9:52 (10:22 with the delay in video and audio): Court is back in open session.
The witness is back on the stand, again behind a screen and out of view of the public gallery.
Judge Doherty: We were dealing with a procedural matter relating to security. We are now proceeding with the cross-examination of the witness.
Defense counsel Morris Anyah continues the cross-examination of protected prosecution witness TF1-516:
Def: I would like to revisit some issues from yesterday. First, I would like to go back to the document showing your meetings with the prosecution before you took the witness stand. Yesterday I asked about your first meeting with the office and you described a meeting in Kailahun, where you met Chuck Collot, Magnus and Koroma. When you see the chart, the first dated meeting indicates the date of July 7, 2006. You see it?
Wit: Document provided by whom?
Def: By the office of the prosecutor.
Wit: I see it.
Def: You said they gave you transport and food to go to Freetown?
Wit: They gave me transport, yes.
Def: How much did they give you when you first met with them?
Wit: I think 120,000 Leones.
Def: And you were not employed at that time?
Wit: I was not.
Def: [references another document] The Office of the Prosecutor keeps records of amounts given to witnesses for various reasons. This record pertains to you. In the first entry here, pertaining to July 7, 2006, it indicates that 130,000 Leones was given to you for travel to Freetown, issued by Chuck Collot. Is it fair to say you were given 130,000 Leones.
Wit: I was also given an amount for food.
Def: Is it right you were given 130,000 Leones?
Wit: Yes. They said 120,000 was to be used for transport.
Def: What is the other amount they gave you?
Wit: I can’t really recall specific amounts and dates.
Def: But you just recalled 120,000. And this day was memorable?
Wit: I’m human and I’m liable to forgetting. For transport I was given 120,000 for transport, 10,000 food, and I think another 40,000 for my time.
Def: You were given a total 170,000 on July 7, 2006?
Wit: If you add it all up, it’s 170,000.
Def: We do not have records of 170. I would seek indication from colleagues on the other side.
Judge Doherty: Just keep in mind that the witness has said each time, “I think”.
Def: That was a lot of money?
Wit: To travel, yes.
Def: What is the cost of transport from Kailahun to Freetown?
Wit: You can go by vehicle and motorbike. The roads are so bad in the rainy season. Sometimes it takes two days…
Def: We just need the amount.
Wit: 70-80,000 by motorbike. By vehicle it’s 35,000. I traveled by motorbike. [Lists costs for different legs of the journey.]
Def: Let’s add them up. Using your lower estimates, that’s 100,000. So the cost of transportation by motorbike from Kailahun to Freetown is about 100,000 Leones?
Wit: It’s not fixed. It’s negotiable.
Def: But as an estimate?
Wit: Approximately, yes.
Def: Was it cheaper in 2006?
Wit: No, in fact there had been a reduction in price because the roads were worse then than now.
Def: It was more expensive then than now?
Wit: Yes. We were almost cut off.
Def: How much did you pay for the trip in July 2006?
Wit: I was given 120,000 for transport and 10,000 for food.
Def: How much did you actually pay?
Def: Out of your transport money, you were left with 15,000, and you had the additional 40,000, and 10,000 for food?
Wit: Let me count. I have to be a little bit mathematical here. [pause] 105,000 for transport, 12,000 for food and water on the road. I used 115,000.
Def: You used 115,000 out of 170,000?
Wit: The 40,000 was not to be used for transport.
Def: You said you spent a total of 117,000, but then said 115,000. So you spent 115-117,000 and you were given a total of 170,000. So you had about 52,000 left?
Wit: 40,000 was not given to me for transport.
Pros: Objection: The defense has not established that the witness was given all of this money up-front.
Judge Doherty: There is some validity to that.
Def: He confirmed 130,000 and also said he received 40,000. I can clarify.
Judge Lussick: I think you were justified in asking those questions. He said he received that money. In any event, please put the issue beyond doubt.
Def: The 40,000 was given to you?
Def: So you were given 170,000 total?
Def: You spent 115-117,000?
Def: That left you with 52-55,000, yes? You were left with about 50,000 Leones after paying food and transport?
Wit: I don’t operate like that. I worked before now under the principle of SAD. I must be given ample time to do the mathematical work.
Def: You’re a schoolteacher and have studied the sciences?
Def: The figures I’m quoting to you are objective figures…
Judge Lussick: How long do you want to do this math?
Wit: It would be 5-3, 53.
Def: That would be a lot of money that you had left over?
