Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

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     1                                          Friday, 4th July 1997

     2      (10.00 am)

     3          THE REGISTRAR:   Case number IT-95-13a-I, the

     4          Prosecutor v Slavko Dokmanovic.

     5      JUDGE McDONALD:   Let me first verify that the equipment is

     6          operative.  Can everyone who is using the earphones hear

     7          me in a language that they understand?  Under our Rules

     8          the Tribunal records its proceedings and they are

     9          available to the public.  I have issued an Order to that

    10          effect this morning.

    11                This is an initial appearance pursuant to Rule 62

    12          of the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure and Evidence.

    13                May I have the appearances, please, for the

    14          court?  Prosecution?

    15      MR NIEMANN:   If your Honours please, my name is Grant

    16          Niemann.  I will be appearing for the Prosecution in

    17          this matter.  My co-counsel, who is not here today, will

    18          be Mr Clint Williamson.  At the Bar table I am assisted

    19          by Miss Sutherland.

    20      JUDGE McDONALD:   Thank you, Mr Niemann.  May I have the

    21          appearances for the defence, please?

    22      THE INTERPRETER:   Microphone.

    23      MR FILA:   Your Honour, my name is Toma Fila.  I am attorney

    24          from Belgrade and defence counsel for the accused,

    25          Slavko Dokmanovic.  My assistant and legal counsel is

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     1          Mrs Jelena Lopicic.

     2      JUDGE McDONALD:   Mr Fila, you have been appointed by the

     3          Tribunal to represent the accused; is that correct?

     4      MR FILA:   Yes, your Honour.

     5      JUDGE McDONALD:   Is the Prosecution ready to proceed?

     6      MR NIEMANN:   Yes, your Honour.

     7      JUDGE McDONALD:   Is the defence ready to proceed?

     8      MR FILA:   Yes, your Honour.

     9      JUDGE McDONALD:   Mr Fila, have you and Mr Dokmanovic

    10          received a copy of the indictment?

    11      MR FILA:   Yes, we have and we have understood both.

    12      JUDGE McDONALD:   Have you read to Mr Dokmanovic the

    13          indictment, or has it been read to him in a language

    14          that he understands?

    15      MR FILA:   It has been read to him, and he understands, your

    16          Honour.

    17      JUDGE McDONALD:   Have you had sufficient time to confer

    18          with Mr Dokmanovic?

    19      MR FILA:   I did.  I had sufficient time.  We have consulted

    20          and we are ready for this initial appearance.

    21      JUDGE McDONALD:   Do you believe that Mr Dokmanovic

    22          understands the nature of the charges contained in the

    23          indictment?

    24      MR FILA:   I believe he understands.  I have given him a

    25          copy of the statute.  He has read it through and he

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     1          understands what he is charged with and he is quite

     2          ready to make a statement in that connection.

     3      JUDGE McDONALD:   Mr Dokmanovic, would you please rise?  For

     4          the record, would you state your full name?

     5      MR DOKMANOVIC:   My name is Slavko Dokmanovic.

     6      JUDGE McDONALD:   What is your date of birth?

     7      MR DOKMANOVIC:   I was born on 14th December 1949.

     8      JUDGE McDONALD:   Have you received a copy of the

     9          indictment?

    10      MR DOKMANOVIC:   Yes, I have.

    11      JUDGE McDONALD:   Has it been read to you or have you read

    12          it in a language that you understand?

    13      MR DOKMANOVIC:   I have read it and it has been read to me.

    14      JUDGE McDONALD:   Mr Fila has been appointed as your counsel

    15          to represent -- pardon me.  Mr Fila?  I was just making

    16          reference to you.  Mr Fila has been appointed as your

    17          counsel to represent you in this matter.  Are you

    18          satisfied with that appointment?

    19      MR DOKMANOVIC:   I am.

    20      JUDGE McDONALD:   Do you believe that Mr Fila will represent

    21          you effectively before this Tribunal?

    22      MR DOKMANOVIC:   Yes, I do.

    23      JUDGE McDONALD:   Do you understand the nature of the

    24          charges contained in the indictment, Mr Dokmanovic?

    25      MR DOKMANOVIC:   I do.

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     1      JUDGE McDONALD:   And are you ready to enter a plea with

     2          respect to the indictment?

