it was everything that I used.

  • That figure - that precise figure of 7,000 US dollars - where did you get that figure from?

  • I saw the money with Sam Bockarie. Foday Sankoh gave it to him, $7,000. He counted it and I saw it myself. I saw him counting the money. He did not used to hide things that was for the general good of us.

  • Now, the reason I'm asking about these details is this. Could you look behind divider 8, please. It is behind divider 8 and could we turn to page 4 of that document, please, and let's have a look please at paragraphs 26, 27 and 28:

    "Witness states that at that time he was assigned on missions to Liberia to buy arms and ammunition from ex-ULIMO and some NPFL fighters. It was Mosquito who assigned witness and provided the money which was in both local and foreign currency mainly US dollars.

    The buying of the arms and ammunition from ex-ULIMO fighters was as a result of blockage of the RUF supply route. Witness went on two such missions and brought mainly ammunition on both occasions.

    Witness states that on the first mission, Sam Bockarie gave him twenty-five million leones but no foreign currency."

    Then this:

    "On the second mission to buy the arms and ammunition, Mosquito gave him the same amount of twenty-five million leones, plus 3,000 US dollars. But the US dollars were to be delivered to the ULIMO commander that was based in Foya for what transaction witness cannot tell. Witness cannot recall the name of the ULIMO commander but he will supply it when he recalls."

    So help us, please. Where does that 3,000 figure come from?

  • This 3,000 was from that $7,000 but, you know, I cannot recall everything that I have been saying now. My head is not a computer.

  • That's a phrase we've heard on numerous occasions, "My head is not a computer", but I would still like you to assist us. Why is it that you were giving the investigators that precise figure of 3,000 US dollars in March of this year and then in August of this year you're giving us another precise figure of 7,000 US dollars? Why is that?

  • Don't mislead me. The $7,000 that I'm referring to was in the hands of Mosquito. He used to take from that amount and give it to me to do the purchases. He did not give me in bulk, not a lump sum. That's why I called out the amount, I said $7,000, but he did not give it to me in a lump sum.

  • Yes, but that's the figure you told us last week - no, the week before that you'd used to purchase arms, 7,000 US dollars, and what I'd like to know is why has the figure suddenly jumped from three in March to seven in August? Can you help me?

  • What I have told you is this. The 3,000 that you are seeing was for the commander. The balance - nobody asked me what we did with the balance money, but we used that as well on ammunitions. We did not just spend it on ourselves. We used it for ammunition, the balance, everything. The 3,000 was for the commander who was in charge, but they did not give everything at the same time.

  • Can I suggest the reason why the figure has jumped from three to seven. Please look behind divider 11 in that bundle, please. Now we know that in March you give the figure of 3,000 and then what happened was this. In June/July of this year - turn to paragraph 14 in that document. In June/July of that year you were shown our exhibit D-9. When we go to exhibit D-9, which we've seen before, we see in the second paragraph reference in that report to 7,000 US dollars. This is the report of 26 September. So in July you're shown this, and as you say you had not seen the document before, and then all of a sudden in August the figure becomes seven. Why is that?

  • The seven was the total amount that was given. That's what I knew about, but if they had asked me I wouldn't tell them that I had seven to go and purchase. I only would tell them the amount that was given to me at a time, but the total amount was seven. But if I will be going elsewhere and you give me 1,000 I will not go and say that is 7,000. I will just say it is 1,000 because that is what you gave to me at that time.

  • Tell me, in June/July when you had a proofing session, who was present at that? Who showed you that document?

  • I can't recall the person now.

  • Who was the lawyer present?

  • In July? I don't recall that person.

  • Do you think that change in the amount has anything to do with the fact that you had been shown that document for the first time?

  • There were some documents that we saw, but that doesn't mean that I didn't know the amount of money, but what was given to me at the time was what I told you. I will not tell you that this was the amount that was not given to me at a particular time. That doesn't mean anything.

  • In fairness to you perhaps I ought to show you the document again, the same document you were shown in June/July. The very first page, please, second paragraph on that page:

    "Upon your departure I initiated contact with ULIMO, as per your instructions, in a bid to buy materials to repel the vicious attacks of the Kamajors at a time when there was a peace document in place and we were not expecting to fight. At first ULIMO arrested me thinking that I'd come to them to surrender. Later I was able to convince them to release me and we commenced a mutually beneficial relationship. I used the 7,000 US dollars to purchase vitally needed materials."

    Now, we know from this other document which is open in front of you that you first saw and read this document in June/July of this year. Do you follow me so far?

  • Yes, I'm hearing you.

  • And so we have a situation, don't we, where you give a figure of 3,000 in March, you're shown this document in June/July, then all of a sudden in August you're quoting the same 7,000 figure. How did that come about, Mr Witness?

  • You should understand what I am saying here. The 3,000 that I'm referring to was out of the 7,000 that I spoke about, but he wouldn't have told Foday Sankoh that you took 3,000 and gave it to somebody else. He would just tell him that he used the money to buy ammunition. But it was actually out of that 7,000 that he would take the money to buy ammunition and the other he gave to the other people. That's what I'm telling you.

  • I'm not interested in what Sam Bockarie told Foday Sankoh. I'm interested in you and why your account has shifted in this way. Do you follow me?

  • Objection, the witness has explained - as he's explained his account has not shifted. These are two different figures. They are not the same thing. He has explained that three times.

  • He can still put the question, Mr Koumjian.

  • My question is very simple and just so that Mr Koumjian understands it I'll ask it again. Why is it that your account has changed from March to August from the figure 3,000 to the figure 7,000? I'm only interested in you. Why has it changed?

  • Nothing has changed. What I know is what I have said here. I don't know, maybe you know something else, but nothing has changed.

  • Is it the case, Mr Witness, and I'll put it to you quite bluntly, that you are willing to adopt any suggestion which might appear to give your account greater credibility? Do you understand me?

  • What I know about is what I am talking about. I will not tell you what I don't know about.

  • Very well, let's move to another topic then. After Foday Sankoh's arrest the RUF became a very divided organisation, didn't it?

  • No, we were not divided. We were one RUF.

  • Let me explain what I mean by that. Could you look behind divider 7 and let's look behind divider 7 at page 9, please. Now on a previous occasion do you recall this passage, line 17, "Now is it correct that Superman created an independent group of RUF combatants under his control?" "Yes. I can say almost because there was a clash between him and us." "When you say us which group did you belong to?" Answer, "That group that was in Kailahun until Kono, Issa, Kallon, Mosquito, that group in which they were. That's the group I was in." "Now the hostility between Superman's group and your group came to a head after the January 6 invasion. Is that correct?" "Yes." "But Superman's group operated more or less independently from August or September 1998?" "Yes. Even when they were in Kamakwie they were doing everything by themselves. They used to mine diamonds and they wouldn't report. They were doing everything by themselves."

    Are the sentiments expressed there correct?

  • Yes, that's what they used to do, but that doesn't mean that RUF was divided like when the faction would be divided and be made into two. It was one faction. There was just some misunderstanding. There was no division, because wherever they went they will refer to them as RUF and wherever we too went they will refer to us as RUF. So, we were all RUF.

  • Do you see there you accepted that Superman had created an independent group of RUF combatants? What do you understand by the word "independent"?

  • What I mean by that, that they were doing things on their own, was because they were in the jungle. You will not just go there and pass an order, but that doesn't mean that they had a different name like ULIMO, or some other name. They were the same RUF. The same name that they had, RUF, was the same name that we too had, RUF. There was just some misunderstanding between the commanders, not we the fighters. It was just the commanders.

  • Let me put it differently then. They may have had the same umbrella name, but Superman was effectively operating independently, wasn't he?

  • Yes, he did that.

  • And he was refusing to take orders from either Mosquito or Issa Sesay?

  • Yes, he used to do that, but he did that because of a reason.

  • And just so that we get the full picture, the group that Superman was leading in this independent way was that the same group that included former SLA and ULIMO combatants? That's right, isn't it?

  • Yes, that was the group that gave us the bad name.

  • And that was the same group, as you accepted this morning, who were responsible for amputations and the like?

  • And during that time Superman was effectively acting independently from Sesay and Mosquito. That's right, isn't it?

  • Yes, they were not together. He did not take orders from them, that was why they had the problem, but later it was resolved.

  • But later further disgruntlement developed within the RUF after Mosquito went to Monrovia in December 1999. That's right, isn't it?

  • And that was a disgruntlement between whom?

  • It was between - no, there was no disgruntlement between the fighters. It was just between the commanders, Sam Bockarie, Issa Sesay, Morris Kallon, Superman, because they were just four. The other commanders were there, but there was no problem. It was only those four people that had the problem.

  • And effectively they could not get along with each other?

  • And much of these difficulties within the RUF date from that time in March 1997 when Foday Sankoh was arrested in Nigeria. That's right, isn't it?

  • Yes, sir. When he left the leadership, that was when the problems started.

  • And would you agree that from that time onwards until disarmament there were a number of factions within the RUF? Although they all had the same name, RUF, there were a number of factions within the organisation. That's right, isn't it?

  • Yes, because SLA joined us, ULIMO joined us, those were the factions that were with us, but even there at that time we were all called RUF.

  • Yes, you may all have been called RUF, but as an organisation there were a number of factions and infighting going on, wasn't there?

  • Next topic, please. How many times have you visited Monrovia?

  • I can recall it was one or two times that I went there.

  • How many times have you been to Monrovia with Sam Bockarie?

  • I went there once with him that I can recall.

