Mid-Morning Session: Defense Concludes Cross-Examination of Witness TF1-045 Augustine Sama Mallah

12:00pm: Court resumed after mid-morning break and defense counsel Morris Anyah continued and concluded the cross-examination of Witness TF1-045 Augustine Sama Mallah in open session. Counsel asked the witness several questions relating to RUF operation Spare No Soul, Sankoh’s release from prison and his return to Sierra Leone after the signing of the Lome Peace Accord, Bockarie’s resignation from the RUF, the witness’s relationship with other RUF commanders who have already testified in the Taylor trial and the issue of monies given to the witness by the Witness and Victims Section (WVS).

Operation Spare No Soul

Defense counsel asked the witness whether Operation Spare No Soul was the same as Operation Free Foday Sankoh. The witness answered that the two were the same operation with different names. This, he said was an operation that was launched to hit the whole country with some fighters going to Kono, upto Makeni, some to Kenema and its environs. The witness said he was with the group that headed to Kenema. The witness said that not all the operations were successful but in his own group to Kenema, they succeeded in taking Bunumbu, Segbwema, Tondolu, Bendu Junction and Jormu Kafaebu but that they could not capture Daru. He said that Akim led the attack on Tongo but that since he was not in Tongo, he couldnt tell what happened there.

Sankoh’s Return to Sierra Leone after the Lome Accord

Defense counsel asked the witness questions about the Lome Peace Accord and Sankoh’s return to Sierra Leone. The witness mentioned that Mike Lamin, Issa Sesay and Dauda Fornie, aka DAF were all part of the RUF delegation that went to Lome. The witness said he did not travel to Lome and so could not tell what happened there.  He said that after the signing of the Lome Accord, Sankoh returned to Freetown via Monrovia. He said Sankoh then travelled to Buedu and asked Bockarie to assign 30 bodyguards to him. The witness said he was part of those assigned to Sankoh as a bodyguard. He said that CO Vandy was head of Sankoh’s bodyguards. He clarified that CO Vandy, a Black Guard was different from Peter Vandy. He said that pursuant to the Lome Accord, Sankoh and Mike Lamin became part of the government of national unity. The witness said that like Sankoh, Mike Lamin had some RUF bodyguards. He mention one as a bodyguard called Kamara. The witness said that he was based at Sankoh’s house on Spur Road in Freetown. The witness said that he was in Tongo when Sankoh and others were arrested in Freetown on May 8 2000. Among those arrested, he said, were Akim, Momoh Rogers, Mike Lamin and many others.

Sam Bockarie’s Resignation From The RUF

Defense counsel asked the witness about why Bockarie left the RUF. The witness explained that there was a problem between Bockarie and Foday Sankoh. He said that Issa Sesay supported Sankoh in this conflict. He said that Issa mobilized armed men, including the witness to go and advice Bockarie in Buedu and that if Bockarie refused to take the advice, he would be attacked militarily. He said that when Bockarie heard that he was going to be attacked, he decided to leave as he said he didnt want to fight against any of his RUF brothers. The witness said that he was present when Bockarie communicated via radio that he was leaving the RUF and that he was going to seek refuge to Taylor, who had decided to grant him safe haven in Liberia. Defense counsel showed the witness a resignation letter written by Bockarie before he left for Liberia. Counsel said that in the letter, there is no mention of Taylor granting safe haven to Bockarie. The witness responded that the letter was left by Bockarie in his living room in Buedu but that his official communication to the RUF was via radio message in which he mentioned that Taylor was going to host him in Liberia. When asked how Bockarie crossed to Liberia, the witness explained that he went to Dawa, went through Foya Kama, then to Foya airfiled before he was taken to Monrovia. He said that Bockarie went with vehicles to Liberia. He said he heard that Bockarie went to Liberia with several fighters and civilians. When asked how he knew all these, he said that he heard then from Zedman and Beatrice who refused to follow Bockarie. He said that Zedman went with Bockarie to Liberia but that when they got to Balamu, he escaped and returned to Sierra Leone.

Witness’s Contact with Previous Prosecution Witnesses

Defense counsel asked the witness about contacts he has had with other RUF commanders who have already testified in the Taylor trial. Counsel asked the witness whether he has spoken with Isaac Mongo anytime this year. The witness said that he has spoken with Mongo but it has been about four to five months since they last spoke. The witness said he knows that Mongo has already testified in the Taylor case.  Asked whether they spoke before or after Mongo had testified in the trial, the witness said that he did not even know at that time that Mongo had testified in the trial. He said that they met on Railway line in Freetown while Mongo was going to church. The witness said that he only shared his sympathy with Mongo about his arrest and detention at Pademba Road Prisons.  When asked whether he knew that former President Kabbah granted clemency to all all accused persons who were arrested with Mongo, the witness said he learned about it when Mongo mentioned it.

Counsel asked the witness whether he has been in touch with Karmoh Kanneh. The witness said that while they have not seen each other in a very long time, they have been speaking via telephone frequently. The witness admitted that he has spoken with Karmoh Kanneh after his testimony in The Hague. He said that he told Karmoh Kanneh that he heard his name on radio that he was testifying in The Hague. He said Kanneh responded that he had gone and seen the whiteman’s land. He said that he did not ask Kanneh anything about the trial such as Taylor appearance or the kinds of questions that are asked or how witnesses are treated. He said he did not even tell Kanneh that he was going to testify against Taylor.

Monetary Payments to Witness

Defense counsel asked several questions about monies that have been given to the witness by the Witness and Victims Services (WVS). Counsel noted that since March 2005 to date, the witness has received an amount of Le. 3, 712,000 from WVS. The witness responded that that could be the case but that he has not been counting the monies given to him. Counsel further noted that the witness has received over Le. 500,000 for transportation, Le. 556,000 for medical, over Le. 1,600,000 for accomodation, and miscellaneous of over Le. 1, 200,000. Counsel noted that the overall amount of money received by the witness has exceeded Le. 7, 800,000. Counsel asked the witness about the work that he does and how much he earns per month. The witness said that he works as a masoner and that he earns Le. 350,000 as his monthly salary. Counsel noted that the witness’s salary at that amount will be Le. 4, 200, 000 for the year. The witness responded that the said amount should also be calculated over a three year period that he has been cooperating with the court. Counsel agreed that the amount will be more than what the witness has earned from the court so far.

That brought the cross-examination of the witness to an end and court adjourned for lunch break.