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

  • Good morning, Mr Sesay.

  • Good morning, my Lord.

  • Mr Sesay, before we proceed from where we stopped yesterday, there's a few matters I would like to clarify with you in relation to your testimony in court yesterday. Do you understand?

  • Your Honours, I'm referring to page 8322 of the transcript of yesterday, firstly to line 4:

  • Witness, in one of your answers yesterday you told the Court:

    "Even when SAJ came to the base at Colonel Eddie Town everybody was asking for Rambo and SAJ said he stayed behind. He did not join him".

    Who is this Rambo you're referring to?

  • Well it was Rambo Red Goat, who was an SLA.

  • Further down on that same page, your Honours, at line 12:

  • You say, witness:

    "I said when the advances occurred Superman, Brigadier Mani and SLA Rambo, they came from that Koinadugu, Binkolo end."

    When you say "SLA Rambo" here, who are you referring to?

  • Further down, your Honours, at line 15:

  • You say, witness:

    "So they all met in Makeni when Rambo - all of them came to Waterloo and they left him to reinforce us at Waterloo."

    Who is this Rambo?

  • Pardon? I did not get that clearly.

  • You say:

    "So they all met in Makeni when Rambo - all of them came to Waterloo and they left him to reinforce us at Waterloo."

    Who is this Rambo?

  • Well, I was referring to Rambo Red Goat.

  • Your Honours, I'm referring now to line 27 still on that same page:

  • You say, witness:

    "RUF Rambo, all of them advanced together with Rambo SLA."

    Who is that Rambo?

  • You have named two, "RUF Rambo, all of them advanced with Rambo SLA". When you say "Which Rambo?", who are you talking about?

  • Rambo SLA. Thank you, your Honour:

  • Who is this Rambo SLA?

  • Witness, this answer that I just read to you, I'm going to read it to you again. There's another matter I want to clarify in relation to that. You say, "RUF Rambo, all of them advanced together with Rambo ...", and you say that's Rambo Red Goat, "... right up to SLA and they stopped there according to the communication we got." Did you get me?

  • Can you be clearer as to where RUF Rambo, Rambo Red Goat and others advanced to?

  • They advanced as far as Hastings. There they were. Hastings.

  • And here you say:

    "Then Rambo SLA was released together with some RUF and SLA to reinforce the troop in Freetown."

    Who is this Rambo SLA?

  • Your Honours, I'm moving to page 8323, line 8:

  • Witness, you say:

    "According to Rambo, he said they had a fear because there was some confusion between SAJ and Superman."

    Who is this Rambo?

  • Please repeat your question. I did not get you clearly.

  • You said:

    "According to Rambo, he said they had a fear because there was some confusion between SAJ and Superman."

    Which Rambo is this?

  • This was RUF Rambo.

  • Further down, your Honours, I'm looking at line 15:

  • You said:

    "According to Rambo, they had a fear that SAJ ..." --

  • I'm broadcasting the pages that she's referring to so you can follow.

  • Thank you. Please don't refer to learned counsel as "she".

  • Witness, I will just repeat that back to you again:

    "According to Rambo, they had a fear that SAJ was still with the group."

    Who is this Rambo?

  • Well, because if you go back when I said when Rambo SLA crossed and met the troop, that was what he told me, Red Goat. He said this was the fear the RUF had.

  • So, this Rambo you're referring to is Rambo Red Goat?

  • Yes, and then the Rambo that crossed over was Rambo Red Goat. And about the communication, it was Rambo RUF.

  • Your Honours, I'm now referring to page 8327, line 21:

  • Witness, in relation to questions put to you about what happened after the arrival of Rambo Red Goat and his men this was your answer. You said:

    "Well, the troop had a high morale at that time because we expected that."

    Can you explain that answer?

  • Well, since we were in Hastings, Mosquito had told us that there was a reinforcement on the way to meet us. Until we arrived in Freetown we didn't see the reinforcement, but we were expecting the reinforcement and so when the reinforcement came there was jubilation because when we saw them we knew we would continue the operation.

  • Then you continue to say:

    "Everybody was happy - the RUF, the SLA, everybody was happy - because they were heavily armed."

    Who was heavily armed?

  • Well Rambo Red Goat and the squad that came, they were heavily armed when they came.

  • And why did that make everybody, the RUF and SLA, happy?

  • Well actually by then we were running out of ammunition, so we were expecting them and so when they came they were heavily armed because by then we were running out of ammunition.

  • Apart from the arms and ammunition they came with for themselves, do you recall if they brought any more ammunition for the others who were in Freetown?

  • Objection. Objection, Madam President. There would have to be - with respect to learned counsel, there would have to be more foundation for this question. I'm objecting to the form of the question, in the sense that counsel is making a distinction between ammunition that SLA Rambo came with for themselves vis-a-vis ammunition they came with for others. There has to be evidence that this ammunition was in two parts, if you will, or a foundation to say that the ammunition he brought was in two parts. That means her question assumes a fact that's not in evidence.

  • When you say two parts, are you referring to the two groups, or are you referring to the arms and the ammunition?

  • I am referring to the arms and the ammunition. The question assumes that whatever ammunition they brought could be distinguished into two categories: In the first instance a portion they brought for themselves and, in the second instance, another category of ammunitions they brought for the witness and others they were reinforcing. I don't know if that makes sense, but I did pick it up in the question.

  • Ms Alagendra, you've heard the objection.

  • Your Honours, the question I put to the witness, I don't see how it assumes the fact which my learned friend says it does, but what I will do is I will rephrase my question so as to first lay a foundation before I move on to --

  • Very well, Ms Alagendra. Please proceed by rephrasing.

  • Witness, Rambo Red Goat and his group, when they came into Freetown did they bring anything for your group which was already in Freetown?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • What did they bring?

  • Well, they brought ammunition that they had. They had some civilians who carried them.

  • The ammunition that they brought with them, do you know where it came from?

  • Well, it was the ammunition - I mean the reinforcement that came from Makeni, they brought the ammunition.

  • Besides the fact that it came from Makeni, do you know where the ammunition came from originally?

  • This ammunition, like I have said, the troop left from Kailahun, Kono, and advanced to our area, Hastings, and Rambo Red Goat was asked to reinforce the troop with this ammunition.

  • You've explained the movement of the troop, that it was from Kailahun, Kono, and then they advanced. I am asking you about the ammunition, where that came from?

  • As I have said, it was the reinforcement that came that brought the ammunition, they said it was a supply they received from Mosquito when they were advancing to capture Kono and Makeni until they advanced to our area.

  • Who told you this?

  • Well, it was not hidden to the troop. Like I have said, it was not a hidden thing. When Rambo Red Goat came he explained that, because I have said by then we had ran out of ammunition.

  • Witness, yesterday you were testifying about Five-Five demonstrating in Upgun how to amputate civilians. Do you recall that?

  • How do you know about this demonstration?

  • This demonstration happened in the presence of all of us at the junction, because where the fighting force had blockaded, we were the only group that were occupying that area when Five-Five came and told us that the ECOMOG troops were pushing, so we should start the amputation.

  • Your Honours, I'm going to be referring to page 8351, particularly to lines 25 to 28:

  • Witness, you were talking about what was happening at the Kissy Mental Home and I'm going to read you a part of your answer and ask you to explain that. You said:

    "So wherever we met people singing that song, or we see them setting fires, or when we entered Freetown, because there was no electricity they used to set fire to secure the area."

    Can you explain what you mean by that?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • Please do so, witness.

  • Well, like mostly like Ferry Junction, PWD Junction, people used to burn tyre from the vehicle. This made us to stay awake for the rest of the night. The areas that we occupied, the burning of tyres used to happen. The civilians used to bring tyres and then we put them together to burn them to support those of us who came, so that made us to see clearly from where we were. It was the burning of those tyres that assisted us to see areas, so we stay awake until the next day.

  • When you say the civilians were burning tyres "to support those of us who came", what do you mean?

  • Well, this was, like I have said, the areas that we captured. Those civilians who were under our control used to bring those tyres to support us, to light them during the night. They used to go in search of those tyres and bring them along.

  • Why did they do this?

  • Well, they were under our control because the entire area, like I have said, PWD up to State House was under our control when the troop entered Freetown.

  • Your Honours, I'm going to be referring to page 8402, line 24:

  • Witness, you testified yesterday that KBC came and joined your group in Newton with a group of eight fighters.

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • You told us KBC was an SLA.

  • The fighters that he came with, do you recall who they were?

  • Well, he had small boys with him who were SBUs, he had two RUF that he also brought and another SLA.

  • You told the Court that the group that KBC came with, he told you that they were reorganised and sent by Charles Taylor.

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • These two small boys, two RUF and the one SLA that were in his group --

  • Did he say two small boys? I thought he said he had small boys who were SBUs, two RUF. I didn't think he specified the number of small boys. If he didn't, there's something wrong with the arithmetic.

  • I was actually going to clarify the arithmetic, your Honour, but perhaps it's me that got it wrong:

  • Witness, how many SBUs did KBC come with?

  • He came along with two SBUs.

  • And you said there were two RUF?

  • Yes, the total number was eight.

  • So you've said two SBUs?

  • And himself was another SLA?

  • No, there were four SLAs, two SBUs and the RUF like I have said.

  • So the number eight includes him?

  • Yes. Yes, my Lord.

  • And you said his group was put together and sent to Kailahun by Charles Taylor.

  • Yes, he said the SLA group that went to Guinea, they left Guinea and went to Liberia because Guinea was difficult for them. So when they went to Liberia they were reorganised and armed and then sent to Mosquito, so all of them advanced to Kono and then later they came to where they met us.

  • Did he explain to you how is it he came together with the two RUFs that were in his group?

  • Yes, my Lord. He said when he was coming, those were the SBUs that he got from the RUF side in the Kono area. He said they were the ones he brought because they were SBUs, they were with him and he got them from there.

