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'll take appearances first, please.

  • Good morning, Mr President, your Honours, opposing counsel. Appearing this morning for the Prosecution are myself Brenda J Hollis, Mohamed A Bangura and Maja Dimitrova.

  • Good morning, Mr President, your Honours, counsel opposite. For the Defence today are myself, Courtenay Griffiths, and my learned friends Mr Morris Anyah, Mr Terry Munyard and Ms Salla Moilanen, case manager.

  • Thank you, Mr Griffiths. Mr Griffiths, we have your filings. Is there anything you wanted to add or explain in relation to those?

  • Well, I think we've made it obvious in relation to our Rule 73 filing that the initial filing made was incomplete and we're hoping by close of play today to provide the Court with a further filing which hopefully will complete that aspect of the process.

    I will add that we will be filing pursuant to your order a list of exhibits later today. Again because of pressure of time that list will not be complete, but we anticipate being able to complete it I can say no more than as soon as possible. But what we have endeavoured to do is to deal with at least those exhibits which will be pertinent at the commencement of the Defence case.

  • Yes, thank you, Mr Griffiths. Well, you should be in possession of the matters that the Prosecution wanted to raise at the conference. Perhaps it might be a good idea if we go through those particular agenda items and I think the judges, we all would have one or two questions as well regarding the filings.

  • Mr President, can I suggest then, in order that we can deal with these matters in the round, that we add one further matter to the list of five issues raised by the Prosecution so that number 6 would become the question of when and if we have a recess in the coming session.

  • Yes, that actually is one of the matters I hope to settle before we adjourn today, Mr Griffiths.

  • Ms Hollis, I see the first thing you wanted further particulars on was the length of the Defence opening statement.

  • That's correct, Mr President. Simply the time, simply for our management purposes.

  • Are you in a position to shed any light on that at the moment, Mr Griffiths?

  • I can only make this observation. It's unlikely that the Defence opening will last any longer than the Prosecution opening did.

  • I take it therefore, Mr Griffiths, that you will be making an opening statement?

  • Yes, I will be making an opening statement.

  • Well, the second item on the Prosecution agenda is Defence counsel's access to the accused during the accused's testimony regarding matters related to his testimony. Could you expand on that, please, Ms Hollis.

  • Certainly, Mr President. Mr President, of course the general rule for witnesses is that once they are sworn they have no contact with either party. The Prosecution appreciates that the accused is not similarly situated in that regard and that the accused has a right to counsel throughout the proceedings.

    However, it would be our question number one that does the Defence intend to have contact with the accused once he begins to testify regarding his testimony? There are guidelines that have been set that could assist the Court by the ICTY Appeals Chamber realising there is a right to counsel, setting out some guidelines and also indicating that this area would be a proper area of inquiry for the Prosecution should such contact occur. We do have copies of that decision and if it would be of assistance we can provide those.

  • Thank you, Ms Hollis. I'll hear from Mr Griffiths first. While the accused is giving evidence, what's your attitude to your and co-counsel's access to him?

  • Whilst appreciating that in most domestic jurisdictions, including the one in which I primarily practice, it's normally not possible to have contact with the accused during the course of the accused's testimony, in our submission the position here has to be treated quite differently and firstly because the rules of evidence as practised in this Court have always been applied with a greater degree of flexibility, taking into account the particular difficulties which confront counsel in a case of this magnitude.

    We should also bear in mind that as a result of the timetable set by the Court our investigation so far as witnesses are concerned are still ongoing and consequently we would require access to the accused in order to progress those investigations, and indeed it's important that the accused himself has access to witnesses, some of whom are personally known to himself, and where such access will of course ease the passage of our work as his lawyers and investigators.

    Bearing all of that in mind, I would suggest the following. Firstly, that Mr Taylor does have access to counsel and all Defence staff in order to progress the investigation of his case whilst he is giving evidence, so that relates to matters outside of and beyond his own testimony, but secondly we submit he should have access to counsel in relation to the testimony he is giving in light of the length, detail and necessarily comprehensive nature of the evidence he will be giving.

