1 Tuesday, 11 December 2007
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 10.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE THELIN: Good morning.
7 Could we have the case called, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honour. This is case number
9 IT-98-32/1-PT, The Prosecutor versus Milan Lukic and Sredoje Lukic.
10 JUDGE THELIN: Thank you. And just to make sure that what is
11 being said in the courtroom is also understood by the two accused, I would
12 appreciate if you could nod in assent if you do.
13 Mr. Milan Lukic.
14 Mr. Sredoje Lukic.
15 That seems to be the case. Thank you.
16 Could we then have the representation please, Prosecution.
17 MR. OSSOGO: [No verbal response]
18 JUDGE THELIN: Well, the point is that you should read whatever
19 you want to read into the record so we have the representation on the
20 record I can. I would be grateful if you could indicate who is
21 representing the prosecution at today's Status Conference.
22 MR. OSSOGO: [Microphone not activated]
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
24 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Good morning, I was waiting for your
25 approval to do so.
1 I am Frederic Ossogo. I represent the OTP in the absence of
2 Mr. Mark Harmon. I'm together with Mr. Stevan Cole who is also a member
3 of the OTP and our team. Thank you.
4 JUDGE THELIN: Thank you very much, Mr. Ossogo.
5 And we have a new counsel representing Mr. Milan Lukic, and I take
6 you first since you are a new comer.
7 MR. SULEJIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour. I am in
8 this courtroom for the first time. I have been appointed, as you know, on
9 the 5th of December. My name is Bojan Sulejic. I'm an attorney from
10 Belgrade; and, hopefully, by the end of the -- I will successfully
11 represent Mr. Milan Lukic until this case is concluded.
12 JUDGE THELIN: Thank you, Mr. Sulejic. And let me formally
13 welcome you to the case and hope that your contributions will be of a
14 productive nature. Thank you.
15 And for Mr. Sredoje Lukic.
16 MR. DIECKMANN: Good morning. My name is Jens Dieckmann. I'm
17 co-counsel for Mr. Sredoje Lukic, and I represent today our team.
18 Mr. Cepic apologise. He is preparing his Defence witnesses in the
19 Milutinovic case, and that is the reason he is not here. I'm assisted by
20 Yvonne Mitri, as lead assistant, and, legal assistant of Ms. Cepic,
21 Ms. Sladana Marijonovic.
22 JUDGE THELIN: Thank you very much, Mr. Dieckmann.
23 Let me then, first, proceed with the Chamber's understanding as to
24 outstanding motions; and as far as I can see, there are not that many; in
25 fact, only one. It goes go back to disclosure matters.
1 There was a decision taken by the -- by the Chamber on the 5th of
2 November, 2007, allowing for late disclosure of some five witnesses,
3 witnesses to be disclosed not earlier than 30 days prior to trial; and
4 then there was an option for the Prosecution to deal with another eight
5 witnesses, an option which the Prosecution decided to exercise by actually
6 disclosing them to the Defence, and that happened on the 9th of November.
7 Regarding the five witnesses who are not disclosed and where
8 protective measures were sought, the Prosecution moved on the 4th of
9 December, in relation to additional protective measures for those
10 witnesses. That motion is still open, meaning it is time running for the
11 Defence to respond to it; and once the response is in, the Chamber will
12 obviously decide on the matter.
13 As far as the Chamber can see, there aren't any other open or live
14 issues at the moment.
15 Is this the understanding of the parties as well?
16 I turn first to the Prosecution, Mr. Ossogo.
17 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] It is right, Your Honour. Let me
18 just add that in the latest motion we filed on the 4th of December, we
19 also moved for an extension of time until the 30th of January, 2008 for
20 one of the witnesses for whom we have some problem contacting him. We
21 explained this in an ex parte annex to the motion.
22 JUDGE THELIN: Thank you, Mr. Ossogo. That part of the motion was
23 noticed by the Chamber as well.
24 I just want to make sure that my understanding as to the situation
25 at hand squares with yours as well, Mr. Dieckmann.
