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Examination of Witness TF1-584 Continues

9:30 (10:00 with 30mins delay i video and audio): Court resumes with continuation of the evidence of witness TF1-584.

Judge: If there are no other matters i will remind the witness of her oath. Mr Santora, you may proceed.

Pros: Good morning Ms. Witness. can i ask you a few questions about some of the things you said yesterday before we move on. The first one is from page 1212 of yesterday’s transcripts, lines 10-15. You were talking about the signing of the Abidjan Accord and that you were attacked by the Kamajors. I asked whether you were operating as a radio operator at that time, you said no because so many things were missing from you, what did you mean?

Wit: I meant that the things we used to put the radio on like the solar plate which was used to charge the battery and the battery itself was damaged, so we could not use the radio.

Pros: The next thing is page 12913, lines 24-29, i asked about the time when you knew about arms and ammunition coming from Buedu to Superman Ground, you spoke of unarmed men carrying the weapons, what did you mean?

Wit: If i say the trained men who were not armed, the armed men wer the ones with weapons and they will be infront incase they met enemies and the others were trained combatants but they did not carry weapons, they were the unarmed men and they will have to carry the arms and ammunitions.

Pros: Who actually carried the ammunition?

Wit: The unarmed men

Pros: What did you mean when you said they will bring it to the commander who will be leading the other group?

Wit: Whereever they set a group with a leader, anything that happens in the group will pass through that commander. So when the arms came from Buedu, the commander who leads the group from Buedu will hand them over to the commander from Superman Ground.

Pros: So in the instance that you are talking about, do you remember who the man was who was sent from Superman Ground who went and received these arms?

Wit: I cant remember his name

Pros: Ms. Witness, yesterday, when i asked what happened to civilinas, you said the RUF will capture civilians, what will happen to the children who were captured?

Wit: Those from 8-13 years who were not considered big men, they will go to the training base, they were called SBUs or SGUS. After training, the commander will share them. Some will go back to the person who captured them or they will be given to any officer on the ground. They will work for these officers.

Pros; When you were at PC Ground, where was the training base?

Wit: At Superman Ground, in the bush. On your left hand side if you are coming from Koidu.

Pros: What kind of training was going on at this base?

Wit: The same training that we underwent.,

Pros: Yesterday you said the civilians will carry loads, you said they will carry whatever property that was captured in towns that were attacked, so what do you mean when you say whatever property?

Wit: It could be clothing, food, looted items in bags, or sheep or goad, anything that they took from those towns that they captured will be given to civilians.

Pros: Whose property was it actually?

Wit: Sometimes, i will say it was civilians, but there are some other times where ECOMOG and SLA were based, i cannot say who owned what but they did not belong to the RUF.

Pros: Next ref is 12198, lines 11-16, yesterday i was asking you about operations at PC Ground related to civilians and you said that they came in contact mainly with civilians where ECOMOG were based but when there was an attack, they were unable to move, can you explain that again?

Wit: I said because civilians were not trainined. The time ECOMOG was advancing, they made the civilians to trust them. Whereever ECOMOG based, the civilians will come and base with them, feeling that the rebels will never enter that town again, so most people will come and settle there.

Pros: Same page, lines 25-27, you talked abiout an operation from Tefeya in Bumbeh and you said you saw captured civilians at the base, what did you see?

Wit: I saw women at Tefeya whom they said it was the combatants who had captured them from Bumpeh and i did not know them before that time.

Pros: What happened to these women?

Wit: They were with the men who captured them. They were adults.

Pros: Where exactly did you see them?

Wit: When i went to tefeya

Pros: You refered to an operation at Koidu Ngieya and said Rambo was there, which Rambo were you referring to?

Wit: RUF Rambo

Pros: You also said you monitored radio operations where you heard the expression, remove your hand from the war, what exactly did they say?

Wit: I heard one operator from Yormandu and the other from Gandohun were talking, one was saying people were daring, when they amputate people’s hands, they will say…

Pros: What language were they speaking?

Wit: Krio

Pros: So what exactly did they say?

Wit: What i listend to, i heard them saying, “mandem get mind oh, wae den wan cut people dem hand, den dae say pull you hand pan di war, pull you foot pan di war”

Pros: Do you know what that translates to in English?

Wit: I dont know if you want me to speak English but what i mean is that the RUF rebels cut off the hands and feet of civilians,they meant the civilians should hands off from the war.

Pros: Mr. Translator, can you translate this expression?

Wit: It means take your hands off the war, or take your foot off the war.

Pros: When you say this was happening around Bumpeh to Tefeya, what did you mean?

Wit: I said it was happening around Bumpeh, and Gandohun station which was operating around Sewafeh, but i didnt stay to listen where exactly this was happening.

Pros: Now, Ms. Witness, yesterday, i asked you why you went to Buedu with Superman, you said they gave Issa diamonds to take to Liberia, what did you mean by they?

