Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

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1 Wednesday, 26 February 2003

2 [Open session]

3 [Status Conference]

4 [The appellant entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 4.50 p.m.

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

7 afternoon to everybody.

8 Madam Registrar, could you call the case, please.

9 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honour. Case number

10 IT-95-14-A, the Prosecutor versus Tihomir Blaskic.

11 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you. May I now call for the appearances. For

12 the Prosecution.

13 MR. FARRELL: Thank you, good afternoon, Your Honour. It's Norman

14 Farrell. Ms. Sonja Boelaert-Suominen, Ms. Nicola Bonfield, and Ms.

15 Lourdes Galicia for the Prosecution. Thank you.

16 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you. I understand that there is a phone link

17 for counsel for the accused. Is that correct? May I have the appearance?

18 MR. HAYMAN: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you. This is Russell

19 Hayman, appearing by phone from Los Angeles, California. I am here with

20 my colleague Andrew Paley and Anto Nobilo is also appearing from Zagreb.

21 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you, Mr. Hayman.

22 Now, may I ask Mr. Blaskic if he understands the proceedings, if

23 the translation is correct?

24 THE APPELLANT: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour. I'm

25 able to follow these proceedings, and I understand the language.

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1 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you, Mr. Blaskic.

2 Now, this Status Conference was scheduled for the 22nd of January,

3 2003, but there were delays due to the appellant's ill health. May I ask

4 whether these health problems have been overcome now?

5 MR. HAYMAN: Your Honour, this is Mr. Hayman. I will ask General

6 Blaskic to address you directly, but first if I could say a few words.

7 JUDGE POCAR: Yes, sure.

8 MR. HAYMAN: First, on behalf of General Blaskic, we would like to

9 thank the Court for its assistance in moving this hearing date because of

10 the appellant's condition. Also, we're pleased to inform the Court that

11 the appellant's condition has improved. It is not normal. He has not

12 returned to a normal state of health, but his health does appear to be

13 improving and it is no longer critical.

14 With that, I would invite him to speak directly to the Court

15 concerning his condition.

16 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you, Mr. Hayman.

17 Mr. Blaskic, do you have anything to add to what counsel has just

18 said?

19 THE APPELLANT: [Interpretation] Your Honour, first of all, I

20 should like to thank you for your understanding and the understanding of

21 the personnel at the Detention Unit and the medical staff as regards my

22 treatment. However, I must say that I'm not healthy, perfectly healthy

23 yet, but my condition has certainly improved, and it's better than it used

24 to be.

25 I hope that within a month, and following the advice of the

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1 doctors and their forecast, I would be fully able to participate in the

2 proceedings and engaged in all other activities.

3 JUDGE POCAR: I thank you, Mr. Blaskic. I take it that you can

4 follow today the Status Conference without problems.

5 THE APPELLANT: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, I can. No problem.

6 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you, Mr. Blaskic.

7 Now, the Status Conference has as its purpose, first, to allow the

8 appellant to express concerns relating to his detention conditions.

9 Are there any further problems besides your health, Mr. Blaskic,

10 that you would like to raise, or that counsel for Mr. Blaskic would like

11 to raise in this respect?

12 MR. HAYMAN: Your Honour, this is Mr. Hayman. We have no concerns

13 regarding the appellant's conditions, but I would also invite him to speak

14 to the Court in that regard.

15 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you, Mr. Hayman.

16 Mr. Blaskic, do you have anything to add?

17 THE APPELLANT: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, except to express

18 my gratitude for the attitude of all of the personnel.

19 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you, Mr. Blaskic.

20 Let's now then come to the status of this case. I would like to

21 recall first that in October, on the 18th of October exactly, the

22 Prosecution indicated that the review and subsequent disclosure of

23 relevant material would take approximately three and a half months, which

24 has now elapsed. So may I ask if this review and disclosure has been

25 achieved, finished?

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1 MR. FARRELL: Yes. The review is -- will be finished as of the

2 end of this week, I anticipate. There were 25 documents that were sent

3 out yesterday. I'm not sure whether the Defence have received them yet.

4 The remaining documents will be reviewed by the end of the week and will

5 either be sent out on Friday or the beginning of next week.

6 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you, Mr. Farrell. Well, so I get it that this

7 disclosure will be finished very soon, and I don't know whether the -- I

8 ask Mr. Hayman now if the accused has received all the documents and if

9 the review of these documents by the appellant has taken place.

10 MR. HAYMAN: Your Honour, this is Mr. Hayman. We have not

11 received the 25 documents that Mr. Farrell references having been sent out

12 yesterday from the Prosecutor's offices. I think we will await those

13 documents and review them expeditiously as soon as we receive them, of

14 course.

15 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you, Mr. Hayman. Well, I would recommend at

16 this stage that the review be done as quickly as possible in order to

17 speed up the consideration of the case now. I hope this could be done

18 very, very shortly.

19 Indeed, I had no other question to raise except that we are

20 expecting the response of the appellant on the Prosecution's rebuttal

21 evidence by next Monday, 3rd of March.

22 MR. HAYMAN: That is correct, Your Honour, and it shall be filed

23 on the 3rd.

24 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you, Mr. Hayman.

25 Well, then, as soon as this will be done, the Chamber will

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1 consider the rebuttal evidence and, if necessary, further submissions that

2 will be made on the basis of disclosed documents, but with the view of

3 taking a final decision on how to proceed in this case. It is the intent

4 of the Appeals Chamber to proceed as speedily as possible on these

5 matters.

6 Are there any other questions that the parties would like to

7 raise? The Prosecution.

8 MR. FARRELL: No, Your Honour. Thank you.

9 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you, Mr. Farrell.

10 MR. HAYMAN: Not on behalf of the appellant, Your Honour. Thank

11 you.

12 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you, Mr. Hayman.

13 Well, that being the situation, this Status Conference may be

14 adjourned, stands adjourned.

15 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned

16 at 5.02 p.m.