1 Thursday, 10 July 2003
2 [Further Appearance]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 3.03 p.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon. Madam Registrar, could you call the
7 case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honour. This is the case
9 number IT-95-13/1-I, the Prosecutor of the Tribunal against Veselin
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.
12 We are going to proceed with this initial appearance of the accused
13 Veselin Sljivancanin. May I have the appearances for the Prosecution,
14 please, for the record.
15 MR. WUBBEN: Good afternoon, Your Honour. My name is Jan Wubben,
16 Senior Trial Attorney together with co-counsel Joanne Richardson and
17 Kristina Carey and Diane Boles as case manager.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you and good afternoon to you.
19 Appearance for Defence, and I see that you are unassisted. Before
20 I give you the floor, Mr. Sljivancanin, it is my duty here as the
21 Presiding Judge in charge of this initial appearance to caution you that
22 you have a right to remain silent and that in addition to that, if you
23 choose to say anything, whatever you say may, not necessarily will, but
24 may be brought in evidence against you.
25 I see that you are not assisted, and I am also informed that this
1 matter was taken up with you yesterday and that you signed a declaration
2 to the effect that, if permission is not given for the attorneys Goran
3 Petronijevic and Momcilo Bulatovic to appear before the court, you wish to
4 appear in court alone. Is that correct?
5 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, my
6 lawyers are here. They came yesterday, and I made sure that I did have
7 the attorneys I wanted to have in accordance with the rules and
8 regulations. When on Friday they said that everything was fine and that
9 my lawyers would get the power of attorney, I thought that was taken care
10 of. I did not want to look for other lawyers because I believe that they
11 are lawyers who can represent me successfully. I asked them to come.
12 However, late yesterday, I was informed of this new development,
13 so yet again I am in a position to appear in court on my own again without
14 a lawyer.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: But are you going to defend yourself today? You're
16 taking up your own personal defence?
17 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] Today I shall defend
18 myself as I stated in writing.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And do I also take it that the information
20 that I received that you do not wish to have Mr. Solley assigned to you
21 any longer is correct?
22 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I asked
23 you last time and I kindly ask you today, may I ask you: Do I have the
24 right to choose my own lawyer?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I explained that to you last time. You have a right
1 to a lawyer - to counsel - but of your own choice means of your own choice
2 but under and as regulated by the regulations of this Tribunal.
3 I suppose that there is someone present from the Registry here
4 that we can refer to if you want to know what the situation is with regard
5 to your lawyers, but I am informed that it is not possible for the
6 Registrar to approve the assignment of at least one of your lawyers. I
7 don't know about the other one. I haven't received news about that.
8 Mr. Pimentel.
9 Mr. Sljivancanin, you may sit down.
10 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Pimentel. Can we have the latest position
12 on the question of representation before I proceed any further.
13 MR. PIMENTEL: The Registrar issued a decision yesterday which was
14 filed and taken to Mr. Sljivancanin yesterday afternoon not to appoint
15 either of the lawyers who were requested. The reasons were articulated in
16 that decision which has been filed and is a part of the record in this
18 That decision speaks for itself.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I don't want you to go into details
20 Mr. Pimentel, because as you know I do not have the jurisdiction
21 to go into the merits of your decision. Did you tell the accused he has
22 the right to appeal your decision right to the president.
23 MR. PIMENTEL: The registrar's decision that was provided to the
24 accused states that he has a right to appeal under Article 13(A) of the
25 directive of the assignment of counsel.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Sljivancanin.
2 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, Your
3 Honour, I was informed yesterday only verbally. I got a paper that is in
4 a language that I do not understand, so I returned it. I kindly ask that
5 I receive a paper in a language I understand. Once I receive this paper
6 in a language I understand, then I shall appeal.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. The Court is actually giving this order
8 orally, that the decision of the Registrar being translated in Serbo-Croat
9 and that it be communicated to the accused without delay and in such time
10 as not to compromise his right to appeal.
11 I will look into that, Mr. Sljivancanin, and you will have it in
13 I don't think I need any further information from you, Mr.
14 Pimentel, because as I said it's not my jurisdiction or power to go into
15 decision of the Registrar as such. So let's now proceed.
16 This initial appearance is taking place pursuant to Rule 62 of the
17 Rules of Procedure and Evidence. For your information, Mr. Sljivancanin,
18 and for the information of everyone else who is listening or following
19 these proceedings, the indictment against you, Mr. Sljivancanin, was
20 initially confirmed way back on the 7th of November of the year 1995. It
21 was then re-confirmed on the 3rd of April, 1996, and was last amended and
22 confirmed on the 2nd of December, 1997.
