Salone News

Special Court : Subpoena Against Kabbah Denied!

14 June 2006 at 12:03 | 1424 views

At long last the news is out. The judges of Special Court in Freetown have denied the subpoena ad testificandum initiated by Hinga Norman and others to bring president Ahmad Tejan Kabbah(photo) to the court to testify.The court, in its ruling issued today and posted on its website noted that Kabbah enjoys immunities bestowed on him by the constitution of Sierra Leone and that he cannot be subpoenaed but may only appear on his own volition.It remains to be seen whether the president will voluntarily present himself to the court in the days to come.

Meanwhile we also bring you the interesting proceedings at a press conference of the special court held in Freetown on Monday this week.Many issues were discussed prominent among which were the health of Chief Hinga Norman and Charles Taylor’s fate. This is unedited.

MR ANDERSEN: I would like to begin now. I want to thank all of you for coming, especially those of you who have just come back safely from what I hope to be a very productive SLAJ conference in Kenema. I am going to introduce the panellist speakers today, and then I am going to get out of their way and let them talk. Now this is, as I think most of you know, in the center, this is the Registrar of the Special Court, and there’s some pieces of paper around for you to check the right spelling of names. This is Mr Lovemore Munlo, S.C., and next to him, the Principal Defender, Prof. Vincent Nmehielle - especially check the spelling for his name, I don’t want to see it in the paper wrong. And on the left, I’m sorry our left your right, is Dr. Donald Harding. He’s the Medical Officer at the Special Court. And so, I’d like to turn it over to Mr Munlo.

MR MUNLO: Thank you Peter. And good morning to members of the press. I thought that since we are in the middle of the year now, this is June, this might be a good time for us to meet so I can brief you about the work of the Court, where we are, where we propose to go, and also hear feedback from you.

As you know now, two of our cases have moved drastically from the Prosecution case to the Defence case. The AFRC Defence case has just started on 5 June of this year and it is in progress. The CDF case, as all of you know, this 19 January this year we moved from the Prosecution to the Defence and at the moment we have the Defence presenting 27 witnesses which is quite an advance. The RUF case is still in the Prosecution but at an advanced stage. We think, very soon, the Prosecution may be closing their case, and it will also go into Defence.

So within this year, all of the three cases we have been dealing with up to now will be in Defence. And the focus now is moving away from the time when the Prosecutor was presenting his case, to the defendants, who have their day in Court to present their defence to these cases. So I thought it was very important that I should talk about these three cases, and where we are with these three cases. The Charles Taylor case, you all know that it was assigned to Trial Chamber II. Now we are in what we call a preliminary phase of the case, almost moving to the pre-trial phase of the case. What happens usually is that first of all we have to get a Defence lawyer for the defendant if he has not managed to meet his own defence. The Principal Defender here, acting under Rule 45 of the Rules of Procedure, determined that at the moment Mr Charles Taylor does not have sufficient funds to present his own Defence, so he appointed, or assigned, counsel to Mr Charles Taylor. And the assigned counsel is already busy at work. So far he has already made preliminary motions to the Court. You know some of them; the Court has already made the rulings on preliminary motions that he has put before the court. The Prosecutor has already moved to make disclosures of the documents which he will be using in order to establish his case. The Defence lawyers are now looking at those documents. So that’s where we are with the cases over the ten accused persons who are under the Special Court.

I thought I should also brief you about funding. I am pleased to tell you that the court has now sufficient funds to complete activities up to the 31 January next year. So that’s the status of funding. After that, I think I have given you sufficient briefing. I wait now to hear from you. I thank you.

MR ANDERSEN: I’d like to ask, since we have guests here, and we have a host which is the Sierra Leone News Agency, as we begin the questions, could we lead that off with our host Mr (Mohamed) Samura.

QUESTION: Thank you very much, I welcome you. I think I have two questions, the first one is about Sam Hinga Norman and the rumors that he was dead; and secondly, the report that Sweden has already accepted to host jail Charles Taylor after his trial. I wanted to confirm that.

MR MUNLO: Can you go over that point?

QUESTION: I understand that Sweden has accepted to host Charles Taylor after the trial is completed. So I wanted to confirm that.

