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

Mr. Rapp, you've heard counsel for the Defence on this thorny issue.

MR. RAPP: Madam President, we're frankly disappointed. The trial team did spend a great deal of time going through public records and, in the end, putting together hundreds of statements of facts from the public record that we did not believe, with rare exception, would be in substantial dispute, and would provide the Chamber with a foundation of historic fact from which they could then proceed, without prejudice to the accused, to determine the real facts in this case, the facts that I think are legitimately in dispute.

As Your Honour just invited Defence counsel's attention, this Rule 73 bis (F) talks about this occurring prior to the pre-trial conference, and that is very important for us because we have to select witnesses.

I mean, if you look at the statement of fact, we have statements like -- you could look at 155:

"ECOMOG, acting on behalf of the deposed government of President Kabbah, ousted the AFRC Junta from power on or about the 14th of February, 1998."

No real dispute, I don't think, on that fact, but they're unwilling to stipulate to it so we're going to have to make sure a witness says that to the extent we need to show what role the AFRC, which we allege later will have some tie to the accused, had in power.

And so this puts us into a situation as we sit down and select our witnesses and -- as someone might complain, Why 133 core witnesses, and why are you talking about 92 bis witnesses on background information? Because we don't have these stipulations of fact, we have to prepare to call people to prove this up. Maybe it won't be that difficult.

The key thing here, which I think we'll get to in a moment, is when we have to have this pre-trial list done, and ideally we should have this information before that. And I think what Mr. Khan is telling us is that there is no way that we're going to have it before that, and that would be unfortunate and it will require a larger case, at least on the front end. And I think it would be efficient and in the interests of justice.

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