12:00 – Former RUF commander Karmoh Kanneh continues testimony: 1998 meeting held to discuss dual attack strategy and disloyalty of Saj Musa; RUF received arms from Burkina Faso and NPFL

Pros: Did Sam Bockarie ever tell you what happened during the meeting with President of Burkina Faso

Wit: No

Pros: You said the second meeting took place once Sam Bockarie returned from Burkina Faso

Wit: Well just as he returned because it was in December that he returned, a little beyond midway December and in the same December that we held the meeting

Pros: What year?

Wit: It was in 1998

Pros: Where was this second meeting held?

Wit: At SB’s house

Pros: Where is it?

Wit: Going towards Fuya road

Pros: What town?

Wit: Buedu

Pros: Who was at the meeting?

Wit: Well, we were up to 12 in number present

Pros: Are you able to name the 12 who were present?

Wit: I can try

Pros: Please do

Wit: Well, Sam Bockarie, Issa Sesay, Morris Kallon, Jungle, [Edie?] Kanneh, me, Major Francis, Matthew Barbue, Vandi, Gubbeh (“Chuckie”), and I think…

Pros: Can you recall if anyone else was present?

Wit: Well, we were 12 in number, that particular night, I don’t know how many names I have mentioned but we were 12 in number

Pros: One name you haven’t mentioned before is Major Francis, is that his full name?

Wit: Well, that is what we used to call him, he was a Gambian, that was his full name

Pros: Who is this Major Francis?

he was part of the special forces that came, they and Foday Sankoh (the RUF leader) trained together

Pros: Who were these special forces?

Wit: They were the ones who did their training in Libya

Pros: What role did they hold at the time you held this meeting?

Wit: Well, they were the senior men, the first people that started planning the mission in the revolution

Pros: The person who you said was with Francis – can you repeat this?

Wit: I said Sankoh, Sankoh, Foday Sankoh

Pros: Was Sankoh at this meeting?

Wit: No, I am talking about the base, they were in Libya together, he was not at the meeting, he was together with Foday Sankoh at the base

Pros: Was there a person called Sam at the meeting?

Wit: Well, the person who was there was Sam Bockarie, he was the only Sam, he was Mosquito, that was his name

Pros: You mentioned a person Matthew Baboo, who was he?

Wit: He was a Liberian

Pros: What group did he belong to?

Wit: Well, he was with the PMFL in 1991 when they came

Pros: Is it December 1998 when you had this meeting, what group was he with?

Wit: Who?

Pros: Barbue

Wit: He was now with the RUF

Pros: Another person you have mentioned is Vandi, have you mentioned him before?

Wit: Yes

Pros: Does he have another name apart from Vandi?

Wit: JR

Pros: The final person is Chuckie, you said his name…can you repeat his actual name?

Wit: Besse Gobbah [sp?]

Pros: Where was he from?

Wit: Well, he was RUF

Pros: And where did he come from?

Wit: He was Sierra Leonian, he was born in [Kailan?]

Pros: What topics were covered in this meeting?

Wit: Firstly we discussed about trying to free the leader, and in that case we would reattack Kono and they go into Freetown and take our leader and we discussed the disloyalty of Saj Musa

Pros: What leader are you referring to?

Wit: Foday Sankoh

Pros: You said there was a plan to attack Kono and then to free the leader and to take power…I was you to explain in more detail what exactly this plan was.

Wit: Well, when Mr Sam Bockarie came, he called on us because there was no need to call all the officers again so all of us who were closer to his location, he invited us and explained that he brought ammunition and enough logistics so we could run any kind of mission so we should plan how to take a move…our first target was to be Kono, to McKenny to Freetown…and the issue of Saj Musa’s disloyalty that he has been doing all along

Pros: Why your first target?

Wit: Well, Kono has high level productivity for diamonds, it was a mining area, so we thought if we could capture it, it would be good for us

Pros: Were any particular commanders given the role of capturing Kono?

