Tuesday January 27, 2009.
10:00am: Court resumed and witness TF1-168 comcluded his testimony in closed session. The witness’s entire testimony was heard in closed session.
Another prosecution witness, TF1- 062 commenced his testimony.
Examination of Witness TF1-062
The witness testified in open session but with a pseudonym and screen, meaning, his name and face were not disclosed to the public. Court went into private session briefly to allow the witness’s personal details to be recorded. The witness was a Rule 92 bis witness whose testimony in the AFRC trial was tendered as his evidence. The witness was led in evidence by prosecution counsel Kathryn Howarth. Ms. Howarth informed the court that the witness’s 92 bis evidence will relate primarily to Kenema Dirtrict. The witness told the court that he was born on August 24, 1964 in Port Loko District. The witness informed the court that he testified in the AFRC trial on June 27, 2005. He said that the transcript of his testimony in the said trial has been read to him and he certified that the transcript contained his previous testimony in the AFRC trial. Prosecution counsel asked that the said transcript be marked for identification as the witness’s evidence in the Taylor trial.
Defense counsel for Mr. Taylor Courtenay Griffiths QC cross-examined the witness. Counsel asked the witness whether he also testified in the CDF trial and he said he did testify in the trial. In response to counsel’s question as to where he was when the war started in 1991, the witness said he was in Tongo Fields, Kenema District. He said he had been in Tongo for over 20 years. The witness said he was involved in mining and that he had six workers who mined for him. He said that he worked at Cyborg Pit in Tongo. He also agreed with counsel that diamond mining is very dangerous as people could die in the process and be buried in the pits. The witness said that when the CDF occupied Tongo, the CDF did not mine at Cyborg Pit. The witness explained that RUF rebels first attacked Tongo in 1994. He said he retreated with several other civilians to Kenema, where they stayed for about five months before returning to Tongo. He said that Kamajors later took over Tongo. While the Kamajors were in Tongo, the witness said he heard that they were involved in mining activities but that personally, he did not see them doing that. He said that he never saw Kamajors harrassing civilians to mine for them and that he was never asked by the Kamajors to send his workers to mine for them. He also told counsel that he has never said the Kamajors went to his house with guns and machetes threatening to kill him or his workers. Counsel refereneced the witness’s statement given to prosecution investigators in June 1997 that the CDF took control of Cyborg Pit and everyone mined under their control and that they forced people to mine for them. The statement also read that the witness sent his workers to mine for the CDF on over ten occassions and that the CDF would come with guns and machetes to his house and that with such threat, he had no option but to send his workers to mine for them. The witness responded that when he made that statement, he was referring to the AFRC soldiers who took over Tongo in 1997. He said that when he made his statement to the prosecution investgator who was a white lady, there was no interpreter and that because of the language constraints, the wrong things might have been recorded. The witness said he made clarifications to this staatement in his other statements even before he testified in the AFRC trial. Prosecution counsel objected on basis that defense counsel should also present the witness’s statements in which he made corrections, saying his earlier statement had been wrongly recorded. The witness insisted that he was completely misquoted. He said he saw the CDF kill people but did not see them involved in forced mining.
In response to a question about the AFRC coup, the witness said he was in Tongo when the coup took place. He said that RUF rebels later went to Tongo but no fighting took place upon their arrival. He said that after sometime, the rebels started looting but that Sam Bockarie later went there, summoned a meeting and told the rebels not to get involved in any looting.
On mining, the witness said civilians mined for the AFRC/RUF for two days in the week and on the remaining days, they worked for themselves under certain conditions. In January 1998, the witness said the rebels were driven from Tongo by the CDF. The witness said that the CDF killed 20 men and 4 women in his presence. The men were accused of being soldiers while the women were accused of being the wives of soldiers. They were hacked to death with machetes. The witness said that the RUF burned houses in both 1994 and 1997 when they occupied Tongo. He said the rebels claimed that the houses belonged to Kamajors. He said that the CDF also used child soldiers.
Court adjourned for mid-morning break.