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

  • Mr Sesay, I am anxious to conclude my examination-in-chief, which is why what I propose to do today is to put various propositions, and if those opposite query the propositions I'm putting, I will provide the transcript references, if necessary.

    Now, first of all, who is Seibatu Jusu?

  • Seibatu Jusu was an operator in the RUF.

  • With whom did that individual work?

  • Mr Griffiths, what kind of operator? He could be a mechanic, for all we know.

  • What kind of operator, Mr Sesay?

  • She was a radio operator.

  • First, she operated with Superman, because she trained in the Western Jungle in '95, '96.

  • After the AFRC overthrow, she went to Kenema and she was there with her parents, and during the intervention both her parents went to Kailahun and so she was in Kailahun for part of '98 and she went to Buedu. She was staying with Hawa, assisting her with domestic chores, preparing food. And at the same time she used to go to the radio, in addition to her - to the domestic chores.

  • Mr Griffiths, when the witness says "AFRC overthrow", it's ambiguous. Is he referring to the overthrow of the AFRC government or what is he referring to?

  • When you refer, Mr Sesay, to the AFRC overthrow, what are you referring to?

  • I'm referring to the time the AFRC overthrew SLPP in 1997, May.

  • Thank you. Now, did she work as a cook and a radio operator for Sam Bockarie?

  • Did you know her personally?

  • Did she live in the same house as Sam Bockarie?

  • No. She did not sleep there. She used to spend the day there to assist Hawa to cook, and in the evening she would go to the house where she lived in Buedu.

  • Planet was Sam Bockarie.

  • What does 448 relate to?

  • 448 is jet, Alpha Jet.

  • Alpha Jet. And in what context was that reference, 448, used?

  • For example, like if the jet has taken off coming to Kailahun and the operator in Baiima, that is the radio operator, saw it or heard it, he would call Buedu and he will say, "448 is coming." He will call to Kailahun, Pendembu, and those in Kailahun, Buedu, Pendembu will know that the jet is coming.

  • I am told that at page 5 of today's transcript, at line 18, which reads, as currently on the transcript, "She used to spend the day there to assist how to cook," it was Hawa, H-A-W-A.

  • Mr Sesay, do you know someone by the name of Sellay?

  • Sellay was a radio operator in '98. He was the signal commander but he committed suicide in '99.

  • Radio operator for who or what?

  • For Sam Bockarie.

  • And where was he based?

  • In '98 he was in Buedu.

  • In 1999, up until he committed suicide, where was he?

  • He was in Buedu.

  • And for whom was he a radio operator, can you remind me?

  • He operated for Sam Bockarie.

  • Did you know this individual?

  • During the time when he was a radio operator for Sam Bockarie where were you?

  • In March, April I was in Buedu and in May I went to Pendembu, '98, so during that time I knew that he was the radio commander, signals commander for the RUF and he worked with Sam Bockarie, because there were times he used to come to Pendembu with Sam Bockarie in '98.

  • At the time when he was a radio operator for Sam Bockarie, were you aware of him communicating with Liberia and, in particular, Charles Taylor?

  • No, I did not know about Sellay communicating with Mr Taylor because Sellay crossed to the RUF area together with Jungle and others in Sierra Leone in 1992, so all of us were in Giema '94, '95 and he left in Giema '96 - he left Giema --

  • Your Honours, can the witness kindly repeat his answer.

  • He left Giema when?

  • He was in Giema from '94, all of us came to that Koindu area and from that time, that is '94 right up to '97, he was in Giema.

  • Thank you. Mr Sesay, in or about 1997 were you aware of men wearing Liberian uniforms coming to RUF-held territory in Sierra Leone?

  • No, I did not hear that in '97.

  • Do you know someone called Sampson?

  • Yes, I know Sampson, in 2000.

  • What is Sampson's full name?

  • Well, I only know Sampson.

  • Where did you come to meet him?

  • The time I went to release the UN peacekeepers, it was Sampson who brought the helicopter and he was the one who distributed the uniforms to the peacekeepers. That is the time I know - I knew him.

  • Do you know an associate of Sampson called Junior?

  • No, I don't know that.

  • Have you ever seen Jungle wearing Liberian uniforms?

  • No, I did not see that.

  • Have you ever seen either Sampson or Jungle wearing Liberian uniforms in RUF-held territory?

  • No, I did not see that.

  • Are you aware of satellite phone contact between Sam Bockarie and Benjamin Yeaten?

  • Are you aware of Jungle bringing arms and ammunition to RUF-held territory?

  • No, no. I don't know about that.

  • Was Jungle, in effect, an agent for Charles Taylor?

  • No, I did not know about that.

  • Did anyone ever suggest to you that Jungle played such a role?

  • No.

  • After Sam Bockarie went to Monrovia in December 1999, Mr Sesay, did you have any further contact with him?

  • Except the time I went for the ECOWAS meeting; that is the ECOWAS leaders' meeting, and from there he came to the guesthouse and we also went to his house, when I went there to say hello to his mother.

  • I want to move on from that witness. Who is Matthew Sesay?

  • Matthew Kennedy.

  • CO Kennedy, yes, I know him.

  • Mr Griffiths, what witness are you referring to? You just said, "I want to move on from that witness." Was there a particular witness?

  • How well do you know him?

  • Well, I knew him from Camp Naama. All of us trained together and we came to Kailahun, right up to '93 - late '93 to part of '94 all of us were in that Koindu area, so I know him very well, right up to the end of the war.

  • Did you ever send him to fight in Guinea?

  • No, no. I never sent him to fight in Guinea.

  • What about this allegation, Mr Sesay, and I ask you in case in due course it is put to you: Did you rape Johnny Paul Koroma's wife?

  • No, I did not rape her.

  • No, she was not the one searched. We did not search her and even Johnny Paul was not searched. It was Johnny Paul himself who presented the diamonds.

  • This allegation that you raped Johnny Paul Koroma's wife, Mr Sesay, is there any truth in it?

  • There is no truth in that.

  • Mr Sesay, are you aware of someone called Mohamed Kabbah?

  • Yes, I know him. He is Tourist, a radio operator for the RUF.

  • Did you say he is a tourist or --

  • No, he is Tourist, that is a nickname, Tourist.

  • How do you spell that?

  • We have it on the record, Your Honour, and it is spelt as the --

  • But I see he has been labelled as a terrorist, according to the transcript at page 10, line 13.

  • When did this individual join the RUF, Mr Sesay?

  • And where did he receive training as a radio operator?

  • He was trained as a radio operator in Zogoda, they were the ones that Mr Sankoh trained around '94.

  • And with whom was he assigned following his training?

  • Well, after his training I understood that he was working with Sam Bockarie in Bandawor.

  • In case of difficulty, how do you spell that name, Bandawor?

  • Let the interpreter help.

  • Yes, Mr Interpreter.

  • Yes, your Honour, B-A-N-D-A-W-O-R.

  • And thereafter where was he assigned?

  • I said he was assigned to Sam Bockarie in Bandawor and from there he later came to Zogoda after Mr Sankoh had gone to the Ivory Coast and from there Mr Sankoh sent to Mohamed Tarawalli - to send two operators and he was among the two operators who went to meet Mr Sankoh in Abidjan through Guinea.

  • And for how long was he in Abidjan?

  • He was in Abidjan, I don't know the number of months, but around October of '96 he returned, together with Jackson Ray, that is Swarray. They all came to Kailahun through Guinea.

  • And following his return, where was he assigned?

  • He was in Giema.

  • He was there with myself, Bockarie and Peter Vandi, and when the Kamajors and the SLAs attacked Giema, around January of '97, Sam Bockarie went to Buedu. So he was with me in Giema up to May 1997.

  • And thereafter where was he?

  • Thereafter, he came together with Sam Bockarie and others to Freetown and later he came to Kenema and went to Kailahun. He left Sam Bockarie in Kenema while he went to Kailahun.

  • Now help me with this: During what period of time was this individual a radio operator for Sam Bockarie?

  • Well, at the initial stage of the AFRC government, but around late '97 he went to Kailahun and he was in Kailahun Town right up to the intervention.

  • Yes, but my question is quite specific for good reason. For what periods was he a radio operator for Sam Bockarie?

  • Well, I can say from late May to September.

  • Was this individual a radio operator for Sam Bockarie at any other period, to your knowledge?

  • Yes.

  • From - because he was in Kailahun Town throughout '98 and thereafter in 1999 Sam Bockarie invited him, so he was in Buedu up to 1999. So after the death of Sellay, Sam Bockarie appointed him as signals commander.

  • During the time when this individual was a radio operator for Sam Bockarie, are you aware of him being involved in radio communications between Sam Bockarie and Charles Taylor?

  • No. I was not aware of that because from April to October, to early October, he was in Buedu. And I used to see the radio logbook almost on a daily basis.

  • Mr Sesay, yesterday afternoon and this morning we have looked at the testimony given to these judges by several radio operators, all of them speaking of regular contact between Sam Bockarie and yourself and Charles Taylor via radio. Help us. What is your knowledge of such contact between the RUF and Charles Taylor?

  • No, as far as I know Mr Taylor and I did not communicate through the radio and even with Sam Bockarie because all the radio logbooks, there was never a message that came from Mr Taylor or direct to Mr Taylor either from Sam Bockarie or from me.

  • Mr Sesay, help me. Was there any occasion when you, as an individual, actually spoke on a radio to Charles Taylor, and I say "radio" quite specifically?

  • That never happened. I never spoke with Mr Taylor on the radio.

  • As far as you are aware, did Sam Bockarie physically have in his hand a microphone and speak to Charles Taylor over the radio, to your knowledge?

  • I never heard that and Sam Bockarie never told me that.

  • Mr Sesay, if you were minded to send a message via the radio, just talk us through the process step by step that you would have to go through?

  • I would invite the radio operator and explain the message to him and the radio operator in turn will write down the message. And the person to whom I will be writing the message to, his name will be written up. There are times my own name will be written up the paper, and the person who will be receiving the message, his name will be written down the paper. And from there the radio operator would encode the message and send it. When the other operator would receive it from the other end, he would decode it and write it down in the logbook and he would go and give it to the person to whom I had sent the message.

  • The reason I am asking you, Mr Sesay, is this: A number of Prosecution witnesses, radio operators, have come to this Court and said that they recall direct conversations between Sam Bockarie and Charles Taylor, between you and Charles Taylor, over the radio. Did any such thing occur?

  • Your Honour, I would request references for that. That's not the evidence.

  • Perhaps I have been listening to a different Prosecution case to the one heard by Mr Koumjian.

  • This is the evidence given by many Prosecution witnesses, and Mr Koumjian can laugh as much as he likes. Sit down. Sit down.

  • Mr Griffiths.

  • I haven't finished yet.

  • Mr Griffiths, please, control yourself.

  • Please control yourself and do not --

  • I don't need to control myself, with respect, Madam President. This boy is being disrespectful.

  • That is enough. That is enough. Absolutely not in order to address counsel opposite as a boy. Absolutely out of order.

  • Absolutely out of order, Mr Griffiths, and I will not tolerate it in this Court. This is language that is absolutely out of order and I will demand that you apologise to Mr Koumjian across.

  • I don't intend to. I will not.

  • I ask that the Bench sanction this counsel for his improper, immature and unprofessional conduct. It has been going on throughout the Defence case and even in the Prosecution case. It demeans the integrity and the dignity of these proceedings and nobody should have to put up with it. Maybe in England they get away with it, I doubt it, but it should not be tolerated here and he should be sanctioned.

  • [Trial Chamber conferred]

  • Madam President, with your leave may I address the Court?

  • I have just got an instruction from Mr Taylor and he would have wanted a few minutes to consult with lead counsel.

  • Very well. I will hear what you have to say. Please address the Court.

  • Sorry, Madam President. Madam President, could we respectfully ask for five minutes to confer among ourselves with Mr Taylor.

  • Very well. I think I will give you five minutes.

  • Thank you.

  • I will give you three minutes.

  • Your Honour, could I address the Court briefly?

  • Mr Koumjian, please address the Court.

  • Your Honour, first of all let me say I do not intend to respond to any personal attacks by Defence counsel. That is because we are here because we think these proceedings are serious, they are about horrible crimes that happened in Sierra Leone, they are about the victims that suffered. They are not about us, so I am not going to respond personally.

    Secondly, we would request counsel to find the references. I realise there is another proceeding before the Court regarding the conduct of counsel, but we would request the references in the period of time that Charles Taylor was present. It's my understanding of the evidence that there was not direct radio contact between Charles Taylor, Bockarie and Sesay. They were through satellite telephone. That's the evidence.

  • Okay. What we are going to do, we are going to go off the Bench for five minutes or so, as requested by Mr Chekera, and then we will return and I am going to take this matter up when we return.

  • [Break taken at 9.31 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 10.14 a.m.]

  • [In the absence of the witness]

  • Now I apologise that the Chamber took a bit of time - a bit longer than we had anticipated, but this is reflective of the seriousness of what happened in this Court this morning. And the Chamber has the following to say, pursuant to the fracas that broke out in court this morning:

    Now I recall that at the commencement of today's proceedings lead Defence counsel, Mr Griffiths, prefaced his submissions by stating that in the interests of efficiency he would put various propositions to the witness and if counsel opposite queried the propositions put, then lead counsel would provide the transcript references if necessary.

    At approximately 9.26 lead counsel put a question to the witness, which question entailed the mention of a number of unspecified Prosecution witnesses, radio operators, who have come to this Court and said certain things. At this stage Mr Koumjian, counsel for the Prosecution, stood up and politely requested references for Mr Griffiths's assertions.

    This inquiry by Mr Koumjian, in our view, was perfectly in order and consistent with the commitment that lead counsel had initially made to so provide the references.

    Unfortunately it is at this stage that an altercation broke out between both Mr Koumjian and Griffiths, in which the latter repeatedly banged at the table, or lectern, with his fist, raised his voice, yelling at Mr Koumjian and commanding him to sit down. Even when the Presiding Judge directed Mr Griffiths to stop, to control himself and to sit down, Mr Griffiths refused to do so, calling Mr Koumjian a boy.

    When the Presiding Judge directed Mr Griffiths to publicly apologise to Mr Koumjian, Mr Griffiths retorted that he did not intend to and would not apologise.

    Now, I would like to remind the parties that Article 17 of the Code of Conduct enjoins counsel - sorry, Article 7 of the Code of Conduct enjoins counsel to act courteously and respectfully towards all persons with whom they have professional conduct, including judges, other counsel and witnesses.

    As a Trial Chamber, we have noticed that of late Mr Griffiths, lead counsel for the Defence, has had several outbursts in court directed either at counsel opposite, or at the witnesses, that we have chosen to overlook.

