Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 87

1 Thursday, 29 May 2003

2 [Status Conference]

3 [Open session]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 3.00 p.m.

6 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.

7 Could the registrar -- do you hear me? Okay.

8 Could the registrar please call the case.

9 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-95-11-PT, the Prosecutor --


11 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-95-11-PT, the Prosecutor versus --

12 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Excuse me, but I don't hear anything. I

13 don't know what's the matter.

14 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

15 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Case number IT-95-11-PT, the Prosecutor

16 versus Milan Martic.

17 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: May we have the appearances, please. For

18 the Prosecution?

19 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Good afternoon, Your Honour. For the

20 Prosecution today -- can you hear me? Can you hear me?


22 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Okay. For the Prosecution, we have legal

23 officer Sabine Bauer, case manager Diane Boles, and my name is

24 Hildegard Uertz-Retzlaff.


Page 88

1 And for the Defence?

2 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Microphone not activated]

3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel, please.

4 THE REGISTRAR: Microphone, please.


6 [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour. My name is Predrag

7 Milovancevic, attorney from Belgrade. I represent Mr. Milan Martic before

8 this Tribunal. I am joined today by our legal assistant, Mr. Vuk Sekulic,

9 also an attorney from Belgrade.

10 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Thank you. Mr. Martic, can you hear the

11 proceeding in a language that you can understand?

12 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated]

13 THE REGISTRAR: Microphone, please.

14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.

15 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Thank you. First of all, if you would

16 allow me to present myself, because it's the first time I appear in this

17 Tribunal before the parties in this case in which I have been assigned as

18 a Judge to the Chamber and designated as a trial judge for this special

19 case.

20 I would like to begin by making some comments about what I know

21 has been said in the previous two days ago in a meeting held under the 65

22 ter article of the Rules. And first of all, I would announce -- I would

23 like to announce that in a few days a decision will be rendered on the

24 motion that is still pending to be decided.

25 Secondly, if I understand what you had then in the previous -- in

Page 89

1 this meeting previous to this Status Conference, there doesn't seem to

2 have -- to exist problems around the Prosecutor disclosure issues. So

3 that is to -- to be happy of this situation. And last thing, that in the

4 future the parties could meet with sufficient interest and sufficient time

5 for trying to find out if they can agree on some of the facts. As you may

6 know, the counsel of the Defence, the Prosecution has pointed out a number

7 of questions or facts that may be agreeable to you. And in this case,

8 that could accomplish some of the ends of this Judge -- Pre-Trial Judge

9 and at the trial time of the proceedings, because this way it will drive

10 to a more expeditious solution of the case.

11 On the other side, I have heard that the Prosecution has expressed

12 the intention of trying to complete their preparatory brief, the brief

13 prior to the trial by the month of October. So there seems to be very

14 good news, and I hope you are keeping these expectations you have shown so

15 far in that the Defence, the counsel for the Defence, would be able to be

16 through all the tasks that are now ahead, to be in the possibility for

17 this Court beginning the case around November. That is, it's possible.

18 That would be a great solution to allow the expeditious decision of the

19 case.

20 On the other side, I noticed also that the number of witnesses

21 proposed is around 60, and that should be also interesting to keep to this

22 number if that is possible so as to have also a decision as soon as

23 possible. Of course, if you have problems about the protection of these

24 witnesses, you may tell the Trial Court about this, and in due time you

25 would receive the protection perhaps you are asking for.

Page 90

1 I don't know if in this moment - this is one of the purposes of

2 the Status Conference - some of the parties have any suggestion or any

3 issue to be brought to my attention now. Please, if this is the case, I

4 would thank you that you present the issues you have in mind now.

5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, your observations were entirely

6 correct, and there is actually nothing to add to this.


8 The counsel for the Defence, does it have any special issue to

9 raise now?

10 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] With your permission, Your

11 Honour, I would like to say that at this moment we don't have any problems

12 regarding this trial. But there is an important issue which I would like

13 to raise in connection with disclosure under Rule 68, disclosure of

14 exculpatory documents.

15 This week, the Prosecution has begun to disclose such documents,

16 and we are glad to see this new development. We do believe it would be

17 important, however, for both parties in these proceedings to be aware of

18 that, and this is also important for the Tribunal. That's why I'm raising

19 the issue. The Prosecution has notified us that they are going

20 electronically through their files and documents in order to meet their

21 obligation under Rule 69 [as interpreted]. However, they are short of

22 personnel and there are very many documents, several thousands of such

23 documents. The search will take some time, and they will then deliver

24 these documents to us. Then they propose that we search through these

25 documents and single out those which the Defence believes might be

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1 exculpatory.

