Prosecution Continues Examination of Witness Albert Hindowa Saidu

9:30: (10:00 with 30 minutes delay for video and audio): Court resumes with testimony of Prosecution Witness Albert Hindowa Saida.

Judge: Mr. Witness, you are reminded that you are still under oath. You can continue your examination Mr. Werner.

Pros: Thenk you your honour. Mr. Witness, yesterday you said you were captured by the RUF and assigned to Target C with Kallon, how long were you with the RUF?

Wit: Up to the end of the war

Pros: How long were you adjutant to Kallon?

Wit: Right up to the end of the war

Pros: When was that?

Wit: 2001

Pros: Yesterday, i asked you some questions about the civilians who were captured and trained with you, do you remember?

Wit: yes

Pros: Refering to the transcripts yesterday, you said about 100 people were sent to the training camp, mixed with young people, youths, males as young as 9, and females, who were also young. What happened to these young girls after the training?

Wit: After we graduated, some senior officers took them to their houses to take care of them.

Pros: What kind of training did they undertake?

Wit: They went through the same training that we underwent

Pros: Can you clarify what you mean by senior officers taking the females to take care of them?

Wit: the ones who trained us, the commanders, they would take the young ones to go and help them with domestic chores in their houses.

Pros: You told us about the kind of training you received at Pendembu training base, who was the ideology instructor at the base?

Wit: I cannot recall the names of all the bosses there.

Pros: was there an ideology instructor?

Wit: At that initial stage, we just underwent military training.

Pros: Where did the small boys go after the training?

Wit: Some of them went with us to the front line while some went the houses of the bosses

Pros: To your knowlege, how long did the RUF have SBUs

Wit: Right up to the end of the war

Pros: When you went to Target C, did you see any SBUs?

Wit: Yes

Pros: To your knowlege, who if any one was Sankoh’s deputy?

Wit: he was called Mohamed Tarawally

Pros: Do you know if Tarawally was known by any nickname?

Wit: yes, we heard him being called Zino

Pros: Yesterday you explained what happened to the ones who tried to escape from Pendembu and what was done to them, how will you spell Tabay?

Wit: It was just a slang and so i dont think it has any standard spelling

Pros: When you were with Kallon at Target C, you received a letter, a directive coming from Sankoh, what did you mean when you said it was a strong directive?

Wit: I later came to know the meaning of directive in military terms as one used by the high command and it was an urgent issue.

Pros: What did you mean by high command?

Wit: Like Foday Sankoh. I came to know that he was the only one who used directives like those

Pros: Why only him?

Wit: He was the leader of the revolution.

Pros: When you say according to your understanding, Sankoh was the overall leader and the only one who had the right to use that expression, what did you men?

Wit: he was the overall boss, there were other bosses but they will not use directives when sankoh was present.

Pros: So what will the other bosses use if they did not use directives?

Wit: They will use instructions or orders, but not directives

Pros: You said you and Kallon met Sankoh at Mansion Ground, who called the place Mansion Ground?

Wit: Kallon told me

Pros; Why was the place refered to as Mansion ground

Wit: It was because that was the secured place for Sankoh

Pros: Who was assigned for security to the Mansion Ground?

Wit: We had Jr. Commandos and some vanguards who were refered to as Executive Mansion Guards

Pros: How long were they called this way?

Wit: From the start of the war, right up to the time when the govt. troops pushed us to the Liberian border, we changed jungles and names. Then they started calling them Black Guards

Pros; Who changed their title?

Wit: Sankoh himself

Pros: What happened when you went to Pendembu with Kallon?

Wit: Sankoh called him for briefing. I stayed outside and he went in for the briefing with Sankoh

Pros: When you went to Pendembu, how was Sankoh moving around?

Wit: When we got to the Mansion, they took our arms from us and Kallon went into the compound. I saw a vehicle in the compiund. I think he was using that vehicle.

Pros: Do you remember what kind of vehicle it was?

Wit: The way i saw it, it could have been a Toyota Van.

Pros: Did you guys bring back anything after the meeeting?

Wit: When kallon came out of the Mansion and met me at the gate, he told me that the Lion had given him ammunition for us. They gave us the ammunition and we took them to Target C.

Pros: What kind of ammunition?

Wit: AK-47 and RPG bombs

Pros: To your knowlege, how did Sankoh get the ammunition?

Wit: To my knowlege, we heard that he had come from Liberia to Sierra Leone so i just thought he had got them from Liberia.

Pros: Lets get back to your duties with Kallon, you said you saw a letter from Sankoh, if any, what other kind of documents did you see when working with Kallon?

Wit: When we were there, we did have a radio set so radio messages will be prepared from Pendembu and brought to Kallon.

Pros: How many messages did you see?

Wit: I cant remember the figures but many messages used to come.

