1 Thursday, 24 June, 1999
2 (Status Conference)
3 (Open session)
4 (The accused entered court)
5 --- Upon commencing at 3.00 p.m.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-96-23-PT,
7 Prosecutor versus Dragoljub Kunarac.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Good afternoon. Can I have the
9 accused -- can the accused hear me in a language he
11 THE ACCUSED: Yes, I hear.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. Please be seated.
13 May I have appearances? The Prosecutor.
14 MS. HASLUND: I am Ann Haslund, senior trial
15 attorney, who has joined the Prosecution team very
16 recently. To my left is trial attorney Hildegard
17 Uertz-Retzlaff. To my right is trial attorney Peggy
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Welcome to the Tribunal.
20 MS. HASLUND: Thank you.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: And the Defence?
22 MR. PRODANOVIC: Good afternoon, Your Honour.
23 My name is Slavisa Prodanovic. I am Defence counsel
24 for the accused. Sitting next to me is attorney Mara
25 Pilipovic, my advisor.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. This is a Status
2 Conference heard to find out about the preparations for
3 the trial in the case against Mr. Kunarac.
4 The last time we had a Status Conference
5 there were a few things that were outstanding. At that
6 time it was understood that the parties were still
7 holding meetings and the Prosecution were yet to decide
8 on certain ex parte or non-ex parte witnesses through
9 whom they wished to submit certain documents. So I
10 would like to find out what the position is with the
11 Prosecution regarding the witnesses, in particular,
12 Ms. Cleirin, Dr. Gow, and the other, Ms. Thapa.
13 What is the position? Have you decided how
14 you're going to handle these witnesses if, at all, they
15 are coming?
16 MS. HASLUND: Well, since the last Status
17 Conference we have had an additional interview with
18 Mr. Kunarac that took place on the 22nd and the 23rd of
19 April, and in relation to discovery, I may tell the
20 court that we had a request from Defence counsel
21 pursuant to Rule 66(B), and the Prosecution has
22 provided material to the Defence lawyer from the
23 exhibit list that was mainly maps and videotapes, and
24 we did that in connection with the interview on
25 Mr. Kunarac in late April.
1 In compliance with a request that the
2 Prosecution then made according to Rule 67(C), the
3 Prosecution was handed over by the Defence, on a
4 meeting in Sarajevo -- the trial attorneys next to me
5 had a meeting in Sarajevo on the 31st of May, and later
6 on, a few days ago, on the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd of
7 June, the Defence handed over to the Prosecution
8 documents and videotapes.
9 My colleagues have had an opportunity to look
10 into the videotapes but we haven't had the opportunity
11 to go through the documents and haven't had them
12 translated at the moment. That is why --
13 JUDGE MUMBA: The documents are still in what
14 language? Are they in Serbo-Croat?
15 MS. HASLUND: Yes.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Okay. Yes.
17 MS. HASLUND: So that is why we had not
18 finally decided on the expert witnesses, because we
19 would like to go through the material that has been
20 provided to us through Defence. So we will decide
21 soon, finally, who we are going to call as expert
23 I note from the last Status Conference that
24 we mentioned Dr. Cleirin, and we still want to call
25 her. It was also mentioned -- Ms. Tejshree Thapa is
1 her name, an analyst, and we are only introducing
2 documents through her. The issue of Dr. Gow, I think
3 we would want to go through the documents that the
4 Defence handed over to us before we decide finally if
5 to call him or if not.
6 I want to tell the court also that in
7 November 1998, we disclosed information to the Defence
8 about a certain potential witness who might have
9 information of an exculpatory nature, and in May 1999,
10 when my colleagues were in Sarajevo on a mission, they
11 located and interviewed this witness. The interview
12 and the translation has been handed over to Defence on
13 the 22nd of June, that is two days ago.
