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

  • [Open session]

  • [The accused present]

  • [Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.]

  • Good morning. I notice that the Defence counsel are not here. Madam Court Manager, what is going on?

  • Good morning, your Honour. A member of the Defence team was here 15 minutes ago to report that they have been locked out of their office and so they are unable to robe, or pick up their files. We contacted the ICC security office and it is our belief that they are working on sending someone to open the door for them and hopefully they should be here soon. Most obliged to you, your Honour.

  • Is there anybody here from security to explain to us what is going on? Why is the office of the Defence counsel locked? Why are they locked out of their office? Do we have anybody to explain to us why, or how long this is likely to take? I don't expect Madam Prosecutor to have a clue.

  • Your Honour, the Defence team has got one key which is shared amongst them, amongst the entire Defence team, and this key was left at the Binckhorstlaan office, but in the event when the key is missing, normally the practice is to resort to the security control.

  • So then it is not entirely the fault of the security office, but rather I might say the unfortunate forgetfulness of the Defence office because they have their own key. It is not as if they are locked out.

  • That is affirmative, your Honour.

  • [Overlapping speakers] to leave their key at Binckhorstlaan. That is different from alleging that the security officer locked them out, isn't it?

  • That is correct, your Honour.

  • Thank you. I am afraid we will just have to sit here and wait because there is no way we can proceed in the absence of Defence counsel, which is unfortunate.

    We did decide that we would review the sitting hours, today I think it was we said we would review, and again this is highly dependent on the presence of Defence counsel. It was their application to review the sitting times, an application that was not opposed by the Prosecutor. We do have a feedback now from Court Management which I will let you know as soon as Defence counsel comes in.

    Madam Court Manager, could you in any way check and see if we had perhaps better adjourn, or whether it is worth sitting here waiting?

  • I will do so, your Honour.

    Your Honour, we are informed that a security officer has gone to open the office with a master key so they should be here in about 5 to 10 minutes.

  • Then I think in that case we will adjourn and if you could let the judges know when court is ready to sit.

  • Much obliged, your Honour.

  • [Break taken at 9.10 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 9.14 am]

  • Good morning, once again. Mr Griffiths, we would like to hear from you, it is now 9.15, what your misfortune was this morning.

  • Your Honours may not appreciate this, but we have been experiencing certain difficulties in terms of security within this building. At present we have one key to the room which all of us are sharing. Now, on Friday myself and Mr Munyard were rushing off to return to London, for good reason, and left the key with another member of the team. Unfortunately, the key was left in the office and we were coming straight from the hotel, which is adjacent to here, unaware that the key would not be here at court and that is the difficulty, so we had to wait for it to be brought from the office in Binckhorstlaan.

  • Anyway, for the record I think it is only right - because we were given the impression that security had locked you out of your office --

  • -- which is not true. What is closer to the truth is what you are now saying: That you actually locked yourselves out of your own room. Anyway, not that I have heard an apology, but I would imagine that an apology is in order and we will accept the unfortunate beginning, the loss of 15 minutes.

  • We of course apologise, your Honour. It would be helpful if we could be provided with a couple more keys. It would solve this particular difficulty.

  • Mr Griffiths, I am sure you could take that up with the ICC administration. I am sure they would be happy to work that out.

    Before we begin though I would like to revisit the issue of the sitting hours that Defence counsel requested. We have now cleared this with the ICC administration and our Court Management and the new sitting hours, at least for now, are going to be as follows: The first sitting will be from 9.30 to 11.00, and this is beginning tomorrow. Beginning tomorrow we shall be sitting from 9.30 until 11.00. We will have a break, a half hour break, from 11.00 to 11.30. We will have the second sitting from 11.30 to 1.30 and our usual lunch break will be cut short by an hour, that is from 1.30 to 2.30. That is the lunch break. Then the afternoon sitting will be from 2.30 to 4.30, of course with the exception of Friday. Friday, with the exception of the next two Fridays where we hope to sit to make up time, will be free for in house work.

    We are going to continue with the testimony of witness TF1-406. Good morning, Mr Witness.

  • Morning, Madam.

  • I wish to remind you, before we continue with your cross-examination, that you are still under oath. Do you understand that?