1 Thursday, 19 January 2012
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 [The appellants entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 3.00 p.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.
7 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honour. This is case
9 IT-05-87-A, the Prosecutor versus Sainovic et al.
10 JUDGE LIU: Now may I please have the appearances of the parties.
11 The Prosecution first.
12 MR. CROSS: Good afternoon, Your Honour. Appearing for the
13 Prosecution, my name is Matthew Cross, together with Ms. Laurel Baig, and
14 our Case Manager is Colin Nawrot. Thank you.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. And now for the Defence counsel, please.
16 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Mr. Presiding Judge, my name is
17 Toma Fila, and Mr. Vladimir Petrovic. We are the Defence for
18 Mr. Nikola Sainovic. Thank you.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour.
20 Tomislav Visnjic, Defence counsel for General Dragoljub Ojdanic.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
22 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour.
23 Aleksandar Aleksic for the Defence of Nebojsa Pavkovic.
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour.
25 Mihajlo Bakrac for General Lazarevic.
1 MR. IVETIC: Good afternoon, Your Honour. Representing
2 Mr. Sreten Lukic we have lead counsel Branko Lukic and myself,
3 Dragan Ivetic.
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Before we start, can all the
5 parties hear the proceedings in a language that they could understand?
6 Mr. Sainovic.
7 THE APPELLANT SAINOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I can.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
9 Mr. Ojdanic.
10 THE APPELLANT OJDANIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I can
11 hear perfectly well. My apologies.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
13 Mr. Pavkovic.
14 THE APPELLANT PAVKOVIC: [Interpretation] I can hear quite well,
15 Your Honour.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
17 Mr. Lazarevic.
18 THE APPELLANT LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] Everything is all
20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
21 Mr. Lukic.
22 THE APPELLANT LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear it,
23 Your Honour.
24 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
25 This Status Conference is called in accordance with
1 Rule 65 bis (B) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the Tribunal,
2 which requires a Status Conference to be convened every 120 days during
3 the appeal proceedings "to allow any person in custody pending appeal the
4 opportunity to raise issues in relation thereto, including the mental and
5 physical condition of that person."
6 In the present case, the last Status Conference was held on the
7 13th of September, 2011. For reasons of effective court management, this
8 Status Conference was scheduled eight days after the expiration of the
9 120-day period following consultation with all parties.
10 Today's Status Conference was scheduled by an order issued on the
11 30th of November, 2011.
12 First, I would like to inquire into the status of the detention
13 conditions and the health situation of all the appellants. If you have
14 any concerns in relation to the detention conditions or your state of
15 health that cannot resolved through the standard procedures, I would
16 invite you to raise them now. If you wish, this discussion can take
17 place in private session.
18 Well, I see none.
19 Before we turn to any issues that parties may wish to raise --
20 yes. Oh, I'm sorry, yeah. Mr. Lazarevic. Yes, please.
21 THE APPELLANT LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would
22 like to take the floor again. And, again, I would like to thank you for
23 giving me the opportunity to point out briefly some health issues that I
25 With your permission, I would like to remind you, Your Honour,
1 that, at the Status Conference on the 17th of May last year, I said that
2 I would keep silent on the matter of my health for a while. And I relied
3 on the Bible, which says: "Let our strength be in the laws of justice,"
4 although I was not quite sure that I, too, will find some justice. The
5 reason was that the strong ocean wind blowing around us dissipated very
6 quickly my many words that I spoke, pointing out the problems that I had
7 with my health. It dissipated them all around and, more often than not,
8 there was no response. I will stand by my position, but I would, with
9 your permission, like to point out two problems that I have, and they are
11 The first one is the reporting on the health conditions of us
12 detainees by the so-called authorised personnel, whether they be from the
13 medical unit at the Detention Unit or medical experts engaged by the
14 Tribunal. Such reports were numerous in the past period. There were
15 tens of them, and more -- and more than ten.
16 Your Honour, my conclusion about those reports is the following.
17 They are unprofessional, inaccurate, unethical, and, at times, with due
18 apologies, I have to use the term, not true. They are drafted based on
19 some kind of pattern or template as if dictated by someone. They do not
20 help those that they're meant for, and they especially do not help me as
21 the patient. With all due respect for your time and patience, I will not
22 go into detailed description of all those useless reports on my health.
23 Bearing in mind the fact that in the past period, through various
24 responses that I had to provide, either voluntarily or on orders from a
25 Judge, I wrote tens of pages discussing those reports.
1 Now, if you allow me, I would just like to point out
2 two examples.
