Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

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 1                           Friday, 18 February 2011

 2                           [Initial Appearance]

 3                           [Open session]

 4                           [The accused entered court]

 5                           --- Upon commencing at 3.04 p.m.

 6             JUDGE KWON:  Good afternoon, everyone.  Would the Registrar

 7     please call the case.

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

 9     IT-95-5/18-R77.1, the Prosecutor versus Berko Zecevic.

10             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you, Madam Registrar.

11             I am Judge O-Gon Kwon, Presiding Judge of the Trial Chamber III,

12     and have been designated to hear this initial appearance

13     Professor Dr. Zecevic.

14             First of all, I would like to make sure that Dr. Zecevic is

15     following the proceedings in a language which he understand.

16     Dr. Zecevic, are you receiving the interpretation into your own language?

17             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, please.

18             JUDGE KWON:  Would you turn on the -- press the microphone.

19     Microphone.  Turn on the microphone.

20             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Kwon, I receive

21     normal audio feed.

22             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you, Dr. Zecevic.  It is my understanding that

23     you are having back pain and spine-related conditions, so I don't mind

24     you stand up from time to time whenever necessary.

25             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you kindly.

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 1             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you.

 2             I would now like the counsel appearing for Dr. Zecevic to

 3     introduce himself.

 4             MR. METTRAUX:  Good afternoon, Your Honour.  On behalf of

 5     Dr. Zecevic, Guenael Mettraux, counsel, and Jesenka Residovic as legal

 6     assistant.

 7             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you, Mr. Mettraux.

 8             In light of some motions which we received from you this

 9     afternoon, Mr. Mettraux, I asked for the Prosecution to be represented at

10     this hearing, although that would not normally be the case.  So could the

11     Prosecution please introduce yourself for the record.

12             MR. TIEGER:  Thank you, Mr. President.  Alan Tieger,

13     Fergal Gaynor, and Iain Reid appear for the Prosecution.

14             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you, Mr. Tieger.

15             Now Dr. Zecevic, while the Chamber has read your motions filed by

16     your Defence counsel this afternoon, and we'll get to that shortly, I

17     first have to go through certain formalities, so I'd like you to state

18     your full name and date and place of your birth for the record, please.

19             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Berko Zecevic, university professor

20     in Sarajevo, born on the 13th of December, 1949, in Srebrenica,

21     Bosnia and Herzegovina.

22             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you, Professor.  It is my understanding that

23     you were transferred to the United Nations Detention Unit in The Hague

24     yesterday.  Can I take it that your family is aware of that transfer?

25             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I was able to speak with them on

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 1     the phone.

 2             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you.  And I would like to check that you have

 3     received a copy of the Order in Lieu of Indictment, dated 4th of

 4     February, 2011, in your own language, and that you have understood its

 5     content.

 6             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have received all material, and I

 7     have fully understood what is written there.

 8             JUDGE KWON:  Now you are represented here today by Mr. Mettraux.

 9     Are you satisfied with your representation here today?

10             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm more than satisfied.

11             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you.  Please make yourself comfortable and be

12     seated.

13             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.

14             JUDGE KWON:  Before we proceed any further, I would like to deal

15     with the motion which was filed confidentially by the Defence counsel,

16     but before we go further, can I ask the reason why the motion was filed

17     confidentially?  If necessary, we can go into private session.

18             MR. METTRAUX:  I don't think it's necessary, Your Honour.  I'm

19     grateful for the question.  We've indicated to the Prosecution we haven't

20     received the record of these proceedings and weren't able to determine

21     exactly which filings remain confidential and which were not.  We'd be

22     more than happy to file a public version of all three filings as soon as

23     we are able to ascertain which of the filings remain confidential.

24             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you.  Then there's no problem.  We discuss the

25     matter in public session, including the motion for withdrawal of the

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 1     Order in Lieu of Indictment.

 2             MR. METTRAUX:  There is none, Your Honour.

 3             JUDGE KWON:  Very well.  Dr. Zecevic, I understand from that

 4     motion that you are willing to testify in the Karadzic case.  Is that

 5     correct, Professor?

