1 Tuesday, 17th November, 1998
2 (Open session)
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.39 a.m.
4 (The accused entered court)
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning. Good
6 morning, ladies and gentlemen. Good morning to the
7 Prosecution, to the Defence, the technical booth, the
8 interpreters and court reporters. Are you all ready?
9 First of all, shall we call the case for the
10 record? Can you call the case, please?
11 THE REGISTRAR: It is case number
12 IT-95-14/1-T, the Prosecutor versus Zlatko Aleksovski.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you very much.
14 Mr. Niemann, can we have the appearances for
15 the Prosecution, please?
16 MR. NIEMANN: Good morning, Your Honours. My
17 name is Niemann, and I appear with my colleague,
18 Mr. Meddegoda.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: And for the Defence,
20 Mr. Mikulicic?
21 MR. MIKULICIC: Good morning, Your Honours.
22 My name is Goran Mikulicic, representing the Defence,
23 together with my colleague, Joka.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you very much. I
25 think it would be appropriate for today, in order to
1 position the question we are going to deal with, to
2 review in summary form the case as it stands.
3 I wish to remind you that on the 10th of
4 November, 1996, the indictment against Mr. Aleksovski
5 was confirmed. On the 8th of June, 1996,
6 Mr. Aleksovski was arrested by the Croatian authorities
7 and transferred to The Hague on the 28th of April,
8 1997. On the 29th of April, 1997, he appeared before
9 the Tribunal, and at his initial appearance, he pleaded
10 not guilty.
11 The trial started on the 6th of January,
12 1998. The proceedings evolved until the month of May.
13 The conditions which prevented making more expeditious
14 progress were the existence of only one courtroom and
15 the holding of sessions for a half day only due to the
16 state of health of Mr. Aleksovski. Even under those
17 conditions, the Chamber intended to complete the case
18 towards June 1998. However, the Defence requested
19 twice that the dates proposed by the Chamber be
20 postponed, and these dates would have allowed the case
21 to have been completed somewhere around August or
22 September 1998.
23 The Prosecutor called 38 witnesses, and the
24 Defence started its case on the 20th of May and called
25 23 witnesses. The Prosecutor, in rebuttal, called two
1 witnesses and the Defence, in rejoinder, another
2 witness, as well as two character witnesses. In total,
3 the Chamber heard 66 witnesses. You have in the file
4 38 documents for the Prosecution and 37 for the
5 Defence. We have held 41 half days of hearings.
6 The situation as it stands now: On the 6th
7 of November, 1998, the Prosecutor requested permission
8 from the two Judges of the Appeals Chamber to appeal
9 against two decisions of the Chamber. The first, dated
10 the 22nd October, 1998, which authorised the admission
11 into the file the public statements of Admiral Domazet
12 in the Blaskic case. The second, dated the 3rd
13 November, 1998, was a decision rejecting a motion by
14 the Prosecution for the admission into evidence of the
15 confidential statement of another witness in that same
17 On the 11th of November, 1998, the Prosecutor
18 requested a stay of proceedings awaiting the decision
19 of the Appeals Chamber. It is about this latter motion
20 that we are going to discuss today.
21 The Chamber, after allowing several delays at
22 the request of the parties, fixed today as the date for
23 the completion of the case against Mr. Aleksovski and
24 in order to hear the closing brief of the Prosecution
25 and the closing statement of the Defence.
1 As I pointed out a moment ago, but I think I
2 need to insist on this point in particular, the trial
3 started on the 6th of January, 1998, and the accused
4 has been in detention since the 8th of June, 1996.
5 In my view, the request for a stay submitted
6 by the Prosecution raises several difficulties. At
7 first glance, there is logic between this request and
8 the double appeal against the decisions of the Chamber
9 that I have mentioned. Actually, the appeal has to do
10 with an essential aspect of the debate, that is,
11 whether the conflict in question is of an international
12 nature or not.
