12:00 Defense scrutinizes timeline of witness’s account

April 14, 2008

9:30 (10:00 with the delay in video and audio): Court is in session.

Defense counsel Morris Anyah continues his cross-examination of protected prosecution witness TF1-516:

Def: On Friday, we were discussing a prosecution exhibit. [references document] There was a page we were considering when we broke on Friday. On that page is the name of Sam Bockarie. You said Bockarie joined the RUF for an operation in Voinjama and in Kolahun after he left Sierra Leone in December 1999. Under what circumstances did the operation in Voinjama take place?

Wit: He came aboard the ATU helicopter in Kolahun to address the RUF combatants with Yeaten. In Voinjama he was there.

Def: When did the mission in Kolahun take place?

Wit: In the rainy season of 2000.

Def: Who were the warring faction?

Wit: The Liberian government and the insurgents later identified as LURD.

Def: You were part of the operation?

Wit: Yes, I was the radio operator. I was there.

Def: Did you tell us you were in Kolahun during the rainy season of 2000 on direct examination?

Wit: Yes.

Def: You told us you were in Buedu>

Wit: Not 2000, that was in 2001. In 2000 I was still in Lofa, with Benjamin Yeaten.

Def: You said in April 2001, Gen Matthew Barbue and you retreated to Buedu and you spent April to October in Buedu?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Back to 2000. Are you saying you told this court last week that in the rainy season of 2000 you were in Liberia?

Wit: I was in Kolahun. That’s the time I stated that Superman came from Sierra Leone and we all entered Liberia.

Def: And Bockarie came from Monrovia?

Wit: Yes, I saw him aboard the ATU helicopter.

Def: This other operation in Voinjama, when did that take place?

Wit: In the rainy season of 2000. We were based in Kolahun and forces left to attack Voinjama and came back.

Def: On Friday you gave two different locations for where you met Bockarie.

Wit: At first he came to Kolahun. Voinjama was still in the hands of the insurgents. Yeaten and I were in Kolahun. He could use a motorbike to go to the combat camp.

Def: How did he get to Voinjama?

Wit: We had two roads entering: one from Zorzor, the other from ____. He was part of the forces that moved from Gbarnga through Zorzor. Superman used the other route. When Voinjama was captured everyone moved from Kolahun. I saw Bockarie in Voinjama again.

Def: Your response is that Bockarie was part of the forces that moved from Gbarnga. Are you saying Superman was commanding Bockarie?

Wit; That’s not what I’m saying.

Def: Who was the commander of the group Bockarie was with?

Wit: The forces that attacked from that way comprised ATU, AFL and SOD. The RUF members were part of that force. The other force was RUF and AFL that were on the Kolahun side.

Def: Was Bockarie part of the Gbarnga group?

Wit: Yes, and we all met in Voinjama.

Def: And he flew in by helicopter?

Wit: From Monrovia to Kolahun. That was the first time I saw him in Liberia. The next time was when Voinjama was captured.

Def: Who was the commander in charge of the operation?

Wit: On our side, Superman.

Def: When Bockarie participated, he was under Superman’s command?

Wit: No, there were two separate attacking groups.

Def: Who was Bockarie’s commander?

Wit: I cannot recall.

Def: But you remember other events and that Superman was a commander.

Wit: I was in Superman’s group. I can’t recall who led the group with Bockarie.

Def: What does SOD stand for?

Wit: Special Operational Division.

Def: Of what?

Wit: They were a particular armed group in Liberia.

Def: I put to you that you’re lying that Bockarie fought with the RUF after leaving Sierra Leone.

Prosecution: Defense is misstating the evidence. The witness said Bockarie was with another force.

Judge Doherty: Please clarify.

Def: On Friday you said that Bockarie joined RUF members for an operation in Voinjama, yes?

Wit: Bockarie was part of the forces that attacked Voinjama. RUF forces were on this side with Superman. Some other RUF forces are on the other side.

Def: Was he part of the RUF?

Wit: The RUF was fighting alongside the Liberian forces. We were all together.

Def: After December 1999, Bockarie was addressing RUF members. Was he a commanding officer?

Wit: Not a commanding officer, but I saw him in military fatigues.

Def: You just said he called a muster parade and the RUF troops responded, and during that parade he addressed the RUF troops?

Wit: Yes.

Def: The RUF troops listened to Bockarie?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Besides Kolahun and Voinjama, when else did Bockarie participate in any RUF operations?

