12:00 (12:30 with the delay in video and audio): Court is back in session following the mid-morning break.
Defense counsel Morris Anyah continues the cross-examination of protected prosecution witness TF1-516.
Def: Before the break, I was asking about Ahmadiyya Secondary School. I was asking if at any time previously, you had mentioned that name to the prosecution?
Wit: I can’t recall when. There were many interviews.
Def: There is no mention of the name of the school in any of the notes. Did the prosecution fail to note this?
Wit: Yes, because I explained that.
Def: You said you went from Ahmadiyya to National Secondary School?
Def: You mentioned Methodist Secondary School?
Wit: Yes. It was another training base. When we were moved to National Secondary School, the number was overwhelming, so half of the group was taken to Methodist, while we remained at National Secondary School.
Def: When you said the number was overwhelming, you testified the number of recruits rose to 5,000?
Def: When you said that figure, 5,000, you were exaggerating?
Wit: I was not, at all.
Def: We know what you said in court. Let’s see what you said six months ago when you met with the Office of the Prosecutor. [references document] This indicates they showed you a previous statemtne you made: “Witness indicated that in his previous statement of 17 July 2006, his estimate of 5,000 recruits at the camp was a very approximate number. And it was a large number of people and overcrowded.” You said that?
Def: Why did you say that?
Wit: I was asked to estimate the number. I thought of the size of the campus, with 6 or 7 large buildings and all those large buildings, and all the buildings at Methodist were occupied by recruits.
Def: In October last year, you corrected yourself when asked about the number 5,000. You signed that page to confirm that the information here was correct?
Def: Then why did you come to court six months later and revert back to 5,000?
Wit: They asked for an estimate.
Prosecutor Mohamed Bangura: Counsel is misrepresenting the statements he’s referring to. The first statement referenced, the witness clearly stated that 5,000 was an approximation. In the second statement discussed, it was the same characterization as far as I see it. Both statements talk about an approximation of 5,000.
Judge Sebutinde: I recall that in court he also said 5,000 was an approximation. Can you read the relevant passage?
Def: “We were taken to Ahmadiyya. We were not the only ones training there. There had been recruits there. As time went on we were evacuated to National Secondary School campus. There were other recruits from [various locations]…the number rose up to 5,000”
Wit: About 5,000.
Judge Lussick: You’re making a very fine point. How can you accuse him of exaggerating?
Wit: If he started by saying “approximately 5,000”, then corrected that, why did he then revert back to the number 5,000? He corrected that number in the second statement, but used 5,000 in court.
Pros: I don’t see where the witness said anything different in the second statement.
Def: I withdraw the question…
Judge Lussick: I see what you’re saying now. I’m not saying you shouldn’t ask that question.
Def: I would let the record stand as it is and move forward.
Def: National Secondary School base was referred to as “Camp Lion”.
Wti: All RUF training bases were referred to as Camp Lion.
Def: So if any person testifies about an RUF training base under another name, they would be mistaken?
Wit: I only know that the bases were called Camp Lion.
Def: You said some of the trainers were Isaac Mongor, John B. Vincent, Ibrahim Dugba?
Def: When was the last time you saw John B. Vincent?
Wit: In 2001 I stopped seeing him. That was in Liberia.
Def: When was the last time you saw Isaac Mongor?
Wit: I saw him this morning.
Wit: In this town.
Def: Are you staying in the same place?
Wit: I do see him, yes. Yes.
Def: How long have you been staying in this same place with Mongor?
Wit: I can’t say exactly.
Def: When did you arrive in The Hague?
Wit: March 26.
Def: About two weeks ago?
Def: You’re sure?
Wit: I’m sure I arrived Marh 26.
Def: When you arrived, did you see Mongor?
Def: And you’ve seen him until today?
Def: Did you have breakfast with him?
Def: You’ve spoken with Mongor?
Def: You were RUF members?
Def: Do you know why Mongor was in The Hague?
Wit: He told me he’s a witness in this case.
Def: What else has he told you?
Wit: Nothing further.
Def: How long after your arrival did Mongor tell you he was a witness?
Wit: He told me in Freetown.
Def: And he confirmed it here?
Def: You’ve eaten together here?
Def: Did you discuss your training?
Def: Did you recollect things that happened in your former lives?
Wit: Only some things that happened in the jungle.
Def: Your times with the RUF?
Def: Did you notice that he was taken someplace in the mornings and returned in the evenings?
Def: Did you know he came to give evidence?
Def: Did he talk about his experience?
Wit: About saying what happened in Pademba Road Prison.
Def: Did you tell Mongor why you were here?
Wit: I told him. He knows from Freetown.
Def: When did you speak about this with him in Freetown?
