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

Thank you, 14 of January of this year. That was their choice, they were given it and then the accused chose to ignore it. The accused was granted leave to appeal on two issues on 2 and 3 of December and those are among the two issues that the Defence now says must be resolved before they can file a final trial brief. On 2 and 3 December you received no pleading from the Defence saying, Oh gosh, things have changed, now would you please give us an extension of time to file or would you stay these proceedings? They filed their pleadings, their appeal pleadings, on 14 December. No request for an extension of time to file the final trial brief, no request for a stay of proceedings. On 17 December, the day that -- the last official day before the recess, they filed another substantive motion. No request for an extension of time to file their final trial brief, no request for a stay of the proceedings.

And then, over the break, they busied themselves writing other motions instead of directing their attention to the 49,000 pages of transcript and the almost 1100 exhibits, and for them to tell you that they could not file a final trial brief until such time in the future that they might get a decision that might favour them is simply a disingenuous and bad-faith argument, especially in light of the fact that they only asked for this delay at the very last minute and that they then ignore the ruling of this Court who are the ones truly in charge of these proceedings. They ignore that ruling because Mr Taylor didn't like it. Well, that's unfortunate but that is what happens in formal proceedings. Parties propose, judges dispose, and the parties act consistent with the disposition of the judges.

This Trial Chamber gave a perfectly reasonable decision about what could happen if, in the future, there was a ruling that justified either additional evidence or additional submissions. That ruling was not based on speculation as to what might happen, but gave a very concrete, a very efficient, way of dealing with any such matters that might arise in the future.

The Defence chose to ignore that, on instruction of this accused and instead to simply not file submissions. There is nothing that the Defence has said to you today that justifies basically allowing this accused to run these proceedings. He has elected not to file a final trial brief, except under his conditions, and that's not the way it works in a criminal proceeding. If he elects not to file a response, if he elects not to engage in oral argument, those are his choices; his choices, his consequences, no violation of any fairness, certainly not a violation of any principle of justice because every principle of justice says that an accused may not hold a Trial Chamber and a proceeding hostage to his whims and his desires.

We would suggest that the accused still has the opportunity to put his positions before this Trial Chamber without disrupting the orderly flow of the proceedings, without, in effect, taking over control of these proceedings, and we would ask that your Honours simply adhere to the remaining schedule and it is up to the accused to determine whether he wishes to participate in those two events or not. And the Defence has made some affirmative statements about what these cables supposedly tell you or don't tell you. That is not our position. These cables tell you about an independent court, not a court that are puppets of any government. Of course, that is a matter to be resolved but the Defence raised it and I want you to know that our position is that it's simply a bad-faith argument and not supported by the very cables on which the Defence relies. So, your Honours, those are the submissions we would make on this. The accused choices, the accused's consequences, let us move forward with what the Trial Chamber has determined based on the wishes of the accused through his counsel should be the schedule for final submissions in this case.

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