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

  • Mr Sesay, yesterday afternoon when we adjourned we just concluded looking at a document dated 24 June 1998 addressed to the President of the Republic of Liberia, Dr Charles G Taylor, which was sent through the chief of protocol, Mr Alhaji Musa Cisse; do you recall that?

  • Yes, I recall.

  • Your Honours, could the witness's mic be raised up a little?

  • Now, Mr Sesay, in the context of that letter, I'd like you to help me with the following matter. To your knowledge --

  • Mr Griffiths, could you remind us exactly what exhibit that was? We looked at several letters yesterday.

  • I believe it's P-66.

  • Now, Mr Sesay, in the context of that letter, could you help me with the following: As far as you're aware, when was the first contact between Sam Bockarie and Charles Taylor?

  • The time that I can recall is that before Sam Bockarie left, he told everybody in Kailahun. It was in September 1998.

  • And help us: How did that come about?

  • Well, I understood from Sam Bockarie when he came to Pendembu he told me and other people - that is the time he came to establish the brigade structure. So we had a meeting and he told me that he had been sending Major Mulbah - Major Augustine Mulbah, he was a vanguard, he had been sending him to Varmuyan Sherif so that Varmuyan Sherif could make a contact in - for him, Sam Bockarie, to meet with Mr Taylor, he said, but that did not work.

  • So he had attempted - he had sent Major Augustine Mulbah to try and contact Varmuyan Sherif to arrange a meeting with Charles Taylor; is that right?

  • Why Varmuyan Sherif?

  • Well, Varmuyan Sherif had once become - had been Sam Bockarie's friend since late 1996 to 1997.

  • And did Varmuyan Sherif organise such a meeting with Charles Taylor?

  • No, he did not organise it. That was why --

  • That was why Sam Bockarie decided to send Eddie Kanneh, former SOS for the Eastern Region for the AFRC. He sent him to Conakry to meet the Liberian ambassador.

  • What was the name of the Liberian ambassador?

  • Well, I can only recall the last name: Wantee.

  • Now, help us: First of all, when was it that Bockarie tried to get Varmuyan Sherif to arrange a meeting with Charles Taylor?

  • Well, what I understood from Bockarie was that it was from May that he had been sending Pa Mulbah to meet Varmuyan Sherif. He sent him in May, and he also sent him in June.

  • And why was Bockarie wanting to meet with Charles Taylor?

  • Well, one, Bockarie was thinking that if somebody wanted to see Mr Taylor regarding Abidjan Accord, because the RUF had been pressured from the Guineans, the ECOMOG and the Kamajors, and that was the situation that the RUF was facing.

  • That does not answer the question.

  • Now, when did Sam Bockarie send Eddie Kanneh to meet with the Liberian ambassador in Guinea?

  • That was in August 1998.

  • And why did Sam Bockarie send Eddie Kanneh to meet with the Liberian ambassador in Guinea?

  • Because Bockarie had been sending Pa Mulbah and he did not get any positive - when he did not get positive result from Varmuyan Sherif, that's when he decided to send Eddie Kanneh, who was influential in Guinea, to meet the Liberian ambassador in Conakry.

  • When you say that Eddie Kanneh was influential in Guinea, what do you mean?

  • Well, Eddie Kanneh, one, he spoke very good French, and even during intervention, he was in Freetown. He went through Guinea - he went through Guinea into Foya and came to Buedu to join Sam Bockarie there, and he had friends in Guinea.

  • Now, did Eddie Kanneh go to Guinea and meet with the Liberian ambassador?

  • Yes, Eddie went to Conakry and met with the Liberian ambassador.

  • And what was the outcome of that meeting?

  • Well, what I understood, after Eddie had returned he informed Bockarie that he had taken the letter that Bockarie had sent to the ambassador, and the ambassador said that Eddie should go there again because the ambassador said he will try to inform the government in Monrovia.

  • And did Eddie Kanneh go back again?

  • Yes, Eddie came back to Buedu.

  • And what happened thereafter?

  • So in September 1998 Sam Bockarie came to Pendembu and informed me and the other officers who were in Pendembu that he had got a message that General Dopoe Menkarzon had come to Foya Tinkia at the border with the message that Sam Bockarie was to go and meet him for him to be taken to Mr Taylor in Monrovia.

  • That was General Dopoe Menkarzon. I see that it's missing from the transcript at line 17. That spelling is on the record. The spelling, as I recall it, is D-O-P-O-E M-E-N-K-A-R-Z-O-N.

    When did General Dopoe Menkarzon come to the border?

  • It was in September 1998.

  • Now, General Dopoe Menkarzon, you have mentioned that name before, haven't you, Mr Sesay?

  • And remind us, in what context was it that you had encountered that or heard of that general before this?

  • Well, that general, he was the one who came to withdraw the NPFL fighters in 1992 from Sierra Leone, Kailahun District.

  • Okay. Now, are you sure that it was General Dopoe Menkarzon who came to the border at that stage in September 1998?

  • Yes. When Bockarie came to Pendembu, that was the name he told us that it was the man who came to collect him to go to Monrovia.

  • And did Bockarie go with General Dopoe Menkarzon to Monrovia?

  • Yes, Bockarie went.

  • Now, I want to be sure about this. It's a matter of some importance. Was it not Varmuyan Sherif who came to collect Sam Bockarie to take him to see President Taylor?

  • No, it was General Dopoe Menkarzon. Because Sam Bockarie came and he said it to us, and everybody knew about that in Kailahun because that was not any hidden thing.

  • And can you help us as to what stage - what part of September 1998, this occurred? Was it the beginning, the middle or the end?

  • I think it was around the middle of September.

  • And as far as you recall, Mr Sesay, how long was Sam Bockarie away on that occasion?

  • Well, Sam Bockarie spent between three to four days, and he sent a message that he had returned to Buedu.

  • Did Sam Bockarie return to Monrovia thereafter?

  • Yes, in October he went back to Monrovia in 1998.

  • Why did he go back in October 1998?

  • Well, he said he was invited.

  • And how long was he away on this occasion?

  • At this time he was in Monrovia for up to a week, and he returned.

  • Yesterday when we were discussing satellite phones, you mentioned Bockarie returning with - from Monrovia with a satellite phone. When was it that he returned to Monrovia with a satellite phone?

  • It was the second visit that he made in October, when he was returning he brought a satellite phone with him.

  • Now, the two visits you've described, Mr Sesay, in September and again in October, did Bockarie travel to Monrovia by himself or did any other member of the RUF travel with him?

  • He did not travel alone. At times he will go with CO Sellay or CO Mulbah or Eddie Kanneh. He did not go there alone. But these were the people he used to travel with. At times it would be Rashid Sandy, at times he would go with Lawrence Womandia.

  • Sorry, could the witness repeat the first two names that he mentioned? I think both of them were Theo something.

  • I said Major Mulbah and CO Sellay.

  • CO Sellay, how do you spell Sellay?

  • I think it's S-E-A-L-L-Y.

  • After that trip in October did Bockarie make any further trips to Monrovia in 1998?

  • Yes. He went to Monrovia in 1998.

  • After the trip in October, did he make any further trips?

  • Yes. I said he went to Monrovia in December, late November 1998.

  • With whom did he travel on this occasion?

  • On this trip, because this time he called me from Pendembu to be in Buedu, myself and Mike Lamin. So he travelled with late SYB Rogers, War Council chairman, Eddie Kanneh, Lawrence Womandia, Rashid Sandy, Junior Vandi and late Shabado. All of them travelled together.

  • And on this occasion, did Bockarie and those individuals only travel to Monrovia?

  • No. They passed through Monrovia.

  • They went to Burkina Faso, and from there the three of them went to Libya, Bockarie - four of them went to Libya; Bockarie, Ibrahim Bah, late SYB and Eddie Kanneh.

  • Where had they met up with Ibrahim Bah?

  • They met Ibrahim Bah in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

  • Why did they travel to Burkina Faso?

  • Well, at that time, we understood that the President of Burkina Faso was the OA chairman, so it was with regards that proposed - regarding the revisiting of the Abidjan Accord.

  • And why did they then go to Libya?

  • Well, when they got to Burkina Faso, Ibrahim Bah discussed with Sam Bockarie that they were to go and see Gaddafi for assistance for the RUF.

  • How long did they spend in Libya?

  • Well, I cannot tell the exact number of days that they spent in Libya but when - from the time they left Sierra Leone they spent two weeks away from Sierra Leone and they returned.

  • Did Bockarie and others meet with Gaddafi in Libya?

  • Yes and I understood that it was - Sam Bockarie said it was himself and SYB Rogers who were able to see the Libyan leader.

  • And did the Libyan leader provide them with assistance?

  • Yes. They gave Bockarie money.

  • Can you help us as to how much money was provided by the Libyan leader to Bockarie?

  • Well, I think the money that was given to Bockarie was about $50,000.

  • Did Bockarie return to Sierra Leone with that money?

  • Well, when Bockarie returned he did not bring all of the money because when he came - he informed us in Buedu, because when he came we had a meeting at Waterworks and he told us he had used some of the money, he bought ammunition at Lofa and he used some other to buy medicine and he brought the medicine and the ammunition.

  • So he used some of the money to buy - well, let's take things in stages. By what route did Bockarie return to Sierra Leone?

  • It was the same route that he had used to go, through Lofa County. From Monrovia, Kakata, Gbarnga. From Gbarnga he came to Zorzor, from Zorzor to Voinjama and Kolahun, Foya and he crossed the border through Foya Tinkia to Buedu.

  • I'm grateful for that, Mr Sesay. And it's my fault. After Libya, where did Bockarie go?

  • From Libya, he came back to Burkina Faso.

  • Because some of the men had been left there.

  • And from Burkina Faso, to where did he go?

  • They came to Monrovia.

  • And then you tell us he purchased ammunition and medicine in Lofa and then returned to Sierra Leone. Is that right?

  • He bought the medicines in Monrovia and he bought the ammunition at Lofa, according to what he told us. That's what I can recall.

  • From whom did he buy the ammunition in Lofa?