MR MUNLO: Fine, okay, only Mr Hinga Norman’s health, all I can say is that he is not dead, he is still attending his case in the Court, but I have the Principal Defender here who is acting in the interests of the accused persons, the defendants. I have also a resident doctor for the Special Court, whose business it is to look at the medical conditions of the inmates. So maybe they will say something about that.

About Sweden, I hear that from you. I have no confirmation to make because I have not heard an official view. What I am seeing is what I am seeing in the papers. From my perspective, we have no final way. As you know, the question where Charles Taylor will be tried, you have read in the papers the interview that Justice King had relating to the application that was made by the Defence lawyer. He has made it appear that the question where Charles Taylor will be tried is a matter for the president of the court, not for the registrar to decide, so I thought that I would make that information available to you, which you already have.

PROF NMEHIELLE: Well, on the issue of Mr Hinga Norman, I can only tell you that Mr Norman is not dead, he’s alive, so that whatever rumour you heard about his death is not true and his case is proceeding. That’s all I can say.

MR ANDERSEN: Doctor, you want to say something about that?

DR HARDING: No, you’re next (gestures to QUESTION)

MR ANDERSEN: Okay, if we could take it one at a time. Before you ask a question, if you could say who you are, and what media organisation you represent.

DR HARDING: She has a follow up question

QUESTION: I am Agnes Pratt of 98.1. What is the present health of Hinga Norman? And then, the other question I want to ask is that I hear something over the BBC that Charles Taylor have been provided with DSTV and so forth. Did you provide those things for the other alleged accused in the Special Court?

MR MUNLO: Hinga Norman first, and then I will answer about Charles Taylor.

DR HARDING: What I want to tell you first is that Hinga Norman is in good health. Like everybody here, we all have our medical conditions, OKAY, and Mr Norman has a medical condition that is not life threatening, and the Court is actively taking care of that. That’s all I will tell you.

QUESTION: Will you tell about these health conditions? You are the medical doctor. We want to hear the expert talk about health conditions.

DR HARDING: Yes, but I’m afraid that I won’t be very much explicit as I would be going against special confidentiality. I’m not sure that Mr Norman would like me to tell you that he’s got this, he’s got that. But what I can say is that he’s got a condition that is not life threatening.

QUESTION: this is another question for the registrar.

MR MUNLO: Wait, the other QUESTION asked us two questions. She asked about whether Charles Taylor has DSTV. What I can say is that in the detention facility, as a part of the creation for all detainees - not only for Charles Taylor, for all detainees - we have television. They’re entitled during the time they are out of Court to watch television. And that facility is not for Mr Charles Taylor alone. He found it there. It is extended to everybody else. That’s what I wanted to say.

QUESTON: My name is Clarence Roy Macaulay and I write for the Associated Press. What do you mean by saying the matter where Charles Taylor should be tried is the matter for the President of the Court to decide? What do you mean by that?

MR MUNLO: You see, in all proceedings, it is the Court that decides, they have a judicial calendar. The judicial calendar is made by the Judges. They set a programme on how they are going to hear cases. So they will instruct the Registrar to set up the cases, and the Registrar will immediately start preparing the accused persons to go in the Court and continue the case that has been heard. Now , in the specific case of Charles Taylor, the Registrar already assigned this case to Trial Chamber II. This is why you remember the day that you came to Court you found a Trial Chamber II Judge asking Mr Charles Taylor to plead to the counts that the Prosecutor is bringing against him. After that, then they will have to put a date on when they start this case. And they will also have to decide where the case will be held. This is the prerogative of the President of the Court. I must refer you again to what Justice King said. If you read the study when he was being interviewed about the decision that they made to the application that the Defence lawyer for Charles Taylor had filed away for the Court on the question where the case is going to be held. You remember the report. Justice King ordered that the decision that was made indicated that the question where the case will be held is a matter for the President of the Court to decide.

QUESTION: Why is it a matter for the President to decide? Might it be better for the Security Council be allowed to decide?

