1 Friday, 25 June 2004
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 3.45 p.m.
6 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
7 Mr. Registrar, could we have the case called, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honour. The case, IT-03-66-PT,
9 the Prosecutor against Fatmir Limaj, Haradin Bala, and Isak Musliu.
10 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
11 Please, can we have the appearances, please.
12 MR. CAYLEY: May it please Your Honour. Andrew Cayley, Alex
13 Whiting, Colin Black for the Office of the Prosecutor. Our case manager
14 is Hasan Younis. Thank you.
15 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Thank you very much.
16 And for the Defence, please.
17 MR. KHAN: If it please Your Honour. Karim Khan in the absence
18 of lead counsel, Michael Mansfield, for Fatmir Limaj.
19 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Yes.
20 MR. GUY-SMITH: Good afternoon, Your Honour. My name is Gregor
21 Guy-Smith. I am co-counsel for Haradin Bala, in the absence of lead
22 counsel at this time, Mr. Murphy. I thank you for letting --
23 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Is there a problem?
24 MR. GUY-SMITH: I believe there's a slight difficulty with
1 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Okay. Mr. Guy-Smith.
2 MR. GUY-SMITH: Thank you very much. I thank you for the honour
3 of being able to appear in front of you, this being my first appearance.
4 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Yes, I know. Thank you.
5 MR. TOPOLSKI: Your Honour, Mr. Michael Topolski with Mr. Steven
6 Powles. We represent Mr. Isak Musliu. And I too share my first
7 appearance in front of Your Honour. It's a pleasure to be here.
8 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Mr. Powles.
9 MR. POWLES: Thank you, Your Honour. Mr. Steven Powles,
10 co-counsel for Isak Musliu.
11 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Thank you.
12 Mr. Musliu, please. Could you hear in a languages that
13 understandable for you, that you can understand?
14 THE ACCUSED MUSLIU: [No interpretation]
15 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Okay. Mr. Bala, please. Do you
16 understand what is said here in a language that you can understand?
17 THE ACCUSED BALA: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Okay. And then Mr. Musliu, please. Can
19 you hear whatever is said here in a language that is for you well known?
20 THE ACCUSED MUSLIU: [Interpretation] Yes, I do understand it
22 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Thank you very much. Well, please sit
24 Well, we'll start the last -- probably the last Status Conference
25 with me in this case. I have been informed about what is the situation.
1 It seems that disclosure is proceeding at a good pace so far. You have
2 perhaps some problems still with the translation in Albanian or in German
3 and Albanian in some cases, in some particular case, but I am confident
4 that these difficulties can soon be overcome.
5 On the other side, the disclosure according to Article 68 seems
6 to be nearly completed, if I am not wrong. And in any case, if you have
7 some matters that you'd like to bring about at this moment about this
8 aspect of the disclosure, please, I would ask you to speak up. No
9 problem for you?
10 MR. CAYLEY: We don't have anything to add --
11 [Albanian interpretation on the English Channel]
12 MR. CAYLEY: I think we're getting the Albanian translation
13 actually on the English Channel.
14 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: I try to -- it's okay?
15 Please, could you speak now. I understand that in English.
17 And what about you, the counsel for the Defence?
18 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, nothing to raise additional to that that
19 was discussed and agreed yesterday.
20 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Thank you.
21 It's also the case for all of you?
22 MR. GUY-SMITH: Yes. There is the matter of a medical report
23 with regard to Mr. Bala.
24 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Yes. And what is this matter? You said
25 that there's no matter you would like to raise now.
1 MR. GUY-SMITH: With regard to issues concerning the disclosure.
2 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Nothing.
3 MR. GUY-SMITH: With regard to another issue, yes.
4 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Okay. Thank you.
5 Mr. Topolski, Mr. Powles?
6 MR. TOPOLSKI: On disclosure, nothing. There are two other
7 matters I would like to raise, when convenient to you.
8 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: We'll arrive to that later.
9 MR. TOPOLSKI: Thank you.
10 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: I know that in the case of Mr. Bala,
11 Mr. Murphy is stepping down from his place as counsel for the Defence.
12 Well, I had heard about what are the reasons he has, and besides, well,
13 he's of course permitted to leave the Defence. I am expecting that a new
14 counsel for Mr. Bala could be appointed shortly in time, and -- well, I
15 hope this is not going to disturb the schedule that so far seems to be
16 adopted or nearly adopted for this case.