  • Now what you told us about that one occasion that you went with him was this, page 14231 of the transcript. You went to Monrovia. "When was that?", you were asked. "At one time I went to Monrovia, but I did not go alone". Then you went on to say, over the page at page 14232, "It was the time I had not been mining commander. At the time I became mining commander I did not have chance to do such things." Pause there. So, did you go to Monrovia with Sam Bockarie before you were appointed mining commander in December 1998?

  • Yes, that's what I spoke about. When we left Freetown I went to Monrovia.

  • And it was before you were appointed mining commander?

  • Yes, we left Freetown first before I became the mining commander.

  • And then you went on to tell us how you stayed at a place at Elawa [sic] Junction, yes?

  • It was not Elawa, E-L-W-A. There was no Elawa Junction in Monrovia.

  • ELWA Junction. That's where you stayed with Sam Bockarie, yes?

  • It was not stay. We just passed the night.

  • Now, what was the purpose of Sam Bockarie's trip to Monrovia?

  • When we went to Buedu it was when Sam Bockarie said he had received a message that Charles Taylor had invited him to Monrovia, Liberia, but it so happened that the two of us would go. I was to go and stop in Voinjama for this same negotiation. There was a police commander in Voinjama at that time - he was a Gio man, but I have forgotten his name now - and so I travelled together with him and we went to Monrovia and we returned. That was the mission I went on for Voinjama, but when I went and he explained to the police commander he said he was going to leave me there to be running in between. After that explanation he spoke to the commander and then I went with him to Monrovia, because even the times that I used to go to buy the ammunitions I did not just go there alone. He would go first and introduce me before I continued going to buy the ammunition later.

  • Yes, can we now try my question. What was the purpose for you and Sam Bockarie to go to Monrovia?

  • That's the reason that I have explained to you. I travelled with him to go to Voinjama to make the same arrangement that we had made in Foya, because the police commander that was in Voinjama I did not know him. He knew them. He went with me to introduce me to the police commander, but then after that arrangement I followed him to Monrovia. The two of us went. So when we came back now to Buedu then he had already introduced me to the police commander in Voinjama, so afterwards he sent me alone to the place. He gave me some money and I went there on the mission, but I wouldn't have gone there on my own without him introducing me first.

  • Mr Witness, we understand that, but the question is, "Why did you and Sam Bockarie go to Monrovia?" You're talking about Voinjama now.

  • Your Honour, precisely.

  • Yes, I travelled with him to Monrovia because Charles Taylor had invited him. I didn't know why he was invited, but Charles Taylor invited him and we went there and even when we went we were at the house when Benjamin Yeaten invited him at night and they went out at night. When he returned that was what he told me and then both of us returned.

  • I just want to be clear about this because I am failing to understand your answer. Are you saying that the only reason you and Sam Bockarie went to Monrovia on that occasion is because Charles Taylor had invited him? Is that your evidence?

  • Yes, that's what he told me. He said Charles Taylor invited him. That's why I went with him to Monrovia.

  • Okay. And that was the only reason why you went?

  • No, that was not the only reason.

  • What other reason was there? That's what I've been asking for the last five minutes. What other reason was there?

  • The two reasons were the ones I have told you. The one is Voinjama and the other is I travelled with him to Monrovia because he did not go with any senior officer, so I went with him with his bodyguards. Those were the two reasons.

  • Could we have a look, please, behind divider 8. Now before we come to the particular passage, did Sam Bockarie have a nickname?

  • Yes.

  • Did you ever travel to Monrovia with any other Mosquito, but Sam Bockarie?

  • No, we hadn't any other Maskita that was a high command. There were junior boys who had the name, but he was the only senior commander.

  • Let's have a look now, please, at paragraph 35:

    "Witness clarifies in relation to paragraph 6 of ERN 00010462 that he knew diamonds he presented to Issa Sesay whilst as overall mining commander was taken to Buedu and handed to Sam Bockarie contrary to what witness said that he never knew what was done with the diamonds. Witness states that Sam Bockarie or Issa Sesay or both of them will travel with the parcel of diamonds to Monrovia, Liberia. Witness knew that the diamonds were taken to Monrovia, because firstly, Mosquito would tell them that he was taken the parcel of diamonds to Charles Taylor in Monrovia."

    Then this:

    "Secondly, on two or three occasions witness accompanied Mosquito to Monrovia with parcel of diamonds which he would take to Charles Taylor."

    Help me. How many times did you go with Bockarie to Monrovia to see Charles Taylor? Was it once? Was it twice? Was it three times?

  • That's what I have - I travelled - the first time we went to Monrovia, Mosquito and I, that was the first thing I was told, he went with diamonds, but the two of us did not go together to present it. He went to Charles Taylor's place to present it and even myself I gave him diamonds. At that time --

  • You missed the point and I interrupt you because I want to save time. You've told this Court in-chief and repeated this morning that you only ever went to Monrovia once with Charles Taylor - once with Sam Bockarie. What I'm asking is why in March of this year were you telling the investigators that you actually went with him two or three times? Why the difference?

  • I travelled with him to Liberia, but I'm talking to you now about Monrovia. To Monrovia it was once, but to Liberia it was not just once.

  • The passage says, "Witness accompanied Mosquito to Monrovia ...", not Liberia, "... on two or three occasions", so please try and help us. Did you only go to Monrovia once with him, or did you go two or three times as you were telling the Prosecution in March of this same year? Which account is right?

  • The correct story is that I went to Monrovia once with him to that place that I have told you about, but to Liberia I travelled with him more than twice even.

  • So help me, please. Why in March of this year, a matter of months ago, were you telling the Prosecutors that you'd gone with Sam Bockarie to see Charles Taylor on two or three occasions? How?

  • The two of us went to see Charles Taylor only once, but I did not even see Charles Taylor. I stayed home. But I went with him about two or three times to Liberia.

  • You've told me that before, but I'm sorry I'm going to interrupt you because I want an answer to my question.

  • Excuse me, your Honour, but if counsel interrupts the interpretation there's a problem with the record. We don't know what the witness has said. If the answer is non-responsive it could be stricken, but the interpretation should be allowed to be completed.

  • The problem is, Mr Koumjian, he's not answering the question as put. I almost interrupted him myself. I accept your point about the record, but he is not answering the question and I'm going to direct him to answer the question. Mr Witness, this question is about what you said to the interviewers in March and what you said in court this month. Why is there a difference? Is that an adequate paraphrase?

  • Your Honour, precisely.

  • Do you understand the question now, Mr Witness?

  • Yes.

  • Are we going to get an answer?

  • That is the answer that I have given to you.

  • No, I don't have an answer, Mr Witness. Please answer the question.

  • Then repeat your question so maybe I can understand it better.

  • In March of this year you told the Prosecution that you went with Sam Bockarie to Monrovia on two or three occasions. In this Court before these judges you have told us on more than one occasion you only went once. Question number one is this. Do you agree there is a difference between the two accounts?

  • Yes, you yourself have seen it. They are different.

  • So the important question now is why did you give that different account in March of this year?

  • That is not it. What you heard from me in this court is that I went there once.

  • Why did you give a different account in March of this year?

  • It is not a different thing. I told you I went there two or three times to Liberia, not just Monrovia. I did not say Monrovia. I said Liberia. I went there with Mosquito once, then I went there two or three times to Liberia.

  • -- are you having difficulty understanding my question?

  • I have heard the question.

  • Are you going to give me an answer, or should I just give up?

  • If you ask me I will give you an answer.

  • Final time. Why did you give a different account in March of this year?

  • That's what I have told you. To me I did not say anything different. I said Liberia. To me I did not say anything different.

  • Okay, I give up. Let's move on to another topic. Do you remember telling us how you had been given some details about the death of Sam Bockarie?

  • Yes, because that was an information that I was given because I was not present.

  • I tell you what would be a good idea, witness. Could you just close that folder, please. We'll come back to it in a moment and so you'll get a chance to read all of it then, but I'd like you, please, to concentrate on my question.

  • Who told you about the death of Sam Bockarie?

  • Two people told me about his death. I was not present. Two people told me. The first one is Amadou, his younger brother, and his wife's elder sister called Kadie. Those were the two people I saw.

  • And the account that Kadie gave you, if I understand it correctly, was that whilst she was away from the home people came and took Bockarie and others away in a vehicle. Is that right?

  • Yes, that was what she told me. She told me she was not there herself.

  • And the place from which he was taken was where? I know it was a house, but in which town?

  • You mean Sam Bockarie?

  • She said they took him and carried him to Ganta.

  • What she told me was that because it was just an information. I was not there. I was not present. That was what she told me, that that was the way it happened. If I was present I would have told you, "Yes, I was present", but I was not there. Somebody told me.

  • He was taken from a house, you tell us, but all I'm trying to find out is was the house in Freetown? Was it in Gbarnga? Was it in Voinjama? Was it Kailahun? Where on this planet was that house from which he was taken?

  • Okay, she told me it was in Liberia according to what she told me. She also told me that she was not present and I too was not present, but that was what she told me.

  • Where had she, Kadie, been living in Liberia?

  • Kadie was with her sister.

  • Her sister called Hawa, is that right?

  • Where in Liberia were they living?

  • They were in Monrovia.

  • And it was whilst they were living in Monrovia that men came and took Sam Bockarie from the home and drove him away, is that right? That's what she told you?

  • That was what she told me, but she told me that she herself was not present and so according to her when he returned that was the information she got and that was what she told me.

  • So when she got back to the house in Monrovia Sam Bockarie had gone, yes?

  • Yes, that was what she told me.

  • And where were you when she told you this?

  • At that time I was in Freetown. That was the time they had now come to Freetown. I met with her in the street at a point in time. That was where she told me and we even went to her house and she told me.

  • And when did she tell you this? Can you remember a year?

  • I have forgotten the year. I have forgotten the date because I did not take record of the date to say it was so and so date, or so and so time. I have forgotten the time.

