2:00 Cross-examination of Karmoh Kanneh continues

12:00 (12:30 with the delay in video and audio): Court is back in session following the mid-morning break.

Defense Counsel Terry Munyard continues his cross-examination of prosecution witness Karmoh Kanneh:

Def: We were looking at the meeting attended by Foday Sankoh. This is the meeting at Sam Bockarie’s house. Was Mike Lamin present at that meeting?

Wit: No.

Def: Do you know Isaac Mongor?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Who was he in the 1990s?

Wit: I didn’t know him in 1990.

Def: What was his role in 1997?

Wit: One of the RUF commanders.

Def: Did you know him well?

Wit: Yes, I know him.

Def: You know him well?

Wit; I know him, even if not very well.

Def: He also knew you?

Wit: Yes.

Def: At that meeting, was the question of arms and ammunition discussed?

Wit: Which meeting?

Def: The one we’re talking about that Foday Sankoh came to.

Wit: Yes, we discussed materials at the meeting.

Def: Did Sankoh say where he was going to obtain materials from?

Wit: No, he was not going for materials.

Def: This was just after the Abidjan Peace Accords?

Wit: yes.

Def: Why were you discussing arms then?

Wit; Even the government was pursuing two tracks. The Kamajors attacked us too. Even if it was a peace time, we had a right to discuss materials.

Judge Sebutinde: Are you saying the Kamajors were fighting for the government?

Wit: Yes.

Def: The government was party to the accords, but it had Kamajors fighting for it?

Wit: Yes.

Def: So the government was not honoring the Abidjan Peace Accord?

Wit: Yes.

Def: You said during the course of that meeting, that someone said, “even though I am going for peace, we should be ready for war”. Who said that?

Wit: Foday Sankoh.

Def: I don’t think you said it was Foday Sankoh when you gave evidence on this.

Wit: You’ve got that wrong.

Def: This is the occasion when you said Jungle was present and “buttressed” everything Bockarie said to Taylor. You remember saying that?

Wit: I did not say that.

Def: You remember using the expression three times that when Sam Bockarie spoke to Taylor after the meeting, Jungle “buttressed” Bockarie’s words?

Wit: Which meeting?

Def: At that meeting.

Prosecutor Julia Bailey: That is not the evidence. The evidence about buttressing was about an earlier meeting, during the formation, not at the meeting in Giema.

Def: I thought I’d started with the first meeting, which was at Giema.

Pros: There was an 8 hour meeting, then a three hour meeting some months after this.

Def: I’m looking at my handwritten note, which suggests that “Jungle buttressed what the Pa had said.” Whether that was at the formation before the meeting or during the meeting, I’ll have to check the transcript.

Pros: The reference to Pa at times refers to Sankoh, and at other times to Taylor.

Judge Lussick: Sometimes it refers to Issa Sesay too.

Pros: That’s right. But counsel said it referred to Bockarie.

Def: Let me just check the transcript. [pause] You gave a list of the people who were there.

Judge Doherty: Are we talking about the Giema meeting?

Def: Yes, Giema was the first of the three meetings. There’s Giema, then Water Works, and then the third meeting is at a later stage, which must be at Sam Bockarie’s premises. I want to ask you, and I think you did say that it was Foday Sankoh who said that although he’d signed the peace, you had to prepare for war. I want to ask about this word buttress. Do you agree that you used the word “buttressed”? You said Jungle “buttressed what the Pa said”. Why was there a need for Jungle to buttress what the Pa said?

Wit: Jungle was Taylor’s representative in the RUF.

Def: Had you seen Jungle before this date?

Wit: Yes.

Def: What was he before he was made Taylor’s representative?

Wit: He was NPFL. He and others came with the war.

Def: Are you saying he’s now become Mr. Taylor’s representative?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Did Taylor have another representative before Jungle?

Wit: No.

Def: So why did he suddenly need a representative?

Wit: I can’t know that. I was unable to ask Sankoh about why he’s made this man the Pa’s representative.