  • Well, he said he bought the ammunition from the battalion commander - some from the battalion commander and the other one from Benjamin Yeaten.

  • And what was the nature of those --

  • Excuse me, the battalion commander of where? Or which battalion - commander of which organisation?

  • I was coming to that:

  • The battalion commander of where, Mr Sesay?

  • The battalion commander at Lofa for AFL, the Liberian army.

  • I don't recall the person's name because the first man who was there was replaced towards the end of the year.

  • And he also bought some, you say, from Benjamin Yeaten. Is that right?

  • Yes, that's what I said.

  • And what was the nature of these deals with these two individuals?

  • Well, I wasn't with Bockarie at that time, but when he returned that's what he told us, that he bought the ammunition from Lofa. He said he bought from the battalion commander in Voinjama and when he came he got some other ammunition in Kolahun.

  • Your Honours, can the witness repeat this part of his answer.

  • Could you repeat that answer, please, Mr Sesay?

  • I said he said he bought some of the ammunition from the battalion commander in Voinjama and when he came he got some other ammunition from Benjamin Yeaten in Kolahun that he bought.

  • And did Bockarie say whether or not these purchases were with the knowledge and permission of Charles Taylor?

  • No. Bockarie did not tell me that.

  • I don't understand that answer, Mr Sesay. Were those purchases made with the permission of Charles Taylor?

  • I said Bockarie did not tell me that. The answer is no, Bockarie did not tell me that Mr Taylor knew about the purchase of those ammunition or the sale.

  • And what was the quantity of ammunition purchased by Bockarie from these two individuals?

  • You mean the quantity of the ammunition? Well, the AK rounds were up to 40 boxes and the G3 rounds, I think it was about 15 boxes and the HMG rounds were about 10 boxes.

  • And how was this ammunition transported to Sierra Leone?

  • They were in a truck.

  • How big was this truck?

  • It was a civilian truck, a ten-wheel truck.

  • And when did this ammunition arrive in Sierra Leone?

  • The very day that Sam Bockarie arrived in Buedu.

  • Can you give us an idea as to when - well, let's start with in which month was that?

  • That was in December 1998.

  • Can you help us as to whether it was the beginning, middle or end of December 1998?

  • Well, I think it was around the 11th and the 12th that Bockarie arrived in Buedu, December.

  • And where was that ammunition stored?

  • The ammunition was at Bockarie's house because his bedroom, there was a store by his bedroom. It was in that store that he packed the ammunition.

  • Now, you mentioned the meeting in Waterworks. When did that meeting take place?

  • When Bockarie and others arrived, it was the following day that the meeting was held at Waterworks.

  • Who attended that meeting?

  • Sam Bockarie, myself, late SYB Rogers, Mike Lamin, Eddie Kanneh, Rashid Sandy, Lawrence Womandia. We were in the meeting.

  • What was the purpose of the meeting?

  • Well, the purpose was for Sam Bockarie and he gave instruction that I was to move to Kono to join the troops there and attack the ECOMOG positions in Kono, and he briefed us about the trip that he had made. That was the purpose.

  • Now that we've established those visits by Bockarie to Monrovia, and dealt with that meeting at Waterworks, I would like now to go back to you, Mr Sesay. Yesterday we had reached the month of August. What were you doing during September, October and November whilst Bockarie was making these trips you've described to Monrovia? What were you doing?

  • Well, I was the commander based in Pendembu. Because after I lost the diamonds, when I returned Bockarie posted me to Pendembu. So I was the one to supervising the front lines in the Kailahun District, Baima towards Daru, Mobai, Kuiva and Jojoima.

  • And during those months, September, October and November, what was the position of the RUF?

  • Well, at this time the RUF - their main three targets in Kailahun - we were in defensive positions at that riverbank. The only attack that we carried out was to attack the ECOMOG and Kamajors at Nyeyama and we captured the place. Our men were in a zoebush. We had a zoebush there at Nyeyama.

  • And during these months, Mr Sesay, did the RUF have contact with those AFRC forces up in Koinadugu and with Superman, who was in that area as well?

  • No, no.

  • Mr Interpreter, could you give us a spelling of this place, Nyeyama?

  • Now, at this time, Mr Bockarie, what was your position - what was your rank within the RUF?

  • Well, at this time Issa was the colonel and I was the battle group commander. I was based in Pendembu. But when Bockarie was about to post me to Pendembu, he said I only had business to do with the front lines in the Kailahun District, and I should have no business to do with any other areas regarding the RUF like the Kono District, because that was the only other place that the RUF was. So my activities were located in the Kailahun area at this time.

  • Sorry, what was the answer that the witness gave? "At this time Issa was the colonel", was it?

  • Myself. I said at that time I was a colonel at the RUF and I was the battle group commander. But because of the diamonds that I had lost, Bockarie sent me to Pendembu. He said I should only have business to do with the three targets in the Kailahun District.

  • In November of 1998, Mr Sesay, did you have the power to grant promotions to individuals within the RUF?

  • No. In November, I did not give promotions to people. I would recommend to Sam Bockarie, and Sam Bockarie would approve of promotions.

  • Could the witness be shown Exhibit P-136, please.

  • Mr Sesay, have you seen this document before?

  • No, this document, I've not seen it before. This is my first time.

  • Is that your signature?

  • This is not my signature, and I was not an acting chief of defence staff in November. When Sam Bockarie left, Mike Lamin and I were there. I was - I was a field commander.

  • Your Honours, can the witness repeat this part of his answer.

  • Could you start again, please, Mr Sesay?

  • I said this is not my signature. This is not the way I sign. That is not the way I write my "Y", so definitely that's not my signature. And in November 1998 when Sam Bockarie called me from Pendembu to join Mike Lamin and to take care of Buedu until he returned, Bockarie did not pronounce me as acting chief of defence staff. And I never used that title and I never wrote that title on any document. I was a field commander.

  • When Bockarie left, who was acting CDS?

  • No, there was no acting CDS. I was a field commander. I was at the ground together with Mike Lamin at Buedu. But I did not act as CDS. I was carrying my position, battlefield commander.

  • Could I have a moment, please?

  • Now, whilst you've got that document there in front of you, Mr Sesay, you were saying that is not how you write the "Y" in "Sesay".

    Could the witness - leave that document there, and could we now have Exhibit P-483, please. P-483, please.

    Madam Court Manager, could you help me to this extent: That document that you have in your hand also has Mr Sesay's signature on it. I would like you to place both that document and the other document on the screen side by side so that we can see the two signatures.

    Mr Sesay, the document on the right bearing the date 27 May 2003, is that your signature?

  • Yes, this one is my signature on 7 May 2003.

  • What are you saying to us about the way you write the letter Y?

  • The "Y", I'll bring the line down and at the end, the "Y" always come back a little and I put it up.

  • So the signature on the left, is that - did you write that?

  • No, this is not my signature. And I even have a comment about this particular fellow whose name is on this document.

  • Do you spell your name I-S-S-A-H, as appears on this document on the left?

  • No. My name is I-S-S-A. That was how it was spelt, and that is how I spell it. On - all the documents that was written regarding Issa in the RUF was I-S-S-A. There was no "H" after the "A".

  • So what do you say about this document on the left, Mr Sesay? Does that document have anything to do with you?

  • No. This document has nothing to do with me.

  • Thank you. Can we put those two documents away now, please.

  • For the record, Mr Griffiths, just to eliminate any shadow of doubt, which document is the witness discounting?

  • Mr Sesay, could you please point to the document which you say is not - has nothing to do with you?

  • The one that is 19/11/98. And I said even the person who alleged that I signed this document, I know this person and I said I have a comment to make with regards to this person.

  • This is Albert Saidu, who is aka Eyeball. And this individual made a statement to my defence case, and when it came to the time it was sent for the second time - a statement was obtained from him for the first time, and because the first time he - a statement was obtained from him, it was presented to my lawyers. When I read it - any time I read defence statements, I will write question marks and I will say I need some more details from this witness. And when he was met for the second time, he said no, he had no more interest in the defence case because - and he said because the Prosecution had met him and what the Prosecution was offering him, I could not offer him. And if you check my defence statements, this name is amongst there. This person made a statement to my defence.

  • Now, help me with this, Mr Sesay, because I'm not clear what it is you're telling us. The person who signed this, do you know that person?

  • Well, I don't know who signed, but I know the name that they are alleging that I promoted, and this person made a statement to my defence team.

  • And what is the name of the person? Is it the name of the person that appears on this document, P-136 - Exhibit P-136?

  • Yes, that's the name of the person on this 19/11/98.

  • Captain Albert Saidu, yes?

  • Yes, that is his name and another name for him is aka Eyeball.

  • And you're saying that this person made a statement to your lawyers for your defence; is that right?

  • Yes, that's what happened. That's what he did.

  • And then you say that later he said that he was being offered more by the Prosecution, so therefore he didn't want to appear for your defence; is that right?

  • Yes, that's what he said.

  • Well, he just used the expression, he said what the Prosecution had offered him, I could not offer him, so he was not interested in my case any more. So that's what he said.

  • And the documents are with the Defence in my office.

  • And did this man Albert Saidu in due course give evidence for the Prosecution?

  • Well, I did not know, because when he said that, from that time we avoided him.

  • So in due course this man Albert Saidu became a Prosecution witness, did he?

  • Well, I don't know exactly --

  • Excuse me, I think the witness has already answered by saying he doesn't know.

  • As far as you're aware, Mr Sesay, did this man in due course give a statement to the Prosecution?

  • Well, yes, based on the statement that he made to my investigation team that what the Prosecutor offered him I could not offer him, so he left me and went to the Prosecutor. And that was not him alone, it happened with other witnesses.

  • Mr Sesay, the question you were asked is very simple: Whether or not you are aware that this man gave a statement to the Prosecution. So do you whether he gave a statement to the Prosecution or not?

  • Well, I don't know but from the expression - I was in detention, ma'am.

  • Thank you, thank you. You don't know and that's a good enough answer.

