October 28, 2008
Defense Counsel Morris Anyah began his cross-examination and said he will show the video at some point during his cross-examination. Anyah explained to the witness that his questions would by no means undermine the pain and suffering the witness had undergone and established the following. The witness has two children, a boy and a girl. The boy is six years old and the girl is six months. In 1998 he lost all the children that he had at the time: two boys of 19 and 15, and a girl of 18. When the children were locked in the house with his aunt, the wife was with her relatives, they had a problem and separated. That wife was pregnant by another man and she left to live with her people. The wife he has now, is also war affected, they came together after the war. The sons were called Mohamed and Dauda, the girl was called Kadiatu. After the house was set on fire the witness and the four other men had to carry loads to Tombodu. When the witness was at Connaught hospital a video was taken. He remembered someone with a camera asking him questions. The day of his amputation was April 5, 1998. This date seemed to be in contrast with the date the witness gave in the AFRC trial on June 27, 2008: April 14, 1998.
The video is in Krio and English and was shown to the Court at this point, once without interpretation and once with interpretation.
Anyah established that the person on the video was the witness when he was in Connaught hospital. The video is marked for identification as MFI-5, and a transcript of the audio in English will be presented.
Anyah asked the witness what happened to his wife and children, because in the video the witness said that he left his wife and children in the bush. At the time of the making of the video the witness was not in a good state and he agreed that it was different from what he told in Court about his children being burnt alive. At the time of the making of the video he was not in the right frame of mind, he was half alive. The statement he made in Court was correct.
There is no re-examination. The photograph MFI-1 is tendered as evidence and became prosecution exhibit P217. The windows audio file showing the interview MFI-5 is tendered as evidence and became defense exhibit D72a. An official transcript of the translation of the audio will become exhibit D72b after the translation is agreed upon.
Presiding Judge Teresa Doherty thanked the witness for giving his evidence, wished him a safe journey home and dismissed the witness.
76th Prosecution witness TF1-217
Prosecution witness TF1-217 is a category one witness. He will testify in open session without protective measures. The witness is sworn in on the Bible and will testify in Krio. Prosecution Counsel Christopher Santora will lead the witness.
The name of the witness is Gibril Sesay, he was born in 1956 in Bagbema, Sandor Chiefdom in Kono. He has had secondary education up to form five and speaks Kono, Temne, Krio and a little English. Before the war he was a miner and a football player for the Kosmos Football Club.
Mining in Kono during the Junta period
When the war started in Sierra Leone the witness was no longer mining. He stopped mining when the junta and the rebels took over because they started seizing people’s gravels and would take all that was in there. The witness is familiar with the AFRC and also knows when they took over power in Sierra Leone. At this time the witness was in Koidu. The rebels would wait until the gravels were out. They would sometimes have a shoot out, people would run and the rebels would take everything. The junta was the soldiers and the RUF were the rebels. No sooner the junta took over, they and the RUF started taking people’s gravel from them. This happened all over Kono. The witness stated that he saw it and not only heard about it. This happened in Koidu town, Tombudu, even in Bagbema, the home village of the witness.
From 1982 until 1986 the witness was mining for Kasim Basma, a diamond exporter. Basma gave him a monthly salary and a reasonable support. Later he put money together and started mining for himself. At the time when the AFRC took over he had his own labourers working for him. The civilians, including the witness, noticed how the AFRC were treating the people. They would go to civilians at night, raping women and looting property. The witness was living with his wife, his three children and his sister. His children were very small, they were girls.
At this moment there will be a 20 minute break to change the tape and Court is adjourned at 11.45 p.m.