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

  • Good morning, Ms Dufka.

  • We shall continue with your evidence, but just before we go on I want to touch briefly on a matter or an issue that was widely discussed yesterday in your evidence and that was the issue of young men being abducted and in many cases the recruitment of young people - boys, in some cases girls. What we did not seem to get from you was an indication as to what ages especially of the boys that were abducted and forced into recruitment. Did you - in the course of your investigations and your research, did you get any evidence which suggested the ages in the different situations in which this phenomena occurred? Did you get any indication of the ages of the boys or girls that were forcefully recruited?

  • Are we referring specifically to Sierra Leone, or to Sierra Leone, Liberia - and Liberia?

  • In this case it is Sierra Leone especially, because we were dealing with the atrocities that were committed in Sierra Leone yesterday, am I correct?

  • Yes, that is correct.

  • Yes, go on please.

  • No, in general for the events which I documented and with which I am familiar with respect to the 1998 events following the dislodging of the RUF and the AFRC from political power, in terms of those offensives and attacks I would say the ages of recruitments were from a very young age. I have documented cases of recruitment probably from age - well, first let's clarify recruitment for use in armed forces in fighting forces, or for use within the rebel camps? There were people of all ages from five years old, even younger, of children who were abducted with their parents. Obviously those children that young couldn't work, but they were nevertheless abducted. But in terms of into the fighting forces, I would say young. I mean, 12, 13, 14 was not uncommon.

  • Thank you. Now --

  • And sorry to - one more point I wanted to add, if I may. There were also children of that age working within the rebel camps doing other types of jobs, if you will, washing, and cooking and shining shoes and cleaning and this type of thing, and so those are known within UNICEF as children associated with war.

  • Thank you. Now, we left off at a point where we were still looking at the atrocities that had been committed against civilians in Sierra Leone. Is that correct?

  • That is correct. May I have access to my report?

  • Your Honours, may the witness be assisted with MFI-1?

  • Thank you. Thank you, go ahead.

  • Right. So, we were - and we were also discussing the various documents that had been produced to depict these atrocities that were committed against civilians in Sierra Leone. Is that correct?

  • Now amongst the material that you produced yourself, researched and produced, was one that covered exclusively the phenomenon of sexual violence. Is that correct?

  • Yes, Human Rights Watch produced three documents that specifically focused on sexual violence against girls and women in Sierra Leone. One of those I researched and wrote myself, the second one was researched and written by an emergency researcher that came in to cover the events in May 2000 and the third one called "'We'll Kill You If You Cry'" was quite a long report written by a consultant and researched by myself and that consultant.

  • Would you like to identify which, by the name of the documents, you yourself produced and those that were produced by the expert that worked with you?

  • Yes. Yes, the report produced by the consultant was "We'll Kill You If You Cry" and it was released in - the full title was "We'll Kill You If You Cry, Sexual Violence in the Sierra Leone Conflict". It was released in January 2003.

  • Your Honours, we are referring here to documents in tab number 7:

  • Yes, go on please.

  • Okay. And then the document that I researched and wrote was entitled "Sierra Leone --" - "Sexual Violence within the Sierra Leone Conflict" and was released - it was a briefing paper, which is a shorter document, usually less than 15 pages, which was released on 26 February 2001.

  • Your Honours, we are referring here to the document in tab number 8.

  • And then in addition there was a press release. I don't recall the title of that press release. That was released somewhere around mid/late May 2000. That referred specifically to sexual violence committed in that particular period around the events of May 2000.

  • And that press release is not listed in the documents that are attached?

  • No.

  • That you have referred to in your report?

  • Your Honours, may the documents in tab 7 and 8 be shown to the witness.

  • Yes, tab 7 is indeed "We'll Kill You If You Cry".

  • That is the report?

  • That is a long report that was released in 2003.

  • Your Honours, may I respectfully ask that this document be marked for identification?

  • The document entitled "We'll Kill You If You Cry, Sexual Violence Within the Sierra Leone Conflict" is marked for identification MFI-10.

  • That is correct, your Honour.

  • And the second document shown to you would be the press release - the briefing paper that you said you produced yourself. Is that correct?

  • Your Honours, may I ask that this document also be marked for identification?

  • The document headed "Sexual violence within the Sierra Leone conflict", four pages, is marked for identification MFI-11.

  • Ms Dufka, the report "We'll Kill You If You Cry", could you tell the Court what period of the conflict it covers? The period it features?

  • Uh-huh. That report reflects the experiences of girls and women with respect to the sexual violence they suffered throughout the Sierra Leonean war; that is from 1991 until the end of when the research was conducted which was in 2002.

  • Could you give the Court an idea as to how extensive were the interviews that were conducted for the production of that report?

  • Yes, there were scores of interviews with girls and women of all ages and all ethnic groups that were conducted and formed the basis of this report. Those interviews were conducted by myself and by the consultant with whom - the consultant who authored this report.

  • Now, as you have pointed out, the report covers the whole period that the war lasted in Sierra Leone and there were various phases of the war in Sierra Leone. Is that correct?

  • It covers the entirety of the war, yes.

  • And there were various phases of the war in Sierra Leone. Is that correct?

  • Now, are you able to state whether there were any detectable patterns in which the offences - the sexual violence offences - were committed during the course of the war?

  • Well, in terms of detectable patterns, the report noted that the majority - the vast majority - of incidents of sexual violence against girls and women were committed by members of the rebel factions. It noted that there were some instances of sexual violence by other factions, but they were not many in number. It documents sexual violence committed in the course of rebel attacks, as well as after girls and women were abducted and returned to rebel bases. It covers various different categories of sexual violence, including individual and gang rape, sexual slavery, rape with foreign objects like wood and weapons and umbrellas and pistols and other types of weapons, as well as other types of sexual violence, but it focuses on the rebel offences and primarily also on the issue of abduction and the types of abuses women and girls were subjected to whilst being held in rebel camps, being forced to work, being subjected to extraordinary brutality both during the attacks as well as within the rebel camps.

    Many of the girls it notes went on to become combatants themselves, who were subsequently "married" in quotes to the rebel combatants, bore children from them. You know, it chronicles the extreme hardship that these girls went through, as well as the difficulties they had in terms of their physical well-being and then the difficulties they had during reintegration back into their families and communities.

  • Thank you. Now you have mentioned that one group is - was principally identified as being responsible, but other groups also bore some responsibility for these crimes. Is that correct?

  • Could you comment on the extent to which the different groups bore responsibilities for the crimes?

  • It - the report documented a number of cases involving civil defence militias, as well as I believe a few involving the UN personnel. I don't believe it documented any sexual violence by the ECOMOG peacekeepers.

  • Thank you. And is there any indication as to any particular area where this practice was much more rampant than others?

  • It covers all different time frames of the war and all different physical locations of the war, but these abuses were concentrated in rebel held areas and so there were numerous incidents documented in Kailahun, in Kono District, in Makeni, in Lunsar, and then there is obviously - reiterating some of what I discussed yesterday with respect to the January 6th offensive there are numerous examples that occurred during that time. The report makes some inferences also to the effects that this sexual violence had on girls and women, the intent to terrorise them, to humiliate them, both them and their families, and it also discusses that abuses against girls and women were not committed, or were often committed in association either preceding or followed by various serious - by other very serious war crimes committed against the girls and women and their families.

  • Thank you. Now back to your report, pages 21 through to 23 discloses human rights conditions - I am sorry, the latter bit of the latter part of that page.

  • I am sorry, Mohamed. Can you please repeat the page?

  • No, I need to take you to page 18, I am sorry. Page 18. Page 18 through to 23 discusses crimes committed against civilians in Liberia, is that correct?

  • Yes, that is correct.

  • Now you indicate in your report that a wide range of - you conducted interviews of a wide range of persons involved in the conflict in Liberia. Is that correct?

  • That is correct.

  • And what period did you cover?

  • Well the interviews were conducted in 2000, 2001 and 2002, so that was the period. What we refer to as the second armed conflict in Liberia started in earnest in 2000, but in 1999 there were a number of cross-border attacks into Liberia.

  • And when you say cross-border attacks, cross-border between which - with which country?

  • Well, in 1999 it would have been from Guinea and Sierra Leone into northern Liberia.

  • Okay. And you conducted something in the region of 300 interviews for this - over this period. Is that correct?

  • Something like that. Those interviews were primarily conducted in Sierra Leone within refugee camps in Sierra Leone and also in refugee camps in Guinea.

  • Now, could you comment on the --

  • Madam President, I am concerned. As you know from my intervention yesterday when I got the page numbering wrong, I am concerned about the relevance of this section of this witness's report. This tribunal is trying charges of war crimes against the accused against the population of Sierra Leone. We have now moved into Liberia and it is perfectly plain from the witness's report that she is dealing with the Liberian - I will call it the Liberian civil war, for want of a better term, in which Liberian forces were pitted against - Liberian government forces were pitted against rebels, primarily the LURD and MODEL groups, some of whom were fighting with Sierra Leonean fighters, but this is on Liberian soil and it is about the Liberian conflict. It is not about the conflict that this tribunal is concerned with.

  • Mr Bangura, your reply please?

  • Your Honours, the Prosecution submits that this evidence, this part of the evidence, is relevant to the - to its case in that it goes to bolster the material that we need to produce to show one of the modes of liability which we have - which we say the accused - by which we say the accused is responsible for the crimes that we have charged.

    Your Honours, the common - the CPE, common purpose or common plan, or common enterprise if you like, requires us to show to a certain extent how the intent, participation and perhaps foreseeability and we do - and there has been evidence before the Court already indicating that there had been association by the accused with rebels in Sierra Leone and that association was not only limited to the presence of those rebels within Sierra Leone, but also while they were outside Sierra Leone in Liberia.

    And there has been also evidence before the Court and we make the point that it is important to be able to understand the dynamics of the conflict in Sierra Leone you would need to also understand the conflict that was going on in Liberia, because there is every evidence that Sierra Leoneans were also included and also were involved in that evidence. We have heard from the witness already that there cross-border attacks and obviously those attacks would have involved troops staging attacks - moving from Sierra Leone and staging attacks outside Sierra Leone. And, your Honours, all of that effort had to be co-ordinated, or was co-ordinated by somebody, and so in my submission and the Prosecution's submission this evidence is relevant to show who and to what extent the persons who were associated with the rebels were involved in this plan.

  • Thank you, Mr Bangura. These matters will go to weight at the end of the evidence and we overrule the objection and the cross-examination and evidence - excuse me, examination-in-chief and evidence can continue. The question should be answered.

  • The question again was - let me just go back, your Honours.

  • Mr Bangura, you were referring to interviews in refugee camps.

  • How widely did you conduct the interviews that you have referred to?

  • Yes, I had said that I conducted these interviews in refugee camps in both Sierra Leone and Guinea.

  • Now you have said that the period you were interested in in this coverage was from 1999, is that correct, through to 2002? Is that correct?

  • Now in 1999, just to be clear, what sort of situation existed?

  • At that time the LURD, the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy, a rebel group which had formed in probably late 1998/1999, were in the process of organising themselves to launch an attack to attempt to - or launch an armed conflict to attempt to unseat then President Charles Taylor. My understanding was that that was going to be a multi-pronged offensive from a number of different countries. There were cross-border attacks in 1999 in August I believe, and perhaps later in that year, which signaled - from as I mentioned Sierra Leone and Guinea at that point, which signaled the beginning of - the very beginning of that armed conflict. It later intensified in 2000 and developed into quite a serious armed conflict that went on until 2003.

