RUF insider’s cross-examination continues

The session restarted ten minutes after the closed session requested by Prosecution lawyer, Shyamala Alagendra.

Terry Munyard restarted cross examination of Mansaray. A rough outline of the exhcange follows

Def: Told us at the end of yesterday that witness kept duplicate copies of reports sent to superiors. Do you remember saying that?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Also said there were IDU offices across the country. How many places were the IDU based in?

Wit: I can’t explain the various parts in the RUF operation. I cannot give you an exact numberof IDU commanders or personnel. I can only explain the structure.

Def: can you give us a rough idea of IDU commanders?

Wit: Overall commander GBao, four brigades in the RUF, there were IDU commanders who were brigade commanders, each brigade had four battalions, each battalion had four companies. From the brigade level, had IDU commanders in each level.

Def: Was there a central office to which all IDU reports were meant to be sent?

Wit: It didnt’ happen that way.

Def: So individual IDU commanders sent the reports off to their immediate superiors and if they wanted to keep a copy, they would keep it themselves wherever they were located?

Wit: The IDU – if the report was prepared by the company commander, it was sent to battalion commander, who would send it to the overall commander.

Def: Did the overall commander keep the reports in one particular place?

Wit: I can’t say. He was the overall commander. I couldn’t say whether he kept them or gave them to any other person.

Def: Where did you keep your duplicate reports?

WitL I kept them with me.

Def: How many years did you keep these reports, in the belief that Foday Sankoh may one day read them?

Wit: From Nov 1996 I kept duplicate records up to July 2000.

Def: So for nearly four years you kept copies of all the reports you sent off? Where did you keep them?

Wit: I kept them in the house where I was residing.

Def: You moved over the years — did you take the reports to each new place?

Wit: Yes they were with me.

Def: Where did the duplicate reports end up?

Wit: When Sesay, Kallon and former commanders took law into their own hands and killed the peacekeepers,  after the ensuing struggle everything was burnt.

Def: What ensuing struggle?

Wit: When the UN peacekeepers came to rescue their colleagues at Kailahun and Pendembu. Issa’s order to fight them – they were shooting at us, helicopters over us, so the house was put on fire and everything was burnt.

Def: So you are blaming the UN for the destruction of these records?

Wit: I am not blaming the UN, but my own commanders – Kallon, Sesay and Gbao — they took the law into their own hands, took vehicles. The blame would be on my commanders. They gave the cause for those documents to be destroyed.

Def: Did you really keep copies?

Wit: I’ve been saying this before I came to court. I was interested in the work so I kept court documents.

Def: You said IDU members could fight if they wished to – correct? Did IDU members always get issued with a weapon?

Wit: We had weapons. We had to secure our lives and our docs.

Def: So you carried a weapon in the IDU.

Wit: Yes.

Def: Before you joined the IDU, what were you doing within the RUF?

Wit: I used to go to the frontline to fight.

Def: Did you go to the frontline between 1994 and January 2001?

Wit: It did happen when instructions or commands were given to me, to go with the mission to observe the situation to secure my life and documents.

Def: You looted people’s property. Can you give us some examples of where you looted people’s property?

Wit: from April 1991 to the time of the disarmament in 2001 we lived on looted property.

Def: So you looted property in Kuiva?

Wit: Right.

Def: You were then working as part of the IDU? Did anyone make a report about your looting property in Kuiva?

Wit: I don’t know if someone wrote something about that. I used to write a report that we were looting property.

Def: You looted people’s property and then wrote a report complaining about your own behaviour? You knew nothing would happen to you if you wrote a report, didn’t you?

Wit: About the looting? Nothing happened.

Def: You knew nothing would happen, didn’t you?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Writing reports about yourself or anyone else was a completely paper exercise, wasn’t it?

Wit: Well, we are not writing those things on the paper for nothing. There were crimes we included which needed action to be taken.

Def: But you know no action would be taken certainly from 1996 didn’t you?

Wit: For looting no action was taken.

Def: Didn’t you know that no action would be taken on your reports from November 1996 onwards?

Wit: That was the way it happened.

Def: Are you agreeing with me that you knew that nothing would happen as a result of writing reports from November 1996 onwards?

Wit: Yes because they did not act on them from November 1996.

DEf: When you left the IDU and went to work in the mines, did you either mistreat prisoners yourself or order your men to mistreat prisoners?

Wit: What prisoners did you mean?

Def: I meant civilians, not prisoners.

Wit: well, yes. Well I specifically did not do that, but the order that the overall mining commander would give I would pass on to my personnel.

Def: You would order your men to bring civilians at gunpoint to the government mines to mine for the RUF?

