9:30 – court is in session.
Prosecutor Nick Koumjian continues direct examination of prosecution witness Isaac Mongor.
Pros: Who is Zigzag Mazahar?
Wit: He was one of the operations men for Mr. Taylor. They used to send the man to go to the front line, or to execute people.
Pros: What was his reputation in the NPFL?
Defense objects: The question is too sweeping. Judges sustain the objection.
Pros: Did you hear other members of the NPFL talk about Zigzag?
Pros: What was his reputation?
Wit: People were afraid of him because he undertook killings.
Pros: You said yesterday that there were two meetings with Ibrahim Bah. Where was the first one?
Wit: At Hill Station, at Sam Bockarie’s house. It was a meeting between RUF authorities and Ibrahim Bah.
Pros: Was Bockarie present?
Wit: No, but it was his house at the time we went to Freetown.
Pros: Was Bockarie in Freetown?
Wit: No, he was in Kenema.
Pros: Who was present?
Wit: Issa Sesay, Morris Kallon, Foday K Lansana, Gibril Massaqoi, and me. And some other people.
Pros: What happened at the meeting?
Wit: During that meeting, Mr. Bah came to talk to us, the RUF, to join the AFRC and work with them. He said it was a message for us from Mr. Taylor.
Pros: What was the reaction from the RUF members?
Wit: We did not do anything, because we knew Ibrahim Bah, who had been with us for. We knew him to be a liaison officer who had been with the RUF. So when we saw him and he brought the message, we were happy.
Pros: This message from Taylor that the RUF should work with the AFRC – was there any reaction to it?
Wit: We accepted it. We took Bah to Johnny Paul Koroma’s place so he could also hear the message.
Pros: Where was JPK’s place?
Wit: At Spur Road.
Pros: Who was present there?
Wit: Johnny Paul called the other SLA officers: Ester Williams, Gullit, Bazzy – all the other AFRC people.
Pros: What was said there?
Wit: JPK and all of us together there, together with Ibrahim Bah, we went to introduce the man to him. It is the Pa who sent him to come to talk to all of us. Pa is Mr. Taylor. He brought a message from Taylor that we should all work hand-in-hand. We brought him to deliver the message here.
Pros: When Bah delivered the message, what was the reaction of those present.
Wit: We were happy and accepted the message.
Pros: Did JPK say anything?
Wit: He received the message and was happy too.
Pros: Why were those present happy?
Wit: Because we also needed help and that man could help us to get ammunition. The AFRC never had enough ammunition to continue to the war?
Pros: Was this stated at the meeting, that there was need for ammunition?
Wit: Yes, we discussed that. It was our main topic.
Pros: How long did Bah stay in Freetown on that occasion?
Wit: He left the next day.
Pros: Was there any response given to Bah to take back?
Wit: We told him that we all agreed and we accepted it. We were ready to work with JPK. But after that, Johnny Paul and Ibrahim Bah had a closed-door meeting. That was not disclosed to us.
Pros: You said you were a member of the Supreme Council. Where did meetings of the Supreme Council take place?
Wit: At first at Johnny Paul’s residence. Sometimes we would go to Cockerill or State House. But we preferred to have the meetings at Johnny Paul’s place. At the other places, our enemies would find out about us and the Alpha jets would not allow us to sit in the meetings. They used to raid our positions. I recall one time when we went for a meeting at Cockerill, the jets bombarded the place before we could get there. The Alpha jets were from ECOMOG.
Pros: What was discussed at these meetings?
Wit: We used to discuss ammunition and weapons we needed to fight the war against ECOMOG and the Kamajors. Mostly we discussed materials.
Pros: Were plans or strategies discussed, how to get these fighting materials?
Wit: Yes. When we received Bah’s message from Taylor, Johnny Paul started having communications with Taylor. He told us he had a plan to travel to Liberia.
Pros: How do you know JPK had communications with Taylor?
Wit: He used to tell us this when we had meetings.
Pros: Can you tell us what your relationship with JPK was?
Wit: I was very close to Johnny Paul. I brought him information from the front line, confirmed reports. He opened his door to me at any hour, even at night.
Pros: Did Johnny Paul Koroma have bodyguards at this time in 1997? Who were they?
Wit: Yes. They were mixed. We had the RUF and the SLAs. They formed his bodyguard units.
Pros: When you had private discussions with JPK, what did you discuss?
Wit: I used to talk with JPK because he had now known me. I was an NPFL man. He used to tell me that it was now good that he was in contact with the Pa, Mr. Taylor. And that he had plans for him to go there and see him. I told him it would be nice for them to meet, because it would make things better for us all.
Pros: What did JPK say about this?
