12:00 RUF radio operator gives greater detail on Taylor-RUF communications from 1998-2001

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

Prosecutor Mohamed Bangura continues his direct examination of protected witness TF1-516:

Pros: I would like to take you back to a few issues you covered yesterday just to clarify them. Yesterday, in talking about the Freetown invasion, regarding contacts by Bockarie with any radios outside Sierra Leone, you said there was contact with 020 at the Executive Mansion. How did you know this?

Wit: I was an operator and when I was on set I monitored the discussions. I monitored some of these discussions.

Pros: You said that Bockarie could come on the radio to issue instructions after talking on the satellite phone. Do you recall specific instructions he gave during the time of the Freetown invasion?

Wit: Yes. The forces were under pressure and running out of ammunition. Gullit decided to retreat a little bit to get ammunition. Bockarie told Gullit to burn down government buildings to raise alarm in the international community.

Pros: Was this after communicating on the 2-1 with 020 in Liberia?

Wit: Yes.

Pros: Do you recall any other communication that Bockarie had during this period with 020?

Wit: Communication was going on with 020 and Base 1. One I have explained. There was another instruction to Gullit to report with the prisoners released from Pademba Road prison, that they were to be taken to Bockarie’s location – this was after communication between Bockarie and Base 1 (Benjamin Yeaten’s radio).

Pros: You mentioned that a radio operator with the forces in Freetown communicated with the forces in Beudu. Did any other person communicate?

Wit: After Saj Musa’s death, Kim Perry did.

Pros: Did you get reports of atrocities in Freetown after Bockarie told Gullit to “burn down the fucking place”?

Wit: Yes, the radio operator Elinguma briefed us that the men left by the commander at that location had gone on the rampage.

Pros: Did he say what was happening?

Wit: Yes, that they had captured women in large numbers and that they were wounding civilians.

Pros: This was communicated to you?

Wit: Yes.

Pros: Do you know whether this situation in Freetown at the time was communicated by Bockarie to any other party?

Wit: Bockarie reported to Base 1 and sometimes to 020 by phone. He used to tell us to call Base 1. A number of times, communication went on there by phone and radio, and by phone to 020.

Pros: Did you make any of these calls?

Wit: A number of times I called Base 1 at the request of Bockarie.

Pros: You said there was a team of SLA radio operators at Beudu who intercepted ECOMOG messages in Morse code regarding jets, to warn the forces in Freetown?

Wit: Yes.

Pros: Do you know Morse code?

Wit: Just the alphabet. Otherwise not.

Pros: You said that “Bockarie could cross into Liberia to get material”. What do you mean “could”?

Wit: He used to cross to get materials from Foya.

Pros: He did cross to Liberia?

Wit: Yes. Yesterday I spoke of him going after receiving a call from Base 1. Another instance was when he traveled to Monrovia and came by truck.

Pros: Which of these was during the Freetown invasion period?

Wit: The one by flight.

Pros: Did you mention he came with material this time?

Wit: Yes. And commanders from the frontlines were called. That was the routine whenever Bockarie came from Liberia with materials. The commanders were called and then issued with ammunition.

Pros: Yesterday you mentioned the call signs in Sierra Leone and Liberia. You said the Liberian radio stations had codes for the Sierra Leonean stations?

Wit: Yes. There was 020, Base 1, Foxtrot Yankee, and when I was in Liberia I set up “7-2”, a mobile station for Yeaten.

Pros: The operators on the Liberian side – how did they get the codes for the RUF stations?

Wit: The code was copied and sent to them. To move the code, when there was a delegation from Beudu to Monrovia, the operators were informed beforehand.

Pros: …

Def: Objection: the prosecution is asking about events before the time the witness is discussing, and there’s no evidence that this witness would know about that.

Pros: My recollection is that the witness did say that after he became trained as an operator, there was already communication with Liberia. We did not go into how far back the communication went.

Judge Doherty: I would ask you to move back from the point. It’s not clear it’s been established how he would know about communication with Liberia before his training.

Pros: You said there was already communication with Liberia?

