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

  • Mr Fayia, good morning.

  • Yesterday when we concluded your testimony, you had been telling us about your travels firstly with Foday Sankoh around Africa and then your travels in Europe. Do you recall that?

  • Very well, counsel.

  • And if we can just recap. Whilst in Africa, you had visited Burkina Faso, Libya, Ghana, Nigeria before returning to Ivory Coast. Is that right?

  • And thereafter in September you went to Belgium, Holland, France and briefly to Germany. Is that right?

  • Now during all of these travels, did you, in company with others, in particular with Foday Sankoh, travel to Liberia?

  • No, no, not at any time.

  • Why not?

  • Well, first of all, Foday Sankoh was not with us on the external delegation. Secondly, he had vowed never to go to Liberia to meet Charles Taylor. So he did not see a reason to go there.

  • Yes, but when you went to Libya, Burkina Faso and Nigeria, Mr Sankoh, who appears to have had a love for money, was given funds. So why didn't he go to Liberia to see if he could chisel some funds out of Charles Taylor?

  • Foday Sankoh, in 1993, as I said yesterday in this Court - in 1993 he had vowed never to see Charles Taylor because, according to him, Charles Taylor was a disappointment to him, which seemed to us that he - probably the kind of support he wanted from Charles Taylor was not received at the time he wanted it.

  • Very well. On your return to West Africa, having gone to Europe, what did you do?

  • When I returned in September 1996, by then the peace process which had stalled in my absence - sorry, before I left - had been recalled and some decision had been reached for us to go back to the negotiation table.

  • And did you go back to the negotiation table?

  • And in due course were those negotiations successful?

  • They were very successful up to the point of reaching an agreement that was signed on 30 November 1996. That was on a Sunday.

  • Now, when you returned in September, between September and November were you totally engaged in these negotiations?

  • Yes. In fact, I was on the political side of the negotiations, because the negotiation was divided into two. The military people had their own side of it, that is those who were on the side of the government and - I mean the soldiers who were on the side of the government had their own military aspect and then the RUF combatants also met as a group. Then we who were on the political side, I was there, Mr Deen-Jalloh was there, Mrs Deen-Jalloh was there, Dr Mohamed Barrie was there for the RUF. And for the government, Mr Desmond Luke was there.

  • Desmond Luke.

  • Was there. Mr Migore Kallon was there for the government. Migore is M-I-G-O-R-E. Mr Berewa was there.

  • Could you spell Berewa?

  • Berewa is B-E-R-E-W-A-H [sic], the Vice-President to President Kabbah.

  • Can I ask you this --

  • Momodu Koroma was there. M-O-M-O-D-U, K-O-R-O-M-A was there. Then Shaka Mansaray was there, who was the security adviser to the President, President Kabbah. S-H-A-K-A, M-A-N-S-A-R-A-Y. The Foreign Minister was there of Cote d'Ivoire, Mr Amara Essy. He was always with us. Then there was a translator there, I don't remember her name but she is an Ivorian. There was a translator, a female. I don't quite remember her name, but there was a translator there.

  • That's very helpful. Now, I just want to ask you about some of the practicalities involved. First of all this: As one of the leading representatives of the RUF, what were your objectives in those political discussions that you were involved in? What were you seeking to achieve?

  • In the first place, when we met at the table, the table was round, but we sat face-to-face, we were facing one another. I was made the first chairman, it was a rotating chairmanship - the first chairman of the political side of the negotiation aspect. Basically the RUF was seeking, the RUF and the government, because it was now a negotiation, we were all seeking to achieve a negotiated settlement to the civil conflict. We were seeking to achieve a negotiated settlement to the conflict in our home.

  • Were there any obstacles to that?

  • The intransigence of Foday Sankoh himself because apart from what he did, there was no other obstacle. He himself created the problem.

  • Now, was Foday Sankoh personally involved in any of these discussions? Was he present in the room setting out his own viewpoint?

  • No. Except there was a day - there was one particular day when he went to the negotiation table against the advice of the Foreign Minister, who was actually the moderator.

  • Amara Essy. Against his advice he went to the room, and he said he had a point to express. Mr Amara, although all of us saw a loft embarrassment on his face, he allowed him to express the point he had, and the point was that he wanted the talks to be suspended again so that the people of Sierra Leone will go into a referendum as to whether they actually wanted peace or not. That was the point he put across. That was the first and last time he was there.

  • So this leader of the RUF was wanting a referendum as to whether civilians wanted peace?

  • Now, again on the practicalities: At the end of each day's discussions, would you report back to Sankoh and give him a briefing?

  • Yes, that was what we did at the end of every day. In fact, we were in the same hotel. Every day, whatever we came up with, we reported to him appropriately and we would advise him to sit down and actually read it. So day by day until we concluded the negotiations, that was what we did.

  • Did you get the impression from your interaction with Sankoh, during that period following your return until the signing of the agreement, whether he was sincere or not about the negotiations?

  • It was difficult at that time to assess the level of sincerity in him. I actually got shocked at a comment he made the very day he signed the accord in Abidjan. When he went back to the house that day after the signing in the presence of Adjoa Coleman, the representative of the Secretary-General of the OAU, in her very presence he was able to say that now we have signed Abidjan I. We are now waiting to sign Abidjan II. I said, but hey, why are you saying you have to sign Abidjan II? Why do you have to sign Abidjan I in the first place? That was the question I asked him. So that was the day we started - I started noticing that he actually was not interested in the peace, but we had to continue.

  • The final practicality I want to ask you about is this: To what extent were the combatants and supporters on the ground in Sierra Leone kept abreast of what was happening in the negotiations?

  • We came to notice that Foday Sankoh - not notice. We were told. We heard from the boys that - from the radio operators that their friends in the bush there were expressing dissatisfaction because they were not getting adequate information from what was happening on the ground. But that was not a strange thing to us, because Foday Sankoh had actually said no information should go to the boys until he himself went there to talk to them. That was what was happening.

  • Very well. In any event, in due course agreement was reached?

  • Sorry. It was supposed to have been signed on the 29th, but it did not happen. It happened on the 30th. It was supposed to have been signed on the 29th, but it happened on the 30th. It was a Saturday. But it actually happened on the 30th.

  • And help us: What was your feeling and that of the fellow members of the external delegation when that agreement was finally signed?

  • It was - for us it was a relief and we were thinking that we had carried the day, because after all the agreement the companies of the agreement, which we ourselves had taken full part in reaching, were very good for the RUF. Because the RUF was supposed to have been transformed into a political party which, as far as we are concerned, we, the external delegation, was our own main desire.

  • Now, I would like you, please, to be shown exhibit D-87. Now, this is the Abidjan Accord, okay?

  • But before we come to look at its detail - and I want to look at the detail with you, because you were instrumental in bringing this about - can I ask you one final practical question, and it's this: During the negotiations, was President Tejan Kabbah ever present?

  • During the negotiations, no, he was never present. But after the negotiations the President of Cote d'Ivoire, President Konan Bedie invited him to Abidjan so that - he organised a small meeting. He wanted to - before the signing he wanted Foday Sankoh and Kabbah to meet again. He wanted to assess Foday Sankoh's seriousness with the accord. So in that meeting, I was present. Mr Deen-Jalloh was present. The two of us were there. Initially he did not want to take us there, Foday Sankoh. He did not want to take us to the meeting. He wanted to take lower ranking members of the organisation, but people told him no, you cannot leave Fayia Musa and Mr Deen-Jalloh behind and go to that meeting.

    When we got to the meeting, the Sierra Leone delegation, which included the President, President Kabbah, and the Vice-President, Mr Solomon Berewa - Kabbah is - Ahmad Tejan Kabbah: A-H-M-E-D [sic], Ahmad; then T-E-J-A-N, Tejan; then K-A-B-B-A-H, Kabbah, he was the President at that time. Then Mr Solomon Berewa, his Vice-President, the two of them were there. Then the President of Cote d'Ivoire and the Foreign Minister of Cote d'Ivoire were there in the persons of --

  • Henri Konan Bedie and Amara Essy.

  • -- Henri Konan Bedie and - yes, the two of them were there. The President said, "I want the two of you to shake your hands." He said he wanted - he called them so they can shake their hands as brothers. Foday Sankoh refused. He refused to shake his hands with President Kabbah, which was very much embarrassing to all of - we who were there. The Foreign Minister told him if you fail to take instructions from my President, then don't expect further support from Cote d'Ivoire, he said, because this is his - Konan Bedie is the President of - His Excellency is the President of this country and he is the chief moral ground of the peace process, so all of us take instructions from him. But he refused. That was the time - that was the only time Kabbah went to Abidjan, before the signing of the accord.

  • Mr Fayia, I have got to ask you this.

  • Given Foday Sankoh's behaviour during the negotiations - you have given us the example of him asking for a referendum as to whether the people wanted peace; you have now given us another example of him refusing to shake hands with President Kabbah - did you honestly at the time think he was serious?

  • Please go over that again.

  • Did you think that Foday Sankoh was sincere in wanting peace, given how he had been behaving?

  • We started suspecting that sincerity was not a characteristic of his own thinking at that time. But we - just like the international community did, all of us - because everybody was seeing that he was insincere. But we thought that after the signing of the accord he would change his position. That was the belief of everybody.

  • Let us then now have a look at this accord. We see that it's headed, "Peace agreement between the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone and Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone":

    "Moved by the imperative need for a just and durable peace in Sierra Leone; inspired by the equally imperative need for genuine national unity and reconciliation to end the fratricidal war in Sierra Leone; committed to promoting popular participation in governance and full respect for human rights and humanitarian laws; dedicated to the advancement of democratic development and to the maintenance of sociopolitical order free of inequality, despotism and corruption; convinced that a sense of common purpose and patriotism is the need of the hour..."

    Now, let me pause there. In the drafting of this accord, Mr Fayia, did you have any technical assistance from a legal draftsman, somebody like that?

  • Yeah, we had.

  • Adjoa Coleman. Adjoa Coleman, who was the representative of the Secretary-General of the OAU.

  • So was it Adjoa Coleman who actually drafted this and presented it to you for final acceptance?

  • Yes, she was the one who did the final draft.

  • "...hereby agree as follows:

    Article 1. The armed conflict between the Government of Sierra Leone and the RUF is hereby ended with immediate effect. Accordingly, the two foes will ensure that a total cessation of hostilities is observed forthwith.

    Article 2. The government and the RUF undertake that no effort shall be spared to effect the scrupulous respect and implementation of the provisions contained in this peace agreement to ensure that the establishment and consolidation of a just peace becomes a priority in Sierra Leone.

    Article 3. A national body to be known as the Commission for the Consolidation of Peace shall be established within two weeks of the signing of this agreement. The commission shall be a verification mechanism responsible for supervising and monitoring the implementation of, and compliance with, all the provisions contained in this peace agreement.

    The commission, in fulfilment of this task during the period of consolidating the peace, shall coordinate and facilitate the work of the following bodies which will proceed to establish: 1. Socioeconomic forum; citizen's consultative conferences; multi-partisan council; trust fund for the consolidation of peace; demobilisation and resettlement committee; national budget and debt committee.

    The committee shall comprise representatives of the government and the Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone, drawing on the resources of state and civic institutions as and when necessary.

    The commission shall have the power to recommend the preparation of enabling measures contained in the peace agreement. It shall have the power to issue publicly its conclusions. The parties undertake to comply with the conclusions of the commission.

    The commission shall have the power to prepare preliminary legislative drafts necessary for the implementation and development of the provisions contained in the present peace agreement.

    The parties undertake to consult the commission before taking decisions on measures relating to the present peace agreement.

    The commission may similarly consult the parties at the highest level whenever it is appropriate.

    The commission shall have access to and may inspect any activity or site connected with the implementation of the present peace agreement. The commission shall have full powers to organise its work in the manner in which it deems most appropriate and to appoint any group or subcommittee which it may deem useful in the discharge of its functions?

    The commission shall have its own offices, adequate communication facilities and adequate secretariat support staff.

    A trust fund for the consolidation of peace shall be established to provide funding for the implementation of the present peace agreement."

    Should we take it, Mr Fayia, that this Commission for the Consolidation of Peace, the CCP, was a very important body - was contemplated to be a very important body by the parties to this accord?

  • Yes. In fact, by all indications, the Commission for the Consolidation of Peace which was an eight-man group involving four representatives from the RUF, including myself, Mr Ibrahim Deen-Jalloh - myself Musa Fayia, Mr Ibrahim Hassan Deen-Jalloh, Mr Michael Sandi, S-A-N-D-I, and Mrs Agnes Ibrahim Deen-Jalloh.

  • And who were the Sierra Leone government representatives?

