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

Three things in the light of what Mr Bangura has just told us. The first is this. Ms Alagendra told me on Wednesday morning before we sat that she anticipated she would be another 15 minutes with her witness. In fact, if my memory is correct, I got up to cross-examine him around half-past-three in the afternoon on Wednesday and so obviously her time estimate was wrong. She also told me then - in fact she told me before that - that she had a flight booked today to go back to Freetown, and I anticipated that I may well finish the witness - on Wednesday, when she told me that, I anticipated I may well finish the witness by mid-morning yesterday, so obviously her time estimates and her planning have gone awry. I make no criticism of any advocate for getting their time estimates wrong. We all do. It is very rare that we get them right.

It is a matter for the Prosecution and the Court how they distribute their work between them. You will be aware that hitherto we have been completely cooperative with all of the requests of the Prosecution to move witnesses around, to reduce the 42 day rule, to have an expert witness interposed and so on and so forth. We have cooperated at every single turn and we have no observations to make on whether or not it is appropriate for them to have a substitute part way through a witness.

Can I also though just add this. I think we all are taken by surprise by Mr Bangura's suggestion that, if you don't go this morning to Freetown, you can't go for another two weeks. I know from my own arrangements for going to Freetown that there are various routes. You don't have to go directly there and, in fact, you are lucky if you can go directly there. I am merely expressing surprise at that suggestion, no more than that. I don't think there is anything else I can say that is helpful.

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