Madam President, I have an objection regarding this clip. I will ask for a moment to pull up Prosecution exhibit P-453, which we are told is the written version of what appears on this audio or videotape. The basis for my objection is your Honours' decision from 30 November 2009, that is the decision dealing with fresh evidence.
And let me state my objection more appropriately. If I understood learned counsel opposite correctly, we are told that this is a clip of Daniel Chea dealing with the disarmament in Liberia in 1995. That's what we are told. We are also told that it is the video portion of an exhibit already admitted before the Court.
The difficulty is, irrespective of those assertions, this is still a new form of evidence before the Court. It comes in a tangibly different form; it comes in the form of a video. I haven't watched this video before to know if anything in it exceeds the scope of contents of Prosecution exhibit P-453.
But let's look at the context in which this video is being brought before the Court. The first observation; if the video is identical to P-453, then a question arises, why P-453, the text, is not being put to the witness? Why do we now need another form of the same information, in the nature of a video, to be - a video/audio - to be put to the witness. They could easily just put what is already admitted as P-453 to the witness.
Second of all, let's look at the questions leading up to the proposal that this video be watched. The witness is not being sought to be discredited in any way. There is no dispute between counsel and the witness as to Daniel Chea's position. The witness has not contradicted counsel's proposition that Daniel Chea was defence minister. Indeed, the question, as I have it on line number 11, my LiveNote, using a 14 point font, was that - well, my line 12 on page 11:
"Q. And Mr Charles Taylor has also told this Court that it
was Daniel Chea who was really involved in this
disarmament. You wouldn't dispute that, would you,
A. If he said that, then that was his testimony."
Now, where is the contradiction there that warrants impeaching this witness? But let's say, for the sake of it, that there is something that counsel could use in this audio to impeach the witness. The next question that begs for an answer is: Is this audio something that goes to proof of the guilt of the accused?
It is fresh evidence, that's no question, because it was not admitted during the Prosecution's case in chief, irrespective of whether or not they possessed it.
The next question is: Does it go to the guilt of the accused? I propose yes; the disarmament process is part and parcel with the Rule 93 assertions in this case - evidence of a consistent pattern of conduct occurring in Liberia that the Prosecution wishes to use vis-a-vis the conflict in Sierra Leone. It goes beyond the scope of this witness's testimony.
This witness and I, when I examined the witness in chief, there was no issues about disarmament, at least not to this degree. Whether or not the NPFL disarmed was something that I believe, if memory serves me right, the witness mentioned in passing that there was disarmament in Liberia. It was not an area of inquiry from the Defence.
So now we have a new audio being provided. I think it's a video, I'm not sure what it is. We are told it was disclosed. I have no reason to doubt that, that it was disclosed in March of this year; but the fact is, there's nothing to impeach the witness about vis-a-vis credibility, and the information goes to proof of the conduct of the accused and relates to his guilt. And so I object to it because the Prosecution has an onus on the basis of your decision, they have to show that it is in the interests of justice and it does not violate the fair trial rights of the accused. They haven't met that burden.