1 Wednesday, 11 May 2005
2 [Further Appearance]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you please
7 call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] IT-05-86-PT, the Prosecutor
9 versus Milorad Trbic.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Trbic, can you hear the
11 proceedings in a language you understand? If that's the case, please tell
12 us and you can sit down.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please sit down.
15 I'm going to ask for the appearances, starting with the
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Good afternoon, Your Honour. Peter McCloskey and
18 Janet Stewart.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to ask the Defence to
20 introduce themselves.
21 MR. O'SULLIVAN: I'm Eugene O'Sullivan, appearing for Mr. Trbic.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I would like to greet all those
23 who are here in the courtroom; the Prosecutor, Defence counsel,
24 Mr. Milorad Trbic. And I should not forget to greet all those present
25 here in the courtroom; the registrar, the usher, the legal officer, and
1 let's not forget all those who assist us within and outside of this
3 Today's hearing is dedicated to the initial appearance of
4 Mr. Milorad Trbic. Let me remind you first that the accused here was
5 transferred to the Detention Unit of the Tribunal on the 7th of April,
6 2005. Previously, on the 24th of March, 2005, Judge Liu confirmed an
7 indictment established by the Prosecutor and dated 10th of February, 2005,
8 against Pandurevic and against the accused Trbic.
9 Following this indictment that was submitted to the accused, it is
10 stated that at the beginning of the month of July 1995, units of the Drina
11 Corps of the Bosnian Serb army shelled Srebrenica and attacked
12 Dutch-manned United Nations observation posts which were located in the
13 safe area.
14 It is further stated in the indictment that the Bosnian Serb
15 forces entered Srebrenica. It is also stated that between 11th of July,
16 1995, and 18th of July, 1995, and I quote: "The VRS forces under the
17 command and control of Ratko Mladic, Radoslav Krstic and Vinko Pandurevic
18 either expelled or killed most of the members of the Bosnian Muslim
19 population of the Srebrenica enclave."
20 Milorad Trbic, a security officer in the Zvornik Brigade under the
21 command of Vinko Pandurevic, took part in organising the receipt,
22 detention, and murder of thousands of Bosnian Muslim men transported to
23 the zone of responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade from 13 through 17 of
24 July, 1995, and he personally executed in Orahovac Muslim men from
25 Srebrenica during this time period.
1 As a result of these actions, the VRS forces virtually eliminated
2 the presence of any Bosnian Muslims in the Srebrenica enclave area, thus
3 continuing an ethnic cleansing campaign which had begun in the spring of
5 It is also stated in the indictment that during these events
6 Milorad Trbic was an assistant to Lieutenant Drago Nikolic, who was the
7 chief of security of the Zvornik Brigade, and he reported directly to him.
8 Milorad Trbic held the rank of reserve captain.
9 The accused is charged on the basis of his individual criminal
10 responsibility pursuant to Article 7(1) of the Statute of the Tribunal on
11 a single count, a count of crime against humanity; Article 5 of the
12 Statute, murder.
13 I have just given a brief reminder of the charges against the
15 By an order delivered on 8th of April, 2005, the president of the
16 Tribunal assigned this case to Trial Chamber II, the Trial Chamber I was
17 myself assigned to as a Judge. We had the opportunity to meet once
18 before, on the 13th of April, 2005, and when I asked the accused if he was
19 in a position to react to the indictment, he stated that he wanted to take
20 advantage of the 30-days delay provided for by Rule 62 of the Rules of
21 Procedure and Evidence before entering his plea. This time period of 30
22 days has now come to an end, and it is now my duty to move on to that
23 phase of the proceedings, and I will in a few minutes ask the accused how
24 he's going to plead.
25 Furthermore, I should state also that on the 20th of April, 2005,
1 I was assigned as Pre-Trial Judge in this case.
2 This being said, Mr. Trbic, I'm now going to ask you to rise, and
3 I'm going to tell you -- to ask you once again to tell me your first name
4 and last name.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Milorad Trbic.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your date of birth?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I was born on the 22nd of February,
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Where were you born?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I was born in the village of
11 Ponijevo, near Zenica.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before being transferred to the
13 Detention Unit, what was your profession?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I worked in the USA in a
15 company called Lorenpolo [phoen].