    This morning's outburst, however, is by far the worst and cannot be countenanced by this Court. It was neither called for, nor is it justifiable.

    In the premises I am directing Mr Griffiths once again to apologise to Mr Koumjian and to the Court for his conduct.

    Mr Griffiths?

  • Madam President, your Honours, I apologise to the Court for my outburst.

  • I'm sorry, I can't do that.

  • Then, Mr Griffiths, in view of what you have just said, I am now, pursuant to Rule 46(A) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, warning you that this Court will not tolerate this kind of conduct that you have exhibited this morning. This is a warning, a formal warning, pursuant to Rule 46(A) of the rules.

    I will give you another opportunity to please apologise to Mr Koumjian.

  • I'm sorry, Madam President, I can't do that.

  • Because I don't think that an apology to him is required in these circumstances.

  • But it's a directive of - it's no longer what you think Mr Koumjian deserves or doesn't. This is a directive from the Presiding Judge.

  • Madam President, with all due respect, we are dealing here with matters which, in my respectful submission, really do not involve the Court, and so consequently I am saying quite directly to you and your fellow judges that I personally cannot, in light of the history of the conduct of this man, make this apology to him. I can't do it. And so any further sanction that your Honours might wish to impose will have to be done.

  • Madam President, with your leave, may I? Madam President, pursuant to Article 14(A)(ii) of the Code of Conduct, I am instructed by Mr Taylor to apologise to Mr Koumjian and Ms Brenda Hollis on behalf of the Defence and Mr Taylor.

  • [Trial Chamber conferred]

  • Sorry, Madam President, it is Article 14(A) of the Code of Conduct.

  • Yes, I have listened to you, Mr Chekera.

    Mr Griffiths, you have alluded to the fact that in your opinion this is a matter that does not involve the Court, even though your outburst and your retortions were in the face of the Court. I have given you at least three opportunities to apologise to counsel opposite in the spirit of the rules, both the Rules of Procedure and Evidence and the Code of Conduct, which you have declined to utilise. In the premises it remains for me to ask you to show cause why this Court should not sanction you pursuant to Rule 46(A) by refusing you audience until you actually apologise.

  • Well, that is a step available to your Honours and I suggest that you adopt it.

  • Very well, in the premises, Mr Griffiths, you leave me no choice but to actually sanction you and to refuse you audience before this Court until you apologise to Mr Griffiths - sorry, to Mr Koumjian. I am going to ask Mr Chekera or anybody else from the Defence to continue with the examination-in-chief of the witness.

  • Madam President, may I respectfully ask for an adjournment to, among other things, consider a number of issues from what has arisen this morning and the best way forward in the circumstances?

    May we, with your leave - may I ask for an adjournment until after the midmorning break?

  • [Trial Chamber conferred]

  • Yes, Mr Chekera, we will give you until 11.30, that's after the midmorning break, when we expect you to continue with the evidence.

  • [Break taken at 10.25 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 11.39 a.m.]

  • [In the presence of the witness]

  • Mr Chekera, please continue.

  • Madam President, I rise, as it were, with a long face because I find myself in a very difficult position, and I'm hesitant, but my instructions are to kindly request that we stand the matter down until tomorrow morning for this particular reason, and these are instructions that I have gotten from Mr Taylor: Given what went down this morning, Madam President, Mr Taylor respectfully requests an adjournment for him and for us, as a team, to consider the full implications of what happened, and especially the implications of the censure by the Court on lead counsel.

    In making those submissions, Madam President, we do not wish to make any judgement or comment on the censure itself. We simply wish to highlight the implications of that censure on the continuation of the defence case and how it impacts on Mr Taylor's position, and in making those submissions, again, I wish to underline that Mr Taylor has indicated to me in no uncertain terms that he does not wish for the proceedings to stall any further than is necessary and is committed to cooperating with the Court in making sure that the proceedings continue as smoothly as possible.

    But in this particular case, given that the party concerned is lead counsel, that places us in a very, very difficult position. If it were any other party, lead counsel would have been able to guide the team forward. I spent the better part of the adjournment that the Court graciously granted conferring with Mr Taylor to see how best we can proceed. I have had to summon the other legal counsel on the matter who were attending to other issues relating to the case to come back to the office. Just for the record, Mr Anyah was preparing the next witness and he was actually proofing, and we have summoned him to come back to the office as soon as possible. Mr Munyard was preparing to go to West Africa to interview witnesses who we intend to call in the near future, and we've had to summon him back as well for to us sit down as a team and consider how to proceed from here.

    So it falls on me, Madam President, to make this request, and I kindly request that you indulge with us on this particular matter.

  • One thing I'd like to know, Mr Chekera, what's wrong with you completing the in-chief examination of this witness and then debating the matter with your colleagues and Mr Taylor? You were handling it okay yesterday. What's stopping you today?

  • Thank you, your Honour, for the compliment.

    I would - I would be able to proceed. I would be able to proceed with the in-chief. That said, I would still need Mr Griffiths's instructions on how to proceed, especially given that now I am taking over on notes that he had already prepared.

  • Mr Chekera, for me - first of all, let me say that as matters stand, the situation is unfortunate, but the sanction of the Court was conditional, and as far as I'm concerned, one thing stands between lead counsel continuing with this case in his normal way, or not, and that's an apology to Mr Koumjian. That's the only thing standing between him and the normal way of things for the defence case. Also, the sanction that the Court gave this morning, and I was very careful in choosing my words, was to refuse audience. That doesn't mean that we have banned Mr Griffiths from the Court. It also doesn't mean that we have stopped Mr Griffiths in any way from his role as lead counsel in his advisory role to the rest of the team. Not so. We've even not refused him the right of appearance, as you can clearly see him sitting in court.

    One thing stands in the way of things returning back to normal, and that's an apology to Mr Koumjian, and that's all. Now, having said that, like Justice Lussick, I tend to agree that the conduct of the rest of Mr Sesay's evidence-in-chief should not be held up by this other ancillary matter. That's a matter that the team, the Defence team, can deal with outside of the court hours - court sitting time. And so I think you should continue with the evidence-in-chief of Mr Sesay. There wasn't much, as you know, the schedule is that you're supposed to have completed your case in-chief by lunchtime today. That may not be possible, but at least before the day's end the Chamber hopes that you will have completed your case, your evidence-in-chief, with Mr Sesay.

  • Madam President, if you may just allow me one comment to make, just that, Madam President, those were the instructions I had gotten from the client and consistent with those instructions, I made the submissions and I make the submissions consistent with the instructions that I have been given.

  • [Trial Chamber conferred]

  • Madam President, I've come back into court in order to comply with your instruction that I apologise to Mr Koumjian.

  • Very well. I'm listening. I'm listening to you, Mr Griffiths.

  • I'm sorry, Madam President, I didn't hear that.

  • I said that I am listening to you because previously you had been denied a right of audience. I'm now granting you the right of audience to say what it is you want to say to the Court.

  • As I said, I have come back in court in order to extend an apology to Mr Koumjian.

  • Well, please extend it, then.

  • I apologise to Mr Koumjian.

  • Your Honour, we - I personally fully accept the apology, and given a case where people have come in and talked about how their hands were hacked off and their family were killed, being called a name will not distract us. We think we should proceed with the matters that are at issue before the Court.

  • Mr Koumjian, I appreciate your submissions, I think they are very mature and commendable.

    Mr Griffiths, I commend you for your position as well.

    Really, I appeal to the parties to remember what is really important in this case, namely the trial itself is most important rather than any of our personal details or emotions.

    So in view of what has just happened, I think we are of the view on the Bench that this case should proceed as previously scheduled and that an adjournment is not necessary at this time.

  • Indeed, Madam President, if you will allow us a few minutes to change over. Thank you.

  • Yes, it just remains for me to say that Mr Griffiths is now reinstated with a right of audience to the Court.

  • Remind us, Mr Sesay, where were you during the Freetown invasion?

  • I was in Makeni.

  • After we had captured Makeni, I was one of the commanders there, supervising the units that were in Makeni and to run the administration that was in Makeni at that time.

  • And during the course of 6 January 1999, were you monitoring communications between the various RUF positions?

  • I did not used to sit by the radio but my operator used to monitor.

  • And would your operator then communicate with you?

  • As far as you're aware, was there any communication between the RUF and Charles Taylor at or around the time of the Freetown invasion?

  • I did not hear that. I did not hear about communication and my operator did not tell me that.

  • Let me draw your attention to a passage of testimony heard by this Court on 15 September 2008. I'm looking at page 16166, line 7:

    "Q. And then I asked you at the time of the January 6

    attack on Freetown, were you back on your assignment for

    radio operations? And you stated that by the time January

    6 attack in Freetown, you were back on the radio working in

    the radio room. Do you remember that?

    A. Yes.

    Q. Now, I'd like to pick up from that point and ask you

    some questions about that time. First of all, do you

    remember what happened on the day, January 6, 1999?

    A. Yes. January 6, 1999, we were in Buedu. I was in

    Buedu, when the brother, first he got the information on

    the BBC and later it was King Perry, the operator, who

    called our station in Buedu and said they had entered, that

    is, the RUF had re-entered Freetown, but he said he was

    under suppression. That's why he was not calling us. He

    said the man who was in charge, SAJ Musa, did not allow him

    to switch on the radio and call to Buedu, to call Sam

    Bockarie, but after Sam Bockarie died, that was when he had

    the chance to communicate with us, and so he told us that

    he had re-entered Freetown and they were there and at that

    time Gullit was now in charge."

    Now, of course, that reference to Sam Bockarie having died is incorrect. He was in fact referring to SAJ Musa.

    Let's go on to the next page, line 8:

    "Q. Then you said the 'King Perry', well, where were you

    exactly?

    A. I was in Buedu on the radio because, when the news got

    to us from those small radios that we had, transistor

    radios that we had, that the men had entered Freetown, so

    we used to monitor the radio. We used to ask the other

    stations that were in Makeni, Magburaka and the other

    areas, and suddenly King Perry called the station in Buedu

    and told us that they had entered Freetown."

    And then he goes on to list who was in the radio room at the time. That need not detain us.

    Let's go to page 16168, please, line 6:

    "A. After King Perry had called that day, we were

    monitoring right up to 2 to 1 a.m. and we closed down

    transmission and other day we came back on air. We and

    King Perry then had resumed communication. In the

    mornings, he would call us, or we would call him, for us to

    know the security situation, how they were advancing in the

    city, or if they were having any threats from the enemies.

    This continued right up to the time that they started

    having suppression. When they started have suppression

    from the enemies, Gullit told King Perry to tell us in the

    station to call Sam Bockarie because he said he wanted to

    talk to him, so we called Sam Bockarie, and he came to the

    station and we told him that Gullit wanted to speak to

    him."

    Let's jump to the bottom line on that page:

    "So one morning this guy, we had a call from the Liberian end. That was from this guy Pascal. Pascal said that his boss wanted to talk to us, that is Five-Zero, Benjamin Yeaten wanted to talk to Sam Bockarie."

    Now, I stop there, who is Pascal?

  • The Pascal whom I know was Sam Bockarie's operator.

  • And where was Pascal based?

  • Pascal was in Buedu.

  • And I don't know if I'm reading this correctly, Pascal said that his boss, that is Five-Zero, Benjamin Yeaten, wanted to talk to Sam Bockarie. Who was Pascal's boss?

  • The Pascal whom I know, Sam Bockarie was his boss, and in 1998 and 1999 he was operating with Sam Bockarie. It was in December '99 that he went to Liberia with Sam Bockarie, and in 2000, he and others joined me to return to Sierra Leone, Pascal.

  • "Q. While they were talking, he asked him about the

    situation and Sam Bockarie told him that our men in

    Freetown were being pressed on very hard, that the men were

    pushing them out of State House and they had even started

    cutting off their supply lines. At that time, we were

    monitoring on the VHF radio. It was loud and we heard all

    the conversation that was going on, and Benjamin Yeaten

    told him to reinforce the men, lest they would lose the

    city, and he replied that he had been giving instructions

    to Rambo, that he should put men together to go as

    reinforcements."

    Now, Mr Sesay, do you recall any intervention, as suggested by this witness, by Benjamin Yeaten in the events of January 6, 1999?

  • No. I never heard about that, about Benjamin Yeaten's involvement in the January 6 invasion in 1999, except in this courtroom, that I have heard this information. Even during my trial, I did not hear such misinformation.

  • Let's jump to page 16170 and complete this episode, please. Line 15:

    "Q. In your answer you just gave you stated that 'so one

    morning this guy, we had a call from the Liberian end, that

    was from this guy Pascal'. Now, Mr Witness, was Pascal in

    Buedu or was he on the Liberian end? Which one?

    A. It was, he was in Foya, Liberia. At that time he was

    assigned to Benjamin Yeaten that we refer to as Five-Zero."

    Do you recall a time when Sam Bockarie's radio operator Pascal was assigned to Benjamin Yeaten and based in Foya, Mr Sesay?

  • No. Pascal was never assigned to Benjamin Yeaten in '98 and '99, no. The first time I knew Pascal went to Liberia was in 1999, he went there with Sam Bockarie.

  • Well, this witness claims, and we continue on the same page:

    "Q. So is it correct or incorrect to say he was in the

    radio room in Buedu?

    A. No, it is not correct. He was in Foya. No, no, no,

    no, not Pascal. I said Mortiga was the one who was in

    Foya; Pascal, together with us, were all in Buedu. We were

    all in Buedu together with Pascal. He was the operator for

    Sam Bockarie. Mortiga was the one who was assigned to

    Five-Zero, not Pascal."

    Now, you note the change in the account, so help us: Was Mortiga assigned by the RUF to Benjamin Yeaten?

  • No. Mortiga was in Kailahun Town, '98, '99. Mortiga was in Kailahun District right up to 2000. Now this, and I am still on page 16170, line 28:

    "Q. Now you also said that Benjamin Yeaten called. Now,

    before I ask you about communications with Benjamin Yeaten,

    can you continue to describe what you observed, in terms of

    the communications between the radio room in Buedu and the

    men in Freetown?

    A. Yes. Every day communication went on up till night.

    When the enemies suppression had become really intense,

    that is, the enemies had cut off our supply lines from our

    men who were in Freetown. They cut off the supply lines in

    Waterloo. Rambo, who was sent at that time, could not go

    through. The supply lines had already been cut off by the

    enemies, and Gullit was sending the complaint to Sam

    Bockarie and he, in turn, told him to move with the

    prisoners, who had been released from Pademba Road, that is

    JS Momoh and others, and he said when we would be going

    with them we should do so at night because of the jet. And

    the following day there was communication again between him

    and Sam Bockarie and he said they could not withstand the

    tension any more and they had to withdraw. So Sam Bockarie

    told him that if they were to leave the town they should

    make the area fearful, they should be destroying, so

    anybody who would go there thereafter would know that there

    had been fighting in that area, and Gullit replied that as

    long as he had told them to pull out he would go according

    to his instructions, and that very night they left Freetown

    and passed through Tombo where they were received by Rambo

    at the crossing point."