1 MR. DIECKMANN: Yes, Your Honour. Due to the point of the
2 Defence, the description is correct, and we don't have any comment about
3 it. Thank you very much.
4 JUDGE THELIN: Thank you very much, Mr. Dieckmann.
5 Mr. Sulejic, do you have any other position, different from
6 Mr. Dieckmann?
7 MR. SULEJIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, and I would like to
8 ask you at this point, since I have not had that much time to acquaint
9 myself with the case file, to give me some sort of instruction and a
10 little bit of time in order to be able to respond to all of the questions
11 that might potentially appear. Thank you.
12 JUDGE THELIN: Thank you very much, Mr. Sulejic. We certainly
13 appreciate that are you a relative new comer to the case, and I also
14 understand that Mr. Yatvin, who earlier had the position that you now
15 hold, has or should hand over all the material he has and obviously relate
16 to you any other information that he deems proper in order for you to be
17 able to conduct your Defence of Mr. Milan Lukic as efficiently and as
18 proper as possible.
19 Let me just at this moment say that obviously all the decisions
20 that have been taken - and I'm thinking primarily of all the dates which
21 is entailed in the work plan, which was adopted by the Chamber at an
22 earlier Status Conference - those times certainly do apply; but just to
23 make sure there is no misunderstanding before we leave today, I will have
24 a run through the times.
25 So you, Mr. Sulejic, will have an opportunity to take further note
1 of it; and if there is any particular need for your case to have an
2 extension, we may come back to one point, I think, which should be of
3 concern to you. But apart from that, I think what is laid down, as far as
4 time-limits, applies also to you and your client, Mr. Sulejic.
5 Is that understood?
6 MR. SULEJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I understand
7 everything. The only thing that I'm concerned about is the deadline that
8 was actually expiring the day before yesterday. That is my only request
9 possibly to get an extension at this point in time, so that I have time to
10 go through everything.
11 JUDGE THELIN: Thank you, Mr. Sulejic. I believe you refer to the
12 deadline set for giving notice under Rule 67, and I will come back to that
13 matter. So it is not forgotten, but thank you for reminding me.
14 And with that, I intend just to proceed in order to make sure that
15 what is discussed with the senior legal officer yesterday, in preparation
16 of today's meeting, also is the same as I had been told.
17 It seems that when we look at the disclosure matters, which we
18 also touched upon when we touched upon the question of open motions, all
19 material, as far as Rule 66(A)(i), I'm told have all been disclosed and
21 Is that correct? I turn to the Defence because it is your
23 Mr. Dieckmann.
24 MR. DIECKMANN: Yes, that's correct. Thank you.
25 JUDGE THELIN: Thank you.
1 Mr. Sulejic, are you able to confirm that, or is that part of the
2 package which Mr. Yatvin still has to convey to you?
3 MR. SULEJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, unfortunately, I still
4 don't know what the documents that are that I have that I received from
5 Mr. Yatvin yesterday. It's all in English. This is not a problem for me,
6 but I just need more time in order to acquaint myself with all the
7 materials. So, at this point, I cannot be specific.
8 JUDGE THELIN: Thank you. I think that will be clear in due
9 course, once you have been able to go through the material.
10 Thank you, Mr. Sulejic.
11 When it then concerns the witness statements, i.e., Roman II of
12 the same rule, we have touched upon that because that's part of only one
13 pending motion that is before us.
14 Rule 68, responsibilities exculpatory information is an ongoing
15 obligation, and I take it that the Prosecution is well aware of that. I
16 don't think we need to comment on it any further.
17 There was a deadline set for inspection of books and documents and
18 related materials under Rule 66(B), to be had not later than the 15th of
19 October this year. I think this obviously for you, Mr. Sulejic. There is
20 a need for you to take this as a priority, because that deadline obviously
21 passed and you could not be held to it. So that was an example where we
22 need to make a variation of the time-line for you, and I suggest the best
23 way of doing it, instead of laying down a time, is that you relate and
24 contact the Prosecution as early as possible and make arrangements for
25 that requirement and that inspection to be had.