    It was our understanding in terms of background that the LURD and later MODEL - some years later they separated from the LURD and formed a second rebel movement that was based primarily in southern Liberia - was in response to numerous grievances from primarily the Mandingo and Khran ethnic groups in Liberia and in response to reports of repression and misrule and other similar problems in Liberia.

    So we became involved in 2000 after refugees from primarily Lofa County, L-O-F-A, which is located in northern Liberia along the border with Guinea and Sierra Leone, began coming into Sierra Leone. I began receiving reports of very serious atrocities that had been committed by pro-government troops in 2000, as I mentioned, and went down to the refugee camps and began conducting interviews at that time with - in 2000, 2001 and that continued into 2002 with refugees who related to me numerous accounts of very serious atrocities which had been committed at that time.

    As in the Sierra Leonean conflict and most conflicts, abuses are committed by both sides and that was clearly the case in the second armed conflict in Liberia. We have said and provided documentation to support the fact that the majority of those abuses were committed by pro-government forces from the armed forces of Liberia, from the anti-terrorist unit (ATU) and from the special security services as well as some of those militias which I mentioned yesterday. However, there were also very serious war crimes and atrocities committed by Liberian rebels as well.

  • Thank you. You mentioned Lofa as a location in Liberia where some of this fighting was taking place. Is that correct?

  • That is correct.

  • Now in terms of proximity, if your geography is good enough to say - in terms of proximity, how close or how far away would that region in Liberia be to the closest point in Sierra Leone along the border?

  • Lofa County borders Sierra Leone and borders parts of Guinea, and we believe that Lofa was the centre of many of these atrocities because it was strategically a very important place for both the Sierra Leone - I am sorry, for both the Liberian pro-government forces as well as the Liberian rebels. At that time the Liberian rebels were receiving logistical and other support from Guinea, according to our research, and so for the Liberian rebels it was key for them to maintain control over that area and for the same reason it was an area which the Liberian pro-government forces wanted to control.

    So we identified patterns between the military operations and the human rights abuses, and those patterns reflected or were as a result of the frequent changing of hands of a number of towns and villages in Lofa County that went from one force to the other and back and forth. It was an area of a great deal of armed conflict.

    We again noted the very common pattern of collective punishment against Lofa based ethnic groups, primarily the Gbandis - that is G-B-A-N-D-I - who fought, or many of whom who fought with the LURD, and so much of this abuse was committed in the form of collective punishment against primarily Gbandi towns and villages. The Mandingos also, of which there are many in Lofa County, were also targeted.

  • Thank you. To your recollection, or based on the reports you have produced, which factions or which forces were involved in the fighting at this time?

  • I have mentioned those from the LURD and from the rebel side, the rebel - the only rebel faction involved in those operations were the LURD who were, as I mentioned, trying to hold on to Lofa County. On the part of the Liberian pro-government forces, there was the AFL, the ATU, the SSS and a number of these divisions: the army division, the marine division and the jungle fire unit were involved in fighting in Lofa County.

  • Now, you mentioned further on in the report that is dealing with Liberia that Human Rights Watch did produce some documents relating to this situation of violation - human rights violation situation. Is that correct?

  • And these reports, were they brought to the attention of the government of Liberia at the time?

  • I believe we followed the same process which we always do; that is dissemination to the diplomatic missions in Washington and the United States and then also dissemination - wide dissemination - through international and national press.

  • And one of the reports which I believe you have already identified which was produced covering these events is "Back to the Brink". Is that correct?

  • That is correct.

  • Your Honours, I am referring to MFI-3:

  • Was there any publication that came out from Human Rights Watch covering these events as well?

  • Yes, there were a number of press releases in which we highlighted our findings. One - let me see if they are in the list here. "Back to the Brink" was a report that we produced and then I am looking to see if I can identify another one of the documents we produced. We also produced a letter and press release on 29 July 2002 called Liberia - "Deteriorating Human Rights Situation in Liberia", and then with respect to --

  • Your Honours, that has been identified already as MFI-5.

  • Okay. And then we also produced "Liberian Refugees in Guinea", the refoulement.

  • That has been identified as MFI-4.

  • And I believe there were a few other press releases and perhaps letters that we produced at that time detailing our findings and concerns about the very serious patterns of human rights abuses committed.

  • Now, you mentioned in your report that there were in fact some reaction from the government of Liberia in relation to the publication of the report and the press releases that you did at the time. Is that correct?

  • And you have made the point that this is an indication that there was some notice. Is that correct?

  • Now can I refer you to appendix 3 of your report, which says "News Articles Wherein Liberian Government Officials Deny Human rights Watch Accusations, Thereby Proving Their Knowledge of Human Rights Watch's Work". Is that correct?

  • Would you like to discuss these documents in turn?

  • There were a number of wire service reports from Reuters, Associated Press and Agence France-Presse which reflect the statements of Liberian officials, including Reginald Goodridge and in one case I believe Charles Taylor as well and Monie Captan as well, I believe the then Minister of Foreign Affairs if I am not mistaken.

  • And these were all Liberian officials - Liberian government officials - at the time?

  • Yes, that is right, and they denied the - or they didn't concur with our findings as indicated by their statements in these press releases.

  • Mr Bangura, could we have the spelling of this official, Captain somebody or other?

  • Monie Captan. It is somewhere in the report, but I will attempt to spell it. I think it is M-O-N-I-E C-A-P-T-A-N:

  • And I think you did mention Reginald Goodridge?

  • I think that is - Goodridge is G-O-O-D-R-I-D-G-E. So, all of the documents in appendix 3 of your report basically make the point that there was some reaction from the government of Liberia at the time. Is that correct?

  • Thank you. Let me take you to part 3 of your report and that is from pages 27 through to 30. Now, in this section you discuss Liberia's involvement in the Sierra Leonean armed conflict. Is that correct?

  • And you basically give a historical context in showing the Liberian element, or Liberian involvement, in the war in Sierra Leone right through - from the beginning right through to the end. Is that correct?

  • Mr Bangura, I am going to caution you again about leading questions. You may recall there has been a directive yesterday.

  • I will abide, your Honour.

  • I have let the past ones go in the light of the fact that you are putting past evidence, but please.

  • I will abide, your Honour:

  • Can you - looking at part 3 of the report, can you say generally what you have tried to present in that part of the report?

  • Yes, what I have tried to present is the indications that we obtained in the process of our research of the Liberian involvement, or the involvement of Liberians we should say, in various different episodes of the Sierra Leonean armed conflict. The first part of the report addresses or is derived from interviews I conducted in the course of my research with the - the research on the phenomena of mercenary activity in West Africa. It is based on a few interviews I conducted with former combatants who had knowledge of the very early involvement of Liberians in the armed conflict in Sierra Leone, primarily in Kailahun District. Those combatants, there are two which I mention in my report, one - both of whom were civilians at that time and later became combatants with one of the - with the RUF.

    The first one was from the village of Bomaru, the venue of the first attack by the RUF in Sierra Leone on 23 March 1991, and he details, or his testimony is notable for the - with respect to the high percentage of Liberians among the attackers. He notes that there were about 20 Liberians and only three Sierra Leoneans involved in that attack.

    The second combatant I interviewed then also gives some indication of that same attack, or of that same time period, and also notes the very high involvement and later how the involvement of Liberians decreased due to a few factors. One of them was that the RUF had embarked on a - or the RUF, involving Liberians and Sierra Leoneans, embarked on a very aggressive recruitment campaign, which then swelled the ranks of the RUF much fuller with Sierra Leoneans, as well as incidents involving acrimony that developed between the sierra Leonean components of the RUF and the Liberian components. That revolved around the very frequent, as they described, attacks by - on the Sierra Leonean population by Liberian combatants, who then tried to and managed to expel a good number of them from Sierra Leone.

  • Now, these accounts that you have just discussed are contained on pages 27 and 28. Is that correct?

  • Your Honours, with your leave I would like to have the witness read through these portions of the report:

  • Can I ask you to read the accounts that you have indicated that you have included in the report?

  • Okay. The entirety of the account?

  • Yes, there are two pages and so you read the first account and then go on to the next one.

  • Madam President, I am sorry, I was just about to object to that, but if you have a matter that you wish to raise I will defer to you.

  • [Microphone not activated] I was going to - let me hear your objection, Mr Munyard.

  • Their Honours' microphone is not on.

  • I think you intended it not to be on at the moment. The purpose of this witness preparing the report is not to then come and sit at the witness desk and read the whole thing out. It is absolutely basic and, if that were the case, then there would be no need for her to sit there at all. The Court, or the Prosecution, could read it out.

  • I was intending actually to say something to the similar effect. You put it more succinctly, Mr Munyard.

    The report has been marked for identification. There is no need to read it all out into the record. Thank you, Mr Bangura.

  • Thank you, your Honour:

  • You move on from that stage of the conflict in Sierra Leone and go on to indicate further instances where Liberians were involved. Is that correct?

  • Yes, that is correct. The first two interviews that I include in this report are of, as I mentioned, former combatants, so they reflect one experience and a certain set of knowledge that would come from - well, they were victims at this point and then they became protagonists within one of the warring factions.

    The other instances in which I heard of Liberians being involved were from victims; from the numerous victims that I interviewed over the years. These included at least - and these included mentions of the involvement of Liberians in the commission of atrocities, or who were victims of atrocities in Sierra Leone in one case.

    These included nine victims and witnesses whom I interviewed in relation to the January 6th offensive who noted the presence of Liberians among their attackers. They believed that they were Liberians in some cases because the individuals identified themselves as Liberians and other times because they spoke with a Liberian accent. They were - the alleged Liberians were women, men and children, primarily men, male combatants above the age of 18, and the crimes that they were involved in included the massacre - a massacre of seven civilians on January 9th, the burning alive of a four-year old girl and an 87-year old woman in Kissy on January 20th and the killings which took place in the Rogbalan Mosque on January 22nd - I have noted in my report on January 20th, but that is a typo and it should have been January 22nd as I have noted a few times earlier - and then three separate incidents of limb amputation on January 21st, 25th and February 1st.

    The second example of Liberian involvement was a testimony that I took from a militia man with the civil defence forces, who was interviewed in 2000 and who described having witnessed the brutal killing of a female Liberian commander that his unit perpetrated. This was in the area of Tongo Fields, T-O-N-G-O, and that killing took place in 1996. This combatant said that the woman was about 25 years old and that she was a Liberian, but fighting with the RUF and indeed an RUF commander.

    And then a third victim was a 50-year old woman from Port Loko District who witnessed the killing of 12 people during a rebel attack in 1999, and she noted that one of the rebels present during this killing spoke with a Liberian accent and she overheard him saying - criticising the other rebels for this killing and she overheard him saying, "We don't do this in my country", which indicates that indeed he is not a Sierra Leonean. He is a Liberian. So, those are the instances that - sorry, go ahead.

  • Now, you also make mention of the fact that a senior RUF commander did in fact move to Liberia at some point. Is that correct?

  • I am sorry, can you clarify?

  • You make the point - showing the connection with Liberia, you make the point that - specifically it is Sam Bockarie. You make the point that he in 1999 --

  • Well if that is not leading, what is?

  • Your Honours, the report is before your Lordships and before the Court and I am merely drawing the witness's attention to an issue in the report.

  • Yes. You are either - it is either before the Court and we absorb it and it is unnecessary to repeat it, or you are leading. Now, the name you mentioned has never arisen in the course that I recall and that is definitely leading.

