October 7, 2008
After the mid-morning break Lead Defense Counsel Griffiths continued his cross-examination of Komba Sumana.
Griffiths established that Sumana was only familiar with “Blood” as a radio operator; there were other radio operators in Superman’s group, but the witness did not know them. Sumana knew about two radios, the one from Blood and a bigger one that was with Superman, he did not know who operated that radio. During all his time with the rebels the witness never heard mention of the name Charles Taylor in connection with radio messages. In Superman’s group of rebels the majority was Liberian, though the witness heard the name Charles Taylor mentioned only once and this was on the occasion mentioned before during the passing out parade.
Testifying in The Hague
When asked when he heard for the first time that he had to testify in The Hague, the witness answered that it was about a month ago.
Arms and ammunition
The witness is shown a map of Sierra Leone and Griffiths took Sumana through all the places that he travelled to and stayed in during his time with the rebels. Griffiths established that during the time of the attack on Freetown the witness was in Koinadugu and later in Makeni. The nearest Sumana got to Freetown was Lunsar. The arms and ammunition that was used for the rebel attack on Freetown was acquired through capture from ECOMOG on attacks such as on Mongo Bendugu and Kabala. Apart from the truck with guns at his passing out parade, the witness never saw any trucks bringing in arms and/or ammunition in his presence.
SAJ Musa: attack on Freetown and subsequent death
Griffiths established that it was SAJ Musa’s idea to go to Freetown and that SAJ Musa was of superior rank than Superman. They planned the attack together, but SAJ Musa was the one who went, the witness said he did not know the reason why. Sumana later heard that Musa was killed in an explosion by a fragment of a bomb.
Infighting between RUF and SLA
Griffiths put before the witness that there was a lot of infighting between members of the former SLA and members of the RUF. Mosquito was saying that Superman was too much being sidetracked by his attractive half Sierra Leonean half Lebanese girlfriend/wife and that he summoned Superman and his wife to come to his camp, an order Superman disobeyed. Sumana agreed and said this argument took place when the witness was in Kissi Town, after the attack on Kono but before his time in Kurubonla. Then Superman joined up with Musa but another dispute arose when Superman killed a bodyguard of Musa and it almost came to a full battle. Because of the first dispute Mosquito told Rambo to arrest Superman. At this time the witness was in Makeni. Sumana had not heard about the arrest warrant, but he heard shooting and Rambo got killed. At that time, as Griffiths stated, some SLA members left Makeni to become the West Side Boys. Sumana confirmed that from that time on he heard the name “West Side Boys” being mentioned a lot.
Treatment of civilians by Superman
Defense Counsel read parts of several statements to the witness where Sumana stated that Superman was treating civilians in not a bad way. The witness confirmed this, he never saw Superman kill or mistreat civilians and in Superman’s camp he never saw any killings taking place. Superman gave the order that women should not be raped for the first time in Tombudu and later repeated this order on several occasions. This behaviour was copied by many of his men, including Captain Wallace. Griffiths took Sumana to the incident that took place during the attack of Kabala. Wallace shot to death two rebels who had raped young girls. Even Savage, who was SLA, was reproached by Superman and told he should not kill anybody when he was in the advance team, the witness then stopped seeing corpses on the way.
Griffiths read out a statement where Sumana stated that the reason for SAJ Musa to go to Freetown was, that he had lost certain documents and wanted to obtain new ones.
When Makeni was invaded houses were burnt, but only in the barracks not in the town of Makeni itself. The RUF set up the Military Police and Sumana agreed that they did a good job maintaining law and order and discipline.
At this point in the cross-examination Court is adjourned for lunch break at 1.30 p.m.