Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 1462

1 Wednesday, 10 September 2003

2 [Open session]

3 [Status Conference]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 3.00 p.m.

6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Madam Registrar.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Good afternoon, Your Honours.

8 This is the Case Number IT-02-60/2-T, the Prosecutor versus

9 Dragan Obrenovic.

10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for the sake of the record can we

11 have the appearances please..

12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours.

13 Peter McCloskey and accompanying me today are Stefan Waespi and

14 Janet Stewart.

15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. For the Defence?

16 MR. WILSON: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours.

17 David Wilson and Dusan Slijepcevic for Mr. Obrenovic.

18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. This is a Status Conference.

19 Let me first turn to Mr. Obrenovic.

20 Mr. Obrenovic, can you follow the proceedings in a language that

21 you understand?

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I can, Your Honour.

23 JUDGE LIU: How about your health? We haven't seen each other for

24 quite a long time.

25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm healthy as usual.

Page 1463

1 JUDGE LIU: Do you have any comments concerning the Detention

2 Unit?

3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, nothing.

4 JUDGE LIU: Do you have any other matters that you would like to

5 bring to the attention of this Bench.

6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have nothing, Your Honour.

7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. You may sit down, please.

8 Another item of this Status Conference is the preparation for the

9 sentencing hearing. The Prosecution and Defence filed their sentencing

10 briefs on the 30th of July, 2003. We have some questions to both parties

11 concerning with their briefs. We'll go to the Defence first.

12 As we understand, the Defence filed their sentencing brief on a

13 confidential basis. Is that true, Mr. Wilson?

14 MR. WILSON: Yes, Your Honour.

15 JUDGE LIU: Can you tell us the reason for doing that.

16 MR. WILSON: Your Honour, we filed it on a confidential basis just

17 because we were hopeful of avoiding any problems for the witnesses in

18 Bosnia who may appear for the sentencing hearing. As the Court is aware,

19 this is a very sensitive case there in both ethnic communities, and there

20 have been strong feelings expressed from both communities. We have people

21 from both communities who have entered appearances as witnesses or will be

22 entering appearances as witness. So we were hoping, as I mentioned to one

23 of the court staff shortly after the filing, that we could have it filed

24 confidential at least until the hearing. So then there would be no

25 problems with appearances of witnesses and things of that sort, or

Page 1464

1 problems with them prior to the hearing, problems for the witnesses

2 rather.

3 JUDGE LIU: I see. Under principle and normal practice, these

4 kind of documents should be or at least part of it should be in the public

5 information. And you mentioned that you're ready to lift the

6 confidentiality of those filings before the trial of this case. What I

7 mean is before the sentencing hearings. Is that true?

8 MR. WILSON: Yes, Your Honour. We would request, if the Court can

9 accommodate us on that, that they be kept confidential until just before

10 the hearing so that there are no problems for the witnesses before then.

11 JUDGE LIU: Well, up until now, maybe the next issue, we haven't

12 received any request for the protective measures concerning the potential

13 witnesses in this case. Maybe we could come to that issue later.

14 MR. WILSON: Very well, Your Honour.

15 JUDGE LIU: As for this matter, do you consider to lift the

16 confidentiality or part of it or have some redacted?

17 MR. WILSON: Yes, Your Honour. For the most part, I believe that

18 the brief itself probably could be made public. It's -- our concern,

19 again, is with the witnesses, including Mr. Obrenovic's statement, which

20 quite frankly is quite lengthy and I don't know if the Court's had an

21 opportunity to read it yet. But it's primarily the witness's statements

22 that we're concerned about at this point.

23 JUDGE LIU: I see. I think we will decide a proper time for you

24 to lift the confidentiality of that document.

25 MR. WILSON: Very well, sir.

Page 1465

1 JUDGE LIU: When do you think is a proper time?

2 MR. WILSON: Your Honour, we would ask for a couple of days before

3 the hearing just so that all the witnesses are here and we have had an

4 opportunity to make certain that they are comfortable in their

5 surroundings here, and that they are not subject to any problems before

6 they leave Bosnia.

7 JUDGE LIU: You know, the problem is that, you know, especially

8 concerning with the interview with Mr. Obrenovic with the OTP, we the

9 Trial Chamber do not have that interview at all. I think that in that

10 briefing, you cite the page 44 of that interview. Could we be furnished

11 with a copy of that interview, or at least the whole page of that

12 interview, including the covering page?

13 MR. WILSON: Yes, Your Honour, we certainly have no objection to

14 that at all.

