9:30 (10:00 with 30mins delay in video and audio).
Judge: If there are not other matters, i will remind the witness of her oath. Mr. Santora, you may proceed.
Pros: Thank you. Good morning Ms. Witness. I am gonna ask you a few questions about what you said yesterday. yesterday, i asked you about your training in radio operations and you said you were trained in message codding. You said you will either use an alphabet or you use numbers. When you said you use numbers, what do you by that?
Wit: Like if you write a name, like John, instead if me calling John i will either call it 1/2 or 3/1 based on what might have agreed on as that name standing for.
Pros: Were those used for names only?
Wit: No, also other things
Pros; Like what?
Wit: Like the jet itself, we represented by numbers.
Pros: Can you explain?
Wit: It was a code, so the SLA used the jet and when we wanted to refer to it, we’ll use a number to represent it
Pros: What was the number you used for that?
Pros: From what you said yesterday, Page 12076 of yesterday’s transcript, i asked you during the time you were an Kangari, i asked you estimae how many radios you had in the RUF, you said roughly 23-4 stations. Do you remember that?
Pros: can you say how many stations roughly?
Wit: We had roughly upto 32 stations.
Pros: Yesterday, you also talked about an incident where CO Mohamed had captured women fromn Kabala and Sankoh instruicted that these women be sent to Zegoda where he was based. You said there were lots of women capture. You said you saw that the women were asked to assemble and the armed men were there to take them, can you remember roughly how many women there wer?
Wit: About 80
Pros: Were they even released?
Pros: Before the end of the day, you started telling us about you monitoring communications in early 1996 before the elections in Sierra Leone, do you remember?
Pros: what do you mean by the stations that you were not to communicate with?
Wit: the ones we classed as enemy stations, those of the SLA
Pros: You said there was a law prohibiting that. what do you mean?
Wit: In the signal unit, there was a law that we should not discuss anything or send any message to any frequency used by the SLA.
Pros: You said you had the right to stop any person from communicating with them, who is them?
Wit: If i can answer that directly, i said we were not supposed to communicate on those frequencies. We should not talk to the SLAs or to talk on their own frequency. Even if we were the ones who selected the frequency, if we found out that they had started using that frequency, we’ll cancel it.
Pros: You said when you stopped them, the SLAs started throwing motherly invectives, what do you mean by them?
Wit: I met the RUF guys using that station and so i stoped the RUF stations.
Pros: What do you mean by the SLAs throwing motherly invectives?
Wit: I cannot repeat the insult but when you insult a woman or insult someone’s mother, that is what i meant.
Pros: Who were saying these things?
Wit: The SLA operators
Pros: Who were they directed at?
Wit: I was the one they were using them on
Pros: You said you gave the frequency on which you monitored the SLA stations, who did you give it to?
Pros: What do you mean by defense station?
Wit: The SLA Defense Station
Pros: Who instructed you to continue monitoring there?
Pros: What happened after that?
Wit: I carried out the instruction, the SLAs came back to the frequency and i told him. I told him the stations that were there. I told Sankoh what happened there.
Pros: What happened after this?
Wit: He gave me instructions to go there on same frequency and if i met them talking, i should tell them that he wants to talk to their Defense Station.
Pros: What happened next?
Wit: I went there on the frequency, i met them talking, i stopped them and i passed the message to the SLAs. They called their own defense station for the operator to talk to me directly.
Pros: What happened?
Wit: I told the operator thje message that Sankoh had given to me. The Defense Station operator told me he will pass on the message and will come back on same frequency to tell me what the response was. This SLA operator came back and called me and he told me that the following day, at the same hour, that was 1:30, i should tell Sankoh to meet on that same frequency. I came back to my frequency and i passsed on the message to Sankoh.
Pros: What happened next?
Wit: The following day, i went to the same frequency, Sankoh himself was on the same frequency monitoring, at 1:30, i called the SLA defense station and i connected them with Sankoh’s set. After that, Sankoh spoke to Maada Bio concerning the fighting that was going on. They agreed that the fighting or the problem was a Sierra Leone problem.
Pros: After you connected Sankoh, who is Maada Bio?
Wit: He was the president of Sierra Leone
Pros: Was it the same day that they spoke?
Wit: The same day that we had agreed on, we met on the same frequency.
Pros: Were you able to listen to the conversation between them?
Pros: can you tell us what you heard?
Wit: They discussed to solve the problem in Sierra Leone, because brothers were fighting against each other and the problem was a Sierra Leonean probleb. They were not to go anywhere to solve the problem. They agreed to call for a ceasefire on that very day. After they had spoken, i went on my own frequency and the following day, the ceasefire instruction came from Sankoh. Sankoh sent a written message in that regard.
Pros: What happened after Sankoh sent an instruction for the RUF to ceasefire?
Wit: When i received the instruction, i took it to Col. Isaac. he called all soldires the RUF under his command and he passed the instruction to them. From that day. we the RUF on that side started observing the ceasefire. Col. Isaac did not send any mission out to attack any town or set ambushes. Except that they went in search of food. When we went on food finding, we’ll meet with the SLAs and no body will shoot at his colleague. But Sankoh had passed an instriction that we were not to exchange anything with the SLAs like alcohol, cigarettes, or anything that they could use against our lives.
