Morning Session: Examination of Witness TF1-045, Augustine Sama Mallah Continues in Open Session

Thursday November 13, 2008

10:00am: Court resumed and prosecution counsel Ms. Brenda Hollis continued the examination of Witness TF1-045 Augustine Sama Mallah in open session.

Ms. Hollis first made a brief recap of some of the issues that the witness testified about yesterday. Among the issues clarified were:

  • Witness’s meeting with Foday Sankoh at Gendema in late 1991: Yesterday, the witness testified about having met with Sankoh on three occassions. One of those he said was while at the training base, and the other two were after his graduation, one of which was at Gendema when Sankoh brought arms ammunition and medicines from Gbarnga in Liberia. Prosecution counsel sought to establish where Sankoh had brought the materials from. The witness said that Sankoh told them he had brought them from Taylor in Gbarnga.
  • Operation Stop Election: In his testimony yesterday, the witness spoke about RUF operations to stop civilians from voting in 1996. Prosecution counsel Hollis sought to establish what the specific orders were and from whom they came. The witness explained that Foday Sankoh gave the orders and that he told them to kill civilians and soldiers to stop them from voting. He said Sankoh specifically told them that they shoud cut off the hands of civilians so they will take their hands off the elections.
  • Security Operations Explained by Sankoh to Taylor: In his testimony yesterday, the witness spoke about radio communications between Sankoh and Taylor, during which the former told the latter about security operations in RUF territory. Prosecution counsel asked the witness to explain what he meant by security operations, The witness explained that Sankoh updated Taylor on the movement of RUF fights, areas under their control, areas under government control, arms and ammunition captured from the enemy soldiers, etc.
  • Witness’s Trip to Tongo to Mine for Mike Lamin: Yesterday, the witness stated that Mike Lamin sent him to Tongo to go and mine for him. Ms. Hollis asked the witness to tell the court how long he stayed in Tongo and where he went after that. The witness responded that he stayed in Tongo for two months and that he returned to Kenema, where he stayed until ECOMOG soldiers dislodged the AFRC/RUF junta from power in February 1998.

Bockarie’s Orders for Operation Pay Yourself in Kenema

The witness testified that when ECOMOG dislodged the AFRC/RUF junta from Freetown, Bockarie told them that they should prepare to leave Kenema as the ECOMOG soldiers will be attacking the town. The witness said he saw Bockarie load three trucks with looted items from a shop owned by one Mammy Saad, a business woman in Kenema. He said that Bockarie told them that they should launch Operation Pay Yourself and get whatever they wanted before leaving Kenema. The witness said that together with other rebels, they embarked on a looting spree of houses and shops in Kenema and that they took away the loots when they were leaving the town.

The witness said that together with Bockarie, they left Kenema and moved to Buedu. When leaving Kenema, the witness said that many rebels took away female civiliams to serve as their wives. The witness referenced seeing a 13 year old sister of another colleague who told him their house was attacked by rebels, her parents ran away and that a rebel called Ibrahim had taken her as his wife.

Killing of the 65 Alleged Kamajors in Kailahun

The witness testified about the killing of 65 individuals in Kailahun, whom Bockarie had accused of being Kamajors. He said that Kamajors had attacked RUF positions and that when these individuals were captured, Bockarie suspected them to be Kamajors. He said that Bockarie order Augustine Gbao, the head of the Internal Defense Unit (IDU) to investigate the matter as to whether they were indeed Kamajors. The men were transfered to Kailahun town. The witness said that after sometime, Bockarie travelled to kailahun and asked Gbao about the status of the investigation. He said that Gbao told Bockarie the people were all kamajors and that they were not fit to live.  He said that Bockarie ordered the MP Commander, Joe Fatorma to open the cell and get the men out. He said that all the individuals were executed on the orders of Sam Bockarie.

Transfer of Johnny Paul Koroma and Others from Kono to Buedu

The witness testified about the transfer of Johnny Paul Koroma and others from Kono to Buedu after the junta forces had been removed from power. The witness said that after the retreat from Freetown, the AFRC/RUF officers travelled to Makeni. He said at some point, they moved from Makeni to go to Kono. On their way, the witness received orders to travel with Major Gweh in order to open the road from Bunumbu to Gandohun. The witness said that on their way, they attacked several towns until they got to Gandohun where they met Issa Sesay and told him Bockarie asked that they all move to Buedu. He said that Issa moved with them to get Johnny Paul Koroma and together with other officers like Mike Lamin, Sammy etc, they all moved to Buedu.

Meeting Summoned by Johnny Paul Koroma in Buedu

The witness spoke about a meeting summoned by Johnny Paul Koroma when they got to Buedu. He said this meeting took place at the house occupied by Bockarie in Buedu. He said that among those present at the meeting were Johnny Paul, Bockarie, Sammy, Maj. Dumbuya, CO. Issa, the witness himself and other senior officers. He said that Johnny Paul thanked Bockarie for the effort he had made to get him and his family to Buedu. He said that Johnny Paul told them that while in Freetown, he used to receive diamonds mined by AFRC/RUF soldiers in Tongo and Kono. Johnny Paul asked for direction on how to proceed since he had not had much contact with Charles Taylor while in Freetown. He said that Bockarie told them that once they had moved from Freetown and were now in the bush, it was necerssary for Johnny Paul to listen to him for directions on how to proceed. He said that Bockarie then asked that all diamonds and monies in Johnny Paul’s possession be handed over to him. Bockarie took them all from Johnny Paul.

Court adjourned for mid-morning break.