Thursday Dcember 4, 2008.
10:00am: Court resumed and defense counsel Terry Munyard continued the cross-examination of former RUF signal commander witness Dauda Fornie, aka, DAF.
Before commencing the cross-examaintion of the witness, defense counsel Terry Munyard told the judges that the office of the Registrar of the Special Court for Sierra Leone had informed them about the timetable for hearings in December viz-a-vis the testimony of the present witness. Counsel recalled that the witness’s examination-in-chief ran for about 3-4 days and he wanted the court to know that his cross-examination of the witness might last for the same period or even longer. Based on what the registry had told the defense team, there might be no trials next week as the court might take a recess. He therefore wanted to get advice from the bench on how to proceed. Prosecution counsel Ms. Brenda Hollis responded that the prosecution would prefer that the present witness concludes his testimony before the court takes any recess. Presiding judge Teresa Doherty told counsel on both ends that she would confer with her colleagues during the break and they will come up with a decision as to how to preceed in the present circumstance. Counsel proceeded with the cross-examination of the witness.
Counsel asked the witness about the photographs in which he identified several individuals yesterday and the relationship between the RUF and the AFRC.
Identification of Photographs
Counsel asked that the two photographs in which the witness identified certain individuals yesterday be placed before him. The witness identified Leatherboot in the photographs and insisted that they were taken during the Lome peace talks in Lome, Togo. He identified several other individuals in the photographs. Counsel asked the witness whether he told prosecution investigators that Gen. Ibrahim Ba was Leatherboot. The witness responded that he did not say so to the investigators. The witness said that he presented eight photographs to the prosecution but gave them at different times. Counsel asked why the witness had not written Leatherboot’s name as Idrissa Kamara. The witness said that it would have been an oversight by the person who typed the interview notes. The witness said he is sure that Leatherboot’s name is not Ibrahim but Idrissa Kamara.
Relationship Between the RUF and AFRC
Counsel extensively pursued questions about the relationship that existed between the RUF and the AFRC. Counsel asked the witness about the January 1999 invasion of Freetown. The witness said it was a combined attack by the RUF and the AFRC. Counsel asked the witness why he had called it the RUF invasion of Freetown and the witness responded that he had said the RUF/AFRC invasion. He said that the RUF took part in the invasion. Counsel asked the witness whether he was part of the AFRC and the witness said that he was at some point in time. Counsel suggested to the witness that the RUF had just been part of a merger with the AFRC but the witness said that he was part of both groups. He said that the fighters who entered Freetown in January 1999 took direct instructions from Bockarie who was the Chief of Defense Staff of the RUF. He said that the fighters who entered Freetown included Gullit, 55, Alfred Brown, King Perry, etc. He said that Gullit was also a member of the RUF. Counsel sought to make various propositions to the witness.
Counsel told the witness that the RUF/AFRC relationship was not based on longterm common interests. The witness agreed with counsel. Counsel also told the witness that the relationship between the two groups deteriorated over time. The witness also agreed with counsel. He said that while there was no tension between the two groups initially, tension did heighten at some point. He said that when the RUF joined the AFRC, the AFRC government even paid the salaries of RUF fighters. Based on this, he said the two groups were one. When asked why Sam Bockarie left Freetown and relocated to Kenema, the witness said that Bockarie realised that conflicts were likely to arise between the two groups as the Sierra leonean soldiers thought the RUF fighters were not professionally trained. Counsel asked the witness whether he knew that in October 1997, Johnny Paul Koromo ordered the arrest of two RUF officials because they were plotting with the CDF to overthrow the AFRC givernment. The witness responded that he only knew of the arrest of Gibril Massaquoi. Cousel asked the witness whether he knew of the looting of the Iranian embassy and Johnny Paul Koroma ordering that Issa Sesay be arrested for that. The witness said that he did not know the details of this story since he was in captivity in Ngolahun Tunkia. The witness said he cannot recall hearing of Issa’s arrest on radio. The witness also said he was not aware that the RUF stopped attending joint meetings with the AFRC at some point. The witness agreed he was aware that Bockarie left Freetown for kenema in January 1998 because of his discontent with the AFRC commanders. The witness said he was not aware of Bockarie refusing Johnny Paul’s orders that he should attack Nigerian ECOMOG soldiers crossing into Sierra Leone from Liberia. Counsel asked the witness whether he was aware that though the two groups had a merger, each of them identifued with their respective groups and had seperate commanders. The witness responded that he cant agree completely because while there were RUF and AFRC commanders in each occupied zone, there was always an overall commander to whom everybody reported. He said the overall commander could either be RUF or AFRC. He said that the Supreme Council comprised both RUF and AFRC members.
The witness testified that in February, while in Buedu, Johnny Paul announced that all SLA soldiers should be subbordinate to the RUF. He said that SAJ Musa did not agree with this and so he refused to take orders from Bockarie. He agreed with counsel that SAJ Musa wanted to reinstate the SLA. Asked whether he knew that SAJ Musa harboured intentions for the presidency of Sierra Leone, the witness said he cannot say so. He agreed with counsel that Bockarie was concerned that if the SLA soldiers entered Freetown all by themselves, they will take over power in the country.
Johnny Paul Koroma in Kailahun
The witness said that while Johnny Paul Koroma went to Kailahun voluntarily after the ECOMOG intervention in 1998, he did not stay there voluntarily. He said Johnny Paul suggested to Bockarie that he be allowed to go out of Sierra Leone in order to get materials for the movement. Bockarie asked Johnny Paul to declare all resources that he had with him. He said Bockarie ordered Issa Sesay and others to search Johnny Paul and when they did, they retrieved percels of diamonds and huge amounts of money in different currencies. He said that Bockarie arrested Johnny Paul and sent him to Kangama. Defense counsel suggested that this was another sign of discord between the two groups. The witness agreed with counsel. The witness said that after the intervention, Gullit also went to Kailahun and his relationship with Sam Bockarie was very cordial. The witness said he does not know if Gullit was ever arrested or flogged by Bockarie. The witness said that Johnny Paul’s wife was molested in Buedu. He said he heard of Issa raping Johnny Paul’s wife but he did not see Bockarie take any action against Issa for that.
Problems Between Sam Bockarie and Superman
The witness agreed with counsel that Bockarie and Superman had some problems. He said that SAJ Musa was the leader for the troops in Krubola who were mainly SLA soldiers but some of the soldiers also stayed with Bockarie in Buedu. These, he said, included Akim, Leatherboot, Sammy, etc. The witness said that one reason for the misunderstanding between Bockarie and Superman was for the diamonds misplaced by Issa Sesay. Counsel suggested that the two men had problems as far back as 1994. Counsel produced a salute report written to Sankoh written by Bockarie after the former’s release from prison. In the report, Bockarie made alleagations againts Superman including the latter’s killing of two of Zino’s bodyguards. The witness said he was not aware of such thing being done by Superman as he was not with the RUF when that happened.
Court adjourned for mid-morning break.