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

  • The Krio interpreters are in position?

  • That's fine. Please proceed, Mr Werner.

  • Thank you, your Honour.

  • Good morning, Mr Witness.

  • Mr Witness, could you give your name to this Court?

  • Well, my name is Samuel Bull.

  • And could you spell for this Court your family name?

  • It's B-U-L-L, Bull.

  • And, Mr Witness, where were you born?

  • I was born in Motema Town, Kono District.

  • Your Honour, Motema would be M-O-T-E-M-A:

  • And do you know in which chiefdom is Motema?

  • Yes, it's in the Nimikoro Chiefdom.

  • Your Honour, Nimikoro would be N-I-M-I-K-O-R-O:

  • Mr Witness, do you know your date of birth?

  • Please tell this Court what is your date of birth?

  • I was born on 4 June 1960.

  • And, Mr Witness, what is your level of education?

  • Well, I stopped in the fifth form.

  • And which languages do you speak?

  • Well, I am a Kono by tribe, but I can speak Mende as well, Krio and English.

  • And could you write in English?

  • And why did you choose to testify in Krio before this Court?

  • I chose Krio because I knew I was coming to testify in the presence of white people and I'm not used to their accent. I wouldn't want to be asking questions to be repeating over and again, so that's why I want to testify in Krio; because this thing is very important and I can express myself better in Krio.

  • And, Mr Witness, what is your actual occupation?

  • Well, I'm a pastor. I'm a pastor in a ministry called IMC, called international --

  • Your Honours, can the witness repeat the meaning of the --

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter asks that you repeat the name of the church or the ministry to which you are attached.

  • IMC, International Mission Church, Sierra Leone. And I'm a facilitator in the Hope of Glory International from the US, working with Mammy Peggy.

  • And, Mr Witness, are you married?

  • Mr Witness, you are not hearing the interpreter? Mr Interpreter, it would seem that the witness is not hearing your counterpart.

  • Could counsel please repeat his question.

  • Are you married, Mr Witness?

  • And do you have children?

  • Yes, yes, I have children.

  • How many children do you have?

  • I have five children.

  • Mr Witness, do you remember the month of May 1997?

  • And where were you at that time?

  • I was in Motema, Kono District.

  • And during that month what, if anything, do you remember happening in Kono District?

  • Well, on that day, that is 25 May 1997, it was a Sunday, I was in church teaching at the Sunday school. I heard a group of soldiers coming and they were singing while coming and they were dancing and the song was not favourable to the church and myself, so we stopped the service to know what they were singing about.

  • Mr Witness, you are going a little bit fast as you speak. The interpreters are interpreting everything you say and broadcasting it also and people are writing it down, so can you speak a little bit more slowly and pause at the end of each sentence.

  • Okay. So I said on 25 May 1997, and that was on a Sunday, and I was in church teaching at the Sunday school, I saw a group of soldiers coming from the Gaya Junction end which was where the headquarters of the soldiers was and they were singing while coming and dancing, but the song that they were singing did not sound favourable to us.

  • Your Honour, the witness gave a name, Gaya, I think it's already in front of your Honours but for the record it's G-A-Y-A:

  • Now, Mr Witness, do you remember that song?

  • And would you be able to sing it for this Court?

  • Yes, I can sing it.

  • Please do so, Mr Witness.

  • While they were coming they were singing saying, "Hey, hey, hey. Eni bodi" --

  • Your Honour, can I interpret or just repeat it verbatim?

  • Mr Interpreter, please repeat it verbatim. Thank you.

  • Okay, your Honour. Can he repeat.

  • Please proceed, Mr Witness. Pick up where you were saying, "Hey, hey, hey. Eni bodi --" Continue from there.

  • "Hey, hey, hey. Eni bodi we no want soja wi go kil yu leke fol. Eni bodi we no want soja wi go kil yu leke fol." That is the song they sang.

  • Your Honours, I'm going to clarify one word but before that could the record demonstrate that the witness actually sang the song.

  • Yes, the witness sang and it was translated verbatim by the interpreter. Please proceed.

  • Mr Witness, you said the song, "Anybody we no want soldier we go kill you like a fowl". Could you explain that word? Could you explain that word?

  • Madam President, it might be helpful if the witness is asked to repeat the song but not sing it so a proper record is made of the language used in the song. That is the words that make up the song, because as it appears on the record as he sang it it doesn't appear that it was translated in its entirety and it's not clear as it appears on the record.

  • I absolutely agree, your Honours. I am going to ask the witness:

  • Mr Witness, without singing the song, could you tell this Court the words that were in this song, please, slowly?

  • Well, there was singing, the meaning of the song was that anybody who did not want the soldiers, that person would be killed like a chicken.

  • Mr Witness, what happened after that, after you heard this song?

  • Well, the service that was going on, we stopped it that morning and we went outside to actually make sure or know why those people on whom we depended were singing like that, and later we understood that they had overthrown the President we had just elected, that was Alhaji Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, that they had overthrown him.

  • Mr Witness, who had overthrown Ahmad Tejan Kabbah?

  • The AFRC, the juntas.

  • And following that day, what, if anything, did you hear?

  • Well, it was not long afterwards, that was just few days later, over Focus on Africa we heard Foday Sankoh talking on the radio that the RUF should leave the bush to join the AFRC and that they should not refer to themselves as RUF any more, but they should refer to themselves as the People's Army. That was what I heard.

  • Mr Witness, do you remember the month of February 1998?

  • February 1998, yes.

  • And, Mr Witness, do you know a place in Kono District called Koidu Town?

  • What is the distance, Mr Witness, between Motema and Koidu Town?

  • Approximately four miles from Motema to Koidu.

  • And in that month in February 1998 did you go to Koidu Town?

  • And what, if anything, did you see in February 1998 when you went to Koidu Town?

  • Well, I visited Koidu Town and we saw that shops were open and a lot of looting took place done by the AFRC and the People's Army. They broke into shops using guns and they took everything from the shops.

  • And, Mr Witness, when you say that "we saw that shops", who are "we"?

  • We, the civilians, who were in the Kono District, particularly Koidu Town.

  • Mr Werner, did the witness say the People's Army; what is that? The AFRC --

  • I will clarify that, your Honour.

  • Mr Witness, you said the AFRC and the People's Army did that?

  • According to your understanding who are the People's Army?

  • The People's Army refer to Foday Sankoh's fighters.

  • And at that time did you hear Foday Sankoh's fighters or the AFRC saying anything in Koidu Town?

  • Objection, Madam President, to foundation. Koidu Town is a big place. He has not narrowed it to a specific location. He is asking did he hear AFRC or People's Army/Foday Sankoh's fighters say anything. Under what circumstances? Was this over the radio? Was this in person? Was it in a school premises?

  • I will lay more foundation, your Honours.

  • Who, if anyone, did you see in Koidu Town when you went there in February 1998?

  • It was the fighters.

  • And which fighters did you see in Koidu Town?

  • Well, it was a mixed group. It was the AFRC and the People's Army. They were walking hand in hands.

  • And where in Koidu Town did you see them?

  • I was not present when they were doing those things, but when I got to Koidu Town, around Opera, by Kaikondo Road, we saw shops were open and empty.

  • Mr Witness, would you be able for this Court to spell Kaikondo Road? Kaikondo?

  • It's a bit difficult for me because that is a traditional Kono name.

  • Your Honour, we would offer the spelling K-A-I-K-O-N-D-O:

  • Now, Mr Witness, my question was that - sorry, just one second, your Honours, for me to check that on the LiveNote. So, Mr Witness, once again where did you see these fighters in Koidu Town in February 1998 when you went there?

  • I was not present, that's what I've said, when they were doing that act because I was in Motema, but they were all over the place. All over.

  • But just listen to my question and try, if you can, to answer it as precisely as you can. When you went there, in which part of Koidu Town did you see them?

  • They were along the Kaikondo Road, along Opera and some other places, but those were the main places because they are the places where shops are located.

  • And how many times did you see them in February 1998 in Koidu Town?

  • They were there until December, when they moved.

  • Mr Witness, my question was that in February 1998 how many times did you see these fighters in Koidu Town when you went there?

  • Well any time somebody would go to Koidu Town, as long as it was the time they were in power they would be there.

  • And how many times did you go there yourself in February 1998 in Koidu Town?

  • Well, I cannot estimate that now because I used to go there frequently.

  • And in February 1998, when you were there, what if anything did you hear the AFRC and the People's Army fighters saying, if anything?

  • Even before they looted - sorry, after the looting, the following morning we heard them saying, "Oh, yesterday was Operation No Living Thing" - sorry, "Operation Pay Yourself. Operation Pay Yourself". Some were even saying, "Ah, I didn't even know yesterday what was going on". That's what I heard.

  • And when you say "We heard them saying", who said that, Mr Witness?

  • It was the fighters. They were the ones saying this. The AFRC and the People's Army.

  • Now, Mr Witness, in that same month of February 1998, if anything what has happened in Kono District?

  • In that month we saw the Kamajors and the Donsos. They came and took over our area, particularly from Gaya right up to Koidu. They were in that place and the RUF, together with the People's Army - I mean, the RUF and the juntas - they left Kono and they went into the bush. Suddenly on February 21 we heard heavy gunshots coming towards Kono from the Masingbi highway, and because of that we wouldn't say we would sit down to see what was happening, or who was shooting, so we ran into the bush.

  • Just pause there, Mr Witness. Now, you said that you saw the Kamajors and the Donsos. Who are the Donsos, Mr Witness?

  • Well, they say Donsos. That is the Kono version of Kamajors. They were the hunters.

  • And, Mr Witness, yourself - on 21 February, where were you yourself?

  • I was in Motema.

  • And you said that you and others heard heavy gunshots coming towards Kono from the Masingbi highway. What is the Masingbi highway, Mr Witness?

  • That is the road leading from Freetown to Kono. It is - so, if you are coming to our district that is the highway you'd use. You pass through Masingbi.

  • And so did you understand what was happening on that day, Mr Witness?

  • Well, I did not wait to understand what was happening.

  • So what did you do?

  • I took my family to the bush. Fakoyia bush.

  • Is that a name of the bush, please, Mr Werner?

  • I am going to clarify that, your Honour:

  • Mr Witness, let me ask this question. What is Fakoyia bush?

  • Well Fakoyia is my village where we did some farming, so when we heard the gunshots then we went to Fakoyia, the village, but we were not based in the village itself. It was the nearby bushes that we went for us to hide from the fighters.

