1 Thursday, 21 March, 2002
2 [Status Conference]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 3.33 p.m.
5 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honour. Case number
8 IT-00-41-PT, the Prosecutor versus Pasko Ljubicic.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
10 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Mr. Ljubicic, can you hear me in
11 a language that you understand?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]
13 JUDGE EL MAHDI: Thank you. Please be seated. You will have the
14 opportunity to speak during the Status Conference. Thank you very much.
15 Can I please have the appearances, first with the Prosecution.
16 MR. HARMON: Good afternoon, Your Honour. My name is Mark Harmon,
17 representing the Prosecutor. Appearing with me is Ms. Carmela
19 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. And for the
20 Defence, please.
21 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my name is Tomislav
22 Jonjic. I am Defence counsel for this accused.
23 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] So your name is Janjic?
24 MR. JONJIC: J-O-N-J-I-C.
25 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. Now it's my
1 turn to introduce myself. I'm the Pre-Trial Judge in this case. My name
2 is Amin El Mahdi, and as you know, I've been appointed as the Pre-Trial
3 Judge in this case, and I believe that this stage of the proceedings, and
4 you will share my view, I'm sure, is absolutely vital for the conduct of
5 the trial.
6 So I'm not going to read again the decision that you have
7 certainly read, and with this decision, the Chamber ruled on the objection
8 by the Defence about the form of the indictment. The Prosecution has a
9 period of time to submit the amended indictment, and there is also a
10 period of time, then, and during which I hope that the Defence will
11 respond if the case -- if it's necessary.
12 I believe that today's hearing mainly serves the purpose of
13 speeding up the proceedings, and I would suggest that the agenda for
14 today's conference is as follows: First of all, the disclosure of
15 exhibits, of evidence; secondly, the preparation of the Defence; and
16 thirdly, I will give Mr. Ljubicic the opportunity to speak and to tell us
17 what he has to say at this stage of the pre-trial phase.
18 Now, about disclosure, I would like to ask Mr. Harmon to give me
19 some information about what stage we are at in disclosure.
20 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, yes, I'd be glad to. We're at a very
21 early stage of disclosure. On the 19th of December, we disclosed the
22 confirming materials to the Defence, and we are undertaking steps to
23 disclose additional statements of witnesses to the Defence. We are
24 somewhat handicapped by virtue of the fact that a motion that we filed on
25 the 11th of February, 2002, entitled the Prosecutor's Motion for Order of
1 Non-disclosure, has not been decided upon, and in that particular motion,
2 we requested five measures to be taken in respect of materials that had
3 been disclosed. So we are waiting for a decision in respect of that
4 particular application by my office.
5 In respect of identifying potential 92 bis statements, matters
6 that are subject to judicial notice, and specifically adjudicated facts,
7 we are in the process of identifying those matters, and we will submit to
8 the Defence, upon completion of those efforts, a set of items that include
9 statements, items for judicial notice, and adjudicated facts, and they can
10 consider those and perhaps we can embark on a proceeding that will be
11 shortened as opposed to a lengthy proceeding.
12 So I can inform Your Honour that is the status thus far of our
14 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Harmon. So if I
15 understand correctly, the Defence is, in principle, not opposed to what
16 you suggest, but - and we'll come to that point later on - but the
17 Defence reserves itself the right for -- on a case-by-case basis or for a
18 specific document to object, keeping in mind the interests of justice. So
19 what I hear is very comforting, because everybody, starting with you,
20 state that the procedure has really started, and I believe that all of us,
21 with your help, all of us will be able to speed up the procedure. Thank
22 you very much, Mr. Harmon.
23 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Mr. Jonjic, you've heard what
25 Mr. Harmon had to say. I am confident. I don't think that you will put
1 forward a major objection, but you are keeping the possibility to submit
2 an objection as the case may be. If it's in the interests of justice.
3 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] That is right, Your Honour. We have
4 no major objections to the process as it has been taking place so far. I
5 just wish to say that the Defence, bearing in mind, of course, the
6 position in which the Prosecution is in and the decision of the Trial
7 Chamber on the preliminary motion and the fact that no decision has yet
8 been made on their motion, the Defence has addressed a request to the OTP
9 for disclosure of the statements of witnesses, parts of which have been
10 included in the confirming material. But we are aware of the difficulties
11 the Prosecution would have and still we hope that we will receive those
12 statements within a relatively short time.
13 That's all for now. Thank you.
14 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you very much. But
15 what do you mean by "difficulty"?
16 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. No, there is no
17 difficulty. Thank you.
18 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] I believe that the fair way to
19 deal with this, the fair solution, is to ask Mr. Fourmy to organise
20 meetings between the parties and to make sure that disclosure takes place
21 as quickly as possible, keeping in mind, obviously, the situation of the
22 Prosecution, and enabling the Defence to prepare its case properly. And I
23 fully trust Mr. Fourmy in his capacity to do this, Mr. Fourmy, who is our
24 Senior Legal Officer, and the Chamber is very lucky to benefit from the
25 help of Mr. Fourmy in this case.
1 I would therefore like to invite the parties and to invite
2 Mr. Fourmy to go ahead, and I would like everyone to work in the spirit of
3 cooperation in order to define a framework for the case to develop in a
4 reasonable period of time, reasonable for everyone concerned.
5 Mr. Ljubicic, I'm now turning to you. I would like you to tell me
6 if you have anything to say about your state of health or any other thing.
7 You can share with us any comments you might have. I would like to take
8 this opportunity to give you the possibility of speaking very openly and
9 very frankly. Go ahead.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can stress here that
11 I have no objection to the conditions of my stay in the Detention Unit or
12 my treatment by the personnel there. As far as the proceedings against me
13 are concerned, my only wish is that they come to an end as soon as
14 possible. That's the only thing. The condition of my health is
15 satisfactory, and everything else is all right.
16 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] I can assure you that I will
17 personally make sure that this will be the case, and I have the
18 opportunity and you have the opportunity as well, with the help of your
19 counsel and with the cooperation of the Prosecution and with the kindness
20 of Mr. Fourmy to work in that respect, I think things will be speeded up,
21 and this is in keeping with the idea of justice that we all want to
22 attain. Thank you very much. You can be seated.
23 Any other comments? Any questions you might have?
24 MR. HARMON: I have none, Your Honour. Thank you.
25 JUDGE EL MAHDI: Thank you.
1 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] Neither does the Defence.
2 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Now, I think that this Status
3 Conference has come to an end and the hearing is adjourned. Thank you
4 very much.
5 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned
6 at 3.50 p.m.