The Special Court for Sierra Leone and the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone, Freetown and The Hague

In the Matter of Contempt Proceedings Arising from the Case of Prosecutor v. Charles Ghankay Taylor

 

On 17 February 2011, the Prosecution filed a confidential motion alleging that defence counsel for Charles Taylor had wilfully and knowlingly and/or with reckless indifference to court-ordered protective measures, disclosed the names and pseudonyms of seven protected prosecution witnesses on a website. The Prosecution asked the Trial Chamber to summarily deal with contempt of court. On 24 March 2011 the Trial Chamber, by a majority, granted the motion in part but decided that proceedings should be postponed until after the completion of the Taylor trial.

On 19 June 2012 Justice Teresa Doherty, sitting as Single Judge, found "reason to believe" that counsel may have been in contempt, and ordered a status conference "to determine the procedure to hear and determine the matter."

On 17 October 2012, Justice Doherty dismissed a defence challenge to her jurisdiction to preside over the proceedings as Single Judge as being "untimely and without merit in law." She gave him leave to appeal the decision pursuant to Rule 73(B).

On 19 October 2012, Justice Doherty delivered her decision, finding defence counsel was not guilty of contempt of the Special Court.