The trial of Charles Taylor sitting in The Hague was adjourned on Monday morning and will resume on Tuesday as the former Liberian president was absent in court today.
When court resumed this morning, Mr. Taylor was conspicuously absent for reasons that were not discussed in public. Mr. Taylor’s defense counsel, Courtenay Griffiths, asked that the court be put into closed session where the reasons for Mr. Taylor’s absence were discussed. When court returned into open session, the judges announced that based on a request by defense lawyers – a request which was granted by the judges – the could will adjourn for the day and resume on Tuesday.
The judges also today asked defense lawyers to give an indication of when the defense case will be concluded. In his response, Mr. Taylor’s lead defense counsel Mr. Griffiths informed the judges that an optimistic position would be that the defense case will be concluded at the end of August or early September this year when all defense witnesses would have testified. Presiding judge of the chamber, Justice Julia Sebutinde, cautioned Mr. Griffiths that the bench reserves the right or authority to order the defense to reduce their witness list as according to her, the burden of proof in this case lies on the prosecution, and not the defense.
Mr. Taylor’s trial will continue tomorrow with the continuation of the testimony of the 11th defense witness, Mr. Timan Edward Zammy.