Thursday December 11, 2008
12:00pm: Court resumed and defense counsel Terry Munyard continued the cross-examination of former RUF signal commander Dauda Fornie, aka, DAF. Counsel asked the witness about the testimonies of previous witnesses and continued with questions about infightings in the RUF and between the RUF and AFRC.
Evidence of Previous Witnesses
Counsel asked the witness whether he monitored the evidence of Co. Nyaa and Isaac Mongo in the Taylor trial. In response, the witness said that he did not monitor their testimonies but heard from other friends that the two men had testified in the Taylor trial. He said that when he heard this, he did not make any efforts to know what the two men had said in court. Counsel asked the witness whether he knew his former boss, Co. Nyaa had testified and he still did not make any efforts to know what he said. The witness insisted he did not make any efforts to find out. Counsel asked the witness to tell the court which specific testimonies he had listened to. The witness mentioned the names of previous prosecution witnesses King Perry, Mohamed Kabba and other witnesses who testified with pseudonyms.
Infightings in the RUF and AFRC
Referencing radio messages in which the names of Gibril Massaquoi, Co. Nyaa and Isaac Mongo were mentioned, counsel suggested to the witness that the three men were disaffected with the RUF at the time the messages about them were sent to Sankoh. The witness said he was not aware of such disaffection. Counsel read another of Sankoh’s messages sent to Bockarie that all POWs and political prisoners should be handed over to ICRC, the UN and ECOMOG. He also said that all RUF captives should be kept at RUF headquarters. Counsel asked the witness to say why RUF fighters were also under arrest and the witness said that it was because they were disatisfied with the RUF leadership. Counsel again read another message from Kallon, addressed to Bockarie and Issa complaining that Gibril Massaquoi, Isaac Mongo and Co. Nyaa were in rebellion against him. Counsel then asked the witness whether it is mere coincidence that these three men have testified for the prosecution and the witness said he cannot say whether that is the case.
Counsel asked the witness whether he knew who Bazzi was and the witness identified Bazzi as a former AFRC commander. The witness said he knew of Bazzi’s trial at the Special Court but cannot say whether he was one of the commanders for the West Side Boys. The witness knew of the West Side Boys and knew they were harrassing civilians on the road to and from Freetown. The witness agreed with counsel that the West Side Boys were out of RUF control, that there was no absolute command over them but that there was communication flow between the group and the AFRC. Counsel told the witness that communication between the two groups was limited to demands for the RUF to release Johnny Payl Koroma, who was held captive by Bockarie in Kailahun. The witness responded that there was communication flow besides Johnny Paul’s release. Counsel referenced Brig. Mani’s message to Sankoh in which he asked that Johnny Paul be released and he be made to travel to northern Sierra Leone for discussion of pertinent issues relating to the peace accord. In his response, Sankoh asked that all AFRC soldiers should travel and wait for him in Kailahun and he urged them to release all children that were held captive. Counsel put it to the witness that the AFRC soldiers were not represented at the Lome Peace talks. The witness said that while Johnny Paul did not attend, he sent representatives to Lome in persons of Leather Boot, Capt. Jalloh and Eddie Kanneh. He agreed with counsel that some AFRC soldiers were left out of the Lome Peace delegation. Counsel told the witness that in view of being left out of the Lome Peace Accord, Bazzi and his fellow AFRC soldiers held several people hostage. At some point, he released some and kept some in detention and demanded that Johnny Paul should be released and be made to travel to meet them in the north of Sierra Leone. The witness insisted that it was Johnny Paul who sent Leatherboot and others to represent him at Lome. Counsel put it to the witness that Johnny Paul was not invited to Togo for the peace talks. The witness disagreed with counsel. He said that Johnny Paul was present when discussions took place to send representatives to Lome. The witness insisted that Johnny Paul sent Leatherboot.
Liberian Delegation at the Lome Peace Talks
Counsel asked the witness about the Liberian delegation at the Lome Peace talks. The witness pointed out that Jungle was present in Lome. He said that Taylor was also present at the signing of the peace agreement in Lome. Counsel asked the witness whether he remembers any female Liberian delegate in Lome and the witness said he could not remember. Counsel told the witness that the Liberian delegation was led by a lady called Dorothy Cooper who was foreign affairs minister in the Taylor government. The witness then said he can recall the lady in question. Counsel read a press release by the then Taylor government in Liberia in which the government encouraged all parties in Sierra Leone to respect the Lome Accord. In the release, Taylor also said he had sent his special negotiator, Dorothy Cooper to help facilitate the peace process in Sierra Leone.
Meeting between Johnny Paul Koroma and Foday Sankoh in Liberia
Counsel asked the witness whether he knew of any meeting between Johnny Paul Koroma and Foday Sankoh in Liberia. The witness said he knew of the meeting but cannot say when the meeting took place. Defense suggested to the witness that the meeting was meatn to get Johnny Paul to sign the Lome Peace Accord. The witness said he cannot remember whether that was the purpose of the meeting. Counsel asked the witness whether he agreed that the two men had to be brought together in order to effect the peace process. In response, the witness said that there was no problem between Johnny Paul and Sankoh but rather, the problem was between the former and Bockarie.
Bockarie’s Bodyguards as Radio Operators
The witness agreed with cousel that Bockarie had his bodyguards work as radio operators. The witness said that this happened in 1999. He said he cannot recall the specific date when this happened. When pushed about the specific date, the witness responded that his head is not a computer. Counsel told the witness that it was now a common phrase for witnesses to say in court that their heads are not computers. Counsel referenced the witness’s statement to investigators that Bockarie and Issa wanted their bodyguards to work as radio operators and so the witness trained Bockarie’s bodyguards in Buedu and Issa Sesay’s in Kono in 1998.
Court adjourned for lunch break.