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"Norman and Sesay will Return"----Rapp.

By  | 19 January 2007 at 21:54 | 780 views

The new prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone Mr. Stephen Rapp(photo), said in Freetown recently that Special Court indictees Sam Hinga Norman and Issa Sesay now undergoing medical treatment in Dakar, Senegal, will return to Sierra Leone "well in advance of the expected date in the verdict of the CDF case in the case of Hinga Norman and the restart of the RUF case in the case of Issa Sesay."

Rapp, speaking at a press conference last Wednesday, went on to say that verdicts would likely come up in March or April this year.We bring you a full version of the proceedings at the press conference below, courtesy of the Special Court:

Verbatim Transcript of the Press Conference by the Registrar and the Prosecutor at the Sierra Leone News Agency (SLENA) on Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Opening remarks by the Registrar, Mr. Lovemore Munlo, SC.

Lovemore Munlo: It’s a very special morning today that I come to talk to you. First of all, it’s the beginning of the year, and I wish you all a very successful and happy new year. And I also want to say we will continue as we have done in the past getting in touch with you to exchange views and also to give you information that we can give.

Introduction of the new Prosecutor

Today I have come here, the most important matter I’ve come with, is to introduce to you the new Prosecutor for the Special Court for Sierra Leone, Mr. Stephen Rapp. Mr. Stephen Rapp comes to the Special Court with vast experience. He is a distinguished son of the State of Iowa in the United States where he worked as an elected legislator in the State of Iowa. He has been in private practice. He has also worked as a head of staff and consul for a U.S. judicial committee. That only prepared him for his position at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda where he worked as Senior Trial Attorney responsible for prosecution of those who are charged before the tribunal. He was on one of the trial teams, among many trial teams, that were dealing with the cases in Arusha.

After a distinguished career as a Senior Trial Attorney, he was appointed - or promoted, rather - the Chief of Prosecutions. His responsibility was to supervise all the trial teams dealing with cases at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. I had the privilege of working with him for, I think, 4-1/2 years and I saw his career advance. This is a combination of a very good career which he has had, but now he has been appointed as Prosecutor for the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

I will be asking him to talk to you and maybe [if you have questions] he’ll answer your questions.

Briefing on the Senegal operation

I just wanted to say that, in addition to this, I thought that I should also brief you about what is happening at the Court.

Today, this morning, we started an operation to get two of the detainees specialised medical treatment go to Senegal for treatment. These detainees are Mr. Hinga Norman and also Mr. Sesay. They left the Court premises exactly at 8:00 this morning and by 9:00 they were at the Lungi International Airport. They boarded a private plane. They must by now have arrived in Senegal. They have been accompanied by members of staff of the Special Court, and this is being done in close cooperation with the Government of Senegal, for which we are very grateful for giving us facilities, excellent facilities, medical facilities and very experienced medical staff to look after our detainees. From here, our detainees have left with their medical doctor, Dr. Harding who [indistinct] last time [indistinct] press conference.

So these are the things I wanted to say before I ask the Prosecutor to talk to you. Mr. Prosecutor.

Opening remarks by the Prosecutor, Mr. Stephen Rapp

Stephen Rapp: Well, thank you very much Lovemore. I asked for this box so I could stand up. I have a bit of a cold today, and I wanted to be able to be heard and project my voice to answer your questions. Thank you for the kind introduction. And I’d also like to thank the Sierra Leone News Agency for hosting this event.

It is wonderful to be here with you and I am very pleased that my first press conference as Prosecutor of the Special Court is with you. You’re the journalists of Sierra Leone, and I wanted to be sure that before I spoke with the international press, I first met with Sierra Leone’s domestic reporters so that I could tell you personally how important I believe the work of the Special Court is to the people of this country, and to its future.

