11:30 Cross-examination of prosecution witness Dennis Koker continues

Court is back in session.

Defense counsel Morris Anyah resumes his cross-examination of prosecution witness Dennis Koker:

Def: Yesterday we were going through some of the events in Koidu.  Speaking about Kono District and Operation No Living Thing, you said civilians were captured, including boys and girls.

Wit: Yes.

Def: They were captured to carry loads?

Wit: The adults were carrying loads, not the children.

Def: There were other things you said happened to civilians.  Was there a command from above to the foot soldiers to capture civilians?

Wit: What do you mean by commander and ordinary soldiers?

Def: Was there a command from the top people in the RUF or AFRC in Kono to the lower soldiers to capture civilians?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Are you absolutely sure about that?

Wit: I’m sure.

Def: (Referencing a document) You spoke with the prosecution on May 21, 2007 and they took notes of the conversation.  It says here: witness said he saw civilians being captured by RUF and AFRC soldiers, men, women and children.  Witness states this took place in Kono, in the areas occupied by RUF and AFRC in the first week of Feb 1998.  He said they were to be used as labor to carry looted property.  He says the capturing was not ordered, but a common practice.  That’s what you said, isn’t it?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Yesterday we spoke about events in Masiaka, Tonkolili and Kailahun.

Wit: Yes.

Def: Yesterday you said civilians were forcefully captured.

Wit: Yes.

Def: How far is Masiaka from Makeni?

Wit: I don’t know.

Def: I put it to you that with respect to Kailahun, the capturing of civilians was not caused by any order from any top commander.  Do you agree?

Wit: No, I don’t.

Def: Yesterday you said you were an overseer of prisoners of war?

Wit: Yes.

Def: This was in Beudu, Kailahun District?

Wit: Yes.

Def: At one time, Nigerian soldiers were in your custody?

Wit: Yes.

Def: This was shortly after the Lome Agreement of July 1999?

Wit: I don’t know about Lome.  I was in the bush.

Def: Did you say that Foday Sankoh came to Beudu in July 1999?

Wit: Yes, he came to Beudu and said no more war.

Def: You saw him?

Wit: Yes.

Def: That was in July 1999?

Wit: At that time I wasn’t using a calendar.  But I saw him.

Def: In your statement, I put it to you that you said he came in July 1999.

Wit: It was in the rainy season.

Def: (References a document) In your first statment to the prosecution in March 2003: witness could remember sometime in July 1999 when Sankoh came to Beudu.  Johnny Paul was with him.  Do you recall?

Wit: It was the rainy season.

Def: You said specifically July.  Do you disagree that you said that?

Wit: It was in the rainy season.

Def: If I told you that Sankoh was in jail in July 1999, would I be mistaken?

Wit: I know he came in the rainy season.  I don’t know when he was released from jail.

Def: There were 20 ECOMOG soldiers  in your custody, were there not?

Wit: There were 21.

Def: At some point a delegation came from Freetown to Beudu to secure their release?

Wit: Yes.

Def: One of the members was S.Y.B. Rogers, now deceased, who was an RUF member.

Wit: I knew him as Pa Rogers.

Def: He came with the delegation from Freetown?

Wit: He did not come to me.  He came to my masters.

Def: I was asking whether he came to Beudu.

Wit: People came to Beudu, but I did not see him.  I was in the office, not in Mosquito’s house.  There was some distance between Mosquito’s house and my office.  I was not a member of the council that would receive members of any delegation.

Def: Yeserday you were close enought to Bockarie to be present when arms were delivered?

Wit: Yes, for security reasons, as an MP.

Def: One of the Nigerian soldiers developed tuberculosis while in custody?

Wit: Yes.

Def: I put it to you that you and your MP commander, Tom Sandie, executed him in the dark of night and buried him.

Wit: Are you talking about Tom Sandie or me?

Def: The two of you killed him, true or false?

Wit: I did not do that.  I don’t know if Tom Sandie did, I did not do that.

Def: You agree one Nigerian soldier died in your custody?

Wit: He did not die in our hands.  He did not die in prison or detention. He was taken to Mosquito.  I was not there.  It was not in my presence.  He was taken from my place and they said he was being taken to Mosquito.  I’m talking for myself, not for Tom Sandie.  Nobody ever died in that MP house.

Def: Did one of those 21 POW soldiers die?

Wit: Yes.

Def: He was in the custody of the RUF at the time?

Wit: Yes.

Def: You told us yesterday that civilians were mistreated in Masiaka?

Wit: Yes.

