Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 27

1 Friday, 1 April 2005

2 [Initial Appearance]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 3.00 p.m.

5 JUDGE PARKER: Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.

6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honour. [Macedonian on

7 English channel].

8 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Scott, you appear?

9 MR. SCOTT: Yes. Good afternoon, Your Honour. Ken Scott for the

10 Prosecutor, also Mr. William Smith.

11 THE INTERPRETER: We can't hear him. The microphone doesn't seem

12 to be on.

13 MR. SCOTT: Kenneth Scott for the Prosecution. Mr. William Smith

14 with me, and also Mr. Hasan Younis. Thank you.

15 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. Mr. Boskoski, can you hear me

16 in the language that you understand? And perhaps if the microphone could

17 be switched on. Yes.

18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I do understand you in my

19 language.

20 JUDGE PARKER: Splendid. I understand for this initial appearance

21 you are not intending to have your counsel here; is that correct? You

22 will be representing yourself?

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I will represent myself.

24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. You could sit down now. Thank you.

25 And from this point on, it will be perfectly acceptable for you merely to

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1 speak, as you're sitting, into the microphone. No need for you to stand

2 as you're speaking from this point on.

3 The hearing today is to deal with the initial appearance of

4 Mr. Ljube Boskoski, which is conducted under Rule 62 of the Rules of

5 Procedure and Evidence. There is an indictment against Mr. Boskoski,

6 which was confirmed by Judge Robinson on the 9th of March of this year,

7 the confidentiality in respect of that indictment having been lifted on

8 the 15th of March. The accused has surrendered and has been transferred

9 to the custody of the Tribunal. I think he arrived here on the 24th of

10 March, and we now proceed to deal with the question of the indictment and

11 the accused's intentions.

12 Now, I've already ascertained, Mr. Boskoski, that you can

13 understand what is being said in -- translated into your language; is that

14 correct?

15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, that is correct.

16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Would you please state your full name.

17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Ljube Boskoski.

18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. And your date and place of birth.

19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 24th of October, 1960, in Tetovo.

20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. And that is in the Republic of

21 Macedonia.

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, in the Republic of Macedonia.

23 Thank you.

24 JUDGE PARKER: The purpose of those questions, Mr. Boskoski, is to

25 ensure that you really are the person named in the indictment.

Page 29

1 Now, I've received a letter from you which has indicated that you

2 do not propose to be represented at this initial appearance today. I must

3 remind you that you're entitled to legal representation and that counsel

4 can be assigned to you if you lack the funds necessary to retain counsel

5 yourself. And I do that just out of precaution so that you're aware that

6 that is available to you.

7 My understanding, Mr. Boskoski, is that you have plans to have

8 counsel represent you as these proceedings continue; is that correct?

9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, it is correct, but still for

10 the moment we are thinking about the details of it.

11 JUDGE PARKER: Good. Well, just bear in mind first that you're

12 entitled to have legal representation, and counsel can be assigned without

13 cost to you if that is necessary.

14 Secondly, if you should decide not to have counsel but to conduct

15 your own defence, you should notify the Registrar in writing of that as

16 soon as possible.

17 The indictment in this case is a rather lengthy document. I

18 understand, Mr. Boskoski, that you have received a copy of the indictment

19 in your own language. Is that correct?

20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is correct, and in all versions.

21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. The indictment can be read again now in

22 court in its full length if you wish that. If you don't need to have the

23 indictment read again, if you would indicate that, then we can proceed.

24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am familiar with the contents of

25 the indictment, and I think I don't need it read if you decide so.

Page 30

1 JUDGE PARKER: I think that since I will do something that

2 probably you have got a very clear understanding of now, and if you have

3 the full indictment in the Macedonian language, in view of your indication

4 of attitude, there's really no need for it to be read over again at this

5 point.

6 The next question that arises, Mr. Boskoski, is how you would

7 plead to the charges that are set out in this indictment. You may enter

8 your plea to each of the charges now, and there are three counts charged

9 in the indictment, or you can do so within 30 days of today.