3 The first example being the following. In March 2010, the
4 medical unit doctor, the authorised person, in other words, the chief of
5 the health unit, informed the Registry of the Tribunal that I had been,
6 allegedly, seen and examined by a specialist from Bronovo, a vascular
7 surgeon and a neurologist, and that they provided reports on my health.
8 Unfortunately, and to my great surprise, that is not true at all. Those
9 people never came to the unit. I never saw them, nor did they ever see
10 me. For this reason I was forced to address the Registry and they
11 promptly informed the president of the Tribunal, the honourable
12 Judge Robinson, who called such reporting, violations of my basic human
13 rights, in April 2010, in a document that he produced of four pages, and
14 he ordered what measures were to be taken so that this should be avoided
15 in the future.
16 Now, this is just one example. I will skip over a certain number
17 of months, and I would like to point out and refer to the penultimate
18 health report, not counting the one that you probably received for this
19 Status Conference today. This report was produced at the request of the
20 Appeals Chamber, pursuant to a request dated the 28th of November, 2011,
21 when the decision was made not to allow me to go home after serious
22 surgery. This report consists of one page, and it was drafted by a man
23 who had not worked at the medical unit before, a person I had never seen
24 before in my life, nor had he ever seen me, who had never treated me, and
25 I don't even know what his name was.
1 So if you allow me, I would just like to say two things about
2 this one-page report.
3 In paragraph 3 --
4 JUDGE LIU: Excuse me. Sorry to interrupt you here. Can you
5 tell me the date of this report?
6 THE APPELLANT LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I know
7 that this report was ordered by the Appeals Chamber on the
8 28th of November, 2011, and it arrived in early December 2011, but I
9 don't know exactly on what date. Whether it was the 2nd, or 3rd, or 4th,
10 I'm sorry, I apologise, but I can't be more precise.
11 Now, if you allow me I would like to go on.
12 JUDGE LIU: Please continue.
13 THE APPELLANT LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 In paragraph 3 of that report, the gentleman says that I had a
15 mental disorder or a brain disorder as early as 2004, which is before I
16 was indicted, which, of course, is irrelevant for anyone here or for me,
17 for that matter. And in the past five years, I had, on 54 occasions, a
18 minor brain insult while I was detained here at the Tribunal. He never
19 stated that anywhere. And after drastic problems that I had of an
20 illness of a section of the brain, I have been, as of August last year,
21 put on intense treatment by psychologists and psychiatrists in the
22 Bronovo Hospital, and a specialist from Belgrade. And in this medical
23 report, there was not a single mention of those many examinations and the
24 treatment that I had undergone.
25 Now, before his conclusion, he could have read what it said in my
1 medical record. He could read there that there was an expert who had
2 been engaged by the president of the Tribunal, a professor from Brussels,
3 Erban [phoen], he dealt with that issue specifically, and on the
4 29th of November, 2010, he concluded and wrote down that it was necessary
5 to have a team of expert specialists who would deal with the problem of
6 my brain ailment.
7 Now, as of that 29th of November, 2010, nothing happened, and
8 there is no mention of that in this report.
9 Now, if you allow me, I would like to also refer to another
10 paragraph from this report. In paragraph 7, he concludes that I had
11 undergone surgery for the urinary tract, and that after the surgery, I
12 was referred for physical therapy. He never mentions when I had
13 undergone the surgery, where it was, whether there were any post-surgery
14 problems, so I would like to tell you a few things about it.
15 Your Honour, without any intention of insulting anyone, I have to
16 say as a patient that this report was written in a very lay manner. It
17 is only confusing, and it doesn't serve any purpose, and as a patient I
18 feel insulted because it shows that there is really no concern for my
19 health and no care, no proper care, really.
20 So, Your Honour, if you allow me, let me say another thing. At
21 the proposal of Dutch doctors, in June 2009, I was referred to the
22 military hospital in Nis - in other words, in Serbia - for surgery,
23 because it was a very complex case, and they did not want to perform the
24 surgery here. The surgery was performed, among others, by a surgeon from
25 San Diego in the United States and a pathological body was removed from
1 my stomach which was 14 centimetres long, so this was a very serious
2 illness. And after this surgery, I am partly disabled, but that is how
3 it is when the urinary tract is in question.
4 Now, as for this supervisory doctor or authorised doctor that I
5 had been referred to physical therapy after this surgery, that really
6 doesn't make any sense because there is not a single country in the world
7 where you are sent to physical therapy after a stomach operation. It is
8 simply unheard of. I don't know what this is supposed to mean.