  • The Sierra Leone government representative included Dr Fatmata Boi-Kamara, F-A-T-M-A-T-A, B-O-I hyphen K-A-M-A-R-A. Mr Shaka Koroma - sorry, Shaka Mansaray. I spelled that before, but S-H-A-K-A, M-A-N-S-A-R-A-Y. Then Dr Sama Siama Banya, S-A-M-A, S-I-A-M-A, B-A-N-Y-A. The fourth person was Desmond Luke.

  • You mentioned that name before.

  • Yes, Desmond Luke was the fourth person. So it was an eight-man committee - commission that was saddled with the responsibility to make sure that the accord, the Abidjan Peace Accord, which was given that name by the President, President Kabbah - that the Abidjan Peace Accord be implemented to the letter. Our responsibility was to make sure that the Abidjan Peace Accord would be implemented to the letter. That was our responsibility, which made it clear to us that we were the most important aspect of the implementation of the Abidjan Peace Accord.

  • Now --

  • So that the two parties, namely, Foday Sankoh and President Kabbah, were expected to ensure total compliance with us, with the CCP, to demonstrate their commitment to giving peace to the people of Sierra Leone, marking the end of the conflict.

  • Now, can we go back to the agreement, please. I want to look at some of the other provisions with you. Article 4 deals with the setting up of annual citizens' consultative conferences, do you see that?

  • Yeah.

  • We need not go into the details of that. Article 5 deals with the disarmament of combatants?

  • And Article 6, as we see, deals with the encampment, disarmament, demobilisation and resettlement, yes?

  • Likewise, Article 7 deals with demobilisation and resettlement. Article 8 deals with a request for the international community to help supervise and monitor that disarmament process, yes?

  • And Article 9 now:

    "The commission shall, as a priority, make recommendations on the restructuring and re-orientation of the military as well as its leadership. In this context, members of the RUF who may wish to be part of the country's military can become part of the new unified armed forces within a framework to be discussed and agreed upon by the commission."

    Why was that deemed necessary?

  • That was deemed very necessary by all parties involved in the discussion to ensure the oneness in purpose, the oneness in running after our objectives as a nation that the RUF was actually struggling for. Because if at the end of the day the RUF and the government soldiers would come together to form a unified army, that would have taken care of differences that would have arisen as a result of misunderstanding among the security personnel.

  • Now, Article 10 deals with the return to barracks of army units not required for normal security. Then Article 11 deals with the setting up of a Neutral Monitoring Group. Article 12 now, can we have a look at that, please:

    "The Executive Outcomes shall be withdrawn five weeks after the deployment of the Neutral Monitoring Group. As from the date of the deployment of the Neutral Monitoring Group, the Executive Outcomes shall be confined to barracks under the supervision of the Joint Monitoring Group and the Neutral Monitoring Group. Government shall use all its endeavouring, consistent with its treaty obligations, to repatriate other foreign troops no later than three months after the deployment of the Neutral Monitoring Group or six months after the signing of the peace agreement, whichever is earlier."

    Why was this provision thought necessary?

  • Because this in fact was one of the demands of the RUF. So for us to reach an agreement, all parties involved made sure that there was a clause covering that one.

  • Now, where mention is made in that article of other foreign troops, what is that a reference to?

  • That reference was made to the ECOMOG contingents that were in the country.

  • Now, during the course of the conflict, Mr Fayia, did you ever hear of a group called the STF?

  • No, I didn't. I don't remember.

  • Very well:

    "Article 13. The parties agree that immediately following the signing of the present peace agreement, the RUF shall commence to function as a political movement with the rights, privileges and duties provided by law; and within 30 days following that, the necessary conditions shall be created to enable the RUF to register as a political movement according to law."

    Who had asked for that provision?

  • These are the demands of the RUF.

  • So are we to understand it that this was meant to usher in a transformation of the RUF from a military force into a political force? Is that right?

  • And did you welcome that change?

  • We who represented the RUF welcomed the change very much and in fact - but unfortunately all the other things that you have just read out did not happen, except the CCP. The CCP was constituted. But all the other things did not happen at all because Foday Sankoh, when the accord was signed, the four of us who were on the RUF side representing the RUF were sent to Freetown in December. We went to Freetown in December for inauguration before we can start work as a commission. We came back for Christmas.

  • December of which year?

  • December 1996. We went to Freetown in December 1996 for inauguration. The inauguration ceremony, I don't remember the date exactly but it was held at the Bintumani Hotel in Freetown, but it was before Christmas. We came back to Cote d'Ivoire for us to resume duties in Freetown in January 1997.

    In 1997 January when we got to Freetown the first thing - the first arrangement that the UN and the government of President Kabbah made for us was to take a tour of the country. The RUF - I mean the entire CCP so the RUF can have an opportunity to hear from the people, which was very, very good for us. We started with the south and the east. The ICRC organised a helicopter for us. But even there, what happened there again was when - because we would have gone as far as to Kailahun Town where the RUF base was.

    But when we were on the arrangements - when ICRC was making the arrangements for a helicopter to take us there, there was a leakage of information. Foday Sankoh instructed his boys to make sure that when we get there, all of us should be arrested, when in fact we had arranged with him - he told us he wanted to have a meeting with us there with the CCP in Kailahun. He told the boys as soon as we get there, all of us, including himself, would be arrested and kept there. Because for him, that was that day where he [indiscernible]. He gave the instruction. So whatever he said that for it was not clear, but there was a leakage. That information went out to government.

    So the ICRC did not hire the helicopter again to take us to Kailahun, but we managed to go to Bo. He wanted to go there. The CCP went to Bo. From Bo we went to Kenema. From Kenema we went to Kailahun District at Segbwema. We went to Segbwema. That's the last chiefdom that is bordering on Kenema District - the last chiefdom in Kailahun District, Kenema. Then from Segbwema we went to Daru. That was where we stopped. We stopped in Daru because it was dangerous for us to go beyond that, taking into consideration the information that had leaked to government.

    In all these places, from Bo to Daru, we were told by the people that they welcomed - sorry, that they were praying and crying for a change in the country, that they welcomed - that they are prepared to welcome Foday Sankoh. All they wanted from him was seriousness with the peace process. They wanted peace. They said they wanted peace now and then - sorry, there and then - because they were tired running around. So they said that was the message that we would take back to Foday Sankoh in Abidjan; that if it was for vote, they were prepared to give him their votes because they knew exactly, and they did remember, the kind of things we went through - the country went through during the 25 years that the old APC ruled the country. When we went to - back to Freetown, we decided to go to the north. But we said, no, let us go to Abidjan now and see this man.

  • Which man?

  • Mr Foday Sankoh.

  • I want to come on to your meeting with Foday Sankoh later, okay?

  • But let us just deal with matters in sequence. Can we complete looking at this document; then we will move on, okay? Article 13 we have just looked at, the transformation of the RUF into a political party. Now Article 14:

    "To consolidate the peace and promote the cause of national reconciliation, the Government of Sierra Leone shall ensure that no official or judicial action is taken against any member of the RUF in respect of anything done by them in pursuit of their objectives as members of that organisation up to the time of the signing of this agreement."

    So this was an amnesty for the RUF combatants, yes?

  • Absolutely. That was the amnesty that was granted that was negotiated by the - I mean, at the negotiation table. Because they said that everything that happened before the signing of that accord was to be treated as a method to reach the strategic objectives that we had set for ourselves. So it was an amnesty, yes.

  • Article 15 need not delay us. That deals with the mandate and membership of the executive - existing National Unity and Reconciliation Commission.

    Now, what follows thereafter are a number of articles which appear aimed at the social, economic, human rights situation in the country. Is that right?

  • So when we look at Article 16, that is aimed at, in effect, anti-corruption within the public services of Sierra Leone. Would that be fair?

  • So we see:

    "The parties agree that the standards of accountability, integrity and probity in the public services of Sierra Leone shall be raised."

    Now, why was that thought necessary?

  • It was very necessary, because that was one of the cries of the RUF in order to help us achieve our objective. That article was put in by the legal minds who did the final documents for us.

  • And then Article 17 deals with, in effect, aid to set up a trust fund. Article 18 with electoral reform, doesn't it?

  • Article 19 now:

    "The parties greet that the basic civil and political liberties which are recognised by the Sierra Leone legal system and are contained in the declarations and principles on human rights adopted by the United Nations and the Organisation of African Unity, especially the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and People's Rights, shall be fully guaranteed and promoted within Sierra Leone society."

    Why was that thought to be necessary?

  • That was also necessary because RUF, in our Footpath to Democracy, we made it very clear that we wanted fair play on the ground and that that was what we were actually struggling for. So we were also encouraged by including that article in the agreement.

  • As an indication of agreement with the RUF.

  • Article 21 strikes a similar note in relation to international humanitarian law. Is that right?

  • Article 22 is really geared at social policy towards the rural and urban poor, war victims, disabled persons, and other vulnerable groups, yes?

  • Then Article 23 again is about raising resources internally and externally for development. Article 24 now:

    "The parties agree that the independence of the judiciary shall be strengthened in accordance with its role of ensuring the fair and impartial dispensation of justice in a democratic order."

    Who demanded that provision to be included in the accord?

  • As far as I remember, every aspect - most of the aspects of this agreement were the demands of the RUF.

  • Now, why was it felt necessary to be underlining the need for an independent judiciary?

  • Because we had not had that before in Sierra Leone before the conflict. The judiciary was not independent enough.

  • Likewise, Article 25 deals with, in effect, the need for the police force to act independently and impartially. Again, why was that felt to be necessary?

  • Because before the conflict, we saw that President Siaka Stevens actually had control over the police. He even went ahead to create a police unit they called SSD. That was just there to keep him away from all protests against his way of governance.

  • Article 26 now deals with social policy, in effect, and we need not dwell on that. And then when we go to the final page of this document, we see that Article 27 again deals with social policy. Now we come to Article 28:

    "The Government of Cote D'Ivoire, the United Nations, the Organisation of African Unity, and the Commonwealth shall stand as moral guarantors", a word had you had used before, "that this peace agreement is implemented with integrity and in good faith by both parties."

    And then we see that this is done in Abidjan, 30 November 1996. We see below that that it was signed by Alhaji Dr Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone; Corporal Foday Saybana Sankoh, leader of the Revolutionary United Front; Henri Konan Bedie, President of the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire; Berhanu Dinka, Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for Sierra Leone; Adjoa Coleman, representative of the Organisation of African Unity; and Moses Anafu, representative of the Commonwealth organisation.

    We can put that document away now, please. Now, prior to the signing of that agreement, Mr Fayia, did you make a trip to Sierra Leone with Foday Sankoh and others?

  • Yes. When the agreement was drafted, Foday Sankoh demanded that he would go to meet his people to get their mandate. When I say "people", I mean the combatants and the civilians in the RUF-held part of the country. So we went to the RUF-held part of the country. That was in - I mean, the headquarters was Balahun. That's where we went. And in that team with him I was present, Captain Sylvester Palmer was present - Philip Sylvester Palmer was present. Then Ambassador Abdulai Abdallah was present, the Ivorian Foreign Minister, director of cabinet by then. He went to represent the Government of Cote D'Ivoire. Then Foday Sankoh himself was there.

  • And what was the purpose of this visit?

  • The purpose of the meeting basically was for us to get a mandate from the people we left behind, the combatants and the civilians, a mandate for Foday Sankoh to go back to Abidjan to sign the peace accord on behalf of the movement.

  • Now, how did you travel to RUF-held territory in Sierra Leone?

  • The ICRC also organised for us - organised a helicopter for us to go there. We flew from Abidjan to Kankan. Then from Kankan we came to Sierra Leone.

  • How do you spell Kankan?

  • Kankan is in Guinea, in the first place. K-A-N-K-A-N.

  • And then you flew from there by helicopter to Sierra Leone?

  • And how many places within Sierra Leone did you visit?

  • When we got there, Foday Sankoh had to visit the northern part of the country where some of his boys were there. Since we were civilians, I and Mr Deen-Jalloh, he alone went there - sorry, he and Palmer went there. And, of course, the Ivorian representative, they went there. We stayed in Balahun to wait for them. That was one. He also went to Buedu where his combatants were.

  • So you only went to the first stop?

  • Balahun, yes. That was where all the civilians assembled.

  • Now, help me with this: Just describe for us what happened when you arrived in Balahun?

  • When we got there, the first thing that happened was Foday Sankoh asked me to talk to the BBC through his satellite phone, telling them that we would like the world to know that we were in our territory to talk to our people, to seek their mandate. Immediately after that he told myself and Mr Deen-Jalloh that he was sharing the responsibility between the two of us as a group, and then he and Palmer as another group. We asked him how. He said he wanted us to deal with the civilians. He said he wanted us, I and Mr Ibrahim Hassan Deen-Jalloh, to deal with the civilians, to talk to the civilians. He said he and Captain Palmer would talk to the soldiers in Buedu.

