Thursday December 11, 2008
3:00pm: Court resumed and defense counsel Terry Munyard concluded the cross-examination of former RUF signal commander Dauda Fornie, aka DAF. Prosecution counsel Christopher Santora took the witness through re-examination while Justices Sebutinde and Doherty also had questions for the witness. The witness was discharged and the court took its annual Christmas recess.
Counsel asked the witness about Bockarie’s departure from the RUF and his subsequent relocation to Liberia, and counsel also went through a list of expenses undertaken by the court on behalf of the witness.
Bockarie’s Relocation to Liberia
Counsel asked the witness to say when he was taken out of the dungeon where he said Bockarie left him before departing for Liberia. The witness responded that while he could not say the exact date of his release, he knew it was just before Christmas. Counsel asked the witness whether he ever heard a BBC report by Liberian journalist Jonathan Pellele that former Nigerian President Obasanjo and Taylor had met with Bockarie at Roberts International Airport and had decided that Bockarie would stay out of Sierra Leone until the disarmament was over, and that he could reside in Liberia or any third country of his choice. The witness said he could not remember the said BBC report. Counsel asked the witness whether he knew about Operation Fiti Fata but the witness said he cannot recall anything about it for now. Counsel showed the witness a diagram showing roads in Liberia that lead to Taylor’s former residence White Flower, Yeaten’s house, the road to the airport and several other places. The witness said he could not interprete the map and so counsel withdrew it.
Expenses on Behalf of the Witness
Counsel went through a list of expenses undertaken by the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) and the Witness and Victims Services (WVS) on behalf of the witness. Counsel referenced several amounts listed as being spent on the witness for reasons such as transportation to meet with the prosecution investigators, transportation, meals, medication and hospital bills, help rendered to investigators, cell phone communication costs, etc. Counsel noted that monies were given to the witness for transportation on days that he had no meetings with OTP, that monies were given for cell phone communication on the same day in two amounts, that OTP paid the witness’s rent for the year while WVS gave him money for rent for the same year and that both OTP and WVS gave the witness money for medical bills. Counsel noted that over a period of two years, the witness received over 6 million leones (over $2000) from OTP while he received over 5 million leones (over $1500) from WVS. Counsel said that in total, the witness had received over 10 million leones (over $3000) from both OTP and WVS. The witness admitted that he received these monies from both OTP and WVS but cannot recall the specific amounts given to him. Counsel told the witness that he had been paid to lie in court against Mr. Taylor and the witness responded by saying that it was defense counsel who was lying in Taylor’s favour.
Cross-examination of the witness was ended.
Prosecution counsel Christopher Santora re-examined the witness. Counsel sought to clarify a few things that had come up during cross-examination of the witness.
Counsel referenced the witness’s testimony of December 4 during which he said that a particular radio communication was a dialogue and not a message. Counsel asked the witness to distinguish between a dialogue and a message and the witness explained that the dialogue was a direct communication between two people during which no records were kept while the message was a communication from one commander addressed to another which was written down and signed by the radio operator on duty.
Counsel also referenced the witness’s testimony about the death of SAJ Musa and the Freetown invasion of January 1999 during which he said Gullit and his troops ‘subdued’ to Bockarie. Counsel asked the witness to explain what he meant by ‘subdued.’ The witness explained that he meant Gullit and the troops in Freetown took instructions and advice from Bockarie. Counsel further referenced the witness’s testimony that when Sankoh was arrested, he remained the leader of the RUF in principle. Counsel asked the witness to say who was the leader in practice. The witness explained that Bockarie was the leader in practice. He said that Bockarie took orders from Yeaten, who in turn took orders from Taylor. He said that Bockarie sought advice from Taylor on important matters. Counsel also asked the witness about the letter he wrote to Sankoh about Bockarie, for which he said that the latter locked him up in a dungeon. The witness explained that he wrote the letter to Sankoh, telling him to talk to Taylor so that the latter would advice Bockarie to cooperate with the peace process and get the fighters in Kailahun disarmed. Referencing the witness’s testimony about the visit by Sankoh and Taylor at Kakata, where he said the CIC was in the vehicle, counsel asked the witness to tell the court what he meant by CIC and who the CIC was. The witness said he meant Commander-in-Chief (CIC) and he said he was referring to Taylor as the CIC.
That was the end of the re-examination.
Questions from Judges
Justice Sebutinde: Justice Sebutinde asked the witness a few questions about code names in the Log Book. She sought to know the meanings of the following code names.
- Ebony: The witness said this was Charles Taylor
- Juliet: He said this was Jungle
- Butterfly: He said this was Taylor’s radio operator
- Temple: He said he cannot remember who this was
- Defended: He could not remember who this was
Justice Doherty: Justice Doherty asked the witness about his trip to Voinjama to collect materials for the RUF. Judge Doherty asked the witness whether he bought arms and ammunition on this trip. The witness said he did not buy materials but only collected those that had been paid for and he said they were just ammunitions and no arms. On ECOMOG radio messages that the witness monitored, Justice Doherty asked the witness to say the language in which ECOMOG communicated and he responded that they communicated in English.
There were no questions from either prosecution or defense in response to the judges’ questions.
Both prosecution and defense counsel thanked either party and the judges for their cooperation during the first year of the trials. The witness was discharged. Court adjourned for Christmas recess and will resume on January 12, 2009.