Def: [references another document] This is another entry of an amount given to you on 28 November 2007. It says reason: lost wages for 12 days of prepping in Freetown. Total amount 120,000 Leones. Did you receive that amount in November 2007?
Def: The indication there was for lost wages: 120,000. That this was sufficient to compensate you for that?
Wit: It was not sufficient. It was something spelled out to me and I couldn’t kick against it.
Def: I put to you that you’re lying.
Wit: I was told when I got to Freetown that I would get 10,000 Leones for every day. I told them it wasn’t what I would otherwise receive. I decided not to go there any more. Even here I’m losing money.
Def: But you’re still being given money though?
Wit: Yes, for travel and an allowance for my family.
Def: You’ve told us that you received 170,000 in July. That was an exceptionally large amount?
Wit: No. I had received larger amounts before.
Def: But it was a large amount to you?
Wit: They asked my occupation, and I said I didn’t have one, that I was not employed.
Def: And that was true?
Def: The issue is how significant 170,000 Leones was to you. You say it was not significant?
Wit: The 120,000 was sufficient for my travel.
Def: How much would you make for 12 days?
Wit: I was not employed at that time. So I didn’t get money on a daily basis.
Def: When you left to Freetown, did you have the expectation of more money once you got to Freetown?
Wit: To get money was not my intention, otherwise I would have demanded more than a million before traveling.
Def: Yesterday you said you met with the prosecution in three locations, Kailahun, Bo and Freetown?
Wit: Yes, Kailahun, Freetown, Bo, and later in Freetown.
Def: I asked when you stayed in Freetown at a guest house and you said during the later in the year. You recall?
Wit: I can’t recall dates.
Def: You told us yesterday that the week period you said it was late 2006, if I recall.
Def: If you look at the chart of meetings, you see the dates July 17, 18, 19, and 20. You see?
Def: Those are four consecutive dates on which you met with the prosecution?
Def: And if you look at the interview notes for those dates, you see: interview of you at OTP interview room by Collot and Lamin. You see that?
Def: These records of your interviews from 17-20 July 2006. It says the interview was in the OTP interview room. You agree with that?
Def: It was during this period that you were housed at the guesthouse?
Def: Who paid for that?
Wit: The office of the prosecutor.
Def: Who paid your transport from there to the Special Court?
Wit: The same people.
Def: How much did it cost to stay there per night?
Wit: I was only taken to the guesthouse.
Def: They paid all the expenses?
Def: And you were not employed at this time?
Def: One more thing to revisit from yesterday: [references document] This is your operational book that we discussed yesterday. Look at the last page. Look at the back cover where it has weights and measures. You see at the bottom: it says “produced specially for ___ stores, Monrovia Liberia” Did you buy this in Liberia?
Wit: I was not buying books. I was only supplied books.
Def: Where did you get the book from?
Wit: Books were supplied to us by the commanders.
Def: You’re saying it was supplied to you by the RUF commanders?
Def; You recall saying you weren’t given supplies?
Wit: I said that at some time in the jungle we went without pens and paper until conditions improved.
Def: You didn’t say that in your direct examination, did you?
Wit: I’m coming from war and it was a different experience.
Def; You told us on direct examination that you were given no writing implements by the RUF. Now today you’re saying it was part of the supplies given to you.
Wit: I didn’t say supplies. I said it was given to me by the commander.
Def: Which commander gave it to you?
Wit: I can’t remember.
Def: Did he give it to you in Sierra Leone? Where were you when he gave it to you?
Judge Doherty: One question at a time. The first question was did he give it to you in Sierra Leone?
Wit: [pause] He gave it to me in Sierra Leone.
Def: What year?
Wit: I can’t recall the exact year.
Def: In the examination in chief, you described Rebecca transcribing contents from another book into this one?
Def: When you met with the prosecution 10 times starting July 17, 2006 through November 2007, you never mentioned Rebecca to them, did you?
Wit: I did not.
Def: In fact, before you said it in court this week, you never explained about the transfer of information from one book to this book?
Wit: I was never asked to ask the transfer of the signal notes in any book. I did not tell them.
Def: In 20 meetings?
Wit: I was never asked how this note was recorded in this book. I was asked if the book was mine and if I knew about the messages. I explained it that I did. I explained it to Collot and to Chris at the Special Court in Freetown.
Def: You had several opportunities to mention this issue to the Office of the Prosecution?