Wit: In Liberia, RUF fighters were present and they were under command of the Liberian soldiers.

Def: I understand that’s what you’ve said. When else after Dec 1999, did Bockarie participate in operations with RUF combatants?

Wit: Kolahun and Voinjama. In Monrovia I went to his personal residence myself.

Def: Did you hear Bockarie on the RUF radio after he left in Dec 1999?

Wit: When I was in Liberia?

Def: You said you were with mobile radio stations, then you went back to Buedu. During your monitoring after Dec 1999, did you hear his voice?

Wit: When I was in Lofa, he sometimes communicated on the radio with Fifty.

Def: What sort of conversations?

Wit; I had the mandate to communicate on the Liberian and the RUF nets. It was in Liberia they were communicating?

Judge Doherty: Was he on the RUF radio or some other radio?

Wit: At the time there was a joint operation. I heard Bockarie communicating with Yeaten.

Def: You could monitor RUF radio. After Dec 1999, did you hear Bockarie’s voice over the RUF radio network at any time.

Wit: Bockarie and Yeaten communicated on the radio I was operating.

Def: What was the name of Yeaten’s radio station, the mobile one?

Wit: 7-2.

Def: And the base radio was 7-2-V?

Wit: No, on an operation, one was at the camp: 7-2-V. The mobile one he took to the frontline was 7-2.

Def: When Bockarie called Yeaten, was Bockarie calling from an RUF radio call sign?

Wit: Bockarie was calling from Base 1 in Monrovia and Yeaten was in Lofa County.

Def: He was calling from Yeaten’s residence?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Apart from that, after Dec 1999, did you ever hear Bockarie’s voice on an RUF radio network?

Wit: Apart from the calling from Monrovia and communicating with Yeaten in Lofa…

Def: Over the RUF radio network?

Wit: I did not hear him talk to any officer in Sierra Leone.

Def: You told us you visited Bockarie in Monrovia. You went there several times?

Wit: I went to his compound with Dr. Magona, and another time with Major Eagle.

Def; Did you see a radio there?

Wit; I didn’t notice.

Def: Did you see radio operators there?

Wit: Competent and Sabatu.

Def: You had trained together with Competent at Zogoda?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Was it on both occasions you went there that you saw the operators?

Wit: No.

Def: Did you see them together?

Wit: No, one on one visit and the other on the other visit.

Def: You told us previously that Bockarie was staying at the guesthouse in Monrovia?

Wit: There was a guesthouse for the RUF.

Def: Where was Bockarie staying?

Wit: At a compound built by Bockarie himself.

Def: Where in Monrovia?

Wit; From Congo Town to Red Light, on your left. There were four houses and a barry at the center. It was under the barry that we met Sam Bockarie.

Def: Towards Sinkor, downtown Monrovia?

Wit: I was not familiar with those areas. There was a place called “My Uncle’s Place”, a sort of pub – it was just across from there.

Def: You lived in Yeaten’s residence?

Wit: The small structure where the radio was mounted. It was outside the fence. There were two rooms – the radio room and a room for sleeping.

Def: So you lived adjacent to Yeaten’s house?

Wit: Yes.

Def: [shows prosecution, judges and witness a map; map is placed on the overhead projector for the witness to make indications] This is a map of Monrovia from the 1990s. If you look at the bottom right, you see Congo Town. If you look at the middle, there’s Tubman Boulevard. Do you know what that’s called now?

Wit: I did not go to Monrovia to study geography…

Judge Doherty: Don’t make facetious remarks. Answer yes or no.

Wit: No.

Def: You see Sinkor. You see where it says Guinean embassy before you get there?

Wit: Yes.

Def: If you continue on Tuban Blvd, it goes on to the university and to the Executive Mansion?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Do you know where White Flower was located?

Wit: Yes.

Def: In Congo Town or Sinkor?

Wit: There was a main street referred to as Congo Town.

Def: There is no street there called Congo Town.

Wit; I’m saying there was a broad highway running through Congo Town.

Def: How tall is White Flower?

Wit: Two. And I saw once some RUF men on top of the building, behind cement bags.

Def: You went to White Flower?

Wit: I stopped at the gate. When I went with Fifty in the vehicle. He stopped at the fence. There was a thick concrete fence. There were ATUs and nobody could park there.

Def: You told the prosecution that you never went to White Flower?

Wit: I never entered the fence. I stayed in the vehicle.

Def; You told us that Yeaten’s residence was behind White Flower. What is the distance between them?

