3:12 (3:42 with the delay in video and audio): Court has been is back in session, but due to problems with the video and audio feed, it’s not clear when exactly the session resumed.
Prosecutor Shyamala Alagendra continues to question witness TF1-028:
Pros: At that time, how is it you came to know these commanders’ names?
Wit: The junta commander or the RUF commander?
Pros: Gullit, Five-Five, Woyoh, [others]
Wit: The junta man I was with used to tell me when people went back.
Def: Counsel left out Leahterboot and Col. Eddie.
Pros: How did you come to know the names Leatherboot and Eddie?
Wit: We were together.
Pros: You named people who were in the group to meet the RUF. How did you know those names?
Wit: We were all in the same group.
Pros: You said that Superman who sent these reinforcements to Eddie Town was an RUF> How did you know that?
Wit: The juntas said he was the RUF commander.
Pros: You said Superman sent the reinforcements from Kurabola (ph). Where is that?
Wit: By Kabala.
Pros: You told us about a woman named Mommie. How did you know what happened to her in relation to the three juntas shooting her?
Wit: When they shot her, she came crying, holding on to her wrapper. She ran by my house. I asked her.
Pros: Did anything happen to Mommie as a result of the shooting?
Wit: She was shot on her butt and she was crying and bleeding.
Pros I’m going to return to where we were before the lunch break. You said the RUF group that came to Eddie Town had red headbands, and there were about 100 of them. Did you know if they had a commander?
Pros: Did you know the name?
Wit; Yes. Mohamed Bajehjeh.
Pros: How did you know his name?
Wit: It was the juntas who went and received him. They said the commander who came was Mohamed Bajehjeh.
Pros: Did you know the nationality of the group that came?
Wit: Yes, they were Liberians.
Pros: All of them?
Wit: They were a mixed group.
Pros: Who were the others?
Wit: Sierra Leoneans – Mendes.
Pros: How did you know some of them were Liberians?
Wit: There were two Mandingo ladies cooking for them. They gave me the name.
Pros: What names?
Wit: Mohamed Bajehjeh.
Pros: How did you know that some of them were Liberians?
Wit: The place where they were cooking was close to where I was cooking. They were speaking Liberian language. Others were speaking Mende language.
Pros: How could you identify Liberian language?
Wit: My uncle’s wife is a Liberian.
Pros: When did you first become familiar with the Liberian language.
Wit: My sister’s co-wife spoke Liberian. They were both married to the same husband.
Pros: When was it they came to stay?
Wit: They spent one year, six months in our village.
Pros: When was it?
Wit: At that time there was no war in Liberia.
Pros: How long before you were captured?
Wit: It took six years.
Pros: Do you recall the age group of the 100 RUF who came?
Wit: Yes. Bajehjeh was around the age of 45.
Pros: What was the age range for the others in the group?
Wit: Some were 30 something or 20 something. They didn’t tell their ages.
Pros: Did they bring anything with them when they came, these RUF?
Wit: Yes, they brought a lot of ammunition and I saw the junta in the village. They were happy they had received ammunition to go to Freetown.
Pros: Did the group that came have a name?
Wit: Yes. Red Lion.
Pros: Did they come with any civilians?
Pros: What was the condition of the civilians?
Wit: The civilians who were with them were three women cooking for them. When they would cook, the juntas would eat the rice and the civilians would eat cassava.
Pros: Were there other civilians with the Red Lion group?
Wit: The other civilian woman said her small brother was there, around the age of 8.
Pros: Did you see this boy?
Pros: In what condition did you see him?
Wit: The boy hadn’t even good clothes on. He was emaciated.
Pros: Do you recall anything else about the condition of the civilians that came with this RUF group?
Wit: Yes. My sister and I were coming from the river and the civilians were ahead. They were grumbling that they were hungry.
Pros: Anything else?
Wit: Yes. They were grumbling that even when they give us rice to cook, we do not get rice – just cassava without sauce.
Pros: Do you recall anything in particular about their bodies?
Wit: There were not looking good. They were saying they were just eating cassava without sauce.
Pros: Apart from this group that came to Eddie Town, did other groups come after this?
