Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 1

1 Tuesday, 14 June 2005

2 [Rule 77 Initial Appearance]

3 [Open session]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 10.02 a.m.

6 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everybody. Could the registrar please

7 call the case.

8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is Case Number

9 IT-95-14-R77.2-I, the Prosecutor against Ivica Marijacic and Markica

10 Rebic. Thank you.

11 JUDGE KWON: May I have the appearances.

12 MR. AKERSON: Good morning, Your Honour, David Akerson, on behalf

13 of the OTP, with Jason Dominguez on my right and case manager, Sebastian

14 van Hooydonk.

15 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Akerson.

16 For the Defence, please.

17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.

18 MR. IVANOVIC: [Interpretation] I am a member of the Croatian bar.

19 JUDGE KWON: Could you state your name, please, again for the

20 record.

21 MR. IVANOVIC: [Interpretation] My name is Marin Ivanovic.

22 JUDGE KWON: For the Defence for Mr. Marijacic -- I'm sorry,

23 Ivica Marijacic?

24 MR. IVANOVIC: [Interpretation] That's right, yes.

25 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] My name is Kresimir Krsnik and I am

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1 Defence counsel for Mr. Markica Rebic. I'm a member of the Croatian bar,

2 and I'm here in my capacity as lead counsel. Together with me is Mr.

3 Veljko Miljevic, also a member of the Croatian bar and both of us are

4 lawyers in Zagreb.

5 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Krsnik.

6 Mr. Marijacic and Mr. Rebic, please correct me if I'm wrong in

7 pronunciation. Can you hear the proceedings in a language that you

8 understand?

9 THE ACCUSED MARIJACIC: [Interpretation] Yes.

10 JUDGE KWON: If you could please stand and state your full name,

11 please. Who would go first? Mr. Marijacic first.

12 THE ACCUSED MARIJACIC: [Interpretation] My name is Ivica

13 Marijacic.

14 JUDGE KWON: Could you please state the date and place of your

15 birth.

16 THE ACCUSED MARIJACIC: [Interpretation] I was born on the 25th of

17 January, 1958, in Nadin, that is the place, near Benkovac, a town in

18 Croatia.

19 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.

20 Mr. Rebic.

21 THE ACCUSED REBIC: [Interpretation] My name is Markica Rebic.

22 JUDGE KWON: And would you state the date and place of your birth

23 as well.

24 THE ACCUSED REBIC: [Interpretation] I was born on the 11th of

25 November, 1951, in a place called Imotski in Croatia.

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1 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Please be seated.

2 This hearing is the initial appearance of Mr. Ivica Marijacic and

3 Mr. Markica Rebic. This hearing is to be conducted in accordance with

4 Rule 62 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the Tribunal. As

5 stipulated in the order of 27th of May, 2005, a Status Conference will

6 follow the initial appearance.

7 The indictment against the accused was confirmed by a Judge of

8 the Tribunal on 26th of April, 2005. On 5th of May, 2005, the President

9 assigned this case to Trial Chamber III and I was appointed by the

10 Chamber as the Presiding Judge as well as Pre-Trial Judge to preside over

11 this case.

12 The first matter will be the indictment. Mr. Ivanovic and

13 Krsnik, I take it that your clients have received a copy of the

14 indictment in a language that they understand and that you have had the

15 opportunity of going through it with them. Am I right?

16 MR. IVANOVIC: [Microphone not activated]

17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

18 MR. IVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, you're right.

19 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Ivanovic.

20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, you're certainly right. And

21 the indictment need not be read out today as we are fully apprised of its

22 contents.

23 JUDGE KWON: The same is the case with Mr. Ivanovic?

24 MR. IVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.

25 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Then the next step is then entry of a

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1 plea to the charge of the indictment. The accused may enter a plea

2 within 30 days of the initial appearance but he may enter a plea at the

3 time of initial appearance, if he so wishes. So Mr. Ivanovic, and Mr.

4 Krsnik, does your client wish to enter a plea today or do it later?

5 MR. IVANOVIC: [Interpretation] My client wishes to enter a plea

6 today.

7 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.

