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

  • Good morning, Mr Witness.

  • Good morning, Mr Bangura.

  • [Microphone not activated] your testimony this morning. You will recall that yesterday when we broke off we were looking at the document which, on the face of it, stated that it was prepared by Issa Sesay and it was addressed to Sam Bockarie. Do you recall?

  • Yes, I remember that yesterday.

  • [Microphone not activated] was pointing out to you a number of quantities of material which Issa Sesay had been supplied with from Buedu for the operation in Kono. Do you recall that?

  • Yes, yes.

  • Your Honours, that was not very clear to the interpreter.

  • That whereas you had told this Court that the material which he used for the operation in Kono were brought by Abu Keita, and that included 20 boxes of AK rounds, in the case of the material which Issa Sesay brought for the Kono operation, we had 30 boxes of AK rounds. Do you recall that?

  • Yes, I said Abu Keita brought 20 boxes of AK rounds and five boxes of RPG rockets.

  • Apart from AK rounds and RPG rockets, which you said were the material that Abu Keita brought and which were used for the Kono operation, we have Issa Sesay mentioning a whole list of other material. Do you recall?

  • I saw the list. I saw the list yesterday when you showed it to me.

  • Now, Issa Sesay had - in addition to AK rounds and RPG, he had bazookas. Do you recall?

  • You spoke about all these materials that were listed.

  • [Microphone not activated] he was also supplied with mortar gun. You did not see Abu Keita come with a mortar gun to Buedu, did you?

  • No. I spoke about AK rounds and RPG rockets. I never spoke about bazooka.

  • Your Honours, could counsel be advised again to wait for the interpretation.

  • [Microphone not activated] you are not on channel 1, Mr Bangura, I am sure. And kindly wait for the translation.

    Now, start again, Mr Bangura.

  • You did not see Abu Keita come to Buedu with bazookas, did you?

  • I never saw a bazooka in the materials that Abu Keita brought.

  • Madam President, with respect, if we are to be accurate, the document did not say "bazooka". It said "bagooza" or something like that, Prosecution exhibit 93.

  • Yes, that's what it said.

  • Your Honour, I will endeavour to pronounce it the way it is spelled here, and that's the best pronunciation I've given, bazooka, that's what I said [indiscernible] --

  • Mr Bangura, if you are having problems remembering what's written, then have the document put out again for everybody to see.

  • Your Honour, I will do that, but I can --

  • Otherwise, please be accurate in the questions you put.

  • Mr Witness, you did not see Issa Sesay - you did not see Abu Keita come with a mortar gun, did you?

  • I said yes, I spoke about ammunition. I never spoke about mortar guns. We had all those materials. We had mortar guns, we had bazookas. It was not Abu Keita who brought those. I talked about AK rounds and RPG rockets.

  • You did not see Abu Keita come with chasers, did you?

  • You did not see him come with GPMG rounds, did you?

  • Now, the fact is, Mr Witness, when you say that Abu Keita came with these material, with 20 boxes of AK rounds and three RPGs, you are merely guessing and you did not - you were not there when this meeting occurred, the meeting that you talked about where you said Abu Keita brought these materials?

  • I am not guessing. I was at the meeting, and I never spoke about three RPGs. I said five box of RPG rockets and 20 boxes of AK. I never spoke about three RPG rockets. I said five boxes and 20 boxes of AK, and the material were shown to us during the meeting by Sam Bockarie.

  • Mr Witness, did you know that about this time that you are referring to, Issa Sesay - I'm sorry, Sam Bockarie had travelled to Burkina Faso just before this meeting? Did you know that?

  • Whether he travelled to Burkina Faso, that I don't know. I don't know about his travelling to Burkina Faso. And no message was sent to us saying that Sam Bockarie travelled to Burkina Faso. He called us to attend the meeting in Buedu, and he never spoke about his travelling to Burkina Faso.

  • And did you know, Mr Witness, that on that trip to Burkina Faso, Sam Bockarie came back with a huge quantity of fighting material, ammunition of different sorts?

  • No.

  • And you do not know that Abu Keita - on this trip that Sam Bockarie had gone to, Abu Keita went to meet Sam Bockarie on the way to bring this material into Buedu; you don't know that, do you?

  • Abu Keita was not with the RUF. He was with ULIMO. He was not with RUF. He was not a member of RUF. He was with ULIMO - Alhaji Kromah's ULIMO. So how would he have gone to help Sam Bockarie to bring material?

  • You do not know that Abu Keita came to Buedu in the absence of Sam Bockarie, that is to say, when Sam Bockarie had left to go to Burkina Faso. You do not know that, do you?

  • No. I met Sam Bockarie and Abu Keita in Buedu.

  • So you were not in a position to say that Abu Keita met Sam Bockarie at Foya and they together came with this material that Sam Bockarie had got from Burkina Faso. You are not in a position to say that?

  • I cannot say that, because he never told us that Abu Keita met him in Foya. What he told us during the forum was that Abu Keita brought material that I have just named, and I saw Abu Keita in Buedu. And from there all of us went on the operation, and he never went back until the end of the war in Sierra Leone.

  • Mr Witness, you said you were at the meeting in Buedu where the material that Abu Keita brought was distributed.

  • [Microphone not activated]. You were at the meeting when Abu Keita - the material that Abu Keita brought was distributed.

  • I was in Buedu when Sam Bockarie showed us the materials and for it to be taken to Kono. We did not share the material in Buedu. The material were taken to Kono for the operation that I had referred to. They were not shared in Buedu.

  • Your testimony to this Court is that Abu Keita came along with the material up to Kono. Do you recall that?

  • I said Abu Keita brought the material to Buedu and all of us went on the operation along with Abu Keita. I never said that Abu Keita took the material to Kono. I said he brought them to Buedu to Mosquito, and Mosquito invited us to the forum and introduced Abu Keita to us, that he brought the materials. That was what I said in my statement.

  • Mr Witness, did Abu Keita come to Kono for the operation in December?

  • Abu Keita came to Kono. From there we went to Hangha and up to Kenema, and then he returned to Buedu.

  • Now, who brought the material to Kono, the material which was supplied to you at Buedu for the Kono operation?

  • The person who brought the material, I can recall, was Morris Kallon. He was the senior man who left Kono, and he went on - to that particular meeting in Buedu, and I can recall it was Morris Kallon. I was at the crossing point when the material were brought to the Manowa crossing point. That was where we crossed them.

  • Mr Witness, you are telling this Court that the material which Issa Sesay is reporting that he was supplied with and which he brought to Kono is different from the material which you said were brought by Abu Keita. Is that your evidence?

  • I am telling you - I am telling the Court that the material that I saw during the meeting when Mosquito introduced Abu Keita to us that he brought the materials, those materials were moved to Kono. They were moved to Kono. That is the material I am talking about. I told you that we had material, but they were merely for defensive and just for defensive, and they were not enough. But the material I am talking about were five boxes of RPG and the rocket I am talking about, those material were taken to Kono.

  • Mr Witness, you had a target or an area of operation called Sengama, didn't you?

  • Yes, we had a target Sengama, but Sengama was around the Moa at the crossing point and officers were deployed there. I know Sengama. That was where we crossed.

  • [Microphone not activated] supply from this material that was brought by Issa Sesay, did you not?

  • Well, I cannot tell whether they got supply from that material, but I know that those particular material that they gave us were transferred to Kono for that particular operation that I have spoken about.

  • Mr Witness, Issa Sesay - you have told this Court that after you came from Buedu there was a meeting in Kono - Koidu before the operation to take Koidu. Do you recall - to take Kono?

  • Yes, it was the last meeting after the material - after that, the materials were taken to Kono. That was after the meeting we held at the Guinea Highway for the mission.

  • And you have told this Court that Issa Sesay was the most senior officer on the ground for this operation in Kono. Do you recall?

  • Yes, exactly so. He was the most senior officer on the ground. He was in charge.

  • And that meeting that you attended, was it not chaired by Issa Sesay?

  • He was the senior officer. He chaired the meeting. He was in the Kono Jungle. He chaired the meeting for us before the mission.

  • And Issa Sesay came to that meeting with a delegation, did he not?

  • The delegation you are talking about was where the other soldiers who left Buedu. It was not the ones with Abu Keita --

  • Your Honours, could the witness be asked to slow down.

  • Mr Witness, you need to slow down again and to repeat your answer. You said, "The delegation you are talking about". Now continue from there.

  • I said the delegation you are talking about was - the most strange person that was among that group was Abu Keita and his few men. But that besides, they were all members of RUF, some of whom were residing in Buedu. They had all left, and they came and joined us in the jungle, and those were the ones that we went with.

  • Mr Witness, we considered some names yesterday that came with Issa Sesay when he came from Buedu. Do you recall Morrison Kallon as being part of that group?

  • You can call the list and if he was part of the group, then I can tell you. But you cannot keep the list somewhere and ask me whether this person was part of the group.

  • [Microphone not activated] I am asking you: Do you recall Morrison Kallon being a member of that group?

  • I recall Morrison Kallon, I recall Jabba, I recall the bodyguard to Issa.

  • Now, you have mentioned Jabba. Do you recall Jabba being the adjutant to the battlefield commander? Do you recall that?

  • Jabba was the adjutant to the field commander, but he was residing in Buedu with Mosquito. Jabba was not in the Kono Jungle with us.

  • So what you are saying, Mr Witness, is that you were not part of this group that moved to - that came to Kono from Buedu after the meeting in Buedu? You were not part of the group, were you?

  • I was part of the group. I was part of that particular group. Maybe you never saw my name there, but it was not everybody who went for the meeting whose names are on the list. Some people's name does not appear there. They only named few people. Some people's names are not there just to make it sweet, but I was part of that group and I took part in the meeting,

  • Mr Witness, either you were not there or you are merely guessing all of this and you just did not know what happened; which is the truth?

  • How would I guess if I was in the Kono Jungle. I was not anywhere else. From Woama to Koidu Town is just about 7 miles, and you pass through my route before going to Gandorhun and to take the route to Kailahun. How would I guess? I am not guessing.

  • If you say you were there, how could you not remember that Issa Sesay came with all this material from Buedu?

  • I cannot say that all those materials, Issa Sesay brought them from Buedu. I can't agree to that because I did not see them. The one I saw is what I am talking about. You cannot ask me to agree about those materials because I did not see them, and these particular things that I am talking, Issa would never receive materials and send them without signature --

  • Your Honours, could the witness be asked to slow down his pace.

  • Mr Witness, what you said could not be interpreted because you are talking too fast.

  • Now, you said something Issa not receiving something and not signing for it. Can you continue from there and repeat your answer slowly.

  • Yes, ma'am. I said the material that I spoke about, the 20 boxes of RPG - I mean, the AK boxes and the five boxes of RPG rockets were the ones I knew about. And the material you are talking about that Issa received from Mosquito, I am saying by rights if it were Issa who sent that report, normally what he did was to sign, and he will sign for the material that he received. You are talking about a large cache of material. You cannot just say he received it or sent it, because there was no signature. Normally once Issa sent a report, he would sign. Normally when I send a report to Issa, I will sign to ensure that yes, it is a report from Martin so that nobody will deny it later. So that was how we used to do.

  • Witness, it's not a question of signature at this point. The point is if you were there, you would have seen this material or you would have known about this material which Issa Sesay brought - and that's the point - and that question has not been answered.

  • I was there and I know the material that Issa Sesay - I mean, Morris Kallon brought. But the one that you are adding to that, I said they were not part of the material. That is what I am telling you. And now you are saying they were added to it. I am saying they were not added to.

  • Mr Witness, there was a Lieutenant Colonel Foday Lansana in that group that came; do you recall?

  • I recall Foday Lansana, Pa Fembeh. I said it yesterday. I said yes, Pa Fembeh was part of the meeting. You brought the list. I said yes, Pa Fembeh was part of the meeting, and he entered with us in Kono.

  • The question related to Lansana - Foday Lansana.

  • I said yes. I told him yesterday. I said yes, I remember that name. We were many officers at that meeting.

  • Meeting; that is the question.

  • Yes, he was at the meeting and he went to Kono with us.

  • Mr Witness, remember in your testimony before this Court, I believe yesterday and perhaps even before yesterday, you have been asked about the name Foday Lansana and whether you knew anyone known as Foday Lansana. This was in the context of discussing CO Nya, remember?

  • That is what I told you. I said I did not know that name for CO Nya. CO Nya was not called by the name Foday Lansana. We had the original Foday Lansana in the RUF, not Nya. Nya is not Foday Lansana. We had a Foday Lansana - a colonel by the name of Foday Lansana who was a fighter. It's just in this Court that I have heard that Nya was called Foday Lansana, but I did not hear that name when he was fighting for the RUF. That is what I said in my statement.