13 It is, of course, not up to me to prejudice
14 the decision of the three Judges who will be authorised
15 to deal with this appeal. Allow me, however, to note
16 that the Prosecution could claim that the delay for the
17 appeal against one of the decisions in a version that
18 is in French cannot begin to count until this decision
19 exists in the English version.
20 Be that as it may, a review of the request of
21 the Prosecution in case of its being admitted will
22 require several weeks. There is no need for me to
23 recall that we are approaching a period of festivities
24 which is hardly favourable for the organisation of
25 work. So let us try and be more precise, particularly
1 in view of the accused who may have a less clear
2 understanding than professionals of the delays.
3 I repeat that this is based on a very rough
4 estimate. The three Judges that will be dealing with
5 the case will be appointed on the 17th of November.
6 They will certainly need about two weeks to issue a
7 decision, which brings us to the 30th of November. If
8 the appeal is authorised, it will take the Appeals
9 Chamber several weeks to rule, no doubt a month, and
10 this would bring us to the end of the year and,
11 therefore, to the beginning of next year at the
13 It remains for us to schedule a hearing to
14 debate the matter following the decision of the Appeals
15 Chamber. It is only subsequently that the Chamber
16 would be able to organise a hearing for the rebuttal
17 and the rejoinder. We must also bear in mind the very
18 heavy schedule of the Appeals Chamber for next year, of
19 which my colleagues, Judges Vohrah and Nieto Navia, are
20 normally members. Under these conditions, it appears
21 to be reasonable to expect that we would not be able to
22 complete the trial before the end of February at the
24 My colleagues and myself must then take the
25 necessary time to make our judgment which would not
1 allow Mr. Aleksovski to have a judgment by our Chamber
2 before the end of May 1999 at the earliest, which means
3 close to three years after the beginning of his
5 The question I am asking, therefore, is to
6 see whether, in view of the advanced stage of our work,
7 the scope of the debate that we have already had
8 regarding the international character of the conflict
9 and the final briefs have already been tendered by both
10 parties, it would be preferable to stop our work for an
11 indefinite period or, rather, to continue it under the
12 reservation, of course, that we can resume it depending
13 upon the decision of the Appeals Chamber.
14 I note, Mr. Prosecutor, that you yourself
15 expressly referred in your brief, which I have read in
16 English, to the testimony of Admiral Domazet, a
17 testimony you yourself opposed the admission of and
18 which was the object of one of the decisions that you
19 have appealed against.
20 Finally, I ask myself the question regarding
21 the respect of the Rules of the Statute. Article 20 of
22 the Statute requires that the Chamber ensures a fair
23 and expeditious process. Equality, without any doubt,
24 applies to both parties, and expeditiousness applies
25 more particularly to the accused.
1 Finally, can there be equality without
2 expeditiousness? The rights of the accused, are they
3 not called fundamentally in question in the absence of
4 expeditiousness? And the rights of the victims and the
5 interests of the administration of justice? A delay in
6 justice may become lack of justice.
7 Therefore, after having said all this, the
8 proposal of the Chamber would be the following: To
9 continue our work as we have envisaged it, bearing in
10 mind the procedure pending the appeal. When the Appeal
11 Judges rule, we will resume our debate if either of the
12 parties or the Judges find it to be necessary.
13 We should therefore like, Mr. Prosecutor,
14 Mr. Niemann, and Mr. Mikulicic, to hear you on this
15 issue because the Chamber is of the opinion that it is
16 very important to hear both parties on this issue.
17 Therefore, Mr. Niemann, will you please address the
18 Court and tell us what is your opinion regarding what I
19 have just said.
20 JUDGE NIETO NAVIA: Mr. President, may I
21 interrupt you? May I ask for a glass of water?