1 Is that -- were you understanding, Mr. Sulejic?
2 MR. SULEJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, of course, Your Honour. This
3 is a priority; and, of course, I'm going to use this instruction and this
4 information properly. I have practically agreed with Mr. Harmon already
5 that I would need to be in touch with the Prosecution.
6 Thank you.
7 JUDGE THELIN: Thank you. So we leave the matter at this point
8 with that clarification. Thank you.
9 And now we come to what I indicated before, the Rule 67, i.e.,
10 giving notice of any alibi. And just before I came into the courtroom, I
11 had on my desk a filing as of yesterday, which entailed that the deadline
12 laid down, which was yesterday, for giving such notice, was not, as far as
13 Mr. Sredoje Lukic was concerned, possible to be met according to the
15 Mr. Dieckmann, would you like to address that?
16 MR. DIECKMANN: Yes, Your Honour, if I get an opportunity.
17 As I explained yesterday, on the 65 ter conference, our team is
18 trying very hard to go along with the order and the Rules to produce
19 evidence we want to present. And in this notice, we are able to present
20 alibi Defence regarding the counts 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12. Regarding the
21 house burning on Pionirska Street, we have given alibi witness with
22 addresses as it is set down in the Rule 67.
23 But we have, up to now, practical problems to present it in the
24 same proper way regarding the house burning in Bikavac; and, therefore, we
25 respectfully request a short additional time, extension of time, for
1 example, given a month, to produce it in the same accurate and proper way.
2 The second point I would like to make, if you allow me, we are
3 aware that we have to do it very fast and proper because we are in charge
4 to defend a client who is in prison, and this was always the point of the
5 Defence. To support the procedures, we are doing this as fast and as
6 accurate as possible. But the representative of the Prosecutor,
7 yesterday, told us that he cannot understand that it is not possible to
8 present the alibi witness in due time, because the Defence knows the case
9 since two years.
10 This is the problem because from our point of view, of course, as
11 defender you have information, or you are indications. But to produce
12 evidence, this obligation for us starts in the moment when you receive
13 disclosure from the OTP. Our case started from September 2007 and not two
14 years ago; and, therefore, we respectfully request understanding and we
15 definitely guarantee that we do everything possible to follow the
16 next-to-last deadline we hopefully would get.
17 Thank you very much.
18 JUDGE THELIN: Thank you Mr. Dieckmann.
19 Well, to me, Mr. Ossogo, there seems to be some merit to what
20 Mr. Dieckmann is putting, but I'm happy to hear whatever comments you may
21 have now, also being aware of the fact that you have time, obviously, in
22 writing to respond to the motion.
23 But, Mr. Ossogo, if you want to, I understand that Mr. Harmon,
24 yesterday, was opposing, as Mr. Dieckmann also indicated, this particular
25 motion. So whatever comment you have Mr. Ossogo, I'm happy to listen to
2 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President, as was under
3 lined by my learned colleague, the Prosecution opposed this motion
4 yesterday, for the reason set out by Mr. Dieckmann.
5 After all, Mr. Sredoje Lukic received or had counsel for his
6 Defence already two years ago. He was on notice of the indictment, which
7 was made public when a co-accused, Mr. Vasiljevic, was notified of the
8 indictment, so he followed the entire proceedings against Mr. Vasiljevic
9 who was a co-accused.
10 As a matter of fact, the accused, himself, has been put on notice
11 for over two years of the charges against him. He was arrested in 2006,
12 but he was aware of the charges beforehand, before that date. So he has
13 been aware of all the facts for two years.
14 There is a possibility of an alibi Defence, but the rule is very
15 specific. That means that you claim not to have been there where the
16 crime was alleged to be committed, and that cannot be invented over night.
17 That's why Mr. Harmon said this yesterday. He said that it is not
18 difficult to obtain witnesses to show that the accused was not there at a
19 given place.
