October 23, 2008
71st Prosecution witness TF1-098
The witness is a category one witness, will testify in open session, in Krio under Rule 92bis. Prosecutor Julia Baly will introduce the witness.
Rule 15 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence: Disqualification of Judges
Defense Counsel Morris Anyah raised a matter concerning Rule 15, Disqualification of Judges. When the 4th Prosecution witness TF1-114, Dennis Koker was going to take the stand mid January this year, the Defense applied for the judges to be disqualified pursuant to Rule 15 (Rule 15A says that a judge may not sit at a trial or appeal in any case in which his impartiality might reasonably be doubted on any substantial ground). This witness gave evidence in the AFRC before this very Chamber and the judges considered him a reliable witness. Therefore, according the Defense, the judges were biased as to his credibility and should be disqualified. Now another witness will take the stand, a witness who also has testified in another trial before this chamber and who was considered a reliable witness. The Defense’s objection continues and the Defense would like to submit a motion for reconsideration.
Prosecutor Baly said there was no sufficient basis for this Chamber to be disqualified hearing this witness. This Chamber has professional judges who make professional decisions without bias. This witness has been before this Chamber before, but was never cross-examined. Here he will.
The judges ruled there can not be an application to be reconsidered. The application was ruled on: the testimony was about a different accused in a different trial with different testimony. Regarding this witness: in the previous trial he was not cross-examined, in this trial he will; in this trial he will testify under Rule 92bis, while in the other trial he wasn’t. The judges concluded that the previous application can not be reconsidered, if wanted, it must be a new application.
Defense Counsels Morris Anyah and Terry Munyard conferred with their client, the accused, upon which Anyah announced the Defense did not want to make a new application.
Introduction of 71st Prosecution witness TF1-098
Prosecutor Julia Baly introduced the witness. His name is Alpha Jalloh. He was born in 1973 in Freetown, from the Fulla tribe. He had schooling up to form six and speaks Fulla, Temne and Krio. He speaks no English but does understand and read it.
On April 5, 2005 Jalloh testified in the AFRC trial. A transcript of his testimony is shown to the witness and he adopted it as his testimony. The transcript is marked for identification as MFI-1. On May 11, 2007 the witness made an additional statement. The statement is shown to the witness and he adopted it as his statement. The statement is marked for identification as MFI-5.
Defense Counsel Morris Anyah explained that by asking the witness questions it does not mean that the Defense does not understand that the witness underwent great suffering: his arm was amputated and he has lost family members in death.
Anyah began his cross-examination and established the following. Jalloh was born in 1973, so in January 1999 he was about 26 years old. On January 17, 1999 ECOMOG was advancing in Freetown. On January 18, 1999 Jalloh’s hand was amputated by a rebel named Tommy. The rebel commander in that area was Captain Blood. Tommy and Captain Blood were of the same group of soldiers who went to the bush and came back. They were former members of the SLA. Before January 6, 1999 the witness had seen them in the vicinity of Freetown. Tommy spoke Krio and was Sierra Leonean. Some rebels were in combat, others in half combat, yet others in civilian clothing, often wearing black T-shirts with “Tupac” written on them.
Knowledge of Liberian English
The witness was born and bred in Freetown, has visited many places in his country but has never been to Liberia or to any other country prior to his coming to The Hague. Some soldiers were speaking Liberian, the witness recognised the language, he has lived with Liberians in Freetown for quite a long time and he has also met Liberian civilians during time that he spent in Kono, prior to the time of January 1999.
STF (Special Task Force) and ULIMO (United Liberation Movement for Democracy)
The witness has not heard of the STF, the Special Task Force, or of David Livingstone Brohpleh. He has not heard that members of the STF were part of the SLA (Sierra Leonean Army) but he has heard that a faction of Liberians was fighting in the SLA. A copy of a statement from President Ahmad Kabbah before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission dated August 5, 2003 is put before the witness and Anyah quoted from it: “Kabbah said: I knew about the unit STF being in the SLA only on the day of the coup d’état. The army depended on it regularly.” The witness has heard of ULIMO and knew ULIMO soldiers were from Liberia. Anyah quoted again from the statement of Kabbah: “The NPRC government from Valentine Strasser inherited from the previous government ULIMO, and renamed them STF. They received salaries and allowances.” Anyah explained that the NPRC was the government of Valentine Strasser that ruled from January 1992 until March 1996. ULIMO was turned into the STF. ULIMO consisted of Liberians and they joined the SLA. The witness agreed that ULIMO was in the SLA. Anyah put before the witness that the rebels speaking Krio with a Liberian accent were ex-ULIMO soldiers in the SLA and that they were speaking Krio so they must have been in Sierra Leone for a while notwithstanding their speaking with a Liberian accent. Anyah quoted again from the statement of Kabbah: “General Brigadier Bropleh became leader of the STF and fled with the AFRC in February 1998. They played a role in displacing ECOMOG. They supported the January 1999 attack on Freetown.” Anyah explained that the STF was made up of former ULIMO fighters who were a participant in the invasion of Freetown in January 1999. The witness made clear that he does not know the names of the factions involved, all he knows is that rebels came to Freetown and that some were SLA and some were Liberian rebels.
Payments by the OTP
Anyah established that since the witness had been amputated he has not been able to work. The witness has received money from the OTP for transport, lost wages and medical care for a total of 2,707,000 Leones, an equivalent of USD 902.
Re-examination in chief
Julia Baly conducted a short re-examination and asked about his living with Liberians in Freetown. Jalloh explained that he did not live in the same house with Liberians, but that Liberians lived in his neighbourhood since about 1992, they were refugees, fleeing from the war in Liberia. Jalloh was in 1998/1999 in Koidu Town, Kono District, where many Liberians were living. Some would speak Krio but with an accent.
Documents tendered as evidence
MFI-1, the transcript, is tendered as evidence and became exhibit P10. MFI-5, the statements, was tendered as evidence as exhibit P211a (public) and the accompanying two pages ID forms became P211b (confidential).
Presiding Judge Teresa Doherty thanked the witness for giving his evidence, wished him a safe journey home and dismissed the witness.
Court was adjourned at 1.30 p.m.