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

  • Good afternoon. We'll take appearances first, please.

  • Good afternoon, Madam President. Good afternoon, your Honours and counsel opposite. For the Prosecution this afternoon, Brenda J Hollis, Nicolas Koumjian, myself Mohamed A Bangura, Kathryn Howarth and Maja Dimitrova. Thank you, your Honours.

  • [Open session]

  • [The accused not present]

  • [Upon commencing at 2.00 p.m.]

  • Good afternoon, Madam President, your Honours, counsel opposite. For the Defence, Terry Munyard, Silas Chekera and Logan Hambrick.

  • Mr Chekera, why are you not properly attired?

  • I am terribly sorry, Madam President.

  • No, no, no, no, no, we can't see you, can we?

  • May I seek a one-minute adjournment? I'm terribly sorry. Sorry, Madam President, it was inside my - my apology. It was inside my collar.

  • May I start again with the introduction?

  • I'm sorry for the oversight. For the Defence, Madam President, Mr Terry Munyard, Silas Chekera and Ms Logan Hambrick.

    While I'm on my feet, you might have noticed that Mr Taylor is not present in Court. Today being a Tuesday, I understand his usual appointment on Tuesday has been scheduled to this afternoon. We do, however, have instructions to proceed in his absence and I understand the Court has already been alerted to that. So, with your leave, we would proceed in his absence. Thank you.

  • Yes. Very well. Indeed, we are aware of Mr Taylor's absence and of his having waived his rights to be present during the proceedings and so we're satisfied that the proceedings may proceed pursuant to Rule 60(B) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.

    Now, before we do proceed with the trial, I have two matters to raise with the parties and this relates to sittings in the near future. The first matter that I would like to bring to your attention regards - relates to the upcoming plenary of the judges, which is scheduled this month for the last week of the month, that is, from Monday the 24th to Friday the 28th of May. Now, on those five days the judges will not be sitting because we will be attending the statutory plenary meeting.

    Now, it's been drawn to my attention that just before the luncheon break a tentative agenda for the judges plenary was filed - it's a tentative agenda - which shows that the meetings will begin on Wednesday, but since it's tentative we will still put you on notice that from Monday the 24th through to Friday the 28th may we indeed not be sitting because of the plenary and this is to give you sufficient time to organise your witnesses, et cetera. That is not going to change.

    Now, the second matter relates to the upcoming summer recess or what we normally refer to as the summer recess. Now, the judges are minded to take a recess not necessarily coinciding with the ICC recess, which is I think in mid-July to I think the end of July, but rather to complete the Defence case first. This is what we are minded to do. We have no idea exactly when that will be and that is why we wanted to, as it were, throw the ball back into the court of the Defence.

    I know that the submission did come from Mr Griffiths recently asking us when would we schedule the recess so that people would have plenty of time to plan the next few months of their work. We are minded not to take time out of the sitting time of the Court and to hear as many witnesses as possible from the Defence before we actually think of going on recess. We know from past submissions that tentatively the Defence had indicated that they would complete their case, quote unquote, in the summer of 2010.

    Now, that doesn't particularly put a date to the close of the Defence case, but in light or in view of the fact that the judges would prefer to conduct the trial this way so that we can only retire for the recess just before the next step of the trial, the close of the Defence case, we would like to know from you - not today. I would like a considered decision from you, of course, in consultation with Mr Griffiths, who is obviously not here. We would like to know when you think you are likely to close your case so that we may schedule the recess immediately after that.

    I will hear from the Defence, first of all, probably at the next earliest opportunity, when you come to a decision, and then, of course, I will hear from the Prosecution as well before we finally settle the dates for the recess. And those are the two matters I wanted to raise.

    Now, Mr Mineh, good afternoon to you.

  • Ma'am.

  • We continue with your testimony this afternoon in cross-examination and I just remind you that you are bound by your oath to tell the truth.

    Mr Bangura, please continue.