  • Now, what kind of reception did Mr Sankoh receive when he arrived?

  • When Foday Sankoh arrived, the reception was something like a hidden - sorry, the feelings of the boys was hidden. He was not too sure of his security.

  • Who wasn't too sure of his security?

  • Foday Sankoh wasn't too sure of his security because I said yesterday he received $500,000 US to be sent back to the RUF-held territory to provide support for the civilians, provide food and medicines for them. But instead he could only send $7,000 US to Mosquito, Sam Bockarie, for him to use it to buy war materials from ULIMO at the border. This information leaked out to the boys and to the civilians in the bush there.

  • So they knew about this money?

  • Yeah, they knew about it because their friends who were on the radio in Abidjan were not happy about the kind of things he did, so they informed their colleagues out there, because they knew how much suffering was going on in there. So when he noticed that the information had reached the boys, and he knows what they are all capable of doing.

  • Who knows?

  • Foday Sankoh knew what they are all capable of doing, so he was not too sure of his security. When they went, when the helicopter landed, we disembarked. He decided to stay until Captain Palmer would go and assess the security situation for him. Captain Palmer disembarked. The first thing he told his friend was to apologise to them. He apologised to his friends, to the combatants, and asked for forgiveness for anything they might have heard.

    Of course, as I said yesterday, Foday Sankoh was fully in charge. Whatever he did was endorsed by the boys, the combatants, so that no civilian actually had an opportunity to say no to anything he said. So when Captain Palmer was able to get the agreement of the boys, he went back to the helicopter and told him, "You can come out. Your boys are ready for you." As soon as he disembarked, he went to where all the boys were, pretending to be crying, because I could say pretending because if he had given them their due he would have had no need to cry. So the boys said, "Papay, no, don't worry, we are for you." That was the kind of thing he was looking for and he got it in full measure.

    So as soon as they finished that one, they went off to - they said they want to go see CO Mohamed. By then CO Mohamed, Zino, his battle group commander or second in command, was in the north of Sierra Leone in a place called Kangari Hills, K-A-N-G-A-R-I. We saw them fly in the direction.

  • And you remained behind in Balahun?

  • Yes, I and Mr Hassan Deen-Jalloh remained behind in Balahun, but they were accompanied by the Ivorian representative. After four hours we saw them.

  • Now, can you help us with this: How long before the actual signing of the Abidjan Peace Accord was this visit made to Sierra Leone?

  • Almost a week. It was not supposed to be up to that, but when we went to Sierra Leone, Foday Sankoh decided to leave us behind again, I and Mr Deen-Jalloh.

  • So he left you in Sierra Leone?

  • He left us in Sierra Leone and went back to Abidjan. When he landed in Abidjan, the moral guarantors asked him about us.

  • Who did he leave behind?

  • The two of us, I and Mr Hassan Deen-Jalloh.

  • So he was asked on his return where you were?

  • Yeah. He told the people, the Ivorian government - of course it was Dr Addai-Sebo that the Foreign Minister sent to ask him about us. He told Addai-Sebo that we lied to him, that we decided to stay behind. He said he did not see us.

  • So how did you make it back to Cote d'Ivoire?

  • They told him they would not allow him to sign the accord in our absence at all. They told him they would not allow him at all to sign the accord in our absence, so that he had to wait until fresh arrangements were made for a helicopter to go collect us from Giema. So we were there for about one and a half weeks, waiting. The helicopter eventually went and collected us, took us back to Abidjan. So the following week the peace process resumed to have a final look at the draft agreement before the signing on the date indicated on it.

  • So whilst you were in Sierra Leone on that visit to seek a mandate, did you or your colleague Ibrahim Deen-Jalloh meet with any of the combatants?

  • No, we did not with them at all. In terms of the agreement, we did not meet with them at all, because Foday Sankoh said he and Captain Palmer were going to deal with the combatants while we deal with the civilians. So we gathered all the civilians at the Methodist - no, at the district education committee school in Balahun. That was where we gathered all the civilians and we read the accord to them line by line and explained it to them in Mende line by line, in Mende and Kissi because there were Mende and Kissi together. We read it line by line and we said we were there to seek their mandate.

    We asked them to tell us anything they wanted us to change in the accord. What they told us, through their spokesman, was that they were with us, they were tired with the war, they were tired of staying in the bush, they were too far from Freetown, they were too far from the reality for too long, they said they were tired so they are with us. They understood everything that was in there. So they told us to tell Foday Sankoh to go sign the accord on their behalf.

  • Now, did Foday Sankoh give you any indication as to what he was going to say to the combatants?

  • Well, no. And in fact we did not ask him because we had a common objective when we left Abidjan which was to explain to all the people we left behind the contents of the accord and to ask them for their mandate for him to come and sign, so we did not see any need to ask him what he was going to tell them. The only thing that baffled us was why didn't he put everybody together and then to - that was confusing to us, but we did not ask him at all because of who he was.

  • So he and Philip Palmer were the only two from the - who had been in Ivory Coast who went to speak to the combatants?

  • Yes, because although we went with an Ivorian representative, he did not go there with them. They flew him back to Abidjan that very day. Ambassador Abdulai was flown back that very day before he met the combatants.

  • Now, in light of what you told us about that trip, I would like to show you a document, please. Exhibit P-272, please. Mr Fayia, have you seen this document before?

  • No, no.

  • Do you recognise the writing?

  • Yes. Captain Palmer used to write that way.

  • This is Captain Palmer's writing, is it?

  • Yeah, he used to write that way. That was his handwriting.

  • Now, in light of what you have told us about that trip and the fact that it was Palmer and Sankoh who alone went to speak to the combatants, I would like us to look at this document, please. You see that it's headed "Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone". Note also the date, 4 December 1996. So this would have been four days after the signing of the Abidjan Peace Accord. Is that right?

  • And this would have been about two weeks after you had gone to Sierra Leone on that pre-signing visit. Is that right?

  • Yeah.

  • Now, listen to the contents of this letter from Corporal Foday Sankoh to brother Mohamed Talibi. You remember that letter dated 26 June which we looked at yesterday, yes?

  • Written by Palmer to the same Mohamed Talibi.

    "Subject: Urgent information.

    I received the USD 29,000 through Mr Daniel Kallon for which I am very grateful to you and the other brothers back home."

    Pause there. Did you know anything about him receiving $29,000 US?

  • No. From Mohamed Talibi the only money I know and I actually saw was the 500,000 I mentioned yesterday.

  • So you knew nothing at all about the receipt of this money?

  • Who is Mr Daniel Kallon?

  • Mr Daniel Kallon is the man I said yesterday was giving support to the RUF at the training base in Camp Naama in Liberia.

  • So he is the husband of Isatta Kallon?

  • Is Isatta Kallon known by another name?

  • She had a nickname but I had forgotten. But that is her name. She had a nickname too but I don't remember it.

  • Very well:

    "We have signed the peace accord on November 29, 1996, just so as to relieve our movement of the enormous pressure from the international community while I will use this opportunity to transact my business in getting our fighting materials freely and easily."

    Do you see what he is saying there?

  • Yeah.

  • It shows, doesn't it, Mr Fayia, that Foday Sankoh was totally insincere when he signed that agreement?

  • Absolutely. Absolutely.

  • It was a mask to veil his true intentions?

  • "I have already finished negotiations with my business partners and I have so far paid USD 300,000" - why do you laugh?

  • Because I know that when he received - because I know he did not receive other money apart from the 500,000 he had received up to that time. And I know - also know that that money had been squandered. When he received that money in April, I went - I came to Europe in July. By then the money had gone. So for him to write in December to say that he had paid 300,000 to a business partner for anything was an absolute lie, just as we are saying he was trying to get money from whomever was in sympathy with him for his own pleasure.

  • So as far as you are concerned --

  • It's ridiculous.

  • -- this is ridiculous --

  • Indeed it is. It's ridiculous --

  • -- he hadn't $300,000?

  • This is ridiculous and a terrible show of heartlessness. Because if you can receive 500,000 for civilians, he sent to them 7,000 even though it was not for their use. You tell someone who is trying to you help them that you have spent 300,000 on something else is a terrible heartlessness.

  • Mr Fayia, could you, when testifying, allow Mr Griffiths to finish his sentence before you answer.

  • If you don't do that, both of what you say will not be recorded.

  • "Our agreement is that they should receive US$700,000 from me in Sierra Leone upon their arrival with the materials into my controlled territory. The total cost of the materials is US$2 million. The balance amount will be paid when the operation is completed.

    I am therefore asking you and your brothers to urgently provide the needed US$700,000 so that I will be in position to live up to my commitment to my business partners who will be coming very soon with these materials. As I have always learnt from you people, there is some money with the Burkinabe government for the provision of our needed materials. But as you might have known by now that government have really not shown any keen interest in assisting us as a movement. I even had conversation with Commander Diendere these few days, but with no positive result."

    Remember mentioning Diendere yesterday?

  • Yes, those who don't get the spelling correct yesterday. It's D-I-E-N-D-E-R-E. I tried to spell it yesterday. It's a phonetic impression. D-I-E-N-D-E-R-E is the correct spelling.

  • "I would therefore suggest that you prepare a letter from me to meet President Compaore on this issue as we never received anything from them and even my delegates at Ouagadougou have returned ever since to my location here. Please advice on this issue."

    Now listen to this:

    "When I went in last week, I was able to organise serious mining operations in precious minerals which I believe will help us to generate the needed foreign exchange for our mission. For now I am highly in need of this US$700,000 in order to go in and be waiting for the arrival of my business partners. Please help me in this great hour of need and I promise not to let you down. Palmer will give you the rest of my message. My best regard to you and your family."

    And then we see it's signed by Corporal Foday S Sankoh.

    Now, were you aware that when you were in Sierra Leone that week before the signing, Sankoh had been organising serious mining operations; did you know that?

  • No, he didn't tell us anything concerning that. Maybe that was part of what he told the combatants when he met with them privately.

  • Now, you have told us that Sankoh was against diamond mining. Why do you laugh?

  • Because it is very ironical - it sounds ironical, considering the kind of effort we put into doing the Footpaths to Democracy and what he used to tell us. For him to say he had actually arranged mining - a mining programme for him to pay for materials, it sounds like he is reneging on everything that he had told us, frankly.

  • Now, yesterday you told us that you knew about the 26 June letter written by Captain Palmer to Mohamed Talibi?

  • Uh-huh.

  • Did you know that - about this letter?

  • This particular one?

  • No. No, I didn't know about it.

  • Did anyone, for example, Captain Palmer, tell you that he had written such a letter on behalf of Sankoh so soon after the signing of the Abidjan Peace Accord?

  • No, Captain Palmer never told me that one. Never. Whenever he did such a thing, he made sure that he did it with his combatants and that he - he had a way of telling them not to leak the information out to anybody. Because ...

  • As we - yesterday we saw the 500,000 and the letter he wrote for more money. And the first letter you just displayed before this one he's talking - I don't know whether it's this one. The first paragraph is talking about US$29,000 having received from Mohamed Talibi. Which means, as I said yesterday, when he wrote back - when he might have written back this letter, it was like the people knew that he did not know what he was looking for so they sent him 29,000 only if that was true.

  • Now, on that topic mentioned in that letter of diamonds, did you ever see Foday Sankoh give any foreign leader or individual in the sub-region diamonds?

  • Foday Sankoh did not reach Abidjan, as far as I came to understand. He did not reach Abidjan with diamonds. When - it was when we were leaving our territory that he gave us the diamonds he had received from the combatants in December 1992.

  • So did you ever see him give any foreign leader diamonds?

  • No. This means he had nothing to give - he had nothing like that to give anybody.

  • Now, after the signing of the Abidjan Peace Accord, was Sankoh given anything by the Ivorian government?

  • Yes. When he signed the Abidjan Peace Accord, that very evening President Konan Bedie sent him 30 million franc CFA. He told him: That is your shake hand. You have made us very proud today. You have given us the opportunity to give Sierra Leone a President. I want you to continue. He told him as for your party, all you need to do is to make sure the accord is implemented accordingly. For the support of your party, we are behind you. We will convince France to give you the support you need. We will also do our bit as a government. But we are asking you - we are telling you first of all that we are thanking you for what you have done today, and we are advising that you comply by all the provisions of the accord to which you have affixed your signature. That was the message sent to him by President Bedie through the Foreign Minister, Mr Amara Essy.

  • Mr Griffiths, could we have an indication as to the dollar equivalent of this 30 million CFA?

  • By then the CFA was 45,000. 45,000 CFA was US$100.