20 So now there is a request for an extension of time; and out of
21 courtesy, we're not against this principle of an extension, but we believe
22 that a month is too much time. It is, of course, up to you, up to your
23 wisdom, Judge, to decide to grant a shorter extension, so that we can
24 start investigating once we receive information, because we will have to
25 investigate to check the accuracy of the allegations made by the Defence
1 as to the place where he was.
2 JUDGE THELIN: Thank you very much, Mr. Ossogo, for this very
3 clear submission.
4 I just want to make sure that you make this submission, not only
5 on the back of what Mr. Dieckmann just said in Court, but you have also, I
6 take it, studied and read the motion of yesterday. So your comments
7 pertain to the written motion as well. Is that correct?
8 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we did read the
9 motion. We did not look at the CD-ROM we received. We are presently
10 doing so, and it is -- part of the motion is applying for an extension.
11 There is one incident, the Pionirska Street one; but now we're waiting for
12 the other one, the one about Bikavac.
13 JUDGE THELIN: Thank you, Mr. Ossogo.
14 Well, in light of the fact that there may be issues linked to
15 written motion which you just haven't studied, I will not rule on the
16 motion at this point, but I would appreciate you write, then, your written
17 answer to the motion; otherwise, I could have ruled on it. It seems that
18 you still need time to study it. So we will decide on that in due course.
19 That, of course, Mr. Dieckmann, given how things developed, you
20 are actually given an extension, up until the point when we make a
21 decision, and I urge you to make full use of that. Although, I also need
22 to say to both parties, which I indicated there is obviously some merit to
23 what Mr. Dieckmann is putting, because you could argue, as the Prosecution
24 does as well, that this case has been worked upon, I suppose, for a number
25 of years, but you also had a certain period on clarity and the clock
1 didn't start to run when it came disclosure until a much later point.
2 So I think, with that in mind, I'm obviously interested to read
3 whatever the Prosecution is going to put then, in addition to what you
4 said today.
5 Thank you. With that, I think we could leave this matter. Were
6 it not for the fact that for you, Mr. Sulejic, I think it is important to
7 remember that you are in a slightly different position, and I would be
8 happy, at this point, for the very fact that you're new to the case, and
9 you are hereby ordered that not later than the 8th of January next year,
10 submit the notice that you are required to do under Rule 67.
11 Is that clear, Mr. Sulejic?
12 MR. SULEJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, for your
13 understanding. There's no need for me to explain anything, because you
14 have put it yourself much better than I would have. I just wanted to
15 stress that Mr. Harmon's position was that my client did have a -- an
16 attorney who had received all the information and who could have conveyed
17 that information to me.
18 But I must stress, for the purpose of all other potential
19 questions that may arise, it's clear to everyone, I hope - and if it's
20 not, I need to emphasise this again - that my predecessor did not have the
21 communication with my client that was required for reasons that I did
22 not -- I do not want to go into now. So he didn't have any communication
23 or contact with my client. So I'm going to do my utmost to meet all the
24 deadlines placed by the Chamber.
25 Thank you.
1 JUDGE THELIN: Thank you, Mr. Sulejic. The Chamber takes comfort
2 in your assurances.
3 We have now reached a point, I think, where we only have to make
4 sure, as indicated, that the times already laid down in the Work Plan,
5 those times are noted by everyone, and I will just go through the times
6 that are in the Work Plan.
7 The first one is for the expert report according to Rule 94 bis to
8 be filed, and the date for that is the 15th of February, 2008.
9 The use of Rule 92 bis, ter, and quater summaries and motions on
10 that are also to be filed on that date, i.e., the 15th of February.
11 Adjudicated facts motion to be filed 29th of February, 2008. The
12 Prosecution pre-trial brief should be filed not later than the 14th of
13 March, 2008, and the Defence trial brief, i.e., for both of the Defences,
14 to be filed not later than the 25th of April, 2008.
15 With those dates, I think the case should then be ready for a
16 pre-trial conference; and in the Work Plan, the date anticipated is the
17 16th of May, 2008.