22 MR. NIEMANN: Having heard Your Honour's
23 comments on the issue of potential delay and so forth,
24 please allow me to respond as follows to that, Your
1 Firstly, for the most part, I could not help
2 but comment upon the fact that any delay in these
3 proceedings has not been brought about by the
4 Prosecution. The Prosecution has been diligent in
5 presenting this case. It is not the Prosecution's
6 fault and there is no blame attached to the fact that
7 Mr. Aleksovski has been ill. Had he been able to
8 attend the proceedings for full-day hearings, we would
9 have disposed of the matter earlier. It is not the
10 Prosecution's fault, and we make no blame on the
11 Defence that they sought various delays in this matter
12 as the proceedings went through. The Prosecution had
13 presented its evidence in as orderly and as efficient a
14 manner as it possibly could do.
15 So when it comes to this issue at this stage,
16 it is, in my respectful submission a little unfair if
17 it is suggested that the length of these proceedings is
18 any way attributable to the way the Prosecution has
19 conducted its case.
20 I might add to that, Your Honours, that this
21 delay would not be brought about by anything that the
22 Prosecution has done. It has been brought about by a
23 development in the case, which we frankly submit has
24 disturbed the equilibrium of the case to such a point
25 the International Community cannot have a fair trial in
1 this matter until it has been rectified by the Court of
2 Appeal. I'm not asking Your Honours to agree with that
3 statement, but that is our position, and that is
4 certainly our position and it will be our position
5 before the Court of Appeal, should Their Honours grant
6 leave for this appeal to be heard.
7 Your Honours, there is one easy way, it seems
8 to us, in which the Defence can achieve the objective
9 of a speedy conclusion to this matter so that we can
10 get on with our business today, deliver our final
11 addresses, Your Honours can deliberate and return your
12 verdicts, and that is for the Defence to withdraw the
13 evidence of Admiral Domazet. When that is out of the
14 way, any objection that we might have to the matter
15 falls away with it. So it is upon their heads to not
16 come before you and complain about any delay but take
17 the decisive step necessary to allow these proceedings
18 to proceed expeditiously to a conclusion.
19 Your Honours, our application for a stay of
20 the proceedings in these circumstances is not an
21 unusual application; it is an application which, in
22 many instances, would be dealt with and would be
23 decided in favour of the applicant as a matter of
25 Why is that so? It is so because if this
1 appeal is not permitted to proceed and therefore these
2 proceedings go on in these circumstances, we have a
3 major aspect of the case which becomes disjunctive to
4 the case and we cannot respond effectively to it, and
5 ultimately, in our submission, any decision that we
6 might receive could well become hollow and of no value
7 to the applicant should we be successful.
8 It is our submission also that, as a matter
9 of courtesy to the Appeals Chamber, this matter should
10 be stayed pending their investigation of the issue of
11 leave. They should be permitted to examine the issue
12 to determine whether or not there is a case there that
13 they would entertain and grant leave. In our
14 respectful submission, to proceed in these
15 circumstances before that is the case could amount to a
16 discourtesy to the Court of Appeal.
17 Your Honours, we could have filed an
18 application for a stay before the Appeals Chamber, but
19 we thought at the time, and we think now, that to have
20 done that would have been discourteous to you because
21 the matter is proceeding before you and it seems to us
22 that this was the appropriate forum for which we should
23 address this matter.
24 As I have said, Your Honours, the equilibrium
25 of this case has now been upset, and, Your Honours,
1 until that issue can be addressed, in our submission,
2 the proceedings should go no further. We can do
3 everything within our power to expedite the matter
4 before the Appeal Chamber; indeed, the Appeal Chamber
5 can decide the matter without an appearance of the
6 parties, simply do it on the papers, if necessary, and
7 it is perfectly satisfactory from the point of view of
8 the Prosecution.
9 We cannot see, Your Honours, that there is
10 necessarily going to be any time gained at all because
11 it seems to us that if the Appeals Chamber must go
12 through its course, the timetable that has been laid
13 out by Your Honours is likely to be similar to that in
14 any event because it will take whatever time it takes
15 them to reach their decision.
