1 Thursday, 31 March 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [Initial Appearance]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Registrar, please call the
8 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
9 IT-05-86-I, the Prosecutor versus Vinko Pandurevic.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I would like to greet all those
11 present here, the representatives of the Prosecution, the accused, and all
12 those who are here in this courtroom assisting us.
13 I would like to ask the Prosecution to introduce themselves. The
14 appearances, please.
15 MR. MCCLOSKEY: Good afternoon, Your Honour. My name is Peter
16 McCloskey and with me today is Janet Stewart.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 Mr. Pandurevic, can you please stand.
19 I would like to make sure that you are able to follow the
20 interpretation of what I'm saying in your language. In that case, can you
21 please tell me, yes, I can hear you and I can understand you.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President, I hear you and
23 understand you fully.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, General, I was informed by
25 the registry that -- concerning with regard to the assistance of counsel,
1 you've signed waiver to your right of being assisted by counsel. Under
2 the Statute of the Tribunal and under Article 21 of the Statute, it is
3 stated that you are entitled to defend yourself, and under Rule 45 of the
4 Rules of Procedure and Evidence, it is provided for that an accused can
5 have legal assistance if he wishes so and also that in the -- where the
6 interests of justice so require, he can have legal assistance assigned to
7 him without payment by him if he does not have sufficient means to pay for
9 Therefore, I would like to know if you maintain your decision, if
10 you still want to defend yourself on your own without assistance of
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, at today's initial
13 appearance, I wish to represent myself, that is to say, I don't need the
14 assistance of counsel. The Court is going to appoint Defence counsel of
15 my own choosing and I think that this will done in due course. Thank you.
16 So I am just going to defend myself today and not require the
17 assistance of counsel today, but in future, I will avail myself of that
19 Thank you.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You can sit down.
21 General, before moving on to the procedure provided for by
22 Rule 62, let's me briefly recall a number of facts relating to this case.
23 We have an indictment that originally had been drawn up against
24 three co-accused, Mr. Radislav Krstic, Mr. Vinko Pandurevic, and
25 Mr. Vidoje Blagojevic. The indictment was numbered IT-98-33-I. In a
1 confidential order issued on 2nd of November, 1998, the Confirming Judge,
2 who, in that particular case, was Judge Mumba, the Judge confirmed the
3 indictment I have mentioned.
4 Later, on 3rd December 1998, the accused Radislav Krstic was
5 transferred to the Tribunal in order to be tried. On the 2nd of August,
6 2001, the same accused was sentenced to a sentence of 46 years in prison.
7 He appealed the sentence and the conviction, and his sentence was reduced
8 to 35 years by a judgement issued by the Appeals Chamber on 19th of April,
10 In a confidential and ex parte order of 26 October 1999, the
11 Confirming Judge, Judge Mumba, allowed the Prosecutor to amend the initial
12 indictment and to file amended and separate indictments for each one of
13 the three co-accused.
14 On the 27th of October, 1999, the Prosecutor filed an amended
15 indictment against the three co-accused and three amended indictments,
16 three separate amended indictments, against each one of the three
18 On the 7th of December, 2001, the amended indictment against
19 Pandurevic was made public.
20 On the 23rd of March, 2005, the accused Pandurevic, who is here in
21 this courtroom, was transferred to the Detention Unit of the Tribunal.
22 On the following day, on the 24th of March, 2005, Judge Liu
23 confirmed a new indictment dated 10th of February, 2005 case number
24 IT-05-86-I against the accused Pandurevic. This indictment included new
25 charges, and the Confirming Judge ordered the Prosecutor to withdraw the
1 amended indictment dated 27th of October, 1999, and the new indictment was
2 notified, or was served on Pandurevic, on the accused Pandurevic today,
3 31st of March, 2005.
4 Let me sum up the indictment. At the beginning of July, of the
5 month of July, 1995, units of the Drina Corps that were part of the VRS,
6 the Bosnian Serb army, shelled Srebrenica and attacked United Nation
7 observation posts that were located in the safe area and that were manned
8 by Dutch troops. Later, the VRS forces entered Srebrenica.
9 It is stated in the indictment that on the 18th of July, 1995, the
10 VRS forces placed under the command and control of Ratko Mladic, Radislav
11 Krstic, and Vinko Pandurevic, deported or killed most of the members of
12 the Bosnian Muslim population in the Srebrenica enclave. The VRS forces
13 practically eliminated any Muslim presence from Bosnian in that particular
14 region of the Srebrenica enclave, thus pursuing the ethnic cleansing
15 campaign that had been started in the spring of 1992.