Wit: He also said, yes, that is a good thing. The way he said he had been discussing with his brother, when they sit face to face, they will discuss more.
Pros: When you discussed weapons and ammunition in the Supreme Council meetings, did you discuss how they would be paid for?
Wit: Yes. We were going to take diamonds to pay.
Pros: Were budgets and money ever discussed in the Supreme Council meetings?
Wit: The AFRC never had a budget. But Johnny Paul sent some people to Kono who were mining for the organization. He would show us the diamonds at the meetings. JPK should take the diamonds to the big Pa, Mr. Taylor, so we could get ammunition and arms.
Pros: What would he take to the big Pa?
Wit: The diamonds we had collected.
Pros: Do you recall whom JPK sent to Kono?
Wit: Gullit was in charge of mining in Kono that JPK had organized.
Pros: Who was the “Big Pa”?
Wit: Mr. Taylor.
Pros: At the time that JPK sent Gullit for the mining, was the RUF engaged in mining to your knowledge?
Wit: Yes, RUF was also mining diamonds. Then AFRC men were also mining.
Pros: Where were RUF commanders responsible for the mining?
Wit: RUF was doing mining in Kono and Tongo.
Pros: In Kono, at one site, or more than one?
Wit: Kono town is a big town. The mining was at different locations.
Pros: You indicated that JPK showed diamonds at these meetings. Can you describe what happened?
Wit: Yes, the diamonds brought from Kono – he displayed them to us in the meeting. They were in small containers. Sometimes he would put them on pieces of paper and count them.
Pros: Can you describe the containers he kept the diamonds in?
Wit: They were in small jars. Some bottles are jam bottles. He put them there. They were the size of the glass in front of me here.
Pros: How long were you in Freetown?
Wit: Until the time of the intervention until we were flushed out.
Pros: From the coup until you were pushed out, what were relations like between RUF and AFRC?
Wit: It was nice. We were all working well together, fighting together. They gave us ammunition to fight ECOMOG at the front line. We never had any problem at all.
Pros: Who gave ammunition to whom?
Wit: Johnny Paul was head of state. He supplied us with ammunition to go to the front line. He gave the SLA and RUF ammunition. We were all mixed. RUF and SLA were not fighting separately. We were all together.
Pros: Did you receive ammunition from JPK during that time in Freetown?
Wit: Yes, at first, but later I didn’t.
Pros: From what factions did the fighters under your command come from?
Wit: We had STF – people in the national army in Liberia who came to Sierra Leone. They were with the SLA until the coup.
Pros: Were your own troops from the STF, AFRC and RUF?
Wit: My own fighters were RUF, STF, RUF, all together.
Pros: Who were you fighting against?
Wit: We were fighting ECOMOG and the Kamajors.
Pros: At the time of the coup, did all the SLAs join with the AFRC?
Wit: Not all joined. They all pretended they were AFRC, but some were there who were spies. They revealed our plans to President Kabbah.
Pros: Going back to ammunition. During the time you were in Freetown, were significant ammunition shipments received?
Wit: Yes, we received a small amount before the intervention.
Pros: Which deliveries do you recall?
Wit: Ammunition came to Magburaka. JPK said Taylor would send it to us. Fonte Kanu, Mike Lamin and I went to receive the ammunition. The airplane that brought the things alighted, but the Alpha jets bombarded the place. We received the items before the bombing.
Pros: Did JPK say how he knew that Taylor was sending ammunition?
Wit: He was in communication with Taylor.
Wit: JPK had a Yesue radio that we used to use in the field. He had one in his house. There were RUF members in Liberia, including a woman called Memuna, and another operator called Tollo, and another called Ebony. The operators in Liberia were doing the communication from Freetown to Liberia. JPK’s operator followed instructions from the operators in Liberia. JPK told us in the meetings that he was speaking with his brother, Mr. Taylor. He considered Taylor as his elder brother.
Pros: You said you yourself were sent to Magburaka?
Pros: You described something being delivered. What was actually unloaded from the plane?
Wit: They brought two anti-aircraft guns, ammunition for them, and GMG rounds. We expected to receive AK rounds. We needed more. We would have been happier if more AK rounds came.
Pros: What are GMG rounds for?
Wit: GMG rounds are used in a gun with a belt.
Pros: Did you, the members of the AFRC/RUF have GMG guns?
Pros: You said there were two anti-aircraft guns. Can you describe them?
Wit: It’s a gun with a stand that you can put on the ground or mounted on a van. We could mount it on a vehicle. It has a long barrel with a magazine on the side. It also has a belt.
Pros: These anti-aircraft guns – could they be used for other purposes?
