Friday November 14, 2008.
10:00am: Court resumed and defense counsel Mr. Morris Anyah commenced the cross-examination of Witness TF1-045 Augustine Sama Mallah in open session.
During said cross-examination, defense counsel Mr. Anyah focused on destroying the witness’s credibility by pointing out crimes committed by the witness himself while serving as an RUF fighter, as well as inconsistencies in the witness’s prior written statement to prosecution investigators and his oral testimony in court.
Crimes Committed by the Witness
Mr. Anyah asked the witness several questions relating to whether he took part in the killing, amputation and raping of civilians during the conflict. The witness admitted that he killed civilians but did not take part in amputations. Defense counsel asked the witness whether he raped any women during the war and the witness responded that he did rape women. Mr. Anyah further asked the witness whether he knew a lady called Beatrice who was captured when rebels attacked Sierra Rutile in 1995. He also asked the witness whether he raped Beatrice at anytime after her capture. The witness admitted to knowing Beatrice and to having raped her. The witness said that originally when he had sex with Beatrice, it was against her will but that she later became willing to stay with him. He said that Beatrice was with him from 1995 to 2000. The witness explained that Beatrice was originally captured by a rebel colleague called Solo. Solo, he said, was a signaller also known as Problem. The witness agreed that in using Beatrice for sexual purposes, she was kicked around like a football by himself and Solo. According to the witness, he had a girl child with Beatrice while Solo had two children with her. Beatrice, he said, is presently living with Solo.
When asked about his younger sister who was captured by RUF rebels at the age of 11-12 years old, the witness agreed that he gave her over to another rebel colleague called K-Man as a wife. He said that the sister was about 14-15 years when he handed her over to K-Man.
The witness agreed with counsel that he has been a killer and rapist.
Defense counsel also focussed on establishing inconsistencies in the witness’s prior written statement to prosecution investigators and his oral testimony in court. First, counsel put a document before the witness indicating that he had met with members of the prosecution team on about 30 occassions. Witness agreed to this. Presiding Judge Doherty pointed out that the list of meetings had skipped numbers 27 and 28. Defense counsel therefore made a correction that said meetings took place on 28 occassions.
In his first meeting with prosecution investigators on january 31, 2003, the witness told them he was captured by RUF rebels in 1994 and that he was taken for training at Camp Lion, near Kenema By-Pass. Compared to what he said in court, he was captured by RUF rebels in 1991 and was taken to a training camp at Gisiwulu. The witness admitted the inconsistency but said he priginally lied to prosecution investigators for a reason.
Defense counsel also pointed a portion of the witness’s written statement in which he said that he first saw Sankoh in 1994-1995. Compared to what he said in court, he first saw Sankoh in 1991 at the Gisiwulu training base.
On radio conversations between Sankoh and Taylor, in the witness’s prior written statement to prosecution investigators, he said that while at Zogoda, he would see the radio operator give a letter to Sankoh that Taylor wanted to speak with him but he did not know what the nature of their conversation was. In court, the witness said that he would be just a few meters a way from Sankoh while he discussed RUF operations with Taylor.
The witness said that in some of these cases, if the correct answers had occured to him, he would have corrected them but that what he has said in court is the correct account of what obtained during the war.
Top 20, Top 40 and Top Final
Defense counsel asked the witness about his knowlege of these operations during which Liberian fighters were driven from the RUF. The witness said that he heard of these operations but was not part of them. Counsel pointed out that according to other witnesses who have testified before the court, by 1992, as a result of these operations, the Liberian members of the RUF had been driven out of Sierra Leone. The witness said that as far as he knew, there were still Liberian fighters in Sierra Leone after 1992.
Court adjourned for mid-morning break.