Pros: What signature did you see when working with kallon?

Wit: I recall seeing Sankoh’s signature

Pros: Apart from the signature, what else did you see on the letters?

Wit: There was a stamp bearing RUF.

Pros: Did you see this stamp again?

Wit: Yes i saw it on about one or two occassions again.

Pros: Did you see other signatures other than Sankoh’s?

Wit: It was more of Sankoh’s signature that i saw

Pros: Did you know any one among the Executive Mansion Guards?

Wit: I knew a guy called Capt. Ben, i also knew Jackson Swarray, we used to call him Ray

Pros: What was Capt. Ben’s nationality?

Wit: Sierra Leonean. He died during the time when we were at Zogoda, about 1994/95

Pros: How much did you interact with Capt. Ben?

Wit: I interacted with him on several occassions

Pros: What do you mean by interacting with him?

Wit: When we met, we’ll talk together, share ideas, etc

Pros: At that time, what if anything did he tell you about his moves?

Wit: Well when we were at Target C, he was part of the group that captured Kono. When he came from Kono, he’ll normally pass through Bunumbu and we’ll interact with each other.

Pros: Where else to your knowlege did he go?

Wit: He used to travel with Sankoh because he was his bodyguard. They will go to Liberia and come back to Sierra Leone.

Pros: How do you know he went to Liberia  with Sankoh?

Wit: We would meet when they went to Liberia, when they came back, we’ll meet with each other and talked.

Pros: What else did he tell you about his trips to Liberia?

Wit: He will tell me that they had brough ammunition for the RUF.

Pros: You told us that he was in Kono, what did he tell you when coming from Kono?

Wit: On one occassion, he told us that he had some diamonds. he showed us where he kept the diamonds. He said he was taking the diamonds to the Lion, Sankoh.

Pros: What if anything happened to the diamonds?

Wit: he took them to Sankoh

Pros: To your knowlege, what did Sankoh do with them?

Wit: I felt that he took them to Liberia

Pros; Why did you feel that way?

Wit: Because that’s where he used to go to get ammunition

Pros: What else if anything did capt. Ben tell you about his trips to Liberia?

Wit: he told me they’ll bring ammunition for the RUF from Liberia

Pros: Did he say anything else?

Wit: Thats one of the major things he used to tell me

Pros: Did you talk with Ben again about diamonds?

Wit: No

Pros: You told us about Jackson Swarray, who was he?

Wit: he was also an Executive Mansion Guard

Pros; What was his position among the guards?

Wit: he was the head of the guards

Pros: What if anything did you know of his moves?

Wit: At some point, we understood that they went to Liberia, Taylor saw him and said they resembled and asked that Swarray should stay in Liberia. Swarray stayed in Liberia with Taylor for some time.

Pris: How did you know about that?

Wit: When Capt. Ben came, he told us

Pros: How long did Swarray stay with Taylor in Liberia?

Wit: he was there for few months

Pros: When you were with kallon, did you take any trip out of Sierra Leone?

Wit: When Ben used to pass through our Target, i once told him i’ll want to go and see Liberia. Fortunately, when sankoh was going to Liberia, they chose me as one of the escorts.

Pros: Where did you go in Liberia?

Wit: We met in Kailahun town and we went on board an open truck van, and went to Gbanga in Liberia.

Pros: Who else was in this convoy?

Wit: There was one Liberian vanguard who was called C.O Lion

Pros: How many vehicles did you go with?

Wit: It was just a pick up van

Pros: What happened when you got to Gbanga?

Wit: When we got there, we got to a particualar check point. They asked us the escorts to step out of the vehicle and had us disarmed. They asked us to wait at that particular area. We were not allowed to go to where Taylor was.

Pros: what happened when you were there?

Wit: We ate, CO Lion brought some ammunition, AK-47s, RPG bombs, Land mines and we left for Sierra Leone. Sankoh, however, stayed in Gbanga.

Pros: How did you know he was in Gbanga at that time?

Wit: Well, we left him there.

Pros: What happned to the ammunition that you brought?

Wit: They were unloaded at the mansion ground and those of us who went as escorts returned to our various Targets.

Pros: Lets talk about Capt. Ben’s trips that he told you about. What did he say about who gave him ammunitions when he went to Liberia?

Wit: Charles Taylor

Pros: You talked about RPGs and Land Mines, who taught the RUF how to use Land Mines?

Wit: An artillary unit from the NPFL came and trained our own men how to use Land Mines.

Pros: What else did they teach the RUF?

Wit: They brought another weapon called chaser that they said was used to shoot down Alpha Jet fighter planes.

Pros: To your recollection, when did this happen?

Wit: It was around late 1992 to early 1993.

Pros: To your knowlege, were the trainings for use of these two weapons taking place at the same time?

