Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 10

1 Friday, 19 July 2002

2 [Status Conference]

3 [Open session]

4 --- Upon commencing at 2.05 p.m.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good afternoon, everybody. Madam Registrar, may

6 we please hear the case.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is Case Number

8 IT-95-13/1-PT, the Prosecutor versus Mile Mrksic.


10 And the appearances, please, for the Office of the Prosecutor.

11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Good afternoon, Your Honour. The Prosecution

12 is represented by trial attorney Mark McKeon, case manager Diane Boles,

13 and my name is Hildegard Uertz-Retzlaff.

14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good afternoon.

15 And for the Defence, please.

16 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour. The

17 Defence will be represented today by Miroslav Vasic, and Mr. Masic,

18 lawyers from Belgrade.

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good afternoon. And thank you. Let me turn to

20 the main person of this procedure: Mr. Mrksic. Can you hear me in a

21 language you understand?

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can hear you well, Your Honour.

23 Everything is fine.

24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then, please be seated.

25 Reason for the Status Conference is under Rule 65 bis, first of

Page 11

1 all, to organise the exchanges between the parties so as to ensure

2 expeditious preparation for trial; and on the other hand, to allow the

3 accused to raise issues in relation to his mental or physical condition

4 and conditions in the Detention Unit. As to the fact that we have today a

5 combined Status Conference and hearing on provisional release, I want to

6 come back to the question of the health condition only later.

7 We have two outstanding motions. They will be decided in due

8 course. Let me, therefore, turn immediately to the question of

9 disclosure. Are there any problems between the parties?

10 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, the Prosecution has complied

11 with its obligation, disclosure obligation. All disclosure related to the

12 supporting material was done in the two languages, that is, English and

13 B/C/S. And there are no problems. We will continue to comply with our

14 obligations and submit further materials in due course. We actually had

15 already meetings with Mr. Vasic. Defence and Prosecution has already

16 taken up cooperation, so to speak.

17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this.

18 The same view shared by the Defence?

19 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the Prosecution has

20 indeed submitted the complete supporting material to the Defence. And the

21 Defence in its stand submitted to the Trial Chamber its preliminary brief,

22 its pretrial brief, so that everything is okay on that front. The

23 Prosecution has, however, filed a motion for leave to amend the

24 indictment, and I suppose that other documentation will follow, as my

25 learned friend has just indicated.

Page 12

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: As I think that there might be - emphasise

2 "might be" - a link between the issue to be decided later this day, is

3 the OTP prepared already now to discuss the issue of the amended

4 indictment and on the core issues of the amendments?

5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, we filed this motion to hold

6 pre-trial motions in abeyance in relation to an outstanding amended

7 indictment that is being drafted right now. As we have already mentioned

8 in the motion, that we intend to file it by the end of August this year.

9 Why we need until August is simply the fact that the recess is coming up

10 and some people go on vacation, including staff members of the

11 Prosecution. Therefore, we think we cannot do it before the end of

12 August.

13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this additional comment. Any or

14 problems related to Rule 66 or Rule 68?

15 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with regard to Rule 68,

16 we have received no material whatsoever to date. And as for Rule 66, we

17 were only received the supporting material. As for the rest, I suppose we

18 will be in touch with the OTP if they are in possession of any other

19 material that they want to submit to us.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But by the language used, I understand that

21 there is no real reason for complaint. It's just to address this issue,

22 and it can be settled between the parties; right?

23 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour, because we have not yet

24 entered into a substantial dialogue on the matters what the defence will

25 be. That makes it quite difficult for us to actually start on Rule 68

Page 13

1 submission and searches. As soon as we have discussed these matters it

2 will be easy for us to disclose this material. And also, we not yet

3 prepared a witness list and an exhibit list, and accordingly, we have not

4 disclosed such matters because this is also a question what will be in

5 dispute. And this, if I understand Mr. Vasic, if I understand him

6 correctly, we will discuss this very soon and then we'll know how big the

7 evidence will be that will have to be presented.

8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this. I should not forget to

9 kindly request the Office of the Prosecutor also in this case to provide

10 the Trial Chamber with the necessary supporting material and the documents

11 of main relevance for the case, because it's extremely difficult for a

12 Trial Chamber to decide without any factual basis. Therefore, we would

13 appreciate if we also could be provided with this material.

14 Any other matters to be raised during the Status Conference by the

15 parties?

