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

  • [Open session]

  • [The accused entered court]

  • [Upon commencing at 11:04 a.m.]

  • All rise. Please be seated.

  • Good morning.

    Before we get on with the business of the day, I'd like to start with one preliminary matter and that is the request by Mr Teun Voeten to take photographs. This request was made early this morning and we haven't had time to issue a written order. This is an interim oral order permitting the photographer to take pictures for exactly one minute before business begins.

  • [Photographer takes photographs]

  • With the photographs out of the way, I'd like to welcome everybody back from their various recesses, and we'll start the proceedings by taking the appearances of the parties.

  • Good morning, Madam President, your Honours, learned counsel. Appearing today for the Prosecutor is myself, the Prosecutor, Stephen Rapp; Brenda Hollis, Senior Trial Attorney, who's in charge of the prosecution of this case; and Leigh Lawrie, Associate Legal Officer. Thank you very much, your Honours.

  • Thank you, Mr Rapp.

    We'll take appearances from the Defence, please.

  • My name is Courtenay Griffiths and on my left is my learned friend, Mr Terry Munyard. Sitting behind me to my left is my learned friend, Mr Andrew Cayley.

  • To your left? All right.

  • To my immediate left is Mr Terry Munyard. Sitting just behind him is Mr Andrew Cayley. We three now comprise the new Defence team for the accused.

  • Your Honour, Charles Jalloh for the Office of the Principal Defender.

  • Thank you.

    I recognise the Registrar is represented by Mr Michael Adenuga, and there are representatives from Court Management as well.

    I'd like to formally amend the agenda -- adopt the agenda for the Status Conference today. As you know, today was initially scheduled for the trial, but there is a motion, a pending motion, by the Defence, the new Defence team, and this motion has not yet been decided. We felt that in the interests of justice we cannot proceed with the trial as earlier scheduled before we have decided on the -- decided this motion and before we've probably heard further submissions surrounding all the issues that relate to this motion. And so today, really, we are going to hold this Status Conference.

    The parties have indicated a number of items that they wanted the Court to discuss at this Status Conference, and I'm going to go through the agenda items as we've aggregated them for adoption. This is the agenda that the Court has officially adopted.

    Item number 1 on the official agenda would be the request -- now, before I go into the items on the agenda, I've been requested to ask the Defence -- I think when you spoke, when you introduced yourselves --

  • Your Honour, yes.

  • -- the microphones were not on and therefore your names and appearances were not recorded by the court managers in the booths. If you could kindly repeat your names and designations, then we'll proceed. For the record, please.

  • Very well, your Honour. My name is Courtenay Griffiths and I appear as lead counsel for the accused. To my immediate left is my learned friend, Mr Terry Munyard, and sitting behind me to my left is also my learned friend, Mr Andrew Cayley. We three now comprise the new Defence team for the accused.

  • Thank you.

    Now, the items for the agenda officially are, firstly, the Prosecution request that the accused, Mr Charles Ghankay Taylor, should make a formal statement and confirmation to the Trial Chamber and for the record that he no longer wishes to conduct his own Defence and now wishes to proceed with counsel as assigned. This is item agenda number 1.

    Item agenda number 2 will be the parties' submissions. We will hear further oral submissions, if any, from the parties on the outstanding motion for adjournment of the trial, that is. That will be item number 2.

    Item number 3 will be the Defence motion for extension of time within which to respond to certain pending motions, Defence motions that are pending before the Court. They want time extended.

    Item number 4 will relate to the Prosecution list of witnesses for the next hearing.

    And item number 5 may be any other business.

    So those are the items as we've sorted them out, and we'll start with item number 1, which is the Prosecution request that the accused make a formal statement and confirmation to the Trial Chamber on the record that he no longer wishes to conduct his own defence and now wishes to proceed with counsel as assigned.

    Mr Rapp, I'm not sure that I understand the purpose of this request in light of an earlier order by the Trial Chamber. Could you perhaps elucidate this?

  • Thank you, your Honour.

    Your Honour, you have one document that is directly from the accused regarding representation and that is the 4 June letter in which he indicates he wishes to proceed and to conduct his own defence. Since that time, of course, your Honours have ordered that a new Defence team be assembled. However, a new Defence team can assist him in representing himself or can represent him. And we would simply like it to be very clear for the record, so there is no confusion, that the accused now wishes to be represented by this newly appointed team and that they are not here simply to assist him as he continues in his wish to represent himself. So we would like that to be heard directly from the accused.

  • Mr Griffiths, do you have any response to this request?

  • I have no observations to make, your Honour. It does seem somewhat pedantic. But nonetheless, if my learned friend who prosecutes feels that such a statement from the accused is necessary, then of course he's quite happy to oblige.

  • [Trial Chamber confers]

  • I would just like to draw the parties' attention to the proceedings of the 25th of June, and I'm looking at the transcript at page 41 of the proceedings of the 25th of June, lines 12 to 14, where the Trial Chamber observed that:

    "The Trial Chamber therefore accepts --"

    Let me just begin a little before that. I'll start at line 7, where it says:

    "Now, having said that, the Trial Chamber notes the Principal Defender's submission this morning that he has tried ... and succeeded in persuading Mr Taylor that the idea of self-representation would not be in the interests of justice, nor of the integrity of the judicial process in these circumstances."

