Afternoon Session:Cross-Examination of Expert Witness TF1-358 Continues

3:00pm: Court resumed in open session and defense counsel for Charles Taylor Mr. Terry Munyard continued his cross-examination of Expert Witness TF1-358. Mr. Munyard focussed his cross-examination of the witness on issues relating to his previous statements to the prosecution and the photographs he identified in court. Counsel sought to determine those statements made by the witness to the prosecution and medical records of patients for whom he provided medical care, which were not disclosed.

Counsel first determined that the witness did not have a copy of his statement made to the prosecution and he offered to provide copies for reference by the witness.  Counsel refered to the statement made by the witness to prosecution investigators on April 22 2004. The witness could not remember the names of the individuals who obtained the statement from him. Counsel asked the witness whether he made any statements prior to the April 22 2004 statements but the witness said that he could not recall. Counsel referenced certain portions of the statement in which questions were asked suggesting that the witness had made a prior statement to the April 22 2004 statement. The witness agreed with counsel that certain questions asked in that statement suggesteed that he had made a prior statement but he could not tell the date that the first statement was obtained.

When asked about how he was approached by the prosecution, the witness explained that sometime in 2004, on a date that he cannot remember, Special Court officials approached him at his hospital and asked for medical records of patients he had treated during the conflict from 1997 onwards.The witness said that he gave them the records that were in his possession, mainly photographs that he has already identified in court. He said that he did not give them any medical records. He said that the written medical records had disappeared, probably some were given to an International Medical NGO that he worked with during the conflict. On the remaining written records, the witness said that he could not find them. He said that they probably disappeared when he was transferring from his Institution No. 2 to Institution No. 3. The witness became a little confused at some point as to whether he gave the medical reports to the medical NGO or whether he gave them to Special Court personel. The witness agreed with counsel that a written record could have been the best form of record keeping on patients whom he treated within this period.

Counsel referenced part of the witness’s April 22, 2004 statement in which he was asked by prosecution investigators about the medical records and he said that he had given them to the Special Court before. He further said in the statement that the court officials should have photocopies of the said records. When asked whether they returned the copies to him,  he said possibly so. He said that he misplaced the records when moving from Institution 2 to Institution 3.  He then said that he had forgotten that he gave the records to the OTP. He again said that he did not give the records to the OTP but to a lady from the Special Court, without determining whether she was from prosecution. He said that a lady from the Special Court came to her at different times and asked for individual records of the patients. Counsel asked the witness to tell the court who the lady was and the grounds on which he could have given her medical records of patients. The witness responded that the lady identified herself as an official of the Special Court. He said that she had enough documentation on behalf of the Special Court investigative branch. He said that he might guess that she was from the prosecutor’s office.

Counsel referenced witness’s statement that his patients told him some of the rebels who attacked them had Liberian accents. Counsel sought to establish that the witness did not say so in his statement made in 2004.  He asked the witness to tell the court why he only said so in later statements and not in his 2004 statement. The witness responded that in 2004, they did not ask him about that. Counsel further stated that in his later statement, he was also not asked about that but he volunteered the information. Counsel asked the witness to tell the court when he knew he would testify against Mr. Taylor. The witness said that he cannot recall when exactly he was told. He, however, confirmed that trials were already taking place at the Special Court when he was interviewed but they did not tell him against whom he will testify. Counsel asked the witness whether he liked the Late Hinga Norman, former Coordinator of the CDF and whether he supported Mr. Norman’s positions on the war. The witness said that while he met Mr. Norman once, he had no special relationship with him but agreed with some of his positions on the war.  The witness said that while obtaining statements from him, at some point, they told him he would be an expert witness and it was later confirmed to him that it will be in the Taylor trial. Counsel asked that the witness be showen his statements made on the 17, 18 and 19 May 2007 but it was already time for the court to adjourn for the day.

Court adjourned.