Pros: Who was CO Isaac in charge of?
Wit: The soldiers or combatants in the north, around black water.
Pros: Was the instruction complied with?
Pros: The instruction that Sankoh sent to you and you passed to Isaac, do you know if this instruction was passed to anyone else in the RUF?
Wit: Yes, to all the front line stations
Pros: How do you know that?
Wit: I was on the set and the message that the headquarter station sent, they called all the other stations including mine, that the message was meant for.
Pros: Can you remember some of the other frontline stations?
Wit: yes, western area, CO Mohamed was in charge of that, Bo Highway, Morris Kallon was in charge there and Tongo, Papa was in charge there
Pros: Where is Tongo?
Wit: There is Tongo around Panguma, i think its Kenema district.
Pros: How many times did you say RUF men met with SLAs when they went on food finding?
Wit: I witnessed that once and the secomnd time, i was not there but those who went came and told me.
Pros: What happened after this?
Wit: That continued for a month and before the call came for the Abidjan Peace Accord. In this Abidjan Accord, Sankoh informed the RUF and the civilians behind rebel lines, for everybody to and give his or her views. So it will appear that it was not what he wanted but what the people with the RUF wanted. While this was going on, elections business came up in 1996.
Pros: What happened in terms of the election business?
Wit: The SLAs who were the fighting group for Sierra Leone called on the same frequency but at this time the SLA operator came on our own frequency and he called for us, i mean Sankoh to go on the bsame frequency where they spoke with Sankoh that they should have peace before the elections. After they had spoken, we understood that the people had said they were to have elections before peace. From my understanding, they were to stop the war first and the people know that there was no more war in Sierra leone and that will make the elections free and fair, so that all those behind rebel lines will be able to participate in the elections.
Pros: What was Sankoh’s position on this?
Wit: he was for peace before elections.
Pros: After you heard this information that the people wanted elections before peace, what happened?
Wit: After that, the time that was stated on the media that the elections were to be held, we had an instruction from the RUF to stop that election.
Pros: Explain what you mean?
Wit: We had a message from Sankoh through CO Mohamed for all the stations at the front line to go and run operation stop elections, to go into the twons where the elections were to be conducted and cause panic there
Pros: What do you mean by to go cause panic there?
Wit: To go and shoot at the placese so the people will run away
Pros: Do you know where Sankoh was when he issued this instruction?
Wit: he was in Ivory Coast.
Pros: What happened after you received the instruction?
Wit: At my location, the commander Isaac formed armed men to go along the Matotoka/Masingbi axis to stop the elections.
Pros: Did you participate in this?
Wit: I did not go
Pros: What did you mean by saying CO Isaac formed armed men along?
Wit: That is the road or twons from Matotoka to Masingbi, along that road, where ever they were to conduct elections.
Pros: What did you mean when you said he formed armed me?
Wit: The combatants under CO Isaac’s control, it was from them that he formed a group, men with guns and he sent them on this operation.
Pros: Was this operation succseeful?
Wit: From what i knew, they carried out the operation but i cant say it was successful because the elections went on.
Pros: So why was Sankoh in Ivory Coast?
Wit: he went there for the Abidjan Peace Accord.
Pros: Do you know who if anyone went with Sankoh to Ivory Coast?
Wit: Gibril Massaquoi went, Fayia Musa, Philip Palmer, Osman Tolo, Memunatu Deen, Philip Sannoh, and Martin Moinama. Other people went but i cant recall their names now.
Pros: Who was Memunatu Deen?
Wit: I knew her to be Osman Tolo’s wife
Pros: can you say when approximately Sankoh left for Abidjan?
Wit: I cant recall the month but it was in 1996
Pros: Was the peace accord signed?
Pros: When Sankoh left, who did he leave in charge of the RUF?
Wit: CO Mohamed
Pros: Did CO Mohamed remain in charge?
Wit; He was in charge upto the time the Kamajors dislodged them from Zogoda
Pros: Who took over from CO Mohamed when the Kamajors dislodged them?
Wit; Sam Bockarie
Pros: Where were you when the accord was signed?
Wit: I was still at Black Water
Pros: What happened?
Wit: the Kamajors attackled us on the day the peace was signed. They said they were not educated and were not part of the signing of the peace.
Pros: Do you know when Zogoda was attacked?
Wit: I cant tell the exact month but it was in 1996
Pros: Do you remember if it was before or after the peace accord?
wit: It was before they signed the peace
Pros: After the attack on Black Water, and after the accord was signed, what happened to you?
Wit: When they attacked us, the attack continued whereever we went to base. We were running from one place to the other when the AFRC took over in May 1997.
Pros: At this time, were you still a radio operator?
Wit: I was not operating because so many things were missing from us and so we could not switch on our radios
Pros: Where were you when the AFRC coup of 1997 occured?
Wit: I was still around Black water. It was a very long river caused by gold mining.
Pros: What happened to you when the AFRC took over?
