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

  • [Open session]

  • [The accused not present]

  • [Upon commencing at 9.38 a.m.]

  • Good morning. We will take appearances first, please.

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

  • Good morning, Madam President. Good morning, your Honours. Good morning, counsel opposite. Appearing for the Defence this morning is myself, Morris Anyah. Thank you.

  • Mr Anyah, Mr Taylor is not in court. I do not think that the Chamber is aware of any reasons why he is not in court.

  • Yesterday, Madam President. Typically on Tuesdays Mr Taylor is absent for the morning session for reasons I suspect your Honours are now well familiar with. Today the usual reasons would have applied but for the fact that the appointment that he usually keeps was cancelled through no fault of his own. But separate and apart from that, other issues have arisen today which makes it that he is absent and will be absent, not just from this morning's session but from the entire proceedings today.

    The reasons for that absence I perhaps should convey in a private session because they implicate the privacy of Mr Taylor.

  • Before we proceed, I would just like to note and apologise that the Chamber started a good 35 minutes late today. The reasons, I am reliably informed, are that a lot of the support staff could not get to court on time due to a massive disruption of the public transportation in The Hague and the staff include, of course, our court reporters who couldn't be here until just now. So that's why we have started late. We couldn't proceed with no record being kept.

    As for the reasons of Mr Taylor's absence, I think we will go into a private session briefly so that these reasons may be put on the record.

  • [At this point in the proceedings, a portion of the transcript, pages 46943 to 46943, was extracted and sealed under separate cover, as the proceeding was heard in private session.]

  • [Open session]

  • Your Honour, we are in open session.

  • Now, I note for the record that Mr Anyah, counsel for the Defence, has in a private session informed the Trial Chamber of the reasons for Mr Taylor's absence. These reasons were stated in private session in order to protect the privacy of Mr Taylor.

    We have heard the explanation given that the Court may proceed in the absence of Mr Taylor and we are satisfied that it is in the interests of justice to proceed, pursuant to Rule 60(B) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. And so we will proceed and, Mr Anyah, please call your next witness.

  • Yes, Madam President, the Defence's next witness will be DCT-008. Before the witness is brought before the Court, there are a few preliminary matters I should indicate.

    The first is that the witness will be testifying in Liberian English through an interpreter.

    The second is that the witness wishes to be sworn by taking the solemn declaration pursuant to Rule 90(B).

    Last but not the least, is that the witness wishes to avail himself of the protective measure of pseudonym, that is to testify using the pseudonym DCT-008.

    We submit, as your Honours are well familiar, that a decision rendered by your Honours on 27 May 2009, filed under CMS 782 allows ex-combatants of the civil conflicts in either Liberia or Sierra Leone to be afforded the protective measure of pseudonym and this particular witness in our submission falls under the first category, that is being an ex-combatant that fought during the civil war in Liberia. And so he wishes to avail himself of that protective measure. Thank you.

  • I do not suppose that there are any other protective measures that he has rescinded?

  • No, Madam President, that is the only one applicable to him at this time.

  • Very well, that is so noted and the witness will proceed with the protective measure of a pseudonym. Please call the witness in.

  • Madam President, while the witness is being brought in can I just indicate very shortly that once I commence the examination of the witness, I will make an application for a private session to elicit information that contains his identity. And later on during the course of his testimony I anticipate that I will also make a similar application to cover matters that will be protective of Prosecution witnesses.

  • May I just inquire if the Liberian English interpreters are in place, please?