Prosecution continues examination of Alimamy Bobson Sesay

Court began at 9:30am this morning.

Prosecutor Shyamala Alagendra continues to examine witness Alimamy Bobson Sesay.  Please note that the following is not an actual transcript.

Prosecution begins by talking about different attacks that occurred.

Pro:  You told us about an attack in Koinadugu.  What was the timeframe?

Wit: From about May or June 1998.

Pro:  Who was involved? 

Wit:  The only attack I can recall is when Rambo went to Koidu Town.  Rambo, we met him when he was burning areas.

Pro: Who is the we you are referring to? 

Wit:  We were on patrol in that area.  We met Rambo burning part of the city.

Pro: What was he doing?

Wit: He was burning houses in Gondown.

Pro: Is it Gondontown or Gondon area? 

Wit: It was the Gondon town in general.

Pro: Can you tell us when this took place? 

Wit: It was March 1998.

Pro: When you arrived in Gondon (sp?), had the burning already started? 

Wit: Yes, they were setting the houses ablaze.

Pro: Who was setting the houses ablaze? 

Wit: It was Rambo.  It was the RUF and (unclear).

Pro:  You testified on Friday that civilians were involved in training.

Wit: Yes.

Pro:  And commanders involved?

Wit: Yes.

Pro:  You were training them as well?

Wit: Yes.

Pro:  Were there other people who were training them?

Wit: Yes.  Commanders in those areas would exchange SBUs and civilians.

Pro: What do you mean? 

Wit: As I said, we would go with Bangura and do basic training.

Pro:  What commanders did you see?

Wit: Savage was training SBUs and civilians; Tito was training; Americalete (sp?) too was doing training which I witnessed.

Pro:  Which groups were involved in training SBUs and civilians?

Wit: Yes.  The SUL and the RUF.

Pro:  Do you recall names of commanders?

Wit: Yes.

Pro:  Tell us the name.

Wit: Commander (unclear), Williams (aka Rocky) he too trainied civilians; Isaac Monboto as trained civilians and SBUs.

Pro:  How do you know?

Wit: When we went to viist on patrol, we would see the training going on.

Defense counsel objects to the combination of questions involving civilians and SBUs.  He asks him to clarify whether Williams also trained civilians.

Pro: Who did Williams train?

Wit:  Williams trained SBUs and civilians.

Pro:  They were amputating?

Wit: Yes.

Pro:  Happened in some areas?

Wit: Yes.

Pro:  Where besides Amandu, did these take place?

Wit: When Savage did the amputations, he had others doing them with him.

Pro:  Were there other areas?

Wit: From what I was able to see, this was the area.  There were also amputations at the RUF end.

Pro:  Where did this happen?

Wit: Guinea highway, they used to amputate there.  Supermarket area as well.  They would capture and amputate civilians there.

Pro:  Who is they?

Wit: The RUF and SLA that were in the area.

Pro:  When did they take place?

Wit: This was when the battalions had been established.  When we were on patrol, we would witness these acts.

Pro:  Do you recall the timeframe for the attacks on Guinnea highway.

Wit: It was March/April 1998.

Pro:  You said they captured civilians, who is they?

Wit:  We went on a visit and they brought a civilian and we witnessed them being amputated.  By Superman’s orders, there was an RUF order to do the amputations.

Pro:  How do you know Superman ordered this?

Wit: It was during my visit.  He told them to tell ECOMOG that they should not come to the area.

Pro:  Who said this?

Wit: Superman himself said this.

Pro:  You were testifying to what happened to women.  You told the court they were forced to have sexual intercourse and do laundry.  Do you recall this?

Wit: Yes.

Pro:  Do you recall where in Konu this happened?

Wit: This happened even at the airport were I was based.  It happened everywhere.  When ever you go there, you see each fighter had a wife.

Pro:  Which areas this happened?

Wit: Like machine, yanguman, was another area, Bompa, Sombadu, (unclear)

Pro:  Can you give us a time frame?

Wit: This happened from March to June 1998.

Pro:  The timeframe you gave us, March to July, what area?

Def:  Objects – I think he said March to June.

Pro:  Sorry.  March to June.

Wit: He names several cities and includes Superman’s base.  He said it happened there as well.

Pro:  You said there was a bank that was broken into, do you recall?

Wit: Yes.

Pro:  They told us there was money.  We broke into the bank and the money was with Superman.  When we moved to Koidu, we saw elder collagues.  The money was on them.  They had several bags on them. When you say they gave you info there was money, who is they?

Wit: Well, this time when you enter Konu, the civilians gave us info there was money in the bank.