  • Was it after disarmament?

  • Yes, at that time I was now in Freetown. It was after disarmament. I said it was in Freetown that we met.

  • And the person who gave you this information, Kadie, help me, please, what was her relationship with Sam Bockarie, if any?

  • That was her sister's - her sister's husband. That was the relationship, her sister's husband.

  • Yes. Can we move on to another topic now, please, diamonds. Now firstly, historically in Sierra Leone the diamond business had been controlled by the Lebanese community, hadn't it?

  • They had been in that business, but I cannot tell you much about it because everybody used to mine for diamonds. But they had money, that was the reason why they said they were in control of it, but I was not on the government side and the Lebanese were on the government side.

  • And as a result Lebanese merchants did much of the trading in diamonds, didn't they?

  • Yes, that is - we know about that, yes.

  • Now even after the war the Lebanese community continued to trade in diamonds in Sierra Leone, didn't they?

  • And even the RUF traded in diamonds with the Lebanese merchant community, didn't they?

  • Yes.

  • Because do you recall - in fact, it might be easiest if I take you to the document itself. Please go behind the first divider in that folder, please, again. Let us just remind ourselves as to what you told the investigators in August 2004 about Lebanese dealings with the RUF. Final page, please, second paragraph on that page:

    "Toward the latter part of my eight months as diamond commander I recall two Lebanese men met with Issa Sesay at his house in Kono. These two men arrived in a green jeep on two occasions. I don't know where they came from. Their second visit was about one week after the first and on the second visit they brought a generator with them. I believe the generator was taken to the 'Number 11' site and used at that location. I do not know the names of the two Lebanese. This was the only time I saw white men engaged in the diamond business with Issa."

    Is that true?

  • Yes, the two Lebanese. Yes, that was the time they used to come there to Issa, the two Lebanese. I am not talking about any other person. I said the two Lebanese.

  • Now before we move on, please bear in mind the last sentence in that paragraph, "This was the only time I saw white men engaged in the diamond business with Issa." Is that sentence the truth?

  • When I said who, the Lebanese? I meant the Lebanese. Those were the only two Lebanese that I saw at that time who were doing diamond business with Issa at that time.

  • Were they the only two - was this the only time you saw white men engaged in diamond with Issa?

  • Not everybody. I said Lebanese. I said Lebanese. That was the only two times. I saw other black men, but I said Lebanese.

  • Very well. Let's move on then and we're still on the same topic. Let's go behind divider 8, please. Divider 8 and let's go to paragraph 37:

    "In relation to paragraph 2 of ERN 00010463, witness explains that as mining commander in Kono, any diamond businessman or investor who contacted the RUF high command; the businessman or investor would be sent ..."

    I guess that should be "to him":

    "Witness states that they would stay with him and would take the businessman or investor on tour to the mining sites every day to observe the operation. But they would not handle any diamonds at the sites. They would be present when witness collects the diamonds found at each site. Witness then handed the diamonds to Issa Sesay who will transact business with the businessman or investor.

    Witness states that he recalls during his time as mining commander two Lebanese nationals went to Kono and contacted Issa Sesay. Issa then sent the two Lebanese men to the witness. The two Lebanese men were based with the witness at Number 11 Plant site near Koidu Town. Witness states that the Lebanese men spent three weeks with him observing mining activities. All diamonds witness collected was in their presence, but the diamonds were taken to Issa Sesay and the witness is not aware how Issa transacted business with them. Witness states that the two Lebanese men came from Freetown at that time.

    Witness states that on another occasion two white men and an African also visited Issa Sesay in Kono. Witness was informed about the three men. Witness learned from the African whose name he recalls as Michael during discussion with him that they were from Belgium; and that they were sent by Foday Sankoh who the witness thinks was in Nigeria at that time. Witness took them to tour of the mining area called Badafaye every day. They spent two weeks in Kono and all diamonds collected during their stay by witness were only shown to Issa Sesay this time.

    Witness states that he kept those diamonds as ordered by Sankoh until the Belgium visitors communicated with Foday Sankoh who then travelled to Kono that time. Witness personally handed the diamonds to Foday Sankoh. Witness states that Foday Sankoh later only showed the parcel of diamonds to Issa Sesay."

    Is all of that true?

  • Yes.

  • Well let's go back to the third line then, shall we? Any diamond businessman or investor, the businessman or investor would be sent to you. Now because they were sent to you, you can help us. How many businessmen and investors did you meet when you were mining commander?

  • The first were the two Lebanese, those were the businessmen, and the second were the white men and one black man. Those were the other people. Besides those it was just the separate RUF mining itself that went on.

  • Now apart from the Lebanese and the Belgians, did you ever meet with Gambian businessmen or investors?

  • No. Amongst the white men, the black who was amongst them that came with them I think he was either a Gambian, or a Senegalese. That was what I knew about him. But he was with the white men. They came together, the three of them.

  • Now, I'm sure it's my fault and I should be clearer in the way I pose my question. You've told us of two Lebanese who came, then two Belgians who came with an African. Forget about those two occasions. Apart from those two occasions, did you meet other African investors and businessmen?

  • No.

  • So the only investors you met were on these two occasions, the two Lebanese, the two Belgians and the African. They're the only investors you ever met?

  • Yes, those were the only ones that Issa sent to me and that besides I only continued with our own job. I did not get any further contact with any other person.

  • Now Issa Sesay, last line in paragraph 37, was actually doing business with these investors, wasn't he?

  • That is the Lebanese I am talking about, that I know about. Those were the ones.

  • But he was actually transacting diamond business with them, wasn't he?

  • Yes, he was more used to them. I was just somebody who was sent. For instance, if he said just, "Lead these people to do this", but they came to him.

  • Was he selling RUF mined diamonds to those Lebanese businessmen?

  • If that happened at all I wouldn't have known because not everything that we knew. Certain things happened he will not come out to tell you. But for me when I got the diamonds I will not give them directly to the Lebanese. I will give them to Issa. So, that was what I used to do.

  • I was hoping that there was a commonsense answer to the question. Can you think of any other reason why these Lebanese businessmen would go to see Issa Sesay other than to buy diamonds? Can you think of any other reason?

  • It calls for speculation. All of us can make the same calculations.

  • This is a mining commander, Madam President.

  • Yes, he was in a position of control, Mr Koumjian. He can answer that question.

  • I'm grateful, Madam President:

  • Can you think of any other reason why they would have gone to see Issa Sesay?

  • The people used to come there for mining. They came there for diamonds to Issa Sesay. Maybe they had an extra relationship, but I never used to enter with them in the rooms, but I knew that they came there for diamond mining and they came there to do diamond job. I did not see them come there with some other thing.

  • Now, let's go to the last line on paragraph 38. "The two Lebanese men came from Freetown", is that right?

  • They came from the Freetown side and went directly to us because they went there with a green car. It was the route that they took to come to us.

  • So, they never came from Liberia?

  • I heard information that they came from there, but it was through the Freetown route that I saw them come because that was the only way open to us that they would have used because I saw them come with a jeep.

  • My question is very simple and I'm going to try it again. So, they did not come from Liberia?

  • I have answered your question. I said I heard that they came from Liberia, but I saw them come from the Freetown end. That was why I said they came from Freetown area. I did not see them come directly from Liberia. Even if they had come from Liberia, what I saw is that they came from the Freetown end. I only heard that with my ears that they came from Liberia, but I did not see them directly coming from there. That was why I said they came from the Freetown end.

  • Let me help you understand why I'm asking. You do remember telling these judges that the two Lebanese came from Liberia, don't you?

  • Yes, I said that was what I heard, that they came from Liberia, they passed through Freetown and came to our direction.

  • Help me, please. Why in March did you say they came from Freetown?

  • I said that was the end I saw them come from, because you cannot come from anywhere else in Sierra Leone from that particular angle. It was from Freetown. But I heard that they left Liberia, they flew to Freetown and then they came from Freetown and came to our direction. That was why I said they came from Freetown end. That was the only reason why I said so and nothing else.

  • So why did you not say to the investigators, "They came from Freetown, but they originated in Liberia"? Why not tell them that?

  • No, they did not ask me that kind of critical - that kind of question that you are asking me. It's just you that is asking me that kind of way, but they did not ask me such a detailed question. I told them that they were in Liberia, but they came from the Freetown end and went to our direction.

  • You knew in March of 2008 when you were being asked these questions that you were being asked them with a view to giving evidence against Charles Taylor, didn't you?

  • Now don't you think given that that it would have been helpful to the investigators to say, "They may have come from Freetown direction, but they actually came from Liberia"? Wouldn't that have been more helpful, if it was the truth?

  • What I heard is what I said. I said, "They said they came from Liberia, but I saw them come from the Freetown end to our direction".

  • Very well. Now the African who came with the two Belgians, who was he?

  • He was a black man.

  • They used to call him Mr Ibrahim. General Ibrahim.

  • He, General Ibrahim, was from Liberia.

  • The language he used to speak sounded like a Senegalese, or a Gambian.

  • Turn behind divider 11, please, paragraph 13:

    "The witness met General Ibrahim once in Kono. General Ibrahim was Gambian or Senegalese and came with the Belgians to visit Kono when the witness was the mining commander."

    Do you see that?

  • Yes.

  • Where had they come from, the Belgians? Yes, they're Belgians, but from which country had they come in order to get to Kono?

  • They came with General Ibrahim.

  • They used the Liberian route and went to us, because there was no other route that one could use to come to Sierra Leone, save through Liberia.

  • Well it was possible to come from Freetown, wasn't it, because the Lebanese had come from Freetown? So, help me. Were the Belgians also from Freetown?

