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

Madam President, if it please your Honours. Before the witness is brought in there is a slight issue I wish to raise by way of reminder. I do it hesitantly but I think it is appropriate to do so at this point.

When the fourth witness in the trial testified, I believe it was on 14 January 2008, that witness's TF1 number is 114, the witness testified in open session. The witness's name is Dennis Koker. I made an application to your Honours pursuant to Rule 15 asking that your Honours disqualify yourselves from entertaining that witness's evidence. I did ask for a copy of that transcript to be printed, and I don't wish to go over it except to say that when I made that application the basis upon which it was made was that the witness had previously given evidence before your Honours during the AFRC trial and that your Honours had found that witness, in your AFRC judgment, to have been credible.

The witness that is coming before your Honours we maintain falls in the same category as someone that has previously been heard by your Honours, as someone that has previously been found, expressly in your judgment, to have been credible with the only distinction between both being this: This is a 92 bis witness and the former witness was a regular crime base witness who appeared and gave evidence both in chief and under cross-examination. This witness is coming before your Honours for only cross-examination purposes.

At the time I made my application your Honour Justice Sebutinde, who was presiding then, and his Honour Justice Lussick made inquiries of me in the sense that it was important for them at that time to know whether or not we maintained the position that the witness Dennis Koker was coming to give identical evidence to what he gave during the AFRC trial and the relevant portions of that exchange and the transcript - it was an open session transcript from 14 January 2008 - the relevant pages are pages 1214 through 1217, and I will just read a little bit of the exchanges we had. I maintained, on page 1215 at line 3, I said:

"In closing, I would just say for the record we would make a recurring application in respect of any other prospective witness who has been found to be credible having testified before in the AFRC case and who does appear before this Chamber to testify in this case. Thank you, Madam President."

Then his Honour Justice Lussick, on the same page at line 23 said: "And one other thing, Ms Hollis, we have no idea whatsoever what testimony this witness is about to give in this case."

Then over to the next page the Presiding Judge, her Honour Justice Sebutinde, on page 1216 said at line 12:

"Mr Anyah, I want you by way of reply to shed some light on whether in your knowledge this witness is coming to replicate his testimony in the AFRC trial or not. We need to know because, as my brother said here, we have no clue what this witness is coming to testify to, but perhaps you know better. Is he coming to repeat his testimony in the AFRC case?"

That's the background of this observation. It is simply to reinforce our continuing objection. Your Honours have ruled, and we of course accept that ruling. We do feel there are slight nuanced change in circumstances between the two witnesses, but I register an objection again in principle in no way suggesting that any of your Honours are predisposed unfavourably to questions we may pose during cross-examination.

And just to perfect my observation and the record, the parts of the AFRC trial that your Honours relied on this witness's evidence for, the express finding of credibility is to be found in paragraph 1228 on page 346. Your Honours relied on the witness's evidence in paragraph 347 on pages 280 and 281 and again in paragraph 1233 on page 348. Thank you, your Honours.

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