1 Friday, 15 September 2006
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Accused not present]
4 [Open session]
5 --- Upon commencing at 6.17 p.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon to everyone.
7 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-01-42/2-PT, the Prosecutor versus Vladimir Kovacevic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
11 We're here for a Status Conference in the case against Mr.
12 Kovacevic. Although one could argue if an accused who is on provisional
13 release, whether a Status Conference should be held, similarly as provided
14 for in the Rules, there were reasons to at least call a Status Conference
15 at this moment.
16 May I have the appearances. Prosecution, first.
17 Ms. Somers, I take it you're accompanied by?
18 MS. SOMERS: I am accompanied by the same persons who were here
19 earlier on.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but that's another --.
21 MS. SOMERS: I will introduce them again. Our case manager has
22 not made it in, but let me just continue.
23 Susan Somers for the Prosecution. To my right, Mr. David Re.
24 Behind me, Mr. Aleksandar Kontic and Phillip Weiner. And when our manager
25 enters, it will be Ms. Carmela Javier.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, thank you.
2 For the Defence.
3 MS. RADOSAVLJEVIC: Thank you, Your Honour. For the Defence,
4 Tanja Radosavljevic as the counsel, assisted by Mr. Dragoslav Djukic as
5 the case manager. Thank you.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. We have invited representatives of Serbia
7 to be present. Could they present themselves.
8 Mr. Obradovic, these are different proceedings. That's the reason
9 why we have to put everything on record again and again. So you are
10 invited to introduce yourselves.
11 MR. OBRADOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour. It is a pleasure anyway.
12 My name is Sasa Obradovic. I'm the First Councillor of the
13 Embassy of Serbia in The Hague, and today with me on behalf of the Serbian
14 government is the Deputy Prosecutor for War Crimes, Mr. Dusan Knezevic.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Obradovic.
16 Usually at Status Conferences, issues like disclosure, et cetera,
17 are on the agenda. We have an open agenda today. There's one issue that
18 the Chamber would like to hear more about. That is the issue of reports
19 about Mr. Kovacevic, who has been provisionally released, and related to
20 that, any observations by Serbia in respect of concerns that have been
21 expressed by the Defence on the conditions in psychiatric institutions.
22 Just to cut it short, Serbia has asked permission to move Mr.
23 Kovacevic from the hospital where he is at present to another hospital.
24 The request seemed to be an urgent one and was related to the medical
25 condition of Mr. Kovacevic. The Chamber quickly responded to that
1 request. Then Ms. Radosavljevic expressed in writing concerns about the
2 conditions in the hospital to which Mr. Kovacevic would be transferred.
3 Since the transfer had not been that urgent, that it had already
4 taken place, the Chamber, on the basis of the concerns, had suspended its
5 permission, and since then no further information reached the Chamber.
6 If I might put this first on the agenda, and then ask later if
7 there's anything else that the parties would like to raise, then I would
8 like to give an opportunity to Ms. Radosavljevic to inform me on whether
9 any further information reached her, apart from the information that has
10 already been brought to the attention of the Chamber, and whether she
11 would like to further elaborate on it.
12 Ms. Radosavljevic.
13 MS. RADOSAVLJEVIC: Thank you, Your Honour. Since my reply to the
14 request of the state, I haven't received any further information on this
15 particular issue.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So matters stand as they were, I think it was,
17 early August.
18 MS. RADOSAVLJEVIC: Exactly.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Somers, I don't know whether the Prosecution has
20 an opinion about the matter or whether it leaves it mainly to the Chamber,
21 the Defence, and the reporting state.
22 MS. SOMERS: We leave it to the Chamber.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, thank you, Ms. Somers.
24 Then, Mr. Obradovic, may I invite you to, first of all, respond to
25 the concerns expressed by Ms. Radosavljevic. You are aware of the
1 concerns expressed. And could I, once you've done that, invite you also
2 to inform me, and by that, the Chamber, why reporting had not taken place
3 within the time limits set in the order for provisional release?
4 Please proceed.
5 MR. OBRADOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in view of the
6 complexity and sensitivity of the matter, I will do my best to stay within
7 the bounds of what is reliable information only. And it is with absolute
8 reliability that I can inform Your Honour of the following:
9 The fact of the matter is that the physicians and the medical
10 staff of the psychiatric clinic of the Military Medical Academy in
11 Belgrade did come across certain difficulties in providing security for
12 his patient, who is the accused in this case, Vladimir Kovacevic --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Let me interrupt you. If it would be necessary, or
14 if you would like to go into details which are not suitable for a public
15 hearing because they directly are linked to medical issues concerning Mr.
16 Kovacevic which are not suitable for a public hearing, then please address
17 me and ask me whether we go into private session. Then you'll feel
18 perhaps more free to speak and the Chamber gets better information and the
19 interests of Mr. Kovacevic will then be properly protected.
20 So whenever there's any need, don't hesitate to address me.
21 Please proceed.
22 MR. OBRADOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you for the suggestion. In
23 that case, I would ask you, to be on the safe side, to move into private
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, could we turn into private session.
1 [Private session]
11 Pages 499-501 redacted. Private session.
14 [Open session]
15 THE REGISTRAR: We are now in open session.
16 JUDGE ORIE: For those following the proceedings here, we have
17 stayed a little too long in private session. The representative of
18 Serbia has told me that he has two reports, one report dated the 6th of
19 September about the treatment of Mr. Kovacevic, a report by
20 Dr. Radovanovic, and another report also of the 6th of September in which
21 the competence of Mr. Kovacevic to stand trial is dealt with, a report
22 which is drafted by three physicians. The parties will now receive
23 copies of those reports for brief inspection.
