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

  • Please proceed, Mr Santora.

  • Thank you, Madam President.

  • Good morning, witness.

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

  • My name is Emmanuel Bull.

  • Mr Witness, I'm going to ask you a series of questions. I would remind you before though to try to speak slowly. I know you are testifying in English, but there are still people trying to take down what you say and so try to speak slowly to the questions.

  • When were you born?

  • Do you know the day and the month?

  • I was born on 2 March 1979.

  • Okay. So how old are you right now?

  • I'm 29 years of age.

  • And what do you do for work?

  • What do you do for work, yes, for employment? What's your employment?

  • I'm an engineer. I'm employed by a telecoms company and I'm the building administration manager at the moment.

  • So, where are you currently residing? Where do you currently live?

  • I'm residing in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

  • And you've been to school? You have an education?

  • What level of education have you reached?

  • I am a graduate from the University of Sierra Leone.

  • What's the name of that university?

  • When did you graduate?

  • I was graduated in the year 2006.

  • And did you have any particular degree?

  • Bachelor degree in electrical and electronics engineering.

  • Do you speak any other languages aside from English?

  • Now, where are you originally from? Where's your family from?

  • My family, they're from Kono.

  • What area of Kono?

  • My mother comes from Njaiama Nimikoro and my father from Yengema Motema.

  • But you yourself, where did you grow up as a child?

  • I grew up in Freetown.

  • So do you speak Kono?

  • During the war in Sierra Leone where were you living?

  • During the war in Sierra Leone I was living in Freetown.

  • Okay. Now, are you familiar with what was called the AFRC regime?

  • Yes, I'm familiar with what was called the AFRC regime.

  • And during that time where were you living?

  • During the time of the AFRC rule I was in Freetown.

  • Okay. What were you doing there?

  • Well, the regime started and we were going to school and I was doing a telecoms engineering course in the Freetown Technical Institute.

  • And did you remain in Freetown during the AFRC junta regime?

  • I did not remain in Freetown because during the AFRC it turned out to be that education was not much respected as such and, well, there was a standstill in education when I was in Freetown by then, so by November/December there was no schooling, I can say, no schooling by that time, so I decided to go upcountry to Kono precisely, yes.

  • And that's of what year? November/December what year?

  • What did you mean when you said that education was not much respected during the AFRC?

  • Of course those of you who knew what was going on, the government, there was a lot of problems in there politically and there was no political stability in Freetown by then and because of so many - well, experiences, bad experiences with regards to the Alpha Jet and then bombardment and a lot of issues with security, so the government by then decided to close down schools.

  • Okay. So after that you said you went up to Kono, upcountry to Kono, where exactly did you go?

  • Well, I went upcountry to Kono. I went to meet my father because of course my father requested that I should go and join him and I went to Motema precisely.

  • Who is your father? Who was your father? Yes, who is your father?

  • The name of my father is Tamba Emmanuel Bull.

  • And just to be clear, your full name is Emmanuel Bull. Is that correct?

  • My name is Emmanuel Bull.

  • So, you're named after - you're named the same name?

  • When you left to go to Motema did you go alone, or --

  • No, no, no, no, I didn't go alone.

  • Who did you go with?

  • And I should - perhaps just before I ask this question, I know there was an issue yesterday about certain names being called. I've spoken with counsel opposite, who has agreed that the same procedure could be followed in this regard.

  • Mr Santora, is that in relation to the two persons referred to as "A" and "B" yesterday?

  • Yes. Yes, Madam President:

  • Mr Witness, just in terms of two individuals in your family, from this point on - well, when we get to that point I'd like you not to call their names, okay?

  • Now, just go ahead and continue though. Who else --

  • Just for purposes of record, Mr Santora, when you come to that point we will deal with it and record it in the proper procedural way.

  • Thank you, Madam President:

  • Let me just move then. So you yourself went up to Motema. Is that correct?

  • Yes, that is correct.

  • What was your father doing in Motema?

  • My father was doing businesses. He was doing mining and also there was some timber work going on. He was doing business in Kono.

  • Where in Motema was your father?

  • Yes, where was he residing?

  • He was residing in his own house.

  • Where is that house in Motema?

  • The house is along the highway. If you got to Motema junction - there is a place called Motema junction and there is a junction that leads into the town, right, and you have the police station and there's a fuelling station. In front of that fuelling station, my father's house is.

  • Can you describe your father's house?

  • It's a big house. It's a two-storeys building. Down we have shops and up we have the rooms and the parlour. We were using the parlour for a church.

  • Now this location called Motema, can you describe this location? About how big is Motema?

  • Motema I can say - well Motema, because Motema and Yengema is sort of a joint - they are now joined. In the olden days it had been a separate town, but I mean except you have described that you are told that this is Motema and this is Yengema, but I mean visually you can see that it's one town, right, and I can say it's about a hundred houses.

  • And are these houses stretched along the highway, or are they concentrated in one area?

  • Well, it has some interception along the highway. The town is intercepting the highway. There are some few houses. Like, for my father's house it's about just the third to last or so house to the forest.

  • Okay, so your father's house is at the edge of Motema?

  • Yes, it is at the edge.

  • And Motema, where is it in relation to Koidu Town?

  • Motema is about the last town. You have so many other small towns, but conventionally it's about the last town to Koidu Town --

  • When you say "the last town" --

  • -- to my own understanding, what I know.

  • What do you mean when you say "last town to Koidu Town"?

  • If you look - I believe if you look at the map conventionally, Yengema Motema is the last town. You have some other small small villages, but in identity Motema is the last town to Koidu.

  • Are you saying before you arrive to Koidu? Is that what you are --

  • And from which direction?

  • You're coming from let's say the Makeni highway. The Makeni highway.

  • So how far is away is that, the edge of Motema from Koidu Town?

  • It's about 45 minutes or one hour drive.

  • Now, did you eventually arrive in Motema then during this November/December time?

  • I eventually arrived in Motema.

  • And describe what you saw when you arrived?

  • Well, what I saw - well, I just arrived in Motema and my father took me up the house. And what was going on, I think the presence of the AFRC and RUF guys were there. They were doing all the minings, but the situation was calm as I could say, you know.

  • Now, did there come a time when that situation changed?

  • Did there come a time when --

  • Yes, the situation changed. There came a time when the situation changed. There came a time.

  • The situation changed, security I'm talking about, when we heard of the invasion - the intervention of the ECOMOG troop in replacing the government. The Tejan Kabbah's government was restored, we heard of that, and I was following up that. That's the time the reflection of that invasion, or intervention. We had a reflection in Motema - in Kono as a whole, you know, so that was when everything changed.

  • So how did you - first of all, how did you hear about the intervention?

  • Well the intervention of course we all knew of course, as you may know, about the restoration of the Tejan Kabbah's government, when it's a democratic government, and the AFRC and the RUF they were forced to leave the country, right, and this was being done by the ECOMOG troops.

  • But how did you actually hear about the news?

  • How did I actually hear about the news? I was following up the news over the radio station BBC.

  • Okay. Any particular programmes?

  • Focus on Africa, to be precise.

  • And after you heard this news, what did you do?

  • Well we heard this news of this intervention and of course everything changed, right. By that I mean, well, the guys who were there were being threatened about the security situation and we heard about the hunter militia men, the Kamajors, and there were some other group called the Donsos which were the Kono group of militia men. They were residing, or they gathered themselves - they were resettling in one part of Kenema end coming towards Kono. So we heard of these guys approaching, right, the Kono area. I also heard of the civilians going after these AFRC and RUF guys, right, and there were some sort of security - what can I say? Some small movement, right, around. Then that gave rise for civilians to go after these guys and they ran. They fled the town, actually. And the Kamajors and the Donsos guys, hunter militia in general, they took over the town at that time.

  • So do you know when that was, when they took over the town, the Donsos and the Kamajors?

  • They took over the town when?

  • Ah, yes, it was about late February.

  • And did they remain there?

  • Yes, they remained there - well to my knowledge, or to what I saw, there were a lot of things going on also. Like they were identifying some rebels who were in hiding, some of them were in the houses, some of them were residing somewhere, so a lot of movement took place and then exactly that was what was happening.

  • Now, did there come a time when that situation changed?

  • Yes, the situation changed. It changed when one morning of course - of course, I was following up the news when the ECOMOG guys were advancing from Freetown, you know they took over Freetown and they were advancing towards the provinces, right. And there came a time I heard of them reaching Makeni, which is one major town to Kono, and of course I was actually anxious to see or to hear these guys coming to Kono. Until one morning, right, I heard gunshot, right. I heard a gunshot coming from Bumpe area.

  • Okay, where is Bumpe in relation to - first of all, where were you when you heard this gunshot?

  • I was in my father's house.

  • Where is Bumpe in relation to --

  • Bumpe is the last town to Yengema Motema, coming from the Makeni end.

  • Okay, so coming from the Makeni end?

  • So coming from the west to the east?

  • Yes, of course. Yes.

  • Mr Santora, before we go much further can we clarify some of the "they"s and the "guys".

  • For example, "Everything changed for these guys there".

  • And "They ran. They fled the town", if we could clarify those.

  • Thank you, Madam President. Let me just find the reference. Madam President, I would just enquire on your page because it may help to make sure I hit the --

  • I'm actually looking partly at my own notes as well. "They fled the town actually" is at page 13, line 6/7, on my font, and then earlier on there was something about, "The guys who were there were being threatened", that's page 11, line 20, and "They were residing, or they gathered themselves", and that's line 23/24 of the same page.

  • Okay. We definitely are on different fonts, but I will find the reference. Well, let me ask Mr Witness.

  • My learned colleague tells me it's page 12 on the smaller font.

  • First of all, Mr Witness, you said, "They were residing, or they gathered themselves. They were resettling in one part of Kenema and coming towards Kono". Who were you referring to when you say "they"?

  • I am referring to the Kamajors, the hunter militia men who were for the democratic government, the Tejan Kabbah's government. They were fighting on behalf of the government, Tejan Kabbah's government.

  • And then later on I asked about these Kamajors and I believe you said Donso guys, whether they remained there, and you said to your knowledge or what you saw and later on you said, "Also like they were identifying some rebels who were in hiding. Some of them were in the houses. Some of them were residing somewhere". Who is "them", when you're saying "them"?

  • "Them" referring to the AFRC/RUF guys. Referring to AFRC/RUF guys.

  • I believe there's one more reference, Madam President. I'm just finding it. I apologise.

  • Yes, "They fled the town".

  • Okay. And then later on, Mr Witness, you said that, "Some small movement, right, around. Then that gave rise for civilians to go after these guys and they ran. They fled the town, actually. And the Kamajors and the Donso guys, hunter militia in general, they took over the town at that time". First of all when you said, "They fled the town actually", who were you talking about when you said "they"?

