Prosecution Continues with Examination of Witness Albert Hindowa Saidu

9:30:(10:00 with 30 minutes delay in video and audio)

Judge: If there are no other matters, i will remind of his oath. Please proceed Mr. Werner.

Pros: Good morning Mr. Witness. Before we move forward, i’ll like to clarify a few issues you talked about yesterday. You told us that Mohamed Tarawaly left the ground for Guinea and Sankoh was not in Sierra Leone, who then was in charge of the RUF?

Wit: Sam Bockarie

Pros: Yesterday you talked about a 40 barrel gun and said engineers came from Liberia to repair that weapon. From what group did these engineers come?

Wit: From Taylor’s government

Pros: Did they belong to any group?

Wit: I think it was the Liberian Government headed by Taylor. I dont think NPFL was in existence anymore.

Pros: you said the RUF would have used it against the governent of Sierra Leone?

Wit: If they were successful in repairing it, RUF would have used it to attack the government.

Pros: How did you know that?

Wit: The weapon was at the crossing point. I went there and met some other guys there. I saw our own artillery members and they told me that after the weapon was repaired, we were to use them. They named a woman who came from Liberia called Matina who was to operate the weapon.

Pros: yesterday you spoke about some by-passes used to enter NPFL territory in Liberia, you said while you were in Kailahun, Bockarie tried means to use by-passes to enter Liberia, now what period was this?

Wit: During the period when we came from Peyama with the Crack Force. That was the time he was trying to enter Liberia to get ammunition.

Pros: can you remember the year?

Wit: Aroud 1996. It was in 1996

Pros: Did anyone outside Sierra Leone use the by-passes to enter Sierra Leone?

Wit: Well, to my knowlege, because i was in Kailahun, i understood that Bockarie had tried to enter the by-pass

Pros; was Bockarie able to locate the by-passes?

Pros: They entered once but when they wanted to return, they ran into an ambush

Pros; When you said that they entered once, do you know who entered?

Wit: No

Pros: Who set up this ambush that the RUF ran into?


Pros: So where did the ambush take place, Sierra Leone or Liberia?

Wit: Liberia

Pros: yesterday you spoke about different brigades in the RUF, and you said, at first, there were only two brigades and then later, there was another in Mabguraka. How was it called?

Wit: We heard it was called the Lion Force Strike Brigade.

Pros: You gave evidece yesterday about Bockarie using a satelite phone in Koindu on your birthday, you described the sateline phone that it had a pouch, with a zip around, he took the phone and started communicating, first, what did you mean when you said he had a pouch with a zip round it?

Wit: It was something like a bag with a zipper around. It contained the satelite.

Pros: What do you mean when you said he took the face of the screen?

Wit: Well when he opened the bag, he opened the satelite inself just like you will open a laptop computer, that was what i meant.

Pros; What about the mouth piece?

Wit: It was connected to the phone and he spoke into it. It was attached to the phone.

Pros: You said yesterday that on your birthaday in Koindu while Bockarie was communicating to Liberia, an Alpha Jet came and bombed, you said he jumped into his vehicle and left. Who jumped into his vehicle?

Wit: Sam Bockarie

Pros; Where did Shabado go?

Wit: He went with Bockarie

Pros: When they left, when was the next time you saw Shabado?

Wit: it was when Bockarie called me to take the letter to Jungle

Pros; What did Shabado tell you about that particular trip to Liberia?

Wit: Well on that occassion, i did not have any discussion with Shabado on that trip. I only took the letter from Bockarie and left.

Pros: What if anything did Shabado tell you later about that trip they made on your birthday?

Wit: The time i took the letter, the only time i saw him again was when i took the letter to Jungle. After sometime again, i went to Buedu again latter but we did not discuss anything.

Pros: Yesterday you said you had two discussions with Shabado, what did you mean when you said Shabado told you they went there for the same material business?

Wit: I told you that i understood they went to Liberia twice apart from my birthday. I told you Shabado said they went to Taylor to get materials for the RUF. The materials were arms and ammunition.