  • The Belgians you mean?

  • Yes, they were not based in Freetown. They passed through - they just passed through there and came to our direction. It was - they all passed through that route. It was just a road leading to us. At that time one would not have passed through Guinea because there wasn't any route between us and Guinea.

  • So the Belgians also came from Freetown?

  • I said they passed through Liberia and came to us.

  • Yes, that was the place through which they passed to come to us.

  • So just to wrap up this section on diamonds, you would agree that throughout your time as diamond commander - mining commander there was continual contact between the RUF and diamond merchants from both Lebanon and Belgium, would you agree?

  • No, it was a half and a half time. For instance, the Lebanese will come for two or three days and then go, we wouldn't see them again, and the Belgians and Mr Ibrahim also would come for two to three days and then they would go, but they were not actually living with us continuously like that always. They will just come for a few time and go.

  • I agree with you, but they were coming and going, staying a few days in Kono, leaving and then coming back. That's right, isn't it?

  • The Lebanese came once for the first time and then they went back and later came for the second time and when they went they did not come any longer. The two white men and the black man, when they came they came there for a few days, for about two weeks. When they left they did not come again.

  • But there was such contact between the RUF and these Lebanese and Belgian traders, yes?

  • Yes, if there wouldn't have been the contact they wouldn't have come to us, but the only thing was that Issa did not encourage because the plans they had to come and collect the diamonds and carry them with them. Issa did not accept that from them, so that was the reason why when they came once or twice and left they did not come any longer.

  • But why didn't Issa accept the - what was it that Issa didn't accept?

  • The arrangements that they used to make, I was not there present. I always saw them come maybe for a week or two and then they leave, but I was not present during the arrangements and when they went I did not see them again, so that means what happened between they and the commander there wasn't any cooperation in it. Maybe that was the reason why when they went they did not come any longer.

  • So that's what you mean by "Issa did not accept that from them"?

  • Now you were appointed mining commander in or about December 1998, weren't you?

  • Now initially you were based in Kono, weren't you?

  • Yes, sir.

  • Now, I just want to remind you of one or two things you told us about your connection with Kono. Is it right that you first went to Kono in 1992?

  • And you remained in Kono on that occasion for only a couple of months?

  • Because in 1992 the RUF only controlled Kono for a short period of time.

  • Now on that occasion in 1992, the diamonds and other minerals that the RUF was able to lay its hands on mostly came from people's houses and so on, not from mining. That's right, isn't it?

  • Yes, that was it, because at that time we were not well organised to do mining. It was from people, from people's houses. That was it.

  • So can we take it then that in 1992 there was no organised RUF mining in Kono?

  • Yes, sir, because at that time we had not captured mining areas. That was the reason why there was no organised mining system going on, but when we went to Kono we were about to plan doing that when the enemies flushed us out of Kono.

  • Now the next time you went to Kono was 1995, wasn't it?

  • How long were you in Kono at that time?

  • About two months and a half.

  • And again in 1995 there was no organised mining by the RUF, was there?

  • Is that, yes, you agree with me?

  • Yes, in Kono. There was no organised mining system in Kono because we did not have civilians who would have done the job. It was only in the jungle at Peyima around the Tongo axis that that was happening, but I was not assigned there.

  • But would you agree that proper organised mining by the RUF in Kono only really started in December 1998 when you were appointed mining commander? Would you agree?

  • Yes, sir. When I met Mr Mohamed, Major Mohamed, as mining commander in the zorbush and when I went and replaced him, that was the time real mining started.

  • In 1998 when you were appointed in December. That's right, isn't it?

  • Yes, that is what I'm telling you.

  • And you remained in that post as mining commander until 2000, yes?

  • What do you understand by the phrase "Operation Free Foday Sankoh"?

  • The meaning of that it was when we were ready to attack Kono and because we knew that Kono was posing a serious obstacle to us by the government forces and that if we captured Kono the pressure on us would be reduced, and also Foday Sankoh's imprisonment too, if we did that he would be freed by the grace of God. So that was the reason why we decided to undertake that Operation Free Foday Sankoh, so that if we captured Kono Foday Sankoh would be set free. That was the reason why they said so.

  • And when was that operation?

  • At the time we were ready to attack Kono, to capture Kono, that was the time they brought up that phrase. I cannot actually remember the date now, but it was during the time we planned to capture Kono, to attack and capture Kono, that we brought up that phrase, "Operation Free Foday Sankoh".

  • Was that just before you were appointed mining commander?

  • So would you agree it would have been in the year 1998?

  • Yes, sir, because I was appointed and we were in the bush, so it was at that time - immediately after that time that we captured Kono, Koidu Town.

  • So, an important motivation for capturing Kono was to put pressure on the government to release Foday Sankoh. That's right, isn't it?

  • Now on this same topic, remember we're still discussing diamonds, the RUF were not the only group within Sierra Leone to exploit the diamond areas of Kono and Tongo Fields, were they?

  • That is it. All the fighting forces that were in Sierra Leone did that.

  • That included ECOMOG, didn't it?

  • Yes, sir, that was the reason why I said all the fighting forces that were in Sierra Leone.

  • Because the Nigerian troops with ECOMOG were heavily involved in mining diamonds, weren't they?

  • In fact when the RUF captured Kono in '98 and when you were appointed mining commander, much of the equipment that was captured for mining you captured from the Nigerians, didn't you?

  • Yes, sir.

  • And that was because the Nigerian soldiers were well organised and well involved in mining in Kono, weren't they?

  • But in addition to the Nigerian ECOMOG forces who were involved in well organised mining, ordinary people were also mining for themselves in those areas, weren't they?

  • Yes, after we had captured Kono? Is that what you're talking about?

  • Yes, ordinary people were mining for themselves because by then the roads leading to Freetown were now open and somebody would go to Freetown and come back.

  • And, in fact, when you were mining commander there were different kinds of mining going on, wasn't there? There was the RUF organised mining that you were responsible for, do you agree?

  • Yes. The one that I was responsible for, the RUF mining, was under me, but there were different other minings going on that I was not responsible for.

  • Because individual commanders would also be mining for themselves, wouldn't they?

  • And you've already agreed with me that ordinary civilians were also mining for themselves?

  • Yes, those who were not under our control and they were not around the mining axis where I was, they were doing it for themselves. They were doing - some were doing it under hiding, or some were doing it for the soldiers, commanders.

  • Would you agree that the mining activity in Kono at that time was something of a free for all? Would you agree?

  • At the time I was there the officers used to do mining, but it was not made public to everybody. To say that everybody was involved in the mining it was not like that, because it was risky to just go and undertake - do mining on your own. I don't want to lie to you. But later the mining spread out.

  • But it was a very difficult business to control, wasn't it?

  • Yes, because we were more than thousands and thousands, so it would not have been possible for you to control everybody or to say you would go to the bush and to look out for everybody to begin searching people. So, it was difficult to control in all the areas.

  • Now whilst you were mining commander, can you help us with production levels. How many diamonds on average would you find per day?

  • No, in that case it is not specific. Maybe today people will bring 50, or tomorrow 60, or maybe next tomorrow 70, but to say every day it was 100 and every day 100 it was not like that because we did not keep it. We were going to look out for it.

  • So effectively what you're saying is the production levels would vary from day to day?

  • Yes, sir, because it was not clearly established that if they brought two today that tomorrow they would bring two and next tomorrow they would bring two. Because these were properties that we were looking out for that were kept by God, no human being kept them, so we were just looking out for them.

  • Now, did you keep your own records of the diamonds that were given to you?

  • In what did you keep those records?

  • It was in a book. A thick one. A big one.

  • And during your time as mining commander from, you tell us, December '98 to 2000, how many such books did you produce?

  • No, it was just one book, but I said the book was a big one. It was a ledger and it was in that ledger that I had everything. There were not two books. It was just a single ledger, but it was big.

  • What happened to the single ledger that you had?

  • The ledger was with me later up to the time I was in Magburaka. At the time they arrested Issa Sesay and Morris Kallon and when the news spread out that they were going to arrest all of us that was the time that ledger, I lost it.

  • Did you lose it, or did you do something else with it?

  • I did something with it. I burnt it, including some other documents that I had with me. I burnt everything.

  • And you did that after you heard that Issa Sesay had been arrested?

  • Yes, they said they were going to arrest all of us.

  • So by the time you first spoke to the Prosecution in August 2004 your records had been destroyed, is that right?

  • Yes, I had destroyed them.

  • I cannot recall the date any longer, but I destroyed them.

  • But before you spoke to the Prosecution?

  • Before, yes. Just when I heard that they were going to arrest us, that was the time I destroyed them. In fact, by then I had not seen anybody from the Special Court.

  • The reason I ask is this. On a previous occasion in June 2006 you told a court this - now through an oversight you don't have this page in your bundle, but I will see if we can get copies made over the short adjournment. You said this, "I'm telling you the truth. If you want to know the real documents, if you have an opportunity, let's go and I'll find it for you to see if you think I'm telling lies." "Well, you are welcome to produce documents if there are other documents you can find. Can you find us other documents? Are there other documents in existence?" "If you give me the chance we can go and look out for them where my clerk is and we will bring them." "You've had since August 2004 to produce documents and give them to the Prosecution in an attempt to get close to the truth, so why haven't you?" "No, they did not ask me for documents. They did not tell me to produce documents. The questions that they asked me were those I answered. If they had asked me for a document maybe I would have provided them, but they did not ask me for it and I wouldn't do what they did not ask me for. I would only do what I was asked for." "So if what you say is right your adjutant is in possession of records for diamond mining in Kono and he is in possession of them now, is that the truth?" "Yes, I left them with him."

