9:30am: Court resumed in open session and the cross-examination of Witness TF1-338 continued with voice and facial distortion. Defense counsel Terry Munyard asked several questions relating to RUF armed trade with ULIMO, RUF’s involvement in fighting against LURD rebels in Liberia, RUF/AFRC support from Ukrainians, infighting in the RUF and the RUF minning activities in Kono.
Sale of arms to the RUF by ULIMO
Defense counsel asked the witness whether he was part of any deal to purchase arms and ammunition from ULIMO fighters in 1996 and 1997. The witness responded that he went with Sam Bockarie and other RUF commanders to purchase arms from ULIMO in 1996 and that in 1997, Sankoh gave money to Sam Bockarie for the purchase of arms from ULIMO and the witness was there. The witness said that the ULIMO commanders from whom arms were purchased were Farah Ideed and Musa Sidibay, aka Jungle. Asked whether he knew Vamunya Sheriff, the witness said that while he heard about him, he never actually met him in person.
Witness Fought Against LURD Rebels
Defense counsel asked the witness whether he was involved in fighting against LURD rebels in 2001. The witness admitted that he indeed fought against LURD rebels and was stationed at Foya, in Liberia. The witness said while he knew that LURD rebels attacked Liberia from Guinea, he could not tell whether they had direct support from the Guinean government. He said that the RUF and NPFL fighters, however, attacked Guinea because LURD rebels had used Guinea as a base to attack Liberia.
Supply of Arms by Ukrainians
Defense counsel asked the witness whether the RUF received arms and ammunition from Ukrainian mercenaries. The witness explained that the RUF did not receive direct support from the Ukrainians but that during the AFRC/RUF rule in 1997, Ukrianian mercenaries brought arms and ammunition which were delivered at an airstrip in Magburaka. He said that information about the arrival of these arms was disclosed in a meeting by Johnny Paul Koroma.
The witness admitted that while planning the attack on Kono, General Ibrahim Bar tried to get Ukrainian mercenaries to help in the attack with a reward of minning concessions given to them in Kono. The witness said he could not tell whether Gen. Ibrahim Bar was working for any specific person but that he first saw him in 1996 in Zogoda.
Infighting in the RUF.
Defense counsel asked the witness whether he agreed that there were infightings in the RUF. The witness said that while there were infightings, they were not continuous. The witness said that the infightings were caused mainly by disagreements in command structure. The witness further explained that Issa wanted Superman to take orders from Rambo, something that Superman detested. The witness said that Superman was also suspected of stealing money in 1997 and diamonds in 1998. Superman was also later suspected of having contact with the United States officials to betray Charles Taylor.
Defense counsel asked the witness about when the RUF controlled diamond fields in Kono. The witness said that the RUF first controlled diamond fields in Kono in 1992. They later controlled the diamond fields in Kono and Tongo in 1998-99. Defense counsel elicited information from the witness about the two pile system. The witness explained that the two pile system ensured that for all minning activites undertaken by individual miners, the gravel was divided between the RUF and the individual miner. The witness further explained that individuals were only allowed to hold diamonds when such diamond was not upto five carats. All other diamonds amounting to five carats and over were handled by the RUF.
Counrt adjourned for mid-morning break.