Wit: Yes, it was only Mohamed Bajehjeh.
Pros: You said he was part of the RUF group sent by Superman?
Wit: Yes, he was the leader.
Pros: After the RUF group came, did any other groups come?
Pros: How long did this group stay in Eddie Town?
Wit: They rested for a week and we traveled to Freetown.
Pros: Earlier you referred to a Tito. Is it a person?
Wit: Yes, a commander.
Pros: When did he come to Eddie Town?
Wit: It was together with the Five-Five group.
Pros: When you say “we traveled to Freetown”, what do you mean?
Wit: I was among the group, so I had to go with them.
Pros: Did anything happen in Eddie Town before the group left for Freetown?
Pros: What happened?
Wit: I’m sorry, I made a mistake. After Bajehjeh’s group, Saj Musa came together with the juntas.
Pros: How many juntas did he come with?
Wit: Many, I cannot count them.
Pros: Did anything happen when Saj Musa came with his group?
Wit: Yes. The following morning, he called all of the commanders. Where they held the meeting was close to my house. He told them they were to go to Freetown.
Pros: Did he say why?
Wit: Yes. He said all the people in the provinces had been suffering and the problems came from Freetown. He said we’re going to end the war in Freetown.
Pros: What happened then?
Wit: They had a meeting the following day.
Pros: Do you know what happened there?
Wit: They said everyone should be there, so we all went.
Pros: Who said this?
Wit: Five-Five passed the order to bring all the men and women together.
Pros: Did you join the meeting?
Pros: What happened during this meeting?
Wit: He said the trip we’re about to make to Freetown – he asked that any woman who knew she had two or more clothes, she should leave her clothes because it was not going to be easy.
Pros: Did he say anything else?
Wit: Most of us, the women who did not like that, we were crying because we were thinking about our lives.
Judge Lussick: Was it Saj Musa or Five-Five talking at the meeting?
Wit: Saj Musa.
Pros: Did anything happen after the meeting?
Wit: It was that night that we left. We traveled and went through the Port Loko Road.
Pros: Who traveled?
Wit: The junta group and the RUF group, together with the civilians.
Pros: Where did you go on the Port Loko Road?
Wit: We were walking in the bush to go to the Freetown highway. We reached Four Mile.
Pros: Where did you go from there?
Wit: We traveled to Waterloo.
Pros: Did anything happen there?
Wit: Yes, the juntas and RUF were burning houses and killing.
Pros: Did you know where the Red Lion group was?
Wit: They were all part of the group.
Pros: Who was being killed in Waterloo?
Wit: I didn’t know them because it was at night. But there were corpses on the ground.
Pros: What kind of corpses?
Wit: Men and women.
Pros: How were they dressed?
Wit: Some women had wrappers, some had long pants. There were some children lying in the street.
Pros: Did your group go anywhere from Waterloo?
Wit: We went to Benguema.
Pros: Did anything happen there?
Wit: Saj Musa died in Benguema.
Pros: How did you hear that he died?
Wit: I, together with the other women were sitting close to him. A bomb exploded.
Pros: Where did the bomb explode from?
Wit: Around that area.
Pros: Did anything happen after he died?
Wit: A fragment hit him in his head and he bowed his head. We ran to the bush.
Pros: How long were you in the bush?
Wit: It was not even 30 minutes until they brought Saj Musa’s corpse. They said a fragment hit him in the head, and I saw they tied a white cloth around it. I saw around three captured Nigerian soldiers. They were beating them up.
Pros: Who captured them?
Wit: The juntas.
Pros: What happened?
Wit: I could not stand it, so I went up the hill.
Pros: Where did you go after that?
Wit: We went to Tombu.
Pros: From there, did you go anywhere else?
Wit: Yes, we came by Grafton.
Pros: Who are you referring to?
Wit: The RUF, juntas and civilians.
Pros: From Grafton, did this group go anywhere?
Wit: Yes. We went up in the hills of Calaba Town, Freetown.
Pros: From there, did the group go anywhere?
Wit: Yes, into Freetown.
Pros: Can you recall the date when the group came into Freetown?