  • Mr Witness, did you not categorically deny that you knew anyone by the name Foday Lansana?

  • I never denied. I said I did not know CO Nya to be Foday Lansana. I do not know him by that name. That is what I said. I said the original name I know for him is Nya. He did not carry a Foday Lansana name. It is here that I heard that Foday Lansana name. That is what I say. I said I did not know him by that name. That is what I said yesterday.

  • Who was Lieutenant Colonel Foday Lansana?

  • We had one junior commando by the name of Lieutenant Colonel Foday Lansana, yes. We had a junior commando who was called Foday Lansana. That is his full name. Nya never carried Foday Lansana name.

  • So, Mr Witness, are you saying that the Foday Lansana referred to in this document, exhibit P-93, is the junior commando?

  • He was a junior commando, not Nya. Nya did not carry Foday Lansana name.

  • And this junior commando, you say, was the one who was in the meeting?

  • He was at the meeting with us, and all of us went to Kono on that operation. And this Foday Lansana man, he was in Buedu. Those are some of the delegates who went along with the material. When Nya - we, Nya, and others, left Freetown, most of us were based in Koindu in the Koidu Town in the township of Kono. He was not based in Buedu.

  • Madam President, and also to be fair to this witness, when I examined him in chief, I did not ask him if another name for CO Nya was Foday Lansana. I have the transcript here. We only spoke of CO Nya. You can check the transcripts from the 21st, the 22nd, the 23rd. The question was never posed to this witness: Were Foday Lansana and CO Nya one and the same person? The relevant page from 22 April's transcript is 39694, and the question I posed to the witness at line 21:

    "Q. Have you heard of someone named CO Nya?

    A. Yes, I know Nya.

    Q. Who is Nya?"

    The witness explains, and then the last question on that page:

    "Q. And in what year do you say Nya made his way through

    to the RUF?

    A. I am talking about 94 when Nya met us in Kailahun."

    You will not find "Lansana" referred to there.

  • Yes, but during cross-examination I think this question was asked.

  • I don't think Mr Bangura is referring to the testimony in chief.

  • Well, if it's referring to cross-examination, then Mr Bangura is right. He raised it yesterday with the witness. But if the suggestion is that the witness denied in chief that --

  • I am looking - Mr Anyah, I am looking at page 18, and Mr Bangura's comment relates to the testimony of the witness yesterday and maybe the day before. This is cross-examination.

  • Madam President, I appreciate that, but my hearing of the way the question was posed - and I am trying to find learned Counsel's question.

  • It is on page 18, line 17 onwards. It has nothing to do with his evidence-in-chief.

  • Yes. But before that if you go up, Madam President, and you go above, there are two areas where it's covered. I use a 12-point font, and the first question Mr Bangura asked - this is at my line 17 of page 18:

    "Mr Witness, remember in your testimony before this Court, I believe yesterday and perhaps even before yesterday, you had been asked about the name Foday Lansana - whether you knew anyone known as Foday Lansana."

    This is in the context of discussing CO Nya. So it is suggested that perhaps even before yesterday this issue was raised with the witness. And if I pull yesterday's transcript in particular and I show your Honours where this question was addressed by counsel opposite with the witness, you will see that yesterday as well the suggestion was made that the witness lied in chief or disagreed in chief with the proposition that CO Nya and Foday Lansana were one and the same person.

  • In any event, I think we are just splitting hairs here. As far as I am concerned, the question may be put to the witness in the form that it's put.

    Mr Bangura, if you can come up with a transcript where the witness said whatever he said, that would be preferable. But I think the witness is quite capable of answering this question without any assistance from anybody. Please proceed, Mr Bangura.

  • Thank you, your Honour:

  • Mr Witness, this group that came - the delegation that came to Kono from Buedu, they did not come straight to Kono, did they? They came through Sengama and some other locations before they eventually got to Kono. Isn't that right?

  • Yes, that's correct. That's the route that you take from Buedu. Even from Kono going to Buedu, that's the road you use before you get there. From Buedu before going to Koidu, you pass through all those places before you get to Koidu.

  • They passed through Guinea Highway; isn't that right?

  • Before you get to Guinea Highway, you pass Sengama, Gandorhun, Woama, before you get to Guinea Highway, and I was based in Woama. And whilst they were going to the Guinea Highway, I stopped at Woama. That is the road you take before you go to the Guinea Highway.

  • Mr Witness, do you recall you mentioned the name Vanicious Varney before in your testimony, and you said that this person is also known as Kailondo?

  • Yes. I can remember that name and I called that name.

  • Mr Witness, how many Kailondos or persons by the name of Kailondo did you have commanding officers or commanders did you have in the RUF?

  • I know Vanicious Varney who was called Kailondo. We had two Bai Burehs and one Kailondo that I know about.

  • I did not ask you about a Bai Bureh; I am asking you about Kailondo.

  • I know about one Kailondo who is Vanicious Varney.

  • Was there not somebody called Kailondo Banya - Kailondo S Banya, who was also a colonel?

  • The name Kalando [phon] is not Kailondo. You are talking about Kalando. I am talking about Kailondo. I did not say Kalando. I said Kailondo.

  • If you listen carefully, you will note that I called out the name Kailondo. And the question is again: Wasn't there somebody in the RUF called Colonel Kailondo S Banya?

  • No. Banya never had a Kailondo name. I knew Banya very well. He never had a Kailondo name. It was Vanicious Varney who carried the name Kailondo.

  • Now, Mr Witness, you yourself as a commander did - at some point made reports - wrote reports and sent to your superiors, didn't you?

  • Yes, I used to make my monthly report.

  • And did you have to write up those reports yourself?

  • I had my adjutant. He wrote the reports. He read through it, I sign before sending it.

  • So when you wanted to do a report, you would tell the adjutant what to write and the adjutant would prepare your report which after being prepared you would then sign and send, correct?

  • I would not tell him what to write. When I am talking about report as brigade commander, I get reports from different battalions and then I put everything together for the situation that fits my brigade before sending the report. I cannot just --

  • Your Honours, could the witness be asked again to slow down.

  • Please do slow down again and you have to repeat part of your answer where you said, "I put everything together for the situation that fits my brigade before sending the report." Continue from there. You said, "I cannot just --"

  • I said I can't just call the adjutant and say, "Come and write a report. I am short of rice on the front line", or, "I am short of Maggi on the front line", and then he just write report and then I send it. No. I get reports from the various battalions under my brigade. When this battalion send its report and this one sends its report I compile everything. I take the main points and then I write my report. That was how I used to write my report.

  • Mr Witness, it was just simply normal practice for commanders to have their adjutants write reports for them which they then sign and send off. Wasn't that the case?

  • Repeat your question.

  • It was normal practice within the RUF for commanders to have their adjutants prepare reports which they then signed and sent off to whoever it was addressed to?

  • Mr Bangura, make it clear who you are alleging signs the report. You say "which they signed". Who is "they"?

  • Commanders, your Honour:

  • It was normal practice for commanders to have their adjutants prepare reports for them. Isn't that the case?

  • It was the order. When you write reports, sometimes you can make a mistake. That was why we decided not to write reports for ourselves. So we had adjutants to write the reports.

  • It's a simple yes or no question. Was it a normal practice? Was it or was it not? Was it normal practice for commanders to have their adjutants write them reports?

  • Yes.

  • Mr Witness, the material which was brought by Issa Sesay was distributed to various commanders in Kono. Isn't that the case?

  • Yes, that was what happened.

  • And this was after the meeting that you - during the meeting that was held in Kono that Issa Sesay chaired. Do you recall?

  • Repeat your question.

  • This distribution was during the meeting that Issa Sesay chaired. The distribution of material to the various commanders was done during the meeting that Issa Sesay chaired. That's the question. Wasn't that the case?

  • The meeting he called, that was when the material was shared and everybody took their own position. It was just after the meeting that the materials were shared out to different commanders. From there everybody went on your own assignments and a time was agreed on for the operation to kick off.

  • To your knowledge there was a Lieutenant Colonel Akim who was at that meeting, wasn't there?

  • Oh, yes, Akim was there. He was in the meeting. We all shared ideas together. He was at the meeting.

  • He was one of the commanders who received his share of the material, correct?

  • Yes. Akim took part in the attack and he was the commander on the other side. Kailondo was commander on another side. And Boston Flomo was another commander on another side. But every one of them received materials and they left for their various points.

  • Now, Akim that I have just referred to, Lieutenant Colonel Akim, he was from the AFRC, wasn't he?

  • Exactly so. That is the Akim I know. That's the only Akim I know.

  • Now, your Honours may the witness be shown exhibit P-372:

  • Mr Witness, on the screen is a document dated 14 December 1998. It is titled "Materials issued to the 2nd Brigade commander on 13 December 1998 as seen below". If you look at the first section there, there are four items listed and it says the first one is 13 boxes of one tin AK rounds. Do you see that?

  • 13 boxes of what?

  • Thank you, your Honour:

  • "13 boxes and one tin AK rounds". Do you see that?

  • If you go to this next section, "Distribution of material to various commanders." So what we have - what we have just looked at is materials issued to the 2nd Brigade commander. So he got 13 boxes and one tin AK rounds. If we go to the second section it says, "Distribution of material to various commanders" and then we see there Lieutenant Colonel Akim. The first item there is three boxes of AK rounds. Do you see that?

  • Now, if we go to the next section, it says Lieutenant Colonel Boston Flomo and then Lieutenant Colonel KS Banya. First item there is five boxes of AK rounds. Do you see that?

  • Carry on. I am seeing it.

  • Next section it says S/Captain Junior. Now, just before I go on, did you have a position within the ranks of the RUF known as staff captain?

  • So would this be Staff Captain Junior?

  • The document is in front of you. I don't know about this document. The document was given to you. The names that are there, you just call them. If I know them I will say yes.

  • Mr Witness, I simply asked you whether S/Captain means staff captain. It's either yes or no?

  • I said yes. I said yes. We had staff captain.

  • And you see that the first item there says two boxes of AK rounds? Do you see that?

  • I am seeing everything.

  • And then if we look across from there we see Major Victor, three boxes of AK rounds, first item. Do you see that?

  • I am seeing everything.

  • Now, Mr Witness, if you put together- you add these numbers of AK boxes, they are far more than 20, are they not?

  • More than 20, but did I tell you that we never had ammunition for our defensive before receiving those ammunitions? Did I tell you that we never had ammunition for our defensive?

  • You are not here to ask questions. You are here to answer questions.

  • Mr Bangura, I could have this list wrong but I think that question of yours is unfair. If you look at the first entry, that's the total materials issued, 13 boxes and one tin of AK rounds. And then it deals with the distribution of those 13 boxes and one tin. And if you add up all the boxes of AK rounds that have been distributed to the various commanders, it adds up to exactly 13 boxes and one tin. You were putting to the witness that it adds up to much more than 20 boxes and I think on the strength of this document that's an unfair question.

  • I take the point, your Honour. I take the point:

  • Mr Witness, in addition to material, the AK round boxes that we see distributed here, do you know that some more rounds of AK boxes were distributed at Sengama. Do you recall that?

  • I told you that I do not know about AK rounds given at Sengama. Sengama did not receive supply line from Kono. They got it from Mosquito and they were closer to him. And if they got it from there, I cannot tell you where they got it from and I can't tell you that, yes, they were given it.

  • Thank you. Now, let's talk about the meeting at Buedu. You say you were at this meeting and you mentioned a number of names of persons who were present at the meeting. One of the persons you mentioned is Superman. Do you recall saying that Superman was at that meeting in Buedu?

  • I do not recall telling you that Superman was at the meeting. I never called the name of Superman as being at that meeting. I said Morris Kallon. Morris Kallon.

  • Did you not also tell this Court that Superman was also involved in the attack on Kono, the December attack on Kono?

  • Yes, yes. Superman was fully involved in that attack because all of us were based in Kono when that arrangement went on. He took part fully in the attack.

  • And where had Superman been before the attack on Kono?

  • He was at his ground, the Superman Ground. He had his ground. You see the name on that ground, Superman Ground. When we left Koidu Town, he established a ground by the name of Superman Ground. His name is on it. You hear the name. That was where we left and went on the Fitti-Fatta and he was still based there, so he had a ground by the name of Superman Ground.

  • Mr Witness, we are talking of the attack on Kono in December, and you say that Superman was at Superman Ground about this time. Is that your evidence?

  • That is what I am saying. Each and every one of us, where we had established ourselves was where we were when we took part in the attack. No one changed Jungle to say you move from one Jungle to the other. All of us just allotted ourselves, and we all moved on Kono before we got Kono.