Pro:  When you saw “they”, who are you referring to?

Wit: Superman, Baze (sp?) and Bangura.

Pro:  We broke into the bank, who is we?

Wit: Superman was present, I too was there, Baze and one other.

Pro:  When you saw they had the money on them, what money are you talking about?

Wit: This money, Eldrerd Collins was with Superman.  They moved with this money to another town.

Pro:  Witness, you told court after you returned to the court, you saw they the entire town had been burned down. Do you recall?

Wit: Yes.  This was in May-June 1998.

Pro:  You testified about food finding patrols.

Wit: Yes.

Pro: Who was involved in these food finding patrols?

Wit: Myself, SUF, RUF and civilians.  We would use civilians to carry the loads.

Pro:  Who was used?

Wit: The civilians.

Pro:  When did the food finding patrols take place?

Wit: This food finding was a continuous process. We did this from entry to our withdraw.

Pro:  You were testifying about your move and a meeting that took place.  You told the Court during that meeting there were troops.

Wit: Yes.

Pro:  And you spoke about the orders that he passed.

Wit: Yes.

Pro:  (Prosecution refers to the transcript 8053 — line 23)  You said “he is giving out warning to civilians our fighters who are trying to escape”  do you know what was meant by this?

Wit: Anyone who made an attempt to escape, it was ordered that he will be immediately executed.

Pro:  Escape from what?

Wit: From the group or from anywhere.  It doesn’t matter.

Pro:  Who were the civilians he was referring to?

Wit: Civilians we brought to Masofiner (sp?).  The ones that were with us.

Pro:  You testified about the orders.  You spoke about the orders to burn houses and execute civilians.

Wit:  Yes.

Pro:  Did they pass any other orders about civilians in this time?

Wit: As we were going along, he would continue to give orders.

Pro:  After he passed the order, could you recall the size of the group?

Wit: Well, we were more than 500.

Pro:  This 500, who does it include?

Wit: It included family members, captured civilians were called this.

Pro:  Were there a number of fighters?

Wit: As far as I can recall, the fighters were about 300 or so.

Pro:  When 55 came, how many were they?

Wit: Almost the size of a battalion.  55 brought about 80 men.  That comprised there family that they brought.  They too captured civilians.

Pro:  Family, who are you talking about?

Wit: Captured civilians.  They took had captured civilians.

Pro:  Do you recall the number of fighters with 55?

Wit: About 80 men.

Pro:  Number of civilians?

Wit: Cannot tell you the exact number.  There were civilians among fighters.

Pro:  Do you recall how many were RUF?

Wit: I cannot recall. It was a mixed group.

Pro:  The 200 fighters in (unclear), does this include these 80 fighters?

Wit: This was an addition.  It was reinforcement.

Pro:  Once 55 joined the group, what was the number?

Wit: The number increased. We had about 400 or more fighters.

Pro:  Did anything happen after this meeting?

Wit: As I said, after we made appointment of company supervisors, commanders, etc., Sesay was directly responsible for details of fighters from both sides.  He ordered the troops be prepared to Yayah.

Pro:  Who ordered this?  

W:  Thomas Alex Garmer.

Pro: What happened after this order to advance? 

Wit: The troop left and A company and B company took the lead.

Pro: What company were you in? 

Wit:  I was in the brigade.

Pro: What do you mean by that. 

Wit: I don’t understand.

Pro: What was your position? 

Wit: Well I have teamed with Bangora.  I was in the middle.

Pro: Who was leading A company? 

Wit: Captain Tito.

Pro: Who was leading B?

Wit:  Junior(?)  Organization was like this.  A company took the lead.  The group with family members was in the middle.  The rear had C and B companies.

Pro: Where was Gukeit Barze? 

Wit: in the middle.

Pro: Bazett? 

Wit: In the middle as well.

Pro: In the rear, was anyone leading company C?

Wit: Captain Athall, Captain (unlcear)

Pro: When the group left, did anyone remain in Maztetania? 

Wit: No.

There were technical difficulties at this point.  The live lead cut out.

Back at 10:40am.

Pro: For the record, spelled “Bummi.” 

Pro: Where did you go to? 

Wit: We were pushing forward, trying to locate a base to settle.

Pro:  Where were you going?

Wit: On the way, some civilians tried to escape. They were shot as a warning to others.

Pro:  Who were the people shot?

Wit: The captured civilians.  They were the family troops.

Pro:  Who do you know?

Wit: Teeto was in the lead.  He came and told me that this was the example that should be followed.

Pro:  Who gave this order?