Wit: Yes. January 16.
Pros: Of which year?
Wit: I’ve forgotten the year. 1996? 1998? I’d like you to help me there. I cannot recall…my head…
Pros: When the group entered Freetown, where did you go?
Wit: When we entered Freetown, we stopped at Ferry Junction and the other group went ahead.
Pros: Who stopped at Ferry Junction?
Wit: I did.
Pros: What group went ahead?
Wit: The RUF group and the juntas, and some others stayed behind.
Pros: Did you know where the Red Lion group was when you entered Freetown?
Judge Doherty: She said she stopped at Ferry Junction.
Pros: Do you know where Ferry Junction is?
Wit: It’s in Freetown.
Pros: Do you know where the Red Lion group was?
Wit: I did not know because they were scattered all over the town.
Pros: Did you go anywhere from Ferry Junction?
Pros: How long did you stay in Ferry Junction?
Wit: I spent two weeks there.
Pros: Was anything happening there?
Wit: Yes. They were killing people on the street.
Pros: Who was?
Wit: The junta group.
Pros: Who were the people they were killing?
Pros: How many people did you see being killed?
Wit: They were many. I did not look at them particularly because I would not have felt good.
Pros: Where did you go after the two weeks?
Wit: When the junta boy knew I wanted to escape, they brought RUF boys who took me to Black Hall road.
Pros: How did you know they were RUF?
Wit: They were speaking Liberian language.
Pros: How long did you stay in Black Hall Road?
Wit: One week and some days.
Pros: What happened there?
Wit: At night they would go and bring small children and rape them.
Pros: Who did this?
Wit: The junta and RUF.
Pros: What was the gender of these children being raped?
Wit: They were girls.
Pros: Were you able to tell the ages?
Wit: About 12-13 years of age.
Pros: How did you know about the rapes?
Wit: It was the very house I was. They brought the children to the living room.
Pros: Were you present when they were raped?
Wit: Yes. I even pleaded with them, but they did not listen to me.
Pros: After Black Hall Road, did you go anywhere?
Wit: Yes. At that time the fighting had intensified, so we went to the Tengbeh Town hills.
Pros: From Tengbeh Town hills, did you go anywhere?
Wit: Yes. I came to Kissy police.
Pros: What are you referring to?
Wit: It is the road.
Pros: Where is the road?
Wit: Kissy Road, in Freetown.
Pros: Did you see anything there?
Wit: Yes. Kissy Road, closer to the bridge, I saw hands tied together, buried in the earth.
Pros: How many hands did you see tied together and buried in the earth.
Wit: It was a big bunch. I could not count. They were human hands.
Pros: Did you come to know how those hands came to be there?
Wit: The juntas passed around the place, so I just inferred they had done it.
Pros: Did you return to Karina Town at some point?
Wit: When I left them and came to Lunsar. That was when I tried to escape.
Pros: Did you hear if anything happened to your family in Karina Town?
Pros: What did you hear had happened?
Wit: The rebels had raped my 12-year-old girl.
Pros: Do you know who the rebels were who raped her?
Wit: The girl just told me that the rebels had raped her.
Pros: In what condition did you find your daughter?
Wit: I knew finally I was finished, because they had done it to me and to my family. She was in pain. From that time she delivered, she never came back to her normal self.
Pros: What do you mean?
Wit: Since she delivered that baby, she never came back to her normal self. She stopped going to school.
Pros: How did she become pregnant?
Wit: The juntas raped her.
Pros: You testified earlier about a sister-in-law passing outside the window at the time of the attack in Karina. What happened to her?
Wit: She has an impairment of her hearing.
Pros: Did anything else happen to her?
Pros: You told the court that you were separated from your husband. Can you tell the court the reason why?
Wit: Yes. Because the juntas had raped me and my children. All of my children had gone bad now. [breaks down crying] All my children have lost their future. [continues crying]
WVS officer: Your Honors, the witness would like to proceed with her testimony.
Pros: I indicated earlier that I would be asking for a closed session. I withdraw that application and have no further questions.