Judge Sebutinde: Sankoh made Jungle the Pa’s representative?

Wit: It was Sankoh who told us. He said Jungle was Taylor’s eye in the movement.

Def: This is right at the beginning of 1997 or at the end of 1996?

Wit: It was the end of 1996.

Def: How were relations between the RUF and Mr. Taylor between 1993-1997?

Wit: As far as I know, from mid-1992 up to 1996, there was no relationship between the RUF and Mr. Taylor, as far as I know.

Def: What changed that situation as far as you are aware?

Wit: It was the infiltration by ULIMO into NPFL territory. When it took the border, it cut off communication to Taylor.

Def: Cut off physical connections, but that wouldn’t cut off personal communications?

Wit: Yes

Def: But personal communications were also cut off?

Wit: What I know what was happening openly, that is what I’m talking about.

Def: Are you familiar with a series of operations, Tap 20, Tap 40, Tap Final?

Wit: I knew later.

Def: At the time, 1992, are you aware that there was major fighting between NPFL and RUF in Sierra Leone?

Wit: Yes.

Def: So why are you saying you became aware of them later?

Wit: This Tap Tap you’re talking about happened in the second battalion and I came in the first.

Def: Are you aware that there was no personal connection between the RUF and Mr. Taylor from mid-1992 until after Mr. Taylor’s election as president of Liberia in the middle of 1997?

Wit: That’s what I said, that we’d lost links from 1992 up until 1996.

Def: Do you know what Mr. Taylor was engaged in in December 1996 or February 1997?

Wit: No.

Def: Do you have any knowledge about what was happening in Liberia at that same period?

Wit: No.

Def: Do you know about the collective presidency in Liberia in 1996-1997?

Wit: No.

Def: Do you know about the election that was being organized in Liberia in the beginning of 1997?

Wit: No.

Def: How is it that you say Mr. Sankoh started creating a connection after the big breakdown in relations between the two.

Wit: It was that time that he came and presented that particular man to us – that he was Taylor’s eye in the RUF.

Def: Do you know how Mr. Sankoh went to Abidjan to get to the peace talks?

Wit: He left Zogoda. I was in Kailahun. I was unable to know how he went.

Def: Did anyone tell you?

Wit: No.

Def: Nobody has suggested to you that he went via Liberia?

Wit: No.

Def: If I suggest to you that he went by a route that involved him not stopping in Liberia, you couldn’t contradict that, could you?

Wit: Yes.

Def: I think the ambiguous nature of the answer means we can move to somewhere else. You said ULIMO cut off the border area from mid-1992. Were you aware that ULIMO were still in control of the border up to July 1997?

Wit: Yes, up until the end of disarmament.

Def: Liberian disarmament?

Wit: Yes.

Def: So you did become aware of the elections in Liberia?

Wit: Yes.

Def: How did you used to hear?

Wit: Thourgh the BBC.

Def: This is the BBC that you no longer listen to?

Wit: It’s news. You can listen or not.

Def: Have you listened to Focus on Africa quite often?

Wit: No.

Def: After that meeting at Giema, off goes Mr. Sankoh. Where do you go after that?

Wit: When Mr. Sankoh went, he left us in Giema.

Def: What did you do in pursuance of the peace agreement?

Wit: They said we should cease fire and we ceased fire. When they started firing against us, we started fighting.

Def: When was that?

Wit: 1996.

Def: When in 1996?

Wit: I can’t remember the date.

Def: Do you know when the peace agreement was?

Wit: No, I can’t remember now.

Def: It was 30 November 1996. Are you saying that government-supported Kamajors broke the peace agreement in the four weeks afterwards?

Wit: Yes.

Def: And they broke the agreement first?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Where was it that they broke the peace agreement?

Wit: Koribundo Jungle.

Def: And all the RUF did was respond to the breach of the peace agreement?

Wit: The RUF did not attack, they defended.

Def: I want to ask about the second meeting near the waterworks. Near Buedu, but in the bush?

Wit: Yes.

Def: This was before Bockarie went to Burkina Faso?

