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

  • Please proceed, Mr Santora.

  • Thank you, Madam President.

  • Good morning, Mr Witness.

  • Morning, sir.

  • I just want to verify that you are hearing what I say translated to you in Krio?

  • Can you please state your full name for the Court?

  • My name is Mohamed Bereteh Kabbah.

  • Can you spell your middle name?

  • Yes, B-E-R-E-T-E-H, Bereteh

  • Now, did you ever go by any other name?

  • Yes, during the war they used to call me Tourist.

  • Where were you born, Mr Witness?

  • I was born in Kailahun Town in the Kailahun District.

  • And do you belong to any particular ethnic or tribal group in Sierra Leone?

  • Yes, I belong to the Mende and Mandingo tribes.

  • Explain what you mean when you say you belong to both Mende and Mandingo tribes?

  • My mother is a Mende and my father is a Mandingo.

  • Before the war in Sierra Leone did you have any professions?

  • Yes, at first I was a teacher.

  • And where were you a teacher?

  • In a village called Sandialu in the Kailahun District.

  • Your Honours, Sandialu has been spelled on the record before and it doesn't look like it came up the same way. So it is actually S-A-N-D-I-A-L-U:

  • And aside from teaching before the war did you have any other professions?

  • Yes, after teaching for some times I left the teaching field and I became a farmer.

  • Where were you farming?

  • In a village called Jorpowahun in the Upper Bambara Chiefdom, under Pendembu in the Kailahun District.

  • Jorpowahun has not been spelled for record. It is J-O-R-P-O-W-A-H-U-N:

  • Now, Mr Witness, do you have any education yourself? Any formal education?

  • Yes, I went to school and I stopped at Form 5.

  • And can you read and write?

  • I do read a little bit and I write a little bit.

  • What languages are you familiar with?

  • I speak Mende very well, I speak the Krio very well and English a little bit.

  • Can you describe for the Court the first time you yourself became in contact with the war in Sierra Leone?

  • Yes, I was at Jorpowahun when the war entered Sierra Leone. At that time we received some rebels who came to our village Jorpowahun. That was my first contact with the war.

  • Okay. I may just once in a while intervene to ask you some clarification questions and also to remind you to speak slowly so the translators can keep up with what you're saying. When was this? When was this time that you are talking about?

  • And do you remember approximately the month?

  • The rebels entered our village in April 1991.

  • Okay. Now continue with describing what happened when the rebels came to your village.

  • When the rebels entered our village, they assembled all of us at the barri and they told us that they brought the war and they said in three months time the war will be over so they assembled us at the barri. We were there, they asked for the town chief and the town chiefs presented themselves and they said they were old, they would not be able to do the job that they asked them to do. So they selected one of my elder brother, because he was a young man, so he was called the town commander. They used to call him the town commander. So I was made the deputy to him because I understood their English little by little, the broken English that they spoke. So we were there and after some time --

  • Mr Witness, before you go on I just want to clarify two things. First of all you kept referring to "they" in your last answer. When you said, "They said in three months time the war will be over" who were you referring to?

  • When you say the rebels, what do you mean?

  • The gunmen, because they had guns with them and they were speaking the Liberian English. They came to our village.

  • Why did you call them rebels?

  • Well, we had not seen such soldiers before.

  • Okay, and finally you did say that "they selected" - I'm sorry, "They used to call him the town commander". Who was calling who the town commander?

  • The rebels who came. In our village we used to refer to the chief as the town chief, but when the rebels came they gave the name town commander.

  • What happened to the previous town commander? I'm sorry, what happened to the town chief that was there before the rebels came?

  • I think actually the witness referred to chiefs in the plural, Mr Santora.

  • The town chiefs who were there, they were removed from their positions and they were no longer chiefs. So my brother and I who had been selected as the town commanders, they said we should be doing the work of the chiefs. Those were the rebels. They selected us.

  • Do you know why they removed the previous town chiefs?

  • What the rebels told us, they said the people were old. They said the chiefs were old. And they said their government was an armed government and that those old chiefs would not be able to do the job.

  • You said also that these rebels were speaking Liberian English. How do you know that? How did you know that?

  • Before the war entered, some of our brothers used to visit Liberia and at any time they returned they spoke that type of English, so when they came and started speaking I knew directly that they were Liberians.

  • Now go ahead and continue with your story in terms of after the rebels appointed you within your village after they came. What happened next?

  • At the other time, because they came at first and the second time they came the rebels captured those of us, the young men, and they said the job of town commander I should forget about that. They said I was a young man, they were going to take me to the training base. So they took us to Pendembu training base. So I was there, I trained there, but when there was shortage of food at the Pendembu training base they took us to Kailahun, the Methodist Secondary School where the base was. That was where I was up to the time we graduated and the rebels took us to Manowa. That was the first assignment - my first assignment area, Manowa. After Manowa --

  • One moment, Mr Witness. I am just going to stop you for a moment and ask you some questions about what you have just described with regards to the training base. You said that you were taken to a training base in Pendembu. Is that correct?

  • Do you remember any of the individuals - the names of the people associated with this training base?

  • Yes, I still recall Patrick Varney, I recall Monica Pearson, I recall Allucious Koker, I recall Jah Glory. Those were the teachers that we had at the training base.

  • Now before - Madam President, I owe you some spellings here, I think, but can you say again the first name you mentioned. You mentioned Patrick and say the last name slowly.

  • Varney.

  • That is correctly spelled, your Honours, and the spelling that I have is Allucious Koker, Koker is correct, A-L-L-U-C-I-O-U-S and Jah Glory looks correct:

  • Now, who was the actual leader of the training base?

  • The actual leader at the training base was CO Allucious. Patrick Varney was his deputy.

  • How long were you - first of all were you yourself trained?

  • Yes, that was why they took me there.

  • How long were you trained for?

  • The training, we did it at Pendembu for up to three good months and when we relocated to Kailahun it did not take long then we were sent to the front line.

  • Now you say "we". How many of you - how many were being trained when you were there?

  • It was a large population. We were more than three to four hundred at the base. We were many.

  • Now can you describe what - when you say training, what was the training comprised of?

  • In the training we had one which we lie on the ground and crawl and there was one called halaka. When you enter that one you go round something like a roundabout. They will run after you and they trained us how to assemble arms, how to dismantle and assemble arms, and they taught us what the war was all about, the reason why they brought the war. So those were trainings that they gave us.

  • Now, the trainers, do you know the nationality of the trainers?

  • Yes, we have Sierra Leonean Krio so if anyone spoke it we would know that that person was speaking Krio. And we had the Liberian English Krio, because for us we look at it to be a broken Krio and all of the men who were at the base they were speaking the Liberian Krio, the Liberian English, so we regarded all of them to be Liberian trainers who were at the training base.

  • Now, you also said you were trained in ideology. What do you mean by that?

  • The training that they gave us regarding the ideology was that at first they told us that the government was a corrupt government and that they came to change that particular government and that they brought a government that would do good things for the country. And the second one was that nobody should steal, nobody should lie, but along the line I later thought that they were teaching us the negative side of things because all what they taught us they did not practice.

  • Now, again you are referring to "they". At this point did you know what if any group these people were with?

  • The people that were training you.

  • They were the same Liberians who were training us. They gave us all the trainings. It was not that different people came to teach us ideology. Those same Liberians who came, they were the people who were giving us the ideology.

  • And you also said that part of this training was that they told you that the government was a corrupt government. What government were they referring to?

  • The APC government that was in power at that time. They said it was a very corrupt government and they said they had come to remove them from power in three months time.

  • Do you know where they had come from?

  • They came from Liberia. They came from Liberia. They did not come from the Guinea border area because we knew where the Guinea border was and where the Liberian border was. They came through the Liberian border.

  • Do you know if they were affiliated with any group in Liberia?

  • Yes, the group that they entered with they called them NPFL. It was the NPFL group that was part of them, because it got to a certain time that we later knew that we had RUF, but even there the Liberians were in majority and the RUF were the people who spoke the Sierra Leonean Krio and it was then at the base that they told us that we had the RUF. They said it was the RUF, the Sierra Leoneans, who came with the war but they had their brother Liberians who came to assist them so that they will push the government fighters inland and later when they leave the Sierra Leoneans there they will return back to Liberia.

  • Just to clarify, what do you mean when you say "so that they will push the government fighters inland"?

  • I said they and the RUF would enter and go deep into the country, that is, they will push the APC government troops against which they came to fight, and after taking the men deep into the country the RUF will stay and continue with the war and then they will return.

  • Now, why did you join the RUF?

  • There was no other way out. I had no option but to join them because they were gunmen. They captured me. I was there when they set certain examples. If somebody tried to escape, you would be a dead person. So when I saw them and they captured me, I decided to stay.

  • Now, do you recall an event in Sierra Leone known as the AFRC coup?

  • Yes, I recall. I remember that coup.

  • Okay. I would like for you to briefly describe your positions and assignments in the war up to the point of the AFRC coup and I may intervene at times to clarify or ask you some questions about that. Can you briefly describe where you were in Sierra Leone up to the point of the AFRC coup?

  • Yes. My first assignment, like I had said previously, was at Manowa and from Manowa I went back to Pendembu. When the APC government troops pushed us from Manowa I returned to Pendembu and I was there when the team came and captured me and from there - the raising team came and captured me there and they took me to Mobai.

  • First of all, when were you assigned to Manowa? Do you remember approximately?

  • At Manowa, I recall that it was in September 1991.

  • And where is Manowa?

  • Manowa is a chiefdom headquarters in the Kailahun District.

  • And what was your position at Manowa?

  • At Manowa when I went there I was the MP adjutant. I used to write for the MPs.

  • Were you reporting to anyone?

  • Yes, I used to report. I had a commander to whom I reported.

  • Do you remember his name, or her name?

  • The commander that I reported to was Sam G Tuah.

  • Now, after that you said - first of all, about how long did you remain in Manowa?

  • We went to Manowa and I was not there for up to a month when the government troops pushed us out of Manowa.

  • And you said then you went to Pendembu. Is that correct?

  • And you then said you were "there when the team came and captured me and from there the" something team. Can you just go ahead and say what happened again when you were at Pendembu?

  • When I was at Pendembu, a raising team, that was a group that was established on all front lines and when there was a shortage of manpower at the front line they would go out to the rear where there was no fighting taking place and look out for soldiers who were not assigned. So if they met you they will capture you and take you to the front line, so it was the Mobai raising team who came and captured me and took me back.

  • Okay. After you were captured by the raising team - well, before that, about how long had you been in Pendembu before you were captured by the raising team?

  • I went to Pendembu and I was there for two to three weeks, because at the time the government troops pushed us I did not have any other assignments, so I decided to go and have some rest. I was not there for a long time anyway.