  • So just so that we are clear, Mr Sesay, this document bearing the date 19 November 1998, exhibit P-136, has nothing whatsoever to do with you. Is that right?

  • No, this has nothing to do with me.

  • Can we put those two documents away, please. Now, Mr Sesay, you told us earlier about a meeting you attended at Waterworks in December 1998. Do you recall that?

  • Yes, I recall that.

  • And you said one of the things discussed was a proposed attack on - a proposed attack on Kono. Is that right?

  • Yes.

  • Who was to lead that attack?

  • Bockarie said it was me.

  • And help us, were you provided with material in order to mount that attack?

  • Yes. Bockarie gave me some of the ammunition he'd brought.

  • How much ammunition were you given for this attack?

  • Bockarie gave me 20 boxes of AK rounds, eight boxes of G3 rounds and about five or six boxes of HMG rounds.

  • And did you carry out that attack in Kono?

  • Yes, I carried out the attack in December 1998.

  • Was that attack successful?

  • Did you capture any arms and ammunition during that attack?

  • Yes, I captured a lot of arms and ammunition including tanks, armoured tanks and many armoured tanks rockets because the entire ammo dump from the ECOMOG was captured.

  • Are you quite sure, Mr Sesay, about what you were provided with in terms of arms and ammunition in order to carry out that attack?

  • I was not given arms. I was given ammunition. That's what I recall.

  • And are you quite sure about the quantity of ammunition that you were given?

  • Yes. That's what I can recall.

  • Could the witness be shown exhibit P-93, please:

  • Mr Sesay, have you seen this document before?

  • Yes. They showed this document to me.

  • When?

  • During my trial.

  • Now, you see that - did you write this document, Mr Sesay?

  • No, I did not write this document.

  • Now, we see that it's headed "Restricted, Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone." It's addressed to Major General Sam Bockarie chief of defence staff and it's from Brigadier Issa H Sesay battlefield commander. Now, first of all, Mr Sesay, in December 1998, were you a brigadier?

  • No. In December '98 I was a colonel. In January too I was a colonel. It was in February that Bockarie promoted me to brigadier.

  • You see that it's headed, "Subject, comprehensive report" and it's dated January 9 - I don't know whether that's a 20 or what, but January - a date in January 1999:

    "Remarks. Sir, on 6 December 1998, I left the defence headquarters on your instruction for assignment and mission to attack Koidu."

    Earlier, Mr Sesay, you told us that Bockarie returned from Monrovia on or about 11 or 12 December. Is that right?

  • Yes, that's what I said.

  • And the meeting at Waterworks took place after his return?

  • Yes. The meeting at Waterworks, it was when Bockarie had returned.

  • And the attack on Kono took place after that meeting at Waterworks, yes?

  • So where we see on this document, "On 6 December 1998 I left the defence headquarters on your instructions for assignment and mission to attack Koidu, the 2nd Brigade", did you leave defence headquarters on 6 December to attack Koidu?

  • No.

  • "The below enumerated materials and items were then handed over to me for said mission: 30 boxes of AK rounds." Is that correct?

  • No, that is not correct.

  • "16 boxes of G3 rounds." Is that correct?

  • That is not correct.

  • "Two and a half boxes of RPG bombs." Is that correct?

  • No. Bockarie did not bring RPG rockets.

  • Bockarie didn't bring RPG rockets from where?

  • The ammunition that he brought, he did not bring RPG rockets.

  • Which ammunition are you talking about here?

  • The ammunition that was given to me to go to Kono, that Bockarie gave to me to attack Kono.

  • Were you given drugs, diesel, petrol, for that attack?

  • Yes. Bockarie gave me medicines, and he gave me five jerry cans of diesel and five jerry cans of petrol.

  • What about a mortar gun?

  • No, we did not go with a mortar gun.

  • What about a Bazooka?

  • No, we did not go with a Bazooka.

  • Were you provided with any 50 calibre rounds?

  • Chaser is like the gun that I described that were brought to Magburaka. The chaser is the same as SAM-7.

  • And were you provided with any of those by Sam Bockarie for this attack on Kono?

  • What about 20 boxes of GPMG rounds?

  • No, the GPMG rounds that were given to me were about five or six boxes. It was not 20 boxes, no.

  • Just looking at the first page of this document, Mr Sesay, is this accurate?

  • This document is not correct.

  • Go over the page, please. We see further items listed there which were allegedly provided to you for this attack. Were you provided with any of those items we see listed there?

  • Yes, I was given cigarettes. Bockarie gave me cigarettes. And he gave me cartons of Maggi. And my operator was given acid for the battery. And stationery was given, together with engine oil to clean the arms. But cane juice, no I was not given cane juice.

  • Now, where we see the sentence, "The below listed materials and items were also given to me for Sengama" - is that Sengema or Sengama?

  • Sengema. Were you ordered to attack Sengema?

  • No. Sengema was a combat camp across the Moa River. That was the one that protected the road between Sandaru and the Moa River.

  • Did you, during the course of this operation, attack Sengema?

  • No, I did not attack Sengema.

  • Just so we are clear, those items listed 1 through 7 for the Sengema target, were you provided with those items?

  • No, I was not given these items.

  • Going down the list, we see:

    "Members of delegation included myself as head, Colonel Morison Kallon, Lieutenant Colonel Foday Lansana, Major Edward Fembeh, Major Samuel F Jabba, Major Victor Kamara."

    What does "S/Captain" mean?

  • That is staff captain.

  • "Staff Captain Mohamed Kamara, Captain Morie Jibae, Captain Abdulai Massalay and Captain Musa Vandi." Did those individuals accompany you on the attack on Kono?

  • We went together with Morris Kallon. He was the deputy that Mosquito appointed.

  • What about the others?

  • No. Like this Foday Lansana, he did not leave Kailahun with me. We came together with Edward Fembeh. Samuel Jabba was my adjutant. Victor Kamara was my bodyguard. Staff Captain Mohamed Kamara, was the armourer, all of us came. Captain Morie Jibae was Mr Sankoh's bodyguard who was with Mosquito. He said the two of us should come, and Abdulai Mansaray was my bodyguard, Musa Vandi, aka Boys, was my bodyguard.

  • So of those names, who do you say did not attend on this mission?

  • This Lieutenant Foday Lansana, he did not go with us.

  • Now, Colonel Morison Kallon --

  • Excuse me, Mr Griffiths I'm a little lost. When you talk of mission - the first question you asked was which of these people accompanied him on the attack on Kono. And then you asked him - or his answers were - he described the various persons and the offices that had he held. But this letter, I think, speaks of a delegation going somewhere. Doesn't speak of a team that is going on war. So I'm a little lost now. When you speak of mission, what are we talking about? What mission?

  • Tell me, Mr Sesay - let's go back to the first page, shall we? We see that this document begins in this way:

    "On 6 December 1998, I left the defence headquarters on your instruction for assignment and mission to attack Koidu."

    Now, help us: Were you sent as a delegation to Koidu, or were you sent to attack it?

  • They sent me to go and attack Koidu.

  • When, on this second page, we see reference to "members of the delegation", what's that about?

  • Well, I do not - I don't know about the delegation. I only know about the men who went with me on the mission to attack Kono, Koidu.

  • Now, the names that we see listed as members of this delegation, yes, did some of those names accompany you on the attack on Kono?

  • Which ones accompanied you on the attack on Kono?

  • Morris Kallon was the deputy to me for the attack on Kono; Edward Fembeh, Bockarie appointed him as adviser to me; Samuel F Jabba was my adjutant; Victor Kamara was my bodyguard commander; Mohamed - Staff Captain Mohamed Kamara was the armourer; Captain Morie Jibae was Foday Sankoh's bodyguard who was there with Mosquito, but Mosquito asked him to go with me on the mission; captain Abdulai Massalay was my bodyguard; captain Musa Vandi was my bodyguard.

  • Now, when it says "members of a delegation", were you - apart from the attack on Kono - involved in some other activity at the same time which you were attending as a delegation?

  • No, no. The only activity that I carried out in Kono at this time was for me to attack Koidu Town.

  • Now, let's just continue reading, shall we, to try to make sense of this, if possible:

    "Captain Musa Vandi, including other soldiers and NCOs, December 7, 1998 we made a cross to Sengema, materials and items were handed over to the commander in charge. We then arrived at" - I can't make that word out. I don't know if anyone can assist. Is that Wuwama?

  • I think it looks like Wuwama or Wuyama. I don't know.

  • Do you know of such a place, Mr Sesay?

  • Yes, I know Wuwama, it was a village 7 miles away from Koidu Town.

  • And did you spend the night in Wuwama in the course of that mission to attack Kono?

  • That was the second night. Because the first night we spent the night the first village immediately after Sandaru. That was how we passed the night. And the second night we passed the night in Wuwama, and then the following morning we reached Superman ground.

  • "December 9, 1998 we arrived safely at Guinea Highway..." where is Superman Ground?

  • That's the Guinea Highway.

  • "... 2nd brigade headquarters. We were 100 per cent welcomed by the commander, Colonel Boston Flomo, alias Rambo, including his adviser, Lieutenant Colonel Peter B Vandi and others."

    Did you meet up with Rambo at the Guinea Highway on 9 December?

  • Yes. Rambo was the brigade commander at the Guinea Highway in Kono.

  • Now, that date - you told us when we looked at the first page that that date, 6 December 1998, was incorrect. This date, 9 December 1998, is that correct?

  • No, it's not correct.

  • What about four lines above, 7 December 1998, is that correct?

  • It's not correct.

  • But do you accept that you did meet up with Rambo at Guinea Highway, also known as Superman Ground?

  • Yes, I met Rambo there on the Guinea Highway.

  • Did you also meet there Peter B Vandi and others?

  • Yes, I met Peter B Vandi. They were all there.

  • And did you, as suggested here, hand over to the commander materials and items as mentioned above?

  • The items were parked in the other booth that was close to me, because when I got there it was Peter Vandi who lodged me. So the next booth to Peter Vandi was where we parked everything that I took along with me.

  • That date which follows thereafter, December 11, 1998, is that correct?