8 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] The same with my client, Your

9 Honour. Since we're here, we see no reason to postpone the proceedings.

10 JUDGE KWON: Very well.

11 If Mr. Marijacic and Rebic could rise.

12 Please plead to the count of the indictment which I will read out

13 to you and please confine your answer to either guilty or not guilty.

14 Count 1 or the only count of the indictment charges you with

15 contempt of the Tribunal punishable pursuant to Rule 77(A)(ii) of the

16 Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the Tribunal, which provides that the

17 Tribunal in the exercise of its inherent power may hold in contempt those

18 who knowingly and wilfully interfere with its administration of justice,

19 including any person who discloses information relating to those

20 proceedings in knowing violation of an order of a Chamber.

21 Do you plead guilty or not guilty? Mr. Marijacic.

22 THE ACCUSED MARIJACIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, I am not

23 guilty.

24 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Rebic.

25 THE ACCUSED REBIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I am not guilty.

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1 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Please be seated.

2 I would like to ask the registrar to note that both of the

3 accused have pleaded not guilty to the indictment.

4 I am now going to deal, as mentioned at the outset, with some of

5 the issues that are normally on the agenda of a Status Conference in this

6 Tribunal. The purpose of a Status Conference is to organise exchanges

7 between the parties, so as to ensure an expeditious preparation for the

8 trial and also to give an opportunity to the accused in particular to

9 raise any issues in relation to their case, including mental or physical

10 conditions.

11 The first matter would be the disclosure. I must now remind the

12 Prosecution that pursuant to Rule 66(A)(i), "the Prosecutor shall make

13 available to the Defence in a language the accused understands within 30

14 days of the initial appearance of the accused, copies of the supporting

15 material which accompanied the indictment as well as any prior statements

16 obtained by the Prosecutor from the accused."

17 However, may I take it that this disclosure could be completed

18 today?

19 MR. AKERSON: Your Honour, this disclosure will be available

20 first thing tomorrow morning, 9.00 tomorrow morning.

21 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.

22 Let me now turn to the Defence, that the Defence will have a

23 30-day period for filing any preliminary motions that it may care to do

24 once it has received all of the supporting material in accordance with

25 Rule 66 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. It may be a bit too

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1 early to ask this, but do you have any observation in relation to this

2 matter?

3 MR. IVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. Ivica Marijacic,

4 the first accused, immediately after this Status Conference will file a

5 motion to reject the indictment, considering that it is not in conformity

6 with the Rules, but we consider that the questions set out in our motion

7 have to be dealt with first. So we are quite ready to communicate with

8 the parties and proceed as directed by the Trial Chamber.

9 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.

10 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Defence of Mr.

11 Markica Rebic will do the same. Immediately after this Status Conference

12 it will file a motion with the same motives explained by Mr. Ivanovic a

13 moment ago. And secondly, I think that with our learned colleagues of

14 the Prosecution, we will have to sit down to a negotiating table and see

15 how we will proceed with the case and anything that is not clear will be

16 clarified during that meeting I hope. Thank you.

17 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.

18 I would like to turn to the Prosecutor again. I would like to

19 ask the situation in relation to other disclosure. Is there any --

20 anything in particular in relation to Rule 66 (A)(ii) and 68 disclosure?

21 MR. AKERSON: I don't think there are going to be significant

22 amounts of disclosure. I think that will be straightforward and we'll be

23 able to deal with it very promptly.

24 JUDGE KWON: What do you think about my setting a timetable for

25 that disclosure? How long would you need for that disclosure to be

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1 completed?

2 MR. AKERSON: If I could just have one moment to confer.

3 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please.

4 [Prosecution counsel confer]

5 MR. AKERSON: Your Honour, I think that we will be able to

6 Pristina all disclosure within 30 days, but there is a caveat, there is

7 an ongoing investigation. And that additional investigation may yield

8 additional disclosure. These are incidents -- earlier incidents that may

9 result in additional charges. We're not -- we haven't concluded that

10 investigation yet, so we aren't certain that that will happen. But as it

11 stands right now with the current indictments, 30 days will be sufficient

12 to complete all disclosure.

13 JUDGE KWON: Of course it will be dependant upon the result of

14 the motion the Defence is going to file, but apart from that how many

15 witnesses do you have in mind to call at the hearing?

