1 Thursday, 21 September 2000
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 10.12 a.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: The registrar please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Case number IT-96-23-T and
8 IT-96-23/1-T, the Prosecutor versus Dragoljub Kunarac, Radomir Kovac, and
9 Zoran Vukovic.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: This is a continuing Status Conference from
11 yesterday. We're trying to resolve the problem of Defence witnesses. So
12 we adjourned yesterday to this morning to try and find out what the best
13 course that the Trial Chamber can take to assist the Defence in getting
14 their witnesses and perhaps closing the Defence case.
15 So I would like to hear from the Defence what the position is
17 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: This is an open session, so if there are any
19 protected witnesses, we stick to pseudonyms.
20 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. I
21 should like to inform you that I spoke to the witness who was supposed to
22 have appeared again yesterday, and we have no other choice but to renounce
23 him as a witness because we cannot take upon ourselves the responsibility
24 for what may happen in the future 10 or 15 days.
25 We had agreement from him earlier on that this witness would come
1 to Banja Luka and testify, but the approval he had received from his
2 superiors has been withdrawn, and we did our best to ensure his testimony,
3 but to our great misfortune, he's unable to do so. And as I've said, we
4 cannot take upon ourselves the responsibility of organising things ten
5 days in advance and then running the risk of him not appearing. We do
6 apologise to Your Honours, but we have no other choice.
7 However, in accordance with Rule 73(A) of the Rules of Procedure
8 and Evidence, the Defence would submit a request for the production of
9 evidence as follows: An expert witness for the signature of FWS-48 on the
10 statement of the 15th of the August, 1992, admitted as Exhibit D52, and
11 the statement dated the 25th of August, 1995, tendered into evidence as
12 D48. These exhibits were admitted on the 2nd and 3rd of May, 2000. And
13 comparing those signatures with the signatures which Witness FWS-48 signed
14 herself before the Trial Chamber, and these signatures were admitted as
15 D51, as well as the signature on the statement of this witness given on
16 the 1st to the 3rd and the 6th to the 9th of September, 1995, admitted as
17 Prosecution Exhibit P78, and for that purpose, we would like to call a
18 handwriting expert.
19 Also regarding Witnesses 48, 87, and 95, as well as psychiatric
20 and psychological examination of FWS-48, 87, 95, 50, 75, 176 [sic], 175,
21 190, and 205.
22 May I elaborate on these two submissions?
23 JUDGE HUNT: Before you do, I'm not following you very clearly,
24 I'm afraid. You started off by saying expert evidence in relation to the
25 signatures on a number of statements, or is it just FWS-48 that you're
1 challenging the signature? Is it only 48?
2 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, only 48, Your Honour,
3 because that is the witness who denied that the signatures on two
4 statements were hers.
5 JUDGE HUNT: Yes. I remember that. That was only one where there
6 was an issue raised about the signature.
7 Then you have set out a series of numbers, 48, 87, 95, 50, 75,
8 176 [sic], 175, 190, and 205. Now, is it you are asking for a psychiatric
9 examination of them?
10 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I was going to
11 explain that just now, why I'm asking for this.
12 JUDGE HUNT: Isn't that the subject of a ruling we've already made
13 about psychiatric examinations?
14 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. We received,
15 with great respect and attention, this ruling, but we thought that perhaps
16 our request had been premature because we hadn't heard the expert
17 witnesses. But on the basis their opinions and findings, we would like to
18 resubmit this request for psychiatric examination.
19 JUDGE HUNT: What? Do you say that the evidence they gave here
20 went beyond what was in their statements on that matter?
21 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] What I am trying to say, Your
22 Honour, is that we have expressed doubt as regards the credibility of the
23 witnesses that have appeared here, and these expert examinations we
24 believe would help to establish whether the witnesses were telling the
25 truth or not.
1 JUDGE HUNT: But this is the subject of a ruling we've already
2 made, and so far as I'm concerned, I wouldn't even consider reviewing that
3 ruling unless you are able to demonstrate that the evidence which they
4 gave here in Court is somehow different to what they had put in their
5 statements, because we had their statements at the time we gave that
7 Now, is there something new that has come up? That's why I'm not
8 clear as to why we're going into all of this. Perhaps you might like to
9 explain that, and I'll let you have your head on that.
