1 Thursday, 28 September 2000
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 10.06 a.m.
6 JUDGE HUNT: Call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Case IT-97-25-PT, the Prosecutor
8 against Milorad Krnojelac.
9 JUDGE HUNT: Appearances for the Prosecution.
10 MR. STEWART: Good morning, Your Honours. My name is James
11 Stewart, chief of prosecutions. I would like to introduce counsel who
12 will have conduct of this case on behalf of the Office of the Prosecutor:
13 Hildegard Uertz-Retzlaff, who will be lead counsel, and Peggy Kuo. May I
14 say for the record, Your Honour, that they will be assisted by William
15 Smith who is not in court today.
16 I would also like to note the presence of George Huber, case
17 manager, who is leaving us on October the 20th and will be replaced in the
18 court. He is going to UNMIK after having served with us, I would say, in
19 a distinguished fashion, and we are grateful to him. But he is leaving us
20 on October 20th.
21 That is the Prosecution appearance. Thank you.
22 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you very much.
23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour. Attorney
24 Mihajlo Bakrac as lead counsel for the defendant, Milorad Krnojelac. I am
25 on my own today, but there are some indications that a trial will be
1 scheduled so I will ask for permission to have a co-counsel, attorney
2 Miroslav Vasic, who has been my legal advisor up till now.
3 JUDGE HUNT: When you say you have asked for permission to have
4 Mr. Vasic, have you organised with the Defence Counsel Unit or the
5 Registrar for him to be appointed as co-counsel for the trial?
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. Bearing in mind the
7 last Status Conference of the 28th of July, there were some indications
8 that this trial might begin in January. So we thought because of some
9 standpoints of the Registry that it was too early to ask for the
10 appointment of a co-counsel. However, since I have heard today that the
11 trial might begin in late October or early November, then I will do
12 everything very quickly in order to get the co-counsel as soon as
14 JUDGE HUNT: As long as you understand that it's for you to make
15 the application and not for the trial court to give you permission.
16 That's all that's necessary.
17 In relation to the previous Status Conference, we said that it
18 "may" not be until January, but you certainly were given no indication
19 that it would not be before January, if it was possible. It has now
20 turned out to be possible because of the progress in the preceding case in
21 the list.
22 Now, the time when the Trial Chamber proposes to commence the
23 trial is on Monday, the 30th of October, and it's necessary, therefore, to
24 fix the various stages that have to be complied with before the trial
1 The latest that a Pre-Trial Conference could usefully be held, and
2 indeed the latest that it is possible to hold it, is Wednesday, the 25th
3 of October; that's the preceding Wednesday. Again, working backwards, the
4 Defence pre-trial brief must be in seven days beforehand, at least seven
5 days beforehand, which makes the Defence pre-trial brief Wednesday, the
6 18th of October. In order to give the Defence an opportunity of filling
7 in the last-minute details, having seen the Prosecution pre-trial brief,
8 the proposal is that the Prosecution pre-trial brief be filed by
9 Wednesday, the 11th of October.
10 I'll hear what the parties have to say about that in a moment, but
11 I think that we should perhaps deal with the Status Conference in relation
12 to ongoing matters first.
13 Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, is it preferable I ask you about that, or
14 should I ask Mr. Stewart about it?
15 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I think I will answer the
16 questions you have on the details.
17 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you very much, indeed. Rule 66(A)(i)
18 supporting material has all now been disclosed in unredacted form, we've
19 been told. There's nothing additional there?
20 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, it was complied with.
21 JUDGE HUNT: Yes, thank you. And Rule 66(A)(ii), also we were
22 told that that has been supplied, with all the statements in unredacted
24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE HUNT: You've had two interviews. Is it proposed that there
1 be any further interviews before the trial?
2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No, Your Honour, this is not planned.
3 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you. Of course, you are aware of the
4 requirements of Rule 68 for the continuing obligation to disclose
5 exculpatory material.
