Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

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 1                          Friday, 2 November 2007

 2                          [Status Conference]

 3                          [Open session]

 4                          [The accused entered court]

 5                           --- Upon commencing at 2.14 p.m.

 6            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Thank you very much.  Mr. Registrar, would you be

 7    kind enough to call the case.

 8            THE REGISTRAR:  Yes, Your Honour.  Good afternoon, Your Honour.

 9    Good afternoon everyone in the court.  This is case number IT-05-87/1-PT,

10    the Prosecutor versus Djordjevic.  Thank you, Your Honour.

11            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Thank you so much.  And I would like to see if we

12    could get the appearances from the parties.

13            MR. HANNIS:  Thank you, Your Honour.  Good afternoon.  My name is

14    Thomas Hannis, representing the Office of the Prosecutor.  I'm joined by

15    trial attorney, Patricia Neema on my left and our case manager,

16    Mr. Iain Reid on my right.

17            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Thanks a lot.  And from the Defence.

18            MR. DJORDJEVIC:  Good afternoon, Your Honour.  I'm

19    Dragoljub Djordjevic, lead counsel for Vlastimir Djordjevic, and together

20    with me is co-counsel, Mr. Veljko Djurdjic.

21            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Thank you very much, Mr. Djordjevic, and may I

22    extend a warm welcome to both of you on behalf of the Tribunal as Defence

23    counsels for Mr. Djordjevic.  It's good to see you finally here, and I

24    hope that your cooperation with Mr. Djordjevic will turn out well.

25            This is, as you well know, a Status Conference which we are

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 1    holding according to Rule 65 bis of the Rules, and we do this,

 2    Mr. Djordjevic, because detention of persons accused before this Tribunal

 3    is subject to judicial control, and for that reason we wish to see every

 4    four months that the accused is well and alive, and also to raise issues

 5    related to the progress of the pre-trial phase of your case.  And this is

 6    why we will meet every 120 days in a Status Conference.

 7            Between the Status Conferences the team which I have available to

 8    me will be in close contact with your Defence counsel, and I will follow

 9    these meetings very closely in order to prepare the case for trial in

10    cooperation with the Prosecution.

11            So the purpose of the hearing today is to ensure that we have

12    started the preparation for trial and -- and that we have a plan for --

13    for the pre-trial phase.  But, Mr. Djordjevic, maybe first of all I should

14    ask you if you can indeed hear me in a language that you understand.  That

15    is good.  I'm sure that you would have otherwise protested.

16            I have a few points on the agenda for the meeting today.  First of

17    all, I wish to be reassured that disclosure of the material which the

18    Prosecution is bringing against you has been disclosed according to the

19    Rules; and secondly, I would like to say a few words about the motions

20    that are pending before this Chamber, before me.  Then I would like to add

21    some words on the time plan that I have in mind for the pre-trial

22    proceedings, and then finally I will address you, Mr. Djordjevic, to

23    inquire about your health and your conditions of detention.

24            These are the points that we have on the agenda for today, and if

25    neither of the parties have anything to add, I suggest we go ahead.

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 1            Is this acceptable?

 2            MR. HANNIS:  It is, Your Honour.  Thank you.

 3            JUDGE HARHOFF:  That seems to be the case.

 4            MR. DJORDJEVIC:  No, nothing to add, Your Honour.

 5            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Thank you very much.

 6            The disclosure is tied up on a few different points.  First of

 7    all, there is disclosure of the material which is contained and regulated

 8    in Rule 66(A)(i), which is the supporting material, and I would like the

 9    Prosecutor to confirm to me that this material has indeed been submitted

10    to the Defence.

11            MR. HANNIS:  Your Honour, it has.  We did provide it in September,

12    and it's my understanding that the Defence received it on the 20th of

13    September of this year.

14            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Are you able to confirm that, Mr. Djordjevic?

