1 Friday, 15 May 1998.
2 (In closed session)
3 --- Upon commencing at 10.05 a.m.
12 Pages 165 to 217 – redacted – closed session.
5 --- Recess taken at 11.40 a.m.
6 --- Upon resuming at 12.15 p.m.
7 (In open session)
8 JUDGE CASSESE: We are in a position to make
9 a ruling on the Prosecutor's motion.
10 The motion is denied. However, in the next
11 few days, we shall issue a detailed order setting out
12 the strict conditions on which disclosure shall be made
13 pursuant to Rule 66A, so that this shall be carried out
14 60 days before the date to be set for trial. It is a
15 question, of course, we will discuss later on in closed
16 session in the status conference.
17 We may now move to our next item to be
18 discussed in open session; namely, the request by one
19 Defence counsel about the return of -- I have so many
20 papers here -- about the return of the documents; I am
21 referring to the motion filed on the 8th of May by
22 counsel for Vlatko Kupreskic for the return of
23 documents contained in a briefcase.
24 I see there that this motion, that it was
25 agreed between the Defence counsel and the Prosecutor
1 that yesterday they would meet to try to come to some
2 sort of agreement. I wonder whether such agreement has
3 been reached so that we can dispose of this issue right
6 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 We have, in fact, met on a couple of
8 occasions in the last week. The latest meeting was
9 yesterday for the purpose of actually examining the
10 briefcase which we had understood, through Defence
11 counsel, was still in the possession of Mr. Kupreskic
12 at the detention facility.
13 A member of our staff went to the detention
14 facility and met Defence counsel there, but it turns
15 out that, in fact, the bag or the briefcase had been
16 sent weeks before back to Bosnia and was not available
17 for either party to examine.
18 So I think it is safe to conclude that at
19 this point there is a disagreement over what was in the
20 bag. I think Defence counsel maintains that about 13,
21 14 documents were in the bag that were not returned.
22 We have carefully reviewed our inventories and have
23 also established a chain of custody, and we are
24 convinced that those items were not in the bag.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. May I ask Defence
1 counsel for Vlatko Kupreskic to state his position?
2 MR. PAR: Yes, Your Honour. In accordance
3 with the decision of the Trial Chamber, we had two
4 meetings with our learned colleagues from the
5 Prosecutor's Office regarding the establishing of the
6 possible missing of some of the contents.
7 Finally, at our meeting yesterday, we
8 concluded that we were not able to resolve this matter
9 ourselves, and we presented our stance to the
10 Prosecution; namely, that we would be informing the
11 Trial Chamber of our position and applying to the Trial
12 Chamber that a proper report be drawn up on the
13 circulation, the movement of all the items contained
14 from the date of the arrest.
15 The accused Vlatko Kupreskic, prior to his
16 arrest, because he had contacted and had the intention
17 to contact this Trial Chamber, this Court, had put
18 together all the relevant documents which he thought
19 would count him in good stead for the Defence. Those
20 are the documents that we are asking for today. All
21 those documents were in his briefcase at the time of
22 his arrest and were seized from him. When he was
23 transferred to the detention facility, he submitted to
24 the Prosecutor's Office that briefcase with a portion
25 of the documents.
1 As we know, the exact documents that were in
2 the briefcase, we then found out subsequently that some
3 of them were missing and asked for them to be traced.
4 We established yesterday, without doubt, that
5 there were 14 documents of high relevance to us that
6 are missing. Since the answer, that these documents
7 are not in the possession of the Prosecutor, is an
8 answer that we consider unacceptable, and we demand
9 that this be exactly established whether it was the
10 representatives of the Prosecutor's Office in Sarajevo
11 who were first in possession of these documents or
12 perhaps are being held by this office here.
13 As we are unable to resolve this matter in
14 direct contact with the Prosecutor's Office, we kindly
15 apply to the Trial Chamber to order the Prosecutor to
16 trace the movement of the contents of the bag and who
17 had contact with the contents of the bag from the time
18 of their seizure in Sarajevo to this point in time.
19 In another sentence, allow me to say why this
20 is so essential to us. This is material proof,
21 material evidence which the Defence considers vital and
22 relevant and have to do with his health condition, the
23 fact that he did not belong to any army structures and
24 units, and documents having to do with the accused's
25 movement at the relevant times. So if we are denied
1 these documents, we shall be denied material evidence
2 which is relevant to all the counts of the indictment.
3 So I ask the Trial Chamber to make it
4 incumbent upon the Prosecutor to trace the movement and
5 the context in relation to the contents of the
7 Thank you.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. We have decided that we
9 will order the Prosecutor to submit to the Trial
10 Chamber a report, a detailed report, tracing the
11 movements of the contents of the briefcase or bag so
12 that it is clear why those 14 documents are missing.
13 Of course, no one doubts the good faith and
14 professionalism of the Prosecution. It is probably a
15 small hiccup somewhere that has happened, and I hope it
16 will be possible for the Prosecution to find out where
17 the documents are to be found so that the Defence will
18 be handed over the 14 missing documents.
19 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Yes, Your Honour. In fact,
20 we have done a search, a chain-of-custody search, to
21 assure ourselves that no documents were missing, and,
22 of course, I am prepared to do an oral presentation on
23 that chain of custody today, if the Court desires, or
24 we will be happy to submit a report as well.
25 I might also add that it has often happened
1 to me that I think I place something in my briefcase
2 and I do not place it in my briefcase. So we certainly
3 do not assume that these documents are missing as a
4 result of anything that the Office of the Prosecutor
5 has done.
6 I can briefly give an overview of the chain
7 of custody for the briefcase at this time, if the Court
8 would desire, or we will submit a report at a later
9 date, if the Court would desire.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: It is better that you should
11 submit a detailed written report so that we comply with
12 the requests of the Defence counsel.
13 We now are in a position to move to our
14 status conference, which will be held in-camera, to go
15 through various matters which are of great importance.
16 I was reminded that I should set a time for
17 the submission of the report. Could we say one week?
18 The written report we were discussing before.
19 MR. MOSKOWITZ: That's fine, Your Honour.
20 --- Proceedings move into closed session
21 status conference