Wit: That fence runs down from the street. There’s a street in between there, just a few meters.

Def: As far as from where I’m standing to the door?

Wit: It’s longer.

Def: Twice the length of this room?

Wit: Twice or more.

Def: About 50 meters?

Wit: I would estimate 25.

Def: It wasn’t far between the two?

Wit: Between the fence at the bottom part to Fifty’s residence, it was not far. There was a sort of L-shaped street coming from the main street. It took a curve. Joe Tuah’s house was just in the curve.

Def: Have you heard of the part of Monrovia called Paynesville?

Wit; I can’t recall.

Def: What part of Monrovia is next to Congo Town?

Wit: I remember an Old Road.

Def: When you referred to Red Light, were you referring to somewhere near the Executive Mansion?

Wit: No.

Def: Was Red Light in the direction of Barclay Training Center or Sinkor?

Wit: You had White Flower. The road leading to the mansion ground is on this side. If you move the opposite direction, Bockarie’s…

Judge Doherty: Could you show us on the map?

Def: You told us that White Flower was in Congo Town. Can you circle it on the map?

Wit: I’m no really familiar with the city of Monrovia itself.

Def: You told us you were there from December 1999 on and off to November 2001.

Wit; I was paying visits from the frontline.

Def: You said you worked out of Base 1?

Wit: I was not permanently based in Monrovia. Yeaten himself was not permanent in one area.

Def; He had another operator named Life that moved with him?

Wit: Yes, during the time I was assigned in Foya, then had to retreat back to Buedu.

Def: You are not familiar with Liberia? Last week you said that from December 1999 through November 2001 you were Yeaten’s radio operator?

Wit: True.

Def: Are you now saying you went to Base 1 once?

Wit: Not once. Several times. When I went in Monrovia, my duty was just to stay in the radio room. It was in the night hours, I had opportunities to visit Bockarie’s house, once with Dr. Magona and once with Col. Eagle.

Def: You told us White Flower is in Congo Town. Can you mark the map?

[discussion back and forth about points on the map

Prosecutor Mohamed Bangura: The map does not have any indications of streets in Congo Town, and the witness has testified that White Flower is on a busy street.

Def: If you don’t see a street where you remember it, can you mark the closest approximate point on the map?

Wit: Can you show me which of these roads came from the stadium?

Def: Was Bockarie’s place located in Congo Town?

Wit; I used to use the route to the main road, then towards the stadium. Before the stadium, Bockarie’s compound was to the left.

Def: Was it in Congo Town?

Wit: I don’t really know that section. I’m not conversant with the geography of Liberia, only those places I visited.

Def: Is Bockarie’s place on the way from White Flower to the Executive Mansion?

Wit: No.

Def: Is it in the opposite direction from Congo Town towards the airport?

Wit: Yes, on your left, leaving Congo Town.

Def: How far from White Flower?

Wit: Not too far. Less than a mile.

Def: How long would it take to walk?

Wit: I drove by vehicle to “My Uncle’s Place”, and from there I walked.

Def: How long would it take to walk the whole distance?

Wit: Not less than 30 minutes.

Def: You used to commute between the two places by car?

Wit; We drove to “My Uncle’s Place”, towards the stadium, and there’s a road on the left. It’s about a 12 minute walk from there.

Def: You told us last week that there was an electrical cable from Bockarie’s place to White Flower?

Wit: Yes, that was what I was told.

Def: Did you see the power line?

Wit: I saw it and I was told it came from White Flower.

Def: Did you see it yourself?

Wit: I saw it and I was told it came from White Flower.

Def: That’s it for the map for now. [references document, the RUF code book] During direct examination, you were asked to examine the names listed on four pages of this book. Of all of these pages, you said there were two names you did not recall knowing previously?

Wit: Yes.

Def: What are those names again?

Wit: Mohamed Feta (ph), and Saffa (?).

Def: Who was Sofolo Mohamed (?)

Wit: One of the RUF commanders.

Def: In which part in Sierra Leone?

Wit: In so many areas. Even in Sengema.

Def: What was his rank?

Wit: He started as a Leftenant and rose to Colonel.

Def; Did he die?

Wit: No, I saw him in Kono in 2006.

Def: You see the name Base Marine?

Wit: Yes, one of the Vanguards. He was SBU when he came to Sierra Leone. He remained in the revolution until the last day of disarmament.

Def: Was he a Vanguard or an SBU?

Wit: There were Vanguards who were SBUs. I heard about him in Magburaka.