    Hold on, I thought you'd burnt them by August 2004 and

  • [Redacted]

    I appreciate I slipped.

  • Do you want me to explain?

  • Actually I'd rather, so the witness's train of thought is not missed, that he answers and then we do it. Thank you.

  • Mr Witness, please answer the question.

  • The reason why I said so was that I hrd a personal document regarding that and that my adjutant will have a copy of that, so when I took mine and destroyed it you know that in the RUF we used to get information from different angles. When you hear something you will have to relay that to your colleague and it was later that I came to know that I should send to the adjutant about his own document that he had with him, but he too told me that he had also destroyed his. But he had his and he had - and I had mine, but I destroyed mine first before I sent to him so that I will get his from him, but when I sent to him he told me that he had already destroyed his. That was the time I told them about that. That was the reason why I said so, but my adjutant had his and I had mine.

  • Excuse me, your Honour. The redaction that we are requesting is line 16 to 17 on page 51.

  • You're actually applying for a redaction, Mr Koumjian. Mr Griffiths, you have heard the application.

  • I appreciate the need for that.

  • I'm not entirely clear. Is this a reference to something said in a question by --

  • Because bear in mind there's everything from --

  • Your Honour's microphone.

  • Everything from a Magistrates' Court to a Court of Appeal to other courts in Freetown, but allow me to confer.

  • [Trial Chamber conferred]

    We will redact that particular passage. Madam Court Attendant, you've heard the lines in question. Continue, Mr Griffiths.

  • When on that previous occasion you made that statement that documents were available for you to bring to court, that was a lie, wasn't it?

  • No, it was not a lie. I was not saying a lie. I knew that the man had it, but they did not ask me to go there with them. I had mine and I destroyed it, but the man had his.

  • So why didn't you go and get it?

  • I did not know. I was with them. They should have taken me there. Was I the one who was supposed to tell them that they should go there and take it? Even when I'm here now am I supposed to tell you that you should go there and take it?

  • What you were supposed to have said was, "I have burnt my records and I don't know if other records are available." That's what you should have said, wouldn't you agree?

  • No, I disagree with that. When I said "I burnt mine", if you don't tell me about going to bring some other one I will not tell you anything about it. If you would want to do it then you can do it on your own, but I will not do it.

  • But you did not tell them, did you, that you had burnt your records? You didn't tell them that, did you?

  • If you look through the paper there you will see it there. I told them that I burnt mine, I destroyed mine, but that my adjutant had his.

  • Not in June 2006 you didn't. When you mentioned that for the first time, please look behind divider 11.

  • Mr Griffiths, can I check if there's a very long passage you intend to read as we've been alerted there is only two minutes left on the tape.

  • It's a very short passage.

  • Oh, fine. Please proceed.

  • Behind divider 11, paragraph 8, page 2:

    "The witness believes he was replaced as mining commander because he was too soft on civilians. When Issa Sesay was arrested by the Special Court the witness burned mining records he had."

    That's the first time you mentioned that in June/July 2008. Question, why did you wait so long to give them that information?

  • No, I have told you that just when they started I told them that I had burned the documents. Initially they did not ask me about documents, but at the time they asked me I told them that I had burnt them, I had destroyed them. But when I told them that I had burnt mine I told them the adjutant had his in Kono, but I wouldn't have told them to go and take it or not to go and take it. They were leading me, I was not leading them, but if I had done so it would have appeared as if I was leading them. Even here I am not leading you. You are leading me.

  • I hope not.

  • Mr Griffiths, we have had an indication that --

  • That's as good a time as any, your Honour.

  • Thank you. Mr Witness, we are now going to take the mid-morning adjournment. We will be resuming court at 12 o'clock. Please adjourn court until 12.

  • [Break taken at 11.30 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 12.00 p.m.]

  • Mr Griffiths, please proceed.

  • Before the short adjournment I was asking you about a passage in which, for the first time I suggest, in June/July 2008 you first mentioned having burnt your mining records. Why did you wait until then to tell the Prosecutors that?

  • That was the time they asked me and I would only respond to questions that were asked of me.

  • Very well. Let's move on to another aspect of this, shall we? There came a time in the year 2000 when you were removed from your role as mining commander.

  • Who made that decision?

  • It was Issa Sesay.

  • What prompted him to do that?

  • According to the information I got, because I was not present when they spoke, they said Kallon told him - he incited him against me for me to be removed from the position and be replaced with somebody else.

  • And if I understand your account Morris Kallon's position was that you weren't tough enough for the role, is that right?

  • Yes, he said I did not discipline, or let me say I did act accordingly on the civilians the way I was supposed to do, to discipline them. So they - because he said I did not have iron hand, so I should be replaced with somebody with an iron hand.

  • So would it be fair to say that the person who took over from you as mining commander introduced a much harsher system of mining?

  • It was Amara Salia.

  • And how did things change when he took over from your regime?

  • The things that changed were like the civilians, everybody started crying. Those who used to work privately started crying. The civilians who were doing the mining were being harassed and they grumbled a lot. Those were some of the changes.

  • When you were mining commander, did you use forced labour?

  • I will say so because the civilians who were working with us did the job because they wanted to save their lives, so I will say, yes, we forced them.

  • And was that regime of using forced labour - I'm trying to understand, do you see? Was that regime increased after you were replaced?

  • Yes, it was increased much more than what used to happen when I was there. In fact, then they started capturing civilians in the streets. It doesn't matter who it was.

  • Now let's move on to another aspect. Would your Honour give me a moment?

  • Madam President, Mr Taylor points out that the witness has just mentioned a name of an individual who replaced him and he's concerned that the mention of that name might lead to the identification of this witness, so he wishes me to express that concern because he's anxious that we don't break the rules. I don't know if Mr Koumjian has an opinion on this.

  • Your Honour, this witness understands the content of his testimony could lead individuals to identify him, but he's asked that his name not be used. So it's a very particular protective measures for this particular witness that only the name is not used, but he has already described his own role and so the fact that another person replaced him when he's publicly described his own role would not identify him any more than all the other testimony about his role and so we don't believe it's necessary. Thank you.

  • We are most grateful for that. It would appear that there is not a concern.

  • Now could we go behind divider 1 again, please, and I want to revisit a topic in order to see how this aspect of your account develops. Do you follow me? Can we turn to the third page, please. Now what we know is this. On 20 August 2004, bottom of page 3, you told the investigators this:

    "I don't know precisely what Issa Sesay did with the diamonds I passed to him as mining commander other than to say that he would tell me that he was going to Buedu. Sam Bockarie was in Buedu at that time."

    Pause there. What is missing from that, Mr Witness?

  • Do you want to know why I said that? I know the reason why I said so.

  • What is missing from that account given what you're telling us today?

  • The one that is missing in this story is when I said he used to take the diamonds to Liberia to Charles Taylor. That is what is missing.

  • Let's now go behind divider 2, please, okay? Behind divider 2 we have notes of a proofing session conducted with you over four days in February 2006. Let's turn to paragraph 8 on page 3, please:

    "Sesay and Bockarie took diamonds to Liberia. Diamonds were given to Eddie Kanneh to take out and when Peleto was the mining commander Kanneh went out and did not come back."

    Pause there. What is missing from that account given 18 months later?

  • Nothing is missing. That is what happened.

  • Is there any mention of Charles Taylor in that context there?

  • In this area Charles Taylor's name is not included. It was Eddie Kanneh who was given the diamonds to give to him for him to run the mission for them.

  • But given what you're telling us today surely that passage should have read, "Sesay and Bockarie took diamonds to Liberia and gave them to Charles Taylor." That's what it should have read, shouldn't it?

  • I am telling you one thing, Liberia is our home. Those men used to go to Liberia every month or any time they wanted to go, not just once that they went to Liberia. So if I said they went and gave it to Eddie Kanneh, they would give it to Eddie Kanneh today and maybe after one week he would take it to go and give it to Charles Taylor. So don't see it written like this and you want to say, "No, that's not correct", what I said.

  • Why haven't you mentioned Charles Taylor there?

  • Okay. If I take something and give it to you and the next time I take that same thing and give it to John, I wouldn't say - I will say, "I gave it to John the time that I gave it to you." If I am asked I will say, "I gave it to you", if it is you that I gave it to. If it is John's turn, then I will say that I gave it to John. So that is what happened.

  • Have a look behind divider 5 now, please, and look at page 5 behind that divider. Let's start just below halfway, "What I can tell you is that when I met them sometimes working" - no, let's start earlier. Question: "Do you know what happened to the diamonds that came from sites where commanders were mining?"

    "What I can tell you is that when I met them sometimes working, sometimes I hear that they've taken so and so diamond by hearsay but I do not know where they take those diamonds but they say they do give those diamonds to their commanders but whatever they did with them I do not know because they did not tell me. It was only the government ones that we made public, but those separate ones, they wouldn't want anybody to know about them."

    "And the diamonds that you refer to as the government ones, do you know what happened to them?"

    "It came to a time when Issa himself called me up and told me that Pa Sankoh was in jail in Nigeria, that it was not good for him to leave the jail and come and not find anything, for him to start begging from other people in other countries, so he said we should work very hard. The diamonds that we would get, he was going to keep them for Pa Foday Sankoh. That was what he used to tell us always."

    And then you go on to say that when you stopped being mining commander you were still in Koidu. Now help us again, why in that context did you not mention that the diamonds were given to Charles Taylor?

  • I have told you that I only responded to questions that were asked of me. Those private diamonds, that's what said. But for the government diamonds, Issa did that because he wanted to impress the civilians so that they will work hard. He called them in my presence and he told them that Pa Sankoh was in prison and the only thing that would be good was that he would want when Pa Sankoh would return for him not to be a beggar. So they should work hard and get some more diamonds and when they get them they will go and --

  • Your Honours, can the witness repeat this last bit.