17 There is another point which could be interesting to talk about
18 with, and that is this Chamber is considering trying to call the
19 attention of the Presidency of the Tribunal to pass the case over to
20 another Court, another Chamber, probably the Chamber number II. Of
21 course, it would depend on the Presidency to take the final decision on
22 the subject, and of course, it may be the case that the President could
23 think of another Chamber. I don't know. That's not for us, this Chamber
24 I, to take the decision, so -- but I mean, the thing is going to be
25 mentioned. And this is interesting because it's related with the
1 possibility that the case could be started on October the 1st - perhaps
2 October the 4th, because the 1st is a Friday, but anyway - at the
3 beginning of October, which seems to be agreeable by everybody in all of
4 the parties in the case.
5 There's another procedural point which seems to be nearly settled
6 or settled, and it is that the Prosecution has got from the Defence
7 acceptance of the date of July the 16th to be -- I mean, to make a reply
8 to their motion in the sense of to the position about the witnesses,
9 above all the witnesses that could be acceptable under the 92 bis Rule
10 which is -- I believe you had become in accordance, both parties, that
11 when the Defence counsels could answer by the 16th of the next month
12 about the propositions made or the position taken by the Prosecutor. The
13 Prosecutor afterwards will place the motion for the witness that there
14 will be, as we used to say, paper witnesses, witnesses that will making
15 their testimonies in the way considered by Article or Rule 92 bis.
16 So the only thing I find that has merits for me to mention is the
17 fact that a motion on behalf of Mr. Bala has been introduced for his
18 being subjected to a new medical observation, so as to get a new report
19 about your situation. We had already decided in favour of this motion,
20 and -- well, the decision of the Court is ready and it's going to be
21 filed either today at the end to have day or, most likely next Monday.
22 So that is what I have to say.
23 But I believe that Mr. Topolski has suggested that he would have
24 some other subject to bring about, and please, I give you the floor. In
25 case some of the other parties have also some points to make, well, they
1 will be given the possibility to do so afterwards.
2 So please go ahead, Mr. Topolski.
3 MR. TOPOLSKI: Your Honour, I'm very grateful.
4 May I raise two matters, please: The first, very short; the
5 second, I hope not too long. The first is this, it arises out of the
6 meeting that we had yesterday, which I think I can say on behalf of all
7 was conducted constructively and in a most helpful atmosphere. It
8 relates to a matter of some concern to all, and that is suggestions - and
9 I shall put it no higher than that - of the possibility of interference
10 and/or of intimidation of witnesses or potential witnesses. We raised
11 that yesterday, and as a result of a subsequent meeting a protocol was
12 considered to be the best way forward. A draft of that protocol was
13 prepared by Mr. Powles, my co-counsel, overnight. We've distributed it
14 to all parties this afternoon. We hope that it will find favour with
15 Mr. Cayley and his team and will be the way in which all parties will
16 conduct themselves hereafter. I simply place that on the record as
17 something that was a leftover from yesterday of some importance.
18 May I then turn to something else of considerable significance,
19 as far as my lay client is concerned, and I think, if I may be permitted
20 also to say, of the other two defendants. Today for the first time for
21 the entirety of his journey from the Detention Centre to this building my
22 lay client was blindfolded. I say "for the first time." Every other
23 time that he's been there - and I think there's been four or five - that
24 blindfold has been applied, as I understand it, for the first five and
25 the last five minutes of the journey. The difference between all other
1 occasions and today is manifest. I raised this yesterday at the meeting.
2 I say no more about the difference between every other occasion and this
3 afternoon; the fact can speak for itself.
