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Report No. 198

The Trial Chamber then stated as follows:

"15. It is important to re-emphasise the general rule requiring the physical presence of the witness. This is intended to ensure confrontation between the witness and the accused and to enable the Judge to observe the demeanour of the witness when giving evidence. It is, however, well known that video-conferences not only allow the chambers to hear the testimony of a witness who is unable or unwilling to present their evidence before the Trial Chamber at The Hague, but also allows the Judges to observe the demeanour of the witness whilst giving evidence.

Furthermore, and importantly, counsel for the accused can cross-examine the witness and the Judges can put questions to clarify evidence given during testimony. Videoconferencing is, in actual fact, merely an extension of the Trial Chamber to the location of the witness. The accused is, therefore neither denied his right to confront the witness, nor does he lose materially from the fact of the physical absence of the witness. It cannot, therefore, be said with any justification that testimony given by video-link conferencing is a violation of the right of the accused to confront the witness. Art. 21(4)(e) is in no sense violated".

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