    We submit that it would only be fair and just in the circumstances, given the length of the historical period this witness will have to traverse, that he be provided with all necessary assistance in order that he may present his case in its best light and in as comprehensive and as detailed a fashion as possible in order to assist this Court as best he can.

    Finally, thirdly we submit that given the particular difficulties in terms of the ongoing investigation of the Defence case that he should have the ability to converse directly with potential witnesses.

  • Thank you, Mr Griffiths. Ms Hollis, did you want to reply to anything that has been said there?

  • No, Mr President, simply to reiterate that we do have that case available should your Honours feel it would assist you. It's the Prlic case. It was an Appeals Chamber case in the ICTY.

  • I think it would be of some assistance if it's available, Ms Hollis.

  • If we could have the Court Officer to assist us in distributing this.

  • Ms Hollis, just to seek your clarification, I know you've said that you have no comment on the Defence's proposed manner of proceeding, but is it acceptable to you the propositions they've made?

  • We believe it's within your Honours' discretion to grant those provisions, certainly in terms of Defence contact with the accused and the provision relating to the accused's direct contact with witnesses. We can understand that the Defence may require that for their investigation and for that reason we would have no objection to that. We would, however, suggest to your Honours that that would then become also a suitable area of cross-examination.

  • Anything you want to reply to there, Mr Griffiths?

  • Well, I do take exception to the last suggestion that it thereby becomes a suitable area for cross-examination for this reason. It is through no fault of our own that we find ourselves in a situation where the defendant is being required to give evidence before all his Defence investigations have been completed. That is a matter totally outside of our control. It seems to us that the defendant should not be open to any prejudicial comment at a later stage because of the imposition upon him of conditions which require him to continue his investigation whilst he is giving evidence, and it seems to us that issues as to legal professional privilege also arise in such a situation because in effect for him to be open to cross-examination as to what discussions he may have had with counsel, or with a potential witness, or indeed with any member of the team, prima facie it appears to us breaches legal professional privilege and consequently should not be an appropriate matter for cross-examination.

  • Thank you, Mr Griffiths. We'll move on, I think. By the way, Ms Hollis, and I'll make this clear to the Defence as well, this is a conference and we're reasonably flexible if there's further matters either side wishes to put to us on any particular issue, but what I intend to do now is move on to your next agenda item unless something arose from what Mr Griffiths said.

  • If I may seek the Court's indulgence very briefly, the Prosecution position - and it is supported by the Appeals Chamber decision that we have provided to you - is that certainly if there is such contact which is not the norm but is outside the norm that the Prosecution would have the right to question both the accused and witnesses in terms of whether such contact actually went to how a person should testify, the way in which they should testify, anything to do with the witness's bias or prejudice, their credibility. So we suggest that by allowing this contact, which we again suggest is not the norm, that certainly this area of cross-examination must be open in order for your Honours to be able to properly weigh the amount of credence or lack of credence you should give to any testimony before you. Thank you, your Honour.

  • Thank you. Yes, Mr Griffiths?

  • I'm grateful for the flexibility you're allowing us in this pre-trial conference, Mr President, and frankly we find it somewhat offensive, the submission made by the Prosecution, for this reason. It naturally assumes that I, or indeed any member of my team as counsel and officers of this Court, would so breach their professional responsibilities and obligations to this Court as to seek to inform the defendant, or indeed any witness, as to how their evidence should be given.

    We find that quite offensive, because we do appreciate our duties and responsibilities to the Court and we of course appreciate that, although we have been granted this indulgence, it is not an indulgence which should be abused in the way suggested. And so consequently we maintain our position that this area should not be a legitimate area for cross-examination, because in effect the Court should trust us to behave professionally, as we always have done with this Court.

  • Yes, I did not take what Ms Hollis said to be mainly offensive. I think she was just trying to establish some guidelines as to how far the allowance by the Court went. Yes, Ms Hollis?

  • Mr President, the Prosecution really must comment on this because throughout the Prosecution case exactly such cross-examination was carried out by the Defence and so are we to take it that the Defence should be trusted to have acted professionally and with integrity but the Prosecution wasn't given that sort of presumption? They continually asked our witnesses, "Were you told to say this?", "Did the Prosecution tell you this?", and so that really is not a good faith argument for the Defence to be making at this point in time.

