1 Friday, 6 February 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.50 a.m.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: First of all, I want to mention a letter which I
6 received from Mr. Milan Lukic.
7 Mr. Lukic, the matter that you raised in the letter, I must
8 inform you, is one that can only be addressed by the Trial Chamber. Of
9 course, you may not know all the procedures of the Tribunal. You are
10 represented by counsel, and matters relating to the trial must be
11 presented in the usual way through counsel.
12 Mr. Alarid, today, like many other days, no Defence witnesses
13 available for testimony. I understand that arrangements are in place to
14 bring four witnesses next week. We are scheduled to sit Monday, Tuesday,
15 Wednesday, and Thursday of next week, and I hope that the production will
16 be better. But quite frankly, the situation cannot be allowed to
17 continue, Mr. Alarid.
18 We have been reviewing the progress of the Defence case. It is
19 lamentably slow. Eleven witnesses have been heard in 12 sitting days,
20 spread over a period of more than two months since the close of the first
21 Defence case. Even taking into account the winter recess and two extra
22 days on which the Chamber did not sit, a total of 12 sitting days have
23 been lost. This is more than 50 percent of the time available to you so
24 far, and 30 percent or a third of the time available overall.
25 The date of the 10th of March for completion of the presentation
1 of the Defence case remains. Only 12 sitting days remain in February,
2 plus 6 in March, and you still have a potential 30 witnesses to call. Of
3 these, six are experts, and these may be cross-examined, likely to last
4 at least two days. We calculate that you would need to call all of your
5 other witnesses within the next two to three weeks. Otherwise, you may
6 run out of time.
7 I bring this matter to your attention. It has been brought to
8 your attention before, and the Chamber will be considering what steps,
9 what measures may be taken to address it.
10 I turn to some matters arising from motions before the Chamber.
11 There is a Defence motion pending for protective measures for two of the
12 witnesses to be heard next week.
13 Ms. Sartorio, the Chamber needs to have an expedited response to
14 these requests. Are you in a position to respond orally now or do you
15 need a short time in which to file a written submission, in which event
16 that would have to be no later than 4.00 p.m. today, or perhaps Monday
17 the 9th?
18 MS. SARTORIO: Your Honour, it was our intent to address the
19 motions for protective orders with regard to each witness when the
20 witness came to testify. That's our plan. If you want something
21 earlier, we're happy to submit something, but we thought it would be just
22 more expeditious to address them when the witness came.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. I am reminded that one disadvantage of
24 that is that the witness does not know before travelling, whether that
25 witness will receive protective measures.
1 MS. SARTORIO: That's a fair statement, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: In those circumstances, yes, I think you should
3 file the written response. This, of course, doesn't mean that in
4 exceptional circumstances we won't hear an oral request, you know.
5 Turning to the Defence experts, we had ordered written
6 submissions by the parties by last Monday, 2nd February, on a matter
7 relating to Dr. Hall. We have received a submission from the
8 Prosecution, but none from the Defence.
9 Mr. Alarid, we have to resolve this matter quickly. Do you have
10 a position on this or may we take it that you have received information
11 you sought as to the relevant jurisprudence?
12 MR. ALARID: The truth of the matter is, Your Honours, we were in
14 before we were supposed to visit the client in jail on Monday. That's
15 why we didn't file a response. We filed a motion for extension of time
16 with the Court, just simply asking for the 14 days normally allowed for,
17 and it's already been filed, so that was the one of our submissions from
18 last night that did that. We simply asked for the 14 days normally
19 allowed for such a motion and response time.
20 And I understand the Court can enlarge or reduce the time, based
21 on exceptional circumstances and times of the case, but I would ask the
22 Court to consider the fact that our limited resources -- I mean, we
23 really only have so many man hours between Danny and I to put in a
24 particular day as we try and cover all our duties in relation to the
25 case, not just witness organisations but continued prosecution of legal
1 issues, and preparation for witnesses, and just communications with
2 clients, communications with the OTP, communications with WVS.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid, you have filed a motion. We'll
4 consider it.
5 MR. ALARID: Yes, Thank you.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: As for the remaining three experts, can you
7 confirm that they are now available and will be provided to the
8 Prosecution, the reports?
9 MR. ALARID: Yes, yes, all notices, reports are being completed.
10 We filed them all last night. They should be, and in response to
11 Mr. Groome's, they just haven't hit the e-mail yet, but they were filed
12 late last night, so all reports are in.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. Unless there are any other matters
14 that the parties wish to raise, we will adjourn.