Defense Counsel Morris Anyah will now conduct the cross-examination of witness TF1-028:
Def: I want to ask you a few questions about your time in Col. Eddie Town. Can you tell us what group was holding you there before the Red Lion group came?
Wit: Five-Five’s group.
Def: Is it fair to say that that is the same group that captured you in Karina, and took you to other places, and ended up with you at Col. Eddie Town?
Def: Was Gullit part of this group?
Def: Leatherboot, FAT, as well as Col. Eddie – they were part of this group?
Def: Have you referred to this group before as being SLAs?
Wit: No. I called them junta.
Def: Did you know the members of this group to have previously been members of the Sierra Leone Army?
Wit: I did not know the soldiers before.
Def: Did you come to know they had been members of the Sierra Leone Army?
Def: From the time you were taken from Karina, passing through Rosos, all the way to Col. Eddie Town, Waterloo, Benguema, Freetown – how many years or months was this?
Wit: One year and some months.
Def: Was Karina attacked sometime after the ECOMOG intervention in 1998?
Def: And when you got back to Karina – was it about February 1999?
Wit: It was in 1999 that I entered Karina.
Def: From when you were taken at Karina, all the way to Col. Eddie Town, is it right that no other groups joined them before you arrived at Col. Eddie Town?
Wit: There were RUFs, but there were not many in the group.
Def: That’s why you’ve referred to them collectively as junta throughout your testimony?
Def: You said there were 500 civilians at Col. Eddie Town?
Def: How many junta men and women were holding these 500 civilians?
Wit: I don’t know the number, but the junta population was high.
Def: More than 200?
Wit: More than.
Def: Were there more juntas than civilians?
Def: Were there double the juntas than civilians?
Def: So at Col. Eddie Town, there were over 1,000 juntas and over 500 civilians?
Wit: I took it as 1,000 including civilians and juntas. They were capturing civilians from the other villages.
Def: Was the number of juntas present about the same as the number of civilians?
Wit: They were more than the civilians.
Def: So more than 500 juntas?
Def: More than twice as many juntas?
Wit: Yes, because when they captured civilians, they gave them combats and arms.
Def: Was it over 1,000 juntas at Col. Eddie Town?
Def: You said it was there that a group of RUF called the Red Lion group arrived?
Def: You said they were about 100 in number?
Def: Have you told the prosecution previously that they were about 50 in number?
Def: Would it be fair to say that they were more in the vicinity of 50 than 100?
Wit: 100 is the correct one.
Def: [references document] These are notes from a prosecution interview in February 2006, when you said they were about 50 men. You remember?
Wit: Yes. But it is only now that I’m recalling some of the things.
Def: Are you saying you remember better today than you did in 2006?
Wit: Yes. It was when I recalled properly that I was able to give that number of 100.
Def: You testified in another case at the Special Court?
Def: You gave that evidence in another case in 2006?
Def: Do you remember what you told the court about the number of people in this group?
Def: What did you tell the court?
Wit: I told the court about 50, but at that time I was afraid to explain too much.
Wit: I was afraid they would meet me at my house and kill me.
Wit: The junta and the RUF.
Def: You started speaking with the prosecution in January 2003, and a few more times in March 2006 before testifying in the other case. In that time, you also came to know the Witnesses and Victims Section?
Def: Did they reassure you that you would be safe from harm if you cooperated?
Def: Despite their reassurances, you testified that the number of Red Lions was 50 because you were afraid?
Wit: Yes, because of the fear that was in me.
Def: These 100 people – were they all male, or were there some women?
Wit: There were women and children.
Def: Are you saying that among the 100, there were civilians included in that number?
Def: Out of the 100, how many were civilians?
Wit: About 30 of them.
Def: So there were 70 fighters?
Def: You’ve told us that the commander was Mohamed Bajehjeh?
Def: Was Mohamed Bajejeh RUF or SLA?
Wit: He was RUF.
Def: Are you sure about that?
Def: How do you know he was RUF?
Wit: They wrote on their guns RUF, and they wrote on chests of the boys with them, RUF.
Def: They wrote on the chests of civilians?
Wit: Yes, the civilian boys they captured.
Def: Bajejeh and his group was RUF?
