February 4, 2008
After 7 days of testimony, today at 1.00 p.m. the Prosecution completed the examination on redirect of witness TF1-371. The Court took an early break until 2 p.m., when Prosecutor Mohamed Bangura began his examination of Witness TF1-360, Perry Mohamed Kamara, age 37, from Makpele County, Pughun District, Sierra Leone. The Witness wore a dark suit, white shirt and grey tie. During the session Charles Taylor took notes and frequently conferred with his Defense. After some technical problems with the sound system, the Witness was able to start his testimony in Krio, which was interpreted into English. The Witness was cautioned twice by Presiding Judge Doherty to slow down in speech since his interpreter had difficulty keeping up with him.
Kamara testified concerning the close relationship and coordination that existed between RUF leader Foday Sankoh and Taylor in the 1990’s, the RUF’s command structure at that time, and the RUF’s methods of communication.
• In April 1991 in Zimmi, Kamara was captured by a group of RUF members, consisting of Liberians and Sierra Leoneans, that came from Liberia. The leader of this group was “Mosquito”, Sam Bockarie. He was taken to the 1st Training Base in Pujehun District: Gissiwulo.
• The Witness received two months of guerrilla training and was taught: 1) how to fire a gun; 2) gun maintenance; 3) how to attack the enemy; 4) how to ambush.
• He was told that Foday Sankoh was the leader of the RUF. In June 1991, Sankoh visited Base Gissiwulo, looking for men with education of form 3 to 5, to be given extra training in radio communications. Kamara was selected with about 12 others. This group was taken to the Makpele Mining Company, Sankoh’s Headquarters at the time.
• Foday Sankoh gave the radio communications training himself, including radio installment, voice procedure, coding and decoding.
• After 1 month the training was broken off, because ULIMO and Sierra Leonean government forces pushed them out of Sierra Leone, back into Liberia. Kamara then went to Cape Mount County in the Kpopor District in Liberia. Sankoh left to meet with Charles Taylor. General Peper and General Devon of the NPFL came with trucks containing arms and food, indicating it was Charles Taylor who sent these supplies so they could regroup and organize a unit. This unit was led by Black Ghadafa. Kamara was told that the leader of the NPFL was Taylor.
• Taylor visited Black Ghadafa’s unit later in 1991. Taylor promised them weapons to continue the war in Sierra Leone and regain the territory they had lost when they were pushed out of Sierra Leone to Liberia.
• Kamara met Charles Taylor again in 1992 in Kakata in Liberia. Taylor and Sankoh met, and Taylor sent Sankoh to Harbel to collect ammunition. Two hours later trucks appeared. This was for a big mission: to go back to Sierra Leone, which many members of the RUF did under High Commander Rashid Mansaray.
• In November 1992, Gbarnga was the Headquarters of Charles Taylor.
• At Pendembu Base in Sierra Leone, Kamara received further radio communications training. Taylor personally sent a Liberian named Nya to this Base to be with Foday Sankoh. For about a month, Nya provided further training to the Witness and 14 others concerning how to communicate between Liberia and Sierra Leone. Under this procedure, a message would be received from Taylor, it would be decoded, and then entered into a logbook, with a copy sent to Sankoh. Taylor spoke with Sankoh every 2-3 days. They referred to each other in code: Sankoh called Taylor “Ebony”, Taylor called Sankoh “Toyota”.
• After his training, Kamara was assigned to various locations in the Kailahun District. He has been assigned to work with the following commanders: Zino (Mohamed), Rashid (“Elephant”), Issa Sesay, Liberian Captain Sylvester and Foday Sankoh until he left Kono in 1993.
• Kamara testified that there were three groups in the RUF: Special Forces, Vanguards and Junior Commandos. The Special Forces consisted of those who had gone to Libya to be trained, and they planned the attacks.
• Kamara testified that between 1992 and 1994 the RUF received their supplies from Taylor, including arms, ammunition, food and drugs. This was brought into Sierra Leone in trucks and the load was covered with bags of rice. It was paid for with diamonds and cash of which Perry Kamara was an eyewitness.
• The Witness testified to the command structure of the RUF from 1991-1994: 1st in command: Foday Sankoh; 2nd in command: Rashid Mansareh; 3rd in command: Mohamed Tarawalli.
• In 1994, Mansareh was court-martialled, judged guilty and given the death penalty. Mohamed Trawelly (Zino) became 2nd in command, Sam Bockarie (Mosquito) became 3rd in command and Issa Sesay became 4th in command.
• Another change occurred in 1996 as Foday Sankoh went to Abidjan for peace talks. Mohamed Trawelly was in charge but went missing in action. As a result, Issa Sesay took command.
• There were ULIMO attacks in 1994 and 1995. Taylor advised Sankoh to avoid towns, live in the bush and concentrate on ambushes. The Witness partook in setting up a Base in Zogoda in the eastern part of Sierra Leone in Kenema District.
• During this time there was always radio communication between Taylor and Sankoh. Sankoh was always advised by Taylor. Sankoh told Kamara and others that Taylor wanted him to attack a major place: Sierra Rutile or Kono. Sankoh chose to attack Sierra Rutile in the Bonthe District in the South part of Sierra Leone in late 1994-1995.
• Also during this period several white men were captured as hostages. It was decided to release them and several RUF members went with them, pretending to be released hostages. This way they could safely travel to Ivory Coast where they bought a house and radios to establish a base there. From this base Dr. Simbo, at the time a stranger to Kamara, came from Ivory Coast to RUF territory in Zogoda. He brought with him “instruments”, including a satellite phone. Now communication with Ivory Coast was made possible.
• Taylor advised Sankoh to find a place to build an airfield. Peter Borbor Vandi was chosen to do this job close to Buedu.
• Kamara’s rank as a radio communications officer was Major. As a result, he had access to much information as he was allowed to attend meetings where combatants were not permitted.
• The RUF communications system used the frequency “70110” for all stations listening. Messages were sent from one station to another station through Sankoh’s control station.