MR MUNLO: Well, if you read the decision, it talks about the diplomatic functions of the President, obviously if you have to move Mr Charles Taylor, there are so many questions to decide, there are logistics, there are questions of finance, there are questions of getting in touch with the countries that we are asking whether they will accept to have case tried in their country. So those are some of the preliminary issues the President will deal with before he makes up his decision. For example, he will not make a decision to move the case if he has no country which has accepted the demand that he can be tried in that country. So, those are diplomatic functions that the President will take in deciding the parameters within which to make his decision whether to get this case out of the country.

QUESTION: Suppose you don’t find a country that will take Charles Taylor and try him, will you try him here?

MR MUNLO: That’s when the President, after having all these issues, will make his decision. The decision will be from the President. I want to make this clear. The Court works according to the rules which it has set for itself. It is not within the powers of the Registrar to decide where a case will be held. It is a function of the President - I want to emphasise that - the President of the court.

QUESTOIN: Now I think the final part... radio sessions of the trials RUF and AFRC (indistinct)

MR MUNLO: I couldn’t hear him.

ANDERSEN: How much more money do you need to carry us through to the verdicts, and how much additional will you need for Charles Taylor’s trial?

MR MUNLO: Well, we make a budget at the end of each year. I can tell you about the budget we are submitting from the first of July this year to the 30 June next year. The budget, which has not yet been approved, has put us at $27 million.

QUESTION: How much do you have now?

MR MUNLO: I have money to last up to 31 January this year-next year. Again, I want to correct one thing. You have said I stated that the final verdict will come at the end of the year. I did not say that. What I said was before this year ends all these three cases will be in the Defence and the focus for the court will be on the Defence to put their cases before the court. They have, in other words, they will have their day in Court. They are going to have their day in the court now the focus will be on the Defence, all the three cases, before this year ends, all the three cases will be in the Defence.

QUESTION: So in other words, you say that in July up to January of next year (indistinct) so that will work with the end of the Special Court (indistinct) up to the starting of Charles Taylor?

MR MUNLO: You are putting words in my mouth. That’s not what I am saying. Get what I am saying.

QUESTION: I am Umaru Fofana from BBC. I understand that the decision will be found tomorrow to bring President Kabbah to Court to testify, or to give testimony, in the case of Sam Hinga Norman. Can you tell of the implications of this (indistinct)

MR MUNLO: I can’t answer that. You have already stated clearly yourself that the Court is going to make the decision tomorrow. Now I am here today before the Court has made a decision. You want me to say what the Court is going to say tomorrow? I can’t say that! And I don’t know the implications because I don’t know what decision the Court will come up with tomorrow. Let’s all wait for tomorrow, and see what the Court says about the subpoena asking the president to go to Court and give evidence. We all will know tomorrow.

QUESTION: Will the decision be made in open court?

MR MUNLO: Yes, because the application will be made in open court (indistinct) there are two ways, it may be a written decision and it is filed, or they will read it in court, but it is a public document, to which all of you will have access.

QUESTION: you say the Prosecution has put forth some files in Court with regards to some documents...

MR MUNLO: Disclosures. Has made disclosures to the Defence lawyer so that the defendants know what case the Prosecutor has against Mr Charles Taylor. So (indistinct)

QUESTION: It’s a bit shrouded in legal terms

MR MUNLO: Okay, before the Prosecutor decides to try anybody, he does investigations. He gets statements, he gets evidence, which will make him to decide whether to charge someone with an offence or whether not to charge that person with an offence. He is the only one with those documents. So he goes before the Court and says “I want to charge my man, this is my evidence”. Right? So at that time, the Defence do not know what evidence the Prosecutor has against them. So immediately that man is arrested and he comes before the Court, he is indicted while he is in detention, to know what case the Prosecution has against him. So, immediately he is arrested, the Rules of Procedure requires the Prosecutor to disclose whatever information he has which makes his case. And these are the documents which have been made available to the lawyer of Mr Charles Taylor. We call that disclosure time. That’s when the Prosecutor has made his disclosures to the Defence team. And the Defence team in studying what case the Prosecutor has against that client.

QUESTION: My concern has to do with conjugal rights. It’s how far the office is going with that custom. I understand you made an application with that last time.