Wit: Yes – Well, Sam Bockarie told us that this plan was designed in Monrovia with Mr Taylor so he only brought it to brief us on the way we should do things so we could succeed in the war

Pros: Who was going to take Kono?

Wit: Well, the commanders were Issa, Kallon and Superman, they were the most senior men that we are supposed to run this mission in those areas

Pros: Which areas?

Wit: Kono

Pros: What was to take place at McKenny?

Wit: Well, they should clear from Kono to McKenny – they are towns which were provincial headquarters, you could not jump over them on your way to Freetown

Pros: What do you mean “clear”?

Wit: As you push forward, you shouldn’t spare any town, you have to pass through them all and make sure they were under control

Pros: What commanders were given the role of clearing McKenny?

Wit: It was Issa and Kallon as deputy and Superman was third in command

Pros: And then you said onto Freetown, was anyone given the role of moving on to Freetown?

Wit: Yes, it would be somebody that had the mission

Pros: Who?

Wit: Well, Sam Bockarie sent the mesSaje to Saj Musa even before they attacked Kono but he refused, he rejected the orders and said he could not take orders from him so there was a heated argument over the issue

Pros: Did it take place in the meeting?

Wit: You mean whether the argument took place during the meeting? Yes, after the meeting, but the argument was from a long time ago before this mission – just at the time Sam Bockarie sent the mesSaje to all the stations and Saj Musa was not happy about this, he was disgruntled – he sent the same order to Saj Musa but he refused even before the Kono thing

Pros: One of the things you said was that the next target was to be Sogbewema and Daru – who was given the role of taking these locations?

Wit: I was.

Pros: The second issue that was discussed at the meeting was Saj Musa

Wit: Yes

Pros: What was it about Saj Musa that was discussed?

Wit: Well, Sam Bockarie told us that the complaints had been lodged to Taylor about his disloyalty to the mission and he too gave his own piece of advice

Pros: Who is the man that made the complaint?

Wit: Sam Bockarie lodged a complaint to Taylor against Musa regarding his attitude

Pros: What was it about his attitude that he complained about?

Wit: He said that he was a man who did not take any order from people, he was disloyal to the command

Pros: At the meeting, was there any other discussion about Saj Musa other than the complaint

Wit: Yes, Sam Bockarie made us to understand that that man [Saj Musa] should not live to tell the story – he said we should go all out to ensure that he should not live to tell the story

Pros: Did Sam Bockarie say anything else about Saj Musa not living to tell the story?

Wit: Yes – he said we should only be able to get him when there was a mission going on, he even made us to understand that this was something he had been discussing with Gullit that in any mission he should not live, he should die

Pros: Did Sam Bockarie say how?

Wit: Well, in the military terms they say it should be during operations, he should die during a battle, he should be shot

Pros: Did he say who should shoot him?

Wit: He just said that he had discussed this with Gullit

Pros: Did he make you understand who was to do the killing of Saj Musa?

Wit: It was the discussion that they had with Gullit but he did not specify who should do the killing

Pros: This particular meeting, how long did it go on for?

Wit: It was a very short meeting, just for 3 hours because it was at night and we didn’t even want Johnny Paul to know

Pros: When you say disloyal, what do you mean?

Wit: He was disloyal to the RUF command – I believe in the RUF if someone is disloyal to Sam Bockarie’s command then he is disloyal to the RUF command because he was in command

Pros: Was there anything else discussed apart from the plan to attack Freetown and the Saj Musa issue?

Wit: Yes -Well, at that time even the leader who had his revolution was there, that should be the first target, to go to Badeba road and release the leader, and second was to go to State House and overthrow the President and if possible if we met him there we should kill him

Pros: What President?

Wit: President Kabbah

Pros: What leader was to be released from Pademba road?

Wit: Foday Sankoh

Pros: The person, Jungle, you discussed yesterday, was he there at the meeting?

Wit: Yes

Pros: Did he speak?

