5:00 Defense presses witness on inconsistent statements

2:30 (3:00 with the delay in video and audio): Court is back in session following the lunch break.

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

Def: We were discussing the treason trial transcripts of Martin Moinama’s testimony. I asked you specifically with respect to your time in Zogoda, whether in 1994 you saw Martin Moinama there and you said no, correct?

Wit: I did not meet him there.

Def: Did you see him there?

Wit; No.

Def: You said Mohamed Terawally, Zino, brought Moinama to Zogoda?

Wit: Yes.

Def: You said that Moinama was Zino’s operator?

Wit: Yes.

Def: I’ll read to you again: “I worked directly with the accused at Zogoda…I was with the accused since 1994..The accused went to Abidjan in July 1996…I also went in July 1996.” Moinama is telling the court in Sierra Leone that he was Sankoh’s signaler from 1994?

Wit: Yes.

Def: That he went to Abidjan and joined Sankoh there?

Wit: Yes.

Def; You say you were in Zogoda when Sankoh left?

Wit: Yes.

Def: When you were in Zogoda, did you see Moinama there?

Wit: No.

Def: You told us that when Zedman left to join Sankoh in Ivory Coast.

Wit: Zedman went with Sankoh to Côte d’Ivoire. At that time Moinama was not in Zogoda.

Def: You said Moinama came after Zedman left?

Wit: Yes.

Def: I asked how long he was there before he also left and you said a number of months?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Moinama said to the court in Sierra Leone that he joined Sankoh in Ivory Coast?

Wit; Yes.

Def: You say you were in Zogoda in 1995?

Wit: Yes.

Def: You said Moses Sama Samba, Sabatta Jusu were also being trained?

Wit: Yes.

Judge Doherty: Why do you have your hand raised?

Wit: I want to make clear about Martin’s claim to have been in Zogoda…

Judge Doherty: Just answer the questions, and I’m sure the prosecution will raise this on reexamination if there’s anything in need of clarification.

Def: Elevation also trained with you? Philimon Koroma is his real name?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Competent?

Wit: Sabatta is Competent.

Def: Who is Justina?

Wit: Another comrade.

Def: In 1995, did you see Martin Moinama in Zogoda?

Wit: No.

Def: Did you see him before you say he came with Terawally?

Wit: No.

Def: [references document] This is the judge’s summation for the jury in the Sankoh treason trial. They called seven witnesses, and Moinama was the first witness. “Moinama was the one who was the signaler to the accused…Witness was in Abidjan for one and a half years before going to Nigeria with Sankoh in 1997.” The judge is telling the jury that Moinama was the signaler for the accused, you see that?

Wit: Yes.

Def: This suggests that Moinama was always based with Foday Sankoh?

Wit; Not always. Before my arrival in Zogoda, other operators had been trained and sent to other locations. After the training he went to the jungle. Those I met on the base were Zedman, Current, [another]. Martin was not there at all.

Def: So this record is inconsistent with your recollection?

Wit: What I’m saying does not contradict his statement. He said he was with Sankoh from 1994 – then assigned to Terawally. In 1996 he joined Sankoh in Abidjan.

Def: That is your evidence?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Let’s go back to the timeline we were constructing. You’ve told us that you left after Sankoh left for Abidjan? When did you leave Zogoda?

Wit: Late 1996.

Def: You said before it was December 1996?

Wit: Late 1996, yes.

Def: When you left Zogoda, you went to Ngiemah?

Wit; Yes.

Def: And from there to Buedu?

Wit: Yes.

Def: And you were there for more than one year?

Wit: At this time, yes. I remained in Buedu until the AFRC took over, then left to Kono.

Def: [references document] “After witness’s foot healed, he was assigned to Buedu as a radio operator under Fidel, the Sergeant in charge there. For more than one year, he worked there under Fidel.” This says that for more than one year you were in Buedu, yes?

Prosecution: I think the defense is talking about a different time in Buedu.

Def: That is what I’m trying to establish. The witness is saying he left in May 1997. In a prior statement he said he was there for more than a year. [to witness]: Is it true that you left Buedu around May 1997?

Wit: I did not leave just after the coup. I stayed in Buedu I think until sometime in August.

Def: OK, August. You told the prosecution that you were based in Buedu for more than one year.

Prosecution: This mention in the statement is in reference to a different time at Buedu. The text there mentions his foot healing. That was a different timeframe than his going to Buedu after Zogoda.

Def: The paragraph above covers him leaving Zogoda. [reads from statement]

Wit: This December 1995, I had long made that correction, still in Freetown. When I retreated from Zogoda, I remained in Buedu until the AFRC coup took place and the RUF were called upon to participate in the junta. I left I think sometime in August.