Def: At that time you had the SLAs with a few RUF, and then new arrivals of about 70 RUF fighters?
Wit: There was only RUF among the junta group in Karina. That was the junta man I was with.
Def: There was only one RUF in that group – your junta man?
Wit: He’s the one I saw.
Def: He was the only RUF?
Wit: He was the only one whom they showed to me was an RUF.
Def: So the rest were SLAs?
Pros: Objection: She said only one was shown to her as RUF.
Judge Doherty: I agree. Please rephrase.
Def: I will rephrase this. Are you tired, do you need a break?
Wit: Yes. I should take a break.
Judge Doherty: You said you have a number of questions left. A lot or a few?
Def: I’m just starting my examination.
Judge Doherty: We had in mind to make up some time. Madame Witness, can you continue?
Wit: If the questions are not much, I will try.
Def: I’m trying to ascertain how many RUF members were part of the group that brought you from Karina all the way to Col. Eddie Town. Was there just one?
Wit: I can’t say it was just one, but he’s the only one I saw.
Def: He’s the only one you knew about?
Wit: Yes, from Karina to Rosos.
Def: What was the rest of the group?
Wit: They were junta.
Def: Do you mean SLAs?
Def: Back to Col. Eddie Town and the arrival of 70 Red Lion members. You said some were Liberians?
Def: You said you knew by the way they spoke?
Wit: Yes, and I had lived with Liberians.
Def: You said you also knew about this group from two women cooking for them?
Wit: Yes. I knew they were RUF because they showed me all the signs.
Def: Did you believe these men to be Foday Sankoh’s men?
Wit: They said they were Superman’s group.
Def: Have you told the prosecution before that they were Sankoh’s men?
Wit: I did not tell them that. I spoke about Superman.
[Anyah asks court officer to distribute documents to the judges, prosecution and witness.]
Def: None of these documents should be placed on the overhead projector. Nothing should be published. [to witness] If I show you a document, would it be better for me to read?
Def: You just said the Red Lion group was Superman’s group?
Def: [references document] I will read what you’ve told the prosecution before. These are notes from November 2007. This is about six months ago. Of the two women who worked with the Red Lion group, you were closer to one that the other?
Def: She was the wife or girlfriend of Med Bajehjeh?
Wit: Yes, that woman he captured to rape.
Def: She told you about how the group was made up, and then you told the prosecution?
Def: You said that lady told you that the group was sent by Superman?
Wit: Yes. And I got it from the other juntas.
Def: [references document] You met with the prosecution less than a month ago, in April. “Rebels were dressed in civilian clothes and tied their heads with red bands. Witness knew that Sankoh was overall commander. Red Lions were Sankoh’s group.”
Wit: No, the Red Lion Battalion was sent by Superman.
Def: They have you saying that you knew that Foday Sankoh was the overall leader of the group. Why would they write that?
Pros: The witness has said that the group was “sent” by Superman, which is different than who the overall commander was.
Judge Doherty: I’ll allow the question.
Wit: I explained to them, the way they were suffering. It was the juntas who explained to me.
Def: You said one of the two ladies cooking for them told you Superman sent them?
Wit: I knew Superman sent the group before she told me. If there was an overall commander who was Sankoh, no. It is Superman that I know.
Def: Why does the prosecution say that last month you told them that the Red Lions was the group of Foday Sankoh.
Pros: I raise the same objection. It’s different from who sent them.
Judge Doherty: I’ll ask the witness if she understands the question.
Pros: It’s being put to the witness as a contradiction, when in fact it’s not a contradiction.
Judge Lussick: I see what you mean. I could be that the witness is saying that it was Superman who sent the group, but that it was Sankoh’s group.
Def: Did you tell the prosecution that it was Sankoh’s group?
Wit: I know that Sankoh was the overall commander for the RUF. But it was Superman sent the group.
Def: So do you say that the Red Lion group was Foday Sankoh’s group?
Wit: Yes, because I know that they are all in the same group.
Def: These 70 men who came, you said they were well armed?
Def: You did not know where they got their arms from?
Wit: Yes, I did not know where from.
Def: You said you heard previously from other RUF fighters that Superman was their commander?