Pros; You said that supplies were brought to Koindu in 1998,  you said fighting was going on, which fighting was that?

Wit: When the Guineans attacked Koindu.

Pros: Did the materials come before or after this attack?

Wit: The materials came during the attack on Koindu.

Pros: So did the materials come during the attack?

Wit: yes they came during the attack.

Pros: Yesterday, you told us about the use of the securities by senior RUF members, you said they will always send one of their securiteis to serve as their eye on the various gounds, who do you mean by senior RUF authorities?

Wit: Like Sankoh, two will be Bockarie, then Issa Sesay, Kallon, PB Vandy, all of them had their representatives on the front lines so they will be sending reports about what was happening on the ground.

Pros: When did Sankoh do something like that?

Wit: Since the time i knew Sankoh in 1991, his black guards were always on the front line. They will compile reports and give them to him.

Pros: When did Bockarie do that?

Wit: Like at the time i was in Koindu, he sent Ray there.

Pros: When did Sesay do that?

Wit: he too did the same thing. His security was with us at Koindu and other front line bases.

Pros: What time period did Jungle travel between the RUF and Taylor?

Wit: Even duriung the AFRC overthrow, we heard that Jungle came to the RUF territory. he stayed with Bockarie for sometime and went back. We got that information.

Pros: Where did you hear that?

Wit: During my first trip from Kailahun to Freetown, when i went back to Kailahun, they told me Jungle was around but he had left for Liberia

Prps; When was that?

Wit: 1997

Pros: How did you know that?

Wit: In the RUF, we used to discuss these as senior officers. During our conversations, they will say what happened in another officer’s absence. These were not hidden things.

Pros: Why did Jungle come to Sierra Leone at that time?

Wit: The fact that Jungle was almost part of us, when AFRC took over power, he came to know what was happening on the ground. he knew that initially, the soldiers and the RUF were enemies and now we were becomning friends, he might have come to see the reality on the ground.

Pros: What do you mean by he might have come to see the reality on the ground?

Wit: he came to see what exactly was happening, whether we were actually working with the AFRC.

Pros: Yesterday you said Jungle brought Materials and other things, what other things did he bring?

Wit: he brought medicines, anti-biotic, injections, etc

Pros; How did you learn about this?

Wit: We had a unit called combat units, they were in charge of the sick and wounded. If drugs came, we’ll know that they had come. The materials that Jungle brought were taken to Bockarie and the radio operator will inform the various front lines. That was how we knew.

Pros: So you were told by the Radio Operators?

Wit: Yes sir.

Pros: What else to your knowlege did he bring?

Wit: he used to bring food as well like rice.

Pros: yesterday you told us that you saw jungle when you went to deliver the letter to him, did you see him again after that?

Wit: yes i saw him on another occassion

Pros: When?

Wit: During a meeting that Bockarie convened for all commanders in a secret place

Pros: When was this?

Wit: During 1998.

Pros: And could you explain what happened at this meeting?

Wit: We received a radio message from Bockarie that battalion commanders, adjutants and two representatives should report for a meeting. So we all went. We went to the meeting. I saw Jungle there. It was a meeting concerning Issa Sesay and the pressure on RUF/AFRC by ECOMOG and CDF and the way forward. Bocklarrie had given diamonds to Issa to take to Taylor in  Liberia. Issa returned after a week and reported that the diamonds were missing. So Bockarie called the meeting for him to explain to all of us. Since that was our means of survival, ie, giving diamonds to Taylor for metarils. It was during the meeting that i saw Jungle. he brought another Liberian general, Gen. Ibrahim. After Bockarie had given us his explanation, he told us we had visitors who had come to join us. He introduced them. Jungle also got up and addressed the meeting. he thanked all of us in the meeting and said he was there to tell us that the RUF/AFRC was recognized by Taylor and said we should not worry because we had been pushed out of the city. He adviced that we try and capture Kono. He adviced on the maintenance of an airstrip in Buedu. That was where i saw Jungle.