Def: Indeed, if we go to [references document], an entire half of this page refer to the composition book. “Witness acknowledges notebook as his. He tore out some pages which he felt were unimportant just before he gave this notebook to [such and such] in May.” You talk about receiving the messages and that you were in Beudu. When I asked yesterday who you relayed the message to with Sesay, you hesitated to say for sure if it was to the operator Elevation, but here it says firmly you relayed the message to Elevation. Then it says you relayed the second message because there were two codes involved: one between “Life” and yourself, and one between you and “Elevation”. You see?
Def: [references another document] This is also about the book. It says here: “witness recognized exhibit as a photocopy of his personal notebook” You said it was a photocopy? You didn’t explain you had an older book that Rebecca copied?
Wit: The original book that is in front of me now was not what was shown to me. They showed me a photocopy of this book and that’s what is referred to here.
Def: I’m focusing on Rebecca copying the book.
Wit: The original book was photocopied in the court. That was what they showed me – one of the copies. That’s what I explained about.
Def: Why didn’t you tell them about Rebecca?
Wit: It was a photocopy of the notebook, not the notebook itself.
Def: Are you saying…
Judge Doherty: The question is why did you not tell them that Rebecca had copied information from one book to another.
Wit: I was asked in one interview about the different handwriting, and I told them it was copied by another person.
Def: We have no indication about that in the notes. Are you saying they failed to write that down?
Wit: I did not mention Rebecca, just that someone else had written in the book.
Def: So when you told them that someone else wrote in the book, they omitted to write it down. The failure of the prosecution to note that was an error on their part?
Wit: I don’t want to get into that.
Def: They failed to put it down, do you agree? If you tell them that and they fail to write it down, then they omitted to write down what you told them? Do you agree that they did not write down what you told them?
Def: You said you told them something. Do you agree that they failed to write it down?
Judge Lussick: What’s difficult about that question?
Wit: I told them another person had written in the book.
Def: Do you agree that they did not write it down anywhere?
Wit: [pause] If it is not written, then it was not written.
Def: You told us, referring to the two Yeaten messages, [references page number] The first one, dated September 30, 2001: I just read a paragraph where you said that the message was transmitted to you by operator “Life”, and you said that in court?
Wit: It was operator Life who said that to me.
Def: Let me quote to you from the record from the day before yesterday. [cites page and lines of court transcript from April 9, 2008]. “Q: What do you see on the page? A: A message received from Base 1… A: The message was transmitted from Base 1 and that was Sunlight and it was for Gen. Issa.” Do you agree you said on Monday that it was Sunlight who transmitted the message?
Wit: It was Base 1, and the operator was Life.
Def: You said yesterday that it was Life, but you said Sunlight on Wednesday?
Wit: If I mentioned Sunlight, I made a mistake. Long before I had stated “Life”. I always said it was from Base 1. The operator was “Life”.
Def: Names of operators are important, are they not?
Def: Some operators are stationary operators as opposed to working at mobile stations?
Def: Indeed, let us go to [references another document and page number]. “Witness only duty at this time was to be Yeaten’s radio operator with respect to communicating with Sierra Leone. Yeaten also traveled with an operator called Life. Also had two operators at Base 1 in Liberia called Sunlight and Dew.” So Life always traveled with Yeaten?
Def: You’re telling us this message was from Life at Base 1?
Wit: If I had mentioned Sunlight, it was just a slip of the tongue. All this long while I’ve been talking about that message, I’ve said Life.
Def: I put to you that you’re lying. You told us Tuesday that Sunlight had all the RUF codes, yes?
Def: And in [previous document referenced] you told the prosecution that the message was relayed because you and Life had one set of codes and you and Elevation had one set of codes?
Wit: I stated that when a particular code chart became suspicious, another code chart was to be prepared and distributed. We had come under attack in Foya and some materials were captured. In Sierra Leone, another code was prepared and given to Life. The one we had with Sunlight and the other operators had to be nullified. So during that period, the messages had to be relayed to me because I was using another code with Elevation.
Def: Are you saying there were periods of time when Liberian operators did not have the RUF codes?
Wit: That’s not what I’m saying. But there were times when a new code had to be established. They had the code. I was an intermediary. I had the old and the new codes…
Def: You have suggested that the reason you were relaying the message is because you have a unique code with Life (which we contest) and you and Elevation in Kono had a unique code?
Def: That means that on this date, September 30, 2001, the Liberian and RUF operators did not have the same codes, true or false?
