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

  • [Status Conference]

  • [Open Session]

  • [Accused Present]

  • Please be seated.

  • The Special Court for Sierra Leone is sitting in an open session for a Status Conference in the case of the Prosecutor versus Charles Ghankay Taylor. President Justice Shireen Fisher presiding.

  • Good morning. I'm Justice Fischer. I am the Judge that has been designated by the Appeal Panel to hear the motion for extension of time in this matter, and for your further information, I will be your Pre-Hearing, Pre-Appeal Judge once Notices of Appeal have been filed.

    I'll take appearances now.

  • Good morning, Your Honour. For the Prosecution this morning, Brenda J. Hollis, Nicholas Koumjian, Mohamed A. Bangura, and Ula Nathai-Lutchman.

  • Good morning, Madam President.

  • Good morning, counsel for the Prosecution.

    Appearing for the Defence this morning myself, Morris Anyah. To my immediate left is co-counsel Mr Christopher Gosnell. To the left of Mr Gosnell is co-counsel Ms Kate Gibson. Behind us are our legal assistants, Mr Michael Herz, Ms Alexandra Popov, Ms Szilvia Csevar, Mr Isaac Ip, and Ms Yael Vias Gvirsman. We're joined by an intern from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, Ms Carly Lenhoff. Last but not least is the our team administrator, Mr James Kamara.

  • Good morning, Mr Taylor. You may remain seated.

    Mr Taylor, I have read the letter that you sent to the Principal Defender requesting this Mr Anyah represent you during the appeal stage. Are you happy with his appointment and with the team that he has put together?

  • Yes, I am, Your Honour.

  • You main remain seated, Mr Taylor, that's fine. Have you had an opportunity to confer with him about any possible appeals that might be filed on your behalf?

  • And have you also had an opportunity to communicate with your lawyers regarding any problems that you may be having in detention?

  • Preliminarily, yes. Not in total, but to an extent, yeah. I will be following up, because there are some additional issues.

  • Okay. And you will take those up with your counsel?

  • Okay. And are you satisfied so far with the advice and the help that they've been giving you?

  • Thank you, Mr Taylor.

    Okay, we're here on a couple of matters, this being a Status Conference. The matter that actually gives me jurisdiction under 116 is the motion that has been filed by the Defence for an extension of time to file the Notice of Appeal.

    Now, Mr Anyah, I have, of course, read your motion. Did you want to add anything by way of further submission?

  • Just a few remarks, Madam President. We met with the Prosecution this morning before court. We also met with the Prosecution on the 1st of June. There is consensus between the parties about the necessity for an extension. That is not in dispute. I'm referring now to the Notice of Appeal.

    The issue that divides us is how much time should be granted as -- I mean, Your Honour finds that good cause does indeed exist. We have proposed, as you know from the motion, five additional weeks. That takes us to the 19th of July. The Prosecution agrees to the extent of three additional weeks, to the 5th of July.

    Now, what I would add additionally for your consideration, and I don't think this is reflected in our motion, the next largest judgement by the Special Court for Sierra Leone is the RUF judgement and it was 834 pages long. Our judgement is three times the length of that judgement. And it the not just the length of the judgement. We have to focus also on the complexity of the issues.

    This case for one accused has a judgement that is 2.539 pages. The longest judgement before the ICTY, Prosecutor v. Sainovic, also known as Milutinovic at the time it was issued, that judgement is 1.743 pages, I believe, in length. The longest judgement at the ICTR in the Butare trial, Prosecutor v. Nyiramasuhuko, I believe it is, that judgement was 1.748 pages. So we have an unprecedented situation here.

    Added to the equation is the new Practice Direction on the structure of grounds of appeal. This is really focused on the notice really, because the manner in which we frame our grounds of appeal has to be consistent with that Practice Direction. It makes things more complicated, if I might say so, without elaborating further. And not to pre-judge issues given that Your Honour also sits on the panel that will adjudicate the merits, but this is a complex factual case, and legally as well. The period of the indictment runs for six years, but the evidence that was led covers a time frame that easily encompasses 13 to 14 years. So it's a very complex case with an extraordinarily long judgement, and for all of those reasons we feel there is good cause and that it is in the interest of justice to grant us the additional time we request.