Def: That is clear. When you testified last Tuesday, you said you were in Buedu from 1996 until the AFRC was in power. Previously you told the prosecution that you were in Buedu for more than a year.

Judge Sebutinde: The witness just said he clarified that with the prosecution and was surprised to hear the uncorrected version again.

Prosecution: Counsel has an obligation to put the corrected version to the witness.

Judge Doherty: [to defense]: Do you have the corrected version?

Prosecution: [refers defense to October 1997 statement]

Def: It doesn’t clarify the point in contention.

Pros: [refers to a page number] “Witness says he left Zogoda in December 1996 and not December 1995.”

Def: The witness said he was in Buedu for more than a year.

Pros: That’s on the basis of an incorrect date.

Judge Doherty: Please put it in clear terms.

Def: You’ve told us you left Zogoda in December 1996?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Why did you tell the prosecution that you were in Buedu for more than one year?

Wit; I stated that I was there until August 1997.

Def: Do you agree that it’s less than a year?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Why does the prosecution say it was more than a year?

Pros: I have the same objection. That same statement said he left in December 1995. The calculation in that statement of over a year was based on that date. That date was corrected and counsel has that corrected information.

Judge Doherty: Are you saying that July 2006 interview “more than one year” are not the witness’s words, but someone else’s words?

Pros: Precisely. The statement has the erroneous 1995 date, and the next paragraph seems to be based on that.

Judge Doherty: Defense is entitled to put the date to him and let the witness answer it.

Def: You told us that you left Buedu for Kono in August 1997?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Previously, you told the prosecution that you left around June 1997. Does that ring a bell?

Wit: [pause] They were writing. I explained to them I got to Kono in August. On my way, I spent 10 days in Kenema.

Def: That’s when you heard Taylor had been elected president of Liberia?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Who told you that?

Wit: I heard that in a conversation between Fifty and Bockarie. Fifty asked Bockarie to come to the inauguration.

Def: You heard this over the radio?

Wit: Yes, I heard this in Kenema.

Def: When you were going from Buedu to Kenema, whose radio were you using?

Wit; I had the authority wherever I went.

Def: Which did you operate?

Wit: Bockarie’s radio.

Def: Even though you were on your way to pick up a radio battery?

Wit: I was to collect acid, the electrolyte to be put in the battery.

Def: In your statement you said battery acid. Is that fair to say?

Wit; Acid is to be put in the battery.

Def: [references document] “Early on in the rainy season of 1997, about June, witness was sent to Koidu to get battery acid.” So we’re speaking about the same thing?

Wit: You said battery, I said acid.

Judge Doherty: Let’s move on. The witness has answered.

Def: You were in Kenema when you heard Taylor had been elected? You said you were operating Bockarie’s radio?

Wit: Yes.

Def: What was that station’s call sign?

Wit: I can’t recall.

Def: It was mobile?

Wit: Yes.

Def: You went to Kono?

Wit: Yes.

Def: You met Kim Perry there?

Wit: Yes. I had do go through Masiaka and Makeni.

Def: The purpose was to get acid?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Your trip was interrupted because King Perry, Perry Kamara, do some diamond mining, and you were also a radio operating?

Wit: Yes.

Def: You told us about a two-pile system last week?

Wit: This mining was a private issue.

Def: This was not being done for the RUF?

Wit: It was different. It had nothing to do with my operations.

Def: Last week you said you were like a slave in the RUF?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Now you’re telling us that you were doing personal mining in Kono not at the request of the RUF?

Wit: I had no alternative. Perry was superior to me.

Def: You had to obey him?

Wit: Yes.

Def: You told us you were mining from June 1997 to February 1998, after the ECOMOG intervention in Freetown?

Wit: Yes.

Def: A lot of your testimony about civilian participation at the mines comes from this period?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Civilians were not working voluntarily?

Wit: In certain demarcated pits, government pits.

Def: Perry Kamara testified before this court a few weeks ago. Are you aware of that?

Wit: No.

Def: Do you know where he said he was between June 1997 and February 1998?

Wit: Since I was not there, no.

Def: [reads from Feb 5, 2008 trial transcript] “We were in Makeni in 1997 and 1998…We were at Makeni as military people when we joined the AFRC…we had to deploy our manpower to various areas, including Kono… Q: You yourself, did you have any particular appointment at that time? A: The only job I did was on the radio. I was at Makeni as the overall signals commander….[lists radio stations he supervised]…Q: Apart from supervising radio communications, were you assigned to any other duties? A: I sometimes went to Freetown to pick up supplies.” Perry Kamara told this court that he was chief signal commander at Makeni. When he left Makeni, the only other duties he did was to go to Freetown. You have Perry Kamara in Kono, mining for six months. Do you stand by that evidence?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Was Perry Kamara lying to the court?