Wit: False. I was an operator and we were operating on the same frequency. Signals materials were captured. When we came to Sierra Leone, I explained to Elevation, he said to use a different code to transmit the message from Liberia. There were no boundaries. If I’m an operator, I can get in the station and receive that message.
Def: Why didn’t Life or Sunlight send Issa Sesay the message directly.
Wit: The code I was using with Life was left behind in Foya. I told them not to use the code any longer. There was another code that Sunlight and Dew had. It was transmitted to me in that code. I used a different code to relay it to Elevation.
Def: So Sunlight or Life did not have the same code as Elevation?
Wit: At that particular moment.
Def: So on certain occasions, the Liberian operators did not have the RUF codes?
Def: Of all the possible operators who could have relayed the message, why you?
Wit: Because I had been with Yeaten throughout. There was a breach of security, so we couldn’t use that old code…
Judge Doherty: The question is why they chose you.
Wit: I had been with Yeaten throughout. Let me make clear…
Judge Doherty: We’re trying to figure out why you were selected to relay the message.
Wit: I was on the air at that particular time.
Judge Sebutinde: I’m curious. If you look at that page, there’s a second signature apart from yours – whose is that?
Wit: This is not a signature, and this also is not.
Judge Sebutinde: [references page number]
Wit: That is my signature.
Def: This other one is not a signature?
Wit: It says “signed for Yeaten”.
Def: On the right side of the page, is that the same signature?
Wit: It is not a signature – it was crossed out.
Def: You mentioned in passing a difference between the photocopied version you saw at the court and the original version?
Wit: I did not say differences.
Prosecutor Bangura: I believe there is a misunderstanding – that there was an original and a photocopy, and that was what they showed him.
Def: Was there a difference between the photocopy and the original? You said there was something unusual about the photocopy. You didn’t say “unusual”, but you said there was something different.
Pros: Can counsel indicate the place in the transcript?
Judge Doherty: Yes, please give the location in the transcript of what you’re referencing.
Def: [long pause while defense team reviews transcript] I’ll read the question, I don’t see exactly the reference I’m looking for… [witness laughs] The question was, why didn’t you tell them Rebecca copied from one book to another. Answer: “…I saw a photocopy of that book.” Was there a difference between the photocopy shown to you and the original?
Wit: It was a replica of this. It was replicated.
Def: We’ll accept your answer.
Def: Were you captured by the RUF in dry or rainy season in 1991?
Wit: In the dry season.
Def: Your first encounter with the RUF, when you told us that a Liberian named Rambo caputured you, was it in the rainy or dry season of 1991?
Wit: Dry season.
Def: Did you ever tell the prosecution it was the rainy season?
Wit: Whoever wrote rainy season must have gotten it wrong.
Def: [references document] “joined the RUF in the rainy season 1991”
Wit: That’s the period of time I was sent to the front line, not the time I was captured.
Def: The question is not when you were sent to the frontline. I put to you you first told them it was the rainy season.
Wit: It says plainly here “captured in early 1991” Early 1991.
Def: You gave us names of people you were captured with, and that Rambo captured you?
Def: At some point the three of you escaped, but you were recaptured together with another person?
Def: The person who captured you the second time, a Liberian?
Wit: Yes, Junior Dolo.
Def: A Special Forces?
Wit: He was a Special Force.
Def: What was that?
Wit: They told me at the training base that it was a group trained by Charles Taylor and sent by Charles Taylor.
Def: Was Rambo a Special Force?
Def: Were all the Liberians you met in the RUF around this time Special Forces?
Wit: I did not go around to ask everyone, but that is what the people who captured me told me.
Def: You said that you recognized people as Liberians because of their accents. I’m asking if to your knowledge whether they were all Special Forces?
Wit: Those I spoke to at that time did tell me they were Special Forces and Liberians.
Def: Were all of them?
Wit: All I was able to talk to.
Def: To your knowledge, would you say all the Liberians there in Kailahun were Special Forces.
Judge Doherty: You’ve asked and he’s answered.
Pros: The defense is seeking to make a distinction that was not there in the first place.
Def: You said the first base you were taken to was Ahmadiyya Secondary School?
Wit: Yes, in the campus. There was an open field on that campus. That’s where we were taken.
Def: Had you ever used the word Ahmadiyya in your interviews with the prosecution before saying it in court?
Wit: I told them that.
Wit: I don’t know the date. But I remember I told them in one of my interviews.
Court is now adjourning for the mid-morning break. Proceedings will resume at 12:00 (12:30 with the delay in video and audio).