  • Your Honour, Fakoyia would be F-A-K-O-Y-I-A:

  • Now, Mr Witness, previously you told this Court that you were born in Motema and now you just said that your village was Fakoyia. What did you mean when you said your village was Fakoyia?

  • Well, Motema is my place of birth. We had a village and we traditional people, that is the way we read it. Wherever you do some farming and where your family is and your forefathers established that place, you would take that place as your village. That is why I referred to it as my village.

  • And in which chiefdom is Fakoyia, if you know?

  • No, Fakoyia is in the Nimikoro Chiefdom.

  • And, if you know, what is the distance between Motema and Fakoyia?

  • Well, approximately it's three miles from Motema.

  • And you said that on that day, February 21, you went to Fakoyia bush. If anyone, who went with you, Mr Witness?

  • I went together with my wife, my uncle, my father, my children and other relatives.

  • And when you say Fakoyia bush, Mr Witness, could you describe the area where you and your family went?

  • Please do so, Mr Witness.

  • Well, the place where we hid had a very big rock and there is a space beneath that rock - it's like a valley - and it was in that space that we were.

  • And how long did you stay in Fakoyia bush, Mr Witness?

  • Almost two months. It was just about five to six days to two months.

  • And what did you do for food, Mr Witness, during that period?

  • Well, when we got to Fakoyia actually I went with food. I had over a bag and a half of rice and I had some other condiments that we used, but because we didn't know how long we were going to spend in the bush and when ECOMOG would come to capture Kono I organised my family; that is I took myself, Thomas Kobie and my younger brother Emmanuel, we were the ones responsible to go and find food. We went in search of bush yams, just for us not to go short of food. And my wife and one of my relatives and one of my cousins, together with my children, they were the ones responsible for vegetables like potato leaves and some other vegetables in the swamp and the bush. That's the way we got our living.

  • Just pause there, Mr Witness. Mr Witness, you mentioned a name. You said that you organised your family and you took yourself, your younger brother Emmanuel and someone else. Could you repeat the name of that person?

  • It's Thomas Kobie.

  • And could you spell for the Court the family name?

  • No, the family name of Thomas Kobie.

  • Yes. It's K-O-B-I-E, Kobie.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. Now, during these two months that you were with your family in the Fakoyia bush, if you know, who were in Koidu Town?

  • At that time it was the juntas, who were there, together with the People's Army.

  • And how did you know that?

  • They were the ones who had retreated from Freetown when they were flushed out, so they came to Kono and based there.

  • But how did you know that, Mr Witness?

  • I saw them with my eyes.

  • But did you see them during the time that you were in Fakoyia bush?

  • I did not see them, but --

  • Your Honours, can the witness repeat that?

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter asks you to repeat your answer. You said, "I did not see them". Please continue from there.

  • I did not see them personally when they went to the bush, to us, but they went there. That was because I had gone out in search of bush yams.

  • Sorry to interrupt you, but we will come to that in a second. Mr Witness, during the two months that you were in Fakoyia bush, not after, during these two months, who if anyone did you see coming into Fakoyia bush?

  • There were people around us, those were Limba people and some other people, they used to come to the place. And later those people, that is the People's Army and the juntas, they visited us there.

  • And, Mr Witness, the time when the Limba people came to Fakoyia bush, were you told anything by these people that you can remember?

  • It was only that I was not at that place where my people were, but they came and told one of our pastors, that is Pastor Tamba Alyiu, and told him that they were chasing them. That is, the RUF, they were chasing them in the bush.

  • And, Mr Witness, would you be able to spell the family name of Tamba Alyiu, for this Court?

  • Yes. Well, they spell the family name as A-L-Y-I-U.

  • Well, Mr Witness, you told us before about Masingbi Highway. If anything, what were you told about Masingbi Highway during the two months that you were in Fakoyia bush?

  • Not even the two months. It was just the day after we had escaped, because I did not wait for them to enter. The time when the people met us there they told us that we were blessed that we had left the place earlier, they said because they killed some people at the Masingbi Highway while they were crossing. That is what they told me.

  • And, Mr Witness, when you say "when the people met us there", which people are you talking about?

  • The civilians because they were the ones who used to go to us and we discussed, as friends.

  • And when you say "because they killed some people at the Masingbi Highway", who are "they", Mr Witness?

  • I'm referring to the AFRC and the People's Army, on their way entering into Koidu.

  • And when you say "it was just the day after we had escaped", can you remember the date?

  • Please tell this Court.

  • We escaped on 21 February 1998. That was when we escaped.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. What happened after - if anything, what happened after these two months in Fakoyia bush, Mr Witness?

  • On 15 April 1998, I was not at the location where my family was but the three of us, we went in search of bush yams and my wife went in search of palm fruit and one of my cousins and some other persons whose names I don't want to call now, they went in search of vegetables. They were --

  • Your Honours, can the witness repeat this.

  • Mr Witness, please pause. The interpreter did not hear you clearly. Please pick up your answer and continue after you said, "They went in search of vegetables. They were --" Continue from that point.

  • I did not get that clearly.

  • You had said relatives had gone in search of vegetables. Now continue your answer.

  • Yes. I said one of my relatives, whose name I don't want to call now out, and one of my cousins too whose name I don't want to call out here as well, they went in search of vegetables.

  • Sorry, Mr Witness, just pause there. First, Mr Witness, you said that three of you went in search of bush yams so, please, Mr Witness, who went in search of bush yams?

  • It was myself, Thomas Kobie and my junior brother Emmanuel.

  • Just to be clear, what is the family name of your younger brother, Emmanuel?

  • Now, Mr Witness, you mentioned two persons, I believe your cousin and one of your relatives, and you said that you do not want to give their names to this Court. Could you explain why you don't want to give the names of these two people to this Court, Mr Witness?

  • Yes, sir. The reason is at the time they were captured they were too young. The one was 16 years old and the other was 17. And because of their safety, because I am here testifying in the open, and I know I am speaking the truth but I don't mind if it's just for me, but those children, now they've gone to school, they're working and they have their colleagues in their offices, they are married, they are now living with their families and friends as well, so if I start calling out their names and talking about what was done to them, if I explain everything, there will be a stigma and that will create a problem for them, and even for myself, within the family and to the friends that they have, so that is the reason why I don't want to call out their names.

  • Your Honours, the witness has explained that to us before and has expressed his concerns. So we would propose a very simple procedure which would be for this witness to be given a piece of paper and he could simply write the letter "A" and the name of the first relative and maybe the relationship and then the letter "B" and the name of the person or the second relative and then the relationship and then he could sign and date and then that paper could be distributed to everybody and then myself and my learned friend could later could simply refer to "A" and "B". We have spoken with this witness about that and he is comfortable with that way of doing and I spoke with my learned friend last night about this proposal.

  • Yes, Madam President. Indeed, Mr Werner did approach me after Court yesterday and he explained that this would be the proposal the Prosecution would make. Ordinarily we would object to this as has been our past practice, because this is evidence being given in open session.

    I considered the circumstances of the two persons not before the Court as explained to us by the witness and I told Mr Werner that we would acquiesce in this proposal in this instance. I spoke with Mr Taylor this morning and explained the circumstances to him and he in turn said it was proper, in his view, to proceed in this manner due to securing and protecting the identity of the young persons that were involved.

    This is the only instance I can recall us doing this or acquiescing to it and I just wanted to make the record clear that it is limited to these particular circumstances.

    I would make an additional request: When the witness writes this information down that the document also be signed and dated by the witness and naturally your Honours would I'm sure entertain an application from the Prosecution that it be treated confidentially. It would also be helpful to us if the witness were to give the full names of these persons for a variety of reasons that may be necessary under cross-examination.

  • We have no problem with that, your Honours.

  • Well, we will adopt that procedure. As this Court has said on other occasions, Mr Anyah, these matters are dealt with on a case by case basis, so your caveat is noted.

    Mr Witness, did you understand what is going to happen next, what you are being asked?

  • In fact, Mr Werner, you haven't asked the witness but please proceed.

  • Sure, your Honour, thank you.

  • Mr Witness, you have a sheet of paper in front of you. You see it?

  • So you told us that you can write in English, is that correct?

  • So could you, Mr Witness, on that piece of paper - and I'm just aware that some people can see behind and so could you just maybe --

  • Yes, I was wondering about that as well.

  • Could you write the capital letter "A" and then first name and last name, if possible, of the first of the two persons that you mentioned and then on the same line the relationship between you and that person. Then when you are done do the same with the second person, indicate capital letter "B", the name of that person and the relationship between you and that person, the first name and the last name.

  • And, Mr Witness, you should sign and put today's date on that piece of paper also.

  • The date is the 24th, Mr Witness. 24 September.

  • Mr Anyah?

  • Yes, Madam President. Just one additional request. The witness's signature doesn't disclose his name. Would it be possible for him to write his name and his TF1 number on that document?

  • I have no quarrel with that.

  • Mr Witness, we are going to return the paper to you. I would like you to print your name, so we can read it, and your TF1 number.

  • Your Honour, I am not sure the witness knows his number. Mr Witness, your TF number is TF1-065.

  • Please proceed, Mr Werner.

  • We would request this document to be marked for identification, your Honours.

  • That is a one-page document with handwriting by the witness. It becomes MFI-1.

  • Thank you, your Honour:

  • Mr Witness, before you told us that after these two months some people went in search of palm fruits and others went in search of vegetables. What happened to these people, Mr Witness?

  • So, they went searching for vegetables and they came into contact with the RUF and they captured them and they brought them to where we were hiding.

  • Just pause there, Mr Witness. When you say that they were searching for vegetables, who went searching for vegetables, Mr Witness?

  • "A" and "B", they went in search of vegetables.

  • Anyone else went with them?

  • And then, if anything, what happened to them, Mr Witness?

  • I said it was then that the RUF captured them. They held them captive and they brought them to where we were hiding.

  • And then what happened, Mr Witness?