First, let me tell you a bit about myself, and Lovemore has mentioned some of it. I am originally from a small town in the rural state of Iowa, in the United States. In my early career I worked in private practice as a lawyer on the staff of the US Senate in Washington and as an elected representative of my area in the legislature of the State of Iowa. In 1993 former President Bill Clinton appointed me as the United States Attorney, the Prosecutor for Northern Iowa, where I served for eight years until 2001. I then joined the Prosecution of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, serving, as Lovemore said, as a Senior Trial Attorney - as the team leader for a case in court, specifically the media trial - a trial that took some 34 months at the Rwanda tribunal where the defendants were accused of committing genocide and crimes against humanity by virtue of the terrible hate speech they spread over the radio, specifically the radio station RTLM, and through a newspaper - a newspaper Kangur - first case since World War II involving committing essentially these horrible crimes through speech, and specifically, through the media. We were very proud that in December 2003 the Trial Chamber convicted the three accused of genocide, of incitement to commit genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, and extermination and persecution as crimes against humanity.

After that I became the Chief of Prosecutions at the Rwanda tribunal, a position that I held until I came here earlier this month as Prosecutor of the Special Court.

Becoming the Prosecutor is for me a dream come true. I’m honoured and humbled to be part of an important endeavour in the history of this country; an endeavour that I believe is marking a turning point for Sierra Leone. Since the end of the war the international community, the government of Sierra Leone and the people of this nation have been working to create a more stable, prosperous and just society. The Special Court is certainly not the only part of that effort, but it’s a crucial component. The Court is both a concrete example and a symbol of the turning point in this nation. For many years there was chaos, now there is order. Where there was volatility and violence, there is now peace. Where once wicked men shattered many thousands of lives, now impunity no longer reigns.

The Court also represents a greater hope for the international community as a whole. In the words of the United Nations Security Council, it is part of an effort “to end impunity, establish the rule of law and promote respect for human rights and by doing so to restore and maintain international peace and security.”

The Court recently reached a significant milestone with the completion of the trials in the CDF and the AFRC cases. In the coming months the Judges in these cases will render their verdicts. The RUF trial continues in May with the presentation of the Defence evidence. Finally, the trial of Charles Taylor will begin this year in The Hague. The Court’s Outreach Programme, with which I’m sure you’re all familiar, has capitalized on the Court’s domestic location to communicate the Court’s message to every one of the 14 (sic.) districts, to every corner of this country and ensure that a maximum number of citizens learn about what is happening in the case, and in the Taylor case. For this reason, some are concerned about the decision to move the trial of Charles Taylor to The Hague. And while I support this decision as necessary for the stability of the region, let me say how important I believe it is that the Taylor trial be brought home to the people of Sierra Leone and to this region. Every effort is being made and will be made to ensure that Sierra Leoneans have transparent access to this trial. Each case at the Special Court is heard, argued and decided in the name of the people of Sierra Leone. The Judges, some of whom come from Sierra Leone, and attorneys for both the Prosecutor and the Defence that include Sierra Leoneans, and the many miles between here and Mr. Taylor will not change that.

So let me say once again how pleased I am to be with you today and how honoured I am to be part of this significant chapter in the history of your country. And I’ll be happy to take your questions.

Questions and Answers

Q: (Indistinct) Charles Taylor has been taken to The Hague (indistinct) and most of the atrocities committed affected the people of Sierra Leone and Liberia. Don’t you think it’s more (indistinct) for the Special Court to facilitate (indistinct) journalists so they can cover Charles Taylor’s trial in The Hague so that the people of Sierra Leone...

RAPP: Well I think it’s real important that the trial be covered and that Sierra Leone journalists have access to all parts of it. Now I think that Peter Andersen can discuss and describe the work that’s been done by the BBC Trust that I think will provide opportunities for Sierra Leone journalists to attend at The Hague and also to receive audio and video and other materials from The Court so that you can do your job. But that’s in the area of Outreach and Public Relations and Public Affairs that’s not specifically in the area of the Prosecutor. But we work very cooperatively in this area, and we’re going to do everything we can to get that level of support. I’m off on a visit this weekend in Europe and in the United States and North America with President King - the President of the Court, Justice King - and we’re going to be talking to national authorities for whom we rely for contributions, but we’re also going to be talking to non-governmental organisations, and an important part of the support that we seek will be toward this effort of Public Information and Outreach. We do not want to die with the secret of the Court. We don’t want to put on great evidence and have a judgment and decisions and for the people affected not to know about it. Because if they don’t know about it, they’re denied justice, but also what we’re hoping is that a message is sent that no matter how big you are, no one is above justice, and that those who suffered because of the alleged acts of an individual will receive justice and will receive information about it. And of course to the extent that they’re witnesses, will be well treated and have an opportunity to tell their story in a way that doesn’t compromise their safety and security.