    Now, in other cases more significant time has been given for the preparation of the notice. I referred to Sainovic. In Sainovic, the ICTY Rules call for 30 days for the notice. The ICTY Appeals Chamber in Sainovic gave an additional 60 days for the notice. In Nyiramasuhuko, the ICTR Appeals Chamber, also with a 30-day deadline, gave an additional 60 days to five of the six accused in that case. The seventh -- or the sixth accused was given 90 days because they had French-speaking counsel.

    So what we ask for, an additional 35 days, we feel is entirely reasonable and justified, and we pray that Your Honour grants it to us.

    Thank you.

  • Thank you, Mr Anyah.

    Does the Prosecution wish to respond?

  • Very briefly, Your Honour. We certainly agree with the Defence that some addition is appropriate in this case. We view the complexity of the case as primarily factual as opposed to legal complexity. We do note that from the time the written judgement was issued, both parties have the opportunity to review that judgement. We also note, however, that there were changes to that judgement, including paragraph numbers, that required some very close review once the corrected judgement was re-issued.

    In our view, the three weeks additional is more than double the time that is normally given and would be appropriate in this case.

    In relation to Sainovic and many of the cases at the ICTY, those cases were also burdened by the requirement that the judgements be translated into a language that the convicted person understood. That is not the case here. And further, that often consultations with counsel had to go through interpreters which also linked in those consultations and made the logistics of arranging those consultations more difficult.

    So again, we agree that more time, and substantially more time, is necessary, but we believe that three weeks would more than adequately serve the interest of justice in this case.

    Thank you.

  • Okay. Thank you.

    I have a couple of concerns with the extension, with either extension. I'm certainly not unsympathetic to the fact that it's an extraordinarily long judgement. We also have had to read an extraordinarily long judgement, but here are my two concerns: One is that the -- by not having the Notice of Appeal yet filed, it puts both the Court and Mr Taylor in an awkward jurisdictional position. The Pre-Hearing Judge cannot be appointed until the Notice of Appeal has been filed, the theory, I suppose, being that until the Notice of Appeal has been filed there is no appeal, and, therefore, there is no point in being seized.

    The second thing -- and that's under Rule 109. Under Rule 102(A) the execution of the judgement is in effect until the Notice of Appeal is filed. So Mr Taylor is essentially in execution of judgement, although I have stayed the period as opposed to granting a motion, an interim motion, for delay of filing of extension of time for the Notice of Appeal.

    That's -- that's my concern. It's a technicality, but it's one that does cause me some concern.

    Secondly, all of the arguments that you have made for extending time for the Notice of Appeal, with the exception, I suppose, of the length of the judgement in terms of having read it since you will have already read it by the time you file your notice, are going to apply for every filing. I mean, it is complex and that's going to impact on when your submissions are due and most likely your responses and your replies. And so in calculating what -- how much time to give at this end, I really need, and I think we all need, to have some certainty as to how much time you're going to be needing overall.

    So although that is beyond the scope of the actual motion, I wonder if you could give me some sense of what you think the time-frame should be. And in order to assist you with this, I've had my legal officers prepare a chart which shows the various alternatives, and I'd ask that perhaps we can share that with counsel at this point.

    And I wonder -- Mr Anyah, first of all, I would note, although I'm certainly not going hold you to it, but I would note just for the record that according to the order of the Principal Defender, you had implied or stated to her that you had hoped that there would not need to be an extension for filing of the Notice of Appeal, and at that point, presumably -- well, according to Mr Taylor's letter, you already knew that the judgement was going to be fairly extensive. As I say, I'm not going to hold you to it, and obviously you've changed your mind, but I do that in mind.

  • Madam President, may I briefly state a brief response to what you just said.

  • I am not sure which communication, Madam President, you're referring to. I don't know if it is a briefing by the Principal Defender to Your Honours, but what I recall stating in any communication to the Principal Defender or the Registrar of the court is that there would be no unnecessary or unreasonable delays. This is how I phrased it. I did not speak out of those terms.

  • Okay.

  • So that might be a source of some misunderstanding. Thank you.

  • I was referring to her order of the 3rd of May, 2012, where she says:

    "Considering that both Mr Taylor and his appeals counsel Mr Anyah have informed the Registry that, bearing in mind the volume of evidence in this trial and the date of sentencing already set by the Trial Chamber, no legal reason exists for appeals team not to be brought on board now, so -- as lead counsel Anyah does not want to apply for an extension of time for the filing of the initial grounds of appeal."