16 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the Defence has nothing

17 apart from matters relating to the health of the accused, and you have

18 indicated that this would be discussed in connection with the motion for

19 provisional release. Thank you.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Well, then we can immediately turn to the

21 hearing on provisional release, and in this context, I welcome the

22 representatives of the former -- if I am correctly informed, but may I ask

23 you to introduce yourselves, please. I don't have your name in front of

24 me.

25 MR. SARKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my name is Nebojsa

Page 14

1 Sarkic. I am assistant to the Federal Minister of Justice of the Federal

2 Republic of Yugoslavia.


4 MR. PANCESKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my name is Miodrag

5 Panceski. I am from the First Secretary from the Yugoslav Embassy in The

6 Hague. Thank you.

7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. To avoid any misunderstandings, we

8 appreciate your coming, and we regard you as amicus curiae in the sense of

9 Rule 74, assisting the Chamber in performing the mandate.

10 Then it's now for the Defence to present their arguments. Please

11 be aware that we have before us your motion and the two additional

12 motions, and we have read it carefully. Therefore, I should invite you to

13 concentrate on the core issues of both parts: First, health; second, the

14 other problems related to provisional release under Rule 65.

15 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Bearing in

16 mind what you have just said, the Defence will try to be very brief in

17 presenting the rationale behind our request.

18 The Defence believes that from the medical report we have received

19 from a specialist cardiologist, we can see that the accused is an ill man

20 suffering from heart disease, who had to undergo a number of surgeries.

21 Furthermore, from the same report, it transpires that his health has

22 deteriorated since his arrival at the Detention Unit, and his blood

23 pressure is very high. His cholesterol level has increased as well, as we

24 can see in the same report.

25 In light of these facts, which the Defence believes corroborates

Page 15

1 our request in this part, we believe that as far as the health of

2 Mr. Mrksic is concerned, it would be advisable for him to complete his

3 recuperation for which he was scheduled before he decided to surrender

4 voluntarily to The Hague Tribunal. After that, his health will certainly

5 improve, and that will also be a factor in facilitating a fair and

6 expedient trial.

7 As for the other elements required for provisional release by

8 Article 65(B), the Defence believes that with his voluntary surrender on

9 the 15th of May, 2000, at a moment when he was supposed to go for medical

10 rehabilitation and, instead, came to this Tribunal, the accused has

11 demonstrated plainly that he recognises this Court and believes that it is

12 the only Court, indeed, where he can prove his innocence and present his

13 defence. I must emphasise that his decision followed immediately after

14 the conditions were set for his legal appearance here; namely, after the

15 adoption of the law on cooperation with The Hague Tribunal by the Federal

16 Republic of Yugoslavia. The reason why the accused did not surrender

17 before is presented in the Defence submission dated 10th June, 2002;

18 namely, before that time, the legislation of Yugoslavia did not allow for

19 his appearance here. And moreover, it was unconstitutional.

20 As for the possibility of his interference with victims and

21 possible witnesses, I would like to point out to the Trial Chamber that

22 the indictment raised against the accused in 1997, that since that time,

23 the accused has not indicated by his behaviour in any way that there is

24 such a risk. The Defence has furthermore indicated that the accused is

25 indeed not in a position to interfere with victims or witnesses in any

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Page 17

1 way, and his statement also indicates that he will refrain from any such

2 action. The governments of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the

3 Republic of Serbia have issued guarantees of execution of any orders of

4 this Trial Chamber, provided that this motion for provisional release is

5 granted. The accused himself provided his own personal guarantees. And

6 as an honourable military man and a human being, he will certainly abide

7 by his own word.

8 Bearing in mind that we are facing a slightly longer pretrial

9 procedure, in light of the pending amendment of the indictment and the

10 schedule of this Trial Chamber, we believe that the time period involved

11 would be too long for the accused, in view of his deteriorated health, to

12 spend in the Detention Unit.

13 I should also like to raise two practical points regarding the

14 provisional release of the accused. First of all, the possibility of

15 facilitated cooperation with the Prosecution and preparation of the

16 Defence, if the accused is in a better health condition, that would

17 facilitate a fair and expedient trial as well. Another point is the fact

18 that it is precisely the cooperation between the Federal Republic of

19 Yugoslavia and The Hague Tribunal under the newly adopted law which, in

20 case this motion for provisional release is granted, would meet with

21 greater understanding and result in better cooperation between these two

22 entities. And more indictees would presumably surrender to the Tribunal

23 because the principle of humane treatment would be supported if this

24 accused is to -- is allowed to go for his medical rehabilitation, and only

25 after that, report back to the Tribunal.