  • Then, Mr Witness, you used the expression: He told him that this is your --

  • To prove that there were happy that he had signed the accord.

  • You mean the 30 million was the --

  • Let me finish. This is exact what I was telling you. Listen to the comment. You mean that the 30 million was given to Foday Sankoh as a shake hand or a handshake?

  • So explain that. How was the 30 million a handshake?

  • President Konan Bedie said: We are grateful that you have signed the accord, and we have to express this gratefulness in terms of this amount, the 30 million.

  • So, in other words, this 30 million was given to Foday Sankoh as a personal thank you?

  • Before we come to deal with the post - the period after the signing, I want to ask you one or two details. Were Issa Sesay and Gibril Massaquoi involved in any way in the negotiations leading to the Abidjan Peace Accord?

  • No, no, no. They were not. It was only Gibril who was there up to the day of the signing, but Issa Sesay was not there at all.

  • So Gibril Massaquoi was there. But was he involved in the actual negotiations?

  • No, he wasn't. He wasn't.

  • What was he doing there?

  • He was there as a bodyguard.

  • Was Issa Sesay in the Ivory Coast at all during that period?

  • No. Issa Sesay had come for operations, and he had undergone the operations and gone back.

  • Does the name Mammy Iye mean anything to you?

  • Yes. That was the name that we should call Madam Isatta Kallon, in short: Iye. Mammy Iye.

  • So Mammy Iye is that same Isatta Kallon?

  • Now, were Mammy Iye and Pa Kabbah in the Ivory Coast during the negotiations?

  • Yeah, they were there.

  • They were in - they did not take part in negotiations. Just the four of us took part in negotiations.

  • So why were they in the Ivory Coast; do you know?

  • I don't know what else they were doing there. They were always in the house.

  • Did Foday Sankoh tell you how he came to know them?

  • You mean Mr Kallon and his wife?

  • Well, I said earlier on, maybe two days ago, that Captain Palmer told me that Mr Kallon and his wife supported them on the training base.

  • Supported them in what way?

  • It was giving them food in the training base in Camp Naama.

  • In Camp Naama. So Pa Kallon and his wife provided the RUF combatants who were training at Camp Naama with food?

  • Yeah.

  • Were you told how they were able to provide that?

  • Well, Madam Isatta Kallon was a businesswoman. She was - I think she was a - I think care lady of the Market Women Association in Liberia in Monrovia, and then the husband too was had a very good job with Harbel - Harbel - the rubber plantation there in Harbel. So --

  • So apart from food, were they providing any other kind of assistance to the RUF trainees at Camp Naama?

  • Well, I don't know. Because when Palmer was explaining to me, he was just saying they gave us the support that we needed. They gave us food and other things. But I did not go into details to ask him what else they were giving them. But given the fact that food is about the most important thing, I just concluded that they were the father and the mother of the training base.

  • They were the father and the mother of the training base at Camp Naama?

  • That was what I concluded, yes.

  • Did they, those two, undertake military training at Camp Naama to your knowledge?

  • I don't know. I don't know.

  • Now, was Omrie Golley involved in the Abidjan peace talks?

  • To a point, yes. He was involved to some extent. First when the NPRC came to discuss with us, he and Ambrose were there.

  • He and Ambrose Ganda were there, although the NPRC people resisted their presence. And when we came to the final negotiation with the civilians, with the Government of Sierra Leone, they also came. He came. And when they came, the first day they were present. The second day, Momodu Koroma, who was on the government side and who was also on the political wing of the negotiations, asked to know their identities in terms of the negotiation; whether they were with RUF or with the government. They simply said they were private citizens of Sierra Leone who were also interested in peace for the country and that that is why they had paid their own money to come and be part of that negotiation at least by way of witnessing it.

    Mr Momodu Koroma and others said no, you have to give us an identity - a very clear identity before we can allow you in here, because as a Sierra Leonean we don't allow any Sierra Leonean in here who doesn't have an identity, either the RUF or the government. So the two of them were asked out, which means they did not take part in the negotiations in Abidjan with the Government of Sierra Leone - in which Government of Sierra Leone was involved.

  • I now want to move to the period after the Abidjan Peace Accord. After the signing, did Sankoh remain in Abidjan?

  • Yes. When the peace accord was signed, he remained in Abidjan.

  • And what about yourself? You had become a member of the CCP, you told us, so where did you go?

  • When the accord was signed in November, we went to Freetown in December of the same year to be inaugurated.

  • So you went to Freetown, were inaugurated as a member of the CCP, and for how long did you remain in Freetown?

  • We were there up to 20 December because we had to come back to Abidjan for Christmas.

  • And then after Christmas, where did you go?

  • After Christmas we had to go back to Freetown to start work.

  • And did you start work?

  • Yes, in accordance with the provisions of the accord, we went to Freetown. We had several meetings with the President. Whenever there was an incident at the front, he would call us. Then we tell Foday Sankoh.

  • So you maintained contact with Sankoh in Abidjan?

  • Exactly, yes, while we were there, because that was supposed to be part of the arrangement. Because when they reported to us that there is something unusual going on, we had to tell him that information has reached here that something that has a potential to affect the accord is happening on your side, so, please, change your position.

  • Now, did there come a time when the CCP went to Abidjan?

  • Yes. When we finished the first lap, that's the first one month, we finished with Mr Kabbah. Then we said we now have to visit Mr Sankoh in Abidjan to be with him for another month before we can come back to Freetown.

  • Did you tell Mr Sankoh that you were coming to visit him as the CCP?

  • Yes. Two weeks before we can make the trip we actually told him we were going to meet him as the CCP of that accord, the Abidjan Peace Accord. He said, "Yes, you can come. We are preparing for you. Pa Kabbah and others are here. We are preparing so you can come." That was what he told us.

  • So did the eight members of the CCP travel to Abidjan to see Sankoh?

  • Yes. On 23 February we did actually travel to Abidjan.

  • 23 February of which year?

  • 1997. We travelled to Abidjan according to the arrangements with him and before we left we called him we were coming. Right at the airport we called him to say that we were on our way. He said, "You can come." So when we arrived that evening --

  • Arrived where?

  • In Abidjan that evening. When we arrived in Abidjan that evening, Mr Deen-Jalloh and his wife went to their official residence in Abidjan. I and Dr Boi-Kamara went to Six Villa, because my family was in Danane so we had to go to a hotel in Abidjan.

  • What was the hotel called?

  • Six Villa, S-I-X, six in French, V-I-L-L-A. That is Six Villas in Koumassi in Abidjan. That was where we took residence for the night. Then the chairman Mr Michael Sandi, Dr SS Banya and Shaka Mansaray went to Hotel Ivoire.

  • Now when you got to Six Villa did you contact Mr Sankoh?

  • Yes, as a matter of necessity, when we arrived there, when we took our rooms, I told Dr Kamara that I knew Foday Sankoh pretty well now, so I think it was necessary for her to get him informed of our arrival in town. So I told her, "Come and sit by me. Since you are on the government side, come sit by me, let me call him." She came and sat by me. When I made the call, as soon as Foday Sankoh heard my voice, I say, "We are here, we cannot see you now because it's late." It was around 11 to 11.30. I said, "But first in the morning we want to see you. We are here as the CCP." He said, "No, I don't want to see anybody."

    When he said that, I thought I did not hear what he said. I said, "What are you saying?" He said, "I don't want to see anybody." I say, "Anybody like who?" He said, "Any one of you on the CCP." I said, "But we called you from Freetown two weeks before we came, we called you at the airport this morning hours before we decide - we came", because it's one hour 40 minutes from Freetown to Abidjan, "just for you to come and tell us you don't want to see us." I say, "You are exposing us to embarrassment." I said, "People have given us messages for you from Europe. People have given us messages for you from Sierra Leone. Most importantly these messages have to be delivered. So you have to see us. We have to talk to you." He said no. Patiently enough I begged him for more than 20 minutes on the phone. He said no. He said, "I don't want to see you people at all."

    Then Dr Boi-Kamara wanted to use the ethnic connection between them because she was - she is a Mandingo Temne. She thought she would use the Temne language to convince Foday Sankoh. So as soon as she took the phone and said "seke", because "seke" is a greeting in Temne --

  • How do you spell it?

  • S-E-K-E. As soon as she said that, the woman said he started yelling. He started insulting her that no way she could use Temne to convince him. He is not prepared to see anybody. Five to ten minutes on the phone with him too she also got tired, then we had to go to bed.

    The following morning we went to Hotel Ivoire where the chairman was. I was the vice-chairman. Desmond was the chairman.

  • Desmond Luke?

  • Desmond Luke was the chairman, yes. So we went to Hotel Ivoire the following morning. Mr Deen-Jalloh and his wife came and met us there. So we were sitting at the lounge when we said we had actually spoken to Mr Sankoh, he was not prepared to talk to us. Desmond did not believe it at all. He said as chairman - I told him, "But you are the chairman. We just spoke to him because I know that if we did not tell him last night that we were here he was going to tell us you should have told me. So that's why I was able to tell him. But you are the chairman, you can call him."

    He called him and he told him the same thing the first day. The second day he called him, he did not change his position at all. The third day he also called him. All the time he was begging him. The third day when Desmond got tired, he told him, he said, "Brother Sankoh, a lot of people are supporting you, but they want to do it maturely. A lot of people agree with your vision, but they want to identify with it maturely. Most of us Sierra Leoneans know why the war actually started. That is why we support you. But we cannot come out until we see seriousness in you. Therefore, if you don't see us, nobody will lose half as much as you at the end of the day." He said, "You will be the greatest loser." Then he put down the phone.

    Then we arranged to go inform the Foreign Ministry, Mr Amara Essy, the Foreign Minister. Mr Amara Essy sent Ambassador Abdulai to see him, to see Foday Sankoh if he could convince him.

  • Is that Abdulai Abdallah?

  • Yes, Abdulai Abdallah. When Mr Abdulai went there, Foday Sankoh told him he was not prepared to see us. The man asked him why. According to him when he reported back to the minister, the man asked him why. He said, "I just don't want to see them." He said, "But you have people on the commission, four people representing you."

    He said, "Those people have their families here. They did not come to see me. They came to see their families." That was the answer he gave Ambassador Abdallah as he reported to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Amara Essy. Then the Minister of Foreign Affairs informed the American embassy about the matter. The American ambassador to Cote d'Ivoire, I don't remember the name, went to him.

  • When to whom?

  • Foday Sankoh, to see if he could convince him to change his mind to see us. He did not succeed. Then the Foreign Minister informed the British ambassador, who was an old lady. When the old lady was going there, according to what his bodyguards told us later, Juliet Gbessay James, the radio operator, because she was there, when she was going there she prepared some food for him and took it to him; cake.

    When he saw the lady and the cake and the special appeal for him from Britain to respect the accord, he said he had enough food in the house, he did not want the cake. So even civility did not allow him to take anything from that old lady, not to say - I mean not to talk of listening to her. So she too left.

    When the Foreign Minister got the information, he called us around and said, "This is a situation. The CCP, what do we do? We cannot do anything without you." That was the time I said, "Let's see what will happen before the end of this week." Before that week could end, that was now in March, we heard that he was arrested in Nigeria at the airport. That was on the news.

    When we heard this one, we gathered as a commission. I told the other commission members that as far as I am concerned and my colleagues on the commission were concerned, because I was representing them, I said we have to call it a day with RUF or we strip Foday Sankoh of his leadership role. Because if we just call it a day and leave, he is going to continue the campaign of war. So the option that I think we should follow is to strip him of his leadership role. So that was what I told the commission.

    But I told Mr Shaka Mansaray, who was on the commission and security adviser to the President, President Kabbah, I told him to inform the President that we were not taking that decision to --

  • What decision?

  • The decision to strip Foday Sankoh of his leadership role. We were not taking that decision to show solidarity with the government. We were taking that decision to show that we also are mature. We are taking that decision to prove that we know what we are running after. We have taken that decision to prove that we understand the essence of implementing a project like the one we started in phases. So he said he will communicate. Shaka Mansaray said he will communicate that to the President. It was like I was predicting. Because when I organised a press conference on 15 March 1997 with AFP and the Ivoire Soir - there is a newspaper in Cote d'Ivoire they call Ivoire Soir, I-V-O-I-R-E, S-O-I-R.

  • Can we come to that meeting in a moment - that press conference in a moment.

  • But I would like to take things in stages, please. Did you ever discover why it was that Foday Sankoh didn't want to see either you or the members of the CCP despite so many different people prevailing upon him?

  • Yes, we did understand. That was later, when we actually heard that he and one Steve Bio --

  • Steve Bio. Steve Bio, B-I-O.

  • Pause there. Who is Steve Bio?

