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

  • [Open session]

  • [The accused present]

  • [Upon commencing at 9.30 a.m.]

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

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

  • Good morning, Madam President, your Honours, counsel opposite. For the Defence today, myself Courtenay Griffiths, with me Mr Morris Anyah and Mr Terry Munyard of counsel.

    Madam President, can I deal with a brief administrative matter?

  • There have been so many versions of this new timetable that I am not sure I am looking at the correct one, but you may recall that yesterday you raised the issue of the change in timetabling next week. Now, I didn't have an opportunity to consult with Mr Taylor when I told the Court that for our part the new timetable didn't raise any concerns, but Mr Taylor alerted me to a particular problem this morning.

    Now, according to the timetable he has, on the 5th and the 26th of February, both Fridays, we are due to start at 3 p.m. and continue through to 7.30. Now, that poses a problem for him.

  • Friday? Did you say Friday?

  • Just a minute. I don't think so. Let me consult my diary because I don't believe that these are the dates. Just give me a moment, Mr Griffiths.

    According to the latest version that I have that was circulated to the judges on the 19th of this month, we have down on the sitting timetable the hours of 9.30 to 16.30, okay. So that would be 9.30 in the morning until 4, but that's because - it simply means that the Court is available to our Trial Chamber. But for those two Fridays, as long as Mr Taylor is still testifying, we shall observe the current regime whereby the Defence requested the Court not to sit on Fridays.

  • Can I just alert the Court as to what the difficulty is. The Sabbath starts at 5 p.m. on a Friday and Mr Taylor was concerned because of his Jewish faith that we might be sitting on till 7.30, so that's why he raised the issue with me. But I think that if we were to finish at 4.30 on those days that would be okay, and I see Mr Taylor nodding in agreement.

  • I'll tell you what - no, you know what, you may be right. If I look at the programme, the week 1st to 5th February indicates Wednesday as the free day. This is where we have to adjust and therefore that makes Friday a sitting day.

  • But according to the timetable that we have, the sitting hours go only up to 4.30, at least for that week, 1st of February. So I think that's fine.

  • I think that poses no difficulties then.

  • Then the following week, 8 to 12 February, the sitting day - we can't sit because it says there is maintenance going on all day in this courtroom. So that's not a problem. And I really don't see any other problem for the foreseeable future on a Friday.

  • I think, now looking at the version I have, that no difficulty arises.

  • Okay. And while we're on schedules, I thought I would let the parties know that we intend to observe the normal Easter recess, ICC Easter recess, according to the ICC calendar with not a day extra. So if you just appraise yourself of the ICC calendar, that would be the Special Court's recess for this Easter.

  • Very well. I am grateful for that, Madam President.

  • And if there is nothing further, Mr Taylor, simply to remind you of your declaration to tell the truth. Please continue, Ms Hollis.

  • Thank you, Madam President: