12:30 .p.m: Court resumes after witness returns from receiving medical treatment.
Judge: I assume you feel better now Mr. Witness. Mr. Koumjian, you may continue your examination.
Pros: You were talking of your release from prison in Buedu, can you tell us how long you remained in Buedu after your release?
Wit: I was there for two to three weeks and in April, I was sent to stay in Kailahun with Colonel Gbao. I had no appointment then. I stayed with Gbao.
Pros: How long did you stay in Kailahun town?
Wit: I was there till about the 2nd week of May when a message came that I was appointed Deputy Brigade Commander for Pendembu. Dennis Lansana who was called Monkey Brown was the Brigade Commander there. I left in 72 hours for Pendembu.
Wit: Who was Dennis Lansana?
Wit: He was the brigade commander, my boss.
Pros: Was he an SLA or RUF?
Wit: He was RUF.
Pros: How long did you stay in that position?
Wit: I was there till the signing of the Lome Accord.
Pros: Did you ever undergo any ceremony within that time?
Wit: Yes. I was marked on my body when Sam Bockarie came with some men called Zo Papay. The marks were to resist bullets. The men came from Liberia.
Pros: When approximately did this happen?
Wit: Just when they released us and they allowed me to be moving around with them.
Pros: Do you have a term that you called them?
Wit: They were called Zo Papay.
Pros: What were their nationalities?
Wit: They all talked in Liberian dialect.
Pros: Do you know what Zo Papay means?
Pros: Was anything said to you before you underwent this ceremony?
Wit: Well, when they came, we just thought they were for RUF. Bockarie told us to go and get initiated.
Pros: Can you describe what happend there?
Wit: Well, we had to take off our shirts and went in. If the Court allows me, I’ll demonstrated it. I have the marks on my body.
Pros: How were you marked?
Wit: They used some mixtures. They used some blade to mark us and they inserted the mixture in the cut.
Pros: So what was your understanding of the purpose of this?
Wit: They said they wanted to test us with gun. I did not do it but some RUF guys allowed to be tested. They were shot but the bullets bounced back. they gave us some laws that we should abide by. No women for 7 days, no pumpkin, no okra for 7 days.
Pros: Where did the ceremony take place?
Wit: In Buedu. Right at the back of Bockarie’s house.
Pros: Do you know if the Zo Papays went anywhere else?
Wit: Yes they went to Kono.
Pros: During your assignment at the brigade, were you aware of any ammunition arriving?
Wit: Yes, on many occassions.
Pros: Do you know where they came from?
Wit: From the defense headquarters in Buedu. Bockarie asked us to distribute them to various areas.
Pros: Were you involved in such distribution?
Pros: Now let’s move to events after the signing of the Lome Accord. Did anything happen that caused you to leave Sierra Leone?
Pros: How long after the signing of the accord?
Wit: Just one month after the accord, August 7, 1999.
Pros: Can you say what caused you to leave?
Wit: On August 7, 1999, my colleagues, Col. Jr, C.O Alfred, they rode to my brigade at night. They went to my commander. He gave them one of his security men and asked that they stay at my house. We had not seen each other for some time so we were all happy. They came with a monkey and we cooked and ate it. At night, around 2:30 a.m., we heard vehicles from Kailahun. It was one of Bockaries securities, Foday who was coming. We all came to the streets and we stopped him. We asked him whether he was returning to Buedu. ‘He said yes as he had just come to drop something off. The strangers indicated that they would return with him. In the morning I went to Buedu. Before I got in, a met a girl who told me that there was a problem between the SLA and RUF. I parked the bike and walked down to the town. I saw a vehicle with a radio set, I saw Kallon, Issa, etc. I saw some of my colleagues in a sombre mood. As soon as I came in, Kallon called me to come and see what my colleagues had done. Sulaiman Turay was there, Brima Koroma aka Cobra, Laga, Gomez, were all there. Kallon said my colleagues had arrested UNAMSIL peacekeepers at Westside saying they did not recognize them in the accord. They also said they wanted the release of Johnny Paul. Issa asked that I would talk to my colleagues. They gave me a radio set and I called the West Side boys. I started talking to Bazzy and he said I should talk to Tito.
Pros: And what happened?
Wit: Tito spoke to me in Limba. I told him to talk Krio so that every one will understand. He asked whether Johnny Paul was really alive. Tito is dead now. I told him JPK was ok. I told him the atmosphere was comfortable. He told me that the accord was not in our favour and they did not recognize JPK. I tried calming him down but he was talking Limba so I got off the set. So while we were there, the signaller said they were calling to Issa. He spoke on the satellite phone. I heard him saying: yes sir, yes sir. After that, he told us that Taylor said they should take the satellite phone and radio set to JPK at Kangama. So we left for Kangama. The phone rang again and JPK spoke also saying: yes sir, ok sir. He gave the receiver to Issa and asked that they should call the West Side boys. JPK spoke to them to calm down. They were still tense and could not calm down. Other guys at the background said they would not listen except they were all moved to Liberia and Ghana. He tried negotiating with them to release the hostages. The phone rang again and JPK spoke on the phone. After he finished, we all left again for Buedu. The phone rang again and JPK answered that we would go, no problem. JPK told us that Taylor had said we should go to Liberia and solve the problem. We were all eager to go. So we all dressed up and left for Foya. The helicopter came to Foya and I saw Bockarie, Jungle and some SSS security alight from the helicopter. Bockarie had much luggage. Jungle sad that Taylor wanted only four people to go to Liberia. Issa said that I should go. JPK appoint the other people and together, we all flew to Monrovia. We dropped at Princeville Airfield.
Pros: You said Bockarie came with luggage, and you said Jungle came. How did he come?
Wit: They all came with the helicopter.
Pros: Who were the men at the westside?
Wit: Bazzy, Tito, and other commanders.
Pros: When you say West Side, is that a location?
Wit: It was a place around Okra Hill.
Pros: So what happend when you got to Liberia?
Wit: A vehicle picked us up when the helicpoter dropped us off. The vehicle was marked Guest 7. We went to the guest house. There was a room that had a radio set owned by the RUF. A lady called Memuna was the operator of the radio. We knew she was Sierra Leonean.
Pros: How long were you in that guest house?
Wit: From August to around mid September. After they had released the UN guys.
Pros: Have you been to Monrovia since that trip?
Pros: What happened while you were in Monrovia?
Wit: Within one week there, the west side commander by then, Bazzy, Hassan Bangura aka Papa, Jr. Lion, Jumper, Bobson, Hussein Fawaz, and others that I can’t remember, they came and met us in Liberia. They came with their position statement. They gave it to JPK and said they wanted Taylor to know about that. By then, a guy called 50 came and met us. He said he would inform Taylor that the guys were here. He informed us of a meeting for the next day.
Pros: What was 50’s nationality?
Pros: He spoke in Liberian dialect and they said he was Taylor’s close aide.
Judge: I am afraid its now time for our lunch break so we’ll adjourn to 2:30 p.m.
Court is adjourned.