6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour. The Prosecution is aware
7 of the Rule, and we have prepared a further submission to Defence counsel
8 for today originating especially from the Kunarac case, where we have
9 heard Defence witnesses speaking about the general conditions in Foca; we
10 think that these materials should go to Defence counsel in this case as
11 well. We have prepared these materials to hand over today. We actually
12 had planned to give this earlier, but Defence counsel were not available
13 to meet with us before today.
14 JUDGE HUNT: Well, that will be good, if you can give that to them
16 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: What we also want to disclose today is the
17 transcripts in both languages of the Krnojelac interviews. They were only
18 finished yesterday.
19 JUDGE HUNT: All right. Well, thank you very much.
20 I did mention this on the last occasion of the Status Conference,
21 about the documents to be used by the Prosecution. It is preferable, as
22 before, to have them numbered but not called an exhibit. It seems to
23 cause immense problems for everybody if they're called an exhibit. It's
24 very easy to write "exhibit" on them if they become an exhibit.
25 So when you prepare those very helpful books of documents and
1 photographs, et cetera, if they could be numbered as before but without
2 the word "exhibit" on them, and the numbering will be used both to
3 identify them and then if they become an exhibit, as an exhibit.
4 Otherwise, we have no way of knowing when we look at these papers whether
5 they are an exhibit or not without reference to another list, which is not
6 always easy to link up.
7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, you will receive the trial
8 binders as in the previous case, and we will assure you that we will call
9 it an identification number and not an exhibit number.
10 JUDGE HUNT: Good. Thank you very much.
11 Now, Mr. Bakrac, there seems to be some puzzlement on behalf of
12 some of your colleagues about what has to be disclosed in the Defence
13 pre-trial brief. It is not sufficient simply to say that all of the
14 material upon which the Prosecution relies is denied or not accepted. If
15 there is any case which you propose to put forward in relation to the
16 Prosecution witnesses, your obligation under the Rules is to disclose it
17 in your pre-trial brief.
18 For example, if it is going to be the case that a Prosecution
19 witness was not even on duty, or not within the KP Dom at the time when he
20 says that he was, that is material which should be disclosed in the
21 pre-trial brief. Do you understand the extent of this? The previous
22 pre-trial brief by a Defence that I saw, the first one after the new Rule,
23 seemed to ignore that obligation completely.
24 Are there any defences which the Defence relies upon and have to
25 be notified under Rule 67(A)(ii), alibi or anything like that?
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I hope that I have
2 understood the essence of the pre-trial brief as you have set it out, and
3 the Defence will do its best to do everything that should be done in the
4 pre-trial brief.
5 As for Rule 67, any alibi defence or other special defence, at
6 present we do not have any such evidence that might point in that
7 direction. Therefore, when talking about an alibi, we shall have a clear
8 defence case with respect to the duties and obligations of the accused in
9 his work in KP Dom. But we cannot deny the fact that during the period
10 referred to in the indictment he was in the KP Dom with, of course,
11 interruptions; he was not there on certain days, and so on. But I think
12 we should not look for an alibi, because, overall, in the period for which
13 the accused is indicted, he was in the KP Dom with shorter and longer
15 But all this will be set out in the pre-trial brief, and later in
16 the trial itself. Thank you.
17 JUDGE HUNT: One of the matters which you raised during one of
18 those many motions on the form of the indictment was the precise nature of
19 your client's duties, and, as I recall, your point was that he was in
20 charge of only one part of the prison, not the part where these people who
21 are the victims were kept. That's a matter which we would expect to see
22 some detail of in your pre-trial Defence brief.
23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, of course that's
24 possible, we will do that in the pre-trial brief; although I had thought
25 perhaps that it would be better to deal with that in greater detail in the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 opening argument, after the finalisation of the case of the Prosecution.
2 But of course we can touch upon that issue in the pre-trial brief too.
3 JUDGE HUNT: When I say "some detail of it," I have in mind not
4 the detail you would give in an opening argument, but we want to know the
5 general nature of the case based upon this differentiation in his duties.
