Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, the Prosecution is very sensitive to the reality that it takes time to deal with witnesses once they arrive, and we are also aware that sometimes the logistics of moves don't work out as we planned.
However, the Prosecution does have a concern, and the concern is this ever-changing order of witnesses and lack of two-week notice for witnesses, and the concern of the prosecution is very practical. It is simply this: For this week we were to expect DCT-133 to be the next witness and the standby witness was to be witness DCT-008, who possibly would have gone into next week.
Based on that, we prepared for both of these witnesses. As I said, DCT-133 was estimated to testify in direct for 16.5 hours. The backup for this week, 008, was estimated to testify for 14 hours on direct. That's quite a bit of preparation on our part to try to be prepared in advance for what these witnesses may say in direct examination.
We had notice of only one witness for next week, and that was DCT-226, and that witness was estimated to testify for 11 hours. Today at about 11 o'clock we were notified that DCT-008 would not be a backup witness; would not testify at this time. That's what we learned today at about 11 o'clock.
Then we were also at that same time told that the next witness would be DCT-133. That was at about 11 o'clock today. We were told that by the Defence. Then we received an email at 12.10 notifying us that DCT-133 would not testify as the next witness.
The consequence of all of this is that we prepared for the next two witnesses, putting in considerable time, and now we have neither of those witnesses being called, and now we have DCT-226 to be called Thursday or Friday of this week after preparation time by the Defence, a witness who was to be called next week. And the short order of it is that it is very difficult for us to effectively organise our work and be prepared to meet these witnesses' testimony in a timely and efficient manner if we do not have consistent and accurate notice as to who the witnesses will be. So once again we have been faced with a change that puts us at a disadvantage in terms of planning.
To assist us in the planning for 226, we would ask if the Defence can tell us indeed what their current estimate is for the time on direct examination for this witness. Does it remain, as I understand it, 11 hours for direct, or has that been changed? That would assist us in preparing to meet the direct examination of this witness, and it may be that we would ask your Honours - if we feel we are not prepared, we would ask your Honours if we would be able to proceed with cross-examination beginning next Monday. We would like to begin with cross-examination as soon as direct is finished. But given again this last-minute change in schedule, we cannot give assurance that we would be prepared to do so.
So I would like to express our concern about these frequent changes and last-minute changes, understanding at the same time that exigencies do arise.
I would also like to ask what the current estimated time for direct examination of this next witness will be so that the Prosecution can determine if we would be prepared to proceed with cross-examination as soon as the direct examination has been completed.
In terms of the Defence request that they be allowed additional time to prepare this witness, we do not oppose that request. We understand that recent events beyond the control of any of the parties may have impacted the logistics of movement of witnesses.
So, Madam President, those are our inputs, our concern, our lack of opposition to the request for additional time to proof and also our request that we be given the current estimate for the time for direct examination of this witness.