Cross Examination of Albert Hindowa Saidu continues

12:30pm (half an hour delay with video)

This is not a verbatim transcript of the proceedings.

Def: Before we go back to issue of ULIIMO, there is a question we have from this morning’s evidence, on page 25 and this is starting at line 17, I posed this morning a question

Q: yesterday you were trying to make distinction between Issa and this case, you said the investigators told you that is the Issa case, and they told you this is the Taylor case.

A: yes that is what they said, I told them Issa’s defense met me and I told them I had nothing to do with the special court because I had integrated into society,  they heard I got information and they pleaded to get that information, and they said if I did not give them, then I am withholding and the court will hold me responsible.

Def: you are recounting your meeting with office of the prosecutor, and you said you have nothing to say

Wit: No

Def: You said you had nothing to say because you integrated into society

Wit: It was the Issa defense that I told this to

Def: Was it the Issa defense team that said that court would hold you responsible? Or was it the Prosecution?

Wit: Issa defense, because I told them I reintegrated.

Def: Do you see how the question was phrased, and the relevant part said, you said investigators told you, after you told them after you spoke with defense team, they said they wanted to talk to you about the Charles Taylor case, you are referring to what prosecution told you, they wanted to talk to you about Charles Taylor.

Wit: No, I told them that Issa defense met me and you have come.

Def: Do you see the word “anymore,” there?

Wit: It was the Issa defense that I told that.

Def: Do you see the word “anymore”

Wit: It is not on the screen to me. Which line?

Court: do you have a precise line?

Def: Line 17, and your answer starts at page 25 line 23, yes, that is what they said, I told the defense that I had nothing to do with the special court anymore, they said,  they pleaded for information and the court will hold me responsible if I am withholding. This is what I told Sessay investigators?

Wit: I told the defense team this.

Def: Madam President, may I have moment please? (pause)

Def: Mr. Witness, the word there “anymore” suggest that you had nothing to do with the court when you met with investigators, which investigators met you?

Wit: It was the Sessay investigation team, they met me at school, they told me that is what they have come for, and I answered that I reintegrated into society…

Def: would you agree that the word “anymore” shows that you indeed had something to do with the special court?

Wit: I didn’t have anything to do with the special court.

Def: But you knew Issa was indicted?

Wit: Yes, they announced it on the radio, but I was not named there, I had nothing to do with it.

Def: Issa was indicted in March 2003?

Wit: I dont know the date.

Def: Did you hear that announcement?

Wit: Yes.

Def: that was before his investigators met with you, right?

Wit: Yes.

Def: What business did you have with the special court before that?

Wit: I did not have any business with the special court, I did not want to associate with them.

Def: Do you remember that I asked if you were shopping to be a witness?

Wit: They did not say I was to be a witness…

Disruption in video

Def: I asked you yesterday whether you had been shopping to be a witness and you said yes, do you recall?

Wit: I was not shopping, I was not willing to be a witness for the special court, and they said I should be a witness, but I did not go there voluntarily.

Def: On page 1154 of yesterday’s transcript at line 9, I posed this question to you “when you met with Sessay’s investigators, and then met with Chuck in March 2007, and then met again with Sessay’s investigators in June 2007;

                   Q: “were you shopping to be a witness? ”

                   A: “Yes.” 

 This is what you told us yesterday.

Wit: After the Sessay defense spoke to me and wanted me to be a witness, so I was expecting to be invited as a witness, but I was not invited, so prosecution gave me a number, it was only the prosecution then that was talking to me, and even gave me a number and defense trial did not invite, so when prosecution gave me a number it meant I was a witness.

Def: Did anyone from office of prosecutor tell you that if you did not provide the information you would be held responsible from the special court?

Wit: No.

Def: Back to ULIMO, you were handed a transcript, I believe prosecution is in possession, January 10, 2008 concerns testimony of Sheriff, starting at page 976:

                   ” Q: the area you have drawn on the map at the extent of ULIMO control, for how long did ULIMOexercise control of the area you have drawn on that map, from 1992 invaded until when?”

