Hierarchy of evidence (live and documentary evidence)

Notion(s) Filing Case
Appeal Judgement - 27.11.2007 SIMBA Aloys

The Appellant asserted that the rule for assessing evidence ranks documentary evidence above oral evidence.[1]

103. […] Contrary to the Appellant’s submissions, there is a general,[2] though not absolute,[3] preference for live testimony before this Tribunal. […] This is consistent with Rule 90(A) of the Rules which states in part that witnesses shall, in principle, be heard directly. As the primary trier of fact, it is the Trial Chamber that has the main responsibility to resolve any inconsistencies that may arise within and/or amongst witnesses’ testimonies. It is within the discretion of the Trial Chamber to evaluate any inconsistencies, to consider whether the evidence taken as a whole is reliable and credible and to accept or reject the “fundamental features” of the evidence. It may do this by relying on live testimony or documentary evidence.[4]

[1] Other errors alleged in relation to the assessment of the evidence of Prosecution Witnesses KEI, KSY, YH and KXX and Exhibit D 147 will be addressed below under Sections D-2 and D-3.

[2] See The Prosecutor v. Pauline Nyiramasuhuko et al., Joint Case No. ICTR-98-42-A15bis, Decision In the Matter of Proceedings under Rule 15 bis(D), 24 September 2003, para. 25.

[3] See Rules 71, 89(C), 92 bis, 94 bis(C) of the Rules.

[4] Kupreškić et al. Appeal Judgement, para. 31.

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ICTR Rule Rule 89(C);
Rule 90(A)
ICTY Rule Rule 89(C);
Rule 90(A)