First Session 10.00-12.00 (with 30 minutes delay in audio and video). There is only a daily summary of the first session, since the second session went into closed session after 55 minutes.
The Prosecution starts the examination of the witness and shows MFI 1 document with a signature.
Attacking Makeni and Tombo
The witness testified last Wednesday that their forces took Makeni. He was with Issa Sesay as his bodyguard. He was also with Issa Sesay in Waterloo. He would see any report with whom he was working. The Prosecution shows the witness a report from Raymond Katewo. Raymond Katewo was a Black Guard in the Waterloo area and was walking with Christ A Manneh. Mayor Christ A Manneh was an overall commander, a BFC (=Battle Field Commander). He was the commander for the soldiers in the front lines. The SLAs and Gullit were the first to enter Freetown.
The Prosecution asks the witness about Colonel Boston Flomo alias Van Damme, also known as Rambo. The witness testifies that Boston Flomo was also called Van Damme because he was a strong fighter. Van Damme was his nickname. Boston Flomo met with the strike force commander on 5 January. Issa Sesay instructed Boston Flomo to go away and to join Gullit’s group.
Kosso Town was a town after Hastings, on the left of Jewy. They attempted an attack on Kosso Town. The captured civilians were to be trained so they could join the witness’ group to increase the numbers of fighters. The Galant Men would train them how to fight.
Finally, they took Tombo road, because the ECOMOG forces were at Tombo. They wanted to attack Tombo. However, they did not succeed at all.
The Black Guards kept records of the diamond mining. One of the Black Guards was Joseph Bakundu, he would take the records. Joseph Bakundu was also a RUF commando. The witness saw a record of mining from this Black Guard. The Prosecution shows the document MFI 4 it states “Class: Black Guard”; “Subject: Record Book”.
The witness was in Kono as a Black Guard as well. Joseph Bakundu was his colleague Black Guard with whom he was working hand in hand. He would see the report Joseph Bakundu would make. The first page of the report states names: Abdul Konoma; Abduraman Kemara; Tom Bajillah…the witness states that he did not know Tom Bajillah.
It was Issa Sesay who ordered Josef Bakundu to take the reports. He was there as security and he should take record of every diamond that was found. If the diamond was more than one karat, they would get a percentage. The Prosecution reads the document: “Stage two Kono production” says “manners” or “miners”. The witness explains that the miners are the ones doing the job.
Griffiths is objecting for the Defense since the document is obscure and parts of the documents have been cut off. The Defense requests an original because they cannot make out some of the dates or the full extend of the document.
The Prosecution mentions that they do not have the original, since the original has been returned to the Sierra Leonean government. However, they will attempt to obtain the Book again. The presiding judge takes notes from both Griffiths’ and Hollis’ arguments and the examination proceeds.
The Prosecution reads from the document: “259.30 percent.” The witness explains that the diamonds were weighed. The point behind 259 is the percentage, nevertheless, the witness seems confused. The Defense argueshat the witness is not the writer of the report and that he is not an expert on diamonds. The Defense asks to what extend the witness can assist them the meaning of the document. Judge Lussick would like to know if the witness actually knows what is written on the document. The Prosecution proceeds and reads: “Total of diamonds 1260 pieces 259.30 percent”. The witness explains that the numbers refer to all the diamonds that were put together. After they have weighed everything they came up to 259.30 as the total amount. That is the karat. The Prosecution also wants to know what “Combatant production: 28 pieces, 6 carat and 25 percent” means. The witness said that this is the outcome of what the combatants would mine for themselves.
The Prosecution wants to clarify which Sam Bockarie was providing diamonds. There was a soldier calling himself Sam Bockarie, but that was not Mosquito. He just used his name. They would mine for this Sam Bockarie because he was in charge at that time. Did Issa Sesay had an adjutant called Jabbah? After the witness’ group had captured Koidu they went to Makeni and Waterloo. Issa sessay sat with his adjutant and reported to Issa Sesay. He sent a report to Sam Bockarie. The witness saw him preparing the document. On the last page of the document there is a signature line with “adjudant”, this signature is from Issa Sesay’s adjutant Jabba. The witness testifies that he has seen the document and that after Issa Sesay completed his mission he sat with his adjutant and told him to report. The witness saw him signing. Later the document was read to the witness in Krio language by the investigators of the trial.
This raises questions to the Defense, they argue whether the witness knows about the document rather than what has been read to him during the investigation. Judge Sebutinde agrees and mentions that even if the witness did scout trough the document, she is not sure whether he understood the document. The Prosecution explains that the witness can read and understand some English. Also, it is permissible to read a document to a witness who is not a completely fluent speaker and then to ask if he recognizes the events and if the events that have been read to him are consistent with his testimony. The Prosecution argues that this is admissible. Judge Lussick would like to know in this respect whether the witness, when he first saw the document, did understand what he was reading or that he understood what he was reading after an investigator read it to him. Judge Sebutinde explains that they have trouble with this document and asks: “Is it based on what was told to him or what he knew at the time he read the document? We want to know his knowledge of the document before anyone read it to him.”
