1 Tuesday, 31 August 2004
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Mr. Court Deputy.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-95-12-PT, the Prosecutor versus Ivica Rajic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. For the sake of the record, could I have
10 the appearances please.
11 MR. SCOTT: Good afternoon, Your Honour. Kenneth Scott for the
12 Office of the Prosecutor. I'm joined today by our case manager, Ms.
13 Lakshmie Walpita and trial attorney Josee D'Aoust and Mr. Roeland Bos.
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. For the Defence.
15 MR. OLUJIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour. I'm
16 Zeljko Olujic, attorney-at-law from Zagreb, Croatia, representing
17 Mr. Ivica Rajic.
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
19 Mr. Rajic, can you hear the proceedings in a language that you
20 could understand?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear, but I would like it
22 turned up a bit. If we could only turn up the sound a bit.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I hope somebody in the courtroom could help you
24 to do that. And if you have any problems in the future to follow the
25 proceedings, please let me know.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's all right now. It's all right.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. You may sit down, please.
3 This is a Status Conference in accordance with the Rule 65 bis.
4 The purpose of this conference are two. First, to organise the exchanges
5 between the parties so as to ensure expeditious preparation for trial.
6 Secondly, to review the status of the accused's case and to allow the
7 accused to have the opportunity to raise issues in relation thereto,
8 including the mental and the physical conditions of the accused. Let's
9 deal with them one by one.
10 The first matter is about the preparation of the case. I would
11 like to hear from both parties about the matter concerning the disclosure.
12 Yes, Mr. Scott.
13 MR. SCOTT: May it please the Court. Your Honour, the
14 Prosecutor's view is that disclosure in this case is being met. Our
15 obligations are being satisfied, with the possible exception of three or
16 four, perhaps, particular witness statements that we think need the
17 Court's specific attention in terms of some protective measures as to
18 those particular witnesses. We believe that our Rule 66 disclosure
19 obligations have been fully satisfied. And as I reported to Mr. Harhoff
20 yesterday, we did disclose, about ten days ago, some additional material.
21 They were transcripts from prior ICTY cases concerning several of our
23 In looking at that further since yesterday, I can say that all of
24 those witnesses had been previously disclosed and other statements had
25 been disclosed. I'm just double-checking again, but yes, that's the case.
1 So these were only additional materials. Other materials had been
2 disclosed. The witnesses were known before. But these were additional
3 transcripts that had to be further processed and translated into B/C/S
4 before disclosed to counsel. As I say, with the exception of a very small
5 number of items that we need to bring to the Court's attention, we believe
6 that all Rule 66 disclosure has been provided.
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. How about the translation
8 issues? I believe that during the last Status Conference you mentioned
9 that there are about 25 to 30 per cent of the documents which still needed
10 to be translated from the B/C/S into English, or the other way around, and
11 I would like to know, has the translation been completed by now or not?
12 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. I believe all the translations have
13 been completed at this point. I will certainly double-check that, but
14 it's my understanding that it's all been completed.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Could I hear Mr. Olujic on this
17 MR. OLUJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. It is true,
18 if I may turn to the part where Mr. Scott said that something had been
19 disclosed, a certain number of materials were disclosed ten days ago. I
20 want to say that we actually received it three days before this Status
21 Conference, on the 28th of August, more precisely. I would not like to
22 have the practice repeated that materials be disclosed immediately before
23 this Status Conference, because even with the best goodwill on my part, I
24 have not been able to thoroughly review the material that was given me.
25 Today, the Prosecutor has just said that all the material, with
1 very few exceptions, has been disclosed. These few exceptions can include
2 hundreds or even thousands of pages. I would therefore like to know
3 precisely the number of pages involved. I would like to hear that from
4 the Prosecutor so that we can prepare for our work. Your Honour
5 understands that once I receive materials from the Prosecution, I have to
6 double-check them with the state archives, or any other source they may be
7 originating from, so that I can be ready for trial in terms of harmonising
8 facts, a point that will be covered today, as I understood from Your
10 I would like to hear precisely what amount of material pending we
11 are talking about.
12 JUDGE LIU: To my understanding, the material that has not been
13 disclosed only concerning with some statements of the witness which the
14 Prosecution would like to ask for some protective measures on those
15 materials. But I'll give the floor to Mr. Scott for the clarification on
16 that point.