  • Do you recall how old these two SBUs were?

  • They were about 10 years. They were small boys, but they too had AKs.

  • Your Honours, I'm going to be referring now to page 8415, lines 28 and 29:

  • Witness, I was asking you yesterday about who brought the ammunition to Gberibana for Bazzy?

  • And you said it was a mixed SLA and RUF that came with it.

  • And you said, "I have missed the commander's name."

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • Do you recall the name?

  • I have not been able to still recall the name, but they were SLAs and RUFs that came with the ammunition.

  • Your Honours, can I ask that the witness be given the map at page S18 of the map book. It's a map of "Freetown and Environs".

  • Ms Alagendra, I think we're ready to proceed.

  • Witness, I'm going to ask you to mark a few of the locations you have already testified about yesterday. Witness, on the map in front of you do you see the National Stadium?

  • Can you circle that and put a number 1 next to it.

  • I want to make a correction. I had said the Siaka Stevens Stadium was changed to the National Stadium.

  • Witness, just for the record, can you be clear of what is the name of the stadium that you're marking as the National Stadium on the map?

  • Well at present the stadium is called National Stadium, but formerly it was Siaka Stevens Stadium.

  • Witness, do you see --

  • Is he saying during the time of the conflict it was Siaka Stevens Stadium and that that is the evidence he gave, or what is he saying?

  • Witness, can you be clear on what you are explaining in relation to the name of the stadium?

  • Well the military government that was in power, the NPRC government headed by Captain Valentine Strasser, changed the name of the stadium. Originally it was called Siaka Stevens Stadium. It was the name of the former President Siaka Stevens. When the military government took power they said, "No, the name should be changed to National Stadium", and so when they took power they changed the name to National Stadium and this is what is on the map, Siaka Stevens Stadium.

  • It would appear, therefore, that the map is out of date as in relation to that name.

  • Witness, do you see the Central Prison on the map which you said was also called Pademba Prison?

  • Can you circle that and put a number 2 next to it. Do you see Tengbeh Town on the map?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • Can you circle that and put a number 3 next to it. Do you see Kingtom on the map?

  • Can you circle that and put number 4 next to it. Do you see Kissy Police Station on this map?

  • Can you circle it and put number 5 next to it. Do you see Kissy Mental Home on the map?

  • Can you circle that and put number 6 next to it.

  • Your Honours, that will be all for this map. Your Honours, may I request that this map be marked for identification as MFI-24.

  • A map, a one page document entitled "Freetown and Environs" as marked by the witness and as noting one change of name, is marked for identification MFI-24.

  • Your Honours, can I ask that the witness be given another map, please, which is the map at page S3C on the map book. Your Honours, this is the road map of Sierra Leone and we have broken it up into six parts so it will fit into this book and the area that I'm going to be asking the witness to mark is going to be the Western Area:

  • Witness, do you see this map in front of you?

  • Do you see Wellington on this map?

  • Can you circle Wellington and put number 1 next to it. Do you see Allen Town on the map?

  • Can you circle and put number 2 next to it. Do you see Calaba Town on the map?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • Can you circle it and put number 3 next to it. Do you see Grafton on the map?

  • Can you circle that and put number 4 next to it. Do you see Hastings on the map?

  • Can you circle that and put number 5 next to it. Do you see Benguema on the map?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • Can you circle that and put number 6. Do you see Waterloo?

  • Can you circle Waterloo and put number 7 next to it. Do you see Tombo on the map?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • Can you circle Tombo and put number 8 next to it. Do you see Newton on the map?

  • Can you circle that and put number 9 next to it. Do you see Macdonald on the map?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • Can you circle that and put number 10 next to it. Do you see Mile 38, which was said was also Magbuntoso, on the map?

  • Can you circle that and put number 11 next to it. Do you see Okra Hill on the map?

  • Can you circle that and put number 12 next to it?

  • The spelling is different. It bears a different spelling.

  • I do recall it being spelt O-K-R-A in the course of evidence as in the vegetable.

  • That is how it was spelt in the course of evidence, your Honour.

  • But I note, as the witness says, it is a different spelling here.

  • Your Honour, for the record can we note both spellings?

  • I don't see any problem with that.

  • I have no problem. I just point out in line with the discussion that yesterday on the previous map, MFI-23, Sani Abacha, Sani was spelt with two "n"s and on the record it was with one "n", and today on the former map we just looked at, MFI-24, counsel said "Kissy Police Station" and the map said "Kissy Police Barracks".

  • Well, a lot of these are phonetically spelt and I agree, if I remember rightly, the signpost for Sani Abacha has one "n" only.

  • Witness, you can continue to circle Okra Hill and can you put a number 12 next to that. Thank you, witness.

    Your Honours, that will be all for this map.

  • Thank you, Ms Alagendra.

  • Your Honours, can I ask that this map be marked for identification MFI-25.

  • Very well. A map that does not have a title, but ranges from Freetown to approximately Magburaka and as marked by the witness is MFI-25. Please proceed, Ms Alagendra.

  • Thank you, your Honour.

  • Perhaps before you proceed it's been pointed out to us that the spelling of Tombo has two spellings as well, as has been mentioned.

  • Your Honours, for the record can we note both spellings for this location, please.

  • I recall it being spelt T-U-M-B-O.

  • Yes, your Honour, and on the map I think it says T-O-M-B-O.

  • Ms Alagendra, I think that if there are variations in spellings or pronunciations this evidence should come from the witness, just to be sure and to make sure that he is talking about the same place. I'm not sure if Pendembu is the same as Gbendembu, but it has to come from the witness. It shouldn't come from counsel, or even from the Bench. It should come from the witness.

  • Yes, your Honour, it's just that it was me that was providing the spellings to the Court, but I will ask the witness to clarify.

  • There's a big difference between Tombo and Tumbo. It has to come from the witness.

  • Your Honours, in relation to Tombo I think I may have spelt it T-O-M-B-O yesterday, which is also the spelling on the map.

  • You know that the indictment talks of a difference place and to me that is more important, but if the evidence is that these things happened at Tombo, well, that's the evidence.

  • Witness, do you know of a location Tumbo, spelt T-U-M-B-O?

  • Well, the Tombo that is there is the only place called Tombo, except there's problem with the spelling, but the place is called Tombo.

  • Thank you, witness.

  • Your Honours, I recall that in relation to Gbendembu, as pointed out by Justice Sebutinde, the location marked by the witness was spelt G-B-E-N-D-E-M-B-U. There was another location on that same map I recall spelt with P-E-N-D-E-M-B-U, but that was not marked by the witness, just for the record, your Honour:

  • Witness, we stopped yesterday where you told the Court that you left Makolo, you went to Mile 38 and from Mile 38 your group moved to Okra Hill, is that correct?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • We're going to continue from that point, witness. Can you give us a time frame for when your group moved to Okra Hill?

  • Well, like I have said, this happened between April/May 1999.

  • Before you moved out of Mile 38 do you recall if anything happened there?

  • Well, when ECOMOG started attacking, Bazzy told us to burn down Mile 38, so we burnt down Mile 38, which is Magbuntoso.

  • What did you burn in Mile 38?

  • Well, it was the houses that were at Mile 38 so that we would prevent ECOMOG from residing there.

  • Do you recall who participated in this burning?

  • Well, Bazzy, myself, Junior Lion, the squad that was there, Hassan Papa Bangura and other commanders that were with the troop.

  • Witness, at this time do you know what had happened to the Red Lion battalion?

  • As I have said, part of the Red Lion battalion went with Gullit together with Bajehjeh. We only had a few of them that stayed with us.

  • You said one group went with Gullit, to where?

  • As I have said, when we were in Newton when Gullit, Five-Five and the other commanders I named, when they left and said they were heading for Makeni - I mean they were heading for Lunsar to meet Superman in Makeni.

  • And the group that went with Med Bajehjeh, do you know where they went?

  • Well, as I have said, Med Bajehjeh was one of the commanders that went together with Gullit. They left together at Newton to go back to the rear.

  • When you say rear where do you mean?

  • Well, when they left Newton they said they were heading for Makeni. That is at the rear.

  • And you say some of the fighters from the Red Lion battalion moved with your group to the West Side?

  • Please continue, witness.

  • Well, we had some RUF men who were in the Red Lion battalion and some STF members, including some former NPFL fighters, also stayed with us. They were divided. Gullit went with some of them. Part of them stayed with Bazzy, so we were all together.

  • What was the number of the STF, NPFL and RUF from the Red Lion battalion that went with your group?

  • Well, about 10 STF stayed around and about 10 NPFL men also stayed with us. Gullit went with the others, including Med Bajehjeh.

  • Your Honours, can the witness go back to the last statement he made.

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter wants some further clarification, or to complete an answer. Could you please repeat your answer from the point where you say, "Gullit went with the others, including Med Bajehjeh." Continue from there, please.

  • I said Gullit went with some of the Red Lion battalion men, including Med Bajehjeh who was the commander. The rest of them, about 10 STF, 10 former fighters of the NPFL and 10 - sorry, Stagger, who was also a commander, came, he was an RUF, he too stayed with the squad.

  • Which squad are you referring to that these men stayed with?

  • Well, this time it was the squad that Bazzy was leading, the troop that Bazzy was leading.

  • Were there civilians living in Mile 38 at this time?

  • Well, as far as I can recall, as I said, Bazzy had ordered that Foyoh should move with the family members to go into Okra Hill and find a location whilst we, the fighting forces, blocked ECOMOG to prevent them from capturing our area. So the civilians that we had in that area were moved inwards.

  • Did anything happen to civilians from Mile 38?

  • Well, as far as I can recall, Bazzy ordered them to move the civilians who were under our control. Bazzy ordered that they be moved where Foyoh had gone to locate a place at the Okra Hills.

  • You say your group was burning houses in Mile 38. Who did those houses belong to?

  • These were the civilian houses that were at Mile 38, Magbuntoso. Those were the houses we were burning down.