16 According to the indictment, from 12 of December, 1992 to November
17 1996, the accused Pandurevic was the commander of the 1st Light Infantry
18 Brigade of Zvornik, the Zvornik Brigade as it was called, in the
19 Drina Corps of the VRS. He was promoted to the rank of general in -- of
20 the Brigade in June 1997, and he is a member of the General Staff of the
21 VRS and that was the case until April 1998 where he was relieved from his
23 The accused Vinko Pandurevic, according to the indictment, and on
24 the basis of individual responsibility provided for by Article 7(1) of the
25 Statute of the Tribunal and all on the basis of his responsibility as a
1 superior according to Article 7(3) of the Statute of the Tribunal is
2 charged with two counts of genocide; Article 4 of the Statute, genocide
3 and intent to commit genocide; he's charged with four counts of crimes
4 against humanity, Article 5 of the Statute; extermination, murder,
5 persecution and inhumane acts; and he's charged with one count of
6 violation of the laws or customs of war, Article 3 of the Statute, in that
7 specific case, murder.
8 This being said, I would like to recall in an order issued by the
9 President in December 2004, this case had initially been assigned to Trial
10 Chamber III. Then following the new order issued by the President of the
11 Tribunal on 23rd of March, 2005, the case was assigned to Trial Chamber II
12 which I'm a member of.
13 Following an order issued by the President of the Tribunal on the
14 24th of March, 2005, I have been appointed as the Judge of the Chamber, of
15 Trial Chamber II, in charge of the initial appearance.
16 I am going to move now to the procedure of initial -- the initial
17 appearance as it is provided for by Rule 62 of the Rules of Procedure and
19 I'd like you to -- to ask you to stand, General, because I have to
20 ask you a number of questions now.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] First of all, can you please
22 give me your name and first name.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My name is Vinko Pandurevic.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you inform me of your date
25 of birth and place of birth.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I was born on the 25th of June,
2 1959, in the municipality of Sokolac, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Today, the
3 Republika Srpska.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What are you by profession? Are
5 you currently employed?
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm not doing anything at the
7 moment. I was a professional officer and I was general major by rank and,
8 by education, a doctor of sociological sciences.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We will go into
10 private session now, Madam Registrar.
11 [Private session]
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in open session,
8 Mr. President.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, I have to ask you
10 whether your family has been informed of the fact that you are in
11 The Hague, and if that is not the case, would you like us to inform your
12 family or is your family aware of the fact?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, in view of the fact
14 that I voluntarily and with the help of the Serbian government gave myself
15 up to the Detention Unit, my family knew about this decision of mine and
16 is fully informed of the entire case.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Could you please sit
18 down now.
19 Madam Registrar, it is necessary to read out to the accused
20 Articles 20 and 21 of the Statute.
21 We will now read out Article 20 and 21 of the Statute to you.
22 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Article 20, commencement and
23 conduct of trial proceedings:
24 (1) The Trial Chambers shall ensure that a trial is fair and
25 expeditious, and that proceedings are conducted in accordance with Rules
1 of Procedure and Evidence, with full respect of the rights of the accused
2 and due regard for the protection of victims and witnesses too.
3 (2) A person against whom an indictment has been confirmed shall,
4 pursuant to an order or an arrest warrant of the International Tribunal,
5 be taken into custody, immediately informed of the charges against him and
6 transferred to the International Tribunal.
7 (3) The Trial Chamber shall read the indictment, satisfy itself
8 that the rights of the accused are respected, confirm that the accused
9 understands the indictment, and instruct the accused to enter a plea. The
10 Trial Chamber shall then set the date for trial.
11 (4) The hearings shall be public unless the Trial Chamber decides
12 to close the proceedings in accordance with its Rules of Procedure and
14 Article 21, rights of the accused:
15 1. All persons shall be equal before the International Tribunal.
16 2. In the determination of charges against him, the accused shall
17 be entitled to a fair and public hearing, subject to Article 22 of the
19 3. The accused shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty
20 according to the provision of the present Statute.
21 4. In the determination of any charge against the accused
22 pursuant to the present Statute, the accused shall be entitled to the
23 following minimum guarantees, in full equality:
24 (a) to be informed promptly and in detail in a language which he
25 understands of the nature and cause of the charge against him;
1 (b) to have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of
2 his defence and to communicate with counsel of his own choosing;
3 (c) to be tried without undue delay;
4 (d) to be tried in his presence, and to defend himself in person
5 or through legal assistance of his own choosing; to be informed, if he
6 does not have legal assistance, of this right; and to have legal
7 assistance assigned to him in any case where the interests of justice so
8 require, and without payment by him in any such case if he does not have
9 sufficient means to payment of it;
10 (e) to examine, or have examined, the witnesses against him and to
11 obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the
12 same conditions as witnesses against him;
13 (f) to have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot
14 understand or speak the language used in the International Tribunal;
15 (g) not to be compelled to testify against himself or to confess
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Madam Registrar.