Wit: Yes.

Def: How long before?

Wit: I can’t remember the dates but it was after Abacha’s death that we held this meeting.

Def: Abacha died in June 1998. How long after Abacha’s death was this meeting?

Wit: It was after June. It could be around August or September.

Def: Why was the meeting held in the bush?

Wit: We were afraid of the ECOMOG air raid.

Def: Was it you who told the prosecutors about this meeting first, or did the prosecution tell you they understood there had been a meeting and ask you questions about it.

Wit; I can’t remember whether I told him or he asked.

Def: I don’t think there’s anything in your statements before November 2007 about a meeting in the bush near Buedu.

Wit: If there’s anything in my statements?

Def: I don’t think there’s anything in your statements before November 2007 about a meeting in the bush near Buedu.

Wit: I said it was around August or September.

Def: [references document]

Judge Doherty: You have referred to November and he’s saying August/September. Is he talking about the interview or the meeting.

Def: It must be the meeting, because there were no interviews in August-September.

Def: It says here: “Following questions regarding Buedu meeting: after SB came back from Burkina Faso and after Issa Sesay lost the diamonds” Later that was corrected to “before SB came back”. Up to this point, as far as I can tell, you’d never mentioned a meeting at Buedu, so how did the topic of the meeting at Buedu come into your discussion with the prosecution on 1 November last year. Did they first mention it?

Wit: He had been asking that. I said read the statement so I know what happened. I know we had a meeting before the Fitti Fata operation. I cannot tell whether they brought it up or they did. By reading the statements you should know.

Def: Were you ever asked to comment about events that the prosecution brought up: for example were you ever asked “did you know about a meeting in Buedu in the bush before Sam Bockarie went to Burkina Faso”?

Wit: It’s on paper. I can’t remember.

Def: [references page] You were asked whether there were maps there. You said, “yes, maps of Sierra Leone”. Were you able to look at and read the maps of Sierra Leone?

Wit: Is that a question or an explanation you were making?

Def: Were you able to read and understand those maps?

Wit: Where is this map talk? You are trying to bring these meetings together. The area I spoke about maps was the meeting at Sam Bockarie’s place. So you’re confusing events.

Def: Are you saying that no maps were produced at the Water Works meeting?

Wit: Not at all. I did not mention that.

Def: Someone’s written down the question. Were the questions and answers written as the interview was conducted?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Were they doing it in handwriting?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Was the person doing that Mr. Streeter?

Wit: Yes.

Def: There’s a question there: “Were there maps there?” And he wrote you said, “Yes, maps of Sierra Leone.”

Wit: It was not at that meeting. I spoke about maps, but not at the Water Works meeting.

Def: Did you correct this when it was read to you?

Wit: No.

Def: Why didn’t you correct it?

Wit: Is it in relation to Water Works?

Def: Are you saying they’ve invented the question and answer?

Wit: Yes, that’s the idea I’m going with.

Def: You were asked: “What was discussed at the meeting?” It’s recorded “The target was to hit…” and then that’s crossed out. Was there a target discussed?

Wit: Yes.

Def: What was the target?

Wit: Kono.

Def: You say in the rest of the course of the answer: “Then there was discussion of the Saj Musa problem.” What was discussed about the Saj Musa problem?

Wit; His disloyalty, that he refused to take orders. Sam Bockarie put that across.

Def: What was said about how to deal with the problem?

Wit: No conclusion was reached about the Saj Musa problem at the Water Works meeting.

Def: Was Jungle at this meeting?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Did he give any instructions from Taylor at the meeting?

Wit: He did not give an order.

Def: What was the time that this meeting took place?

Wit: I can’t remember the date, but it was during the day.

Def: This is the Water Works meeting?

Wit: Yes.

Def: How long did it take?

Wit: We took up to nine hours.

Def: Was this the meeting where it was decided that the AFRC should be secondary to the RUF?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Did you tell the prosecutors that when you were telling them what had been discussed at that meeting?

Wit: I did this statement you are reading together with the prosecution. Yes.