  • At the time you were burning the houses in Mile 38, do you know where the civilians were?

  • Well, just as I said, we had occupied that area, the civilians who were there were those we had captured who were in our midst. Some ran away into the bush, but those who were in our area, they were the ones Bazzy ordered that Foyoh should move with.

  • After the burning of Mile 38 do you recall where Bazzy moved to?

  • Well, we went to Magbeni which is located in the Okra Hills. We withdrew to meet Foyoh and the entire family members.

  • Your Honours, for the record Magbeni is spelt correctly:

  • Did anything happen in Magbeni?

  • Well, Bazzy reorganised the troop and formed a brigade. He established another brigade and he appointed commanders and created his own brigade administration.

  • Do you recall who the commanders were that Bazzy appointed?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • Can you name them for the Court?

  • He appointed Hassan Papa Bangura as the second in command and the director of operations. He also appointed Junior Lion as operations commander. He also appointed Tito as the camp commandant. He appointed Major Gbonkelenkeh as the brigade major.

  • Witness, can you spell Gbonkelenkeh?

  • G-B-O-N-K-E-L-E-N-K-E-H.

  • Please proceed, witness. What other commanders did he appoint?

  • Well, he also appointed some commanders and made them battalion commanders. He established about five battalions that I can recall some of their names. We had the Eagle battalion and the Lion battalion. You also had Eagle, Lion, you had Cambodia battalion, you had - I can recall the other names later, but he formed and established these battalions and he also promoted us to major and he appointed me to become the ADC to the second in command, who was Hassan Papa Bangura. He too, that is Bazzy, had his CSO whom he appointed. We called him Maff, Edward Williams. We used to call him Maff.

  • Did you say Edward Williams, or Eldred Williams?

  • Edward Williams.

  • Witness, when you say "ADC", what do you mean?

  • Well, this was the aide-de-camp. That was what it was called in the army. He was always with the commander for whatever orders to be especially in charge of his manpower. It was the ADC that was directly responsible for that when we were in the jungle.

  • You said he created five battalions, correct?

  • Do you recall if he appointed any battalion commanders?

  • Do you recall their names?

  • Like the Cambodia battalion, he appointed Foyoh to head it. This other battalion whose name I have not called he appointed KBC, who also headed 1 battalion. He had Kedo [phon], Lieutenant Colonel Kedo. He also headed another battalion. He appointed Keforkeh to act as the battalion commander for the Lion battalion.

  • Foyoh, which group was he from, do you know?

  • Well, Foyoh came together with O-Five to reinforce us at Colonel Eddie Town.

  • And Kedo, which group was he from?

  • Kedo, we were together from Kono up to Freetown. He was in the SLA group.

  • Witness, can you remind us again what rank you were promoted to?

  • He promoted me to major and appointed me as the ADC to the second in command, who was Hassan Papa Bangura.

  • Did anything happen after the appointments were made by Bazzy?

  • Yes. Bazzy ordered Keforkeh to cross the river, because from Magbeni to Gberibana you had to use a boat to cross, so he said Keforkeh should go across and ensure that he clears up Gberibana. If he found any civilian there, he should execute them so that nobody would know the location where we were going to base. So, Keforkeh took some men and moved to Gberibana.

  • Do you recall how many men Keforkeh moved with?

  • Yes, he moved with some - with a strong manpower. They were more than 50, those who went across.

  • How do you know about this order from Bazzy?

  • Well this reorganisation made by Bazzy was done in our presence, including the appointment. Even the order was made in my presence, in the presence of Hassan Papa Bangura and some of the commanders that I have named. It happened in our presence.

  • Do you know the composition of Keforkeh's group that moved to Gberibana?

  • Well, they were mixed. You had SLAs, RUFs, all of them crossed to that area.

  • Apart from SLAs and RUF, were there any other groups within Keforkeh's group that moved to Gberibana?

  • Well since he was the one appointed as the battalion commander for the Lion battalion, they also put the STF, you also had Stagger - they were all with him. You also had the STF and the former Liberian fighters, NPFL fighters, who came. All of them occupied that battalion called the Lion battalion, so all of them crossed over.

  • When the Lion battalion crossed over to Gberibana, do you know what, if anything, happened there?

  • Well when we too crossed, because Keforkeh sent that he had captured the ground and he had ensured that he had made the ground fearful - that he had captured and made the ground fearful - that is he had executed some of the civilians he found there. So when we also crossed we also saw the display of bodies at Gberibana; about 15 civilians who had been killed in that area.

  • What do you mean by display of bodies?

  • Gberibana had different roads. They killed them and put them on the different roads; that is the bypass routes that were in Gberibana. They killed them and displayed their corpses on the road.

  • You said you went to Gberibana and you saw this. How is it you came to be there?

  • Well, as I said, after K had sent we too started moving. The troop started moving, together with the family members. We ensured that they crossed over. So when I also went over there together with Hassan Papa Bangura and Bazzy, because we all moved, we saw what happened. I saw the displaying of these corpses at Gberibana.

  • Do you recall if Bazzy reacted when he saw this display?

  • No, Bazzy didn't say anything. He just welcomed the idea. He did not say anything asking Keforkeh, "Why did you do this?" He just said, "Job well done. It was better that you did this so that no civilian would know our position". He commended Keforkeh for his action.

  • Did you stay in Gberibana?

  • Yes, my Lord, I stayed in Gberibana whilst Bazzy distributed the battalions to occupy the various areas that were in Gberibana.

  • Did the West Side have a headquarter?

  • Yes, Gberibana was the headquarters. Like Cambodia, Lion battalion, they were in different villages around Gberibana.

  • For how long did the group remain in Gberibana?

  • Well, this group continued to stay in Gberibana up to the time I left there together with Hassan Papa Bangura in the year 2000. June 2000. Up to the time we left there in June 2000.

  • What was the size of the group that was now --

  • Could we have some time frames as to when they first went there, because I think the last time frame we had was in Okra Hills April/May 1999. We then moved to Mile 38, we moved to Magbeni, to Gberibana and then no time frames for these places.

  • I will do so, your Honour:

  • Witness, when did the group move to Gberibana?

  • Well, as I said, because whilst we were withdrawing we were in Gberibana around June/July of 1999 up to, as I said, 2000. June 2006 - sorry, June 2000 when we were arrested in Freetown.

  • He's told us up to when they were there. I'm asking when did they first go there.

  • He said June/July of '99 up to 2000.

  • Witness, do you recall when you arrived in Mile 38?

  • As I said, April/May we were within that area. May/June we entered and occupied the West Side, which is Gberibana.

  • Do you recall how long roughly you stayed in Mile 38?

  • Well we did not stay too long in Mile 38, because we came along fighting and withdrawing, fighting and withdrawing. We did not spend too much time there. As the withdrawal had started, we were not spending much time there.

  • What was the size of the troops that were in Gberibana?

  • Well, we were more than 500. We were more than that. Apart from the civilians, we the fighting forces were more than 500, those of us who were at the West Side.

  • And the civilians, how many civilians did you have at the West Side?

  • Well, the civilians were many. We had many civilians. All the battalions that were formed had civilians. The headquarters had. So the civilians that were taken from Freetown, only a few were taken away by Gullit and others. All the rest were brought back to Gberibana and the other villages where the battalions were.

  • Can you give us a number as to how many civilians were there?

  • We had more than 400 civilians in total, those who were with us.

  • Did anything happen in Gberibana during this time?

  • Well, during this time Gullit - sorry, Bazzy called a meeting with commanders and when we came, as I said, we received ammunition in Gberibana which was brought by the mixed troop of SLA and RUF for us, so Bazzy organised a meeting and said, well, now that the ECOMOG had pushed up to Masiaka and had dislodged us from the highway, he said it looks like we should plan an operation wherein we should attack their strategic areas. He said now that we've received some ammunition we will use these to attack ECOMOG positions. So he appointed some commanders. He said, well, we should go ahead and plan an operation to Port Loko.

  • Witness, can you remind us, this ammunition that was received, where was it received from?

  • Well, as I said, Mosquito had said he will send ammunition. This ammunition came with the commanders. They said it had come from Mosquito to us at Gberibana, it was he who sent this ammunition which was brought by the commanders, which the mixed troop brought to us. So when Bazzy received them he said now we should organise an operation as to where we should attack, those strategic areas where ECOMOG were based.

  • Did he name the areas which had to be attacked?

  • Well, Port Loko was one target area that he said we should attack because we heard over the news, the local news, that the Malians had based together with the Guineans in Port Loko. So he said it was better for us to attack there. He also talked about Makolo, Gberi Junction and Mile 38. He said all these areas should be attacked. He said but we should plan this operation to first attack Port Loko.

  • When you say Port Loko what are you referring to?

  • Well, Port Loko District, but the Port Loko Town where the ECOMOG were based, the Guineans and Malians, where they were based in Port Loko Town.

  • Did these operations take place?

  • Which was the first area that the group went into?

  • It was Port Loko.

  • How do you know that?

  • Well, I was part of the operation, part of the manpower that went on this operation.

  • Do you recall what happened during the operation in Port Loko Town?

  • Well, as I said, Bazzy said before we went we should fearful Port Loko and any other village that was within that area. He said any civilian that we found in that area on our way, we should kill them and burn down that town. When we left Gberibana we passed about two villages. By the time we got there the civilians had run away, so we burnt down there and we moved to Port Loko where we captured one woman, a fat woman. That woman was hacked to death by Keforkeh. After that we advanced on towards Port Loko Town. There is a school where the Malians were based. They called that school Schlenka Secondary School in Port Loko. That was where they were based. So we attacked their headquarters and --

  • Witness, I will stop you here. First, when you say "we should fearful Port Loko" what do you mean? Bazzy said "we should fearful Port Loko"?