Wit: Yes, we shot human beings with it, not just airplanes.
Pros: Can you describe the rounds?
Wit: They are big, longer and bigger than the AK rounds, even bigger than the GMG rounds.
Pros: Do you know whether this shipment was paid for by the AFRC/RUF?
Wit: Johnny Paul and Ibrahim Bah had a closed door meeting, but they didn’t tell us what they discussed.
Pros: During this time in Freetown, can you describe the civilians’ reaction to the AFRC/RUF invasion.
Defense objects: The witness can’t speak for the people of Freetown.
Judge Doherty: Pros. has to be more specific.
Pros: How did the university students react to the coup?
Defense objects: There’s no foundation for this question.
Judge Doherty: We don’t know that he knew anything about this.
Pros: Did you observe any reactions from civilians in Freetown to the coup?
Defense objects: This is still too broad.
Judge Doherty: The witness can describe what he observed.
Wit: Yes, I observed something.
Pros: Can you tell us what reaction you observed?
Wit: The majority of the civilians were not in favor of the government. Even the students at Fourah Bay College were not in favor, so they demonstrated against the RUF/AFRC. Fighting even erupted between them and us. Some students died. Some soldiers pretended to be with the AFRC government but were not actually with the government. They took the information. They had propaganda radio, Radio Democracy, at Lungi. They talked about our plans on the radio. The majority of the population of Freetown did not approve us at all.
Pros: What did you call the AFRC/RUF union?
Wit: We used to call it the People’s Army.
Pros: Were there other words used to describe the government?
Wit: It was the AFRC/RUF government.
Pros: Did you ever discuss with the commanders the civilians’ attitude towards them?
Wit: We started discussing that the civilians did not like us. The commanders used to discuss it. We did not have clear and clean hearts for the civilians.
Pros: What do you mean by that?
Wit: What I mean is that we did not have a clear heart for them. The young men had formed a Civil Defense Force and they started mounting checkpoints in Freetown. We were against them totally.
Pros: When did the intervention take place?
Wit: The intervention took place in February 1998.
Pros: What was the intervention?
Wit: The ECOMOG troops and Kamajors we were fighting against, advanced against us and flushed us out of Freetown. Soldiers loyal to Kabbah also joined the ECOMOG group. That was the intervention.
Pros: Prior to the intervention, was there fighting in Freetown with ECOMOG and the other opponents you mention?
Wit: We were fighting against ECOMOG at Jui. They advanced from Jui.
Pros: Going to the intervention in February 1998, what happened to you at that time?
Wit: When we were fighting ECOMOG, we were running short of ammunition. There was no AK ammunition. We started running away. We pulled out along the Peninsula. We crossed from Tombo to Four Mile in fishermen’s boats, then up to Masiaka.
Pros: What happened to the two anti-aircraft guns.
Wit: One was mounted at JPK’s house to fight the Alpha Jets. Mike Lamin took the other to Mosquito’s house at Kenema. The GMG rounds were being used in fighting.
Pros: You said “we” started running and “we” pulled out. Who started running?
Wit: AFRC/RUF, including Johnny Paul Koroma.
Pros: Who was in Masiaka?
Wit: I met Issa Sesay, CO Williams and other fighters.
Pros: Had they been in Freetown?
Pros: Do you know how they got to Masiaka?
Wit: Across the Peninsula to Tombo, then in a boat to Four Mile, then on to Masiaka.
Pros: From Masiaka, did you walk or have vehicles?
Wit: Not everyone walked to Makeni. Some vehicles were taken from civilians.
Pros: Where did you go?
Wit: I went to Masiaka and then to Makeni. I first went to Lunsar, and JPK sent a message that I should go to Makeni, so I went.
Pros: How did that message reach you?
Wit: I got it through radio, then some people took me in a vehicle.
Pros: What did you see in Makeni?
Wit: I saw Superman, Issay Sesay, Gullit, 5-5. JPK was not in Makeni; he was in his village.
Pros: Did you receive instructions?
Wit: Yes, I received a message from Mosquito that we should be with JPK.
Pros: What’s the name of JPK’s village?
Wit: Magbon Kineh, past Makeni.
Pros: How did you learn that JPK was in Magbon Kineh.
Wit: He sent someone for me from that village and I went there to see him.
Pros: How far is it?
Wit: To Vinkolo, about 7 miles, then another mile and a half from there.
Pros: Did you see JPK there?
Pros: Anyone else?
Wit: Yes, other fighters and his family members.
Pros: Did you speak with JPK there?
Wit: Yes. I told him that we should go to Kono. He said yes, that’s why he’d called me. He wanted to go to Kailahun. He wanted to go see Mr. Taylor because it would be good for him to make that trip.
