Charles Taylor’s defense team must find a substitute lawyer to continue the direct examination of Mr. Taylor if his lead defense counsel, Courtenay Griffiths, does not recover from his illness by next Monday, the Special Court for Sierra Leone judges said today.
The trial of Mr. Taylor for his alleged role in Sierra Leone’s 11-year civil conflict was adjourned for a second day in a row because Mr. Griffiths’ illness prevented him from appearing in court both yesterday and today.
When court resumed today, Co-Counsel in Mr. Taylor’s defense team, Morris Anyah, informed the judges that doctors have diagnosed Mr. Griffiths with an infection and pneumonia, in addition to the sore throat he was said to have contracted yesterday.
Presiding Judge, Richard Lussick, after conferring with his colleagues, told the defense that a substitute counsel will be necessary to continue Mr. Taylor’s examination if Mr. Griffiths does not recover from his illness by next Monday. This, he said, will not jeopardize Mr. Taylor’s fair trial rights.
Mr. Taylor’s testimony continues on Monday.