Thank you, Mr President. May it please the Court. The Defence counsel initially spoke and made arguments concerning the crime base in this case and so the Prosecution will begin addressing those points.
In relation to the crime base, the Defence counsel's arguments included a request to your Honours to strike certain locations; some of them apparently because of differences in spelling between the indictment and evidence given. The locations that were set out for you by the Defence relating to Counts 1 burning, were Goderich, Kent and Grafton for which it was said there was no evidence. As to Tumbo there was an argument there was no evidence for Counts 1, 2 and 3. However, that argument seemed to be premised on a difference in spelling in that the evidence was T-O-M-B-O instead of T-U-M-B-O.
The same held true for Wendedu as to Count 1 burnings, the apparent argument being that on the record the location was spelled W-E-N-D-A-D-U. For Bomboa fuidu, Counts 2 and 3, there was an argument that there was no evidence presented. The Defence also referenced Kayima spelled two different ways and Counts 7 and 8 and this argument apparently also was based on spelling defences in that the Defence counsel asked you to strike one of the spellings K-A-I-M-A.
The Defence submissions relating to these locations, both as to the lack of evidence and spelling differences, must fail because spelling differences are not dispositive and the argument there is no evidence does not take into account the language of the rule which speaks of dealing with counts only and not particulars.
As to spelling differences, your Honours have addressed this issue in your Rule 98 decision in the AFRC case at paragraph 25 where you found it inappropriate to strike out locations based on spelling, finding that due to vernacular languages and dialects names were pronounced or spelled differently and also that sometimes witnesses were not literate and therefore phonetic spellings were used. That same rationale should apply here today and should defeat that basis of objection.
Regarding the argument there is no evidence for these locations, as I mentioned, that ignores first and foremost the language of Rule 98 which requires the Trial Chamber to determine only whether there is no evidence capable of supporting a conviction on one or more counts of the indictment.
As we are looking at counts, it is not necessary for the Trial Chamber to enquire into the sufficiency of the evidence in relation to each paragraph of the indictment, or break the count down to its particulars supplied in the indictment, and your Honours discussed that at paragraph 21 of your Rule 98 decision.
You also went on in paragraph 21 to indicate that indeed the Trial Chamber is not empowered by Rule 98 to break the count down into its particulars and to enter a judgment of acquittal in relation to any particular which has not been proved, nor would it be practical to do so.
We suggest that is the approach that should be taken in relation to this Defence argument as well.
Be that as it may, the Prosecution indeed has presented evidence on all of these locations and should your Honours request it, despite the discussion that I have just engaged in, we are prepared to provide you the specific evidence which supports the locations. That is really a matter for your Honours. Our position is that --