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

Your Honours, Madam President, I apologise to interrupt but I register an objection to this. As Justice Sebutinde pointed out, in the past when witnesses have come before your Honours when they are testifying verbatim about a Krio phrase they heard for example over the BBC or such they say it in Krio, it comes out in the transcript in Krio but the interpreter interprets it into its English meaning.

The crux of this problem is that the witness is recounting conversations between radio operators who are relaying - actually it's triple hearsay. The radio operators in question are relaying what they understood RUF soldiers to be saying on the field vis-a-vis the amputation of civilians. The witness overhears this conversation. It does not necessarily follow that the RUF operators between Gandorhun and Tefeya were using the exact precise phrase that is alleged to have been used in the field by the RUF operators.

The Prosecution is now attempting to get a particular phrase onto the record. It's a Krio phrase. The languages of this Court, as your Honours know, are English - well, the primary language - and the interpretation should be done in English. He has tried in the first instance to get the interpreter to interpret it in Krio onto the English record which makes no sense whatsoever and now we are spending time on questioning where the foundation for the particular phrase they wish to introduce is there but is double or triple hearsay and your Honours retain the discretion in certain instances to preclude that.

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