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In what capacity?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It was in the field of energy. I
18 graduated from mechanical engineering school.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As an accused, you enjoy a
20 number of rights that are listed in Articles 20 and 21 of the Statute.
21 During the last hearing, the registrar read out these rights to you. It
22 is, therefore, not necessary unless you insist, it is not necessary for us
23 to state these rights again, but if you'd like, we can do so. I could ask
24 the registrar to read them out again.
25 Would you like us to read Articles 20 and 21 of the Statute again
1 or do you remember what was read out to you last time?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's not necessary to read them out
3 again, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Trbic, the Rule
5 provides that the indictment should be read out to you, but you can waive
6 that right if you decide so.
7 Mr. O'Sullivan, what is your position on that point?
8 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. In the last 30
9 days I've had a chance to review this indictment with Mr. Trbic, and he
10 received that indictment in a language he understands, and I answered all
11 his questions in relation to that indictment, and he has asked me to
12 inform you today that there's no need to have the indictment read out in
13 court and that he's prepared to enter his plea today.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. O'Sullivan.
15 Mr. Trbic, can you confirm that, as far as you're concerned, it's
16 not necessary for us to read out the indictment?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I can confirm
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Now I have to ask
20 you how you're going to plead on the fourth count of the indictment
21 whereby you are charged with murder, a crime against humanity, punishable
22 under Article 5(a) of the Statute of the Tribunal. How do you plead;
23 guilty or not guilty?
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm not guilty.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You plead not guilty. I'd like
1 to ask the registrar to take note of the fact that the accused has told us
2 that he pleads not guilty on the count against him, a count of crime
3 against humanity.
4 Mr. Trbic, you can sit down.
5 Mr. Trbic, you've just pleaded not guilty. That means that there
6 was -- there will be a pre-trial stage before the actual trial starts.
7 The pre-trial stage is provided for by the Rules, Rule 65 bis (A) of the
8 Rules of the Tribunal. It will be my duty to convene a Status Conference
9 every 120 days. We'll then have the opportunity to meet again and raise,
10 if necessary, a number of issues or discuss problems that might have
11 occurred during these -- this period.
12 The pre-trial stage is aimed at organising exchanges between the
13 parties, between the Defence and the Prosecution, so as to ensure an
14 expeditious preparation for trial, and Status Conferences are also, for
15 me, an opportunity to find out if your detention is going well and if
16 there is any problem.
17 Furthermore, as part of the proceedings under Rule 65 of the Rules
18 of Procedure and Evidence, any accused may file a motion for provisional
19 release. Pursuant to Rule 66(A)(i) I should remind the Prosecutor that he
20 is duty-bound to disclose to the Defence copies of the supporting material
21 which accompanied the indictment when confirmation was sought.
22 Furthermore, I should also tell you, but your counsel is perfectly
23 aware of that, I shall remind you that in accordance with Rule 72(A), you
24 have 30 days once the Prosecutor has disclosed all of this material, you
25 have 30 days to file any preliminary motion you might like to file.
1 Now I'm going to turn to the Prosecutor to ask him what is the
2 status of disclosure.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, we have the material and are prepared
4 to provide it when Defence would like it.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. O'Sullivan, you're the
6 Defence counsel of the accused. May I suppose that you're the permanent
7 counsel of the accused? Can you confirm that for me?
8 MR. O'SULLIVAN: In fact, Your Honour, I have been assigned as
9 duty counsel for the initial appearance, and it's a matter I'll have to
10 review with both Mr. Trbic and the Registry, in which case, when that's
11 all settled, we'll proceed with receipt of the supporting materials from
12 the Prosecution.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. Trbic, the counsel
14 here has told me that he's the duty counsel for today's initial
15 appearance. As for the future -- as for future proceedings, do you have a
16 lawyer that you want to assign or that you already know his name, or are
17 you now considering whether you're going to ask for Mr. O'Sullivan to be
18 your Defence counsel? Do you have any information you can provide me
19 about your counsel, counsel who will assist you in these proceedings?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I still haven't made a
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Trbic, you've
23 understood that the Prosecutor will only disclose the material once you
24 have finally retained Defence counsel. It's only at that point that the
25 time period will start, time period during which you can file a
1 preliminary motion. But you've just told me that you're still thinking
2 about your Defence counsel; is that right?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. You can
5 sit down.