  • Mr Witness, in your recollection had Superman left Kono since he came to Kono along with the rest of the RUF after you were moved from Freetown? Had he ever left Kono to go anywhere?

  • Yes. He left - he went somewhere and later came back.

  • Where did he go to?

  • He went towards the Kabala end. He went towards the Kabala end. That was - I think it's the place where SAJ Musa and others were based, and he later came back to Kono.

  • Mr Witness, I suggest to you that Superman was never - he was not at - in Kono during the operation to take Kono in December 1998.

  • I am saying Superman was there. That is what I am saying. And I saw him. He was at the meeting with us. We all shared ideas during the meeting.

  • Now, at the meeting in Buedu, you had Brigadier Sam Bockarie who was the - he chaired the meeting, correct?

  • Did you also have SYB Rogers at that meeting?

  • Yes, Mr Rogers was there.

  • Did you have Colonel Issa Sesay at the meeting?

  • Colonel Issa Sesay was in Kono. It was Morris Kallon who went to represent him, Morris Kallon. You just showed me documents saying that Issa received the materials from Mosquito from Buedu. He was not at the meeting. He was in Kono when the materials got to him in Kono.

  • Now, just to be clear, Mr Witness, about what time in December did this meeting take place?

  • I cannot actually recall the month, but it took place in December and it was in December that we captured Kono. I recall that we spent Christmas in Kono right at Bumpe.

  • But when you say you do not recall the month and you have given us Kono, you are saying you do not recall the date. You have given us December. Are you saying you do not recall the date --

  • I said the date. The date. I called the month. It was in December. But I am saying I do not know the date that the meeting took place, but I recall that I spent Christmas in Kono in December. There is a town in Kono that they call Bumpe, right on the tarmac road. That was where I spent my Christmas.

  • Was there Major Lawrence Womandia at the meeting?

  • Yes, Lawrence was at the meeting. Those were the senior officers who were close to Mosquito. Because when it came to the issue of sharing ideas, all of us shared ideas.

  • Was Colonel Edward Kanneh at the meeting?

  • Eddie Kanneh. Eddie Kanneh was at the meeting because he was assigned with Mosquito. He was at the meeting, Eddie Kanneh.

  • This Eddie Kanneh was originally an AFRC officer, wasn't he?

  • Do you recall some of the things that were discussed at this meeting, Mr Witness?

  • The most important thing that I know was discussed at that meeting was how to go about to capture Kono. That was the most important thing, really, that I can remember. It was not just Kono. To even advance as far as Makeni and even beyond that. Those were the most important things that we discussed, actually, that I can remember.

  • Mr Witness, this meeting took place just after Sam Bockarie had returned from a trip to Burkina Faso, correct?

  • I said no. I don't know about that, and he never told us that he went to Burkina Faso. He did not explain anything like that to me. And I did not hear anything like that, something concerning about his travel to Burkina Faso, no. If he told me, I will say yes. I don't have any problem with that. I will say yes.

  • In this meeting a report was given about the trip made by Sam Bockarie, wasn't there?

  • I'm saying no. I never heard it. The most important thing that he called the meeting for was how to recapture Kono and to advance beyond. That was the most important thing that I heard at the meeting. I did not hear about any trip, whether he went on a trip, no. I did not hear about that and he never told me about that.

  • Did SYB Rogers speak at that meeting?

  • Well, I do not remember. I don't recall.

  • Did Eddie Kanneh speak at the meeting?

  • Yes, Eddie Kanneh spoke. And he also spoke about the same attack - how best we could attack and advance, he spoke. Because Sam Bockarie was his body, he was with him.

  • You said Morris Kallon - did Morris Kallon attend this meeting?

  • Yes, Morris Kallon attended the meeting.

  • Did he speak during the meeting?

  • Yes, he spoke. He said something. Because he was at the front line with us and he knew the difficulties we are faced with, so he needed to express the views concerning the combatants on the front line. Yes, he did.

  • [Microphone not activated] Mike Lamin at this meeting?

  • I do not remember.

  • Mr Witness, this meeting that you are referring to you said was a general forum which was attended by all commanders. Do you recall?

  • They were not just commanders. We had fighters who were based in Buedu, other bodyguards for other commanders who were at the meeting. It was not just meant for commanders. Buedu was the headquarters. It was not just meant for commanders. We had other junior officers with whom we shared the meeting. We had women at the meeting.

  • Was there any other meeting held in Buedu in December, apart from this one which we are discussing now which you have talked about?

  • After this meeting, I was not there. Just after the meeting, I went back to my assignment ground. So whether another meeting was held in Buedu after that, it did not happen in my presence and I was not informed about it, so I cannot say a meeting took place again after that. So I only knew about this one.

  • In fact, this meeting was just a few days before - or about a week or so before you came back to Koidu and had another meeting regarding the attack on Kono. Isn't that so?

  • I can remember I passed two nights in Buedu and --

  • Your Honours, could the witness be asked to repeat that last bit.

  • Mr Witness, you need to repeat your evidence. You said you spent two nights where? Continue from there slowly.

  • I said I spent two nights. After I left Kono I spent two nights in Buedu, and on the third day I went back to my assignment area. And the meeting that we held there did not last for two weeks, not even a week.

  • Mr Witness, within a week after the meeting you had the other meeting which we have already discussed in Kono - in Koidu, which was the meeting where you planned to - where the distribution of material took place, correct?

  • Yes, that was the last meeting we had in Kono before the operation. That was the last meeting we had.

  • And you say that Issa Sesay was not at the meeting in Buedu?

  • Issa was not at the meeting. He was in Koidu.

  • Your Honours, may be witness be shown exhibit P-63. Mr Witness, on the screen is a document which at the heading there says "Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone Defence Headquarters" and it's dated 2 December 1998. It says "Forum With the External Delegates Led by the" - and there's perhaps something missing - "Led by the of Defence Staff". Mr Witness, this is what I call a report of a meeting that was held on 2 December, and I will just point to you certain parts of this report or minutes. I will read just the opening part of it, and then I will take you through some areas:

    "This meeting was summoned by the high command Brigadier Sam Bockarie (CDS-RUF/SL) in order to acquaint members present with report on the external mission they went on. Venue - Waterworks. Time: 1323 HRS, GMT.

    In attendance: Brigadier Sam Bockarie; Mr SYB Rogers; Colonel Edward Kanneh; Major Lawrence Womandia; Major Junior Vandi; Major Mohamed S Banya; Lieutenant Colonel Rashid Sandy - external delegate; Colonel IH Sesay BFC; and members of various units were also in attendance. The meeting was opened with short Muslim and Christian prayers."

    Mr Witness, do you see that at this meeting held on 2 December 1998, in addition to most of the other persons whom you have agreed were present at that meeting, Colonel IH Sesay BFC, who I believe is Issa Sesay - do you agree that this person is Issa Sesay, Colonel IH Sesay?

  • It's Issa Sesay's name that I am seeing on this paper. That is his full name.

  • You see that he was present at the meeting. Do you see that?

  • That is what the document is saying, but I am saying that he was not present at the meeting. That is what the document is saying, but he was not there. He was represented by Morris Kallon.

  • Now let me read to you the next paragraph. If Issa Sesay was not there, can you tell this Court why this record or report of the meeting would include his name as being present?

  • I don't know why. It can happen. You cannot be present somewhere and someone puts your name there. There is a document that I saw my name in. Like that signal book, I saw my name. And the way I expected my name to appear was not the way it appeared. So would you say that I was there when they were writing my name? I can't say. But he was not there for the meeting, but his name is there.

  • Mr Anyah, the witness has answered in the manner that he has answered. I do not know whether you have an objection.

  • I have an observation vis-a-vis what meeting is being suggested or discussed by the witness verses the question being posed. At page 37, line 16 of the LiveNote learned counsel opposite asks the question, "You see that he was present at the meeting. Do you see that?" The witness responds that he was not present at the meeting.

    Now, given the exchanges leading up to this document, the witness had asserted that Issa Sesay was not present at the meeting in Buedu. This document is speaking of a meeting that took place apparently on 2 December 1998 at Waterworks. So there is some confusion on the record, as far as I can see, regarding which meeting counsel has in mind and perhaps which meeting the witness has in mind. It might be helpful to ask the witness as to each meeting whether Issa Sesay was present or not.

  • Yes, Mr Bangura, it is your duty to clarify which meeting you are talking about and what meeting the witness is talking about. If you are talking about different meetings, this is not useful.

  • Mr Witness, you recall in your earlier testimony before this Court being asked about a meeting which was held at the Waterworks. Do you recall?

  • Yes, I remember and that is the only meeting that I know about that we and Mosquito shared.

  • And you recall telling this Court that in fact the Waterworks location is somewhere close to the crossing point, Dawa crossing point. Do you remember that?

  • I said when you leave Buedu going towards the Dawa crossing point. I did not say it's closer to the Dawa crossing point. It is going towards the Dawa crossing point. Waterworks is not far from Buedu where Mosquito was based. Mosquito was based on the Dawa Road where they do their trading. That is where the Waterworks is. It's not far off from Buedu. That was where we had the meeting, the meeting that Mosquito called for.

  • Waterworks is in Buedu, isn't it?

  • Exactly so. It's not far off from Buedu.

  • Mr Bangura, the issue was was this meeting held on 2 December or is 2 December merely the date of these minutes. Have you agreed with the witness upon a date that this meeting happened?

  • Your Honour, the witness's testimony is that there was a meeting in December 1998 and he could not recall the date, but he definitely knows that there was a meeting in December 1998.

  • And you are sure there was not more than one meeting?

  • I have put it to the witness about whether there was another meeting apart from the one that he attended before the Kono operation and the witness has said no, to his knowledge there was no other meeting.

  • I said I don't know about any other meeting besides the meeting that Mosquito called us to. If there was any other meeting, I said I don't know about that besides this particular meeting that he has called us.

  • Mr Witness, if you continue like that nobody is going to understand what you say. You have reverted back to your running. I don't know where you're running to, but in this Court we take slow evidence that is written and recorded.

    Now, Mr Bangura, please continue.

  • Mr Witness, the paragraph after members are introduced reads:

    "The chairman CDS Brigadier Sam Bockarie welcomed everyone who attended the forum. He told us all that the forum was intended to brief us on the mission they had gone through. The CDS appointed Mr SYB Rogers to give a salute report about the mission."

    Now I will take you to the next page, seven lines down from the top:

    "Pa SYB Rogers noted with profound gratitude the effort applied by our host government on the other side for granting us the inlet and exit facilities even with escort."

    Do you recall, Mr Witness, SYB Rogers talking about being granted facilities in and out of another country? Do you recall these sort of matters being discussed by SYB Rogers?

  • I can't remember.

  • And when he says "by our host government on the other side", who is he referring to?

  • I don't know who he is talking about. I can't remember saying that and I don't know who he is referring to. I don't know.

  • He is referring to the government of Charles Taylor on the other side, meaning Liberia, correct?

  • I cannot say yes, nor would I say no because I don't know who he is referring to. On the other side it might be ULIMO, the side of - the ULIMO side. On the other side might be the government troop side. So I cannot say it is the Charles Taylor's side he is talking about.

  • In that location where you were, where Sam Bockarie was, if he was travelling out of Buedu or out of Sierra Leone, where would be logically the country through which he would go at that point?

  • Since I was - since I had been in Sierra Leone I never saw Mosquito travel to another country, so I cannot say he went to Burkina Faso or Guinea, no. I cannot tell you that. I can't tell you that, that he used to travel to Liberia or Burkina Faso. No, no, I cannot tell you that.

  • I go on further. Another six or seven lines down, the sentence: "According to Pa Rogers, both the CDS and himself paid a courtesy call on His Excellency CGT." Now, CDS there is referring to Sam Bockarie, correct?

  • Yes, it refers to Sam Bockarie.

  • And CGT is referring to Charles Ghankay Taylor. Isn't that so?

  • I have not heard that name. I only know about Sam Bockarie's name that you have just called. So whether Charles Taylor had that name, I don't know about it. So you see the place that I was talking about, so I cannot tell you anything about Charles Taylor and Sam Bockarie. I was a front line officer. I was not sitting at the rear. I was ahead. So I cannot be in Kono and tell you about things that happened in Buedu.

  • Mr Witness, who asked you where you were or what you were doing? The question was simply do the letters CDT referring to Charles Ghankay Taylor? Simple question.

  • Mr Witness, I take you down to five lines further from there, or maybe six lines. It says:

    "The mission extended to Burkina Faso where the (delegates) were warmly received and attended to. All discussions with the Burkinabe authorities were highly fruitful."

    Did you see that?

  • I am seeing it on the document, but I never saw it with my eyes.

  • And you do not recall that this was discussed at the meeting?