Def: We have counted about ten interviews you’ve done with the prosecution.  I put to you that in all of these records, at no time did you say that civilians were mistreated in Masiaka until one time, in your last interview before testifying here.

Wit: If any civilian in Masiaka says they were not abused, then I tell a lie.

Def: That wasn’t my question.  In nine interviews, you never mentioned mistreatment of civilians in Masiaka.  Is that true?

Wit: I did not say it in the first statement.  I said it in the last.  I already told you, so many things happened.

Def: You said you didn’t mention abuse of civilians in Masiaka in the first statement.  I put to you that you also left it out of the next 8 interviews.

Wit: The mistreatment started in Freetown and continued up to Beudu and even to the end of the war.  If you want me to explain mistreatment of civilians, you’ll have to write a lot.  I didn’t tell it all at one time.

Def: You had 9 different opportunities to tell the prosecution that civilians were mistreated in Masiaka and you failed to do so.

Wit: I told the court in Freetown twice.  I know about a lot of mistreatment during the war.

Def: I take it you do not wish to answer the question.  Yesterday you testified about events in Beudu.  You said you got there in March 1998, correct?

Wit: No.

Def: It was sometime between February and March?

Wit: We went to Kailahun first before Beudu.  I was in Kailahun in March.  I went to Beudu from Jokebo.  I can’t recall the month.  It’s a long time now.

Def: How much time passed from when you were in Kailahun Town until you got to Beudu.

Wit: I took a little long.  I went to Jokebo first.

Def: It was 1998?

Wit: Yes.

Def: In Beudu, there was RUF, ECOMOG, other peacekeepers – what you would call military observers?

Wit: There were no military observers when I was in Beudu.

Def: Were you there until 2000?

Wit: I was there from 1998-1999.  2000 did not meet me there.

Def: In addition to RUF and ECOMOG, Kamajors were in Beudu when you were there, true?

Wit: It was a rebel zone, not a Kamajor zone.  AFRC members were there.

Def: Have you ever heard of ULIMO?

Wit: Yes.  I did not care about anything to do with Liberia.  I only care about Sierra Leone.  I heard the name ULIMO, but I didn’t know what it was.

Def: You do not like Liberia, do you?

Wit: I like Liberians.  We’re all West Africans.  They should mind their business and we should mind ours in Sierra Leone.

Def: The border area in 1998 was controlled by ULIMO-K, true or false?

Wit: I’m hearing that from you, but I don’t know about that.

Def: In 1998 you were a military man with the RUF.  You were aware of all other warring factions near Beudu?

Wit: I was a military man with the RUF.  The soldiers in Holland here can not tell the number of batallions in Sweden.

Def: How far is Beudu from the Liberia border.

Wit: From Beudu to Dawa is seven miles.

Def: So I’m speaking of a distance of 7 miles.  Were you aware of ULIMO fighters at that border in 1998?

Wit: THere was no ULIMO there.  There were Navy Rangers–Charles Taylor’s soldiers.

Def: The same Navy Rangers you said yesterday off-loaded trucks?

Wit: They were not ULIMO, but Charles Taylor’s people.

Def: Did you say you knew ULIMO to be at the border between SL and Liberia in 1998?

Wit: I did not say so, and I did not know them.  I used to know the Navy Rangers.  At that time it was Charles Taylor’s govenmnent.

Def: The same men you said you saw with yellow polo T-shirts with NPFL written on them?

Wit: Yes.

Def: The NPFL was no longer in existence in 1998.  Am I mistaken?

Wit: They are the ones I saw.  I saw them there.

Def: You did visit the border area between SL and Liberia at that time?

Wit: Yes.  I used to go there.  I saw Navy Rangers.  They did not say they were ULIMO.

Def: Those borders were not closed at that time.  People could move back and forth?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Whenever there were conflicts in SL, refugees would move into Liberia, and when there were problems in Liberia, refugees moved to SL?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Liberians did move to SL as refugees?

Wit: Yes.

Def: You said yesterday about the languages in this general area?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Beudu is in Kissi Tongi Chiefdom and the language is Kissi?

Wit: Yes.

Def: On the Liberian side is Lofa County and there are Golas there?

Wit: There’s not just one ethnic group there.  (Names a few.)

Def: In that area, Liberian English is spoken frequently?

Wit: We were using Liberian currency in Kailahun in 1998.  The Leone had no value there.

Def: Liberian English was spoken frequently in 1998 along the border areas of SL and Liberia?

Wit: Yes.

Def: There were several different crossing points – at Dawa, Baidu?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Also at Sapia?

Wit: I don’t know that.

Def: There was a way to access Guinea too?