23 In parenthesis, I think I did inform you last time that a further
24 amended indictment is in the pipeline and that we have the commitment of
25 the Prosecution that this will be forthcoming by not later than the 21st
1 day of this month. But for the time being, what is of interest to you is
2 the indictment on the basis of which you were arrested and detained and
3 brought over here.
4 On the 7th of November of 1995 and on the 3rd of April, 1996,
5 arrest warrants were issued against the accused. Mr. Sljivancanin was
6 transferred to the Detention Unit of this Tribunal on Tuesday, the 1st of
7 July of this year.
8 The President of the Tribunal, by an order dated the 2nd of July
9 of this year assigned the case against you to Trial Chamber II, and the
10 Presiding Judge of Trial Chamber II, Judge Schomburg, by an order dated
11 July 2003, has assigned me as the Pre-Trial Judge in this case.
12 I think I also explained to you last time that there is a decision
13 that goes back in time that your case will be heard jointly with that of
14 Mr. Mrksic and Mr. Radic, considering also that the indictment that I
15 referred you to charges you together.
16 Before I proceed, Mr. Sljivancanin, there are some formalities
17 that I need to make you aware of. First of all, I want to make sure that
18 there is no problem with interpretation. In other words, that every
19 single word that I am saying in English is being translated to you; you
20 are receiving, in other words, in your own language.
21 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President, I
22 can hear it in my own language.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you for that. And if at any time there is a
24 problem with interpretation, please draw my attention immediately.
25 Can I ask you now for your full name and surname.
1 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] My name is Veselin
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you known by any nickname that you are aware of?
4 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] When I'm not among my
5 friends and comrades, people sometimes call me Sljiva because of my last
6 name, but that is not my real nickname, no.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Could we have your date of birth, please.
8 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] I was born on the 13th
9 of June, 1953.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: And your place of birth?
11 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] I was born in Zabljak
12 the republic of Montenegro.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: And what is your last address where you resided
14 before you were taken into custody?
15 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] My last address is
16 Brehtova Street, number 1, Belgrade.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Are your -- the immediate members of your family
18 informed about your arrest and about your transfer and presence here in
19 the Detention Unit of this Tribunal?
20 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Is your embassy informed of your arrest and also of
22 your transfer and detention here in The Hague, that you know of?
23 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Is there anyone that you would like me to notify of
25 your presence -- of your transfer and presence here in The Hague apart
1 from those who have already been informed? I mean other members of your
2 family or any other person.
3 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] There is no such
4 person. Everybody has been informed.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Sljivancanin. We will -- you may
6 sit down for the time being.
7 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: There is now another stage in these proceedings that
9 we need to follow, and that relates directly to the indictment that I have
10 referred you to earlier on. You have, I take it, been served with a copy
11 of the indictment of the 2nd of December, 1997, in your own language. Am
12 I correct?
13 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] That is correct. I
14 have read the indictment.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, you would have understood from reading that
16 indictment that it is divided into parts and that essentially the most
17 important part is the charges that are -- the counts that are being
18 brought against you.
19 Now, there are two ways we could go about it. First option that
20 we have is that the registrar reads out the indictment in full, and then I
21 will go through it subsequently with you and I will ask you whether you
22 plead guilty to each of the counts which it contains. That's the first
24 The second option which we can resort to only if you so wish, is
25 to waive your right to have the indictment read out in its entirety and
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 then I can just refer to the counts and ask you whether you want to enter
2 a plea and what kind of a plea you want to enter to each of these counts.
3 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] There is no need to
4 have the indictment read because I have read it, so the second option
5 would be acceptable.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. The second thing before we proceed now
7 with the indictment itself, I tried to explain to you last week that you
8 have certain basic rights, procedural and substantive, some of which are
9 fundamental in a criminal process, which I am duty bound now to make you
10 aware of. It is in the interests of this Tribunal as well as your
11 interest to know what your rights are. These rights are enshrined in
12 Articles 20 and 21 of the Statute, and I should like Madam Registrar to
13 read slowly these two Articles and if you need any explanation, Mr.