16 Alternatively, if Your Honours were disposed
17 not to grant Prosecution leave, the matter would resume
18 immediately, and could resume immediately, having
19 regard to the late stage of this case, the submissions
20 have been filed in relation to the parties, there's no
21 delay in relation to that, we could be called upon
22 immediately. That decision is made.
23 If Your Honours then decide, however, that
24 leave should be granted and that the appeal should
25 proceed, then, Your Honours, that establishes our
1 position as we put it now. Your Honours obviously
2 would have come to the same conclusion that we have,
3 and that is that the equilibrium has been disturbed and
4 that a fair trial cannot be rendered until such time
5 the matter is considered and dealt with.
6 So in our submission, Your Honours, the
7 justice of the matter, respectfully, requires a stay in
8 these proceedings, and we can do all that we can to
9 expedite any proceedings before the Court of Appeal so
10 the delay is reduced to an absolute minimum, but to
11 proceed today would be unfair. It would be unfair,
12 Your Honours, for a number of reasons.
13 It's unfair because we don't accept the
14 evidence of Admiral Domazet. It's unfair, Your
15 Honours, because we see from your judgment, and this is
16 entirely a matter for Your Honours and we make no
17 criticism of this, but see from Your Honours' judgment
18 that you describe the issue of international armed
19 conflict as fundamental, and then Your Honours go on to
20 say that in the interest of proper administration of
21 justice, the value of the testimony of Admiral Domazet
22 is indisputable. This is indisputable evidence that
23 the Prosecution hasn't been permitted to dispute.
24 We haven't been permitted to dispute it,
25 because we haven't had the right to cross-examine, we
1 haven't had the right to call any evidence in rebuttal,
2 and so we are left with an imbalance on one side with
3 the Defence being in the very lucky and luxurious
4 position of having evidence in their favour which is
5 not in any way, in our respectful submission, been
6 properly or effectively contested.
7 I suggest, Your Honours, that because we had
8 the right to cross-examine in the Blaskic case, that
9 somehow or other resolves all the issues in this case
10 is not the point. In the Blaskic case they had
11 evidence that contested of this evidence, so any
12 cross-examination would have been moderated having
13 regard to that.
14 Your Honours have described this as
15 indisputable. It may well be that the Blaskic Chamber
16 may find it incredible and disregard it. So we have,
17 on the one hand, evidence that's come before Your
18 Honours, which you describe as indisputable, which we
19 haven't had an opportunity to dispute, which another
20 Chamber could turn around and regard as incredible.
21 Your Honours, I speak firmly of this and I
22 don't apologise for it. The issue is a very serious
23 one, and we are aggrieved by the position. Our
24 position is that the situation can only be restored if
25 two things happen: The Defence withdraw the evidence,
1 or, alternatively, the matter goes before the Court of
2 Appeal and that they resolve the matter.
3 Your Honours, I can take the matter no
4 further, other than to say that in a similar case which
5 came before Judge May in the case of Kovacevic, it came
6 before His Honour, and His Honour there said because
7 the matter was pending before the Appeals Chamber he
8 had no option but to stay the matter. In our
9 respectful submission, that is the appropriate and
10 proper course that he took.
11 When Your Honours look Rule at 102, paragraph
12 (A), you will see that in the event that sentences are
13 challenged, that the proceedings are stayed, the
14 sentence is suspended pending the outcome of the
15 appeal. The Rules reflect a procedure, in that
16 instance, identical to the sort of issue that we're
17 discussing here.
18 Your Honours, if we were at a different stage
19 in the proceedings it might well be different. If we
20 were at the beginning of the case and it could -- there
21 was an opportunity available for things to be rectified
22 by the calling of rebuttal evidence or further evidence
23 in the case, that may be -- that may have been easier
24 for us to simply say, well, let's proceed and allow the
25 Appeal Chamber to deal with the matter in due course,
1 but hopefully before either party close their case.