  • I can't remember whether it was discussed. If I know about it I will say yes. RUF is no longer existing, why must I lie? I will say the truth. If I knew about something, why can't I say it?

  • Mr Witness, I move down to the last three lines of the second page:

    "Pa Rogers concluded by thanking Colonel Issa Sesay, the BFC/AG, CDS and all authorities who held the ground and front lines strongly while the CDS and delegates were out."

    Did you recall Issa Sesay being thanked for holding the ground while Sam Bockarie was away?

  • Issa Sesay was in charge of Kono. So whether Sam Bockarie was away, I don't know. Issa Sesay was with us in Kono.

  • Your Honours, the witness was not very clear there.

  • Please repeat your answer. You said, "Issa Sesay was with us in Kono", and then you said something else. What did you say?

  • I said he was with us in Kono. That was where he was based with us. So they could tell him thanks for taking care of us in Kono, but it was not Mosquito who left him in charge in Buedu to go out. I do not recall Issa leaving Kono to go and be based in Buedu for one month, abandoning the front line, no.

  • Mr Witness, it was in fact the practice within the RUF that whenever Sam Bockarie was going to be away, he would get Issa Sesay to come up from the front line and be based in Buedu to take care of business until his return. Wasn't that the case?

  • I never saw that and I never witnessed it because I never saw Sam Bockarie take any steps to go anywhere else and asking Issa to come over and take over. Mosquito was always based in Buedu as the defence headquarters. If he wanted to see a commander he will send for you. And if he wanted to see some other person he will send for you. And after discussing with you he will send you back. He was always based there.

  • Mr Witness, in this case Issa Sesay is being thanked just for that; for being there and taking care of business from Buedu while Sam Bockarie was away. Isn't that why he is being thanked in this letter - in these minutes?

  • I don't know. I don't know whether he was thanked. That was not in my presence. If they did say thanks to him for taking over command because Mosquito went to Libya, that is not to my knowledge. It's not at all to my knowledge.

  • Next page, first sentence: "Next to speak was Colonel Eddie Kanneh (SLA rep)." You have indeed told this Court that Eddie Kanneh was there at the meeting and did you say that he spoke as well?

  • I said he spoke on how to attack Kono. That was the main reason for which the meeting was called. And we had SLA with us. So that was the main point that we were discussing about, how to get the materials. So all these things that you are talking about, they are going there and coming here, I did not here about mission to Burkina Faso, how Sam Bockarie travelled to somewhere else. No, that was not disclosed to me during the meeting. So all of the things you are reading on this paper, that is why I'm saying I don't know, because I don't know about them.

  • We go down further on that page, ten lines from the bottom:

    "The CDS made hasty preparation and returned back to the brothers as to launch offensive against the government of Tejan Kabbah for the release of our leader. The CDS congratulated Colonel Jungle and General Abraham for their sincerity and honesty in delivering the parcels that were given to them for our father across."

    You have told this Court that Jungle - somebody called Jungle was present at that meeting. He was one of those who had come, according to your testimony, with Abu Keita. Do you recall?

  • Yes, and I said that was the only Jungle that I knew. He was introduced during the meeting that we held with Mosquito in Buedu.

  • And you had told this Court that in fact there was a third person who was called Leo. Jungle and Leo were with Abu Keita, so the three of them were the ones who were introduced to you; isn't that correct?

  • That's my statement. Those were the names of the two officers that I called, Abu Keita, Colonel Leo and Jungle, and Jungle was in Magburaka.

  • And you do not recall Colonel Jungle and General Abraham being congratulated for taking parcels across to our father - somebody referred to as the father of the RUF?

  • Repeat your question.

  • You do not recall that Colonel Jungle, who you said was introduced in that meeting, was congratulated for taking parcels across to the father of the RUF?

  • Colonel Jungle was not praised and he was not thanked. The only person who was praised and thanked was Abu Keita, because he was the senior officer who came along with those materials.

  • And do you know the person referred here as General Abraham?

  • No, I don't know about general Abraham. I only know about General Abu Keita and Leo and Jungle that I met in Buedu.

  • And when the RUF say "our father across", they are referring to Charles Taylor, are they not?

  • RUF never said "our father across". We only knew our father was Foday Sankoh, who was in detention. That was the father we knew for the RUF; not Charles Taylor.

  • And when they talk about parcel here, "delivering parcel to our father across", they are talking about parcels of diamonds delivered to Charles Taylor. Isn't that the case?

  • I cannot tell whether that was the case because I don't know the meaning of that parcel. I can't say yes or no. I don't know the meaning of parcel. I cannot just conclude by saying yes, that's the case. I don't know about parcel. All those things you are saying were not discussed at that meeting for me to hear. No, I never heard it. Maybe it was a meeting that was a last meeting that happened in my absence that they spoke about that. But I know that the meeting that I took part in in Buedu is the last meeting that I know about.

  • Next page, 4, nine lines from the top. This is Pa Rogers - this is the CDS speaking, that is, Sam Bockarie:

    "He warned that now is the time to work together to secure the release of our leader and to avoid funny things like gossip that will lead to disunity among us."

    This was Sam Bockarie talking. And do you recall that at this meeting you have told this Court that what you discussed generally was about how to attack Kono? And do you recall Sam Bockarie talking about working together to secure the release of Foday Sankoh, who at this time was in prison?

  • Foday Sankoh was in prison. I said it in my statement. He was in prison in Nigeria. He spoke about how best we could regain our position - how best we could regain our position. That means it was about engaging our enemies. That was the most important thing that I heard in that meeting. Because we were in the bush, there was no microphone. People were just talking all over.

  • Mr Witness, in 1998 --

  • Mr Bangura, you keep just moving on, even when questions are not answered.

    Mr Witness, the question asked to you was this - and you haven't answered it: "And do you recall Sam Bockarie talking about working together to secure the release of Foday Sankoh, who at this time was in prison?" What is your answer to that? Do you recall Sam Bockarie talking about that?

  • No. I did not hear that in the meeting. Even if he said it, then I do not recall.

  • Second paragraph:

    "The battlefield commander - Colonel Issa Sesay - thanked the delegates. He promised that we shall put our efforts together to consolidate our strength for victory. We are to strike for the release of our leader and the victory of our movement."

    Mr Witness, do you see again here that Colonel Issa Sesay is also talking about fighting or working for the release of the leader? Do you see that?

  • I said Colonel Issa was not at the meeting in Buedu. We left him in Kono. He was not at the meeting - that I know about - which we shared in Buedu. He was not there.

  • Mr Witness, you said that Foday Sankoh was in prison in Nigeria in December 1998. Was he in prison in Nigeria at this time?

  • I can remember that he was in prison in Nigeria. From '96 he went to Abidjan. He moved from there, he went to Nigeria. He was arrested. We knew he was in prison in 1998 when - I can remember when the President who was there passed away, the one who arrested him. We were happy, yes.

  • Mr Witness, you were not at this meeting in Buedu, and you have only been guessing about events that occurred in Buedu.

  • I was at that meeting in Buedu. I am not guessing. I can't guess. I do not guess. I am saying what I know. I will not say what I do not know. I was at the meeting in Buedu. I was there.

  • If you were at the meeting in Buedu, then, Mr Witness, you have forgotten much of what happened during the meeting, correct?

  • I will not forget what happened at the meeting, because I knew exactly what I went there for. I cannot forget. But all of these things that you are saying on this paper did not happen in my presence, so I cannot say it happened. I can't say it happened. Foday Sankoh is not alive; Sam Bockarie is not alive. If it happened at all, I can say it happened. So and so things happened. But I cannot deny that they happened when it did not happen.

  • Mr Witness, if you say that you haven't forgotten anything about what happened at that meeting, then what you are telling this Court is not true. Your evidence, your testimony about the events of that meeting is just not true.

  • I am telling you that I am speaking the truth. You saw my name in some document that some other Prosecution witness brought here and said something about me, the position I held in the RUF. That will tell you that I am speaking the truth. I am not saying anything that I took from anybody.

  • Mr Witness, you told this Court that after the attack on Kono, you then moved to towards Tongo while others were moving towards Makeni and Lunsar. Do you recall your evidence?

  • Yes, that's my statement.

  • And you captured Tongo?

  • You were with Akim, correct?

  • The AFRC commander, correct?

  • I worked with Akim in Tongo.

  • You denied that any mining took place in Tongo by the RUF.

  • You never asked me about mining taking place by the RUF in Tongo. He never asked me, so don't say I deny it. You did not ask me any question like that.

  • Mr Witness, you were asked by counsel on the other side about whether the RUF did any mining in Tongo after you had taken Tongo. Do you recall that?

  • Yes, I said after we had captured Tongo, no mining activities went on at that time because we had just captured the ground. That is what I said in my statement.

  • It is true in fact that the RUF did mine diamonds in Tongo after you captured Tongo. Isn't that so?

  • After we had captured Tongo, after certain times RUF started mining together with civilians. It was not just the RUF. Both civilians and RUF alike were mining in Tongo.

  • And this was before you left Tongo to come back to Kono, correct?

  • There was no mining going on when I left Tongo, and it was after a long time that they organised mining in Tongo. Mining went on in Tongo. Both the RUF and the civilians alike were mining in Tongo, but it did not just happen after we had just captured the ground, no. No mining activities took place at that particular moment.

  • Did you go back to Tongo after you came to Kono? You said you took a pass to come and see your family, and did you go back at all?

  • Yes, I went back to Tongo. After certain time Issa sent me to Tongo. There was a misunderstanding there, so he sent me there.

  • And when you went back to Tongo, mining was now going on?

  • Exactly so. Mining was seriously going on.

  • And Sam Bockarie came to Tongo at some point, did he not?

  • When I went there, I never saw Sam Bockarie. Maybe he went there in my absence, but I never saw him there. I think Banya and Peleto had a misunderstanding, so that was what I was sent there to go and resolve.

  • Mr Witness, you gave evidence in this Court about the abduction of peacekeepers in Kailahun. Do you recall?

  • Yes, I remember.

  • And in your testimony you explained to this Court how you went about executing the instructions of Colonel Issa Sesay by arresting the Indian peacekeepers who were with you - or who were based in Kailahun; do you recall that?

  • Yes, I remember that. That's my statement.

  • Your testimony is that you found it a little difficult to carry out Issa Sesay's instructions initially when he instructed you to arrest the peacekeepers there. Do you recall?

  • Yes, because we were all used to one another, so --

  • Your Honours, the witness was not clear in his last bit.

  • Please repeat your last bit, Mr Witness. You said you were all used to one another, and then what?

  • I said when I received the instruction to arrest them, we - all of us had been friendly now, so I found it difficult to arrest them.

  • Indeed, you mentioned the name of two of the commanders who you said would normally come and visit you before these instructions were given. Do you recall?

  • Yes. I remember all of those statements.

  • [Microphone not activated] of them you said is Colonel Punia. Am I pronouncing correctly?

  • Not colonel. It's Major Punia. I said Major Punia and Major Nair.

  • Thank you. You said eventually that you invited - these peacekeepers had also asked you to disarm, you and your men, but they asked you as the commander to disarm first. Do you recall telling the Court that?

  • Yes, I said the men said I should disarm first and that way prove to them that we were serious for the disarmament in Kailahun. That was what they told me.

  • So to be able to carry out the instructions of Issa Sesay, you had your adjutant write a letter to these peacekeepers inviting them to a meeting and you got them arrested during that meeting. Isn't that your testimony?

  • That was just what I said and I still stand by it. That's my statement.

  • Now, how many peacekeepers did you arrest on that day?

  • If I am not mistaken, it should be 13.

  • And these 13 peacekeepers, I am not putting an exact figure, I understand that you may not be quite accurate - these peacekeepers, 13 or so, that you arrested, were they all Indians or were they all from the Indian battalion?

  • They were all peacekeepers with the Indian group, but I don't know whether they were different people. But they were all white.

  • There were also in Kailahun at the time a unit or a group of military people different from the Indian battalion. They called them the MILOBs. Do you recall that?

  • And you also arrested some MILOBs personnel, didn't you?

  • How many of them do you recall that you arrested on that day?

  • The number went to 13. I did not check how many of them came from one point or how many of them came from the other side. I just checked the total number. That was why I gave you the number 13.

  • Mr Bangura, what is that word you said? MILOBs?

  • My understanding is it is military observers:

  • Mr Witness, in your understanding, these people called MILOBs, were they military observers?

  • They were military observers.

  • Apart from men, did you capture anything else?

  • Capture something like?

  • Did you capture any material?

  • No. Yes, those who came, the other commander from the Indian fighting force that came, their bodyguards had arms and those ones were taken from them.

  • Was it just arms that took from these bodyguards?