14 Sljivancanin, let me know.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Article 20: "Commencement and
16 conduct of trial proceedings. The Trial Chambers shall ensure that a
17 trial is fair and expeditious and that proceedings are conducted in
18 accordance with the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, with full respect for
19 the rights of the accused and due regard for the protection of victims and
21 A person against whom an indictment has been confirmed shall,
22 pursuant to an order or an arrest warrant of the International Tribunal,
23 be taken into custody, immediately informed of the charges against him and
24 transferred to the International Tribunal.
25 The Trial Chamber shall read the indictment, satisfy itself that
1 the rights of the accused are respected, confirm that the accused
2 understands the indictment, and instruct the accused to enter a plea. The
3 Trial Chamber shall then set the date for trial.
4 The hearings shall be public unless the Trial Chamber decides to
5 close the proceedings in accordance with its Rules of Procedure and
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Please proceed by reading Article 21 now, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
9 Article 21: "Rights of the accused.
10 1. All persons shall be equal before the International Tribunal.
11 2. In the determination of charges against him, the accused shall
12 be entitled to a fair and public hearing, subject to Article 22 of the
14 3. The accused shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty
15 according to the provisions of the present Statute.
16 4. In the determination of any charge against the accused
17 pursuant to the present Statute, the accused shall be entitled to the
18 following minimum guarantees, in full equality:
19 (a) to be informed promptly and in detail in a language which he
20 understands of the nature and cause of the charge against him;
21 (b) to have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of
22 his defence and to communicate with counsel of his own choosing;
23 (c) to be tried without undue delay;
24 (d) to be tried in his presence, and to defend himself in person
25 or through legal assistance of his own choosing; to be informed, if he
1 does not have legal assistance, of this right; and to have legal
2 assistance assigned to him, in any case where the interests of justice so
3 require, and without payment by him in any such case if he does not have
4 sufficient means to pay for it;
5 (e) to examine, or have examined, the witnesses against him and to
6 obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the
7 same conditions as witnesses against him;
8 (f) to have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot
9 understand or speak the language used in the International Tribunal;
10 (g) not to be compelled to testify against himself or to confess
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Next point I would like to make is that pursuant to
13 Rule 62, which I mentioned earlier, you have a right to enter a plea of
14 guilty or one of not guilty, and you also have the option to remain
15 silent. I will give you the opportunity to enter a plea on each of the
16 counts today if you want to. If you choose to remain silent or if you do
17 not wish to enter a plea today, then there is a maximum time limit of 30
18 days from this initial appearance which I can resort to during which you
19 will have time to think about what plea to enter and then we will
20 reconvene and you will be asked again the same question; in other words,
21 what is your plea?
22 I also need to caution you that should you fail to enter a plea
23 within this time limit, time limit which need not necessarily be of 30
24 days but that's the maximum, then the Trial Chamber - that's me for the
25 time being - shall enter a plea of not guilty on your behalf. In other
1 words, if you choose to remain silent, I will enter a plea of not guilty
2 on your behalf.
3 You have waived the right to have the indictment read out to you
4 in its entirety. What I will do, consequently, is to refer only to the
5 charges obtained in the amended indictment of the 2nd December 1997, and
6 then, after each count, I will ask you, "How do you wish to plead to this
7 charge; guilty, or not guilty?" And then I will wait for your answer.
8 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] May I put a question,
9 Mr. President?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Sljivancanin.
11 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] I listened to Article
12 21 in particular, and under item four - D, E, and F respectively - all the
13 rights referred to in those subparagraphs have not been fully observed
14 until now. I would like to ask you kindly now, in accordance with Article
15 62 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, that you apply that particular
16 provision today during the trial, during this trial.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: To my knowledge, Mr. Sljivancanin, paragraphs D, E,
18 and F of Article 21 of the Statute are being applied. I see nothing
19 contained therein that is not being applied. If you are referring to the
20 question of representation, that is to be taken up, as I explained to you
21 earlier on, in accordance with the Rules once you have received the text
22 of the decision of the Registrar in a language you understand. You have
23 the right to appeal, and then the President of this International Tribunal
24 will decide accordingly. In the meantime, you have opted to represent
25 yourself and we will be proceeding accordingly.
1 In any case, if you think that any of these rights are not being
2 observed, I reserve your position and you will have every right to proceed
3 in accordance with the Rules if you think that is the case. But
4 otherwise, I think the case is that we proceed further.