    He's then asked to describe what making the area fearful means. Line 27:

    "A. From my understanding, that meant the destruction, to

    make an area fearful during the wartime we meant to destroy

    completely and leave the place."

    Now, you do understand, don't you, Mr Sesay, what this witness was suggesting, that the destruction in Freetown was ordered by Sam Bockarie. Are you aware of Sam Bockarie giving such an order?

  • No. I was not aware that Sam Bockarie gave orders to destroy Freetown. And these guys went to Freetown, that is the AFRC. After they had attacked and captured Freetown, they promoted each other to brigadiers and they were not promoted by Sam Bockarie, and they were soldiers; they were born in Freetown, they grew up in Freetown, they attended schools in Freetown, and they joined the military in Freetown. Sam Bockarie had never been to Freetown before the AFRC period, so how would he send people to go and destroy Freetown? They did that on their own. That was not on Sam Bockarie's instruction. And even when they retreated from Freetown, nobody reported to Sam Bockarie, nobody went to Sam Bockarie.

    Finally, in relation to this particular topic, let's go to page 16173, line 2:

    "Q. Now you also said you were speaking of a conversation

    between Sam Bockarie and Benjamin Yeaten during the time of

    the Freetown invasion. First of all, can you just describe

    generally who, if anyone, was Sam Bockarie in communication

    with during the time of the Freetown invasion?"

    Now hear this:

    "A. Sam Bockarie communicated with Benjamin Yeaten and he

    used to communicate as well with Charles Taylor, but for

    the communication with Charles Taylor, that one he used the

    satellite phone. And the capture of Freetown, that was not

    even a hidden thing, that he would go to a corner and

    discuss like he used to do, that one he did in an open

    place when he was trying to inform Charles Taylor that our

    men were in Freetown. He did that in the open because the

    RUF was happy, that was a joy to the RUF that they had

    entered Freetown.

    Q. Let's start first of all, what did you observe, in

    terms of communication between Sam Bockarie and

    Benjamin Yeaten, during the time of the Freetown invasion?

    A. There had been communication between them for a long

    time. It was - let me say it was a sisterly or brotherly

    operation that we had. So whatever good or bad information

    that we had from any of the ends we would share that with

    each other."

    And then this:

    "Q. Before you continue, I'm specifically asking you in

    terms of at the time of the Freetown invasion, what was the

    state of communication - what did you observe, in terms of

    communication between Sam Bockarie and Benjamin Yeaten?

    A. What I observed, it's just like, for example, when you

    and your subordinates would be doing something, you would

    be giving him instructions or orders, and that was the way

    I observed. Like the time Sam Bockarie told him about this

    operation that we had in Freetown and he, Benjamin Yeaten,

    told him to send manpower or reinforcements to the city."

    Now, you do understand what is being suggested by that witness to these judges, Mr Sesay; that Benjamin Yeaten and above him Charles Taylor were involved in direct communications with Sam Bockarie, giving him instructions during the Freetown invasion. Is that true?

  • No. I did not hear that. I was in Makeni but I did not hear that, because I am aware that the men who were in Freetown were not answerable to Bockarie. They did not get information - instructions from Bockarie. Because even when they withdrew, nobody sent salute reports to Bockarie, nobody went to Bockarie in Buedu to brief him about what had happened. And when they attacked Freetown - they were in Freetown when they promoted themselves, so they have their own command structure, they were not answerable to Bockarie, nobody promoted them.

  • Tell me, Mr Sesay, do you know someone called Foday Lansana?

  • Foday Lansana? Foday Lansana? I don't recall this person's - this person.

  • You do know CO Nya though, don't you?

  • Very well.

  • And when did he become a member of the RUF?

  • It was the time that Anthony Mekunagbe brought him in the Kailahun District.

  • And what nationality was he?

  • And what role did he play in Sierra Leone?

  • He was an operator from '91 up to '92, '93. He used to help Mr Sankoh to train some recruits to become radio operators, and in '93, up to late '93 he was with Mohamed Tarawalli, we were all at the border. So '94 - early '94 he joined Mohamed Tarawalli to go and establish the Kangari Hills, that is the Northern Jungle from Kailahun District. So from that time he was at the Northern Jungle, up to 1997, after the AFRC overthrew the SLPP and he came with Isaac Mongor to Makeni. And from there, he was in Makeni and late '97 he came to Freetown, he was in - with Isaac Mongor, and in '98 he retreated, with Isaac Mongor, to Masiaka, Makeni, and to Kono, and he was there from February to August of '98. And he went with Superman to the Koinadugu District until December '98, when all of us came to Makeni. So from around January he was in Lunsar, but Superman, he was there with Superman, up to --

  • Your Honours, can the witness kindly repeat this part of his answer slowly.

  • Mr Sesay, we've lost some of your answer. Could you go back to the point where you said "so from around January, he was in - all of us came to - he was in Lunsar". Could you take it up from there, please.

  • Yes. I said he was in Lunsar, up to April of '99. So during the infighting, he and others were with Superman against me in Makeni, so from April to October, he was in Lunsar and in Makeni, up to October, when the AFRC was attacked, Superman, Nya, Gibril Massaquoi and others, Isaac Mongor inclusive, Nya was one of the men who looted MSF vehicle, so from there they left to Lunsar, from Lunsar to Port Loko --

  • Please pause. He was one of the men who looted what vehicle?

  • MSF, from MSF.

  • I just want to deal with a couple of matters with respect of this individual. First of all this, and I'm referring to some testimony which this Court heard on 20 February 2008, at page 4373. This was in open session, line 18:

    "Q. How about the phrase Top Final?

    A. That was the last stage that finally concluded before

    Mr Taylor gave the directive or instruction to the NPFL

    troops for them to be evacuated from Sierra Leone."

    Let's jump ahead a little bit. Line 21 on the next page:

    "Q. You stated that there was a directive from Charles

    Taylor?

    A. Yes.

    Q. Explain exactly how you learned about this directive.

    A. The directive was written by Charles Taylor to Anthony

    Mekunagbe and all the Special Forces battalion commanders

    that were under the NPFL in Sierra Leone, and upon the

    arrival of the general, who was sent to monitor and to make

    sure that this instruction was carried out in Sierra Leone,

    when he arrived in Pendembu, Kailahun, Kuiva, they had a

    special copy which was read out to all the NPFL fighting

    men who were in Sierra Leone for immediate action.

    Q. How do you know there was a directive written by

    Charles Taylor?

    A. It was sent through radio communication message

    documented, brought over by the Special Forces and finally

    upon their arrival, they went into the radio station in

    Buedu, Mr Charles Ghankay Taylor spoke to Anthony

    Mekunagbe one-to-one over this set before they departed to

    Kailahun, Pendembu and all other sub-bases where NPFL

    soldiers were based."

    Are you aware of such a one-to-one conversation between Charles Taylor and Anthony Mekunagbe over the radio at the conclusion of Top Final, Mr Sesay?

  • No. I did not hear that. What I knew was different from what you are saying.

  • Well, what did you know?

  • What I know is that it was General Dopoe Menkarzon who was sent by Mr Taylor to withdraw the NPFL. He came to Pendembu and to Kuiva and he withdrew them. He did not even bring a document with him. When he came he said - he told the commanders for the NPFL, he told them that they were to go. He brought with him trucks, that they were to board and to withdraw from Sierra Leone. So the ones who were in Kuiva, Mobai, Baiwala, Baiima, all of them crossed into Vahun through Baiwala and Vahun and Bomaru, and the ones in Kailahun were organised by Isaac and that was the Top Final that RUF attacked, and the remaining ones were attacked by Morris Kallon in Baiwala.

  • Now, speaking of Charles Taylor speaking on the radio, let me now direct your attention, please, to testimony given on 20 February 2008, page 4381, line 5:

    "Q. You said you were promoted to overall signal

    commander. What are you referring to here?

    A. That is to say I was elevated to a position for me to

    go to Sierra Leone to serve as the number one radio officer

    in Sierra Leone.

    Q. For which group were you serving as the overall signal

    commander?

    A. This time round for RUF.

    Q. Now, upon your departure you said you met some of Foday

    Sankoh's securities at the border. What happened after

    that?

    A. They received me and we proceeded directly to Pendembu.

    I met with Mr Sankoh. He gave me some men for them to help

    me to install the radio on his ground, that was referred to

    as Executive Mansion Ground in Pendembu, and that was where

    he resided at that particular time. The installation took

    place. I tested the communication. I confirmed it was

    Treetop, Butterfly, and he requested that he wanted to

    talk to Mr Charles Ghankay Taylor. I made all the

    necessary arrangements with the operators and at that

    particular time Mr Charles Ghankay Taylor spoke with

    Mr Sankoh and he asked a few questions of him with regards

    the situation in Sierra Leone after the NPFL were evacuated

    back to Liberia."

    Now, after the NPFL were evacuated back to Liberia, Mr Sesay, were you aware of Foday Sankoh speaking over the radio directly to Charles Taylor?

  • I did not hear that, because the time all the NPFL fighters were evacuated, that is not what Mr Sankoh wanted, so Mr Sankoh was unhappy with the action of Mr Taylor regarding the NPFL's withdrawal, because he just wanted Mr Taylor to replace the commanders but not to withdraw the troops, because at that time the armed men in the RUF were not much. Those who had guns were just few.

  • Tell me, Mr Sesay, do you recall at any stage the RUF providing weaponry to Charles Taylor in Liberia?

  • No. RUF itself used to look out for guns. How could the RUF give guns to Mr Taylor at that time?

  • In particular, are you aware of the RUF giving artillery to Mr Taylor in Liberia?

  • No. I did not know of that. I was part of the ambush that captured the artilleries, from there we went to Baiima where the artilleries were captured and we were the ones who were using the artilleries, I was in that group, like CO Kargbo --

  • Your Honours, can the witness be kindly asked to speak slowly and repeat this part of his answer.

  • Mr Sesay, I'm sorry but we'll have to start that answer again, please. You were saying, "I did not know of that. I was part of the ambush that captured the artilleries. From there we went to Baiima where the artilleries were captured and we were the ones who were using the artilleries. I was in the group, like CO" - CO who?

  • I said CO Kargbo and Isaac Mongor were the ones that used the 105 missile. That was what they used to put at Mobai and they shelled into Daru, and the BZT was at Mr Sankoh's ground at Pendembu. Those are the artilleries that we captured.

  • Well, listen to this, testimony given to these judges on 20 February 2008, page 4393, line 8:

    "A. As I said, when the Guinean and the Nigerian

    contingents attacked the positions of the RUF at Bayama a

    large quantity of arms and ammunition were captured from

    them and this report was sent to Gbarnga to Mr Taylor.

    Mr Sankoh said, because the weapons that were captured were

    all artillery, and it could not use those artilleries in

    this country, simply because he has not got ammunition for

    those weapons, Mr Taylor requested him to send all the

    artillery weapons to Gbarnga."

    Do you recall that?

  • No, that is a lie. Those artilleries were in Pendembu. We used them. Because the RUF hadn't arms.

  • And it was not Nigerians or Guineans who launched the attack. The attack was launched by the Sierra Leonean troops. I was at the front line. He was not at the front line. They were Sierra Leonean troops, Sierra Leonean soldiers.

  • Very well. Mr Sesay, who is Alice Pyne?

  • That is Nya's wife.

  • How well did you come to know her?

  • I knew her from 1992 right up to the end.

  • And was she - what nationality was she?

  • She was a Sierra Leonean, but she could also speak Liberian English. I think she had lived in Liberia before, but she was a Sierra Leonean.

  • When she came to Sierra Leone, was she already CO Nya's wife?

  • Well, at that time, I understood that the RUF met --

  • Your Honours, can the witness kindly repeat this part of his answer.

  • Mr Witness, you need to slow down. You're really giving the interpreter a difficult time keeping up with you, and we are having to break even now your testimony. Now, can you repeat your testimony where you said, "She came to Sierra Leone, she was already CO Nya's wife". This was the question that was asked of you: "When Alice Pyne came to Sierra Leone, was she already CO Nya's wife?" What is your answer?

  • No. I did not know that. It was in Kailahun that I knew the two of them came together.

  • Okay. And was she a member of the RUF?

  • And what role did she play within the RUF?

  • Well, in 1993 all of them were trained in Pendembu and she became a radio operator.

  • Now, there is one particular aspect that I want to ask you about. Before the Fitti-Fatta mission, Mr Sesay, did Charles Taylor send herbalists to Sierra Leone?

  • No. Mr Taylor did not send herbalists, because the herbalist who was there was not sent by Mr Taylor.

  • I want you to listen to this, testimony given to these judges on 19 June 2008. Line 12:

    "Q. How long did you stay in Buedu?

    A. Three days.

    Q. You said that you saw also herbalists, what do you mean

    by that?

    A. Sam Bockarie took us to a zoebush, which was outside

    Buedu where there were some herbalists and juju men who

    said they could protect people, they could protect somebody

    from bullets, they would make somebody bulletproof. Those

    are the people we called herbalists. Like I just said just

    now, I understood that why they came to Buedu was for them

    to perform the same juju practice for the RUF fighters to

    protect them from bullets, so they would mark the RUF

    fighters' bodies, so when they go to the war front, bullets

    will not pierce their bodies and they will be brave enough

    to do whatever they had gone to do."

    And then it goes on:

    "Q. Do you know where they were from?"

    Line 14 on the subsequent page:

    "A. I knew they came from Liberia.

    Q. How did you know that?

    A. Well, first was the language that they spoke and,

    two, Sam Bockarie himself, when he was handing them over

    to Superman, that was what he said. And there was an old

    woman who was a Gbandi, the two of us spoke to each other,

    she told me.

    Q. What did the old woman who spoke Gbandi tell you

    exactly?"

    This:

    "A. She told me that they, who were the herbalists, had

    their boss, who was a Loma tribesman. She said Charles

    Taylor had sent them to Sam Bockarie so that they will come

    and protect the RUF fighters' bodies from bullets,

    particularly we who were in Kono, for us to be able to

    recapture Kono from ECOMOG."

    Is that true, Mr Sesay?

  • No. That Mr Taylor sent the herbalist, that is not true. What I know is that one Titus, who was a Liberian, an Loma by tribe, and he was a family member of Major Augustine Mulbah's. So it was through Augustine Mulbah, on Sam Bockarie's request, that those two men were brought, and a woman, they were brought by Titus. They - they said they were the ones who were protecting ULIMO in Lofa and, when they came, they were lodged at Pa Mulbah's house at Buedu. So, as far as those people presence in Buedu is concerned, right up to the time Mosquito sent Pa Mulbah to Kono, that had nothing to do with Mr Taylor, because I never heard that those herbalists' presence in Sierra Leone was as a result of Mr Taylor's intervention, and I was there when they came to the RUF in Buedu.