Def: Did you know that Superman was Liberian?
Def: How did you know that?
Wit: The junta man with whom I was told me Superman was a Liberian, and the force he sent were speaking Liberian language.
Def: You said that group came from Kurabola?
Def: Have you ever heard the name _______?
Def: When have you heard the name before?
Wit: I heard about Komba _____ in Makeni.
Def: In what context?
Wit: When they captured UNAMSIL.
Def: Do you know if any of the 70 men who were sent were his men?
Wit: No. They did not tell me he was the leader who sent them there. I came to know Komba Gbundema (ph) in Makeni.
Def: Did these two ladies who told you about the Red Lion group mention his name in connection with that group?
Def: Have you heard of the STF?
Def: Special Task Force?
Def: Have you heard the name Bropleh before?
Def: General Bropleh?
Def: The STF were present in Col. Eddie Town when you were there?
Wit: No, the only place I heard STF was in Karina.
Def: Do you know who the commander of the STF was?
Def: You told the court in the prior case you testified in – do you remember telling the court that the Red Lion was made up mostly of STF members?
Wit: No, I did not say that.
Def: [references transcript from prior Special Court trial] This is from March 20, 2006 in the Sesay, Kallon and Gbao case – the RUF case. You said you agreed that a majority of the Red Lion Battalion were STF, according to what a woman told you.
Wit: I told him that the Red battalion was the RUF.
Def: Are you saying what I’ve just read you was an error?
Wit: I told him the Red Lion Battalion was RUF.
Def: Do you maintain that there were no STF in Col. Eddie Town.
Wit: I only know about STF at Karina.
Def: [reads from transcript] You agreed here also that the Red Lion Battalion was made up mostly of STF personnel. Do you agree?
Wit: The Red Lion Battalion was RUF.
Def: I just read you transcripts that suggest you told the RUF bench that most of the members of the Red Lion Battalion were STF members.
Wit: I have heard, but I did not say that.
Def: This does not accurately reflect what you told the court?
Def: You said you heard about the STF in Makeni?
Wit: Yes, and during the Karina attack.
Def: In what context did you hear the name?
Wit: They were saying, “NPFL, SLA, advance, attack!”
Def: What did you hear about them in Karina?
Wit: They just said “advance, advance!”
Def: This is when you were captured?
Def: Some of your captors were STF?
Wit: That is what I heard them saying.
Def: Who was calling “Special Task Force”?
Wit: The junta man was brandishing a gun and yelling “STF, advance”.
Def: Besides that reference to STF in Karina, did you hear any other reference to STF when you were captured?
Def: The man you heard say STF, did he have a Liberian accent?
Wit: No, he was just saying “advance”.
Def: None of the men who took you and went all the way to Col Eddie Town were Liberian?
Wit: They were juntas.
Def: There were Liberians in the SLA?
Wit: That man was a real Liberian, a killer.
Def: There were Liberians in the other groups?
Def: You mentioned a number of people being sent to receive the 70 men. Where did they receive them from?
Def: You gave us five names. [reads names] When you spoke with the prosecution two days ago, you gave them only the name of Jabbi, yes?
Def: Today you’ve given us four additional names in court?
Def: Besides the Red Lion Group and the SLAs you were with, was there another group headed by someone named Tito?
Def: When you testified in the RUF trial, you mentioned three groups in that case, yes?
Def: You said one were SLAs headed by Saj Musa?
Def: One was the Red Lion group headed by Med Bajehjeh?
Def: And a third group headed by Tito?
Def: What was his group?
Wit: Tito was SLA. I don’t know how the group he was with were mixed, but he was a soldier.
Def: There was a fourth group, isn’t there: the group that brought you from Karina?
Def: That’s different from the group that came with Saj Musa?
Def: When you first spoke with the prosecution, you told them that Saj Musa came along with Tito. Do you remember that?
Def: I have notes from the prosecution that say you told them in January 2003 that Saj Musa arrived with Tito. Did you tell them that?
5:00 (5:30 with the delay in video and audio): Court is now adjourning for the day. Proceedings will resume at 9:30 tomorrow morning.