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

At least a P4 level, to be attached to the Defence Office in The Hague, to possibly step in as a trial counsel where necessary in a substantive manner. That was not approved. All that was approved was Duty Counsel at a P3 level.

Now, the circumstances of the Taylor trial in terms of whether or not the Defence Office can step in, we have a Duty Counsel who is doing administrative/detention duties in terms of liaison with the accused, research as allowed by the Defence team, and it is almost practically impossible from the point of view -- and who is not instructed in the substantive aspects of the case, neither is he allowed to look at the disclosures that the Prosecution has made to the Defence team. I wonder how such counsel, Duty Counsel, can step in.

Of course, as much as the Prosecution would love the Principal Defender to take over the case of Mr Taylor, the Principal Defender functions not just addressing the Taylor case in terms of servicing it. It also addresses and services a number of other cases before the tribunal, of which he may be privy to some very confidential information that could result in a conflict of interest if he were to step in to take over the case.

More importantly, the rules do not envisage a situation where the Office of the Principal Defender takes over the case of the accused, because, as I understand the rules, the issue of representation of the accused is mainly during the initial appearance and thereafter to facilitate the case of the accused -- facilitate counsel, ensuring adequate resources, and moving on.

Now, the provision that may step in that an officer -- somebody from the Defence Office may step in is a very limited measure, and in this particular case is not the kind of measure that, of course, I would recommend for the Taylor trial.

And the issue of whether or not the half measure or the ad hoc measure of allowing Duty Counsel to carry over the case or take over the case of Mr Taylor has been addressed in our sister institution here at the ICC, in the case of Lubanga, the Prosecutor against Lubanga, where the Appeals Chamber of the ICC ruled that the regulations of the ICC that provide for the involvement of the Office of Public Counsel for the Defence do not take away from the need for adequate legal representation for the accused, and because the functions performed by such an office, which is almost similar to our office, it's no wonder that envisages a total take-over of the case.

So that makes it very difficult from the Defence Office in terms of its capacity to take over a massive case as that of Mr Taylor in its complexity and magnitude. That's the part that the Prosecution would want the Principal Defender to take over.

Your Honour, my submission is that, as difficult as it is in terms of the delay being caused, rather than take half measures just to be able to enable the Prosecution to continue its case, which may very likely, probably, impact the fair-trial rights of the accused under Article 17, it is necessary that whatever little delays that may be encountered be done -- be to enable us to achieve a longer term prevention of hiccups in this case.

I think that is what I could submit, in view of the fact that the Defence Office is not adequately resourced to take over the Taylor trial.

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