Day 113 - 03 Apr 95 - Page 02
1 Monday, 3rd April, 1995.
3 MR. MORRIS: Thank you for the extension. Before we start with
4 the witness, we wanted to clarify the status of Ms. Hovi,
5 whether she has been released or not. I know the
6 Plaintiffs have an option to recall her. It was our
7 understanding she has been released. Is that the case?
9 MR. JUSTICE BELL: I am never quite sure what "releasing" a
10 witness really means.
12 MR. RAMPTON: My Lord, one thing it might mean, for example, is
13 that the person calling the witness might be at liberty to
14 speak to the witness; if that be so, then I would
15 emphatically say that she has not been released. Until we
16 notify the Defendants and your Lordship that we do not wish
17 her to be recalled to continue her cross-examination, she
18 should not be released and the Defendants should not speak
19 to her.
21 MR. JUSTICE BELL: All I think it means is that, as far as the
22 court is concerned, there will be no need for her to return
23 to give her evidence in the future. There are only two
24 ramifications I can think of at the moment; one is that
25 were I to say she was released, then you could talk to her
26 about anything at all; whereas save by arrangement and
27 agreement you ought not to when she may come back to
28 continue her evidence.
30 The other aspect is this, that if a witness is released and
31 then a party who might further cross-examine the witness
32 says: "I would like to ask him or her some further
33 questions", and the witness does not come back for whatever
34 reason, so that the party who would like to cross-examine
35 further cannot, there we are. She has finished her
36 evidence and it is just unfortunate that he or she cannot
37 come back.
39 If a witness is not released, that is, they leave the
40 witness box on the understanding that there is further
41 cross-examination to come or which might come, and then the
42 witness does not come back for that further
43 cross-examination, there may be an argument that one ought
44 to disregard or not attach too much weight to the evidence
45 he or she has given so far, because the opportunity to
46 cross-examine further has not arisen.
48 I do not know whether either of those matters are practical
49 considerations or not. The only occasion I had the
50 situation before was when a witness gave evidence-in-chief,
51 then gave some evidence under cross-examination and then
52 fell ill and could not continue to give evidence. The
53 judge in that case decided that the only fair thing to do
54 was to ignore that witness's evidence altogether because
55 the exercise of testing it by cross-examination had not
56 been completed.
58 Is there a particular problem you are concerned about?
60 MR. MORRIS: Yes. I think if a witness is waiting to hear if