    And the important part is this:

    "The Trial Chamber therefore accepts that Mr Taylor no longer wishes to represent himself and instead would accept Assigned Counsel to represent him."

    This is the statement that I think renders this request unnecessary, in our view, in the Chamber's view. We did accept -- and because we accepted that Mr Taylor would not represent himself anymore, we then subsequently ordered that counsel be assigned to represent him, and we thereby find ourselves this morning with lead counsel and two co-counsel for the Defence.

    So we do not agree with the Prosecution that this request should be granted. We think that, for the record, the accused will no longer represent himself and is adequately represented by the new Defence team.

    That brings me to item agenda number 2, which is the submissions on the Defence motion for adjournment of the trial.

    Now, we've read the written motion of the parties, but there are a number of aspects that we would seek clarification from Defence counsel on. As you rise to address the Court by way of additional oral submissions, we would like you to clarify the following for us:

    One, we would like to know whether a full Defence team has been actually constituted, including legal assistants and investigators, and we would like also to know how soon that was done, because it will give us an indication of how much time is required for you to prepare. So that's the first thing we need to know.

    The second thing that we need to know is exactly when did the Defence team receive disclosure of the Prosecution materials that you speak of, the 40,000 pages? We'd like to know the date when you received this.

    Thirdly, we would like to establish whether you received the full disclosure as it existed at the time of your appointment or whether there's some lingering papers, documents, that you have not received. In particular, we'd like to know whether you have received the various expert reports that are in existence.

  • Very well.

  • There's a whole catalogue of matters that we need clarification on. We would also like to know what is the status of Mr Roger Sahota, if any, on your team, on the new team.

    I think those are matters that we would like clarification on, on top of anything that you think the Chamber should know that would guide us in making our determination. Thank you.

  • Very well, your Honour.

    Your Honour, I take it that it's reasonable to assume that the Court accepts that the newly appointed Defence team require adequate time for the preparation of the accused's defence. I say that in light of the fact that it would appear, if my memory serves me right, that on the 3rd of July, I think it was, if you'll give me a moment, it was indicated that adequate time would be required for the Defence properly to prepare in advance of the proceedings. If I'm right in making that assumption, the question which now remains is what is a reasonable time in the circumstances.

    In that regard, I note that at the Status Conference held in this Court on the 22nd of September of 2006, that on that occasion - and I'm looking at page 53 of the transcript of those proceedings - where your Honour observed as following:

    "So it is my view," and I'm quoting from line 20, "and that of my colleagues that a period of six months from the time that a full -- from the time that a contract has been signed providing Mr Taylor with the Defence team, and I'm taking that to be the end of September, say, the 30th of September effectively, and I'm saying that from the 30th of September this year, we consider that the Defence is in a position to work, to investigate, carry out investigations fairly comfortably, as is envisaged under the Statute and the Rules. I'm also of the view, as are my colleagues in Freetown, that six months would not be an unreasonable time to be given to this Defence team. That would be October, November, December, January, February, March."

    In a nutshell, then, your Honour, it would appear that the Court took the view when considering this issue last September that six months would be a reasonable time to accord to the Defence in terms of preparation.

    Now, your Honours will see from our motion filed with the Court that we're not asking for six months, we're asking for four months. We consider, in our professional judgement, that four months is a reasonable time, given the resources available to the team and the complexity of the case, observing whilst we do so that in circumstances such as this there can be no hard and fast rule but that the tribunal must necessarily look at all of the circumstances in deciding what, in those circumstances, is a reasonable time.

    We would submit that the following factors are significant:

    Firstly, in terms of the core legal team now assembled, all are new to the case. So, so far as myself, Mr Munyard and Mr Cayley is concerned, until the 1st of August of this year when a contract was signed with the Registry, we had no prior contact with the case or access to the material disclosed by the Prosecution. Consequently, we are starting from ground zero in terms of preparation.

    Can I pause to deal with one of the questions posed by your Honour, that being the status of Roger Sahota.

    Mr Sahota, as I understand it, was always assisting the Defence on a pro bono basis. Having met with Mr Sahota some weeks ago, he expressed the desire to continue assisting the team in that same capacity, and indeed he accompanied me to West Africa last week when we met with various individuals, both in Monrovia and in Freetown. So the short answer to your question is: He would like to continue assisting the team on a pro bono basis, and that of course provides an existing link with the past team.

    So that's the first matter upon which we rely in terms of reasonableness.

  • Sorry, Mr Griffiths, to interrupt at this stage. Is he the only member of the previous team that is willing to continue assisting? Is he the only link you have with the old Defence team or might there be other legal assistants willing to continue?

  • Your Honour, no. The two previous legal assistants are no longer a part of the team, that is, Mr Avi Singh and Ms Caroline Buisman, so of course we will not have the benefit of their knowledge of the case.

    The only other link, your Honour, so that we have the complete picture, is that Mr Morris Anyah, who previously was the international investigator assigned to the team, and also the Liberian and Sierra Leonean investigators attached to the team will continue in post. So in terms of evidence-gathering in West Africa and internationally, there should be a degree of continuity, although it is envisaged that Mr Anyah may play a slightly different role within the current team.