  • Arms and a video camera that they took with them to videotape me. That one I took them from.

  • You also arrested on that day a helicopter, did you not?

  • And it had crew - four crew and two civilians?

  • It had two whites and two blacks. I don't know whether they were civilians.

  • And these were different from the MILOBs and the Indian battalion personnel, correct?

  • I can't say they were different because they used to visit them, they used to come to them. They were coming to them. I cannot say they were different.

  • I probably phrased the question not very well. You talked about 13 or so Indian personnel that you arrested. My question is: These crews and the crews that you say you arrested were not included in the number of Indian personnel, were they?

  • No, because just after two days I was instructed to release them and I simply released them.

  • Just remind us again, who gave the instructions for you to release them?

  • I received instruction from Foday Sankoh to release them and I did.

  • And Issa Sesay was not happy about this, was he?

  • Not the crew. It was the UN Indians that I released that he was not happy about. I am not talking about the crew that came on board the helicopter. That instruction came to me directly from Foday Sankoh to release them, because after I arrested them I sent my report to them. He said I should take care of them, I shouldn't harass them. And he said after two days I will hear from him and after two days he gave me instruction to release them.

  • Mr Witness, on Foday Sankoh's orders you release the MILOBs and the Indian battalion personnel. Is that what you're telling the Court?

  • I said no. The MILOBs were the ones Foday Sankoh asked me to release after I had arrested them. And that was after two days that I was instructed to release them and that I did.

  • You still had with you the Indian personnel, correct?

  • As well as the helicopter crew?

  • I released them. Foday Sankoh instructed me to release them and I did. After two days, he gave me instruction and I released them. They went back to Kenema.

  • Just to be clear, you released the Indian personnel and the helicopter crew on the instructions of Foday Sankoh. Is that your testimony?

  • That is not what I am saying. I told you that I released the crew upon receiving instruction from Foday Sankoh. And that I did. I did not tell you about the Indians. I am telling you about the crew, the helicopter crew that came. That is what I am talking about.

  • I think something is being lost in translation here because I also am very confused by the questions and the answers we are getting. We have three groups of people. We have the MILOBs, we have the Indian contingent and we have the helicopter crew. Three groups, all of whom were arrested by the witness and his men. Now, could you please establish the circumstances of the release of any or all of these people.

  • Mr Witness, on the orders of Foday Sankoh you did release the air crew, the helicopter air crew, as well as which other of the two groups remaining that you released? Can you tell the Court?

  • I said after I had arrested the helicopter crew I informed Foday Sankoh and he told me to take care of them. And after two days he instructed me to release the helicopter crew that I had arrested and I released them. They went back to Freetown. That was the first group that I released.

  • You then continued to hold on to the MILOBs officers and the Indian personnel, correct?

  • Yes, they were still with me.

  • When you eventually - when all these people were eventually released, you kept on to the material that had been seized from them, did you not?

  • The video camera, the vehicles and the radio set. You did not hand them back to them, did you?

  • I never took a radio set from them. I never took a radio set from them.

  • You did not hand over the vehicles, did you?

  • No. I was told to use the vehicle.

  • You did not hand over the video camera, did you?

  • No. I gave it to Issa Sesay.

  • You took a satellite phone from them. You did not hand it back, did you?

  • The satellite phone was taken away from me by Issa Sesay.

  • You had other smaller radio handsets that you seized from them which you did not release, correct?

  • All the things I took from them, I was asked to give it back to them. I did not take a radio set. I know that the arms that I arrested, I took from them, they were given back.

  • Thank you. Mr Witness, you told this Court that you stayed in Sierra Leone after disarmament and until the RUF turned itself into a political party. Do you recall?

  • And you said that you took part in the elections. You voted in the elections that the RUF contested in 2002. Do you recall that?

  • Can you tell this Court how you qualified to vote in that election? You are a citizen of Liberia, are you not?

  • But we are not talking about citizenship. We are talking about partisanship. I was a member of the RUF and there was an election, so I had the right to vote. They allowed me to vote, so I voted. And most people voted in Liberia. It depends if you are allowed to vote.

  • Did the witness said most people voted in Liberia?

  • Yes. Most Sierra Leoneans, when the election was done in Liberia, they voted if they were allowed to vote because we had a lot of Sierra Leoneans based there. They had gone there before, they have got children there, they have assets there. They do vote. Nobody stops them.

  • But the question related to voting in Sierra Leone.

  • Yes. That is what I am telling him. I said they allowed me to vote because I was for a party, for the movement, and we went into an election. So I was allowed to vote. They allowed me and I voted.

  • Mr Witness, when you registered to vote in that election, did you indicate that you were a Liberian? The registration before the voting I am talking about.

  • The only name that I have a Martin George. I said, yes, I am a Liberian. I speak Mende, but I did not say my name is called Ngor Boakei because I don't have a family there. I said I am Martin George and I was allowed. I voted.

  • What was that name that you mentioned? Your name is called what?

  • I was not given any other Sierra Leonean name, like Ngor Boakei to make myself a Sierra Leonean. I said no, I took my Martin George name to them and that was what I was registered with and I voted under that name.

  • Mr Interpreter, can you assist us with a spelling?

  • Mr Witness, you did not tell your correct nationality when you were asked during the registration process, correct? Not so?

  • I gave them my full nationality as a Liberian. If not, then why wouldn't I have said I was Mende? I cannot say I am Mende because I am not a Sierra Leonean. People know me to be a Liberian. So if I told people I was Sierra Leonean, they will laugh at me. And since inception I never took a Kono name, nor a Kono name, nor a Temne name or Mende name. My name is Martin George and that was the name that I was dealing with and that is my full name.

  • Mr Witness, I suggest to you that if you had given your true nationality you would not have been registered to vote because non-Sierra Leoneans are not by law - do not by law have the right to vote in an election in Sierra Leone. I put it to you.

  • That is what you are saying. But I gave my full name to the registrar. I gave my full name. Martin George. And if you check my background, I do not have any --

  • Counsellor is asking you about nationality, not about name.

  • If my name is not Martin George? Please repeat your question.

  • I suggest to you that you did not tell the registration officials of the elections your true nationality because if you had done that you would not have been allowed to vote, you would not have had the right to vote. What do you say to that?

  • I said I gave my full background and it was - I was not the only person who knew my own background. People in Magburaka knew that I was Liberian and I voted, and that was where I was staying. I gave them my full name, Martin George, and they allowed me to vote. I gave my full name. I cannot hide away my -

  • Did you tell the electoral authorities that you were a Liberian? Did you tell them that fact?

  • Yes. Yes, ma'am. Yes, because they knew that I can say I was the only Martin George in the RUF. I was not speaking Mende to them. I was speaking English. I was not speaking Krio.

  • [Microphone not activated] I asked. I didn't ask you about what name you used or what language you spoke or didn't speak. I asked you a simple question: Did you tell the electoral authorities that you were a Liberian before you voted?

  • Yes, I told them. And those of us who were on the line, most of them knew that I was Liberian. They asked me and they say, "Where are you from?" I told them the country I am coming from. And the voting ID card with which I was issued bared the name Martin George. I was not the only person who knew that I was Liberian. People in Magburaka knew.

  • I put it again to you, Mr Witness, and you can just simply agree or disagree, the laws of Sierra Leone do not permit non-Sierra Leoneans to vote in a national elections. Do you agree or do you not?

  • Oh, yes, that's the law. I agree. But I was lucky to vote. I do agree, that's their law. I am not disputing the fact that it's not the law. But I called my name, where I was from, and they gave me the card and I voted on that particular day.

  • Mr Bangura, you have time for one connected question or not?

  • That would have been a connected question, yes, your Honour.

  • You will take it up after the tea break.

    We are going to have a break of half an hour. We'll reconvene at 12 noon.

  • [Break taken at 11.31 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 12.05 p.m.]

  • Yes, Madam President. I rise to advise the Court by way of an update regarding the whereabouts of Mr Taylor at this hour of the day. Your Honours have already issued an order directing the Registrar to respond to the issue that arose this morning essentially resulting in his absence from court during the start of the proceedings.

    At this hour, which is slightly five minutes over 12, Mr Taylor is still not here. During the midmorning break I spoke with Mr Taylor. I also spoke with Mr Townsend, the head The Hague sub-office for the Special Court and this is what we now know: Mr Taylor is still dressed. He is still at the detention centre. He is still hoping that he will be transported to court today. He has spoken with the chief custodial officer, also known as the chief of detention, and that person told Mr Taylor that as far as today is concerned, the entity of the Dutch government responsible for his transportation does not have another team available to transport him to court today. It is a part of the Dutch security services and I believe the acronym is DV&O. This group of persons DV&O have only one team of escorts to transport persons to this courthouse today. So, as far as we know, Mr Taylor will not be brought to court today despite being ready, willing and able to attend the proceedings.

    We are told also that the chief custodial officer added that as far as tomorrow is concerned, the same modalities of transportation that were in place today would also recur tomorrow. Meaning that the likelihood for a recurrence of what has happened this morning is quite increased in relation to tomorrow.

    Now, Mr Taylor called Freetown and spoke with Ms Claire Carlton-Hanciles, the Principal Defender of the Special Court and told her what has been transpiring today. Ms Hanciles has in turn spoken with the Registrar of the Court, Ms Mansaray. I am told that Ms Mansaray made a telephone call to The Hague ordering that Mr Taylor be brought to court today. Apparently that has not been sufficient to necessitate his appearance here today.

    During the break I also spoke with Mr Gregory Townsend and Mr Townsend confirmed that indeed there is only one team of security agencies or agents available to transport persons to the courthouse today and that he was about to send an email to that effect. Unfortunately we did not have the opportunity to develop the conversation or conclude it.

    In sum and substance, Mr Taylor is ready to come to Court. He is unable to be here at this hour because there is nobody to transport him to court. The Registrar has apparently made an order by telephone that he be brought to court. That order has not been implemented.

    The likelihood that this will repeat tomorrow is very real. Mr Taylor though will be here tomorrow, he has told us to advise the Court as such, regardless of what modalities of transportation are in place tomorrow. He cannot afford to continue to miss the proceedings. He will come tomorrow but he will be doing so without waiving any rights due him to remedy these modalities of transportation which we find to be inhumane and degrading. People should be brought to the courthouse with some measure of integrity and not left in a van handcuffed for 10, 15 and sometimes more minutes than those. So that's where things stand right now.

    While I'm on my feet, and I think this is appropriate for your Honours pursuant to Rule 54, it is the case that matters dealing with the conditions of detention are usually raised with the President but, as Madam President observed this morning, where it interferes or disrupts the proceedings before your Honours you have the inherent discretion and authority under Rule 54 to issue orders about such matters.

    So I make an application that your Honours issue an order directing the Registry to produce Mr Taylor to the courthouse today. We have an hour and 20 minutes left in this session and we have two hours left in the afternoon session. If an accused is dressed, is ready, willing and able to come to court this Court should order that the accused be produced.

  • I'm just wondering at the commonsense of such an order when the Registrar has in fact already ordered that he be produced. What else could we order the Registrar to do? Personally go to the detention facility and pick him up herself? She has already issued the order.

  • Well, your Honour, with respect, it is a matter of significance when a court issues an order versus the administrative process that is available through the Registrar. Your Honours have inherent powers that of course the Registry does not have. So I think it is significant and a matter of symbolic importance that an order to the extent you find it appropriate be issued.

  • Mr Anyah, in a similar vein can I ask who or what organisation you are seeking the Court to issue an order to. I bear in mind that basic premise of law that a court should not issue an order that cannot be fulfilled. I look to the facts that you have put before us.

  • Justice Doherty, we're in the Court's hands. A circumstance has arose where your orders could be directed to any number of persons. Your orders could be directed in the first instance to the Registrar. The Registrar would then be armed with an order from the Court that could be forwarded to the relevant parties in the Dutch government.

    I mean, it is one thing for the Registrar to make a phone call and it's another thing for the Registrar to forward an order from the Court saying we entered into some kind of headquarters agreement with the Dutch government whereby they agreed to transport detainees of the Special Court to the courthouse. Here is an order from the Court saying do so. And to the extent that the relevant component of the Dutch government does not follow your orders there are appropriate mechanisms. There are other agencies and branches of the Dutch government that will respond to your orders.

  • Mr Anyah, let us not speak as if what happened this morning was that Mr Taylor was ready to come and the Dutch authorities failed to turn up. These were not the circumstances. The circumstances were, as you informed us and as we've established in due course, that the Dutch authorities did turn up to transport Mr Taylor to the Court and it is Mr Taylor who, upon being requested to wait for another accused person so that they could travel in convoy, declined and returned to his cell; declining to wait for the reasons that you have stated. And so let us not have any pretences here that the Dutch authorities reneged on their duties under the memorandum of understanding. That is not so. So I wanted to make that one clear before I consult my colleagues on this application you have made.

