1 Wednesday, 13 April, 2005
2 [Initial Appearance]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 8.00 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call
7 the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Case
9 number IT-05-86-1, the Prosecutor versus Milorad Trbic.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could we have the appearances,
11 please. For the Prosecution.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Good morning, Your Honour. My name is Peter
13 McCloskey and with me today is Lise-Lotte Karlsson.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could we have the appearances
15 for the Defence counsel.
16 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Good morning, Your Honour, Eugene O'Sullivan,
17 appearing for Mr. Trbic.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I would like to greet everyone
19 present, members of the Prosecution, Defence counsel for the accused, and
20 the accused.
21 I would first like to ask the accused to stand up and to tell me
22 whether he is receiving the interpretation of what I am saying into his
23 own language.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You may sit down
1 now. I would first like to remind you of the background of the
2 indictment. On the 7th of April, 2005 the accused was transferred to the
3 Tribunal's Detention Unit by an order dated the 24th of March, 2005.
4 Judge Liu confirmed the indictment on the 10th of February, 2005 brought
5 against the accused Pandurevic and the accused who is present in the
6 courtroom, the accused Milorad Trbic. The indictment states that at the
7 beginning of July, 1995, Drina Corps units of the Bosnian Serb army
8 shelled Srebrenica and shelled UN observation posts located in the safe
9 haven which was held by Dutch forces. VRS forces then entered into
11 The indictment alleges that between the 11th and 18th of July,
12 1995, and I quote: Forces of the VRS, under the command and control of
13 Ratko Mladic, Radislav Krstic, and Vinko Pandurevic expelled and killed a
14 significant part of the Muslim population of Bosnia in the Srebrenica
15 enclave. Milorad Trbic, a security officer of the Zvornik Brigade under
16 the command of Vinko Pandurevic took part in the organisation on the
17 reception, detention, and killing of thousands of Muslim men of Bosnia who
18 had been transported to the zone of responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade
19 from the 13th to the 17th of July, 1995.
20 And he personally executed Muslim men from Srebrenica in Orahovac
21 during this period. By their actions, the VRS forces thus practically
22 eliminated all Muslim presence in Bosnia in the Srebrenica enclave and
23 pursued in this manner the campaign of ethnic cleansing that had commenced
24 in the spring of 1992.
25 According to the indictment brought against the accused, who is
1 present here, Milorad Trbic, the accused was an assistant to left Drago
2 Nikolic, the security chief of the Zvornik Brigade and he was directly
3 subordinated to him. Milorad Trbic held the rank of reserve captain.
4 The indictment states that Milorad Trbic is accused on the basis
5 of individual criminal responsibility pursuant to Article 7(1) of the
6 statute of the Tribunal. He has been accused on a single count, a count
7 of crime against humanity, Article 5 of the statute, murder. This is
8 count 4 in the indictment.
9 By order of the President dated the 8th of April, 2005, this case
10 was assigned to Trial Chamber two and as a Judge in that chamber. On the
11 8th of April, 2005 I was designated as the judge for the purposes of the
12 Initial Appearance. Pursuant to rule 62 of the Rules of Procedure and
13 Evidence, I would like to ask Milorad Trbic to rise and to answer a few
14 questions that I shall put to him.
15 Sir, for the record, could you please tell me your first and last
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My name is Milorad Trbic.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you tell me your date of
19 birth and place of birth.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I was born on the 22nd of February,
21 1958 in Zenica.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you tell me what you are
23 by profession.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I worked in the Zenica iron works as
25 someone involved in the field of energy, energetics.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, given your status of an
2 accused, you have a certain number of rights, which we will now inform you
3 of. The registrar will now read out to you Articles 20 and 21 of the
4 Statute of this Tribunal. Registrar, could you please read out the
5 Articles referred to.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honour. "Commencement and conduct
7 of trial proceedings. Trial Chamber shall ensure that a trial is fair and
8 expeditious and that proceedings are conducted in accordance with the
9 Rules of Procedure and Evidence, with full respect for the rights of the
10 accused and due regard for the protection of victims and witnesses.
