Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 1

1 Friday, 8 March 2002

2 [Status Conference]

3 [Open session]

4 --- Upon commencing at 2.05 p.m.

5 JUDGE HUNT: Call the case, please.

6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honour. Case number

7 IT-98-30/1-A, the Prosecutor versus Miroslav Kvocka, Milojica Kos, Zoran

8 Zigic, Mladjo Radic, and Dragoljub Prcac.

9 JUDGE HUNT: I'm sorry for the late start, but because of the late

10 finish of the previous trial in this courtroom and the need to run the

11 tapes for half an hour after it is finished because of the delayed

12 transmission caused the delay.

13 This is a Status Conference called in accordance with Rule 65 bis

14 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. This is the first that has been

15 called since the judgement, and of course we are not in any real position

16 to know what is happening. Nevertheless, there may be some questions

17 which will arise.

18 For the Prosecution?

19 MR. FARRELL: Good afternoon, Your Honour. Norman Farrell for the

20 Prosecution, with Mr. Anthony Carmona, and Mr. Wolfgang Sakulin is the

21 case manager. Thank you.

22 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you. For Mr. Radic.

23 MR. JOVANOVIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Dr. Zoran Jovanovic

24 from Belgrade, and I shall today be representing the accused Mladjo Radic.

25 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you. For Mr. Prcac.

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1 MR. J. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour. I'm

2 Jovan Simic, lawyer here for the accused Prcac.

3 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you. For Mr. Kos.

4 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour. Zarko

5 Nikolic with Mr. Matt Hennessey. We are here for the accused Milojica

6 Kos.

7 JUDGE HUNT: And for Mr. Zigic.

8 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour. I'm

9 Slobodan Stojanovic, lead counsel for Mr. Zigic. And I'd like to seize

10 this opportunity to raise a -- to mention a technical problem. I cannot

11 hear the interpretation. I'm afraid my headphones are not in order.

12 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Kvocka, are you able to hear the proceedings in a

13 language which you understand? There's no need to stand up.

14 THE ACCUSED KVOCKA: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]

15 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you. We have received a message from your

16 counsel that he is unwell and the doctor has advised him not to attend,

17 but he says that he has no issues to raise at this hearing. We did

18 suggest to him that if he wished to consult other counsel in the case he

19 should, but in any event, he will be able to raise anything later on an

20 informal basis if anything does arise. Do you understand that?

21 THE ACCUSED KVOCKA: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]

22 THE INTERPRETER: The accused is nodding.

23 JUDGE HUNT: Yes. Thank you very much.

24 Mr. Radic, are you able to understand the proceedings in a

25 language that you understand?

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1 THE INTERPRETER: The microphones of the accused are not on, and

2 we cannot hear what they are saying.

3 THE ACCUSED RADIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, I can hear. Yes, I

4 can.

5 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Prcac, are you able to hear the proceedings?

6 THE ACCUSED PRCAC: [Interpretation] Yes, I am very well. I can

7 hear you very well.

8 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you. Mr. Kos.


10 JUDGE HUNT: And Mr. Zigic?

11 THE ACCUSED ZIGIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I can. Yes, I can hear

12 you, and I can hear the interpretation in the language I understand.

13 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you very much.

14 The present stage of this appeal is that the appellants have been

15 granted an extension of time, until the 15th of April, in which to file

16 their appellant's briefs. I would like to draw the attention of counsel

17 to the terms of the current Rule 108. Although you were not bound by that

18 at the time you filed your notices of appeal, the Rules by which you are

19 bound in relation to your appellant's brief requires you to set out in the

20 appellant's brief your grounds of appeal. Now, the new Rule 108 defines

21 what a ground of appeal is, and it seems to be that it was necessary to

22 insert this definition because of some inability of some counsel to

23 understand. What you have to do is to identify the order, decision or

24 ruling which you challenge, with a specific reference to the date of its

25 filing and/or the transcript page, and you are required to indicate the

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1 substance of the alleged errors and the relief sought.

2 That sounds very simple. Unfortunately, a lot of counsel do not

3 understand it. But there must be a clearly identified set of grounds of

4 appeal in your appellant's brief so that we know what this appeal is

5 about. It's no good just having a discursive discussion of the case with,

6 every now and again, a complaint about something. We want a numbered

7 series of propositions asserting grounds of appeal with the arguments

8 attached to them. So please do remember that when you are finalising your

9 grounds of appeal.