  • I'm talking about the AFRC/RUF.

  • And then you said, "They took over the town at that time"?

  • The Kamajors, hunter militia, they took over the town after the AFRC/RUF guys fled the town.

  • I hope that clarifies it, Madam President.

  • I think that's all the ones I noticed, but I'm sure if others notice they will raise it.

  • And I will be a little more attentive to it as we continue:

  • Mr Witness, just a reminder too. I know it's sometimes difficult to remember, but if you could try to call out names --

  • -- as opposed to using pronouns. As opposed to using references like "they" and "them", if you can try to use the names.

  • Thank you. So, Mr Witness, I was just talking to you about when you first heard this gunshot from the Bumpe direction and you were in Motema. Is that correct?

  • Yes, I was in Motema.

  • And do you remember the day that you heard this, what day this was?

  • I can't remember the exact date.

  • Do you remember the month?

  • Okay. So after you heard this gunshot from the Bumpe direction what did you do?

  • We heard the gunshot coming far from the Bumpe direction, right, and of course I was listening to the Focus on Africa and was following up what was happening in Freetown and then exactly I understood that the guys - the AFRC/RUF guys were being pushed out of Freetown and they were advancing towards the provinces, you know. So I just thought of that that morning and then I thought of this firing must have been these AFRC and RUF guys, you know, and logically I thought that the RUF - the Kamajors and the Donsos are in charge of Motema, there will be no sort of gun firing and bombs and so and so forth. If it would have not been with the guys - the opposite side of it, sort of the RUF and the AFRC guys, right, so that came to my understanding that morning and then I suggested to my father and said, "We have to flee this place". So me, my father and the rest of the other family we fled Motema that morning.

  • How many of you fled Motema that morning?

  • Counting me and my father and four of my other family members and then my elder brother's family, you know, it's about 21 of us in that house. About that.

  • Who is your elder brother?

  • My elder brother is Samuel Bull.

  • Okay. Now, you fled that morning. What did you take with you?

  • What did you take with you, yes?

  • We took some food items and then some of our valuables. Like, for me, I took my bag that contains some of my electronics, you know, gadgets and money. We took money. We took money. I myself, I took some money. My brother, of course, he was a businessman. He took a lot of money along with him.

  • Now your father at this time, how old was he?

  • By that time?

  • My father now is early 70s. My father now is early 70s.

  • He's about late - mid-60s or early 60s.

  • Now, did you know which direction you were going to flee to? Did you have any idea where to go?

  • Where we were going?

  • Yes, we were heading towards a village called Fakoyia. In fact they said it. They said, "Okay, now we are leaving for Fakoyia. A place called Fakoyia."

  • And why did you pick that place?

  • That used to be my father's village, sort of. He has a large - very big land there and he was doing some mining activities there and most of his relatives were residing in that area, in that village, so that was why I believed they thought of we going there.

  • And Fakoyia, first of all what chiefdom is Fakoyia in?

  • Fakoyia is that same Nimikoro Chiefdom. It's in that same area. I don't know much about chiefdom and blah, blah, blah in that place, but it's within that vicinity, Nimikoro Chiefdom.

  • Okay. So if I'm standing in Motema, which direction is Fakoyia? Do you know if it's the south, the north, the east, the west?

  • Southwest. Now, you have the direction going to Koidu Town, right. It's about - Fakoyia is about a whole 90 degree away the direction of Koidu Town.

  • You said southwest?

  • Yes, when you are - if you are in Motema, you are approaching - let's say you are going to Koidu Town, it's like a 90 degree direction away from the direction leading to Koidu Town.

  • Okay. So you started - one moment, please. Now, when you said that the decision was to go to Fakoyia, who actually said, "We are going to Fakoyia"?

  • My father. My father insisted that we should go there.

  • So did you end up going to Fakoyia?

  • We ended - yes, we went to Fakoyia.

  • About how long did it take you?

  • Fakoyia is about one-and-a-half to two hours by foot.

  • So you went by foot?

  • Did you follow a particular road?

  • We used a footpath. We used a footpath. It's a place that cannot be - you cannot get there on car or vehicle. You can get there on foot.

  • So what happened after when you arrived in Fakoyia?

  • We arrived in Fakoyia and then we stayed for some hours in the Fakoyia village and then my uncle was killed later on, and then my brother and my father they decided that we go and settle in a cave - in a cave which is away from Fakoyia.

  • What do you mean when you say your uncle was killed later on?

  • That uncle is - his name is Aiah Sandy. His name is Aiah Sandy and he was killed later.

  • Okay. Well, we will come to that later on. I just want to follow chronologically. Just for clarity, to make sure we're consistent, do you know how to spell Aiah?

  • Okay. Now you said that, "My brother, my father, they decided that we go and settle in a cave." Let's start from you - the point you arrived in Fakoyia, did you remain there?

  • Before we --

  • I'm sorry, I should say when you arrived in Fakoyia, did you remain in Fakoyia village?

  • We did not - we stayed there for few hours, right, trying to gather things, waiting for - you know, it's like we were walking in the whole - as a whole group, but like some people who were very slow to walk, they were behind, so we were waiting for everybody to come, you know, to see that everybody is there and most of our things that we came with are okay. Then later we decided to go under the cave - in the cave.

  • Now, what do you mean by "the cave"?

  • There was a cave. Of course this - I mean, my father used to say they used to go there a long - in the long years, you know, and their great grandfather they used to use that place as a hiding place, you know, during some kind of war that took place way back and it's a very good hiding place.

  • So where is this cave in relation to Fakoyia village?

  • Fakoyia village, it's also an hour. An hour's walk away from Fakoyia on foot.

  • Now initially you said there were approximately 21 of you who took the trip from Motema to Fakoyia. When you left Fakoyia village to go to this cave, about how many people were there with you?

  • It's about - yeah, it's about 21 of us, up to 30 people.

  • Were there anybody else besides your family?

  • Yeah, there were. We had one pastor. The pastor that was the pastor of the church in my father's house, you know, it's a pastor of Free Gospel Mission, he and his family was with us and somebody else. And like my brother, my elder brother Samuel, his own wife's relatives were there. His own in-laws were there.

  • Now, why were you hiding?

  • Why we were in hiding?

  • Of course we had no trust for the security situation there, right, in Motema, and we also thought of these guys coming to the villages, right. We also thought of these guys coming to the villages to look for civilians, taking property and so on and so forth, so it was a wise decision by them - by my father and others - for us to go out of Fakoyia, even though Fakoyia is far away from Motema, but for us to still take some other secured decision to leave Fakoyia and go to the cave. That was the reason why we decided to go to the cave.

  • Mr Santora, what guys?

  • Thank you, Justice Sebutinde:

  • You said, Mr Witness, that - when I asked you why you were in hiding you said that, "We had no trust for the security situation in Motema and we also thought of these guys coming to the villages"?

  • The AFRC/RUF.

  • Okay. Thank you, Mr Witness. So let me just pick up where I was, I'm sorry. So while you were hiding in this cave area, what did you do for food?

  • Initially for a few days we took - as I said, we had some rice and palm oil we used for a few days, but it never lasted for long and then we started using something called bush yams. We also ate rat and some other food, you know.

  • And how long did you remain in this cave area outside of Fakoyia?

  • We stayed in the cave area for long, over a month. I - my birthday 2 March met me there and we were there for long, for over a month.

  • Okay. I would request that now the map that was pre-distributed be shown to the witness and it's - just so the Court is clear, this is the enlarged portion of the map under the map book S11. It's an enlarged portion of the centre of that map. I'm going to be asking the witness to mark it and so I don't know if it's preferable that he sits by the projector. Just to note, this map has not been marked at this point at all:

  • Mr Witness, do you see that document in front of you? What is it? What is that document in front of you?

  • It's a map.

  • A map of what? Take a look at it first. Take a look at it.

  • Yes, it's a map of - I can see that there are some towns here named. It's a map of some part of Kono.

  • Okay. Do you see the location on that map which says "Koidu"?

  • Yes, I can see Koidu.

  • Do you see anywhere on this map a place called Motema?

  • There is no place called Motema.

  • Can you mark with a number 1 where Motema is located on this map?

  • Motema is located here.

  • For purposes of record, the witness has made a number 1 at a location just below the word "Yengema":

  • Maybe, Mr Witness, if you can make that number 1 a little more prominent?

  • If you can make that 1 a little bigger, just to make sure it's clear. Now you've spoken about a village called Fakoyia. Do you see it on that map?

  • Fakoyia is not on the map.

  • Can you identify where approximately Fakoyia would be if it did appear on this map?

  • I can clarify, first of all:

  • The Fakoyia you spoke of, Mr Witness, which chiefdom is it in?

  • As I said, the Fakoyia I spoke of is around the Nimikoro Chiefdom. Around the Nimikoro Chiefdom.

  • Now, you notice in the Tankoro Chiefdom there's a Fakoyia; is that the Fakoyia?

  • Yes, of course. That's not the Fakoyia. That's not the Fakoyia.

  • So can you please make a marking to the Fakoyia you were referring to when you spoke earlier?

  • Yeah, Fakoyia is around this area.

  • And I need to you to make a number 2.

  • Now, to the best of your recollection - sorry, for the record, the witness has made a marking of a number 2 just to the northwest of a location marked as Tongbodu in the Nimikoro Chiefdom. Now, Mr Witness, can you, to the best of your ability, trace the route you took from Motema to this location known as Fakoyia.

  • Okay. We left Motema, as I said. We came through this town called Bandafada, right. We didn't go inside the town of course but it's like near the village called Bandafada. There is a route that leads to Fakoyia. It's like this.

  • Thank you. Just for purposes of record the witness has made a marking from a highlighted - I believe it's green highlighter from number 1 to number 2:

  • You also, Mr Witness, then said that you and your family went to a cave outside of Fakoyia. Could you mark approximately where that would be if it appeared on this map?

  • Approximately the cave would be somewhere about here.

  • You can use a number 3 for that marking.

  • For purposes of record, the witness has made a number 3 marking almost directly north of Tongbodu and to the east of Bandafada on the border of the Nimikoro and Tankoro chiefdoms:

  • And can you then just for completeness draw a line representing the route you would have taken from the village of Fakoyia to the cave. For purposes of record, the witness has highlighted in orange from the number 2 to the number 3 on that map and at this point the map can be removed and he can return back. Thank you, Madam Court Attendant.

    Now I'm not going to actually ask for an MFI number at this point because the same map will be used again and I think it's appropriate to request marking after it's completely marked.

    Okay, Mr Witness, so about how long did you stay then - I may have asked you this but just to pick up - about how long did you stay in this cave area outside of Fakoyia?

