1 Tuesday, 9 April 2013
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 [The appellant entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 4.00 p.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon, everybody. I think I should start
7 with a clarification and also an apology although I am not to blame, but,
8 we had a fire-alarm just a few seconds before we were due to start the
9 Status Conference at 2.45. I was actually on my way already here. So we
10 had a fire-alarm, and, as a result of that, we had to postpone the
11 Status Conference, which can only be held -- would only be held now.
12 So my apologies. And I am sure everyone, including the public,
13 would understand.
14 Let's start with the formalities.
15 Madam Registrar, could you call the case, please.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Good afternoon.
17 This is case number IT-05-87/1-A, the Prosecutor versus
18 Vlastimir Djordjevic.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you very much.
20 Appearances. For the Prosecution.
21 MR. WOOD: Good afternoon, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon.
23 MR. WOOD: Kyle Wood, along with Ms. Priya Gopalan for the
24 Prosecutor, and with our Case Manager Colin Nawrot.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
1 And for the Defence.
2 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour. I'm
3 Veljko Djurdjic, representing Mr. Djordjevic.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
5 Now, next step is I want to make sure, to ensure, according to
6 our procedure, that you can all follow the proceedings in a language that
7 you understand, particularly you, Mr. Djordjevic. Are you able to follow
8 the proceedings in a language that you can understand?
9 THE APPELLANT: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
11 So this Status Conference is called in accordance with
12 Rule 65 bis of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of this Tribunal.
13 Rule 65 bis in its section (B) requires a Status Conference to be
14 convened within 120 days after the filing of a Notice of Appeal and,
15 thereafter, within 120 days after the last Status Conference.
16 The idea is to allow any person in custody pending appeal the
17 opportunity to raise issues in relation thereto, including any mental and
18 physical condition of that person that needs to be discussed.
19 In the present case, the parties filed their Notices of Appeal on
20 the 24th of May, 2011, and the first Status Conference was held on
21 30th May 2011. The second through sixth Status Conferences were held on
22 21st September 2011, 16th January 2012, 11th May 2012, 23rd August 2012,
23 and 5th December 2012 respectively.
24 Today's Status Conference, being the seventh in this case, was
25 scheduled by an order issued on 15th March of this year. As set out in
1 that order, pursuant to Rule 65 bis of the Rules, today's
2 Status Conference in fact should have been held on or before the
3 4th of April of this year, being 120 days from the last
4 Status Conference. However, in response to an informal communication
5 from Chambers on 14th March 2013, the parties consented on the same day
6 to holding today's session outside of the 120-day period. I extend my
7 sincere thanks and gratitude to the parties for their co-operation in
8 this respect.
9 Having dealt with these preliminaries, I shall now deal with the
10 detention conditions and the health of appellant Djordjevic.
11 First, I would like to inquire into the status of detention
12 conditions and health situation. And, Mr. Djordjevic, in this context if
13 you have any concerns in relation to your conditions, to the conditions
14 of your detention, or your state of health, I would invite to you raise
15 them now. If you would prefer, this discussion can also take place in
16 private session.
17 THE APPELLANT: [Interpretation] No. Everything is fine,
18 Your Honour. Both as far as my health is concerned and the conditions in
19 the Detention Unit.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Djordjevic.
21 Now I will go through the recent procedural history.
22 Before we turn to any issues that the parties may wish to raise,
23 I would like to briefly set out the procedural history of this case.
24 The parties have heard me summarise the procedural history
25 before, and will, of course, already be aware of all this information.
1 However, as I mentioned in previous Status Conferences, it is important
2 also that the public be made aware of the background of the case, and,
3 for that reason, I will repeat the information here today and add more
4 recent developments afterwards.
5 On the 16th of March of 2011, the parties were granted an
6 extension of time of 60 days to file their Notices of Appeal. Both
7 parties filed their respective Notices of Appeal on 24th May 2011. The
8 Prosecution presented two grounds of appeal; and Djordjevic presented
9 19 grounds of appeal.
10 On 27 May 2011, the Djordjevic Defence filed a motion requesting
11 an extension of time and word limit in respect of its appeal brief. At
12 the Status Conference held on 30th May 2011, I extended the deadline for
13 filing appeal briefs by seven days, up to 15th August 2011, for both
14 parties. In addition, I granted Djordjevic's Defence an extension of up
15 to 15.000 words for its appeal brief and granted the Prosecution the same
16 extension in respect of its brief in response. Both parties filed their
17 appeal briefs on 15th August 2011.
18 At the Status Conference of 21st September 2011, the Djordjevic
19 Defence requested an extension of time of 15 days for the filing of its
20 appeal brief, as well as an extension of the word limit by 6.000 words.
21 I granted both parties an extension of time up to 26th October 2011, for
22 the filing of their briefs in reply and also granted the Djordjevic
23 Defence an extension of up to 3.000 words.
24 Both parties filed their respective briefs on
25 26th September 2011, and subsequently filed their reply briefs on
1 26th October 2011. Prosecution then filed a public redacted version of
2 its appeal brief on 17th August 2011. On the 30th of September of that
3 year, the Djordjevic Defence filed its public redacted version. This was
4 later withheld, pending determination of a confidential motion filed on
5 24th November 2011 by the Prosecution in which it requested the redaction
6 of certain information from Djordjevic's appeal brief.