2 We're beyond that now. We're at the crucial
3 and final stage. In my respectful submission, it
4 cannot be done in bits and pieces. If we are to make
5 our final addresses, we should be permitted the
6 opportunity to do so, having regard to the totality of
7 the case that we have to meet. We should know, Your
8 Honours, precisely what it is, precisely the evidence
9 that Your Honours will consider. At this stage, Your
10 Honours, we don't know that, because we don't know what
11 the Appeal Chamber is going to do with the matter.
12 In my respectful submission, Your Honours',
13 concern about delay is a justifiable and proper one and
14 I don't challenge that, but what I do say is we may
15 well have a decision soon from the Appeals Chamber on
16 the question of leave, and when we know that it may be
17 a time to perhaps reconsider the issue, but in my
18 submission, Your Honours, I believe that it can be
19 disposed of expeditiously by written submissions of the
20 parties. And I respectfully request, Your Honour, that
21 these proceedings be stayed at the moment pending the
22 outcome of that decision. There are my submissions
23 unless I can help Your Honours with any other matter.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Niemann, please sit
25 down, and thank you very much for the argument you have
1 just put forward.
2 It is a bit difficult for me to intervene in
3 this question that is now in hands of the Judges of the
4 Appeals Chamber. We have given our decision on this
5 issue, and this is not the time to come back on this
6 decision and to discuss the reasons which motivated
7 this decision. We have set forward our arguments, and
8 it is your right to appeal a decision made by the Trial
9 Chamber, but we are happy to know that our decisions
10 are worthy of an appeal, of worthy of such examined
11 review on your part, so there's no question of us going
12 back on our decision. The only possibility for us is
13 to hear you, and to hear your arguments on your
14 application to the Trial Chamber to stay proceedings
15 until the final determination of the appeal Chamber.
16 Now I turn to the Defence, because I think
17 that the Defence was not given any opportunity to reply
18 to your arguments, to reply in written form to your
19 arguments, Mr. Niemann.
20 So Mr. Mikulicic, I turn to you. The
21 Prosecutor has just put forward a particular proposal,
22 so could you please tell us what you think about this
23 proposal and please share your reflections on that.
24 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour, the Defence has
25 very carefully listened to the additional arguments of
1 my learned colleague the Prosecutor. So, with your
2 permission, just a few brief comments on some of the
3 aspects of what was said.
4 I believe that with respect to the leave for
5 appeal lodged by the Prosecution, one issue can be
6 resolved today, and this is his motion regarding the
7 decision by this Trial Chamber regarding the inclusion
8 into evidence of the testimony of Admiral Domazet.
9 We note that this application was filed after
10 the deadline, and pursuant to Rule 73(C) of the Rules,
11 the deadline is seven days from the time when the
12 decision was rendered.
13 Your decision was issued on the 27th of
14 October, whereas the Prosecution has filed its defence
15 on the 6th of November, which is well past the seven
16 days after the decision.
17 So the first issue I have to deal with, was
18 this application filed appropriately, and this is
19 something that you can decide on. This is a procedural
20 issue, and the parties in this matter are bound by this
21 Rule, to respect and observe these Rules. So this is
22 with respect to the inclusion of Admiral Domazet's
23 testimony into the evidence.
24 The Defence asked for the inclusion of this
25 on the basis of basic principle, which should be part
1 of any proceedings, which is a search for truth. We
2 believe that this principle overrides every other
3 principle in these proceedings, and this is why the
4 Defence was very happy by your decision which we see as
5 having been rendered in the spirit of this principle.