18 General, have you taken note of what has just been read out to
19 you, namely Articles 20 and 21 of the Statute, and have you understood the
20 sense of what has just been read out with regard to your rights?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. I can follow, and I can tell
22 you when I arrived in the Detention Unit I was given the Statute of the
23 Tribunal and instructions with regard to Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
24 I was read out this Article so that I was apprised of my rights in
1 Thank you.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Have you been
3 provided with the indictment in your own language? You should have
4 received a copy of the indictment this morning.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I shall like to
6 inform you of several facts.
7 When I arrived in the detention centre of The Hague Tribunal I was
8 given two versions of the amended and supplemented indictment. The date
9 is the 27th of October, 1999, and I also received on the 30th of March,
10 that is to say, yesterday, the indictment, the new indictment, in English
11 which is not signed, and today at 1245 hours, I received the translation
12 of that indictment.
13 On the basis of what you have just read out and the several
14 Articles, I am conscious of the fact that it is the English version
15 indictment that I received yesterday and today the one -- a copy in the
16 language I understand.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Have you understood
18 the indictment?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In view of the fact that I spent the
20 last few days focussing on the two variants of the amended indictment, the
21 final indictment I received today, so I have not had a chance of
22 studying it fully. And I should like to ask the Court's indulgence, and
23 pursuant to Article 62(3) that I state my views within 30 days and also
24 that I have a second time to lodge an appeal.
25 I would like to consult a Defence counsel of my own choice - the
1 appointment process is underway - and I hope that it will be settled
2 positively soon.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Would you like to
4 have additional information with regard to the indictment?
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't think there's any need to
6 waste time reading the indictment. I think that I have your guarantees
7 that it is indeed the indictment that I have been given, that is identical
8 to the one you have, so I can read through the indictment myself and then
9 I should like to plea within the deadline that is provided for. It is not
10 for any obstruction purposes but merely to realise my rights before this
11 Tribunal so that the process can go ahead.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In order to respect your rights
13 pursuant to Rule 62 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, I should
14 usually read out the indictment to you. However, you may waive the right
15 to have the indictment read out to you if you believe that it is not
16 necessary; however, if you don't want to waive this right, I can read out
17 of the indictment which consists of 13 pages.
18 Would you like to have the indictment read out to you or will you
19 waive your right to have the indictment read out to you?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] There is no need for to you read out
21 the indictment. I can read it myself in a language I understand, and I
22 hope that I will be able to understand it when I come to do so.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Pursuant to Rule 62 of the Rules
24 of Procedure, you have the right to enter a plea, to plead guilty or not
25 guilty. You can do so either immediately or within 30 days.
1 You have just told me that you would prefer to wait for 30 days in
2 order to thoroughly study the indictment and to confer with your Defence
3 counsel. That is, in fact, the gist of what you have just told me.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, that's precisely what I said.
5 Yes, that is precisely what I asked for.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I take note of the
7 fact that you would prefer to wait for 30 days before informing us of your
8 final decision.
9 It will be necessary to see you again after the 30-day period has
10 expired to see what your final decision is. The two hypotheses, the two
11 possibilities, firstly, if an accused enters a guilty plea, in that case,
12 the date scheduled for trial must be indicated. If the accused please not
13 guilty, then a Pre-Trial Judge is appointed and the Pre-Trial Judge
14 summons the accused and his counsel every four months in order to discuss
15 the proceedings and the stage at which the proceedings are.
16 You mentioned the possibility of filing a motion for provisional
17 release pursuant to Rule 65 of the Rules, and I would also like to point
18 out to the Prosecution that pursuant to Rule 66(A)(i) it is their
19 obligation to disclose to Defence counsel and to the accused a copy of all
20 the supporting material which accompanied the indictment when confirmation
21 was sought, and this must be done within 30 days of the initial appearance
22 of the accused. And I would also like to inform the accused that
23 according to Rule 72(A) of the Rules, once the Prosecutor has disclosed
24 all the material to the accused, within 30 days he has the right to file
25 preliminary motions if he has the intention of contesting the indictment.
1 This is the procedure that we will be following.
2 I'll now turn to the Prosecution. At this point in time, is there
3 anything the Prosecution would like to say?
4 MR. MCCLOSKEY: No, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
6 General, would you like to take the floor? Are there any issues
7 that you would like to address?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't think there's any need. I
9 have understood everything you have told me and explained to me, and I
10 hope that I will appear here in 30 days' time to enter a plea.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Then my final
12 question that I have to put to you: Since you have arrived here, is
13 everything fine in the Detention Unit? Do you have any problems as far as
14 your family is concerned? Can you phone them? Are there any particular
15 requests you would like to make, or is everything in order?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have had no problems. Everything
17 was in inconformity with the rules governing the detention centre.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In that case, the
19 procedure pursuant to Rule 62 has been respected. You have been informed
20 of all your rights and you will take advantage of the 30-day period to
21 decide how you will be pleading. As a result, I will now adjourn this
22 hearing. Thank you.
23 --- Whereupon the Initial Appearance adjourned
24 at 2.45 p.m.