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

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

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

  • [Open session]

  • [The accused present]

  • [Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.]

  • Good morning, Madam President, your Honours, counsel opposite. For the Defence today myself, Courtenay Griffiths; with me Mr Silas Chekera, Mr Morris Anyah, Ms Logan Hambrick, and our case manager Ms Salla Moilanen, and we're also joined today by the Principal Defender.

  • The Principal Defender is welcome to the Court. Now, Mr Griffiths, you will introduce your next witness.

  • Madam President, before I call the next witness who is DCT-172, could I address a couple of preliminary matters, please.

    Firstly, that the witness will give evidence in open session. The language is Krio, but there's one other administrative matter regarding his welfare which I would like to raise at this stage and it's this: Hitherto every witness called by either the Prosecution or the Defence has been provided with culturally appropriate food by the WVS whilst that witness is at Court. Mr Sesay is a detainee, DCT-172, and as such, those responsible for his security are currently refusing to allow him to receive food whilst at court from WVS.

    Now, to an extent I can understand the reluctance to allow food to be brought in for Mr Sesay at the detention facility, and understandably Mr Sesay is having difficulty dealing with the food provided to him where he is currently being housed, a facility designed for individuals from a completely different cultural background. I mention this in court because I've been engaged with WVS in seeking to resolve this issue but, given my other responsibilities, I would like to hand over the responsibility of resolving this issue to the Principal Defender who is present in The Hague.

    I therefore seek two indications from your Honours: Firstly, an observation publicly made that your Honours see no security issues with WVS providing food to the witness whilst the witness is at court, because I presume that it is accepted by this Court that WVS can be trusted in that regard. And the second application is that the Principal Defender be allowed to see the witness during the luncheon adjournment in order to investigate and hopefully resolve the issue.

    Now, this we regard as a rather serious matter, your Honours, because the diet could impact on the witness's health and consequently his ability to concentrate and, frankly, last the course of what is quite a lengthy court day. So that is the request I make.

  • Mr Griffiths, I'm not quite sure that I get your request as far as the Trial Chamber's involvement is concerned. I can only reiterate that administrative matters that relate to the detention facilities, either of the ICC or of the United Nations, are matters beyond the Trial Chamber and really fall within the ambit of the Registrar, and that includes the dietary restrictions of prisoners.

    The head of sub-office, who is the Registrar's representative in The Hague, is very conveniently in court and I'm sure has heard what you have to say. I don't know if you've approached him with these concerns yet or not, but I would advise that he is the right man to address. The Principal Defender too has had time and opportunity, I'm sure, outside of the trial time to consult with Mr Sesay --

  • Not on this issue.

  • -- I would believe. I have seen the Principal Defender; I spoke to her on Friday, and she did intimate to me that she did talk to him on a number of issues including his dietary concerns. So I am not - I don't think that I'm mistaken, but obviously the Trial Chamber has no objection to the Principal Defender speaking with Mr Sesay during the luncheon break.

  • I'm grateful for that.

  • As relates to the protective measures of the upcoming witness, you said that he is a protected witness who wishes to testify openly. That would implicate a recision of measures, wouldn't it?

  • We'll hear you on that one, please.

  • Well, we would like the measures lifted, your Honours, put simply.

  • I'm not quite sure what measures exactly.

  • I don't have the measures immediately to hand, but I do believe they were the general measures granted in respect of all witnesses.

  • Very well. The measures granted to DCT-172, which were for the protection of his identity, are hereby rescinded on his own application.

  • I can provide your Honours with the CMS number. It's CMS 782 of 27 May 2009.

  • Very well then. Those are the measures that I have referred to as having been rescinded. Please call the witness in.

  • If I could address the Court, your Honour, while we have this moment to explain. The witness is not in the immediate area of the holding cell here, so it may take just a few moments. With regard to counsel's request about WVS providing food, I will discuss this matter with WVS and the STL. That's all.

  • Thank you, Mr Townsend.

    If I may inquire are the Krio interpreters in place?