Afternoon Session: Re-Examination and Conclusion of the Testimony of Witness TF1-045 Augustine Sama Mallah

3:00pm: Court resumed after lunch break and witness TF1-045 Augustine Sama Mallah was re-examined by prosecution counsel Brenda Hollis and he concluded his evidence against Charles Taylor. During re-examination, prosecution counsel Ms, Hollis sought to clarify certain issues that arose during cross-examination of the witness and these issues included the disagreement between the witness and Issa Sesay about shooting at Guinean soldiers, Bockarie’s resignation from the RUF, the witness’s trip from Monrovia to Sierra Leone, issues relating to Jungle, Senegalese, the Black Gadafa group, inconsistencies in the witness’s prior statements and the ULIMO cut off of the Liberia/Sierra Leone border.

Witness’s Disagreement with Issa Sesay

Prosecution counsel Ms. Hollis asked the witness about defense counsel’s questions regarding his disagreement with Issa Sesay. The witness explained that this had to do with his refusal to open fire at Guinean soldiers while they were in kailahun. When asked the explain the circumstances, he said that there were reports that the Guinean soldiers were firing gun shots towards Kailahun. He said that together with some colleagues, they went to the Sierra Leonean/Guinean border in Kailahun and they found out that the Guineans were on the Guinea side of the border trying to build a hut and that they were firing gun shots in the process. He said that they returned to Kailahun and sent the message to Bockarie and Issa who were based in  Buedu. He said that Issa moved and met them in Kailahun. He said that one of Issa’s bodyguards, Ishiaka, misinformed him and said that the Guineans were trying to attack RUF positions in Kailahun. Issa instructed them to go and stop the Guineans. He said that when they went to the border, they saw the Guinean soldiers on the Guinean side of the border, with no intention to attack the RUF. He said Ishiaka told them that based on Issa’s orders, they should open fire on the Guinean soldiers. The witness said he refused to do that. He said that he maintained position that he will only shoot at the Guenians if they crossed into the Sierra Leone side of the border. He said that he told his fellow soldiers to follow him to a village called Baidu and they did. He said Ishiaka convinced a few soldiers and they opened fire at the rebels. He said three rebels died in the cross-fire and several others were wounded. Ishiaka went and met him at Baidu and asked him to provide reinforcements. The witness said when he refused, Ishiaka accused of betraying his fellow fighters. The witness responded by saying that it was Issa who had betrayed the RUF because when he was given diamonds to purchase arms and ammunition, he came back and said the diamonds were missing. He said that Ishiaka then opened fire and killed an SLA soldier who was now with the RUF. The witness became mad and also wanted to kill Ishiaka but that his fellow fighters restrained him. Ishiaka went back and told Issa that the witness had convened a meeting and was inciting other fighters that Issa had betrayed the RUF by not accounting for the diamonds. He said that Issa sent for him to report to Buedu. The witness went there and Issa took his pistol to shoot at him but that he escaped. The witness was eventually sent to the frontline at Gbaima.

Counsel also asked the witness about the Guinea Operation in 2000. The witness explained that Issa asked him to go and join NPFL fighters planning to attack Guinea from Liberia. The witness said he refused to do so and this brought another disagreement with Issa.

Bockarie’s Resignation from The RUF

Counsel asked the witness where he was when Bockarie left Buedu for Liberia. The witness said that he was with Issa’s group of RUF and SLA fighters that moved from Segbwema to go and attack Bockarie in Buedu but by the time they got there, Bockarie had already left for Liberia.

Witness’s Trip from Monrovia to Sierra Leone

Counsel asked the witness about RUF fighters that had been in Liberia for some long time. The witness explained that those were part of the group that went to Liberia in 1991 but some of them refused to return to Sierra Leone. He said they stayed in Liberia and became part of the NPFL until they were disarmaed in 1997. Counsel asked the witness about the intentions of the RUF fighters that left Liberia in 1997 after the AFRC coup. The witness explained that they left together with some Sierra Leonean refugees in Liberia but that the RUF fighters intended to go back to their fellow RUF fighters in Sierra Leone. When asked about the issue of Refugee ID Cards, the witness explained that many civilians took the ID Cards but that they the RUF rebels did not have ID Cards.

Jungle and Senagalese

Counsel asked the witness about when he first saw Jungle in Sierra Leone. The witness said he saw Jungle in Kenema when he went to visit Bockarie. When asked about Senegalese, the witness said that he knew him and they referred to him that way because he was very tall, a prominent feature of people from Senegal.

Witness’s Prior Inconsistent Statement

Counsel asked the witness about inconsistent statements that he made when he first had contact with prosecution investigators. The witness told the said investigators that he joined the RUF in 1994. When asked why he said so, the witness explained that when the Special Court was first established, there were rumours that those people who joined the RUF in 1991 and who rose to the position of colonel will be indicted. The witness said that to save himself from this, he refused to tell the investigators that he joined the RUF in 1991 and that he rose to the position of Lt. Colonel. He said that even when the investigators tried to convince him otherwise, he believed that they just wanted to cajole him and will arrest him once they knew the truth.

ULIMO Closure of Sierra Leone/Liberian Border

Counsel asked that the map of Liberia, which was earlier on displayed by defense counsel be shown to the witness. The witness agreed with counsel that the Grand Cape Mount Region in Liberia borders with Pujehun in Sierra leone while the Lofa County region borders with Kailahun. Counsel referenced the testimony of prosecution witness Vamunya Sheriff when he testified that ULIMO gained control of the Grand Cape Mount from the end of 1992 to 1993 and that for Lofa County, they fought there at the end of 1992 to early 1993 and  took control of the region in 1993-94. The witness said that this was consistent with his recollection of events.

Counsel then asked the witness to confirm whether Action Man used to give letters to Sankoh that Taylor wanted to talk to him. He said he saw Action Man in Danani in 1996.

This brought re-examination to an end.

Judges’ Questions

Presiding Judge Doherty asked the witness whether he was present in Kenema in 1996 to implement Sankoh’s orders to kill and amputate civilians so as to prevent them from voting. The witness said he was present and took part in the operation.

That brought the witness’s evidence to conclusion.

Prosecution counsel indicated that the next witness is supposed to be TF1-358. She said that the witness arrived in The Hague late last night. She said that five pages of investigative notes pertaining to the witness’s testimony were only disclosed to the defense today and that defense counsel will need time to review the said notes in order to prepare for cross-examination of the witness. She said that if defense counsel are not prepared for the witness, the prosecution will not proceed with him.

Defense counsel Terry Munyard respomded that indeed disclosures were only made today and that defense will need time to prepare for the witness.

Prosecution counsel Ms. Hollis said that if defense counsel is not ready to proceed with that witness by tomorrow, then TF1-274 will be ready to testify.

Court adjourned for the day.