Def: the map was defense exhibit 1:

                      A: “ULIMO had total control of that area in 1993, and 1994 there was a rift within the rank and file, so in Bomi county and grand cape county was controlled by ULIMO J, from (listing areas) controlled by ULIMO K”

Def: turn to page 978, line 7

                 Q:”so putting that together, that area between 1992-1996 was controlled by ULIMO whether as unified or split force?”

A: Yes.

Def: The entire pink area was controlled by ULIMO between 1992-1996, do you agree?

Wit: Well, I was not in Liberia so I don’t know where ULIMO occupied, I don’t know all of the areas. They were there.

Def: You said, that from late 1992-late 1996 correct?

Wit: Yes, it is correct on the Sierra Leone and Liberian border.

Def: Morris crossed over in 1993 and did not come back until 1995.

Wit: Morris was in Liberia when we were pushed and went to the border, 1992 he was already there.

def: Is it late 1992 or 1993?

Wit: Morris Kallo entered Liberia before we were pushed to the border he was not with the RUF he was already in Liberia, we met ULIMO in 1992.

Def: Do you agree he was cut off and could not return until 1995?

Wit: Yes.

Def: That means the border was not easy to cross because of ULIMO?

Wit: Yes.

Def: You told me that in 1996 RUF was able to cross the border, but it was not successful?

Wit: Yes.

Def: You mentioned LURD, what does it stand for?

Wit: No.

Def: But LURDwas anti Charles Taylor?

Wit: What do you mean?

Def: They were fighting against government of Charles Taylor?

Wit: Yes.

Def: and LURD occupied border between Liberia and Sierra Leone in 1999?

Wit: Not all over the border.

Def: What part of the border did they occupy?

Wit: I can not tell you because I was not in Liberia, I know they were in Lofa county.

Def: So you don’t know what was going on in Liberia in 1999?

Wit: Yes.

Def: But you can tell us of other activities that were happening in Liberia like arms and supplies?

Wit: Yes. Because I saw when it came to us in Sierra Leone.

Def: Do you only tell this court about things you’ve seen?

Wit: The one I saw happened from Liberia to Sierra Leone was from Charles Taylor to RUF.

Def: so LURD was at the border in 1998?

Wit: They did not occupy the entire border, I know they were in Lofa county.

Def: What time frame were you at Komendey?

Wit: 1999-2000

Def: And during that time, LURD occupied Lofa, correct?

Wit: They occupied some towns and villages, not all of Lofa county.

Def: And LURD was cutting off supplies between the RUF and Liberia?

Pros: That is not what was said.

Def: You told us yesterday that Lurd was trying to cut off the supplies?

Wit: No, they never attack RUF supplies like ULIMO did. I know Morris was cut off in Lofa county, they never attacked our materials

Def: did Lurd try to cut off your supply line with Liberia?

Wit: No. If they try to cut off the supplies they would attack our entrance and exit, they did not cut off supply that end here, we know they were fighting against Charles Taylor.

Def: Lets look at yesterday’s transcript, you said, ”

Q: when you were in Komenday, what did you hear about what was going on in Lofa?

A: I heard that rebels had started to attack Lofa county, LURD rebels.

Q: What else did you hear about LURD

A: I heard they were trying to cut out supply line between RUF and Liberians government in that county area

Q: After you heard about rebels what else did you hear?

A: Sam was trying to help Liberian government to fight against LURD

Def: Do you remember those questions?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Why did you say no?

Wit: You said they attacked and I said no. they did not attack our men or our items, they were there and Sam Bockarie sent men to fight along with Charles Taylor government.

Def: Remember that Moses Blah said 1998-1999 border between Sierra Leone was closed.

Wit: I gave you an answer.

Def: Mr. witness, do you agree that between NPRC regime 1992-2000 crossing Sierra Leone border and Liberia was impeded by ULIMO and LURDand closure of the border by Charles Taylor?

Pros: That was a compound question.

Def: But foundation was laid.

Judge: I will allow it.