Wit: Yes, later, after the plan had gone on, Sam Bockarie spoke to Taylor about how the mission was to carry on and he in turn thanked them and told them to carry on and that he would pray the mission would be successful

Pros: What did Jungle say in the meeting?

Wit: Well, in the first place, Jungle himself told us about the materiel that Sam Bockarie had brought and that we should not fear on this ground and that there was no force that would stand us and that he had discussed this with [the Pa] in Monrovia before the meeting

Pros: What did the Pa say?

Wit: That our first target should be Kono before we should proceed, as we discussed in the meeting

Pros: Who is “he”?

Wit: Mr Taylor

Pros: Did Jungle say in the meeting what the Pa had said to the Jungle in Monrovia?

Wit: Yes, they were the ones who came so he told us about the materiel they brought for the mission

Pros: Who are “they that came”?

Wit: Jungle and Sam Bockarie

Pros: And they were both at the meeting, is that right?

Wit: Yes

Pros: Apart from Jungle telling you he had discussed the plan in Monrovia, did he tell you anything else?

Wit: That is what he said

Pros: After, immediately after the meeting, what did you do?

Wit: After the meeting, I returned to my area of operation to be able to start preparation for my own responsibilities that was given to me so that I would carry it out

Pros: This meeting was held at night, about what time in the night was it held?

Wit: That meeting I would think it was nine o’clock or thereafter

Pros: Did it finish at about midnight?

Wit: Yes

Pros: Well immediately after that meeting, did you see Jungle?

Wit: After the meeting had concluded? Yes yes, I saw Jungle

Pros: What did he do immediately after the meeting?

Wit: Because that time was night, all of us went to bed

Pros: We heard some evidence about 5 or 10 minutes ago…

Defense interjects…warning not to lead

Pros: No, I won’t lead, I will simply refer to what he said…you gave some evidence earlier when you said “they briefed President Taylor”

Wit: Yes, yes but the question I get now is after the meeting, not during the meeting…after the meeting, everybody went to bed

Pros: The question is who briefed President Taylor?

Wit: First it was Sam Bockarie, he held the phone and spoke to the Pa and later Jungle himself held onto the same phone and spoke on the same topic to Mr Taylor that we had talked of everything to run the mission…on the same veranda at the back at Sam Bockarie’s house, where the phone was, it was a satellite phone

Judge interjects and requests clarification from Prosecution

Pros: You just mentioned the conversation between Sam Bockarie and Taylor, where were you?

Wit: We were all at the veranda where the meeting took place, I was at the veranda myself

Pros: Was this conversation part of the meeting or did it take place after the meeting?

Wit: About the time the meeting was to be ended but all of us were there

Pros: Are you saying the 12 of you were there when the conversation took place?

Wit: Yes, because the meeting had not ended yet, so all 12 of us were still there?

Pros: Who was doing the talking on the satellite phone?

Wit: I said first it was Sam Bockarie

Pros: What exactly did Sam Bockarie say at that time on the phone?

Wit: He told him about the mission that had been discussed in Monrovia he said he had come and put it to the senior officers and that the same plan he had given to him was the same plan he had come to discuss

Pros: Then you went to sleep for the night

Judge interjects…how does this witness know about this conversation, I am not sure how a satellite phone works but how can he know who was on the other side of the phone?

Wit: Well they told us that they were talking to Mr Taylor and as the conversation was going on we were not hearing the other side, but as the discussion was going on, they said it was Mr Taylor

Pros: During the talking, did you hear Mr Taylor’s name mentioned?

Wit: Yes, sir.

Pros: The next day, what did you do?

Wit: Well, the next day he invited us again to go and see the armament that he had brought.

Pros: Who is “he”? It’s important that you use names instead of “he”.

Wit: Sam Bockarie

Pros: And what did Sam Bockarie invite you to do?

Wit: To see the logistics he had brought.

Pros: From where?

Wit: From Burkina Faso

Pros: And did you go?

Wit: Yes

Pros: Where did you go?

Wit: In his amo dump, very close to his house

Pros: Where was his house?