  • Mr Sesay, tell me, did you ever receive a promotion from Charles Taylor?

  • No. That never happened.

  • Very sure. I can explain the ranks I had and how I obtained them.

  • Well, I'm not particularly interested in that at the moment; but a witness TF-1516 told this Court back in April, 8 April 2008, this, page 6883, line 4:

    "Q. Thank you. Now you mentioned in your earlier

    testimony that when you retreated from Kono, after the

    intervention, along with Gullit and his group, you got to

    Buedu and Bockarie was there and he had just been promoted

    by his chief; is that correct?

    A. Yes, sir.

    Q. Now apart from Bockarie, do you recall any other person

    who received a similar promotion from anybody else?

    A. Yes, sir. General Issa Sesay also was promoted.

    Q. By who?

    A. By his chief, also according to him. He met us in

    Kailahun.

    Q. And who was his chief?

    A. He was referring to Charles Taylor. And he was the

    chief everybody knew in the RUF, in the absence of Corporal

    Sankoh.

    Q. Now, apart from Bockarie, and now Issa Sesay, who you

    say refer to Charles Taylor as the chief, did anybody else

    use this word or this title for Charles Taylor?

    A. That was common with the senior officers of the RUF,

    referring to Charles Taylor as the chief."

    So what about that promotion by Charles Taylor, Mr Sesay? Is that true?

  • It's not true. In '98, Charles Taylor did not promote either Sam Bockarie or myself. It was Johnny Paul who promoted Bockarie to brigadier in March '98, he appointed him chief of defence staff, and I was promoted from lieutenant colonel to colonel. I was not a general in '98. I was colonel.

  • Your Honour, can he kindly speak up and take this last part of his answer again?

  • Could you just repeat the last part of your answer again, please, Mr Sesay?

  • I said I was not a general or a brigadier in '98. I was a colonel.

  • Now, you recall that in relation to the last testimony of the previous witness that I drew to your attention, there was a suggestion of communication between Charles Taylor and the RUF at the time of the Freetown invasion. Do you recall that?

  • Yes. I remember.

  • Well, here is somebody else giving the same account; testimony of 9 April 2008, page 6976, line 3:

    "Q. Now, yesterday, in talking about the Freetown

    invasion, in answer to questions that I asked about

    contacts by Sam Bockarie with any radio outside Sierra

    Leone, you said there was contact with 020, the radio 020

    at the Executive Mansion; is that correct?

    A. Yes, sir.

    Q. How did you know this?

    A. I was an operator, and whatever was going on at the

    time I was on set was monitored by me.

    Q. Did you yourself monitor any of those contacts?

    A. Yes, sir.

    Q. Now you also said that after a telephone conversation

    on the 21st, following a call from 020, you said there

    could be 'Bockarie could then come on the radio and give

    instructions to commanders'. When you say he could come on

    the radio and give instructions, what do you mean by 'he

    could'?

    A. Bockarie used to come on the radio to issue

    instructions relating to strategy.

    Q. And do you recall specifically, and we are talking

    about the Freetown invasion, do you recall specifically

    what orders Bockarie gave at that particular time?

    A. Yes. When the forces of the AFRC/RUF entered Freetown,

    after sometime they went under serious pressure by the

    ECOMOG forces and they went out of ammunition. So the

    commander who was leading that group, Gullit, decided to

    retreat a little bit to a particular location and to

    collect materials, ammunition. So the other forces were

    left at a particular position in Freetown and reported that

    they were persistently attacked, and Sam Bockarie came on

    the radio and told Gullit to instruct the men to burn down

    some areas, in fact the government buildings, so that will raise alarm in the international community."

    Now, pause there. Do you recall Bockarie giving such an instruction to Gullit?

  • I did not hear, but during those days I did not hear that Bockarie gave instruction to Gullit to burn down government buildings in Freetown. And even the expert witness that the Prosecutor - that the Prosecutor called on forced marriage, that's a prominent person in Sierra Leone, when he was being cross-examined, when he was being cross-examined by our Defence lawyers --

  • Your Honour, can he kindly specify the gender of this person he's talking about.

  • Mr Sesay, this witness, the expert, was it a she or a he? The interpreter wants to know was the expert witness a he or a she? Male or female?

  • A she, a female, my Lord.

  • So, please tell us again what you were saying about this expert witness.

  • That woman said that she, because she was asked that she was organising --

  • Your Honour, this answer is not clear. It's very ambiguous.

  • Mr Sesay, the interpreter is not understanding what you're saying. Perhaps rephrase what you're saying in a manner that is clear to the interpreter for him to interpret to us. Repeat your answer, please.

  • My Lord, I said when they were cross-examining the woman who came to testify, the expert witness, they asked her, my lawyer asked her, "Is it you who was organising civilians to come out in front of the armed men during the January 6 invasion?" She said yes, she was organising the civilians to come out in front of the armed men who were attacking Freetown because they knew that the AFRC, the members of the Sierra Leonean army, and it was their money, the taxpayers' money that the government used to train those soldiers. She said that was why when they came, instead of protecting the civilians, they were committing atrocities against them. Against the civilians in Freetown. And that was why she organised the population to come out. So even the prominent people in Freetown testified to that as Prosecution witnesses, that it was the AFRC who carried out the attacks, because they saw them live in Freetown.

  • What does all that have to do with the allegation that Bockarie gave an instruction to Gullit to burn down Freetown? What does that - what you've just said, what does all that have to do with the issue of whether Bockarie did give instructions to Gullit to burn down Freetown?

  • Yes, ma'am. Because senior commanders who carried out the attack in Freetown were natives of Freetown and they went to school in Freetown and it was in Freetown that they joined the military. And Bockarie, as far as I'm aware, his first time of coming to Freetown was during the days of the AFRC. How could Bockarie have told those people to destroy Freetown and how could they have listened to him?

  • In plain language, Mr Sesay, what this witness said was heard over the radio message was Bockarie saying, "Burn the fucking place down." Do you recall such a blunt instruction being given by Sam Bockarie at the time of the Freetown invasion?

  • I did not hear that. What I heard was that when Gullit and others entered Freetown, he did not call Sam Bockarie until when they started pushing them from the Congo Cross Bridge. That was the time that he called Sam Bockarie. And when he called Sam Bockarie, he asked him to send reinforcement and that they had started pressuring them in Freetown. And Sam Bockarie told him that, "I had told you not to attack and that you should wait. Now that you've attacked, you go ahead." Because Sam Bockarie did not instruct me to send reinforcement to Freetown and I did not send anybody to Freetown.

  • Very well. I'm going to move on to yet another witness, TF1-539, and I cannot mention this witness's name. Now, help us with this: Do you recall anyone making a trip to Burkina Faso at or about the time of the Freetown invasion?

  • During the time of the Freetown invasion, no. I only know about the trip that Bockarie made; he, SYB Rogers and Eddie Kanneh in November of '98. After their return I did not know about any other person going to Burkina Faso.

  • Let's look at some evidence these judges heard on 11 June 2008 in open session. Line 22:

    "Q. You told us earlier that when you were in Monrovia

    before your arrest you heard about what you call the 6

    January incident in Freetown.

    A. The 6 January incident that has gone past long ago."

    And then let's just skip a couple of pages because there was then various exchanges between counsel and the judges. Let's skip to page 11508, line 25:

    "A. 6th of January had gone past long ago. I didn't want

    you to be bringing me back. 6th of January had passed long

    ago. It was after 6 January, long after that, it was about

    the second phase that Benjamin Yeaten discussed with me

    that the second phase was for us to try and gain grounds.

    That was everywhere where ECOMOG were, we were to try and

    push them from those places. 6th of January had passed long ago before that could happen even."

    Jump ahead again.

    Line 24.

    "Q. You said that you went to the mansion which you said

    was the office of the President. What happened when you

    got there?

    A. Well, as I said, Colonel Razak and I were waiting in

    the protocol officer's office while General Sam Bockarie,

    General Ibrahim, Pa Cisse Musa, Eddie Kanneh had gone to

    the President's office. I don't know what they discussed

    there but when they left there, Pa Cisse Musa told me that

    I was to expect some money that they should give to me

    because I had told him if I had got the money - I was

    expecting that if I got the money I should use it to take

    my family to Liberia".

    And then this - I missed the point. We need to go back to page 11508, line 22:

    "Q. Sir, how long after you heard Sam Bockarie talk on the

    BBC about the 6th of January incident do you think it was

    that you took this trip to Burkina Faso?

    A. 6th of January had gone past long ago. I didn't want

    you to be bringing me back. 6th of January had passed long

    ago."

    And the learned judge on the subsequent page asked:

    "Mr Witness, this is very simple. All the judges want to

    know is this: This trip you have described that you went

    to Burkina Faso, can you remember the year or the month

    when you went to Burkina Faso?

  • It was around March. That would be March

    1999."

    Now, Mr Sesay, do you recall any representative or agent of the RUF travelling to Burkina Faso in March of 1999, after the Freetown invasion?

  • No. I never heard that.

  • If such a trip took place, would you have known about it?

  • Well, I would have heard it from Sam Bockarie. Although I was not in Buedu, but I would have heard it from Sam Bockarie because in April I went to Buedu and from April to October '99 I was in Buedu. But I did not hear such a thing. This is my first time of hearing that in March '99 a representative of the RUF went to Burkina Faso, but I never heard that before.

  • Mr Sesay, tell me, does the name Augustine Mallah mean anything to you?

  • Yes. I know him.

  • How do you come to know him?

  • I knew him in '96 in Zogoda. That was when I knew him in person. When I was under investigation in Zogoda, he and Mike Lamin came from a patrol in the Northern and Western Jungles and they met me in Zogoda around July, July of '96.

  • And what was this individual's role within the RUF?

  • Well, he was a bodyguard to Mr Sankoh in Zogoda from '94 - from '94 to early '96. When Mike Lamin arrived to Mr Sankoh in Zogoda, Mr Sankoh posted him to Mike Lamin as a bodyguard.

  • And thereafter, what was his position?

  • He remained a bodyguard to Mike Lamin up to the time they went to Pujehun and in October they crossed over and surrendered to ULIMO in Liberia. He was with Mike Lamin in Liberia until they returned and rejoined the RUF after the AFRC had seized power from the SLPP.

  • I want you to listen to some testimony given to these judges on 12 November 2008. Page 20096, line 13:

    "Q. Can you tell us, when you arrived in Zogoda in 1994,

    what was the command structure of the RUF?

    A. At the time that I got there, I saw Foday Sankoh who

    was the leader of the RUF, and then they told me about

    Mohamed Tarawalli who was one of the Special Forces, and he

    was the battlefield commander. They said Mosquito, Sam

    Bockarie, was the battle group commander. Issa Sesay -

    Issa was there, Issa Sesay, but he was in Kailahun. They

    said he was deputising Mosquito and he was the deputy

    battle group commander. That was how it was structured

    initially."

    Pause. Is that true?

  • That's a black lie. Mosquito never became a deputy to anybody in '94, '95, '96.

  • Your Honour, can he kindly take the last bit of his answer clearly again.

  • Can you please repeat the last bit of your answer, Mr Sesay.

  • My Lord, I said from '94, '95, '96, nobody in the RUF ever heard that I was deputy battle group commander to Sam Bockarie.

  • Thank you, Mr Sesay. Then this:

    "Q. How long did you remain assigned at Zogoda?

    A. I was there from 1994 up to the end of 1994 when Foday

    Sankoh said he was going to send me on a mission to Sierra

    Rutile.

    Q. When you say he was going to send you on a mission to

    Sierra Rutile, were you going alone or were others going

    with you?

    A. Well, he told us that he was going to send us as on a

    mission to Sierra Rutile and that we were to wait for CO

    Mohamed Tarawalli who was the field commander who was to

    lead us, the soldiers, who were to go on that particular

    mission.

    Q. And were there any other commanders who were mentioned

    as being part of that mission?

    A. Yes, they called Superman, Dennis Mingo and they called

    Jalloh - Jalloh who was another commander.

    Q. Who was Jalloh?

    A. Jalloh was an RUF junior commander, he was a Sierra

    Leonean Fullah.

    Q. What was this mission that you were given to go to

    Sierra Rutile?

    A. Well, at one time before CO Mohamed came, Foday Sankoh

    had almost told us that he had been receiving advice that

    we should go and attack Sierra Rutile. He said but we were

    to await CO Mohamed Tarawalli. He said that when he came -

    comes, he will tell us exactly what we were to do to go to

    Sierra Rutile. So after that, for or five days afterwards,

    CO Mohamed Tarawalli came, alias Zino, he called a

    formation and said he had received advice from the other

    side that we should attack Sierra Rutile and terrorise the

    area starting with the civilians, the towns, and to

    capture, if possible, the white employees who were there."

    Now, Mr Sesay, as far as you're aware, did Foday Sankoh receive any advice to attack Sierra Rutile?

  • No. As far as I was aware, it was Mr Sankoh himself who was directing his war at this time. He himself was giving orders. Nobody instructed him, nobody advised him. RUF attacks a lot of towns, Kabala, Kono, before they attacked Sierra Rutile in '95. Nobody was advising him. And at that time, Mr Sankoh too was saying that before he leaves, before he left Kailahun, he would demonstrate to Mr Taylor that he was able to lead the war in Sierra Leone. So those moves that were made by the RUF were purely Mr Sankoh's - were purely to Mr Sankoh's knowledge, as he was directing the war.

  • Mr Sesay, do you recall on any occasion Foday Sankoh advising Sam Bockarie to take advice from the other side, that is, Charles Taylor in Liberia?

  • I never heard that, and even when Mr Sankoh visited Kailahun in November 1996, he did not make any mention of Mr Taylor until he returned. Instead he gave some money to Bockarie for him to make contacts and establish friendship with ULIMO in order to get ammunition for us to be able to defend Kailahun.

  • Well, listen to this. Some testimony heard by these judges on 12 November of 2008, page 20126:

    "Q. You mention Mosquito, who was Mosquito?

    A. Mosquito was a Sierra Leonean, he was Sam Bockarie, who

    was taking care of RUF whom Foday Sankoh had told to take

    care of the RUF in Sierra Leone.

    Q. And who was it who said to take advice from the other

    side, who said that?

    A. It was Foday Sankoh.

    Q. And who was it who was to take advice from the other

    side?

