Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

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1 Tuesday, 29 July 2003

2 [Status Conference]

3 [Open session]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 3.02 p.m.

6 JUDGE KWON: I note this headset has been changed recently.

7 Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Could the Registrar please

8 call the case.

9 THE REGISTRAR: Case Number IT-03-68-PT, The Prosecutor versus

10 Naser Oric.

11 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Appearances, please.

12 MR. WITHOPF: Good afternoon, Your Honour. Good afternoon,

13 counsel. For the Prosecution appear Mr. Jayantha Jayasuriya, trial

14 attorney; Mrs. Kimberley Fleming, trial support; and myself,

15 Ekkehard Withopf, acting senior trial attorney.

16 JUDGE MAY: Thank you, Mr. Withopf.

17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour. I am

18 Vasija Vidovic, and I'm here with Mr. John Jones to represent

19 Mr. Naser Oric.

20 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Ms. Vidovic. This is the first Status

21 Conference held in accordance with Rule 65 bis of the Rules of Procedure

22 and Evidence. The purpose of having this Status Conference is to organise

23 changes between the parties and to review the status of the case so as to

24 ensure the expeditious preparation for trial. Prior to present Status

25 Conference, there have been two Rule 65 ter conferences convened by the

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1 senior legal officer of this Chamber. She has kept me well-informed of

2 the conferences, and I would like to comment that the spirit of

3 cooperation demonstrated by both parties is very much welcomed by the

4 Trial Chamber, and I strongly encourage such spirit to continue.

5 And I gather both parties have received the Trial Chamber's

6 decision yesterday regarding the Prosecution's motions for protective

7 measures and delayed disclosure, which motion have been pending for quite

8 a long time.

9 MR. WITHOPF: That's correct, Your Honour.

10 JUDGE KWON: Therefore, there are no more outstanding motions at

11 this moment. Am I right in that?

12 MR. WITHOPF: It's the understanding of the Prosecution that there

13 are no outstanding motion any more.

14 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Madam Vidovic.

15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.

16 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. This being said, then let us begin with

17 the disclosure issues.

18 I'm aware that in terms of disclosure of Rule 66(A)(1) materials,

19 it has been basically completed; that is, 49 witness statements

20 accompanied the indictment and confirmation have been disclosed in both

21 English and B/C/S without redaction, except for five statements which have

22 been disclosed in the same redacted format as was provided to the

23 confirming judge. Is there anything the parties wish to comment in

24 relation to this matter?

25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. As of today, we

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1 have received the complete material in accordance with the rules. We

2 received this material even earlier. However, some parts of the material

3 were missing so that today the Prosecutor handed over the complete set.

4 Thank you.

5 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Mr. Withopf.

6 MR. WITHOPF: Just for clarification, the Prosecution is of the

7 opinion that the complete set actually has been disclosed within the time

8 limit as prescribed in Rule 66(A)(1); however, based on a letter we

9 received yesterday, we again disclosed binders of the supporting

10 materials.

11 JUDGE KWON: I appreciate it. Then Mr. Withopf, in terms of Rule

12 66(A)(2) disclosure, what is the situation like?

13 MR. WITHOPF: Your Honour, from the outset, it must be emphasised

14 that the Prosecution disclosed as part of the supporting materials all its

15 currently available witness statements. So in terms of Rule 66(A)(2), we

16 are talking only about the so-called prior or previous statements. ISU

17 searches have been initiated in May, however to date we got very few

18 results, only due to the fact that this case hasn't been

19 given high priority. Temporarily, this case can be given higher priority.

20 That means that at least a number of such searches can be done in the near

21 future, and we anticipate results within the next four to six weeks.

22 JUDGE KWON: This matter has something to do with the number of

23 witnesses the Prosecution is to call in the trial stage. And if you have

24 any comments on that.

25 MR. WITHOPF: We are currently talking about 49 witnesses. These

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1 are the witnesses whose statements form part of the indictment supporting

2 materials. We anticipate some 10, maybe 12 to 15, additional witnesses,

3 and we also anticipate that a few of the already available witness will be

4 reinterviewed.

5 JUDGE KWON: So all of them are live witnesses?

6 MR. WITHOPF: That is not entirely correct. We anticipate that at

7 least at the very minimum, 8 of the 49 currently available witness will be

8 so-called Rule 92 bis witnesses.

9 JUDGE KWON: If you can remind me of the meaning of what ISU

10 means.

11 MR. WITHOPF: That's the section within the Office of the

12 Prosecutor which runs the keyword based searches for Rule 66(A)(2) and 68

13 searches.

14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.

15 So at this moment, you are not in the position to tell when the

16 Prosecution will be able to complete this disclosure.

17 MR. WITHOPF: I'm not in a position to inform you right now, but

18 it can be anticipated that by the end of this year, we will be in such a

19 position.

20 JUDGE KWON: I remember the end of this year is the date that the

21 Prosecution suggested to complete -- to file its pre-trial brief. Is it

22 right?

