Witness testifies concerning Operation Stop Election

W: Some of the people after voting would have blue ink on their fingers.  That was how we identified them.

Pros: Targets for this attack, what was yours?

W: I was to go to Masinbe, that was where I was supposed to attack.

Pros: Recall any targets given to other commanders?

W: Western jungle was __ and Superman.  I was to go to Masinbe.  Rambo and Mosquito were to go to Kenema town. 

Pros: Who was present at commanders meeting?

W: We were many, such as Issa Sessay (he was under punishment), names others (Rocky/Emmanuel Williams, Rambo, Jungle).  Rambo was Liberian and was an RUF member. 

Pros: Did the operation have a name?

W: Yes.  The name the operation had was Operation Stop Election.

Pros: Was the border still blocked at this time?

W: Yes.

Pros: After you had the meeting with the commanders and you were given your assignment what did you do?

W: I went directly to my own target Masinbe to attack there. 

Pros: 2 days after the radio call was the meeting with the commanders?

W: Yes, that is what I told you.  After they had the radio communication, “the Pa” said we should go on that operation and stop the election.  He explains that the Pa is Foday Sankoh. 

W: We had a parade, it was our daily routine.  On the parade ground we would know if we had a mission at hand or did not.  There I explained to them exactly what Sankoh said with regard to the elections and the operation.  I attacked Masinbe but I was unable to overun there.  I was fighting against the SLA and the Kommajos. 

Pros: Able to capture any civilians participating in the elections?

W: We were unable to capture people taking part in the elections in our area.

Pros: Here about whether any success with other area commanders?

W: Other area commanders were able to succeed, they were able to capture people and they carried out what the operation called for.  And that was to make sure the people who were captured so they should amputate them.

Pros: Hear whether amputations took place?

W: Yes.  Amputated people and used razor blades to carve on peoples’ chests RUF.

Pros: Where were you when Abijan Accord was signed?

W: I was still in my area. 

Pros: At some point after, did you learn of a new political development in Freetown?

W: The time they went to sign the peace there was no fighting going on because at that time the enemies never went on the offensive and we never went on the offensive.

Pros: Ever get an order to leave the northern jungle?

W: It was not in the case of the Abjidjan peace accord.

[technical trouble]

W: I received an order that said I should join the AFRC and that I should go with manpower and join the soldiers. 

[technical trouble]

Pros: Who gave you the order to join the soldiers?

W: Sam Bockarie.  At that time he was the field commander.

W: Sankoh was arrested before the AFRC coup.

Pros: Who was commanding RUF in Sierra Leone at that time?

W: Sam Bockarie was the commander.

Pros: Aware of any communications with Sankoh in Nigeria?

W: Yes, because the order came from there before we went to join the brothers.  The order I received from Bockarie, he said Sankoh sent a message that we should join the brothers, that is the soldiers who had taken over the country in Freetown.  For that reason, he was passing the order to me.

Pros: What year Sankoh arrested in Nigeria?

W: In 1996 when he went to Nigeria for the peace accord.

Pros: How much time passed between arrest and coup?

W: I can’t say.  It was just like 1 year because in 1997 we joined the AFRC.

Pros: (Smiling) You stated earlier that the coup was in 2000.

W: That was a mistake.  The coup took place in 1997.

Witness describes an ambush that he participated in.

W: Describes fight in the Hastings area (RUF and SLA on one side and ECOMOG and the Kamajors on the other).  After the fighting I received instructions we should move to Freetown.  It was Johnny Paul Koroma who gave the order.  We responded and went to Freetown.  He was given a position on a council formed by them.  Later he was removed from this and was at the front line commanding the front line.  He was anti-looting squad commander.

Pros: What was council?

W: The Supreme Council with authorities who used to discuss, plan about the war.  JP = Johnny Paul Koroma.  His position was head of state. 

Pros: Who else on council?

W: Tamba Brima, Esso Williams (sp?), JPK, Issa Sessay, Gullit, Mosquito (Bockarie) there were many that were members but I can only recall those few.

Pros: Did Bockarie come to Freetown after the coup?

W: Yes.  He did not spend a long time in Freetown and later went to Kenema where he was based.

Pros: At time you were on council, anyone come from another country to meet with the council?

W: Yes.  Ibrahim Bah came and met us because we knew him before.  We had fought alongside him before in Sierra Leone.  So he brought a message that Taylor gave him to give to us.  So when he came and met us he told us that the Pa (Mr. Taylor) sent me to talk to you so that you and the brothers, he is asking that you work together.

Pros: Was Bah a military or civilian person at that time?

W: I knew he was NPFL, a soldier, a fighter, one of the special forces. 

Pros: Rank?

W: He was a general.

Pros: I have more on Bah but perhaps this was a good time.

Judge Doherty – We are adjourning, some administrative matters to address.  The witness leaves the room.

Munyard – I spoke to Mr. Griffiths, hasn’t yet finished cross-examination, will update at the end of the afternoon.  The latest is that he doesn’t anticipate being released from that case until sometime tomorrow.

Koumjian – bring to court’s consideration that the Prosecution will seek to impose time limits on examination of next witness.  Common practice in other courts.  Normally 50/50, but we’d be willing to conduct direct on 1 day.  Not a situation we would like but it is the only way we can ever hear the testimony of 399.

Judge Doherty – you will provide application with citations?

Koumjian: Yes.

Judge Lussick – say Prosecution 1 day, Defense 1 day?

Koumjian: No, just ask for time on redirect.

Munyard:  Unheard of to impose such time limits in courts I practice.

Judge Doherty – will deal with that in applications.

Court adjourns until tomorrow at 9:30.