Wit: Sam Bockarie

Pros: Did you learn why the diamonds were given to Issa?

Wit: What i learned from Maj. Selay and Sebatu who were at the Buedu ststion told me that Issa took those diamonds to Taylor so that he will bring arms and ammunition.

Pros: When did you learn this?

Wit: The very night that i went to Buedu.

Pros: I asked you what happenend when you got to Buedu, you started giving your answer,

Judge: Just before you leave that point, were not the diamonds stolen before they got any where?

Wit: Yes i was getting to that because she knows what happened to those diamonds but i just want to ask her what she knew of that transaction.

Pros: Do you know what happened to those diamonds?

Def: Foundational objection. When did Issa go to Liberia?

Pros; The witness has said she heard that information when she got to Buedu. But i will elicit her knowlege of all of this.

Judge: We need to have some foundation for that.

pros: Ms. Witness, you said you learned this information from Selay, what exactly did you learn of this incident?

Wit: I believe that i said it yesterday that i was at Superman Ground when this diamond issue came up. I was not in Buedu. They never sent a radio message to us that Issa had taken diamnods to Liberia. We only knew about this when Issa came back that the diamonds were missing. People were then grumbling that if it were any other person in the RUF who had lost that diamonds, Bockarie would have killed him. So the commanders wanted to know wha was going to happen to Issa for that. It was within this time that i got the message that all commanders were to report in Buedu to have a say on what should happen to Issa. That was when i went to Buedu. That was when i learned why the diamonds were given to Issa. By that time, he had gone to Liberia and came back that the diamonds were missing.

Pros: What exactly did Maj. Selay tell you about why Issa was given the diamonds?

Wit: he said they were to be given to Taylor so that he will bring arms and ammunition for us in Buedu.

Pros: Did you learn anything else about what happend to these diamonds?

Wit: What i know is what i am saying. I never asked Issa or any other coomander but Issa said he lost the diamonds. I learned in Buedu that when  he went to Liberia, he was lodged at a hotel and that was where the diamonds were lost.

Pros: Yesterday, you started talking about what happened when you got to Buedu, you said Sebatu left the radio station early because  her master was leaving for Buedu after the meeting right?

Wit: Yes

 Pros: You said that was why she left to come back home and that you saw the vehicles leaving but did not know who was in the convoy. You said they came back in the evening. Continue from that point on what you were talking about?

Wit: At the time when she told me that her master was going to Foya, that was why she had come early, the master was Sam Bockarie and the house where we were was not far from the street and Bockarie’s house, I saw the vehicles moving, when he entered into his vehicle, his bodyguards, i saw some other vehicles going with him. When they came back, i saw them offloading some things and they put them into his place. They called for Superman to go to a Zoe Bush where herbalists were.

Pros: Where is Foya?

Wit: Liberia

Pros: How did you know they were going to Foya?

Wit: I think i said it here that Sebatu told me.

Pros: How long did it take them to return?

Wit: It took him hours because it was after 12mid day that they left and he returned before 5pm.

Pros: Who did he return with?

With; The moment they came, i was not at the house, but when we went to the Zoe Bush, it was when i saw Col. Jungle

Pros: Who was he?

Wit: I knew him from the day i saw him that he was an NPFL fighter.

Pros: You said when they came back, they offloaded somethings, what do you mean by somethings?

Wit: When they came back, all that they came with, i did not see them physically but when i was ready to return to Superman Ground, the things that they gave to Superman included arms and ammunition, alcohol and they said they had brought them from Foya. So i saw what they gave out but not exactly what they brought.

Pros: What do you mean by seeing herbalists?

Wit: Bockarie took us to a Zoe bush where there were some herbalists who said they will protect somebody from bullets.

Pros: Do you know why they were in Buedu?

Wit: I understood that they came to Buedu to perform the same juju practice for RUF fighters, so they will mark their bodies so that bullets will not pierce their bodies.

Pros: How many herbalists were there?

Wit: Upto 7

Pros: Do you know where they were from?

Wit: From Liberia

Pros: How did you know that?

Wit: The language they spoke, and Bockarie himself said so, and an old women who was a Gbandi told me

Pros: What did the old woman tell you?

Wit: She told that they who were the herbalist had their boss who was a Lowoma tribesman and that Taylor had sent them to Bockarie to come and protect the RUF fighters particularly we who were in Kono so we can recapture Kono from the ECOMOG.

Pros: What do you mean by Bockarie handed over to Superman?

Wit: That evening that we went there, Bocklarie introduced the herbalists to him and he told him what they had come to do. He said that those were his strangers and he was to take them to his base. he said it was from Superman’s base that all the other commanders will come for the same ceremony.

Pros: Was there a name given to the operation to capture Kono?

