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

  • Good morning. I note some changes of appearance. Mr Bangura, your bar is as before.

  • Good morning Madam President. Good morning your Honours and counsel opposite. Your Honours, for the Prosecution this morning is Ms Brenda J Hollis, myself Mohamed A Bangura and Ms Maja Dimitrova.

  • [Open session]

  • [The accused not present]

  • [Upon commencing at 9.30 a.m.]

  • Thank you, Mr Bangura. Mr Griffiths, I note first of all that your bar has changed, but I also note the absence of the accused.

  • Madam President, yes. Good morning Madam President, your Honours, counsel opposite. For the Defence today: Myself Courtenay Griffiths and my learned friend Mr Terry Munyard. Madam President, you will have noticed that the accused, Mr Taylor, is not in attendance today.

  • Yes.

  • The circumstances surrounding his absence was related to me by him this morning as 8.20 when I received a telephone call from the detention unit. There are certain matters that I would like to raise, Madam President, but I would prefer to raise them in private session for reasons which I will explain in a moment.

  • If we are to go into a private session we have to make a ruling, the Trial Chamber must make a ruling, but we need to know some indication why for the purposes of the rules.

  • I am concerned, Madam President, that on a previous occasion when an application of this nature was made it caused concerns in certain quarters which I don't really want to elaborate on in public session.

  • I see. This relates to security of the accused or the situation of the accused?

  • Your Honour, Madam President, yes.

  • Yes, but surely, Mr Griffiths, if you look at the provisions of Rule 79 which deal with closed session and in this case also private session, I think, there are at least three grounds that are given: National security; protection of the privacy or security of the identity of a victim; and protecting the interests of justice. Your application should fall in one of these surely for the record?

  • We submit that it falls within the third category, that is protecting the interests of justice, your Honour.

  • I think that is good enough for the record.

  • Your Honours, just for the record the Defence has spoken to the Prosecution about this and we agree it should be in private session.

  • I am grateful for that notice of consent, Ms Hollis.

  • I am grateful to my learned friend.

  • For purposes of public record the Court is going to go into private session to hear an application from the Defence, or an explanation from the Defence, and we are doing so in order to protect the interests of justice. It is by consent.

    Just for purposes of information to persons in the public gallery, you will be able to see but you will not be able to hear. Madam Court Attendant, please have the Court put in private session.

  • [At this point in the proceedings, a portion of the transcript, pages 13952 to 13955, was extracted and sealed under separate cover, as the proceeding was heard in private session.]

  • [Open session]

  • Your Honour, we are in open session.

  • Thank you. We have heard and considered an application for an adjournment of today's proceedings and have considered the explanation given in private session for that adjournment. We find the grounds of the application reasonable and note that it is not opposed by Prosecution counsel. We grant the adjournment until 9.30 tomorrow, that is 18 July 2008. We direct a representative of the Registry to attend at the detention centre to speak to Mr Taylor. We suggest that such a representative consult with counsel for the Defence prior to going to the detention centre. We understand counsel may be going today and so that would have to be today, hence my request that he liaise. For purposes of public record and those persons listening in the public gallery, the adjournment and the explanation given are beyond the control of either the parties or the Court and relate to matters outside the court proceedings.

    In the circumstances, please adjourn court until tomorrow at 9.30.

  • [Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 9.50 a.m. to be reconvened on Friday, 18 July 2008 at 9.30 a.m.]