1 Thursday, 10 January 2013
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.30 p.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.
7 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case
9 IT-05-87-A, the Prosecutor versus Sainovic et al.
10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. May I now please have the appearances of
11 the parties.
12 First the Prosecution.
13 MS. VERRALL: Good afternoon, Your Honour. For the Prosecution
14 my name is Saeeda Verrall, together with Ms. Virginie Monchy, and our
15 case manager, Mr. Colin Nawrot.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
17 And now for the Defence.
18 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
19 Vladimir Petrovic for Mr. Nikola Sainovic.
20 MR. VISNJIC: Good afternoon, Your Honour. Tomislav Visnjic and
21 Peter Robinson for -- on behalf of Dragoljub Ojdanic.
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
23 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
24 Aleksandar Aleksic for the Defence of General Pavkovic.
25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
2 Mihajlo Bakrac for General Vladimir Lazarevic.
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
4 MR. IVETIC: And good afternoon, Your Honour. Lead counsel,
5 Branko Lukic, accompanied by myself, co-counsel, Dragan Ivetic for
6 Sreten Lukic.
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
8 Before we start can all the parties hear the proceedings in a
9 language they understand?
10 Mr. Sainovic.
11 THE APPELLANT SAINOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Lazarevic.
14 THE APPELLANT LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] It is all right,
15 Mr. President.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
17 THE APPELLANT PAVKOVIC: [Interpretation] I can follow,
18 Your Honour.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
20 This Status Conference is called in accordance with
21 Rule 65 bis (B) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the Tribunal,
22 which requires a Status Conference to be convened every 120 days during
23 the appeal proceedings to allow any person in custody pending appeal the
24 opportunity to raise issues in relation thereto including the mental and
25 physical condition of that person.
1 In the present case, the last Status Conference was held on
2 12th September 2012. Today's Status Conference was scheduled by an order
3 issued on the 23rd November 2012.
4 First, I would like to inquire into the status of the detention
5 conditions and the health situation of the appellants. If you have any
6 concerns in relation to the detention conditions or your state of health
7 that cannot be resolved through the standard procedures, I would invite
8 you to raise them now. If you wish, this discussion can take place in
9 private session.
10 Well, it seems to me there is nothing.
11 Oh, Mr. Lazarevic.
12 Yes, please. You have the floor.
13 THE APPELLANT LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] It can hardly unfold
14 without me taking the floor.
15 Thank you, Your Honour, for giving me the floor this time,
16 Your Honour. I am quite aware of the fact that I have myself taken up a
17 great deal of time that we've set aside for our status conferences, but
18 let me reassure you that my interventions have always been in good faith
19 and with good intentions.
20 I feel the need and the obligation, I should say, to share with
21 you two pieces of information concerning the state of my health. This is
22 something that I've discussed earlier, at the earlier Status Conferences
23 starting from the one on the 19th of January last year.
24 The first piece of information concerns the report by the
25 government of the Republic of Serbia concerning the findings reached by a
1 consilium of physicians, medical specialists as the Registry refers to
2 them about the state of my health in June of last year.
3 Mr. President, I did receive the official report from the
4 government of the Republic of Serbia. My Defence saw to it that these
5 findings were translated and I am sure that you will -- you will receive
6 that report soon. Nevertheless, if you'll allow me to, I'd like to share
7 with you the main points of the findings reached by the consilium of
8 physicians about my health and their proposals.
9 The consilium of physicians from Serbia has ascertained beyond
10 any doubt the following, and I quote:
11 "The patient has a seriously impaired health condition," the
12 patient of course being me.
13 Under 2:
14 "There are particularly prominent health concerns as follows:
15 "The ischemic disease of the brain with rhackinary [phoen]
16 infarcts of the brain and the dilution of the brain matter."
18 "Anxiety and depression as well as the ailments connected with
19 those states of mind. The digestic tracks problems, problems of the
20 stomach, the digestive system, including the liver."
21 These problems have been present for several years now.
22 Moreover, as of February 2009 there is a prominent difficulty
23 with the oral cavity; this, in addition to the vascular diseases as well
24 as the osteopathic condition.