Pros: i just want to clarify a few things. Who was the commander in Koindu?

Wit: Harris Momoh

Pros: When did he come to Koindu as battalion commander?

Wit: It was when the guineans attacked Koindu.

Pros: When did you become adjutant in Koindu?

Wit: When Bockarie sent Harris as commander, i started acting as adjutant

Pros; Who were those present at the meeting?

Wit: Harris, I was there, Superman, Issa Sesay, Gbao, there was an adjutant called Rashid Sandy and other RUF aithorities, most of them were present.

Pros: Who was Rashid Sandy?

Wit: He was Jr. Commando. He was the man who was acting as the general adjutant for the RUF. He was acting in CO Kposowa’s position.

Pros; For whom did rashid Sandy work at that time?

Wit: he was working directlly with Bockarie

Pros: Who if anyone from the Kono brigade was present?

Wit: Like Issa Sesay, he was with that brigade. P.B Vandy also. I saw almost all the RUF senior officers, the vanguards,

Pros: can you say how many of them were present?

Wit: No sir

Pros: Was Superman  there?

Wit: yes

Pros; What did you mean when you said high table?

Wit: they were seated in front of us just like the judges are sitting right now.

Pros; Where was Gen. Ibrahim?

Wit: he was on the high table

Pros; What did you learn about Gen. Ibrahim?

Wit: That was my first time seeing him. he also got up and butressed what Jungle had already said, that Taylor sent them to come and prove to us that he was still with us and that he was going to get us materials to strike again and capture places like Kono.

Pros: What did you say when he introduced himself?

Wit: he also said what Jungle had spoken about. he said that sinec most of us had seen Jungle before, he was now coming in directly from Taylor and advicing us on what to do. He said he was part of the Liberian government. He said he was working under Taylor.

Pros: You said you were told to capture Kono so that you can get your resources. What did they mean by resources?

Wit: Kono had diamonds, that was our way of getting money to buy materials.

Pros; Thank you. Now let me ask you few more questions about the attack against Koindu. You said the attack took place on June 16. How are you able to remember the precise date?

Wit: especially June 16. That was a day that i knew even before the war as The Day of the African Child. So when that day comes, you will see children between ages 5, 6 upto 14, they will be dressed like judges, police, etc to say they are the future. Thats how i came to remember that day.

Pros; So are you say that was when the Guinean attack happened?

Wit: yes

Pros: Can you say  little bit more about that attack? Where were you?

Wit: I was in Koindu, it started about 4:30 in the morning. That was when the first bomb was fired. I woke out and came outsied. The second bomb landed. We started hearing firing from the Nongowa crossing. That was how the attack started. We re-orged and attacked them. We mounted an ambush there. They moved and crossed the river with their armoured cars. They fell into our ambush. We fought but they sent us into disaray. I came to the radio. The radio men had packed their equipment and went to another village. Bockarie and others had heard  but did not know what was going on. I went on radio and told Bockarie. I told them we needed reinforcement. That was how the attack happened.

Pros: How long did that attack last?

Wit: The Guineans deployed untop of the hill overlooking Koindu. They were seeing into the main town. We were fighting them. When we got the reinforcement, we by-passed them and attacked them in an ambush. We did that from June upto Dec. 24. They left the hills and and went to the river side. They are still there and it has become a diplomatic issue because they have laid claim to the land.

Pros: When did you see Rashid Sandi again after that meeting?

Wit: I saw him in another meeting, two meetings. As a result of this pressure, Bockarie summoned a meeting of frontline commanders. I saw him there. Late in 1999, Rashid himself summond a meeting as an acting General for all adjutants and clerks after we had captrured Kono and hand advanced. People started promoting themselves to ranks not to the approval of the CDS or GSO. He called that meeting and addressed all adjutants and clerks. because some commanders were not literate, he called that meeting and adviced us. He did a memo as to how people will attain promotions. That was when i saw him again.

