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

  • Good morning. Good morning, Mr Santora.

  • Good morning, Madam President. Good morning, your Honours, counsel opposite. For the Prosecution this morning is Brenda J Hollis, Ruth Mary Hackler and myself Christopher Santora.

  • [Open session]

  • [The accused present]

  • [Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.]

  • Thank you. Good morning, Mr Munyard.

  • Good morning, Madam President, your Honours, counsel opposite. For the Defence this morning is Courtenay Griffiths QC, Morris Anyah, myself and Amina Graham.

  • Thank you, Mr Munyard. If there are no other matters I will remind the witness of his oath.

  • Madam President, there is one other matter that I think Mr Griffiths is going to deal with.

  • I see. Yes, Mr Griffiths.

  • It is merely this, Madam President, and it's to revisit a topic raised yesterday by my learned friend Mr Munyard. In anticipation of the fact that we would not be sitting next week I made arrangements for various individuals to travel to The Hague so that we could have a meeting to discuss certain matters regarding the forthcoming Defence case. As a consequence, two of those individuals have already arrived and are scheduled to leave The Hague on Wednesday. Others are due to arrive over the course of the weekend with a view, as originally planned, to having a meeting on Tuesday of next week.

    Now, Mr Munyard is not in a position to predict how long he will be with this witness, but I anticipate he will be at least, after today, another full day.

    So the application I am making at this point in time is that at the very least we not sit on Tuesday to enable me to meet with those individuals who have travelled a great distance and at no little inconvenience to themselves to be here next week and then if needs be reconvene on Wednesday to conclude this witness.

  • Allow me to seek a response. Ms Hollis, you responded on behalf of the Prosecution yesterday.

  • Yes, thank you, Madam President. We do wish to conclude this witness, so it is of course for your Honours to determine how that will occur. We would note that of course the possibility of a carry over session to conclude a witness was raised by the Prosecution as early as 10 November and again on 21 November. So that possibility was raised. It was sent to Mr Romans, but the Defence Counsel were included in those exchanges. So the possibility of that was raised very early on. So, we certainly leave it to your Honours, but our fundamental position is we wish to conclude this witness.

  • Mr Griffiths, just before we confer, the interviews that you have arranged for next Tuesday, do I take it that yourself and Mr Munyard are both required at those interviews?

  • Your Honour, yes. And, your Honour, they are not in fact interviews as such. It is to discuss with other members of the Defence team the planning of the Defence case if we get to that stage. So it's not interviewing individuals as such.

  • [Trial Chamber conferred]

  • We have considered the respective views and we will conclude this witness before recess. If the cross-examination is not completed by Monday afternoon, we will grant Mr Griffiths's request and reconvene on Wednesday.

  • I am most grateful, Madam President.

  • As you are aware, Mr Griffiths, the Court, as I said yesterday, did give an indication vaguely to allow this witness to be finished, or a witness to be finished. We did not know it would be this one.

  • Yes, in fact the message we got, Madam President, was that the Court would be willing to sit for an hour longer.

  • An hour possibly go into a little bit of Monday. That was the message we got, but I don't want to revisit all of that. I predicated my comments to you about my length of my cross-examination yesterday on that basis, and I therefore assumed that as it wasn't going to just be a matter of an hour or a little bit of one day that we were in the position of moving into next year, but that has changed and we are now in a situation where we are all endeavouring to conclude this witness, but obviously vague comments and vague emails about vague witnesses in deep November really weren't terribly helpful to us when we were told the Court wasn't sitting next week and therefore we made plans. However, can I move on with my --

  • I will remind the witness of his oath unless there is something else.

  • Mr Witness, good morning. I again remind you this morning as I have done on other mornings that you have taken the oath to tell the truth. The oath continues to be binding upon you and you must answer questions truthfully. Do you understand?

  • Yes, my Lordship.