Def: Do you agree that from 1992-2000 crossing the border between Liberia and Sierra Leone with arms and ammunition was severely impeded by ULIMO, LURDand closure of border by Taylor?

Wit: The only time, that our materials were blocked, and things were made difficult for us was from when ULIMO occupied the border. LURD did not block us, and Charles Taylor’s announcement was said that to satisfy the international community, but movement to RUF was not impeded up until 2001, it was only when ULIMO blocked us.

Def: So when Moses Blah said it was blocked he was mistaken?

Wit: I wouldn’t say he made a mistake, he might of said it. I am telling you that I did not hear that, I heard it from you, even if they said it, they were trying to please the international community.

Def: So Moses Blah tells this court that the border was closed from 19998-1999 he should have added that it was symbolic for the international community?

Wit: I don’t know, they made the announcement, I can’t say for him, you need to ask him. I heard about it from you, I did not hear it over the radio.

Def: The court heard it from Moses Blah as well.

Wit: That was from him. I did not hear that, we used to enter and exit, so I don’t know.

Def: Mr. Witness, have you ever heard about Top 20?

Wit: yes.

Def: Top 40?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Top final?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Yesterday, you defined what special forces were?

Wit: Yes.

Def: You defined vanguards?

Wit: Yes.

Def: You defined Junior commandos?

Wit: Yes.

Def: You were a junior commander?

Wit: Yes.

Def: in 1991-1992, starting from Pendabu base, there were Liberian forces fighting alongside RUF. What is Top 20?

Wit: A mission i which the NPFL within the RUF (unclear) used to kill people in the RUF territories.

Def: Are you speaking of a particular mission?

Wit: A mission that they run, not a fighting practice, something they did within RUF territory.

Def: When did it take place?

Wit: I can’t recall, during the war.

Def: What is Top 40?

Wit: Top 40 also was something of this same nature, when NPFL forces killing civilians and junior forces in RUF territory.

Def: Top final?

Wit: Mission that junior commandos undertook to shock against NPLF forces and chased them out of territory.

Def: Who was chased out of RUF territory?

Wit: Special forces, that had run the top 20 and top 40.

Def: Are you aware that others have come before this court and said Top 20 was not as you have described it, but a reaction by the RUF members against the NPFL fighters in Sierra Leone.

Wit: No.

Def: Did you know there was friction between special forces and the Sierra Leonean vanguards?

Wit: Yes.

Def: If the special forces felt superior then RUF?

Wit: Yes. That was the opinion.

Def: And the two groups did not get along?

Wit: Yes. During the time of the mission.

Def: One of the commanders of the training base was a special force?

Wit: Yes.

def: Have you heard the name Anthony Mekunamay?

Wit: No.

Def: And you crossed the border in 1992?

Wit: No.

Def: Have you heard of general dry-pepper?

Wit: No. There were Liberians that used to take this name, but not a General.

Def: General Dopo?

Wit: I have heard.

Def: Did you meet General Dopo?

Wit: One time and that was during early period of the war, I saw him.

Def: Where?

Wit: When I was at the training base in Pendembu, at one time he came to the base.

Def: You stayed there for 3 months?

Wit: Yes.

Def: In 1991?

Wit: Yes.

Def: And you saw General Dopo at that base?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Where were you in May 1992?

Wit: I can’t tell where I was in that month.

Def: That is something the record doesn’t disclosed. You said you were captured May 2 1991, after you spent week in the bush?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Your capture took place in Punambu?

Wit: Yes.

Def: You underwent training?

Wit: Yes.

Def: When you add three months to time you spent in Punambu you get August, and you said when you graduated you were sent back to the front line?

Wit: Yes.

Def: So around august 1991, you are not back at Punambu. How long did you stay?

Wit: Repeat.

Def: How long did you stay at target C

Wit: 91-92 because they sometimes used to move us and we would come back.

Def: You agree you were at Target C in 1991 August and stayed there to 1992, how many months?

Wit: I can’t recall. I want to use the gents.

Def: Mr. Witness, we agree that you were at target C in August 1991, and I asked how many months and you don’t remember?