  • It's not correct.

  • I'm sorry, the answer that the witness has given, in light of the question you asked him, Mr Griffiths, is not clear.

    Mr Sesay, the question that counsel asked you was:

    "And did you, as suggested here, hand over to the commander materials and items as mentioned above?"

    And then you answered:

    "The items were parked" - or packed - "in the other booth that was close to Peter Vandi was where we parked everything that I took along with me."

    Now, how does that answer the question? The question you were asked was, Did you hand over the materials as named above to the commander? The commander being - I'm not sure who the commander is here. But the commander in charge anyway - the commander in charge of Superman Ground. The answer is either yes or no.

  • Can we approach it in this way, Mr Sesay: Did you hand anything over to the commander?

  • Well, I did not hand them over to the commander. We parked them - we parked them in the booth close to where I was lodged, all the items that I took with me.

  • Now, what was it that you handed over? Was it the items listed above, or the items that you have told us you took with you?

  • It's the foodstuffs, the Maggi, the cigarettes that I handed over. Because those were meant for the brigade in Kono. That was what I handed over to the commander. But the ammunition stayed with me where I was lodged, and the next booth to where I was lodged was where they were parked and my bodyguards were there.

  • Mr Interpreter, do you mean where they were stored?

  • It then goes on:

    "On 11 December 1998, the commander then called a general forum at his headquarters. Battalion and unit commanders were then invited to this forum."

    Now, just so that we are clear, who was the commander?

  • At this time I was the senior commander on the - for those of us who came on the ground. But the brigade commander was Rambo.

  • So where we see in that sentence "the commander," who is that a reference to?

  • I called the forum.

  • What kind of an answer is that? So "the commander" means Issa Sesay? And what forum are we talking about?

  • The reference to "the commander" in that sentence, "The commander then called a general forum at his headquarters", who is that a reference to?

  • Well, I said I was the commander when I got to Kono, and the meeting, the forum for the - for us to plan for the attack on Kono, I was the one who called for that meeting.

  • "Battalion and unit commanders were then invited to this forum. At 11 a.m, the forum commenced and mostly centralised on the mission given to me by you to attack and capture Koidu including Yengema and the airfield for quick transportation of our materials by air."

    Mr Sesay, what's that a reference to, the "quick transportation of our materials by air"?

  • That is a lie. I did not discuss anything pertaining to the Yengema airfield during that meeting and we did not have any further agreement for the airlift of ammunition to the RUF, no. And when we captured Kono, until the time the RUF disarmed, we never airlifted ammunition to the RUF-controlled area. This is a lie. And we did not even target Yengema. To say that we were targeting Yengema so that we would bring the airfield under our control, no.

  • During the duration of the conflict in Sierra Leone, Mr Sesay, on how many occasions were you aware of materials being transported into Sierra Leone for the use of either the RUF or the AFRC by air?

  • It was once, in Magburaka, the Mayagba field. That was in late 1997. That is the only time I know about.

  • "The brigade commander, Colonel Boston Flomo, thanked us for said mission and promised to cooperate on the mission together with his men. During the forum, Colonel Kailondo S Banya 3rd Battalion commander was appointed as mission commander."

    Is that correct?

  • No. Banya was not the mission commander. The mission commander was Rambo, Boston Flomo, he was the mission commander.

  • "Details of the forum is attached to this document.

    16th of December 1998, the mission was carried out as rescheduled by me. It was carried out successfully and there was understanding among the officers and other ranks."

    Pause again. That date, December 16, 1998, is that correct?

  • No. It was December - on December 16 that we held the meeting, and on the 17th we carried out the attack on Koidu Town. That was the actual thing that took place in Koidu Town. On the 16th we held the meeting and it was on the Guinea Highway where they called Superman Ground. And we divided the group. Morris Kallon stayed because he had a distance. Immediately after he moved, he went and set an ambush. And on the 17th we attacked Koidu Town and we fought there for the whole day, we attacked around 6 a.m. and the fighting continued until 7 p.m. when we finally captured Koidu Town.

    So the reality was that I came and spent three nights at the Superman Ground, that is the Guinea Highway, and the fourth night I spent it in Koidu Town. That was the reality and that was what actually happened.

  • "After the mission, when Koidu was under complete control, the below listed items and materials were captured: Five 50 calibre but incomplete."

    Is that correct?

  • The calibre that we captured in Kono was not [sic] complete, because the ECOMOG were using them and when we captured the place they ran away and they left them behind.

  • Were they complete or incomplete?

  • I said they were complete.

  • Mr Sesay, did you say it was not complete because ECOMOG had used it?

  • No, my Lord. I said the weapons - the 50 calibres that we captured, they were all complete. They were in functional - they were in functional positions when we captured them.

  • "One full set of SPG." First of all, what does SPG stand for?

  • Well, I don't know what SPG stands for. I only know the weapon.

  • What weapon is that?

  • Well, SPG is a one-barrel that is as long as the table where you are standing and it has a stand. You can put the rocket at the back, you close it and then you shoot it, then it goes a long range.

  • Did you capture such a weapon in Koidu?

  • No, we did not capture SPG. There was already SPG that we had, I met them, they had captured it at the Guinea border, but during this attack we did not capture any SPG.

  • "Three full sets of 81 millimetre gun." Did you capture such a weapon?

  • Yes, we captured mortar guns, the different types. We captured a 120 millimetre mortar gun, it was a very heavy mortar. 82 millimetre guns, 81 millimetres guns, and 60 millimetres guns.

  • I am going to skip some of these items, Mr Sesay, and go to the bottom. Did you capture three armoured tanks?

  • We captured four armoured tanks but two were not functional. It was only the other two that were functional. They were in good operational order.

  • Go over the page, please. Those items, listed at the top - drugs, diesel, petrol, twin-barrel rounds - did you capture such items?

  • Yes. We captured such items and we captured items because the whole ammo dump, they had just left everything behind like that, the hospital and every other thing. They just left Kono abruptly and we captured them from the ECOMOG.

  • Where we see that reference to Kimberlite, December 17, 1998, what is that a reference to?

  • Well, Kimberlite was the place that I told you initially that I lodged during the retreat. That is the road going towards the Gandorhun part out of Koidu Town.

  • During what retreat?

  • February 1998, that was during the intervention.

  • This reference to the Kimberlite here, what's the association of that with the attack on Koidu?

  • Well, ECOMOG had a very strong guard post, a defensive position there because they had occupied the roads that entered Koidu Town and they had a very strong defensive position at Kimberlite, the Guinea road, the --

  • Your Honours, could the witness be asked to repeat that area slowly.

  • Pause there, Mr Sesay, could you start again, please, and deal with that question?

  • Please ask the question once again.

  • That reference to the Kimberlite on this page, how is that linked to the attack on Kono which you carried out?

  • Well, I said Kimberlite was the road going towards Gandorhun and immediately after Kimberlite that was where the RUF had their own defensive position towards the ECOMOG, and the ECOMOG also had their own defensive position at Kimberlite. That was where they were based on the road. And I said all the roads entering Koidu Town, they deployed at the entrances to Koidu Town. So that was how they were deployed and they had other deployments in the town, but all the roads like DO Barracks, Yardu Road, Hill Station Road, the road going towards the Guinea Highway they were all deployed there and they were also deployed at Kimberlite.

  • Could you just give us those locations, all the roads like DO Barracks and what were the other roads you mentioned?

  • I spoke about the Yardu Road, I spoke about Hill Station, I spoke about Kuyor Junction.

  • Yardu Road, how do you spell Yardu?

  • I think it's Y-A-R-D-U R-O-A-D.

  • And you mentioned the junction, what's the name of that junction?

  • How do you spell that?

  • Thank you. Go back to the page, please:

    "Sewafe was also captured by the ambush team and some team advanced to attack Gold Town on the highway leading to Makeni. The below listed materials were captured in this mission."

    Was Sewafe also captured by you, Mr Sesay?

  • Yes. We did not fight in Sewafe because when we had an ambush and when a reinforcement was coming from Makeni to reinforce the ECOMOG in Kono so they fell in the ambush, so our men moved because it was very close to Koidu Town where they set the ambush, so they moved to Koidu Town and captured Koidu Town but there was no fighting that took place in Sewafe because the retreating ECOMOG troops and civilians, they used the Sewafe. From Sewafe they crossed the Sew River and they went to Boama Konta so all the other vehicles and their ammunition that they were retreating with, they left everything in Sewafe.

  • Now, you said --

  • Mr Griffiths, can I take it that the "they" left is the ECOMOG left?

  • I'm going to seek clarification.

  • Mr Sesay, I'm going to ask you to slow down, please, because the transcribers have requested that. In your testimony you're running too fast for them to keep up with you. Do you understand what I'm saying?

  • Mr Sesay, let's go over that area again, please. You said because the retreating ECOMOG, they used the what?

  • I said they ambush close to Gold Town, there was a reinforcement coming from Makeni to reinforce the ECOMOG in Koidu Town so they fell in our ambush. The RUF ambush. So our men moved; they came and captured Gold Town. So the retreating ECOMOG and civilians from Koidu Town, as a result of the fighting, they had - they heard the firing that took place in the ambush, so they did not go to Gold Town any longer, so they stopped at Jiama Sewafe and they crossed the Sew River.

  • They stopped at where?

  • How do you spell Jiama?

  • I think it's J-I-A-M-A S-E-W-A-F-E.

  • Carry on with your account, please.

  • So they crossed the Moa River through - sorry, they crossed the river through a village called Puduru, through a village called Puduru, and then they went to Boama Konta.

  • Could you spell that? Is it Puduru?

  • No, Puduru, something like P-U-D-U-R-U. This is different from Pumudu which is in Kailahun.

  • And you mentioned another location, Boama Konta. How do you spell that?

  • B-O-A-M-A K-U-N-T-A.

  • And carry on with your account now, please.

  • K-O-N-T-A, Konta. So the ECOMOG retreated through that flank, so they left all their vehicles that they were retreating with in Sewafe so fighting did not take place at that time in Sewafe town. That was what happened.