10 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] Nothing new has happened in the
11 meantime, Your Honour, since the testimony of the expert witnesses.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: I don't think you understand the question the Judge
13 has put to you. The question is, before we made our ruling, we had those
14 expert opinions already on file, on record, right? Yes. Now, when the
15 experts came, they simply explained what their written opinions were
16 about, and the question is, if there was nothing -- if there was something
17 new in the oral evidence, which was really based on their written
18 opinions, then that's what we are looking for, because it's not like our
19 ruling was made before we received the written opinions. We had already
20 received them, and we had perused them. You understand?
21 So you have to tell the Trial Chamber what new evidence came out
22 of their oral testimony.
23 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there was nothing
24 new, but we felt that our submission had been premature, and that after
25 hearing those opinions, that it would be desirable to carry out this
1 examination as confirmed by the experts themselves.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Anything else?
3 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] If I may, Your Honour, regarding
4 the first proposal, we had the same problem in the case of Anto Furundzija
5 regarding the signature. However, the Defence did not make any
6 submissions, and we feel that it is in the interests of justice to carry
7 out this expert examination, especially as it wouldn't take too long. It
8 could be done in one day. I'm talking about the examination of the
9 handwriting. And of course, four counts of the indictment are based on
10 the testimony of this witness.
11 JUDGE HUNT: You mean you haven't even made arrangements for this
12 yet? You've had this issue raised since sometime early this year. You
13 are asking us, are you, to delay the closing of the Defence case to do
14 something which you should have done months ago. Whereabouts is your
16 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we didn't believe
17 that it was up to us to organise this. We thought that the Trial Chamber
18 would give instructions to an expert here in The Hague.
19 JUDGE HUNT: Not at all. You raised the issue about the
20 signature. It's for you to establish, if you wish to, that there's at
21 least a reasonable doubt that it, that it is not her signature. I don't
22 know whether I expressed the onus properly there, but you know what I
24 You raised the issue about the signature, the one that she denied
25 having made. You want to now show that it was her signature. If you want
1 to show it, you have to prove it. It's not up to the Trial Chamber to
2 work it out for you.
3 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] If it is up to us to organise
4 that, we can do that, and we will, Your Honour, very quickly.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Anything else, Mr. Prodanovic? That's all?
7 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] That is all, Your Honour. Thank
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Jovanovic, the Trial Chamber was informed by the
10 senior legal officer that you have a motion.
11 MR. JOVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. But before
12 that, I should like to inform the Chamber that the Defence of Mr. Vukovic
13 believes that the best it can do at this point in time in relation to the
14 videolink or deposition testimony that has been proposed by Your Honours
15 is to absolutely give up hearing this witness for the same reasons that
16 have been given by my colleague Mr. Prodanovic.
17 At this point in time, we cannot provide sufficient assurances to
18 this Trial Chamber that such testimony will be taken on a day decided by
19 the Court. We have already been put in an embarrassing situation once
20 through no fault of ours, and we wouldn't like to be put in that situation
22 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Jovanovic, the nurse, I've forgotten which
23 pseudonym she had, said that she had looked at some other medical records
24 other than the document that she brought. Is there any problem in getting
25 some sort of certified copy of that medical record? The medical record
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 about the injury when he was taken to the hospital, when your client was
2 taken to the hospital.
3 MR. JOVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as far as I
4 understood, the only documents that exist linked to my client's injury is
5 the document shown here in Court. This happened --
6 JUDGE HUNT: That wasn't what she said. She said that she had
7 looked at some other medical document, in cross-examination this was.
8 If you say there is no such document, that may be so, but I'm only
9 referring you, if you've lost your witness, to another source which may at
10 least partially cure that witness' absence. I don't know.
11 MR. JOVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, thank you. I shall
12 check that part of the transcript, in any case. But my understanding of
13 her testimony was not quite so, but I will verify that once again, in any
14 case. I'm not sure that that is what she said, but that will be of the
15 greatest assistance if that is so.
16 As far -- that is all that we have to say regarding our request
17 for the testimony of this doctor, physician.