Wit: Yes, we already had operators who knew the Liberian code. I was not allowed to because I did not know the code.

Pros: Who was the station sergeant who spoke with Liberia?

Wit: Daf, Zedman, Usman Tulu, Kim Perry, Dudu Bor

Pros: What nationality were they?

Wit: All Sierra Leoneans, there was also ___ Nya and Alfred Brown. They were Liberians and first set up the training.

Pros: Was there a code chart that operators used in Liberia?

Wit: Yes, different from the one displayed yesterday.

Pros: How did that chart get to the RUF?

Wit: I saw it with CO Nya, the overall signals commander.

Pros: In Liberia, did the code chart change at all?

Wit: The Liberian code was known to a certain number of people who were in the unit before I was allowed to communicate with them. As time went on, in 1998, another code was produced by the overall commander. It was distributed by the senior operators to Base 1, 020, and Foxtrot Yankee. CO Nya was succeeded by Alfred Brown. Alfred Brown created the new chart. The copies of those codes, since they were in Liberia, another operator had to take them to the stations.

Pros: In the case of the ones in Liberia, an operator was given the codes to take to Liberia. Do you remember who this operator was?

Wit: When I crossed into Liberia I was given a personal code to be used between Beudu and the stations 020, Base 1, and Foxtrot Yankee. Before that, an operator named Tiger was given a code by Alfred Brown to take to Liberia. It was at the time of Operation Vulture.

Pros: Yesterday you said that Bockarie, when he needed supplies, would send communication to either Base 1 or 020 and state his request. You said if the request was sent to Base 1, Base 1 would inform 020, and then 020 would coordinate the helicopter. How did you know that 020 would coordinate the supply of material?

Def: I object to that terminology. The witness said that shortly after a call, materials arrived. The witness never testified that 020 coordinated the shipment.

Judge Doherty: The witness was not communicating between Base 1 and 020.

Pros: When 020 got involved in the transaction, how did you know this?

Wit: We were operating on the same frequency. You can get the same message. We could monitor communications between Base 1 and 020.

Pros: When communications came from 020, where were they directed to after a call from Bockarie?

Wit: Working on the same frequency, sometimes we called Base 1 and a response came from 020, and sometimes we called 020 and the response came from Base 1. We could hear that they communicated our messages between themselves.

Pros: What was the extent of the communication after a request was made to Base 1.

Wit: Base 1 would say they had received a call from Marvel, Planet One, or earlier, BZ4. Then they would tell us to stay put, and then either later tell us to have Bockarie move to Foya, or that someone was coming to Beudu with the materials?

Pros: Who said this?

Wit: The operators discussed this. The commanders came on set during a request. Bockarie would talk directly with Benjamin D. Yeaten. Only when messages were put into code, that was the time the operators had the authority to put it into black and white.

Pros: Black and white?

Wit: The code: putting it from English into code. When it is coded we say it is in black and white.

Pros: Yesterday you mentioned two means for weapons coming from Liberia. You said that earlier, before a disruption in the route, supplies came by road. Later you said they came by air?

Wit: Yes. They were escorted by certain people like Zigzag Marzah, Jungle, Dopoe Menkarzon, and Sampson Weah.

Pros: How do you know this?

Wit: We used to meet them on the ground in Beudu.

Pros: Yesterday you referred to Menkarzon as a General. How did you know that?

Wit: We heard that in the orders and he told us.

Pros: You told us he had been in Sierra Leonean earlier in the war and had to be expelled after engaging in atrocities. Was he a General then?

Wit: Yes.

Pros: Yesterday, I asked about the flow of RUF personnel to Foya. You said Foya was strategic?

Wit: Foya was a rendezvous. Forces on this side went to Foya and forces on the other side went to Foya. It was a meeting point for high-ranking officers of the RUF and NPFL. For example, if I am in Beudu, it’s miles away from Foya, and the Liberians in Monrovia or Gbarnga, it is also far from Foya. Before they went, messages were transmitted to meet at Foya.

Pros: You said there were frequent movements. Who was in control of Foya?