15            MR. DJORDJEVIC:  Yes.  We received all these documents from the

16    OTP at September the 20th this year.

17            JUDGE HARHOFF:  I'm very happy to hear this.

18            Secondly, there is the question of submission of the statements

19    according to Rule 66(A)(ii), the statements of the witnesses who will be

20    called eventually at trial, and I would like to suggest a time limit for

21    submission of all of these statements to the Defence by 13th December of

22    this year, which is a little more than a month, five weeks from now, and I

23    hope that this would be sufficient.

24            Mr. Hannis, can you confirm?

25            MR. HANNIS:  Yes, Your Honour.  That is agreeable with the

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 1    Prosecution.  We will comply with that date.  Thank you.

 2            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Very well.  So I suspect that by 13th of December

 3    all of these statements will be submitted.  Of course, this will depend in

 4    the end on your final witness list, so that we, as soon as we have the

 5    final list, will be able to also ensure that all the statements will

 6    eventually be submitted to the Defence in good time.

 7            Thirdly, there is the issue of disclosure of exculpatory material

 8    according to Rule 68.  Now, as this is an ongoing obligation, it makes

 9    little sense to apply any deadline for submission of this kind of

10    material, but I would be happy if we could have a word from the

11    Prosecution to confirm that at least the material which at present has

12    been discovered by the Prosecution to be of an exculpatory nature will be

13    handed over to the Defence, and I suggest you do this no later than 13th

14    December if that is agreeable.

15            MR. HANNIS:  Yes, Your Honour, that is agreeable, and we

16    understand that that will be a continuing obligation as we go along.

17            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Thank you.  The same applies to the Defence's

18    possibility of inspecting the material which is in the hands of the

19    Prosecution, notably books, documents, photographs, and other tangible

20    objects.  Also here, I think that this is an ongoing right or an existing

21    right for the Defence to do so at any time, so I'm hesitant to put forward

22    any time limit for this, but of course the sooner the Defence knows which

23    books and materials it wishes to inspect and let the Prosecution know the

24    better.  So I don't think it is necessary to -- to apply any time limit

25    for this issue.

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 1            And finally there is the issue of expert reports.  Most trials

 2    have the advantage of being assisted by experts on both sides, but for the

 3    Prosecution's expert -- possible experts, I don't know if the Prosecution

 4    in this case will call any experts, but if you do so, I would suggest you

 5    seek to submit those expert reports before the 15th of March, 2008, which

 6    is well ahead of the trial time.

 7            MR. HANNIS:  Thank you.

 8            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Is that agreeable to the Prosecution?

 9            MR. HANNIS:  It is agreeable to us, Your Honour.  Thank you.

10            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Very well.  I think that this exhausts the issue

11    of -- of disclosure, and I would like, therefore, to move on to the second

12    or the third point on the agenda, which is the issue of the pending

13    motions.

14            We have received from the Defence all together six motions, four

15    of which are requests for access to confidential material in other cases,

16    and that is in two of these cases these cases are ongoing trials, so

17    these -- your requests for access to material of a confidential nature in

18    these cases will be directed and have been directed to the -- to the

19    respective Trial Chambers, that is Haradinaj and Milutinovic.  And in the

20    other two requests that you have made for access to material in the

21    Milosevic case and the Limaj case, we will deal with them in our Chamber,

22    and we will hand down our decision shortly.

23            Then, Mr. Djordjevic, you have also filed two preliminary motions,

24    one of which is raising objections against the jurisdiction of this

25    Tribunal, and the other is raising objections against the form of the

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 1    indictment.

 2            The jurisdiction motion that you have raised -- that you have

 3    filed will be dealt with very shortly.  I think the -- I'm not aware of

 4    having received any response from the Prosecution at this moment, but you

 5    may have filed it, I don't know.  Have you filed --

 6            MR. HANNIS:  We have filed a response to both of those substantive

 7    motions, Your Honour.