  • Okay. Then you said you were sent to Mobai. Is that correct?

  • Mobai is one of the chiefdom headquarters in the Kailahun District.

  • And what was your assignment at Mobai?

  • I was the target adjutant.

  • What does that mean?

  • I was the one who took records of soldiers on the ground, arms on the ground, all supplies on the ground. I took record of them.

  • And at this point who was in Mobai?

  • It was CO Patrick Amara, the one we used to call CO Papa. He was the CO at Mobai at that time.

  • How many men - how many fighters were in Mobai at this time, approximately?

  • It was a target that had up to two to three flanks and at this time we had two platoons there which was more than 100 manpower.

  • Now just to go back, Patrick Amara, do you know his nationality?

  • Yes, Patrick Amara was a Sierra Leonean.

  • And earlier you mentioned an individual named Sam Tuah, Sam G Tuah. Do you remember his nationality?

  • Yes, he was a Liberian.

  • Now, approximately how long were you assigned at Mobai for?

  • I went to Mobai and there too I was not there for a long time, but approximately it was about two to three months.

  • And what happened then?

  • On one particular afternoon I came to the ground where CO Papa was and he told me that CO Kaifa Wai, who was the operations commander for that target, he said Pa Sankoh sent him to him that he should send two men, two soldiers, for them to go and train as radio operators, so he said I should go for that training.

  • Okay, Mr Witness, if you can try, and I know it is difficult - to try to use names instead of the use of words like "he" and "they" and "she". If you can try and remember that it would be helpful. I am just going to ask you when you said - first of all there was a name you gave. You said that CO Papa told you that CO Kaifa Wai? What was the name you said Kaifa Wai?

  • That name is actually new to me, your Honours, so --

  • I am sure I have heard it, but check the spelling.

  • I am just going to check the record very quickly. Actually I am told it has been spelled. I am just looking for where that is.

  • In fact it is on record.

  • I see it is on record from 7 February. It looks like 7 February this year, or 2 July. I am reading the date in reverse. So it should be K-A-I-F-A, second name Wai, W-A-I:

  • Now, Mr Witness, you said that Kaifa Wai, who was the operations commander for that target, he said Pa Sankoh sent him to him that he should send two men, two soldiers. Explain what you mean by that and use proper names?

  • He sent him to CO Papa, the target commander, for him to send two soldiers for radio communications training.

  • For who to send two soldiers, Mr Witness? For who?

  • CO Papa should send two soldiers. That is what I am still saying.

  • And you said for them to go and train as radio operators. Are you referring to the two soldiers?

  • And then you said, "So he said I should go for that training". Who told you that you should go for that training?

  • CO Papa, the target commander, was the one who said I should go for the training.

  • Do you know why you were picked?

  • Yes, according to what he told me he said I will be able to do the course because I do read and write and it is a job that required reading and writing, so he said I should go.

  • So did you end up going?

  • I went Gohun. It is a village in the Kailahun District that is where I went for the training.

  • Okay, at time you were sent Gohun can you recall approximately the time that was, the time period in terms of months and year?

  • I remember that that was in early 1992.

  • Do you remember who was in power in Sierra Leone when you were sent Gohun?

  • At that time that I was sent Gohun it was the APC government that was still in power.

  • Okay, and I will ask you more about your training - first of all did you end up training in radio operations?

  • Where did that take place?

  • And approximately how long were you training for?

  • The training lasted for about a month.

  • I will come back to that in a bit, but I would just like you to continue now describing your movements during the course of the war up to the AFRC coup. After this training where did you go?

  • After the training I --

  • Please pause, Mr Witness.

  • Your Honours, could the witness repeat that name, the ground.

  • The interpreter needs you to repeat a name, Mr Witness. Please pick up from where you said, "After the training I --" and continue from there.

  • I went to Bailu Ground.

  • Bailu Ground, your Honours, I believe it has been spelled, but I am just double checking. It has not, your Honours.

  • I don't recall it, but if it has been spelt already then it will be picked up when the transcript is corrected.

  • I understand. Actually it was not spelled, I did check. So the spelling is B-A-I-L-U:

  • What was your assignment at Bailu Ground, Mr Witness?

  • I went there as a radio operator.

  • Where is Bailu Ground?

  • Bailu Ground is the customs location between Sierra Leone and Liberia. That is on the border and that is after Koindu going towards Liberia, towards the Lofa County.

  • Now when you say Bailu Ground, are you referring to a village or are you referring to an area? What do you mean by "ground"?

  • There is the village itself which is a separate area, but the place I am referring to, the ground itself, is a customs area where - which is very close to the border area.

  • And were you reporting to anyone at Bailu Ground?

  • Yes, the commander who was there was CO Morris Kallon. He was the one I reported to.

  • Now, what was the composition of forces or what was the composition - yes, what was the composition of forces at Bailu Ground?

  • There were soldiers assigned on that ground to secure the border where we were, but the radio was purposely meant for the rear battalion. By that I mean the area that had been set free where there was no longer fighting going on, it was a non-conflict zone, those were the areas. That was reason why they said I should take that radio there and especially because it was on the border between Sierra Leone and Liberia.

  • About how many men were there, men and women? I should say how many fighters were there?

  • Since there was no longer fighting going on on that ground, we had a platoon which is 62 men on that ground to secure the ground along the border.

  • And how long did you remain at Bailu Ground?

  • I was at Bailu Ground up to the time the NPRC took over.

  • What happened after the NPRC took over?

  • When the NPRC took over they pushed us out of that area and then Pa Sankoh went and created a jungle at Gegbwema and that is a town around the Kenema District. So he called on me to take the radio with me there and when I went there he sent me to Pujehun at a village where they had the battalion headquarters at Sembehun, so that was where I went and based with a radio to CO Murray Rogers who was the battalion commander.

  • So, when you went to Pujehun, when you were assigned to Pujehun, you were still operating the radio?

  • I am sorry, you were still working with the radio?

  • Yes, I went there to do the radio job.

  • You said at Pujehun there was a battalion headquarters. Which battalion was this in Pujehun?

  • That was the 1st Battalion.

  • About how long after you were pushed out of Bailu Ground - about how long after that did you arrive at Pujehun approximately?

  • When they pushed us out of Bailu Ground I went to CO Issa, I was there for about two weeks. That was the time I received the call and then I went to Pa Sankoh at Gegbwema. It was from there that he sent me to Pujehun.

  • So if you have to estimate the time in total from the time you left Bailu Ground to the time you arrived at Sembehun in Pujehun District, about how long was that?

  • I would approximate that from the time they pushed us from Bailu Ground to the time I went to CO Issa, that was about two weeks. And the journey from Giema to go to where Pa Sankoh was, we spent four days on the way and when I went there I was there for two nights in the jungle with Pa Sankoh and it was after that that I was sent to Pujehun.

  • So would it be fair to estimate that it took about three weeks to go from Bailu Ground to Pujehun?

  • Now, what was your specific assignment in Pujehun?

  • My assignment in Pujehun was to send reports to Pa Sankoh about all that happened within that battalion. That was what I was doing.

  • And who were you directly reporting to in Pujehun?

  • I was reporting directly to CO Momoh Rogers who was the battalion commander.

  • About how many fighters were in the 1st Battalion at Pujehun?

  • When I went to Pujehun, I would not be able to actually give an estimate because they called various areas within that district that they said they had targets and they had manpower there, so I cannot actually estimate that. It was a very big area, so they had various deployments at various locations and I was based in the headquarters.

  • About how long did you remain in Pujehun?

  • I was in Pujehun for three months.

  • After that where did you go?

  • After that I got an assignment with CO Gibril Massaquoi who established a jungle around the Koribundu area and it was a forest that was around the Koribundu area in Bo District. That was where I was given a new assignment.

  • Can you remember approximately what month and year you left Pujehun to this assignment at the Koribundu area?

  • Repeat that question once more. Repeat it.

  • Can you remember approximately in terms of month and year when it was you left Pujehun?

  • I will say that it could be between '92 to '93.

  • You said you were then assigned with CO Gibril Massaquoi who established a jungle around the Koribundu area. What do you mean when you say he established a jungle?

  • The fighting got to a stage when the RUF were no longer based in townships, or in villages. The RUF were based in the bush. So they went and cleared up and prepared a forest. That was where I met them. It was a jungle and the forest was around Koribundu area, so we referred to the place as the Koribundu jungle.

  • Now, who was your immediate commander?

  • My immediate commander was CO Gibril Massaquoi.

  • And what were you doing? What was your assignment?

  • I was still a radio operator.

  • Do you know how many - approximately how many fighters were at the Koribundu jungle?

  • Yes, I cannot actually give the correct figure, but we were more than 200 in that jungle.

  • How long did you remain in the Koribundu jungle?

  • I was in the Koribundu jungle up to late 1995 before I left there.

  • And during that entire - during that time at the Koribundu jungle, did you work as - on your assignment as a radio operator the entire time?

  • Yes, that was the job that I had learnt and that was what I was doing all those times.

  • After the Koribundu - after you were in the Koribundu jungle, where did you go?

  • From there I got a new assignment to go to Giema, which is a village in the Kailahun District.

  • What was your assignment there?

  • I went there as a radio operator, but as the regional commander for signals and all radio operators within the Kailahun District.

  • Who gave you that assignment?

  • It was Pa Sankoh, before he assigned me.

  • And what were your responsibilities as regional commander for signals and all other radio operators within the Kailahun District?

  • I was in the Kailahun District headquarters station when Sam Bockarie at that time was in charge, so I used to collect reports from the various front lines within the district and at the same time send messages from Sam Bockarie to any station whatever that he would want to send a message to and also to receive reports, whether good or bad, from my operators who operated within the district.

  • Now, how long did you remain in this assignment?

  • I was on that assignment up to 1999 when I became overall commander, but I was there as regional commander.

  • Now, when you initially came to Giema, did you remain there?

  • When I came to Giema I did not spend much time there and I got another assignment to go to Abidjan. That is to say, we were the first group, myself, CO Vandi, CO Francis, CO Kposowa, who left the Kailahun District to go to Abidjan to negotiate for peace.

  • So about how long after you arrived in Giema did you receive this assignment to go to Abidjan?

  • I can say for about a month. I was not there for long.

  • Now, when you went to Abidjan do you know who was in power in Sierra Leone?

  • When I went to Abidjan it was the NPRC who were in power at that time.

  • Do you remember approximately when that was?

  • And just for clarification, when you say early '96 you mean the time you went to Abidjan. Is that correct?

  • Yes.

  • Now I will ask you some more questions about that later, but how long did you remain in Abidjan for?

  • We were there for 11 days. We spent 11 days there and we returned to Giema.