     3      MR DOKMANOVIC:   I am.

     4      JUDGE McDONALD:   Now, will the indictment be read out in

     5          its entirety, Mr Fila, or will Mr Dokmanovic waive the

     6          reading of the indictment in its entirety at this time?

     7      MR FILA:   Your Honour, there is no need to read the

     8          indictment for me or for Mr Dokmanovic.

     9      JUDGE McDONALD:   Mr Dokmanovic, how do you plead to Count 1

    10          in the indictment?

    11      MR DOKMANOVIC:   Not guilty.

    12      JUDGE McDONALD:   How do you plead to Count 2 of the

    13          indictment?

    14      MR DOKMANOVIC:   Not guilty.

    15      JUDGE McDONALD:   How do you plead to Count 3 of the

    16          indictment?

    17      MR DOKMANOVIC:   Not guilty.

    18      JUDGE McDONALD:   How do you plead to Count 4 of the

    19          indictment?

    20      MR DOKMANOVIC:   Not guilty.

    21      JUDGE McDONALD:   How do you plead to Count 5 of the

    22          indictment?

    23      MR DOKMANOVIC:   Not guilty.

    24      JUDGE McDONALD:   How do you plead to Count 6 of the

    25          indictment?

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     1      MR DOKMANOVIC:   Not guilty.

     2      JUDGE McDONALD:   Fine.  Mr Dokmanovic, you will be remanded

     3          to the custody of the Detention Unit of the Tribunal

     4          until further order of the Court.  You may be seated.

     5          Thank you.

     6      MR DOKMANOVIC:   Thank you.

     7      JUDGE McDONALD:   Mr Fila, have you received a copy of the

     8          material that accompanied the indictment?

     9      MR FILA:   No, your Honour, I haven't.

    10      JUDGE McDONALD:   Mr Niemann, when will you provide counsel

    11          and the Defence with a copy of the material that

    12          accompanied the indictment when it was confirmed

    13          pursuant to Rule 66A of the Rules of Procedure.

    14      MR NIEMANN:   Your Honours, we are at the moment just going

    15          through the material to ensure that there is no position

    16          with respect to witnesses in terms of protective

    17          measures, and we would hope to have fully satisfied that

    18          requirement within a period of 30 days, and during that

    19          period, if it is convenient to the court and

    20          satisfactory to the court, we would make available all

    21          of the material that was provided in support of the

    22          indictment, and together with what other material that

    23          we consider we will use at trial, which is in a position

    24          to be discovered at this stage, if that is satisfactory

    25          to the court.

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     1      JUDGE McDONALD:   Mr Fila, under Rule 73 of the Rules of

     2          Procedure and Evidence you are entitled to file

     3          preliminary motions and you are given a period of 60

     4          days to file those motions.  Do you anticipate that you

     5          will be filing any preliminary motions at this time,

     6          and, if so, when do you expect that they will be filed?

     7      MR FILA:   (Not translated).

     8      THE INTERPRETER:   Microphone.  I'm sorry.

     9      MR FILA:   Your Honour, I have already prepared that motion,

    10          but according to the Rules we first have to have the

    11          preliminary appearance, and therefore my motion will be

    12          submitted to you by Monday.  In the meantime I can

    13          review it once again.  As for the disclosure of evidence

    14          under Rule 66, I think that 30 days is sufficient for

    15          other evidence, but I don't see why I need to wait 30

    16          days for what was given to the Judge for the

    17          confirmation of the indictment.  I feel I could have

    18          received that straightaway.  As for the other material,

    19          30 days is acceptable.  Have I made myself clear, your

    20          Honour?

    21      JUDGE McDONALD:   Yes, you've made yourself clear.

    22          Mr Niemann, why do you need 30 days?  The Rule says as

    23          soon as practicable.

    24      MR NIEMANN:   Yes, your Honour.  Some of the material we can

    25          make available almost immediately but there are just

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     1          other pieces of supporting material that we -- it is

     2          just a matter of caution -- are anxious to check to make

     3          sure.  This may involve checking with the witnesses

     4          themselves, to make sure that protective measures aren't

     5          required.  In our submission, because of the fact that

     6          witness protection issues are of very great concern to

     7          the Prosecution and indeed to the Tribunal, we need to

     8          be particularly careful and cautious with respect to

     9          material, having regard to experience we have had in the

    10          past.  For that reason it takes longer than -- and it's

    11          not just a matter of bundling up the material and

    12          handing it over.  That, of course, can be done as a

    13          mechanical measure.  Then in doing so we haven't made

    14          adequate preparation for witness protection, should that

    15          be necessary.

