Prosecution Witness Alimamy Sesay Describes Attack in Koinadugu and Other Crimes

April 18, 2008

9:30-11:30: Court is in session.

Prosecutor Shyamala Alagendra continues questioning the witness Alimamy Bobson Sesay.  The following is not an actual transcript.

Pros: Did you receive a poll (message) from Savage that he captured 77 civilians in Tokpombu?

Wit: When we arrived there, we saw them and Savage put about 15 civilians in a house and set them on fire.  Some of them he cut off their heads.

Pros: Interpreter, can you repeat the names of the fighters?

Wit: Alhagi, Savage, and others Sp?

Pros: Did any of the civilians survive from the burning building?

Wit: None of them survived. 

Pros: Do you know who was doing the amputations?

Wit: Savage and some of the SBUs

Pros: Did Mohammed Savage also go by the name Changa Balanga?

Wit: Yes, this name was given to him after this incident

Pros: While you were in Tokpombu, do you recall if any of the commanders came there?

Wit: Yes, Superman, Sam Bockarie came

Pros: What did Superman do when he came?

Wit: He was shocked when Savage told him that they cremated the people and Superman said this was a crime against humanity.  Then, everybody started drinking palm wine.

Judge: Witness used the word cremated the people, even though I do not have any evidence of it.

Pros: Did any cremation take place?  Even though you mentioned that people’s heads were cut off and put them in a pit and Savage told Superman that he cremated the people.

Wit: Where you see the ashes and the bones

Judge: I understand now.

Pros: When Superman said this could be a crime, do you know if Superman took any action against Savage?

Wit: No, Superman like everyone else was just drinking palm wine.

Pros: Did Savage continue to be the commander after this incident?

Wit: Yes

Pros: During this time, did you go to Sierra Peilo?

Wit: Yes but only to see how the ground was doing.

Pros: What did you see in Inferma Sp?

Wit: Human heads displayed on sticks.

Pros: Do you know who killed these civilians?

Wit: Sedhe Sp? and his men 

Pros: When did this incident take place?

Wit: July 1998

Pros: Do you know who burned the houses?

Wit: They burned them so that civilians could not come to those areas.

Pros: What happened when you go to Manseni Sp? road?

Wit: We started burning the houses to get rid of the civilians.

Pros: did any of the commanders know?

Wit: Bombas Sp? Superman, Isaac Mongor

Pros: Were there women among those civilians

Wit: yes, many

Pros: What was the age group of the women?

Wit: We had the young ones, who 8 to 12 and above 15 and 20

Pros: What happened to those women?

Wit: Those women were living with commanders.  Some of them were made their wives.

Pros. What do you mean made them their wives?

Wit: I had one from Kono who was caputed.

Pros: How were they made wives?

Wit: Well, I did not marry mine but we had guns and forced them to do whatever we wanted.

Pros: What were they forced to do?

Wit: We had sex with them and some of them got pregnant?

Pros: Besides sex, did this women have to do anything else?

Wit: They had to cook and some had to pound rice and do laundry.

Pros: What was their age group?

Wit: Above 15.  Some of the SBUs had the younger ones, around 10.

Pros: When you say that SBUs had the younger ones, what do you mean?

Wit: SBUs would capture the younger ones and would live with them.

Pros: Did the SBUs do anything with the younger ones?

Wit: They had sex with them.

Pros: How do you know?

Wit: I saw it.

Pros: Did the commanders know?

Wit: Yes, but they did not discipline them

Pros: What commanders?

Wit: Superman, Babi Sp? 

Pros: What time frame did this occur?

Wit: March, April, May of 1998 when we were in Kono.

Pros: Were there women among the civlians who were killed?

Wit: Yes, men and women unless you were beautiful or strong enough to be trained.

Pros: When did you go to Dambong Sp?

Wit: soon after

Pros: How did you know that Superman sent for Bomblas and Bazi?

Wit: I was there when a runner said that Superman wanted to talk with them.

Pros: What happened after you went to Dubaimbe street and met with Superman?

Wit: One of the commanders, Mosquito, said he had arms and ammunition and we were to fight Koidu town.

Pros: Did Mosquito say where in Liberia he got his ammunition from?

Wit: President Tilo from Liberia has organized for us to get arms and we should use them to defend Kono.

Pros: Did anyone else speak?

Wit: Morris Kolon spoke to Bazi and that he was coming very soon to reinforce us.

Pros: Did Morris Kolon come to Kono?

Wit: Yes

Pros: Did anything happen after this communication?

Wit: immediately after, Superman organized men in Koidu town to go to Dambundu street Sp?

Pros: Who were the organized men?

Wit: I was apart of it and it was combined force.

Pros: What happened?

Wit: We attacked Koinadugu and captured civilians.  Some were hacked.

Pros: Who hacked them?

Wit: Rambo

Pros: How do you know that Rambo hacked the civilians?

Wit: Rambo told us that he hacked them and they were displayed in the streets.

Pros: Do you know why they were displayed?

Wit: To create fear so that no civilians would come to this area again.

Pros: Can you tell us who was there when Rambo told you this information?

Wit: Superman and Sp?

Pros: Can you describe what happened in Koinadugu?

Wit: When we arrived, we captured two Komojors.  One of our men, Ahchebe, slit open one of the Komojors’ stomach to eat from it.  From then on, we called him Charma’raw.

Pros: What happened afterwards?

Wit: Superman was angry with Ahchebe for eating the man but he only warned him.

Pros: Did Superman explain why he did not like cannibalism?

Wit: He said if we ran out of food, then we would start eating human beings and Supermand did not like that.

Pros: Did he say anything else?

Wit: He just warned him but the next he would be harsh with him.

Pros: What happened after koinadugu was captured?

Wit; We waited and then the combined troops (AFLs mixed with RUFs) came from Kolon with ammunition?

Pros: How did you know where the ammunition came from?

Wit: It was written on the arms AFL “Armed Forces of Liberia.”

Pros: What happened to this ammunition after it arrived?

Wit: It was under the full control of Superman.

Pros: Did Superman do anything with it?

Wit: He loaded it and then he distributed them.

Pros: What happened when you were in Kono?

Wit: They gave us information that there was money and we broke into the bank and took the money and the money was with Superman who said that Mosquito has called and asked for the money.  Superman, myself, Bomblas, and Badi left Koinadugu to go to Koidu town.

Pros: Where did you get this information.

Wit: Mosquito said that he had got information from President Tilo that “448” was going to attack Koidu town.

Pros: Did this 448 information only come from Liberia?

Wit: That was the only source that we got information about the Echomo Sp? force movement.

Pros: What only source are you talking about?

Wit: Mosquito and those in the hide out, Sokion

Pros: What happened afterwards?

Wit: Troops prepared to fight Echomo including Superman, Bomblas, and myself

Court takes break.