10 It may be preferable, I would suggest, for you to have discussions

11 with your legal counsel before you enter a plea. You may have done that

12 already, I don't know, but I would suggest it would be something that you

13 should consider, having discussions with your legal counsel before you

14 enter a plea.

15 Bearing that in mind, I ask you whether you would wish to enter a

16 plea to the indictment now or whether you would like to do that at some

17 later stage, which, under the Rules, must occur within 30 days of now.

18 Which would you prefer?

19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I believe in this high legal

20 and judicial institution, and I think that today is the time when I should

21 plead, and I will plead, since I expect a rapid procedure, since I trust

22 that in my case, in this case, there isn't any case.

23 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. What I'll do then, Mr. Boskoski, is to

24 go through, identifying in their essential terms, the three separate

25 charges, counts 1, 2, and 3, and I will ask you then whether you plead

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12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













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1 guilty or not guilty to each one of those. And if you could indicate

2 whether your plea is one of guilty or not guilty. You understand that

3 procedure?

4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I understand it, Distinguished

5 Court.

6 JUDGE PARKER: The first count of the indictment charges you with

7 murder, a violation of the laws or customs of war, which are recognised by

8 Article 3(1)(a) of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and punishable under

9 Articles 3 and 7(3) of the Statute of the Tribunal.

10 To that first charge alleging murder, how do you plead; guilty or

11 not guilty?

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Absolutely not guilty.

13 JUDGE PARKER: A plea of not guilty will be entered in respect of

14 the first count.

15 In respect of the -- [Macedonian on English channel] second count,

16 the indictment charges you with wanton destruction on cities, towns or

17 villages, a violation of the laws or customs of war, punishable under

18 Articles 3(b) and 7(1) --

19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Excuse me. I only hear the English

20 version. I only hear the English version.

21 JUDGE PARKER: I am told there's been some trouble with the

22 translation. So --

23 THE INTERPRETER: It has been solved. I have asked him whether he

24 has --

25 JUDGE PARKER: Well, I will read it again so that there's no

Page 33

1 misunderstanding.

2 The second count in the indictment charges you with wanton

3 destruction of cities, towns or villages, a violation of the laws or

4 customs of war punishable under Articles 3(b) and 7(3) of the Statute of

5 the Tribunal.

6 To that second charge of wanton destruction, how do you plead;

7 guilty or not guilty?

8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not only not guilty, I think that

9 this way in which the investigation was conducted in the Republic of

10 Macedonia is a way which directly attacks the government of the Republic

11 Macedonia and is an anti-Macedonian act. I feel absolutely not guilty.

12 JUDGE PARKER: I think with some emphasis, I can say that your

13 plea is not guilty.

14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.

15 JUDGE PARKER: In respect of the third count, the indictment

16 charges you with cruel treatment, a violation of the laws or customs of

17 war, as recognised by Article 3(1)(a) of the Geneva Conventions of 1949

18 and punishable under Articles 3 and Article 7(3) of the Statute of the

19 Tribunal.

20 In respect of this third count of cruel treatment, how do you

21 plead; guilty or not guilty?

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Regarding this count of the

23 indictment, I enter the plea of not guilty, and I hope that before this

24 Tribunal I am convinced we will prove the innocence, not only on this

25 count but on all three counts of the indictment.

Page 34

1 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Boskoski. A plea of not guilty will

2 be entered in respect of the third count, which means that in respect of

3 each of the three counts of the indictment, you have entered pleas of not

4 guilty.