15 JUDGE LIU: How about the Prosecution?

16 MR. McCLOSKEY: It sounds fine to us, Your Honour. In our papers,

17 we did have -- we've used the pseudonyms from the Krstic people. I

18 believe the practice in the ongoing trial has been that if they had

19 protection in Krstic, they would be okay here. I don't think we made a

20 separate motion. That's why we did that and we're very sensitive to

21 Mr. Wilson's concerns and have no problem with anything that has been

22 said. I think most of these problems can be solved by redactions,

23 however.

24 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

25 MR. WILSON: Thank you, Your Honour.

Page 1466

1 JUDGE LIU: And both parties indicated that they would file any

2 additional submissions under Obrenovic's cooperation with the Prosecution

3 after Mr. Obrenovic's testimony in the Blagojevic case. At this stage, it

4 appears to us that Mr. Obrenovic will be testifying in later September or

5 early October. How much time after he completes his testimony will the

6 parties need to file additional submissions? Is that ten days sufficient?

7 MR. WILSON: It's sufficient for the Defence, Your Honour.

8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. For the Prosecution?

9 MR. McCLOSKEY: No problem, Your Honour.

10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

11 Another issue is the sentencing hearing. If Mr. Obrenovic

12 finishes his testimony by early October, the Trial Chamber would like to

13 schedule the sentencing hearing for late October or early November. At

14 this moment, are there any obstacles for the parties to hold the

15 sentencing hearing at that time?

16 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Mr. President.

17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

18 Mr. Wilson?

19 MR. WILSON: No, Mr. President. If we had a choice, we would

20 prefer late October. We recognise that the needs of the Court come first,

21 but for family reasons, we would request late October if that's convenient

22 for everyone.

23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. How many days the parties will estimate

24 that hearing will last? The Prosecution?

25 MR. McCLOSKEY: As in the case of Mr. Nikolic, we have presented

Page 1467

1 our witnesses via 92 bis. So we would just be making some brief

2 statements for the Court. So not long from the Prosecution's perspective.

3 JUDGE LIU: I see. How long do you think your statement will be?

4 You're not going to read all the briefings?

5 MR. McCLOSKEY: No. I really don't -- shouldn't take more than 30

6 minutes, if that, perhaps. And I would, of course, answer any questions

7 the Court had. Fundamentally, our filings, the plea agreement is most of

8 what we know the Court is familiar with, and I may make a few brief

9 statements. I would hope not more than 30 minutes.

10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

11 And Defence?

12 MR. WILSON: Your Honour, we indicated in our sentencing brief

13 that we would request permission to call as many as five witnesses. It's

14 possible that one or more of those would be submitted by 92 bis. I would

15 like a little more time to review that. As we indicated in our brief, we

16 believe that all of those witnesses can be put on, none will be very long.

17 All of our part of the case, including any argument which is not going to

18 be that long either. I may be a little longer than Mr. McCloskey, I may

19 have some additional things that I may need to address that he doesn't

20 have to worry about. But I believe that we can complete our part of the

21 sentencing hearing in one day, as I indicated in our brief.

22 JUDGE LIU: One day, you mean from 9.00 to 1.30 or 2.00 to 7.00?

23 MR. WILSON: I think we can do that. It might be close if we only

24 have that short a day.

25 JUDGE LIU: I see. The problem is that during that period the

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Page 1469

1 courtroom schedule is very tight. I think Blagojevic case will be going

2 on, and if there's any time during that day left, for instance, we could

3 start from 3.00 to 6.00 for three hours, you know, with a break in

4 between. And I don't think, you know, that will last one day, maybe two

5 days or three days. Because, you know, each day there is only three

6 hours.

7 MR. WILSON: So, Your Honour believes the sentencing hearing again

8 would be spread over several days according to the time available in the

9 Blagojevic case? Is that...?

10 JUDGE LIU: It's very difficult to say at this moment, but that's

11 one of the possibilities.

12 MR. WILSON: We will certainly work to be as efficient as we

13 possibly can and work toward being able to finish it in what we would

14 normally have considered one court day, that is 9.00 until 2.00 or 2.00

15 until 7.00. There are five witnesses and I don't think any of them are

16 going to be very long. We won't belabour the point but we do want an

17 opportunity for the Court to hear them.

18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

19 Here I would like to conform that a separate sentencing hearing

20 will be held for Mr. Nikolic and for Mr. Obrenovic. The Trial Chamber

21 would like to remind the parties that evidence presented at the sentencing

22 hearing will not go to establishing a conviction, only for the seriousness

23 of the offense, victim impact, characters of the accused, for the purpose

24 of aggravating and mitigating circumstances.

