The transcripts of the trial of Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia. More…

  • [Open session]

  • [The accused present]

  • [Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.]

  • Good morning. We'll take appearances first, please.

  • Good morning, Mr President, your Honours, opposing counsel, and happy new year to all of you from the Prosecution. Today for the Prosecution, Brenda J Hollis, Mohamed A Bangura, and our case manager, Maja Dimitrova.

  • Thank you. Yes, Mr Griffiths.

  • Again, happy new year to everyone from the Defence, and today for the Defence is myself Courtenay Griffiths, with me Mr Morris Anyah and Mr Terry Munyard of counsel and our case manager, Ms Salla Moilanen.

  • Thank you, Mr Griffiths. From the Bench, very best wishes for the new year to all of the people involved in the trial.

    Mr Taylor, you're going to be asked some further questions. I'll simply remind you that you are still bound by the oath you took when you stepped into the witness box. Ms Hollis?

  • Thank you, Mr President. Mr President, one matter before we begin our questioning. At page 31622 of the transcript the Trial Chamber ordered the Defence to provide to the Prosecution a list of their next set of witnesses by DCT number on or before the close of business of 11 December 2009. Now, perhaps through inadvertence, we have not received that list and we would ask that the Defence be reminded to provide us with that list.

  • Mr President, as I understand the situation, we're obliged to provide a list of witnesses two weeks in advance and we've done that, because based on the time estimate given to the Court by Ms Hollis as to the length of her cross-examination, we had filed a witness list bearing that framework in mind and, in our submission, we've complied.

  • Just one moment. I'm just looking at my notes of the order made before we adjourned. Ms Hollis, I'm not quite with you on that order.

  • Mr President, it was the 11 November page reference, and there were orders that were provided. The Prosecution, in addition to requesting a core and back-up witnesses, had asked for our management purposes and consistent with our practice during our case in chief that the Defence provide us with a list of their next group of witnesses by DCT number only, of course, so that we could assign responsibility for those witnesses. And the - on page 31622, I believe beginning at line 25, was the Bench's order that the Defence provide that list to the Prosecution on or before the close of business 11 December 2009, and that was the next set of Defence witnesses by DCT number only.

  • What do you say to that, Mr Griffiths?

  • In compliance with our understanding of the Court's order, Mr President, we filed on 11 December and CMS 870 and CMS 871 refers, firstly, our list of core and back-up witnesses and also the witnesses we would be calling for the weeks 11 January to 15 January, which we were required to do. And based on the time estimate as to the length of her cross-examination given by Ms Hollis, we determined the only witness we would be calling during that time frame would be Mr Taylor. So as far as we're concerned, any obligation to serve further Defence witnesses by DCT number or otherwise at this stage is unnecessary.

  • I see. Ms Hollis, I'm going to have to go back into the transcript. I don't have any personal note of the specific terminology of the order we made. But you are saying now that the Defence has not provided you with their next set of witnesses by the close of business on 11 December 2009.

  • That is --

  • I understand Mr Taylor [sic] is saying that the next witness following that date is obviously the accused.

  • I think you will have to go back to refresh yourself, Mr President, but just to assist you with that, the Prosecution had raised earlier in the proceedings a request that the Defence provide to the Prosecution a listing of witnesses they were going to call by groups, by DCT number, so that we could assign our own internal taskings for those witnesses. And then on the 11th, the Prosecution again made the request and it requested that, at page 31555, that no later than the commencement of the break the Prosecution be provided with a list of the next batch of witnesses that would be called by the Defence by DCT number for our management purposes. And then at 31583 we repeated the request relating to the list of the next group of witnesses to be called by the Defence by DCT number, of course, not by name. We're not asking - we did not ask they be put in order, simply a listing of what they envisioned as their next group of witnesses that would appeared that would enable us over the recess to organise our work in relation to those witnesses and it was in that context that at page 31622 the Trial Chamber ordered the Defence to provide this list of the next group of witnesses by DCT number on or before the close of business. So that was the context. But certainly we understand that you may have to go back and look at the transcript on that.

  • The memorandum or letter, if you like, of 11 December 2009 from Mr Griffiths does not satisfy those requirements in your opinion.

  • That is correct. That is not the next batch of witnesses. That is simply the notice for the - the two-week notice of who would appear now, not the next batch of witnesses.

  • Yes. Just one moment.

  • Ms Hollis, we're trying to get something straight based on the documentation that we've been presented with since the recess. What we have on the Bench is a list filed by the Defence containing 98 core witnesses by DCT number. So that's okay. You have that one as well.

  • Yes, your Honour.

  • And I guess that's all we have.

  • I believe there was the two-week notice as well.

  • Do we have a disclosure by two-weeks notice as well? What number would that be?

  • I believe Mr Griffiths may have given that number earlier.

  • Just give us a moment while we find our feet, please. Mr Griffiths, you are saying that CMS 870 which contains the witness list for the next two weeks has already been filed?

  • And that as far as you are concerned you have thereby discharged your procedural obligation.

  • That's our position.

  • I understand that. Okay, we'll take a moment.

  • We're trying to look at that, Mr Griffiths, but we don't have the document in front of us. Normally we could go on to the courtroom folder and see it but in our absence, for some reason I'll never understand, the computers have been reconfigured and we can't get into the courtroom folder, so that's going to cause a little bit of delay.

  • I wonder, Mr President, how urgent this matter is and whether or not we could delay resolving it until a later stage in the proceedings and continue with the cross-examination of the defendant at this time.

  • What do you say to that, Ms Hollis?

  • We would certainly be in agreement with that, Mr President, as an efficient way to proceed.

  • All right. We'll look into that matter. We're getting some copies of the document last referred to printed out, so in the meantime go ahead with your cross-examination, Ms Hollis.

  • Thank you, Mr President.