3:20 Confusion over closed session; court partially re-opens

Court is back in open session after the lunch break.

Over the break, the court explored alternatives to completely closed sessions.  Prosecution and defense are discussing with the judges how views of the witness stand could be obstructed from public gallery.

Prosecutor Hollis states that in the case of this particular new witness, his testimony could reveal his identity.  Prosecution requests that even if the public gallery should be opened, there should be no audio feed to the public gallery.  Defense raises the possibility of using voice distortion.  Judge Sebutinde says that voice distortion doesn’t affect whether a witness’s identity could be disclosed by the content of his or her testimony.  Prosecution states that this is indeed their position.

Judge Sebutinde says there’s another issue: the identifying details of the witness given before the lunch break were not included in the closed session transcript, which is usually redacted from publicly available transcripts of the trial.  Defense counsel says transcripts from the RUF trial, identifying the witness, were disclosed to the defense, so he doesn’t understand either why the identifying details weren’t included in the closed session transcript.  Prosecution states concern that in the past, such transcripts have been leaked.

Judge Doherty: There will be a closed session, but with the two side curtains open.  The middle curtain to the public gallery will be closed to block public view of the witness.  Regarding a prosecution motion for admission of part of the prior evidence by this witness in the RUF trial, the trial chamber rejects that motion.  Reasons will be published later.

Court is briefly adjourning while the Witness and Victims section of the Registry explains to the witness how the session will proceed.  It is not clear whether there will be audio to the public gallery or a video/audio feed to the media center.  We will provide an update shortly.