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. I would like to open our new session of the year by wishing you all a very happy new year and hope you feel revived after the break. Ms Hollis, we will take appearances please.

  • Good morning, Madam President, your Honours, opposing counsel, and happy new year to everyone as well. This morning for the Prosecution are Nicolas Koumjian, Christopher Santora, Maja Dimitrova and myself Brenda J Hollis.

  • Thank you. Mr Griffiths?

  • Good morning, Madam President, your Honours, counsel opposite. For the Defence today are myself, Courtenay Griffiths, and my learned friends Mr Terry Munyard and Mr Morris Anyah. Can we also take the opportunity to wish everyone a very productive year in this Court.

  • Thank you, Mr Griffiths. Ms Hollis, I note there is no witness in the stand.

  • That's correct, Madam President. We do have a witness who is waiting. However, before we do call the next witness I would ask that we be allowed to deal with some evidentiary matters that arose in the testimony of TF1-023. You may recall this was a witness who was called for cross-examination, it was a 92 bis witness, on 22 October 2008.

    In addition to the transcript of the witness's prior testimony in the Brima et al case, the AFRC case, there were three exhibits connected with that prior testimony. They were marked for identification as MFI-2, MFI-3 and MFI-4. When they were tendered by the Prosecution issues arose as to the legibility of those exhibits. The one that was marked MFI-2, had been exhibit P-1 in the AFRC case. MFI-3 had been exhibit P-2 and MFI-4 had been exhibit P-3. CMS has obtained the original exhibits which were filed in the AFRC case and has provided the Prosecution and the Defence with copies of those originals, each one with a cover sheet indicating the exhibit number in the AFRC case.

    So at this time I would ask that the Court Attendant provide MFI-2, 3 and 4, the originals that she has, for admission, first showing them to the Defence and then providing them to you, Madam President. Then one by one I would ask that they be admitted into evidence.

  • Thank you, Ms Hollis. Mr Griffiths, you are aware of the application?

  • I am aware of the application and in fact I dealt with the witness and I recall very well the situation which arose and there is no objection.

  • Thank you. We will then proceed to have the originals shown as indicated by Ms Hollis.

    Ms Hollis, we've seen the original documents and counsel for the Defence has indicated he has got no objection. Just for purposes of record I would like to note and confirm that the document, that's the transcript that is listed on this sheet supplied by the Court Management, MFI-1, if my recollection is correct that is already admitted.

  • Yes, that's correct.

  • Likewise MFI-5, the disbursement sheet, if I recall is already admitted.

  • That is correct. It was only these three that were outstanding.

  • Thank you for that clarification. In the light of counsel's statement that he does not object I will proceed to mark these as Prosecution exhibits. So what was MFI-2, a handwritten sheet, one page, becomes exhibit P-267. MFI-3, again a handwritten sheet, becomes Prosecution exhibit P-268. MFI-4, a handwritten one page sheet, becomes Prosecution exhibit P-269.

  • [Exhibits P-267 to P-269 admitted]

  • Madam President, at the time these were tendered on 22 October it was requested that they be confidential exhibits and the Prosecution renews that request.

  • Yes, I recall the reasoning behind that. Mr Griffiths, again you dealt with this matter.

  • No objection to that.

  • Each of these exhibits, 267, 268 and 269, will be confidential. Thank you. Please proceed, Ms Hollis.

  • Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, next witness will be TF1-355 and that witness will be led by Christopher Santora.

  • Which language will the witness speak, Mr Santora?

  • Good morning, Madam President, your Honours. Good morning, counsel opposite. Madam President, the witness will be speaking in English and before I do call the witness there is one small preliminary matters in relation to the witness's protective measures.

  • Originally he was covered in the decision of 5 July 2004 from Trial Chamber I for the RUF trial Prosecutor v Sesay et al. The witness testified in Freetown in the RUF trial on 28 October 2004. At the time the witness testified the Prosecution rescinded protective measures related to that witness; all protective measures except for where the witness was residing in terms of his street, city and State. Everything else was rescinded.

    I have copies of the transcript for your Honours and counsel opposite with regards to when these measure were rescinded. At this point the witness still wishes to testify openly and with the same conditions that apply to him currently, meaning that he is testifying openly and the only information that is kept confidential is his actual street, city and State in terms of his address.

  • If you have that transcript, it will be helpful to read it.

  • Yes, Madam President, and with the assistance of Madam Court Officer I can pass this out. The specific reference, just before I give it to your Honours, is page 3 of this transcript, lines 16 to 18, with Judge Boutet's response then.

  • Mr Santora, I am just looking quickly through this transcript and I am looking for an actual order saying that there was a recision of the protective measures.

  • I pointed to the reference I was pointing to on page 3 I guess to say this in a way that it was often the practice in Trial Chamber I perhaps that they would not announce an order in relation to protective measures in a formal sense. That is why I just point to where we notified as to what we were doing and they just never formally said "We therefore order". I understand that is different than the practice in this Chamber. It just, quite frankly, was not as formal as that in that Chamber at this stage in that trial when it came to protective measures.

  • I understand. Counsel for the Defence, I am not sure which counsel has carriage of the matter? Mr Griffiths, you have heard the application. Do you have any observations?

  • I heard the application and I am happy with the application, but for clarification's sake can I enquire whether there is any difficulty referring to the witness's current employment?

  • Can you assist, Mr Santora?

  • There is no difficulty in that.

  • As long as - yes, exactly. Thank you.

  • [Trial Chamber conferred]

  • We have noted the application. In the light of the fact that there was no formal recision, I am of the view that the order of 5 July 2004 may still stand. Therefore I rescind protective measures provided therein with the exception of protective measure (b); that is that the address and whereabouts and other identifying information of the witness shall not - shall be sealed and not included in the public records. So, in effect his address, street and city and State will not be public.

  • And I can just note that country is not a problem. In the context of his evidence it is going to be fairly obvious what country he is residing in and there is no problem with that. That will be led in evidence, just to make that clear.

  • We understand that his name, his employment and information other than his address and city can be public and will be public.

  • Very well. That will be the order. Only his address, residence and city will be not revealed. Please proceed, Mr Santora, and call the witness.

  • Then at this point the Prosecution will call TF1-355. His name is Hassan Bility.