  • As I said, he said we should ensure that we burnt down villages as we went along, any village that we came across from Gberibana to Port Loko. He said when we attack Port Loko we should ensure that we burn down Port Loko and kill people, so that they will really know that we are determined and that we are within that area.

  • When you say "so we burnt down there", where are you talking about?

  • Well, I said the two villages that we met close to Port Loko. We burnt down those villages.

  • What did you burn in the villages?

  • Well, the houses that were in those villages, those two villages, because when the civilians saw us they ran away. Then we said, "Oh, we should waste no time." We set those villages alight, the houses, and we advanced on towards Port Loko.

  • Those houses that were set on fire, were they empty?

  • Well, like I said, the civilians ran away, because that caused us to fasten the operation because when we saw the civilians running away we concluded that they will take information away, so we should burn down this village and move out as soon as possible.

  • The woman that you say was killed by Keforkeh, do you recall who she was?

  • Well, she was a civilian. She was civilian, but she was so fat. So he hacked her repeatedly before we entered Port Loko.

  • Do you recall if there was any particular reason why she was killed?

  • Well, this was the order that we had had from Bazzy and we only learnt later that this woman was a popular woman in Port Loko, but we learnt that later.

  • Then you said you moved to Port Loko Town?

  • What happened there?

  • Well, we attacked the Malian troops who were based there and the Guinean troops, and in this attack we dislodged them and burnt down two of their armoured cars and captured some Malians in that area. Two Malians were captured. They were commanders.

  • What, if anything, happened to these two Malians that were captured?

  • Well, we kept these Malians safe and withdrew. Afterwards we set the armoured cars on fire and burnt down their headquarters, which was the Schlenka school, and withdrew to West Side base.

  • Witness, can you repeat the name of the school again?

  • They called it Schlenka, S-C-H-L-E-N-K-A.

  • When you withdrew to the West Side base where were the two Malians that were captured?

  • Immediately we came to the base we met Hassan Papa Bangura at Bazzy's house because that was where the radio set was. So we came and handed over these two Malians to Bazzy.

  • Did anything happen after they were handed over to Bazzy?

  • How do you know what happened?

  • Well, I was still there when - when we came with the Malians he said, "Oh, I'm going to call Mosquito. I'm going to call the general right away to inform him that we've started attacking and we've got something in hand that will enable us - that will enable them to know that we really attacked." So Bazzy called Mosquito and informed him that the troops that he ordered have attacked Port Loko and dislodged the Malians, and that two had been captured and they were commanders and they were with him now. So Mosquito said that he wants to talk to the commanders, but they never spoke English, they only spoke French. So Bazzy told him that these people were not speaking English, but they only speak French. So Mosquito said, "I have Eddie Kanneh with me here who speaks French well", so he said, "Connect the commanders to Eddie Kanneh for them to speak." So Bazzy took one of the senior Malian commanders and brought him to the set, so he and Eddie Kanneh spoke in French. So after they had spoken Mosquito said, "Well, Bazzy, ensure that you secure these people. Now I am going over the international media and tell them that the troop under my command, led by Bazzy, in the western jungle have attacked the Malians and have captured two of their commanders", and that he is demanding that the Malians should leave the shore of Sierra Leone immediately, or else they will execute those commanders, and indeed we heard that over the international media.

  • Witness, I am going to stop you there. When you say "that will enable them to know that we really attacked", what do you mean?

  • That is the Malians whom we had captured, who were captives, Mosquito would go over the air. He would have had proof that indeed we attacked and now we have two in our custody, those who were captured during the attack.

  • Who did he want to know about the attack?

  • He said he was going over the international media to inform the Government of Sierra Leone and the international people who were concerned, that these people who have been captured should leave Sierra Leone immediately.

  • How do you know about this communication between Bazzy and Mosquito?

  • My Lord, I said as soon as we left the Port Loko operation and came with these Malians Bazzy said, "I am not going to waste any more time, I'm going to call Mosquito immediately, I'm going to call the general immediately and inform him of this development because it's a big blow." So straight away he called and Mosquito responded.

  • After Mosquito said what you've just explained he said during that communication, do you recall if Bazzy responded to Mosquito?

  • Yes, my Lord, because, as I said, he responded and brought the two commanders. He said they were not able to speak English, but Mosquito told him that Eddie Kanneh was with him and he can speak French, so he said he should bring the commander, that is the senior commander, the Malian, to the set so that they can discuss with Eddie Kanneh in French. So they started discussing.

  • At the end of the communication, when Mosquito said he was going to go over the international media, do you recall if Bazzy responded?

  • Yes, he said that will be nice, no problem. He said he wants Mosquito to know that he did not just send the ammunition and then he sit by idle. He has started attacking and he will continuing attacking other areas where ECOMOG were based now within that area.

  • Yes, Madam President. I would be grateful if counsel could give some indication about when these Malian soldiers were taken hostage.

  • Yes. If you could be more specific, Ms Alagendra.

  • I will do so, your Honour:

  • Witness, do you recall the date when the Malians were captured?

  • This was in June 1999. This happened - that was when this happened. It was not too long that the ceasefire was declared.

  • Witness, you said earlier that you heard over the international media something after this communication. Can you continue from there?

  • Well also Mosquito went over the international media, the BBC, and said that the troops that were under his command led by Bazzy in the western jungle had attacked and destabilised the Malian forces who were based in Port Loko. He said and at present they have some of the commanders who have been arrested at the base and that he was demanding that if the Malians do not withdraw from Freetown - sorry, from the shores of Sierra Leone, they would execute those commanders whom they had captured.

  • How long after the communication did you hear this announcement?

  • Well when we went to Port Loko, because when we went to Port Loko it was in the morning hours that we came back. It was around 3 a.m. - sorry, 3 p.m. when Focus on Africa is on and also 5 p.m., 5.05. 3.05 and 5.05 that day. That was when the interview took place, because the interview was repeated at 3.05 and also at 5.05.

  • After this announcement by Mosquito, do you recall if anything happened in relation to the Malian troops in Sierra Leone?

  • Yes, my Lord, because after that over the international media we heard that the people of Mali have demonstrated; the Malian people. Sorry, the people in Mali have demonstrated that their troops in Sierra Leone should leave. They should leave Sierra Leone because they've started killing them there. They should leave. We heard that as well.

  • Do you know if anything happened after that in relation to the Malian troops in Sierra Leone?

  • Yes, my Lord, something happened after that.

  • Well, the Malians backed out immediately and left the shores of Sierra Leone.

  • Witness, you told the Court earlier that an operation was also planned to take place in Makolo?

  • Did the operation in Makolo take place?

  • Do you know what, if anything, happened during that operation?

  • How do you know what happened during the Makolo operation?

  • Well this operation, as I said, was headed by KBC. I myself was with this operation, together with some other fighters whom we moved - who moved to Makolo.

  • Do you recall what happened during the Makolo operation?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • Well during the Makolo operation when we got there it was a dawn attack, that is around 5 to 6 in the morning. We attacked Makolo and destabilised the ECOMOG base that we found there. We found some vehicles, some houses, we captured some ammunition, burnt down the vehicles. Some Nigerian soldiers who were sleeping when we got there, we executed them. We also captured some civilian women whom we met there, about three of them or so whom we captured in Makolo. And Captain Blood captured those women. He had an axe that he was using. That was what he used to slit the women's head. He said they were our sisters, but they've joined up with ECOMOG and they were fighting against us and so he executed them.

  • Who executed these Nigerian soldiers?

  • The Nigerian soldiers, we did the operation, those of us the troops that entered, we executed them, because some of them were in the house when we attacked and so when they wanted to come out they encountered us and so we executed them there.

  • You said they were sleeping when they were executed?

  • Well, what I mean is that it was a dawn attack and so when we attacked some were coming out of their rooms so they met us. We executed them.

  • How were they executed?

  • We shot them. We used our weapons that we had and shot them to death. As they were coming out, they would meet us.

  • How many women were killed?

  • As far as I can recall there were about three, those whom I saw who were captured who Captain Blood, who was attached to Bazzy, he was the one who was doing this. He had an axe. He would lay them down and hack their heads like you would - like when you split a wood.

  • Were these women in the ECOMOG base, or were they in some other village?

  • Witness, can you clarify where these women her?

  • In Makolo, the village which we captured which was the ECOMOG headquarters. That was where we met these women, whom Blood said that, "These were the women who were loving with the ECOMOG soldiers. They are our sisters, but they are in love with ECOMOG. They are in line with the ECOMOG and so I am going to kill them awkwardly", and so he took the axe and started hacking them, splitting their heads.

  • You said "Captain Blood, who was attached to Bazzy". What do you mean?

  • He was one of Bazzy's security men who were with him - who were with him.

  • Did anything else happen in Makolo?

  • As I said, we burnt down the houses in Makolo and we met some vehicles there which we burnt also. Later we got some ammunition and withdrew from Makolo.

  • The houses that were burnt in Makolo, were they empty?

  • Well, as I said, when we attacked the place the few civilians - because it was occupied by ECOMOG. There were not many civilians there. Those who were there we executed and it was Captain Blood who did that. We did not see any other civilians in the houses, but we set the houses on fire. The houses that were in Makolo.

  • After this operation, where did your group go to?

  • We withdrew to Magbeni.

  • After which we crossed over. We were in Magbeni and the ECOMOG set an ambush for us, but we destabilised them and later on went to Gberibana and reported to Bazzy about the operation; the operation in Makolo. We gave him details of what happened during the operation.

  • What were the details that were given to Bazzy?

  • Well, we explained that we found ECOMOG position - an ECOMOG position there, we killed some of them, captured some ammunition, burnt down the town and Blood explained about the women whom he hacked, those women whom he used his axe to hack to death. We explained everything to Bazzy of what happened.

  • Did Bazzy respond after he received this report?

  • Well, he just welcomed us and said, "Wow, you've really done me proud. You are really making me feel that you are my commanders in this place."

  • How do you know about this reporting to Bazzy and his response?