  • Steve Bio is a Sierra Leonean - was a Sierra Leonean, and he had some Russian connection because he had studied in Russia and was the cousin of Mrs Agnes Deen-Jalloh. When we were in Freetown, before our coming there was a coup plot with which Steve Bio was associated. He was arrested and put in the cells of the Criminal Investigation Department, from where he escaped and disappeared. Nobody knew where he was. So when we learnt that he and Mr Sankoh were arrested in Abuja together - he, Mr Sankoh and Gibril Massaquoi were arrested in Abuja - we concluded that that man was with him and in fact, that is one of the reasons why he did not allow us to go to the house at all.

  • Why not?

  • Because, one, he did not want us to see Agnes - sorry, Mr Steve Bio because Steve Bio was running away from prosecution, one; secondly, he and Steve Bio, according to what we got clearly from Juliet James and others who were in the house, he and Steve Bio had arranged concretely to - he said he would take him - Steve Bio said he would take Foday Sankoh to Russia to buy arms.

  • Steve Bio told Sankoh that he would take him to Russia to buy arms?

  • Yes, to buy arms. So that was the trip they were making. So we concluded that was the reason why Sankoh was intransigent to receive us.

  • So let us just pause there for a moment so we can understand this. Bio had tried to lead a coup in Sierra Leone?

  • Was a fugitive from justice in that country?

  • And he was, in effect, staying with Sankoh whilst still a fugitive in Abidjan?

  • Telling Sankoh that he would take him to Russia to buy arms, yes?

  • Yes. That was what we got from the bodyguards and the radio operators who were in the house with them.

  • And then Steve Bio is later arrested with Sankoh and Gibril Massaquoi in Abuja in Nigeria?

  • Now, we know that Sankoh was arrested in Abuja in March 1997. Is that right?

  • Yes.

  • And he was arrested at the airport in Nigeria. Is that right?

  • And we are told that he was arrested for carrying a firearm. Why do you laugh?

  • Well, I know that that was really not the actual reason. That was a diplomatic reason.

  • So a firearm was not the reason for his arrest?

  • Pause there. Let's take this slowly. You had travelled with Sankoh in the past. In the past, had Sankoh travelled with that firearm?

  • Yes. To the same Abuja, the same presidential palace, the first time we went there he had his pistol on him.

  • So when you went to see Abacha in 1996, Sankoh had the pistol with him?

  • And wasn't arrested?

  • He wasn't arrested at all.

  • But in March 1997 carrying the same pistol he is arrested, yes?

  • And you say that was the diplomatic reason given for his arrest?

  • So what was the real reason for his arrest then?

  • The real reason was first when he left - when Foday Sankoh left Abidjan - when he was leaving Abidjan he did not inform the Ivorian government at all. They did not give him any diplomatic cover to go. He went there all by himself. So when he got at the airport, his passport went - met the immigration officers, they were all surprised to see him there the way he appeared, like an ordinary person. He did not appear there like a guest of a government. He did not appear there like a rebel leader. He did not appear there like any leader. He appeared there like any ordinary person. So when they saw his passport, they informed the President, President Sani Abacha, about it. That was where his arrest started.

  • So it was after Sani Abacha was informed of his arrival that he was arrested?

  • Now help us with this: By the time of the arrest, what was your assessment of the feeling of people like the President of the Ivory Coast and the President of Nigeria, Sani Abacha, about Sankoh's sincerity about the peace accord?

  • Yes. In fact, that is why the Ivorians decided to abandon him, because they had known very clearly that he was not prepared to respect the accord at all. As for Abacha, he knew that he had embarrassed him. He saw that as an embarrassment because he gave his word to him for support. So for him to see him appear in that manner, for him was an embarrassment. He saw it as foolishness to have encouraged him and politically dangerous also.

  • Mr Griffiths, pardon me for intervening at this time. The testimony regarding Steve Bio, it may appear obvious, but the witness has not stated where the attempted coup was about to take place in which Steve Bio was implicated.

  • Where was the attempted coup supposed to have taken place?

  • I said in Sierra Leone, in Freetown.

  • And is it possible to give us a time frame of when this coup was alleged to have taken place?

  • Yes, your Honour. It was in the same February we were preparing to go meet Mr Sankoh.

  • Now, just so that we can complete this episode: How many people travelled with Sankoh to Nigeria?

  • To Nigeria? We understood that he went with Mr Steve Bio, Gibril Massaquoi, and one young man they called Ansu.

  • And what was Ansu's role?

  • Ansu was a bodyguard.

  • Did he travel with a radio operator?

  • No, there was no radio operator there.

  • Now, following his arrest, we know that Sankoh wasn't actually kept in custody, but he was taken to a hotel. Is that right?

  • Yes, that is what all of us understood. And in fact when he was taken to that hotel, he was allowed to maintain radio contact with his boys in Abidjan.

  • He was able to maintain contact with his boys?

  • Yeah, radio contact.

  • Did he have access to a radio whilst he was in the hotel?

  • I don't know, but the radio contact was - stayed between them. I don't know whether he was using the phone to call them or he had a radio contact, but he was communicating with them.

  • Now, did Gibril Massaquoi and Steve Bio stay in Nigeria?

  • Yes, they stayed in Nigeria, according to them, up until May 1995.

  • Sorry, up to May 1997, when the AFRC took over.

  • And where did they go in May 1997?

  • When Johnny Paul's group, the junta - the AFRC junta took over, they invited Foday Sankoh to be part of it. And in response, he sent Gibril Massaquoi and Steve Bio to go there.

  • To go where?

  • To go to Freetown to join the junta.

  • Now, when Sankoh was arrested in Nigeria, how did you and the other members of the external delegation and the members of the CCP feel?

  • We felt that at that point that there and then the peace process had collapsed and that we - it was time for us to say goodbye to Foday Sankoh in whatever way. So as I mentioned earlier, we met and we concluded that he would be stripped of his leadership role in the AFRC. So, of course, Palmer was not in Abidjan, so I had to go to Danane to inform Palmer about it. I went to Danane and informed Palmer about it. I said since you are a military personnel, we can use you to talk to your men on the ground - talk to Mosquito and others on the ground to have this leadership - change of leadership effected. So Palmer came to Abidjan. We made the arrangements. He came on the 12th. We made the arrangements 13th, 14th, 15th. I organised the press conference that I referred to earlier on with AFP and Ivoire Soir.

  • Remind us again: On what date was that press conference?

  • And what did you say at this press conference?

  • I said at the press conference that it was - we found out - we have now concluded without doubt that Foday Sankoh was not prepared to give the people of Sierra Leone peace; that he was not prepared to abide by what he had told the people, especially in our Footpath to Democracy book, which was supposed to be to - to provide us the guiding principles of the movement; and therefore, that we are prepared at that time - we are announcing that we no longer give him our support as a leader and that we are going to make arrangements with the young men - with the soldiers, Mosquito and others on the ground, to take over from him so that they can bring the peace process back on track.

  • Now, did you speak to President Kabbah at all about this situation?

  • I spoke to President Kabbah through the - through his security adviser, Mr Shaka Mansaray, I told him, this is the position we have taken but, please, don't think it is in solidarity with you. It is in solidarity with the guiding principles in our movement, because we say we have come to give the people peace - sorry, freedom, economic and social freedom. And that since it is a project, we have to implement it in phases. If the first phrase is complete, the second phrase we are in it now, the political phase, Foday Sankoh says he is no longer a part of it by way of what he has done, then we should decide to strip him of his leadership role.

  • Now, having announced that at the press conference held with Agence France-Presse, did any of the leaders in the sub-region or any international body contact you?

  • Yes, they did. First, the first call I received was from International Alert who had actually taken the peace process as a special project. Dr Kumar himself called me asking me what had happened. I told him, I said, "Well, the whole world knows that Sankoh has given his back to the peace process, so we can no longer continue to have him as our leader." Then Dr Anafu called me from London. He also called me to ask about the change of leadership. I confirmed it with him. Mr Dinka, who was also a man of the moral guarantor, asked us for confirmation. I gave them the confirmations. Then they told the Foreign Minister to ask us what next. They told the Foreign Minister of Cote d'Ivoire, Mr Amara Essy, to ask us what next. Mr Dinka told the Foreign Minister of Cote d'Ivoire to ask us what next. Mr Amara Essy called us to a meeting and asked us what next. The first thing he said is, "Are you sure that those boys are with you?" I did not - I was not able to assess the level at which the boys had been entranced by Sankoh. I did not mention that one at all. I said, yes, they will be with us because --

  • Excuse me. What boys?

  • The RUF fighters, Mosquito and others, I was not able to measure the degree to which they have been entranced by him. So I said, "Yes, they will be with us because all of us are tired." We went to the bush and met them with the peace accord, draft accord. They gave us the mandate to come and sign it. So if Sankoh can continue to have them there like that, they will understand why we have taken this step. So then they said, "What next?" I said what we would like to do, we would like to get to them.

  • We would like to get to Mosquito and others in the bush there to talk to them - sorry, in Guinea, at the crossing point in Guinea. That was what we said. So we needed support. So they contacted the then President of Guinea-Conakry, President Lansana Conte, to organise the journey for us.

  • Would that be a convenient point, Madam President? I note the time and we are coming on to another phase of this account now which is quite important.

  • Certainly. We will take a break until 12.

  • [Break taken at 11.32 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 12.00 p.m.]

  • Mr Griffiths, please continue.

  • Could I just mention that our case manager, Ms Moilanen, has left us. I wonder if the witness could be shown exhibit D-83, please:

  • Now, Mr Fayia, you told us that the press conference you held was on 15 March. You now have before you the front page of a newspaper, the Expo Times, dated, you will see, Monday 17 March, so a couple of days after your press conference. Do you see that?

  • Yes, I do.

  • And I'm not going to go through the details with you, but you see that the top headline is "Kabbah hails new RUF" and below that we see photographs of Kabbah, Philip Palmer, Agnes Deen-Jalloh, Ibrahim Deen-Jalloh and Dr Mohamed Barrie, yes? Do you see that?

  • Yeah.

  • All members of the RUF's external delegation, yes?

  • And then below "Sankoh's spokesman denies coup" we see that Gibril Massaquoi - or Staff Sergeant Massaquoi, to give him his full title - called the Voice of America denying that there had been this coup. Do you see that?

  • Massaquoi, of course, having been with Sankoh at the time of his arrest in Nigeria, yes?

  • Had you seen this headline before?

  • Very well. We can put that exhibit away, thank you very much. Now, you told us before the break that you were being asked what next, and you had decided that it would be important to go to Sierra Leone to consult with the combatants on the ground. Is that right?

  • Now, before we come to that, as far as you're aware did Foday Sankoh hear about this press conference you had given in which you had discussed removing him as leader of the RUF?

  • Yes, he actually heard about it. Because when we had the press conference by 10 a.m. that day, before 1 in the afternoon RFI had aired it and by 3 p.m, 5 p.m, 7 p.m. that - no, 5 p.m. or 7 p.m. the BBC Focus on Africa had also aired it.

  • And as far as you're aware, did Sankoh have access to a radio in Nigeria?

  • I would presume. Because if he had access to communication facility with his base in Abidjan, I would also presume that probably he had a radio facility there.

  • As far as you're aware, when Sankoh discovered this did he take any action?

  • Yes, when he discovered, it first of all he called me and insulted me as a first action.

  • How did he insult you?

  • He told me I was playing with fire. That was the first thing he told me. He told me I was playing with fire and that he would make sure that we are dealt with accordingly. The next step he took was - by then Mike Lamin was in - just as I said yesterday or so - Mike Lamin was in Abidjan. He told Mike Lamin to go to the house, to take money, to go to Abidjan - go to Danane and instruct the bodyguards there to beat Palmer and his wife Winifred to death.

  • So Sankoh instructed Mike Lamin to go to Danane and beat Philip Palmer and his wife to death?

  • How did you discover that?

  • The radio operator at the house there, Juliet James, with whom we actually went to Guinea, gave me the information.

  • How had she acquired that information?

  • She was on the radio.

  • The house in Cocody. At his house - Foday Sankoh's house in Cocody, Abidjan. C-O-C-O-D-Y.

  • Let's just get this clear so we fully understand. Where was Mike Lamin staying?

  • Mike Lamin was - I did not exactly know in which house he was staying at that time, but he went to the house there. He told my --

  • He went to which house?

  • To the house at Cocody. Foday Sankoh's house at Cocody.

  • And at the house in Cocody, Mike Lamin received radio instructions from Foday Sankoh to go to Danane and beat Philip Palmer and his wife to death?

  • That was according to Juliet James.

  • The radio operator?

  • Yeah.

  • Who took the message from Sankoh?

  • Now did Sankoh contact anybody else to your knowledge?

