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

Thank you, your Honour. Your Honours, if I understand my learned friend correctly, the first basis of his objection is that the witness about to be called has no qualifications to be an expert based on the understanding of that definition within the jurisprudence of this tribunal.

Your Honours, my response firstly to that is it would be at this stage premature for the Chamber to make any determination as to the qualification of the witness when this Chamber has not heard any evidence from that witness as to how she is qualified, or what makes her qualified to be an expert and to speak on this subject. Your Honours, I believe if the witness is called upon and is heard on what we say gives her the qualifications to be an expert, then at that stage this Chamber is or will be able to make a determination as to her qualifications. So, I submit that that limb of the objection is premature.

Your Honours, I also understand my learned friend is saying - and there are several limbs to that particular line of objection. One of them is that the material, the substance of the evidence which the witness is going to be giving to this Court, is one which comes largely from not her own personal knowledge and she is merely presenting evidence on facts which are not within her knowledge.

Your Honours, again it goes - it boils down to the idea of what sort of evidence the witness is giving. We characterise the witness as an expert witness and, of course, my learned friend has pointed to the fact that the Court can hear hearsay evidence.

We say that the witness's expertise comes from being in the line of work where she is - she meets with victims and persons who have witnessed atrocities and she interviews them and takes these notes from the interviews. Her line of work is such that all of this material which is collected is presented in reports and, your Honours, implicit in that sort of work are certain skills which the witness will demonstrate she possesses and which she applied in the collection of the information, or the material, or the evidence which she put in those reports.

So, your Honours, I believe again it boils down to the question of having to hear the witness to be able to make a determination as to whether she is as characterised a qualified person as an expert to present that sort of evidence before the Court.

Your Honours, my learned friend again as a further extension of the first limb of his argument he mentions that some of the material which is contained in the reports which the witness is about to tender goes outside the scope of the - or rather outside the temporal jurisdiction of this Court.

Your Honours, we will - the Court can admit evidence which is contextual to the evidence that relates specifically within the time frame of the indictment, I submit, and we submit further that to the extent that much of that evidence gives context and background to the events which led to the crimes that are described in her report, that evidence is relevant and should be admitted if the witness does get to testify.

Your Honours, my learned friend again pointed to further issues about reliability of the material and their probative value. Again I make the point that these are matters which are secondary, in the sense that this Chamber can only get to consider those issues at the end of the day when the Court comes to consider the weight of the evidence that has been adduced. At this stage, this Chamber will not be in a position to make any determination as to the weight of the evidence.

As to the reliability of it, your Honours, we - the witness when she gets to be heard will demonstrate the methods that have been applied in the collection of the material, or the evidence, that has been incorporated in her report, and that would demonstrate methods which are very objective, which are fair, which are standards that are free from any perceptions of impartiality - of partiality, I am sorry.

Your Honours, my learned friend also made the point, the second limb of his objection which seems to be thrust of his objection, that the witness has been associated with the Prosecution, also that she works for an organisation which is basically a human rights advocacy institution and I understand him to be putting a lot of weight on the fact that as an employee of the Special Court, of the Prosecutor's Office within the Court, she had taken interviews from witnesses who may very well testify before this Court.

Your Honours, my submission in that regard is that the jurisprudence of these tribunals is clear that by a witness having worked with the Prosecution, or being associated with the Prosecution, alone does not by itself exclude that witness's testimony, or her report, or his or her report as an expert witness.

Your Honours, that is the submission I am making and there is authority to support that. There is authorities to support that, your Honours. I am sorry, I do have a few copies of the jurisprudence from the ICTY which I can cite now and make copies available to the Bench and to my colleague. Your Honours, I cite the case of Prosecutor versus Boskoski and Tarculovski.

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