  • At that time myself and my brothers had gone in search of bush yams, that was right about 2 to 3 o'clock, and on our way coming, close to where we were hiding where I left my family I heard a gunshot. That was a very big surprise to us, because we had been hiding there for a long time and we thought nobody noticed us, so I and my brothers ran away. We dropped all the bush yams that we had collected, we dropped everything and ran away, and we went and hid somewhere else. We were in hiding for over one hour and I decided to tell my brothers to wait for me. I said they should wait so that I go and check to find out exactly what was going on, but for me to move from that point where I left my brothers it was a very short place and for me to get to where we had been initially hiding it took me over an hour because I took my time. I was very cautious because I had heard gunshot and I did not want to meet them on the way, so I was going slowly sometimes and I crawl on the ground until I got to the place. I watched down the hole where we were hiding and I did not see anybody there, but because I had heard the singular gunshot I tried to look into the hole. I was looking around the area but I did not see anybody lying on the ground, but I was not brave enough to go down the place. I stood behind a tree and suddenly one of my brothers, who was actually my brother-in-law because we are giving him a wife into marriage, he came from my back and he told me, "Brother Samuel", and I turned towards him in fear and he started crying.

  • Please pause there, Mr Witness. Just to be completely clear, Mr Witness, because before you told us that when you went in search of bush yams you went with your brother Emmanuel and then you mentioned someone else - I believe you mentioned someone called Kobie - and now you said that you went with your brothers. So, could you explain that. Who was the second brother with whom you went?

  • They were Emmanuel and Thomas Kobie. The reason why I refer to him as my brother, this Thomas Kobie I am talking about, is because we have lived together for 17 good years and we did everything in common during those days and as a result of that I regarded him as a brother. Those are the ones I referred to, Emmanuel and Thomas Kobie.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. Now when you went back and you saw your brother-in-law what, if anything, did he tell you at that time?

  • Oh, they started crying and then "B" started crying. "B" and Emmanuel, Kobie they were crying and they said, "Brother, they've said they've captured 'A' and they asked us to carry the properties that they took from us, but they refused to release him. They did not release him at all". They said, "We have pleaded on their behalf for so long, but they didn't listen to us", and so they were standing by me crying.

  • And, Mr Witness, when you said, "They have captured 'A'", who are "they"?

  • Mr Werner, I am assuming the RUF, the People's Army and the AFRC are three different groups.

  • Well, your Honours, the witness said before that Foday Sankoh had been on the broadcast to say that from now on RUF were going to call People's Army and so, yes, they are two groups.

  • You assume and we assume.

  • I am going to clarify that with the witness, your Honours.

  • Yes, that was how we used to refer to them as the People's Army. The RUF were the People's Army and the AFRC it was another group.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. Mr Witness, from now on just wait for me to ask you a question before telling us, if you can.

  • Now, Mr Witness, did - were you told anything else by the people that you met about what had happened in your absence?

  • What is that, Mr Witness?

  • I said "B" told me that they raped "A" to the extent that she found it difficult to even walk on her feet.

  • Are you feeling all right, Mr Witness?

  • Mr Witness, are you all right?

  • Just pause, Mr Witness, now.

  • Maybe you want to drink something, Mr Witness.

  • Now, Mr Witness, do you feel able to go on or would you like a short break?

  • Your Honour, the witness has indicated he would like to continue.

  • That's fine, Mr Witness. You take your time. Mr Werner.

  • Thank you, your Honour:

  • Mr Witness, you said that "B" told you that they raped "A". Who are "they", Mr Witness?

  • The RUF. They raped her and they raped "B" and they released them to return, but they did not release "A" at all. She went with them.

  • Now, Mr Witness, how did you learn that "B" had been raped?

  • Well, I was not present, but "B" explained to me and James --

  • Your Honour, the last name of James was not clear to the interpreter.

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter asks that you repeat the second name of James.

  • He was called James Ngego.

  • Your Honours, the spelling we would propose for Ngego is N-G-E-G-O. James, the common spelling:

  • Mr Witness, when you said they raped her and "B" and "they released them to return", who was released to return?

  • They released James Ngego, they released Mary Nelson, they released Emmanuel Kobie and they released "B" for them to return

  • Nelson would be the current spelling and Kobie I believe was already spelt by the witness.

  • And Mr Witness do you know how long "B", James Ngego, Mary Nelson and Emmanuel Kobie were held by the RUF?

  • Well, they did not actually spend more than three hours with them because the same day they went to drop the items for them that same day they were released and they returned.

  • Mr Werner, there are too many "they"s and "them"s.

  • I am going to clarify, your Honour.

  • When you say "they did not spend more than three hours with the", who are "them", Mr Witness?

  • James and those who were captured - amongst my own people those who were captured who the RUF took along with them, those were the ones that the RUF released. They released them to return. You know, I am speaking Krio, that is the more reason why the "them, them"s are plenty.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. Mr Witness, you told us about items, that they had to carry items. What are you talking about?

  • Well, we had rice with us, and I had some chicken, and I had some ducks. The RUF took all our belongings, our wearings from us, the ones that were value in outlook, and they covered my people with them and they told them that they should go and escort them, so those were the items that they took with them.

  • When you say "they covered my people with them", what do you mean?

  • I am not getting the interpreter.

  • Your Honour, could the lawyer go over the question again.

  • First when you said "they covered my people with them", who are "they"?

  • I said the RUF took our properties, and they asked my own people to carry them for them. Those are the properties I counted. I said they took our chickens, the RUF took our chickens, they took our ducks, and our clothing. So they took them along with them, but they did not actually find some of my value items that I had hidden away from them.

  • Mr Witness, how did you know about that? How do you know that they were forced to carry these things?

  • Because he they were under gunpoint.

  • No, but as you said before, Mr Witness, you were not there when that happened, so how did you learn about that?

  • When James Ngego, "B" and the other children like Mary Nelson, it was on their return that they explained to me exactly what happened. They explained to me.

  • And, Mr Witness, you told us about "A". When is the next time you saw "A" again, Mr Witness?

  • From that time, it was only in the month of April 1999 that I set eyes on her again.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. Now explain to us, if anything, what happened after that.

  • After what, Mr Werner? Do you mean after April 1999?

  • Sorry, your Honour, I am going to clarify:

  • After you were told by James Ngego, "B", Mary Nelson and Emmanuel Kobie what had happened in Fakoyia bush, what did you do, Mr Witness?

  • Well, after that had occurred, I arranged together with my dad that we should move from the place because the RUF had given message a to James Ngego that he should tell us that those of us they did not meet, they were coming the following day to meet us. So because of that we decided to move from there. So we went to another town called Tongbodu. That is where we went to.

  • Just to be complete clear, Mr Witness, when you said, "They did not meet, they were coming the following day", who were coming the following day?

  • RUF. The following morning they came back.

  • Now Mr Witness, you mentioned a place Tongbodu. Would you be able for the Court to spell that name?

  • Yes. It's T-O-N-G-B-O-D-U.

  • And as far as you know in which chiefdom is Tongbodu?

  • Tongbodu is in Nimikoro Chiefdom.

  • And, Mr Witness, for sake of clarity do you know a place called Tombodu?

  • Tombodu is around Koidu area.

  • And do you know which chiefdom is Tombodu?

  • That is in Kamara Chiefdom.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness, so what happened after you went to Tongbodu, if anything?

  • Yes. When we went to Tongbodu we passed the night there and it was raining heavily by then and the following morning my father and my junior brother suggested to me that we should go in search of "A" because she did not - she was not familiar to Kono at all and she had never been there before, it was only as a result of the intervention that they went there to seek refuge with me. So I accepted and the following morning we decided to go in search of her, about seven of us, and we took the trip to go. We left Tongbodu Town, not even 200 metres off --

  • Mr Witness, pause there, just one second. Mr Witness, you mentioned again your junior brother. Who is your junior brother? What was his name?

  • Now, you said that, "It was only as a result of the intervention that they went there to seek refuge with me". What is the intervention, Mr Witness?

  • I am trying to say that when the fighting had intensified in Freetown, and that was where my father and my junior brothers were, they decided to move from there and to seek refuge with me in Kono, yes.

  • And again, Mr Witness, you mentioned again your junior brother; who is he?

  • Mr Witness, from now on it will help us if any time you want to refer to him you could spell his name, thank you. Sorry, your Honours. Say his name, thank you.

  • Mr Witness, now what happened after that?

  • Well, as we were on our way in search of "A", we met with the RUF in a curve, those same RUF who had gone and attacked my people in the Fakoyia bush, and we stopped and they had guns with them. We had no option, save for those who were behind us and the immediate person who was in front of us, who was the first person to spot them, that was Pastor Alyiu, he ran into the bush and I stood there in front of them. They captured me and they captured Emmanuel and they captured my dad. So those who were behind us, they ran away. They did not capture them. So the three us were captured and they took us back to Tongbodu Town where we had just left. That was what happened.

  • And, Mr Witness, when you say "they captured us", who are "they"?

  • I said those same RUF who had gone and attacked my people in Fakoyia bush, those were the same ones that we met with on the way and they captured us.

  • And how do you know, Mr Witness, that these RUF were the same ones as those who had attacked your people in Fakoyia bush?

  • When they captured us, after conducting a long interview with us - that is the RUF interviewed us - they at the end finally confessed that "A" was with them, so it was as a result of that that I knew that they were the people who did it.

  • And then what happened, Mr Witness?

  • They then asked us to sit on the floor. They said - I mean the RUF asked us to show them where other civilians were hiding in the bushes so that they would go there and meet them there, but I knew within myself that they did not have any good intention and so I told them I did not know anything about that. I told them I was a stranger and I was from Freetown and I told them, "This is my dad and my junior brother Emmanuel". I told them I did not know anybody around where I was even standing. I didn't even know the village where I was standing. So they told me that we - the RUF told us that we were not up to serious business. They said "Pikin" - that was the name they used to refer to one of the RUF small boys who was about 14 years old. They said, "Pikin, just take that man to the back of the house and kill him". So they jumped my dad, Pa Bull, and the Pikin came directly to me. He held me on my shirt and he asked me to get up, so I started crying.

  • Just pause there, Mr Witness. Pause there. Now just to be clear, Mr Witness, who told Pikin to go with you in the back of the house?

  • The commander who was with them. He was called Issa.

  • Continue, Mr Witness.

  • But he told me that, "Before shooting him, he shouldn't die with the shirt that he is having on". He said that he should remove that shirt from his body, so I started praying in my heart. I said, "Oh, God, if I should take off this shirt before I die ...", then I said, "... then, God, I will not have to die", and I said, "I am not also going to take off this shirt", so I started pretending. I held the button on the shirt and they told me to take off the shirt and so I was just shaking the shirt like that. I said, "Please, sir. Please, sir. Papa, please". We did that for some time and he told me that if I did not want to take off the shirt he said I should lie on the ground and then I started crying bitterly.

  • Pause there. Now, Mr Witness, who said that someone should not die with the shirt? Who said that?

