Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

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1 Wednesday, 21 February 2001

2 [Status Conference]

3 [Open session]

4 [The appellant entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 10.04 a.m.

6 JUDGE POCAR: Good morning. The Status Conference is called to

7 order.

8 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.

9 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-95-14-A, the Prosecutor versus

10 Tihomir Blaskic.

11 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you.

12 Mr. Blaskic, you are present in court. Can you hear me? Is there

13 any problem with the language or the translation, please?

14 THE APPELLANT: [Interpretation] Your Honour, good morning. There

15 are no problems. I hear you very well.

16 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you, Mr. Blaskic.

17 Who is appearing for the Prosecution?

18 MR. YAPA: Your Honour, if you please. I am Upawansa Yapa,

19 appearing for the Prosecution, with Mr. Norman Farrell. Ms. Kirsten Keith

20 is the case manager. Thank you.

21 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you.

22 I understand for the appellant, counsel is not here in court.

23 Mr. Paley should be linked by telephone, I understand. Can we have the

24 link?

25 Mr. Paley, can you hear me?

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1 MR. PALEY: Yes, Your Honour, I hear you fine.

2 JUDGE POCAR: So, please, you will then attend by link.

3 MR. PALEY: Yes, Your Honour.

4 JUDGE POCAR: Good. Let me recall now the purposes of this Status

5 Conference which, according to the Rules, must be held within 120 days

6 from the previous one. The last one was at the end of October, on the

7 26th of October, 2000.

8 The purpose of the Status Conference, as you know, according to

9 the Rules, is to allow the appellant, pending appeal, the opportunity to

10 raise any issue relating to his detention and, on the other hand, is to

11 discuss any matter that may concern the appeal, and to update the

12 situation of the appeal.

13 First, I would ask the appellant if there is any concern regarding

14 his detention. Mr. Paley, is there anything you want to raise in this

15 respect?

16 MR. PALEY: I don't believe so, Your Honour, but I will allow

17 General Blaskic to address the Court directly, if he has any concerns that

18 he wishes to bring to Your Honour's attention.

19 JUDGE POCAR: Fine. May I then turn to Mr. Blaskic.

20 Mr. Blaskic, do you have any concerns to raise as far as your

21 detention is concerned?

22 THE APPELLANT: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't have any

23 problems, and I don't have any questions regarding the conditions of my

24 detention.

25 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you. So I consider that the conditions of

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1 your detention are normal. In case you have any problem, you may raise it

2 under the Rules from 84 to 88 that provide for a special procedure to

3 raise questions in this respect.

4 Now coming to the appeal, I would state the following: that the

5 Appeals Chamber is fully aware that a decision concerning the admission of

6 additional evidence, according to Rule 115 of the Rules, should be issued

7 by the Chamber. It's also well known that there is a large volume of

8 documentary evidence in this case that has been tendered and this requires

9 the Chamber to take a careful exercise that might require a certain time.

10 After that, of course, when the decision will be taken as to additional

11 evidence, the briefing schedule will be resumed in this case.

12 I would like also to mention that yesterday, on the 20th of

13 February, the Chamber has issued an order allowing the Prosecution an

14 extension of time, until 19 March 2001, to submit its response to the

15 appellant's brief in support of his motion for submission of additional

16 evidence.

17 There is an additional filing which, in the meantime, has been

18 made on the 18th of January, and this would follow the Scheduling Order of

19 the 26th of September, of course, but it is the intention of the Appeals

20 Chamber to speed up the consideration of these additional documents. It's

21 a small number of documents, and according to the Scheduling Order of

22 September last year, there would be a delay of seven days for the

23 appellant to identify the documents and then there would be 14 days to

24 submit a motion asking for admission of such documents.

25 The Appeals Chamber would like to reduce this time to 14 days

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1 because, actually, in the notice that the appellant has made on the

2 18th of January, when lodging additional documents with the Registrar for

3 translation, the appellant has already anticipated that he would request

4 admission of these documents pursuant to Rule 115 in the forthcoming

5 motion.

6 So since this has already been anticipated, the Appeals Chamber

7 would think that 14 days would be sufficient, starting as, of course, the

8 date on which the translation will be made available to the appellant by

9 the Registry. Then, of course, the Prosecution will have the 14 days to

10 answer, and the appellant again 10 days to reply.

11 The purpose of speeding up this would be to allow the Chamber to

12 consider all these documents together with the previous documents and make

13 only one decision as to the additional evidence that might be admitted in

14 this case.

15 So I would ask Mr. Paley if this would be good for him if the

16 Appeals Chamber varied slightly the order of September last year in order

17 to speed up the consideration of the new documents. Would that be fine

18 for the appellant?

19 MR. PALEY: Well, I understand the Appeals Chamber's concern, Your

20 Honour, and certainly we agree that the process needs to be speeded up to

21 some degree. However, I do need to point out to the Chamber that while we

22 have submitted additional documents and we're continuing to do so as we

23 locate them, the Prosecution has just recently begun to produce material

24 to us under Rule 68 and has indicated that additional material is

25 forthcoming. We don't know exactly when we will be receiving that

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1 material. In addition, we have filed a motion for access to

2 closed-session material from some of the other cases pending before the

3 Tribunal.

4 So I do understand the Appeals Chamber's desire to consider all of

5 the additional material under Rule 115 at one time, but to be perfectly

6 candid, until we receive the additional material from the Prosecutor,

7 we're not yet in a position to inform the Appeals Chamber as to whether

8 there will be additional material that will be forthcoming and when we

9 will be receiving that material from the Prosecution and, obviously, not

10 all of that material would necessarily be documents that we would consider

11 appropriate for submission under Rule 115. We would have to review that

12 material and make that determination after we receive it.