  • I shall withdraw the question.

  • Refer us to the section, but don't lead.

  • I shall withdraw the question, your Honour:

  • You do make reference to further connections between - well, further instances of Liberian involvement in the war in Sierra Leone. Is that correct?

  • Yes, myself and other researchers. I have noted my own, or I have noted the instances in interviews that I conducted in which there was some reference to Liberians taking place in those operations. I have just noted that. Also, other reports that Human Rights Watch has published and other documents that Human Rights Watch has published that I did not necessarily write in their entirety, or research in their entirety, also noted the presence of Liberian combatants, or those believed to be Liberian combatants, involved in the commission of atrocities.

  • I was going to draw your attention to a portion of your report where you make an indication that at some stage there was some problem within the leadership of the RUF. Is that correct?

  • Yes, that was - yes, and at that point we would have had the movement of Liberians into Liberia. I am sorry, of Sierra Leoneans into Liberia. That occurred during a fall out in 1999 between Sam Bockarie, otherwise known as Mosquito, and Foday Sankoh in December 1999, at which point some it has been estimated 500 RUF combatants moved over into Liberia and then were incorporated into other units, as far as we understand, including the anti-terrorist unit.

  • Now these various accounts and instances that you have referred to in this part of your report, are they contained in earlier reports that Human Rights Watch had produced?

  • Which ones are you referring to?

  • You have referred to a situation where you had an interview with a Civil Defence Force person, you have referred to a situation where a commander - a fighter did say that they did not do that sort of thing in their country and you have referred to even the instance about a fracas within the leadership of the RUF.

  • I can say that several of the instances of those nine atrocities committed during the January 1999 rebel offensive are in my report, but not all of them. With respect to the CDF militia man, I do not think that is in one of my reports.

  • Thank you.

  • We can't include every single, or a reference to every single testimony that I take in our reports. There are simply too many. I believe that the account of the 50-year old woman from Port Loko District is in one of my reports, but I can't say for sure.

  • Now, let me take you to part 4 of your report which runs from page 31 through to page 33. Now you had earlier started discussing the subject of this part of your report, but not in detail. The subject there is joint cross-border attacks on Guinea by the RUF and Liberian government. Now --

  • Again, Madam President, I object to this section of the report on exactly the same basis as I objected to the Liberian section. In our submission, this goes beyond the scope of the indictment. Not only does it go beyond the temporal scope of the indictment, but it also goes beyond the geographical scope of the indictment. In our submission, this does no more than demonstrate that hostilities were taking place across the border in Guinea and that the Guinean government was supporting the LURD and that that is what this is concerned with. This is the Liberian civil conflict, as supported by an outside government or governments, essentially on Liberian soil with some responses back across the border into Guinea. It does not concern this case.

  • Your Honours, the Prosecution makes the point that it goes beyond just the fact that these were attacks across the border from Liberia into Guinea. It goes to show involvement of Sierra Leonean RUF fighters in these attacks, it goes to show control of these fighters by whoever their commander was and we make the point that in this case the accused had command. It goes to show his association with these forces. It goes to show that he was part of a common plan which was executed by these forces.

    Your Honours, the fact that these incidents occurred outside the geographical territory of Sierra Leone in my submission does not preclude this Court from hearing the evidence which helps this Court to understand how we say that the accused is part of a common criminal enterprise.

  • Madam President, on a point of law the common criminal enterprise that this evidence demonstrates, if it demonstrates any such common enterprise at all, relates to the civil conflict in Liberia/Guinea. It does not relate to the issues that this Court is trying, namely an alleged common plan or enterprise in relation to Sierra Leone. It is patently beyond the scope of the indictment and there is no legal basis for suggesting that it is within the scope, either temporal or geographical.

  • Mr Bangura, I don't think you answered Mr Munyard's objection that the incidents referred to are outside the temporal scope of the indictment. What do you say to that?

  • Your Honours, they may very well be outside the temporal scope of the indictment, but your Honours we seek to bring this sort of evidence to show - to be able to prove certain contextual elements of some of the elements of the offences that we have charged. But more importantly, your Honours, we see in these acts, in these activities, we see the role of the accused as a commander and that helps to satisfy the element of command responsibility. The evidence suggests that there were RUF fighters who were fighting at the behest, at the orders, or upon the orders of the accused. Our submission is that this - to be able to establish that command responsibility, the evidence to be looked at does not necessarily have to be restricted to events and activities within Sierra Leone. I mean, it is conduct --

  • Well, you are talking about the geographical scope. Mr Munyard also referred to the temporal scope; in other words, the incidents that you seek to ask this witness about did not occur during the time frame of the offences charged in the indictment.

  • Your Honours, the time frame depends on - what we are talking about for the time frame which we cover, or generally the indictment covers, is from 1996 through to January 2000. It is clear that we have limited the scope of some of the offences that we have charged. But, your Honours, the events which we refer to here are events which occurred right up until 2001.

  • That is precisely the point. We don't see the point that you are trying to make. Clearly part 4 deals with the time frame September 2000 to March 2001, or even beyond to 2004. How is that related to the indictment period?

  • Your Honours, I believe I have made the point that even if these matters that occurred outside the time frame of the indictment are not themselves directly matters which go to specifically prove the elements of the offences that we have charged, your Honours, we submit that they go to show that - they go to show - firstly they go to help to show the context in which a lot of these crimes were committed. It gives a contextual background to the commission of crimes within the indictment and that is important for the Court to understand.

  • We uphold the objection and we do not allow that question.

  • Your Honours, if I understand your Lordships, there is quite a lot that is covered within this part of the report and is the point that that particular question cannot be asked, or is it that --

  • It cannot be asked because, on the grounds as clearly put before the Court, it is outside the temporal scope of the indictment and is not admissible.

  • Ms Dufka, you did indicate earlier that in an effort to understand the dynamic of conflict in Sierra Leone, Liberia and other parts of West Africa you did conduct several interviews with combatants - former combatants. Is that correct?

  • Yes. As a part of that research which was published in "Youth, Poverty and Blood" I interviewed some 60 former combatants, including those who had participated in those attacks in September 2000 and 2001 only.

  • And these would be combatants in what countries?

  • They were from Liberia and Sierra Leone and a few Guineans, but primarily those from Liberia and Sierra Leone - the bulk, maybe two or three Guineans among.

  • And what did the indications - what indications did you get as regards the role of Sierra Leoneans in some of these conflicts?

  • They were - some half of those that I interviewed were Sierra Leoneans who had fault in Liberia at various different times, who had fought in Cote d'Ivoire and who had fought in Guinea as well.

  • Was there any indication as to - was there any indication as to the purpose for which they were fighting in these - Sierra Leoneans fighting in Liberia? Was there any indication as to the purpose for which they were fighting in Liberia at the time?

  • Well, most of them had been recruited. Of course, it is different. Each different situation has their own idiosyncratic dynamics. I can say, if I am not going beyond answering the scope of the question, that the armed conflicts in Liberia and Sierra Leone and Cote d'Ivoire have been marked by a regional dynamic where the governments of the region have shown a potential to involve themselves in trying to destabilise one - destabilising a neighbouring country. At each - at any given time you had one group who was participating in supporting a proxy group whose intention was to overthrow, or destabilise, a neighbouring country. So, with respect to Sierra Leonean involvement it took place at various different times and in support of various different Liberian, Guinean and Cote d'Ivoirean armed factions.

  • Now, one of the situations which you identify where Sierra Leone RUF fighters took part in fighting in Liberia is the Lofa situation. Is that correct?

  • Now, did you get any indication from the persons you interviewed as to how they got involved in that conflict?

  • In a few different contexts. One of them were, as I mentioned previously, the RUF who joined or who were integrated into Liberian pro-government factions after commander Sam Bockarie fell out with Foday Sankoh in December 1999. Prior to that, they were - the RUF factions based in Kailahun District were also involved in responding to the April 1999 fighting in Lofa County, which is commonly known as the Mosquito Spray operation, and then these cross-border attacks into Guinea in September 2000 and through March 2001 which appeared - which clearly appeared in my research to be a joint and co-ordinated effort to punish Guinea for the support that they were rendering to the Liberian rebels.

  • Was there any indication as to who they were taking command from in these operations? In this operation, especially the Lofa one?

  • In the Lofa, I was not able to ascertain that.

  • And what about the Guinea one?

  • Well, according to the seven combatants - former combatants - that I interviewed they noted a number of commanders. Our research did not intend to identify the chain of command in that operation. Of the seven ex-combatants that I interviewed all but one I believe of them noted and characterised it as a joint operation, which suggested a fair amount of co-ordination between Liberian pro-government and Sierra Leonean rebel groups. Nearly all of them, if not all, identified punishing Guinea for their involvement as I mentioned in supporting Liberian rebel groups as the motive for that attack. There were a number of commanders that were mentioned, including - I don't know if I should name them? They are in my report.

  • Please do.

  • There was - Mosquito was mentioned and Benjamin Yeaten, I will just get the spelling, Y-E-A-T-A-N, was mentioned. He is a Liberian commander I believe of the SSS at that time. A Sierra Leonean RUF commander named Peleto, P-E-L-E-T-O, was mentioned.

  • Just for my assistance is the witness referring to her report to the Court, in which case on which pages, or otherwise is she referring to the "Youth, Poverty and Blood" document?

  • I would be referring to - not all of the testimonies in my report are in "Youth, Poverty and Blood". As I mentioned, the research was done for that. If - so, I can't recall which ones in my report to the Court were in my report for "Youth, Poverty and Blood", but it is easy enough to check.

  • Now, you made the point that you mentioned Mosquito having forces in Liberia and he would have been involved in these conflicts. Is that correct?

  • Is there any indication about other RUF or rebel forces who would have been involved in these operations who came from Sierra Leone, not from the group that was with Mosquito?

  • Well they talked about RUF being mobilised from a number of different places in Sierra Leone, including Tongo Field was one of the ones that they mentioned and I believe Kailahun. I will have to review. There were mentions of meetings that took place both in Liberia and Sierra Leone, in advance of this operation, in which orders were given to the combatants who would participate in those cross-border attacks.

    There was one mention from one of those that I interviewed - and I cannot recall whether this one was included in my "Youth, Poverty and Blood" report - of one combatant saying that he had spoken with his commander who received orders from Charles Taylor. That is one mention. A few of them mentioned Benjamin Yeaten as having given them orders, and I think what was important from our point of view as Human Rights Watch was that there were quite explicit orders given to commit human rights abuses against the Guinean population and that is the reason why I conducted these interviews and included this section in my report in "Youth, Poverty and Blood". It was within a section of that report which dealt with issues of human rights abuses and the extent that the warring factions tried to mitigate those abuses, and this section was included in that report with respect to a time when there were explicit orders given to commit human rights abuses which occurred in Guinea and which we documented.

  • Mr Bangura, I am not entirely clear of the time frame that this particular last part of the evidence relates to, but I would just remind you of the ruling concerning the temporal scope of the evidence.

  • Your Honours, the time frame has been basically focused on Lofa and then we went on to talk about the incident in Guinea. The Lofa incidents have been identified as having occurred:

  • Can you tell the Court, please?

  • There might have been some confusion that 2004 was in there because that is when the research was conducted, but the cross-border attacks into Guinea took place from September 2000 to February/March 2001.

  • Thank you. Now, I am going to take you back to a few issues that we have already covered. In discussing the atrocities that were committed against civilians in Sierra Leone you did mention the case of amputations. Is that correct?