  • Let's skip the items listed below that, please, and go to about two-thirds of the way down the page, where there is a reference to 22 December 1998 --

  • Yes, because - because even the items they listed there are not the correct items because I recall that in that ambush, one of the pickups that the ECOMOG were using, that was trapped in the ambush, that pickup contained 250 RPG rockets. They were all screwed with TNT. So those were the rockets that we used to go to Makeni, and I sent some to Makeni who requested for some of the rockets to be sent to him. They were not 120 RPGs, there were 250 RPG bombs. They were all screwed up with TNT.

  • And you sent some to whom?

  • I said I sent some to Sam Bockarie, because I explained to him, because what happened was when we captured Koidu Town, that very night and the following morning, I sent a message to Bockarie on the radio. So that was how I used to send my reports, I will send the message - when I came to Gold Town on the ambush mission, I sent a message. And when we captured Masingbi, what's happened there, I sent a message. Makali, what happened there, I sent a message. Magburaka, what happened there, I sent a message. Up to Makeni. For every place we captured, I sent a message to that effect. It was not that I went and put down a comprehensive report to Bockarie because Bockarie too was eager for any movement we did, I should inform him about the activities and the development so far.

  • Thank you for that, Mr Sesay. Because that leads us helpfully to the next reference:

    "December 22, 1998, Masingbi was attacked and captured after the 2nd Brigade commander, Captain Boston Flomo, advanced with the troops."

    Now, you've mentioned just now capturing Masingbi. Was Masingbi captured on 22 December, as suggested here?

  • Well, I do not recall the exact date, but it was after the capture of Koidu Town, Gold Town, and then the troops moved to Masingbi and captured Masingbi.

  • Did you capture further war materials in Masingbi?

  • We captured war materials in Masingbi from the Kamajors, and Kamajors, over 400 of them surrendered to us in Masingbi.

  • And where we see items listed as having been captured, is that accurate?

  • Well, I do not recall that actually now to say that these are accurate, but we captured AK rounds, RPG rockets in Masingbi.

  • Let's go to the top of the next page, then, please.

    "The following day, on 23 December 1998, Magburaka was captured. Not much was captured, however, in this town as its military strength was not much."

    Taking things in stages, was Magburaka captured on the day after Masingbi was captured?

  • Yes.

  • Can you help us as to the accuracy of that date, 23 December?

  • Yes. Magburaka was captured on 23rd because I recall that our troops arrived in Makeni on the 24th.

  • And we see there, continuing with this account:

    "On 24 December 1998, Makeni was captured. Sir, some of these materials were used for operation, i.e. defensive, et cetera, and as events unfolded our troops were able to capture some Nigerians. To my knowledge some Kamajors are surrendering too."

    Did you capture some Nigerian soldiers?

  • Yes. During the attack on Koidu Town, we captured 11 Nigerian soldiers.

  • And how many Kamajors were captured?

  • In Kono, the Kamajors were over 100. Masingbi, there were 400 - they were 450. At Makali, they were more than 200. Magburaka also they were more than 200. And in Makeni --

  • Your Honours, could the witness be asked to repeat that area, how many thousand? It was not clear.

  • Mr Sesay, how many were captured in Magburaka?

  • I said there were more than 200 in Magburaka. And in Makeni, there were up to a thousand who surrendered.

  • What happened to these Nigerians and Kamajors who were captured?

  • Well, for the Nigerians, the very day we captured Koidu Town, because we were able to overrun Koidu, like I said, around 7 p.m. and we captured those Nigerians, because before the attack I gave a standing order and I said those are the orders they should observe during the operation.

  • Mr Sesay, I don't know if you're having problems understanding the question. The question was, quite simply, what happened to the Nigerians and the Kamajors who were captured. You haven't answered that question.

  • Well, my lord, the Nigerians whom we captured in Koidu Town, when we captured Koidu Town, I went to Opera and they brought them to me one after the other to where I was. So we were there around 7.30 to 8 o'clock, the figure went to 11, 11 of them, so I too instructed the MP commander, Mohamed Jalloh, for them to take them to the Guinea - to the Guinea base, that is at Superman ground. I said they should stay at the MP until the following morning. And the following morning, I was in Koidu Town, I sent them to go and bring them. They put them in the pick-up and brought them to Koidu Town. And when they brought them, I spoke to them. I asked among them who knew something about an electrician's job. So I said they should help to fix currents in the house where I passed the night, the following morning. So I gave them food, they ate, and I told them that they should not be worried, that nothing was going to happen to them. So they spent about four hours with me in Koidu Town, and I sent them back to the base where the RUF were. So they were there, and the following morning they also brought them. And I told the MP commander that they should stay with him at the MP office at Koakoyima until I informed Sam Bockarie. So after I had informed Sam Bockarie, Sam Bockarie said I should send them to Kailahun. So he too - I informed the MP commander to organise an escort, so I sent them to Buedu, and they were now in Buedu under custody. It was during the Lome Accord that they were released.

    For the Kamajors who surrendered in Kono up to Makeni, we detained them because Bockarie had said we should retrain them for them to join the RUF. So they were trained - starting from March, they were trained at the Yengema training base. So after that, I redeployed them where we had left, like Makeni, Magburaka, Makali --

  • Your Honours, could the witness be asked to repeat that area slowly?

  • Slow down. Can you repeat where you said so they were trained and you retrained them to join the RUF starting March, and then you sent them to Yengema training base, and what happened after that?

  • Well, from that, they - I told them to return to the various towns where they had surrendered. Like, for those in Kono, they went back to Koidu Town. Koakoyima and those from Masingbi, I appointed a commander. The ones who had surrendered at that time, I appointed the commander amongst them to be the RUF commander, and they were there, he and his deputy, up to disarmament. And those from Makali, I appointed another Kamajor commander, that he should go -

  • Your Honour, the name of the junction is not clear.

  • What junction did you say?

  • Makonie Line Junction, that is between Masingbi and Makali.

  • How do you spell Makonie Line Junction?

  • M-A-K-O - M-A-K-O-N-I-E L-I-N-E. Junction.

  • Can I take advantage of this hiatus to mention something? At page 44, line 23, it's recorded that 8,000 Kamajors were captured in Makeni. In fact, the witness said 1,000.

  • Which brings me to the question. You've told us, Mr Sesay, about the Nigerians that were captured, the Kamajors that surrendered. What about the Kamajors that were captured? What happened to them?

  • Well, those were all the Kamajors that we retrained, and they then became part of the RUF at this time.

  • Incidentally, Mr Griffiths, my recollection was that it was up to 1,000 Kamajors that were captured, which implies to me that it was less than 1,000.

  • But it certainly wasn't 8,000, your Honour:

  • Now, Mr Sesay, before we leave this document, help me with this: The signature we see on that last page, whose signature is it?

  • I don't know whose signature is this.

  • Who was your adjutant?

  • My adjutant was Samuel Jabba.

  • Is that Samuel Jabba's signature?

  • No, this is not Jabba's signature.

  • And help us: Who was the battlefield commander?

  • It was I.

  • And we see that this document was to be approved and signed by the battlefield commander, that is, you. Why didn't you sign it?

  • Well, I have said I was not the one, because I don't know about this document.

  • Did you have any role whatsoever in preparing this document, Mr Sesay?

  • But do you agree, Mr Sesay, that in December of 1998 forces under your command did capture Kono and various other locations leading up to Makeni? Do you agree?

  • Yes, I agree with that. Because I was the one who supervised the operations, and I was the senior commander for all those operations starting from Kono up to Makeni.

  • Now, apart from the forces you commanded, Mr Sesay, were any other forces involved in the attack on Makeni?

  • Superman's group came from Koinadugu, Brigadier Mani, and General Bropleh's group, all of us came and teamed up together and attacked Teko Barracks from the ECOMOG when the ECOMOG withdrew from Teko Barracks, that is, Makeni.

  • Now, that attack, then, on Makeni, who coordinated it?

  • Well, it was Sam Bockarie. Because Superman, they had - Superman and his group had attacked Teko Barracks. First they failed and they withdrew to Binkolo. So when our troops came from Magburaka and entered, they entered part of Makeni. Bockarie then sent a message to Rambo and told Rambo that he had spoken to Superman and that Superman and others said they were around Makeni and that they were there trying to join the operation. So Sam Bockarie coordinated for the troops to team up together and attack the ECOMOG at the Teko Barracks.

  • Did the forces controlled by Superman, Brigadier Mani, and General Bropleh, remain in Makeni with you?

  • Well, Superman left and went to Lunsar with his group.

  • What about Brigadier Mani?

  • Brigadier Mani's troops were in Makeni.

  • And what about General Bropleh?

  • They also were in Makeni.

  • For how long did those two groups stay in Makeni?

  • Well, those groups were in Makeni, although some of their fighters were deployed in various areas. But Mani and Bropleh were in Makeni with me until the time Superman and Gibril Massaquoi attacked me in March when we left Makeni. So they were in Makeni until October 1999, those troops.

  • You were attacked by Superman in March of which year?

  • Now, whilst you were engaged in this operation which culminated in the capture of Makeni, Mr Sesay, did you have any contact with the group led by SAJ Musa, who had been in Koinadugu District?

  • No, no. We were not in contact.

  • Were you aware that an attack on Freetown was imminent around about Christmas of 1998?

  • At that time I did not know.

  • Was the RUF involved in the planning of that attack on Freetown in January 1999?

  • No. RUF had no hands in the planning of that attack on Freetown in January 1999.

  • Now, Mr Sesay, I want you to help me with this: Who was it who ordered the attack on Kono which culminated in the capture of Makeni?

  • It was Sam Bockarie who ordered me to attack Kono.

  • Was it Charles Taylor who had given Sam Bockarie an order to attack and capture Kono?

  • No, no. During that meeting Sam Bockarie did not make mention of Mr Taylor's name. Sam Bockarie only said that he thought it fit for us to attack Kono because --

  • He said because he had been getting information that the ECOMOG troops were many in Kono and that the Government of Sierra Leone by then had brought mercenaries, the Sandline, and at the same time those Sandline mercenaries were doing mining in Kono, and he said he thought it fit to attack Kono because that was the best thing, and it was an order from Sam Bockarie.