18 As far as I know, the Trial Chamber is aware of the motion of the
19 Defence that has been submitted to the Prosecution regarding medical
20 examination of the accused Zoran Vukovic.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Jovanovic. That is what we would like to
22 hear. We have already -- yes. You make your submission on it.
23 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if we follow the
24 course of events and we see when the Defence received the witness
25 statements disclosed by the Prosecution, we will see that, by then, this
1 was the time when the Prosecution witnesses had already been examined, and
2 at the time, I didn't have the opportunity to put certain questions
3 because I didn't have anything to refer to.
4 Now that we have heard the Defence witnesses and the opinion of
5 the physician who was here, Dr. Dunjic, connected to the possibility of
6 the late discovery of such injuries and his opinion as to what such
7 injuries may provoke as consequences, and also bearing in mind that my
8 client claims that his injuries can be detected by medical examination to
9 this day, that is why I'm making this submission. And as far as I have
10 been able to learn, this is not a complicated or lengthy process to
11 examine the accused to see whether there are any consequences that are
12 detectable to this day, and, as far as I know, this could quite quickly
13 and simply provide us answers to some questions.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: If the Trial Chamber were minded to grant your
15 motion and decide that the medical experts go ahead and examine your
16 client, how soon would you be able to get your choice of the medical
17 doctor, for instance?
18 MR. JOVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, at this point in
19 time, we should like to propose Dr. Dunjic who was already heard here and
20 who is a forensic expert and who has been dealing with this already.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. What I'm asking is how soon would he be able
22 to come? Because your client is here in The Hague.
23 MR. JOVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, aware of
24 Professor Dunjic's engagements, I believe that he could be here in The
25 Hague within the next seven or ten days, because there is a technical
1 problem that you are aware of; obtaining visas, organising travel, things
2 like that.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. So besides the organisation of visas and
4 all that, you think he can interrupt his own practice there to come at
5 short notice?
6 MR. JOVANOVIC: [Interpretation] I think so, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE HUNT: There are, of course, forensic experts here in the
8 Netherlands who don't have to get visas.
9 MR. JOVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Certainly, Your Honour. I expect
10 that, of course, a forensic expert from the Netherlands who does not
11 require a visa could carry out this examination, but we would like one of
12 the doctors proposed by the Defence to be present as well. We have every
13 confidence in all doctors.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Anything else, Mr. Jovanovic?
16 MR. JOVANOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. Thank you.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: The Trial Chamber --
18 MS. LOPICIC: Your Honour, I would just like to inform you that on
19 page 2 of my laptop, in the row 19, is typed "Witness 176," but it's
20 supposed to be "186." And as well as on page 3, row 6. I just wanted to
21 inform the Trial Chamber that it should be corrected. It's Witness number
23 JUDGE MUMBA: So where "176" appears, it should read "186."
24 MS. LOPICIC: Yes, "186 and 175."
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Which row should read "186" and which row should
1 read "175"? Could you just go over that?
2 MS. LOPICIC: On row 2nd, page 2, row 19. It's supposed to be
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. And then the other one?
5 MS. LOPICIC: And "175." And in page 3, row 6, "186 and 175."
6 JUDGE HUNT: It's already "175." I, of course, was reading from
7 the transcript when I used the numbers.
8 MS. LOPICIC: Yes.
9 JUDGE HUNT: So it's only "176" that you want changed to "186."
10 MS. LOPICIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Thank you. Can we hear the Prosecution first
12 on the signature?
13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, we have checked the documents
14 that were mentioned by the Defence, and the signatures the witness gave in
15 the courtroom really wouldn't help much because they are in writing, while
16 the signature on the documents are in printed letters. So I wonder if the
17 expert would be able to help in this way.
18 But I think even for a layman, it is possible, when checking the
19 documents 48 -- D48, D52, and P78, it's very obvious that it is the same
20 printing. So the Prosecution does not argue it's not the signature of the
21 witness. So we wouldn't need an expert in this regard.
22 As to the --
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Just wait. Let's deal with that.
24 Mr. Prodanovic? I'm sorry, maybe the interpretation is still
25 going. You've heard what the Prosecution have said.