6 Mr. O'Sullivan, I would like to ask you to keep in touch with
7 Mr. -- with the Registrar and Mr. Trbic for further proceedings in this
9 Now, I'd like to turn to the Prosecutor, because I'm also the
10 Pre-Trial Judge in the Pandurevic case and in another case. I would like
11 to know if the Prosecutor has made any progress in its efforts to obtain a
12 joinder of cases.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: I continue to work on that, Your Honour, and it
14 becomes more complicated by events outside the Tribunal, but we'll
15 continue to work and hopefully get that material filed within a reasonable
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But that -- I've had a look at
18 the situation. Currently the Chamber is being seized of the Borovcanin
19 case, Pandurevic, and also the case of Mr. Trbic. Trial Chamber II, with
20 different Judges, has been seized with the case of Miletic, Gvero and
21 Tolimir, but currently Tolimir is at large. There is also the case of
22 Popovic, Vujadin, but no Chamber has been assigned for these cases. There
23 would also be the case of Beara, the Trial Chamber III has been assigned
24 on that case. And there's also the case of Nikolic that was assigned to
25 Trial Chamber I. Have I given a good description of the situation?
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. I believe you've named them all. I believe
2 Popovic has been assigned to a Chamber, and I'm a little mixed up at this
3 point which one it actually is. The -- we have now, I think, just
4 recently received word that counsel has been assigned to just about
5 everyone, so the work should seriously begin right away.
6 I'm told that Popovic is currently in Trial Chamber III.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you. I wanted
8 to draw the Defence's attention to the fact. Mr. O'Sullivan, I want to
9 draw your attention to the fact, because all these cases might be joined,
10 and we would then have a single case for all these accused. Naturally,
11 that would enable the Tribunal to save precious time. This would be very
12 desirable, but as the Prosecution has pointed out, there are certain
13 issues outside the power of the Tribunal upon which this depends. There's
14 an entire series of factors that have to be taken into consideration.
15 Given the courtrooms available, we cannot put nine accused on trial since
16 we have two or three places at the maximum for the accused, but I know
17 that this is a matter that is currently being considered.
18 At this point in time, Mr. O'Sullivan, is there anything you would
19 like to say, any other issues you would like to raise?
20 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Not at this time, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In that case, before we adjourn,
22 Mr. Trbic, there are a couple of questions I have to put to you. The
23 first question concerns the conditions in the Detention Unit. Do you find
24 them satisfactory? Are you being visited? Have you run into any
25 problems? If -- if you have encountered any problems, inform us of the
1 fact immediately so that I can instruct the Registry to deal with them.
2 But perhaps there are no problems. Could you enlighten me.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the conditions are
4 quite satisfactory. I have no problems.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the second issue that I
6 would like to raise concerns your health. Is everything fine? Do you
7 require medical assistance?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My health is not very good, but I'm
9 being treated on a daily basis.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The doctor assigned to the
11 Detention Unit is supervising you, and he sees you on a regular basis; is
12 that correct?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you. You may
15 sit down now.
16 As I said, the next Status Conference will be held in four months'
17 time. It is May now. So we have June, July, August, and then September.
18 So we will see each other again at the beginning of September. That is
19 quite certain. And at the beginning of September, we should be in a
20 position to be informed of the name of Defence counsel of your choice.
21 The material will have been disclosed to you through your Defence, and
22 your Defence counsel will file any preliminary motions that need to be
24 So, Mr. Trbic, we will now adjourn. And I would like to thank
25 everyone in the courtroom.
1 We will now adjourn. Thank you.
2 --- Whereupon the Further Appearance adjourned
3 at 2.44 p.m.