  • During that meeting at Waterworks, was Sam Bockarie in contact with Charles Taylor by satellite phone?

  • No, no. He did not speak on any phone during that meeting. And even after the meeting he did not speak on the phone, and after the meeting we all joined the people came to Buedu. And when we came to Buedu I did not see him speak on the phone, and in the evening Bockarie, myself, Mike Lamin, we drove and went to Johnny Paul in Kangama, and Bockarie went and explained to Johnny Paul about the plan that we had at hand for the attack on Kono.

  • Before the meeting, to your knowledge was Bockarie in contact with Charles Taylor by satellite phone?

  • No. He did not speak to Mr Taylor on satellite phone before the meeting.

  • At the time of the Freetown invasion in January '99, Mr Sesay, where was Bockarie?

  • Bockarie was in - as far as Buedu.

  • I was in Makeni.

  • Where was Superman?

  • Superman was in Lunsar.

  • Were there any RUF forces in Freetown during that invasion?

  • During that invasion, the RUF were not in Freetown. The only RUF who was in Freetown that I later knew about was - were Alfred Brown and King Perry. But no senior RUF took part in the attack in Freetown, and we did not send any reinforcement there, and RUF did not send any ammunition to them. RUF did not play any part in the attack on Freetown.

  • When did you first become aware that Freetown was being attacked, Mr Sesay?

  • Well, it was on the BBC. It was on the VOA, the RFI. They spoke about it, and even the SLBS radio.

  • As far as you're aware, Mr Sesay, when was the first time that contact was made between those forces attacking Freetown and the RUF?

  • Well, the time I came to know was when they had entered Freetown when Gullit called Bockarie and told Bockarie that they had captured Freetown. He said they had captured the State House and in fact their troops were now up to the Congo Cross Bridge, but that they had started pushing them back and that they were short of ammunition. He said Bockarie should send reinforcements and ammunition.

  • As far as you're aware, was there any contact between those forces and Bockarie prior to that?

  • Well, at the time they entered that dialogue, I did not know about it. It was later that I knew that when the AFRC, under the command of SAJ Musa, captured Waterloo and captured Benguema, Gullit then called Bockarie through Alfred Brown when they had the dialogue when Gullit informed Sam Bockarie that Sam Bockarie was dead. So Sam Bockarie too did not believe at that initial stage, according to what I understood later from him, but Sam Bockarie then told Gullit that if Gullit was saying the truth that SAJ Musa was indeed dead, he then asked Gullit about his next plan, and then Gullit told Bockarie that to move on Freetown was their next plan. And then Bockarie told Gullit that if it was true that SAJ was actually dead, he said they should wait at Waterloo. So Bockarie said he will begin to send reinforcements to them at Waterloo so that they will carry out their attack on Freetown. But Gullit did not wait, and it was within one to two days they attacked the Orugu Bridge and they attacked Allen Town and entered Freetown.

  • Mr Griffiths, I notice the witness said that Sam Bockarie was dead. I presume that was a slip of the tongue.

  • Who was dead, Mr Sesay?

  • I said SAJ Musa, SAJ.

  • We are going to take the midmorning break now and reconvene at 11.30.

  • [Break taken at 11.00 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 11.32 a.m.]

  • Mr Sesay, I would now like you to listen to a tape recording of a BBC broadcast. It is exhibit P-279A, and the transcript of that is exhibit 279B?

  • Does the witness have a copy of the transcript in front of him?

  • Then please play the tape.

  • [Exhibit 279B played to the Court]

  • Mr Sesay, was that you speaking on the BBC?

  • No, that is not me. This is Colonel FAT Sesay. He was a Sierra Leone army officer who was with the AFRC, FAT Sesay. They were the ones who withdrew from Freetown. At that time I could not speak English like this. I could not speak like this. That was not me. I was in Makeni. I heard this. I heard this broadcast.

  • Now, Mr Sesay, go to the first page of that document - of that transcript, please. We see after the second reference "Music plays", the reporter says this:

    "It's been an extraordinary day in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone after days of skirmishing outside the city between ECOMOG forces and RUF rebels."

    Were RUF rebels engaged in skirmishes with ECOMOG outside Freetown, as reported by the BBC here?

  • Not at all. The forces who were outside Freetown before the attack were the Gullit forces - were the RUF forces that were in Waterloo and around there - Hastings before the attack on Freetown, but it was not the RUF. At this time the RUF was in Makeni because --

  • Sorry, you said they were the what forces, the ones that did attack?

  • Yes, ma'am. I said it was the AFRC forces under the command of Gullit. They were the ones that carried out the attack on Freetown, and they were the ones around Freetown during this time.

  • Go over the page, please, to the second page. The second reference to Macauley on that page which begins, "Yes, and they were fighting alongside ECOMOG". Do you see that? Do you see that, Mr Sesay?

  • Yes.

  • And it continues: "But after recent attacks at on Kono, Makeni, Masiaka, Lunsar and Hastings."

    My question is this: Was the attack on Kono by the RUF coordinated with the attack on Freetown by those AFRC forces led by Gullit?

  • No, it was not a co-ordinated attack.

  • Go to three lines from the bottom of the page, please. We see Colonel Sesay saying: "We, the combined forces of the AFRC and the RUF forces." Was that the case?

  • Not at all. That wasn't what happened.

  • Was Colonel Sesay telling the BBC the truth when he said it was the combined forces of the AFRC and the RUF?

  • No, he was not telling the BBC the truth.

  • Because when we go to page 4, the fourth reference to Sesay on that page, again he says:

    "It is a combined forces. A combined forces. We have the RUF, you have the AFRC, the former revolutionary council."

    Was that the truth, Mr Sesay?

  • No. They were not combined forces. Even some of the attackers, those that carried out the Freetown invasion, some of them were witnesses against me and they testified about that, that the attack was not inclusive of the RUF. It was the AFRC that conducted the attack on Freetown.

  • Who is Brigadier TAB Yahya?

  • Well, I don't know this name. The only one I know about the operation was the former PLO-2. He was the one that led the operation at Freetown. But I don't believe that this was the name we knew for him. The name we knew for him, that is the PLO-2 was Tamba Alex Brima, aka Gullit.

  • Now, in that regard, let's keep that document there for the minute ,and can we go back to exhibit P-58, please. I'm sorry, no, exhibit P-131, please. Now, these are the minutes, just to remind ourselves, of the first meeting of the AFRC held at the conference hall, defence headquarters, on Saturday, 19 July 1997. Who is listed there, Mr Sesay, as the PLO-2?

  • It is Staff Sergeant Tamba Alex Brima.

  • Did Staff Sergeant Tamba Alex Brima have a nickname?

  • Yes, he is Gullit.

  • So, when going back to the transcript - let's put that one away, please - when this Colonel Sesay is saying on the radio that Brigadier TAB Yahya, former PLO-2, is he telling the truth to the BBC?

  • Well, that is the truth that he was telling the BBC. The only problem is where he inserted the "Yahya". I did not know about the Yahya. But TAB Tamba Alex Brima - and he was the only PLO-2 for the AFRC - was among the attackers in Freetown, and I knew he was the commander that led the troops after the death of SAJ Musa because he was the 2IC to SAJ Musa.

  • Yes, we can put that document away now. I want at this stage now, Mr Sesay, to ask you one or two questions about this period, to put matters in context. First of all, did Charles Taylor send a force of Liberians under the command of a man called Senegalese to assist the RUF in the attack on Kono?

  • Not at all.

  • Do you know someone called Senegalese?

  • Yes, I know Senegalese.

  • Senegalese was a former ULIMO fighter.

  • Did Senegalese have any link with the RUF?

  • Yes, Senegalese, yes.

  • What was that link?

  • Well, Senegalese was at the Mano River with the ULIMO-K forces, the time the RUF crossed around that November 1996, when Mike Lamin and others surrendered to the ULIMO. That was the first time Senegalese had a contact with the RUF. So in 1997, when Mike Lamin left Liberia to come, he came along with Senegalese to Sierra Leone. From that time, Senegalese was in Kenema with Sam Bockarie during the AFRC period. And when the intervention happened, Senegalese withdrew with Sam Bockarie to Kailahun, and he was in Kailahun before we arrived there. If you see in that report that Sam Bockarie wrote to Mr Sankoh, that salute report, he said he had sent people to Superman to receive ammunition that he captured during the Fitti-Fatta attack, and Superman seized the people. Senegalese was among that group. He was in that group, and he went to Superman. He was with Superman until December. Senegalese came to Makeni with Superman, and I was in Makeni when Superman went to Lunsar. So Senegalese was in Sierra Leone from 1997, before this invasion in Freetown which occurred in 1999, January.

  • The second question: Have you heard of a Red Goat Battalion?

  • Yes. That battalion operated with the Mani group in Koinadugu. I heard about that name in December 1998 when we met at Makeni.

  • Who made up that Red Goat Battalion?

  • They were the RUF soldiers.

  • Were they Liberians?

  • Was the Red Goat Battalion, to your knowledge, involved in the attack on Freetown?

  • Well, I didn't know about their involvement in the attack on Freetown because that battalion operated with the Mani group and when those people attacked Freetown, they were not with them at that time, when they came to Makeni.

  • Were the AFRC involved in the attack on Kono, which you led?

  • The AFRC - few of them were among, yes, few, but the attack on Kono was dominated by the RUF.

  • Did the RUF have control over the AFRC forces who attacked Freetown?

  • No. The RUF was not in control of the AFRC after Freetown, no.

  • Did the RUF form part of a common operation with the AFRC forces in that attack on Freetown on 6 January 1999?

  • No. It was not a common plan, nor was it a common purpose, because, when you look at the reality that obtained at that time, there were two separate operations. They were not similar.

  • Did Bockarie send troops to reinforce the AFRC in Freetown?

  • No, Bockarie did not send troops.