5 You will understand that in due course, under Rule 62(A) of the

6 Rules, the Registrar will be instructed to set a trial date when the

7 pre-trial procedures have been concluded. Those pre-trial procedures are

8 designed, among other things, to ensure that you are fully informed of

9 what it is that the Prosecution alleges against you, that you have an

10 opportunity to examine all the documentary exhibits that the Prosecution

11 intend to rely on, and you have copies of the statements of all witnesses

12 whom the Prosecution intend to call, and you will receive all of those in

13 the Macedonian language as well as other languages, so that those

14 procedures will be -- proceed. The object of and purpose of those is to

15 ensure that you are fully aware of what is being alleged against you so

16 that you are in a position to fully prepare your defence to meet the

17 Prosecution's case.

18 Under the Rules, the Prosecution must, within 30 days of now, make

19 available to you or your nominated legal counsel copies of all that

20 supporting material and prior statements, and all of those must be made

21 available in the Macedonian language for you. So that will be the first

22 step in those procedures.

23 The next absolutely formal step is that there must be a further

24 Status Conference convened by the Trial Chamber, and that must occur at a

25 convenient time and no later than 120 days of today.

Page 35

1 I trust that it will be possible for you in the near future to

2 resolve the arrangements that you propose for your own legal

3 representation, and as soon as they are in place, if you could notify the

4 Registrar of the legal counsel you choose. Alternatively, notify the

5 Registrar that you wish to have legal counsel assigned, so that as soon as

6 possible it will be open to the Registry and to the Prosecution to be

7 serving the necessary papers and getting on with the procedures. The

8 quicker that can be done, the sooner the case can be ready for trial.

9 I would mention as a matter of caution, in view of some comments

10 you made earlier, that you will realise that there are many cases awaiting

11 trial in the Tribunal. The number of cases has increased noticeably in

12 the last few weeks, so that I can't at this stage promise you an early

13 trial. Just when that trial will be will depend on how quickly those

14 procedures can be completed and how quickly a Trial Chamber will be

15 available to hear your case. You can be assured that the Tribunal well

16 appreciates that you would like to have an early trial.

17 Are there any other matters, firstly, that the Prosecution feels

18 that it should raise at this stage, Mr. Scott?

19 MR. SCOTT: No, Your Honour, not -- not really. We are, of

20 course, aware of our supporting material obligation. It's in good order

21 save for the -- because of the limitations on Macedonian language

22 resources, there may be need for some extensions in terms of some

23 translations, but it's under way, but we're moving forward.

24 JUDGE PARKER: Good. Well, I hope that can be realised within the

25 normal time.

Page 36

1 Mr. Boskoski, is there any other matter that you wish to raise at

2 this initial appearance?

3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't know how allowed it will be

4 at stage, but I once again want to warn that the indictment is not based

5 on evidence, that the indictment is a voluntary one, that the indictment

6 relates to -- and is copied literally from the Human Rights Watch

7 statement in the Republic of Macedonia, that in this manner that the

8 Republic of Macedonia is being attacked in this way, that this is not a

9 case in which Ljube Boskoski is facing The Hague Tribunal. I think that

10 at this moment, the Republic of Macedonia is standing before The Hague

11 Tribunal, and I cannot understand this procedure in any other way, and

12 therefore I request a quick resolution of this case, being aware that I'm

13 not the only one standing before The Hague Tribunal, but I'm sure that I

14 will defend my honour, my innocence, and the innocence of my country,

15 Republic of Macedonia.

16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Boskoski. The sentiments you've

17 expressed are noted. I've already mentioned that what can be done to

18 ensure an early trial can be done, but there are many other cases awaiting

19 trial. You will appreciate that the only indictment we have is one that

20 charges you and one other person with these three offences, and your own

21 comments as to the way you see the implications of the indictment are

22 matters which you've been allowed to express and will be heard by those

23 who watch and listen to these proceedings, but the indictment concerns

24 yourself and one other person.

25 That completes, then, all that needs to be done at this stage of

Page 37

1 the proceedings. I would thank everybody for their attendance. We will

2 now adjourn, and I hope the matter can proceed with due expedition.

3 --- Whereupon the Initial Appearance adjourned

4 at 3.24 p.m.