6 I think you probably understand it. But it's insufficient just to have it
7 in a motion in relation to the form of the indictment. It does have to be
8 in this Defence pre-trial brief.
9 Now, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, there are a number of witnesses referred
10 to by the acronym FWS in the indictment, and some of the annexes also are
11 confidential which name the witnesses. There's no specific protective
12 measures for these. Will you be applying for use of pseudonyms during the
13 course of the hearing?
14 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, at this point in time we are
15 recontacting all the witnesses, and we specifically ask for their needs.
16 Most of the witnesses up till now hadn't asked for anything like this, but
17 now seeing their testimony coming closer, many of them now get afraid and
18 do ask for protective measures. When we have contacted our witnesses, we
19 will file a motion in this regard, and it will probably include a lot of
20 requests for confidentiality, that is, the use of pseudonyms, and also
21 face distortion. Up to now we have not had a witness who asked for more
22 than that.
23 JUDGE HUNT: I don't want to dissuade any witness from asking for
24 it, but voice distortion is the one which causes the most problems because
25 we have to stop the hearings and everybody has to leave whilst the
1 technicians work it all out with a particular witness. So perhaps if they
2 are offered some form of protective measure, but not too much emphasis on
3 the voice distortion, which, frankly, I do not think, makes very much
4 difference. You certainly can't hear the voice in the same way, but
5 having been in a number of cases where voice identification has been
6 raised, very few people can identify a voice.
7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, we are aware of the problem, and
8 we will try to persuade the witnesses not to request that.
9 JUDGE HUNT: I'm not asking you to persuade them not to. I just
10 don't want you to try to persuade them to ask for it, that's all. A clear
11 but small distinction.
12 What about the timing of this? As long as it's in sufficient time
13 for the Defence to have a look at it and before the trial, there should be
14 no problem about this; and indeed we can deal with it during the course of
15 the running of the trial as well. But for your first few witnesses,
16 perhaps if you can get that done before the trial begins.
17 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I think we can manage to make an application
18 for all the witnesses who will request protective measures before the
19 next -- before the Pre-Trial Conference. That has to be cleared. I think
20 it will be cleared before that.
21 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you. Now, is there any other matter that you
22 want to raise at this stage?
23 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour.
24 It's the timing that worries the Prosecution. We would suggest to
25 allowing -- in regard to the Rules, there is a possibility, the Rules
1 allow for a Pre-Trial Conference on the 27th of October, and the
2 Prosecution --
3 JUDGE HUNT: I've already said that the 25th is the last possible
4 one, unfortunately. We can't have it later than that. So that's the
5 Wednesday before the hearing.
6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. Counting back from this, the
7 Prosecution would suggest to have a little more time for the pre-trial
8 brief. The reason for this is that we haven't had the possibility to
9 discuss admissions and contested matters with the Defence counsel due to
10 problems of scheduling. We had planned to do that last week but it was
11 not possible.
12 What the problem is is we have, actually, 220 proposals for
13 admissions by the parties and we have to work through these proposals. We
14 will start working on this today, but we don't think that we can manage to
15 finish it today. We need some more days to do that.
16 In addition, we have to go with Defence counsel through our list
17 of exhibits, and it very much depends on the admissions and how the
18 Defence counsel stands on our exhibits. It very much depends on the
19 outcome of these discussions which exhibits will be presented and which
20 witnesses will be presented, and what we can say about admitted matters
21 and matters in dispute. We actually need some time for this.
22 JUDGE HUNT: I can I understand that. If we delayed the
23 Prosecution pre-trial brief date, the Defence pre-trial date would also
24 have to be delayed, so there would be less than seven days between the
25 Defence pre-trial brief and the Pre-Trial Conference. If you're prepared
1 to concede that, then we could deal with it.
2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE HUNT: There wouldn't be very much room to manoeuvre, but
4 certainly that would give you some room.
5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE HUNT: I think that the Defence should have seven days to
7 consider your pre-trial brief before having to put the Defence pre-trial
8 brief on. It can be started, it can be started now, but the final
9 document will depend upon what is in your pre-trial brief.
