RUF insider tells of diamond mining, killing of recruits, failures of high level RUF commanders to act on crime reports. Cross-examination questions consistency

The court resumed after lunch.

Pros: Before we broke for lunch, you were explaining the system of mining in Ngaiya, can you repeat what the system was called?

Witness: It was a two pile system.

Pros: Can you briefly describe the two pile system?

Wit: If civilians dug out the gravel, I would instruct my personnel to pick up the gravel – I would do it myself at times – and divide it to two piles. One would be for the RUF/AFRC movement, and the other for the civilians. We used to see diamonds in the gravel.

Pros: The part given to the civilians – what happened to it?

Wit: Sometimes we will tell them to wash it for themselves.

Pros: What happened after they washed it?

Wit: It would still be around. Security would be around them. If they had a big diamond, that would be seized from them. The mining unit would still be around. After divided the gravel, we should not go too far away from them (civilians) as possible as they may get a very big diamond and we would then take it to the diamond office, and if the office had something to give to the civilians, they would.

Pros: Did civilians find big diamonds during the two pile system?

Wit: Yes.

Pros: Were these big diamonds taken away from them?

Wit: Yes.

Pros: Was there ever an occasion where civilians did not want to give their diamonds to the RUF?

Wit: They would refuse to give them, and we would use force to make them give their diamonds to us.

Pros: What happened to civilians refused?

Wit: We were told that we should beat the civilian or kill him.

Pros: Were people beaten or killed for refusing to give their diamonds?

Wit: That used to happened. We used to beat civilians who resisted giving the diamonds to us, the mining unit.

Pros: Were any civilians killed for this reason?

Wit: In my own mining areas, I cannot recall but for the beating, yes that used to happen.

Pros: Yengema was one of the mining areas under your control. Was there an RUF training base in Yengema?

Wit: Yes, I knew about a training base in Yengema.

(problems with the questions – not included in this account)

Pros: Was there an IDU office that was operating in Kono?

Wit: Yes.

Pros: Was there a joint security office in Kono?

Wit: Yes

Pros: Did you know the commanders based there?

Wit: I did not know the commander but I knew some of the personnel.

Pros: Are you able to tell the court if the IDU personnel in Kono were treated in the diamond mining areas that you were in charge of?

Wit: Yes.

Pros: Did the IDU office in Kono know how the civilians were treated in the diamond mining areas?

Wit: They were supposed to know.

Pros: Why do you say they were supposed to know?

Wit: Because there were security personnel who were supposed to have representatives in those areas who were reporting about activities in those areas.

Pros: Did they have representatives where you were?

Wit: For the IDU, I did not see the representatives. Only the MPs.

Pros: Were the MPs aware of how the civilians were being treated in the diamond mining areas where you were?

Wit: Yes.

Pros: Did the MPs take any action?

Defense: He didn’t say how the MPs were aware, or what they were aware of.

Pros: How do you know the MPs were aware of how civilians were treated in the diamond mining areas where you were?

Wit: They were aware of the mistreatment of the civilians – Issa Sesay’s bodyguards used to capture civilians. Issa Sesay used to give the order to his bodyguards and the MPs to capture civilians. It happened in my area, my own base. They captured civilians and mined for RUFs.

Pros: Did the MPs take any action for the treatment of civilians in the diamond mines?

Wit: No. They did not take any action against any fighter for the things that they were doing to the civilians.

Pros: During the time you were in Ngaiya, do you know if anything happened at the training base at Yengema?

Wit: Yes.

Pros: How did you learn that something happened?

WIt: One night I was in Ngaiya when Issa Sesay passed through with his bodyguards. He went and arrived at Yengema and then returned and passed through Ngaiya. I learned from the miners that used to go to Yengema that Issa Sesay had gone and killed recruits at the training base. Then, I went to enquire from Pa Kosia. I asked him “I heard that Issa Sesay had gone and killed recruits at the training base?” He said “Yes, but he would need to go and investigate or ask him (Issa Sesay).”