  • Uh-huh.

  • And you document much of - some of the incidents of that in one of your reports. Is that correct?

  • That is dealt with in a number of Human Rights Watch documents, yes, from 1998.

  • And in addition to - well, in the course of your investigations of these crimes you of course did - you did give interviews as well. Is that correct?

  • Yes. Giving interviews to the national and international press is a central part of our advocacy and dissemination of our information, so, yes.

  • And there were photographs taken as well of some of the victims. Is that correct?

  • That I took?

  • Can the witness be shown the documents in tab number 12, please:

  • Now, the document you have been shown incorporates two photographs. Is that correct?

  • Could you give the Court a background to - and these are photographs that you yourself shot?

  • Could you give the Court some background to the situation that these photographs depict? Can we talk about the first one and then go on to the second one?

  • Yes, the first one was a 12-year old, as it says, young girl, who had suffered an amputation I believe in the Kambia District, but I am not certain, in May 2000. She was certainly living within an area under RUF control, I am almost sure it was Kambia, and I interviewed her in one of Freetown's hospitals and then took this picture of her.

  • And the second one?

  • This is a - she was probably 13. She was one of three adolescent girls who were rounded up from Kissy by a group of rebels in late January, around the 20th to the 22nd January, if I am not mistaken, and taken up to a hill and had their hands amputated - in this case both hands. She was I think about 13. Her account is in my report and it was in a section which focused on the particular targeting of - or the commission of crimes against children and in one section which if I am not mistaken deals with children actually being targeted out for abuse, because she was in her house and according to her testimony when people were asked to come out by the rebels they particularly picked out these three adolescent girls and amputated them.

  • Your Honours, I respectfully move that this document be marked for identification. The two photographs.

  • There are two pictures and a preface. So picture number 1 will be marked for identification MFI-12A, that is of a 12-year old victim, and the second photograph of a 13-year old victim will be MFI-12B.

  • Thank you, your Honour:

  • May I take you - you mentioned - just a short while ago you did say that you conducted and gave interviews in the course of your research. Is that correct?

  • That is correct. On a variety - a wide variety - of subjects related to the human rights conditions in Sierra Leone.

  • Okay. I would like to show you a short footage, three short footages of video footages, and you probably then will be questioned on what we view.

  • Your Honours, may I respectfully ask that document - well, not documents. The clips in this case, video clip which is --

  • Madam President, we have in our bundle a transcript of the video clips. We don't have the video clips and I had assumed that that was for the reason that the Prosecution were seeking to rely on what is called "unofficial transcript". I will just - it is in tab 6.

  • The tab 6 in my bundle is a transcript. I don't see a video - any form of CD.

  • Your Honour, the transcript --

  • We have no record of receiving one.

  • Your Honour, may I confer for a moment?

  • Can I indicate what the Defence position is on this. I have no objection to those parts where this witness is quoted or can be seen, but what I do object to is a voice over from someone who is apparently a reporter and then in the later part there is somebody called "Narrator" and then there is someone else called Yearsley. I know who he is, but he is not a witness in this case. In fact, the whole of the second part of the transcript does not actually feature this witness.

    Now this is in contradistinction to the clips that you saw on the first day I think of this case, where the witness himself did appear in the film. This witness is perfectly capable of dealing with her contributions to it and that is why I have to say I assumed that we had been given the transcript rather than the video itself. There appear to be two videos here: one from the Mark Corcoran broadcast, he is the reporter, broadcast 28 August 2000; and the other one is a programme in December 2006 which may or may not be the programme that you saw clips from before. I don't know.

  • Your Honours --

  • Mr Bangura, you were going to respond.

  • Your Honours, I was just going to say that the video - and I believe my learned friend has been referring to the full length of that video, but they are just clips in it that we were going to show. But we have disclosed this and we have given and handed that video to the Defence quite a while - for quite a while now.

  • I am sorry, I don't want to interrupt. I want to try and compromise. I don't have difficulty with the first one, because this witness appears in it and therefore I am happy for that to be dealt with and either played or read out. It is the second one in which the witness does not feature at all that I object to.

  • I was clear on that point, Mr Munyard. Thank you.

  • Your Honours, the second one if I am right is a clip which is already in evidence, that is P-16, exhibit P-16, and the purpose here is to have the witness, since it is a document, since it is material in evidence, to have the witness view it and comment on it in light of the evidence that she has given to this Court. So, in fact for that one the transcript is that which was provided to this Court at the time that that video was first introduced in evidence.

  • Well if the witness is going to be asked to comment on a piece of evidence that is already before the Court, we want to know on what basis she is going to comment on it.

  • Your Honours, the witness has been testifying to matters of human rights violations in Sierra Leone.

  • Please allow us to make a decision, Mr Bangura.

  • This is a ruling on an objection by the Defence. It has been conceded by the Prosecution that the words of Mr - I presume it is a gentleman - Mark Corcoran are not admissible and are not to be read into the record. The second part is an extract from an exhibit that is already before the Court and it is our view that the witness can be asked questions on that exhibit.

  • Thank you, your Honour.

  • Can I indicate I did not object in my compromise to the whole of the first transcript going in.

  • Yes, I haven't forgotten that.

  • May I ask that the first of these clips, that is the video clip of "Soldiers of Fortune" aired on ABC 2000, be played for the witness?

  • Could everybody please switch to PC1 on the external panel next to your computers to be able to see the clips.

    Counsel, you are referring to video clip 1?

  • Yes. When you say 1, I am referring actually to the excerpts and they come in three clips from the documentary "Soldiers of Fortune" aired on ABC in 2000.

  • The folder I have has clip 1, 2 and 3.

  • Yes, clip 1, 2 and 3, that is correct. Yes, it is clip 1 of that.

    Your Honours, I must say that I am having difficulty getting into the mode on the screen for video.

  • Mr Bangura, I notice it says at the top that the total time is 32.25. We have only got four minutes before 11 o'clock and so I am not sure how long this clip will be.

  • Madam President, this is just under two minutes, but this is an issue on which I find myself in agreement for once with Mr Bangura. I haven't got anything on my screen either.

  • I will play the clip.

  • I am not sure how much time we will have for questioning after the clip.

  • Let us play the clip and see what happens.

  • [Video played to the Courtroom]

  • You viewed that --

  • I am sorry, Mr Bangura. I didn't intend to speak over you. I note the time and this appears to be a convenient time to take the normal mid-morning break. So, we will adjourn until 11.30 please.

  • Thank you.

  • [Break taken at 11.00 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 11.30 a.m.]

  • Yes, Mr Bangura, please proceed.

  • Thank you, your Honour. Your Honours, the clip that was shown has not yet been identified. May I respectfully apply that it be marked for identification?

  • The clip itself will be marked for identification as MFI-13. And there is a transcript. Is it intended to only do the clip?

  • The transcript goes with the clip and I would respectfully also ask that the transcript also be identified --

  • The transcript, we will assume it's an accurate one for the purposes of this, will become MFI-13A.

  • I'm just wondering how your Lordships intend to proceed with the other clips that come in this video, and there are two more coming, and this is - we've marked this MFI-13A and the transcript is 13B. One is 13 and the other is 13A.

  • Yes. Do you say that there are more clips coming?

  • Yes, in this video, two more clips.

  • But they're all part of the same --

  • Of the same video.

  • Thank you, your Honour.

  • Ms Dufka, you have seen the clip MFI-13, correct? Could you comment on - first of all, when was that interview conducted?

  • I believe it was in 2000. I don't recall the month.

  • By an Australian journalist Mark Corcoran, I believe his name is, who worked for Australian Broadcasting Corporation, I believe.

  • And where was that video shot?

  • The video was shot in the Murray Town war wounded camp which is located in the Murray Town neighbourhood of Freetown. This is, or was at the time, a camp for several hundred war wounded of various different classes of injuries including amputations, gunshot wounds and others. It was a place I visited frequently in the course of my research. Indeed I've interviewed a number of the wounded individuals who are shown in that video.

  • Could you spell Murray Town for the benefit of the Court, please?

  • M-U-R-R-A-Y.

  • And in the clip you were interviewed and you made certain comments about - you made certain comments. Is that correct?

  • Yes. The context of that interview, the reason for - that I was asked to be interviewed by this journalist was to comment on the recruitment process that was taking place at that time in 2000 and later continued for the new Sierra Leonean Army which has since been formed and is now named the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces.

    Human Rights Watch was concerned about a few things with respect to that process. Number one, that there appeared to be no effective vetting of potential recruits for past abuses that they had been allegedly implicated in. Number two, based on our research we had started to receive reports of newly trained SLA recruits being involved in some misconduct at best and crimes at worst. So we were expressing our concern about those two issues and, as noted, the media is an effective way for us to be able to make known our concerns and our recommendations.

  • And there is a transcript which has been marked MFI-13A. Can the witness be shown that document. I basically just want to know whether it reflects the discussion we heard on the video?

  • Yes, this appears to be the script for the - or the document that reflects what was said on the video, yes.

  • Your Honours, may I ask that the next clip on the video be shown - played for the benefit of the Court.

  • Mr Bangura, is this an existing exhibit?

  • We're dealing with three clips on this video.

  • [Video played to the Courtroom]

  • Your Honours, may I also ask before I put questions to the witness that the transcript that covers this clip be shown to the witness.

  • Do you see that document?

  • Does it reflect the discussions that you've - we've just heard over in the clip that was shown to you?

  • Your Honours, may I ask that these two documents be marked for identification, first the clip then the transcript.

  • The clip that we've seen will be MFI-14A and the transcript will be MFI-14B.

  • Could you just comment again on the background to that interview?

  • We used this forum of this interview to discuss another aspect of our research at that time which was in 2000 which was the - what we defined as indiscriminate use of the government's helicopter gun ship, the Mi-24 I believe was the mark that was shown there, which according to us had caused numerous civilian casualties within rebel held areas. We had previously discussed and I believe admitted into evidence one of the press releases that we issued reflecting our research and concerns and recommendations with respect to those attacks. Those were attacks by the Sierra Leonean government helicopter gun ship on rebel held positions which resulted in numerous civilian casualties.

  • Now the background there, the location of the interview, would be the same as the previous --

  • You're leading again, Mr Bangura.

  • Yeah, the background was Murray Town camp. It was in the same place.

  • Your Honours, counsel on the other side had said he had no objection to this going in and I take the view that it would be easier to get the document in --

  • There is a ruling of the Court, please conform with it. Continue.

  • I abide, your Honour.

  • Now you have in various parts of your report indicated the groups that were principally responsible for the atrocities that were committed against civilians but you've also in other parts shown other groups being responsible. How does this reflect your approach to showing responsibility for crimes [indiscernible] in this video?

  • Its balance, objectivity, neutrality in reporting on the human rights development which occurred within an armed conflict is central to Human Rights Watch's mandate. So the research that we did with respect to violations by the Sierra Leone government is entirely consistent with our mandate.

  • Thank you. Your Honours, may the witness be shown the third clip?

  • Yes.

  • [Video played to the Courtroom]

  • Your Honours, may I ask that the transcript that goes with this clip be shown to the witness as well.

  • Do you see the document shown to you?

  • Does it reflect the discussions that we've just heard on the clip that was shown?

  • Yes.

  • Your Honours, may I ask that the clip as well as the transcript be marked for identification.

  • Yes. Clip number 3 will be marked for identification MFI-15A and the transcript identified by the witness will be marked for identification MFI-15B.