Wit: There was a particular group of people. When I was in Foya myself, I was asked to report to Zigzag, the SOD (Special Operational Division) personnel. When operations were going on in Voinjama, Issa Sesay sent Takpo, an RUF commander to safeguard the airfield at Foya.

Pros: You talked about a number of personnel that were involved in transporting material in material. You mentioned Roland Duo?

Wit: Yes. He came to the base in Beudu when Foya fell into the hands of the LURD. He was leading an armed group called…I can’t just recall the name of that force. He was to fight hard to take Foya from the LURD. There was no base for him across the border, so he was based in Beudu. This was 2001. A helicopter used to fly to Voinjama, then to a place called Tuba. Once a helicopter attacked that position and took all of the ammunition in the helicopter. Duo then said that vehicles should move to a logging company, LUC, to Kungbor, just past Vahun, then straight to Bomoru to Pendembu. Bomoru is in Sierra Leone and Vahun in Liberia. At the time Fifty was based in Vahun. Amphibian Father used to travel there. The end point for the supplies was Beudu, for the combatants to fight and take Foya. There were Liberian soldiers based in Beudu alongside the RUF to take Foya. Amphibian Father was Roland Duo – he was in charge of the Freeport, but sent to Beudu to retake Foya. I was in Vahun with Fifty (Yeaten) when forces were sent to Beudu. Fifty commanded me to return to Beudu and work with Amphibian Father.

Pros: Yesterday you mentioned Momoh Gibbah in relation to multi-party rifles taken to Yeaten. How do you know about that shipment?

Wit: I was at the radio station at Base 1 – there was a small structure outside Yeaten’s house. That day we were supposed to fly to Foya. He traveled with Momoh Gibbah. I saw they took rifles from a vehicle – multi-party rifles. That same day we flew to Foya and those rifles were divided among Issa’s men and taken to Sierra Leone. Others stayed in Foya and were used for fighting in Guinea. The rifles taken to Sierra Leone ended up in Kono.

Pros: How did you know this?

Wit: I knew that from radio communications. Gen. Issa himself carried those weapons himself to his base in Kono. That was early 2001. Gen. Issa came to Foya from Kono. The day the troops were moving to the Guinean-Liberian border, we all got in the same vehicle and went to Surumba, the customs post in Liberia near Gueckedou, Guinea.

Pros: Yesterday, you said documents were signed when supplies were given to Bockarie. How do you know this?

Wit: We were operating right in front of Sam Bockarie’s house. Sitting on the veranda, when those men came with materials. They presented documents for him to sign.

Pros: This morning you mentioned Sampson Weah as one of the men bringing materials. Who was he?

Wit: He was assigned to Benjamin Yeaten, and was a brother to him.

Pros: Was there anyone else assigned to Yeaten of those coming from Liberia?

Wit: I think only Sampson.

Pros: On whose instructions were these men – Zigzag Marzah, Roland Duo, Dopoe Menkarzon, Jungle – operating?

Wit: They were Liberian soldiers and operating under command. Moving from one country to another country, we deduced they were sent by their high command. Jungle, Zigzag, and the others obtained command from Fifty, and Fifty in turn took commands from his chief.

Pros: What about Menkarzon and Duo?

Wit: Menkarzon was almost equal, but Fifty was somehow superior. Duo said he was there under command of the president to retake Foya.

Pros: Who gave orders to Menkarzon?

Wit: Fifty was the commander.

Pros: With regard to movement of materials, who gave the orders?

Wit: We deduced that instructions from Base 1 were coming from Yeaten and that instructions from 020 were coming from the president, Charles Taylor.

Pros: Yesterday we were at a point where you had arrived in Liberia to take duty under Fifty. You said you flew with him from Foya to Gbarnga, where you set up communications?

Wit: Yes, the place referred to as the Papay’s Farm, Charles Taylor’s farm. There was a concrete house there which belonged to Fifty. There the radio was installed. We called from there to Base 1 for the helicopter to bring supplies. There was a playing field at the side of the farm. We would land there to refuel sometimes when flying to Monrovia.

Pros: What was your assignment in Liberia?

