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

  • Good morning. We will take appearances, please.

  • Good morning, Madam President, your Honours, counsel opposite. For the Prosecution this morning, Brenda J Hollis, Maja Dimitrova and myself Nicolas Koumjian.

  • [Open session]

  • [The accused present]

  • [Upon commencing at 9.30 a.m.]

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

  • Madam President, can I raise a matter which was brought to my notice by the Court Manager this morning. Apparently Mr Taylor doesn't have access to LiveNote at the moment. That really concerns me, because from our point of view it's imperative that the defendant, of all people in this courtroom, be able to follow the proceedings. And, as you can see, Mr Taylor has been busy taking notes and his ability to do so is compromised if he doesn't have access to LiveNote, also his ability to give us instructions. So it's a matter of some real concern to me.

  • What has been happening in the past?

  • Well, in the past he did have access but apparently his password was somehow given to somebody else and as a consequence he now doesn't have access to it.

  • How is that possible, Madam Court Manager?

    Things are rapidly falling apart.

  • This one isn't working either.

  • Three of the judges' microphones are not working and the Prosecutor's microphone is not working.

  • Your Honour, the AV booth has been informed of the technical problem with the microphones. With regard to the LiveNote pertaining to Mr Taylor, the relevant sections of the Registry have been informed and action is being taken to ensure that he has access to LiveNote as soon as possible.

  • But, you know, this is not satisfactory because when the judges come and sit at the Bench at 9.30, we expect that everything has been put in place technically for us to start working. It's not time to start checking the microphones. It's not time to start checking passwords. It's time to start the trial. This is not satisfactory and I hope that it doesn't happen again. What are we supposed to do now? Adjourn? Can we have some indication of when the microphones at least will start working, and probably the earphones are not working either.

  • Your Honour, we are informed by the audiovisual technicians of the ICC that the technicians are trying to look into the problem with the microphones.

  • Mr Witness, can you hear through your headphones?

  • Yes, I can hear you.

  • Can you say something in your microphone to see if we can hear, like good morning or something?

  • Good morning, your Honour.

  • And how soon can Mr Taylor's LiveNote be rectified?

  • Your Honour, the relevant sections of the Registry have been informed and at this moment I cannot give a definitive time frame.

  • That is the Special Court Registry because passwords and our LiveNote is dealt with by the Special Court Registry.

  • Your Honour, the Special Court Registry. I would be able to give an indication as soon as I liaise with the relevant section in the Registry.

  • You know, this is amazing because there is no reason why a change like that would have been made, to take away the ability of Mr Taylor to follow the proceedings. It's quite needless.

  • Your Honour, I do apologise on behalf of the Registry. During the testimony of Mr Taylor, he probably did not have need to access LiveNote, hence the present situation. But all measures have been taken to rectify it, your Honour. We do apologise on behalf of the Registry.

  • Mr Griffiths, I hope that perhaps during the tea break, the midmorning break, this problem will be resolved and that's the best that I can do at this stage.

  • Well, I do hope that it can be resolved by then, your Honour, and I won't make any further application at this stage until we see how long this situation is likely to continue.

  • I do direct that not later than the tea break this problem be resolved so that Mr Taylor has access not later than the tea break.

  • Much obliged, your Honour.

  • Mr Smythe, I do remind you of your oath to tell the truth as you continue with your testimony this morning.