  • Can I comment on the content?

  • Yes, I am just going to come to that.

  • Could you again give us a background to the clip that we viewed a short while ago?

  • Well, I can comment on the content. There were - I was - from my own point of view expressing concerns about the lack of international engagement or the concerns if there was a diminishing of that international engagement. This was in 2000, after the May 2000 crisis in Sierra Leone.

  • And where was this?

  • In which some 500 United Nations peacekeepers had been taken hostage by rebel forces. So there were a number of dynamics going on there. The new army was being formed, there were concerns about the viability of the peace process, there were concerns about there being some kind of a return to armed conflict. So I think my last comment reflected that, certainly given reflecting concerns of the relatively recent rebel offensive against Freetown.

    I also wanted to comment on the reporter's what I would characterise as inaccurate portrayal of a number of things here. First of all the three year old - this is a case I'm familiar with. According to our own information while tragic this little girl did not lose her arm by a drug crazed rebel, I don't know how they would have been able to know whether the rebel was drug crazed anyway, even though there was a lot of drug use within the Sierra Leonean armed conflict, but according to our research this little girl lost her arm after her grandmother who was carrying the little girl on her back was shot as she was trying to flee, shot by rebel forces in the January offensive.

    Also at that time, this is 2000, people were not being butchered and mutilated every day. The incidents of mutilation had come down drastically by 2000, even though there were still occasional cases of it

  • If I understand you rightly the comments or clarifications you have made are in relation to the clip that we have just viewed, is that correct?

  • And can you again say where this clip was shot?

  • Yes, that was - that was shot at the Murray Town war wounded camp in Freetown.

  • Mr Bangura, I just need clarification. I don't understand how a grandmother's being shot would lead to the little girl losing her hand. I don't understand that.

  • Your Honours, we could get the witness to --

  • The baby was strapped on her back, the grandmother was trying to flee and she was shot from behind.

  • And you're speaking from the information you gathered in the course of investigations --

  • -- that you conducted?

  • Yes and the grandmother was killed in the incident as well.

  • I hope that - I'm not sure whether that --

  • When you say she was shot from behind are you referring to the little girl or her grandmother?

  • Both of them. A little girl is strapped on the back of her grandmother, the grandmother is running trying to flee, the rebels opened fire on them, one of the bullets clipped the arm of the little girl and another one entered the body of the grandmother and killed her.

  • So your position is that the image shown there has been wrongly characterised - not the image itself but the description of that image has wrongly characterised what was the cause of the injury?

  • According to our information and the testimonies I took at that time, yes.

  • Your Honours, at this stage might I ask that the video in Exhibit P-16 be shown to the witness.

  • All of it, Mr Bangura?

  • Are you referring to a clip within it?

  • It's clip 6, I think.

  • [Video played to the Courtroom]

  • Ms Dufka, you viewed that clip. In your earlier evidence to this Court you have indicated that your investigations, your research into violations of human rights spanned throughout - the period throughout the war, from the start of it right to the end. Is that correct?

  • Well, my own personal involvement in investigations was from 1999 and Human Rights Watch's investigations began in 1998.

  • Okay, thanks. I probably did not put the question properly. You focused - even though your investigations - your involvement in investigating human rights violations started much later, but your interest was focused on violations right from the beginning of the war through to the end. Is that correct?

  • And in the video that we have just viewed there - do you identify any particular incident of atrocities that you have spoken of in the course of your testimony here?

  • Yes. In general the video presents information about two particular classes of violations that I have done a great deal of research on. One is the phenomena of amputation which in many ways has become what is known as the signature atrocity of the Sierra Leonean armed conflict.

  • I'm sorry, but the witness isn't answering the question that she was asked. She was asked by Mr Bangura, "Do you identify any particular incident of atrocities that you've spoken of having viewed the clip."

  • Your Honours, I do not understand my learned friend's objection because the witness is in the process of answering the question put to her. She has not completed.

  • No, she's talking about the signature of the rebels. You asked for particulars, this is a general answer. The question goes to the particular.

  • Yes, your Honour. I will lead the witness on that.

  • Did you - in the course of your investigations of abuses of human rights over time did you yourself investigate this sort of abuses that you have viewed in this clip?

  • Yes, and I heard "incidents", I'm sorry. I don't - to clarify, I don't identify any particular incidents as in particular attacks on particular places. The mention of Tombodu, of course this is a place that was noted in our 1998 report of "Sowing Terror." This woman mentioned 1997. We have documented atrocities committed there in 1998. Anyway, I will return now to my general description, if I may.

  • Yes, I think the question was not requiring you to say where specifically it was, it was just generally for you to say whether in the course of your investigations you had known about cases of a similar nature as the ones we've seen on the video?

  • Right. So I will return to my line of response which was talking first of all about the phenomena of limb amputation. I took scores of interviews of victims of this atrocity, those who had suffered a completely severed extremity, usually fingers, hands or arms, to a lesser extent ears and feet.

    And also I conducted research to try to understand the entirety of that problem, of that atrocity, in Sierra Leone. I obtained medical records from a number of sources to try to ascertain the numbers of individuals who suffered purposeful limb amputation and I can say that it's quite difficult coming up with a precise number, primarily because the number of those who have lost a limb as a consequence of a purposeful amputation with a knife or an axe are not disaggregated in the statistics between those or from, rather, those who have lost a limb as a consequence of a gunshot wound, of a laceration associated with a rocket propelled grenade or indeed from a laceration associated with a helicopter gun ship attack.

    Also, as I've noted before, a good number of victims died from their injuries or from tetanus if they weren't able to get a tetanus shot quickly enough. But I would say, and it has been noted by others who have done this type of research, organisations helping handicapped and so on, that the number is around 1,000 victims who suffered this atrocity. It could be more, it could be less. Anyway, it's an horrific atrocity that has left these individuals obviously scarred for the rest of their life and that affected men, women and children.

    With respect to the other violation that is addressed in this clip, that is an issue which has received less attention and which our report "We'll Kill You If You Cry" tried to assist in elevating the profile and that is sexual abuse committed during the context of Sierra Leone's armed conflict which was more of a silent crime because of the nature of the crime but affected thousands and thousands of Sierra Leonean girls and women of all ages and was marked by similar brutality.

  • Would you say then that the crimes - the atrocities that are viewed in this clip are consistent with what you experienced in your investigations?

  • Thank you. Your Honours, I have no further questions for this witness. The witness is tendered.

  • Thank you, Mr Bangura. Mr Munyard, I take it you're cross-examining the witness.

  • Thank you, Madam President, I am.

  • Ms Dufka, can I ask you first of all, please, about your qualifications and the areas in which you claim expertise. You have academic qualifications in the form of a bachelors degree and a masters degree in social work. Is that right?

  • Yes, that is correct.

  • And indeed you have worked as a social worker. Is that right?

  • Yes, for some 11 years and in various different countries and capacities, yes.

  • Yes, we're going to look at those in just a moment. You don't, as I understand it, have any qualifications in anthropology. Is that correct?

  • Yes, as stated, my bachelors degree and masters degree are in social work.

  • Sorry, you said your doctor's degree?

  • My bachelors degree and masters degree, as noted in my CV, are in social work, not in anthropology.

  • You have no qualifications in sociology?

  • As I noted, my bachelors degree and my masters degree are in social work, but of course part of that curriculum for both the bachelors and to a lesser extent includes courses in sociology, psychology, anthropology and a number of other fields.

  • Yes, courses but not a complete degree?

  • Yes, as noted in my --

  • We have noted what your degrees are in and I mean you no disrespect at all when I say that. I'm simply wanting to establish the limitations of your expertise. Do you understand?

  • You have no qualifications in history?

  • As I've noted, my bachelors and masters are in social work. I have done no further studies as I established in the examination.

  • Yes, forgive me, we do know what your bachelors and masters are in and I repeat again all I'm trying to do is establish the limits of your areas of expertise?

  • But when you ask me about my qualifications are you not referring to a degree from a university?

  • Well, I'm going to be referring to all manner of things, but at the moment I'm concentrating on university degrees or diplomas or matters of that sort?

  • In particular you have no qualifications in African history?

  • I don't have a degree in African history, no.

  • Yes, my bachelors and masters, as I've noted, is in social work and social welfare.

  • Right, yes, we know that. And in particular you have no qualifications relating to West Africa?

  • No, but of course that doesn't preclude me from doing a great deal of reading about the area of my interest and study which I have done over the years.

  • Ms Dufka, it doesn't disqualify anyone from doing a great deal of reading and we'll come on to that in due course. I'm taking it stage by stage, if I may?

  • Have you ever worked as a clinical psychologist?

  • No, I'm not a psychologist by training. However, I can say that with a masters in social work some of the jobs that one does are quite similar or bear some similarity to jobs that psychologists will do, not in terms of educational or other types of testing but in terms of counselling and indeed some of the training is very similar.

  • Well, how long did the masters in social work take you to do? You received it in May of 1984.

  • Yes, it's a two year degree.

  • Thank you. Can I ask you, please, to turn to the large exhibit, the exhibit bundle, I'm afraid it's not before you at the moment. I will refer you to the specific tab in a second. It's tab 5. It's the report "Sowing Terror" issued by Human Rights Watch in July of 1998 and I'm going to ask you to look first of all at page 39 of that report and then at page 40.

  • That would be MFI-2, Mr Munyard.

  • Sorry, 39 and 40, you said?

  • Now if we look at the foot of page 39 we see the acknowledgments section saying that the report was based on findings from a mission to Sierra Leone in June of 1998 and was written by Scott Campbell and Jane Lowicki, consultants to the Africa division of Human Rights Watch. Does that mean that they weren't employees of Human Rights Watch?

  • But they were taken on temporarily to do that particular report?

  • Yes, that is a practice that is quite widely used by Human Rights Watch so that we may more adequately cover what we classify as human rights emergencies or indeed get areas of particular specialisation and expertise.

    I would like to add that those consultants go through training in New York or Washington or one of Human Rights Watch's major centres before they go out and they are chosen on a competitive basis to ensure that they meet the requirements for conducting research that Human Rights Watch holds and this - I'm sorry.

  • Go on?

  • This individual Scott Campbell who wrote this is at present, as noted in my report to the OTP, now works for the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights I believe as the head of the entire Africa division.

  • Right, so he has oversight of all those working for the UNHCR on African matters?

  • No, not UNHCR, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, OHCHR.

  • I missed out an H, I'm sorry?

  • That's okay, it sounds similar.

  • Jane Lowicki, what can you tell us about her?

  • I actually don't know her and don't know anything about her background. It's my understanding that the bulk of the research and certainly the writing was done by Scott Campbell.

  • And do you know how many people these two individuals interviewed in order to produce that particular report?

  • I don't know the precise number, no.

  • If you turn back for a moment to page 11 of the report, halfway down the page under the large heading "Human Rights Abuses Committed Against Civilians" we see in the first sentence of the text: "Human Rights Watch took testimony from dozens of survivors and witnesses of gross violations of human rights." Yes?

  • Yes.

  • Dozens is a very imprecise term. Is it the practice of Human Rights Watch when preparing a report such as this to document the precise number of individuals from whom they took testimony?

  • Well, we take - we do different types of interviews, interviews in individual interviews which tend to be much longer and detailed, we also do interviews in groups, sometimes with, you know, small groups from three to five, seven people. So we don't - we wouldn't necessarily afford the same amount of, how can we say, detail and information obtained in a group setting as that obtained in an individual interview. It's hard to know - at any rate to give a precise number of the amount of individuals interviewed for this particular report. Again I wasn't involved in it. I can be more or have more information about my own reports.