Wit: I don’t remember the exact month, I stayed there for a long time, sometimes the Sierra Leone government would move us, I took a long time residing at that target.

Def: When you met with the prosecution March 28, 2007 (Tab 1) you said you were there for about 7 months, is that fair to say?

Wit: Well is that is what I said, then it is an estimate, I did not tell the exact time. It is a long period.

Def: Lets go to Tab 1, Mr. Witness, these are notes of your interview with the prosecution, page 2: “witness as captured on May 2 by rebels….he was there for 2 months and then he was sent to the front lines as a fighter in Target C…witness was there for about 7 months and then they had to retreat” you see that?

Wit: Yes.

Def: If you add 7 months to August, you get to about March 1992, do you agree?

Wit: I can’t tell, it is an estimate, I stayed long at Target C, I used to go on and off.

Def: If you look at the next paragraph, April 29, 1992, you told prosecution that there was a massive RUF retreat to (unclear) almost to Liberian border, the witness went to Tongo jungle under Captain Pepper, a Sierra Leonean who was killed, you served under captain Pappe for 2 years.

Wit: This statement is what I told you, it was a brief summary I gave to Chuck, it is not a detailed statement, another time I gave a detailed statement, this was brief.

Def: Do you see at bottom right hand corner on 31 October 2007, you signed each page making a few corrections on selected pages, let me show you where you made corrections. You made corrections on page 6, 8, and 10. For example, on Page 6, when they read you your statement in October 2007 you scratched off something, the witness also saw Issa with diamonds, you crossed that off as a mistake?

Wit: yes. This statement, lawyer showed it to me, this was to confirm that I met with Chuck.

Def: statement is 14 pages long and it was read back to you and you confirmed everything with signature and you made corrections. Lets go back to page 1, when you left target C you went to Tongo jungle?

Wit: That is what I said, this was a summary. When we left Target C we were pushed to the border in 1994, this was just a summary, the prosecution just wanted to know if I met with Chuck and gave him this summary, I gave them the details they needed.

Def: So there is missing from records of 1993-1994 when you were member of the action for in the Jungle.

Wit: They did not ask me in detail, but what I gave the prosecution when they asked me in detail those were detailed questions followed by detailed answers. Some they didn’t ask me about.

Def: But you did not add the additional information?

Wit: I gave the prosecution additional statements.

Def: Even assuming you went into the Jungle, where were you in may of 1992, where were you in rainy season?

Wit: I was in Kalong district in RUF territory.

Def: who were you serving under?

Wit: 1993 I was with Muhammad with action force.

Def: Record says 1992-1993, I am not asking about Muhammad and action force, I’m asking about rainy season of 1992, may-September?

Wit: I was in the Kailong district jungle

Def: Have you heard the name Francis Maiwon?

Wit: No

Def: Isaac Mussa?

Wit: We had one in RUF, don’t know if he was the same one who was in RUF movement, I don’t know if he was a general. He was a vanguard.

Def: Liberian? Or Sierra Leonean?

Wit: Some vanguards were Liberians, He was speaking Liberian language.

Def: Isaac Mungo?

Wit: yes. He was a vanguard

Def: When was the first time you saw him?

Wit: During 1991 ending to 1992, what we called Phase 1.

Def: When is Phase 1?

Wit: Up until they pushed up to the border, 1991-to that time, I saw Isaac Mongo.

Def: were you trained by him?

Wit: he did not train me personally or permanently.

Disruption in video

Def: When you were at Penumbu in 1991, did you see Isaac Mongo?

Wit: Not at the training base when I was training there.

Def: in May 1992 when you say you were in the jungle, are you aware that all NPFL special forces were recalled back to Liberia.

Wit: I did not see them all return even after 1992

Def: Are you aware that other witnesses told this court that all NPFL forces were recalled back to Liberia

Wit: I’m aware of top final, that is when we chased some forcs out of territory, other Liberians were still with us.

Def: Beside Isaac, who else remained in Sierra Leone after Top Final?

