Examination of 38th Prosecution Witness TF1-585

12:00pm: Defense counsel for the prosecution Mohamed Bangura commenced the examination of Witness TF1-585 in closed session. The witness, an RUF insider, testified with voice and facial distortion.

When the court moved into open session, prosecution counsel asked the witness several questions relating to radio operation trainings undertaken by the witness, communications that took place between Sam Bockarie in Buedu and Benjamin Yeaten in Monrovia, and visits paid by Jungle and Samson to Sierra Leone.

Radio Operation Trainings and Communcations in the RUF

Prosecution counsel asked the witness about radio trainings that were undertaken by the RUF. The witness explained that at the Northern Jungle, they underwent radio operators’ training. She said that the same training was undetraken at camp Zogoda.  Asked what the training entailed, the witness said they were trained on how to use the radio antena, the RUF code book, log book, grade references, call signs, frequencies, etc.  When asked how the radio system operated, the witness explained that there was a control station, which was a special channel to which all RUF communications went. She said the control station worked with other sub stations. The witness called various call codes and told the court where the various stations were stationed.

When asked about internal radio communications in the RUF, the witness said that there were many radio communications among RUF commanders such as Sam Bockarie, Issa Sesay, Johnny Paul Koroma, etc.

Prosecution counsel Bangura asked the witness whether any communications took place outside Sierra Leone. The witness responded that communications took place between Sam Bockarie in Sierra Leone and Benjamin Yeaten in Liberia. The witness said that a radio operator from Liberia, called Silay, was based in Kenema to coordinate communication between Bockarie and Yeaten.  She said that when Bockarie wanted to hold private discussions with Yeaten, he would use the satelite phone instead of the RUF radio.

RUF/NPFL Exchange Visits

The witness explained that Jungle, Samson and Junior used to visit them in Kenema from Liberia. She said that Jungle was a member of the SSS. She said when Jungle and others visited, they would all go to Tongo where mining activities were taking place. The witness said she also saw Senegalese visit from Liberia. These visits, she said took place when Sam Bockarie was based in Kenema. She said on one of those visits, they all jointly moved to Freetown to visit Johnny Paul Koroma.

The witness said that they left Kenema when they were attacked by Kamajors in 1998. She said they retreated to Buedu because the junta regime had been removed from Freetown by ECOMOG forces. When they got to Buedu, the witness said Yeaten called Bockarie and told him that he had instructions from Taylor to ensure that Johnny Paul Koroma was brought to Buedu as he had something good for himself and Sankoh. She said that when JPK got to Buedu, a meeting was called where it was said that in the absence of Sankoh, JPK was to be taken as the overall commander and all orders taken from him.

The witness spoke about several visits that were made by Bockarie to Liberia, during which he brought materials to Budua. The witness said that when Bockarie came back from one of those visits, he informed everybody that he had been promoted by Taylor to the position of Brigadier.

At 1:30pm, the court adjourned for the day.