  • Well, it's going to be - I can see it's going to be a matter where the Court will rule on the circumstances of particular issues as they arise in any event.

    I think we'll move on to your third agenda item, Ms Hollis, and you're asking for the Defence to provide one month's in advance of a list of anticipated Defence witnesses to be called in each calendar month. Is there any problem with that, Mr Griffiths?

  • The only suggestion we make perhaps, Mr President, is that items 3 and 4 could be read together and that we have the same two week lead in period in respect of both. I don't know if that might meet with approval.

  • What's your attitude to that, Ms Hollis?

  • We would suggest that they suit different purposes and they're consistent with the practice of the Prosecution in relation to the Defence case in that we would have a much smaller universe of possible witnesses provided to us a month ahead of time, but only two weeks before the week in which they're to testify would the Defence be required to give the exact order so that it would assist us in our preparations to have the global list for a month, understanding that we only get the order two weeks before the week in which the witnesses are scheduled to testify.

  • Mr Griffiths, if you want to reply we'll hear your reply. The Court will make orders on these particular issues anyway.

  • I have nothing to add.

  • All right, thank you. We'll come to the fifth item now, the length of trial session and availability of the ICC courtroom. That's a matter we're going to address, Ms Hollis, and that's the end of the Prosecution agenda. Is there any other - I have a few questions myself, but are there any other matters that you'd like to raise now?

  • Apart from the one I mentioned earlier, Mr President, no.

  • Mr President, we would simply note that we had indicated that in addition to issues arising from the filing we had these additional agenda items. We certainly do have some questions and concerns about the materials themselves which were filed that we think would be appropriate to raise during this session.

  • Yes, thank you. I think the parties and the Court are concerned about the coming recess and you should have been provided with a copy of a letter sent by the Head of Office in The Hague dealing with discussions he'd had with the ICC Registry.

    Now the Registrar of this Court has already sent notice to the ICC Registry that the Trial Chamber would sit through the ICC recess, but we have a new development now in that the ICC is very politely asking for the use of this courtroom from 12 October 2009 for two weeks because they anticipate that the Abu Garda confirmation hearing will be scheduled during that time.

    Now, it seems clear to the Trial Chamber that we can't sit right through until December in any event. That's about a 24 week session, which I don't think will be physically possible for the parties or the judges. One suggestion for the summer recess is to advance the 12 October date to say 5 October and take three weeks of summer recess from there. That will give the ICC the use of the court during their requested two weeks. Did you have anything that you wanted to say about that?

  • That would be fine with the Prosecution, your Honour.

  • Thank you. How does that sit with the Defence, Mr Griffiths?

  • I think that would be gratefully accepted so far as the Defence are concerned, Mr President.

  • All right, thank you. We'll put that matter down as one of the orders we'll make eventually.

    Now I think the next thing we may dispense with - Ms Hollis, you said you had a few other matters you thought it's appropriate to raise at this conference. We may as well hear those now because they may dovetail into some questions the Bench has as well.

  • Thank you, Mr President. Mr President, these questions and concerns have to do with the filing that we received Monday - this last Monday - morning and they relate to the number of witnesses and time estimates for the witnesses, as well as the content of the summaries.

    We do have some questions in terms of the summaries we have been provided in terms of times that were given. First of all, for the accused no time estimate was given and so we would ask that a time estimate be given for that testimony.

    Secondly it's not clear on the filing if the time estimates are direct examination only, or purport to estimate both direct and cross-examination. We did have an incidental conversation with Mr Chekera about this issue. It was his understanding that the time estimates were for direct examination only, but we would like to have that clarified if we could. That would be very helpful.

    Also, in the Defence filing the Defence speaks of an additional 32 witnesses. I believe that's in paragraph 8. It's not clear to us if those 32 are included in the chart that we were given, or if these are additional to the chart that we were given, and so we'd like that clarified. And, of course, if they're additional then we would need summaries and time estimates for them.

    Now those questions aside, turning to the number of witnesses that have been listed and the estimated times that have been given we have a list of 227 that includes two who are identified as expert witnesses, 001 and 002.