 8            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Very well.  But I will be able to deal with the

 9    first of these motions shortly, that is to say, the motion on the

10    jurisdiction issue.

11            The other motion that you have filed, Mr. Djordjevic, poses more

12    problems to us, because first of all, you have raised a number of

13    objections, and you have done so convincingly.  Your motion is well

14    argued, and -- and if I find that there is need to -- to have some

15    corrections made to the indictment, then I will issue a decision asking

16    the Prosecution to clear up some of the weak points that you have

17    addressed in your motion.  But in addition to that, of course we are all

18    aware of the fact that this case is closely related to the Milutinovic

19    case, and it is likely, although not certain, but it is likely that the

20    judgement in the first instance in the Milutinovic case will be rendered

21    before this case will be ready for trial.

22            I suspect that there is a possibility that we could go to trial at

23    the earliest possible time sometime next fall or perhaps towards the end

24    of the year.  That will probably be the earliest possible time as things

25    stand right now.  However, I also have to add that the experience shows

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 1    that things can change very quickly, so that we will be asked to be ready

 2    for trial at an earlier point.

 3            But unless something unexpected happens from now on, then my

 4    prediction will be that sometime next fall or by the end of the year will

 5    be the earliest possible time that your trial can begin, Mr. Djordjevic.

 6            So if the judgement in the first instance, in the Milutinovic

 7    case, is rendered before that time, I would imagine that both parties will

 8    wish to have a second look at the indictment so as to see if any changes

 9    are called for by virtue of the Milutinovic judgement.

10            So the conclusion of all of this is that a final position on just

11    what the final indictment will look like may not be possible to -- to

12    decide at this moment.  So that's why I suggest that we start out by

13    looking at your motion, your preliminary motion on the form of the

14    indictment, and make the changes that may appear, that may come out of

15    your motion, and then ask the Prosecution to include these changes in a

16    revised version of the indictment, and then we will keep open the

17    possibility for perhaps including further changes and amendments in the

18    indictment after the Milutinovic judgement has been delivered.

19            I am aware of the difficulty that this may cause to the Defence,

20    because, of course, you would wish to know what you're up against as soon

21    as possible so that you can prepare your defence.  I'm saying this because

22    I don't wish to -- to delay the final version of the indictment for too

23    long, because the longer we wait in doing this the more difficult it will

24    be for you to organise your defence.  So we will have to find some sort of

25    a middle ground by which we will be able to at least focus on the main

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 1    parts of the indictment and perhaps then deal with the details of the

 2    indictment in a more flexible way.  But all of this will be discussed in

 3    the 65 ter meetings with the Senior Legal Officer and the parties.

 4            Very well.  That is what I have to say about the pending motions

 5    and the time plan of this case, which brings me to the point where I would

 6    like to address you, Mr. Djordjevic, and ask you about your health.  Are

 7    you in good shape?

 8            THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I feel fine.

 9            JUDGE HARHOFF:  I'm happy to hear this.  And do you have any

10    remarks to make about the conditions under which you are detained here?

11            THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No.  The conditions in place are the

12    same as for any other inmate.  Therefore, I have no objections to them.

13            JUDGE HARHOFF:  This brings us to the end of this Status

14    Conference.  What we should perhaps do is to look at the calendar and

15    decide on a time when we can have the next Status Conference, but if we

16    don't have our calendars with us, then I suggest that we leave it to the

17    Senior Legal Officer to call the parties and to arrange for the next

18    Status Conference and the next 65 ter meetings in the case.

19            Anything to add, Mr. Hannis?

20            MR. HANNIS:  No, Your Honour.  Thank you.

21            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Mr. Djordjevic?

22            MR. DJORDJEVIC:  I agree.  No any complaint about that.  Thank

23    you.

24            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Well, thank you very much.  This concludes the

25    Status Conference, and we are adjourned.

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 1                           --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned

 2                          at 2.35 p.m.