Tuesday January 27, 2009
12:00pm: Court resumed and witness TF1-062 concluded his testimony. Another prosecution witness TF1-174 commenced his testimony.
Cross-Examination of Witness TF1-062
Defense counsel Courtenay Griffiths QC continued and concluded the cross-examination of Witness TF1-062. Counsel referenced the witness statement made to prosecution in November 2004 in which he said he saw the RUF loot in Tongo, that he was personally a victim of looting and that no burning of houses took place in the first three days of the occupation of Tongo. The witness responded that these attrocities were not committed on the first day of the occupation of Tongo but that they did occur in the succeeding days. He said the rebels entered his room and took away his property. Asked whether he saw civilians being raped and amputated, the witness said he saw no such thing.
That ended the cross-examination of the witness.
Prosecution counsel Kathryn Howarth re-examined the witness. Counsel asked the witness about CDF mining at Cyborg pit. The witness responded that civilians did not mine there under the CDF. He said that civilians only mined there when the AFRC/RUF entered Tongo. Asked about why all the civilians moved to Kenema in 1994, the witness responded that it was because Tongo was attacked by RUF rebels. Counsel also took the witness through a portion of his statement of January 31, 2005 in which he said that he sent his workers to mine for the RUF and not the CDF, and that he had been misquoted otherwise in his earlier statement. Counsel also referenced the witness’s statement during cross-examination that under the RUF/AFRC, civilians worked for the rebels for two days while they worked for themselves the rest of the week but under certain conditions. Counsel asked the witness to explain what conditions he meant. The witness explained that when they mined on days specified for civilians, the rebels would still come and stand over them with guns and that they forced them to share their gravels with them after mining.
That ended the witness’s re-examination. There were no questions from the judges. Prosecution counsel requested that the transcript of the witness’s testimony in the AFRC trial be admitted into evidence. Thus ended the witness’s testimony.
Witness TF1-174 Commences His Testimony.
A new witness, TF1-174 was sworn in and he commenced his testimony. The witness was led in evidence by prosecution counsel Mr. Nicholas Koumjian. The witness testified with a pseudonym and with voice and facial distortion. Mr. Koumjian also informed the court that since the witness worked with many child combatants in Makeni, any mention of their names would disclose his own identity and therefore any mention of such names will be done in private session. Court went briefly into private session to record the witness’s personal details. When court resumed in open session, the witness commenced his testimony. Counsel asked the witness what the population of Makeni was between 1996-2002. The witness said that he could not give any specific number of people who lived in Makeni at that time but that over 150,000 displaced persons were registered at one point in time. He said that in 1998, four agencies registered about 145, 000 people excluding displaced persons. He said that the majority of the inhabitants of Makeni are Temnes, followed by Limbas and Lokos. He said that there were also settlers of Mendes, Fullas and Madingos in the town. He said that almost all the Lebanese people left before the war but he could remember one Lebanese man who stayed. Asked about the distance between Makeni and Freetown, the witness said it is about 115 miles and that using a private vehicle, one can drive for about 2 hours or less but that with a public transport, it will be about 3 hours.
Court adjourned for lunch break.