  • When the fighting troops came, those of us who went and attacked, when we came we went directly to Bazzy. He would call up Bomb Blast, who was the director of operations, and Junior Lion would also be present. So that's where we would do this. We would surrender everything, like I said, from the operation, we would surrender everything to the commander. Bazzy, as soon as you come from an operation he was always alert to receive whatever you came with and ensure that you gave an accurate report. He even had boys he would plant among the troop to ensure that you did exactly what you were told to do.

  • Who had boys that he would plant amongst the troop?

  • Bazzy had men. Whatever fighting force that was going on an attack, he had men that he would put among you, telling them to watch the commanders for what they were doing. So if you had something during an operation and you refused to hand that over, those boys would report you and say, "We saw so and so person, or we heard so and so person reporting that they took his or her money", so you the commander would have to face him.

  • These boys that Bazzy put amongst the troop, did they have any formal assignment?

  • Yes, my Lord, they had an assignment.

  • What was the assignment?

  • They were to ensure that the order that was given, you the commander implemented it. If Bazzy says you should go there and burn, or do this, those boys would come and say, "Please, sir, when we went there, these men, what they wanted to do what was they did, they did not do what you told them to do", so those boys were there for that reason.

  • Apart from when they went with the troops to report back to Bazzy, did they have any other assignments?

  • As I said, they were his eye, his representatives. They were the people who were --

  • Mr Witness, we are clear on this point. Counsel is asking had they any other job other than this reporting that you've described?

  • Well, they too were part of the fighting team that went.

  • Witness, after you returned to Gberibana after the Makolo operation and the operation was reported to Bazzy, do you recall if you heard anything?

  • Yes, the government - the SLPP government went over the air and said the junta troops went to attack Makolo, but that they dislodged them, that they used their helicopter gunship and dislodged the junta troops who went to attack. They said the AFRC/RUF troops, because that was what they were calling us, they said they attacked Makolo, but the forces, combined with ECOMOG, attacked them and they used the helicopter gunship and they killed many of them and dislodged them from that area. That was what the government went over the air and said.

  • Witness, after this, when you were in Gberibana - your Honours, I withdraw that question. I will ask another question. The civilians that were in Gberibana with the West Side troops, do you know what, if anything, happened to them?

  • Well, those civilians, as I said, they continued, they were working for us. We used them in ambushes at the various guard posts, we used them for food finding patrols wherein they used to carry the loads that we got, we used them to pound rice that we got and also some of them, like the young girls - as I said, some commanders had two, one - were also used as wives.

  • Did you know any of the girls that were used by the commanders as wives?

  • Well, yes, I was able to know many of them. Yes, many girls who were used were in the camp, those whom we took from Freetown. Like Bazzy in general, who was our commander, he would just sit there and say, "Hey, CSO, that one going there should sleep with me tonight", and when the CSO goes to call you you will not disobey the order, you will just come along.

  • What happened to these girls when you say "you will just come along"?

  • Well, as I said, if Bazzy knows that - because we had so many beautiful girls and they would pass along that area where Bazzy was. If he sees you he would order his CSO, who was Maff, and say, "That girl today should be with me", and Maff will go, his CSO, will go and meet you and tell you the commander wants to see you.

  • Your Honours, I apologise for interrupting, but there's a very pungent burning smell coming from this side.

  • We were forewarned that this could happen, Ms Alagendra, that there would be some works being done and that this could happen. However, in the light of your concerns I will ask security to just radio and confirm, but please continue. That's what we've been told.

  • Thank you, your Honour:

  • Witness, did you know any of the girls that Bazzy used this way in Gberibana?

  • Well, I had one of my cousins who was captured in Freetown whom we met at the West Side, who at one time I was down at our own place where Bomb Blast was and she came and met me and said Bazzy's CSO came up to her and said Bazzy wants to see her. She came to me to seek my advice and I said, "Well, this is above me. Since he is the commander on the ground, if he says he wants to see you go and meet him, but later I will go and see what the problem was, but go and meet him." So she moved and went there to Bazzy.

  • Do you know what, if anything, happened to her when she went to Bazzy?

  • Well, the only thing that I saw happen was that later when I left and went to where Bazzy was I met --

  • Your Honours, it's not very clear whom the witness met.

  • Pause, Mr Witness. Say that again, Mr Interpreter.

  • He's not very clear as to whom he met because we are talking of Bazzy and the cousin here, so there is no distinction.

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter needs you to clarify who you met when you answer the question. Ms Alagendra, ask the question again, please.

  • Do you know what, if anything, happened to her when she went to Bazzy?

  • How do you know what happened to her?

  • Well, as I told her that I will go and meet her to Bazzy, I left my house where we were and I moved to Bazzy, Bazzy's place. When I went there I met her crying. She said she has been beaten and I asked her what the problem was. She said Bazzy said two of them should have sex. Because she refused, that was why they beat her. So I have nothing to say. So later Bazzy's CSO took her and she went into Bazzy's room. So I heard her screaming when they were in the room together with Bazzy. I heard her screaming. She continued screaming and later she came out crying. So I left her there and went and met Bomb Blast and explained to him. So later Bomb Blast said he will go and meet Bazzy and take the girl, so Bomb Blast went there and later came with her. So I was encouraging her to take - to endure.

  • Did she tell you who beat her?

  • Yes, that was an order from Bazzy. She said it was Maff who beat her. It was Bazzy who ordered that Maff should beat her because she wanted to refuse Bazzy, so Maff said she should be beaten, so it was Maff who beat her, but after which she agreed. So she went into the room. As I said, I was standing there when I heard her screaming continuously and later I left and went down to Bomb Blast and explained to him. So Bomb Blast said that later he would go there to find out, so later Bomb Blast went there and I saw both of them come. So she explained exactly what happened. So I told her to take heart, I told her I don't have any power here. They were our commanders, whatever they did I had no power to do anything. So I just told her to take heart and endure. That was what I told her.

  • Witness, can you remind the Court who is Maff?

  • He was Edward Williams whom we called Maff. He was the CSO to Bazzy.

  • How old was this cousin of yours?

  • Well, that time she was around 16, 17, within those ages. She was very small actually.

  • Witness, you said Bazzy also ordered that an operation should take place in Gberi Junction?

  • Did the operation in Gberi Junction take place?

  • Do you know what happened during that operation?

  • Well, they appointed Amara Kallay to go and attack Gberi Junction, but I did not go on that operation. We were at the headquarters. Later Amara Kallay came, he came with a lot of looted items to the camp. As soon as he came, Bazzy - some of his men whom he had put went and met Bazzy and said, "Please, sir, Colonel Kallay, when we went to Gberi Junction to attack, he didn't bother to go on the attack, he just went on looting. He didn't attack the enemy. He went on looting." So Bazzy called the director of operations, went together to Bazzy and he said they should beat up Amara Kallay because he had not executed the orders that were given to him. He said they should beat him up. Indeed, they took him to the military police and he was given over 50 lashes for not completing the operation.

  • What were the orders that Bazzy said he had not executed and was punishing him for?

  • Well, Bazzy ordered that he should go and attack Gberi Junction and ensure that if he met any military position, or civilians there they should be executed and destabilise the base that was at Gberi Junction, but when the man went he didn't do that. I think he just stopped halfway and looted those areas and returned. So Bazzy said that was not the operation, he failed to carry out the operation that he was sent for.

  • Was there any other operation to Gberi Junction after this operation by Amara Kallay?

  • Yes, my Lord. We undertook another operation and this time round I joined in and we went and attacked the ECOMOG forces at Gberi Junction and disorganised them, burnt Gberi Junction and got some ammunition and withdrew to Gberibana, the headquarters.

  • How long after the first operation to Gberi Junction did this second operation that you went on in Gberi Junction take place?

  • It was just two days. The day they came they rested and Bazzy said the other day we should go back there and attack Gberi Junction. He said that place - because that place is a military position, so we should attack that place. So we organised again and moved. This time Amara Kallay moved. We went with him on that operation and we succeeded. We attacked the ECOMOG headquarters at Gberi Junction and burnt down Gberi Junction, because they withdrew. They withdrew with their armoured car. So we were able to get some ammunition and return to Gberibana.

  • What did you burn in Gberi Junction?

  • Well, the houses that were at the Gberi Junction where the ECOMOG were, we burnt those houses.

  • Were there any civilians living there at the time?

  • No, my Lord. We did not meet civilians.

  • After this operation in Gberi Junction, do you recall if you heard anything?

  • Well, the only thing was that those operations that happened, they used to announce it. We heard the announcement over the air that the junta forces, the AFRC and RUF have attacked Gberi Junction. That used to happen and when we came Bazzy will report to Mosquito that we have attacked Gberi Junction, the men have attacked Gberi Junction. That used to happen. Whatever attack we went on, Bazzy will give a report to General Mosquito, that is Sam Bockarie.

  • After the Gberi Junction operation do you recall if any other operations took place while your group was based in Gberibana?

  • Mile 38, that is Magbuntoso.

  • When did this operation take place?

  • After the Gberi Junction operation we rested for about two days also and Bazzy said we should attack, because we were not spending much time. After the operation - after two days another operation should take place. He said there is a military position there, we should destabilise it.

  • Can you give us a time frame when this operation in Mile 38 took place?

  • These operations that I'm talking about, all of them happened in June, close to July, but it was in June, June/July, yeah, it was then that these operations happened.

  • Which year?

  • Do you know what happened during the operation on Mile 38?

  • Well, I was part of the team that went to Mile 38.

  • What happened during this operation?

  • Well, we also met the ECOMOG there, we attacked their positions and pushed them out of Mile 38 and some of their tents that they had erected there were burnt down and we withdrew to the base. We got some ammunition from them and we withdrew to the base.

  • Did any other operations take place after the Mile 38 operation?

  • Well, the only operation that took place, as far as I can recall, was before the declaration of the ceasefire on Mansumana. Bazzy organised a troop to attack Mansumana. That was the day the government declared a ceasefire.