17 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, you're exactly right. Just very, very
18 briefly in response to Mr. Olujic. I can assure the Chamber and I can
19 assure Mr. Olujic, we have taken our disclosure obligations very
20 seriously, and we believe that the vast majority of that material has been
21 disclosed, much of it for quite some time now. I think the Chamber
22 perhaps, and I hope, will understand and know from our prior dealings, my
23 prior dealings with Your Honour and other Chambers, that I'm not going to
24 overstate the case or say things that I don't think are completely true.
25 I allow for the possibility, of course, in this volume of material,
1 there's always the possibility that something will fall through the cracks
2 and has to be corrected in the future. I always do allow for that. I
3 allow for that possibility now, despite the diligence and abundant good
4 faith on behalf of the Office of the Prosecutor. I think we have met and
5 are meeting all of our disclosure obligations.
6 Having said that, Your Honour, you're exactly right. The only
7 things that are have not been disclosed are approximately three witness
8 statements. And it's only witness statement material. It's not
9 documents, it has nothing to do with the archives. It is simply there are
10 three particular items that require -- in our view, require the Chamber's
11 additional attention before we can disclose them, and we will direct that
12 to the Court's attention in the next days.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Scott, you did not answer the question put
14 by Mr. Olujic. He asked specifically how many pages are those documents.
15 Hundreds or thousands, or just give approximately, you know, pages.
16 MR. SCOTT: These are witness statements, Your Honour. As to a
17 couple of the witness statements, I can't imagine that either one, and
18 again to be very -- to possibly overestimate rather than underestimate, I
19 can't imagine that either statement would be more than 20 pages.
20 As to one set of materials, they currently consist of
21 tape-recordings, so I can't give you a page length on that. One of the
22 things that has to be done is they have to be transcribed. So
23 unfortunately, Your Honour, that one I can't answer. But we're talking
24 with a small amount. We're not talking about thousands of pages. We're
25 talking about a small number of pages.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. As for the protective measures,
2 I hope you could file something in this aspect.
3 MR. SCOTT: I will.
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. And how about the material of the Rule 68?
5 Did you find any material in these areas?
6 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. We have again -- the Court knows
7 that Rule 68 is a continuing obligation, and we have and continue and will
8 continue to provide Rule 68 material on an ongoing basis to meet our
10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Any comments in this aspect, Mr. Olujic?
11 MR. OLUJIC: [Interpretation] No, thank you, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. The next issue is about the
13 agreement on facts. I believe that it is the policy and the desire of the
14 Trial Chamber to encourage the parties to meet together to discuss whether
15 there's any facts that both parties are in agreement, especially for some
16 material facts, which I mean is the background, the status of the accused,
17 the positions, you know, so as to facilitate the proceedings. Maybe
18 Mr. Scott could inform us about any development in this aspect.
19 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, since the first appearance of this
20 accused, there have been ongoing conversations and communications with
21 Mr. Olujic in which the concept has been discussed in general about we
22 ought to try to -- we ought to see what we can do about identifying things
23 that are not disputed. To move that effort forward, on the 11th of August
24 of this year, we sent a letter to Mr. Olujic enclosing a set of 200
25 proposed facts, numbered facts, for his consideration. We've asked him if
1 he would be so kind to respond to us by the 30th of September as to any of
2 those facts which he is prepared to agree, either in whole or in part and
3 then hopefully, depending on his response, we'd be in a position then to
4 move forward. So we're optimistic, or we're hopeful, anyway, that there
5 could be substantial room for agreement.
6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
7 Mr. Olujic, would you please confirm that you received those list
8 of facts and what's your analysis of those facts?
9 MR. OLUJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it is correct that a
10 letter was sent on the 11th of August to my law office, including that
11 proposal, but it is also true that it is the tactics of the Defence, which
12 we have never concealed, to do everything we can to agree or stipulate
13 everything that is indisputable before the trial. I will, of course,
14 review this proposal from the Prosecution, with the help of my client, of
15 course, because we have to go through the entire material to identify
16 indisputable matters, and I will shortly contact my learned friends from
17 the OTP and try to stipulate certain facts, of course, taking care of the
18 interests of my client.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much, indeed. I believe that I'm
20 encouraged by the attitudes of both parties, and I hope this process will
21 come to an end with some results by the 30th of September. And at that
22 time, I would like to ask both parties to submit a written report on the
23 developments in this aspect so that we know where we are and how we
24 proceed during the trial in the future. Is that agreeable to the parties?
25 Mr. Scott?
1 MR. SCOTT: Yes, of course, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Mr. Olujic?
3 MR. OLUJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. The next issue is about the witness
5 protection issues. Mr. Scott, at this stage, do you think you need some
6 protective measures concerning the future witnesses in the trial?