  • Yes, he - in fact, we understood that as soon as he was arrested, he sent a message to Mosquito and others that his arrest was stage managed by we in the external delegation.

  • And did he tell Bockarie why you members of the external delegation had arranged for his arrest?

  • Yes, he said that the United Nations organisation and President Kabbah's government had given us $100,000 US in bribe money to connive with them to have him arrested.

  • So that's what he told Sam Bockarie?

  • That was what Sam Bockarie said Foday Sankoh told him.

  • Now, there comes a time, as you tell us, when you decide to travel to Sierra Leone to meet with the RUF, yes?

  • At the time that you were going to travel to Sierra Leone, did you know that Foday Sankoh had told Bockarie what you've just told us?

  • Yes, we knew that one.

  • So when you went --

  • Excuse me. You mean for them to have been known through he, Foday Sankoh, that we betrayed him by taking money?

  • No, we didn't know that at all.

  • At the time you travelled, you didn't know Sankoh had told Bockarie that story?

  • No, no, we don't know that at all.

  • Now help us. You decide to travel to Sierra Leone. Who was travelling?

  • I travelled, Juliet Gbessay James travelled, Mr Ibrahim Hassan Deen-Jalloh travelled, Philip Palmer travelled.

  • And did you meet up with anybody else?

  • Yes, we went to Guinea, Conakry. It was the Sierra Leone ambassador to Guinea at that time, Ambassador Jabbie --

  • How do you spell the name?

  • J-A-B-B-I-E. Ambassador Jabbie, it was he who accommodated us in a small hotel by his house.

  • And from there where did you go?

  • The following morning we went to the see the President, President Lansana Conte, who invited his Minister For Territorial Affairs, the Director of the Gendarmerie and the Police Commander to organise our journey - onward journey to Nongowa - to Nongowa crossing point.

  • To the what crossing point?

  • Nongowa crossing point.

  • How do you spell that?

  • And is that on the Moa River?

  • Yes, that is part of the Moa River. From when you - in fact, if you want to go to Guinea from Koindu, that is the place you cross the river by ferry to go to Gueckedou.

  • Now, before leaving to travel to Guinea - and just so that we have all the details, how did you travel from Cote d'Ivoire to Guinea?

  • From Cote d'Ivoire we travelled by air.

  • It was Bellview that took us from Cote d'Ivoire to - Bellview aircraft, a Nigerian aircraft. Bellview took us first to Freetown.

  • From Freetown we flew to Conakry.

  • Where you met the Sierra Leonean ambassador?

  • And then travelled to Nongowa?

  • Now, before you left to travel to Guinea, had either you or any other member of the external delegation contacted Mosquito directly?

  • Yes, the ambassador organised radio communication with us.

  • Ambassador Jabbie had a radio in his house. It was that radio that Juliet James used to call Mosquito so that I would talk to him before --

  • And what did you say to Mosquito?

  • I said to Mosquito exactly - I said, "Mosquito, this is the best time for you to appear as the prince of peace for Sierra Leone." I told him to look at Abubakar in Nigeria. I said, "What Abubakar did is so impressive that today he's enjoying the confidence, the respect of the international community. You see, wherever there is an election in Africa here, he is sent there to represent the Commonwealth and even the UN a lot of the times." I said, "It will be better - this is the best time for you. You have to understand that the fighting, the fighting aspect of the - the gun fighting aspect of this conflict should be over by now. So as I beg you as a younger brother, I want you to - we are coming to talk to you, but I want you to prepare yourselves to take over the leadership of this organisation so that you will be able to bring the peace process back on track." I said, "Because if people like Abacha can have Foday Sankoh arrested, it is difficult for anyone to imagine that he will be released any time before something more concrete is done in terms of bringing peace back to Sierra Leone."

  • What was his response?

  • By then, according to what we understood, Foday Sankoh had told them that we - that, in fact, we were the mastermind behind his arrest after taking money from the United Nations and President Kabbah. So he told them to do everything - everything possible to make sure that we were cajoled into crossing over to them so that they would have us arrested.

  • Now, did you know that when you travelled to Nongowa?

  • No, we did not know. It was only when we had crossed - sorry, it was only when we had actually gone to the crossing point, according to what we heard later on, quite later on, that Mrs Deen-Jalloh was able to get the information that that was the instruction he had given them. But by then she had no way to contact her husband.

  • So what happened when you got to the Nongowa ferry crossing point?

  • When we got to the Nongowa - before we went to the Nongowa crossing point, Mr Ambassador Jabbie made sure that he got some rice. He got about 20 bags of rice for them, for the combatants. He bought them 1 million Guinea francs worth of medicines, essential drugs. He bought clothes for the senior officers, senior officers Mosquito, Issa, Morris Kallon and Peter Vandi. He bought clothes for them. A suit each and a pair of shoes, he bought it for them. All was to encourage them to accept our new position, for them to take the leadership and in order to bring the peace process back on track.

  • So carrying all of those gifts, you get to Nongowa. Was it your intention at that point to cross over the river to Sierra Leone?

  • No. What we planned right in Abidjan was to encourage them to come over. In fact, it was just about two to three of them, maybe Mosquito, Issa or Peter Vandi - and/or Peter Vandi, just a handful, a very small number, just the leaders. We were expecting them to cross over to us.

  • So to cross over to the Guinea side of the river to meet you?

  • Yeah, in Nongowa.

  • So what happened when you got to the crossing point? What could you see?

  • When we went to the crossing point from - because at that time the level of the water had gone down considerably just where the ferry was. The whole place, there was some water, but the level of water had gone down considerably exposing the sand. So we met Mosquito and others on the sand dancing so that they will cajole us to cross over to them. Because they went there with native dancing - native musical instruments. They were paying those native instruments in order to have us in.

    So we actually did not want to cross at all because we still were not too sure of them, because we knew them from day one. But when we got there, Ambassador Jabbie was overtaken by excitement. He was overtaken by excitement. He decided to cross over to them. When we were trying to buy time to make sure that we have them over there, he crossed over to them thinking that with all those gifts there was no way they will be insincere with the programme we met them for. He crossed over to them.

    We - they found it very difficult for us to cross, but we had - we believed that if we had refused to cross, they were not going to release that man, Ambassador Jabbie, at all. And having captured Ambassador Jabbie was going to put us in trouble with the Government of Sierra Leone, because basically we thought that if we returned back to Sierra Leone, they were going to say that we took the ambassador to our fighters so they can arrest him, they can abduct him. So the only option that was left to us was to cross over to them. I was the last person to cross, actually.

    As soon as we crossed over to them, we left the beach, we went right on the Sierra Leonean side of the border. Then Mosquito put his pistol up and fired three times in the air, saying that RUF had won the day. So then a whole army - about 1,000 of his armed men, because he had taken 1,000 - according to what they told us later on, he had actually gone there with 1,500 armed men to lay in ambush before us, because they were saying that if they went with a very small number of armed men they were going to be attacked by the Guinean military authorities. So they took that number to the crossing point.

    So we were arrested, all our documents taken from us. They actually put the rice - the rice we took for them - to them, they gave us a bag each to cross with, but they knew that most of us were agreeable. When we crossed to - sorry, when we reached Buedu, that was where they were waiting for us. When we crossed to Buedu, they took the rice bags from us, but they removed our shoes and we had to walk barefooted from that crossing point.

  • To where?

  • Sorry, it was in Koindu that they took the rice from us, not Buedu. Koindu. Koindu.

  • At the point of your arrest, did they take your shoes from you?

  • Yes. That was where they took all our shoes, our documents and everything from us.

  • And what about - was it just your shoes or anything else?

  • Yes. Some people lost some other things. Like Mr Palmer's wedding ring was taken from me. Me, I did not go with my own at all because - his wedding ring was taken from him, which was sent later on to the crossing before --

  • What about your clothes, were they removed?

  • No, the clothes were not removed that moment.

  • So, in any event, where were you taken?

  • We were taken to Buedu.

  • What happened to you when you got to Buedu?

  • When we got to Buedu it was late. It was in the morning that they actually went and fell on us. They gave us a serious beating. We were beaten for up to four hours unbelievably.

  • Mosquito gave instruction to his young combatants to give us the beating. He himself did not do it, but he gave the instructions.

  • And who was beaten?

  • I was - all of us were beaten. Myself, Mr Deen-Jalloh, Dr Barrie, Juliet James and Palmer. Sorry, I think I did not mention Dr Barrie when I was talking about those who came, but he came with us, sorry.

  • So you were all beaten the day after your arrest?

  • Yes. The first thing in the morning, that was what they did.

  • Did that include the ambassador?

  • No, no, the ambassador was not beaten. He was not beaten at all. According to them, he was not the target; we were the target.

  • And following that beating, how were you treated thereafter?

  • Following that beating, there was a day when President Kabbah called Mosquito and - I think I have said that one here, but I have to say it again, when President Kabbah called Mosquito and told him - and begged him to have us released, he said because we are all citizens of the country and that we are needed by all of them. So Mosquito interpreted that one as a confirmation of what Foday Sankoh had told him concerning the $100,000 and the connivance with the UN and the Kabbah government to have him arrested and overthrown.

    So he came over to us and asked us to tell him how much Foday Sankoh - sorry, how much President Kabbah had given us, he said because there is no way President Kabbah would have called him to beg him on our behalf if we did not have any arrangements with him, monetary arrangements with him. I told him, if death had come at that time for me, me personally, I said I am prepared to receive it. But I cannot say that - I cannot say what is untrue, because Kabbah did not give me any money. I even told him we did not do this thing to glorify him. I said we did this thing to - as a sign of adherence to our own principles. I said, so we did not receive anything. That was the time he gave instructions to his boys to tie us.

    I was tied. Captain Palmer was tied and Mr Deen-Jalloh. Captain Palmer's hand went numb for two months. We were feeding him. He would not feed himself by himself. We were feeding him for two months because the rope did not pierce his skin, so the were nerves that were affected.

  • So Captain Philip Palmer, following - you described it earlier as being tie-bayed, yes?

  • He was unable to use his hands for two months?

  • Yeah, for two months. We were feeding him.

  • And apart from being tied, were you also beaten?

  • That particular day we were not beaten. We were just tied. That particular day. Then another day when there was an alleged coup plot in Freetown in which Gibril Massaquoi was allegedly associated, Gibril Massaquoi was arrested. And when he was released from prison, that was aired by the BBC. As soon as Mosquito heard that one - Mosquito and Issa, as soon as they heard that one, they gave instructions to their boys to go collect us from the prison cells to come for flogging.

    When we came, they said, "Go bring all the prisoners." So when they brought all of us, they said, "All political prisoners on one side, then all other prisoners on the other." So we did not know that it was an arrangement to have us beaten. So we - they said we were the ones they were referring to, so we went on one side.

    Then Mosquito said, "Today, we have now seen your group. Gibril Massaquoi is one of you. If he were not one of you, you are not going to be released as easily as he has been, so you are going to bear punishment for that here, just because Gibril Massaquoi has been released. So we are going to beat you people 150 each, especially you, Fayia, and Palmer. We give you 150 each."

    When they were beating us - because they will give you 50 lashes. Then you get up, you rest a bit, they give you another 50. When they were beating us, one of the pets - Mosquito had a pet called Maxwell Khobe. You know the animals here - the pets here; they had a baboon, he had a dog, he had another animal. He named them after the leaders in Sierra Leone. The baboon was called Maxwell Khobe, Mosquito's pet baboon. It was that baboon which - he was so emotional that day. The baboon went and took the stick with which they were beating Palmer from the young men, and he sat right on top of Palmer - because Palmer was lying down on the ground - he sat on top of Palmer so that nobody would beat Palmer. So when all of them saw that one, then that was when the grace of God came on us and they decided to stop. But we had received the 150. They only wanted to give us more. Because any time - by that day, they were smoking and drinking that very moment. So it was a moment of real heartlessness. Then after that in Kangama, by then Johnny Paul also had come there. One day they went to Kangama and met us. They went to Johnny Paul. They asked him to give them instructions to kill us, according to what Johnny Paul told us later when they left. He said they went and told him - Mosquito told him to give him instructions to kill us, but Johnny Paul said no, I cannot do that because these people are your own people. We have just organised a coalition with you. I cannot give you any instruction to have them killed, because I don't know what is going to happen tomorrow. All of us are waiting for Foday Sankoh to come. So when Johnny Paul refused to give them that instruction, they went to us. They took us out of the cells and organised another beating spree for us. In the court barri they would tell you to go grip the pillar - the pillar of the barri. Then one - this time they told one SLA young man - this time it was not RUF - it was one SLA woman - sorry, man. An SLA soldier was told to give us the beating with a military belt that has that iron at the buckle. They flogged us until your clothes would get wet with blood. When your clothes get completely wet with blood, then they would tell the young man to stop. Then they come and loose you, tell you to go sit down. That was what they did with myself, Mr Deen-Jalloh and Palmer that day, the three of us.