    16      JUDGE McDONALD:   I obviously have not seen the material

    17          that accompanied the indictment, but typically there is

    18          a brief that accompanies the indictment as well as

    19          statements, but it is not just statements.

    20      MR NIEMANN:   No.

    21      JUDGE McDONALD:   Is there any reason why you cannot provide

    22          immediately to Mr Fila all of the material that was

    23          submitted in support of the indictment when it was

    24          confirmed, except for the statements?  That should be

    25          done today, I would imagine.

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     1      MR NIEMANN:   We can do that, your Honour.  I am not sure it

     2          can be done today but we can certainly do that.

     3      JUDGE McDONALD:   Pardon me?

     4      MR NIEMANN:   I am not sure we can do it today.

     5      JUDGE McDONALD:   Why not?

     6      MR NIEMANN:   Your Honour, because there is quite a bit of

     7          copying involved in doing that and there is video films

     8          and so forth.  I think it would take longer than today.

     9      JUDGE McDONALD:   How long will it take?

    10      MR NIEMANN:   I could probably have it ready by Monday, if

    11          your Honour pleases.

    12      JUDGE McDONALD:   By Monday, Mr Fila.  Now with respect to

    13          the statements, is it not possible for you to redact

    14          those statements?

    15      MR NIEMANN:   It is, but it may not be necessary if

    16          protective measures are not required.

    17      JUDGE McDONALD:   That's for sure.

    18      MR NIEMANN:   It may, in fact, be quicker to hand over

    19          statements which we feel are not going to create a

    20          problem.

    21      JUDGE McDONALD:   From the Defence's point of view it might

    22          be better for you to give the Defence the statements,

    23          redacting all of the names, and then at the same time

    24          proceed to contact these witnesses to determine whether

    25          they wish protective measures, and then you would file a

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     1          motion and the trial chamber would then act on it.

     2      MR NIEMANN:   Certainly we can do that in respect of

     3          witnesses that we are concerned about.  There is no

     4          point in redacting where -- some of the witnesses will

     5          probably not create a problem.

     6      JUDGE McDONALD:   Then for those witnesses can you provide

     7          the statements to the Defence by Monday, for those for

     8          whom there is no problem?

     9      MR NIEMANN:   Yes, your Honour.

    10      JUDGE McDONALD:   So then you will provide all of the

    11          material that accompanied the indictment, when it was

    12          confirmed, except for statements of witnesses for whom

    13          you believe there is a problem.

    14      MR NIEMANN:   Well, for whom we believe we need to enquire

    15          to see whether there is a problem.

    16      JUDGE McDONALD:   Okay.  Now for those for whom you need to

    17          enquire to see whether there is a problem, why can't

    18          those statements be redacted, that's the name of the

    19          witness giving the statement as well as any references

    20          in the body of the statements to witnesses?  The reason

    21          is that -- well, there are a number of reasons, but the

    22          major reason is that the Defence -- the period of time

    23          allowed to the Defence for the filing of preliminary

    24          motion is 60 days.  If they do not receive the material

    25          until 30 days, that has cut into their time.  What I'm

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     1          going to suggest is that the time period for the filing

     2          of preliminary motions begin to run from the date that

     3          you receive all of the material, Mr Fila, but I'm

     4          attempting to expedite, if at all possible, the

     5          Prosecution's providing the Defence with the material.

     6      MR NIEMANN:   I certainly have no objection to the proposal

     7          that your Honour suggests for extending the time.

     8      JUDGE McDONALD:   Okay.  So we will extend the time that the

     9          Defence has under Rule 73 to file preliminary motions

    10          until the time when you receive all of the material, and

    11          then that 60 days would begin to run.  However, with

    12          respect to the material that you have that accompanied

    13          the indictment, except for witnesses for whom you

    14          believe there may be a problem regarding protective

    15          measures, that should be provided to Mr Fila by Monday.