  • The man who led them. The one who led the RUF. That was Issa. He told Pikin that before shooting me I should take off my shirt. And since he had told him that, that I shouldn't have my shirt on before shooting at me, I think he was going to wait until I take off my shirt because they normally listen to their commanders and the command he gave them.

  • And who said that you should lie on the ground and then you started to cry? Who said that?

  • And what happened after that, Mr Witness?

  • Suddenly their commander - that was the RUF commander - he told him say, "Allow him to get up", and I started thanking them. I thanked them and he said I should come back for more interview and he restarted the interviews. He wanted me to re-explain myself and I told him the same answer that I did not know anybody around that area, so he confessed. He said "A" was with them, so we became a little bit relieved. So, they asked my father to push away. They said they should go. They said he was an old man, he shouldn't follow us, so Emmanuel and I stayed with them. They said we were going to - we were going to search for civilians and so we followed them and we were going. We left my father behind. So whilst we were going, by then we had not even left Tongbodu Town that far.

  • Pause there. When you said, Mr Witness, that "... he confessed. He said 'A' was with them", who is "he", Mr Witness?

  • It was one of the RUF that said A was with them at Motema Town.

  • And you said that, "They said we were going to search for civilians". Who said that, Mr Witness?

  • It was Issa, the RUF.

  • And when you say that, "He said they were going to search for civilians", do you know why they wanted to go and search for civilians?

  • No, by then they knew their reason best.

  • And what happened after that, Mr Witness?

  • We started going along with them. Issa was ahead, my brother and I were in the middle and the others were at the back; the other RUFs. When they had someone cutting down sticks in the bush, that is when the RUF heard a civilian cutting sticks in the bush, they decided to hurt us and they asked us to lie on the ground and we laid there on the ground. The same thing Issa did was what we also did, my brother and I. We were going, but we did not know how best they did it. The way one could step on the ground that they wouldn't hear anything, nothing would shake, so --

  • Pause there, Mr Witness. Pause there, please. Mr Witness, you said that when the RUF heard a civilian cutting sticks in the bush they decided to do what? Can you repeat that, Mr Witness?

  • I said we should all bow down on the ground so that we would not stand up walking to prevent the people from seeing us so that they would run away. We all bowed down, we were bowing moving slowly until we got closer to them, and then we suddenly got in their midst.

  • Pause there, please. And when you say, "We would not stand up walking to prevent the people from seeing us", which people are you talking about, Mr Witness?

  • The civilians who were in front of us walking. If we had stood up walking and going towards them we would be far off from them and they would be able to spot us, so the RUF told us that we should bow down and crawl on the ground for us to meet the civilians in the bush.

  • And, if anything, what happened after that, Mr Witness?

  • We got there and when we got there they captured all of them, because it was a very new place that they had just established. They had no other way of escaping, so they captured all of them and they asked them for rice. They said, "Where is the palm oil?" They said, "we want Maggi", so those are the things they asked for. They said, "Where have you hidden the money?" Those were the questions they were asking. And the suckling mother who was with them and the Pa who was with them, that is Pa Wusu, they answered and they said they did not have anything. They said, "If you don't have anything, we are going to search for ourselves", and they started searching and by then they were seriously beating them up with the machete that the old man was walking with.

  • Pause there, Mr Witness. Now when you said that, "We got there. We got there and they captured all of them", first of all who are "they"?

  • I said the RUF. When we got to where the civilians were, they captured all of the civilians.

  • And then I believe you mentioned a name. You said that there was a Pa who was with them and this man said that they did not have anything. What was the name of that person again, Mr Witness?

  • He was called Pa Wusu. He was a Kranko man.

  • Could you spell the name of that person for this Court?

  • I think it's W-U-S-U. Wusu.

  • And you said he was a Kranko man. Is that correct?

  • Yes, he was a Kranko man.

  • Are you able to say spell Kranko for this Court?

  • Well, the way I spell it is K-R-A-N-K-O. Kranko.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. Now when you said, "They started searching", who started searching, Mr Witness?

  • It was the RUF. Issa and his colleagues, they are the ones that had been searching for food where the civilians were.

  • And then you said, "They were seriously beating them up with the machete". Who were beating them up, Mr Witness?

  • It was one among them who was called Ngoba. He was the one that had been beating them. With that very commander, who was called Issa, he himself had been beating them so that they could produce the rice and anything that they could eat.

  • And who were they beating, Mr Witness?

  • They were beating one fellow, but I did not know his name. I did not know the boy's name because that was the very first time that I saw that very boy, but he was a civilian.

  • And, Mr Witness, you gave us a name of Ngoba. Who is Ngoba?

  • It was one of the RUF.

  • And would you know how to spell his name, Ngoba?

  • And what if anything happened after that, Mr Witness?

  • They hid rice, the husk rice and the one that was milled partially and the one that was completely milled they put all together in one bag and it was filled. So there was one child among them, who was Pa Wusu's child, she was called Isata that but she was ill, she was really ill, her stomach was swollen. Issa asked her, he said, "Why did you bring this child that is ill here? And you keep on hiding away from us. Supposing this child were to die in this bush?" So Issa said, "Well, this child, I will not leave this child with you. I will take her with us". He said, "I will cure her. She will be my wife".

    So he asked me. He said, "Mr Man, take the rice". He, Issa. So they helped me. So they put the rice on my head. So they took Isata with my younger brother Emmanuel. We were the only ones that were captured, all the other civilians were left there. So Pa Wusu said, "Well, if you take away my son who goes in search of food for me it's better for you to take me also", but they didn't take him along. So we started going. So we went so far. So we also heard other people in the bush, who were civilians, they were uprooting bush yams.

  • Please wait. Mr Witness. Mr Witness, pause there.

  • Mr Witness, pause there just one second. You spoke about someone called Isata. Is Isata a boy or a girl?

  • And how old was Isata?

  • Well, I did not know her date of birth, but when you look at her she will be around 15, 16 years because even that - "A", they almost have the same age.

  • And if you know what, if anything, happened to Isata?

  • Issa did not leave her behind. He took her away and she was with them.

  • And when you say "she was with them", who are "them" Mr Witness?

  • She was with the RUF.

  • And what happened after that, Mr Witness?

  • So when we met the civilians, they had been uprooting bush yams in the bush, the RUF noticed. They heard the sound. They ran to the spot in the bush. This Issa was the one that was leading us whilst I was carrying the one bag of rice on my head. He himself knew that his companions had gone into the bush, so he also went there.

    He did not believe that I was going to run away. He left me standing. So I myself, I found out that he has gone into the bush, so I knew that that was the opportunity for me to escape. So I threw the rice on the ground and I went into the bush to the opposite side so that I couldn't be seen. They heard the sound of the rice that I threw to the ground, so they started running after me, but I did not know the actual rebel that had been shouting saying that, "If you see him, kill him". In my heart I said that my own bush that I know very well, it will not be possible. So I went into the swamp and I started crawling. So all of a sudden I escaped from them.

  • Please pause there, Mr Witness. Now at the beginning you said that, "When we met the civilians they had been uprooting bush yams". So who were the civilians that you met at that time?

  • Now, Mr Witness, what happened after that?

  • So, after that, when I had hidden from them, I climbed on the swamp. There was one small ridge. There I laid down. Suddenly, I slept. I was there up to 5 o'clock. I got up. I started going in search of my people where I left them.

  • Pause there, Mr Witness. You had told us before that when you were brought to Tongbodu you were with your father and your younger brother Emmanuel and then you told us that they let your father go and then you went with them and your brother Emmanuel. At that time now, when you slept, by that time, where was Emmanuel?

  • He was still with them, with the RUF.

  • And what happened after that?

  • I started searching where I left my people. I saw the place. So when I met them, they told me - they asked me, they said, "How about Emmanuel?" I said, "Well, I was fortunate to escape. So I do not know his way". So they said, "Well, the time that you left here, when you were captured, another group of RUF came. They had captured 'B'. They had captured Kobie, Emmanuel Kobie. Then they had captured Nelson. They had taken them away". They said, "Even the yams that we had boiled and the chicken that we had cooked for us to eat, they have taken everything".

  • Please pause there, Mr Witness. First, Mr Witness, you said that you started to search for your people and then you met them. Mr Witness, who did you meet at that time?

  • I met my wife and my children. I met my father seated there and then I met James and one of our pastors and his family, I met all of them there. But they only selected those that they wanted and they left the rest, so I met all of them there.

  • Now, Mr Witness, you talked about someone called Nelson and earlier you told us about someone called Mary Nelson. Are you talking about the same person?

  • Yes. See, when I used to say Small Mary --

  • Your Honours, would the witness be instructed to go a little bit slow.

  • Mr Witness, you have speeded up and the interpreter is trying to keep up with you. Please speak a little slower. You were saying, "When I used to say Small Mary --" Please continue from there.

  • Okay. Sorry. I said when I used to say Small Mary, we had two Marys. I had two Marys with me. The one was the elder and the other was the younger. I used to refer to the younger one as Small Mary and that younger Mary was called Mary Nelson.

  • How old was she at that time?

  • Mary Nelson was just around 14 years.

  • So you told us that you were told by your people that "B", Mary Nelson and Emmanuel Kobie had been taken away. Who took them away?

  • They said another group of RUF.

  • And how did you know about that?

  • Well I came to know that it was true that it was the RUF that took them, because when we came out of the bush, when they had taken over again, the time that I saw them they were with them. They were in their hands.

  • Mr Witness, to be clear, when was - did you see Mary Nelson and Emmanuel Kobie and "B" again after that time - after that day?

  • I did not see them up to 1991 - 1999.

  • And in 1999 what, if anything, did they tell you?

  • Well, I had conversation with "A".

  • Mr Witness, sorry to interrupt you, but I'm not talking about "A". I am talking about "B", Emmanuel Kobie and Mary Nelson.

  • Okay.

  • When you met these three people again in 1999 what, if anything, did they tell you about the people who had captured them?

  • Yes. Well, they said it was the RUF that captured them and they were in their hands. They were with them in the bush. The names of the places that they called they said that they were behind Koidu, and they told me about the way they suffered, how they would take them to go in search of food, how they would give them loads to carry on their heads and when they went in search of food those who did not know how to operate weapons they were the ones --

  • Your Honours, would the witness be asked to clarify that point.

  • Pause, Mr Witness. What point are you referring to, Mr Interpreter?

  • Well he is talking about weapons being given to people, but the point is not clear to the interpreter.