    That's what I was relying on.

  • I appreciate that, but the Principal Defender prepares and files these documents, and we were not -- we were not consulted as to the language of the document. Thank you.

  • Okay. So she left out the word "unreasonable delay."

  • It would have been preferable if she had included it.

  • If you take a look at the chart, you'll see how the two extensions that have been requested will affect the deadline, the deadlines of other milestones toward the appeal. And I wonder, are the parties at this time prepared to give the Court some idea as to whether or not you're going to be asking for additional extensions?

  • Yes, Madam President. In our discussions with the Prosecution this morning and indeed through e-mail exchanges last week, we conveyed to the Prosecution what we estimated to be the additional time we would need for the Rule 111 appellant's brief. Our communication on Friday last week as well as now is that we would need 90 additional days. That is 90 in addition to the 21 days provided for in Rule 111 to file the Defence appellant's brief. And to the extent you wish to hear submissions on the justification for that, I could be heard now or at a time convenient for Your Honour.

  • Let's just wait for a moment. Let me check with the Prosecutor.

    You've had this conversation. What is your position on that?

  • Thank you, Madam President. And before I state that position, Madam President, for whatever import it may have in relation to your concern about jurisdiction, the Prosecution will be appealing.

  • We will give the specifics at a later date, but we will appeal.

  • So that you have notice of that.

    In relation to the filing of the appeal brief, we certainly have discussed delay with the Defence. We believe that the Defence can show good cause for delay. We are not in agreement again on the time, and we believe that 60 days total, total, for a delay in the filing of the appeal brief would be significant and would be appropriate. And we say that because the work that you do in preparing your notice is really also a part of preparing the substantive brief itself. It translates into your substantive pleading. And that work on the notice begins as soon as you receive the written judgement on the merits, and sentencing you fold in later. So we believe an additional 60 days -- or excuse me, a total of 60 days for the appeal brief in addition to some additional time for the notice would be more than adequate in this case. So we are in agreement on the need for delay.

    We also are of the view that should delays be granted, they should be equal for the Prosecution and the Defence, and primarily our reason for that is if we have similar issues and one party is given longer delay than the other, they, in effect, have two opportunities to respond. They can fold in arguments on their appeal brief and then they can respond again.

    We have more of a concern about delay for the responses, but I believe we will get to that, because we agree with Your Honours that this will flow down the line in terms of delays. Thank you.

  • Okay. Thank you. So just so I'm clear on this, you're suggesting a total of 60 days, which would include the 21 days that are already provided under the Rule?

  • And you're suggesting 90 days in addition to the 21 days under the Rule or a total of 90 days?

  • A hundred and eleven days total. So 90 days in addition to the 21 days.

  • And I take it you intend to appeal.

  • Yes, Madam President, we do intend to appeal.

  • Okay. I wonder if the counsel would be willing to file something within the next 24 hours titled "Notice of Appeal" simply indicating that you have an intention to appeal so that we can perhaps move on to the stage where we can get out of 116 -- or, as -- in terms of my qualification to sit here and move on to 109. Would counsel be willing to do that?

  • Madam President, that -- that legally might pose difficulties to file a document titled "Notice of Appeal" so as to authorise Your Honour to perform certain functions. That would not be our preferred way of proceeding. I think the fact that you're designated and President of the Court empowers you to rule on these issues pre the filing of a Notice of Appeal. I particularly don't see the issue you referred to in Rule 109 as posing any impediment to Your Honour's oversight of the case pending the Notice of Appeal.

  • Okay. I was just trying to come up with a fix, but if you would prefer not to, you're under no obligation to do so.

  • If we may address that.

  • We would suggest that perhaps if it was entitled "Notice of Intention to Appeal" and would simply say that we do intend to appeal, it would not be a Notice of Appeal per se, and it would cover any concerns that Your Honour has based on the plain language of the Rule, but we would certainly be willing to do that if Your Honour would wish it.

  • That would be fine with us if it is so designated.

  • All right. Thank you. And the parties agree that that would give the President of the Court power to -- under Rule 109 to appoint a Pre-Hearing Judge?

  • Yes, we agree.

  • Okay. Great. Thank you.

