1 Monday, 3 November 2003
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 10.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Call the case,
7 please, Mr. Court Deputy.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is Case Number
9 IT-95-12-PT, The Prosecutor versus Ivica Rajic.
10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Could I have the appearances,
11 please. For the Prosecution first.
12 MR. SCOTT: Good morning, Judge Liu. Ken Scott appearing on
13 behalf the Prosecutor, and with me at the counsel table are Josee D'Aoust,
14 and also Lakshmie Walpita, our case manager.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
16 And for the Defence.
17 MR. OLUJIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour. My name
18 is Zeljko Olujic, representing Mr. Ivica Rajic in this case. I am
19 attorney-at-law in the Republic of Croatia. Thank you.
20 JUDGE LIU:: Thank you.
21 Mr. Rajic, can you hear the proceedings in a language that you
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. If you have any problems, just
25 let me know in the proceedings.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. You may sit down, please.
3 This is a Status Conference in accordance with Rule 65 bis of the
4 Rules of Procedure and Evidence. The initial appearance of the accused
5 was on the 27th June 2003. The Trial Chamber is required pursuant to
6 Rule 65 bis to hold a Status Conference within 120 days of the initial
7 appearance of the accused to organise exchanges between the parties to
8 ensure expeditious preparation for trial and to allow the accused to raise
9 issues in relation to the status of his case, including his mental and
10 physical conditions. This Status Conference should have had last week,
11 but I'm sorry to say that during the last week I was extremely busy in
12 another case, sitting from 9.00 in the morning until 7.00 in the evening.
13 So I apologise for the delay, and I would like to ask the counsel of
14 Defence, Mr. Olujic, whether you agree to have this Status Conference
15 within 127 days of the initial appearance.
16 MR. OLUJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Through your
17 intervention, I have already given my consent by telephone. We do not
18 have anything against it, though we are fully aware of fact that it is
19 seven days' late, but we are accepting it as if it were within the
20 prescribed time limits. Thank you.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for your cooperation.
22 Any observations from the Prosecution?
23 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. May it please the Court, we
24 have the same understanding. We know from consultation with the Chamber
25 staff that counsel was approached about extending the date by several
1 days, and it's our understanding, as counsel has confirmed this morning,
2 that today's date was agreed to and consented to by counsel for which we
3 express our appreciation to him and also to the Chamber in this matter.
4 Thank you.
5 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
6 Now let's examine the status of this case. The first issue is
7 pending motions. The Defence filed a motion challenging the form of
8 indictment on the 25th August 2003. In its response filed on the 4th
9 September 2003, the Prosecution announced that it would file a motion for
10 leave to amend the indictment in the near future and requested the Trial
11 Chamber to suspend its decision on the merits of the Defence motion until
12 the amended indictment is filed.
13 The Trial Chamber, therefore, decided not to take any decision
14 before being seized with the Prosecution's motion for leave to amend the
15 indictment pursuant to Rule 50 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence
16 which was filed on 23rd October 2003.
17 According to Rule 50(A) IC, the Prosecution may amend the
18 indictment after the assignment of the case to a Trial Chamber with the
19 leave of that Trial Chamber or a Judge of that Chamber after having heard
20 the parties. The Trial Chamber notes that the amendment for which the
21 Prosecution seeks leave includes seven new charges. At this stage, I
22 would like to ask the Prosecution whether you want to make any
23 observations regarding this motion. Mr. Scott, please.
24 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. Your Honour, I think our
25 position is set out in some detail in our papers. I don't think I have
1 anything to add to that. We believe that the motion to amend is well
2 founded. We believe that this was an indictment as the Chamber will know
3 filed some years ago. Frankly, in a different era of this Tribunal. And
4 much of the practice of the Tribunal has changed in the ensuing years,
5 certainly more information, evidence, has come to the attention of the
6 OTP. And that therefore, at this relatively early stage of these
7 proceedings, before we have really gone too far ahead, that this would be
8 the appropriate time for an amendment without any substantial or
9 significant prejudice to the accused. Thank you.
10 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Scott, could I confirm with you that amended
11 indictment proposed on your side is centred on the same events in the same
12 area, during the same time as the original indictment?
13 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. That's exactly correct.
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Thank you very much.
15 Now may I turn to the Defence, Mr. Olujic. Are you going to file
16 a written response to Prosecution's motion?
17 MR. OLUJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your indulgence,
18 let me just draw your attention to the chronology. You rightly pointed
19 out that there was first the initial, the original indictment. And then
20 following our motion, the Prosecutor proceeded with the amendments of that
21 indictment which I received on the 23rd of October. And from the reading
22 of the text, one can conclude that the Prosecutor will give us sufficient
23 time to prepare our response to the indictment. The Prosecutor agrees,
24 accepts that we do not have enough time within the prescribed limit; that
25 is, the limit of 30 days, but that the deadline should be extended to 60
1 days. Further, they say that the amended indictment is based on the
2 material that has already been disclosed to us, and they do not dispose of
3 any other additional documents which is actually very good because the
4 indictment is built, so to speak, of various documents. And in view of
5 the fact that we intend to submit a large number of documents, I think
6 that in view of the efficiency of the proceedings, I think that the best
7 way to proceed is to reduce the number of materials to the minimum.