  • Please pause, Mr Witness. The interpreter cannot keep up with you. You were speaking quite fast. Now repeat your answer and continue from where you have said, "So they should work hard and get some more diamonds and when they get them they will go --" Continue from there.

  • When they will get the diamonds Issa Sesay should keep them until Foday Sankoh's return, but we didn't have a bank in Sierra Leone or a place to keep diamonds safely in Sierra Leone. So the only place Sesay said was to keep the diamonds was in Liberia to Charles Taylor, that was what I knew. But that was not to go and tell the civilians or the people that Issa Sesay was going to keep the diamonds in Liberia, no. Their private minings were controlled by themselves, the diamonds. That's what I knew.

  • Now can we go, please, behind divider 8. Now behind divider 8 we have interviews conducted with you in March of this year and when we turn to page 6, at paragraph 35 to which I have drawn your attention earlier this is the very first time that you mention that diamonds were taken to Charles Taylor. So this is almost four years after you first spoke to the Prosecutors. Help us, why did it take you so long to mention that?

  • I was talking about Issa Sesay's time. I did not talk about Charles Taylor because I was not asked about Charles Taylor. They said Issa Sesay. So if you bring up Charles Taylor what I know about Charles Taylor is what I will say. They were asking me questions about Issa Sesay's time or Issa Sesay. They never asked me who was Charles Taylor. They said who was Issa Sesay. So I spoke about Issa Sesay. So if there came a time when they asked me about Charles Taylor, what I knew about Charles Taylor was what I would say. So that is it.

  • But you agree that this was the first time that you mentioned it?

  • That's what I've told you. At the initial stage nobody asked me about Charles Taylor. They said Issa Sesay. Whom did you give diamonds to? I said Issa Sesay. That was it and nobody asked me what did Issa Sesay do with the diamonds or this. So - but if they asked me later, as they did, to whom did Issa take the diamonds I said Charles Taylor, and that's what happened.

  • Now stay on page 6. Now paragraph 36 on page 6 reads as follows:

    "Witness states that the escorting of diamonds started during the time of Foday Sankoh. Witness states that he was at that time bodyguard to Foday Sankoh and Foday Sankoh sent witness a couple of times to Gbarnga to Charles Taylor where Charles Taylor was based at that time and would return with Foday Sankoh, condiments, arms and ammunition. Witness states that at that time RUF was not mining but diamonds and other minerals like gold were seized from civilians which were taken to Charles Taylor in Gbarnga by Foday Sankoh himself. Witness knows this as he had accompanied Foday Sankoh on a number of such trips. Witness states that Foday Sankoh had told Sam Bockarie and Issa Sesay that all diamonds collected in his absence should be taken to Monrovia and handed to Charles Taylor. Witness states that he was present when Sankoh told Bockarie and Issa. Therefore, the escorting of diamonds to Monrovia was a continuation of what Foday Sankoh had started."

    Now was that something you knew, that Foday Sankoh was taking diamonds to Charles Taylor, or was that an assumption that you had made?

  • I did not just assume. That was what Foday Sankoh did. Whatever he got from this country he took them to Liberia. If you don't believe that there will be people who will come and tell you that is correct.

  • Let me ask you one more time. Is that something you knew or is it an assumption?

  • Let me tell you one thing. You were told, you were paid to come and speak here, but from the beginning I was with Foday Sankoh. When we used to go to Liberia whatever we went with, whatever they got at the front that it was government property, when he would take them to Liberia all of us would go together to Liberia. That's what I know. That's what I'm telling you.

  • Can we go behind divider 12, please. Look behind divider 12, please. Second paragraph:

    "With regard to the witness's statement of 25, 26 March at page 6, paragraph 36" - the one I've just read out to you - "the witness said that he himself used to give Sankoh diamonds and minerals seized from civilians but it is only his assumption that Sankoh gave it to Taylor and he did not witness this and cannot say for certain if and when this occurred."

    So it was an assumption, wasn't it?

  • It wasn't an assumption. I myself sitting here gave a lot of diamonds to Foday Sankoh and we took them to Gbarnga where some other bodyguards were even, but where he entered in the room with his brother, because this man is his brother, we were not there. It's just like a man and his wife, when they enter into a room privately people will not be there, but what saw is what I am telling you.

  • Can you explain why the word "assumption" appears in this passage in a record of a conversation held with you about a month ago - just over a month ago in July of this year? Can you help us?

  • Please say it again.

  • Why does that word "assumption" appear in this record? Did you not say that to the investigators who were proofing you on this occasion?

  • What do you mean by assume? I am not an educated man. Break that down for me.

  • It means that it's not something you know, it's something you've guessed at.

  • I am not guessing. I am telling you what I know. I was with the people since I was small - I was a small boy. Maybe you are the one guessing because you were told. I was not told. I was there.

  • Now would you go, please, behind I think it's divider 9. It should be notes of an interview conducted with you on 27, 29 and 30 May 2008. Is that right?

  • I don't recall the dates. If that is what they wrote maybe that is it. I am concerned about what I told them, not dates.

  • In any event, turn to page 4, please. Now at page 4 at paragraph 21 you're being asked about what you had said on a previous occasion in June 2006 and you say this, with reference to lines to 26 to 29, page 55, and lines 1 to 3, page 56, of that previous occasion:

    "The witness states that the matters therein is what Issa Sesay would tell the civilians to motivate them to work and not escape, but it was not true. The witness knows that the diamonds were being sent to Liberia to Charles Taylor."

    Do you see that?

  • That was how it happened. That was for us to let the civilians work because if we told them that we were going to keep the diamonds elsewhere and we are not going to do anything with it maybe they would be discouraged. That's why they said that.

  • So when on that previous occasion in June 2006 you were giving that account you knew you weren't telling the full story, didn't you?

  • This story, the one that you've read, what happened is what I have said. I said that was just a way of encouraging the people to work, but the diamonds were actually kept across to Charles Taylor. But they would not tell the civilians, they would not call the name Charles Taylor to the civilians for them not to go and tell other people that Charles Taylor is the one taking our diamonds. We didn't want that, so we did not tell them.

  • So when on that previous occasion you said you gave an account about what happened to the government diamonds you were not telling the full story, were you?

  • What I know is what I am talking here. Even if I knew something, if I was not asked I would not say it.

  • What I'd like you to do, please, is keep your finger in that page and turn back to behind divider 5, okay? And on divider 5 look at page 5, so keep this one open, okay? Now let's just remind ourselves what you're being asked to comment on in paragraph 21 in this interview in May 2008. You're being asked to comment on this passage at page 5: "And the diamonds that you refer to as the government ones, do you know what happened to them?"

    "It came to a time when Issa himself called me up and told me that Pa Sankoh was in jail in Nigeria. That it was not good for him to leave that jail and come and not find anything, for him to start begging from other people in other countries. So he said we should work very hard. The diamonds that we would get, he was going to keep them for Pa Sankoh. That was what he used to tell us."

    Now go back to paragraph 21 now, please. You're now saying in paragraph 21 in May of 2008 that you knew that that account you were giving was a lie. You knew that. Do you follow me now?

  • I do follow you, but what I am telling you is that Charles Taylor's business was not something we wanted to talk about. I only wanted to talk about Issa's business, not Charles Taylor, so anything that had to do with Charles Taylor I didn't want to talk about it.

  • The question I want to ask now is this. Why in June 2006 on that particular occasion did you not tell the truth?

  • So does that mean you don't understand what I said?

  • I fully understand what you said. Tell me, you know when you started giving evidence in this court you took an oath to tell the truth and do you remember me asking you earlier if you understood the importance of an oath? Do you remember me asking you that?

  • Yes, I took an oath for that, but at early stage I did not mention that man's name. I was asked about Issa and that was what I spoke about, and if I was asked about Charles Taylor then I will speak about him and that was what happened.

  • In June 2006, why did you not tell the truth in that situation?

  • That's what I have told you. Charles Taylor's issue did not come up about that. It was Issa's issue that came up, so I just had to talk about Issa's. So if it is your case that came up, it is your case that we will talk about.

  • Because the bottom line is that consistently for something like four years you told lies about that issue and the first time you mention diamonds being taken to Charles Taylor is in March 2008. Why did it take you so long?

  • Takes so long? I was not - I was not with these people for so long even. I had gone my own way, so it was later that we connected again.

  • Your Honours, can the witness repeat that part of - he spoke about a diamond taken to Liberia.

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter asks that you repeat part of your answer. Please pick up where you said, "So it was later that we connected again". Please continue from there.

  • I said at the initial stage when we met, after that one it took some very long time before they knew where I was again. They didn't even know my location. It was later that we connected with each other again. I was in Freetown, but they did not know the exact location where I was. It was later on that we met with each other again. That's what I said.

  • Just a couple more questions. That occasion in June 2006 when you gave that account - you know the account I'm talking about, the one I've showed you behind divider 5? You know that one?

  • Except you remind me of the story.

  • Divider 5, page 5, that account.

  • You will read it for me to hear.

  • Very well, "And the diamonds that you refer to as the government ones, do you know what happened to them?" Do you see the passage? Do you remember that passage? I've read it out three times now.

  • Yes, I remember. Yes, I remember when you read it.

  • Now is it the case that when you were asked that question you deliberately decided not to mention Charles Taylor?

  • At the initial stage, yes, I said I was not going to call his name out because I didn't want to give him any problem because they did not ask me any question about him, so I did not mention his name. I was asked about Issa Sesay. If you see some places where Charles Taylor's name is not mentioned, that's the reason at the earlier stage I did not.