Wit: The Land Mines training came first and then the chaser but they took place within the same time frame.

Pros: You told us yesterday about an NPFL Special Forces man called Ndopa. Where was he in 1992?

Wit: When we were at Target C, he was at Target B, facing the Daru barracks. He led the attack on daru barracks. That was where Rambo died, he was also a Special Forces man from Liberia.

Pros: What was rambo’s nationality?

Wit: Liberian

Pros: I’ll be grateful if the wintess is shown a document which is already in evidence, P-65. During your time with the RUF, did you see this document?

Wit: No

Pros: Can you recognize the signiture at the bottom?

Wit: yes

Pros: Whose signature is that?

Wit: Sankoh

Pros: What about the round mark around the signature?

Wit: RUF

Pros: And at the top, there is CIC Charles Taylor, what does CIC stand for?

Wit: Commander in charge or commander in chief

Pros; Can you just take some time to familiarise youyrself with this document?

Wit: Ok

Pros: At the second paragraph, there is a mention of Daru barracks, is it the same Daru barracks that you spoke about?

Wit: yes

Pros: You talked about the NO. 2 in RUF being Tarawally, at the time you were at Target 2, where was Tarawally based?

Wit: he was in Kono

Pros: When was that?

Wit: 1992-93

Pros; Who if any one was with him in Kono?

Wit: He was with RUF fighters there.

Pros: can you remember any group that was with him at that time?

Wit: Yes, the Action Force

Pros: Who was in charge of the Action Force in Kono?

Wit: It was Tarawally himself

Pros: What did you learn about that group?

Wit: Kono was the first big town that the RUF captured that had lots of properties that other commandos will go and take/loot. Later, Co Mohamed started arresting commanders who went to Kono to loot. Commandos used to go to Kono without obtaining passes. Co Mohamed set up this force to monitor people who went to Know without the pass. They arrested people without the pass and punished them.

Pros: Why were the soldiers beaten by the Action Force?

Wit: It was because they didnt want them to abandon their own Targets to go to Kono.

Pros: Do you remember the month of April 1992?

Wit: yes

Pros: What if anything can you remember that happened in April 1992?

Wit: That was when we heard that the soldiers had overthrown Momoh’s government and established the NPRC

Pros: What you told us about CO Mohamed and Kono, was that before the coup?

Wit: It was before the coup.

Pros: What kind of mining was going on in Kono?

Wit: They will take civilians to the mining ground and force them to mine.

Pros: Around that time, what was the situation at the Sierra Leone/Liberian border?

Wit: the border was still open. The NPFL still engaged the border at Lofa County.

Pros: What if anything happend to the border?

Wit: When NPRC took over, we lost Kono and they pushed us until we went to the border. At that time the ULIMO forces had taken over the border.

Pros: What if anything happened as a result of this?

Wit: The ULIMO were fighting against Taylor in Liberia. I dont know if they understood that we used to get supplies through that border. Before the ULIMOs took over that border, kallon had taken some troops to Liberia and he couldnt come back because the border was closed. So they were helping the NPFL to fight against ULIMO so that the border will be open.

Pros: Why were they helping the NPFL to fight against ULIMO?

Wit: Because that was our supply route.

Pros: To your knowlege, when did this happen?

Wit: Around 1993

Pros: What did you mean by saying that was your supply route?

Wit: It was through that route that RUF passed to go to Liberia to collect ammunition or to get man power

Pros: What do you mean by man power?

Wit: Which ever side needed manpower between RUF and NPFL, the other group will supply such man power.

Pros: How long was Kallon in Liberia?

Wit: he was there for sometime. He was not able to open the border. We the RUF guys had to lose some men fighting to open that border. Kallon had to go through Guinea to enter RUF territory again.

Pros: What was the RUF high command’s reaction when the border was cut off by ULIMO?

Wit: the reaction was not good.

Pros: When did kallon return to Sierra Leone?

Wit: I cant say the time but he stayed for quite a while.

Pros: Where did you go after your Bunumbu assignment?

Wit: I was now in Kailahun, working with CO Mohamed. I joined the Action Force in Kailahun. I was working with his adjutant to attend administrative matters.

Pros: How long did you stay there?

Wit: Until we moved to Koindu when NPRC pushed us out of Kailahun.

Pros: What happened after that?

Wit: sankoh said we were now embarking on Gorilla Warfar. he divided the jungles. Himself and Sam Bobcakrie went to Zogoda and CO Mohamed went to the north.

Pros: How long were you with CO Mohamed in Kaliahun?

Wit: From 1993-94

Pros: Why did Sankoh divide the jungles?

Wit: It was to attack the enemy from the back.

Judge: We’ll now take our morning break and resume at 12:00. Please adjourn court for 12:00.