  • Mr Witness, in your answer you said, "Those who did not know how to operate weapons". Now, the interpreter is not clear when you are talking about weapons being given to them. Can you please explain this part of your answer for the interpreter.

  • Like Emmanuel Kobie, who was my own child, my erstwhile brother's child was with the RUF. When they went in search of food, there was one man who used to give them weapons so that they could carry them because the distance was far. So the RUF would give the weapons to the children so that they could carry them for them whilst they were going.

  • Just pause there, Mr Witness. Now, just one question about that and then we will move on. When you said that they would take them to go in search of food, who are "they", Mr Witness?

  • I said the RUF, or whatever group in whose hands they were. When the RUF were going in search of food where civilians were, they would take their weapons and give them to the children so that they could hold them for the RUF.

  • Mr Witness, when you said, "They would give them loads to carry on their head", who are "they"?

  • The RUF. The RUF would not carry loads on their heads.

  • Now, what happened after the time that you met your people again in the bush and you were told about "B", Emmanuel Kobie and Mary Nelson? What happened to you, if anything?

  • Well when this had happened, the Kamajors that were at Banakoro, that is Nimikoro Chiefdom, they sent a message to all the little villages that were around that area. They said everybody should leave those villages, because they said they were going there to flush the RUF out of that place where we were up to Koidu. That was the message that we got. So we still spent the night there and early in the morning we left for Banakoro.

  • Just pause there, Mr Witness. Your Honours, Banakoro the spelling we have would be B-A-N-A-K-O-R-O:

  • Mr Witness what happened, if anything, after you slept in Banakoro?

  • Madam President, I would be grateful if we could know the year and the month when they went to Banakoro.

  • Mr Witness, you told us that you were in Fakoyia bush until April 1998, do you remember that?

  • So do you remember the time - when was it that you went to Banakoro?

  • Well, if it please the Chamber, the witness's evidence regarding the timeframe spent at Fakoyia, his response was he said about two months. And then he went on to say from five to six days to almost two months, and I can show Your Honours the relevant portion of the transcript.

  • I recall him saying that, Mr Anyah.

  • And counsel is now saying the witness's evidence was that he was there until April. I mean, you can make that inference if you compute the time from 21 February and you add a few months. He didn't say he was there until April.

  • My understanding, your Honours, is that the witness said that it was two months less five days, which would be exactly from 21 February to 15 April, which is two months less five days. That is my understanding of what the witness said.

  • The witness's evidence appears on page 13, and his answer, the question and answer appears in lines 23 through 25. The question posed.

    "Q. And how long did you stay in Fakoyia bush, Mr Witness?

    A. Almost two months. It was just about five to six days

    to two months."

    That is what is on the record.

  • I have a note that later on he gives a date.

  • I'm going to clarify that.

  • But since counsel is - I have a date - but since counsel is going to clarify it I will not pursue it. Please clarify, Mr Werner.

  • Mr Witness, you told us that you were in Fakoyia bush, you went to Fakoyia bush 21 February?

  • Mr Witness, how long did you stay in Fakoyia bush before the RUF met your people in the bush?

  • Well, I said we went to Fakoyia bush on 21 February. And on 15 April that was the time that we were dispersed from that place.

  • And do you remember the month and the year when you went to Banakoro?

  • Yes. It was in April. The right date, that's what I cannot recall because I wouldn't like to lie but it was in the month of April, after that attack.

  • In which year, Mr Witness?

  • And what happened when, after you slept that night in Banakoro, if anything?

  • I did not spend the night at Banakoro.

  • So where did you go after that, if anywhere?

  • When we arrived at Banakoro we met the Kamajors there and the Donsos, so they told us that we should not stay with them because they were fighters. There was one village behind them, they called it Mamboma. That was my very first day of reaching there. That is why we went.

  • Mr Witness, if you know in which chiefdom is Mamboma?

  • Mamboma is also in the Nimikoro Chiefdom.

  • And, your Honours, the spelling we have for Mamboma would be M-A-M-B-O-M-A. Mr Witness, who went to Mamboma?

  • It was I and my family, and my father.

  • And what happened when you went to Mamboma?

  • In Mamboma, the very first day when we arrived there, it was during day and that was my long-time friend, Thomas Kobie, he said that, well, he was going in search of bush yams for us, since we don't have any other food. He went. He came. My wife and the other women who were with me, they prepared eat. When, no sooner we sat down to eat, the very first handful that I took did not even reach my mouth, then I heard right at my back somebody saying: "Sit down, sit down." I turned. Who appeared? What did I see? Was the clothing of a soldier. I did not wait for anything, wife, nor children, so I ran into the bush. I ran into the bush. So all of us started running away. They captured those that they were able to capture. That was the first thing that happened there.

  • Mr Witness, at that time, the day Mamboma was attacked, if you know where was your brother Emmanuel?

  • He was with me, when that attack took place.

  • And what happened after that, Mr Witness?

  • When we were in the bush, it was after seven, and the moon was shining. I saw a flashlight, the flash of a light towards where we were standing. It was I, Thomas Kobie, and one Pa Foyoh, we were standing at the same place, hoping that perhaps the children would come towards that part. So when I saw that flash, flashlight, so I whispered to Pa Foyoh and Kobie and I said that this was not an ordinary light. It would be one of the RUF that have come. So when I have said the word, all of us dispersed. I thought that my brother Thomas would have run. Little did I know that he did not run at all because he had problems with his eyes. At night he would not see properly and since we were in the bush he was not able to run, so he bowed down.

    After that, that very RUF who was coming, he went and arrived at the place where we were and they captured Mr Thomas. He started beating him with the gun that he had in his hand because the distance where I was, see, I was listening to them. So he shouted in Mende. He said [speaks Mende] but I did not recognise the voice. I did not know that he was the one that was shouting, so I heard the voice saying that: Do you want to fight me? Are you fighting me.

  • Pause there. So you said that the very RUF who was coming, he went and arrived at the place where you were. Who was this RUF, Mr Witness?

  • I did not know him, because the place was dark; we only had a flashlight.

  • And who shouted in Mende, Mr Witness? You said he shouted in Mende; who shouted in Mende?

  • Mr Thomas, because he was a Mende.

  • And who said, Mr Witness, "Do you want to fight?" Who said that?

  • It was the RUF who captured him.

  • And what exactly said in Mende, Mr Thomas, Mr Witness?

  • What Mr Thomas said?

  • He said, "Oh, I am dead." That was what he said. He said he was dead.

  • What happened after that?

  • They started interviewing those that they captured. The RUF interviewed my father and all those that were captured, they started interviewing them. They used to ask them whether there was any Kamajor within that area. They said no. They started asking them, why were they running away and going into the bush. So they were having that interview. Later, they said that they were not going to do them anything. The rebels said they would not do anything to the civilians. They said, "Now, let your hearts be at rest", so the rebels said that, "Bring out the rice and meat so that you could cook and all of us could eat together."

  • Mr Werner, if this is a convenient point, we will take the mid-morning adjournment.

  • It is, your Honour.

  • Mr Witness, we now have a break for half an hour until 12 o'clock. We start court again at 12. You hear me?

  • Very well. Please adjourn court until 12.

  • [Break taken at 11.30 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 12.00 p.m.]

  • Please proceed, Mr Werner.

  • Thank you, your Honour:

  • Mr Witness, before we proceed I would like to clarify one thing with you that you said this morning. You said that after you managed to escape from the group with Issa and Pikin, I asked you - and for my learned friend it's page 41, line 14, on the LiveNote and I'm using a 16 font I believe. You said - I asked you, "Where was Emmanuel?", and then you said that, "Emmanuel was still with them", with the RUF. Then later - and for my learned friend it's page 48, line 18, on the LiveNote, font 16 - I asked you when you were in Mamboma where was Emmanuel and at that point you said, "Well, Emmanuel was with me in Mamboma". So could you explain what has happened to Emmanuel in between.

  • Thank you. Well when he was with the RUF to carry the things that they had taken from the previous bush that they attacked, Emmanuel went with them right up to Motema and one thing which they said was that "A" was with them and they had promised Emmanuel that if he got there they would let him to see her and the two of them would talk to each other. So when he went, according to what he explained to me, he saw "A" and the two of them spoke to each other. He gave her words of encouragement and he was released to go back to meet us, that is Emmanuel, and he went back and met me in the bush and we were together again. So, all of us travelled to Mamboma.

  • Mr Witness, I know it is difficult and it's the first time you are testifying and it's translating in Krio, but it will help us if you can speak slowly and every time instead of using "he" or "them" you give the names of the persons, or the names of the group. That would help us, if you can. Now when you said, Mr Witness, that, "Emmanuel went with them right up to Motema", with whom did he go right up to Motema?

  • He and the RUF - because we were together when I escaped from the RUF and Emmanuel could not escape from the RUF so he was taken right up to Motema, but when Emmanuel and the RUF arrived in Motema they released him for him to return to us in the bush.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. Now, Mr Witness, you were telling us what was happening in Mamboma and you told us about a Thomas Kobie who was in Mamboma when Mamboma was attacked. Mr Witness, what if anything happened to Thomas Kobie in Mamboma on that day?

  • Yes, very serious. When the RUF captured Thomas Kobie in the bush and he was taken to Mamboma Town it was when the RUF started beating him up and after that, when they had realised that the Kamajors were already in town, Thomas Kobie was put in a house, they did that, together with everybody that the RUF had captured, they were all put - all of the civilians were put into a house and they shot Thomas Kobie in his right leg and it got broken.

  • And, Mr Witness, how do you know about that?

  • It was after - that was in the morning now because they passed the night there. It was then that I was able to go to the town; that was after 8 in the morning. And when I went I did not only meet Kobie, I also met three people who were killed.

  • And, if anything, what happened to Thomas Kobie after he was shot in the leg?

  • After the RUF had taken all of the civilians and they were put into the house there was a small boy, just about the age of three, when this boy saw the RUF, and they knew that we were running away from the RUF, so when he saw the uniform he started crying. He was crying continuously. His mother tried to give him words of courage but she did not succeed; same with the father. So one of the RUF fighters started yelling at the small boy for him to shut up his mouth. He continued this yelling and the father could not bear that any more and he said, "Look, this boy is afraid of your uniform. It is you the RUF that this boy is afraid of. That's why he's crying." And he said, "Why should he be afraid of us? Why should he fear us?", and the RUF started beating the small boy. They started beating him up. They were arguing; that is the RUF with the boy's father. They were arguing and all of them were arrested and taken into the house.