  • We stayed there - as I said, we stayed there for over a month.

  • And what happened while you were there?

  • We were there and then I was following up, as I said, I had a radio with me and I was listening to news and the Sierra Leone broadcasting station also was broadcasting over a short wave. I also tuned my radio to short wave and get news about what is happening in Freetown by then and we were then hiding and I was waiting for the time for ECOMOG to reach Kono. That was our dream and we were anxious to hear that ECOMOG has reached Kono and we had nowhere to go and of course we had little children with us and we thought of being there until the ECOMOG people reached Kono before ever we leave that place and we were just feeding on rats, bush yams and other - I mean bush foods. And that was our activity every day. We had to pray together and then the rain would come and we would get wet and in the morning we dried up our things and then - life is like not good under the cave really, but we were just waiting, you know. I was waiting to hear that ECOMOG is now in Kono and the security situation is now safe before one can get out of that cave.

  • So continue then. What happened while you were waiting?

  • Yes, we were there, and one day me, my elder brother Samuel and a guy - I mean a guy who has now been killed, Thomas Kobie, he used to work for my father, he is a miner, a very experienced miner, he has worked for my father for over 10/15 years and three of us would go out to get these bush yams, you know. We would go out miles and miles away to look for bush yams and then we would go in the morning and then come somewhere in the evening, somewhere around in the evening, and then the ladies - few of the ladies would just go few metres away from the cave to get the leaves, you know, we used some of these leaves as part of the food we were eating, you know.

    So one day me, my elder brother and Thomas, we went out to get these bush yams. On our way coming down, because the cave is like - it is surrounded by a small hill, right, and there you have the cave. So underneath - inside the cave we put some of our belongings and we were just - we put some small shelters around so of course the size of the cave is not enough to host all of us there, so we just put some of our things there and then outside we were - I mean lying on the floor. And what I'm saying is that the cave is surrounded by a hill, so you have to climb the hill, go down the other side and then you can take a walk to somewhere else.

    So we - after taking the bush yams for the whole of the day, coming down it's about 4 o'clock and we were just coming down and I heard a gunshot, right. I heard a gunshot. So it was a shock for me and my brother. See, we looked at ourselves like this, "What?" Because we never dreamed of a gunshot coming from that place, right. It's like we were not expecting that. We said what? And my brother said "Jesus" and then I said "Let's go back." So we ran up the hill again and take coverage in one area. So we were there. We were just praying. I was just praying, saying, "God what is happening? What is happening with my people?"

    And then we stayed there for some time and then we - for just about 30 minutes and I said, "No", you know, "we have people there, I have my relatives there, I have my younger ones there, we need to go. Whatever may happen, let's go there. I will go." And then I stood up and my brother and Thomas followed me and then we reached. Fortunately we reached there, the guys had left already. So we - I was there then --

  • When you say the guys had left already, what do you mean?

  • The AFRC/RUF guys and I saw the things were scattered, you know. All our things were scattered, you know. They went into our bags, take - like for me, they take some of my electronic gadgets, my camera, few other things, money and then I came to realise - somebody told me that "A" was taken, has been taken. And then I didn't know how I felt at that time, you know. I didn't know how I felt because it was a shock. Everything was like - I don't know how I felt that time.

    I was holding the machete in my hand and I just hit one of the wood - there was a wood we used to hold small rope, I hit it and everything dropped and my brother was afraid. He thought that I'm going to destroy somebody and then I fell on the ground. You know, I cried. I shouted and then I said, "No, I'm going to go after these guys", the AFRC guys and RUF. I said, "I'm going to go after them. It will not happen to me." And then I started running and my brother - my elder brother and father saying, "Emmanuel, why are you going? Don't go there. These guys have guns. They have guns. They have weapons with them. Don't go there."

    I said, "No, whatever is going to happen, let it happen, I'm going there." And I started running and then my elder brother and father also started running after me and I heard my father saying, "Emmanuel why are you going?" He said, "Emmanuel, don't go. You want to kill me? If you go then I'm dead." He said, you know - I heard him crying and then I decided to stay back and then --

  • I don't mean to interrupt you, Mr Witness, but you made a reference to "A" and I know that during the course of your testimony you have said that various - you went - there were various people with you. Now I would request at this point to have an application that what was yesterday marked as a confidential exhibit - I believe we can just use the same exhibit in this instance as opposed to creating a new exhibit. I think --

  • No. I would not - I haven't invited a reply but my initial reaction, Mr Santora, is the evidence must be adduced from the witness rather than presented with another witness's evidence.

  • Okay. I understand. I'm hesitating just because I know only one was mentioned at this point and without --

  • Well, you can ask the witness - I'm not telling you how to run your case - but you can ask the witness if there are members of the group that he was with whose names he wishes to protect and let him explain why he requires that protection.

  • Okay. Thank you, Madam President:

  • I guess, Mr Witness, during the course of your recounting of these events, are there certain members of your family - people that you know or are acquainted - whose names you wish not to call out? Are there certain people that you don't want to call out their names?

  • Yes, of course. I have --

  • You don't have to tell me who they are exactly, but are there people who you are acquainted with in some way that you wish not to call out their names?

  • I have two people that I don't want to call their names.

  • The reason why is - well, I guess this is an open court and then people may be hearing what I'm saying, it's open, and they are already full-grown people and it's embarrassing for a woman, you know, for you to be saying things like that, some of his friend or his own - her own spouse may hear things like that. Probably the spouse has never heard of this and all of a sudden - you know, it's like, I can't.

  • Okay. At this point I would ask that the witness be given a blank piece of paper.

  • Just let me ask the Defence if they have any objection to this procedure or this evidence being adduced in this way having heard the witness.

  • Very well, Mr Griffiths. Yes, please give Mr Witness some paper and a pen.

  • Mr Witness, can you please write the letter "A" - you said there were two people, is that correct? Can you please write the letter "A" and "B" and correspondingly next to each letter write the respective names of those people. Okay. Now before you hand that back, can you please write your name and sign that piece of paper and put today's date. I don't know if you know today's date, which is 25 September. Also, please put next to your name - if you can put TF1-459. I'd ask that the Defence be able to examine that.

  • Please proceed, Mr Santora.

  • So at this point I'd ask that that be given a marking as MFI-1.

  • This is a one page document with handwriting by the witness and it becomes MFI-1.

  • Mr Witness, now you were just describing what happened when you came back from your food gathering mission and back to your camp by the cave and you said that these guys were the AFRC/RUF guys who had been at the camp. First of all, how did you know that?

  • The rest of the other members of the family explained to us. They said, "The AFRC/RUF guys have attacked our place of residing, our refuge, and sent the men in the cave where we are hiding", right. They were - they actually came to know that place, according to what they explained to me, when "A" and "B" and somebody else that were residing with us in that cave went to get these leaves that we were using for food and they heard - the guys, the AFRC/RUF guys, were passing by on the footpath and they heard these voices and then all of a sudden they went there and get hold of them.

  • Of who?

  • Get hold of "A" and "B" and also somebody who was with us and they raped them, right. They raped them and then they were taken along and then "B" was released, but "A" was taken along.

  • Who raped them?

  • And how do you know that? How do you know that?

  • "B" said it, right. "B" explained and she was crying bitterly, right. She was crying and then it was very deplorable anyway. She was so pale and I mean I could not imagine how she was feeling by then. She was crying bitterly when we went there and she was crying that "A" has been taken along, she was never been allowed to be released, but they have released her.

  • So just to clarify, you said "A" and "B" and somebody were outside of the cave area. Is that correct?

  • Yes, outside of the cave area.

  • Who was the somebody, this third individual, do you know?

  • It's one of the ladies who were - I could not remember the names of all of us who were there, but it's one of the relatives who was with the family by then.

  • And then you said that "A" and "B" were both raped. Is that correct?

  • They were raped. Yes, they were raped.

  • And you learned this when you returned back to the camp. Is that correct?

  • I learnt that when I returned back to the camp.

  • Okay. Now you also said that "A" was taken. Was "A" the only person taken at this point?

  • At that point, yes. I think this fellow - this Thomas Kobie - had a son that was with us. His name is Emmanuel Kobie. He himself was taken along.

  • At this point when you returned to the cave?

  • At the time when "A" was and "B" were taken along by the AFRC/RUF guys.

  • Okay. And just to clarify and we'll move on, but you just said "A" and "B" were taken along, but earlier you said that "A" was taken only?

  • Only "A" was taken to the camp.

  • Okay, so what happened to "B"?

  • "B" was released. She was raped and released.

  • Okay. Now, you also said your father and yourself were - you were telling your father that you wanted to go back to get - to go --

  • I wanted to go after the RUF/AFRC guys who took {Redacted} along.

  • And your father responded and he said, "Emmanuel" --

  • Mr Witness, please avoid saying the relationship between you and the person who was abducted. We will redact that reference to the relationship, please.

  • Yes, Mr Witness, if you can just refer to letters. You don't have to refer to what relationships are. Do you understand that?

  • Okay. Now, you said that your father - when you told him you wanted to go after them he told you, "Emmanuel, don't go. You want to kill me? If you go then - Emmanuel don't go. You want to kill me. If you go, then I'm dead". Do you know what he meant by that?

  • My father was just expressing some kind of bitterness. I mean after having a great shock that "A" has been taken away and again a boy son, Emmanuel, also is going and probably something may happen to him, you know. It's like having a great shock of something happen to "A" and also Emmanuel, you know, that would bring an end to his life. He may rather - I mean out of shock or heart attack he may die, something like that. That was exactly what he was saying.

  • So after this happened, when you returned to camp what happened next?

  • So my father, of course, was crying. I heard him crying. You know, he was saying something and underneath he was crying and then that gave me the urge to stay back and say, "Okay". So I just fell on the ground, starting crying bitterly, you know, rolling up and down, and then I was just taken back to the cave. We were there. Everybody was crying, crying bitterly, and then we gathered the remaining of our belongings and we prayed together. So the whole of the night I was awake. I could not sleep. I could not sleep and I was disturbing everyone, disturbing my father. I said, "No, this should not happen. I need to go there. You need to allow me to go. This should not happen". I was disturbing everyone. I could not sleep that night.

    And then in the morning my father said, "Okay, what we will do is you alone will not go. We will have to gather all the males - the men who are around". About six or seven of us we ourselves and then we said, "Okay, let's go to this area. Probably we can see what we can do. Something may happen". You know, incidentally something can happen, because that was what I was telling them. "I'm not going there to fight, I'm not going there to challenge the guys, but I will just go there, you know, just be around. Probably I can manoeuvre one or two ways so that I can have my way, you know."

  • To what area?

  • To Motema. The AFRC and RUF fellow came from Motema. They were based in Motema.