Pros: What does CDS stand for?

Wit: Chief of Defense Staff, Sam Bockarie

Pros? What of GSO?

Wit: GSO1. It was a unit for all combatants that worked with the CDS who helped make assignments of commmanders and giving the promotions. The adjutants were now giving promotions without the approval of the CDS and GSO. We called the GSOs, G1 in short.

Pros: : When did Bockarie summon the meeting for the commanderrs and clerks?

Wit: In 1998. It was at that time that he said he himself should go and meet Taylor and talk to him about the difficulties on the ground. He left Issa Sesay in charge as acting CDS.

Pros: How do you know Bockarie said that?

Wit: I was present at the meeting

Pros; Who else can you remember being at that meeting.

Wit: Like CO Eagle, the second brigade commanders came. High Rash was there, Superman, Gbao and other front line commanders were there.

Pros; Who was eagle?

Wit: He was a front line commander,a jr. Commando

Pros: Was Eagle at the meeting with Jungle and Gen. Ibrahim?

Wit: he was present at that meeting.

Pros: You told us about another meeting chaired by High Rash. How did you know about the written document at the meeting?

Wit: he prepared the memo and stated the rank and file. he gave the list/memo to us.

Pros; You told us yesterday that in 1998, how many times in 1998 did you go to Bockarie’s house?

Wit: I used to go there because my family was based in Buedu. When ever i went there, i’ll go and greet him.

Pros: In 1998, what can you remember happening at his house?

Wit: I took two to three days leave to go to my wife. I got there at night. In the morning, i went to see Bockarie. I used the back door to get to his house. I saw people cooking. I went to the Verandah and met him there with some other vanguards. I met him counting money. he was giving the money to Shabado telling to go to the riverside. We were trading with the Guineans on the other side of the river. The Guineans will bring goods and we traded with them batter system. We’ll give them palm oil and they will give us other items. He gave Shabado money to go and get some goods there urgently. I greeted Shabad and he said i had met him going out. He had a white paper, Bockarie. The white paper was folded and was on the stool. he told me he was trying to go to Taylor. he took the paper and said he was taking the stones to The father, that was how we used to call Taylor to get materials and take back Kono. He said when i come back, we’ll launch an offensive. I thanked him, we ate and i went back to my family.

Pros: How do you know that the moneys were dollar bills?

Wit: I know dollars, when i see them, i know. They were dollars.

Pros: To your knowlege, how did the RUF get dollar bills?

Wit: being that we were doing diamond deals with Liberia, sometimes, Bockarie will request for cash so we’ll use it to buy goods like tomatoes, cigarettes, etc

Pros: From whom did he ask for cash?

Wit: From Taylor

Pros: What if anythung did Shabado tell you about the dollar bills?

Wit: That particular morning, as soon as he took the money, he just told me he was going out. That was all we spoke about and he left.

Pros: Where were you when Bockarie displayed diamonds?

Wit: I was there that morning when he showed them to me.

Pros: Whe did this happen?

Wit: That was in 1998, before the big offensive that was to take place in Kono.

Pros: When  that happened, who else was present there?

Wit: there were some senior RUF vanguards who were there, like Collins. Even some civilians, elders in the town who will go and greet him in the morning, were also there.

Pros: Yesterday, you told us you were promoted to 2nd Lt and sent to Kenema by-pass, in 1998 when Harris was in Koindu, what was your rank?

Wit: I was  captain

Pros; How long were you a captain?

Wit: That was after the Crack Force mission. I was in that position until after the AFRC coup

Pros: And what happened after 1998 with your rank?

Wit: Harris became Lt. Col and I was made Major. Issa called me and gave me the splips that had our promotions. Issa signed as Ag. CDS.

Pros: You said you went to Buedu and received the papers. What did you mean?

Wit: the promotion slips that Issa had approved.

Judge: I think we are upto time and its a covinient time to break. Please adjourn court to 12:00