  • So in June 2006 when you were giving that account you knew that you weren't telling the full truth, yes?

  • Not everywhere. I said I did not just mention his name. I was saying the truth. I just did not mention his name. That does not mean that I was not speaking the truth. I just did not mention his name.

  • And you decided deliberately not to mention his name, is that what you're telling us?

  • That's what I've told you, yes. I said it to myself that I was not going to mention his name.

  • So the people you were speaking to on that occasion, you were quite deliberately trying to mislead them, weren't you?

  • It was not a mislead. If I said I was not going to mention somebody's name, does that mean it is misleading? If I say for example I'm not going to mention your name here, does that mean that I'm misleading people? It was up to me to say something, or not to say.

  • Mr Witness, final question. Do you understand the importance of an oath to tell the truth?

  • Oath, I know it is oath. It is - I am sworn.

  • Do you know the importance of that?

  • Yes, that's the importance. I am sworn. Anything you swear to do you've sworn to your God to whom you pray and God is important.

  • I have no further questions, your Honour.

  • Thank you, Mr Griffiths. Mr Koumjian, re-examination of the witness.

  • Thank you, your Honours.

  • Mr Witness, I want to first just go over briefly a few matters that you mentioned today. First of all, you talked about some man or men from Belgium that came to Kono when you were the mining commander. Do you know was that during the time that Sam Bockarie was the military commander of the RUF, or in Issa Sesay's time?

  • Issa Sesay was the one who was with me in Kono when those people came there. Sam Bockarie - I have forgotten the date now. He - I think he was with us in Buedu, but he was not with us in Kono.

  • Do you recall, Mr Witness, if that was before or after Sankoh returned to Sierra Leone?

  • It was before Sankoh returned. It was before he returned. Those people had come. They were with us. Mosquito was there even before Sankoh returned. It was when Sankoh returned that Mosquito went back now I have - I can recall.

  • Okay. Mr Witness, you talked today about some problems between the RUF and the SLAs in Makeni. Who was the RUF commander in Makeni at that time?

  • The overall commander for all of us was Issa Sesay.

  • Mr Witness, do you know where Issa Sesay is from?

  • He's from the north, Makeni.

  • Thank you. Now, Mr Witness, I'd like to turn to something that was discussed I believe yesterday - excuse me, Friday, on page 14967, and let me get that out so I don't misstate anything. You said this beginning on line 12 - excuse me, first you were asked about whether you knew anything about the purchase of materials from ULIMO which were used to attack and capture Kono. Counsel had read from a document to you and you answered:

    "This attack that you were talking about, this attack on Kono when Superman was given ammunition to capture Kono, that was not the time that Issa Sesay came with that ammunition. Superman attacked Kono, but was not able to capture there. It was at that time that he left and went to Kabala."

    Mr Witness, do you know if there was a name for this operation that you spoke about where Superman attacked Kono unsuccessfully?

  • Yes.

  • What was the name of that operation?

  • Fitti-Fatta operation.

  • Was that operation before or after the attack on Kono that you mentioned where Issa Sesay brought the ammunition for the attack? Was Fitti-Fatta before that, or after that?

  • It was Fitti-Fatta first that Superman and others ran away. In fact many people were injured from amongst us, so that's when Superman and his men went to Kabala and from there Issa Sesay went to Liberia and brought the ammunition and --

  • Your Honours, can the witness repeat this.

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter asks you to repeat your answer from the point where you said, "Issa Sesay went to Liberia and brought the ammunition and --" Please continue from there.

  • Okay. Thereafter Issa Sesay went to - because it was Sam Bockarie who was in charge at that time, he went to him in Buedu and Sam Bockarie gave him ammunitions and he brought it to Kono jungle and we captured Kono.

  • I believe you've answered my question. Sir, staying on the topic of Superman, you were shown today tab 7 and you were read some information that you stated previously where you said at one time Superman's group operated more or less independently, at the bottom of page 9. I'd like to read a little more from your answer that was not read to you today. So on page 49 - I'll let the Court Officer bring that to you. Excuse me, I should say on page 10. On page 10 of tab 7, lines 18 to 22. You were asked: "That group at least from August to September '98 was not under the control of your group. That would seem to follow from what you've said. Is that correct?" And you answered that question by saying: "That happened for a long time but later there was peace between us." What did you mean when you said "later there was peace between us"?

  • What I mean, it's just like when a husband and wife will have some problem between the two of them, they will invite people to come and talk peace. So Superman and Issa had a problem and that one affected us, but later they came together and said well, let's resolve the problem and then we had peace.

  • Mr Witness, I believe you've already given us some information about --

  • I think my learned friend, if he's referring to that passage, should in all fairness refer to lines 23 to 26 on that same page, a continuation of the same passage he's read out.

  • No, your Honour, I was asking about that specific answer. That's what I was asking about. I believe counsel has asked already about this information in this particular tab which I now have lost.

  • But your Honour will see the point I make. Mr Koumjian is seeking, I submit, quite misleadingly, to suggest that there was agreement when the following question and answer puts it properly in context.

  • I think Mr Griffiths has a point, Mr Koumjian, because there's a difference between peace and the following passage which refers to proper integral part of the group.

  • Sir, let me read some more to you. You were asked, "I accept that there was a period when there was a degree of cooperation but would it be correct to say that Superman's group never became a proper integral part of your group?" And you said yes. The next question was, "Now Superman was a brigadier; is that correct?" And your answer was yes. The next question was, "And Gibril Massaquoi became part of Superman's group. Is that correct?" And your answer was, "Yes, after all" --

  • [Overlapping speakers] Sir, a couple of questions about those answers. Superman was a brigadier in what force?

  • And Gibril Massaquoi, what force did he belong to?

  • How was it, if you know, that Gibril Massaquoi came to join Superman's group? Where had he been previously?

  • Gibril Massaquoi was in jail. He was in jail. He was left in jail in Pademba Road. So it was when they advanced on Freetown that they were set free from the jail and then he came back. But it was because it was Superman and others who were at the front line, that was how he came to join them, their own group.

  • Mr Witness, when Superman was operating, when he was commanding his forces, do you know where he got his ammunition?

  • Yes. Because at first we were all together he used to get supplies from us, but when he went to the jungle, that is the Kabala axis, he purely depended on captured ammunition.

  • Sir, were there factories for ammunition in Sierra Leone?

  • No, not a day that I saw that.

  • Sir, excluding the period of the junta when you were in Freetown, were there ports available to the RUF to bring in ammunition?

  • Repeat that question.

  • I'm asking you if at any time except the period when you were in Freetown with the junta were there ports, places where ships could come to bring ammunition to the RUF? Could you get ammunition from ships except for the junta period?

  • Beside the time we were in Freetown, we did not get access for that because the areas where we were in our zone there weren't seas from which we could get that opportunity. We either got ammunition from the ULIMO that we bought or from Charles Taylor, but we did not have that kind of contact that we will get ammunition from outside countries, no.

  • Did Superman have any contacts other than the ones you've just mentioned, Liberia or purchasing from ULIMO in Liberia - any other ways to get ammunition other than from Sam Bockarie or from those other sources?

  • No, the place where Superman was was in the middle of the country, in the centre of the country. He was not close to a borderline. There was no other way for him to make contacts for ammunition, except when he will get up some days and then go and attack and fight and then he will capture ammunition and sometimes he will get some ammunition from Sam Bockarie. So that was it.

  • Sir, can you remind us, what was the nationality of Superman?

  • Yes, sir. He was a Gbandi by tribe, a Liberian.

  • Can you tell us what force he first belonged to, Superman?

  • He was NPFL and he went to Sierra Leone to serve as a reinforcement.

  • After he came to Sierra Leone and joined with you, to your knowledge, did Superman ever fight again in Liberia?

  • Yes, it used to happen in Lofa. At the time the ULIMO tried to force their way to enter, so the Superman group, because they were hard fighters, they would call on them sometimes to go and fight there.

  • Who would call on Superman to fight in Lofa County?

  • At times when Sam Bockarie was there he used to call him, he used to do that.

  • When Superman fought in Lofa County do you know who his direct commander was?

  • Who was that?

  • Benjamin Yeaten.

  • What force did Benjamin Yeaten belong to?

  • Sir, you talked previously, on page 14271, about the bank robbery in Kono and you told us that those that robbed the bank were disciplined by the RUF. Correct?

  • Yes, yes. Not all of them. Those who were captured. Those that they were able to capture at that time, they disciplined them. And some of them ran away, they escaped into Guinea.

  • And you've told us that a quantity of leones was recovered from these men. 50,000 something, I don't recall the exact number, was recovered from these men. Was this money stolen from the bank returned to the bank or returned to those who owned the money?

  • No, sir. We did not return it. We took it to Buedu. The high command, Sam Bockarie, sent for us to take the money there so we took it there.

  • Sir, on 29 August, I believe that's Friday, I'm going to ask you about something you said on page 14970. You were being asked about Jungle and on the bottom of page 14969 you were asked:

    "Q. He became a member of the RUF, didn't he?"

    A. He was not an RUF member but I can say so because NPFL

    and RUF were families, so I cannot refute that. They were

    one family. That was how we took ourselves."

    Sir, this family that you call the NPFL and RUF, did it have a leader, a father?

  • Yes.

  • Explain your answer, please.

  • From the beginning when I joined the RUF those of us who were trained, we were all brothers and even the women who were with us, we were all brothers and sisters and we had those who were ahead of us who controlled us and at that time they showed us Rashid Mansaray, Mohamed Tarawalli. The two of them came from Libya. And Pa Foday Sankoh, he told us that Charles Taylor was his brother and they were two who came from Libya, together with those other men and they came. Those were our fathers.

