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

  • [In the absence of the witness]

  • Good morning. Appearances, Ms Hollis?

  • Good morning Madam President, your Honours, opposing counsel. This morning for the Prosecution are Ruth Mary Hackler and myself, Brenda J Hollis.

  • Thank you, Ms Hollis. Mr Munyard?

  • Good morning Madam President, your Honours, counsel opposite. For the Defence are myself, Terry Munyard, and Morris Anyah. Madam President, I asked the Court yesterday to sit without the witness so that we could deal with a means whereby I can put to this witness something that another protected witness has said. I think that a procedure was adopted by Mr Griffiths in relation to the last witness whereby a formula was used along the lines of putting to the present witness another witness has said that so and so did this, or did that, and that is how I would propose dealing with anything that I might quote to this witness from another protected witness. I don't know if the Court wishes to hear me any further on that, but that's the way I would propose dealing with it.

  • Yes. Ms Hollis, you may recall this procedure as suggested by Justice Sebutinde. Have you any comment on Mr Munyard's proposals?

  • We think that would be an appropriate procedure.

  • I'm grateful to my learned friend and can I, while I'm on my feet, make one clarification. I raised with this witness, as I do with many, the question of whether or not he's ever sworn a statement; made a declaration that the contents of a statement are true. He said that he had and you will remember me yesterday saying, "I'll be corrected if I'm wrong" - in fact, I think I went further than that. I think I said, "I'm quite confident that you haven't." In fact, I turn out to be wrong.

    As far as I can tell, uniquely with this witness of fact, he did at some stage look at some of the interviews that had been conducted with him - and I'm talking some years later - and made a declaration of truth in relation to those interviews. It would appear that at the end of May 2007 he was shown interviews for five dates and he signed to say that the contents of them were true to the best of his knowledge and belief.

    So I certainly would like that to be on record, that I was wrong when I put to the witness yesterday that we'd not been supplied with such a declaration. In fact, it was tucked - it's entirely my fault. It was tucked in the back of a bundle - a file - that contained documentary exhibits and we haven't actually used any documentary exhibits with this witness.

    It was my oversight and for that I apologise, and I can certainly indicate to my learned friend opposite that I don't think that she has any need to search any further unless, of course, the Prosecution think that since May of last year he's been asked to review any of the other interviews that took place and he has signed a similar declaration. I suspect not, because I think we would have been supplied with that by now in any event.

  • [Open session]

  • [The accused present]

  • [Upon commencing at 9.30 a.m.]

  • Thank you. Ms Hollis, you did say yesterday you were going to check. You've heard Mr Munyard's apology and his acknowledgment that there was a declaration in relation to at least some of the interview records. Is there anything you require to add?

  • Yes, Madam President, and of course we did check and Defence counsel is correct about the acknowledgment and affirmation. That acknowledgment and affirmation was disclosed to the Defence on 9 January this year. In addition to that, however, the witness - and the question to the witness yesterday was if he had signed statements and he said he had, and indeed the witness had signed a number of statements and those signed statements were disclosed to the Defence on 9 January as well.

  • Thank you. You have those signed statements then, Mr Munyard? I appreciate a different question. There's a distinction between signing and swearing.

  • Yes, I don't know is the short answer. I don't propose to pursue it. I accept what my learned friend says. I don't know for the simple reason that I have filleted out of my file no fewer than half a ring binder's worth of duplicates, because we've been served with the same interviews time and time again under different ERN numbers and for ease of following our case manager very properly prepared a bundle for us that consists of every disclosure relating to each witness. Now that in this particular witness's case involved disclosure of some 41 and 26 page documents two or three times and so I have taken those out. I do have some statements --

  • But you're not challenging Ms Hollis.

  • I'm not challenging at all.

  • I've got a statement - well, I have got an interview record that relates to 2007 after the date that that witness signed that declaration I mentioned and it has a signature on the bottom which may or may not be the witness's, but I'm mot disputing what Ms Hollis says. I take her word.

  • Thank you. Well, the record has noted the exchange and the proper situation concerning the declaration by the witness. If there are no other matters I will ask that the witness be brought in. I think it will be necessary in the circumstances to have the other blinds lowered.

  • [In the presence of the witness]

    Good morning, Mr Witness. We have dealt with a short matter that doesn't directly relate to you, a procedural matter, and I again remind you of your oath that you have sworn to tell the truth, the oath is still binding upon you and you should answer questions truthfully. I would also ask you to ensure that you speak slowly enough for the interpreters and those writing your evidence to be able to record it properly.

    Mr Munyard, please proceed.