  • Just before you go any further, Mr Santora, to any members of the public who are in the public gallery and to any monitors who are listening, the witness a few moments ago made a statement of a relationship between him and a person and that relationship must not be repeated outside the Court for reasons of security of victims. That is not to be repeated. It has been redacted from the record. Please proceed, Mr Santora.

  • So when you said you were going - you were going to go because six or seven of you gathered together and you said, "Let's go to this area", and you said that area was Motema. Is that correct?

  • Yes, yes, yes.

  • And then you said, "I'm not going there to fight, I'm not going there to challenge the guys". Who did you mean by "the guys"?

  • The AFRC/RUF that took along "A".

  • And then what do you mean when you said, "Probably I can manoeuvre one or two ways so that I can have my way, you know."

  • What I meant is that logically speaking if I go to - if I want something here, right, I can manoeuvre myself in a sense. I was thinking of one way like going and befriend with the people, you know, discover {Redacted} and then try to play around things so that I can just hide away --

  • Mr Witness, again that relationship is not to be repeated to members of the public. Again that will be redacted, please. Proceed, Mr Santora.

  • Go ahead, Mr Witness. You said you were going there to manoeuvre around. Is that correct?

  • Okay. And you said to befriend?

  • One way I thought of - one way of thought of is to befriend with them, locate "A" and find a way a hide away with her. That was one way. The meaning that I mean manoeuvre, that is one of the reasons.

  • So who went with you? You said six or seven of you?

  • Yes, six or seven of us. Yes.

  • My father agreed to come with us. My elder brother Samuel and pastor - Pastor Alyiu. There was a guy called James, who is the husband of my elder brother's in-law and I think two or three other people.

  • So what happened when you went there?

  • We were on our way and it was like halfway journeyed to Motema we just - you know, it's like a footpath, it was a footpath, you know, you have the bush or the forest very close to the road, you know. So when you are taking a turn probably you may - you cannot even know that somebody is coming until you come closer. Do you understand what I'm saying? You know, so it was a footpath and we just coincided to meet, you know. It's just a coincidence that we meet with this AFRC/RUF. There were about five of them. About five of them, right. We just - it's a coincidence that we just met and what happened --

  • Before you explain what happened, you've referred several times saying these AFRC/RUF. What do you mean when you say this?

  • AFRC/RUF, I know very well that the AFRC were the condemned or - of the Sierra Leone Army. You know, the Tejan Kabbah government uttered a statement when he was being overthrown by the AFRC regime and of course the AFRC guys are made up of the Sierra Leone Army that was disbanded, right. And the RUF are of course the followers and these people who were with the dead man now, Foday Sankoh. Of course, we all know the Revolutionary United Front, so they had a kind of combination. They merged to be one group. We used to call them the junta.

  • Okay. So you said you ran into these AFRC/RUF about five of them?

  • Yes, five of them. They were well-armed. They had very big guns and it was a shock. They themselves, they thought that these guys are some other people. Like, guys, I mean that we are some other people who are armed. But I mean, I saw it because I was second - second or so, second or third - I was second or third from the front, right. So I saw it on them. Like --

  • They had a shock. You know, they wanted to get back but like they saw it that none of us are armed so they started threatening us. "Don't run, don't run, don't run." All the other guys ran. Me and my father - my father ran to the bush, he was in the hiding, and the guys, one of the guys, the AFRC/RUF saw him and said, "Come out, come out" and then my father and my brother Samuel and myself was captured. I could not run by then and then they said, "Come here, come here" and then of course it was a close path, right, so they walked with us under gunpoint to a clear area, right, just a clear field, so there they placed us and then they put the guns on us and then said, "What do you have in your pockets? Take it out." And then I was having a wallet. They took my wallet, took the money and gave me back all the remaining things. I had ID cards, my church membership card and everything was there, and they took my gold ring and I was having a talking watch, and they took it away from me and then all other belongings from my father and my brother was taken away and then they start threatening us. "You are hiding from us, you are hiding from us, we are going to kill you."

  • Who was saying that?

  • The AFRC/RUF. One of the - all of them were saying - all of them were saying these words, threatening remarks. They were giving threatening remarks. All of them. Each of them were pointing the gun at us and everybody - myself, I was just pleading, "Oh, my friend, don't kill me." You know, "I like you guys. Don't kill me. Don't kill me. I like you, don't kill me. I'm just a keyboardist, I'm just an organist, I'm not a gunman, I'm not a government man" blah, blah, blah. So everybody was just pleading and then defending and so on and so forth. My brother was crying, "Don't kill me, I have children. Don't kill me." My father also, everybody was just saying these kind of words, pleading, pleading, pleading, "Don't kill me, don't kill me", and the guys were just like that. "We'll kill you today." Making the gun like this, you know.

  • You said there were about five of them, they were heavily armed. Did you recognise - I apologise because I think I'm speaking too fast myself.

  • Yes. We just had a note, Mr Witness, from the people that are actually transcribing, everything you say is written down. They have asked please speak a little slower and remember too that everything you say is being translated and broadcast.

  • So if you could speak slower. Mr Santora.

  • Thank you, Madam President. And just for the purposes of record, and I'm making sure that counsel opposite saw that when the witness was describing the men that were yelling at him he also said they were pointing guns and he, for the record, he moved his left arm up and his right arm to his side indicating --

  • Yes, I was indicating somebody holding the gun and we were on the floor, right. They said, "Sit on the floor" and all of us were down there. "We're going to kill you today."

  • Okay, so just for purposes of record the witness was holding his arms in such a position. I will just make sure counsel across saw.

  • Counsel for Defence, you have noted this?

  • I noted it, Madam President. Thank you.

  • Thank you. We'll have it on record as described by Mr Santora.

  • Thank you, Madam President:

  • Now, after this was happening to you - now initially you said there were about seven of you, is that correct?

  • Yes, about seven of us.

  • How many of you were actually being held at gunpoint?

  • So what happened to the other four?

  • So after that happened --

  • Yes, and they threatened us and one of them - I heard one of them saying, "This guy looks like one of the girls we took yesterday", you know, and categorically I pronounced - you know, I pronounced the relationship between me and the person they were referring to. So - and they said, "He looks like her. The lips, the face." And I pronounced the relationship. And then the guy said, "We killed her. In fact we killed her. She was about to run, to escape and we killed her" and my father raised his hands like this. "Okay, if you have killed her, glory be to God." That was the exact words he used. But within myself, you know, I have that up in me, I have that kind of character in me that if somebody says something if it is not true, I mean, I have some feelings in me, you know, and I thought that it was a lie, you know, and I was not moved by that word, you know, and my brother also started saying, "Eh, what have you done? Have you killed her? Have you killed her? Oh, Jesus." Like that, you know.

  • What did you mean when your father - why did he raise his hands and say, "Glory be to God"?

  • Well, my father is a strong religious man, you know. He just believes that if something happened to him, whether it's positive - whether it's optimistic or pessimistic you need to say thanks to God. She was, you know, it's like a final blow, right.

  • Just for purposes of record, the witness demonstrated that the father raised his hands by putting both hands straight above his head.

  • Thank you, Madam President.

  • Just to be clear are you referring to, this person that was killed - are you referring to "A"?

  • Yes, referring to "A".

  • Okay. Now, you said you didn't believe, that you had some feelings in you that you thought it was a lie. Is that correct?

  • So after you heard this what happened?

  • So after I heard this, the guys continued to threaten and they said, "Okay, get up. Let's move." So my father felt discouraged, my brother also felt discouraged and I was just pleading because I thought we were about to die that moment, the way these guys were threatening us, you know. So I was just pleading, "Don't kill us. Don't kill us. We are for you. I like you. Don't kill us. You know, look at my ID card." I had my ID card, my church ID cards and my college - technical institute card in my possession by then. I said, "Look at my cards. I'm just a church member. I'm just a keyboardist. I'm just an ordinary man. Don't kill us. You know, we have responsibilities." My father, you know, we were just pleading and they said, "Come on, just walk", you know, so we walked. They were behind us, you know, with the guns behind us.

  • Sorry to interrupt you, but I was going to ask you: You said they were heavily armed and with guns. Do you, did you know what kind of guns they had?

  • Well, I, later I came to know the different weapons, so I can say some of them had AK-47, AK-58 and one guy was carrying a G3 weapon, and they were having knives. They had a jacket, they have knives, you know, with military gadgets and so on and so forth.

  • And again, I'm just going to remind you again, I know it's sometimes difficult but try to slow down when you're speaking to make sure we can get all the words that you're saying correctly. Okay?

  • So what happened then after they told you - after these AFRC/RUF guys told you to move, what happened?

  • Yeah, they started listening. You know, I came to understand that they surveillanced the bushes, or they raid the bushes by listening to sound, right. They would just sharply listen to some sound coming from afar and then try to know that there are people residing in that area and they will follow the sound. So I observed them. They were going like this slowly, walking, walk, walk and they were holding their guns looking up and down, looking up and down and listening. You know, sometimes when they go up a small hill they will look far to see whether smoke is coming from somewhere else.

  • Do you know what they were looking for?

  • They were looking for people. They were looking for where people are hiding. They very well knew that people are in hiding, right. They very well knew that people were in hiding so they were looking for where people are hiding, where they could locate people.

  • And before, you said that you later - I apologise for interrupting what you were saying - but before you said you learned what these kind of guns they were carrying, you learned what they were later?

  • I learned that later.

  • How did you come to learn later what those guns were?

  • If we go further, there was a time when the guys - the AFRC/RUF guy put us on training.

  • Okay. I'll come to that point later on. But continue now. You were saying that they were looking for - I'm sorry, let me make sure I get it correctly. They were looking for where people are in hiding.

  • Yes, yes, they were looking for people who were in hiding.

  • How do you know that? How do you know that's what they were looking for?

  • As time goes on, you know, I came to realise that that was their aim. That's what I have concluded now or I am concluding now that they were looking for people who were in hiding because that was what it resulted to, right.

  • Do you know why they were looking for people in hiding?

  • They were looking for people in hiding because they want to take their belongings from them, their valuables and they wanted to take women. They were taking property and they were taking young girls, raping them or taking them along to be their wives.

  • Now bringing you back to when you were being led by these five, approximately five AFRC/RUF men, where were they taking you?

  • We were going back, you know. We left Fakoyia end, we were approaching Motema, right. So when we met on the way they got us back again. It's like reversing to where we were coming from.

  • So you were walking in the direction towards Fakoyia at this point?

  • Yes, we were walking in the direction towards Fakoyia.

  • Okay. So continue. What happened then?

  • Yes, and they heard a sound coming from afar, right, and then they started following the sound and one guy was so sensitive, Teddy P, I think I mentioned it in my statement, Teddy P was so sensitive.