Pros: What happened after Pa Kosia said that?

Wit: Later in the evening, I met Pa Kosia again. He said he went and asked Issa Sesay about what he had heard about the death of the recruits. He said Issa Sesay told him that if he pursued those lines of questioning, he would get punishment. Issa Sesay said he would molest (disgrace) him. Later he himself he confirmed that he killed recruits at the training base. This is why I believe.

Pros: When you say him himself confirmed that he killed recruits at the training base?

Wit: Pa Kosia. He said he asked the training commander who was at the training base.

Pros: What did the commander say?

Wit: He said Issa came and killed some of the recruits, as did some of his bodyguards.

Pros: Who was Pa Kosia.

Wit: GSO-1. General Security Officer for the RUF of Sierra Leone.

Pros: You’ve testified about your role with the IDU units between 1994 and 1999. Do you know in these areas whether the civilians knew what the IDU did?

(Stopped by bench and defense as this required going into the minds of the civilians. Proceedings paused while Pros conferred with her colleagues on how to ask the question).

Def: In the large number of pages of interviews with this witness, as far as I can tell there is no information which gives any indication of how, if at all, that civilians would have known of the IDU’s role.

Pros: During the time that you were based in Payema, did the IDU unit receive complaints from civilians?

Wit: No.

Pros: In Kailahun town (and in Boidu), did civilians make complaints to the IDU office?

Wit: Yes, civilians made complaints.

Pros: What sort of complaints did they make?

Wit: When Bockarie and Sesay stopped the people from going to their plantations the civilians came to the Boidu IDU office. But when I got to Kailahun, similar complaints were made there as well. They did not take any action.

Pros: In Kuiva, did civilians bring complaints to the IDU office?

Wit: They used to bring complaints about fighters. They used to loot the civilians property at night, then some of them had sexual intercourse with women at night in the villages. No action was taken regarding complaints made by the civilians.

Pros: In Shegwema, did the IDU office receive complaints from civilians.

Wit: Yes. They would report about some fighters who would go to the villages at night and loot their property. The fighters were RUF and AFRC. No action was taken on these complaints.

Pros: When you were based in Pedembu, do you know if civilians brought complaints to the IDU office.

Wit: The civilians made complaints. Those whom they captured, they would bring complaints about how they were captured and what they did at the front line. No action was taken on their complaints.

Pros: Why were complaints brought by civilians not acted upon?

Wit: The one in Boidu and Kailahun, that was different. At that time, the RUF were together and the two commanders – Boackarie and Sesay violated the law. The one at Pedembu, Kuiva, Shegwema, that was the RUF and AFRC. The bad things that the fighters were doing to the civilians, it was difficult for us to get rid of the fighters as we did not see them do the act, we only got the complaints. We would write a report about what we were told.

Pros: Why were no actions taken on civilians complaints – how does your answer explain that?

Wit: At that time, they were both the most senior commander and we had not joined forces with the AFRC. They took the law into their own hands and didn’t respect human rights. We used to fear them – the Joint Security personnel — we feared them. They just violated the law as they wished.

CROSS EXAMINATION STARTED at 3:12 pm: Led by Terry Munyard

Def: You go by another name as well as Mustapha – Marvin? What are you most well know by?

Wit: Marvin.

Def: Alternative or nickname?

Wit: My middle name.

Def: While dealing with question of civilians and IDU – as it is fresh in our minds, can I ask you more before going back to general issues? You have told us that the whole time you worked in the IDU nothing was ever done about complaints made by civilians?

Wit: I don’t understand.

Def: You have told us that when you were in Payema you did not receive complaints from civilians. So no complaints were ever pursued by you while you were there?

Wit: Civilians were not living together with us. We went and captured them from the front line.

Def: Will you confirm that when you were at Payema, you never made any reports of complaints of civilians, because you never received any complaints of civilians.

Wit: No.

def: Are you agreeing that you never made any reports because the civilians never made them?