6 The Defence is not prepared to withdraw this
7 evidence as proposed by my learned colleague from the
8 Prosecution, even though the Defence is aware of all
9 the circumstances which you have mentioned, which refer
10 to Mr. Aleksovski's detention of over two and a half
11 years. Even though the Defence is aware of the fact
12 that a part of a fair and just trial is its
13 expeditiousness, the Defence, nevertheless, believes
14 that a component of ascertaining the real truth is a
15 crucial one, and this is why the Defence was not
16 prepared to withdraw this evidence, which in the final
17 analysis, has been introduced into the evidence by your
19 We believe that there are no obstacles to
20 continue the proceedings, have the final summations
21 conducted according to the schedule that you have set
22 out, and in due course that we will get the decision of
23 the Appeals Chamber. We do not know what it will be,
24 but at least a part of the job, in any event, will have
25 been done.
1 So the Defence requests that we continue with
2 our proceedings and then await the Appeals Chamber's
3 decision. Thank you.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you. Mr. Niemann, do
5 you have anything to add in view of the arguments set
6 forward by the Defence?
7 MR. NIEMANN: I have a couple of points Your
8 Honours. Firstly, the issue of whether or not we're
9 in time for appeal is for not a matter for Your
10 Honours, it's a matter for the Appeals Chamber. So I
11 submit that that point is not a matter that Your
12 Honours should be concerned with.
13 Yes, I am not at all surprised that
14 Mr. Mikulicic is happy that the evidence has been
15 admitted, I wouldn't expect anything else, but that
16 doesn't address the issue of the Prosecution's
17 position, and in our respectful submission, Your
18 Honours, that, I think, in itself, demonstrates the
19 imbalance that's been introduced into the matter.
20 Unless there's any other matters, they are our
21 submissions, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: In any case, Mr. Niemann,
23 you did, I mean, find some interest in what Admiral
24 Domazet has said. It was of some use to you, whatever
25 your position now. But now the decision rests with the
1 Appeals Chamber.
2 The question now is to see whether the
3 proceedings should be stayed or not. Do you want to
4 add something, Mr. Niemann? You have the floor.
5 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you, Your Honour. I
6 should address that. Yes, Your Honours, we proceed on
7 the basis that once Your Honours have made a decision
8 we may not like it, but we accept it and we live with
9 it. Your Honour has made a decision to admit the
10 evidence of Admiral Domazet, so to an extent we
11 addressed it as best we could. The way we addressed it
12 was pointed out, so that there is an aspect of it that
13 was favourable.
14 It would be discourteous and inappropriate
15 for us to say, well, we are going to ignore that
16 evidence once Your Honours have made a decision, and so
17 that's why we did address it. But we have little
18 comfort, Your Honours, in what we were able to extract
19 from it. We were able to extract a small parcel and we
20 did, and we used it for that purpose because we must
21 proceed on the assumption that once Your Honours have
22 made a decision we are bound by it and we must follow
23 it, and we accept that Your Honours have admitted it.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, for the last
25 time, would you like to add anything on this particular
1 issue, should we stay proceedings or should we not? Do
2 you have anything to add on this particular issue?
3 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, Defence does
4 not want any delay in the proceedings. We stay with
5 our position to continue with the proceedings.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: As far as I'm concerned, I
7 would like to hear what Mr. Aleksovski has to say.
8 Mr. Aleksovski, would you please stand?
9 Please stand up, Mr. Aleksovski. Thank you.
10 You have heard all the arguments set forward
11 by the parties, but I wonder if you've understood the
12 issue in its details. Do you have anything you would
13 like to say on this particular issue? You may switch
14 on your microphone and answer my question.
15 THE ACCUSED: Mr. President and Your Honours,
16 first of all, thank you for having allowed me, after
17 two and a half years, to address you, to speak to you,
18 after two and a half years.
19 First of all, I'm a bit excited. I am
20 addressing you for the first time, and what can I say?
21 The Prosecution is doing its job as the Prosecution
22 should, and I have previously stated that they have
23 been very correct.
24 At first I had no objection to the behaviour,
25 I can put it that way, of the Prosecution, but now we
1 are in a situation when I am asked how I feel. Since
2 the beginning I have not felt well, and you may have
3 noticed this. Part of it was that the proceedings were
4 shortened to half-day sessions, but right now I feel
5 awkward that I have to talk about this.