18 I take it by non-motion and silence that these dates square with
19 the understanding of the -- of counsel on both sides. Nodding assent
20 seems to be confirming this. Thank you.
21 I have a question for the Prosecution -- oh, Mr. Ossogo, please.
22 MR. OSSOGO: Yes, Mr. President. Thank you.
23 Just one specification as to the date of the 29th of February, I
24 seem to understand in French. It was the 8th of February, with regard to
25 the adjudicated facts. Are we talking about the 28th of February?
1 JUDGE THELIN: It's a leap year, Mr. Ossogo. That's why the 29th,
2 I believe. It's the very last day of February; and unless someone changed
3 my calendar, I think it is the 29th, so the last day of February.
4 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Absolutely. Thank you.
5 JUDGE THELIN: The question I have, Mr. Ossogo, for the
6 Prosecution is that it was indicated that the scope of the Prosecution
7 case would be in the neighbourhood of six months, and I understand that
8 this is -- these are early days, in a sense, because we have outstanding
9 issues. I just want to make sure that whether there is an indication
10 whether we could work on that assumption also today, the scope of the
11 Prosecution case.
12 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Yes, absolutely, Mr. President based
13 on the Vasiljevic case. Because he was a co-accused, we had estimated six
14 months. There was a slight extension of time, because precisely there was
15 the Defence alibi that was raised. But, reasonably, the scope should be
16 six months. It's a good work assumption.
17 JUDGE THELIN: Thank you very much for that confirmation.
18 The date when this case is actually going to go to trial is, as I
19 have indicated at earlier Status Conferences, in the hands of the broader
20 planning mechanism of the Tribunal. But I think it is fair to say, which
21 I believe was also raised by the senior legal officer yesterday, to say
22 that the earliest day for this case to be docketed is mid-2008, so in --
23 in the summer of next year, but it can also slide into later and even the
24 early parts of the following year 2009.
25 We have, as you know, other cases that are taking precedence, so
1 this is what we can say at the moment, and I think counsel is aware of
3 With that, and an eye to the times we have, I just want to
4 indicate to the parties that I envision the next Status Conference in this
5 case to be scheduled for sometime earlier March next year. That should be
6 a date which could be conveniently fitted into the other time lines we
7 have laid down in the Work Plan.
8 Do counsel for either side wish to comment on this, or are you
9 happy with this indication? This seems to be the case. Thank you.
10 No need, Mr. Ossogo, if you're happy with it. If you're not
11 happy, I am happy to listen to you, but you seem to be happy. Thank you.
12 That, then, leaves me to ask whether the parties have any other
13 matters to raise that we haven't touched upon, and I'm concerned of the
14 obligation -- my obligation to ask the accused whether they have anything
15 they wish to divulge or inform the Bench of, in relation to their
16 situation, the conditions in the detention unit, and so forth. And if
17 there are matters of a private narrate, we could move into private session
18 if you want to take that up.
19 So I turn to you first to you, Mr. Sredoje Lukic. Are there any
20 matters that you wish to bring it my attention today? If you could stand
21 up, please, and make the affirmation.
22 THE ACCUSED SREDOJE LUKIC: [Interpretation] I have nothing
23 specific to raise. Thank you.
24 JUDGE THELIN: Thank you very much, Mr. Sredoje Lukic. Please sit
1 Mr. Milan Lukic.
2 THE ACCUSED MILAN LUKIC: [Interpretation] Everything is fine. I
3 have nothing specific to raise.
4 JUDGE THELIN: Thank you very much. You may sit down.
5 With that, any other matters from counsel?
6 That doesn't seem to be the case by the shaking of heads.
7 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] No, everything is fine. Thank you.
8 JUDGE THELIN: Thank you. Thank you very much, Mr. Ossogo, for the
9 courtesy. Thank you.
10 Well, with that, I think we can call this Status Conference to a
11 close, and we now stand adjourned.
12 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at
13 10.30 a.m.