7 The Djordjevic Defence filed its confidential response to the
8 motion on 7th December 2011 and the Prosecution filed a confidential
9 reply on 9th December 2011. I then issued a confidential decision on
10 this issue in my capacity as Pre-Appeal Judge on 20th January 2012. In
11 that decision I granted the Prosecution's motion, in part, and ordered,
12 inter alia, Djordjevic to file a new public redacted version of his
13 appeal brief incorporating one additional redaction. Pursuant to that
14 decision, Djordjevic refiled the public redacted version of this appeal
15 brief on 23rd of January, 2012.
16 Both parties filed public redacted versions of their response
17 briefs on 30th January 2012. The Prosecution filed its public redacted
18 reply brief on 8 February 2012 and Djordjevic filed a notice of
19 reclassification of his reply brief on the 9th of February, 2012.
20 On 7th March 2012, President Meron issued an order replacing a
21 Judge in this case. Pursuant to that order, Judge Khalida Rachid Khan
22 was assigned to the Bench in place of Judge Fausto Pocar. Another order
23 replacing a Judge in this case was issued by President Meron on
24 27th September 2012. Pursuant to this order, Judge Patrick Robinson was
25 assigned to the Bench in place of Judge Liu Daqun.
1 On 17th October 2012, the translation of the Trial Judgement into
2 the B/C/S language was filed. I consequently issued an order on the
3 following day, that is 18th of October, 2012, setting the time-limit to
4 file any motion seeking a variation of the grounds of appeal following
5 translation of the Trial Judgement. Pursuant to that order, any such
6 motions were to be filed by no later than the 29th of November of last
7 year. Djordjevic filed a submission following translation of the
8 Trial Judgement on the 29th November 2012.
9 Turning to events this year, there was a further change to the
10 Bench pursuant to an order issued by President Meron last month,
11 precisely on the 19th of March. Judge Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov was
12 assigned to the Bench in place of Judge Andresia Vaz.
13 Following this change, a Scheduling Order for the appeal hearing
14 in this case was issued by myself on the 22nd of March, 2013. Pursuant
15 to that order, the appeals of the parties will be heard on Monday,
16 13th May 2013, in Courtroom I. A further order specifying the timetable
17 for the hearing and any questions the parties will be invited to address
18 will be issued in due course. Pretty soon as well.
19 There is one final matter being the request received from counsel
20 for Mr. Djordjevic earlier on this month, precisely on the 4th of April.
21 Counsel for Mr. Djordjevic requested that Mr. Russell Hopkins, legal
22 assistance on the Defence team for Mr. Djordjevic, be permitted to make
23 part of the oral submissions on Mr. Djordjevic's behalf at the appeal
24 hearing on the 13th of May of this year. This request was made via
25 e-mail communication to the Senior Legal Officer, Ms. Malmstrom, on the
1 case, on the 4th of April. On the same day, on my instructions, the
2 Prosecution was informed of the request by way of informal communication
3 and they indicated that they had no comments on this request.
4 I note that the letter attached to counsel's e-mail of the
5 4th April indicates that Mr. Hopkins is suitably qualified to appear
6 before the Tribunal, and that appellant Mr. Djordjevic has consented to
7 Mr. Hopkins making submissions on his behalf. And this request, I note,
8 the certificate of representation signed by appellant Mr. Djordjevic
9 which was forwarded to the Senior Legal Officer, Ms. Malmstrom, on the
10 case, on the 5th of April, 2013.
11 In these circumstances, I think this matter can be dealt with
12 here today summarily without the need of any further -- of any filings
13 from the parties. This is -- that is, if you both agree.
14 I will start as follows.
15 Mr. Djordjevic, I take it that you still consent to Mr. Hopkins
16 making submissions on your behalf at the appeal hearing. Am I correct?
17 THE APPELLANT: [Interpretation] Yes, you are right. I am in
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Wood, does the Prosecution
20 have any objections to Mr. Hopkins's appearance at the appeal hearing? I
21 just want to confirm that you don't.
22 MR. WOOD: We stand by our previous response to this,
23 Your Honour.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
25 At this point I think I need to also inform you that, as a
1 consequence following this request, I made inquiries with the other
2 Judges on the Bench to see whether any one of them objected to or had
3 reservations or questions or remarks on this issue, and I'm pleased to
4 say that I have the consensus of all the other four colleagues with the
5 caveat, of course, that Mr. Hopkins is fully qualified to -- to make
6 representations. Something that I have verified and that I am assured is
7 precisely the case.
8 As a result of this, the request by counsel for Mr. Djordjevic is
9 hereby being granted, and we look forward to have Mr. Hopkins in court
10 with us on the 13th of May, enabled to make submissions as requested.
11 We are coming to the end.
12 At this point, I would like to ask the parties whether they have
13 any other issues that they would like to raise.
14 I start with you, Mr. Wood.
15 MR. WOOD: No, Your Honour. Thank you.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
17 And counsel for Mr. Djordjevic.
18 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Defence has no
19 issues to raise.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
21 And I assume you, too, Mr. Djordjevic, have no issues that you
22 would like to raise.
23 THE APPELLANT: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I am
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. That brings the Status Conference to an
1 end. Thank you for your participation. Thank you for also for the
2 background staff, recorders, the translators, interpreters. We will all
3 meet again, please God, on the 13th of May for the hearing, for the
5 Thank you.
6 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at
7 4.20 p.m.