25 These are the conclusions that the physicians arrived at and they
1 also give suggestions which merely hint at some of the problems that
2 exist within the UNDU when it comes to according medical treatment, many
3 surgeries which require full anaesthetics. These surgeries were carried
4 out over a span of three to four years, and all of these have had a
5 direct bearing on my health.
6 They also point to the fact that I distrust some of the
7 physicians who were inconsistent in their assessments and measures taken,
8 which is something I've already raised as an issue here. They also point
9 out to the fact that there is a very long period of wait for a certain
10 number of surgeries, the waiting period going as far as two years in
11 certain cases. They also point to what is the unacceptably extensive use
12 and fully uncontrolled prescription of certain medication. There they
13 refer to the dosage of 14 to 15 different types of medication a day,
14 whereas in reality I am obliged to take on average between 20 to 25 types
15 of medication a day, which is three to five times in excess of what is
16 normally the allowed dosage under the rules of the
17 World Health Organization.
18 This is what the consilium of physicians proposes under full
19 professional responsibility with full expertise and in line with their
20 work ethics. They call for urgent new measures, new checks for
21 diagnostics in a whole range of areas. I will not be citing them here.
22 They are all written here in Latin, but this is something that the GP,
23 your regular GP would have from multi-size scanners to lab tests.
24 They also suggest that consistent, regular and planned measures
25 of medical check-ups be applied, check-ups with certain specialist
1 doctors, especially the neurologist, gastroenterologist, cardiologist,
2 vascular surgeons, and psychiatrists.
3 Finally the consilium of physicians also demands in ethical terms
4 that, I quote:
5 "The impaired health condition of Lazarevic be as soon as
6 possible restored to the acceptable and bearable level."
7 Allow me to say a few words as a patient who experiences certain
8 problems with his health on what this consilium of physicians had to
10 The consilium of physicians has confirmed some of the serious
11 ailments which - and there were three specialists in that consilium -
12 which in the reports drafted by my Defence and by myself have been
13 brought to the attention of the Court previously. These findings clearly
14 gainsay those other reports about my health which clearly did not reflect
15 the reality.
16 Let me recall that ever since the initiative was raised to put
17 this consilium of physicians in Serbia together -- or, rather, that this
18 initiative was first raised three years ago. It was as early as on the
19 18th of January, 2010.
20 The other piece of information I wanted to share concerns the
21 impaired state of my oral health. On this score I would like to say that
22 I have been raising this issue at all the various Status Conferences,
23 starting from the one on the 19th of January, 2012. This condition has
24 obtained two years ago -- four years ago, that is, in February 2009.
25 This is my report in the briefest of terms. Despite all the
1 various attempts and efforts to do otherwise, nothing has changed. Quite
2 the contrary. The situation has deteriorated seriously. There are no
3 monies forthcoming that will be able to address my problem. Let me
4 explain what I've just said by making a few points.
5 Let me recall that following your order of the Status Conference
6 on the 19 January 2012, I directly addressed the Registry of the Tribunal
7 to grant assistance with regard to my oral health. In April last year
8 there was an exchange of correspondence between me and the Registry,
9 specifically the Registrar and the Deputy Registrar. There was even a
10 personal contact with Mr. Martin Petrov. This was on the
11 4th of July, 2012, when he visited the UNDU.
12 The Registry representatives raised two positions in their
13 attempts to assist me and in their contacts with me. The first position
14 was that allegedly there was no medical reason that would justify the
15 reconstruction of my upper jaw which, in any case, is nonsensical; and
16 the second, that the adequate treatment is far too expensive. Both the
17 Registrar and the Deputy Registrar expressed their willingness to do
18 everything in their power to resolve the financial problems with the
19 Dutch authorities.
20 From the time they last made this statement, i.e., the
21 4th of July, more than six months have elapsed. Now the result is that
22 there has been no subsequent communication or correspondence since that
23 date and the problem is not being resolved. On the other hand, my oral
24 health condition has deteriorated. There is a medical concern with a
25 tooth on my lower jaw.