    Now, in terms of team composition, then, your Honour, the situation is as follows: I am, of course, lead counsel with the two gentlemen who appear in court with me. It is anticipated that one of the two legal assistant roles will be filled by Mr Anyah but perhaps in an enhanced capacity. We have yet to find a second legal assistant. And as I've already stated, given the move which we are anxious to make so far as Mr Anyah's position is concerned, we will be in need of an international investigator. But apart from that, the other two investigators are in place, as is Counsellor Supuwood, a Liberian lawyer who will be advising us in a consultative role but on a pro bono basis.

    We've also been provided with funds from the Registry for a six-month period originally for the employment of two additional legal assistants. But we felt that that would overcomplicate matters and that, from our point of view, that money would be much better and more efficiently spent in providing us with a case manager. That appointment has taken place and the person appointed will be starting work as of Monday next week.

    So that's the current situation, your Honour, so far as the composition of the team. I think that also should have answered the first question you posed this morning.

    Now, so far as disclosure is concerned now, your Honour, the reference to 40,000 pages of disclosure, that I took from a reference made by your Honour on the 25th of June, 2007, referred to at the transcripts of that hearing at page 48, at line 22, where reference is made to Duty Counsel, then representing the accused, not being in a position to be conversant with the 40,000 pages of disclosure.

    Now, I have seen physically in position in our offices the material received by the previous team said to constitute the totality of the material disclosed by the Prosecution in this case. I have not yet had an opportunity to peruse that material in any detail; neither have either of my learned friends. We are, however, aware that for the most part that material falls into three categories of evidence - crime base witnesses, linkage witnesses, and expert evidence.

    I will return to the question of the various aspects of the case in due course, but so far as that material is concerned and referring to your Honour's second question, when did Defence receive disclosure, we've only had opportunity to have sight of that material for the last three or so weeks.

  • Mr Griffiths, could you be a bit more specific. When was -- when were you officially served with this -- I mean, it's different from when you actually sat down to read it. But we would like to know when you were officially served this material.

  • I'm not sure that I can assist your Honour with a precise date for this reason: When initially approached to represent the accused, I came over to The Hague - your Honour no doubt being aware that I'm based in London - to meet with the accused, and on that occasion, which was, I think if memory serves, the 21st of June, I first saw the binders containing that material in the Defence office. Thereafter, following weeks of negotiations, in the week concluding the 1st of August, myself and my learned friends attended at the offices and on that occasion again had sight of the material in terms of being told, These are the crime base witnesses, so on and so forth.

    That is the extent to which I can assist your Honour on that point, unless there is a further detail.

  • I do stand to be corrected. As I understand the procedure, when one Defence counsel withdraws, are they not obligated to return all the materials back to the Prosecutor, I suppose, who then is obligated to officially disclose the material to the new Defence team at a given time?

  • That is correct. That is correct, your Honour.

  • So that is the date that I was asking about.

  • Well, your Honour, can I say this: Previous counsel had taken a particular view as to his obligation of disclosure in the instant case, he having, as he understood it, made a personal agreement with the Prosecution that any disclosure provided to him should remain in his possession until further notice.

    As a consequence, apart from the hard copies of materials which were present in the offices, there were -- there was, we were told, a hard drive containing electronic versions of the material disclosed by the Prosecution. As I understand it, that hard drive was first received by the Defence office last week, and that arose because of the previous team's understanding of their obligations towards that material, having given that undertaking to the Crown -- to the Prosecution.

    I don't know if that answers your Honour's question.

  • In a way. I know about the electronic disclosure. That is not required under the Rules. What is required under the Rules is the hard copies. And it would appear from what you're now saying that the procedure whereby the former Defence counsel was obligated to return these hard copies to the Prosecution didn't, in fact, happen; that they -- Mr Khan, Karim Khan, probably just left the documents in the Defence office and you simply took them over.

  • Would that be the case?

  • So, then, are we to assume that you have had full disclosure as at that date?

  • I was coming to that, your Honour, because part of the difficulty is identifying whether or not there are any gaps in the materials currently in our possession. Now, we have someone within the team currently working on that particular exercise and it would appear that there are some gaps in terms of disclosure which will need to be filled. That exercise has not yet been concluded, but we anticipate that that should be completed shortly, hopefully by the end of this week. Thereafter, it will then be a matter of contacting the Prosecution with a view to receiving further copies of those materials which appear to be missing from our files.

  • This is rather concerning because these are the kinds of things that cause undue delay. Disclosure is a very important matter, very important aspect. I am concerned that what you referred to as disclosure was, really, you just walked into this office and found a bunch of papers. Would that be correct, Mr Griffiths?

  • I arrived at the office and there were various cupboards containing numerous files of material which had been colour-coded according to the relevance of the material.

  • So at an appropriate moment after you've finished with your submissions, Mr Griffiths, I will expect Mr Charles Jalloh of the Defence Office, to throw some light on this procedure, especially with regard to disclosure, formal disclosure, of material to the new Defence team. But please do continue. We now understand that, in fact, no formal hand-over was done and you simply found these files in your new office.

  • That's right, your Honour.

  • Thank you. Please proceed.