  • Help us, Mr Fayia. On how many occasions were you beaten in that way?

  • In that particular way - we were beaten only twice in that way. Because when we were also taken to Bunumbu, in Bunumbu too there was a day we just heard that they were around, Mosquito and - Mosquito was around. They called us and he said, We are going to give you again your quota. That's what he used to call it. So he told us to go lie down on the ground, that time without clothes, just your trousers. You lie down on the ground, he gives his combatants - young combatants instruction to give the beating. That happened again in Bunumbu, B-U-N-U-M-B-U, in Nyandehun section.

  • Now, I want to get one or two other details from you, please. First of all, can you recall the date on which you were arrested?

  • Yes, we were arrested on 29 March 19 --

  • And help us with this: When were you eventually released?

  • We were released in August 1999.

  • So you were in custody from 29 March 1997 until August 1999?

  • Yes, because --

  • We'll come to the circumstances of your release in a moment. Now, during your time in custody - can you help us - where were you detained? At what locations?

  • We were detained - first of all, when we were taken from the border, we came and rested a bit in Kangama. That very night we had to proceed to Buedu. We were in Buedu for about a week or so.

  • And help us. Whilst in Buedu, where were you detained?

  • We were in detention at all locations except in Kangama the first day we arrived. We were not detained because we were en route to Buedu.

  • But when you got to Buedu where - in what facility were you detained?

  • We were detained in the building, the one they used to - they used to use for their Military Police post. It was a good house, but there was nothing on the ground - I mean, on the floor. It was just bare ground like that. No blanket. No mat. Nothing. We were just on the bare floor.

  • From Buedu where were you taken?

  • From Buedu they had actually decided to send us to Bayama. B-A-Y-A-M-A.

  • And in Bayama in what facility were you detained?

  • First of all we were detained in a house that was used as a courtroom for that village community. We were there for a week while they were preparing some place for us in the bush, a goat pen for us - a goat pen like house for us in the bush.

  • A goat pen type house in the bush?

  • Yeah.

  • And just describe for us, please, that goat pen type house?

  • In the first place, the particular location was used for the secret Bundu society where they used to perform the female genital mutilation for that community. That was the type of bush we were taken in. The place was fenced all over. Then inside the fence they built a kind of structure, a hut just like a goat pen, and then they put in there - the only difference was there they prepared something like an observation post inside the house, which was thatch roofed, and they put - they put how they wanted to call bed, just grass - just grass from the swamp. Bare grass. No mat, nothing. Sometimes dry palm leaves were put there. So they dug toilet for us just behind it, small toilet. Then the door was made of strong wood, and they brought a padlock and put it there. They did not allow us to leave at all at any time until - each day until there was food. When they brought our food, then they opened the door, we get out, and they give us the food. For the first three months we were on that and --

  • And what were you fed?

  • We were eating raw bananas. For the five of us, they were giving us 15 raw bananas every day at 2 o'clock. They would boil the raw bananas, slice them, and for the sauce they used to give us potato leaves and cassava leaves sometimes, and water soup. We were on that for the first three months.

  • Did you eat anything else apart from boiled bananas in those three months?

  • No, no, no. The next three months, yes. The next three months - in the next three months going they were around us, because they took us from Bayama and took us somewhere else, so they changed our diet.

  • Where did you go to from Bayama?

  • From Bayama we were taken back to Kangama.

  • How long did you stay in Kangama?

  • We stayed in Kangama for about - it was more than a month. Because it was in Kangama that Johnny Paul, when they took over in 1997 - May 1997, it was in Kangama that he sent a delegation to see us.

  • So Johnny Paul sent a delegation to see you after the coup in May 1997 whilst you were in Kangama?

  • Yes, he spoke to them. He said let us allow journalists and other people to go see these people. So -

  • Pause there. Could the witness please be shown exhibit D-88 please. Remember you told us that whilst you were in Kangama Johnny Paul Koroma sent a delegation to see you, yes, and they came with what; TV and radio?

  • Yes, we saw - that day we saw three journalists - people who had described themselves as journalists, and of course Eddie Kanneh was there. Not as a journalist, but as a member of AFRC.

  • We see here, "Situation report on some parts of Kailahun District to the Chairman and Head of State, His Excellency Major JP Koroma." The date is 22 December 1997.

    "The following personnel of the People's Army: Captain Patrick V Lamin, Madam Isatu Kallon, a business woman ..." Is that the same Mammy Iye?

  • "... Chief Tamba Boima, Alpha Jalloh and Charles Kamara were part of a government delegation headed by the Under-Secretary of State (Internal Affairs) to deliver a special message from His Excellency to assess and suggest ways and means of rehabilitation of government departments and especially the institution of chiefs in the district."

    Can we go to the second page of that document, please. Last paragraph:

    "We were made to understand at this meeting also that they were on a special assignment to see whether our prisoners, Captain Philip Palmer and others, were still alive and if so, the radio and TV crew were to be granted permission to film and interview them."

    Can we now go, please, to the fourth page of the document, penultimate paragraph:

    "Paramount Chief Tamba Jusu Gamawa is the Paramount Chief of Kissi Teng Chiefdom. He was captured by our fighting forces since 1991 and had stayed with us ever since. He would have loved to meet him in Kangama, but he was visibly absent from the town. We later discovered that he was in fact playing host to our prisoners. Since he was away in his farm harvesting his rice, the authorities order that the prisoners be brought before the TV and radio crew for an interview and filming. The following people: Captain Philip Palmer, Fayia Musa, Ibrahim Deen-Jalloh, Dr Mohamed Barrie, and a radio operator, Ms Juliet Gbessay James, were paraded before the cameras and journalists, who started work immediately."

    Is this the delegation you're talking about, Mr Fayia?

  • Yes, counsel.

  • So whilst in Kangama, these people came to see you?

  • So that's the incident you're talking about?

  • Exactly.

  • Do you agree that it was sometime in December 1997?

  • Before we put this document away, can we go to the fifth page, please. And as someone born in Kailahun, I'd like you to look at this passage, second paragraph on this stage, "Assessment". Do you see it?

  • "The administration of the entire district had broken down for nearly seven years now. The road condition is deplorable, which is why the war started in that district. It was one of the most neglected districts from independence to the present day. The politicians sucked the district dry year in year out for the past 37 years, thus breeding a fertile ground for a revolution. We were considered Sierra Leoneans when it was time to harvest our produce during the dry season. We are cut off from the rest of our country during the rainy seasons. At such times we looked up to Liberia and sometimes Guinea for our basic requirements. We could not even speak the Krio of Sierra Leone. Instead we speak the Liberian English. This is part of the reasons why we are mistaken sometimes for Liberians. These and many more reasons why we are so headstrong in putting down arms."

    Would you agree with that assessment?

  • The assessment - yes, the assessment is correct.

  • Yes, we can put that document away now, please. After Kangama were you taken anywhere else?

  • Yes, after Kangama we were taken to Bunumbu.

  • Bunumbu?

  • And in what facility were you detained in Bunumbu?

  • We were detained in a house.

  • For how long were you in Bunumbu?

  • We were there for about two months. I don't remember the time brackets but we were there for about that. By then Monica Pearson, who is now in Monrovia, was the commander there.

  • Monica Pearson was the commander?

  • Had you come across Monica Pearson before?

  • No, no. That was the first time I knew her.

  • And what was her role in Bunumbu?

  • She was the commander there.

  • The military commander there.

  • For the RUF. Even she is a vanguard, they used to say. An RUF vanguard.

  • How were you treated by her whilst in Bunumbu?

  • Well, normally women are - when it comes to harshness, women are different and she treated us a little moderately. We were in the house. She used to allow us to sit on the veranda. Even there, when they dug a dungeon for us, they actually dug a dungeon for us, they went and showed us the dungeon, but she refused to - she said, "This one cannot happen while I'm here. These people are our own people. We cannot put them in a dungeon while they are alive." So she did not accept it. So we were not put in the dungeon. They actually went and showed us the dungeon, but we were never put in it.

  • So they dug a dungeon for you in Bunumbu, but you weren't placed in it?

  • No, we were not. Not at all.

  • After Bunumbu, where were you taken?

  • When we left Bunumbu, they took us to Kangama, straight.

  • For how long did you stay in Kangama?

  • We were there for some time. We were really there for - we spent some time there. That was - we were there until Johnny Paul and others left Freetown [indiscernible]. That was around 1998 now.

  • That's when ECOMOG intervened and kicked out the AFRC?

  • So you were in Kangama until then?

  • Help us, why were they moving you around in this way?

  • There was a day when Chief Hinga Norman, who was the Deputy Defence Minister, he called Mosquito and told him that if he did not release us quickly, they were going to organise a rescue mission. And that if during the course of that mission, any one of us lost their lives, he - I mean, none of them would be spared. That was what he said. So Mosquito believed that one. He believed it so strongly, so he said, "The best thing we're going to do to stop these people coming to run this rescue mission is to make sure that we don't keep these people in one place for long." So that was the reason.

  • So you're back in Kangama until after the ECOMOG intervention. Were you moved to somewhere else after that?

  • Yes. We were then taken to Kailahun.

  • How long were you in Kailahun?

  • We were in Kailahun up to March 29, 1998.

  • -- where in Kailahun were you detained?

  • We were held in two places in Kailahun. One, in the cells of the native administration blocks. The native administration, where the paramount chief - the paramount chief has his own place for prisoners, that was where we were held in the first instance. That was where we were until Mosquito and others - all of them came from the front back to the rear. Then they took us to the police station, to the Kailahun police station.

  • Whilst you were detained in Kailahun police station - and help us, it was yourself. Who else was detained there?

  • Myself, Ibrahim Hassan Deen-Jalloh, Dr Mohamed Barrie, Gbessay James. We were there. And Palmer.

  • Five of us were there.

  • Whilst you were detained in the police cells in Kailahun, did something happen?

  • Yes. I would like to make the foundation first. When the AFRC took over and invited the RUF, when Mosquito was going to join them, he passed through Daru and told all the civilians who were there, he said, "The war is over, so you can go back home. You can go back home, the war is over. The peace we were fighting for has come." Those people, those civilians, both old and young, all of them came back to their villages in Kailahun.

    So when he, Mosquito, and others were driven from Freetown, as soon as he arrived, he gave instructions for all those old people, all those civilians who came from Daru to be arrested and brought to Kailahun. About 69 of them were arrested, including some SLA soldiers. I specifically remember the name of one gentleman they used to call Kaioko [phon]. He was the SLA soldier, the Sierra Leone solider that I knew that was arrested with that group. One day --

  • Where were they detained?

  • They were detained in the same police station where we were hold. One day, very specific, 27 March, we received a message in the morning that Mosquito and others were coming to see us. They said to see the prisoners. When we received that message, we were thinking that they are coming to have us freed, so we were happy about it.

    The 28th in the morning, the commanders - the young commanders on the ground, they actually had taken these people to go to the bush to do some brushing for them.

  • The civilians I'm talking about.

  • Those whom Mosquito had told to come back from Daru, about 69 of them, they had been taken to the bush to do some brushing for them. Because they did not know what Mosquito was coming to do; they thought he was coming to - with good news for us. So if it was good news, then there was no need to be afraid of - asking the people to go anywhere.

    But when they came - when Mosquito came that day from the police station to where he stayed and passed his instructions is about 100 yards. When he came that day, he sent a message to the prison to take that SLA soldier they call Kaioko and about nine others, ten. He said he wanted to see them. We were there in the cells. So when they left, about five to ten minutes, we heard gunshots. It was not sporadic. It was intensive gunshots, because, according to what we heard later on, he had actually placed his commandos in a straight line on one side so that as soon as the people come, he would do what he wanted to do with them.

    They said when the ten people were paraded to him, he shot the first one that was in front of him. That was the soldier. Then he gave instruction to his boys to fire the rest, to shoot the rest. So the rest were shot down; all of them. Then he said, "Go bring them now in fives." So the boys came - his boys, his commandos came now for the other people in fives. They came for the other people in fives. In fact, some people were forced to kill their own fathers. He forced some people to kill their own fathers there.

    I remember one particular young man, one Mr Morrison, he was told to kill his father from Kenewah in Kailahun. Kenewah, K-E-N-E-W-A-H. So they did that until they finished killing all the young people, because they did not put all of them in the one cell. The older ones were put in a separate cell.

    When they finished killing the younger ones, then they said, "What about this other one, the old people?" They said, "Let us go take instruction from the high command, from Mosquito." They used to call him general. When they got there he said, "Let everybody go." That was the instruction he gave.