16 MR. AKERSON: Very few, and I think we are going to confer with

17 Defence counsel after this hearing. This may be one of the rare cases

18 where there's very little factual dispute, that it is almost an appellate

19 argument where it is just legal issues. I think there may be one or two

20 witnesses that may need to be called, but I can't answer that with

21 complete certainty until I meet with Defence counsel and get their sense

22 of things.

23 JUDGE KWON: You said one or two witnesses.

24 MR. AKERSON: Well, if all goes as planned, I think in the

25 worst-case scenario, you're probably looking at five witnesses.

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1 JUDGE KWON: Do you have statements of those witnesses?

2 MR. AKERSON: All of that material will be available, with the

3 exception of a possible expert witness that we're looking to secure at

4 the moment.

5 JUDGE KWON: So there would be no problem to disclose all those

6 materials you have got at this moment to the Defence?

7 MR. AKERSON: Right.

8 JUDGE KWON: As soon as possible.

9 MR. AKERSON: Tomorrow morning -- maybe by the end of today even.

10 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.

11 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your permission.

12 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Krsnik.

13 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, what I wish to say is

14 this: The Defence is in no hurry with respect to the materials and with

15 respect to the motion, and I agree with my learned colleague, we're

16 dealing with legal issues. And I think that according to our law, and

17 this is something that common law knows, too, there is a prejudicial

18 question. So let's settle the legal issues first, and we'll see whether

19 there's a trial at all. And in conformity with that, all I wish to say

20 is what the position of the Defence is, and it is this: We can wait with

21 the disclosure of the material.

22 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. I see your point.

23 Then we'll wait for the Defence motion and see what we can do.

24 Is there any other matters the party wish to raise at this

25 moment?

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1 Yes, Mr. Akerson.

2 MR. AKERSON: I just have one comment and one matter. From our

3 perspective, Your Honour, since it is a contempt case, it does seem

4 important that the case be tried in as close proximity to the time of the

5 offence, rather than let it drag out, so we are interested in having a

6 very quick trial, as quickly as it could be arranged.

7 Secondly, we were informed by a colleague yesterday that on the

8 Hrvatski List web site, the material that is the subject of the contempt

9 allegation is still on their web site. I've provided a copy of -- a

10 print-out of the web site to Defence counsel and they have raised the

11 question of whether or not it is their web site.

12 So there is some uncertainty, but I would ask Your Honour to

13 advise the accused that they are still subject to a cease and desist

14 order that was issued by the Court on December 2nd, and if the material

15 that is -- was the subject of the cease and desist order is on their web

16 site, they are still -- that would be considered a contempt allegation.

17 So we would ask this Court to advise them to remove all material that was

18 named in the cease and desist order, if it is in fact on their web site.

19 JUDGE KWON: Shall I take it --

20 MR. IVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --

21 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Ivanovic.

22 MR. IVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I state here that

23 Hrvatski List does not have its web site and everybody can publish any

24 material over the Internet. And what the Prosecution sent in today quite

25 simply goes against the grain of all the rules of proceedings. So at a

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1 Status Conference they are sending in a document which somebody - who

2 knows who - put on the Internet. That is not the subject of this case.

3 The Hrvatski List paper does not have its Internet site and it does not

4 stand behind the fact that these materials were made public on the

5 Internet.

6 And at the same time with your permission, and the Court's

7 indulgence, could I caution the Prosecutor. There was some errors of

8 fact. The Hrvatski List is not published in Belgrade, nor was it -- nor

9 did it -- in Zagreb.

10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.

11 MR. IVANOVIC: [Interpretation] In Zagreb, nor did it publish any

12 material related to the case and the trial. So I should like to ask that

13 the indictment be corrected. Those are errors of fact which the

14 Prosecutor has made in this particular case. Thank you.

15 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Ivanovic.

16 I heard that both parties are minded to meet together, sit

17 together, and discuss the case. So please take -- I would very much

18 encourage the parties to discuss this matter as well and if Prosecution

19 is not satisfied, it can file a motion in relation to this. We will see

20 what will come at a later stage.