  • Your Honours, for the record Mansumana is spelt M-A-N-S-U-M-A-N-A:

  • Do you know what happened during the operation on Mansumana?

  • Well, I did not go on this operation. It was Keforkeh and his battalion that Bazzy sent to go and attack Mansumana. We were at the headquarters. We had three 82 millimetre mortars that we mounted and were firing at opposite directions within that Masiaka axis and the ground force moved to attack Mansumana.

  • Do you recall which one of the battalions went on the operation to Mansumana?

  • Yes, the Lion battalion. Bazzy ordered Keforkeh to move his battalion - the dawn of the day the peace would be declared should meet them there. They should capture there and stay there in order to gain ground. The troop should ensure that they capture Mansumana and create a checkpoint there.

  • Witness, do you recall anything happening in Magbeni in July 1999?

  • Well, at the time that the government declared a ceasefire we realised that they've not mentioned the SLA in the accord, they just said all of us who were in the bush were combatants. We disagreed. We said we were SLAs, why haven't they mentioned the SLAs? So Bazzy organised, called Bomb Blast and said, well, now it looks like we should plan another operation. So he linked up with Freetown and said, well, he wants to release some child combatants, so let the UNAMSIL who were there at the time, and some group of people, to come and receive these child combatants.

  • When you say so he linked up with Freetown, what are you referring to?

  • Well, during those times we used to have communication. During the ceasefire we used to get communication directly from Cockerill because communication was going on between the two sides because there was a ceasefire. So we called Abdulai Mustapha, who was the protocol officer to President Kabbah. He said, well, we would want to release some child combatants. We want UNAMSIL to come and receive these child combatants at Magbeni.

  • Who said this to Abdulai Mustapha?

  • It was Bazzy who said this to Abdulai Mustapha.

  • Your Honours, I'm going to be moving to a new area. Perhaps it's the right time to take a break.

  • Thank you, Ms Alagendra, that will be appropriate. We will take the mid- morning break, Mr Witness, and we will resume court again at 12 o'clock. Please adjourn court.

  • [Break taken at 11.30 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 12.00 p.m.]

  • Ms Alagendra, please proceed.

  • Thank you, your Honour:

  • Witness, before we took the break you were telling the Court about a communication between Bazzy and Abdulai Mustapha who was the protocol officer to President Kabbah about the release of child soldiers. These child combatants at Magbeni, who were they with?

  • Those child combatants were there at the base at Gberibana and some of them were in the other villages where the battalions were attached. They were there.

  • Do you recall at this time in Gberibana how many child combatants were with the West Side?

  • We had about 200 child combatants.

  • And these 200 child combatants, do you recall their gender?

  • Well, they were mixed, but the boys were many than the girls.

  • Do you recall the age group of these child combatants that were the West Side?

  • Some were around eight, 10 and 12 years.

  • Just to be clear, witness, when you say child combatant what are you referring to?

  • These boys were trained, many of them, they were fighting alongside with us when we go on operations.

  • And how did these boys come to join your group?

  • Well, those various areas we captured, like Kono and Freetown also when we captured there, these children were with us.

  • That's not the answer, Mr Witness, to the question asked. The question asked was how did they come to join your group. You said you captured areas. What happened there?

  • We captured them.

  • Witness, just to go back a little bit, when you were based at Gberibana you spoke about communication between Bazzy and Mosquito, do you recall that?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • Apart from that communication, do you recall if there were any other communications that took place, and I am referring to radio communications, witness?

  • Yes, like I said, all the areas that we captured, Bazzy would call Mosquito and then give him a report. When we went to Port Loko, he also gave that report. Makolo, he also gave that report. Gberi Junction, he also gave that report. And Mile 38 as well he gave that report. And up to Mansumana that we were to attack that morning against the ceasefire. He also reported to him that we had attacked Mansumana, so we were able to gain some grounds before the ceasefire and establish a defensive around the Mansumana axis.

  • Apart from communications with Mosquito, do you recall if Bazzy communicated over the radio with anyone else?

  • Yes, he used to talk to Morris Kallon and also Issa.

  • How do you know that Bazzy used to communicate with Morris Kallon and Issa?

  • Well, whenever he had wanted to do that he will call on Bomb Blast to move with him. He will also talk to them.

  • When you say Issa, who are you referring to?

  • I am talking about Issa Sesay who was an RUF commander.

  • Now you say, "He will call on Bomb Blast to move with him." My question is how did you know about these communications?

  • These two happened in my presence. Whenever he called on Bomb Blast, when he is going, when he is doing those communications it happens in my presence. It's not that the set would be in the house. You always have where the set is and where the radio man is, when they are doing the communication I will be present. It was not something that was hidden in the house.

  • Do you recall communications between Bazzy and Issa Sesay?

  • Yes, I can recall that.

  • Do you remember any particular conversation that they had over the radio?

  • Well, as far as I know, during the time we captured the Malians Bazzy spoke to Issa, Morris Kallon. Hassan Papa Bangura also spoke to Issa. That happened, like I have said, he explained about how the present activities that were going on.

  • What activities? Can you be specific?

  • About the successful operation at Port Loko and the capture of the Malians, he also briefed him on that.

  • Anything else you recall?

  • Well, as far as I can recall, this is one of the things that he spoke about to Morris Kallon, because I can recall that area when he discussed with him at the West Side. Also when we captured the UNAMSIL personnel, communication resumed between Mosquito, Issa Sesay, Bomb Blast and Issa Sesay.

  • Now you have spoken about communications between Morris Kallon and Bazzy where Bazzy was briefing him about the operations. This is Morris Kallon. Do you recall what the communication was about between Bazzy and Issa Sesay?

  • Yes, as I have said, he told him that he is doing very well, because at the time Issa explained he also spoke about the attack in Makeni, but he said he was now based in Kailahun together with Mosquito. He said he was very happy with Bazzy because Bazzy was cooperating with them and that Bazzy was attacking positions and that that was what they were expecting.

  • Who was saying that he was very happy with Bazzy?

  • Issa Sesay said that. He also spoke to Bomb Blast and told him that he was very much happy and pleased with their cooperation, the way they are going about with the operation in the west.

  • And when he said to Bazzy that he was very happy Bazzy was cooperating with them, do you know who the "them" was he was referring to?

  • He said Bazzy was cooperating with their squad which was Mosquito, Issa and the group that was with Morris Kallon in the Kailahun area.

  • Witness, going back to the communication between Bazzy and the protocol officer for Tejan Kabbah, can you tell us what happened after that communication?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • Well, Abdulai Mustapha said they will ensure that they will send vehicles and they will send Bishop Biguzzi and some ECOMOG officials - officers and UNAMSIL officers to come to Magbeni to pick up the child combatants.

  • Your Honours, with your permission I will come back to Court on the spelling for Biguzzi, your Honours.

  • What happened after Abdulai Mustapha said this?

  • Well, later the commander in Magbeni called and said he had seen vehicles that came where ECOMOG officials and Bishop Biguzzi and other officers were waiting in Magbeni.

  • Who was the commander in Magbeni who said this?

  • Well, we had one Fatoma, Ranger Fatoma. He was based in that area. He called on the radio set and said UNAMSIL officers and some ECOMOG officers and Bishop Biguzzi and some other people came, they are came along with vehicles to receive the child combatants.

  • Your Honours, the spelling for Biguzzi is B-I-G-U-Z-I [sic].

  • What happened after Fatoma made this communication?

  • Well, we had planned, Bazzy appointed Hassan Papa Bangura, who was Bomb Blast, to lead a team to meet with the ECOMOG officials that came together with Bishop Biguzzi. He said when we are going we should have the plan wherein the children should first be allowed to cross over into Makeni [sic] so that they will say - they will know that the officials who came will realise that we were prepared to release those children. So Bomb Blast would be in the meeting talking to the officials and those of us who would be out, Bomb Blast will give a sign to remove his hat on his head. When he does that we should capture the ECOMOG officials and the others and that was what happened.

    The children crossed over to Magbeni, after which we too crossed over to Magbeni, as I have explained. Bomb Blast entered the place and sat with the officials I am saying. No sooner he removed his hat from his head we attacked, without firing, and captured ECOMOG officials, the UNAMSIL officials, captured Bishop Biguzzi and the others including the drivers that came. We arrested them.

  • There was a name, I think it was Magbeni, but the interpreter said Makeni at page 60, line 9. I heard the witness say Magbeni, but the interpreter said Makeni. If that could be cross checked, please.

  • Witness, can you clarify for the Court. You said the plan wherein the children should first be allowed to cross into Makeni, or Magbeni? Which was it?

  • Who made this plan?

  • Well, this plan was from Bazzy who was the commander.

  • How do you know about this plan?

  • Well, like I have said, it was a meeting that he held when he called Hassan Papa Bangura and the operation commanders and all the other commanders that were present. Like I have said, he said we were completely out of the Lome Accord, we were not included in the Lome Accord, not even to mention Johnny Paul. So we should plan an operation wherein they will be made to recognise us.

  • Who captured the ECOMOG officials, Bishop Biguzzi and the drivers that came with them?

  • Well, myself and the squad headed by Hassan Papa Bangura captured those people and placed them under gunpoint. The ECOMOG soldiers were disarmed and we also arrested the officials that came, the UNAMSIL officials. They were not carrying arms. We captured them, including the Zambian officers. Then later Bishop Biguzzi, Hassan Papa Bangura gave an order that he should be released together with a woman that they came along with, so he was released. So we crossed over with the ECOMOG officials that included Major Tanko, Major Peters. Then we had one journalist who was among, Christo Johnson, who also was arrested, he too came with that squad. We ensured that the children, returned to Gberibana and then we also crossed with the officials that I said we captured to the headquarters and handed them over to Bazzy.

  • Major Tanko is spelt T-A-N-K-O. The name of the journalist was Christo Johnson, C-H-R-I-S-T-O. That is all for spellings, your Honour.