    As this was going on one man entered, not knowing that the news had reached the Kamajors that the RUF had gone and attacked us in the bush in Mamboma Town, and they took off all their shoes. This very man who took the report to the Kamajors, the Kamajors took off their own shoes and they gave the shoes to that man for him to carry. The man was called SK and they headed for the town. But there was a man amongst them who was called Kai Sandy. He was the chief hunter. He stayed at the rear, him together with SK. So the Kamajors came and they besieged the town, but when SK and the chief hunter, that is Kai Sandy - but they did not know what had happened, that the Kamajors had surrounded the town. The chief hunter just entered the town like that and he had his single barrel strapped at his back, so when he entered into the town he was asking - he said, "What has happened? What is going on? Why are you all sitting down like this?"

    Then one of the rebels, they saw the single barrel at his back and they shouted. They said, "Oh, Kamajor. He's a Kamajor", and they opened fire at him, Kai Sandy. The rebels shot at Kai Sandy and he died. So because of this --

  • Mr Witness, please pause there. Pause there just for a while. Now, Mr Witness --

  • Mr Werner, sorry to interrupt. Before I lose this point, there is something that the witness said at page 53, I think. He says that they shot Thomas Kobie and you asked him, "Mr Witness, how do you know that?", and he says, "It was after. That was in the morning now. I was able to go down. I also met three people who were killed." I don't understand how you can meet people who were killed. Perhaps you could give clarification there. But also all this that the witness has said I don't know if this is what he saw, or he was told by Thomas Kobie or what.

  • Thank you. I will try to clarify that, your Honour:

  • So, Mr Witness, we will just try to take the events one after the other to clarify everything, if you can just bear with me.

  • So, first about Thomas Kobie. So you said that Thomas Kobie was shot in the leg and then I asked how did you know that and you said that you came the next morning. So now I'm trying to understand what happened to Thomas Kobie, so could you explain to us what did you see when you came the next day in the morning?

  • Yes, I believe that was the point I was just about to come to because I wanted to make it clearly. Because it was night, you know, the RUF had taken all of the civilians and put them into a house because they knew the Kamajors were around. So that boy who was crying, one of the RUF guys entered the house and shot that Foyoh man in his chest and the bullet went out and caught Mr Thomas. I only came to realise this through my father, because he was the one sitting next to him. He was the one who explained to me exactly how it all went about.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. Now to be completely clear, were you in that house yourself when Thomas Kobie was shot in the leg?

  • No, I was in the bush close to them.

  • And if you know what, if anything else, happened to Thomas Kobie on that day?

  • Yes, that morning, according to the mothers and my father, according to their explanation that when the rebels shot Mr Thomas in his leg he was not dead yet at that time, so they took a machete - the rebels took a machete and they hacked him on his neck. He still was alive right in the morning, right up to the morning he was alive. So in the morning when the rebels had realised that he was still breathing, he was not dead, was when one of them said that they were coming to dance the dance called Sokobana, and my father said that the rebels took the machete and he was hacked thrice in his head and his hands too and his legs, all were hacked and he died, Mr Thomas.

  • Madam President, I apologise for interrupting. Just so the record can reflect it, Mr Munyard has joined us at the Defence bar.

  • Thank you, Mr Anyah. That's noted.

  • First, Mr Witness, before you told us that the RUF attacked Mamboma and here you said that the rebels chopped Thomas Kobie. Who were these rebels, Mr Witness?

  • It was the RUF fighters.

  • Now to be completely clear, because you spoke about your father and then you mentioned mothers. How do you know that after being shot in the leg Thomas Kobie was chopped on his body? Who told you that?

  • It was my father who explained everything to me.

  • And how did your father know about that?

  • Because he too was captured.

  • Yes, but how did he know about what had happened to Thomas Kobie?

  • How did your father know what had happened to Thomas Kobie?

  • My father knew what happened to him because all of them were in the same room when his leg was shot.

  • And how did he learn about the fact that later Thomas Kobie was cut with machetes? How did he know that, your father?

  • It was right in his presence that Mr Thomas was hacked by the RUF.

  • And in the next morning what - you said that you saw Thomas Kobie. What exactly did you see?

  • And could you describe for this Court what you saw?

  • I saw wounds all over his body, in his head, everywhere was having wounds. In that short moment his stomach was distended.

  • Now, Mr Witness, when you were explaining what had happened to Thomas Kobie you mentioned another name, Foyoh. Who was Foyoh, Mr Witness?

  • Foyoh was the father of that boy who was crying.

  • And what if anything happened to him, Mr Witness?

  • The RUF, one of them shot him in his chest and he died.

  • And why did they do that?

  • They knew their reason best. That was the bitterness of war.

  • And how did you learn about the death of Foyoh?

  • When I came from the bush, I saw Foyoh lying and Thomas too was lying and the others. It was because I saw them, that was how I came to know that he was dead.

  • But you told us that he had been shot. How did you know that Foyoh had been shot?

  • I only knew that through the civilians who were present when this incident occurred and, in fact, when he was shot I heard - I heard him shout. Only once I overheard that. I only heard that once.

  • And where were you when Foyoh was shot?

  • I was still in my hiding place.

  • Now, Mr Witness, before - and I'm referring to page 53, line 2 of the LiveNote and that was following Justice Sebutinde's question - you said that you met three people when you went out of the bush who were killed. Who were these three people that you met?

  • I saw Foyoh - Joseph Foyoh - I saw Kai Sandy and Thomas Kobie.

  • And you told us what had happened to Joseph Foyoh and Thomas Kobie. Now what, if anything, did you learn about what had happened to Sandy?

  • Didn't he also tell us that? He's told us all that.

  • Yes, your Honour:

  • So what else, if anything, did you learn about Sandy on that day?

  • Yes, Kai Sandy, because he was a Kamajor the rebels cut his head off and his private part too was cut off. The rebels did that. They put the head on a stick, on a tripod like, and --

  • Your Honours, can the witness repeat this.

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter needs you to repeat part of your answer. You said, "They put the head on a stick, on a tripod like --" Please continue from there.

  • A tripod, yes.

  • And just for purposes of record, counsel may have noted that the witness has demonstrated by crossing his arms at the wrist. Please continue, Mr Witness.

  • They made a tripod. Three sticks were tied together. So when the rebels cut his head off, they took it and put it on that tripod and his private part too was cut off and it was hung on that tripod. That was what the rebels did to him.

  • And how did you know about that, Mr Witness?

  • I saw it with my eyes.

  • And did you learn why the rebels did that?

  • They were the only ones who knew their reason.

  • Now, Mr Witness, you told us before about someone called SK. If anything, what happened to SK?

  • SK too was killed by the rebels. It was only when we went down by the river was when we saw his corpse by that river, but I did not see any bullet marks on him. They used knife - knives to kill him.

  • And how did you learn that it was the rebels who killed SK?

  • They were the ones who had attacked.

  • Now, Mr Witness, as far as you know how many people - how many civilians - sorry, I will rephrase. How many people who were attacked were killed by the RUF on that day in Mamboma?

  • Six people. Six civilians.

  • And you told us about Thomas Kobie, Sandy, Foyoh and SK. Who were the other two who were killed on that day?

  • There was a suckling mother, together with her child. The rebel killed her.

  • And I believe that the witness gave a name, if I'm not mistaken:

  • Did you give a name, Mr Witness?

  • About the suckling mother? I did not know her name, nor the child.

  • And how did you know that they were killed by the RUF?

  • Well, I got the story through my father when I saw him in Motema Town and he said, "My son, did you see that suckling mother?", and I said, "Yes, we saw her". Then other people who later went to Mamboma that very day, they told us. They said they were about climbing up the hill and that woman had just delivered her baby about ten days and the rebels took a five gallon container having palm oil in it to go with it. She was carrying it on her head and as they got up to the hill the woman said she was tired. They asked her if indeed she was tired and she said, yes, she was tired. He asked her for the container and the rebels took it from her and they said, "Well, because you said you are tired you are not going anywhere further than here. You are going to be here", and they shot the suckling mother in her chest and the baby was strapped at her back and so the two of them dropped at the side of the road.

  • And who shot the suckling mother and the baby, Mr Witness?

  • Just pause, Mr Witness.

  • I stand to be corrected, but having reviewed all the disclosures we've been given in respect of this witness this information appears nowhere; the information concerning the death of this suckling mother. I'm not talking generally about information concerning the death of six persons. I'm talking about this specific information. To the extent there are any notes of interviews relayed - with information relayed by this witness concerning these events, we would like to receive them.

  • Mr Werner, can you assist?

  • Your Honour, the witness - the disclosure said that six persons were killed on that day in Mamboma.

  • So, are you confirming that the detail recited by this witness was not included in that?

  • Not this one, your Honour, yes.

  • There's nothing within the control of the Prosecution to disclose, Mr Anyah.

  • I understand the remedy we could bring forth before the Chamber, which is an application to commence and continue, if you will, the examination. That would not be necessary in this circumstance, but this is a recurring pattern. I have made a similar request of the Prosecution perhaps within the last week in respect of a previous witness, and we just wish to make the record clear that there will come a time when it will implicate a more important witness and at that time your Honours will be receiving from us an application for an adjournment. I know it's not before your Honours now, but this is a recurring problem in this case so far.

  • We have taken note of what you've said, Mr Anyah, and we will deal with that as it arises. Mr Werner, please proceed.

  • Thank you, your Honours:

  • Now, Mr Witness, you said that some people climbed the hill. Who are these people, Mr Witness?

  • When the rebels had captured the civilians, they were on the way going and it was a hilly place. There is a hill close to the town and so the town is in a valley, so it was that very hill that the rebels and the civilians were climbing because they had been captured and they were taking them away.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. Now, you told us about your father. What happened to your father, as far as you know, on that day in Mamboma?

  • When the rebels entered Mamboma Town, my father was then over 65 years old. He could not run and when we were walking in the bush he had had thorns in his feet. So when he was captured, according to what my father told me, the rebels said that all the men were to be wounded in their heads. They should use the weapons that they had - the guns. So one of the rebels hit my father in his head and the other man said, "Hit him again", and he was hit again in his head. No blood came out of his head and the other one said, "What are you doing? Hit him until blood oozes from his head", and he was hit again and there was a cut in his head and my father dropped down.

  • Now, Mr Witness, you told us about the people who were killed in Mamboma on that day. You told us that some people had been taken away and you told us what happened to your father. If you know, what else happened on that day in Mamboma?

