1 Friday, 24th September, 1999
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 4.12 p.m.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Having taken the pleas from
6 both accused on the amended indictment, we may now move
7 to the Status Conference and we shall continue in open
8 session, unless the need arises for us to go into
9 closed session. Otherwise, the discussion should be in
10 open session.
11 I would like to find out from the
12 Prosecution, since they are the ones who put up the
13 amended indictment, how ready they are. We have the 25
14 counts, 21 against Kunarac and four against Kovac, and
15 the intention for the amendment is to have them both
16 tried at the same time.
17 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes, that is correct, Your
19 JUDGE MUMBA: So I want to find out, in
20 relation to Mr. Kovac, have the supporting materials
21 been forwarded to him, all of them?
22 MR. RYNEVELD: In terms of the supporting
23 materials, yes, they certainly have, and today we
24 anticipate getting the Rule 66 material to Defence
25 counsel immediately after these proceedings.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
2 MR. RYNEVELD: And we are also in a position
3 to provide the Rule 68 material which has already been
4 discovered in the searches that we conducted with
5 respect to Kunarac.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
7 MR. RYNEVELD: Additionally, of course, we
8 have commenced specific electronic searches for Kovac
9 and hope to complete that initial process in two to
10 three weeks' time. Following that, depending on the
11 amount of material that that additional search will
12 entail, we will require additional time to ascertain
13 what, if any, Rule 68 material should be disclosed upon
14 its analysis.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. So you've said that the
16 supporting materials upon confirmation have all been
17 supplied already, and the others are yet to be supplied
18 to Kovac.
19 MR. RYNEVELD: That's correct.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: So that the 30-day rule for any
21 motions and indictment can start running as from
23 MR. RYNEVELD: Excuse me. I'll just check
24 with my colleagues, but I believe that's the case,
25 yes. Yes, thank you.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. That will be fine.
2 Mr. Prosecutor, how many witnesses are we expecting for
3 this trial?
4 MR. RYNEVELD: Your Honours, I'm going to ask
5 my colleagues who have more intimate knowledge of this
6 file, since I've just recently become assigned as
7 senior trial attorney, to answer those specific
8 requests. Thank you.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
10 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, in the
11 Kunarac case, you have received a witness list.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And the same witnesses
14 apply to Mr. Kovac. So there is no change in the
15 witness list at all.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: What about the statements, the
17 statements of the witnesses, have they also been --
18 those which are to be handed over, are they ready for
19 handing over to Mr. Kovac?
20 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: They will be handed over
21 today. We have prepared everything, including a
22 receipt. So I would like to meet Mr. Kolesar after
23 this Status Conference and then hand this over.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Are you asking for any
25 protective measures as before, or do we leave those
1 orders running?
2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: The Prosecution requests
3 to leave these orders in place, and there will be no
4 additional orders.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Okay. So that all the
6 protective orders for all the witnesses will remain in
7 place, and the fact that the unredacted statements of
8 the protected witnesses will be handed to the Defence
9 counsel 30 days before the trial date.
10 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Okay. So in a way, can I take
12 it then that the Prosecution's obligations, more or
13 less, except for Rule 68 material which, as the senior
14 trial attorney said, you are yet to scrutinise?
15 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honours. It
16 will be done after this Status Conference. That is the
17 main material.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: What about the question
19 relating to expert witnesses? Do you remember the
20 last time with Kunarac, we were talking about Dr. Gow,
21 I think, when you were saying that it would depend on
22 the documents which the Defence counsel had handed over
23 to you, if you finished the interpretation, then you
24 would be able to find out whether or not you need to
25 have him as an expert witness.
1 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: The process of
2 reciprocal discovery is not yet completed. We have
3 more materials to see together with Defence counsel,
4 and only --
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Defence counsel is now both.