4 I have an application, and my application is that this Court
5 should order, for we submit respectively that the Court has jurisdiction
6 so to do, that my client - and I apprehend my colleagues will join in the
7 application - should not be blindfolded at all, again, from this moment
9 May I say this in support of that application four submissions -
10 and they are brief. First of all, as we understand it - and our
11 researchers have been speedy but we hope efficient - these three
12 defendants are treated uniquely to anyone else held in it at the
13 Detention Centre or on trial or about to be held on trial at this Court.
14 Secondly, the search in our submission for a justification for
15 such a step, for which we can find no precedent, would have to be an
16 exceptional circumstance. Those words come from the Rules and are only
17 attributed, as far as we can see, to the question of handcuffs and
18 physical restraints. Nowhere in the Rules - and one is not surprised by
19 this - does one find a provision for blindfolding.
20 Consequently, our second submission is that a compelling reason
21 of the most graphic kind would in our submission have to be placed before
22 you, Your Honour, or any of Your Honour's colleagues evidentially to
23 justify such a step.
24 Thirdly, absent any such compelling reason, this is, in our
25 submission, both inhumane and degrading treatment and it has not escaped
1 our clients' notice that they are, as I have indicated, apparently being
2 singled out for this treatment.
3 The Court has the jurisdiction. I have had sent in to you - I
4 hope you received it - a copy of the current edition of "Archbold
5 International Criminal Court's Practice Procedure & Evidence," and, I
6 hope for your convenience, I flagged up for you the various rules that we
7 respectfully submit apply. I don't know if you had, Your Honour, an
8 opportunity to look; perhaps not. May I take you through it swiftly.
9 The submission I make is simply this: That putting these rules
10 together, there is jurisdiction for you to make the order we seek. May I
11 begin at page 842, where one sees Rule --
12 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Excuse me, you said 600?
13 MR. TOPOLSKI: 842, page 842.
14 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: 842.
15 MR. TOPOLSKI: There Your Honour will find Rule 83.
16 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Probably I was misdirected.
17 MR. TOPOLSKI: I hope that should be the first flag. I'm taking
18 them --
19 MR. TOPOLSKI: I'm taking them in chronological order through the
21 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: I am in page 842.
22 MR. TOPOLSKI: Your Honour sees Rule 83?
23 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Here I find Rule 82 -- 83, no.
24 MR. TOPOLSKI: Yes, 83.
25 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: 83, okay.
1 MR. TOPOLSKI: "Instruments of restraint."
2 "Instruments of restraint such as handcuffs shall be used only on
3 the order of the registrar as an precaution against escape during
4 transfer or in order to prevent an accused himself injury, injury to
5 others, or to prevent serious damage to property. Instruments of
6 restraint shall been removed when the accused appears before a Chamber or
7 a judge."
8 So there, in that rule, in simple straightforward terms, is a
9 reflection of the position that it is on the order of the Registrar of
10 this Court as a precaution against escape that restraints can be lawfully
12 One moves on, please, if you would, Your Honour, to page 906.
13 Here we are looking at rules governing detention.
14 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Yes.
15 MR. TOPOLSKI: Rule 2, under the heading "Basic principles":
16 "The United Nations shall retain the ultimate responsibility and
17 liability for all aspects of detention pursuant to these rules. All
18 detainees shall be subject to the sole discretion of the Tribunal at all
19 times they are so detained, even though physically absent from the
20 Detention Unit, until final release or transfer to another institution.
21 Subject to the overriding jurisdiction of the Tribunal, the
22 commanding officer --"
23 I'm told I'm speaking too fast. I'll slow down, and I apologise.
24 "...the commanding officer shall have sole responsibility for all
25 aspects of the day-to-day management of the unit, including security an
1 order, and make all decisions relating thereto except where otherwise
3 We respectfully submit that speaks for itself. "All detainees
4 are subject to the sole jurisdiction of this Tribunal at all times."
5 Your Honour, one moves on, if you would, please, to page 913.
6 And here one deals with Rule -- sees Rule 50, under the heading of
7 "Instructs of restraint and the use of force."
8 "Instruments of restraint such as handcuffs shall only be used in
9 the following exceptional circumstances." -- I'm sorry, have I gone too
11 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: No, no, no, I haven't found it. Go
12 ahead. Go ahead.