    A. Mosquito, Sam Bockarie.

    Q. Did you understand what was meant by the other side?

    A. Yes. That is just what I'm about to say. The next

    night, Action Man called me together with CO Brown, we went

    to the house where Pa Musa Cisse was and we sat there. We

    were about two yards away from where Action Man was sitting

    but it was in the same room, we saw him contact Mosquito

    and I heard Foday Sankoh's voice and Foday Sankoh asked

    about Mike Lamin. Action Man replied that he had been

    arrested, he spoke to Mosquito.

    Q. Who spoke to Mosquito?

    A. Foday Sankoh. He told Mosquito that - he told Mosquito

    that Mosquito should not take anything from Fayia Musa and

    others. He said even the detention that he was in, Fayia

    Musa and others had hands in it - in that, so the only

    thing that he was telling him was that he should take

    advice directly from Charles Taylor in Liberia."

    Now, who was saying to take advice directly from Charles

    Taylor in Liberia? Who was that?

    A. Foday Sankoh told Mosquito, Sam Bockarie. He said Sam

    Bockarie should take advice from Charles Taylor in Liberia.

    He said even before he was arrested in Nigeria, he said he

    had spoken to Charles Taylor, that is Foday Sankoh. He

    said he had spoken to Charles Taylor for his Sierra Leonean

    fighters who had been with the NPFL and fought alongside

    the NPFL. He said being that Mike Lamin had crossed over

    with a lot of his fighters into Liberia, he will want those

    fighters who had been fighting for a long time alongside

    the NPFL to find ways to be transported back to Sierra

    Leone to Mosquito to continue the fight and therefore he

    should take advice from Charles Taylor."

    Now, do you recall Foday Sankoh giving any such instruction to Sam Bockarie, Mr Sesay?

  • No. This is the first account, because it was October that he and Mike Lamin went and surrendered to ULIMO. They disarmed them and disarmed the communication from them. So where he was when he was monitoring the communication between Mr Sankoh and Sam Bockarie until Mr Sankoh was arrested in Nigeria? Where was he to be able to monitor these conversations between Sankoh and Sam Bockarie? That man crossed over into Liberia and he had no access to communication because ULIMO had taken the communication set from them.

  • Mr Griffiths, who is the "he" that has been referred to several times?

  • Who is the "he "that you're referring to, Mr Sesay?

  • Who is the "he" that you're referring to?

  • Augustine Mallah, alias OJ. He's the one I'm talking about.

  • And when you refer -

  • Your Honour, can he kindly repeat, is it OG or OJ? It's not very clear.

  • Can you repeat the names of the person you're referring to as "he".

  • Augustine Mallah, alias OG.

  • I knew OG, Augustine Mallah. He had no teeth in front. He was Mike's bodyguard.

  • The witness said he was Mike Lamin's bodyguard. Isn't that what the witness said, Mr Interpreter?

  • Yes, yes, ma'am.

  • Now, you mentioned in your initial answer, Mr Sesay, October. October of which year?

  • In 1999, Mr Sesay, did you tell Sam Bockarie over the radio that if he, Bockarie, did not obey Sankoh, that you and the rest of the RUF soldiers would be against him? And as a consequence of you saying that to Bockarie, Bockarie stated that he would leave Sierra Leone for Liberia and seek refuge with Charles Taylor if his brothers in the RUF were against him? Do you recall such a conversation with Bockarie?

  • No. I did not tell Sam Bockarie that.

  • And do you recall - well, first of all, let's just deal with that suggestion. Let's go to some testimony heard by these judges on 13 November 2008, page 20235, line 6:

    "A. The following day we saw Issa arrive with about four

    to five vehicles loaded with arms and ammunition, including

    manpower. And on his arrival we asked him what was the

    matter. He said he was going to advise his brother. We

    asked who the brother was and he responded Mosquito but he

    said that he knew Mosquito very well. He said, 'Mosquito

    alone on his own will not be able to corrupt the whole RUF

    system.' He said that we were going to advise him and if

    he said he was not going to take orders from Foday Sankoh

    and maybe we will want to resort to attacking us - and

    maybe he will want to resort to attacking us. He said that

    we will fight against him. So he told Mosquito, he, Issa.

    Q. How did he tell Mosquito?

    A. That is the point I'm trying to arrive at. Issa

    informed Mosquito through the radio, he told Mosquito, he

    said the problem between him, Mosquito, Foday Sankoh, he

    said he was - they were going there to advise him, he said,

    but the advice we are about to bring to you is a military

    advice and it is accompanied by violence. He said that if

    Mosquito refused to take Foday Sankoh's order, he said he,

    Issa Sesay, including all the RUF members, will force him

    to take orders from Foday Sankoh. And Mosquito told Issa,

    we were all sitting by him and he was communicating through

    the radio, he said one thing, I had been leader on behalf

    of Foday Sankoh. He said that he was actually trying to

    resist, not wanting to take Foday Sankoh's command, but he

    said the attitude that he had put up, if he had now

    realised that all RUF soldiers, together with Issa Sesay

    himself and all other RUF senior officers, if we do not see

    that his attitude is a correct one and that all of us had

    gone against him for that, he said he was not ready at all

    to fight against anyone amongst his RUF brothers or

    companions. But he said the only thing he would want to

    tell the RUF and the leadership was that all that the RUF

    had fought for at the time he was in control of the RUF and

    that he had with him at that present moment in Buedu, or

    the things that Issa knew that both of them got from

    outside Sierra Leone, he said he was going to take

    everything with him to Charles Taylor in Monrovia, in

    Liberia, he said he was going to seek refuge to Charles

    Taylor in Monrovia."

    Do you recall such a conversation between yourself and Sam Bockarie, Mr Sesay?

  • I and Sam Bockarie did not have any such conversation. And the time that this confusion was on, up to the time that Sam Bockarie left the RUF, this witness was not - this man was not with Sam Bockarie in Buedu. So he did not even have access to sit close to Sam Bockarie when Sam Bockarie was talking. That's a lie. He was not in Buedu at all.

  • This witness was in Freetown when the problem started, and Bockarie started challenging Mr Sankoh. So Mr Sankoh sent this witness and two other Black Guards to go to Segbwema to meet Momoh Rogers so that they can talk to the RUF, to advise Momoh Rogers and the RUF in Segbwema not to follow Sam Bockarie. So they were there in Segbwema when Sam Bockarie sent about 85 armed men to come to Segbwema to persuade the fighters in Segbwema. So Momoh Rogers were able to trick them, to disarm and arrest the armed men that were sent by Sam Bockarie. They locked them up. So this witness was not across to Sam Bockarie at all. He was in Segbwema. That was what happened when Mr Sankoh informed me that I was to come to Segbwema because they had arrested RUF men who had been sent by Sam Bockarie; but, before this arrest, before these men were arrested, I, Morris Kallon, Lawrence Womandia, were in Makeni because we too were monitoring the problem between Mr Sankoh and Sam Bockarie. So we too discussed among ourselves in Makeni that the best thing to do was that I should not talk to Bockarie on the radio and that we were to drive to Kailahun to Bockarie to tell him to calm down. On our way coming, Bockarie sent to Bunumbu for them to set an ambush for me so that I could not proceed. So I returned. When I returned, that was the time that Mr Sankoh sent to me that they had arrested the men whom Sam Bockarie sent to Segbwema and that I was to go there. So I left for Kono, and I was in Kono when I received the radio message that was sent by Bockarie to all stations, that he was no longer a member of the RUF and that he had resigned. That was what happened. And when I went to Segbwema, I met this witness there, together with Momoh Rogers and others. And I was not able to go to Segbwema with armed men to go to Kailahun because the ECOMOG were in Daru, and I had to pass through Daru; I couldn't have been able to pass through there with arms. So I went to Segbwema without arms. My armed men, who are my security guards, went through Manowa to cross the Moa River to wait for me in Pendembu.

  • Mr Sesay --

  • For him to say he saw me with a vehicle full of ammunition is a black lie.

  • Now, did you ever have any conversation with this witness about diamonds and your use of diamonds, Mr Sesay?

  • Not a day did we have such a conversation. In fact, from Segbwema, I left Kailahun and went to Segbwema. I did not meet with this witness face-to-face, except when I went to Tongo during the disarmament. Before I went to Tongo, when they were arrested in Tongo and brought to Makeni, he was in custody before the disarmament in Tongo.

  • Listen to this, testimony heard by these judges on 13 November 2008:

    "Q. Mr Witness, perhaps you did not understand my question

    so let me say it again. After Issa became interim leader,

    you said that you presented everything to him. Do you know

    what he did with the diamonds you presented to him?

    A. Yes. He took most of the diamonds to Liberia to

    Charles Taylor.

    Q. How is it that you know that?

    A. He" - that's you - "told us that such and such a

    diamond or diamonds, in fact, even at a time he took

    diamonds, about 51 carats in Kono, I mean, we heard it over

    the radio, I mean, our communication set, we were told

    that, even Issa told us that they had found such a diamond.

    Then one of our brothers who was in Tongo found a

    diamond, and it was Colonel Ranger's the deputy brigade

    commander and the diamond weighed 52 carats, 60 per cent,

    but he wanted to hide it away from people, but those who

    had found the diamond for him, there were a lot of them, at

    that time, Beneto was there so they told the brigade

    commander, the mining commander, they said they had found a

    big diamond, and they asked colonel ranger about the

    diamond and he denied knowledge about it. But Beneto

    passed an order, and he was beaten to near death, and he

    presented the diamond, that 52 carat, 60 per cent, plus 51

    carats which we heard about in Kono, I did not see it, all

    of these went to Issa, Issa told us he was going to take

    the diamonds to Charles Taylor in Liberia, and Issa took

    the diamond to Liberia.

    Q. Mr Witness, do you know if Issa received anything for

    the diamonds that he took to Liberia to Charles Taylor?

    A. Yes. Issa brought back some ammunition, which I saw,

    and he brought a lot of US dollars, and he told us that we

    were raising funds for the RUF because we had to disarm and

    we had to go into politics and politics will never go

    without money."

    Do you recall such a conversation with this man?

  • I and this man did not have any such conversation. This man was a Prosecution witness against me. When he was prosecuting me, why didn't he tell the Court that he gave me diamonds? Not a day did I - did the two of us exchange diamonds. He was a witness against me. He prosecuted me. But he did not give such an account, that they took diamonds that were turned over to Issa. No.

  • Now, Mr Sesay, that is all I want to ask you, in terms of evidence heard by this Court implicating you and your relations with Charles Taylor.

    Now, tell me, Mr Sesay, do you know Charles Ngebeh?

  • Yes, I know him very well but, my lawyer, I want them to give me two minutes for me to use the bathroom.

  • Very well, Mr Sesay, you may be escorted out momentarily, please.

  • [In the absence of the witness]

  • Just to take advantage of the witness being out, there was - I'm still requesting a reference from this morning at - from my LiveNote I think it was the bottom of page 14. The question put, the assertion put was:

    "The reason I'm asking you, Mr Sesay, is that a number of Prosecution witnesses, radio operators, have come to this Court and said that they recall direct conversations between Sam Bockarie and Charles Taylor, between you and Charles Taylor, over the radio."

    So I'm requesting it - I don't recall that evidence, and I'm requesting any reference to it.

  • Mr Griffiths, are you able to provide transcript either now or even in due course?

  • I will provide the references in due course.

  • Very well. Thank you. Please do so before cross-examination ensues.

    I want to take advantage of the pause to inform the parties that the decision on Defence motion to exclude the statements of Issa Sesay will come out shortly, today.

  • [In the presence of the witness]

  • Mr Sesay, first of all, forget about Charles Ngebeh. I want to ask you about Fayia Musa. When did you first meet Fayia Musa?

  • In Kailahun Town, around the first three months.

  • Now, did there come a time when Fayia Musa was detained within RUF territory?

  • Yes.

  • And is it the case that he was detained, along with others, who had been part of the RUF external delegation?

  • Now, whilst they were in detention, Mr Sesay, did you ever tell Johnny Paul Koroma to give you instructions to kill Fayia Musa?

  • No. I did not tell Johnny Paul Koroma to give me instructions to kill Fayia Musa because before we arrested Fayia Musa and others, at that time I did not know Johnny Paul. So when Johnny Paul came to Kailahun, Fayia Musa and others were in custody. And the members of the War Council who investigated the matter, they had given their findings to Sam Bockarie, saying that Fayia Musa and others must be kept until Mr Sankoh returns to the RUF. So I did not see any reason for me to go to Johnny Paul to give me orders to kill him.

  • Fayia Musa told these judges, on 13 April of this year, this, this is page 38887, transcript of 13 April:

    "There was another day Mosquito and Issa Sesay went to the village where we were imprisoned in Kangama. When they went, they told Johnny Paul Koroma, whom they had also arrested, they told him to give them instructions to kill us."

    What do you say about that?

  • No. That did not happen, because before Johnny Paul retreated to Kailahun, Fayia Musa and others had been in custody for almost a year. They had been in prison for almost a year, different prisons in Kailahun, from Buedu, Bayama, Kailahun Town and back to Buedu, before they went to Kangama.

  • Mr Sesay, as far as you're aware, does Fayia Musa have any motive to lie about you?

  • Yes, because before Fayia Musa and others went to the external delegation in December 1994, Fayia Musa liked me, he was fond of me, and even when I went to the Ivory Coast for treatment, he used to do - he used to do - extend personal kindness to me. But when he saw that I was involved in his arrest and he was transferred to Buedu, he did not like me any longer because he did not expect that I was going to be a part of his maltreatment, together with Sam Bockarie.

    During the Lome Accord - before the Lome Accord, around early '99, Bockarie took them from Kangama and brought them to Buedu. So until the Lome Accord he was in Buedu. So when I used to go to the MP office between April to June, I used to go to the MP office and I used to give the Nigerians cigarettes and when he used to ask me I used to refuse to give him and he said, "Those people who were fighting you, now you are giving them cigarettes and leaving Fayia Musa out? Have you forgotten where the troubles had come from?" So he had the right to be against me because the way he was expecting me to behave to him, that was not how I behaved to him.

  • The reason I ask you that question, Mr Sesay, is this: Fayia Musa came and testified to these judges as a Defence witness and this is how he described you:

    "He was a blind loyalist because I remember" - and I'm looking at testimony of 13 April this year, page 38893. He's describing you here:

    "He was a blind loyalist because I remember, when we were arrested, one day he came to our cells, invited us out and said he has more respect for Foday Sankoh than for his father because Foday Sankoh had made him a colonel which his father wouldn't have done by any means. Therefore, anyone who says no, Foday Sankoh, would be killed like a dog by him. That is why I describe him as a heartless, blind loyalist."

