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. Good morning, Ms Hollis. It appears your Bar is as yesterday, am I right?

  • That is correct, Madam President.

  • And I think the Defence is also as yesterday.

  • That is correct, Madam President. Good morning.

  • Good morning. Yes, Ms Hollis.

  • Good morning, Madam President, your Honours. I remain on my feet to make a request of the Prosecution that we be allowed to present an urgent oral motion in private session and in the absence of the witness. The oral motion is based upon matters that arise from the Defence request for extension of time relating to the request for investigation. The private --

  • Just pause a moment, Ms Hollis. I want to be clear what exactly you're asking me at the moment because, as you're aware, the provisions of Rule 73(A) provide that the Trial Chamber shall rule on such motions based solely on the written submissions of the party, unless it is decided to hear the parties in open court. Are you seeking --

  • I am requesting that we be allowed to make oral submissions, as was requested by the Bench yesterday, because of the urgency of the Defence request. We do ask it in private session because it relates to matters that were filed confidentially.

  • Let me deal with the private session matter first and then we'll deal with the leave matter to make the oral submissions.

  • Thank you, Madam President.

  • Mr Anyah, you've heard the application first for a private session.

  • Yes, Madam President. I cannot discern the sum and substance of what will take place and what the nature of the discussion is. I'm in the Court's hands.

  • Thank you. Ms Hollis, we'll deal with the matter of whether this can be entertained as an oral application in open court and then decide on - following the ruling, whatever appropriate action will be required we'll consider. So if you proceed on with your 73(A) application.

  • Your Honour, we request that the matter be considered in private session. This is consistent with the procedure that was followed yesterday relating to the same matters. It deals with matters that were filed confidentially. We request that it be made orally in court because it is an urgent motion and this is also consistent with the Trial Chamber's disposition of the Defence urgent request for an extension of time, when yesterday the Trial Chamber determined that it would have oral arguments on these matters so that it could expeditiously reach a decision. We believe there is a proper basis for both the oral application and the private session.

  • Thank you. Mr Anyah, we're dealing only with the matter as to whether 73(A), if this should be entertained as an oral motion.

  • Certainly the matter is in the Court's discretion, but given the comprehensive nature of submissions that were made yesterday and to the extent that this application, whatever nature it might take, relates to issues that were addressed yesterday, I don't see why the Chamber should exercise its discretion in favour of reconsidering or revisiting these issues. We've addressed the issues in their totality yesterday, the Chamber has rendered its ruling, the Defence abides by that ruling and I frankly do not see why during everyday session we have to seek the Chamber's indulgence to entertain motions orally when the presumption is that motions should be undertaken in writing.

  • Ms Hollis, I just want to understand you properly. You allude to the Chamber's disposition yesterday, but, as I recall, yesterday when the Chamber requested the parties to respond orally it was on the premise that there were already written motions pending before the Trial Chamber and in respect of which the Trial Chamber thought it, or deemed it fit that given the urgency of the motions oral responses on either side should be received and the Chamber thereby gave the parties a bit of notice for them to give their oral responses in the afternoon. Now, I don't know what you allude to when you say it was in the disposition of the Chamber yesterday to entertain oral applications. We did not entertain oral applications yesterday.

  • [Microphone not activated].

  • In essence that's what your saying because yesterday's matters were all grounded, or founded in written motions and that was consistent with Rule 73(A).

  • The motion itself was a written motion. The Prosecution received it late afternoon, the day before we were called upon to respond orally in court. We never filed a written response.

    Secondly, your Honour, this is a matter of urgency. It arises directly from the Defence written motion for extension of time and as it is a matter of urgency we believe it is within the Court's discretion to allow it to proceed. It is a matter not only of urgency, it's not a frivolous matter, it is a matter of considerable consequence, in the Prosecution's view, and the longer that we wait for it the longer it will take for disposition. Now, we can file it within probably three hours, but we see this is a technical issue that really should be overcome by the urgency of the motion that we will be making and the significance of the matters that are raised.

    We do not seek also - we understand fully the decision that was made yesterday. Contrary to Defence counsel's assertions, this matter was not decided yesterday. What the Court decided yesterday was that it was inappropriate to raise a secondary issue at that time and accordingly did not allow the application. Defence counsel is on notice of exactly what we're going to raise because at 17.05 yesterday we sent an e-mail notifying Defence counsel that we would be seeking to do this and what we would be seeking to request from the Court.

  • Madam President, just to clarify, I did not receive the e-mail. I am suspecting it was sent to Lotus Notes, which is the UN account, and we've been on record on several occasions saying that we, the Defence Bar, do not have remote access outside the office to our UN accounts. I will check my UN account now in court to see if there was an e-mail sent by opposing counsel, but I can state on record I did not receive an e-mail yesterday.

    I wanted to correct the record about this e-mail, because I've looked at my Lotus Notes and I do see an e-mail from Ms Hollis and the only other person copied is Mr Romans, the senior legal officer. I do recall last evening before leaving the office clicking on this e-mail and apparently I have my dates mixed up. I thought this e-mail was about the issues raised yesterday in court and not about the new issue.

  • I see, very well.

    We have considered the Prosecution's oral application pursuant to Rule 73(A). We decline to hear further applications. The orders sought are already contained in a written Prosecution motion pending before this court. The Trial Chamber has given the Defence an extension of time to respond to all matters in that motion and that decision will stand accordingly. The current application is refused.

    I will remind the witness of his oath. Mr Witness, I remind you again that you have taken the oath to tell the truth. That oath is still binding on you and you must answer questions truthfully.

  • Okay.