13 MR. TOPOLSKI: Thank you. Your Honour will see this is where get
14 the word "exceptional circumstances" from in this context. And they are
15 set out there. The first relates to precautions against escape during
17 May I draw your attention, respectfully, to paragraph B of that
18 rule: "In all incidents involving the use of restraint - and we would
19 argue a blindfold is one such - the commanding officer shall consult the
20 medical officer and report to the registrar who may report the matter to
21 the President." That may have some particular potency in the case of
22 Mr. Bala, but I shall leave that to my learned friend, Mr. Guy-Smith.
23 And finally, if you'd be so kind to go to page 919. Rule 90:
24 "Detainees shall at all times be transported in vehicles with adequate
25 ventilation and light and in such a way as will not subject them to
1 unnecessary physical hardship or indignity."
2 This journey my client took today, as he has taken on four or
3 five previous occasions, has in our submission subjected him to
5 Your Honour, we only raise this and make this invitation for you
6 to make this order in order that the conduct of this trial shall have as
7 little heat generated in it and around it as possible, for that is in the
8 interest of all. And for a defendant to arrive at a building in the
9 condition that my client, and I believe others, was in today - namely,
10 angry, annoyed, and all that goes with the indignity we say he has been
11 suffering - if "suffering" is too high a word, I apologise for it;
12 "undergoing" - then that cannot be conducive to a trial in due course
13 that is both fair and one in which he can adequately participate, as I
14 know this Court would wish him to be completely free to do.
15 I did ask yesterday that a senior officer be available to answer
16 questions. I am told there is none such here, but nonetheless I make the
17 application that I do. I well recognise that there may be material that
18 is placed before a Court confidentially that relates to matters of
19 security, particularly when prisoners are being transported. I seek not
20 to go into that material, for what I say is this: That if there is a
21 concern that my client should not be able to see where he's going, that
22 can be adequately achieved by putting him in a vehicle with blackened
23 windows, or if that's too expensive, by cutting out some cardboard and
24 sticking it on the window. That would achieve the same result.
25 Your Honour, that is the application we make and the basis and
1 the reasons for it.
2 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: I thank you, Mr. Topolski, for the --
3 what you are telling me. It's a subject -- please sit down. It's a
4 subject of which I am not very happy, and I had already had the occasion
5 in previous Status Conferences of my thoughts about that.
6 The problem is with all these rules you had kindly read apply to
7 internal situations, and we had to put up also with the rules that are
8 established for the services that give us the possibility of bringing
9 here and back the persons accused. I would say that the situation today
10 seems to have been still more unpleasant than on the previous occasion,
11 and I regret it very much.
12 I have been always interested on what is going on. I know that
13 now the Registrar are still dealing with the Ministry of Justice so as to
14 find a solution for this matter, and the case could be still more
15 pressing, if I may say so, when the case will start to be here in court,
16 because this kind of situation could be repeated mostly every day or
17 surely every day. So I would say that I now will limit myself to call
18 again the attention of the Registrar about the point you have made, in
19 that they had to be introduced in the -- let's say, the talks with the
20 people of the Ministry of Justice. But I'll try.
21 If it doesn't go to a good solution in the near future and I keep
22 still being the Pre-trial Judge in this case, to try to, well, push a
23 little bit the matter so as - not a little bit, as far as would be
24 necessary - with the Ministry of Justice to find a suitable solution,
25 which I am very well aware of the matter.
1 You had also mentioned another question which -- well, I wasn't
2 going to talk with in this conference. And before I go any further, I
3 would like to hear the Prosecution about this subject of the possibility
4 of witnesses being intimidated. And I didn't -- the first I know is that
5 you are not so far sure of any evidence of the existence of the case.
6 But please, could you tell me some more about that.
7 MR. CAYLEY: Yes, Your Honour. As I stated yesterday, there has
8 been from the beginning of this case some evidence that witnesses have
9 been interfered with. There is no evidence to indicate that any of the
10 accused or persons linked to them have directly interfered with any of
11 the witnesses, but there is an environment which is insecure, to put it
13 As a result of that, Mr. Topolski, as he said, has drafted a
14 protocol for the manner in which the Defence will approach Prosecution
15 witnesses to meet with them. We have to look at this; we've looked at it
16 briefly. I think it meets many of the concerns that both the Defence and
17 the Prosecution. And I would emphasise here, as Mr. Topolski has made
18 clear, he takes this issue as seriously as we do. It's not simply a
19 matter of concern to the Prosecution; it's a matter of concern to both
20 parties. So we will look at this protocol and we will get back to the
21 Defence as soon as we can with any suggested amendments. It's likely
22 that we will probably agree to most of it.
