1 Friday, 31 March 2006
2 [Further appearance]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.14 a.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Will the registrar call the case, please.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honour. This is case number
7 IT-98-32/1-PT, the Prosecutor versus Milan Lukic. Thank you.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: In light of the amendment of the indictment against
9 Mr. Lukic, we are here to give him the opportunity to tender pleas to the
10 amended charges, and what I propose to do is to invite him to plead in
11 respect of all the charges against him for the avoidance of any doubt
12 about the effect of the amendments.
13 Before we proceed to that, there are one or two formalities to be
14 dealt with. First of all, Mr. Lukic, can you confirm to me that you're
15 hearing the proceedings in a language which you understand? We need the
16 microphone, I think, so that you can answer properly.
17 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation].
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Can -- can you now hear what I'm saying to you?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I hear and I can
20 understand what you're saying, yes.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: And can you hear it in a language which you
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I can.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry about that technical difficulty. It sounds
25 as though things are okay, but if you at any stage do not hear clearly in
1 your own language what is being said by any of the parties here, please
2 draw my attention to it.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, can I ascertain who appears this morning. For
5 the Prosecution first of all.
6 MR. HARMON: Good morning, Your Honour. Mark Harmon, Fergal
7 Gaynor, and case manager Lise-Lotte Karlsson.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Harmon.
9 Mr. Karnavas, would you identify yourself, please.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Good morning, Your Honour. Michael Karnavas for
11 Mr. Milan Lukic.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you very much.
13 Now, Mr. Lukic, what will now happen is that the court deputy will
14 read to you just a very brief summary of each of the charges that you now
15 face on the new indictment, and at the end of each little summary - it's
16 only a few words in each case - he will ask, Do you plead guilty or not
17 guilty? And you should indicate to him the nature of the plea, whether
18 you plead guilty or not guilty.
19 Now, do you understand that?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: And just one thing -- I probably jumped ahead of
22 myself. Mr. Karnavas, I should have confirmed with you, as was indicated
23 to me informally that the accused was happy to waive the right of the
24 indictment read in full to him at this stage.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour, for reminding us all. I
1 was worried a little bit. Yes, I did want to indicate that we waive the
2 reading of the indictment. He has been advised of his rights and I know
3 that he will do so very shortly, but on his behalf I enter "not guilty" to
4 all the charges. Thank you.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: While that sounds like a very sensible way to
6 proceed, the traditional practice here is at least to summarise each of
7 the charges individually and to take a plea from the accused on each
8 charge individually.
9 Now, while this is done, Mr. Lukic, could you stand up, please.
10 The court deputy will now read each charge individually and you should
11 tender your plea one by one.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Count 1, persecutions, a crime against humanity.
13 Do you plead guilty or not guilty?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not guilty, Your Honour.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Count 2, murder, a crime against humanity. Do you
16 plead guilty or not guilty?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not guilty, Your Honour.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Count 3, murder, a violation of the laws or
19 customs of war. Do you plead guilty or not guilty?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not guilty, Your Honour.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Count 4, inhumane acts, a crime against humanity.
22 Do you plead guilty or not guilty?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not guilty, Your Honour.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Count 5, cruel treatment, a violation of the laws
25 or customs of war. Do you plead guilty or not guilty?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not guilty, Your Honour.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Count 6, murder, a crime against humanity. Do you
3 plead guilty or not guilty?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not guilty, Your Honour.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Count 7, murder, a violation of the laws or
6 customs of war. Do you plead guilty or not guilty?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not guilty, Your Honour.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Count 8, extermination, a crime against humanity.
9 Do you plead guilty or not guilty?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not guilty, Your Honour.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Count 9, murder, a crime against humanity. Do you
12 plead guilty or not guilty?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not guilty, Your Honour.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Count 10, murder, a violation of the laws or
15 customs of war. Do you plead guilty or not guilty?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not guilty, Your Honour.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Count 11, inhumane acts, a crime against humanity.
18 Do you plead guilty or not guilty?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not guilty, Your Honour.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Count 12, cruel treatment, a violation of the laws
21 or customs of war. Do you plead guilty or not guilty?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not guilty, Your Honour.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Count 13, extermination, a crime against humanity.
24 Do you plead guilty or not guilty?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not guilty, Your Honour.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Count 14, murder, a crime against humanity. Do
2 you plead guilty or not guilty?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not guilty, Your Honour.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Count 15, murder, a violation of the laws or
5 customs of war. Do you plead guilty or not guilty?
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not guilty, Your Honour.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Count 16, inhumane acts, a crime against humanity.
8 Do you plead guilty or not guilty?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not guilty, Your Honour.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Count 17, cruel treatment, a violation of the laws
11 or customs of war. Do you plead guilty or not guilty?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not guilty, Your Honour.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Count 18, murder, a crime against humanity. Do
14 you plead guilty or not guilty?
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not guilty, Your Honour.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Count 19, murder, a violation of the laws or
17 customs of war. Do you plead guilty or not guilty?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not guilty, Your Honour.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Count 20, inhumane acts, a crime against humanity.
