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. We will take appearances, please.

  • Good morning, Mr President, your Honours. This morning for the Prosecution, Brenda J Hollis, Mohamed A Bangura, Christopher Santora, and our case manager Maja Dimitrova.

  • The Defence is not represented at all. Oh, Mr Anyah, yes. Mr Anyah has just walked in the Court representing the Defence.

    What's the situation, Mr Anyah?

  • Good morning, Mr President. Good morning, your Honours. Good morning, counsel opposite. I am trying to catch my breath, because I have been running down the hallway to get here.

    Mr Griffiths apparently called the CMS case manager, Ms Irura, and informed her that he had a problem with his apartment. I haven't spoken with Mr Griffiths personally. I was in the hallway trying call him because I could not receive reception on my telephone in the courtroom.

    I am told he is on his way. I had indicated to your Honours' legal officer that I preferred speaking with him, and I was assured that you would not take the Bench until I did speak with him - well, she gave me assurances to that effect - and that's why I wasn't in the courtroom. I was here before your Honours arrived in the courtroom. I was here before 9.30 a.m.

    In any event, Mr Griffiths is not here. I have not spoken to him. I would like to speak to him so that we can better apprise the Court about the possibility of proceeding, I suspect, within the next half hour or an hour.

  • Firstly, Mr Anyah, the legal officer did convey to us what you said, but we didn't see any reason not to convene the Court at the same time of 9.30. And the proper approach is that having convened the Court, if there is any application to adjourn for any reason, it should be made to the Court, not to the legal officer. But, in any event, this is fate accompli. If we wanted to proceed we couldn't anyway; is that right, Mr Anyah?

  • That is entirely right, Mr President.

  • What's the situation? Are we going to wait until a plumber shows up at Mr Griffiths' place or --

  • Well, I do have an application to make in that regard, and the formal application would be this: Given what I had stated and the little bit of information I know, under the circumstances, I would respectfully ask for an adjournment of 15 minutes or less to contact Mr Griffiths and then I could be better placed to make a proper application, if necessary, and/or advise the Court about the possibility of proceeding today.

  • All right. Thank you, Mr Anyah.

    Do you have anything to say on the application?

  • Mr President, I think we have no recourse but to go along with that until lead Defence Counsel appears.

  • Thank you, Ms Hollis.

    Yes, we will grant that application, Mr Anyah. We are fully sympathetic with your own position in this issue. We realise that none of this is of your making, but if you would be good enough to find out what the situation is and we will reconvene at 10 to 10 unless we hear from you in the meantime.

  • [Break taken at 9.35 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 10.15 a.m.]

  • Mr President, can I apologise to everyone for the delay in starting today. It was entirely my fault.

  • Yes, Mr Griffiths, I understand you had some problems --

  • A few domestic problems, but I am hopeful that they will be resolved even though I am not there.

  • Well, I must say, Mr Griffiths, as somebody who's been in the same position as yourself, you've done remarkably well to get any sort of service in this short amount of time.

  • I managed to sort something out.

  • All right. We will continue.

    Mr Taylor, I just remind you you are still on that affirmation you took to tell the truth.