Wit: To enhance communications from the RUF.

Pros: You were given a code before leaving Sierra Leone. Who gave it to you?

Wit: Alfred Brown, the overall signals commander for the RUF. He gave me a pen, stationary and a code chart.

Pros: What were you to do with that?

Wit: I was to use it whenever sending messages.

Pros: With which radio were you to be communicating with?

Wit: I had my own radio set, “7-2”. When I was in Liberia I was to communicate with 020, Base 1, Foxtrot Yankee and the stations in Beudu.

Pros: The code you had with you, did others have that?

Wit: Whatever code chart was to be used was distributed to Sunlight at Base 1, and Sky One at 020. I handed over a copy to Sunlight and Sky One.

Pros: When did you hand the charts to these operators?

Wit: After the Voinjama operation, I traveled with Yeaten to Monrovia. We were using an older code before I distributed the new one.

Pros: Where did you give the code to the operator for 020?

Wit: At the fourth floor, room 306 in the Executive Mansion in Monrovia.

Pros: Where did you hand the code to Sunlight?

Wit: At Base 1, the small structure just outside Yeaten’s residence in Congo Town, Monrovia.

Pros: From Gbarnga, after setting up a radio, there was communication for supply of ammunition?

Wit: Yes, a message was transmitted to Joe Tuah at Base One. He was to contact Bulldog to facilitate the helicopter. Tuah was a sort of administrator for the Liberian government.

Pros: Was the material brought to Gbarnga?

Wit: Yes, in a helicopter.

Pros: Who was bulldog?

Wti: The aide d’camp to Charles Taylor, Momoh Gibbah.

Pros: Do you know how he facilitated the supply of materials?

Wit: I don’t really know about that. I wasn’t there.

Pros: Did material arrive in Gbarnga?

Wit: Ammunition was brought in a helicopter and put in vehicles, brought to Yeaten’s house, from where we went to Tenembu, to the front line in Voinjama.

Pros: You said Voinjama was the front. Who was fighting whom?

Wit: There was no declaration made. They were regarded by the government of Liberia as insurgents under “Mosquito Spray”. Sometime in 2000 they declared themselves to be LURD.

Pros: How long were you with Yeaten on this trip?

Wit: It’s hard to say. We flew around a lot, to Gbarnga, Monrovia, Voinjama. We used different routes, spent time in Kolahun, moved back to Monrovia.

Pros: What duties did you perform in this period?

Wit: I transmitted messages of all sorts to other stations.

Pros: Were you the only operator working with Yeaten.

Wit: At one point, another operator – “Life” – joined us. And then another operator paid us a visit from Beudu.

Pros: You said you had a call sign?

Wit: “7-2”. If we were moving to attack Voinjama from the base, we took the mobile radio, leaving a base radio, referred to as “7-2 Victor”.

Pros: What kind of messages did you send?

Wit: To inform Gen Issa about materials being sent – to move to Foya or Monrovia.

Pros: Who was leader of the RUF at the time?

Wit: General Issa Sesay?

Pros: When you just arrived in Liberia, to whom was Yeaten communicating?

Wit: Sam Bockarie, who was requesting materials. Bockarie was still in control, but Issa was already in direct communication with Fifty.

Pros: What was the subject of communication between Bockarie and Yeaten?

Wit: Yeaten requested manpower from Bockarie for the Voinjama axis.

Pros: What did Bockarie communicate with Yeaten about?

Wit: Requesting ammunition. Yeaten would sometimes say that the message had been sent to “his father” and that he would get back to him later.

Pros: Do you recall supplies coming through?

Wit: Taking ammunition from Liberia to Sierra Leone was occurring. Materials were sent to Sam Bockarie any time he requested them.

Pros: What role did you play?

Wit: If materials were to be sent to Foya and Bockarie was to come collect them, then a message would be sent for him to come to Foya to get them. Or to come to Monrovia to get them.

Pros: What about Issa Sesay?

Wit: In 2000, when Sesay took over, similar messages were transmitted to him. Requisition for materials -sending materials to Foxtrot Yankee, or movements of Zigzag Marzah, Dopoe Menkarzon or others to his position. Sesay was permanently based in Kono after Bockarie crossed into Liberia.