5 The first count contained in the indictment is one of having
6 wilfully -- of wilfully causing great suffering, that is a grave breach of
7 the Geneva Conventions of 1949, punishable under Article 2(C) and Article
8 7(1) and Article 7(3) of the Statute of the Tribunal. How do you wish to
9 plead to this first count? Do you plead guilty or not guilty?
10 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] The indictment I read
11 is full of errors that relate to myself, and therefore the plea I want to
12 enter is not guilty.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Colonel. The second count against you
14 is one of cruel treatment, that is a violation of the laws or customs of
15 war punishable under Article 3 and Articles 7(1) and 7(3) of the Statute
16 of this Tribunal. How do you wish to plead; guilty or not guilty?
17 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] Not guilty.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Colonel. The third count is one of the
19 charge of inhumane acts that is a crime against humanity punishable under
20 Article 5(I) and Articles 7(1) and 7(3) of the statute of this Tribunal.
21 How do you wish to plead; guilty or not guilty?
22 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] I'm not guilty.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Colonel. The fourth count which is one
24 of wilful killing, a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 which
25 is punishable under Article 2(A) and Article 7(1) and 7(3) of the Statute
1 of this Tribunal. How do you wish to plead; guilty or not guilty?
2 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] Not guilty.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. The fifth count is a charge of murder, a
4 violation of the laws or customs of war punishable under Article 3, and
5 Article 7(1) and 7(3) of the Statute of the Tribunal. How do you wish to
6 plead; guilty or not guilty?
7 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] Not guilty.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: And the final count, that is the sixth count, is one
9 of murder as well, a crime against humanity punishable under Article 5(A)
10 and Article 7(1) and 7(3) of the Statute of the Tribunal. How do you wish
11 to plead to this charge; guilty or not guilty?
12 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] I'm not guilty.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Sit down.
14 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Registrar, having heard the accused in person
16 plead not guilty to each of these six counts, I ask you to enter into the
17 records his six replies of not guilty.
18 Now, Mr. Sljivancanin, I will be given instructions to the
19 registrar to fix a date for trial, when this is possible. You need to
20 understand that we are still in the very early stages and that the
21 proceedings against the other two co-accused, that is Mile Mrksic and
22 Radic have been ongoing - particularly that against Mile Mrksic. That
23 against Radic has just started. And you will join them when I hold the
24 next Status Conference.
25 The next Status Conference will be held in roughly four months
1 from now, under four months from now. The last one was held, if I
2 remember well, on the 2nd of July, and by the -- by our Rules, we are
3 bound to hold the next Status Conference by not later than 120 days, and
4 that's more or less when it will be held.
5 I know I raised this last time, but now that we are in the course
6 of the initial appearance, I want a formal confirmation from you, Mr.
7 Wubben, that you intend to file a new consolidated indictment again the
8 three co-accused in this case no later than the 21st of July.
9 MR. WUBBEN: We will, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: And once that happens, Colonel Sljivancanin, you
11 will be served with a copy of the revised consolidated indictment in a
12 language that you can understand. If that doesn't happen, I ask you to
13 communicate your complaint to the commandant of the detention unit who
14 will communicate with me straight away.
15 For the time being and until further orders, you will remain in
16 custody. However, you have a right at any given moment to file a motion
17 on provisional release like your two colleagues, the other two co-accused
18 have done already. This is in pursuance to Rule 65. Let's just say you
19 will need to satisfy the Trial Chamber that there are good reasons to have
20 you released, or provisionally released.
21 There are very few things left, one of which is important, and
22 it's my duty to remind you, Mr. Wubben, as the person, as the one
23 responsible for the Prosecution in this case that pursuant to Rule 66 of
24 our Rules, you have 30 days to disclose to Colonel Sljivancanin or his
25 counsel if and when he has one available, in a language the accused
1 understand all the supporting material that accompanied the indictment
2 when the confirmation was sought. I don't know if that has been done
3 already. It has been done, but obviously I am reminding you of something
4 that you have already done.
5 MR. WUBBEN: Please be informed, Your Honour, that the last time
6 we didn't -- we weren't successful because of security measures, so we
7 will try again after this initial appearance to submit -- to hand over the
9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
10 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, we are even able to do it now via the
12 JUDGE AGIUS: If it's bulky material, I think there will be
13 problems with the security. So there is another procedure that you need
14 to follow. Is that -- that could be. However, I will not interfere at
15 all with the tasks with which the security officers are entrusted, because
16 they have their own rules which I may or may not understand and,
17 therefore, I respect those rules because of various reasons. But if they
18 can be -- if they can accompany the accused to the Detention Unit, those
19 documents today, I think that would be an advantage, because I think the
20 alternative is to have them transferred to the Detention Unit and then
21 they are checked and it will be a few days before the accused can have
22 them, and it may well be that he can use his time more profitably and can
23 start reading them.
