ICC Trial Chamber 2 Permits Witness Preparation Before Evidence in The Hague


As requested by the Prosecution, but opposed by the Defence because of the well known practice of witness-proofing, ICC Trial Chamber 2 has permitted the preparation of witnesses to give evidence before they testify. “The Chamber is not convinced that this risk (of influencing a witness) is any higher immediately prior to testimony than during the investigation phase.”
The Court ruled that the Prosecution request to go through likely topics of cross-examination before a witness testified would be proper. The safeguard apparently being that Prosecution guidelines “would prohibit giving a witness any information during preparation concerning testimony provided by other witnesses at trial.” The concern of the Judges is to ensure that the Prosecution has its witnesses in the best state of preparation, to which end Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji in a separate opinion had no issues with a witness memorising testimony “if no perjury was involved”.
What is of interest in this Decision is that the Defence submissions were rather the practice of the Prosecution did not take place (presumably borne of its experience of the matter) than have notice in advance of anything new raised by a witness.
Click here for the witness preparation protocol
Read the decision issued by the court:
Decision Part I
Decision Part II
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