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

Thank you, Mr President. Unfortunately, there remains several issues that the Prosecution wishes to once again address.

The first matter relates to the issue that was raised before in relation to the number of witnesses to be called by the Defence and the estimated time for the direct examination of those witnesses.

The Defence has filed an updated and corrected witness summary and in that witness summary they have provided estimates of testimony. There may be one witness for whom no estimate was provided, but the greatest majority of witnesses now have time estimates and the Defence has added witnesses and we now have some 256 witnesses, plus the accused, which is of course almost three times the number of witnesses for the Prosecution.

Now, in terms of the estimated time, we did request that the Defence, as an alternative means of determining the length of their case, provide us with the estimated length of their case in toto and we were told basically to work with the time estimates given in the updated and corrected filing of witness summaries. If we work with those estimates we now have a time of some 94 weeks in court for direct examination.

If we were to follow the practice in the Prosecution's case and have almost the same amount of time for the Prosecution, the Defence case would take about four years. Now, we suggest again that these are disproportionate numbers of witnesses and excessive length of the Defence case.

Now, in a related request we made to the Defence to try to get a better understanding of what might be the time limit for the witnesses they truly intend to call, we asked again the Defence provide us a list of core witnesses and those witnesses they considered back-up and the Defence indicated that it was unable to do that and was not required to do so.

The Defence, however, did state that it would endeavour to give the Prosecution a more defined list of witnesses towards the end of the accused's evidence.

Now, with that being the status of matters we would ask that the Trial Chamber request the Defence to provide a list of core and back-up witnesses by the conclusion of the accused's testimony. That would put both the Trial Chamber and the Prosecution in the position of trying to determine if a request for further orders, or further orders, might be appropriate. So we would request that of the Trial Chamber.

Now, in terms of the adequacy of the summaries, which was an issue before, the Defence has now provided summaries for witnesses for whom they had not provided summaries and in some instances appears to have updated the summaries that they had previously given. We find most of those summaries remain inadequate.

However, the Defence has stated that it will ensure that all the information related to upcoming witnesses will be provided 21 days before the witness testifies, when the witness's identity is provided to the Prosecution. The Defence has also stated that a summary of any new information they obtain as they conduct proofing sessions will be provided to the Prosecution forthwith. So at this point we rely on those assurances, keeping in mind of course that it is not simply a matter of providing the Prosecution with what it asks, but if we have inadequate summaries it will impact our ability to conduct effective cross-examination in a timely matter.

We also raise the issue relating to three witnesses who by their summaries appeared to be called to give expert evidence and that was 034, 052 and 082. The Defence has responded that they are not calling these witnesses as experts. However, if you look at the summaries - and it is the nature of the evidence they give which determines if they are an expert, not how the party calling the witness characterises it. If you look at the summaries it appears that this is evidence that would have to be given by expert witnesses. For example, 034, in the summary, supposedly will tell your Honours the witness's opinion regarding the ethnic nature of the conflict and what appears would be other opinion evidence.

052 is a geologist who purportedly will comment on the report of Ian Smillie, who appeared as a Prosecution expert witness. And witness 082 is a mortician who purportedly will comment on the cause of death of Sam Bockarie.

Now, such evidence, we would suggest, is expert testimony and we ask that your Honours order the Defence to comply with Rule 94 bis regarding these three witnesses and that they provide the Prosecution with the names of these witnesses who it appears will be called to give expert evidence.

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