The Special Court for Sierra Leone judges today granted the prosecution’s request to use new documents in cross-examination in order to impeach or challenge the credibility of Mr. Taylor and his testimony as a witness in his own defense. On November 10, the prosecution sought to use “fresh evidence” in the form of new dicuments which had not been submitted as part of the prosecution’s case and had also not been raised in Mr. Taylor’s direct-examination. Mr. Taylor’s defense objected, calling it a “trial by ambush.” The judges asked the prosecution to make a formal application for use of those documents and the defense be given the opprotunity to respond. After filing of motions by the parties, the judges delivered their ruling today granting the prosecution’s request to use the new documents. The judges also ruled that the prosecution may also use as evidence in cross-examination a certain category of documents in order to prove the accused’s guilt but such documents must be disclosed to the defense in advance.
“Starting Tuesday, we will begin making use of such documents to show Mr. Taylor was not truthful in his direct testimony,” Special Assistant to the Prosecutor, Mr. Jeremy Weiser said today in an email.
We shall endeavour to do a summary of the judgement for readers soon.