14 I have noticed from the last Status
15 Conference that the Defence lawyer has expressed the
16 opinion that he -- the Defence wants to proceed to
17 trial with as many admitted facts as possible and with
18 the most cooperation with the Prosecution as possible,
19 and from our point of view, I can say that I think
20 there is a very fruitful cooperation with the Defence
21 lawyers so that we will be able to conduct a safe and
22 speedy trial.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: So of the documents you have
24 received which you say they are still in Serbo-Croat,
25 will you be able to indicate roughly how long you think
1 it will take you to get them translated, go through
2 them, be able to take a decision on Dr. Gow?
3 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: In Sarajevo we received
4 a lot of documents, and this week we got only a few
5 newspaper articles which would be very fast to
7 The Sarajevo material, I think we will need
8 two more weeks to have all these translated, and then
9 we would have to meet Defence counsel and discuss with
10 them, because this material is in some parts related to
11 the question of armed conflict, parties of the
12 conflict, development of the situation before the war,
13 SDA, SDS politics, and we may find then an agreement
14 about the fighting parties, but what I think what will
15 be in dispute is the question of crimes against
16 humanity, attack on the non-Serb population in Foca.
17 This will probably remain in dispute, and for
18 this limited purpose we will probably need Dr. Gow, but
19 this will be decided when we have the discussion with
20 Defence counsel.
21 I wonder -- I assume that a lot of the
22 documents we received from the Defence counsel might
23 become Defence exhibits in trial, so I would rather
24 suggest that you make a translation of these documents
25 and to provide them to the court when the time has
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you very much.
3 Mr. Prodanovic?
4 MR. PRODANOVIC: Your Honour, at the last
5 Status Conference we promised our full cooperation with
6 the Prosecutor, and I fully agree with what the
7 Prosecution's side has said, that it is in our mutual
8 interest to expedite the proceedings.
9 As for the evidence we will use, there is
10 only a small part still being translated in Belgrade,
11 and we agreed that before the Pre-Trial conference we
12 would deliver this material and disclose it to the
14 I would like to point out that my legal
15 advisor did not receive approval from the Registry to
16 come here, but we have already agreed on the 21st and
17 22nd with the Prosecution, and the material we are to
18 disclose is in Belgrade because there is no court
19 interpreter in Foca for the English language. So we
20 decided that Mara Pilipovic would come here and bring
21 this material, at the expense of the Defence, because
22 the Defence does not want to be held responsible for
23 slowing down the proceedings in any way or being
24 responsible for a delay in the beginning of the trial.
25 So we are ready for the trial to begin. Of
1 course, taking into consideration all the remarks made
2 by the Prosecution with respect to Pre-Trial
4 JUDGE MUMBA: I don't think I understood you
5 clearly. You are saying that you still have some
6 documents which are being translated in Belgrade?
7 MR. PRODANOVIC: Yes. Only a small number of
8 documents, some videotapes and some written documents
9 which are still with the translator in Belgrade. We
10 have told the Prosecution that, and they will receive
11 this material before the beginning of the Pre-Trial
12 conference, and I now promise that this will be
13 translated and I hope that the next time we meet it
14 will all be translated into English.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: So the materials which you are
16 exchanging or which you, the Defence, are giving to the
17 Prosecution, have you decided whether you are going to
18 use it in the trial or are you going to decide at a
19 later stage to select which documents you're going to
20 use later in the trial?
21 MR. PRODANOVIC: We have decided to use that
22 material at the trial.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: All of the documents which you
24 have exchanged with the Prosecution.
25 MR. PRODANOVIC: Yes.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, because I would like to be
2 clear on that because of translation problems. If
3 they're going to be used at the trial, they should be
4 formally translated through the Registry.
5 MR. PRODANOVIC: That is why we delivered the
6 documents to the Prosecution, and we are only hoping
7 with our translation we will facilitate things and make
8 it easier for the Registry to have this translated.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Thank you. Is there
10 anything else you wanted to say?