 6             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have never refused to testify in

 7     court.  My reaction was prompted by the Prosecution and how they treated

 8     me, even though they were aware of my limitations.  Given that I had

 9     spine surgery and that my ability to sit and to stand is extremely

10     limited, I made a proposal to the Prosecution reflecting not my wishes

11     but reflecting the result of my previous work with students, and so far I

12     have been able to work with students for two or three lessons only, after

13     which time I lose feeling in my toes on both feet.  Following such

14     lessons, I have to lie down for ten hours in order to regain feeling in

15     my toes.  It is certainly not appropriate for me to tell the Prosecution

16     for how long I can testify, but I made a proposal to sit twice for

17     45 hours, but not longer than that, totaling 180.

18             The Prosecution did not accept this proposal of mine, and this

19     proposal was given completely honestly, without any bad intention on my

20     part.  I am somebody who has been co-operating with the OTP for the past

21     16 years.  I provided hundreds and hundreds of hours of support to the

22     OTP.  I wrote hundreds of pages of various reports for them.

23             Finally, I came to conclusion that any further co-operation with

24     the OTP would result in me losing my integrity as a person, losing my

25     freedom.  Therefore, my actions were an attempt on my part to regain my

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 1     integrity and to regain my freedom.

 2             Later on I became aware that they misinterpreted my requests and

 3     that it looked as though I did not want to help the court and that my

 4     actions were aimed against the court, which had never occurred to me.  It

 5     had never occurred to me to bring into question the high esteem that I

 6     have for this court.

 7             Therefore, I'm prepared to testify.  I would kindly ask you to

 8     take into account several basic facts when making your ruling as to the

 9     length of my testimony.  I hope you will be able to take all elements

10     into account.  Today as we set out to come to this building, I travelled

11     in a car for 20 minutes in very cramped conditions that are bad for my

12     health.  I was in the cell here.  I was handcuffed both here and in

13     Sarajevo, and I will be forced to wait for transport once my testimony

14     begins as well.  So if I were to testify for three to four hours each

15     day, that means that there will be additional three to four hours of

16     physical -- physically limiting circumstances that would be bad for my

17     health.

18             I have to tell you that as a professor who teaches, I have to be

19     in good physical shape to be able to come to teach my students.  I don't

20     know that there are any cases where professors come on stretchers to

21     teach and to work.

22             By doing what I did, I undertook something that was aimed at

23     ensuring the livelihood of my family.  As a professor, as an active

24     professor, I'm quite capable of giving very precise and prompt answers to

25     any questions that are put to me.  As an expert, I will provide answers

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 1     to you, to the OTP, to the Defence.  I have prepared various

 2     presentations that are quite illustrative in explaining the facts that

 3     are relevant to you, but please bear in mind that once I leave this

 4     Tribunal, I have to work in order to provide livelihood for my family and

 5     for myself and that I also need to be able to walk in order to do that.

 6             Thank you.

 7             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you, Professor, but please let me understand

 8     correctly.

 9             While we are most certainly willing to accommodate your

10     particular medical condition by tailoring our sitting sessions in a way

11     that cause -- that causes you the least possible discomfort, but in a

12     nutshell, it is not for you as a witness to dictate the terms of your

13     testimony, including the total time of your evidence.  So I have to ask

14     you again whether it is your intention that you are willing to testify

15     only for three hours.

16             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Kwon, I came

17     here, and having consulted with my lawyer, I said that I would testify

18     for as long as you consider that I need to testify.

19             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you very much, Professor.  I'm very pleased to

20     hear of this development, and I will inform my colleagues in the

21     Trial Chamber accordingly.  Please be seated.

22             Well, in light of this development, I would like first to hear

23     from the Prosecution concerning the Defence motion for withdrawal of the

24     Order in Lieu of Indictment.

25             Yes, Mr. Gaynor.

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 1             MR. GAYNOR:  Thank you, Your Honour.

