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

Good afternoon, Madam President, and your Honours, and good afternoon to colleagues around the courtroom. I'm just going to very, very briefly respond to some arguments made by the Prosecution yesterday on adjudicated facts and just two quick points. Firstly, it appears necessary to go back to the content of adjudicated fact 15 and have a look at what it actually says, because the Prosecution spoke yesterday at some length about the RUF contribution to the invasion in Freetown as a whole, but in fact adjudicated fact 15 is much more limited. It concerns, and I quote, "the end of the AFRC offensive". It talks about the AFRC retreat from Freetown. It specifically relates only to RUF reinforcements that arrived in Waterloo at the end of the offensive, and no one has yet read out adjudicated fact 15 in total, and it's quite short, only a few lines, and it seems necessary at this point so we know exactly what we are talking about factually. Adjudicated fact 15, and this is from the AFRC Trial Judgement, reads: "Following heavy assaults from ECOMOG, the troops were forced to retreat from Freetown. This failure marked the end of the AFRC offensive as the troops were running out of ammunition. While the AFRC managed a controlled retreat engaging ECOMOG and Kamajor troops who were blocking their way, RUF reinforcements arrived in Waterloo. However, the RUF troops were either unwilling or unable to provide the necessary support to the AFRC troops." So adjudicated fact 15 just concerns this section of the Freetown invasion, right at the end, so arguments about the RUF's contribution or co-ordination as a whole during the Freetown invasion don't assist the Prosecution's position, because the Prosecution insists the Defence is now changing its position. That we've always agreed that the RUF was part of the Freetown invasion and in fact, if you look at the Judgement, and I'm talking about page 1177 of the Judgement, the Trial Chamber recognised that the Prosecution and the Defence agreed on or about -- on about 6 January 1999 inter alia RUF and AFRC forces attacked Freetown. The Chamber goes on, "The Defence has indicated that the admission is simply a factual recognition that there may have been RUF elements that participated in the AFRC attack on Freetown. It says nothing about what the RUF may have done as a cohesive organisation, or whether or not the RUF sent reinforcements to Waterloo or to the Freetown environs in the days after the 6 January invasion." So the Defence submissions on the failure of the RUF reinforcements from Waterloo to connect with the troops in the city have remained consistent, and this is what adjudicated fact 15 is really all about. The Defence case was presented on the understanding that there was a presumption of truth that attached to this adjudicated fact 15, and the Prosecution could have and had the opportunity to put this issue back on the table through the introduction of reliable and credible evidence in the manner set out by the Trial Chamber in its decision on 23 March 2009, but the Prosecution did not. And lastly the Prosecution has emphasised quite extensively in its response brief, and again yesterday, that the Defence position at trial was that the Prosecution could rely on evidence led in its case in-chief to rebut an adjudicated fact of which notice was taken in the Defence case. This Defence argument was resoundingly rejected at trial. It was defeated by the Trial Chamber. The Trial Chamber said, no, there are two ways in which you can rebut an adjudicated fact that's been noted during the Defence case. You can do it through the cross-examination of Defence witnesses or you can do it by calling a rebuttal case, and this is the decision of 23 March 2009 at paragraph 32. The Prosecution didn't appeal that decision. Then again in the later RUF decision, this time on 17 June 2010, this argument from the Defence was again rejected. At paragraph 30, the Chamber held that, given the late state in the case, in all likelihood, if the Prosecution wanted to rebut adjudicated facts, it would have to call a rebuttal case and that's the basis on which the Defence request for adjudicated facts from the RUF trial was rejected. If the Prosecution had thought these decisions were incorrect in law, they could have appealed them at the trial, but now simply repeating Defence arguments or submissions that weren't accepted by the Trial Chamber, that in fact were rejected by the Trial Chamber, doesn't advance the Prosecution's position on the issue on appeal. I'll now pass to lead counsel, Mr Anyah.

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