Page 18

1 In conclusion, I would like to say that in modern legal systems,

2 detention is not a penal measure; it is a measure for ensuring the

3 presence of the accused. I believe that the voluntary surrender of this

4 accused and his recognition of this Tribunal and this Trial Chamber, the

5 accused has erased any doubt that he would abide by all orders of this

6 Trial Chamber. Those are all the arguments the Defence has to present for

7 the time being. Thank you, Your Honours.

8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you very much, Mr. Vasic. We have before

9 us the guarantees of Republic of Serbia and the Federal Republic of

10 Yugoslavia, federal government, pursuant to Article 36 of the law on

11 cooperation with the ICTY. Do you want to make any additional comments on

12 this issue?

13 MR. SARKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, allow me first of all

14 to express my deep respect and to convey the expressions of respect of the

15 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Our task here is to cooperate with the

16 Tribunal and to establish the full truth about the events which are behind

17 us. All this resulted in the adoption of the law which is the basis for

18 issuing these guarantees.

19 Allow me now to briefly present a couple of arguments which I

20 believe are very important in support of granting this motion. First of

21 all, it is the general principle of presumption of innocence; and

22 secondly, that detention is not a penal measure but a measure of

23 security. And in view of the fact that the accused surrendered

24 voluntarily, we believe that this should be precisely a reason for

25 granting his request. A third argument is the fact that the past conduct

Page 19

1 of the accused is not incriminating. This has nothing to do with

2 establishing his guilt under the charges on which he is indicted. And yet

3 another argument is the condition of his health, because I personally

4 negotiated his arrival here, and at that point, it was already well known

5 that he was a serious cardiac patient. And we had to delay his arrival,

6 although he himself had to come here earlier. However, he had to undergo

7 the complete medical treatment necessary.

8 As to the guarantees issued, I want to say to the Honourable Trial

9 Chamber that in all previous cases they have been abided by in full and

10 will be adhered to in this case as well because in our Law on Criminal

11 Procedure, certain measures are envisaged that are sufficient guarantees,

12 that is, regular reporting to the police and other measures.

13 In conclusion, I would like to say that a positive decision on

14 this matter, Your Honours, would certainly contribute to better and closer

15 cooperation with the Tribunal. And on the other hand, it would help this

16 man to overcome his current medical problems and enable him to prepare

17 well for his defence.

18 As for the guarantees issued by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

19 and the Republic of Serbia, I give you my personal assurances as a man who

20 that is been involved in these matters for a long while. I guarantee that

21 the accused will be available to the Tribunal at any time, either at the

22 request of the OTP or at the order of the Trial Chamber itself.

23 Thank you very much.

24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I thank you for these additional comments, and

25 no doubt the Tribunal appreciates the movement we have seen in the past

Page 20

1 towards a better cooperation between this Tribunal and your country.

2 Nevertheless, I can only invite you in the future also to have an enhanced

3 standard on cooperation in these matters and know that we will do so

4 together.

5 But to come back to this concrete case, it's now for the

6 Prosecutor to present the arguments of the OTP.

7 MR. McKEON: Thank you, Your Honour. Mark McKeon for the

8 Prosecution.

9 I would -- I know that the Court and the Tribunal has our previous

10 filings and has read them, so I would just like to take my time to address

11 the arguments that have been raised by Defence counsel here this afternoon

12 and in his previous filings.

13 First of all, counsel addressed the health of the accused, and I

14 would direct the Tribunal's attention to the reports filed by the

15 cardiologist, and you will see that the accused's health is actually quite

16 good. According to these reports, he has a good situation following his

17 bypass operation. He has no angina-like problems, no pericardic infusion,

18 a well-functioning left ventricle, normal heart tones, no murmur, and the

19 only -- and a normal echocardiogram and a Doppler of his heart.

20 The only thing that was revealed through all of this was a slight

21 thickening of the wall of the left ventricle, which according to the

22 cardiologist is probably what is causing his high blood pressure. And I

23 think that is all we have to deal with at this point is the high blood

24 pressure. He had high blood pressure when he left Belgrade. That was

25 reflected in the medical reports there. And his blood pressure here is

Page 21

1 being treated by the cardiologist. There's no -- no support for the

2 argument that the treatment that he would receive here in detention would

3 be less than the treatment that he could receive were he to go back to

4 Belgrade. And that is what the accused's burden is, not to show that he

5 is ill but to show that the standard of care that he receives here is less

6 than he would receive were he to be returned.