PROF NMEHIELLE: The issue of conjugal rights, like I mentioned before, is an issue that I met when I came in as Principal Defender, which is within the jurisdiction of the President of this Court in his administrative capacity. And there was a motion that was filed initially before I came in as Principal Defender which was subjected to an administrative procedure, and my office has taken the advice of the Chamber in that relation, in the relation of presenting this issue before the President, who has the capacity to do this. You may have your ideas about whether or not they are entitled to conjugal rights but he has the final say.

MR ANDERSEN: Now I see a couple of senior reporters with their hands up, but I have been telling the Registrar and a couple of others about the talented younger journalists in Freetown, and it would really hurt me if I did not see a question from someone without white hair before we went back to the seniors. Anybody? (Looking at a younger journalist in the back) Okay, okay, I think you qualify.

QUESTION: I am really worried why the Court... I am really worried about the Court because of failure to determine its correct budget in relation to the indictment that he already made. Now on the issue of Charles Taylor, the indictment was prepared long ago in accordance with these other people who are currently under detention awaiting trials. But why is the Court struggling in relation to Charles Taylor’s trial, thinking of the logistics and other budget and trying to transfer the matter to other countries. Why are these other people who were charged, who were indicted at the same time, are tried in this country (indistinct)

MR MUNLO: First and foremost, I do not think that it is true that we are struggling over the case of Charles Taylor. We are not struggling at all. Charles Taylor is in detention now, and as I have told you, the Prosecutor has made available through his lawyer all of the documents written to this case. That’s what we call disclosure. He has disclosed his case to the Defence. The Defence has studied the documents to see what defence they will have to case that the Prosecutor has. The question where the case will be tried or not as I have told you is a matter for the President to make the decision. The President will determine in accordance with what he sees on the ground, where to take this case. It has security implications, you know? Under the courthouse, we are being secured by Mongolians. The Mongolians are funded by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York, under the United Nations. They have support battalions which can come in any time in case there is need for them to come from UNMIL in Liberia. All those factors have to be taken into account. We have to listen to those who provide security for us. And the President will have all these facts before him before he decides how he wants to proceed to deal with this case. The prerogative is that of the President, in his capacity as the one who is overall in charge of what goes on in the Trial Chambers.

QUESTION: I would like to know about the health conditions, because a few months ago the media (indistinct) their conditions of health.

MR MUNLO: Of all the?

QUESTION: Prisoners. Indictees.

MR MUNLO: Okay. You want to hear the condition for the prisoners?

QUESTION: Yes, of all the indictees.

MR MUNLO: Of all the indictees. Okay. All I can tell you is that all indictees have given you a brief about how their cases are going. All of them are going to court. All of them are attending court. That gives me, as a layman, the position that they are just like you and me, enjoying the normal health that we have. Of course we all have our health issues, I don’t know your health issue, you don’t know my health issue, but I have health issues just like everybody here. So I cannot go into the details or be speculating. The best I can tell you is that they have no problem with their health condition, they are all attending court, that’s as much as I can say.

MR ANDERSEN: Can we come back here? No I am sorry (indistinct)

QUESTION: The case of CDF, RUF, in case they are found guilty and sentenced, are they going to serve their prison term in the same prison where Charles Taylor may be serving his?

MR MUNLO: Let’s cross that bridge when we come to it. We cannot say today, and it would be unfair to be speculating, that these people will be sentenced. The position of the rule is that everybody is presumed innocent until he is proved guilty. I am safe to remain on this (indistinct) of the proposition.

QUESTION: (indistinct)

MR MUNLO: I will not discuss that, it is unethical to discuss when the law is clear that they are presumed innocent.

MR ANDERSEN: Let’s get some of the young people. Okay I can see a hand but I can’t see the body. Okay, over here.

QUESTION: The question is I meant to understand the Special Court, the last trial of the Special Court, may come to an end by the end of 2007, if I stand to be corrected, and if it is so, then if the other question would be the order they have prepared, if it is (indistinct)

MR MUNLO: Okay, first of all, your supposition that the Court will come to an end at the end of 2007 is based on projections. “Projections” is when you sit down and say, if we continue at this rate, we will achieve our results at this date. It is not Bible truth. It changes in accordance with circumstances. For example, the first projection which showed this year that we will finish at the end of 2007 was done before Charles Taylor, before Mr Charles Taylor was arrested. That brings a different perspective to the whole judicial proceedings now, because the Charles Taylor case has not even started. So that projection, you should take it with that in mind, that it can change anytime.

