21 June 2012

Court Report Day 92 – 20 June 2012

An even shorter trial date today – just one announcement by the judge.

As was expected, the judge declined the application by the defence to hear the Norwegian academic Stieg Hansen for a second time, in order to verify statements made by the 'crown witness'.  The defence had argued that Hansen had knowledge of tribal networks and knew informants in Somalia that would enable him to verify or otherwise what the accused had said. The judge himself had spoken to witnesses in Somalia on the phone, but was not willing to hear them in court because he said they could not be identified.

The judge countered the argument saying that referring to these tribal networks was only showing that there were no institutions in Somalia that were “orderly and not corrupt”. Even Hansen would not be able to positively identify any witnesses. This was in contrast to the Indian witnesses, who had been identified by Interpol. He did not respond to the accusation that the court was applying different standards to defence witnesses and to prosecution witnesses.

The journalist R. will be appearing one last time in court on 21 June, starting at 8:30 am.