1 Friday, 9 December 2005
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.32 p.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Would the Registrar please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honour. This is case number
7 IT-05-87-PT, the Prosecutor versus Milan Milutinovic and others.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, this is a Status Conference in the case of
9 Milutinovic and others, which may or may not turn out to be an event of
10 significance. But as matters have stood so far, it's an event which must
11 take place. I notice that there are no Accused present so when I call for
12 the representation of each party to be confirmed to me, I would be
13 grateful if you would also confirm to me that your client is absent -- or
14 at least your client's absence is a result of an informed decision not to
15 be here today. First of all I'll take the appearances for the
17 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. On behalf of the Office of
18 the Prosecutor I'm Thomas Hannis, I'm joined today by Christina Moeller
19 and Matthias Marcussen, and our case manager Susan Grogan.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis and for each of the accused
21 in turn as they appear in order on the conjoined indictment, please.
22 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Your Honour, Eugene O'Sullivan and Slobodan
23 Zecevic appearing for Mr. Milutinovic who has waived his right to be
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. O'Sullivan.
1 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour I'm Vladimir Petrovic
2 and I'm representing Mr. Sainovic today. Thank you.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you confirm the position for me, please.
4 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] If you permit me, Mr. Sainovic is
5 informed about the Status Conference and he was waived his right to be
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Petrovic.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I am Tomislav Visnjic,
9 representing General Dragoljub Ojdanic, who has been informed of this
10 Status Conference and has waived his right to be present.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Good afternoon, Your Honour, I'm John Ackerman for
13 Nebojsa Pavkovic. I'm here with Aleksander Aleksic, my co-counsel and
14 General Pavkovic has no wish to be here. Thank you.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
16 Mr. Bakrac?
17 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, good afternoon. I am
18 Milhajlo Bakrac. Accompanied by Mr. Milan Petrovic, we represent General
19 Vladimir Lazarevic who is informed of this Status Conference and was
20 waived his right to be present, thank you.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Bakrac.
22 That leaves you, Mr. Scudder, I think.
23 MR. SCUDDER: Good afternoon, Your Honour, I'm Theodore Scudder
24 I'm here on behalf of Sreten Lukic. Mr. Lukic also waives his right to be
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Scudder.
2 Now, there are two things I think I ought to mention simply to
3 bring parties up to date on the way matters stand.
4 The Trial Chamber having made an order against a number of parties
5 for the production of material, an order sought at the instance of
6 General Ojdanic, and that order, having been challenged now, then
7 obviously there will not be any immediate response to it and an
8 application has indeed been made to stay the effect of that order beyond
9 the 21-day stay which was already provided for in the order.
10 It's to me unclear whether the Trial Chamber or the Appeals
11 Chamber ought to deal with that at the moment but it will be dealt with
12 fairly soon. Without committing any other who might be involved in that
13 decision, it seems to me likely that the stay would be granted in the
15 The other matter is the indictment itself. Regrettably, the
16 challenges to that have not yet been finally resolved by the Trial
17 Chamber. A number of significant matters do arise and fairly considerable
18 attention has already been given to these. That decision will not emerge
19 within the next few days but I hope that it will be made early in the new
20 year. I would not anticipate it being later than the end of January and I
21 hope in fact it will be earlier than that. There should be a draft
22 available in a fairly finalised form to the Trial Chamber prior to the
23 recess but I don't think that it's possible to resolve the matter until
24 after the recess.
25 Now, the fact that we had a very full 65 ter Conference at which I
1 presided should have - should have - cut down the issues that require to
2 be explored here. I know there has been ongoing exchanges of
3 communication about disclosure but the tenor of these, in so far as I have
4 seen them, suggests that parties are working towards resolution of issues
5 and that, where Mr. Ackerman may have felt a bit frustrated before the 65
6 ter Conference, I don't have the same sense of frustration emerging from
7 the more recent communications.