25 Now we come to the next issue which is about a witness. We

Page 1470

1 understand that on the part of the Prosecution, they only submitted the 92

2 bis witnesses. There's no live witnesses. Am I right?

3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President.

4 JUDGE LIU: And I assume that the Defence has read the statements

5 of those 92 bis statements of those witnesses. Am I right?

6 MR. WILSON: You are right, Your Honour.

7 JUDGE LIU: Do you have any objections?

8 MR. WILSON: No, we don't.

9 JUDGE LIU: Could we admit those into the evidence at this stage?

10 MR. WILSON: We have no objections, Your Honour.

11 JUDGE LIU: They are admitted.

12 Let us come to the Defence witnesses. We understand that all

13 together you have 15 witnesses. Five live witnesses and ten 92 bis

14 witnesses. Right?

15 MR. WILSON: I think that's correct, Your Honour.

16 JUDGE LIU: If we discuss -- well, we haven't received any motion

17 about the protective measures. If we are going to discuss specific

18 witnesses, we might go to the private session at the request of the

19 Defence. But we will keep most of the part of these proceedings in

20 public. And I try to refer to the witness by their tab letter to avoid

21 any possible disclosure.

22 MR. WILSON: Thank you, Your Honour.

23 JUDGE LIU: I hope everybody can know whom I'm referring to during

24 the proceedings.

25 Of the five live witnesses -- well, to our understanding by

Page 1471

1 reading the statement, I believe that there are three witnesses among five

2 who will testify about the general good character of Mr. Obrenovic. Is

3 that necessary to have three witnesses to testify in this aspect?

4 Mr. Wilson?

5 MR. WILSON: Your Honour, we would ask that they be admitted

6 simply because they knew him from different aspects of his life. They are

7 from his community. They are from the same community in general, but they

8 know him in different ways. So we would ask that they be permitted. As I

9 said, we are continuing to review that with the thought of maybe asking

10 the Court to admit some of this by 92(B)2 and we'd like a little more time

11 to think about that. But at the moment we have asked that we be permitted

12 to present those five and that is the reason for them.

13 JUDGE LIU: And I have another specific question concerning of the

14 witness W3. And we are not quite clear about what her nationality is.

15 MR. WILSON: Just a moment, Your Honour, and let me find that.

16 Your Honour, which tab again, I'm sorry?

17 JUDGE LIU: That is --

18 MR. WILSON: Oh, the live witness?

19 JUDGE LIU: The live witness, yes.

20 MR. WILSON: I'm sorry.

21 JUDGE LIU: Number 3.

22 MR. WILSON: Yes, I see the one you mean, Your Honour. She is a

23 Bosnian, Your Honour. By Bosnian, I mean from Bosnia, not necessarily --

24 I did not mean that she is Muslim or Serbian. My recollection is that she

25 is, in fact, Serbian, but she comes from the country of Bosnia.

Page 1472

1 JUDGE LIU: I see. Of course, I understand that you are familiar

2 with the crime of persecution, which requires the specific intent, that

3 is, the criminal -- that is, the criminal intent in this crime, and there

4 might be some aggravating or mitigating factors involved in the intent.

5 That's why we are asking about the ethnicity of the witness.

6 MR. WILSON: Your Honour, I can confirm that she is Serbian in her

7 ethnicity. She is from Bosnia. She was a refugee from a different part

8 of Bosnia, who moved to Zvornik during the war for the reasons that many

9 people moved both ways.

10 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Let's come to the 92 bis witnesses. Also we got

11 the impression that some of those witnesses are quite repetitive, and we

12 would like to ask the Defence whether it's possible to choose between tab

13 I and tab J, or to choose between tab F and tab G. We are not quite clear

14 whether we could be helped by the statement of tab D and tab M. Maybe you

15 could give us a brief explanation, or if necessary, we may go to the

16 private session.

17 MR. WILSON: Your Honour, perhaps it would be best to go to the

18 private session because of the ethnicity of two of those witnesses at

19 least.

20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session at least.

21 [Private session]

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

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6 [Open session]

7 JUDGE LIU: Well, at that stage, are there any matters that the

8 parties would like to bring to the attention of the Chamber? Yes.

9 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Mr. President.

10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

11 Mr. Obrenovic, do you have any matters to say at this stage?

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. Thank you.

13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

14 Mr. Wilson?

15 MR. WILSON: No, Your Honour.

16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

17 I think the hearing is adjourned.

18 ---Whereupon the Status Conference

19 adjourned at 3.36 p.m.

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