02/06/21 [Finland] Day 36: A Short Hearing
The 36th day of public hearings resumed on 2 June 2021 in Tampere, Finland.
The Defense opened by saying that there had been a misunderstanding regarding the witnesses, as they hadn’t received any contact information for the witnesses FNM-192 and FNM-178. The Defense explained that they couldn’t reach them and have them come to court. After a discussion with the Defense and the Prosecution, the Court decided not to call the witnesses today and opted for rescheduling the hearings. They also agreed that they couldn’t continue with day 36’s topics, as the documents were not yet ready. The Court took a break in order to discuss the schedule of the hearings and indicated that FNM-201 would be heard on 7 June. The Court then referred to the fact that the Defense had expressed the wish to hear 3-4 additional witnesses. The Court recalled that it was their understanding that the meaning of hearing these new witnesses was to ascertain the trustworthiness of all the people that were heard previously in court. However, the Court expressed that they hardly saw how these new witnesses could be of any help in making this trial go forward because they might have had nothing to do with the previous witnesses. Therefore, the Court asked both the Defense and the Prosecution whether they believed that the summoning of all these new witnesses was necessary for the trial.
The Defense defended the view that hearing these witnesses was necessary. They explained that they had received more information regarding the investigations for this trial, and particularly the roles of GJRP, Civitas Maxima, and Employee 1, which had raised their concern. The Defense asserted that Civitas Maxima presented the case of Mr. Massaquoi as their own case on their website, and the Defense also noted that their website indicates that Civitas Maxima financially support GJRP, “where investigators have been hired by the Finnish police to conduct investigations and collect witnesses”. This, according to the Defense, made the reliability of the witnesses “highly disputable”. The Defense alleged that “some” of the witnesses have been offered “some kind of reward” if they would testify against the defendant. The Defense further asserted that the police and Employee 1 had deliberately been looking for witnesses that would be ready to testify against the defendant and had been ignoring “every one whose stories have not supported the prosecution”. The Defense described that, to their view, out of 27 witnesses, only 5 had not been “corrupted” by investigations conducted inappropriately. The Defense expressed that the purpose of summoning new witnesses would be to hear about the aforementioned organisations and their investigations, in order to evaluate the credibility of the witnesses they had interacted with.
The Prosecution responded by qualifying the Defense’s allegations as “extraordinary” and expressed that it made the trial more difficult to conduct in a concise manner. The Prosecution explained that in order to respond to such allegations they needed to introduce new witnesses or testimonies. They clarified that they would need to collect new witnesses as well as new evidence, in order to stop the accusations from remaining up in the air and in the minds of the Court. The Defense commented that the theme of this new evidence would be the credibility of GJRP 1 and his organisation.
The Prosecution reminded the Defense that no one was intending to use the testimonies of witnesses interviewed by Employee 1 as evidence, so the entire conversation was “somewhat unnecessary.”
The Judge ended the discussion on this matter and asked the parties whether there was something else they wished to discuss today.
The hearing ended and is due to resume on 7 June 2021.