    16          For the others, if you believe that there are problems

    17          or at least there may be a request for protective

    18          measures, I still don't understand why you can't provide

    19          that and redact the names.

    20      MR NIEMANN:   Because it is not as easy as just redacting

    21          names.

    22      JUDGE McDONALD:   Sure.

    23      MR NIEMANN:   There is often material in the body of the

    24          statement which would identify.

    25      JUDGE McDONALD:   That would tend to identify.  I have seen

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     1          them.

     2      MR NIEMANN:   Unless we have adequate time to go through

     3          these and in some instances to actually consult the

     4          witnesses, we are not exactly sure what matters in the

     5          body of the statement may well go to identification.  It

     6          is not a simple process of simply taking a black pen and

     7          rubbing out a pen.  It is more than that.  It is a much

     8          more complex process than that.

     9      JUDGE McDONALD:   I don't want to be difficult, but perhaps

    10          that enquiry should be made when the statements are

    11          taken.

    12      MR NIEMANN:   They are, your Honour but circumstances

    13          change.  We don't take statements generally unless

    14          witnesses are willing to testify but circumstances

    15          happen.  Things have been happening on a continual basis

    16          in relation to other trials that have been before this

    17          tribunal.

    18      JUDGE McDONALD:   Exactly.  Some of the things that have

    19          been happening are delays in providing the Defence with

    20          material and I want to avoid that in this instance.

    21          I want to start this -- I want to start the proceeding

    22          on a good foot, if you understand what I mean on a good

    23          foot.

    24      MR NIEMANN:   Yes, your Honour.

    25      JUDGE McDONALD:   I want to as much as possible encourage

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     1          the Prosecution not to delay in providing the Defence

     2          with the material.  I understand the concerns that you

     3          have but you have to understand the concerns that the

     4          Defence has.  Then if the material is not provided

     5          promptly, then we encounter problems in terms of setting

     6          the trial, and that has occurred.  So I want to try to

     7          avoid this.  I am not suggesting that you are delaying

     8          intentionally.  I am just suggesting a different

     9          approach in perhaps understanding the concerns of the

    10          Defence.  Fine.  If you understand then where we are,

    11          you will receive all of the material that accompanied

    12          the indictment by Monday, Mr Fila, except for statements

    13          which the Prosecution believes may come from or come

    14          from witnesses who may request protective measures.  As

    15          for those statements, they will be provided to you no

    16          later than 30 days from today, and the period of time

    17          that you have under Rule 73 to file your preliminary

    18          motions will run from the date that you receive all of

    19          the material.  Is that acceptable, Mr Fila?

    20      MR FILA:   Your Honour, it is a very specific problem that

    21          we are dealing with.  The territory we are talking

    22          about, as learned counsel knows, Croatian authority is

    23          being established in the full sense of the word.

    24          I already need a visa to enter that area and I cannot

    25          enter it for a number of reasons, including my personal

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     1          safety, so that people working in Vukovar now of Serbian

     2          nationality and who are already affected by the fact

     3          that only their names have been published and the method

     4          of arrest of Mr Dokmanovic, and we have communicated a

     5          great deal, Mr Niemann and I, so that I'm not insisting

     6          on knowing the names of any one of the witnesses that

     7          Mr Niemann will be proposing, not because their safety

     8          may be threatened by me or any one of my associates, but

     9          for me to know what they are saying and to be able to

    10          take advantage of the fact that there are still people

    11          in Vukovar who can provide me with certain documents.

    12          That is why I'm insisting on promptness.  Mr Niemann

    13          knows why I am insisting on expediency.  I'm ready to

    14          wait for more than 30 days to know the name of somebody

    15          who made a certain statement, but I beg to receive those

    16          statements as soon as possible, because every day is

    17          invaluable.  I'm going to Belgrade tomorrow morning to

    18          try and obtain material which I assume Mr Niemann will

    19          be referring to accompanying the indictment, and that is

    20          why I appeal to you, and I insist on receiving the

    21          statements as soon as possible.  It is the most -- the

    22          most important thing is not who made the statement but

    23          what will be used from that statement in support of the

    24          indictment.  The important thing is that I know what

    25          they say, so that I can provide the Defence.  I can

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     1          prepare the Defence and the counter arguments.  Thank

     2          you for your understanding, your Honour.