Wit: That was how it happened. I got those instructions.

Def: And sometimes you saw your men beating the civilians if they refused your order to come and mine for the RUF, correct?

Wit: Yes I saw my personnel under my command beating civilians.

Def: You knew that was in breach of the RUF regulations?

Wit: Yes that is true.

Def: Did you stop them?

Wit: That was an order given by the overall commander. But I used to make some efforts.

Def: Sometimes you did not stop your men beating civilians brought to the mine.

Wit: Yes it used to happen when I was not present. They would beat civilians. Btu I would go and assist the civilians and I would tell them to stop beating the civilians.

Def: But sometimes you didn’t tell the personnel to stop beating the civilians?

Wit: No when I was present, I would not allow competition between personnel and civilians.

Def You have been interviewed by the OTP on more than a dozen occasions. They had interviewed you on the mining.

You know that the prosecution has to give to the defense copies of notes of interviews with you?

Wit: I don’t know about that.

Def: Can you remember being interviewed in October last year?

Wit: Yes.

Def: On the 4th, 8th and 15th October — in the course of that interview in October can you remember saying that sometimes you would intervene to stop your men beating, and sometimes you would not intervene?

Wit: Yes, that happened. That was when I was not close to them. If I thought the tension were getting high and if the civilians were more than us, I would move from the place. The fighting between each other would continue.

Def: So were there occasions where you saw your men beating and you didn’t do anything about it?

Wit: Yes that is true. The men working under me are fighters. So they would take the law into their own hands and it would get to a stage where I would be annoyed with them. They would beat the civilians.

Def: You said you sent a report to Francis Musa about Alhaji Putmore killing someone – I suggest you never sent such a report.

Wit: I sent the report, and Francis met me and told me he had received the report. He said that the killing that Putmore had done, he was not in favor of it. Francis Musa came to make sure it was correct and he was then told it was correct in Shegwema.

Def: Why would Musa say he has never received any report from you?

Wit: He received the report, we sat together and talked.

Def: Why then is Francis Musa saying he never received any report from you about Alhaji Putmore?

Wit: Francis Musa confirmed he received the report.

Def: You said you also sent a report to Francis Musa about Bockarie getting arms from Liberia – do you remember saying that?

Wit: I said Francis Musa gave the report about arms and ammunitions he got from Taylor. He gave me the report and I gave the report to Gbao.

Def: Musa was your IDU superior, right? And he would have to report complaints to Gbao, wouldn’t he?

Wit: Yes.

Def: That is the kind of report – breaches of RUF rules and regulations. Francis Musa would not have to report to Gboa about the supply of arms and ammunition.

Wit: The report that I am talking about is if an activity had taken place, then the IDU must take a record of daily activities. It was information about daily activities — movement of fighters, commanders, not only when commanders would kill civilians. It was whatever happened in RUF it was our place to make reports. The movements of Bockarie happened when Musa was at Defense headquarters.

Def: You use the expression of ex president Charles Ghankay Taylor. You’ve used that throughout your evidence. Even when talking about what he was doing in 1997 when he was still president. Do you remember using that expression?

Wit: I started with NPFL leader. When he because a president it was during those years.

Def: Did the prosecution tell you to call him ex president?

Wit: No I can always recall the year he became president. But when he was a leader I used the expression NPFL leader.

Def: you’ve never used the expression ex-NPFL leader have you?

Wit: What I was using from 1991- 1992 . I knew he was not a leader anymore for NPFL.


Def: There was a big disagreement between Charles Taylor and Foday Sankoh  in 1992?

Wit: They were the leaders – I cannot say anything on that. I only can talk about the fighters.

Def: You knew in Liberia the NPFL wsa being fought by ULIMO. And from 1993 onwards ULIMO controlled the western part of Liberia, cutting off the NPFL from Sierra Leone?

Wit: That is correct.

Def: You knew Charles Taylor’s forces were fighting ULIMO in his own country?

Wit: Yes.

Def: RUF was getting arms from ULIMO.

Wit: yes we used to get arms from ULIMO. That was the time I came to Boidu – 1996 January or February.

Def: Used to get arms from ULIMO in 1995.

Wit: No NO I don’t know about that.

Def: can you remember telling the OTP that as far back as November 2003 that in November 1995 Foday Sankoh visited you in the field and at that time you had run short of ammunition. Can you remember that?

Wit: 1995 yes. We didn’t get ammunition from Liberia.

Def: Can you remember saying to prosecutors in first interview in Nov 2003, that Foday Sankoh visited you in 1995 and then went on to Zogoda. at that time you had run short of ammunition?