Wit: No. I see he said he had deployments in Kono. He went to Kono. We was there when I got there and he had some workers mining diamonds.

Def: In the page and a half I just read, did you hear him mention diamonds?

Wit; He didn’t mention mining. But he did mention Kono. It’s where I saw him. I stand by it.

Def: You were in Kono mining yourself?

Wit: I was there because I was working for my Sergeant.

Def: He didn’t let you leave, and you could still monitor radios while doing all this mining?

Wit; Yes.

Def: When did you leave Kono?

Wit: Just after the ECOMOG intervention in February 1998.

Def: Where did you go then?

Wit: To Buedu.

Def: How long did you stay in Buedu this time?

Wit: Not even a week, and I was asked to go to Sengema.

Def: Who was your commander?

Wit: Col. Akim at first.

Def: You said he was AFRC this morning?

Wit: Yes. Later I served under Saddam. Then another called Kono Wa(ph).

Def: How long were you there?

Wit; About four months.

Def: You then went back to Buedu?

Wit: Yes.

Def: When?

Wit: Sometime in 1998.

Def: Early 1998?

Wit: Not early.

Def: Did you tell the prosecution it was February 1998?

Wit: When I left Kono, that is true. When I got to Buedu, I was locked up by Mohamed Kabbah.

Def: Because you were diamond mining instead of picking up battery acid?

Wit: Yes, and Perry had to intervene.

Def: Perry was in Makeni?

Wit: He moved around. We had vehicles.

Def: You were with him for six months?

Wit: Until the very last day, when Gullit told us to pull out.

Def: You arrived in Buedu in March or April 1998?

Wit: Around March.

Def: How long did you spend in Buedu?

Wit; Not even one week when I retreated from Kono to Buedu.

Def: You went to Sengema, then left there and came back to Buedu? It’s now March 1998.

Prosecution: The defense is deliberately misleading the witness. The witness says he spent some months in Sengema after February 1998. It’s misleading to say it was now March 1998.

Def: After you left Sengema, what month did you arrive in Buedu?

Wit: It was sometime in the rainy season?

Def: Between April and September?

Wit; Yes.

Def: How long were you in Buedu?

Wit: Until I was asked to take my radio set to Foya, Liberia?

Def: June 1999?

Wit: In the rainy season.

Def: Do you agree that you have consistently said that you left Buedu for Liberia in June 1999?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Is it fair to say you spent at least one year at Buedu between 1998 and 1999?

Wit: If the estimate would have it so. We are estimating the number of months I spent in locations.

Def: Do you agree that after coming from Sengema, you spent over a year in Buedu?

Wit: From 1998 to 1999, how would that be over a year?

Def: [references document] “From March 1998 until June 1999, witness remained a radio operator at Planet One – Bockarie’s mobile radio unit.” You see that?

Wit: Yes.

Def: You told them you were in Buedu from March 1998 to June 1999?

Wit: Yes.

Def: That is over a year?

Wit: No, because I said we retreated from Kono in February to Buedu. I went to Sengema and came back. Sengema is not even mentioned here.

Def: You didn’t tell them about Sengema in your first 10 or so interviews.

Wit: I did. Before this radio, Bockarie’s radio was Bravo Zulu Four, not Planet One. That changed when those Land Cruisers were brought from Voinjama.

Def: [reads another document] This is another statement where you repeated the same information: “Witness saw shipments of medicine during period in Buedu from February 1998 to June 1999.” You see that? That’s over a year, yes?

Wit: Yes.

Def: You said you had told the prosecution you were in Sengema?

Wit: Yes, they told me to tell them about the places I spent long periods of time. I was narrating and he was writing.

Def: Do you agree you left Buedu in June 1999?

Wit: About that period. It was the rainy season.

Def: At this time you reported to Bockarie?

Wit: Yes.

Def: He had several radios?

Wit: Yes.

Def: One was Bravo Zulu Four?

Wit: They were the same radios, but the call signs were changing.

Def: You said that when you joined Bockarie, his station’s call sign was Bravo Zulu Four?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Was that a stationary station?

Wit: It was mounted in a vehicle.

Def: You say no?

Wit: Planet One and Marvel were the ones in the vehicle.

Def: Bravo Zulu Four was stationary?

Wit: It also used to move. It was a Thomson radio. You can put it in a bag.

