10:00am: Court resumed in open session and defense counse Mr. Morris Anyah continued the cross-examination of Witness TF1-045 Augustine Sama Mallah. Counsel focussed a huge part of his cross-examination of the witness’s testimony regarding the orders from Sankoh to kill and amputate civilians in order to prevent them from viting in 1996, and Johnny Paul Koroma’s meeting with RUF commanders in Buedu in 1996 during which diamonds were taken from him and his wife allegedly raped.
Peace Before Elections/Elections Before Peace in 1996
Defense counsel asked the witness several questions about the disagreement between the RUF and the Government of Sierra Leone in 1996 regarding peace before elections as demanded by the RUF or elections before peace as suggested by the Government of Sierra Leone. The witness, in his testimony said that Sankoh gave orders to Morris Kallon and RUF fighters to attack Kenema, kill civilians and amputate their arms in order to prevent them from voting. The witness said that he saw five dead bodies of civilians killed and three civilians who were amputated. Defense counsel questioned the witness whether he actually went to Kenema on this operation or he had been told about it by Morris Kallon. The witness responded that he went on the operation to Kenema.
Defense counsel referenced statements made by the witness to prosecution investigators in which he is quoted as having said that the order to amputate civilians did not come from Sankoh directly and that Kallon had told him about the amputations when he returned. The witness responded that the orders came directly from Sankoh and that while he was not present when the amputations of civilians were done, he did see the said civilians after they had been amputated. The witness insisted that he took part in the operations. He said that he did witness the killing of the five civilians in Kenema.
Johnny Paul Koroma’s Meeting with RUF Commanders in Buedu
Defense counsel asked the witness about his testimony that Johnny Paul Koroma had a meeting with RUF commanders in Buedu during which diamonds were taken from him. He said that at the meeting, it was Johnny Paul himself who told the RUF commanders that he had some percels of diamonds. He said that CO Sammy and Major Dumbuya were at the meeting but that Alex Tamba Brima, aka Gullit was not present as he was in Kailahun town. The witness said that he was with Mike Lamin at this time and that they were both present at the meeting. When asked whether Ibrahim Bar was present at the meeting, the witness said he still does not remember who Ibrahim Bar was. He said that Rambo, who was Johnny Paul Koroma’s Chief Security Officer (CSO) was present at the meeting. He said that while Kallon had a house in Buedu occupied by his family, he was not present in the town at that time. The witness said that Issa Sesay raped Johnny Paul Koroma’s wife in Buedu.
Defense counsel referenced the testimony of another witness who said that Johnny Paul Koroma’s wife and Rambo had some problems and that Ibrahim Bar was present when this incident took place. Witness Mallah said that he heard of the incident but was not present when it took place. Counsel asked the witness whether anybody fired any weapon during the meeting in Buedu and the witness said that RUF commanders including Issa did fire weapons. He said that was done as a threat to Johnny Paul Koroma and his family. He said that Johnny Paul asked that they all put their diamonds together and take them to Charles Taylor in Liberia for arms and ammunition. He said that the RUF commanders on their part did not want Johnny Paul to be part of any mission to contact Taylor and so he refused to hand over his own percels of diamonds. He said that Johnny Paul told them that the diamonds did not belong to him alone and that he had to consult other senior officers before handing over the diamonds. According to the witness, the RUF commanders on their part thought Johnny Paul wanted to escape with the diamonds.
Defense counsel referenced a previous witness who had said that Rambo was upset at being sacked as CSO by Johnny Paul’s wife and so he went and told the RUF commanders that Johnny Paul had diamonds and he wanted to escape with them. The witness responded that may be that was said to Issa Sesay and the other commanders but that he did not know of it. All he can say is that Johnny Paul admitted to having percels of diamonds with him.
Defense counsel referenced another witness who said that Sam Bockarie was not present at the meeting but gave instructions to Kallon and Issa to take the diamonds from Johnny Paul. The witness responded that the said previous witness did not say the right thing as Bockarie was present at the meeting and that Kallon was not present in Buedu at that time. The witness said that it was Bockarie who gave orders to his bodyguards to disarm Johny Paul and his men. The witness said that Bockarie went with his bodyguards into Johnny Paul’s room and they took the diamonds. He said that the bodyguards present were Shabado and Junior. Counsel further referenced the witness’s proofing notes during which he said that Johnny Paul’s wife accused Issa of having raped her. Counsel referenced the testimony of a previous witness that he/she was present in Buedu and that no such thing as raping Johnny Paul’s wife took place. The witness responded that he was sure that such thing did happen.
Disagrement With Issa Sesay over attack on Guinea
Defense counsel asked the witness whether he was accusing Issa because he had a disagreement with him. The witness said that was not the reason. Asked about the disagreement he had with Issa, the witness said that Issa came from Liberia with instructions from Taylor to attack Guinea. The witness said that he told Issa he was not going to be part of any attack on Guinea. Asked if Augustine Gbao was part of the mission to attack Guinea, the witness said that he couldnt say. When asked about where he went after his operation in Baima, the witness said he went to Segbwema.
Court adjourned for mid-morning break