8 Thirdly, the Prosecutor submits that the indictment has only been
9 corrected and put in accordance with some new technical standards which
10 means that essentially it has not been changed. I will definitely submit
11 my response and my motion, but at any rate we should like for a reasonable
12 deadline which we believe should be 60 days, with your indulgence, thank
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Olujic, do you have any oral submissions at
15 this stage concerning that motion?
16 MR. OLUJIC: [Interpretation] At this point, Your Honour, no, I do
17 not. I will need some time to examine the indictment. I will have to go
18 through the entire documentation that I received once again. And we will
19 give our submissions in writing within the deadline that you impose.
20 Thank you.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, let me make it clear: The Prosecution filed
22 that motion for leave to amend its indictment. And you may have the
23 opportunity to challenge that motion. This is the first step. Second, if
24 the Trial Chamber granted that motion, and you have another opportunity
25 within 30 days to challenge the contents of that indictment. Am I right
1 that you are not going to file anything in written form concerning of that
2 motion, but later on you'll file your response against that amended
3 indictment, Mr. Olujic?
4 MR. OLUJIC: [Interpretation] First of all, Your Honour, I do not
5 know at this point whether the Chamber will accept the amended indictment.
6 If the Chamber accepts the indictment, then we will, of course, avail
7 ourselves of all the provisions that are at our disposal. I only have a
8 working version of the amended indictment at this point, and the motion of
9 my learned colleague to issue -- leave to file -- for the Trial Chamber to
10 issue leave to file this indictment. At this point, I cannot dispute an
11 act, an instrument which is still not legally binding for this Court. I
12 can only say that should the motion be granted, we will use all the legal
13 provisions to respond to it. But before we file our motion, of course my
14 client will enter his plea on the amended indictment.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, I understand that the challenge for that motion
16 will be in a very short period, that that line will be on the 6th of
17 November. If past that date, we do not receive your motion for
18 challenging that motion, the Trial Chamber will be in a position to make a
19 decision whether to accept the amended indictment. And after that date,
20 you have a certain period, according to the Rules 30 days, to make a
22 MR. OLUJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you for this clarification,
23 Your Honour. Of course, had we intended to do it, we would have already
24 reacted in the meantime, between the 23rd and the 6th when we received it.
25 But we are not going to submit any motion before its confirmation.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 However, once the amended indictment has been confirmed, we will submit
2 our motion, and we will challenge the indictment within the relevant
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
5 If the Trial Chamber grants leave to amend the indictment, a
6 further appearance will be held as soon as practical pursuant to Rule
7 50(B) to enable the excused to enter a plea on the new charges. The
8 accused will have the right pursuant to Rule 50(C) to file within 30 days
9 a preliminary motion pursuant to Rule 72 in respect of the new charges.
10 I understand that the Defence counsel asked for the 60 days for the
11 response. Could you please be more specific for the reasons for asking 60
13 MR. OLUJIC: [Interpretation] Firstly, Your Honour, I'm sure that
14 you are well aware of the fact that we have so far proceeded on the basis
15 of the original indictment as it was conceived eight years ago. Following
16 the changes and the newly amended indictment, I have to check all the
17 details as they are set out in the new indictment. And I think that the
18 30-day deadline is far too short. So I'm asking for the extension because
19 of the length and the extent of the material; not only the material that
20 we have received from the Prosecutor, but the material that we have
21 received from the Republic of Croatia, including all the material
22 concerning HVO and similar material. Therefore, we kindly ask for this
23 deadline to be extended to 60 days. Thank you.
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, as I just asked Mr. Scott, that he confirmed
25 that the new amended indictment is centred on the same event in the same
1 area and during the same time as the original indictment. I wonder if all
2 those documents as well as the amended indictment has been translated into
3 the language that the accused understands or not? Mr. Scott.
4 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, the -- let me approach the question
5 this way: As the Chamber will know, and as we've advised your staff, as
6 to the original -- of course the existing indictment, all supporting
7 material, and I mean all supporting material, has been provided to counsel
8 both in the original language of the documents and translated into the
9 B/C/S language where required. So counsel has had full disclosure as to
10 that set of material.
11 As to the amended indictment, as Your Honour has already pointed
12 out, that is now currently postured as a proposed indictment. And of
13 course, is not an indictment until leave is granted to file it at which
14 time it will become, of course, the indictment in the case. At that time
15 or pending the Chamber's resolution of that, translation of the indictment
16 itself will have to be obtained. And while we don't want to appear
17 presumptuous of the Chamber's decision, of course, because that's for the
18 Chamber to decide whether leave will be granted or not, certainly we can
19 start or have started or will start the translation process. So that will
20 be further ahead in the event that the Chamber will grant our motion.