 2             We do not oppose the withdrawal of the contempt proceedings at

 3     the conclusion of the testimony of Dr. Zecevic.  Now, I don't know if

 4     Mr. Zecevic's counsel is going to make any submissions concerning

 5     provisional release, but that's our principal position.

 6             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you.  Yes, Mr. Mettraux.

 7             MR. METTRAUX:  Your Honour, we will make submissions on

 8     provisional release once this matter has been dealt with by the Chamber.

 9     We're having difficulties, as indicated to the Office of the Prosecutor,

10     obtaining the necessary visas that would permit Mr. Zecevic --

11     Dr. Zecevic, to stay on Dutch territory.  We understand from the

12     Registry's indications that the change of status on the part of

13     Mr. Zecevic from an accused to a witness would greatly facilitate matters

14     and that they stand ready at this moment to contact the Dutch authority

15     to facilitate his stay were he to be released from the UNDU today.

16             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you, Mr. Mettraux.  I don't think your filing

17     of provisional release will be necessary.

18             I have discussed this matter with my colleagues in the

19     Trial Chamber already, and we consider it prudent to simply suspend the

20     Order in Lieu of Indictment, as well as the order for detention on remand

21     until Professor Zecevic's testimony in the Karadzic case is completed.

22     We will issue a written decision to this effect after -- after this

23     hearing, as soon as practicable.

24             MR. METTRAUX:  We're very grateful to Your Honour.

25             JUDGE KWON:  Then on a practical matter, I take it that,

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 1     Mr. Tieger or Mr. Gaynor, we can hear the testimony of

 2     Professor Dr. Zecevic when the Karadzic proceedings resume on Tuesday

 3     next week?

 4             MR. GAYNOR:  Yes, Mr. President.  We can start with Dr. Zecevic,

 5     or we can continue with the witness who is currently in the middle of his

 6     evidence.  We're prepared to go as Your Honours wish.

 7             JUDGE KWON:  Let me consult the Legal Officer of the Chamber.

 8                           [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]

 9             JUDGE KWON:  Considering the circumstances, it is better to hear

10     Mr. Zecevic as soon as possible, but the question is whether the witness

11     we are currently hearing can be released until that time.

12             MR. GAYNOR:  Yes, he can be released.  He's -- I think he's

13     currently in The Hague now.  He has elderly relatives who he cares for,

14     so he would be keen for him to return home as soon as possible.

15             If I can say this:  There are two hours of cross-examination

16     ordered for him, examination-in-chief is almost complete.  So if we were

17     to deal with him first thing on Tuesday, perhaps we could -- we could

18     send him home on Tuesday morning and then start with Dr. Zecevic.  That

19     might be the better option possibly.

20             JUDGE KWON:  Do you have any observation on this, Mr. Mettraux?

21             MR. METTRAUX:  Your Honour, simply to indicate that the

22     representatives of Dr. Karadzic have informed us that they would be

23     willing and ready to start with Dr. Zecevic on Tuesday.  They had to make

24     certain arrangements for the expert to come here.  This is the only

25     additional information we have.

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 1             JUDGE KWON:  To make it simple, why don't we start with

 2     Mr. Zecevic, Mr. Gaynor, on Tuesday.

 3             MR. GAYNOR:  That's very well, Mr. President.

 4             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you.

 5             And Mr. Mettraux, we have also received your request to be

 6     present in the courtroom during Dr. Zecevic's testimony, and I understand

 7     that neither the Prosecution nor Mr. Karadzic's team opposes that

 8     request.

 9             I'm not in a position right now to give our decision on that

10     motion, but you will have it on Monday.

11             MR. METTRAUX:  Very well.  Thank you.

12             JUDGE KWON:  Are there any matters to raise?

13             MR. METTRAUX:  Not from this side.

14             MR. GAYNOR:  Nothing from us either.  Thank you, Mr. President.

15             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you.  The hearing is now adjourned.

16                           --- Whereupon the Initial Appearance adjourned

17                           at 3.24 p.m.