  • Oh, my God. Well, he is talking about the rank of colonel. What about when Foday Sankoh endorsed the rank of brigadier general in December of '99 and made me the field commander of the RUF? Because when you look at the RUF, the RUF will tell you that I was not a man who was loyal to Foday Sankoh. In fact I was the man who betrayed Foday Sankoh. That's a common knowledge in the RUF, that I was the one who betrayed Foday Sankoh; that I spoilt the revolution because I disarmed the RUF. Foday Sankoh was in jail and the RUF was suffering. Even Prosecution witnesses, they were testifying like that during my case, that I was the cause of their suffering because I disarmed them. So Foday Sankoh made me colonel. Then Foday Sankoh made me a general. He felt that being a general could have elicited more dedication from me than being a colonel. I think Fayia Musa, the RUF would not accept the - that statement from him, that I was a diehard loyalist dedicated to Mr Sankoh. The RUF would say Mr Issa was a betrayal to Mr Sankoh.

  • Mr Griffiths, it is 1.30. Perhaps we should take the luncheon break now and reconvene at 2.30.

  • [Lunch break taken at 1.30 p.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 2.32 p.m.]

  • Good afternoon. Mr Griffiths, please continue.

  • Mr Sesay, there's another matter that I want to deal with with you in respect of Fayia Musa. Now, we spoke some weeks ago now about an incident in Giehun where, amongst others, Jande was - Foday Sankoh's was killed. Do you recall us talking about that?

  • Yes, I recall.

  • And that happened in Luawa Chiefdom in Giehun, did it not?

  • Now, Fayia Musa told these judges that, during the course of that incident, 300 people - 350 people were killed and the biggest killers organising that massacre were Sam Bockarie and you. Is that true?

  • Well, it did not happen that way. That was not the way it happened, because Mohamed Tarawalli, Rashid Mansaray were the most senior people who were based in Giehun. And, during this time, they took part in the killing of the people, but the figure was not up to that. I did not hear about 300 people, and I was at the Kailahun hospital when I had got wounded during an attack on Pendembu.

  • Now, do you recall on any occasion, Mr Sesay, attending a meeting with Charles Taylor, President of Liberia, in which he suggested to you that Sam Bockarie should be taken back into the RUF fold?

  • That was in December of 2000.

  • And what was your reaction to that?

  • Well, my reaction was negative because I told him - whilst we were there I told him that I would go and inform the RUF and some other commanders in the RUF force, and since then I never responded to him any longer.

  • And help me: At that meeting, who was present?

  • Well, myself, Gibril Massaquoi, Lion, Eddie Kanneh - Eddie Kanneh and Samuel Jabba were at that meeting.

  • Was Jonathan Kposowa present at that meeting?

  • Jonathan Kposowa, yes, he was present.

  • And was Sam Bockarie present at that meeting?

  • Yes, Sam Bockarie was there.

  • And what was Charles Taylor's position, insofar as the return of Sam Bockarie to Sierra Leone?

  • Well, what I observed from what he said during the meeting was that he wanted us to come together, the way we had been before, for us to come together as one organisation. So it's like he was trying to mediate peace between us, but I also told him that the problem was not between myself and Sam Bockarie, nor was it between Sam Bockarie and any other commander. I said the problem was between Mr Sankoh and Sam Bockarie, so those of us who were there would not just take a decision without informing our colleague commanders.

  • Yes. Did Charles Taylor put any pressure on you to take Sam Bockarie back into the RUF fold?

  • No, he did not put any pressure on me. When he invited us and explained to us the purpose of the meeting, after speaking to us was when I also responded. And after my response, he said okay, he would wait to listen to me. Since then, I did not meet with him any longer, so I did not get any pressure from him.

  • Now, Mr Sesay - and one final matter on that: What was the result of that meeting?

  • Well, the result was negative because what Mr Taylor told me and my colleagues to do, we did not accept it, so that was the end of it.

  • Very well. Now, Mr Sesay, before I sit down, there's a couple of things I want to ask you. You were convicted of various offences at the Special Court for Sierra Leone sitting in Freetown, weren't you?

  • And you're currently serving a lengthy prison sentence, aren't you?

  • Yes.

  • How long is it, Mr Sesay?

  • Well, the Court convicted me for 52 years.

  • Now, help us, Mr Sesay: Are you gaining any benefit by coming to this Court to give evidence for Charles Taylor?

  • I have nothing absolutely to gain. The reason why I came here is because I was in Freetown, I used to listen to radios in my cell room, the way of my fellow RUF have been exaggerating stories, lying against me, as a result of the disarm - that I have disarmed the RUF. That was the reason why I also decided to come here. But I have nothing absolutely to gain.

  • Would you stay there, please. There may well be some further questions for you.

  • Mr Koumjian, will you be addressing the cross-examination?

  • Yes, I will, your Honour.

    Two short preliminary matters. First of all, your Honour, Madam President, you asked the Defence to address the references before the close of direct examination.

  • If I can be given a moment, I'll give him two references that I have immediately to hand. The first one I give Mr Koumjian is evidence of 15 September 2008, page 16173, beginning at line 2.

  • [Overlapping speakers]

  • Evidence of 20 February 2008 at page 4375, line 27; page 4381, testimony of 20 February 2008, at page 4381; testimony of 21 February 2008, at page 4439. Those are the ones that I have immediately to hand.

  • Thank you. Mr Koumjian, please proceed.

  • Your Honour, I would note that I've only had a chance to look up the first two. Neither involves a radio conversation between Sam Bockarie or Issa Sesay and Charles Taylor. The first involves a conversation between Foday Sankoh and Mr Taylor - excuse me, Benjamin Yeaten and Mr Taylor; and the second, Foday Sankoh and Mr Taylor.

    Your Honour, very shortly, I understand a decision has been issued which would affect the structure of my cross-examination. I haven't read it yet.

    I'm prepared to proceed today. Frankly, I would have reached this today in the first hour, but I can alter and proceed, but I may not - it's going to affect the structure of my cross-examination.

  • Mr Koumjian, I'm sure you can adjust. Other people have had to adjust their methodologies because you've changed one or two things yourself. Given that you have four weeks ahead of you in which to cross-examine Mr Sesay, a few moments will not throw you off balance.

    This decision could have been published over the lunch break, but I understand that the Court Manager was doing some other - was attending to some other matters in the ICC building, in the vault, so that's why the decision is not published.

  • May I proceed, Madam President?

  • Mr Sesay, welcome to The Hague.

  • Sir, let's go right to the heart of your testimony. I don't want to keep you here in The Hague longer than necessary. Let's talk about the attack on Kono, Koidu Town, in December 1998. You led that attack; correct?

  • Yes, you're right.

  • And, sir, you told us that the ammunition for that attack came from Liberia; correct?

  • Sir, that - you recognise, don't you, you appreciate how important that attack was and is to the issues in this case; do you understand that?

  • Yes, I understand.

  • Because - because of your successful attack on Kono, you captured a large amount of ammunition and weapons, correct?

  • You - in that attack, there were four battalions of ECOMOG that you were able to defeat at Koindu Town and surrounding areas, correct?

  • Well, I did not know the strength of ECOMOG, so I cannot tell you about the strength of the ECOMOG who were in Kono.

  • In Koidu Town, there also were loyal - Koidu Town, loyal SLA troops assisting the ECOMOG, correct?

  • Yes. SLA were fighting alongside ECOMOG.

  • After that victory of yours, because of that victory, you were able to move on and take Magburaka and take Makeni, correct?

  • Yes. We took Magburaka, and the Makeni attack was a joint attack with the other group that came from the Koinadugu axis.

  • So, thanks to the capture - to the ammunition that you received from Liberia, you were able to take Koidu and Magburaka and move on to Makeni, correct?

  • Yes. That was the ammunition that Sam Bockarie said he bought in Lofa. Those are the ones we used.

  • Sir, do you realise you're the only witness in this case to say that Sam Bockarie bought that ammunition in Lofa?

  • Well, that was the information that I got.

  • When did you get this information, sir?

  • Well, I do not recall that.

  • What year did you get the information?

  • Well, at the time Sam Bockarie returned. That was in December of '98.

  • Before we go back to that, this ammunition that led to the victory for the RUF in Koidu Town led to the attacks on Magburaka and Makeni. This also made it possible for the RUF, according to you, for Sam Bockarie to order the RUF to move on to Freetown to attack Waterloo, correct?

  • Well, Waterloo and Freetown are not the same. From Waterloo to Freetown is 20 miles, and the ammunition that we captured in Kono was what we used to enter Makeni, and the material and ammunition that we captured in Teko Barracks, yes, those are the ones we used to go to Masiaka and Waterloo, but not Freetown.

  • Thank you. And you said you went to Waterloo because you were going to Freetown, that was the seat of power. That's what you told the Court, correct?

  • Yes, that was what I said.

  • So this attack aimed at Freetown that reached all the way to Waterloo came through the ammunition that Sam Bockarie brought back from Liberia. We agree on that, don't we?

  • Well, the ammunition that Bockarie brought, we used that in Kono. That one got finished in Kono. The ammunition that we captured in Kono was what we used to go up to Makeni.

  • Because you told us the RUF was desperate for ammunition before that time, you didn't have any before Bockarie brought back this ammunition, correct?

  • Yes. In '98, we had ammunition constraints.

  • So all that attack on Koidu Town, Kono, Magburaka, Makeni, all the way up to Waterloo, none of that would have happened without the ammunition Sam Bockarie brought back from Liberia, correct?

  • Well, yes, because we captured Kono. But if we were not successful in capturing Kono, we wouldn't have gone ahead with the attacks. But the ammunition that we captured in Kono was what we used to go up to Makeni.

  • Now, sir, I don't want to repeat reading transcripts, but transcripts have been read to you, and you've heard of witnesses, such as TF1-338, Karmoh Kanneh, that's Eagle, Daf, Zigzag Marzah, Isaac Mongor, all testified in this Court that Sam Bockarie brought that ammunition back, he obtained it in Burkina Faso, the plane landed, he brought it back through Liberia, the plane landing in Monrovia. And that's the truth, isn't it?

  • Well, I did not go on that trip. What I heard from Sam Bockarie was what I said here.

  • Sir, because there's a big difference, isn't there, between getting the ammunition from Lofa, as you testified, and the ammunition coming from a plane that lands at Roberts International Airport in Monrovia? You appreciate the difference to this case in that evidence, don't you?

  • Well, I said that was what I heard from Sam Bockarie.

  • Because, Mr Sesay, you know Charles Taylor, you've had discussions with him, you said, at least five times, correct?

  • Did he appear to you to be a stupid man?

  • No, he did not look that way.

  • Did he appear, in fact, rather than that, to be a strong leader, aware of what was going on in his country?

  • Well, as a President, you'll not know everything that goes on in your country because even other Head of States in some other countries, Sierra Leone, Guinea, they will not be able to know about everything that happens, because - I can give you a reference. We used to buy ammunition from Guinea, so --

  • Sir, my question's dealing with Charles Taylor. Did he appear to you to be a strong leader?

  • He was a leader in his country.

  • Mr Sesay, using your knowledge of Charles Taylor, and your intelligence, you're a clever man, do you think a plane could have landed at Roberts International Airport, unloaded a large quantity of ammunition, and have that ammunition trucked across Liberia, over the border to Sierra Leone, without the knowledge of the President of Liberia, Charles Taylor?

  • Well, I'm unable to answer that. I don't know. I was not a security agent for Mr Taylor.

  • But you know he had many security agents; you know that, don't you?

  • Yes, I know, because he was a head of government.

  • Could the witness be shown P-67, and could we show page 6, please.

  • What is the CMS number on the page in question?

  • It should be 9677. Excuse me - 9678, the next page.

  • Sir, I'm reading from the third line in this report from the Black Guard unit to the leader - The Black Revolutionary Guards Unit to the leader. It states: "In October the high command was again called by President Taylor." Mr Sesay, what does the high command - what did those words mean in the RUF in October 1998?

  • Well, this document that you are bringing before me from The Black Revolutionary Guards, I knew about the Black Guards but I did not know about The Black Revolutionary Guards.

  • Really, Mr Sesay, you never heard that term before?

  • Well, that was not the title. The title was Black Guards, not Black Revolutionary Guards.

  • Mr Sesay, the question is: What does high command - what do the words "high command" mean? What did the words "high command" mean in the RUF in October of 1998? You weren't asked about the revolutionary guards. What is your answer, please?

  • The word - the phrase "high command" means the commander who was the head of the revolution at that time. That was the field commander.

  • Sam Bockarie, is that right?

  • He was the field commander.

  • The document reads:

    "We, therefore, went along with him to Monrovia. The high

    command was instructed by President Taylor to move to

    Burkina Faso and meet with the Burkina President. The high

    command, the War Council chairman."

    First let me stop there. Mr Sesay, who was the War Council chairman in October 1998?

  • The War Council chairman was Mr SYB Rogers.

  • "And one SLA representative, Colonel Eddie Kanneh, took the

    trip to Burkina Faso. They met President Blaise Compaore

    and they were highly welcome. They took two weeks in

    Burkina Faso. They were given work of confidence and

    assurance by President Blaise and that he will not let

    Corporal Foday Sankoh down at all. The President told the

    high command to be very hard in command and uphold his

    movement."

    I'm going to skip a few lines to where it's underlined:

    "On their return, they were given huge quantity of

    materials for serious offensive to start a campaign for the

    release of our leader. The delegation returned back to

    Monrovia in December."

  • "November".

  • "November". Thank you. Sorry, November.

  • Mr Sesay, by the way - how do you pronounce your name?

  • Issa.

  • Sesay, what pronunciation do you use?

  • Mr Sesay, this is what you knew when Sam Bockarie came back, isn't it, that he'd been sent by President Taylor to meet Blaise Compaore and to obtain ammunition?

  • Well, I knew that Mr Taylor spoke to President Blaise, according to Bockarie, that he should go and meet him for them to revisit the Abidjan Accord.

  • Well, didn't Sam Bockarie tell you that he was going to Burkina Faso for ammunition?

  • No, he did not tell me that he was going to collect ammunition.

  • Mr Sesay, when you test - when you were on trial in the case in Freetown, in which you just explained you're serving a 52-year sentence, did you testify?

  • Yes, I testified.

  • Did you take an oath to tell the truth?

  • Yes, I took an oath.

  • Did you tell the truth or did you lie?

  • Well, I said all that I recalled. I wouldn't have been able to say everything that happened.

  • So what you said is what you remembered, is that right?

  • I said not all that I said I can recall now.

  • What I'm saying is when you testified you told the judges in that trial what you remembered. Correct?

  • Yes, what I recalled was what I said.

  • Well, let's - what did you tell them about the ammunition that you used to take Koidu Town, Makeni, and move on to Waterloo?

  • Well, I told them that it was Sam Bockarie who brought the ammunition.

  • Really? Mr Sesay, do you want to think about that? Is that what you - did you tell them that Sam Bockarie brought the ammunition from Burkina Faso?