9 What I would like to say is that kind of reporting is pointless,
10 humiliating, it doesn't serve anyone's purpose, and, Mr. President, by
11 giving my consent to blank reporting makes me practically an accomplice
12 in this type of reporting.
13 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Lazarevic, let me ask you: Were you examined at
14 Bronovo Hospital on 6 December 2011?
15 THE APPELLANT LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I was. I'm going
16 to speak about that as well.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
18 THE APPELLANT LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 Mr. President, I cited these two examples simply in order to be
20 consistent and credible.
21 As for an overall analysis of my health condition and the way I
22 am being treated about the failures and responsibilities, this is
23 described in an analysis and report that I prepared which has more than
24 200 pages, but we are not going to discuss that today.
25 Now, having in mind this kind of reporting on my condition, I
1 have decided, Mr. President, that in the future, I'm not going to give
2 any blank or carte blanche consent to anyone who wishes to write a report
3 about my condition. Anyone who would like to do that must write a
4 report, it has then to be translated into the Serbian language, and then
5 given to me for verification with regard to what was being done to me,
6 which doctors examined me, and which therapy was prescribed. Only after
7 that, will I sign such a report. Otherwise, I am not prepared to any --
8 to sign any other forms of the reports and thus create a kind of
9 confusion here in the Tribunal.
10 Now, Mr. President, I would first like to orally tell you, but
11 very soon, I'm going to do the same in writing, and I'm going to send the
12 letter to this effect to the Registry and the DU management so that they
13 would become all aware of this decision of mine and that they would
14 consequently inform all the staff informed because I don't want to take
15 part in these kind of, if I may say, dishonourable procedures.
16 Since February 2009, all my teeth from the upper jaw were
17 extracted due to diseases that affected the gums and the jaw. They tried
18 to solve this problem by making a provisional or temporary prosthesis.
19 Many times. And they always failed. I have problems speaking. These
20 prosthesis are causing pain in my mouth, and, quite simply, I cannot wear
21 the denture that was made for me. But you have to bear in mind that this
22 condition affects my digestive tract.
23 On the 7th of December, another ailment was detected in Bronovo
24 but it is not yet finally verified of a very rare condition called
25 Crohn's disease of digestive tract, which is manifested in a continuous
1 devastation and destruction of digestive tracts and hemorrhage in the
2 abdominal cavity. As I said, as yet the cause of this illness is
3 unknown. Many scientists suppose that it was caused by stress. There is
4 no treatment for it, and the only available therapy is chemotherapy.
5 Now, the problems that I have with my teeth has dramatically
6 exacerbated these problems, these newly discovered problems in my
7 abdominal tract. With the previous chief medical officer, I tried to
8 solve this problem of my dentures and that I have a kind of implant
9 dentures. It was impossible, Mr. President, for me to find a solution to
10 this problem because, with all due respect for the lady dentist, she said
11 that at least as long as she is here, this problem of mine will not be
12 solved. I said thank you for this kind of consolation that she gave me,
13 and I will seek assistance from the new chief medical officer. And I
14 would ask for your leave to address the Registry and the management of
15 the DU in my quest for the solution of these problems.
16 Once again, let me thank you for all your understanding and
17 patience, and this is what I had to say, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, Mr. Lazarevic.
19 I took notes of your submissions. As you mentioned in your
20 submission, and as I have recorded on several occasions, according to the
21 Rule 80 and 81 of the Detention Rules where a detainee is not satisfied
22 with the condition of his or her detention, he or she is entitled to make
23 a complaint to the commanding officer or his representative at any time.
24 And in case of an unsatisfactory response, to make a written complaint,
25 without censorship, to the Registrar, who shall inform the President.
1 Of course, I will alert the Registrar on your submissions today.
2 Thank you. So shall we continue? Yes. I see the parties are
4 Before we turn to any issues that the parties may wish to raise,
5 I would like to note that there are currently no pending motions in the
6 present case.
7 At this point, I would like to ask the parties whether they have
8 any other issues they would like to raise.
9 Is there any issues that the Prosecution would like to raise?
11 MR. CROSS: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 We have nothing specific to raise this afternoon.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
14 The parties?
15 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Nothing, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, neither the Defence
18 team of General Ojdanic has any issues to raise.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
20 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] This applies to the Defence team of
21 General Pavkovic as well.
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the Defence of
24 General Lazarevic have no issues.
25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
1 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, on behalf of the Defence of
2 Sreten Lukic, we have no additional issues to raise.
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
4 This concludes today's Status Conference. I thank the parties
5 for their attendance and adjourn the proceedings.
6 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at
7 3.29 p.m.