  • First of all who is Teddy P?

  • Teddy P is one of the AFRC/RUF guys who we met along.

  • Now earlier you said that - you referred to the AFRC as ex - as SLA, former SLAs and the RUF as the Revolutionary United Front followers of the now deceased Foday Sankoh. Was Teddy P - could you tell which particular --

  • Teddy P, I could not say. I can't give you a definite - I can't know whether he was RUF or - but he is a young looking - good-looking guy and he was wearing a civilian clothes, right, no uniform, no combat. And he had a jacket, a jacket - the brown jacket and then he was holding - I think he was the guy who hold, who was holding the G3.

  • Okay. So continue. What happened? Teddy P, you said --

  • Teddy P, yes, he was so sensitive to hear. He was the one who heard the sound. He heard the sound far, far away. I was observing them. You know, I'm so observant . He said, "I heard a sound coming from afar". He said, "Let's go this side. Let's go this way".

  • Teddy P. And then he started going, going, going. Finally they were able to know that there were people who were living in that site, right. And they said, "Okay, just stay behind", and they left Ngobeh to look after us.

  • Before you continue, who is Ngobeh?

  • Ngobeh is also one of the AFRC/RUF who we met along and Ngobeh - for me I can say Ngobeh to what I saw, you know, like on sight, judging on sight, he was an RUF guy because his appearance was shabby, rugged and the facial - you know, the eyes are so red, a lot of marks, you know, the hair so bushy. You know what I mean, their appearance? And of course I was observing by then that some of these SLA guys, their appearance may be so good somehow, right, and the RUF fellow they are so rough. They cannot be clean. Not all of them, but a good number of them. They cannot be clean. They can't even wash. You understand? You know, so facially or visually I can take a judgment on them that Ngobeh - as I'm saying, Ngobeh is an RUF guy.

  • So, you made an assertation that this person was RUF?

  • But did you actually have anything that you learned - did you learn any - did you have any information otherwise that he was in a particular faction aside from your own impression?

  • Yes, that is what I'm saying. The information I have, the RUF people they are rough and they are violent, right. They are violent compared to the SLA guys.

  • Well, let me ask - I guess we can - at this point though you just surmised that Ngobeh was RUF, but you didn't have any other information aside from your observation of him. Is that correct?

  • If I don't have any information?

  • You didn't have any other information at this point aside from your own observation of his appearance?

  • No, no other information.

  • Okay, so continue. So you said that they had heard this sound and Ngobeh was left back with you?

  • Yes, yes, he was left.

  • And they went towards the sound?

  • Yes, they went towards where the people were in hiding and we heard them saying, "Don't run, don't run, don't run. If you run, I will shoot you". Then they were able to capture one lady. They were able to capture one lady and take their belongings and then they called Ngobeh. They said, "Come with the guys here", and then we went and joined them and he said, "Okay, catch all the chickens", because there were chickens around. "Catch all the chickens", so we were I mean --

  • Who said, "Catch all the chickens"?

  • One of the - I could not remember the exact one that said that, but one of the AFRC/RUF guy.

  • And you said they captured one lady?

  • Yes, they captured one lady.

  • Do you know who that was?

  • I don't know her. I've never met her before.

  • Could you - from your observation, could you describe her?

  • Yes. The lady was bright in colour and the age about 18/19, but she was a full grown lady. Very much so, yes.

  • Now, you said Ngobeh remained back with you?

  • Yes.

  • Okay. What happened then?

  • And then the guys communicated to Ngobeh and said, "Bring them. Bring them along", and then we went and joined them and they said, "Catch all the chickens". We started fighting to catch these chickens. Put them in one - they have something they call coop. Fowl coop.

  • Yes, yes. Then we put all the chickens - we forced them in there. They said, "Just put them in there", and then we were forcing them. You know, well usually we used to have about dozen or six in one coop, but then we overpacked them there and then the guy said, "Okay, take along - take this", and then we were looking in search of the properties, you know. We go under the trees and look for - you know, in the corner, you know, we looked for things there and they take the palm oils, the barks - scatter the barks and look for things, you know. They were just looking out for things and then they asked us to take and I had one fowl coop and a gallon of oil on my head.

  • Who asked you to take these things?

  • I could not remember who said it, you know, but one of the AFRC/RUF.

  • Did you have a choice? What if you didn't want to take it?

  • Did you have a choice in the matter? If you didn't want to carry it, could you have said no?

  • One wouldn't say, "I won't carry it", because you know what was going on. They are about to kill you and it's like you have to succumb to whatever they said or else you decide to die.

  • So what happened then?

  • What happened then we took all these loads and then we left that area and they were coming, coming, coming slowly, coming slowly and then they asked my father to leave, right. They asked my father to leave. I could mention that they asked him. They said, "We don't want old people here", and they asked him to leave.

  • Who asked him to leave?

  • One of the AFRC/RUF guys.

  • And so what happened then?

  • Then it was only me, my elder brother and this lady that they captured and all of them - the AFRC/RUF. Then they also heard somebody knocking something from afar and they started approaching the sound and they discovered that it was a palm wine tapper, right. They discovered that it was a palm wine tapper and then they approached and then they exactly went under his palm tree, right. You know, we usually walk in that kind of a straight line, you know, and I was very close to them and my older brother was at the back. So, all of their attention - usually Ngobeh used to be something like a guard for us. He would usually be at the back to see that nobody, you know, run. And then they asked the guy - they point the gun on him, "Come down".

  • Could you see the palm wine tapper from where you were?

  • Yes, I could see him. He was up - right up there and then they ask him, "Come down". The guy --

  • Please pause, Mr Witness. Just for purposes of record, the witness has made an indication as though holding a gun and pointing upwards. Continue, Mr Santora.

  • So after you said that the guys pointed a gun up towards the palm wine tapper in the tree, what happened?

  • And then the guy pointed the weapon and the guy just left up there without - because they usually have something they use to climb, you know, that helps them to climb. The guy didn't even use that thing. He jumped from that place.

  • I am sorry, who jumped from that place?

  • The palm wine tapper. He jumped from that place and fell on the ground, and immediately Ngobeh lost focus on us and approached this palm wine tapper, right. You know, I was so observing. I saw my brother. My brother was looking at me like this.

  • Just for the record, I believe the witness was - can you just --

  • I noticed the witness winking. Please turn the other way and let Defence counsel - repeat that same gesture so Defence counsel can see.

  • What should I repeat?

  • You were doing this. Just do it again so that the others can see you clearly.

  • Thank you. Mr Santora?

  • So just for purposes, the face that the brother was making to you?

  • Yes, yes, my brother was making like this. He was making like this. You know, I didn't know. It was later that I knew that he was telling me to run, we need to run, because all of their attention was on this palm wine tapper, right. Then all of a sudden I heard my brother running and then they say, "Hey, one man has run away. One man has run away". And then they said, "Who is that guy?", and Ngobeh said, "It's his brother". He was pointing at me saying that it is my brother who has ran away. I said, "Oh, you are going to suffer for him". Ah, another plead. Another plead. I started pleading, pleading and pleading. I said, "Please, please, my friend, don't kill me. That guy is just a brother, he is just a blood relation. Me and him, we don't have the same heart. I love you. I like you. Don't kill me. Don't do me anything. You are going to suffer for him." And they were all pouncing on me, sort of trying to threaten me, pointing the gun at me, as if they wanted to kill me, you know.

    I was pleading, "Don't kill me, please. That guy is just a brother. Don't kill me." I said, okay, well at the end of the day they decided that I should carry the load that he was carrying. That was the last thing they decided on. So eventually, Ngobeh started hitting this palm wine tapper. He used the gun butt. He was hitting this guy aggressively. He variously was hitting this guy and the guy was bleeding all about his body.

  • Then again for the record, in referring to Ngobeh hitting the palm wine tapper with a gun butt, the witness was holding his arms over his right shoulder.

  • Thank you, Mr Santora. Counsel for the Defence were able to see that?

  • So first of all you said that Ngobeh started hitting this palm wine tapper. Why? Do you know why?

  • Well, I don't know exactly why, but I can presume that this Ngobeh - of course Ngobeh is a Mende man. Mende is one our main tribes in Sierra Leone, and then the palm wine tapper, usually we used to have the Limba people. Of course the Limba people are those who are doing this palm wine tapping all over the country. It is known, right. So I came to think about that, that this is just a tribal thing. Probably they have already concluded that this guy is a Limba man and so they are, you know, trying to beat him because - I mean, to what I understood or to what I saw, like we were captured but we were not hit like that, right.

  • Okay. But you didn't hear anything specifically about --

  • No, nothing. No statement specifically. It was just - the guy was just hitting the guy.

  • For the record, the witness repeating the same motion as just prior.

  • Quite forcefully on three occasions.

  • Thank you, Madam President:

  • Now, what happened to this palm wine tapper?

  • He lay there unconscious. We left him there and the guys, the AFRC/RUF guys asked me to take the load off my brother. So I was carrying the palm oil. I had the rice because my brother was taking the bag of rice so I had the rice and I had this palm oil on top, right, and I had the fowl coop was hanging on this other side.

  • Just to clarify, at this point when this happened to this palm wine tapper, where were you in terms of your location?

  • Not too far. Just about this distance.

  • I meant to say where were you in terms of vicinity, in terms of Fakoyia and --

  • It's not exactly Fakoyia, it's around the vicinity. About the area of Fakoyia. Because we came from the Fakoyia area. Of course I showed you the cave. We left the cave and we were approaching Motema and then on the way we met the AFRC/RUF guys and then they took us back. It's like reversing. So we never went back to Fakoyia area. It's just about that same area.

  • And you said that you left him there. Could you describe what he - when you left the palm wine tapper, can you describe what he looked like when you left him?

  • Very unconscious. I could not say that he was dead but very unconscious. I can say he was dead, but I had never performed a medical test on him by then but very unconscious, bleeding.

  • And where was he bleeding from?

  • The head. The nose, the ear, the mouth. More - the guy was hitting the mouth - the head. He was actually hitting the head. You understand what I'm saying? No other part of the body, just the head. Hitting the head so hard.

  • Again for the record the witness did make one strike with the gun. One movement imitating the gun butt:

  • So continue. As you're moving back towards Fakoyia what happened?

  • Yes, and we - I took the load of my brother. It was not easy, really. It was not easy. I will perspire and perspire, exhaust and exhaust over, exhaust, wanted to die and I will just persist. I say, "Okay, let me continue." But luckily for me we were resting as we were going along. We reached somewhere, we rest, and I started making some friendship with one guy called Pikin, right.

  • Who was Pikin?