7 MR. SCOTT: Except for the items that we identified to you a few
8 moments ago, so far, as far as we know, there has not been any problems
9 that would require attention at this time.
10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
11 Mr. Olujic, do you have any comments in this aspect?
12 MR. OLUJIC: [Interpretation] No. We accept this.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. The next issue is about the indictment.
14 Here I would like to express the views of this Trial Chamber that we
15 believe the indictment should be kept intact, which means that the less
16 amendment, the better, under the condition that both parties share the
17 same interpretation and understandings of certain phrase or paragraph.
18 Mr. Scott, do you have anything to say towards this issue?
19 MR. SCOTT: Only, Your Honour, that in the meeting with
20 Mr. Harhoff yesterday, I understood that the matter seemed to be
21 satisfied. I wouldn't have anything else to add.
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
23 Mr. Olujic, what's your views towards this issue?
24 MR. OLUJIC: [Interpretation] Regarding the indictment, we have
25 already pronounced ourselves. At this stage, as we respect the decision
1 of the Chamber, there is no need to elaborate on the issue any further or
2 point out or elaborate certain things that would be addressed at trial.
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Thank you very much.
4 I would like to say that the Prosecution's clarifications of the
5 indictment pursuant to the Chamber's order of 27th April, 2004 in response
6 to the Defence motion on the form of the indictment had been received on
7 the 11th May, 2004 and accepted by the Chamber.
8 Well, let's come to the last issue, that is, the accused's health
9 condition. Mr. Rajic, how about your health?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. At the
11 moment, I'm feeling well, although I was shaken by an unfortunate event
12 recently, but my lawyer will tell you more about it.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Do you have any other matters to complain?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No.
15 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Olujic.
16 MR. OLUJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yesterday at the 65 ter
17 conference, I shared with Mr. Harhoff a major problem that arose in
18 connection with my client. The problem is that another indictee of this
19 Tribunal physically abused and beat up my client. We informed the
20 Registry of the matter. It is a person who is no longer a prisoner in the
21 Detention Unit, that is, Mr. Tihomir Blaskic. My client was not only
22 physically abused, but after the physical abuse, his capacity to prepare
23 for his defence was reduced to zero. He took this very hard, and I must
24 tell you that for about two months, or more than two months, we have been
25 unable to communicate effectively and prepare for this case, which makes
1 serious allegations against my client.
2 The person concerned is no longer in the Detention Unit of the
3 ICTY, and I hope the event will not repeat itself. But I do have to tell
4 you, Your Honour, my client still suffers the consequences, and I don't
5 think his physical or mental condition has been fully restored. We
6 thought it necessary to inform you of this, Your Honour. Mr. Harhoff told
7 me yesterday that he had given orders to the Registry to keep him posted,
8 but we have no further information or follow-up from Mr. Harhoff.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, I'm sorry to hear what happened in the Detention
10 Unit, and I believe that this matter has brought to the attention of
11 Mr. Registrar. And following the incident, he asked the commanding
12 officer of the UNDU to carry out a thorough examination of the incident
13 and file a report in this conclusion. He personally also wrote a letter
14 to you, Mr. Olujic, telling you about the result of his investigation in
15 this aspect. In his letter, he mentioned that on the same day of the
16 incident the commanding officer issued a written warning to Mr. Blaskic,
17 and warned him that another incident of this nature would result in the
18 withdrawal of his privilege.
19 Furthermore, in order to prevent reoccurrence of such an incident
20 and for the safety of both detainees, Mr. Rajic has been placed in another
21 part of the UNDU, where he will not be in the contact with Mr. Blaskic. I
22 believe that you have received this letter, and if not, we'll make this
23 letter available to you, Mr. Olujic.
24 MR. OLUJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I heard unofficially
25 that a warning, a reprimand, was issued, and the warden, Mr. McFadden,
1 penalised Mr. Blaskic in some way, but I haven't received that letter to
2 date, so I hope that through your good offices, a copy of the letter could
3 be forwarded to me. Thank you.
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, we'll make sure that you receive that letter,
5 and I believe the Prosecution will have a copy of this letter.
6 Well, at this stage, are there any other matters that the parties
7 would like to raise? Mr. Scott?
8 MR. SCOTT: Not from the Prosecution, Your Honour. Thank you.
9 JUDGE LIU: Your microphone, please.
10 MR. SCOTT: Not for the Prosecution, Your Honour. Thank you very
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
13 Mr. Olujic?
14 MR. OLUJIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. Thank you.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Well, I believe this is all for this
16 Status Conference. The hearing is adjourned.
17 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at
18 2.44 p.m.