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

  • [Open session]

  • [The accused present]

  • [Upon commencing at 9.30 a.m.]

  • Good morning. We will take appearances, please.

  • Good morning, Mr President, your Honours, opposing counsel. This morning for the Prosecution, Brenda J Hollis, Mohamed A Bangura, Christopher Santora and our case manager Maja Dimitrova.

  • Thank you. Yes, Mr Griffiths.

  • Good morning, Mr President, your Honours, counsel opposite. For the Defence today, myself Courtenay Griffiths, with me Mr Morris Anyah of counsel. Also with us today is our case manager Mrs Salla Moilanen and also our legal assistant Mr Simon Chapman, who has been with us before.

    Mr President, whilst I am on my feet can I address the issues - the first four issues raised by my learned friend yesterday afternoon prior to the commencement of her cross-examination.

    So far as request number one is concerned, an order setting time for the Defence to provide lists of primary and secondary witnesses, we believe that we will be in a position to provide all parties with such information by the commencement of the recess, that being 11 December.

    Now, in terms of the remaining three requests made by the Prosecution, can I preface what I have to say about those by, in turn, making this request: It would be of assistance to us, given that the three requests we are about to discuss are all time specific - it would be helpful if we were given an indication - and I appreciate how difficul it is to estimate these things - as to how long cross-examination of the defendant will take. Because on my calculation, we have some four weeks until the Christmas recess, and we need to factor in some time to deal with the 301 documents which have been marked for identification and also time for re-examination of the witness.

    Now, the last thing that we would want to do is to be in a position where we have brought a witness all the way from West Africa to this Court, who then has to be sent back to West Africa over the four-week Christmas recess, to be brought back again in the new year. So that if it is the case that the cross-examination of this witness, combined with re-examination, and also dealing with the various documents marked for identification will take us into 2010, then it would help us a great deal to know if that indeed will be the case, because then we can plan to bring our first witnesses here in January, as opposed to bringing someone here for some time before the recess, and that person has to be sent back over the Christmas period. So you can see the practical difficulty that poses.

    So if we could be given an indication, then I see no difficulty in dealing with the other three requests made by my learned friend yesterday afternoon.

  • Yes. Thank you.

    Did you have anything you wanted to say in reply to that?

  • Very briefly, Mr President. First of all, we are grateful to the Defence for the indication about providing the primary and secondary witnesses by the beginning of the recess.

    In terms of an estimate for our cross-examination, we certainly hope to be efficient in our cross-examination. That will depend, in part, on how directly the questions are answered, of course. We would hope to be able to conduct this examination in four to five weeks. We would hope. We certainly would not take any longer than the Defence took in their direct, and we will hope it would be very much less than the 13 weeks, or thereabouts, of direct examination.

    In terms of the three remaining requests, we would suggest that certainly two of those requests, 21-day notice and the two-week notice, hinge on this accused's testimony going into the new year, and we believe it will, given redirect and discussion about exhibits. However, the request relating to the list of the next group of witnesses to be called by the Defence by DCT number, not by name, we believe could be provided to us by the 11th at no harm. They are not putting them in order; they are simply saying that they envision the next group of witnesses that would appear, and that would enable us over the recess to organise our work in relation to those witnesses.

  • Thank you.

    On that particular subject, Ms Hollis, I notice that at the 6 July status conference, the Prosecution did request that the Defence provide a list of all witnesses intended to be called for the forthcoming month, and at that stage the Trial Chamber indicated that it would consider this issue more appropriately closer to the end of the accused's testimony. That testimony means the whole testimony; cross-examination, et cetera.

    But, in any event, we will leave this until the morning break, and we will deliberate over appropriate orders and refer to the matter further later in the day.

    I am sorry, you wanted to continue, Mr Griffiths.

  • Just to this extent, Mr President: We are grateful to my learned friend for giving us that indication, because it does assist us in planning where we go as of January of next year. And in light of that indication, I don't anticipate at this stage that any orders that your Honours might be minded to make in light of the current situation, that we will have any difficulty in complying with them.

  • Thank you, Mr Griffiths. We will revisit the matters after the morning break.

    Mr Taylor, your cross-examination continues today, and I will remind you that you are bound by your affirmation to tell the truth.