Prosecution Witness Alimamy Sesay Accuses Taylor of Trading Weapons For Diamonds

April 18, 2008

Noon-1:30pm: Court is back in session following the lunch break. 

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

Pros: Before the break, you discussed that the troops were preparing to fight ECOMOG, who were the commanders? 

Wit: Col. Issac, Superman, Bomblas and General commanders

Pros: Who led this operation?

Wit: Superman

Pros: When was the shooting of the SLAs?

Wit: around May 1998

Pros: Can you describe the radio communications that were taking place while you were in Kono?

Wit: Bazi (sp?), Bomblas (sp?) and I would hear the radio communications from Superman and this is how we got our orders.

Pros: Did anything happen to the command structure that was in place in Kono?

Wit: When Morris Kallon came, he became an adviser for the troops.

Pros: Can you give us a timeframe?

Wit: Around June 1998

Pros: Can you tell us where you went after the operation?

Wit: I went to 55 spots.  Mosquito wanted to work out some logistics and do some mining.

Pros: What kind of mining?

Wit: Diamond mining

Pros: Who was doing the actual mining?

Wit: civilians

Pros: Why were the civilians doing the mining?

Wit: They were captured and forced under gun point.

Pros: Do you know which commander controlled this mining?

Wit: Superman but he had orders from above

Pros: Do you know who the “above” was?

Wit: Mosquito

Pros: Let’s go back to Mongor Dongor (sp?), after this meeting what happened?

Wit: We received a lot of pressure from Echomo forces

Pros: What information did you receive?

Wit: As I said earlier, as Echomo forces were rapidly advancing on Koimodu we began to prepare to stop them.

Pros: What happened after this?

Wit: We tactically withdrew by shooting at them then withdrawing and we repeated this process.

Pros: Where did you withdraw to?

Wit: Koidu town and we found all the remaining houses on fire which is where Superman’s headquarters were

Pros: Do you know who was responsible for the burning?

Wit: Not sure of the actual names

Pros: What happened after that?

Wit: Some of the men left to Tokpombu.

Pros: What was the timeframe?

Wit: June 1998

Pros: Can you estimate the number of houses burned?

Wit: No

Pros: Going back to the mining, who received the diamonds?

Wit: Superman but he said they were going to Mosquito

Pros: Did he say what Mosquito was doing with these diamonds?

Wit: This is how Mosquito got arms and ammunition in Liberia.

Pros: Did he say who in Liberia?

Wit: President Taylor

Pros: Witness, do you have the map of Kono district?

Wit: Yes

Pros: Witness, can you mark the locations if ok with court?

Judge: ok, witness needs to use map on the overhead so we can all follow.

Pros: Witness, please circle the locations from the Kono map on the overhead.  Can you mark where Kono town is?

Wit: Yes

Pros: Can you put a number 1 next to that town?

Wit: Yes

Pros: You testified about Walma (sp?), Do you see it on the map? 

Wit: Yes

Pros: Can you put a number 2 next to it?

Wit: Yes

Pros: You testifed about Takura (sp?), do you see it on the map? 

Wit: Yes

Pros: Can you put a number 3 next to it.

Wit: Yes

Pros: You testified about Mongera (Sp?), do you see Mongera on this map? 

Wit: Yes

Pros: Can you put a number 4 next to it.

Wit: Yes

Pros: You testified about Gondoa (Sp?), do you see Gondoa on this map? 

Wit: Yes

Pros: Can you put a number 5 next to it?

Wit: Yes

Pros: You testified about Tokpombu, do you see it on the map?  

Wit: yes

Pros: Can you circle it and put a number 7 next to it?

Wit: Yes

Pros: You testifed about Bumpei (Sp?), do you see it on the map? 

Wit: Yes

Pros: Can you circle it and put a number 8 next to it?

Wit: Yes

Pros: Did your group arrive in Tokpombu?

Wit: yes

Pros: Who was there?

Wit:  various commanders and family members

Pros: What does family members mean?

Wit: Those civilians who were not captured

Pros: What was the number of civilians who were captured?

Wit: A large number, about 200.

Pros: Where were they captured from?

Wit: McKinney, some in Kono where we were based

Pros: How long were you and the group in Tokpombu?

Wit: That day, we left and did not sleep there

Pros: Where did you go?

wit: Montvesea (Sp?)

Pros: What about the captured civilians?

Wit: Tito and the other commanders secured the civilians by using the footpaths and met us later in Monsavenia (Sp?)

Pros: How far is Monsavenia from Tokpombu?

Wit: A day’s journey by using the footpaths which is shorter than the motor way.

Judge: explain footpath

Pros: What do you mean by footpath?

Wit: This is how you move around quickly from village to village

Pros: Which commanders stayed in Kono?

Wit: Camara, George Adams, Momabandura (Sp?)

Pros: Do you know where Akinture (Sp?) was?

Wit: The only thing I know is that he used footpath to go to Calahoun

Pros: When did this happen?

Wit: June or July of 1998

Pros: What happened upon your arrival in Maphazinia (sp?)?

Wit: I waited for those using footpaths to arrive.

Pros: Do you recall how many RUF were there?

Wit: No, I can’t recall the number but it was a mixed force

Pros: What happened in Maphazinia?

Wit: There was a closed door meeting with Gullit, 55, Sadmoussa (sp?) and others to prepare for the attack of Freetown

Pros: What happened after the meeting? 

Wit: Myself and some others left for the North to look for a base

Pros: In Maphazinia, did Gullit have a rank?

Wit: He called himself a brigadere and named Mazi as another one and established brigade administration?   He also created four companies, Company A, Company B, Company C, and Company D.

Pros: Who was the head of it?

Wit: Gima (Sp?) who was chief in command and appointed Camara as deput chief in command

Pros: What did the brigage administration do?

Wit: They dealt with the day to day administration of the brigage and were responsible for all the others that came from the brigade administration. 

Pros: Was there anyone subordinate to 55?

Wit: the company commanders were subordinate

Pros: did each of the 4 companies have a commander

Wit: Yes

Pros: Who was commander for Company A, Company B, Company C, and Company D ?

Wit: Captain Tito for Company A, Sp? Company B,  Captain Ato (Sp?) for Company C, and Captain George Johnson for Company D.

Pros: How many men were in each company?

Wit: Some companies had 60 and others had 80

Pros: When did your group arrive in Kuanaledi town (sp?)

Wit: September 1998

Pros: What was the function of the military supervisors in Maphazinia?

Wit: They had to monitor companies under their control?

Pros: Do you know supervisors names?

Wit: Yes, Company A was 55, Company B had Papabura, Compancy C, Abdus Sese, Company D, Ibrahim Camara

Pros: Apart from restructuring, did Gullit say anything else in Maphazinia?

Wit: Yes, he said the brigade was about to move and warned any civilian or fighter who attempted to escape that they would be harshly punished.  In addition, whoever refused to follow orders would be executed.

Pros: Did he say anything about civilians in Maphazinia who were not able-bodied?

Defense: Object – treatment of civilians in Maphazinia is not in the indictment

Pros: Evidence goes toward a wide spread of systematic attack which is in the indictment

Judge: Objection overruled.

Wit: Civilians who were able-bodied should be recruited and those who are not able-bodied should be executed.

Court is adjourned until 9:30 on Monday morning.