  • And after you returned to Giema, how long did you remain there?

  • I was at Giema up to the time of the AFRC coup before I left Giema.

  • And after the AFRC coup, were you assigned anywhere in particular?

  • No, I left Giema and I came to Kailahun. I was now based in Kailahun, Kailahun Town.

  • So after the AFRC coup you were based in Kailahun Town. Is that correct?

  • Yes.

  • Okay. Now, I just want to go back to some of the things you have discussed. First of all - some of the things that you have mentioned in terms of your movements. First of all, you said you were trained on the radio in Gohun for approximately a month. Is that correct?

  • Who trained you in Gohun?

  • It was CO Moses, a Liberian, who trained us.

  • Describe the composition of that training?

  • The training, the first thing that we did was the alphabet which we read, that is, we were to read it and memorise it so that you will know that you will be using it every day. After that we went to messages. That is if a message was written in English, CO Moses created codes, how you were to code that message. After you would have encoded that message, if you received any coded message how you were to decode that into English, we also had that training. Frequency, how we were to change frequencies, we had that training. How to receive messages, we got that training. Voice procedure, who was on the air, was it a senior officer, how to salute him. We received all of those trainings.

  • About how many other people were being trained with you at this time in Gohun?

  • We were three who underwent the training. I, Martin Moinama, called The Cat, and Ahmed Koroma whom we called Liberty. Three of us took that training.

  • Now, after you received this training at Gohun, did you receive training anywhere else?

  • Yes. Before I received my assignment at Bailu Ground, it was to the overall commander, signal overall commander, CO Nya, to whom we went in Pendembu who did a revision training for two days before he dispatched us to go to Bailu Ground.

  • What do you mean by revision training?

  • What we had studied in Gohun, if at all we could put it in practice when we would have gone to our stations.

  • Can you explain that last answer, Mr Witness? You said that "if at all we could put it into practice". Can you explain what you mean by that?

  • Like CO Moses trained us, if you received a message if it were coded how you could decode that message. He put us to a test. He tested us on that, if at all we were good on that. If that was something we were going to do, how to receive a message and how to decode that message.

  • And are you familiar with what monitoring is?

  • Yes. This was another process whereby you always sat to monitor the net, if at all an enemy got in touch with the frequency or if you had so and so people at your frequency.

  • Did you receive training in monitoring?

  • Yes, we were trained in all of that. If at all somebody who was not on your net frequency, when he comes there you will know immediately that's an enemy person so you will cut off communication with him.

  • Now you also said you were going - I am going to go to another topic, Mr Witness. You said that at some point while you were in Giema you were assigned to go to Abidjan, that you travelled to Abidjan for 11 days, at some point in early 1996 when the NPRC was still in power in Sierra Leone. First of all, why were you going to Abidjan?

  • I went as a radio operator to give updated information about the meeting which we were to hold with the NPRC. I was to be updating Pa Sankoh with that information in the jungle, so I took along a radio, so I was doing that same radio communication there. That was my own job that I went for.

  • Who actually - who else went?

  • I went, CO Peter Vandi went, Francis Musa went and CO Kposowa. We left this country and we went and met Dr Barrie, Mrs Deen-Jalloh and Mr Deen-Jalloh there in Abidjan. We were all at that conference.

  • Now, you said that you were there to update Pa Sankoh with information in the jungle. Was Pa Sankoh - did Pa Sankoh remain in Sierra Leone?

  • Yes, that was the first time that the peace - that they talked about peace in Sierra Leone, so Pa Sankoh did not go. We went as the first negotiators to establish the peace talks. He was in Sierra Leone. He did not go.

  • So your delegation was representing who in these peace talks?

  • So was your delegation the first delegation to attend peace talks in Abidjan?

  • How did you travel to Abidjan from Sierra Leone, if you recall?

  • It was around 5 o'clock local time in Sierra Leone when a helicopter from Freetown picked us up in Kailahun, but on board it were CO Kposowa and the pilot. They landed in Kailahun and they took us to Guéckédou, Kissidou rather, because that was where the airfield was. So when we landed there it was almost night-time, the Red Cross, the ICRC, put us in a vehicle because their headquarters were in Guéckédou. They took us there. That was where we slept and in the morning they brought us back to Kissidou at the airfield and we took off for Abidjan.

  • And where did you stay in Abidjan?

  • At first we were lodged in one hotel called Novotel. Later we did not get along, because of the facilities at the hotel, so we were transferred to --

  • Your Honours, can he kindly repeat the name of the hotel to which they were transferred?

  • Mr Witness, the interpreters ask you to repeat the name of the hotel you were transferred to.

  • The first hotel I said when we went there was called Novotel. The other hotel to which we were transferred they called Tiama Hotel.

  • So, Mr Witness, what happened in Abidjan then?

  • We met with the NPRC delegate, I mean delegation, and we started the talks and during these talks we took along some conditions that Pa Sankoh had given to us that we were going to negotiate for peace before elections. Peace before elections. There should be nothing else but peace before elections. That was the condition that we took along. We gave this condition to the NPRC delegation.

    We talked and talked about it and they told us that they were having pressure from the international community, so they said if that was the stance that we had taken and if we had no other condition the NPRC delegation decided that they were going back to Freetown to consult with their chairman. That was during the reign of Julius Maada Bio. But when they returned they told us they were on their way when Julius Maada Bio signed the election before peace convention which was held in Freetown. So they returned with that response.

    From that we said, "Okay, you have come, but we too were sent by someone", so the head of delegation, Dr Barrie, prepared a message, a written message, and gave it to me. So I sent it to Pa Sankoh. When I sent it to Pa Sankoh, well, he said there was no need for us to be in Abidjan. He said we should return to base. So on the 11th day we left Abidjan and returned to Giema.

  • Now you said that you sent - Dr Barrie prepared a message, a written message, and gave it to you and you sent it to Pa Sankoh. How did you transmit that message from Abidjan?

  • When I was going I went along with a VH radio that I used to communicate. The radio was at a house owned by a Ghanaian man. It was at his house where we installed the radio. That was where we installed the radio, at Mr Felix's place. So we they gave me this message that was where I transmitted the message to Pa Sankoh at Zogoda. At that time it was Zedman who was at the station who received the message.

  • Just to clarify one final point this, Mr Witness. You said that you gave the condition about peace before elections to the NPRC delegation who went to Freetown and came back to Abidjan. Is that correct?

  • So how long did they leave Abidjan for to go to Freetown and then come back?

  • They went on that very day and the next day they returned. The next day they returned.

  • Now earlier you said you were in Giema when the AFRC coup happened and then you moved to Kailahun Town. Is that correct?

  • Yes.

  • Now, are you familiar with an event in Sierra Leone called the intervention?

  • What was the intervention?

  • That was the time when the ECOMOG troops fought the AFRC government and removed them from power. That was in February '98.

  • So from the time of the AFRC coup to the intervention, where were you based?

  • My base was still Kailahun.

  • Where in Kailahun were you residing?

  • In Kailahun I was based at one white house right in the centre of town, but the radio was - the radio was installed on the road leading to Koindu, but my residential area was a white house on the Pendembu Road when you were going towards Pendembu.

  • So during your time in Kailahun, during the time of the AFRC, what was your assignment?

  • My assignment was still the regional commander in charge of communication in Kailahun.

  • And what duties came along with that assignment at this time?

  • Just as I said, even though at that time the commander was not with me any longer, that is Sam Bockarie, but we had a commander who was there, so I still received messages from the commander who was there that I used to send to Sam Bockarie and in the morning those stations that were existing within the district, I used to receive reports from them from the various front lines and other assignment areas. So it was those messages that I received that I sent - that I sent.

    Similarly, I used to advocate for the operators, because the operators were people who did not move and it came to a time when some commanders were not being taken care of, especially their feeding and the treatment that was meted out to them, so I used to negotiate for all of those things to the commanders. At one time I told Sam Bockarie that I would like to have a meeting with him and his commanders at the time that he was in Kenema in relation to the various reports that I was getting from the operators, the way they were being maltreated at their assignment areas. So we held that meeting at Sam Bockarie's house in Kenema after which certain guidelines were given and these were transmitted to the various stations for the commanders.

  • Now, at about the time of the intervention, were you still - you were still in Kailahun. Is that correct?

  • What happened in Kailahun about the time of the intervention?

  • When the intervention had finally gained grounds in the areas where the RUF had already occupied starting from Freetown up to Daru - because before the intervention Daru was occupied by the government troops, but when the AFRC took over we were at all those areas, but when the intervention commenced we were pushed out of those areas. On the last day - it was on the last day that ECOMOG pushed us out of Daru and Sam Bockarie and others met us in Kailahun.

    We had civilians who were Kamajors before, but they were not carrying arms. They were in custody at the MP, about 60 of them in number. So that very evening a jet came in Kailahun and caused some destruction. So Sam Bockarie gave orders for five of those people to be brought at the roundabout and they set an example there. He shot two of them and he passed an order to Issa to execute the rest. Issa shot the remaining three, then he and his bodyguards went at the back of the MP and killed the rest - the remaining 55.

  • Mr Witness, I am just going to ask you some questions about this incident that you have just described. First of all you said that, "ECOMOG pushed us out of Daru and Sam Bockarie and others met us in Kailahun." First of all, who was Sam Bockarie with when he came to Kailahun?

  • Sam Bockarie was with his bodyguards and a Liberian guy whom they called Senegalese, a tall fellow. All of them came that evening and they met us in Kailahun.

  • And when you say Kailahun, just to be clear do you mean Kailahun Town, or just Kailahun District somewhere?

  • Kailahun Town, the centre of Kailahun Town at the roundabout.

  • So when Sam Bockarie left Daru with these other individuals, were you already in Kailahun Town?

  • I was in Kailahun Town.

  • Now you then said, "We had civilians who were Kamajors before, but they were not carrying arms". First of all, when you say, "We had civilians", what do you mean? Who is "we"?

  • And what do you mean when you say you had civilians who were Kamajors before?

  • When the intervention started - but before that, the Kamajors used to attack some of the RUF positions during the junta period and so this created some panic within RUF controlled areas where we were. So Sam Bockarie said because of security reasons, at first they captured one man who had come from that Jojoima end. They took him to the MP and interrogated him. He said they had come as a spy. They said he was a spy who has been sent to spy on our positions, how we were armed and so forth, so that they can launch an attack, and so based on that information Sam Bockarie prepared a message and sent it to all the stations within the Kailahun District. All those civilians who had moved - who had come, or anybody who had moved beyond our RUF controlled territory, he said they should all come so that the MPs would escort them to Kailahun Town. So, the MPs did that. They brought the people to Kailahun.

  • This incident that you are describing about Sam Bockarie sending a message, when was this incident you are describing?