Wit: I don’t understand the question.

Def: You said “In Payema, we never received complaints from civilians.”

Wit: Civilians were not making complaints, but we made the complaints on their behalf, the security staff made the complaints about the bad things that commanders were doing to them.

Def: How were civilians in Payema to know what your job in the IDU was?

Wit: The ones who were living with us in Payema, they were women living with us, but captured civilians were not living with us in Payema.

Def: How were civilians in Payema to know what your job was in the IDU?

Wit: If we had kept them there we would have called a meeting and explain things to them. But we used to send the captured civilians to Kailahun as Payema was a battlefield.

Def: I am following the same line of questions as the prosecution. Do you mean that if you had kept the civilians with you, you would have held a meeting. But because you didn’t keep them with you, you did not hold a meeting?

Wit: We did not keep civilians there – all of us were soldiers.

Def: You never told the captured civilians of your role in the IDU, did you?

Wit: No because we did not keep civilians there to stay with us.

Def: You said in Boidu you did receive complaints by civilians. How were the civilians in Boidu to know of your role in the IDU?

Wit: We used to hold a meeting with them, and we had all the civilian commanders, and the G5 would hold a meeting. They would explaint the duties of the Joint Security Unit. So the civilians living with the RUF knew about the duties.

Def: And in none of these places no action was ever taken on civilian complaints, is that correct?

Wit: Yes, that is correct.

Def: So no action was ever taken?

Wit: I said at that time when we were based at Boidu and Kailahun, joint security could not take any action, because even the two commanders broke the law. And we, as junior commanders, had less power, so when they took power into their own hands, all we could do was make reports. But they would only allow us to report when we joined forces with the AFRC. This was from November 28 1996 to 2001, time of the disarmament (Jan-June). Sesay, Bockarie, Kallon and Gbao were violating the law and taking it into their own hands. They were not following the rules or regulations of the RUF.

When I was the disarmament started in July. The people there were not respecting the law – they were using the RUF as a criminal club.

Def: From November 28, 1996 until July 2001, no complaint in relation to a civilian was ever acted upon?

Wit: There were many complaints that actions were not taken for.

Def: You joined the IDU in 1994, right?

Wit: Yes.

Def: What date?

Wit: 28 February 1994. That was the day I had an appointment with Foday Sankoh. Some days I can recall better than others.

Def: November 28, 1996 something happened to you? On 28 November 1996, you remember well because you just told us about it?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Was that a date where you were given a particular job?

(duscussion with bench)

Def: When first appointed to IDU to November 28, 1996 when the rules and regulations are effectively torn up by the commanders – any complaints acted upon?

Wit: The law was effective in the jungle. The civilians made complaints. The soldiers complained. But from that day onwards the commanders became lawless.

Def: But Pros asked about this and your answers were different. She asked about how civilians knew of IDU. Shall I remind you of the different places where you were a member of the IDU?

Wit: Yes.

Def: The first place I made a note of is Payema – is that the first place you were in the IDU?

Wit: No

Def: Where was the first place?

Wit: the Pujehun district. Then the second place was the Jungle.

Def: Are you saying that complaints were acted on then?

Wit: Yes.

Def: That is different from the answer you gave me a little while ago, when I asked you if no complaints were ever acted upon. Can you clarify your evidence?

Wit: I couldn’t say that after complaints were coming, so we just started from Koidu, Kuiva, Shegwema, and that was 1997 and 1998.

Def: What is your evidence about complaints? Were complaints about civilians were ever acted on in the IDU?

Wit: Sometimes when I was in IDU, civilians brought complaints and we took action.

Def: Do you mean you personally took action?

Wit: No. reports were coming in, and actions were taken.

Def: I’m talking only about when you were in the IDU. You say that this stopped happening from November 1996?

Wit: That is what happened, really.

Def: You said we didn’t see them do the act, we only got the complaint. Only if we were actually there could we write a report. So are you saying unless you actually saw a bad thing happen to a person, you couldn’t make a report and nobody could be punished for it?