10 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour. But I think the Rules do
11 not request such a -- seven days --
12 JUDGE HUNT: They do, actually. It must be seven days before the
13 Pre-Trial Conference.
14 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. But the interval between the pre-trial
15 brief and the Defence brief does not need to be seven days. Given the
16 fact that the indictment is very detailed and there shouldn't be any
17 surprise in our pre-trial brief, the Prosecution thinks it's not necessary
18 for Defence counsel to actually have seven days. But, of course, we will
19 hear Mr. Bakrac, what he says to that. We would propose a shorter period
20 of time between the two briefs.
21 JUDGE HUNT: But are you not prepared -- I'm sorry. I should have
22 waited for the translation.
23 Are you not prepared to take less time yourself between the
24 Defence pre-trial and the Pre-Trial Conference?
25 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 JUDGE HUNT: You are?
2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: We are, of course.
3 JUDGE HUNT: I thought that you were insisting upon yours without
4 conceding the Defence.
5 Well, Mr. Bakrac, how long do you say you need to file your
6 pre-trial brief after receipt of the Prosecution pre-trial brief?
7 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to thank my
8 learned colleague. The reason why we did not meet last week, as had been
9 agreed upon at the previous Status Conference, was the Defence's request
10 to move this seven days forward. And after all this time, the time
11 allowed for preparation is still very short.
12 What we talked about at the beginning of this Status Conference
13 has to do with our wish that the trial of this case begin. But after all
14 this time, I don't think it would serve our purpose very well. Of course,
15 I have due regard for the time of the Trial Chamber, but if we are to
16 start the trial on the 30th of October, we would not like to shorten the
17 time allowed to the Defence to get familiarised with all the material
18 presented by the Prosecution.
19 There are 220 proposals, as has been said, for admissions,
20 Mr. Vasic and I are alone in preparing this case, and the time we would
21 need for a serious review of these proposals should, in my opinion, be
23 If the Trial Chamber wouldn't mind, we would like the trial date
24 to be postponed a little. I repeat: If the Trial Chamber really wouldn't
25 mind and if it would not seriously disturb their plans, we would like to
1 have the trial begin at a later date in order to be able to review all the
2 pre-trial issues. So once again, if it does not seriously upset the
3 schedule of the Trial Chamber, I would appreciate it very much if we were
4 given enough time to review all these proposals; and if the trial date
5 could be moved by 10 or 15 days forward to allow us enough time, to allow
6 us enough time to review, to respond to the Prosecution, et cetera, and
7 give all the answers to the questions that arise. Thank you.
8 JUDGE HUNT: Before we discuss that particular matter, though,
9 could I come back to my question? Once you have the Prosecution pre-trial
10 brief, how long do you need before you file your Defence pre-trial brief?
11 What I had proposed previously was seven days, which is, I think,
12 adequate; what the Prosecution has suggested is that you require less time
13 than that. So what do you say about the Prosecution's suggestion you
14 should have less than seven days to trial the Defence pre-trial brief?
15 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, until we see the
16 Prosecution pre-trial brief, we don't know how much time we would need.
17 But I'm certain that less than seven days wouldn't be enough, for all the
18 reasons that I have already mentioned. Less than seven days would not be
19 enough to do our work conscientiously and thoroughly, in view of all the
20 issues that are going to be covered by the Prosecution pre-trial brief.
21 I share the opinion of the Trial Chamber that seven days is the
22 minimum required time for the preparation of the Defence pre-trial brief,
23 of course, with due regard for the Prosecution pre-trial brief and relying
24 on it. Thank you.
25 JUDGE HUNT: Good. Thank you.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Bakrac, you, of course, have been in this case
3 since it began. I don't remember whether you appeared at the Initial
4 Appearance, but you've certainly been in it ever since we have been
5 hearing the repeated applications in relation to the form of the
6 indictment. We are not terribly sympathetic to any suggestion that you
7 are not aware of what the case is all about.