Def: It was a mobile radio set?

Wit: It was used wherever Sam Bockarie was.

Def: Then comes Operation Vulture and the RUF captured or commandeered two additional vehicles. The same radio that was Bravo Zulu Four had a new call sign?

Wit: Not the same radio set.

Def: But Bockarie’s call signs changed?

Wit: Yes. Planet One and Marvel.

Def: There are occasions where Bockarie would be in one Land Cruiser with Planet One and someone else would be in another vehicle with Marvel?

Wit: Yes.

Def: When you were operating Planet One, you were not at the same time operating Marvel?

Wit: No.

Def: Bockarie would sometimes travel with Marvel and sometimes with Planet One?

Wit: Yes.

Def: [reads from document] “When transmitting or receiving messages with Planet One in the field, witness would write messages into operation book. Back at base, messages would be transcribed into the book for BZ4.” So that radio still existed?

Wit: No, that was just the location. We still referred to that base as Bravo Zulu Four.

Def: [references another document] “The witness pointed out that he previously indicated that the base radio was the same as BZ4, the main radio in Buedu. Planet One and Marvel were mobile stations.” This suggests you’ve said before that there were three separate stations.

Wit: We’re talking about multiple radios in Buedu. There was another station called Lemon, for soldiers to go there and talk to their people – their relatives. Another station was there to monitor ECOMOG activities. When Issa Sesay came, he brought his radio set. We had Marvel and Planet One. We referred to the who place as Bravo Zulu Four.

Def: Here it says BZ4 is a radio, not a place. I suggest that you wanted to place yourself with all radio sets near Sam Bockarie.

Wit: We had many radios, yes.

Def: During direct examination, you led us to believe that Bockarie had one call sign: BZ4, and that after Operation Vulture, there were two: Marvel and Planet One. Your interview records suggest that BZ4 never ceased to exist as a radio?

Wit: BZ4 was the base.

Def: Now you’re saying this when confronted with previous statements. There is a disctinction between the call sign of a radio and the name of a base?

Wit: They can be used the same. My call sign in Sengema was Adidas. So people going to Sengema might say they were going to Adidas.

Def: At some point in Buedu, did Bockarie have a new jeep?

Wit: I saw him there with that jeep. Yes.

Def: What call sign was used for the radio in that jeep?

Wit: [pause] That jeep had no radio mounted in it. It was a plain jeep.

Def: When radio sets are used in vehicles, your practice in Buedu was to drive around in the morning to charge up the radio sets. That means that for periods of times, you were not monitoring communications at night?

Wit: At night? Why?

Def: Were the radios on or off at night?

Wit: They were on.

Def: And you could still listen to radio communications?

Wit: Yes.

Def: There was a Liberian operator working for Bockarie at this time named Duowr?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Also while you were there, Samuel Lamboy or Ebony was actually the station commander for Planet One?

Wit: I used to present him with the messages.

Def: Was Ebony the station commander for Planet One?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Besides yourself, there was Daf, Zedman, Mohamed Kabbah, Osman Tolloh (ph) at the time Planet One was Bockarie’s radio?

Wit: Yes.

Def: That means that any of these people on occasion would work as the operator of Planet One?

Wit: We served duty?

Def: There were at least four or five of you?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Did you ever hear Charles Taylor’s voice over the radio while you were at Planet One?

Wit: No.

Def: Charles Taylor never talked on the radio with Bockarie from February 1998 to June 1999, that’s what you told the prosecution?

Wit: I did not hear it. I heard a conversation from Liberia when I was with Sankoh requesting Sankoh to talk to Taylor.

Def: During the time you were in Buedu, conversations between Bockarie and Yeaten, if any, were coded?

Wit: Yes.

Def: During the time you were in Buedu, you never received or transmitted messages on behalf of any AFRC people?

Wit: [pause] Messages from Bockarie were the ones we used to transmit.

Def: Did you ever receive messages from AFRC persons?

Wit: Messages were received from Gullit.

Def: Did you ever transmit messages to persons in the AFRC?

Wit: No to my knowledge, but messages were transmitted from Gullit’s station.

Def: You told the prosecution that you never received or transmitted messages on behalf of any AFRC people.

Wit: I received messages from Gullit, who was working with Bockarie.

Def: [references document] “Witness states never received or transmitted messages on behalf of AFRC people.”

Wit: I received messages from Gullit, and he was AFRC.

Def: You see your signature and the date, November 2007?

Wit: Yes.

Def: And that means you read it and found it to be correct?

Wit: Yes.

Def: This statement was a correction of an earlier statement in which you said: “Witness met Gullit in 1998 during retreat from Kono. Witness never received or transmitted messages to my AFRC people.” And later they corrected “my” to “any”.