7 I would also note that the treatment that was suggested in

8 Belgrade consisted primarily of 21 days of rehabilitation, and that's also

9 something that could easily be done here. My understanding of cardiac

10 rehabilitation is it consists primarily of education of the patient,

11 telling them about change in diet, change in smoking habits, exercise,

12 things of that nature, and controlling the condition with medication. All

13 of those things can be done here, and there is simply no reason why the

14 accused should be released.

15 I would like to also address briefly the question of whether there

16 is a risk that the accused would not appear for trial. I think the

17 arguments are set out pretty well in our filings. I would just like to

18 address a couple of the points that were raised here this morning.

19 First of all, it was asserted that the reason why Mr. Mrksic did

20 not appear earlier before this Tribunal was because he was prohibited from

21 doing so by the law of Yugoslavia. He last claimed that because of a

22 decision of the military tribunal, he was also prohibited from coming here

23 and that as a military man he had to follow those orders.

24 I think if you look at what the military tribunal actually said,

25 Your Honours, you will see that they said that they could not extradite

Page 22

1 him to this Tribunal because he was a Yugoslav citizen and the law, as it

2 currently stood -- or as it stood then said that he could not be

3 extradited as a citizen. There was certainly nothing in there that would

4 have prohibited him from voluntarily surrendering himself to this

5 Tribunal, nor was there anything in the Yugoslav law that prohibited

6 extradition, that would have prohibited a voluntary surrender.

7 The only thing that those laws provided for Mr. Mrksic was five

8 years of legal cover so that he would have a place to hide from this

9 Tribunal and a place to keep himself from being under the jurisdiction of

10 this Tribunal. And the only thing that changed when he surrendered

11 himself is that the possibility of that place to hide possibly

12 evaporated.

13 And again I say "possibly" because one of the other arguments we

14 have made is that we don't know at this point what the value of the

15 guarantees that are being given by Serbia and Yugoslavia are because, to

16 date, there hasn't been an arrest of the co-accused -- of the other

17 accused in the indictment, Mr. Sljivancanin and Mr. Radic. If we were to

18 see arrests of other people, other high-ranking members of the Yugoslav

19 army perhaps, the Prosecution could have more confidence that if

20 Mr. Mrksic were to decide not to come back to this Tribunal that he would

21 be brought back, but to date there's no evidence that would give us that

22 confidence.

23 I would also like to mention one of the other factors that's set

24 out in the Rules that the Court must look at, which is the possibility of

25 danger to witnesses. Until Mr. Mrksic surrendered to himself and came

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Page 24

1 before this Tribunal, he didn't know who those witnesses were, and he

2 didn't have those witness statements and know who it was that would be

3 providing evidence against him. So if he asserts that because there's

4 been no threats to these witnesses in the past four or five years that

5 he's made himself absent from this Tribunal that the Court should infer

6 from that that there is no risk to these people now. I would submit that

7 that doesn't follow because he now knows who these people are.

8 Finally, Your Honours, one thing I would like to mention that may

9 change your position on some of these things is, if Mr. Mrksic were to

10 cooperate with the Prosecution and submit himself to being interviewed and

11 being questioned about these events, were that to occur, depending on what

12 he says and what his answers are, it's possible that these factors might

13 change; for example, one of the factors the Court can consider is the

14 cooperation of the accused with the Court and the Prosecution, and

15 certainly his being interviewed by us would be such cooperation.

16 Secondly, on the issue of danger, were he to provide us with a

17 statement, we would then know what his story will be at trial, and the

18 potential risk, depending on how those stories match up with the stories

19 of him tampering with witnesses and disturbing their testimony would be

20 less. I think that it's also important to recognise, as Defence counsel

21 has recognised in his initial submission, that the burden of proof on this

22 issue is not on the Prosecution; it's on the accused to prove that he

23 would appear for trial and is not a danger. And we would submit that he

24 has not met his burden of proof on those issues.

25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I just, in the meantime, come back to the

Page 25

1 question of danger vis-a-vis possible witnesses. Does the OTP have

2 concrete indicia for concrete danger vis-a-vis the one or other witness?

3 MR. McKEON: We do not at this point, Your Honour. We don't have

4 any specific records of any threats or anything of that nature.


6 MR. McKEON: That's all, Your Honour. Thank you very much.

7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. The Defence wants to take the floor

8 again. Please.

