Morning Session: Cross-Examination of Witness Dauda Fornie (DAF) Continues

Monday December 8, 2008

10:00am: Court resumed and defense counsel Terry Munyard continued the cross-examination of former RUF sugnal commander Dauda Fornie, aka DAF.

Counsel asked the witness several questions about his meetings with prosecution investigators and statements obtainined during those meetings.

First Meeting with the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) in 2003

Counsel asked the witness about his first meeting with OTP in 2003. The witness responded that while in BO in 2003, two investigators from the OTP met him at his work place at Talking Drum Studio. He said the two men invited him to Madam Wokie Hotel in Bo where they met.  Asked how the two men could have located him, the witness said he coul not say as many people knew about him in Bo. He said it was not difficult to locate him. He said that his initial thought was that the Special Court wanted to prosecute all former RUF rebels.  He said he only knew that he court would not prosecute everybody sometime in 2006 when the court had done enough outreach in the country. The prosecution also assured him the he would not be prosecuted.  He was told that he might appear as a witness. When considering whether to testify or not, the witness said he was concerned about what the nation will benefit from his testimony since he had been misused by the RUF. Defense counsel suggested to the witness that he was more concerned about what he will benefit as an individual not what the nation will benefit. 

The witness said that during this first meeting, he did not make any statements to the OTP investigators. He only did so when he later travelled to Freetown and met with the investigators at the Talking Drum office in Freetiwn.

Counsel asked the witness whether Talking Drum is a UN funded project. The witness responded that he could not tell in whole but knew there were certain projects undertaken by the organization which are UN funded.  The witness agreed with counsel that the organization has been doing some sensitization about disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, and the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Talking about his duties, the witness said he was not involved in Special Court sensitization but was working with the Traditional Department, broadcasting about the history and traditions of certain regions in the country.  He said he worked with Talking Drum until 2004, when he had an accident. After his recovery from the accident, the witness said he started working on contracts with Radio Moa as well as running his private agricultural projects.  The witness disagreed with counsel that he was doing propaganda work for the Special Court.

The witness said that when he had the accident, the OTP made significant efforts to speak with him but he refused. He said he only met with them after he had found out more about the court through radio sensitizations undertaken by the court.  The witness said he could not say when the RUF trials started at the court.

The witness insisted that in his first meeting with OTP investigators in Bo, no notes were taken as he did not make any statement. He only did a formal interview with them when he travelled to Freetown in the same year.  The witness agreed with counsel that in 2006, he was monitoring the Special Court trial through radio updates by the outreach section of the court. He also affirmed that in 2006, he heard on radio that Charles Taylor had been arrested.

Interview About Gullit

Defense counsel asked the witness whether he was ever interviewed about Gullit’s evidence at the Special Court. The witness said he had several interviews about Gullit but cannot say whether anyone was specifically about Gullit’s evidence.  Counsel asaked whether he was asked about Gullit’s alibi but the witness said he could not say whether the interview was specific.

Assurance of Non-Prosecution

The witness said that he only cooperated fully with the OTP after he got assurance that he would not be prosecuted. Counsel produced a letter written by the former Ag. Prosecutor of the court Dr. Christopher Staker, that he did not intend to prosecute the witness. The witness agreed that he received the letter from the OTP.

Interviews on the Taylor Trial

The witness agreed with counsel that he was interviewed just before the Taylor trial started. He said he made several statements and had time to make corrections to them. Counsel referenced the witness’s statement that Rambo was moving to attack Masiaka but before he got there, the AFRC had entered Freetown. Counsel asked why the witness did not correct that proposition to his present testimony that it was a combined group of AFRC and RUF that entered Freetown. The witness responded that while he made several corrections, it was possible that he could not have corrected everything.

Court adjourned for mid-morning break.