  • Did RUF Rambo and - did RUF Rambo and Superman - let me start again. Where were RUF Rambo and Superman at the time of the Freetown invasion?

  • RUF Rambo and Superman, they were in the invasion of Freetown. Superman was in Lunsar, and RUF Rambo joined Superman to attack Port Loko. That was the time after those people had attacked Freetown.

  • Did they move towards Freetown at some stage in January 1999, Superman and Rambo?

  • Yes, sir, on Sam Bockarie's instruction.

  • And where did they go to?

  • Well, after the failed attack on Port Loko, Sam Bockarie said they should take the road to advance towards Waterloo because when the AFRC had attacked Freetown, ECOMOG redeployed at Masiaka Mile 38, and ECOMOG and the Guinean contingents were at Waterloo. So Rambo, Superman, they attacked Masiaka and captured there. They moved on 38 and they went and attacked Waterloo. The fighting took up to two weeks before the Guinean contingent withdrew from Waterloo to Port Loko.

  • But did RUF forces get any closer to Freetown than Waterloo?

  • Well, as far as I new, they stopped in Waterloo. In fact, at the time the Guineans withdrew from Waterloo. By then, the AFRC also had been withdrawing from Freetown.

  • Now, you told us earlier, Mr Sesay, that you were led to understand that the attack on Freetown was organised by SAJ Musa, who wanted to reinstate the army. What did you understand that to mean?

  • Well, that was just - that was just to prove that the attack, the planning and execution of the attack, was an individual - I mean, it was an independent plan by the AFRC. It had nothing to do with the RUF because the RUF was not part of the army.

  • That AFRC force which attacked Freetown, Mr Sesay, who was in control of them?

  • Well, before the attack, it was SAJ Musa who controlled the troops.

  • And during the attack, who controlled the troops?

  • It was SAJ Musa's deputy, the PLO-2, Tamba Alex Brima, alias Gullit.

  • Now, you told us that after the Freetown attack, you spoke to the RUF radio operators who had been with that AFRC force who attacked Freetown. Do you remember telling us that?

  • Yes. I said I spoke to them after they had withdrawn to Waterloo.

  • Did any of those operators tell you that Charles Taylor was giving instructions to either SAJ Musa or Gullit during the attack on Freetown?

  • No, no. Mr Taylor never spoke to Gullit, nor SAJ Musa. The operators did not tell me that.

  • As far as you are aware, was Charles Taylor in contact with Sam Bockarie during the course of the Freetown - the attack on Freetown?

  • No. I did not know about that.

  • Did you hear any radio traffic between Liberia and the RUF during the course of the attack on Freetown?

  • No. I did not monitor any communication between the station in Liberia and the RUF.

  • Now, Mr Sesay, it has been helpfully brought to my attention that there is a document I should have brought to your attention when we were dealing with that meeting at the Waterworks. Could the witness please be shown exhibit P-63 please?

    Mr Sesay, have you seen this document before?

  • I have not seen this document before.

  • For example, during your trial in Freetown, was this document shown to you?

  • Well, I do not recall that I was shown this document, but - I don't recall that I was shown this document.

  • Let's just have a look at it. You see it is headed "Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone - defence headquarters" and it is dated 2 December 1998. And it is headed "Forum with the external delegates led by the" something "of defence staff". External delegates, who is that?

  • Well, I don't know this terminology "external delegates" because the only external delegation that had the name that I knew among the RUF were the delegation who were in Ivory Coast because --

  • Your Honours, could the witness be asked to repeat that area slowly.

  • Say that again please, Mr Sesay. The only external delegation you knew of?

  • Was the RUF external delegation who were in Ivory Coast from December '94 up to some part in '97. Those were the only people that I knew for this expression "external delegates." But the people whom Sam Bockarie travelled with, they went on a trip and they returned in two weeks time. So they were not called delegation or delegates.

  • Then it goes on:

    "This meeting was summoned by the high command Brigadier Sam Bockarie in order to acquaint members present with report on the external mission they went on. The venue was the Waterworks and the time was 1.23 Greenwich mean time."

    Is this the meeting at Waterworks, Mr Sesay?

  • No. The meeting I attended at Waterworks took place in the evening. It was not in the afternoon.

  • Now this day, 2nd December 1998, is that accurate for the meeting which you attended at Waterworks?

  • 2nd December '98, by then Sam Bockarie had not yet returned.

  • Now it says that in attendance were Brigadier Sam Bockarie, Mr SYB Rogers, Colonel Edward Kanneh, Major Lawrence Womandia, Major Junior Vandi, Major Mohamed S Banya, Lieutenant Colonel Rashid Sandy, external delegates, Colonel IH Sesay battlefield commander and members of various units were also in attendance. Now, before we look at some of the detail of that, you said in your last answer that Sam Bockarie had not yet returned on 2 December 1998. Not yet returned from where?

  • He had not returned from his trip that he took to Burkina Faso and Libya via Monrovia. He had not yet returned.

  • "The meeting was opened with a short Muslim and Christian prayers." Was that the case at the meeting you attended, Mr Sesay?

  • No. The meeting I attended, we did not offer prayers, because I said I think it was just about seven of us who attended that meeting.

  • "The chairman CDS Brigadier Sam Bockarie welcomed everyone who attended the forum. He told us all 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. Mr SYB Rogers extended his heartfelt thanks to all persons in attendance. Pa Rogers wasted no time to tell us the mission was a very big success through our blessings and cooperation. According to Mr SYB Rogers, this plan of sending out people to seek our welfare at the international front at hand, many of these people failed us but God almighty blessed the very outstanding effort made by the CDS and indeed the success was great in terms of what they were able to receive.

    Mr SYB Rogers stated further that since the 1997, May 25 coup, the RUF/Sierra Leone was invited to join our brothers AFRC but he lamented that the merger was unsuccessful because there was no common understanding or ideology. He reiterated that indeed God is behind our movement, so that we shall not be disgraced. He admonished that we must reckon with the efforts played by the high command when it deserved praise. It is the sole right of the senior command structure and all combatants to defend the civilians. This is the reason why he, as chairman of the people's War Council and an elder among us, he confirmed it as his primary duty to advise and educate the higher authorities as to what they must do. Let no-one feel or say that Brigadier Mosquito is doing things on his own. We must come together and consult even with ourselves and the high command on problems we don't understand.

    Pa SYB Rogers pledged his sincere thanks and credit to the CDS for his leading role in the external mission they went on. Indeed, the CDS's effort was very excellent. Pa SYB Rogers noted with profound gratitude the effort applied by our host government and the other side for granting us the inlet and exit facilities, even with escort. It was very surprising to note that, according to Pa SYB Rogers, most Heads of State have been thinking that the RUF/Sierra Leone had been in disarray since the kidnapping of our dear leader. It was therefore good and a blessing in disguise to us all that the young brigadier himself, who has held the garrison strongly against the enemies, went to see some of the Heads of State in person. According to Pa Rogers, both the CDS and himself paid a courtesy call on His Excellency CGT."

    Who is CGT, Mr Sesay?

  • CGT, that is Mr Taylor.

  • Now just pausing for a minute, Mr Sesay. Do you recall the meeting you attended discussing the matters recorded here?

  • Well, yes, because Bockarie spoke about - he said when they got to Monrovia they visited Mr Taylor before they left for Burkina Faso and that it was Mr Taylor who made efforts to speak to President Blaise Compaore who was the OAU chairman for the RUF delegation to meet him. And the meeting with the ECOMOG chairman and the OAU chairman at that time was purely for them to revisit the Abidjan Accord. That was what I understood.

  • Now at the meeting you attended, who gave that report; was it Bockarie or SYB Rogers?

  • No, it was Bockarie who said that.

  • Let's go back to the document:

    "To everybody's delight there are friendly countries who are wishing to receive serious minded people that will seek RUF/Sierra Leone interests abroad. Pa Rogers lamented that we were disappointed by most of the past external delegates who squandered RUF/SL funds and made no headway so as to open our way to success. They have met their fate, says Pa Rogers. The people's sin has fallen on them. The mission extended to Burkina Faso where they, delegates, were warmly received and attended to. All discussions with the Burkinabe authorities were highly fruitful. There was, however, a diplomatic test on the CDS to prove his ability and seriousness as commander on the ground. The CDS behaved excellently maturely to the admiration of His Excellency Compaore. The brigadier has done a very historic job for the RUF/SL movement. He has signed a rich contract for us and, with our support given to him and the movement we shall do everything possible to promote this struggle. The War Council chairman made it public that people had been meeting on the note that the CDS is intending to take the leader's power. According to Pa Rogers, he advised everyone not to think of the CDS in that way. He, Pa Rogers, told us that he has examined the brigadier in and out and has not suspected the least of such intention in the brigadier. We must give the brigadier all fervent support so as to encourage him, brigadier, so his great sacrifice. Pa Rogers concluded by thanking Colonel Issa Sesay, the battlefield commander, AG CDS and all authorities who held the ground and front line strongly while the CDS and delegates were out."

    Now can we pause there for a second. Now we see there reference to the courtesy call on CGT who you tell us is Mr Taylor and we see reference to the meeting with Compaore. Have you seen any reference at this stage to a visit to Libya or Gaddafi, Mr Sesay?

  • Mr Griffiths, our LiveNote seems to have frozen. If you could just pause for a moment. Madam Court Manager, what's going on? Can you please find out what is going on?

  • Your Honours, I have consulted our IT staff. They are coming down to assist us.

  • We are experiencing a technical problem with the LiveNote and I think it would give the technical people space to rectify the problem if we adjourned for a brief moment, so we will do that. We'll adjourn briefly.

  • [Break taken at 12.25 p.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 12.34 p.m.]

  • We apologise for the interruption, but I understand the technical problem has now been fixed.

    Mr Griffiths, just to remind you that today's session is slightly smaller, in that we end at 1 o'clock.

  • Very well, Madam President.