Q. (Indistinct) the state of illness of Issa Sesay and Chief Norman?

RAPP: Well I think the Registrar specifically addressed that. We cannot under medical confidentiality describe - none of us can - describe what a person’s medical condition is. That’s an issue of medical confidentiality and I think that the patients themselves would object if we stood here and talked about their medical condition, and they would have the right to. We’ve said before that these conditions are not life-threatening, that the operations that they receive are common, that they’re going to receive them from top doctors, and we look forward to good procedures and to recovery that will permit them to be returned to detention in the next few weeks here in Freetown.

Q: (Christo Johnson, Reuters) I just want to come up with a supplementary. You are a man of justice, and if we are talking about justice and this nation, we all know how important - you have said it - no man is above the law, which we agree. Now, Hinga Norman, however, is a Sierra Leonean, and Sierra Leoneans want to know about his health. So are we saying it’s a hidden secret? I agree, you need to get the medical advice. But the people want to know about his health. Is it in secret...in terms of justice?

RAPP: We, every day in court and every day when we do our job, have to follow the rules, and a Prosecutor doesn’t break the rules. And sometimes we’d like to be able to answer questions that we can’t answer. And in this particular case, neither the Registrar nor myself can answer. Obviously if you contacted the attorneys for these two gentlemen, they can contact their clients and decide what information should be released. But it’s not for us to talk about somebody’s health condition, just like it wouldn’t be for us to reveal one of your sources publicly that you’ve guaranteed confidentiality to. We respect other professions and in the medical profession there’s this confidentiality, and we do have information ourselves that’s been provided to us because we have to make these arrangements, but it’s been provided to us only on the condition that we don’t re-disclose it. So we have to abide by that.

Q: (Clarence Roy-Macaulay, AP) In other words, what you are saying, they are going for an operation which could not be done here in Sierra Leone.

MUNLO: I think maybe in fairness to the Prosecutor, the Prosecutor does not look after detainees. That responsibility falls on the Registrar, and I’m grateful to him that he’s tried as best as possible to give you answers. I think the bottom line is what he has said: that even for you reporters, you have your own ethics. You will not reveal the sources of your information. And me, when Peter tells me that I have this information but this is how I got it, we don’t reveal the source of information. I must respect him as my professional advising me about what will annoy reporters if they knew I did it. Similarly, the doctor - you know these people have a doctor - and last time I brought the doctor here. You talked to him. I need not repeat. You saw how he told you about confidentiality about his patients. He has also said the same thing to me, that have taken these people away from me. That is why I haven’t gone with him. He knows what is happening to them. He has put a stop that I cannot talk about their conditions. But you see, you being reporters also know how you can get more information. We are the wrong people to give you that information. The Court has provided to Hinga Norman and to Issa Sesay Defence counsel with whom they share information. Maybe Hinga Norman would want to consult his lawyer, how much he can say and how much he cannot say. Those people, you could get it from them, but from us, it will be a breach of confidentiality. As a custodian of these people, I have no authority whatsoever to reveal what is happening in their bodies, unless they tell me to do that.

Q: (Clarence Roy-Macaulay, AP) (Indistinct) I just want you to confirm that they have gone to Dakar, Senegal (indistinct) kind of operation which cannot be done here.

MUNLO: They have gone to Dakar, Senegal to be seen by doctors. It has not been yet identified. If it had was identified, maybe our doctor would have dealt with it here. They have gone there, they will be meeting the doctors any time from today. After they have meet them and the doctors have (word indistinct), they will tell us what the situation is. But right now, they have not yet met the doctors. It will be speculation for me to give you the information you want. I don’t have it.

