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. I notice some changes of appearance on the Prosecution Bar.

  • Good morning, your Honours. For the Prosecution: Brenda J Hollis, Alain Werner, Maja Dimitrova and Nicholas Koumjian.

  • Did I notice Mr Bangura in court as well?

  • Apparently you did, but I didn't. Mohamed A Bangura for the Prosecution.

  • Thank you. Mr Munyard?

  • Good morning, your Honours. Good morning counsel opposite. We are the same as yesterday: Myself, Terry Munyard, and Morris Anyah for the Defence.

  • Thank you, Mr Munyard. I'm the one with the defect in my machine this morning. We must be taking it in turns. In any event, unless there are some preliminary matters I will remind the witness of his oath and we will proceed with the --

  • Madam President, there's one preliminary matter that I should probably raise now because I might otherwise let it slip. I suggested a couple of days ago now, I think on Monday, that the Court had heard from a witness who said that the civil courts in Sierra Leone were functioning quite well under President Kabbah post the restoration of his government.

  • I do recall that and I did some research on it.

  • Well, I did what research I could because I couldn't find an official transcript of his evidence for reasons that will be obvious. I'm sure one exists on paper, but I didn't have one electronically and so I relied on the unofficial record of the evidence of 19 February and it is contained in there at - I can't give you a line because the unofficial transcript doesn't have a line, but I hope I can fairly summarise it by saying that that particular witness says that he himself was involved in monitoring the functioning of the civil courts and that such shortcomings as there were were promptly addressed by the government's representative, who I think was the Attorney General, and that he was generally, and I'm summarising now, that he was generally impressed with the way in which the civil courts were working in 1998.

  • I will invite Mr Koumjian to reply because it was Mr Koumjian who raised the initial remarks when you put that to the witness. I have the transcript that I found, but I do not have it to hand. I will not be able to get it until the break, but my reading of it did not conform exactly with what you are saying. However, I will invite Mr Koumjian to reply before I make any - Mr Koumjian, you may recall the question that led to this particular exchange.

  • Yes and although, your Honours, I did read that transcript - I wasn't in court, but I believe I have reviewed that transcript a long time ago - I wouldn't be able to comment on the - I don't actually recall that remark and I would have to review the transcript to comment upon the context in which the witness was speaking and I can probably do that during the course of the day. I will just have it sent to me electronically.

  • We'll stand the matter down until after the break if that's convenient.

  • Yes, I wasn't seeking to deal with it now. I just wanted to raise it and to give you a date and that's the date that I found.

  • Please let me have it again. 19 February?

  • I will check if it conforms to the one I found.

  • I have to say I haven't yet got hold of the official transcript, but I have on a memory stick the unofficial version of that.

  • Thank you, Mr Munyard. If there's no other matters I will remind the witness of his oath.