Pros: Practice that witness is to be shown the previous statement and given also to the court if it is to be quoted.

Judge: We’ve been getting them in the past but I don’t know of any regulation that says this.

Def: There is no point referring to a statement if the witness remembers. I don’t want to overburden everyone with reams of paper. I will put to witness anything that he challenges.

I am asking you about the record of the interview when you were interviewed in November 2003. You may need time to think about it since it is a while since that interview. Do you remember saying to the prosecutor interviewing you, that in November 1995 Foday Sankoh visited you and then went to Zogada and then visited you later, and by that time you had run short of ammunition. then you said “we used to get ammunition from ULIMO K – purchase them with money – at that stage they were also on disarmament process”. Is that correct?

Wit: It used to happen but in 1996 not 1995.

Def: Where did you get the money from to buy that ammunition?

Wit: the time that Foday Sankoh came he said in a muster parade he gave money to Bockarie to pay his way to collect the RUF fighters who had crossed into Liberia. Bockarie said that was the money used to buy arms and ammunitions from ULIMO K. That was the time when selling coffee, kola nut – the proceeds form that was used to buy arms and ammunition in 1996.

Def: Where else was Foday Sankoh getting money from to buy arms and ammunition, either from ULIMO or Guinea?

Wit: I went to Guinea together with former commander. That happened in my presence.

Def: Who were you buying ammunition from in Guinea?

Wit: I saw ammunition, not arms.

Def: Who was it being bought from?

Wit: I saw the ammunition but I didn’t really know where the commanders bought the ammunition, but I saw the commanders cross over in a canoe from Guinea.

Def: where were they buying this?

Wit: I didn’t know the people from whom they were buying the ammunition because the commander was with me. I just took record of it.


Def: You told the prosecutors that ECOMOG forces were on the other side of the river — the Liberian side. Do you remember?

Wit: It was in 1997.

Def: Did you ever get arms from ECOMOG?

Wit: No, not any arms or ammunition from them.

DEf: I’m not suggesting that you bought arms from ECOMOG, but did you seize arms from ECOMOG?

Wit: Even if it happened, I was not in the area where it happened.

Def: Has nobody ever told you about the RUF successfully attacking and seizing arms from ECOMOG?

Wit: We fought ECOMOG and got their arms.

Def: So why did you just tell me “even if it is happen, I was not there.”Two contradictory answers.

Wit: It was the expression that you used — seized — it you said we attacked and taking weapons. Yes that happened. Seized it means we had just went and took it from them. But we attacked them.

When we were attacking the ECOMOG we captured arms and ammunition from them.

Def: And heavy weapons and artilllery.

Wit: Yes, we captured from ECOMOG.

Def: Yes in 1998.

Wit: Yes it happened.

Def: You were looking anywhere for arms because you desperately needed them from all over the place.

Wit: Correct. We were not getting supply from just one area or angle.

Def: Got arms from Guinea, either with money or trading coffee and cocoa.

Wit: We got ammunition.

Def: you got arms from Burkino Faso, didn’t you?

Wit: Even if it happened I am not aware of it.

Def: Are you aware of an arms shipment coming by air to Magbaraka bringing arms from Burkino Faso?

Wit: I don’t know.

Def: Are you saying nobody told you that there was an arms shipment from Burkino Faso landing at Magbartaka?

Wit: No.

Def: Were you aware of Ibrahim Bar doing arms deals for the RUF with the Burkino Faso gfovt.

Wit: No I didn’t know.

Def: So all those people like Sam Bockarie – none ever mentioned a shipment coming by air from Burkino faso?

Wit: What Sam Bockarie used to tell us about ex president Charles Taylor.

Def: he didn’t tell you anything about getting arms from Taylor?

Wit: He told us about that many times, Sam Bockarie used to tell us that he got arms from taylor.

Def: Another country that Foday Sankoh got arms from was Libya?

Wit: He didn’t tell us about getting arms from Libya.

DefL But you knew that the RUF was getting funded by Libya from the start.

Wit: They did not tell me about arms from Libya.

Def: Are you aware of any contact at all between RUF and Libya?’

Wit: The only thing I knew about RUF and Libya was the people who introduced themselves to us that they were the special forces who had their training in Libya.

Def: Those people – did they say anything about Libya funding the RUF – helping out with money?

Wit: No they did not tell me about that. They only told me about the training they had in Libya — they did not tell me about whether the RUF was getting money, arms ammunition from Liberia,

Def: ON 6 January 1999 you were nowhere near Freetown, were you?

Wit: No.

Def: Where were you?

