Afternoon Session: Witness TF1-303 Concludes Her Testimony; Final Prosecution Witness TF1-278 Commences His Testimony

3:00pm: Court resumed and witness TF1-303 concluded her testimony. The prosecution also commenced the examination of its last witness in the Charles Taylor trial, TF1-278.

Cross-Examination of Witness TF1-303

Defense counsel Morris Anyah continued the cross-examination of the witness. Counsel continued soliciting information from the witness’s testimony that contradicted her written statements to prosecution investigators.

Counsel referenced the witness’s statement that Sgt. Foday’s wife met her at Superman Ground. The witness agreed that the account is correct. She said that she went to Superman Ground with Mammie but did not count how many months she spent there. Counsel referenced the witness’s statement to prosecution investigators that she spent three months at Superman Ground but the witness insisted that she did not count the months. Counsel also asked her whether she told investigators that Mammie used to beat her and that Sgt. Foday used to rape her while she was with Mammie. The witness said she did say so. In response to questions about Superman’s location at this time, the witness said that he was based at Mayor (Superman Ground). She said that prior to moving to Mayor, Superman was based at Hill Station. Counsel asked the witness whether Superman lived at Dabundeh Road prior to his relocation to Superman Ground and the witness said she did not know whether that was the case. She said that she knew of Superman living at Hill Station.

Counsel asked the witness whether she ever knew the name Short Bai Bureh. The witness said while she never met him personally, she heard about him. She also said she knew Co. Banya and that he lived at Banya Ground. She also said that she knew Rambo and that he used to live at Jalloh Town.  She said she has not heard abot Savage and cannot recall hearing the name Co. Rocky. Counsel told the witness that a previous witness had said that Superman lived at Dabundeh Ground and then moved to PC. Ground in March 1998. The witness said she did not know about that.  She said she met Superman at Superman Ground.

According to the witness, when ECOMOG troops attacked Koidu in 1998, rebels ran to different places in Kono District such as Gandohun, Tombodu, etc.  She said she cannot say who the commander was in Tombodu. At Superground, she said that commanders based there included  Co. Kailahun, Co. Karmoh, etc. She said that she saw Peleto there but he was only visiting.  In relation to those who spoke Liberian English, the witness mentioned that Major Borkito did as well as Sgt. Foday. Counsel told the witness that she never told investigators that Sgt. Foday spoke Liberian English but the witness insisted that she did. Counsel also told the witness that she only mentioned for the first time that there was a Liberian English speaker at Superman Ground in October 2008. She said that she also heard other people speak Liberian English at Superman Ground.  She reiterated that Rambo and Peleto were not based at Superman Ground.

Counsel also referenced the witness’s statement that when she was in Kailahun, together with other people, she used to go to Dawa in Liberia. The witness responded while she mentioned that she used to go to Dawa, she never added that Dawa was in Liberia.

On the issue of Bockarie giving orders that rebels should amputate the arms and limbs of civilians, the witness said that while Sgt. Foday told her about this order, she never accompanied rebels on such a mission and cannot say where this order was carried out.

The witness said that from Superman Ground, she was sent to Giema to stay with Sgt. Foday’s mother.  Counsel referenced the witness’s statement that there was an order for civilians to be taken to Kailahun for military training but that Sgt. Foday did not allow the witness to go. She agreed that this was the correct account. She also said that on occassions, she worked on Sankoh’s farm in Kailahun. Counsel sought to establish that Sankoh was in custody at this time and so how possible was it for him to have a farm. The witness said she heard of Sankoh’s custody but she still had orders to work on his farm. She also explained that her mother’s friend had to take her to Kailahun from Giema. G4 Commander, Moigbeh was the husband of the woman who rescued her.

The witness agreed with counsel that she had knowlege of the RUF and AFRC trials going on at the Special Court in Freetown but she did not testify in any of them.

Counsel asked the witness about monies she received from the court while preparing for her testimony. The witness agreed that she did receive money from the court but cannot say what the amount was. Counsel went through a list of expenditures on the witness’s behalf and pointed that among other things that the witness received Le. 576,ooo for witness attendance, Le. 235,000 for transportation, Le. 226,000 for medical expenses, 225,000 for miscellinious expenses, etc. Counsel pointed out that in total, the witness received Le, 2,439,500, which converts into $813.16. She agreed with counsel that the money helped her when she gave birth to her baby.

Thus ended the cross-examination of the witness.


Prosecution counsel Ms. Hollis sought to clarify a few things that had come up in cross-examination.  The witness stated that Sgt. Foday’s wife’s name was Fattie and that she met her (witness) at Superman Ground. She also said she told counsel she was not captured in Koidu but Baima.  She said that they spent sometime in the bush but went back with her family to Baima town where they occupied a house. While in the house, one night, Pepeh came with his boys and kicked the door open. Pepeh ordered her entire family to move outside and said he was going to take the witness away as his wife.

Thus ended the re-examination of the witness.

Judges’s Questions

Justice Sebutinde asked the witness whether the first person who interviewed her in Koidu had introduced herself as a stafff of the Special Court. The witness responded that she cannot say whether the person was an employee of the court but she had told her she was from Freetown.

The witness ended her testimony

Examination of Witness TF1-278

The prosecution called its final witness in the Charles Taylor trial and was led in evidence by Mr. Nicholas Koumjian. The witness, named Mr. Conteh is 59 years old and speaks Limba, Temne and Krio. He said he has lived in Freetown for very many years. Counsel asked the witness about the January 1999 invasion of Freetown.

January 1999 Invasion of Freetown

The witness said he was at Falkon Street in Freetown when the January 1999 invasion of Freetown took place.  He said he was running a business close to his house at Falkon Street. According to the witness, he lived in the same house with other family members including his wife, son and other relatives. His son, Karim was 4 years old and his wife’s younger sister Marie was 16 years old.  There was also Tenneh and Naniyor at the same house. He said that on January 6 1999, he was with a friend inside his house when at about 2am, they heard gun shots and people singing in Temne, saying “we have come.”  The following day, he said he heard that the rebels had opened Pademba Road Prisons. He said that he had given money to somebody to buy him alcohol for his business but since he had not heard back from the person, he went out to go look for him. When he got to Shell Gas Station, he took some locally brewed palm wine which he took home. On his way home, he said he saw a man who was released from prison, called High Way. Asked how he knew High Way, the witness explained that High Way was a renowned murderer and everybody in Freetown knew about him. He said he saw several other gun men roaming about.

Coourt adjourned and the witness is set to continue his testimony tomorrow.