  • Well, I do not recall. But I told them that it was Bockarie who gave me ammunition to go and attack Kono.

  • Mr Sesay, you know that Sam Bockarie brought that ammunition from Burkina Faso and he came through Liberia, don't you?

  • Well, that is what I've said. I do not recall.

  • So what you told us before about Bockarie telling you it came from buying it in Lofa County, you don't really know whether you remember that correctly or not; is that what you're saying now?

  • Well, I have said that that is what I recall that that was what Bockarie told me.

  • Could the witness be shown, I believe the Court Management Officer has the transcripts from the RUF trial, the transcript for the 17th of May 2007, page 29.

  • Your Honour, note that this is a closed session transcript.

  • Well, your Honour, it will not reveal the testimony. This page will not reveal the testimony - excuse me. I'll read from the transcript then.

    Mr Sesay, I'm reading from the transcript, and I'm reading from line 12. This is what you said:

    "Well, inside the third week of November 1998, Sam Bockarie called me. By then they were working on the field, so he called me from Pendembu and I reported at Buedu, and he told me that I and Mike Lamin should be responsible for Buedu."

    Mr Sesay, so far, all of that you agree with?

  • Yes, I agree.

  • Don't want to change your testimony on that, do you?

  • No, Bockarie called me.

  • Can I read to you the next line? The next line is: "He is going to Burkina Faso for ammunitions." That's what's Sam Bockarie told you, isn't it?

  • I do not recall if that was what Bockarie told me.

  • Mr Sesay - Mr Sesay, why did you testify in your own trial that Sam Bockarie told you he was going to Burkina Faso for ammunition if you didn't remember that? Well, let me help you. Are you saying that you remembered it in 2007 but you forgot it when you came to testify for Charles Taylor?

  • Well, when I was testifying there was certain things that I did not recall. I cannot recall everything. Even as I am sitting here, it's not every event that I can recall.

  • Mr Sesay, you didn't - your answer was not you cannot recall. Your answer was that you spoke to Bockarie, he called you from Pendembu, and he said he is going to Burkina Faso for ammunition. That's what Sam Bockarie told you, wasn't it?

  • I said I do not recall.

  • Let's go to the same date, page 61. There is nothing on this page that would reveal the name of a witness. It can be displayed.

  • Madam Court - it is displayed now.

  • I'm going to start reading to you, Mr Sesay, from line 7. You told the Trial Chamber - Trial Chamber I in the RUF case, you said:

    "A. Well, when he came. I explained yesterday that when

    he came - when he arrived, he killed Foday Kallon."

    Mr Sesay, who were you talking about when you said he killed Foday Kallon?

  • It was Sam Bockarie.

  • "A. Then the next day he called me, Mike Lamin, Pa Rogers,

    Prince Taylor and him, Bockarie. Then we drove - he drove.

    He drove the jeep. His own jeep. Then he drove to a place

    where the civilians would sit down during the time of the

    jet. They called the place Waterworks. It was just a mile

    from Buedu on the road to Liberia, on the road to Dawa. So

    when we arrived there he told us, because it was he and Pa

    Rogers who went on the trip. And Pa Rogers himself was

    amongst us."

    Let me pause for a moment. Mr Sesay, Pa Rogers is SYB Rogers, the man mentioned in that document, correct.

  • Yes, that's him.

  • "Then he told us that the trip that I told you about that I was going to Burkina Faso - these are the items that I had got, including money which was $20,000. He said he was led by Diendere and they met the Head of State in Burkina Faso, President Blaise. He was the one that gave them these provisions on behalf of Foday Sankoh."

    Mr Sesay, were you telling the truth when you testified in the RUF on the page that I've just read so far?

  • Well, there were things that I did not recall because, like even the names of people who attended the meeting, not all of them that I recalled.

  • Mr Sesay, you say in this paragraph I've read that Sam Bockarie told you "they met the Head of State in Burkina Faso, President Blaise. He was the one that gave them these provisions on behalf of Foday Sankoh."

    You were talking about the ammunition for the attack on Koidu; correct?

  • Well, what, Mr Sesay? Well, what?

  • I said I do not recall that it was about the ammunition for the attack on Kono.

  • Are you testifying honestly now?

  • Yes, what I recall is what I am saying. What I remember is what I am saying.

  • Well, let me continue to read:

    "Q. Did anything else get said at the meeting?

    A. Yes, Mr Lawyer, let me just explain. So when he has

    told us this he said well this ammunition, he would

    dispatch me to go attack Kono. So he was thinking about

    how many boxes of this ammunition he would give me. He

    said after that he would arrange with Mike Lamin. He said

    when I left to go to Kono he would arrange with Mike Lamin

    and other commanders how they should attack Segbwema and

    other areas."

    That's what you testified to in the RUF trial, isn't that correct?

  • Well, for some that was what happened. But it's not everything that I said before that I recall now, because I said the attack on Segbwema was after the capture of Kono. That was when the attack on Segbwema took place.

  • Well, let me concentrate on one matter asserted in what I just read. The ammunition that you used to attack Kono that led all the way down to Waterloo, it came from Burkina Faso, correct?

  • Well, Bockarie said he bought it from Lofa.

  • Well, why didn't you say that in the RUF trial, Mr Sesay? Why are you only saying that in the Charles Taylor trial?

  • Well, I have said it's not all the events that I recall.

  • Is it because this information you realise that Charles Taylor sent Sam Bockarie along with his own chief of protocol to Burkina Faso to arrange that arms deal and that the arms came back through Roberts International Airport and were trucked across Liberia, that this information which you testified to in the RUF trial would incriminate Charles Taylor on all of these events in 1998 and 1999? Is that why you've changed your testimony?

  • No. I have said that it's not everything that I said during my trial that I recall. What I recall is what I am giving testimony about.

  • Sir, in the RUF trial you recalled the ammunition came from Burkina Faso. Is that right?

  • Well, I don't recall. I don't recall that that was what Bockarie told me.

  • Well, let's go to 22 June 2007, your testimony on that day, page 33. Excuse me. I don't have in my notes the entire page but it's open session. It can be displayed. It's open. Thank you. I'm going to start reading to you, Mr Sesay, and you can follow along from line 9. You were asked this question:

    "Q. Yes, you can say you don't see arms but I'm saying to

    you that you know that they were transported from Liberia

    to Sierra Leone during the years 1997 to 2000.

    A. Well, I only knew once that Bockarie, he himself came

    with ammunition in December 1998, and he told me - he gave

    me an order that he brought this ammunition from Burkina

    Faso."

    That's what you testified to in the RUF trial, Mr Sesay, isn't it?

  • Well, I have said that I do not recall. What I recall that Bockarie said was that he bought the ammunition from Lofa and that was part of the ammunition that he gave to me for the attack on Kono.

  • Sorry. Mr Sesay, when counsel reads the transcript, you don't need to recall, you just need to listen to what he's reading. He's not asking you to recall in your memory. He has just read to you what you testified in your own trial and asking you why that is different from what you are telling us in this trial. So you don't need to recall anything, just listen to the - and I'm sure you can see a copy of the transcript in front of you, not so?

  • Yes, I'm seeing it.

  • Mr Sesay, do you testify to things under oath that you don't remember? Is that your practice?

  • Well, you can take oath but it's not everything that you can recall. Not everything you remember.

  • That wasn't my question. Do you testify to things under oath that you don't remember? Do you make things up?

  • No, I don't make things up. What I recall is what I say.

  • And this is - let me read it to you again so we know again - you can hear again what you said in 2007 on 22 June, page 33. You said:

    "A. Well, I only know once that Bockarie, he himself came

    with ammunition in December 1998 and he told me - he gave

    me an order that he brought these ammunition from Burkina

    Faso."

    That's the truth, isn't it?

  • Well, what happened when Bockarie brought the ammunition and what he said was that he got the ammunition from Lofa. He said he bought them in Lofa.

  • Well, Mr Sesay, if that's the case, why did you testify under oath that the ammunition came from Burkina Faso and that Bockarie told you that?

  • Well, at that time I did not recall. I did not recall. What came to my mind was what I said.

  • So, sir, you were preparing for your own trial, your own freedom was at stake, and it was closer in time to the events than you are at today; it was three years ago. Are you saying you didn't remember where the ammunition came from in 2007 and now you do?

  • Well, being that the Court had convicted me, now I can sit down during my own quiet times and then I read about so many things - I recall so many things.

  • So when was it that you recalled the ammunition came from Lofa and not, as you testified under oath, it came from Burkina Faso? What did you read or who talked to you to tell you to change your - to cause you to change your recollection?

  • Well, after my testimony I used to go through the transcripts. That was when I recalled that that was not what actually obtained.

  • Mr Sesay, I'm putting it to you, let me be clear: You're lying about that. You know the ammunition came from Burkina Faso. You testified to the same fact that it came from Burkina Faso as all of these Prosecution witnesses I mentioned earlier. And now you're lying to protect Charles Taylor. That's the truth, isn't it?

  • I have nothing to benefit from lying.

  • Let's look at page 35 of 22 June 2007. Your testimony again. Mr Sesay, you're very clear here and I'm going to line 7 where the question was:

    "Q. And I think you said that that ammunition brought by

    Bockarie, around December 1998, was from Burkina Faso. Do

    you remember saying that?

    A. Yes, that was what Bockarie told me and other people.

    SYB Rogers, he himself also confirmed that, because he and

    Bockarie went.

    Q. And that ammunition was transported into Sierra Leone

    from Liberia. That's right, isn't it?

    A. Yes, it was Bockarie that came with it.

    Q. And it was transported into Sierra Leone from Liberia?

    A. Yes, it was through Liberia that Bockarie passed and

    came to Buedu."

    Mr Sesay, you said that in June of 2007, a little over three years ago, isn't that true? First of all, didn't you say that?

  • I said that but I'm saying that I did not recall at that time and now I have seen that it's not the right thing.

  • And how is it, Mr Sesay? What has caused you to change your testimony?

  • Well, when I recalled that it was in Lofa that Bockarie said he'd buy the ammunition from, that was why I said this now.

  • When did you recall that?

  • Well, after I had testified when my lawyers used to give me the transcript, that was when I used to pick them up.

  • When you say your lawyers, which lawyers are you speaking about?

  • I am talking about those who defended me. It was Sareta who came with the transcript.

  • Mr Sesay, how did Sam Bockarie travel? We can agree on one thing, I think. Sam Bockarie came back from Burkina Faso through Roberts International Airport outside Monrovia in Liberia, correct?

  • Yes, because they used aeroplane.

  • And you said you've been along the road there and you've seen where that airport is; correct? Is that right? You've been to the airport, is that right?

  • Yes, I've been there.

  • Mr Sesay, you'd agree that a large shipment of ammunition that landed at that airport would be obvious to the security at the airport, correct?

  • This ammunition that came from Liberia was the ammunition that led to the attack on Kono, to all the destruction on Koidu, to the attack on Magburaka and Makeni, to the defeat of the ECOMOG at Daru Barracks and to the ability of the RUF to move on to Lunsar and Waterloo. Correct?

  • Well, that's a lie, because no destruction took place in Kono. No destruction took place in Kono and RUF did not capture Daru.

  • Teko Barracks, excuse me, in Makeni, was taken by the RUF in December 1998. Correct?

  • Yes, but it was the ammunition that we got from ECOMOG that we used.

  • The ammunition that you say you captured in Koidu. Correct?

  • Yes, that was it.

  • In December 1998, correct?

  • You are correct, yes.

  • And the way you attacked ECOMOG in Koidu, the means that you used, was the ammunition Sam Bockarie brought back in Liberia. Correct?

  • Yes, those were the ammunition that Bockarie brought from Lofa. That was the one we used to attack Kono - Koidu.

  • In Koidu you defeated a large ECOMOG force. Correct?

  • Yes. The ECOMOG who had, yeah, they run away.

  • They ran in disarray, some towards Kenema, others towards Makeni. Correct?

  • Some - they did not go to Makeni. Some went to Tongo Field and some went towards Kenema.

  • Then you moved on and attacked another large ECOMOG force at Makeni taking Teko Barracks; is that right?

  • The ECOMOG in Makeni, yes, but that was a joint operation with the men who came from Koinadugu.

  • And together your forces joined with Superman's forces, you were able to defeat this large ECOMOG force in Makeni. Correct?

  • The Superman forces, Mani and General Bropleh's troops, all of them attacked Teko Barracks.

  • All of you together working jointly, correct?

  • Well, we met in Makeni, yes.

  • So when you had taken Koidu, and you had taken Makeni, you had you had defeated two of the major ECOMOG positions in Sierra Leone; is that right?

  • Yes, the ECOMOG were running away.

  • And capturing Makeni opened up the north of the country to the RUF. Correct?

  • Yes, though the Superman's group were in the north even before that time, and though there was no communication between him and Bockarie, nor was there with the other RUF members.

  • Takes about two hours to drive from Makeni to Freetown; is that right?

  • Well, that depends on individual vehicles. Some people use their vehicles for more than two hours.

  • I said "about". Give me your estimate, how long does it take to drive from Makeni to Freetown?

  • Well, some vehicles - it depends on the condition of the vehicle. Some vehicles spend about two hours and some vehicles spend beyond two hours.

  • When - what was the date you captured Makeni?

  • The 24th of December 1998.

  • And then in the next week you attacked Lunsar. Correct?

  • When did you take Lunsar?

  • Lunsar, it was in January. Because the troop - the troops had captured Makeni. We did not go to Lunsar. We went back to attack Kabala with one group, and another group to Bumbuna. So that the following week the RUF was to advance towards Lunsar.

  • So it was in very early January that you attacked Lunsar. Correct?

  • Yes, that was in January.

  • So, Mr Sesay, thanks to the ammunition sent through Liberia the RUF took Koidu, took Makeni, Magburaka, Lunsar, opening the way for the AFRC Gullit led troops with RUF elements to enter Freetown; isn't that right?

  • No. Because you are calling the names of towns that fighting did not take place. Fighting did not take place in Magburaka, for instance. ECOMOG did not fight in Magburaka. And when the RUF captured Lunsar, the RUF went first to fight in Port Loko, so even if the RUF fought towards Waterloo, Gullit and others, they bypassed and went and attacked Freetown, so they could have bypassed again to move out of Freetown, because the ECOMOG still remained in control of Jui when Gullit and others attacked. And until the time Gullit and others left Freetown ECOMOG was still in control of Jui.

  • Mr Sesay, the strategic situation in Sierra Leone had changed dramatically from the time you left to attack Koidu to January 6th because, in between that time, you had taken Koidu, Makeni, Teko Barracks, Lunsar and other areas, isn't that true?

  • Please ask your question once more, please.

