PROSECUTOR v SAM HINGA NORMAN & ORS - CONSEQUENTIAL ORDER ON ASSIGNMENT AND ROLE OF STANDBY COUNSEL (SCSL-04-14-PT )  SCSL 130 (14 June 2004);
SPECIAL COURT FOR SIERRA LEONE
JOMO KENYATTA ROAD • FREETOWN • SIERRA LEONE
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THE TRIAL CHAMBER
Judge Benjamin Mutanga Itoe, Presiding Judge
Judge Bankole Thompson
14 June 2004
Sam Hinga Norman
STATEMENT BY THE TRIAL CHAMBER ON THE STATE OF THE PROCEEDINGS IN THE TRIAL OF THE CDF GROUP OF INDICTEES
Trial Chamber has received from the Registrar, a comprehensive Report as to the
source of the eleven days of delay and interruptions
since the opening of this
Trial on the 3rd of June, 2004.
that report, it is The Chamber’s view, that the facts underlying the
delays encountered at the beginning of this trial
should be clearly stated for
the records considering the right of all accused person’s to be tried
without delay. The following
facts on this matter are borne out from that report
and from the Records.
1st Accused was arrested on the
10th of March, 2003. His defence team which comprised
Mr. James Blyden Jenkins-Johnston, Mr. Sulaiman Banja Tejan-Sie, Ms. Quincy
and Mr. Tim Owen, was initially formed in March, 2003, and finalised in
the 24th of November, 2003, Mr. Jenkins-Johnston,
entered into a Legal Services Contract with the Special Court and executed a
of Availability” wherein he undertook to ensure that
himself and members of his defence team: “will represent Mr. Norman
finality of the case at trial.”
the 28th April, 2004, and on the
3rd of June, 2004, Pre-Trial Conferences were held on
this case. On both occasions, Mr. Tejan-Sie and Mr. Jenkins-Johnston, indicated
their readiness to proceed with the trial.
the 3rd of June, 2004, the first day of trial, the
1st Accused suddenly, and to the surprise of the entire
Chamber, informed the Court that he was opting for self-representation and that
he no longer wanted to be represented by his designated Counsel. This
necessitated an adjournment of the trial to Tuesday, the
8th of June, 2004, for a reasoned decision to be
delivered by The Chamber on the 1st Accused’s
application to represent himself.
the 8th of June, 2004, the Trial Chamber ruled that the
1st Accused’s right to self-representation under
Article 17(4)(d) of the Statute, is qualified and not absolute and that it could
only be exercised with the assistance of Stand-by Counsel. The
1st Accused immediately objected to the idea of
Stand-by Counsel and threatened to boycott Court attendance since his
not granted. This ruling once again, necessitated an adjournment
of the proceedings until Thursday, the 10th June, 2004,
in order to designate Stand-by Counsel for the 1st
this issue, Mr. Tejan-Sie responded by writing a letter dated the
8th of June, 2004, now marked as ‘Exhibit
4’, to Officials of the Special Court, confirming that he would indeed
to represent Mr. Norman, albeit in a stand-by capacity.
1st Accused has now reconsidered his position and
accepted the Trial Chamber’s Decision on representation by Stand-by
of Counsel in his previous legal team and comprising both
national and international Counsel.
the 10th of June, 2004, Mr. Jenkins-Johnston sent a
letter to the Registrar dated 10th of June, 2004, now
marked as ‘Exhibit 5’, indicating that he and Mr. Tejan-Sie
unanimously decided that they will not
1st Accused in any capacity.
would like to observe here, in the light of the above, that even though the
events of the 3rd of June, 2004, have delayed the
proceedings in this case, The Chamber very confidently affirms that no time
spent in ensuring that
the rights of the defence are fully protected and the
integrity of the proceedings preserved, should, by any stretch of any reasonable
imagination or judgment, be considered as wasted or lost, or that it indeed
constitutes a delay of the judicial process.
now sorted out this important preliminary issue of legal representation to
enable the 1st Accused to properly and credibly conduct
his defence, The Chamber is as set as it indeed was on the
3rd of June, 2004, to proceed with this trial without
any further delay.
order therefore to ensure the right of all three accused persons to a fair and
expeditious trial without further delay and following
the decision of the Trial
Chamber of the 8th of June, 2004, and the Consequential
Order of this Chamber of today, the 14th of June, 2004,
on this issue, the Trial Chamber has been informed by the Registrar that the
1st Accused’s Stand-by Counsel team shall
comprise the following Stand-by Counsel: Dr. Bu-Buakei Jabbi of Sierra Leone,
Wesley Hall, of the United States, Ms. Quincy Whittaker of England, Mr.
Tim Owen, Q.C. of England. In the interim, Mr. Ibrahim Yillah
Counsel in the
Office of the Principal Defender of the Special Court, shall serve in Mr.
Norman’s Stand-by Counsel team.
the light of the foregoing, it is clear that neither the Court nor the
Prosecution, nor the Registrar nor the Registry, bears any
whatsoever for the delay that has occurred in commencing the proceedings in this
Chamber counts on all the Counsel to assist The Chamber and to work towards
contributing to ensuring the fairness and expeditiousness
of this trial and
protecting the integrity of the proceedings.
Done at Freetown this 14th Day of June 2004
Judge Benjamin Mutanga Itoe
[Seal of the Special Court for Sierra Leone]