10 Mr. Stojanovic, I would like to make it very clear to you at the

11 outset that the Appeals Chamber will not accept the torrent of paper that

12 you inflicted upon the Trial Chamber. If you are going to constantly

13 bring motions which do not succeed, you will find, as you found the other

14 day, that you will be denied your costs of them. So let's start off on

15 the proper basis. We only want to hear from you in motions if you have

16 something really important to deal with, merely because you may fail if a

17 motion will not deny you your costs, but if we regard the motion as

18 frivolous, you will.

19 Now, there have been three that you've made so far. Each of them

20 has been unsuccessful. One of them you've lost your costs; another one, I

21 have to say I can only assume that the President did not have that

22 particular provision drawn to his attention. So in future, just be

23 careful before you start sending us some motions.

24 Now, is there anything that the Prosecution wants to raise?

25 MR. FARRELL: No, Your Honour. Thank you.

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1 JUDGE HUNT: All right. Is there anything that any counsel wants

2 to raise within the terms of Rule 65 bis about the proceedings or in

3 relation to the condition of their client's health and incarceration?

4 Mr. Stojanovic?

5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. If I

6 may, I'm not trying to excuse myself, it is merely that I interpreted

7 differently the decision of the Trial Chamber, with which I go along. I

8 merely wanted the Prosecution to go by it. I was not against any of the

9 acts adopted. I merely wanted the other party to apply that

10 consistently. So whatever I did, I didn't do it of a whim, because of a

11 whim.

12 What I nevertheless wish to say is that in a certain manner, this

13 may lead to another motion, and that is the expansion of the number of

14 pages of the appeal, because there are so many problems with the

15 first-instance judgement, which we tried to resolve in part before the

16 appeal, before we laid the ground for our appeal. However, obviously we

17 shall have to resolve it in the very text of the reasoning for the appeal,

18 and therefore our appeal will be longer. This Defence has, too,

19 objections to the text of the first-instance judgement, and that is the

20 reason why we wanted to alleviate the burden of the Appellate Chamber

21 before we filed the appeal by filing some preliminary motions. Thank you.

22 JUDGE HUNT: Well, you better make any application - this applies

23 to all counsel - you better make any application for an extension of the

24 number of pages well in advance, because usually we find we get these

25 motions on the last day or so, which means we either allow it simply out

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1 of frustration or we order you to go away and redo your briefs in a

2 shorter form. So if you, in the course of your preparations, you are

3 seeing that you are obviously going to exceed the limits imposed by the

4 practice direction, I suggest you make your application well and truly in

5 advance.

6 I myself take the view that the principal purpose of the practice

7 direction was to cure the extravagance of both parties, which included the

8 Prosecution, in the size of the briefs which they used to file, sometimes

9 six or seven hundred pages long, mainly quoting large slabs of evidence or

10 authorities. That was its purpose. The consequences of the practice

11 direction I think probably caused more trouble than it's worth, but

12 nevertheless, it is being enforced. But so far as I'm concerned, as the

13 Pre-Appeal Judge, I will grant extensions very readily, provided, as I

14 say, we get a fair estimate of what it will take and provided that it does

15 not seem grossly excessive in the way in which we used to have to put up

16 with in relation to briefs.

17 Now, the 15th of April may seem a long way away, but it's only

18 about five weeks. So I suggest that you should get on to your

19 applications within the next couple of weeks. You must be able to see by

20 now approximately how many pages you need. And I also take the view that

21 if the -- if one party gets an extension, the other party will

22 automatically get one as well. From the Prosecution's point of view, of

23 course, they will want to file, I suppose, a joint response, respondent's

24 brief, and we will listen in the same way to them as we listen to the

25 appellants' counsel for an extension of pages.

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1 From what I have seen of this decision, there is certainly a

2 number of controversial issues in it which one or other party is going to

3 have to spend a lot of time explaining.

4 So don't worry too much. You will get your extensions and, I

5 repeat, provided that you make your applications early enough.

6 Now, is there anything that any other counsel for the appellants

7 wishes to raise?

8 Very well, then. Well, in relation to Mr. Kvocka, if his counsel

9 wishes to raise any matter, having seen the transcript or having discussed

10 the matter with his colleagues, he may do so informally with the Senior

11 Legal Officer of the Appeals Chamber, and we will deal with it as far as

12 possible on an informal basis.

13 Thank you for your attendance. I will now adjourn.

14 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned

15 at 2.20 p.m.