6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Of course, yes, but at
7 the moment, we just have these discovery issues with
8 Defence counsel Prodanovic, and it's not yet
9 concluded. Only after this, we had agreed that we
10 would have the final discussion on what experts would
11 be needed, if any. That means Dr. Gow or the two of
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, because as you know, these
14 two will be tried together, but Kunarac has been
15 waiting for his trial for a long period, and the Court
16 wouldn't like to see the addition of Kovac affect his
17 waiting time any longer.
18 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I do not think so, that
19 this will happen, because we are very well prepared in
20 disclosure, and the only thing that will have to take
21 place, a discussion with Defence Counsel Kolesar, if it
22 is possible to agree also on certain surrounding
23 aspects, and that would have to take place.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Okay. When is the Prosecution
25 planning that those discussions should take place? I
1 hope on Monday.
2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: You mean this Monday?
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, after the weekend, because
4 you've had the case for a long time.
5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: But we have to agree on
6 a meeting with Mr. Kolesar and Mr. Prodanovic as well,
7 and we wanted to discuss this before this Status
8 Conference, but we didn't have an interpreter here in
9 the courtroom who could assist us, so we have to do it
10 after the Status Conference.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you very much from the
13 Now let me turn to Defence counsel, in
14 particular, Mr. Kolesar. I would like to hear from
16 You've heard what the Prosecution have said
17 on materials which they are ready to hand over to you
18 and the fact that your client has been joined with
19 Kunarac, and the Trial Chamber is intending to start
20 the trial in February. How do you see your
21 preparations going?
22 MR. KOLESAR: [Interpretation] Your Honours,
23 the Defence has asked to be given two investigators.
24 Otherwise, we have been in Foca already and have done
25 some preliminary work. We believe that we would be
1 able to collect the necessary evidence and provide it
2 to the Prosecutor within three months. We do not want
3 to lengthen the proceedings, but we ask that the trial
4 be fair and that the Defence be allowed to fully
5 prepare to defend its client. We believe the deadline
6 of three months is the right one. We would then use
7 this time to gather all the evidence in Serbia,
8 Republika Srpska, which we would then use at trial.
9 What I would like to request of the Chamber
10 is that our time clock starts running as of tomorrow
11 regarding all the preliminary motions. The accused has
12 had some complaints, but they were not done in a
13 professional way. We believe that there are some
14 faults in the indictment; it is too vague and too
15 general, but we need time to prepare. I understand
16 that the case has now been joined, the case of
17 Mr. Kunarac and Mr. Kovac, and we are not against it.
18 But we would ask that this deadline be respected.
19 We also would like to see that the
20 exculpatory evidence regarding Mr. Kunarac be taken
21 into account so that we don't go into it all over
22 again, and it is in our own interests also to have the
23 trial start as soon as possible.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Kolesar, I would like
25 to assure you that the running of time for preliminary
1 motions will start, of course, on the working day,
2 which is Monday really, not tomorrow, which is a
4 I take it the motion which was filed on the
5 other indictment has fallen through because we are now
6 having this new amended indictment, so that you have to
7 start afresh.
8 MR. KOLESAR: [Interpretation] Very well.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Prodanovic, you heard what
10 the Prosecution have said. Any comments? Any
12 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] Frankly
13 speaking, we feared this situation, and on the last
14 Status Conference on 24 June, I will remind you, I had
15 said that we were ready to proceed to trial. Within
16 the last year, that is, almost a year and a half, we
17 have done everything to speed up the trial, and we did
18 everything we could to get ready for the trial. In
19 this situation which we have now, we believe that there
20 is a place for -- there is grounds for a Rule 65(B),
21 that is, provisional release of Mr. Kunarac, and with
22 your permission, Your Honours, I will tell you what the
23 grounds for these positions are.
24 As I said, we have done everything in our
25 power to be ready for trial. There are an additional
1 five indictees in this indictment, and it is not clear
2 whether we will proceed to trial in February. What if
3 one of the five other accused is captured, let's say,
4 in January? Then we would have to go back and reset
5 the clock.