13 So that is one concern that I have with regard to the Appeals

14 Chamber's intention of ruling on all of the material at once, simply

15 because at this stage, we do not know if there will be additional material

16 forthcoming from the Prosecution.

17 JUDGE POCAR: Yes, Mr. Paley, I understand your point. I was

18 referring simply to your request made on the 18th of January concerning

19 these new documents that were submitted for translation on that date, not

20 to other possible or additional material that may come into play, whether

21 it will be submitted by the Prosecution or the documents you have asked to

22 be submitted by -- that would come from the Trial Chamber.

23 MR. PALEY: With regard to the 18 January filing, Your Honour, I

24 don't have a problem with regard to the 14-day time period that you have

25 mentioned. However, I would simply note that it might be more economical,

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1 rather than filing piecemeal motions, if there is additional material

2 that's going to be forthcoming shortly from the Prosecution, for us to

3 file that material at the same time under one motion rather than

4 subjecting the Appeals Chamber to a number of motions regarding a small

5 number of documents.

6 That's my only concern with regard to that. But with regard to

7 the 14-day time period from date of receipt from the Translation Unit, I

8 don't have a problem with that per se.

9 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you. May I ask the Prosecution if they have

10 any comment to make on this?

11 MR. FARRELL: Good morning, Your Honour.

12 Mr. Paley, this is Norman Farrell from the Prosecution.

13 Just with respect to the 18 documents that were submitted, as you

14 know from a recent filing by the Prosecution, ten of those actually are in

15 the actual application made on January 19th. Obviously, of those 18,

16 there are only eight that need to be submitted before the Court. So the

17 Prosecution takes no issue with the requirement that it be done and that

18 the 14-day time period take place. That seems completely reasonable.

19 If it does take place, if the translations do come soon, then the

20 Prosecution can actually try to incorporate within our response on March

21 19th the documents that have been submitted so far and the remaining

22 documents of the 18 filed by the Defence. So, certainly, we'll try and

23 accommodate that schedule, Your Honour.

24 With respect to the other documents, the Prosecution, as you are

25 aware, has sought the release of certain documents concerning our

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1 obligation under Rule 68, which is an ongoing one, and once those

2 documents are released from the various Trial Chambers, they will

3 immediately be sent forthwith to the Defence. Of course, if the

4 Prosecution comes across any other documents, they will be released

5 pursuant to Rule 68, as you've already indicated, Your Honour.

6 Thank you.

7 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you. So I think the Appeals Chamber will

8 maybe wait some days to take action on this matter.

9 I wish only to draw the attention of the parties to the need to

10 not disperse the proceedings in too many motions, and in trying to bring

11 the procedure to a quick or a relatively quick solution.

12 Now, in this respect, I would also draw the attention of the

13 parties to the fact that the time limits that are established by the

14 Practice Directive of the Appeals Chamber must be complied with strictly.

15 In this case, both parties have not respected strictly these delays and I

16 would like to draw attention to that, both to the delays of the Practice

17 Directive and, of course, the delays established by the Appeals Chamber in

18 its Scheduling Order of the 26th of September last year.

19 I would like, in this respect, to note that when delays are

20 indicated, these delays must be counted in calendar days and not in

21 working days, as has been made on certain occasions by the parties. So I

22 invite, really, the parties to respect the delays and deadlines in the

23 future.

24 I do not think there are other matters outstanding. Of course,

25 the Chamber will decide whether non-public transcripts and exhibits from

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1 other cases will be released to the appellant, after consultation with the

2 appropriate Trial Chamber, or with the President of the Tribunal as

3 appropriate, and the Chamber will take action on the pending motions in

4 due course.

5 I do not have any other problem to raise, but I will ask the

6 parties if they have anything to raise as to the procedure at this

7 juncture.

8 The appellant? Please, Mr. Paley, do you have any issue to raise

9 now?

10 MR. PALEY: Just one point of clarification, Your Honour.


12 MR. PALEY: Is it the Appeals Chamber's intent that for any

13 subsequent motion under Rule 115, the 26 September order -- the schedule

14 set forth in that order applies as modified by Your Honour's comments

15 earlier, or does the deadline set forth in the Practice Directive apply to

16 any future motions under Rule 115?

17 JUDGE POCAR: Well, it is my understanding that the schedule made

18 on the 26th of September, 2000 will continue to apply.

19 MR. PALEY: Very well.

20 JUDGE POCAR: If that clarifies the matter.

21 MR. PALEY: Yes, thank you.

22 JUDGE POCAR: Does the Prosecution have any other matter to

23 raise?

24 MR. YAPA: Thank you, Your Honour. We do not have any other

25 matter to raise.

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1 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you, Mr. Yapa.

2 In that case, if there are no other matters that have to be raised

3 now, I think that we can adjourn the proceedings.

4 The meeting is adjourned.

5 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned

6 at 10.25 a.m.