Q: (Christo Johnson, Reuters) Excuse me, you are the Registrar. If you are the Registrar, I’m sure you are the man responsible for the entire Court, looking after the affairs of the Court. And I believe the case of Hinga Norman and other detainees in there, when they are to be pulled out of that area for any area to travel to, you as Registrar must be properly informed. They cannot do it without your consent. Is that correct?

MUNLO: That is very correct. I’m properly informed by my doctor that the kind of medical treatment they need to have, he cannot give it to them. He is taking them to Senegal to meet doctors who are qualified and experienced and have the necessary medical facilities to look at the nature of the illness that they have. That has not been done. It will be done now when they go to the hospital. I cannot pre-empt or know what the doctors...

Q: (Christo Johnson, Reuters) (Indistinct) the nature of the illness (indistinct). Can we stress how serious it is?

MUNLO: Well, they walked to the helipad. They went in the plane. We are talking to them. Hinga Norman was in a very high mood, spirits, that’s what I’ve been told by the people who took him to the helipad. That’s as much as I can say.

Q: Are they accompanied by their family members?

MUNLO: I think all family members know to...

Q: Lawyers. Are they accompanied by their lawyers also?

MUNLO: They are not accompanied by their lawyers. This is a medical situation; they have been accompanied by their doctor who looks after them - not their lawyers.

Q: (Christo Johnson, Reuters) (Indistinct)

MUNLO: They left today. Yes. They left the Court 8:00. They were at the...

Q: (Christo Johnson, Reuters) (Indistinct) helicopter this morning.

MUNLO: Exactly. They were at Lungi by nine and by nine sharp they left for Senegal.

Q: Is the illness a minor one?

MUNLO: I cannot say that. I’m not a doctor. That’s what the doctor is going to tell us.

Q: (Christo Johnson, Reuters) We had the case of the late Foday Sankoh you are playing, others played with us as journalists with Foday Sankoh, until certain time David Crane and others, even though they were trying to hide to us when Foday Sankoh was dead. But in our own way as journalists we sought it out and discovered that Foday Sankoh was dead. We really want to get the clear picture because there is still questions to be answered by the readers or audience: What’s wrong with him? This is our problem. We know you have not been allowed by the medical authority to say. But if this is a serious matter, though you have said he was in a high spirit. Yes! Foday Sankoh was in a high spirit - but he died!

Q: (Clarence Roy-Macaulay, AP) You are aware that both of them have been ill for some time now. Am I right to say that?

MUNLO: Well, like everybody else they have a condition that comes up and goes off. I am also continuously ill. Every human being, as soon you come in this world, there’s the undermining process that sets in your body. So I cannot tell you that they have never been ill when they were in the detention. They were ill, some of these illnesses were treated by the doctor we have in the detention facility. It so happens that for the disease they have now, the doctor has advised me he would want to go to a country where they have better medical facilities, where they have more experienced doctors then him on the ailments that have been said, so that they would help him look at that. This is why he has accompanied them. He will be there together with them, and see the doctors they are going to meet in the...

Q: (Indistinct)

MUNLO: Dr. Harding. They have their own...

Q: (Indistinct)

MUNLO: Donald Harding. He was here last time we had...

Q: (Clarence Roy-Macaulay, AP) Would I be correct to say that for some time now Issa Sesay has been complaining of having a bullet lodged in one of his legs for which he has been suffering (indistinct)?

MUNLO: I think I have already told you, I think you are asking me...You know I can’t answer you that question.

Q: (Clarence Roy-Macaulay, AP) (Indistinct) you declined to answer, that’s all. I put the question and you declined to answer.

MUNLO: Yes, I cannot discuss the medical condition of the detainees. It would be a breach of their human rights.

Q: (Kelvin Lewis, Awoko) Mr. Munlo, my question is why Senegal, and was it necessary for the Special Court to sign an agreement with the Senegalese agreement for those people to be taken there?