  • Mr Sesay, can we go back to this document, please, and we're at page 2. I will pick it up seven lines from the bottom of the page:

    "According to Pa Rogers, he advised everyone not to think of the CDS in that way. He, Pa SYB Rogers, told us that he has examined the brigadier in and out and has not suspected the least of such intention in the brigadier. We must give the brigadier all formal fervent support so as to encourage him, brigadier, for his great sacrifice. Pa Rogers concluded by thanking Colonel Issa Sesay, the battlefield commander, CDS, and all authorities who held the ground and front line strongly while the CDS and delegates were out.

    Next to speak was Colonel Eddie Kanneh, SLA representative. The young colonel thanked everybody for their courage to attend the forum. According to the colonel, all the trip was very successful. He dilated on how, at several times, he faced embarrassment on account of his association and deep commitment to the RUF Sierra Leone. He made us understand that since his familiarity with our brigadier, or CDS, he, Colonel E Kanneh, sees the CDS as a man who does not want to get involved into politics and that he has known the CDS to be far-sighted person who can predict with possible results. He therefore asks all and sundry not to picture the CDS that the way other people are classing him to be, that is power hungry. He warned that there must be solid declaratory among us all. He commended Pa SYB Rogers for his fatherly part he is playing in the movement, Colonel Issa Sesay for his gallant party he played in the absence of the CDS for keeping the ground under control. He asked us to remember outstanding our external friends of this movement like General Abraham.

    Let us mobilise, unite, be conscious and I leave a general warning that no one must take revolution lightly to avoid subversion. We must care for the junior ranks, and I hope and pray that this movement shall continue to live and prosper in good faith, concluded the young colonel.

    The chief of defence staff, Brigadier Sam Bockarie, buttressed the speeches of Pa SYB Rogers and Colonel Eddy Kanneh. He threw light on some important things, however, for the general understanding of those who attended the meeting. In the first place, the CDS told us that they were not financially strong to make the trip as successful as it turned out to be. He said that in the first attempt they stopped halfway and heard about the shocking news on Focus about the trial and death sentence passed on our father and leader, Corporal Foday S Sankoh. The CDS made hasty preparation and were turned back to the brothers as to launch offensives 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. The CDS said the father showed him the parcels and said that he was keeping the parcel until the cater and get more for us to be able to purchase reasonable quantity of whatever we want. The CDS reiterated that if we work hard and remain united, victory will be on our side. According to the CDS, he took along Major Lawrence Womandia because he can speak French and it was the delegates' intention to visit France - countries and even Libya. The CDS said due to copious arrangements Colonel Eddie and Pa Rogers had at hand, he did not hope he would see them to make the trip as planned, but God greatly helped us, we, Pa Rogers and Colonel Eddie, and we made the trip together. The CDS concluded that the trip was a big success on the whole. The brigadier told the forum that he was able to formally hand over our struggle and petition about our leader to the President of Burkina Faso, who is the current chairman of the OAU, so that as OAU chairman he will step in and mediate peace between us and the SLPP government. He warned that now is the time to work together to secure the release of our leader and to avoid funny things like gossips that would lead to disunity among us. The CDS admonished and placed a curse on anyone who would plan to mismanage the small logistics they had laid down their lives for in the interests of the struggle. The brigadier inferred that he went with a two-and-a-half carat diamond and some other items which he gave as present to a senior security Benjamin in order to facilitate easy access to all chances for the undelayed access of our mission. The CDS concluded by thanking everybody, both missionaries and those who" - there appears to be something missing there. "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 victory of our movement. A commander will feel good when he attacks and captures rather than being called to join with others. It will make no prospect. The field commander extended many blessings to all those who joined the CDS to bring us the expected good which will bring success for us all. Colonel Isaac Mongor thanked the CDS and delegates for their grand efforts. He advised everybody to work hand in hand for the victory of the RUF Sierra Leone. We're not fighting for Pa Sankoh or the brigadier but ourselves and our country, Sierra Leone, for victory and peace. This, RUF Sierra Leone leader has been telling us all along. Colonel Mike Lamin thanked the CDS and the delegates who went with him on the mission. We as RUF Sierra Leone must consider this gesture as a brilliant challenge and we must do some things impressively in return of the challenge. He warned that we must not talk on how the material was channelled to our base, for security reasons.

    Colonel Morris Kallon thanked the CDS and delegates for the great efforts. He stated in the first place that, for the person or persons who go about saying that the CDS wants to take the leadership of the RUF Sierra Leone, Colonel Kallon noted that except such people do not construct themselves in a way to be understood without grudge or malice, but the second in a command appointment was given to the CDS by our leader himself and that it is natural that he shall succeed our leader after long years of the leader's services to the movement and the nation. He compared a combatant's risk of life to that of an external delegate's own, by which he stated that the later's own risk of life was far more greater than the combatant's because he doesn't know the enemies around him. Colonel Kallon warned all persons to put to good use what the CDS has fought hard to get for the movement.

    Chief commander, JV Samuka thanked the CDS and delegates and prayed for God's blessing for them. He juxtaposed Tejan Kabbah/God hearing prayers as a chance now gracefully given to the RUF/SL.

    Pastor Alpha on behalf of the Christian group thanked the CDS and delegates. He threw in a proverb which says, "Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown." He prayed fervently to almighty God for our senior officers, junior officers, against the enemies and grand success of the RUF Sierra Leone. Pastor Alpha invoked the spirit of Taburakar and Jehoja, the great God.

    Major E Collins stated that the CDS has killed two birds with one stone. That is, political and military problems. The CDS announced a senior officers' meeting from where arrangements were to be done for full-scale operations. The meeting ended in harmony."

    Now, Mr Sesay, does the minutes of this meeting jog your memory about attending a meeting such as this?

  • No, I did not attend such a meeting, because the meeting --

  • Because the meeting which I attended, that Sam Bockarie - Morris Kallon was not there, Isaac Mongor was not there. The meeting I attended was just about six to seven, the meeting that we attended at Waterworks.

  • Whose is the signature we see on this document?

  • I don't know this signature because there is no name underneath. Joint security rep, there is no name.

  • Who was the joint security rep?

  • Well, we had the joint security commander who was Mr Gbao, but I did not know anybody who was a joint security rep who had a title "joint security rep", no.

  • Could you give us the name of the joint security commander again?

  • Augustine A Gbao, Augustine Attu Gbao.

  • As far as you're aware, Mr Sesay, who would have responsibility for compiling a report for such a meeting?

  • Well, the people that have been called, it was the general's adjutant who was assigned to Bockarie was the appropriate person to take the reports of the minutes of the meeting and --

  • That is Rashid Sandy. This is not the job of joint security, to take minutes of a meeting, no.

  • Now, there are one or two other things that I want to ask you about, about this document. Let's go to page 3 please. Count down 15 lines from the top of the page. "Outstanding external friends of the movement, like General Abraham". Who is that?

  • That is Ibrahim Bah.

  • So that should be Ibrahim, not Abraham, is that correct?

  • Yes, it is General Ibrahim Bah, Ibrahim Bah.

  • Count up seven lines from the bottom of the page, please. "The CDS congratulated Colonel Jungle and General Abraham." Pause there. Is that the same Ibrahim Bah?

  • Well, I only knew one General Ibrahim Bah.

  • But let's look at this sentence in total:

    "The CDS congratulated Colonel Jungle and General Ibrahim for their sincerity and honesty in delivering the parcels that were given to them for our father across."

    What's that about?

  • What is that about?

  • Well, what you've read here says the right side is saying that Colonel Jungle, General Abraham, and Bockarie congratulated them because they delivered the parcel to their father across. I don't know about this, if General Abraham delivered the parcel or Colonel Jungle delivered them also the parcel across. I didn't know about that, to any father.

  • Who was our father, the father of the movement?

  • Well, the only father that we had in the RUF was Foday Sankoh. We did not have any other father, because he was the one we refer to as Papay.

  • Go over to the next page, please. Did, as appears on that front line, did Bockarie on this trip go to France? On his trip in late November 1998, did he go to France?

  • No, he did not tell me about France.

  • And let's go to the last four lines in that first paragraph:

    "The brigadier inferred that he met with - he went with a two-and-a-half carat diamond and some other items which he gave as present to a senior security Benjamin in order to facilitate easy access to all chances for the undelayed success of our commission."

    You told us, Mr Sesay, that Bockarie purchased ammunition in Liberia on his return from Burkina Faso, didn't you?

  • Yes, that's what I said.

  • Well, he said he bought some part of the ammunition from Benjamin Yeaten and the other part was bought from the battalion commander in Lofa.

  • Do you know who the senior security Benjamin, who is being referred to in this document?

  • Well, Benjamin was the SS director, Benjamin Yeaten.

  • So who - this reference to Benjamin, who is that?

  • Well, the man whom Bockarie told us bought - he bought the ammunition from was Benjamin Yeaten.

  • Now, just to be clear, Mr Sesay, this document, is it an accurate record of a meeting you attended on 2 December 1998?

  • I told you that I did not attend a meeting on 2 December 1998. I attended a meeting, which I believe should have been on 13 December 1998, and on the 14th we left for Kono. Or the 12th of - the meeting which I attended, it would have either been on 13 or 12 December 1998 before my departure for Kono. But on 2 December, at that time Sam Bockarie had not come yet. So what I knew was that Bockarie left in late November and returned around 10 or 11 December '98 before he sent us to Kono.

  • The reason I ask, Mr Sesay, is this: If we look finally at the last page, right at the end, you see that this document was copied to the CDS. Who is that?

  • CDS, that is Bockarie. He was the one with the title.

  • At that time I was.

  • So, according to this, this document was copied to you. Did you receive a copy of this document?

  • Not at all. I did not receive a copy of this.

  • I am about to move to another document, your Honour. Would that be a convenient point?

  • Yes, indeed. Of course that will have to be next week, won't it. We don't sit for this trial this afternoon; we do other work. So we are going to adjourn the proceedings until Monday at 9 o'clock, Mr Sesay. In the meantime you are not to discuss your evidence with anyone. The Court is adjourned until 9 o'clock Monday.

  • [Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.00 p.m. to be reconvened on Monday, 12 July 2010 at 9.00 a.m.]