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

  • Good morning. We will take appearances first, please.

  • Good morning, Madam President. Good morning your Honours. Good morning, opposing counsel opposite. For the Prosecution this morning, Brenda J Hollis, Joseph Kamara, Mohamed A Bangura, Kathryn Howarth, Ruth Mary Hackler, Ula Nathai-Lutchman, Nathan Quick, Maja Dimitrova our case manager, and our intern Imogen Parmar. And I forgot myself, Nicholas Koumjian.

  • [Open session]

  • [The accused present]

  • [Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.]

  • Good morning, Madam President and counsel opposite. For the Defence today, myself Courtenay Griffiths. With me, Mr Morris Anyah, Mr Silas Chekera, Ms Logan Hambrick, Ms Kathryn Howarth - sorry, Hovington, Mr Tor Krever, Ms Elisabeth Espinosa, Ms Fatiah Balfas, Ms Salla Moilanen and Mr Simon Chapman.

    I am sorry, Madam President, that I seem somewhat distracted. The reason for my distraction is this: About seven minutes ago I was told, contrary to a witness order filed by the Prosecution, that the first witness to be called this morning is Mia Farrow. The reason for my concern is this: We received last night, gone 8 o'clock, proofing notes from Carole White who was supposed to be the next witness. So if there was a concern and difficulty in having her first thing this morning, we should have been notified last night, rather than seven minutes ago.

    Now, by CMS 1013, Public Prosecution witness list for 9 August of this year, we were told that the first witness to be called this morning was Carole White. Where is she? She is definitely in The Hague and why we know she is definitely in The Hague is this: We received an email from the Prosecution, timed at 20:15 last night, containing proofing notes from that witness. So she is here.

    We received that at 20:39. So where is she? Why is it that we are now being told that Mia Farrow is to be the first witness called when we have prepared and planned our strategy based on their notification that the first witness to be called will be Carole White.

    Now, my concern stems from this: This is a Prosecution who have been quick to criticise the Defence when we have erred in the most minor way, and now here they are playing, we say, fast and loose with this Court. It should not be allowed.

    The witness is here, she should be called, and I am seriously angry about this because they are playing fast and loose with this Court and it shouldn't be allowed to happen.

    Where is the witness? Unless, of course, some accommodation is being made because Ms White, as I have been informed, has an appointment later on today. This Court is not here for the convenience of witnesses. This Court is not here for a Prosecution to be pandering to the niceties of witnesses in this way. This is frankly totally out of order. And, in our submission, you judges must do something about it and tell them to call the witnesses in the order they filed so many days ago.

  • Mr Koumjian, do you have conduct of the next witness? Shall we hear from the Prosecution?

  • Yes, your Honour, I do.

    Your Honour, the Prosecution informed the Court and counsel that we intended - long ago that we intended to call both witnesses on 9 August. I take responsibility if the order that they were listed - and I understand they were listed in the order White, Farrow - was inverted. I take responsibility for that. But we indicated from the very beginning that these were witnesses that were both very short, that we would complete our direct examination in no more than two hours for each of them; Ms Farrow actually substantially less time will be required.

    So WVS has arranged to have Ms Farrow here first. They cannot be transported together.

    Ms White, the WVS informed us, would be here at 10 o'clock.

    The Defence has known that we intended to call both witnesses today. They are not prejudiced in any way.

  • Mr Koumjian, if I may interrupt you, why did you invert or reverse the order of appearance?

  • I think there was simply a miscommunication between lawyers and case manager. There was never an intention to call White before Farrow; it was Farrow before White.

  • Is there any truth in the allegation that Ms White has another engagement later on?

  • The reason she is not here is because we asked WVS to bring Ms Farrow here first. WVS informed us - in fact, we asked that Ms White be here at the same time, and that was not possible according to WVS, but she will be here, they informed us, by 10 o'clock.

    Your Honour, as regards to the proofing notes, the Prosecution has a responsibility under the rules, which we take seriously, to inform the Defence of any additional information in a proofing. Both of these witnesses were proofed yesterday, late afternoon. Proofing notes were prepared according to our obligations and sent to the Defence very promptly the same day, within hours of the proofing.

    So the Prosecution has done everything it can to comply with its obligation to keep the Defence informed of the anticipated testimony.

    Both witnesses were scheduled for today, and we don't believe there is any prejudice from inverting the order of the two witnesses. We are prepared to proceed with Ms Farrow, but obviously that's up to your Honours to decide.

  • I will consult.

  • [Trial Chamber conferred]

  • Mr Griffiths, we are of the view that, in view of the explanation given by the Prosecution - obviously a core order of witnesses should be respected. The whole purpose of a core order is to put the other party on notice of how you are going to call your evidence, and in this case it has not been respected.

    However, the remedy, in our view, is not to stand over the testimony of Ms Farrow completely. The remedy in this case, if you insist that the Defence is prejudiced, is for her cross-examination to be stood over until a later time, perhaps until after Ms Carol White has testified. This is normally the remedy that we give in the event that a witness has been called earlier than expected, and I hope that this will solve the problem between the parties.

    So Ms Farrow will be called in now.

  • Good morning, Madam President. Good morning, your Honours. Good morning, counsel opposite. I only rise to indicate that I have carriage of Ms Mia Farrow for the Defence, and I am prepared to proceed. Thank you.

  • Mr Koumjian, I presume you have carriage of the witness.

  • That is correct, Madam President.

  • Normally you do disclose what kind of oath they will take and the language of the communication.

  • The witness will testify in English, and she will take the oath on the Bible.