21 Is there any other matters from the Defence? Yes, Mr. Krsnik.

22 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Just one matter, Your Honour, that

23 I'd like to raise perhaps. The Croatian government is very upset because

24 of these proceedings because we are dealing with the freedom of the press

25 and other matters related to that. And when the Prosecutor today said

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1 that there was an additional investigation that was ongoing, I should

2 like to ask him whether those -- the investigations are secret or public

3 because it will give rise to greater unrest among the public. If it is

4 not secret, then we'd like to know whether those investigations relate to

5 this case, if that is at all possible. Thank you.

6 JUDGE KWON: I wonder if Mr. Akerson could respond to this

7 observation.

8 MR. AKERSON: Your Honour, we're not at liberty to discuss the

9 ongoing investigation at this time.

10 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Very well.

11 In terms of scheduling of a trial, it may depend upon the

12 motion the Defence is going to file, but if a trial is to take place at

13 all, when do you think we can have a trial? From the Defence.

14 MR. IVANOVIC: [Interpretation] As far as the Defence Mr.

15 Marijacic is concerned, we are ready at all times. Any time is fine.

16 JUDGE KWON: How about Mr. Rebic's case?

17 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Of course the Defence is

18 trial-ready, but we expect the indictment to be rejected and we are

19 really convinced that there will be no trial. It won't come to trial.

20 But if it comes to trial, of course the disclosure of material

21 and for that issue the Defence has to prepare itself. As for Markica

22 Rebic, we have to approach the matter seriously, if it does come to trial

23 ultimately at all, because we are not only dealing with Mr. Rebic but we

24 are dealing with a dangerous precedent as far as the freedom of the media

25 and press are concerned, not in only in Croatia but all over the world,

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1 in the whole globe. And we will certainly have to prepare for that and I

2 don't think that could be before the end of the year, as far as Mr.

3 Markica Rebic's defence is concerned. Because when you read our motion

4 and add our motion where we claim that the Prosecution have overstepped

5 its authorisations quite a bit, and as it is the sole Prosecution which

6 is the subject of no control, then of course we had to set out all our

7 views and positions in the motion. We'll see the outcome of that in due

8 course, and we'll be able to answer when we shall be trial-ready. But as

9 I said, by the end of the year I hope, roughly. Thank you.

10 JUDGE KWON: I beg your pardon, the end of this year?

11 MR. KRSNIK: [Microphone not activated].

12 JUDGE KWON: We'll see. And I wonder if you'll be in the

13 position to answer the question that if we come to the trial ever, how

14 many witnesses you are going to call at the trial.

15 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] It is difficult at this point in

16 time. You understand, it's difficult for me to answer your question

17 before we can see what witnesses the Prosecution is going to provide.

18 Only after that will we be able to decide on strategy and procedure

19 because it will depend on the Prosecution witnesses. We will have to

20 respond adequately with our own witnesses. So it's difficult for me to

21 say at this point in time, Your Honour. Thank you.

22 MR. IVANOVIC: [Interpretation] As far as the Defence of Mr.

23 Marijacic is concerned, we cannot give you an answer today until the

24 prejudicial questions and issues are solved and until we can see the

25 Prosecution's stand vis-a-vis the whole proceedings.

Page 14

1 JUDGE KWON: I understand the point.

2 Is there any matter the Defence wishes to raise today? Mr.

3 Ivanovic.

4 MR. IVANOVIC: [Interpretation] The Defence of Mr. Marijacic would

5 like to present the following, the basic grounds of this proceedings and

6 its views. The Prosecution, with the indictment, did not send out any

7 Court order which would be addressed to Mr. Marijacic and which Mr.

8 Marijacic could violate then. Mr. Marijacic was not able to violate any

9 Court order because he was not issued with any Court order and no Court

10 order referred urbi et orbi but related to the person to whom it is

11 issued, and therefore this indictment is not conducive to discussion.

12 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Akerson.

13 MR. AKERSON: I would just like to say, Your Honour, I think

14 those are issues for trial and not for this hearing and --

15 JUDGE KWON: Yes, very well. Thank you.

16 Unless there's further issues to be raised, the hearing is

17 adjourned.

18 --- Whereupon the Status Conference

19 adjourned at 10.29 a.m.