  • I'm coming on to your own reports in due course but I want to know about Human Rights Watch practice generally and I don't think, with respect, that you answered my question. Is it the practice of Human Rights Watch when preparing a document such as this to note down the precise number of individuals from whom they took testimony is what I asked you?

  • Not always.

  • So we don't know what dozens mean. It could of course mean 24, it could mean 48, it could mean 96, couldn't it?

  • And you are unable to tell us from this report how many individuals were interviewed and how many groups of people were interviewed?

  • Well, I suppose we could go back to the footnotes and try to glean that, but, no, I'm unable to tell you precisely how many.

  • When it comes to taking testimony from groups of people there is an inherent difficulty with that, isn't there, in that one person hearing what another person in the group is saying may be tempted to adapt or follow the allegations, the testimony if you like, of people who've spoken first?

  • Yes, absolutely and that is one of the things that we receive training on when - or I and others upon joining Human Rights Watch receive training on. Group interviews are often very good for obtaining leads. You get a number of people talking in a group and they start coming up with various difficult incidents and at times you can see and glean from that the number of different villages in which abuses have taken place. That's normally how I have used group interview because I agree with you entirely that confidentiality is an issue, detail is an issue and, as you noted, the whole notion of influencing one victim to another is an absolute concern.

  • Yes, Ms Dufka, I haven't mentioned confidentiality so far so you're not agreeing with me on that. I think, however, you take the point that there is an inherent danger of interviewing groups of victims or indeed witnesses to any alleged criminal offence because the dynamic of the group is likely to produce false testimony. Would you agree?

  • Yes, and I avoid doing any group interviews in my own work, although sometimes it's inevitable or, like I said, you can use it for other purposes like I mentioned, in obtaining leads.

  • And is there anywhere in this report "Sowing Terror", the first report that Human Rights Watch did on Sierra Leone, that indicates whether or not the testimonies referred to in the body of the report arose out of group interviewing sessions?

  • I would doubt it. Your question was whether --

  • Was there any indication in the report of that?

  • No. However, I would say that because confidentiality is one of the guiding principles of our organisation that any interview with a victim of sexual abuse according to our established practice would have been done with the interviewer and possibly with an interpreter.

  • I understand that and I understand the reason for that. While we're on this page 39 can I ask you about someone whose name appears in the acknowledgements. It's the last name on that page Binaifer Nowrojee, I hope I've pronounced her name correctly?

  • Nowrojee, that's close enough.

  • You pronounce it for me?

  • Thank you. Counsel to the Africa division. That's the Africa division of?

  • Of Human Rights Watch and Binaifer was also at that time our Liberia researcher. She was indeed the person with whom I conducted research for "Back to the Brink."

  • She has been described as a human rights lawyer and scholar with expertise on gender related crimes in situations of armed conflict. Have you heard her described as that?

  • Yes, I believe that was a description that was used when she gave expert testimony - not expert testimony, when she made a submission the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Sierra Leone.

  • In fact I'm quoting from a case before the International Criminal Tribunal For Rwanda that was cited before this Court yesterday, Prosecutor v Karemera and others when her purported expert evidence was not accepted by the Court and this was the way in which she was described. She has been a lecturer at Harvard University since 1992, hasn't she?

  • Yes, she isn't now, but she was.

  • [Overlapping speakers] don't know?

  • No, I do know and she isn't at present but she's a guest lecturer probably now.

  • And there she was teaching human rights advocacy and supervising students engaged in human rights clinical projects, yes?

  • And as you say she'd conducted human rights research in Africa I think in Kenya, South Africa and Rwanda during the years 1993 to 1996?

  • Thank you, yes. If we turn over the page on page 40, almost at the end of the page, this page deals mainly with Human Rights Watch and the Africa division in particular and it tells us in the - it's really the final paragraph of the text before we get to addresses at the bottom that the "Africa division was established in 1998 to monitor and promote the observance of internationally recognised human rights in sub-Saharan Africa" and then it sets out the staff and on the staff we see the name of Binaifer Nowrojee and also in the penultimate line of that paragraph Alison DesForges is a consultant. Do you know Alison DesForges?

  • Yes, but she's no longer a consultant, she's now full staff.

  • That's all right, I just want to know if you know her.

  • She has particular expertise in African history. She has academic qualifications in African history, doesn't she?

  • Yes, she's a specialist in Rwanda.

  • Well, she's a specialist in the region of the African Great Lakes?

  • Which goes beyond Rwanda, doesn't it?

  • Including the recent history of human rights abuses, ethnic violence, political instability and genocide in Rwanda. And she has published and given evidence on matters pertaining to the Great Lakes region and Rwanda in particular?

  • And she was another of the proposed experts whose evidence the trial chamber in the International Criminal Tribunal For Rwanda rejected as unnecessary as we heard yesterday?

  • Well, she's testified on numerous occasions.

  • Your Honours, may I take an objection at this stage. First of all I don't think the matters that my learned friend is putting to the witness where so put before this Court yesterday as far as I recollect. My learned friend did refer to a case, handed out copies of a decision and that was it.

  • I gave the Trial Chamber the opportunity to read it in full and I have to say I observed all of the learned judges reading it in full and I'm assuming therefore that the Court noted all of these - these are two very small passages from that judgment.

  • Your Honours, in the first place I do not think it is a proper - it is proper for this Court to be proceeding on such assumptions.

  • Mr Munyard, you appear to be more making an observation than asking a question of the witness and I'm not sure that the observation is appropriate when it's referring to another court case.

  • Your Honour, can I then direct my remarks or my questions rather about these two individuals to the witness?

  • Yes. If there is a question of relevancy it will be dealt with if and when it arises.

  • In the case of Ms Nowrojee she is a person who has particular expertise in the area of - I'll say in very general terms in the area of sexual offences. Would you agree with that?

  • That's one of her areas of expertise, yes.

  • I'm not excluding any others, I'm just focusing on that. And would you say that she has more experience in that area than you do?

  • Yes, and she also has - I am not a lawyer so she has the legal background that she can put to use in conducting that research. In fact I've consulted with her on a number of occasions with respect to my own research.

  • Equally in the case of Ms DesForges, she is an African historian, albeit specialising in a particular area of Africa in the Great Lakes region, does she, as far as you know, have any expertise in West Africa, on West African history?

  • No, not to the best of my knowledge.

  • Very well. Now I'm still dealing with the questions of the methodology of the report writing by Human Rights Watch. You've mentioned confidentiality as one of the issues that the researchers will be very concerned with. Confidentiality plays a role in the way in which you draw up your reports, in particular to disguise, in some cases completely, the identity of the individuals who are being interviewed, doesn't it?

  • Yes and the reason that that is important to us is because of the fear of reprisal from one or another armed groups were these individuals to be known to be criticising and condemning the acts by these - by the respective armed groups.

  • The difficulty with that position is that in a court of law of course it means that the accused has no way of knowing the identity and therefore the reliability of their accuser, doesn't it?

  • I could see that would be an issue and that would therefore put the onus on me as the researcher to be able to speak to the credibility of the information obtained in these interviews.

  • But it doesn't remove the problem of the accused not knowing who it is, and in particular instances whether they may have an axe to grind, who is making the allegations that are being used against him or her. That's right, isn't it?

  • Well, yes, but I don't think any of these save one mentioned the accused in particular. They may speak about Liberia and about Liberian forces. The issue of confidentiality is key to Human Rights Watch and other international and national human rights organisations being able to do their job and that doesn't necessarily reflect upon the accuracy of that information obtained.

  • It may not reflect on the accuracy of part of the information but it doesn't give you any idea as to whether or not that individual has some motive or background reason for either lying outright or exaggerating what has happened to him?

  • You're referring to the dynamic of bias which is something that again we receive training in how to tease out, and certainly the interviews that we do take that into consideration, certainly of trying to identify whether one or the other witnesses that we're interviewing has some kind of bias or hidden agenda in talking to us.

    Our interviews are aimed at and are designed to solicit a great deal of detail and when possible we try to corroborate incidents through the testimony taken from other witnesses as well. But clearly the issue of bias is something that we're well aware of and that we attempt to address with every interview. In fact that's one of the first questions we ask when we're interviewing a victim or witness is whether they could have some kind of a bias or hidden agenda in talking to us.

  • And if they do they're extremely unlikely to say yes, aren't they?

  • But also it's important to keep in mind that they don't come looking for us, we come looking for them. So I think that's a key issue as well. These are people in hospital beds and often people in - frightened refugees who have come over the border that we find. Sometimes they're a bit reluctant to talk to us for fear of reprisals and it is the issue of commitment of confidentiality that helps them - ease them and helps them feel free to talk to us.

  • Yes, but the commitment of confidentiality can also act as a spur to dishonesty, can't it, because the witness knows that their true identity is never going to be revealed by you?

  • Yes, it's a concern that we're very, very well aware of.

  • All right. Can I ask you please to look again at page 11 of the report that you didn't write that we're looking at?

  • I don't have it, sorry.

  • Sorry, this is MFI-2?

  • Now there's a footnote, in fact nearly half the page is taken up with a footnote there and I just want to ask you to look at footnote 1, the second sentence in footnote 1 that begins, "Abdul Koroma." Do you see that?

    "Abdul Koroma in 'Sierra Leone: The Agony of a Nation' (Andromeda Publications 1996) reports that during one of their first attacks in 1991 in eastern Kailahun district the RUF decapitated civilian leaders and placed their heads on sticks."

    Now have you ever read that particular publication by Mr Koroma?

  • No, I have not.

  • Have you ever read any other publication that casts doubt on that particular allegation that it was the RUF in Kailahun who decapitated people and put their heads on sticks?

  • Let me just read it, okay.

  • Certainly.

  • I don't recall any of the publications that I've read on the war in Sierra Leone speaking particularly to that incident. They might have, but I don't recall it particularly.

  • So if that turned out to be inaccurate that would be a flaw in this report, wouldn't it?

  • Well, she's stating the source to it. She's not saying that she was the one who obtained that information, right?

  • I think she is he in this case, isn't it, Mr Scott Campbell?

  • But you're just not in a position to say whether or not this particular report is accurate, are you --

  • No, I didn't say that.

  • -- because you didn't write it. No, I'm not suggesting you did, I'm asking you a question. Do you follow? You're not able to say whether or not this report is accurate?

  • As I've said earlier in my testimony that this report is written by a consultant with well established credentials who is someone who we as Human Rights Watch entrusted to embark on this research mission and wrote this report. He followed the same methods under lied by the same principles that all researchers at Human Rights Watch follow and this report went through the same rigorous vetting exercise that all of our reports go through. So I think that's far - I therefore disagree with your statement.

  • Well, let us just consider a little more, please, the role of Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch is essentially an advocacy organisation, isn't it?

  • It's a research and advocacy organisation. Research is the method, advocacy is the --

  • The aim?

  • Exactly. No, the aim is changing behaviour. Advocacy is the vehicle that we use in order to achieve the aim.

  • Very well. But it is essentially a campaigning organisation to establish observance of human rights throughout the world, isn't it?

  • I suppose broadly you could say that.

  • But it's grounded - if I may say, it's a bit different than Amnesty International which has a public component of campaigns. Ours is much more focused on the component of in depth research. That is the backbone of everything we do.

  • Yes, but the object is the same, isn't it?

