Mr. Khan, you wish to say something on that?
MR. KHAN: Your Honour, indeed.
It does seem, one has to say, that in light of the response relating to experts and then this new rather novel idea that a pre-trial brief be latched, be linked, absent a rule, to service of unredacted statements, the tendency seems to be creeping into the Prosecution of disclosure at the last possible moment rather than disclosure at the earliest opportunity.
Your Honour, in international criminal law at the moment, both verified by the International Association of Prosecutors, we're moving much more to a cards-on-the-table approach, with disclosure as soon as possible.
Your Honour, there's been no change of circumstance, in my respectful submission, since the last Status Conference before your sister judge, Judge Sebutinde, on the 22nd of September. Your Honour, on that occasion, a tentative trial date existed of April. Judge Sebutinde suggested an order that the Prosecution serve the pre-trial brief by the 30th of November, 2006.
Now, Your Honour, I did not take up the learned judge's kind invitation on that occasion; I didn't press the Prosecution for service of that pre-trial brief. But that date, from the transcript, seems to have been discussed previously, along with the tentative trial date, by Your Honours in Freetown before arriving in The Hague.
Your Honour, four months prior to the trial date is the relevant period. Given the June date which has been set by Your Honours in your latest decision, in my respectful submission, the Prosecution have no reason whatsoever, no good standing, no firm foundation, to oppose an order from Your Honours that disclosure of the pre-trial brief be served on the Defence by the 28th of February, which is four months before the trial date.
Your Honour, that would accord and be consistent with the ruling Her Honour Judge Sebutinde was minded to make on the last occasion. In my submission, it would allow the Defence proper time to prepare; it would allow the Defence to understand the contours of the Prosecution case. It would have the advantage, with the annexes, of the list of witnesses it intends to call and the list of exhibits that Judge Sebutinde pointed to, the points of the indictment that the witnesses -- each specific witness would speak to, would help the Defence know the purpose for which each witness was being called.
Your Honour, many of these statements are not obvious. Some of them have wide temporal periods predating post -- predating the indictment. Several cover different geographical areas out with the indictment, including not only Liberia or Sierra Leone but other states.
So the sooner the Defence get the pre-trial brief and know what the Prosecution have in mind, the easier it is going to be to agree further facts.
So, Your Honour, I will, with pleasure, agree these basic facts soon; but, in my respectful submission, if the Prosecution really are trial-ready, if they really are willing to be open and confident in their case, confident that they can properly disclose and allow the Defence to know the case against him, they should be ordered to give the pre-trial brief, along with the other requirements, the list of witnesses and the exhibits, by the end of February. They've had long enough. They've had two months extra since the last Status Conference, and in my submission, there's been no change of circumstance since that occasion.
Your Honour, for those reasons, it's my respectful submission that Your Honour order that the pre-trial brief and all be served upon the Defence by the 28th of February.
Unless I can assist further, Your Honour, those are my submissions on that issue.