  • This message went before the junta was removed from power, because during the junta period it was the Kamajors who used to launch attacks. They had offensive at all places. They were attacking our positions. So at this time, when the MPs captured this man who had come from Jojoima and who revealed that he had come as a spy to see our positions in Kailahun, this became of concern to Sam Bockarie and he said, "These people are civilians, but they are not civilians. We should assemble all of them". That was how he sent that message so that they could bring all those who had come within our controlled areas so that they could be screened in order for us to know who was a Kamajor, or who was a genuine civilian among them.

  • So, were these instructions - this message by Sam Bockarie, you said the MP commanders then - well, what happened after the message and after this one individual was captured and revealed this information?

  • It was an order from the high command and so they had to implement it. They brought the people. Whoever was known that was not within the RUF controlled area was brought to Kailahun Town at the MP station.

  • So the people brought to Kailahun Town at the MP station, when was this happening? When were people actually brought to Kailahun Town?

  • It did not take a month when the RUF - look at me saying RUF - when the junta period ended when ECOMOG pushed us. It was not up to a month because they were in custody now.

  • How long had they been in custody before the intervention?

  • I can say nearly a month when they were there, because when they were there we used them to clear the farms when the thing became serious and the killing took place.

  • Now these people that were captured and brought to Kailahun, from your observation were they armed?

  • No, no, what they said was that they had marks that proved that they were Kamajors. Some of them said they had joined the Kamajors, but they had disarmed. They didn't take any arms along. I did not see anyone carrying a single arm.

  • So, you said that they were brought within your controlled areas so that, "They could be screened in order for us to know who was a Kamajor or who was a genuine civilian." How was this determination made?

  • They formed a committee that comprised the MP, the IDU which we called the internal defence unit and then the G5 that was in charge of the civilians. These two groups sent representatives to the board that was investigating these people.

  • Okay, how though in terms of what was the criteria that was used to determine whether or not somebody was a Kamajor or a civilian?

  • According to the findings that they did some people accepted that they were Kamajors, but they had disarmed. Some had marks/carvings on their bodies which they alleged were Kamajor marks. Those were the two areas: those who admitted and those who had those marks.

  • Just for the record, your Honour, I believe the witness did actually make a gesture to some point on his body when he said marks, but I am just going to ask if it's okay if that was the --

  • Yes, it was a bit vague and so if he is indicating we should have it clearly indicated.

  • When you said that they had marks I noticed, Mr Witness, that you put your right arm on your shoulder. What did you mean when you did that?

  • Okay, there were marks on some people. They were carved on them with a razor blade. Sometimes it is done one hundred times on their body, sometimes on both arms and sometimes at their back. Those marks were made sometimes with razor blades. Those marks were seen on some people and they said they were Kamajor marks. There were others who said they had joined, but that they had disarmed.

  • Mr Witness, I noticed you were doing something with your fingers on the desk in front of you. I am not sure if you were indicating something, or describing something, and also I need to know if both counsel for the Prosecution and Defence saw that.

  • I did, your Honour.

  • I certainly did, your Honour.

  • So for purposes of record, I think, can I describe it as an indication using his fingers to make short lines? Would that be an accurate description for the record?

  • I think it is, your Honour.

  • Very well, the record will reflect that.

  • This was a demonstration that I was making to see that these were the type of things that they were doing. I was trying to refer to the marks that they were putting on the people's body.

  • Thank you for that clarification, Mr Witness. That is most helpful. Please proceed.

  • Thank you, Madam President:

  • Now, Mr Witness, before I continue, these events that you are describing in terms of the message sent to MP commanders - let me just break this up actually. In terms of the message that was sent to MP commanders to capture people moving from areas that were not controlled by the RUF and to bring them into your areas, how do you know about this message?

  • The message was sent to my station. It was right in Kailahun that we sent that message. This incident took place in Kailahun when we sent this message, because it was within the district when this Kamajor business had started being rampant when they started attacking.

  • So, who - when you say, "We sent this message", who actually sent the message and who received that message?

  • The message was given to me by Sam Bockarie, but some operators were on duty. One of the operators who was on duty was one operator who we called A J Mpoye [phon]. He was the one I gave the message to for him to send it to the various stations.

  • Okay, I believe you said something, A J Mpoye, but can you repeat that name?

  • Yes. "A", point stop - point Mpoye, meaning white man.

  • In what language, Mr Witness?

  • It is Krio. A J Mpoye is Krio. That was the name we called him that he was a white man. That was how we used to call him, A J Mpoye.

  • Was he a white man?

  • No, he was a black man, but he liked speaking English wherever he was.

  • Now, Mr Witness, you also described a process by which people were determined whether or not to be Kamajors and civilians. How did you know that this was - how did you know about this process?

  • I had to go to the panel at one time, because my village where I was when the rebels captured me, Jorpowahun, two of my brothers were captured there. My brother who was made town commander and one of our brothers, the two of them were captured. One of them, the elder brother, admitted that he had joined the Kamajors, but that he did to protect his body in lieu of those marks that they were given. He said he was given those marks for him to be protected. He didn't take arms to go and fight. The other brother who was the town commander hadn't any marks. He said when the people came back - when the government troops took power he was still made chief in the town. That was his own job that he was doing. He didn't partake of the Kamajor business. That was how I knew these were the types of things that they were using as criteria to determine whether this person was a Kamajor, or not a Kamajor.

  • So, where was this screening process going on?

  • At the former post office in Kailahun Town. A storied building in Kailahun Town, that was where the screening was going on.

  • Were you yourself present for any of these screenings?

  • Yes, that's what I have said. At the time that I went there when they took my brothers there, it was at that time that I went there.

  • Now, you also said - and I apologise, because I may be out of sequence here, but that there were actually people brought by the MPs to Kailahun Town after this message.

  • Yes.

  • And just for the record, how did you know that people were actually brought to Kailahun Town?

  • The people came and they based them, and the road that led to the office where our radio was, a storied building, that was where they based these people. When they brought them, it didn't mean that when they brought them they restricted them. No, some people were going about, but that was after you have been screened. When you were screened they left you to move about, except if they knew that you were a Kamajor. It was through that that I knew that they had brought people in the town.

  • So about how many people were brought to the town - to Kailahun Town?

  • I can't tell the figure. Those who were captured, I can tell their figure.

  • Okay. Can you distinguish when you - let me ask you to distinguish. You are saying that some were brought and you can't tell how many those were, but you can tell how many were captured. Can you explain what you mean by that?

  • Yes, those whom the investigating panel said were Kamajors were 60 in number.

  • Okay. Now these 60 in number, are these the same 60 you were referring to when you started describing the incident with Sam Bockarie?

  • Before Sam Bockarie arrived in Kailahun Town, where were these 60 people?

  • They were at the MP station. That was where they were detained.

  • And can you just describe within Kailahun Town where is the MP station?

  • Where the present police station is in Kailahun Town now. Kailahun Town.

  • Now, earlier you were describing the incident when Sam Bockarie came to Kailahun with other individuals.

  • And you said that Sam Bockarie shot - I apologise, your Honour. I just want to make sure I have the correct number of people. Sam Bockarie shot two people. Is that correct?

  • Yes.

  • That originally five of the 60 were brought out?

  • Where were they brought out from?

  • And where were they brought to?

  • Right at the roundabout in the centre of Kailahun Town.

  • And where is the MP office in relation to the roundabout?

  • Let me say a stone's throw. It is not up to even 50 metres from where the MP was at the roundabout.

  • Now when they were brought out initially, these five, where were you?

  • We were all at the roundabout, because when the jet came and operated in the town everybody went to the roundabout. It was a retreating time and so everybody came to the roundabout. That was where we were.

  • And when you say "all of us", who do you mean?

  • The soldiers, those of us who were retreating. The soldiers and the civilians who were coming with us.

  • Now, what happened after Sam Bockarie brought these individuals out of the MP office?

  • When they brought the people, he told them that he was going to kill them. He said it was their people who were still chasing in the RUF and they --

  • Your Honour, it's not very clear in this answer. Can he be more clear.

  • Please pause, Mr Witness. What is not clear, Mr Interpreters?

  • Just after I stopped. The sentence he started with is not clear to the interpreter.

  • The interpreter has not heard you clearly, Mr Witness. He would like you to repeat your answer. Pick up where you said, "He said it was their people who were --" Continue from there, please.

  • He said the Kamajors, it is their people who were coming and fighting against the RUF, so if he sets them free they would join their people, the same Kamajor group, to fight against the RUF and so he said he was going to kill all of them right at the roundabout.

  • Who was he saying this to?

  • The Kamajors - the five Kamajors who had been brought out. They put them in a queue.

  • And where were you when they put them in a queue?

  • Right at the roundabout, under a mango tree. There was a mango tree at that roundabout, because when this jet raided everybody looked out for shelter to hide away. That was where we were.

  • About how far away were you from these five people brought out of the MP station?

  • Let me say from where I was standing it is just like just at the back of these judges a little. That was where they were. Look at the mango tree and look at the roundabout. It was in the centre of town. It was a busy area. It was not a far off place.

  • Now after Sam Bockarie said these things that you described, what exactly did you see him do?

  • He took out his pistol and shot two of the men. Then he passed an order to Issa. He said he should execute all of those people.

  • Where did he shoot them?

  • In their heads, right in their foreheads.

  • And did you yourself see this happen?

  • Yes, with my naked eyes I saw it.

  • After he passed this order to Issa, what happened then?

  • Issa too carried out the three killings, the remaining three. Then the group, Issa's bodyguards, Mosquito's bodyguards, all of them went to the MP. Because that was a pathetic sight because some of those people were our own people, I was not brave enough to go to that MP.

  • You said, "Issa too carried out the three killings". What exactly did he do?

  • He too took out his pistol. He too had a pistol. He shot the three people in their heads.

  • And did you yourself see this?

  • Okay. Now after Issa - after these three people were shot, you said that you yourself were not brave enough to go to that MP - I am sorry, after these three people died you said that Issa's bodyguards, Mosquito's bodyguards, all of them went to the MP and then you later said but you were not brave enough to go. Is that correct?

  • Yes, because it was pathetic.

  • Are you feeling all right, Mr Witness?

  • I notice the time, Madam President. It might be convenient.

  • Mr Witness, we appreciate your distress and we will take an early break now. You just sit for a moment, please. We will take an early break and we will resume court at 11.50. Please adjourn Court until 11.50.

  • [Break taken at 11.20 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 11.50 a.m.]

  • Now, Mr Witness, I hope you're feeling better and you must tell us if you need a break. Mr Santora, please proceed.