  • Ms Alagendra, is the witness's evidence that these children actually went back to the base in the West Side? In other words, they were not released?

  • I will clarify that, your Honour:

  • Witness, the children, the child combatants, what happened to them?

  • They were not released at all. They were organised immediately and then crossed them back to Gberibana, the headquarters, because by then we had arrested the drivers, the officials that came to take them and even the ECOMOG officials that came, we had arrested them. So they were returned to Gberibana.

  • Did anything happen to Bishop Biguzzi before he was released?

  • Well, there was a commander there, Terminator, who was Lamin Sidique who came from Makeni, took the ring of the bishop, but later the bishop refused to go. So Bomb Blast asked him why and he said they had taken his ring. So Terminator was called and then the ring was returned to the bishop and then later he left. He left together with a woman. All the other officials, the UNAMSIL officials, the ECOMOG officials were all moved to Gberibana.

  • What happened when you all returned to Gberibana after capturing the officials?

  • Well, when we crossed over they passed the night there. Then the other day Christo Johnson, who was the journalist, said he met Bazzy. When they were taken there we divided them. The ECOMOG soldiers and the UNAMSIL officials as well were divided. So in the morning we went to Bazzy. Christo Johnson was with Tito, Tito brought him to Bazzy. So he said he had wanted to know why we arrested them, because since he was a journalist he would go and tell the rest of the world the reason why they were arrested.

    So Bazzy told him, well, now that they have signed the Lome Peace Accord, SLA was not included in it and they knew we were all combatants who were to disarm, so that was a problem. And then Johnny Paul Koroma, he said he was made to understand that he was under arrest. He said because Johnny Paul was not talking to them, so that is making it difficult for him. So he was asking that they released Johnny Paul Koroma and have the army reinstated. So he said that was the reason why the UNAMSIL officials were arrested together with the ECOMOG officials.

    So Christo Johnson said he should be released, he will go over the air and explain exactly what our demands were. So Bazzy ordered his release. On that day when he was released in the afternoon he was heard over the BBC and also VOA and said these are the reasons. In fact all the other stations were carrying announcements about it, that the soldiers at the West Side Base had been arrested, they had tampered with the peace accord, they had arrested ECOMOG officials and some UNAMSIL officials who went to pick up some combatant children.

    So later Mosquito called in the camp in our presence at the radio set. He said Bazzy should release those people. He said the announcement over the air, he didn't believe the ECOMOG officials were left out. Then Bazzy said the only reason why they will let me release them is for me to talk to Johnny Paul Koroma.

  • I am going to stop you here to clarify a few matters. Now when Bazzy said he was made to understand Johnny Paul Koroma was under arrest, did he specify where or by whom Johnny Paul was arrested?

  • Well, according to Bazzy, he said he was made to understand that Johnny Paul was under arrest in Kailahun. He said that was his understanding, because since Johnny Paul did not talk to them, Mosquito only used to talk to them, he said that was his understanding that Johnny Paul was under arrest.

  • Who was Bazzy asking should release Johnny Paul Koroma?

  • He said, well, like when Mosquito was talking to him, he said if Johnny Paul was existing at the time then let him talk to Johnny Paul to know that he is not under arrest.

  • Is all this supposed to be a message that Bazzy was giving to this journalist? Is that it?

  • That is what it sounded like, your Honour, but I will get it clarified by the witness:

  • Witness, what you have been testifying that was being said by Bazzy, all this, who was he saying it to?

  • Just as I have said, after Christo Johnson had announced over the air about our demands that we explained to him, I said Mosquito called at the camp and spoke to Bazzy that he had heard about the news and that Bazzy should release the ECOMOG officials and also the ECOMOG soldiers that he arrested. Then Bazzy said, "Please, sir, I will not release these people because we are not included in the Lome Accord." He said, "Also we are made to understand that Johnny Paul is under arrest in Kailahun." This was a communication that was going on between the two people where we were.

  • Witness, before this communication you were telling the Court about what was being spoken between Bazzy and Christo Johnson.

  • Yes, my Lord, I did say that.

  • And you were explaining at length what was being said.

  • Could you clarify whether all that you said was being spoken by Bazzy before the communication with Mosquito? All those matters, who was it being spoken to?

  • Yes, my Lord, as I have said earlier, I said Christo Johnson, Tito took him to Bazzy and when Bomb Blast moved to Bazzy, Christo Johnson asked what was the reason for the arrest, the ECOMOG officials and the UNAMSIL officials. He said since he was a journalist they should release him and explain to him exactly what their problems are, then he would take that information to the international media and the government and explain to them that these are the reasons why those people were arrested by those men. He said now that the Lome Peace Accord is here we were not included in it. They only said we were all combatants. He said we are trained military combatants, despite the fact that we are in the jungle, and also Johnny Paul Koroma too is not included in the Lome Peace Accord. He said so the journalist should go and tell the rest of the world that we want them to release Johnny Paul Koroma and that we should be recognised and reinstated in the national army. So he said that was the reason why we arrested them. He said the journalist should go and explain. So I said Bazzy ordered his release, the journalist, he went back to Freetown and we got the information on the air.

  • How do you know Bazzy spoke all this to Christo Johnson?

  • Like I have explained, I said myself, Bomb Blast, moved to Bazzy when Tito brought Christo Johnson. This too happened in my presence and some other senior commanders were there.

  • How do you know about the communication between Bazzy and Mosquito?

  • This also happened because by then we were very close. We were all at Bazzy's place waiting to get the response from Christo Johnson. So when Christo Johnson went on air, Mosquito immediately called and ordered Bazzy, through the radio set, to release the government officials and the ECOMOG. He said ECOMOG is safe, but that they didn't want Johnny Paul to be saying things on the air.

  • Your Honours, I heard the witness say Johnny Paul was safe:

  • Witness, can you repeat that last part of your answer again. You said, "He said ECOMOG was safe, but that they didn't want Johnny Paul to be saying things on the air."

  • Yes, I said Mosquito - that was a Mosquito's reference that Johnny Paul was safe. That he would say they did not want him to continue to go on the air, but he was a commander. He was on the ground. He was a ground force commander. He went over the air for anything that was going on.

  • Who didn't want who to continue to go on the air?

  • Mosquito said they advised Johnny Paul not to go on the air. He would do that, to go over the air.

  • When you say "but he was a commander", who are you talking about?

  • Well, he said he was a field commander, he would go over the air, Mosquito, Sam Bockarie, that he was a field commander.

  • He went over the air for anything that was going on. Who are you referring to when you say "he"?

  • Well, as I said, all the attacks and the entry into Freetown he went over the air. When we attacked the Malians he went over the air. The order to burn Freetown he went over the air.

  • Mosquito, Sam Bockarie. General Sam Bockarie, whom we called Sam Bockarie - Mosquito.

  • Mr Interpreter, please be accurate, accurately interpreting what the witness is saying.

  • Witness, what happened after this communication?

  • Well, after these communications which Bazzy and General Sam Bockarie had, which Mosquito did, later also while we were sitting down we heard communication. Johnny Paul called. He said that he was annoyed with Bazzy, that Bazzy should immediately release the UNAMSIL officials and the ECOMOG officials that he had captured. Bazzy said, "Well, please, sir, now it only today that I have heard your voice, but these people I cannot release them until we get in touch with you, until we see you face to face."

  • Did Johnny Paul respond?

  • Yes, he had nothing to say. He put off the set, after which later he called Johnny Paul - Johnny Paul called again. He said, "Bazzy," he said, "now we are under preparation that President Taylor will send a helicopter to pick us up in Kailahun. You also should choose some men. They will move into Freetown and from there you will meet me in Liberia so that we will discuss this issue."

  • Madam President, I would be grateful if learned counsel could give some time frame indications for both the capture of the Bishop Biguzzi, as well as this call, or conversation with Johnny Paul Koroma.

  • Ms Alagendra, I don't think we have any time frames for this sequence of events.

  • Your Honours, I think there is a time frame. My question to the witness was, "What, if anything, happened in July of 1999?", and that was when the capture --

  • Yes, but I am saying there are a series of events and I don't know the period of time between each of them, how long they were captured, how long between radio communications, et cetera.

  • Witness, do you remember the date when the incident took place when the UNAMSIL and the ECOMOG officials were captured?

  • Yes, this was in July 1999. It was going to July/August 1999. That was the time this thing happened.

  • How long after they were captured did this communication take place? First the communication between Bazzy and Mosquito.

  • Well, like I said, when we captured them, the next day, released within that week. All that happened within the week, The week that this thing happened.

  • Ms Alagendra, do you mind going over the question that you asked, or the evidence relating to when Johnny Paul called again? The answer seems not to make sense to me. This is at page 69, lines 4 up to about 9.

  • I will do so, your Honour:

  • Witness, you spoke about a communication between Johnny Paul and Bazzy, the first communication, which ended by Johnny Paul putting off the radio, you said. Then there was a second communication when you said he called back.

  • First, witness, can you tell the Court how long after the first communication between Bazzy and Johnny Paul did the second communication between them take place?

  • It was the same day. He switched the set off first and then we were there, we discussed, Johnny Paul called again.

  • Witness, can you tell us first how is it you know about the two communications between Johnny Paul and Bazzy?

  • My Lord, like I said, I was present together with Bazzy, Bomb Blast and Junior Lion and other senior commanders that were there, were present at the site. We were all seated.

  • Can you tell us again what happened, or what was spoken during this second communication between Bazzy and Johnny Paul Koroma?

  • Like I said, Johnny Paul said President Taylor, former President Taylor of Liberia, was preparing a helicopter to lift him from Kailahun and to go back to Liberia and so we were to prepare, and Bazzy was to prepare a delegation that will go to Freetown and they will pick us in Freetown, after which we will go to Liberia to discuss this issue.

  • Witness, you have said President Taylor and former President Taylor. At the time of this communication what was his designation?