  • The next matter, your Honour, is this: As I indicated earlier, myself, Mr Sahota, and Mr Anyah spent last week in West Africa, and during the course of our visit in Monrovia, we noted that in the office provided to the team by the United Nations Mission in Liberia was a number of primary sources of material, i.e., original documentation, some 10 boxes or so. And I'm not talking about Xerox-sized boxes; I'm talking about much larger boxes than that.

    Now, in addition, whilst in Liberia, we were provided with an additional 15 boxes of material. Now --

  • What kind of material?

  • We're talking about original documentation which appears to come from the personal archives of the accused.

  • So this would not be disclosure to you from the Office of the Prosecutor.

  • No, it's not. But it might have a direct bearing on the Prosecution case.

  • And when you say you were provided with these boxes, who provided these boxes to you, sir?

  • Well, someone -- the investigator appointed in Liberia gave those -- that material to us, someone else having brought them to the office.

  • So, then, these materials would be part of the Defence case and not necessarily part of the Prosecution case.

  • Well, I'm not in a position to say that's correct, your Honour, I'm sorry, for this reason: It would appear that amongst that material could be some very critical documents.

    By way of example, through a cursory examination of one of the boxes, we came across a personal letter from former President Jimmy Carter to the accused. Now, if that is reflective of the nature of the material available amongst those boxes, then it may well be, given the fact that the accused was involved in various negotiations in order to bring peace to Sierra Leone, that there are other matters of that nature contained in the boxes which would be of direct relevance to the Prosecution case and which, by way of example, we might want to put to expert witnesses, such as Mr Ellis.

    Consequently, we will need time to catalogue, analyse -- and analyse that material, and in order to do that we will, first of all, have to make arrangements to package it and ship it to The Hague. And we're talking about in excess, perhaps, of 50,000 pages of material.

  • Is this in addition to the 40,000 pages or --

  • Quite separate from the 40,000 pages, your Honour.

  • Because the question that the Chamber asked was with regard to the disclosure obligation of the Prosecutor, whether this has been discharged. Now, these other additional materials would obviously fall outside of that disclosure obligation. These are not materials that are considered OTP disclosure.

  • No.

  • These are additional --

  • It is certainly not OTP disclosure, your Honour, I agree. But, your Honour, in the context of a criminal trial, materials such as this have to be properly analysed before one can look at the Prosecution case, because I don't know at this point in time whether any of that material might be relevant to cross-examination. And I'm anxious, in due course, that the trial is not beset by undue delays, because it may well be that during the course of a witness' evidence it becomes clear that we have in our possession material which might subvert or undermine the testimony of that witness. We need to be in a position to make that assessment. And consequently, proper perusal of this material -- proper perusal of that material is a necessary precondition for us to be in a position to challenge the Prosecution case.

    My learned friend helpfully reminds me that under the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, under Rule 67(D), which provides that:

    "If either party discovers additional evidence or information or materials which should have been produced earlier pursuant to the Rules, that party shall promptly notify the other party and the Trial Chamber of the existence of the additional evidence or information or materials."

    So far as that submission is concerned, your Honour, we're therefore submitting that reasonableness in these circumstances has to take account of the fact that the Defence now have in their possession this large volume of material which must be properly looked at and examined before we can embark upon this defence.

    The fourth factor which we would like your Honour to bear in mind is this: Upon my cursory examination of the papers, which is all that has been possible in the time available to me, I think the following submission is right: That it's not possible to deal with aspects of the Prosecution case discretely because I apprehend that one thought which might be exercising your Honour's mind is the possibility, say, of starting with one aspect of the evidence, the discrete topic perhaps of expert evidence, which because of its size in terms of documentation is a fairly small amount of material which one would be able to get on top of in a fairly short period of time. We would submit, however, if such a thought is occupying your Honour's mind, that such an approach to this case is totally inappropriate.

    We say that for this reason: We don't know, by way of example, whether the testimony, or the potential testimony, of the crime base or the linkage witnesses might impact on the testimony of the experts. We're not in a position yet to make that assessment. We will need to look at the case comprehensively, globally, in order to come to a view whether or not such a discrete approach is possible, and we're just not in a position to make that assessment now.

    So we have to assume at this stage that each aspect of the case might impinge on the other and consequently we will need that global view in order properly to proceed and in order to make informed decisions as to how this defence should be conducted.

  • Mr Griffiths, on the issue of expert witnesses and expert reports, the clarification that the Chamber wished to seek was whether in fact you have received all the existing expert reports. This is important in view of Rule 94 bis (B) whereby, upon receipt of these reports, you are allowed 14 days within which to indicate one way or the other whether you intend to accept these reports or to question these reports. So it is of the essence and we need to know if you have received formally these expert reports and what plans you have of responding under Rule 94 bis (B) of the Rules.

  • There are a number of aspects to that, your Honour.

    The first is this: As I understand it, the previous team have already indicated to the Prosecution that the evidence of the following three experts will be challenged, those being Ellis, Dufka and Smillie. As I understand it, the Prosecution have already been given that indication.

    Outstanding, however, and I'm aware of this, is a response to the Prosecution in relation to two experts, a [name redacted] and a witness called [name redacted], their statements having been served on the 8th of June and the 17th of May respectively.