15 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, actually, we do have one.
16 Just to let you know what's coming down the pike, and I would
17 like to ask the OTP and the Court for some assistance in this matter. We
18 believe that we have located two victims of the Pionirska Street fire
19 alive and well. One of the complicating factors is that we have not
20 received the date of birth, father's name nor ID numbers that were
21 registered to these people, because, as you know, Annex A is, I think,
22 painfully short on information of identification and only puts us in the
23 main direction. But we believe that we have found two of the named
24 victims, one in the United States, one in Austria
25 In order to confirm and get proof of life, we would need as much
1 information on the Annex A's named individuals as possible. And it's our
2 understanding, just like in the United States, where we have a personal
3 identification number, a social security number, Bosnia had in place the
4 same ID requirements or similar ID requirements; and it would be
5 extremely helpful if we had those identification numbers to assist, INS
6 or both the immigration services of both Austria
7 comply with our request for assistance.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Sartorio, are you in a position to provide
9 that information?
10 MS. SARTORIO: Well, certainly not -- well, first of all, it
11 would be a lot easier if they gave us the names of the two witnesses, if
12 we submitted a request, but we're going to have to go through a formal
13 request for assistance to the United States Immigration Service or
14 Social Security Department. They don't give our social security numbers
15 just by request from us. So that could take a long time. But if we ask
16 for 70 witnesses, that's going to take longer than if they tell us the
17 names of the two witnesses that they think are alive and well.
18 MR. ALARID: Well, no, that's misstating our request -- or
19 misunderstanding our request, rather. It's simply, no, we want the
20 original Bosnian identification numbers that should have accompanied, we
21 assume based on the research from the OTP investigation. The proof of
22 death in this case is unorthodox. We had a single witness come in, look
23 at this list and say all these people were there, and that was about the
24 extent of it.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: You're trying to get the original Bosnian
1 identification number of what, of whom?
2 MR. ALARID: Of the list of victims, the entire list of victims,
3 because we're looking for them all right now, Your Honour. I mean, I'm
4 not asking for the OTP to do my work. I simply want them to give me the
5 information I think they should have had as part of an ordinary
6 investigation from the outset.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Sartorio.
8 MS. SARTORIO: Your Honour, we can certainly give them the
9 information we have, but I certain we already gave them the information
10 we had in the disclosure that we made to them of all the documents that
11 we have involving this case. So I don't believe that we're obligated to
12 go out and find this information. And it's, again, they need to go
13 through the record. They want us to do the work by going through records
14 of missing persons and death certificates, and they have all of the
15 documents that are pertinent to this case and the victims in this case,
16 and they simply should just have to do the work themselves.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
18 She has spoken, Mr. Alarid.
19 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, my response is this is a homicide case.
20 It's their job to prove death. It was done in a very unorthodox way as
21 to how I'm normally used to it, but of course I'm normally used to one
22 person being dead, not a slew.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: In their view, they have done their job. If
24 their case is defective, well, you make that point.
25 MR. ALARID: Well, Your Honour, I guess that is a good point, I
1 guess. I'm not sure how to respond to that, other than that's a good
3 But other than that, Your Honour, I mean, I think if there's a
4 high likelihood that this trial is operating with some of the named
5 victims alive, then that is a serious consideration; and I would ask you
6 to consider the experts reports as filed, as bolstering our position that
7 the possibility that these crimes did not occur or did not occur in the
8 manner in which some witnesses believe they did, by virtue of perspective
9 and ability to observe; that if we are saying that Milan Lukic killed 60
10 people, but a percentage of them show up alive, then how can we be
11 assured, without some other form of proof of death which is more regular
12 and accepted in the judicial systems around the world, then that is a
13 serious problem for this case if we are bringing up alive people at this
14 juncture in the proceedings.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Alarid.
16 We are adjourned.
17 Anything else, Ms. Sartorio?
18 MS. SARTORIO: No, Your Honours. Thank you.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: So we'll adjourned until Monday.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 10.05 a.m.
21 to be reconvened on Monday, the 9th day of
22 February, 2009, at 2.15 p.m.