24 There is an important matter that I must bring to your attention,
25 colonel, and that arises out of the fact that you are unassisted today. I
1 take it that you do not have a legal background. In other words, that you
2 are a military man by profession and not a lawyer. Am I correct?
3 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] I was an officer, yes.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: But if you decide or continue with your decision
5 pursuant to want to represent yourself, you must know that according to
6 Rule 72(A) of our rules and regulations, once you have received that
7 bundle of documents, you have then a 30-day period for the filing of any
8 preliminary motion.
9 Now, usually this is a lawyer's job, and this is why I am being
10 very frank with you. The preliminary motions that are dealt with by Rule
11 72 are pretty much very legal in character, and that is, for example, to
12 challenge the jurisdiction of this Tribunal to alleged defects in the form
13 of the indictment, to ask that different counts in one indictment be
14 separated one from the other. Or if you have reason to believe that you
15 should seek a separate trial from that of Mrksic and Radic. And you also
16 have, under Rule 72(A), the right to raise a preliminary motion which
17 raises objections based on the refusal of a request for assignment of
18 counsel made under Rule 45, and this is precisely this last part that I am
19 reading out the contents of Rule 72(A) of our Rules and regulations.
20 If you choose to file a preliminary motion within this 30-day
21 period, this needs to be in writing, and as I said, it needs to be brought
22 to the Chamber, or filed, not later than the 30 days I mentioned, that is,
23 after the disclosure of the material that I mentioned to you earlier.
24 Once that kind of motion is filed, then we also have a type limit
25 within which to decide it.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 I don't know what's going to happen between now and these 30 days
2 that I am mentioning, but obviously you will have a counsel assigned to
3 you and this matter obviously will be taken up by him or by her. If you
4 continue to represent yourself, please do remember what I have told you;
5 namely, what is contained in Rule 72(A) with regard to preliminary
7 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] Thank you for having
8 read this out and explained matters in detail and in your desire to assist
9 me that once more I would like to request that what I was provided with
10 yesterday be provided to me in a language I understand. I would have
11 otherwise appealed already, but things are proceeding slowly. I do not
12 want to represent myself. I already have two lawyers here, and it is not
13 at all clear to me why one of those two lawyers was not authorised to be
14 present here today. I cannot defend myself because I am not a lawyer.
15 I'm an officer. I would like to be assisted. I have the right to Defence
16 counsel, and I think that I should be defended by people that I trust and
17 for whom I am certain that they will represent me as I wish to be
18 represented. And if they do not defend me - and I was told yesterday what
19 sort of lawyers I should have - in that case I myself have selected bad
20 lawyers and that is to my detriment, not to the detriment of the trial.
21 So I would like you to assist me and to help me to have these
22 lawyers represent me, because many people in Belgrade told me that these
23 were honourable lawyers and professional lawyers. Since I have not been
24 in a position to see them, could you authorise me to see them after this
25 hearing so as to be able to talk to them for two hours?
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Colonel, I wish I could help you, but I cannot, and
2 I will explain to you why. Because the Detention Unit falls under the
3 jurisdiction of the commandant there who you've met already, and together
4 with him the only two persons who have a say is the President of the
5 Tribunal and the registrar. I as a Pre-Trial Judge do not have the
6 authority to instruct the commandant who you can see or who you cannot
7 see. Also, I have absolutely no right to give anyone the permission -- I
8 cannot give authority to anyone to talk to you here without myself
9 contravening the Rules of this Tribunal.
10 If you need more information on this, I suppose that Mr. Pimentel
11 here can address you on this. I don't think there are restrictions with
12 regards to who can see you in the Detention Unit as such except those
13 which are regulated by the specific Rules. But there is a difference
14 between being visited by counsel and being visited by persons who are not
15 your counsel, and that perhaps has already been explained to you by the
16 commandant upon your arriving.
17 Mr. Pimentel, can you amplify on this?
18 MR. PIMENTEL: Yes. For the record, the registrar has granted
19 permission for Mr. Sljivancanin to meet with his requested counsel for a
20 short period of time immediately following this court session.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: You mean both of them or one of them?