MUNLO: Yes, we signed an agreement with the Senegalese government just to make sure that their safety is assured while they are there for medical treatment, and that after medical treatment they come back to Freetown to the detention where they are so that they can continue with their case. So it was very important not just to take them there without making arrangements assuring their security.

Q: Indistinct

MUNLO: Well, let’s not speculate. I cannot answer speculative questions, because those things haven’t arisen. All I can assure you is that I have made arrangements to make sure that when they go there I will cooperate with the Senegalese authorities that they are there only for the purposes for which we have sent them - medical treatment. After that, the Senegalese authorities will assure me that they will come back, and they will facilitate for their movement out of Senegal back to the detention where they left from.

Q: (Clarence Roy-Macaulay, AP) How long are they going to be there?

MUNLO: I have already answered that the diagnosis hasn’t even been done. They have just gone today. That is a matter for the doctor to...

Q: (Kelvin Lewis, Awoko) Did that agreement determine the country they were going to, because the same (medical) facilities that are available in Senegal are available in Ghana; they are also available in Nigeria...

MUNLO: They are available in many countries. You cannot take them to all those countries. You have only to choose one country.

Q: (Kelvin Lewis, Awoko) Why Senegal? Because of that agreement - that the Senegalese government agreed to provide those assurances and you were not (indistinct) provide those assurances?

MUNLO: Even if we took them to Ghana we would expect Ghana to sign a similar agreement as the Senegalese have signed. It doesn’t matter which country. Whichever country would have allowed us to take them there, we would have asked them to sign this agreement for our own internal security provisions, so that we are sure this going to the hospital does not undermine the judicial process afoot.

Q: (Christo Johnson, Reuters) Are we saying that the absence of these two alleged people, Hinga Norman and Issa, does it cause any effect to the proceeding of the Court>

RAPP: My understanding of this arrangement for medical treatment is that they will be returned to Freetown well in advance of the expected date of the verdict in the CDF case in the case of Hinga Norman and the restart of the RUF case in the case of Issa Sesay. We’re hoping that we’ll have verdicts in March or April. So we don’t expect there to be any problem. Obviously they will have access to their attorneys in terms of anything that may be occurring in submissions in those cases, but the arguments have been made in the case of the CDF case and it’s solely in the hands of the Judges of Trial Chamber I. In the case of the RUF case obviously there’s some decisions that Defence is presumably making about witnesses, and we expect the Defence who wanted this medical treatment to be able to consult with their client about that. So we don’t anticipate any interference with the trial process. I do want to say this: I’m new here. I’ve been fully briefed by Mr. Munlo and I’ve talked to others, but we very much appreciate the good work of the Registrar’s office in arranging for this and here at the Special Court, where we’re not a United Nations court, we can’t snap our fingers and other countries will respond as a matter of international law. We have to constantly rely on cooperation of other countries, and that involves diplomatic skill. It involved it in the situation of obtaining arrangements for the eventual imprisonment of Mr. Taylor if he is convicted, with the United Kingdom. It’s involving, in this case, countries in the region for medical care. That takes a lot of effort, negotiation and obviously a difficult issue always when you’re dealing with individuals who have been accused of very serious and grave crimes, and most countries being reluctant to allow people like that into their country. So it’s a large effort to make sure that these things go well and I really salute the Registrar for negotiating the agreement making it possible to receive quality medical care, respecting the human rights of the detainees, creating a situation where they would remain in the custody of the Special Court when they’re in Dakar or wherever in Senegal and on their way back, so the rights of the accused are protected, and the rights of the victims and the people of Sierra Leone that have an interest in justice in these cases and them being present, and them being adjudged for the crimes, whether they are guilty or innocent and eventually sentenced if they are found guilty. And I think everyone’s interests have been served here and the Registrar has done the right thing and should be commended.

Q: (Clarence Roy-Macaulay, AP) Why have they been taken out only now for this medical treatment?