  • So after that, that very first day we were afraid as civilians. The next day we returned and we buried Mr Thomas, Kai Sandy and Foyoh. We put them in the same pit and buried them.

  • Now, Mr Witness, you told us about a house where all the civilians had been placed. What, if anything, happened to that house?

  • Yes, that very house was burnt. It was burnt in the morning. When they had - when they had taken the civilians out of the house, that was the time that the rebels burnt the house.

  • And at that time did they do anything else?

  • Well they took some of the civilians, including my father. It was not only that, but in the morning they entered into the bush, the rebels. They went in search of civilians. They said anywhere where civilians were they would take them out. So that night that they entered they were not able to capture my first son, they did not capture Emmanuel, but in the morning that they went into the bush that was the time that they caught that of my child Thomas Bull and that was the time that they captured Emmanuel and other people and they took them away.

  • And how long did your child stay with the rebels, Mr Witness?

  • Well, it was unfortunate [sic], it was only ten days that he spent with them.

  • And what about Emmanuel?

  • Emmanuel was with them for some time.

  • Now, Mr Witness, what happened to you after that?

  • Mr Werner, why did the witness say it was unfortunate, it was only ten days he spent with them?

  • I'm going to clarify:

  • Mr Witness, you said that - I asked you how long was your child held by the rebels and you said that it was unfortunate, it was only ten days. What did you mean when you said that?

  • Well, the rebels captured people. The civilians were in their hands over one year but my own child, together with my father, they went to one village which was attacked by the Kamajors - where the rebels attacked --

  • Your Honours, would the witness be instructed to go slow.

  • Mr Witness, you're going too quickly for the interpreters. Please pick up your answer, saying, "They went to one village which was attacked by the Kamajors." Continue and speak slowly, please.

  • Okay. When they had come from Njaiama with the rebels they went to one other village and that village, Kamajors came to know that they had established there and the Kamajors went and attacked the rebels. It was from there that my father, he said he held my child's hand and they escaped into the bush.

  • Mr Witness, why did you say that it was unfortunate that it was only ten days?

  • I said - I said he was fortunate. He was so lucky enough.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. Now, how long did your father stay with the rebels?

  • He was with them for ten days, according to what he told me.

  • And you spoke about Njaiama and I believe that it's a correct spelling in the LiveNote. What, if anything, did your father tell you about what happened in Njaiama?

  • Njaiama? Njaiama Nimikoro.

  • I will then propose a spelling. I think it's already in the record but the spelling we have is N-J-A-I-A-M-A and Nimikoro is already spelt.

  • Yes, that's Njaiama Nimikoro.

  • What if anything were you told by your father about what happened in Njaiama Nimikoro?

  • Well, the only thing that he explained to me, he said when they and the rebels arrived in Njaiama they found their commander who was called Bai Bureh. He said it was he that they met in Njaiama, and he said all that had been taken from us, the rebels from Mamboma, the rebels gave him his own share and the rebels took the balance of - the rest of the things amongst themselves. That was what he told me.

  • And, Mr Witness, when you said that he said they met in - sorry, "He said that all they had taken from us", what are you talking about? What was taken from you?

  • Well, when the rebels entered Mamboma, Mamboma Town, the way we lived in Mamboma Town, when we met the people, the civilians that I met in Mamboma Town the very day that I entered, they had a lot of goods. The village was little but there were a lot of goods. Some civilians had goats with them, sheep and clothing. Like for me, I was famous in that town. Even when I was in the bush people had been shouting my name. They said, "Fellow, come and join us", because I had money with me. By then it was a good sum of money which was more than a million and I had a good camera. Now I had a very good camera which I was using and I was not able to produce a single picture. All that was taken from me. This was the property that the rebels took along.

  • Now, Mr Witness, you told us about someone called Bai Bureh and I'm just going to check the spelling on the LiveNote but I can see that it's correctly spelt. Mr Witness, who was Bai Bureh?

  • Well, Bai Bureh was part of the RUF. He was their commander.

  • And how did you know that Bai Bureh was part of the RUF?

  • Yes, my father explained to me, because the RUF who went and attacked my father and the other civilians, they all confirmed that to me and then they met the civilians at Njaiama and they met that man at Njaiama and even when I went to Magburaka I heard about his name, that he was one of the commanders, the RUF commanders, so I believed that he was also an RUF.

  • What happened to you after that, after what happened in Mamboma?

  • Well, in Mamboma things were terrible because everything had gone. Not even half property remained, except a single pair of trousers and one shirt. My own wife had only a single cloth, no dress as she went to the middle of the bush, Mamboma. There we were lying. Sometime we heard an announcement from the radio, that was on Focus. It was said that the ECOMOG had entered Njaiama Nimikoro - Njaiama Sewafe, up to Nimikoro, up to Motema, so we ourselves decided that well, we shouldn't waste any time, we should try to go so that we would not be captured there again, so we went to Motema.

  • Mr Witness, do you remember when you went to Motema?

  • Yes, I can recall. It was 5 May 1998. That was the time that we entered Motema. The day that we left, that was the day that we reached.

  • And just one more clarification: You said before that from the radio that was on Focus. What is Focus, Mr Witness, could you explain?

  • Focus, Focus on Africa. We used to get news from that and everybody was eager to listen to that news.

  • And do you know which radio was Focus on Africa broadcasted?

  • So, Mr Witness, when you went to Motema on 5 May 1998 who if anyone was in Motema at that time?

  • When we arrived there we met the ECOMOG in Motema.

  • And if you know at that time, where else was ECOMOG deployed at that time?

  • They were right at the boundary, Njaiama Sewafe, right up to Kokuima. When I entered there that was the place that they were located.

  • And what did you do when you arrived in Motema?

  • Well, I and my people, we went to ECOMOG. They saw us and they allowed us and we went through. So I went to one of our houses that remained, which was not burnt at all, so there I was. It was one unfinished storey building. One unfinished storey building.

  • And do you know the address in Motema of that building?

  • Yes, it's on the main highway, Masingbi Highway, number 6 main Masingbi Highway, Motema, Kono District.

  • And then what happened when you went to this house, Mr Witness?

  • I was already in the house and a lot of houses had been burnt in Motema so that was the only house which was big, so I had had to accommodate a lot of people, as a matter of fact, so there we were. But when we were staying there we had heard another attack in that very house.

  • So, Mr Witness, this other attack, when did that take place, if you know?

  • Yes, it was on 12 June 1998.

  • And on that day where were you staying?

  • I was staying in Motema and in the very house.

  • And on that day, on 12 June, how many people stayed in that house?

  • As a matter of fact I had just been lodging civilians, but we were many in the house. Roughly, as a matter of fact, we were a little bit over 50 people.

  • And why were so many people in your house on that day, Mr Witness?

  • One thing, the houses that were in Motema had been burnt. There was no house that could shelter people again in Motema and it was the only house which was left at the junction, which was on the main Masingbi Highway, and it was a very big house, it has a lot of big rooms and there are a lot of big rooms and parlours, so we did not just say that we should only accommodate people that were married, so we had just been lodging people because there was no place for people to sleep. That was why we were so many in that house.

  • And you say that Motema was attacked. Who attacked Motema, Mr Witness, on that day?

  • The rebels. They are the ones that attacked Motema.

  • And then what happened when that attack took place?

  • Well, when the attack occurred they killed civilians, as a matter of fact. They killed civilians. They wounded some. They damaged them. Some, right now as I'm testifying, they are amputees, those that are wounded.

  • So, Mr Witness, we will go slowly. When the attack took place exactly where were you? We understand you were in the house, but where in the house were you when the attack took place?

  • I was upstairs.

  • And what happened, Mr Witness?

  • Well, when the attack occurred, I said the people were killed, civilians, and the following morning the people - the rebels did not even go early. They were there up to dawn. Even during the day they were able to kill one individual. It was not until when the armoured car that was in Koidu went there that morning before they dispersed.

  • Mr Witness, when you were upstairs in that house and you said that the rebels attacked what, if anything, happened to you when you were upstairs in that house?

  • Well, when I was upstairs, you know, initially we heard the firing which was so heavy. Later we had instructions to go and lie down, but later, around 4 o'clock, we heard another heavy firing so I came out into the parlour.

  • Just wait there, Mr Witness. When you say first you heard firing and then you said, "Later we had instruction to go and lie down", who gave you this instruction, Mr Witness?

  • That was the ECOMOG.

  • And what happened then when you heard a second time heavy firing?

  • I came into the parlour, because I was in one room. I came into the parlour. I leaned against the window, looking outside towards the street, and then I looked up where the ECOMOG deployed and I saw them retreating, pulling out. They crossed the line and then there were people behind them. They had been coming down. I did not know that it was a battle. But finally, you see, when I saw the other group crossing the line going, which was the ECOMOG, I was still in the parlour observing what had been happening because there was nowhere to go. So I turned behind. All of a sudden I saw somebody coming with a light on his forehead. I turned, I saw him. I myself ran. I ran and went and shouted to my wife and other people that were in the house. I said we should go, they had entered.

  • Sorry to interrupt you, Mr Witness. Who entered the house, as far as you knew at that time?

  • It was one of the fighters who was against the government.

  • And when you say "one of the fighters who was against the government", what do you mean?

  • And what happened when the fighter was in the house? What happened, if anything?

  • Yes. I went into the room and I heard one of my grandma, who was called Ma Gbojo, she also had been coming out of one of the rooms, so I heard a gunshot. She did not even shout. So I myself, when I had heard that, I jumped through the window. When I jumped I heard my wife saying that SB has gone, it's true. So they also jumped through the windows, because I showed them how to escape in case of any attack.

  • Just pause there, Mr Witness. The witness gave a name and the name - we have a spelling for that name but it was not clear on the LiveNote. Do you want me to ask the witness again?

  • Yes, please ask him. It's a grandmother, is that it?

  • Yes, your Honour.

  • Mr Witness, what was the name of the grandmother who was on the floor in the house?

  • Your Honour, the phonetic spelling we have would be M-A G-B-O-J-O:

  • Mr Witness, on that day what if anything happened to Ma Gbojo?

  • Well, she was killed by the RUF.

  • And how did you know about that?

  • I saw her body and we were the ones that buried her.

  • And what happened when you left the house? What happened, if anything?

  • Yes. Well, when we left the house I did not go that far at all because I left my children and my wife behind, so I'd planted some bananas by the house, so there I went and hid because they used to tell us that in case of any attack you should - when you are in a thicket of bananas, they said even if they shoot you would not be caught by bullets. There I went and I lay down.