Wit: Buyadoo road

Pros: When you went to this amo dump, what did you see?

Wit: A lot of logistics, AK rounds, AK the rifle itself, G3, G3 rounds, combat, boots, grenades, mines, RPG, the rocket and the tubes

Pros: What did you do after you saw these?

Wit: Well, they gave me my own responsibility and asked me to go and start putting men together and I should go and put the brigade together, to carry on my own mission that was to capture up to Daru and if possible beyond

Pros: And did you put the men together?

Wit: Yes

Pros: And did you meet with the brigade commanders?

Wit: Yes, sir

Pros: Which ones?

Wit: I met with first brigade commander Mr Dennis Lansana

Pros: And what did you do after you put the men together and met with Lansana

Wit: Well, we informed Sam Bockarie and said the men should be intact because the attacks should go on concurrently

Pros: So did you commence the attack that you were responsible for?

Wit: Yes

Pros: And what exactly did you do?

Wit: The first target was Sogbewema

Pros: What does it mean “the men should be intact”?

Wit: Well when you’ve put men together, it means that the men should not go away from the group, they should be together

Pros: You said the first target was Sogbewema and that you had cleared it, what did you mean?

Wit: Well, the enemies who were there, I pushed them out of the town, that means I cleared the town

Pros: What did you do after you had cleared Sogbewema?

Wit: I headed for Daru barracks, the next target

Pros: What did you do when you got there?

Wit: I attacked Daru barracks also

Pros: Were you successful in your attack upon Daru barracks?

Wit: No – the ECOMOG force that was there was too heavy, that was why I was unable

Pros: Where did you go after you were unable to successfully attack Daru barracks?

Wit: I had to return to Sogbewema

Pros: Where were you when Freetown was invaded on the 6th January 1999?

Wit: Well, at that time I had returned because we were unable to capture Daru we feared that the enemy would advance to [Kailan?] so I returned to my area

Pros: Where were you when Freetown was invaded on the 6th January 1999?

Wit: Baima

Pros: Did you play any role at all in the invasion of the city of Freetown on the 6th of January 1999?

Wit: No

Pros: Your evidence yesterday was that you remained in Baima until…

Wit: Yes…

Pros: …the end of 1999, is that correct?

Wit: Yes, at the end of 1999, around November or December

Pros: When you were in Baima during 1999, what were your duties?

Wit: Well I was on the defensive because ECOMOG was in Daru so I was on the defensive

Pros: Did you receive any particular assignments that year apart from generally being on the defensive?

Wit: 1999?

Pros: Yes

Wit: No

Pros: Can you tell the court, generally, when you were armed, where you got the arms and ammunition that you used

Wit: When I was with RUF?

Pros: Yes

Wit: Well, first in 1991 after we had been trained, the Liberians were mainly leading the war, the ammunition was coming from Liberia, right up to…

Pros: You said the ammunition was coming to Liberia, what about the arms?

Wit: Even the arms were coming from the same direction, Liberia

Pros: For how long did these two continue to come from Liberia

Wit: From 1991 to 1992

Pros: When you say the arms and ammunition were coming from Liberia, how do you know where the arms and ammunition were coming from?

Wit: Well, I couldn’t tell what part of the country they were coming from but the NPFL fighters who were coming were bringing the arms and ammunitions, and I was a junior in the movement

Pros: Did the NPFL fighters tell you where they got the arms and ammunition from?

Wit: No

Pros: Is your evidence that they came from Liberia?

Wit: Defense interjects…he is saying that the NPFL fighters brought the weapons but there is no evidence as to where they came from

Pros: Where did the NPFL fighters come from?

Wit: Well, I did not ask them where they got them from but we got them from the NPFL fighters

Pros: Did you know whereabouts in Liberia the arms and ammunitions were coming from?

Wit: No

Pros: In 1992, did something change with regards to where you got your arms and ammunitions from?

Wit: Yes

Pros: What was the change?