20 Do you plead guilty or not guilty?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not guilty, Your Honour.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Count 21, cruel treatment, a violation of the laws
23 or customs of war. Do you plead guilty or not guilty?
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not guilty, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Please be seated, Mr. Lukic.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: In view of the pleas that have been tendered, I
3 invite the Registrar to arrange a trial in due course, although I
4 understand there are other proceedings also ongoing in relation to this
5 particular accused.
6 The effect of the decision in relation to the amendment of the
7 indictment is that Mr. Lukic has until the 21st of April to file any
8 preliminary motions in terms of Rule 50(C), and the Prosecution will have
9 14 days after that to file any response. Beyond that, I do not think
10 there are any procedural issues that I have to address.
11 Mr. Harmon, is there anything else you wish to raise?
12 MR. HARMON: No, Your Honour. Thank you.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Karnavas?
14 MR. KARNAVAS: I don't wish to raise anything, Your Honour, but I
15 do understand that Mr. Lukic did have something that he wished to raise
16 with the Trial Chamber -- or the Pre-Trial Judge.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic, Mr. Karnavas advises me there is
18 something you wish to address me on. What is that?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I'm not quite
20 clear on the matter of the attorneys and an adequate defence, and for
21 those purposes I would like to have Mr. Karnavas as my Defence counsel,
22 but since the Registry did not grant my request, I would like to ask the
23 Trial Chamber and the Registry that if Mr. Karnavas is not able to be the
24 chief Defence counsel, for at least -- that he at least be in the team
25 because he's familiar with my case, right from the beginning, since my
1 address and my extradition from Argentina. So in order to have an
2 adequate, proper defence, I would like to have Mr. Karnavas in the team if
3 he's not able to be the lead counsel. This is what I wanted to address
4 you on, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
6 Mr. Karnavas, do you want to comment on that?
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Very briefly, Your Honour. Mr. Lukic and I go back
8 as early as November last year. I did assist him throughout the
9 proceedings. I had met with -- I had contact the Prosecution on his
10 behalf before he came here. Mr. Lukic was denied having access to me on
11 his arrival, which caused some concern. Thereafter, there are some things
12 that happened that caused him to lose confidence in the way the Registry
13 is handling the situation.
14 In any event, I've indicated to the Registry that, in my opinion,
15 there is not a scheduling conflict and I'm able to assist in light of the
16 procedure that is already put in motion in regards to this case, but
17 they've sought -- they think otherwise. Mr. Lukic, in any event, has
18 asked me if I would stay on, either as a co-counsel or as a consultant. I
19 had indicated to him that I would -- you know, I have no objections to
20 that, I would assist him. I am familiar with the case. We have begun a
21 particular procedure that we think that can resolve this case in an
22 expeditious manner to everyone's satisfaction. I think that's the most
23 important thing. And now it's up to the Registry and His Honour to
25 He is concerned about the situation with respect to Argentina.
1 I'm now told by the Registry that that is an open issue, that the Registry
2 never made guarantees to the government of Argentina that he would not be
3 transferred to Sarajevo. This is news to Mr. Lukic. I've sought
4 disclosure material from the Registry. We have not received it. I'm told
5 that perhaps I'm being overzealous in representing Mr. Lukic at this stage
6 since I'm not his permanent counsel, although, as counsel of record, I
7 think I'm obligated to carry out whatever instructions are given to me so
8 long as they're ethical and within the Rules of Procedure.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: But if you were to fall into the category of
10 consultant, as you describe it, is there a funding difficulty?
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Pardon?
12 JUDGE BONOMY: If you fall into the category of consultant, as
13 you've described it, is there is not then a funding difficulty?
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, the funding difficulty would be -- as I
15 understand, we now have this lump-sum system and it would be within the
16 lead counsel to -- you know, to remunerate. There's a funding problem, to
17 start with, with every case here, but, you know, but it's not matter of
18 funding and us asking for additional funds, it's a matter of Mr. Lukic
19 wanting me on the team to assist on -- to guide him through the process.
20 He has met with two very good lawyers, both of whom I recommended
21 for him to choose, so I'm confident in his choice, whoever he chooses.
22 I've worked with them, I've had long associations with them, and so I'm
23 willing to work with either one and, of course, assist the Trial Chamber
24 in any capacity that I can, but I leave it up to the Registry, and I leave
25 it up to the Trial Chamber. Thank you.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Well, I think I have a clear
2 understanding of the issue involved. It's not something I can deal with
3 at this stage, but I will consider whether there is anything I can do on
4 the matter; and if there is, then you'll be alerted to what action I think
5 I can take.
6 Thank you, Mr. Karnavas.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Harmon.
9 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I will inform the Court that it is our
10 position that Mr. Karnavas has a conflict of interest in representing this
11 defendant and representing defendants -- a past defendant. We have made
12 that clear in correspondence to Mr. Karnavas. There have been discussions
13 about that.