2 Another thing I wanted to raise is the Defence is prepared to help

3 the Prosecution in this effort, but we do believe it might be worth

4 pointing out that it would not be good or beneficial for the disclosure

5 procedure if there were any delays or if the Defence were given too many

6 documents to deal with and then look through. The Defence expects that

7 the Prosecution will meet their obligation in a quick and efficient way so

8 as to give the Defence sufficient time to prepare and start working on

9 these documents in order to look through them in a timely manner and thus

10 help both the Prosecution and the Court to have an expeditious trial.

11 Thank you very much.

12 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: Thank you. I understand what you mean,

13 and I suppose that you will have time enough before you have to appear

14 again in the meeting prepared according to the Rule 65 ter and to have

15 been through all the materials you would require. Otherwise, you have

16 to -- perhaps have to ask for some more time. That should be decided in

17 the right moment.

18 If there is no other questions you would like to raise now, I

19 would turn now to Mr. Martic and ask him, please, Mr. Martic, could you

20 tell me if you have any problems related to your situation that you would

21 like to present to me in this moment, related to your mental and physical

22 condition, for one thing, and also to conditions -- to the conditions of

23 your prison, actually.

24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you very much for giving me

25 this opportunity to speak, Your Honour. With all due respect for my

Page 92

1 Defence counsel, my Defence team, I do have a series of objections, but

2 I'd only like to raise one of them for the time being. I hope you will be

3 patient enough to listen to my brief monologue outlining my

4 dissatisfaction.

5 I am speaking about the double standards applied by this Tribunal,

6 specifically the Prosecution, the double standards applied to us Serbs but

7 also the others. Please allow me to explain. As you are well aware, I

8 arrived here more than a year ago, and at one time I was the president of

9 the Republic of Serbian Krajina, whose territory was under the protection

10 of the peacekeeping forces of the UN. The people of the area have been

11 ethnically cleansed during the peacekeeping mission and prior to the

12 duration of the peacekeeping mission; hundreds of crimes against my people

13 had been carried out. Unfortunately, to this very day no Croatian leaders

14 have been brought to justice to answer for their crimes, no perpetrators

15 even. I am talking about the low-ranking perpetrators.

16 As you are well aware, the Prosecution had at that time threatened

17 the president of the Republic of Croatia, Franjo Tudjman, and the Defence

18 Minister, Gojko Susak with indictments, and there probably would have been

19 indictments if they were still alive. Janko Bobetko, the general, was

20 threatened too. I suspect the same fate would await Mr. Izetbegovic.

21 However, he just stubbornly refuses to die.

22 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: [Previous interpretation continues] ...

23 Matters could be decided at a later moment. It's not specially related to

24 the facts we are asking -- I am asking you about. It's just your

25 situation in the Detention Unit, if it requires some complaint or -- to

Page 93

1 inform me about your situation there, if it is acceptable, you have any

2 problems. Other problems would be normal to mention now are if you have

3 time and facilities adequate to speak to your counsel. And of course, if

4 you have any troubles with your health.

5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please allow me, Your Honour. This

6 is pertinent, I believe, and I would just like to add two final sentences,

7 if you allow.

8 I have an obligation to my own people, people that have been

9 ethnically cleansed. I assume it should be your obligation too, the

10 obligation of this Tribunal. I assume this Tribunal has a preference and

11 that's the face it shows in public as a tribunal of justice. This is the

12 last chance to avoid presenting Croatia as an innocent party, and I

13 believe that some of their perpetrators should be brought to justice to

14 answer here for their crimes. I am not afraid of my own trial. Those who

15 are righteous should not be afraid of anything. That's what my people

16 say.

17 That's all I wish to say, and I have nothing further to add.

18 JUDGE MARTIN-CANIVELL: I would say that you tried to go outside

19 of the scope of this meeting. Nevertheless, I conclude that what is in

20 relation with your health and your situation in the prison doesn't deserve

21 a special consideration from your part, and so I take for granted that you

22 are okay and that you don't raise at this moment any question about this.

23 Please sit down.

24 I thank you now, the persons that represent here the Prosecution,

25 and also to the Registry. And now I declare that this meeting arrives to

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1 a close.

2 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at

3 3.17 p.m.