  • Thank you, Madam President:

  • Mr Witness, earlier - and just for purposes of at least my LiveNote page reference it is page 47, lines 8 to 16. Mr Witness, earlier you said when I asked you about how far away you were from these five people brought out of the MP station and you said, "Let me say from where I was standing it was just like at the back of these judges a little. That was where they were".

  • Yes.

  • And I'm just going to ask for a stipulation that that is approximately 7 to - well, let's say 8 metres.

  • Actually, I'm sorry. I'm asking for a stipulation from Defence counsel as to the distance.

  • Mr Griffiths, you can agree the estimate, or we can get the tape measure out?

  • I'm happy to agree that estimate.

  • Thank you. Then the record will show that it is approximately 7 to 8 metres.

  • So, Mr Witness, now you were describing this incident and you said you yourself did not go back to the MP headquarters. Is that correct?

  • Yes.

  • Do you know what happened at those MP headquarters?

  • Those who went there, on their return - because I had some boys with me who went to the place. They came back and told me that they killed all of those people who were there. They did not spare even a single person.

  • How many people were there?

  • According to the number they had killed five and so they were remaining 55, the number that I knew were in the cell.

  • What happened after they came back and told you this?

  • I felt bad, really bad.

  • Now, did you - how long did you - did you remain in Kailahun?

  • Mr Santora, before you move off this topic, I would like clarification. When Mr Witness referred to civilians that were brought following the order given, were these civilians exclusively male, or were they men, women and children?

  • Mr Witness, earlier you were talking about the group brought to Kailahun as a result of the message from Sam Bockarie. In terms of the composition of this group, in terms of their gender, what were they?

  • Women, men, children. As long as they came from beyond the lines, that is the government occupied areas, who came to Kailahun, they were all included in that number because there were mothers and their children. They all came.

  • Is that the group that was originally brought in, or is this the final group after the vetting process?

  • Thank you, Justice Lussick. I was going to make that further distinction because I know the witness has made that distinction already:

  • Now, Mr Witness, you talked about the group being brought to Kailahun Town, that they were screened and then some of them, a group of 60, were detained when this incident occurred. Is that correct?

  • Yes.

  • Now in terms of the composition of this group of 60, was this - in terms of their gender, do you know what it was?

  • All the people who were killed, they were all male. There wasn't any woman among and there weren't children.

  • I will move off unless your Honours - okay, thank you:

  • Now after this incident, about how long did you remain in Kailahun for, Kailahun Town?

  • I stayed in Kailahun Town for up to three weeks.

  • And you said that Sam Bockarie when he came to Kailahun, after this incident do you know where he went?

  • Yes, after that incident the group, himself, CO Issa and some other top ranking officers, all of them went to Buedu and there they established the headquarters base and after three weeks I also followed them to the headquarters.

  • So after Kailahun you said you followed them to the headquarters. Do you mean that you went also to Buedu?

  • Now, how long did you remain in Buedu for?

  • I was in Buedu up to the time Sam Bockarie left for Liberia.

  • And did you have any particular assignment in Buedu during this time?

  • Yes, when we went to Buedu after the commander - the overall signal commander - died in Liberia, Sam Bockarie appointed me as the overall signal unit commander for the RUF/SL.

  • First of all to clarify, do you know when Sam Bockarie left for Liberia? What time are you referring to?

  • That was in December 1999.

  • And you said you were appointed as overall signal unit commander for the RUF/SL when the overall commander signal commander died in Liberia. Who are you referring to?

  • Do you know approximately when he died?

  • That was after we had come and based in Buedu. When the LURD rebels came to Foya to fight there, that was the time he died.

  • Now I'm going to ask you some questions and I'm going to ask you questions about the time period that you said where you were assigned as overall signal unit commander in Buedu from the time you left Kailahun Town until approximately December 1999 when Sam Bockarie left for Liberia, okay?

  • Okay.

  • First of all, can you just describe generally the situation in Buedu at this time?

  • The situation in Buedu was that it was the headquarters where we had Sam Bockarie, who was in charge of the movement, Issa Sesay had a house there, we had the MP and we had so many other structures that were other units. All of us were based in Buedu.

  • Now, can you describe generally the situation in terms of radio operations during this time period?

  • Yes. After we had retreated and whilst we were now in Buedu we used to communicate to the various front lines, and even to Liberia we used to communicate because we had a radio station, Base 1, in Monrovia, and we operated with Sunlight who was at Charles Taylor's Mansion Ground. He used to communicate with us.

  • Now, first of all you said, "We used to communicate to the various front lines." First of all, how many radio operators were working in Buedu during this time period? Approximately how many radio operators; and again I'm referring to the time period while you were based in Buedu that you've earlier described?

  • At the time I was in Buedu, we had about three radio stations: we had Planet 1, that was the mobile station for Sam Bockarie; we had Marvel that I was in charge of and it was also mounted in a vehicle; and the third one was the welfare station which was Lemon, or Mike November 5, which was stationed at the court barri. That was the welfare station where the commanders and the other soldiers who had their husbands at the front line, when they wanted to speak with them that was where they went to. Those were the three stations we had. And the operators who were at those three stations I can recall some of their names. Like in the case of Mike November 5 it was Agama and there was another boy that we used to call Generation and there was Cool Rebel. They were at the welfare station. And in the case of Marvel I was there, Zedman was there, because that was a station that the other stations used to interact with because we were the senior man and we manned the station. At Planet 1 we had Tiger who was there, Pascal and we had Seibatu, but Seibatu's operation was not that much effective because she would always be at the kitchen with Mosquito's wife. Her operation was not that much effective, but she was still an operator.

  • Now, you referred to a welfare station and you referred to it as Lemon or Mike November 5. Which one was it?

  • That was the call sign that the station had. At first - in fact, we used to change the call signs. A certain time would come that, if we know that the enemies had known that so and so station was based in a particular area, we would also change the name of those stations. That was how we came to get that call sign name for that station.

  • So are you saying that this particular station's name changed?

  • And, if you remember, which name was it first and which name did it change to?

  • At first it was Lemon and later it became Mike November 5.

  • Now earlier in your description of your training you referred to some of the things you were trained in, such as coding, frequencies, logbook and other aspects of your training. During the time you were in Buedu, were you following along with the protocols that you learned in this prior training?

  • Can you describe typically what a day would consist of for you in your assignment while you were in Buedu at this time?

  • Yes, because I used to monitor all the stations and particularly so Marvel and Planet 1. In the morning I would go to Planet 1 and I would try to get reports from the various stations, and we would go down to the ground to Planet 1 because at the time Sam Bockarie would be on the ground we operated that radio. Marvel will just be there to monitor, because if we had any messages to be sent we would send them there and if some other messages came from various areas that was where we received them.

  • Okay. Just to understand your last reference, you said, "Marvel would just be there to monitor. If we had any messages to be sent we would send them there and if some other messages came from various areas that was where we received them." Can you just clarify your answer. You said Marvel and Planet 1 were both in Buedu. Is that correct?

  • Yes, both stations were in Buedu. In the morning Marvel was the ground station, by that I mean the base station for Buedu, and Planet 1 was Sam Bockarie's mobile station. It was mounted in a vehicle and once Sam Bockarie was on the ground he was the commander. We would always be with him and at any time we received situation reports in the morning from the various stations, at that time the operators at Planet 1 would be there and I and Zedman would be at Marvel to monitor what the situation report was. We would go to the ground. All of us would go there. We would sit with Sam Bockarie. At times we would take Marvel to a house going towards Foya, it was something like a hut, because we used to get threat from the jet and we used that hut to install the radio. That was where we used to work.

  • So when you received a threat from the jet, which radio would you take to this hut?

  • During those times when the jets persistently disturbed us we used to get calls from Sunlight from Monrovia at any time the jet wanted to move, because by then the ECOMOG base was in Liberia and the jets will move from Monrovia and at any time the jet will move from Monrovia he will tell us that the Four-Four-Eight or the iron bird is moving from Monrovia and so we would inform all our stations to be alert.

  • Okay, but my question to you was when this alert would come over you said that - actually, I withdraw the question. I realise it's answered. It actually is answered. I apologise. And what's a Four-Four-Eight, Mr Witness?

  • That is the jet, or the iron bird.

  • Now, you said that also from Buedu you were communicating to the front lines. What did you mean by that?

  • We would call our stations who were our - at the front lines and those were the areas where we had defensive positions from the enemies. We would inform them all so that every one of them will manoeuvre so that they would be safe.

  • Now during the time you were based in Buedu from just after the intervention to December '99, can you recall at least some of the front lines you're referring to, their locations?

  • Yes, we had so many front lines. We had one at Kuiva. We had one at Baiima. We had one in Kono. We had one likewise at Koindu and Koindu had also become a kind of front line for us.

  • What was the subject or the content of the communications between where you were at Buedu, which you referred to as the headquarters, and these front lines?

  • The discussions from the front lines, or that - we used to receive messages from the front line when they were under threat of attack, or if they went on an attack if they succeeded they would report that.

  • How often was your headquarter base in Buedu in contact with the front lines? How frequently?

  • That was on a daily basis. It was a daily operation. In communication we had no resting day.

  • Now if there was - if you were communicating every day but if there was no particular attack or operation, would you communicate about anything else?

  • Communications went on from our front lines and also we communicated with Liberia. At times when they had attacks they would call to us - the brother would call us, that is Sunlight, or from Base 1 where Tolo and others were. That was the RUF station which was based at Pa Musa's place. They also would call us and tell us so that we would also tell Sam Bockarie about it. A typical example of that was when the LURD forces came to Foya, Kolahun and Voinjama we assembled a reinforcement and then we went there.

  • Okay, Mr Witness, I'm going to intervene for a moment. What I was asking you about is the content of your communications with the front lines in Sierra Leone. Was there anything else aside from attacks or successes of operations that you talked about?

  • Dialogues went on between commanders. Dialogues used to go on between commanders. At times when Sam Bockarie wanted to give certain instructions he himself would go over air with such a commander and then he would pass on the instruction, and monitoring likewise went on.

  • Now, you said also at this time while you were based in Buedu that communication was going on with Liberia and you have mentioned some particular stations and individuals related to that communication. First of all, as a general matter, describe what was going on in terms of the communication between Buedu and Liberia.

  • A communication was a daily free flow activity that took place between the RUF and the NPFL, so at the time we were in Buedu if for any reason Sam Bockarie wanted to talk to Charles Taylor and at that time Sam Bockarie had visited Monrovia and he had a satellite phone - because by then his own dialogues was not conducted through the VHF. He used his satellite phone. He would tell us to tell Sunlight to tell Charles Taylor that he should put on his Two-One so that he would talk with him, and equally so when Charles Taylor wanted to talk with Mosquito, Sunlight will call us and tell us that, "The Pa wants to talk to your own Pa". So that was the kind of communication that took place between us and, if there was any threat of enemy attack, he would send the same message to us at Buedu.