    Now, I don't know, your Honour, whether or not those two outstanding requests for a response from the Defence is the entirety of the position, and I say that for this reason: As I understand it, and I wasn't in the country at the time, further disclosure was received from the Prosecution last Friday, and I know not but I anticipate that that material may well include further expert evidence.

    So pausing there, your Honour, it's right to observe from the continued service of material by the Prosecution that we might not be the only party to these proceedings who might be desirous of an adjournment for particular and proper reasons.

  • Mr Griffiths, just to interrupt you. Just to be careful, some of these witnesses are protected witnesses and it would be prudent to refer to them by the pseudonym.

    In that regard, I'd just like to direct Court Management to strike out a certain name that has been mentioned and to caution any persons in the public gallery, members of the press, if you have heard a name mentioned, please disregard it and do not publish it. I will not repeat that name. Just in case you skipped it, that's good for you. But do watch out for the protective measures in place.

  • It merely illustrates, your Honour, the need for us to be given proper time in which to be aware of these kinds of difficulties, because I'm anxious not to step into a minefield.

  • Mr Griffiths, my concern was not the way the Prosecution intends to -- the order in which the Prosecution intends to call their witnesses. That's not our concern at this stage. Our concern is to ascertain from you is whether in fact with regard to the expert reports that you have received, whether the Defence team now in place has actually complied with Rule 94 bis (B) because that has a time frame attached to it. And if not, we realise that you haven't asked for an extended period, whereas you've asked for extended time to respond to the other existing or pending motions but not for the expert reports. And in brief that is all we wanted to know. Are there reports in regard to which you have not responded pursuant to Rule 94 bis?

  • Yes, there are. There are two outstanding to which we need to respond, and can I ask in that regard for 14 days in which to do so.

  • With effect from today's date.

  • And would you indicate which reports those are?

  • Those are the first two I mentioned.

  • In respect of which there are two outstanding filings, those being respectively SCSL-03-01-T-282 and SCSL-03-01-PT-242.

  • Of course I will ask the Prosecutor at an appropriate time to respond to this kind of request, when your turn comes, please.

  • Now, we would like the Court to be aware that we are anxious to get on with this trial. We're conscious of the fact that the accused has spent a considerable period of time on remand in custody. And we also appreciate that there are other pressures on the continuance of this Court, not least, bluntly, economic. However, we submit that a myopic insistence upon expeditiousness in the face of a justifiable request for delay can render the right to defend with counsel an empty formality.

    We further submit that time allowed now will reduce the length of the trial in due course and hence save a great deal of money. I observe in that regard that given the nature of the case and the way in which it appears to us prima facie that the Prosecution have made this allegation against the accused, at first sight we are unable to see the relevance of the crime base witnesses, and it's an aspect of the case I would like to examine carefully in collaboration with my learned friends both for the Defence and the Prosecution with a view to seeing if we can avoid calling any such witness, save where the evidence of such a witness might impact on other aspects of the case. And of course we will need time in order to examine that. But it seems to us at first blush that none of such evidence really needs to trouble this Court.

    The important matters in issue are what were the links between the accused and the rebel group, the RUF, within Sierra Leone and to what extent was he controlling and directing their activities. As I understand it, it is not being suggested by the Prosecution that he was personally within Sierra Leone directing particular individuals to carry out on the ground specific acts of that nature. Consequently, we fail to see the relevance of any such material being put before the Court by way of live testimony, unless of course the Prosecution are anxious to have the emotional impact of transporting limbless individuals from West Africa to this forum. So we would like an opportunity to consider that.

    Unless there are any specific matters on which I can assist, your Honour, those are the submissions we make.

  • One other matter, Mr Griffiths, before you take your seat is the request for time, extended time, on the outstanding motions and you cite six motions. I'm referring to paragraph 13 of your motion.

  • Could you perhaps quickly take us through the six motions just by title. Which six motions are you referring to?

  • Very well. I've already mentioned two. The third is SCSL-03-01-T-3 --

  • Just refer to the motions by name, the Defence -- Prosecution motion on such and such.

  • It's a motion for an order to Court Management Section to accept pleadings filed by the parties and decisions of the Trial Chamber.

  • That related to the August judicial recess.

  • Motion to accept what?

  • It was a motion for an order to Court Management, and I'm reading from the title I have here, Section to accept pleadings filed by the parties and decisions of the Trial Chamber. So that's the third one in addition to the two I mentioned earlier.

    In addition, there is a substantial outstanding matter. It's the Prosecutor's motion for judicial notice. Effectively, as I understand the position, the Prosecution would like certain evidence to be placed before this Court by way of agreement which would obviate the need to call live evidence. However, that material comprises some four or so ring binders of material. We have not yet had an opportunity to examine it, neither can we -- are we in a position to appreciate how that material might impinge on other aspects of the case. Consequently, we will need a substantial period of time to respond to that.

    There is also a confidential Prosecution motion requesting special measures for disclosure of Rule 70 material. That is dated the 20th of June, 2007.

    There is a further motion, a Prosecution motion, for admission of material pursuant to Rules 89(C) and 92 bis dated the 18th of May, 2007.