Wit: I was in Shegwema at that time.

Def: What were you doing in Shegwema at that time?

‘Wit: I was there as IDU commander.

Def: What was RUF doing in Shegwema?

Wit: We were in control of Shegwema – we were based there.

Def: At that time you were preparing to launch an attack on kenema.

Wit: That is true.

Def: You had no idea about any planned invasion of Freetown in January 1999, did you? ‘

Wit: I was not aware. ‘

Def: You got no information about any plan to attack Freetown in January 1999 did you?

Wit: I did not get information about that.

Def: You were at that time completely unaware of anyone trying to attack Freetown on January 6, 1999.

Wit: I did not know.

Def: On the contrary you were taking part on preparations for an attack on Kenema at that time weren’t you?’

Wit: No.

Def: What were you doing around the 6th of January 1999?

Wit: I was just here in Shegwema working as IDU.

Def: But the RUF at that time was preparing to launch an attack on kenema right? And you told the prosecution on that in your first interview.

Exchange between Def and Pros about identifying pages from previous interview. Judge Doherty said not asking Def to identify pages.

Def: In Novmeber 2003 in very first interview, when asked about whether you knew about the attack on Freetown – you said you were never told about that but were busy getting ready to attack Kenema.

Shymala Alegendra challenged the statement. They said that this was not what the witness said on the record.

Def: I will put exactly what I am reading from the page.

Mohamed Bangura: If he is reading and it is being challenged, it might be misleading fi the Defense is putting that to the witness if it is misleading. It is a matter of courtesy. At their request, we have done this.

Judge Sebutinde: Why would you ask a witness of words to that effect, when have exact quote in front of you.

Def: they are very unlikely to remember exactly what they said,

‘Judge Sebutinde: You are putting a prior witness statement. What you are reading goes into the record. Isn’t it only right and fair that you put exact words – rather than a spin or paraphrasing?

Def: I put exact words and then to assist the witness, or words to that effect to be fair to him? He can be expected the remember the gist of it. I will tell my learned friend – it is page 16 – and can I correct something that Bangura said. Sid it was a statement – this is a record of an interview. No record that this was given to the witness to be signed.

Judge Doherty – Until the witness indicates to us that he is being misled, not a problem. But Judge Sebutinde has asked for reading from the interview. We have ruled on this. The witness was given a date and did not quibble about the date.

Def: Madam President looking at the record – given Justice Sebutinde asked for correct wording.

Justice Doherty – there are inverted commas around the words you used, I understood that to be a verbatim quote.

Def: From p 16 – do you remember being asked a question :so did you get any info about a plan to attack freetown in 199 — “no at that time we were preparing to launch an attack on kenema, but for Freetown I was never told,”: do you remember saying that Mr Mansaray?

Wit: Yes,.

Def: I don’t imagine you remember the exact words you used, but that is broadly speaking what you were telling the prosecutors?

You were interviewed again and at end of interviewer in 2003 Mr Daffe – at the end of this interview which lasted 3 hours. Did see again – 23 March 2004 – can you remember being interviewed again in march 2004.
Wit: Yes.

Def: Do you remember this qun and your answer – on the invasion of Freetown, you didn’t have much knowledge on that one.

Wit: Yes I did not have any idea about hte january operation in Freetown.

Def: Finally, one of the interviews with you in 2006 was January 4. Do you remember being interviewd in 2006 several times?

Wit: I can remember.

Def: the first time you were interviewed in 2006 was 14 January, can you remember saying to the prosecutor, that it was during the time that you were in Pendembu that you learned about the january 6 invasion of Freetown.

Wit: If I told them that it could be a mistake – I was in Shegwema.

Def: I’m talking about where you were when you learned about the invasion.

Wit: I was in Shegwema.

Def: How long after 6 January when you heard about hte Freetown invasion?

Wit: The very day the fighting was going on, I heard that RUF and AfRC fighters were in freetonw.

Def: who did you get the information from?

Wit: I gfot it from BBC and radio comms.

Def: The first time you were asked about this in 2003, you were asked if you knew about plans for an attack. No I did not get any information because as far as i know the fighters were based in the norrthern part of Sierra Leone, and that was Dennis Mingo and others.

Wit: I remember that I said so.

Def: When did you learn that it was Dennis Mingo and others?

Wit: RUF had rado operators with Dennis Mingo. So they were communicating with radio operators. That is how I knew how RUF and AFRC did the attack.

Def: Lets go to interview on 4 jan 2006. This is called a proofing. Headed additional information form Witness.

Judges – we have one minute left – long question?

Adjourned and will resume at noon.