3rd Session: 70th Prosecution Witness Mohamed Bah is Called to the Stand

The Hague

October 22, 2008

Cross-examination continued

The witness remembered that on March 4, 2004 she met with an investigator of the Prosecution and she told them about the events that happened. She knew they were going to use that information in a court case. In July 2004 she went to Court to satisfy herself in explaining about those who disturbed her and to prosecute them. The witness said she would not like to see the ones responsible punished, it would not bring the man back who supported her and her children, she wanted the people of the Court to help and support her.

Her time in The Hague was her first time out of Sierra Leone. She has heard of the name Charles Taylor. In March 2006 she was living in Freetown. It was from the government that she heard that Charles Taylor had been arrested. The witness does not know why Charles Taylor was arrested, nobody told her.

Death of her husband

Concerning the death of her husband the witness testified that the same rebels who urged her out of the bush were the same rebels who killed her husband. She confirmed that she saw him hacked, shot and saw him dying. Anyah read a previous statement to her in which she said that her husband was struck with a stone. The witness now said that this did not happen to her husband but to another man. In another statement that Anyah read to her she stated that one of her aunts found her in the hospital and reunited her with her children and her husband who had been beaten with a big stone. The husband died from his head injuries after her release from the hospital. When asked, the witness agreed that someone told her he was dead. Anyah put before the witness that a few minutes ago she said she saw her husband die and now she said that in the hospital someone told her that he was dead. The witness maintained she saw her husband die.

The witness said to Anyah she stayed in the hospital for two weeks. But in a statement she said she was in the hospital for one month and two days. The witness said that at that time she felt tormented and sometimes just said something. She does not feel tormented today.

Anyah subsequently read to the witness from the transcript of her testimony in the RUF trial: answer: my husband was lined up, they shot him and killed him. I never saw him again. Here the witness did not mention that her husband was hacked. There is no mention here of her being reunited with her husband by an aunt.

The witness said to Anyah her husband was not a fighter. Anyah took her to another part of the transcript: she said her husband was killed during the fight. This means he was a fighter. She said it meant that he was killed during the war. To Anyah she said that her children were not killed during the war. The transcript said: I had children but my children died so I don’t need to count their years. The witness said the transcript was not an accurate account.

The witness testified that she was injured at her right hand at the same time when her left hand was amputated. Earlier today she said at the brewery the one rebel injured her with a knife. No, said the witness now, she had only injuries from the bottle. The one rebel did hold the knife to her and threatened to cut her throat, but the other rebel stopped him from doing that.

The witness testified that both groups of rebels were in combat clothing. She does not know if they were AFRC or RUF.

There is no re-examination in chief, but Justice Sebutinde has some questions relating the death of the witness’s husband: Was he hacked to death, shot to death or hit with a stone? Witness: he was hacked to death. Sebutinde: Did he die on the spot or did he live a few days more? Witness: he died two days after that.

Presiding Judge Doherty thanked the witness for giving her testimony, wished her a safe journey home and dismissed the witness.

70th Prosecution witness TF1-084

The witness will testify in open session without protective measures under Rule 92bis. Prosecutor Mohamed Bangura will introduce the witness. The witness is sworn in on the Quoran and will testify in Krio. Defense Counsel Terry Munyard will cross-examine the witness.


The name of the witness is Mohamed Sampson Bah, 55 years old, born in Kisi Town in Freetown. Bah is married, used to have two wives, divorced one, now has one wife. He has seven children. He does not work, friends help him. Before the war and before his amputation he was a businessman. He has education on primary school level. He is from the Fula tribe and speaks Fula and Krio. He testified on April 6, 2005 in the AFRC trial. A transcript is put before the witness and he adopted this transcript as his testimony in the AFRC trial. The transcript is marked for identification as MFI-1. A statement that was evidence in the AFRC trial, exhibit D3, is marked for identification as MFI-5. After the AFRC trial the witness made two other statements to the OTP and these are marked for identification as MFI-6. All documents are filed under Rule 92bis.


Defense Counsel Terry Munyard began his cross-examination and established the following. The witness was born in February 1948, so he is 60 years old and not 55. The witness remembered giving a statement to investigators on March 19, 2007 and giving personal information on a witness ID form. Since the amputation he has not been able to work or have an occupation. Munyard showed the statement of March 19, 2007 and the statement of May 23, 2008 to the witness. Both statements have been read back to him and they are correct.

Wives, wife or no wife?

The witness had two wives, has divorced the first and has been married to the second about 10 to 15 years. The name of his second wife and the name of his mother are the same. In the statement of March 2007 the witness is asked how he was regarded by his spouse and friends in the community. He was respected and a breadwinner. Now he has no wife and no respect as a beggar. The witness explained that at the time of the statement he had problems with his second wife and they were separated for a while.

Payments by the OTP

Munyard established the witness has not worked since his amputation. Munyard put a document before the witness that showed disbursements paid to the witness by the OTP. Some disbursements are for lost wages. The witness explained that he was given money for transport and food and that he used some of the money to support his family. Munyard told the witness he was not criticising him but maintained that the money given to the witness was more than the amount of money required for transportation.

At 4.30 p.m. Court is adjourned until tomorrow 9.30 a.m.