Prosecution calls former Sierra Leonean soldier Samuel Kargbo as its next witness

Judge: I understand that there is an interpreter to be sworn. I ask that we do that first before asking the prosecution about the next witness.

Interpreter is sworn in.

Judge: Madam interpreter, we welcome you to the court. Mr. Koumjien, i see that you will be leading the witness.

Pros: yes i will be leading the next witness. The witness does have protective measures in place but he has indicated that he is ready to rescind the said protective measures. The prosecution therefore moves that the said order be rescinded.

Def: Can Mr. Taylor be excused for a moment for the usual reasons?

Judge: Yes, please excuse Mr. Taylor

Judge: The protective measures are hereby rescinded. What language will the witness be testifying in?

Pros: The witness will testify in Krio. The prosecution calls Samuel Kargbo.

Witness is sworn.

Pros; Can you please tell the court your name and when you were born?

Wit: My name is Samuel Kargbo, i was born on 6th of June 1970.

Pros: Mr witness please look at the judges when testifying. Can you tells us where you were born?

Wit: I was bore in Freetown. I am a sierra leoneana and i am a Limba by tribe. I speak Limba, krio, and English. I went to the Govt. Rokel Sec. Sch and stopped at form three.

Prso: Have you vere performed any military service?

Wit: Yes, i joined the Sierra Leone army on Dec. 1 1990 and was discharged in 2001. I underwent training at the Daru Moa Barracts, the third battalion of the S.L army.

Pros: can you tell us the kind of trainig you underwent and how long it lasted?

Wit: I did infantry traing. We started in Dec and stopped when the rebel war started. We were now at Daru barracks on standby. I was later sent to Koindu as border guard. I was there till the rebels attacked and pushed us out of the town.

Pros: What date?

Wit: It was on March 27.

Pros: Where did you go after that?

Wit: We left straight to Boidu and then proceeded to Kailahun town.

Pros: can you tell us where you were for the rest of 1990?

Wit: I was at the Daru Moa barracks. We were taken to benduma where they shot me and i was taked to the hospital. I was later taken to Freetown till Jan. 1992 and then i was taken back to Daru. I was there upto April 29 when we went and overthrew the APC government. That was the NPRC coup.

Pros: What districts were you in within this time?

Wit: I was in the Kailahun district upto the time i went to Freetown. After the overthrow, i was now in Freetown.

Pros; Lets talk about the time before the NPRC coup. Were you involved in fighting in Kailahun district before the coup?

Wit: We fought against the rebels.

Pros; Did you learn who you were fighting against?

Wit: yes, against the RUF

Prso; Did you learn what the nationalities of the rebels were?

Wit: They had Gios among them and most of them were Mendes.

Pros; Do you know which country they came from?

Wit: The Gios were from Liberia and the Mendes were Sierra Leoneans.

Pros: How do you know they were Liberians?

Wit: Through the people we rescued from the bushed. They told us. They were also called Special Forces.

Judge: Who were the people they rescued from the bushes?

Wit: By then, they were our own citizens who fled into the bushes. They gave us the information.

Prso: Did you capture any of the enemies?

Wit: We captured one in Koindu called Harrisson George and he gave us all their codes: commando, brave, intelligent. He told us the person who was there, named Pa Morlai. We handed him over to government.

Prso: Can you repeat the name of the person you captured?

Wit: Harrisson George

Pros: Can you explain who Pa Morlai was?

Wit: We later knew it was Foday Sankoh.

Pros: Did you observe anyting about how these rebels treated civilians?

Wit: Yes, they treated them badly. They even recruited them, they took their luggages from them.

Pros: What did you see to believe that they treated civilians badly?

Wit: They told us that the Gios used to eat people. They burnt houses and killed people. We saw houses burnt down.

Pros: Did you ever see civilians who had been killed?

Wit: I did not see it happen but we saw the corpses and the people told us they were killed by rebels.

Pros; Did you ever run accross any rebel check points?

Wit: yes

Pros; Can you remember anything about them?

Wit: We’ll meet human intestines on the road and they will put human heads on the road.

Pros; Were you involved in the NPRC coup?

Wit: yes i served as security to 2nd Lt. Idriss Kamara.

Pros: Were you part of the pre NPRC forces?

Wit: I was part of them but as a security to a 2nd Lt Iddriss Kamara.

Pros: How long did you stay in Freetown?

Wit: I was there till end of May when i was sent back to Daru to recapture strong holds. We went to Kuiva where i was shot and so i was returnmed to Freetown.

Pros: Who shot you?

Wit: The rebels.

Pros: What year was that?

Wit: 1992

Pros: How long were you in the hospital?

Wit: For about three months. After that i was posted to state house in Freetown. I was attached to the PRO Lt.  Karefa Kargbo as security.

Pros: Lets jump ahead to 1996 elections. Do you recall that there were elections in Sierra Leone at that time?

Wit: yes. Before the elections, an attack took place in Kenema where the rebels were cutting people’s hands. We went to Joru and repelled the rebels. Some people were shot and we took them to Kenema. We saw civilians whose hands had been cut by the rebells.

Pros; Before the elections where were you?

Wit: In Freetown until we were went to kenema.

Pros; Did you actually go to Kenema?

Wit: yes

Pros: What did you see on your way to Kenema and inside Kenema?

Wit: yes, well, during the time we were going, it was peaceful until we went to Kenema.

Judge Dougherty: Sorry but we are at our time limit and we need to break now. We resume at 12:00.

11:30:Count adjourns for the usual morning break.