  • Mr Witness, who said that about the banana? Who said that to you?

  • If somebody lay in a thicket of bananas you would not be caught by bullet?

  • Well, that was something that our people had been telling us for long. It was in our ears.

  • And what happened when you went into the garden?

  • There I lay up to the time that day almost broke. All the people that were captured by RUF that were upstairs and downstairs they brought them down. They went downstairs because it was a cellar, because there was only one way out and they fired. They fired at my uncle. He had his child in his hands. So he was shot at and they dropped. They fired at his wife, but they fired at his wife on her buttocks but she did not die. She - they fired at her daughter and they broke her clavicle and the rest of the people were asked to queue and they were asked to sit down on the floor. So they were there some time.

    This Sandy that I had been talking about, his son was there and his name was Daniel Sandy. One of the RUFs asked him, he said, "You, go for a machete." So he himself went up, upstairs. He did not search for a machete. He came down. He said, "I have not seen a machete." He shouted at him again, "Go and search for a machete. Let us come and cut off their hands." He did not come down any more.

  • Just pause there, Mr Witness, please. First, could you explain to this Court what was the proximity of the place with the bananas where you were to the house, your house? What was the distance?

  • If I can measure the length, the distance, it's like from that end just a little bit after this building. There the banana trees were, because the house was long but it was right in front. So the distance - they started queuing the people like from here to down that place there and I was lying down, so I was listening to them and I had been seeing them.

  • Your Honours, we were wondering if you have the measurement of the courtroom because that's what the witness said. If not we will propose an estimate.

  • I don't recall it being recorded. Madam Court Attendant, can you assist?

  • Your Honour, we don't have the measurements of the courtroom, but we can find out.

  • Have you got a tape there? We can do it --

  • We would say it's about 30 metres.

  • Mr Anyah, is 30 metres acceptable?

  • I work in feet and I estimate it to be 35 feet.

  • That's an amazing difference between metres and feet. One is roughly a third of the other. So it would be about --

  • Well, your Honour, I think we would say more 15 metres.

  • Mr Werner, what are you estimating, because the evidence is there was a queue from where the witness is sitting up to that wall behind Mr Taylor - I think this is how I understood the evidence. And then he said from where he was hiding up to where this queue began was of an equal distance on the other side. So what are you estimating? That is for the record.

  • In my understanding was that that makes the length of the courtroom, but maybe I misunderstood.

  • I thought it was something different. He said a little bit after this building, and I thought the building as a whole, so perhaps we could clarify.

  • I may ask the witness. The witness may be able to estimate.

  • Mr Witness, are you conversant with metres or feet?

  • Yes, I am conversant with feet.

  • Mr Witness, are you able to tell the Court from the place you were in the banana garden to the house, your house where you were on that day, are you able to tell this Court the distance?

  • Yes. The distance between the house and the bananas, it was not more than 50 feet at all.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. I apologise, I should have asked the witness directly. Now, Mr Witness - your Honours, can I have just one second to go back to the LiveNote. Mr Witness, you spoke about your uncle and you said, "They fired at my uncle." It's LiveNote page 75, lines 10-11. Who fired at your uncle, Mr Witness?

  • It was the rebels that went and attacked.

  • And who was your uncle?

  • And are you able to spell the first name for us, Aiah, Mr Witness?

  • Yes, A-I-A-H. Aiah.

  • And then you said that he had a child in his hands and he was shot and they dropped. So, Mr Witness, first when you said "they fired at my uncle", what if anything happened to your uncle?

  • He died. He died. He and the child.

  • And how do you know that?

  • When the ECOMOG had come to the scene, we did not see him around at all, so we went into the house, we met him there lying down, he and the baby. The baby was lying on his chest.

  • And then you said that they fired at his wife. Who fired at his wife?

  • The same rebels.

  • Then you said she did not die, but they fired on her buttocks. How did you learn about that?

  • Well, she was admitted at the hospital and they extracted the bullets from her body.

  • And how did you learn about that?

  • I went and met her at the hospital and it was we that took her outside.

  • Now, then on the next line you talked about a daughter and you said they broke her clavicle. Who did that, Mr Witness?

  • Yes, it was the rebels that broke Mary's clavicle.

  • And how did you learn about that?

  • I saw the clavicle being broken and, if you see the child now, you will see that the clavicle is lopsided.

  • Now later, Mr Witness, you said that, "One of the RUF asked him", and you were talking about Daniel Sandy and I'm on LiveNote page 75, line 20. You said, "One of the RUF asked him, Daniel Sandy, to go for a machete". Who was that RUF, if you know?

  • Well, I came to know him that his name was Fayah.

  • And would you be able to spell that name for the Court?

  • Well, it is a Kissi name. F-A-Y-A-H. This is the way I would spell it.

  • Now, Mr Witness, what happened after that when you were in the banana garden? What else happened, if anything?

  • Well, daybreak what made me to come out of the banana garden. I went and I rushed and lay in a pit that I had dug, about three pits, so as to sell petrol which my father had been supplying me, but we had not yet buried the tanks at all. So I went and lay there, okay? So after that I heard a voice, a voice saying, "Let me go and ask my master what should be done to these people". After some time it was then that the very person that spoke came down, but when he said, "Let me go and ask", he went up. He came down.

  • Just pause here, Mr Witness. When you say "He went up", where did he go?

  • The house was a cellar and so he went upstairs. He passed round.

  • Are you talking about the same house where you were?

  • The same house. The same house.

  • And then what else did you hear, if anything?

  • When he came down the rebel said, "Master said 'Operation No Living Thing'", and so they started firing at people, the civilians.

  • And who started firing at people, Mr Witness?

  • Well, it was only the gun sound that I was hearing. I was only hearing the sound, but I actually heard the voice that said that "Operation No Living Thing". It was not one individual, they were many, and so I just heard sporadic firing.

  • And again to be completely clear, where were you when you heard this sporadic firing?

  • I was in the pit which I had dug.

  • And then what happened, Mr Witness?

  • It was then that the armoured car that was in Koidu came. When it came the ECOMOG, they themselves, they had some machines at Senesie Street junction at Motema. They themselves were standing there and they starting shelling up the hill. The people stood there shouting. Any gunshot, the people started shouting, "Overhead, overhead", up to the time that the armoured car came. So they were afraid and they went away.

  • So first, Mr Witness, when you talk about an armoured car, which armoured car are you talking about?

  • Well, the ECOMOG had one weapon that they used. It was in one machine which had a truck beneath it. So they came with it from Koidu to come and drive the rebels out of Motema, so I heard the people calling it armoured car.

  • And when you say, "So they were afraid and they went away", who are you talking about?

  • The rebels. The rebels. They were the ones who ran away. They went because they were only afraid of that armoured car. They said they were not afraid of any free kick.

  • Now, Mr Witness, what if anything did you see on that day in Motema after the ECOMOG came?

  • Well, I went out - I came out because the civilians had already come to come and see what would have to happen. Some people felt that I had even died, so I came there. When I came what I saw, I saw corpses - corpses of civilians. Some other people were yelling. Some that were fired at who did not die had been shouting. Those are the ones that I saw.

  • When you say, "I saw corpses of civilians", can you explain exactly what you saw, Mr Witness?

  • Their bodies. I said their bodies were lying down on the ground. They were killed by the RUF.

  • And how many bodies did you see, Mr Witness?

  • Those that I saw, those that were killed in that house and the other neighbouring house, they were 21.

  • Now, Mr Witness, before you said that "The people were taken outside the house" and now you said "Those who were killed in that house". Could you explain what you meant?

  • Yes, because that house was not the only house, but where the ECOMOGs were based, the house which was there, they killed two civilians. The rebels killed two civilians there. And then we had one small petrol station close to the house by the highway. They killed one woman. The rebels killed one woman there. Then after that there was another house at the opposite side, up. They killed one boy there. That's in the morning. They killed one boy. With the rest of the people that were in the house, the house where I was, they killed them there. About 17 people in my own house. They killed 17 people in my own house and the rest of the people were killed in the neighbouring houses.

  • And how do you know, Mr Witness, that they killed 17 people in your own house?

  • Yes, because they killed two where the ECOMOG were and then they killed one at the petrol station which summed up to three --

  • Mr Witness, please pause. The question was how did you know that they killed 17 in your house.

  • Okay, because they were 17 that we took out of the house.

  • And what happened with these corpses, Mr Witness?

  • Well when the ECOMOG had come and they had made a snapshot of them, the chief asked us, the civilians, to go and dig a hole and bury them, so we buried them.

  • And who buried them, Mr Witness?

  • And can you remember the names of anyone that you buried on that day?

  • Yes, sir. I knew six people who were my own family members who were Aiah Sandy, Dorcos Sandy, Sia Sandy, we were of the same family, and Ma Gbojo, then with one other Komba Modeneh and then with Kadiatu Lebbie. These were the six whose names I knew and who were my relatives.

  • Your Honours, about the names, Ma Gbojo was already spelt. I believe Aiah Sandy, Aiah was spelt as well. For Sia Sandy we would propose S-I-A, for Dorcos Sandy we would propose D-O-R-C-O-S and for Komba Modeneh we would propose M-O-D-E-N-E-H and for Kadiatu Lebbie, Lebbie we would propose L-E-B-B-I-E:

  • Now, Mr Witness, you told us that a number of people had been killed. If anything, what else happened to civilians on that day?

  • Well even when the rebels came, before they left they even captured some civilians and went with them. Even this Aiah Sandy who was killed by the rebels, one of his daughters who was called Anna Sandy, who were all with me, she was captured. By then my wife had been selling fish and so we had one basket of fish. They took it and put it on her head so that they could go up the hill. Well, with the help of God it was on the way that the child was able to throw the basket of fish and escaped and there was also one of my aunts who was called Yei Nembeh. She also - it was only after the other day that we were able to see her.

  • Mr Witness, are you able to spell for the Court Yei Nembeh?

  • Well, Yei is Y-E-I and the Nembeh is N-E-M-B-E-H.

  • Now, Mr Witness, do you know anyone called Tamba Mondeh?

  • Yes, I know Tamba Mondeh.

  • What, if anything, did you learn around that time about Tamba Mondeh?

  • Tamba Mondeh, he himself was in the house. I lodged him through my dad because I did not know him before. So he himself, he had a bullet wound in his mouth. He also was part of the people that were captured and taken away.