23 More than that at the moment, in terms of this particular issue,
24 we cannot do anything further. If we are receiving information that this
25 is becoming a more serious issue, we will come back to the Court.
1 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: I understand. Thank you very much.
2 You have heard what the representative of the Prosecution has
4 MR. TOPOLSKI: Yes.
5 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: I am, of course, well aware what has been
6 said by the Prosecutor. The situation is rather on the whole, let's say,
7 intimidating, and one of the reasons for -- let's try to have the case
8 brought to court, to start the hearing of the case, is that also. So I
9 realise that you are aware and perhaps the other members of the other
10 counsels for the Defence. And of course, in case something more
11 substantial materialises, of course this Tribunal will take care of
12 perhaps the starting proceedings for contempt of court or whatever would
13 be the case. So we know what are your concerns and we keep such in mind.
14 So I wonder if some other matter could be brought about by the
16 MR. CAYLEY: We don't have anything further to add, Your Honour.
17 Thank you.
18 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: What about you?
19 Yes, Mr. Khan.
20 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, if you please, a couple of matters.
21 For the sake of clarify, it's correct to say that this is a
22 further protocol that has been agreed by the three legal teams for the
23 three accused.
24 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Yes.
25 MR. KHAN: But in fact, way back in October, we for Fatmir Limaj
1 drafted and filed, in fact, ex parte confidentially with the Court --
2 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Yes.
3 MR. KHAN: -- various protocols which govern the conduct of the
4 team for Mr. Michael Mansfield is responsible for and they govern the
5 contact with various witnesses. And since that time on any occasion that
6 we have contacted a Prosecution witness or somebody the Prosecution has
7 contacted, we have endeavoured to notify the Prosecution of that. So
8 this is not a new invention; it's a further part of a process, which is
9 self-regulating, which is being put in place by the Defence to make sure
10 that later on allegations, unsupported thus far, of witness intimidation
11 should not be easily bandied about; but if they are raised, they should
12 be raised based on clear and concise evidence. So we have done it for
13 the protection of the trial process, of which we are primarily concerned.
14 Your Honour, the second matter relates to the oral application my
15 learned friend Michael Topolski raised. Perhaps none of us in this room
16 except the three accused can truly appreciate or envisage how traumatic
17 it is to be incarcerated and deprived of one's liberty, particularly
18 when, in the case of my client, he is adamant that he is innocent of the
19 charges with which he is charged. So it is by its very nature a
20 traumatic process. This Court and this Tribunal established to give
21 credence to the highest standards of international human-rights law as
22 well as international humanitarian law, is ever mindful, I know, of
23 abiding by those standards.
24 Your Honour, you did say that the rules cited by my learned
25 friend relate to the period of time when the accused were in the physical
1 custody of the Tribunal. In my submission, that is not the case; and
2 that is why, with the greatest respect, I do re-emphasise and remake the
3 application, and I would ask you to rule upon it: That you do order the
4 Dutch authorities to put in place a system which complies with basic
5 standards of human-rights law.
6 Your Honour is of course aware, apart from all the other rules
7 cited, of Article 29 of the Statute, that states "Shall comply with all
8 orders of the Trial Chamber." And, Your Honour, if you order the Dutch
9 authorities not to impose these draconian measures, it may very well
10 fortify the Registrar in his bid to persuade the Dutch authorities to do
11 that which is right.