11 MR. PRODANOVIC: No. No, thank you.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: What about the state of your
13 client? Is he in good health? The detention
14 facilities, are they okay?
15 MR. PRODANOVIC: Yes. Yes, everything is all
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Thank you very much. I
18 just wish to remind the parties of continuing
19 obligations as far as discovery, in particular with the
20 documents are concerned, and I do hope that as soon as
21 the documents are given to the Prosecution and properly
22 translated, the Prosecution will be able to decide on
23 Dr. Gow.
24 I take it that Ms. Cleirin and Ms. Thapa will
25 be on the list. They'll be able to come. Ms. Thapa is
1 only for her to introduce documents into evidence.
2 Ms. Cleirin will be an ex parte witness?
3 MS. HASLUND: Yes.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Is her submission ready, her
6 MS. HASLUND: As far as I know, yes.
7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, you have
8 already the contents of the statement because you have
9 received the transcript of Mrs. Cleirin. I think you
10 have received the transcript.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, the transcript. I've seen
12 that. Is that it?
13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. That is what she
14 will talk about in this case.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Because I was looking at the
16 particulars of Rule 94 bis, and if you are saying that
17 that is the transcript and that's all that she's going
18 to discuss, then in which case the Defence will be able
19 to cross-examine her. I suppose she will come because
20 that is a transcript in another trial. Okay.
21 So the only decision remains over Dr. Gow,
22 once you have looked at the documents, isn't it?
23 MS. HASLUND: That's right, Your Honour.
24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I would
25 like to add something in regard of experts. That is
1 something that is not yet decided, because we are still
2 in discussion with Defence counsel.
3 The question arises, and you have seen it
4 probably from the motion on the form of the indictment
5 from the accused, that there is a question of
6 responsibility of the accused as a lower-level military
7 commander in regard of leisure time of soldiers.
8 Mr. Prodanovic had mentioned that there may
9 be a military expert coming on behalf of the --
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Defence.
11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: -- Defence, and we also
12 are considering to call a military expert. We already
13 have contacted several people, and we have not yet made
14 a final decision. But we might have a military expert,
15 but just focus on this simple question: How a
16 lower-level commander could be responsible for soldiers
17 in their leisure time.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Okay. Thank you. That is
19 confirmed, Mr. Prodanovic?
20 MR. PRODANOVIC: Yes, Your Honour. We have
21 already discussed this topic with the Prosecution, and
22 we confirm that we do intend to call a military expert
23 who will comment on the command responsibility of the
24 accused, taking into consideration his status as an
25 ordinary soldier who was the head of a reconnaissance
1 patrol. There is no doubt that he had no rank, and we
2 have advised the Prosecution accordingly.
3 We do not object to the Prosecution
4 presenting evidence about these facts, thus helping the
5 court to establish all the relevant facts and to reach
6 a just decision.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you very much. Well, it
8 appears to me that all the preparations are on course
9 except, of course, for the recently discovered
10 documents which have yet to be translated for final
11 decisions to be taken.
12 As far as the trial date is concerned, it is
13 not yet set because our Chamber is involved in another
14 trial and, also, some Judges of the Chamber are
15 involved in Appeal Chamber work. So the decision
16 hasn't yet been taken as to when we expect to start the
17 trial in this case for purposes of disclosure of the
18 protected witnesses' statements, which we said would be
19 disclosed to the Defence 30 days before the trial.
20 In that case, then I think that if all goes
21 well, we may have a final Status Conference probably in
22 two or three months' time. We shall, of course, stick
23 to the rules for having a Status Conference in case we
24 need more time for that, and an order to that effect
25 will be issued.
1 I think that's all. Anything else?
2 MS. HASLUND: Nothing.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Anything else, Mr. Prodanovic?
4 MR. PRODANOVIC: No, Your Honour. Thank
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you very much. I think
7 we have come to the end of our proceedings and the
8 court will rise.
9 --- Hearing adjourned sine die
10 at 3.17 p.m. sine die