1 Tuesday, 19 June 2007
2 [Initial Appearance]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 12.27 p.m.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Registrar, will you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honour. This is case number
8 IT-05-87/1-I, the Prosecutor versus Vlastimir Djordjevic.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you. And could I have the appearances from
10 the Prosecution?
11 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. My name is Tom Hannis. I
12 represent the OTP. I'm assisted today by trial attorney Christina Moeller
13 on my right and on my left our case manager, Susan Grogan.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much. And the Prosecution [sic]?
15 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. And
16 my learned friends, I'm Jelena Nikolic. I'm duty counsel currently
17 representing General Vlastimir Djordjevic.
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, Ms. Nikolic, and I thank you for your
19 willingness to take care of this matter today. Good afternoon, everyone
20 inside the courtroom and in the gallery.
21 This is the Initial Appearance under Rule 62 of the Tribunal's
22 Rules of Procedure and Evidence, the Initial Appearance of Mr. Vlastimir
23 Djordjevic, who was indicted by the Tribunal in October 2003, and who was
24 arrested Sunday last in Montenegro, I understand, and brought here to the
25 Tribunal on that same day.
1 Now, once an accused has been arrested and brought to the seat of
2 the Tribunal, the first thing that has to happen is that the accused must
3 be brought before the Trial Chamber to which the case was assigned by the
4 president or to a Judge of that Chamber, and there, he must make a plea of
5 either guilty or not guilty to the charges raised against him in the
6 indictment. That is the sole purpose of this hearing today and that's all
7 that's going to happen.
8 But before we begin, I'd like to ascertain that you,
9 Mr. Djordjevic, can hear me and understand what I'm saying.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can hear you and understand you.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much. The first thing I guess I
12 should do is to establish that you are who you are. So I would like you
13 to state your full name.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Vlastimir Djordjevic.
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you. And what is your date of birth?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 17th of November, 1948.
17 JUDGE HARHOFF: And your place of birth?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The village of Koznica, Vladicin Han
19 municipality, Serbia.
20 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you. And what is your nationality?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Serbian.
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Djordjevic, where did you reside at the time
23 of your arrest? What was your --
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Belgrade, Belgrade Battalion 39 is
25 the name of the street.
1 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much. And what was your occupation
2 when you were arrested?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] A retiree.
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you. And lastly, could you inform us of the
5 name of your father and mother?
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My father's name is Stojan. My
7 mother's name is Rusiteva.
8 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you. Mr. Djordjevic, has your family been
9 informed of your arrest and transfer to the seat of the Tribunal?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: Very well. Pursuant, then, to Article 20 of the
12 statute, I first have to satisfy myself that your rights at this stage of
13 the proceedings have been respected, including your right to be promptly
14 informed of the charges against you and of your right to counsel. These
15 rights are enshrined in Article 21 of the statute and they include the
16 right to a fair and public hearing, the right to be presumed innocent
17 until proven guilty, the right to be informed promptly and in detail in a
18 language you understand of the nature and of the cause of the charges
19 against you, the right to have adequate time and facilities for the
20 preparation of your defence, and to communicate with counsel of your own
21 choosing, the right to be tried without undue delay, the right to be tried
22 in your presence and to defend yourself in person or through legal
23 assistance of your own choosing, and to be informed of this right,
24 including the right to have legal counsel assigned to you where the
25 interests of justice so require, and without payment by you, if you have
1 not sufficient means to pay for counsel by yourself, also the right to
2 examine and have examined the witnesses against you at trial and to obtain
3 the attendance and examination of witnesses on your behalf under the same
4 conditions as those witnesses brought against you, also the right to have
5 free assistance of an interpreter if you do not understand or speak any of
6 the languages which are used in this Tribunal, and finally, the right not
7 to be compelled to testify against yourself or to confess guilt.
8 I have to ask you, Mr. Djordjevic, if you were advised of these
9 rights upon your arrest and if you have received a copy of the
10 indictment. Do you -- did you receive a copy of the indictment and have
11 you been advised of these rights when you were arrested or when you came
12 to the Tribunal?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have been informed about all of my
14 rights in accordance with the Statute and yes, I did receive a copy of the
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much. Let's then proceed with your
17 plea to the charges raised in the indictment. I should also ask you,
18 Mr. Djordjevic, if you have had a chance to discuss the indictment with
19 your duty counsel.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. I have had the occasion.
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: Now, Mr. Djordjevic, according to Rule 62(A) (iii)
22 you may take up to 30 days to consider your plea but you may also enter
23 your plea today. Have you decided which of the two options you wish to
24 pursue today? Are you ready to enter your plea to the charges in the
25 indictment today or do you wish to postpone this and then within the next
1 30 days have another Initial Appearance?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Given that I have not resolved the
3 issue of permanent counsel, I have decided, after talking to the duty
4 counsel, to postpone my plea for 30 days.