Wit: That question was talking about the captured civilians who were brought. But what was happening when I was in IDU, I reported and gave it to the commander in charge. But no actions were taken regarding the reports that I made that fighters did.

Def: Did you see these bad things, or did someone tell you about it?

Wit: Some happened in my presence, but for some, other people gave information about them.

Def: Could you pass a report on that someone took some action about?

Wit: No.

Def: To clarify, before November 1996 sometimes your IDU reports were acted upon?

Wit: yes.

Def: Were these reports that were acted upon only things that you had seen with your own eyes, or things that others had complained about?

Wit: It was a joint security operation we were doing. We came together in the jungle, so it was joint security work. So if anyone was in own unit, we put information together, compile it and sent a report. In 1994 and 1995, actions were taken – it was not an individual’s work.

Def: So action was taken in 1994 and 1995, but after that, you are not aware of any actions being taken on joint security reports?

Wit: There were many reports that went to them and they did not take any action.

(Technology problems) and witness left courtroom for a break.

Wit: returned at 3:57pm.

Def: There were reports in 1994 and 1995 that were not acted up, but are you saying that some reports in 1994 and 1995 were acted upon?

Wit: Yes.

Def: That is different from what you told me earlier.

WIt: I cannot recall saying that the rest of the time I was in the IDU.

Def: Let us try to identify the dates when some reports were acted upon. You were taken through the places and periods of time. In the first period of time, you were in Pujehun between Feb 1994 to July 1995, and then went to Peyama in 1995 but no complaints because no civilians were living with you. So is the only period of time that any reports were acted upon while you were in the IDU is between February 1994 and July 1995, correct?

Wit: Yes. Actions were taken on the reports we sent. As a joint security unit actions were taken.

Def: You said many reports even during that time were not acted upon. Were the majority of reports not acted upon? Can you put a percentage figure on it?

Wit: When Sam Bockarie took over as acting field commander, about 90 percent of reports no actions were taken. From 28 February 1994 to July 1995 about 90 percent of the reports that we sent, actions were taken. On only 10 percent actions were not taken.

Def: What about the time you spoke about with Bockarie?

Wit: 28 February 1996 to December 1999.

Def: Why did you say no complaints were acted upon especially after you went to Payama in 1995?

Wit: I’m sorry if I said 1995. The two incidents in Payema where no action were taken was 1996.

Def: You were asked about your different postings and said no complaints were ever received in Payema because they weren’t living with you. And you said no action was ever taken on any of the complaints from Payama to the end of the time with the IDU – do you remember saying that?

Wit: I’m not sure I said that. I don’t think so.

Def: Others will stand up and correct me if I am wrong. You used an expression: joint security operation. Can you define what you mean by this?

Wit: Yes. Joint security operation was we had different units which came together and joined for the joint security operation — IDU, IO, G5 and MPs were joint security. The G5 was a unit.

Def: what was the part of the joint security operation that pursued complaints?

Wit: Which year are we talking about? In 1994-1995 they acted upon report we had sent. But in 1996 when Sam Bockarie took over, many of the reports we said he did not act on them because his comrades themselves violated the laws.

Def: It’s not as late as 1996 as you didn’t receive any complaints after you went to Payema in 1995.

Wit: In Payema it was a jungle. To say that civilians came to a joint security office that did not happen. In an office, wherever there was a mission the joint security officers were there. We reported on behalf of the civilians in Payema. In Korobondo were the same situation.

We are not fighters. We are not combatants. .

Def: Members of the IDU are full time officers looking into complaints that never did any fighting?

Wit: There were people who did not take part in fighting but would be with the fighters.

Def: Did any members take part in the looting?

Wit: Yes, including myself. Because what I was using in the jungle was looting. What I ate I had  looted it.

Def: If you were able to loot, why were you not able to take part in the fighting?