  • Okay. First of all, just from your last answer when you said "He would tell us to tell Sunlight so that he would talk with him and ..." - I'm sorry, I'm misreading the answer. When you were referring to the satellite phone, Mr Witness, you said, "He would tell us to tell Sunlight to tell Charles Taylor that he should put on his Two-One so that he could talk with him." Just describe who you're talking about when you're referring to "he".

  • Sam Bockarie would say, "Our father wants to talk to your father". That means we were talking to Sunlight.

  • Where was Sunlight?

  • Sunlight was at the Mansion Ground in Monrovia.

  • How do you know that?

  • The operators who moved with Sam Bockarie and Issa at the times they visited Monrovia, they were located at that particular area - they located that particular area. They said that was where it was based, because I never went to Monrovia.

  • All right. When I asked you how you knew Sunlight was at Mansion Ground in Monrovia you said that, "The operators who moved with Sam Bockarie and Issa at the time they visited Monrovia, they were located at that particular area". I'm just going to ask you to explain slowly how you know that Sunlight was at the Mansion Ground in Monrovia.

  • I said the operators who were assigned with Sam Bockarie, like for instance Pascal who used to go to Monrovia and Elevation who used to go with Issa to Monrovia, they were the ones who gave the information to me that the station where Sunlight was was at the Mansion Ground with Charles Taylor.

  • Now I'm going to ask you more about the satellite phones later - the satellite phone you referred to later, but I want to confine now your answers - I'm just asking about radio communications, okay?

  • Now aside from Sunlight, were you in communication with any other radio operators in Liberia?

  • Yes, we had one radio operator in Foya that we used to communicate with and he was US-1. That was how we used to call him. He was based in Foya. Beside that, we sent a radio operator and a radio to Foya at the time Benjamin Yeaten was there and that was Mortiga. He was based in Foya with Benjamin Yeaten as a radio operator.

  • Now, you also referred to two individuals. I'm going to ask you who they were. First of all, you said somebody named Tolo. Who is he?

  • Osman Tolo was the RUF operator who was based in Monrovia with the RUF set.

  • How do you know that?

  • That was a deployment that the RUF did there. The operator, Sam Bockarie, was - appointed Tolo to go there because by then his wife was there at first, Memunatu Deen, and it was later that Tolo himself went there after we had retreated to Buedu.

  • So are you saying that Sam Bockarie appointed Tolo?

  • Do you know approximately how long after you arrived in Buedu that this appointment occurred?

  • When we retreated to Buedu at that time, in about two months' time Memuna came to Buedu and when she came that was the time the discussion took place. On her return it was the time Sam Bockarie said that the two of them should go, because he said the husband should go and live together with his wife.

  • You said the name Memunatu Deen and then you said Memuna Deen. Which one is it?

  • Memuna Deen.

  • Who was she? Who was Memuna Deen?

  • Memuna was an RUF operator - radio operator, I mean.

  • And where was she based?

  • She was based in Monrovia to a Pa called Pa Musa. They said the radio was at his house. That was where they were based.

  • Do you know why she was based in Monrovia?

  • Yes, she was based there because she too was to be giving us information that related especially to the time Pa Sankoh had been arrested in Nigeria and also for her to be giving us updated activity reports in Monrovia when they heard about anything, be it good or bad. So that was our own station.

  • What do you mean when you say "when they heard about anything"? Who is "they"?

  • The operators who were there, Memuna and Tolo. That was their mission there, for them to be updating us with information about anything that was happening in Monrovia.

  • Now, earlier you said - when you referred to your frequency of your communication with the front lines, you said it occurred daily. First, I want to talk about the frequency of your radio station's in Buedu communication with Sunlight during the time period you were based in Buedu. Approximately how frequently were you in communication with Sunlight?

  • I had said that this process was a continuous flow. By that I mean it was a daily activity. It was not a hidden programme. It was quite clear that every day we communicated with Sunlight.

  • What were the content - what were some of the things you remember about the content of those communications?

  • The communications that we used to have with Sunlight were, one, in the morning after receiving reports from our various front lines and at times when he called he would ask us about news on the ground and then we would tell him that things are good, but at any time we got attacks we would also tell him that we had an attack. That besides, if at any time Charles Taylor needed to talk to Sam Bockarie then Sunlight would tell us that his Pa, Charles Taylor, said Sam Bockarie should go. That happened at all times that he needed him and, if at all from within the RUF Sam Bockarie wanted to move to go to Monrovia, he would tell us that and we would tell Sunlight that Sam Bockarie wanted to go and meet the Pa, Charles Taylor, and they would give the go ahead and Sam Bockarie's movement was a free movement. At any time he wanted to go to Monrovia he was welcome.

  • How do you know that?

  • I was in that same town with that man. I was not in a different town and at any time he wanted to go to Monrovia he would tell us that he was going to Monrovia. It was not something he hid away from us. We were there with him. We operated with him directly. We would go to his house, most times after dishing food they would serve us food together in his veranda in his house and all of us would sit there together and eat. So we were always with him.

  • Mr Witness, when you answer please speak a little more slowly because everything you say is being interpreted and it's also being written down and the interpreters need to keep up with you. Please proceed, Mr Santora.

  • Thank you, Madam President:

  • Mr Witness, were you finished answering the question?

  • Yes, I said the movement of Sam Bockarie was a free movement. At any time he wanted to go he was welcome.

  • During your time based in Buedu, can you recall approximately how often Sam Bockarie would go to Liberia?

  • Yes, Sam Bockarie at the time we came and based in Buedu he made his first trip. That was not even up to two weeks' time he made his first trip to Monrovia and returned.

  • Well I'm going to talk about some specific incidents that you recall, but for now the question I asked you was during the entirety of your time there until Sam Bockarie left Sierra Leone approximately how often did he travel to Liberia?

  • Should I decide to estimate that I will find it difficult because I had said it was a continuous flow. I had said that at any time he wanted to go there he was welcome. He did not need a passport to go there. The way was open for him.

  • One moment, your Honour:

  • Now, Mr Witness, before I ask you more about some of the knowledge you have about these trips, earlier you said that Sunlight would receive reports from your stations in Buedu. Is that correct?

  • Explain what you mean. What exactly were you - what exactly was in the messages that you were sending to Sunlight?

  • The war that we fought in Sierra Leone the RUF and the Government of Liberia were like brothers and sisters, and whatsoever thing that went on within the RUF, be it good or bad, we would have to inform Sunlight because we communicated every day for him to have knowledge of it so that Charles Taylor too would know, because whatever information our station, that is the headquarters station, that Sunlight received from us, Charles Taylor too would be able to know.

  • Why did you say "We would have to inform Sunlight"?

  • I have said this. I said the operation that went on in Sierra Leone, let me say materials in terms of ammunition, we got it from that country through Charles Taylor, so whatever operation that took place within the RUF was not anything hidden from them. We had communication with them every day.

  • Now you said that, "In Sierra Leone, let me say materials in terms of ammunitions, we got it from that country through Charles Taylor." Explain what you know about this.

  • When we needed - that is when the RUF needed - ammunition, Sam Bockarie would give us a message, or he would tell Sunlight - we would communicate directly with Sunlight for him to inform Charles Taylor that we needed ammunition. So the response that came, it would be based on that that Sam Bockarie would go to Monrovia to bring ammunition, food, used clothing and some other things.

  • Now in terms of this that you've just described, what time period are you referring to?

  • That was the time we were in Buedu that I am speaking about.

  • Now can you estimate about how often this would occur; this being what you've just described in terms of the message to Sunlight requesting ammunition?

  • I said at any time we were short of ammunition - I cannot estimate whether it was one time or two times, but at any time we were short of arms that was the area from which we got supplies. We would always ask.

  • Could you estimate in terms of - if I asked you if it occurred - actually, no, I'm going to withdraw the question. Now, you said that this message would go through with regards to ammunition and then you said, "So the response that came, it would be based on that that Sam Bockarie would go to Monrovia to bring ammunition, food, used clothing and some other things." Describe exactly, from your observation, what you saw in terms of ammunition coming to Buedu. How would this work?

  • Sam Bockarie used to go to Monrovia and bring ammunition. Jungle too used to bring ammunition. Sometimes when the request went Sam Bockarie would not go, it was Jungle who would come, but sometimes the ammunition that came wouldn't be enough and so at a certain point in time whilst we were in Buedu in terms of ammunition we planned an attack on Kono and so all the senior officers - most of them - met and they decided on the plan.

    But at first when Sam Bockarie went to Monrovia he did not bring enough ammunition and the next time he went, he came, they tried to get some diamonds and he gave them to Issa to go to Monrovia to Charles Taylor to bring ammunition and on Issa's return he said he'd lost the diamonds. So that was a very big blow. And later they still tried, because by then mining was going on around Kono, that is the front lines, so they managed to get some quantity of diamonds and Sam Bockarie himself took those to Monrovia. And on his return he came with a big ten-tyred truck that had enough ammunition on board, and when they arrived they packed everything in Sam Bockarie's veranda on the Dawa Highway and it had over 50 boxes of AK rounds, the RPG too were there in rubbers, he brought wines with him, rice, Maggi, salt and some other condiments, and so far whilst we were in Buedu that was the largest quantity of ammunition that we received from Monrovia and those were the ammunition that we used to attack Kono up to Freetown.

  • I'm going to ask you more about that later. First of all, though, how do you know that Sam Bockarie was going to Monrovia?

  • One thing I want to tell this Court is that Sam Bockarie was a bragard. He did not hide anything away from people, especially when it came to operations. In terms of operation he would say that aloud, and those of us who were with him he did not hide anything away from us because we always sat with him at the office and anything that he had in mind he spoke it out. And there were no other areas from where we got them, we never used to go to Guinea and the vehicles that came they came from Liberia from the Foya area by the Dawa Highway, so that was how I was able to know that he went to Monrovia and got the ammunitions from there.

  • Now, you mentioned an individual called Jungle. Who was he?

  • Jungle was one of Charles Taylor's strong men that he used to send to the RUF. He was very frequent to us in Sierra Leone during the war and most of the ammunition that came he used to bring them, only that he never used to bring enough ammunition. At times when he came he will bring four boxes, five boxes, three boxes. At any time he was coming he will send those for us. He brought them.

  • Now, how do you know - you said he was very - you said, "He was one of Charles Taylor's strong men that he used to send to the RUF." How do you know that?

  • I said the issue of RUF and the issue of Charles Taylor was one issue. It was not a hidden something. At any time that man came to our office, we would all sit together and Sam Bockarie introduced him and he will say, "This man is from the mansion. The Pa, Charles Taylor, sent him", and so it was not something I was told by someone else. It was Sam Bockarie himself who said it and even the man who came told us about the relationship.

