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

  • All rise. The Special Court for Sierra Leone is sitting for the resumption of the trial in the case of the Prosecutor verses Charles Ghankay Taylor. Justice Julia Sebutinde presiding.

  • Good morning. Before we begin with the trial I'd like to apologise for the court starting 10 minutes late. This was due to security downstairs insisting on checking everything that came in and we had quite a lot to bring inside. We apologise and we hope that this will not happen again because we intend to start at 9 o'clock promptly every day.

    Secondly, there was a request by a news reporter from Reuters and the request is for permission to take photographs at the beginning of this hearing. I thereby wish to issue this oral order granting the request.

    Trial Chamber II of the Special Court for Sierra Leone considering the request of the Press and Public Affairs Office of the Special Court for Sierra Leone for a pool photographer to enter the courtroom in order to take photographs before the hearing today, Monday 7 January 2008, considering further that Mr Michael Koreen from Reuters news agency has been accredited to cover the court proceedings in this trial and that his agency fully accepts the conditions governing the taking of photographs of court sessions and undertakes to share all photographs so taken with the Special Court and the international press, pursuant to Rule 81(D) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence we order as follows:

    That Mr Michael Koreen of Reuters is authorised to be present in the courtroom today, that he be allocated a position in the courtroom 15 minutes before the start of the court proceedings, and I hope that this is the case. He is granted permission to photograph from the inside of the courtroom immediately - for a period of one minute immediately after I've delivered this order. He is to ensure that the dignity of the proceedings is preserved and that, as the only photographer that will access the courtroom, he makes available the photographs taken to the press in Sierra Leone and the international press and that he supplies the Press and Public Affairs Office of the Special Court with all the pictures taken for internal use.

    I will pause for a minute to permit this gentleman ---

    I will now call upon Court Management to present the interpreters that must be sworn before the evidence begins. I beg your pardon. Let's have the appearances first. The Prosecution, please.

  • [Open session]

  • [The accused present]

  • [Upon commencing at 9.08 a.m.]

  • Good morning Madam President, your Honours, Brenda J Hollis, Nicholas Koumjian and Maja Dimitrova appear today for the Prosecution.

  • Thank you, Ms Hollis. Defence, please.

  • Your Honour, Courtenay Griffiths, Terry Munyard and Morris Anyah appear for the accused Charles Taylor today.

  • Thank you Mr Griffiths. Now the interpreters may be sworn. I beg your pardon. I just wanted to recognise Mr Vincent Nmehielle, the Principal Defender. Sorry, I couldn't see you from where I'm sitting.

  • Thank you, Your Honour. No fault of yours.

  • [Interpreters sworn]

  • Is that all? Thank you very much. Please take your seats. So this case comes up for a continuation of the Prosecution case and we expect to hear evidence today.

  • Yes, Your Honour, we're prepared with our first witness who is Mr Ian Smillie.

    Perhaps, Your Honour, just to take advantage of the time I would ask for Your Honour's guidance on how we mark and move to admit exhibits. The first exhibit which I intend to mark was - I'd ask for Your Honour's guidance on how we mark and admit exhibits in the trial in the procedure. The first exhibit that I intend to mark would be the report that Mr Smillie prepared for this court and if the procedure is satisfactory to your Honours I propose to wait until the end of his examination to move to admit that into evidence

  • First of all on procedure, definitely the right procedure is that you first give the evidence - allow the witness to give his evidence, at the end of which you then apply to tender whatever exhibit you wish to and allow the other side to comment on whether they agree or not. You don't tender it upfront before the evidence.

    But on the numbering of the exhibits, it was the understanding of the judges that the parties had a meeting, a trial management meeting, earlier, sometime late last year, I think that meeting was chaired by the Court Management section, in which we understand you agreed on the numbering of the exhibits. Am I wrong? Unfortunately I think none of the court managers are sitting in court currently.

  • I'm sorry, your Honour. Yes, we did have such a meeting and it was agreed, to my recollection, that the Prosecution exhibits would be marked as a PE with a number for ID and then when they were admitted the for ID would be struck off. So as far as the Prosecution exhibits were concerned that's my understanding of how it would be marked and it was my understanding the Defence exhibits similarly would be DE an d the number. So there was an agreement as to that.

  • But, Ms Hollis, it's not always to admit an exhibit in two phases, first for identification and then as an exhibit. It's not always necessary to do that.

  • No, your Honour, the purpose of marking it for identification would be to use it as you have said, before it is formally moved for admission. It may be that an exhibit is moved for admission and is not admitted and then it would remain as for identification.

  • But the important thing is the parties did agree --

  • Yes, your Honour.

  • -- with the court manager as to how to number.

  • Yes, your Honour.

  • So we will go with the numbers that the court manager advises the Bench. Thanks.

  • Thank you, your Honour.