    I suppose it is premature to ask you how much more time you think you might need on respondent's briefs.

  • Madam President, just to be heard on some of the observations made by learned counsel opposite regarding the appellant's brief, the Prosecution, I understood counsel to say, has asked for an equal amount of time as granted the Defence.

  • And I believe the Prosecution has indicated an additional 39 days would be appropriate to bring the total amount of days to 60.

    Now, the basis for us seeking 90 additional days is indeed comparative analysis to other cases in like circumstances, if I might say so, before other Tribunals in this field. You know, in Sainovic, the Defence were given an additional 40 days. This is in addition to the 75 days that the ICTY Rules allow. So the total there was 115 days for the filing of the appellant's brief. In Nyiramasuhuko in the ICTR, the brief was [indiscerinble] due 75 days, and they were given an extra 60 days, and that brings the total to 135 days. That is for five of the six accused. The sixth accused was given an extra 90 days to file his appellant's brief which brought the total to 165 days.

    The ICTY and ICTR schedules we say are reasonable and should be applicable to a case of this size and magnitude, although emanating from the Special Court, notwithstanding the differences between our Rules and theirs. No other Special Court case comes even close given the size of the judgement vis-a-vis this case. And there's the additional factor that we always have to consult with our client. You know, it is one thing for the Prosecution to work from their office and come up with grounds of appeal and the appellant's brief. We have to, on a weekly basis, go and consult with our client. We do so by telephone, we do so in person, and it is taxing, and it is tedious, and it is time-consuming. So these are facts that we hope the Court bears in mind when it decides on what time might be reasonable under the circumstances.

    I will say about the notice that -- and this is in response to a remark by Your Honour about how is the notice different from the appellant's brief or the brief in response or the brief in reply. The notice is important, and the need for additional time, because it allows us to prepare very focused grounds of appeal. Ultimately, this is a time-saving exercise for the Court and everybody involved. If we were given less time on the notice, what Your Honour would find is a litany of grounds of appeal, not well-researched, some of which may be without merit, and we hope to avoid this. If given sufficient time to prepare a proper notice, we will have focused and precise and concise grounds of appeal, and this makes everybody's life easier in the long-run.

    So those are the observations would I make in respect of those issues.

    With respect to the respondent's brief given Your Honour's question, if I may proceed.

  • Please.

  • I would say for us a reasonable time would be 60 days in addition to the 14 days those provided. That brings it to a total of 84 days.

    We bear in mind that the Prosecution might ask for the same or more time than that given our discussions with the Prosecution. They appear to require more time for the response. But our view is that 60 additional days to the 14 days would be appropriate in the circumstances of this case, again, drawing from other cases and what time had been provided to other accused in like circumstances.

  • Okay. Thank you.

    Ms Hollis.

  • Thank you, Your Honour. We don't believe in the other courts there were like circumstances in the sense that it was very important for the Defence that the judgement be translated into a language that the accused understood, or as with the Prosecution, it was in a language they understood from the beginning. We do not have that issue here, so we don't think that it was a like situation in the other courts.

    We also note that in the other courts, with Sainovic and other cases, the Office of the Prosecutor was fully staffed and fully functioning. This Office of the Prosecutor has downsized along with everyone else, so there is not a large disparity in terms of resources that would make it easier for us to move forward more expeditiously than the Defence.

    So we believe for those reasons, as well as to ensure that the side with the longer delay does not get an unfair advantage through that delay, that the delay should be the same. And we are looking now to verify this, but I believe the practice in these courts has been to give equal delays to both parties. So I think that if my recollection of these cases is correct, we have not elected to follow the other courts in this regard perhaps for the reasons I have mentioned.

    In regard to the response, this is really an area of speculation for us. Both parties have been reading the judgement, working on our notice, and so are able, I believe today, to give you informed estimates about the appeal brief itself, but the response times will be totally dependent upon the complexity and number of issues that are raised in the notice, as well as the character of the arguments that are put forth in the appeal brief proper.

  • Mm-hmm.

  • So we think that perhaps pure speculation would be of less assistance to Your Honour and to the Appeals Chamber in relation to response and reply.

    In general, however, we would suggest to you that we believe that there will be good cause for some extensions of time for the response and perhaps the reply, but again, to give any kind of informed estimate, we would be unable to do so today.

