Mid-Morning Session: Examination of Witness Tariq Malik Continues

12:00pm: Court resumed and Chief Prosecutor Steven Rapp continued the examination of witness Tariq Malik continued. The witness continued his testimony about the gathering of evidence by the investigators and how they were handed to the evidence unit, before being used in court.

Counsel asked the witness to explain how evidence was organized prior to his arrival at the Special Court. He explained that since there was no evidence unit at this time, evidemnce was stored by the Criminal Intelligence Analyst. He said that when he arrived, he ensured that every evidence had its own Evidence Registered Number (ERN. No.). He said that prior to his arrival, there was a rudimentry system of numbering evidence, where each document was assigned a six digit number. He said that he introduced a system where there was an eight digit numbering for every page in the document while the document itself had a sixteen digit range. He said lower numbers indicated earlier evidence while higher numbers indicated most recent evidence.  He said that originals of all evidence are stored in his office and are made available upon request. He said that occassionally, when originals are not available, they only have photocopies.  He said that every document that is received is stamped with a red ink and marked as an original document. He explained that until recently, all originals of evidence received were stored in Freetown but with the Taylor trial now in Tha Hague, some original documens have been transferred to The Hague. He said that two people in the OTP in The Hague were trained and are now custodians of the original evidence in The Hague. He said that some of the original evidence include documents from the UN, materials from other governments and human rights organizations. He said that for materials received from the UN, they cannot be disclosed to third parties without prior approval from the UN.  He said the evidence also includes materials from the various warring factions in Sierra Leone and Liberia. The witness explained that the sources of ducuments received were created into four categories:

1. Sankoh House Documents

2. RUF Office Documents

3. Liberia Search Documents

4. Justice and Peace Commission Documents

The witness said that in 2005, he was part of an exercise to receive documents obtained from the Sankoh House Search in Freetown. He testified about prosecution counsel Chistopher Santora receiving the documents from Alfred Sesay and Thomas Lahun, both of whom were Sierra Leonean police officers and later worked with the OTP. He said that 37 documents were identified as being obtained from the Sankoh House Search. He explained that after the May 8, 2000 indicent, during which Sankoh abdicated his residence, officers of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Sierra Leone Police visited the residence. He said that the house had been ransacked and the officers obtained several documents there.  The documents were taken to the CID, then handed to the Attorney General’s office. He said they were examined by the UN Mission in Sierra Leone, later taken to the OTP and then in 2004, were handed over to the Evidence Unit of the Special Court. Counsel showed the witness several documents which he said were obtained from the Sankoh House Search. Among the documents identified in this category were note books, salute reports from RUF commanders, minutes of meetings, letter written by Johnny Paul Koroma to Charles Taylor, etc.

On this note, court adjourned for lunch break.