Wit: The day we were to take off from Freetown to here,.
Def: You traveled together?
Def: You sat together?
Def: When you met him at Lungi Airport, how long had it been since you had seen him?
Wit: For many years.
Def: Were you surprised to see him?
Wit: I was surprised. I thought he was still in Pademba Road.
Def: Did you and Mongor reminisce?
Wit: We did not talk about anything in Lungi.
Def; You just knew you were both going to testify in Charles Taylor?
Def: What else did you talk about in The Hague?
Wit: Nothing else, because this is a strange land and there was nothing to discuss about.
Def: Nothing else?
Wit: Only what I’ve explained.
Def: For two whole weeks?
Wit: I don’t have much time, as I’m here. He may be moving around, I don’t know.
Def: But at breakfast you’re not moving. And you would chat with him?
Def: Did he ask you whether you were working?
Wit: I told him I was attending school right after DDR.
Def: Did you ask him what he was doing back at home?
Wit: I knew he was held at Pademba Road prison.
Def: Did you ask about life in the prison?
Def: Did you ask about his family?
Def: Did you talk about The Hague?
Wit: I told him I thought it was cold.
Def: So there were other things you talked about besides Pademba Road?
Wit; We watched CNN and discussed what we saw.
Def: Did you ever discuss any news item about this trial or Charles Taylor?
Def: Did you discuss the man, Charles Taylor?
Wit: I can’t remember.
Def: You didn’t remember talking about the man against whom you came to testify? Did you tell him about the time you saw Taylor in Gbarnga? Did you discuss Taylor?
Wit: I can’t recall all we’ve said.
Def: It’s been two weeks. Did you and Mongor talk about Charles Ghankay Taylor, yes or no?
Wit: I cannot recall.
Def: In the last two weeks?
Wit: Discussing exactly about the person you’re talking about.
Def: You didn’t talk about the man seated behind me?
Wit: I have to think. We sometimes cracked jokes about them bringing problems to us.
Def: What kind of jokes?
Wit: About the Vanguards.
Def: You view Mongor as a Vanguard? What does Vanguard mean?
Wit: The ones trained to come to Sierra Leone to fight the war.
Def: Where were they trained?
Wit: Camp Nama, Liberia.
Def; You said you made jokes about him being a Vanguard?
Def: About him bringing the war to you in Sierra Leone?
Def: And you said you were captured by Liberians?
Def: And in one of your statements, you said that Mongor and others were Charles Taylor’s men. You recall saying that?
Def: And Charles Taylor sent them to Sierra Leone?
Pros: Can the defense cite where he’s said that?
Def: When he answers “yes” right away, I don’t need to cite it.
Judge Doherty: For your use or that of the witness?
Pros: For my use.
Def: [cites location in documents] Notes from an interview in October 2007: “Witness states that training commander were Ibrahim Dugba. Mongor [and others] said they were sent by Charles Taylor.” You said they were sent by Taylor?
Def: And you ridiculed that here in The Hague?
Wit: We were talking.
Def: Do you believe that Liberians brought the war to Sierra Leone.
Wit: They were the ones who captured me.
Def: When you and Mongor sat at the breakfast table, did you and MOngor talk about Charles Taylor?
Wit: He said Taylor provided the training ground for them.
Def: Anything else about Taylor?
Def: Did you talk about arms and ammunition, or about diamonds?
Def; On the basis of what Mongor said, he was saying Taylor assisted them when they were in Sierra Leone.
Wit: Our conversations didn’t go to that level.
Def: You’ve seen him for two weeks and he was your training commander. What did he tell you his day was like when he was gone for the day?
Wit: He didn’t tell me.
Def: Did he say he saw Charles Taylor in court?
Wit: He never said that. When he comes from the court he doesn’t keep much time with us.
Judge Doherty: Did he say he saw Taylor in court?
Def: Did he say how Taylor looked?
Def: What did he say?
Wit: I can’t remember.
Def: Did he say he saw Taylor with lawyers or security around him?
Wit: He didn’t say that.
Def: All he said is “today I saw Taylor in court”?
Def: You’re still staying at the same house as Mongor?
Def: Are there other people in that house testifying in this case. Don’t name names.
Def: How many other people?
Def: How long have the four of you been together?
Wit: Two weeks.
Def: And you eat together?
Def: How many have not testified yet?
Def: Have you spoken with them about your evidence?
Def: Did they ask about how your day went?
Wit: They asked how it was going and I said it was tough.
Def: Did you tell them you saw Taylor?
Def: Did you all travel together from Freetown?
Def: Did you sit next to any of them?
Def: And you never told these people you came with and spent two weeks with that you had seen Taylor in court?
