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

I will be quick because I heard in the arguments today the mention of Rambo Red Goat. So the last page, the last row, these deal with the December 1998 offensive and the Freetown invasion. On the left, arms and ammunition from Burkina Faso were distributed to RUF and AFRC commanders in Buedu and used in attacks in Kono and Kenama in December 1998, where further arms and ammunition were captured and in the commission of the crimes in Kono and Makeni districts. This was provided by Alimamy Bobson Sesay, who said Rambo Red Goat reinforced the troops in Freetown with arms and ammunition he received from Bockarie, that Rambo Red Goat explained the source of the ammunition when he arrived. So we have Rambo Red Goat arriving to reinforce and he comes with arms and ammunition, and he explained the source of the ammunition when he arrived. Rambo Red Goat is not called. The person from whom he received it, Sam Bockarie, is not called as a witness; so no cross-examination of either of them, uncorroborated. It's just Alimamy Bobson Sesay's evidence. And on the right-hand column we see what the Court found: Witnesses do not specifically corroborate Bobson Sesay's account that Idrissa Kamara brought matériel. The Trial Chamber nonetheless or nevertheless considers it a reasonable interference that Idrissa Kamara brought -- I think that should be "inference," that Idrissa Kamara brought matériel with him. The Trial Chamber considers credible Bobson Sesay's evidence that Rambo Red Goat told him it came from Bockarie, and Bockarie's distribution prior to advancing towards Kono and Makeni, although Rambo Red Goat did not disclose whether the ammunition he brought came from Liberia. So we have the Chamber again finding that Sesay's evidence is credible where Rambo Red Goat is not called. Sam Bockarie is unavailable. The source of this information is not brought before the Chamber. Your Honours, these examples viewed in conjunction with the jurisprudential principles we've argued in our briefs in grounds 2 and 3 -- sorry, grounds 1 and 2 regarding hearsay, confirm that the key issues you look at when assessing unsourced or uncorroborated hearsay were not respected in this case, whether the accused had the right to confront the original declarant. The totality of the circumstances, whether it was reliable. Was it anonymous? Was the person identified? When you compare this with Rule 94 quater and you juxtapose the two provisions, it raises more questions than it answers. I will end with one quick point which is, the hearsay issue is important because as an issue on appeal, you don't need to give the Trial Chamber deference. The issue of how a Trial Chamber relies on a particular fact, yes, is deferential, but when it comes to whether or not it should have sought corroboration and whether or not the hearsay evidence relied upon was reliable, that's a question of law. So no deference attaches to it. And if you find that hearsay evidence has been uncorroborated and relied extensively on in this Judgement, you retain the discretion to reverse all those findings by the Trial Chamber. Thank you, your Honours.

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