Wit: In Buedu, it was Bockarie’s set. I received messages from Gullit.

Prosecutor Mohamed Bangura: In the corrected version, the statement says he never transmitted or received messages “on behalf of” AFRC people. There’s a distinction between receiving messages between receiving messages “on behalf” of some one and “from” them.

[brief interruption in video and audio feed]

Def: It is up to the judges to determine what it means.

Judge Sebutinde: This witness can explain himself without assistance.

Def: I will leave it to your honors to determine what the witness means.

Def: When was the last time you saw Gullit?

Wit: It was in Kailahun. He left us there and drove to Buedu. That same day they proceeded to Daru…

Judge Doherty: When?

Wit: The time he led us from Kono to Kailahun.

Judge Doherty: The question is when. That is time.

Wit: In 1998, just after the ECOMOG intervention.

Def: What is Gullit’s real name?

Wit: I knew him by Gullit as PLO 2.

Def: And as Black Jack?

Wit: It was a code name.

Def: Who used to refer to him that way?

Wit: Bockarie.

Def: Have you ever heard the name Alex Tamba Brima?

Wit: Yes.

Def: In what context?

Wit: I think referring to Gullit.

Def: You told us that at this time in Buedu – about several messages from Liberia?

Wit: Yes.

Def: In Zogoda you were not allowed to communicate with Liberia. Isn’t it true that in Buedu you still didn’t have that authority?

Wit: It was in Buedu that I was given the authorization to communicate with the other side.

Def: Have you told the prosecution something different about this issue?

Wit: In Zogoda I didn’t have the authority. In Buedu, I had the authority.

Def: You’ve told the office of the prosecution before that only a few operators in Buedu were allowed to speak to the other side, and that list didn’t include you?

Wit: That was initially when Sillay was there. He killed himself, and then I started communicating with the other side.

Def: [references document] “If witness received a radio call from Liberia, he had to get Ebony to talk to them because he wasn’t allowed to speak to the other side while assigned to Planet One. Ebony was the only one.” You told them that in July 2006?

Wit: Yes.

Def: “Daf, Zedman and Osman Tolloh were the only people besides Bockarie to talk to the other side”. Twice on the same page it says you were not authorized.

Wit: This is what I told them. When I first got to Buedu I was not allowed, but later I was.

Def: I put to you that neither in Zogoda or Buedu did you have the authority to communicate with Liberia?

Wit: At a certain time that was true. Later I was authorized.

Def: Why did you say these people were the only ones authorized to speak with Liberia?

Wit: It changed over time.

Def: I put to you that during the entire period of your testimony, you were not authorized.

Wit: Later I had the authority. I have no reason to lie.

Def: You told us on Thursday that Sam Bockarie never hid anything from you radio operators?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Did he usher you away when diamonds arrived in Buedu?

Judge Doherty: Physically arriving, or discussion about diamonds on the radio?

Def: When you were in Buedu, did mining commanders occasionally come to meet with Bockarie?

Wit: Yes.

Def: When they came, Bockarie didn’t allow others to be around him, including yourself?

Wit: We had already been informed by radio that the commander was en route.

Def: I’m asking if when they came to report to Bockarie, did he allow you and others to be around?

Wit: We would be around.

Def: Did you see any diamonds?

Wit: Yes, he would display diamonds on the table and start playing with them.

Def: [references document] “Witness and others were not allowed to be around Bockarie and the senior commanders when the mining commanders came to report to Bockarie. Witness never saw diamonds change hands.” It says Bockarie didn’t allow you and others to be around when the diamond commanders came.

Wit: We were around.

Def: you said you saw diamonds?

Wit: Yes. You said exchange of diamonds for something. We would be in the veranda and he would show us the diamonds.

Def: I asked if you saw any diamonds when the diamonds came. You said yes. Now you’re referring us to the word “exchange”. What wasn’t clear about the question. This paragraph says he never saw diamonds exchange hands.

Wit: Not exchanged for money or something.

Def: It says you weren’t allowed to be around.

Wit: We were not at the table with the diamonds, but we were in the radio station just in front of the veranda. We would remain there and see.

Def: Why did you tell us last week that Bockarie never hid anything from you radio operators, and now it says you were not allowed to be around?

Wit: We were not at the table where he picked the white diamonds from what he called industrial diamonds.

Def: You understand the phrase “to be around”?

Wit: I was not at the same table. But I was at the radio in front of the veranda to see.

Court is now adjourning for the day. Proceedings will resume at 9:30 tomorrow morning.