Wit: I can’t recall their names now.

Def: Not any names?

Wit: You call Isaac Mongo, that is why I recall his name, I can’t recall names.

Def: Witness Foday Sana also known as (unclear) radio operator from Liberia and he spoke about Top Final and how NPFL retreated back to Sierre Leone?

Wit: I know him, but didn’t know that he came to this court. I do not know whether he came to this court.

Def: Are you aware that TF1 362 confirmed what C Anya testified at this court?

Wit: I do not know the witness you are talking about, someone can give his opinion, I wouldn’t know every movement, if I knew some, I forget some, I am recalling names because you say them. So if another person comes and speaks he has a right to talk about events that I am not there.

Def: When you went to Banya (?) you said it was 1992?

Wit: Yes.

Def: And you said you went with Foday Sanko?

Wit: Yes.

Def: Were there any women in the group?

Wit: No. I can’t remember seeing a women among us.

Def: But you left to Penumbu you left with Captain and Foday Sankho.

Wit: It was Kailon where we left with CO Lion. Foday Sankho had base in Penumbo and Kailahoo.

Def: Lets talk about your 3 trips to Liberia. The first one.

Judge: Did you say that this trip you went with Captain Ben, CO lion and Foday Sanko?

Wit: yes.

Def: You told us you were friends with Captain Ben as well as Jackson from the execution Mansion guards of Foday Sanhko.

Wit; Yes.

Def: When you were in Bunumbu you wished to accompany him and Foday Sahnko?

Wit: He was not coming to visit me, he would pass through Bunumbo and we used to talk.

Def: Question is you voiced a wish to accompany him top Banya?

Wit: Correct.

Def: At some point in 1992 he indeed obliged and asked you to join him and CO lion and Foday Sahnko?

Wit: Yes, we all went to Benga.

Def: Was that the only trip you made to Banga with the RUF?

Wit: Yes. That is the only trip I went that far into Liberia itself.

Def: Only trip to Banga?

Wit: Yes.

Def: And you went with Sahnko?

Wit: Yes.

def: 1992.

Wit: Yes.

Def: But you did not enter the compound of Charles Taylor completely?

Wit: I don’t know if it was Taylor’s compound, we went as an escort. I did not see the house where Charles Taylor was, they disarmed us, we stopped at the gate. I cannot say which was Charles Taylor’s house.

Def: Second time you took a letter to Foya for Colonel Jungle?

Wit: Yes, letter from Sam Bockarie.

Def: What year?

Wit: 1998

Def: Your last trip was after Lome, Letter from Sessay

Wit: I went in 2000 to General 50.

Def: I will read the transcript. We now that those are the 3 trips to Liberia?

Wit: Yes.

Def; You claim not to know whether compound was Charles Taylor’s?

Wit: I said we got to a gate, security check point, there was a house close by, there was not a compound.

Def: Put page 4 of tab 2 to the witness. Actually Tab 1, page 4. These are prosecution note March 28, 2007, and it speak about your 3 trips to Liberia and we see in second full paragraph that you told them ” the witness never met Taylor face to face but saw him at banya Liberia, the witness was escorting Sam Bockarie, he saw him outside the presidential lodge, witness says before the AFRC Coup. Witness thinks Taylor had just become the president then” Do you see that paragraph?

Wit: Yes.

Def: You went to Banya with Sam Bockarie in 1996 or 1997, do you agree?

Wit: I disagree, because even when asking me questions here, I said I went with Foday Sankho, I never went with Sam Bockarie, it is in my statement before this court that I went with Foday Sahnko. In 1996 I was engaged with ? force. Not possible.

Def: So there are 3 mistakes: It says Sam Bockarie?

Wit: Yes.

Def: It says 1996-1997?

Wit: I did not go out of Sierra Leone then.

Def: It say Banga?

Wit: I only went once, I remember when we entered and returned with materials, I never went.

Def: I see the time

Judge: It is now 1:30 this is the time we normally adjourn for lunch and we will not resume court until Monday morning at 9:30. Please adjourn court.