RAPP: Well, we can’t speak to that, but I think you can sense that arrangements in terms of agreements with the countries, agreements for security, for transport, for everything else, are necessarily things that take time and negotiation. In every situation it’s a matter of asking others to assist us and to make the facilities available. And in this situation, given - as Mr. Andersen has said - not talking about a life-threatening condition in the case of either individual, that it was appropriate to take the steps that were done and we think that everything in this matter will turn out for the best.

Q: (Kelvin Lewis, Awoko) You are the third Prosecutor, the third substantive Prosecutor. in as many years that the Court has functioned for. What assurances are you giving us that you are going to be the last?

RAPP: Well, I took this appointment to finish the mission of this Court. I was at the ICTR for almost six years. I know there are many people in many of these court that are not there anywhere near that long. But I believe very much in committing to a job and completing that job. We’re fortunate now I think to have reached a point in the history of the Special Court where we can see the end. We can see the completion, and we can see how to get there. And as I said before, I’m going with Justice King, Justice Gelaga-King, to the United States and to Europe. I’ll be meeting with the Management Committee next week in New York, and basically we’re going to be able to sit down say ‘these verdicts are going to come in in the AFRC and CDF cases. The evidence will be concluded in the RUF case this year. Judgments will be rendered in that case. The Appeals Judges will arrive here, those that are not here already, such as Justice King, within the next several months to hear the appeals which we presume there’ll be from either side in the CDF or the AFRC case, to then hear the appeals in the RUF case. The Taylor case will start this year. It’s currently scheduled for April 2nd. We’ll find out at the Status Conference next Friday, which I’ll attend at The Hague, what the trial date will be. It may well be moved back to June or July, but it’s entirely within the hands of the Judges. The Defence has asked that it be moved to September. The Prosecutor has said that some delay is justified, but not beyond July, but it’s in the hands of the Judges. That case will start in the next several months, and we believe be concluded by the end of 2008. And so we will look to a situation where, by the end of 2008, appeals will be decided in the AFRC and CDF cases; in 2009 they’ll be decided in the RUF and the Taylor case, presuming there are appeals. And so we can now look, I think, for the Special Court to - after a very busy year of 2007 - to be winding down its work to an absolute completion by the end of 2009. And for that reason the Secretary-General appointed me as Prosecutor for three years or until the work is done, whichever comes first. And obviously if we can get it done more quickly we will.

Q: (Kelvin Lewis, Awoko) How far do you stand funding (indistinct).

MUNLO: Well, we have confidence that the funding will be available for the last three years of the life of the Court. The Prosecutor, the President and the Deputy Registrar are leaving this week for the United States to talk to some of our supporters who give us funding for the Court to see how we will go about raising funds. The Management Committee, which you know which runs the Court, is also very much geared to hear our views on how we should put the package together for the last three years so that the Court goes on efficiently and without disruption. So there is a plan in place. We are working towards that, and we have confidence that we will get the money to finalise our work in three years time.

Q: (Kelvin Lewis, Awoko) (Indistinct) you need?

MUNLO: We are working on it now. We are working on it because of the new developments. We are talking to the International Criminal Court where we are renting premises to try this case. Some of the costs, you cannot work on them. They needed to see when we start operating, how the issues will go on. So it’s an ongoing process. I will not be honest to you to stand here today and say ‘this will be the figure’, because we are still working on it. All I can tell you is we have the confidence that we will have the funding to bring this whole process to a successful conclusion.

Q: (Clarence Roy-Macaulay, AP) How much have you spent so far?

MUNLO: Well I cannot give you the exact figure but I think we have spent in the region of $125 million or something like that, thereabouts, in the three years that the Court has been running. That will include of course costs not only for running the Court - you will remember that when we went to New England we had to revamp the whole place and put it in the condition that you see it today. We have the world-class kind of courtroom. Though costs are also part of the $125 million I’m talking about. It’s not only running the Court, it’s also bringing the facilities at which the Court should operate.

Q: You said just now you are going to America to talk to those responsible (indistinct) support to 2009. If they say ‘no there is no money’ is there a Plan B?

MUNLO: Speculative. You want us to speculate. I’m telling you our programme, what we are doing.

