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

  • Good morning. Appearances, Ms Hollis, please.

  • Good morning, Madam President, your Honours, counsel opposite. This morning for the Prosecution Maja Dimitrova and myself, Brenda J Hollis.

  • [Open session]

  • [The accused present]

  • [Upon commencing at 9.30 a.m.]

  • Thank you. Mr Griffiths, good morning.

  • Good morning, Madam President, your Honours, counsel opposite. For the Defence today, myself Courtenay Griffiths, my learned friend Mr Morris Anyah and Mr Silas Chekera.

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

  • That is correct, Madam President. Madam President, the witness order that we had provided showed that for this week we were to have a carry over of TF1-168 and we would also have TF1-579. TF1-168 did not travel as was anticipated he would based on personal scheduling issues. TF1-579 is here. He had security issues that we were able to deal with to his final satisfaction over the weekend. Therefore TF1-579 is available to testify this week.

    TF1-168 - because of the schedule of lead Defence counsel, which he gave notice of a couple of weeks ago, TF1-168 would not testify until the week of 17 November or later based on lead Defence counsel's availability. In regard to TF1-579 I did discuss this with the Defence earlier and they may need time to consult with their client before we would talk about any joint requests, so I would perhaps ask if they do need time to consult and then based on that consultation I could tell you our proposal for TF1-579.

  • Thank you, Ms Hollis. Mr Griffiths?

  • Madam President, the Prosecution very helpfully indicated to us last week that there were certain difficulties. Unfortunately, because of my own personal schedule, I was unable to discuss those issues with Mr Taylor and I would be grateful if you would grant us say five minutes to consult with him and it may well be that thereafter, as counsel opposite has indicated, there will be a joint application.

  • Mr Griffiths, it may be appropriate to consult in private in which case the Court should rise? Is that --

  • I would be grateful if your Honours would do that.

  • We will adjourn temporarily to allow counsel to consult with his client. Please adjourn court temporarily.

  • [Break taken at 9.33 p.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 9.42 a.m.]

  • Madam President, we are grateful for the time. Now, Madam President, of course we are aware of the difficulties faced by the Prosecution this week and I am further grateful to my learned friends opposite for accommodating my own professional difficulties in respect of witness TF1-168 next week when I am in difficulties.

    However, what we suggest, following our consultation with Mr Taylor, who is concerned about this, is that we do not sit at all this week which will accommodate a number of other issues which concern all parties to this case. However, we would submit that when we reconvene next Monday we would be grateful for a definitive list of all witnesses the Prosecution intend to call up until the conclusion of their case so that we can plan with a definite time line in mind. So that is our submission.

  • And Ms Hollis has indicated that witness TF1-579 is in the country. He is actually here to give evidence.

  • Yes.

  • At least that is my understanding of --

  • Well, that's our understanding as well and I understand that the proposal was that that witness be called on Wednesday. However, having consulted with Mr Taylor, he is totally opposed to the idea of a partial week and would much prefer that we take the whole week off, everybody puts their house in order, so that when we arrive here next Monday at least we will have a clear idea where we go up until the conclusion of this term of the sitting.

  • Ms Hollis, you have heard Mr Griffiths's application.

  • Yes, Madam President. Madam President, we would join in the application. In relation to the request that today we give a definitive list of witnesses, indeed that is what had been discussed in our office and was discussed with others before lead Defence counsel made that suggestion. We do believe it would be helpful at this point today when we file what would normally be a two week list, to in fact file a list which would include the status or issues with the remaining witnesses so that everyone is aware of this. Of course to the extent that these matters are within our control we will work to our utmost to ensure smooth functioning. To the extent the issues are not within our control we will use whatever influence we can exert to move these matters along, but it would be helpful we believe to all parties for us to provide such a listing of remaining witnesses in our filing today and we do intend to do that.

    The witness 579 is in the country, he is available, but were he to start on Wednesday it is our belief that he would go into next week at any rate, so we do join the Defence in their application.

  • [Trial Chamber conferred]

  • We have considered the application - the joint application. We are of the view that nothing will be served by taking an entire week off when there is a witness available in the country and ready and willing to give evidence and able to start on Wednesday. For that reason we will adjourn the case until Wednesday and we will then proceed with the evidence of witness 579. So please adjourn court until Wednesday at 9.30.

  • [Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 9.50 a.m. to be reconvened on Wednesday, 5 November 2008 at 9.30 a.m.]