About funding, I myself am convinced that the funding will be there to enable the Court to discharge its mandate. We have come here with a specific mandate. I think funding will be available to fund that mandate. When I came here in November I heard so much in the media, the Court is broke, they say we will not do this, but here we are. The Court is still continuing, and I am telling you now that there is funding up to next year, 31st January, to meet the operations of the Court. So, that is the answer I want to give you.

MR ANDERSEN: (Looking at Christo Johnson of Reuters) He can’t keep his arm up much longer at his age, so I’d better call on him.

QUESTION: I’m ... I want the doctor to tell us about that issue about Hinga Norman. Is he a diabetic and he has some scars between his legs (as heard) I am asking the doctor, this is for the doctor.

DR HARDING: I am sure that I wouldn’t be breaking anything if I tell you he is not a diabetic. I wouldn’t be breaking anything by telling you he is not. He hasn’t gone any life threatening something. He is not.

MR ANDERSEN: You have to watch Christo Johnson, because he has an alphabetical list of diseases and he will go down for awhile. Whoever hasn’t asked a question yet, go ahead now. Let me come back to this side now.

QUESTION: (Clarence Roy-Macaulay) How much has been spent on the Special Court?

MR MUNLO: I will give you those figures if you come to my office. I haven’t got them (here), and I don’t want to give you a wrong figure on how much has been spent to date, but it is a figure you can get. Those are public records.

QUESTION: Has the Court set a date, a specific date for the trial of Charles Taylor to start?

MR MUNLO: I have already answered. You know, it’s a process. You can’t just come today, someone comes in today and tomorrow you start the case. First of all, you have to get him a lawyer, right? The lawyer must study what case you have against Charles Taylor, and he may make preliminary motions challenging certain things and agreeing to certain things. you must know yourself that immediately the Defence lawyer was selected, assigned, by the Principal Defender, he took up issues. Like, he doesn’t want this case to go out of this country, okay? So, the two parties will go until they know, they understand each others case. If the Defence lawyer for Charles Taylor has studied the case against him, he will go and have to take a briefing from Charles Taylor, to show him that this is what they are saying about him, what have you got to say on this (indistinct)? Now I can’t know when Mr Charles Taylor will answer those questions said to his lawyer, and they will be ready to start the case. This depends on the parties, the Prosecution, and the Defence - they exchange documents, sometimes they will agree on certain areas that he will not contest these issues, and the Defence will not contest these issues, so when they have narrowed down their case, then the case is set down for hearing. But I must also point out to you that this Special Court has only two Trial Chambers, Trial Chamber I and Trial Chamber II. These Trial Chambers are not staying idle, they are busy from the programme I have shown you. Trial Chamber I has two cases going now. We are hearing CDF until-when do we close? We are closing on the 16th of June. And then the 19th June we start immediately with the RUF. 20th they start hearing evidence. AFRC, Trial Chamber II, has just started this week, dealing with the case of AFRC in the Defence. So you have to take all those things into account, whether they will have a window when they can start the trial case of Mr Charles Taylor. So what we need now is to wait for the parties to look at the documents to firm up their cases. When they are ready the case will start.

QUESTION: (indistinct) these disclosures that are made by the Prosecution to the Defence council, is it possible that they can be made public?

MR MUNLO: That’s for the defence lawyer of Charles Taylor whether he wants to give you the documents. They are not in my hands. These are being exchanged between the lawyers for the Prosecution and the lawyers for the Defence. I don’t know if Mr Charles Taylor would want his case to be discussed in the press. This case is before a court of law.

PROF NMEHIELLE: If I can add to that. If the Prosecution wanted you to have it, he would have disclosed it to you, so it is not to you, it is to the Defence lawyer. It is not a public document. Sorry it is not possible.

MR ANDERSEN: It is also 32,000 pages.

QUESTION: In case the Court decides, or the President decides, that Charles Taylor should be transferred to The Hague, are you making any preparations for our own (reporters) to be in The Hague (indistinct)?