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: Very well. I will then instruct the registrar to
6 schedule a date for a second Initial Appearance in which the accused will
7 enter his final plea to the charges.
8 This makes it easy because we can then proceed to the completion
9 of this hearing.
10 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, if I may raise a point? I'm not sure we
11 had established yet whether -- we haven't read the indictment to him. I
12 understand that he was willing to waive it but I don't know if we made
13 that point on the record yet.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: I'll be perfectly willing to read out the points
15 in the indictment or to just summarise them very briefly but I suppose
16 that this is really not necessary in the circumstances, since he's going
17 to plead again.
18 MR. HANNIS: I think that's fine, Your Honour, if we take it up
20 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Djordjevic, before we conclude, I would like
21 to ask you about your health and if you have anything to say, we can go
22 into private session, if you so prefer. What I want to know is whether
23 you are in good shape or whether you are in need of particular medical
24 assistance or if there are any other conditions that the Court needs to be
25 advised of before we move on.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] When I arrived here, I was examined
2 by a general practitioner. It was established that there are no problems,
3 and everything is all right as far as my accommodation is concerned and
4 the staff employed there. There are no problems.
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: Do you have any points that you wish to raise at
6 this moment regarding your detention? Is there any matter that you wish
7 to raise at this point?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No. Everything is fine, and I think
9 that it is in compliance with the existing rules.
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: Is there anything that the parties wish to bring
11 up at this moment?
12 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I just wanted to indicate to the Court
13 that typically we would make disclosure right away, but in the past when
14 we've had temporary counsel appointed we found it more efficient to wait
15 until we determine who the permanent counsel is going to be because we
16 made disclosure and then it got lost or incompletely transferred. So once
17 we are informed of who the permanent counsel will be, we will proceed
18 immediately to make disclosure.
19 JUDGE HARHOFF: I was just going to raise that point because I
20 believe that the rules require that you hand over the copies of the
21 accompanying material to the accused 30 days after the Initial Appearance,
22 but I suppose this is the final Initial Appearance they are talking
23 about. Nevertheless, for the purpose of facilitating the accused's
24 considerations of choosing his counsel, he may wish to be given a copy of
25 the accompanying material, if that is possible, right away. And it also
1 may be convenient for the duty counsel to have access to that material in
2 order to discuss with him which of the counsels he may wish to choose.
3 So, Mr. Prosecutor, if it can be done without too much trouble, I would
4 prefer that you hand over the copies of the accompanying material to the
5 accused and his duty counsel as soon as possible, and then I'm sure that
6 the duty counsel will hand over that material immediately to the assigned
7 counsel once we get that far, but I don't think there is any reason to
8 prevent the accused from having access to this material. He needs all the
9 time he can get.
10 MR. HANNIS: I agree. One catch for the accused and whoever
11 permanent counsel will be is that under my understanding, the time limit
12 for filing motions begins to run for them when the disclosure is
13 received. So duty counsel may receive the material tomorrow. The time
14 limit starts running and permanent counsel may not come on until the day
15 that motions are required to be filed. I just want to alert the accused
16 and counsel to that.
17 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much. Nevertheless, I think you
18 should proceed with making these copies available to the accused. Any
19 other matters to raise, yes, Ms. Nikolic?
20 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, just two
21 sentences. I have the same position as my learned friend from the
22 Prosecution. I do believe that the disclosure should begin -- should
23 start when the permanent counsel is appointed, given that the deadlines
24 start running from the moment the supporting material is received. Thank
1 JUDGE HARHOFF: Yes. My point was that the accused will be in
2 great need to see everything that is available at this moment to him as
3 soon as possible, and if he wishes to raise any motions, of course, he
4 will be aware that the time limit starts running from today and I assume
5 that you will advise him properly to this effect so I think we should
6 proceed the way I have suggested.
7 There was one thing that I wanted to ask about to the Prosecution,
8 and that relates to the proximity of this case with the trial against
9 Milutinovic and others. And I would be curious to know if the Prosecution
10 has any intention of filing a motion for joinder or rather rejoinder of
11 this case to the Milutinovic trial.
12 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, that has been discussed internally. We
13 have not made a final decision. We are trying to weigh the logistical
14 pros and cons of that matter. But that's something that we will make a
15 final decision shortly. And we have a Pre-Defence Conference that's
16 Friday in the remainder of the case with Judge Bonomy and I'm sure it's a
17 matter we will talk about then.
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you. I realise the enormous difficulties in
19 joining the case, but I just wanted to know if you had that intention.
20 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: This concludes the business for today. This
22 meeting is adjourned.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.44 p.m.