    Now, for the purpose of completeness, your Honour, I also understand that there are a number of motions awaiting decision by the Trial Chamber, those including a Defence motion to exclude and, in the alternative, limit the admittance of a particular expert's testimony. Also, a Defence motion seeking special measures with regard to Resolutions 1521 and 1532 of the United Nations Security Council. And also a Prosecution notification of change in witness status pursuant to Rule 73 bis (B)(iv) dated the 8th of June, 2007.

  • With regard to this category of motions, you are not asking for an extension of time, are you?

  • In relation to these last three, no, I'm not, your Honour, no.

    But, your Honour, can I return briefly to the question of expert evidence and indicate that we have not yet instructed any experts. And of course our ability to deal with any proposed expert evidence, that fact has to be taken into consideration. But subject to that, unless there is any particular matter upon which I can assist, those are our submissions.

  • Thank you, Mr Griffiths.

    Briefly, before I ask the Prosecutor to respond, I want to hear from Mr Jalloh on behalf of the Defence Office regarding the method of disclosure of OTP material to the new Defence team.

  • Thank you, your Honour.

    The obligation, your Honour, to return to the first question, exists at a number of levels for Defence counsel who may be leaving a case, and in the directive on the assignment of counsel, Article 25(B) in particular, the obligation is spelled out. It provides that -- Article 25(B), which speaks about the replacement of counsel, where the assignment of counsel is withdrawn by the Principal Defender, as he did with respect to Mr Khan on June 14th, 2007, said counsel must deliver - and I'm abbreviating the provision here - said counsel must deliver within 15 days of withdrawal all the original documents in the file to the counsel who succeeds him or to the Defence Office who will then forward the documents to the new assigned counsel, or, of course, where the suspect or accused has chosen to represent himself, to the suspect or accused.

    In view of the position of the Defence Office based on consultations with Mr Taylor, we were of the view that Mr Taylor was not representing himself so we did not take action in that regard.

    On the 12th of June, 2007, I received a letter from Mr Khan proposing to hand over the original documents that he had in his possession as lead counsel for Mr Taylor, and he drew a distinction along the following lines: There was a hard copy of the Prosecution disclosure which the Prosecution, of course, had delivered to him, both in Freetown and in The Hague. And in that letter he indicated that in the cupboards in the four offices that had been allocated to the Defence was all the hard copies of the disclosure.

    Now, there was also a second category of disclosure which was electronic material. That electronic material he had received by agreement with the Prosecution almost as a courtesy, as I understand it, subject to an undertaking by Mr Khan that if he leaves the case he would transfer those materials back to the Prosecution.

    Now, this letter that I have here says this and that is in cupboard 26428, 26415, and so on. I was given the keys to all those cupboards which I kept in the Defence Office.

    Now, what we proceeded to do was to prepare, as we would have new counsel coming in, to hand over all those materials. But the difficulty, of course, is one that had been raised before from the point of view of my knowledge of the completeness or lack thereof of the disclosure. As your Honours may recall, when the Principal Defender appeared before the Chamber, he noted that I was not privy to disclosure before the order had come from -- subsequent to which an order came from the Chamber when I was in my role as Duty Counsel to Mr Taylor for that interim period between July 3rd and the assignment of new counsel for Mr Taylor.

    So basically we reviewed the state of the hard copies of the disclosure in the Defence Office, categorised it along the lines that we saw, and provided that material, handed over the keys, to the new team when they came to The Hague just before August 1st.

    Now, I was informed in the letter from previous counsel on the 12th of June that he would contact the Prosecution with respect to the electronic disclosure and give it back to them. I understood -- I learned subsequently that in fact, upon approaching the Prosecution, they asked Mr Khan or members of his team to pass the material back to myself or the Defence Office.

    From my point of view, the distinction there that the Defence Office could not receive electronic material was one that was not cogent insofar as I, in any event, was acting as interim Defence counsel for Mr Taylor. Of course, there are issues of interpretation there that I would not bore the Chamber with.

    But the bottom line is, if I may put it this way, your Honour, we received hard copies of the material, and with respect to electronic disclosure that was going back to the Prosecution, the team -- the former team members did not provide me with the material, even after, as I understand it, communications with the Prosecution, until - until - as recently as last week when I was asked to pick up a hard drive containing electronic disclosure.

    And, your Honour, I may pause here --

  • To pick it up from where, Mr Jalloh?

  • From one of the team members, Ms Caroline Buisman, a former legal assistant with Mr Khan.

  • Was this in accordance with the article you just read out, within 15 days?

  • Well, your Honour, I think it goes to the distinction that they drew about the electronic disclosure separate from the hard copies. The hard copy, of course, I could not verify the completeness or lack thereof. So, in fact, what we did was we approached the Prosecution and they, as a matter of courtesy, provided us all the copies of the disclosure letters. We have an intern assisting us and she has been very helpful in looking at the state of the material and cataloguing it and cross-checking what the hard copy disclosure contained.

  • So can you ascertain to the Chamber whether in fact this disclosure is now fully passed over to the new Defence team?

  • Your Honour, we have a good chunk of the disclosure, in the neighbourhood of perhaps 80 to 90 per cent, that is contained in the cupboards. That has been passed over, I mean access and custody to --

  • What has become of the 20 per cent?