  • Okay. Fair enough. Thank you.

  • We do suggest to Your Honour that we should perhaps be looking at time that is equal for almost equal to the time for the appeal briefs themselves.

  • But again, beyond that we cannot be of assistance today.

  • Okay. Thank you. I understand your position.

  • Madam President, if I may just make a quick observation.

  • I've referred to Sainovic, and I've just been told by my learned friend Mr Gosnell that in Sainovic the Court did not grant additional time on the basis of delay caused by translation of the document to a language the accused understands. They went ahead with the English version of the judgement, and the briefing schedules were determined bearing in mind that only the English version was available, but the parties were allowed leave to supplement their notice once it was translated to B/C/H. And so are this case might be viewed in the same light as Sainovic.

    Now, the Prosecution's request for -- or the Prosecution's submission that generally the Prosecution is granted the same amount of time as the Defence, that's not reflected in the research we have found.

  • In this Court?

  • No, in other courts.

  • I think her position was that in this court equal time has been provided to both sides.

  • Very well. I will have to verify that to speak more to it.

  • Okay. Thank you. I've put -- since the parties have brought up the new Practice Direction, I would like to direct people's attention to it at this point. And I think, Mr Anyah, you're quite right, that it does require more specificity than we have required in the past. And let me just say that the Appeals Chamber feels very strongly that this direction needs to be complied with, and it will, in fact, implement the sanctions at the conclusion of this Practice Direction, which is either returning the document for amendment or striking it altogether if there is not compliance, and because of that, I think it's very important that we all understand from the outset what the expectations are. So I would -- in connection with your Notices of Appeal, I would direct your attention to paragraphs 1 through 5 but in addition, I would direct your attention to paragraphs 7, 8, 9 and 10 regarding appellant's submissions, because the Notice of Appeal and the appellant's submissions have to match. So when you're looking at constructing your Notices of Appeal, you need to be sure that you comply with or you prepare your outline of your case to comply with 7, 8, 9 and 10 of the submissions or we're going to be -- we're going to have problems. And I'm willing, at this point, if anyone has any questions about that or wants to discuss it further, this is your opportunity.

  • Madam President, there are a number of issues that could be raised in respect of this Practice Direction.

  • One thing we aren't going to talk about is disregarding it. It's past -- my predecessor has signed it. It's the law of the case. So don't bother arguing that you don't like it if you don't like it. I just want to make sure everyone understands it.

  • Well, we just wish to state on the record that we hoped we had been consulted, because it is not to interfere with the jurisdiction of the President of the Court, but at this time this was prepared and circulated, the parties were not consulted and there were some issues we brought to the attention of one of the legal officers. I remember writing a e-mail last year pointing out some issues with the Practice Direction that we hoped would be considered, and then some revisions were done this May and we appreciate that. They incorporated some of the suggestions. But be that as it may, it is, as you say, the governing principle.

    One question arises with respect to number 10, which reads:

    "The appellant shall present a holistic and comprehensive ground of appeal. Division of a ground of appeal into sub-grounds is impermissible."

    Madam President, many times errors might have a cumulative effect that leads one, for example, to allege an unfair trial, if you will. Now, the way this is framed, it seems to us that identifying the various errors that one might say cumulatively resulted in an unfair trial might run afoul of this provision of the Practice Directive which suggests that sub-grounds should not be included into a ground of appeal.

    Disparate errors in a judgement can collectively lead to a viable ground of appeal. Now, whether we delineate sub-grounds in a particular ground or we present it as a whole, it will be implicit in the ground of appeal that it is on the basis of several sub-grounds of appeal. And so this is a concern, and perhaps when there's a concrete example Your Honour will be able to pass on it more appropriately, but I must say that this particular provision of the Practice Direction might pose some challenges to us.

  • Okay. We have in mind that it may be challenging. As to consultation, this was raised at a Plenary where the Prosecutor and the Principal Defender were present, expressed views not unlike your own, and it was -- there were responses which were, I believe, taken into consideration. I wasn't President at the time. So there was what we consider to be an effective consultation process. It doesn't mean, though, that we ended up -- the President ended up agreeing with what that consultation suggested.