    Now it appears that there are four numbers actually missing from the chart, that is 054, 087, 213 and 222, so we would have a question as to whether there are witnesses who have these numbers, or if indeed there are no witnesses that have those numbers. If there are witnesses who have those numbers, we would need the summaries and the time estimates for them. If those numbers were left out and there are no witnesses with the numbers, then that brings us down to 223 including the two experts, so 221 witnesses.

    Now of the 221 that appear to be listed as fact witnesses, it appears to us that there are five whose summaries are worded exactly the same and we wonder if there was an accidental repetition. Number 188 and 191 have the same wording, but if you look at the time estimates there are different time estimates and so are these different witnesses who will testify to exactly the same thing, or is it repetitive?

    Also witnesses 189, 194 and 195 have the same wording. Now, for witness 189 there is no time estimate. For witnesses 194 and 195 they each have a two day estimate. Again we would ask if these are indeed the same witness, two witnesses or three witnesses?

    So if we look at these being duplicates, not the same witnesses, then we would look at a Defence list of about 220 witnesses. That's about two and a third times the number of witnesses in total that the Prosecution presented. If the 32 are in addition to that list, then we would be looking at a list of about two and two thirds times the number that the Prosecution called or presented through Rule 92.

    If we look at the times allotted for these witnesses, there are 40 of them for which no time estimates are given and so the time estimates that we can talk about would be exclusive of these 40 and if the 32 are in addition of course we have no time estimates for them.

    Now if we count 220 witnesses and of those we look only at the ones for whom the time estimates are given and if the time estimates are for both direct and cross, we're looking at about 348 days in court to present the Defence case. If there are duplicates, then we could possibly be down to 339 and a half days or thereabouts to present the Defence case. If that's direct examination only then you can probably double that, or at least another 75 per cent of that can be added on when we look at cross-examination.

    So we have these figures compared to 197 days for the entire Prosecution case and about 24 of those days involved the testimony of witnesses that were initially filed by the Prosecution as Rule 92 bis witnesses. That would mean that if we sat every day except Saturdays and Sundays we'd have about 261 days a year available, so if we used all those days it would take about 1.3 years for this case. If it is direct only, then you could increase that by another 75 per cent to twice that long and again that's excluding those for whom we have no time estimates.

  • You're working on the assumption that the 227 listed witnesses are all core witnesses.

  • Well, that was a request that we're going to make because we really don't know.

    Now when we talk about these numbers and the times, we would look at Trial Chamber I when it was discussing equality of arms in relation to numbers and times. Trial Chamber I referred to the Oric case, which was an appeals case at the ICTY in terms of equality of arms. They indicated that there was under the equality of arms doctrine no right to even the same number of witnesses as the Prosecution had but to a proportionate number, and that when you're looking at numbers and times for the Defence case it's proportionate, not mathematical, equality that you're looking at.

    Now, that's for a variety of reasons. The predominant reason of course is that the Prosecution has the burden of proof in this case. It has to tell the entire story and prove every element beyond a reasonable doubt. So it's a basic principle of proportionality, not a strict principle of mathematical equality.

    We would suggest that on their face the number of witnesses and the estimated times that you have are unreasonable and they're excessive and they're not supported by the principle of equality of arms. They're not proportionate to the Prosecution's time or number of witnesses.

    We would request that perhaps in a way to further clarify who these witnesses really are that your Honours consider ordering the Defence to indicate which of these witnesses are core and if there are any which are backup witnesses and then you could review numbers once you have that. That would be our suggestion in that regard.

    Now we also have some concerns about the fact that all of their witnesses were given pseudonyms, including four witnesses who are described as "Former African Head of State", "Former African leader", "Former West African leader", and we wonder if indeed they asked for protective measures, if they were asked about them and if they asked for non-disclosure.

    We have the same questions for the witnesses - and the ones I just mentioned, your Honours, are 031, 101, 127 and 150. We also have the same question about senior ECOWAS or ECOMOG officials. Did they ask for protective measures? Did they ask for non-disclosure? Were they even asked about this? Those would be numbers 027, 029 and 122.

    Finally we have the same question for witnesses who have been described as "High ranking member of the United Nations", "Senior United Nations official", "Member of UNAMSIL". Did they ask for protective measures? Were they asked about this? We're referring here to 006, 048 and 077.