  • Pikin is - he was about the same age, my own same age group, and he was part of the AFRC/RUF guys that we met along.

  • Now earlier I asked you about if you could distinguish between either whether they were AFRC or RUF. With Pikin could you make a distinction?

  • Yes. Pikin of course, these are - Pikin, according to the age of Pikin by then, he was about the same age as I was by then, 18, 19, very small. In fact I'm a little bit taller. I was a bit taller than him. I profess that these are the voluntary civilians, because by then civilians may decide to join them, you know. You may decide to join them. These are the voluntary civilians that may join them probably partaking in some of the wickedness and so they actually - I mean endorsed that this guy must be with us, so I could not say, or I cannot say that Pikin is SLA because the age of Pikin, or the height of Pikin by then was not to warrant him, or I mean qualify him to be a soldier, or the appearance cannot - I cannot even judge for him to be an RUF. He was a young looking boy, you know. He was speaking Krio and the Krio was good and sound, you know. And of course I cannot say he is an SLA or RUF, but voluntary - voluntary civilians that joined them.

  • Now, you said that he - you started befriending him. Is that correct?

  • Yes, yes, I befriended him. You know, I started making some kind of good conversation with him, you know.

  • About what?

  • Things like, "Guys, I like you, I want to be with you", because I was thinking - and later on, if I could go back, later on they said to us that "A" was not actually killed.

  • They confessed that.

  • Who told you that "A" was not actually killed?

  • And when did you learn this?

  • When did Teddy P tell you --

  • He said that when we went and captured the first group, that the lady, the other lady, yes. Before my father ran away they said - Teddy P said, "Don't worry, don't worry", because by that time they were both a bit happy, you know. They saw the cooperation, you know. Even when they say, "Catch all the chickens" everybody was cooperating and then he said, "Don't worry. I mean 'A' was not actually killed. She's alive."

  • So after, why were you trying to befriend Pikin?

  • I was trying to befriend Pikin because I really wanted to go to the camp. I wanted to see "A". I want something to be done. I wanted something to be done so that "A" would be freed, right. So I was thinking of a lot and lot of things. I even thought of sacrificing myself. In fact, I was not even seeing myself to secure myself by then, because "A" is my beloved, you know. For her to be suffering somewhere and I'm conveniently living somewhere, no, no, no.

  • So what happened then after you - as you are continuing on and after you're talking with Pikin, what happened then?

  • Yes, yes. Pikin actually liked the conversation. I was talking to her. I said, "Okay. Well, no problem, you are my friend." You know, we are saying all of these politic things, you know, and then we reached an area where the guys actually asked me to leave. They said, "Okay. Now you can put everything down. Don't worry, we'll call people to come and collect" and then I said, "No." I pleaded. I said, "No, guys, I want to be with you" because I thought of going to see "A", right. I was actually pressing to see "A". I said, "Don't worry. I mean, I don't have nowhere to go. I don't know where my father is. I don't know where my brothers are. Please just allow me to be with you. I can do anything for you." I was just sort of craving their indulgence, you know, so that I can be with them. And the guys said, "Okay, no problem, you can come with us." See, later I convinced Pikin - I said, "Pikin, can you please just let me see 'A'?" And he said, "Okay, no problem, I will do that for you, you know. I will do that for you, don't worry."

  • So where were you when --

  • Very close to Motema. Very, very close to Motema.

  • Okay. And just to clarify, initially you said you were walking back towards Fakoyia, but now you're saying you're very close to Motema?

  • Yes. It's like after they captured the first people, and then it's like we made a turn. We made a turn. It's a different route, not the same route. You know the bush path, you have so many, many, many, many routes. So it was not the same route that we came along with. It was a different route that I never knew in fact.

  • Okay. So after this - now you said you're having this conversation with Pikin and he had agreed to let you see "A". Is that correct?

  • Yes, yes, yes, he agreed so that I can see "A".

  • And were you able to see "A"?

  • And just before you describe that, I do remind you again to just refer to this person as "A" and that's it. So describe what happened then, when you saw "A"?

  • Okay. Pikin allowed me - he said, "Okay, I'm going to allow you to see 'A' and then we came just to the entrance of Motema and he said, "Okay, you can sit here. Wait here. You are not going there. I am going to call her." So we sat there and then not all of them went. Few of them went to the town and then called some civilians to come and take the loads and then all of a sudden I saw "A" coming, right. I saw "A" coming. I saw her. She was actually pale, right. She was pale. I never knew - I can't even imagine how I felt that moment, especially that I understood that these guys - the AFRC/RUF guy would not allow me to take her along. For her, she never knew that I am - probably she was thinking that I'm there to take her along. Somehow anxious to see me or to come to me, then she came, and I hugged her. So pale.

    I never knew what or how I felt by then. And I asked her to pray along with me. I hold her hands and then we prayed and I was having a pocket Bible. I was having a pocket Bible and then I gave her, I said, "Be reading your Bible. For no reason compromise. Whatever they may do to you, just agree with that. Forget about that. Just pray and ask God to be with you." Right. And the guys were - they allowed me to actually talk with her. They were not interfering with the conversation I had with her. Pikin was far away, just about that distance, you know, so I encouraged, I said, "No matter what they may do to you just agree", I said, "But just pray. Don't compromise in whatever they may ask you to do that you think you can't do it, right? You cannot do it. But then you compromise and do it."

    I gave her that advice and then one of the lady that was taken along with us, that lady, I said very much "Oh lady", and I called her, I said, "Please come", I said, "Look at me. This is my - please don't forget her. If all goes well after the war I will not ever forget you" I said, "But please look after her for me." And then I don't know how - I don't know how I felt by then leaving "A", you know.

  • When was the next time you would see "A". After this encounter when was the next time you saw "A"?

  • Over one year four months.

  • Now after this encounter with "A" - after this meeting with "A" what happened?

  • After the meeting with "A" then I decided to leave because the guys asked me to leave.

  • And just before I have you continue I just want to make sure it's clear. You said it was one year and four months until the next time you saw "A". Could you say approximately this encounter that you had with "A" that you've just described for the Court, can you describe within what month and year that was? The encounter outside of Motema. The one you were just describing?

  • It was about April. About early April, that's all.

  • Of 2000 - 1998.

  • Okay. And then you said it was not until one year and four months later that you saw "A" again. Is that correct?

  • Actually, he said over one year and four months.

  • I apologise. Over one year and four months:

  • Now after this encounter what happened --

  • This guy asked me - the AFRC guys - Pikin precisely asked me to leave and I left. It was late in the evening. The place was dark. I didn't know where to go. It was so discouraging, you know. I starting walking, walking, walking in the forest. I don't know. I don't know. I've never been to that place Kono. I don't know the routes. I don't know the roads. I started walking, right. I walked, walked, walked, walked and I discovered myself entering because I know Bandafada, right. I know Bandafada. I have been there when my father used to take me down to his mining area. I know Bandafada. So I discovered me being to Bandafada.

  • Where is Bandafada?

  • Bandafada is just 30 minutes or 45 minute walk on foot from Motema.

  • Now I'd just ask again at this point if the previously marked map can be shown to the witness:

  • Mr Witness, you said you were walking from the edge of Motema and you arrived at a location called Bandafada. Do you see that location on the map in front of you?

  • Yes, of course.

  • Can you put a number - 4 I believe is the next number, 4. For the record the witness has put a number 4 next to the village on the map called Bandafada in the Nimikoro Chiefdom.

    Before you leave that map, Mr Witness, earlier you were describing this incident with relation to this Limba man, this palm wine tapper. Could you approximate on this map where that occurred?

  • That occurred around - of course it's not exactly Fakoyia, right. It occurred around this end.

  • I'd ask you to put a small number 5 next to that location. For the record, the witness has marked a location that appears to be between Bandafada and Tongbodu, just to the southeast of Bandafada. That's all for the map at this point.

    So what happened when you arrived in Bandafada?

  • I arrived in Bandafada and the town was a ghost town by then. Nobody could be found, the place was dark and I started walking around and I noticed small lights from afar and then I approached that light. It was a lamp in a house and I tried to go in the house and I discovered that there was an old woman - there was an old woman living in that house and I tried to talk with her, but she was speaking Kono and I could not hear Kono properly. So I just forget about her and then just rest. So discouraged, tired, everything. I don't know myself by then. And I just lay in one of the rooms when the bed had no foam or mattress on it, just a bare board and I laid on it.

  • Mr Santora, we've been notified that the tape has just, I think, run out or about to run out.

  • Okay.

  • Mr Witness, this is the normal time when we have a mid-morning break of half an hour. We are going to start court again at 12 o'clock. Please adjourn court until 12.

  • [Break taken at 11.30 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 12.00 p.m.]

  • Mr Santora, please proceed.

  • Just to note, Madam President, we do have a change of appearance on the Prosecution Bar.

  • Indeed, I see Mr Bangura has joined you.

  • Yes. So Brenda Hollis has left the Prosecution Bench and we are joined by Mohamed Bangura.

  • Thank you. I will note that.

  • Mr Witness, I am going to ask you some more questions about the events you were describing. Again, I want to remind you to try to speak slowly and to try to call out, not use "they" and "them" if you can. Try to use the actual - call out the names and when it comes to some individuals "A" and "B" to only refer to them as "A" and "B", okay?

  • Now, you were describing before the break about when you had the opportunity to meet "A" on the edge of Motema and you said that after you had this encounter with her and you left you said, "I don't know how I felt." Can you just describe, how did you feel after that encounter with "A"?

  • This is a situation wherein I am thinking of somebody, right, I love really. And I know the kind of nature that person has, nature in the sense she is cool, she is not the kind of person who has an active way of doing things, so cool and a kind of tender-hearted somebody who will find it very difficult to go through certain tough situations, right. And we all grew up in Freetown and have got used to some of these tough situations and even myself, right. And when I was young, coming up just after the war I started having some mind to do certain things, right. But all of us, you know, in the family, you know, and we have not got used to such a kind of a tough situation, you know.

  • So, how did you feel at that moment then?

  • I felt so discouraged. It was so discouraged. Discouraging, and why I said that I did not know how I felt, it was a situation wherein I could not even imagine myself by then. I cannot even realise myself by then. I had gone, you understand? My mind gone, so I can't even - it is like unconscious in some way. I cannot even imagine how I was feeling by then, you know. I was gone, you know. And - because it is so discouraging. These are things that you will even feel - it is even more than death, you know. For somebody to suffer in such a way, especially that she has not got used to - "A" has not got used to such a situation, she has never met a man before, you know. She is just a virgin. And then all of a sudden things like this happen to her by these - I mean brutal guys. I don't know, you know. I mean, I don't know. That was my thought, you know. I am sorry.