22 MR. PIMENTEL: Both of them.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So that solves the problem. But as I
24 tried to explain to you, it doesn't depend on me.
25 The other thing that I want to make clear is - and I thought I had
1 made it clear - is this: The registrar has taken a decision. I as such,
2 as the Pre-Trial Judge, I have no right to syndicate that decision, to
3 scrutinise that decision, or to pass a judgement on it. The only other
4 person that can scrutinise and also reverse that decision is the President
5 of the Tribunal, and that is specifically what is provided for in the
6 Rules, and that is why I have already given an order to the Registrar to
7 have his decision translated to you in B/C/S so that you can exercise your
8 right of appeal to the President. I can assure that the President will
9 take into consideration both the reasons lying at the basis of the
10 Registrar's decision and any grounds that you may base your appeal on and
11 then he will -- but it's not up to me. Unfortunately, I am not in a
12 position to take any decisions with regard to the assignment of counsel.
13 I hope I have made that clear.
14 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] Thank you. And I would
15 like to request that you relay my positions to the President of the Trial
17 JUDGE AGIUS: He's probably following the proceedings anyway.
18 There is another matter that perhaps I should raise with you
19 Mr. Sljivancanin, because in my experience of over a quarter of a century
20 as a Judge, I have come across several instances where the accused opted
21 to represent himself or herself, and I understand that you took this
22 decision today probably considering that this is the initial appearance.
23 I don't know whether you personally consider yourself adequate to
24 continue representing yourself. I know that I have heard you say already
25 that it is not your wish to continue representing yourself and that
1 ideally you should have the -- either or both of the lawyers that you have
2 chosen to represent you. That may or may not be the case, but if it's not
3 the case, I seriously do recommend to you to think twice before you
4 continue to represent yourself. There will be several options open to
5 you, like they have been open to other persons that have ended up in the
6 same position that you are.
7 I mean, the moment you arrive here, Colonel, the situation is not
8 easy, but it's also up to you to make it easier. I mean, one of the
9 things that you should realise once you are here is that you are pretty
10 much alone. You may have a few friends here and in your country on whom
11 you can still rely, you have your family on whom you can still rely, and
12 you have me on whom you can rely to make sure that your rights are
13 fulfilled here and respected. I will be ready to assist you in whatever I
14 can to see that you are adequately represented, but you also have to be a
15 little bit more flexible than you have been so far. Refusing Mr. Solley,
16 for example, even for the purpose of an initial appearance, doesn't make
17 sense to me. It could only have helped you, certainly not prejudiced you.
18 You haven't prejudiced yourself by representing yourself, but I am pretty
19 sure that had you at least accepted his presence here, it would have been
20 of assistance to you and also of assistance to us. It's up to you. It's
21 one word of advice that I am giving you.
22 Prosecution, is there anything you would like to raise before we
23 wind up?
24 MR. WUBBEN: No, thank you, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Is there anything else you would like to say,
2 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] I have nothing else to
3 say. I thank you for all your advice. I have done everything I could in
4 order to ensure that the proceedings advanced according to the Rules. I
5 would like to thank Mr. Solley for the first appearance. I think he
6 worked successfully, but I've never met him before and I wasn't in a
7 position to speak to him at length, but everything that he did at my
8 initial appearance I think he did correctly and I'm grateful for that.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you and I thank you also for your
10 cooperation, Colonel.
11 There are two final matters that I will repeat to you. I
12 mentioned them last time. If there are reasons at any time between now
13 and the next time we meet that relate either to your health, state of
14 health, or to the conditions of your detention, I ask you to bring them to
15 my attention immediately.
16 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would
17 like to thank the personnel in the Detention Unit. They have been
18 behaving very correctly towards me, especially the head of the Detention
19 Unit, Mr. McFadden, and I'm grateful for the treatment. My health is
20 good, and I have no complaints.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Colonel. Actually, I haven't heard one
22 single detainee come forward and complain about the conditions at the
23 Detention Unit, and I would be very surprised the first time I hear any
24 complaints, because I know pretty much and am familiar with the correct
25 and professional way that the Detention Unit functions.
1 So we will meet again at the next Status Conference which, as I
2 explained earlier, will be convened by me within 120 days from the last --
3 from the date when I presided over the last Status Conference in this case
4 when Mr. Mrksic and Mr. Radic were present.
5 I thank you. You may sit down.
6 The case is adjourned.
7 --- Whereupon the Further Appearance adjourned
8 at 3.53 p.m.