  • Your Honour, we are cross-checking. There is work to be done still in terms of the review and we are honestly engaged upon that. But basically we did not remove any materials. We handed over everything to the new team. What we wanted to do was to sort it and to know what was there.

    In this regard, I may mention, your Honours, once I was appointed Duty Counsel, the Prosecution helpfully provided me some of the disclosure materials that we had anticipated I might need, and what I did was I kept those separate from the batch that was in Mr Khan's possession. And it allowed us to track very easily a list up to a certain date, because basically, your Honours, up to June 4th would have been the responsibility of the previous team to hand over to the Defence Office. After that date, you are aware of the events and suffice it to say that the disclosure that I received I could pass on. But there are some materials that may have been served or was delayed to be served from maybe middle of May to the team that came in subsequently. All of those were added to the hard copy of the case file as we have it.

  • Okay. Thank you, Mr Jalloh.

    Could I request Mr Rapp, maybe, if you have any, or Ms Hollis, if you have any relevant submissions.

  • Thank you, your Honour.

    Your Honour, as a point of clarification, the Prosecution wishes to inform the Chamber that the Prosecution has never requested delay because we were unprepared to proceed. We have instead agreed with the Defence when they have shown cause for delay. But we have been prepared to proceed with this case, as the Trial Chamber has ordered, beginning with presenting evidence on the 25th of June.

    Now, in terms of the delay that is being requested, we agree that the Defence has shown good cause for a reasonable delay to be determined by your Honours in the exercise of your sound discretion. We disagree, however, that the Defence is starting from ground zero in all respects.

    In terms of the current Defence counsels' understanding of the material in this case, we certainly agree that they are at ground zero, or very near. However, in terms of preparation for this trial, they may build on the efforts of the prior Defence team, so in that regard they are certainly not at ground zero.

    It is of concern to be in court today and to hear that this new Defence team has received so many materials which apparently belong to the accused, and that they have only surfaced at this late date. This, of course, may occasion additional delay, but one must wonder why the accused did not direct that these materials be provided to the prior Defence team so that they could understand them and incorporate them into their own trial preparation. Of course, having said this, the current Defence team had no access to these materials, so it is a factor that you must consider.

    In terms of disclosure, we believe that Article 25(B) indicates that rather than coming back to the Prosecution, disclosure materials either go back to the Principal Defender's Office or to the new Defence team. In regard to the electronic copies, we had great concern that electronic copies be very carefully protected because it is so easy to unlawfully disseminate them. However, as you have heard, once this team was appointed, once they signed the contracts, we did indicate that these materials should go directly to them. And even prior to that, we indicated that the materials should go either to the Duty Counsel or to the Principal Defender's Office.

    So we have been trying to assist to ensure that the new Defence team has all of the disclosure material as soon as possible. We also provided them with very detailed receipts of every document that we had previously disclosed, and we have indicated that once they have completed their inventory, we will very promptly provide them with any documents they are missing.

    We believe we have fulfilled our obligations for disclosure and do have some concern that there may be unaccounted-for documents which are not in the public domain. So we very anxiously await a full accounting of all the disclosure we have made in the past.

    Turning to the time for filing a response to our expert reports, we have no objection. The 14 days is in keeping with the Rule, and given that this is a new Defence team, we have no objection to them taking 14 days.

    In terms of the crime base evidence, the crime base evidence of course is relevant because we're required to prove the crime base beyond a reasonable doubt, both the contextual elements and the underlying offences. We do not believe that we are obliged to call all crime base witnesses live. And, indeed, if you look at our disclosure and you look at the materials you received as part of our pre-trial conference materials, you will note that we had approximately 76 witnesses we considered crime base witnesses and we intended to call only 10 witnesses live. So we do not believe that we have to put all of them on live, nor do we believe we have an obligation to provide this Court with only a paper case of the victims of the crimes that have occasioned this trial in the first place.

    We are, of course, very happy to speak with the Defence to see if they will stipulate as to the crime base and then to readjust our presentation accordingly. However, even when a crime base is stipulated to, the Prosecution may provide the facts and circumstances surrounding the crimes which have been stipulated to. Otherwise, the Court has no basis to determine if the stipulation should be granted by this Court and they have no basis for understanding the environment and the circumstances in which these crimes were committed.

    So we do believe we would have a right to present at least some witnesses live, but we would also have the right, if there were stipulations, to present written statements or prior testimony so that your Honours would have the benefit of the facts and circumstances surrounding the commission of the crimes which bring us all here into court today.

    Your Honours, again, we have no objection to the Defence request for delay. We believe that a reasonable delay is warranted in the interests of fair trial, and we leave it to your Honours' sound discretion to determine the length of time for that delay.

  • Would that be all, Ms Hollis?

  • Yes, your Honour, unless your Honours have any questions.

  • Mr Griffiths, is there anything you would like to say in rebuttal?

  • I don't think there is, your Honour, no, unless there's any particular question that your Honour has.

  • It's now a quarter past 12 by my watch. The Judges Would request a 3-minute -- 30-minute recess, I beg your pardon, to be able to give some kind of interim orders regarding various issues that have now arisen.

    We will recess until a quarter to 1:00.

  • [Recess taken at 12:16 p.m.]