Pros: Did you communicate with radios within Liberia when you were with Yeaten?

Wit: Yes. We communicated instructions and telling the “iron bird” to be brought to Yeaten’s location.

Pros: Which radios would you communicate with?

Wit: Base 1 and 020.

Pros: Whom would Fifty be communicating with?

Wit: The president. Fifty had a satellite phone in Voinjama and he would talk to his chief every morning and every evening. He would say “yes sir” and tell about fighting on the front line. I deduced he was speaking to the president and that is what he told me. Whenever there was an attack, he informed his chief.

Pros: Apart from speaking on the phone, when there was radio communication with 020, were you involved?

Wit: I was on the set talking to the operator. Whenever a message came through I gave it to Yeaten.

Pros: What was the subject of communications between yourselves and 020?

Wit: If a mission was successful, he would tell me to prepare a comprehensive report for 020.

Pros: What were the messages from 020?

Wit: I remember after transmitting a message about Guinean bombing of Liberia to 020, I heard the Defense Minister Daniel Chea talking on the BBC about it. It was Fifty who gave that information, which I transmitted to 020. Shortly afterwards we heard Chea on the radio.

Pros: Do you recall during your meeting with the prosecution team, giving indications about radio stations in Liberia, with which you communicated?

Wit: Yes.

Pros: And do you recall making those indications on a map?

Wit: Yes.

Pros: [shows a map to the witness] What do you recognize it?

Wit: As a sketch of the locations of radio stations.

Pros: What does the title say?

Wit: Main radio bases while I was at Planet One in Beudu and Liberia.

Pros: Can you show us where you were based in Liberia and with which radios you communicated with?

Judge Sebutinde: Can you give us years?

Pros: Your period in Beudu was up until what time?

Wit: Sometime in 1999.

Pros: When did you start operating with Bockarie?

Wit: After the intervention in 1998.

Pros: You said the initial call sign for Bockarie at the time was…

Wit: Bravo Zulu Four.

Pros: It changed when?

Wit: In 1999, when vehicles were brought from Voinjama.

Pros: When did you go to Liberia?

Wit: June-July 1999.

Pros: You stayed there until when?

Wit: 2001.

Def: The witness was asked whether he recalled making notes on a map by the prosecution. On its face, it appears the map has been drawn up by the prosecution, perhaps based on the map drawn by the witness. But that’s not clear in the transcript. It would appear to anyone reading the record that this is a map on which the witness has drawn. It appears that’s not the case.

Pros: I believe I have laid some foundation about how this map came about.

Def: This is not the map that the witness drew, that’s all I’m saying.

Pros: I can lay further foundation for this document. [to witness:] When you met with the prosecution before coming to testify, did you give information on the location of radios in Liberia?

Wit: I was given a map like this, and I indicated with radio sets.

Pros: Is this the same map you were shown?

Wit: The areas are marked.

Pros: The map itself – is it the same or similar to what was shown to you?

Wit: I marked the map with a pen to show the locations.

Pros: Are the locations on this map the same as what you had indicated?

Wit: Yes.

Pros: When you were communicating from Planet One, which stations did you communicate with?

Wit: [points on map] To Foya and to 020 and Base 1 in Monrovia. When I was in Liberia, sometimes I was in Monrovia, I used to communicate with stations in Kolahun, Voinjama [others]. Sometimes I communicated with Beudu, Gbarnga, Zorzor, [others]. In Kolahun, I communicated with [lists locations].

Pros: I would ask that the document be marked for identification at this point.

[Judge Doherty orders that this be done.]

Pros: When you went to Liberia, initially you were traveling with Yeaten most of the time, related to the Voinjama operation?

Wit: Yes.

Pros: At any point did that schedule change?

Wit: I was with Yeaten as a radio operator.

Pros: Did you move at any particular point at one stage?

Wit: We never stayed at one place for too long.

Pros: Where was your actual base, your place of residence?

Wit: On the frontline we stayed in the combat camp.

