Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 5339

1 Wednesday, 13 September 2000

2 Upon commencing at 9.40 a.m.

3 [Open session]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You may be seated.

6 Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Good morning to the technical

7 booth; good morning interpreters, legal assistants, registry; good morning

8 counsel for the Prosecution. I see that Ms. Hollis is with us today.

9 Good morning counsel for the Defence. It seems that they are all here.

10 And finally, good morning to the accused.

11 The Prosecutor has proposed that the examination of Witness A be

12 held in -- under special circumstances. The Prosecutor emphasised that

13 the witness in question has already testified in a previous case, and that

14 the contents of her testimony are particularly traumatising. The risk

15 involved would therefore be that of another victimisation of the witness

16 by making her remember painful events without at the same time special

17 interests for the Defence. The Defence has already received the previous

18 statement of the witness, and it seems that this particular statement

19 would not be to any interest of the Judges as well.

20 The Chamber is fully aware of the risk of a second victimisation

21 or a secondary victimisation in this case. It is possible that this be a

22 tertiary victimisation. Clearly Witness A is a very important witness,

23 both for the Prosecution and for the Defence, and it seems that it is of a

24 special interest for one particular accused.

25 The Chamber has already taken account of the special situation of

Page 5340

1 this witness who is coming to testify once again by granting a very high

2 level of protection; however, in this case, it seems important that both

3 the Prosecution and the Defence can proceed with the examination-in-chief

4 and cross-examination of the witness in such a way as they are able to

5 properly present their arguments before the Chamber.

6 However, the Chamber wishes to note that persons who have suffered

7 such painful events are especially vulnerable. The Chamber wishes to

8 appeal to the parties not to ask questions which are unnecessary, and

9 that the question be -- questions be asked in such a way that is fully

10 appropriate in respect of the circumstances.

11 The Chamber wishes to thank the parties in advance, and decides to

12 follow the procedure which has so far been applied, that is, the usual

13 procedure. This has been the ruling of the Chamber.

14 I think that we can now proceed with a new witness. Ms. Hollis.

15 MS. HOLLIS: Thank you, Your Honour. Your Honour, the Prosecution

16 would call Witness F, and this witness's testimony will be heard in closed

17 session.

18 [Open session]

19 MS. HOLLIS: Your Honours, I would note as this witness is brought

20 into the courtroom, that if Your Honours have no objection, the witness is

21 here with a support person. The witness has requested that the support

22 person be allowed to listen to the testimony for any purposes of support.

23 This individual is also the witness's therapist. We have asked the

24 defence if it is permissible that the support person sit in the technical

25 booth and listen to the evidence. The Defence has indicated they have no

Page 5341

1 objection to this. So if Your Honours have no objection, we would ask

2 leave for the support person to sit in the technical booth during Witness

3 F's testimony.

4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] What is the response of the

5 Defence, please?

6 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, good morning. We are

7 somewhat confused because the information we received was that it was the

8 lawyer of Witness F, and we agreed to that, but this has caused a bit of a

9 confusion with us. It is not very important, we still agree to that, but

10 we would like to know who the individual in question really is, if that is

11 the lawyer or a therapist.

12 MS. HOLLIS: Well, I'm confused as well, Your Honours, because

13 certainly we would never have said it's the lawyer. This lady is a

14 therapist. She's not a lawyer. As far as I understand, this witness

15 doesn't have a lawyer. So it is the therapist that we're talking about

16 who would sit in, and it is for purposes of therapy should this testimony

17 traumatise the victim. And our understanding was the Defence had no

18 objection, so I apologise for any confusion. Perhaps we've had some

19 problem in communication because of the language, Your Honour.

20 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] That is a possibility as well, Your

21 Honour. We would interpret it as counsel, but we do not object to the

22 application made by the Prosecution.

23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I am also a bit confused because

24 I first of all did not order for the blinds to be lowered, and I didn't

25 say that we had to go into private session as early as this, and

Page 5342

1 apparently there is a very serious problem here, and we should have a

2 five-minute break. Let me add that I was aware of the fact that a

3 psychiatrist would be in the courtroom in order to help the witness if it

4 is necessary. We all understand, I hope, that this is a very delicate

5 situation, and the Chamber was already informed of the matter. However,

6 we need to have at least a five-minute break at this point.

7 --- Recess taken at 9.50 a.m.

8 --- On resuming at 10.01 a.m.

9 [Open session]

10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] In view of the request

11 of the Prosecutor to have a psychiatrist present who is treating the

12 witness, and the non-objection of the Defence, the Chamber decides to

13 authorise the presence of this professional person in the technical booth,

14 but on condition that this therapist signs a statement committing herself

15 not to reveal any information from these hearings because they're being

16 held under conditions of confidentiality. Therefore, she is obliged --

17 she has to pledge in writing not to speak to anyone about these things

18 outside her professional therapeutic treatment of the witness. So

19 understand those conditions, the Chamber does authorise the presence of

20 this person.

21 We are now going to go into closed session and have the witness

22 brought in.

23 Mr. Usher, please.

24 [Closed session]

25 (redacted)

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23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.32 p.m., to

24 be reconvened on Thursday the 14th day of September,

25 2000, at 9.30 a.m.