12 Your Honour, you will know as a matter of public record that the
13 recent situation in Iraq and relating to the treatment of prisoners, that
14 people were blindfolded. And it's a matter of public record that the
15 British and the Americans no longer do that now. One is aware of the
16 opprobrium that much of the international community raised when one
17 considers Guantanamo Bay. It defies credulity, in my submission, that
18 this Court dealing with the individuals that this Court cited -- should
19 be treated in a manner, as far as blindfolding, which is singly
21 Your Honour, of course the Dutch authorities in consultation with
22 the Registrar have a very real concern to ensure that all accused are
23 not -- do not abscond. But, Your Honour, of course, I do reiterate: It
24 is surprising to say, at least, that all of these accused only these
25 three have been singled out. And when one is looking at the intrusive
1 methods needed to restrain individuals, one has to look, in relation to
2 proportionality, at the least intrusive methods necessary to achieve the
3 aim required. Otherwise, of course, the Dutch could strait-jacket
4 everybody. That's the safest option. And if a very easy option has been
5 put forward simply using a blank -- a prison van with blacked-out windows
6 as is used in the United Kingdom and many other jurisdictions, I do not
7 see why this option cannot be taken up by the Court and cannot be
8 accepted by the Dutch authorities.
9 Your Honour, my concern is this is not a new matter, as you
10 noted; it's been raised before Your Honour some months ago, and our
11 concern was raised at that time. And, in fact, at that time, I mentioned
12 the instructions of my client that he was minded not to come to court at
13 all rather than to come to court in these oppressive circumstances. He
14 told me today that he finds it very difficult to concentrate again after
15 he's brought in in this manner.
16 And so, Your Honour, I do ask you to make an order in accordance
17 with the articles that have been cited, which you are clearly entitled to
19 Your Honour, the language of the Rules is clear: "When the
20 Registrar is mandated to look and to give orders regarding the provision
21 of instruments of restraint during transfer," that means transfer from a
22 place to a place. It must include by the very definition of the language
23 of the Rule transfer from the Detention Unit to the premises of the
25 So, Your Honour the plain language of the Rules are there.
1 Similarly; Rule 2 that was cited by my learned friend makes it
2 quite clear - these are the rules governing the detention of persons,
3 page 906 - makes it quite clear that "All detainees shall be subject to
4 the sole jurisdiction of the Tribunal even though they're physically
5 absent from the Detention Unit."
6 Now, Your Honour, the language cannot be any clearer than that.
7 It cannot be any clearer than that. So I do move Your Honour to take up
8 this request made by the three Defence teams that are here today and to
9 make an order under the Rules that are conferred upon you in looking
10 after the integrity of this judicial process in making sure that all
11 accused are equally and impartially, and to direct that the Dutch
12 authorities desist from this action which it has not thought to be
13 necessary in any other case. And Your Honour, I do move that you make a
14 ruling on this submission.
15 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: I thank you. You have made a very broad
16 and, can I say, passionate by justice feelings of the situation, which I
17 would say, is an acceptable course; but I cannot make my decision just
18 now. I'll take that your oral motion is added to the one made by
19 Mr. Topolski.
20 Please sit down.
21 And what I am going to do is, as you know, that the powers of the
22 Pre-Trial Judge are to organise the preparation of the hearings and the
23 case under the supervision of the whole Chamber. I am going to join my
24 colleagues from the Chamber, and I will -- I had already mentioned to
25 them this case, because it's important, but I will really tell them about
1 what you are asking -- or requiring even. And I will -- I suppose that
2 perhaps Mr. Guy-Smith could join you also for -- on behalf of his client
3 also on the same motion that has been made orally by Mr. Khan. And I
4 will try to devise a solution, a prompt solution for this.
5 I appreciate very much your help and your petition, and I will
6 tell you what I could do.
7 MR. GUY-SMITH: Your Honour, with regard to not only your
8 invitation but also our inclination, I do join in the remarks, both the
9 logic that has been presented by Mr. Topolski, as well as, as you put it,
10 the emotion that has been presented by Mr. Khan, and would like to add
11 another thought, which is quite specific to Mr. Bala, but I think in some
12 sense crystallises the need for this order, which is as follows:
13 As the Court is well aware, Mr. Bala has suffered from a serious
14 medical condition, has suffered heart attacks both prior to his arrest as
15 well as during his incarceration while detained here. His physical state
16 is, I would put it, in the most gentle of senses, somewhat fragile. He
17 has recently been hospitalised. He has recently undergone an operation.
18 And for him to have to suffer not only the indignity of the
19 transportation plan that has been put in place but also the potential
20 danger that could be visited upon him as a result of the fact that he
21 could at any time have another heart attack, and as I understand it, is
22 constantly in need of nitroglycerin, makes the request here in some
23 senses even more poignant, if no other reason, for the consideration of
24 the individual human dignity as regards Mr. Bala.