Wit: Gullit said these people were challenging his order, so they must have wanted to do.  So they died.

Pro:  Where did the troops advance?

Wit: Toward the village.  We got in touch with Superman.  Superman told him it would be prefferable to return to Konu.  Guido remained with him, he could not return. 

wit:  Gullit said he would not return because he was pressing to the north.  He wanted to remind Superman that he had the forces to go ahead.

Pro:  Unclear?

Wit: Gullit switched off the set and said we should prepare for the advance.  We should set the village on fire.  it was B and C company that set the village on fire while the brigade moved.

Pro:  Do you recall the name?

Wit: I cannot recall.

Pro:  Can you recall who set the village on fire?

Wit: it was an order from Gullit. He called the B compnay and issued order.

Pro:  Do you recall if there were any civilians living in the village?

Wit: No, we didn’t meet civilians.

Pro:  You mentioned the brigade; where did it move?

Wit: We moved toward a village.  He captured a man, Tanva, a juju priest.

Pro:  The village you moved toward, where was this?

Wit: [Unclear]

Pro:  JuJu, what does this mean?

Wit:  According to my idea, these are people you go to to worship and prepare to fight.

Pro:  Did anything happen at this village?

Wit: Tombasara (sp?) was arrested and pleaded with Gullit not to kill him.  He said he would prepare something to prepare the troops.  He told us don’t eat goats.  The sheep and ducks they were free to eat.  He prepared charms for every fighter.  We tied these charms on our arms.  We left and headed to the highway.

Pro:  What happened after that?

Wit:  When we left the village, we moved ahead and had an attack.

Pro:  Do you recall the timeframe?

Wit: Around June-July 1998.

Pro:  Where did you have an attack?

Wit: After the village where Tomasa (sp?) was.

Pro:  Do you recall who attacked?

Wit: Yes. The executive outcomes.  The South Africans.

Pro:  What happened to you?

Wit: We fought back.  They captured one of the SLA.  He confirmed that they brought the South Africans.  Later Gullit and Tito called for an alliance.  So we were told we should reorganize and go back to village.  We went back and burned it down.  We left with Tito and burnt it down.  After that, Gullit ordered that the soldiers should tell us exactly what they were about South Africans.  The person captured didn’t have any useful information.  So, Gullit gave order to burn this person alive.

At this point, Defense counsel rises and states that he objected to this evidence last week.  He would like to make a continuous objection about admitting this evidence of additional crimes.

Prosecution responds:  Pursuant to Rule 66, evidence of other crimes were contained in prior testimony and disclosed to the Defense.  This case is unlike other cases that the Court has heard.  The evidence we seek to introduce is relevant for number of reasons.  (1)  Charges of crimes against humanity require a widespread and systematic attack against humanity.  It is relevant to these charges. (2)  Because of accused’s position, we must show he had notice of these instances going on.  The evidence shows that the atrocities were so widespread during the indictment period and prior to indictment, that through out the the indictment, Taylor was aware of these atrocities by the RUF.  It is our case that with the RUF and later the ARFC, that this was created by and controlled by Taylor.  All of this is relevant to the intent that these atrocoities be carried on in Sierra Leone.  The probative value of this evidence is great.  This evidence can only be considered for the relevant charges.

Defense reponse: Counsel has said disclosure has been made to us, and it has.  Miss Alexander last week provided two bases for admitting this evidence.  First, Rule 93 and also the widespread and systematic attacks.  With regard to Rule 93, there are two conditions.  It is a discretionary decision of the Court.  The Chamber has discretion whether to admit this evidence.  With respect to crimes against humanity, putting Taylor on notice, it is misplaced.  Any allegations must be limited to these areas.  This is large enough to place anyone on notice.  Why do they need to go these other areas. Everyone around the world knew what was going on, including our client.  Why do they need to include other areas beyond those agreed to?

Trial Chamber confers.  The Court states that it considers this evidence as relevant to widespread and systematic attacks on civilians and will allow the question.

Wit:  I am still sick from last week.  I am suffering from a cold, a serious one.

Pro:  Can you continue?

Wit: I am having a headache.  I was told doctors don’t work on Saturday.  They gave me a tablet.  I had a blood test.  Saturday I had a very serious cold.  It continued Sunday night.  Now I am having a serious headache. 

Judge:  You didn’t answer the question.  Are you able to continue?

Wit:  No.  I cannot concentrate.  I cannot go ahead.

Court confers.  We will order an early break.  We will check his situation.  The Prosecution should alert the next witness.  We will break early for 30 minutes.

Court adjourns.