    The second main topic that we would like to address with your Honours is the adequacy of the summaries that we received. Except for 39 we believe that these summaries are inadequate, and we do have a list of the 39 we believe are adequate if it would be of assistance to your Honours and the Defence.

    For the others, they list topics, not facts. They have inadequate information. If we look at examples of the inadequacy of some of these others, we see that 009 has been put down as testifying for two days and we have a three line summary. 035 has been listed as testifying for three days and we have a four line summary. 083 has been listed as testifying for two days and we have a two line summary. 089 testifying for three days, a four line summary. 146 testifying for five days, a six line summary. 172 testifying for seven days, an eight line summary. These are indicative of the other summaries that we have received.

    We would ask that your Honours consider ordering the Defence to provide adequate summaries with more detail as to the information these witnesses are expected to give, bearing in mind that this is the only source of information that the Prosecution has from which to prepare its cross-examination in a timely fashion.

    Now we don't want remedying inadequate summaries to delay the proceedings, so we would suggest that the Defence be requested to provide these more detailed summaries with a list of witnesses expected to be called for each month if they're unable to provide more detailed summaries earlier. That would at least give us more of an opportunity to study these for the month in which the witness would be called, so that is why we would ask for that.

    Many of the summaries contain opinions that the witnesses will purportedly give. Now that general issue aside, it appears that three of them would give evidence that should more properly be given by experts and so we would object to these witnesses as fact witnesses.

    Witness 034 is supposed to testify as to the ethnic nature of the Liberian conflict. We think that would more properly be the subject of expert testimony. 052 is listed as a geologist, who will testify about the 2000 report of Ian Smillie, and we suggest again that would more properly be expert testimony. 082 is listed as a mortician, who would testify among other things about cause of death, and again we suggest that more properly would be expert testimony and that they should be filed as experts.

    Those are our questions and concerns about what has been filed. We understand from what the Defence has indicated in court today that today we will be getting a list of exhibits that will be - I think the word was they would use at the beginning of their case. We would ask they give us a list of the exhibits to be used with the accused if not today, by the end of this week.

    Now by letter of 8 May we had requested the Defence to provide us copies of exhibits they were going to use which had not been provided to them by the Prosecution, so if it's an exhibit that we have not provided them we ask they provide us either copies, or if it's a public document the website that we could go to so that we could have copies in advance. We would ask that those copies be provided to us at least 21 days before witnesses testify so we have an opportunity to review the documents. That would prevent any type of undue delay while we have to examine documents.

    Those are the comments that we wish to make relating to the materials that were filed and to the documents, the exhibits list, Mr President.

  • Thank you, Ms Hollis. Anything you wanted to reply to, Mr Griffiths? We're well aware that you've already explained that some of the summaries are not satisfactory at the moment due to time constraints.

  • Mr President, can I deal with five matters raised by Ms Hollis. Firstly, the time estimate for the accused. I have on more than one occasion indicated that in our view his testimony is likely to last between six and eight weeks and I hope that assists.

  • Mr Griffiths, is that both examination-in-chief and cross-examination?

  • We anticipate it covering both. Now so far as time estimates for potential Defence witnesses are concerned, the estimates given by us are estimates as to how long the evidence-in-chief of that particular witness is likely to last.

    Point number three. We will be providing today a list of additional witnesses which we hope will complete the total number of witnesses likely to be called on behalf of the accused. I say that because we appreciate that the Rule 73 filing we made did have its failings and inadequacies. However, as we've indicated on more than one occasion we were working against a very tight timetable. We were anxious to meet the deadline set by this Court and in filing that initial document appreciated that it contained errors, mistakes and in many respects would not meet with either the approval of this Court or indeed satisfy those opposite.

    I do not intend to deal with the minutiae of the particular complaints made by Ms Hollis. I will however indicate that we will, on behalf of the accused, be engaging in a process of clarification over the coming days and weeks which hopefully will satisfy the concerns which Ms Hollis now voices on behalf of the Prosecution, and it may well be that many of those minor details could be dealt with more appropriately on a counsel to counsel basis without engaging the Court and in particular we take note of the we believe helpful suggestion made by Ms Hollis that perhaps more detailed summaries could accompany the list of witnesses to be provided for each month.

