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 first, please.

  • Good morning Mr President, your Honours, opposing counsel. This morning for the Prosecution, Mohamed A Bangura, Christopher Santora, Maja Dimitrova and myself Brenda J Hollis. And, Mr President, just to bring to your attention, there are two quick matters the Prosecution would ask to address before the accused recommences his testimony.

  • Yes, thank you, Ms Hollis. For the Defence, Mr Griffiths?

  • Good morning. For the Defence today, myself Courtenay Griffiths, assisted by my learned friends Mr Morris Anyah, Mr Terry Munyard and Cllr Supuwood. Also with us is Salla Moilanen, our case manager.

  • Thank you. Ms Hollis, I have your assurance that they are two quick matters, is that right?

  • That is correct, Mr President. Thank you. The first matter relates to additional jurisprudence regarding Defence counsel's contact with the accused during testimony. We simply want to provide it in the instance that your Honours are not aware of it. It is actually a Trial Chamber I decision which came from the CDF case. It's dated 16 February 2006 and it addresses this issue.

    In that instance, the Trial Chamber exercised its discretion differently than your Honours. We do have copies of that decision should it be helpful to your Honours.

  • Yes. We will certainly take that up. I think I know the decision you are referring to, but perhaps if you could leave copies in any event, Ms Hollis, it would be appreciated.

  • Yes, certainly. If we can have the assistance.

  • Of course, there is nothing to decide at the present moment.

  • No, it's simply to provide your Honours with this jurisprudence as well as to provide opposing counsel with it.

  • Thank you, Ms Hollis. There is one other matter, is there?

  • Yes, Mr President. It has come to the attention of the Prosecution that yesterday and Monday Defence counsel was apparently displaying something to the gallery on both occasions. It was of course not during court, I think it was before court commenced, but we have been informed that it was some type of message as well as a website address for an association in Liberia that, among other things, solicits money for the Defence of Charles Taylor. Now we would ask if the Defence would be able to show us what they were displaying to the gallery and if indeed it is in the form of some type of public relations message relating to the accused and a website, we would suggest that perhaps the dignity of the courtroom is better served if such displays are not made from the courtroom itself.

  • Yes, thank you. What is behind that, Mr Griffiths?

  • I can assure your Honours that there certainly is no exhibit that we are displaying to the public gallery which we failed to disclose to the Prosecution, so consequently I really don't see what the point is of this particular objection.

  • Well, I am understanding Ms Hollis to say that it was some type of website, that possibly is in the form of an advertisement or something like that, shown to the public gallery.

  • Well, frankly, Mr President, it's simply that. And it has been on the front of my folder since the trial began two years ago and I see no reason why I have to conceal it, because I see nowhere in the rules where it says I can't.

  • What is the point of it though, Mr Griffiths?

  • Because I am defending this man and I say he is innocent. I see nothing wrong with displaying that on the front of my folder.

  • No, I don't see anything wrong with that being on the front of your folder, but unless I have this wrong I think Ms Hollis was saying you were holding it up and displaying it to the public gallery.

  • Well where I am, your Honour, if I lift my folder up the public gallery will see it.

  • You are saying you didn't intentionally show it to the public gallery as some form of incentive or bid for support or advertisement?

  • I did show it to the public gallery. Someone in the public gallery had spotted it and asked to look at it and so I showed it to them.

  • All right, thank you.

  • [Trial Chamber conferred]

  • Mr Griffiths, we've discussed this. Frankly we don't see anything terribly harmful in it, but we would prefer that you don't do it because the situation could get out of hand. For instance if you are allowed to hold up signs to the public gallery, because obviously you believe your client is innocent, we couldn't stop the Prosecution from holding up similar signs to the opposite effect and it could get out of hand. That is why we say to you we would prefer you didn't deliberately hold it up, but of course we are well aware that it is on the front of your folder.

  • Very well, Mr President.

  • Now, Mr Taylor, I remind you that you are still bound by your declaration that you made yesterday to tell the truth.