Def: Do the other two speak with Isaac Mongor?
Wit: Yes. They talk about other matters.
Def: Did you hear Mongor also telling them about Pademba Road?
Def: Were these people present when Mongor told you about providing training ground in Liberia?
Def: Did you hear Mongor repeat the same thing to them?
Def: What else has Mongor said to them?
Wit: I don’t know. There’s football, the situation in Zimbabwe. We watch CNN, play draughts.
Def: But not about Charles Taylor?
Def: Let’s go back to National Secondary School. You mentioned on Monday and Tuesday that in Ahmadiyya, you had Small Boys Units, Small Girls Units?
Def: And something called the WACS for captured female civilians over 20?
Def: When was the first time that you mentioned these groups being present at the training base?
Wit: I think it was the last inverview they had with me?
Def: That was here in The Hague?
Def: Since you’ve been here, you met them on March 27?
Def: How many hours?
Wit: I can’t estimate.
Def: Did you have a break for eat and drink during the meeting?
Def: You talked also on March 28?
Def: How many people did you meet with on March 27?
Def: And on the 28th?
Def: And on the 29th? All three days were full-day sessions?
Def: And again on the 31st you met with them, on a Monday?
Def: That was Monday, one week ago?
Def: Mongor was coming to court that day?
Def: The 31st of March was the 20th meeting with the Office of the Prosecutor? Let’s look at the interview schedule. You see that the 31st was the last date on which you met with them?
Def: And on 19 prior occasions, you did not indicate to them that there were SBUs and SGUs at National Secondary School?
Wit: That was stated here.
Def: I want to go back. On March 31, are you aware that this was the day that the defense started asking questions?
Wit: I was not in court and didn’t know what was happening.
Def: You said things were tough in The Hague?
Wit: He said things were tough.
Def: On dates he came to court?
Pros: On one particular day, or multiple days? You were talking about the 31st.
Wit: I asked him how he spent the day, and he said “tough”.
Def: You knew he was going to court?
Wit: I never knew where he was taken.
Def: You said Mongor told you he was coming to court.
Pros: That’s a misstatement of the witness’s testimony.
Judge Doherty: I can’t recall a record of him saying Mongor told you he was going to court.
Judge Lussick: [reads from transcript] He said he saw Mongor coming to court, but not that Mongor told him.
Def: You knew he was coming to court. From Lungi, you knew that you both were coming to testify?
Def: And when Mongor left for the day here in The Hague, you knew he had come to testify?
Def: On March 31st, did he say how it went?
Wit: I asked how the day was and he said tough.
Def: On that day?
Wit: I can’t recall if it was that day.
Def: You testified that at National Secondary School, a civilian was shot for trying to escape – Jusu?
Def: How old was he?
Wit: I can’t say exactly. A little older than I was at the time.
Def: [reads from transcript of witness’s earlier testimony] “Q: Did you see this happen at all? A: Yes, it happened when we were transferred. A recruit who took to escaping…a colleague called Jusu was taken to a field, and Rambo said see what we have done… he was shot in the leg and his head cut off. He said that it will serve as an incentive for you not to escape.” Is that right?
Def: You stand by that?
Def: His head was cut off and he was shot in the leg?
Def: [references document] On 17 July 2006 you told prosecutors about Jusu: “Jusu, about 25 years old, tried to escape and was caught. His hands were tied behind him. A Kissi from Foya shot Jusu dead with an AK-47 rifle.” Do you remember saying that?
Wit: I said he was shot and his head cut off.
Def: That’s not on this page.
Wit: He was shot and laid on the ground, and they cut off his head.
Def: Why didn’t you say that in July 2007?
Wit: I said that.
Def: They omitted to write it?
Wit: I remember explaining it. It created panic in everybody and that still didn’t prevent escaping.
Def: I put to you that when you testified on Tuesday that his head was cut off, he was exaggerating, do you agree?
Def: You were lying?
Wit: No. I don’t tell lies. I told how he was killed [recounts the killing].
Def: You’re saying that what you said in court on Tuesday is the same as what you told prosecutors in July 2007?
Wit: Yes, I narrated the death of Jusu, our friend.
Def: We’ll come back to National Secondary School. I want to turn to something else now. [refers to another document] You were shown this document this week – a code book?
Def: What would you call it?
Wit: A code book.
Def: An RUF code book?
Def: That document – when was the first time you saw it?
Wit: I can’t recall the actual date, but…
Def: What year did you first see it?
Wit: I cannot recall.
Def: Did you first see it in the hands of the Office of the Prosecutor?
Def: Was it this month of March in Sierra Leone?