MR MUNLO: How can I make (indistinct) when I have just told you that the President has not yet made his decision whether this case will go to The Hague? I am having my ears on the ground (indistinct) have they made a decision? Yes, once they make a decision, then I will start preparing.

PROF NMEHIELLE: But are you going to prepare for journalists to go there? Are they your responsibility?

MR MUNLO: But then, I also want to find out from you my brother, why should the Court prepare for private newspaper companies to go to the Hague and pay for them?

QUESTION: But you say you want this trial to get the widest publicity and, knowing the (indistinct)

QUESTION: (Sheikh Thoronka, For di People) (indistinct) What are you going to do for us here? (indistinct)

MR MUNLO: Look, my brother, we can spend time here arguing about The Hague, only to find that the President may after all not say that we should go to The Hague. Let’s wait for that decision to be made first, and then we will see how we are going to implement it. Today is too soon for us to be discussing what we are talking about.

QUESTION: (Clarence Roy-Macaulay) You have two Trial Chambers. Trial chamber I is trying the RUF and CDF in the other Chamber. And then you said, that the trial of Charles Taylor has been assigned to Trial Chamber II. So, why can’t Trial Chamber II try the AFRC and Charles Taylor alternatively as is happening in Trial Chamber I?

MR MUNLO: I have not said that they cannot do that. All I am telling you is that this case is in a pre-trial stage. Matters are being brought before the Court and they are being heard. The case is on the pre-trial stage. You know yourself, you come to the Court. Yes, but where is the problem? Right now, the Trial Chamber II has just started on the 5th of June AFRC defence. This session is for AFRC defence. Who knows what will happen tomorrow, especially after the President has made his decision whether this case will be tried here or in The Hague. We don’t know.

PROF NMEHIELLE: Mr Registrar, if I may add, it is not a matter of why can’t. It is already hearing motions; Trial Chamber II is hearing motions, that Defence counsel for Charles Taylor has (indistinct) so it is the Court that the Taylor case is currently before, and documents are being filed in that regard by Defence counsel, so it is not a matter of cannot. Whatever happens at the trial stage may be a different thing entirely, and until we get there we don’t know what the situation is in terms of can or cannot.

MR ANDERSEN: We’ll just take two more (questions), then...

QUESTION: (Christo Johnson) You know, the Special Court has a record (indistinct and don’t forget, in one of Charles Taylor’s interviews with the BBC, he said, I would not like to be like Foday Sankoh. So the question there is, this is for the doctor again, for us who have been following the activities of the Special Court, are you saying definitely to us as a medical doctor, we know you have your area of silence, but please, since we have the whole issue of journalists giving wrong information, and you have corrected it now (indistinct are you definitely assuring us that whatever health issues, whether it is malaria, whether he is a diabetic? I here, I am an ulcer patient. You have not, in other words you have refused to tell us, what type of patient (Norman is). What we are asking, is there anything wrong with Hinga Norman like diabetic (indistinct ulcer (indistinct) or what?

DR HARDING: Let me start with where you went. You all know that the Special Court indicted Mr Foday Sankoh (indistinct and we did a lot for him once he was there, including intravenous feeding for Mr Sankoh - a first for this country. Okay, that’s a side issue. My integrity is at stake, you know? And, had something seriously been wrong with Mr Norman (indistinct even now that I say that Mr Norman is not having something life threatening, the Court is actively trying to treat what he has, you know (indistinct but, you’ve been in Court, Mr Johnson, you’ve seen Mr Norman going to Court. I am sure you know very well that he is well. Yes, you have been going to Court, you have been seeing him in Court. He was there last week.