1 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] I did not understand what the
2 point was.
3 JUDGE HUNT: What they're saying is they accept that they are the
4 same signature. Despite 48's denial, the Prosecution accept that they are
5 the same signature, so that your point is made. You don't need an expert
6 to prove it.
7 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] Then we withdraw our proposal,
8 Your Honour.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. We'll go on to the request, the motion
10 for medical examination, psychiatric and psychological examination of the
11 witnesses listed. What is your submission?
12 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: A ruling was already made on the same issue,
13 and the Prosecution didn't hear anything new from the expert during the
14 testimony, so I don't see a reason why the Trial Chamber should reconsider
15 the position already made.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: So you object to the motion?
17 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: What's your submission on the third one by
19 Mr. Jovanovic, the medical examination of the accused Zoran Vukovic?
20 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No objection, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: They are also asking that the medical expert,
22 Dr. Dunjic, be on the list. The Prosecution wouldn't mind which experts
23 the registrar appoints?
24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No, not at all.
25 JUDGE HUNT: But you do want your own expert to see, to be there
1 for the examination?
2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: As this question was new for us, we didn't
3 really think about such a possibility, but --
4 JUDGE HUNT: It would be the normal course --
5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes.
6 JUDGE HUNT: -- for the other party to have an expert there so
7 that if they don't agree, there can be evidence from both the doctors.
8 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. We would like to have that.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, because the problem here is if the Prosecution
10 would also like to have their own expert, then you would have to look for
11 one, because we are aware that there is a list for the registrar, but that
12 is for normal examination of accused persons. But this is a motion before
13 the Trial Chamber for the Defence case of the accused, so that's why we
14 are trying to make sure that you understand the implications of this
15 medical examination.
16 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour. But we first have to check
17 which expert we will nominate. We cannot do it now in the courtroom.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE MUMBA: So the Trial Chamber's decision on the motion for
20 medical examination, psychiatric, and psychology examination of the
21 Prosecution witnesses is denied.
22 The motion for medical examination for the accused Zoran Vukovic
23 is granted. And the Trial Chamber is trying to see what reasonable period
24 can be granted within which both experts and one appointed by the
25 registrar can be able to carry out this medical examination because, until
1 this report is in, we cannot close the Defence case. This is the problem.
2 And the indication through the senior legal officer from the Prosecution
3 is that they intend to call witnesses in rebuttal.
4 Yes, the Prosecution.
5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, we have contacted the two
6 witnesses in question, and they are able to come here. They are willing
7 to come here, and they can come here on short notice. But, of course, we
8 could not initiate any travelling because of the Defence case not closed.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, yes, because it's not yet closed.
10 Depending on when -- we know that Dr. Dunjic is coming from
11 Yugoslavia, and it depends on how long the visa takes. We are not yet
12 sure about the expert by the Prosecutor. The Trial Chamber would like to
13 indicate that if all the arrangements can be made so that we have the
14 medical report filed by 11th October, that gives a three-week period.
15 It's a three-week period.
16 MR. JOVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Defence believes
17 that this period is quite sufficient for having this carried out properly.
18 Today we shall submit a request to the registry for the issuing of a visa
19 for Mr. Dunjic. We believe that he will be able to make it as soon as
20 possible. Within a few days, if all other arrangements were made, he can
21 arrive in The Hague.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: That will be fine. So we will leave it to the
23 registrar to set up this set of doctors after the Prosecution have
24 indicated who their expert will be.
25 The fact that we fixed the date of 11th October does not mean if
1 arrangements can be made earlier and the examination can be made earlier,
2 the filing cannot be done earlier. The earlier the filing of the medical
3 report after the examination is done, the better so that the parties can
4 look at it, and if they want to raise anything like calling any of the
5 experts for cross-examination and things like that, all that can be done
6 within that period.
7 Considering that the Defence case is not yet closed, the Trial
8 Chamber will issue notice of the next Status Conference to look at what
9 has happened in the meantime and decide on the date when, if need be, we
10 can hear the witnesses of the Prosecution in rebuttal.
11 Any other matters before we rise? Anything from the Defence?
12 Nothing. The Court will rise.
13 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at
14 10.49 a.m.