20 December 2010

Report from Day 2

Day 2 - 1 December 2010

The second day of the trial is mostly spent with procedural issues.

First the judge complains that one of the lawyers is not sitting where he was the day before. The judges stresses the need to stick to the seating order, otherwise he might confuse people. The defence, in turn, complains that the press broke a court order and published photos of the defendants.

The accused enter the court room and seem slightly more relaxed than on the first day.

The lawyer for the youngest accused demands bail for his client because he is unlikely to be convicted. He explains that his client lost both his parents at the age of four, and from the age of ten had to live totally independently. How he has lived a life not knowing in the morning whether he would still be alive in the evening and whether he was going to get anything to eat. That he grew up in archaic society, determined by hunger and survival.

Then a discussion between the judge and one of the lawyers evolves around the issue of an application to object to the so called experts who have determined the age of the youngest defendants. At this stage I have difficulty following the debate. Not because they don't speak clearly but because of the technical jargon. I wonder what the defendants hear through their headphones, how all this is being translated, and I realize that several trials at once are happening. And I wonder how the defendants would explain all this to their best friend in Somalia.