QUESTION: As the doctor of the court, you have assisted him in what I will use the word, suffering (indistinct

PROF NMEHIELLE: Can I say, as Principal Defender, it is my interest as Principal Defender to make sure that the welfare of the accused persons is adequately taken care of. Now, Mr Johnson, you have an ulcer and can announce to us that you have an ulcer because you are a free man here. You can walk out of here tomorrow, and no one will necessarily be taking care of you in confinement. Now under the medical regulations of every doctor, no doctor is privileged to go out there and tell the public what each patient is suffering from, no matter how minor. Similarly, more so for a patient in confinement and detention, it will be a breach of his doctor and patient confidentiality to begin to say that. But the point is that I know journalists to be quite nosy, what is this, what is that. And I also think journalists are human beings that can appreciate individuals have confidentiality issues that need not be discussed publicly. And if you were in the position of the accused persons, you would be very mad that your health issues makes the cover page of newspapers anywhere in the world. So, don’t take it as the Special Court, there is nothing that the Special Court is hiding from you, whatever health issue that anybody under the care of the Special Court has. My office in consultation with the Registrar and the doctor, will make sure that whatever attention that is necessary is given to serve the person, so let’s not make this thing attract the coverage that it does not need to attract. First of all, to publish that Mr Hinga Norman is dead, is a bad thing. It is really a bad thing. So let’s try and be reasonable about this.

QUESTION: (Umaru Fofana) I was wondering that sufficient (indistinct) now it’s Mr Norman’s family members who have come to us to talk precisely about things that they say, or they allege, are wrong with Mr Norman’s health condition. Doesn’t that mean his health condition may be public?

MR MUNLO: Mr Norman’s family are not Mr Norman. My wife can make a statement that I may not approve. Just because she made a statement, (that) does not mean that I give her the go-ahead. So, we have to be very careful.

QUESTION: If Mr Norman gave his acquiescence, would you (indistinct

MR MUNLO: If he gave his acquiescence, we will ask him to write it down, and we will give you the paper that says his position-let me finish, could I finish? You asked me a question. If he said I want you to tell the world that this is the position, this is the position, I would write it down and sign it, then I will give you a statement from him. You will not hear it from my mouth, because under the Rules of Detention, under human rights, I as the Registrar must protect the confidentiality of each of the people I have in the detention about their private personal life. It is not for discussion by me with the pressmen. You are debasing the basic human rights of somebody to privacy. That is what you are asking us to do. We cannot come here and start divulging the private life of the detainees. None of you who are here would like, even yourself who would like to see that some people are discussing about your private medical life, would you like that? (indistinct you would like to answer that other people would like to come and start revealing what you have as a human being?

MR ANDERSEN: I know that Christo is grinning over there like a cat, he likes to stir things up, and we’ve known Christo for a long time. I said that there would be one more question after that, and I hope we can still do that - maybe a calm question? Joseph Turay had his hand up first.

QUESTION: (Joseph Turay) Mr Principal Defender, the Defence of the AFRC last time, you told us that it is under constraints with regards as to how they are trying to get the witnesses particular immunity. I mean, how is your office helping you to get immunity?

PROF NMEHIELLE: I am not the commander of any battalion, to ensure that military people are given leave, or allowed to come to testify. But the point remains that if I have received any requests for logistics for any Defence team, I set out to make sure that that logistic is given to the Defence team. Now, the AFRC team, I am talking to them about as to what they need. Now, it may well be that you may want to send ten missions at a time up country, and I can provide the resources available for five missions. If I do provide you five missions, for instance, yes I have not provided you ten missions. Everything is in progress to make sure that whatever resources for logistics are there, I give you. It is based on what is available. If I have five vehicles, and I have put them all on a mission, for, if there are ten Defence teams, I have to service them based on the needs, so again, logistics is a matter of resources, of the availability of what I have, and I will do that.

QUESTION: I want to know the relationship between you and Mr Norman, because last time, I was made to understand that Mr Norman has refused to take or receive medication from you, sir. From what you told us now, he is not cooperating with you....

DR HARDING: Mr Norman has never refused medication. Mr Norman is my friend, let me say it publicly, the detainees are all my friends, Mr Norman is my friend. He has never refused medication from the clinic, so let’s forget about that one. And, Mr Norman was in the clinic on Saturday and I saw him (indistinct so that’s a fallacy...

MR ANDERSEN: Now that was the last question I hope...you can over rule it.

MR MUNLO: One last question

QUESTION: (indistinct) is it possible for Charles Taylor to return to Liberia to attend Court there?

MR MUNLO: Well it depends on the specific demands we will get from the government. I think, my brother, you will agree, I will be speculating, I will be speculating. I will not be telling you about factual things, and it will be unfair to you.

Comments