RAPP: The Management Committee at the Court is very active, one, in making sure that the Court is well-managed, and they are pleased with the way things are moving forward, but what’s particularly important I think at this stage is that we’re able to come forward now that talks about this year, which will be an expensive year because Taylor going to The Hague and the trial starting and the Appeals Judges coming. This will be a year of great activity, with these judgments being rendered and the appeals beginning and Taylor beginning. But next year will be considerably reduced and the next year will be reduced further. And I think now that we’ve seen the judicial schedule and how things have gone forward, it’s possible to talk with much greater certainty about the budget. And we think that it will be attractive, and the Management Committee thinks it will be attractive, that we go to donors to say ‘it’s not going on forever. It’s going to be this month this year, this much next year, and this much the last year, and then the mission will be accomplished. And so far there’s contributions that have arrived - the Secretary-General wrote to Member States in November asking for contributions. Contributions have been received in trhe last two months. The United States has a new control of its Congress. We want to deal with the new leaders in the Congress, and with the Administration. We’re looking foir substantial support from the United States in the coming year. And frankly from what I know about of the situation and our contacts diplomatically, the support is out there and it’s important I think the fact we’re going to be able to tell them now specifically what’s been done and what’s likely in the future, I think we should have good success. But it will take continued efforts, because as you know this Court relies on voluntary contributions unlike the court that I just came from. The court that I came from assesses countries. All 191 members of the U.N. have to pay an assessed contribution or after awhile they lose their right to vote. Those other courts have that power. We don’t, so it requires us to go out and in the last four years it’s been possible to do that, and now as we come to the end - and particularly with the Taylor trial and the world’s interest in the Taylor trial - we believe that support will be forthcoming, provided we show our plan, and we have it.

Q: (Indistinct)

RAPP: Right. Obviously this is a Court with a smaller workload. There are fewer cases here, but these are significant cases. Other courts have chosen to, for instance at the ICTY they have many lower-level individuals, people that have been guards in prison camps that have committed serious crimes. In the case of the ICTR, while I was there we dealt with twelve government ministers including a Prime Minister and a lot of senior people, but there were also some junior people. Here, the focus is on the people bearing the greatest responsibility. And the first Prosecutor and the Judges that were confirming those indictments made those decisions, and we’re proceeding with those cases.

Q: (Christo Johnson, Reuters) Yes, this is my last question. I don’t know whether you are speculating that this Court will end as you are winding up in 2009.

RAPP: Obviously everything in a judicial system depends upon the Judges, and the facts and the trials. A trial, a court, is not a factory. We have a plan, and it’s realistic, and it’s supported by President King and the Registrar, and the Prosecutor, and the Court, and the Judges and the Principal Defender are working together, so I’m confident that we can come close to meeting these timelines.

Q: (Christo Johnson, Reuters) (Indistinct) but there is still a wanted individual (indistinct, traffic noise) Johnny Paul Koroma.

RAPP: No. And in the reports that we made to the Management Committee, both from the President and from the Prosecutor, we’ve indicated that that’s a case that needs to be dealt with. The Investigative Section - and I’ve been speaking to our investigators - are continuing their efforts to locate him or determine definitively that he’s died, and we’re going to continue to do that. Obviously it’s a high priority now to get that matter resolved so that we’ve got time to get that case into court. But it’s still there, and obviously if we end up finishing up without that case, then we’re going to have to look at other mechanisms. At the Rwanda tribunal and the Yugoslavia tribunal, what’s happened is that cases have been referred back to national authorities for prosecution, and the evidence supplied the national authorities both in the region and outside the region. And that can happen whether the person has been arrested or not arrested. So if we get to the end of the day, if we haven’t concluded that matter and determined whether he’s alive or dead, we’re going to have to make sure there’s some disposition here at the Court which indicates that if he’s found he will be tried by a competent court. That’s one of the things that we will have to finish up before we conclude our business - the same for the Yugoslavia and the Rwanda tribunals.

