3:00pm: Court resumed after lunch break and the examination of Witness TF1-045, Augustine Sama Mallah continnued in open session. The witness testified about several issues including his return to Sierra Leone from Ivory Coast via Liberia, the AFRC coup and the AFRC/RUF mining activities in Tongo.
Witness’s Trip From Ivory Coast to Sierra Leone
The witness testified that when Sankoh was arrested in Nigeria, he left Ivory Coast and went to Liberia. He said that Mike Lamin with whom he had travelled to Ivory Coast had been arrested there but he was later released and he joined him in Liberia. The witness said that on entering Liberia, Jungle met him together with other people and told them he was on his way to get them out of Ivory Coast. The witness said that together with Jungle, they went to Gbarnga, where they remained until the AFRC coup took place in Sierra Leone. He said that while Jungle was making efforts to get them back to Sierra Leone, he became inpatient and travelled to Monrovia. He said he went to the Freeport in Monrovia, where the Sierra Leonean contingent of ECOMOG was based. The witness said that Mike Lamin met him there and asked to talk to Sam Bockarie. He said that at that time, Bockarie was already in Freetown with the AFRC soldiers. He said that Mike Lamin spoke with Bockarie and he heard their conversation. According to the witness, Bockarie told Mike Lamin that he should travel to Sierra Leone as he wanted him to head a delegation that would move to review the peace agreement signed in Ivory Coast. The witness said that they immediately left for Sierra Leone and met Bockarie in Kenema. The witness said that Bockarie and Mike Lamin travelled to Freetown while he stayed in Kenema.
AFRC/RUF Mining Activities in Tongo
The witness said that after a few days in Kenema, he travelled to Tongo where he met AFRC and RUF soldiers involved in mining activities. Among the soldiers in Tongo were Capt. Yamao Kati, Sgt. Junior, Capt. Eagle, etc.
The witness said that while in Tongo, he saw civilians used for mining purposes by the AFRC/RUF soldiers. When asked about the treatment metted out to civilians, the witness said that they were treated very badly. He said that some civilians were severely beaten and some were even executed. The witness said that he was also involved in private mining while in Tongo.
He testified that all diamonds over 5 carats were handed over to the PLO 2 based in Tongo, who took them to the Residence Minister East in Kenema, Eddie Kanneh, who in turn took them to Johnny Paul Koroma in Freetown. The witness said that when he travelled to Kenema to sell his own diamonds, he would visit Sam Bockkarie who was based in the town. He said that on those visits to Bockarie in Kenema, he saw Jungle who had travelled from Liberia to see Bockarie in Sierra Leone. He said that Bockarie told him that Jungle was sent by Taylor to collect percels of diamonds. The witness said that mining activities were also taking place in Kono and that Gullit was in charge there.
Supply of Arms and Ammunition to the AFRC
The witness said that he stayed in Tongo for two months and then travelled to Freetown where he served as senior bodyguard to Mike Lamin. The witness spoke of a meeting in Freetown where the AFRC Chief of Army Staff informed them that they would receive the first consignment of arms, ammunition and medicines at the Magburaka airstrip. He said that Major Dumbuya was sent to receive the arms, ammunition and medicines at the Magburaka airstrip.
The witness said that Mike Lamin sent him back to Tongo to go and mine diamonds for him there. The witness said that when he returned to Tongo, the mining policy had changed and that the soldiers and rebels were more harsh with civilians.
Court adjourned for the day.