24 [Parties review reports]
25 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to invite Ms. Radosavljevic to inform me
1 about the content of the report, so not to interpret it in any way but
2 just to inform me about what it says. And then, Ms. Somers, I take it
3 that you'll be able to form your opinion on whether that's information
4 similar to what you received.
5 Ms. Radosavljevic.
6 MS. RADOSAVLJEVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 The first letter, the report on the medical state of
8 Mr. Vladimir Kovacevic, signed by the Chief of the Psychiatry,
9 Dr. Miroslav Radovanovic, and maybe this would be a good moment to
10 re-enter private session.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll turn into private session.
12 [Private session].
11 Pages 504-506 redacted. Private session.
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Ms. Radosavljevic, is there any comment you'd
19 like to make or any matter to be raised in relation to this report?
20 MS. RADOSAVLJEVIC: Thank you, Your Honour. In relation to the
21 documents that we received, no, I don't have any comments right now. I
22 am just wondering, we spoke at the Rule 11 bis hearing on the possibility
23 of presenting to the Referral Chamber the documents that we spoke about.
24 In legal terms, I agree with what my learned friend uttered, in terms who
25 is authorised to give a legal finding. I would just like to say that, in
1 my opinion, these two papers should be given also to the Referral Bench.
2 JUDGE ORIE: What's your opinion on that, Ms. Somers?
3 MS. SOMERS: I'm not sure of the value of it, because if the
4 finding by -- the relevant finding is the finding by Your Honour, and of
5 course the Prosecution's position is that that particular finding is not
6 relevant to referral. So we would find no value evidentiarially or even a
7 reason for further reporting unless the Bench were minded to hold another
8 hearing. I assume this wouldn't be at this stage, and particularly in
9 light of the comments that should there be a referral, there would be an
10 immediate evaluation in a foreign country.
11 JUDGE ORIE: We have now learned about the content of these
12 reports. These reports, I would say, do not or are not such that they
13 would undermine the decision given by the Trial Chamber. I mean, it does
14 not contradict -- whatever the value may be, whether it's sound or not,
15 but certainly these reports would not contradict the finding of the Trial
16 Chamber. At the same time, the first report about the present medical
17 status reflects a deterioration of the medical situation of the patient.
18 I don't think that the Referral Bench would go into any details as far as
19 medical matters are concerned. This is very global information.
20 If you could agree that this information would, for the time
21 being and for the purposes of the Referral Bench, be sufficient, then it
22 is on the public record now and the Referral Bench, of course in a
23 transparent way, could express that it has knowledge of this summary of
24 what these reports tell us.
25 I'm trying to avoid that we get a whole new round of litigation
1 on something which is really marginal at this moment. I mean,
2 Mr. Kovacevic is a psychiatric patient, is a serious psychiatric patient,
3 and whether he is a little bit more serious psychiatric patient is, of
4 course, something we should not spend ages on.
5 Ms. Radosavljevic.
6 MS. RADOSAVLJEVIC: Your Honour, I just wanted to state that I
7 disagree with my learned friend that these two papers have no relevance
8 for the Rule 11 bis hearing that we had today, because -- and I'm now
9 talking about just the first document, not the second.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 MS. RADOSAVLJEVIC: Because this actually supports the submission
12 of the Defence that was uttered in a private session. So, therefore, I
13 think they are relevant for the Referral Bench, of course to value them
14 as they see fit.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. At least one could say that what you said in
16 private session at the time, you expressed some concern about new
17 examinations that might have their influence, that at least the present
18 status does not make that argument any less valid than it was without
19 this information.
20 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, we just see that as having no real
21 value other than perhaps there is a requirement of periodic medical
22 reports. So the first report, perhaps. But the attempt at opinions on
23 issues that are not in the competence that are in the second report, we
24 think, should not be factored in at all.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Could the parties agree that the first report,
1 as reflecting the present status of Mr. Kovacevic, would be brought to the
2 attention of the Referral Bench? And leave the second. We have not asked
3 for the second one, as a matter of fact.
4 MS. SOMERS: We would. That's fine.
5 MS. RADOSAVLJEVIC: The Defence agrees.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Then that has been settled.
7 Then, Ms. Radosavljevic, I do understand that at this moment the
8 transfer of Mr. Kovacevic to another clinic is not -- not only not
9 urgent, but it's not an issue at this moment, although it's not entirely
10 clear to me whether it was that the Lazar Lazarevic clinic could not
11 provide the treatment or could not provide the necessary security. I do
12 understand that it's not at this moment something under consideration. In
13 view of this, would you like, nevertheless, to respond to what has been
14 said by Mr. Obradovic, or -- I'm not keeping you from doing it, but I'm
15 also looking at the clock and ...
16 MS. RADOSAVLJEVIC: No, Your Honour, not at the time being. The
17 Defence has uttered in its submission the point of view in regards to the
18 clinic that we are talking about, Lazar Lazarevic. And, as the
19 representative of the state informed the Trial Chamber, the state
20 received also information from that specific clinic that they do not have
21 the capacity or the conditions for Mr. Kovacevic to be treated there.
22 JUDGE ORIE: So whatever may have been the situation at the
23 clinic, it's not relevant for Mr. Kovacevic at this moment. Yes.
24 Then, is there any other matter the parties would like to raise?
25 Ms. Radosavljevic?
1 MS. RADOSAVLJEVIC: Well, maybe it's too early to pose this
2 question, but the Defence submitted a request for certification in
3 regards to a decision of the Trial Chamber of the dismissal of the
5 JUDGE ORIE: Of course. And you'll receive a decision on that
7 Ms. Somers.
8 MS. SOMERS: Nothing further, thank you.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Nothing further?
10 Any further need to address the Chamber, Mr. Obradovic? I see
11 you nodding no.
12 Then we'll stand adjourned sine die.
13 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned
14 sine die at 6.58 p.m.