6 Also, I want to point out that my client has
7 voluntarily come to The Hague, counting on a speedy,
8 expeditious trial.
9 My client has some health problems. He has a
10 problem with his right elbow, and I have his medical
11 case file. I consulted with the physician who had done
12 the surgical intervention at the time, and he said that
13 he could not give the final finding on this condition
14 before having examined the accused. So we believe that
15 if granted provisional release, he would use this time
16 to also take care of his health condition, and we would
17 come back whenever the trial is ready to proceed and
18 whenever the Trial Chamber orders him to come back.
19 We believe that the provisional release would
20 also encourage everybody who -- all the rest of the
21 accused who are on the indictment to reconsider their
22 position and voluntarily come to The Hague, and take
23 into account the general position of the Chamber.
24 Thank you.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Prodanovic, I
1 understand your concerns that the trial may not take
2 place. Really, the problem has been that the Trial
3 Chamber has got other proceedings, other trials which
4 are going on, and that has been the major problem,
5 because we've heard that the other trials should come
6 to an end at least before we can start another trial,
7 because otherwise it is impossible to deal with two
8 trials at the same time. This is the reason.
9 If another accused of the original indictment
10 were to be arrested in January, I'm sure that everybody
11 concerned would see to it that it doesn't delay this
12 particular trial, because by then we shall have
13 finished the other trial we are dealing with in Trial
14 Chamber II. By January, we should be able to give the
15 trial date in February so that we can start, so you can
16 rest assured that there will be no further delays for
17 this particular trial.
18 As for the provisional release, well, you can
19 go ahead and make your application and produce all the
20 evidence that is required. As you know, under Rule 65,
21 the conditions are laid down for provisional release.
22 The Trial Chamber will deal with that when it is moved
23 by the motion, and of course the Prosecution will be
24 given an opportunity, as you know, to respond to the
1 As for the medical attention which you say
2 your client would like to have, in other cases we've
3 had the medical practitioners actually come to visit
4 them here, if need be, so that they can assure them of
5 their medical treatment or the facilities which are
6 required. But if, as you say, the facilities are only
7 available or the practitioner can only do it in another
8 country outside The Hague, then due consideration will
9 be given to the application or to the motion when it
10 comes before the Chamber.
11 Otherwise, as you say that you are ready for
12 the trial, I'm sure the Prosecution has been listening,
13 and also the Defence counsel for Mr. Kovac, as you
14 understood him, pleading for time and making sure that
15 at least three months are given for him to be
16 adequately prepared for the trial, that will be taken
17 into consideration.
18 The Trial Chamber is hoping that we will have
19 another Status Conference, a final one, at the end of
20 November. By then, we hope that Rule 68 matters will
21 have been attended to fully so that there are no
22 reasons why we should wait any more. Then the final
23 Status Conference by the whole Chamber will be sometime
24 early in January, and the trial date will be fixed
25 hopefully before then or at that Status Conference so
1 that the unredacted statements can be saved on time
2 before the trial starts.
3 During the second Status Conference or the
4 final Status Conference, of course, the Trial Chamber
5 will be expecting the Defence counsel to be able to
6 outline the nature of their defence so that the
7 Prosecution can also be adequately prepared in terms of
8 making sure that they elicit the relevant evidence from
9 their witnesses.
10 Any other matters? The Prosecution?
11 MR. RYNEVELD: Nothing arising at this time.
12 Thank you, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. Any other matters,
14 Mr. Prodanovic?
15 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] No other
16 matters, Your Honours. Thank you.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Kolesar?
18 MR. KOLESAR: [Interpretation] No, Your
19 Honours, no other matters.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you very much.
21 So we have come to the end of our proceedings
22 until the next Status Conference. The Court will
24 --- Whereupon the Status Conference
25 adjourned at 4.29 p.m. sine die