The Prosecution proceeds with the examination and questions the witness how Jabbah knew what to put in the document. The witness testifies that Jabbah told him that Issa Sesay wanted a report on all that he captured and how the mission was done. He did not see Issa Sesay’s signature. He was with Issa Sesay in the Kono and Makeni operations. So when the investigators showed the document to him he realized that this was the document that he had seen before.
Judge Sebutinde: “Did you understand the document and why it was read to you? Are you able to understand the content of the document without the interpreter?” The witness says he understands and starts reading. He understands “RUF”, “SL” and “Sam Bockarie”. “Battlefield commander”, “Subject”, “comprehensive report”, “date”. He tells the Court that the date is not clear to him, 1999.
The Prosecution would like to know whether the document reflects to the events as the witness recalls them. The witness says he was with Issa Sesay in Buedu. Judge Sebutinde concludes that it seems that the witness does not really understand the document.
The Prosecution moves on to the materials mentioned in the document and asked the witness about these materials that are mentioned in the document. The witness starts telling about the materials they went with when they arrived at superman ground. Those were not materials as mentioned in the document. They asked 60 boxes of AK rounds, 30 of LPG Bombs, 50 AK rifles, 25 pieces of combat.
Once more the Defense objects and argues that the witness is contradicting the content of the document. It is the testimony of the witness that is at significant, not the document. Judge Sebutinde notes to the Prosecution that they are cross-examining their own witness, Judge Lussick is wondering whether this is the same document the investigators showed to him. The witness says this is the same document as in 1999 and he saw it again during the investigation. They used the items the time they went to Superman ground (near Koidu). They had the Singama Target, which was across the Moa river going to Kono.
The Defense adds once more an objection and argues that the witness understands the document rather than the Prosecution reading the document to him. Presiding Judge Doherty agrees and points out to the Prosecution that they are leading the witness. However, the Prosecution proceeds reading the document to the witness. “Members of delegation” were the people that went with Issa Sesay on the mission to attack Koidu town. The witness knew them. The Prosecution mentions several names and the witness states their position: Mayor Edward Venbay-RUF guard; Captain Mohamed Kamara- RUF junior commander [Note: 10th Prosecution witness?]; Captain Mori Jiba: junior commander and Black Guard; Abdulah Massulai-SLA on the ARFC. The witness did not join them.
The witness explains the name “Guinea Highway”: it was on Superman Ground and because the road would go to Guinea it is called Guinea Highway. During the attack on Kono and Makeni, they captured Nigerian soldiers and sent them to Mosquito’s ground.
Travelling to Lome
In Buedu the witness was waiting to leave for Lome. Zigzag Marzah [Note: 21st Prosecution witness], Jungle would bring ammunition. He went to Lome. First he went in a UN helicopter to Monrovia. The witness’ group landed at an airfield at Springfield. He saw many soldiers with rifles guarding the airfield. They were SSU, Special Security Unit under the (executive) mansion, Charles Taylor’s mansion. There was also SSS (Special Security Service). They ate in the guesthouse and left that same evening and went back to Springfield. They met a small UN aeroplane and went to Lome. After arriving in Lome there were vehicles that took them to hotel Defavory. He went upstairs and he met Fodah Sankoy. They got there around 7 o’clock in the evening.
Leather Boot was the AFRC / SLA. The SLA took him together and that he should go and order his own group. The Black Guards sat together and decided to prepare documents so Fodah Sankoy could know all that was happening. Later he handed the documents over to Foday Sankoh. Junior Vandi, also a Black Guard, wrote the report. The witness tells the Court that this is the document he was talking about. He knows Junior Vandi’s handwriting and he knows what is in it.
The witness stayed in Lome for two weeks. Foday Sankoh said that they would go back to Mosquito. The witness went together with Doctor Williams, who was their head when we were going. Doctor Williams was medical personal in the RUF. They went back to Monrovia and saw Benjamin Yeaten come to the place. Yeaten said that his dad, Charles Taylor, knew they had arrived. Pa (Taylor) gave him 200 US$ to buy some items because they had to go back inside. He took them to Springfields airport again and went to Vahun. Joe Tuha was part of the Special Forces and trained in Libya. Tuha was a minister in Tayler’s cabinet without a portfolio. He did not have a specific position. He was Liberian. The witness and the group were picked up in verhicles once in Vahun and went to Buedu.
Travelling to Buedu
Joe Tuha had an UN helicopter. The helicopter was WEAWA airline, blue and white. They went to Buedu to meet Sam Bockarie. The witness was in Sierra Leone for one month and Sam Bockarie sent somebody who was riding a motorbike and said that Sam Bockarie wanted to see him.
The Court adjourns until 12:00 p.m.