Def: Was Base Marine his only name?

Wit: That’s the name I knew him by. He was a bright boy.

Def: Who was Komba (?)

Wit: An RUF commander, but he died sometime in 2001.

Def: Who is Sheriff Parker?

Wit: He was one of the commanders.

Def: where?

Wit: Kono and some other areas.

Def: Did you hear about him on the RUF radio?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Under what circumstances.

Wit: He got wounded on a mission in Monrovia. He was taken to Monrovia, Col. Sherrif.

Def: Did you ever hear any calls about Sherrif Parker?

Wit: Yes, in Liberia.

Def: Under what circumstances?

Wit: He got wounded in Voinjama. I was informed to tell headquarters that Col. Sherrif had got wounded.

Def: What kind of wound?

Wit: He was shot in the leg. At a certain point in Vahun, I met him in a dungeon.

Def: What was he doing there?

Wti: It was after the death of Superman. I met Col. Sherrif and Bomb Blast. Fifty said he was there for disciplinary measures.

Def: You’re making all this up.

Wit: I’m not. This is all what I saw.

Def: Sheriff Parker was not injured in Kono and flown to Monrovia.

Wit: Not Kono, Voinjama.

Def: I’ve been asking you about Sherrif Parker. Is that Col. Sherrif?

Wit: Yes.

Def: [shows prosecution, judges and witness a document, then placed on the courtroom’s overhead projector] This is the report of the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This is page 49 of volume 2. It says “influential RUF commanders”. You see?

Wit: Yes.

Def: In the list there it says: “Sherrif Parker, alias Base Marine”. Is that the same Sherrif Parker?

Wit: No. We had Col. Sherrif. He was in Liberia and got wounded. That is different from Base Marine.

Def: You said you knew Base Marine only by that name. You said Sherrif Parker was a different commander. This report says they are the same person.

Wit: The Sherrif Parker I’m talking about was a different Sherrif Parker. Col. Sherrif – in fact, at one point I shared a room with him at Base 1 in Monrovia.

Def: [references code book again] Do you see any names of AFRC commanders here?

Wit: [references page number] I think this Leftenant Col Edward Kannah joined the RUF during the intervention and retreated with Bockarie to Buedu.

Def: Is that the only AFRC name you see here?

Wit: On this page.

Def: What about the previous page?

Wit: Yes, Col. Akim and K.S. Banya. On this page those are the ones I can remember. Edward Kanneh was also called Eddie Kanneh.

Def: And on the previous page?

Wit: No.

Def: And on the page with Issa Sesay’s name on it?

Wit: Col. Idisu (sp?) Kamara.

Def: Does he go by a nickname?

Wit: I don’t remember.

Def: Do you know Leatherboot?

Wit: Yes.

Def: What was his real name?

Wit: I don’t know his real name.

Def: Did you know Idrissa Kamara?

Wit: This is a strange name among the RUF commanders I knew, so I thought he might have joined the RUF later. I did not know Idrissa Kamara to be Leatherboot.

Def: Were these names you’ve identified all under the command of Issa Sesay?

Wit: Leatherboot at some point left the RUF.

Def: The four names you’ve mentioned under the command of Sesay?

Wit: Yes, Eddie Kanneh, Akim, and K.S. Banya.

Def: What about Idrissa Kamara?

Wit: No.

Def: Whose command?

Wit: Some people crossed into Liberia before Sesay came into power.

Judge Doherty: Under whose command was he?

Wit: Sam Bockarie.

Def: You’re saying those who left were still in the RUF code book?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Their names would only be left for communication purposes?

Wit: Yes.

Def: So members who had left the RUF were still assigned codes?

Wit: Yes.

Def: And they were still being communicating with by RUF members?

Wit: There were references to them.

Judge Doherty: Not references. Were messages sent to them?

Wit: Not to them.

Def: You’re changing your evidence as you go along, aren’t you? You said they were communicated with and now you said it was references to them.

Wit: I did not say that those who left were communicated with.

Def: [reads from transcript] Names were maintained in the code for communication purposes? A: Yes. So now you’re saying their names were only maintained for references?

Wit: Yes, that’s a communication’s purpose.

Def: There was no communication with Kamara after he left?

Wit: I cannot tell because maybe there was a communication on another frequency.

Def: Are there any names here of departed RUF members that you see here? People who left when Bockarie left and were no longer there under Sesay?

Wit: I have to think. I was in Liberia.

Def: You do not know?

Wit: I don’t know because I was in Liberia.