25 I'm very troubled -- as a matter of fact, I'm deeply troubled by
1 the fact that these three gentlemen have been singled out and I hope
2 that -- and I understand you are too. And I hope that the Trial Chamber
3 does take this matter quickly and issues an order expeditiously so that
4 these men can be afforded the same rights that others have been.
5 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Okay. Thank you. I appreciate also your
7 Of course, the solution of the case goes through the problem of
8 the maintenance and respect for the human dignity without a special
9 relationship with the health of the person that is suffering this kind of
11 So I'll repeat what I had promised to do, and I don't know what
12 could be the outcome, but I will take care of that.
13 Now I would refer to the accused.
14 Mr. Limaj, please. Do you have any complaint or any matter that
15 you would like to bring about here about -- or in relation with your
16 health and your possibilities to contact with your lawyers, whenever it's
17 necessary or you feel it's necessary? Please tell me.
18 THE ACCUSED LIMAJ: [Interpretation] With the exception of the
19 matters raised here, I have no other problems specifically. I have had
20 regular contact with lawyers as well as the family, within the parameters
21 of what is allowed to us here. I've had no problem.
22 As regards my health, I feel very well. God willing I hope this
23 continues to be the case.
24 The only thing that I request here: We are not seeking anything
25 other than what the others are afforded. I would request here from
1 people who have obligations to me, towards us, not to prejudice, not to
2 show any prejudices before the matter comes to trial. This Trial Chamber
3 will issue its own verdict on our innocence or not, and that is the
4 question of dignity that that I have been trying to defend here.
5 Somebody is precipitating to try and find us guilty, and I think
6 that neither you nor the Prosecutors' Office or me, we all know what the
7 truth is, but so long as nobody has been found guilty, I request that
8 you, Your Honour, you insist that we be treated fairly and equally. We
9 cannot be of a more dangerous nature than the others, and being singled
10 out is an affront to us, to our dignity, but also to the country I come
11 from, because I'm part of a country which has been victimised and a
12 victim of genocide and the terror exerted upon it.
13 Please, I've got nothing else to say as regards the detention
14 conditions over there. We are happy with everything over there.
15 Everything is fine and excellent. We've got nothing to complain about.
16 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Please sit down.
17 Mr. Bala, what is your situation in relation with the
18 communication with your counsel and, of course, if you want to speak
19 about your health in relation with the situation you are having in the
20 Detention Unit and where you are retained.
21 THE ACCUSED BALA: [Interpretation] Regarding communication with
22 family, the Defence counsel and so on, everything is okay, and also the
23 conditions in the Detention Unit are also fine.
24 Not to repeat myself or repeat what was said here before, I have
25 to reassert here that I do not enjoy good health. I'm in a grave
1 condition, actually. And so I do think that this presents a danger to my
2 health. I do not want to repeat here what Mr. Khan [as interpreted]
4 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Thank you, Mr. Bala. Please sit down.
5 We have already an idea of what are the problems that you are
6 confronted with in relation with your health. And as I had said before,
7 to the latest on next Monday you will get a solution about a new report
8 on your health and what would be the possibilities for your being treated
9 still better that you could be than now.
10 Please, Mr. Musliu, what about you in relation with your
11 possibilities to meet with your counsel? And what about your health? If
12 you have any complaint, please speak up now.
13 THE ACCUSED MUSLIU: [Interpretation] With the exception of what
14 the Defence lawyers said here, there's no problem that I can foresee. I
15 enjoy good health. I've got no problems with contacting my lawyers and
16 family. I've got nothing else to add.
17 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Thank you. Please sit down.
18 If nobody wants to raise any other question, I would think we
19 have arrived to the last moment of this Status Conference. As I said
20 before, in case the case is transferred to the other Chamber, it will be
21 my last occasion to contact with you, but I take notice of whatever has
22 been said to me and will try to find a solution for that.
23 Thank you. I adjourn the meeting.
24 --- Whereupon the Status Conference
25 adjourned at 4.32 p.m.