Wit: I saw the particular one in the court for the first time, but I saw a replica of this first in the hands of the prosecutors.
Def: Fair enough. Was the replica identical to this document?
Def: Was it in March this year that you saw the copy for the first time?
Wit: Let me think. [pause] I was shown the photocopy and I asked for the original. They said it was somewhere.
Def: Was in March 2008?
Wit: Yes, I want to believe so.
Def: You want to believe?
Wit: I can’t recall the exact date.
Def: Was it the month of March 2008 that you were shown the copy?
Wit: I had seen the photocopy of this book before seeing the original in court. [pause]
Def: Can we say you were shown the copy in 2008?
Def: You were not there when this book was composed, right?
Wit: I was not at the scene when it was written.
Def: You do not know who wrote in that exercise book, right?
Wit: [pause] I do not know exactly whose handwriting this is.
Def: If you look at the first page and flip to the next page to look at the handwriting there – you would agree that the handwriting is different?
Def: So more than one person wrote in this book?
Wit: It’s hard to tell. Because this one is written in lower-case letters and this one in Gothic letters.
Def: But it’s different handwriting?
Wit: It’s hard to tell if it was two different people.
Def: You view is that it’s possible that the same person wrote both?
Def: The part written in upper-case letters, you told us previously that they contained codes?
Def: If you flip to the end of the book [references page] do you see something that does not mean a code – just a narrative?
Def: Although that writing is in lower-case letters, that is different from the other writing?
Wit: Just allow me to check that. [pause]
Def: It’s a simple question. What is on the two pages are in two handwritings. Are they the same or different?
Judge Lussick: It’s obvious that they’re different because one is in handwriting and one in block letters. Are you asking if they were written by the same person?
Def: Do they appear to be written by different people?
Def: More than one person wrote in the book?
Wit: Some of these pages are loose and not really part of the book.
Def: Look at the page numbers – they’re sequential?
Wit: Yes. Let me say one thing. At that time, there were more than one operator in a station at a time. There was every possibility to for a book to have writing of two or multiple different people.
Def: That was the point. More than one person wrote in it?
Def: You weren’t there when they wrote in it?
Wit: I was not.
Def: Do you know the identities of the people who wrote in the book?
Wit: Yes. As far as our training goes, this is how we were trained to write the preamble of our messages.
Judge Sebutinde: Are you referring to a particular page?
Judge Sebutinde: Please read the number.
Wit:[reads the number] I take this writing to be the writing of one of the operators.
Def: The name?
Wit: I can’t recall.
Def: Which station?
Wit: I don’t know. In the RUF.
Def: Did you tell the prosecution that you recognized the handwriting of one of the operators in this book.
Wit: I recognize it to be Daf’s handwriting.
Def: You told them that?
Def: You’re sure of that?
Wit: In my conviction, I recognize this handwriting to be Daf’s.
Def: On the next page, is that Daf’s handwriting, since you say you know Daf’s handwriting?
Def: It is also Daf’s handwriting?
Wit: I presume it is his.
Def: You know him well?
Wit: Yes, I lived with him for a long time.
Def: Did you tell prosecutors that?
Wit: I told them I recognized it as the writing of an RUF operator. They asked how I knew it was RUF code.
Def: If we go back to that other page we discussed, does that appear to you to be Daf’s handwriting as well?
Def: You stand by that?
Wit: I recognize it and I presume it to be Daf’s handwriting.
Def: You said you recognized these to be RUF codes?
Def: You said they were codes used when Sesay became head of the RUF/
Def: It says here “General Sesay” and a code next to his name?
Def: Sesay became head of the RUF when Bockarie left?
Def: Everyone knew Bockarie left at the end of 1999?
Def: Please turn the page and count down a few lines. Tell me if you see Bockarie’s name in this codebook.
Def: “General Sam Bockarie”?
Def: The leader of the RUF is supposed to be listed first?
Wit: That didn’t matter. The leader did not have to be listed first.
Def: You said these codes came into being when Sesay was leader of the RUF?
Def: I’m asking that if Bockarie had led the RUF and Issa Sesay was now commander with the rank of General, why is it that Bockarie’s name is still there with the rank of General?
Wit: When Bockarie was the head of the RUF, Issa Sesay was not a General.
Def: They why is Bockarie’s name still in the code book?
Wit: He was still in the RUF. Any mention of him had to be a code. Even in Liberia, he was active. I remember there was an operation in Voinjama [adds details of that operation].
Def: Your evidence is that after Bockarie left in December 1999, he came back and joined the RUF for an operation in Voinjama?
Wit: Yes, I met him in Voinjama, and in Vahun.
Court is now adjourning for the week. Proceedings will resume at 9:30 Monday morning.