Def: Did you tell the prosecution that it was in the course of that that meeting that it had been decided that the AFRC should be under the command of the RUF?

Wit: Yes, I told them that. It’s in my statement.

Def: [references document] Did you tell them about the diamonds lost by Issa Sesay?

Wit: Yes.

Def; And that there was then discussion about command structure?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Then the Saj Musa problem, which we’ve just discussed. In that interview, you didn’t tell them what was discussed about the command structure?

Wit: I told them.

Def: There is nothing in the rest of these notes about the command structure decision. You haven’t told them anything about this important decision that the RUF were now in charge and the AFRC were now there deputies. Do you agree that you didn’t tell them what that discussion about the command structure involved?

Wit: I told them.

Def: I’ll be corrected if it turns out that you did tell them, but I suggest that it doesn’t appear anywhere in the notes. How was that particular instruction distributed to the RUF and AFRC?

Wit: Sam Bockarie wrote it and sent it to all stations through the air.

Def: The written instruction was sent to all stations?

Wit: Yes.

Def: All stations got a piece of paper from Sam Bockarie?

Wit: Even if it were 20 radios, all the stations can come to the same frequency and get the instruction.

Def: It went over the radio?

Wit: He wrote it and it went out over the radio.

Def: Was it sent in code or in ordinary language?

Wit: I’m not a signal man. I don’t know if they coded it or just sent it.

Def: But it went to all stations?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Who was at that meeting from the AFRC?

Wit: Johnny Paul was there. Eddie Kanneh was there. Akim Turay was there. Gullit was there. And some others.

Def: Why wasn’t Saj Musa there?

Wit; Even in Kono, Saj Musa had not even come to Kono. Saj Musa was in the northern area.

Def: When do you say this meeting was held?

Wit: Water Works – between there and Buedu.

Def: When, not where.

Wit: I think it was after Abacha’s death, about June, almost at the end of 2008.

Judge Sebutinde: It can’t be 2008.

Wit: Sorry, 2009.

Def; I think you’ve skipped a decade.

Wit: He [referring to defense counsel] is also liable to make mistakes. I’m also a human being. I’m sorry for the mistake.

Judge Doherty: So when was it?

Wit: It was after June.

Def: This was the very long meeting, yes?

Wit: Yes.

Def: [references document] Is this what you told the prosecution, Mr. Mongor?

Wit: Kanneh, not Mongor.

Def: Mr. Kanneh, did you tell the prosecution that you believed in terms of the timing of the meeting that it was after the intervention, after Issa Sesay dropped the diamonds, and before Sani Abacha died?

Wit: After Abacha died.

Def: So that’s wrong?

Wit: Yes.

Def: If it was before, it would have to be the beginning of June, or May or even earlier?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Isaac Mongor was present at the meeting?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Did you and he speak at all to each other?

Wit: We did not personally discuss, but he was a senior man. Yes, I greeted him.

Def: Was he Liberian or Sierra Leonean?

Wit: Liberian.

Def: At the time, Sam Bockarie was about to go to Burkina Faso?

Wit: It was from that meeting that we knew about his going to Burkina Faso.

Def; Who was going to go to Burkina Faso with him?

Wit: Gen. Ibrahim Bah.

Def: Do you know why?

Wit; He was supposed to go with him according to what Bockarie told us.

Def: Why was it that Ibrahim Bah was going to go to Burkina Faso with Sam Bockarie?

Wit: I did not ask them that.

Def: Did you know that Ibrahim Bah was an arms dealer?

Wit: No.

Def: Has anyone ever suggested to you that Ibrahim Bah was a businessman who bought and sold weapons?

Wit: No.

Def: Never?

Wit: Not at all.

Def: How often did you see Ibrahim Bah?

Wit: Since I was in that movement, I only saw him two times.

Def: No one has ever suggested to you that he might have a business in arms dealing?

Wit: Not a day.

Def: Was there any suggestion that SYB Rogers would go to Burkina Faso with Sam Bockarie?

Wit: No.

Def: Musa Cisse?

