Morning Session: Examination of Witness TF1-585 Continues

9:30am: Count resumed in open session. Prosecution Counsel Mohamed Bangura continued the examination of Witness TF1-585 who continued her testimony with voice and facial distortion. Prosecution asked several questions relating to radio communications between Sam Bockarie and Benjamin Yeaten, transportation of arms and ammunition from Liberia to Sierra Leone by Sam Bockarie and Jungle, mining activities in Kono and Tongo Fields, and planned attacks on Kono.

Radio Communications between Sam Bockarie and Benjamin Yeaten

Prosecution counsel asked the witness to go through various call signs that were used by the RUF. The witness went through a list of said call signs and also mentioned the rdaio which was stationed at Benjamin Yeaten’s house in Monrovia. She said that on several occassions, Sam Bockarie and Benjamin Yeaten spoke directly on radio and when they wanted to discuss confidential issues, they would talk on their respective sattelite phones. Asked how she knew the things that were discussed during these communications, the witness said that there were times when she was close to Bockarie when he spoke on radio and when he spoke on the satelite phone, Bockarie himself would tell them what he had discussed with Yeaten and sometimes, Bockarie’s bodyguards who would be present when he was talking would explain to her. She said she would also be present when Sam Bockarie would update Issa Sesay and Eddie Kanneh on his discussions with Yeaten.

Mining Activities in Kono and Tongo

The witness said that while mining activities took place in Kono in 1997, such activities became more effective in 1998. The witness said that while in Kenema in 1997, she saw Issa Sesay bring diamonds to Sam Bockarie. When asked how she knew of such diamonds being handed over to Sam Bockarie, the witness said that giving any detailed explanations will jeopardize her security as a witness. The witness said that in same 1997, the AFRC and RUF controlled mining activities in Tongo. She said that she was once part of Sam Bockarie’s convoy when he visited Tongo Fields. The witness said that while there, she saw civilians mining for AFRC and RUF commanders. The witness said that Jungle, Samson and Junior from Liberia were alsp part of that trip to Tongo. She said that these men were all members of Taylor’s SSS.

Diamonds Taken from Johnny Paul Koroma (JPK)

The witness said that when the AFRC government was removed from power in 1998, Yeaten called Sam Bockarie and told him Taylor had given instructions that JPK was to be brought to Buedu. The witness said that when JPK was brough to Buedu, Issa Sesay forcefully took diamonds away from him. She said that JPK was then taken to Kangama.

Sam Bockarie’s Visits to Liberia

The witness testified that while in Buedu, Sam Bockarie paid several visits to Buedu. She said that during those visits, Sam Bockarie came back with many arms and ammunition for use by the RUF. She said that sometimes, Jungle would bring arms and ammunitions from Liberia. The witness said that Jungle’s driver, Alpha Jalloh explained to her that the arms and ammunition were taken from Taylor’s residence White Flower, then moved to Yeaten’s house and then loaded into vehicles and brought to Buedu in Sierra Leone. The witness said that Bockarie also told them that to save them the burden of having to transport arms and ammunition by road from Liberia to Sierra Leone, it was necessary to have an air strip in Buedu, so that the arms and ammunition would be airlifted into Sierra Leone.

Meetings Held in Buedu to Plan the Attack on Kono

The witness said that in 1999, there were three different meetinsgs. In one of those meetings, the issue of Issa Sesay misplacing diamonds given to him to take to Liberia was discussed. The witness said that at that meeting, it was agreed that as punishment, Issa was to be sent to the frontline. That was when the Kono attack was planned. The witness said that it was agreed that they were to attack Kono and try to mine diamonds to replace those that Issa had misplaced. This mission was called Fiti Fata. The witness was not present at this meeting but said she got the information from those who attended. The witness said that the attack took place but was not successful. She said that a second attack on Kono was planned, led by Komba Gbundehma, during which instructions were given that they should cut off the arms and limbs of civilians, telling them to take their hands and feet off the war.

Court adjourned for mid-morning break.