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

Yes. May I, before I start taking the Court through examples, make this point? Where a culture has arisen where witnesses expect to be paid sums of money, not merely their expenses, but a very generous amount of money in relation to their expenses, what is the effect of that on the administration of justice, of such a system? And let me illustrate that with an anecdote. If people expect to be paid to give evidence, then it can lead to a bidding war. I think everybody's seems to be now - yes.

And I want to tell the Court an anecdote, I'm not giving evidence as such; it's simply an illustration, in our submission, of the effect of this system of doling out money to people to cooperate with the Prosecution.

At an Outreach meeting in Freetown that I went to and spoke on behalf of the Defence at, this question of witness expenses and money paid to witnesses was raised, and I made the point that I'm making now, the Prosecution have a fund out of which they pay witnesses, to which came the immediate rejoinder from a member of the audience, "Well, what's the problem with that? Why don't the Defence offer more money to the witnesses?" And that - that vignette captures perfectly the effect on the administration of justice of making sums of money available that go way beyond the actual expense to the witnesses themselves.

And let us consider the realities of life in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Desperately poor people in a country still devastated by civil war, by the effects of civil war, ten years later. People managing their best, but, as we all know, struggling to survive, struggling to make ends meet, large numbers of people without regular employment. Some who do have regular employment not regularly paid, teachers is a well-known example of that situation in Sierra Leone. And finally, what is an insignificant sum to someone from Western Europe or from North America, what would amount to loose change in their pocket, in fact, can make a huge difference in the hands of a poor person in Sierra Leone, someone who has a family to support. 10,000 leones, three United States dollars a year or two back, is a significant sum of money that can help to buy food and to put someone in a better position than they would otherwise have been to a Sierra Leone citizen. Whereas to somebody such as many of those in this courtroom now, it's a sum of such trifling order that they wouldn't even notice if it was lost.

Now, may I turn then to illustrate first of all the way in which the system has been operated and then I will go to some specific examples of witnesses. And I'm going to deal with the situation relating to a potential witness who ended up with the - the anonymous title of DCT-032.

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