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

  • Good morning. We'll take appearances first, please.

  • Good morning, Madam President, your Honours counsel opposite. For the Prosecution this morning, Nina Jorgenson, Maja Dimitrova and myself, Nicholas Koumjian.

  • [Open session]

  • [The accused present]

  • [Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.]

  • Good morning, Madam President. Good morning, your Honours. Good morning, counsel opposite. Appearing for the Defence this morning are Mr Courtenay Griffiths QC, Mr Terry Munyard and myself, Morris Anyah.

  • As you're aware there's been a change in schedule, but we'll be sitting mornings only, so we'll take our usual morning break at 11. Who is your next witness and who is taking charge of the witness?

  • Madam President, the Defence's next witness is DCT-179. I will be leading that witness in examination-in-chief. The witness is subject to a protective measures decision issued by this Trial Chamber on 27 May 2009. The decision is at CMS 782, and in respect of this decision, Madam President, I wish to make an application.

    Your Honours will recall that the decision granted the witness, among others, the protective measure of a pseudonym. Now, we have since spoken with the witness and the witness wishes to testify openly. He wishes to disclose his name to the public. There is an aspect of your decision that makes the measure of pseudonym applicable until the conclusion of the proceedings.

    Consequently, I make an oral application to your Honours for recision of that protective measure pseudonym and I would make an inquiry whether the Prosecution has any objection to that application.

  • Mr Koumjian?

  • We have no objection.

  • Thank you. Just let me get a hold of the decision. According to that decision of 27 May, namely, the decision on urgent Defence application for protective measures for witnesses and for non-public materials, under paragraph (a) of that decision the Defence was permitted the measure of designating a pseudonym for each protected witness. So paragraph (a) is lifted - rescinded in respect of this particular witness; and paragraph (b), which also relates to his names, is lifted; and paragraph (c), which relates to the identifying data of the witness. I think those would be all the paragraphs that need to be lifted or rescinded in relation to this particular witness. You may now call the witness

  • Your Honour, make I make a few observations? First - would your Honour like me to be heard now?

  • Observations on what, Mr Koumjian?

  • Two matters. First of all, just regarding this decision that was made and this is purely dicta because the Defence has indicated the witness wants no protection as far as pseudonym during his testimony. But as I read the Defence application, it clearly said that the measures sought were pre-testimonial. We can deal with that when it is in dispute. Obviously with the current witness there is no dispute, but I just want to put everyone on notice of that for future purposes.

    Secondly, the witness's name was disclosed to the Prosecution 19 days ago - 19 days before the witness testified in violation of the Court's order that the witness's name would be disclosed 21 days. At this time we do not have any motion, but we don't know what the witness is going to say, but we reserve our right, and want to put the Defence on notice, that we may be asking for more time to cross-examine this witness given that the Court's order to disclose the name within 21 days was not complied with.

  • Well, if I may respond, Madam President, regarding the two issues. The first issue, if I understand learned counsel opposite correctly, the Prosecution is saying that your decision is simply a pretrial decision, but Madam President has pointed out paragraph B of the orders, which the last sentence reads: "This order shall remain in effect after the conclusion of proceedings." And that is why we make this application regarding the pseudonym. So, therefore, our reading of this decision is that until the witness affirmatively indicates that they wish to waive this right to a pseudonym when they appear in Court, we need to make the necessary application for your Honours to rescind provisions that apply to the witness.

    In any event, with respect to the second observation by counsel opposite, it is true that disclosure of the witness's name was not made within 21 days of today. We disclosed the witness's name to the Prosecution on 2 February. I have a copy of the letter here. Today makes it the 20th day. Tomorrow makes it the 21st day, which means the Prosecution, had they wished, could have moved for an application for an adjournment until tomorrow so that they would have the full 21 days within which to have had the witness's name. For us, yes, it is noteworthy that we did not comply. But the witness is here. He is present. Today is the 20th day. Tomorrow is the 21st day. And in the future we will make all efforts to amend such situations, Madam President.

  • Thank you. I think what would really make a difference in the trial is if each party played according to the rules of the game. If there's a 21-day disclosure, it is 21 days, not 18, not 19, not even 20. That is what saves the time in court. Having said that, though, there really is no issue currently with this witness. The witness may now be brought in.