Q: What’s your own mission as the new Prosecutor? Because when the former Prosecutor was here, his own mission was to get hold of Taylor (indistinct)

RAPP: My own mission is to present the evidence and the strongest possible case against Taylor, to make sure that the story is told so that the Judges understand his level of criminal responsibility and that we support the amended indictment in all of its particulars. But we do it in a manner that’s efficient, that doesn’t take as long as Milosevic case did at The Hague, that shows how this process can be done right and effectively. This Court has in many ways set the standard, and has done many things better than the much more expensive institutions that were supported like the ICTR and the ICTY. For one thing, other than the Taylor trial itself, it’s been in-country, much more accessible to the people of the country than the case of the ICTY, Yugoslavia tribunal which is 1,500 kilometres away in The Hague, or the Rwanda tribunal which is 800 kilometres away from Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania. And trials here have been expeditious. The people who allegedly bore the greatest responsibility were tried, and I think with the Taylor trial, which will be conducted as I’ve said with great transparency for the people of Sierra Leone, it will also be a case that will gain great attention internationally because of its location at The Hague, and that there will be a greater attention to it in all the world that trials we had for instance in Arusha, or other trials here in Sierra Leone. And I think it will tell the people of the world about the suffering the people of Sierra Leone experienced, and the people of the region. And I think that will be positive for an understanding of the challenges of the society. And I also think it’ll be good for international justice to see how things can be done through a court that is a cooperative venture, both the international community and the affected nation. So that’s what I want to see accomplished. That’s of course mainly about Taylor, but of course we have these other cases involving nine individuals, and we want to make sure that those are finished properly, that if individuals are convicted that those convictions are upheld on appeal, if there are decisions by the Trial Chamber that should be challenged on a legal basis on appeal that those appeals are properly lodged by the Prosecutor, and that justice is done in each of those cases right down to the end, and that whatever happens in those cases is communicated to the people of Sierra Leone and the people of the region that were affected by the alleged acts of these men. So those are my goals.

Q: (Joseph Turay, Trumpet) Are we expecting more indictments?

RAPP: The answer is, not at this time. I would think it unlikely that there would be further indictments given the stage we are in in the Completion Strategy. A Prosecutor never says ‘never’ - but unlikely.

Q: (Joseph Turay, Trumpet) Mr. Munlo, now that we are reaching (indistinct) in the CDF and AFRC cases, have any arrangements been made as to whether they are going to be jailed if for any reason they are found guilty?

MUNLO: I cannot answer the question as to where they are going to be jailed because my Judges have not made their decision. And me as a Registrar, and also a lawyer who has practiced for some time, believing the principle that they are presumed innocent until the decision comes. And even when the decision comes, it’s not final. They can appeal against that decision to another court to come up. So I’m not going to answer that question.

Q: In one recent publication - I think it was on Allafrica.com, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the President of Liberia who was giving all her support to the Court here to get Mr. Taylor, is now saying that government has no plan of trying Mr. Taylor. What does that mean for your witnesses who are presumed to be coming from Liberia?

RAPP: We expect a number of witness to come from Liberia and we are working with witnesses who’ve agreed to come from Liberia, and we expect cooperation from the Government of Liberia and believe that that cooperation is there. I think the President of Liberia’s comments related to whether Charles Taylor would face a separate trial for crimes committed specifically in Liberia as opposed to the crimes affecting Sierra Leone that fall within the Court’s jurisdiction. Of course we’re limited to a temporal jurisdiction between 1996 and 2002. Liberia could deal with other things. But if she was correctly quoted, it was that given our trial, and given the fact that these acts were related, that if justice is done in our trial, that’s sufficient in the Taylor case and doesn’t call for a further trial in Liberia. That’s a question for that State. We’ll be dealing with the crimes that he allegedly committed that affected Sierra Leone.

Q: (Indistinct)

RAPP: Whether Liberia prosecutes or not doesn’t affect where the witnesses will come for our case. And understand, we’re committed as well in our Outreach to communicate what’s happening in this case to Liberia, because this war was a regional war and Liberians suffered.

Thank you very much.

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