8 As Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff has said, it's a very detailed indictment;
9 in fact, it is now more detailed than it was when it began, mainly through
10 your efforts, if I may say so, and there should be no problem with the
11 case commencing. If there is any particular problem you have once the
12 case commences, that you're caught by surprise or there is some particular
13 matter that you have to do some further work on, that's a matter that can
14 be dealt with by negotiation with the Prosecution as to the order in which
15 the witnesses are called, and if necessary the Trial Chamber can deal with
17 But we have a number of problems in the Tribunal at the moment,
18 and one of them is getting these trials going so that the ones behind you
19 can start. We have an enormous number of people in custody just simply
20 awaiting the commencement of their trials. And we really feel that the
21 two years you've had to prepare it so far is sufficient for you to be
22 ready for the Prosecution to commence.
23 However, in relation to the documentary requirements,
24 Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, if we bring back the date of the Defence pre-trial to
25 Monday, the 23rd, that's two days before the pre-trial brief, that would
1 give you until the 16th of October to put on the Prosecution pre-trial
2 brief. That would be at least some substantial advantage to you.
3 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour, that would be very
5 JUDGE HUNT: All right, then. Well, then, if that's so, we'll
6 make those orders: that the Prosecution pre-trial brief be filed by
7 Monday, the 16th of October; the Defence pre-trial brief by the 23rd of
8 October; and the Pre-Trial Conference will take place on Wednesday, the
9 25th of October; the trial will commence on Monday, the 30th of October.
10 It will have to be interrupted for three days, Mr. Bakrac, in the
11 second week whilst we conclude the trial ahead of it, and the senior legal
12 officer will be in touch with you about other dates where there will be
13 some problems.
14 Now, is there any matter, Mr. Bakrac, that you wish to raise in
15 accordance with the Rule relating to Status Conferences?
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have no further
17 matters to raise.
18 If you will only permit me to say something about your observation
19 before. I am afraid that perhaps we have not understood one another very
21 Bearing in mind how long my defendant, Mr. Krnojelac, has been
22 awaiting the beginning of the trial, I have a lot of understanding for all
23 the accused waiting for their trials to begin. The only thing I wanted to
24 say was that I have enough time for matters in the pre-trial brief of the
25 Prosecution. I would like simply to have enough time to prepare a proper
1 response to their pre-trial brief.
2 However, as for the beginning of the trial, my standpoint is the
3 same as that of my legal advisor, which was expressed at the last Status
4 Conference, and we do wish the trial to begin. I only wanted to ask for
5 more time to respond to the Prosecution pre-trial brief. I can only
6 assume what it will contain; but until I see it, I do not know whether
7 there will be matters in it which will require more time for a response.
8 That was my only remark -- well, not remark, but my only request.
9 Secondly, my learned friend said that there were 220 proposals.
10 We need time to look at them together with the accused and to meet with
11 the Prosecution with respect to these proposals for admissions, and that
12 was the only thing I wanted to raise.
13 I apologise to the Trial Chamber if there has been a
14 misunderstanding, but that was all I wanted to say. I have no other
15 issues to raise with respect to the Status Conference.
16 JUDGE HUNT: Well, thank you very much. We understand you more
17 perfectly now. If there is any particular problem once you get the
18 Prosecution pre-trial brief, that you need more than seven days, then that
19 is the time to raise it with the Trial Chamber. But at the moment, from
20 what must be anticipated, seven days does seem to be a pretty fair amount
21 of time for you. If Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff's promise that it will contain no
22 surprises is not honoured, well, then, we will probably look more
23 sympathetically at your problems.
24 Any other matter which either party wish to raise?
25 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you very much, indeed. Thank you very much.
2 We look forward to seeing you at the Pre-Trial Conference on Wednesday,
3 the 25th of October. Hopefully, we don't need to see you before in
4 relation to this case. Thank you.
5 We'll adjourn now.
6 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at
7 10.38 a.m.