11 "A person against whom an indictment has been confirmed shall,
12 pursuant to an order or an arrest warrant of International Tribunal, be
13 taken into custody, immediately informed of the charges against him and
14 transferred to the International Tribunal. The Trial Chamber shall read
15 the indictment, satisfy itself that the rights of the Accused are
16 respected, confirm that the accused understands the indictment, and
17 instruct the Accused to enter a plea. The Trial Chamber shall then set
18 the date of the trial.
19 "The hearings shall be public, unless the Trial Chamber decides to
20 close the proceedings in accordance with its Rules of Procedure and
21 Evidence. Article 21 reads as follows:
22 "Rights of the accused.
23 "1, all persons shall be equal before the international Tribunal.
24 "2, in the determination of charges against him, the Accused shall
25 be entitled to a fair and public hearing, subject to article 22 of the
2 "3. The accused shall be presumed innocent unless proved guilty,
3 according to the provisions of the present statute.
4 "4. In the determination of any charge against the accused
5 pursuant to the present statute, the accused shall be entitled to the
6 following minimum guarantees in fully equality.
7 "A, to be informed promptly and in detail in a language which he
8 understand of the nature cause of the charge against him.
9 "B, to have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of
10 his Defence and to communicate with counsel of his own choosing.
11 "C, to be tried without undue delay.
12 "D, to be tried in his presence and to defend himself in person or
13 through legal assistance of his own choosing, to be informed if he does
14 not have legal assistance of his -- of this right and to have legal
15 assistance assigned to him in any case where the interest of justice so
16 require and without payment by him, in any such case, if he does not have
17 sufficient means to pay for it.
18 "E. To examine or have examined the witness against him and to
19 obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under
20 the same conditions as witness against him.
21 "F. To have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot
22 understand or speak the language used in the International Tribunal.
23 "G. Not to be compelled to testify against himself or to confess
25 [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
2 Mr. Trbic, have you understood the rights that have just been read out to
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I have.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, have you received a copy
6 of the indictment in your own language?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have you understood the
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, would you like to be
12 provided with additional information on the indictment, or do you believe
13 that the information you've been provided with to date is sufficient?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I do not require any additional
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, pursuant to Rule 62 of the
17 Rules of Procedure, we should read out the entire indictment to you, but
18 if you are familiar with the indictment and if you have understood it, it
19 is possible for you to waive this right pursuant to the Rule that I have
20 referred to. Would you like this indictment to be read out to you. I
21 will ask Defence counsel for Defence point of view.
22 MR. O'SULLIVAN: I have met with Mr. Trbic and it is his wish to
23 remain silent today and to enter his plea within 30 days of today's date.
24 So there is no requirement to read the indictment today.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
1 Mr. Trbic, your Defence, who is present in the courtroom, has just
2 informed me that you have decided to wait for a 30-day period before
3 informing us of your decision, before informing us of the plea you will be
4 making. Is that what you wish to do?
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In that case, we will schedule
7 a hearing which will take place in 30 days time and at that hearing you
8 may enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. Is there anything the
9 Prosecution would like to say at this point in time?
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Is there anything Defence
12 counsel would like to say?
13 MR. O'SULLIVAN: No, thank you, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The very last issue
15 that must be dealt with concerns conditions in the Detention Unit. Are
16 the conditions in the Detention Unit satisfactory? Have you run into any
17 difficulties? Are there any problems you would like to inform me of?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am content.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In that case, we
20 will now adjourn. You may sit down sir.
21 [The accused sits down]
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As I have said, there will be a
24 hearing pursuant to Rule 62, at which the accused may enter a plea. Thank
25 you. And I will inform you of the schedule for the next hearing.
1 --- Whereupon the Initial Appearance adjourned at
2 8:15 a.m., sine die.