The following is the Court's ruling. Now, we have noted the Defence have applied for an adjournment for the rest of this week on the following grounds:
Firstly, that the accused wishes to raise certain matters on re-examination. He has prepared a list of those matters, but Mr Griffiths's, lead counsel, has not had a chance to discuss them with him. Mr Griffiths, who has conduct of Mr Taylor's case, needs time to discuss these matters with Mr Taylor with a view to narrowing the scope of the issues involved.
Secondly, Mr Griffiths is also in the process of putting together one single bundle of documents for re-examination. He says that this will save time by us not having to refer to the various lever arch files. However, Mr Griffiths needs time to complete this bundle and to prepare copies for both the Prosecution and the Bench.
Thirdly, the very large list of documents marked for identification, some odd 408 or so, requires Mr Griffiths's personal attention and he cannot do so if he is required to be in court as well, so he requires time for that.
Fourthly, Mr Griffiths needs time to review the witness requirements. He is of the view that he can reduce the witness list considerably, thus saving time and expense. This is a matter, he submits, that should be discussed as soon as possible. It is an urgent and collective decision on the part of the Defence team.
Fifthly, if the application for adjournment is granted Mr Griffiths is confident that he will be able to deal with the matter of the documents marked for identification as well as complete the re-examination all within the course of the coming week.
Now, the Prosecution in their submission does not oppose the application in principle but states that one week, in their opinion, is too long an adjournment.
Now, the judges are mindful of the rights of the accused under Article 17.4.c to be tried without undue delay and also under 17.4.b of his right to consult counsel of his choosing and to have adequate time to prepare his case.
We are also mindful of our standing order at the end of each day to Mr Taylor not to discuss his evidence with anyone and that includes his counsel.
The result of that order has been that obviously there are matters that have arisen in cross-examination that he would need to consult with his chosen counsel and we are of the view that he should be given an opportunity to do that.
Secondly, we have during the cross-examination of this witness spent a considerable amount of time on locating documents spread over 20 or so lever arch files. Mr Griffiths's commitment to sort out the documents he intends to use during re-examination is therefore a welcomed suggestion likely to result in a saving of the Court's time.
We are also of the view that the Defence's commitment to review their witness list with a view to reducing the number of witnesses to be called will ultimately result in an expeditious trial, whilst affording Mr Taylor the adequate time to prepare. This is coupled with the Defence's commitment that they will complete the task of re-examination as well as handling the documents for admission all in the course of next week.
Finally we note that, in any event, what the Defence is in effect requesting for is for four half days this week when the Court is scheduled to sit, totalling 16 hours, which in our view is not an unreasonable request in the circumstances. We therefore grant the adjournment requested of one week.
In view of the adjournment granted and the requests made by Defence counsel to consult, we are of the view that the normal standing order we give to Mr Taylor not to discuss his evidence is lifted for the purpose of enabling him to consult for purposes of re-examination.
Now, having said that, I only wish to remind the parties of our ruling last week regarding the motions that we will expect each party to file in view of the documents that they intend to submit or to tender, the MFIs that they wish to tender. Mr Griffiths has committed to looking at these also in the course of this week and to coming to a conclusive decision in the course of next week, and we trust that this will be done and that a motion will be filed in the time that you have committed to file the motion. The same goes for the Prosecution as well.
If there are no other issues between the parties, I will adjourn the trial to Monday, 15 February. And just to note that that week we will be sitting full days as usual, so that too is a welcomed development. Court is adjourned accordingly.