23 MR. WITHOPF: That's correct.

24 JUDGE KWON: I will deal with it later when we come to the issue

25 of pre-trial brief. So let's make it clear that at this stage, that the

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1 Prosecution will be able to complete the Rule 66(A)(2) disclosure at the

2 time of the filing of the pre-trial brief.

3 MR. WITHOPF: At the very latest. We are talking, and I again

4 emphasise it, only about prior statements, and such statements are very

5 likely to be so-called local statements, meaning in the B/C/S language.

6 There wouldn't be any translation issues involved. And not all of the 49

7 witnesses have given so-called prior statements.

8 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. And in terms of Rule 68 disclosure of

9 exculpatory material, I understand that this is an ongoing business which

10 has started already. Is there anything you would like to add?

11 MR. WITHOPF: That's entirely correct. It's an ongoing

12 obligation. Again, ISU searches have been initiated in May. The

13 Prosecution is using 96 search criteria for such searches. We are in the

14 very similar situation as in respect to the Rule 66(A)(2) searches, but we

15 anticipate that most of the material will be available by the end of this

16 year. And again it's an ongoing obligation.

17 JUDGE KWON: Is there anything the Defence would like to add on

18 that?

19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yesterday at the 65 ter

20 conference, we agreed in detail regarding the Prosecutor's obligation to

21 meet the requirements under Rule 68. We have made certain requests. We

22 will make more specific requests to the Prosecution, and we request that

23 the Prosecutor begins to fulfill this obligation very seriously from

24 several aspects. We discussed this a lot yesterday. In particular

25 because the majority of the relevant archives according to our information

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1 are in the possession of the Prosecutor. Until a different decision is

2 made, we request that the Prosecutor makes an effort to submit the

3 evidence to us as soon as possible from the public archives which are in

4 their possession.

5 JUDGE KWON: And I assume those kind of issues can be resolved

6 through the cooperation of the parties.

7 MR. WITHOPF: Certainly can.

8 JUDGE KWON: Then the -- now I turn to expert reports. I believe

9 the Prosecution is anticipating only one such expert, a military expert.

10 MR. WITHOPF: That's entirely correct, Your Honour. If at all, it

11 will be only one military expert.

12 JUDGE KWON: And that can be disclosed at the latest at the time

13 of the filing of pre-trial brief.

14 MR. WITHOPF: That's exactly what we anticipate.

15 JUDGE KWON: Let's turn to the most important matter. I was

16 informed that the Prosecution has stated that it will be ready to file its

17 pre-trial brief by the end of this year, which means four months from now.

18 Would it not be possible for the Prosecution to shorten the period by any

19 means? For example, by the end of November, which means seven months from

20 the initial appearance.

21 MR. WITHOPF: Of course, Your Honour, we can make efforts to

22 comply with such a deadline. But end of the year would be some sort of

23 more appropriate for the Prosecution. If however, Your Honour wishes us

24 to file such a pre-trial brief by the end of November, we would be in such

25 a position to do so.

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1 JUDGE KWON: I would appreciate it very much because the next

2 Status Conference is to held before the 26th of November. So what I have

3 in mind is I would like to have that Status Conference after the

4 Prosecution's pre-trial brief is filed and before the Defence will file

5 its pre-trial briefs. So that I think it's more convenient to have the

6 Status Conference in that timing. So please, do your -- try your best to

7 provide us with your pre-trial brief by the end of November.

8 MR. WITHOPF: We will do so.

9 JUDGE KWON: Having said those, is there anything the parties wish

10 to raise at this moment?

11 MR. WITHOPF: Not from the side of the Prosecution.

12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] And the Defence counsel has nothing

13 to raise either.

14 JUDGE KWON: Before I adjourn, I understand that parties have been

15 made aware that this case may become the test case for the Tribunal in

16 utilising a software programme called CaseMap presented by the

17 Prosecution. And there will be a demonstration for the programme sometime

18 in late August. Mr. Withopf, are you in the position to tell us as to

19 what the programme is like and what would be the advantage of using it, in

20 short sentences?

21 MR. WITHOPF: The programme, the so-called CaseMap programme is a

22 programme, it's basically a tool that enables both parties to show the

23 links between the certain events, certain locations, and certain persons.

24 It enables whichever party to very effectively prepare for trial and it's

25 also of very much use in the course of the trial. And it would show the

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1 strength and the weaknesses obviously that applies for both sides, and it

2 certainly would help in terms of potential agreement between the parties.

3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. I think it would be helpful if we could

4 get some brief explanation prior to the demonstration.

5 MR. WITHOPF: The demonstration, as I understand, is scheduled for

6 Wednesday, the 27th of August. And at this point in time, the relevant

7 information can be provided.

8 JUDGE KWON: Speaking for myself, the 27th is a little bit

9 inconvenient. I suggested to my senior legal officer the 28th, so that

10 can be checked. And unless there's anything to be raised -- Mr. Oric, do

11 you have anything to say at this moment? Then this hearing is adjourned.

12 --- Whereupon the Status Conference

13 adjourned at 3.16 p.m.