  • He was the President of Liberia at that time.

  • Please continue, witness. What else did JPK say during this communication?

  • He said, like I said, President Taylor has released a helicopter to pick him up in Kailahun and he will go to Liberia, after which Bazzy was to choose some men and they will pick him up to go to Freetown, and from Freetown they will lift us to Liberia and so that will solve this problem that was on floor.

  • Who will pick who up to go to Freetown?

  • He said arrangement was in place wherein the ECOMOG that were on the highway and the government will send a vehicle to pick the delegation from Okra Hill and move them to Freetown so then they will be airlifted to Liberia and there they will meet with Johnny Paul Koroma in Liberia.

  • Witness, after there communication do you recall if Bazzy chose men for this purpose?

  • How many men did he choose?

  • 11 man delegation that left West Side at that time. It was an 11 man delegation.

  • Do you recall who the 11 men were in that delegation?

  • Can you name them, please?

  • Ibrahim Bazzy Kamara, he was one. Hassan Papa Bangura was the second. Junior Lion, George Johnson, whom we called Junior Lion. Major Gbonkelenkeh. Myself. Bazzy's CSO at that time, I mean his PA, personal assistant, who was - we called him Junior, Junior Jones. There was Tiger. That was how we called him, Tiger. Bob Lahai who was called Captain Blood. There was Humpar who was with Bazzy. Hussein too was in this delegation that left to go to Liberia. We had Issa Mansaray whom we took off together from West Side from the base.

  • Witness you mentioned a name Humpar?

  • Yes, Humpar. He was also a personal security of Bazzy.

  • Are you able to assist us with the spelling of that name?

  • As far as I know it is H-U-M-P-A-R, something like that, yes.

  • Your Honours, I just want to check the number of names we have:

  • Witness, when you went to Freetown, when the delegation went to Freetown, where did you go in Freetown?

  • Well, the delegation moved. Whom we met at that time was Leather Boot who he was then the CSO to Sankoh from Lome Peace Accord. He came as a CSO together with some UNAMSIL officers - officers, sorry, officers. They escorted us to Freetown and took us to Solar Hotel. There we lodged in Freetown.

  • Witness, you have been testifying earlier about a Leather Boot who you said was also known as Idrissa Kamara?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • The Leather Boot here you are talking about who was a CSO to Sankoh, who is he?

  • Well, this was the same Leather Boot whom I said was Idrissa Kamara whom we left in Kono. That is the one that I am referring to, because he came as CSO to Foday Sankoh at the time when they were in Lome. He said that Pa Sankoh sent him so they all came together with the ECOMOG officers and received us from Mansumana and drove with us to Freetown and they lodged us at Solar Hotel.

  • For how long did you stay in Solar Hotel?

  • We were there for two days in the Solar Hotel and the ECOMOG officers included Maxwell Khobe, who was there by then, Kpamber, Chief Kpamber also who was the ECOMOG commander who was in Freetown, they all came and met us.

  • Witness, would you be able to spell Kpamber?

  • It should be P-M-A-I-B-A [sic]. Kpamber, something like that. He was the ECOMOG commander who was there.

  • What, if anything, happened after the two days?

  • Well, yes, my Lord.

  • Well, later, like I said, we were picked up together with Abdulai Mustapha and taken to Aberdeen airfield and we boarded one helicopter which flew us to Lungi airport. From there we were also taken on one plane that took us to Liberia.

  • Witness, took you to which airfield, can you repeat again please?

  • Well, this airfield there was along Aberdeen, Aberdeen airfield. Very close to - it's not far from Solar Hotel. It was just where the helicopters land.

  • Your Honours, for the record Lungi is L-U-N-G-I and Aberdeen is A-B-E-R-D-E-E-N. Your Honours, before I proceed further with this evidence, can I ask that the witness be given a map at page S13 of the map book, please. Your Honour, it is a map of Port Loko District:

  • Witness, you have been testifying about Koya rural district, am I right?

  • Can you remind the Court again of some of the places which you said were in Koya rural district?

  • I mentioned Makolo, I mentioned Magbuntoso and also Mamamah. All these were around the Koya rural district. And also Newton. I mentioned Newton.

  • On the map in front of you do you see Koya rural district marked?

  • Yes, my Lord. That is Koya.

  • Is that the area you are referring to as Koya rural district?

  • Can you circle Koya and put a number 1 next to that, please?

  • We can't see a thing. Whatever is happening, we can't see anything.

  • I think I need help from the booth.

  • Thank you for your assistance.

  • If you could zoom out a little? It is too magnified. Just reduce the - no, the other way.

  • Witness, can you put a number 1 where you where you circled Koya. Do you see Makolo on the map?

  • Can you circle Makolo and put a number 2 next to it. Do you see Port Loko Town on the map?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • Can you circle that and put number 3 next to Port Loko Town. Do you see Magbuntoso, that you say is Mile 38, on the map?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • Can you circle that and put number 4 next to it. Do you see Gberibana on the map?

  • Yes, Gberi is here.

  • They only wrote Gberi there.

  • Are you saying that where it is written Gberi that is where Gberibana is?

  • Your Honours, that is the witness's evidence so I am going to ask him to mark that location Gberi, which he says is also Gberibana:

  • Witness, can you circle that and put a number 5 next to that. Thank you, witness.

  • Your Honours, that is all the markings for this map. Your Honours, can I ask that this map be marked for identification MFI-26?

  • Yes, a one page document, a map entitled "Port Loko District - Sierra Leone", as marked by the witness, is MFI-26.

  • Witness, before we proceed as to what happened as you left Lungi for Liberia, there is an issue I would like to take you back to. Do you recall telling the Court that before the troops under Alex Tamba Brima left Mansofinia there was a meeting called wherein he passed certain orders?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • And you told the Court that one of the orders passed by Alex Tamba Brima was that no soldier or civilian with the group should escape.

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • And that all his orders had to be complied with strictly.

  • Madam President, with respect, I understand that counsel is putting questions to the witness in the context of responses learned counsel proposes he gave, but --

  • States he gave, but perhaps it would be helpful if we could have some indication about the transcript and where this took place.

  • Yes, have you got that transcript number to assist counsel, Ms Alagendra?

  • Your Honours, I don't have it at hand.

  • Perhaps some of your colleagues can find it.

  • I will ask for some assistance, your Honour, but in the meantime I just want to ask learned counsel whether he would like me to not proceed with this line of questioning until we find that? Is he disputing the evidence that is on the record?

  • I am in the Court's hands, but my recollection of the evidence is that there are nuance differences in the terminology used by counsel vis-a-vis what I recall being said by the witness.

  • Well, in order to avoid any future argument if you could have that number and proceed on another aspect of your evidence and we will revert to it as soon as you have the number to hand.

  • I will do that, your Honour, thank you:

  • Witness, we will come back to that issue later. Witness, you said, "We boarded the plane that took us to Liberia." Who boarded the plane?

  • You have Abdulai Mustapha who escorted us to Roberts airfield, Bazzy Kamara, Ibrahim Bazzy Kamara, who was the overall commander, Hassan Papa Bangura, whom was called Bomb Blast, myself, George Johnson, also called Junior Lion, Major Gbonkelenkeh, Bobo Lahai, called Captain Blood, Tiger, Hussain, Junior Jones and also Humpar.

  • Witness, do you recall what kind of plane you boarded?

  • This was a special flight which we met at the Lungi airport, which took us from the airport together with Abdulai Mustapha.

  • Where in Liberia did this plane take you to?

  • We landed at Roberts airfield, Roberts international airfield, in Liberia. There we landed.

  • Do you recall in which part of Liberia Roberts international airfield is?

  • Well, because what I learnt from the - they drove us into the city. It is far from the city.

  • Well, it was a long drive actually according to what I know. It could be around 19 to 20 miles from the Roberts airfield to the city.

  • Were you met when you arrived at Roberts airfield?

  • Do you recall who met you?

  • Yes, I can recall, but I didn't know their names, but I could recall the names of the people that came for us. They came with two jeeps.

  • Do you remember some of the names of the people who came?

  • No, well, these were men who were in coats. They said they were special bodyguards from the President, who was President Taylor, so they received us at the airfield airport.

  • Do you remember the names of any one of these special bodyguards of President Taylor?

  • No, those that took us I didn't know them. They just came in a jeep and received us from the airport.

  • And where did you go from the airport?

  • Well, they drove us to the city and took us to one hotel, Boulevard Hotel, Boulevard Hotel, yes. There we were taken and when we arrived at Boulevard Hotel we met somebody who identified himself, huge tall person, he said he was the ADC to the President, that he was Momoh Gibba, ADC to the President. He took us to the reception in the hotel.

  • Your Honours, for the record it is Boulevard Hotel:

  • Witness, can you remind us when you used the words "ADC to the President", what do you mean?

  • This was the aide-de-camp to the President that met us there, who identified himself as Momoh Gibba and took us to the reception and they had made all necessary arrangements. He only called the manager of the hotel, said that these were President Taylor's guests, but the only thing that they were free to whatever they wanted at reception, but they were not to take wine, alcohol. If you wanted anything there you could buy it, but you were not to drink it.

  • Did he say anything else?

  • He said they would contact us, that they would get in touch with us later, but we were to rest, that we were to take bath and then rest and that they will get in touch with us as time went on, but we were to feel free in the hotel.

  • Did he say who would get in touch with you?

  • Yes, he said vehicles will come and we would see - we will meet with Johnny Paul and from there they will make necessary arrangement to meet with President Taylor.

  • Ms Alagendra, I wonder if we could establish where this hotel is located?

  • I will do that, your Honour:

  • Witness, do you recall Boulevard Hotel, where in Liberia it is located?

  • In the city. In the city. In Liberia.

  • Do you know the name of the city?

  • Monrovia. In Monrovia. That is the city.

  • He said vehicles would come. Did he say where the vehicles would come from?