  • And the object is to campaign to change the world in order to ensure that human rights are observed universally?

  • And I want to ask you now please a little bit more about your involvement in Human Rights Watch, how you came to be involved in Human Rights Watch. You were working, we know, for some years as a social worker and then you left the United States and you went to work in which country first of all?

  • El Salvador, but I'd worked in other Latin American countries at intervals.

  • And you were working there as a social worker initially, is that correct, and then you became a photographer or did the two overlap?

  • Yes, there was a brief interval between working as a social worker with the Lutheran church where I worked with a local human rights organisation in El Salvador, it was a brief one year transition until I started working as a photojournalist.

  • And so when did you become full time with Human Rights Watch and for what reason?

  • You mean why did I want to join Human Rights Watch or why did I want to stop being a photojournalist?

  • No, why did you join Human Rights Watch?

  • First of all I joined Human Rights Watch in 1999 after I'd been working as a photojourn alist for some 11, 12 years. I wanted to join Human Rights Watch. It was an organisation that I hold a great deal of respect for and I was interested in working for in promotion of human rights and the reasons why Human Rights Watch exists in the first place which is to protect and promote human rights.

  • During your time working for Human Rights Watch you eventually took a sabbatical, I suppose it was, in 2002 to 2003 to work for the Office of the Prosecutor in this tribunal?

  • And the work that you did working for the Office of the Prosecutor here included interviewing witnesses. That's correct, isn't it?

  • Interviewing witnesses who were going to give evidence in this case?

  • I can't say whether any of the witnesses that I interviewed are giving evidence in that case. That's privileged information which --

  • Well, without naming any names or numbers we know that you interviewed at least 18 of the witnesses who are listed to give evidence in this case?

  • Okay, I didn't know that.

  • And when you were interviewing those witnesses you were doing so with a view to them being used as witnesses in prosecutions by this tribunal, weren't you?

  • Yes.

  • And you were playing an active role in gathering together evidence which you knew was likely to be used in prosecutions?

  • That is correct. That's the role of an investigator.

  • Yes, including the prosecution of this particular accused?

  • Yes. He had been indicted.

  • And in taking up that particular position you knew that you were aligning yourself with a particular party in any possible Prosecution of the accused, didn't you?

  • Well, the only party I was aligning myself is - if it could be considered that, would be the pursuit of justice.

  • Ms Dufka, you were working for the Prosecution?

  • You meant the party in the Court, okay.

  • Yes. I'm sorry if I wasn't clear.

  • Yes, as I said and stated in my CV I was working for the Office of the Prosecutor, that's right.

  • And that made you one of the protagonists in the case, didn't it, or part of one of the protagonists in the case?

  • How do you define protagonists?

  • One of the parties, one of those on opposite sides?

  • Well, I wouldn't put it that way. I was working as an investigator for the Office of the Prosecutor. We were compiling evidence to be used in the various different cases. I worked in compiling evidence for - probably for all of the cases in this Court.

  • And therefore you were compiling evidence to be used by one side against the other or others. Would you agree with that?

  • And so can I go back to my earlier question. You were working for - playing a part in one of the protagonists in this case, weren't you?

  • Thank you. And the object of working for the Office of the Prosecution is ensure the conviction of the accused, isn't it?

  • The conviction was not my business. I was compiling evidence, I think that it is only the judges who address the issue of conviction or innocence. I was compiling - in the process of compiling evidence. How that evidence is used or was used by the Prosecution was not something I was engaged in. I was in the process of advising the Court on historical and other matters of the Sierra Leone armed conflict and, in the process, interviewing numerous witnesses as well.

  • At the moment I'm concentrating on your work as an employee, consultant or otherwise - as an employee of the Office of the Prosecution between 2002 and 2003. I'm not referring at this stage to your report that you've prepared for this particular case?

  • I wasn't either.

  • When you were working for the Office of the Prosecutor you know perfectly well that the purpose of the Office of the Prosecutor was to secure convictions before this Court, don't you?

  • And therefore in collecting - in interviewing witnesses you were playing an active and an important part in attempting to secure the conviction of those accused who came before this Court. That's right, isn't it?

  • Well, not necessarily this Court. Like I said, I worked in collecting evidence for the trial of others who have stand accused and some who have been since convicted.

  • Ms Dufka, we know that you interviewed at least 18 of the witnesses being used in this particular trial?

  • Okay. Like I said, I didn't know that. So that's information to me.

  • Your Honours, may I object at this stage. I believe counsel has put this question to the witness, perhaps this may be the third or fourth time and there has to be finality. The witness has said that she does not disagree that she interviewed a certain number of witnesses as put to her by counsel, but she would not at that stage have known for which particular trial of the several trials that this tribunal has been conducting. I think there has to be finality, your Honours, to the point.

  • Well, I'm getting different answers each time I put the question. The question is actually about the purpose of her role in the Office of the Prosecutor and what the object of the Office of the Prosecutor was and the witness has already given me different answers to the question as I've rephrased it and it's important that I'm allowed to pursue this. This goes to the very heart of her partiality or impartiality as now being put forward as an expert before this Court.

  • There have indeed been different answers, I have noted them myself, Mr Bangura, and counsel is entitled to clarify those answers. However, counsel is also aware of his limitations.

  • Yes, thank you, Madam President. I am indeed. I don't want to labour a point on which I'm getting the same answer. It's only because of the variation in the answer that I'm pursuing it.

  • I'm going to ask you one last time, please, Ms Dufka, you knew perfectly well that the object of the Office of the Prosecutor in the Special Court for Sierra Leone was to secure the conviction of persons before the Court, didn't you?

  • Sure, yes.

  • You were one of the people who campaigned for a Special Court to be set up, weren't you?

  • Human Rights Watch and myself, yes.

  • Yes, you yourself are on record, on public record, urging the creation of this Court, aren't you?

  • And the purpose of your urging the creation of this Court was to secure the conviction of persons who you personally, and Human Rights Watch as an organisation, believed to be responsible for human rights violations in Sierra Leone?

  • Yes, for them to be held accountable. We're also on record of course for insisting upon those who are deemed most responsible having a fair trial in accordance with fair trial standards, but yes.

  • Yes, but I'm concentrating also on the Office of the Prosecutor. The purpose of the Office of the Prosecutor is to secure convictions, isn't it?

  • Yes.

  • And I think you eventually agreed with me that in your role as a witness interviewer for the Office of the Prosecutor you were playing an important part in the process of securing convictions by this Court. I think you agreed me with earlier on that. Do you accept that?

  • I wouldn't say I played any more of an important part than anyone else. I played a part in performing my duties as an investigator with the Office of the Prosecutor, yes.

  • You are also on record, aren't you, as describing this particular accused as being at the epicentre of violence in West Africa, in the region?

  • I don't recall that, but I may have said that.

  • Does it sound familiar to you?

  • Yes. You're on record also, are you not, of saying that other African leaders with blood on their hands may have reason to be concerned about the indictment of this particular accused?

  • Yes, I recall saying something like that.

  • So in your view this particular accused had blood on his hands?

  • Is that the question, sorry?

  • In our view - we have been consistent in all of our background sections and in numerous interviews I and others have given about West Africa - we have been consistent in noting the implication of the accused in serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. That information comes from background reading and other reports from the United Nations, from the panel of experts, from numerous other sources that are well known by now to this Courtroom and are well known, or I would imagine, and are well known that I have read, that others have read, of his involvement in fomenting and supporting rebels from not only Sierra Leone but also for cross-border raids into Guinea and also through two rebel groups into Cote d'Ivoire, into Ivory Coast. So I do not apologise and do not hide the opinion that this individual has a case to answer.

  • Your view, if you're being completely honest with this Court, is that this accused is guilty of human rights violations and war crimes, isn't it?

  • Are you seriously saying to this Court that that is not your settled view?

  • What I have said is that this individual has a case to answer, not I alone. The fact that there is an 11 count, I believe, indictment by the UN backed Special Court for Sierra Leone, the fact that we're all here today indicates that there is sufficient information and evidence against this individual to suggest that he has a case to answer for very serious - for the most serious crimes committed.

    So I am saying that he has a case to answer and that he should see, as he is, his day in court so that justice for victims be done. I don't think that is saying that he is guilty. We're saying that he deserves his day in court, that he has been implicated in serious abuses and that he should be held accountable for those abuses if indeed he is found by the judges to be guilty.

  • But you think he is guilty, don't you?

  • My opinion is not relevant in this case.

  • It is because it goes to the question of your impartiality as a proposed expert witness. Please answer the question?

  • I don't see why I should answer that question.

  • Your Honours, I am constrained to stand up again and object. My learned friend is - the question of whether or not the accused is guilty is a legal issue for this Bench to decide at the end of the day.

  • I must disagree on that interpretation of the question, Mr Bangura. This question goes to the impartiality of the witness and I consider that counsel is entitled to ask it and therefore the question is to be answered.

  • I feel that this individual has a serious case to answer before this Court, that he is implicated in serious crimes. I am very uncomfortable pronouncing the guilt or innocence of this person. I can have a personal opinion about this, I don't feel like --

  • The fact, Ms Dufka, that you have a personal opinion does go to the question of your impartiality, as does the fact that you have worked with the very body that has been seeking his conviction?

  • Well, when we speak of the case or the issue of impartiality I think that my work, the trajectory of my work, has shown that we do not only report on abuses on one side. I mean I think that's one of the points that the - that I have tried to make repeatedly and in my report a good portion of it addresses abuses committed by opposing warring factions.

  • That is not the point of my question. My question isn't directed to who did what, it's directed to your view of this particular accused in the light of all the reports that you have produced, the press notices you've put out, the comments you've made to the world's press and the fact that you worked for a whole year with the organisation that is seeking his conviction demonstrates, does it not, that you already concluded that he was guilty. Yes or no?

  • What is the difference between being implicated in crimes and being guilty?

  • I'm not here to answer questions, I'm here to ask them. I will ask you for the last time, yes or no?

  • I feel that Mr Taylor has a case to answer and that he is implicated in serious crimes.

  • Implicated means has committed, doesn't it?

  • So you have defined it, yes.

  • Thank you. In one of your reports you refer to the sources from whom you gather your information as including the intelligence services. Do you agree?

  • Which intelligence services have you obtained information from --

  • Well, what I meant --

  • -- in preparing your reports?

  • What I meant by that is intelligence branches of various different armed factions - I wouldn't call it a faction, various different armies and bodies, and all of them, as you know, have an intelligence unit designed to do that, obtain, you know, deeper information and intelligence about the events in question. So those are the types of reports that I've obtained.

  • Ms Dufka, we all know what intelligence services means in this day and age. Which other intelligence services have you got information from apart from those involved in the armed factions in this particular conflict?

  • You had asked me to define it and that's what I did. I haven't obtained information from any other intelligence service besides those that are associated with the various different armies that have been fighting. Perhaps I could have been more specific on that within my report.

  • Have you ever worked for any intelligence service of any country directly or indirectly?

  • Now I want to turn, please, to the specifics of the reports and the various documents that you have put before this Court. Madam President, if you'll give me just a moment to re-organise myself here.

    Yes, I want to ask you first of all, please, about a matter that you touched on in your evidence which is that when Human Rights Watch puts out reports or press notices about a particular country it is your practice to contact the governments concerned and to also contact the diplomatic missions of the governments concerned?

  • I don't think I used the word contact. I said to ensure that the report reaches them. So that's a contact, not a personal contact as in having a meeting, but it's --

  • No, I don't think we're at odds here.