9 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I will be

10 brief. Just a few sentences with respect to the arguments presented by my

11 learned colleague.

12 We heard from my learned friend what was the content of the

13 medical report on the health condition of the accused, but we did not hear

14 the full report. There was a thickening of the left ventrical with an

15 increased blood pressure, which in medicine is called a maligned blood

16 pressure which can lead to hospitalisation and serious consequences. That

17 type of blood pressure, with the existing heart condition of Mr. Mrksic,

18 and his arterial sclerosis deteriorates and weakens the function of the

19 heart muscle and leads to an increased possibility of a heart attack, or a

20 stroke. So this is a very real danger that exists in Mr. Mrksic based on

21 the cardiologist report. I've already mentioned the level of cholesterol,

22 and I will not go back to that.

23 And as to the conditions for the treatment of the accused in the

24 Detention Unit, I would not say much about that, but I will just remind

25 the Trial Chamber that I have so far submitted three motions regarding

Page 26

1 that, asking the Trial Chamber to intervene and schedule a medical

2 examination of the accused.

3 As far as the surrender of the accused is concerned, I believe

4 that the mere fact that the accused surrendered at a time when he was

5 undergoing treatment is sufficient indication of whether he recognises

6 this Tribunal and whether he will voluntarily appear here for trial. At

7 the time when there was no law on cooperation in Yugoslavia concerning the

8 cooperation with the Tribunal, the accused was unable to defend -- to

9 prepare his defence, to get access to important documents and so on. The

10 situation has radically changed.

11 As far as tampering with witnesses is concerned, we have heard

12 from the Prosecutor that there is no indication that there is such a will

13 on the part of the accused. Let me just reiterate that based on what we

14 have so far received from the Prosecution, these potential witnesses live

15 in a different country. And I don't see how could the accused interfere

16 with these witnesses. I will not say which country these witnesses live

17 in, but let me tell you that it's a different country unrelated to

18 Yugoslavia.

19 Now, as to the guarantees mentioned by my learned friend, I

20 believe that the serious nature and validity of the guarantees provided by

21 Republic of Serbia and Federal Republic of Yugoslavia should be viewed in

22 the light of the cooperation the Tribunal had so far with Yugoslavia

23 concerning provisional releases of other accused. We have heard from the

24 representative of the government, and the Trial Chamber is also aware of

25 it, that all of the conditions set by the Tribunal have been complied with

Page 27

1 so far by Yugoslavia and that the Tribunal has also so far received

2 regular reports concerning the conduct of the accused that have been

3 provisionally released. And I believe that this is a sufficient proof of

4 the level of cooperation that exists in that aspect.

5 And now, the last argument presented by the Prosecution: We have

6 heard from our learned friends from the Prosecution that there has been

7 good cooperation with the Defence so far, and the Defence is prepared to

8 continue it in that spirit. I have told my learned colleague that the

9 accused is ready to grant an interview to the Prosecution, but at the time

10 when that will not present a health risk to him. We think that this is a

11 fair position in view of the accused, and we believe that if the accused

12 were to be in Belgrade, that would not adversely affect the ability of the

13 Prosecution to conduct an interview with the accused. The accused is

14 certainly obliged to give only the truth, and not only what the

15 Prosecution wants him to state. We do not expect that there will be any

16 problems in this regard, namely, in contacts, in cooperation, between the

17 accused and the Prosecution. In view of the proceedings in Sainovic,

18 Ojdanic, and Gruban case, we don't think that the situation in that case

19 and our case is similar when it comes to the decision on provisional

20 release.

21 And just one more thing, Your Honours: If you were to grant this

22 provisional release request, the accused will continue to reside in the

23 address where he has resided so far in Belgrade, and he has not changed

24 his residences. And this is the address where he lived at the time when

25 he surrendered himself to the Tribunal. Thank you for your consideration

Page 28

1 and attention. The Defence has nothing further to state.

2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Anything in addition from your side?

3 MR. McKEON: I'll be very brief, Your Honour. As far as the

4 defendant's health goes, there's nothing in the report that indicates that

5 his high blood pressure and thickening of the wall of his heart is caused

6 by his detention, or that it would be improved were he not detained.

7 Secondly, he states that he would be happy to submit to an interview when

8 it won't present a heart -- when it won't present a health risk. And I

9 would be surprised if he were released, Your Honour, if there would come a

10 time, once he gets back to Belgrade, that it wouldn't present a health

11 risk in his mind for him to be interviewed. I think the opportunity to

12 interview him is while he is here, Your Honour, and that is when he can

13 show his cooperation and when he can show the facts that would show that

14 he's not a danger.