Wit: No, I don’t even know him.

Def: Have you ever heard of him?

Wit: No.

Def: Have you ever heard of a group of countries in West Africa called the Group of Five?

Wit: No.

Def: Have you ever heard of ECOWAS, the West African economic union?

Wit: Yes.

Def; What do you understand it to be?

Wit: By my understanding, African states came together and formed the unity, to form ECOWAS.

Def: Do you know what the ECOWAS countries were doing in 1998 to try and bring peace to Sierra Leone?

Wit: Yes. Even for Sierra Leone to gain peace was more from their contribution to enhance peace in Sierra Leone.

Def: Do you know what role Burkina Faso was officially playing in the peace efforts of ECOWAS?

Wit: No.

Def: Sam Bockarie was going to Burkina Faso to get arms?

Wit: That’s what he told us during that meeting.

Def: At the end of that meeting, I think you told us that Jungle buttressed what Sam Bockarie had said?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Was Fitti Fata discussed at that meeting?

[Brief disruption in video/audio feed.]

Wit: …It was at night.

Def: What time of year?

Wit: It should be around December.

Judge Sebutinde: Of which year?

Wit: 1998.

Def: What time of night was this meeting?

Wit: Around 9:00 or 10:00.

Def: You said when you were giving evidence…

[Brief disruption in video/audio]

Def: [reading from document] We see this refers to the time after Sam Bockarie returned from Burkina Faso. It says you were asked, “Was there another meeting held with Sam Bockarie at night?” Were you asked that?

Wit: Yes, this is the meeting you are trying to talk about.

Def: It’s recorded that you said: “Yes, it took place from 11:00 to 2:00AM.”

Wit: If I said so, then I’m sorry.

Def: So you agree it was 11:00?

Wit: Yes, let’s take the 11:00.

Def: You think the evidence you gave nearer the time of the event is more accurate than what you said in court?

Wit: No.

Def: It was after this meeting ended that you all gathered around on the verandah and a phone call was made to Mr. Taylor?

Wit: Yes.

Def: At 2:00 in the morning on a night in December 1998, you colleagues decided to call Taylor, wake him up and give him the news of the meeting?

Wit: It was not the commanders. It was Sam Bockarie.

Def: Sam Bockarie rang him at 2:00 in the morning?

Wit: Yes.

Def: What was Mr. Taylor’s job at this time?

Wit: He was president of Liberia.

Def: Was it discussed at all whether Bockarie should call the president at 2:00 in the morning or could wait until the next day?

Wit: No.

Def: Did this call take place?

Wit: Yes.

Def: This is the group of 12?

Wit: Yes.

Def: You told us on a number of occasions that there were 12 of you in this particular meeting. Were all 12 of you on the verandah for the call to Taylor at 2:00 in the morning?

Wit: Yes, it was during the meeting.

Def: You told us earlier it was after the meeting ended. Are you now saying it was during the meeting?

Wit: We did not scatter. This call went on immediately after the meeting.

Def: How did you know it was Mr. Taylor whom Sam Bockarie was talking to?

Wit: He told us he called President Taylor for him to give details about the meeting.

Def: You wouldn’t need him to tell you that if you were all gathered round for the call, would you?

Wit: I did not say he told us that he called Mr. Taylor. He said he’s calling Mr. Taylor. I did not say he said that he’d called Mr. Taylor.

Def: I just read the very words you used from the transcript.

Wit: He said he was going to call.

Def: Who was it who called Mr. Taylor?

Wit: Sam Bockarie.

Def: Anyone else?

Wit: He spoke with somebody else, but he was the one who called him.

Def: Who was the someone else he spoke with?

Wit: Jungle.

Def: Doing another bit of buttressing?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Why was it necessary?

Wit: For us to have confidence about what was said about Jungle – that he was the Pa’s eye there.

Def: I want to go through the 12 people who were there. We can see the participants [references transcript].

1:30 (2:00 with the delay in video and audio): Court is adjourning for the lunch break. Proceedings will resume at 2:30.