  • The strategic situation between the RUF and ECOMOG, the RUF and its enemies, ECOMOG and its enemies had changed dramatically between the time, mid-December, when you attacked Koidu and January 6th because, in between that time, with the ammunition that you got from Liberia, you had taken Koidu; that victory allowed you to move on to Makeni, Lunsar; all of that had changed before January 6th, correct?

  • Well, the capture - with the capture of Lunsar, at that time the AFRC had already attacked Freetown. So you cannot say that we captured Lunsar at the time the AFRC had not yet attacked Freetown. The AFRC had already attacked Freetown even before we put Lunsar under control, and around the 24th, when we captured Makeni, the AFRC were almost around the peninsula area going towards Freetown, because that very day we captured Makeni on the 24th was the same 24th that the AFRC captured Benguema and they went up around the hills and they went and surfaced somewhere around Hastings. So they were almost in Freetown because they were around Freetown at that time and, whilst they were moving, they used bypasses as they moved on, leaving enemies behind them. So you cannot say that it follows that because we captured Makeni - Kono and Makeni that was the reason why the AFRC were let to capture Freetown. No, these were two different operations.

  • Mr Sesay, thank you. You've indicated that simultaneously ECOMOG was facing, for example, on the very same day, attacks on Benguema from AFRC forces, Gullit led - or SAJ Musa-led forces and RUF-led forces at Makeni, those two battles were happening simultaneously. Correct?

  • Yes, but there was no communication with SAJ Musa. We had no business with SAJ Musa. SAJ Musa didn't even want to hear about the RUF.

  • So ECOMOG, their efforts to defend Sierra Leone were divided between facing two folds simultaneously, SAJ Musa-led forces and RUF forces; correct?

  • ECOMOG - ECOMOG was well armed. ECOMOG had the jets, they had tanks, so ECOMOG was well equipped.

  • My question was, and I'll repeat it for you, you haven't answered it: So ECOMOG, in their efforts to defend Sierra Leone, they had to divide their forces to face simultaneous attacks by SAJ Musa-led forces and RUF forces. Correct?

  • Yes, because SAJ Musa and others had been fighting from Masiaka on the way coming to Freetown from Lunsar because they attacked Lunsar and, at that time, the RUF had not even attacked Kono.

  • And when I say "RUF forces", I'm talking about the forces you led from Koidu to Makeni, correct? You led that, right?

  • Isn't that the answer I'm giving, that we had not even captured Kono. I was the commander who captured Kono. When the AFRC were on the move to Makeni they attacked Lunsar in early December, we had not even attacked Kono then.

  • Your forces included former SLAs - AFRC, if you want to call them - people like Leather Boot and others, Akim Turay was under the command of you and Sam Bockarie. Correct?

  • Leather Boot did not take part in the attack. It was Akim who was in Kono.

  • None of these attacks would have been possible without the ammunition from Liberia; we agree on that, don't we?

  • Well, the RUF had made an attempt to capture Kono, to attack Kono. They attacked Kono around July to August '98, I think early in August '98. RUF had attacked Kono before this time, so --

  • You said that attack was unsuccessful, according to you, because you had poor ammunition; isn't that right?

  • Yes, because we were using buried ammunition that Bockarie had given to Superman.

  • So thanks to the ammunition that Sam Bockarie brought back in December 1998 from Liberia, all of these attacks happened - all of these events in December and January, all the things that happened to the people of Sierra Leone would not have happened without that ammunition from Liberia; isn't that true?

  • No, I disagree. Because you cannot just put it in that form, that all that happened to the people of Sierra Leone wouldn't have happened, because the atrocities that were committed in certain parts of the country - this group that attacked Kono had no business with those places. And even that's a surprise for me to bring AK rounds to attack Kono. And, at the end of the day, ECOMOG ran away because they were just engaged in mining. So you can't say that because I captured Kono what happened in Freetown was as a result of that ammunition. No, no, those are two different things. Those who attacked Freetown had their own strengths, they had their own plan. That had nothing to do with the people who came from Kono to Makeni because, when you look at what happened during those attacks, the capturing of Kamajors, the Nigerian ECOMOG soldiers, we did not capture civilians, the civilians remained in their towns. Up to the time that we came to Makeni there were no burning of even government structures, I wouldn't say - I wouldn't say civilian houses. So you can't compare that with what happened in Freetown. They amputated civilians.

  • Mr Sesay, my question was: Without the ammunition from Liberia none of this would have happened because you would have been in Buedu and the attack on Koidu never would have taken place; isn't that true?

  • Yes. Had we not - if I hadn't got ammunition to attack Kono, I wouldn't have attacked Kono. But even if we hadn't attacked Kono, the AFRC had plans. They were on the move. From October, they had made their plans, and they were on the move to go to Freetown. So that's a different thing. Whether we had attacked Kono or not, they would have attacked Freetown.

  • Without the ammunition brought back from Liberia, those SAJ Musa forces in the north would have faced ECOMOG all by themselves; isn't that right?

  • They would have carried out their plans that they had, because they were not communicating their plans with us.

  • And they would not have had a chance to get into Freetown without the RUF attacks on Koidu, Makeni and other locations; isn't that true?

  • No, I disagree. Because the RUF was in Buedu. RUF was not in Koidu Town. The AFRC captured Waterloo - I mean, captured Lunsar, they captured Lunsar and then Masiaka. So if the RUF hadn't attacked Koidu, they had made their plans to come to Freetown. So nothing would have stopped them because they had made their plans and they were on the move and they captured Lunsar and Masiaka.

  • It was the RUF that captured Lunsar, wasn't it?

  • No, no, no. From around the 5th - between 5 and 10 December 1998, the AFRC captured Lunsar. It was on Focus on Africa.

  • Your Honour, can he kindly repeat the last part of his answer.

  • Mr Sesay, please repeat the last part of your answer for the interpreter.

  • Yes, my Lord. I said between 5 and 10 December 1998, the AFRC captured Lunsar. They captured a huge amount of ammunition, what I understood later. That was where they got combat uniforms, which they wore to come down to Freetown.

  • Mr Sesay, before I leave this topic, let me just go back for a moment. When you said that all these Prosecution witnesses who testified to the ammunition for that attack being what brought - Bockarie brought back from Burkina Faso, you said all of these Prosecution witnesses were lying. But you didn't tell the truth to the Chamber about that, did you?

  • Well, I said - I have said what I recall here.

  • Because you yourself testified in 2007, I read to you four different passages, that the ammunitions came from Burkina Faso, and you are lying to this Trial Chamber about it, trying to protect Charles Taylor for his responsibility for the terrible things that happened in 1998 and 1999 in Sierra Leone; isn't that true?

  • No, that's not true. Because that ammunition really - where I fought with that ammunition coming down to Makeni, terrible things did not happen there. Terrible things did not happen there because - yes, I said terrible things did not happen there because even the civilians from Kono, one was called as a Prosecution witness, that is the prominent person.

  • I have to stop you, because that wasn't my question. My question is about why you changed your testimony. Mr Sesay, you testified under oath in 2007 the ammunition came from Burkina Faso. That was the truth. Were you telling the truth in 2007 or were you lying?

  • I said when - after I had testified, when I was reading the transcript, I realised that the account I had given was not the right account. I said the ammunition - that part of the ammunition, Bockarie told me that he had bought them from Lofa.

  • I'm going to move on, Mr Sesay.

  • Mr Sesay, you read the transcript and then realised. How soon after giving the evidence did you read the transcript and make this realisation?

  • My Lord, when I finished testifying, my lawyers brought the transcripts to me. So it was at that time that I read the transcripts.

  • Did you mean that when your entire evidence was finished, you read the transcripts, or when you were finished for that particular day?

  • No. After I had finished testifying, because they were not bringing them every day. It was after I had completed my testimony, they put it all together and brought them.

  • Thank you, Mr Koumjian.

  • Mr Sesay, I read you transcripts where you talked about Burkina Faso from 17 May to 22 June, four times. Four times you said the ammunition came from Burkina Faso; isn't that correct?

  • Well, I can't remember.

  • More than a month in between 17 May and 22 June, and you were consistent in saying the ammunition came from Burkina Faso; isn't that right?

  • Well, after I had finished testifying, that was when they made the transcripts available to me, when my lawyers brought them to me.

  • And Mr Sesay, before you testified in this case that the ammunition did not come from Burkina Faso, did you realise that Charles Taylor testified that he sent his chief of protocol, Musa Cisse, on that trip to Burkina Faso with Sam Bockarie? Did you know that?

  • I don't know that.

  • Well, did Musa Cisse go on that trip?

  • I did not go on the trip, so I don't know.

  • Well, you've talked a lot about the trip. You talked in detail during your direct about who went. Who went on the trip, Mr Sesay?

  • Well, those who left Sierra Leone that I was aware of were Bockarie, SYB Rogers and Eddie Kanneh, because Lawrence and others said they stayed in Monrovia.

  • You said Lawrence Womandia was sent because he spoke French, right?

  • Well, I don't know.

  • Well, that is what you testified on direct, isn't it? Lawrence Womandia was chosen to go on the trip because he spoke French.

  • Well, they left Buedu to go, Lawrence, Bockarie, Eddie Kanneh, Pa Rogers. They left Buedu to go.

  • Lawrence Womandia speaks French, correct?

  • Yes, he speaks French.

  • And you know that's why he was chosen to go on the trip, correct?

  • Eddie Kanneh also speaks French, doesn't he?

  • Yes, but Lawrence's French is better than Eddie Kanneh's.

  • So there'd be no reason for Charles Taylor to send an interpreter to go along with the delegation of Sam Bockarie, would there be?

  • Well, I don't know that.

  • Well, do you know that Charles Taylor testified that Musa Cisse, his chief of protocol, would arrange arms deals, illicit arms deals, for him?

  • Did you know that Charles Taylor testified that Musa Cisse would bribe people in various countries to allow arms to come into Liberia?

  • Well, I was not monitoring Mr Taylor's testimony.

  • So, Mr Sesay, based on what you know about the delegation, if I told you that now that you know that Musa Cisse went on that delegation, he went there in order to arrange the arms deal; isn't that right?

  • Okay. I'm going to move on to a different topic. Could the witness please be shown D-336. Excuse me. I forgot I have to readjust my outline a bit, so I'm going to skip this section for the moment, until I read the latest decision.

    Mr Sesay, I want to talk to you about Sam Bockarie. He was a wicked man; would you agree?

  • Yes, I agree.

  • He was a dictator, correct?

  • Let me tell you how a Defence witness described him, and this is from 13 April, page 2010, the bottom of page 38884, the last three lines, if that could be put on the screen. The last three lines:

    "A. When Mosquito left after the Top Finals, when they

    took over finally, when they took over command of the RUF -

    I mean, when the Sierra Leonean vanguards took over command

    of the RUF" - next page - "he became a very senior person.

    That was where he started becoming the devil he was.

    Q. You describe him as a devil?

    A. Yes, I do, yes."

    You would agree with that description of Sam Bockarie, wouldn't you?

  • He was a wicked man, but he was a human being, he was not a spirit.

  • Let's go to page - to 12 April, page 38659. April 12 page 38659. This is from another Defence witness.

    Mr Sesay, so you understand, I'm going to start with the Prosecutor's question, where the Prosecutor was reading from a document about radio threats made by - or about threats made by Sam Bockarie. So going towards the middle of the page, line 17. The Prosecutor read:

    "Q. 'The Revolutionary United Front will destroy every

    living thing if anything happens to their leader,

    Corporal Foday Sankoh,' RUF commander Sam Mosquito Bockarie

    told the newspaper For the People in a report published on

    Wednesday. Sankoh is currently being held at Pademba Road

    Prison in Freetown where he is preparing an appeal against

    his conviction and death sentence on treason charges. 'I

    am a ruthless commander,' Bockarie said in a telephone

    interview. 'I am ready to damage, but I am waiting until

    something happens to Sankoh. When I take Freetown, I shall

    clear every living thing and building. To my God, I'll

    fight, I'll kill and kill, and the more they tell me to

    stop, the more I'll kill. Only Sankoh can tell us to

    stop.'"

    Before I go on, Mr Sesay, do you recall Sam Bockarie making threats like this in 1998, in late 1998 and early 1999?

  • Well, in late '98 December to early '99 I was not in Buedu with Bockarie. I left to go to Kono and I was in Makeni until April when I went back to Buedu '99.

  • You had a radio; correct? Let me clarify. First of all, you had a commercial radio. You could listen to Focus on Africa and other programmes, correct?

  • Yes, I used to listen to radio but not on a daily basis because during those times I was under operation.

  • And, sir, you are aware that Sam Bockarie was making these threats to attack Freetown in December 1998, aren't you? You were the battle group commander of the RUF; weren't you aware of these threats?

  • Sam Bockarie usually makes threats when he's far away from Freetown.

  • So your answer is yes, you do know that Sam Bockarie was making threats to attack Freetown. Is that what you're saying?

  • No. Because Sam Bockarie was not in communication with SAJ Musa who was going to attack Freetown. So he wouldn't be able to threaten Freetown when he didn't have people who would attack Freetown.

  • So are you saying you, Issa Sesay, the battle group commander of the RUF, were unaware of threats made by Sam Bockarie to attack Freetown in late 1998 and early 1999?

  • Sam Bockarie used to - do you mean Sam Bockarie used to call BBC to make those threats?

  • BBC and other media, yes. Newspapers, radios. You know that, don't you?

  • No, well, I was not in Buedu in early '99, so if Sam Bockarie speaks in his telephone, if he did not - if he does not tell me I wouldn't know. Except if he tells me that, "Oh, my man so and so a thing is going on," then I'll know.

  • But, Mr Sesay, you've testified throughout your direct about knowing all the things that Sam Bockarie was doing. You talked about all of his trips to Monrovia. Now are you saying that you only know what was happening in Pendembu, you don't know what was going on in Buedu?

  • No. Being in Pendembu - the distance between Pendembu and Buedu is 34 miles. Makeni and Buedu, they would have to inform me through a radio because it's a very long distance and somebody cannot just leave Buedu to Makeni. But if I was in Pendembu I would find out that Mike Lamin would come from Buedu to meet me in Pendembu. Every week Mike Lamin would come two or three times. But I won't dispute the fact that Bockarie did not call and make threats because even some ambassadors in Guinea, he used to call people to make threats that he would fight until Sankoh is released.

  • So you heard Sam Bockarie make threats to attack Freetown; correct?

  • He was talking in terms of releasing his leader. He was saying if they do not release his leader, nobody would tell him to stop fighting. But those who had attacked Freetown were not sent by Sam Bockarie. So he cannot make threats on behalf of SAJ Musa when SAJ Musa was not telling him his day-to-day movement towards Freetown.

  • He was making threats on behalf of the RUF, correct? He was making threats on behalf of the RUF to attack Freetown, correct?