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

There has been for I think it is right to say now some weeks a change in the transportation regime from the prison in

Scheveningen to the courthouse here. I don't know, because I have received conflicting information, as to the nature of the security escort who now are bringing Mr Taylor to court. All I do know is that they are different from the security personnel who had been bringing him up to about the first six weeks of the trial. There have been no difficulties at all with the previous organisation.

I don't know if the present security staff are part of a public State system, part of the Ministry of Justice, or what. I don't know if they are a privatised organisation, but all I can say is that in the last couple of weeks there has been a much more restrictive set of arrangements in force, about which we have been expressing concern behind the scenes and we haven't thus far sought to raise the matter at a higher level. I emphasise "thus far".

As I understand it, this morning Mr Taylor was subjected to what in common law jurisdictions that I am familiar with would be called an intimate search. It was an intimate search of considerable intrusion and physical pain and this was the first time it had been done this way and he protested. He was told that it would be persisted in if he was to be brought to court this morning by that particular security detail and he refused to participate further in this so far unique, offensive and physically painful procedure.

I am not aware that this has been attempted before. I see no reason for it now. He has been humiliated and more than physically discomforted, and he made it plain that he was perfectly willing to come to court provided this procedure was not persisted in. It appears from the latest information that I have received from the security staff here at the ICC building that whoever - who's ever idea it was to persist in this procedure has had a change of heart, as a result of which I understand Mr Taylor is well on his way to court now and may even be within the precincts as I speak.

So, I ask the Court's indulgence to wait for his arrival before we deal with any further aspect of any part of this case this morning. It is perfectly plain that he has been cooperating every single day, not just in the last eight weeks, but hitherto before the trial actually restarted on 7 January. This is the first time such a procedure has been added to the increasing list of restrictions that have been put on him in recent times and - well, I suspect he may be here now. Yes, I am receiving an indication that he is, so I would simply ask the Court for a few minutes grace in order to have him here. I am told he is going to be in the premises in two minutes and I would obviously want to take instructions from him in order to address the Court further.

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