14 While we agree to disagree, our position is there is a conflict of
15 interest, and our position is that Mr. Karnavas's continued association in
16 the case will create difficulties for us in terms of resolving the case.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may briefly respond to that.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Hold on. First of all, Mr. Harmon, are you aware
19 of the basis on which the Registry have taken the stance that they have
21 MR. HARMON: I am not, Your Honour. I'm informing the Court of an
22 independent and separate issue.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Because that's not the message I was getting from
24 -- from the submissions made. I didn't form the impression it was an
25 issue of conflict of interest in the sense of a previous case. I
1 understood what was being submitted to me was a conflict of commitments
2 rather than a conflict of interest. Now, have I understood that
3 correctly, Mr. Karnavas?
4 MR. KARNAVAS: You have. If I may respond.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, certainly.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: With respect to the Registry, their issue is that
7 there is a scheduling conflict. So that's that.
8 With respect to the Prosecution, they have sent two letters. They
9 say that there is a conflict of interest. They don't say what that
10 conflict of interest is other than I represented Mr. Blagojevic in one
11 case, and they believe that Mr. Lukic may have been involved in
12 Srebrenica. They haven't provided any specific evidence. They haven't
13 shown anything. I've met with them; they haven't said anything of the
14 sort. I'm waiting for it. He hasn't been indicted. There is nothing in
15 the indictment with respect to Srebrenica. So until such time -- and I'm
16 -- by the way, I spent three years working nonstop on that case. In my
17 professional opinion, there is no conflict of interest as of yet. Now if
18 they have information which I don't have that reveals that, I'll be the
19 first one to withdraw. I understand my ethical obligations. So I just
20 want to make that very, very clear.
21 Having said that, I also want to point out to Mr. Harmon, because
22 he may not be aware of this, that currently there is a lead counsel in
23 Srebrenica who was also involved in the Blagojevic case, representing, as
24 lead counsel, Mr. Jokic. So there seems to be sort of a flexible approach
25 in how they see these conflicts of interests. If they see an advocate
1 perhaps that they don't want to have on the one side, they may say there
2 is a conflict of interest. On the other hand, they may take a more
3 flexible approach. I don't know. But I can tell you that if we're going
4 to go down that route, then at least they should present specific
5 evidence, let me look at it, and as a professional, I will withdraw. But
6 as of the moment, I have not seen any evidence that gives me any
7 discomfort that I have a conflict of interest. And as a long-time public
8 defender, I'm fully aware of what a conflict of interest is. And I'm
9 willing to sit down with Mr. Harmon. On a confidential basis, he can
10 disclose to me what he believes the conflict to be. I think we're both
11 reasonable individuals. I know I am, and I have no reason to believe that
12 he's not. So -- you know, and I'm sure he is.
13 So that's my position, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Karnavas.
15 Mr. Harmon, do you want to say any more about the nature of this
17 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I was involved also in the Srebrenica
18 prosecutions and I'm familiar with the evidence, as is Mr. Karnavas. I
19 don't care to say more about it at this point in time. Mr. Karnavas is
20 familiar with the evidence. He's familiar with the intercepts. I'd be
21 glad to provide that to Mr. Karnavas, and we will continue some
22 discussions in this respect, but I will inform the Court that our view is
23 -- it's a firm view, and our view is one that is that if Mr. Karnavas is
24 involved in this case, a resolution of this case, because of the conflict
25 of interest, will be problematic.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it's all a mystery to me. Obviously the
2 previous involvement of a counsel in a related case or a case with
3 crossover evidence, similar evidence, almost identical case, does not
4 necessarily amount to a conflict of interest. So there must be something
5 in there that, for good reason, no doubt, it's inappropriate for us to be
6 discussing here.
7 But one thing I can say, Mr. Harmon, from the sense I have of
8 where this case maybe going, that this should be resolved one way or
9 another quickly. This case, or the case relating to this accused has a
10 knock-on effect on that of his co-accused. It inevitably has a knock-on
11 effect on the overall business of the Tribunal, and at the moment we seem
12 to have an accused and a willing counsel who wish to talk to you
13 positively about how this matter might progress. Therefore, it seems to
14 me in the interests of everyone to knock out of the way any barriers. And
15 what Mr. Karnavas appears to be offering is the opportunity to discuss
16 that, the barrier that you see in the way, and an opportunity to try and
17 decide one way or the other whether it's insurmountable or not. So I hope
18 that following today that discussion can take place rapidly.
19 I think that I will, nevertheless, hoping that it will be resolved
20 one way or the other, apply my mind to the issue of the Registry, and if
21 there is something I think that I can raise or attend to there, then I
22 will attend to it.
23 Now, is there anything else?
24 MR. HARMON: Nothing, Your Honour, from the Prosecution, thank
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Nothing, Your Honour, and thank you very much.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Mr. Lukic, that concludes the
3 proceedings for this morning. The court is now adjourned, and you will
4 meantime remain in the custody of the Tribunal.
5 --- Whereupon the further appearance adjourned
6 at 9.37 a.m.