Wit: The revolution trained us that we are office workers, we should be with the fighters because some of us were fighters but some of us were withdrawn but had to stay with the fighters. So when they captured a town and we would observe what was going on.

Def: How many people were involved in IDU work – how many people were involved when you first started?

Wit: We were many. I cannot recall the exact number.

Def: Rough idea – 10s or 100s?

Wit: We were about 100.

Def: So about 100 were employed as full time investigators of complaints.

Wit: Yes those were our duties to record complaints and bad things happening in RUF organizations.

Def: Was this a full time job? Were you occupied all day long investigating these complaints?

Wit: No.

Def: were you also fighters?

Wit: We are not fighters, but administrators. But if you want to fight it was up to you. But the movement excluded us from fighting it was not our task.

Def: If there was 100 of you, and not a full time job, and no complaints were being acted on after 1996, what was the purpose of being in the IDU? What did you do in the IDU all day when there was no point putting forward complaints as they were not being acted upon?

Wit: We continued to stay in the IDU because the leader Foday Sankoh created that administration, it was not the commanders. So we had worked to keep some of those reports for reference purposes, even though he was not with us at all times,we were hoping he would come back and see the reports. We were working for the people, that is why we continued working.

Def: Are you telling the judges that you spent from 1996-1997 1999, 2000 until January 2001 when you went to work for mining commander, that Foday Sankoh would come and read those reports?

Wit: Yes, It was not all the reports but there were some important reports. Even when I was a mining commanders I kept those reports, as the leader appointed me, so I kept them.

Def: After 1996, the IU had no practical effect whatsoever, correct? You were wasting your time doing these reports as nothing was ever happening to them, and the commanders had taken the law into their own hands?

Wit: That is what I said. But we were not just wasting our time. We were 100 but not in the same place, but in various place where RUF was. We were endeavoring to protect the laws of the organizations. We continued to obey and observe the attitudes manifested against civilians. That means we have very good regulations about them.

Def: The laws and regulations had been basically torn up from 1996, correct?

Wit: Yes

Def: From 1996 onwards it was anarchy in the RUF as far as rules and regulations protecting civilians, wasn’t it?

Wit: That is true. It was a very big trouble at the time.

Def: Your job was a complete waste of time in the IDU from 1996, wasn’t it?

Wit: It was not a waste of time. We were the people fighting for justice. If the commanders had maintained justice, the people would have welcomed the revolution. But when the abandoned the laws, and the bad things they did were exposed to the entire nation. We were in the RUF to ensure that justice prevailed to the people of Sierra Leone.

Def: What happened to all the reports from 1994 onwards?

Wit: 1994-1995, the reports we sent showed good examples in the RUF. The organization was so nice.

Def: What happened to the report you spent all those years writing where are they now?

Wit: The examples I’m telling you about the behaviour of the commanders. We are not lying on them.

Judge: What happened to the reports?

Wit: Those reports, when you started talking about 1994 and 1995 — only tell you about 1996 which we kept to ourselves. When we reported and they did not act on them. So we kept them for reference purposes. That is why I can now recall some of the references.

Judge Doherty: What happened to them?

Wit: Those reports were kept for reference purposes. But we were unable to submit them to the leadership so the commanders have mentioned Bockarie, Kallon, Sesay and Gbao. the proved to the rest of the world that the reports we wrote we true even if we didn’t submit it.

Def: How can it be acted upon if you don’t submit it?

Wit: At the time when Sankoh came, it was peace time and we should start all over. Even though we were supposed to adequately brief him on everything, but he told us not to worry about the past.

Def: You just told us that in 1996 that you didn’t actually send the reports, but you kept them for yourselves. How can anyone act on a report if you didn’t send it?

Wit: If you listen to me carefully we sent some reports, but they did not act on them. We had a duplicate copy of them.

Adjourned until 9:30am tomorrow.


  1. now you people are doing a good job. by writing transcript from the trail question by question with answer. that is good thank. keep up the work people..

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