  • Okay. Now, you said that you then started moving back in the direction of Fakoyia alone and you came to a location called Bandafada, is that correct? And you encountered what you described as a ghost town, but you did find a house with a light in it and an old woman who spoke Kono?

  • And you spent the night there, is that correct?

  • Yes, I spent the night there.

  • What happened after that?

  • After that I left. In the morning I woke up and then came out of the house and then I discovered also that nobody is living else in that town and I picked some fruit, guava, I remembered, I picked some guava in one guava tree that was in front of the house, and then I ate that guava for my breakfast and then I started walking. I left, you know, but geographically, you know, I knew that I have to take a particular direction, you know, but even when we were in the cave, when we were in the cave the night "A" was taken, we were deciding that we have to go towards Tongbodu and go to Kangama, right, it's like there is in my heart of course the knowledge or the idea that Kangama is in this direction.

  • Which direction is that?

  • It is like towards Tongbodu. I can't say south or east, I don't know, I can't remember, but Tongbodu is, as I said, is also about a 90 degree direction away, if you are in Motema, direction away from the direction to Koidu Town.

  • Okay, why were you --

  • Mr Santora, if you look at the LiveNote transcript it is "Tombodu". I am not sure that that is what the witness means.

  • The witness earlier - and I will clarify:

  • The transcript hear says "Tombodu". What did do you say? What was the village you just said, the name of that village?

  • We were - it is like going to Kangama right, but we are going to go through Tongbodu.

  • That is not Tombodu, but Tongbodu.

  • As previously spelt, I think.

  • Yes. That is the previous spelling from yesterday and earlier today:

  • So, Mr Witness, why did you say you had to go in this direction, this direction towards Tongbodu?

  • Because, well, I knew that we were to approach Kangama because all our intention was to go to Kangama. Kangama, we heard of - that is a place where the Kamajors are and they are securing there and it is a safe zone, right. So, all of us, our intention, since we know that the AFRC and RUF guys are now going out into the forest to look for people, now we have to flee that area, and the safest area for us to go is to Kangama.

  • Okay. So, you were describing how you were walking yourself now after --

  • Yes, I was walking myself.

  • From Bandafada and you were walking in the direction - which direction were you walking? Towards where?

  • Pardon?

  • You were walking in which direction, towards Tongbodu?

  • Yes, Tongbodu going to Kangama area.

  • Okay. So what happened, continue?

  • Yes, and I was walking alone and I even don't know - I didn't know where I was going, but I was actually keeping myself on sight directing towards that end, Kangama end. I have never been there, but what they have saying, you know, direction is going this way, you know.

  • How did you keep your orientation?

  • How did I keep my orientation? I kept looking at the sun, where the sun was coming from and where it's going to end. That was my point of direction there.

  • So, continue. What happened?

  • And I walked and walked and walked, imagine I left in the morning, I was just walking the whole of the day. Some time about 4 o'clock I reach an area where I was so tired really, you know. After walking sometimes I just missed the road, you know. I missed the road, after going to the forest, you know, finding a way until I arrived somewhere else, because I was just - I don't want to - I didn't want to miss my orientation, so I was just heading for one particular direction. So I will go and go and miss the road. You know, this is a footpath. I would miss the road and then I would find a way going through the forest, bush, and then I would find a way down to another footpath and then I will continue to walk. And I reached an area where I heard some noise.

  • Somebody knocking something, okay. I heard somebody knocking something and I approached that sound. I approached the sound and finally I raised up my voice and said, "Is anybody there?" The guy was testy. "Can you give me water to drink?" And then eventually my brother Samuel, they were now in hiding in that area, right. He ran away, left me with the AFRC/RUF guys that captured me for the first time and then he went and discover where the family were and then he gathered them together and then they headed for - they were heading too for that Kangama end. So they themselves sort of retired around that area where I arrived, Samuel and the rest of the family. So upon me shouting, right, "Is anybody there? Please can you help me. I want to drink", and then he heard my voice.

  • Who heard your voice?

  • Samuel Bull. He heard my voice and he said, "Ah, is this not Emmanuel?" Then they approached, his pastor and one other fellow, James, one other guy that was with us. The three of them approached me and then they came and they located me and they said, "Wow, Emmanuel". At that time I felt so overtired. In fact that was the time I felt overtired, I dropped down on the ground. You know, they felt so sorry for me. Everybody was kind, everybody was feeling so sorry for me. Because if you look at my appearance, you know, after walking for these guys the other day, having a lot of loads on my head, you know, it was so - and I then fell on the ground and then they took me up and they carried me to one place. We were there --

  • Where did they take you to?

  • It was a forest. Just a kind of a clear - it was not a shelter, no cave, no nothing, just a clear place. We retired there for that evening, you know. I fell to sleep and then the next morning we started walking towards Kangama.

    In fact "B", as I said earlier on, was released when "A" was taken along. Well, in the event of me being with the AFRC/RUF guys to go and locate where "A" was, behind my back "B" was again captured by another group of AFRC/RUF guys.

  • So when you were reunited with your - you said your brother after walking, and you found your brother and some of your family and some other people you knew, was "B" there?

  • "B" was not there. In fact that was the time they in fact told me that "B" has been taken again.

  • Who told you that?

  • My brother, Samuel. He told me that "B" has been taken away again. That was double discouragement.

  • And did he tell you the circumstances of that?

  • Of course, I felt so - I was even not able to eat something that day.

  • Did he tell you who took "B" away?

  • The RUF/AFRC fellow.

  • And did he say anything else as to where that happened?

  • Yes, they informed me. They said they were somewhere in another location hiding at the time I was encountering all these - I was having experience with the AFRC/RUF guy on my way to relocate "A", they said they were in a hiding and these AFRC/RUF guys came again looking around, not the same group that I was with, but this now is a different group. They came around, the AFRC/RUF guy came around and located them and then captured "B" again for the second time.

  • Did they capture anybody else besides "B"?

  • Yes, they captured Kobie. Kobie, yes. They captured Kobie. I was not there, but Kobie was captured.

  • Kobie is Emmanuel. Emmanuel Kobie is the son of one of the men that used to work for my father, Thomas Kobie.

  • So this happened while you were not there?

  • I was not there. I was not there.

  • I was not even listening to details and details. You know, just the first statement put me off. The first statement that "B" has been captured. Oh, I went off. I went off.

  • Did you ever - did you ever see "B" again?

  • Yes, I saw "B" later. I saw him together with - I saw her together with "A" after about one year. After about one year and four months.

  • I just want to make sure I picked up the last - okay. Did you say after one year and a month, or one year and --

  • About one year four months.

  • Okay. So after you reunited with your brother, first of all was your father there too?

  • Yes, my father was there.

  • Okay. So what happened then after this?

  • Yes, and we said, okay, we have to - because for more things to happen it will not be good, so we have to leave this area. We have to leave this vicinity and then head for a safer area. So we started walking again and the other day in the morning we started walking. We walked and walked and walked and walked the whole of the day.

  • Now you are saying "we" again. Can you describe how many of you were walking?

  • We were over - it is about 25 to 30. Those of us who were under the cave - in the cave, right, just about that, with the absence of "A", "B" and Kobie, Emmanuel Kobie.

  • Okay. So you said you were walking all day?

  • Yes, we walked all day. All day.

  • In which direction were you walking?

  • We were heading for Kangama. We were heading for Kangama. We reached I think one or two, three villages on the way which I could not remember the names, but just few houses were in that village. And I could remember that on the way we met few hunter militia men. You know, that gives us the hope that indeed we are now reaching the safer areas.

  • Why did that give you the hope that you were reaching the safer areas?

  • We saw these guys, these Kamajor people. I saw them. A few of them were in the villages and they were carrying these one barrel guns.

  • And for the record again the witness was holding up his arms in front of him with his left arm extended and his right arm at his side when he described holding a one barreled gun.

  • So when you said you were walking and you encountered some of these Kamajor people did they do anything to you?

  • No, they didn't do anything to us. On the way I remembered we were searched. You know, we were searched. There is one location where we were searched and of course all of my relatives can speak - my father can speak Mende and Samuel can also speak Mende, right. So they were speaking Mende as they go along as a sign of an identification. And they saw it actually. The entourage, they saw it that we were civilians and so they allowed us to go.

  • So what happened then?

  • Yes, we reached Mamboma, a town called Mamboma. Mamboma is not too far away from Kangama, according to what they were saying, because I never reached Kangama.

  • In terms of where Mamboma is, could you - actually I will ask that the map again be shown to the witness. I believe we are up to the number 6. Mr Witness, do you see. Mamboma on that map?

  • I cannot see Mamboma here.

  • If Mamboma were depicted on this map, could you point out where it would be?

  • Mamboma - Mamboma would be around this area, because it's around coming down this point.

  • I don't know the towns called Sawako or Gbatema, I don't know, but it is leaving this point coming down this end. It is approaching the - coming down this side approaching the Kenema area.

  • Okay. Could you put an indication of a number 6 as to approximately where you think Mamboma would be if it was depicted on this map?

  • I have placed an arrow there meaning that our direction was coming down this point, right. And 6 is like the area where I think Mamboma would be.

  • Okay, so you are not exactly - are you not sure where Mamboma is?

  • For the record the witness the drew an arrow in the direction southward from Tongbodu and put a number 6 in the area where he believes Mamboma is, but not indicating a precise location. Okay, thank you. That's all.

  • Mr Santora, could we get a time frame when this trek is happening?

  • I will clarify that, your Honour:

  • Mr Witness, earlier you described your encounter with "A" as being in April 1998. Now you have described a journey after your reunion with your brother and father and other family members and you were heading in a direction southward and you arrived at a place called Mamboma.

  • Yes, sir.

  • Can you give an approximate time frame as to when you arrived in Mamboma?

  • I left "A" in Motema and I slept one night in Bandafada. I spent the whole day walking and I discovered my brother Samuel again and we spent the night again and then in the morning we started walking and we reached Mamboma that same day in the evening. So it is approximately three days.

  • So could you then put a month and year to that?

  • The month and the year?

  • Yes. Is it within the same April '98?

  • It is within the same April.

  • Okay. Now describe what happened when you arrived at Mamboma and again I remind you to speak slowly and try not to use "they"?

  • Okay. When I arrive - we arrived in Mamboma, okay. What happened? We arrived there in the evening the same day we left, you know, and we reached Mamboma. It was a very populated village/town. A very populated town. People were there, business people, you know, and of course I saw the hunter militia men, namely the Kamajors, and the Donsos also were there.

  • What do you mean by business people?

  • Now, when we were in hiding, we used to have a problem of getting salt and this seasoning, we call it Maggi, you know, which if you don't have it on your food, cooking your food, you won't have a proper taste. So, we usually have a problem of getting salt and this Maggi thing. Then normally we used to know that people are coming far from this Kangama end buying these things.