Pros: Did you ever move to Monrovia?

Wit: Yes, Fifty became sick in December 2000. He went to Harbel to a hospital. I was based in Base 1 in Congo Town. There was a wounded soldier called Col. Sherrif. The two of us shared a room.

Pros: Where was this apartment located?

Wit: In Benjamin Yeaten’s compound, a few yards from his residence, just outside the fence where the radio set was. It was just behind Whiteflower. His house was just adjacent to Joe Tuah’s house.

Pros: Can you give a description of the fence in relation to the house?

Wit: It was a brick wall between Yeaten’s house and the small structure where we had the radio station.

Pros: Where was White Flower?

Wit: In Congo Town, it was Taylor’s residence.

Pros: Were these buildings connected in any way?

Wit: No, the main highway ran down to Yeaten’s house.

Pros: Someone else’s house was there?

Wit: Joe Tuah – “Network”.

Pros: Anyone else have a house there?

Wit: The driver for Fifty.

Pros: Can you say anything else to describe Yeaten’s house?

Wit: It was painted white, and there was a street between it and White Flower. Facing the street, there were banana trees planted on the left.

Pros: You spoke of multi-party rifles?

Wit: They were brought by Momoh Gibbah to Fifty’s house. They went on a military jeep to White Flower. I saw those weapons offloaded from the vehicle and put in the store in Yeaten’s house. That day, they were taken to James Spriggs airfield and taken to Foya. We sometimes landed at James Spriggs in airfield. Sometimes we landed there or at Camp Schefflin coming from the front.

Pros: Where was the radio room in Yeaten’s house?

Wit: A small structure outside his fence with two rooms. One had the radio and the other I shared with Col. Sherrif. The house in which Yeaten lived was an upstairs building.

Pros: When you were in Monrovia, were there any visits paid by RUF commanders?

Wit: Gen Issa paid a visit, Gibril Massaquoi paid a visit. They came to Yeaten’s house. Fifty and Issa came in the radio room and Fifty said he was taking our chief to the president.

Pros: When was this?

Wit: I’ve forgotten.

Pros: Did you see any other RUF personnel in Monrovia while you were there?

Wit: I saw Eddie Kanneh, who at some point in time was the SOS – something like resident minister East, or something like that, during the AFRC/RUF junta period. After the ECOMOG intervention, he retreated to Beudu together with Bockarie. He was sent to Liberia on diplomatic issues, and sometimes was sent with a “parcel”. A “parcel” in the code was a diamond.

Pros: Where did you see Kanneh?

Wit: At Yeaten’s house, in the year 2000. He was sent by Gen. Issa. Let me explain. This man, Eddie Kanneh retreated from Kenema together with Bockarie and was in Beudu with Bockarie. Bockarie used to send him to Liberia and back. Bockarie used to tell the radio operators that Kanneh, code-named “Stump”, was in route with a parcel. That was sometime in late 1998. Stump later changed to a code name I can’t recall.

Pros: How do you know this about Kanneh?

Wit: We were always on the same ground, operating with Bockarie. I learned it from working on the radio and from being on the ground.

Pros: Anyone else you saw in Monrovia?

Wit: Superman.

Pros: When?

Wit: In 2000.

Pros: What was he doing there?

Wit: At one point he led a troop to capture Voinjama. Fifty told him he’d done a great job and that he was going to take him to see the president.

Pros: After you left Sierra Leone, did you see Bockarie again?

Wit: Not too long I after I left, I learned through the radio that Bockarie crossed into Liberia.

Pros: You said when you arrived in Liberia, you gave the new code to 020 and Base 1. You went to the Executive Mansion?

Wit: Yes, there was a radio station on the fourth floor, room 306.

Pros: Who else worked in the Executive Mansion?

Wit: In the radio?

Pros: What was the Executive Mansion?

Wit: I was led by Gen. Fifty up there.

Pros: When?

Wit: In December 2000. I was not alone. There was one other, Col. Igu (sp?), one of the other commanders who helped in capturing Voinjama.

Court is now adjourning for the mid-morning break.