Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 148

1 Tuesday, 24 June 2003

2 [Status Conference]

3 [Open session]

4 [The appellant entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 4.32 p.m.

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

7 Good afternoon to everybody.

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

9 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honour. This is case number

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

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

12 the Prosecutor.

13 MR. FARRELL: Thank you. Good afternoon, Your Honour. Appearing

14 for the Prosecution is myself, Norman Farrell, Ms. Sonja

15 Boelaert-Suominen, and Ms. Nicola Bonfield.

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

17 the friends. Is the phone link established?

18 MR. HAYMAN: I believe it is, Your Honour. This is Russell Hayman

19 appearing for General Blaskic by phone, together with Anto Nobilo and

20 Andrew Paley, also by phone.

21 JUDGE POCAR: Okay. Thank you, Mr. Hayman.

22 May I first ask Mr. Blaskic if he understands the proceedings, if

23 there is any problem. Can you understand the proceedings, Mr. Blaskic?

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

25 understand the proceedings, and I can follow the proceedings. I don't

Page 149

1 have any problem with the interpretation.

2 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you.

3 Now, first I would like to ask Mr. -- to ask the Defence if there

4 is any problem concerning the detention of Mr. Blaskic. In --

5 MR. HAYMAN: Your Honour -- sorry.

6 JUDGE POCAR: In particular, if the health condition of

7 Mr. Blaskic is good now after ...

8 MR. HAYMAN: Your Honour, this is Mr. Hayman. Thank you for

9 inquiring. General Blaskic's health is greatly improved. And at this

10 time I believe he is off medication, but I would invite the Court to

11 inquire of him directly.

12 JUDGE POCAR: I thank you, Mr. Hayman.

13 May I ask Mr. Blaskic if he can confirm what his counsel is now

14 saying about his health.

15 THE APPELLANT: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I can confirm

16 whatever my counsel has said. My health condition is now much improved.

17 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you. I'm happy to learn that.

18 So let's proceed. I understand there are no questions concerning

19 the detention, the detention conditions of Mr. Blaskic. Is that right?

20 MR. HAYMAN: There are none, Your Honour.

21 JUDGE POCAR: Okay. Thank you. So let's proceed with the -- with

22 the case.

23 As the parties know, we are -- we are now in the process of

24 considering the fourth Rule 115 motion submitted by the appellant. We

25 have already -- the Appeals Chamber has already the Prosecution response

Page 150

1 that was filed on the 18th of June, and a reply is expected by the 30th of

2 June, as was indicated in my scheduling order.

3 I understand there is -- well, I know there is a request for an

4 extension of page limits presented by Mr. Hayman. May I ask the

5 Prosecution what is their feeling about that request.

6 MR. FARRELL: Of course, Your Honour. I've reviewed the request

7 by the Defence and the two reasons they've set forward; one, that it's a

8 large motion, and the other that the Prosecution has put in its annexes

9 some material which they allege is argumentative.

10 With respect, and with great respect to my colleagues, the

11 Prosecution position is that doesn't warrant an extension of the page

12 limits. The material contained in the annexes are not argumentative,

13 they're actually references from the logbook and they simply just cite the

14 logbook. So in an attempt to be of assistance to the Court, we listed all

15 of it instead of just putting a footnote where the Court would hen have to

16 go and find all the references themselves. So as far as the Prosecution

17 is concerned, there's nothing in the two paragraphs which warrant an

18 extension of time -- an extension of the page limits on that basis and

19 we'll be filing something to that effect by tomorrow morning. Thank you.

20 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you. So if I understand well, the Prosecution

21 intends to submit a written response to that tomorrow.

22 MR. FARRELL: Yes. We can submit one first thing tomorrow

23 morning. Thank you.

24 JUDGE POCAR: Okay. So we'll wait for the -- for the response,

25 and then I will take a decision on this matter.

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1 There is another matter I wanted to -- to raise here, and it

2 concerns the possibility of filing of rebuttal evidence. I indicated in

3 my scheduling order that I would like to Prosecution to say something on

4 this point; first if the Prosecution intends to file rebuttal evidence,

5 and second, if -- what time would be required for such a submission.

6 MR. FARRELL: Thank you. Yes, in compliance with your order, Your

7 Honour, we have reviewed the material.

8 First of all, it's my understanding that the rebuttal material

9 you're requesting is at this stage of the proceedings prior to a

10 determination of what would be admitted. So a somewhat different

11 procedure than the first one. If my understanding is correct, then the

12 Prosecution has rebuttal evidence in two forms; one is simply a

13 cross-reference to the previous rebuttal material filed. We won't refile

14 it, we'll just indicate which documents are relevant for your

15 consideration.

16 And secondly, any new documents, I expect that we have probably

17 only around 15 -- there's around 15 or 20 new documents we're looking at

18 now for rebuttal purposes. And I think the cross-references of the old,

19 the drafting of the brief, and the filing of the however many it turns out

20 to be - 15, let's say - probably we can do within four weeks.