Wit: Yes.

Def: So there were different ways people could move back and forth among SL, Liberia and Guinea?

Wit: It’s not like that.  There was security there.  The border was protected.

Def: At this time there was no Sierra Leonean Army?

Wit: There were SL soldiers there, but not on the Kailahun end.

Def: Was there an organized SL Army in Beudu at the time?

Wit: No, we were all rebels.

Def: THere were Liberians within the RUF?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Quite a number of Liberians in senior RUF positions?

Wit: Yes.

Def: One was a brigade commander in Kailahun, Col. Martin George?

Wit: Yes.

Def: At one point a Liberian woman replaced your supervisor, Tom Sandie?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Aside from official border crossing points, there were also footpaths and other unofficial crossing points?

Wit: No.  There was no road you would use that was not known by the government.  The RUF government protected the border on that side so that no enemy could cross.

Def: The government knew every single crossing and had complete control?

Wit: Kabbah’s government or the RUF government?

Def: There was no point along the SL-Liberian border not controlled by the RUF?

Wit: The RUF controlled it.  Security was paramout there.

Def: That’s a forest area?

Wit: Yes.

Def: We’re talking about thick, dense forest?

Wit: Yes.

Def: You know somebody named Foday Kalloh?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Foday Kalloh was a former member of the RUF?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Foday Kalloh, according to you, was killed by Issa Sesay in September 1998?

Wit: Yes.  Issa Sesay killed him, but I can’t remember the month.

Def: Because he was alleged to sell arms to ECOMOG?

Wit: They did not say he sold guns.  He talked with ECOMOG.

Def: Was he killed for trading with ECOMOG?

Wit: They had no gun business with ECOMOG.  They said he went to Guinea to talk to ECOMOG.  They just had conversation.

Def: There is a distinction between “trading” and “having a conversation”.  (References a document) You told the prosecution on 13 April 2005.  You said in about September 1998 I saw Issa shoot Kalloh.  The allegation was that Kalloh had traded with ECOMOG.  True?

Wit: I said trading but didn’t mention arms.  There were no arms.

Def: You’re saying Kalloh was killed for having conversations with ECOMOG?

Wit: Yes.

Def: What you meant by trading was having conversation?

Wit: Yes.  He went to talk to them.  I wasn’t there.  But he told me he went to talk to ECOMOG, that he was then arrested.

Def: Do you recall rumors while you were in Beudu that Ukrainians were bringing arms into SL?

Wit: I can’t recall that.  It’s a long time now.

Def: (Referencing a document) You told the prosecution on 13 April 2005 that while the Junta was in power in SL, I heard rumors that Ukrainians were bringing arms into SL.  Did you say that to the prosecution?

Wit: Yes.  I saw a Ukrainian ship myself in Freetown.

Def: So one source of arms into Sierra Leone was Ukraine?

Wit: Ukrainians would not just bring guns from Ukraine if somebody is not transacting with them.

Def: Do you think that Ukrainian ship brought arms into SL?

Wit: I did not see guns.  Maybe there was an agreement between the AFRC government and Ukraine.

Def: Do you agree that Ukrainians were believed to be bringing arms into SL at that time?

Wit: I saw a Ukrainian ship.  I did not see them off-load guns. 

Def: Yesterday you spoke of off-loading guns from trucks near Bockarie’s place in Beudu.  You said you personally assisted in off-loading weapons from Liberia?

Wit: Yes.

Def: In July 1998?

Wit: Yes.

Def: You spoke about how you knew these weapons came from Liberia.  One was was because the men spoke Liberian English?

Wit: Yes.

Def: You claim the men told you the weapons came from Liberia?

Prosecution objects that defense is mischaracterizing the witness’s prior testimony.  Sebutinde allows defense to proceed.

Def: You said the men who brought the weapons told you they brought them from Liberia?

Wit: That is true. 

Def: The first event you assisted with had a truck, a car, a jeep, and 7 people from Liberia?

Wit: Yes.

Def: You saw some of them wearing yellow polo T-shirts with the words Navy Ranger NPFL?

Wit: I saw that many times.  It was their uniform.

Def: Is that the first time you saw them?

Wit: That T-shirt is a uniform. 

Def: Do you agree, yes or no, there were men wearing uniforms that said “NPFL Navy Rangers”?

Wit: Yes.

Def: On the second delivery, you saw 2 big trucks, 2 mini-vans and a Range Rover?

Wit: Yes.