Pros: Can you explain that answer?
Wit: I told you, plans were underway in Freetown that JPK was to go see Mr. Taylor. From Beudu to Liberia is not that far. So he agreed to go to Kailahun, and help that plan materialize.
Pros: Did Sam Bockarie give you any instructions?
Wit: Yes, he said I should go with JPK. I and Superman organized ourselves. I told Superman I would lead the convoy from Makeni to Koidu. We heard there were over 5,000 Kamajors in Koidu. People were afraid. I had a twin-barrel AA gun and a 60mm mortar gun. I fell into an ambush but was able to push through. JPK returned to Makeni, but I didn’t learn this until I got to Koidu. So I had to go back to Makeni to get JPK and lead them all back through.
Pros: Did you reach Koidu?
Wit: Yes, with JPK and his family members. Then BBC broadcast that he was there. So he had to move on. I went in advance to fight and clear the way so they could move to Kailahun.
Pros: How do you know about the BBC broadcast?
Wit: I heard it over the radio.
Pros: Commercial radio?
Wit: Yes, commercial radio.
Pros: Did many people in the RUF have these radios?
Wit: Yes, many have them. Even the Yesue radios could be used to listen to commercial news. We listened to SLBS, Radio Democracy, and the BBC. We listened to know if they had accurate information about us.
Pros: How often did you listen to the BBC?
Wit: I listened every day.
Pros: How often did the BBC report on Sierra Leone?
Wit: They reported on Sierra Leone that the rebels had been pushed out of Freetown. They had a Kamajor reporter in Bo. He spoke about how many rebels had been killed and captured.
Pros: After you were pushed out of Freetown and you took JPK to Koidu Town, were there any organizational changes in the structure of the People’s Army?
Wit: Yes, when JPK went to Beudu, AFRC commanders should have RUF deputy commanders.
Pros: Did this structure apply to particular units or all units?
Wit: It applied to all the units I’ve spoken about. Wherever you had AFRC commanders there was an RUF deputy, and vice-versa.
Pros: Did you yourself have an SLA deputy?
Wit: Yes, Mr. Sammy, a major.
Pros: Were there any other changes in the command structure after the intervention?
Wit: Yes, they made changes. Sam Bockarie was put in charge of all of us fighters. Issa Sesay and Morris Kallon and other commanders like Akim Tureh, Leatherboot, Banya, they were also promoted.
Pros: Did Bockarie have a title in his new position?
Wit: He was the Defense Chief of Staff for the whole movement.
Pros: Who appointed Sam Bockarie to that position.
Wit: It was Johnny Paul who did the restructuring. He said he had spoken to his brother and was going to travel. He wanted to leave us in accord before he went.
Pros: When he said his brother, who did he refer to?
Wit: Mr. Taylor. Foday Sankoh referred to Taylor as his brother, and then JPK took the full step and referred to Charles Taylor as his brother.
Pros: After you took JPK to Kono, where did he go then?
Wit: When he arrived in Kono, we took him from there to Beudu, Kailahun, where Bockarie was. But he stayed in Kangama.
Pros: How far is Kangama from Beudu?
Wit: Seven miles.
Pros: What was your assignment then after JPK had gone to Kailahun?
Wit: I was at the frontline, and Superman was our commander for Kono District, which we occupied.
Pros: Were there SLAs there?
Wit: Yes, many.
Pros: Can you name some?
Wit: Leatherboot and 5-5 were there.
Judge Doherty: Are SLAs AFRC?
Pros: Were Leatherboot and 5-5 AFRC or were they loyal to Kabbah?
Wit: They were AFRC.
Pros: In Kailahun, were there AFRC soldiers?
Wit: Gullit, Eddie Kanneh, Major Sam, a lot of AFRC men were there.
Pros: You mentioned earlier a force that went to the north.
Wit: Yes, RUF people were in the north with Saj Musa.
Pros: Can you name them?
Wit: Kim Perry, Alfred Brown and other commanders and fighters.
Pros: When you say the north, what do you mean?
Wit: Koinadugu District.
Pros: When you were commander in the north, what was your headquarters?
Wit: I was in the bush, before I joined the AFRC.
Pros: Where was the Saj Musa force after the intervention.
Wit: In the Karbala area.
Pros: When you were in Kono, under Superman, was there any order given to you and the other commanders there?
Wit: Our order was to go to Kono and not let go of it.
Pros: Do you know why the order was to not let go of Kono?
Wit: Yes, because our diamond mining was in Kono.
Pros: Who gave the order?
Wit: It was Sam Bockarie.