Wit: Yes, Operation Fiti Fata

Pros: What is fiti fata?

Wit: When everything was in abundance, arms, manpower, moral booster, everything.

Pros: You said when Bockarie introduced Superman to the herbalists and said those were his strangers and he was to take them to his base where the other commanders will bring their own men to have them marked?

Wit: At Superman Ground, that was where the herbalists were based. The other commanders in places like Yormandu, Gandohun, Tefeya, etc will bring their own manpower to Superman Ground and it was there that the herbalist were doing their work. They never left Superman Ground for any other place.

Pros: Where did this conversation take place between Bockarie and Superman?

Wit: In the Zoe  bush in Buedu.

Pros: Where did you go after Buedu?

Wit: We left Buedu, spent the night in Kailahun and then left for Koidu.

Pros: Who did you travel with?

Wit: We went with some armed men with whom we had not left Superman Ground to Buedu. They joind us in Buedu, together with the herbalists.

Pros: Were did the arms and ammunitio  go that you left with?

Wit: To Superman Ground

Pros: About how many of you left?

Wit: About 200-300

Pros: What happened when you arrived?

Wit: The next morning, Superman gave me a message to send to Komba, Rambo and Bai Bureh and where Rocky CO was for them to send their own man power that they wanted for the Koidu operation, and for them to come and be marked by the herbalists.

Pros: How did you send the message?

Wit: I sent it by radio, it was coded, it went to Yormandu for Komba to also get soldiers under his command and send them to Tombodu so that they can transmit same message to Rocky CO.

Pros: What operation were you refering to?

Wit: the fiti fata operation

Pros: What happened when the message was sent?

Wit: the commanders came with their own manpower. Those who were selected who they thought would be able to go for the operation.

Pros: Do you know how much man power you had at supetrman ground?

Wit: Over 500

Pros: So what happened when they arrived?

Wit: We received them the whole day. The next morning, the herbalists created a special place to do the markings on the soldiers. Because i spoke Gbandi, Superman told me to talk to them. So when the Lowuma man spoke, the Gbandi woman will tell me and i will explain to the others. So it was Superman first who went. They created a circle where you will enter. I was the second person to enter the circle. I was talking what the Gbandi woman was saying. When they marked Superman, i sat down and they marked me, they marked the other soldiers, we were there till nightfall. they marked us and gave us laws for the marks. After they had completed the markings, Komba and his men returned with his men and so did the others.

Pros: What do you mean when you say you were marked?

Wit: they had marks that they put on our bodies and said that was the protection.

pros: How did they mark you?

Wit: It was with a blade. these marks were 168

Pros; What do you mean?

Wit: All the marks on our bodies including mine that i counted.

Pros: Do you still have some of these marks?

Wit: Yes

 Judge: She said they gave laws for the markings, what does that mean?

Wit: When giving us the marks, the herbalists told us we should not take birth for 7 days, no sex for 7 days, for those 7 days, whatever was a slimy food should not be eaten, you should not sit on a morta for 7 days.

pros: So what happened after that?

Wit: The others went to their various places and we were all to launch simultaneously, from Yormandu, Gandohun, and we launch form our end.

Pros: Was this before or after the death of Abacha?

Wit: I cant recall the exact date but i can recall it was before the death of Abacha.

Pros: How long before the death of Abacha?

Wit: It did not take long because after that Koidu operation, it was not even up to two weeks when Abacha died.

Pros: Did the operation occur?

Wit: Yes

Pros: How long after the planning meeting did the operation occur?

Wit: Just a day

Pros: What happened in this operation?

Wit: When i went, i ws at first in the vehicle with the radio set which was not switched on because whereever the attack was going on, it will be possible to switch on, i will switch it on. That was the same vehicle used by Superman upto to the time we went to Koidu. When we went to the highway,. we met Guineans entering Koidu. Fighting took place there. the Guuneans ended up running away. they abandoned their weapons, including heavy weapons, like RPG. They left lots of ammunition. We took them and put them in the vehicle and we went ahead. I was with Superman in that vehicle upto the time we went to Koidu and he alighted and joined the ground forces. I was in the vehicle and went up to Five Five Point. That was where i stoped. I returned to the cotton tree where you use the road to go to Tomdodu.

Pros: How long did this operation take?

Wit: One night

Pros: Was it successful?

Wit: No

Pros: What was the result?

Wit: Where we got to at the bridge, the ECOMOG had left Koidu and went to Tankoro, but just as we were getting to the bridge, RUF fighters were in that bridge. The ECOMOG launched a bomb that killed over 20 RUF men. That made us to withdraw from that place, though the other flanks where these men had come from, i was not with them and so i cant say when they left Koidu. I left Koidu at around 4:30am and went back to Superman Ground.

Pros: Did you ever leave Superman Ground?

Wit: yes

 Pros: When

Wit: From the time i went there to the time i left, it was up to five months

Pros: Why did you leave?