6 You know that I am a parent of -- my son Sasa
7 is now in the third grade. I was not able to be there
8 to take him to school, and what I -- from what you have
9 talked about, I -- at best, I could take him to school
10 at the start of his fourth grade.
11 Your Honours, I am not going to try to
12 anticipate the final outcome of this trial, but, as in
13 the beginning, I said that I am not guilty, and the
14 Prosecution insists that I was guilty. And I'm not
15 angry at them for that, but I repeat to you, I'm not
16 guilty. I did not want to harm anybody at any time.
17 If anything happened, it happened not from my -- of my
18 own will. I did what I could.
19 However -- yes. Thank you. However -- and I
20 don't want to depart and stray off the course. Our job
21 is almost done. You should render your decision soon.
22 From whatever I've heard in terms of information or
23 rumours, I was supposed to know what the outcome of
24 this trial is by Christmas. However, I'm afraid that
25 this is not where the things are going.
1 When I say I'm afraid, I really have fear,
2 I'm not indifferent, after the trial, after the main
3 proceedings. And I'm not going to say the Prosecution
4 is trying to abuse anything, but -- because of the
5 procedural reasons, not because I am a criminal. I am
6 supposed to stay in detention, in prison or whatever,
7 and I would like to go back to my family. And if I may
8 say this without abusing the opportunity which I was
9 given, you may rest assured that I will come back
10 because of my children and because of justice.
11 Thank you, Mr. President and Your Honours.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you, Mr. Aleksovski.
13 You may sit down.
14 Well, the Judges of the Trial Chamber will
15 examine the various arguments that have been put
16 forward. I think that we need to take a break. I'm
17 not sure if half a hour would be enough, but let's say
18 that we'll meet in around 30 to 35 minutes. The
19 hearing is suspended.
20 --- Recess taken at 10.25 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 11.25 a.m.
22 (The accused entered court)
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: This is our decision.
24 The Chamber has taken note with great
25 attention to the explanations of the Prosecution and
1 the Defence regarding the Prosecution's motion for a
2 stay of proceedings until the Appeals Chamber rules on
3 the motion of the Prosecution regarding the admission
4 of the testimony made within the framework of the
5 Blaskic case. It has also heard a statement by
6 Mr. Aleksovski.
7 Upon deliberation, the Chamber finds that the
8 proceedings should be stayed until the Appeals Judges
9 have reviewed the Prosecutor's motion and conveyed
10 their decision and their ruling to the Chamber.
11 Therefore, that is our decision.
12 I think, however, that we can take advantage
13 of the presence of the parties here in order to discuss
14 another matter which we have already discussed to some
15 extent and we agreed to come back to it, and I think
16 that opportunity has arisen, that is, to see what is
17 the position of the parties regarding the request of
18 Kordic and Cerkez to admit non-public testimony from
19 the Aleksovski case into their record. We have already
20 announced this matter. I don't know whether the
21 parties are ready or not to discuss this question.
22 I am raising the issue because, as we need to
23 sit on Friday afternoon, we could perhaps organise our
24 time bearing in mind the availability of the parties to
25 give them an opportunity to express their opinions on
1 this matter.
2 Therefore, I am asking you, Mr. Niemann and
3 Mr. Mikulicic, if you are ready to discuss this matter
4 or not.
5 MR. NIEMANN: Do Your Honours wish us to
6 discuss it today or tomorrow? I mean, I haven't come
7 here at the moment ready to discuss it. I could. But
8 I think I would be relying primarily on what we had put
9 in our written submissions.
10 If Your Honours were disposed to adjourn
11 today, which it is getting on anyway, we could
12 certainly deal with it tomorrow morning, if that was
13 convenient to Your Honours, or any other time that is
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Tomorrow morning, no.
16 Thursday morning or Wednesday afternoon, that is,
17 tomorrow afternoon.