Pros: What was the situation with your ammunition in Kono?
Wit: There was no ammunition, but I sent to Beudu for ammunition. Bockarie told me to be patient. He said Jungle had gone to Liberia to see Taylor and get ammunition. And indeed when he came, he sent ten boxes to me. But the men fought on the way and I only received half.
Pros: Can you explain that?
Wit: Yes, when people came from Kailahun, they would cross the Moa River, using bush paths to come. But they met Kamajors on the way and had to use ammunition against them.
Judge Sebutinde: Who sent the ammunition?
Wit: Bockarie sent the ammunition to me after Jungle got it from Taylor.
Pros: Bockarie said the ammunition was that brought by Jungle?
Pros: Can you describe the ammunition boxes?
Wit: In each box there were two sardine tins with packets.
Pros: What were the boxes made of?
Wit: The boxes were made of wood, but the tins were made of metal and held ammunition packets. The tins had a key to open it. Twenty rounds of ammunition were in one packet.
Pros: So each box had 1,400 rounds?
Pros: Was there fighting in Kono?
Pros: Who was fighting?
Wit: We were still fighting against ECOMOG and the Kamajors and SLA loyalists to Kabbah.
Pros: Were you called to any meetings in Kono?
Wit: Yes, I was called to a meeting in Beudu, but I was unable to go.
Pros: Do you know if others were called?
Wit: Yes, Bockarie called Superman and other vanguard commanders.
Pros: Who were the vanguards?
Wit: They were the ones trained in Liberia for the Sierra Leone war.
Pros: Why couldn’t you go?
Wit: We couldn’t have both top commanders go, so Superman went and I sent a representative.
Pros: Who controlled Koidu Town?
Wit: ECOMOG did, we were on the outskirts.
Pros: Did you receive reports about the meeting in Beudu that you couldn’t attend?
Wit: Superman came and met me at Gandahun. He came with ammunition – a lot of AK rounds, boxes. He said the meeting was for us to run a mission to capture Koidu from ECOMOG. So he brought ammunition. The mission was to have been “Fiti Fata”. I received a call from Mosquito, and he confirmed what Superman had told me. He said that brother Jungle had taken ammunition from Mr. Taylor.
Pros: You told us about this ammunition. Are you aware of the RUF receiving ammunition from any other country other than Liberia?
Wit: Yes, we used to buy ammunition from Guinean soldiers at the border. But not much.
Pros: What years was it when you received ammunition from the Guineans.
Wit: It was in 1993, when ULIMO blocked the border. We used to take cocoa and coffee to the waterside and did it like an exchange.
Pros: Apart from that time, do you know if ammunition came to the RUF from any other country than Liberia?
Wit: I’m not sure that ammunition came from any other place.
Pros: What does “Fiti Fata” mean?
Wit: It means to do something as if you had lost your senses and were a madman.
Pros: Did you participate in this Fiti Fata mission?
Pros: What were the orders?
Wit: We were ensure that we recapture Koidu and kill anyone whom we could lay hands on.
Pros: Was the Fiti Fata mission successful in taking Kono.
Wit: No, it was not successful at all.
Pros: How long after the intervention did you arrive in Kono?
Wit: We were in Koidu for a month before we were dislodged from there?
Pros: How long did it take you to get from Freetown to Kono?
Wit: Not everyone went together. When I reached Masiaka, I went to Makeni. It was a few days, not more than one week before I got to Kono.
Pros: And about a month later you were dislodged by ECOMOG? Do you recall when the Fiti Fata operation took place?
Wit: It was not too long after being pushed out of Koidu Town.
Pros: Was Fiti Fata in the same year you were pushed out of Freetown?
Wit: It was that same year, in the dry season – before the start of the rainy season.
Pros: Were there other operations after Fiti Fata?
Wit: Yes, Operation Spare No Soul. I learned about it from Morris Kallon.
Pros: Which town was the target of the mission?
Wit: It was Njaima Nimikoro.
Pros: Did the mission have a name?
Wit: Yes, Operation Spare No Soul.
Pros: Who was the commander for the mission?
Wit: It was Morris Kallon.
Pros: Was it successful.
Wit: We did not succeed in taking all of Njaima Kimikoro. I wasn’t there myself, but I sent some of my men to take part.
Pros: Where did you hear the name of the operation?
Wit: The name came from Beudu. When Kallon came, Eldred Collins said the name of the Operation over the air on the BBC. I heard him on the BBC. He said the mission which the RUF and AFRC were going to run in Operation Spare No Soul.
Court is now adjourning for the mid-morning break and the session will resume at 12:00. With the half-hour delay in broadcast of the trial, this summary will resume at 12:30.