Prosecution Calls its Next Witness-TFI-590

Judge: If there are no other matters i will ask the prosecution to proceed with the next witness.

Def: The defense has an application to make. Your honours will recall that Mr. Taylor was removed from one detention facility to the other because repairs needed to be made to the one he occupied in the UN Detention facility. Well, the repairs are nor complete and tomorrow, Mr. Taylor is supposed to return to his original detention facility. Since Mr. Taylor has over 50,000 pages of reading materials to transfer, he wishes to be excused from court tomorrow so that he will be able to transfer all these materials. He wishes it to be know that for religious reasons, he cannot work on Saturday. He, however, gives his consent that the proceedings can continue in his absence.

Judge: His application is granted.  In the absence of any other application, prosecution can proceed with the witness.

Pros: The prosecution calls TFI-590. Pursuant to the order of this court, this will be a protected witness and will testify with facial distortion. The witness will testify in English.

Witness is sworn.

Pros; Good afternoon Mr. Witness. I am going to ask you some questions. I’ll ask that when you answer, you try not to speak very fast so that what you say is interpreted and recorded.

Pros: Can you tell the court your date of birth?

Wit: Feb. 26, 1972

Judge: Mr. Bangura, may i say that it has been a practice for the name of the witness be put in on record in a private session. That has been the practice

Pros: I agree. It has been the practice. We will also be doing same during the course of his testimony when he mentions certain names.

Judge: We’ll handle those when we get there.

Judge: In that case, we’ll be going into private session briefly and i’ll explain that to members of the public. Please put the court into private session.

 Court goes into private session for a few minutes.

Judge: We are back in open session, you may proceed Mr. Bangura.

Pros: Mr. Witness, in early 1998, do you recall that any thing happened in Kenema?

Wit: On the 15th of Feb, 1998, i was in Kenema and we heard rumours of war. So we left and went to Mano Junction, then to Segbwema and then to Daru.

Pros: What exactly were the rumours of war?

Wit: We heard that the kamajors and Nigerian forces were advancing towards Kenema. The whole city was on alert, rebels and soldiers firing guns and people running up and down.

Pros: Who were the rebels and soldiers?

Wit: The RUF and the AFRC

Pros: You said that the rumours were that ECOMOG and the Kamajors were coming and you have mentioned the RUF and AFRC, where were the RUF and AFRC?

Wit: They were in Kenema, in control of Kenema, the ECOMOG and Kamajors were advancing towards Kenema

Pros: Did you go beyond Daru?

Wit: Yes

Pros: Where did you go?

Wit: I went towards Bumaru, by then my wife was seven months pregnant and went through the Liberian border, accross to Vahun.

Pros: Were there any other people moving along that route apart from your family?

Wit: Yes, there were thousands of people, like a woman we met in Daru, we called her aunty with her husband.

Pros: In what direction were these people going?

Wit: Towards Liberia

Pros; What was the situation in Bumaru?

Wit: It was chaotic, the RUF and AFRC would search everybody. It was terrible there.

Pros: That will be my last question for today as we are out of time for the day.

Judge: Mr. witness, its 4:30 and we’ll have to adjourn for the day. Be reminded that you are under oath and you are not to discuss your testimony with any body. Please adjourn court for 9:30 tomorrow morning.