Wednesday December 3, 2008.
10:00am: Court resumed and prosecution counsel Mr. Christopher Santora continued the examination of former RUF signal commander Dauda A Fornie, aka DAF. The witness testified about several issues including the transfer of arms and ammunition from Liberia to Sierra Leone, Bockarie’s trip to Buckana Faso in order to get materials for the RUF, the distribution of said materials and RUF attacks around Sierra Leone including the January 6, 1999 invasion of Freetown.
Transfer of Arms and Ammunition from Liberia to Sierra Leone
The witness testified that arms and ammunition were transported from Liberia and taken to the RUF in Buedu. He said that sometimes, Bockarie sent RUF fighters to pick up arms and ammunition from Vahun and Voinjama and the said materials were taken to Buedu for use by the RUF. The witness spoke of occassions when he personally travelled and picked up materials from Vahun and Voinjama and transported them to Buedu. He said he did these based on instructions from Sam Bockarie.
Bockarie’s Trip to Burkina Faso via Monrovia
Prosecution counsel Mr. Santora asked the witness about his last trip to Monrovia prior to the January 6, 1999 invasion of Freetown. The witness said that he made this trip together with Bockarie, Pa Rogers, Eddie Kanneh, Rashid etc. He said that before they left, Bockarie informed them that he was travelling to Libya to get arms and ammunition for the RUF. He said that when they got to Monrovia, Yeaten informed Bockarie that the materials had been transported to Burkina Faso. Bockarie’s trip therefore changed from LIbya to Burkina Faso. He said that Bockarie, Rashid and Eddie Kanneh travelled to Burkina Faso while the witness stayed in Monrovia. Asked what he was doing in Monrovia, the witness said that he was based at Yeaten’s house monitoring and transmitting messages on the Base One radio set. He said that he received regular messages from the RUF frontlines in Sierra Leone and also gave regular updates to Bockarie who was in Burkina Faso. According to the witness, Bockarie and his colleagues came back from Burkina Faso after a week. He said they brought with them arms and ammunition and other materials which were transported to Buedu. He said that the arms were loaded in two trucks at Roberts International Airport. He said the two trucks joined them with two other vehicles and together, they departed for Buedu.
January 1999 Attack on Freetown
The witness testified that when they returned to Buedu with the materials which Bocakarie obtained in Burkina Faso, frontline commanders were invited to a meeting in Buedu. He said that the materials were distributed among the various commanders and a general attack around the country was planned. He said that after the meeting, Issa and others attacked Kono, Akim went to Tongo, Morris Kallon and Bai Bureh to Makeni while Gullit and others headed to Freetown. He referenced a conversation between Bockarie and Yeaten in which they agreed that Kono and Tongo were to be the first points of attack with those meterials. He said that these attacks took place in December 1998. He said that when Kono was captured by the RUF, Bockarie called Yeaten and gave him the report. According to the witness, it was Yeaten who made more of the calls asking for updates on the various attacks. The witness also recalled an incident when Yeaten visited Bockarie in Buedu. He said this visit was made at night.
The witness said that he was in Buedu when the January 6, 1999 invasion of Freetown took place. The witness said that during this attack, he was at the radio station in Buedu monitoring radio communications and transmitting messages. The witness said he monitored a message from Gullit to Bockarie that the RUF/AFRC troops had entered Freetown and captured the state house. He said that Bockarie told Gullit to coordinate with Rambo, Issa and others for reinforcements to move and join the troops in Freetown. Counsel asked the witness whether he monitored any BBC interview at this time while he was in Buedu. The witness said he did listen to a radio interview and counsel asked that a recorded BBC interview be played in court.
Court adjourned for mid-morning break.