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

  • [Open session]

  • [The accused present]

  • [Upon commencing at 9.30 a.m.]

  • Good morning. Appearances, please, Mr Koumjian?

  • Good morning, your Honours. For the Prosecution the this morning, Mohamed A Bangura, Maja Dimitrova and myself Nicholas Koumjian.

  • Thank you. Yes, Mr Anyah?

  • Good morning, Madam President. Good morning, your Honours. May it please the Court, appearing for the Defence are myself Morris Anyah, I am joined by Silas Chekera of the Office of the Principal Defender and I am joined by Ms Amina Graham. Thank you, Madam President.

  • Thank you, Mr Anyah. Mr Koumjian, I notice there is no witness in the Court.

  • Your Honours, the next witness, and there was some communication between the parties and Court last night regarding a change in order, is --

  • -- witness TF1-210. That witness has indicated he wants to testify open without a pseudonym and without a screen. This is one of the witnesses that the Prosecution position has been falls in Category 1 of July 2004 decision. I don't think there is any need to reiterate the various positions of the parties.

    The Prosecution is moving to rescind those measures on the basis that we believe they exist, but in any event the witness is willing to testify openly without pseudonym or screen and wants to do that.

  • For purposes of record, before I invite a reply, does that include address and present whereabouts? I look part (b).

  • Thank you, your Honours. No, the Prosecution would request that that remain, that the witness - all witnesses be afforded that protection, that their current address and current whereabouts of themselves and family members not be part of the public record.

  • Mr Anyah, to my mind there are two parts to this. I will leave you to deal with them. You have heard the respective parts of the application.

  • Yes, I will limit my comments to the current witness. I think other witnesses that are to come, your Honours will deal with those issues as and when they arise. With respect to the witness TF1-210, as we have stated in the past, in principle we have no objection to an application for recision. We do stand by and maintain our previous position on this issue regarding the applicability of the 5 July 2004 order to witnesses such as these. So in principle we have no objection to an application for recision.

  • However, there is part to deal with address, whereabouts, et cetera.

  • That invariably falls under the position we have taken. Namely, that to the extent the Prosecution is of the view that such protection is afforded these witnesses from that order, that they are not applicable.

  • Your Honour, may I clarify one issue, because I realise that I may have confused the Prosecution position with the wording that I used. The Prosecution position is even when a witness does not yet have protective measures, that the current address and whereabouts of witnesses should not be part of the public record. I think that is standard procedure of all tribunals that I know of and it's a basic measure to protect the privacy of the witnesses, same as the addresses of attorneys are not matters of public record. Witnesses' current whereabouts and addresses should not be matters of public record.

    Obviously we can deal in Court with any questions dealing with that, but it is possible theoretically that someone would come to the WVS and ask to see all their records about where a witness is and our position is just that that should remain confidential information.

  • See, part of my concern, Mr Koumjian, is that there is a ruling of this Court that these so-called Category 1 witnesses - that order, that protection does not apply to these so-called Category 1 witnesses. So provisions of (a) through to (f) don't exist, if I could put it that way, for want of a better terminology. And if you are saying the names and addresses, et cetera, have to be kept then that is a different form of application because there is a ruling of this Court. It hasn't been changed on appeal, it hasn't been reviewed, therefore it stands. And that is the point I was making. In view of what you have said I will now invite Mr Anyah's response to that.

  • Well, I don't know whether the clarification that learned counsel opposite has put forward actually clarifies things because now we are dealing with, it seems to me, two applications in respect of TF1-210 generally to rescind measures dealing with pseudonym and other issues. And, secondly, an application purportedly deriving from the same order that the witnesses' name and addresses not be disclosed.

    In addition, Mr Koumjian appears to be making a general application in respect of all Prosecution prospective witnesses, an application to the effect that the addresses --

  • Whilst I don't intend to cut you short, Mr Anyah, this application can only apply to this witness so it's not all. So let me save you further argument on that point.

  • Well, I appreciate the point, Madam President, and I know your Honours will craft or fashion a ruling that is specific to just this witness. But there is comments on the record by counsel opposite to the effect, at 2 starting at line 7, that all witnesses be afforded that protection, that their current addresses and whereabouts of themselves and family members not be part of the public record.

    The basis for this, which in our view is a new and distinct application, not in writing, orally for the first time in Court, purportedly derives from - counsel's words are, "I think that is standard procedure of all tribunals that I know of and it's a basic measure to protect the privacy of witnesses."

    Well, we operate by rules, we operate by written application. So to say that it is standard procedure and therefore all witnesses should be afforded this from our point of view is not legally sound. So we won't even comment on this additional application. We have made our submissions in respect of TF1-210 and we stand by them.

  • [Trial Chamber conferred]

  • We are of the view that the application before us is redundant as there are no measures in place in relation to this witness, when I say measures I mean protective measures, under the purported decision of 5 July 2004.

    If you can call the witness, please.

  • Your Honours, the witness will testify in the Mende language.

  • Interpreter, is there a Mende interpreter in position, please?

  • Is this a viva voce witness, not a 92 bis witness?