  • Now, to the best of your recollection, can you estimate - first of all, the reference here to Jungle coming to visit you, what time period are we referring to here - are you referring to here?

  • Jungle even at the time of the intervention while our men were in Freetown he used to come, but the one I am talking about now was the time we had actually come and based Buedu and so at that time it was something of like a frequent flow. He used to come there frequently.

  • So from the time you were based in Buedu to the time you left in December 1999, do you - can you estimate approximately how many times Jungle visited?

  • I said it was too much. I cannot estimate. Just like I said, the road was free. We ourselves used to move from Sierra Leone to Liberia. It was not as if it was a situation wherein when I was going or coming back they would harass me. We were like brothers and sisters. We used to go there and come back. They also used to come to us and return. The road was open.

  • Now, was there anybody else that used to visit Buedu?

  • Yes. At the time Sam Bockarie brought the ammunition in the truck, Zigzag Marzah was there, Mosquito - the Liberian Mosquito was there. We had a guy whom they used to call Sheku. That Sheku according to - he and Sidibay, according to what Sam Bockarie told us, he said they were the ones who took the war to Guinea. He said they were there for them to get used to us. So all of them came to Buedu to us. Abu Keita too. At the time he came, all of them came.

  • Who is Zigzag Marzah?

  • Zigzag Marzah was a man whose name we had heard about for a long time ago. According to what the Liberians who used to visit us told us, they said Zigzag Marzah were the people who were on the Mansion Ground to do away with all the enemies that Charles Taylor had. He said they were the top mercenaries. When he said, "Hey, go and take care of that man. I do not want to see that man exist", he said they were the ones who went there to carry out that instruction. That was what they told us, so when he got there and they said, "This was Zigzag Marzah", each and every one of us was rushing there to see him.

  • Now, you also mentioned somebody called Liberian Mosquito. Who was that?

  • Liberian Mosquito was an NPFL. He too was tall, because in Liberia when somebody was a thin person they would refer to that person as Mosquito. They used to call him also General Mosquito, but he used to stammer. He was a thin, black, tall man, but he used to stammer.

  • Now, when you referred to radio communications you said that you would talk to Sunlight. Is that correct?

  • Yes.

  • Just to be clear, when you're saying you are you referring to you as you the radio operator, or you as in the group in Buedu?

  • Not me alone. Those of us who were at the station at Buedu, the headquarters station, we used to talk directly to Sunlight. I used to talk to him, Zedman used to talk to him, Tiger used to talk to him, Pascal used to talk to him. Those of us who were at the headquarters station, all of us used to talk to him.

  • Did anyone else, aside from you and the other operators, talk on the radio?

  • Do you mean to Sunlight?

  • To anyone in Liberia.

  • Some of the stations used to do that, but in hiding because it was a kind of restriction. We called it net discipline. That was an outside station. It was only the control station that had the mandate to do those things. We never used to allow such.

  • Now, did anyone aside from Sunlight get on the radio from Liberia?

  • Yes, Benjamin Yeaten used to talk to Sam Bockarie and the other commanders in Sierra Leone in the RUF. Especially at the time Mortiga was now assigned to him, he used to communicate with us directly.

  • So who exactly would Benjamin Yeaten be talking to on the radio?

  • At the time that Sam Bockarie was in power he used to talk to Sam Bockarie. When Issa was in power, he talked to Issa.

  • And do you recall the subject of the communications between Benjamin Yeaten and Sam Bockarie?

  • Yes, at times just like I am talking about this - these attacks that we carried out, because they were military operations it was not an ordinary civil talk. In the morning sometimes he will talk on those issues of development on the front lines, and at one time when in fact the 6 January invasion took place in Freetown when ECOMOG was pushing the men, at that time Mosquito spoke with Benjamin Yeaten and so he said, "The situation is becoming bad at the front line. The enemies were pushing our men out of the town", so Benjamin Yeaten told him why he was not trying to reinforce the men in the city. He said, "You know the city is big. You need to reinforce them".

    So that was one communication that I can cite as an example that went on between Benjamin Yeaten and Sam Bockarie, but they used to talk on military issues. When sometimes there was an attack on their own side even in Liberia, when they used to attack them he will send to us. He used to send to Sam Bockarie to send manpower and manpower used to go to assist them really.

  • I'll ask you more about some specific communications, but during the time you were in Buedu do you know why Sam Bockarie was talking to Benjamin Yeaten?

  • Yes, I said this was - how would I put it really? It was a sort of a joint operation that was going on. Everybody wanted to know the successes and the failures that each had at a particular time, so they used to talk on those things.

  • How do you know Sam Bockarie was talking to Benjamin Yeaten?

  • Mortiga used to conduct the dialogue from Liberia with the station in Buedu because, when he wanted to talk to Sam Bockarie, Mortiga used to tell us that the father wants to talk to our own father and so we told Sam Bockarie and he would come and they would talk not once, not twice, on several occasions.

  • And, Mr Witness, when you say, "Mortiga used to tell us that the father wants to talk to our own father", who are you referring to when you say "the father" in this particular context?

  • Benjamin Yeaten, Five-Zero - that was his own code name, Five-Zero - that he wanted to talk to Sam Bockarie who was our own father in Buedu.

  • Now, I'd asked you about some matters generally during the time you were in Buedu. I'm going to now turn to some specific issues to ask you about from your recollection from your time there. First of all, after you arrived in Buedu do you recall any meetings?

  • Yes, I can recall about two important meetings that took place: one was at the Dawa Road, leading to Foya at the Waterworks, and the other at the back of Issa Sesay's house in Buedu. I can remember those two important meetings.

  • Let's focus on the first meeting that you just referred to at the Dawa Road. First of all, when you say "the Dawa Road leading to Foya" where are you referring to exactly?

  • This was a road that came from Buedu --

  • Your Honours, can he slowly repeat the names of the villages that the road goes through.

  • Please pause, Mr Witness, as the interpreter needs you to repeat the names of the villages that you mentioned. You said, "This was a road that came from Buedu". Continue from there and repeat the names of the villages.

  • From Buedu it went to Dawa, that is the border town between Sierra Leone and Liberia. Then you will cross into Liberia to Foya Tenga and from Foya Tenga you go to Foya Kama. That's the road that linked with Monrovia. That is where the road is that leads to Monrovia.

  • Now this first meeting that you have referred to, first of all were you present?

  • Can you approximately give the - well, let me ask you in terms of time frame about how long after you arrived in Buedu did this meeting at Dawa Road take place?

  • This was a meeting that was held when we came to Buedu when Sam Bockarie went to Liberia and returned. When we came, let me say about a month. It was at that time that we held this meeting. That was the time that the meeting took place at the Waterworks after Sam Bockarie had been to Monrovia and returned.

  • Who, to your recollection, was present at this meeting?

  • Before we get to that, can we clarify about a month from when?

  • Thank you, counsel. I'll clarify it:

  • You said, "When we came, let me say about a month." I asked you originally about how long after you arrived in Buedu did this meeting take place.

  • That's what I'm saying. I said after a month, because I came and after three weeks when I came I was there when Sam Bockarie took off for Monrovia. Immediately he returned that was the time that that meeting was held.

  • Now, I asked you who to your recollection was present at this meeting?

  • At the meeting were Issa Sesay, Denis Mingo - Denis was there, Monkey Brown, we had Eagle, Mannah Wai [phon], and some other men like the operator Zedman. All of us went to that meeting. We were all there.

  • Were there any other radio operators there that you recall?

  • Yes. King Perry was there. Go-Joe [phon] whom we called Joe Kassa [phon], because they came with Superman, he was there.

  • About how many people were at this meeting?

  • The meeting was attended by a large crowd, a very large crowd, because we had members from the AFRC. We had the civil populace, that is the advisors, Pa Rogers and others, and the commanders who had come. The people were many there. Over a hundred people at that place.

  • What was the subject? What do you recall about this meeting? What was discussed?

  • At the meeting they talked about - they said we should construct an airstrip, that is, the airstrip was to be constructed at a village. I cannot recall the name of the village but it was around Buedu. Also the attack on Kono, how we were to take Kono so that we would mine and be able to get ammunition to continue the struggle, and also the diamonds lost by Issa. These were some of the specific things that were discussed at the meeting that I can recall.

  • Was anyone chairing the meeting or was anyone in charge of the meeting?

  • Sam Bockarie who called the meeting chaired it.

  • Now you've mentioned that the topic of an airfield was discussed. Actually I should say you mentioned that a topic of an airstrip was discussed. Describe exactly what was - to your recollection, what specifically was discussed in terms of an airstrip?

  • That airstrip was to be constructed so that we can receive our own ammunition. That is we were to be getting ammunition from Libya. That is when it arrives it won't come through Monrovia, it will come straight to us. When Sam Bockarie came that was the message that he brought. He said we were to try and get the war strip. The work commenced to construct the war - the airstrip but we did not see the plane that came.

  • I'm just going to ask you to clarify the last portion of your answer, Mr Witness. You said, "But we did not see the plane that came." What do you mean?

  • We constructed the airfield for a plane but we never saw a plane land there.

  • Who did the construction?

  • The construction was done by civilians, soldiers because when they were going to do that work Sam Bockarie will - we would take the radio along, we would be there for the entire day and in the evening we would return. Because there was a Caterpillar there that was abandoned, that was repaired and that was - it was working there together with the civilians.

  • Now you also said another topic that was discussed were the diamonds lost by Issa. What do you recall about that topic? What was discussed about that at the meeting?

  • That diamond was the diamond that was Issa - that Issa was to take to Charles Taylor to buy ammunition. Because when we returned that was the first diamond that we were to use to get ammunition and continue carrying on with the operation. They took those diamonds from Johnny Paul and others and handed them over to him. When he went he came back and told us the diamonds were lost. That was why Sam Bockarie himself went back to Monrovia.

  • Now you also said that at the meeting there was discussion about the attack on Kono, "How we were to take Kono so that we would mine and be able to get ammunition to continue the struggle." Explain what you mean.

  • So the struggle had reached a point when these bits and pieces of ammunition that we were getting from Liberia was dwindling because the area of the struggle had become large and, you know, it is ammunition that fights war. So when Sam Bockarie returned it was at that time that he spoke about that, that he had discussed that with Charles Taylor, that we should try and get Kono and when we would have taken Kono we would get ammunition because when we get Kono we will get diamonds and he will help us to get ammunition. That was the discussion; the retaking of Kono so that we can mine and get enough ammunition, because the bits and pieces that he's been giving us used to help us. But what we wanted did not happen. That was a clear example, when he took that diamond the type of ammunition that he brought.