  • [Trial Chamber conferred]

    Obviously this is not a pleasant matter for the Chamber to be considering, or even talking about, but we're of the view that the circumstances are that the Dutch police happen to have this one team that is ready and available to escort the various accused persons that need to be brought out every morning from the detention centre, including Mr Taylor. Mr Taylor is not the only accused person that leaves the premises of the detention centre to come to court. There are other accused persons, and the authorities responsible have a schedule that they observe that is beyond the control of the Trial Chamber and that I think should be respected as well.

    Now, in our view, unanimously, we do not think that what happened this morning, whereby the authorities requested Mr Taylor to wait for some 15 minutes - and I don't know whether he actually waited 15 minutes or less - that that was necessarily an unreasonable request given the circumstance that there was that one team ready to bring a number of accused persons.

    Secondly, it is common knowledge that Mr Taylor is not the only accused person standing trial in the past few months and that these various accused persons have been transported in similar manner from the same detention centre together, perhaps in convoy in the same way. Now, this problem apparently arose only this morning. We've not heard a complaint in the recent past that this is now a constant problem for us to warrant this kind of order that you are asking us to make.

    Now, I made an order in the morning to the Registrar asking the Registrar to ensure that this problem is resolved and that it does not impact the trial again. And this is what I expect to happen tomorrow. The matter is in the able hands of the Registrar in liaison with her counterpart in the ICC and probably the chief of detention of the detention centre and I think we'll just leave it at that and see what happens tomorrow.

    Of course, we will expect Mr Taylor to respect the conditions of the detention centre and the transportation regimes unless they are so grossly inhumane in which case you would take it up then with the President of the Court or the Registrar. We do not think that in the premises these circumstances are so grossly inhumane as to cause alarm or to cause us to make order, and we will expect to see Mr Taylor here when the transportation allows. In the meantime, we will proceed with the trial pursuant to Rule 60(B) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.

    Mr Anyah?

  • Yes, we appreciate your Honours' deliberation and your consensus on this. I just need the record to be clear. It is not the case that this has not happened before. It is not the case that assurances have not been given to the detainees that this would not be the manner in which they would be transported. This event or these circumstances arose on 12 January this year. They had arisen last year, several months before. Assurances were given to the detainees they wouldn't be transported in those terms. The reason for the difficulties during --

  • The terms being what exactly? That they would not be transported in convoy or what?

  • No, the terms being that one person would not be left waiting in one vehicle while they go upstairs and handcuff and place a bulletproof vest on another person, take him down to another waiting car. This arose during the winter, your Honours, when the weather is cold and someone is in a van waiting for 10, 15, 20 minutes for another person to be brought from upstairs. They were given assurances it wouldn't happen. So that's the first matter of record we need to make known.

    The second issue is: Are those circumstances inhumane or degrading? We submit they are.

  • In which case, Mr Anyah, we as the judges, this morning - I'm not talking about other circumstances - this morning we do not think that a wait of 10 to 15 minutes is inhumane given the circumstances that the team was only one that was coming and they had to escort a number accused persons here.

  • And I have said that in the event that you think or reckon that the circumstances are so inhumane as to prevent Mr Taylor to come to court, you know what to do.

  • To take that matter up with the relevant authorities.

  • Had we known this morning that there was only one team of Dutch security personnel available, my submissions might have been different. Had they explained that to Mr Taylor, most of this might not have occurred. Nobody knew this morning that they had only one set of transportation personnel. And perhaps that's the source of the problem today. But we will see what obtains tomorrow.

  • Yes, Mr Anyah, I think we're just taking time up for nothing. Everything relevant is on the record. We've made the relevant directives to the Registrar. Let the Registrar handle this as ably as she can and then we'll take it from there.

  • And to the extent we are dissatisfied, we will come with the relevant applications.

  • Mr Bangura, please continue with your - the questions.

  • Mr Witness, you testified that you were able to vote despite the fact that you were a non-citizen, non-Sierra Leonean, correct?

  • In fact, you lied to the election officials and that was what enabled you to vote, is that so?

  • No. I never lied to him.

  • You lied to them just as you have been lying to this Court about your testimony. Isn't that the case?

  • That's not it. I can't lie. If I lie, what would I get out of it? I wouldn't achieve anything.

  • Your Honours, at this point I wish to apply for the Court to move into a brief session of private - private session to deal with the - I'm dealing with testimony of a person - it's the testimony of this witness but relating to his wife, and my concern is that the details that may come out from his testimony may affect in some ways the privacy of that person. I so make this application to protect the privacy of the witness's wife. I do not anticipate that this will take more than 15 minutes.

  • We think that this is a reasonable request. For the members of the public, we are going to go briefly into a private session to hear evidence relating to another person whose privacy, in our view, should be protected.

    Madam Court Officer, please.

  • [At this point in the proceedings, a portion of the transcript, pages 40210 to 40216, was extracted and sealed under separate cover, as the proceeding was heard in private session.]

  • [Open session]

  • Your Honour, we're in open session.

  • Mr Witness, you told this Court that back in Naama you had boys who were within the ages of nine, ten and - within the range of nine and ten years that were members of the RUF, correct?

  • Yes.

  • You told this Court that there was a unit called the SBU, correct?

  • We had four small boys. They were small, between the ages of nine and ten.

  • And is it the case that these small boys were called SBUs or were in a unit called SBUs?

  • They were not in a unit. Four men could not form a unit. They were not in a unit called SBU. They were just four small boys among us.

  • When you came into Sierra Leone it was the practice for commanders to have small boys under them. Isn't that the case?

  • Repeat your question.

  • When you came into Sierra Leone - when the RUF came into Sierra Leone and were now in Sierra Leone, it became the practice for commanders to have small boys under the age of 15, much lower than that, under their control. Isn't that so?

  • To do what? To fight or what? We had civilians with us. They had their children, small boys. They were with us. But they were not fighting. We had small children. Not only me. There were other commanders too, even down to Issa. They had small boys where they lived.

  • [Microphone not activated] small boys that you had were below the age of 15, weren't they?

  • They were below the age of 15. Some of them were above 15, 18, yes.

  • And these small boys that you had were sent to do quite a number of things for the commanders, isn't that so? Sent on chores for the commanders?

  • Yes, they were living with the commanders. They were living with them. They sent them to do other things, but not to go and fight. If some of them sent them to go and fight, I never saw that. Mine that I had with me, when I want to send them to do something for me, for instance to fetch water, yes.

  • You had as many as three small boys with you, did you not?

  • If I had three in number? Repeat your question.

  • You had as many as three small boys with you below the age of 15?

  • I had more than three small boys. Because I was taking care of them. I provide food, we shared that together. I had them --

  • Your Honours, can he kindly repeat his answer.

  • Mr Witness, please repeat your answer. The interpreter didn't get you.

  • He asked me whether I had more than three small boys. I said yes, I had more than four small children that were staying with me where I was living and they were not there to fight. I provided food for them and some of them were there with their families.

  • You had boys with you when you were in Pujehun, correct?

  • No, I never had small boys with me in Pujehun. I started bringing people around me when I was serving as brigade commander up to security commander. When I was serving as a lieutenant I never had small boys with me, no. But from the rank of brigade commander, okay, I started bringing crowd around me.

  • And what was the number of boys that you had as a brigade commander?

  • I can't give you the number now because I can't remember. I can't remember the number of boys that I had. If you're talking about the bodyguards unit, I had a bodyguard unit 19, 20. They were a fighting force. Whenever I was going on a mission I went with them. But the small children, I can't give you their number.

  • Now, Mr Witness, back in Pujehun you served with Tonkara. You told this Court that. And Tonkara had with him a group of boys who belonged to an SBU, Small Boys Unit, isn't that so?

  • Tonkara never had a Small Boys Unit with him in the jungle. He never had Small Boys Units with him in the jungle. We were all matured. He never had small boys with him.

  • Now, do you recall being involved in the attack on Peyama yourself?

  • Repeat your question.

  • Do you recall being involved in the attack on Peyama?

  • You mean Peyama?

  • Exactly, Mr Witness.

  • No, I can't recall. I never took part in Peyama attack I can swear. I never took part in Peyama attack.

  • Mr Witness, the small boys that commanders had with them were often used to carry looted properties. Wasn't that the case?

  • More people had their ways of sending small boys. More people had their ways of sending small boys. I would be going on a mission and I will tell you, "Take care of my backpack", yes. That was how I trained my children. I can't talk about somebody else's own.

  • Some of the commanders had small boys carrying fighting material, didn't they?

  • Oh, yes, some commanders were in the habit of doing that. But I never did it.

  • And these small boys were also members of the RUF, weren't they?

  • As long as you were RUF, you just had to be a member. You cannot say you are not a member. When an enemy captured you, you cannot say you are not a member of the RUF. You can't deny that. So we considered them to be members of RUF.

  • And when necessary they would take part in fighting. Isn't that the case?

  • I said no. We never had a special SBU unit to fight. We never had SBU unit to fight. We had a lot of manpower, grown-ups, who were not tired of fighting. Why would you use a small soldier or a child soldier?

  • Mr Witness, you have throughout your testimony denied knowledge of a number of things that happened within the RUF. You have denied that the operation called Fitti-Fatta mission never had sufficient quantities of ammunition and fighting material. Do you recall that?

  • When you are talking about fighting materials, you should distinguish what you are talking about. We had arms. We were not looking for arms. We captured them. I'm talking about we never had sufficient ammunition. The little that we had we put in defensive. So Fitti-Fatta, you cannot have materials according to them plenty and you go about wasting them on an enemy. I said it never happened. We went to test the strength of the enemy and we didn't succeed. That was what I said. I can't tell lies about what I know.

  • You've also denied that the men who fought against RUF soldiers in Kailahun during the Top 20, Top 40 and Top Final were NPFL soldiers based in Kailahun at the time. You've denied that, haven't you?

  • I never saw it. I said I don't know. If I saw them based there I would have said I saw them. But I went there and did not see them. Should I say yes, they were there? I never saw them so I can't say yes. You see something before you say it. I'm not denying it but I never saw it, so I said I don't know.

  • You have denied also before this Court that the RUF never had more than 20 boxes of ammunition, AK rounds, for the December 1998 attack on Kono. You've denied that, haven't you?

  • Madam President, I object to that question. The witness never said that separate and apart from what he alleges Abu Keita brought, 20 boxes of AK rounds and five rockets, that the RUF had no other source of ammunition. I mean, the question as posed is: "You have denied also before this Court that the RUF never had more than 20 boxes of ammunition, AK rounds, for the December 1998 attack on Kono?" His evidence is not that that was all and the only amount of ammunition or rounds they had.

  • Besides, Mr Bangura, you must watch grammar. You're actually stating the opposite of what the witness has said. When you use the word "deny", you must always state the factual situation. It's not a double negative here. When you use a double negative, it's the exact opposite of what you are saying. So please do rephrase your question.

  • You deny that the RUF had supplies of ammunition in December 1998 brought by Sam Bockarie. You denied that, haven't you?

  • I'm not denying it. I never saw it. I never saw Sam Bockarie bringing ammunition from Burkina Faso. I saw Sam Bockarie showing us ammunition that was brought by Abu Keita. That's what I know about. If you tell me that the ammunition Abu Keita brought was more than the 20 boxes that I spoke about, then you can tell me that. But I know about 20 boxes.

  • Mr Witness, the reason why you deny these facts is that you had no knowledge about some of the matters that you have testified to before this Court. You've merely been guessing. Isn't that the case?

  • That's not the case. That's what you are saying. But that's not the case. You asked me some questions and I answered you rightfully. What I knew about I said, yes, it happened. Yes, it happened. So if you're asking me for something that I do not know, you want me to say it happened just to satisfy you? Is that what you want me to do? If I don't know I'll tell you I don't know.

  • Your Honours, that will be all for the witness.

  • Thank you. Mr Anyah, any re-examination?

  • Yes, I do, Madam President. Thank you.

  • Good morning, Mr George.

  • Good morning, Mr Anyah.

  • Well, it is afternoon.

  • Good afternoon.

  • Madam President, I did not indicate when this session started that there's been a change of representation at the Defence bar. We've been joined by Ms Logan Hambrick:

  • Mr George, a couple of questions about your wife, and I don't want you to mention her name. You told us during cross-examination that you met your wife when you were assigned at Ngolahun Vaama, yes?

  • Now, when you met your wife, was she a civilian or was she at that time a member of the RUF?

  • When I entered Ngolahun Vaama, I met her as wives. She had been trained as wives in Ngolahun Vaama.