1 Now after one-year's treatment, the only thing that happened was
2 that I lost other four teeth on the left -- on the right side of my lower
3 jaw. That was a month ago. There was a contact with a physician from
4 the Bronovo Hospital who was to perform a surgery on the right side of my
5 lower jaw. I was referring to assistance, though I might as well have
6 said purported assistance because there was no assistance. The
7 intervention failed, and this was something that the assistant at the
8 infirmary confirmed. What is soon to follow is the extraction of four
9 more teeth on my lower jaw leaving me with six teeth only, and this is
10 what has been going on throughout this time that I've been receiving this
12 The following factors are also important. On the
13 9th of November, 2012, as I was undergoing a dental check-up in the
14 infirmary of the UNDU, the lady dentist examined the state of my upper
15 jaw in detail and established that I was indeed unable to use any of the
16 five mobile dentures because the bones of my jaw are completely damaged.
17 The dentist said that she would not insist on me using these dentures,
18 that she was sorry that this was the case, but that nothing could be done
19 with these dentures anymore.
20 In view of the fact that any appropriate medical treatment has
21 been absent in the past couple of years, my Defence addressed the
22 government of the Republic of Serbia with a request that a relevant
23 medical opinion be obtained with regard to the difficulties that I was
25 On the 25th of October, 2012, the government of the
1 Republic of Serbia sent out from Belgrade the report of the dentistry
2 clinic of the medical academy in Belgrade where the specialists suggested
3 that implants be imbedded in the upper jaw.
4 Allow me to say the following, Your Honour: In what is nearly a
5 period of four years, ever since the month of February, 2009, I have not
6 had any proper treatment of my oral health condition. I lost four teeth
7 in my upper jaw and four in my lower jaw and soon four more teeth of my
8 lower jaw are to follow. I will be left with six teeth only. My dental
9 health has been significantly impaired. It is at a level below the
10 minimum of what is required to function. It has also helped deteriorate
11 the other conditions that I have, especially that of the digestive tract.
12 The quality of my life where I've had to bear pain day and night
13 is such that my health condition is the result of the violation of my
14 basic human rights, of my basic human dignity, even if I am only a
15 detainee. The judicial administration which under the Rules of the
16 Tribunal has taken upon itself to assist me has not been successful so
17 far, and as I've said six months ago every form of communication has
19 The only thing that proved true was the outcome of the dentist,
20 Dr. Tan, given almost three years ago. Let me quote -- that was the
21 outlook that she gave, and she said that:
22 "The imbedding of fixed implants in the upper jaw was possible
23 but that it would not happen for as long as she was holding her post."
24 She left the UNDU infirmary ten days ago. There is nothing else
25 I can add. I thank you for your patience and your trust. Thank you.
1 Please allow me to sit down.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, Mr. Lazarevic, for sharing with me your
3 health conditions.
4 I took note of your submissions and I will certainly ask for an
5 update of your health conditions from the Registrar.
6 At the meantime, I would like to say that as I have recalled on
7 several occasions, according to the Rule 80 and 81 of the detention
8 rules, where a detainee is not satisfied with condition of his detention,
9 he is entitled to make a complaint to the commanding officer of his
10 representative at any time, and in case of unsatisfactory response, to
11 make a written complaint without censorship to the Registrar who shall
12 inform the President.
13 Are there anybody who would like to raise the issue of the status
14 of health and the detention conditions?
15 Well it seems to me there are none.
16 Before we turn to any issues that parties may wish to raise, I
17 would like to note that there are currently no pending motions in the
18 present case. At this point I would like to ask the parties whether they
19 have any other issues they would like to raise.
20 Is there any issue the Prosecution would like to raise?
21 MS. VERRALL: We have nothing to raise. Thank you, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
23 The counsel for Mr. Sainovic?
24 MR. PETROVIC [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. Thank you.
25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
1 Counsel for Mr. Ojdanic.
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] There is nothing to raise,
3 Your Honour. Thank you.
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
5 Counsel for Mr. Pavkovic.
6 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Nothing for the time being,
7 Your Honour. Thank you.
8 JUDGE LIU: Counsel for Mr. Lazarevic.
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Nothing to
11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Counsel for Mr. Lukic?
12 MR. IVETIC: Nothing at this time, Your Honour. Thank you.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
14 This concludes today's Status Conference. I thank the parties
15 for their attendance and adjourn these proceedings.
16 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned
17 at 2.59 p.m.