October 15, 2008
Presiding Judge Lussick informed the Court of their decision regarding the Prosecution’s application for Prosecution witnesses TF1-195, TF1-206, TF1-197 and TF1-198 to testify under Rule 92bis. The application is granted, provided that the Prosecution makes these witnesses available for cross-examination.
61st Prosecution witness TF1-195
Prosecutor Christopher Santora announced that the next Prosecution witness will be TF1-195, a category A witness (victim of sexual violence). The Prosecution filed an application for the protective measures to be rescinded except b and c pertaining to the address of the witness. The Defense had no objections and the application was granted. The witness was sworn in on the Bible and will testify in Kono.
The name of the witness is Sia Kamara and she is 48 years old, from the Kono District. Her mother is Kono and her father is Temne. She speaks Kono and Krio. A transcript of her testimony in the RUF trial on February 1, 2005 is shown to the witness. Kamara adopted this transcript as her prior testimony and the transcript is marked for identification as MFI-1.
Lead Defense Counsel Courtenay Griffiths made it clear to the witness he was not going to ask her about the terrible things that happened to her and that he was only going to ask a few questions relating to her testimony. Griffiths cross-examined the witness and established the following.
Sia Kamara had been living in Tongo Fields for 15 years before the ECOMOG intervention. She was a petty trader and her husband was a miner. During these 15 years the NDMC was in control of the mining in Tongo Fields and life was good. The cause for the change was the ECOMOG intervention. When ECOMOG chased the junta out of Freetown and the junta rebels came to Kono, that was the time the attitude of the rebels changed. Kamara saw the convoy with Johnny Paul Koroma going through her village of Yegbema, Fiama Chiefdom, and confirmed Koroma was dressed as a woman. She was captured the day after and identified the commander of the rebels who captured her as Lieutenant Tee (spelling?). She can not tell the difference between RUF and AFRC soldiers or RUF and SLA soldiers. She can only tell that she can identify a man with a gun as a rebel. Her capture by the rebels was her first contact with the rebels, she does not know the number of rebels who were there, only that they were many. She agreed that the rebels amputated her because they accused her husband of being a Kamajor and accused her of being a Kamajor sympathiser. Kamara confirmed that she had met fleeing civilians who told her that Kamajors were coming from Koidu Town. The one who ordered the terrible things that happened to the witness and others was Lieutenant Tee, he gave these orders to many of his subordinates, men and women, some older and some younger. She does not know who Lieutenant Tee’s boss was. The languages the rebels were speaking included Krio, Mende and Liberian. The rebels told her they were coming from Freetown and were on their way to Fiama. After the horrible events the witness went to Freetown and spent time in a camp in/near Freetown. It was here she spoke for the first time to the investigators of the OTP.
Re-examination in chief
Prosecutor Santora asked Kamara what she meant when she said some rebels spoke Liberian. The witness answered that she would hear them say “Mah meh, let’s go” which she recognised as an expression used by Liberians whom she had met before.
MFI-1 (the transcript) is tendered as evidence as prosecution exhibit P201.
Presiding Judge Lussick thanked Sia Kamara for giving her evidence in this Court and the witness was dismissed.
62nd Prosecution witness TF1-206
The next prosecution witness is TF1-206, a category one witness who will testify in open Court without protective measures. The witness is sworn in on the Quoran and will testify in Krio.
The name of the witness is Alhaji Tejan Cole, born in Freetown in 1975, from the Temne tribe. The witness was educated until form 7 and speaks Temne and Krio. The witness gave evidence in the AFRC trial on 28 and 29 June 2005. The witness was shown a transcript and adopted this as his testimony in the AFRC trial and the transcript was marked for identification as MFI-1. A statement of the witness to prosecutors of this Court dated 4 July 2008 is shown to the witness, adopted as his statement and marked for identification as MFI-2.
Defense Counsel Terry Munyard cross-examined the witness and established the following.
In 1992 the witness was 17 years old and Valentine Strasser became president. The witness was living in Kono and was aware of the civil war. The witness was not aware that Strasser called for Liberian soldiers to form the STF to help him fight the rebels in 1993. But the witness was aware of Liberian mercenaries fighting in Sierra Leone during the mid 1990’s. The witness has been in Zimne near the Liberian border. There were many Liberians in Zimne, some were mercenaries and some were not. The witness visited Zimne frequently, he was there in 1992 and 1994, being there because his boss, a driver, took him there. He was able to communicate with Liberians, speaking slowly and speaking a little Liberian English.
There is no re-examination in chief, MFI-1 and MFI-2 were tendered as evidence as prosecution exhibits P202 (transcript AFRC trial) and P203 (statement to the OTP).
Presiding Judge Lussick thanked the witness for giving his evidence and dismissed the witness.
63rd prosecution witness TF1-197
Lead Prosecutor Brenda Hollis explained that due to recent illness of this witness and due to having only one Kono interpreter available, it has not been possible to properly prepare the witness for an examination in chief. The Prosecution therefore applied for an adjournment of the Court until tomorrow so this can be properly done.
Lead Defense Counsel Courtenay Griffiths said it would not be fair to the Prosecution to deny this application and the judges granted the application.
Subsequently Court was adjourned at 3.45 p.m. until tomorrow 9.30 a.m.