    Now, so far as the list of exhibits is concerned - and this is the final point I make - I note that just a moment ago Ms Hollis suggested that such a list of exhibits could be provided 21 days before the witness was due to be called and I just want some clarification in relation to point 4 on the original agenda which suggested a two week timetable. Now we would ask which is it to be? Which one is being requested? Is it three weeks or two weeks? We would say that two weeks is more appropriate.

    There is one final point. I will endeavour to ensure that prior to the accused giving evidence the Prosecution have as comprehensive a list of the exhibits we will be introducing through the accused in good time before the start of his testimony.

    However, I must add this caveat. As our investigations continue, further documentation will come to light and, in our view, it would be an injustice for the accused to be denied the opportunity of introducing such documentation if it comes to our attention after he has commenced his testimony. So we would put down a marker at this stage that so far as the accused in particular is concerned there has to be a degree of flexibility built into this overall exercise if justice is to be done to his ability to properly present his case.

  • Thank you, Mr Griffiths. Ms Hollis, is there anything you wanted to reply to there?

  • Just the clarification that Defence counsel asked for. It wasn't for a list of exhibits because the list of exhibits are supposed to be filed today, so all of the exhibits that they know of they're to use are to be filed today and then as they discover more in the coming days we would expect that they would update that list and file it.

    What we had asked for is that when they give us the list of the smaller number of witnesses, potential witnesses for a month, they give us copies of potential exhibits to be used with those witnesses, or give us a website if it's a public document. Now of course if they're using documents we have provided to them they simply - they don't need to give us any of that, but only if these are documents we don't have.

    So it was copies or website request that we were asking for, and the difference between that and the two weeks is that the documents provided for the month they wouldn't have to specify what witnesses they're using the documents with, but the two weeks before the week in which a witness testifies they would indicate the witness's language, the length of testimony and the documents that would be used with that particular witness. So it's more particularity in the two weeks before the week in which the witness would testify, so I hope that clarifies our position.

  • Yes, thank you. What we particularly wanted to do today was make any orders, if necessary, that would enable the trial to get underway. It seems to me that what Mr Griffiths has suggested is that a lot of these matters can be settled on a counsel to counsel basis, which has been our experience not only through this trial but through a previous trial as well. Nevertheless, there are a few other questions that the Bench wanted to raise and I think at the end of that we'll decide whether any specific orders are going to be necessary.

    Mr Griffiths, I'm well aware you've said that later today you're going to provide a list of witnesses which you would hope might be getting towards a final list. I've already raised this point. We're looking at about 227-odd at the moment. Are you in a position to say are they all going to be core witnesses, or will some of them be backup witnesses in case some core witnesses turn out to be not available?

  • Well frankly, Mr President, the situation we found ourselves in was this. We were hopeful that we would have been in a position to conduct a sifting or screening process and to weed out those witnesses who we were confident we would not be calling.

    Bluntly we've been unable to conduct that exercise and what we have provided the Court and those opposite with is as global a list of witnesses as possible from whom we will be selecting in due course those witnesses we intend to call and so, although the list at first blush appears somewhat daunting, it's unlikely that we'll be calling all of the names on that list.

  • Right, thank you. I had a number of questions, but I really think that the questions I was going to ask all centre around a witness list and there's going to be a final witness list, or approaching a final witness list, filed later today and so I really don't think it's much point asking those questions at this stage. I'll see if my colleagues have anything further to ask.

  • Mr Griffiths, there is an indication in your list of witnesses that you have filed that some will be expert witnesses and Ms Hollis has also referred in the course of her submissions to persons who she thinks may possibly be experts. Will you be filing - will names et cetera be given?

  • What we will do is it's quite clear that some clarification is required regarding the content of the testimony of certain of the witnesses on our list in order to meet the question raised by Ms Hollis as to whether some currently listed as witnesses of fact are indeed expert witnesses. It is something we will clarify, because for my part the only two witnesses included on that list who should properly fall into the category of experts are the two who have been specifically named. So we will in the course of this week look at the various other issues raised by Ms Hollis and seek as best we can to clarify those. I don't know if that assists.