    So the young men came back and said - they said, "Let everybody go." When we heard, "Let everybody go," we thought we were also included until somebody came - one lady they call Lady Sewah [phon], she is a nurse now in Kailahun - she came and told us, "No, for you, strong instructions are that nothing should happen with you people. So for you, you a free. Nobody is going to kill you."

    But it is very unrealistic to think that I will see 68 people die in my presence, then you say I should be comfortable with that. So when the message came that all the old people too should die, there was an uproar of crying among them in the room there. In fact, Dr Barrie he fainted. Dr Barrie fainted. For 20 minutes he could not talk. During that message, all of us heard the way the people were crying, the way they were telling us we are gone. These are our last moment.

    So for them, they were not shot. Whenever they came, when they opened the door, they take - if you were standing at the door, they just take you out and cut you into pieces. That was what they did. They scattered them all over the place on 28 March 1999. That was on the Friday, I think. Friday or so. I'm not too sure, but it was on the 28th. At least one survived miraculously, because there were 69 people involved. One survived.

    The way he survived is a miracle and it is something he will ever live to tell. When they were coming, when they approached the town, at the edge of the town, there was a checkpoint. The commander who was at the checkpoint there told him to stay and - told him to sit there by him, because he too did not know that Mosquito had come to organise that killing. So he just say, "You come and sit down here by me. Come and help me." That was how that man was not killed. I don't remember his name, but they say, "But at least one person survived."

    So the next day, 29 March 1999 - sorry, 1997 we were taken back to Buedu.

  • Before you go on, how did you feel, Mr Fayia, when these 68 people were being killed in your presence? How did you feel?

  • I felt like I would rather die with them because that was not the message the RUF brought all of us. I felt like that, I would rather die with them, because for the people whom we were talking with, all of us are civilians, the people whom we are talking with, we used to eat together, we sit together and chat. For them to have gone in one moment was a heartbreaking situation for us. It was traumatising to us, definitely. It was traumatising. Very devastating.

  • And who was responsible for ordering that killing?

  • Mosquito gave the instructions to do the killing.

  • And he himself killed someone, you tell us.

  • In fact, he killed the first one.

  • Yes. That was what they said.

  • So that was in Kailahun.

  • Yes, Kailahun Town itself.

  • Were you detained anywhere else after Kailahun?

  • Yes. After Kailahun - in fact, it was the next day, they said they would not keep us in town there. They said maybe that killing that had happened, the information is going to go out. So on 29 March 1997 they took us to Buedu.

  • How long did you spend in Buedu?

  • We were there for about a week before they took us back to Kangama.

  • And did they continue moving you around in that way until your release?

  • Yes, they did. In fact, in Kangama - we were in Kangama for about two weeks when one day we just heard that the same Mosquito says he wants to see us. The girl who brought the message said, "You, you people, you are going to die. You have betrayed us. You don't know what the chief has plan to do to you people. You are going to die today." So we said, "Well, we are prepared to die any time. More people had died than us, so if we die, no problem about that at all." But he did not kill us. They took us back to Buedu there from where --

  • You've been requested to slow down.

  • We were in Buedu now up until 1999, when we were released. We were put on parole for one month before our release.

  • Pause there. At any stage during your detention were you ever placed in a dungeon?

  • No, no, no. I only remember in Buedu where we were there was there was a dungeon there, the very police station - the very MP office where we were held, there was a dungeon there. But I remember only two people were put there - not from our group at all - one vanguard. A vanguard was put there by the name of Georgie. A Liberian vanguard was put there for up to three months, and another fellow they called Mohamed Kamara. Mohamed Kamara was accused of having gone to Liberia. He was accused of having gone to Liberia at the borders where they said they met him there drunk and talking - talking everything, whatever came to his mind. Mohamed Kamara was their mechanic. So when Mosquito - no, that one was Issa. He was invited back to Buedu. He was placed in the dungeon there for about two days - just two days - when he was taken out and beaten to death. He left his wife and two children behind.

  • I ask you whether you were kept - detained in a dungeon for this reason --

  • No, I said we were never put in any dungeon --

  • Yes, and I asked you the question for this reason: On 11 June 2008, Prosecution witness TFI-539 - this is at page 11523, transcript of 11 June 2008. Now, that witness told these judges this, line 14:

    "Q. Thank you. Mr Witness, when you got to Buedu now

    please tell us what happened when you arrived?

    A. Just as we arrived in Buedu and we alighted the vehicle

    it was at that time that General Sam Bockarie called on one

    of the SLAs who was Colonel Junior Marvin, he called him

    immediately and ordered him to take me to the provost

    master and that was Colonel Kaisuku and he said he should

    hand him over to him immediately and he carried out the

    order. He took me to the provost marshal at the MP and

    when I got there the provost marshal said they should put

    me in the dungeon. When I say dungeon, I mean a hole that

    was dug. It was underground and it had a zinc cover on top

    of it, and it was in there that I was placed. But I met

    people in there: I met Fayia Musa in there; I met Dr

    Jalloh; I met Palmer; and I met a lady whom they said was

    Foday Sankoh's wife. I met them in the hole. I was crying

    then. One amongst the people who were in the hole, Palmer,

    advised me, saying that 'Oh, my friend, don't start crying

    here. In here people don't cry. You are better off

    because you are just coming in here. I have been here for

    years. So all I will advise you is for you to shut up and

    then patient, you wait and see what is going to happen.'

    But I was refused. I was there for four days."

    Did anything like that happen?

  • I don't even - well, I have said that the only place where a dungeon was actually dug for us was in Bunumbu, the Nyandehun section of Luawa Chiefdom. Was in Bunumbu. But even there the commander who was there, Monica Pearson, did not accept it at all. I don't even know that --

  • Did such an incident occur --

  • -- when all of you were in a dungeon and some man came in who was crying in the way he describes? Did it happen?

  • No, we never shared - in fact, the only - no, that kind of thing didn't happen at all. The only thing we shared with other people was the cells, the houses in Buedu where we were, we were there with other - with the ECOMOG soldiers who were held prisoners for - 12 of them.

  • Now, while you say were in captivity, where was your family and the families of the other captives?

  • My wife, Mr Deen-Jalloh's - no. My wife and Palmer's wife were in Danane, Ivory Coast. Then Dr Barrie's wife, Palmer's wife and Mr Deen-Jalloh's wife were in Abidjan.

  • Now, did you ever have contact with them during the period of your captivity?

  • Yes, there was a day when Mr Essy Amara - that happened in Bunumbu. There was a day when Mr Essy Amara, the Foreign Minister of Cote d'Ivoire, who was still running after the peace process up to that time, when he told Mosquito that he wanted to talk to us through a satellite phone that he had actually sent to him.

  • So Amara Essy sent Bockarie a satellite phone?

  • Yes, just for that conversation to take place. Mosquito went to Bunumbu to meet us there so the conversation can take place. We went to the location where he was. He called Mr Amara Essy. Then Mr Amara Essy spoke with him and he said, Let me talk with them now because the international community and their wives don't believe that these people are alive. And I, the moral guarantor, chief negotiator of the Abidjan Peace Accord, all of them believe that I should carry a greater responsibility to ensure their security - their safety, so let me talk to them, please. First of all, I want to know if they are alive so that I can inform their wives. He agreed. Then he put us on one by one. All of us spoke to Mr Essy Amara.

  • Did you speak to anybody else?

  • Yes, when we spoke to Mr Essy Amara, that very day Mr Amara told him, he said yes, I know them by their voices. I have spoken to them; I have heard them. I will tell their wives. I will give them the message that I have spoken with their husbands, but this is not going to be enough for the international community. The international community is bigger than me, so what you will need to do, I beg you, allow them to talk to the media. So they tried to get the BBC, but they were not able. That day we were also blessed that I had the BBC Focus on Africa in my head, so I told them if you find it difficult, then give me the phone, let me try. They gave me the phone. I dialled the BBC Focus on Africa number, and the people came on. Josephine Hazeley was invited to interview me, but she no, let me don't do it. Because if I do it - I was held from the background. If I do it, people are going to say that I am lying. The whole place was shaky. So they sent Tom Porteous. They said, Tom, you come and talk to this man. Fayia is on the line. Tom Porteous came and interviewed me. That was the day he asked me where I was. I told him I was in a goat pen. I was not actually in a goat pen, but it was Mosquito who told me to say that. He wanted to portray himself as a great hero. He told me to say that I was in a goat pen, but I was seated right outside. He said, Tell them that you are in a goat pen. I said okay. Then I said, "I am in a goat pen." So that was how the international community was able to know that we were alive. But even there were some people later on told us that they did not believe that we were actually up - that was my voice.

  • Mr Griffiths, before I lose sight of this, I would like a clarification on the date of when these 69 people in Kailahun were murdered. The witness said at page 85 - when you asked him, "How long were in Kailahun?" he answered at line 8, "We were in Kailahun at March 29, 1998."

  • Now, later on you asked him when these 68 people were murdered, and he said they were murdered on 29 March 1999, and then corrected himself to 29 March 1997; you see? So if I will ask you, Mr Witness, again: When were these 68 people murdered?

  • I am sorry about that, but - I'm very sorry about that. They were murdered on the 28th and I went ahead to say that --

  • Of which year? The important question is the year.

  • 1998.

  • So you spoke to the BBC?

  • Now I was to have asked you: Were you at any stage detained with Foday Sankoh's wife, as suggested by the Prosecution witness whose statement I read to you?

  • Well, Foday Sankoh - each of the girls he slept with, they used to refer to them as his wife. They are actually referring to Juliet James, if that is what he meant. Because Juliet James was one of his concubines.

  • Oh, I see. Amara Essy, the Ivorian Foreign Minister, as you told us, sent that satellite phone to Bockarie in order to check on your welfare. Is that right?

  • Did any other leader in the sub-region to your knowledge contact Bockarie about your welfare?

  • Yes, I remember when we were in Buedu - when we were in Buedu, by then all of them had come back. One day we were taken out of the cells and taken to Mosquito's house, where we met Mr Musa Cisse. He said he had been sent there by Charles Taylor to talk on our behalf so that we would be put either on parole or released. But when he gave the message, Mosquito said the only thing he can do for us without anybody's instruction is to kill us. He said but for him to say he can release us - he said even if Foday Sankoh himself sent a message to him to have us released, he said he would not do it until he was back. So he refused to release us, even to put us on parole.

  • Who had sent Musa Cisse?

  • Mr Musa Cisse said he was sent there by Charles Taylor to talk to Foday Sankoh - Mosquito to beg him to have us released --

  • Did Musa Cisse say why Charles Taylor wanted you released?

  • Well, when we went - because Musa Cisse we knew ourselves in Ivory Coast when we went there. He said he had been sent by Charles Taylor to talk to Mosquito on our behalf so that - first of all, to save our lives; secondly, so as the peace process can have some kind of a start.

  • So that's why Charles Taylor had sent Musa Cisse to Mosquito?

  • Yeah. According to Musa Cisse, that was what he sent him for.

  • Now, did Mosquito follow - take that advice?

  • I have already said it, no, he did not, because Mosquito said he would not take anybody's - for our release, he said, if Foday Sankoh himself told him to release us, he said he would not do it until Foday Sankoh was back.

  • Can you help us as to a time when this envoy, Musa Cisse, was sent by Charles Taylor?

  • That was the time when the peace process was on.

  • Which peace process?

  • The Lome peace arrangement was on. That was the time. When the Lome Peace Agreement was on.

  • Now, the Lome Peace Agreement was signed in 1999, yes?

  • Was it prior to the signing that Musa Cisse was sent by Charles Taylor?

  • Of course. It was prior to the signing.

  • Whilst you were in custody, Mr Fayia, were you ever given a trial or court-martial by the RUF?

  • Yes. There was a day when Mosquito - we did not know that he had met with the War Council and they had come to an agreement to have us tried. They tried us - according to them, they tried us in a court-martial. They marched all of us to the hall where they were waiting us with all the scars - not scars, with all the wounds, because the wounds have just got - we were so messed up, the wounds were very, very fresh. Flies were all over our bodies. They told us to go inside there to be tried, and the judge was one Mr Baindah. One Mr Baindah was the judge. He has gone back to Liberia.

  • How do you spell his name?

  • Baindah, B-A-I-N-D-A-H.

  • And was he a Liberian?

  • No. He's a Sierra Leonean who was in Liberia working. He is a Sierra Leonean from Pendembu.

  • So he was the judge. Were you represented?

  • We were represented by one vanguard they called Prince Taylor. He was our lawyer.

  • How long did the trial last?

  • The trial lasted for - I think for about 30 minutes.

  • And what evidence was brought against you?