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

  • Yes, we will take appearances first, please.

  • Good morning Mr President, your Honours, opposing counsel. This morning for the Prosecution Maja Dimitrova and myself, Brenda J Hollis.

  • [Open session]

  • [The accused present]

  • [Upon commencing at 9.30 a.m.]

  • Thank you.

  • Good morning Mr President. For the Defence today myself Courtenay Griffiths, my learned friends Mr Terry Munyard and Mr Morris Anyah and can I also introduce Counsellor Laveli Supuwood, former Solicitor General of Republic of Liberian and former Minister of Justice of the Republic of Liberia, who is with us as a pro bono legal assistant.

  • Yes, thank you, Mr Griffiths, and, Mr Supuwood, welcome to the Court. Ms Hollis, I understand that the next witness is TF1-168.

  • That is correct, Mr President, and this witness initially was provided protective measures by decision of Trial Chamber I in the Sesay et al case, the decision dated 5 July 2004, and then by oral decision dated 31 March of 2006 and 4 April of 2006, Trial Chamber I ordered that the witness's testimony be heard in closed session and that closed session protection was confirmed by Appeals Chamber decision dated 17 October 2008. So that we would call this witness in closed session.

  • Yes. And the only other matter is what about the question of court monitors? As you know under Rule 79, 79(C) provides that in the event that it is necessary to exclude the public the Trial Chamber should, if appropriate, permit representatives of monitoring agencies to remain. Such representatives should, if appropriate, have access to the transcripts of closed session. What do you say about that possibility?

  • The Prosecution had provided comments on that issue I think at the very beginning of the trial and we would be very interested in knowing who these monitors were so that informed decisions could be made about that matter.

  • Yes. As you can see there are no court monitors present in any event. I don't know whether any are listening from booths or not, but your attitude then is that you would permit them if they are registered with the Court or --

  • Our position, we raised our concerns about them. We would certainly simply like to know if the Trial Chamber is to permit them, which of course you may very well do, who they are and what organisations they are with and of course that they would have been registered with the Court.

  • I understand. I don't know who the court monitors are and it appears that the Bench is not privy to the identity of those court monitors. Madam Court Manager, have you any information on this, or not?

  • Your Honour, as to the identity of the court monitors, I do not have any information but I am aware that there are court monitors who receive - who normally receive public session transcripts and other information.

  • I see. Well, I think in the circumstances it is pointless making an order permitting court monitors. You have just heard Madam Court Manager say that her awareness is that the court monitors normally receive public session transcripts and as to other entitlements this Bench is not aware, so we won't make that order, Ms Hollis. We will explain to the public, though, that the order for a closed session, as stated by the Prosecution, was made by Trial Chamber I and affirmed by the Appeals Chamber, and the reason for that order is to protect the privacy, security and non-disclosure of the identity of the next witness. Madam Court Manager, could you please arrange for the Court to be put in closed session.

  • [At this point in the proceedings, a portion of the transcript, pages 23126 to 23258, was extracted and sealed under separate cover, as the proceeding was heard in closed session.]

  • [Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.30 p.m. to be reconvened on Thursday, 22 January 2009 at 9.30 a.m.]