Def: You told us you could monitor RUF frequencies from Liberia.

Wit: Yes, but I didn’t monitor all messages. Radio stations operated on different frequencies at the same time. I wouldn’t monitor all of them.

Def: On Friday we digressed from your time at National Secondary School. While you were there in Kailahun and I put to you the name Camp Lion – you said all RUF training bases were called Camp Lion?

Wit: Yes. The training base in code was called Camp Lion.

Def: This one was referred to as Camp Lion?

Wit: Yes.

Def: And other training camps too?

Wit: Training bases of the RUF were referred to as Camp Lion.

Def: You were 17 and had no experience in radio communications?

Wit: I had not undergone the training.

Def: You were sent to Baima, to the front, after training. And you were injured in the ankle, then taken to Pendembu for treatment. How long were you in Pendembu?

Wit: About three months.

Def: Have you told the prosecution before that it was six months in Pendembu?

Wit: It was the other point, Foya, I was taken too that I spent six months.

Def: You were at National Secondary School from June-Aug 1991?

Wit: Yes, if that is what we are counting from that time.

Def: You told us you were captured in March/April 1991?

Wit: Yes.

Def: You spent 2-3 months at National Secondary School, so that’s June-August 1991?

Wit: I spent some time at Ahmadiyya training base.

Def: How long were you there?

Wit: About three months.

Def: Let’s assume you spent three months there. So in June-July you leave Ahmaddiya and spend three months at Naitonal, so now it’s September – October 1991?

Wit: Yes.

Def: You said you spent three months at Pendembu, you just said. I put to you that you told the prosecution for it was six months. Do you agree?

Wit: It was so long ago. Even when I was being interviewed I told them the times were estimated.

Def: Six months is twice three months. Do you agree it was six months?

Wit: I think it was three months, then six months after that in Foya.

Def: [references document] It says: “witness was evacuated to Pendembu for six months in the hospital…spent another six months in Foya.” So in July 2006 you told them you were in Pendembu for six months?

Wit: I was in Foya for six months. I estimated the time in Pendembu for three months.

Def: Are they mistaken in their documents?

Wit: In the hospital, I did not count the days. It was more than three months. In Foya it was about six months.

Def: Your recollection of events was better two years ago than it is today?

Wti: Yes.

Def: Are they mistaken when they wrote here six months?

Wit: I remember saying more than three months in Pendembu, about that.

Def: “More than three months” is what you’re saying now?

Wit: I was estimating the number of months. These things happened more than a decade ago. I can’t say exactly. It’s difficult to really say. I remember the events and was told to estimate the weeks and months.

Def: But you were very precise about events.

Wit: Not exact. All the times are estimated.

Def: You said six months in Foya.

Wit: About. Even that is an estimate.

Def: We’re in October 2001. You said about three months in Pendembu, but the record says six months. Would you agree that we should now be in February 1992? If you took three months from October 2001?

Wit: Yes.

Def: We’re now in January 1992, and you said you were in Foya for six months, which takes us to around July 1992?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Around July 1992 you were in Foya?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Yes?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Were there NPFL forces in Foya at this time?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Who were some of the NPFL fighters in Foya when you arrived in early 1992?

Wit: Helipad 1992?

Judge Doherty: The early part of 1992.

Wit: I cannot recall… I can remember some of the names. One Gen. Tengbeh, one of the permanent officers I can recall.

Def: Last week you defined “Special Forces? for us – that they were trained in Libya?

Wit: I didn’t say all Special Forces in Sierra Leone were trained in Libya.

Def: What are Special Forces?

Wit: The Liberians not purely trained as RUF. They were Ghankay’s rebels.

Def: Where were they trained?

Wit: I could not tell.

Def: Was Gen. Tengbeh a Special Force?

Wit: I did not see him Sierra Leone.

Def: That’s not what I asked. Do you know whether he was a Special Force?

Wit: Those who left Liberia but were not trained as RUF were referred to as Special Forces in Sierra Leone. Special Forces in Liberia were trained outside of Liberia.

Def: Was Gen. Tengbeh a Special Force.

Wit: I was in the hospital in great pain, and…

Judge Doherty: [exasperated] I’ve told you before: if you do not understand the question, say so. If you do not know the answer, say so. But answer the question.

Wit: I don’t know if Gen. Tengbeh was a Special Force.

Court is now adjourning for the mid-morning break. Proceedings will resume at 12:00 (12:30 with the delay in video and audio).