  • Did you say wives or did you say WACs? What did you say? She had been trained --

  • I'm talking about someone who had been trained. She had already been trained when I met her in Ngolahun Vaama. She had been trained. Sorry about the name. She had been trained when I met her. She was not a civilian based in the zoebush. She was in the zoebush where the soldiers were when I met her. We were all residing. She used to take part in formations. She was taking part in all other activities.

  • She had been trained in what? Trained as what? A fighter? Trained as a house help? Trained as a wife? Trained as what?

  • She was trained to become RUF wives. I told you that we had a WACs commander by the name of Memunatu Sesay. She had her own unit for cooking in the combat camp. Sometimes in the ambush they cook food and they take that food for people. They were not there fighting, but they had other things to do.

  • This name you mentioned, WACs, what is a WACs commander?

  • The WACs commander means the person who was in charge of all the women - who was in charge of all the women. For instance, in the battalion headquarters, there was some WACs in the battalion headquarters. The WACs commander was responsible to take - send these WACs --

  • Your Honour, can he kindly repeat his answer slowly.

  • Mr Witness, you are running again.

  • Mr George, just slow down a bit. You were saying that the WACs commander was responsible to send who to where and for what?

  • She was responsible for sending them on assignment. If there were five WACs, Company A1, she was responsible for sending five WACs to Company A. For what purpose? Do the cooking for the men in the ambush. Just like that, that was how they were distributing the WACs. Even Pa Sankoh had WACs in Zogoda with him. Some of them were doing typing and others were involved in different unit.

  • Mr George, a couple of questions flowing from this. We're getting to the issue of your wife and we will continue with it, but I need some clarification about this WACs business. This WACs, do you know how to spell it? Is it W-A-X or is it W-A-C-S?

  • WACs. WACs. That's the pronunciation, WACs. They are WACs. Those who are trained.

  • Do you know what the acronym WAC stands for? Do you know what the W stands for, for example?

  • The WACs? I don't know what that letter stands for, but they were a women unit - a women's unit.

  • Yes.

  • Mr Anyah, for the record, the record at page 88, my line 82 says - shows the witness as having said: "She was trained to become RUF wives." I don't think the witness said RUF wives.

  • Let me finish. I think the witness said RUF WACs.

  • Mr George, your wife was trained to become an RUF what? Wife or WACs?

  • WACs. She was trained to become a WACs. RUF WACs, not wife. WACs.

  • Thank you. The lady's name you mentioned, Memunatu Sesay, what nationality is she?

  • She is a Sierra Leonean. A Temne by tribe.

  • This Memunatu Sesay, did you know her before you entered Sierra Leone? That is, did you know her when you were still in Liberia?

  • I knew her during the normal days when she was in Liberia attending before she joined the RUF, Memunatu Sesay. I knew her during the normal days in Gbarnga.

  • Was she with you at Camp Naama when you were there?

  • Yes, she was with us in Naama. She was the WACs commander in Naama.

  • Is it the case that there was a WACs unit when you were in Crab Hole in Camp Naama?

  • We had few WACs. They were not up to a platoon because a platoon makes a unit, but we had few of them. She was their commander. And later when we entered Sierra Leone, they made her overall WACs commander.

  • What is the size of a platoon? That is, how many persons make up a platoon?

  • The size of a platoon is 62. 62 men make a platoon.

  • And when you say they were not up to a platoon, you are referring to the WACs not being up to a platoon. Short of 62, approximately how many members did the WACs unit at Crab Hole have?

  • If you can give me chance to call the WACs, some of the WACs that were on the base, if I'm not mistaken their names, let me call a few, maybe you will get the number. But I can try to call few of their names so you can get the number and the one that remains would know, because for long I had known some of their names, most of them.

  • Well, we don't want to take up too much time, but give us a few names that you recall.

  • Memunatu Sesay, Nyepan Weawea, Florence Kallon.

  • [Microphone not activated] continue, please.

  • Memunatu Sesay, Nyepan Weawea, Florence Kallon, Fatou Gbembo, Fatou Kallon, Krio Mammy, Musu Kallon, Monica Pearson.

  • Your Honour, can he kindly repeat this last name.

  • What is the name after Monica Pearson?

  • That's sufficient, Mr George. If the number did not rise up to 62, can you give us an approximate number of how many persons made up that unit at Crab Hole?

  • Please say that again.

  • Were the members of the WACs unit at Crab Hole up to 30, for example? Did they reach 30 in number?

  • If I'm not mistaken, they would be above 15. They would be above 15.

  • Thank you, Mr George.

    Madam President, some spellings. Florence Kallon, that should be straightforward. Musu Kallon, Musu will be M-U-S-U and Kallon, the regular spelling. This person Kuma I would spell phonetically, K-U-M-A. Memunatu Sesay, we have the spelling of Memunatu on the record from other parts of the trial and I see it's spelt correctly. There was the name Nyepan Weawea. Nyepan phonetically I would spell N-E-P-A-N; Weawea, W-E-A-W-E-A. Fatou Gbembo is on the record. Krio Mammy I would spell K-R-I-O, M-A-M-I-E. I think those are the spellings:

  • Mr George, this lady, Memunatu Sesay, was she a WACs commander in the vicinity of Ngolahun Vaama when you met your wife?

  • No, she was not a WACs commander in Ngolahun Vaama. She was in Kailahun. They passed through Kailahun. She went to Kailahun and she was there as the WACs commander. Florence Kallon was the WACs commander for us in Zimmi.

  • Fair enough. I'm focusing now on your time at Ngolahun Vaama when you met your wife. It is the case that there was a WACs unit there when you met your wife, true?

  • Yes, they had a WACs unit there.

  • Besides cooking food for the fighters, besides activities like typing, because I remember you saying members of the WACs unit would type, were they used as fighters for the RUF, members of that unit?

  • They were not used to fight. When men go to the front line, they bring food and they pound the rice. They pound rice and cook.

  • When you met your wife, was she under the age of 17, Mr George?

  • She was above 17. I said 18 to 19 years old. She was not a small woman that I'm talking about.

  • When you approached her to become your wife and when she did become your wife, was that voluntarily on her part? That is, did she agree out of her own free will? Did she choose to join you to become your wife?

  • She was willing and before I approached her I consulted one of my friends called Bai Bureh. I consulted Short Bai Bureh. I said I have seen one girl by the name of --

  • Your Honours, he has just called the name of the wife.

  • The name has already been called, so there is no problem.

  • No, we called it in private session where nobody else would hear.

  • If we call it, there will be no problem.

  • I don't think that the interpreter put it on the record in any event. So please continue.

  • Mr George, just remember not to call your wife's name, okay? Now, I was asking you whether her decision to become your wife was free and voluntary, whether she agreed to it, and you were telling us about having sought consultation with Short Bai Bureh before you you approached her to become your wife. Can you continue from there. What did you consult Mr Bai Bureh about?

  • I saw this lady and I wanted her. I asked her and she told me she didn't have anybody, so I consulted my friends and my friends talked to her and she agreed. She was not forced. In my life in the RUF I never forced any woman. Not because I am handsome. I am an intelligent human being. I don't do that. It's against RUF Rules. When you rape, you have the consequences, so I didn't do that.

    She agreed and we fell in love. We managed our lives and God gave us a child and we have that child between us. She was not forced. If she had been forced I don't think she was going to spend that much time with me. She had the right to report me to any big man if I had forced her. She had the right to make her own decision.

  • Would there have been any consequence or penalties to this woman if she had refused to become your wife?

  • There would be no punishment against her because there were lots of women. She was not the only women among us. If she had said no I would have found another choice that I liked. There were many. There were women on the base - I mean on the ground. But I saw her and I liked her and she liked me and we fell in love.

  • Before you asked her to become your wife, did you have the authority, that is the power, to make her become your wife regardless of what answer she was going to give you?

  • I never had that power. She had her own thoughts. She had the right to say no. When you say no - if she had said no I wouldn't have forced her. And if I did, Foday Sankoh would have taken the rank that they had given me. I would have been demoted. I never had any right to force her to say, "Since I have said to you that I love you, you should love me." I never did that in my life.

  • Now, you told us you met her in 1994 in Ngolahun Vaama and you said the two of you remained married, so to speak, until 2003 when she left. Is that a fair summary of what you said in that regard?

  • What I said is true. She was with me throughout. Throughout the struggle that we went through she was with me. When I was in Woama she was with me. When we went to town - even in Bo she was with me. Morris Kallon knows. We were all staying in Bo. She was not forced. She used to cook for Morris Kallon before. Issa knows her very well. I never forced her.

  • Yes, you've anticipated some of my questions which is that period of time, almost nine years, 1994 through 2003, did you at any point in time force the person that was your wife to remain with you, to stay as your wife during that nine-year period of time?

  • No, I never forced anyone. If I had forced her at the time that the brother brought that letter that the parents wanted to see her, if I was someone who forces people I would have said she wouldn't go anywhere. I could have said she wouldn't go anywhere. But I thought that since that was the case I didn't have money to go with her, she can go. She can go with the children. You see? I released her easily and she went. If I wanted to force her I would have told her, "You're not stepping out. You're not going anywhere." But I used my second thoughts and said, "Okay, your brother is here and the parents want to see you for the ceremony. You can go with your brother", and I did.

  • You told us of a time period when you were assigned near Tongo under Colonel Akim and you asked for leave to go back to Kono to see your family. Do you recall telling us about that?

  • Yes.

  • So there was a time when you and your wife were not together during your time with the RUF?

  • When I asked Akim for the pass, it was that particular woman that I wanted to go and see in Kono. It was that particular woman that I went to in Kono.

  • [Microphone not activated] Mr George, I understand how it is you may have misunderstood my question. When I said you and your wife were not together, I'm not saying the two of you were no longer husband and wife. I'm saying there was a distance between the two of you at some point. That is, at one point you were in Tongo?

  • And she was in Kono, yes?

  • Yes. She was in Kono whilst I was in Tongo.

  • And when she was in Kono, she was in Kono with the children the two of you had together, the two children, yes?

  • Yes, she had my girl child. The girl child is the first child. 2002, April we had the boy child.

  • So when you were in Tongo, this woman, your wife, could have left you if she wanted. She could have gone somewhere from Kono and you would not have been able to stop her, yes?

  • No, I would not stop her. At that time we were in the town there were many women all over. If she had said she didn't want me I wouldn't have stopped her. I would have found another women that liked me and she wouldn't have had problems with me. When a woman says she does not want the person, they won't force you. You go and look for a man that you want and the man will go and look for a woman that he wanted. It was just like that.

  • The fact that she remained with you until you left Tongo and returned to Kono, was that her choice to stay with you, Mr George?

  • It was her choice to stay with me. She was not forced. She knew how I had been used to taking care of her. I was not rough with her. I cared for her. She knows that. If I didn't care for her there was no reason for her to stay with me for all that period. I used to care for her.

  • You said you were still in telephone contact with your wife. Is that contact regular? That is, from time to time but consistent?

  • Not all the time. Like, when I left Liberia for how many months now I am here there is no communication between us. But when I am in Liberia I communicate with her.

  • Do you provide any kind of financial support to either your former wife or your children in Sierra Leone?

  • No, I can't lie to you. I never sent money to her, but when I ask her she tells me the children are getting on fine and --

  • Your Honour, can he kindly repeat his answer slowly.

  • Mr George, we were following you and then we couldn't keep up. You said you would not tell us a lie, that you did not send money to her, but when you asked she tells you that the children are getting on fine and that's where we couldn't keep up. Please continue from there.

  • I said each time I ask her about the children she will tell me the children are fine. And up to now my father is after me saying that he wants to see the children. But I don't have the chance now. But when I have money it is not my wish to be in Liberia whilst my children are being taken care of by somebody else in a different place. No, they are supposed to be used to me. They are my children. They should get used to my ways, not somebody else's ways.

  • When she asked to leave you in 2003 or when the time came when she left you did you attempt to force her not to leave?

  • No. I never thought of that even. If I'm lying, what I'm looking for under the sun let me never get it. I never thought of that. They brought the letter and they told me where she was going and I said, "Yes, you can go with the children." If I never wanted her to go I would have told her, "You can go and leave the children." But I didn't do that. You should know now I allowed her to take the children. That means I wanted her to go.

  • Thank you, Mr George. On Monday this week, the 26th, you were asked some questions about how the troops moved from Crab Hole toward Bo Waterside. In particular, you were asked questions about how your 2nd Battalion moved from Crab Hole to Bo Waterside. Do you remember a question arose about the type of truck that was used to transport you and others to the Gola Forest or thereabouts? You remember telling us it was a four-tyred truck, yes?