     3      JUDGE McDONALD:   Mr Niemann, I gather you may face the same

     4          problems with respect to the territory and access to

     5          witnesses, etc; is that not so?

     6      MR NIEMANN:   Not necessarily, your Honour, not in that

     7          area.

     8      JUDGE McDONALD:   Okay.  Mr Niemann, I think you get the

     9          message.

    10      MR NIEMANN:   I do.

    11      JUDGE McDONALD:   Very good.  Do as best you can, but no

    12          later than 30 days for everything.

    13      MR NIEMANN:   Yes, your Honour.

    14      JUDGE McDONALD:   Is the Prosecution ready to proceed to

    15          trial?

    16      MR NIEMANN:   Yes, your Honour.

    17      JUDGE McDONALD:   Is the Defence ready to proceed to trial?

    18      MR FILA:   Yes, your Honour, quite prepared.

    19      JUDGE McDONALD:   Subject to, I'm sure, the receipt of the

    20          material and subject to the filing of preliminary

    21          motions and the resolution of those motions by the Trial

    22          Chamber?

    23      MR FILA:   If I receive the material within 30 days, I will

    24          complete my part within the following 30 days, while my

    25          assistants can go there.  When they are prevented from

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     1          going there, then the trial will proceed in an improper

     2          way.

     3      MR NIEMANN:   Perhaps, your Honour, because of the unique

     4          situation that exists in this particular area and

     5          particularly because of the involvement of the United

     6          Nations we will endeavour to make enquiries to see

     7          whether or not we can more easily facilitate Mr Fila's

     8          access to this area.

     9      JUDGE McDONALD:   Thank you, Mr Niemann.  So, Mr Fila, then

    10          you would file, you expect, your preliminary motions,

    11          assuming -- I am sure Mr Niemann will meet the deadline

    12          of 30 days from today -- by about September 8th.

    13      MR FILA:   Yes.  Yes, your Honour.  You will receive my

    14          first motion on Monday.  That is the one I do not need

    15          any material for.  It has to do with the arrest, the

    16          method of arrest and the guarantees, if they are of any

    17          value to the Prosecution.  The other motions deal with

    18          other problems, and I will be able to prepare my

    19          preliminary motions by 8th September.  What I am trying

    20          to say is we are quite prepared for the beginning of

    21          trial.

    22      JUDGE McDONALD:   Then, of course, after you file your

    23          preliminary motions, if you file them by September 8th,

    24          the Prosecution is typically afforded 14 days to

    25          respond.  I don't know that it's appropriate at this

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     1          time to set a date for trial, because it really would be

     2          an artificial date.  It would not be a real date.

     3          I consider it might be more appropriate to set a status

     4          conference that would be after that 14-day period that

     5          the Prosecution has to respond to preliminary motions to

     6          ascertain where the parties are and then set a trial

     7          date after we have had that status conference.  May

     8          I set a status conference for Monday, September 29th at

     9          10.00 am?

    10                Now, I am concerned, though, that that is some

    11          distance away, and if the parties have any difficulties

    12          in terms of discovery, then, Mr Fila and Mr Niemann, you

    13          should contact the Trial Chamber, because we are always

    14          available and willing to resolve any difficulties, if we

    15          can resolve those difficulties, that you may have in the

    16          obtaining of evidence, that is at least the material

    17          that accompanied the indictment.  That's our first

    18          concern.  If there are any delays or if there are any

    19          other problems that occur, then, Mr Niemann or Mr Fila,

    20          you should contact the Tribunal by contacting the

    21          Registry, indicating that there is a problem and that

    22          you need to meet with the judges.  If that is so, we

    23          will be available to meet with you.  Is there anything

    24          else that we should consider at this time, Mr Niemann?

    25      MR NIEMANN:   Not from the point of view of the Prosecution.

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     1      JUDGE McDONALD:   Mr Fila?

     2      MR FILA:   No, as far as Defence counsel is concerned.

     3          Thank you, your Honour.

     4      JUDGE McDONALD:   Then the Trial Chamber is adjourned.

     5      (10.30 am)

     6                            (Hearing adjourned)

     7                                     --ooOoo--