    But those of us who were trained together, we were brothers and sisters in the RUF and the NPFL. Those of us who had weapons who were fighting, so we were like a family. So that was the understanding we had. So anybody who left Liberia at a point in time and came to Sierra Leone, he or she was our brother or sister and anybody who left Sierra Leone to go to Liberia at that point in time, he or she would be considered a brother and sister over there. So that was what used to happen.

  • Okay. My question, Mr Witness, is in that family was there a single leader of the family or more than one leader of the family?

  • Yes, for that family we had two leaders, Sankoh and Charles Taylor. They were the leaders for that family that we had. They were controlling us.

  • Can you describe the relationship between Foday Sankoh and Charles Taylor in that family?

  • Between the two of them the family relationship was cordial. I never came across an argument between the two of them. I never saw that. Maybe it might have happened, but in my absence.

  • Sir, you were asked some questions about something someone else said and I want to ask you some questions about that now. First of all, do you know where Konola is in Liberia?

  • Konola? Repeat that language, Konola.

  • Konola. Do you know where Konola is?

  • Curnella [phon].

  • Could you please spell what you're saying.

  • The spelling I have, Mr Witness, is K-O-N-O-L-A.

  • Yes, that is the meaning, Konola. Konola. I used to hear that name at the time I was in Kakata. It was between Kakata and Gbarnga. That - it is in between those two places that we have that town, Konola.

  • So it's in between Kakata and Gbarnga, correct?

  • Is it the same place as Bong Mines?

  • But Bong Mines is bigger than there.

  • What do you mean by that?

  • The town, I mean Bong Mines, it's a common area, it is bigger than the other town that you're referring to. Bong Mines is a big town.

  • Are these two separate towns or the same town?

  • They are two different towns.

  • Sir, you were asked some questions about Mike Lamin. Do you know who Mike Lamin stayed with when he was in Kakata? Just say if you do or you do not.

  • I don't know. I used to see him. I always told you at the time I used to see him he always had a book in his hands, but I did not know who he was staying with and I never asked him, not a day.

  • I'm referring now to page - perhaps it could be handed out - 2517 to 18 of a prior transcript. Let me proceed. I think that's enough for a reference.

  • Just to avoid any problems here, there was some evidence in relation to certain people adduced in private session. Now I don't know what you're referring to or whether there's any problem with a possibility that what you're referring to was private.

  • Your Honour, no, my question, and I'm almost finished - this question I believe is fine. I can proceed:

  • Sir, have you ever heard of the St Christopher Catholic school?

  • That church and that school is in Kakata, that is the Monrovia Highway around the Mandingo quarters.

  • I believe anyway the document that I was referring to was handed out last week. But your Honours have it, it's an official transcript and I've given the reference, so I don't believe it's necessary to go into it further. May I have just a moment, your Honour.

  • Mr Koumjian, is it in the bundles that were given to us?

  • No, it's not in the bundle, your Honour. We passed it out on Friday. And, again, I've given a reference on the record. I probably have at least one copy here. Your Honours, I have one copy that --

  • Is it page 2517? Does it start with that?

  • I've got that, Mr Koumjian.

  • Beginning the bottom of that page, through the next page. So that your Honours, I don't believe I need to go into it further and that concludes my re-direct examination. Thank you.

  • Thank you, Mr Koumjian. Counsel I have one question of the witness. It's a matter that arose in private session. I just want to clarify a point. I don't intend to name any names or make a specific reference. I think I can ask it without any problem as to security, but however if out of an abundance of caution counsel wish to me to put it in private session I will do so.

  • I don't make that request, your Honour.

  • Mr Witness, you were asked some questions and I'm going to say some of the things you said. I want to clarify a point. Counsel, I am now referring to page 14934 of the transcript, 28 August. You said, "My sister owned a restaurant in the Bong Mines park. A lot of people used to go there and eat." Then later at the same place or soon after that you said, "It is a restaurant but it is a house, a restaurant and that is where we used to sleep." And you also said about the same time, "My sister's restaurant was near to the street. That is where the house is."

    Now what I'm not clear on from this, Mr Witness, is was the restaurant and the house the same building?

  • Okay. For instance, let's take it as this court. We have a court here. Let's say this is the restaurant and the rooms attached to it are the sleeping rooms, but in here as the restaurant people don't sleep there. But it's a place something - it's a restaurant where food is sold and it is the same building, in the same area and it turned towards the main line.

  • Do you mean the restaurant was one part of this building and the sleeping area was a part of the same building?

  • Yes, sir. Yes, sir. It's a whole building and the restaurant is on one side and the sleeping places are on the other side, but it's the same building.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. That was my question, counsel. Is there a question arising, counsel?

  • Not from me, your Honour.

  • Thank you. Any further matters?

  • I believe there was a drawing by the witness, MFI-2, which we would move into evidence. That was the scale that the witness drew.

  • That was a hand drawn - Mr Griffiths, you have heard the application to move MFI --

  • No observations, your Honour.

  • Very well. The hand drawn one page document explained by the witness becomes a Prosecution exhibit P-166.

  • [Exhibit P-166 admitted]

    Thank you. That was the only Prosecution tender, was it?

  • Your Honour, there were three pages of photographs placed before the witness by us, MFI-3, MFI-4 and MFI-5. I ask that they be exhibited and I wonder whether it might be useful to give them one number and then A, B, C.

  • Mr Koumjian, you have heard Mr Griffiths's application.

  • Yes, your Honour. I would note, your Honour, that on these photographs we have no information as to who took the photographs, virtually no information about when they were taken and virtually no information about where they were taken. Nor is it obvious at this point what the relevance is of photographs such as one of the witness or of Foday Sankoh kissing a young woman.

    The Defence previously on this very same witness stated that their position was that there were certain necessary conditions for any document. That is, where did it come from. We don't know where this document came from or whether it's part of the 50,000 pages in Mr Taylor's personal archives that were available to the Defence. We don't know who took the photograph or the type and the way it was taken and the Defence - that was the second point of the Defence, who produced it, and the third was where is the original. We don't know where the original is.

    I simply make these points to note the contradiction in the Defence position. The Prosecution's position is that any document that's relevant should be admitted. Potentially these are relevant, we do not oppose their admission, consistent with our position on documents. Thank you.

  • Mr Koumjian, this arose in cross-examination, but in any event, Mr Griffiths, you have heard the objection by counsel.

  • It's not an objection. I am simply stating what we believe the law is and that we think because there's potential relevance that the document should be admitted. We think both sides should get relevant documents admitted into evidence. Thank you.

  • I understand. I withdraw that comment and I now put - the first is MFI-3. It is a one page document with three photographs, one of which has been identified by the witness. This will become exhibit number D-57. Mr Koumjian, you're on your feet again.

  • Your Honour, that would necessarily - I think it might be better to mark this confidential because this is the one that includes the photograph of the witness. And I understood Mr Griffiths to make a very practical suggestion that these be given one exhibit number A, B, C so that we have them all together. Thank you.

  • I have no difficulty with that, Madam President.

  • Mr Koumjian, I do not have my notes in front of me but I don't have any of these marked as the witness himself. I thought it was a different person. I have to reread my record.

  • There was one.

  • MFI-3, top right-hand corner.

  • Thank you. I'm grateful for that reminder. In the circumstances that MFI-3 becomes Defence exhibit D-57A and it will be confidential. MFI-4 will become Defence exhibit 57B. There is not the same reservation on that document. MFI-5 will become D-57C. Again there is not the same reservation on that document. So 57A is confidential, Madam Court Attendant.

  • [Exhibit D-57A to C admitted]

    If there are no other matters I will release the witness but I bear in mind certain matters that were to be put to him. Counsel?

  • I'm sorry, your Honour?

  • I said if there are no other matters I will release the witness, but I do bear in mind a certain caveat that was made in the course of private session.

  • I have no further matters to deal with with this witness, your Honour.

  • Thank you. Mr Witness, that is the end of your evidence. We thank you for coming to court and giving your evidence. You are now free to leave.

    You may recall I said to you at the beginning you were not to discuss your testimony while you were under oath. I want to refer to some matters that were - questions that were asked of you about things stated by other people in this Court. Those others were also protected witnesses like yourself and have protected orders like you have. Therefore I tell you that you must not start guessing and speculating and trying to identify those people or to talk to them. Do you understand what I have said?

  • Yes, ma'am.

  • Madam President, your Honours, the next witness is TF1-338. The witness will testify in the Krio language. The witness has the following protective measures: The use of a pseudonym which protective measure was granted 5 May 2006, SCSL-01-99 was the decision; the witness also has face and voice distortion and the use of a screen as well as closed or private session to be dealt with in court as the need arises. These protections were given in decision SCSL-01-515, 22 May 2008.

  • Thank you, Ms Hollis. What language will the witness give his evidence in? He or she, sorry.

  • In the Krio language, your Honour.

  • Madam Court Attendant, if you could assist us, how long will it take to implement the protective measures that Ms Hollis has stated?

  • Your Honour, our voice distortion takes 30 minutes to implement, to be set up.

  • In the circumstances it would seem practical to take an early lunch break. We will adjourn court and resume at 2.15. Please adjourn court until 2.15.

  • [Lunch break taken at 1.15 p.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 2.15 p.m.]

  • Before I ask for the witness to be sworn, I note some changes of appearance. Ms Hollis?

  • Good afternoon, Madam President, your Honours. Brenda J Hollis and Alain Werner representing the Prosecution.

  • Mr Munyard.

  • Good afternoon, Madam President, the Bench and counsel opposite. For the Defence it's myself Terry Munyard and Morris Anyah.

  • Thank you. Please swear the witness.

    Ms Hollis, please proceed.