15 Finally, Your Honour, with respect to the guarantees, the

16 conditions of previous guarantees being met so far, the only guarantee

17 that is really at issue in terms of his appearance before the Court is

18 whether were he to abscond, he would be arrested and brought back. There

19 has been no testing of that, of the will to comply with that portion of

20 the guarantee so far. Indeed, circumstances with respect to the

21 coaccused, Mr. Sljivancanin and Mr. Radic would indicate that he would not

22 be arrested because those people have not been arrested. Thank you,

23 Your Honour.

24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Having heard now the arguments of the -- I see

25 you want to take the floor again?

Page 29

1 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I don't want

2 this to go indefinitely, but let me add just one more thing: The medical

3 report provides that headaches, faintness, and the health complaints of

4 the accused, all of this stems from very severe stress that he underwent

5 and is undergoing in the Detention Unit. And we can see that this has not

6 improved his blood pressure.

7 And as far as other matters are concerned, the Defence has to

8 reiterate once again that the accused came here voluntarily on his own at

9 the time when he was scheduled to continue his treatment. We believe this

10 to be sufficient proof that he will come to this Tribunal whenever ordered

11 to do so. Thank you.

12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. I think we have understood the

13 arguments of both parties. We have now to turn to the accused himself.

14 It's, of course, his fundamental right to address the Trial Chamber

15 because what is at stake is his own liberty or, in this case, deprivation

16 of liberty. And therefore, it is now for you if you so want to speak.

17 But before, I have to give you once again the admonition I did already

18 during your last appearance: It is your right to remain silent. But if

19 you want, you may take the floor.

20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to thank

21 you for issuing an order at the time of my initial appearance for medical

22 examinations to be conducted and that you have paid sufficient attention

23 to my health matters. That has all been complied with. I have no

24 complaints regarding the head of the Detention Unit and Detention Unit's

25 staff.

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Page 31

1 The cardiologist professor who, in view of existing technical

2 conditions, tried to establish the real medical condition of myself, I'm

3 grateful for that, but I see that other people here claim to have better

4 information about my health condition than I have myself. Certain

5 objective tests have been conducted, but I also have to stress that there

6 are such elements that are called subjective elements and that cannot be

7 recorded in any kind of test. Based on cardiologist advice, I tried to do

8 certain exercises, but I have been unable to do that because I feel this

9 great pressure. And my blood pressure was measured when I came here; that

10 blood pressure was increased. A few days ago, the elevator wasn't

11 working, so I had to use the stairs, and I have to tell you that that

12 causes great difficulties to me.

13 The professor told me that the geographical location of The Hague

14 and the level above the sea is something that has repercussions to my

15 health condition. The Detention Unit itself also is something that

16 influences my condition. It can be a golden detention unit but it is

17 still a type of detention, and that certainly affects my health condition

18 in every way.

19 When I told the doctors that I feel both certain pressure and

20 sometimes I feel a pinching, pinching inside my heart, this is something

21 that I complained about to the doctor and I was told that eventually it

22 would pass, but the professor also told me that in view of the high blood

23 pressure that I have, there is a risk to -- risk is posed to deterioration

24 of the brain vessels, which could lead to a stroke.

25 In view of all that, there is an increased level of lipid factors

Page 32

1 in my blood, and as a result of that, I started taking cholesterol

2 medication.

3 But here, when you apply to schedule a sophisticated medical

4 examination, there is a very long line. I had to wait for about a month

5 before I was examined by a specialist. So that is what I would like to

6 point out to you here. I would like to thank you in advance, although I

7 don't know whether you will grant my request for provisional release.

8 It's up to you to decide on that. But I'm not a potential fugitive. I'm

9 a general, have high military education. I have my dignity and honour.

10 And whoever wanted to find me could have found me in my apartment. Nobody

11 came to my office to seek me. And once the law on cooperation was

12 adopted, I realised that I had full backing of my country, and I was among

13 the first ones to surrender myself voluntarily.

14 The -- as my attorney has indicated, I am fully prepared to

15 cooperate in every possible way. Thank you.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you very much. The Trial Chamber will

17 hand down a decision as soon as possible in writing. This concludes the

18 hearing in this case for today.

19 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned

20 at 2.55 p.m.