  • Mr Griffiths, I know that this may sound repetitive, but I don't think I've heard you respond to agenda item number 4 of the Prosecution where they request that along with the witness order given on a two-weekly basis you indicate the language of testimony.

  • We have no difficulty complying with that, your Honour.

  • Well, we'll take quite a brief adjournment. Perhaps we'll take an early morning break and we'll be back in about half an hour with a few orders. We'll adjourn now.

  • [Break taken at 10.25 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 11.00 a.m.]

  • As indicated this morning, we have been considering a summer recess and it seems to us that it would be appropriate to declare that recess at a time that coincides with the need of the ICC for this courtroom. We have been advised that the courtroom will be needed by the ICC for two weeks from 12 October 2009 when it is anticipated the Abu Garda confirmation hearing will take place, so adding on to that five extra days which will bring the summer recess into conformity with the usual length of a summer recess we order that the summer recess for this Court will commence on Monday 5 October and will go through until Friday 23 October inclusive. Just to make that clear, what that means is that the Court will resume on 26 October 2009.

    I might mention here also that needless to say we'll be taking the usual Christmas recess and we don't have the final dates yet. That's normally fixed from headquarters in Freetown, but we can indicate that it will be at the very least consistent with the ICC Christmas recess.

    Now in relation to the various procedural matters raised today, we agree that, as suggested by Mr Griffiths, the procedural matters are capable of being discussed and settled on an amicable basis between experienced counsel and we'd like to leave it at that. Of course counsel are well aware that, if any matter proves absolutely not able to be settled, then there are appropriate procedures to apply to the Court for an order.

    However, there's one specific order we consider should be made today and I understand that the order is not a disputed one anyway. I'm referring to the matter raised in the Prosecution agenda in paragraph 4, and in relation to that matter we will order that the Defence provide a witness order, language of testimony and anticipated exhibits to be used with the witness two weeks prior to the week during which the witness is expected to be called.

    The last matter I wanted to raise now is the feasibility of a status conference before the Defence case commences. Now, we'll hear the parties on that. The Bench thinks it may or may not be a good idea, depending on the progress of counsels' discussions. What we would suggest, if a status conference was to be scheduled, is it would be in the vicinity of a week or so before the Defence case commences. Did you have any views, Ms Hollis, one way or the other on that?

  • Yes, Mr President. We would in fact request that such a status conference be scheduled and that it be either the 19th which would be the Friday, a little over a week before the commencement, or Monday 22nd which would be a week before the commencement of the Defence case. We think it's an excellent idea and we request it.

  • Are you of the same view, Mr Griffiths? It may come in handy for some last minute matters.

  • I think it would be helpful as a useful way of collecting our thoughts and seeing where we are prior to the 29th.

  • All right. Ms Hollis has suggested the 19th, which is the Friday, and the 22nd is the Monday, but I think you'll be the one with the travel considerations to take into account.

  • I would prefer the Monday.

  • That's okay with you, I take it, Ms Hollis?

  • Right, thank you. The last order we'll make today is that we'll schedule a status conference to be held at 9.30 on Monday 22nd June. There will be an appropriate agenda issued in due course.

  • Mr President, can I raise one matter and really it's just to give an indication to the Prosecution which I hope will be helpful.

    We have put together the final list of witnesses which we promised we would file by today, but I think it would be of much greater assistance to everyone if we were to delay that filing perhaps until the end of the week so that we could seek to accommodate and address a lot of the issues raised by Ms Hollis this morning in the hope that through such a delay we can provide a much more comprehensive and helpful list of summaries to the Prosecution.

  • You're only asking for - instead of today you're asking for Friday the 12th, is that right?

  • Is that okay by you, Ms Hollis?

  • Yes, it is, Mr President.

  • All right, thank you. Well there doesn't seem to be any issue on that as well, Mr Griffiths, so if you get that list in by some time on Friday that will be suitable.

  • Thank you. We'll adjourn the Court now.

  • [Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 11.08 a.m. to be reconvened on Monday, 22 June 2009 at 9.30 a.m.]