  • Yes, I can remember. I said four-tyred truck, Toyota four-tyred truck. I can still remember my statement.

  • Then an issue arose about the feasibility or possibility that one truck would carry the number of people that went. How was it that all of you were able to fit in the truck, Mr George?

  • Every one of us because it's not the 381 that went into the truck. The 381 was divided into two. Our own truck, the manpower, we all fit - we all were able to fit into that truck. We got to Fassama safely. We passed Fassama. We left the truck and started our journey. We fitted in the truck. We never made two trips. We went together. We did not have any pick-up with us. We only had that truck, that one truck that carried us.

  • Can you describe this truck. That is, the front part and the back part, describe it for us?

  • The truck had a bucket. I said a Toyota truck. It had a long bucket. We were not sitting down in the truck. We were standing and some people were hanging on it. Some people - you know the way commandos sit, some people hang on the sides and it carried us safely. They didn't make two trips.

  • Thank you, Mr George. There is something that appears on the record that I thought I heard you say something different than what is here and I want to ask you about that. This is the transcript from Monday, 26 April, the relevant page being page 39956. I will start at line 13. Mr George, there's a part of this response that we have on the record that I want clarification about. The question was asked at line 13:

    "Q. And you have told this Court that your journey was a

    very long one. And how long was it before you got to the

    point of disembarkation? How long were you on the truck

    before you disembarked?

    A. Somewhere before Grand Cape Mount."

    Listen carefully to what the record said you answered:

    "I told this Court that we passed through Fassama and after passing through Fassama we got to the Belle Forest - I mean the Gola Forest. That was what I said. And then we alighted from the truck and the truck went back and we starred walking on the road."

    That's the part I found confusing. The part that said we "starred walking on the road". Did you say you started walking on the road or did you say you were walking by line? What did you say to this Court when you gave that response?

  • I do not see where the second aspect of counsel's question comes in here.

  • Mr Anyah, what do you mean by walking by line?

  • I withdraw that part. Let me ask the witness to just tell us what he said.

  • When you alighted from the truck, what kind of surface did you walk on? Was it a road? Was it grass? What did you walk on, Mr George?

  • I do not see any difficulty in the witness's answer to warrant the question - particular question which counsel is asking now. I think the testimony is very clear about where they were walking. Barring the word which does not seem I believe clear to counsel --

  • -- [indiscernible] walking on the road.

  • Mr Anyah, I don't know what the issue is.

  • There is a difference between troops walking openly on the road when they are trying to be circumspect versus walking in the forest.

  • I don't know what the issue is here. Is it with the word "starred"?

  • That is problematic, but I wish to pursue and I believe I'm entitled to have the witness explain where they walked after they got out of this truck.

  • Only if there is some ambiguity in the answer given by the witness, and from my reading of this testimony, there is no ambiguity. If counsel points out the word that does not seem to make sense and wishes clarification of that word, I understand that and I accept. But the context, the sentence over all does not seem to have any ambiguity, especially as regards the movement and the - mode of movement.

  • Madam President, you remember this is the same case where we had the phrase "business leader", we had the phrase "business leader" put to the witness in connection with Mammy Iye, Mammy Kallon, and the witness said he said "business lady".

  • That is why, Mr Anyah, I asked you what the issue is. Is the issue with the word "starred walking"?

  • No. The issue is, when this witness spoke, those of us on the Defence bar heard the witness say something different than what is on the record, just like when he spoke before and he referred to Mammy Iye as a business lady and the record now says she was a business leader.

  • Did you hear him say that he was walking on a different surface?

  • Than what is written here?

  • Yes. And that's why I'm asking him these questions.

  • Why didn't you bring it up when the issue arose? Because it's a matter of an incorrect record, if that's what you are saying, that you heard something different. Why didn't you rise up and say, "We heard this and the record says - shows something else"? It's hardly a matter for re-examination.

  • Well, one of the purposes of re-examination is to clarify things that --

  • Okay. Let's see how far he goes, but do not ask in a leading manner.

  • I want to understand what question you are going to ask. Mr Bangura, hold your horses, please. Mr Anyah, please ask the question. I want to hear.

  • Mr George, when you and the others got to the Gola Forest and you alighted from the truck, on what did you walk when you stepped out from the truck?

  • Your Honour, I object to the question.

  • No, Mr Bangura, please. I want to hear what the witness says.

  • When we alighted from the truck, I said we were walking on the road. We walked on the road. We were walking on the road.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness.

  • Very well. Thank you, Mr Witness. You were asked a question or series of questions in cross-examination regarding which of the two groups at Crab Hole left first. Was it the 1st Battalion or your 2nd Battalion? Do you remember being asked those questions?

  • Now, did you know about the precise time of departure from Crab Hole of the 1st Battalion, the battalion that went towards the Kailahun axis?

  • No. We left them on the base. We moved ahead. We left them on the base, so I can't tell the hour they left or when they left. But we went ahead. We left them on the base. After Foday Sankoh had escorted us, he came back to them. At that time we had gone already, so I don't know the hour they left or the day they left, no.

  • Do you know when it was that the 1st Battalion that went towards Kailahun crossed into Sierra Leone?

  • No. Because from where we were to Kailahun, it's a distance, and at that time we never had a communication set. We had just started entering, so I can't tell you how they entered.

  • Do you know whether those who went towards Kailahun received any kind of assistance from NPFL members to make their way into Sierra Leone?

  • No, I don't know.

  • Thank you, Mr George. A number of questions were asked to you about Black Kadaffa, and you recall what you said about your own Black Kadaffa experience, the group of persons with whom you said you formed Black Kadaffa. Now, this person, King Perry, was he part of the group you called Black Kadaffa when you testified in examination-in-chief, your own group that was referred to as Black Kadaffa?

  • My own group, the Black Kadaffa, King Perry was not part of that group. I think you can remember King Perry's statement. He said he was a recruit on the base. When Foday Sankoh took them, they were 12 in number in the signal corps. He was not part of that group. All of us retreated together to Tiene, but he was not part of that group when we joined our Black Kadaffa in Pujehun with Tonkara. I heard him talking about Kakata and our own Black Kadaffa never took part in Kakata. We were in Pujehun, Malema engaging, so I don't know where he joined his own Black Kadaffa. But my own Black Kadaffa that I joined with Tonkara, we were based in Sierra Leone.

  • Yes, you remember very well King Perry's evidence. Let's consider it in a little bit more detail. You mentioned Kakata and you've clarified that your group was not in the vicinity of Kakata. How about this place called Senge? You remember King Perry said that there was a meeting with Charles Taylor, General Devon and General Pepper or somebody called Pepper in Senge. This is at page 3032 from the transcript of 4 February 2008. Mr George, did your group, the Black Kadaffa, go to the vicinity of Senge as you made your way from Liberia back to into Sierra Leone?

  • No. When we crossed from Zimmi to Tiene, I stopped at Tiene. I never went beyond Tiene to go to Senge. I never passed that far. We stopped at Tiene and we regrouped ourselves again.

  • You remember King Perry said that he was in Liberia in relation to Black Kadaffa from 1991 to 1992. This is at page 3034 from the transcript of 4 February 2008. Mr George, when - that is, what year and month did your group the Black Kadaffa move from Tiene back into Sierra Leone?

  • When we crossed in '92, we didn't even spend a month. I can't even talk about a week because of the maltreatment. In fact, we were accused that we were heading ULIMO, that we were bringing ULIMO into Liberia by the NPFL soldiers. What we did was that we mobilised ourselves, our armed group, and we passed through York island and joined Tonkara in Sulima. Whether they formed Black Kadaffa in Liberia that were fighting, I do not know about that. Whether King Perry and others formed Black Kadaffa in Kakata, I don't know because I never reached Kakata. I only stopped in Tiene. I did not get to Senge.

  • Now, what I'm focusing at, Mr George, is the time period when you and your group retreated into Liberia and then back into Sierra Leone. Was it the late, middle or early part of 1992?

  • It was - I really can't remember, but we never crossed twice. It was the first crossing from Sierra Leone. Then we came to Tiene, then from Tiene we went back. But we never crossed back from Sierra Leone to come to Liberia. We only crossed from Sierra Leone to Tiene, and from there we crossed back into Sierra Leone. We never crossed back again, Tonkara and others and I. From there I found my way into Kailahun.

  • Madam President, I misspoke. I gave the Court inaccurate information about the page a few minutes ago. I said page 3034. This is King Perry's evidence or Perry Kamara's evidence. That was in relation to the period of time Perry Kamara said he was in Liberia. It is actually the previous page, page 3033, and Perry Kamara made that assertion at lines 24 to 25 that he was in Liberia from 1991 to 1992.

  • Now, Mr George, you were read Mr Taylor's evidence about Black Kadaffa and you heard mention of names like Oliver Varney, Yegbeh Degbon, Anthony Mekunagbe. Were any of those persons members of the Black Kadaffa that you know?

  • My own Black Kadaffa, none of them was a member of a Black Kadaffa. My Black Kadaffa never spent a month in Liberia. Maybe it's the Black Kadaffa in which King Perry and others were.

  • Is it possible in your opinion, Mr George, that there were other units called Black Kadaffa in the early years of the RUF war?

  • Please repeat your question.

  • Yes. If King Perry is speaking about the unit called Black Kadaffa, and if Charles Taylor speaks about another unit called Black Kadaffa, and you say you were part of a unit called Black Kadaffa, is it possible that at different times during the beginning part of the war more than one unit in the RUF had the name Black Kadaffa?

  • We only had one Black Kadaffa in the RUF.

  • Do you know whether the NPFL had a unit called Black Kadaffa?

  • Well, if they had a unit called the Black Kadaffa I can't tell, because I wasn't in Liberia. I was fighting in Sierra Leone. If they are talking about having a Black Kadaffa in Liberia, I can't talk about a Black Kadaffa that was in Liberia. I don't know much about that Black Kadaffa. Because one of the commanders - they called one commander's name by the name of Pele Boy. We only had one Black Kadaffa, so I have no reason to say yes or this or that. I don't know about that other Black Kadaffa. I only know about the Black Kadaffa that was controlled by Tonkara.

  • Thank you, Mr George. A few minutes ago you were asked questions about SBUs, the use of small boys by the RUF, and you remember telling us that when you were brigade commander in Kono, you had around yourself small children?

  • Yes, I had small children with me.

  • And you also had small children with you when you were chief security officer in Kailahun Town?

  • In either place, Kono or Kailahun Town, did you use the small children that were with you to engage in fighting, combat, for the RUF?

  • No. For instance, in Kailahun when I got there there was no fighting. There was no fighting in Kailahun. How would I use the children to fight? And before that I had men. I had manpower that were assigned to me for fighting. I used them so. I can't be brave to send small children to the front line to go and fight. Never did I send small children to the front line to fight.

  • I see the time, Madam President.

  • Yes, Mr Anyah, we will take the luncheon break and reconvene at 2.30.

  • [Lunch break taken at 1.30 p.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 2.32 p.m.]

  • Thank you, Madam President:

  • Good afternoon, Mr George.

  • Good afternoon, Mr Anyah.

  • Now, before the luncheon adjournment we were speaking about the small children you had in your company when you were a brigade commander in Kono as well as when you were chief security officer in Kailahun. Do you recall that, Mr George?

  • Yes.

  • Now, with respect to either location and with respect to these children, when you were in either Kono or Kailahun did you send these small children on reconnaissance operations, that is, to go and scout out where the enemy was?

  • No, I never used any of those children to take part in attacks or even to go and spy where the enemies were. No, they were only with me in my compound where I was living.

  • Did you use any of these small children to transport materials or goods that were looted from others by the RUF?

  • No, at that time I had a car. I did not use small soldiers to carry my material or my goods or ammunition. I had car with which I was moving up and down.

  • Did you use any of these small children to carry arms or ammunition to or from the front lines?

  • I said no. I never used any of mine to carry arms or ammunition to the front line where I was in Kailahun. Especially there, there was no war going on, so they were just with me in the compound.

  • When you were in Kono as brigade commander, it is the case that you were there with your wife and children, yes?

  • Were the children in your compound or those that you were taking care of that were not your blood children, were they treated differently than you treated your own children?

  • Every one of them was treated equally, because we ate the same food Wuyata cooked for us to eat. We all ate the same food. They did not eat different food or me eat different food.

  • Your Honours, could the witness be asked to slow down.

  • Mr Witness, you were explaining a little too fast. You said, "We all ate the same food," and then you said something else after that. What did you say, slowly.

  • May I add that I think the wife of the witness has been named again.

  • Please, I think it's okay about the cook, it doesn't matter, but please repeat what you said when you said. When you said, "We all ate the same food", and then you said something else we didn't get.