  • You notify may be the more appropriate expression to use that you were at pains to tell the tribunal yesterday that you always - Human Rights Watch always sends out its report to the diplomatic missions of the countries involved as well as attempting to notify those governments directly?

  • Yes and you'll recall I explained that that is not something that I was in a position to do from Sierra Leone, but that would have been done and is typically done from our New York and Washington offices.

  • Can you show us in the report that you've done for this Court, MFI-1 I think, where you mention the contacting of the diplomatic missions?

  • Yes, page 10, I believe. It's noted two times; page 10 generally and then with respect to Liberia towards to end.

  • Yes, sorry, where on page 10?

  • Page 10 in distribution.

  • Distribution of HRW reports?

  • Could you just read out where you mention contacting the diplomatic missions?

  • You want me to read from my own report?

  • No, I want you to identify where on page 10 you refer to the reports being sent to diplomatic missions?

  • The second paragraph.

  • "We routinely distribute our publications to journalists, individual governments, regional and government bodies and so on."

  • No mention there of diplomatic missions, is there?

  • Well, individual government, I would assume that a diplomatic mission is part of an individual government so therefore it's included. For the purposes of brevity I didn't want to go into so much detail in this report.

  • With great respect to you, you went into a great deal of detail about this particular issue yesterday. You don't mention it at all in your report, do you?

  • Well, as I've just clarified, when we say individual governments it implies diplomatic missions. I didn't think that would have - had we included all of that we could have gone into - for the United Nations, for example, we could have said UNHCR, OHCHR, WHO, the UN secretariat and so on. So we summarise by saying United Nations. Similarly with respect to individual governments that is what is implied.

  • Have a look at page 21, please, "Distribution of Human Rights Watch Reports to Charles Taylor." You make it plain on pages 21 and 22 that you were not able to send your reports or publications about human rights conditions in Sierra Leone and Liberia to Mr Taylor when he was president?

  • I don't see the contradiction there because the heading is "Distribution of Human Rights Reports to Charles Taylor." We're not addressing the issue of the diplomatic missions, I think that's where you're going, isn't it?

  • I'm going to ask you another question. If you look over the page on page 22 you mention three reasons why you didn't send the reports directly to President Taylor in Liberia. The national postal system, the lack of fax and indeed telephone calls and no email contact. Then you say, "However we believe that because we received wide media coverage of our reports in Liberia and internationally" - in other words wide media coverage internationally and in Liberia, "President Charles Taylor was put on constructive notice of the contents of our reports."

    Now you don't say there when you're dealing specifically with how Mr Taylor will have heard of your reports, you don't mention for one moment, do you, that you sent your reports to his diplomatic missions in the United States, the United Kingdom or the United Nations headquarters at New York, do you?

  • Yes, that is an omission. You're right.

  • Well, it's a rather major omission, isn't it?

  • Well, seeing as that we included it earlier in the report - but you're right, it would have been a more accurate description of our distribution process and the effort we made had we included it here.

  • You didn't include it earlier in your report. There is no mention on page 10 of diplomatic missions being a vehicle for notification to governments. We've already established that. I don't want to go back over it?

  • I have said that that is the general practice and I also said during my testimony earlier that I could not say with certainty that we sent or that those reports were sent. I'm saying it is the practice and it was then and it is now to send those reports to diplomatic missions and UN missions.

  • And yet you choose in this particular paragraph (g) on page 22 to say that you believed it was because of wide media coverage in Liberia and internationally, not because of the widespread distribution of your reports to Liberia's diplomatic missions, that Mr Taylor is supposed to be on, and I would suggest this is the ultimate issue for the Court to decide - is supposed to be on constructive notice of the abuses being carried out in the name of his government in Sierra Leone?

  • As I've noted, that is an omission in my report. I should have included noting that we sent the report, or as per our usual practice it would have been sent to diplomatic missions and that that would have contributed to notice - constructive notice of our reports being given.

  • Now I've already asked you about the first report that Human Rights Watch did, MFI-2, and I want to ask you please about your work on the second report of Human Rights Watch and if you'll bear with me for just a moment, this is tab 2 your Honours, this is the report "Getting Away With Murder, Mutilation and Rape" that you were involved in producing, in fact you produced and researched?

  • And wrote, yes.

  • I think that's MFI-7.

  • I'm sorry, I'm slightly out of order. Yes, I think in fact it came into testimony quite a long time before it got an MFI number, that's why it's such a high one. Now I don't know if the Court bundle is paginated. I suspect it might be. In this report it might be handwritten pagination at the top of the page. My isn't, so I hope we can work this out together.

  • We do not have page numbers from the Court. I do notice that there are some page numbers at the bottom.

  • One of and then it gives the total number.

  • Yes, but there's at least three sequences.

  • Very well. Well, we're all working from the same numbering.

  • Can I direct you to page 1 or 7. Before we start I think you told us yesterday that this report came out in June of 1999. If we look at the top of it on the very first page, the cover page, it says July 1999, but that is the report we're talking about, isn't it?

  • Yes, it is. The internet version for some reason has July but it actually came out in June.

  • The third page of the report, 1 of 7, bottom right-hand corner. Part of your training at Human Rights Watch of course is into questions of the laws of war, humanitarian law and so on?

  • And when we look at the first paragraph of the summary here we can see in the second sentence there's a reference there to the battle of Freetown - "The battle for Freetown and the ensuing three week rebel occupation of the capital was characterised by the systematic and widespread perpetration of all classes of atrocities against the civilian population."

    Where do you get the expression systematic and widespread from?

  • Well, they're legal definitions.

  • Systematic could be widely described as that suggesting a plan or pattern and widespread I understand to mean numerous attacks perpetrated within days or weeks of each other within a relatively - you know, within the area of control of that armed group.

    Again, like I mentioned, I am not a lawyer and the draft that I wrote is - and indeed my findings were discussed and then reviewed with the legal and policy division of Human Rights Watch to ensure that my characterisations are accurate with respect to legal characterisations.

  • But the use of that particular phraseology there is intended to direct readers of this report to the issue of international criminal offences, isn't it?

  • Well, it could also just be - well, not necessarily, yeah.

  • [Overlapping speakers] specific. That is one of the purposes of putting in that phraseology, isn't it?

  • Well, it has become a way of describing the occurrence - the rate of occurrence and the process that underlies them in human rights reporting.

  • Now I want to ask you please to turn to page 4 of 7. I think this is the first time that you mention - it's in the third paragraph down - that you mention receiving hearsay evidence from victims that some of their assailants were from Liberia. Now you told this Court that you were told by some of those that you interviewed that their assailants had Liberian accents?

  • Yes, I said that nine of those that I interviewed described the presence of one or more individuals whom they believed to be Liberian by virtue of the fact that they identified themselves as being Liberian.

  • I'm asking you about accents only at the moment?

  • Accents, yes, sorry.

  • When you refer to nine are you talking about this particular report or later report?

  • How familiar are you with the accents of people who live either side of but close to the border between Sierra Leone and Liberia?

  • Yes, I'm aware that people who live on the border do speak with an accent that is very similar to Liberian accent.

  • Yes, so the fact that one of the victims you're interviewing says that they believe their assailant was Liberian because of their accent is by no means conclusive that the assailant was Liberian, is it?

  • Yes, I think I noted that even in my testimony.

  • Mr Munyard, I don't know if that is yes it is an indication, or no it isn't.

  • Your Honour, I took it as a, yes, that is because the witness appeared overall to be agreeing with me, but I'll clarify it.

  • I'll try be more precise, sorry.

  • I think you're agreeing with me, is that right, Ms Dufka?

  • Thank you. Now I want you to turn please to a later section of the report. It's numbered 1, 2, 3 and 4 of 4 and I would estimate that it's about 12 or 13 pages in.

  • The background section, is it?

  • Yes, it is. It's the background section, thank you.

  • Okay.

  • Can we have the numbering again, please.

  • It's 3 of 4 in background and the first words on the page at the top are, "Had negligible forces of its own, relied on ECOMOG to stay in power." This is the reference to the Kabbah government.

  • Do you see that? Can I just confirm that everybody has the correct page?

  • I'm going to ask you about the first full paragraph there, please?

  • Four lines down in the first full paragraph you say:

    "The 1992 to 1996 military regime, Captain Strasser's National Provisional Ruling Council, contracted the South African based private security firm Executive Outcomes in 1995 to protect the major diamond mining areas and they remained in Sierra Leone until President Kabbah terminated their contract in 1996 as a condition of the 1996 Abidjan Peace Accord."

    Now Executive Outcomes described by you as a private security firm, you've also told this Court that you did a report on the phenomenon of mercenary activity. Executive Outcomes is a mercenary organisation, isn't?

  • Yes, it is.

  • And it was also involved in human rights abuses within Sierra Leone, was it not?

  • What sort of human rights abuses?

  • We actually documented very few human rights abuses by the members of Executive Outcomes, but that is primarily because when they were active Human Rights Watch had not yet started conducting research in Sierra Leone. I heard hearsay reports of some things, summary executions of rebel combatants. I heard hearsay --

  • All your reports are hearsay reports, aren't they?

  • Yes. If you're hearing them from somebody else and giving them to this Court they're all hearsay?

  • Well, hearsay is as defined as a rumour as opposed to a first-hand detailed report.

  • No, it's not, Ms Dufka, with respect. We'll avoid definitions at the moment and carry on, but I suggest that you're quite wrong on hearsay. Can we go back to Executive Outcomes?

  • Yes, as I was saying, hearsay evidence, that is a rumour of a third, fourth, fifth, sixth party, as opposed to a first-hand account, a first-hand detailed witness account of an atrocity, I see that as being very different.

  • Well, we as lawyers don't, with respect to you?

  • I find that hard to believe, but anyway.

  • Counsel is being argumentative with the witness.

  • Yes, let's not keep this argument going. There's a legal definition of hearsay and perhaps in the circumstances, Ms Dufka, it would be best if you could try and avoid the use of the word.

  • May I make the point that the witness is testifying within the context of her knowledge of the

  • [overlapping speakers].

  • Yes, we're not disputing that, Mr Bangura, we're just quarrelling over the interpretation of a word.

  • Okay, so I'll go back to answering the question about the abuses that we had knowledge of with respect to Executive Outcomes. Like I said, we did no focused research on Executive Outcomes. The majority of their engagement with Sierra Leone was prior to our beginning work there. So we don't have any actually detailed accounts of abuses by Executive Outcomes. We have heard rumours of a number of accounts including execution of rebel combatants as well as, in one case, throwing people out of a helicopter. Again we have no factual basis to base that on.

  • And can you just help us with this: We saw in one of the video clips this morning a reference to a man called Neil Ellis, I think his name was?

  • Was he involved with Executive Outcomes?

  • Yes, he was originally involved with Executive Outcomes but later he was contracted by the Sierra Leonean government to fly their Mi-24 helicopter gun ship.

  • What can you tell the Court about his involvement with Executive Outcomes? Was he a director of the company?

  • Was he - did he hold a senior position with the company?

  • I don't know. He's a pilot and he was - that's all I know. I don't know what level of authority he had within the operations of Executive Outcomes.

  • You go on to say that - you mention further on in this paragraph that after Captain Strasser the leadership of the government of Sierra Leone changed, you make reference to it, and Brigadier Bio became head of government. Have you heard of the STF, the Special Task Force, employed by the government of Sierra Leone, I can't say whether it was under Strasser or Bio, but during the time of the National Provisional Ruling Council?