18 Mr. Mikulicic, what do you think about it?
19 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, the Defence
20 agrees that we discuss this tomorrow afternoon if that
21 is convenient for Your Honours.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Excuse me, Mr. Mikulicic,
23 but I wasn't listening to the right channel. Could you
24 repeat what you just said, please?
25 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, the Defence
1 agrees that this matter be discussed tomorrow
3 However, if I may be allowed, you have just
4 told us what your decision is, and that is to stay the
5 proceedings until the decision of the Appeals Chamber,
6 and the Defence would like to address you with a few
7 words, with your leave, on this matter, or would it be
8 more appropriate for us to address you on this matter
9 later on, after dealing with the procedural issues,
10 simply so as not to confuse the items on our agenda?
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I think, Mr. Mikulicic,
12 that what you may have to say about it should be said
13 in the Appeals procedure because the Chamber has taken
14 its decision.
15 MR. MIKULICIC: I had not intended to say
16 anything regarding the substance of the problem, I just
17 wanted to repeat a proposal that the Defence made at
18 the beginning of the proceedings, and that has to do
19 with the release of Mr. Aleksovski.
20 The Defence wanted to repeat the proposal
21 that it already made in the course of these
22 proceedings, and that is that Mr. Aleksovski, in view
23 of his long detention and in view of the fact that the
24 proceedings will probably be prolonged for some time,
25 we would like to request the Trial Chamber to
1 reconsider once again the Defence proposal for the
2 provisional release of Mr. Aleksovski. So if this
3 Trial Chamber considers it necessary, the Defence is
4 ready to prepare a written motion to that effect and to
5 explain its proposal in writing.
6 Thank you, Your Honours.
7 MR. NIEMANN: If I may just respond briefly
8 to that, Your Honours?
9 I think it would be much better if it was
10 provided by way of written motion and we responded
11 accordingly and then perhaps address Your Honours
12 orally on the matter. But that could be done this
13 week. I mean, we are ready to respond to it
14 immediately. If Mr. Mikulicic makes it available to us
15 in writing, we will respond immediately in writing.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Certainly, Mr. Niemann.
17 Mr. Mikulicic did intend to address the matter in
18 writing, and that indeed would be the best procedure
19 because, after all, it is a very important issue. So
20 that a written motion should be prepared, the
21 Prosecution can respond, and then the Chamber will
22 render its decision.
23 As for the Kordic matter, we are going to
24 have a discussion on it tomorrow, and you will have the
25 time required to prepare yourselves because I think
1 Mr. Mikulicic and the Defence has never taken a
2 position on this matter; therefore, we are giving you
3 an opportunity to work on it, and we too will study the
4 matter, and we will meet again tomorrow -- just a
5 moment, please. Mr. Fourmy has a comment for me.
6 Mr. Fourmy is drawing my attention to the
7 time limit required for the Defence motion. So as that
8 is in the interests of the Defence, I'm sure that the
9 Defence will make its motion as quickly as possible so
10 we will not fix any time limit for that.
11 Have you got anything to say regarding the
12 submission of your motion and the deadline for that,
13 Mr. Mikulicic?
14 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, the Defence, of
15 course, bearing in mind its own interests, will prepare
16 its motion within the shortest possible delay, and, of
17 course, we are aware that the sooner we prepare the
18 motion, the sooner a decision on it will be taken. We
19 cannot at this moment state exactly when we will do it,
20 but we will in the immediate future.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: In that case, we are going
22 to adjourn until tomorrow. I don't quite know the
23 time. I think it is 2.00. Anyway, until the time
24 scheduled for tomorrow afternoon's session.
25 No, 2.30. Two-thirty tomorrow afternoon.
1 The hearing is adjourned.
2 --- Whereupon proceedings adjourned at
3 11.36 a.m., to be reconvened on
4 Wednesday, the 18th day of November,
5 1998, at 2.30 p.m.