    I think in regard to number 10, of course it will be factually dispositive, but I think what these Rules were meant to do is to address form, not substance. So, for example, if your ground of appeal is that because of an accumulation of unfair or improper findings the total result was an unfair trial that should be taken into consideration in terms of perhaps revising or revoking the conviction, there is one ground of appeal. The fact that you have specified what the various reasons for that ground may be, as long as you don't say sub-ground (a) sub-ground (b), sub-ground (c) and make additional arguments, I think you will be within the Rule. Again, this addresses form -- the form of your argument rather that the substance of your argument. So we aren't in any way suggesting that we are curtailing what you can argue. We are simply saying as a matter of form, make sure each appeal point stands on its own without having to go into additional points.

    I don't know if that helps at all, but I just wanted the record to be very clear that we are not in any way impacting on what you can argue, only the manner in which you can present it to the Court.

  • We're grateful for the clarification. Thank you.

  • Anything else regarding the Rules? Okay. Very good.

  • No, Your Honour.

  • All right. Ladies and gentlemen, I have a clear idea now, I think, of where you're coming from and what you need, and I am going to take the matter under advisement, and I'll issue an order. The order coming out of this proceeding will be only as to the motion for extension of time to file Notices of Appeal; however, I will have in mind the other information you've given me about further extensions, and I don't want this to be last of the argument regarding further extensions since you weren't given an opportunity to provide written submissions or prepare for those arguments.

    So having that in mind, I'll give you a decision on the motion itself, and we'll move into the next stage once I receive your Notice of Intention to Appeal.

  • Your Honour, there is one additional matter I would like to inquire about if Your Honour is in a position to respond to it today, and that is if Your Honours on the Appeal Chamber have given thought to a summer recess and if you have decided whether or not there will be a summer recess. It would impact possibly the date of filings, but more significantly for our staff. It would also allow them to determine if they can take any leave-time and when that might be.

  • Okay. I think it's very unlikely that we will have a summer recess. Even if we did have a summer recess, it would not impact on the filing dates, and so I think given the -- given the amount of work that we have ahead of us that a summer recess would not be an appropriate -- appropriate message to send out to ourselves or the world generally. So, no, there won't be a summer recess.

  • Madam President, there is one other issue you might wish to reflect upon or hear from us about and that has to do with the page limitations that apply to appellant's and respondent's briefs.

  • Are you prepared to address that now?

  • Well, the governing principle is a document from 2008. The Practice Direction on dealing with documents in The Hague sub-office currently provides for a hundred pages or 3.000 words.

  • For both the appellant's brief and the brief in response, the respondent's brief.

  • Yes.

  • In our discussions with the Prosecution this morning, we discussed this issue, and we suggested that from the Defence's perspective for the appellant's brief, we would be requesting in the vicinity of 300 pages for the appellant's brief. Now, in prior cases before the Special Court, the Defence has been granted up to 150 pages, for example in the RUF case, for the appellant's brief.

  • And for the respondent's brief, I think an reasonable page limitation for us would be about 150 pages, 50 pages in addition to the 100 pages. And in speaking with the Prosecution, they seemed to say that about 200 pages for the appellant's brief would be acceptable as reasonable to them. So these are the indications we have for this particular issue. At the appropriate time, we will be making an application for an extension, and we will be asking for something in the vicinity of 300 pages.

  • Okay. I understand your position. Thank you.

  • Thank you.

  • Is the Prosecution in a position to make an estimate of how much they will need? Is 200 accurate?

  • In relation to the appellant's brief, again we're of the view that additional pages would be required. We think that up to 200 pages would be reasonable. On one hand, of course it's important for Your Honours to have fully developed arguments; on the other hand, the fewer pages, the more focused you have to be in your arguments. So there is a balance. We think more than 200 pages would not be required in this case.

    In relation to respondent's brief, again until we see the Notice of Appeal and the substantive brief, we would really not be in a position to speak to that.

  • Okay. Thank you. Any other issues?

    Well, I want to thank you for all coming in this morning. I know that it's not usual to have Status Conferences for appeals, but I think they're helpful. They're certainly helpful to the Court. If the parties feel that an additional Status Conference is necessary, please file the appropriate pleading and we will consider it.

    And, Mr Taylor, are you satisfied that you understand what happened in today's proceeding?

  • Yes, I am Your Honour.

  • Okay. Very good. In that case, court is adjourned.

  • [Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at 11.13 a.m.]