Thursday December 4, 2008.
3:00pm: Court resumed and defense counsel Terry MUnyard continued the cross-examination of Witness Dauda Fornie, aka DAF.
Defense counsel continued his line of cross-examination about the relationship that existed between the RUF and the AFRC, the witness’s service to Sam Bockarie as radio operator as well as enquiring about the various jungles established by the RUF.
Witness’s Role as Radio Operator to Sam Bockarie
Defense counsel read from the Salute Report written by Bockarie to Sankoh that the AFRC had offered Bockarie a ministerial position but he refused because he had no approval from Sankoh and he also wanted to focus on the military operations of the RUF. The witness said he knew that Bockarie had turned down a ministerial position offered by the AFRC. The witness said that he was released from captivity by the Kamajors after the AFRC coup and that he immediately joined Bockarie in Kenema as radio operator. He said he spent two months with Bockarie. Counsel asked the witness whether he has ever told anybody that he worked with Bockarie from mid-1997 to late 1999. The witness responded that he testified before the court that he served Bockarie for a while, then left for Tongo but later rejoined him in Kenema. Counsel referenced the witness’s statement made to prosecution investigators that he was with Bockarie up to the end of 1999. The witness explained that after the signing of the Lome Peace Accord, he went back and worked with Bockarie. He said that he worked with Bockarie on three seperate occasions from 1997 to 1999.
Relationship Between RUF and AFRC
Counsel read from the salute report that in June 1996, Superman captured about 300 ECOMOG soldiers as Prisoners of War (POWs) and that the RUF wanted to use them as bargaining chips for the release of Sankoh from prison. The witness said that he could not tell the exact time when Sankoh was arrested but defense counsel put it to him that based on the report on the capture of the ECOMOG soldiers in 1996, it could be safe to say that Sankoh was arrested in 1997. The witness said he was under arrest in Ngolahun Tunkia at this time. The salute report further stated that the POWs were released by the AFRC without the RUF being consulted. The witness said that he was in Ngolahun Tunkia but he heard about this incident. Counsel told the witness that this incident caused discord between the RUF and the AFRC. The witness said that he heard of the discord as well. Counsel also told the witness that Bockarie wanted to attack ECOMOG at Lungi but that Johnny Paul refused. He said that Bockarie was angry and that was one reason for discord between the RUF and AFRC. The witness said he heard about this as well. The witness also heard that Steve Bio and Gibril Massaquoi told Bockarie that Sankoh had given instructions for Bio to serve as the administrative head of the RUF. He said that Bockarie did not believe the two men. The witness said that he cannot tell whether Bockarie was angry about this. The witness said Bockarie never told him Bio had suggested that they overthrow Johnny Paul Koroma. The witness said he only heard about this when he was in Tongo.
Counsel asked the witness whether he heard about the looting of the Iranian embassy and Johnny Paul’s announcement that the RUF wanted to overthrow his givernment, and that Issa Sesay should be arrested. The witness responded that when prosecution investigators asked him about this, he told them he did not have any knowlege of the story. He said he did not hear any radio announcement in this regard. According to the witness, the relationship between the AFRC and RUF was cordial. He said that when SAJ Musa died during the advance on Freetown, there was a free flow of communication between the RUF and the AFRC.
Counsel asked the witness about Issa’s whereabouts in December 1998. The witness said that Issa was in Makeni area and had just captured Teko Barracks. He agreed with counsel that Issa had many fighters at his disposal in Makeni. Counsel suggested to the witness that if Issa had so much troops at his disposal in Makeni, the RUF would have easily joined Gullit and others to adance to Freetown rather than wait to be called as reinforcements. The witness diasgreed with counsel and said the RUF always had plans to attack Freetown.
Top 20, Top 40 and Top Final
Counsel asked the witness whether he knew of operations Top 20, Top 40 and Top Final. The witness said he only heard of these operations but was not in Kailahun when they were launched. He said he heard this was a move to drive Liberian commanders from The RUF. The witness agreed with counsel that some Liberians stayed and became members of the RUF. Some of these Liberians included CO Nyaa and Dennis Mingo. Counsel asked the witness whether he knew that the Liberians had to withdraw because they ran out of ammunition. The witness said he did not know about this. The witness agreed with counsel that after the NPRC coup in 1992, they mounted a move to push the RUF out of Sierra Leone into Liberia.
Counsel asked the witness about various jungles established by the RUF. The witness agreed he had knowlege of these jungles. Some of these were Zogoda, Camp Charlie, Cuba Base, Camp Burkina, Kangari Hills, Koribondo Jungle, etc.
Court adjourned for the day and the witness is set to continue his cross-examination tomorrow.