21 JUDGE POCAR: Well, thank you. Indeed, it's my -- my intention to

22 proceed with -- to have the rebuttal evidence before we make a decision on

23 the fourth -- on the fourth motion. So four weeks would be your need.

24 MR. FARRELL: Yes. Thank you.

25 JUDGE POCAR: You cannot accelerate it a bit? No?

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1 MR. FARRELL: I can certainly try to do it within three weeks.

2 The difficulty with cross-referencing is all the old documents, but I

3 think three to four weeks would be -- certainly we can try to do it within

4 three weeks, if that would be of more assistance to the Court.

5 JUDGE POCAR: Yes, thank you very much. Because indeed it would

6 be good for the Court to have the rebuttal evidence and possibly the

7 response before the recess, if we can make it.

8 MR. FARRELL: Of course. I understand.

9 JUDGE POCAR: In order to be -- to process all this and make a

10 decision maybe in -- in September on the -- on the evidence.

11 MR. FARRELL: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.

12 JUDGE POCAR: Mr. Hayman, do you have any comment on this?

13 MR. HAYMAN: Your Honour, as the Court will see when it reviews

14 our fourth Rule 115 motion, although the documents are new to us, much of

15 the subject matter is the same type of material we had been finding

16 previously in the Croatian archives and so forth. So my concern would be

17 if the Prosecutor has 20 documents that it newly discovered since its last

18 submission of rebuttal evidence, then so be it. But if these were

19 documents they previously had and that they were germane to our earlier

20 motions, the question would be why do we have to delay the proceedings now

21 another month for them to submit this material which they already had

22 earlier?

23 JUDGE POCAR: I thank you, Mr. Hayman.

24 May I turn to the Prosecution. Do they have anything to comment

25 upon this?

Page 153

1 MR. FARRELL: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. Considering the

2 arguments are new ones in the fourth additional evidence motion, I can't

3 perceive that the Prosecution would have responded to those arguments, for

4 example, the ABiH documents which were put in for the first time in the

5 fourth motion. It would be a little bit difficult for us to foresee that

6 as a possibility and respond to it when they've never put it in before.

7 In fact, I note that these documents have been in the Defence

8 possession since October 2001. If there's any delay here, if the Defence

9 would have filed these with their last motion, we would have addressed it

10 then. But it's not a matter of overlap; there are new issues raised in

11 the fourth motion. We'll respond to them. Thank you.

12 JUDGE POCAR: I thank you.

13 Mr. Hayman, without prolonging the debate on this, but if you have

14 any comment, you may make it now.

15 MR. HAYMAN: If they are no issues, Your Honour, so be it. If

16 they are old issues, then I would still pose the question if they had the

17 documents previously, should we delay?

18 JUDGE POCAR: Okay. Well, I think that I will press on the

19 Prosecution to try to come within three weeks. And then we will see where

20 we stand. And of course the Defence will have time to -- to respond to

21 the rebuttal -- to the rebuttal evidence. Is this agreeable?

22 MR. FARRELL: Thank you. For the Prosecution, it is.

23 MR. HAYMAN: Yes, Your Honour.

24 JUDGE POCAR: For the Defence?

25 MR. HAYMAN: Yes, Your Honour.

Page 154

1 JUDGE POCAR: It's fine. Thank you, Mr. Hayman.

2 Well, there is one -- one small other matter I wanted to raise.

3 Mr. Hayman, in a couple of occasions you have indicated that it would --

4 the Defence would file a public version on the -- of the fourth Rule 115

5 motion. Can you perhaps indicate how long it would take to have that

6 public version?

7 MR. HAYMAN: Your Honour, I would ask Mr. Paley to address that.

8 MR. PALEY: Yes, Your Honour. I believe we should have that filed

9 sometime next week. The delay was we had inquired from the Prosecution

10 whether there were any documents that they considered to be confidential

11 that needed to be redacted from the public version. I understand

12 Mr. Farrell was in Africa for some period of time. We do now have the

13 Prosecution's response to our inquiry. And as soon as we have our reply

14 brief to the 115 motion filed, we will immediately take care of getting

15 the public version of the motion filed with the court.

16 JUDGE POCAR: I thank you, Mr. Paley. So I get that next week or

17 immediately afterwards that the public version will be -- will be filed.

18 It's important it's done as soon as possible, as it may affect the other

19 motions for access to evidence. I mean, so -- to this motion, to this

20 fourth motion. So it's important to have the public version as soon as

21 possible.

22 Well, are there any other matters that the parties want to raise?

23 The Prosecution?

24 MR. FARRELL: No. Thank you.

25 JUDGE POCAR: For the Defence?

Page 155

1 MR. HAYMAN: None for the Defence, Your Honour. Thank you.

2 JUDGE POCAR: Well, if that is not the case, we can certainly

3 adjourn now. The Status Conference stands adjourned.

4 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned

5 at 4.47 p.m.