21 At that point, then of course there will be some additional
22 supporting material, some material that supplements, if you will, what was
23 in the original material. That material is essentially ready to be turned
24 over, and it is in a form that is already compiled and essentially
25 physically ready to be disclosed again at such time as the amendment is
1 granted if the Chamber chooses to grant it. So we would be in a position
2 to turn over that material very quickly. There may be a few translations
3 remaining as to that material, but I think the vast majority of it, if not
4 all of it, is translated. So the short answer, Your Honour, is that if
5 the motion for leave to amend is granted, the Prosecution will be in an
6 immediate position to turn over that material to counsel.
7 JUDGE LIU: With the translation or not? Because we have received
8 that thick bundle of the documents, and I'm scared of that amount of the
10 MR. SCOTT: Yes. Yes, Mr. President, that's correct. As to the
11 supporting material itself, I can say at least that the vast majority is
12 already translated. There may be -- Ms. D'Aoust tells me there might be a
13 small residue of material remaining to be translated which is being done
14 now. And I suspect that if the Chamber chooses to grant to motion to
15 amend, by the time that action is taken most of the additional material
16 will be translated or be very close to translation. I do not anticipate
17 any significant delay in providing that material to counsel once the
18 motion to amend is disposed.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
20 And do you have any objections to the proposal to the 60 days to
21 make any response to that indictment?
22 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, of course, as always, we're in the
23 Chamber's hands, and it's the Chamber to decide in its own wisdom what
24 schedule it wants to impose on either of the parties in this case. Having
25 said that, since we are the moving party on the motion to amend, we
1 certainly do not want to appear, if I can say, stingy in the time allowed
2 to counsel. And since we have sought to make the amendment, we would be
3 prepared to grant counsel whatever time is deemed sufficient between
4 counsel and the Chamber to make a further response. We think it's only
5 fair to give him that time, again, as such is agreed by the Chamber.
6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
7 I believe that the accused is entitled to have a fair and
8 expeditious trial. And at this moment, we should move as fast as
9 possible. Of course, we also understand that difficulties on the part of
10 the Defence team, that they need to fully understand the contents of the
11 indictment. But 60 days is just too long, which is almost doubled the
12 time limit in the indictment -- sorry, in the Rules and Procedures. So
13 this Trial Chamber will give you 45 days to file your response. The time
14 will begin to run until all the supporting materials are translated into
15 the language that the accused understands, and we will ask the Prosecution
16 to file a notice to this pre-trial Judge indicating that they have already
17 fulfilled their obligations. Of course, all this under the precondition
18 that this Trial Chamber has already granted the motion for leave. Is that
20 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. Completely and we'll certainly do
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. It is so decided on this issue.
23 The next issue is the disclosure. I would like to ask the
24 Prosecution whether the disclosure of the supporting materials pursuant to
25 Rule 66(A)(i), as well as pursuant to Rule 66(ii) has been completed.
1 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Mr. President, as to the original supporting
2 material as I mentioned a moment ago, that, in fact, has been provided
3 completely to counsel, and we believe that our obligation in that respect
4 is completely fulfilled. As to the 66(A)(ii) material, that is the prior
5 statements of witnesses that the Prosecution expects to call at trial, as
6 I reported to your staff this morning, our efforts to prepare and turn
7 over that material are substantially advanced to completion. But again,
8 as so often happens, the only problem at the moment is one of translation.
9 And we estimate that of that additional set of material, somewhere between
10 perhaps 25 to 30 per cent remains to be translated either from English to
11 B/C/S or B/C/S to English. That's all underway now. It has been started
12 some time ago, frankly anticipating, of course, our obligations. But in
13 honesty, Judge Liu, I can't say this morning that that's completely
14 finished. But it's substantially advanced, and the only thing holding us
15 up at this moment are the translations, and as soon as that -- those
16 translations are ready it will certainly be turned over.
17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
18 Any observations from the Defence team?
19 MR. OLUJIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. Thank you.
20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
21 And are there any comments or observations from either parties
22 regarding the disclosure of the exculpatory materials pursuant to Rule 68?
23 MR. SCOTT: Judge, the only observation that we would make is that
24 of course we are very mindful of that obligation. It's a continuing one,
25 and as we make disclosures throughout this case, until the final day of
1 this case, we will certainly be mindful of that obligation.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. I think I don't need to remind
3 you that is a continued obligation on the part of the Prosecution.
4 Well, the next issue is about status of the accused. Does the
5 accused wish to raise any matters relating to his state of health and his
6 condition of detention? Mr. Rajic.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the conditions in the
8 Detention Unit are good for now. I feel well. I have no objections or
9 comments. I only wish for these proceedings to continue in the normal
10 and usual manner and for me to continue working with my counsel. I
11 believe everything will be in good order. Thank you.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. I have to ask you to take care
13 of yourself because there's still a long time before the trial starts. I
14 hope we could shorten that period as soon as possible.
15 Well, are there any other matters that the parties would like to
16 raise? Mr. Scott.
17 MR. SCOTT: No, Your Honour. Thank you very much for hearing us
18 this morning.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
20 Mr. Olujic.
21 MR. OLUJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. We have no
22 additional issues to raise. Thank you for granting us these 45 days.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, if there's nothing else on the part of both
24 parties, I declare that the hearing is adjourned.
25 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned
1 at 10.31 a.m.