  • What do you mean when you - actually, I'm sorry. Okay, let me withdraw that question. What do you mean when you say, "Because the bits and pieces he's been giving us used to help us. But what we wanted" --

  • Not the bits and pieces that he was giving, "that we were getting from Liberia".

  • And it's bits and pieces of ammunition, Mr Santora, he was quite precise on that.

  • Your Honour, I think I'm reading later down in the - I was reading on lines 23 to 25 of my LiveNote, so it may be I was referring to --

  • I see the piece you're referring to. "To get enough ammunition because the bits and pieces that he's been giving us needed to help us." This is what you're referring to.

  • "Used to help us".

  • Do you see that, Mr Griffiths?

  • Okay. That's the portion I want to clarify.

  • Mr Witness, you said - let me read this in its entirety:

    "That was the discussion; the retaking of Kono so that we can mine and get enough ammunition because the bits and pieces that he's been giving us used to help us. But what we wanted did not happen."

    What do you mean by that?

  • Yes, what I mean is that you want - you wanted a hundred boxes and when you go there somebody gives you ten, you will take it because you had no option. So the hundred that we wanted, if we had our diamonds, when we take them we will get our hundred. That's what I mean directly.

  • Now you also said that there was a discussion with regards to taking Kono. Is that correct?

  • At the point of this meeting do you know who was in control of Kono?

  • Yes, it was ECOMOG that was in control of Kono at that time.

  • Now do you know where in Kono they were in control of?

  • They were in the centre, that is Koidu Town, Five-Five Spot, Small Lebanon, Kokuima going towards Makeni. The RUF was at the edge of the town, a place called Yellow Mosque, and the road leading to Guinea, Guinea Highway. That was where RUF was deployed at that time to keep defensive positions.

  • Now I just want to clarify to go back to one of your last answers. When I asked you before about when you said, "Because the bits and pieces that he's been giving us used to help us. But what we wanted did not happen" who are you referring to when you say "he"?

  • Charles Taylor. It was from him that the ammunition was coming from.

  • Now you referred to a second meeting earlier --

  • -- behind the house of Issa Sesay. Is that correct?

  • Do you recall when this meeting took place?

  • This meeting, it was when Sam Bockarie went to Monrovia and came with that ammunition. So when he came it was at that time that he called Issa Sesay and others from the front line so that they can sit together and plan how to launch the attack. It was at that time, that same 1999.

  • Now you earlier said that periodically during the time you were in Buedu at the time after the intervention to December 1999, that Sam Bockarie would regularly bring back ammunition. Is that correct?

  • Yes.

  • Now in this instance you're saying you recall that the meeting took place - "It was when Sam Bockarie went to Monrovia and came with that ammunition".

  • What are you referring to?

  • I have not understood that question.

  • Let me simplify the question a little bit. You said that, "This meeting, it was when Sam Bockarie went to Monrovia and came with that ammunition". What ammunition?

  • The ammunition that was in the truck that he came with. That was the heaviest ammunition that he had come with in all his travels to Monrovia.

  • And when was this ammunition brought?

  • It was in 1999, but I cannot recall the precise month. But when that ammunition came, when the commanders came, the attack on Kono took place immediately.

  • Now are you familiar with an incident in Sierra Leone referred to as the January 6 attack on Freetown?

  • Did this ammunition arrive before or after that incident?

  • That ammunition arrived after we had captured Kono, Makeni up to Waterloo. It came before the January 6.

  • Let me ask you your last answer again, Mr Witness. You said, "That ammunition arrived after we captured Kono, Makeni, up to Waterloo. It came before January 6." When do you recall the ammunition arriving in terms of what you earlier said was an attack on Kono that led up to Freetown?

  • Did the witness actually say the Kono attack led to Freetown?

  • Not in this particular answer but earlier back on the record he did say, in referring to this - referring to the meeting, that there was an attack on Kono that led to Freetown. I can look for the reference if --

  • If you assure me it's there then I will accept it, Mr Santora. Please proceed.

  • Now I'm going to ask you the question again, Mr Witness. This ammunition, this large shipment, did it arrive - when did it arrive in terms of what you've earlier described as an attack on Kono that led up to Freetown?

  • The ammunition arrived, it was that ammunition that we used to attack Kono. It was that ammunition that we used to attack Kono, Makeni, up to Lunsar, that ammunition. Even before we thought about January 6.

  • So to clarify, are you saying this ammunition arrived before January 6?

  • Now taking you back now, first of all, what did you observe in terms of this ammunition arriving?

  • When the ammunition arrived we were happy on the ground because we knew that the threat from the enemy was over, so Sam Bockarie gave a message for us to send to call the commanders and Issa, especially those who were on the defensive, so that they can come and sit together and plan for the attack. So they came and held a meeting behind Issa Sesay's house.

    But I was not present at that meeting. It was Zedman who attended that meeting. After the meeting when we came back he explained to me that they had held the meeting and that they were to attack Kono. Morris Kallon was to use a bypass to cut off a supply line between Kono and Makeni so that Issa, Rambo, Banya and the other commanders would hit on Kono. He said that was the plan. And the next morning they were to take off - they were to take off to go.

  • Now you said you yourself did not attend this meeting?

  • Do you know who did attend the meeting?

  • I said Zedman attended. Zedman attended. He attended the meeting. He was one of the operators. He gave me this information.

  • Do you know anyone else that attended the meeting?

  • Yes, CO Issa came, Morris Kallon came, Amara Peleto came and they had come for that meeting.

  • Your Honours, just as a point of clarification, because I did misspeak on the record and I just looked back at the reference, the actual phrasing that the witness used with regards to that meeting and the ammunition was that "we used to attack Kono up to Freetown". The word "led" was not there and I apologise for that and I apologise, counsel:

  • Who was Amara Peleto?

  • Amara Peleto was one of the front line commanders and also a bodyguard to Issa. Later he became the mining commander, the diamond mining commander.

  • Now you said earlier that Sam Bockarie came back with a truck. Who, if anyone, was with Sam Bockarie when he came back to Buedu with a truck with the ammunitions?

  • Yes, Sam Bockarie came along with Zigzag Marzah. Zigzag Marzah came on that trip. Senegalese was there. Sheku who was one of the Guineans whom they said was going to take the war to Guinea. Sidibay was there. Abu Keita too was there. All of them came with that group, together with Jungle. Jungle was among that group that came.

  • Now how do you know - do you know where this ammunition came from?

  • Yes. It was from Monrovia. That was where Sam Bockarie told us about. When he was leaving he will tell us that he was going to Monrovia to the Pa, and it was no other Pa but Charles Taylor. It was the only Pa we knew in Monrovia. He said he was going to him for ammunition, so - and we hadn't any route that goes to Guinea so that you will say if the truck came from that end you would say it had come from Guinea. And he did not tell us that he was going to Guinea. He said he was going to Monrovia. Before he left that was what he said. And we saw the Liberians among them, so that clearly indicated that he had come from Monrovia.

  • Now with regards to this particular trip and when he returned with this truck of ammunition, do you recall approximately how long Sam Bockarie was gone for?

  • Sam Bockarie went for about a week and returned.

  • Was there anybody else involved in this trip that you remember?

  • Those were the ones I had mentioned. I said they came along with Jungle and others.

  • I should rephrase it. Did anybody you recall who left with Sam Bockarie, who left Buedu for Liberia - do you remember anybody else - anybody - if anyone left with him?

  • Yes, when he was going he went with the operators. He went with this boy, Pascal. CO Lion who was with him too went and his bodyguards, Foday - he did not go alone.

  • Now you've mentioned the name Abu Keita. Who is he?

  • Abu Keita, from the information we got, he was a ULIMO general in Liberia. Later he joined the NPFL. So when this operation that they were talking about, this Guinea operation, commenced, they were all there. So Abu Keita, Sheku, Sidibay, the three of them were in their group when they came.

  • Who is Sidibay?

  • Sidibay was a Guinean national. He used to speak Mandingo.

  • Now you yourself - you said you did not attend this meeting you've referred to behind Issa Sesay's house. Is that correct?

  • Yes, I was not there.

  • I was on duty. I was monitoring the radio.

  • After this meeting did anything happen to you?

  • After that meeting, after they had organised all the ammunition and everybody had gone and they've attacked Kono, Makeni, Lunsar and other areas, at one time - at one night Sam Bockarie took the radio up at MP because I was in a vehicle - it was in a vehicle and they were communicating from there. I had come from one of my friends and I passed by, but at that time one of his bodyguards whom he had made an operator, Pascal, it was Pascal who was on duty for the whole day till that night. In the morning - he, Pascal, we were in the same house but not in the same room.

    In the morning, I went to a riverside to bathe. When I came back I was sitting down, he had taken a set to go and install it. He came and told me that he had not found the message book. "You've not seen the message book? What has happened to it? You were on duty yesterday". He said he brought the message book and left it and it was in the bag but this morning he left the bag to take his bath. Now he is --

  • Who are you referring to when you're saying "he", "he"?

  • Pascal. Pascal. Pascal, the operator. He gave me this report. So we searched for this book and did not find it, I, Tiger, Zedman, because we were the senior men. Then I made this report to Sam Bockarie.

    After I had made this report to Sam Bockarie, Sam Bockarie said we know something about that book. At that time one of my friends, Liberty, he too was an operator that had come from Kailahun, but at that time the two of us slept together, so Sam Bockarie said we were to be arrested. They took us to the MP. He said we knew something about the book, we were trying to hide the book so that we can use it as evidence against him in relation to the problem that was between himself and Superman.

    They took us to the MP. It was at that time that the Nigerian ECOMOG whom they had arrested were in custody in Buedu. When they took us there they put us in the dungeon, I and Liberty. It was a hole, a big hole that was dug and covered with sticks and some mud and a house was built on top of it. Even if your eyes were brighter like this bulb here that can brighten darkness - that was where we were put.

  • How long were you held in this area, in this pit, in this hole?

  • We were there for a week.

  • Okay, and after one week what happened?

  • It was not just a week. They tortured us.

  • Just a minute. Are you all right, Mr Witness?

  • Sam Bockarie's bodyguards, about four of them. One person they would beat you up with a vehicle tyre that they had cut. That was what they used to beat us.

  • Did they do anything else to you?

  • Later he freed us because he found out that we had no hands in it. He freed us.

  • So you said you were held here for about one week?

  • After he freed you, what did you do?

  • I went back on the radio. I was on the radio still as a commander.

  • Were you given your full assignment back?

  • Yes. Yes, they gave me my full assignment.

  • Now this incident, this one week you're describing - are you okay, Mr Witness?

  • This incident that you're describing, did this take place before or after the 6 January invasion of Freetown?