    I remember we bought I think a small plastic tied with salt of about 5,000 leones, can you imagine? The normal price used to be 100 leones or so. 5,000 leones we bought it at that time. So, people used to go to Kangama. There are people who were involved in business during the war. There are people, actually their whole life is they go and get themselves, befriend themselves with the rebels and they jump again go over to, you know, there were people who were involved in business. Some of them were even buying diamonds and so on and so forth.

    So there are some people who actually go to Kangama, get these food items, important food items, come fight their way down to where people are actually in need of this, you understand. So, everybody in that town was, you know, you can see that people are busy at that time. A lot of people - a lot and lot of people, yes.

  • Okay. So, continue. What happened after you arrived in Mamboma?

  • So we arrived in the evening and then it was a bit calm, right. It was a bit calm. The situation was cool. The security of course I had rest at that time, regardless of the fact that I am a bit discouraged about "A" and "B", you know. So, we arrived there and I just decided to go and take a shower. I decided to go down the stream and get some shower. So I took off my shirt and I was only left with a short pair of trousers and I took the towel around my neck and went down the stream while leaving the women preparing some bush yams for us to take a meal. I haven't eaten anything for the past days.

    And after the shower I came up. I wanted to sit down with some other people to have these bush yams and then we sat down. The place was getting dark by then. We sat down and I placed my arm right in the bowl to take a first arm of bush yams. Upon taking these bush yams, this first arm of bush yams up into my mouth, I heard people saying, "Don't run. Don't run. Don't go anywhere. Don't run." Whoa. To my conviction that something is happening. So, I took off. I took off and then ran. I said I am going to run to anywhere.

    I took off and ran and also Thomas. Thomas, this is Thomas Bull, the son of my elder brother Samuel Bull was with me. He was following me. We run, run, run, run. And we run. We fled that town Mamboma. We heard no gunshot, right. We heard no gunshot. We fled Mamboma and then reached somewhere, another village after Mamboma, and we met some guys there. They were around the fire playing together. We said, "Are you guys sitting here? There is something happening in the town." They say, "What are you coming here with? What have you come with? You want a problem?" I said, "Man, I am saying something fruitful. We were in Mamboma and we heard something like a movement. There were some guys who were saying 'Don't run. Don't run.' I think something is happening in Mamboma" and the guys I think felt it. They realised that I am saying the truth and they say, "Okay, let's go there." So they mobilised themselves and they said they were going to check, right.

  • So who were you with? You said your nephew?

  • My nephew, my nephew.

  • Okay. Just you and your nephew.

  • What about the rest of your family?

  • I left them there, right.

  • I left them there and then of course being in the village some other guys came and joined me there and then we fled that particular village. We went right up a hill. We went right up a hill and then we were there observing what is happening down. Then I started seeing flames of fire coming from Mamboma Town by then.

  • How far away were you from this hill? From the hill, where were you in relation to this village?

  • It is like three to four or five hundred metres.

  • What exactly did you observe from that vantage point? What did you see?

  • What I saw is flames of fire, that houses are being burnt, right, indicating that these are houses that are being burnt. The place was dark obviously. You know, I could not even see the roofs of the houses, but I very well knew that these flames are coming from houses. So we were there. Right up the hill the place was so cold without shirt and late at night because we were observing, observing, hearing the banging of the pans, you know. All of rushing. I was actually getting the sound from afar, everything that was happening. The houses that were burning, the sound of the burning flames, you know.

    So I was not even happy actually, but we stayed there on the hill, me and Thomas, and few other guys, and the place was so cold. So I took off the towel round my neck and then put it around Thomas and then like cover him like that. He was actually shivering and then I covered him, you know, and we were there until the morning. The place was so cold, so cold, perfectly cold, and we were there until morning. Of course a few hours or minutes later I decided to come down and I heard these guys saying, "Oh, man, let's don't go back there. Let's go to Kangama."

  • Who was saying that?

  • The other fellows that were with me. There were some guys we ran with, but we all fled the town, Mamboma, right. I don't know them. I have never seen them before or even seen them after, but they fled. We fled the town together. So they are saying, "Let's go to Mamboma. I will not go there any longer. I will not go there." And somebody is saying, "You are going to Kangama, sorry? If you go there without an identity then you will have a problem."

  • Somebody, one guy that we fled the town together. If you go there without an identity, such as ID card, like for me I can't speak Kono or Mende, if I go there without an ID card then I will be hurt. Of course precisely I heard them saying, "If you go there then you can't identify yourself, then you will be used for medicine. Of course we used to hear that these Kamajor people, if you are not with them they will put you in the pot, they will cook you alive, so that kind of remarks came to my knowledge. Oh, I am not going there. I am not going there.

  • Did you have any identification with you?

  • Yes, I had by then in my possession, I didn't have then, but when we came to Mamboma, for me to get up and go for the bath or the shower, I took all of my belongings and put it in the bag, so of course I fled Mamboma without a thing except the short pair and the towel, right. So, I left everything in the bag there, so I had no form of identification by then.

  • Okay. So, what did you decide to do?

  • Then we decided to go down. Of course, the guys, I left these guys down there and I said, okay, probably they have gone, because that is the usual thing they do. They come --

  • Who is "they"? Who is "they"?

  • The RUF and the AFRC guys. They usually come and attack a place. After that causing all their havocs and then go back. That is what they usually do, especially those areas which are more or less - I mean concentrated with the Kamajor guys, right. So I had the thought that these guys probably they have gone, because, I mean, at that time I didn't hear any sound.

  • Sound coming from --

  • No sound, no gun, no nothing.

  • Coming from where?

  • From that Mamboma Town.

  • So I actually assumed that they have gone. So - and I said, "Okay, let's go down." I called Thomas, I said, "Let's go down. Let's walk slowly and slowly" and approached Mamboma again, so we started walking slowly, slowly, looking and watching and all of a sudden, and then I heard somebody saying, "Where are you going? Don't move." And then my nephew said, "Hey, Emmanuel, these are the guys." He was referring to the RUF/AFRC guys. "They are. They are. There they are." I said, "Don't run. Don't run", you know, because the guys' weapons were all pointing towards us, me and Thomas. Then he said, "Come, come, come here." They were all in hiding, like an ambush.

  • Where - you said - describe where they were exactly?

  • They were out of Mamboma, just a few yards away from the main Mamboma Town, at the edge of the town. It was like a forest around the edge - around the town. They laid ambush around waiting for somebody to come or any --

  • What do you mean they were pointing their weapons towards us. Could you see them?

  • Yes, I saw them immediately. I heard the sound and I looked and I saw them and they said, "Come here".

  • So what happened after they - one of them said to you "Hey, you, where are you going?" What happened then?

  • Okay, can I take an excuse. I want to ease myself quickly.

  • Please assist the witness.

  • Madam President, I wonder if I could take advantage of the hiatus to ask that Mr Taylor be excused as well, please.

  • Yes, he may be escorted out.

    Mr Santora, please proceed.

  • Thank you, Madam President.

  • Thank you very much.

  • Mr Witness, just before we continue, I just want to clarify one thing that you said a little while ago. The reference here from my LiveNote is page 80, line 23. You said that when you were outside of Mamboma from the hill and observing and you could hear things and one thing that it says you said here was that, "So we there. Right up the hill the place was so cold without shirt and late at night because we were observing, observing, hearing the banging of the pans, you know." What did you say? The banging of the what?

  • It is like they were some houses in the villages of course built with the zinc, right, and of course the roofs of most of the houses and shelters in Freetown and in Sierra Leone in general they are made with zinc. So when they are burning these houses, they are breaking down these houses, the guys actually were involved in violently, brutally breaking down things, you know, destructions. That is all you can say.

  • So the ward "pans" refers to?

  • To zinc, okay. And "the guys", you are referring to who?

  • Okay. Now I want you to continue where you left off where you were describing that you as you approached Mamboma and just on the outside you encountered these men pointing guns at you.

  • Pointing guns at me and they said, "Where are you going?" And then they said, "Come here". And I saw them, their guns were pointed at me and Thomas and of course I approached them. Immediately as I realised that these are the AFRC/RUF I started pleading again. Another plea started.

  • How did you know it was the AFRC/RUF guys?

  • Their appearance. They had the guns. Their appearance of course will actually tell you that this is an RUF/AFRC or a Kamajor. The Kamajors and the hunter militia men in general, their dresses are in this traditional something, like traditional medicine man. They had some usual dress to put on. They call it ronko in local language, right.

  • What was the word you just used?

  • What was the word you just said?

  • Ronko, ronko. It is a traditional dress used by these medicine men or somebody who is playing with this --

  • Just for spelling purposes, R-O-N-K-O:

  • So continue, Mr Witness. So you encountered these men with guns. These particular people that you - how did they appear?

  • They appeared as I know the RUF and AFRC guys usually appear.

  • Describe the appearance of these people.

  • They wore some of them a half combat, right. They are half combat. And some of them plain. Their faces, their eyes, some of them are hide - their eyes are so red and they have different rifles and on most cases I know that the Kamajors and the - the Kamajors and Donsos in general, the hunter militia men, will not have these automatic rifle.

  • Okay. You just said that, "Some of their faces, their eyes some of them are hide." Did you say "hide" in referring to their - you said, "Their faces, their eyes, some of them are hide." What did you say?

  • What I said, some of them, their faces, their eyes are red, right.

  • Why were their eyes red?

  • I don't know, because some of them do take this marijuana, drugs, and so on and so forth. So their appearance seems to be very rough generally.

  • Okay. So continue. What happened after now, from this point?

  • Yes, after that later on I came to know this guy called Kallay Amara. He was the one who actually captured me. He held me by the hand and then he said, "Where are you going?" And I starting pleading. Kallay Amara called - later on I came to know his name, but he was a guy who actually captured me and started I pleading to him. "My friend" - in fact Kallay Amara is a young looking guy. His appearance is good, right. I started pleading. I say, "Man, in fact I was looking for you. I was looking for you".

  • Who said that?

  • I. I said to Kallay Amara and his men. I said, "In fact I was looking for you. There is no reason for me to hide from you".

  • Why did you say that to them?

  • This is a situation wherein you want to please, disguise and prevent them from harming you in whatever way. It is like a kind of - well, I was just trying to crave their indulgence, you know, trying to let them please satisfy their - I mean just to satisfy them at the moment for them not to hurt me.

  • About how many gunmen were around. You mentioned one Kallay Amara, but how many were there with guns?

  • There were about 11. About 11 - 15. There were not too much that in that ambush.

  • Spell Kallay for us, please.

  • Yes, your Honour. The spelling I have is C-A-L-L-I-E.