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

When her report was tendered to us we objected to her and I can now outline the basis of the objection and, as your Honour has indicated, I will do it in summary form initially so that you know the heads under which we object to this particular witness.

Madam President, your Honours, technology is getting the better of me at moment I am afraid, or the wires actually. We object to the evidence, or we object to this witness, Corinne Dufka, being called on the following bases.

First of all, it is our submission that she is not an expert in the sense usually understood in the jurisprudence of this tribunal, other international tribunals and indeed a whole range certainly of common law domestic tribunals.

Secondly, we say that her report and the annexes to it, the exhibits attached to it, violate the accused's fundamental right under article 17 of the Court's statute and in particular article 17 (4) (c), that is to examine or have examined witnesses against him. In that connection, I note in passing that the Prosecution have already sought to have some of this witness's evidence either taken judicial notice of, or in the alternative admitted under rule 92 bis I think I am right in saying, and the Court has already refused those motions in relation to this witness.

Thirdly, we submit that much of her evidence goes to the ultimate issues for this Court to determine and, fourthly, we submit that the scope of many of the documents, including her report and many of the annexes appended to it, go beyond both the territorial and the temporal scope of the indictment. They deal, in other words, with matters not concerning the civil war in Sierra Leone and they deal with matters either before or beyond the time period encompassed by the indictment. To give you but one example, there is a whole section in her report and annexes to it concerning Guinea.

Fifthly and lastly, it is our submission that this witness is not an expert in the sense that that phrase is understood to mean an impartial independent witness who gives testimony to the Court without in any way seeking to promote the agenda of one side - one party, or another. In other words, that the expertise is there independently of whoever might call the witness. It is for those five reasons that we object to this witness.

Can I say as far as expertise is concerned, the first objection, that her testimony as an expert would be to enlighten the Court on specific issues of a technical nature requiring specialist knowledge in a specific field, and the obvious examples that come to mind are matters of scientific knowledge with which the Court itself would not be familiar, or matters of a medical nature. Again these are matters of specialist, not general, knowledge.

Plus, the individual has to be an expert in this area of special knowledge, and fundamentally a witness who is claiming to be put forward as an expert witness does not deal with basic facts; that is to say evidence that you would expect to be called from what I will call for these purposes ordinary witnesses. In this particular trial they are divided up into two broad groups, but they are all giving evidence as to fact rather than expertise.

Furthermore, when considering the report of an expert, the Court has to consider whether material in that report is reliable, whether it is relevant and of probative value and whether its substance falls within the area of specialist expertise without which the Court would not be able to understand the evidence presented, or determine a fact in issue.

Now in our submission Ms Dufka's report, which consists - both her report and the annexes to it consist of accounts of atrocities. That is the bulk of what she is seeking to be called to present to the Court. She is in that sense doing no more than putting forward in summary form factual evidence. There is no expertise involved.

In doing that - and I am now moving on to the second head of our objection, violating the accused's fundamental right to a fair trial. In doing that she is putting forward evidence which this Court is unable to determine the reliability of, because it is not hearing the testimony of those who are actually giving the factual accounts. And, as I have said, although this Court has the power to admit hearsay evidence, in particular in relation to two aspects of Ms Dufka's material the Court has already been invited to adopt it as hearsay evidence and has refused to do that.

This in our submission is a substantive issue in the case, and to allow this material in - factual material in - via an expert who is doing no more than summarising factual material undermines completely the concept of an expert giving opinion evidence.

In many cases the documents that she attaches to her report are not even written by her and there is no information at all in some of them as to the provenance of the statements contained in those reports.

Madam President, I can take you through examples of where her report goes to the ultimate issues for this Court to decide and indeed so do the annexes to her report, but this Court has already reminded one witness in the first week of the trial that Prosecution experts are called to give expertise and are not called to comment on the matters that are ultimately for the Court to determine. In other words, they are not here to usurp the function of the Court.

I am in the Court's hands now as to whether or not you wish me to take you through specific examples in her report?

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