8 Is that a fair assessment of the positions Mr. Ackerman?
9 MR. ACKERMAN: It is Your Honour. And as late as a few moments
10 ago I have a new communication from the Registry regarding a request that
11 I made by e-mail three or four days ago and all I can really say about it
12 is that they expressed some very serious problems with regard to staffing
13 and ability to meet my needs in a timely manner. But certainly an effort
14 to do so will be made and we are -- we are getting along just fine and
15 matters are proceeding, I think, as rapidly as they possibly can.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: The most recent problem identified, I think, is the
17 disclosure of material which has been marked for identification. But some
18 of that material is still the subject of consideration by the Milosevic
19 Trial Chamber. Much of it is marked for identification because of --
20 because it's untranslated and therefore its disclosure to you would not
21 necessarily be particularly helpful in any event at the moment. And there
22 are other items which are the subject of current consideration so there
23 will be developments on that front in any event and those which become
24 exhibits will be scanned, I assume, in priority to those that are remain
25 MFI'ed and you'll get them but since you have so much other material to
1 keep you occupied throughout the winter, I suspect that you can create
2 your own priorities which will enable you to deal with this material in
3 due course.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, as you know from my prior filings the
5 day will never come when I'll run out of material to look at.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ackerman. In the absence from
7 indication from any other Defence counsel that there are particular
8 disclosure problems, I'm inclined to assume that disclosure is proceeding
9 as best it can at the moment.
10 Very well.
11 Now, Mr. Hannis, is there any particular issue you feel ought to
12 be raised in the course of this hearing?
13 MR. HANNIS: There is one thing I wanted to are bring to your
14 attention. This is a long-standing matter regarding our request for
15 protective measures concerning the witnesses for intercepted
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
18 MR. HANNIS: I think I informed you last time I understood that
19 there had been an oral communication to my boss that that was not going to
20 be a problem, that the national authorities were willing to reduce the
21 original request for protective measures to such an extent I thought it
22 might be more acceptable. But I have not received that confirmation in
23 writing yet. I know this has been on the trial's plate for a long time
24 now, and I'm willing to suggest to the Court that I'll withdraw the
25 current motion and then file an amended motion when I receive the written
1 confirmation of exactly what restrictions they are willing to remove.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I see no objection to that proposed course of
3 action being suggested by anyone. And therefore, I will allow you to with
4 withdraw it, Mr. Hannis, and note that that has been done.
5 MR. HANNIS: I'm making that withdrawal with the understanding
6 that I would be allowed to file later.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. No, I'm grateful to you for doing that
8 because it -- I think it will help to focus the issue better if a fresh
9 application is made.
10 Now, does any counsel have any issue to raise?
11 All right.
12 It seems to me that if we are to proceed on the basis of 65 ter
13 being the appropriate forum for detailed discussion of issues in the case,
14 that not only would it be appropriate for the Accused to waive their
15 attendance at a Status Conference, it may even be appropriate for them to
16 waive the holding of a Status Conference.
17 I think the real reason for such an arrangement is to ensure that
18 Accused in custody have an opportunity of raising matters with the Bench,
19 and I note that the rule dealing with Status Conferences specifically
20 makes that point in relation to Appeals Chamber hearings but doesn't do so
21 clearly in relation to Trial Chamber business. It may turn out that it's
22 not possible to avoid holding one, but I think it may be possible to do so
23 and, should that be the view I ultimately form because of the way in which
24 cases are -- this case is being progressed, I may invite you to produce
25 written waivers at a later stage for any other Status Conference that I
1 would otherwise be holding. I hesitate to make any firm decision on the
2 matter, since I remain hopeful, not expectant but hopeful, that the case
3 might be transferred to a Trial Chamber sooner rather than later, with a
4 view to the pre-trial business being conducted by the Presiding Judge who
5 would preside at the trial. I'm not in a position to indicate that that
6 is going to happen at a particular stage at the moment. So I rely simply
7 on the possibility, to restrain me from making firm arrangements for
8 future pre-trial hearings in this case. If I remain the Pre-Trial Judge I
9 envisage following the course that has recently been followed and dealing
10 with the matter in detail at a 65 ter Conference.
11 I'm grateful to you all for your assistance so far in the case.
12 I'm sorry that this has turned out to be rather a formality, but one which
13 in the current circumstances was unavoidable and I am now in a position to
14 adjourn the Status Conference.
15 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at
16 2.47 p.m.