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.