Wit: I first left and went to Foday Lansana in Tefeya and when i came back, Superman told me that Bockarie had given him an order to move to go to Kroobola where the SLAs headed by SAJ Musa, he said he should go and attack them. That very day, i was on the set when he sent a message to enquire if Superman had left to go. Superman left that very day, he went to Yormandu.

Pros: What about yourself?

Wit: i did not go, i stayed at the base. but when he went, after three days, he sent a message for me to go.

Pros: Where?

Wit: At that time, he was in Yormandu. The day that i received the message in which he included and some of his bodyguards, we left the next day but when we got to Yormandu, i did not find him there. Komba was not there. I only met Short Bai Bureh there.

Pros: What happened when you got there?

Wit: Superman had already left for Kroobola, but when i got there, i communicated with him that i and his other bodyguards had arrived at Yormandu and when he wnet to Krrobola, he did nor carry out Bockarie;s orders. he joined the SLAs and they went to Kabala. When i spoke with him from Yormandu, he said short Bai Bureh should get manpower from his men to go and meet them where they were. I slept in Yormandu and the next day, Senegalese met us in Yormandu.

Pros: Who is Senegalese?

Wit: When i knew him, at first when he went, Bai Bureh told me he was an STF, and the STF that i knew were the ULIMO fighters. And i surely knew him as a Liberian because he did not know how to speak krio. He said he was sent by Bockarie to join Superman with reinforcement, composed of 30 men to go attack where Bickarie had sent Superman.

Pros: Did you believe that Senegalese was an STF?

Wit: Objection to the form of the question?

Judge: What is the nature of the objection?

Wit: I withdraw the objection

Pros: Do you believe he was STF?

Wit: I did not believe

Pros: Why?

Wit: Because the STFs who joined the AFRC amd RUF, whom i saw and knew, they had taken a long time in Sierra leone. They were speaking krio better. Senegalese did not speak krio.

Pros: Do you know where he came from in Liberia?

Wit: I did not know

Pros: Who were these 30 men that he had?

Wit: They were men with arms and they were all Liberians.

Pros: What language did you speak with Senegalese in?

Wit: It was only Liberian English

Pros: Did you talk about anything else in your conversation?

Wit: I have already told you what he told me.

Pros: What happened after you met Senegalese in Yormandu?

Wit: We left Yormandu tobgether with Shor Bai Bureh’s men, to go to Kroobola. That was the next day after Senegalese arrived.

Pros: Did you arrive at Krrobola?

Wit: We arrived there, having walked all day and all night, but Superman and SAJ Musa were no longer there. We only met some SLAs there.

Pros: Where di you go after that?

Wit: We went to Koinadugu

Pros: How long did it take you in total when you left Superman Groudn to Koinadugu?

Wit: 1 week

Pros: What did you see when you got to Koinadugu?

Wit: Before entering there, one last village, that was where the STFs there, with whom Gen. Bopleh were based with. That was where we met men who had come from Koinadugu from Superman’s group. Together, we entered Koinadugu in the evening. All the houses that were there, it was just a few houses that the soldiers did not occupy. And i did not really see civilians living just by themselves.

Pros: Aside from Superman and SAJ Musa, which other commanders did you see?

Wit: Foday Lansan, Gugumeh, aka Mohamed Kallon, Tall Bai Bureh, SLA Rambo aka Red Goat, Alfred Browne, and 05.

Pros: Can you describe the composition of forces that were there?

Wit: SLAs were there, headed by SAJ Musa, the STF and RUF. But they had fighting groups like Strike Force, Red Lion Battalion,

Pros: Who was Alfread Browne?

Wit: He was the one who deputized Foday Lansana as signal commander

Pros: What was his position at this time?

Wit: He was a major. He hadnt a position there. He was not the one who deputized Lansana at this time but he had a radio.

Pros: Who was 05?

Wit: He was an SLA soldier, he was a colonel.

Pros: Were there any other radio operators there?

Wit: yes, King Perry was there, Eddie Murphy was there, Albert Boima, wako wako or Vandy Massaquoi, Jusu kanneh and myself. Elongima was there on the SLA side, kelfallah was there, Archie was there.

Judge: We have just one minute left so i’ll advice we take the morning break now. Please adjourn court for 12:00.

1 Comment
  1. An another dozen of he/she told me.I wounder why Nyan and his girl friend would continue to work for the RUF in key positions as radio operators, knowing that Mosquito killed their child for juju power? is it that these ex-rebels are finding it difficult to make life without jobs,and so they have turned to make business with Special Court prosecutors by telling stories of i heard, he told me, she/they told me thinking that this will bring Mr. Taylor down guilty in this case? you must be dreaming, you heartless rebel parents.

    Harris Kortu Johnson
    Monrovia-Liberia