  • [On resuming at 1:07 p.m.]

  • All rise. Please be seated.

  • Good afternoon. I apologise for the delay. We needed a little extra time to consider the issues before us.

    The following is the ruling of the Court on a number of issues raised by the Defence in the motion for extended time.

    First of all, regarding the request to extend time to file various responses to various pending motions.

    Firstly, with regard to the Prosecution motion for judicial notice - this is document 236 - the time limit was initially extended by the Trial Chamber to the 20th of August, which is today. However, in light of the request, the Defence request, the Trial Chamber now extends the time limit for filing the response to this motion by 21 days from today. The reply, of course, will be filed within the usual statutory period after the response has been filed, that is, five days.

    Now, with regard to the Prosecution motion for admission of materials pursuant to Rule 89(C) and Rule 92 bis, again, the Trial Chamber grants an adjournment of -- an extension of 21 days from today within which to file the Defence response.

    With regard to the confidential motion seeking special -- this is the confidential Prosecution motion seeking special measures for disclosure of Rule 70 material, the Chamber did on the 30th of July extend the time for filing a response to the 30th of August, 2007. We see no reason to depart from that order and so the order remains. The response will be filed, or should be filed, by the 30th of August with regard to that particular motion.

    Now, with regard to the Prosecution motion to rescind protective measures, we will grant 10 days' extension from today within which to file the Defence response.

    Now, according to our records, these are the four pending motions that would necessitate an extended time within which to file a Defence response.

    As regards the request for extended time in responding to the various expert reports that have been filed by the Prosecution, we note that already I think two of the reports have been responded to by the previous Defence team. However, there are two other pending reports which the Defence requested an extension of time within which to respond, pursuant to Rule 49 bis (B) of the Rules -- sorry, 94 bis (B) of the Rules. The first is the expert report by Witness TFI-150, and that will be document 242. The second one is the expert report by Witness TFI-358, that is, document 282. For each of these expert reports, the Prosecution has been granted 14 days' adjournment, 14 days from today, within which to respond pursuant to that Rule.

    I also wish to mention the -- did I say the Defence? Within which the Defence should respond. Sorry, I beg your -- sometime my tongue runs away with me. I beg your pardon.

    Regarding the Prosecution motion for -- this is a long title, motion for an order to Court Management to accept pleadings filed by the parties and decision of the Trial Chamber during the August recess and for appointment of a Designated Judge - this was a motion filed on the 18th of July, 2007 - the Trial Chamber is of the view that the issues raised in that motion are now defunct and overtaken by today's proceedings. Therefore, this motion is technically dismissed because there's no need for the Defence to respond -- maybe they even have responded and pleadings have closed. But there's no need for a court order because we've handled most of the issues raised -- all of the issues raised in that order.

    Which brings me to the final and probably most important aspect of today's proceedings which was to consider, basically, the Defence request for extended time for the resumption of this trial.

    Now, the Trial Chamber, first of all, has taken into account both the written submissions and the oral submissions of the parties in court today in reaching its decision. We have taken into account the fact that a new Defence team was appointed very late, at the end of July of this year, and effectively started its work on the 1st of August, 2007.

    Now, although the Defence motion seeks to address both the issue of adequate time and adequate facilities to prepare, they have not made out any arguments for the lack of adequate facilities. The Chamber therefore makes no orders in regard to the provision of adequate facilities.

    Now, regarding the request for adequate time, we note that the Defence effectively asks for a delay of four months from today within which to be able to start the trial in a prepared manner. We note also that the Prosecution does not oppose the motion and concedes that the Defence has established good cause for a reasonable delay to allow them this time to prepare. The Chamber also notes that the Prosecution concedes that the duration of an adjournment is entirely within the discretion of the Trial Chamber but does not oppose the Defence request for a new trial date of 7th of January, 2008. The Trial Chamber further notes the submissions by the Defence that additional time to prepare at this stage, at the beginning of the trial, may assist in considerably shortening the actual duration of the trial, a matter which the Prosecution also agrees with.

    The Trial Chamber is of the view that the new Defence team is entitled to adequate time to consider the material already disclosed by the Prosecution in addition to the new material that the Defence team has received from the personal archives of the accused in Liberia.

    The Trial Chamber is cognizant of the fact that it has a duty under Rule 26 bis to ensure a fair and expeditious trial. However, this duty has to be carefully balanced with the fundamental rights of the accused to a fair trial under Article 17 of the Statute, which rights include the right to adequate time to prepare.

    In the Chamber's view, the period of four months that has been requested by the Defence is, indeed, a reasonable period given the complexity of the case with which the new Defence team now has to grapple. Accordingly, the Trial Chamber grants the Defence motion and orders that the trial be adjourned for hearing to Monday, the 7th of January, 2008.

    In the meantime, the Court orders that we will hold a Status Conference on Thursday, the 20th of September - this is exactly a month from today - and thereafter the Trial Chamber intends to hold regular Status Conferences to monitor the progress of the preparations and incidental matters on dates to be fixed on notice.

    Accordingly, the proceedings of today are adjourned to Thursday, the 20th of September, 2007, for purposes of the first Status Conference after today.

    The Court accordingly adjourns.

  • [Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1:17 p.m.]