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

Yes, your Honour. I just want to observe that, with all due respect to Madam Prosecutor, there seems to be a mischaracterisation of the fact that the accused person waited until the opening to raise the issue -- the problems that affect his defence, all with a view to cause delay or frustrate the process. This Court -- I do not believe that is a fair characterisation of what transpired.

Now, from the point of view of representation, it is on record that the accused intends to represent himself, but we have reported that we have prevailed on him that it is not in the best interests of the court or the judicial process for him to represent himself. This case needs to be addressed from the -- from the point of view of adequacy of representation to enable the interests of justice to be done.

Now, the proposal for the Court to appoint stand-by counsel or court-appointed counsel is not an issue that -- I think that is not yet ripe for that to happen. I know that the Prosecution wants to proceed with this case. We want to ensure that this case proceeds and that the timetable is kept. But at the same time, these are issues that would tend to, in my opinion, from my experience at the Special Court, would tend to frustrate even the process of having a court-appointed counsel imposed upon a accused who may eventually, from my experience, refuse to cooperate and at the end of the day question the process, whether or not it is what we accept, but it does happen. And that would be, too, using a sledgehammer to kill an ant at this stage of the proceedings, in my view, to impose counsel or to appoint stand-by counsel because the accused wants to represent himself. We all agreed that the issue of self-representation will not address the interests of justice.

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