October 13, 2008
Cross-examination of 54th prosecution witness Samuel Komba continued
Lead Defense Counsel Griffiths continued his cross-examination. During the cross-examination it seemed difficult for the witness to correctly understand the questions. It did not become clear if this was due to difficulties in the interpretation or to other causes. This made Griffiths have to repeat the same question several times and even the judges at times interfered to try and clarify matters.
The witness maintained that he did not know that Savage was an SLA soldier nor did he know the real name of Savage. A document is put before the witness, one of his previous statements to the OTP, where the witness stated that the real name of Savage is Sahr Buffa, who was an SLA soldier, born in Freetown and whose father was Chief Pa Buffa. The witness replied that at the time of his meeting Savage and his amputation, he did not know anything about Savage, that day being the first day he ever met him. Later the witness found out these details and was able to inform the investigators of the OTP. When asked who gave the witness this information about Savage, Komba answered that is was an investigator who told him all these details.
The witness has heard of Superman, but did not know if Superman ever tried to stop Savage from doing these horrible crimes. The witness has heard the word Junta but does not know exactly who they are. Griffiths established that before the events in February 1998 life was unaffected by the war in Tombodu and that in February 1998 it was the first time ever that Komba saw armed soldiers or rebels in Tombodu.
Savage was the only senior man or commander that the witness knew, he had never heard of Superman, but had heard during the war the name Mosquito and Sam Bockarie. The witness heard the name Charles Taylor and the name RUF on the radio.
The witness stated that he was not working at the time of his speaking with the prosecutors, due to his injuries. The witness subsequently showed to the Court his right hand which was hit twice with a cutlass, showed his left leg that was hit with an iron and is swollen up, showed his left side where he was hit with a bayonet, and showed his right leg where he was hit with a cutlass. The witness explained that it was Savage who did these things to him and even put a mattress on him and set it on fire.
As a result of those injuries the witness has not been able to work since 1998. Griffiths showed the witness a statement by the prosecution about payments of the OTP including lost wages. The witness maintained it were payments for transportation and other things and that he did not get paid. When asked how someone who cannot work could be paid for lost wages, the witness could not explain why they called it lost wages, but that it was an assistance given to him for coming to the Court in Freetown.
The Defense had no further questions and the Prosecution had no re-examination in chief. Prosecutor Bangura tendered the part of the transcript as evidence and the transcript became exhibit P189. The witness was subsequently dismissed.
55th prosecution witness TF1-074
Prosecutor Alain Werner made an application to rescind previous protective measures, pseudonym and screen, for this category one witness who will testify under Rule 92bis. The Defense did not object, the judges ruled the application redundant. The witness was sworn in on the Quoran and will testify in Krio.
The name of the witness is Sorie Kondeh, age 30, from the Mandingo tribe and has education up to form five. He speaks Mandingo, Maraka, Kono, Krio and a little English. The witness reads Arabic and English. Werner showed a transcript from the RUF case from July 12, 2004 to the witness, which was marked for identification as MFI-1.
At this moment Court was adjourned at 1.30 p.m. for lunch break.