12:00pm: Court resumed after mid-morning break and defense counsel Mr. Anyah continued the cross-examination of Witness TF1-045 Augustine Sama Mallah. Defense counsel asked several questions relating to the Kamajor attack on Camp Zogoda in 1996, the radio operators that worked with Foday Sankoh and the witness’s trip to and from Ivory Coast via Liberia.
Attack on Camp Zogoda and Sankoh’s Radio Operators
Defense counsel Mr. Anyah asked the witness about the attack on Zogoda by Kamajors and Sierra leone government forces when Sankoh travelled to Ivory Coast for peacetalks. The witness confirmed the attack but was not sure of the exact year that the attack occured. The witness said that two groups moved out of Zogoda, one led by Mohamed Tarawalie, aka Zino and the other led by Mike Lamin. The witness was part of Mike Lamin’s group and together, they retreated towards the Pujehun/Liberian border.
Defense counsel asked the witness about the radio operators that worked directly under Sankoh. The witness mentioned several names, saying that Sankoh had many radio operators but some of them were not permanently based at Zogoda. Among the names he mentioned were Zedman and High Command. He also said there was one called Motiger. He said that the two radio operators that were permanently based at Zogoda were Zedman and Mohamed Koroma, aka, High Command. When asked about CO. Nyaa, the witness said that he was one of the radio operators but was not permanently based at Zogoda. Defense counsel asked the witness whether he knew of Dauda Fornie, aka DAF and Alice Pyne as radio operators. The witness responded that he knew them as radio operators working with Sankoh. When asked about the radio operators that accompanied Sankoh to Ivory Coast, the witness said they were Motiger, Zedman and Omar Gbessay.
Defense counsel told the witness about a radio operator called Moinama, aka The Cat. Counsel said that Moinama testified against Sankoh during the treasin trials in the High Court of Sierra Leone. Counsel pointed out that Moinama in his testimony said that he accompanied Sankoh to Ivory Coast and was with him in Nigeria when he was arrested. The witness then said that he now recalls The Cat as a signaller to Sankoh.
Witness Trip to Ivory Coast via Liberia
Defense counsel asked the witness several questions about his trip to Ivory Coast via Liberia. The witness had earlier testified during examination in chief that they went to Liberia, were helped by a ULIMO commander Charles Zulu to contact Sankoh in Abidjan and that Taylor helped them obtain passes to travel to Ivory Coast. Defense counsel sought to establish that ULIMO fighters were enemies of NPFL and suggested to the witness that a ULIMO commander helping RUF fighters to talk with Sankoh might be tantamount to same ULIMO fighter helping Taylor. The witness agreed with counsel’s suggestion but said that at that partcular, they had no contact with Taylor and that they were stranded at Bopolo.
The witness said that when they got to Liberia, they had no money and so Mike Lamin had to visit Taylor who gave them $100. The witness said that he did not see Taylor. Defense counsel pointed out a portion of the witness’s previous statement to the prosecution where he said while he did not talk to Taylor, he saw him. The witness agreed with counsel’s proposition. Defense counsel further pointed to the witness’s statement made two weeks ago that he did not accompany Lamin to the meeting with Taylor. The witness responded that when certain statements were obtained from him, there were problems with terpretation. The witness reiterated his earlier position that it was Taylor who helped himself and Mike Lamin to obtain a pass to travel to Ivory Coast. He said that Mike Lamin met with Taylor at Kongor Town in Monrovia. Defense counsel pointed out to the witness that Mr. Taylor was residing at Mamba Point at that particular time. The witness agreed but said that Taylor had an office at Kongor town where he saw other NPFL fighters. Counsel put it to the witness that at that time, the NPFL had been pransformed into a political party and that the UN had disarmed thousands of fighters. The witness said that the NPFL members he saw at Taylor’s Kongor town office were not armed men.
The witness said that together with Mike Lamin, they hired a vehicle which took them to the Liberian border with Ivory Coast and they walked the remaining distance into Ivory Coast. Defense counsel pointed out the distance from Danani to Abidjan in Ivory Coast and the witness agreed. The witness said that he travelled with Mike Lamin on the trip to Abidjan. The witness. however, agreed with counsel that he had told the prosecution earlier on that he did not accompany Mike Lamin on the trip to Abidjan. The witness said that Mike Lamin was arrested in Abidajan and he had to make his way back to Liberia. The witness said that he was originally stranded in Ivory Coast and Pa Musa Sesay gave money to CO Brown to go get the witness and his colleagues out of Ivory Coast but that CO Brown escaped with the money. He said that Sam Bockarie also told Jungle to go get them out of Ivory Coast but because Jungle delayed, he had to leave by himself to get back to Liberia. The witness said that when he crossed into Liberia, he met Jungle who heelped him to get to Gbarnga before he eventually returned to Sierra Leone.
Defense counsel pointed out a portion of the transcript in the AFRC trial when the witness testified that he escaped from Danani in Ivory Coast because he had his own money amounting to $100 and went to Monrovia. The witness responded that he escaped from Danani but did not use his own money.
Court adjourned for the day.