Def: I want to go over your previous statements about arms deliveries from Liberia, as well as your testimony in the AFRC case in July 2005. (References document) This is your statement from March 2003: witness participated about 4 times in off-loading arms from DAF trucks into a store on Gokodu Rd in Beudu.  He saw arms and ammunition.  He knew the arms were from Liberian because the Liberians spoke Liberian English and wore Liberian uniforms.  You said this?

Wit: True.

Def: There’s no mention of the name Charles Taylor?

Wit: It was Charles Taylor’s country.  It had come from there.

Def: That statement doesn’t mention T-shirts with the NPFL logo, does it?

Wit: They were Liberian soldiers in Liberian uniforms.  They were Taylor’s soldiers.  I did not see Taylor there.

Def: I ask again.  What I read does not mention Liberian soldiers wearing NPFL t-shirts, does it?

Wit: Yes, they wore uniforms.  Some of them wore polo t-shirts under the military jacket.  Some had writing on the t-shirt.  The jackets had no writing.

Def: Nowhere in that statement does it mention that some of the vehicles were mini-vans or cars, correct?

Wit: The guns that came there did not walk on foot.  If you say there weren’t vehicles, then you’re lying.  Did they come by magic?

Def: Yesterday you were very specific about the types of vehicles.  You were not specific in this statement.

Wit: The guns were in the trucks, not in the jeeps or Range Rovers.  The jeeps and Range Rovers carried security personnel for the delivery.

Def: One of the ways you knew the guns came from Liberia was because the men spoke Liberian English?

Wit: Yes.

Def: You also said you knew they came from Liberia because that’s what the men told you?

Wit: Yes, they came from Liberia, not from Guinea.

Def: (Referencing document)  You told the prosecution in Februay 2004: witness saw…

Prosecution interrupts to request that defense portray the statement accurately: they were additions to his previous statement.  Judge Sebutinde agrees.

Def: In Februay 2004 you made additions to a prior statement?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Before this you’d had three prior interviews with the prosecution?

Wit: Yes.

Def: You told them Feb 2004.  I saw arms cross at Dawa to come to Beudu.  The cars came from Beudu.  Tom Sandie also told me they were expecting arms from Liberia.

Wit: Yes.

Def: So you source on this occasion was the direction from which the vehicles came?

Wit: The road they used to come and the briefing from my master, Tom Sandie. That’s how I knew they came from Liberia.  And I saw the guns myself.  I listed them. 

Def: You are not saying you can look at a gun and know it’s from Liberia, are you?

Wit: I can tell you where the gun is produced.  I had military training and I know a little about guns.

Def: You can look at a gun and tell us in which country it was manufactured?

Wit: Yes.  Berettas are made by Italians.  M-16 is licenses.  Chinese AKs are licensed.  Russian AKs are licensed.  I can tell you where they were manufactured.

Def: The guns you saw were automatic weapons?

Wit: Yes.

Def: In July 1998, what automatic weapons were made in Liberia?

Wit: Liberia does not make guns.  They get them from the Americans.  I know they have M-16s.  The guns that were coming were Russian. 

Def: The guns you saw were made in Russia?

Wit: Yes.  But how did they get to Liberia and to Sierra Leone?  That was my surprise.

Def: (Referencing a document) In April 2005, you told the prosecution you saw the trucks arrive at Mosquito’s house.  I was asked to provide security.  My men told me Liberians came with guns.

Wit: Yes, that’s what I said.

Def: So you were told by your men?

Wit: Yes, they told me they were Taylor’s men.

Def: It says: when in Beudu, Issa Sesay moved back and forth to Liberia to make arrangements with Taylor’s men.  I know because Issa went with 18 bags of money to Liberia.  When he came back he said it was stolen.  you said this?

Wit: Yes.

Def: So another basis of your belief that arms came from Taylor is this incident where Issa Sesay went to Liberia with money?

Wit: I can’t know why he went.  I don’t know whether he was buying guns.  He came back and said he’d gone with money.

Def: (Referencing a document) You told the prosecution, as reflected in interview notes from May 2007: witness states that relating to the arms shipments in 1998, the Liberians told him that the materials were from Taylor’s place in Liberia and that the materials were given to them to be brought to Beudu.  Witness states that this information comes from more than one conversation.  That’s what you told the prosecution in May 2007?

Wit: Yes, that is true.

Def: When you made this statement to the prosecution, there is no mention of you off-loading arms from trucks. Correct?

Wit: Yes.  I did not off-load guns.  I recorded it.

Court is adjourning until 11:30.  With the half-hour delay to the media center here at the facilities of the International Criminal Court, our coverage will resume at 12:00 (11:00 in Sierra Leone and Liberia).