4:33 Trial Chamber to receive written arguments from the defense and prosecution on whether Corinne Dufka qualifies as an “expert witness”

Prosecutor Mohamed Bangura has the opportunity to ask questions on re-direct examination of Corinne Dufka.  He has no questions.  He is seeking to introduce all documents discussed during her testimony into evidence.

The defense object to admission of the witness’s report into evidence.  The witness is not an expert.  Gathering witness testimony does not amount to expertise.  She has worked for the Office of the Prosecutor, obtaining evidence against Taylor, and given her attitude toward the accuse – this witness cannot be said to have the appearance of impartiality.  How on earth must it appear to the outside world that a former member of the prosecution team be put forward in this trial as an impartial witness.  It has been said by the prosecution that in international tribunals, the rules are much wider and more lax than in many domestic jurisdictions.  I accept that we are bound by those rules and this jurisprudence.  But it is clear that at the ICTR, the judges took a position on expertise similiar to other Common Law jurisdictions.  There’s a considerable body within the international tribunals, not all of which fits together.  We submit that the more serious the charge, the more cautious the tribunal must be in applying the rules.  We submit it would be best for both parties to submit written submissions on this question of expertise.  There were other objections I raised yesterday, but I’m not going to develop them now.

Presiding judge Theresa Doherty is conferring with Judges Julia Sebutinde and Richard Lussick.

Judge Doherty: Mr. Bangura, your views on the procedure proposed by the defense?

Prosecutor Bangura: If oral submissions are insufficient, then we agree that written submissions would be a proper way to proceed.

Judge Doherty: We agree to the procedure proposed by the defense.  We want to proceed expeditiously and fairly.  How much time to you seek to file these? 

Defense counsel Terry Munyard: By close of business next Monday would be sufficient time.  It wouldn’t require the witness returning, as these are purely legal arguments.  The witness can be released.  We would seek to cover all of the points in our objection.

Judge Doherty: You’re proposing four working days.  In fairness, we would give the prosecution the same amount of time to reply.

Defense: Other witnesses can proceed.  We don’t want to slow the trial.

Judge Doherty: That’s the practice at this court.  We will continue with other witnesses.  We grant the defense application.  Defense motion is due next Monday the 28th, and the prosecution response next Friday, February 1.  The defense reply to the prosecution response is due the following Thursday.

Corinne Dufka has been excused.