Wit: When they announced that they were calling the RUF, i was not on radio. The Kamajors had attacked us and we were scattered all over. After 3 days, my colleagues started coming together gradually. When i joined them, i met them jubilating that the AFRC had invited the RUF to join them.
Pros:Where did you meet them jubilating?
Wit: At a place where we assembled after they had scattered us.
Pros: During the AFRC period, where were you based?
Wit: I was in Kono, in Ngaya.
Pros: Where is Ngaya?
Wit: It is between Bumpeh and Motema, when you come from Sewafeh going to Koidu, but is in inside, going to Yengema.
Pros: Do you know chiefdom it is in?
Wit: I cant know the chiefdom because i did not grow up in Kono.
Pros: Describe what happened when you started basing in Ngaya?
Wit: When i was there, it was CO Isaac who took me together with Lansana. We were there at the barracks where the SLAs where. That was where we stayed.
Pros: Can you tell the court what was your relationship with Lansana?
Wit: He was my bush husband
Pros: For how long?
Wit: For seven years
Pros: Can you describe the time period of your relationship?
Wit: From 1994 to 2000.
Pros: What do you mean by bush husband?
Wit: When we were in the bush, we were together in the same place as husband and wife. We gave birth to children,when i say bush husband, it means he did not know any of my relatives to whom he could have gone to ask for my hand in marriage?
Judge: was this a marriage by consent?
Wit: I can say yes because i was not under gun point, at that time i was in the RUF and he fell in love with me when i was undergoing my training.
Pros: How many children did you have with him?
Wit: We had three but only two are alive now
Pros: And this is the same person who trained you on the radio?
Pros: The time when you were in Ngaya, what were your day to day activities?
Wit: Well, when i went to Ngaya, i still went to the radio station which was the SLA station where it was Maj. Sheikh Mamoud who was the brigade commander. It was there radio statiuon that i sued to go everyday. Sgt. Mbawa was the signaller there. I will be there and if there was any message for the RUF, they will give it to me and i will send it. If it were meant to be received, i will receive it.
Pros: Describe what was happening in the radio room?
Wit: I used to see the SLAs too communication. We used to talk alongside the RUF. The SLA stations in Freetown and any other place where their stations were. I too used to partake because i was interested in the job. I started learning their own moss codes.
Pros: Prior to this., had worked with a moss code?
Pros: So in the radio room itself, how many radio operators will be there per day?
Wit: I can say, i can remember, five
Pross: What was their composition?
Wit: SLAs, i was the only RUF
Pros: Did you learn their procedures there?
Pros: What do you mean?
Wit: I learned how they used to call their fellow radio stations, how they called for messages, how they wrote their messages, how they sent them and how they coded them, including the moss code where by you did not use the voice.
Pros: Do you remember if there were RUF and SLA stations in Freetown?
Wit: yes, i knew that the defense station for the SLA was there, JPK’s station was there, Sam Bickarie’s was there and Issa Sesay too had his own there.
Pros: Let me ask you about your other observations in Ngaya, did you ever see other commanders in Ngaya?
Wit: Yes, i used to see Sam Bockarie, Issa Sesay, Five Five and others, Gullit, i saw Akim, that was a place, sometimes because i was inside, commanders used to come from Freetown and they will pass through Kono and go. They were moving between Freetown and Kono.
Pros: Do you know whey they were moving between Freetiwn and Kono?
Wit: I got an information and i knew that most of them had people mining for them in Kono.
Pros; Who was Issa Sesay?
Wit: He was an RUF commander
Pros: Who was Akim?
Wit: I knew him to be an SLA commander
Pros: And Gullit?
Wit: I knew him as an SLA commander, Five Five too, all of them were commanders and honourables
Pros: Who were actually the miners?
Wit: The civilians
Pros: How do you know this?
Wit: I saw them, the escavated the gravel and they washed it. The RUF and SLA soldiers stood over them when they were working to ensure that they did not hide diamonds
Pros: Where specifically did this happen?
Wit: I saw it in Bumpeh, and one village called Bingema, and in Koidu too. I myself went to Bumpeh and saw civilians mining. In koidu, when you are entering into Koidu town, after the Five Five bridge, i saw the same thing there took.
Pros: These locations that you have mentioned, what district was this occuring in?
Wit: Kono district
Pros: Do you know the chiefdoms?
Pros: How come you are not familiar with chiefdoms in Kono?
Wit: Sometimes when you ask, you will know but where i grew up, i can talk about chiefdoms there but Kono i just went there during the AFRC time.
Pros: Did there come a time when you left Ngaya?
Pros: When was that?
Wit: I left Ngaya during the intervention when the ECOMOG dislodged the AFRC and RUF from Freetown.
Pros: Where did you go first?
Wit: I went to small Sefadu
Pro: Who were you with when you left Ngaya?
Wit: I was still with Foday Lansana
Pros: Were you with anyone else?
Wit: We were many, but those with me were the radio operators who had been with us when we were movning from Ngaya, like wako Wako, he was with us when we went to Small Sefadu.
Pros: Where is Small Sefadu?
Wit: Near Koidu, after Kokwima, when going to Tombodu.
Judge: We will not have the mid-morning break. Please adjourn court for 12:00.