Wit: That was the time the ULIMO took the border from us – between the NPFL and us, when they came from Lofa they fortified the border – the relationship in 1992 that was the time the ULIMO forces came and that was the time the border was taken – the relationship had started cutting off from us and the NPFL

Pros: What impact did that have on the arms and ammunition that you had?

Wit: Well, that affected the movement greatly, the war was not progressing because we were not having any other place to get ammunitions from

Pros: What was it that affected the getting of the ammunitions?

Wit: I’d like you to repeat please

Pros: Repeats

Wit: Well at that time, the enemy had cut off the supply line between us and the NPFL which we used to use to fight with

Pros: Because of the situation that you had at that point with logistics, what happened to the movement?

Wit: Well, the movement collapsed a little, but we were just on the defensive, our only offensive was to lay ambush and we returned to the same base that we were…like for us the children where we were, when we went to look for arms and ammunition in the usual place, in the Pujan district, we would set up and ambush

Pros: When did this start?

Wit: In 1992 up to 1993, then phase two started – but from 1992 to 1996 the boundary between us and the NPFL was cut off, so we had no relationship with them up to 1996

Pros: What do you mean by no relationship?

Wit: Well, we were all brothers in arms, they were the ones who mainly assisted the revolution, so it came to its end that we were getting ammunition from them but then when ULIMO cut off the border we could not get any ammunition anymore

Pros: What happened in 1996 in relation to getting ammunition?

Wit: Well, in 1996 we had serious pressure from the Kamajors and the movement was almost at a point of collapsing but we were able to get connection with Liberians because there was peace in Liberia

Pros: What was the result of getting a connection with Liberia when it comes to arms and ammunition?

Wit: That was the time Foday Sankoh came from Abidjan and met us in [Kailan?] and came some dollars to Sam Bockarie – we had some much pressure from the Kamajors

Pros: Do you know how much money was given?

Wit: No, he did not disclose the total, only that the Pa had let some money to get some ammunition

Pros: Who is “the Pa” in this instance?

Wit: That is Foday Sankoh

Pros: Do you know if Sam Bockarie was able to get arms and ammunition?

Wit: Yes, he started getting some to sustain the movement

Pros: Was there a time when you yourself were involved in getting arms and ammunition?

Wit: Yes

Pros: How many times were you involved in getting arms and ammunition for the RUF?

Wit: 3 times

Pros: When was the first time?

Wit: The first time, it was after the intervention

Pros: Where were you based at this time?

Wit: I was in Baima then

Pros: How was it that you became involved in getting ammunitions.

Wit: I had a call from high command, Sam Bockarie, from his base on Buedu

Pros: What did he say to you?

Wit: That Taylor said he was getting ammunition and we should go and get it?

Pros: Did he say why you were selected to go?

Wit: Yes – one of the reasons was that I was one of the commanders in the area where he was based and, second, I had a vehicle

Pros: What type of vehicle?

Wit: I had a land rover

Pros: What did you do after the phone call you had with Sam Bockarie?

Wit: When he called me, he told me that ammunition was to be brought to Foya and we should go get it, and I was happy because when you are fighting and there are no materiels that is not good, so I joined him and we travelled, we took his two jeeps that he had, and mine, and we went to Foya, I joined Mosquito

Pros: You said “we took his two jeeps” – how many jeeps went to Foya?

Wit: Three vehicles

Pros: Who were the people who went to Foya?

Wit: The two of us went, with a few of his security men and a radio man

Pros: Do you know their names?

Wit: I cannot recall their names now

Pros: And the name of the radio man who went?

Wit: Yes, Elevation

Pros: And what did you do when you got to Foya?

Wit: Well at that time we went, the helicopter had not arrived yet, which would bring the materiels, so we went to the commander

Pros: Who was the commander?

Wit: One commander Joseph

Pros: Where was he?

Wit: In Foya, near the roundabout, main junction

Pros: What did you do when you got to him?

Wit: We were based there until my commander to me to wait until the helicopter would arrive.


Court adjourns for morning break.  Proceedings continue at 12:30.