Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 6

1 Thursday, 26 October 2000

2 [Status Conference]

3 [Open session]

4 [The appellant entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 10.10 a.m.

6 JUDGE POCAR: This Status Conference is called to order.

7 Madam Registrar, will you call the case, please.

8 THE REGISTRAR: This is case number IT-95-14-A, the Prosecutor

9 versus Tihomir Blaskic.

10 JUDGE POCAR: Mr. Blaskic, you are present. Can you hear me?

11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone for the Judge,

12 please.

13 JUDGE POCAR: Sorry. It's my problem then. Mr. Blaskic, can you

14 hear me now?

15 THE APPELLANT: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour. Yes, I

16 can hear you very well.

17 JUDGE POCAR: Fine. Thank you.

18 Let me call for the appearances. Who is appearing for the

19 Prosecution?

20 MR. YAPA: May it please Your Honour. Upawansa Yapa appearing for

21 the Prosecution with Mr. Norman Farrell and Mr. Fabricio Guariglia.

22 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you. I understand that Defence counsel for

23 Mr. Blaskic, Mr. Paley, has indicated that he will participate in this

24 Status Conference by telephone link.

25 MR. PALEY: Yes, Your Honour.

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1 JUDGE POCAR: I understand that the necessary arrangements have

2 been made to this effect. But first I would like to ask Mr. Blaskic if he

3 agrees with this procedure.

4 THE APPELLANT: [Interpretation] Yes, I agree with this procedure.

5 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you, Mr. Blaskic.

6 Is the phone already linked?

7 THE REGISTRAR: It should be.

8 JUDGE POCAR: Then may I call on Mr. Paley.

9 MR. PALEY: Yes, Your Honour. Good morning.

10 JUDGE POCAR: I can't hear you. Can you try to speak louder?

11 MR. PALEY: Can you hear me now, Your Honour?

12 JUDGE POCAR: Yes. Not very well but let's try. Yes, I heard

13 you, but your voice is very low.

14 MR. PALEY: I will try to speak a little louder, Your Honour. I

15 apologise if there is a technical problem.

16 JUDGE POCAR: I understand we have to continue talking in order

17 that they arrange the level of the voice; is that correct? Are things

18 going better now?

19 If we can now proceed. Mr. Paley, you are appearing for

20 Mr. Blaskic; is that correct?

21 MR. PALEY: Yes, Your Honour, that is correct.

22 JUDGE POCAR: No, I don't hear you.

23 MR. PALEY: Yes, Your Honour, your statement is correct. Can you

24 hear me now?

25 JUDGE POCAR: I can follow on the transcript. Okay. Fine.

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1 Let me recall the purpose of this Status Conference, a Status

2 Conference that has been convened according to our Rules, particularly

3 Rule 65 bis, according to which a Status Conference has to be held every

4 120 days. I recall that the last Status Conference took place on the 4th

5 of July, 2000.

6 The purpose is to allow any person in custody pending appeal the

7 opportunity to raise issues in relation thereto, including the mental and

8 physical conditions of the person. So we have a double purpose: first, to

9 allow Mr. Blaskic to express concerns directly or through his counsel

10 relating to the appeal and the detention conditions; on the other hand, to

11 update the appellant with respect to the status of the appeal.

12 As to this second point, I wish to recall that on the 26th of

13 September, 2000, the Appeals Chamber issued a decision on the appellant's

14 motions for production of materials, suspension and extension of the

15 briefing schedule, and additional filings.

16 In this decision, the Appeals Chamber granted the appellant's

17 production motion to the extent that the Prosecution is under the

18 continuing obligation of disclosure; dismissed the appellant's motion to

19 suspend the briefing schedule or extending time to file appellant's brief;

20 granted the additional filings to the extent that the briefing schedule

21 remain suspended; and ordered the appellant to indicate, within seven days

22 of his receipt of all of the translated documents, as to whether he

23 intends to rely on Rule 115: to seek the admission of additional evidence

24 on appeal; and, of course, gave the necessary delays for the other parties

25 to respond and then to reply to that motion; finally, the decision where

Page 9

1 the Chamber decided that the resumption of the briefing schedule will be

2 decided later. So this is the status of the appeal.

3 Now, may I also note that on the 2nd of October and the 16th of

4 October, 2000, the appellant filed notices for the lodging of additional

5 documents with the Registrar for translation. So the process is ongoing

6 in these matters.

7 May I ask if there are any other questions to be added as to the

8 status of the appeal now.

9 The Prosecution?

10 MR. YAPA: We have no questions at the moment, Your Honour.

11 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you.

12 Counsel for Mr. Blaskic?

13 MR. PALEY: We have no further issues at this time, Your Honour.

14 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you.

15 So let me now perhaps take up the second point which is, as the

16 case may be, the concerns of the appellant on his conditions of

17 detention.

18 May I ask counsel for the appellant if there are any questions in

19 this regard.

20 MR. PALEY: As General Blaskic is far more familiar with the

21 conditions of his daily confinement, I will allow him to directly address

22 the Court as to any concerns that he may have.

23 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you, Mr. Paley.

24 Now may I turn directly to Mr. Blaskic. Mr. Blaskic, do you have

25 any question to raise at this stage?

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Page 11

1 [The appellant stands up]

2 THE APPELLANT: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I do not have any

3 questions to raise with respect to my confinement and custody. The

4 conditions, they are evolving according to the Rules and Regulations of

5 the International Tribunal.

6 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you, Mr. Blaskic. You may sit down.

7 [The appellant sits down]

8 JUDGE POCAR: I understand that the conditions of detention are

9 regular and there is no problem, no special problem of concern. I take

10 note of this.

11 Are there any other matters that the parties would like to raise

12 at this point in the Status Conference?

13 The Prosecution?

14 MR. YAPA: For the Prosecution, we do not have any matter to be

15 raised, Your Honour.

16 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you.

17 Counsel for the appellant?

18 MR. PALEY: At this time we don't have any further issues.

19 As the Court already understands, the appellant is still in the

20 process of collecting additional documentation, and I believe the

21 Prosecution is facing the same issues that the appellant is with regard to

22 the new government in Zagreb. At some point in the future we believe that

23 it might be appropriate to have a further Status Conference to discuss the

24 resumption of the briefing schedule; however, we believe that it's

25 premature at this time to address that issue.

Page 12

1 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you, Mr. Paley. I understand what your point

2 is. For the time being, I think that we do not need to address the

3 question of the briefing schedule. We may take up the point at the next

4 Status Conference which might take place, I think, after the Christmas

5 holidays, and at that time see where we stand and decide how to proceed.

6 Is that agreeable to everybody?

7 The Prosecution?

8 MR. YAPA: Yes, Your Honour.

9 JUDGE POCAR: Mr. Paley, is that your position too, if I

10 understand?

11 MR. PALEY: Yes, that is agreeable, Your Honour.

12 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you. In this case, I think we can adjourn

13 this Status Conference, and we will resume in the next Status Conference

14 to see how we will proceed.

15 The Status Conference stands adjourned.

16 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at

17 10.25 a.m.